A Trip to Glasgow

2013-03-23 Glasgow 001  A huge thank you for a gift received from Lorraine!  Adorable vintage tray, easel for school, and the most incredible cuteness….mini skeins of yarn, in perfect dolly scale! 

2013-03-24 Glasgow 001 A recent photo of Rosey.  She was dancing and prancing and making me smile.

2013-03-28 Glasgow 005 We went to Glasgow yesterday.  It was cold, but we really wanted to just get out and about.  We’ve been there only a handful of times, so I knew of a couple of places that have dolls, but so far, nothing I would want.  At one shop there were 3 Gotz dolls and while not my style, they were adorable and I was tempted by their sweetness.  In particular, I liked their plump chins and pink mouths.  The were £15.

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And  this tiny one, a Mini Muffin:

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All had that wonderful glowy vinyl that has such a nice quality to it.  I could feel their weight by holding the box.  I saw a lot of Monster Highs, running about £12-£22. 

2013-03-28 Glasgow 017 At a variety shop, I saw some dolls that I had not seen before.  These were not high quality, more like the old super-market dolls.  Still, I was somewhat pleased to see less of the Bratz look in teen dolls, even though there are Bratz icons on the boxes(?).  I would guess the smaller one was about 14 inches, the taller one about 18 inches.

2013-03-28 Glasgow 018  These girls were really interesting.  About 22 inches tall and the tallest, may have been 28-30 inches.  They had sweet faces.  I couldn’t find a price on them.  Having a restless husband along, I didn’t get a chance to check out the quality.  The more I look at them, the more I wished I had insisted on checking them out.  They were either really cheap plastic and looking good or better than I initially thought.   I do not remember the name or where this shop was.

This lack of dolls here in Scotland depresses me.  A few fashion dolls, a few pram dolls, but nothing that grabs me.  There was such a burst of artistic dolls in the 1980’sand 90’s, it seems to have faded away.  Modern dolls are looking so cloned and lack personality in my opinion.  Babies and fantasy fashion dolls….what about the vast in-between?

We went to the People’s Museum.  I found a cute photo of a girl and her doll in Glasgow

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The only other doll related item was a couple of doll houses being used as models for types of housing.

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I was fascinated by this one, because it showed a tenement block of flats and how they were refurbished over the decades.  The bottom photo shows the bed closets which is what is now my kitchen.  I can still see the rounded inset corners.

2013-03-22 Glasgow 005  My kitchen was divided in half by a wall so that there was a bed closet on this side, and on the other side that led into the second room, which is now our bedroom, but once was a large kitchen.  Both rooms had fireplaces, the one being  more of a cooker

2013-03-28 Glasgow 055 Sorry for the bad photo, but this is exactly how our bedroom is shaped, see the rounded corner next to the chair…that is that weird indent I have written about, it was where the bed closet was.  I could show lots more, but this is more of side hobby of mine, exploring architecture in history and oddly, the Scots seemed to have stuck religiously to the exact same lay out all of their tenement flats.  I get a kick out of watching for the ones that come on the market and can see those who still have their fireplaces and those who have converted these bed closets into smaller kitchens and or small nooks….but never, so far have I seen them remain bed closets, which is a shame, what a space saver they are.

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These are the other dollhouse, all handmade, including all the furniture.  It was fascinating and made me crave to build one of my own.  I really liked this approach from the top, it made it so much more real in the sense it was all self contained.

Cleanliness and Step Ladder

I had an incredible unexpected find yesterday.  Last week, I had seen some stacking miniature green hat boxes that later, I thought might make a fun stacked boxes way for Meredith bear to reach the counter to make tea.  So I popped in yesterday to see if they were still there, they were, but there was another set, this one unused with the original contents and wrapped in a ribbon for the same price of 99p that the green empty boxed set was.  I bought those and then spotted a small bone china milk jug and sugar bowl that I thought would be good for a wash basin and pitcher for Rosey’s toilet area.

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Inside the boxes were a tiny bar of soap,  a bag of bath salts and a bath scrubber.  It was an unexpected score, as Rosey could use the soap and I get the bath stuff!

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Although the soap is a bit large for Rosey’s hand, it is not horribly out of scale.

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Here are the boxes stacked next to the counter.  The ribbon will be fabulous for her hair or a dress.  The boxes are individual, I just kept the stacked to see the height.  Looks like the bottom one ought to do nicely. Rosy gets the advantage of being able to use the boxes to store things in, Meredith Bear gets to reach the strawberry tarts .  The boxes are nice and heavy cardboard quality.  I wonder if I should go back and get the green ones too?

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Someday I will find a nice table or cabinet, but for now, an old doll trunk is being used.  The jug and wash basin work fine and the soap just tickles me.  I will have to find a nice fluffy towel, I have one in her size somewhere.  This set was £1.99.  Funny to see the set matches the rose curtains.

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Unexpected Finds–Teapot Palace

The Queen has a new abode, a upturned teapot.

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There are no maker’s markings, so let me know if you recognise it. I got this for £2.99. 

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Here are the palace people and the size relationship to the teapot. I think with some paint and imagination it could be made charming.  I can already see the maid having to sleep in the rafters.  Love the round door and window.

Then I found this royal door!  This was 99 pence.

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Nothing could be more perfect for the Queen.  It was amazing to find with the other things, but I also found a tiny throne for her:

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The chair was 49 pence.

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Yes, yes, she can come out and wave her hand.  Maybe someday well find a castle to put behind it.  lol.

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This was an odd find.  It is a resin decoration to hang on the wall.  But I thought it would make a fab garden for her.  It was certainly in scale.

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I was thinking it would be great as a backdrop too.  Besides, all Queens must have a garden.

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I can imagine all the lovely conversations held in the garden. 

Now this gal was another 99 pence, I could not resist.  A resin sculpture, not well painted.  I thought that I would repaint her myself, make her less gaudy.  Her hair curls nearly to the floor, but I may giver her better hair, this stuff is cheap stuff.

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She has the sweetest face, but I think I may give her a more made up look, because it doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the get up.  I plan on waiting until I really see the changes I want to make, but what a fun little project.  Too bad she is immobile, cause I would love to have a jointed doll like this.  I have set her near my computer.  I like her.

Rosey’s Rug

Husband bought a rocking chair for me and when we went to pick it up, the lady “threw in” an old needlepoint pillow as an extra.  I was thrilled!  It was a flat disc, very dirty and useless since we haven’t any sofa’s or lounge chairs, but it was the perfect rug for Rosey’s Room!

2012-10-30 002 My new-old rocking chair.

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This is the pillow. 

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Completely handmade and very well done.  The stitching was admirable.  I snipped some thread to make an opening and pulled out the pillow.  That also was handmade, two different what fabrics and stuffing, both sides having a seam to piece together smaller pieces.  I delight it this frugal use of scraps and re-use.  There was proper batting around the inside edges to bolster the sides.  It was a silky spun batting, an extra special free gift, I can use that for tiny doll body stuffing!

2012-10-31 004 I washed the  piece after carefully making sure the backing fabric was colourfast.  Lots of dirty water and it took many rinses to clear it.

2012-10-31 005  It will take awhile to dry and I no longer have my wooden blocking board, so I will be frequently hand pulling it to keep the round shape and when dry I will iron it and re-sew the opening.  Leaving the back fabric on keeps the rug “lined” and if ever I wish to make it a pillow again, it is ready to go!  But I sure that it will remain a rug.  I love the twisted wool trim.  Since the rug is still wet in this photo, it is darker than when it is dried.  The lighter coloured leaves are actually a lovely rose pink, the background is a taupe.

Transference?

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I live in a small village and there are few stores here.  There is a Semi-Chem and a haberdashery called Y Pay More.  I was on the hunt for shampoo for me and something to curl Rosey’s hair with.  Strangely, in Semi-Chem, there weren’t any rollers, only electric hot irons.  At Y Pay More I was able to find a package of small hair rollers for £1.49.   They were pretty vintage as is most of the junk valuables in the store.  They had the plastic stick pins and I certainly remember them from my childhood!  I was so happy the only only ones they had were a perfect size for Rosey.  I damp set her hair and it turned out so sweet!  I love it!  Even my husband laughed seeing her in rollers and said she looked so pretty this morning. 

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I have played around with some black and white photo’s  of Rosey whenever I take too many and don’t care if a few can be messed with.  Whenever I see her in black and white, it brings a rush of my childhood back to me.  I wasn’t quite sure why she has this affect on me, and then this morning, as I was feeling this surge of emotion in seeing this photo in particular…… I connected the dot!

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My Chatty Cathy!  OMG!  I did not realize the pull/connection!  On my 5th or 6th birthday, I received a Chatty Cathy.  She had been imported from America and I do believe I was the only Danish girl to have one at the time.  My friends were in awe of her and I was so proud!  I remember coming home from Kindergarten and in the entryway she was standing on the console and my heart leaped in joy.  That is the first remembrance I had about feeling passionate towards a doll.  I loved that doll.  She was a true companion.  I talked to her and spent hours playing in a fantasy world with her.  I do not remember how long I had her, but one day my cousins came to visit, saw how much she meant to me, and being boys they grabbed her throwing her around to keep her out of my reach until she landed on the cement garage floor and shattered.  I remember the pain and hurt I felt.  I felt as shattered as my doll.

The only other doll that meant something to me was a baby doll I received for Christmas after Chatty was killed.   (Wow, I can’t believe I just typed that, I was about to erase it, but I am leaving it.  Freudian slip I suppose.)  Killed.  Yes, that is how it felt to lose her.  It makes me wonder why my parents didn’t get me another one.  I remember my grandfather bringing me a succession of dolls from Germany, but they did not stir me.  In fact, I thought them cold and plastic looking.  (Sorry, Grandfather).

DSC03437 That is me with Susan.  I had that doll for many years and eventually my daughter played with her too.  I have never found another one, I have no idea who made her, I suspect she was Italian.   While she was my everything, she was a baby and did not hold the companionship factor.  She was a huggable, loveable doll and I played at mothering her.  But other than the play talk of being a mother to a baby, there wasn’t the companionship I felt for Chatty Cathy.  There must be a photo of me somewhere with Chatty?  Wish I had one.

Coming back to dolls as an adult, I often thought about replacing her with a vintage Chatty Cathy, but it just didn’t happen.  I bid on a few, but lost.  I saw how popular she is with adult collectors and her price can quickly rise out of my league.  I hesitated because at the time, I was not sure I wanted a mixed material (hard plastic and soft vinyl) doll and being so enamoured of multiple joints, I wasn’t sure I would like to go back to a simple and inflexible doll.  So while I occasionally went back and looked at those available on eBay, something always held me in reserve.  I finally gave up.

My Chatty was a brunette with brown eyes, just like the one in the above photo.  My daughter and granddaughter have dark brown hair and brown eyes.  I suppose somehow all this is imbedded in Rosey?  It doesn’t really matter, but the connection is there, somehow, someway.  Seeing Rosey in a black and white photo made all those memories of a companion of long ago come flooding back.  How utterly strange and remarkable loving a doll can be. 

And while the thought is just within reach, I wonder if the love I have had for my other dolls was based more on their awesomeness, their beauty, their near-unattainableness (price, rarity, etc.).  In some ways, there is a thrill that comes with acquisition of something of value (for whatever reason).  I was clearly seeking dreamy perfection in a doll in those days.

Rosey was a damaged, wigless, urchin that had little value as she
was.  My love (need) for her seems different than with the others.  I remember when I came back from Hawaii, how I went into my doll room and grabbed her first and couldn’t let go.  I had tried two Zwergnases while in Hawaii, even had my beloved Evie sent to me, found a thrill in Yorik….but I came home and swooped up Rosey.  She was the doll I bought while still trucking and kept coming home to work on, but never had much time to let her develop. 

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2012-03-20 007 I knew she had potential.  I kept trying.  While all the different looks were ok, I felt something wasn’t quite right.   Nothing really came to me until the last transformation:

2012-09-29 005 I am just floored at the resemblance to my old Chatty.  As she moved away from the typical Schoenhut look, she looked more and more like the love of my life….dolly-wise!  lol.

WELCOME HOME DEAR DOLLY!

Who is This?

A nearly forgotten purchase came in the mail today, one that was a late night bid and went to bed to find the next day I won her.  I rarely win bids anymore because I can’t put the money into it.  It wasn’t a dream doll I was lusting after, so I promptly forgot about her and then she arrived!

This little one is 7 inches, listed as having a china head, arms, legs and wooden body.  She was only £5 and so I bid.  The seller only had one photo of her and it wasn’t very clear.  When she arrived, I thought what fun it will be to see if she is an antique or a reproduction of some sort.  She was merely wrapped in bubble wrap and put in an envelope.  Seems they don’t use boxes on fragile items here.  Out of the wrapper:

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My first impression…she looks dead! So pale, mottled and the black lips didn’t help.

Her hair is coarse and stiff.  She has some staining and dirt on her face.  Her gown is completely hand sewn.  The gown is silk and has holes and disintegration.  There is discolouration on the gown that is yellowish-olive, much like the stain on her face.  It was a lovely lilac colour at one time.  I believe the dress was made in the 1920’s.  Undressed, I was very surprised to find out she has a bust and waist!  My guess is she was made between 1890 and 1920.  She may have had previous clothing.  There weren’t any undergarments.

2012-09-22 011 Her arms and legs are painted wood, not china.  Large spoon hands and tiny booted (with heels) feet.  One foot has been mended.  Whenever I see a mend on an old doll, it makes me think someone cared enough about the doll not to throw it out.  These type of dolls were not meant to be fine or lovely, just cheap playthings.  Her china head is not even glazed, and is strangely painted, such as the lips and nose holes are black, not red or coral.  The eyebrows are brown, so it would seem odd not to have the nose and lips another colour.  Her arms are limited in motion, the upper arm can only move forward or backward, the lower arms move only in towards the body.  She is well painted on the body, not just dipped.  Her head is immobile and probably glued into the body. There is always a possibility this is a replacement head, but I have no indication it is, it seems to be the same wear/dirtiness of the limbs.    The body is better quality than the head.  Wood peg joinings, no nails or wire.

I gently washed her hair with conditioner and gave her body a bees waxing.  I used a cotton swab to clean her face, but very little of the discolouration came away, she seems to be stained with an olive coloured something and I am hesitant to try and get it out.

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Her hair may have been in pigtails at one time, but with a woman’s body, I decided to roll the hair and sew it up.  It was too stiff to let hang.  My best guess is that it is horsehair.

Sigh.  Not sure why I bought her.  I am still unsure of my dolly direction these days.  I am definitely more interested in antique dolls than ever before.  I am fascinated by the history and life they may have once had.  I am excited to be able to make her some clothes and revitalise her, but what then?  I guess just wait and see.

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Certainly not a beauty.  She looks pretty rough.  I may dress her in a peasant costume, or a maids.

Sailor Mercury and Tarzan

I usually check the toy bin at the couple of charity shops I go to, but there is rarely anything interesting.  Usually very recent plush toys.  My irrational hope is that some day there would be an old vintage doll.

But yesterday, I saw a  doll with blue hair and in the box next to it, some funny look feet sticking out.

2012-08-31 010 When I pulled them out, I saw what I thought might be a Sailor Moon type doll and a Disney Tarzan.  I bought several other things, including a lovely heavy tea tray, a music CD, a brand new tea towel and gold embroidery and a little cabinet for Rosey, with these two dolls it all came to £6.  So I didn’t pay much for them.  I looked up the doll, she is listed one place as $129!  She is 17 inches.  She is Sailor Mercury.  She is missing the V shaped thing on her forehead and undies.  I do not know if she came with more accessories or not.  The boots don’t seem to be removable.  I really have no idea why I bought her, it was impulse and of course I thought she would be fun in some story line, but sheesh.  I am not interested in her otherwise.  I had been interested in finding a another love interest for Jones, there could be some fun there.  But do I want to go in this direction?

2012-08-31 0122012-08-31 013 I did see her outfit was on backwards and fixed it.

2012-08-31 011 Tarzan is a hoot.  The feet crack me up.  Again, I love characters and I instantly think of stories….but will I?  I don’t really know.

I don’t have dolly money these days and I really think it would be better to wait until I see something I really would like to have instead of being so impulsive.  I could not find this guy on the internet, similar ones but not this one.  I wonder why?

And this incident has made me reconsider what direction I want to go in.  I am really enjoying the simple photography and short scenes with Rosey and not the complicated storylines that can take up hours of thinking, planning, plotting and so on.  I can’t make up my mind whether to dive into Thistleshire or not.  Maybe I just need a little more Rosey time.