For Lorraine. Hand shape on Schoenhuts, unpainted. I have blushed the back of the hands, hence the pink colour. But there is some paint residue here and there.
I have been working on Rosey’s sweater and it has been bugging me. I don’t have larger double pointed needles, so the sleeves were ending up too small in the stitch. Usually I take the easier path of knitting the sleeves separately but I kept messing around, ripping up and restarting and finally gave up.
The sweater has a good fit, but the sleeves look too different than the body, and of course whenever I take a close-up, I see the other flaws, like the twisted stitch at the top of the stripes. I ripped up the arm piece and set the bodice aside for another day. I am working on a much needed shawl for myself (I am freezing all the time!) and then give it a good think about what to do about a sweater in this yarn for Rosey. I may take up the sweater altogether and make a full sweater dress. Maybe this one can be finished for Mikko. It’s more boyish anyways.
Rosey continues to ride in her carrier whenever I take a walk, it is so comforting to take her. She sits in a chair by my computer and sleeps on her bedding by my bed at night (her painted bed is still drying). I like looking at her and catch some of the sweetest expressions depending on the lighting or position she is in. I continue to marvel over all the nuances she brings me. A lot of childhood memories come back through her, a lot of old doll play, stories and even ideas I have had about what I would do if I had the right doll.
I read my doll books and find many that remind me of Rosey. Sometimes it is the dark eyes or hair, sometimes it is the old fashioned look or the modern dolls like Chatty Cathy or an Italian Lenci. She is truly a chameleon. I delight in these subtle shifts I see in her and I can’t seem to stop watching. I have been carefully looking at antique dolls on eBay and even some of the ones that I have always adored, like Zwergnase, Kish, Xenia, BJD’s, Patsy’s, Ann Shirley’s, and while they still take my breath away, none have made me crave them to the point I am willing to part with what I have to obtain it. That was always what I had to do before, give up an old one to have a new one. Now, I look at the doll in the auction and think, what does that doll have that Rosey doesn’t? If I compare posing abilities, durability, personality, size, shape and all kinds of things, they just don’t match up. I guess what I am trying to say is that beauty alone in a doll is not enough to pull me into wanting them. Not even novelty.
This may all pass in time, someday I may stumble upon a new doll that creates that old wonderful frenzy of must have desires and hand wringing intense wait for mail deliveries (there nothing quite like it!) once again. For now, I am enjoying the everyday world of an old wooden doll who continues to enchant me and my imagination.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Certainly not a beauty. She looks pretty rough. I may dress her in a peasant costume, or a maids.
Rosey got a haircut! I had debated over and over about it, just not sure I wanted to cut the beautiful and healthy hair, but I am now glad I did. What a perky look for her and so much easier for her to manage.
I didn’t have any rollers, so had to use bobby pins. It could be curled better, but for now, we are both happy with the results. She sort of looks like a Bleuette and that makes me smile. This was a bear’s blouse which I cut down the arms and sides (and reduced the neckline) to fit Rosey and one of adult Evie’s dresses. It doesn’t close at the waist, but I think I can manage to create a panel insert to correct it. I like the challenge of “make-do” with what one already has.
Make do with what I have is the only thing I can do right now. If I wanted lighter (blonde) eyelashes, I would have to make them. So I did.
You can see the taped part is inside the head.
After everything was dry, I trimmed the lashes.
This is a VERY different look for Evie. Once the lashes have had a chance to set in a more curled position, I will take more photo’s. She looks old fashioned, in a pale fragile sort of way. Sometimes she looks blind, sometimes ghostly and at other times, hardly any different than I have always seen her. Weird. The faceup works very well with these cloudy eyes. It’s still all an experiment. I will let whatever needs to happen, happen.
Rosey’s bed came today. It was fine in the size, she can lay full length in it. I had to repair a hole to the mattress, but that took only a minute to sew a patch on. I put on the antique linens I had, everything was so sweet! (excuse my bed, the sheets are being washed!)
And just for fun…with no dryer or Laundromat in town, the wash has to hang up inside.
While taking these photo’s I grabbed a few more. Here is Yorik with the shirt I am working on for him. This was something I cut out before leaving the USA and was my first piece on the sewing machine.
I found his vest and he looks quite nice in it! That a pin holding it together to try the fit, the shirt is not done yet. Yorik sits on the top shelf with Charlotte. He prefers her company as they like to talk about traveling (Charlotte has travelled to the Orient) and philosophy. I noticed that Charlotte has looked positively radiant since meeting Yorik.
My childhood trolls. I cannot remember their names (which really bothers me). The white haired was the grandmother, the dark hair was the mother and there was a short brown haired one that was the father. Then I had a lot of the little ones. I remember I had one with two toned hair, my first one, that was yellow with brown tips. I loved that one the most and I remember her name was Nikolina. They seem happy to be out of the box and amongst the others. I will have to make them some clothes, they have not been played with since my daughter was a child and that was 30 some years ago. Wow.
Rosebud has the most wonderfully defined body for being so tiny. I just discovered that her metal dog can hold a piece of paper in his mouth! I really wished I could have kept that little dollroom I made for her in Hawaii. Sigh. She seems to be fine in the leather case for now but she is in desperate need of a gown. I think I will make one tomorrow, poor dear.
I am feeling more relaxed about the dolls, but I have to remind myself when I feel the still strong urge to “pick one”. I am so glad I don’t have to do that anymore. I t
hink the shelf has helped me relax, because I can go and visit them, see they are fine and I can play with Rosey and the guilt of spending so much time with her is lessening.
Rosey is earthy, warm, chubby, well balanced, simple and has a touch of magic about her. Something clicked with the dark wig, something made her blossom. If I look to hard at her painted eyes or her mottled wood skin, I think, oh, I should sand her down or repaint her, but then I look at her and I think, NO! Now, she is just right, just as she is right now. There is a warm glow in her eyes that has nothing to do with paint.
Husband is on his way to Ikea to get a bookcase for my dolls. Today, the landlady is coming to take the two sofa’s and the wood table that are in the bedroom. I will then move my craft table in the bedroom and set up the bookcase to hold my dolls and my sewing box, patterns and such. I will be able to start sewing!!!!!
We had planned on buying more furniture this month, but a few other expenses came up and so things will take a bit longer than we wanted, to complete the flat. We still need 2 dressers in the bedroom so that I can use the wardrobe for doll stuff and we need one more display unit for artwork in the living room.
With husband home on vacation this week, I pretty much relaxed and didn’t do more than knitting for dolly stuff. I finished Yorik’s red sweater:
I am currently working on a sweater coat for Rosy. Oh, yeah, Jollyann finally settled on Rose Marie as her name and I get to call her Rosy. I am at this particular time very attached to her. Audrey certainly pulls my heartstrings, but Rosy just keeps me glued to her. I received a refund from a seller on eBay after she couldn’t find the item I bought and the funds were promptly converted into dolly dollars! Well, dolly pounds anyways. I looked at dolls, but I really don’t want a new doll right now, I am happy with the ones I have and I thought that maybe a bed would be nice. I found this one:
I am hoping it will be okay for Rosy, although it is 17.5 and I bought it thinking she was 16 inches. I measured her to find she is 17 inches! Oops! She’s been sleeping next to my bed in a basket, and well, I thought she might as well have a bed. I did save some antique dolly bed linens, so this will be fun to have.
I’ll take photo’s of the sewing machine and shelf set up tomorrow. I’ll include a shot of the knitting too. For now, all the dolls are hiding under my duvet and waiting until the furniture haul away is done.
Rosy and Audrey
Audrey and the bike I found before she arrived
Sophie and Peter
I need to reposition her wig so that her bangs are not so short.