Saturday, April 23, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011


Erin Go Braugh!

Happy St Patrick's Day!  Most all of my life I  lived in Savannah, Georgia.  Savannah has a very large Irish community and is the home to the second largest
St Patrick's Day parade.  So to celebrate I have created a St. Patrick's doll display. The doll in the display is a pre-Toni.  This doll was issued by The Ideal Doll Company for at least a year prior to the Toni doll. The pre-Toni is unmarked and has a creamier coloring and a mohair wig.  Since being made for a short time they are fairly rare and command a premium price.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Other Things To Do

I haven't posted in a while.  I have been busy.  As you may  or may not know I am a collector of Ideal Toni dolls.  They are perhaps my favorite dolls.  I have unexpectedly taken over the Yahoo Groups Ideal Toni Club.  I have spent a great deal of time going through the files in that group.  There is some wonderful information on Toni there as well as some of the nicest doll crafts and accessories to make.  I have made a couple of them and will post some pictures soon.     

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Help To Identify Barbie Age - Maybe

On the back of the Mattel Barbie and Barbie family of dolls is always listed a country.  The country listed is the country the doll is manufactured in.  The first dolls would have been made in Japan.  Below is a chart of countries and the years of manufacture in that country:

1959 - 1972          Japan
1968 - 1970          Mexico
1970 - 1987          Hong Kong
1970 - 1987          Taiwan
1973 - 1978          Korea
1978 - 1988          Philippines
1989 - 1990          Mexico
1986 to present     China
1986 to present     Malaysia
1992 to present     Indonesia

I had a very good friend that was also a doll dealer.  She would not sell Barbie and family dolls.  I asked her why.  She said trying to be accurate in identifying Barbies would drive you crazy.  The dates listed on the back of the dolls are copy right dates for the body that particular Barbie has and has nothing to do with the date the doll was made.  The country that is listed gives a range of years that doll was made.  The faces of the dolls have been names by the collectors, but there are used in many different dolls.  It is very confusing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who Is She?

Marks on back above waist:
@Mattel . inc 1966
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Who Is She?

Marks Mattel, Inc. 1966

Going To A Thrift Store

I bought these two Barbies the other day at a thrift store. The blonde has the Superstar face with Philippines and the date 1966 on her back.  Barbies were manufactured in the philipines from 1978 to 1988, which places  her age as sometime between these dates.  The other Barbie has 1966 Hong Kong on her back. The Barbies were manufactured in Hong Kong from 1970 until 1987 which places her age as sometime between these dates.  
The 1966 date is the copy right date of the bodies.  Mattel has used this body on most of the Barbie and family of dolls and that is why so many have this date, but it has nothing to do with the age of the doll.  The darker haired doll I do not know who she is.  If you recognize her, please let me know who she is. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Isn't She Cute

I added a small white heart shaped button at the neck and a narrow piece of white ribbon at her waist.  Tied up her pony tail with another piece.  I finished about 15 minutes before the movie ended.  Great Movie!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Doll Project

I found a movie that I wanted to watch and the sewing machine was not set up so I could comfortably watch my movie.  The movie is called, The Gambling Man.  It is a British movie made for TV based on the Catherine Cookson Novel by the same name.  Everyone that knows me well knows I love Catherine Cookson's novels.  While getting out the movie and putting it in my computer, I spied a McDonald's Madame Alexander Doll on my vanity.  These are the dolls given with Happy Meals.  I got my son in law to remove the crown from off her head.  These dolls are the same size as the Mattel Kelly dolls.  I had printed out a crochet pattern for a Kelly dress a while back. (Go to Google and enter free kelly crochet pattern)  I got it out and some pink J&P Coats Speed Cro-sheen thread and  a size one crochet hook.   I should have the dress completed by the time the movie is over.  Now to watch my movie.

A New Project While Watching A movie

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Another Project

Chatty in her new slip

Chatty at last has her slip. It is made of white cotton with half inch eyelet lace on the bottom.
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Back to Chatty

Chatty has been sitting in her panties patiently waiting for me to finish her clothes.  I have cut her slip out and am slowly finishing it.  Her dress fabric is waiting to be cut out.  After looking through my fabric stash for fabric in the right color as her original dress, well guess what!  Only a fat quarter with some of the color in the print and not enough of it to complete the dress.  White eyelet to the rescue.  The bodice and sleeves will be cut from the eyelet and the skirt of the dress will be the print.  No matter how much fabric  you have  it seems you never have the right fabric for a project.   I will post pictures of the slip later when it is finished.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Display Finished

                                             HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!         

Sewing New Dress

My sewing machine has been busily humming away making new Valentine dresses for my Toni dolls.  Well, as fortune would have it today is Valentines and only one dress is finished.    So, I will have to make the display with only one new dress.  The new dress is a little long on this Toni.  The Toni I was making it for is not completely restored  yet.  The Toni wearing the dress was purchased several years ago at a flea market for $5.00.  The dealer knew she was a Toni, but in such bad condition.  I have completely repainted her as she was filthy, had scuff marks all over and smeared with batches of silver paint.  Now she proudly models her valentine bag and new dress.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Display

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What I have used so far for Valentine display

To make valentine bags:  Plastic hearts, narrow ribbon, glue, sequins.
Cut length if ribbon (measure doll arm with ribbon draped over to where you want the box to hang).  Glue ribbon to each side of heart box.  Use hot glue if you prefer.  Place sequin over glue to finish off.

Hang on your dolls arm.
                                                                 Cut out Valentines.  How simple is that!

Valentines Day is approaching

All of a sudden it came to me Valentines Day is almost here.  For each holiday I usually like to make a small display using some of my dolls.  This year I am using Ideal's Toni.  About a week ago I make a picture of one of my Toni's with some vintage Valentines I found on the internet to post on the Ideal Toni Group on Yahoo.  (Google: free printable vintage valentines) We are doing a Valentines challenge and I am making Toni several new Valentine dresses this year for that. 

When in the Dollar Tree several weeks ago, I saw a package of 10 cute little plastic boxes in the shape of a heart. Hey, for a dollar I can play. I have been thinking since of something to do with them for the display other than just sit them around.  Not having a lot of time to put into them, simple was the plan. It was snowing Sunday afternoon and a good day for a project.  It took me quite a while to find the supplies I needed as I am not all that organized as everything is in my bedroom and I store it where I can. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chatty In Her New Undies

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OMG! Chatty Has No Drawers!

I have a nice clean Chatty.  But, no clothes.  I have been looking at the patterns that I have to find a pattern that might work, but none come even close. The best thing that ever happened to doll restoration and collecting is google and ebay.   I don't want at this time to spend any money, so that pretty much eliminates ebay.  I have googled Free Chatty Cathy dress pattern, after looking for quite a while  the closest thing I found was a bunch of retired American Girl patterns and they are free.  You just have to download and print them.  I usually print patterns like this as these sites can disappear..  You might want to bookmark this site if you sew for you dolls. These patterns can be found at:
I spent the better part of an afternoon looking for a free pattern for Chatty.  I finally found a multi-sized one that also has a slip and panties.
Due to the instruction about property rights on this site I cannot link you to this site, but, go to google and put in the search bar:  free doll dress patters 18-22 inches and it will give you the dress pattern page.  At the bottom of that page are links to a panties and a slip pattern.
I printed out the patterns.   This site gives the measurement of the doll the dress and undies had been made for so you can adjust for fit.  I was glad to see that as I am not good at fitting patterns.
I pulled out my fabric stash for some white cotton, elastic and lace to make the undies.   Panties first as I have a thing about a girl with no drawers.  Here is Chatty in her new panties.   

Friday, February 4, 2011

The scoop on Chatty

Several years ago in Doll College I did a series on the Chatty Cathy Family of dolls.  I am going to cut and paste the information on the # 1 Chatty.
From Doll College
 Chatty Cathy.
The first prototype was issued in 1959 and the first doll sold in
1960. The skin color was lighter and the limbs had a thicker look to
them. The speaker grill was covered with a circle of tan cloth. The
doll had either blonde or brunette hair with the pageboy style. Her
head was soft vinyl.
In 1960 a body mark was added. The mark is in a triangle in the
lower center back.
Below the body mark was the Mattel Toy makers Insignia, which was a
circle with a small boy sitting on the letter M. The limbs were
still light and the head was soft vinyl. Hair colors and style were
the same as the previous year. These dolls said 11 phrases according
to the book, "Chatty Cathy Dolls รข€" An Identification and Value
by Don and Kathy Lewis. This doll was valued in 1994 MIB $250.00.
This was the second issue of the Chatty Cathy doll.

Who Is This Chatty?

I have looked Chatty over.  She has cleaned up nicely with no real flaws. Her two front teeth are missing.  Her fingers are all there and there are no scratches or chew marks as is sometimes found on dolls that have been played with.  I have tried her pull string, but she is silent.  At least her string is tightly in place and not hanging out.  She appears also to have had a slight haircut.  Her eyebrows and freckles are a little faded, but you find that on most Chattys.  There are no manufactures marks on her.  Her speaker is a cloth covered circle.  The shape and covering of the speakers was different most years Chatty was made. Since I love to know the history of my dolls, I emailed a friend and described her and asked her to look her up in an identification book.  She emailed me back that she thought I had a #1 Chatty made in 1959.  WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! A number 1. WOW! 52 years old!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lets play dolls

I am excited about this new blog.  Well, I am ready to begin on a # 1 Chatty Cathy.  I found her naked, dirty and lonely at a church rummage sale.  I hesitated buying her as I had a collection of Chatty dolls that I had given to a friend several years ago because I had run out of room to display or even store them. A doll packed away is not something I like to see.  Chatty kept calling to me and finally I picked her up, paid for her and rushed out to the truck before I could change my mind.

The first thing I did was to clean her with dish washing soap and a little comet (be careful with comet because if you used it on a painted area it can take the paint off) for stubborn spots. I washed her hair with shampoo and used conditioner just like I would my own hair and combed and styled it while still wet.  As you can see she looks pretty good.      
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