Friday, December 28, 2012

Mary Heartline

Mary Heartline - Another Doll Using The P-90 Series Of Bodies

Mary Hartline. Another doll of the golden era of dolls using the P-
90, 91, 92 and 94 body by the Ideal Doll Company. Considered one of
the early celebrity dolls, following Shirley Temple, Deanna Durban,
Judy Garland, etc.  The Ideal Company again used the Toni head mold
to create the Mary Heartline doll.  They added additional eye shadow
to the face which makes it easy to identify a Mary Heartline from a 
Tony when the original clothing is missing.
In Chicago is 1949, a television show debuted call "Super Circus".
 (I watched it many times).
It was a variety show that included many circus acts. I can remember
watching the show on Saturday mornings. The Hostess of the show was a
beautiful blonde called Mary Hartline, also called the "Pretty Princess of  TV"
 She introduced the acts on
the show. Mary was dressed in a red and white majorette outfit. Her
wholesome good looks made her an instant celebrity.
Super Circus became an instant success and in 1952 moved to New York
City. Jerry Colona joined the cast as host. There were many
imitation shows that followed. One such show had a Hostess named
Sally Starr. Sally Starr was also made into a doll, but did not
enjoy the success of the Mary Hartline doll made by the Ideal doll
In those days in the fifties most actress were washed up by the time
they reached the ripe old age of thirty-five. By age thirty-five
Mary Hartline had also become a victim. Mary chose to graciously
retire and marry millionaire Woolworth Donahue and moved to Palm
Beach, Florida. She wanted nothing to do with her past celebrity and
not wanting at a much older age to be compared with her youthful
image. It is not known what she did in her later years as the lived
a completely private life.
The Mary Hartline doll Manufactured by the Ideal Doll Company was
dressed in majorette style dresses with long sleeves and written in
white a band of musical bars and notes across the bottom of the
skirt. Above this is written "Mary Hartline". Across the front
bodice is a heart that has "Mary" written on it. She wore white
majorette boots. The majorette dresses came in red (the most
common), green, and navy blue with white writing. The dresses were
also less commonly made in white with the above colors used for the
writing. They were made of both cotton and satin. Mary Heartline dolls
were made in all the sizes of the P-90 body series.  There also was a seven 
and one half inch version.   Still today, the
Mary Hartline dolls are considered beautiful and quite collectible.
A nice addition to anyone's doll collection. 

If you have a Mary Hartline and her boots are yellowed or dirty,
polish them with a good grade shoe polish as you would your own shoes.

The Real Mary Heartline

Mary Hartline dollT
This is a publicity picture of Mary Heartline as
she appeared in the TV show, "Super Circus".

Tuesday, December 25, 2012





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Monday, December 24, 2012

Chatty Cathy's New Christmas Dress


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One of the first articles I wrote for this blog was an article on Chatty Cathy. Having just found her at a church rummage sale, I discovered after some research that she was one of the first Chatty's produced by Mattel.  I made her a set of unders and a dress to wear.  When I got her, her front teeth were missing.  I have replaced her teeth and bought her some shoes.  Well, now Chatty joins her Toni and Bleuette sisters with a new Christmas dress.  She is thrilled to be able to get her picture taken in her new finery,  As you can see from her pictures the dress has a white bodice trimmed in lace.  The full skirt is made of green velvet.  It looks as though it were custom made for her.  But alas, the dress was a thrift store find,  I paid $.99 for it and was very glad I now do not have to make her a Christmas dress. Chatty, now will join the Celebration of Jesus Birthday!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Another Tree To Decorate

Another tree to decorate.  So much to do, so little time.  Don't  forget the reason for the season,  A savior was born. Celebrate!
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The Trees Are Decorated

 What excitement.  Toni has her tree all decorated and many presents surrounding it.  Toni is  impatiently waiting to open her presents Christmas morning.  She has her list and is checking it daily.

Her Santa hat is on and she is all excited.

Toni is by the tree impatiently
awaiting the big day.

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Barbie Decorates For Christmas

Barbie is getting ready for the big day.  Lots of gifts to open, but the greatest gift is the baby Jesus.  Just a few more days....
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toni Is Getting Dressed For Christmas

 I have made two new dresses for Toni this year for Christmas.   I have now enough dresses for all my Toni's to celebrate Christrmas all dressed for the occasion.  Toni's dresses are all made of cotton as were most of the original clothing for Toni.

Toni just loves to be able to be in all the pictures.  They even have shoes and socks and pretty under clothing.  They are excited about celebtating Jesus birthday.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Collage

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Seven Days Till Christmas

Joy To The World!  It's nearly the birthday of the Baby Jesus.  While I may show pictures of my dolls and showcase them in their Christmas finery, I also celebrate Christmas as the birthday of  Jesus Christ.  So while I may play with my dolls, I also  remember the real reason for the celebration.

There are seven days to this glorious day.   

Bleuette's New Christmas Dress

Bleuette has a new dress made for her for Christmas this year.  It is similar to one of her Toni sister's Christmas dress.  It has a crochet bodice in red cotton and a Christmas print skirt attached. 
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New Christmas Dresses For Toni

A red crocheted bodice with a full cotton Christmas print skirt.

A pink bodice with a pretty multi color print skirt and collar made of 100% cotton.

A white bodice with a pretty plaid skirt trimmed with narrow rick rack.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Doll And Her Trunk

Nell And Her Trunk

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Recently I wrote several items on dolls and their trunks,  What was not mentioned was that in my collection are several dolls and trunks.  Several of the dolls and trunks are just for making a display, but one however is a work in progress,  Meaning I am occasionally adding a piece of clothing or an accessory or even a toy.  The old dolls and their trunks of beautifully handmade clothing have always appealed and fascinated me.  The doll I use with my trunk has an interesting history.
Several years ago, almost three years to be exact, I slipped on the icy steps while taking my dog outside and broke my ankle.  My daughter came to me one day while I was still laid up and gave me several boxes of doll parts.  She said she was not interested in putting them together and making clothing.  In each box was a head, hands and feet, body pattern, and fabric for a body.  They would make small china head dolls 12 to 13 inches tall.    As I began to feel better and my ankle was healing I got bored as I always like to have a project to do.  I remembered the boxes of the dolls and I got them out and began to look closely at them to see what was needed to complete them.  On the back of the shoulder plate of the dolls was a date and the name Tudor. That name rang a bell with me since I am a big fan of Tasha Tudor.  I began to wonder if she had anything to do with these dolls.  As I began to research, my daughter became interested and also began to research.  As the research continued my daughter decided she wanted to make one of the dolls and to have Catie, my Granddaughter make one.  The decision was made to make some of the clothing completely by hand.  While I was recuperating this was a great project.  Hence my trunk doll.  The cedar box, I located in an antique store in Madisonville, Ky last year.  It is perfect for her.  Being cedar it also protects the fabric.
We are still researching the dolls connection to Tasha Tudor.  We spoke with several Tasha Tudor dealers and they do not know of a connection.  Other information says that Tasha Tudor did not make the dolls, but gave permission for the dolls to be made based on the characters in one of her books, but I don't know which one has characters with the names of these dolls.  Other information is that Tasha Tudor made them.  I know she did make dolls, but don't know about these.  There is a Tudor daughter in law that makes dolls, but these were not made by her.    Most knowledgeable people we have contacted agree Tasha Tudor does have a connection to the dolls, but as to who made them, we still have no proof.  As a doll artist myself I usually sign my dolls as do all the doll makers I know and by the dolls all having "Tudor" on them leads me to believe Tasha Tudor is the maker.
My dolls name is Nell and she is about 12 inches tall.  Her quilt and the red check dress are completely hand made.  The other outfits have some machine stitching as I got impatient with the slow pace of hand stitching.  It has been a fun project and I still occasionally work on another item for the trunk.  I have several trunks, but this one is the only one I use with a specific doll.  I did at one time have a trunk for my Bleuettes, but I no longer have it.  A doll and her trunk is fun to put together and is an on going project.  Below are more pictures of my doll Nell and her trunk and other trunks I have in my collection.

More Of Nell And Her Trunk

 My doll trunk is a small cedar chest.  I like that it is cedar as it reminds me of the cedar chests that were so popular as hope chests to young girls in the early 1900's until recently.  Cedar is good at protecting everything that is stored in it.

This is a close up of Nell.  I love the china dolls and Nell is a good example.  Even though Nell is not an antique, to me she represents the dolls carried by the little girls traveling with their families in the wagon trains in the early years of settling this wonderful country of ours.  These little girls usually only had one nice china doll in a lifetime and they loved them dearly.

Another picture of Nell sitting in her trunk surrounded by her dresses.  The red and white checked dress and the gray and white suite are both handmade.  The dress Nell is wearing has some sewing done on a machine.  Her pantaloons and slip are handmade. All her clothing is 100% cotton as a doll of that eras clothing would have been.

Nell wearing the red and white check dress sitting on her quilt.  Her quilt is also completely hand stitched.

I will update from time to time the progress on Nell and her trunk.

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