Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Small Bonnet Head Dolls

There are two small bonnet heads in my collection that are small all porcelain dolls with painted eyes and theur shoes and socks are also painted on. This small one is an antique.  Therefore I dressed her in a crocheted dress. Her shoes and socks are painted on.


The cute doll in the red dress 
is a small doll that I purchased at a doll show many years ago  from a lady that 
had made her.  I love these dolls because they are unusual and add much interest to my collection.  This doll is not an antique, but a nice reproduction.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Little Women Dolls

 Last month Was my Birthday.  I usually do not make much of birthdays, but this one was a milestone.  My 75th birthday.  My husband and several of my grandchildren that live nearby were taking me out for dinner, which is a usual birthday treat.  Every one had asked my what I wanted for my birthday.  I have been very blessed to have my needs and a lot of my wants met.  The wants I still have could cost a lot of money to fill.(New car, remodel kitchen, trip to St Croix etc)
After I took my shower in preparation to go to dinner, I had some time to kill before getting dressed, so I turned on my computer and went to ebay to look at the dolls listed.  I was not going to buy any more dolls as I have been blessed with too many and have been giving them away and selling a few.  I just like to look at pictures of dolls, so as I am going through the pictures a listing came up with two of Wendy Lawton's "Little Women"  dolls, Beth and Jo.  This immediately caught my eye.  I have wanted this set of dolls since they were first released in the early 1990's.  The set I wanted consisted of all five dolls and they were very expensive.  I could not have bought even one of them, much less all five.  I usually do ot care for the newer porcelain dolls as the quality is poor, but these dolls were an exception.  Wendy Lawton is a very fine scurptor and doll designer and Ashton Drake dolls are of good quality.
The auction had only a few minutes left. So I bid on them and won the auction.  Several days later I purchased Amy.  Meg was going to be easy to find, but Marme was not,  It seemed she was available only with the set of five dolls.

                                      Amy, Beth and Meg

                                        Marme and Jo

So, I made the decision to buy the five doll set.  This was my gift to me for my 75th birthday.  When the large box arrived , the dolls were all neatly boxed,  they were just like new.  I immediatly unboxed them and put them on a newly installed shelf in my bedroom so I could love and enjoy them.  How can you love a doll in a box in the closet?

I have been enjoying them each and every day since they arrived.
I am still disposing of many dolls, but this set was worth the addition as I had wanted them so long.  The rock bottom price drop in doll prices has hurt all collectors, but the up side is the fact there are some dolls we can now afford that we have always wanted.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mary Hartline

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.
In Chicago is 1949, a television show debuted call "Super Circus". 
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. 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. Still today, the 
Mary Hartline dolls are considered beautiful and quite collectable. 
A nice addition to anyone's doll collection. I have posted a small 
black and white photo of Mary Hartline in the Doll College photo 

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.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The First World Doll Day was established on June 14th, 1986 with a letter by Mildred Seeley. It was created to spread the universal message of happiness and love.

The day is not owned by any company, club or person and no fees, permission or obligations are required.
Many have celebrated the day by giving a doll to someone--a child or adult, but freedom of expression and celebration are left up to the individual. In the past, the day has been observed with exhibits, sales, seminars, doll shows and other doll related activities. Why not plan a special celebration in your community?
The logo was created by artist Boots Tyner and represents a child with a German bisque doll--her gift. The logo was designed for free use to promote this special day and may be reproduced..
Join in this wonderful celebration and time of sharing!

On this 28th year since, World Doll Day
 is actually on it's original date of June 14th, 2014.

Following is a copy of the   proclamation creating
World Doll Day.

Mildred Seeley;s World Doll Day Proclamation

So, you haven't heard of World Doll Day? This is not surprising. As of an hour ago, I hadn't conceived the idea. Bob Isbell, who does my printing, says when I ask for something to be done by tomorrow, "I'll make it hap­pen," This is what l would like to do with World Doll Day - make it hap­pen. I need only one thing - COOPERATION! I need cooperation of every doll collector, every magazine editor, doll newsletter, doll shop, library, dollmaker, mother, grand­mother, father, grandfather, and all the stray aunts and uncles. The first World Doll Day is the Second Saturday of June 1986. I am getting a doll ready to give. If you don't have a child to give a doll to - find one. There are many children with no dolls. Give a doll to a grownup child in the family or just a friend. 
Think of it this way, and ship a doll to another country. I have always felt that the common doll could be an instrument of world understanding. From the time I first started writing books on dollmaking, I had the hope that dolls would help make friends all over the world and develop a little love among all.
World Doll Day will also be a day for doll exhibits. It is my hope that all libraries will have a special doll exhibit; museums will publicize their doll exhibits and have special exhibits at this time. Magazines will put out special editions. Doll stores will put on selling campaigns weeks ahead. Dollmakers will make special dolls for World Doll Day. There will be doll competitions with World Doll Day awards, plaques and trophies.
The logo is made from artist Boots Tyner's doll representing a child. The child carries a German bisque doll to represent this doll col­lector's gift. Feel free to copy the logo or have more made.
Everyone can join the fun, as there are no fees, no permission needed, no obligations, nobody owns the day, no club, no company. It's a free-for-all. Take up the day, its ideas and fly with it. Let's do it now - World Doll Day.
If you think World Doll Day is a good idea, then appoint yourself a committee of one to do something about it - only then can it become a reality. Would you tell five people, ask them to tell five people and each of them tell five more and so on. World Doll Day's birthday is June 14, 1986.
Sincerely, Mil and Vernon Seeley
P.S. This letter may be copied, and copied, again and again, until the world knows about World Doll Day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I Have This Doll That Stinks

I have this doll; I just could not resist even though it is dirty and smells.   Ugh!. 
The following should only be used as a last resort.   
Hard plastic and porcelain dolls are very easy to clean compared to 
the rubber and vinyl dolls. These mediums do not usually absorb 
stains. The stain stays on the surface. Usually a good cleaning 
with a commercial doll cleaner will do a good job. If you find a 
stubborn stain usually comet cleanser will take care of it. Be very 
careful on the hard plastic dolls if you are using the cleanser on 
the face not to use on the painted features as it will also remove 
them. The hard plastic dolls can get a very stinky smell. I take 
and dilute to a very light solution of ammonia and water (a few drops of amonia. to a cup of water) and put as little as possible inside limbs and head of doll. Rinse thoroughly. Then make a very light solution of bleach and water and repeat process. The ammonia kills the mold that causes the smell and the bleach remove stains and residue from the mold. Be very careful in wetting the eye area of the head. Be sure and rinse thoroughly as these agents can rust the eye mechanism and the metal hooks holding dolls together. Put the doll outside in a shady area for a day with a crochet hook or a stick of some kind in each joint to allow air in to dry the limb. Make sure the interior of the doll is dry as any moisture left will cause more molds and perhaps rust over time. This is a harsh treatment and should only be done when absolutely necessary. Again, be sure your doll is thoroughly rinsed with as little water as possible and completely dry.
I have saved quite a few dolls using this method,   Use it only as a last resort.  See her pictures to see how really pretty she is now.


After and Before Restoration

Toni after restoration is a beautiful bride

 Toni wearing a dress and as you can see this doll was really worth restoreing.
This is the picture of toni before restoration.  As you can see she needs restringing/  But, what you can't see is the horrible smell she was putting off.
Hard plastic dolls are know for a very foul smell.  After the method medtioned in the article following she now has no stinky smell.  Her wig still shows the haircut given her by a previous owner and I have chosen not to replace it.  I did however, trim it so it was the same length.

Monday, February 23, 2015


TROLLS - 1992


Do you remember the delightful children€™s story, €œThree Billy Goats 
Gruff€?  The story told of a Troll who lived beneath a bridge and was very mean to everyone that went over his bridge. This was one of my favorite stories as a child.  If you have never heard of it, I suggest you take time to watch this you tube video of it.


In the early 1960'€™s a Danish Artist, Thomas Dam began to carve Trolls from wood to sell. These Trolls were an overnight success. Trolls began to be made in vinyl by many manufacturers and continue to be made today. The manufacturer marks are usually on the back of the Troll'€™s neck, bottom of the foot, or in the middle of the back. Many Troll novelty items have also been made: figurines, pencil toppers, calendars, key rings,tee-shirts, charms and jewelry to name a few.
Thomas Dam Trolls

The Dam Trolls are considered the most collectible with Uneeda's
Wishniks and Norfins made in Denmark and distributed in the US by EFS Marketing of New York, a tie for close second. Many have Made in Japan or Made in Hong Kong as their only identifying mark. Some are simply not marked. Most of the Trolls have plastic inset eyes with amber being the most common color. You can also find Troll€™s with painted eyes and even rhinestones for eyes. The vinyl used to make Trolls can be very heavy (usually the earlier trolls) to very light weight. The skin tones range from tan to a white palor. The hair can be nylon, mohair, or even animal fur and is usually glued to the top of the head. The hair colors are usually very bright and range all spectrums of color.

Image result for free pictures of troll dolls to copy

Clothing made for the Trolls is usually heavy felt or cotton. Some 
are not dressed. The most common trolls are dressed in a two piece 
boy or girl outfits made from heavy felt. The girl Trolls usually 
have a matching ribbon in their hair. There are many extra outfits 
made for Trolls and there are even patterns for those wishing to make clothing for their Trolls. Many Trolls have been dressed as
characters such as: bride and groom, pirates, sailors etc. Some have molded clothing or painted on clothing.

Picture on front of McCalls pattern for Trolls from 1964.

Early Trolls made by Dam, Uneeda and Norfin and Trolls that are still dressed in their original clothing are extremely popular with
collectors. Also unusual Trolls issued in small numbers also are 
sought after. Another popular Troll category with collectors is 
animal Trolls and Trolls with two heads.


Trolls and Troll related items can still be very easily found and
they are still undervalued and can be very nice inexpensive items to collect.

Note from Betty. One of the cutest Christmas displays I have seen 
was one using Trolls dressed as elves. The Trolls were dressed in 
red and white striped pants and a Santa hat perched on each head. 
The pants and hats were made of lightweight felt. The scene depicted SantaĆ¢€™s workshop with all the Troll elves busy making toys. In the corner of the display there were some of the Troll elves decorating a Christmas Tree. Guess what the tree decorations were? The very small inch high Trolls.
This was such a unique decoration and brought a smile to the faces of everyone that saw it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bleuette - I Love Bleuette!!!!

I have loved Bleuette for a long time.  She is such a fun doll. Never heard of Bleuette, well,  Bleuette has been around and loved by little girls and collectors since 1905.    That's one hundred and seven years.  I love to sew for Bleuette.  There are hundreds of patterns on the web all in free domain.  Free domain meaning that the copyright has expired.
Original Bleuette dolls have not been commercially made since early 1960.  Today Bleuette dolls are made by reproduction artists to satisfy the  demand for affordable dolls as an original Bleuette can cost thousands of dollars. Reproduction Bleuettes can cost from  a little less than a hundred dollars up to $500.00, depending on artist and quality of the doll. There are many ready made clothes on ebay for Bleuette. Go to ebay and type Bleuette in the search to see all that is available there. Bleuettes are 10 1/2 to 11 1/4 inches tall.  There are joints in the knees and elbows.  Her head is made of porcelain and her body is either composition or paper mache. There are two bodies for Bleuette and five different faces, which make her very interesting.  All of my Bleuettes are reproductions as I can't afford an original.  Some have been made by me and some by other doll makers. I have about eight now. I will put a link to bleuettes history and a link to one of the many pattern sites. If you love to sew for your dolls and enjoy a doll, Bleuette is a doll to consider.  On the web there are many active Bleuette groups.  One group, The Bleuette Sewing Club  issues a sewing challenge each month.  It is very interesting to see the many ideas from one pattern or idea as they post many pictures of their work. There are many very talented people in this group.   Following are some pictures of my Bleuettes.

This is Bleuette wearing her red coat that I made for her.
This Bleuette is wearing a Little House On The Prairie challenge outfit from the Bleuette Sewing Club
This group of bleuettes are wearing outfits made from a challenge several years ago to dress Bleuette in:  red, white and blue.  I really had fun with this challenge.
Another picture from the Bleuette red, white and blue challenge.  I think I got a little carried away by this one.

The pictures of the next bleuettes are dolls that I have made.  I love making dolls, but don't do much anymore.

This Bleuette perhaps my most valuable one was made by one of of the more famous Bleuette doll artists.  This particular head mold has a more baby face than the others.

Here is the link to the complete Bleuette history:


This is a long article, but well worth the time to read.

Here is the link to one of  the Bleuette pattern sites:


The  original patterns are listed by the year they were released.  There are also many new patterns for Bleuette included in the site.

I hope you enjoy Bleuette and learn to love her as I do.

Monday, February 9, 2015

"Loving You Valentine" Barbie from 1983

I have been sadly downsizing my huge doll collection.  Just too many dolls and all the stuff that goes with them.  I am currently selling my vintage Barbie collection.  I have about 100 of them.  No, I don't have a number 1, a number 2 or 3.  I do have an original Midge and Alan, and many from the late sixties to the mid eighties.  Most all of mine have been played with and restored by me.  I have spent much time collecting the old clothes one piece at a time for them and researching them.  A lot of fun, but like all things, it is time to call it a day.  I have been listing some of them on ebay with limited success as most collectors of that era want mint in box.  Well as those of you that know me know I am no box collector.  I want my dolls to be handled and loved.  Not sitting in a box.    I just mailed off a very pretty Barbie to a new home and I want to share her with you. At 32 years of age she is still beautiful. She is a Valentine Barbie in her original clothing.  She is the "Loving You" Valentine Barbie from 1983.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Valentine For You

A Valentine For You

Some Interesting information I found on the net several years ago in celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

St.Valentine's Day
As easly as the 4th century B. C., the Romans engaged in an annual young man's rite to passage to the God Lupercus.  The names of the teenage women were placed ina box and drawn at random by the adolescent men, thus, a man was assigned a woman companian for the duration of the year, after which another lottery was staged.  After eight hundred years of this cruel practice, the early Church fathers sought to end this practice.  They found an answer in Valentine, a Bishop who had been martyred some two hundred years earlier.

According to Church tradition St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D.  At that time the Roman Emperor Claudius ll who had issued an edict forbidding marriage.
This was around when the hayday of the Roman Empire had almost come to an end.  Lack of quality Administrators led to frequent civil strife.  Learning declined, taxation increased, and trade slumped to a low precarous level.  And the Gauls, Slavs, Huns, Turks and Mongolians from Northern Eroupe and Asia increased their pressure on the Empires boundaries.  The Empire had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal choas with existing forces.  Thus more capable men were required to be recruited as soldiers and officers.  When Claudius became the Emperor he felt that married men were more emotionally  attached to their families and thus will not make good soldiers.  so to assure good quality soldiers, he banned marriage.
Valentine, a Bishop, seeing the trauma of the young lovers, met them in a secret place and joined them in the sacrement of matrimony.  Claudius learned of this, "friend of lovers" and had him arrested.  The emperor impressed with the young priest;s dignity and conviction atempted to convert him to the Roman Gods, to save him from certain execution.  Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the Emperor knowing the consequences fully.  On February 14, 270, Valentine was executed.

"From Your Valentine"
While Valenitne was in prison awaiting his fate, he came in contact with his jailor, Asterius.  The jailor had a blind daughter.  Asterius requested him to heal his daughter.  Through his faith he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius daughter.  Just before his execution, he asked for a pen a paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine", a phrase that has lived ever after.

Valentine became a patron Saint, and spirtual overseer of an annual festival.  The festival involved young Romans offering women they admired, and wished to court handwritten greetings of affection on February 14.  The greeting cards acquited St. Valentine's name.

The Valenitne card spread with Christianity and is now celebrated all over the world.  One of the earliest surviving Cards was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife, while he was a prisioner in the Tower of London.  The card is now preserved in the Tower of London.

Valentine's Day With My Dolls

My Ideal Toni dolls in their Valentine dresses having a party!
Mickey and Minnie Mouse are in love.  The perfect Valentine couple.
Another Toni in her pretty pink Valentine's Day dress.
Kissy is blowing you a kiss.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

More Amazing Doll Information

I frequently surf the web in search of doll patterns, displays, news items or anything pertaining to dolls.  Most of the time I discover little of interest, but occasionally I hit the jackpot so to say.  I find the following to be very interesting and I hope you will also.

Extraordinary X-rays show how 150-year-old dolls were used to smuggle drugs during U.S. Civil War

Two 150-year-old dolls have been x-rayed in a bid to discover if they were used by Confederate soldiers to smuggle medical supplies past Union blockades during the U.S. Civil War.
It is thought the large dolls - Nina and Lucy Ann - had their hollowed out papier-mache heads stuffed with quinine or morphine for wounded and malaria-stricken Confederate troops.
The Union blockade lasted from 1861 until 1865 and was intended to thwart the delivery of weapons, soldiers and supplies such as medicine to the South. 
Two ladies: The dolls dubbed Nina, left, and Lucy Ann, have been X-rayed in an attempt to verify their role in the Civil War
Two ladies: The dolls dubbed Nina, left, and Lucy Ann, have been X-rayed in an attempt to verify their role in the Civil War
Laid bare: Radiological technician Lanea Bare prepares to X-ray Nina under the watchful gaze of Civil War museum employee Catherine Wright
Laid bare: The X-ray image of Lucy Ann
Laid bare: Radiological technician Lanea Bare prepares to X-ray Nina under the watchful gaze of Civil War museum employee Catherine Wright, and right, the scan of Lucy Ann
Rhett Butler, the fictional rogue played by Clark Gable in the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's book Gone With The Wind, was a blockade runner.
Historians believe the dolls were likely packed with supplies and shipped from Europe in the hope that Union troops would not inspect children's toys while looking for contraband. 
The dolls were taken from their home at The Museum Of The Confederacy to next-door neighbours VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, to be x-rayed.
Secret agent: Nina lies on an imaging table at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia
Secret agent: Nina lies on an imaging table at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia
It's what's inside that counts:An X-ray of Nina
Frankly, my dear...  Gone With The Wind's famous embrace between Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable's Rhett Butler - a blockade runner
It's what's inside that counts: Left, an X-ray of Nina, and right, Gone With The Wind's famous embrace between Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable's Rhett Butler - a blockade runner 
The scans proved that the contours inside their craniums and upper bodies were roomy enough to carry the medicines, as was believed. 
The next step could be forensic testing for any residual traces of the drugs.
The dolls were given to the museum by donors who said they were used to smuggle medicine past Northern blockades to Southern troops.
Nina was donated to the museum in 1923 by the children of General James Patton Anderson, who commanded the Tennessee Army of the Confederacy. She has red felt boots.
Truth or fiction? Medical staff discuss whether the dolls could have been used as legend would have it
Truth or fiction? Medical staff discuss whether the dolls could have been used as legend would have it
Back to bed: Museum of the Confederacy collections manager, Catherine Wright, packs the dolls safely away after their hospital visit
Back to bed: Museum of the Confederacy collections manager, Catherine Wright, packs the dolls safely away after their hospital visit
Lucy Ann, who wears a salmon-colored cape and dress, was given to the museum in 1976 by an anonymous donor. She is adorned with a coral necklace.
Lucy Ann has an open gash on the rear of her bonneted head, possibly made when its contents were emptied. Nina was likely disassembled then stitched back together.
Museum officials have long believed the dolls were used for smuggling in the Civil War, but are now taking the necessary steps to try to prove it.
History comes alive: A re-enactment of the Civil War era from North Carolina, where some locals call it the War of Northern Aggression
History comes alive: A re-enactment of the Civil War era from North Carolina, where some locals call it the War of Northern Aggression

The U.S. Civil War (1861–1865)

This was essentially a war on slavery. 
In the presidential election of 1860, the Republican Party, led by Abraham Lincoln, campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond the states in which it already existed. 
The Republicans won the election but before Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, seven states announced their secession from the U.S. to form The Confederate States of America. 
Lincoln's Government rejected the legality of secession, considering it rebellion, and war began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. 
Eventually, 11 states joined the Confederacy to fight against the northern States - The Union.  
Crucially, the Union assumed control of the border states early in the war and established a naval blockade.
In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made ending slavery in the South a war goal.
Confederate commander Robert E. Lee won battles in the east, but in 1863 his advance was halted with heavy casualties after the Battle of Gettysburg.
Confederate resistance ended when Lee surrendered to Union military leader Ulysses S. Grant  on April 9, 1865.
Victory for the North meant the end of slavery in the United States. 
'In all of the research that I have been able to do, these are the only two confirmed smuggling dolls that I've been able to find,' said Catherine M. Wright, collections manager at the museum.
The X-rays were conducted as part of the museum's continuing research of its vast Confederate holdings, believed to be the largest in the U.S..
'People have been so interested in children's toys and dolls from the Civil War in general,' she said.
'The smuggling aspect is very captivating.'
'This has been really thrilling. It's not often that you get to research a topic that one else has ever worked with before.'
Wright carried the dolls, each two to three feet long, in a box to the radiology department of the hospital.
Radiologists took images of each doll facing up, and then on their sides.
The ghostly images of the dolls' heads and shoulders, which are stitched to the bodies, revealed the cavities, and also the safety pins used to secure their clothing.
Whilst the museum knows the dolls 'stories', little of the fact about their service to the Confederacy has ever been proven.
One theory is that they were purchased in Europe, then shipped to a Southern port with the medicines stuffed in their heads to avoid detection by the North's blockade of Southern ports.
'The idea behind the smuggling dolls is that even if a ship was boarded and searched, it was unlikely that they were going to do such a thorough search that they would find this medication hidden inside of dolls,' said Wright. 
Once the dolls reached a port, the powdered quinine would be pressed into pills for Southern troops.
Malaria was widespread among Union and Confederate troops. Some 900,000 Union troops contracted malaria during the war, leaving 4,700 dead, according to the Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War.
Statistics for Southern troops were not compiled but malaria was probably more widespread, said Robert Krick, a historian at the Richmond National Battlefield Park, which includes the site of the Confederacy's largest hospital.