Monday, November 24, 2014

Annie Lee, Artist & Humanitarian, Dies | Black America Web

Beckoning in Blue and Ravishing in Red dolls by Annie Lee
As noted in a Black America Web article, the link to which is at the end of this post, artist and humanitarian, Annie Frances Lee, has died. 

Better known for her African American painting and other artwork, Annie Lee, also made dolls.  I purchased my first two Annie Lee dolls in approximately 2008.   Beckoning in Blue and Ravishing in Red are shown above.  The two faceless dolls are featured in my book, Black Dolls a Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion.

Ravishing in Red made a second appearance in a "Lady in Red" feature of the November 2009 issue of Contemporary Doll Collector magazine.

In November 2009, Sultry in Silver and Glamorous in Gold  (shown immediately above) were welcome additions to my Annie Lee doll family.  Their fuller figures and Sultry in Silver's deeper complexion were the two deciding factors that prompted the purchase. 

Lee's 17-1/2 inch, all-vinyl faceless dolls are part of the 10-doll "Sass 'n Class, Girls Night Out" series, which was inspired by the her painting, "High Roller."  The 10 dolls are shown above.

Read more about the artist and or visit the doll section of the Annie Lee website

Read the Black America Web article and view a slide show of Lee's artwork here.



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Is it 2015, Yet?

Color Infusion Janay wearing Monster High shoes

I have been scouting around online for shoes for Color Infusion (CI) Janay to complement her wardrobe.   IT Direct has another shoe pack for $30 plus shipping that I have delayed purchasing.  It includes three pairs of shoes and a felt hat.  The shoe pack with boots, also at IT Direct, is already here.

Shoes made for Monster High, Jaks Pacific, and America's Next Top Model dolls have been suggested by other collectors, but I have not been able to find styles suitable for Janay's "taste."

There are international eBay sellers who carry more fashionable shoes that fit CI Janay.  The warning in the description regarding some dyes possibly bleeding onto the doll's vinyl was enough for me to continue searching elsewhere.

This past Thursday I found an online seller who carries three different shoe styles in a variety of colors for CI Janay for $13 each.  This price is comparable to the eBay seller's without the dye fading potential.  Before making a visit to the thrift store yesterday, I had planned a shoe order of four pairs in different colors from this seller.  I wanted more, but at $13 each, I decided when I placed the order, I would only order four.

On weekdays, the thrift store prep area is open during normal business hours and workers constantly stock the floor with new items.  Items without price tags must be taken to the prep area for pricing.  Questions about merchandise can be answered in that area as well. Saturday shopping is usually less fruitful than on weekdays and the prep area is closed on weekends. 

Monster High dolls found at thrift store

On Friday, the fashion doll area of the thrift store was well stocked.  I found five Monster High dolls and purchased four of the five.  The one left behind was nude and without shoes.   Janay needed shoes.  Give me those shoes! (A line from the 1950s movie, The Bad Seed.)

Additional dolls found at thrift store, LIV Alexis x2 and Hawaiian souvenir doll

In addition to the Monster High (MH) dolls, I purchased two LIV dolls for their articulated bodies.  One is fully dressed; the other is nude.  A cute little Hawaiian souvenir doll pulled at my heartstrings, so she came home with me, too.

The MH dolls were marked $5.99 each, a little more than I wanted to pay, but $5.99 is a better price than $13 for shoes only (I thought).  So I grabbed the ones I wanted before inspecting each bagged doll carefully.  On close inspection, I discovered the MH dolls only have upper arms.  The forearms are missing on all but one, and the hands are missing on all!  It's a good thing I only wanted those shoes!

I believe I have the dolls accurately identified as:  Draculaura, Clawdeen Wolf, Frankie Stein, and Cleo de Nile, who has one of her lower arms.  All are missing their hands.  With the exception of their missing lower arms/hands, the dolls are in relatively good condition and were probably donated by the same former owner.

LIV dolls and Hawaiian doll, de-bagged

Since the LIV dolls were $3.99 for the fully dressed doll and $2.99 for the nude one, I took the MH dolls to the prep area and asked if the price could be reduced due to the missing forearms and hands.   I was prepared to show them the completely dressed LIV doll for $3.99 to suggest that price.   Instead of $5.99 for each MH, I only paid $2.99 each.  I was a happy camper and would have been even happier had I printed out and taken the coupon I had in my email for $5 off a $10 purchase. 

For a total cost of $23.74, I just knew Janay would have four extra pairs of shoes to wear. This did not prove to be the case.  Only one of the four pairs fits her properly, Draculaura's pink and yellow heels that Janay is modeling in the first picture of this post.  I really hoped Clawdeen Wolf's boots would fit Janay.  Maybe a dip into some boiled water will loosen the vinyl enough for them to fit her. 

I am still pleased with the find.  Never in my life, however, did I think I would buy a Monster High doll to keep or do anything with.  If I cannot get Clawdeen's boots to work for Janay, I will fashion some hands to attach to the long sleeves of Clawdeen's jacket.  Her fangs will be painted and her hair styled to cover her ears.  I am not sure what the fate will be for the other MH dolls just yet, but I'll probably make arms for them as well and make them look less monster-like. 

Alexis and Alexis in Sparkle Girlz clothing

The two LIV Alexis dolls are now dressed in Sparkle Girlz clothing.  (Yes, I said the purchase was for their bodies, but the bodies can be dressed until I need them for different proportionate heads, right?)  Alexis at left wears shoes made by Paulette of Limbe Dolls

Janay took a quick full length photo to end this post.  She knows the shoes do not match her fashion.  She also knows she looks good in anything, even if the colors are not coordinated.

Maybe I should have adhered to my original plan to "not buy another doll before next year," but don't blame me.   The dolls just happened to come with the shoes I purchased for Janay and one can never have enough articulated bodies on hand.  I have no excuse for the purchase of the souvenir doll except for the fact that she was there and she is the most complete of all that followed me home. 



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

D is for Doll and I is for Image Intense

Volume D, World Book Encyclopedia, 1962 and 1987, respectively

"DOLL.  In almost every part of the world, children play with dolls.  They may be made of anything from cooky [sic] dough and candy to cloth and rubber.  They may be made in factories and bought in shops, or they may be made at home and cost nothing.  It makes little difference what they look like or how much money is paid for them.  Dolls are loved the world around."  (World Book Encyclopedia, 1962, Volume D, "Doll," page 234.)

Someone recently asked me if I could suggest ideas for no-sew dolls. I offered a few quick suggestions which included African Wrap Dolls and clothespin dolls.  These suggestions piqued my own interest which led to a search for "no-sew dolls."  Included in the search results was a blog on how to make acorn dolls.  The blogger recalled discovering instructions to make acorn dolls while reading the "Doll" entry in volume D of her mother's 1950s set of World Book Enclyclopedia (WBE).

Reading the blogger's experience conjured up memories of time spent using my first non-electronic search tool:  an A to Z set of encyclopedias.  As a child I could easily spend hours reading several entries in one volume, prompted by an initial desire to gain information on just one subject.  

I was compelled to grab volume D of my 1962 childhood set that I still own to read the "Doll" entry. I am sure I read the entry as a child; and as evidenced by my sister's first name scribbled on one of the pages, she had read it as well or at least looked at the pictures.  Re-reading it refreshed my memory. This was followed by reading the "Doll" entry in the same lettered volume of my children's 1987 WBE.  

I was not surprised by the scarcity of Black dolls in the 1962 entry.  A recognizable few Black dolls are included in the volume published 25 years later.  Both entries cover a variety of doll topics to include historical and modern dolls and dolls as collectibles.  A collector and her collection are featured in the 1987 entry.  Scans of both entries follow in their entirety with the exception that the collector's identity is concealed.

Doll entry scans, pages 234-244, from volume D, World Book Encyclopedia (1962)
Click/swipe images to enlarge.  Alternatively, on a computer, hold down Ctrl and + to zoom in; Ctrl and - to zoom out. 


Doll entry scans, pages 234-243, from volume D, World Book Encyclopedia (1987)


The "Doll" entry in the 1962 edition of WBE contains how-to instructions for making an acorn doll and several other doll types. See also the 8th and 9th scans above of the 1962 volume.

During recent grocery store and post office trips, where acorns are plentiful, I gathered several fallen acorns.  The plan is to make my own acorn doll or two like this blogger did, using the instructions from the "Doll" entry in volume D of my childhood WBE.