Monday, November 30, 2015

More Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Themes of these Christmas sweater ornaments from Michaels are: wreath, noel, reindeer, wrapped package, joy, and two tan bells.

For a couple of years, I have wanted to get my hands on the Christmas sweater ornaments sold at Michaels.  After reading Ms. Leo's Christmas Sweaters post, I asked my daughter to check the store near her the next time she was in the vicinity.  It only took a few days for that to happen (the woman is a shopaholic).

At Michaels, she asked me to FaceTime (FT) her so she could show me what they had.  I really wanted at least two with fur collars, but none were available.  The FT video reception was poor, so I asked her to choose five different ones for me.  "Five is an odd number," she said.  "Well buy six then, and make sure at least one is blue," I instructed.

At the Michaels where Ms. Leo shopped, the sweater ornaments were 40% off [the regular price of $5.99].  Here they were 50% off.  My daughter paid $2.99 for each.

The real miniature wire hangers are stitched to the neck of these excellent quality sweaters.  Just a snip with scissors allowed easy removal.

Since she wears "red bottom" shoes, I chose I.T.B.E. Luscious to model one, as shown above.  This is when I discovered the perfect arm length but wide waist and hemline.  In the above photo the  knit fabric is pulled together in the back to minimize the waist.

With the fabric in back relaxed, Luscious illustrates how wide the fit of the sweater is on her thin frame.  Wearing one of these, she could easily pull off the look of a 9-month pregnancy, as shown next.

In this sweater, with the front pulled forward, Luscious looks well into a third trimester of pregnancy.
After an ah-ha moment, I decided to try another Michaels Christmas sweater on Big Beautiful Doll Dasia.  It was my thought that her fuller figure would fill in the width.  I was pleasantly pleased by two things.

After removing her wrap, I rediscovered Georgette Taylor's handwritten inscription to me on Dasia's back, which reads:

To Debbie
Georgette Taylor,

(Taylor co-founded the Big Beautiful Doll Company and is reintroducing the dolls under different names through her newly formed, I Am Beautiful Doll Company.)

I was also delighted that the sweater fits Dasia well (the sleeves are a little short, but we won't tell her). Like Luscious (a.k.a. Anika or Boo-Boo Kitty), Dasia is wearing the sweater over her dress.

Modeling Christmas sweater ornaments from various sources:  (in back, L-R) Nikki's sweater is from  Dasia and Anika's sweaters are from a local Michaels store, and (seated) Goddess Emerald's sweater is from

Acting as mother to the other Christmas sweater wearers, Dasia and her daughters took a lovely family portrait before joining the other attendees of the Christmas sweater party.



Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale

Brooklyn Dollworks by Valerie A. Gladstone

Message from
Fern Gillespie

RE:  The Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale
Unique Black Dolls and Holiday Ornaments at The Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale
Saturday, December 5 at Dwyer Cultural Center

New York, NY--(November 13, 2015) – Rare handcrafted black dolls and unique holiday ornaments will be showcased at the Morrisania Doll Society’s Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale on Saturday, December 5 at the Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 St. Nicholas Avenue at 123rd Street.  Show hours are 11 AM to 7 PM. Admission is free.

“We invite everyone to visit our ‘Community of Creativity.’ There is no admission and the exquisite dolls and doll accessories are worth the trip,” said Ellen Ferebee, president and founder of the Morrisania Doll Society, based in Harlem.  “Visitors are always awed by the outstanding level of craftsmanship evidenced by the doll artists. There will be handcrafted dolls to fit every budget.”

Hundreds of amazing black dolls by acclaimed artists will be available at the Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale. On site will be Brooklyn Doll Works by Valerie A. Gladstone, named one of America’s top doll artists. Shaquora Bey will have her sophisticated soft sculpted dolls. Shirley Nigro-Hill will feature her eclectic line of line of miniature to life-size cloth, sculpture and even origami dolls. Joyce Stroman brings her one-of-a-kind dolls with clay sculptured faces and cloth bodies. There’s Rita’s Art Dolls from historic periods and the Angel Doll Company with whimsical silicon sculpted Angel Doll Babies and Angel Doll Kids by artist Vanessa Lee. Hamilo will feature Daddy’s Babies line of clowns, angels and fairies. Custom made Doll Houses by Kellan will be available. Sona Dolls has Venus body fashion dolls. Holiday ornaments by Baskets From Fern with handcrafted Kente Folk wreaths and brooms. Plus, one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments by Goldie Wilson, who is renowned for her cloth and porcelain dolls.
Art doll by Shirley Nigro

“We invite you to come, to look, to learn and to purchase,” said Ferebee. “This is our first show at the elegant Dwyer Cultural Center and we are excited to return to the heart of Harlem.”

The Morrisania Doll Society was formed to bring together doll collectors and doll artists and to help preserve the history and culture of African-American doll making.  It has produced doll events since 2000.

For more information on The Harlem Holiday Doll Show and Sale, please visit or email:



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Two Star and Me

Two Star by William Tung
I was looking through my archived photos for Thanksgiving photographs of dolls and stopped looking when I stumbled upon pictures of Two Star, an approximately 26-inch vinyl and cloth Native American doll that was sold through the Home Shopping Network (HSN) circa 2004.  I remember the show host, Tina Berry, suggesting that the doll was "similar to a well-known German artist's dolls that had bare feet."  Berry did not say Annette Himstedt's name, but I knew that was the artist she was suggesting.  After Two Star arrived, I was convinced that the former HSN show host would say almost anything to sell dolls. While she is a nice doll, Two Star is in no way comparable to a Himstedt.

The doll's original costume is a fringed suede blouse and skirt, braided suede headband, faux turquoise and muted silver necklace, and bead-embellished suede moccasins.

In the above photos, Two Star wears her original poor quality wig, which had a plastic-feeling texture.

I immediately rewigged Two Star and later changed her ethnicity to African American by redressing her and renaming her Celeste.

Rewigged and redressed, the doll has been referred to as Celeste for several years.
History of Thanksgiving (One Recorded Version)
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. []

Celeste (a.k.a. Two Star) and I wish those of you who celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday peace, happiness and love.