Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Sharif is a 22-inch doll by Paola Reina, a Spain-based doll company.  I love almost most everything about her, especially her luscious lips.  I have often contemplated redressing Sharif to replace her fancy sage green dress with something more casual.  The last consideration about doing this ended with a plan to only replace her shoes with a larger pair because her feet appear too small for her body.  This is the one thing I dislike about Sharif's construct.

Because she arrived during the time I was writing The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I Listen, I included her commentary in that publication.  It reads as follows:

Saturday, March 21, 2009   Yesterday, the mail carrier left a notice on the mailbox of an attempt to deliver a package that required Debbie’s signature.  She thought it was the Obama body that she purchased to use with the extra head included with the Obama action figure purchased in February.  She was pleasantly surprised to see the huge shipping carton when she picked me up today because she knew I was in the box.  She could hardly wait to get home to tear open the box and almost went home before finishing some of her Saturday morning errands.  She decided to complete the errands first.  After removing me from my box, Debbie was a little disappointed because one of my eyelashes was about to fall off.  After she glued it back in place and combed my thick, brown, rooted hair, which became tousled during my trip, she admired my very broad facial features. 

My nose reminds her of hers, except mine is wider.  My lips, which are a little pouty are distinctly Africanoid and lusciously beautiful to Debbie.  She mistakenly was told that I am all vinyl, when in reality my body is brown cloth.  My arms are all vinyl and the vinyl in my legs extends to just above my knees.  I will probably need a saddle stand for support.  Debbie likes my dress, but thinks my feet look a little small for my 22-inch (55.88cm) height.  She loves me, nonetheless, including my vanilla-flavored scent. 
Having traveled from Spain, where I was made by Paola Reina (a doll company), to England, where I was sold by NubiDollz.com, I am happy to be in America now. 
Love, Sharif

In addition to thoughts of redressing Sharif, I have also wanted to share her provenance with the readers of this blog.  Each time I have read a comment to my posts from Thammie the Dollmaker, who owns at least one doll like Sharif, I have been reminded of the need to do this.  Consider it done!  Now I must find larger shoes for this lovely girl.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Target's Dolls of All Nations Will the Real Artist Please Stand Up?

Yvonne from the 1996 Target- exclusive Dolls of All Nations Collection (Second Edition)

During the mid-1990s, Target released The Dolls of All Nations Collection.  My newly acquired doll, Yvonne, is from the second edition of this collection. The dolls were Target exclusives, distributed by Dayton Hudson Corporation of Minneapolis, MN under the Unimax label.  The box date is 1996.

I vividly recall shopping in Target during the time the first edition of this doll line was stocked on Target's shelves.  Wanja, the doll that represents Kenya is part of the first series of Dolls of All Nations (1995).  I purchased Wanja from Target the year of release.  I never saw Yvonne in stock.

Yvonne (Uganda) and Wanja (Kenya) from the Dolls of All Nations Collection, 1996 and 1995, respectively.

Nearly 20 years after the doll was released, Yvonne was recently purchased for $7.99 plus shipping and arrived in never-removed-from-box state.  The box shows shelf wear but Yvonne is perfect.  This all vinyl doll stands 12 inches, has painted brown eyes, and black rooted hair styled in multiple braids with green ribbons braided through each.  She wears a coral dress with African print belt, matching head wrap, multicolored beaded necklace, gold tone elasticized bracelet, and black sandals.  A doll stand is also included.

The back of Yvonne's box reads:
1996 Hello, I am named Yvonne.
I come from Uganda.
It is one of the 52 nations on the
continent of Africa. 

 You will be pleased to know I speak your 
 language, English, and I also speak our 
native language, Swahili.

Because our climate is tropical and warm, my country
is home to many flowers and forests.
We also have many colorful birds living near our rivers.
When my family travels in our long canoe to visit friends in
the next village, we see ostriches, flamingos and storks.
Monkeys swing from tree to tree along the river's edge.
It is as if they want to visit our friends too!

My family is perhaps bigger than yours.
It includes many cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
We live together in a village that is close to the coffee farm
we own.  Each member of the family has a job to do.
It is my job to carry cooking pots to the river for washing.
I also make ngunza, a delicious thick sauce made
from cassava leaves, tomato paste and peanut butter.

Isn't my dress colorful?
It is the traditional dress of Ugandan women and girls.
It is called a busuti with a long, full skirt,
square neck and a cloth tied diagonally.

My friend, would you like to come in our canoe?
You can share my long bamboo pole
for pushing, and we will go to see
the hippopotamuses bathing in the
river with their babies.

(I wonder who wrote that blurb.)

While the Dolls of All Nations dolls resemble Swiss doll artist, Heidi Otts' Little Ones dolls (a high-end collectors doll line, also released in the late 1990s), Ott did not sculpt the Dolls of All Nations.

Ott did sculpt the 18-inch Faithful Friends  dolls that were Target exclusives from 1997-1998.  These traditionally dressed dolls were designed to compete with the original, historical American Girl dolls. When conducting research to prove or disprove recently circulated information that Ott sculpted the Dolls of All Nations dolls, I found that she did not.  Under the heading, Background, in paragraph 7 of the online details of a lawsuit Ott brought against Target on July 29, 1999, Ott alleges that the dolls Target sold as Dolls of All Nations were knock offs of her Little Ones, proof of which is cited in the text, which can be read in its entirety here.



Cal's New Wig

I created a stocking cap for Cal soon after his arrival a year ago to conceal his unsightly hair loss.

Because his original human hair wig has several missing hair plugs, making a wig for Cal has been on my to-do list since his arrival with his sister, Tuesday, almost a year ago to this date.

Profile photos illustrate Cal's multiple missing hair plugs.
The original plan had been to maintain the artist's hair color choice, so I devised a plan to use hair clippings saved from my first grandson's first haircut*.  The clippings, unfortunately, were no where to be found.  I looked high and low to no avail.

Instead, I used strands from the Lock Twist braiding hair leftover from the locs fashioned for Tonner's Jon.  What was done to create the wig  is outlined below in the following photos and captions.

Cal's head is covered with two plastic twist tie bags that are secured with a rubber band around his neck.

A piece of brown cloth is placed over the plastic bags and secured in place with another rubber band.

A white ink pen marks what will become Cal's hairline in front.

The above photo and the next two illustrate an application of Aleene's Tacky Glue that covers the surface of the cloth  that will become the wig cap where the hair will be applied.

Overnight, the glue dries and stiffens that area of the cloth.

The extra fabric is trimmed away from the glued area to create the wig cap.  Cal tries it on for size.

The wig cap is trimmed a bit more. The braiding hair used, prior to clipping tiny portions of it, is shown above.

The strands of hair are clipped into small pieces.  (Not shown, another layer of Aleene's Tacky Glue is smeared over the wig cap before the cut pieces of hair are immediately applied to cover the surface.)

Small pieces of hair are applied over glue onto to the wig cap and allowed to dry overnight.

Cal wears his new wig, the color of which closely matches his original hair color.  Since it is a wig, it is removable, although chances of Cal wanting me to remove it are slim to none.

Close-up of Cal with his healthy head of auburn hair.

Tuesday joins her brother and is amazed by the amount of hair growth he has experienced in less than 48 hours.  Just like a typical teasing brother, Cal plans to keep his alopecia recovery treatment a secret from Tuesday, at least for a while. 
*By the time I completed the draft of this post, I remembered using Grandson's first haircut clippings on two small Berenguer baby dolls in approximately 2008 (next photo).  It pleases me to have remembered what happened to the hair saved from his very first haircut.

LaNewborn Berenguer dolls have rooted hair courtesy of me and hair saved from my first Grandson's first haircut.  The girl has a ponytail with bangs and spiral curls on the sides.  The boy has a short Afro.