Friday, October 8, 2010

Tammy, a Re-makeover Story

A scan from my book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, (Hobby House Press, Inc., 2003), page 164 illustrates formerly white dolls dyed various shades of brown.  This was done circa late-1990s.

As described in the above image text (click to enlarge, then maximize the new window), a combination of Rit dye for the soft-vinyl surfaces and acrylic paint was used to deepen the complexion of  the dolls made of these two materials.  I discovered through trial and error that Rit dye will only absorb through porous materials such as soft vinyl, cloth, and some materials used for doll hair.

Because of their combination soft vinyl-rigid plastic construct, the Tammy dolls (and my soft-faced/hard plastic-bodied Chatty Cathy) required Rit dye and painting.  Painting is not one of my gifts.  As a result, I was never satisfied with the mismatched colors of the Tammy dolls' dyed face/arms and painted body/legs.  For years this doll pair has been tucked away in the back of a curio cabinet, out of sight, out of mind.


Using the Tammy doll that appears on the far right in the scanned image, I recently applied (old stock) Flori Roberts cream makeup to the face and arms using a makeup sponge and my fingertip.  This resulted in a more even complexion. 

After the makeup dries completely (I'll give it at least 24 hours, maybe longer) Tammy will be redressed in her pink and white sundress. 

Short romper-wearing Tammy (shown on the far left in the scanned image) will be my next re-makeover-with-makeup specimen.  This will be done whenever the Spirit moves me and provided I find makeup as dark as the paint used for her body.

For more information about Tammy dolls, click here.

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