Thursday, July 20, 2017

Twelve Years Ago This Week

The lovely Matoka by Annette Himstedt represents a girl from Somalia.

On July 18, 2017, I received an email from an image hosting service that contained a link to photos taken and stored at their site 12 years ago this week.  The photos were taken between July 19 through July 28, 2005, after Matoka, by Annette Himstedt arrived.

Part of the artist's 2005 Kinder Collection, Matoka was a must-have for me and was preordered from a doll dealer immediately after seeing the prototype doll's image. To this day, she remains my favorite doll by the artist.  At the time she arrived, I was writing my second book, wherein she is featured on page 264 with the following image, description.  The 2008-assessed value is not blotted out.


Matoka, Himstedt Kinder Collection, 2005
Material: Vinyl head, arms, legs (multiple rotational joints); doe suede body
Height: 33-1/2in/85.09cm
Marks: D3/8 Annette Himstedt© (on head), D3/2 Annette Himstedt© (on lower back), D3/3 Annette Himstedt© (on back of upper right arm), D3/4 Annette Himstedt© (on back of upper left arm), D3/5 Annette Himstedt© (on back of upper right leg), D3/6 Annette Himstedt© (on back of upper left leg)
Hair/Eyes/Mouth: Light brown curly human-hair wig/mouth-blown brown stationary/closed
Clothing: Yellow, coral, and light green dress, brown leather sandals; colorful ribbons in hair, rope necklace with authentic hand-made clay and glass gems from Africa
Other: Matoka’s native country is Somalia. She is a LE of 377, has COA.
Value: xxxxx (This image is the only one in this post that was not stored at the image hosting site.)

Because I have been busy with non-doll-related things with very little time to post here, I decided to watermark the images from the hosting site for this quick post.  Hopefully I will be back soon, but in the meantime, enjoy "meeting" Matoka and/or viewing her initial photos.

After Matoka arrived, before redressing took place, she was photographed in her original clothes.

She has such a gorgeous face and beautiful brown eyes.

I enjoyed and still enjoy photographing her.

She was introduced to the doll family...

...where she blended in quite nicely among other Himstedts, Heaths, and other artist
and non-artist dolls.

A few days after meeting the family, she underwent her initial redresses, which are shown next:

After a great-niece outgrew this size 2T floral-print dress, it was handed down to my dolls.  
It fits Matoka perfectly!

She wears the floral-print dress with a pair of child size-5 white sandals.

This child's pants set and the next one Matoka models were purchased for larger dolls like Matoka.

The strappy sandals are a perfect match for this orange/yellow/white plaid outfit.

Throughout her 12 years here, I have taken many more photos of Matoka, and because I still enjoy redressing her from time to time, photographing her will continue.

I hope to be back to this blog soon.


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Clothing a Circa 1920s Composition Doll


This 7-inch circa 1920s composition with dimpled cheeks doll arrived wearing dirty trousers
that were several sizes too large.

I won this little girl in a make-offer eBay auction for $7.50 (the seller's beginning bid had been $15).  Because of the doll's condition, I did not think a $7.50 offer was unreasonable.  The seller did not think so either and accepted the offer. The marks on her back appear to be AGD.  The seller thought the G looked like a C and attributed the doll to American Character.  The "C" actually looks more like a "G" to me.  The doll was probably made by Allied Grand; they made dolls from 1915 through 1980.

The doll has a one-piece composition body with spring joints.  The body is severely crazed from age, which is common for some composition dolls that have been exposed to drastic changes in temperature or moisture.

Because it is uncommon to find black composition dolls of this type that bear a manufacturer's marks, (unless they were made by one of the well-established doll makers like Alexander, Effanbee, Horsman, or Vogue, who usually always marked their dolls), I wanted to bring this one here to make her presentable.

Some materials used to make clothes:  plastic wrap, scissors, water, gift tissue paper and Mod Podge (not shown)

First and foremost, she needed clothes.  Because I do not sew, I decided to make a papier mache-type romper using gift tissue paper.  I have done this before for modern fashion dolls (a link to that post is provided at the end of this post), but never for a vintage doll.  Because of the composition medium, which should never be exposed to water or moisture in any form, I was a little hesitant to do this, but decided to take the plunge (or allow her to, so to speak).

First the baby was wrapped in plastic wrap from head to toes.

The next task required placing several squares of wet tissue paper over the body to create what would be a romper.  (See the cut-out squares underneath the scissors in the above image).  Several layered, wet squares were used.


In the above images, wet pieces of tissue paper have been placed over the baby's plastic-wrapped body to create the shape of a romper.  The baby was next placed in the face-down position with body propped up on hands and feet to allow the tissue paper to dry.

Next, Mod Podge was applied generously all over the tissue paper.

The baby was again propped up in the position shown above to allow the Mod Podge
 to dry for several hours.

In the above photo, the Mod Podge has dried.

The romper was removed by first cutting a slit across the crotch.


Next, a slit along the right side of the romper was made. After the romper was removed, additional Mod Podge was added to all edges of the romper to ensure all layers remained flat. After the romper and plastic wrap were removed from the baby, I cut and folded two strips of  extra tissue (about 1/2 inch wide each), applied Mod Podge to these and added one strip to one side of the crotch and the other was secured to the the side slit.  This extended these areas for the closures that would be created later.


I used Elmer's Wood Filler to repair a hole that developed between the baby's legs that must have been caused by moisture seeping through the plastic wrap.  After the wood filler dried, I painted that area with Real Brown acrylic paint by Apple Barrel, which closely matches the original paint.  Using a make-up sponge with several drops of the Real Brown acrylic paint applied, I rubbed the sponge across areas of the baby's face, body, arms, and legs to cover some of the cracks in the composition.  I repainted the hair area black and sealed that area only with matte varnish.

Delicate lace was glued to the leg openings and crotch to add trim before a self-adhesive
Velcro closure was created.  One piece of Velcro was placed on the extra strip of tissue that was added to this area.  The opposite Velcro was placed on the other side.

Velcro was added to both sides of the side slit with one piece placed on top of the extra piece of tissue that had been added.  

This is how the right side looks when closed with Velcro.

The baby also underwent minor facial repainting of the eyes and mouth.  A matching apple green ribbon was glued to the top-center of the front of the romper, which ties in back, as shown next.

Back ribbon tie

For completion, a tiny white bow was added to the front center of the romper.

I think she looks and feels so much better!
Here is the link to the first set of paper clothing made using toilet tissue and gift tissue.  

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Svetlana Lukina's Black Dolls on EEoDiB

Black Dolls by Svetlana Lukina were inspired by the works of doll artists, 
Ella Smith and Martha Chase, respectively.
Russian doll artist, Svetlana Lukina, shares information about her black dolls in a post published on my sister blog, Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black, which can be read here.

I hope you will enjoy seeing her dolls and learning about her doll-making process.  She welcomes your comments and opinions, which should be posted on the sister blog.  Thank you for reading.


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Friday, July 7, 2017

Tooka's Articulated Body x2

This Integrity Toys' A-Tone body was last used for 2015 Dynamite Girls Tooka.

In a post about her New Fashionistas, Phyllis, of A Day in the Life of My Dolls, shared that her rebodied Fashionista #59, Tropi-Cutie, uses an Integrity Toys (IT) Dynamite Girls body.  I scooted on over to IT's website and ordered two A-Tone bodies for $15 each.  According to IT's website, the A-Tone body was last used for 2015 Tooka (the photo at the previous link does not illustrate Tooka's true skin tone).


This body is of superior quality.

IT's bodies are of superior quality with heavy-weighted vinyl. This particular body is articulated under the breasts, at the elbows, wrists, and knees.  The ankles are not articulated.

For the purpose of skin tone comparison, I selected several dolls to photograph with these bodies. When compared to the dolls' original bodies, this body is not a perfect match for any of my non-IT dolls.  When compared to their faces,  however, the color differences are not as marked.  If desired, I could use this body for two of the now stationary ladies, as illustrated below.

Barbie Basics Model 10 shares that her skin tone does not match the A-Tone body.

So in Style Grace with nonarticulated body modeled with the bodies next.  Her facial complexion is also not a perfect match for this body.

Fab Fringe (Tall Fashionista) is about the same complexion as So In Style Grace and would not be a good head donor for this body.
So in Style Kara's facial complexion is a close match to the IT body.
As Phyllis has done, Pam (Tropi-Cutie, Fashionista #59) could use this body.  The tone of her face and the body are a closer match than any of the others.  

This close-up of Pam's face confirms that one of these bodies could be used to give her more movement.
I have no immediate plans to rebody any of the dolls shown, but it is good to know that if I desire to do so, I have these bodies on hand.  

Here is the link to the Integrity Toys doll bodies currently available.
Read Phyllis' post here.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Closing in the Gaps


As illustrated in my previous post, I created parts in Classic Cool Ken #10's hair using toffee brown acrylic paint. The parts were wider than I desired, especially on the sides, so I closed those in using a mixture of Apple Barrel Coffee Bean and Jet Black acrylic paints. One drop of Jet Black with a couple drops of Coffee Bean paint were mixed in a water bottle top.  I used the tip of a toothpick to apply the paint to the edges of each braided area, which gives the illusion of narrower parts. A collage of the original painted parts is shown below followed by a collage of the closed in gaps.

The original painted parts were a little too wide.

The gaps have been successfully closed in to my liking.
The cornrows look more realistic to me now.


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Monday, July 3, 2017

First Look at #10 Classic Cool


Photos taken at Walmart of Ken #10, Classic Cool

During a quick trip to Walmart, I was amazed to find Ken #10, Classic Cool in stock.  I had already preordered from ShopMattel during their brief free shipping offer to avoid having to wait for the doll to arrive locally.  Because several of the ones at Walmart had faint facial smudges on the nose, near the hairline or the eye, I chose the best one available to purchase as a duplicate in the event the one Mattel ships has flaws, too.

Along with Classic Cool, I also purchased the Barbie dress shown above.  The dress fits all Barbie body types.  The Ken fashion does not indicate the cut, but the shirt looks wider than most Ken shirts. Classic Cool models it at the end of this post.

After his initial in-box photograph, I immediately freed this guy.  He's wearing a white pointed collar shirt, black skinny tie, dark gray pants, and gray sneakers.  The tie is fastened to his shirt with a plastic fastener.


I left the fastener in place and painted it black as illustrated above on the right.  Now it blends in with the color of the tie.

The shirt has a Velcro closure in back and the sneakers have a slit in back to aid in removing and putting them on.

He's a very handsome guy with nice facial features.  Initially, I thought his head sculpt was the same as Hip Hoodie's  I really like the shape of his lips, which are fuller than Hip Hoodie's.  His braids are a first for Ken, but like Zig and Zag's braids were initially, he has no visible parts.  I would have preferred hair over plastic/molded, but for $7.74 at Walmart ($9.99 at ShopMattel), it is what it is.



Complexion-wise, his skin tone is about the same as Texas A & M Ken's and Model 17's.

Those who desire articulation, could use Texas A & M Ken's body for Classic Cool.

I created parts in his hair using Toffee Brown acrylic paint, which blends in with his complexion.  The results are illustrated below:

Classic Cool's braids and invisible parts are illustrated on the left.  The painted parts are illustrated on the right.

The painted parts are shown from both sides and from the back view here.

Even though the braids are still plastic/molded, with parts, the hair looks more realistic.

Classic Cool tried on the $5 Ken fashion, which fits him well and shaves years off his appearance. I doubt that broad-body Ken can wear this fashion.

Hip Hoodie (Hakeem) and Classic Cool do have a similar appearance and could very well pass for brothers.


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