Saturday, December 7, 2019

Flirty Italian-Made Doll by Levia

Lovely hard plastic doll by Levia

Made by Levia of Milan, Italy, this charming, circa 1950s 21-inch doll has brown flirty eyes that appear to follow you when her head turns.  Made of hard plastic that looks like composition, she is a head-turning walker.  When her legs are moved in a walking motion, her head turns from left to right.

She wears her original red organdy dress which has hand-painted flowers on the bodice and skirt.  The collar of the dress is removable.
Her original hangtag reads Levia, Milano, Made in Italy. 

She has a human hair wig.  Her neck markings read Levia/Milano/Brevattato (brevetatto means patented or trademarked).


She was not in pristine condition upon arrival, but her flaws were minor and few.

Loose arm stringing was her main cosmetic flaw.

This is a better illustration of her loose arm stringing, but take note of her beautiful satin undergarment.  The attached tag has a series of numbers stamped on it.

A few of the lashes of one eye are missing, which is not very bothersome.

Airing out

What was bothersome was her musty odor that was alleviated by hanging the doll and her dress outside over a several-day period.  For approximately a week, I would bring her and the dress in at night and return both to hang outside the following morning.

Don't do this.
I made the dreadful mistake initially of wrapping fabric softener sheets around her and enclosing her in plastic.  The lavender scent of the fabric softener sheets seemed to accentuate the musty odor after the overnight period in which they were used, so I opted to allow fresh air to resolve the issue, as described in the previous paragraph and illustrated in the previous picture.


Feeling all brand new after airing out

After airing out, I successfully restrung her (after watching a few Youtube videos on restringing and then asking my husband how he does it).  Her original dress was put on, her wig combed, and the ribbon with fabric flowers was tied around her head.

Her original ribbon headband with fabric flower accents can be seen in this photo taken from the back which also illustrates her hair length.

Lastly, I made a pair of dark red sandals to cover her bare feet.  I did not create a photo documentation of the sandal-making process, but it is described briefly below.

I wanted her to have open-toed shoes to show off her original pedicure.  The organdy fabric of the dress justifies the sandals as well.
How I Made the Sandals:
After tracing both feet for a template of the shape, a cork coaster was used to create the soles.  Heavy card stock covered with yellow fabric creates the insoles and heavyweight dark red grosgrain ribbon, sandwiched between the soles and the insoles wraps across her upper feet and around the ankles.  The sandals snap closed on the side of each ankle.


The side snap closure is illustrated in this photo.
Feeling so fresh and so clean with covered feet, she posed once again for a full-length photo.

In this photo, she holds a doll ornament.

Close-up of the doll ornament.

Because she will be part of my Christmas decor, this lovely flirty-eyed girl now holds a 1930s-style Patsy doll ornament.
******
I have not been able to find any information about the Levia doll company and this doll is the only brown-skinned doll by Levia that I have found during my brief research.  Like most companies, brown or black versions were probably made in fewer lots than the white counterparts.  A Google image search for Levia dolls results in several white versions of this doll or dolls that use the same head sculpt and body.  No other black or brown versions, except this doll, were in the search results.  I am happy to have found this one.

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Reblog: Life and All That's In It

Originally published on November 22, 2012, this is a reshare.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

As a child this was my bedtime prayer.  I'd add, God bless Mama, Daddy (siblings by name) and me.  I'd throw in specialized thanks for things that occurred during the day, and of course, occasionally ask for something for myself or for someone else.  Sometimes it would be for household peace, particularly on weekends, but this prayer often went unanswered.  Most days of the week were uneventful, but I hated to see Fridays come.  They were filled with uncertainty.

Hallmark image

A few years back, one of my favorite writers collaborated with Hallmark's Mahogany division.  I loved reading, buying, and sharing electronic Mahogany greetings written by Maya Angelou.  One of my favorite thank you greetings written by her is:

I want to thank you, Lord, for life and all that’s in it. Thank you for the day and for the hour, and the minute. -- Maya Angelou

These two lines of prose cover everything I could ever give thanks for -- life and all that's in it -- what could possibly be omitted from that statement?  In spite of a few minor hurdles, trials, and tribulations in my early life, my blessings have been so great they are beyond measure!  My cup has truly run over with needs that are always met.  I have experienced a life filled with peace more often than not.  Yet I am stronger as a result of the tribulations.  They served to teach lessons of how not to be, what not to accept, things to avoid, etc.

So on this day that America has set aside as Thanksgiving, as-I-do-daily, I give thanks to God for life and all [the good] that's in it.  (That's what Maya left out -- the good.)  I thank Him for the day and for the hour, and the minute (and the ability to now love Fridays and every other day of the week I am blessed to live and give.) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

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Monday, November 25, 2019

It Was Her Grandmother's Doll

Circa 1970s black cloth doll has facial features made of felt.

Without seeing a picture, I was asked if I knew of anyone who would like an "antique cloth souvenir doll that needed some repairs."  Having become a doll rescuer of late, I told the woman who contacted me, that I would accept the doll.

Most of the doll's right eye was missing upon arrival.  Her felt nose and mouth remain intact.

The doll arrived and the only thing in disrepair was one eye.  Made of felt, I knew it would be an easy fix to replace the eye.  I took several before-photos before the repair ensued and documented the doll in a spreadsheet entry as follows:

A gift from DS, this 18-inch black cloth doll with mature bosom possibly made from a pattern, belonged to D's grandmother who died in 1980. Doll has black yarn hair and a black knit curlicue crocheted ponytail. Arrived with one eye missing. I replaced that eye, removed the other and made a new one using white felt for the sclerae and a black circle of felt for the pupil. Black felt and red felt nose and mouth are original. Wears gold chain drop earrings, a double-stranded pearl necklace, a red polka dot dress with lace trim at bodice, waist, sleeves, and hem. Dress has crinoline and white heavy gauze petticoat. She wears white cotton panties and red satin flat pumps that have gold tagboard soles.
The Before Pictures

This full-length photo illustrates the doll's appearance upon arrival.
Her black yarn curlicue ponytail can be seen in this photo taken from the back.
This is a better look at the crocheted ponytail.  This type of curlicue crocheting was used to make hair ties during the 1970s for girls' ponytails.  This leads me to believe the doll was made during the 1970s or possibly a few years earlier if the ponytail was added later.
The petticoat is one layer of crinoline that covers a layer of heavy gauze.
The heavy gauze underskirt, panties, and red satin shoes are shown here.

Close-up of red satin shoes

The soles of the shoes are gold tagboard.


She carries a red knit purse.
The Eye Repair and Final Photos


A white felt square was placed over the "good" eye to trace the necessary almond-shaped size needed for the missing eye.

Because the felt used for the original eye had yellowed, I decided to replace both eyes with these two cut-out felt pieces.

The original eye was removed.

The new "whites" were glued to the areas where the original eyes had been.

Black felt pupils were added to complete the eye repair.

With the new eyes in place and the ribbon at the waist of her dress re-tied, she is almost as good as I imagine she was when first made.


dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

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Check out what I am selling here
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