Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Portrait Doll of Oprah as a Child

Oprah was very surprised to receive a portrait doll from Marie Osmond. 

While looking for images of another doll on my various Sandisks, I found photographs taken when I viewed the November 9, 2007, Oprah Show.  During this "Osmond Family Tribute," Marie Osmond presented Oprah with a child-Oprah portrait doll.  The doll resembles a picture of Oprah as a little girl.

The portrait doll of Oprah has her own little doll.

I watched the first airing or a portion of this particular show and wanted to capture the images, but was not swift enough with my camera during the first airing.  With camera in hand during the second airing, I snapped a series of photos of the presentation, which was watched on the TV in my doll room/office.  The overhead fluorescent light is reflected on several of the images along with shadows of my dolls and the mini blinds that cover the patio door.   Most of the photos follow:

Oprah holds, with excitement, her new doll.  An audience member is seen in the background.

Still experiencing the new doll sensation...
...just like a new doll owner, she affectionately cuddles her new bundle of joy.

Oprah shares her gratitude with Marie.
Oprah, who is also a doll collector, appeared genuinely happy with her new doll.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dolls for Haiti

A variety of play line black dolls

There is still time to donate a new, play line Black doll via mail or in person at the upcoming NY Black Doll and Art Show, which will be held on July 10, 2010.  Show attendees are encouraged to bring a new black doll in support of the Dolls for Haiti project sponsored by BlackDollShows.com. 

Working in conjunction with YΓ©le Haiti, the dolls will be distributed to children of Haiti. If you are unable to attend the show, but would like to donate a doll or dolls, you may mail these to:

Done Up!
Attention: Show Group
1026 Sixth Avenue
New York, New York 10017

Their goal is to donate 500 dolls.  For more information visit, BlackDollShows.Com


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Sweet Babies

Two Mi-Bebe Boys Made in Spain, 1980s

At the request of a reader from Spain who has a keen interest in Mi-Bebe dolls and another of my dolls made in Spain, I agreed to photograph all the Mi-Bebe dolls in my collection and the other doll of interest to her, Bebe-Dulzon.

I began collecting Mi-Bebe dolls in the late 1990s.  The dolls were made in Spain in the early 1980s; therefore, all my dolls were secondary market purchases.  The dolls are vinyl with cloth bodies and measure approximately 27 inches.  Most arrived wearing their original clothing, which consists of a pink knit baby-doll style dress with white knit shorts for the girl and a light blue, knit short romper for the boy.  I believe they wore knit booties originally, but most of my dolls arrived with bare feet.  They look much better redressed in children's clothing, which is what I've done with all except one girl. 

After the reader, Marietta, read my Black Dolls Around the World - Spain Part 1 blog, she wrote to inform that the doll I identified as Coochi-Coo/Cuchi-Cuchi is actually Bebe-Dulzon.  According to Marietta, "BEBE-DULZON means BIG SWEET BABY and they were the first BIG dolls of this type (1981). Cuchi-Cuchi came later" (1983) and were not produced in Black.  She added, "They are still extremely hard to find in the secondary market. They are VERY RARE to find through Ebay though." 

Bebe-Dulzon Made in Spain 1981

Bebe-Dulzon stands 28 inches, is all vinyl with a swivel waist (torso and lower body actually detach).  He has a voice box, but my doll is mute.  He holds true to his name, Big Sweet Baby.

View additional pictures of  my Mi-Bebe and Bebe-Dulzon dolls here.
View very nicely redressed Caucasian Mi-Bebe dolls here


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Coming to America

Surfing the Internet for “black cloth doll” approximately 7 weeks ago, led to my discovery of beautiful soft sculptured dolls made in the United Kingdom by talented artist, Teresa Terry Churcher, aka clothchick on Deviantart, where I found her dolls initially.  The only contact information for her there was that she sells on eBay. A quick trip to eBay ensued where I located her and sent an email inquiry for details about her lovely dolls and the specifics on how I might possibly obtain one.

Chubby soft sculptured baby by Teresa Churcher

While awaiting her reply, I reviewed her Deviantart images and I fell in love with her doll making style—the sweet, innocent, and sometimes pensive facial expressions of her dolls captivated me. Two of them in particular made my heart palpitate with excitement and my palms perspire with anticipation. A chubby, seated baby (above) and a chunky toddler (below) with her very own doll caused my emotions to stir greatly.

Soft sculptured toddler with doll by Teresa Churcher

Teresa's response to my email was prompt:
Hi Debbie,

It's amazing that you managed to contact me through e-bay after having seen my work on Deviantart. The doll you are interested in is 16 1/2 " tall. I'm afraid I don't know how tall her little doll was as I never measured it, probably around 15cm. My dolls are made of hand-dyed woven cotton. The faces are cloth covered masks taken from my own sculpts and hand painted in mixed media. Arms and fingers are wired for articulation and the legs are disc jointed. Hair is made from mohair or on the black dolls from wool. I use only good quality fabric and trims. The toddler dolls start from $490 depending on outfit and accessories. Each doll takes around 5 weeks to make. I do a lay-away scheme, with a non-returnable deposit of $150 with monthly increments to be discussed (payable through Paypal). You can view more of my dolls on my Facebook page under Teresa Terry Churcher (please note that there is no H in Teresa). Also on my Facebook page is a link to my Etsy shop. Hope I have covered everything; if not just e-mail.

Best wishes

While I pondered the notion of adding one of her beautiful one-of-a-kind dolls to my collection and wondered where I would place another 16-1/2 inch doll, I visited and revisited her Facebook photo wall. While there, I studied two mini polymer clay sleeping babies that I had not seen on Deviantart. Another email inquiry about these babies followed.

My decision was final. Instead of a soft sculptured doll, I will soon be the proud owner of Churcher’s first dark-skinned mini polymer clay baby… one with open eyes... with the tip of her tongue showing between her parted lips, and... she has her very own doll, hand sculpted by Teresa!

Adorable OOAK mini polymer clay baby by Teresa Churcher

View a slideshow of other dark-skinned dolls and additional images of the coming-to-America baby, here.
Teresa can be contacted via email (artdoll.churcher@googlemail.com) or through Facebook where there are more doll images and a link to her Etsy store under the Photos and My Etsy tabs, respectively.


Friday, June 18, 2010

June Bug

Recently, I was on an approximate two-month-long, doll-buying hiatus. I needed to reevaluate my collecting habits and focus on existing dolls. The hiatus ended abruptly with new dolls entering the collection almost at the speed of light. The hiatus did press pause on my doll buying for a minute, but after the play button was pressed, buying resumed at fast-forward speed. Admittedly, I have the collector’s bug.

Speaking of bugs, one of my newly acquired post hiatus dolls is June Bug, named for her porcelain head mold, by Betty Bailey. The June Bug mold is from Bailey’s “Front Porch Collection” of delightful character dolls. My little girl stands 11-1/2 inches, but the mold is also available in a 20-inch size. Bailey’s molds are distributed exclusively by the Lincoln Mold Company.

No, I did not make June Bug.

According to the information gleaned from the eBay seller, June Bug was a commissioned doll made by doll artist, Beth Golding. While she was made using the Bailey June Bug head mold, Golding used a Janice Naibert (JN) 10-1/2-inch Bleuette body, which is wooden with multiple joints. Golding hand painted the body to match the color used for June Bug's deep facial complexion.

June Bug arrived wearing her circus-print, cotton dress and red Mary Jane-style shoes.

I added white tights and gave her a Daisy Kingdom doll to hold. I immediately fell deeper in love with her realistic facial expression and her real little girl’s hairstyle of four asymmetrical braids fashioned from mohair. (I wore my hair like this as a child!) Beth did an exquisite job. Understandably, it was difficult for June Bug’s former owner to part with her, but I am happy she did!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blog/Article Contribution

The Chief Software Architect and Strategist of BlackDollShows.com asked me to contribute a blog/article on Black dolls. I chose the subject, "Supporting the Black Doll Community." This, along with part 1 of their series, "Identity and the Black Doll" has been published at their website.

For my article, we elected to use fewer images than the 13 submitted. Below I have included a link to a slideshow of all images related to my article.

Please visit their site and read both articles at your reading convenience.  Feel free to share with family/friends/associates.  Thanks!



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Too Cute Julian and Zahara - So In Style, Found! - Updated 06/18/10

So In Style Julian and Zahara

After attempting to purchase locally for several weeks, Julian and Zahara were ordered from Target.com.  They arrived last week.  As of this writing, Zahara is still available there.  Unfortunately, Julian is no longer available.  The demand is high for this little tyke.  If you are unable to find Julian locally, order from Target.com after they replenish their stock.  If you are an Ebates.com registered user, link to Target.com through Ebates for the 3% cash back you will receive after placing your order.  If you are not an Ebates.com member, join to earn cash back on online purchases from several major online merchants. 

Good luck!


After Ms. Leo asked about size comparison between the SIS little sisters and Todd and Stacie, and my discovery that the little sisters are a full 1-1/2 inch* taller than Kelly-size dolls, I took the above picture.  Chandra and Zahara's box was slit on the side when I purchased it at a discount several months ago.  This allowed me to place Kelly in the box and align Kelly's feet with Zahara's for the comparison.  BTW, as I commented to Ms. Leo, Zahara has a very slim body compared to Kelly, and Todd and Stacie are 8 inches tall (much taller than the SIS little sisters).  *Yet another discovery:  Kelly (or whatever this loose doll's name is) is 4-1/2 inches tall (not the 4 inches she measured out due to her jointed knees being bent!).  I just realized that her knees are jointed when I removed her from C & Z's box!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Eyes Have It

It, is the tendency for doll eyes to transform from their original brown color to violet/purple! (So not cute.) This happened to several of my artist dolls from the 1990s. The victims include three Original Lee Middleton dolls (actually sculpted by the late Lee Middleton) and two Hildegard Gunzel dolls.

To correct this flaw, I used an ultra fine point, brown Sharpie permanent maker to color over the outer surface of the eyes. Voila! Their original brown eyes are now brown again!

Lee Middleton Angel Kisses (Dark) Girl, 1992, with brown eyes that turned violet; her twin brother's eye color changed, too.

Lee Middleton Angel Kisses (Dark) Girl, 1992, after brown Sharpie treatment to eyes

Hildegard Gunzel's Ebony, 1991 (brown eyes turned violet)

Gunzel's Pablo, 1991, brown eyes turned violet

Ebony and Pablo after Sharpie treatment

Interestingly, the third doll in the 1991 Gunzel series, Blanca (shown above) has maintained her original brown eye color. It is possible that a different eye brand was used for Blanca.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Saralee Brings Joy to Non-Collector

saralee doll 030
Originally uploaded by bestfriendthemom
Another flickr photo find. The caption says it all:

"I just found some interesting and exciting information about this doll I have had for many years. It was a gift from my son Abe when he was ten years old; he found it while working and cleaning rental properties for a job. Someone offered me 250.oo back then for it, but I think she's beautiful, and she's a gift from my son, so no way would I sell her, EVER! I just found her info on the internet when I looked up her markings. she is an origiinal famous doll, Saralee, commissioned by Eleanor Rooseveltt and Zora Neale Hurston, among other famous activists, to make a realistic ( the first one) representation of a black child in 1951! I'm reading all up on this and it is pretty interesting and exciting and I still would never sell her! And I don't collect dolls, but she is special!
this doll was the first real depiction, not picaninny, of an african american child. the woman who designed her took meassurements of real african american childrens heads and features and translated them to the doll. I never knew I had a historical monumental doll! I don't have her original clothes... looks like she has some other doll dress from that era on."

Bestfriendthemom's excitement is exuded in the above caption.  Congrats to her and kudos to her son for discovering this beautiful doll.