Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Black Patsyette Lookalike

Circa 1930s Effanbee Patsyette lookalike

Released by Effanbee in 1931, Patsyette is a composition doll that was available in 9- and 9-1/2-inch sizes. Black versions were released that year as well, probably in fewer numbers than their white counterparts, which attributes to their elusiveness in today's market.  White versions remain plentiful at costs that vary, based on condition, but are usually affordable.  When found, the cost of black versions is usually multiple times more, no matter the condition. 

Composition Patsyette competitors entered the market during the 1930s, too.  These were made by various doll makers.  Minus the absence of the Effanbee mark on the dolls' backs, lookalikes can be practically identical to original Patsyette.

Patsyette lookalike arrived with fleece jacket, knit sweater, and fleece tam.

After purchasing in a buy-it-now auction for less than $15, with a goal to create a black version, the above 9-1/2-inch Patsyette lookalike arrived as shown in the first two photos.

Having never completely painted a white composition doll brown, I was up for the task, but it took several weeks to do.  Time and unforeseen occurrences caused the delay.

Hat, jacket, and sweater post-soaking and hand washing in laundry detergent and  OxiClean

Immediately after arrival, however, I did hand wash accompanying clothing articles shown above.   I do not believe the sweater belongs to this particular doll, but I washed and mended a tear in it anyway.

Once painting commenced, I applied a few coats in a few areas at a time, often daily and/or several times a day, with the end result proving to be well worth the time it took.

Portions of the lookalike's complexion deepening process were captured in the following photos:

During painting, I used paint brushes to hold her joints apart and while the paint in these areas dried.  Ideally, I wanted to use craft tongue depressors, but I couldn't locate the ones I know I have here, somewhere.  The paint brushes and sometimes pencils were good joint separators.
I used "Real Brown" Apple Barrel gloss acrylic paint for the body, which eliminated having to seal with a matte varnish.

Lying flat to dry

Voila!  She's done!

I worried about being able to repaint the eyes and eyebrows, so these areas were painted last and I'm actually pleased with the result.  I used "Toffee Brown" acrylic paint with black for the pupils and eyebrows, which were essentially drawn on with the tip of a paint-dipped toothpick.  Black acrylic paint was also used for the hair.

My Patsyette lookalike (LAL) took two profile photos before getting dressed.

In order for her to try on and be photographed in the fleece tam and jacket, I made a temporary dress using a child-size glove (the fingers were cut away and the resultant hemline made as even as possible afterward).

The next step was to find something more suitable for her to wear.

Trunk and two fashions for Effanbee's vinyl Patsyette circa 2005

Throughout the late 1990s through mid-2000s, Effanbee reproduced in vinyl a few versions of the 1930s Patsyette.  Along with the two vinyl dolls shown at the previous link, I purchased the above trunk and two fashions made for Patsyette.  Before the composition doll's arrival, neither fashion had ever been worn.

Patsyette in "Strawberry Sweetheart" outfit
The "Strawberry Sweetheart" fashion includes a pink dress with cap sleeves and lace trim at hem, white undies, white socks (which Patsyette LAL cannot wear) and pink Mary Jane-style shoes.  I had my mind all set for her to wear the navy blue felt "Chill Chaser Outfit."

Unfortunately, Patsyette LAL can only wear the hat, knit socks, and red shoes from "Chill Chaser."  I was, however, pleasantly surprised that this outfit includes a jumper.  Before opening, for all these years, I thought it only included the jacket, hat, and shoes.  Who knew?

Because closed toe shoes worn without socks is one of my doll pet peeves, I made a pair of ankle socks using cut-to-size tube socks.  I purchased yards of this sock tubing years ago and have made several pairs of socks for smaller dolls.

Wearing "Strawberry Sweetheart" now with her anklet socks and a sheer ribbon headband, in this photo,  Patsyette LAL is joined by Effanbee's 11-inch Patsy Jr., circa early 1930s.

The clothing pieces that arrived with her as well as the Chill Chaser outfit and shoes have been stored in Patsyette LAL's trunk where for the time being, she is also stored.  It feels great to have completed this task at a fraction of the cost of an authentic black Patsyette and simultaneously cross that doll off my want list.

Since I don't know if I want to call her Patsyette (because she is not the Effanbee doll) and Patsyette LAL is awkward, I need to determine an appropriate name for her.  My first thought was Patty, but I'm not really "feeling" that name.  Patiqua (pronounced, Pa-teek-wa) was my next thought, which is a name I probably won't forget.   Name suggestions are welcome.

Check out my eBay listings here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

American Girl Melody Videos

American Girl Melody Ellison

I enjoyed viewing the following Melody Ellison videos and thought you would too.

The first video addresses the '60s clothing, accessories, and electronics chosen for Melody:

  Melody's Hair:

Melody's Super Cool Sound Studio:

Melody's Launch Event in Detroit, Michigan, August 25, 2016:


This has been an eventful month for me with little focus on doll acquisition.  Melody was supposed to be my first September doll purchase.  To date I have purchased two dolls in September; neither of the two are Melody.  Her purchase has been pushed back to October when I hope things will be far more settled than they have been.

Sometimes you have to press pause and be present in your life or in the life of another who needs you.

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Friday, September 23, 2016

It's Friday!

Enjoy your weekend!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Self-Enabled, I Purchased Blue's Doll

Barbie Style Grace

Mattel's So In Style doll line was discontinued after the release of the 2014 Prom dolls.  Mattel kept the Grace, friend-of-Barbie, character, but dropped the So In Style brand. After seeing one of the three non-SIS Grace dolls used as the doll for Blue, the youngest character on the Oprah Winfrey Network series, Queen Sugar, it was a no-brainer that the collector in me needed the doll.

The name, Grace, is not printed on the doll's box; however, the doll uses the Grace head sculpt and complexion, is described as Grace in the Barbie community and is listed as Barbie Style Grace on Amazon.  On Queen Sugar, Blue calls her Kenya.

Grace's jewelry consists of clear hoop earrings and a faux multistrand silver necklace.

The doll's hair on the show initially appeared blonde to me.  Set lighting possibly attributed to this illusion. Grace's true hair color is reddish brown with highlights.  Her eyelashes are rooted and her eyes are green.

Grace's fashionable outfit includes a pullover gray sweater with attached mock black and white polka dot shirt, purple skirt with sheer blue floral-print overlay, beige strappy high-heel sandals that match her designer-style handbag, and an extra pair of pink flats.

Feet are designed to wear flats or heels.  

Illustrated are her tan-trimmed, beige designer-style hand bag and the skirt's overlay of sheer blue floral-print fabric.

I have not deboxed Grace to test her 100+ poses, as indicated on the back of the box.  For now, I will have to take Mattel's word for this claim.

Grace and the other Barbie Style dolls are shown on the back of the box.


A reader of my previous post about Blue's doll asked:  "but why is he carrying the doll?"  I answered, "Maybe she is a substitute for his mother, or maybe he just likes her."


Episode 4 of Queen Sugar airs tonight at 10 Eastern 9 Central.  Check your local listings.  My DVR is set!

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Friday, September 16, 2016

My Life As Mini School Girl

My Life As School Girl Mini

Prior to checking locally, I found the school girl and other My Life As (MLA) mini dolls available at Walmart online.

In addition to the mini school girl, other MLA minis available include:  Baker, Outdoorsy Girl, and Cowgirl.

To avoid incurring shipping charges or having to spend $50 to qualify for free shipping, I made a trip to Walmart before ordering online.  I am very happy I visited the store when I did because the one I purchased was the only mini school girl there.

Mini School Girl, is the 7-inch, all-vinyl version of the 18-inch MLA School Girl.  The 18-inch version, which used to be manufactured by Madame Alexander, is now produced by Cititoy as a Walmart exclusive.   The brand now includes two school boys:  one with a curly 'fro and a straight-haired brunette.   There have been several different 18-inch MLA school girls.  One was featured in a Walmart Christmas commercial last year.  Their 18-inch size has prohibited the larger dolls from entering my collection, but there's always room for a 7-inch or under mini.

Box attachment looks like pieces of a train track.

Because she was rubber band attached to two train track-looking plastic holders on the back of the box, it was a snap to free her.

She wears a cute school girl outfit of white short-sleeved shirt with black ribbon bow at neck and blue/red/yellow plaid skirt made of a wool-like material and black knee-high boots.

Brief comparisons with American Girl mini Melody and Madame Alexander's Travel Friends Kenya are shared below:

Comparison with Melody:

School Girl stands a half inch taller than Melody.  They both are all vinyl and wear removable white undies.   Melody has white knee-high socks.  School Girl has none.  School Girl has brown stationary eyes with painted upper and lower eyelashes.  Melody's brown eyes are painted.  Both have closely rooted hair.  I like the curly texture of School Girl's hair which is worn up in a puff held back with a black headband.  Melody has straight rooted hair with bangs and flipped ends.

Can they borrow clothing and shoes? was a question I wanted answered:

As illustrated in the above two photos, these two can borrow shoes if School Girl wears Melody's shoes without socks.  I wouldn't try allowing School Girl to borrow Melody's dress because it is a "stretch" to get the Velcro closed in back and pulling and tugging on the material to do so may stretch or weaken some of the woven tweed-like fibers of Melody's dress.  Melody can wear School Girl's clothes, but the waist of the skirt is a little big.  (She can pull it off, however.)

Comparison with Travel Friends Kenya

Like Kenya, School Girl is all vinyl.  School Girl's vinyl is more supple than Kenya's.  School Girl is not jointed, whereas Kenya is.  Kenya has white painted-on undies.  Kenya's brown eyes, like Melody's, are painted.  There is a close-up of their faces below, but first let's look at them together side-by-side, and then back-to-back.

Height comparison:  Both dolls are described as 7-inches tall.  School Girl's hair might give her an appearance of being slightly taller, but it's just an illusion.

They tried each other's shoes on for size.  As you can see in the photo above, School Girl's heel hangs off the back of Kenya's red flats.  Kenya, however, can wear School Girls black boots.

School Girl can wear Kenya's shirt and skirt, but not her leggings or shoes.  Kenya can wear School Girl's complete outfit.  Like it was on Melody, the waist of the skirt is a little big on Kenya.

Before returning to their own clothes, these two took one final close-up photo.  School Girl has a sweet face and I like her acrylic eyes much better than the painted-on or decaled eyes used for Kenya and Melody.  School Girl's short curly hair is a refreshing look, too.  For $9.88, I am quite pleased with her.  Here's hoping extra clothes will be added for the MLA minis soon.

Check out another blogger's review of School Girl and and a comparison with other dolls here.


Speaking of doll clothes, while at Walmart I was hoping to find a few extra Sparkle Girlz 11-1/2-inch doll fashions.  Of the few that were available, I only found two interesting enough to purchase.  The one on the far left is my favorite (a black floral sleeveless blouse and houndstooth pencil skirt).  If I am not mistaken, the fabric used for the pink and black striped tunic was used a couple of years ago on a different Sparkle Girlz fashion that I already have, but for $1.97, I thought a dress alike day with a couple of dolls might work using the newer fashion and the older.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kendall's Zilker Botanical Garden Experience

WellieWishers Kendall at a pond at Zilker Botanical Gardens (Photos courtesy of Cathy Runnels)

The author of Doll Therapy, recently shared photos of a visit she and WellieWishers Kendall took to Zilker Botanical Garden (ZBG) in Austin, Texas.  Located on the south bank of the Colorado River at 2220 Barton Springs Road, near downtown Austin, Texas, the ZBG is a botanical garden of varied topography.  Kendall learned this herself first hand as documented in the doll-lightful photos captured during her visit.  (All photos courtesy of Cathy Runnels.)

More Pond Photos (where Kendall's Wellies came in handy)

The Wellies kept her feet dry!

Kendall enjoyed seeing the brightly colored koi swimming in the pond.

Up a rocky path she went...

...and across a bridge she traveled.

She explored golden bamboo and took a brief rest.

Tree climbing was the best!

"This was so much fun!" Kendall shared.

 At a waterfall, Kendall remained fearless.

No, I'm not gonna jump in, silly.

Kendall also walked a beautiful trail at Zilker Botanical Gardens.

It looks like she had a wonderful Zilker Botanical Garden experience.  Her day was documented in a post over at Doll Therapy, which can be read here.  The post also includes a video of these and other still shots taken that day.

Thank you again Cathy for allowing me to share these great photos.  

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