Monday, January 30, 2017

A Quick Outfit Swap and Pleasant Surprise

Twist 'N Shout Darla Daley in Rebecca jumpsuit made by Shasha of atelierni Shasha

Since 2013, Twist 'N Shout Darla Daley by Integrity Toys has been wearing the Rebecca one-shouldered jumpsuit made by Shasha. I won the fashion during Shasha's Welcome 2013 Contest. It's perfect for Darla, including the handmade bracelet, earrings, and belt.  However, recently I decided to see if Tamica would look as good wearing it.

Tamica in Tamica dress
Because Tamica was wearing the Tamica dress Shasha made (shown above), I decided to just do a fashion swap between the two dolls. I was pleasantly surprised.

Tamica now wears her bronze leaf-shaped earrings and beaded bracelet along with bronze sandals, matching purse, and a copper arm bracelet with the Rebecca jumpsuit, which I knew would look nice on her, but...

...I didn't realize how great Darla would look in the Tamica dress.  Her body already exhibits a lot of "movement,"  which the dress accentuates.  Darla still wears the earrings that came with the Rebecca jumpsuit, and the belt is now worn as a two-strand necklace with beaded pendant.

Darla finished her new look with a faux-straw hat that Goddess Emerald wore first, which looks rather nice with her new ensemble.

The ladies pose together for one final photo.
I have always considered doll redressing as the next best thing to getting a new doll without the added expense.  Darla's redress really did give me the new doll sensation, but this is probably because she had been wearing the jumpsuit for over three years!  Because Tamica has become my redressing muse, I know she won't wear the jumpsuit as long.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Doll Picture Puzzle to Solve

One of the photos used in the post:  More on My Brown Doll and Friends

I stumbled upon the Jigidi site where the goal is "to offer the best online puzzle experience.  [The site strives] to combine the fun parts of actually laying a physical puzzle with the obvious benefits of a digital solution."

Using the above photo from one of my blog posts, Jigidi has created a digital puzzle.  If you enjoy solving puzzles, see if you can solve this one by navigating here and clicking/tapping the "solve puzzle" button, or by clicking/tapping the photo at their site.  Have fun!

NOTE:  Jigidi's title for this puzzle incorrectly dates the dolls from the 1950s and 1960s.  The dolls are actually from the 1930s through 2000s.

In case you missed the link:  Doll Photo Digital Puzzle

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

R&B Music Calendar Girl Jenny and Others

Recently acquired R&B Music Calendar Girl Jenny represents the month of October.

Made by Takara, Jenny dolls were initially created as Japan's version of Barbie to better appeal to the Japanese market. The dolls have a shorter height, ranging from 9- to 10-1/2 inches and were initially named Takara-Barbie.  After Takara ended their licensing agreement with Mattel in 1986, the dolls were renamed Jenny [].  Like Barbie, Jenny has had several different themes and has kept up with the latest fashion trends.

Representing R&B music, the tan-complexioned, 10-1/2-inch all-vinyl October Music Calendar Girl Jenny wears a silver lamé blouse with ruffled bodice and silver-bead buttons.  Her pants are a shimmery royal blue.  Black knee-high boots remain in a plastic bag attached to the box liner.  

Jenny's natural textured black hair is styled in an Afro with silver fabric headband.  She wears silver stud earrings.  One eye winks while the other is open. A red faux CD player with gray earphones is her only accessory. 

Seven of the 12 Music Calendar Girl Jenny dolls are illustrated on the back of R&B Jenny's box.  All 12 dolls can be seen here.

Released from April 2000 through March 2001, there are 12 Music Calendar Girl Jennys.  The other themes are Country, Hip Hop, Reggae (July), World Music, Classic, Argentine-tango, Religious, Jazz, Punk Rock, Folk, and Latin.  See larger images of all Music dolls here.  

Not a serial collector (one who must own all items in a series), I have no plans to collect all 12 dolls, but I would like to eventually add the Reggae Music Calendar Girl Jenny to my collection.  

According to barbiegirl dot com:
The Calendar Girls series began in 1996 with the Sweet Seventeen LifeCalendar girls and ran from April to March. This time frame was confusing to North American collectors. Then with the Birthday Cocktails series the timeframe changed from May to April. In 2001 there was no series and there was a shift of time again and the 2002 series started up in January and went to December. In 2004 there was some sort of controversy over the December doll and it was never produced. In 2005, no Calendar Girl series was announced…
 Each year a Premium Doll was available and if you collected all 12 dolls, you could purchase this special edition doll that was only available with the 12 coupons that were packaged with the monthly dolls.  []
Other Takara Jenny Dolls
Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny (2000), PhotoGenic Jenny (2000), and Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny (2001)

Other Jenny dolls with tan complexions from different series that I have owned for several years are shown above and below with a brief description.

Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny
9-1/2-inch Neo Licca Black Licca Jenny by Takara Toys was made in the year 2000.  Other dolls in this series were Gal Licca (a brunette) and Retro Girl (a blonde) as shown on the back of the box:
Black Licca is illustrated on the back of the box along with Gal Licca and Retro Girl

PhotoGenic Jenny
10-inch PhotoGenic Jenny with posable vinyl limbs by Takara Toys is also from the year 2000. While photographing this doll for this post, I noticed she has developed some white splotches on her vinyl, which, unfortunately, might be due to a breakdown in the materials.  She remains inside her sealed blister card.  The back of the box shows a blonde version in different poses.  

PhotoGenic Jenny has soft rubber legs and arms which are bendable, as the back of the box illustrates.

Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny
9-1/2-inch Neo Licca Georgeous Gold Jenny by Takara Toys was released in 2001. Other dolls in this series, as illustrated on the back of the box below, include Gal Punk (a redhead), and a Rockin [sic] Girl (a brunette with long straight hair).

In what appears to be a Japanese-to-English translation, Neo Licca Gorgeous Gold Jenny is described in the lower left corner of the back of the box as follows:  "She is different from usual Licca.  She grown up a little bit and leads the fashion."

Internet-captured photo of Jenny's first African American boyfriend, Tom.

In addition to the above dolls, my first Jenny-line doll was actually Jenny's new boyfriend for 1992, Tom. This locs-wearing guy was the first African American male added to the line, and it is for this reason I desired him. Unfortunately, I never was able to bond with Tom.  This was due mostly to his too tall and too lean stature, his over-sized clothing that swallowed him, and the fact that very few playscale dolls interested me at that time.  Perhaps had I kept him long enough for one of the females to arrive, he would have been allowed to stay.  As it was at that time, early '90s, he just was not a very good fit for my collection.

View head shots and read about more Jenny and Friends here.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black New Post

A new post about dolls with a girl empowerment mission has been published on my sister blog.  Read it here.  Thanks!

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Second Doll for 2017, A Cutie Patootie From Holland

I first saw this doll's adorable face while either browsing eBay or checking the status of my listings.  After reading the item description and noting her Hong Kong manufacture, I wrote the seller to inquire about the quality of her vinyl:

Is the vinyl of her head or body thin? Does she appear cheaply made or is she a sturdy, well-made doll? Made in Hong Kong worries me.
The seller replied:

I would say cheaply made...
But she looks very nice...
Many greetings from Holland!
Offered in a buy it now or make offer, I offered $3 less than the already low, buy it now price, which the seller accepted.

My initial plan was to rebody her, based on the seller's description "cheaply made," and the impression that her body was very thin plastic.

She arrived more promptly than eBay estimated her international trip would require.  Her overall appearance and quality exceeded my expectations, so much so that I have no plans to give her a new body.  She does have exposed seams on the sides of her rigid plastic legs, but because of the weight of the legs and shape, which remind me of Ideal's Tammy, this does not bother me.  There are seams on the sides of her rubber arms, too.  Again, because they are not made of thin plastic, I am not bothered.

Her too cute face is as cute as she appeared in her eBay photos.  I love her little pug nose and full lips that form a sly grin.  She has side-glancing eyes with thick black eyeliner on top and green eye shadow.    Why they used red to color her eyebrows and to outline the area above the eye shadow remains a mystery, but I do like her.  She has rooted hair with a side part and flipped ends.  I added a small hairpin to keep the hair from covering her left eye.

She has shapely legs.

The Netherlands-located seller described her outfit as being homemade, but it fits her to T.  To complete her '60s to '70s look, I added white sandals that were previously made for another doll.

Simply marked "Made in Hong Kong" on the back of her head and on her upper back, her manufacturer is unknown.  Because of her facial features and hairstyle that remind me of a picture of a youthful Oprah Winfrey, I initially planned to name her Oprah.  However, as a preteen,  I wore my hair with flipped ends, and because I have the same pug nose, I might name her Debbie.  Deliberation continues regarding this decision.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Doll to Arrive in 2017

19-inch doll with papier-mache head, cloth body, animal-hair wig

This interesting circa 1950s doll, presumed to have been made by the person whose handwritten signature is on the bottom of both shoes, was the first doll to arrive in 2017.  She stands 19-inches tall and has a papier-mache head; cloth arms, body, and legs.

Her distinct facial features include hand painted eyes, broad nose, full lips, and open nostrils.  The seller described her wig as being made of horse hair with visible hide.

She is dressed in heavyweight cotton floral-print dress with fabric-belted waist.  The dress appears to have been hand made just for her.

She wears white hand-knit undies and white nylon socks that I hand washed.  

The all-leather, hand-stitched brown shoes have a pearlized button closure on the front of the ankle straps. The bottom of the shoes are each signed "Hanna Fuhrer, Zürich."  Reminiscent initially to me of a Sasha Morgenthaler Studio Doll, but with broader facial features, I was intrigued upon first seeing the doll online and desired her presence in my collection.  Morgenthaler was also an artist from Switzerland.

Wendy Frank Native Australian doll (left) compared to the Fuhrer doll (right)

After her arrival and studying her facial features and overall construct, I came to the conclusion that this doll reminds me more of a Wendy Frank doll than a Morgenthaler Studio Doll.  My doll, however, was made long before Frank began making dolls.  Perhaps Frank was inspired by this artist and decided to fashion her dolls after a Fuhrer doll.  Frank's dolls have mask faces with several layers of paint applied, which gives the appearance of papier-mache. The hands of both artists' dolls are similarly stitched.   Frank's dolls have stitched toes, whereas the Fuhrer doll's feet are toeless (see next image).  As illustrated in the comparison photo, the facial similarities are too close for there not to have been a Fuhrer influence upon Frank's work, but perhaps the similarity is coincidental.

Fuhrer's doll's toeless feet and stitched hands are shown here  (There's a name for this type doll foot, but it escapes me.)

The doll's hair is very straight and thin.  Due to the thinness, my husband does not think it is horse hair ("unless it's from a Shetland pony," he said). 

Exposed animal hide has a folded area in the center of the head

Because I found the exposed animal hide a bit unnerving, shortly after her arrival, I made Hanna (I have named her after the artist) a knit hat using an infant-size sock.  Photos of the cap-making process follow:

The cuff of the sock was unfolded and cut just below the ridged area (as shown on right).   The cut area was bunched together and sewn to close the top.

After stitching the top of the sock closed and placing it on Hanna's head, the bottom was cuffed.  Now a cap, it needed some form of embellishment.
The Mod Podge-coated flower cutout is pinned, suspended, to a sponge makeup wedge as the Mod Podge dries.

I drew a flower onto card stock, cut it out, decoupaged it using Mod Podge, and glued the flower to a piece of brown felt.  The edges of the felt were trimmed to create a border for the flower.  Finally, the flower with attached felt was glued to the left side of the cap.

Drawn and decoupaged flower, glued to a piece of felt, which was later trimmed

With Hanna still wearing the cap, I glued the flower appliqué directly to the side of the cuff.  While the glue dried, several pieces of paper placed between the cuff of the cap and more placed underneath the cuff prevented the glue from seeping through to unwanted areas.

I think I love her.  No, I know I do.  She has a very solemn face and appears to be in deep thought.  I would like information about the artist and the exact time frame the doll was made (she could be from the '60s or as late as the 1970s).  Unfortunately, googling the name, "Hanna Furher" was unfruitful.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Christmas Dolls 2016 Part 3 - Finale

Lori Dolls Cyarra and her Wonderfully warm! outfit

For Christmas, from my sister from another mother, Betty A., I received a package filled to the brim with precious little things.  Cyarra and her cute extra outfit were among these items from Betty.

Cyarra stands 6 inches tall and has vinyl head, full vinyl arms and legs, and a cloth body.  She has brown stationary eyes and rooted dark brown hair styled up in a bun.  Ready to perform one of her favorite lyrical dance routines, Cyarra wears a dark pink one-shouldered leotard, gray short-sleeve top, gray tights, lavender tutu, and pink vinyl slippers.   Cyarra describes her favorite things below:

Cyarra is pictured on the back of her box with other dolls from the ballet collection shown in the background. The back of Cyarra's extra outfit illustrates another Lori doll dressed in the too-cute Wonderfully warm! fashion. 
Thank you, again, Betty for this precious little doll and her well-made and well-presented extra fashion.


I recently visited the Lori Doll website and discovered Illyssa and her pet Indyana.  I rarely shop in Target's physical stores, but plan to make a special trip soon to see if Illyssa and Indyana are there.  Cyarra needs a friend.

Lori Dolls is a division of Maison Joseph Battat, LTD.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Dolls 2016 Part 2

For a limited period during early November 2016, American Girl discounted Melody's Holiday Collection, which included the doll and book, Christmas outfit, fancy coat, and her dog, Bo.  I told my children I was going to order the bundle as my Christmas present from them.  Sure it was early November, but buying it then and having them reimburse me for the cost would save "them" money.  I was only thinking about them. :-)

So I placed the order and, other than peeking inside Melody's box to look at her bangs (since another collector asked if my doll's bangs were straight -- and they were), I closed her box, placed it back in the shipper, and stored the doll and other items in a closet with plans to open everything on Christmas morning.  I even had a fleeting thought of wrapping each boxed item in order to have something to open on Christmas from the children (other than two money-containing cards from each).  Wrapping these items was only a thought. Prior to sitting down to write this post, Melody and her things remained out of sight and out of mind. This past weekend, I finally photographed her and the additional items I purchased that went on sale a few weeks later.

Photos of the things the children purchased follow:

Melody's individually boxed Holiday Collection 

Before releasing Melody, I opened her outfits and dog:
Melody's Fancy Coat is made of gold brocade and has faux-fur trimmed sleeves and collar with matching faux-fur hat.  White satin gloves were included.

Golden brocade dress with gold ribbon embellishments at bodice and waist, ivory tights, black patent-leather shoes, and a gold headband make up Melody's Christmas outfit.

Melody's dog's name is Bojangles or "Bo" for short.

Bo's blue collar matches Melody's dress.  It unfolds to become a leash.
Melody and her book, No Ordinary Sound

She's perfect, from head to toe.
I love the feel and texture of Melody's thick black hair with the perfectly flipped ends.
The slightly reduced-in-price additional items I purchased were Melody's hairstyling set (which includes wig, bow, and corsage) and her play outfit, shown next:

Melody's hairstyling set remains unopened.  The play outfit includes shorts set, two ribbon ponytail holders, and white canvas shoes. 

Melody's book, entitled, No Ordinary Sound, contains 222 pages. The synopsis reads:
Melody can't wait to sing her first solo at church! What song will she choose?  She gets advice from her big brother, who has his sights set on becoming a Motown star, and she gets inspiration from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Melody's also inspired by her older sister, who's home from college with new ideas about making things fair.  What isn't fair is their cousins' struggle to buy a house.  Melody learns that they're not welcome in certain neighborhoods because they're black.  Just as Melody's ready to sing, an unimaginable tragedy leaves her silent.  Can she find her voice when it really matters?
No Ordinary Sound, the first volume of Melody's stories about growing up in the 1960s, shows how people can come together to create social change. 
Growing up during the civil rights-era and witnessing the struggle to obtain a semblance of it here in the US is the reason Melody Ellison is part of my collection.  She is part of my history.  I appreciate the measures American Girl utilized to ensure historical accuracy in the stories and every detail of the doll and accessories.

One of the back pages of No Ordinary Sound extends thanks to those who were part of the advisory board that authenticated Melody's stories.  Check out the name at the top of the list.

Follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black
Check out my eBay listings here.