Friday, September 8, 2017

2017 WLBDA Club Dolls by Sue Sizemore

A variety of cloth dolls by Sue Sizemore

In April of this year, cloth doll artist, Sue Sizemore, was commissioned by my doll group to create our 2017 club dolls.  Annually, we either buy an identical manufactured doll or commission a doll artist to make dolls for us.  Before asking Sue about the possibility of making our dolls, I created the above collage of past smaller dolls she has made.  The collage was shared with group members to allow them to vote their preference.  The 10-inch doll on the far left was the doll they elected to have our dolls fashioned after.  Sue's dolls are all one of a kind, and it was understood that our dolls would be based on this doll's appearance.  

Sue began working on the dolls and completed the project in August.  She made a total of 17, 10-inch dolls that she dressed in a variety of different cotton print dresses and white pantaloons.  They each have beautiful painted faces that are almost identical; black mohair, hand-applied wigs accented with one white ribbon, and they wear painted-on, high-top, old-fashion boots.  Each club doll has a wooden hang tag that bears Sue’s signature on one side and 2017 WLBDA LE 17 on the opposite side.

As a surprise for the group members, I asked Sue to make each doll its own mini doll because “we love black dolls and our dolls do, too.”  The adorable minis have painted hair with a painted white bow.  They wear painted-on white clothes trimmed in brown.  Their black high-top boots are painted on as well.

2017 WLBDA Club Dolls by Sue Sizemore; Sue found the vintage hat the 3rd doll from the left on the front row wears and thought it was perfect for that doll.  Photograph courtesy of Sue Sizemore.

Prior to placing the dolls in their individual white organza drawstring bags along with her business card before shipping them all to me, I asked Sue to take the above group photo.  Before then I had not seen any of the completed dolls, and because the group photo includes the surprise mini dolls, I was not able to share it with the group members (this post will be the first time they have seen this group picture). 

After the package of dolls arrived to me and before boxing each doll up separately to ship to the 16  different group members (it’s a good thing I save boxes!) I took the following group photos, leaving the dolls inside their drawstring bags.

Ten little dolls and their minis, ready to travel to their new homes

Seven little dolls, six of which would travel to new homes
Before the dolls arrived, I had decided I would pair them up with members whose favorite colors I knew, choosing the dolls' dress colors to do so.  I used the closest color available for dolls that were not dressed in a member's favorite color.  

After receiving their dolls, all members expressed how very pleased they are with them and their surprise minis.  One member, whose sentiment is shared by others, wrote:

Club doll 2017 by Sue Sizemore has just arrived! That was extremely fast Debbie!?! She is absolutely beautiful and what a treat for her to arrive with a little doll of her very own!❤️ I've waited a long time to own one of Sue's creations and she was well worth the wait.😍 Many Thanks to Sue Sizemore... -- MB.

The members who were able to share photos did so.  Some also shared the names they chose for their doll.  Their photos in member's first-name, alpha order follow:

Barbara has elected to keep her doll inside the organza drawstring bag for a while.  Her dolly wears a brown checkered dress.  The handwritten note Barbara received from me explains the mini surprise.  Each member received the same note.

Bonnie, whose favorite color is purple, received the doll with the vintage hat Sue found.  Before I mailed all dolls out, Bonnie posted a photo to our group of  her Madam C. J. Walker doll and reminded us that purple is her favorite color.  That sealed the deal for me... she would get the doll with the hat, I thought.  Bonnie named her doll Iris.

Iris has settled in nicely with other Sue Sizemore dolls Bonnie already owned.

Brenda's doll, Dolly, looks right at home in this lovely photo.

Cathy's doll, Mary Louise, sits on a special shelf with other dolls, most of which were gifted to Cathy by special friends and mentors.  The doll in the green and tan gingham dress is Cathy's 2015 WLBDA Club Doll.

Because she feels her doll is precious, Precious is what Cheryl named her doll.

This doll's sky blue dress color influenced Dawn to name her doll Skye.

Purple is a favorite color of Debbie V., whose doll sits pretty with her mini doll.
Margaret's doll and her mini posed for this photo...

... and Margaret's doll's sweet little mini took this close-up photo.
Here is Maria's adorable little lady and her mini.

Mary shared a photo of her club doll, Ruby, inside her organza bag...

...Ruby and her doll were also photographed outside the bag.
This is Phyllis's doll, Kelly Anne.  Phyllis's favorite color is dark green.

Phyllis shared this close-up photo of Kelly Anne and her mini doll's faces...

Doesn't Kelly Anne look doll-lightful with her teddy bear and rocking horse?
Sharon doll is dressed in her favorite color, purple.
This is Sharon's mini. 

From a host of other dolls, Shawatha's club doll and mini received a warm welcome to their new home.
Vicky's darling little lady is dressed in Vicky's favorite color, yellow.

In one of our final Messenger chats about the dolls before they were shipped, Sue informed me that there was something extra in the box for me.  Oh boy, I thought!

Sure enough, at the very top in the box that contained the club dolls was a doll with a note from Sue and a hang tag that identifies it as the prototype doll.  

Note from Sue, the prototype of the 2017 WLBDA Club Doll, and her mini in matching dress
It was very kind of her to send the prototype to me.  As Sue indicated in her note, the prototype is the only one with a mini doll with painted-on clothes that match the color of the larger doll’s dress.  Beyond blessed is how I felt then and now. 

The prototype poses with my 2017 WLBDA Club Doll by Sue Sizemore.
It was easy for me to determine what I would name my doll.  Because the print of her cranberry dress has tiny white stars, I named her Star.  For now, because of the color of the prototype’s dress, I have named her Goldie.  

Goldie and Star and their mini dolls pose for the final photo of this post.
Sue's doll artistry is impeccable with great attention to detail given to all her dolls.  I have always been blown away by the beauty and realism her dolls possess.  Our club dolls are excellent examples of her ability to transform cloth and paint into three-dimensional works of doll art. 

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  1. I don't know what's best about this: is it the mere thought of all club members getting a doll, how beautiful the dolls are, that they also have mini dolls or that you organized and distributed them according to preference?
    Wow, just wow. No wonder the talented Ms.Sizemore knew you'd love the prototypes.
    Thanks for showing us your club's dolls altogether and then in their new homes. They're so sweet.

    1. It all turned out so well, Maricha. The dolls are beautiful, the ladies are pleased, and so am I. I couldn't have asked for a better end result.


  2. These dolls are beautiful and I love that you shared where they ended up. Wonderful to see! :)

    1. They really are beautiful, jSarie. I am so happy that Sue Sizemore was able to accommodate us.



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