Good heavens! Only 13 days into the new year and already I’m behind!!! With the third Thursday of the month fast approaching on the 18th, I’ve made an executive decision to dispense with my normal “Third Thursday” release of new dolls and/or clothing in January. The glorious thing about being the CEO, and the entire workforce, of my own little domain is that all arguments for or against policy changes are strictly in my own head… so much quieter that way. 🙂
Actually I am incredibly blessed! I just finished writing another article for Antique Doll Collector magazine on New Year’s Day. At the moment I am currently working on the wardrobes for two dolls that are very anxious to begin their travels to their new homes, plus I have a stack of orders for paper cuttings, patterns, doll kits with custom painted heads, spun cotton ornaments, and more… ❤ What artisan wouldn’t be thrilled to have people buying their wares? ❤
So no “Third Thursday” this month… but who knows… perhaps there will be a special “Pop-Up” Valentine event… ❤
Every weekend during the spring, summer and fall I search flea markets and antique sales for the antique fabrics that I use to make and dress my dolls. Today was a good day! I found a Civil War era quilt that is too far gone to restore, but still has usable fabric that I can make into wonderful dresses for my Izannahs. ❤
Last week I got to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for over 20 years! We drove up to New Hampshire for Antiques Week and a visit to Strawbery Banke museum. I’m sure you aren’t surprised that I came back a few things for the dolls, including two new friends. 🙂
Lovely library steps from NH! Now I’ll be able to reach the bedroom and attic of the doll’s house in style!
Home from NH with antique library stairs ❤
A tiny tin candle holder and silk flags from NH, along with an ironstone plate, tin spoons, a cast iron iron, and a tiny old basket from our stop in Sturbridge, MA.
A girl can never have too many spoons in her kitchen! And who could do without an ironstone plate and a gathering basket for trips out to the gardens?
Silk flags to bedeck the doll’s house for Flag Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day! Plus an iron to keep all the linens well pressed and a tin candle holder to keep the dark at bay.
Two antique braided rugs found in Sturbridge will help keep the dolls feet warm when they are running around their house this winter.
Antique petticoats, pantalettes, and stockings for the dolls.
Assorted antique thread, lace, trim, ribbons and fabric from our stop in Sturbridge at one of my favorite antique shops.
BIGGEST spools of thread in the world 🙂 OK, probably not, but still huge. The smaller spool is normal size.
Just a bit of whimsy for my new studio. A piece of zinc ridge pole from one of the NH antique shows. Just imagine having the entire crest of your rook bedecked in these hearts ❤
Another view of the antique zinc ridge pole.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Close-up of the 1840’s papier-mache doll I bought in NH.
She has the most wonderfully detailed hairstyle.
A beautiful profile and iconic 1840’s styling.
I love this black stockinette doll, often referred to as a “Beecher-type” doll because people think it has a resemblance to the dolls made by Julia Beecher.
This doll is in amazing condition.
All of my dolls are over joyed that they have new family members! ❤
Meet Sharon’s doll! She is an 18-1/2 inch reproduction of my antique Izannah Walker doll, Isabeau, with a gently aged paint surface. Sharon requested an extensive custom wardrobe for her doll.
For her doll’s first dress, Sharon chose a long sleeved, high neck dress that is a copy of one of the antique doll dresses in my personal collection. Sharon’s fabric choice is a antique off white and black print cotton.
For chores and gardening she has an embroidered pinafore apron with a pocket, to carry around her clothes pins and flower seeds. ❤
For hot summer days, Sharon selected a short sleeved white dress made of antique cotton fabric, trimmed with tucks and lace insertion and a black and white sunbonnet.
Sharon’s doll has bare feet, stockings fashioned from antique stockings, and hand-made red leather shoes, with tiny scallops and red silk laces.
When autumn winds bring crisp, cool nights this young miss will stay warm, wrapped up in an embroidered wool paletot.
At the end of a long busy day sweet dreams await in this reproduction of an antique doll’s nightgown, sewn from antique white cotton and trimmed with mid- 19th century glass buttons and lace.
*** you may enlarge any of the smaller photos by simply clicking on the image.
You may remember Hannah, who when we left her last, was starting out on her journey to this year’s Early American Life Directory photo shoot.
I’m happy to say that Hannah has safely returned from her adventures. She has had a glorious time during the past week or so, sorting through all of the fabrics and trims that I brought home from Brimfield. She finally settled on this early grey, tan and muted red, sheer paisley cotton print for her second dress, with extravagant antique silk velvet shoulder bows.
Now that her wardrobe is complete, Hannah will be leaving once again. This time to her new home, where she will join her sister Isane. ❤
If you scroll down you will be able to see the fabric for Hannah’s dress when it was still gracing the back of an extremely worn crazy quilt, and the big pile of antique ribbons that Hannah sorted through to find the perfect ones for her new dress. Just look for the post about my Brimfield treasure hunt.
On Wednesday my husband and I made our annual trek to Brimfield, MA. Three times a year Brimfield is filled to capacity with dealers selling antiques, vintage items and collectibles of all kinds. We usually only go in May, although we have occasionally gone in July, when the weather is blisteringly hot. We’ve never managed to go up in September, since fall is a busy time for us…
Brimfield is usually one of my major buying trips for antique fabrics and trims. This year I found slightly less fabric, but bought more antique silk velvet ribbon than I’ve come across in a long time.
Another item I came away with in abundance was petticoats. Women’s petticoats, baby petticoats and doll petticoats!!!
I even found a doll size mohair coat ❤
The dolls were quite excited when I carried in several new pieces of furniture for their house. I was lucky enough to find a tiny 1850’s jelly cupboard, a stretcher base table with a wonderful Christmas inscription on the underneath side, and an amazing little rope bed.
This is the tiny antique fabric swatch book that I put together for the UFDC convention. I thought everyone might enjoy looking through it. Especially those of you who have ordered custom dolls and are in the process of picking out your dress fabrics 🙂 I have many more one of a kind fabrics that aren’t in the book, so don’t worry if none of these are the perfect fabric for your doll.
With winter weather and the promise of snow in the air, I’ve been dreaming of tiny woolen and flannel petticoats. Today I stoked the wood stove in my studio and aired an armful of antique baby woolens and flannels in front of the fire.
Tomorrow , when the snow is swirling past my windows and piling in soft mounds outside my door, I’ll cut, stitch and gather to my heart’s content, making miniature winter wardrobes…