Friday, August 23, 2013

Ravishing Revlon, At Last!

15 N Revlon doll, restored
Several months ago, like back in February or March I think, I purchased a big lot of dolls and clothes and other stuff. It was your typical estate doll lot: a big jumble of toys and other random household stuff. I purchased the lot because the listing mentioned an "Ideal doll" was in the lot and it looked like it could be a Revlon doll. I was thrilled to discover when the box arrived that the doll was not only a Revlon doll, but a rare 15 inch sized doll with the hard to find green eyes!

I was less than thrilled to see the condition of the doll. Two of her fingers had been chewed off. Someone had cut her hair into a horrible mullet (although she would have been quite fashionable in 1985 or so!). Her body had a variety of stains. She had clearly worn a dark outfit with black stockings for many years; I could see the exact place the sleeves and stockings ended because the dye had transferred. She also had various crayon and marker stains. One of her eyes was stuck open.

Miss Revlon also was missing all her clothes except for a decrepit coat dress clearly not manufactured by Ideal. When you get one of these rare sized dolls, like the 15N Revlon or the Dollikin Squirt, one of the first things you notice is, hard as it is to find the doll, finding clothes to fit her is even more difficult! I'd hoped the clothes in the same box would fit the doll, but of course they didn't! So, it was clear I'd have to work on an outfit for her as well.

I started the restoration with a thorough cleaning and application of acne cream to the doll's stains. While the cream did its work, I tackled the missing fingers. I sculpted new fingers from hard plastic epoxy and painted them with oil paint.

I sculpted new fingers and treated the doll's stains.
After the fingers were addressed I went to work on the hair. Although the hair is still cut, I rooted in human hair in a good match to blend in the cut hair. Now, with a new set and style, you can't really see the cut hair at all. This Revlon does have unique highlights, since human hair has highlights the original Saran hair does not, and I think they look beautiful.

I gave the doll a partial re-root with human hair and fixed her eye.
I thought of replacing the doll's eyes, but I didn't want to lose the unusual green color, and it's hard to find the correct size eyes since this doll is rare. I cleaned the doll's eyes and oiled them and now they are both functioning. The one eye does want to stick, though, and you have to give her a little thump sometimes when you pick her up or put her down, to shake the eye into working.

The repaired fingers

When I looked through my doll clothes I found a Vogue dress originally for the 1964 Miss Ginny doll. I've had for a long time because it didn't fit anyone else and I've never come across a Miss Ginny. I tried it on the child-size 14-16 inch dolls, like Polly Pigtails or My Friend Mandy, but it was too tight in the waist for them. It's a perfect fit for the 15N Revlon.

I was lucky enough to win a lot of 15 inch shoes. Most were singles, but there are a few pairs in the lot. I had some vintage doll earrings in my office, so I replaced the metal posts with 14K gold-plated posts that won't cause green ear. Then I made some stockings and an adjustable "diamond" ring for the doll. Then, when I was all done with the outfit, I ordered a new lot of dolls and clothes and...found a whole wardrobe to fit this doll! I'm working on cleaning and repairing these right now and I will be listing them separately in my store:

It's hard tell the repaired fingers from the original ones! I made this ring.
I really feel like this doll displays as a nearly new doll now. You don't see any of the repairs unless you look specifically for them. It's nice to have her in my case, as well, since my Cissette trunk set sold and I have bids on my Tonner Betsy McCall. I'm both happy and sad to say I can't keep dolls in my store at all right now! I think it's a good sign for the economy, since vintage dolls aren't exactly a necessity in life. They do bring us such good memories, though, so maybe they are more needful than we suppose. My Polly Pigtails' purchaser wrote to me to tell me she bought the doll as a reminder of her mother, named Polly. I love to hear all the stories behind why someone buys one of my dolls. So often it was their beloved toy, or their daughter's or their mother's, and when they see it again they are able to relive those days as a child or young mother. I totally get it!

I gave her lingerie, shoes, and earrings with gold posts.
I'm glad I have a new set of projects to work on, because it's almost time for the kids to head back to school. We had back to back open houses yesterday. This year my baby, who says, "I'm NOT a baby, Mom. I'm a big boy!", will start private preschool three days a week with speech two days, so he'll be gone every day. The last times the baby started school we always had the next baby on the way and were doing adoption paperwork and everything. This is my first time sending one off with no prospect of another and I'm not doing too well. I've been weepy all week. I had to eat a whole tin of trout last night! Nothing assuages grief like salted fish!

This Vogue dress is a perfect fit.
I have a new niece or nephew on the way, but my sister lives too far away to see them very often. I used to watch her children several times a week, so I'm sad to be missing out on this new one too. I'm just trying to tell myself this will give me so much more time for myself. I'll be able to focus so much more on my store and maybe actually make a profit. I might even do well enough to have to file taxes! Jerry says, "You aren't going to bump me into another tax bracket, are you?" Maybe I will! At the very least, I'll be able to swim laps by myself for a month or so without having to worry about someone drowning, and I can sew myself some new clothes, and maybe go shopping alone. I'm sure if I focus on the positive it will all work out.

Now the doll displays as nearly new!

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