I finally managed to make it back into my studio and get some work done. For those of you uninitiated, I've been sick for over a month now. Finally, however, thanks to my super-nutritious foods and guidance from a book I recently purchased, I am recovering, albeit slowly.
When we started the low-carb diet I decided to re-read my Atkins book, which I haven't read for years. I forgot Dr. Atkins cautioned against the use of antihistamines and cold medicines, among other drugs, as substances which prevent weight loss. That makes some sense, since I find it very hard to lose weight and I usually have to take a daily antihistamine. I had allergy shots for five years though, and still find it difficult to get completely off the meds, so how to survive without allergy medicine? I ordered Dr. Atkins' Vita-Nutrient Solution from eBay to see what he recommends and also got a great deal of advice on treating my recent illness with nutrition and supplements. Besides this book, I recommend Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and her other books for wonderful advice on avoiding drugs and their side-effects while maintaining health naturally. Although I'm out of shape from lying around sick for so long I'm otherwise much better, something even a course of antibiotics didn't accomplish. In short summary, if you are fighting an illness, increase your intake of vitamins A, C, and D through food and supplements. I've been cooking and eating lots of ginger, coconut oil, homemade poultry bone broth, kelp, kale, seaweed, clementines (including the skin and seeds in smoothies), Brazil nuts, plain yogurt, and cod liver oil. I saw results within about two days of receiving my book and beginning this regimen.
|Mary Anne as Anne Shirley|
I purchased the Mary-Anne face Madame Alexander "Lucinda" doll a while back for her outfit, which my Polly Pigtails doll is currently wearing. Mary Anne is an adorable face mold. She debuted in 1966, a curious time for Madame dolls. Though the faces are beautifully molded and painted and the clothes still exquisite, these 1960s dolls have bodies made of cheap, light hard plastic with the seams not even sanded down. I'm not sure what was going on at Madame Alexander back then. Unfortunately, this resulted in the dolls being worth much less than their clothing today.
For my purposes, however, these 60s and 70s dolls work well. They allow me to re-dress or re-style them into literary characters and then sell them cheaply enough for children to play with. They are still higher-quality than most dolls and toys marketed today and these are much more affordable than the dolls from the 1950s and earlier, so parents and grandparents can share a favorite character without worrying as much about the cost.
Lucinda's red hair made her a perfect Anne Shirley. I styled it in braids and dressed her in a vintage dress from my stash. The dress is exquisite, surprising as I think it's Mommy-made. It is sewn with a double-layer skirt and rows upon rows of tiny tucks, even in the sleeves. Tiny buttons provide the closures, and a rose-trimmed self-sash defines the waist. I gave Anne a pair of Elise satin panties from the same era, rather darkened from age, vintage Madame socks from another doll, vintage boots, and a new-old-stock hat. I chose the hat because it reminded me of the part of the book when Anne trims her sailor hat with wildflowers on the way to Sunday school. Anne's bangs want to stick up, so the hat helps keep them in place.
|"Pinkie" as Wendy|
When I finished Anne I moved on to another great childhood favorite, Peter Pan. The doll I used for Wendy is "Pinkie" from the Portrait Children series of the 1970s. I've seen this doll's face mold listed as "Louisa" as well as "Nancy Drew", so I'm not sure of the name. This is the 12-inch size doll which followed the discontinuation of "Lissy".
|The doll before repair.|
She's a very pretty doll, with big round gray eyes and very lovely dark hair. I thought her original dress looked like a nightgown, so I kept her in it, minus any other undergarments or shoes, since Wendy left from her nursery bed.
|Another recent project: I re-designed my tag.|
|Wendy's Tinkerbell doll|
She is tight enough to hold a pose, but still loose enough to prevent cracks. You do have to balance her to stand alone.
|Meg and the book.|
Today I finished Meg from Little Women. Little Women is the reason I think condensed books are wonderful for children. When I was around 7 or 8 years old I received the wonderful gift of a set of condensed classics for children from my step-grandparents. My mother was disgusted at the time that they gave me adapted books, but looking back, the stories were Little Women, Moby Dick, David Copperfield, and so on, so it's certainly doubtful I'd have gotten much out of them trying to read the originals!
|The doll before repair|
|Her rubber band rotted into her hair.|
|Meg can sit and bend her knees.|
Given my history with the adapted Little Women, I snatched this copy up as soon as I saw it. I've had it for a while, so I was very happy when Meg came along in a doll lot recently. I know everyone always says they liked Jo best, but Meg was always my favorite.
Meg is an Alexander-kins with jointed knees. I believe this set with the gingham dresses first debuted in the late 1950s, but the lavender-dressed Meg is from around 1960. Meg was dirty and unstrung, but otherwise in excellent condition. I re-strung her and cleaned her. Her hair was still in its original set, though the rubber band was rotten and stuck in her curls. I removed it and gave her a fabric softener treatment to clean and condition her hair and then replaced the old rubber band with a clear silicone band.
Meg's outfit has some faint spots and she lost the pantaloons and shoes she came wearing. Instead, she's been given orange-checked panties, rayon socks, and black side-button shoes which look like they originally belonged to a Ginny or similar doll. None of this shows much, though so I left her in her outfit.
Now Meg is sturdy enough for play and adorable for display. I hope she, and all my literary ladies, become play dolls again. Since they are lower-priced than most Madame Alexander dolls, I would love to see a girl allowed to act out a favorite new book with each doll.
|A Vogue Ginny outfit from the 1950s.|
Besides the doll and book sets, I was able to finish restoring a couple Ginny-type outfits I've had for a while. The black and pink outfit is tagged Vogue, so it was made for Ginny. It just needed very minor repairs, like new elastic in the bloomers and a new sleeve ribbon.
|A pinafore, possibly by Madame Alexander.|
I do hope you've enjoyed this very literary post and discovered new books for everyone in the family!