Friday, March 27, 2015

Lucy Locket Lori-Ann

Nancy Ann Storybook's Lucy Locket dress #9528 of 1959

Lucy Locket lost her pocket.
Kitty Fisher found it.
Nothing in it, nothing in it,
But the ribbon 'round it.

So here's a post about the evils of procrastination. A while back I bought an Alexander-Kins doll who arrived wearing a Nancy Ann tagged dress. I ordered the doll for the doll, but when she arrived I thought I probably ought to look up the dress. It's unusual because it fit the 8 inch 'Kins well but is much longer than a typical Muffie dress. I thought maybe it was meant for Nancy Ann but it seemed too short in the waist. So, I cleaned it up and set it aside. With one thing and another it's just been hanging around. Finally today, since I didn't feel like going for a walk in the cold rainy weather, I got out my Nancy Ann book and realized I have a super rare Lori-Ann Storybook doll dress. It's probably worth as much or more than the doll and it's just been lying around in my office for ages!

The outfit was sold on a Lori-Ann doll.
It was also sold on a Storybook Lucy Locket doll.

Lori-Ann dolls were 8 inch vinyl face dolls that debuted toward the end of Nancy Ann's tenure at the company and were produced for a short time only. The only Lori-Ann doll I've ever acquired sold almost immediately. This dress was sold by the company in 1959 on a Lori-Ann Storybook doll and also on a Storybook doll just called "Lucy Locket". As you can see from the 1959 catalogue above the Storybook doll used the Lori-Ann body with different hair style and color. Both dolls were numbered 9528. The dolls came wearing a "locket" that was a faux pearl heart necklace. It didn't open and wasn't really a locket.

The outfit modeled by Ginny

I originally planned to dress an 8-inch doll Alexander-Kins in the dress, but since it's such a rare find I decided to sell the outfit alone for someone who might be trying to complete their Lori-Ann doll. Since I don't have a Lori-Ann my vinyl-face Ginny doll is modeling the outfit. She's quite similar and was made during the same period as Lori-Ann. Ginny, who has her original paper hang tag and outfit, is for sale separately in my store, Atelier Mandaline, so please check for both her and the outfit shown here.

I made a real locket for Lucy.

The locket really opens!
Since Lucy's locket is missing from the dress I decided to make her a new one. The dress is missing not only the original locket and black velvet sash. I made a new black velour sash and then used the same velour ribbon to make a choker. I attached a real locket that really opens and a clasp. I think the original necklace must have been sewn or glued to the front of the dress originally, because this dress had a hole exactly where the locket would have been. I treated the hole with Fray Check and sewed it up and this new locket hides the repair.

The dress is tagged.

The dress isn't perfect. Besides the missing accessories I had to repair the hole as I mentioned and there's also a black ink mark on the back of the skirt. Luckily neither of these flaws are terribly noticeable. Otherwise the dress is in remarkable condition for its age. The fabric is nice and crisp and the tag has minimal fraying to the edge. Nancy Ann's wonderful details like miniature soutache braid trim and lace-edged attached net petticoat are all present. This is a really great opportunity to add a very rare ensemble to your Nancy Ann collection!

The locket hides a repair to the neck.

There is an ink mark on the back of the skirt.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cute As A Button

Effanbee baby doll

Tonight I have another mystery Effanbee baby doll for you. This baby is 16 inches and has a face mold almost identical to the 1980s Baby Button Nose sculpt, except this one is a drink and wet doll. I haven't ever seen a Button Nose with the drink and wet feature. Therefore I think this is a Twinkie doll, but one with rooted hair, which is quite unusual. The Twinkie sculpt is very similar to the 1980s Button Nose. Effanbee has offered a "Buttin Nose", "Button Nose", and "Baby Button Nose" since the 1930s, and they change the sculpt periodically. There is even a modern Baby Button Nose sculpted by Diana Effner and marketed today. The problem I have with this doll is my Modern Collector's Doll book series by Patricia Smith claims a Button Nose doll was released by Effanbee in 1968 but not a Twinkie. So, I don't know for sure. I'm calling this doll Twinkie, just for this blog post. Both Twinkie and Button Nose are very hard to find and they are similar in value.

Twinkie was first introduced by Effanbee in 1952. Her face sculpt has remained consistent and I think she's always been a drink and wet doll. Most Twinkie dolls have molded hair, but a few were made with rooted hair.

There are a couple marks on the vinyl.

The hair is a little frizzy in back.

This doll is marked #2500 on the head and #2808 on the back. She's a drink and wet baby with white blond rooted hair and crystal-clear blue sleep eyes. Her original clothes are missing, but she has a very well-done handmade ensemble. She has a factory made-blanket as well. It's very large and may actually have been meant for a real baby. I gave Twinkie a sweet factory-made hat and diaper from my stash. Obviously you would want to remove the diaper pin if you were to give this to a child as a play doll.

Twinkie comes with a blanket.

Twinkie's Mommy-made outfit was sewn with skill. She has a dress with lace-trimmed bloomers and a matching bonnet. In the winter she can switch out the bonnet for her knitted hat. She wears socks and squishy plastic baby shoes.

I gave Twinkie a  baby doll of her own. This is a Best USA brand hard plastic Kewpie type Frozen Charlotte doll. You can really see how realistic the sculpt is when you pose baby as sleeping or playing with her baby. She looks like a real baby!

Twinkie has a Best Kewpie baby doll.

I touched up Twinkie's eyebrow, lash, and lip paint.

The Kewpie is marked Best USA

I did do a bit of restoration on Twinkie. I washed her hair and gave it a leave in conditioning treatment with fabric softener because it was a little frizzy in the back. The front of the hair looks mint. There were some breaks in the eyebrow and eyelash paint so I touched them up along with the lips. All together, Twinkie turned out well.

She's super cute and not easy to find. I've only ever had one Twinkie in my store and that was the more-common molded-hair version. This baby is such a cutie she's making me want another real baby! You can find Twinkie in my store Atelier Mandaline, Etsy and many more dolls in that store and my Atelier Mandaline on eBay, so please check.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Easy Ortho Relief

Young Living oils for muscle aches

I've written before about Young Living's wonderful program called "Essential Rewards". Each month you order $50 or more as a standard order you get first 10% and later 20% back as dollars to use toward new products. I've only been a member of Essential Rewards for three months and last night I was able to redeem some of my points for oils we need and toward some to give as gifts. Besides the product credit you can also earn free products. This month you could earn a voucher for $20 off a Premium Starter Kit (already a fantastic deal), Marjoram and Balsam Spruce oils, and Ortho-Ease massage oil to soothe muscles after workouts. To find out how to become a wholesale member of Young Living and sign up for Essential Rewards go here.

I was set to earn all four. When my box arrived the Ortho-Ease wasn't in it, though. I realized a product went out of stock and wasn't in my order and dummy that I am I forgot about it and didn't add anything to help me qualify for the oil. AGHH! I am so upset because as you know we have been doing the super-intense P90X 3 workouts and every inch of my body is sore. Luckily, when I read the Ortho-Ease ingredients I realized the free Marjoram oil and the Thyme oil I earned free last month are key ingredients in the Ortho series. I had almost all the other oils in the ingredients list as well, so I decided to see if I could make my own. I combined ingredients used in the Ortho-Ease and Ortho-Sport massage oils. I'm happy to say, I tried this last night when I felt like crying after our workout and it really helped.

Ortho-Pain Massage Oil

20 drops each Young Living PanAway, RC, thyme, marjoram,
blue spruce, peppermint, Treasure of the Season, and lemongrass oils.
1 cup grapeseed or other carrier oil

Combine all ingredients and shake to blend. Rub on sore muscles. If you'd rather make a thicker paste, whip solid coconut oil until fluffy and expanded. Add essential oils. Store in the refrigerator or other cool spot to prevent melting.

Tonight's workout appears to be entirely comprised of different types of squats, so I'm glad I'll have this to apply to my legs later!

Sasha's Dancin' Boots

Sasha in a traditional folk costume.

I am extremely proud of myself. A few weeks ago I ordered bulk lots of padded envelopes, bubble wrap, and tape for my eBay and Young Living sales. I'd gotten to the point of shipping several items each day and buying shipping supplies at retail stores was too expensive. Naturally, in the way of things, not only did my sales drop by half the minute I took such a big step, but my friend who is single with a wonderful job told me she had "some" boxes and bubble wrap for me. On picking them up I found almost half her garage covered in boxes and packing material. "Sometimes I go on a little shopping spree," she said. Of course it's wonderful of her to save these things for me, since they are really quite pricey, but arriving home with my wealth of riches and adding them to my order I found myself with my whole living room full of stuff and no idea where to store it. I got to work on the closet in my office, which is the size of a typical coat closet and holds our water heater as well as my shipping supplies and my easels and large canvases. I removed everything from the closet and sorted it in stacks on the bonus room floor by size or flat rate postage or whatever. My son came home from school and asked if I'd robbed the post office. Organization, however, allowed me to fit everything, including my new supplies, in. As soon as I finished I had three new sales, and I really enjoyed picking my boxes and envelopes from my orderly stash. I hope it will be good luck and mean my dry spell is over! I'm nearly finished with the great fabric re-organization in my office as well, so I finally had a chance to get in there and work on doll stuff a bit. I finished a European folk costume for 16 inch Sasha or similar dolls.

Years ago when my sister was little more than a baby she insisted on dressing herself every day in a pair of Cabbage Patch Kids bikini underwear, a striped sweater, and a pair of galoshes she called her "dancin' boots". What's interesting about this is today her daughter insists on wearing one pair of pants and shirt every day. They don't match and when my sister tries to take them and wash them my niece cries and says she's "not beautiful." My niece's outfit also involves one certain pair of shoes. Another famous family story is that of the time my uncle was taken to buy shoes when he was around five or so. In the whole store not one pair of shoes fit without hurting him except a set of cowboy boots. After the cowboy boots were promised, the other shoes amazingly began to fit him! Maybe shoe obsessions are a Scandinavian thing.

Sasha's new outfit certainly boasts a rockin' pair of red faux leather lace-up boots. The outfit came on a tourist-type doll, most likely from the 1960s. That doll's head was broken off and can't be repaired. I don't know what country she was meant to represent. Her outfit resembles some Norwegian bunad, or traditional costumes, but is also similar to Polish, Russian, and even Italian dolls I've seen. Therefore I'm just listing it as a European folk costume. It's definitely a dancing costume, I think. The lace trimmed slip is meant to peek out with movement, and I can imagine the streamers on the shoulders flying out in a wheel with a dancer's pirouette.

The tunic top

Spots I couldn't remove.

There are no panties included with the ensemble. Instead, the undergarments consist of a long tunic blouse and a slip trimmed with crocheted lace. Both these have spots I couldn't remove. The slip has a huge mark, but I was able to hide it. The slip was too large and the elastic needed replacing. I replaced the elastic and then took a large tuck in the waist, which allowed me to hide the spot in a fold of the slip.

The underclothes

The slip has a spot.

I hid the spot in a fold.

One of the reasons this outfit looks Norwegian to me is the rose-patterned skirt. Rose prints are so popular in Norway the traditional folk painting there is called "rosemaling." This has some small frayed spots, as do the ends of the ribbons, but I treated each with Fray Check so they shouldn't enlarge. None are very noticeable.

The most striking aspect of the outfit in my opinion is the elaborately beaded lace-up vest. I'm not sure how to describe the fabric. It's kind of like a thick fuzzy flannel or a really thin, sort of stretchy velvet. I suppose it's supposed to resemble velvet or possibly suede. This is trimmed with both beads and sequins arrayed in sunbursts, stars, and other geometric patterns. Some have been lost over time, but there are so many that's only visible on very close inspection.

The complete outfit.

A red plastic graduated-bead double-strand necklace is included with the set. This ties in the back with red ribbon to match the vest and boots. I added new stringing to the beads to reinforce the original string, which was starting to stretch.

The bead necklace

The vest has elaborate beading.

The whole set is topped off by a net apron with lace trim to match the frothy lace of the neck and sleeves. I can just see Sasha whirling in the arms of her partner on National Day. She's ready for her dance! Sasha is just modeling and isn't included with the outfit. The set should fit other 16 inch dolls like My Friend or Tomy Kimberly. The sleeves might be rather long on the My Friend dolls. You can find this outfit and may other dolls and clothes in my store, Atelier Mandaline, so I hope you will check.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stress Less

Green Lake on St. Patrick's Day

This has been a busy St. Patrick's Day morning. Actually, the whole weekend was unbelievably crazy. It's barely 10 AM and I've been up since before 6 getting children where they needed to go with all their required accoutrement. I've already visited the dentist and the elementary school today and will have to return to the elementary school and then attend yet another band concert at the high school later today. I took advantage of the unseasonably lovely weather to visit the lake. You might remember my last post saw us snowed in. Well, yesterday the temperature soared to 81 degrees and today will be more of the same. The sun is beaming and the lake is so green it looks as if it's been dyed for the holiday.

I need a bit of relaxation. My parents were visiting all weekend and my children had a play to attend Friday night. Then my daughter had Cotillion in Lincolnton, a town about 30 minutes from here, on Saturday and a Mother/Daughter Girl Scouts Tea there on Sunday. My mother was able to attend the tea with us, which was nice, but on the way home my daughter said, "Something just fell out of  my mouth. I think it's my filling." Sure enough, that only six month old filling is gone and part of her tooth is broken. Luckily it's a baby tooth and the new tooth is close to erupting. But it was just a bit more stress on top of many other stresses. My mother spent much of the weekend informing me that I don't have anything to feel stressed about since I don't have a job (my eBay and Young Living stores don't count in her mind) while at the same time reminiscing about how terribly difficult her life was when she had three children in school with a high school student among them and a job. Yeah. Well. Whatever.

A stress-relieving oil blend

Luckily for me, I have my oils. Last week, while trying to clean the house for company and ship packages and cook dinner and drive people to and from chorus/band/school/Girl Scouts/track/dentist (because we were just there getting cleanings which I think dislodged the aforementioned filling) and while knee-deep (literally) in my office reorganization, I certainly would not agree that I don't have any stressors in my life. I will admit, however, that my husband's job is much more stressful, and he absolutely refuses to get enough sleep or food to deal adequately with it. I decided to make him a stress-relieving roll-on to use at work. It smells so good, I wanted to steal it, but he took it anyway. This is a good sign, as he's usually a skeptic. I would make another for myself but now I'm out of the ingredients. I hope my Essential Rewards order arrives soon!

I used Joy, Stress Away, and Valor Young Living blends. I've talked a lot about Joy recently, so I won't dwell on it, but that blend contains uplifting and stimulating floral and citrus oils like ylang ylang and orange. Stress Away is probably my favorite scent in oil blends, with soothing vanilla and energizing lime. Valor is a unique blend in that the combination of rosewood, blue tansy, and frankincense both motivates and soothes. Valor can be used alone before a difficult workout to help increase stamina, and Stress Away can be used after to help relax sore and overworked muscles. This particular recipe can be rolled on muscles before and after difficult exercise regimens, applied to pulse points whenever a stressful situation arises, and even rolled on the jaw and sides of the face to curb stress-related tooth grinding. I think it smells good enough to wear as a perfume as well!

Stress Less Roll-On

5-8 drops each Young Living Stress Away, Joy, and Valor oil blends
5 ml (.17 oz) grapeseed oil
Young Living 5 ml bottle and roller ball fitment

If your bottle has a dropper insert remove that and add the essential oils until the scent is as strong as you prefer. Top off the bottle with grapeseed oil. Apply the roller ball fitment and shake to blend. Apply as needed.

Besides the roll-on for my husband, I made several samples for a friend who suffers terribly from migraines. She's been in so much pain lately she's thinking of buying a $300 device that delivers electrical pulses directly into the vein in her forehead. That's alarming as well as expensive, so first I suggested some oil recipes that have helped me with my migraines and made some samples for her to try. Most of the recipes for these are on my Naturally Amanda Facebook page and also in past posts of this blog.

Oil blends for migraine

The only new recipe I haven't shared yet is my Dragon Time pain relief roll-on. Dragon Time is Young Living's oil blend for women's monthly issues. Not to get too graphic, but since the birth of my first child I have seen PMS and other symptoms increase to the point that I was basically losing a week of every month to migraines, cramps, and digestive issues. The lovely ladies in my oils forum informed me these symptoms are due to a drop in estrogen levels and can be alleviated with Clary Sage, a main ingredient in Dragon Time. Two months ago I started using Dragon Time diluted 50/50 with grapeseed oil as an oil rub on my stomach once per night at bedtime starting about 2 weeks before and throughout my cycle. For cramps and if I feel the onset of a migraine during that time I use Dragon Time and PanAway again diluted 50/50 with grapeseed oil in a roller ball applied to my stomach, lower back, forehead, temples, and the bridge of my nose. I have not had one migraine in the past two months, I no longer have insomnia before my cycle, and I've had much shorter and easier cycles since I started with Dragon Time!

Between the weight loss I've experienced with Slique essence and Grapefruit oil and the Dragon Time and the stress-relief, I feel like I'm finally getting back the person I was before I became a mother! I adore my children and I'd have 10 more if I could, but that doesn't mean I won't welcome a thinner, healthier, calmer self and I'm sure my children will benefit from a better me as well. Here is where to find out more about Young Living, order the products used in these recipes, or sign up as a wholesale member.