Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Plus Poshmark

Atelier Mandaline

I have exciting news! I opened another branch today on Poshmark, This means Atelier Mandaline now has four virtual "locations"! Technically, on Poshmark it's Studio Mandaline, because "Atelier" (which means studio in French) has too many letters. Each one of my branches is slightly different. The Etsy shop features mostly vintage dolls as well as clothing, parts, and kits to make or repair your own dolls. The eBay store is my "general" store primarily for kids, stocked with baby and children's clothing, gear, and toys but with doll stuff and miscellaneous items as well. The Facebook shop features harder-to-sell unique and high end dolls and decor, and the Poshmark branch features the creme de la creme of my kids' clothing: higher-end name brands with no damage.

Christmas Party
The fun thing about Poshmark is they let you do a "cover shot" which you're encouraged to style with accessories the way you might wear it. Most sites discourage showing anything not for sale in the listing, but it's great fun to dress up the photos and show shoes or bags or jewelry that might match. It's a terrific way to cross-promote your items as well.

I spent most of the afternoon scouring my daughter's room for accessories to photograph the "Boho Music Festival" and "Christmas Party" outfits I have listed so far. I have so few things listed, one because my mother called, and two because I'm having too much fun styling the shots! Design is my original vocation, after all, and it's like getting back to my roots when I worked in magazine publishing.

So, even though it's exhausting (my husband has been away on a business trip so it's especially exhausting this week) I am having a terrific time with it all. To recap, you can now find Atelier Mandaline on Poshmark:, Facebook: eBay: and Etsy:

I hope you'll enjoy each shop. I try to impart a unique vibe to each location while staying true to my overall brand. Our teen, who has planned his entire life to join the military and use the GI Bill for college suddenly announced he isn't going to do that anymore, AND he wants to go to medical school. Ka-Ching! So we have a big, unexpected expense coming up in a few short months. So I hope you find something to buy as well!

Boho Music Festival ensemble

Monday, September 26, 2016

Curlicue Times Two

Shirley Temple by Ideal, 1950s
I am once again playing catch-up with this blog. I have gotten way behind in  documenting recent restorations. In part this is due to my Auction Event on eBay, which I initially planned for 10 days. It went so well I extended it to 15 days and it ended yesterday. Well, the new listing part of the event is finished; there are actually 10 more days of auctions you can bid on. The premise was that for the past 15 days I listed new items for auction each day, at starting bids about 50% off of the usual prices. Most of the new listings were baby and kids' clothing but there are some dolls and toys thrown in as well. It's a fantastic way to stock up for the holiday season, and I hope you'll check it out at Atelier Mandaline on eBay. I am also running a stock-up sale only accessible through this special link to save $5 off every $50 you spend when purchasing Fixed Price listings. On Etsy I am offering 10% off any order when you use the coupon code: BLOGGER at checkout. So, as you can see, it's a fantastic time to shop all the Atelier Mandaline stores!

New dolls to restore

Besides the Auction Event I have just been slammed with work since school started. Getting three kids off to school with all their accoutrements before 7 AM is hard enough. Today I had to chase down the elementary school bus in my nightgown and robe to give my son his forgotten bag. Naturally several neighbors were waiting in their cars behind the bus, so they got to watch this fiasco. Then once the kids are off I have to get my shipping and accounting finished, get a workout in, complete my household chores, attend band competitions and performances, and then restore new dolls for the shop. It doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging! In fact, several times over the past few weeks I've been in bed before 10:30 on Friday nights because I just couldn't hold my eyes open. Last Sunday I had such an awful migraine I couldn't see straight and ended up sleeping for about 14 hours that day! I just really needed the rest, I guess. I have managed to finish a couple dolls over the past two weeks, however, and they are both curly-headed darlings.

Shirley's eyes needed replacing.

Shirley's unusual head hook

First up is Shirley Temple by Ideal. This doll dates to the late 1950s and came in a lot with the Toni I restored a few weeks back and several other dolls. These dolls were all slightly damp, a result of being stored in a box with a Tiny Tears whose eyes were leaking because water had been left inside her. Shirley's eyes had gotten wet as well and they were cloudy and sticking open so I decided to replace them. When I removed Shirley's head I couldn't believe my eyes. She has the biggest head hook I've ever seen! I'm not sure why Ideal felt the need to place such an imposing apparatus inside the head; she's not a walker or anything. She was made when vinyl was a new material, so all I can think is they were afraid the face might collapse after a while (as sometimes happened with latex rubber and "Magic Skin" dolls) and put a wide metal armature in to support it. At any rate, I was lucky my husband was able to get the head back in place after I replaced the eyes. I couldn't do it. He heated the vinyl with a hair dryer and then used a special tool, a screwdriver used to repair irrigation system sprinkler heads, to pull the vinyl back down onto the hook. Another thing to note if you need to repair one of these dolls is that you will have to remove the teeth before you remove the head because otherwise the teeth could get broken. You just pop them out and then stick them back in when you're finished.

The special sprinkler screwdriver.

Gently heat the vinyl head to replace it.

After Shirley got new eyes she had her hair styled because it was a bit flat in back. Then she got dressed in her untagged but original outfit. The only pieces she didn't wear upon arrival are her shoes and socks, which I had to special-order. The shoes are marked "Ideal" but all the rest of her clothes are unmarked.

The restored doll
The doll is marked on her back.

The doll is marked ST-17-1 on her head.

Shirley's only flaws are dye transfer on her waist and arms and hands, as well as light age spots here and there. These aren't very noticeable at all. Shirley and her clothes are perfect for display and even sturdy enough for play, although you should remember vintage toys may not meet today's standards for playthings.

Dye transfer on the waist

Dye transfer on the arms and hands.

Shirley's original clothes

Her dress has an attached slip.

She wears her original barrette.

My next curly cutie is a doll I've named "Briana" after my husband's niece, who has the same enviable blue eyes and dark curls. This is a Horsman doll from the 1950s or 1960s. She's marked B-18 and is a drink and wet vinyl and hard plastic 18 inch tall baby doll, almost a toddler style doll, which is unusual. Th closest matches I've found for her, as far as the mold used, are "Tearful Tammy" and 1954's "Pretty Betty". Neither of those is marked B-18, however. This doll originally had golden blond rooted short, curly hair. Her hair was completely fried when she arrived, just totally matted, but otherwise she's in great shape. So I shaved her head and gave her the adorable wig of brunette corkscrew curls.

"Briana", an OOAK doll
She is marked Horsman B-18 and has been re-wigged.

I gave Briana a good scrubbing and styled her wig with red ribbons. I dressed her in a vintage Korean knitted sailor suit and matching red shoes. The sailor suit looks almost like something Shirley Temple would wear! It's perfect for Briana, too.

I styled her wig.
I was able to find a lace-trimmed diaper-style pair of panties for Briana that are a perfect fit. I can't tell if these are handmade or factory, but they are well done. They do have some age spots. I picked them because they look like the toddler training pants my little sisters (and I suppose I, though I can't remember) wore under plastic "rubber pants" diapers.

Her diaper or panties

The panties have age spots.

Briana's arm and hand have some dark marks I couldn't totally remove, but they aren't very noticeable either, just like Shirley's.

Her arm and hand have spots.

I gave Briana a bottle and real vintage baby toy to hold. The bottle can be filled with water, but you have to squeeze it to squirt the water into the doll's mouth, as the nipple doesn't fit into the hole in her lips. I don't recommend "feeding" drink and wet dolls, however, as it causes them to get full of mold and deteriorate over time. It can turn their eyes cloudy as well. However, sometimes you have a child who really wants to feed their doll and change diapers. For a while my daughter was just obsessed with these dolls and I bought her a cheap vintage one to play with. It can be really helpful while potty training to have a doll like this because it teaches the concept of being aware of needing to go after drinking or eating a lot and can help kids watch out for that in themselves. In fact, my youngest son played with his sister's wetting doll when we were training him and he really enjoyed caring for his "baby". If you do allow a child to play with this doll in that manner just make sure to empty all the water from the doll before storing her away. It doesn't hurt to dry her out with a hair dryer set on low to protect her eyes, either.

The finished doll with her accessories

She can drink from her bottle.

Her sleep eyes work.
Both my curlicue dolls are for sale, along with many others, in my eBay and Etsy shops and you can use the offers and coupons shown at the beginning of this post for all of them.

She holds a real baby toy.

Her paint is all original.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dolls Small To Tall

Babe Biddle in the Klub
I've been on an extended shopping spree for the past couple weeks, both in local thrift stores and online, getting the stores packed full for the upcoming holiday season. I love shopping and filling the stores gives me a chance to buy without depleting my savings (I hope). It's a little nerve-wracking because there's always the worry I will be stuck with unsellable inventory, but I reassure myself I know what I'm doing, I've been doing this for more than 15 years, I have a good eye, etcetera. And sure enough, two dolls I just listed already have bids on eBay and all of them have watchers. I don't think these are going to hang around for long, so you will probably want to head on over to Atelier Mandaline on eBay to get your preferred choice!

The Liddle Kiddles Klub house and carrying case from 1965

My parents visited over Labor Day weekend and my mom wanted to go to Ledford's in Lincolnton, NC so we headed to town. Everyone from here calls going to Lincolnton "Going to town" even though it's about a 45 minute drive. Ledford's is for sale by owner and I got all excited thinking I could maybe buy it and have a real store (they're famous in the area for fantastic fabric prices and re-upholstery) but the owner told me he wants half a million dollars for it. So... no brick and mortar happening anytime soon! A lot of people did take the retail plunge, I'm happy to say, and downtown Lincolnton is full of new shops. I could have spent half a million dollars right there! I confined myself to about $100 but picked up some great stuff for my shop. One fantastic find was a case full of Liddle Kiddles and similar dolls from the mid-1960s. My mom couldn't believe I bought this even when I showed her on eBay how some of these dolls sell for over $400 if they're new in their packages. I can actually remember standing in a store begging for the Kiddles packaged in pop bottles but my mom would never buy me one. She said they were trash. If only we had known then what we know now!

Making custom accessories

My Kiddles were not new in the package, alas, and not complete, so they are listed for much lower prices, with starting bids between $10 and $20. I did make some custom pieces for the two Storybook Kiddles, Liddle Biddle Peep and Liddle Red Riding Hiddle. I made Red a new felt hood since hers is missing and gave her a tiny storybook charm featuring her tale.

Red's custom pieces and original dress

Her hair is in its original set.

For Biddle Peep I made a new shepherd's crook from a pipe cleaner and embellished her bonnet to hide a spot I couldn't wash out. The original doll came with a giant sheep (in real life this sheep would have been the size of a Clydesdale) but I didn't make a replacement since I figure her sheep are supposed to be lost!

Peep's original outfit and comb with replaced crook

Her hair is in its original set.

Babe Biddle was evidently supposed to be some kind of drag racer chick, which I think is kind of odd since she wears a kerchief and gingham dress. She originally had a car and a red biker jacket, but those are missing. Otherwise she's in perfect shape.

Babe's original clothes and comb.

She has a faint dye transfer on her arm.

Her hair is in its original set.
The last doll in the case is a Kiddle competitor (Kompetitor?), one of the Uneeda Pee Wees. They don't have the detail the Kiddles have. The Kiddles have a wire armature and jointed head so they can pose, but the Pee Wees are "Frozen Charlotte" dolls with no joints. I don't know what this one is called. She wears a dress that looks like it's printed with Danish flags sort of. Her sandy blond hair is in its original side ponytail. I did have to mend her underpants by sewing them to her body since the snap pulled through but otherwise she's pretty perfect!

Uneeda Pee Wees doll, all original

Her hair is in its original set.
A big departure, literally, from the tiny 3 inch dolls is this tall drink of water, a 20 inch 14R bride doll by Allied Eastern Enterprises. These dolls were made as inexpensive knockoffs of the Revlon and Cissy fashion dolls of the 1950s. They were sold at dime stores and grocery stores, leading to their nickname, "grocery store dolls." Their costumes and accessories were still quite elaborate, although not made of as high quality fabrics as the brand name dolls. My mother remembers her Horsman Cindy doll, though a more expensive doll than a grocery store doll, had a dress that fell all apart even though she used Cindy as a display doll rather than a play doll. This red haired grocery store bride needed a little repair to the metallic silver lace overlay on her dress but has otherwise held up well. I had fun making her some real gold plated jewelry and replacing her corroded earring posts and styling her hair. I went for Maureen O'Hara's makeover style from The Parent Trap movie and think this lady is a true likeness! My eBay 10 day auction event is going on through September 19th. Each day I am listing new items at low starting bids, a celebration of and gift for all my eBay store followers: over 100 now! I am also listing new lovelies in my Etsy shop, including my handmade shell and Spanish moss angel and Madonna Christmas ornaments, so please stop by that shop too.

A Maureen O'Hara lookalike 

She was beginning to get green ear so I replaced her earring posts.

The new posts are made of real gold plated wire.

I also made a gold plated wedding band.