Monday, April 24, 2017

Terrific Toni

Toni by Ideal
Some months back I got a big lot of dolls needing restoration. Then, my kids outgrew all their clothes and some of my sisters dropped off huge lots of baby clothes of their own to sell on consignment and my special needs son had a medical crisis that lasted for a few months, and the doll lot was thrown in my office. I didn't forget the dolls; I just didn't have time to restore them. Well, today the kids went back to school after Spring Break and I got to work on a Toni doll from the lot.

Toni's face was faded.
Actually, I got to work over Spring Break. Toni had her hair done at some point, but she needed re-stringing and her hair smelled musty and felt frizzy. Her face was really faded as well, much lighter than her body, and she had a big chunk out of the paint on her neck. I restrung her with new cord, washed her and washed and set her hair. Then I painted her face. I just did a wash of oil paint to brighten her complexion and blushed her cheeks. Her eyebrows were faded and one was almost gone, so I traced over those. Then I washed over a few uneven spots and scuffs on her neck and body. And... then it started to rain. And rain and rain and rain and rain. Over the whole week of Spring Break we have had two sunny days while we were home (we visited my parents for Easter) and we made good use of those kayaking and swimming and gardening. In fact, I even worked in the yard for two hours in the pouring rain because I wanted to move some plants and didn't want them to get shocked like they do in the heat. We went from temperatures near 90 over the weekend to cold, wet 50s and low 60s this week. We actually have our fire on! And it's still raining.

Toni has unfortunately not enjoyed the weather. It took forever for her paint to dry and a couple spots in her joints and on her legs where she sits down already scraped off again. Her face is still perfect, however, as are all the parts of her body that show when she is dressed. Her eyeshadow, painted lashes and real lashes are all original.

Toni has her hair set.

Touching up her paint

The finished face

The finished doll

There is typical scraping to her joints and the backs of her legs.

Today after the kids got on the bus I looked in my stash for clothes to fit her. I have quite a few pieces but decided on one red and gold dress. The red dress originally belonged to a Barry Baby doll, a very rare doll meant to compete with Toni and similar dolls.

I sold Barry Baby a few years ago without her red dress (she came with a huge trunk of clothes) because the red dress had side panels that either were cut or had disintegrated. I don't have an exact match for the fabric so I made large darts on either side to repair the panels. That made the dress too small for Barry Baby. It's snug, but it does fit Toni well.

Toni in her outfit

I added the buttons and chain.

The shoes are by Fairyland.
I added a flower button and brass buttons and chain to the dress to hide repairs. The buttons are from the same era as the dress and doll so they are a good fit. Toni also wears the undies and socks she arrived in as well as red plastic Fairyland shoes and a flocked hair ribbon. The dress is the same style as those worn by many Toni dolls, as are the shoes, so she looks entirely authentic.

The hair is really pretty long.

Toni's honey blond nylon wig saw a lot of styling. This is to be expected, as Toni dolls were named for the home perm kits and came with a "perm" solution of sugar water and curlers in miniature. This doll looks like someone might have curled her hair on a curling iron instead of waiting patiently for the perm to take. Toni has a frizzy ends and lots of breakage. I gave her a hot water set and then pinned her curls up to hide the fuzzy ends. Her hair is still quite long if you take it out of the pins. The pinned style lends a lot of body and volume to the wig, and I love the vintage look.

Toni's hairstyle

Toni turned out beautifully. She poses well, her hair is still easy to style, and her ice blue eyes work perfectly. Toni dolls have such lovely faces and they aren't really easy to come across for a reasonable price, especially if they are dressed and have been restored. My Toni is up for auction with a very fair starting bid in my eBay store. Link to that store and all my shops from the website for a huge selection of restored dolls, blank dolls, doll clothes, and repair parts and kits.

After just one day back at school both my boys suddenly fell ill with a stomach bug around 7:30 tonight, so there's no telling if I will get a chance to finish the other dolls from the box anytime soon. My immune system is apparently on the fritz (and no wonder with our insane weather lately) and I caught the last two stomach viruses they had. I am just praying I will weather this one without getting sick again. To that end, I am planning on heading to bed momentarily. If I and the boys wake up well I plan to make a big push to finish listing all the dolls and kids' clothes I have piled all over the house so I can get things back to normal. Pray for us. please!

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