From about 1990 to 1997, I did doll repair while living and working in San Diego. I studied under a master - Georgia Millan. When I moved back to Colorado, I sold almost all the dolls I had. But I did keep all my tools! About 3 months ago, a dear friend gave me 3 of her dolls to repair. I just had a blast working on these little cuties!
This is a Patsy doll from the 40s. She is made of composition and here hair was cracked and coming off in huge chunks. I filled it up, sculpted "new" waves, then used my copic airbrush to add color back. You can hardly tell that her hair was repaired! Gotta love the creative genius and multitude of colors that copic has....that allows me to create a variegated color in the hair from pale to deep reds and browns! Worth around $200 even in her restored condition. I'd guess she's dated from 1925 - 1930. For her age, she's in very good shape. She has sleep eyes.
I completely fell in love with this little cutie. When I first got her, her dress was on another doll and quite stained. Her wig was nearly hopeless and she had no left cheek. Once again, I was able to identically match the cheek color using Copic markers. Her wig came off and was washed and reset. I just think she has the sweetest little face ever! I've also used Creative Impressions silk ribbon in her hair (helped keep some of the curls in place!)
She is c1928, E.I.H. Co. Inc Rosebud doll - books around $250!
This little porcelain bye-lo baby had a chip in the porcelain under her left eye. Again....copic to the rescue! Silk ribbons in her hair and I literally took a baby sized christening gown and tied it to this doll's body. You know - a temporary fix until I have time to resize the dress. But for now, she has turned into a complete cutie! She's a tiny 1920's doll with blue sleep eyes, so her value is $200 and up - even in her restored state.
When I started working on these little treasures (my friend is 72 and these belonged to her mom), I wondered why on earth I ever quit working on dolls. I love taking something that is "trashed" and bringing it back to life....why wouldn't I just continue to do something that gives me so much pleasure?
So I checked on craigslist just to see if there were any old dolls. Imagine my surprise when I saw that there was a doll estate up for sale! As it turned out, I missed the first 3 sales the gal had. I can't begin to fathom what she sold! But I emailed her and asked if she had anything left and she said "a house full!" So we arranged to meet and I sort of went nuts picking out terribly distressed, broken down old dolls.
Well, hang on, as in the next few days, I will start sharing some of the repairs I've made. The estate was from a woman who had done doll repair for years in Colorado Springs and had passed away. Her daughter started setting aside items, tools, wigs, eyes, parts, that her mom had used to repair dolls. I made a second trip and purchased boxes of product to repair dolls with. And then, she told me that they had taken everything left to an auction house in Pueblo....and the auction was that Saturday. Dare I share that I filled my car up at the auction as well???
I think we can safely say that I am now officially back into the doll repair business! I really love working on dolls from the 40s to 70s, composition or hard plastic dolls. I love restringing dolls that have fallen apart. I enjoy cleaning and repairing clothes. When I was in San Diego, I could take a photo of a dress and make it for the doll - no pattern needed! Well, that's been a few years now, but I'm going to give that a try as well!
Isn't it amazing how many craft supplies that I didn't have years ago - I can put to use today to make doll repair even more fun!!!