Monday, November 29, 2010

Stitches In Time

"Stitches in Time"
 is what I call my work on the new and old dolls that I create and work on every day.
 This vintage image by Jessie Wilcox Smith, a wonderful illustrator of a little girl surrounded by her dolls as she intently works on repairing and stitching their clothes captures how I feel as I work on both old and new dolls here in my studio. The little dolls all lined up on  a shelf waiting patiently for their bright new dresses, a new hairstyle and little "spiffing" up.  The new OOAK's waiting to emerge from the clay or receive their new beginnings.
It is a fun and creative process which I have enjoyed for many years. I have many old dolls that are awaiting the same thing...all lined up in an old doll bed that was mine when I was a little girl.

Despite my bouts with health issues I have been able to get a few things done here and there.
The last few weeks I have been working on a few to share with you along with a new OOAK in the works which is taking a little longer than I had expected.
 I typically work back and forth between my OOAK's and my doll restorations. This is what works the best for me and I am much happier that way.  ;-)
Pull me away from one or the other and I can become quite grumpy. :-/ 
So... instead of fight it I learned to just go with it. So first I would like to show you a couple of doll restorations I have completed recently and then some other items of interest.

...Before Photos...
This is a Composition Shirley Temple Type doll that I purchased last summer on a trip to the Oregon coast.
I found her in an antique shop all frumpy and dirty.
She was wearing a beautiful bonnet and long dress but it was totally inappropriate for her.
So I took it off...washed it and will use it on another doll at a later time.
She is approx. 21" tall and has a blond mohair wig

She had several issues. Her eyes were blown, pin dots in face, chippy lip color and bad overall comp crazing.
 Her mohair wig was so matted down I thought about giving her a whole new wig but decided to try to untangle her matted mess. Luckily...and after much patience I was able to fluff up her hair.

....After Pictures....

Here she is after my restorations.
 I left most of her face alone. I figured I could live with the small imperfections on her face but I did touch up
her  lips, cheeks and eyes. Her hair was styled into a cute curly style.
 I made her a slip from vintage lace and fabric, dressed her in a vintage pink window pane fabric and slipped on a darling vintage bonnet that I had found in my stash of doll items.
She looks much happier now with her pretty new outfit!

The next doll is a 22inch Composition Mama Doll.
She is unmarked and came to me in a very torn and dirty outfit.
The dress was completely in shreds and so were her little shoes unfortunately.

Her face was not to bad so just some minor things were done and the rest left alone.
This darling dress and bonnet were perfect for her.
Tiny little pink Rosette ribbon roses were pressed open so that they would show in all there sweetness
and not smashed up as they were when I found the bonnet.

I added a silk ribbon and vintage pearl button tie to her bonnet.
She is such a cute baby doll!
I will be showing more photos of restorations in weeks to come.

Now to One Of A Kinds.
I am still working on a larger OOAK doll that will be a Princess with her fairy attendant.
She is actually much further along than this picture as I am finishing up her dress whenever I get a moment.
These are just a couple of pictures to show you her head and the color of mohair I chose for her.

The fabric that I found is gorgeous!
A beautiful creamy sherbert orange with an antique rose
I was drawn to the fabric because it has allowed me to do an inset panel using some of
my vintage laces that have that old ecru patina to them.
 I love old lace and have collected it for years so this has allowed me to incorporate these antique pieces into her dress.
Here is a picture of some of the items going into her dress.
I hope to have her completed soon!

While we are on the subject of beautiful things...I wanted to share with you some of my
treasured handmade vintage silk roses.
This first one I purchased at an antique store. The case is actually a Hanky Case but I fell in love
with it because of the beautifully handmade roses. These roses are one of my favorites for adding to
dolls dresses and hats. They are what they call Rolled Roses made from silk ribbon. The roses are made in such a way that the top
edge of the ribbon is folded down and the petals are formed with this technique. This is a
beautiful example of that technique. I use this Hanky Case for holding some of my more
special ribbons.
Another special flower that I have in my collection is this very vintage spray of roses
still with the original tag that reads "Made In France" I love this piece as it is also well
executed and has withstood the test of time.
The ribbon itself has beautiful edges that you just
can't find in ribbon today.
I felt it was so special I placed it in its own frame.
Another little sweet piece of ribbon are these adorable baby ribbon rosettes.
These are tiny little roses that were probably made for embellishing lingerie or baby items.
These were also found at a local antique store and I just adore them.
I recently placed a small length of them around the collar of a Patsy Type Doll that I restored.
They added just the right touch on her little pink dress.
This is a shoebag I made many years ago for a needlework class I was teaching. 
This bag is made of taffeta with a handstiched center panel adorned with ribbon and
a tiny bullion rose. Bullion Roses are also some of my favorite things to adorn doll dresses and bonnets.
They are fun to make and have such a delicate look to them. A tiny bullion rose on the front
of a dolls dress, collar or sleeve is the sweetest thing ever. 
Lavender Stuffed Hearts with hand stiched bullions roses for placing inside the shoes.
These are just some ideas for adding special touches to your doll clothes whether One Of A Kinds 
or Antique Dolls.
I hope you like them...
I will close with a view of a sunrise taken a few days ago of a mountain that is right across from our home.
It never ceases to amaze me how many times I have photographed this mountain over the years
and how the beauty can change from season to season. 
This particular morning the clouds were absolutely stunning with the sun rising up behind them
and creating this amazing sunrise to start my day.
I hope you have a wonderful day to day and may God Bless!!!
Warmly, Marcie   ;-) 


Virginia said...

Hi Marcie,

I just came across your blog. I was researching untangling mohair doll wigs.

What I would like to know is how did you make your Shirley Temple compo's hair so amazing? That is what I need to do with a couple of mine. What tool did you use? I'm scared to start.

You are so talented! Here's wishing you a wonderful 2011!


Marcie Hart - A Work Of Hart said...

Hello Virginia,
So happy you stopped by! ;-)
Well...first of all you have to be very, very gentle and patient as mohair is very fragile especially on the old wigs. Start at the bottom just like on human hair and use a comb that has the 4 metal prongs on the bottom. Work upwards a small section at a time gently untangling as you go. It takes a long time and you will lose some hair but just be very patient and you will be rewarded I am sure. It is amazing how much hair is really there even though it is usually very matted down.
I then very carefully use a small amount of water and either setting gel or mouse to dampen the strands only about 3/4 of the way up to the scalp. Be very careful as you do not want water to get on the composition.
Once the strand is damp I then use end papers like what come in perms to wrap the ends before I wrap them onto the curler. Let them dry at least 12hours or longer and then style.
Hope that helps!!
Good Luck And Best Wishes to you too for 2011!!!
Warmly, Marcie

Virginia said...

Hi Marcie,

Thank you so much for sharing your advice. I can't envision the comb that has the 4 metal prongs on the bottom. Is it like a pet comb?

I read about your health issues and will pray for your good health. I had a dizzy spell the other day, never had one before. Not fun.

Your work is lovely. I'm working up courage to slowly untangle that wig!

All the Best Virginia

Virginia said...


I searched for combs of that description and think I see what you mean