Saturday, 23 February 2013

More Dolls House and Miniature Dolls

Between restoring the old bears and dogs I have been dressing and photographing the little dolls house dolls that I came across in my searches for bears.
The ones that I have posted on Etsy have proved to be very popular and some have already sold.
I have just 3 babies left to dress - the 6" Schildkrot one in a grass skirt called Mambi  I am knitting a little lemon outfit for him so that there is a choice of clothing.

Mambi, a Turtle marked doll SOLD
Tiny Rubber Doll SOLD
Then there is the little bisque baby made by Hertwig in the Thuringia area of Germany 1940's-1950's.   Her elastic had perished, and broke when I tried to tighten it.  Not having strung a doll before I went to the internet to get instructions.  Here are her before and after pictures.  It took a few attempts and some wasted elastic to get it right.  As you can see she has a bit of damage to the surface of the bisque. 
The next job is to dress her.  I cut nappy shapes out of soft white material for all of the tiny baby dolls.  She is the last one apart from a little rubber doll that already has her nappy on.  These dolls are just 3"/8cm tall.
Poor little baby all broken

That's a bit better SOLD

Then there are the dolls house dolls I have available now -2 girls and a boy, in their original clothes.  These dolls are 4"/10cm tall.  The one in the hat has no markings, but the other two have a Fleur de Lys mark on their backs, which means they were made by a Japanese company. 
The other 3" baby doll I have is dressed in knitted clothes.  This is not proving as popular as the cotton and lace outfits I have put the previous ones in so I may make her a new dress and bonnet.

I didn't notice until I put her away in my cabinet that her eyes, as well as open and closing, actually look from side to side.  I have not seen a doll that does this before, let alone one this size!
She can look from side to side if you tip her SOLD

These dolls will be available from my Etsy shop shortly

Monday, 11 February 2013

Susie Patch

I was keen to tidy up the little Terrier dog named Susie. 
She came to me looking quite unhappy, with ears that just didn't look right and a perky tail that wasn't perky anymore.

I picked her up and took a good look at her to see what needed doing.  A few stitches in her tail, and move around the woodwool stuffing so that she stands better. What could I do with those ears?  They were either too big or too small I decided, so must be replacements.
I noticed that she used to be a beautiful cinammon colour as it could still be seen between her legs and on her tummy. 
Then I realised that there were darker patches just below her ears, and it dawned on me "they were her original ears, they just need stitching in place correctly".
Is this a 'hang dog' expression?
Standing proud SOLD

I set to work, carefully stitching up a seam that had come undone and fixing her wonky tail.  I managed, with a bit of pushing and pulling on the woodwool to straighten her legs out and then, with a few stitches in her ears, she was done.
What a proud girl she looks now.

The final touch was a little bead bracelet from my bits and pieces drawer.  It made a perfect collar for her. 
I left her white patch in place, as she has grown quite accustomed to it over the years.
My original name for her was Patch, until her previous owner told me that she used to be known as Susie.  Still liking the name Patch I gave it to her as a surname, so now she is known as Susie Patch.
Here she is with her new best friend, my old Chiltern bear, Hubert.  Don't they look good together?
Susie Patch and Chiltern Hubert waiting for a new home
They are both now SOLD
 They are both available in my online shops and

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chiltern Bear Hubert's Big Day is Here

I'm really keen to get Hubert  finished and looking gorgeous.  I couldn't wait, and he has already had his teddy bath (it's 8am here in the UK).
Hubert relaxing in his bath
I even took photos to show you, he's not modest so doesn't mind.  Not that he wears clothes anyway!
Bet you didn't know that bears like to play with a toy duck in the bath.
He made a lot of mess - oats everywhere, I had to get the vacuum cleaner out to tidy up after him.

Waiting to be brushed out
He has to wait a little while now for the oats to do their job and lift the dirt from his mohair.  If any of you have an old bear that needs a freshen up, it really is like magic.  Their mohair comes up much cleaner and softer after this treatment.  It can be a bit of a pain getting it all out from the joint areas and around the ears, but I'm sure they love the attention of a good firm brushing.
I'm now wondering if he will require a nice ribbon or bell, or even a cardigan/waistcoat.

At the moment I am veering towards a bell or two on a cord /ribbon around his neck.  I don't want to cover this beautiful boy too much and his body mohair is strong so he doesn't need covering for protection.
And here he is in his before and after photos.

"Anyone there"?


"Hi, I can see you now"
"I feel poorly"

"That's better"
Hubert is now SOLD
I found him 3 bells, and fastened them around his neck with a black cord.  His eyes are a dark amber, a bit darker than they would have been originally, but it is so difficult to get hold of antique eyes.  At the moment I have had to buy in some new glass eyes for replacements as I have tried, with no success to find the old ones.
He is a handsome boy and, at 21"/53cm, quite a substantial bear.
He will be available on my website and in my Etsy shop


Thursday, 7 February 2013

1920's Chiltern Bear Hubert

Hubert says "Hi"
Remember the big Chiltern bears that I showed you last week?  Well I have finally got around to restoring Hubert, the woodwool filled one (the other is mainly Kapok filled).
I originally thought he was a 1930's Chiltern Hugmee, but after doing some research today I believe him to be a 1920's Chiltern, before the Hugmees were produced.  The Hugmees were named that as they were soft and huggable,and Hubert is hard and woodwool filled.  The other is more a 1930's Hugmee with just his head filled with woodwool, the rest being soft Kapok.

Hubert had a few issues, the main one being his left paw which had a gaping hole in it.  When I got him he had a large bandage tied around the paw so I didn't know the extent of the damage until I removed it.
A very poorly paw
I searched my mohair odments and found a piece with a similar backing to his mohair to put a patch under the remaining paw fabric.  I always patch underneath to leave as much as the original fabric showing as possible. 
Looking much happier with his mended paw and full smile
Most of his black claw stitching was still there, just needed a couple of replacements and his smile was broken on one side, so that was quickly remeded. His paws used to have a velveteen surface, but none is left now, I just found slight evidence of it in his seams. It was a beige colour.
One of his feet had to have a small piece inserted too as the fabric had worn away a bit.

This foot had to have a small insert piece in the toe
The mended foot (new claws just visible)
The other foot and paw just needed a few stitches to prevent further damage and I had to attach one of his ears as it was coming adrift.

I felt his tummy and back and there was a hard object there - a growler?  I opened his back up and sure enough he had a large growler.  It was in remarkably good condition given his age so I shook it about a bit to get out any loose woodwool that may have settled in it.  The cloth piece had relaxed quite a bit I think so he will never give a long deep growl.  Now though he can give a little short grumble, especially if shaken a bit (not advisable to do that too much with a toy of this age).  I always like to get an old growler or squeaker working, even if not that well.

Here he is to date, just needing his new eyes and a teddy 'bath' and brush up.

A smiling Hubert, happy to know that
by tomorrow he will be able to see who
he is waving too!

I will show him in all his glory tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Gay Wedding

All of this publicity over the legalisation of Gay Marriages is getting people talking and arguing about if it is necessary.
I thought I would show how lovely a Civil Partnership could be if organised well.
My daughter had her wedding (Civil Partnership) a couple of weeks ago in the local Register Office followed by a reception attended by 80-100 friends and family.

They planned it just as anyone would plan a wedding, even down to the Groombride (my word) not seeing the bride until she came into the venue.  There was a beautiful wedding dress and bouquet, and the usher who was the bride's son wore a matching waistcoat and cravat. The bride's daughter's dress was purple to match the silver and purple colour scheme.

It was a lovely ceremony with the bride's son and daughter reading a short piece and the couple speaking their vows and expressing their love for each other.  Then they exchanged rings.
Waiting patiently for the bride to arrive
The only hitch was that the bride forgot her bouquet and kept my daughter waiting until it was fetched.

Outside there was confetti in abundance
They are now known as Mrs and Mrs xxxx. (real name not given for privacy purposes).

Everyone enjoyed the reception, there was a large buffet and a table with sweets especially for the children (which was enjoyed by the adults just as much).  

I must admit I was aprehensive beforehand but I needn't have worried as to all intents and purposes this was a wedding, just like any other, and  a well organised and enjoyable one at that.
It was not in Church, it was not religious, but I don't think it would have been if the law had been passed beforehand. 

This is what they wanted and they went off very happy for a few days at a forest lodge in the snow. 
The bride loves snow so this was her ideal honeymoon.
Me with my three children

I am proud of my daughter for standing up and showing everyone how much they love each other (and it was obvious on the day).  She has not been let down by her friends or family and has always been just 'Beanie'. This has been her nickname from a young age, the only people that call her by her Christian name is me and her close relatives.
I hope they have a long and a very happy marriage.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Miniature 1950's Dolls

I have come across a few little dolls whilst searching for teddy bears.
They are really cute and I am enjoying fidddling about dressing them.  I have dressed 2 babies and one toddler (bottom right in picture above), and a 1950's miniature pram that I have made bedding for, and I dressed the doll that was with it.
3" Baby Doll with Clover Mark and
open/close eyes SOLD

3" Baby Doll with Turtle Mark SOLD
The doll middle top in the group picture is a pot one and when I tried to tighten her joint elastic it was perished and broke.  I have managed today to get suitable elastic to mend her with.  I've never restringed a doll before, so watch this space :).

Miniature Pram with lace frilled pillow and cover with pink roses
with dressed 2.5" doll SOLD
1950's Little Girl Dollshouse 3" doll
Marked ES Germany and with open/close eyes

I have 2 more tiny babies to dress plus I am knitting a pretty outfit for this Turtle Marked 6" black doll.  He was called Mambi, made in 3 sizes and originally sold in this grass skirt.  He also had a sister called Wumbi.  This one has one of his earrings missing, but apart from that he is in excellent condition. 
The finished dolls and pram are in my Etsy shop and my Weebly website
The Mambi doll and the other little dolls will be available shortly after I have finished the Chiltern bears from the previous blog page.