It has been an interesting week filled with wonderful new accomplishments.
For years now I've been interested in Composition dolls. These dolls were created in the early 20th century up til the advent of vinyl dolls in the 50's. They were originally created to be more resilient than bisque. They are less likely to break, but composition is pressed sawdust molded in the shape of a doll and painted; many times hand painted. They have to have a regulated temperature and humidity environment or the wood expands and the paint can crack. Water is not a composition dolls friend. In the 1940's composition dolls started to have soft bodies, but composition head, arms, and legs. Up until the 40's the dolls were all composition. I like all composition dolls because, to me, it's an art form that has passed, and their faces are so precious. While I do like these dolls, my interest lies in rescuing them. Taking a damaged doll and attempting to bring it back to a new life. I think of Toy Story a lot when dealing with dolls. No I don't think they are alive, but you never know so I am really careful about how I treat my toys. We all know what happened to Sid. I first learned to clean, re-string, and re paint faces. A couple of weeks ago at an antique store, I found a doll in need of more major repairs than I ever attempted. I bought her for $12 and have been working on her. What stated off as making a new soft body, cleaning, and maybe a touch up of paint, has turned into s full out learning session in repainting the whole doll cracked legs and all. Once done she will have had a new body created, re-painted with an air brush, face re-painted, and all arms and legs attached. I also intend to make her a new outfit just for her and then she will be put up for "adoption". Here is her before pic
Here is the body in progress
Here she is again after cleaning and with her new body. She is missing a left leg and so I am in the market for one. Until then she will be handicapped.
You can't see it in the pictures, but the paint has peeled off of her head on the top where the two halves of the mold were put together. This is common. I have removed the flaked off paint and am waiting on the putty to arrive to patch and paint the area again. Once that happens her restoration should move much faster.
In addition to playing with dolls I've had an over stuffed chair that has been the bane of my existence. While definitely the most comfortable chair in the house, it is or was the ugliest. The upholstery had torn and was stained and the pinkish color was blotchy. I should have had the fore sight to take a before picture, but I was so eager to get started I forgot until it was too late. But I can show the after. Here tis
I have since finished two throw pillows for the living room and am working on a runner for my dining room table. I will post pics of them later. The chair is now "Mama's chair". As it should be. The great part of this is the fabric came from a thrift store. I got all of the fabric for this chair for $8. All of it. Aside from that the only other cost was some upholstery staples and my time. It was easy peasy (uh remind me I need to replace my sz 14 sewing needles). The contrasting fabric you see on this was from an old king size bed skirt. I had donated the comforter and shams to a thrift store not realizing the bed skirt was left out. I ran out of the Blue denim and needed something to help. I found this during my fabric search. You can't tell it by the picture, but the fabric is brown with the same color blue in design. The pillows are brown and the sofa soon will be. The table runner will also tie in even though it will be in the dining room.
It has been a fun week, but tiring. Feeling pretty good though. Moral of the story! Make the most of what you have! Can it be given new life instead of thrown away? What are some of your rescues?