Monday, March 28, 2011

R&D--Research & Dolls

I've been reading more than stitching the last few days. I've decided I'm doing research and idea icubation, which is vital to the creative process. Otherwise I'd have to admit to being lazy, and I'm not ready to concede that point.

I got a huge lot of old doll magazines on eBay (Dolls, Doll Reader, Doll Collector, Costuming and Crafting...), and I've had the greatest time going through them. The issues prior to ~1999-2000, especially the ads, seemed ancient, because there's no internet info--no websites or emails, just mailing addresses, and coupons to fill out and send in, and phone #s. OMG HOW DID WE LIVE LIKE THAT?!?

The biggest difference, though, is in the dolls: they're primarily porcelain, elaborately costumed cabinet dolls. Vinyl is seldom seen, and resin is absolutely nowhere in sight. The creative explosion that occurred a few years later isn't in evidence. I have yet to find patterns or how-tos or creative encouragement in anything other than Soft Dolls & Animals and Doll Crafter. I found a couple of articles in older Dolls that almost apologize for changing any doll in any way.

Doll Reader used to be massive, comparatively speaking, three to four times thicker than today's issues, but a lot of the bulk is in print ads that are 4 or 5 pages in some spreads--no websites meant that the stores had to get most of their stock in print. There's a lot more discussion of antique dolls, though, which is fascinating. I just got a resin Bleuette, am trying to get my hands on a good Hitty, and have four or five compo play dolls that belonged to Ann--these last aren't exactly antique, but I want to take good care of them.

I'm getting a lot of great ideas for doll outfits, though, esp. older styles. I'm resolutely a casual dresser, in extremis for myself (I live in sweatpants. Anyone surprised?), and for my dolls--I dress them in everyday clothes that are well-made (usually by me) and would be comfortable on them if they were alive. Really elaborate costuming doesn't do much for me, and I'll probably never bother to design a wedding gown. Unless it's denim. Or feedsack. Burlap?

Hitty Her First Hundred Years


  1. Hey Tiggs is letting me use her account to respond LOL! Love your blog! So glad you are writing more. I soooo want to see what you have sewn. I am still pretty sewing challenged, and you know Tiggs has a high wardrobe volume so I really do need to get stitchin!

    I too have a stock of old Doll Readers and they are sooo much fun! I too just got a huge lot of Doll costuming - what a neat mag! Also I so adore my Ruby Red Galleria Bleuette - she moves so smoothly doesnt she?! Their first outfits were amazing, but I bought some recent ones and they are not as good, so I am hoping to try some Bleuette patterns soon. These old Doll Costuming mags have alot of great Bleuette patterns.

    On the Hitty front - so Delighted you loved the book! Tiggs put up a response to you, but I figured I would hop over and add here that Stonedragon44 on Ebay was the first Hitty carver I got hooked on, I really like hers because they are elastic jointed, which makes for alot more movement, and a softer feel to the doll. Hitty Buzby was carved by me from one of her blanks, after staring at Hittys for the longest time and sooooo thinking No Way could I ever carve! I have carved I think 5 now, 2 full sized, and three smaller ones. Fung Hicks also makes really nice reasonably priced Hittys. Those are peg jointed, as is the first one I carved. Tiggy will take a pic with the Hittys soon for ya!

    I dont sell mine because they take me ages, but I have collected alot and I think StoneDragon44 is my favorite maker, though alot of lovely Hittys do make it to Ebay. They are getting really expensive now, but keyword Raikes Hitty as well, he made some really nice ones too.


  2. Hiiiiii! I'm glad Tiggy's being generous with her blog account. Now that she's in uniform, I wouldn't want to get on her bad side!

    I''m thrilled with my resin Bleuette! I finally took a deep breath, dived in, andgot the Persian Mystery edition, which I'd been eyeing for a while and realized she'd be sold out soon. Purple dress, embroidery, extra face, what's not to love? She's my first Bleuette! I never got a porcelain or bisque girl because...well, I'd break it. I drop things. I have actually near-totally destroyed a complete set of Correllware. *facepalm* Unbreakable doesn't apply in my presence. I've been tempted recently by a couple of repro Daisyettes, tho, and I got the cloth Bleuette pattern from a few months ago that I want to make. Watch me break a cloth one. ;D

    Tiggy was actually my intro to Hitty! I had actually never seen her before Tiggy started posting about her. How I missed her when I was a kid, I don't know, as I was reading everything in sight. (Still do.) I loved the post with the tree: "Come out, Hittys, I know you're in there!" Hitty Buzby is *gorgeous*, so all that work was well worth it! I'm half-afraid to carve one, tho. *eep* Along with being gravitationally challenged, I can't be trusted with sharp things....and yes, I've cut and pinned myself countless times while sewing. *am hopeless* I found StoneDragon44 on eBay, thanks for the lead! She has a stunning Hitty on eBay right now, and I've put in a bid. How much do hers usually go for? I want to make sure I bid enough to have a good chance on her! I also bid on two UFDC-set Raikes Hittys. I figure this way I should get at least 1, and if I end up with all 3, BONUS!!

    I need to take pics, I have a LOT of clothes to show off. I also have 4 Ellowyne Wildes, who is a joy to sew for, and I spent a whole summer furiously stitching for her. Them. ;D I got a "Sharmistha," a lovely full-figured (ie, fat like me!) bjd made 1 at a time by a guy in Milwaukee, and of course there aren't any patterns for her. Thus I am also learning some basic pattern drafting.

    All those lovely old doll mags, all those patterns for Bleuette! I am in awe of the history attached to both Bleuette and Hitty, and the generations of love and devotion they've inspired. I heart them real good.

    I loved the new Tiggy post with Miss La Belle! She's so cyoooooooot I could plotz! I do hope Charles Stephan has his act together now. His designs are amazing! I bought a Robin Hunter when DDE had him a couple weeks ago, but alas, I do not love him. *am sad* I'm trying to rehome him to someone who will utterly adore him. I'm asking more than I paid, tho, which is making me feel bad!, so I may knock that price down. I'd rather he be loved than I get a few extea bucks, truly. I'll never get rich being ethical. ;P

    Give Tiggy a smooch for me! Oh, and ask her if she likes cotton sundresses for summer. No reason, just wondering. ;D

  3. Tiggys letting me use her acct again LOL!

    First off - you Gotta put up pics of your dolls and the outfits you have made - I am soooo dying to see! (And Ofc. Tiggs has made mention of citations pending!)

    If you havent already sold him, I know an awesome faceup artist who happens to specialize in these CCC dolls, she made a man out of Prof. Hunter which you can see by keywording "Hunter" on Tiggys bloggie. Also, did you realize he glows in the dark? I didnt realize that till mine came.

    If you sold him, you truly do have the right to sell for extra as he is probably never going to be possible to get again.

    I looked over Connie's (stonedragon44) Hitty and she is absolutely gorgeous! I also looked over the recent ones which sold, and it looks like a similar, but not quite as lovely one went for 300. I once put up a bid at the last possible moment for one which went for over 500, so its a crapshoot as to what she will go for. Luckily there is a new one up by a very talented carver cassieq, so the die hard Hitty bidders may get distracted bidding her up at the last seconds. One thing is certain, the Hitty folk are very crafty when it comes to bidding, so its hard to judge. Usually a Connie Hitty will go for around 150 - 200, but thats a gorgeous carve, and a lovely outfit, so she may indeed get bid up. I think the last cassieq went for alot - her style is very similar to Lotz Hittys, the most famous of these being the famous Sevashteen who travels all over the world - Keyword Lotz Hitty and Sevashteen and have Fun!

    Anyway, its possible given noone is bidding yet that they are waiting to pounce on the cassieq at the last second to save some money, so maybe Connies will be able to be yours!

    Robert Raikes made alot of Hitty dolls, and they come up quite often, so look up what they have sold for, you can usually get one for around 150-225 I think, and sometimes even cheaper. They are also elastic jointed, which I do like.

    Fung Hicks makes beautiful Hittys, and I think if you follow links from you will find other artist sites and a buy it now price that might suit you well too!

    As to Charles, well our Belle piglet was poorly packaged, and has chips all along her left hip, so given every damn CCC I have bought direct from Charles (other than Tiggy which was via Luxour), has been either chipped or defective Charles having his act together is so Not...

    But, Grace at will be coming out with a creation of by Charles in the coming weeks, so get on her newsletter. The upside is that there will be parts available to make the doll whole, and they will be well packaged, the downside is that they will probably be the more plastic resin instead of handcast.

    I did get my CCC dolls fixed to wholeness by Leopardessmoon, so if you ever run into trouble, she is amazing at fixing up resin dolls to wholeness. Someday the spunky Tiggy will end up there, but for now its just been her brand new sisters. But they did come back incredibly well done and whole. She is who fixed up Prof. Hunter as well.

    Sooooo looking forward to seeing more pics on your blog of your creations! I do so enjoy your writing and Tiggy LuVs yer comments!

    Well I gotta run now - Tiggs is callins!

  4. Oh PS! About cotton sundresses for summer?! OMG SQUEEEE!!!!!

  5. Real quick question, longer comment tomorrow-- measurements for Tiggy, please! No reason. Just curious. Hee!

  6. You must post pictures of your Ellos' in their new duds!

    *runs from the room before she is sucked into yet MORE dolls!* ;-)

  7. I must post pics of many things, Lisa! AAAAAAHH! I fail at photos. *hangs head in shame*

  8. I hope that I posted enough pics last night to keep me out of Fae Court. Tiggy can be *really* intimidating! Eeep!

    I bought the beautiful Hitty on etsy! I think cassieq owes Tiggy a finder's fee. :D I did mention that Tiggy recommended her Hittys, and found this one for me YAYS!

    I did sell Robin Hunter for what I asked, so is good. I decided the extra money was my matchmaking fee.

    Ahhhh, what's with all the damn CCC chips?!? He's being stingy with the resin or the mold release agent. I'm glad RH was whole so I didn't have to take a loss. Grace won't put up with that bullhockey, so I'm really glad she stepped in. Tiggy is and was perfect, how could she possibly be otherwise?

    Leopardnessmoon has crazymadskillz. I'll keep that in mind if any of my dolls break--and considering I handle them a lot and take them places, it's bound to happen. Especially with my Crazy Ear addiction. Elf ears and animal ears can be fragile and worry-making. The crazy ears weird my husband out, so I'm waiting for him to "accidentally" knock a dolly off a shelf. He's going to lose his bananas when Nelly arrives!

    I'm really pleased that Tiggs approves of my lowleymost attempities of Tiggyspeak. Yay, I'm not embarrasingliest monolinguals no mores! *dances on piano keys* Waitsaminnut. I gots no pyanny! *stomp*

    Off to more stitchings (honest, Tiggs!).


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