Cats and books and fabric! And then add a doll!! What can be better than that? I found this wonderful fabric on Spoonflower. It is a design by Heleen van Buul of the Netherlands. http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/3694028-library-cats-small-by-heleenvanbuul
(The other fabrics in this outfit come from my humongous stash. One thing to keep in mind when buying from Spoonflower is that the printed area of their "fat quarters" is approximately 21" X 18", so this may be a bit smaller than you are used to working with in "fat quarters" cut from a bolt of 45" wide fabric. It will be enough for a dress with a full skirt, but maybe just enough.) R.
In the "good old days" when Tonner was producing Ann Estelle dolls, for me one of the really fun things was figuring out which Mary Engelbreit illustrations the outfits were based on when the much-anticipated photos of the new dolls would go up on the Tonner website. I myself ended up with a huge collection of ME calendars, for "reference".
As some of you may know, if you saw a "spat" I got into with a woman who used our photos for her own presentation of a history of Ann Estelle that she shared on Mary Engelbreit's Facebook page, it was our original hope/desire four and a half years ago (?!) to be able to present our photos of the Tonner dolls and outfits side-by-side with the Engelbreit inspiration artwork. We asked the appropriate people in Engelbreit's corporate structure but were never actually given permission to use her drawings, and so we did not use 'em (well, except those that I sneak in for the occasional blog post .....)
Good news came at the recent Tonner convention when Andria met Mary Engelbreit and discussed the idea with her again. This time she gave her blessing!!!!
So hopefully, sometime in the future you will see "new and improved" pages under the "Ann Estelle Story" pull-down menu! I'm not sure if Andria is interested in working on this part of the project so it may be up to me alone .... yikes, I'll have to tear myself away from my genealogy work and re-learn how to put Weebly pages together!! I think that once this "feature" is included we can, without a doubt, declare this to be THE magnum opus website for the ten inch Ann Estelle dolls!!!!!! R.
The Mary Engelbreit/Ann Estelle event is occurring as I write at the Tonner 25th anniversary convention in Ohio!! Here is a picture from Tonner Co. on Facebook.
So obviously one of the Ann Estelle dolls is the new Tonner 18" doll. Holding my breath for a 10"er!! Andria is there so hopefully she'll share news and pictures with us?? R.
Update #1: lunch is over and the 10"ers have appeared!!! Looks like they are dressed to match the image in the ME illustration at the table settings (top photo). These photos are also from Tonner Co. on Facebook. Sooooo good to see little Ann Estelle's sweet face again!!!!!!!
Update #2: I see someone has already put one of these up for sale on eBay - so you can see her there. Brown eyes!!!! (And there is an Ellowynne-sized doll in a look-alike outfit.)
Update #3: from Mary Engelbreit's Facebook page: "in Columbus, OH today for the 25th anniversary of the Tonner Doll Company! What an amazing event! Robert Tonner, The World's Nicest Person, made my dolls starting about 17 years ago. We took a little break and now he's going to make them again! We'll have an 18 inch doll, suitable for kids to actually play with, not just for collectors, that will be available in the fall. And lots of new outfits for my old dolls, Ann Estelle, Georgia, Gracie, and Audrey Ann! Today they showed 2 beautiful new dolls that are only available today at the event. Luckily we have a couple and will be raffling them off later this week when we get home." (Italics mine.)
June 6 - Update #4 Tonner has posted studio photos of the new dolls, in anticipation of their sales period later in the week. So here is the official Tonner picture of the new Ann Estelle!!
And the flower fairies have come out to play in the Joe Pye gardens! Happy faces! Happy dancers!!
Linzee in the Monarch Butterfly outfit.
Lolly keeping tabs on little Matilda, in her lady bug outfit .... with visiting bugs!
and Sunny ....
and a closeup of Matilda! She's the only serious face in the bunch!
I made the three flower/butterfly fairy outfits way back in 2009, in a period when I had no cat-safe display area, before Joe Pye Towers were built. So it is high time that I got them out again and let the dolls romp in them. The two dresses are based on a wonderful pattern by Magalie Houle Dawson. Here are some photos from 2009 focusing on the outfits:
This is my final post comparing Effner sculpts (having run through all the sculpts that Ashton-Drake has used.) These two dolls use the "Nicole" sculpt.
On the left is a porcelain Nicole, painted by me and on the right is a vinyl Ashton-Drake Alice-in-Wonderland, repainted by me. Both utilize resin ball-jointed Tenner bodies.
Alice has the smallest head of all the Ashton-Drake dolls .... and Nicole has a relatively large head, so they look a tad odd together.
I hope you've enjoyed my presentation of doll genealogy! R.
Here are two dolls that use the "Little Darling 2" sculpt.
On the left is the vinyl Ashton-Drake "Tiny Fancy Shawl Dancer" and on the right a porcelain head, both painted by me. The porcelain head is on a resin ball jointed Tenner body (and just in case you are wondering - no, this wonderful Boneka Korean outfit doesn't really fit the Tenner body, but is close enough to still make a nice photo, I think!) (As always, click on the photo to enlarge.)
And in case you keep track of these things (but no, I don't expect you to!) this is the first portrait of Yuan since I improved the shape of her lips .... much better!! R.
Here are three dolls that use the "Allison" sculpt.
In the center is a porcelain head, painted by me and the two flanking dolls are vinyl Ashton-Drake dolls, re-painted by me. On the left, "Walk for a Cure II" and on the right "Little Jingle Dancer", both with their A-D upper torsos and arms on Tenner lower torso. Alison, in the center has an entire resin ball jointed Tenner body.
Here are two dolls that use the "Madeline" sculpt.
On the left is a re-painted-by-me vinyl Ashton-Drake "Walk for a Cure" and on the right is a porcelain head, painted by me.
Here are Ashton-Drake promotional photos of prototypes of two of their dolls that use the "Madeline" sculpt. I believe there is a more recent Princess doll that also uses this sculpt.
Both these dolls utilize the resin ball jointed Tenner body - Brigitte (my name for the Walk for the Cure doll) retains her vinyl arms and upper torso. R.
Here are two dolls that use the "Jenny I" sculpt.
On the left is a porcelain doll called "Little Playmate" that was painted overseas, made for the 2004 UFDC convention. On the right is a vinyl head from the Ashton-Drake "MaryMary" doll, repainted by me.
Here is a copy of the promotional photo by Ashton-Drake of the prototype doll.
Little Playmate is a cloth-body doll with porcelain extremities. My MaryMary has her vinyl upper torso and arms on a resin ball-jointed Tenner lower torso and legs. R.
Continuing my presentation of Effner cousins, here are two dolls that use the "Bridget" face sculpt.
On the left is the head from the vinyl Ashton-Drake "Little Red Riding Hood" (repainted by me with air-dried paints way back when I started learning to paint!) and on the right is a porcelain head used with a 2007 special edition called "Little Miss Liberty Bell" (painted with porcelain paints by members of Dianna's Doll Dreamers Guild).
Here is a copy of an Ashton-Drake promo photo showing the prototype face-up on the vinyl dolls (which, as we all know, was not the same as the actual marketed dolls.)
My Red has her vinyl Ashton-Drake head, arms and upper torso on a resin ball-jointed Tenner lower torso and legs. Miss Liberty Belle is an entire porcelain body (hence a little taller than my Ann Estelle based chimeras.)
"Bridget" is a tricky sculpt to paint well, in my opinion (but no, I haven't tried it in porcelain). She can easily get an unattractive supercilious look .... R.
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