The word is out that Robert Tonner announced at the recent Modern Doll Collector's Convention that he is going to revive the 10" Ann Estelle dolls for next year's 25th Tonner Doll anniversary!!!!
Nina, Fiona and Little Lou - all utilizing the zombie bodies from a couple of posts earlier.
Nina is Effner's "Portrait 9" sculpt, 6 7/8" head.
Fiona is the "Portrait 1" sculpt, 6 7/8" head.
And Little Lou is the "Little Lou II" sculpt, 7 1/4" head. Ironically enough now that I've done a fair number of these faces, this is the first/only one that is part of Dianna's "ABC" line, which means the iris of the eyes are "incised" on the eyeballs for guidance - training wheels, so to speak. I must admit left to my own devices, I would have probably have made her irises a bit larger, in proportion to the entire eye, but she certainly is a still a cutie. R.
It's team picture time for the Joe Pye Giants. Here are two of the stars of the team (we play "co-ed" sports here.)
Linzee has the most home runs in the entire league and Chu Tien is an ace fielder - stopping many a base runner with a clean catch and quick throw to the nearest base!
Linzee has a 7.25" porcelain head (and shoulders) on a modified Tonner mechanically jointed body. She is the "Linzee" Effner sculpt.
And Chu Tien you met in the last post. We've now decided on the (hopefully) best spelling of his name. And he is happy to get out of that "dress" and into some real boy togs .... and to have his hair back again. R.
Yes, here is the first of my chimeras made with the Tonner mechanically jointed body (one of those zombies from the previous post) and an Effner porcelain head and shoulder plate. (Although you have to take my word for it while he is dressed in his little emperor outfit, don't you?!) The combination (including the bead brain) seems to be working well - his head is stable but movable and the entire body is not top heavy and can stand with stability (not as stable as a Tenner body but .... OK.)
This is Dianna's "Portrait 8" sculpt, with a 7" head. He does have a name but I am not yet sure how to spell it (I've only heard it spoken in Chinese, not seen it written in English). (And yes, he does have a wig, but I like this classic look just for now.) Stay tuned. R.
Have you ever wondered what dolly brains look like? Well Drs. Annie Laurie and Sudha have found out in the last several days!! Great surgery is occurring at Joe Pye Hospital as we speak!! And here, for the first time ever, is a photo of a real dolly brain ......
And you thought that dolly brains were those screwgle things, didn't you?! You were wrong - they are pink spheres with somewhat angry faces!!
The reason we have found this out is because we are currently working on transplanting porcelain heads that are molded together with their neck, thus they cannot go on a body that already has a neck (like a Tenner or like an unaltered Tonner body). The project is slowly coming together but meanwhile, there are five headless bodies pacing around the lab ....
Not ALL brains are pink and angry ...... the bigger ones are taupe and goofy!
Here you can see the bodies that are waiting impatiently for their heads. They are Tonner bodies, the "new" kind that is not strung with elastic. I had to use this kind of body because the head will not/cannot be connected to the legs with elastic, thus the legs needed to be independently attached to the body.
I have cut the neck off so that the porcelain shoulder pieces that go with the porcelain heads fit down on the plastic shoulders. I have left one unfinished so you can see the cut. (The white material in the neck cup is "classic" pliver, to suede the porcelain-to-porcelain joint.)
I thread the elastic through a button like thing, then through the hole in the shoulder plate. Then I glue the porcelain shoulder plate to the body. When I'm finished painting the heads (and I'm to the fun part of painting the eyes now) the elastic will get threaded up through a hole in the base of the neck, into the head, and then tied tightly around the brains/bead to hold the head taught to the body. At least that's the theory. So far everything is working the way it should but we haven't reached that absolute final step yet ...... No, it isn't the greatest looking body in the world (these dolls won't be going to the beach in a bikini!) but it is a way to include this type of Effner porcelain into my doll clan - before this I have only worked with her sculpts where the neck is NOT part of the head.
(And why, you ask, did I get the pink painted "brain" beads?? Because it turned out that not all the holes in the tops of the porcelain heads are large enough to insert the bigger beads that I anticipated using, and only correct size beads that I could find in the limited local "craft" shop were these painted ones! I quickly realized that they are "brains", don't you agree?) R.
I recently received five new Effner porcelain heads to paint - I've been waiting impatiently for them for a while now. I've started working on them - the somewhat boring and tedious job of putting down the primer coats with the airbrush and then sponging on the nuanced layers of "flesh" and blush, "baking" on each layer in the oven. Yes, it's boring, but still open to disaster! I work on them all together at this stage because revving up the air brush is labor intensive enough that it is easier to work parallel on five heads at a time instead of one head at a time.
This afternoon I started the flesh layers and was kind of going along, ho hum, when I suddenly realized the head in my hands belongs to a little boy!! A stubborn little Asian boy!! So hopefully my upcoming painting will be able to do him justice. This is note worthy because so many of these heads belong to little girls. And it is note worthy because of the jolt it gives me when I recognize a "personality" as I'm doing these face-ups. Before this it has always happened farther along in the process - while painting the features. I'll suddenly see that the face looks like someone "real". Sadly, I'm not enough of an artist to "capitalize" on this as I continue to paint the features and just as suddenly as the personality comes, it usually suddenly disappears!! Sigh. R.
Sharron alerted me to the fact that not only was yesterday Doll Day, it was Sewing Machine Day!! So we're having an extra special time here! Some more pictures of the new sewing machine with the thread that I added .....
Somewhat hard to see, but it does go from the spool, across to the dohicky that goes up and down and down to the needle foot.
Thanks for the heads up Sharron! R.
It isn't often anymore that I find a new prop that I want to share. But today's mail brought the exception!
It's a music box (this one plays a kind of high-pitched "Fur Elise").
It is made of plastic, but the "wood" surface is quite good looking. When the music box is wound up and playing, the pressure foot goes up and down, the wheel turns, and the foot peddle moves up and down.
I got mine on eBay (search "sewing machine music box"). The box says "Sartorius Music, No. YL1010". (It also says "Products Show. Fashion style chick here you will find which you uke quickly" .... not sure what that means.) There are lots of dealers on eBay from China selling the same thing, all at about the same price. I bought this one from mgshow - everything was great with the transaction and shipping only took about a week.
So, I think I'll put some thread on the spool and a more interesting shape of fabric under the pressure foot. For use with most of my chairs, it will help if it is raised a little bit off the ground, so I'll make something "custom" to fit under the base (i.e. instead of the pink silicone hot pad!) R.
"Wanna come skip rope with me and Pup??"
This is a porcelain doll made by Dianna Effner for UFDC in 2004 called "Little Mommy". It is the Jenny II sculpt, also known as Bedtime Jenny - an absolute cutie! Try as I may, this is one doll that I have not been able to alter as far as her body construction (other than to take out some of her stuffing at the waist line.) But that's OK - look, she's standing quite well without the stand. Her arms won't do anything other that what they are doing now, but she certainly does hug things well.
I've spent time during the last couple of days painting over her factory-painted eyes. They weren't bad ..... but she did look like she was in a hypnotic trance! I think she's happier now. R.
The International Doll & Teddy Show is coming up in Asheville June 5-7. http://www.internationaldollshow.com/ It looks like it is continuing to grow and expand - I see that this year the Tonner folk will be there! R.
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