Here's an interesting blog post about the recent Tonner convention in San Francisco. The author reports on RT's comments regarding future directions for ten inch child dolls. Thank goodness, it sounds like there is a definite future! (This is the entry for January 21, in case the link only goes to the main page of the blog.) http://tikidoll.blogspot.com/2013/01/san-francisco-tonner-luncheon-review.html
Today I want to introduce you to Nanael. While she has been part of our gang since 2008, she has just recently achieved a "modification" of her persona - she is now a little ghost!!! I was inspired to create this "role" for her by a wonderful children's story book called "Sounds Spooky", written by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Sarah Davis (Random House Australia, 2011)
Here are some links to Sarah Davis' websites where you can see her work on this book and others: http://www.behance.net/SarahDavis/frame/2251488 http://www.sarahdavisbooks.com/
Nanael is a Customhouse Petite Ai ball jointed doll with very similar proportions to the ten inch Tonner dolls, just a tad taller. She was produced in 2007 as a "Pink Flower Elf Nanael" (and has pointed elf ears to prove it!) She has white skin (perfectly ghostly!) and her face-up was done by the Customhouse artist Sarasoo. She now has new ghostly eyes from Ersa Flora and a new white wig (and a ghostly, raggedy dress, of course!) I was thinking perhaps the little ghost in "Sounds Spooky" had a name and this would be what we'd begin calling Nanael, but no, she is nameless. So Nanael is still Nanael. (Customhouse named many/most of the Petite Ai line with names of the archangels or names that sounded like the names of the archangels .... don't ask me why - I don't know! Customhouse and the Petite Ai line have a somewhat interesting history which I'll share when I feature one of my other Petite Ai's.)
Nanael's dress is proof positive that it is OK to never throw anything away! I had kept a piece of lingerie lace that had some ragged/ripped areas in it - I suppose I kept it because it has some areas that aren't ragged?? Anyway, it was just what I needed for Nanael's Miss Haversham-style outfit!! (Along with cheese cloth.)
Now you see her. Now you don't!! Boo!
(or some other image "enhancement" software.) Have you noticed the several listings on eBay for doll clothes using Patsy dolls for models that have the heads from several of the Tonner official photos 'shopped onto some other Tonner ten inch doll's body dressed in the outfit for sale?? The first one I saw was done very well - the only reason I realized what was going on was because the doll's eye color was so close to the green color shown in the original Tonner photos and I was wondering how the eBayer had found such a good match for transplanting. Then I realized that it was the same green since the head was the Tonner photo. Other listings I've seen since then don't have quite the same degree of talent when it comes to sticking a picture of a head on a picture of someone else's body - they're getting kind of creepy looking!!
I guess it must be a matter of marketing - that folks are "hyped" on Patsy right now and more liable to buy clothing for Patsy, rather than clothing that fits Patsy AND Ann Estelle AND Sophie, And et al?? Or at least the eBay sellers think so ...... R.
Imagine that - our website is one year old today!!!! I'm proud of the baby - I think we've done very well with him/her!!!
Here's a ME Too'sday entry - maybe we can say they are two little girls coming to the birthday party?? I know the outfit on the right as "The Birthday Diva", from the title of a rubber stamp which was my first "exposure" to the ME illustration.
This dress is one of my favorite ME outfits. I've redone the entire dress once and redone the picture several times! In the outfit's original form (before I had seen the original ME illustration and knew the "correct" colors) it was the first photo I shared over the internet, with a Yahoo group where I was a trepidatious member in about 2004. And the scene of the illustration called out for modeling by my first home-articulated Ann Estelle in 2008. And eventually Tonner used the same illustration for an outfit (..... but I must admit, I like mine better!)
2013 is the one year birthday for the website ..... and for me personally, it is the ten year anniversary for my affair with these wonderful dolls! I look forward to many more years of fun!!! R.
Two of the Patsy outfits arrived from Tonner today!! Here is a picture of Poppy (back at the train station? No, she's not leaving!) in her very own pink coat - very cute!! Such a lovely black chiffon bow - I know I can never re-tie it so well, so Poppy wriggled into the coat without untieing it.
And the old fashioned drop-waist white dress. Also very cute. Ann Estelle (from 2009) has joined the other dressed-up girls in front of the play room fire.
I was a bit daunted by how tight the tights of both outfits are and the bloomers with the white dress. I gave up trying to wrestle with them for the white outfit and used comparable pieces I have on hand that fit nicely. (And yes, I specifically chose this Ann Estelle to model since she is a jointed-knees doll and thus the same slightly smaller size as Poppy.) For my taste the shoes they are currently supplying with dolls and outfits are too small - once again, up until this point, easily substituted with shoes from the shoe closet. But strange! R.
We here at The Life and Times of Ann Estelle have been discussing ideas for new features on the blog and we've come up with a plan to introduce you to our individual dolls, one at a time, over the next year or so. Claudia describes this as showing you around our neighborhoods! So you will see a couple of new categories on the list to the right. My dolls will appear under "R's Joe Pye Clan"; Claudia's under "C's Neighborhood"; and Andria's .... maybe under "Andria"?
I've been spending a lot of time recently working on some of my own family history, doing genealogy searches. I've been working on a part of my family who originated in what is now Germany and was very excited to find a "Familienbücher" for "my" little town of Ensch. And was tickled that the author of this "FamilyBook" is a man named Tonner! So maybe RT and I have a very distant connection?
So with this amalgamation of thinking about family, thinking about Germany, and thinking about dolls, it became obvious to me that the first doll in the Joe Pye Clan that I want to "feature" is Andreas!
You can see the website for the company (selling to dealers only) here http://www.rf-collection.de/neu/firmengeschichte.html?L=1 and yes, there at the bottom of the page is a picture of Andreas, no less!
So having fallen in love with the little boy, I contacted the shopping network to see if I could purchase him. Sadly, they only sold to addresses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But then I started watching German eBay and in not too long a time an Andreas came up for sale!! The seller and I communicated with MUCH assistance from Babelfish and she decided that she would be willing to ship to me in the US if I won the doll. And happily, I did!! But then came the interesting process of getting cash Euros to her - she was not set up with PayPal, would not do a bank-to-bank transfer and only wanted cash. Luckily I was working for a bank at the time so it was a learning process for me to obtain foreign currency. And then I put it in an envelope and with great trepidation, mailed it! Sending cash in an envelope is one of those things that my mother told me never to do! Like going swimming right after you've eaten. Or crossing your eyes. Even worse, this was sending cash in an envelope overseas (and for all I know it might not be "legal"). But all was well - the letter arrived and Andreas was mailed to me. Then all wasn't well, because the poor kid must have come from Germany to Wisconsin via the Suez Canal, across the Indian Ocean, through the Panama Canal, up the east coast, down the St. Lawrence Seaway, etc etc and all in a very slow boat!! He took forever to get here! But he arrived safely, all in one piece, even with change in small Euro bills and coins (I could only purchase Euros in relatively large bills here and thus had sent more than the actual cost of the purchase.) To this day, he takes two of his Euro coins with him just about where ever he goes.
(I stopped to put some photos in since I thought maybe you were getting tired of listening to me talk!) So back to his arrival - my gang of little girls loved him!! Little girls as far away as Florida loved him!! This adoration was somewhat disconcerting to him to begin with, but he adapted to it well, without letting it go to his head. And within about a year and a half Tonner produced Michael, so Andreas wasn't the only boy in town.
Andreas is the antithesis of a lot of things I look for in a doll: He has no articulation below his shoulders and his proportions (a little like those of a very healthy cherub from a Baroque painting) mean that he can share no clothes with the rest of the gang. But oddly enough, even with this, he is one of my favorite dolls! This shows in the number of photos that he appears in throughout earlier blog entries and in some of the Firefly Girls of the World stories. While he is mindful of his status as a rare, all-porcelain doll (he doesn't go up on ladders or hang gliding like Michael and Christopher Robin) he does like activities like ice skating, skate boarding and swimming. He has a pet lizard named Anatole. He loves dressing up for Halloween!
I shall end with a couple more photos. I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to Andreas. You shall certainly see him again and again! Enjoy, R.
We've been looking at Poppy's goopy hair (I did tell you that "Patsy" has become "Poppy" here, didn't I??) and today Fanny (who was "Fancy Nancy's Little Sister" before she became "Fanny") decided to take matters into her own hands. She shared a couple of snap shots of her own make-over, before-and-after, with Poppy .....
... and this convinced Poppy that it was safe to put her coiffure into our hands.
First a shampoo .... Poppy doesn't look too happy, but then again, Poppy never looks too happy.
Then a couple of good rinses .....
Then on to the "salon" for the hard work of gossip and styling.
Poppy is under the drier right now so we have yet to see the final results, but things are looking hopeful! R.
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