Santa is hard at work, making THAT list!! Checking it twice!!! (And we all know who's been naughty. But thank goodness there are also soooo many nice folks!!!)
And look who has dropped by to make Santa's work day a little brighter - my favorite elf Lily!!!
Talking with a friend about Tonner's recent Jamie-from-Outlander doll reminded me of a photo I took way back in 2008. No I did not make the outfit (and sadly can't remember the name of the seamstress) and yes, I did steal the set of pipes from a poor wee plastic tourism doll I found on eBay. I really need to get the outfit and pipes out again and put them on a well-articulated doll - in 2008 our fabulous Tenner ball jointed body was still only a dream and there was no way that Michael could actually hold the bagpipes (they are just magically levitating on his chest I guess!) What a difference that makes, eh?!
The strange creature to the left is someone's interpretation of a Highland Cow ... not really sure about that but at least he/she certainly looks happy!? Enjoy! R.
In the last couple of weeks I've worked on a project enhancing the lighting within Joe Pye Towers. And now it is finished!! Hard to get a "good" photo of the overall affect, but I still wanted to share the project. It continues to amaze me how quickly LED style lights have evolved over the last couple of years (and how their cost has fallen). Originally I lighted each cubicle with three single bulb fixtures. The new lights at the front of the cubicles are strips with six bulbs each .... and I moved two of the old one-bulb lights towards the back of each cubicle. They all have self timers, so I can walk away leaving them on and not worry about forgetting to come back to turn them off.
Many thanks to Brother for creating the nifty triangular pieces of wood that I mounted the front lights on, allowing the light to be projected into the cubicles instead of just straight down.
And yes, I know that these photos show that I haven't "done" anything new with my gang since February of 2017. I certainly still love 'em and little by little that is going to change now, I hope!! R.
Tricia and Annie Laurie are working on a summer project for their Firefly genealogy badges and they went to visit Dame Cecilia to talk to her about genealogy - Dame Cecilia and I share a common passion for ancestors!!! And it's good to see the young 'uns interested too!!
First they looked at antique family photos, maps and fan-shaped "tree" charts. And then Dame Cecilia told them about DNA analysis and what interesting breakthroughs it can lead to.
.... and then Dame Cecilia booted up her Apple laptop to show them a couple of her family trees in Ancestry.com.
The girls were really impressed at how much Dame Cecilia knows about her interesting ancestors and how well she has everything organized!! They are inspired to go home and work hard on their own families!!
Speaking of history, while working on these photos, it amazed me to realize that it has been eleven years since the first Firefly Girls of the World event! How time flies, whether you're having fun or not, eh? Here's a golden oldie photo of the first marshmallow roast.
Meanwhile, there has been an addition to Joe Pye Towers - a beautiful, two-story solarium (on wheels, no less!) This was a wonderful gift from my niece - many thanks, Donna!! Here you can see Dame Cecilia working on her laptop while relaxing on the upper level and Azalea taking care of watering the plants on the lower level. Cecilia and Azalea are too tall to live in Joe Pye Towers, so this is a great way to include them in on the day-to-day fun! R.
I don't know about you, but I am REALLY looking forward to the end of the Year of the Chicken!!! It has been a pretty bad year for me and I'm hoping that the Year of the Dog will be much better?? And I'm hoping that part of being "better" will mean that I can start to enjoy my doll gang again and start to post again here!!
I have a friend who says that the Year of the Chicken always "sucks". But maybe it depends on what year you yourself were born in, because I know I've heard good news during the year from many friends (such things as cute new grandchildren, moves to new homes, new hobbies acquired with enthusiasm .....)? Whatever the case, I myself am waving a vigorous farewell to the Chicken!!!!!! R.
Last week I was going through some of the many files languishing on my computer and I stumbled upon a video I made for the 2014 Modern Doll Collectors Convention. The presentation featured all of Robert Tonner's 10" child dolls made of vinyl and hard plastic. Robert even attended the event and was gracious enough to answer questions about the dolls.
Many of my dolls were on display as examples of each group but the video demonstrated just how many adorable little dolls Tonner Dolls produced. While the video only includes the dolls released through 2014, I hope you will still enjoy it.
As a collector I love to seek out details and tiny bits of information about the dolls I love. Today I want to share one of those bits with you.
While Ann Estelle was my first Tonner doll and the one I fell in love with, she wasn’t Robert’s first vinyl ten-inch child doll. That honor belongs to Linda McCall. She was based on the two-year-old character in the Betsy McCall paper dolls introduced in April 1952. Please note that Betsy was identified as being only 5 or 6 years old while in our minds our dolls can be any age we wish.
Robert created his version of Betsy McCall in 1996 and Linda was added to Betsy’s world in 1998.
In her first appearance, Linda McCall, '"An American in Paris" was shown at the UFDC's 49th National Convention "A French Tapestry" held in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 11, 1998 in a limited edition of 325. She was paired at this event with her older cousin Betsy wearing coordinated navy outfits.
Her straight leg body was used for Ann Estelle who was introduced in 1999. You can even find a tiny “LM” on the inside upper part of both legs indicating that the same molds were used for both dolls. In late 2006 the bodies were forever changed to hard plastic to make the new bendy knees possible.
Ann Estelle and her friends in the Mary Engelbreit Collection (Sophie, Georgia, Gracie, Michael and Lilah) ended as part of the regular line in 2009 after an impressive ten-year run. Along the way, Robert created other collections using the ten-inch child body including Petite Filles, Small World, Half-Pint, Dr. Seuss and the extremely successful Patsy.
However, it was Ann Estelle who made the last bow for our ten-inch sweeties at Robert’s 25th Anniversary convention at a special event with Mary Engelbreit held on June 4, 2016 in Columbus Ohio. She was titled “A Bit Younger” and had the very latest body with articulated wrists, elbows and knees. She had a limited edition of only 200, but sometimes you can find her on eBay.
So that is the very brief story of the first and last of the incredibly cute Tonner ten-inch vinyl child dolls during their 18 year run.
Here's a golden oldie from 2010. This bunny head was made by Custom House to fit on their Petite Ai bodies.
I apologize that there are problems with a somewhat random selection of the website images not enlarging when you left click on them the way that they should. I'm working (although that isn't quite the correct verb!) with Weebly to correct the problem, hoping that I don't have to go back and re-load all the non-functioning images! In fact, I don't have the originals of some of the ones that are "broken" so there would be no "fixing" them. Sigh.
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