It seems whenever the monster known as depression hits hard in my life (which it has been a lot lately) dolls and there fantasy world come galloping in to help me through it. So I thought today I would share another love of mine, bathing beauty dolls. These dolls are beautiful and risqué; what could be a better combination?
These dolls started to be produced around the early 1900s into the 1920s. Some had clothes painted/molded on, some had fabric or lace glued to them as clothing. I have seen some with mohair and some with painted/molded on hair. Basically, there is something for everyone! I tend to like the ones in undergarments since that is something I collect in full size vintage clothing. Here are some great examples of bathing beauty dolls:
And to end this little post, I present to you a bathing beauty doing what I can only figure is interpretive dance? Whatever she is doing, she is looking good while doing it!
I normally do not review books (mainly because I read too many books and don’t have time to review them) but this one is special. This book is a diary from a boy that lived in Macon, GA during the civil war and wrote about everything! His name is Leroy Gresham. He wrote about his injury (that left him an invalid), the comings and goings in his house, everyday chit chat and the war itself. There is a little bit of everything for everyone in this diary. What does this mean to you? This means you can read a war years diary and focus on what interests you. Some diary’s I have read in the past focus on one subject or another but this one has something for everyone!
I will admit I have not finished reading this book yet. It has been my go to book this past two weeks to read during downtime at work and we haven’t had much of that. Normally I read much faster but reading this slower has given me the chance to savor all the little details. Some of the details that fascinated me was when he talked about Christmas presents, everyday presents of food and his appetite for reading. Leroy was given so many presents of food on a weekly basis! You can get a feel for what types of fruit(and sweets!)were available in his area of the country too. He mentions many times receiving cantaloupes. I have been studying the Civil War for most of my life and had not realized that they had cantaloupes (though I’m not a food historian by any means!). He also talks about the quantities of peaches his family receives. That should come as no surprise as peaches as a staple in Georgia even today.
The diary spans from 1860 to Leroy’s death in 1865. It is sad that as you read this dairy you can see his heath deteriorating but through it all he maintains his good spirits and sunny outlook. If you are interested in reading this diary I will link it below as well as the book that is all about his medical condition. The editor has done a fabulous job on this book and we hope to see her do more in the future!
The War Outside my Window
I am Perhaps Dying
Memorial Day officially started in 1868 as “Decoration Day”. General John A Logan, the Commander in Chief of The Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,”. This specific date was chosen since it was not an anniversary of any battle.
By 1890 all states had made Decoration Day an official state holiday. Southern states did not honor their dead on the same day until after WWI. Eventually Decoration Day was becoming known as Memorial Day. It was first called this in 1882. In 1968, it was officially made the last Monday in May to make a three-day weekend for federal employees. This finally went into full effect in 1971.
Our group The Civilians of Gettysburg, does an 1860’s Decoration Day ceremony in front of the soldier’s monument at the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA. We do poetry readings, talk about the origins of the holiday, and sing a few hymns. Sadly, I did not get any photos of the ceremony since we like to keep modern devices out of the public view for events. But we did get photos afterwards in the cemetery.
Have a fun weekend and remember to honor those who have fought for our freedom.
This is what Currier and Ives called itself. The name says it all! If you go to antique stores, browse eBay etc. etc. you have probably seen these cheaply produced but colorful lithographs before. They vary in subject matter from landscapes to pretty ladies to kittens. But the subject of today’s post is not those subjects but Mourning prints.
During the Victorian years (1837-1901) there were many popular types of mourning art for a person’s walls. One type was hair wreaths or hair art. These would have been pricey unless in the case of the hair wreath, you did it yourself. Another type of mourning art was embroidered mourning pictures. Think of these as a huge investment and to own one you needed to have money to “burn” so to speak. What did the average person in the mid-19th century do for “mourning art”? Currier and Ives had the solution. They were selling every other genre of cheap artwork and then added mourning art to their repertoire. These were printed so that you filled in the name and dates of your loved one or loved ones. Many you find today are framed in the “Currier and Ives” style frames. This is a simple frame that has a thin layer of veneer on it.
I have several in my house and LOVE them! They adorn my living room walls for all to see. After staring at these for a while, I decided to reproduce one for Lydia Ann.
There were many to choose from so I just picked the first one I saw and went from there. I figure I can make more at a later date if I want to(which of course I will!). After I had the images printed to the correct “scale” for Lydia Ann and other 16″ to 18″ antique dolls; I contacted a company to custom make the frames for me.
After waiting for a little bit for those to arrive and assembling the pieces; voila! We have doll wall artwork!
The finished project:
Then after I took the first photo I couldn’t stop myself from playing dollhouse:
Here is the link to buy your doll her very own copy of this limited edition product!
If you want to see more period style artwork for dolls comment on this post or contact me through my shop on Etsy with your suggestions!
Two years ago to this day I did my very first blog post on Lydia Ann the Traveling doll. I didn’t have any followers and had no idea what I really wanted to write about. I think I have figured out a flow to my posts now after two years, finally!
So thank you to all my followers and lurking readers who aren’t following the blog (I know you are out there). I hope to write more and be around for many more years! Now join me for some cake and mixed drinks!
I have been in a funk lately. When that happens I know the only thing that will pull me out of it is DOLLS! DOLL THINGS! DOLL DRESSMAKING! While a friend was in town the other week we stopped by Needle and Thread in Gettysburg. If you haven’t been, you have to make a trip! Its like shopping in New York City without the pricey plane ticket and hotel costs. I picked up a semi sheer striped cotton fabric. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I knew I had to make a doll dress with it. So to Pinterest I went! The only requirements for my search was summery, sheer/semi sheer, stripes and pagoda sleeves. I personally love pagoda sleeves on summer and warm weather clothing for this time period due tot he fact you can go without underserves. It helps keep you cool in the heat.
The Victorian’s were not stupid.
After a few sessions on Pinterest going back and forth on designs; I settled on two original dresses to take inspiration from. One of them I used more so than the other but they are both very similar to each other. Both of these dresses met my criteria as well.
Here is the first one:
Here is the second one:
My doll sized copy of this dress went together pretty quick and easy(which is good because some days I have no patience for long and drawn out projects). The dresses I picked are simple in design and really let the fabric do the talking. The only trimming on this dress is the ruffled self fabric trim on the pagoda sleeves. That trim is similar to one of my inspiration dresses. I used my pinking machine to trim the edges and add visual interest.
Here is my doll sized copy:
What I enjoy about putting these outfits together is finishing them off with accessories. For this ensemble I added a miniature engraved belt with burgundy silk “belting” (aka silk satin ribbon) and a complementing day cap. I used so many elements from multiple fashion illustrations and originals its hard to really pinpoint a few examples of what I copied.
For the day cap I used scraps of silk Point D Esprit netting trimmed with cotton lace in blond and black topped with light mint green silk ribbon. I had actually made this cap just randomly the other week, but while I was doing the photo shoot for the dress for this post I needed to add headwear. I love making small accessories for dolls! Its very relaxing for me.
I have many friend’s who own dolls (or is it the other way around?) but these dolls are not as well dressed as they want to be. If you find a dress from a fashion plate or a museum that you want made for your doll; I can do that! Did you miss this post? You can see my favorite doll sized version of an original ensemble in that post! Most of the time when I want to make a dress for my dolls that’s how I start. Looking at originals in museums, private collections or fashion plates. I can also make matching dresses to what you might own in your wardrobe! If you have a doll that wants a new dress, cap or bonnet just message me via Repro Dolls.
See you next time!
On this date 7 years ago, Lydia Ann made her debut to the world on Facebook! I believe I had her in my possession for a few days before that but she had to at least be dressed in undergarments before she could be presented to the world.
I personally can not believe and her and I have been having adventures for 7 years now! She has been with me through a few men in my life and MANY ups and downs. Two marriages to be exact! What can I say? I know what I want and I will have it no matter what!
Lydia Ann was what rekindled my love affair with dolls. I have always had this love but she woke it up for me again. After her I started buying antique dolls as well. Now I make reproduction dolls to sell and none of that would have happened if I had not bought Lydia Ann! Seriously I wrote a huge long winded post on it if you care to read it here.
She started out as a way to unwind after work years ago. Sewing for her and coming up with new and fun accessories was something that helped me through that time. I mostly still have everything she started with though some things have been replaced.
But without further ado, behold the birthday girl:
She doesn’t look a day over 4 years old! 😉 Now for those who care to gift Lydia Ann with birthday offerings she loves things like silk fabrics, french fashion accessories and wine. She prefers sweet wines. 😉
*If you have a birthday offering message me for the address. 🙂
Maybe one of these years I will do a proper birthday party for her. But for now she is enjoying her online party!
After two years of acquiring jewelry for Lydia Ann I have decided that she needs a place to keep it all in. Basically this happened after I went looking for one of her pieces and it fell out on my floor from between some random objects.
A jewel casket is needed.
So here are my inspiration images:
The monogram on her casket wont be as fancy but it will be done in gold!
Quilted silk lining:
Why stop with luxury only on the outside? The feet on this one are a fancier version of the casket I am making.
This next casket just inspired me with the gold and what I presume is tortoise shell or faux tortoise shell.
This is a much fancier version of what I am making BUT we know the average lady did not own this box. Lydia Ann is more of an average “lady” but don’t tell her I said that…..
Stay tuned for the finished product!
Before I show off the day that we spent at Disney World, I wanted to show off my favorite of the exhibitsat the UFDC Convetion. I liked all of them but this was my hands down favorite.
Meet Miss Ethel Newcome!
She is a wax doll that was sold at a Sanitary Fair in 1864 during the Civil war. I have a soft spot for Sanitary fair dolls. They have the best wardrobes but what really strikes me is the effort that was put into them. It was all to benefit the soldiers welfare during the war. This money was spent on hospital supplies, food etc.
Ethel does not have as large of a wardrobe as Rose Percy or the Sanitary fair doll I saw last UFDC public day. What she does have is beautiful!
My favorite pieces were the riding habit and the fur set in original boxes!
But we cant forget about accessories! Every girl and doll needs something for every occasion!
Stay tuned for the next installment of trip photos!
This year the UFDC Convention was held in Orlando,fl! Which was a great twist of fate as one of my favorite places to vacation is Orlando and Disney. So my partner in crime and I decided to hit both! I will save the Disney world photos and exhibit photos for another post though.
Public day is the only day they allow non members to shop in the vendor hall and view the displays. Even just viewing the vendor hall is a treat! This year I saw so many 18th century dolls and many were in great shape. These dolls are usually not seen outside of museums or private collections.
The was a mix of older antique dolls to “modern” 20th century dolls. All of them were great to see.
Instead of trying to describe everything we saw, I will just post the images and the link to see more photos that were taken on the trip.
Follow this link to see many more photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/reprodolls/photos/?tab=album&album_id=333997397048639