Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quint- Restored!

At a doll show recently, I picked up a fixer upper composition Dionne quintuplets doll made by Madame Alexander in the mid to late 1930’s. She was in dire need of a little (well, a lot of) TLC from my favorite doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Dr. Noreen has restored a few other dolls for us, including an antique bisque doll and a smaller Dionne baby.

Madame Alexander Dionne

This new Dionne had good eyes and face paint, but suffered from large cracks in her face and, unbeknownst to me, a bubble in her composition. Bubbles form when air gets stuck between the composition and the base of the doll. To fix this, the good doctor would have had to restore a lot of the eye area, which would have disrupted the original paint and been a much more costly and invasive restoration. She decided against doing any work on the bubble, which was fine with me, as I didn’t even notice it until Dr. Noreen pointed it out.

Dionne Quint (Pre Restoration)

But, lesson learned. If you see a composition doll with a lot of bubbles under the composition, you may want to pass on picking it up or, at least, barter the seller down a bit. And definitely ask the seller if a doll has any bumps or bubbles on their face when shopping online.

The real thing that I wanted Dr. Noreen to fix were the large cracks, which took away from the doll’s cute face. Also, I really wanted her to work on her hair, which was a mess. Well, in a few short weeks, Dr. Noreen delivered on all fronts! Check out her handy work.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Her chin had to be repaired, as it had lost some of the composition.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

The Dionne’s torso had some cracks, too, which were expertly filled in.

Dionne Quint (Restored)

The human hair wig was restyled by Dr. Noreen into something that resembles an actual hairstyle (and not a bird’s nest). She did a wonderful job cleaning this girl up!

Dionne Quint (Restored)

It’s amazing how much better she looks with the cracks filled in! It will always be obvious close up that this Dionne had some face cracking, but from a far, you can barely tell. Now, instead of the cracks drawing your eye, it’s her cute chubby cheeks and delicately painted features!

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Dionne Quint (Restored)

Truth be told, I wondered if buying this $30.00 Dionne had been a mistake after purchasing her. But, after seeing the magic Dr. Noreen did on her, I’m very happy to have picked this girl up! You can find Dr. Noreen on Facebook or, of course, her website. What do you think of this restoration? Share your thoughts in the comment area.


November 13, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Spotlight: Rolling Rock Dolls

Rolling Rock Dolls is an eBay/Etsy shop run by Celeste, a mom whose passion for designing affordable clothing for her daughter’s dolls turned into a business. All ready to ship, Celeste makes clothing for dolls of various shapes and sizes, though it seems the most popular looks are for 18″ American Girl style dolls and the smaller Wellie Wishers.

Celeste reached out to me a few weeks ago asking if I would be interested in reviewing an outfit from her Etsy shop. Noticing the variety of outfits available and the affordable pricing, I agreed. For review, Celeste sent a strapless dress in royal purple satin. Along with the outfit came a crown and purple boa for added effect. While the outfit for review is very dressy, Rolling Rock Dolls offers outfits of all styles, casual to dressy to princess’y!

rolling rock dolls (etsy clothing seller)

rolling rock dolls (etsy clothing seller)

rolling rock dolls (etsy clothing seller)

While the dress didn’t fit my Pleasant Company Molly, it fit my mom’s Mattel American Girl just fine. I was surprised that the top fit as well as it did, being strapless. The outfit is sewn well and looks very pretty on this American Girl. My dolls usually are in more casual attire, but for an imaginary evening out, this dress looks great!

To give you a little more insight into Rolling Rock Dolls, I asked Celeste a few questions about how she got started.

Question: How long have you been creating outfits for dolls? What got you started?
I have been making doll clothes for about 4.5 years now. I got started when I got my daughter an 18 inch doll from a flea market and found out that their clothes are pricey. I did not know how to sew at that time and I initially just wanted to learn how to sew. This business has been “accidental”, but I am glad I continued on with it. I love when I get feedback that I made little girls/kids happy with their doll clothes.

Question: Do you collect dolls yourself or just make outfits for them?
I collect dolls myself but I did not use to. I was influenced by my own business to keep collecting dolls and still have so many dolls I want to purchase for my collection.

Question: I see you make clothing to fit the Disney Animator dolls, what made you start making outfits for them? I don’t see that very often!
I saw a Disney Animator doll online and I thought they were the cutest. I love the facial expressions and their toddler form.

Question: What makes your Etsy store different from others? 
Checking at other Etsy sellers, my prices are usually way down than the competition. I also offer doll clothes for various types of dolls like American Girl, Baby Doll, Corolle Les Cheries, Wellie Wishers and others. I constantly offer promo codes and I keep updating my inventory. Also, my items are ready to ship, I ship 6 days a week except for Sundays and holidays.

Question: Where can people find your sites?

I encourage you to check out Rolling Rock Dolls online. Maybe you’ll find an outfit that’s perfect for your favorite doll! What’s your favorite outfit from Rolling Rock Dolls? Let me know in the comment area!

November 7, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Blythe vs Blythe

Casie of BeBe Blythe Company contacted us the other day about an interesting event she’s hosting on Facebook throughout the month of October called Blythe vs Blythe. Blythe vs Blythe is a contest where two Blythe artists go head to head to create a unique doll using the same base model and theme. The event’s theme is Fall. I thought this was a pretty interesting concept and wanted to share it with you, in case you’re interested in watching this unique contest unfold.

Before you get too excited, there is a $10 fee to participate (as a spectator). It covers overhead costs, like raffle prizes, shipping, buying the base dolls, etc. Going into October and through the end of October, Casie has promised that there will be a chance to win small things, making the entrance fee worth it. Just for signing up, you’ll get a free digital gift (a sheet of printable eye chips or a video on carving).

Moving along, the actual competition is against two popular Blythe customizers. Throughout the month of October, they will be posting their progress on their custom doll via a Facebook Group, Blythe vs Blythe. At the end of the month, the members of the facebook page will vote on the winner. The winning doll will be raffled off to one lucky member of the group.

For more information, reach out to Casie. We (Barbee0913 and I) don’t have anything to do with this other than sharing the information with you, so we can’t answer any contest related questions. You can find Casie on Etsy and YouTube, as well as reach out via the event’s FaceBook page. I think Blythe vs Blythe could be a really fun online event and is worth checking out if you’re into Blythe customizing or just like seeing ‘the process’ of making a blank doll truly unique!

September 19, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Collection Close Up: Madame Alexander Dionne Quintuplets New Looks

Did you know that one of Madame Alexanders most loved and well-known doll releases, the composition Dionne Quintuplets series from 1935-1939, was based on a real life family? Well, it’s true! The Dionne Quintuplets were the first set of Quintuplets to be born in Canada. The story of their early years is sad and fascinating at the same time.
Dionne Quints

The Canadian government took the children away from their family and built ‘Quintland’ across from their family’s home. The children grew up in a nursery staffed by doctors and nurses. At certain times throughout the day, spectators could go to the facility and watch the kids play and do other things, like animals in a zoo. The girls couldn’t see the crowd, but they could hear them and knew very well that they were being watched. The story is a fascinating tale. It’s definitely something to look into if you’re bored and want to learn about something new!

Because of the girls popularity, the Dionne’s graced advertising campaigns, souvenirs and, of course, they were eventually made into dolls by the great Madame Alexander Doll Company. Each doll wore a different color dress and a name tag, so you knew which girl your doll was modeled after. The Dionne dolls were sold in various shapes and sizes. Madame Alexander even went so far as to make a composition doctor and nurse doll to care for the miniature sized quints.

Dionne Quints

I own two Madame Alexander quints and want to eventually add more to my collection. For years, my quints have lived in their faded original outfit or, in the case of the bent leg baby, in a diaper. It’s been on my to-do list to give them a new look, since they’ve already been touched up by the fantastic doll doctor, Dr. Noreen. Finally, I’ve done it. Commissioned from Loll’s Doll Trunk on Etsy, my quints now look quite stylish in their reproduction looks.

MA Dionne Quints

For the baby with painted hair, I wanted a romper. Her legs are bent, so they don’t allow her to stand. Instead of dealing with a dress that may not lay right on a sitting doll, this reproduction romper outfit seemed like the way to go. It’s based on this look.

MA Dionne Quints

Lolly’s outfits are so well made! She did a wonderful job. They look very close to the original outfits seen in photos of the Dionne quintuplets releases. My standing girl with hair is wearing a dress very similar to the one she has worn most of her life. Her original outfit was faded and very thin. Most likely, it was yellow or pink. I wasn’t crazy about a yellow or pink dress, to be honest, so instead,  I asked Lolly to make a pretty green dress for this quint. The look was based on this image. I think it looks so great on my doll!

MA Dionne Quints

One day, I hope to have at least one example of each ‘type’ of quint Madame Alexander produced, along with the nurse and doctor, of course! I have a long way to go, but there’s still a few doll shows left this year, so who know what might happen!

MA Dionne Quints

I’m very happy with how these two looks turned out! Thanks a lot, Lolly! Had the Dionne story crossed your path before? What do you think of these looks? Let me know in the comment area.

September 15, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

Dr. Noreen Works Her Magic Again!

About a month ago, my mom and I went to an Estate Sale aptly named “The Doll House”. At the sale, my mom bought an Alt, Beck & Gottschalck German bisque doll in need of a little (well, a lot of) TLC. Naturally, we turned to the one and only Dr. Noreen to restore this pre-1930’s bisque doll.

Doll House Estate Sale Finds!

See the video recaps of our Estate Sale finds below!

This bisque doll was owned by a collector/amateur restorer known as Gypsy Gene. This German bisque doll was part of a massive collection that featured many dolls that were in various states of repair. Unfortunately, Gypsy Gene seemed to be guessing on the proper restoration methods, especially when it came to the Alt, Beck & Gottschalck toddler doll we have here.

Before- Doll Restoration

Let’s start with some before images. You’ll notice that this baby was very shiny. Also, she had a lot of damage on her right leg and stomach. Her glass eyes were so loose that upon bringing her home, they promptly fell inside her head. Thankfully, her face, which holds most of the value in these dolls, was the least damaged part of her.

Upon inspecting the doll before her restoration, Dr. Noreen discovered that one of the dolls legs was most likely replaced with a leg from the same era in a similar size. (Gypsy Gene earned a point for choosing a pretty good replacement leg for this Alt, Beck & Gottschalck doll!) Dr. Noreen decided that Gypsy Gene had tried to fix her with heavy resin and enamel, which is why this toddler doll looked so shiny. To fix that, Dr. Noreen had to sand off the old enamel, sand and fill the rough areas and repaint the problem spots with the proper paint. She couldn’t get all the heavy resin off, but the matte paint makes it less noticeable.

Face- Doll Restoration
Fast forward to the other day when a big box arrived from Dr. Noreen’s Florida based hospital. Inside was this lovely girl! Her leg and stomach look much better. She’s restrung and now can hold her arms up! Her glass eyes have been reset and her red felt mouth has been replaced. Overall, it’s a miraculous transformation!

After- Doll Restoration

See the grand unboxing in the video below!

We highly recommend checking out Dr. Noreen’s Doll Hospital if you are in need of doll restoration. You can find her online. Don’t forget to ‘like’ her on Facebook, too, where she posts behind the scenes looks at her patient’s time at the hospital! And in case you missed it, check out the ‘Spotlight’ I did on her here on the blog.

After Restoration

We have two more dolls waiting in the wings to send over to Dr. Noreen, so hopefully, this won’t be the last of the restorations you see here. Until then, what do you think of this transformation? Let us know in the comment area!

September 6, 2017. Tags: . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

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