WIN THIS DOLL!!

WIN THIS DOLL!!
CIVIL WAR GIRL AND HER DOLL

Saturday, November 15, 2014

MISS NELLIE GRANT

Good afternoon everyone!  I am sitting here in sweatshirt and sweatpants today as this big cold front has swept through Mississippi.  It got into the 20's last night!  Hard to believe at it was in the high 70's last week. 
   I wanted to share with you a new doll that I just completed for a lady in Louisiana.  She wanted a doll to represent Nellie Grant, who was General Ulysses S. Grant's only daughter.  I found some pictures of her on-line, and this is my interpretation of her.  She is about 24" tall, with cloth body, and paper clay head, shoulder plate, arms and hands.  The lady who commissioned her sent me the fabulous antique doll boots for her to wear.  She has been oil-painted, and her wig is synthetic mohair.  My customer also sent a linen handkerchief that was her mother's to be incorporated into the outfit, so I used some of it to make the linen "guimpe" (blouse).  Her cape is wool, and I added crochet trim and the fringe from wool yarn.  Her jumper type dress is of rusty red velvet, as well as her jaunty little hat.  Nellie was a lot of fun to make, and as usual, I love planning the outfits and picking just the right fabrics.                                                        

                                                                         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  

Monday, October 13, 2014

NEW DOLL

I just wanted to show you a picture of my latest doll, a special order for a great customer from Massachusetts.  She bought my "Elizabeth Keckley" doll in San Antonio,  and wanted me to make a little girl to pose with her.  As Elizabeth was the fabulous seamstress for Mary Todd Lincoln,  my customer wanted this little girl to represent a pupil of Keckley learning how to sew.  I named her "Georgiana", and she's about 18" tall.  I used human hair for her hairdo, and  silk taffeta for her dress. As always, she is sculpted of paper clay and oil painted. 


                                                  "Georgiana"

                                                            
 
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Good evening!!

I can't believe this is September already!  That is the only bad thing about getting older, I've found--the years just fly by with frightening speed.  But, I guess doing something you love makes the time go quickly, but very pleasantly!   
   I wanted to let you know I have added some dolls for sale on my Etsy page.  Check them out;  just go to my website, www.ladywithapast.com, and then click on the "Shop" button; it will take you directly to my Etsy shop.   As I've said before, I will take custom orders.  Also, I am advertising in Antique Doll Collector magazine in their "Emporium" section. 
  
  The three little gals on the picture above are all sold, but I wanted to show them to you.  All three dolls have cloth bodies, and their heads and shoulder plates are sculpted of paper clay, then oil painted. The doll on the left is about 12" tall, and she has molded hair.  The little 10"Izannah-type in the center has a rather whimsical expression, and the larger 14' Izannah- type on the right has a downright pouty look!  Perhaps she is upset to be sharing the spotlight.  Her dress was fashioned of two antique brown print fabrics from the 1860's. 

                                                                       
                                                                       

 
 
The following doll started off with a different outfit, but since it is a ladies prerogative to change her mind,  we decided this was a better look for her!
Her story is based on a true one from the Civil War era.  She represents Lizzie Scott, carrying her little doll Nina. Lizzie is sold, and has gone to a wonderful new home in Massachusetts!   During the war, many ladies tried to smuggle medicines, food, etc. to the troops by hiding things in their hair, or sewn inside their voluminous hoop skirts.  Perhaps Lizzie was the youngest smuggler on record.  Her uncle was a Major General in the Confederacy, and Lizzie traveled with his wife, her aunt, to Tennessee to visit him.  Totally unknown to her, the doll she was carrying had a hollow head, and it had been filled with quinine, perhaps by her aunt,  to take to the Confederate troops under her husband's command.  They passed through the Union checkpoints with no problem.  What soldier would ever suspect a young girl with her beloved doll?   The real Nina, along with another paper mache doll, are on display in the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.
 
 

 
"LIZZIE SCOTT AND NINA"
 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

HOME FROM THE SHOW







We are back from the NDF in San Antonio very tired, but happy, safe and sound!  What a wonderful experience it is to do this show!  Rowbear Lowman
has put on these shows for over 25 years, and does a great job getting the best vendors and artists.  The atmosphere is friendly and fun.  I highly encourage any of you that can make it to try to attend.  Next year's show in July will be in Kansas City, Missouri.   This is the third show I have done with Rowbear, and each one gets better!  It is really a wonderful feeling for me as a doll artist to see returning customers that continue to love my dolls and purchase that special one for their collection, and also to welcome new admirers!   The kind comments about my work really inspire me to continue making the dolls, and is a real honor, coming from such seasoned collectors. 


                                                  
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hello everyone! 

I apologize for not posting anything in a while.  We were in Florida for a family reunion over Memorial Day, and I have been ever busy getting dolls ready for The National Doll Festival in San Antonio  July 14th through 18th.  I hope many of you can make this show; it is really wonderful.  It will be at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk hotel.  There will be over a hundred vendors with gorgeous antique dolls, clothing, accessories, fabrics, laces, artist dolls, and much more.  Truly a doll lover's heaven!
  I'm still concentrating on Civil War era  art dolls, and will also have some Izannah Walker type dolls, and other good stuff, including beautiful furniture, room backdrops and toys made by my talented husband! 
I love researching costumes for my civil war dolls with Godey Lady prints such as these.  Also, old tin-types from the era are a real wealth of information! 
 
I hope you are all staying cool, and having a great summer so far.  Hope to see you in San Antonio.  If you can't make it, I will post a lot of pictures.
Look for my ad in Doll Collector's magazine in the "Artists of 2014" section !

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring has Sprung!

I hope you all are enjoying spring like weather after such a harsh winter.  Here are some pictures of our beautiful azaleas that are bursting with blooms.

                                                                        

 
 
I've also been busy doll making of course, and have finished my companion doll for my Mary Todd Lincoln.  Elizabeth Keckley was the first lady's dressmaker who became her friend and confidant during the time of her husband's presidency and many years after his assassination.  Elizabeth was a free woman of color who bought her own freedom. She worked for many influential ladies including the future first lady of the Confederacy, Varina Howell Davis. 
 
 

 
Elizabeth's outfit consists of a silk taffeta plaid skirt, and a silk dupionni blouse trimmed in brown velvet bands.  This outfit is a copy of the one on display in the Smithsonian.  It  was worn by the actress Gloria Reuben, who portrayed Elizabeth Keckley in the movie "Lincoln".
 
 
 
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

New dress for Mary Todd

This is the new dress I just finished for Mary Todd Lincoln.  The other one I had started for her just didn't seem "grand" enough for the First Lady, so I tried to reproduce the gorgeous royal purple velvet gown with white satin piping in the seams that is on display at the Smithsonian.  It was a lot of work, but I am very happy with how it turned out!  Antique black lace and cream netting are used on
the sleeve caps, and cream chenille is looped around and stitched to the top of the sleeve cap. 
   Also, I am very pleased that another article about my dolls that I wrote myself is in the new April/May issue of "Doll Collector" magazine. 
                                                       


                                                     
 
 
 
 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Miss Lizzie Scott" and her doll


My latest doll is "Miss Lizzie Scott" . She is 20" tall with cloth body and paper clay sculpted head.  Her little Greiner type antique doll is 12" tall, with paper clay molded head and hair.  Both are oil painted.  Lizzie's outfit is typical of the 1860's and consists of a fine batiste blouse,  and a checked silk  taffeta skirt and jacket trimmed in black silk and pom pom trim.  Her doll is still in her undergarments; her outfit is forthcoming!

                                                                                  
 
 
 
 
 



Monday, February 3, 2014

Ordering a OOAK doll

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all keeping warm and coping with this terrible winter weather. This has been the worst winter I can remember in 10 years of living in Mississippi. I almost thought I had been transported back to my roots in northwestern Ohio there for a while! 
   Anyhow, I thought I should let people know that they can order dolls directly from me.  Even though I do The National Doll Festival Show every year, (this year it is in San Antonio in July) and will try to do other shows as well, I know everyone cannot attend these. I am on the waiting list for the wonderful Quinlan art doll show in Philadelphia for May 1-3, and am very excited about that. I put a doll on EBay once in awhile, but it occurred to me, after talking to ladies at my shows, that they might want something very specific.  Each state has historical women of interest from the Civil War era, or another time during the 18th or 19th century.    If there is someone in particular that you think would make a great doll, let me know.  I can commission a doll for a 50% deposit, and will accept several payments for the balance.  Most of my dolls are 20-24",  and will start at about $425, and up, depending on complexity of costume, props, etc.  I specialize in girls and women, but have made boy dolls as well.  I am going to start working on some adult men prototypes also, to see how that goes!    Right now I am working on a lady of historical significance in the Philadelphia area during the Civil War.  Or, if you just would like a generic person of a particular historic period, I can do that as well.  My husband makes great furniture and props that can be geared especially towards your doll and her/his  history. 
   You can contact me through the blog, or my email is:  dollmaker@bellsouth.net.   Thanks for all of your interest in my dolls, and those who have emailed me to say how much they enjoyed the wonderful article in Doll News magazine. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mary Todd Lincoln

Well, here in Mississippi we have finally thawed out after experiencing a frigid blast of arctic air like almost everyone else!  It only happens here about once every 50 years, though.  All the pipes in our house froze, but luckily none of them burst.  I was here by myself during all this, as my husband was basking in 80 degree weather in Miami while visiting his children!
Anyhow, thank goodness it is over. 
   Here is my latest doll (still in progress).  Mary Todd Lincoln was a real challenge, having been the first doll I have attempted to actually resemble a famous person. I have dress on her right now that I'm not sure will stay; might try something else.  She's 23" tall, with cloth body and paper clay sculpted head, shoulders, arms and hands.  Once again, I am concentrating on the Civil War era and probably will until 2015 to honor the sesquicentennial of the war. There are certainly enough fascinating women of that era to inspire a hundred dolls! 


   I also want you all to know how thrilled I am to have a wonderful article written about me in the new "Doll News" magazine. This is the publication of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.  It will be sent out to members within the next week or so.  I want to especially thank Ann Leiss for writing the article and being so supportive!