In Case You Haven’t Heard!

There is so much happening in the doll making and collecting world that it is hard to keep with it all!  Reading magazines and checking the doll collectors’ and manufacturers’ sites take time and sometimes we,  or should I say I, fall behind.  So for my first blog under this category I am going to try to summarize some of the more noteworthy doll news items so far this 2012 year!

  • Two major doll magazines, DOLLS and DOLL READER merged in Februrary of this year under the parent company Jones Publishing.  The new magazine will be published monthly with a special focus  issue every quarter appearing as DOLLS Presents: Haute Doll, entirely devoted to high-fashion and ball-jointed dolls . An FAQ is posted on the DOLLS website,  to answer questions about the merger.
  • Mattel has decided to respond to a successful Facebook campaign which called for the production of a “bald Barbie.”   This “Barbie Friend” will be manufactured and distributed to children who have lost their hair because of cancer or other illnesses. Planned for 2013, the dolls will not be sold in retail stores, but distributed directly to hospitals and alopecia foundations.   Hats, scarves and other fashion accessories will be provided to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience.

  • Robert Tonner introduced his City Girls at the 2012 Toy Fair in New York City.  The City Girls™ characters are college grads who are just starting out…”all ready to take on the world and follow their dreams.”  Dolls are 16” and apparently will be priced for younger and more frugal collectors.

List of My Articles

I would like to open this blog category with a bibliography of the articles I have written for Doll Collector (formerly The Contemporary Doll Collector.)  Occasionally I will include excerpts from my articles which I think may be of interest to other bloggers.  If you have any questions about these and other topics, please leave a comment!

Dolls in Literature November 2003 Classic & current literary dolls

GI Joe July 2004  40 Years of Adventure

Monsters, Fiends & Villains November 2004  Those characters we love to hate

A Revolution of 14R Dolls January 2005 Vintage fashions dolls of the 1950’s &        1960’s

Make-up & Styling Head Dolls July 2005 Phenomenon of styling continues to be       Popular

Fashion Dolls Part I September 2005 Designers of the 1920’s through the 1960’s

Fashion Dolls  Part II November 2005 Designers from the 1990’s to the present

18 Inches: Just Right May 2006  18 Inch modern dolls are the new hype

Collecting Primitive and Rag Dolls March 2007 Rag dolls are coming back with a      new look!

Moving Forward with Fashion Dolls November 2007 Fashion dolls have had many       makeover over the years, including increased articulation and customizing.

Louise Goldsborough’s Fantasy Costume Designs May 2008 Ballet was a base          for Louise’s whimsical figures

Debbee Thibault’s American Collectibles July 2009 Art and practicality meld in the        hands of a doll artisan

“Hoarding” Dolls  March 2011 I once was a doll hoarder, but now I’m saved!

Decades of Dolls Part I May 2011 Dolls from the 1930’s to the 1940’s

Decades of Dolls Part II July 2011 1950’s thru 1970’s

Decades of Dolls Part III  September 2011 1980’s to 2000

The Popularity of the Doll Trunk November 2011  Toy & doll trunks from the     1800’s to the present

Lorraine Alippe’s 12 Fashion Lady Mannequins March 2012  Melding history   with doll artistry

Conversations with Linda Lipfert  White, Granddaughter of Bernard Lipfert       May 2012 The life and times of a famous doll designer

Watch for my upcoming article on Organizing a Doll Studio.

For full copies of the articles and all the pictures included, you can order back issues from the  Scott Publications website .


Doll Shows & Sales

Listed below are shows, sales, luncheons and a few auctions within the tri-state area accessible for doll lovers from the Catskill region.  Doll magazines and the web include listings nationwide.

  • April 7 , 2012 Westampton, NJ. Doll Auction. 700 Highland Avenue. Sweetbriar Auctions. 410-275-2094.
  •  April 14, 2012 10am – 3pm Mid York Annual Doll Show & Sale Community Room, Fire Station #2   148 Sanders Creek Pkwy   East Syracuse, NY  13057  Contact: Janet Hill (315) 698-4501
  • April 15, 2012 10am-4pm Doll Study Club of Long Island 32nd Annual Show   Temple Emanu-el   123 Merrick Ave.   East Meadow, NY  11554    Antique and collectible dolls and bears. Contact: Muriel (516) 481-1745
  • April 15, 2012  Youngwood, PA. 31st Annual Doll & Toy Show. Youngwood Fire Hall. Laurel Highlands Doll Club. Penny. 724-832-0282.
  • April 21, 2012 Jamesburg, NJ. Young at Heart Luncheon, Forsgate Country Club.  Registrations required.  Contact: Linda McGovern, 732-718-6617.
  •  April 28, 2012 12 Noon-5:00PM 75th Anniversary luncheon  Terrace on the Park   52-11 111th St.   Flushing Meadows Park, NY, NY  11368 National Doll & Toy Collectors Club of New York City 75th Anniversary Gala luncheon to benefit Starlight Children’s Foundation. Cost $195 includes luncheon and limited edition souvenir doll by Robert Tonner.  Contact Susan
    • April 28, 2012 10am-3pm Henrietta Doll Lovers 22nd Annual Show & Sale Church of the Good Shepherd Gym/Hall   3318 East Henrietta Rd (Rte 15 A)   Henrietta , NY  14467    HDLC 22nd Annual Show & Sale  Dottie Contact:  (585) 889-2015
    •  May 3-5, 2012 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel   76 Industrial Highway,   Essington, PA  19029  150 artist sales tables, 6 buffet meals, 3 receptions, all day refreshments, 3 hours early access to sale, workshops, presentations, panels, demos, book signing & sale, artist market place, discount coupon raffle, one-of-a-kind doll & teddy bear sale & judging, new artist mentoring, free sales table for artists  Contact Terry Quinlan  (805) 687-8901
    • May 5, 2012 Nazareth, PA. Doll Auction. 330 W. Moorestown Road. Dotta Auction Co., Inc. 610-759-7389. (F) 610-759-3992.
    • May 6, 2012 10 am – 4 pm Parade of Dolls, Bears & Toys Show & Sale   Forks Community Center   500 Zucksville Rd.   Easton, PA  18040   32nd Annual Parade of Dolls, Bears & Toys Show & Sale. Adults $3; Children (under 12) $1. Antique, Modern, Collectable, Artist Dolls, Bears, Toys & Doll Related Items. Doll Hospital Available. Doll appraisals by Dorothy Hunt, $2 per doll. Benefits Forks of the Delaware Doll Club and the Forks Township Community Center. Info Loretta 908-454-1853, or   Contact Joan Strong  (610) 262-2573
    • May 12, 2012 Batavia, NY. 51st Doll & Bear Show. The Clarion Hotel. Saturday’s Child. Martha Smith. 585-265-1226. 585-506-7948.
    • May 12, 2012 Denver, PA. Doll Auction. Morphy Auctions. 717-335-3435 (F) 717-336-7115.
    •  May 19, 2012 Westampton, NJ. Collection of Roberta’s Doll House Auction. Crescent Shrine Center. Sweetbriar Auctions. 410-275-2094.
    • May 20, 2012 New Hope, PA  New Hope Doll Show, Eagle Fire Hall, 46 N. Sugan Rd.  Contact: Mark Lehmann 215-657-2477
    • June 3, 2012 12 noon-3 p.m. “Too Many Hats” Luncheon & Sale, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA   Featuring Maggie Iacona Dolls $395 for full day events with souvenir doll; $75 for luncheon and sale.  Download registration form at
    • June 16, 202 Grantville, PA Central Penn Doll Club  Presents Patriot Days and Dollies. Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey. Registration required.  Contact:

If you have a doll show or sale you would like to announce, please include in comments.

New to Making Porcelain Dolls?

Starting out hand crafting porcelain dolls can be a daunting prospect.  There’s lots of preparation required,  lots of materials, ie. molds and slip and china paints…lots of tools i.e. small knives, cleaning tools and pads, specialized paint brushes, pre-manufactured bodies or body parts and most importantly a kiln.  Doll makers new to crafting porcelain dolls would be well advised to find a workshop or a person in the area who would be willing to guide the doll maker thru the various stages of porcelain doll creation.

Unfortunately, a lot of doll makers who used to sponsor workshops and supplied most of the materials and the kiln have closed their shops.  On the other hand, the Internet is not only a great source of information, but supplies as well.

Porcelain heads arms and legs, the most common parts of the majority of porcelain dolls can be purchased on any number of web sites. SFGW parts, or soft fired greenware can be purchased individually.  Unpainted hard fired doll parts, or blanks, are also available.  Even fully painted heads ready for assembling can be found through select doll sites.

On line videos are helpful for gaining familiarity with the process of pouring slip and firing porcelain doll parts, but working with experienced doll makers is the best.  (check “making porcelain dolls” on

Starting out with just heads that can be attached to manufactured bodies is a good idea.  This way you won’t have to worry about making limbs and torsos!

If you have some specific questions regarding any stage of making a porcelain doll, please feel free to contact me.  Please leave your email address so I can contact you directly. 

Pictured here are six SFGW (soft fired greenware) millette & Bleuette doll heads.  They need to be “cleaned” and hard fired before being china painted and attached to full wood or composition bodies.

Completed dolls: millette on left and Bleuette on right. 

Catskill Mountain Doll Club~Background

Logo of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club


The Catskill Mountain Doll Club was chartered in September 1989 and has for the past 23 years been a source of information and access to doll lovers of all ages in the Catskill Region.

The Catskill Mountain Doll Club actually started in 1988 with its first ever doll show and sale.  Several of its charter members are still active in the Club including its current president  Marilyn Laufer.  The Club has 10 members and what the club lacks in numbers is more than compensated by the spirit and industry of its members.

The CMDC meets the fourth Thursday of each month  (excluding January and February) in Liberty, NY.  After the business of the Club is concluded, members and guests enjoy a program which includes speakers or projects related to dolls and collectible bears. Members present their own collections or speakers are invited to present a particular kind of doll.

CMDC’s 20th Anniversary

In the fall of 2009, the Catskill Mountain Doll Club celebrated its 20th Anniversary by creating a public exhibit of dolls from the members’ collections.  Hosted by the Liberty Museum and Arts Center in Liberty, NY  For the Love of Dolls included some of the most iconic and popular dolls throughout the 20th, and into the 21st centuries. From rag dolls to porcelain dolls, from Amish to Eskimo, club members displayed their best loved dolls.

Community Service  

In service to the community, the Club has purchased and donated doll and bear books to local libraries, and has collected and donated dolls and bears to area non-profit organizations during the winter holidays, including handmade teddy bears for children who are being discharged from local hospitals.   Members have made presentations, including slide shows,  for other organizations including schools, libraries, nursing homes and other educational programs, such as the 4H.  For the past three years Club members have donated cartons full of dolls and bears to Safe Passage, a local organization serving battered women and their children.

Members of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club paid a visit to the Roscoe Residential Healthcare Facility in Roscoe, NY, in May of 2009  and brought some of their favorite childhood dolls to show  the residents.  Shown here are club members , Theresa Boucher (l.) and Diane Mues.

Here demonstrating an interactive toy dog to the residents is Marilyn Laufer, a charter member of the Catskill Mountain Doll Club and current president. 

Current Activities

Members of the Club are currently preparing a video on making porcelain dolls.  Filmed by Theresa Boucher, the film hopes to highlight methods used to cast, fire and paint porcelain doll heads.

Contact Information

Current Officers:  Marilyn Laufer, President,  Grace Rivera, Vice President;  Lynn Nalven, Secretary and Janet LeRoy, Treasurer.

Contact Telephone:  Marilyn Laufer (845) 292-6628 or Lynn Nalven (845) 482-3561 or write to:

Catskill Mountain Doll Club

P.O. Box 73

White Sulphur Springs, NY 12787


In my next posting, I will be including pictures and information about the Catskill Mountains most memorable shows!

My Five Top Rules for Doll Making

Over the years I have learned many lessons…and have made many mistakes.  So to open this category  I would like to pass on my five top rules for doll making:

1)    Cut it a little larger, longer, bigger…it can always  be cut down

This rule probably could be applied to all kinds of crafts, but is especially effective when making clothes for dolls.  The only time I find it will not work is when patterning the bodices for dolls…the shoulder and neckline is proportional and just adding to the seam lines may throw the proportions off.  But for hemlines, sleeve lengths and widths, arms holes, side seams and waist measurements, this rule works well!

2)    Eyeball it!

You know that old expression carpenters have…measure twice…cut once.  I would insert eyeball it!  Trust your sense of proportion!  Once I was making a doll hat and measured the circumference of the doll’s head for the crown.  When I put the measurement to paper and fabric, I thought it looked too large.  Indeed, I was using a plastic tape measure from which, somehow, almost two inches got chewed off!  I know I said in my first rule to cut it larger, but this would have been really out of proportion!

The cut out fabric for this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measured from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this bonnet. )

 The first markings for the crown of this bonnet looked way too large!  I discovered that I was measuring the head with a tape measure from which almost two inches was cut off!  (Watch for later posting for directions on how to make this easy and quick bonnet.)

       3) Use the right tool

If directions call for a screwdriver, don’t use a nail file…if for a chisel, don’t use a screwdriver.  Sometimes tools can be expensive, especially those specialty tools for doll making.   But using the wrong tool can often end up in a botched job… and wasted materials!  Spend that little extra and save money in the long run.

4)Use the right glue

There are so many kinds of glues on the market these days…epoxies, resins, silicones and more. Wikipedia lists over 40 kinds!  When considering the kind glue for your project, check out the holding power, drying speed, color or clarity and ease of clean up.  While cleaning up casein based glues like Elmer’s glue© is easy , its holding power is inadequate for ceramics.  Epoxy glues work well for ceramics, but are messy. A whole article can and have been written about various kinds of glues.  Check out the DIY site!  And if you haven’t heard of it yet, Fabri-tac by Beacon© is a great substitute for a hot glue gun.

5)Mull it over!

If you run into a sticky problem that you just can’t  solve, put the project down and leave it for a while…maybe even overnight.  If you let your mind mull the problem or issue over, a solution may come to mind…or you will find a solution in an unexpected place.  Talk to other doll  makers…look on the Internet…sleep on it!

Well those are my first five rules for successful doll making. There are others which I may add later on, but these are the biggies!

New Blog Site for all Doll Lovers

This blog site is dedicated to the renaissance of the doll, both as an expression of creativity and as a valuable object…worthy of being collected.   The site will include both pictures and text and hopefully some interesting tips for doll makers and  stories about dolls and their owners.

After 22 years of making and collecting dolls, I have learned a few tricks and would love to pass them along to both long time and new aspiring creators and  collectors.  In turn, I hope doll makers and collectors will share their thoughts, tips and stories with me and readers of these blogs.

My Magazine Articles

For the past six years I have been freelance writing for DOLL COLLECTOR, Scott Publications.  This magazine used to be called CONTEMPORARY DOLL COLLECTOR.   It is a wonderful, nationally distributed  magazine with a fantastic staff of writers and layout artists.  From time to time, I will be posting all or parts of my articles here in hopes that doll lovers will check out this great and informative magazine.