Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Dollhouse Kit

I have some very exciting dollhouse news to share. A brand new dollhouse build is on the horizon!

Hobby Builders Supply contacted me recently and offered to send me their Denise's City Cottage Kit to build and blog about. I am so thrilled to be considered for this honor. Hobby Builders Supply is "the go-to place" for just about any miniature you can imagine. They have been selling dollhouse and miniature supplies through their print catalog for over 35 years and online at for more than 20 years.

I'd like to spread the word about the HBS 22nd Annual Creatin' Contest. The Denise's City Cottage is this year's contest kit. Now, I won't be entering the contest (to be fair to those who purchased the kit to enter), but this is an amazing contest with a grand prize of a $1,000 gift certificate. There is a limited quantity of the Denise's City Cottage kits available, so get one before they're all gone. Deadline for contest entry is December 16, 2015, so there is still plenty of time to build your kit and enter.

If you want to be inspired, check out all of the entries from the last 21 years of Creatin' Contests by clicking here. Once you're there, you can see pictures of every entry by clicking each year's contest in the column to the left.

Here is a sneak peak of the contents of the Denise's City Cottage Kit. Straight out of the box...

The windows and door.

Just one page of instructions, so it should be pretty simple to put together.

Now, an important part of the creative process will be to decide exactly what this kit is going to be. The architecture of this kit easily lends itself to a modern design style with it's curved roof, contemporary style windows, and gliding door. This definitely does not look like the traditional family home. It could be a studio apartment in the city or a boat house on the lake. I am inclined to do something different with it though, to color outside the lines... I am drawn to think outside the box... I'm thinking about an old fashioned General Store. Well, that might be a bit of a stretch and a real challenge to create something old fashioned out of a modern style design. Can it be done? What do you think?


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Meet Alice & Dorothy, Miss Dolly Schoenhuts

Hi Doll Friends,

I am so excited to introduce you to Alice and Dorothy, two sweet little girls recently added to our little family.

Now, I guess you must think I have lost my mind and gone completely Schoenhut crazy. Well, that may be partly true, but I still love other dolls as well. In my defense, one of our sweet readers did comment when I got my first Schoenhut, that they were like potato chips and you couldn't have just one. :)

If you haven't already heard the story, you can click here read My Secret Is Out, about how I searched for six months before I found my first Schoenhut. Once my first doll, Martha, arrived, I knew she would not be the only one as I had originally intended. Next came Otto, a tiny 11' toddler. Then I ran across the most amazing deal, so you see I had no choice but to add sweet little Alice to my growing family.

Miss Dolly History 

Miss Dolly was made from 1915-1928. The company named her Miss Dolly, but like all of the other dolls, she was also given a model number, and hers was #316. Other Schoenhut dolls were modeled to look like real children, and they didn't have the typical "doll face." Miss Dolly was different however, because she was actually modeled to look like the German "dolly face" dolls.

At the time, these German bisque dolly face dolls were very popular in America. Trade embargoes meant that German goods could not be imported though, so supply ran out. Many little girls wanted the "pretty doll" with the lace, ruffles, and a dolly face, like the German dolls. Schoenhut filled that demand with their new Miss Dolly model.

When Schoenhut released Miss Dolly in 1915, her advertisement read, "An Invitation to Meet Miss Dolly Schoenhut Who can Do Almost Everything But Talk. No, Miss Dolly is not a real girl, but you can hardly tell the difference." (quoted from the original ad)

1915 Miss Dolly Ad

Her face is round with big low-set cheeks. She has a short, upturned nose. Her mouth was modeled to appear as if it is open, though it's not actually open. She has four upper teeth. She has large round eyes, painted either brown or blue. Her eyes were varnished to make them shiny to look like the German dolls' glass eyes. After 1920, Miss Dolly's eyes began to be decorated with decals rather than painted though. Alice has the painted eyes of the earlier Miss Dolly models.


I found Alice on eBay. Since these dolls have been around for the past century, I like to chronicle as much about each doll's history as possible. Her seller so kind to take the time to share with me where she came from. The eBay seller got her from a lady named Louise, a clock and watch collector, who had even written her own book about clock collecting back in 2000. She had many other antiques in her collection including about 45 dolls. She was downsizing her collection because she was moving to Florida to retire. Louise purchased Alice at an Estate Sale about 45 years ago from her original owner who received her for Christmas when she was a child.

Alice is a 17" tall Miss Dolly. She has the earlier impressed mark, which was used from 1911 through around 1918. The green decal mark was used from 1916 on, but either mark might have been used during the transition from impressed to decal.

She has all of the wonderful Schoenhut articulation with metal spring joints, which gives the ability to be posed in and hold just about any position. They are also able to hold on to things better than any other doll I've seen.

To make posing Schoenhuts even more fun, I would highly recommend these wonderful replacement stands made by a very sweet doll collector and her husband from Texas. Click here to see their stands on Etsy. Most Schoenhuts have lost their original stands long ago, but this is a perfect replacement, modeled after the original stands. The innovative Schoenhut stand has a short peg that fits into one of the two holes in the bottom of either foot.

Alice still has her original soft mohair wig. When you lift up the hair, you can see the rows of mohair attached to the wig cap.

There are tiny nails that attach the wig cap to the doll's wooden head.

I gently restyled the soft mohair of Alice's original long curl wig and added a wide 100% silk ribbon bow.

Alice with her favorite teddy bear.


I fell in love with Dorothy's sweet chubby cheeks when I saw her for sale on a Facebook group. She is actually the same face mold as Alice, but she is the larger 19" size. The bigger they are, the bigger their cheeks, I guess. :)

The seller said that she bought her from a dealer at a Doll Show. The dealer had her hidden in the back of her table, because she had arranged to sell her to someone who was meeting her there. Later that day, she noticed that the dealer still had her. At the end of the day, she was able to buy her since the dealer never heard back from the other buyer. The dealer said that she bought her from an elderly woman in her 90's.

Since I had sent the seller a picture of my other Schoenhuts, I guess she noticed that they were all holding a favorite Teddy Bear in the picture. When I opened Dorothy's box and unwrapped her, hugged tightly in her arms was this tiny white Teddy Bear. Her sweet seller had sent her with a traveling companion to keep her company on her journey to her new home.

Like Alice, Dorothy has the impressed mark on her back.

Dorothy has brown decal eyes, whereas Alice has blue painted eyes. Here you can see the difference between the painted eye and the decal eye.

Dorothy has the same metal spring joints and wonderful articulation. I am amazed at how well this 19" tall doll can hold a pose standing on one foot.

The doll can really pose to the fullest potential with these stands from Etsy. Love them!

Dorothy has her original soft mohair wig still nailed in place.

She came to me with her hair brushed down and her curls flipped under, so I gently restyled it to look more like it did originally and added a wide 100% silk ribbon bow. Here is how her hair looked before and after restyling.

This is how it looks now from every angle. I love how the original mohair wigs look with a little styling.

Family Pictures

I just wanted to add a few of my favorite new Schoenhut family photos and do a little side by side size comparison.

Dorothy 19", Alice 17", Martha 16", and Otto 11"

Alice and Dorothy playing patty cake.

The whole gang gathered 'round the piano.

Dorothy takes good care of Otto.

All the girls like to take care of their baby brother.

And they are doing a great job.

Thank you for helping to welcome Alice and Dorothy into our family. Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
We'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet Otto, Schoenhut 11" Toddler

Hi Doll Friends,

Martha is so excited to introduce you to her baby brother, Otto!

Otto is a tiny all wood Schoenhut toddler. At just 11" tall, this was the smallest size Schoenhut doll made. He is a model number 11/107, which was made from 1917-1926. Isn't he a sweet, handsome little tot?

The #107 refers to the painted hair toddler, but there was also a #107W, which was a wigged version. As you can see, Otto is the painted hair version.

It's amazing how well these dolls have survived a history of nearly 100 years. As with most Schoenhut dolls, they were not able to escape without a few bumps and bruises along the way. Otto must have fallen down and bumped his nose. He has a wee scrape on the tip of his little nose, evidence of his lifetime of love.

Here you can see the size difference between little 11" Otto and Martha, who is 16" tall.

The 11" toddler has a fully jointed toddler body with the same metal spring jointing and points of articulation as the larger dolls. His body looks like Martha's, only smaller. See more about the amazing Schoenhut articulation on Martha's page by clicking here.

He has the oval decal mark on his back and a smaller round copyright mark on his neck. Only the babies had the round 1913 copyright mark on the back of the neck.

The Schoenhut babies were designed by Harry E. Schoenhut, Albert Schoenhut's fifth son. Harry modeled the baby on his nephew, William (Bill) F. Schoenhut, the thirteenth grandchild of Albert Schoenhut, when he was approximately nine months old. In these profile pictures, you can see the sculpting of his little wooden face.

According to Carol Corson's Schoenhut book, Bill showed the original plaster mold that was modeled in his likeness at the First Schoenhut Collector's Club Convention in October 1986. It still looked like him even then, 75 years later. Although, Bill told the convention attendees that at the time his mother complained that her son did not have all those "bumps on his head." :)

Bill (William F.) Schoenhut at the 1st
Schoenhut Collector's Club Convention
in October 1986

Otto's History

I found Otto on Ruby Lane, which is an online marketplace for antique and vintage dolls. The seller told me that she bought him in San Diego, California from his previous owner's estate. His previous owner was a lady that passed away in the 1980's. She loved her dolls dearly and she sewed clothes for them. She made Otto's adorable outfit that he came wearing. The lady's husband kept her entire collection as long as he lived, and then after his passing, they went to their estate. The couple had no children and their estate went to an Aunt, who sold the collection.

Otto wears a blue and white striped button front shirt with a white collar and a pair of blue knickers. The shirt attaches to the knickers with tiny buttons at the waist. Underneath, he is wearing a union suit that buttons in the front. He is also wearing black socks and shoes.

A lifetime of love continues...

Otto is so happy to be here and to meet his new big sister!

Otto can't wait to drag Martha off to go play.

Come on Martha!!! Let's go!!!

We can play with my bear!

I wuv this bear! He is so soft and cuddly...

...and fun to play with!

You wanna hold him, Martha?

Martha keeps Otto busy pulling him around in his little red wagon.

Otto loves riding in the wagon!!!

But mostly he just loves his big sister... and she loves him!

Thanks for visiting to welcome Otto! Please leave a comment below to let us know you were here. We'd love to hear from you!