Thursday, October 20, 2016

My Vogue Ginny Wee Imp...before and after

I always wanted a Vogue Ginny Wee Imp doll.  I never had one as a child.  Wee Imp came out in 1960 and by then I thought I was much "too old" to be interested in dolls.  Little did I realize that at age 70 I would consider myself just the right age for dolls!

Anyway, a few months ago I finally found a Wee Imp on eBay for a price I was willing to pay.  I didn't have any of the Wee Imp outfits that are shown on page 303 of The Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls-Second Edition, but I dressed her in a Christmas Elf outfit that I already had and thought suited her personality.  Here she is on the shelf with some friends.  She's in the first row on the right.
The Wee Imp was different from other Vogue Ginny dolls of that time.  She came with bright orange hair that was kind of chopped, freckles, and green eyes.  She was sold undressed or dressed in one of the four special Wee Imp outfits.  She was only made in 1960, so collectors consider her a little rare.

I've been watching for a while for a Wee Imp outfit at the right price.  I finally saw one on eBay.  It had a starting bid of $9.99 with free shipping.  However, the dress was stained and I wasn't sure if it was rust or what on the front.  Finally, I decided to take a chance and I bid.  No one else bid and I got the dress for $9.99.  This is the picture of the dress from eBay.
 When it arrived I got to work.  I pre-treated the dress with a little Oxy spray and then washed it in Perk.  This was the end result.  It's almost like new.
I've had good success with Perk in the past.  I've used it on doll clothes and for washing doll wigs.  In fact, I need to order another bottle.  Now if I can just find the other three Wee Imp outfits at the right price!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dolls, dolls, dolls again!

I had hoped to go to the Austin Doll Show yesterday, but it's a 3 1/2 hour ride each way and I needed to get some things done around here.  I missed the Houston Doll Show last month because it conflicted with a Houston Texans' football game, so it's been a while since I've been to a show.

I remember back in the late 90's through the early 2000's when the doll shows were big events, but in recent years they've been scaled back.  Dolls just aren't as popular anymore.  Many doll prices took a nose dive on eBay too.  There are still certain Vogue Ginny dolls that command a high price, but things just aren't the same.  When I first started collecting I'd be thrilled when I won a beat up Ginny for $45.  Now when they're listed for less they often don't even get bids.

I recently bought a Hitty Doll at an antique show.  The seller told me that people just don't buy dolls anymore.  I told him that I still buy them!  Although I stick mostly with Ginny and the Vogue family of dolls this Hitty seemed like too good a buy to pass up.  She's hand carved and was only $20.  I really don't know much about Hitty, but there are lots of Hitty pictures on Pinterest.  This isn't the greatest picture, but you'll get the idea.  I found a spot on the bookshelf for her.
A while back I bought two Ginnys at a doll show.  The one was a strung Ginny with beautiful facial coloring, but she needed to be rewigged.  I think I showed these pictures once before.
Although it was a nice full Ginny wig it was full of fly away ends.  She always had hair sticking out all over the place and in her face.  You can see what I mean in this picture.  She came in the Cathy dress from 1953.  For collectors it's #61 of the Debutante series.  She's really a beautiful Ginny and I think I paid around $35 for her, but the replaced wig needed improvement.
My friend Diane reminded me of the Armor All treatment.  Yes, Armor All is for cars, but it actually helps tame wig hair.  Diane told me that she wets paper towels with Armor All and presses the wet towels on Ginny's hair.  That's what I did and her hair is greatly improved.  Not perfect, but so much better.  I used the Original Armor All. 
Note:  If you try this treatment do not get the Armor All on her face or body.  I wrapped Ginny in Press N Seal to protect her.
Maybe someday I'll find the hat that goes with the Cathy outfit.

I also worked on this molded lash walker Ginny.  I bought her at the same doll show for $25 dressed in the Tiny Miss Clown outfit #6041 from 1956.  Often the clown outfit is very faded, but this one wasn't.  Her hair was a frizzy mess and the wig needed some gluing to keep it on her head.
I braided her hair and then gave her the Armor All treatment too.  She's greatly improved.  I've been slowly working on a Halloween scene and I just stuck her on the shelf for a quick picture.  She'll be a part of the actual scene when I get it completed.
It's hard to tell in this picture, but her hair is so much better.  You'll get a better view when I get my scene done and take the final pictures.  I'll be posting them sometime before Halloween.

My friend Linda calls the fixer uppers "previously loved"  Ginnys.  I really like that term.  I remember how much I enjoyed playing with my Ginnys back in the 1950's.  To know that most of my current collection were "previously loved" makes them that much more special to me.  I don't buy the expensive mint dolls.  I know that's what some collectors look for and they like them even better if they're still in the box.  Since I like to "play" with my dolls by redressing them and setting them up in scenes I feel like the mint dolls belong to someone that will preserve and take care of them.  That's just not me.  Besides, I enjoy the challenge of trying to restore my Ginnys.  I also enjoy not paying hundreds of dollars.  :)

Friday, October 07, 2016

Riding The Rails

When I was a child we took a family trip to California for one of my Dad's conventions.  My mother didn't want to ride the train through the mountains, so we took a southern route.  I believe that's why we had to drive to Chicago from New Jersey and catch the train there.  I'm sure there were trains to California out of New York, but we drove to Chicago instead.

I remember that trip because for me it was one of the best trips we ever took.  I loved the train! 

At one of the stops there was a dust storm and our porter let us stand on the steps for a picture.  For us that was a big adventure.
The only other picture I have of the train trip is our arrival at Palm Springs, California.  That's my mother on the left with her back to the camera.  She's dressed like June Cleaver.  Can you guess the year?  It was 1956.  People got all dressed up when they traveled.  We're all a little more relaxed today.
When I recently saw an ad in the newspaper for a train trip from Galveston, Texas to Brenham, Texas I jumped at the opportunity.  The trip was a fund raiser for the Galveston Railroad Museum.  The tickets weren't cheap, but I decided it would be a special day for us.  Ironically, the last time I rode a train it was the same one that was involved in the accident in Hoboken, NJ a couple of weeks ago.  I think that was back in 2005 or 2006, so it had been a while since I rode a train.  (I don't count the Metro train we take from the Park and Ride to the Houston Texans games a real train.  It's more like an above ground subway.)

The train ride was this past Sunday and we almost didn't make it.  On Thursday evening Reid ended up in the ER with eye complications from the Graft vs Host disease.  We waited until early Sunday morning to make the final decision about going and by then his eyes had responded some to the medication and he was game.

We were scheduled to leave at 9:00 and return at 4:00, but we ran a little late.  There were three engines although we only saw the one that I think belongs to the museum.  (These pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)
We just never walked to the other end of the train.We had tickets for the Amtrak car.  I believe the other cars were restored cars that belong to the museum.
We were pleased with our Amtrak car.  It had some of the modern conveniences of home.
We were able to stay charged the whole time.
We always see the train bridge when we cross over Galveston Bay on our way into Galveston on the Causeway Bridge.  It's a bridge that has to be lowered for the train and now we were on it.  (I took all of the pictures with my cell phone and many were taken while the train was moving through the train window which was a little soiled.)
I guess the truck belongs to the person that lowers the bridge.
To be honest we saw a lot of this...
...and this:
The train was moving and a lot of my pictures were blurry, but I did manage to get a picture of the SantaFe, Texas train station (we were in the dining car when I took this one)...
...and the Alvin, Texas train station.
We had to make a short stop in Alvin for the train mechanics to do something.  I'm not sure what they were doing, but I heard some banging.

This was in Rosenberg, Texas at the the Rosenberg Train Museum.  I wish the train hadn't been moving and the glass was clean, but you get the idea.  People were there waving and taking pictures.  This was the best of the bunch I took because we were moving too fast.
Then we crossed over the 59 freeway.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was all the people that came out to see the train.  All along the route they were at train crossings waving and taking pictures.  I couldn't get that many pictures along the route because by the time I saw them it was too late for a picture.  I did get some when the train slowed down.

This was in Bellville, Texas.  If you've ever been to Bellville you've probably stopped at the town bakery.  The building on the right is the bakery.  I used to stop there on my way to Round Top for the antique show.  They've got some really good baked goods.
 Ooops...I forgot about Sealy, Texas.  It's actually a little before Bellville.  On the way back through Sealy the police and fire departments were waving at a crossing, but I wasn't able to get a picture.

I did get this one in Sealy though.  I just can't remember if it was when we were coming or going.
When we reached Brenham, Texas we were greeted at different crossings.
Then they prepared the train for the ride back to Galveston.  The train didn't actually turn around.  There was one engine at one end and two at the other. I think they called it push and pull?  All that needed to be done was to turn the seats in our car around so we'd be facing in the right direction.  However, there was a slight problem.  The seats across the aisle from us wouldn't turn.  I thought this was one of the Amtrak mechanics, but he was a volunteer.  I think they said he was either in medical school or had just graduated.  He tried but the seats wouldn't budge.
 Finally a couple of the mechanics showed up and they got them turned.
In this picture you can see what I mean.  Our side had already been turned.
During the trip we did visit the dining car, but not for lunch.  We just wanted to check it out.
Some people did have lunch in the dining car.  It was a boxed lunch, but we brought our lunches back to our seats.  I did snap a picture of the people eating in the dining car.
As we were arriving back in Galveston I noticed these old rusty train cars parked on a side track.  I wonder if there are plans to restore them?
After we arrived some people posed for pictures.  I have no idea who these people are...I just snapped a picture.
We went inside the museum and posed.
Oops..I almost forgot.  Dan Pastorini was on our train.  He was a quarterback for the old Houston Oilers football team way back when.  He was sitting in the seat in front of me and people were getting his autograph.  I couldn't see who it was and wondered what was going on.  After he left I asked the lady across the aisle.  She told me and then gave me an extra autograph that she had gotten.  I'm going to put it with my Warren Moon, Bum Phillips, Giff Nielson autographed Oiler's football.  I was thrilled.

It was fun and I'd love to go again if they ever have another trip.