Sunday, 4 August 2013

The story of Shirley....

Once upon a time in the land of Crane, a lady stopped by The Doll Lady's store.  In her arms was a large box of old dolls.  As she walk in the door she greeted me with a "Hello.......I have all these old dolls and I don't want them, so here,"  as she put the box down on my floor.  "You may have them, if you don't want them, you can throw them away."  "Thanks," I said.  "Don't thank me," was her response..."they are in really bad shape."  "OK, I'll see what can be saved."  She walked out the door and I never saw her again.  So I went to see what was in the box.....WOW!.....the dolls really stunk!  I took the box outside, because the smell was awful and I did want my store to smell like these dolls.  All of the dolls were shot.  They had evidently gotten wet and stayed that way....wet composition is awful.  In the middle of the box some arms and legs were dry, just in bad shape.....but look....look here....oh's a little orange 13 inch Shirley Temple doll.  So I grab the Shirley Temple and set her back, she needed to air out and once she was smelling sweet again, I placed her in my "when-I-get-to-it" box.  In meantime, Jerry and I moved to NE -- two years past.  I have several composition dolls waiting in the mold room that I need to work on.  I grabbed a couple of a customer's dolls and I happened to look over at my "when-I-get-to-it" box and there was this bright orange leg sticking up.  I pulled it out of the box....Shirley Temple, I had forgotten about her.  As I worked on my customer's dolls I also worked on Shirley.  Unfortunately I didn't take a before picture, so I'll describe her to you -- you'll have to use your imagination.  First....she was orange; second, she has a rather large hole in her head and someone tried to fix it....badly...very badly and; third, for some reason that I do not understand...took putty or something and attempted to cover up her marks on her neck and back.  Oh yeah....did I mention -- she was ORANGE!  She did have her teeth and her eyelashes are there.  One eye is perfect, the other has that shattered look.  She was taken completely apart and I carefully removed the putty from her markings...which now can be seen and read.   Next I had to fix that quarter size hole in her head, I also repaired the cracks around her eyes.  Shirley was completely repainted.  I bought a little reproduction dress and a very pretty reproduction Shirley Temple wig.  I had some shoes and socks in stock that work well.  This morning I strung her together, dressed her and put her new 'do' on.  She came out darling and she's not orange.


  1. She looks young and gorgeous again, now, Candy! How I'd love to have your skill in doll restoration.

  2. Thank Jenann...many, many years of practice.