Doll News Summer 2013 ~ The Authors
The Extraordinary House of Rohmer
by Michael Canadas and David Robinson
Michael Canadas is the co-founder, along with partner David Robinson, of Carmel Doll Shop, an antique doll business which is located in Carmel, California. Michael and David are founding members of the UFDC club, the Carmel Doll and Toy Study Group. Michael has served UFDC by presenting countless seminars at the national and regional level, and together with David, has presented many Michael Canadas is the co-founder, along with partner David memorable programs that have made their debut at UFDC functions. In 2005, the two received the UFDC Award of Excellence for a French fashion doll exhibit they staged at the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City the previous year. Below is an excerpt from DOLL NEWS – Fall, 2005:
“…the Award for Exhibit of Dolls was bestowed on two members from Region 2-North this year, Michael Canadas and David Robinson, whose standard of excellence is legendary. An exhibit of dolls for the purpose of study and appreciation can require years of planning. In conjunction with the 2004 UFDC convention, this year’s honorees mounted a magnificent exhibit of French fashion dolls, accessories, clothing and furniture…”
In 2006, the two edited “Tell Me a Story” the souvenir journal for the UFDC’s 57th national convention that was held in Dallas, Texas.
Tailoring the Twinky Dolls, A Postwar Cottage Industry Chronicle
by Marcie and Bob Tubbs
I’m a Baby Boomer, born just after WWII. I started collecting dollhouses and miniatures of my childhood over 25 years ago. My houses looked bare, so I expanded my collection to include a wide range of miniature dolls. To me, one of the most satisfying aspects of the hobby is placing my dolls into “context”. I try to understand the social history of the period they were made so I can understand how they were played with. The materials from which they were made and how they were costumed are also important, but what delights me most is learning about the doll makers who created them.
Somewhere along the way, I learned about a remarkable New England doll maker, Ethel R. Strong. I was fortunate to find her granddaughter, Lee. From the time Lee was a child, she had taken an interest in her grandmother’s Twinky dolls and had preserved not only a large collection of the Twinkies, but a treasure trove of her grandmother’s business records, advertising materials and clothing patterns. I wrote about the dolls and their history in my book Dollhouse and Miniature Dolls 1840-1990, but had not closely studied all of the historical records. Not long ago, Lee told me she was packing away her grandmother’s things. I jumped at the opportunity to see the collection once more. We read every piece of information and studied the extra costumes and patterns Mrs. Strong had packed away more than 50 years ago. I felt there was more to the story about the Twinky dolls and their maker that would shed light on the interesting transitional years just after WWII.
Through the Eyes of Children, The Inspired Works of R. John Wright
by Ellen McDaniel-Weissler
Ellen McDaniel-Weissler is a freelance writer, teacher, singer, actress and mother of two sons, Bracken Fitzhugh and Alasdair Quinn. She and her husband, Raz, live on a mountain in western Maryland.
by Susan Dossetter
Susan Dossetter has been collecting antique dollhouses, dolls and miniatures since the age of seven. Born in Chicago, Susan’s mother took her on frequent visits to the famous Thorne Miniature Rooms and Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, which inspired her to create tiny worlds in miniature. Susan’s collection has grown to encompass dollhouses as early as the late seventeenth century, and includes examples from many different countries and time periods. Susan lives in San Francisco, and is a UFDC member at large, as her husband and five children keep her extremely busy!
Treasures of a Miniaturist, The Story of Nada Christensen
by Ann M. Leis
Ann M. Leis grew up in Fulton, New York and has loved dolls most of her life. As a child, her best Christmas ever was receiving the Barbie Dream house. She is a member of the 1st Houston Doll club and is an avid collector of both antique and modern dolls.
Over the years, Ann has volunteered for a variety of school and civic organizations.
She was President for both high school Band and Choir Booster clubs and held numerous roles within each group. Presently, Ann enjoys volunteering at her consignment shop for the Charity Guild of Catholic Women.
Ann holds a B.S.N in Nursing from Arizona State University and has worked as a surgical, school and recovery room nurse. She does a lot of traveling to help her family and likes to cook, Quilt and read. Ann enjoys Jazzercise, Yoga, Swimming and Tennis and has even learned to like Football. Ann had three awesome kids pursuing goals in Marketing, Musical Theater and Engineering and has a wonderful husband who goes along with all of her crazy ideas. She is thrilled to be a free lance writer for Doll News and wants to thank Laurie and Nina for all their encouragement and support.
Designing for Barbie, The Remarkable Career of Carol Spencer
by Bradley Justice
Former Region 8 Director for UFDC, and Curator for the Doll and Miniature Museum of High Point, North Carolina, Bradley Justice has devoted most of his adult life to his hobby. Although a lover of antique French fashion dolls and cloth dolls from his home state of North Carolina, he has recently returned to his original passion, the Barbie doll. Bradley has curated three museum exhibits with Barbie as the subject, as well as written and presented many programs on the subject. A founding member of the Queen Anne’s Revenge Doll Club, Bradley is a member of three additional UFDC doll clubs and currently devotes much of his time to his store in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, The Swell Doll Shop, where he deals in vintage and modern dolls and teaches workshops on doll costuming. Bradley was the recipient of the 2008 UFDC Award of Excellence for the Display of Dolls.
We Are Not a Clone
by Ian Price
Ian Price’s day job is running Price Watkins Media, a graphic design consultancy in San Francisco, with a sideline in writing and photography. He’s especially interested in mid-20th century collecting but is not averse to adding anything shiny, bright, and new.
Once in a Blue Moon, Doll Heads from the Bessie Bellingrath Collection
by Karen B. Kurtz
Joy in doll play is as automatic as breathing for author Karen B. Kurtz. Like most girls in the 1950s, she received new dolls as gifts during birthday parties and Christmas celebrations. Then, at age 12, Karen found Ethel, a Hertwig china with gold-painted name, and Minerva, a paint-starved tin head, lying in a neglected trunk in her grandfather’s attic. Quickly cabbaging onto them, she added them to her large storybook and baby doll collection.
Today, Karen enjoys a strong writing platform in nonfiction and dollology, in addition to a 19th century German and French collection and other specializations that were not gifts from her loving family. She collects Ginny, Cissy, and Terri Lee just because they make her smile.
Karen has published two books with Pearson, successor to Scott, Foresman, and more than 500 articles. Her professional photographer-husband, Mark, has illustrated much of her work. Their book Paper, Paint, and Stuff was published in 1984. More Paper, Paint, and Stuff followed in 1987. Karen has sold to Highlights, Cobblestone, Child Life, Scholastic, On the Line, Dash for Boys, Accent on Youth, Daisy, Airport Management Services, Aero, Plane and Pilot, Great Lakes Travel and Living, Heritage Country, Country Woman, Country, Instructor, Lady’s Circle, Farm Journal, Doll News, Antique Doll Collector, Dolls, Doll Reader, Doll World, Contemporary Doll Collector, Doll Collector’s Price Guide, Doll Crafter, Teddy Bear and Friends, and numerous other markets.
An unexpected outcome from UFDC’s 2010 Coleman Award, which began to document the true stories of Civil War dolls with provenance, caused Karen to return full circle to Junior Collectors. She is now working on the development of several children’s books.
A former elementary teacher, college administrator, editor, publisher, and consultant, Karen holds a master’s in education from Indiana University. Her biography is listed in Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of American Women, among several others. She is a long-time member of UFDC and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and a lecturer. She is working on assignments and developing children’s book manuscripts.
Karen, Mark, and their feisty Fox Terrier, Hawker Jett
by Jennifer Kohn Murtha
Rose Percy’s Fantastic Voyage
by Denise Buese
Denise Buese’s introduction to antique dolls occurred in 1975, when her grandmother presented her with a well-loved A.M. 390, and that was all it took to be hooked. When Denise stopped playing with dolls at the age of 12, she began sewing clothes for her sister’s Barbies, which is really still playing.
Denise has been a member of Verdugo Hills Doll Club since 1992, and has held the position of treasurer for two terms. After earning a BSN in nursing, she worked in NICU and OR before stopping to raise a family of two boys, one of whom is now in college and the other in high school. Happily, she is now freer to indulge her love of sewing for dolls, and is honing her skills at pattern making. Denise’s collection is comprised of mostly French bebes and poupees, but she is interested in learning about other types. In her spare time, Denise enjoys studying the Tudor age and it’s fascinating characters, and when she isn’t sewing, you can usually find her entrenched in a good book.
The Mad Hatter’s Mad SEA Party!
by Nicki Burley and Stephanie Moore
Once upon a time, there was a small brown-eyed girl with curly brown hair, who certainly looked ordinary…but inside, she KNEW she was a princess. She believed with all her heart that you could always tell a princess by her clothing, so she decided to wear a long dress to kindergarten every day. Her mother was relieved that the princess was willing to go to school at all, so when she marched out the door carrying a lunch bag and backpack and wearing yet another long cotton print nightgown, her mother just smiled and waved.
When the little girl learned to read and write, a new world of magic appeared. There were more stories in the world than her father could read in a hundred nights! She told stories to her patient dog, and she told them to her dolls. Though she eventually stopped wearing nightgowns to school, she never outgrew her love of books or dolls. She spent many blissful weekends at the library, reading all kinds of books: novels and poems, and books on dolls, costume, old houses, miniatures, history, art, or needlework. One book on a subject always opened the door to many more.
Now that she is all grown up, Nicki Burley and her husband find themselves in a cozy home about 5 miles from where they grew up, happily surrounded by five children, some cats and birds, lots and lots of books, and a growing collection of dolls. Her youngest two children are homeschooled, and she teaches English literature part-time. An early pen name she invented, “Jessica Rose Wren,” has recently led to the name of her business, Rose & Wren, which offers finely detailed handmade doll clothing. You can find her on the web at www.zhibit.biz/roseandwren.
Joining UFDC just a few years ago led to the discovery of yet another magic world: the world of friendship through dolls. Nicki has met many of her early “doll heroes,” and has attended both local and national events. After taking her daughters along to help at several events, she realized how much children would enjoy learning more about dolls and having events geared just for them. In her own region, she plans to help coordinate several young collector events this year. She is thrilled to be writing again, but she is especially excited to share what she knows and what she loves with children. All children have stories in their hearts, and need dolls with whom to share them.