You don't have to be a doll person to appreciate this beautiful doll.
This is Chatty Cathy that has been restored and dressed by a friend of mine. Anna Rhodes.
Anna is an amazing talented seamstress and doll restorer who has started her own restoration business. She has her own page on Facebook - AMR DESIGNS.
I love this doll - of course I do - it's a Cathy and by now you all know she is my favorite doll... But Anna somehow has managed to put the expression back on this dolls face.
Here is what she looked like, prior to restoration. What an amazing difference.
There are many steps involved in restoring a doll, but in Cathy's case there are many issues that can become very frustrating during the restoration. Most restorers start by taking the doll completely apart so they can repair the talking mechanism inside. I most cases Cathy can be made to talk again by replacing a little o ring in her record player. The problem lies is taking the body apart. Cathy's torso and neck are made from a very hard plastic, that given her age, breaks very badly when she is opened. Often the neck flange is ruined to the point where the neck has to be rebuilt in order for her head to be able to go back on.
I have restored a couple of Cathy's - but I haven't gotten up enough nerve to tackle the player.
Cathy's also suffer from a condition called green face. Over time, and normal wear, weather etc, her skin turns from a pretty peachy skin color to a gray-green color. If the whole doll is like that it is difficult for one to even see it, but after time she develops a "sick" look about her. This condition takes awhile to fix, time and patience are required to get her skin looking peachy again.
The solution for this problem, is human acne cream. Yup - the more expensive the cream the better it works, of course. The active ingredient must be Benzol Peroxide.
Restorers can go through many tubes on one doll. You rub in on the face or whatever area you are treating and leave it on for several days. Some set the dolls in the sun to speed up the process, but I have never found that makes much of a difference. The application is repeated over weeks and eventually you begin to see the green face disappear.
Here is one of my Cathy's who's green face is almost completely restored. I don't know if you can see it, but look near the hair-line and around the ear, and you will see the skin has a grayish purple hue to it. I should have taken a picture earlier on when it was much darker. A few more weeks it will be completely gone, and her face will look like it did when she was knew. It has taken me most of the summer to get her this far.
Anna is a master at what she does, she re-roots hair, replaces teeth, and repaints lips, brows, freckles and she completes the dolls with a beautiful outfit, right down to the socks and shoes.
If you are interested in seeing more, check out her site... she sells her dolls, and her dresses and she will custom make any outfit to fit any doll. Christmas is coming - if you have a young lady who loves dolls, and you are on facebook - check out Anna's work.