Although it is an unusually warm November, so mild that I can leave the windows open, I still feel the spirit of Christmas.
Luckily, during the kids’ school holidays, I will have lots of work to keep me busy. I’m picking up some sculpts this week and I’m so excited to start working on them. I have a couple of new techniques I want to try with my upcoming dolls.
I’ve been experimenting over the years and so much has changed I want to try everything!
I went to a Doll & Teddy Bear Show where there were dolls from antiques to current dolls of all kinds. I was in ‘doll heaven’. I loved the porcelain dolls showing the history and they have remained in tact for so many years. The vendors were very inviting with tables and rows filled with their amazing artwork.
I was about to leave after doing 5 laps around each tables. Suddenly, among a crowded table of old dolls and games. I found a pink haired Troll Doll wearing a nurse’s outfit. Due to the nostalgia of the original Troll Dolls in the late ’90s and the new Troll movie that was released in theatres, I decided to purchase it for $6.00CDN.
When I got home I took a closer look at the doll and it was filthy and the white nurse’s outfit had a brown-yellowish tinge to it.
Let the doll restoration begin:
I shampooed the hair thoroughly then I rinsed it under running water until the water ran clear . With cotton pads and cotton balls soaked with rubbing alcohol. The more I rubbed the Troll’s vinyl with alcohol the stickier it was to touch; yellowish brown came off on each cotton ball and cotton pads. I continued to keep cleaning the doll with rubbing alcohol. It was my guess that this doll was kept close to or above someone who smoked… heavily. I’m normally not a fan of germs and unquestionable stickiness, but I was facing my fears and I was determined to restore it.
Before rubbing alcohol
After cleaning with rubbing alcohol. Picture is slightly brightened, but you get the idea
I continued to take off layers and layers of nicotine until the dolls original vinyl was finally exposed. Now, I had to tackle the dress. It was filthy, I had to look up a picture of what it was supposed to look like.
My ‘rescue’ doll was finally starting to look cleaner and brighter.
Time to tackle the dress and hat. I snipped the strings used to secure the hat on its head and removed the dress and soaked it in Dawn dish soap overnight.
The dish soap lifted the dirt from the outfit, but it still wasn’t as clean as I had hoped. So I soaked it in a solution of white vinegar and hot water (1:2 ratio) and once again soaked it overnight.
The dress was still dirty, so I decided to use the big guns and mixed Oxiclean with warm water. Once again soaking it overnight, when I checked on the dress the next morning, the water looked dirty and the outfit seemed to be lifted to an eggshell colour.
I gave up on the dress even trying once again to use bleach, to no avail.
The dress and hat could not be saved. 😦
Although I couldn’t restore it with its original outfit, she looked pretty good. She now remains on my desk as a mascot.
This was a fun project and despite the condition she was in, I may try doll restoring once again. 🙂
This was a huge reality check to what the effects of smoking cigarettes and nicotine does to not only the lungs, but to everything surrounding the cigarette smoke.