Saturday, January 23, 2016

Just a Quick Blurb

Hey! So this is just a quick blurb about a present for my mom. One day in mid-December, I looked on Ebay for Vintage Chatty Cathy dolls. I don't even know why I looked; I just wondered what they looked like and what they generally sold for, I guess. Well, I saw one in what looked like pretty good condition (aside from not being able to chat anymore) for 19.99 (much less than any of the other listings). There were only three hours left to bid on it, and no previous bids. For anyone who doesn't know Ebay very well, that means I had a pretty darn good chance of getting the doll without the price going up. Well, I decided to check with my husband (I don't like making impulse buys without getting a second opinion), and by the time I actually got around to it, there were maybe two minutes left on the auction, and still no bids! So I made my bid, won the doll, and made plans.

This is the only "Before" picture
I have: the one that accompanied
the Ebay listing.

Once upon a time, when she was a little girl, my mother had a Chatty Cathy doll, but the doll didn't make it to adulthood with her. She mentioned on more than one occasion during my own childhood that she wished she still had it-- it was one of her favorite toys. Well, now I had one coming to my house, and my mom's birthday was in about a month. Perfect!

Waiting was rough, but finally Chatty Cathy arrived. Her hair had lost its curl over the years, and the face had faded to a sickly greenish-gray. I spent a good bit of time on Google, figuring out how to fix her up. For anyone who wants to know, the fading on the face can be cured using over-the-counter acne cream; just make sure the cream contains 10% benzoyl peroxide. It took three or four weeks for the cream to do its work, but sunlight seems to speed the process up some. I wiped off and reapplied it each week so I could check its progress. Chatty Cathy hair can be washed and conditioned just like human hair, and any wet-set curling method can be used for styling. I used vintage perm rods borrowed from my mother, which certainly aroused her curiosity, especially since I wouldn't tell her why I wanted them.

My mom got a sneak peek at the doll before she was finished, since the benzoyl peroxide hadn't finished its job by the big day, but she started getting excited. I brought the doll back when her face was finished and put her hair in curlers at my mom's house, then left her there so my mom could brush her hair out once it was dry. The next time I was there for a visit, I was as excited as my mom to see her all finished and decked out, and if you've made it this far into this post, I bet you are too! So here are the "After" pictures:

Doesn't she look pretty? The dress and shoes belonged to my mom's
childhood Chatty Cathy.

Close up

This photo hasn't been retouched, so the color's a bit off...
The coat also belonged to my mom's childhood doll.

So there you have it! This is my second foray into doll restoration... pretty fun stuff, taking a sad, beat-up dolly and making her beautiful again. Thanks for reading!

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