Yes, I've been blessed with another gift of something I've wanted for a long time. After about 26 to years of waiting, I finally have a Lee Middleton Doll.
It's a long story, but if you've read my other posts, I mentioned that I worked in a mall in San Antonio, TX back in 1987-88. During my dinner break, I would stroll around the mall and visit with some of the friends I had made at other stores.
There was an upscale toy store that carried Madame Alexander and other pricey dolls, including Lee Middleton Dolls. I would go in there and visit the babies. These were really the first dolls I had ever seen that looked so incredibly lifelike.
A brief history of Lee Middleton.
Lee Middleton was a self-taught artist from Ohio who, in 1978, began sculpting her dolls in her home. Her original vinyl dolls with a porcelain feel started production in 1984. Sadly, she passed away in 1997, but her company and quality of dolls continues with the current artists Reva Schick, Eva Helland, and Jane Pinkstaff crafting beautiful babies with a variety of expressions.
So, I found some Lee Middleton dolls on shopgoodwill.com and there was one (a Reva Schick sculpt) that closely resembled my son, Ross, when he was a toddler. I figured if I was going to invest in a Lee Middleton doll, I may as well try to find one that looked like one of my children. According to the auction's description, it is a boy...a boy wearing pink.
This particular doll reminds of Ross at around 2 years old, especially the tussled hair. I've bid my maximum amount plus shipping and handling is really high on shopgoodwill.com. I have some competition and there are still 3 days left so there is a chance I won't be the winning bidder.
However, if you've read my previous posts, you'll know that one of my favorite sayings is, "If the Lord meant for me to have it, I'd find it at Rolling Hills." (or a garage sale, thrift shop, eBay, etc.) Well, today I had this feeling I should go to Rolling Hills. I needed some craft paint and a small piece of fabric for a cape for the Santa I wrote about yesterday because I'm not too crazy about his outfit.
The minute I walked in the door, I spied a Lee Middleton Doll on the shelf and for only $18.75 + tax.
Her (the doll was wearing a dress) hair was a mess. In fact, even after I conditioned it and combed it out, it is still a mess but I found out that I can use a curling iron on it and that should smooth it out some. Still, she/he had the same face as the one I liked on the Goodwill auction site.
So, I carried the doll around the store while I look to see if they had any craft supplies, I found a great piece of fabric, then I shopped for boy clothes and found this cute Halloween outfit.
I got a lot of smiles, and few people stopped to look at the doll, but when I went to check out, the girl behind the counter was horrified.
You see, they know me there, and lately I've been scooping up baby dolls to make Zombie Babies. Perhaps she was afraid that the Lee Middleton doll was about to suffer the same fate. Oh, please! I only zombiefy the dolls who are a little worse for wear and give them a whole new life...and UNDEAD life. Bah-haa-haa-haa!
Anyway, back to this doll's sweet face. Here he is pictured with my son at two years old. There is no sculpt that I am aware of that looks any closer to Ross. The shape of the face is very similar, and so are the eyes, but the mouth is a bit different, and as Ross put it, the skin is quite a bit darker. Come to think of it, Ross did get rather orange when he started eating carrot and sweet potato baby foods. Hmmm?
This doll reminds me more of Ross between 10 to 18 months when he had his beautiful curly hair. He's about 16 months in the photo. Once we started cutting his hair, it was wavy but it never really got those baby curls back. We called them doo-doo rolls because our son, Gray, who was five then, thought that was funny.
From this angle, the doll looks so much like the back of my son's head and fat cheeks when he was little that it gives me chills.
So, my plan is to give this doll a good cleaning, see what I can do to make this hair smooth and shiny again, add lashes, and paint Ross's eyebrows and hairline on the face.
After all the reading I've done on Reborns (for my Zombie Baby research) and the images I've seen, I think I should try my hand at this popular craft. Who knows, perhaps I will become a "Reborn Artist".
Well, I supposed it sounds better than a Zombie Baby artist.
So what does all this have to do with Santas? I've been looking on eBay for Santa outfits, size 0-3 months. Let me know if you find one...with a hat!