About ShirleyI began collecting dolls in 1999 when I became disabled. My first dolls were Boudoir or bed dolls. I love BIG dolls and soon researched My Size Barbie and Patti Playpal on eBay.
I tried restoring some of these dolls and signed up to take classes from a doll doctor in Yucaipa, California. When she taught me how to reroot a vinyl doll's hair, that was it. I love working with hair and restoring a doll's crowning glory. I began rerooting in 2000 and began auctioning on eBay in 2001.
My very first customer was a woman who gave her childhood doll to her favorite niece's daughter. This was a Patti Playpal companion doll. She was almost bald and needed a new head of hair. She shared stories where people had teased the little girl about the doll's condition, saying it must have cancer. When I finally mailed the doll, this little girl was just thrilled! Her aunt took pictures of her with the doll and she wrote me the most precious letter of thanks.
Although I do this work to augment my income (Social Security), the above kinds of rewards are what keep me doing it year after year!
I joined several doll groups including Patti Playpal, Ideal Dolls, and Miss Ideal. These lovely people give me great feedback as well as business plus other wonderful techniques to restore my favorite dolls.
I have spent many hours researching all the different sources of hair as well as the kinds of synthetic hair. Those of you who have tried to find places to buy synthetic bulk hair know that this tends to be more complicated than just typing in "hair." LOL
Other skills include sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and weaving. I have designed a knitted dress for My Size Barbie that includes slippers and a jacket. I have adjusted the patterns for sweaters to fit many of the dolls that I reroot: Such as Miss Ideal, My Twin, Shirley Temple (in several sizes), Patti Playpal, My Size Barbie, Dollikins, the larger ball-jointed dolls, Lori Martin, Daddy's Girl, and the list goes on.
Please refer to my gallery for pictures of dresses that I've sewn and/or knitted.