Sunday, January 31, 2010


Sasha is wearing a whimsical gown attributed to Helen Kish. I bought it from the Prilly Charmin Doll Shop online. They have lots of discontinued fashions from a wide variety of commercial doll companies. And excellent prices.
In the days ahead Sasha will be borrowing several outfits we found on the website. Some need a nip and tuck to fit better but this dress fits as though it was made especially for Sasha.
Sasha thinks the Raggedy Ann and Andy design is simply delightful.

Here is a link to Prilly Charmin.


My Grandmother, Nana Laura, was quite a character. By her own definition she was "a feisty old broad." She enjoyed the privileges of old age, often to an extreme. On a bus she would humiliate men who didn't offer her a seat -- "Thank the Lord I am not your Mother."
As a youngster I was delighted with her antics and together we indulged in her favorite enterprises.
When my parents went away for a weekend we set out to the local Delicatessen to buy the various delights behind the glass case. Rare roast beef and potato salad with rye bread was out favorite. Not exactly the meal my Mother had in mind, but Nana Laura delighted in it.
On Saturdays we took the Fifth Avenue bus up from Greenwich Village, in New York City, to 59th Street where FAO Schwarz was located. Our mission was to adopt another Madame Alexander doll and possibly another Steiff teddy bear.
Nana Laura was a favorite customer of the salesgirls who earned commissions on her extravagances. She had no illusions about her popularity and made them earn their paycheck.
There were rules for adoption. And procedures. First she would line up a dozen or more of the "same" doll or bear. "There are no two alike so we must interview them first." If there were not enough candidates on the shelf she would smile at the salesgirl and ask, "Are there any more hiding in the stock room?" The poor salesgirl would scurry off to "fetch" additional stock.
Nana Laura had the eyes of a hawk but she delighted in the "props" of elegant seniority. These included conspicuously elegant hats and gold rimmed eyeglasses on a chain around her neck.
Once the dolls or bears were lined up on the counter she would raise the glasses to her twinkling eyes and peer into their faces until one "spoke" to her. I was too young to appreciate the importance of these interviews but learned to over the years.
After the interview we would take our new family additions to tea at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel across the Street from FAO Schwarz.
Perhaps the most endearing rule was her insistence on making the new bear or doll feel right at home. If a doll had a wrist tag or other type of company identity showing it was removed at once. The Steiff bears had their ear tags carefully removed.
"These are not visitors," she would say as the tags were clipped off, "but members of our family. We must make them feel comfortable and at home."
So my first Sasha family had all of their tags removed and when I photographed the Steiff bears for my first book they too had their tags removed.
Traditions should be honored and rules must be observed.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


A delightful skating outfit created especially for "dollsandreams" by one of their home designers.

The original Christmas dress I created and was eventually worn by a blonde in the "dollsandreams" window display.

A charming jeans patchwork outfit created especially for "dollsandreams" by one of their home designers.

A romantic white gossamer gown borrowed from an Italian Furga doll.

During the early days of my collecting I used to visit "dollsandreams" every Saturday to do two things. First, to adopt another Sasha or two and then to see the newest fashion creations created by the home designers.
I usually arrived about an hour or two before the shop officially opened and would go down into the stock room and "interview" new kids. Back then all the dolls were in tubes and the stock room walls were lined with hundreds of them. They were all encased in their brown paper drawstring bags so the process involved opening that bag, then taking the cap off of the tube and sliding out the doll. I could usually open about twenty-five or thirty tubes in an hour.

As a young boy I learned the proper way to interview dolls and teddy bears when my Grandmother would line bears and dolls up on the counter of FAO Schwarz and peer intently into their faces until one "spoke" to her.

And so I would line up the Sashas and peer into their faces until one "spoke" to me. Eventually, I found several brunettes that had these wide faces and deep V-shaped bangs (fringe) and they became my favorite photography models.

They are all gone now. Some were adopted by other collectors and some were lost in our move. I have managed to find several "cousins" of my original blondes but after eight years of searching I have never found another brunette quite like these.

I think we all need a quest in life and finding another brunette like the ones in my original family is mine.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Friday, January 29, 2010


Here are photos of my first blonde Sasha model. She was one of my favorite models back in the early 70s. Here she is wearing the original wrap dress outfit that last year's challenge was based on.
I have been fortunate in finding three of her "cousins" who now model for me. But first love is always the sweetest and I miss her.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"Look at these two Valentine sheets, Baby."

"This size is just perfect for my Sasha doll friends."

"Oh, this larger size is perfect to send to my human friends."

Sasha and Baby have invited a couple of Teddy Bears to help them make Valentine cards for their friends and their human companions.
I have created two printable sheets for seven Sasha size Valentines and one human size Valentine.
The Sasha size cards are made from artwork I painted years ago for a Dover Teddy Bear sticker book. The human size card is based on last year's blog Valentine.

If you would like these two FREE Valentine sheets to print out for your dolls just send an e-mail to me with the word VALENTINE in the subject line. Send your request to

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Once again Sasha has borrowed an outfit from her friend MANDY. Here she is wearing the MY FRIEND MANDY "Roller Skating" outfit #231. Sasha has added a T-shirt and white socks to the ensemble. The skates fit comfortably even with socks and the wheels really turn.
This is another charming fashion from the MY FRIEND series and a Sasha favorite.

Roller Disco anyone?

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here is another view of the KIMBERLY "Jogging" outfit. This time it is modeled by Gregor. There are many outfits from various companies that use a red, white, and blue theme. Later we will see how these work together to create wonderful new outfits for either Sasha or Gregor. The 1970s made unisex fashion popular with everything from sportswear to sneakers. Many of the fashions that other dolls wore back then now seem contemporary. Timeless styles for Sasha -- a timeless doll.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Monday, January 25, 2010


In the late 1960s Jackie DeShannon had a hit song that later became something of an anthem for the love generation. "What the World Needs Now is Love" became a huge hit and her signature song. The lyrics extended the title so that the famous phrase became better known as "What the world needs now is love, sweet love..."
In the early 1970s "dollsandreams" imported a number of terrific Hippie styles for the Sasha dolls. This LOVE T-shirt was probably one of the most popular along with the two-tone denim bell bottom trousers.
These photos were originally part of a catalog shoot for the shop.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Sunday, January 24, 2010


These photographs are favorites of mine because they were done on the spur of the moment at the end of a day of taking pictures. Usually I work with studio lights but these were taken as the sun went down and flooded my studio with late afternoon golden sunlight. The coat and hat are made of a short pile faux fur in a dark brown color. The outfit was created by one of the "dollsandreams" home seamstresses back in the early 1970s.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Saturday, January 23, 2010


"This is my wonderful new sweater set called White Horses in Starlight."

"Look at these delightful matching socks."

"I love this duffle coat because I can keep my hands warm in the pockets."

"Look at the terrific wooden toggles Daddy Ted found for my duffle coat."

Sasha is wearing a beautiful ensemble created especially for her by Nikki of SASHA DOLL STYLE in the UK. The sweater design is called "White Horses in Starlight" and features raglan sleeves. Sasha has a hat and socks that match.
The outfit is complemented with a beautiful dark mauve needlecord duffle coat and lined in a matching mauve fabric. The wooden toggles are fastened with suede loops.
Sasha is delighted with this whimsical winter outfit.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Friday, January 22, 2010


Back in 1972 I was not really a "collector" in the traditional sense of the word. I certainly didn't do research or even ask a lot of questions. I went to a few local doll shows out of curiosity and bought a doll from time to time.
My little Sasha family had grown to about thirty dolls including my "created" redheads when I spotted this redhead Sasha at a doll show. She was in near mint condition with a large oversize shadowbox I wasn't familiar with. I bought her from the dealer for $25.00.
The next day I took her to "dollsandreams" and learned a little bit more about her. But, to this day I don't really know that much.
Her box dates from 1965 to 1968 and her outfit called "Dungarees" dates from 1966 to 1970. But her hair style makes her something of a curiosity. I'm sure someone knows more about her but she was, and is, still a mystery to me.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The 1960s and 1970s were a time of colorful fashion styles. In 1969, IDEAL introduced the first "CRISSY" doll who was 18-inches tall. In 1970 they introduced her little cousin "VELVET" who was 16-inches tall. Many of their outfits fit Sasha.
In the photos of my two redheads (below) Gregor is wearing the jean pants from "Dandy Denims" and the flowered jacket from "Blouson Battle" -- both from Velvet's wardrobe.
In the photos of my two blondes (above) Gregor is wearing a "Crissy" outfit called "Jean Machine" but he had to turn up the pants cuffs. I'm not sure where the Sasha dresses came from but they are commercially made and from the same time period.

Thanks to Sue who reminded me where these Gregor outfits came from. After a bit of online research I discovered that I bought several other outfits from the Crissy fashion line so that my Sasha and Gregor dolls could enjoy the unisex Hippie fashions of the day.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Here are pictures of my very rare 1972 redheads with blue eyes. Wait a minute, according to the experts there were no redheads made in 1972. Well, not by Trendon. I made these redheads by coloring their hair using Magic Markers. The only problem was that over time the color rubbed off and my redheads developed freckles that eventually turned into a severe case of the measles. But it took a few years for that childhood malady to become a problem.
Eventually I found an early Trendon redhead Sasha and then eventually we added the later Trendon redheads to our family.
Since my daughter is a redhead those girls always seemed to go missing from my collection.

I especially like the Hippie outfits these children of the Love Generation are wearing.

Question or Comment -- Write to:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


In 1935, my father's display company created Macy's mechanical Christmas windows. I grew up around artists and puppeteers so creating settings for the Sasha dolls was familiar territory.
I thought it would be fun to create a room setting for the Sashas as they got ready for Christmas. The room was filled with antique furniture that I had collected in Sasha scale. Once again I filled the setting with little props and details that always delighted my young viewers. While my first Sasha family was lost, many of the props survived and can be seen in later photos. The little red horse that Sasha is wrapping has been in our "family" since the early 1970s and now belongs to my second brunette Gregor.
The pink dress that Sasha is wearing is actually made from a designer print bed sheet that I picked up at a yard sale. Baby Sasha has a tiny antique bisque baby doll. There is a snowman snow globe on the chest behind Sasha.
I especially like Gregor's bathrobe and matching pajamas that look a lot like ones I had as a kid.
And there is a rag hook rug on the floor (a dinner place mat from a craft shop). And the wall paper is actually gift wrap which often makes terrific wall paper for settings.

Can you find the tiny Alice in Wonderland doll in the setting?

Question or Comment -- Write to:


Back in the early 1970s, when I first discovered Sasha dolls, I was living in the Turtle Bay section of New York City -- just a few blocks away from where "dollsandreams" was located. The townhouse I lived in was directly across the street from Katharine Hepburn's townhouse. She lived on the "right" side of the street -- the historical side with the fabulous gardens behind the houses.
I would sit at my drawing board and watch my famous neighbors come and go. The first winter that I was living there I was introduced to Kate by my landlady who was the famous art and theater critic -- Emily Genauer. Kate was charming and asked if I enjoyed snowball fights. I said I did and she promised to "take me on" when the first snow fell.
A few weeks later we had our first battle from opposite sides of the street. I think she won because I was covered in more snow than she was.
Over the years we had more snowball fights. That was more or less the extent of our relationship. She did come to see a play that I wrote and told me I was better at snowballs. I used to watch as her gal pals, Celeste Holm and Lauren Bacall, would come and go.
Kate came and went without an entourage or bodyguards. She nodded and waved to her neighbors without pretense or pretension. And she threw a mean snowball. I miss her.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The next holiday I created windows for was Halloween. Once again a large tree was involved but this one was inspired by the frightening trees in Walt Disney's "SNOW WHITE" and the talking apple trees in "THE WIZARD OF OZ" -- both childhood favorites of mine.
I created a series of costumes for Sasha and Gregor. My two favorites were Sasha as a pretty Witch dressed in a black and red outfit accented with a white eyelet collar and petticoat. She had red tights and wore Caleb's suede shoes. Gregor dressed up as a Scarecrow of sorts. There were Ghost sheets and even a Pumpkin outfit for one of the babies.
The rest of the kids wore these delightful paperbag costumes that "dollsandreams" imported from Europe. I thought they were very clever and fit the Sashas perfectly.
Sadly, I have no photographs of the window after it was installed. But it was a big hit with the neighborhood kids once again.

Tomorrow we will travel down Memory Lane and revisit a "Christmas Past" just as Scrooge once did. The Sasha version is much happier than his was.

Question or Comment -- Write to: