Monday, November 26, 2007

Winter in Paris by Erte

Another card produced by Flame Tree Publishing in the U.K.

Sleeping Beauty by Erte

I was thrilled to find this greeting card at the Drama Book Shop in Manhattan last year. This particular Erte painting was featured on the cover of Harpers Bazaar, I believe; not sure which year.
Flame Tree Publishing in London produced this and other Erte greeting cards.

Paper Doll Studio

Jenny Taliadoros publishes two amazing publications: Paper Doll Studio and Paper Doll Review. I first heard about the magazines when Mary Engelbreit did a profile on the paper doll collection of her grandmother, Helen Johnson, and the family tradition of paper art and collecting that Judy Johnson and daughter Jenny continue. I still remember the impressive files that Helen kept her collections in!

Paper Doll Studio, the quarterly publication of the Original Paper Doll Artists Guild (OPDAG), showcases original paper doll art. Here's where you can see the latest from current artists you know (including Sandra Vanderpool, Brenda Sneathen Mattox, Norma Lu Meehan, David Wolfe, Sylvia Kleindinst and Kwei-lin Lum) and many more than you may not have heard of before, such as Alina Kouri, Basia Koenig, Charlotte Krause and Larry Bassin, to name a mere handful. Readers are encouraged to submit clothing for each issue's Dress-A-Doll--and you don't have to be a pro, just follow submission guidelines for the best reproduction in the magazine. Each issue has a color insert, and profiles a paper doll artist.

The current issue (#89 Fall 2007) is richly illustrated (as usual) with fashions submitted for the Erte Dress-A-Doll designed by Norma Lu Meehan, with a color insert by Basia Koenig. The featured artist is Maureen Fitzsimmons. In addition to all the wonderful artwork, excellent articles: an appreciation of Erte by Norma Lu Meehan, Tom Tierney writing about his encounter with Erte! and David Wolfe providing insight into why Erte didn't do well in Hollywood. Also in this issue: a San Antonio convention review by Brenda Sneathen Mattox, drawing tips by Joann Anderton, which I mentioned in an earlier post and letters from readers and artists about their latest projects.

Subscriptions: $27 a year/$33.00 Canada/$39 Overseas. OPDAG, Jenny Taliadoros, Publisher, P.O. Box 14, Kingfield, ME 04947. And check out the Web site:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Golden Opportunities

Nan Moorehead left Golden, Colorado and is settled in at her new home in the state of Washington. She hasn't skipped a beat in publishing her Golden Opportunities newsletter, and even had a play date with Bent Tabs in Oregon! (I think that group has the best club name around.)

The current 26-page issue features the Movie and Muny Opera Dressographs of the St. Louis Post Dispatch from the collection of Barbara Bigelow. Stars I've never heard of (Una Val? Heather Angel? Child actress Mitzi Green?) to the world famous: Sylvia Sidney, Mary Astor, Fay Wray, Katherine Hepburn, Ida Lupino and Joan Crawford. These are hard to find, in any condition, so it is an invaluable guide to what's out there. The front cover of this issue features an unidentified Muny Opera Dressograph. Do you recognize who this is?

Previous issues of this newsletter have featured rare finds, including hand-mades, from the collection of Elaine Price. And Nan features an auction in each issue, and lately a sales list, too. I recently purchased the Flapper Fanny strip from her list.

Subscriptions: $24-US; in Canada, $26; Others, $32. Sample issue, $7. Nan Moorehead, Golden Opportunities: Paper Doll & Toy Quarterly, P.O. Box 1831, Edmonds, WA 98020.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Paper Doll Circle

Here's a 36- page quarterly newsletter published by Lorna Currie Thompoulos in England. Lorna uses a distinctive Do Not Bend rubber stamp on her envelope and I always look forward to the postage stamps!

In the current issue, there is a thorough reporting on the San Antonio convention by Diana Lax, with photos by Garth Lax. Then Lorna reported on the paper doll party she hosted at her home in Cobham, which drew collectors from England, Wales, Denmark and Norway. Photos of original paper dolls created by Lorna and Marie Walters for the lucky partygoers.

Also in this issue: Many photos of new paper dolls from around the world, a 1914 McLoughlin Bros. catalog, a review of an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum on The Golden Age of Couture 1947-1957 (and two paper doll sets for sale in the museum gift shop) and a lovely photo of Marion Jennings visiting the Musee de la Poupee in Paris. Cleveland conventiongoers may remember Guido and Samy Odin, who run the museum. The picture shows a smiling Marion in Samy's paper doll room. The back cover of the newsletter has a Marion Hughes paperdoll, and there is a color insert of a male paper doll, from the 1997 collection of Italian designer, Elio Ferraro.

Also inside there's a picture showing a creative collage paper doll by Lorna of Amy Winehouse, the British r&b singer.

Subscriptions: $25. Lorna Currie Thomopoulos, 28 Ferndown Gardens, Cobham, Surrey KT11 2BH, England. Check out Lorna's My Space page:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Midwest Paper Dolls and Toys Quarterly

Janie Varsolona and Louise Kaufman published the Midwest Paper Dolls and Toys Quarterly from 1973 until? I have a binder of issues dating from 1978 (when they announce they have been publishing for five years) and ending somewhere around 1986.

It's a blast going through these old newsletters. So many familiar names, and pictures of items I've never seen before, lists of things like the Boston Sunday Globe paper toys. There was always a paper doll party going on--even a pajama party! and someone happy to write it up for others to enjoy. Midwest had an auction list, and ran photos of conventiongoers, too.

In the fall of 1982, Johana Gast Anderton wrote up the Lowe convention in Troy, Michigan. She mentions something that I think all of us can identify with: "Now, it's confession time. I was so enamored of the salesroom, I totally neglected to get in to look at the competition. ... What a loss! Because THERE is the place to learn. THERE is the place to see those goodies you will probably never own." I, too, have neglected the competition in the past. Big mistake! For all the reasons Johana cites, 25 years ago. (Johana, by the way, has a wonderfully instructive article on drawing in black and white in the current Erte issue of Paper Doll Studio.)

Midwest Paper Dolls paid tribute to Joan Carol Kaltschmidt, editor of Paper Playthings, in the Fall 1986 issue. Joan Carol had finally succumbed that year to cancer, after a three-year battle. According to Midwest: "She was the originator of Paper Doll Parties that eventually became what we call Conventions today. Small gathering of collectors would meet, trade, share, and have fun. Today those small gatherings have over 100 attend." So here's to Joan Carol, and the wonderful tradition she started.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Paper Playthings by Joan Carol Kaltschmidt

How did people buy and sell paper dolls before eBay? They relied on flea markets, garage sales and paper doll newsletters. I've discovered some old newsletters at parties and online sale lists. "Paper Playthings" was published by Joan Carol Kaltschmidt from her home in Flushing, Queens from the 1960s through the 1980s, I think. I have copies from 1971-1986--the May 1971 issue is No. 85, so there are many others I haven't seen from the early days of publication.

Joan Carol's newsletter is like a letter from an old friend, filled with news--good, bad and in-between-- about her family, including son Matthew and daughter Mary Lou (M'lou, as she called her). I've no doubt that if Joan Carol were still alive, she'd be blogging about paper dolls--certainly outdoing anything I could possible do--and organizing one fabulous convention.

The May 1971 issue, shown here, also has news about Carol Carey's baby shower--she's one of the members of the NYC paper doll group.

You can imagine my delight when I found "Laura," a handmade paper doll by Joan Carol at a convention sales table a few years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hank by Dale Messick

Hank was the tough female editor in the Brenda Starr comic strip, of course. The paper is a little dirty, because it came from beneath someone's linoleum! Didn't everyone lay newspaper down underneath the new linoleum in the old days? I did it in my first apartment in 1980!

By the way, I checked our Embassy Suites online reservation form, and it works like a charm. My thanks to Jennifer Andersen for all of her help.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hotel Update: The Sequel

Just received this email from Jennifer Andersen at Embassy Suites. We have the option of smoking/nonsmoking rooms, by the way, that's what she references below (an Embassy operator incorrectly told me last week that we only had smoking rooms. )
Good Afternoon Linda

I have double and triple checked the inventory in our reservations system with my Revenue Manager to verify the following information was inputted correctly in my absence last week.
The two days prior and after your event dates (Aug 4 & 5, 10 & 11), King NON-SMOKING rooms have been set aside as well as doubles and Handicap accessible.

To date 5 reservations for King NON-SMOKING suites have been booked and 1 Double. This leaves 38 Kings and 31 Doubles available for the main convention dates of August 6th to August 9th.

I see no smoking rooms have been held in your block, so I do not understand why that reservationist would have told you that. However, we have added this option for your attendees should they request it.

In regards to the online group booking link, the attendees are still able to book their dates pre and post the event after clicking through to the Book a Room button.
(I have checked this personally.)
I will call Hilton National to update and revise the dates first viewed on the page as I am not the point person for those physical revisions.

In regards to any contract revisions or updates, please email or contact Beth.
Thank you,

Jennifer Andersen
Sales Manager

Handmade dresses

It's always fun to find handmade paper doll outfits, even if there is no doll to go with it. I found 12 dresses on lined paper yesterday at a doll show here in Teaneck, NJ. They were stuffed in a plastic baggie with paper dolls and clothes from the 1960s and 1970s. From the shape of the dresses and the style, I'm guessing this little girl had a Raphael Tuck doll to play with...but who knows? Any guesses? On second look, I'm also thinking of the Hood Family paper dolls, with those round shoulders and arms held out...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Little Red Riding Hood by M.G. Hays

Just for fun: A Margaret G. Hays paper doll that was published in a 1916 magazine. I think it was called Little Folks. There's a light pencil mark indicating the name on the left hand bottom corner of the page. The dark shading on the right and smudges on lower left are from glue that a previous owner applied to affix the page to cardboard. Still, a nice copy of a rare paper doll. I think I found this one in the sales room at the Indianapolis convention. Does anyone use the word "frocks" for dresses anymore? Enjoy.

Another Hotel Update

It's been frustrating to know the hotel is still giving out the wrong information about our rates and dates. Thanks to Margaret Brown for keeping me informed after calling the hotel on the local number; I received the same result this morning when I called 1-800 EMBASSY.

Please bear with me as we straighten this out, to ensure the contract rates and dates for everyone who registers.

On a happier note, Garth Lax will start sending out his email blasts next month. If you're not on his list, let me know.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

San Antonio Souvenir: Tom Tierney

I think we all needed a souvenir break, don't you? I've posted images of all the official souvenirs distributed in San Antonio: the artwork of Helen Page, Bruce Patrick Jones, Sandra Vanderpool, David Wolfe, and here, two from Tom Tierney.

San Antonio Souvenir: David Wolfe

San Antonio Souvenir: Bruce Patrick Jones

Audie Murphy

San Antonio Souvenir: Sandra Vanderpool

San Antonio Souvenir: Helen Page

Hotel Reservation Code: PD 3

Maureen at Embassy Suites in Parsippany tells me our convention reservation code is "PD3" -- so when you call 1-800 EMBASSY, be sure to give that code to get our special rates. And our block of 75 rooms now includes single (one king bed) and doubles (two double beds).

For those of you who want to call the Parsippany hotel direct, call 1-973-334-1440.

Our reservation link will be updated next week.

Once again, thank you all for your patience.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Embassy Suites Update

Beth Bauer, director of sales for the Embassy Suites in Parsippany, has informed me that the hotel will indeed honor our contract and provide conventiongoers with the special convention rate two days prior and two days after the convention. That means Monday and Tuesday, August 4-5 and Sunday and Monday, August 10-11 at the pre-tax rate of $104/single and $114/double. The Embassy Suites convention link will be updated to reflect those rates for that extended period. I'll be monitoring the situation, to make sure the link has been updated and that phone reservations are going without a hitch, and will keep all of you posted via this blog. And do reach out to me in the comments section of this blog if you have any other convention questions.

Thanks again for your patience!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Scenes from the 2007 Competition

Every Paper Doll Convention provides the opportunity for collectors to showcase rarities from their collection. In earlier posts you saw original art work that was entered in the competition from Margaret Brown's childhood collection and the Elizabeth Taylor tribute book by David Wolfe's brother Charlie. Here are some vintage and antique paper dolls that were also part of the competition room in San Antonio. I'll need help identifying these paper dolls and their owners!

Update from Jean Sullivan: "The first doll with the dark hair and the red ribbons on her slip is mine. She is a 16 inch "Woolworth-type" paper doll. She is shown in Mary Young's 20th Century Paper Dolls ref. book on page 328 under 'unknown publishers.' "

Friday, November 2, 2007

Papel Picado

Kwei-lin Lum did online research before attending the San Antonio convention, and found out about a local artist named Kathleen Trenchard who does papel picado. Kwei-lin invited me to join her in a visit to the artist's home in a charming section of town. I took this picture with my trusty cellphone camera after I realized my old-fashioned camera had no film!

This is intricate work, all done by hand.

Check out Kathleen Trenchard's Web site for more information about the art of papel picado, and to see how it's done:

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Scholastic Paper Doll

You never know when you'll discover an unusual paper doll in a magazine that isn't known for cut-outs. Scholastic Magazine had fun with this preview of fall fashion for the stylish male high school student in 1935-1936.