New year, New doll

A Happy New Year !
I am starting the new year with a new face on my website.
It’s been five years since I opened my website, and I have had so many visitors since then.
I truly appreciate all the doll fans who came to view my website. My new website is more organized, and you can find dolls easily. Also now you can leave a comment in my guest book .
I have created a new doll perfect to be the cover girl of my new website. She is a 24-inch Bru Jne 11 with mocha colored skin. She can be a Mulatto doll but she is actually a Creole child from the 1860s .I had this order during the summer of 2011. My customer had a vision of her doll as “ Creole child from the 1860s pre-Civil War era “.I did not have much knowledge about Creole culture. So I started out by studying about it first.
Most of the dolls I make are reproductions of dolls dressed as girls in 1880s style. But this doll needs a dress designed from 1860s pre-Civil War era.To find periodically correct designs was another challenge since I am not familiar with them. I flipped through many design books and searched on websites. My customer also helped me to find dress designs. Then I saw this silk fabric at the UFDC convention in July, I immediately fell in love with it. I seem to get more inspired when I find the right fabric than by just looking through books. I also found a painting of a little girl from the 1860s and I was drawn to the color and design of the dress that she was wearing. I decided to use this painting as my inspiration to create a dress for my new doll.
Choosing a right style wig was another challenge to make this doll look authentic.Thank goodness for Wendy Feidt who creates many wigs for my dolls. She had a hair style perfect for an 1860s little girl. I added antique silk velvet ribbon at each side to complement her skin color. My customer wanted to display this doll in a sitting position, and the Chevrot style body I usually make may not be appropriate for that purpose.
I asked my friend, doll artist Ed Spencer, to make a composition body for this doll. As a result, she can sit on the chair elegantly without any support . I could have used more decoration like lace and frills on the dress. However, dresses from that era seem to have a rather simple line. They used lots of fabric manipulation techniques instead. Her dress may seem too simple but there is a reason for this.
I also made a little hat with lots of flowers for a special occasion .This hat sits on top of her crown so that it will still show her beautiful curls.
Upon completion she turned out to be a truly one-of-a-kind doll Her new owner named her “ Miss Fancy” and she lives in her new house with lots of other friends. I know many doll collectors name their special dolls and create stories for each one as if it is a real child.
I feel very fortunate to be able to create dolls that are being loved like this by their new owners.
I hope this year will be better than the previous year for many people. Please enjoy my new website for many years to come.

Beautiful Japan

Archive for December, 2011


Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I visited Japan for a short time in early December.

It was my first visit since the March earthquake. My family and friends were telling me that everything is back to normal, but I couldn’t feel it till I actually got there.

As soon as I stepped out of the airplane, my jeans started feeling sticky from humidity. And the distinctive ” smell” in the air made me feel ” I am in Japan now”.
I mainly stayed in the Osaka area ( about 250 miles south of Tokyo). I also visited Kyoto, Kobe, and Fukui to meet my friends.
Kyoto was still in late fall foliage season, and I was able to enjoy the true beauty of ancient Japan. Kyoto has more than 1000 years of history and survived through numerous numbers of natural disasters and wars.
I have been to Kyoto many times but this time I felt so special and fortunate to be able to visit this historical city still standing like nothing happened. Everything looks the same from hundreds of years ago, and it’s a sort of miracle since Japan is earthquake country.
Back in 2009 I visited Palmira who is a well known antique doll collector in Japan . She was extremely kind to invite me to her house again this time, and I was once more in doll heaven.
Palmira and her husband Mr.Yamazaki have a fabulous collection of antique dolls. Their living room is literally “full” of rare and beautiful dolls that I only had seen in books and doll shows.
To be able to see actual dolls in person and study them means so much to me. Pictures do not always show the true color of dolls and only show a certain angle of the face.
I feel lucky if I can find a picture of the back side of the doll or inside the dress. In order to make an authentic look in reproduction dolls, I need to know how they are constructed, color and texture of bisque, dimension of the sculpting of the face. I can get this information only by seeing the actual dolls. Visiting Palmira’s house alone was worth flying to Japan for me. I can not thank Palmira and Mr.Yamazaki enough for letting me visit them again.
You can view more fabulous Yamazaki doll collections from here.
I feel so relieved to know that most parts of Japan are recovering quickly. Many people I talked to are concerned about their future, especially for the next generation because of radiation pollution from the nuclear plant.
The sad part is, that is not visible and will take time to see the actual effects. It is very frightening not knowing what is going to happen in the future but one can’t continue to worry about it all the time. Everyone seems to be trying to enjoy the life they have today instead of worrying about an uncertain future.
It is Japanese tradition to visit a shrine on New Years Day to make a wish for the coming year.
I am sure we will all be wishing for the same thing this time ( including me ) .



29 inch Antique Scroll Mark FG Doll for sale

I don’t usually sell antique dolls but this time I am offering this antique FG doll for sale from my personal collection.
She is a large 29 inch tall closed mouth Scroll Mark FG . Her bisque is very pale and has no hairlines or cracks.
Even though her marking is a Scroll Mark FG, she has blondish skinny eyebrows and that makes her look more like Block Letter FG . She has blue P.W. glass eyes and plaster of back of eyes is original ( never removed or repaired).
There is very tiny chip on both side of pierced hole.She has a crier body with two strings at the side of torso. Crier still works and makes small ” Mama” sound.
The torso part is composition but arms and legs are made with wood. There are some paint chips on torso and cracks at ankles but generally in good condition. No repainting is done on the body.
Her wig is a dark brown ringlet style human hair antique wig and her cork pate seem to be original to the doll.
She is wearing beautiful white cotton batiste dress with many pin tucks and insertion lace. The skirt part of the dress has three layers and she is wearing chemise and pantaloon underneath.
Her shoes are black leather shows with no markings.
She is offered at $4500 plus shipping. Please email me for inquiries.
I can email more detailed photos for anyone who is interested in.
お値段は4500ドル+送料です。他にも詳しい画像がありますので、興味のある方は までお問い合わせください。

Autumn in New England

Archive for October, 2011



Sunday, October 16th, 2011

I just came back from visiting my friend in Massachusetts.

My dear friend Dale Rensing from Ages Designs was an exhibitor at doll show in Dedham near Boston. I joined her to help out her booth and it was fun!!

This was my first time to visit New England area and time could not be more perfect.
I was welcomed by gorgeous foliage which we don’t have very many here in Nevada. I was able to meet friendly people in New England and enjoy beautiful scenarios.
It was a wonderful trip and I am hoping to be able to visit there more often!!
Dale offers variety of products including doll fashion patterns and jewelry to quilts and literature.
She also creates these beautiful doll dresses and they are available at her website and doll shows.

You can make your own ” Princess Kate” wedding gown for your favorite doll.







New creation ~16 inch Bru Jne 11 ~

Archive for September, 2011



Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I have been working to finish orders I started before the UFDC convention. I finished a Circle Dot Bru recently, and I have finished another doll at this time.
She is a 16-inch Bru Jne 11 with a navy blue dress. I have two Bru Jne molds to make 16-inch dolls. One is a Bru Jne 6, and the other is this Bru Jne 11.This Bru Jne 11 is a reduced size of a 24-inch Bru Jne 11, but Bru Jne 11’s characteristic facial features somehow got lost during the mold reducing process. So she may look slightly different from a larger size Bru Jne 11, but this doll also has a different look from the Bru Jne 6 mold.
My customer’s order was to make a pale toned Bru doll in a dark blue dress. Therefore she has very pale skin with pale eyes and a pale blonde wig. The dark navy blue dress seems to emphasize her paleness even more. I like both pale skinned and pink skinned dolls, and this Bru Jne 11 looks beautiful with her pale complexion.
I took an antique silk dress apart and used silk and velvet fabric to make the dress. Her dress has a rather interesting design. It looks like a jacket dress, but the top and the skirt are connected at the back so it is actually a one-piece dress.It also has pleating at the bottom of the jacket part and accent ruffles in front. I love using old metal buttons on my doll dresses, but it’s very difficult to find quantities of them in small sizes and with matched designs. So whenever I find them, I try to stock up. I used seven of them in the front part of the dress, and that added richness to the design.
I made the lace bonnet with antique insertion lace and cotton trim with many yards of lace ruffles and silk ribbons. It always amazes me to find that such a tiny bonnet requires so many yards of lace and ribbons. If you have ever wondered why antique lace bonnets are so expensive, I think this is the reason. I don’t make lace bonnets very often, but it’s been a hit since I made it for the Bru Jne 6 doll with an ecru dress. I think this type of bonnet frames her face and pale blonde wig very well.
I have been working on this doll since April. I can’t thank my customers enough for being so patient. I hope I can keep making dolls that are worth waiting for.



Two Circle Dot Bru dolls

Archive for August, 2011



Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
 Last April I made my first Circle Dot Bru doll using the wrong head mold. I finally purchased a correct mold from the Virginia LaVorgna Company and have made a French Circle Dot Bru doll.
 Not just one, but I made two dolls to show this time. One has brown eyes and the other one has blue eyes.
As you can see in the photos these two dolls have very different faces. The brown-eyed Bru has smaller irises with pale skin, which was requested by my customer in order to capture the authentic look of an antique Circle Dot Bru. I had a wonderful opportunity to study the look of an antique Circle Dot Bru during the UFDC convention last month, and I think this brown-eyed Bru came out pretty close to having that antique look.
I have noticed Circle Dot Bru dolls seem to have two kinds of faces. One has smaller irises with a more mature look just like this brown-eyed Bru I made, and the other kind has larger irises with a baby-like face. I tried to give a look of “ baby face” to this blue- eyed Circle Dot Bru. Her irises are larger, almost filling up the entire eye holes, and her pink skin seems to emphasize her chubby cheeks. They look almost like two different dolls made from different molds, but they were actually made from the same mold. It’s very interesting how you can change the look of each doll by changing the color of the skin and using different eyes.
Their bodies are Bru style leather body with leather legs. I have stained the body to give an aged look.
 I also used “claw like ” Bru hands for this doll. They are different from the Bru hands that are used for Bru Jne dolls.
 Antique Bervete and Circle Dot Bru often have these “claw like” finger hands. Later model Bru Jne dolls have more delicately sculptured hands that Bru dolls are famous for.
 I have been making Bru dolls for quite some times but this is the first time I made a Circle Dot Bru. Because for a long time I wasn’t a very big fan of this model..
 But once I started learning more about them, I discovered their beauty and how irresistible they can be.
I will definitely try to make more Circle Dot Bru dolls to show how beautiful and cute they are!
モールドは、バージニア ラボーニャ社の18インチサークルドットブリュを使いました。

2011 UFDC Convention in Anaheim

Monday, August 8th, 2011

( Teri’s Antique Dolls booth at UFDC sales room )

Attending UFDC annual convention was a very exciting and educational experience.

The president of UFDC described the convention itself as a museum of dolls and it was true.

I was able to see many rare dolls that I have only seen in books and on the internet. I have two particular Bru dolls that I call ” my dream Brus”. I was hoping to make Bru dolls look like them, and that is one of my ultimate goals.

Well, what do you know ! They were both there at the competitive exhibit table side by side. I was almost in tears when I saw them. I could have stayed there forever! Not only were they 100 times more beautiful than pictures, they looked so life-like. Many doll collectors use expressions like ” I want a doll that speaks to me.” And they were speaking to me for sure ! Unfortunately, I will never be able to own them, but at least I can try to make dolls that look like them someday.I am sure many other doll artists were inspired just as I was by seeing all these wonderful dolls. This part alone was worth coming to the convention.

But that was just one part. Meeting with other fellow doll enthusiasts was perhaps the best reason for going there.I was able to meet other doll artists who have exchanged email with me a few times in the past. We quickly became good friends as if we had known each other for a long time. It’s always nice to be able to talk about technical issues with someone who knows what you’re doing. I don’t usually have that opportunity since I do doll-making alone at home.Sometime it makes me feel like I am the only one struggling, but I found out that other artists go through a similar struggle.

I also took a few seminars and workshops, learning so much more about dolls. The most eye-opening experience was taking a refresher course in Japanese history as seen through Japanese doll culture presented by Alan Scott Pate. Alan has published many books about antique Japanese dolls, and he is one of the most well known antique Japanese doll experts in the U. S..

I must say Japanese history classes I took when I was in school were very boring. They did not stay in my memory very well.
But Alan’s lecture was full of interesting stories to help me understand history in a fun way. It was three hours long but the time went by so fast. His seminar is simply very enjoyable. I would recommend it for anyone who has a chance to attend.
 Last but not least, we all received a souvenir doll at the banquet on the last day. This year’s doll is an all bisque doll created by Darlene Lane. The doll’s name is Aimee, and she is so tiny and adorable. She is only 5.5 inches tall but the details of her facial painting are incredible. To paint such a tiny doll with perfection is already hard enough, but Darlene hand made more than 1000 of this same doll for the convention. I can’t even imagine doing that much work myself. This was the moment I truly appreciated doll artists. I can see how much work she put into each doll, and she did not cut corners in any details.Thank you, Darlene.
 The Halopeau doll that I made for this convention was sold, and I appreciate everyone who came to see my doll during the convention. I received many compliments and met a few of my customers there. It’s always nice to know who I am doing business with since I rarely have a chance to meet them. Next year’s convention will be held in New Orleans. I hope I will be able to go there and again have another exciting time!












Halopeau doll completed!

Archive for July, 2011


Monday, July 18th, 2011


Gee, I finally finished making my first complete Halopeau doll to take to the UFDC convention.

And here she is!

I have made quite a few H heads recently but never had a chance to make a complete doll.
Most of the dolls I have been making are custom dolls. In other words, I don’t decide the dress or details of the dolls.

They are all requested by the customer. This H doll was created by ” however I want” style.I have been wanting to make a dress with this design for a long time, and I have been saving this antique sage green fabric just for this dress.
I am very happy that I was finally able to use it.
It turned out very chic and I really love it! Even though I had only a very little time to make this dress, I hand stitched all cording trims and used lots of fabric manipulation techniques.
Edging trim at the bottom of the jacket is made with silver thread. It’s very heavy and has a nice antique patina which adds another layer of richness to the dress.
While I was making this head, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to study an antique AT doll in my house.
One of my customers offered me the use of her antique AT doll as a painting guide to make an H head for her, and she actually let me keep the doll for a month.
I had an antique AT doll side by side to paint this H head ( and my customer’s) to capture the true coloring of skin tone, feathered brows, lip shade, etc …
How lucky can I be!
As a result, I think she greatly resembles an AT doll.
I am taking her to the UFDC national convention this Saturday.
She will be available in the sales room at Teri’s Antique Dolls booth.
I look forward to meeting new friends there!







Noble Dolls by Vita Soyka

Archive for June, 2011


Thursday, June 30th, 2011

I wrote about Japanese Ichimastu dolls in my last blog.

This time I would like to introduce another kind of wonderful doll created by my friend Vita Soyka who is an extremely talented doll artist from Ukraine.

Her dolls are inspired by early European wooden dolls from 17th ~18th centuries, but they are all her original designs, not reproductions.

She hand carves lime – wood to make the base of a wooden doll then coats the wood with a chalk priming mixture. She finishes the facial painting with an old method of egg tempera and sets glass eyes to give life to the doll.
 Vita hand sews all garments and dresses for the dolls by using a combination of modern and antique materials.
Oftentimes antique fabrics are too fragile to handle and choices are very limited. But by combining both new and old materials Vita has the flexibility to create a wide variety of dresses.
She carefully chooses fabrics made from natural materials in order to preserve the integrity of a vintage look to her dolls.
To make that vintage look even more authentic, she uses antique glass eyes,and the wigs are made from antique human hair .
I was just blown away when I first saw her dolls because of their artistry.
Compared to using molds to make porcelain dolls, hand carving each doll is extremely time consuming and requires a high level of artistic skill. I am already taking my hat off at that point.
My dolls are my own interpretation of antique dolls but still ” reproductions”.
Vita’s dolls are all originals made from scratch. I truly envy her talent and thank her for giving me an opportunity to learn something new.

You can read more about Vita’s dolls from these links.

Vita hand carved this beautiful body. Look at detail of these feet! Wow !

Miss Wakayama ~ Japanese Friendship Doll ~

Archive for June, 2011
Saturday, June 11th, 2011
Our local doll club took a field trip to the Nevada Historical Society in early June to visit ” Miss Wakayama ~ Japanese Friendship Doll”.
Japanese Friendship dolls ~Torei Ningyo~ are a type of Ichimatsu dolls which were sent to US from Japan in 1927 to show gratitude for the Blue – Eyed dolls that were sent to Japanese children from US in early 1927.
Originally 58 Ichimatsu dolls were sent and each of the dolls were equipped with a variety of accessories including lacquer chests,silk parasols, lanterns,passports,steamship tickets and goodwill letters.
Unfortunately some of them were lost or misplaced over the years especially during WWII. Forty six of them are known to exist as of today.
 The Nevada Historical Society in Reno received one of the Friendship dolls, Miss Wakayama, in 1928. After they toured around cities of US, she has been on permanent display at the museum.
I was born and raised in Japan but I knew very little about Ichimatsu dolls and had no knowledge about Friendship dolls until one of my doll club members mentioned about them.
Since then I did more research and discover the beauty and wonderful history of Ichimatsu dolls. Now I truly appreciate the fact that we have one of this friendship doll in town and being able to see the doll with such a remarkable history.
The moment I saw her, I could only say “Wow”. Our Miss Wakayama is about 30 inches tall and she is displayed with her beautiful accessories such as lacquer chests, tea ceremony set, slippers and umbrella.
Her facial painting is a work of art. She has eye lashes and two rows of teeth with open mouth which is kind of rare among Friendship dolls.
She has this divine smile which looks almost like a real child, as if you can hear her breathing. It is a true master artist’s work to create such “look”.
Her silk kimono has clam patterns at the bottom which is original to her. Each Friendship doll has a name to represent each prefecture in Japan, and Wakayama prefecture is known for clam harvesting.
I believe that’s where her kimono patterns originated.
She is still missing some of her belongings because many Friendship dolls and their belongings did not travel together during the tour after they arrived in US.
The Historical Society director told us that they are still trying to locate some of her original belongings including her passport.
There are 45 more Friendship dolls located all over the US. One of them, Miss Japan, is in the Smithsonian Museum.
From this site you can check to see if your city has a doll .
I would definitely recommend going to see a Friendship doll if you have one nearby.