Sunday, February 25, 2018

Green Eyes

Daddy Steve: There's something about green eyes.  To me, they have always seemed slightly mysterious, exotic, and beguiling.  Perhaps I was influenced by a song on a Jimmy Dorsey album that belonged to my grandparents.  I can remember listening to it as a child when we went to visit them..

Sasha dolls with green eyes do turn up occasionally, although they were never originally made that way.  They seem to date mostly from the 1973-74 period, and were the product of unstable pigments in the brown eye-paint combined with years of exposure to sunlight.  It's similar to the process that causes pink lips to fade to a putty color.  While some collectors may consider green eyes to be a defect, I like to think of them as a happy accident.

I searched quite a while for a nice green-eyed boy to come live at Gregoropolis, and late last year I finally found him (Paul was supposed to be the last doll of 2017, but things don't always work out as planned...).  His name is Gavin, which I happen to think is a good name for a green-eyed boy.  He is a pumpkin-stringed boy from 1973-74 and generally in good shape, although he does have some scrapes and scratches that come from having lived a life.  His hair is good and not falling out at all, although it was very unruly when he arrived--it's straight and springy, and tends to want to stand straight up.  Most importantly, his eyes had turned a soft green color and not the rather harsh yellow-green hue that some dolls unfortunately develop.

Gavin's arrival, with wild hair.  The only clothing he had left was his denim trousers.

I gave Gavin a good 'welcome home' cleanup, and then shampooed his hair in an attempt to tame it down.  After washing, I started to dry it with the hair dryer on its 'no heat' setting but could see that it just wanted to spring back up again.  I put a hairnet on him and set him in front of a fan to finish drying.  His hair turned out well! It still leans towards unruly, but I have him wearing a sporty cap to work on that.

Shampoo time.  Not a single hair was lost!

After the wash.  Already springing up again!

Gavin: Oh, the indignity!

Next step: the eyebrows.  Green eyes are handsome; green eyebrows, not so much.  I've had some experience with acrylic paints, so I thought I would give them a try.  I started practicing blending paint in order to achieve the 'perfect' shade of brown.  Eventually I realized that it wasn't rocket science, and that any number of shades would work well.  Then it was just a matter of painting them on.  I wanted him to have the same style of eyebrows he originally had, so I didn't try any fancy NP stuff.  I think the best approach is to work quickly and not fuss over them too much.  They probably could have been just a bit more tapered, but overall I am happy with the result.

Miguel: Why is Daddy Steve painting all these caterpillars?
Sasha: He has mysterious ways.

New eyebrows!  I think they look similar to those of my 1972 boy, John Martin.

So here's Gavin: Gregoropolis' only green-eyed boy.  I think he has a suave, urbane personality.  Perhaps he'll have his own Big Band someday.

Practicing for his Green Eyes solo.


Dee said...

It so nice when you finally fine the doll you've been looking for. I agree about the green eyes, i don't see them as a fault but a nice way to get another colour of eyes in the dolls.

Gavin looks very handsome now he's had his hair somewhat tamed and his eyebrows painted brown, very good job if I may say so, definitely looks the part of a musician, could imagine him off down the clubs to play a little jazz or some such or maybe busking for a dime or two. :)

SimplySasha said...

Gavin is very handsome boy and I really like the green eyes...I am a green eyed brunette myself (which I hated when I was younger! ) Have you tried the(very)hot water on the fringe trick and press the hair against the forehead...painful on the fingers but followed by hairnet/sock normally does it...

NeverUschi said...

What a clever idea to put him next to a fan! His hair turned out well, and his brows look just right.
I also repainted the eyebrows of my green eyed girl, Emerald, with slightly shaky hands and after some caterpillar painting on paper...

Sasha's Vintage Boutique said...

He's a keeper! I have never understood why people fuss so much over a few "imperfections." These little characters are nearly 50, for pete's sake! I think you did a bang up job on the brows and think the eyes are great!

Kendal said...

I could never understand why the Frido/Trendon factory didn't add a few green eyed kids to their range, especially on their red heads. (Was great to see that the later 1990s Gotz Company did this on their red headed dolls.)

Also I would have loved to have had a little more variety within the English dolls with regards to the combinations of hair and eye colourings but they kept to the blonge hair/blue eyes, brunette hair/brown eyes apart from in the early -mid 70s they experimented by producing just 50 dolls with brunette hair and blue eyes, before then deciding not to continue.
The only other time that they steered away from their norm was on their 1980s baby Ginger who they decided to give blue eyes to with his red hair.

I would have loved to gave had a few original dolls with blonde hair/brown eyes.
Youn have customised Gavin really well, as like you, I love green eyes but the not greened eyebrows that tend to happen with it.