Izannah Walker Doll and Maggie Bessie Doll at the Withington Auction

 I went away for a couple of days to the auction held by Withington's. They had an Izannah doll they would be selling, and I wanted to see her in person. Modern phone cameras tend to over-emphasize the lines on stockinette dolls, so it's important to see these types of dolls in person. In almost every case, the stockinette dolls looked better in person than in the pictures I took. I have posted more pictures of this doll at the Izannah Walker Chronicles, for those who like to study Izannah Walker dolls. At the auction someone asked how many dolls I have featured there, and I didn't have an answer for that. I know it's more than 50 Izannah Walker dolls which have been featured with some images, thanks to collectors, and doll shops and auction houses. 

The Izannah Walker doll being auctioned had some significant wear in some places. The face itself was so beautiful, with a slight smile, and the painted curls were divine! 

There were other very interesting dolls at the auction, but I sat on my bidding hand because I am saving up for a special doll when she comes along. Here is another interesting doll: 

Maggie Bessie!  This doll was owned by Shirley Temple Black, and was in near pristine condition. I took some closeups so you could see the intricate work in the cap of the doll, and the closure below the chin. 

Anna, First of the Izannah Walker Hopestill Doll Clan

Anna Hopestill is the First of the Hopestill clan - a group of homage Izannah Walker dolls I'm making using a mold of my antique Izannah Walker doll. When she came back from her visit to Fredericksburg, she had her final painting session, and is finished. She is 22" tall, and is large size doll based on my antique Izannah Walker doll Hope, and her face is made using an upsized mold of Hope. She wears a dress made from an 1840 reproduction fabric, and wears vintage/antique pantaloons. She is signed and designated Hopestill #1. This doll is now SOLD. 

I offer available works to my email list first, and then list them online. If you are not on my email list, you might want to join! 


Here are images of Anna: 

Anna, sitting in an 1840's antique child's chair, 
holding the next creation to be finished. 

The body covering is made of organic hemp/cotton muslin. 

I'm really proud of this foot shape, 
Which was drafted from my antique Izannah doll. 

I am pretty proud of the curves in her upper body, 
which remind me of an antique Izannah Walker doll
I saw before she was auctioned in 2013. 

Keep an eye out for when she is listed online!
Better yet, join my email list so that you can have 
a first opportunity for one of my dolls. 

A Doll Party in Fredericksburg, Texas

I had been talking for many years about going to Texas to visit my friend Edyth.  Finally this year, we took the opportunity to fly to Texas!  My sister Katrina offered to care for my son and our dog. So my husband and I made plans to go to San Antonio for a trip to Texas and drive to Fredericksburg to visit Edyth. 

Dixie Redmond and Edyth O'Neill

Edyth and I have a mutual interest in visual art, in antique cloth dolls, and specifically Izannah Walker dolls.  We wrote an article together for Early American Life on Izannah Walker dolls some years ago. We've been emailing for many years. Edyth has been a mentor and source of knowledge about antique dolls to me and many other people.  Edyth has been collecting and studying dolls for many years

Back row dolls:
 Dixie Redmond doll, Dixie Redmond doll,
two 13" Chase dolls, a Dixie Redmond doll
and a doll head made by Dixie Redmond and painted by Edyth O'Neill. 
Front row:  Dixie Redmond Hopestill reproduction doll,
Edyth O'Neill's two antique Izannah Walker dolls, and my doll Hope.  

When I said we were coming to Texas, we decided we needed to have a doll party with our mutual friend, doll maker Elaine McNally. Elaine makes gorgeous dolls, so click the link to see what she's been making. 

I shipped my antique Izannah Walker doll Hope out to Texas where she could visit with her Aunt Edyth and her antique Izannah Walker dolls. What a joyful time we had on Edyth's back porch, sharing in studying the Izannah Walker dolls all together, and sharing our own creations made to honor antique folk art dolls. We masked up to see Edyth's beautiful home,. Below are some images from our time together. 

Elaine McNally and Edyth O'Neill above

I was the picture taker in the group.  
I came from chilly Maine and was a sweaty mess in Texas weather. 
Elaine McNally at left back, Edyth O'Neill at right back. 

Edyth O'Neill holding my antique Izannah Walker doll. 

Elaine McNally Izannah Walker doll - a gorgeous doll! 

Small quilts by Martha Rutledge, Elaine's mom. 

We all owned some antique printed aprons. 
We did a study of them together. 

Edyth and Elaine collaborated on a doll-making project.  
They made dolls based on Edyth's original creation in red from the 1980's.
These were amazing dolls! 

A closeup of dolls made by Edyth O'Neill and Elaine McNally. 

Edyth with three antique Izannah Walker dolls in the foreground. 
The back four dolls are reproduction dolls.
Large doll and black doll by Dixie Redmond. 
The last two dolls near Edyth are
Izannah reproduction dolls painted by her. 

Dixie holding a dear Elaine McNally doll.

Edyth and Elaine discussing a beautiful doll which Elaine McNally made above. 

Elaine McNally dolls. 

Some reproduction Izannah Walker dolls owned by Edyth,
along with a few antique Izannah dolls and some antique Marth Chase dolls. 

We were WOWED by the small dolls Elaine McNally has made. 
She carves amazing wooden dolls
in addition to making Izannah Walker inspired dolls 

These dolls are made by me from molds of Hope. 
The larger doll got a boo-boo when she was shipped home,
 so she is getting a spa treatment this week. I joked with Edyth
that the Chase doll photobombing in this picture kicked her. 

What a wonderful time we had that day!   I will share more later about the other parts of the trip with my husband. But I was so thankful to see Edyth again, and to meet Elaine! I want to do it again! 

Dixie Turns Sixty and What's Important Now

Every season asks the question,
"What's important now?"  

My sweet husband had a cake made 
with images of dolls I have made over the years, 
It was the BEST cake, too!  Lemon with 
raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. Yum!

The first year of the pandemic clarified for me that some things were on the back burner that I wanted to complete. They aren't things that would seem important to other people, and they aren't earth-altering, but they are important to me. My dad passed away in 2020. And my mom in 2021. And the pandemic happened. This life is finite and now is important. So I'm working on completing things and adding more fun, creativity and adventure into life. So I planned a visit to Texas to see a wonderful friend as the first adventure after turning 60!

I want to see better life services available for adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and autism. In the State of Maine people with developmental disabilities have been sorely neglected for over twelve years while the service infrastructure has deteriorated. Figuring out how I can make a difference, be a caregiver and do my own work is on the to-do list. 

In 2014/2015 art-making in general got set aside. Last fall I started making things again. At first I was just making myself go through the process, and wasn't feeling it. But now I'm starting to see my little basement workroom as the creative springboard that it is. It's a place of respite, and I get to go there. I'm thankful. I've been learning to do things in short chunks of time - trace pattern pieces, cut out pattern pieces. It's been helping me complete things. I'm thankful.  I'm making pressed cloth Izannahs right now, and having fun working on that process. I'm thankful. Read about the Hopestill Izannah Walker doll clan here

I'd like to do more paintings. Colorful fun paintings without constraints. I made and sold paintings before I sold dolls. You can see some of my old paintings by clicking here.  

I'd like to do more sculpting of my own one of a kind dolls. I really enjoy sculpting - it's very relaxing and fun. 

We will see what 60 brings. But I'm not going to take a passive approach to it and just see what shows up on my doorstep.  I remind myself that lots of people have their greatest accomplishments after 60.  I found the following words about late bloomers in my emails while searching for something else. It goes to show that each season can have good thing in store. 

At age 50:

Hermann Hesse wrote Steppenwolf, which dealt with man's double nature.

Leo Tolstoy, horrified by the meaninglessness of existence, considered suicide, and finally turned to the simple faith of the peasants. 

P. L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

The philosopher Plotinus was finally persuaded by his students to write down his ideas, published as The Enneads.

Samuel Adams directed the Boston Tea Party. 

Barbra Streisand won a 10-year film and recording contract estimated at $60 million.

Mary Dixon became a pilot at the age of 50, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Earl Vickers got married. The day included a string quartet performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody," a performance by an improv group, and a song he wrote for his wife.

Terri Tapper became the oldest female certified kiteboard instructor in the USA (and possibly the world).

Larry Silverman of Ballston Lake, NY, achieved his 3rd-degree black belt in karate.

At age 55:

Painter Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, Guernica.

Italian physicist Alessandro Volta invented the voltaic cell.

Richard Daniel Bass reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Walter Cronkite broadcast two special reports on Watergate, for the first time putting the story clearly before the American public.

Ella T. Grasso became the first woman to become an American governor on her own, not as the wife of a previous incumbant.

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, which publicized the indiscriminate use of pesticides and helped rally support for environmental protection

At age 60:

Playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw completed a play, "Heartbreak House," regarded by some as his masterpiece.

Italian sculptor, painter, playwright, draftsman and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini began designing churches.

At age 70:

Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence.

Businessman Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

French actress Sarah Bernhardt had a leg amputated but refused to abandon the stage.

Justice John W. Sirica heard the Watergate case.

Judy Brenner, who had recently run the Boston Marathon, chased a teenage shoplifter 100 feet and helped hold him until police arrived.

At age 80:

Jessica Tandy became the oldest Oscar recipient for her work in Driving Miss Daisy.

George Burns became the second oldest Oscar recipient for his work in The Sunshine Boys.

American writer and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes published "Over the Teacups," which displayed his characteristic vitality and wit.

Christine Brown of Laguna Hills, California flew to China and climbed the Great Wall.

Paul Newman earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for "Empire Falls" in 2005.

Dick Van Dyke appeared in the movie, "A Night at the Museum."

Sir George Martin (along with his son Giles) co-produced the Beatles' album "Love," the soundtrack to a Cirque du Soleil play.

At age 90:

Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

Pablo Picasso was still producing drawings and engravings.

Chemist Paul Walden was still giving chemistry lectures.

And we cannot leave out centarians! 

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Hopestill Izannah Walker Reproduction Dolls by Dixie Redmond

Interested people have questions about the pressed cloth reproduction Izannah Walker dolls I am making. YES, I will be offering Hopestill dolls to find forever homes after they are completed. 

I will be posting to my email list, on my Facebook business page, and here on my blog, when one of my Hopestill doll clan is ready. 

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden