Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Part One

Welcome to my blog covering the 2015 International Paper Doll Convention held in Chattanooga Tennessee June 16-21.  The convention was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  Jenny Taliadoros and David Wolfe did a fabulous job planning the event, which many consider to be one of the best conventions ever.  Obviously I couldn't cover every aspect of the convention, or get a photo of everyone who attended.  If I have neglected you, or some part of the convention that interested you, I apologize.  I have simply told my own story here, using my own photos (and a few borrowed from friends).  I hope you will enjoy the blog.

This is one of the first souvenirs we received, done by the wonderful Jim Howard.  I think it is my favorite.

This is a view of the hotel.  I drove from Missouri and arrived on Tuesday around 5 pm.  People told me that Chattanooga was an "easy" drive.  I found that to be so until I got within about an hour of Nashville.  NOT easy.  I don't enjoy driving but I thought I could manage a 6 1/2 hour drive.  It wasn't fun, but I made it.  The drive home was much easier, since there was less traffic on Sunday.  When I arrived in the hotel I was immediately greeted by Jan and Sam McKay, Mary Firtl, and Norma Lu Meehan.  I was tired but happy to have arrived.

                                            WEDNESDAY TOUR

On Wednesday a group of us took a bus tour to downtown Chattanooga.  Our first stop was the Houston Museum of Fine Antiques.  The museum houses the collection of Anna Safley Houston (1876- 1951).   I rode on the bus with Marilyn Brooks (above right).  She and I had a nice catch-up visit on the bus.  We had become acquainted at the Kansas City convention several years ago. 

          My husband's family has a collection of steins, so these were of particular interest to me.

                                                                 My favorite stein!

                                                                  My favorite colors!

                 There were lots of pitchers in the collection.  Anna must have loved pitchers!

The Hunter Museum did not open until noon on Wednesdays so a group of us decided to do an early lunch and then visit the museum.  From Left to Right:  Lydia Jarboe (California), Marilyn Brooks (Texas), Sharon Yarter (New York) and Marian Creamer (California).

Here I am in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art.  The museum offers a stunning view of the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains of the Cumberland Plateau.  It houses what is recognized as one of the country's finest collections of American Art. 

The first thing I spotted when we entered the museum was an Art-O-Mat machine.  I've always wanted to see one, so I was very excited!!  My friend Michele Dieber Kumm submitted her art to Art-O-Mat and had it accepted, so her art is actually in a machine somewhere!  As you can see, it is actually an old cigarette machine, now being used to dispense original art.  For $5 you receive a tiny piece of original art, not a copy.  I couldn't resist.  I had to go into the gift shop and buy a token.  I put the token in the machine, chose something that  appealed to me, and then pulled the knob.  It was so much fun that I had to go back and buy another token and do it again.  You can see the two tiny pieces of original art below:  

The first is a block print on wood and the second is a tiny painting on an easel.  I received information on both artists, how to buy more of their work, etc.  You can find out more at: 

This was my favorite painting in the museum.  The artist is Robert Henri and the painting is entitled "Pet."  It depicts an Irish peasant boy.

This was the glorious view from the balcony of the museum.  This is the Tennesse River.  A guide at the museum explained to me that this used to be a bridge for automobiles, but it grew to be too unsteady so they turned it into a walking bridge.  After I saw it I had to walk least part of the way.

This is the new bridge built to accomodate automobiles.  I took this photo standing on the walking bridge.

After my walk on the bridge I went into a gallery that displayed and sold work from a variety of artists.   The artist who designed this necklace is named Steve Smith from Alabama. He makes an assortment of items using glass from discarded wine bottles. 

                                                 WEDNESDAY EVENING

That evening we met up with friends.  Here is my buddy Ron Fong, who is everybody's friend.  Ron is amazing at remembering names, faces, etc.  Everybody loves Ron, who hails from Seattle.  That evening there was gathering with hors d'oeurves.  Sharry O' Hare and Michael O' Hara led us in a fun "Name that Tune" game in which we had to match up country western songs with their singers.  Even though my husband plays country music on one of his radio stations, I did not do very well!

                                         THURSDAY WORKSHOPS

Jill Kaar Hanson gave a fantastic presentation on early magazine paper dolls from women's magazines.  I especially enjoyed the story she told.  When she was a little girl, sick with tonsillitis,   her mother would go to a closet and bring down a large envelope from her father's business.  It was filled with her mother's paper dolls, especially Dolly Dingle paper dolls.  Jill was only allowed to play with the paper dolls when she was sick.  She even showed us a photo of the actual envelope that housed her mother's paper dolls.  I wanted to give her a big hug when she finished, but I only had time to take a photo of a couple of items from her collection (below), so I could make it to my next workshop.  This was Jill's first convention.  She has been very involved in UFDC conventions, but promised to come back next year, as she is now officially a part of our paper doll family!  Thanks, Jill! 

After I snapped a couple of photos of items from Jill's fantastic collection, I had to grab a bite to eat and then go to Linda Horner's workshop.  I don't usually go to workshops at the convention, but I love Linda Horner's work, so I signed up.  My friend Lori Lawson had also signed up, so I was looking forward to spending time with her as well.  The workshop was entitled:  Making a Paper Doll Craft.  Here are the photos:

Here are my friends:  Lori Lawson (far left) and Alina Kolluri (far right)

I had not seen Alina Kolluri since my first convention in Charleston North Carolina, fifteen years ago!  It was so nice to see her again and she is just as sweet and talented as ever! 

                                                  Lori and I show our almost finished crafts.

Here you can see the cover of the craft (above) and below is the inside.  Thanks to Linda Horner and her sister Jill who ran the workshop.  Linda spent two weeks cutting and scoring  paper, so that we could be successful. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Part Two

Here is another souvenir, this one by Charlotte Whatley.  Charlotte wasn't able to attend this year, but we are forever grateful to her for her contributions in the way of souvenirs and menu designs. 

                                                MORE WORKSHOPS

Tracy Williams organized a group of speakers into what is known as Pecha-Kucha.  There were 8 speakers total and each limited their talk to 20 slides.  I don't have photos of everyone, but here are a few:

Sheryl Jaeger gave a presentation called, "Paper Secrets."  Each item that she discussed had an unexpected  feature.   

David Wolfe shared his process of layering using different media as he creates a paper doll.  Other presenters at the Pecha-Kucha were:  Sandra Vanderpool, Jenny Taliadoros, Kwei-lin Lum, Beth Wilkins, Tracy Williams, and Linda Ocasio.  I'm sorry I didn't get photos of all of them.  I'm afraid I got so involved in their presentations that I forgot to take photos.  Besides.....they went so fast! 

                                                 THURSDAY BANQUET

These were my table mates at the Thursday evening banquet.  Front row left to right:  Jane Rasor, Sai Kolluri, Alina Kolluri,  and Linda Horner.  Back row left to right:  Betty Jo Goodson, Unidentified, Anne Donze,  Sharry O' Hare, and Jill Miller.  Please note the fantastic certerpiece designed and executed by Linda Horner.  More photos of the centerpiece later.  That evening we played a game where we had to match an item of paper doll clothing to the cover of the set to which it belonged.  Working as a team, our table was able to match 30 out of 32 costumes correctly and WE WON!  If you would like to try the game yourself, below is the link.  For the answers, you can email Jenny at

This year the Fanny Gray Award was given to Tom Tierney.  Here is Tom's niece, Kathy O 'Tierney, who accepted the award in honor of Tom.  Also in the photo is Sam McKay (photo courtesy Jan McKay). 

                                                    ARTISTS' GALLERY

The Artist's Showcase and Special Collections Exhibits were held on Thursday evening after the banquet.  Here I am sharing some samples of my original art.

Jim Howard showing some of his fabulous original art.  Jim is such a sweet and down-to-earth guy!  I did not take this photo.  I stole it from someone on facebook, and forgot to take note of who actually took it so I could get permission.  If this is your photo, let me know and I will be happy to give you credit. 


Saturday was SALES DAY!   Tracy Williams was taking requests for costumes for a paper doll she was working on.  Fascinating for everyone to see an artist actually work! 

Patricia Courte Rooney had a fabulous Chanel display along with a set of Chanel paper dolls she was selling.

Patti Fertel was assisted by her husband Richard at her sales booth.  I've met Patti at previous conventions but got to know her a little better this year.  I had not met Richard before.  He was a lot of fun! 

Here I am at my sales booth.  I always try to keep my expectations low when it comes to sales.  There is just so much to look at and sometimes buyers can't even get around to every booth.  Competition is stiff.  But my friends DO like to buy from me, so I always have a booth.  This year I was pleasantly surprised to sell about twice as much as I normally do.  Of course the down side is that I can't get around to all the other booths.  But I still managed to do some damage.  See next photo!

Here are some of my purchases:  A Merrill book, "Cradle Tots," Linda Horner's book, "Paper Pals," A Platt and Munk book "Smart Fashions," (notice the beautiful cover), another Merrill book, "Children Around the World" (I already have this book, so this was an upgrade), a boxed set "Joan," and a cut set from Alina Kolluri designed with a vintage greeting card on the cover.  "Smart Fashions" was my most expensive purchase.

I met Mary Lane (left) and her daughter Judy Dunn during happy hour on Wednesday.  They are from the Springfield Missouri area.  Mary is the collector and Judy drove her to her first convention.  Mary instantly became a fan of my work and purchased seven different dolls from me!  No doubt the most dolls anyone has ever bought from me at one time! I hope they enjoyed their first convention!  I certainly enjoyed spending time with them.

                   FRIDAY NIGHT BANQUET:  50's NIGHT

Some attendees went for the vintage 50's look!  Left to right:  Jenny Taliadoros, Alina Kolluri, Kathy O' Tierney, Brenda Mattox, Lorna Thomopoulos, Lori Lawson, Beth Wilkins, Jill Miller, and Linda Horner. 

This was supposed to be a photo of "the guys," but evidently Linda Ocasio missed the vintage ladies photo.  PLUS we have Tracy Williams in her 50's alien costume.  Maybe the alien was from some 50's horror movie?   I'm not sure.  I'll do my best to ID.  From left to right:  Sheryl Jaeger, Ed Norris, Kevin Wilkins, Unidentified,  David Wolfe, Jane Borg, Beverly Micucci, George Thomopoulos, Herb Graves, Unidentified, Linda Ocasio, Tracy Williams, Gregg Nystrom and Karry Fuller. 

Poodle skirts were a popular 50's fashion choice for the evening.  From right to left:  Anne Donze, Kim Cataldo, Unidentified, and Millie Norris.   I'm afraid I don't know the names of the other ladies.  Perhaps someone can help me out?

                                  What a cute couple!  Lorna and George Thomopoulos!

                                                     Ron Fong is looking dashing on 50's night!!

     Ron had several dates that night! (Ron Fong and Alina Kolluri)

 And another date--Ron Fong with Lori Lawson! (photo courtesy of Lori Lawson).

At the Friday banquet we were entertained by Sharry O' Hare, Michael O'Hara, and Sharry's sister.  The program ended with the song "Little Girls," from Annie, only Sharry had rewritten the words and changed the title to "Paper Dolls."  Many paper doll "names" were dropped during the SONG, which ended up rhyming with Ron FONG.  Everyone was in stitches by the end of Sharry's rendition.  Thanks so much Sharry and Michael for entertaining us again this year.

Ron Fong was proclaimed King of Photography and Sondra Leeds was proclaimed Queen of the Raffle Room.  I'm sorry that I didn't get any photos of the raffle room this year, but Sondra did an amazing job as usual.  Thanks Sondra!!


 David Wolfe designed the Dolly Parton paper doll for the "Dress-a-Doll."  Thanks, David.  Here you can see all the fabulous costumes designed for Dolly.  Thanks to all who participated.  The Dress-A-Doll was raffled off on Friday evening and the lucky winner was Barbara Duranczyk. 

                         SATURDAY WORKSHOPS

Scott Jorgenson gave a fascinating presentation using photos from his vast historical clothing collection.   Scott shared photos from his collection and compared them to representations from various paper doll books.  The presentation was very well-received.  Thanks Scott!!

Jim Howard gave a presentation which told his own story.  From humble roots in a small town in Texas, Jim went on to become a highly sought-after fashion illustrator in New York City working for several well-known department stores.  Eventually Jim began doing free-lance work and moved west.  Everybody loves a good story and I am particularly fond of memoirs.  Thank you, Jim, for sharing your story with us. 

                 Jim poses with Norma Lu Meehan and Mary Firtl after his amazing presentation!

Our final presenter on Saturday was Lorna Curry Thomopoulos.  Lorna has lived all over the world (who knew?) and is married to George, a world class surfer.  Unlike most of us, Lorna did not play with paper dolls as a child and did not become interested in them until after she was married.  The fact that she and her family moved around so often, allowed her access to many paper dolls published in foreign countries.  She shared photos and drawings, done by Lorna,  who is an artist in her own right. These chronicled her amazing travels and her search for paper dolls all over the world.  Again, I am a sucker for any kind of memoir, so I thorougly enjoyed Lorna's "story."

                          SATURDAY COMPETITION


The category was "Paper Houses Pre-1950."  The blue ribbon winner was Patricia Courte Rooney.

        Another blue ribbon winner in the "Paper Houses Pre-1950" category, entered by Jean Mallett. 

       The category was, "Paper Toys 1920-1949," and the blue ribbon winner was Marian Creamer.

     The category was "Handmades 1930-1959," and the blue ribbon winner was Karen Hunter. 

Barbara Chilicutt won a blue ribbon for her entry in the category, "Handmades, 1900-1929." 

                      Elaine Price won a blue ribbon for her entry in "Handmades Pre-1900."

Jan McKay won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category of "Handmades 1930-1959."  This also won the Judges "Best of Show," award and was voted first place in "People's Choice."

           Patricia Courte Rooney won a blue ribbon for this entry in "Post Card, 1940 to Present." 

        Marian Creamer won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category, "Post Card--Pre-1940."

Beverly Micucci was awarded a blue ribbon for this entry in the "Greeting Cards after 1950."  This is from a handmade album and the cards were copied from the original Hallmark Cards.

 I won a blue ribbon for my entry in the category, "Greeting Cards: Paper Doll or Toy Pre-1950."  This is a Queen Holden card.  Notice the QH initials near the doll's feet. 

Brenda Givens won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category of "Newspaper Paper Doll 1930-1949."    

            Diana Lax won a blue ribbon for this entry in the "Newspaper paper doll Pre-1930. 

       Diana Lax won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category of "Magazine Paper Doll 1920-1949."

This was the blue ribbon winner in the category of "Advertising Paper Dolls 1900-1945."  The winner was Jean Mallet.  

I won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category "Babies and Children 1950 to Present." 

Sharon Yarter was awarded a blue ribbon for her entry in the category of "Babies and Children 1920-1949."

                       Jenny Taliadoros won a blue ribbon for this entry in "Celebrity after 1950." 

                Diana Lax won a blue ribbon for her entry in the "Celebrity Pre-1920" category. 

Marian Creamer won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category "Foreign Paper Doll 1950 to Present."

                 Marian Creamer won a blue ribbon for this entry in "Foreign Paper Doll 1900-1949." 

         Jan McKay was awarded a blue ribbon for this set in the "Foreign Paper Doll 1900-1949." 

                   Diana Lax won a blue ribbon in the category "Foreign Paper doll Pre-1900." 

   Jean Mallet won a blue ribbon for her entry in the category of "US Paper Doll 1960 to Present." 

                                    Jane Rasor won a blue ribbon for this foreign paper doll. 

                   Beverly Micucci won a blue ribbon in the category, "US Paper Doll 1940-1959."

         The category was "US Paper Doll 1900-1939."  The blue ribbon winner was Sharon Yarter. 

           The category was "US Paperdoll Pre-1900,"  and the blue ribbon winner was Elaine Price.

Sandy Vanderpool won a blue ribbon in the category, "Equestrian Paper Doll."   This also won a "People's Choice" Award.

    The category was "Farm Paper Doll or Toy" and the blue ribbon winner was Jenny Tailadoros.  

      The category was "Farm Paper Doll or Toy," and the blue ribbon winner was Marian Creamer. 

       Sharon Yarter won a blue ribbon for this entry in the "Individual Singer or Group Paper Doll." 

                The category was "Vintage Scrapbook Pre-1960" and the winner was Sharon Yarter. 

        Dee Radcliffe won a blue ribbon for this entry in the category, " Vintage Scrapbook Pre-1960."

Beverly Micucci won a blue ribbon in the category, "Altered Book (no paper dolls) Made by Competitor."

Beverly Micucci also won a blue ribbon in the category "Altered Book with Paper Dolls." This entry was also a runner-up in the "People's Choice" award. 

                     Alina Kolluri won a blue ribbon in the category, "Scrapbook with Paper Dolls."

               Linda Hoerner won a blue ribbon in the category "Scrapbook with Paper Dolls."

      Jim Howard was awarded a blue ribbon for his entry in "Original Art done by Professional."

The category was "Magazine Paper Doll Pre-1920" and the blue ribbon winner was Jill Kaar Hansen.

                 Saturday Night Banquet:  Minnie Pearl Night

For the Saturday Night Banquet attendees were invited to decorate a hat, Minnie-Pearl style.  Here I am with Lori Lawson.  I used flowers and paper dolls to decorate my hat.  Lori went for the complete Minnie Pearl look with tights and Mary Janes.  How-deee!!    

Here is Lori again along with Jenny Taliadoros.  Jenmy managed to find a perfectly sweet "country" dress for the occassion with extra extra flowers on her Minnie bonnet.  So cute!

Linda Ocasio donned a country-style skirt and lacy blouse, while Tracy Williams went with a Hello Kitty/Minnie Pearl combo outfit.  Notice the bow and ears on the hat!

Sharry O 'Hare is wearing Halston and here she is with David Wolfe.  They are posing with Kim Cataldo's hat??   Love the bright colors, but David where is YOUR hat???

This picture generated a lot of interest on facebook.  Judy M. Johnson (left) made her hat out of a shopping bag an hour before the banquet.  Marilyn Henry regretted not putting more flowers on her hat.  And Jim Howard wasn't about to miss out on the fun!!

Sylvia Kleindinst wore a lovely hat for Minnie Pearl night.  Sylvia is always so supportive of everyone and everything going on at a convention.  She takes lots of pictures and does her best to catch up with everyone and keep up with all the convention activities.

These three ladies were the winners of the "People's Choice" award from the competition held earlier Saturday.  Jan McKay was the top winner in "People's Choice" for her handmade entry of customized paper dolls of the Chandler family.  Beverly Mucicci was runner up with her entry of an altered book called "Daphne in Paris." Sandra Vanderpool was also a runner up for her set entitled, "The Young Lady's Equestrian Manual."  Congrats to all!

This was one of the fabulous centerpiecs designed and executed by Linda Hoerner.  The entire creation was made from folded paper and cardboard.  A new element was added each evening.  The loose pieces can be taken off and all fit inside the hatbox portion of the centerpiece.  There was a raffle at the end of the banquet and the centerpieces were given away.  I was one of the lucky winners!  Thanks to Linda for all her hard work.  The centerpieces were greatly enjoyed by all. 

For our final gathering on Sunday morning, David Wolfe gave an informative and fascinating presentaion on Tom Tierney.  David looked at various themes that Tom explored in his work through the years,  making a case for his claim that Tom Tierney will go down in history as one of our most important fashion historians.  Thanks to David for another fabulous presentation.  I know everyone enjoyed it.

Another fabulous souvenir by Bruce Patrick Jones.  Our co-chairs Jenny Taliadoros and David Wolfe were in charge of the souvenirs and I know everyone was pleased with the knock-out job they did.  Jenny typed out an individual schedule for each person so they would know where they were supposed to be at and at what time.  I know my schedule made me feel very special, so thanks Jenny for going over and above with that project.  I also appreciated the little tags on our goodie bags.  The ideas for dress up nights were fun and easy to implement.  The workshops and presentations were some of the best.  There was always something to do and never a dull moment.  Thanks to all who helped David and Jenny in any way.  Again, I think this convention will go down in history as one of the best!