Handmade Pop Bottle Doll with Dress

Back in 1977 I was twelve years old and very shy. I hated being in groups and had problems fitting in. So you can imagine how I felt when my teacher announced that every student was required to pick from a selection of craft-based group activities as an extra class. The list was diverse, and although I can’t quite remember them all, most had to do with handmade efforts. One was guitar lessons, but you had to have your own guitar. I didn’t.

I had a friend who was of like mind and interest, so we decided to choose the most unlikely activity: Handmade Dolls! It was close to Mother’s Day and we thought it would make a nice gift. So we two boys and a room full of girls (!!!) started sewing and stitching, and I eventually came out with this:

Handmade Doll Front

 I thought she was cute!

She used to have a little bonnet but it has since been lost. She is now 40 years old and looking a bit faded.

Handmade Doll Back

Not to brag, but I do remember the teacher saying that I was one of the best students and I remember helping many of the girls with their stitching. Where that came from I can’t imagine!

This doll was made using a large pop bottle as a base. I think I used a Pepsi or Coke bottle. The bottle was filled with sand to weigh it down and keep it from tipping over. A cloth sock was pulled over the bottle as well as the Styrofoam ball which was used for the head.

Handmade Doll Sleeve

The cloth was cotton:

Handmade Doll Cotton

Here is a closer look at my fine-stitched hemline:

Handmade Doll Hem

Still holding after all this time!

My mother taped a note on the bottom to remind her of when the doll was made:

Handmade Doll Bottom

My mother is now suffering the early effects of  Alzheimer’s disease and has forgotten all about the doll made by her son so long ago. It used to be displayed in her kitchen but I recently found it on the floor in a corner as I was helping my parents pack for their recent move. My mother looked at it without recognition and asked if I’d like to have it.

Handmade Doll Profile

She’s still smiling!

I reclaimed it as a memento to remember the better times and it now belongs to my wife.

I’m glad I was able to go against character way back when and produce this wonderful keepsake!

Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse’s Head & Face

Awhile ago I did a book review on a great publication called Learn to Draw Mickey Mouse & Friends by David Gerstein and John Loter. It contained many simple tutorials on how to draw your favorite Disney characters like Goofy, Donald Duck, and many others.

I thought I’d revisit the pages of this book for any that didn’t see the original post. Please click the link above to see the review, and then enjoy the following tutorial on how to draw a classic Mickey Mouse head and face.

As with any hand-drawn or animated character it is best to start off with basic shapes, most often a circle. Then you simply add intersecting lines to help with the placement of eyes, nose, and mouth:

drawing-classic-mickey-head-1     drawing-classic-mickey-head-2

After the basics are sketched in, add more intersecting lines from which you can align Mickey’s ears and other features:

drawing-classic-mickey-head-3     drawing-classic-mickey-head-4

The next step includes removing the light intersecting pencil lines and darkening up the remaining shape lines with a pen or marker. Lastly, you shade in or color your character:

drawing-classic-mickey-head-5     drawing-classic-mickey-head-6

It’s just that easy!

If you’re ready to tackle more Disney characters with a pencil and paper, check out another earlier post entitled How to Draw Goofy.

Goofy Folk Art

We all love the artwork turned out by the Disney Studios and the many artists that are commissioned to render our favorite characters. But some of us are inspired to try to create pieces of our own.

This unknown artist created a silhouette out of plywood and painted one side. See if you can recognize the character from the back:


Obvious, if the title of this post didn’t give it away already!

So it’s Mickey’s faithful old friend, Goofy:


And he’s in a hurry to get nowhere!

This was on a wall in a mechanics garage for years. It was mostly buried behind odds and ends and parts when I glimpsed the familiar shape. My friend, who owns the garage, gave it to me knowing my love for Disney.

I’m not going to touch up the paint or repair it in any way. It will be hung on one of the walls in my new office/studio when it is completed.

The Disney Treasury Puzzle

Ah, the great institution of the yard sale. What else can get so many people to spend a day just driving around buying other people’s junk? As one of those people going from yard sale to yard sale I’m looking for a treasure. For as they say: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure!”

Today, I found a treasure with ‘treasure’ kind of in its name:

Disney Treasury Puzzle 001

The Disney Treasury/Walt Disney Archives

Thanks to Dave Smith, who is the founder and former chief archivist at the Walt Disney Archives, for starting Disney on the path of preserving its heritage. Due to his efforts we now have a wealth of collectibles and animation artifacts to appreciate for years to come!

He joined the company on June 22, 1970. His first task was to document all the items in Walt Disney’s office which had sat dormant since his death in 1966. I don’t think there was a puzzle on his desk…

Disney Treasury Puzzle 002

Since then he has compiled one of the most impressive collections of Disneyana in the world, as depicted on the cover of the above puzzle box.

Disney Treasury Puzzle 003Unopened, so all pieces obviously complete

It’s fun to look at images like the one on The Disney Treasury puzzle box to see how many items are in your personal collection. I have quite a few of the items but not as many as I would like!

There is a display case in The Disneyland Hotel that looks quite similar to the image here, and for a good reason. It’s because this puzzle is a photograph of that exact showcase! And I was standing in front of it in 2013:

DLH 26  DLH 27  DLH 28

Dare to compare

You can look from left to right in the above images and compare the display case to the puzzle box image. Note that if you look at the left-most image of the display case, you’ll see what didn’t make it onto the puzzle box cover.

I’m constantly amazed at how many Disney connections can be made, sometimes years apart!

Disney-fied Wall Clock

I had to create a new word for this post: Disney-fied. It’s what I’ve done to an old wall clock that we found upon moving into our new place. The previous inhabitant had the good idea of putting a little collector plate behind the glass where the pendulum would normally be. But we decided to swap out the plate for one of our own!

Let’s have a look so that you can see what I mean:

Disney Wall Clock 004

We’ve had this little collector plate for years, but never really had a proper place to display it. Until now!

Disney Wall Clock 005

At this point I have affixed it in place rather crudely with some folded-up cardboard. Obviously I’ll have to figure out a more decorative way to keep the plate centered.

The plate itself is rather interesting. It was sold at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and features a moment from the 1941 Disney Short called the ‘Nifty Nineties’.

Disney Wall Clock 002

Released June 30th of 1941, this Short follows Mickey Mouse as he takes his best girl Minnie out to a vaudeville show, and then out for a wild drive in an antique car. Running time is 7:33 and you can see the whole thing below:

Apart from Mickey and Minnie, the Short also features Goofy (cameo), Donald Duck (cameo), Daisy Duck (cameo), Huey (cameo), Dewey (cameo), Louie (cameo), Fred (Moore), Ward (Kimball). Fred Moore and Ward Kimball also animated parts of the Short, perhaps their own parodies as second-rate vaudeville comedians. Oh, and there’s a cow.

What do you think of our disney-fied idea?

Mickey Wood Sculpture

Once again I found an unusual item at an antique store that just didn’t quite make the grade to be added to my personal Disney collection. However, I think it deserves an honorable mention here:

Wooden Mickey Front     Wooden Mickey Back

It didn’t have any official Disney markings so it is likely just an art project? Who can tell! The face is a bit odd and the proportions are all wrong. But… nice try!

Mickey Mouse Shoe Bag

I’m always finding lost Disney treasures tucked away in the corners of antique stores and flea markets. But I don’t always have the money or the inclination to add them to my personal Disney collection.

However, there are times when a certain piece strikes my fancy, and I have to at least take a photograph and share it here:

Mickey Shoe Bag

Room for 6 pairs of shoes

The great thing about pieces like this is that you can re-purpose them. This could be used to hold almost anything!

Usually cloth items like this are created by consumers from patterns. But this one actually has a factory tag:

Mickey Shoe Bag Tag

There isn’t much online about this artist. I did find this item for sale on eBay for just over $30.00 US. I can only assume that it would likely date from the 1980’s due to the material and style.

Mickey Shoe Bag Ribbon

The Walt Disney Productions copyright on the ribbon dates it to before 1987. So my theory that it is a ‘child’ of the 80’s is gaining credibility !

So keep your eyes open for you never know where a Disney treasure may be hiding!

Mickey Garland

Did I mean to say Judy Garland? Nope.

Special Mickey Garland 1 +

Can you guess what this is?

I love finding unique and/or strange Disney things to add to my collection. These little Mickeys caught my eye and I couldn’t believe what I had when I started to lift them out of the box:

Special Mickey Garland 2 +

A fun Mickey Garland

Sometimes it’s the little things that make your day. I hope seeing this has made yours!