GAW Barbie convention preview

On Wednesday, I leave for the GAW Barbie Convention in Livonia, MI. For the last few months, I’ve been busy sewing, painting, gluing, and assembling. Here’s a preview of some of the things I’ll be bringing with me.

Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Barbie piano
Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Skipper vanity
Refurbished vintage Susy Goose Barbie vanity
Barbie dresses made from vintage Gianni Vercase and Burberry handkerchiefs
Barbie dresses hand sewn from vintage Barbie handkerchiefs
More hankie dresses … from designer hankies, hand embroidered hankies, and luxury fabrics
I’ll be bringing about 30 one of a kind hand sewn doll dresses with me, along with more furniture, a wide assortment of 1:6 scale miniatures, and much, much more!
I counted and I’ve made over 75 mini pillows!
Come see me during room sales Thursday or Friday or in the sales room on Saturday or Sunday.

Susy Goose furniture repaints for GAW Barbie convention

5 days until we leave for the GAW Barbie convention … and I’m still working on last minute projects. I decided it was time to repaint some circa 1963 vintage Susy Goose Barbie furniture. I have two vanities (Skipper and Barbie) and a piano that are getting refurbished. After removing the music box, I had to do the dreaded soak and scrub to remove the gross red flocking from inside the piano.

I settled on Willow Mist for the base paint color … it’s a pale blush color that leans a little toward lavender. Then I’m accenting with treasure gold, pearl white and pearl pink. After 8 hours of painting, I’m ready for a break. I’ll finish the pieces tomorrow with a coat of sealer and then add new mirrors and seat cushions.

The assembly line …
Lid of the piano
I added cameos in the insets on the sides of the piano.

Waiting for paint to dry

It’s a drizzly day outside, which makes it the perfect day for crafting. I have a bunch of doll furniture stockpiled, just waiting for a new coat of paint. So I’m starting out with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie vanity and 3 Barbie Fan Club chairs. I’ve got the first coat on everything, and it will probably take 2-3 more coats before I finish with sealer. I also just got a package in the mail with a vintage Susy Goose Barbie piano that needs some love. What color shall I paint this piano …. Previously, I’ve done blue, white, cream, pink, vertigris, black, and green. Revisit one of those colors, or try something new? Suggestions? How about lilac?

Susy Goose Barbie piano makeover

It’s becoming rather difficult to find Susy Goose Barbie pianos, so when I can, I snatch them up. Manufactured in Jonesville, Michigan, in the early 1960’s, these little gems have charming details. Often, however, the music box no longer works, the flocking inside has disintegrated, and accessory pieces like the photo frame, candelabra, and music stand are broken or missing. So I enjoy fixing them up and giving them new life.

I’m not exactly sure how many of these pianos I’ve repainted, but this is the definitely the most colorful. After a good soak and scrub in hot soapy water to remove the flocking, I started with a base coat of green chalk paint for primer. Chalk paint will stick to practically anything! Then I painted a couple coats of my base color of ocean green. The carvings are accented in gold, metallic emerald green, and metallic raspberry with a pearl white overcoat. I added green cameos in the oval frames on each side of the piano where the stickers were. I made a new music stand from wood and brass stampings, since the original was missing. Then I sealed the whole piece with Minwax polyacrylic sealer. I replaced the beat up mirror above the keyboard and the missing mirror inside the lid. Then I added a new silk cushion to the bench. Some sheet music, a picture frame, and candelabra complete the piece.

This beauty is available now in my Etsy shop.

Susy Goose Barbie piano, before and after refurbishment

Refurbished Susy Goose Barbie piano

It’s getting very difficult to find Susy Goose Barbie pianos to refurbish, but I managed to snag one from eBay a few weeks ago, although I had to spend more than I usually do. The Susy Goose Barbie pianos were manufactured in Jonesville, Michigan in the early 1960’s. Since Jonesville is only 90 minutes from my house, you’d think I’d be able to find these pianos in antique shops in the area, but alas, no. This rare vintage piano and matching bench seat have been completely repainted in castle gray and gold acrylic paint. I added cameos to the oval insets on the sides of the piano to replace the stickers that were there. After painting, pieces were sealed with poly acrylic matte finish sealer. Cushion on bench was upholstered from gold silk fabric. Includes candelabra.

The keys are reversed in color. The Susy Goose pianos came this way, as they are modeled on historical pianos. In Mozart’s day, most piano’s had ebony keys with ivory sharps because ebony wood was cheaper than ivory. 

Note: The music box did not work, so it has been removed from the piano. Available now in my Etsy shop.

For the Barbie who has everything…

I saw an ad yesterday for a miniature Lego grand piano … that can really play! For around $350-$500, you can buy the kit to make this masterpiece. I’m guesstimating that it would be the right size for either a 12” or 16” doll. And from the looks of it, it would probably takes several weeks to build (looks like it comes with an instruction book that’s a couple hundred pages). Anyone game? I think I’m sticking with my vintage Susy Goose piano …