Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reborn Babies and Crochet

I have added pictures to this post three times now and they keep disappearing, so if you can't see all of them, I appologize.

Have you ever heard of a reborn baby?

It's a vinyl doll that is hand painted by artists to look like a real baby. I first learned about these babies in February when there was a thread about them on 2peas. I was curious so I did a little research and in doing so I stumbled across Adalynn By Rachelle Ferrell of Chelle's Babies.

I fell instantly in love with her. She looks so much like PK did as a baby and I can't help but think that maybe this is what Lucey would have looked like. I thought "Hey, maybe I can buy her" then I looked to see how much they go for on ebay and ummmm that would be a big fat NO! So can not afford to buy her.

My heart was broken. Then I saw on ebay that a reborning doll store was selling the kit for $89. A kit is a head, two arms, and two legs of unfinished vinyl. It is up to you to do the rest.

So I bought it. It's crazy I know. I have no idea how to do this, and I am in way over my head, but for some reason, it is soothing to my soul to have this dolls little parts and pieces in my home, under my roof, in my care. Like I can't really have Lucey here, but I can have her likeness. Does that make any sense?

So I have been researching for a couple of months now, looking at free tutorials online and trying to learn how to accomplish the reborning process of my little vinyl baby. And I have it in my head that if I can do this, if I can make her beautiful and whole, then maybe I can finally forgive myself for not being able to save Lucey, for whatever I did wrong that made her have so many problems.

But....I don't want to start on her because what if I screw it up? So, I went to Walmart and bought a cheap vinyl doll, took her to pieces, cleaned all the factory paint off of her and she sits in a little case waiting for the day I can afford the horribly expensive paint and supplies to start working on her.

A lot of beginner artists will start on the Berenguer dolls and learn their skills on them because they are cheaper than the sculpts made specifically for reborning but still very lifelike and detailed. I happened to find one at the thrift store for $1.50 so I now have two practice babies. I am going to keep my eyes open and snap them up whenever I see them, I want to be really good at this before I tackle my Lucey doll. I have seen a lot of reborn babies in the last few months of some of them are really really scary. Some of them are really sloppy, and some of them, like Chelle's, are stunning. She does such an amazing job. I contacted her and asked if she would do commission work and she said no =0( I think she would do a MUCH better job on my Lucey doll than I ever have a hope of doing. Because she already has, look at Adalynn, she is the same sculpt as my Lucey doll. It is "Mommy Loves You" by Tina Kewey. Chelle's Adalynn is the one I first fell in love with.

So...wish me luck as I set off on this adventure. I may need to have a fundraiser to raise the money for the supplies I need LOL Now accepting donations at... just kidding.

But anyway, this is my Berenguer doll that I got for $1.50. She was positively filthy and had white scuff marks all over her face. The use of soap, some elbow grease, and some nail polish remover has her looking much better. She fits into newborn size clothing.

Look at Chelle's amazing version of the same baby, isn't he darling? Such a difference isn't there?

Which brings me to the crochet part of my post. After all, every baby needs a blankie right? So I started on a blankie for her this morning. It's going fairly quickly and is an easy pattern so hopefully it won't take me too long.

So wanna help me name this little dolly? Any great ideas? She needs a name so I don't have to keep calling her "The Berenguer" LOL

Please if you are going to comment on my need to do this, say something nice. I have had my Lucey doll for about a month now and haven't been able to talk about her to anyone other than my sister and two of my closest friends because it is something so deeply personal and emotional for me that I couldn't bear to have anyone say anything negative about it. I know some people find these babies "Creepy" and some just don't understand. But this is something I need to do for myself, I need to find a way to heal a little and I think this can help. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Dalia. That's the first name that came to mind when I saw the pic.

((((((hugs)))))) I was I could give you a hug irl. Those babies are absolutely darling. I think it's a wonderful thing you're doing. Maybe it will help you. Maybe it would help me. :(


Liz said...

I am amazed - that one baby looks so real! I love my macro setting too...

Shanae said...

Are you going to the doll show with grandma? Maybe you could check out the paints there. I think she looks like an Ellie.
Love the flower pics. I think it would be cool to take one of those and desaturate the colors, so it looks worn/vintage.

Clara....in TN said...

I know where you are coming from! I have a reborn baby that I crochet and knit things for all the time. My daughter bought it for me for my birthday two years ago. I will be 71 next week! Love my baby doll!

Jean Leinhauser said...

I would name her Faith.

What you are doing is wonderful, and will help in your healing process. Don't be afraid to begin -- it will be easier than you think. These "reborn" dolls are fabulous, and bring people great joy,
as will yours.

Jean Leinhauser

catlady1 said...

Ciara, that is a good name. I know just how you fill. i have to Berenguer dolls. One like yours and one that is a premie. I fell in love with them just the way they are. I had been looking at the reborns too for a while and can't aford them either. What you are doing is a great idea. I think it will help you alot. I have named my baby girls, Leah Nicole and Candice Marie, but have not been able to make the dresses (out fits) yet. Keep up the good work. :) Linda

Seamist1147 said...

I would name her Cherish.

I love reborns they look so real and you just want to hold them all the time.

MamáChanga said...

Hope/Esperanza is a good name. You hope to learn from her, you hope she will help you acquire the skills you need for the next doll, and you hope by doing this it will bring you peace. Hugs & prayers.

Anonymous said...

I'd name her Arielle...it's an angel's name & she is a stand in for your angel.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This was one of the best blog stories I have ever read. I think what you are doing is just wonderful. I used to work on ceramics, and faces and eyes were one of my favorite things to accomplish. I always had hopes of doing a doll, but never got to it. With your practice dolls and what you feel in your heart, I know your little unnamed baby will turn out truly special. And I hope it helps in your healing process. I would say all of the names mentioned so far have been great but I would have to say Faith also as I have a new grandaughter with this name. Good Luck Diana Rose

traciex said...

hi your story moved me to tears, i think what you're doing is wonderful, i also have reborn dolls and crochet for them constantly, i went through premature menopause and im only 38 so i cant have anymore babies, i think Eden is a beautiful name for your baby doll......all the best for the future
Tracie x

Anonymous said...


Just wondering if you ever made your doll? I also lost a daughter and for years I have thought about having a doll made and now I am finally having it done. I didn't get to hold my daughter for long. I want to remember how it felt. It's nice to know that I am not the only.

Jeanette said...

Sorry Anon, you didn't leave any way for me to contact you so I will leave it here and hope you find it.

No, I haven't ever had my doll made. I don't dare do it myself because if I ruined her I would never forgive myself. And I can't find anyone who is willing to do it for me. I am still searching though. I want someone GOOD so that I know it will be done well, but the ones who are good at it won't do private requests. I guess because they can get a lot more money for them on ebay. Who knows.