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Coming Soon! Project Announcement & Sneak Peek

I apologize for my absence and lack of posts.  Once again, with Spring and Summer activities and travel, I’ve been so preoccupied with other responsibilities that my blogging has taken a back burner.

I wanted to take a very quick few moments and share a sneak peek of an exciting project that I have been working on developing for several months.  I have partnered with a supplier to produce some beautiful 1:6 scale wood wall panels for me … and I plan to offer them for sale sometime this summer. I will share details here on my blog once I’m ready to release the product.

This morning I took a very quick sneak peek shot of a few of these works in progress.

I will share more details very soon!

 


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Happy 59th Birthday Barbie!


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MOD Vintage Twist N Turn Barbie Begs for a Home … and finds one in my collection

I’m making this a quick post to share a non-typical purchase I made earlier this week.  Rewind a bit to earlier in January of this year. I attended a local doll show where I purchased a couple of vintage fashions from a vendor I purchase from regularly when the doll show comes around my way in Winter and Summer.  In January I posted a picture on my Instagram account of a MOD fashion that jumped out at me … no pun intended …. “Jump Into Lace”. MOD Barbie fashions are not on my radar, mainly due to the fact that MOD Barbie’s are not on my radar. Ever really. But I bought the fashion on a whim, and then when I got home, I realized I had no proper doll to wear the fashion. I adored this jumpsuit and pushed it aside, thinking at some point I would find the right doll to wear it.

Rewind even further to Black Friday in December, to another Instagram post I made about purchasing a vintage Barbie find at a local antique shop … two pair of vintage Barbie wedges. During that same visit to the same shop, a different vendor had a very troubled vintage Titian Twist N Turn Barbie. I picked her up, looked her over, and dismissed her. Too much work. Surely her hair would never be tame again.

Fast forward to Monday of this week, and I found myself back at the antique shop on a shopping date with my hubby.  I was secretly rooting for the messed up TNT to still be tossed about on the shelves on which I had originally found her. I visited the vendor’s booth, couldn’t find her, and moved on. But I made my way back a short while later.  I searched more diligently. And sure enough there she was.  Tossed aside and completely neglected. I showed her to my husband and I commented on what rough shape she was in.  So dirty. Could her hair ever be tamed?! Her knees did click, and her rooted eyelashes looked to be in nice shape. But seriously, for $25, why would I be so indecisive? I told myself I could easily shave her head and put a wig on her, worst case scenario. And I reminded myself that I **desperately** needed a MOD doll to model that Jump Into Lace jumpsuit back at home. So I walked up to to the counter with her, and being the cheapskate that I am, demanded an additional $5 discount, of which I was granted.

On Monday I posted a pic of her on my Instagram and had a very helpful person give me some tips on smoothing out that mess of a head of hair.  I decided if it didn’t work out, I would just revert to my shave plan.  But to my surprise, she cleaned up BEAUTIFULLY! Yes, she’s a tad thin on top, but for $20, I’m not going to fret.

This is just one more reason why I thoroughly enjoy this hobby – I am constantly being surprised by tiny little treasures that just make my day. No one was going to take the poor orphan in, except for a Barbie Collector, and it turns out a NON-MOD collector adopted this beauty. I’m now in complete LOVE. Isn’t she adorable?!

I found a place for her at the top of my Detolf shelf along with members of her MOD tribe

Yes, this is the extent of the MOD in my collection. I believe that will change going forward as I have a renewed appreciation.

Doll: Titian Barbie Twist & Turn / 1967

Fashion:  Vintage “Jump Into Lace” (#1823)  / 1968


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Cupid Loves Pink – My Barbie Valentine

I love cherubs more than than the average person – I’m sure of it. It is a common theme in my photos, mostly as an accent added to the 1:6 scale furniture that I’ve customized. When I created the backdrop for my display wall for the boutique photos I shared in my last two posts, I naturally incorporated a cherub head onto the wall.  I go with what I love. And like I just said, I LOVE cherubs. 🙂 I kept thinking how lovely it would be to photograph a cupid themed Barbie, with TONS of pink. But Mattel has not created a cupid Barbie. So one day recently, as I was really rushed, I put together my version of a cupid Barbie, and photographed her with the backdrop.  It happened to be late in the afternoon, on the ONLY sunny day in weeks, and there was a TON of natural light shining in the doll room. Often times I move my set to another room in the house (usually my upstairs bathroom) to catch natural light. I didn’t have time for that, so I went with the strong Western sun set lighting and caught some shadows that highlighted cupid’s wings. And yes, that wig is really difficult to tame, its never cooperated with me, but its a perfect pink and I just went with it. I got over the untamed flighaways, hopefully you can too 🙂 !

I was inspired to share this photo series on Valentine’s Day – you here you go – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Check out the shadow effect from the sunset lighting

 

By the way, those sconces are real, light up battery operated lights that I will blog about soon. My new fav find!

Cupid Head to toe. My Frankenstein creation consists of these items:  Headband: from the 2007 BFMC Honey in Hollywood Accessory Pack / Wig: Purchased off ebay well over 10 years ago, no info other than it fits Barbie sized heads /  Barbie Head: from the Barbie and Her Wig Wardrobe set / Body: Integrity Toys Dynamite Girl / Corset: An item I had commissioned well over 10 years ago, I no longer recall the seamstress’s name / Wings: from Happy Birthday Angel Barbie / Cupid’s Bow: Ever After High C.A. Cupid / Backdrop: Made by me using large doll house wall & trim

 

 

 


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Bleu Valentine at La Boutique Angelique Part 2

Last week I posted the 2018 Valentine window display for Barbie’s French Lingerie Boutique, “La Boutique Angelique”.  Here is the link to Part 1.

Part 2 is a revisit of what lies behind the display wall, for those that are new to my photos and doll room.

As I mentioned in part 1, I created this 1:6 scale diorama for my Silkstone/BFMC Barbies in 2005. Here are some of the details of the boutique:

Shopgirl Barbie is still the permanent sales clerk for the boutique. Shopgirl is easily one of my top 10 Silkstone Barbies.

I freshen up the displays when inspiration strikes. The Ingenue’s lingerie is a steadfast favorite that seems to loom around on the mannequins a tad longer than the others.

Every piece of furniture has been painstakingly customized/repainted by me. I also made the shopping bags and gift boxes (every purchase is wrapped in the gift boxes in cherub wrapping with pink ribbon). I really wanted to update the gift bags for this post but I had to draw the line once I realized my time constraints would not allow this project to be completed. Some day I will, and then I will share. But by all means do NOT hold your breath :).

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these gold frames!

Hosiery packs from the BFMC gift sets work perfectly with the lingerie theme in the boutique.

This cashier’s counter from one of the My Scene Barbie play sets is a favorite for 1:6 scale collectors to use in dioramas. I still love it even if it is a tired piece. I recently updated the cologne bottle display for the boutique. Its a great way to utilize accessories like this when you don’t know where else to display them, and you don’t want to see end up in a storage box  🙂

This is also a My Scene piece of furniture that I customized.

Look! The “Shoppers gonna shop” gals from Part 1 made it to the inside of the boutique to shop!

Joan Holloway Barbie seeks advice from the Shopgirl to assist her in finding lingerie for her larger than average booty (this isn’t a mean girl moment my friends – it is in observation of Mattel’s intent to utilize a thick & full undergarment to help create a figure that resembles the shapely body of Mad Men’s Joan Holloway character, that the doll is modeled after). I wish a had an extra piece of her lingerie to display in the shop!

The boutique also offers vintage lingerie. (This is Barbie’s vintage “Under Fashions” from 1966-67. I had searched for it for a very long time after I built the boutique. I finally found it at a doll show appx 5 or 6 years ago. LOVE this shade of pink!).

As I mentioned in Part 1, photos of the boutique taken over the years can be viewed at my Flickr album entitled “La Boutique Angelique”.

I leave you with a heads up that my next post will feature a photo shoot that the Shopgirl commissioned recently for a marketing campaign for the boutique featuring the window display wall seen in Part 1.

 


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Bleu Valentine at La Boutique Angelique Part 1

In 2005 I made a permanent diorama fixture for my collection that remains a favorite of mine. At the time, I was inspired by many of the beautiful lingerie pieces from the BFMC Silkstone collection, along with several well made Barbie Fashion Avenue lingerie sets and the like. The lingerie from the BFMC are delicate works of art. I thought it would be fun to create a lovely Parisian themed lingerie shop so the beloved items could always be on display. I call it “La Boutique Angelique”.  I have an album in my Flickr account you can view here if you’re interested in seeing some past photos of the boutique. I attempted to incorporate some of the elements of the inspirational BFMC photo sets when I created the boutique.

During the heydays of the Barbie Collector forum, I had a thread that I contributed to regularly with photos of the boutique.  Don’t go looking for it now – its buried deep in the vaults along with everything else over there.  Around Valentines Day, I used to enjoy creating and featuring a Valentines themed display. Its been years since I’ve been inspired to take new photos of the boutique. Time constraints don’t allow me as much time for elaborate photo shoots like I once took time for. However, this year I told myself I was going to revisit the theme, and so I did.  Sometimes, you just need a source of inspiration, and this year I’m going with a theme I call “Bleu Valentine”, inspired partially by this vintage Valentine from 1912. Angels and cherubs have always been part of the boutique theme, so this postcard is perfect for the theme:

Once I got started planning the new display, I realized my idea allowed me to utilize props that I’d been collecting (or hoarding, rather) for years. This year, I chose to change it up a bit and create a “window display wall” that you see from the store front window, as you enter the boutique.  Here is La Boutique Angelique’s Valentine Display for 2018:

Shoppers are drawn to the window display

 

Shoppers gonna shop!

Added some blue feathers

 

Watch out for Cupid!

Part 2 I will take you behind the window display wall, to the boutique sales floor.


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Acrylic Doll Display Cases

A couple of days ago I stumbled across these acrylic doll display cases at Michaels Craft Store.  They retail for $14.99 each. Michael’s “50% off one item” coupons are readily available – half price for one of these cases is an even better price.

The cases are excellent for protecting and/or highlighting those special individual dolls and/or outfits that are a concern for collecting dust.

They measure 5 x 5 x 13 inches. The front of the case is a completely removable lid for access to the interior. The acrylic is thinner than some of my other acrylic cases that I have in my collection, but I don’t mind, I like that they’re not as bulky.

They are not a great option for large ballgowns or dresses with long trains, however I still think they’re an item of good value to sprinkle throughout a doll room mixed with other display cases.

A gown much larger than one like this may get crowded in the 5″ square

Two dolls in slimmer outfits will fit in the case just fine:

I collect various cases for creating displays within my doll room.  Obviously they help protect from dust but they also add an element of highlighting a doll or a theme (for example, my “Cruise Ship Passengers” theme featuring the BFMC Silkstone “Boater” doll, pictured below).

Another example of how I use acrylic cases:

There are some dolls that just look great featured alone and deserve their own individual case. These are perfect for that.

Great item to consider adding to your collection!

 

 

 


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Silkstone Barbie Vanity … Investment Gone Wild

Recently I found myself browsing ebay auctions for Silkstone Barbies. I came upon auctions for the Silkstone Vanity. It has been quite some time since I’ve checked out the high-end price tag items in the BFMC Silkstone arena and I have to say I am stunned by the secondary market pricing for the Silkstone Vanity. Out of curiosity I ran comparables on recently sold auctions (the realtor in me shining through) and have found the average sold auctions fall anywhere between $399-500. YIKES! Should I mention that one sold for $840 in October? Current actives are well above the sold prices (typical hopeful sellers, just like in real estate). When did this exorbitant price jump happen? Maybe I’ve been asleep or just plain clueless, but I honestly didn’t expect it to pan out like this. I say this because I recall that when the vanity was first released, collectors were astonished at the MSRP : at the time, a whopping $125.00.  I scanned a page from a 2004 Barbie Collectibles catalog, pictured below.

Scanned from Barbie Collector 2004 Holiday Gift Guide 2004

 

When the vanity hit the market in 2004,  I didn’t hesitate for a second to purchase it. At the time I was spending equally as much if not more for beautiful, good quality 1:6 scale Bespaq (or items of the like) furniture pieces, so $125.00 hardly seemed ridiculous to me. I was, and I continue to be, a major diorama geek,  I was in the camp that was shouting for more 1:6 scale furniture pieces and was willing to pay the price for solid, quality furniture pieces. I only purchased one. What those collectors then could only realize now. There IS in fact a huge void in this portion of our hobby. The need for well priced, well structured furniture pieces made of durable, quality materials.

Fast forward to today. In as much as I adore and appreciate this vanity, I have to ask myself if I would pay upwards of $400-500 for the piece if I didn’t already own one.  It is an incredible 1:6 scale item, and I’ve been very pleased with the quality. It has held up perfectly for these past 13 years.  Zero complaints. But I know that because I own one.  However, I write about this because I know that at some point, new collectors will stumble upon my blog. And it is quite possible that this all new and fresh to them. So, if you are new to this hobby, and you decide that you want to seek out this piece to add to your collection, but you’re not sure if the price tag fits the crime, I’m here to tell you: do the crime. Its a big price to pay. Would I pay $800? No. But you may be in a different tax bracket than I, and then of course it is all relevant. A couple of hundred dollars for a really well made, classic, stylish piece of BFMC furniture is definitely worth it.

The vanity is a treasure to photograph and display. This photo is from a vignette/diorama that I photographed in 2007. Its one of my favorite photo series featuring the vanity. All of the sweet accessories that come with it are priceless. This vanity is a BFMC classic and it is a crying shame that Mattel didn’t add more beautiful pieces to the mix. Lord knows that if they would follow some of the prices of the auctions out there, they might note that there is HUGE gap to be filled, and if only they would jump in and fill it.

Today I took a few photos of my vanity for this post. It was a great reminder to take time to appreciate the treasures that I do have in my collection, and share the love for a lovely piece of BFMC history.


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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year

……wishing everyone the best of all Holidays this year!


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Christmas Holiday Plaid for Dulcissima Barbie

I have a fantastic wintry white backdrop that I greatly adore. I’ve used it in several of my winter vignettes. Obviously there are limitations as to how many times a year I’m going to be inspired to shoot photos with a winter theme and utilize such a backdrop. Every December I have the best of intentions to take a Christmas/Holiday themed Barbie photo. However, I inevitably get caught up in the holiday bustle and I just never get it done. Today I noticed some incredible natural, sunny light in my home, so I put all projects and priorities on a brief hold, took advantage of the light and enjoyed a quick holiday photo session.

Until today, I had never redressed Dulcissima Barbie. In fact I’m fairly certain that given my limited amount of time spent with my hobby these past couple of years, I pretty much deboxed her when I got her, and then threw her up on a shelf without really taking time to appreciate her beauty. I’m glad that I chose her to model for this session. She brought this underappreciated classic Christmas plaid gown to life today!

Barbie Model: Dulcissima Silkstone Barbie (2014)

Gown: Winter’s Eve Barbie (1995)