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Doll Room Essential #3: Doll Risers ….Take the Cake

 

I have a fun item that I like to use as doll risers on display in my Barbie room: Individual Cupcake holders.  I find that as I work towards creating clean and organized displays, I’m always looking for “risers” that are not obnoxious to the eye.  In the past I’ve used boxes and even soup cans.  But recently I’ve discovered that I really LOVE the cupcake holders.  In addition to being the **perfect** size to accommodate all different sized doll stands, they are super cute and they come in so many great colors.  They add interest to displays.

Today I found some really cute porcelain cupcake holders at Home Goods .  These come in so many fun colors and designs, I found that I had quite a difficult time choosing!

Here are two examples of other colors that were available. I struggled … I wanted them all. They come in a set of 4, and were priced at $9.99 for the set.

 

I settled on these two sets: ballet slipper pink w/gold and white w/gold.

Super cute!

 

I try to maximize space in my displays.  Below you can see how I stagger doll display height within shelves that will accommodate the layers. Sometimes this is necessary when you have a shelving unit that requires a stationary, non-adjustable permanent shelf, usually right smack in the middle of the shelving unit.  Depending on what you’re displaying, that designated permanent shelf sometimes affects the ability to have all the rest of the shelves the same unified height. In that case, I take advantage of layering, which requires the use of risers. Here is display shelf that I display my repro Barbies on. In this case, my shelf height needed to be quite high to accommodate the Barbie Vintage Fashion Shop, which causes an unsightly gap between the ceiling of the shelf and the dolls. I hide the gap with staggered dolls. It is also a great way to cram a bunch of dolls into a small space!

Behind the shoe display you can see the new riser peeking through.

Here is what is really going on behind the shoes.  I still wanted something pretty because you can see the riser peeking through.

One more example.  A before and after of a cleaner presentation:

Before: In this vignette I used stacked Mattel stand bases.

After – My new cupcake stand looks cleaner and neater

Lastly, I want to share another style cupcake holder that I  found at Home Goods months ago (these I believe were 5 or 6 bucks each). This one is taller and also works great for layering. I want to say there were three colors: pink, robins egg blue and white.  My natural instict would be to grab the blue, but this time I went for the pink. These are metal and they are packaged individually in a darling tulle net bag.

Of course the cupcake holders will come in handy for what they are intend to be used for, but in my house, highly doubtful 🙂 !!!

 

 


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Happy Birthday Barbie!

Today is Barbie’s Birthday!  I did get a gift in the mail for her birthday today … I received three vintage Barbie’s back from doll restorer/artist Debra Marsteller and have been oohing and ahhing over their beauty all afternoon.

I’ve also been celebrating Barbie’s special day with swapping out some displays in my Barbie room, will share soon!

So thankful to have such a fun hobby in Barbie!

Hope you all are having a scrumptious pink frosted cup cake in her honor today!


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Classic Black Dress Brunette Silkstone Barbie BFMC arrival

She’s arrived! Classic Black Dress Silkstone Barbie Brunette. Collectors are starting to get her this week as she has been back ordered since September.  I wrote about my anticipation for her arrival in a blog post last fall.

I have to say that I’m really delighted with the first one I received (two others I ordered are still on back order).  I think she looks much more mature than the blonde version, who looks so young and innocent in comparison to the other dolls in the BFMC. The brunette is definitely the older sister to the blonde, albeit she does have an innocent appeal as well.

I took a photo of both of them to compare.

Overall, I’m over the moon about this one! I look forward to redressing and posing this beauty.

Featured dolls:

2016 Classic Black Dress Barbie (Brunette)

2016 Classic Black Dress Barbie (Blonde)


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Barbie’s Winter Book Nook

Its January here in the the Pacific Northwest, and we have been experiencing some bitter cold temperatures, ice, and a few light dustings of snow. In this weather I try to take advantage of being locked indoors by spending time in my doll room. Today I should have been organizing the room and cleaning up messes that have accumulated as I rework displays/redress dolls/find homes for new dolls recently added to my collection.  Lately, as I tackle mini-projects in my room, I find myself constantly tripping over a large vignette backdrop that has romantic snow drifts in the windows. I think a lot of us are experiencing some blistery cold weather around the US right now. So today I found myself inspired to do a quick wintry photo shoot with this backdrop, rather than sticking to my original priority of tidying up.  Oh well, lots more winter weather will arrive this next month, bringing plenty of time to clean later, ya? (I tell myself this to ease the guilt!).

I created a very quick winter vignette called “Barbie’s Book Nook”.  Barbie is escaping a cold New York snow storm  with an apropos book titled “Barbie’s New York Summer”. She has created a reading nook near an oversized window in her NY brownstone (you can see the  skyline outside the window, through the heavy snow fall).

During these bitter winter months many of us are finding ourselves plopping down on our sofas or favorite reading chairs, grabbing some warm tea, throwing on the reading glasses (I cannot read without them these days!) and taking  time to read a good book. Others are taking time to have photo sessions with dolls.  I guess I find myself doing a bit of both.

Barbie’s chaise lounge awaits with a good book and a hot cup of tea!

Featured Barbie Classic Black Dress Barbie (2016)

Classic Black Dress is wearing glasses from The Secretary Barbie (2007)


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Happy 1 Year Anniversary to The Barbie Vignette!


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Happy New Year from The Barbie Vignette!

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2017! I look forward to lots more Barbie conversation here on the blog for the upcoming year. I can’t wait to see what is in store for new 2017 Barbie releases!

Featured doll: 2013 Happy New Year Barbie


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Luciana Silkstone Gets a Make Over, Flips Out

One of my favorite things to do with my collection is customize. Furniture mainly, but from time to time I like to give dolls a new look too.

Recently, I gave my spare Luciana Silkstone Barbie a new look. I didn’t buy Luciana when she was first released in 2014.  I think I bought her a year after her release in 2015.  Like many collectors I was less than enthused with the pattern and fabric choice of her ensemble so initially I dragged my feet in adding her to my collection. However, I have to admit than when I did finally take the plunge and buy her on sale, I was shocked at how much I LOVED her facial screening.  Actually, her little jacket with the rhinestone buttons took me by surprise as well. I couldn’t help but think about how much that face and rare raven hair color had so much potential for a new look.  So I waited again for another sale and bought a 2nd doll to restyle.  In typical procrastination fashion for me and my collection, she layed around untouched for a lengthy period of time, patiently awaiting her restyle.  Finally, a week or so ago, I took some time to give Luciana a long awaited classic 60’s flip that I had in mind for this beauty.  As much as I love her original look, I am over the moon about her new do as well.  She’s going to look **amazing** redressed … I’m off to find a new fashion for her!

Luciana Silkstone Barbie from 2014

Luciana with her new classic flip


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Vintage Barbie Splendor / Estate Sale Finds

One of the most obvious reasons why I collect BFMC dolls is due to my  love of the vintage head mold.  Were it not for the BFMC, I would have an amazing vintage collection.  However, it didn’t pan out that way. My Barbie dollars have been consistently reserved for the BFMC. Once in a great while I buy vintage. But it is rare.

About a month ago, on a random Thursday, I sent my little chickadees off to school and went about my morning as usual. As fate would have it, I had a full and open day ahead of me.  I was showered, dressed, and figuring out my day. On this early morning, I received a text from a friendly acquaintance, wondering if my husband still collected Barbie. Hmmm.  I responded with the correction that it was I who collected Barbie, not my hubby.  She informed me of a local estate sale that had a VERY large Barbie collection.  Could she send me photos I asked. She responded with pics of an incredible collection.  I was so thankful to be dressed and ready to go – because from the photos I could tell this was the collection of a serious, well versed collector and I must get there quickly to peruse. It was as if the moons had aligned and I was meant to be ready to bolt out the door so quickly! And I did.

Vintage Barbie is one of those things that I have merely dabbled in.  I adore the repros because they allow many non-vintage collectors like myself the ability to enjoy some really lovely fashions and dolls for a fraction of the price of what we might expect to pay if buying the same in vintage.  I LOVE my repro collection:

Display shelf in my doll room featuring a few of a my favorite repros along with the Vintage Fashion Shop

Display shelf in my doll room featuring a few of a my favorite repros along with the Vintage Fashion Shop

At the estate sale, I was able to obtain, among many, many Barbies, these three reproduction dolls that I just seemed to have been dragging my feet in purchasing:

I also quickly located a few vintage Barbies that immediately won me over. They are not perfect by any means, but for the price, I would have been a fool to pass them up.  Here are two lovely beauties I purchased along with my first ever vintage Ken.  I have always been a fan of Jim Taylor’s Ken collection but I just never had the gumption to purchase a vintage Ken. Until now.  Jim has remarkable Ken dolls dressed in fantastic vintage suits. This Ken is dressed in Saturday Night Date’s suit and it was perfect for my first vintage Ken acquisition.

I just adore these two lovely vintage gals. I have had the green vintage sheath in my collection for years.  The rust one was an acquisition from this sale.

Are they number 4 an 6? Any input would be awesome.

Are they number 4 an 6? Any input would be awesome.

I am immediately in love with this beauty...I don't even care that she's missing lip paint (which by the way isn't really obvious except for closeup photos such as this). I want to abandon all my collecting priorities and focus on remarkable beauties such as she!

I am immediately in love with this beauty…I don’t even care that she’s missing lip paint (which by the way isn’t really obvious except for closeup photos such as this). I want to abandon all my collecting priorities and focus on remarkable beauties such as she!

As I dug and dug into all the stuff in this collector’s room, I found my very first American Girl in a random case.  I found the vintage Pink Satin Coat and Hat set separately in a basket of vintage outfits for $5.00.  The sheath is a OOAK sheath from my collection. The fashions in the window of the Vintage Fashion Shop are vintage fashions that I’ve owned for quite some time.

When I tried showing this one off to my hubby he immediately exclaimed

When I tried showing this one off to my hubby he immediately exclaimed “Well, her hair is a bit wonky. Is she ok?”. What does he know. She’s perfect in my eyes, choppy bangs and all. It only goes to prove she was loved and played with, and I adore that about her.

I also located a Midge in a basket of nude Barbies at the sale.  Poor Midge. She always gets the shaft.  But I saved her because I recalled the days of playing with my older cousins’ Barbies and vividly remember there being a Midge among their dolls.  I’m delighted to add one to my collection. I dressed her in a repro Prom Date dress because it is the dress I fondly remember being my favorite among my older cousins’ Barbie fashions when I went to their house to play.

I found so many fantastic items at this sale, too many to mention. Only us collectors understand which is why I’m so excited to share it here.

I feel as though I’ve added an “instant Vintage assortment” to my collection, and it truly inspires the collector within.

I. Love. Barbie. It is moments like these that make my collecting heart sing.


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BFMC Nostalgia: My Love Affair With Silkstone Barbie

One wall within my Barbie room

One wall within my Barbie room

Those that know me, know that I am truly a BFMC (Barbie Fashion Model Collection) purist. The BFMC brought me to a place in collecting Barbie that I just can’t seem to shake, for 14 years now.  A majority of my collection is now based around the BFMC. It is my true love in my collecting hobby.

Recently I was revisiting a plan I have for artwork on my office portion of a wall within my doll room.  I have had an idea for a few years now to feature old introductory ads for the BFMC on this wall.  This introductory period was a time when magic happened within the Barbie collecting community. In the year 2000, the BFMC was introduced. Many collectors were re-charged and excited by this new modern twist on this vintage faced Barbie. It was a magical time! When I look back at the ads during that time period for the collection, I am overcome with awe and inspiration. But it was not always that way for me.

You might recall a story I shared in my introductory page for this blog.  I share that in 2002 I discovered Lisette Silkstone Barbie at a local doll show.  You may also recall that I went to that doll show in hopes of finding vintage Liddle Kiddle dolls, as this collector was on a Barbie collecting hiatus.  At that doll show, I kept circling a Barbie dealer’s display that featured several current Barbies, one of which was Silkstone Lisette. When I picked up that Lisette doll, I was an instant fan. I purchased her without batting an eye. It wasn’t as though I was not aware of the BFMC.  After all, I had numerous copies of what was then “Barbie Collectibles” catalogs laying throughout my home.  In fact, a couple of years prior, my boyfriend (now husband) stole a catalog from my townhouse when we were dating so that he could order the Barbie Coca-Cola Malt Shop for me for Christmas one year.  How romantic is that!? The truth of the matter is this: When I saw that copy of the Barbie Collectibles catalog that debuted the first dolls in the BFMC collection (Delphine, L1, L2), I could have cared less.  I honestly and truly despised Delphine’s look. I thought she was impossibly HAUGHTY.  She did not look like Barbie to me, and I had no desire to purchase her what-so-ever. Of course, that would soon change.

The day I purchased Lisette, I suddenly understood what this Silkstone collection was all about.  As I drove home from that doll show, with Lisette in hand, all I could do was HOPE that this haughty Delphine looking character was still available to order.  I walked through the door, and I then literally started rummaging through a pile of papers on my desk to find a copy of the catalog, that thankfully was still featuring Delphine. I  called to order Delphine that very day.  To this day, Delphine remains my favorite Barbie within my collection.

So as I sat staring at these advertisements recently, I got to wondering just how long had it been since that fatal day I placed that fateful order? I checked my receipt: April 9, 2002. So for me, this will be my Anniversary date for my BFMC love affair.

In my last post, I shared that I have been having a rough collecting year in this year 2016. A sincere lack of interest prevented me from having any enthusiasm for my passion.  I have found that when I am longing for BFMC inspiration, I revert back to the good ol days of the collection, the debut year. I am instantly reminded of what brought me back to collecting in the first place, and the love for those days never gets old.

Here are some ads from the very early days of the collection (circa 2000-2001). Note: The photographs below are not my own, they are Mattel promotional photos. These are the glory days of the collection. I found these ads (and scanned them here for this post) in old issues of Barbie Bazaar Magazine. I have had them stored in a file entitled “frame” for a very long time. Soon I hope they will hit the walls of my doll room:

One of the first print advertisements for the BFMC, featuring a glimpse of my all time favorite Barbies, Delphine.

One of the first print advertisements for the BFMC, featuring a glimpse of my all time favorite Barbie, Delphine.

A two page spread that I consolidated here. Obviously that enormous pink gown was too big for a one page spread.

A two page spread that I consolidated here. Obviously that enormous pink gown was too big for a one page spread.

There was a  7 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ 4 page glossy promotional brochure/booklet that was featured in one of the issues as well. The booklet is a complete walk down memory lane for the debut of the collection. If ever I wish to remind myself of the true inspiration for my most meaningful reason for collecting, I thumb through the booklet and the BFMC magic is once again within my heart:

The cover.

The cover.


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Furniture Repaint Project – Blue and Gold Writing Desk

Just as I was beginning to whine about no free time, I found myself with a free weekend. No soccer games this weekend to attend as all the fields closed due to in-climate weather.  Which meant out to the doll room I went for some much needed ME time.  I knew instantly that I wanted to focus on repainting this piece of furniture that I’ve had laying around in a box since the day I received it from Ebay store Small World Minis (Kenneth Haseltine).

The original finish on this piece is just lovely. However, I much prefer painted furniture. I’ve had a jar of some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint laying around for literally two years. I’m strange like that. I buy stuff never knowing what I’m actually going to do with it, and then one day, I drag it out and use it.  So was the case for this paint.  I have noticed that in every antique store in the area, furniture is painted head to toe in chalk paint. I love that chalk painted effect. It seems warmer to me than varnished wood. I like the matte chalky finish. Naturally I was drawn to a lovely shade of blue called “Provence”. I am hopelessly predictable as well in that I had to add a shiny gold as the accent.

Here is the result of my efforts, quickly set in a make shift vignette:

What I did:

-Use a sponge brush to paint a base coat. I did not sand this piece prior to painting.

-Once it dried, I painted two to three more coats, alternating between the sponge and the brush as needed.

-I painted the accents in gold with a smaller brush and used three coats for that as well. I used a generic acrylic gold paint.

The chalk paint is SUPER easy to work with.  It is thick. Dries quickly. Cleans up easily with soap and water.

Part of what makes collecting so special for me is customizing furniture and accessories. Having a one of a kind piece of customized furniture is a treasure within my collection. The furniture is fun to highlight in the vignettes throughout my doll room. Looking forward to finding just the right place for this new treasure!

Edited to add: I notice that in the closeup photo the camera detected brush lines in the paint.  These lines are not noticeable in real life. Tricky! The finish is quite smooth in real life.