Month: October 2016

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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.


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Awaken The Beast

I apologize for my obvious lack of posts and contribution to my blog for these past 6 months. There are two reasons.

The first and most important reason for my absence, is that I am a Mom.  Obviously it is my most important priority in life.  I have two awesome daughters that I love and adore more than anything, and well, yes, even more than my hobby. In the late Spring of this past year, which is just about when my last blog post was made, one of my daughters was in the midst of dance recitals. Boy did that consume some of my free time! Then came Summer and then came Fall, and soccer then takes over.  Currently, both of my daughters are knee deep in soccer (no pun), and one of them is also in a unicycle program at her school. Unfortunately, blogging has taken a back seat. It bums me out that I haven’t taken the time to post, but all the priorities that come with parenting hasn’t allowed me much room for my hobby. Which is fine, because my hobby got stale for a bit.

Which brings me to my second reason for my absence: my short-term lack of interest level in my hobby. When I say that I barely held a Barbie in my hand for the past 6 months, I am not over exaggerating. I even forgot to use my BFC Reward for 2nd quarter! What collector does that?! (Read on – a collector that has little or no choices of interesting dolls does that).

Sometime within this past July I had a tiny moment for my hobby.

In July I posted this pic on my Flickr thread. There had been a day when I stopped in to my doll room for a quick browse. It had been MONTHS since I had spent any serious time there at all. The sun was amazing that day, it was shining on my display case with some undeniable natural light.  I had an inkling to redress Spa Getaway in a new Matisse outfit, that up until that point had merely been opened from the shipping envelope and then laid down to admire.  So I took a few minutes, quickly throwing the outfit on Spa, took a few quick pics with my iphone, and called it good. My interest was so nonexistent that the pics sat on my phone for several days before I posted one.  I realized then just how long it had been since I had posted a picture to my Flickr thread or to this blog. And it made me feel depressed a bit.

What I discovered from this short hiatus in my hobby was that this weaning from my collection was leaving me with an uneasy, guilty feeling. Why did I not have the desire to redress or photograph? Was I not aware of how many dollars I had sitting in that room?! How much time and love and attention had I devoted to this hobby? Was that going to waste? I have always loved Barbie. For countless years I easily drew from inspiration within my Barbie collecting world the need to create, be it photos, vignettes, displays, whatever…..but the inspiration was silent. The need to create was stifled by something I couldn’t put my finger on.  After some collecting soul searching I found myself placing this lack of inspiration on my disenchantment with the new articulated Silkstone dolls. I had read the surmounting complaints on the forums. I was one of the ones who welcomed the articulation, I wasn’t about to complain.  I was however concerned about the breakage I was reading about, I remained cautious.

For me, the main culprit is the (smaller) body size change. If you know my collection, you know I LIVE to redress, pose, display.  I am not excited about being forced to purchase smaller outfits to dress this articulated Silkstone body style in. I am also not interested in any of the lackluster  ensembles/fashions of the new dolls in the 2016 lineup of the BFMC.  To date, I have purchased only two dolls from the collection: Classic Black Dress and Camel Coat. Two dolls purchased in nine months.  My heart sank every time a UPS truck drove by. Don’t most collectors associate UPS trucks with Barbie? When was the last time one drove down my driveway?! To make matters worse, the non-Silkstone releases did not capture my interest either. Mattel was failing me as a collector.

I was ignoring my collection. For this long-time devoted Barbie collector,  it was the end of a magical carpet ride for the inspirational collection that I had built my entire collection around: The Barbie Fashion Model Collection.  So much of what the collection was originally rooted in, what had held my interest, was becoming dead to me.  I had learned to accept much change  and progression of the BFMC over the years (Palm Beach?!). But in 2016, there has been too much degradation of the line to ignore. The high quality fashion, styling, and accessories are gone. Even the amazing hair styles have suffered. So I just took a break. A long break.

I will however admit that last week when I saw the sneak of  the brunette Classic Black Dress, my interest piqued a bit.

This doll is reminiscent of the Silkstones that were given as gifts at various International Doll Conventions this year.  Amazing, beautifully painted faces, none of which many of us non-International-conventioneers can easily or affordably attain except perhaps on the secondary market (unless of course we choose to skip out on the exorbitant Premiere Soccer Club fees we pay for our precious children!). The Brunette Classic Black Dress reminds me of Lingerie 1 from the debut of the BFMC. This may well be by design on the part of Mattel. I ordered her that first day she was available to order.  I found myself wondering back out to my doll room that same day. Wow. I discovered several nude Silkstones that I had left abandoned on a table awaiting a redress along side furniture pieces that were waiting to be customized and repainted. A little spark was ignited.

And great news was announced today on the BFC Forums. There is a possibility that BOTH Silkstone body types may be produced going forward.  That is just what I needed to hear to turn that spark into a fire! I believe that would satisfy many collector interests.

I guess you could say that the beast needed to be reawakened. I believe that many collectors can relate to the ebb and flow in this hobby. I believe I will continue to draw inspiration unexpectedly and just at the time when I need it, as the collecting beast is always within.