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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.


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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.


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New Arrival : Camel Coat Silkstone Barbie

I just received Camel Coat Silkstone Barbie last week.  I took some very quick (and not so great quality, please forgive) pics before the full schedule I have in the week ahead of me (and for the week behind me – thus the reason for lack of posts!). I quickly used one of the backgrounds that is in my vignette cabinet:

When pictures of Camel Coat were first released, many collectors including myself couldn’t help but draw comparisons between Camel Coat and a few other dolls already in the BFMC:

I took a few side by sides to gauge the differences:

With Fashion Editor, I note differences in the leopard fabric, and her skirt length is slightly longer than Fashion Editor’s skirt. Camel Coat’s skirt has a small slit in the back, and the fabric is thicker, Fashion Editor’s skirt has a small slit in the side, thinner fabric.  The black knit tops are very similar. Camel Coat’s has sleeves.

With Spotted Shopping, the coat is quite different. In fact the only strong similarities are the color, and perhaps the length. The fabric used for Camel is much more “fuzzy” than I had expected it to be, nothing like that of Spotted Shopping’s coat fabric.  Camel’s ties at the waist. The boots are the same except that Camel’s are black, whereas Spotted’s are brown.

Pretty Pleats? I admit when I saw the promo pics of Camel, I immediately thought her face was reminiscent of Pretty Pleats. However, as you can see in the side by side, her look is vastly different.  Their hair shades are similar, but otherwise, they are two completely different dolls altogether.  I had kind of been ignoring Pretty Pleats for a few years now. Once I removed her from a display to take this photo, I was reminded of how pretty she really is.

As for my thoughts on Camel Coat, I think she’s a keeper in spite of the fact I think her ensemble is too close of a repeat to a previous doll in the BFMC collection.  It is difficult to pose her arms with such a bulky coat. But her legs pose easily with the tights, no restrictions there. Her hair – WOWZERS. It is full and bouncy! You can detect many fly-away out of control hair strands in my pics :). Going to have to sit with some gel when I have some time. I’m not usually a fan of such prominent bottom lashes such as Camel Coat’s, but they do give her expression and character. Her skin tone, very very pale.

Regarding the new body style, I am definitely of the opinion that Mattel should revert back to the dimensions of the original Silkstone body in the bust area.  I very much want the option to dress any new dolls going forward in fashions from the existing collection.  It is discouraging that a majority of my existing fashions are too large for this new body style.