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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 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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Doll Room Find: Shadow Box

Last weekend I found an awesome addition to my doll room.  A Macy’s store was having a huge blow out due to the store location closing. I walked in expecting to find discounted clothing for myself (who doesn’t love a sale!). I walked around for quite some time empty handed and pretty much started to walk out. As I was beginning to leave, I decided I’d peruse the store fixture area, which was full of used store fixtures they were selling along side the marked down inventory. I always have my Barbie collecting radar on.  It has become second nature for me to  find things for my collection or doll room as I’m out and about shopping for non-doll related items.  I came upon this really wonderful shadow box, complete with plexiglass front:

Removable plexiglass

So being the display junky that I am, I picked it up – for $20. Its made of some heavy duty plywood painted a perfect shade of creamy white. It is going to be a wonderful addition to my doll room. It will be great for highlighting whatever dolls inspire at the moment, and has great enough room for 3-4 dolls easily. I’m not one for overcrowding in my display/vignette boxes, so I will probably utilize it like I do with the Plexi-cubes I’ve shared in earlier posts. It will easily accommodate large pieces of 1:6 scale furniture as well.

It is nice to have the option of keeping the back open, but if I know myself well enough, I will be fully tempted to add a papered back wall to add a dramatic effect to the display.

It is always a treat to find something like this fixture when you least expect it. But I do have a huge regret.  I should have purchased two or three more. Now that I have it in my doll room, I can see it matches my Ikea Isala cabinet almost perfectly, which is where I plan on displaying it.  A couple more of these shadow boxes arranged on top of my cabinet would have made a lovely presentation. I would drive back, however, this Macy’s location is in a small beach town 5 hours away. Live and learn.  I’ll be happy with the one I have.

Update @ 3/19/2016:  Ask and you shall receive.  I was fortunate enough to add two more of these cubes.  My husband had to go back to work in the area of the store closing, and was awesome enough to pop in and grab two more (albeit, they are missing their plexi, but I can easily remedy that problem). I can’t wait to put these to use for a great display!


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The Dress Shop

I recently received a stunning repainted/restyled Silkstone by a well known and ultra talented artist, Jon Copeland/SeloJ Spa.

You can view several of Jon’s repaints on his Flickr page (linked here with his permission).

This lovely lady arrived just in time, as I was prepping a new temporary Dress Shop display in my doll room. I was instantly inspired to have a photo session. However, a huge problem presented itself: both of my (admittedly old and outdated) trusty digital cameras died at the same time. So I was forced to purchase another camera, of which I am still becoming familiar with. This is my first photo session with the new camera, all shot within days of receiving it.

Here are some pictures of the new vignette: The Dress Shop

The cast:

SeloJ Spa repaint, in Matisse Fashions Sheath

Rebodied & Restyled Maria Therese Silkstone Barbie, in Barbie’s Tim Gunn fashion

Joyeux FAO Exclusive Silkstone Barbie in t.d.fashiondolls70 (ebay store) fashion

Dresses on display rack: Matisse Fashions  (blush w/bows), Bellissima Couture Fashion (pink lace), Matisse Fashions (blue w/ white)

The mannequin features pink top by Bellissima Couture and a lace skirt that is unknown

Bespaq Armoire pictured with City Smart Silkstone Barbie black dress

 

 


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Why the Vignette? Part 2

In part 1 I shared a little about how much I love to use 1:6 scale furniture and accessories to enhance the personality of a doll. I also love backdrops.  I was never one to patiently learn the skill and art of photo shopping dolls into photographed scenes. I have had to rely on my own creation (or purchases) of back drops. In my doll room, the difference between a “diorama”, of which I have several, and a “vignette” is that the vignette is typically very temporary. Other than the vignettes in my cabinet & those on my display shelving, I usually set up a scene long enough to photograph it and then it is broken down and stored away.

Here is a sampling of a few vignettes from years past, as seen in my Flickr photo library:

 

The Ingenue Barbie (a personal fave from the BFMC) paired with vintage Serie Milady vanity.

 

The Waitress Barbie from the BFMC Career Girls series. The scene is set in Mattel’s classic and well constructed Coca-Cola Soda Fountain. These two are a match made in heaven!

 

In the Pink Barbie with vintage customized Suzy Goose vanity. Oh my goodness.  Who could not love this dress or this doll?!

 

Highland Fling Barbie in True Brit BFMC Fashion with vintage Barbie Fashion Shop in the background.

 

City Smart with the BFMC Display Case backdrop

 

The Spa Barbies. I love this vignette even though the lighting and photo processing used at the time was horrible! But I adored the Bratz house these backdrops came from, and really wanted to incorporate them into a Barbie display in spite of the wall height issues.

 

This one is minus a doll, but it was created for a series of photos I did with the Boater Silkstone doll. This was to share the contents of her steamer trunk.

 

Sometimes you just take a photo with the pets 🙂

So, why the vingnette? Just a fun way to capture a scene with a doll, accessories, fashion, furniture …. whatever is lingering in the doll room that inspires the imagination 🙂

I have had numerous displays and backgrounds and photos over the years. The photos above are from my archives, most of which were taken YEARS ago.  I look forward to new creations this year, and I look forward to sharing them here. The introduction stage is now concluded … moving on to new content in the next posts!