Tag: Barbie Collection

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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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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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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!

 

 


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Doll Room Essential: Shelf Peg Hole Plugs from Ikea

I love when collectors share information about new and interesting and/or helpful items that they use within their collections as part of the collecting hobby. I plan to blog about several doll room essentials that I have found for my collection and room such as these recently discovered shelf peg plugs from Ikea:

These can be found in the kitchen cabinet area at Ikea. They are called Variera. There are 10 white plastic plugs attached on 10 individual strips and they sell for 99 cents a pack (100 plugs per pack!). They are also available in black. For a clean look, I absolutely love the idea of filling in all the exposed peg holes in my shelving, so I took a chance on one pack to see if they would work. It turns out that they fit all the holes in my shelving throughout my doll room.

I know MANY collectors have Ikea’s classic, affordable, and functional Billy book cases in their doll rooms. I myself have a few of the cases and I love them. I purchased mine prior to a change that has made to the newer Billy cases (I purchased mine in Jan/2012). Ikea has since changed the size of the shelf peg hole to a much smaller, less noticeable peg hole.  The Variera plugs fit the holes in my Billy shelving, but they do not fit in the newer book cases. I do not know when the change occurred. I believe the plugs are intended for Ikea kitchen cabinetry, not for Billy book cases, but they seem somewhat universal. The pegs also happen to fit the non-Ikea book cases that I have had for the past 10 years that run along the main wall of my doll room. I have had these 5 matching cases for so long that I cannot recall if I got them from Office Max or Office Depot, but for a mere 99 cent investment, it was worth it for me to try them out in these cases as well.

Here is a picture of the plugs in an Ikea Billy cabinet – I’ve left a row in the back empty to demonstrate the before and after:

Here is the before and after of the generic white book cases that house my BFMC collection:

Before adding plugs

 

After

Unfortunately, my digital cameras all decided to break on me at the same time, so I had to take these pics with my phone camera. The lighting is not the greatest, but you get the idea. You do still see small white bumps when you view the cases, however, I prefer that look overall to the numerous and annoying open shelf peg holes.  In my doll room,  the shelving  is very much set, so I don’t anticipate moving the shelves and having to remove the plugs.  By the way, they’re easy to remove, but they do a number on your fingernails if you’re not careful. They may not be a good option if you’re constantly changing your shelf heights. Mine has been the same for almost 10 years, I think I’m safe.

Final note, the plugs are fairly bright white. Some Billy cases are creamy white (I have noticed a variance in the shades from one Billy case to the next).  The difference in shades between the Billy cases and the plug doesn’t seem to be  significant enough to matter,  but I mention it because it does exist.

 


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Introductions – My First Blog Post!

Hello! I have been considering starting my own Barbie blog for a couple of years now. This is surely to be a learning experience, a journey, that hopefully will be fun and rewarding. I really enjoy blogs that other collectors out there have, and I’d like to think that there is room for one more blog in this awesome collecting community we have. We all collect differently, and it is fun to see how others collect and display. The best part is the sharing. It inspires us!

I’ve been a Barbie collector since 1992’ish. What got me started was way back  in my early 20’s a great friend and I were reminiscing one evening about Barbie. Back then, I was living in New Jersey. (I’m now in my late 40’s, back to my homeland  in the area of the Pacific Northwest).   My friend and I were sharing childhood Barbie stories. Her story in particular was very touching because Barbie was how she connected with her mother and her two sisters, as they often had Barbie fashion shows growing up. As she told the stories, it was amid the fact that her mother had been deceased from cancer for several years, so it truly was a conversation of the heart. My friend Kathy’s birthday was somewhere around the following week, and I thought it would be fun to get her a Barbie for her birthday (she was in her early 30’s at the time, not really a typical gift for someone of that age).   I bought her the cutest one I could find, and at that time it was Peaches and Cream Barbie.  When we next met up, I informed her I had a birthday gift for her. She informed me at the same time, that she had a gift for me. Surprisingly enough, she had purchased a Barbie for me as well, one that she felt I resembled, Sparkle Eyes:

Now, lets just be honest.  MANY collecting days have passed since this first acquisition into my collection. Would I walk into a store and choose this doll today? No. But I still have her, because she is the one that led me down this path, and I will never say goodbye to this doll. Plus, if you follow my blog, you soon will learn that I’m extremely sentimental. That monumental exchanging of the gifts started around the time when Barbie’s 35th Anniversary was all the rage.  Toys R Us’s Barbie collecting displays and stock were at their all time prime. Barbie hoarders were abound, and it was a new and exciting venture for two gals that decided from that from that day forward, they were officially Barbie collectors.  Kathy and I arranged “Barbie dates” where we went to Toys R Us monthly to choose new and fun Barbie’s for us to collect. We NEVER considered deboxing, because surely the deboxing of these precious Barbies would lose their value, right??? Yes, I was once of that mindset.

Fast forward to today.  I type this as I sit in my cherished doll room (and 1/4 office) in a house that my husband and I built 10 years ago. I am now the mother of two beautiful daughters (YES! says the Barbie collecting moms!) ages 7 and 10. Today, I have a collection that would blow the mind of that then 24 year old New Jersey girl. I don’t know that I expected to continue collecting at the level that I do today. I didn’t know then that my love for doll house 1:12 scale and my love for photography (I met that dear girl Kathy in a photography class in New York City!) would combine at some point in my life with a hobby of collecting Barbie, and that the three interests would somehow mesh into a fun and rewarding venture.

In this modern society in which we live, I know that exclaiming you are a Barbie collector is not really something you just do with any ‘ol person you meet. Surely there is the fear or risk of judgement that people have of us – they have visions of dusty BOXED Holiday Barbies stacked high next to shelves of Beanie Babies. Immediately they ask “how much is the most expensive Barbie you own?”.  They’re as clueless as we were when we first started collecting. Everyone rightfully has their own reasons for collecting. Mine is not for resale or collection value. I collect because I love and I have always loved Barbie. I played with Barbie well beyond the years it was deemed acceptable at the time, and even more so by today’s standards.  In my childhood, this:

…..led to this (She resided in my Tuesday Taylor’s fabulous NYC townhouse!!!):

 

…..to the doll that brought me back to collecting from a collecting hiatus:

…..and they all eventually led to this:

 

A favorite display from the Vignette Cabinet:

 

 

There is more to my doll room, of which I plan to share here on the blog. Several collectors in our awesome community have already become familiar with my love for the hobby and my collection via my photos at Flickr and my posting on the Barbie Collector forums.

I wanted to start a blog because whereas I’ve enjoyed sharing on these public websites, I have found over time that I desire a more concentrated format, one that lends itself to demonstration and heartfelt conversation. I expect that there will come a day when I cringe at my first blog post, sort of like I cringe at the first photos I posted to the Barbie Fan Club forums. Over time, we get better as we challenge ourselves to improve. By no means am I a journalist, a writer, or a professional blogger. I’m a collector that enjoys creating and photographing Barbie displays, which may creep some people out, but I’ve learned to live with that! I enjoy sharing with those that are like minded. I love displays. I love vignettes. I love collecting and customizing 1:6 scale furniture. I mainly collect the Barbie Fashion Model Collection, but I do focus on some modern vinyl Barbies as well as repros (and a tiny bit of vintage).  I also LOVE and collect Liddle Kiddles.

My blog will focus on three of my favorite combinations: Barbie, photography and 1:6 scale furniture and accessories. Thus, creating what I have come to love as “The Barbie Vignette”.  I will not be the blog that reports the latest news flash in our community, as there are several already that do it so well. I thoroughly enjoy fellow Barbie bloggers and the content of these firmly established blogs. My focus is entirely different.

My next post will elaborate on what the Barbie Vignette is in my collection, and why it is so special to me.

I invite you to visit my little slice of dolly heaven with this Barbie blog!