Tag: Barbie Collector

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Christmas Holiday Plaid for Dulcissima Barbie

I have a fantastic wintry white backdrop that I greatly adore. I’ve used it in several of my winter vignettes. Obviously there are limitations as to how many times a year I’m going to be inspired to shoot photos with a winter theme and utilize such a backdrop. Every December I have the best of intentions to take a Christmas/Holiday themed Barbie photo. However, I inevitably get caught up in the holiday bustle and I just never get it done. Today I noticed some incredible natural, sunny light in my home, so I put all projects and priorities on a brief hold, took advantage of the light and enjoyed a quick holiday photo session.

Until today, I had never redressed Dulcissima Barbie. In fact I’m fairly certain that given my limited amount of time spent with my hobby these past couple of years, I pretty much deboxed her when I got her, and then threw her up on a shelf without really taking time to appreciate her beauty. I’m glad that I chose her to model for this session. She brought this underappreciated classic Christmas plaid gown to life today!

Barbie Model: Dulcissima Silkstone Barbie (2014)

Gown: Winter’s Eve Barbie (1995)


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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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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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The Window Shopper

Recently, I received a much anticipated package in the mail. When it looks like this, arriving with Russian parcel tape, you know it must be special:

There is a talented artist in Russia from whom I ordered a beautiful Barbie outfit. Her Etsy shop is Rebecca Fashions. I also follow her Flickr photostream. You can also find her creations on Ebay. The dress I ordered has a meticulous fit and is very well made. I was completely smitten with this dress when I first saw pictures of it, so I was over the moon appreciative when I found out it was available for special order.

I can never say no to a pillbox hat for Barbie, especially one with a tulle net. Pair it with a classic ’60’s flip hair style and it is the **perfect** combination.  I was inspired to dress Hollywood Bound Silkstone Barbie in this lovely fashion (does she not sport the quintessential 1960’s flip?!). For my back drop I wanted to feature the fun storefront I received at the 2012 National Barbie Convention. This was a table centerpiece that I was fortunate enough to be drawn to win. Whenever I display a Barbie in front of the storefront in my doll room, I immediately get that “Window Shopper” vibe.

 

The setting: Storefront from 2012 National Barbie Convention table centerpiece, with added striped backdrop and props

The fashion on the mannequin: Dressmaker Details “Dinner Duo”

The fashion modeled by Hollywood Bound Silkstone Barbie: Rebecca Fashions. Clutch is Dressmaker Details from “Dinner Duo”

Armoire: Barbie armoire customized by me

 


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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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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!