Tag: Barbie Vignette

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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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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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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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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?

Over the years, I have modified (a few times over) how I collect. I have learned that for me, it isn’t always just a doll that interests me, it is also a doll’s surroundings.

I have observed in the past decade or so that a new collecting breed has emerged. We are deboxers and display-ers. We want to be hands on with our collections. We want to enjoy and experience our collection, in the here and now. Obviously this isn’t to say that these collectors have not existed in the past, but due to increased photo sharing on the internet along with sharing on doll forums, we get a peek into the collections of various collectors and we are allowed to visually enjoy the collections of complete strangers.  I have said on the forums that I am one who collects to enjoy my collection. I do not collect for future collectors.  By this, I mean I do not allow myself to be chained to re-sale values for the future. There are plenty of collectors out there from whom you may one day collect a lovely NRFB doll, all pristine and pretty. It takes all kinds in our hobby. I do not criticize any collector’s way of collecting. My intent is to share how I collect. I do keep several dolls NRFB. However, I debox a majority of my dolls. I do not fall victim to every single new hot off the press release. If I like a doll, I buy it, if I don’t, I pass.

Around 2003, my collection habits started shifting, and I found the forums at Barbie Collector. It was as if the heavens opened up as the angels sang. I discovered a place where collectors shared photos of their collections and displays and dioramas. This was a language I began to understand immediately. LOVE your collection. ENJOY it. HOLD it. BUY your dolls furniture and tea sets and OOAK clothing and pets and anything else they demand that is too damned cute to pass up.  Then you start adding coordinating backdrops, and it becomes a vignette. For me, I combined all of these new found elements of collecting with a love for photography, and suddenly my hobby transitioned from displaying boxed dolls to deboxing, creating scenes/dioramas/vignettes and then sharing.  I want to share a photo that I posted really really early on the Barbie Bulletin Board years ago (now known as the BFC/Barbie Fan Club). Continental Holiday in Paris. This was when I was first starting to experiment with back drops. I had a framed picture of a window scene of Paris hanging on a wall at the time. Photographing Barbie with a back drop was very new to me when I took this photo. It fulfilled a creative urge. At the same time I felt a bit crazy in the head. But it was a pretty picture, so I kept moving forward with it.

For me, a vignette is a way to bring the doll to life. It tells her story. It gives her character. And it is the best way to enjoy the furniture and accessories that I know of. I have found that I actually enjoy collecting furniture and accessories as much if not more than Barbie. Miniature works of art I call them, and they speak to a gal who thought she loved doll houses but soon learned Barbie was much more fun than stuffy Victorian porcelain dolls.

Vignettes have become my favorite way for me to enjoy my collection. I have three acrylic “cubes” that I purchased from a collector over 10 years ago. I believe they were used in store displays at one time (there is a hot pink Barbie Collectibles “Applause” sticker on the back of them). They seemed so boring with only dolls in them, so I papered foam core and added a background and accessories. They were instrumental in my quest for creating charming back grounds to highlight certain dolls. You can see the “cubes” on one of my display shelves:

I found I enjoyed them so much, that I dreamed up a cabinet in which I could display more than three ideas for vignettes, as I only have three cubes. I designed it, my Dad built it, and it is one of my favorite things in the world (aside from my family!).  For those that follow my Flickr page, most of these pictures are repeats. I promise I will share lots of new and interesting photos here once I move pass this introduction stage (I have a dress shop to share soon …  just sayin!). I get so many questions and comments regarding the cabinet, that it inspired me to share here on my blog.

The Vignette Cabinet before I started the project:

The Vignette Cabinet

The cubes inspired the cabinet – I modeled the shelf openings to match the cube measurements.  Each cube in the Vignette Cabinet (as I refer to it) has been papered and trimmed with wood doll house molding.  The idea was to feature a doll or two in each cube, along with favorite and coordinating pieces of inspirational furniture and accessories. It was a way to get cherished furniture pieces out of “prop storage”. They are all works in progress. I find myself changing out dolls and furniture all the time.  So much in fact, that I cannot seem to ever get around to installing acrylic shelf fronts. My Dad made a hinged piece of trim for the cabinet front so I could install sheets of acrylic on each shelf, again, to work off of the idea of the cubes. I’ll get around to that one day.  Here are some closeups of a few of the displays. These are the ones that seem to gather the most interest on my Flickr page:

Lingerie #4 Silkstone atop a customized Susy Goose Bed. A personal favorite because it is my favorite color combination.

Detail of vignette wall art.

 

Fashion Editor and Lingerie #5 in Breakfast At Tiffany’s dress combined with custom hat. The lingerie on the mannequin was a commissioned piece for my Silkstone lingerie shoppe called “La Boutique Angelique”, a shoppe I will surely share here on the blog at some point.

 

“French Blue” …. who doesn’t love a combo of blue and gold?! I have since swapped out this vanity for a lovely writing desk, but I may go back to this again.

I have to share the detail of the doll house paper used in this cube. It is appropriately titled  “Marie Antoinette”. I have an obsession with cherubs, so I had to have it and use it in this cabinet.

 

The Shopgirl Barbie in an amazing sheath by Bellissima Couture. I customized this Susy Goose vanity well over 10 years ago utilizing Krylon for Plastic spray paint in Fairytale Pink.

So this is where my passion lies in my Barbie collection.  The scenes inspire me and satisfy personal decorating ideas that I may not necessarily do within my own home. What I mean by this is that I could live in Marie Antoinette-land all day long, but by husband and children, they’re so crazy that they may not necessarily agree with this. So I  create a snapshot of an idea within a small cube within my doll room’s 4 walls,  and I am free to use all the blue and gold and pink and black I want!