Tag: Barbie

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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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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!

 

 

 


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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!