Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2011 IFDC : It's Over Already?

Melissa trying to win a prize
I can't believe that the International Fashion Doll Convention (IFDC) for 2011 is already over. It seems like it takes forever to get here and then in the blink of an eye it's over. My voice, though, is glad. A friend called today and wondered if I was sick because my voice croaked on every third word. I suppose it serves me right though. I scared the "you-know-what" out of our friend and fellow contributor Melissa by yelling encouragement very loudly as she was playing the slots during the slot tournament. I had fun.

Poppy and her new hatbox
First there were the workshops and seminars. The workshops are classes in which attendees learn to make something doll-related and then take it home. Seminars are opportunities to gather information of a doll-related nature. This year I signed up for seven workshops and seminars! I made luggage for my Poppy in both of Durelle Brown's luggage workshops, I made shoes for Poppy in Rob Thompson's shoe workshop, and I created a landscape painting in Jim Faraone's creative painting class. These are all things I never thought I could do, but the instructors were excellent. They provided clear, and humorous, instructions which even I could follow.

Jim teaching his Creative Painting workshop
For the seminars, I attended Randall Craig's seminar in which he debuted his 2011 IFDC collection, Jim Faraone's "All you ever wanted to know about putting on conventions" seminar, and Jim's "Game Night." I've only been to IFDC three years so far, but I never miss Randall's seminar. He provides insight into how he designs his collections, solicits suggestions, hosts games for prizes, and makes his collection available to the attendees before the sales room opens. This last one is important as his convention collections are usually limited to 50 pieces of each design and can sell out within minutes of the sales room door opening to customers. This year was my first year attending any of Jim's seminars or workshops. It won't be my last. Not only is Jim a wonderful artist and instructor, but he is probably funnier than any stand-up act in Vegas. My advice, skip the expensive Vegas shows and take one of Jim's classes.

Then there's the aforementioned slot tournament.  Two rounds of 15 minutes each of non-stop button pushing on a video slot machine. It gets pretty silly though, because, honestly, that's all you're doing for 15 minutes and so you look for ways to amuse yourself. Or at least I do. I yell, talk to the machine, or razz my fellow opponents, but it's all in good fun. At the end prizes are handed out to the top scorers. This year the prizes went 15 players deep and included items like NRFB Fashion Royalty dolls, RnD Susie dolls, and free hotel restaurant dinners donated by The Orleans Casino. Then there was a booby prize for last place. Once again, it's all in good fun.

Putting the finishing touches on the display
Next there are the meal events. Again I signed up as table host and, as last year, my friend Tamara spearheaded the table display design and production. This year we had a bit of a reprieve, though, because we only had to provide a table display for the last night. This year's overall theme was "The Wizard of Oddz" which provided a different spin on a familiar movie. The various meal events were entitled "Lollipop Guild", "Lions, Tigers, and Bears Oh My", "Emerald City", and "Friends of Dorothy Witches Cabaret".  We could use any of those themes to create our display so we chose the Witches Cabaret since it was the theme for the last night. Our hard work paid off as we won second place for our display. Our prize? Each table mate received an NRFB Hour Glass Kesenia doll!

Kathie at her sales table
Have I mentioned the sales room yet? Both dealers and collectors rent table space in order to show their wares to customers. It's great because there is such a wide range of items available for purchase due to the eclectic nature of the sellers and each year it's a little different. You never know what you might find. Like the grail Poppy doll you've been searching high and low for. Thank you Kathie for spying her for me!

Oh! The raffle room. I can't forget the raffle room. Collectors and manufacturers collectively donate hundreds of items to be raffled off in the raffle room. There is something there for everyone and the attendees have even managed to turn the raffle experience into a little game. Tables of items ring the wall of the room and then there are two smaller rings of tables towards the middle of the room. Some folks sit inside the smaller ring of tables while other folks sit outside by the outer ring creating two teams, the Inner Circle and the Outer Circle. The Inner Circle folks will cheer loudly when an Inner Circle member's name is called for a prize and the Outer Circle folks do likewise for an Outer Circle member. New attendees can sometimes be overwhelmed by this process and confuse it for poor sportsmanship. It is not. Jim would never allow that type of behavior. Once again, it's all in good fun.

Me as a Lullaby League Munchkin
Lastly there are the glorious costumes. This year, I worked a little harder on how I dressed for the various meal events. I actually created and wore a costume to the opening night reception, "Lollipop Guild."  I went as a Lullaby League Munchkin, complete with toe shoes...and I won a prize, an NRFB Bionica Jordan, for best costume! I really think it was the toe shoes that did it. Thanks Mom for the ballet lessons.

So I'm already dreaming of next year's IFDC, Shock, Rattle & Roll which of course is centered around the various decades of rock. If you've never been to a doll convention, this is the one I highly recommend for getting your feet wet and then sticking with forever. Jim is a great convention organizer, the attendees behave more like a family, and while the atmosphere of the convention is relaxed, there's still plenty to do if you're so inclined. Make sure to sign up for the IFDCinfo YahooGroup, so you'll know when registration for the 2012 convention opens.

To see more of my photos from the 2011 IFDC, please visit my photostream on flickr.


  1. Thanks for the wrap-up! Love the Poppy luggage!!!

  2. Great photos, Val! Thanks for posting these! :)


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