Saturday, April 30, 2011

Steffie of the Day - Vintage Repro Black Barbie

Repro Black Barbie, originally uploaded by alington.
One of my favorite Steffie-faced dolls is the original Black Barbie doll from 1980, but I haven't been fortunate enough to add her to my collection yet.

I do, however, have the lovely reproduction. And she, too, is adorable. I have her dressed in a fun Fashion Fever outfit from 1998 or 1999. She is just smashing in yellow.

See another full-length photo of her on Flickr, in my display.

Paparazzi Bait Adele, restyled.

Paparazzi Bait Adele, originally uploaded by alington.
Since her first deboxing, Paparazzi Bait Adele has given me a hard time with her hair. Finally, I've had the guts to give her a spa day.

I'm not 100% satisfied with the results yet, but this is only the first try.

I shampooed her gelled hair with mild dishwashing soap and conditioned with Dove oil-free conditioner. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and rinsed with very hot tap water, which softened the curls a little.

Next, I combed through with a fine comb, straight on top and curly at the ends. I let it dry with a soft ponytail holder over her head, so the top of her head would stay smooth.

When dry, I used an alcohol-free gel to help the wisps, and finger styled the curls.

Next time, I think I'll boil perm slightly, to straighten the roots a little more. Also, I need to fix her eyelashes next.

You can see a few more photos of Adele on Flickr.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mod Barbie Fashion, Glowin' Out, stock #3404

Barbie's Glowin' Out fashion was on the market from 1971-1972. The fashion includes a sleeveless dress with a satin top and brocade floral skirt. There are two satin bows at the waist. The dress ties in the back with snaps. You will find the Barbie tag on the inside back of the dress. The hot pink shoes were either pilgrims or t-straps. The brocade on the skirt is easily silvered so look for dresses which retain the original coloring.

Ghoulia Yelps ComicCon Exclusive

Monster High Ghoulia Yelps Doll ($20)

Being that Ghoulia Yelps is the smartest ghoul in school, naturally she’s a comic book fan. Ghoulia’s on her way to NekroCon dressed as her favorite zombie super hero, Dead Fast. Ghoulia comes with a miniature Dead Fast action figure and a Dead Fast fan fic book that she wrote and illustrated herself.

**Photo is property of AFInsider**

Tea cup display

Tea cup display, originally uploaded by alington.
How do you display your dolls?

I was looking at my display yesterday, and feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Personally, I like to be able to see all of my dolls--if I can't see them, and get to the easily, I feel like I have too many.

I like to display with themes, so currently, I have my Alice dolls together--well, most of them anyway. I have the IFDC dolls on another shelf, simply because they won't fit. I love how my display looks, however--I just wish I could display them all like this.

The not-fitting problem... well, that has caused me to do a little calculating. I looked at my pre-order list for the entire year, and I realized that I've overdone it--again. I have too many dolls coming for my display space, so I'll have to move some dolls in a major way. Ack!

Maybe it's just been an overwhelming week for me, but I have to find a better way to get my collection back to a manageable size. I didn't take my narrowing-down project into consideration when I was in the pre-ordering mood. So now I'm in for a real treat!

Words of wisdom for the day: Don't pre-order dolls when you're "in the mood"!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eight-hour sale at Mattel today

Use the code 2COOL at today, and save 20% on your order and get free shipping! Valid from 9 am - 5 PM ER today only. They even have the Barbie Basics Jeans collection on there!

Their fine print:

20% off + free shipping offer is valid on all orders placed between 9 AM ET and 5 PM ET on 4/28/11, and overrides current website promotion and discount. 20% discount activated automatically by clicking on the email or by entering code 2COOL at checkout. Free shipping offer is valid on all orders up to $200 after all discounts and before shipping, handling, and/or taxes are added, and applies automatically at checkout when Standard Ground Shipping is selected. Excludes My Design™ (Barbie™ Styled by Me, custom surfboards and custom tees) and shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico, PO and APO/FPO addresses.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Collecting Dolls

I have been collecting dolls for some time now, about 2 years on and off.  I first started collecting Dollfie Dreams then moved onto BJDs, and my current obsession is Fashion Model Barbies.  I do mean obsession!  I bought 12 in one month.  I always have one that I instantly bond with, and he or she becomes a favorite.   My favorite Barbie is Highland Fling or Tout de Suite.   Ok, they are all my favorite.  I have always been into dolls though.  As an only child for 8 years, and both my parents working, I kept myself entertained with my plethora of Barbies.  My mom never understood why I would count my 153 Barbies, 2 Teresas, 2 Skippers and one Ken doll. I had to make sure no one went missing.

Many people collect them to store them away, hoping that they will appreciate in value one day.  Some people display them in cabinets inside their boxes.  I, on the other hand collect them to have fun with them and tell photostories.  I am not worried about getting them dirty or messing up their hair/makeup.  I feel if I am going to spend this much money on my hobby, I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I tell my mom I am reliving my childhood.

So readers.  Why do you collect and what do you do with your collection? 

My new addition Highland Fling wearing her Black Enchantment Oufit

Vintage Barbie open-toe shoes

Barbie's plastic open-toe shoes were made from 1959-1972. Each pair has a right (unmarked) and a left (marked Japan) shoe. The colors produced were:

  • clear
  • clear with gold or silver glitter
  • ginger ale
  • white
  • white with silver glitter
  • white with white poms
  • white with melon poms
  • light pink
  • light pink with silver glitter
  • light pink with pink poms
  • light pink with blue poms
  • hot pink
  • rose
  • rose with silver glitter
  • light blue with light blue poms
  • aqua
  • medium blue
  • royal blue
  • navy blue
  • midnight blue
  • black
  • black with yellow poms
  • black with black poms
  • brown
  • chartreuse
  • yellow
  • orange 
  • red
  • emerald green
  • emerald green with pearls
The #1 ponytail shoes available in 1959 had a hole in the sole to accommodate the #1 Barbie two-pronged stand. #1 shoes were available in black, brown, navy blue, pink, white, pink with pink poms, and light blue with blue poms. #1 shoes command higher prices.

Open-toe shoes left on Barbie's feet for an extended period of time can split and/or stain her feet so display her shoes beside her rather than on her.

Display anxieties and blah, blah, blah

Alice Display, originally uploaded by alington.

Talking about Alice has gotten me thinking about display issues. See how poor Um of Umbridge is squashed in her display case? She's totally outgrown her display space! I'm currently working on two projects of late that has be dealing with some display problems. Plus, my collecting is in a morphing phase again. Let me explain:

Project #1 - There is no time like the present to announce I am in the editing phase of my first book, dear readers. It's all about how to choose your first ball-jointed doll. I'm writing it as a coffee-table style book, filled with full color photos, hoping it will be beautiful to read. It will be filled with information on BJDs, how to budget for them, how to decide your aesthetic style, how to order them, basic tutorials, and how to get connected to the online and real-life community of BJDs--all in a warm, friendly, conversational way. I hope you like it. I'd love to have it finished by June 1, but we shall see.

Display issue: I have received permission from Peak's Woods to use my photos of their dolls in this book. And I currently have a lot of large 58 cm (23") dolls in my display case. My cats seem overly friendly toward these dolls (much unlike Mr. Winky), so I keep them in a glass case.

Project #2 - I have started on another project involving Steffie-faced dolls. I haven't quite decided all the details of this project yet, but I have been quietly accruing a few Steffie faces of late. Well, if you read my blog, I haven't been all that quiet about it. But since I haven't decided on the project details yet, I won't go into it yet.

Display issue: I've never in my life owned this many Barbies before. And never this many Barbies about whom I've felt quite so sentimental. My goodness! I think I may need to add another display shelf. I can't stand the idea of putting the dolls away in a box. I need organizational help here! Or maybe just a valium.

Collection morphing: I was recently able to acquire a grail doll of mine, Pink Splendor, at an extremely affordable price. She was a very low Buy-It-Now because of her torn box. But she is complete, and I adore her. Now, she has me looking for a few other dolls I thought I'd never be able to attain--just because I thought she'd be too hard to find.

Display issue: Need I mention it? The dress sizes. What am I going to do with these huge gowns? I'm already starting some sales on dolls--and I have to list the others I have for sale. But setting prices and the like is the hard part. What to do?

My theory is to not ever have so many dolls that I can't display them all at once. I know a few of my girls will be hitting the road after some of these projects move forward. In the meantime, I have to get off my butt and start selling. More importantly, maybe if I didn't feel so much anxiety about the dolls, I'd work on my project(s) a little more quickly.

I just wish I felt more like a collector sometimes. Is this normal?

In doing a little more research... I found this post from three years ago. I was a much more confident collector then, it seems. Check it out. There's lots of display ideas in there.

Alice in Wonderliddle

Alice in Wonderliddle, originally uploaded by alington.
This is the first vintage Liddle Kiddle set in my collection, courtesy of vintage Barbie dealer Kathie, who picked it up for me at Grant A Wish. She said, and I quote, "I saw it and thought, 'I bet this is an Alice that Alison doesn't even know about!'"

She was right, and I'm no less impressed! She is so cute. A vintage Mattel brand toy, she's from 1968, and she uses one of the little sister sculpts--we thought perhaps Tutti.

Her dress is all vintage fabric and ribbon, and her hair is rooted and soft. Her blue socks are painted on. High color face with a smile.

And the White Rabbit--oh my! Such a vintage guy! He has a watch that was also used in another Barbie set--I'll need to ask Kathie which sets. It's so cute.

Alice in Wonderliddle are on my Alice shelf--you can see more photos of my display on Flickr.

Cats + Dolls = Priceless

I just thought I would share this video with the lovely readers of The Fashion Doll Review.

It is nearly impossible to know how our animals might react to our precious resin & vinyl dollies. In this video, you can see that my cat, Mr. Winky, is absolutely appalled.

Enjoy, and many apologies for the "Cloverfield" camera!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Design Your Own One-of-a-Kind, Personalized Barbie®

charitybuzz | #264930 - Take Advantage of the Rare Opportunity to Design Your Own One-of-a-Kind, Personalized Barbie®

Wow--design-a-doll went up a notch! This is a fabulous opportunity for those Barbie collectors who have everything, love contemporary dolls, and have just won the lottery. Take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a doll, and let you money go to a good cause: The Council of Fashion Designers of America Foundation’s Fashion and Friends for Japan Initiative

Click through the link to see the amazing promotional photo. She's fabulous, and her value is estimated at a mere $10,000.

Other auctions of interest:

Meet Jason Wu backstage with two tickets to his September Fashion Show
Customize your own Proenze Schouler PS1 Bag with Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez
Collect a limited edition shoe created by Brian Atwood and Signed by Rachel Zoe (OMG, they are my size!)

There is something for everyone... though probably not something in everyone's price range.

TonnerDirect sale

Save $15 on orders of $75 or more at TonnerDirect when you use the code SPRING11 at check out. Plus get free shipping in the continental US.

Shop their special offers, for example.

Valid now through Friday, May 6, 2011, through 11:59 EDT. Exclusion applies to Damon Salvatore, and valid on in-stock items only. Free shipping for US orders only. For full details, click here.

Photo property of Tonner Doll Company.

Dollhouse miniatures - Mini treasures wiki / 1to6

Dollhouse miniatures - Mini treasures wiki / 1to6

For those of you who are diorama enthusiasts, make sure you check out this amazing Wiki, called Mini treasures. It's really fantastic. A lot of the articles are written for smaller scale--true miniatures, but I was able to come across this page on 1/6 scale (playscale) items.

Why don't you join and add your expertise? Do you sell playscale miniatures? Even better! Add your 2 cents, and then add a link to your store!

Sonja - redressed.

Sonja, originally uploaded by alington.
On the topic of Haute Doll and Val Zeitler, this is Sonja, a Peak's Woods white skin Wake-Up Goldie with a Val Zeitler face-up. I think she is just lovely, if a little on the spooky side, with her dark eye shadow.

I've redressed her--just to see how and if she could pull off Rococo--it's a requirement in my household. And sure enough, she can.

In fact, with a brunette wig, she looks almost soft. And so elegant and regal. Maybe a little haughty, but much softer. And her nose is just too adorable to be really haughty.

Wig by DollHeart, gown by Soda. A couple more photos on Flickr, but these were a hand-held doll cabinet shoot, so don't expect too much.

The real reason I collect dolls...

Goldie is home!, originally uploaded by alington.
Is for their fabulous shoes!

These are from the Haute Doll/Val Zeitler collection, manufactured by DollHeart. But can't you just hear, "There's no place like home" deep in your heart?

I'd totally wear these. And let's not even go into a price comparison between the cost of doll shoes and people shoes.

Well, I happen to be a John Fluevog fan, and I say my feet are worth it. But I'm old, and can't afford to have "hurty feet," which is what I call barking dogs.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Discovering a blog about dollhouses

While working on my recent restoration projects of 1950s Mattel furniture, I came across some blog postings on "Leftcoastmini" that featured some of the author's collection of this same furniture.

One is about the living room set, while the other highlights the bedroom set.

The blog is about collecting dollhouses for dolls of various sizes - it's quite fascinating. I highly suggest checking it out.

Vintage Barbie fashion #987, Orange Blossom

Barbie's Orange Blossom fashion was on the market from 1961-1964. It includes:

  • sleeveless yellow cotton sheath with zipper (this is the piece containing the Barbie tag)
  • white lace overdress
  • yellow tulle hat (same style as the one from Gay Parisienne which was navy blue)
  • bouquet with yellow and white ribbon streamers
  • short white tricot gloves in the '61 and '62 version, long white gloves in the '63 and '64 version
  • white open-toe shoes
This fashion is easy and affordable to collect. It is often seen displayed on a Midge doll (always a bridesmaid and never a bride), but looks great on Barbie, too. Current market value in near mint and complete condition is about $75-$95.

Holy Grail!

Pink Splendor, originally uploaded by alington.
I was somehow able to snatch up one of my holy grail Barbies for a song on eBay while I was on vacation in Palm Springs. It felt too good to be true! But sure enough, she arrived in her full glory and a gargantuan box.

Meet 1996 Pink Splendor: all that is pink and kitchy and sparkling about Barbie. At the time or her release, this doll had the highest retail price yet for a collector Barbie: $900. She is a limited edition of 10,000 dolls.

Her draping pink gown is made of silk satin and real gold thread, with lace overlay trimmed with ribbon, rhinestones and gold lace at the bodice. Underneath she is wearing silk panties, iridescent stockings and pink garters. Her gaudy jewelry is made from crystals, and is more than copious. Even her shoes are 14K gold leaf.

Check out my photos on Flickr for more photos of this doll in my cabinet. I'll do a more artistic one soon!

The eBay seller is oldeagleeye72461, and I highly recommend her. She is honest, ships when she says she will ship, and her items come when she says they will, in the condition they are described. She even gave me more information on this doll after I posted this blog post originally. (Thanks!) I couldn't be more pleased!

Lady Bee

Lady Bee, originally uploaded by alington.
The lovely Lady Bee got a new wig last week. She's a smaller BJD hybrid (head by Peak's Woods, body by Souldoll), who can actually wear some Tonner Doll clothing.

Usually she fits into DeeAnna Denton outfits perfectly, but as you can see here, she is wearing Elizabeth Swann's Court Gown perfectly.

The wig is by DollHeart. More photos can be seen on Flickr.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Steffie of the Day #2: Canadian Standard

Canadian Standard Barbie, from the mid 1970s.
Finally, a decent photo shoot of another lovely addition to my Steffie collection, a foreign issue doll from Canada. This doll, the Canadian Standard Barbie, was manufactured between 1974 and 1976 for the Canadian market.

Her hair is very soft and thin, and her body plastic is very light and hollow (actually, her body feels just like the current 2011 collection Renaissance doll, which surprised me). She has straight legs made of the same hard plastic as her torso and arms. Often, you can find leftover seams of plastic left on the doll's fingers and toes, but my girl doesn't have these.

She is the Steffie mold, though after about 1976, Superstar faces were also available and seen as standard dolls as well.

My girl's vinyl head is a terrific match to her pink body--these dolls are a pale pink shade--and her face has only one small fade spot on her forehead. I am mesmerized by her face and face paint--I love her bright eyes, and her soft lips. Her outfit was included, and is a Mattel outfit. I'm not sure of the name, but the fabric has been used before for some pajamas for Ken, I believe.

I was able to pick her up for a very good price on eBay, in a lot of other dolls, and I was able to frankendolly several others from the lot, including a second Standard, who went to JennyGrey, who is Canadian, and frankly, wasn't born yet when these dolls were produced. ;)

See more photos on Flickr.

Restoring a 1950s Mattel couch

Poppy Parker, relaxing on her restored Mattel couch.
My friend, Kathie, recently acquired a wooden couch, made in the 1950s by Mattel (even before they started manufacturing our beloved Barbie). As you'd expect with something a half-century old, the foam inside the couch cushions had disintegrated into dust. The fabric was still intact, though, so we decided that all that needed to be done was replace the foam inserts. Here's how it was done:
Step 1: Find the end of each cushion that was hand-sewn closed and open it up with a seam ripper.

Steffie of the Day: Sun Gold Malibu PJ

Sun Gold Malibu PJ, originally uploaded by alington.

From 1983, this is Sun Gold Malibu PJ, another new addition to my Steffie collection. She arrived to me never-removed from her smashed pink box, so it was easy for me to come up with an excuse to remove her. I'd still like to give her hair a rinse, so this first shoot is her just out of the box.

See the rest of her first photoshoot on Flickr.

I love this doll:  Her eyes are green and brown, she's tan, she has coral lips, and eyelashes painted only on top. Her hair is just the most delightful color, too. I can't wait for a little play. She includes her original silver lamé swimsuit, a beach towel, and several pairs of sun glasses.

Say, if you're ever in the mood to see more real-life photos of other Steffie sculpts, you can watch my collection grow in this Collection on Flickr. I'll be adding to it, hopefully later this week, too.

Enjoy the day with your families!

Happy Easter from Yeru!

Normal skin Yeru by Peak's Woods.
Normal skin Yeru wishes you a happy Easter--or at least a nice weekend.

She's wearing her festive default wig (well, it might have been Briana's default wig) and some new 20mm blue glass eyes by Volks, and a brand new-to-her dress from GingerLime Designs, which you can find under Sylphide on Den of Angels. The cocktail dress is really cute--it's a fun blue/amethyst velvet print, which laces up in the back, with a black lace overlay.

See more photos on Flickr.

Yeru is one of those sculpts that is just super sweet, innocent and cute. She looks like a big sister to both Lady Bee and Hucky to me. I've seen many face-ups on Yeru, but it's hard to get the adorable sweetness out of her.

Not a bad thing, in my opinion.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A candid of Viyol, in DollinStyle

The lovely Viyol, a white skin resin BJD by Peak's Woods.
The lovely Viyol is another head that I received in my recent mega order from Peak's Woods. She is a white skin doll, and has a special request face-up from the company as well. This is a re-make of the white skin The Glamour version that was a limited edition face-up for Briana (and also Sky) last summer. (Scroll way down to see the lovely white skin version.) Her outfit is by DollinStyle.

Viyol is definitely an underrated sculpt. She's seen rarely, but I find her gorgeous and unique. Her open mouth gives her an almost a vacant look. I think she'll be a glamour model for me, and I believe she needs some couture and edgy clothing.

She's got a heart-shaped face--pointed chin and full cheeks--and very large eyes (these are 18mm, but she'd be better with 20mm). Her eyelids are sculpted heavily, and her eyes sculpt droops slightly. Her face is also sculpted angularly, so she's an interesting doll-subject to photograph.

Perhaps she'll require a Lady Gaga outfit? I've already pre-ordered the platinum hair-bow wig from DollHeart, which I think will be cute on her.

I'll include another profile shot, just for some detail. (these are candids taken in my doll cabinet, while I was putting my dolls away.)
Profile shot of Viyol with The Glamour face-up.

Meet Cue... in Val Zeitler

Peak's Woods Cue resin BJD.
Meet Peak's Woods white skin Cue, whose head was included in my fantastic order which has been anticipated for months. (I've been collecting bodies on Den of Angels--though another one of my doll friends said that sounds a little gross.)

Cue has a special face-up, which was a special request, to use pinks and purples. Here, she's wearing a wig by Dollzone, an Haute Doll exclusive outfit designed by Val Zeitler and produced by DollHeart called "Tweedle Dee," and a hat by DollHeart. You can see additional photos on Flickr.

What I love about this sculpt in particular is her pointy chin. There is also a wake-up version of her as well, with her eyes half-closed--and she looks so much more haughty and dramatic that way. (I love that sculpt also; but with her eyes open, she's so innocent and sweet!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

1969 Talking Julia

1969 Talking Julia, originally uploaded by alington.
This is 1969 Talking Julia. She is the favorite talker in my collection--her voice is like butter. She is the one talker Mattel modeled after an actress, Diahann Carroll, who played Nurse Julia, from the 1960s TV show.

Originally, she came dressed in a gold and silver jumpsuit,. I have her dressed in the repro nurse's uniform for now.

She says more phrases than this, but I didn't want to make the video longer than about 30 seconds. You can hear my 11 year-old son's voice at the top of the video, giving you his professional opinion of my talkers.

Also, about 20 seconds into the video, you can see one of our kitties, Lily, in the reflection of the glass top table. It's cute. Our cats don't know what to make of the talkers.

W Club exclusive coming soon to My Favorite Doll

Exquisite, FR Monogram collection.
Exquisite is name the FR Monogram dressed doll coming soon to My Favorite Doll. She is a limited edition of 300, and is being sold through a WClub lottery, at a price of $175.

This beautiful blue-eyed blonde is dressed an embroidered ball gown. The bodice of the gown is ivory and gold with a lace overlay, finished with a navy belt. The large wide skirt is a deep teal blue with gold embroidered flowers cascading down the hips. Her hem is bustled in the front with a small fuchsia bow.

She has lovely pink and red flowers in her updo (which the promo email deems "fantastic"). Her accessories include gorgeous oversized gold bejeweled earrings and coordinating flower platform sandals.

She is definitely not for the faint of heart--she reminds me of the grand finale look of a designer's collection, sashaying down the catwalk.

I entered the lottery--I can't help myself. I just love those bright colors. (I'm such an 80s girl at heart.)

Photos property of Integrity Toys.

Mod Barbie Fashion, Fun Flakes, stock #3412

Barbie Fun Flakes fashion was available in 1971 and 1972. It includes a blouse, jacket, pants and shoes. The shoes found with this ensemble can be either hot pink pilgrims or t-straps. Shoes will be marked Japan, Taiwan, or unmarked.. The Barbie tag is located on the upper inside back of the jacket. Look for this fashion with an intact pants waist elastic (it is often dried out and stretched) and the correct number of buttons and snaps.

Goldie #3 has returned!

Gracefully yellowed white skin Goldie, with a fresh face-up by Leah Lilly.
So remember when I confessed to having a BJD problem? The gorgeous girl in the photo above is actually a bargain doll I picked up on Den of Angels several months ago (all in pieces, actually), which you can see in the post above or in her before photos.

Embarrassingly, I have more than one of this sculpt, thanks to this photo by solarsenshi on Flickr. No tans, yet, but one Wake-Up version in mine. But they are all different and wonderful! This girl needs a name--the other two are Sonja, Claudine, and Goldie. Who should she be?

I was able to restring her body, and I sent her head away to Leah Lilly of Froggy Duds for a new face-up, giving the artist free range in her abilities. (I've never seen a Leah Lilly face-up that I haven't loved, so I wasn't risking a whole lot, I have to confess.) She returned safely to me yesterday, and I had to get Goldie dressed up right away!

She's wearing Bella Dark (by DollHeart--a great alternative if you love and/or missed Val Zeitler's Boardwalk outfit), purple glass eyes and a wig from one of the Val Zeitler/Doll Heart collaborative projects. You can see more photos of her on Flickr.

A personal note on resin and yellowing: In my ever-so-humble opinion, if you collect BJDs or resin fashion dolls, you're going to have to deal with yellowing. To me, as long as it's even yellowing, it adds a unique beauty to your doll. Don't keep your dolls in direct sunlight, or expose them too much to the elements--though who's to deny the creative muse when she calls for an outdoor photo shoot?

And then, let there be yellow.

This is probably where the price versus quality issue will rear its ugly face in the end. And that, my dears, is why we call doll collecting a hobby, and not a lifestyle. (Or so I tell myself.) ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Serious Yulli photo spam

Normal skin Yulli, Fairy of Color resin BJD by Peak's Woods.
One of my recent additions, this is Yulli. She's been on my Peak's Woods dream list for quite some time. I've only seen a few owner photos of this doll, and she's very sweet. My girl is a normal skin, large bust version. Here, she's dressed in an outfit by GingerLime Designs from Den of Angels, and a wig by DollHeart. You can see a ton of other photos of her unique sculpt on my Flickr photostream.

She is an earlier sculpt of Peak's Woods, and she's doesn't appear to be very common. I love the unique droopy outer corner of her eye sculpt, her full cheeks, heart-shaped face, and the way her face is angular, rather than flat.

She has a default face-up, which I find lovely. The dark line of shadow on her eyelid adds to the depth of her face.

Her mouth is actually sculpted open--I think you might even have the option of adding a small white resin tooth part behind her mouth (held in place with putty, like her eyes), but she's strung the old-fashioned way, with a resin hook head cap. So I haven't bothered to peek in there yet. (I noticed it on another new arrival--photos coming soon--and saw Yulli's mouth is similar.)

1968 Talking Barbie

1968 Talking Barbie, originally uploaded by alington.
In case anyone has ever wanted to hear a Talking Barbie talk, here she is. This is a 1968 brunette Talking Barbie, dressed in the Close-Ups fashion from 1969 (I think).

If you need to see her original commercial, I found a low quality one on YouTube.

She says some other phrases, too--but I find that I have to keep her up high on a shelf in my glass cabinet. Pulling that string is just cathartic to me. I could sit here all day.

Vogue Collectibles Easter specials

Lots of fun specials over at Vogue Collectibles--check them out!
  • Great savings on Barbies from previous year's collections, starting at just $15, including reproductions, Pop Life and Christian Louboutin (well, this one is on sale for $115)
  • Several specials on Gene, Fashion Royalty (including hard-to-find convention exclusives), and Brides of Dracula
  • Lots of wonderful Tonner specials, including many older hard-to-find dolls and fashions from prior years, including items from the Brenda Starr, Tyler Wentworth, and Wizard of Oz collections
I should add here--I've shopped from this store before, and they have very friendly customer service. Two thumbs up!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Twist 'N Turn Skipper doll, stock #1105

    This is the second issue TNT Skipper doll available from 1970-1971. She came as either a blonde (box marked gold blonde) or a brunette (box marked java brown).

    She has sausage curls tied with orange vinyl ribbons. Her eyes are blue, side-glancing and she has rooted lashes, light brown brows, and coral lips.. She has a TNT waist and bendable legs. She has a pink skin tone which is subject to fading. Skipper wore a two-piece orange vinyl swimsuit with an orange message cover-up with yellow polka dots and vinyl trim. Her accessories included a clear X stand, fashion booklet, white comb and brush, black eyelash comb, and an orange and silver foil wrist tag. Skipper's body markings are: c. 1967 Mattel Inc./US Pat'd US Pats. Pend/Made in Taiwan. The box has graphic representations of Skipper in Super Slacks, Lots of Lace, and Daisy Crazy. I think she is one of the prettiest Skipper dolls ever issued.

    Grumpy Wake-Up Lottie

    Wake-Up Lottie, originally uploaded by alington.
    Meet my little grumpy girl, Wake-Up Lotttie. She's another new addition to my BJD collection, and another doll from Peak's Woods. I just adore her.

    One of the things I truly love about BJDs, and about Peak's Woods specifically, is that you can truly customize the doll the way you want. Wake-Up Lottie was released with limited edition make-up originally: gorgeous grays, mauves and charcoal.

    But I also have an open-eye Lottie Real. I wanted to make my new doll match her sister, so I asked. And sure enough, Peak's Woods came through with a special face-up for me, and it's just perfect.

    In addition, I've made this new doll like her sister in another way. I've put her SD-sized head (scaled for a 58cm body) onto an MSD-sized body (scaled for 42cm). She's just a cute little thing.

    You can see full-sized photos here on Flickr and photos of Lottie, her sister, here.

    Steffie of the day: Couture Kelley

    Couture Kelley, originally uploaded by alington.
    A recent Frankendolly of mine--I believe this is a 1970s era Quick Curl Kelley, who was scalped when I received her. She might be Yellowstone Kelley, but her hair plug holes are awfully far apart on her head--plus I think Yellowstones are harder to find. Input? Ideas? Leave me a comment!

    She needed a new body, which she received. I've wigged her for now, using a Goodreau 4-5 wig, and she's wearing a modified Generation of Dreams dress, and some other current Mattel accessories. More photos, including full-size, can be seen on Flickr.

    I think she came out quite cute, if a little over the top. I kind of like having a wigged Steffie from this era!

    She came in a huge lot of TLC dolls and bodies for $20 from eBay. I'll be sharing the other project dolls I've made over the next few weeks.

    TonnerDirect sets returns (and bravo for correct math! I'm so proud!)

    Shop at TonnerDirect now for even more set fun. In addition to the previous sets, they've added a few more Passion for Fashion sets:
    • Anne Harper set - includes Basic Anne Harper and The Angel's Deception outfit $163.99
    • Jacqueline Frost set - includes Jacqueline Frost Basic and Frosty Touch outfit $147.99
    • Urban Legend Shoe set - includes Day to Night, Fierce and Park Avenue Flats shoe packs $95.99
    • Urban Legend Dress set - includes Uptown and SoHo dresses $103.99
    • Urban Legend Denim set - includes Distressed Skinny Jeans, Frayed Denim Skirt, Sequined Denim Bustier $83.99
    • Urban Legend Romantic set - includes Ruffled Cotton Coat, Ruffled evening Top, Lace Evening Skirt, Swirling Ruffled Skirt $159.99
    Use the promo code FASHION (or FASHIONINT) when you check out and save an additional 20% those set prices above and get free continental US shipping (or a $9.95 credit toward shipping costs).

    This promotion expires at 11:59 PM EDT on April 22, 2011, and cannot be used with any other offer. It is good on new orders and in-stock items only.

    Plus, a note for any of you math buffs, or think I was making a big deal earlier, I am relieved to see the new savings style of these offers. Check this out, from Jacqueline Frost's gift set:

    Full Price: $184.99
    Set Price:  $147.99
    20% Off:  $118.99

    That's a total savings of $66.40!


    That's what I'm talking about! Yay for math! It's good for your brain. ;)

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Knife's Edge Designs: 7 Deadly Sins

    One of my favorite 12" doll jewelry designers is Amber Park, who runs Knife's Edge Designs.  She just put up her newest collection today called "7 Deadly Sins".  There are 7 bracelet sets to choose from, each at $19.  To see her post and details for ordering, or to just ogle her amazing photos and setups for each of these "sins", click here:

    Here are 2 quick selections: GREED and LUST
    *photos are property of Knife's Edge Designs*

    Introducing Lavin

    Lavin, originally uploaded by alington.
    Just in case you haven't gotten enough real-life photos today, let me introduce you to Lavin, Fairy of Lavender, by Peak's Woods. She made a grand arrival last week while I was on vacation in Palm Springs. (And I mean very grand.)

    She's an adorable new resin BJD, who stands at 58 cm (about 23" or so), and she's a full-set. She's wearing a Luts wig and DollHeart shoes, which you can see in other photos on Flickr.

    I think she is a perfect sculpt. She reminds me of Briana and Lottie--a mix of sweet and sultry. Simply divine.

    My "what NOT to do" tip of the day

    Who knew that styrofoam and spray paint don't mix? Apparently not me.

    I thought I'd be both thrifty and environmentally conscious and create an armchair for an 11" doll out of a styrofoam Jamba Juice cup. However, once I sprayed on a light coat of enamel spray paint, the styrofoam began to disintegrate until the seat was no more!

    Am I the first one to ever discover this? Probably. I imagine that most people just throw out their take out containers: not try to make them into doll furniture. :)

    1983 DOTW Irish Barbie

    Irish Barbie, originally uploaded by alington.
    One of my more recent Steffie additions, this is Dolls of the World Irish Barbie from 1983. As a Tonner Doll collector, I did a double-take when I deboxed this lovely girl, as she reminds me a lot of Tyler Wentworth.

    I received her never-removed-from-box, but those pink window boxes sometimes leak. It gives me the perfect opportunity to remove the doll from the box for a nice hair spa day--washing, rinsing and conditioning.

    She looks new and fresh, though her hair has been restyled. See a few more shots of her on Flickr.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Free shipping from Wilde Imagination

    For the next five days, check out Wilde Imagination for some great deals on the End of Edition specials. Free shipping on all orders within the US. No promo code is needed. Specials end at 9 PM EST on April 22, 2011.

    A few specials I noticed:

    Photo property of Wilde Imagination.

    Save the date!

    If you're close to Greensboro, North Carolina, you'd better mark April 23, 2011 off on your calendar! It's coming up soon, and it's DollMarket's Ball Joint Doll Party.

    Prizes are sponsored by Jun Planning, DollHeart, Ashton Drake and more. There will be a People's Choice best-dressed BJD competition, and any strung doll (resin or vinyl) may be entered, costumes can be purchased or made. See last year's winners here.

    More information is on DollMarket's website.

    I'll be so jealous if you go. Post here or on our Facebook fan page if you attend! I want to know how it was!

    Robert Tonner fashions for sale on eBay

    How big of a Tonner fan are you? Would you wear the fashions your dolls wear? You have the opportunity today to buy them--maybe even in your size--at Buy It Now prices on eBay.

    There are the four pieces available:
    Tempting? Oh yes. In my size? Yes--every single one of them. Mermaid skirts or sequins? Not a single to behold! Great job, Mr. Tonner!

    Barbie Basics update...

    If you aren't on the website, you may have missed the latest updates and sneak peeks at the new Barbie Basics. As a BFC member, I'm not permitted to post Mattel copyright images. Here are some updates on the rest of the Barbie Basics lines to be released this year with some links to photos.

    I apologize in advance for the photo links. At this point, they are for BFC members only.

    First, Target will be releasing three new Black Label exclusives and an accessory pack. If you're a BFC Member, you can the thread here. The dolls are dressed in white jeans (or pants, anyway) and red tops. Let me just state here that I am not a sculpt expert, but I will guess on these.

    #1 Mackie sculpt with a platinum bob (no bangs) hoop earrings, asymmetric red shirt, white belt, long boot cut jeans, two red bracelets. Try this for a photo.

    #11 Teresa (I really need help with this one!) sculpt with brunette highlighted shoulder-length hair, hoop earrings, red tunic, white belt, white skinny jeans and red pumps. Try this for a photo.

    #3 Steffie sculpt with hoop earrings, dark brown ponytail and bangs, puffy sleeved asymmetric tunic, skinny capris, white belt, red and white bracelets, and cage sandals. Try this for a photo.

    The accessory pack contains cute red and white shoes and booties, sunglasses, a Target-print shopping tote, silver belt, two magazines, and a rather fantastic red patent "leather" jacket.

    My favorite of the three dolls is the Steffie sculpt, of course. But she also reminds me of Katy Perry, who has been an odd inspiration to me, of late.

    Now, the news about the metallic collection from Barbie Basics Collections 2: Model #14 (Louboutin sculpt), Model #4 (Goddess sculpt) and Model #8 (Mbili sculpt) will be on the articulated body, not Model Muse. (You may already know this from the Toy Fair release.) Two accessory packs will also be released. The first includes a tuxedo style jacket, gold sequin top, several pairs of gold and black shoes and boots, and a magazine. The second includes lots of fun shoes, jewelry and purses, in bronze, silver and gold.

    Second, and this is a rumor, these dolls will be limited edition. I have heard these dolls will not be Black Label, and that they will be available from and select dealers only. The edition size will be cut down significantly, so if you see one available for sale and you'd like to add it to your collection, buy it.

    All right. I've done enough fear mongering for the day. Thanks!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    It's our honor...

    It's our honor to have been selected to share the 2011 MTW Award, given out by Mini Treasures each year.

    I'm proud to post the badge on our site. Thank you so much, and thanks for visiting their site, dear readers. And don't forget about the fantastic Wiki they have set up--learn how to do anything in miniature.

    Other sites of interest:



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