Monday, July 24, 2017

SYC The FINAL Week

It's the FINAL countdown!
Excuse me for a moment while I search for that hilarious Geico commercial.

Okay, I'm back. If you haven't been following my month of SYC (Savor Your Collection), please check out the challenges and pictures from weeks onetwo, and three. And even if you have been following along, it's worth another look in case you missed some of the fun pictures that I've been continuously updating.

Day 23) Exclusives
Whether it's a Barbie Fan Club exclusive, W Club exclusive, convention exclusive, or store exclusive (I'm looking at you Barbie Basics Red collection), it's time to savor those dolls created especially for whatever! And while we're on the subject, what do y'all think of this year's National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention exclusive?

Glamazon Adele, an Integrity Toys convention exclusive

Day 24) Life in the Dreamhouse 
It's time for a look at those fabulous doll houses and doll house dioramas.

Day 25) Ladies of Leisure


Day 26) Pet/Animal Lovers


Day 27) Working Girls


Day 28) Red-y for the Weekend


Day 29) Ladies Night


Day 30) Barbie Style


Day 31) Shopping Queens


Stay tuned for updates as I continue to savor my collection.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

SYC Challenge Week Three

Two weeks down and two to go!

If you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the challenges and pictures from weeks one and two of SYC. Stay tuned for updates as I continue to savor my collection.

Day 16) Give "props" where they are due. Set up a scene for your doll(s).
Here is a book store I made using a MyFroggyStuff tutorial and a book prop from Muff's online store. Aphrodite is strolling through the shop in search of some summer reading material.


Day 17) Let the Little Ones Shine.
For this challenge, I decided to focus on siblings that had not already appeared in an SYC photo.

Raelynn & Sydney

Macee (R) & Makenna (L)

Tommy & Serena

Day 18) Celebrate the Celebrity Dolls in your collection.



Day 19) Who Wore it Best? ONE outfit and TWO dolls, you know the rest.


Day 20) Throwback Thursday
*Picture coming soon

Day 21) Date Night
*Pictures coming soon

Day 22) Spotlight on Special Occasion Dolls

Carmen, formerly a Quinceanera Barbie

Halle, formerly a 2016 Holiday Barbie

Sunday, July 9, 2017

SYC Challenge Week Two

The fun continues...

As explained in my previous post, some dear dolleagues of mine and I are embarking on an SYC Challenge for the month of July. Week One was a success. We're having a wonderful time savoring our collections. And now it's time for another week of challenges, so here goes.

Day 9) Celebrate relics from retired doll lines (e.g., Barbie Basics, So in Style, Dynamite Girls, or any other defunct doll line).

Before there was So in Style, there was Shani- a line of black dolls with black features. The Shani line debuted in the early 90s and included black dolls in a variety of skin tones. Shani's handsome boyfriend, Jamal, was introduced in 1992 and was retired by 1994. His head mold was later re-used for Steven and AA Ken in the mid 90s and continues to be used for both to this day.


Integrity Toys put speculation to rest a year or two ago and announced that its Dynamite Girls line, which had been on hiatus since 2014, was retired. The Dynamite Girls were introduced in 2007 and were a line of colorful, trendy fashion dolls. Below is a convention workshop doll that I bought and customized. She was bald in order to wear the workshop wigs. I decided to give her flocking, because I liked the way she looked with short hair.


Day 10) Spotlight on OOAKs. Take some time to appreciate those One of a Kind items in your collection and what makes them special.

I don't have many OOAKs that I haven't already featured on this blog. Here is a Fashion Madness Kenya that I customized with a yarn reroot tutorial from MyFroggyStuff.



Day 11) The Doll That Started it All- Every collector has that one doll that started their obsession.
When my daughter was old enough to play Barbies, I decided I needed a doll of my own. I found a So in Style Tennis Grace online. When she arrived, it was love at first sight. She was the prettiest playline doll I'd ever seen. The rest is history.

Mommy's Doll

Day 12) Fun with Fashionistas- There is no denying the appeal of the Barbie Fashionistas line. Even the most exclusive collectors find themselves putting them in their carts. Whether you have one or one dozen, it's time to have some fun with your fashionista(s).

I decided to give my Tropi-cutie Barbie Fashionista a makeover. I redressed her and gave her rooted eyelashes and a toned down lip color.

Tropi-Cutie now known as Aphrodite

Day 13) Let's Hear it for the Boys. It's time to spend some time savoring your favorite guy dolls.

Ken Fashionistas Darius & Benjamin


Day 14) Spend some time going through the doll closet or wherever you store your treasures, and find something you literally forgot you had.

Look at this cutie! I forgot all about her. I think I had plans to use her as a certain couple's baby, but then I found another baby that looked more like them. I need to find her a family so she can come out of that box.



Day 15) It's time to play favorites. Because I know how hard it is to narrow it down to ONE favorite doll, you get to pick a favorite from three different categories of your choosing. For example, favorite Silkstone, favorite holiday doll, etc. Think outside of the doll box, and include other favorites, too, like favorite accessory set or play set.

The categories I chose for this challenge were Favorite Couple, Favorite Face Sculpt, and Favorite Male Doll.

Favorite Couple: Grace & Darren, Daytona Beach 2017
Favorite Face Sculpt is the Lea sculpt

Favorite Male Doll: Fast Track Victor James


Just like before, I’ll update this post with more pics as I go.

Sorry for the delay in updating pictures, I went to Orlando while all of this was going on, and while I continued to do the challenges, I did not have my laptop to update pics.

Friday, June 30, 2017

SYC Challenge

Some dear dolleagues of mine and I are embarking on an SYC Challenge for the month of July, and I couldn’t resist telling you all about it. 

Back in the day when I used to be an active participant on a fashion forum, members would regularly choose to go on SYC for different periods of time. On the fashion forum, SYC stood for “Shop Your Closet” which was basically a shopping hiatus during which you would focus on wearing what you have instead of shopping for new items and seeking the “high” of a new purchase. Forum members new to the concept often thought the letters stood for “Save Your Cash” which was a reasonable assumption given the fact that saving money is a side effect of not shopping. My friends and I have decided to apply this concept to doll collecting, so I am modifying SYC to stand for “Savor Your Collection.” SYC isn’t just a break in spending, though. That’s what makes it different from the typical doll deprivation collectors sometimes put themselves through. It’s about more than just not shopping. It’s about shifting your attention away from acquiring new things and toward enjoying the awesome things you already own.

People choose to go on SYC for many reasons. Some do it because they want or need to save money for other things. Some do it because they want to break an impulsive shopping habit (been there done that). Some do it because they have too much or too many clothes, dolls, or whatever and they just want to focus on enjoying what they have. And some do it simply because they like the challenge of it all!

Now then, here are the details for anyone who wants to play along.

WHO: Anyone who wants to join us- the more the merrier! These things are easier and more fun when it’s a group effort.
WHAT: Participants agree to make a conscious effort to avoid new doll purchases and participate in the weekly challenges designed to help you enjoy what you already have.
WHEN: Beginning July 1st for whatever length of time you choose. I plan to be on SYC for the entire month of July, but I have friends who will be going to the Barbie Convention at the end of the month, so they will have to end SYC sooner.
WHERE: I’ll post the weekly SYC challenge and my photos on this blog and invite you to share links to your photos in the comments section.
WHY: It’s FUN and you learn a lot (about yourself, about your collection, etc).
HOW: See below. Follow along and have fun. Be sure to share your progress with someone.

Week One: Skip any of these you choose or do some more than once; just remember to Savor Your Collection! I’ll update the post with more pics as I go.

Day 1) Photograph a doll you’ve never photographed before.
During the recent Barbie Collector sale, I ordered the Natalia Vodianova Barbie doll. I have since renamed her Natasha, but she remains a supermodel in my world. Using the magazine cover template at bighugelabs.com, I created a cover photo. It is not necessary to create an account to upload pics nor to create covers. Just be sure to right click to save your work when finished. There are multiple templates to choose from, and you can press the back button to make changes as many times as needed until you get it just right. I hope some of you will check it out.


I also found a photo of the real Natalia V. online. She looked very modelesque with her hair blowing, and I wanted to try something similar using a big fan. Here is that photo.


Day 2)  Play with a doll or item you haven’t played with in months.
I decided to pull out my Mixis Emerald doll and the LIV house that I once designated as her studio apartment. As I was setting the house up on the table, my oldest daughter said, "I was wondering if you were ever going to play with that again." Emerald needed some company, so I dressed her boyfriend Drew so they could have dinner.


Drew suggested they make it dinner and a movie, so he grabbed a new release from the Redbox on his way to Emerald's place. Now they are snuggled up on the sofa watching something good, I hope.



Day 3) Redress one or more dolls.
Portia has been wearing this gorgeous dress and hat since I dressed her for a doll club meeting with a Mod Show & Tell theme. Today, I decided to redress her for her job as Nicolette's assistant.



The ladies in the bar diorama below were redressed before SYC officially began, so I redressed Victor and added him to the scene.



Day 4) Find something in your collection that makes you smile and put it on display for the day.
I may only have two, but I absolutely love my horses. I found a MyFroggyStuff video that shows how to make a horse stable, which I intend to do at some point. For day 4, I  removed my horses from the closet, snapped a couple of pics, and then put them on display for the day.

Bebe is actually a Bratz horse.

Cleopatra is from the new Wonder Woman set available at Walmart.

Day 5) Restyle one or more dolls.
Since Avery was restyled before SYC officially began, I decided to restyle another one of the dolls in the sushi restaurant scene below.


I never cared for Jessie's factory hairstyle, but back when I bought her I wasn't yet brave enough to try a dramatic change. For day 5 of the challenge, I washed her hair, cut it, and then curled it while still wet. I used a small curling iron set to the lowest possible setting. I think her new do suits her.

Jessie BEFORE

Jessie AFTER

Day 6) Photograph a group of dolls based on a theme (e.g., Barbie Basics, black & white outfits, kids, whatever).

David's Bridal collection: Unforgettable, Eternal, & Romance

All of my Happy Family dolls

Day 7) Accessorize!
I sometimes  forget to enjoy the little things, so I got a little carried away with this one. About a month ago, I stumbled across the New York Yorkie accessory set below on eBay for a reasonable price. Look at the little dog carrier!


Ginger wearing the scarf and bracelet while holding the glasses
The bracelet is EVERYTHING. It sparkles like the real deal.
I LOVE handbags and have quite a collection myself. Naturally, that means my dolls love fab bags, too. Here Fefi slips on her shades and heads to the car with her bag and keys.



And for a little more bling, I put Glamazon Adele's necklace on my ADC Club doll who was already decked out in sequins, diamonds, and fur.



Day 8) Open something (a doll, a fashion, anything).
My text group and I took before and after pictures to keep everyone honest. I finally caught the AA musician Barbie in stock last month and ordered her. I have a surprising number of unopened fashions around here, so I decided to open two of those. And I paid a dollar or two each for some cute boxed accessory sets at our May doll show.

AA Musician Barbie, Dollar Tree fashion, Barbie swimsuit, Greenhouse Fun Set



I was surprised to find fashions on my recent trip to the Dollar Tree. I was curious about fit and quality and figured, "Why not? It's only $1" so I grabbed the shorts set shown below. Harper, a petite Fashionista, models the set. I'd say the quality is similar to that of Sparkle Girlz clothing or slightly lower. The shorts will fit a range of bodies thanks to an elastic waistband, and the top, surprisingly, does not have Velcro. It is the lack of Velcro that makes me think it will not hold up well to repeated redressing.


I bought this swimsuit a while back and never got around to opening it. Since Grace is traveling with me on vacation to Florida next week, I figured it was the perfect time to do so.


More to come...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Intense (Photo Story)

Is the suite okay? (Walter)
It’s very nice. Thank you. (Deirdre)
Sean puts down Deirdre’s bags and leaves the room.


May I have her back now? I should change her and get her ready for bed. (Deirdre)
In a minute. I need to ask you something. (Walter)
Sure (Deirdre gulps) go ahead. (Deirdre)
Why did you break your promise to me? Why did you leave? (Walter)



Deirdre tries to choose her words carefully, knowing that any little thing could set him off.


Umm… (deep breath) I guess I got scared. Things grew kind of intense and you… (Deirdre)



You’re right. I know. You’re right. I am an intense guy. I won’t deny it. Baby, I apologize if my passion scared you away. It’s just that I love you so much. It consumes me and makes me overprotective. What you and I have is special, and I have to protect it. Don’t you understand? I could never live with myself if I let anyone or anything come between us. I guess if you’ve never known that kind of love and commitment, if you've never had someone love you so passionately, it can seem a little scary. Let me show you there's nothing to be afraid of. Let’s start over. Okay? Would you like that? (Walter)


Deirdre nods and Walter puts the baby down and then leans in for a kiss. She recoils but he pulls her closer.


Relax. (Walter, whispering)
Walter, I uh I…I’m sorry. I’m not ready for this. It’s not that I don’t want to. (Deirdre)



Shhh, shhh...It won't be like last time. I'll be gentle. I promise. (Walter)
Walter, please...my body is still healing. (Deirdre, beginning to cry)


Dammit! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to feel your heartbeat against mine again, to kiss you, to hold you, to make love to you?! This f#cking pain is more than I can bear! I’m taking all kinds of pills and sh!t just to get through each day! Don't you understand?! (Walter)



I know. I know, but could you wait just a little while longer…for me? Please. (Deirdre)
F#ck!! (Walter)
He flips over a table in anger and the baby starts to cry.



Walter, you're scaring the baby. (Deirdre)
I love you. You know that, right? (Walter, in tears)
Yes, I do. (Deirdre, nodding)
Alright, I’ll just take a cold shower and sleep on the sofa. (Walter)



It’s okay. You really don’t have to stay. We’ll be alright. We have everything we need. (Deirdre)
There isn’t any place I’d rather be. This is all I’ve hoped for for the past year. I wish you would stay at my place until I can... (Walter)



No, I uh don’t want us to move too fast. We’re supposed to be starting over, right? We should take things slow. (Deirdre)
Right. Well, Sean will hang around and keep an eye on the place…so you feel safe. Don’t get any ideas. (Walter)



Okay, goodnight. (Deirdre)
I love you... both of you. (Walter)
Yeah, me too. (Deirdre)


THE FOLLOWING DAY
Deirdre stops by the club to see Robyn. Robyn looks very relieved to see her.



Thank goodness you made it through the night. (Robyn)
Barely. Is that for me? (Deirdre)



Yeah, I figured you’d need a drink. (Robyn)



He didn’t touch you, did he? (Robyn)
No, I managed to keep him at bay, but it wasn’t easy. He scares the sh!t out of me. He’s like a bomb with a broken clock. You know he’s gonna go off, you just don’t know when. (Deirdre)
Well, I made the appointment you asked me to make. Everything’s all set up. She’s expecting you at two. (Robyn)



Excuse me. Robyn, there’s a delivery that you need to sign for. (Fefi)



Will you be okay for a minute? (Robyn)
Sure, take your time. (Deirdre)


Deirdre is deep in thought when a gentleman approaches and speaks.


Excuse me. Don’t I know you? (Kevin)



I don’t think… Wait a second. I do remember you. You helped me out of a jam last year. (Deirdre)



So, it is you. Crazy ex-boyfriend, right? (Kevin)
You have no idea. (Deirdre)
May I sit down? (Kevin)
Deirdre nods.



I want to thank you again for your help that day. (Deirdre)
Don’t mention it. (Kevin)
So, what are you up to? (Deirdre)
I’m here checking some things out. Ms. Anthony wants to tighten up security. (Kevin)



Oh. Are you no longer working for the record company? (Deirdre)
No. Remember that warning you gave me? Well, you were right. Your guy friend… What’s his name? (Kevin)
His name is Walter… and he is not a friend. (Deirdre)
Got it. Well, Walter got me fired from that job. (Kevin)



Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry. That wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t tried to help me. (Deirdre)



Don’t apologize. I had been thinking of going into business for myself. Losing that job ended up being just the push I needed. I do free-lance security work now. And I’m doing quite well if I do say so. I should be the one thanking you. (Kevin)
Then I’m glad it worked out. (Deirdre smiles)


LATER at the offices of Gordon & Webb

We’ll file the paperwork for the temporary protective order today. He’ll be served, and the hearing will be approximately two weeks from now. I’m not going to sugar coat things, Deirdre. Given the fact that you never reported the assault or the previous stalking or threats, it’s unlikely we’ll have enough to convince the judge to extend the order. (Claudette)
What do you mean? (Deirdre)



It’s like this. You don’t need proof to file for a temporary protective order. However, you must prove that the other party is harassing you or poses a threat to have the TPO extended beyond a few weeks. (Claudette)



But… but he stalked me for months and even had me followed by his thugs. He tracked me down after I left town and… (Deirdre)



Yes, but the things we can actually prove happened months ago. Walter’s smart. He’ll lawyer up as soon as he’s served, and his legal counsel will advise him to be on his best behavior until he goes before the judge. Trust me; he won’t put one toe out of line before that hearing. That way he can strut into that court room and pretend to be a harmless, law-abiding citizen. (Claudette)



Then how will I keep him away from Alyssa and me? (Deirdre)



I’m betting he won’t be able to keep up the pretense for long. Once he thinks he’s out of the woods, he’ll get up to his old tricks again. And we’ll build a case for a restraining order. I do worry about your safety in the meantime. It might not be a bad idea to take a class in self-defense, or heck, even rekindle an old flame with a muscle-bound ex-boyfriend. (Claudette)
Goodness, you just gave me an idea. (Deirdre)


Thanks for reading!