Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June (Mail-Order) Brides

I’m dedicating this post to Georgia Girl who I both thank and blame for the collection of dolls I’m about to show you- LOL. 

As some of you know, there will be a wedding in Dollton. In fact, Tony and Brandy meet with the event coordinator who will be planning their wedding in the next photo story. Obviously a wedding story requires wedding dresses. Now if there’s one thing I never get tired of looking at, it’s wedding dresses. I can usually tolerate up to four consecutive episodes of Say Yes to the Dress before the brides and/or their entourages begin to annoy me, because that’s how much I love wedding dresses.

A couple of months ago I was talking about doll wedding gowns with a fellow doll club member. She offered to bring in her stash of dresses for me to look through in case I wanted to borrow some for my photo story. And then she asked the question that started it all, “Have you seen Georgia Girl’s curio of bride dolls?” “No,” I said. She went on to describe the curio full of nothing but brides at Georgia Girl’s house. At this point I’m thinking, "What could be better than a curio full of brides?!" And the seed was planted. 

This is a good place to mention that I started collecting about a year ago, so the only bride dolls I was familiar with were the ones that come in the single packs and boxed playsets at Walmart and Target (i.e. NOT the kind of brides you put in a curio). So, I went home and started searching for bridal Barbie dolls. Folks, let me tell ya, there are some stunning bride dolls out there. And so the seed was watered. But what really made it take root was when I went to Georgia Girl’s house and got to see her curio of brides and the countless other bride dolls stored in her doll room. I decided that I wanted... no, needed a curio of brides.

Most of the brides in this post were acquired during the month of June, but two were purchased in April right after that fateful trip to Georgia Girl's house. I’m sharing pictures of my little collection of brides because 1) June is the perfect time for it being the most popular month for weddings and all and 2) the next time you see them, most won’t be in their bridal gowns. I am a player, not a displayer. In other words, I can’t buy dolls just to pose on a shelf. They must be played with. All of these ladies have been named and given roles in society and will appear in my photo stories… sooner or later. BUT, they will be allowed to model their beautiful gowns when they are not needed for other roles : )

Avon Exclusive Blushing Bride Barbie- African American version
I was originally attracted to this doll for the sophisticated look of her dress. Strapless gowns are a dime a dozen, but Blushing Bride is dressed in a satin and tulle ball gown with long, sheer sleeves. Her dress is accented with silver-trimmed ribbons and white roses. I had plans to debox the doll, remove the dress and accessories, and then donate the doll to charity. Upon seeing her in person, I quickly changed my mind. For one thing, she has the Asha facial sculpt and is one of only two dolls in my collection with this sculpt. Her face is lovely with just a hint of blush on her cheeks. Secondly, I like the medium-brown color of her hair. I am so over AA dolls with two-toned hair at the moment. The Caucasian version of this doll is quite affordable on the secondary market, with the AA version being slightly more expensive but usually available NRFB for under $25 shipped.

Avon Blushing Bride AA- Blaire

I attempted an outdoor pic, but it was too sunny.

Twilight Breaking Dawn Bride Bella
I’ve seen all of the Twilight movies (mainly for the eye candy), and I even read the first book, but I would not call myself a fan. I am, as I said before, a fan of beautiful bridal gowns.  This one gets points for being different. Bella wears a long-sleeve satin gown. The gown has a sheer back embellished with a faux pearl trim. The dress has lace accents, too. Her look is completed with a floor-length veil attached to a silvery comb dotted with tiny faux sapphires.

Back of Bella's Dress

Twilight Bride Bella- Isabella Rossi

David’s Bridal Unforgettable Barbie
The Unforgettable bride was first in a series of three dolls sold exclusively at David’s Bridal stores. Unfortunately, I had to purchase this doll twice. She and the David’s Bridal Eternal blonde were delivered while I was at work. My mail carrier has a habit of leaving boxes in plain sight of passersby, and I live on a street that gets quite a bit of vehicle and foot traffic. No doubt you can see where this is going. Some low life stole my packages off the porch while I was at work. After filing a claim with USPS and getting my money back, I was eventually able to track down another AA Unforgettable bride.  I am still waiting on the other doll to show up at a price I’m willing to pay. I love this doll’s face and her dress. She looks like a princess in her poufy ball gown and tiara. The dress features a satin bodice with shimmery swirl details and a full sparkly tulle skirt. Accessories include a rhinestone studded choker, elbow length mittens, and a bouquet. At first, I thought maybe her facial sculpt was one that I didn’t have in my collection. But after further examination, I recognized it as the Goddess sculpt. I think her face paint is really well done.

DB Unforgettable- Ursula Boyd

I tried but still couldn't capture the bodice detail.

Badgley Mischka Bride Barbie
Again, I was attracted to both the dress and the facial sculpt. The Badgley Mischka bride doll has the Lara facial sculpt. I do wish I had known that her dress was sewn on. That puts limits on how much play time she’ll get. Still, she is lovely to look at. She is dressed in a cap-sleeve ball gown with an intricately beaded bodice and a simple flare skirt. The bodice is covered in iridescent beads and flowers with rhinestone centers. The skirt is organza-covered satin. Her chandelier earrings and velvet purse are the perfect finishing touches. And I love the solitaire ring on her finger. As you can see, I restyled her hair. It was the only thing I did not like about the doll. I put her hair in a simple bun, so I could add a veil. I will bedazzle the top of the veil to complement the dress at a later date.

Badgley Mischka Bride- Mischa

Close-Up of Bodice

David’s Bridal Romance Barbie
The Romance doll was the third and final doll in the David’s Bridal series- released in 2006, and the only one to come with rooted eyelashes. She wears an off-white strapless ball gown with a lace bodice and a full tufted skirt with floral details (gown is sewn on).  The gown definitely radiates romance, but just look at her face…it’s GORGEOUS! I’ve said before that the Lea/Kayla facial sculpt is one of my favorites, but I think it may just be my all-time favorite. I love that she comes with a tiara. Like this doll, I was married in 2006 in a David’s Bridal dress and a tiara : )

DB Romance- Ramona Perry

I'm not usually a fan of off-white dresses, but this one is beautiful.

No, she’s not a bride but she’s just so stinkin’ cute! David’s Bridal tipped its hat to flower girls and ring bearers with the Perfect Pair Tommy and Kelly set (available in blonde, brunette, and AA). I purchased this sweetie on her own- new but deboxed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Kelly doll with this complexion. For that reason, I had to have her.

DB Perfect Pair Kelly- Kenya

Fun Stuff
Who doesn’t love trivia? Now, it’s time to test your knowledge of Barbie brides/wedding sets. I'll post answers after about a week.

1. Which daytime soap opera legend was made into a bridal Barbie doll to celebrate her onscreen wedding? Erica Kane- All My Children and Marlena Evans- Days of Our Lives 
2. Apart from Prince William and Catherine, name another celebrity couple available as a Barbie and Ken wedding set. Elvis & Priscilla Presley
3. Barbie has donned bridal wear from many high profile fashion designers. Can you name three of them? Reem Acra, Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, and Vera Wang
4. Which costume designer, often called the “sultan of sequins”, outfitted the Empress Bride Barbie and the Couture Confection Bride Barbie? Bob Mackie
5. Fifteen years before David’s Bridal paired Kelly and Tommy, a taller “Kelly” was paired with a different ring bearer. Who was it? Todd

One last thing- Bridal Guide created a slide show of their favorite wedding day Barbie dolls. Click here to see it.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

World Doll Day(Tag)

Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van’s Doll Treasures tagged me for World Doll Day which was last Sunday, June 14th

The rules are as follows:
1. List 3 favorite dolls from the ones you got last year.
2. List 3 dolls currently on your wish list.
3. Tag 5 people to do the same.

My 3 Favorites

First up is The Barbie Look Gold Gown which was a gift from Mr. Jewell. I knew the moment I saw her that I wanted this doll in my collection, but I never intended for her to be a major character in my stories because… well at the time I never planned to write any. This beauty actually inspired me to start writing photo stories. And as D7ana pointed out, she steals every scene she is in.

Image from Barbie Collector.com

Next up on my favorites list is Jazz Diva Barbie Doll.  She is a GORGEOUS doll and fully articulated with the most awesome accessories ever. I could not pass her up. She is another photo story star and the camera loves her.

Image from Barbie Collector.com

Finally, is The One World Doll Project's Prettie Girls Lena- a gift from my son. One look at my profile photo, and it is obvious that Lena makes the list. Lena is my doll persona. No, my real name is not Lena, but she and I have other things in common. I need to get her some more camera time. Here she is with her handsome husband, Pastor Jamal Joyner of Trinity Community Church.

My 3 Wish List Dolls

Barbie Basics 2.5 Model No. 04
So pretty and fully articulated. I have a name, but no story for her just yet. That’s part of the reason I’m in no rush to get her.

Image from Barbie Collector.com

Fashion Royalty Fast Track Victor James
What a hottie! I have an awesome storyline ready for this guy whenever he happens to arrive in Dollton.

Image from a Google search

The Midas Touch Poppy Parker
She didn’t win me over right away, but the more I saw her in promotional images, the more she seemed to speak to me. I have a name and a storyline for her. All I need is the doll. I’m putting funds aside in case an opportunity to purchase her for a not-so-ridiculous price should pop up.

Image from Integrity Toys

And now I am tagging the following doll enthusiasts to join in the fun if they'd like to:
  • Georgia Girl (We missed you at today’s doll club meeting!)
  • Brini
  • Muff
  • Phyllis
  • Smaller Places (I've been checking and haven't seen a post from you in a while : )

Thanks for the tag, Vanessa..this was so much fun!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

City Shine Barbie Doll- Red/Asian- UPDATED

*Scroll to the bottom for updated pics, etc.

What was supposed to be an exciting unveiling of Dollton's newest resident will instead be a rant, and here's why...

The moment I laid eyes on promotional images of the new city shine dolls, the Asian doll in the red outfit was on my wish list. Some of you know by now that I'm a sucker for dolls with short hair cuts. Add to that the fact that she has the Lea/Kayla facial sculpt, which happens to be one of my favorites, and I was sold. Plus I love her outfit. I'm not a huge fan of shimmery dresses, but she looks like a friggin' rock star in her shiny top and black pants.

For months and months I waited for the dolls to go on sale, which they did on June 1st. Of course when I placed my order, I was informed that the doll was back ordered (how is that even possible when it just went on sale?) and wouldn't ship until July. Oh well, I'd been patient for this long, what was another month or so?! I'd saved my Barbie Collector quarterly reward specifically for this doll, so I placed the order anyway. Imagine my delight when I received an email last week that my order had shipped. She arrived today. I cut open the box, fished through a sea of packing peanuts (I could fill a bath tub with the packing peanuts from my BC.com orders, but that's a rant for another day), and tore off the tissue paper wrapping to find a doll with the worst hairy eyeball I've ever seen. See for yourself.

At first I thought maybe the rooted eye lashes had somehow been flattened, but closer inspection revealed that they were rooted pretty much in the center of her eye. Completely unacceptable. Where is the quality control? Grrrrr! And I had a body donor all set to go. I phoned customer service about the defective doll and was shocked by the complete lack of service. Apparently I've been spoiled by online retailers like Amazon and the GAP family of stores who go out of their way to make returns hassle-free. They send/provide a prepaid return shipping label and instantly ship out the replacement item BEFORE they get your return...all in an effort to satisfy the customer. Well, this lady told me that after I returned the defective doll, they would ship out a replacement (you've probably already guessed it) in July! On top of that, when I inquired about having to pay to ship it back to them, she told me to place a copy of my shipping receipt in the package and wait to be reimbursed. WTH?! So they send me a jacked up doll and now they want me to pay to return it and wait for a replacement doll plus the cost of shipping? I seriously hope this is the last time I have to deal with BC.com about a problem with an order.

Okay, enough of that...let's look at the doll. First off, this girl's accessories are killer. I'm pretty sure I already have one of those silver cuffs and those black and silver open-toe heels, but the spiky earrings and the bag with its "chain" strap are both edgy and cool. In keeping with the red and black theme, the doll has red lipstick and her fingernails are painted black and her toenails are painted red.

I thought from the promo pictures that her hair would be jet black. It is actually two-toned. It's mostly black with some dark brown highlights. Is it just me or has just about every doll that's come out lately had two-toned hair? In real life, her bob is less asymmetric than it looks in the promotional photos. It is also loaded with hair gel. I tried brushing some of it out, but that just made it look like she had dandruff. When my new doll arrives, she will be getting a shampoo.

She has brown side-glancing eyes. I finally figured out what she was looking at. I'm pretty sure she's been checking out Takeshi this whole time.

Some of you may recall that Takeshi isn't available, though. He's with Jolie. I'd advise Red to watch her back. There's something about Jolie. To me, she looks like the type that might cut a b!tch 'bout her man.

Well folks, I'll be boxing this lady up and shipping her off tomorrow. When I get my replacement doll, I will update this post with her character profile and pictures of her on a new articulated body.

My replacement doll arrived last week.I took a few days to debox her, because I was waiting to be sure we had that necessary connection. Well, she's out of the box and on a new body and I've added some pictures of her. Her name is Meiling and she is a model.

Meiling is on a pivotal Sinatra body. To be honest, the Divergent Tris body was a more exact match (both are supposed to be Vintage tone, but I swear my Tris was a smidge lighter). I needed her on a size 0 pivotal body since she's a model, so I put her on the Sinatra body even though it wasn't the better match. I will be stocking up on Tris bodies as my budget allows. These pivotal bodies are pricey on the secondary market.

Looking like a BOSS!
Her earrings come in two parts. The pointy stakes can be removed.

Now that Meiling's eyes and lashes aren't wonky, she has a contract with Maybelline! LOL

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Townhouse & Studio

Here is a quick post to share some additional pictures and details about the townhouse that was first shown in The Housewarming photostory.

I created the spacious living/dining/kitchen area by using a piece of 20x30 foam core for the first floor. 

The upper floors use actual shelf space, so those rooms are smaller. Here is a picture of the townhouse top to bottom to better illustrate what I mean.

The exterior walls are covered with brick print scrapbook paper, though you can’t see it in the photo. There is a second (not quite finished) townhouse unit for Mara’s dolls to the right of this one. A lovely patio area fills the space in between. That patio is on my list of projects to finish while on summer vacation, and it just needs a few finishing touches to be ready.

The first floor is mostly done. All that’s left to do is make or buy some books for the shelves. There are a couple of things left to do in the master bedroom like make the bed linens (right now the fabric is just draped over the bed) and find a better night table. Also, I think I’d like to fill that air freshener lamp with something decorative. Right now, Thomas is taking a nap while Camille and Grace chat over tea downstairs.

Another thing on my to-do list is to add a proper door leading from the bedroom into the bathroom. For now, there is a solid wall there. The super observant among you have already noticed that the bathroom has changed just a bit since the first showing. I finally got around to blasting away the silly pink lid on the toilet as well as the pink base on the sink. All that’s left to tend to is that pink bath mat. I haven’t done anything about it yet, because none of the paint colors I have on hand go with the bathroom, and I’m not spending  money on paint just for that itty bitty little rug. Both the frame around the artwork on the bedroom wall and the one around the bathroom mirror are those laser cut wooden frames available at Michael’s and other craft stores customized with spray paint.

On to Serena and Tommy’s room- Yes, they share a room for now because I couldn’t be bothered with adding another wall to separate the top floor into two bedrooms. I will do it eventually, though. Looks like the cousins have found a quiet activity, so maybe they won't wake Thomas from his nap. Julian should probably be holding the book, though since he’s the one old enough to read. 

Serena sits on a very pink bed. The beds came together in a set along with two love seat style sofas for $5 at Walmart. It’s one of their new cheapo doll furniture sets. There are other sets available, too. I figured I couldn’t beat two beds plus two sofas for that price. I can’t decide what color to paint them, but they will be painted. I will make little comforters for the beds, too. The floor lamp is one of those Dollar Tree lamps. It was too large to use as a table lamp in their room, so I extended it by spray painting a milk shake straw white and slipping it over the existing pole.

I decided that while I was at it, I may as well show you the progress I’ve made on Emerald’s studio apartment, too. This is the Liv Hayden house I bought on deep discount at Toys R Us last summer.

Emerald has a papasan chair (phone holder) from Pier One which coordinates nicely with the lovely blue Japanese bud vase that I somehow did not capture in the photograph despite intending to. I raised the ridiculously low bed (included in set) using cardboard, but it needs to be higher still. 

Emerald got a snazzy tile backsplash for the kitchen courtesy of scrapbook paper. I needed seating for two that would work with the color scheme and not overwhelm the small space, and then I saw the new Barbie furniture set on Phyllis’s blog several months ago. It was perfect. It looks like it was made to go with this playset, and the same is true for the bathroom set (same one you saw in the townhouse). Both sets were $8.97 at Walmart.

Well, that’s all folks. I should have the next couple of photo stories up before long. Soon, you'll find out the truth behind Brandy and Tony’s whirlwind engagement, and Tony will get some news that will rock both of their worlds.