Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Essentially Wild to Tamely Twisted

I was going to give Lizette's unruly crimped wig a twist-out similar to the technique shown here.    However, once I began twisting the layered segments of the wig's tracks, I discovered the twists were looking pretty good.  I also tested one twist by undoing it to see how it would look.  I did not like the still crimped appearance.  So twists it is!

I used BB Foam Moisturizing Wrapping Lotion by Bronner Brothers to smooth out tiny sections of the crimped wig before twisting each.  I applied black beeswax to the twisted ends (this step could have been skipped) and tied black thread to each end to secure the twists (a tedious, long process).  Initially I used black vinyl bands to secure the ends, but several of these broke.  I avoid using rubber bands of any color because eventually with time, rubber hardens, breaks, and crumbles.  The black thread will be a more permanent method to hold the twists. 

Lizette modeled for a series of photos wearing her restyled tamely twisted, formerly wild crimped wig.

In this final image, three twists from each side are pulled back and held with a light blue hair clip.
Lizette asks, "How do I look?"

dbg

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Essential Lizette Dionne -- First Opinion

Wilde Imagination Lizette Dionne, friend of Ellowyne Wilde, upon arrival (click any image to enlarge).

Lizette Dionne arrived this past Friday.  I opened her box Saturday evening.  I am delighted by her beauty.  She reminds me of a smaller version of Tonner's AA Basic Model.

Lizette is 16-inches tall and has brown painted eyes.   Her articulated areas are underneath her breasts, elbows, wrists, and knees.   She is bald with two Velcro dots that adhere to the lining of her wigs.  She came with a story card poem that reads:

Meeting new friends is always a bit scary
I tend to hang back -- I'm just a little wary; 
But some of the drama -- I'm starting to doubt...
I'm just ESSENTIAL
LIZETTE -- and just a
little WIGGED OUT!

Lizette's ears were already pierced, but she did not come with earrings. Before noticing the pearl buttons on her white eyelet camisole, I thought pearls would enhance her appeal. She temporarily borrowed a pair of pearl earrings my children gave me for Mother's Day several years ago.  These were later exchanged for blue studs. 

Lovely doll, but reality certainly sets in after dolls ordered based on their prototype images arrive. Before I removed the black wig from the plastic, I fell in love with Lizette's short brown, boy-cut wig. Before she arrived, I just knew I'd love her black natural-textured wig better.     

Extra black crimped wig

Lizette's first fashion

Lizette is about the same size as Goodreau's Mirror (Cocoa). She tried on a fashion that I purchased for Cocoa last year from the Etsy store, Squarepeg78's Studio. It fits her well... but I knew it would because it was designed to fit Ellowyne or Mirror.    

Next, she tried on a Teen Trends denim fashion. The top and pants fit, but her high-heel feet do not fit Teen Trends shoes. 

As shown in the first image, Lizette arrived wearing her short brown, boy-cut wig.  An extra black crimped wig (the reason I purchased this version) is an unfortunate disappointment.  I had imagined it would be the same texture and have the same curl pattern as the AA American Model or perhaps spiral curls like Libbie's.  Instead, it is coarse, crimped hair that sheds! 

Brushed out crimped wig, dressed in Teen Trends denim fashion

Not a fan of crimped hair, I decided to brush the black wig to give it a more natural appearance.  Bad move.  Brushing made it poofy.  I like coarse, natural hair, but I can live indefinitely without crimped hair.  Crimped hair is too contrived.  Other than my disappointment with the black wig, a tiny scratch on the bridge of  her nose, and right arm that is removable (that I am not sure is made this way or flawed), I do like Lizette... a lot.

Because I am at odds with her extra wig, I decided to see if Cocoa's wigs fit Lizette.  They do!  I took several pictures, one of which is below -- the others can be viewed in a slideshow along with all images taken of Lizette Dionne thus far. 

Lizette wears long black mohair wig (not a Wilde Imagination product) -- view additional wigs in slideshow below.


Which wig or wigs do you like?  Any suggestions on how I might tame the black crimped wig are welcome.

dbg

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dolls Magazine and Doll Reader to Merge

I just received the following "Breaking News" email from Dolls Magazine:
The two premiere publications covering doll collecting, DOLLS and Doll Reader, will merge into one title in 2012 published under the name DOLLS by Jones Publishing. The deal was announced Jan. 27 at the Debut of Dolls and DOTY Awards Banquet during the IDEX trade show in Orlando, Fla. Jones Publishing also presented its Lifetime Achievement award to Maggie Iacono at the same event.

DOLLS and Doll Reader's sister publications, Teddy Bear Review and Teddy Bear & Friends, will also merge this year. Jones Publishing will retain the title Teddy Bear & Friends but increase the magazine's frequency to TBR's bimonthly schedule.

"By working collaboratively with our industry partners, we know that we can help make the industry stronger," said IDEX Vice President Susan Fitzgerald. "This new merger will allow us to reach more people and, in turn, grow the publications and their content. We believe this will also help to develop and expand IDEX, which remains the leading industry show."

DOLLS Publisher Carie Ferg agreed, saying "Uniting two great, long-standing doll magazines into one dynamic title, as well as partnering with IDEX, presents us with a terrific opportunity to use the combined strengths of Jones Publishing and Madavor Media to grow the industry."

The new DOLLS magazine will be sent to both DOLLS and Doll Reader subscribers beginning with the March 2012 issue, which mails Feb. 2. This issue features a sneak peek at what dollmakers have planned for this year. The new combined magazine will continue to feature fan-favorite columns and features from Doll Reader on a regular basis, including patterns by Marsha Olson and Antique Q&A by Jan Foulke, and well as DOLLS' readers favorites.

The big change will come for Haute Doll, which has appeared for the past year as a special section with a flip cover in Doll Reader. With the merger DOLLS will move from 10 issues to a monthly publishing schedule, with one special-focus issue every quarter appearing as DOLLS Presents: Haute Doll, entirely devoted to high-fashion and ball-jointed dolls. The regular issues of DOLLS won't neglect popular fashion dolls and BJDs, but the content will remain suitable for all ages, while Haute Doll specials will venture into edgier fashion and ball-jointed doll releases.

Doll Reader subscribers will have the remaining issues of their subscription applied to DOLLS; readers who subscribe to both magazines will have their DOLLS subscription extended by the number of issues remaining on their Doll Reader subscription. An FAQ is posted on the DOLLS website, www.dollsmagazine.com, to answer questions about the merger, and Jones Publishing has issued an invitation to readers to send feedback, suggestions, and additional questions to DOLLS staff. Contact information and links are posted on the DOLLS website under the "Contact Us" link at the top of the home page.

Jones Publishing and DOLLS magazine have committed to have a strong presence at IDEX, which will continue to be owned and managed by Madavor Media. Look for some exciting events sponsored by Jones at the 2013 IDEX show, including the presentation of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award!

Hobby House Press, Inc., the publisher of my first book, closed their doors several years ago. 

Ebooks and other electronic reading methods have literally written the last rites for many genres of books and magazines -- collectors' publications have been hit the hardest.

Collector Books, a long-time publisher of books on collectibles ceased their print publication services of antique and collectible titles in October 2010. All their books are now electronic.



dbg

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Oh No... Not Another Repaint!

Yes, but my husband did this one... well most of it.  After his critical review of my first repaint, I  challenged him to do better. 

Using Mattel's original Artsy Fashionista (a thrift store find a few months ago, that by the way has one of the most perfect articulated doll bodies), he removed all manufactured facial paint.  A combination of brush-tip markers (we do love our markers) and paint were used for her new eyebrows, eyes, hint of eyelashes, and nostril shading.  Initially he used a dark brown marker for her lip color that I did not like and had him remove immediately.  I repainted her teeth with white fingernail polish and used  iced copper fingernail polish for her lip color.  This was sealed with clear fingernail polish.  The inner lips were then outlined with my trusty brown ultra fine-tipped Sharpie to add definition and to lessen her toothy smile.  All applications of paint/markers were allowed to dry before the final sealing was done.

I did not like her initially, but after "I" defined her eye color and repainted her lips, I have warmed up to her nicely.  She is definitely a one of  kind and needed to be redressed in something that matched her new face.  That pink Fashionista dress wasn't working well for her.




Artsy Fashionista before and after my husband's repaint with my added touches.


For Jorge, a close-up of Artsy (now named Reghan by my husband). This photo was taken before Reghan was redressed.  Click the above image  or the one below to enlarge.


Repainted Artsy wears Mixis Piao Liang Girl fashion*.  Shoes are from the Barbie Basics Look No. 02 Collection 001.5.  I pierced her ears and added gold studs. 

*The pants are adjusted to fit Artsy's smaller-than-Mixis's waistline using double-sided tape at the back closure.

dbg

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Note From and To Brazil Reader


After purchasing my second book, Black Dolls A Comprehensive Guide..., Rossano Gomes and I have corresponded by email on a few occasions.  After sharing images with me, I featured some of the dolls in his collection in a past blog post.

Rossano recently purchased a paperback version of my third book, The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak I Listen.  He sent me a very touching email and allowed me to share the following excerpt:

Hi, dear Debbie…

I should have written before to thank you [for your] book, your letter and for putting the Amazon review I made for your second book on the last cover of your third book…

I love your third book. I kinda could put myself in your place (in the good sense of it), [feeling] what you felt each time you bought or received through the mail one of the dolls you described in your book.

THANX A LOT for translating all those feelings in words and sharing them with your readers.

Can God always give blessings to you and your family.

Rossano.

I replied:

Hi Rossano,

...I wanted to let you know that your kind words about my book touched my heart. The fact that you were able to re-live my experience with each doll lets me know the book has touched (at least) one person and that writing it was well worth the effort. Thank you again for sharing your reading experience with me.

In my lifetime,


Debbie Garrett
Thanks again, Rossano.  Your support is greatly appreciated!


dbg

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Monday, January 23, 2012

How Do You Like Me Now?

I toned down Nikki's makeup in an effort to eliminate the former street "walkerish" look as a result of the initial facial makeover I gave her.

Where I went wrong:  I did not remove all existing manufactured coloring because  I wanted to use theirs as a guide.  Big mistake.  Because of their blue eye shadow on her upper eyelids and around the corners of her eyes, I was forced to heavily shade these areas with a darker color. Instead of removing her original lip color, I covered it with acrylic paint, which was too bright, and accentuated the former doll of the evening look.

What I did to minimize my errors:  The added shading on the lower lids is now masked with concealer (yes, some of my concealer).  I probably could have removed it with alcohol, but I didn't want to chance a smeared mess.  Black and brown Sharpie pens were used to recolor her irises and pupils.  A dot of white acrylic paint adds an illusion of reflected light.  I did not disturb the upper eye shading or her new eyebrows.  Finally I repainted her molded teeth with white acrylic paint and used shimmery topaz  fingernail polish for her lip color.  Her teeth and lip color were sealed with clear fingernail polish.

The following collage illustrates the stages of her transformation.


She's not perfect, but I think she looks much better now.  What do you think?


dbg

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Lizette Dionne Now Available!

There are three versions Lizette Dionne, the newest doll in the Ellowyne Wilde family.  Lizette Dionne is priced from $119 (basic doll) to $149 dressed. Shipping is free within the Continental US until January 31, 2012.

Links to images, Lizette's storyline, and ordering pages follow:

Lizette A New Girl In Town (love her rooted braids and her overall elegance)

Pretty Little Lizette (wigged version)

Essential Lizette (wigged out -- initially I thought this one had rooted hair; love her "wilde" wig the best)


dbg

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Totally Hair Barbie's International First Class Flight

AA Totally Hair Barbie

After being listed on eBay for only a few hours this past Saturday morning, my African American Totally Hair Christie (box date 1991) sold in a buy it now and was mailed the same day.

Prior to the sale, a potential Russian buyer sent an email which conveyed her eagerness to own this doll. Paraphrased, it read, "I need this doll now... I want to do the buy it now... but can you check first class international shipping for me?"

I was planning a trip to the post office anyway and told this buyer I would take the doll with me to get the exact amount for 1st class international shipping. Prior to her email, I didn't realize I could offer first class shipping to international customers for a Barbie-sized package. I had selected the international priority shipping rate as the only option.

Before I left, the Russian buyer replied with a link to the USPS online postage calculator showing the first class international shipping charges based on the weight of the package and wrote, "It's midnight here.  I'll be going to bed soon and don't want to miss this doll."  I felt pressured and told her the calculated price was probably correct, but I would take the package to the PO and get back with her in about 40 minutes.  There is nothing worse (well, there is, but when selling there isn't) than undercharging for shipping, especially international shipping.

After I returned, I checked my email and discovered an Italian buyer had already swooped the doll up and paid the $35 priority mail international shipping. I was shocked and wondered/thought, "Did I have her priced too low? Oh well, she's sold and I'm glad." 

I felt bad for the Russian eBayer, to whom I apologized profusely when I informed her the online calculated shipping charge was correct but the doll had sold.  She expressed her regret for having missed out on the purchase.

I then immediately changed the shipping option for international customers from international priority to international first class. This will potentially cost them 50% less than international priority mail for Barbie purchases. Lesson learned.

If you sell worldwide on eBay, offer first class international shipping for small packages.  Lowered shipping costs will open your items up to more bids from international customers.

dbg

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Monday, January 16, 2012

My First Repaint

First off, let me make this perfectly clear: I am not posting these before and after images of Fashionista Nikki because I am proud of the end result. I am just sharing my first and probably last attempt at doll repainting where facial features are concerned. Painting is not one of my strong points, but I have longed to test the waters of repainting a doll's eyes.  Finally, I did it.

Nikki's original brown eye color was fine, but the blue eyeshadow above and below her eyes was not very appealing to me. Pink lips on dark skinned dolls is also one of my pet peeves. Because her Fashionista body may ultimately be used on another doll, I didn't mind taking a chance on damaging the head with my inexperience at painting using paints and improvising with my trusty brown ultra thin Sharpie marker. (My hand can better control a marker than a paint brush.)



Here's how she looked before.

Nikki now



Above are side-by-side comparison images. Pretty scary, huh? Scary enough for me to move back into my lane of "doll collector/historian" and put the paint brushes and acrylic paints down. 

dbg

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image from AAAC.com (African American Affairs Commission)

While America celebrates your date of birth tomorrow as an official national holiday, I celebrate you today on your actual date of birth.   You have been on my mind for the past several days. I wondered how I would honor you, your life of service to humankind and your ultimate sacrifice of it.

At the MLK National Memorial in Washington, DC, "a 30 feet (9.1 m)-high relief of King named the 'Stone of Hope' stands past two other pieces of granite that symbolize the 'mountain of despair.'" (Wikipedia.com)

I reflected on having watched the televised version of your memorial dedication this past October 16, 2011.  I recalled how moving that event was to watch by television and could only imagine how those in attendance felt.  I know your spirit was there with them.

This morning I visited the official MLK Memorial website, clicked The Memorial link, and finally, clicked the Dr. King's Spiritual Presence link.  I heard your voice... the deliberate words you spoke about The American Dream that many of us are still dreaming.  I decided to share the link here

Dr. King, my initial thought of you this morning occurred after reading my daily Proverb:

"Love your Enemies":

43 `You have heard that the law says, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.'
44 But I tell you, love your enemies. Ask God to do good to those who trouble you.
45 In that way you will be sons of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun shine on both wrong and good people. He lets the rain fall on people who do right and on people who do wrong.
46 If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get? Even the tax collectors do that.
47 Do you speak to your brothers only? If so, you are not doing any better than other people. Even people who do not believe in God do that. (Matthew 5 : 43-47 - WE)

I searched my inner self and remembered that I questioned you during the 1960s when you urged us to "love our enemies" and to "turn the other cheek."  I questioned you still this morning.  I wondered why and how we could do this, but I realize that if everyone would live by these principles, there would be no enemies and no need to turn the other cheek against nonexistent offenders.

Happy birthday Dr. King for being a man of persevering conviction, a man who loved mankind and wanted the best of us for us.  Thank you for your dream, for challenging us to dream, and to do those things necessary to fulfill them.

More Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._Day -- Read about the holiday and about states and senators who resisted and delayed its observance in their states.
MLK National Memorial in pictures

dbg

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Making Red Tails... Support It!

Below is text copied from an email forwarded to me yesterday, by Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures.

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFORMATION
A friend was fortunate to see an advanced viewing of Red Tails.
It's George Lucas' version of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, 20 years in the making, and has a predominantly Black cast, all the main actors are Black. When the movie was finally ready for production, no production company would take it; as a result, George Lucas had to write a check. After production was completed, no distribution company would take it. So, George Lucas wrote another check.
The advanced viewing was sponsored by Wells Fargo and the Museum for Black History Diaspora (not sure of the exact name). The movie is intriguing and has edge-of-your-seat action. It's well done, and certainly worth seeing. I'm urging all of you to see this movie, and tell others about it as well.
Anything we can do to ensure large numbers of viewers in the first few days of release (scheduled for Jan. 20th) will make a statement to the production and distribution companies that WE ARE interested in SEEING this film, AND, that they made a miscalculation.
If each of you tell as many people about this as you can, and attempt to take 4 or 5 people with you to see the film, that will be like a geometric progression, and could potentially push the numbers off the chart.

After reading the above email, I googled, "George Lucas Red Tails," and found the following link, which verifies the difficulty Mr. Lucas experienced getting Red Tails funded.

http://www.reelz.com/movie-news/12838/george-lucas-talks-about-making-red-tails-in-hollywood/

Whether a movie, a manufactured item (such as a black doll), or any market item where the predominant influence is non-white, things are more often than not erroneously perceived as insignificant, without a profit margin.  Financial backing is, therefore, usually nonexistent.

Your presence at movie theaters on January 20, 2012, (or some time during the premiere weekend) and making certain your ticket stub reads Red Tails, will prove those wrong who denied funding requests for this movie.   I suppose, as Mr. Lucas put it, had Will Smith been in it (no offense to Will, but he is not the only talented AA male actor), or had it been full of buffoonery, funding would have been readily accessible.  Mr. Lucas did not allow "No" to stop him, nor did it stop the Tuskegee Airmen during the 1940s.

Watch the Red Tails trailer:




~~~~~~~~~~

Prior to receiving the forwarded email shared above, I had planned to write a post using my Tuskegee Airmen GI Joe action figures (Joes) as my "doll way" of promoting Red Tails starring Terrence Howard and a host of other talented actors.  I even considered redressing my Terrence Howard look-a-like action figure in one of my Tuskegee Joe's uniforms.  Consider this that post minus the intended redress. 

Check out the following former posts that feature or include my Tuskegee Joes...

http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2010/10/gi-joe-tuskegee-airmen.html

http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2011/02/aa-history-museum-exhibit-ends-soon.html

http://blackdollcollecting.blogspot.com/2011/05/memorial-day-and-moment-of-remembrance.html

...and don't forget to see the movie.

dbg


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Friday, January 13, 2012

Shout Out to Steve, the Target Customer Service Guy

New So In Style Darren and Marissa, (Grace and Trichelle are also included in this series).

Before Target corrected the price of the So in Style Rocawear dolls from $24.99 to $11.99, I wondered about those who had purchased the dolls at the higher, incorrect price  -- if that price is disclosed as incorrect (I thought) will they be given a price adjustment? I didn't think Target would do it, but they did in Yvonne's case, who shared her experience in a comment to my "I Heard from Mattel," post.  Her (orchardlady) comment is copied below.

I wanna give a shout-out to the Target customer service guy, Steve, who worked with me today as I asked for a refund of the difference between what I had paid for SIS Marisa in early December, and what she CORRECTLY sells for now. KEY: once the doll’s store item # [not barcode] was corrected in the system, it didn’t match the store item # on my receipt. He listened to me as I explained the emails and letters sent to Target about the pricing, walked me to the doll aisle, checked the shelf tags, and understood that the $24.39 price was for the 2-doll Locks of Looks sets (which, as far as he knew, was what I had purchased, according to the item # on my receipt). Most importantly, Steve believed me … and refunded me the difference. I’m not sure another employee would have done that without checking further with corporate. And did I mention that he had left the returns counter to head out for lunch, but came back thru the door and to a register to help me, the next person in line … ?

If there are others who purchased the So In Style Rocawear dolls for more than $11.99 at Target, who still have the receipts, take the receipt and the doll(s) back to Target to get a price adjustment.   Arm yourself with a printout of this post and/or my previous blogs here and here as proof that the price above $11.99 was incorrect.

Way to go, Steve. What you offered Yvonne was true customer service!  We need more people like you who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to render service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. 

dbg

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

In the City Mighty Real Reese

I plan to discard it, but isn't Reese's box lovely?

Preordered on Black Friday, 2011 with a 20% discount, Mighty Real Reese arrived this past Monday. Unlike my original Reese, this one had no desire to remain in the box for 15 months after she arrived from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She's described by Integrity as follows:
Mighty Real
Reese
The Dynamite Girls® In The City Collection
Limited Edition of 350 Dolls Worldwide

Toot toot, beep beep. She may look like a bad girl but she's all good. From her her cute short-alls with fitted pink blazer, flower choker, purple metallic bag and gold peep toe platform heels, Reese is keeping it mighty real in this look.

Like Vintage Reese from 2010, the head sculpt for Mighty Real Reese is more realistic than the doll released in 2009.

Reese's photo shoot includes comparison images with Vintage Reese and the 2009-released doll.
Immediately freed from the box, Reese strikes a beautiful pose.
Her hair is not as curly as I imagined.  She has two tiny, joined braids at the top of her head.
Vintage Reese's lip and eye color is lighter than Mighty Real's.  The absence of bangs gives the newest Reese a fresh look.
I like the new sculpt used for Mighty Real and Vintage Reese much better than the original doll's sculpt.  The MJ nose on the first doll is what bothers me the most. 

dbg

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reese Speaks

If my dolls were still actively documenting their experiences here like they did for the two year period, from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009, Dynamite Girls Reese from 2009 (box date 2008) would write:


January 10, 2012,

I am so glad Debbie read Jorge's post and was inspired to finally remove me from my box today. Off and on for the 15 months I've been here, she's been saying she was going to free me. Oh yeah, I've had a photo shoot and she's shared pictures of me on her blog, but that doesn't even come close to being totally free.   Cardboard and plastic ties are so confining!

After reading Jorge's post and seeing what he has done with his lovely doll (my twin), I am now free, allowed to mingle with several of the other ladies.  With enough mingling and utilizing my social butterfly skills, I might even find a male companion.  I am so looking forward to that!

Thank you Jorge for inspiring Debbie to set me free... finally!

Peace,

Reese (who's single and loves to mingle)
Reese listens intently as last year's Reese and Barbie share some of the doll room secrets. 

Reese has outted me. After viewing Jorge's wonderful pictures yesterday, I lifted the top of my doll's box and mentally said, "I'm going to remove this doll from the box." I even posted a comment on Jorge's blog about my intention.  After 15 months, Reese is now free, and mingling is an understatement  to describe what she's been doing in the doll room.  She acts as though she's known the females and males for years.  So far, everyone loves her.  A couple have coveted her fashion, but she's not giving it up.  Ultimately, I may use her body for someone else because her unrealistic-looking head sculpt, particularly her barely there nose, is one of the reasons I kept her in the box.  I prefer playscale dolls that look like real people.  Reese doesn't capture the look I desire, but like a few of the others  here, I love her fashion!


dbg

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Researcher Looking for Doll Collectors in NY Area

I received an email from researcher, Sabreena Peters of Makin' Movies Inc., seeking to interview people in the NY area who collect black dolls.  She and her associate(s) will be in the New York area on January 20 and 21, 2012.

Sabreena wrote:
I’m currently working on a documentary about doll collectors in general, and we are really hoping to find some black doll collectors to speak with, as we are extremely interested in learning more about the unique perspective and experience. Right now we are in development, so we are looking for people to speak with as part of our research, as well as potential subjects. We are based in Toronto, but will be going to New York and Halifax in the coming weeks... I wanted to see if you knew anyone in any of those areas that you think might be interested in speaking with us, or if you have any suggestions on how we can best get in touch with people with in the black doll collecting community. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as well. I would also be very interested in speaking with you as well [about] your own personal experience, if you have time to do a phone interview.
To find out more about our documentary, you can take a look at our facebook page at www.facebook.com/livingdollsdoc or our webpage at www.livingdolls.ca.
NY residents interested in sharing your black doll or general doll collecting experience with Sabreena should visit the Facebook and/or web page links included above or email Sabreena directly at: sabreena@makinmovies.tv

dbg

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Monday, January 9, 2012

The Ones that Almost Got Away

To refresh your memory or introduce you to this continuation blog post, in December, a would-be thief attempted to steal a package from my porch that was left unattended by UPS. A neighbor (angel) witnessed the crime and called the police, who recovered the package minutes after it was stolen.

The following dolls are the ones that almost got away:

Nina in Bold Print and Nina Ballerina by Robert Tonner, 1994

Full view of the two Ninas

Duplicate dolls in the collection, Amalia and Kyra by Helen Kish -- the seller's price was too low to refuse this double-doll auction, even though I already owned dolls like these.

The duplicate Kish dolls joined the twins who were already here.

Imagine my devastation had the box not been recovered by the police.
~~~~~~~~~~
With subsequent deliveries, the postman always knocks now each time he has a package for me. UPS, on the other hand does not knock or ring the doorbell, even though I called and requested them to do so after the incident occurred and despite the orange neon sticky note on my mailbox that instructs them to please knock.

I did enroll in UPS My Choice to receive email alerts 24 hours before a package is scheduled to be delivered.  With this service, UPS sends an email alert the day of delivery and after the package is delivered.  So far this has worked well. 

I continue to thank God for my neighbor and for the police officers' immediate response.

dbg

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

And the Winner Is!

Congratulations!As illustrated in the screen capture of the number generated by Custom Random Number Generator, commenter #3, Chynadoll, is the winner of the items shown in Giveaway #2.  Please email your address to me to claim your prize!  Thanks to all who participated and thanks to all followers of this blog.   

dbg

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Seen at Target Today

So In Style Barbie (Grace) in her Glam Convertible



I saw this today at Target while there checking the current price of the new So In Style Rocawear dolls.  Correctly priced at $19.99 and looking great seated in her purple convertible, I left Grace and car there.

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We Effected Change!

(For those who did not read my initial post and the followup regarding Target's overprice of the new So In Style Rocawear dolls, click here and here.  For those who read these two posts, proceed on with today's update.)

With those initial emails and phone calls to Mattel and Target, followed by letters to Target Executive Offices with copies to Mattel's corporate office, we have effected change... at least in some markets where overpricing of the new So In Style Rocawear dolls has been corrected.

Yesterday, Van's Doll Treasures posted an update on the dolls' price in her area.  They are now $11.99 at two Target stores in Georgia.

In my PO Box today was a letter from "Amy" (no last name given) of Target Guest Relations in response to my December 29, 2011, letter to them.

She wrote:

Dear Debbie Garrett

Thanks for taking the time to ask us about the Mattel dolls.

While the information you have requested is proprietary, I can pass your concerns to our buying department for review.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and look forward to showing you what's new at Target!

Sincerely,

Amy

Target Guest Relations
www.target.com
(800) 440-0680

Mattel received a copy of my Target letter, but I have not heard from them in print.   Amy's letter is rather noncommittal, but as they say, action speaks louder than words.  I wanted action.

Today I returned to the Target nearest me where the dolls are now correctly priced $11.99, which is even lower than Mattel's suggested retail of $14.99. In some areas the dolls had been as much as $24.99 prior to our collective complaints.

My sincere thanks goes to all who checked and reported prices and to those who emailed, phoned and/or wrote Target and/or Mattel to bring this price discrepancy to their attention. Let's not stop here. Remain vigilant for these types of discrepancies and inconsistencies in other areas of life. It happens all the time and will continue to happen if we remain mute.   If it negatively affects one of us, it negatively affects all of us.

~*~*~*~*~*~*

Darren and Marisa were the only two Rocawear dolls available at Target today. I had no initial plans to purchase any of these dolls because of their lack of articulation. However, since Target listened and corrected the pricing error, I brought them home.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Running the Numbers

This morning I recorded the last 2011 doll inventory worksheet entry. I was startled when I reached line 101. Did I really purchase 100 dolls in 2011?  (The first line contains the column headings.) 

Snapshot of Excel 2011 doll inventory worksheet

I filtered the worksheet columns to determine how many gift entries the worksheet includes and discovered a combination of 19 dolls received as gifts or purchased as gifts.  That leaves a sum total of  81 dolls I purchased for myself -- too many to add to an already burgeoning doll population.

Midway into 2011, I stopped recording dolls purchased as gifts, so I know the gift total is not accurate.  The total of dolls purchased for myself may be also be slightly off, but not in my favor.  I may have forgotten to record a purchase or two.

I felt slightly better after comparing this year's total with the staggering 141 and 144 totals from 2010 and 2009, respectively.  In my defense, some entries for the three consecutive years are for paper dolls, which do not require much space, and in 2011 I did begin to downsize my collection. Through eBay and doll lay aways, I found new homes for 42 dolls.

In 2012 and the years to follow, I resolve to do better by enjoying what I have and downsizing even more.  It's a must!

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Giveaway #2 for 1 of 170


The second giveaway includes a new, never-removed-from-box Fashionistas Nikki, a boxed set of three Barbie party-style fashions, two pairs of flower-shaped earrings, and an extra Fashionistas head, the hair of which has been restyled by me. The extra head is from an original Artsy Fashionista and has been placed on the Swappin’ Styles base, which is included in this giveaway.  The head pops off the base easily because I removed the neck knob from the base.   Added to the extra head are faux diamond earrings and a matching necklace. Two beauty marks, one above the lip and one on the side of the face, were also added to the face of the extra head.

There are multiple-use possibilities for the items in this giveaway:
  1. Nikki can be enjoyed as is.
  2. Nikki’s multi-articulated body can be used with another head of your choice that matches the complexion.
  3. The fashions and jewelry are appropriate for Nikki to wear to party engagements as she continues to celebrate the New Year.
  4. The extra fashions and jewelry can be used for other dolls in your collection.
  5. The extra head with custom hairstyle gives Nikki an alternate look.
  6. The extra head can be used with another body with matching complexion.

What You See is What the Winner Receives
Barbie fashion assortment T4895V2640, two pairs of flower-shaped earrings, Fashionistas Nikki, extra restyled Artsy Fashionistas head on Swappin' Styles base with faux diamond earrings and necklace.



Rule to Enter: If you are one of the current 170 followers* of this blog, post a comment stating your desire to participate in this giveaway. (Note: No comment is necessary if you do not desire to participate.)

Be sure your comment is published. See Comment Procedure below**.

Comments from those who enter will be assigned a number in the order the comment is placed. The winning number will be selected by me using Custom Random Number Generator.

The drawing will be held and the winner announced on Sunday, January 8, 2012. Nikki, the boxed fashions, earrings, extra head and necklace will be mailed within 24-48 hours after the winner has claimed this giveaway.

International followers, who are among the current 170 followers of this blog, may participate but will be responsible for the cost of shipping. Shipping is free to US residents.

Thanks to all my faithful followers and good luck should you choose to enter!  (Remember, do not comment if you do not desire to enter.)

*Current followers: You became a follower of this blog prior to this date and your blogger ID was listed among the 170 people who follow this blog prior to this date. My blog is also listed under the blogger sites you have joined.

**Comment Procedure:
  • Click the Post Comment link of this post.
  • Type your desire to enter this giveaway in the comment box.
  • Click either Publish Your Comment or Preview.
  • Enter the verification word.
  • Click Publish.
  • When you see the statement: Your comment has been saved, (it has), but refresh the screen and view the comments section of the post to be sure your comment was saved.
If you have trouble placing your comment, email me, and I will post the comment for you as soon as your request is received.

Good luck, and continue to have a Happy, Prosperous-in-mind-body-spirit-and-finances New Year!


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