Wednesday, March 28, 2012

American Inventor Finalist Darla Davenport-Powell « Good Day Sacramento

Great interview!
American Inventor Finalist Darla Davenport-Powell « Good Day Sacramento

To help this doll get on the shelf at Walmart, don't forget to cast your daily votes for Niya Kids until April 3, 2012.


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Monday, March 26, 2012

My First Diorama

Until recently, I had never had a desire to create a diorama using dolls and miniature props scaled for them because I simply enjoy collecting dolls.  Lack of space for the extras required for diorama creation is another deterrent.  I have enjoyed viewing those created by others and am usually at awe at the intricate detail and lifelike scenes they are able to achieve.

On February 12, 2012, I lost one of my long-time doll friends, which prompted me first to want a doll in her honor.  Not just any doll would do.  I have what I define as tribute dolls in my collection that date back to the 1990s representing family and friends who are no longer with us. These are simply dolls that were purchased and named for the beloved, but for this particular friend, Ruth Manning, I wanted to go far and above what I have done in the past.  She was just that special to me.  For Ruth's doll, I wanted to do a doll makeover.

I decided to use an articulated playscale doll that could sit and be posed.  I chose Christie (friend of Barbie) because the facial bone structure closely resembles Ruth's.  She had prominent cheeks and a dazzling smile.  Olympic Gymnast Barbie's subtle makeup and articulation won me over.

I cut off the doll's original long brunette hair,  rooted salt and pepper gray hair to the doll's head, and styled it similar to the way Ruth last wore her hair.  During one of our many phone conversations, Ruth shared that after chemotherapy, her hair grew back straight. Before treatment, she wore it in a short, cropped Afro that she used to color but in later years discontinued that routine.  Post treatment, her then naturally straight, salt and pepper hair, remained short on the sides and longer on top.  Her tribute doll's hair is not exactly like she wore it, but the color and texture are quite close.

Like me, Ruth preferred to dress casually -- jeans and a tee-shirt (and for her, another shirt on top).  I used a pair of Barbie Basics denim jeans and an extra white tank top and pink long-sleeved knit cardigan that came with one of my LIV Alexis dolls.  To her pink cardigan, I added a pin from my doll pin collection, made using a group photo of dolls by her favorite artist, Helen Kish.  The white sneakers that came with Olympic Gymnast Barbie complete her outfit.  Ruth wore glasses that were either transitional lenses or graduated tinted lenses.  My tribute doll has indefinitely borrowed tinted glasses from another doll. 

I pierced the doll's ears and adorned them with gold hoop earrings purchased from an eBay seller who makes Barbie jewelry.  A little known Ruth fact is that she actually had three piercings in each ear. I was going to replicate this, but after rooting the doll's hair and leaving it styled with the hair covering her ears, I opted for only one piercing in each ear.

Now for the diorama, Ruth often shared photos of her dolls positioned on her living room sofa, which is covered in a soft yellow fabric with a tiny floral stripe.  I found a Barbie couch that is soft yellow to use in the diorama.  While looking through my old pictures, I located one from 2003 that shows Ruth's couch in its entirety with her seated on it holding one of her dolls.  It was as though she led me to that picture.  "Ah ha!"  I thought, "So that's what the couch looked like."  In the background of that image is a tall doll-filled shelf.  This was the inspiration for my diorama.  I am not going to share that picture here, even though she always told me when I asked her permission to use one of her doll images in a publication, "Debbie, you can always use any of the pictures I share with you." 

I made the display shelf for her diorama dolls using a small corrugated box.  The top, side, and inner flaps were cut off leaving just the rectangular shell of the box, which was covered with wood grain contact paper.  I used one of the top flaps to create the tier, which was also covered with contact paper.  Next, I gathered several of my tiniest dolls and figurines, one of which is a Riley with rag doll by Helen Kish that Ruth gave me in 2008 shortly after her terminal cancer diagnosis was made.  Riley along with the other tiny dolls are now part of doll-Ruth's doll collection. 

A picture of the three doll reference books I authored, stacked one on top of the other and printed out on card stock, creates the illusion of real books on the shelf along with the dolls I chose for her collection.  The only doll purchased for for the diorama is a mini Princess Tiana.  Ruth loved Princess Tiana and owned several Princess Tiana dolls and memorabilia.

I used two pieces of tile flooring to create the floor of the diorama.  Images of two framed paintings  were scaled to size and printed as wall decor.  I made a decorative plant using a sprig of live greenery from the backyard.  A red medicine bottle cap filled with dirt from the backyard serves as the flower pot.   Missing from the diorama that I might add later is an upright piano.  Ruth owned and played piano for her church.  She often shared images of her smaller dolls positioned on top of her piano.

My first diorama is a tribute to my friend, Ruth Manning.
So here is my first diorama, a tribute to my friend, Ruth Manning.  (Click the images to enlarge.)

Below is another angle of the diorama followed by a close-up of doll-Ruth, and another of her dolls.
Profile image of doll-Ruth, sitting in the presence of one of the things she loved the most -- dolls!

Close up of doll-Ruth, holding a baby doll that holds a doll -- she also loved dolls with dolls.

Ruth's shelf of dolls, doll reference books, and seated dolls on floor

Doll-Ruth and her dolls (minus the tile flooring, wall art, and plant) remain set up in a room outside my doll room as a reminder of my dear, sweet friend.  I miss our conversations, both online and via land line, but now I can remember her with a visual fondness each time I see her playscale likeness. 

The real Ruth and her dazzling smile can be seen in a 2003 image that she allowed me to include in her online doll collector's profile, here.

The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains. -- Josephine Baker


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spam Isn't Always Spam

"In 2007, the seven billionth can of Spam was sold. On average, 3.8 cans are consumed every second in the United States." ( Really?

Since 1998, I have received TNTC (too numerous to count) actual spam emails and now blog comments identified as unsolicited, unwanted, or suspicious by the Blogger system.  Some comments were correctly identified as spam while others were not.  Frustrating is the fact that comments I have posted to blogs I follow are being incorrectly detected as spam, which is what this post is really about.

I now realize that Blogger has been zapping some of my comments to other blogs for quite a while.  I may have missed out on another blogger's giveaway as a result of this.  I believe Blogger removed my comment to this particular blog post after I saw it published and made a mental note that I was commenter #5. My comment was probably stored under the blogger's spam tab.  The winner was announced as someone else and rightfully so since my comment did not remain in the #5 position.  I shrugged this off as a fluke and decided the doll was not meant for me.

Blogger's spam detection system is obviously flawed. 

Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures informed me that some of my comments to her blog are showing up as spam.  Then Jorge of Clicking Dolls was notified by email of a comment I made to one of his posts that was not visible on his blog.  Like Vanessa, Jorge found my comment under the Comments/Spam tab of his blog's dashboard after I asked him to look there.

To check your blog for legitimate comments incorrectly detected as spam, using the old/original Blogger interface, go to the Blogger dashboard, click Comments, then click Spam.  Hopefully you will not find any legitimate comments, but it would not surprise me if  you do.

A periodic check of the spam tab might be in order for a while until Blogger corrects its flawed spam detection system. 


Friday, March 23, 2012

The President is Closing Shop

"The Essence of" Collection by Trinity Designs, Inc., L-R: The Essence of Lady Ivy, The Essence of a Zeta, The Essence of Lady Sigma, and The Essence of a Delta (Photograph courtesy of Trinity Designs, Inc.)

The reader is referred to my March 5, 2011, blog-post interview of Niccole Graves, President and CEO of Trinity Designs, Inc. for detailed information on this line of 16-inch, articulated vinyl sorority dolls, a first of their kind.

This past Wednesday, March 21, 2012, a little over a year since my interview with Graves, I was saddened to learn of her decision to liquidate remaining doll quantities.  All dolls are now 50% off original retail of $149.  Shipping is $10.  The Delta doll (red gown) is sold out.  As of this writing, the other three dolls, shown above, are still available.

Collectors of sorority memorabilia and/or doll enthusiasts might want to purchase one or more of these dolls before quantities are exhausted.  To do so, click here.

Kudos to you, Ms. Graves for your endeavor to introduce these dolls and their concept to the market and best wishes on your future projects.


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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Carla's New 'Do Before Settling In

Little Missmatched Artsy Girl "Carla" shows off her original loose ponytails as she browses her new surroundings in hopes of meeting new doll friends.

Carla's loose ponytails were okay, but I thought I'd add colorful ponytails holders that match her clothes.

She likes the new ponytail holders...

Carla said she knows she is going to like it here, too.


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Little Missmatched Artsy Girl

Artsy Girl arrived yesterday. I immediately took photos of her in the box, then deboxed her for additional photographs.

Artsy Girl resembles Top Chef's Carla Hall

She's a tall (15-1/4 inches), slender girl who does resemble Carla Hall of Top Chef fame, as Male Doll World suggested.  The younger end of the target market (ages 6 to 106) will probably enjoy dressing Carla, I mean Artsy Girl in the extra boxed fashions.  These can be mixed and matched with the clothing the doll wears. At the time of my purchase, the Little Missmatched website only had one boxed fashion available.   Yesterday there were two and the dolls and fashions remained discounted from their original retail of $40 and $20 to $24.99 and $12.99, respectively.

One fashion pack supposedly makes up to 32 outfits.  That's a whole lot of mixing and matching. The fact that at least one piece is reversible adds to the many ways the fashions can be worn.  Different looks can also be created using the three pairs of socks included with the doll and the three included in the fashion pack.  3 socks, 2 feet, 1 you (as the motto goes for the Little Missmatched real-girl socks, which are sold in packs of 3 to mix and wear in different combinations).  Cute, right?

Her black rooted hair is styled in two side ponytails held with one red and one yellow rubber band.  A yellow ribbon headband accents the hairstyle. 

Carla... I mean Artsy Girl wears a multicolored polka dot tee, pink nylon pants, a gray jacket, mismatched socks, and black Mary Jane-style shoes. She came with a backpack, an extra sock, and a hairbrush.   Artsty Girl wears blue-framed glasses.  I like her better without them. 

She is jointed in the usual places (neck,  upper arms, upper legs) as well as extra joints for the elbows and knees.  The knee joints are quite flexible.  The wrists, unfortunately, are not jointed. 

She's fun, cute, and functional.

I like the name Carla better, so Carla it will be.

Take a peek at what's available doll-wise at the website now.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TrueType AA (Obama) and TrueType AA (Terrence Howard) Comparison

An anonymous commenter to my blog post of August 20, 2010, regarding the TrueType African American (Obama) figure, wanted to know:
Can I add the True Type Terrance Howard head to the True Type Obama body? Do the colors match well enough? I have been trying to buy True Type Terrance Howard but can not find it. I can only find the head.
I replied, "yes," to the first question and promised to take comparison photographs to illustrate the complexion and height differences  between these two figures. 

(TrueType Obama removed his shirt without a fuss for the complexion comparison, but he adamantly refused to remove his tie.)

As shown in the above image, the "Obama" figure's tan-brown complexion has gray undertones while the "Terrence Howard" figure's complexion has a reddish-brown hue.  With a head swap, I think the difference will be unnoticeable or barely so. 

As shown better in this back-to-back image, at 12- and 11-1/2 inches, respectively, the "Obama" figure is taller than the Terrence Howard Figure. 

Note: I did not remove the heads to test whether or not they will actually fit the other body, but I assume since they are both TrueType, they will. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aunty Entity Adèle

Salt and Pepper wig made for playscale doll (rear view)

After I added the last strands of hair to the salt and pepper gray wig that my husband created using the wig cap I made, I tried the wig on Integrity Toy's Adèle Makéda for size. It's perfect for her.

Adèle Makéda with salt and pepper gray wig (still wiry, but tamed a bit with hair wrapping foam and hairspray)

While not the exact hairstyle as that given the character Tina Turner portrayed in the 1985 movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, I immediately thought of Aunty Entity after placing the wig on Adèle's head. It looks like a hair color and style Adèle would fearlessly and fiercely wear well.

In addition to a new wig, Adèle now has pierced ears and earrings.  I recently deboxed a 1995 Barbie and kept the plastic-coated wire ties that were used to secure the doll to box.   Adèle's hoop earrings were made using the ties.  A straight pin attaches the earrings to her ears.

What do you think of Aunty Entity Adèle's new wig?


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Sunday, March 18, 2012

So In Style Barbie Fan Club Membership Drive

So In Style Fan Club 2012 Card

I have been a member of the So In Style Fan Club (a Yahoo! group) since December 2010 and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The fan club kicked off its membership drive on March 2, 2012.  Those who collect So In Style dolls might be interested in joining the fan club.

Membership is $20 per year and includes:
• An invitation to the So In Style Fan Club Soiree at the 2012 National Barbie Collectors Convention in Garden Grove, CA
• Ability to purchase an additional members-only exclusive item in 2012
• Receipt of a complimentary S.I.S. gift in 2012
• Participation in prize winning contests throughout the year

So In Style Fan Club 2012 tote bag
Customized Tote Bag

In addition, members will receive a So In Style tote bag, as shown above, and the So In Style Fan Club 2012 card, shown in the first image.

The club is self-funded.  Membership fees are applied to the cost of the following: Commissioning customized fan club exclusive items, purchasing contest prizes, shipping (membership package, prizes, swag for events), and the costs associated with the annual club meeting at the Barbie Convention.

Below is a preliminary list (subject to change) of what's in store for the group this year.

March - Membership Drive, St. Patrick's Day, Convention Raffle donations
April - Easter Bonnet Online Tutorial, Preview of the Fan Club Exclusive Fashion
May - Club Shirt Design Contest
June - OPEN
July - Barbie Convention
August - Designer Chat, Member's Only Swag
September - Tutorial Open
October - Diwali Theme
November - Toy Drive
December - Holiday Card Swap

For additional information about the group visit the Facebook page, the Yahoo! Groups web site, or contact the group's moderator, Kimberley, by email.


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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Note from Darla Davenport-Powell

I received the following email from the creator of the Niya doll (Darla Davenport-Powell). 
Hi Debbie,
Wanted to send you the latest 1-sheet on the Niya doll! I tried to respond to all of the wonderful folks who responded to your blog, my comment didn't go through however, you expressed my sentiments exactly! I am so grateful to all of the support and love that everyone is showing to help get Niya on the Walmart shelf! Together we will get there!!!

Much love,

I have added a direct link on the home page of my blog for the convenience of casting daily votes (now through April 3, 2012) to help Niya get on the shelf.  There is also a link to the voting page under the New, Fun, and Informative tab of this blog's home page.  So when you visit here, please remember to vote Niya!

I would also like to thank Vanessa of Fashion Dolls at Van's Treasures for her post urging readers to vote for Niya, too.  Thanks, Vanessa!

Just yesterday, Betty A. sent me a private email about the Niya paper doll:

I was amazed when I read your blog entry for Thurs. Oct. 27, 2011 again. I tried the link for the new Niya paperdolls. They are absolutely stunning.

For those who missed my post that includes a link to the adorable Niya paper doll, see it here


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Friday, March 16, 2012

To Wig Cap or To Root?

That was my question.

I am customizing a doll to look like someone. The customization involves changing the hair, clothing, and accessories of an articulated Christie.  I chose this head sculpt because it most resembles the person the doll is fashioned after.

The hair needs to be pixie short and gray. I knew finding a wig in the desired style and color would be a challenge. This is the reason I opted initially to make a wig cap, buy hair, and glue the hair onto the wig cap. The makings of the wig cap are illustrated in the slide show below:

Creating the wig cap was a piece of cake. I have done these in the past for smaller dolls. Curly hair was used for their wigs. Gluing straight hair to the most recently created wig cap proved to be quite a chore. In my frustration, I wound up yanking most of the wiry (Kanekalon braiding) hair off the wig cap and rooting the hair directly onto the doll's shaved head. Surprisingly the rooting tool that I used in the past for reborn dolls worked.

The result, shown above, is my first attempt at rooting hair on a playscale doll. In the future, if I ever do this again, I will exercise more patience, after I buy the proper rooting tools and hair that doesn't fight back.


After witnessing my struggle to apply hair onto the wig cap and later watching me root hair onto the doll's head, my husband informed me that I was trying to glue too much hair at a time to the wig cap. He proceeded to explain how it "should be" done:  "A few strands at a time.  You're trying to rush it," he said.  I rolled my eyes while I continued to root.  Then I challenged him with the following statement, "Here, [shoving the wig cap in his direction] you do it, since you know how."   The image below is what he was able to accomplish in less than 30 minutes. 

It would look better if the Kanekalon fibers were not so wiry, but I can tame it after he completes his process.  He stopped to allow the "few strands at a time" to dry.  He'll fill in the gaps later.  (Show off!)

Whether I use his wig cap for another doll is questionable.  Maybe I will transform a playscale doll into a grandparent after I tame the hair. 


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Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Auction Pictures Added (Kim's Korner)

Photo Courtesy of Kim's Korner

The reader is referred to my initial post regarding the auction of 1000+ dolls that will take place at Kim's Korner in Richmond, Texas on Saturday, March 17, 2012. 

Since my original post, additional photos have been added. If you viewed the images earlier, scroll down 3/4s of the way to view the additional photos or re-view all, if you choose. 

I wish I could zoom myself there this weekend (just to look). 


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Artsy Girl Doll | Girls Fashion Dolls | LittleMissMatched™

(Stock photo)

Little MissMatched Artsy Girl looks fun... I'll know for sure as soon as she arrives.  Uptown Girl was tempting, but I thought I'd be good and see how well I like Artsy Girl (currently discounted from $40 to $24.99) first.  I did order the one available fashion pack.

Additionally, since Little MissMatched is an affiliate, I linked to the Little MissMatched web site through ebates for the 5% cash back.  I also signed up for Little MissMatched email notifications prior to submitting my ordered and waited for the email code, which qualified my first-customer order for a 15% discount, before submitting my order. 


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Girls Scouts Celebrate 100 Years!

Today marks the centennial of the Girl Scouts organization. 

The following text is from the official Girl Scouts web site:

Juliette Gordon Low spent several years searching for something useful to do with her life. Her search ended in 1911, when she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and became interested in the new youth movement. Afterwards, she channeled all her considerable energies into the fledgling movement.

Less than a year later, she returned to the United States and made her historic telephone call to a friend (a distant cousin), saying, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls to register the first troop of American Girl Guides. Margaret "Daisy Doots" Gordon, her niece and namesake, was the first registered member. The name of the organization was changed to Girl Scouts the following year.

The first troop for African American girls was formed in 1917.  Forty-eight years later, I became a Girl Scout.  Although I only spent a year in the organization, I enjoyed being part of a girl group that pledged to try to do its best and to serve God and country. 

A variety of scout dolls and paper dolls have been made throughout the years. The dolls shown below are the few I own. 

Blue Bird (1963), Brownie and Girl Scout dolls (1965) by Effanbee and Avon (the tallest doll) (1995)

Below are links to other Girl Scout (GS) dolls, past and present, a noteworthy GS article:

Dorsey's Dollectibles (a variety of Terri Lee, Effanbee, and other scout dolls from the past)
On My Honor paper doll book includes one AA paper doll depicting the uniform worn in 1918
Barbara Wilborn


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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Ken!

In honor of Ken's 51st birthday, the reader is referred to 8 pages of past blog posts where Ken was featured or mentioned.

Happy 51st birthday Ken! 

To those who follow or happen to find this blog, happy reading about all things Ken.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Barbie: Disco Retro Tee | Barbie Collector

Get 25% off if ordered before 11:59 p.m. today 03/09/12.


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Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Just Realized: Today is International Women's Day

Last year I redressed a So In Style doll as First Lady Michelle Obama (FLMO) in honor of International Women's Day.  This was part of a So in Style (YahooGroup) activity.   We were supposed to dress a doll to represent our state.  My dressing a doll in stereotypical or non-stereotypical Texas attire was not something I chose to do, but I did want to participate.  Instead, I allowed S.I.S. Grace to shadow FLMO because the First Lady ranks high on my mental list of women trailblazers.

This morning as I reflected on other women whom I admire, I began with the following list (in no certain order of their lives and/or achievements):

Harriet Tubman
Mother Teresa
Myla Perkins (doll historian/enthusiast, and author, whose books inspired me to write)
Sojourner Truth
Rosa Parks and stopping abruptly with Maya Angelou... realizing the most important female trailblazer, mover and shaker in my life IS and always will be my mother, who was born this day during the roaring twenties.

Mama during the 1940s (I believe)

Mama holding my sister in 1963

Mama during the 1990s

Mama (right) supporting me in 2005

My mother has endured, seen, and achieved many more things that are important to me than any celebrity or noted figure.   So this year, on this day, the date of her birth (before I visit her in a few hours to shower her with a monetary gift-filled birthday card and the desired Burberry Weekend for Women eau de parfum she requested), I honor my mother, Bea Behan.  My mother has always been my best role model, biggest supporter, and confidante.  She is the most important, graceful, elegant, faithful, caring, woman I have ever known.

Happy Birthday, Mama! May you enjoy many, many, many more!


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Upcoming Doll Auction - Richmond, Texas -- March 17, 2012

Over 1000 dolls are scheduled to be auctioned in an all-day event that will take place on March 17, 2012, at 11 a.m. CST at:

Kims Korner Auction
1646 Blaisdale Road #2200
Richmond, Texas 77406

Here is a link to photos of some of the dolls.  Additional photos have been added since I first browsed and more may be added before the date of the auction.  

I inquired about absentee bidding.   Here's what they said:

We can accept absentee bids with a valid credit card when you register to bid. We will need your name, address, DL number if you are not a current customer. You would call on the day of the auction, typically about 60-90 minutes before the auction. Our clerks are not in to answer the phone until that time. You can also come down and preview before an auction and leave your bids in person.
If anyone wins absentee bids, we can work it just like any Internet transaction. They can pay shipping and we will be glad to ship the dolls out to anyone who wins.
Call or email for additional information not covered here, such as the 12% buyer's premium. 


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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Help Niya Get on the Shelf

Photo courtesy of
Today voting officially starts for Walmart's Get On The Shelf Competition and continues through April 3, 2012! The Niya doll is one of the products seeking Walmart shelf space and needs your votes.

The doll's mission:
Niya is an American ambassador for love, peace, acceptance and unity along with her group of friends from all different cultures. Niya teaches girls to see with an open heart and not just their eyes. Her “I-Can” attitude helps boost self-esteem and provides a positive example to girls worldwide.

Team Niya appreciates your vote(s) to help this multilingual doll get on store shelves.
Read more, view a video, and Vote for Niya here.  (Voting is done by text message or facebook.  Only one vote per day is allowed.) 

Again, voting begins today, March 7, 2012 and continues through April 3, 2012.  Vote daily!

For additional information about Walmart's Get on the Shelf competition, visit their home page

Read a recent Niya newspaper article here.  

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It Never Hurts To Ask - A Paper Doll Story

Last month's receipt of my portrait paper doll (a depiction of me at age 10) by Diana E. Vining of prompted me to ask Diana if she could reproduce it in magnetic form. She could and she did!

My magnetic portrait paper doll's fashion doll

The magnetic portrait paper doll duplicates the paper version but also includes an African American fashion doll for the paper doll (shown above).  The fashion doll wears a peach dress with WLBD initials on the bodice.  This dress matches the extra peach dress made for the magnetic paper doll.  (Diana knows that peach is my favorite color.)

The addition of the African American fashion doll recreates history because I did not own any black dolls as a child. 

Magnetic portrait paper doll with AA fashion doll, five magnetic fashions, puppy, and personalized storage tin
by Diana E. Vining
Unlike the paper version, the magnetic set does not require scissors, it has a tin storage box with a head shot of the paper doll on front.  My name, moniker (Black-Doll Enthusiast and Author), and my web site address are on back.

I love it!

Diana included a thank you card that reads:
Thank you, Debbie!
You sure do make a gorgeous paper doll!


Dolly hugs,
Diana E. V.
I attribute the paper doll's appeal to Diana's artistic expertise and interpretation. 


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Monday, March 5, 2012

Dover and Stardoll Paper Doll Discoveries

I recently browsed Dover Publication's paper doll catalogue which had been in the junk mail pile to discard, piled there until I took time to remove the mailing label and recycle.  Dover has several paper doll books of interest for the paper doll enthusiast.   Many include African Americans.  I took note of the following:
  • If you like political paper dolls, their 2012 Political Circus Inaction Figures paper doll book by Tom Tierney might interest you.  Includes the current and former crop of presidential candidates, Democratic cabinet members and pundits of every persuasion.  Described as containing 52 paper dolls, President Barack Obama is included.  $12.99.
  • Life's a Drag! is Tierney's salute to cross-dressing stars of film and television, includes 17 dolls and 30 costumes.  Tyler Perry and RuPaul are included.  $9.99
  • Ballet Dancers Paper Dolls by Eileen Rudisill Miller includes two unique reversible punch-out dolls to provide young dancers with four ballerinas of diverse backgrounds and a fabulous wardrobe of 32 glamorous outfits with eight costumes for each dancer.  $6.99
  • Teen Pop Stars Paper Dolls, also by Miller is inspired by the pop icons of today.  Two reversible punch-out paper dolls feature four multicultural dolls, each with her own wardrobe.  $7.99
  • Legendary Baseball Stars by Tierney includes 16 Hall of Fame stars with two uniforms each.  The legendary Jackie Robinson is included.  $9.99
  • Action Stars Paper Dolls by Bruce Patrick Jones includes Halle Berry as Catwoman and 15 other movie action stars including Will Smith, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and others.  $9.99
  • Carnaval Paper Dolls with Glitter! by Tom Tierney is a tribute to Rio's Carnaval.  Three paper dolls come with 16 sparkling costumes, plus Rei Momo, the "King of the Carnaval." $9.99
  • Favorite African American Movie Stars, by Tierney, includes 16 costumed dolls with 16 additional costumes.  Diana Ross as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues and Whitney Houston in her role as Rachel Marron in The Body Guard  are included.  (It doesn't look like Whitney, but none of Tierney's paper dolls are exact portraits of the intended celebrity).  $5.95

Additionally, for Stardoll lovers, I found a link to an online Tribute to Whitney Houston virtual paper doll. You might find this one fun, even if you are not a fan of paper dolls.  No scissors are required and this one does look like Whitney Houston.


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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Doll Artist Philip Heath Dies

Dolls by Philip Heath, L-R Aaron (seated), Yankuba (on the shelf), Angelica (standing), and Alessandra

A month after I posted a blog about one of my favorite Philip Heath dolls, Aaron, the artist passed away.  I just learned of his passing while reading the current digital issue of DOLLS magazine.  Heath died November 28, 2011, in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.  I am saddened to hear this.  Although I no longer collect larger artist dolls, I remained a fan of Heath's work prior to his Lost and Found series, referenced in the Aaron post. 

Popular during the 1990s through 2004, some of Heath's dolls are included in my second book, Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion

The doll culture has lost one of its masters.


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Perfect Doll Gift From Above

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.  NLT James 1:17

Lorna Paris and I communicated by phone and text message during the time she worked on the 2011 club dolls for my doll group.   After completing the last two dolls, during one of our conversations she asked if I owned one of her doll pins.   I own two and described them to her.  One is the face of a Native American girl sculpted from polymer clay.  The other is a rock head pin.  After determining that I did not own one of her mini all-leather doll pins, Lorna said she wanted to make one for me.  I became beyond excited because I love her one-of-a-kind dolls!

Referred to as Little Healing Dolls, the mini all-leather pins are dressed in a variety of clothing styles.  Each one has its own personality created by Lorna's artistic hands.  The hairstyles are unique; some have leather hair!  Leather is often used as the stuffing.  They are all completely handmade including the jewelry.

Little Healing Doll pin from the Tribal Batch by Lorna Paris

My beautiful, intricately detailed, 4-inch Little Healing Doll pin arrived this past Tuesday (shown above).  Her wig is made from baby lambskin, handmade by Lorna.  Her tribal outfit and headband are made from calf skin.   Lorna also made the jewelry, which includes gold tone earrings, bracelet, anklet, and multicolored beaded necklace.  My wearable work of art arrived with a note from Lorna that reads:

Hi Debbie!

Hope my little Tribal doll finds you in a good way.  The spirit of God told me to make this for you. Hope you like her. Wear her in good health.

Yours Truly,

Lorna Paris

I called Lorna to express my deepest thanks and gratitude for her thoughtfulness.  I feel honored and very blessed, and wanted to share my good and perfect gift with the readers of this blog.

Little Healing Doll pin, wearing me

Lorna's all-leather Little Healing Dolls, made as pins (brooches) or magnets, sell for $100 plus shipping.  If you are interested in purchasing one for yourself or as a perfect gift (think Mother's Day), contact Lorna through her web site, her Etsy store, on facebook, or email.


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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mmm Mmm Good!

17-inch Campbell's Kids dolls by Eugene 1984

This rare pair of black Campbell's Kids dolls have the copyright year, 1984, incised on the napes of their necks. Campbell's Soup Company appears above the copyright year.  The dolls were manufactured by Eugene Doll Company. They stand 17 inches tall.  The heads are rigid plastic with molded hair.  The arms  and legs are soft vinyl.  Their bodies are white stuffed cloth.  They wear their original clothes.

After learning several years ago that these black Campbell Kids dolls exist, they entered my mental doll wish list.  I was able to remove them from my wish list after they surfaced recently on eBay for a buy-it-now price I could not refuse. 

Early manufacturers of Campbell Kids dolls include E. I. Horsman (1910-1928) and American Character (1928-1948).  E. I. Horsman regained the rights to make authorized Campbell Kid's Dolls in 1948.  These early dolls were fashioned after Dolly Dingle paper dolls by Grace G. Drayton, made of composition, and to my knowledge none (given the name Campbell Kids) were black.

"Mmm mmm good" was the slogan used by Campbell's Soup Company from 1978-2010.  "It's amazing what soup can do!" is their current slogan.

Finding a wanted doll is good; finding a pair together is amazing!


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