Monday, March 31, 2014

The Doll Project by Tiffany Gholar

Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Gholar

A Review of The Doll Project
By Tiffany Gholar

Using fashion dolls and her own vibrant digital photography, The Doll Project by Tiffany Gholar explores the abnormal quest for skeletal thinness that many young girls dangerously attempt to achieve.

The Doll Project illustrates some of the most drastic measures girls take to reach low body weights and reasons behind their erratic thinking and behaviors.  According to Gholar, there are both internal and external sources that birth and fuel the desire for thinness by any means necessary.  Many impressionable girls develop the desire to look like the unrealistically proportioned fashion dolls that often are their first companions.  Others aspire to look as gaunt as other females they idolize.  The problem is compounded by socially defined and too often accepted ideals of attractiveness, which include a high focus on twig thinness.

Gholar's graphic approach of exposing eating disorders and possible consequences affecting young girls culminates in an attempt to reverse negative body perceptions.  She affirms what everyone should know:   physical beauty is not isolated to one body type or single trait.  

Where to Buy:

The Kindle version of The Doll Project is available here.

Prints from The Doll Project as well as products, including T-shirts for adults and children, are available at Society6.

Author/Artist's website:


Friday, March 28, 2014

Other Fashions for Tiffany Taylor and Super Size Christie

Can Tiffany Taylor wear Basic Colin's fashion?

A reader of this blog who recently acquired 1970s dolls, Super Size Christie (Mattel) and Tiffany Taylor (Ideal), wants to dress the two in up-to-date fashions.  I was asked to suggest possible fashions they can wear.  Since I did not know, I asked others who suggested Butterfly Ring, CED, and Evangeline Ghastly fashions as possibilities.

I was not able to try any of my on-hand fashions on Super Size Christie because she is NRFB.  Since I have CED's Basic Colin Dehan, I decided to see if her denim fashion fits Tiffany Taylor.

Tiffany's body fits in Colin's fashion, but it is obvious she is wearing clothing that belongs to someone else.
Colin has a small waist, but Tiffany's is even smaller as illustrated by the extra room in the waist of the jeans she borrowed from Colin.
Next I tried one of Wild Imagination Lizette's hand sewn fashions on Tiffany Taylor.

Tiffany wears a snug-fitting hand-sewn-for-Lizette fashion
She can wear this three-piece ensemble made for Lizette, but it is tight on her body.  The jacket and skirt are made of a cotton blend fabric without any "give."  Underneath the short jacket is a light blue jersey knit top with a snap closure in back.  I was barely able to get the snaps of the top to meet and had difficulty snapping the high waist skirt.  If she were human, Tiffany would not be able to breathe.

I shared this information with the collector, but I believe finding contemporary clothing sewn especially for Super Size Christie and Tiffany Taylor is the best option. 

Finding coordinating shoes that fit the two will be a separate task.  Facets by Marcia possibly has some.


In the first image above, Tiffany Taylor wears one of the twelve extra boxed fashions made for the doll by Ideal.  I have one additional Ideal-made Tiffany Taylor fashion shown below (it screams '70s, which is why it is still in the box).

Tiffany Taylor's multicolored, double-knit dress has beaded pink plastic straps.

Back of boxed Tiffany Taylor fashion illustrates other separately sold fashions.
The back of the boxed Tiffany Taylor fashion contains black and white illustrations of all twelve fashions that were made for Tiffany Taylor.  The green, pink, and purple dress my doll wears in the first image is the third one from the left in the first row of illustrations.   The mint in package fashion is the first fashion illustrated on the second row, far left. 


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Prettie Girls Lena Inducted into the Black Like Me Doll Museum

Prettie Girls Lena, designed by Stacey McBride-Irby for The One World Doll Project

According to a Facebook status update, Prettie Girls Lena has been inducted into the Black Like Me Museum in Sugarland, Texas.

Way to go, One World Doll Project and Stacey McBride-Irby!  Congratulations to you and of course, to you, too, Lena!

Located in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area, the Black Like Me Doll museum first received coverage on this blog on June 23, 2011.  That post includes a link to a news clip about the museum.

Lena has been featured on this blog in the past as well:
We Are Prettie Girls Lena is Here!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Even Complexion

Mae Ella with stained nose and chin
Mae Ella was discovered to have a discolored nose and chin when I included her in a Dolls with Books exhibit at a local library in February. She had been stored for several years in a black canvas rolling luggage bag along with the other dolls and books used in the exhibit.  I am not sure if the bag is the staining culprit or exactly how it occurred.  She was the only doll affected.

As a quick fix, I applied concealer to the darkened areas and allowed Mae Ella to remain in the exhibit with her companion doll, Willie Pearl, and the book about the two. The dolls are now back home. All, including Mae Ella, are again stored in the luggage bag in plastic bags for protection. Before returning Mae Ella to the bag, however, I wanted to address her stained face.
Acne cream that contains 10% benzoyl peroxide has been applied to Mae Ella's stains.
Benzoyl peroxide (BP), the active ingredient in most acne preparations, is known to remove ink and other stains from vinyl.  I purchased a tube of acne cream from Family Dollar that contains 10% BP.  After removing the concealer from Mae Ella's face, I applied the acne cream generously to her nose and chin where it remained for a full week before washing off.

As illustrated in the "after" picture above, Mae Ella now has an even complexion without signs that the areas had ever been stained.


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Monday, March 24, 2014

50% off Doll Sale @Starkey's Daughter Cloth Dolls

Felice is a 20-inch doll by Starkey's Daughter Cloth Dolls

Starkey's Daughter Cloth Dolls is offering their felt dolls for sale @50% off through 04/26/14.  The above doll is an example of the dolls being offered, which are made on the style of Lenci felt dolls.  Each is one of a kind with hand-painted features, unique fashions, shoes, and hairstyles.  Click the description at the site for any that interest you for size and additional details.


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Queens of Africa Doll

I am now the proud owner of a custom-made-for-me Queens of Africa doll, Nneka.  The doll's fashion incorporates my favorite color (peach).

Part of her spreadsheet entry reads: 
11-1/2 inch vinyl fashion doll; burnt orange lace top, peach/brown/tan wrap skirt, gold headwrap; has red clutch, pink swimsuit, pink hair brush, doll stand and an extra shimmery red gown with sash that reads:  Queen of Love.  Doll has brown painted eyes, light brown rooted hair with multiple tiny braids, twist and turn waist, click-bend knees.
Several tiny braids underneath her headwrap are protected by a rubber band that I can remove, if desired, to allow the braids to hang free.

Thank you, Mr. Taofick Okoya, for your kind gesture.

My other three dolls can be seen here.  I purchased the initial three through eBay.  Visit the company's Facebook page or website for updates on where to buy.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Wal-Mart, New Fashions

A new Wal-Mart opened up recently in my area.  Their sewing center is where I purchased the smaller buttons used for Russell Williams' suit.

While there, I had to check out the toy department, specifically the Barbie section for shoe packs and other accessories.  I purchased the following shoe packs during the first visit.  (Yes, I wrote "first.")

Even though two of these shoe packs are identical, too many shoes is never a problem for a playscale woman.  Husband, who was with me, offered his input.  "Here's a pack with silver shoes (all excited), did you see these?"  (Yes, I see them, was my answer.) He wasn't too enthused with the color of the accessories and added.  "You could paint the necklaces."  Good idea, I thought.  He saw a couple of fashions for Barbie and Ken that he suggested I purchase, but I declined.  I just wanted the shoes. 
In less than a week's time, however, that desire changed when I saw the following photograph on Facebook with dolls wearing one of the dresses Husband suggested.

The Facebook caption for this picture read:  Trichelle steals the show.  (Photograph courtesy of Erica Alford Williams)

While admiring how fabulous these ladies look, I called my husband into the room to view Erica's photograph and asked, "Isn't this one of the dresses we saw at Wal-Mart?"  His affirmative answer included, "I told you to buy that one, but naw, you won't listen to me."  (Rolling my eyes and twisting my lips to the side, I continued to admire the picture.)

What a brilliant idea, I thought, of Erica's photo (she always takes the most creative pictures).  Not knowing who would wear the dresses, I had to go back to Wal-Mart and buy at least three.

A few days before my mother's birthday, I decided to bake a 7-Up cake for her.  My decades' old bundt cake pan has seen better days; and since I didn't want to risk parts of the cake getting stuck to the pan, I decided to buy a new one.   I checked the grocery store near me and other smaller stores nearby, but no one sold bundt cake pans.  This was an opportune time for me to return to the new Wal-Mart for the needed pan and to get those Barbie fashions!

Husband returned with me and helped in the search for the dresses.  I only purchased three, and while there, I picked up two Ken fashions as well.

Matching purple shoes are included and I think the blue flowery looking thing, because of the strap, is supposed to be a purse.  I love this dress.  The fact that Barbie's name isn't plastered all over the fabric makes it easy for any playscale doll with similar proportions to diva-up and wear.

These two Ken fashions will be available for either S.I.S. Darren, Model 17, or the Texas A&M guy (should I ever decide to redress him).
Thanks for the inspiration, Erica. 

(I guess I really should learn to listen to my husband.  His vision for possibilities and future potential usually far exceeds mine.)


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Russell Gets New Buttons and a Little Jealousy

Russell Williams

In approximately 2008, I sent two shirts and a tie to a friend along with a Matt O'Neill suit pattern.  She used these clothing items as the material to make the three-piece suit, shirt, and tie that Russell Williams wears above.  The shirts and tie were clothing items that were my brother, Ronald's.  Ronald passed away in 2007 shortly after being diagnosed with colon cancer and given a prognosis of only two years to live.  (Which was detrimental to his psyche and longevity.  I do not believe doctors should play God and tell a patient how long they believe s/he has to live unless the patient asks. After the diagnosis and grave prognosis, even with surgery and chemotherapy, and possibly as a result of it, my brother only lived eight months.)

As a forever reminder of him, I wanted one of my dolls to have clothing made from Ronald's clothing, who was always very well dressed.

My friend did a fabulous job with the suit, shirt, and tie, but I have always thought the buttons were not the right size.  After sharing the above picture online recently and mentioning my desire for smaller buttons, I decided to make it happen.

Russell holds a package of buttons containing a color that closely matches the color of his suit.
I took an additional "before" photograph of the jacket and vest before removing the original buttons and sewing on the new ones.
The smaller buttons look much better.  To add more realism, I even added two buttons to each sleeve, seen better in the next image.

Conversation with my husband after the jacket and vest buttons were sewn on:
Me (showing him the jacket):  Do you think I should add buttons to the sleeves?

Him:  No, not really, unless you want to make it look even better.

Me:  I do.  (I had already looked at his jackets and noticed some sleeves have two buttons and some have three).  How many should I add, two or three?

Him:  Two.

Russell models his suit without the jacket with the old, over-sized buttons lying below.

The dapper Russell is pleased with the end result.  I know Ronald would be pleased, too.

Additional conversation with Husband the day after Russell received new buttons for his jacket and vest:

Husband (noticing Russell lying on the kitchen counter):  You take care of these dolls better than you do me.  I don't have new buttons on a "new" suit.

Me:  You don't need a new suit and his suit wasn't new.

Husband:  Well, I don't have new buttons on an old suit.

Me:  You don't need new buttons.  His buttons were just too big.

Husband:  If I had a suit that had buttons that were too big, you wouldn't sew new ones on for me.

Me:  Nope, sure wouldn't.  If you didn't sew them on yourself, I'd have the dry cleaners do it for you.

I have added images of the shirts and tie used to create Russell's suit, shirt, and tie and some of my favorite pictures of my brother.

Brother's shirt and tie were used to make Russell's suit and tie

The black material from this shirt was used to make Russell's shirt.

Ronald in photo probably taken at a park during the 1970s.

Same 1970s day

Ronald late 1960s/early 70s, dressed in a brown suit and knicker pants with knee-high boots (that I still have).

Ronald, getting his grub on during the 1990s at a girlfriend's house during the holidays.
 Miss you!


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Friday, March 14, 2014

Liebster Blog Award Nominee

April, author of Of Dolls, has nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award.

I am to answer April's questions, nominate 11 other bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award, notify them of their nominations, and ask them the same set of questions or develop my own.  I added the above image on my own.  (A link to a website that explains the Liebster Blog Award is provided at the end of this post.)

My Questions From April
1. Which doll in your collection have you owned the longest?  My childhood Barbies are the oldest dolls in my collection.  

2. Do you have a specific style/type of doll that you enjoy collecting most?  I collect vintage-to-modern black dolls.  There is not one specific black-doll category that I enjoy the most, but the bulk of my current doll purchases are playscale dolls because of their smaller size and their ease of redressing, if that is desired.  I collect for historical purposes as well as for my own personal enjoyment (doll play).

3. If you could have any doll ever made, cost not an option, what would it be?  If cost were not an option, I would purchase a doll made by early nineteenth century doll maker, Leo Moss, who made dolls in the likeness of family and friends and on commission from members of his Macon, Georgia community.  To own an authentic doll that the hands of Leo Moss created would be the ultimate doll for me. 

4. What is your favorite doll or toy that you have ever had?  As a child, I owned Thumbelina by Ideal.  Based on my memory, she was my favorite childhood doll because she felt and looked like a real baby.  Her mechanical "wiggle like a baby" movement provided just enough realism for me to imagine that I was actually caring for a real baby.  

5. Your favorite TV show (doesn't have to be currently on)?  Admittedly, I am a Gladiator.  Weekly, I either watch Scandal live or a recording. 

6. What are your hobbies, outside of dolls?  I love to read and write.

7. Where would you love to visit for your next vacation?  My home is my favorite retreat, but leaving it temporarily for a 24/7 spa-like atmosphere where I am totally pampered from head to toe would be wonderful.

8. Do you speak any languages besides English?  No.

9. What is your favorite food?  Mexican.
10. Who would you want to play you in a movie about you?  Sanaa Lathan.
11. Who is your favorite author?  Because of her wisdom, my favorite author is Maya Angelou. 

My Nominees in Alphabetical Order Are:
 1. A Philly Collector of Playscale Dolls and Action Figures
 2. AtelierniSHASHA
 3. Chynadoll Creations
 4. ??????
 5. Fashion Dolls at Van's Doll Treasures
 6. Hey It's Muff
 7. Little Bitty Damn Houze!
 8. Male Doll World
 9. Roxanne's Dolls
10. Sipping From the Source
11. Son of Ellis

Questions for My Nominees
 1. What prompted you to begin blogging?
 2. When do you usually write your blogs?
 3.  What inspires or otherwise motivates you to publish a blog?
 4.  What is your favorite pastime?
 5. If your favorite pastime involves collecting dolls, answer this question and the next two (otherwise skip to question 8): What dolls do you collect?
 6.  How long have you been collecting and what prompted you to begin?
 7.  Are your dolls confined to one room or are they in more than one room in your home?
 8. If questions 5-7 do not apply to you, but you are a former collector, why do you no longer collect?
 9. What was the last movie you saw either in a theater or on DVD?
10. What was the last book you read?
11. If you could live anywhere other than your current location, where would it be?


For those interested, I found an explanation of the Liebster Blog Award and several variations of its rules here.

Thank you again, April, for nominating my blog.  Thank you in advance to the nominees for participating.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

She Also Needed a New Home

On the same day my little BJD by Bo Bergemann was purchased (seen here), I purchased Cecelie by Heidi Plusczok, also formerly owned by Michelle Fontenot.  Both girls arrived on the same day.

I rarely buy dolls that are 32 inches tall, like Cecelie, but how could I not fall in love with her sweet face?  Because she was formerly owned by Michelle, I warmly welcomed her into my collection as a forever reminder of her former owner.

Released in 2010, Cecelie is described by her artist as follows:
style : Afro American
size : 83 cm / 32"
edition : 120
hair : light brown curled human hair
eyes : mouth blown brown glass eyes
body : full vinyl body- head, shoulders, upper arm, elbows, waist and
legs are movable
clothing : dark pink under dress, patterned skirt, off-white blouse with
flounces, dark pink silk vest with
rich embroidery
shoes : light pink leather boots (they are actually dark pink)

Since her arrival, Cece has made herself at home and several dolls have freely extended dolly welcomes.

I love this little girl and I am glad I was able to purchase her.


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Monday, March 10, 2014

I Don't Know Her Artist-Given Name

11-inch BJD by Bo Bergemann

Purchased from the estate of Michelle Fontenot, this 11-inch, all-resin ball-jointed doll was created by Hawaiian artist and sculptor, Bo Bergemann.  I was introduced to Bergemann's BJDs approximately four years ago through my late friend, Ruth Manning.  Ruth met Bergemann during one of her many doll convention trips.  After that convention, during a phone conversation with me, Ruth shared her experience of riding the shuttle van from the hotel to the airport with the free-spirited Bergemann.  She described Bergemann as a delightful person and thereafter purchased one of her BJDs.

Several years before the above mentioned convention, Ruth and Michelle met in person at another doll convention.  Both women were members of my WeLoveBlackDolls (WLBD) Yahoo! group (now closed).

In a WLBD group message to another member who needed cheering up about something, Michelle wrote:

Keep a positive spirit about you and you will keep, keeping on.
God Bless
I miss you.

BJDs are generally priced outside my doll-buying comfort zone, but when I saw this spunky little girl with the multicolored dread locks being offered for sale, I asked the cost, which was affordable.  Having been part of Michelle's collection, I am delighted to now have her in mine.

I have not yet discovered her artist-given name.  Until then and perhaps even afterward, I will call her Michelle in honor of her previous owner, who is probably now still playing dolls with our shared doll-friend, Ruth Manning.

Michelle has been welcomed by several other members of the doll family.  I love her!


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