Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Dolls Given and Received

18-inch circa 1960s high-heel fashion doll marked P11.
Dolls Given

In addition to the My Forever First Lady Bookmark sent to my friend for Christmas, I also sent her another 18-inch high-heel fashion doll to add to her collection.  Shown above, the doll was purchased from a Facebook friend during the spring of 2018.  Plans had been to send the doll in August 2018 with other birthday gifts, but in May 2018, I found a different 1960s high-heel fashion doll, shown here, that I sent my friend instead for her birthday.  Since 14R and other 18-inch 1950s-1960s high-heel fashion dolls are difficult to find, and these are the dolls my friend prefers to collect now, I held this one back to give her for Christmas.

Close-up of her lovely face

She is missing her bridal veil.  Except for the drop pearl earrings and silver high-heel shoes I added, the doll is all original including her off-white taffeta undies.  As illustrated in the second photo above, her face is immaculate, all eyelashes are intact, and her hair is still in great condition.

Possible Dreams Santa "What's in the Box?" #4056203

My friend and I both collect Possible Dreams African American Santas.  This year I sent What's in the Box? by Possible Dreams to her, shown above in a stock photo.  I added a little something-something to the box Santa holds.

She sent Possible Dreams Lollipop Santa to me, which is shown in the next four photos.

Possible Dreams Lollipop Santa #6000705

Close-up of Lollipop Santa better illustrates the little girl's face.

This is how Santa looks from behind.

Lollipop Santa's peppermint-candy-themed gift bag holds a gift and candy.

Lollipop Santa holds a little girl whose arms are reaching for the lollipop he holds.  Santa has a peppermint-themed gift bag that holds a wrapped gift, candy canes, and more lollipops.

Because of their realism, I enjoy collecting Department 57 Possible Dreams Clothtique Santas.  The history is included on the back of Lollipop Santa's box and reads:

Our very first Clothtique Possible Dreams Santa was introduced in 1985.  The stiffened fabric process was inspired by Vintage European Statuettes.  Our unique combination of sculpting and fabrics bring each Santa to life. 
Designed by Ann Dezendorf in the U.S., every Possible Dreams Santa is hand made by a team of skilled artisans.  Each is carefully packaged and delivered with exquisite detail and artistic expertise...

Doll Gifts From My Friend

The Christmas wish list I shared with my friend included only two doll-related items.  I never ask for anything that isn't doll related, but she always surprises with me with loads of other things.  The photo above was taken of the oversized shipping box of beautifully wrapped presents she sent this year.  The doll-related asked-for items which were included and shown next were the 30th Anniversary 2018 Holiday Barbie and a Hallmark Keepsake Barbie ornament which is inspired by that doll.

30th Anniversary 2018 Holiday Barbie and Hallmark Keepsake ornament inspired by the 2018 Holiday Barbie

The 30th Anniversary 2018 Holiday Barbie is the first African American Holiday Barbie with natural hair and is the only reason I wanted this doll as I do not actively collect Holiday Barbies.  I do collect the annual Holiday Barbie ornaments.  This doll has up-slanted almond-shaped brown eyes that I had not seen previously on a manufactured Barbie.  I have, however, seen this done by a doll collector/artist whose online photos of her work might have inspired the Mattel designer's creation of this doll.  IJS.

Take a closer look at 2018 Holiday Barbie

Hallmark Keepsake 2018 Barbie Ornament out of the box

The back of the 30th Anniversary Holiday Barbie's box illustrates the other two dolls in this Barbie Signature collection.  Note that each doll's arms are positioned differently.

Also included with my doll items from my friend was a reproduction of Barbie's #1640 Matinee fashion.  (I was 10 when this fashion was first released!)

Reproduction of Barbie Matinee Fashion #1640
The fashion, which was originally released in 1965, includes a red sleeveless sheath, waist-length long-sleeved jacket with leopard-print fur at collar and sleeves, and red hat with an attached sheer scarf.  Not shown is a pair of red pumps that complete this fashion ensemble. 


Dolls From My Daughter

After she asked what I wanted for Christmas, I gave my daughter a wish list of two dolls.  Sibahle Collection Zuri, a doll that represents albinism and Barbie Mod Friend's Giftset.  


Part of Sibahle Collection's Rainbow Nation, Zuri is a 13-1/2-inch all-vinyl doll.  Her name means "beautiful" in Swahili.

The back of Zuri's box describes the company's mission to create a diverse line of dolls representing different races, skin tones, and skin conditions.

Zuri represents a girl with albinism.  She has gray eyes, blonde 4C-textured hair, blonde eyelashes, and freckles.  

She is dressed in a full-length dress, the bodice of which has black ovals on a tan, rust, or orange (in the back) background.  The skirt has three layers of orange tulle over an orange fabric underskirt.  Zuri can be ordered wearing an orange, pink, or yellow dress.

She wears white undies and has on white flat shoes.

Zuri's hair is pulled up into a high ponytail to create one Afro puff.
In a recent blog post, I shared information and a link to Sibahle's crowdfunding campaign for a doll that represents a person with vitiligo.  I am happy to announce that their goal was met.
Ndanaka, which means "I am beautiful" in Shona, is scheduled to be released in March 2019.

Barbie Mod Friends Gift Set

The week before Christmas, a member of my doll group shared that both Walmart and Amazon dot com had the Barbie Mod Friends Gift Set reduced from $80 to $40.  I had originally asked my daughter to buy another Sibahle doll for me (Neha), but that doll was out of stock.  I thought about asking her to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign for Ndanaka, but because I'd have to wait until March or possibly thereafter to receive the doll, I asked for the Barbie Mod Friends Gift Set instead.

Barbie Mod Friends Gift Set
The gift set includes vintage reproductions of 1968 Christie, Barbie, and Stacey.  The dolls are dressed in mod, brightly colored fashions, and judging from the weight of the box, the material from which they are made closely replicates that used in 1968.  The box is quite heavy!  The box lining is pink decorated with a darker pink "flower power" pattern.  As shown above, they are presented in a box with a clear front panel which provides visibility of each doll almost entirely.  So, for now, I have no plans to remove them from the box.

Close-up of the dolls' faces

The vibrant colors of their fashions and the dolls themselves so remind me of the hours I spent as a child playing with my Barbies (none of which were Black), but the fond memories remain.  I do not recall if I ever owned Stacey, but she is a welcome addition to my adult collection.

In this photo, taken from a downward angle, the dolls' Pilgrim-style pumps can be seen.  Christie's shoes are orange.  Barbie and Stacey's shoes are lime green.

The back of the gift set box describes the dolls' friendship.
The gift set includes the three dolls, three doll stands, and a certificate of authenticity.


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Friday, December 28, 2018

Forever First Lady Michelle Obama Boomark

After purchasing Becoming by Michelle Obama as a Christmas gift for a friend and needing to add additional items to Friend's gift package, I asked doll artist, Karen Oyekanmi if it would be possible (at a very late notice, mind you) to make a  doll bookmark in my Forever First Lady's likeness.  Karen has made other doll bookmarks that I have purchased for myself and as gifts.  So, I thought it would be wonderful to include one made in Mrs. Obama's likeness in my friend's gift package.  Karen was able to honor this request and have the bookmark mailed in time for me to include it in the package that I needed to ship for arrival prior to Christmas.

Selected photo choices

Initially, I submitted the photo on the left to Karen to use in the creation of the bookmark.  Later the same day, after deciding it might be easier and quicker to create a closed-smile likeness, I submitted the photo on the right.  I told Karen I would leave it up to her as to which image she could recreate the quickest.

Preview photo prior to mailing the bookmark to me

Karen replicated Mrs. Obama's image as close as possible including the one-shoulder blue dress she wore in the closed-mouth photo.  She emailed the above preview photo prior to adding the final touches and mailing.

Portrait of Forever First Lady Michelle Obama bookmark is shown inside my first edition, first printing copy of Becoming (I had already wrapped my friend's book.)

The portrait doll bookmark is 12-1/2 inches tall, made of cloth with synthetic hair and painted facial features.  The head is slightly stuffed.

A head-shot close-up was taken with the bookmark leaning against the title page of the book.

In the photo of Mrs. Obama in the blue dress, she wears triangular shaped earrings.  As shown in the head-shot photo above, the bookmark has Christmas-tree-shaped earrings that are embellished with blue sequins.

The feet point to one side, making it easy for the bookmark to lie between the pages of a book.
The blue pumps are painted on and have a blue gem at each toe.

Upon receiving the bookmark, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a mini version of Mrs. Obama's New York Times best-selling memoir, Becoming, attached to the hands!

Before wrapping the bookmark with Christmas paper and mailing it to my friend, I took the following additional photographs to add to my documentation of this one-of-a-kind bookmark of Michelle Obama.

This head-shot photo was taken with the bookmark lying flat.
This photo provides a closer look at the memoir and mock two-piece, one-shoulder dress.
Full view from the back

Close-up from the back illustrates the hand-applied synthetic wig.
As always, Karen did a fabulous job creating this portrait doll bookmark of my Forever First Lady Michelle Obama.


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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

It Was Not Intentional

Dear Readers,

Several months ago I noticed that I was no longer receiving email notifications from Blogger after comments were published to my blog posts.  I reported this glitch that Blogger informed me they were working on correcting.  After this discovery, I subscribed to all comments using the email subscription feature on the home page of this blog (which is visible in the right sidebar when the blog is viewed in web version mode).  I then began receiving email notification of comments, but it recently was brought to my attention that I was not being notified of all comments.

Comments to my blog posts used to be published automatically.  However, because of an increase in spam comments, comment modification was turned on about a month ago.  Recently, I accidentally deleted an email notification of a comment that I wanted to approve.  This led me to the Comments section at the Blogger website where I discovered a host of comments awaiting moderation that dated back to June of 2018!  A few of these were spam but many were comments from faithful and new readers.  I have approved these comments and made necessary replies.

Please accept my sincere apology for this oversight as I appreciate your comments and would never ever ignore anyone.  Now that I know Blogger's comment feature is still not functioning properly I will make a point of frequently checking the Comments section at the Blogger website for dormant comments.

To AOL Users:  Please note that I  have never received email notification of comments made by AOL users.  There is obviously a disconnect between my email provider and AOL or perhaps something else that prevents comments from AOL users from reaching me.  I usually stumble upon comments from AOL users when replying to other published comments.  So do know that if you comment, and you're an AOL user, I might not respond immediately, but eventually I will.

I promise to be more watchful regarding these issues.  Thanks for your understanding.


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Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Dinner with Cousin Mattie's Brother's Sister's People

A happy little girl, named Dell, is shown with dolls and other toys she received for Christmas in 1971.  Upon first glance at this picture, I readily identified Moovin Groovin Crissy by Ideal and Crumpet by Kenner.

Facebook friend and author of the book Carried, Dell Sanders, posted the above photo on her Facebook timeline that was taken on Christmas Day, December 1971.  In the photo, young Dell is seen with dolls she received for Christmas that year.  Based on comments to her post, I understood that she did not know the identity of one of the dolls.   I commented:

You were a blessed little girl. The doll in green is Crumpet by Kenner, released in 1971. The white and black versions are shown at the link.

Dell thanked me for helping her recall the doll's name.  She shared that she spent a lot of time having tea parties with Crumpet as a child.  She also wanted to know the ID of another doll in the photo that she described as flat, bendable and lying in the white cradle.  With a link to an online article, I helped her ID the doll as Ideal's Flatsy, which was on the market from 1969 to 1973.

Later, Dell asked if I knew the name of a type of doll that one of her childhood friends owned. Based on the description that they were "pantyhose dolls," with very expressive faces, I recalled an unused greeting card that a fellow (now deceased) collector, Freda Goldston, had sent me years ago along with several other unused Afrocentric greeting cards.  Freda had sent these cards to me because she knew I would appreciate the artwork.  Dell and I were communicating about this last doll around 2 a.m. CST.  I told her about the card with images of dolls made from pantyhose that I owned that was in my doll room and that I would share the name of the dolls as soon as I was up and about.

The name of the greeting card line was Cousin Mattie's Brother's Sister's People.  Scans of the front, inside, and back of the "Christmas Dinner" greeting card that Freda sent me well over a decade ago are shown below.

Front of "Christmas Dinner" greeting card featuring Cousin Mattie's Brother's Sister's People dolls

 "Christmas Dinner" greeting

Back of "Christmas Dinner" greeting card

In the December 1988 issue of Ebony magazine, the article, "Blacks With Unusual Businesses" by Roxanne Brown profiled greeting cards designer, Cheryl Munson.  A scan of that article is shown next.  Touchscreen users can stretch the image to enlarge the text.  If using a mouse, click the image to enlarge.

Cheryl Munson is shown with Cousin Mattie's Brother's Sister's People dolls and her line of greeting cards that feature the life-size dolls which are made of stuffed pantyhose.

Upon googling, "Cousin Mattie's Brother's Sister's People," the following Youtube Christmas greeting video was the top result.  Click the play arrow to view the video.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas
a Happy Kwanzaa
and a Happy New Year!


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Friday, December 21, 2018

Aldi's Wine Bottle Christmas Sweaters

An ALDI display of Christmas sweater wine bottle covers

A couple of weeks ago, while shopping at my favorite discount grocer, ALDI, I saw the above display of Christmas sweater wine bottle covers.  Initially, I was only going to buy one because I am on a self-imposed spending budget, but my enabling husband was with me and said, "get three."  I really only wanted one, but it doesn't take much to enable me, so I chose the following three.

I chose two Santa wine bottle covers and one with a Christmas tree design.
I knew I would colorize the Santas to keep one for myself and gift the other.  The plan was to use the third one for its intended purpose, a wine bottle cover.

Using an Ultra-fine-tipped brown Sharpie, I did change the complexion of the Santas to brown, as illustrated above.  Only one of these was supposed to be a gift, but I gave both brown Santa-themed Christmas sweaters away.  I went back to ALDI later the same week and all were g-o-n-e!  I even checked another ALDI, but none were there.  Oh well... it's not like I needed any because I have purchased several Christmas sweater ornaments and Christmas sweater wine bottle covers in the past, many of which have yet to be used.  I also still have the Christmas tree one from ALDI.

The ALDI wine bottle covers measure 7 inches in length from the neckline to the hem and 5 inches from shoulder to shoulder.  The actual shoulder length is about 4-1/2 inches.  I knew these would probably fit a 14- to 16-inch doll.  I chose the following doll to model the one I kept.

Totally Coolness Lizette by Robert Tonner wears the ALDI wine cover Christmas sweater as a dress.  It fits her well.

In the future, should I find other Santa sweaters (ornaments or wine bottle covers), I now know I can use a brown Sharpie to colorize as opposed to painting, which I have done in the past, as seen in this photo.

Here is a link to past Christmas sweater ornament posts.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ship Free Beautiful Blessings Dolls, Fashions, Accessories

Beautiful Blessings Deborah models a lovely pink and green AKA-inspired gown.

Reasonably priced, limited edition fashions for Beautiful Blessings dolls include an AKA-inspired pink and green gown and shipping is currently free until Christmas!

Beautiful Blessings Mary models the same pink and green gown.

Follow this link to see all current products and again, enjoy free shipping until Christmas.

Merry Christmas!


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Monday, December 17, 2018

Floria by Anili

Floria by Anili is shown in her original box with the box top removed.
When an opportunity to purchase a doll presents itself that is too good (in your mind) to refuse, you do what your mind tells you to do... buy it!  That is exactly what I did when I saw Floria, who was included with a group of other dolls being offered for sale by a fellow doll connoisseur.  When I asked for additional details about the doll (whose name and maker I did not know at the time, but the doll looked like a Lenci to me), the former owner readily replied:

Debbie, this is Floria by Anili. She is 17.5 inches and is felt. She was an exclusive doll made for Loretta Barrett’s Under The Lilac Store, a local (Laurel, Maryland) doll store which is no longer in business. This one is #2/10.

The seller's drastically-reduced price and Floria's original price were shared and the purchase was finalized.  Floria arrived approximately a week later after having been delivered to my neighbor across the street by mistake.  Thank God for honest neighbors.

Floria's first close-up photo was taken while still in the box.

Floria has a pressed-felt face with dark brown side-glancing painted eyes.  Her hair is a black curly Afro-type wig.

This is Floria's first out-of-the-box photo.
With her head slightly turned, another close-up of Floria was taken out of the box.

Brown cloth was used for the body which is marked 2/10/86 on back, which must translate to mean she is #2 of 10, made in 1986. Her arms and legs are made of felt.

She wears a yellow felt hat that is embellished with multiple colors of felt flowers.  It has a bright pink hat band and is tied in the back with bright pink ties. Her long-sleeved felt dress is royal blue with diagonal bright pink stripes that form a diamond shape.

From the back, Floria's pink scarf and pink hat ties can be seen along with her round paper Anili tag which is sewn to the back of her dress.
A pink silk scarf, white pantaloons, and black felt slippers, which are piped in hot pink, complete her fashion.

Floria's black felt shoes are illustrated here.  Her white pantaloons are also visible.

Floria's basket of flowers is shown from a side angle.

With her right index finger, Floria holds the handle of a natural colored basket in which are multiple felt flowers.

In this different angle, her index finger can be seen which is curved around the basket handle.

Anili paper tag
As indicated and illustrated more closely above, a circular Anili paper tag is sewn to the back of her dress.

Under the Lilac business card
The business card of Under the Lilac (doll shop) is pinned to the front side of  Floria's dress.
Handwritten on the business card is Floria Black #2/10 Exclusive for UTL (Under the Lilac).

According to Doll Reference (an online doll reference site), Anili Dolls were made from 1948-1986.  Therefore, Floria might be one of the company's last brown-skinned dolls.  The site further states:

The Anili Doll Company of Italy, was founded by Anili Scavini the daughter of Elena Scavini (founder of Lenci). 
Anili made Lenci like sculpted cloth dolls and also dolls made of celluloid. Operations ceased in 1986.
Some Anili dolls are marked with a circular paper tag, one was a heart symbol with Anili, Italy inside and they probably used other tags over the years, as well.
After Floria arrived, I shared with the former owner how pleased I am with her and, because of her pristine condition, I asked if she had ever displayed her.  Her answer was, "Yes, I did but not since around 2006 probably. I’m glad you like her!"

Felt dolls are not plentiful in my collection.  I will gather them soon and feature all in a separate blog post.

Doll Reference, Anili Dolls


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