Tuesday, May 22, 2018

South Carolina Doll Exhibit May 23rd through 26th

"Some of Mattie P. Sanders' 2000 dolls belong to the health category.  Often these are dolls with damage Sanders could not repair."

The above image, caption, and article that follows are from a May 19, 2018, article by Adam Parker, published online at the Post and Courier website.

Black doll collection (and more) soon on display at Maritime Center
By Adam Parker aparker@postandcourier.com  May 19, 2018 

More than 2,000 dolls will fill two levels at the Charleston Maritime Center for a four-day expo organized by the nonprofit B.R.I.G.H.T. Historical Organization. The expo, called “Black Footprints: Blacks Past and Present,” is meant to provide positive role models and build self-esteem among visitors young and old.

The collection of dolls will be arranged in ways that mimic human experiences. Collector Mattie P. Sanders, a 74-year-old West Ashley resident, is the force behind the event. Her colleague, Dorothy Jenkins, president of B.R.I.G.H.T. and member of Emanuel AME Church, arranged for the church to provide funding. The project fits well with Mother Emanuel’s youth outreach efforts, Jenkins said.

She hopes the exhibit will draw parents and children and spark conversations about race, family, character and more.

“We want to promote positive values, character-building activities, so that parents will have that opportunity to have that discussion,” Jenkins said.

Sanders retired as a guidance director at Berkeley Middle School in Moncks Corner in 2007. She always has been a visual person interested in affirming the black experience, she said. About 35 years ago she started collecting African-American dolls.

Once she achieved a critical mass, she organized them according to themes: sports, family, holidays, life roles, emotions, etc. And in 1997 she started her nonprofit, B.R.I.G.H.T. Historical Organization. The acronym stands for “Blacks Righting Injustices and Gaining High Triumphs.”

Eventually, she expanded her collection to include dolls from all over the world. Often, she found one in disrepair and went to work fixing it. Dolls she couldn’t fix (because a part was broken or missing), she assigned to the “health section” of her collection.

“I don’t throw away any dolls,” Sanders said. “I am going to do something with them.”

Only once before, at Berkeley Middle School, has she exhibited her entire collection, but she will take small portions of it to schools, community groups and churches to help illustrate a certain theme, she said.

Building the collection has been a labor of love, though Sanders has encountered bumps in the road.

It has been a challenge finding black dolls, she said. “They are not easily visible, you have to look in the back.”

At the Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside St., near the South Carolina Aquarium, the black dolls mostly will be located on the lower level, organized according to theme. Upstairs, patrons will find “The Great Big Melting Pot,” an international mix of dolls from Sanders’ collection.

The show will be open to the public 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, through Saturday, May 26. Admission is $5 for those 11 and up; $1 for children 10 and under.

For more information, go to http://bright-us.org/.

Read the original article here.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Katherine Johnson Barbie

A lovely image of NASA Mathematician and Physicist, Katherine Johnson appears on the back of the Katherine Johnson Barbie's box.
Part of the Barbie Inspiring Women series, the Katherine Johnson Barbie ordered from Barbie.Mattel dot com has yet to arrive, but the one ordered later at a reduced price from Amazon arrived last week. In spite of the reused head sculpt that originated with Byron Lars' Mbili that has been used for multiple others, including the So In Style doll line, the 1950s-inspired hairdo and the cat-eye eyeglasses add to the Katherine Johnson Barbie's authentic look. The complexion is appropriate as well.  The Barbie.Mattel website indicates the doll was designed by Kelley Lindberg and that the face sculpt is the Model of the Moment Nichelle sculpt.  The latter is incorrect.  As I have indicated, the doll definitely uses the Mbili sculpt.

My doll's shipping box appeared tampered with.

The shipping tape on both the top and bottom of my doll's shipping box had been slit as though someone had attempted to open it.  Before opening the box myself, I heard something rattling around inside.  After opening, I discovered what has become the norm for Amazon:  no protective packing materials were added to the box; the boxed doll was inside the otherwise empty shipping box!  Someone really needs to school those people in proper packing procedures.

The rattling I heard was the doll's eyeglasses.  They had fallen to the bottom of the box.  Initially, I had not planned to open the doll's box, but I had to get the glasses.  I made a slit in the tape that held the plastic tab in place on the top of the box, opened the plastic flap, turned the box upside down, and the glasses slid into my hand.

Katherine Johnson Barbie was photographed before retrieving her eyeglasses.  The backdrop of the box is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) lab setting in which several white males are seated at desks.
Before retrieving the eyeglasses, I took the above and next few photos of the doll's box.

Side panel
The side panels are identical with a purple and lavender design and Ms. Johnson's signature inside a gold circle.

The back panel of the box
The back panel of the box features a photo of Ms. Johson above her signature and NASA title.  Indicating she is still alive, her year of birth (1918) - present are below her title.  A quote from Ms. Johnson reads:

"I asked questions; I wanted to know why."  

A description of the Inspiring Women series and a brief bio of Ms. Johnson follows the above quote and is shown below in this enlarged image of that portion of the back of the box.

With her glasses on, she looks more like the remarkable woman she represents.
Katherine Johnson Barbie has black rooted hair with flipped ends.  The production doll's hair is longer and styled a little different than the prototype's.  Her eyes are light brown.  She is dressed in a short-sleeve pink dress that has a pleated skirt, a white collar, white three-button placket, and black ribbon belt.  She wears pearl stud earrings and a two-string pearl necklace.

A spacecraft decal is on the lapel of one collar of the doll's dress and she wears a photo ID necklace. 
A pair of black ankle-strap high-heel shoes completes the Katherine Johnson Barbie's fashion.
As the final paragraph of the back-of-box text indicates, Katherine Johnson Barbie Doll celebrates the achievements of a pioneer who broke through barriers of race and gender.  Like the trajectories she calculated, her contributions inspire young people to excel in math and science and to reach for the stars.

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Philadelphia Doll Museum with Barbara Whiteman

Philadelphia Doll Museum from Temple Contemporary on Vimeo.

Barbara Whiteman is the founder and curator of the Philadelphia Doll Museum which is located at 2253 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The museum was founded in 1988.   Annually each Memorial Day weekend Ms. Whiteman hosted the Philadelphia Black Doll Show and Sale.  The final show was held in 2012.

Read more about the Philadelphia Doll Museum, its mission, and the services offered at their new website, which appears to still be under construction.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

MSDC 2018 Luncheon Souvenir Doll Bleuette

Shown above are an unopened souvenir doll, goodie bags, and literature from the Maryland Society of Doll Clubs 2018 Luncheon.

I was an absentee attendee of the 2018 Maryland Society of Doll Collectors "A Parisian Afternoon with Bleuette" Luncheon.  Held on April 21, 2018, at the Radisson Hotel in Timonium, Maryland, attendees received an 11-inch reproduction Bleuette souvenir doll by renowned doll artist, Goldie Wilson*.  My doll and the rest of my souvenir goodies (all shown above unopened) arrived the following week.  Individual and group photos of these items are shown next:

This label was attached to Bleuette's box.
The luncheon brochure contains images of several different Bleuette dolls along with ads from patrons.  The luncheon menu, a mock boarding pass, and a thank you note from one of the luncheon organizers, Stacia Pate, are shown above.
The delectable menu

Mock airline ticket and boarding pass is personalized with my name.
Goodie bags

Goodie bag contents:  doll pendant/charm, personalized Breakfast in Paris black tea, and an Eiffel Tower pendant
The above photo is my first look at the gorgeous Bleuette!  She is breathtaking!

Out of the box and placed on the included doll stand, Bleuette posed for this and several additional photos.

Bleuette has a porcelain head and a multi-articulated wooden body.

She has a handmade black wig with spiral curls that fall on both sides of her face and down her back.  The top of the hair is short and curly.

Bleuette's hair texture and style are better illustrated in this photo and the following two.

Bleuette has brown stationary eyes and a smiling mouth with upper teeth.  She wears permanently placed pearl earrings that match her pearl necklace.  Her lacy hat, which is worn low, is accented with pink and black flowers.

Bleuette can use her stand to stand or sit when it is removed.

Multiple clear sewn-on beads accent the bodice of Bleuette's white dress which has white lace three-quarter-length sleeves through which a thin black ribbon is gathered.  A wider black satin ribbon serves as a waist sash.
The lacy skirt of the dress is two-tiered.

White pantaloons, white lace socks, and black cloth shoes that tie at the ankles with a black ribbon complete Bleuette's fashion.

As April illustrates in her blog post about the luncheon, this was an upscale event, but MSDC would have it no other way.  Read April's post here.  Read more about Goldie Wilson here.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Christmas in May with Tuesday

A recently received gift-wrapped package with Christmas card attached from Jo Maeder is shown above.

On Saturday, May 5, 2018, the Gladys MacDowell Doll Study Club celebrated its 50th anniversary with a "Gladys is Golden" luncheon.  The luncheon was held in the Washington, D.C. area in honor of Gladys MacDowell.  A renowned wax doll maker, MacDowell made dolls from the 1940s through the 1970s.

In a Facebook Live presentation, Jo Maeder*, great-niece of the woman for whom the club was named, gave a lovely presentation.  The week of the presentation, Jo queried me about my Tuesday doll trio that her great-aunt made during the 1950s and their brother (attributed to doll artist I. V. Roberts).  I answered her questions and gave her permission to use photos of my Tuesday triplets and Cal, their brother.

I was a virtual attendee of the presentation and enjoyed learning additional information about Mrs. MacDowell and Tuesday.  Some of what I learned (and some information I already knew) is, "Tuesday was conceived by Gladys MacDowell on a Tuesday, hence her name. The lore is that she only made ten. I know of seven. Gladys briefly lived with her family in the Canal Zone in the late 1940s. The Tuesday doll was inspired by her visit to the Panamanian Carnival in Panama City and the Cuna India fiesta on San Blas Island in 1947."  During the presentation, Jo also discussed dolls made by other family members. The presentation can be viewed at the link provided at the end of this post (the lighting and volume were unfortunately low.)

The week following the presentation, I received a package in the mail from Jo which contained the above-gift-wrapped box with Santa Christmas card attached.  Photos of the card and the unwrapped gift are shown next:

The inside greeting wishes me "Merry feelings, favorite traditions, peace and joy at Christmas" ("and anytime," Jo added).

The top of the unwrapped gift box is see-through plastic which has a Gladys MacDowell Doll Study Club (GMDSC) 50th Anniversary sticker on the lower right corner.  Visible through the box top is a souvenir postcard with images of one of MacDowell's Tuesday dolls dressed in a red floral-print dress along with front and back images of a Tuesday souvenir paper doll designed by paper doll artist and GMDSC member, Victoria Christopherson.

Did you guess what was wrapped in red tissue paper inside the box?  It was one of the Tuesday souvenir paper doll ornaments that each "Gladys is Golden" luncheon attendee received!  The paper doll artist is also a member of the GMDSC, which is a UFDC-affiliated club.

Made of heavy card stock, the Tuesday paper doll stands 8-1/2 inches.  Like the Tuesday dolls, she has multiple braids which are further illustrated in the following posterior view.

Tuesday's red floral-print dress replicates the dresses worn by some Tuesday dolls (all my  Tuesdays wear light blue dresses of floral or tropical-fruit-print).  Does this mean I will have to find a fourth Tuesday wearing red?  The bodice of the paper doll's dress is card stock.  The skirt is fabric with white rick-rack trim at hem. White rick-rack and a red satin ribbon were used at the neck and waist of the dress, respectively.  Ivory eyelet trims the hemline of the card stock white underskirt.

As Jo noted during the presentation, the paper doll's right foot turns inward like the Tuesday dolls.

I am still excited about owning the Tuesday paper doll and remain grateful to Jo for sending one to me.

Photos from the luncheon, which include additional photographs of Tuesday ornaments, can be viewed on Facebook here.  Watch the "Gladys MacDowell:  A Family Tradition of Dollmaking" Facebook Live presentation here.

Thank you, again, Jo, for my Christmas in May surprise.

*Jo Maeder is the author of When I Married My Mother, Opposites Attack, and Naked DJ.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

A mother's touch is as precious as an angel's touch. Happy Mother's Day... touch and be touched.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

CoCo's Eyelash Change

First seen here, CoCo is my first crocheted doll. Her original eyelashes were plastic craft doll eyelashes. After her arrival, I swapped the plastic eyelashes for the ones shown above, which are false eyelashes made for people that I already had on hand in case a doll need arose.

CoCo's initial eyelash replacement was done with human false eyelashes.

As a rule for me, if the artist or manufacturer's vision for a doll does not agree 100% with mine, I take the liberty to make the doll my own by making the necessary changes to suit me.  Fellow doll collectors, who enjoy their dolls to the fullest, can attest to this practice as well.  With CoCo, the eyelash change was a necessity.  The first pair of false eyelashes worked well to achieve the look of realism I desired for CoCo, but...

Fuller set of eyelashes

... while shopping at Family Dollar recently for a bottle of hand soap refill, I passed an endcap display of false eyelashes which contained the above "windswept" eyelashes.  I immediately thought they would work even better for CoCo and added them to my hand-held items to purchase:  the bottle of hand soap refill and a Snickers for my husband who said, "Bring me back a candy bar," when I told him I was going to the store.

CoCo shows off her newer eyelashes which are more visible than the others.

This profile view illustrates the fullness of the newest eyelashes.

The windswept eyelashes do add the measure of realism I was seeking for CoCo.  Like the first set, I used the adhesive that was already on the eyelash strip to adhere them to her upper eyelids.  If necessary, I can add a few drops of Aleene's Tacky glue to ensure they remain in place, but I do not think that will be necessary.  She and I are both quite pleased with these.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

WaMu Action Teller With Video

Washington Mutual Action Teller
A recent acquisition found on eBay is the 11-1/2-inch vinyl Washington Mutual Action Teller shown above. Found for a price I could not refuse, the doll arrived in never-removed from box state.  While preparing to enter the doll's information onto my doll inventory spreadsheet, after not finding a manufacturer's name or a copyright date on the box, I conducted a Google search and found the following August 7, 2001, article about the two versions that were created.

WaMu's tiny teller dolls drawing high interest

Seattle Times technology reporter
Inspired by the response Washington Mutual got from a commercial featuring a Washington Mutual doll, the Seattle thrift started selling its own action figures. Since December, the company says, it has sold several thousand to kids, adults and even competitors.
The Washington Mutual Action Teller comes in two versions: an African-American female and a Caucasian male.
The man is in standard dress code for the bank's Occasio branches: khakis, a denim chambray shirt, supershiny brown loafers and a sweater vest emblazoned with a Washington Mutual logo.
The woman, with an Oprah hairdo, wears a WaMu-logo blue oxford and a khaki skirt. The two also come with sportier shorts-and-polo volunteer outfits, tote bag and cell phone.
Real-life WaMu tellers, however, are not provided with wireless phones and are allowed to wear black pants if they wish, spokeswoman Sheri Pollock said.
Each doll costs $19.95 and can be ordered at the thrift's branches or online.
In comparison, a McDonald's Barbie made by Mattel costs $16.99 and comes equipped with a tray of McDonald's food, headset, infant Kelly, a tiny cash register and even tiny bills to fit inside.
Action Teller does not come with fake, or real, money.
The dolls aren't exactly Barbie quality, either. Seams run up the figures' legs, and the male teller has plastic molded hair and two prominent craters in his back where the screws go.
Female Action Teller fares slightly better with painted white panties, but her high heels require rubber bands to stay on her feet.
"The response has been very good," said Pollock.

A WaMu trading card, a black cell phone, and extra Committed Active Neighbors (CAN!) program fashion are included with the doll.

Based on the above article, I assume the doll was released to the market in 2001.  The year of manufacture or copyright year was probably 2000 as dolls are usually released a year after the copyright has been established.  Another online article linked to the following promotional video for the WaMu Action Teller dolls.

Below are additional photos of my doll whose "Oprah-style-described" hair looks more like a British guard cap or busby.  They tried.

My doll's bubble-cut hairstyle, as mentioned above, looks like a hair hat.  She has brown painted eyes and a smiling mouth with parted lips and painted undefined teeth.   Her extra CAN! fashion includes a white logo'd polo-style shirt, tan shorts, white sneakers, and a tan CAN! tote bag.

One side panel of the box describes WaMu's CAN! program as follows:
What is CAN!?
Committed Action Neighbors
In the CAN! program, Washington Mutual employees get together to work on projects for non-profits in their communities.  In 1999, Washington Mutual employees volunteered more than 145,000 hours on CAN! projects.  Washington Mutual CAN! teams make effective, meaningful contributions to their neighborhoods while having fun.
The back of the doll's box illustrates a full-length view of the doll (shown below) and the actual way the hair was meant to be styled.

The WaMu teller wears a blue long-sleeved button-down Washington Mutual shirt with a tan pencil skirt and black pumps.

Washington Mutual Bank was purchased by J. P. Morgan Chase in September 2008.  Both versions of the nonarticulated action tellers are frequently listed on eBay.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Barbie Fashionistas #90 and #80 Box Free

Barbie Fashionistas #90 (Rainbow Bright/Ryan) and #80 (Cheerful Check/CeeCee)
The above two Barbie Fashionistas #90 and #80 have been deboxed.  I was surprised to find that the back of Fashionista #90 (Ryan's) dress is purple.

Ryan models the front and back of her rainbow-colored dress which, as indicated, is purple in the back.  Ryan also has very nice, silky, bone straight hair. 

The back of CeeCee's dress is the same as the front:
CeeCee models the front and back of her dress.  The heels of her red vinyl shoes are flimsy; one heel was already bent upon arrival.
Complexion comparisons between Ryan and five different dark-skinned Barbies are shown below followed by Ryan and CeeCee modeling Sparkle Girlz fashions.

Ryan's Complexion Comparisons

Ryan's complexion is darker than So In Style Chandra's.

Ryan's complexion is slightly lighter than Model of the Moment Nichelle's.  Ryan would be frozen into the ModelMuse position if this body were swapped for hers.

Musician Barbie's complexion is lighter than Ryan's. This would not be a good body swap for articulation.

Another close, but not exact, complexion match is Barbie Basics Collection 1, Model No. 4.

The complexions of Ryan and Princess of South Africa Barbie are also close, but not exact.

I do not own any articulated Barbies with complexions that match Ryan's unique deep ebony skin tone.  I was asked if Made to Move Camp/Hiking Barbie's complexion matches.  I do not own that doll but I reached out to someone who does.  Dreamer Dolls allowed me to use the following photo:

AA Camp/Hiking Barbie's articulated body does not match Ryan's complexion as illustrated in this photo courtesy of DreamerDolls.net.  Please see an articulated body suggestion below the fashion show.*

Ryan and CeeCee Swap Clothes and Model Sparkle Girlz Fashions

Ryan wears CeeCee's shirt dress comfortably; however, the rainbow dress is a loose fit on CeeCee.

The two look very nice in the first of the six different Sparkle Girlz fashions.  Before dressing her in this fashion, CeeCee's ears were pierced.  She now wears tiny gold-tone hoop earrings that are on a straight post.  I used the posts to pierce her earlobes.

I tried the floral print dress with side cutouts on CeeCee first.  I like the fit of it on Ryan better.  The dress CeeCee wears was a nice fit on Ryan, too.

This faux blouson one-piece pants set fits Ryan well.  The yellow striped top fits CeeCee, the waistline of the shorts is a little low.  If they are not pulled up high enough, CeeCee faux panty line is exposed.

Of the six Sparkle Girlz fashions, I like the girls in the third set.  Instead of redressing them in those, I opted for the following Sparkle Girlz fashions purchased in the past.

This fashion shows off CeeCee's more shapely legs.  Ryan's legs are thin and straight.

*If you desire an articulated body for Rainbow Bright Fashionista #90 and are unable to find a manufactured one that matches the head color, dye a body using brown Idye Poly or Rit Dyemore.  The brown in both formulations is rather dark.  The longer the body is left in the dye, the darker it will become.  You can either use a brown body and dip it for a few seconds or a white body and leave it in the dye bath a few minutes until the color deepens.  If I were to do this, to have a headstart in color deepening, I would dye a brown articulated body.

I used brown IDye Poly to dye the heads of these dolls.

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