Sunday, January 31, 2021

A Ken Clone, Ken #162, and His Twin

Circa 1980s Ken Clone "James"


A Ken clone sold without clothes and said to be named James arrived recently. Several years ago, I saw the same dollar-store-type Ken clone in a blog post by A Philly Collector of Playscale and Action Figures. Her doll has a darker complexion. I do not recall if her doll's name is James. The name Steve keeps popping up in my head, but that might be because I recently found another Ken clone named Steve.

James has a very broad nose. Based on this, I can safely assume this sculpt, marked MADE IN/CHINA on the back, was only used for Black dolls. He has a jointed waist.


Steve by Fibre-Craft and James

James is shown above with the Ken clone, Steve. Note the height difference. 



Recall from a previous post that I ordered two Ken Fashionista #162 dolls. My plan had always been to redress one and to keep the other in the package. That task has been completed and Steve was given Ken #162's clothes.

After dressing James, my first Ken clone by Jakks Pacific joined in to take a height comparison photo.

As illustrated above, at only 11 inches tall, James is the runt of the three Ken clones I currently own.

__________

This is an appropriate redress for Ken #162

Ken #162 is redressed in a camouflage hoodie and pants made by LayleeMDollClothes. He temporarily continued wearing his yellow sneakers.

Profile headshots

Ken's brown painted eyes and his half-rooted and half-painted hair are illustrated in the above collage. The hair is rooted on the top and painted on the sides to create his low-top fade.

After redressing, he took photos with his fraternal twin, ZiZi (Zig and Zag Barbie Fashionista #57) as soon as her similar camo fashion arrived, which was purchased separately.

The Fraternal Twins Zack and ZiZi

Can you see the family resemblance?


Fashionista #162 (now named Zack) found white low-top Ken sneakers to wear. ZiZi wears red sneakers. They don't usually dress alike, but for the time being, they decided to wear similar fashions. 

Since Zack was no longer wearing his yellow sneakers, he gave them to James. 

ZiZi added earrings and a choker.

Claiming her independence, ZiZi wears jewelry and red sneakers to distinguish her outfit from her brother's. 

ZiZi's jewelry of a sunburst pendant on a black embroidery thread necklace and matching silver earrings were made a few years ago by Atelierni Shasha

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Friday, January 29, 2021

In the Doll World Presents Annual World of Black Dolls Celebration


dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Dr. Paulette Richards Presenting at Emory

Former Limbe Dolls blogger, Paulette Richards, has been invited to present in the James Weldon Johnson Institute's Race and Difference series at Emory University on Monday, February 1, 2021.  If you find doll animation fascinating, and if you followed the blogs Fashion Dolls at Van's Dolls Treasures, Roxanne's Dolls, and Hey It's Muff, make plans to attend this Zoom presentation. Details and how to register to join in by Zoom are copied below:

Creating Communitas:  African American Doll Bloggers Animate Black Dolls as Sites of Signification

Presented by Dr. Paulette Richards, puppet artist and independent researcher 

"Kevin's Confession Part 2" by Hey It's Muff

February 1, 2021, 12 – 1pm (EST)

James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference

Race and Difference Colloquium Series

Emory University

This study explores the work of three African American artists who maintained doll blogs and animated their dolls in short video narratives between 2010 and 2015. Although puppetry usually excludes dolls on the grounds that dolls are ostensibly for static display or private play while puppets are animated in performances before an audience, these videos are significant as instances of African American object performance.  By focusing on adult women of color who not only collect, but also play with dolls, this analysis extends girlhood studies, which, as a sub-discipline of gender studies has approached doll play from historical, anthropological, and psychological perspectives (Bernstein 2011, Chin 1999, Forman-Brunell 2012).  By considering You Tube as a platform where tens if not hundreds of thousands of girls and women produce, disseminate, and view visual narratives using dolls to represent myriad fictional worlds, this presentation also addresses a large body of work that film studies scholars have essentially ignored.  Finally reviewing this body of work offers a model of how puppeteers can connect with audiences at a time when the future of live theater is uncertain.

Free and open to the public.  To Register:

https://emory.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dTWNMy38TmOnN6Lfxzlmhg

Contact:  Rhonda Patrick

Contact email:  rhonda.patrick@emory.edu

This information is also available at the Emory University website.

__________

Richards Bio


Paulette Richards is a puppet artist and independent researcher.  She holds a Ph.D. in French Civilization from the University of Virginia and has taught at Georgetown University, Tulane University, and Georgia Tech.  She survived a ten month stint in Senegal as a 2013/ 2014 Fulbright Scholar without contracting any tropical diseases, but sometime during her service as an artist in residence at the Institut fran├žais de Saint Louis, the puppet bug bit her hard.  After returning to Atlanta she became a docent in the Worlds of Puppetry Museum at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  When fellow members of Decatur Makers introduced her to Arduino microprocessors and stepper motors, she immediately thought of the animatronic dogs and Doozers in the Henson gallery at the museum and began designing her own rudimentary robots.  Richards has taught animatronic puppetry workshops at the Friends School of Atlanta, Decatur Makers, the Dekalb County Public Library, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Puppeteers of America 2017 National Festival.  She co-curated the Living Objects:  African American Puppetry exhibit that ran at the University of Connecticut’s Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry from October 2O18 to April 2O19 with Dr. John Bell and also co-edited the anthology of essays from the Living Objects Symposium.  She is currently curating an exhibit of African American puppetry scheduled to open at the Center for Puppetry Arts in November 2O21 and her book, Object Performance in the Black Atlantic is forthcoming from Routledge in 2O22.

dbg



There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Monday, January 25, 2021

Lovely Barbie Fashionista 156 the Doll with Blue Lips

Fashionista 156 uses the nonarticulated Tall Barbie body.


I didn't think I'd like the blue lips, but I do. This lovely doll that uses the 1980 Kira head sculpt arrived a few weeks ago, but I just recently released Fashionista 156 from quarantine.  (Since the pandemic, after deliveries arrive, packages are sprayed with Lysol, Microban 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray, or some other form of antibacterial spay) and left in a "holding" area for up to three weeks, but no less than one week before I open the packages.

My plan was to redress her after she arrived; however, I had no idea what she would wear. Before redressing, she posed for several photos wearing her pink tunic-length letter "B" graphic jacket. The jacket is trimmed with light blue fabric and has white pleather sleeves.

Her almond-shaped eyes are painted brown and the lips, as illustrated, are royal blue. The texture of the black rooted Afro looks authentic.

She posed for another full-length view.

Jacket graphics on one side of the front include the word "Fearless" and the number "59" to denote the first year Barbie was on the market. Additionally, a rainbow, a lightning strike, and a mock pocket are on the same side.

The capital letter "B," "DREAM *IT* DO IT"; and another slanted pocket graphic are on the opposite front side of the jacket. Stitches are illustrated at the shoulder area on both sides.

The jacket has a front Velcro closure; the light blue buttons are graphics.

Another closeup of the Kira head sculpt

Her only other attire is a pair of yellow platform-soled high-heel shoes that have ankle straps and a round textured ornament on the toe area.


Redressing

This Barbie fashion is from the Boutique Fashion Avenue Asst. 14980 ©1996.

My first inkling was to redressed this doll in the above Boutique Fashion Avenue outfit. Because she uses the Tall Barbie body and because the fashion is rather outdated, I decided against doing that to her. She needed a more modern look, but I wanted to stick with something blue.

I remembered a pair of royal blue leggings and a yellow tunic that I purchased a few years ago from Atelierni Shasha's Etsy Shop. She models this ensemble next followed by head and height comparison photos.

I added a royal blue ribbon to the waist of the yellow tunic that is paired with royal blue leggings. I also pierced her ears with royal-blue-tipped quilting needles that serve as stud earrings.

I think she likes this look.

Here, she channels her inner Pam Greer (Foxy Brown) or Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones) alter ego.

Fashionista 156 (I must rename her) is quite taller than Fashionista #144 who uses the Curvy Barbie body and has flat feet.


The doll on the left, Kira, uses the original Asian Barbie head sculpt. Both dolls share the same head marks: ©MATTEL INC 1980.


As I end this post, a name for #156 materialized. I have named her Kianga, which means sunshine in Swahili. 

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Sue Johnson Doll with Doll

A Sue Johnson doll with a doll from 1991 is shown above.

I began collecting Black dolls in 1991. At that time, I was not familiar with many doll artists or manufacturers other than the playline manufacturers of dolls I had purchased for my daughter. A member of my doll group owns at least three Miss Baby Heirloom Dolls by Sue Johnson. Johnson's dolls, from my research, date back to the 1980s. The group member's ownership of Sue Johnson dolls is how I became aware of the dolls in 2018. But it wasn't until I saw actress Tatyana Ali on a recent episode of The Talk that I really paid attention to this artist's dolls.

On that episode of The Talk, Ali shared that actor James Avery gave her Black dolls for Christmas during the years she played the role of his youngest daughter on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. See a video of that segment of the interview next.




The doll on the far right in the video piqued my interest. I immediately went to eBay and searched for "Sue Johnson doll." There my doll was waiting for me to "make an offer." I did and the seller accepted it.

While waiting for my 16-inch resin doll to arrive, I searched for an archived article from 2004 about James Avery. The article describes his penchant for collecting Black Americana. I could not find that article on my computer. However, about a week after I opened the shipping box of the Sue Johnson doll, the article, which I had shared on Facebook a few years ago, was listed in my Facebook Memories. The article is illustrated next.


Click, tap, or stretch to enlarge this article from episode CHS-108 Collecting History, "Celebrity Hobbies," which aired on the DIY Network in 2004. It featured Avery and his Black Americana collection.



This close-up photo of my Sue Johnson doll illustrates her sculpted and painted facial features. Sue's dolls are reminiscent of Izannah Walker dolls from the 1800s.


My doll arrived in excellent condition but without her Miss Baby Heirloom hangtag that would provide her name. She has sculpted and painted facial features, painted black hair on the head, one painted spit curl, two side sections that have two black yarn braids, and one section in the back that has two black yarn braids. The ends of the braids are accented with light blue ribbons. Her body, upper arms, and upper legs are cloth. The rest is wood resin.

She wears a burgundy and beige nineteenth-century-style dress that is trimmed with lace in a V-shape on the bodice. A beige half-slip and pantaloons, and resin molded-on black mock-lace-up boots complete her outfit.

As illustrated next, the back of one boot is signed,
Sue Johnson
©1991

and the other is numbered,

926/1000

The doll's molded-on boots bear the artist's signature, year made, and the numbered edition as illustrated and described.


An armless and legless 4-inch Black cloth doll with painted hair and face, wearing a blue polka dot dress is stitched to the larger doll's dress. 


(Since taking the above photo, I have tucked the smaller doll inside the larger doll's dress pocket.)

It wasn't until I viewed Tatyana Ali's interview a second time after my doll arrived, that I was pleasantly pleased to discover our dolls are identical! Imagine that.

While writing this post, I searched Google for "Sue Johnson doll" and found a Worthpoint page for a past eBay auction of an identical doll. According to the eBay description, my doll's name is Moselle.

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
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Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
New: Visit and Follow DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Why is Matoka Wearing Pearls?


Matoka wears pearls and holds a cloth angel ornament by Goldie Wilson.

On January 20, 2021, in honor of the inauguration our first female vice president and first vice president of African American and South Asian descent, Matoka wore pearls!

Vice President Harris, who usually always wears pearls.

I am ecstatic that we have a new administration that will prayerfully govern for all the people without the division, confusion, deceit, negativity, and failure of the last administration.

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
Check out my eBay listings here.
Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
Visit/Follow DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Presenting DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum

Antique, vintage, modern, and one-of-a-kind black dolls



On January 17, 2021, via Zoom, I conducted a PowerPoint narrated slideshow presentation for Motor City Doll Club of my new Black-doll engagement, DeeBeeGee's Virtual Black Doll Museum™. DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ endeavors to preserve the history of black dolls and to document past, current, and future black dolls. 

This online museum, which is open 24/7 curates antique, vintage, modern, and one-of-a-kind black dolls through photographs, detailed descriptions, links to additional references, and videos. 

Currently, 97 dolls have been curated and installed. The goal is to curate 1000 dolls from my personal collection and from the collections of fellow collectors.

Find out how to have your doll curated by sending an email to virtualblackdollmuseum@gmail.com, but for now, visit the site and add your email address to the Follow This Blog field (in the footer of any page or post) to be updated on new installations.

While there, read the Home and About pages for navigation tips and for the purpose and goals of the museum.

Thank you!

By the way, the Black Doll Collecting blog isn't going anywhere.

Happy MLK Day!

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
Check out my eBay listings here.
Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Maya Angelou Barbie

The Maya Angelou Barbie from Mattel's Inspiring Women Series is presented in a see-through box with a backdrop of a living area that includes a bookshelf filled with books.


My doll arrived from Target dot com on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. I opened the shipper to photograph the doll. 

As illustrated in this headshot and the next, the doll has painted facial features that include a gap between the two front teeth.

Designed by Carlyle Nuera, captured Maya Angelou's essence as the 41-year-old author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings using a dedicated, sculpted-to-likeness facial sculpt.

The doll appropriately holds a miniature mock copy of the author's debut memoir.

Daintydolldivas on Instagram shared a picture of the doll without the headwrap that illustrates a short Afro.

Box Images
An image of Maya Angelou, circa 1970s, appears on the left lower corner of the front of the box along with the author, activist, and teacher's signature.

"Maya Angelou" is written on both side panels of the box.



The same circa 1970s image of Maya Angelou is at the top center of the back of the box. Her signature in white script is below the Image.

Back of box text:
Maya Angelou
Author, activist and teacher
1928 - 2014

'If you're always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.' 
Maya Angelou

...With a multi-hyphenate career as a writer, author, activist, and teacher, Dr. Maya Angelou used her unique writing style to connect with people through books, poems, songs, and film. After joining the Harlem Writers Guild in the 1950s, Dr. Angelou took on the challenges of writing her prolific autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, published in 1970 [sic]. Nominated for a National Book Award, the memoir was a gripping account of Dr. Angelou's early life in the segregated South and how she rose above racism, childhood trauma and adversity to find her voice as a woman and writer. In 1960, Dr. Angelou headed the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the principal fundraising organizations used by Dr. Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Angelou went on to further cement her place in history, becoming the first African American and female inaugural poet to speak at a U.S. Presidential inauguration in 1993. In addition to over fifty honorary doctorates, numerous awards and accolades, Dr. Angelou also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, the highest honor for a U.S. civilian. Throughout her extraordinary life, Dr. Angelou endeared herself to readers around the world, and her indomitable spirit continues to serve as an inspiration...

Mattel's description indicates the copyright year of 1970 for Maya Angelou's first book. Random House lists the copyright year as 1969.

I am quite pleased with everything about this doll, which is described additionally by Mattel as follows:
  • Label: Black Label®
  • Designer: Carlyle Nuera
  • Release Date: 1/14/2021
  • Included with doll: Headwrap, earrings, dress, bracelets, watch, ring, book, shoes, doll stand
  • Eyelashes: Painted
  • Fashion: Headwrap and dress with floral print
  • Fashion Sewn On?: No
  • Body Type: Curvy Collector
  • Doll Stand: Yes
  • Facial sculpt: New - Maya Angelou (sculpted to likeness)
  • SKU #: GYH04
At the time of this post, Maya Angelou Barbie is available at some Target stores and now as a preorder on Amazon.com and finally at Barbie.Mattel. It ships out in February from both sites. Target's online quantities appear to have been exhausted in some areas. So, preorder now from Amazon or Barbie.Mattel if interested in adding this "phenomenal" doll to your collection or as a gift for a child before quantities are exhausted everywhere and the price becomes cost-prohibitive on the secondary market.


dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
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Doll Gift: Norah Wellings Boy

Norah Wellings 11-inch Islander ZuZu boy circa 1929


Last year, in one of my Facebook groups, the administrator shared a photo of her Norah Wellings ZuZu boy that is documented in the Norah Wellings 1929 catalog. I expressed my desire to own a Norah Wellings boy because, until recently, I only had girls.

A few months later, I received an email from a woman who desired to find a new home for her dear mother-in-law's Norah Wellings doll. After contacting me and sharing photos, she had to look no further.

Full view of my doll identified as an Islander ZuZu boy by Norah Wellings illustrates the intact cloth tag on the doll's left foot that reads MADE IN ENGLAND/BY/NORAH WELLINGS.

My ZuZu boy has a brown curly mohair wig, brown glass side-glancing eyes, painted lips and teeth, brown velveteen head, arms, and legs, and wears gold velveteen suspender pants that are sewn onto his body. There is one pearlized white button at the front end of each suspender and two are on the sides of his pants.
One pant leg, unfortunately, is stained.

He arrived with a stain on one of his pant legs that I could not remove, so I added temporary felt pockets, one on each leg. 

I wanted orange pockets, but I did not have orange felt available. The tan felt pockets are temporarily applied with double-sided tape.

He arrived from Wellesley, MA with a beautiful handwritten note dated December 5, 2020, that reads:

Dear Debbie,
Thank you for adopting my mother-in-law's Norah Wellings doll. We know little about its history. My mother-in-law recalls that it was her mother's, as she had quite a doll collection. Other than that, we know nothing...

Please enjoy the doll with our compliments.

Regards,

The xxxx Family.

P.S. Hope this note finds you, your family, loved ones, and friends safe and healthy.
From L-R: Circa 1930s 14-inch Norah Wellings Dudu #119 Islander, 11-inch Islander ZuZu circa 1929, circa 1940s 14-inch Norah Wellings doll with painted eyes, and a circa 1930s 14-inch Norah Wellings Nassau, Bahamas souvenir doll.

My ZuZu boy fits in quite nicely with the girls who have all welcomed him with open arms. 

Much gratitude to ZuZu's previous family for their kindness.


dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
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Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!

Monday, January 11, 2021

Redressed and New Dolls

Redressed Family Dollar Fashion Dolls


Happy Second Week of January 2021! I pray this week will be better than last week!

All my Christmas decorations are stored (I actually began taking them down on December 26th). The few dolls that I redressed for Christmas now wear their original clothes or something non-Christmassy. The two Creatable World dolls are back in their boxes in their underwear, and their Christmas sweaters have been stored with the rest of the Christmas sweater ornaments.

The two dolls in the first photo, found at Family Dollar in December 2020, had been dressed in Christmas sweater ornaments and leggings as seen here. The Fresh Dolls fashions they wear now (Sleek Snake Print Dress and Ring My Bell Sleeve Cocktail dress) fit them quite well. 

Fashionista #82 as Mrs. Santa


In December 2020, I participated in a Mrs. Santa doll redressing event where I was to redress a doll as Mrs. Santa. I chose to redress Fashionista 82 as a fierce and fabulous Mrs. Santa as seen above. 

Mrs. Santa bore gifts -- a wrapped gift for a boy and an unwrapped doll for a girl.

Mrs. Santa held a wrapped package in one hand and a doll in the other. No red matronly-looking Christmas fashion would ever do for her. 

Fashionista #82 after Christmas

After completing her Mrs. Santa duties, Fashionista #82 (Bea) now wears one of her favorite fashions -- the Reproduction of Barbie Matinee Fashion #1640, as shown above. She also wears a wig that I made for her using my mother's hair.

New Dolls

Fashionista #162 is on an unarticulated body. He has rooted curly brown hair on the top and a painted "fade" on the sides. He wears a multicolored knit top and multicolored cotton-blend shorts with yellow low-top sneakers.


Fashionista 162 is one of the last doll purchases I made in 2020. I ordered two because he had been difficult to find at the regular price of $9.99. Some folks were delusionally asking $25 for this doll, even on Amazon. Finally, Amazon replenished their own stock with a retail price of $9.99. He wasn't available to ship at the time I ordered in late December, but I didn't mind waiting the couple of weeks it took for them to ship. I refuse to pay scalper's prices for dolls that are still on the market. I know how and do not mind waiting for stock to replenish. One of these will eventually be redressed in more appropriate clothes. 

By the way, I knew his face looked familiar. It is a variation of Zig and Zag Barbie's head sculpt as confirmed here.

I received the following dolls and ornament as Christmas gifts.

I was asked by a friend what was on my Christmas list and I told her the Mattel 75th Anniversary Barbie was the only doll I desired at the time. She came through. (Thank you DR!)

I always receive the current Holiday Barbie ornament from the same friend who purchased the 75th Anniversary Mattel Barbie. This year, she sent the 2020 Holiday Barbie ornament that I photographed temporarily outside the box. It is back in the box now.

This is a close-up of the 2020 Holiday Barbie ornament. Mattel did a good job with this one.

Last but not least, I was surprised with a 13-1/2 inch Paola Reina Asian doll whose complexion places her into the ethnic category of Blasian in my collection. 

Maylin by Paola Reina

I will photograph Maylin later with other dolls made by Paola Reina in a separate post where she will be fully described. Thank you again, BA.

I will create separate posts of my last 2020 doll purchases to include one doll that was sent to me by a stranger and as of this writing, I have already made three doll purchases for 2021! I am not making a resolution, but I know my doll spending will be on a steady decline this year and in the years to come. 

All things considered, I hope your year is off to a great start. 

dbg


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.
__________

Thank you for reading. To contact me, please use the contact form on the right of the home page, which is visible in "web view." A link to web viewing should be visible at the bottom of this page.

Check out what I am selling here
Check out my eBay listings here.
Please follow my sister blog Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black.
Donate here to support this blog. Thank you!