Solidarity with France

Like many, I’m devastated by the news of the recent terrorist attack in Nice, France. I’m limited in what I can do, so I’m showing my support in the simplest way I can: blogging. Here’s a photo of one of my most prized possessions: a 2-franc piece from 1959 (incidentally, the year Barbie first debuted!) that I inherited from my grandma. I’ve flipped it over to display the French national motto, “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité,” and mounted it in a locket that I think will display it better than my hand would.

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The Photo Quality Conundrum

I compressed all the photos on my previous posts to make them more mobile-friendly. Now I’m starting to regret that decision because the compressed photos are of lower quality than their uncompressed versions. I’m soliciting feedback from you, my readers, in the hopes of making an informed decision: Would you prefer 1)  posts with high-quality photos or 2) mobile-friendly posts with lower-quality photos?

Here’s how this is going to work: My next few posts will all have high-quality photos so that you can compare the high- and low-quality photos. Then I’m going to need you to leave the number of your opinion, 1 or 2 above, underneath this post.

Let me know what you think, and thanks for your opinions!

Birthday Mini Post

I’ve been compiling photos and planning posts over the past 3 months. I can’t post any of them at the moment since my camera’s down, but I think you’ll really like them when I do. In the meantime I wanted to do a little something today in honor of Barbie’s birthday.

Here’s a video showing how interchangeable Barbie clothes are between the original Barbie and the three new body types (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcV6j9HXy6s) and a photo of one of my favorite Barbies, 1st edition Generation Girl Barbie with the controversial ankle tattoo, who I use on this blog to represent Barbie the character.

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She’s too popular for me to find a photo of her alone, so here she is with Summer. Maybe they’ll head for a girls’ birthday lunch dressed like this?

 

 

Burgundy Christmas
I’ve also added this Christmas-themed photo, which I found a long time ago on the In The Pink message board, because I love this burgundy dress. I don’t remember which of ITP’s many members took this photo, but I think they originally posted it around Christmas 2014. To the ITP poster: your photo is beautiful. If you find this blog, please feel free to introduce yourself and get in touch with me!

 

 

 

Quick Note

I’d just like to say one thing: if you want to use any of my photos on your own sites, that’s fine. It’s very flattering! Please make sure to give me credit, though-just say something like “Photo found at daytondolls.wordpress.com”. Thank you!

Partial Birthday Gift Post

My birthday fell during my long hiatus, so I’d like to show you some of the stuff I got.

I’ve really gotten into Arrested Development, and my mom and cousin were generous with the loot. Between them, I got seasons 1 and 2, a magnet (photo to come later), and a couple t-shirts, including this one with all the Bluth chicken dances!

Chicken Dance Shirt

My aunt from Florida got me a few more Disney princesses-Belle, Ariel, and Mulan. It looks like Disney’s switching back to the click-knee legs, probably due to problems with the articulated-ankle legs (like my Anna’s turned-in hip and the many problems the Toy Box Philosopher has cited on her blog). Mulan was the first to get a new outfit-she hated her original dress, and Belle and Ariel have other shoots to do first. I’m also acquiring a Barbie-scale tree, so I’m planning a holiday post featuring the tree and the princesses in their holiday finery.

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Looks like Ariel stopped in the waters of Tortuga and got mixed up with Captain Jack!
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Belle discovers Stephen King. Oh, hi, Cogsworth!
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Nobody does casual-but-elegant better than Mulan.

Probably the best gift I got was Star Trek reboot Kirk Ken. The resemblance to Chris Pine is amazing!

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Raquelle pounced, of course.

They’re now in an on-and-off relationship. Here they are at Thanksgiving.

Arendelle Comes to Dayton

Sorry to go AWOL! Between a really busy semester and way too many photos to choose from, this post was a long time in making. Here goes!

I bought the Disney Store classic dolls of Anna and Elsa while I was in Atlanta.

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I don’t know if you can tell from this photo (probably not, based on where her hand is), but Anna’s left hip is turned just a bit too far in-not right, but not bad enough to seriously impair her posability.

 

 

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The back doors of my mom’s car have a small well that the girls were able to put their legs in, which enabled them to sit on the door ledge for the ride back.

 

When we all got back home to Dayton, Anna and Elsa were greeted not only by Olaf, but also by Guillermo Flatto.DSCN1017

 

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Anna: Hi, guys! Kristoff’s traveling around the world and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to get to Dayton, so we’re on a break for now. He wanted me to tell you he says hi and doesn’t want you to worry about him.

 

 

These girls are amazing to dress! I have way more photos of them, and I might share some in later posts.

I was inspired by Frozen Fever to do my own version of Anna’s birthday on the first day of summer.

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Happy birthday, Anna! Being made out of snow, I don’t have any money, so Elsa took me shopping. I thought this purse was perfect for you!
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Olaf: I’m also giving you a warm hug, of course! Anna: Olaf, I love them both! Thank you so much!

 

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Happy birthday, Anna! I made you an ice necklace and it somehow turned into diamonds.
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Go ahead, put it on!
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Anna: Thanks, Elsa! How’d you know? Elsa: Hey, you’re my sister-I always know!
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Anna with her gifts. “This birthday’s been amazing!”

Breaking News-Liebster Award!

I’ve just started back at school and the post with my Disney Store classic Anna and Elsa dolls that I alluded to last time is still in the pipeline-the more photos I took of them, the more I wanted to take and the less I could decide which ones to put in the post-but I’m putting the finishing touches on it and should have it posted by the end of the coming week. In other news, The Dorky Doll Collector has given me a Liebster Award! This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a blogging award, so it’s a huge honor!

Les rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog 2.Give your readers 11 random facts about yourself. 3. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you. 4. Nominate 11 bloggers to receive this award. 5. Invent 11 questions for your nominees.

My facts:

1. I have over 200 Barbie and Barbie-related dolls (at last count about 10 years ago-the number’s probably closer to 300 now), a few Disney-branded (both Mattel and Disney Store) dolls, about 15 American Girls, and about 15 porcelain dolls in my collection.
2. I’ve been collecting dolls for as long as I can remember-I count my childhood years in there because I started picking out adult collector dolls at about 8 years old and because as a general rule I’ve always favored deboxing my dolls.
3. I always either take the veggies off my cheeseburgers or build them without veggies-especially when it’s a bacon cheeseburger.
4. I took Spanish and French classes from middle school through college because I loved the sounds of the languages, but I wasn’t great at retention-I can read them but can only speak them at a rudimentary level, and thus rely on Google Translate.
5. About 10 years ago I used my Barbies to cobble together a prom-themed diorama in a display case in the teen section of my local library. The diorama included a tribute to Pretty in Pink (which had reached an anniversary-I believe the 20th-at the time) using Teen Skipper’s red-haired friend Courtney as Andie, Generation Girl Blaine as Blane, and a Bratz Boy as Duckie, despite the fact that I didn’t really have any movie-accurate doll outfits and couldn’t make them due to being terminally bad at most things crafty.
6. I sometimes see celebrities in Barbie and friend/family dolls-sometimes due to an actual physical resemblance and sometimes it’s just something undefinable that reminds me of the celeb-and I’m planning a blog post where I list all my celebrity Barbies, whether they’re actually modeled after the celebs or I just saw them that way.
7. I love superheroes, but hate how all the comic books and related movies seem to be going in such a dark direction lately (meaning the last 25-30 years or so).
8. I watched Jeopardy! for many years before working my way into the contestant pool this summer.
9. Besides dolls, I hope to own one copy (not necessarily 1st editions, although I have acquired several) of every Stephen King book by the time I die.
10. My cousin and I are the same shoe size, so I’ve gotten some awesome pairs of shoes by shopping her closet when she bought new ones.
11. My doll collection has practically no limits-I believe any dolls of roughly similar proportions can play well with each other.

Dorky Doll Collector’s questions and my answers:

1. “What is the one doll or toy related item that you dream of owning one day?” There are two My Scene dolls that I consider grail dolls-Jammin’ in Jamaica Jai (with or without Sutton) and Karaoke Divas Nia (she has strawberry blonde hair and tons of purple in her hair/outfit/makeup, and purple is like catnip for me).

2. “Anime, Yay or Nay?” In high school I had a group of friends who loved manga and anime, and I enjoyed it when I hung out with them, but I lost interest after we lost touch with each other. I might get back into it someday-I don’t know-but nay for now. 3. “Favorite candy?” I’m chewing this awesome grape lemonade-flavored variety of Trident Layers gum. I also love vanilla Tootsie Rolls, cookies & cream Hershey bars, Kit Kats (which I’ve referred to as Fancy Feast ever since I watched Andy try to complete the Kit Kat jingle on The Office US), and anything with butterscotch, grape, or blue raspberry flavors.

4. “What would your dream job be?” I would love to be a freelance editor and proofreader, taking projects on commission, setting my own hours, and working whenever and wherever I want-including at Starbucks.

5. “What is your current favorite movie or TV show?” I’m waiting excitedly for Castle to come back for season 8, which should happen within the next two weeks. Right now I’m working my way through season 1 of Arrested Development online-went through the first five episodes today. OK, my new AD kick may have something to do with the fact that I find Will Arnett incredibly sexy. OK, let’s just replace the “may have” in that last sentence with “definitely has,” and that’s all I’m gonna say here.

6. “What is your favorite doll or toy related item that you currently own?” Probably a 4-way tie between Mattel’s Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse Raquelle and Fashionistas In the Spotlight Summer and the aforementioned Anna and Elsa.

7. “Have you ever cried during a movie or TV show that is mainly targeted at children?” I can’t say that I have, but I do sometimes get choked up.

8. “What is your favorite holiday?” More ties-Christmas for the decorations/gifts/music (especially Trans-Siberian Orchestra)/all-around happiness and New Year’s for the more casual atmosphere.

9. “What is your favorite season?” While I love going on summer vacations and wearing my awesome boots and blue faux fur coat in the winter, my favorite season would have to be yet another tie, this one between spring and fall-it’s neither hot as hell nor cold as hell, you don’t have to worry about burning up and getting eaten by mosquitoes or slipping and breaking your neck, and you get flowers or colored leaves (my favorite fall leaves are the really bright/dark red ones).

10. “Are you calm and collected, or happy and excitable?” I can be both, depending on the circumstances. I can also be nervous, temperamental and stubborn under other circumstances.

11. “Is there someone that you currently look up to almost as an idol?” I can’t really give one solid answer for this one-I admire too many people for too many different things.

I share The Dorky Doll Collector’s nominations of Kayleigh from Adventures of a Musical Doll Collector, Christina from Christina Articulates, Ms. Leo from I-Luv-Dolls, Muff from Hey, It’s Muff, and Tam from Planet of the Dolls. I also nominate barbielea from barbiebeauties, Heather from The Doll Grotto, D7ana from A Philly Collector of Playscale Dolls and Action Figures, Limbe Dolls, Anderson’s All-Purpose at Mrs. Anderson’s All-Purpose Blog, and Debbie at Black Doll Collecting. Here are my questions:

1. Did you ever drop a grail doll from your wish list, and if so, why?

2. Sports: yes, no, or selective? (I’m selective-I follow a few teams/athletes and don’t care about sports otherwise.)

3. Let’s go for an all-time classic debate: Coke or Pepsi? (I’m a Coke gal myself.)

4. What’s your dream vacation spot?

5. If you could have any form of superhuman powers, what power or powers would you most want and which would you least want? (I’d most want to be a Time Lord and least want shining, because nothing good ever happens to people who have shining.)

6. How would you most like to reinvent yourself?

7. If you could live in another time period, when would you want to live?

8. Another classic debate: Star Wars or Star Trek? (BTW, live long and prosper.)

9. Did you ever get into an argument with a friend or family member because each of you collects something that the other absolutely cannot understand the appeal of?

10. What’s your favorite non-doll-related website?

11. Have you ever had a crush linger in your subconscious for a while-a period of months or years-and then randomly hit you with the force of a sumo wrestler?

My Doll Tribute to Stephen King

When I got the new Barbie Collection catalog in the mail last month, I saw the new Homecoming Queen Barbie from the Willows, WI Collection and my Stephen King-loving mind got a rather macabre idea: “She’d make a perfect doll version of Carrie!”

Cut to me copying the full-page photo and drawing “blood” on the copy with a red felt-tip marker. I ran a copy of the copy to show a friend who doesn’t follow my blog only to find that the 2nd-generation copy looked even better-the “blood” came out darker and made more of a contrast-so I scanned the 2nd-gen copy into the home desktop and put it on my flash drive to use here.

Carrie Barbie

I hope you’re not all gonna laugh at me!

Brief Update

Finally, a time when nobody’s sick (for some reason there’s a virus floating around Dayton), everybody’s out of the house, and I can update in peace!

I had my Jeopardy! audition in Atlanta earlier this month. There were about 50 people auditioning, and we got split into two groups of 25. I don’t know about the other group, but everyone in my group passed the written test, which means we’re all in the contestant pool. We stay in the pool for 18 months and could get selected to go to LA for taping at any time during the 18 months.

We did some shopping at the Perimeter Mall while we were in Atlanta. Mom and I stopped at the Disney Store, because you’re never too old for Disney! I bought the classic dolls of Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and since the Toy Box Philosopher said that her Anna’s hair was sparsely rooted and I wanted to try to avoid that fate, I took way too long examining each doll to make sure I got the ones with the best (read: thickest) hair. It worked, though! Actually, it may have worked a little too well-Elsa’s hair basically goes down to her knees if you take it out of the braid, so between the length and thickness, she went the other way and has too much hair! I love these dolls-their hair’s great, they’re highly articulated (even at the ankles!), they look great in pretty much anything and I’ve had a lot of fun bringing them into present day.

Right now I have way too many post ideas to keep track of. I think Anna and Elsa will probably be my next post, but I think I need a little time to decide for sure.

Hiatus Composite Post

Sorry I haven’t been able to post lately! It’s been a crazy month. I had finals week, we had some family problems, and after taking the online test in April, I found out that I get a June audition for Jeopardy!

While I may not have been able to post, I was able to take some pictures, so here’s a composite post!

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The girls in their Easter best (wait, how did Guillermo end up in this?)
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Raquelle and Summer had dresses that were a little bit racy for your average church service (Summer’s neckline would be too low and Raquelle’s skirt too short), so they had to add jackets.
I got some nice stuff for Easter: Starburst jelly beans, Life Savers jelly beans, purple glitter duct tape, this Barbie dress with a garden printed on the front...
I got some nice stuff for Easter: Starburst jelly beans, Life Savers jelly beans, purple glitter duct tape, this Barbie dress with a garden printed on the front…
...and this glow-in-the-dark Svengoolie T-shirt (for the uninitiated, Svengoolie is a horror host who shows and jokes about old Universal horror movies on Saturday nights on the nationally-syndicated classic TV station MeTV)
…and this glow-in-the-dark Svengoolie T-shirt (for the uninitiated, Svengoolie is a horror host who shows and jokes about old Universal horror movies on Saturday nights on his self-titled TV show on the nationally-syndicated classic TV station MeTV, and his producers throw rubber chickens at him at the beginning and end of every show).
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The back of the Svengoolie shirt features this “Official Chicken Thrower” (the term for Sven’s fanbase and a callback to his producers) logo
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Here’s a nice shot of the girls in warm-toned clothes…
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…and the girls halfway through changing from warm to cool. This transition photo was taken on Cinco de Mayo, so they went out drinking with Guillermo again, hence some of the girls standing a bit crooked.
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The girls in their cool-toned clothes

Raquelle’s cool-toned dress is a favorite of one of Barbie’s approximately ninety bajillion celebrity friends, country singer LeAnn Rimes.

Here's LeAnn in her original outfit
Here’s LeAnn in her original outfit…
and in closeup.
…and in closeup.
This LeAnn closeup is blurry, but I like it-the blur gives it a soft-focus effect.
This LeAnn closeup is slightly blurry, but I like it-the mild blur gives it a soft-focus effect.
LeAnn in her favorite blue dress.
LeAnn in her favorite blue dress.
I used warmer lighting for this closeup to offset the cool sapphire blue of her dress.
I used warmer lighting for this closeup to offset the cool sapphire blue of her dress.
If Raquelle wanted to wear her dress, LeAnn figured she should get a shot at Raquelle's most recent choice.
If Raquelle wanted to wear her dress, LeAnn figured she should get a shot at Raquelle’s most recent choice.
These fake roses are from Valentine's Day, but my dad thought they went well with the red, pink and orange roses on the sides of the dress. Thanks, Dad!
These fake roses are from Valentine’s Day, but my dad thought they went well with the red, pink and orange roses on the sides of the dress. Thanks, Dad!

I’m really enjoying the new NBC show Aquarius, starring David Duchovny as a detective trying to find a teenage runaway who’s taken up with Charles Manson and his followers. Here are some photos of the plastic version of Duchovny (originally from 1998’s X-Files Barbie and Ken gift set) with Raquelle. They look almost like red carpet photos for a premiere minievent (only without an actual red carpet), don’t they?

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The classic “pre-prom photo” pose
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Does Raquelle see somebody else in the distance…
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…or does she have an ulterior motive?
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Wow, getting affectionate, aren’t we?
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Raquelle: “OK, guys, we’re done. The show’s about to start in a minute and we need to go inside so we don’t miss it.”

I’d like to do a My Scene post at some point. For now, here are some photos of the My Scene cousins, Chelsea (from the My Scene Goes Hollywood line) and Delancey (from Jammin’ in Jamaica)

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Chelsea’s wearing her original outfit (she also came with a dress, stole, extra pair of shoe-feet, and a bunch of other Hollywood-related extras-I bought her at a flea market, so I got the extras but not the second outfit) and Delancey’s wearing a minidress I bought in another flea market lot.
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Check out Delancey’s shoes!

 

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The flash wasn’t very kind to them-it makes their noses disappear-but it does nicely show off Chelsea’s rooted eyelashes…
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…and both ladies’ makeup.
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Despite the slight blur on this Chelsea closeup…
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…flash-off is much more flattering.
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One more shot with both cousins, and with that we close. Chelsea and Delancey: “Bye, guys!”