Saturday, June 10, 2017

Happy World Doll Day!

I couldn't miss an opportunity to celebrate World Doll Day.  You can read the history of World Doll Day here.

I've noticed that the hobby of doll collecting seems to be diminishing.  Here in Houston there will no longer be a doll show.  (There used to be two a year.)  Brick and mortar doll stores are becoming a thing of the past.  When was the last time I saw a child holding a doll in the grocery store or mall?  Now they all hold phones or some other kind of mobile device.  For the most part my fellow collectors seem to have gray hair.  Is our hobby fading away?

We have to save our passion for dolls!  I love my dolls.  They're a wonderful escape.  I enjoy sharing photos of my dolls with other people.  I guess I'm not the traditional collector.  I collect mostly the Vogue Ginny dolls that I grew up playing with in the 1950's.  I don't collect mint dolls mainly because I want to "play" with them.  I enjoy saving the "previously loved" dolls.  I love setting them up in scenes and telling a story.  I've always had a very active imagination and I guess my dolls fuel that imagination even today.

My dolls back then...
(Some were my sister's dolls too!)

Some of my dolls today...
I still have my one childhood Ginny.  (She's been re-wigged.)  She still holds a special place in my heart.

Some miscellaneous pictures of my dolls...
My sister and I had the above tin kitchen back in 1952...
That's my aunt and me on Christmas Day.

My mom with her dolls...
Circa 1920
I guess a love for dolls ran in the family!

On World Doll Day 2017 I invite everyone to come out and play!

Friday, May 26, 2017


Oh dear, I told myself I'd try and post at least once a month.  Time just slips away.  I also spend way less time online these days.  Some days I barely have enough time to quickly take a glimpse at E-mails.  If I skip a couple of days my box is full and it takes forever to weed through it all.  I've tried to unsubscribe to a bunch of things, but still can't resist getting updates on eBay auctions.

I joined a local genealogy group this past year.  I was hoping it would inspire me to work on that more, but it hasn't.  However, I've done a little research and learned some interesting things about family members.  (You would think that would motivate me!)   I have one female relative that graduated from NYU Law School in 1925.  At that time none of the all male law firms in New York City would hire women as lawyers.  Women weren't considered smart enough.  In fact, they weren't even allowed to take the bar exam until after women were given the right to vote in 1920.  I can't help but wonder what motivated her to even try this career path.  I also discovered that my mother-in-law was a key witness against the New York City gangster Dutch Schultz in 1935.  I found lots of old newspaper articles.  I do enjoy learning more about family members than just their date of birth and date of death.  I like to learn their story too.

I've worked on a few projects lately.  Our oldest son will be 48 on May 31st.  I've had his Wonder Horse out in the garage for many, many years.  I finally decided to restore it.  I sanded and spray painted the base and then did some touch ups on the horse's body.  I plan to use it with my Patti Playpal size dolls in the doll room.  Now I need a Western outfit and a cowgirl hat.
I'm the Queen of unfinished projects.  I can now scratch this one off my list.

Of course, I always enjoy "playing" with my Vogue dolls.  I recently subscribed to a Papermini's Eloise Wilkins book club monthly kit in 1:6 scale for Ginny.  I put together the first book and had Ginny pose.  She fell asleep while reading.  Can you tell?
My doll friend Sharon made that adorable Sunbonnet Sue quilt for Ginny's bed.  I love it!

I almost forgot.  I've been looking for a Renwal Super Big stove for my Ginny's kitchen.  A while back I found the refrigerator and sink at an antique mall.  I finally found the stove on Etsy for $32 plus $4 shipping.  I was thrilled.  That was just about my limit as far as how much I was willing to spend.  Recently one sold on eBay for over $100 when a couple of people started bidding against each other.  I thought it was crazy.  Even $32 is a bit much for a piece of plastic.  I love my new doll kitchen.  I raised the appliances with a black baseboard so they'd be a little higher.

The kitchen reminds me of my mother's kitchen in the house my parents built in 1947.

Until the next time...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter In the 1950's

I have been spending very little time online lately.  We have a small window of opportunity when it comes to the weather and the occasional lower humidity/lower temperature days.  One of my favorite places to go is Brazos Bend State Park and I've probably been there six times in the last month or so.  It's an hour from here, but well worth the ride.  Lots of walking trails and I really love it, but not when it gets real hot!  Then I walk inside at the mall.

No time for an Easter scene with my dolls this year.  I know I've shared some of these before, but I thought I'd stick a few up here anyway.

And I thought I'd share a little Easter in 1957.  Yes, this is how we dressed.  I remember when there was no mall and we had to go to Newark, New Jersey for our Easter outfits.  It was always a big deal to go shopping for our complete outfits...dresses, hats, gloves, shoes, etc.

I hated to have my picture taken.  Can you tell?  Do you like the hat I chose?  It looks like a plate turned upside down.
This is my sister in her Easter finery.  She was two years older so she got to wear stockings.  There were no panty hose back then.  She had to wear a girdle so there would be those funny clip things to hold up the stockings.  Does anyone else remember?  I guess she picked out her hat too.  I think her hat is a little more attractive than mine.
That's us with our neighbors...Johnny and Diana Ingemi.  Gosh, I had forgotten that even some of the boys wore hats.

I hope you enjoyed my little trip down Memory Lane.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Welcome to my doll room...

I have had a couple of conversations with some doll friends about organizing dolls and doll "stuff."  I thought I would share some photos of my doll room here because I ended up taking too many to put in E-mails.

For me it's impossible to totally organize my doll room because I have way too much "stuff."  I started collecting vintage Vogue Ginny dolls, their clothes, accessories, furniture, etc., 20+ years ago.  Then things started to snowball.  I found I enjoyed setting my dolls up in scenes so I started looking for Ginny size "stuff" when I was out and about.  I'd find things in antique malls, resale stores, dollar stores, discount stores, etc.  Often people on doll lists would post about their latest find and I'd find myself running around looking for that particular item (even if I didn't really need it).  I don't do that anymore.

Over the years I've tried to purge some of the "stuff" by cleaning out and sharing it with other people, but I still have too much!  I recently had another purge, but it really didn't make that big a difference.  The reason I sometimes have difficulty finding something is because there's too much.  I rarely buy "stuff" anymore and have tried in recent times to concentrate more on the actual dolls and their clothes.  I regret having gotten involved in collecting Chatty Cathy, Ann Estelle, and a few other dolls.  I wish I had just stayed with Ginny and her family, but I don't want to get rid of those other dolls right now.  Perhaps someday.

This is my doll room as of February 2017.  I hope that in a year from now there will be a lot less!!!  I have all these ideas for scenes in my head but only get a handful completed.  I know I really need to purge some more.  Time will tell.

My doll room has a lot of built in shelves and cabinets.  On this shelf I store books and reference materials.  I also have one of my favorite props on the top shelf.  My doll friend Judy gave me that school bus some years back.  You might have seen one of my back to school scenes in the past.  (NOTE: To see better you can click on all the pictures to enlarge.)
Below the books I have storage containers and some small drawers with odds and ends.  (I haven't organized and labeled those drawers yet.)  You'll be able to read the labels if you enlarge the pictures.
This shelf holds my Ann Estelle family and my Betsy McCall family.  The books are some vintage ones I've purchased, some from my childhood, and books my kids had growing up.
The cabinets below have doors and hold some of my vintage Vogue dolls along with a few other vintage dolls and some reproduction Vogue dolls.  I try and keep most of the vintage dolls protected from light behind closed doors.  I need to work in these cabinets and get the dolls all organized.
On this side I have some of my kids' Fisher Price toys that I saved from their childhood, the Hallmark collectible pedal cars that were a good scale for Ginny, and the vintage Superior tin kitchen by T. Cohn that I found on eBay.  It's almost identical to the one I had as a child and came in the original box with all the kitchen accessories.  I was thrilled when I found it at a reasonable price.  Below that I have smaller plastic containers holding doll shoes, socks, hair ribbons, head bands, etc.  I've got them all labeled.  On the shelf below that I have some Ginny trunks and a few odds and ends that I didn't get photographed.
Next to those shelves I have another set of shelves holding some of my dolls' clothes.
On another wall I have two large cabinets that I bought at Home Depot years ago when they were on clearance for $50 each.  I knew they'd be perfect for scenes because the shelves are deep.  My scenes are mostly in a state of disrepair and I need to get then organized again.  In the second photo I've been working forever on a game room and another bedroom and hope to get them completed soon.  That cabinet also holds a lot of the dresses that I hang to keep them from getting too wrinkled and dolls that are waiting to get dressed or repaired, or dolls that are waiting to be placed in a scene.
I store a stable (after all this is Texas and they might need a Western scene) and a church that I've been wanting to use at Christmas for the Children's Christmas Pageant scene that I've been mentally planning for years.  Now I'm thinking about having a wedding too.
On that wall I also have a couple of cabinets that hold dolls that are more collectable to me and that I leave in their original clothes.  My life size dolls are still dressed in their Christmas pj's.  I do intend to change their clothes before next Christmas!
Scattered about the room is my doll carriage project.  I used to weave baskets and bought the reed to fix this little resale store doll carriage, but haven't gotten around to finishing it.  I haven't been 50 for many years, but my mom gave me that pillow on my 50th birthday and I've kept it all these years.  The basket holds more of my kids' Fisher Price little people.  I just can't get rid of them!
On another wall I have more rooms set up in some shelves I bought at Target years ago.  They were deeper than bookshelves and were modular.  I had intended to buy more, but Target discontinued them much to my disappointment.  There's a utility room, living room, bathroom, bedroom, garage, and kitchen.  I attached Plexiglass with Velcro to keep the cats and dust out.
Next to that I have some drawers that hold "important" things that I might need for scenes.
These little drawers sit on top and hold small odds and ends.  I've tried to label everything, but couldn't come up with good labels for these odds and ends, so when I can't find something I'll look here first.  :)
Then I have this bench in front of the windows.  Normally, the boxes aren't on top.  Inside the bench are other things for scenes but I couldn't open it to photograph without moving everything.
Then I have another set of drawers holding my dolls' kitchen accessories and food.  Some of the fake food I bought and some I made.  Some years back I made food and drink items for my dolls and would like to do it again.  There are so many great directions online now!
On the top I have small drawers holding kitchen things and another container holding grocery items and ice cream.
I have some other food and drink items on one of the other shelves that I forgot to show earlier in this post.
 In the middle of the room I have my Chatty Cathy doll family.  They need some work too.  Quite a few are still dressed in their Christmas clothes.  I have a habit of putting stuff down there and I need to get that all picked up too.
They are standing on some very old drawers that used to hold greeting cards in stores.  There were racks that stood on top and held the cards for customers to look at.  My brother-in-law gave us these two sets of drawers years ago when he worked for a greeting card company.  Over the years we've painted them a couple of times.

In the drawers I keep more props and accessories. 
Yes, I have too much "stuff."  I just have all these scenes in my head that I hope to set up someday.  (You have to admit that I have a very active imagination.)  In the one drawer I can see one of the greens for the miniature golf course I envisioned for them.  That was a Dollar Tree purchase some time back.  Next to that is the circus items that were also from Dollar Tree.  Yes, I was going to have a circus too!  There are lots of ideas in those drawers. See why I try and stay out of Dollar Tree now?  I also don't visit the resale shops and antique malls much anymore.  Fortunately, the local doll shop went out of business.

That's my doll room as is looks today.  Somewhat organized, but not totally.  Perhaps by next year there will be less!
 P.S.  I also have some things stored in a closet upstairs.  I've packed up most of my modern Vogue Ginny dolls and their clothes and keep them up there.  YIKES!