People who know me or read our doll blog will know that for the past week we’ve been celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Barbie. This iconic doll has been around for most of my life and all of Naomi’s although we didn’t meet her until she was already five or six years old.
Most of this weekend I’ve been busy dressing dolls and setting up displays to photograph which has been lots of fun even though it’s been very time-consuming Here’s one of the pictures I took.
Both Naomi and I are both collectors and we love our “stuff”. Some of my collections of things are inherited. Mum had a collection of brass ornaments that her mum bought in India and Egypt when they lived there plus a few things that Naomi and I had given her since. Those things live with me now as does her collection of china monkeys. I have other glass and china ornaments that I have inherited, been given or collected myself.
I also have a small collection of Star Trek and Doctor Who collectibles, some were given to David and some to both of us by people who knew we loved those TV shows.
My biggest collection, the one that I mention most often, is my doll collection. I wasn’t always a collector though. I had a lot of dolls as a child and I played with them for rather longer than children do now. I was given my last doll at age fourteen although, to be honest, I didn’t play with her a lot because by that age I preferred fashion dolls. In my teens like most kids I felt pressured to stop playing with them and for several years that was that. I didn’t keep all my dolls, I wished I had later on, however, I did keep some of my childhood favourites. As far as I was concerned they were not a collection, just part of my childhood that I wanted to keep.
When David and I bought our first home we had a spare bedroom and I had the dolls sitting around in there. I thought it would be nice to get replacements for some of the ones I had given away. At some point in my thirties, I bought a couple of dolls that I liked. Naomi and I would go to markets, antique shows and second-hand shops looking for interesting things and more dolls started coming home with me. I realised that I had become a collector when I added my third Sindy doll. I was no longer just replacing dolls I used to have I was actively looking to get ones I’d never owned. At around the same time, I also started to buy Barbie dolls both new and secondhand. At first, I liked to think that people thought I was buying them for a child or grandchild but eventually I didn’t care what they thought. I am proud to tell people I collect dolls now.
Now my spare bedroom is full of dolls and there are more packed away until the day we move to a new house. There are dolls in the other spare room too that I bring home from the Op Shop where I volunteer twice a week. I clean them, remove ink marks from their skin and tidy their hair before they go back. Occasionally I weaken and buy one for myself. Naomi and I have a doll blog too where we share photos and stories about our collections. We have a lot of fun with it. Collecting is a great hobby. Never mind people who complain about dust gatherers.
A group of dolls donated to the Op Shop.
Two new celluloid dolls. John who is made in Japan and Princess Elizabeth by Palitoy UK. Both from the 1930s.
Today I’ve been busy taking doll photos and haven’t got out of the house to photograph anything new for this blog so I am going to do something that I rarely do and post a doll photo.
This was taken using the photo cube and lighting that I bought recently. The kit came with additional backgrounds so I used a dark blue one for this shot. I’m still experimenting with this set up but I think this one came out not too badly.
I’m reblogging this here as well as on my doll blog in case people who are not familiar with World Doll Day would like to participate. I think it is a great idea. I like the idea that parents and grandparents can choose the children’s Christmas toys as who better would know what they would love.
It’s that time again! World Doll Day is Saturday, June 10th, 2017. Started by Mildred Seeley in 1986, the day is one of celebration for doll collectors. World Doll Day began with a letter, which is copied below. (Keep reading for information on our first ever World Doll Day Toy Drive!)
World Doll Day Logo
So, you have not heard of World Doll Day? This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn’t conceived the idea. To make it happen. I need cooperation of every doll collector, every magazine editor, doll newsletter, doll shop, library, doll maker, mother, grandmother, father, grandfather, and all the stray aunts and uncles. The first World Doll Day is the Second Saturday of June 1986. Give a doll to a grownup, child in the family or just a friend. If you don’t have a child to give a doll to – find one…
Whenever people contact me through my doll blog to ask for information about something doll related my first reaction is to be flattered, my second is surprise. I don’t consider myself an expert in any area of doll collecting but apparently others do because I blog about it. I get a lot of comments from readers in Canada especially and can’t help wondering how a person in Australia got to be considered an expert on Canadian dolls! I do like them however so keep the questions coming, we might all learn something.
Although it makes me feel good it also makes me feel a sense of responsibility towards the people who read the blog.
I try to find out as much as I can about a subject I want to write about and I include links to the sites I go to for information so that people can verify what I have said but also so that the real experts who compiled the information in the first place will get the credit. If I don’t know something I say so and if I write an opinion piece I say that it is my opinion only.
I don’t believe that just having an interest in something makes you an expert. I think that knowledge and experience do. Experience I do have. I’ve liked dolls since I was a small child so that’s fifty plus years of interest. I started collecting seriously in the mid to late 1990’s which I’ve recently realised means that I’ve been at it for close to 20 years so I guess I have experience covered.
As for knowledge, I read books and magazines and now search for websites with good information to share. I encourage fellow collectors to share what they know so maybe in another ten or twenty years I really will be an expert.
You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?
I used to think that I’d love to travel for a whole year. Now I’m older I’m not so sure. it’s a long time to be away from home. So many things change. I think I’d rather take my year in three month batches but that’s another story.
Obviously I’d want photographs of the people close to me and of my pets and I’d want some of my favourite books but a laptop or tablet would be able to take care of those needs and I’d be in constant contact with home I’m sure. But what item would I want to take that’s not practical or useful but I can’t do without? It didn’t take long to decide that I could not go a whole year without a doll. I’m sure I’d acquire new ones along the way of course but I think that I’d want to set out with a doll in my luggage.
I’d pick a small one, probably a Barbie that I liked and she would become my travel doll. I’d pack her a small travel wardrobe, just what would fit in a sandwich bag, and I’d photograph her at various places I went and write about what I saw from her point of view. It would be fun to do for my doll blog and I would enjoy having a doll to play with. Several years ago I participated in a travel doll project with some internet friends. The doll was sent to each participant and everyone photographed her and wrote about her adventures. I was the only one out of the USA & Canada I think. It was a lot of fun and that is what gave me the idea to travel with a Barbie. The only question would be which one to take?