Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Doll for Christmas

Some little girls are doll lovers and some aren't. I was definitely one. As a child, I always received at least one doll every Christmas. I guess that's where my tendency to collect things (dolls among them) got started. Several eons ago (well, sometime in the 1950s), I received my first Ginny Doll for Christmas one year. Designed by dollmaker Jennie Graves, the Ginnys were made by the Vogue Doll Corporation, and were 8-inches of very sturdy hard plastic. They were also adorable.

Ginnys were all the rage just before Barbie hit, and just like the Pink Princess, they had tons of outfits and accessories - all sold separately, of course. They were very addictive - so much so that I had to have another one the next Christmas. Well, I didn't want Ginny No. 1 to be lonely.

Not long after I received that first Ginny, I took her out into the backyard and took some photos of her and my other dolls, with my mother's old Kodak Brownie camera. The blurriness of the pictures probably reflects my photographic ability at about age seven, more than the quality of the equipment. Here are a couple of those original shots (click on photos to enlarge):

And as a testament to the longevity of those Golden Age toys, here's that same doll in the same outfit, some fifty years later, enjoying yet another Christmas. All I can say is I'm just a bit older than she is, and I wish I'd held up that well! Merry Christmas from Ginny and me!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Miss B Makes a Call

That should probably be: Miss B and Her Shadow Make a Call. OK, for all you collectors out there, this is the Silkstone Barbie from the Continental Gift Set, wearing a Fashion Avenue outfit called Front Row at the Spring Show (2001; No. 25702-52878). And I'm not sure if this is the cell phone that came with the outfit, or one from a Teen Skipper set. I know for most normal folks, that must sound like gibberish, but real Barbie enthusiasts will be able to decipher it. Doll collectors are a strange lot.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Shadow Shot Sunday is a weekly photo meme hosted by Hey Harriet. To see many, many more shadow shots or to contribute some yourself, head on over to her blog.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mystery Doll in Blue

Blue Monday is hosted weekly by Smiling Sally.
To see more offerings, or to participate yourself,
please head on over to her blog.

I don't really have much blue around the place, except in my doll collection. So today I thought I'd show off my Toni Doll. She's an early 1950s doll, made by the Ideal Toy Corporation (their slogan was "It's a wonderful toy! It's Ideal!"). She's made from hard plastic, about 16 inches tall, and is in absolutely mint condition. She came with her original (blue) outfit, box, wrist tag, and all the proper accouterments: curlers, shampoo creme, and "play wave" (a sugar-water solution). But I'm pretty sure Toni never had her platinum hair "done" – it's still in the original set.
The reason I call her a mystery doll is because of the slightly cryptic piece of writing we found penciled on her box. The note simply says "Last Christmas." The dealer we bought her from said she had been put away for over forty years in an attic or the top of someone's closet, and never played with. Well, the "never played with" part is obvious – she looks like she was just slipped out of Santa's bag. And I took the note to mean that the doll was received at Christmas last year, about fifty years ago. But my husband, who is a much more creative thinker (and just a teeny bit sentimental sometimes) came up with a sad and rather spooky scenario about a doll received on a child's last Christmas (as in final Christmas – as in somebody died), and then put away untouched and un-played with for nearly half a century.

Well, that's intriguing but very depressing, so I choose to go with my own first impressions and ignore my hubby's little flight of fantasy. But should he be writing short stories, or what?

Cross-posted at Joysweb.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday #27

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please head on over to her blog.

This is Outdoor Wednesday #27, but for me it's actually #1. And for my first offering, I'm posting a few doll shots. I've written before about my doll collecting mania, and also about my travel doll. Kayla is a member of the Barbie family and as she's a rather tiny doll (about 3 inches tall), she fits nicely inside a purse or a pocket or a suitcase – so she's perfect for taking along on excursions. She never changes outfits, so she acquires a sort of "Where's Waldo" effect in all her photos. But she's game for just about anything. She's been to the beach and the mountains, and to big cities like New York and Chicago. Since she came to live with me, she's never been out of the USA; although I suspect she originated in China or Japan. Generally, she lives in a display case in our dining room, but she does love an occasional outdoor romp. Here are a few shots from some of her adventures. (Cross-posted at Joysweb.)

Here she is enjoying the view from a peak in Shenandoah National Park.

Cooling off in a friend's rock garden, near a bubbling water spout.

Hiding out in a leggy plant on our balcony.

Making a new friend in the forest.

On a visit to Blackwater Falls WV, a few years ago.

Checking out some views at Blackwater Falls.

And finally, relaxing in a Texas garden.
Looks like a creepy-crawly is just about to attack from the other side of that leaf!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cissy in Blue

I originally posted this on my Joysweb blog, as part of Smiling Sally's Blue Monday meme. As I said there, I've pretty much run out of blue decor around this place. Except for the dolls. Quite a few of those have some very nice blue outfits. So I might start sharing photos and stories about the Blue Girls in my collection.

I'll start today with one of my own childhood dolls; in fact, I believe she was my last Christmas doll, back in – well, way back there. I was about eleven that year, and had long since abandoned the notion that all those dolls came from Santa's workshop. But I still loved dolls, and always got a "nice" one at Christmas. And the Madame Alexander "Cissy" dolls were about as nice as they came. Sorry about the lighting – I did this in a rush this morning. And also, please ignore the ribbons around her ankles – it's not some sort of dolly bondage thing; she's just a heavy doll and doesn't stand well in those high heel shoes without help.

Isn't she pretty? Like all the Cissy dolls, she's about 21 inches tall and made of vinyl. Her outfit is a bit unusual – I've never really seen it documented in any of the doll reference books. But I've found similar outfits on "store special" dolls from the period, and I believe she may have been one of those dolls specially designed for a department store at Christmas time. For some reason, I never thought to ask my mother just where Cissy came from.

But even though she was a Christmas doll, I've always thought of her as sort of "springy." She's wearing a blue felt topcoat, with a yellow silk scarf around her neck. But her blue straw hat with pink flower trim (and tiny blue hatpin) is definitely a spring-ish item. And underneath the coat, she has on a blue velveteen jumper over a pink silky blouse with pussycat bow at the neckline. Doesn't she look like she's all ready to join the cast of "Mad Men"?

And here's a close-up of the little "diamond" trimmed watch attached to her waistline.

By the time I received Cissy, I was already collecting dolls more than I was playing with them, so she's remained fairly pristine. She was a great comfort to me that Christmas because my father had just died during the summer, and I was still feeling a little bewildered and abandoned. I think I saw her as a bit of reassurance that childhood wasn't completely at an end just yet. Over the years, I've collected several more Cissy dolls, but she'll always be my favorite.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Doll

Over the weekend, we paid a visit to the Eastern National Doll Show, held four times a year in Gaithersburg, Maryland. This was the first time in several years that we've attended, although we used to be regulars. The show isn't what it once was, or at least this particular show seemed much diminished from the ones I remember. I'm not sure if that's a function of the general economic crisis or just a slump in the doll collecting fervor of years past. I heard several dealers talking about the fact that it's getting harder to find really good dolls to sell. So maybe it's just that all the fabulous dolls are already in collections. Demi and Whoopi have probably cornered the market on all those Brus and Jumeaus. But then, those would certainly be out of my price range anyway!

I did buy a new doll at the show, even though I'm not really "collecting" anymore – I'm actually trying to downsize the collection I have already. But this Francie doll (Barbie's younger "Mod" cousin) was a very good buy, so I really couldn't pass her up. She needs a cleaning and a trip to the hair salon, but fortunately her outfit (called "Tuckered Out") comes with a set of tiny hair rollers and a brush and comb.

Otherwise she's in really good shape for a forty-year-old chick, don't you think?

Cross-posted on Joysweb.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dutch Treat

For this week's Blue Monday offering, I thought I'd post another sampling from my doll collection. The two Dutch dolls pictured here are by Vogue Dolls, and are even older than I am (no, I didn't believe it was possible, either), having been issued around 1942. They're made of composition, with painted eyes, and mohair wigs glued over molded curls. As you can see, their outfits have definitely seen better days. There are products available to clean and restore old fabric, of course, but I've just never wanted to take the chance. I believe the little girl would originally have had more of a pointed "Dutch" cap on – the lacy one she's wearing is definitely old (probably older than the doll), but also probably a replacement.

These two dolls have always been special to me. For one thing, they're precursors of the Ginny Doll, which was a favorite doll of my childhood. And also, these are two of the last dolls I bought, back ten years or so ago, when I was still actively collecting. But I think I've always liked them especially because of the "Dutch doll" tag. When I was a child, my grandmother always used to call me a "little Dutch girl" and when I got old enough to look things up in encyclopedias, and found out all about the costumes with their wooden shoes and starched white caps, I fell in love with the idea. Of course, decades later I realized that my old German Granny was saying I was a "Deutsch" girl – a little fraulein – and nothing to do with Holland at all!

For more Blue Monday photos and stories, please visit Smiling Sally's blog.

(Cross-posted at Joysweb.)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...