Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Doll Memories Part I

Exotic Beauty Barbie
Mattel 2002
I decided to start this blast from the past segment to bring some of my old dolls back in the limelight and reminisce them good ol' days. First up is Exotic Beauty Barbie. I chose her because she's never actually graced this blog even though I've had her close to the beginning of my doll collecting journey.

I got her at the very first local doll show I had ever attended, probably in 2004. I went there with a friend. I remember when we were paying the entrance fee and the mature lady at the desk gave us a weird look that almost said we didn't belong there. I thought that was odd. She didn't even hand us the free doll bag that she handed to everyone else. Of course my friend and I had no idea there were bags handed out until we got inside the dealers room and found just about everyone carrying it around... And then we were like, what the frigg??? No matter. I managed to snag this doll for a steal so it was still a good day. I probably would have left with more goodies if I could afford them.

I still find this doll very appealing. She exudes class all around. And I love that necklace...back in the day when Barbie collector dolls wore metal jewelry. I also like the style of the dress. I do remember having to actually iron out the creases at the bottom of her gown because they were folded to fit in her doll box. The dress minus the creases displays beautifully.

An old photo of one of my silkstones trying on
Exotic Beauty's dress.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lonely Lisa Restuffed!

Lonely Lisa loses her head...

I'm so proud of myself! Ergo, I had to share here. Except for a broken porcelain doll given to me once upon a time that I pieced back together with super glue, I'd never done anything like this. When I created the Lonely Lisa Facebook Page I was extremely inspired to get constructive.

The bent wire armature pulled out from the body.
You can see here just above the knee how she's been shrivelled up for some time.
Much of the stuffing has deteriorated into dust.
Some have stuck to the cloth body and stained it.

I first got my very own Lonely Lisa doll in 2011. She was in excellent condition with one flaw. Her stuffing had shrivelled up. She was 47 years old after all. I like to keep my dolls in pristine condition so I shipped her out to get re-stuffed not too long after and she came back all huggy and with a big booty again. I can be very finicky so I'd always been fearful of doing this sort of thing myself.

...What Rosco said!

About a year or so later, I stumbled upon another Lonely Lisa on Ebay in very good condition and my fingers clicked the bid and buy button. When I received her, I realized that her body was actually in a poorer condition than my first one. She was definitely skinnier and I could feel most of her wire armature inside. At the time, I believe I was on a fashion doll collecting high so getting my second Lonely Lisa doll re-stuffed went on a back burner.

I wanted to make sure no water pools in her hands and feet.

2017 has just begun and I was feeling brave and inspired. I decided that it was time for my second Lonely Lisa doll to get in shape...You see, even some dolls require getting into shape! Hahaha! The labor of love took two days. I wanted to make sure she was clean and completely dry. My first doll has a water mark on one knee. I don't think she was completely dry when re-stuffed.

The brilliant Build-A-Bear idea came into light!

I was pretty amazed at the end result. I hadn't hand-sewn anything since...I can't recall, meaning it's been a long time. The heart you see above was actually my exercise run of testing whether I still remember how to do simple stitches. I got the idea from Build-A-Bear where they stuff their bears with hearts that you've made a wish on. So I stuffed my second Lonely Lisa doll with a heart too! I didn't have any red fabric though. She ended up with a quilted type of satiny brown fabric heart.

From left to right: Lonely Lisa and her sidekick Rosco, Laurel and her sidekick Yukon

And voila! Two of my 1964 Lonely Lisa dolls, now both washed and re-stuffed. The one wearing the checkered dress is the one I re-stuffed. I've decided to rename her Laurel so I'm not doing the whole Lisa One and Lisa Two thing. The Laurel name comes from the laurel tree, symbolic of honor and victory...And I'm feeling very victorious right now. It's fitting!

You might notice how Laurel's grown a good inch and a half taller. They used to be very close in height as seen below...although even then, Laurel looked ever so slightly taller. And your eyes aren't tricking you. The one wearing a heart pendant has a slightly bigger and rounder face. Interestingly, I checked the back of their heads and they are both marked 1964 but one has a number 18 stamped below the year and the taller one has 19. I was pretty mystified about that too.

Laurel's before photo.

I don't think I pushed the wire armature deep enough in her feet. Or maybe the wire armature was meant to curve on her butt? Or was she just so shrivelled up that she ended up looking like she was the same 17" tall as my first Lonely Lisa... Either way she's looking fantastic now.

For more photos of Laurel's re-stuffing, check out my Flickr. And if you haven't yet, like us on Facebook!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking Ahead...

Lonely Lisa and her friend Yukon

I wanted to do a yearly look back and highlight dolls that joined my doll family in 2016. Instead, I found myself reminiscing random collecting moments throughout my years as a doll collector. It has been over a decade! I started collecting dolls in late 2004. I didn't have a blog then and I wasn't a part of any doll clubs, etc., but I'd always been enthused by photographs I'd seen online and I wanted to be a part of the fun. The combination of doll collecting and photography gave me a happy medium to express myself without really having to show my face or divulge my name or any real personal info. Good photograph. Bad photograph. My dolls are my muses and they represented me. That was the end of story.

Lonely Lisa, Yukon and the Christmas plant

And then it dawned on me that I had been doing this for a while and I really don't have any doll collector friends. I need to be more interactive. Sometimes I just don't know what to say or don't feel I have anything significant to say. Hahaha! That's why I call my blog archive, 'Ramblings'. But that's no excuse to be silent.

So I decided to start a New Year doll project. I've created a Lonely Lisa fan page on Facebook in hopes of being a little more interactive. Why Lonely Lisa? This vintage doll has fascinated me since I first laid eyes on her through Flickr years ago. There isn't much info out there about her and from the pictures I've seen, she came in so many variations. I've always thought that a part of the fun of doll collecting is the thrill of the hunt. Frustrating, yes. Fun, absolutely! So, whether it's hunting for the doll or doll info it would be interesting to have a place where vintage doll enthusiasts could share their stories and discoveries about this rare vintage doll.

Hi, I'm Theresa, if you didn't know. Join me on Facebook and let's share our discoveries about Lonely Lisa. Click HERE. With her big sad eyes, I promise you that she will walk right into your heart.

If vintage isn't your thing and you just love dolls, period. I do have a Doll Epic Facebook Page where even more of my doll random moments can be seen.

See you around!

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