Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Chloe's Story (vintage clone fashion doll, blond)


Is it possible for a doll to have an identity crisis? Ever since I came to live with Treesa I've been trying to find out who I am. I know for sure what I'm not. I'm not a vintage Barbie doll, despite my manufacturer's efforts to make me look like one.

My arms are soft and rubbery, with stubby fingers. Real vintage Barbie dolls have longer, more slender fingers. The rest of my body is made from a harder plastic, but I don't have the weight of a vintage Barbie doll. I'm more like a Mary Make-Up doll, as far as body weight and material goes. Then there's my head. Treesa said whoever designed my face paint must've been copying the very first Barbie dolls, because my eyes are black and white. And near the top of my head, in the back under my hair, there's a hole left behind from the molding process.

The only markings I have are the letter U on the back of my head, near my neck. Treesa thought this meant I was made by a company called Uneeda. But when Treesa checked the reference books she has about dolls from that time period she found out that, if I was a Uneeda doll, I would have different head markings, and I would also be marked on my back. The picture in one of the books of Uneeda's Barbie clone doll, Suzette, also looks a lot different from me. In fact, none of the Barbie clone dolls shown in the books look exactly like me. But then, there really aren't a lot of Barbie clone dolls pictured in the books. These books mostly show dolls that were molded to look like babies and children, not 11 1/2 inch fashion dolls. And the fashion dolls that are pictured were all made by the larger, more well-known toy companies from that time. Treesa told me a lot of smaller companies were also trying to cash in on Barbie's success by making clone dolls. So I guess finding out what my factory name was might as well be impossible. But Treesa tried. I'd still really like to find out someday, and I think Treesa is just as curious as I am.

But it's not just my factory name I don't know. I'm not sure why, but I can't remember anything about my past. Maybe it's because of my age. After all, humans sometimes have memory problems when they get older. But Treesa's other vintage dolls I've met still remember things about their old lives. My friend Mary, a Mary Make-Up doll who used to belong to Treesa's aunt, thinks that maybe I went into hibernation for too long. I'm wondering if my memory loss has something to do with the hole in my head. Maybe memories just leak out over time. But whatever caused it, the oldest memory I have is from the day Treesa found me.

I think Mary's right, and I must've been in hibernation, because I remember slowly waking up. Something, or someone, was touching me very gently, and that started easing me awake. Dolls with painted eyes sleep with their eyes open, so I couldn't see anything at first because I hadn't fully woken up yet. However, right after my eyes cleared, I was temporarily blinded by bright sunlight. Before my eyes could adjust, I felt myself being lifted up. I was disoriented, and a little afraid. But then my vision started to focus, and I saw Treesa for the first time.

She was holding me in her hands, and she seemed to be looking me over very carefully. Even though I didn't really understand where I was or what was going on, when I looked back at Treesa, I saw something in her eyes that made me feel safe. I can't really explain it, but it was like I could somehow tell that Treesa saw value in me. Then Treesa held me up in front of a white haired lady and asked how much I was. The lady said a dollar. Treesa gave her the money, and I was put in a plastic shopping bag. I was quickly joined by another doll, who I later found out was a reproduction Solo In The Spotlight Barbie. As Treesa was walking away with the bag hanging from her arm, I heard a man's voice ask, "The first doll was vintage wasn't it?"

"She's a vintage clone doll," Treesa told him. "She's old, but she wasn't made by Mattel."

"Then why did you buy her?" the man asked.

"Because she's well made for a clone doll," Treesa said. I later found out the man was Treesa's father.

Even though I was awake now, I still felt a little groggy and disoriented. It felt like my head was stuffed with cotton. I could hear Treesa and her father talking, but I didn't fully realize they were talking about me. However, I wasn't the only one listening.

"You're a vintage doll?" the other doll in the bag asked, whispering so no humans would hear her.

"Hmm?" I murmured, still trying to clear the fuzziness from my head.

"I've never met a vintage doll before," the other doll continued. "I'm only a reproduction. You must have seen a lot of changes in the world in all that time."

I could tell from the way the other doll spoke that she was in awe, thinking about everything I must've experienced in my life. Then she asked, shyly, "What was it like, when you were new?"

I didn't really know what to say then, but I thought it would be rude not to answer the question. So I searched my mind, trying to find a memory I could share with her. As I tried to organize my thoughts, the dense, foggy feeling in my head started to ease, replaced by a clearer, more airy feeling. But no memories from my past surfaced. My head was just, empty, and that scared me. "I, I can't," I started to say. But the other doll must've realized how upset I was, because she started talking again before I could finish.

"It's alright," she said. "You don't have to tell me if it's too painful for you. I didn't stop to think that it might be difficult to talk about."

I think the other doll would've understood if I hadn't said anything else to her after that, even though she'd completely misunderstood the reason for my reaction. But I felt too anxious to keep quiet.

"I can't, remember," I said. And the more I thought about it, the more it scared me. Even though it was a warm day, I started to shiver. I felt a tightness in my chest, like I wasn't getting enough air, even though dolls don't actually need to breathe to live. And although most dolls other than Raggedy Ann don't have physical hearts, I felt my pulse racing, like the beat of a hummingbird's wings. When I told Treesa about it much later, she said it sounded like I'd had a panic attack.

"I can't remember anything," I whimpered. It wasn't until after I'd said that that I realized just how true it was. Not only could I not remember my past, I didn't even know who I was!

The other doll looked overwhelmed, like she had no idea what to do in this situation. "Just calm down," she told me. "Maybe I can help. What's the last thing you remember?"

I tried to concentrate, but only one memory appeared in my mind. "Her face," I said, "right before she put me in here."

"The human?" the other doll asked. "The one carrying us?" She sounded surprised.

"Human?" I repeated. For a split second, the word meant nothing to me. Then something clicked in my thoughts. "That's right, she was human," I said. Something else clicked in my mind and I added, "and we're dolls!"

I felt like I'd just had a breakthrough. I still didn't know who I was, but at least now I knew what I was. And if I could remember that much, then maybe the rest of my memories would come back to me in time. Now that I realized there was a chance my memory loss might not be permanent, I felt not just relieved, but hopeful. My spirits rose, and I felt myself smiling for the first time since I'd woken up.

The other doll stared at me as if she thought I'd lost my mind. "What about before that?" she asked hesitantly. I tried concentrating even harder, half expecting a memory to surface. But my head stayed empty. "There's nothing before that," I told her, disappointed.

By now Treesa was carrying us into what I later found out was her father's van. The two of us kept quiet as we rode back to where Treesa lived with her family. In a crowded, noisy place like an open air flea market, it's a lot easier for small sounds like doll whispers to go unnoticed. But a car is more enclosed, and we didn't want to risk being overheard. Neither one of us realized that this was the last time we'd see each other. Treesa and her father had bought the reproduction doll as a gift for Treesa's mother, and Treesa's mother kept her childhood fashion dolls and her small collection of more modern Barbie dolls in storage boxes in the master bedroom closet.

Just to be clear, Treesa didn't know that dolls are alive at this point in her life. I'm mentioning this because what happened next could easily make you believe she was already in on the secret. After Treesa's mother thanked her for the Solo In The Spotlight doll, Treesa took me into the bathroom. "Let's get you cleaned up and out of those Baywatch Barbie shorts," Treesa said. That's when I realized that the only thing I was wearing was a pair of red shorts. Treesa washed me carefully, and just as carefully combed out my hair. When I was dry, she looked in her box of vintage doll clothes and found a dress for me to wear.

The dress is simple, but pretty, with shoulder straps and a gathered skirt. It's made from white fabric with a pink flower print. Treesa thought the pink flowers matched well with my lip paint. Even with my murky past still hanging over my head, I felt much better now that I was tided up and dressed in something decent. The time Treesa put into cleaning and dressing me made me feel like I mattered to her, like she saw something worthwhile in me.

After I was dressed, Treesa put me with her other vintage dolls. She didn't have very many of them then. Besides Mary, there was only Summer Sand and Skye and their son KC. Summer welcomed me in a tired sounding voice. KC was sleeping in her arms. As for Skye, he seemed, distant I guess. But what I remember most about that day was meeting Mary for the first time.

Chloe and Mary

It was a little surreal at first, since we both noticed right away that we were wearing the exact same dress. The only difference was that Mary's dress had blue flowers and my dress had pink flowers. The style and even the print were identical. Once the shock wore off and we started trying to talk to each other, I couldn't help feeling like my memory loss put me at a big disadvantage. From my point of view, Mary seemed to remember everything about her past, while I couldn't remember anything. I couldn't even answer simple questions like, "Do you have a name?", because I didn't remember whether or not I'd had a name at my old home and Treesa hadn't given me a name yet.

At the time Treesa was busy doing research, trying to find out what my factory name was. When Treesa decided that she couldn't put off naming me any longer, she picked the name Chloe, playing off the sounds in the word clone. Treesa often uses things like association to name her dolls. It helps her remember our names, and because Treesa has such a large collection, she needs the help. I'll admit, having a name has helped me shape a new identity for myself in my mind. It gave me a starting point to build around. I was somebody, instead of nobody.

But to get back to my first meeting with Mary, after she found out about my memory loss she did everything she could to make me feel comfortable in my new home. Summer was often very busy looking after KC, and Skye didn't seem all that friendly. I later found out that Skye has a damaged leg, and that his closed off personality might be due to chronic pain. But because Skye didn't seem to want my friendship, and because Summer didn't have much free time, it was Mary who kept me company the most. Before Treesa found out about dolls being alive, we didn't have as much freedom to move around and explore. So having someone nearby to spend time with, someone who had been in Treesa's collection longer than I had, meant a lot to me.

Mary also helped me by giving me a new perspective. When she realized how upset I was over my missing memories, she suggested that, instead of thinking so much about the memories I'd lost, I should try to be grateful that I had a new home and the chance to make new memories. My friendship with Mary became such a big part of my life that, when Treesa came home with Ruth, I was worried that Mary wasn't going to have time for me anymore. Ruth is a vintage Barbie doll who also used to belong to Treesa's aunt, and she and Mary had been good friends in the past. But Mary reassured me that my friendship was still important to her. And when I actually got to meet Ruth, I think I was actually able to help her settle in here.

Ruth was separated from her husband after Treesa's aunt grew up, and neither Ruth or Mary knew what had happened to him. Ruth was stuck in the past, wishing she could forget her pain. After I explained to her how forgetting your past isn't all it's cracked up to be, Ruth seemed to have an easier time cherishing her memories, without losing herself in them. But that's Ruth's story to tell, not mine. So I'll end this post here.

Chloe

Monday, May 4, 2020

Happy Star Wars Day

I've posted photos on the blog to celebrate Star Wars Day a couple of times in past years. However, with the frequent rain in my area recently I didn't think I'd be able to do a photo shoot this year. Luckily the clouds cleared up in time for me to take Sabine, my Star Wars Forces Of Destiny Sabine Wren by Hasbro, out on a 'scouting mission'. The poncho she's wearing would've originally come with a Forces Of Destiny Princess Leia Endor Adventure doll. I found it in a bag lot of doll clothing from the thrift store and gave it to Sabine to cover up her molded top. I think it makes her look more like a doll and less like an action figure. I also think it looks pretty good with her stock pants. Anyway, here's a look at the photos.

Lookout post in a tree, no sign of Imperials

Resting a moment on a fallen log

By the creek

Hope you enjoyed, and may the 4th be with you.

Signed, Treesa

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Message

Heather poses for an Easter photo

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating. Stay safe, stay well.
 
Signed, Treesa

Monday, March 9, 2020

Walt Disney World Winter Vacation: 2019 (Part 2)

(This post will be picking up where Part 1 left off. Just a reminder, there are two dolls who are coauthoring this post with me and their words have been labeled and color coded to avoid confusion over who is speaking.)

Treesa: The day after I got sick, we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Although the park is known for its live animals, Stormy didn't like the idea of getting too close to the windows of the animal enclosures. Gala didn't seem to mind though.

Gala: Treesa took a bunch of pictures.


Treesa: Unfortunately, this is the only photo of Gala with an animal that turned out at all, due to lighting conditions and reflection. Gala did say no to getting her picture taken with any of the local lizards.


Treesa: These little guys were all over the parks, sunning themselves in any convenient spot.

Gala: I didn't want a lizard jumping on me.

Treesa: I was pretty sure that wouldn't happen. But I could see that Gala was scared, so I didn't push her too much about posing for a photo.


Treesa: This picture of Gala on top of a rock wall was also taken at Animal Kingdom park. Stormy, meanwhile, preferred getting her picture taken with some of the flowers that made up a portion of the park's landscaping.




Stormy: I liked the pretty flowers.

Treesa: And here's a photo of a 'butterfly crossing sign we saw in the park.


Gala: But we didn't see any butterflies.

Treesa: I think it was the wrong time of year for them. Anyway, the day after that, which happened to be my birthday, was spent at Magic Kingdom park. We visited a lot of the classic attractions, like Pirates Of The Caribbean.

Stormy: The pirate ride was scary. There were skeleton pirates, and canons shooting, and at the end the buildings were all on fire.

Treesa: We also rode on the Jungle Cruise, only it had been given a holiday overlay and was called the Jingle Cruise. And here's a photo from the preshow of another classic Disney attraction, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room


Gala (singing): All the birds sing words and the flowers too,

Treesa: It's 'and the flowers croon', Gala. Croon is another word for sing.

Gala: Stormy got scared when the building came to life.

Treesa: Gala means the part of the show when the tiki idols sing. I'll admit, the Enchanted Tiki Room finale may be a little intense for youngsters.

Stormy: But I liked the singing birds part.

Treesa: To get back to the trip, this next set of photos was taken at the Swiss Family Treehouse attraction.




Gala: There were lots of steps. It took Treesa a long time to walk up all of them.

Treesa: Okay, Gala. I know I need to get in better shape. But we need to finish writing about the trip right now.


Treesa: Here's a photo of the Cinderella fountain at Magic Kingdom park.


Treesa: And speaking of fountains, here's a picture of another fountain that we saw the next day at Epcot. If you look closely, there's a stream of water shooting out from one of the 'launching pads'.

Gala: The water kept jumping back and forth! It was really cool.


Treesa: Here are a few more photos of Stormy posing with some flowers. This shot was taken at the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.


Treesa: And this photo is from Epcot's China pavilion. Unfortunately, that's the last photo I have with Stormy or Gala in it. Like I said at the beginning, it was difficult finding photo ops for dolls their size. Also, I've noticed that when I'm on vacation I often forget to take pictures. Oh sure, I'll remember to drag a camera around with me day after day. But then I get so busy trying to make the most of the trip that the thought of stopping to take pictures completely slips my mind. Not to mention the Disney parks have a 'no flash photography' rule for many of their indoor attractions.

I really wanted to get a picture of Gala and Stormy at Be Our Guest Restaurant. (My family had breakfast reservations there the day before we were scheduled to fly home.) I even packed a table setting from the discontinued Disney Happy Places line for the dolls to share. Unfortunately it was so dark inside the restaurant that I could barely see what I was eating.

Gala: And the fruit bowl had lots of melon in it. Treesa doesn't like melon.

Stormy: But all the food smelled good.

Treesa: Anyway, I guess that about wraps it up. We got back home a week and a half before Christmas. It was a nice vacation overall, though the first several days it felt like my family and I were running around so much trying to see everything that I wasn't getting the time to enjoy anything. I was so exhausted in the evenings that I skipped a lot of the nighttime light shows and fireworks.

Gala: But we saw the show where the elves rescued Santa!

Treesa: That was Jingle Bell Jingle Bam at Hollywood Studios park, and I'll admit I enjoyed that one. Still, it wasn't quite the vacation I'd imagined when we first booked the tickets at the beginning of the year.

Stormy: Me either, too many scary things.

Treesa: I'm sorry, Stormy. But think of it this way. If you hadn't gone with me, you would've wondered what you missed out on.

Anyway, I think it's past time that I got this posted. Goodbye for now.

Signed, Treesa (and Gala and Stormy)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Walt Disney World Winter Vacation: 2019 (Part 1)

Hello friends and visitors. It's Treesa again. Back in December of last year, I took a roughly week long trip with some family members to Walt Disney World resort in Florida. I knew I wanted to take some photos for the blog while I was down there. However, I've learned a few things about traveling with dolls since I first started blogging. For example, when I brought Odessa with me to Ocean City, New Jersey back in 2018, the poor doll spent most of the vacation stuck in the hotel room, alone. This experience made me realize that, on longer trips at least, it might be a good idea for me to travel with more than one doll. That way they can keep each other company if I'm not around.

I decided to bring two of my Kelly-sized dolls with me to Walt Disney World, thinking that they'd be easier to tote around than my larger dolls. However, it turned out that finding photo ops for such small dolls was a lot harder than I realized. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First, let me introduce you to my two doll traveling companions. They're going to be helping me write this post, with their words labeled and color coded so that you readers know who is speaking.


Treesa: This is Gala.

Gala: Hi!
 

Treesa: Gala is a redressed Fruitastic Happy Apple Marisa doll by Mattel. This explains why I named her after a type of apple. If you're familiar with the original outfits from the Fruitastic line, this also explains why I color coded her words in green. Gala's rather adventurous, so I thought she'd enjoy getting out of the house and touring 'The World', as some books refer to the Walt Disney World resort.

Gala: We went on lots of rides, and saw lots of shows, and Treesa went shopping a lot. She bought keychains and pins and...

Treesa: Okay, Gala. I think they get the idea, and I still have to introduce the other doll who came with us.


Treesa: This Funville Sparkle Girlz doll with pale blue hair is named Stormy Weather. Would you like to say hello Stormy?

Stormy: (quietly) Hello.

Treesa: Stormy's a little shy, but when she found out I was going to Walt Disney World she begged to come along.

Stormy: I wanted to see Elsa.

Treesa: Stormy is a huge Elsa fan. She has a coronation Elsa figurine that she carries around with her everywhere she goes.

Stormy: I took Queen Elsa to Disney World, but we didn't see the real Elsa.

Gala: We saw Cinderella's stepsisters on the merry-go-round!

Treesa: Gala means the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland. One of the official Disney photographers was taking pictures of Anastasia and Drizella on the carousel horses. Speaking of pictures, let's take a look at the photos I took on the trip.


Treesa: This picture was taken on the plane as we were approaching Florida. I was trying to photograph some interesting looking cloud formations with Stormy beside the window.

Stormy: The clouds were really puffy and lumpy. Treesa thought they looked like snowdrifts.

Treesa: I thought it would be fun to have Stormy pose with her arm stretched out towards the window, like she was Elsa and the clouds represented Elsa's ice magic. Unfortunately, my camera was having trouble with focusing and with the low light conditions inside the plane. This was the best shot I was able to get, and by the time I took it the cloud formations were nearly gone.

The next day was spent at Disney's Hollywood Studios park. I wanted Gala and Stormy to see as much as possible, so they rode around in my fanny pack with the zipper slightly open.

Gala: So we could peek out but nobody could see us.

Treesa: The first area of the park we checked out was Toy Story Land. Gala and Stormy seemed to like the idea of a place that showed humans what it was like to be toy-sized.

Gala: But Stormy got dizzy on the spinning spaceships ride.

Treesa: Gala means the Alien Swirling Saucers. I got a little off-balance on that one myself. I think I liked the Fantasyland Mad Tea Party attraction at Magic Kingdom park a little better. Riders on that one have a bit of control over the spinning.

Anyway, here's Gala standing in one of the giant Tinkertoy pieces at Toy Story Land.


Treesa: And here she is on a giant domino bench.


Gala: We watched the green army men play drums too! They threw the drumsticks up in the air!

Treesa: There were other things we checked out while we were at Hollywood Studios park. We walked around the then new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area. If the designers were going for a fully immersive environment, they nailed it. Gala and Stormy actually seemed a little nervous when they saw stormtroopers walking around and questioning park guests. I think The Voyage Of The Little Mermaid live show that we saw next was a little more their speed.

Gala: No it wasn't! It was too fast! It kept fast-forwarding stuff! I didn't like it.

Treesa: I agree with Gala that the show cut down the story quite a bit. But I understand why it was presented that way. If the show had gone through the whole movie in real-time it would've been so long that park guests would've been waiting forever to get in. However I'll admit, it wasn't one of my favorite live shows that we saw on the trip.

Stormy: I liked the bubbles.

Gala (to Stormy): You were scared of the sea witch.

Treesa: Our next stop was the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Gala thought it was very exciting, and a little scary.

Gala: Stormy thought it was a lot scary.

Stormy: There were big fires, and loud booms, and the man almost got squished with a big rock!

Treesa: It's okay, Stormy. Remember what I told you? The people who do the show want it to look dangerous, but they're really very careful to make sure everybody stays safe. Okay?

(Stormy nods)

Treesa: We actually didn't get to see as much of the park as we wanted to that day, because I got sick and threw up right after lunch. My brother thinks it was food poisoning. But I felt better later that evening, and made it back to the park in time to get a seat for Fantasmic. My family and I were staying 'on property' at Disney's Pop Century resort hotel, and we had park hopper passes for the trip. So I was able to take the Disney Skyliner back to the hotel and rest awhile before rejoining my family at Hollywood Studios park. The photo below shows the Skyliner in action. It was taken at Pop Century, but on a different day.


Treesa: I'll admit, when I first found out about the Skyliner I was a little nervous about trying it. But taking the Skyliner was so much more convenient than taking the buses, even though it did get a little chilly up there in the sky gondolas.

Stormy: I didn't like when we flew over the lake. We saw alligator signs near the lake at the hotel.

Treesa: I tried to tell Stormy that the Skyliner is safe. But then she overheard other members of my family talking about an accident that had happened when the Skyliner first opened and she got nervous.

(Stay tuned for Part 2.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Tennille's Story: An Update (unidentified brunette Tonner doll)


When I wrote my original post I was still grieving for my first owner. The loss and the loneliness that I felt came across in the tone of my words, and I ended the post with the seemingly impossible wish that Treesa would bring home another doll in my scale. I recently realized that I never shared what happened after that. I thought some of you might be interested to know that Treesa did later purchase two more dolls in my scale secondhand. They're not Tonner dolls, but I'll go into that later.

It was autumn of last year when Treesa came to me with the news. She told me that she'd 'rescued' a doll in my scale from an indoor flea market, a doll she'd named Ginny. Treesa let me know up front that Ginny wasn't a Tonner doll. Ginny is in fact a Disney Store Singing Anna doll, based on a character from the animated movie Frozen. But I think Treesa realized how out of place I felt in the collection with no other dolls in my scale to socialize with, because she told me that she'd thought I might like to meet Ginny anyway.

I'd met Disney dolls before. Treesa has a number of one sixth scale Disney dolls in her collection, and like any other group Treesa's Disney dolls have a wide range of personalities. I wondered what kind of personality this new doll, Ginny, would have. But mostly I was excited at the possibility of having a doll friend in my scale again. So I followed Treesa as she led the way towards the stair landing.

Ginny

I got my first look at Ginny from the top of the staircase. Her long, red hair was hanging down her back in waves, and she was wearing an ankle length red dress with black lace trim at the hem and long sleeves. Ginny's back was facing the staircase, and she seemed to be pointing at something on the floor in front of her with a long stick in her hand.

"Wingardium Leviosa," Ginny said as she raised her arm. I gave Treesa a puzzled look, hoping she would explain Ginny's odd behavior. Treesa somehow managed to look embarrassed and amused at the same time. She leaned towards me and murmured, "Don't mind her. I gave her a Harry Potter blind box wand for a photo shoot and she got really into it."

Treesa turned back towards the stair landing and then called down to Ginny. Ginny turned and looked up at us with a smile. "Hi, Treesa," she said. Then Ginny noticed me and asked curiously, "Who are you?"

"This is Tennille," Treesa said, making the introductions. "She's a Tonner doll." Ginny tilted her head slightly to one side, looking puzzled. "What's a Tonner doll?" she asked.

"I'll let Tennille explain all that," Treesa said hurriedly before explaining that she needed to get the pictures from Ginny's photo shoot uploaded. Treesa headed down the staircase as she talked, carrying me along with her. When she reached the landing Treesa set me down beside Ginny before leaving us to ourselves.

For a few seconds Ginny and I just stared awkwardly at each other. I had wanted a friend in my scale so badly, but now that I was face to face with Ginny I couldn't think of anything to say. Ginny looked as unprepared as I felt. I can still remember the nervous smile on her face as we looked at each other. It was Ginny who broke the awkward silence.

"Hi, I'm Ginny," she said, holding out her hand to shake. Unfortunately the hand she held out was the same one that had the Harry Potter wand rubber-banded to her fingers. Ginny looked extremely embarrassed. She apologized and quickly switched hands, explaining how she'd kept dropping the wand during the photo shoot and making an awkward joke about how it was a good thing the wand wasn't real, or she might've accidentally turned me into a toad. After I shook Ginny's hand she quickly changed the subject back to her original question of what a Tonner doll was. I explained to her that the Tonner company made fashion dolls for adult collectors.

It was certainly an awkward first meeting. But even after that initial awkwardness had passed Ginny and I still had some trouble finding things to talk about. We seemed to have very little in common, partially because we'd come from such different backgrounds. In my first home I was a display piece in an adult's collection. Ginny had been a child's toy, and even though she talked about her first owner fondly I don't think it was always an easy life. I found out after I commented on the lovely color of her dress that Ginny had been nude when Treesa found her for sale at the flea market, after her first owner outgrew her.

Even though Ginny and I weren't close friends, we were friendly enough that I knew I could come to her on days when I longed to spend time with a doll my own scale. I think Ginny may have felt the same way I did, to some degree. She gets along well with many of Treesa's other Disney dolls, but every now and then she'd come looking for me with a certain expression on her face that I recognized.

Despite this sense of community we shared I could still feel a distance between Ginny and I whenever we spent time together. But then something happened that helped bridge the gap between us. I was paging through a book that Treesa had left out when I heard Ginny call for me. I looked up and saw her coming towards me with a smile on her face, and another doll in our scale that I didn't recognize following behind her. "Tennille, this is Noni," Ginny said when she reached me. "She's a Disney Store Tiana Singing doll."

Noni

Noni greeted me casually. I noticed that her dark hair was arranged in a curly updo that reminded me a little of my own hairstyle. We also seemed to have somewhat similar taste in clothes, since both of us were wearing knee length, sleeveless dresses. Even though the green, cottony fabric with a white floral print that Noni's dress was made from wasn't something I would wear myself, it did seem to suit her. When I complimented the dress Noni said it was a lot more practical and better made than the princess dress she'd originally come with, and that she was glad Treesa had gotten it for her.

Noni was also glad that Treesa decided to remove her one remaining shoe. Noni said it was a lot easier to walk around barefoot than to try to walk with one shoe. She then made a joke saying she had no idea how Cinderella managed it after the ball. Ever since I'd come to live with Treesa I'd been a little sad knowing that I'd probably never get a pair of shoes, since shoes for dolls in my scale can be expensive and difficult to find. But I had to admit that Noni made a good point.

Noni seemed to have an easier time connecting with Ginny than I did, possibly because Noni and Ginny were both Disney dolls whose first owners had been children. But Noni had also been a display piece in her previous owner's bedroom and hadn't really been played with, so she seemed to be able to see things from my perspective as well. Before Noni came I couldn't really relate to some of Ginny's experiences. But Noni was able to explain things in a way that helped me picture myself in Ginny's place. Once I could do that it was easier for me to understand why Ginny thought and believed certain things, and why she sometimes acted in certain ways. I even started to understand how Ginny could still love her first owner, even after that owner had lost Ginny's original clothes and had then sold Ginny at a flea market.

Spending time with Noni also helped me to see that while it's ok to be disappointed when things aren't the way you want them to be, you shouldn't dwell on your disappointment. Noni has a way of seeing the practical side of things, like what she said about going barefoot for example. Rather than getting upset about losing her shoes Noni focused on the fact that she could walk better without her remaining shoe. Hearing Noni talk helped me to realize that some things that seemed like serious problems really weren't that important.

I'm glad that Noni and Ginny are here. They've shown me different ways of seeing the world, and I've learned a lot from both of them. It's my hope that I've contributed as many positive things to their lives as they have to mine.

Tennille

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New Hope Doll Show and Sale

Hello again friends and visitors. It's Treesa. I know this is technically supposed to be my dolls' blog and not mine, but the post my Tonner doll Tennille is working on is taking longer than expected. In the meantime, I wanted to tell you about the doll show and sale that I attended over the Columbus Day weekend.

The show was held at the Eagle Fire Hall in New Hope, Pennsylvania. It wasn't a huge show. In fact, some of you reading this would probably have been disappointed by the size. But I thought it was just the right size for someone like me. This was my first doll show ever, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by large crowds. There were a few times during the show when the attendees were so tightly packed around a particular booth that I started to feel anxious, since the booths for each seller were relatively small. But the main aisles were wide enough that I could simply move on to the next booth.

The show also had a wide variety of things for sale. There were antique dolls, vintage dolls from the 50s onward, more modern collectable dolls like Tonner, even a few resin ball-jointed dolls. In addition to these were 'reborn' baby dolls, American Girl brand clothing and accessories, and one seller who seemed to specialize in dollhouse miniatures. Some of these things I had never actually seen in person before. I had only ever seen pictures in doll collecting magazines.

I didn't have enough money put aside to make any really extravagant purchases, but I did pick up a few things.

my doll show haul

The Pocahontas doll is 18 inches tall. I have a bit of a weakness for Pocahontas dolls. The other things I purchased are shown in more detail below.


The little dress and slip set was my first purchase of the day. I thought the pieces were really cute, and the price was right. The set looks handmade to me. Granted, I have no idea what brand of doll the dress and slip were originally made for. But I do have a variety of smaller dolls in my collection, so I'm sure someone will fit in them. So far I'm planning to try the pieces on a Disney Petite Princess doll, a mini American Girl doll, and a Mattel 90s era Stacie sized doll.


Speaking of smaller dolls, I bought this vintage Skooter doll from the same seller that I got the 18 inch Pocahontas doll from. The seller made me a combined deal, since I wanted both dolls. For anyone who might not know, Skooter was one of Skipper doll's first friends. I don't recognize the outfit, but the style looks like something from the 1970s. It's also very patriotic. The stars on the pants look black in the photo, but they're actually navy blue. Skooter might not end up staying with me though. I'm giving my mom first dibs on her.

Despite some brief bouts of anxiety, I really enjoyed myself at the show. There's going to be another one at the same location in the spring. I'd be interested in going again, but I'll have to wait and see what my schedule looks like then.

Signed, Treesa