Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Orlando's Story: Continued (Mattel The Lord Of The Rings Legolas, redressed)

I went looking for Celeste early one morning, hoping to find her alone. I spotted her strolling by the bookcase and quickly caught up to her. "Celeste?" I called from behind her. She turned, and when she saw me she gave me a friendly smile that nearly took my breath away. "Hello Orlando," she said. I quickly re-gathered my thoughts and said, "My sister told me you give good relationship advice." Celeste looked surprised but I hurried on, wanting to get the words out before I lost my nerve. "I could use some good advice," I said. "I was wondering if I could talk to you, privately."

"Of course," Celeste said. She led me to a quiet corner where we would be away from prying eyes and asked, "How can I help?" I was still nervous about the whole thing, so it was difficult for me to speak, despite the fact that I'd spent some time rehearsing what I planned to say in my mind. "I know about Shade's infatuation with Carlos," I began. "I'm having a similar problem. I...I've grown very strong feelings for another doll in the collection. But I don't know if she feels the same way. I don't feel comfortable asking her, and she's not the easiest doll to read." I gave Celeste a wry smile and said, "I guess Shade and I are both drawn to the quiet, mysterious types."

Suddenly I worried that I'd said too much, and my fears seemed to be confirmed when Celeste spoke. "It sounds to me like you're describing one of your sister's friends," she said carefully. Celeste must've seen the sudden panic on my face because she quickly added, "It's alright. I don't really need to know who it is. I only mentioned it because I've noticed when you spend time with Shade and the rest of us, you're very quiet most of the time. You don't really share your opinions very often. I thought that maybe if you spoke up a little more, and gave the rest of us a chance to really get to know you, it would help you connect with the doll you have feelings for without having to single her out in conversation."

 I thought over what Celeste had said. "I'm not as...chatty as some of Shade's friends," I said. "I don't open my mouth unless I think I have something valuable to say."

"And that's ok," Celeste assured me. "I'm not saying you should completely change who you are. But maybe you have more to say than you think you do. Just because something seems small to you doesn't mean it's not important. I'm sure you've told Shade a lot of things that didn't seem important, but because you did she probably understands you better than anyone."

Again I thought over what Celeste had said. It did make sense in a way. After all, how could I expect Celeste to have real feelings for me if we only knew each other superficially? If I wanted her to make the choice to spend her life with me, I needed to let her see what kind of doll I really was. There was always a chance that she wouldn't like what she saw, but the fact that she was encouraging me to reach out seemed to hint that she hadn't already made up her mind against me.

"You've given me a lot to think about," I said finally. I wasn't sure what to say after that, and as the seconds ticked by an awkward silence seemed to settle over the two of us. I realized then that I should probably leave, and let Celeste get on with the rest of her day.

"I think I've taken up enough of your time," I said. "I'm sure you have other things to do today."

"It's alright," Celeste said. "I'm always glad to help." She smiled again, a reassuring smile that once again took my breath away. I was so dazzled by it that it took a second to remind myself that I had already monopolized too much of Celeste's time, and that I needed to leave. As I turned to walk away I realized that I had forgotten something very important. I turned back towards Celeste and said, "Thank you, Celeste, for the advice and for listening."

"You're welcome," Celeste said. We parted ways then, but it wasn't long before I saw her again, passing the time with Shade and Shade's other friends. I did speak to my sister privately about my meeting with Celeste. Shade made a joke out of the fact that I'd actually followed her suggestion, when it's usually her who follows my suggestions.

I've been trying to follow Celeste's advice, trying to share more when I'm with the group. It hasn't always been easy. I worry that the things I say will sound stupid or shallow. I worry how my words might change the way the other dolls think of me. Everyone wants to make a good impression, especially when one's heart is at stake.

Celeste has been very supportive in my efforts to be more open with others. Every now and then I'll look over at her, after I've shared something with the group, and she'll give me a small nod of encouragement. While I can't say if she'll ever feel for me the way I feel for her, for now it's enough to know that I still have her friendship and support.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Orlando's Story (Mattel The Lord Of The Rings Legolas, redressed)

If any doll who knows me was ever asked to describe my personality, they'd probably say that I'm the exact opposite of my sister Shade. When I first met Shade she was a bundle of energy, chatting non-stop with anyone who would listen, always getting involved in some activity. At the time I thought it was because she'd just recovered from a body swap, and she was tired of lying down doing nothing. But as more time passed I realized that it was in Shade's nature to be energetic and talkative. That's just who she is.

Shade also doesn't do things by halves, as they say. She jumps in with both feet. Sometimes this gets her into trouble. I remember the time she told me that her friend Dandelion had been introduced to a little girl doll named Marigold, and that Treesa wanted Dandelion and Marigold to be sisters. Shade was so excited at the thought of being an 'auntie', and having a little girl doll in her group of friends that they could all cuddle and spoil. I don't think Shade actually realized the amount of sacrifice and commitment that goes into caring for a doll child. However, from what Shade told me it sounded as though Dandelion may have been more aware of what being a caregiver actually called for.

Whatever her reasons, Dandelion never did agree to be Marigold's sister. Shade was disappointed, and I think she would have pushed Dandelion to change her mind if I hadn't pointed out how doing that would only make Dandelion upset, and might lead to the end of their friendship. Not only that but Rampion and Celeste and Michaela would also be forced to choose sides. Shade knew how lucky she was to have Dandelion for a friend, someone whose personality so closely matched her own. And she didn't want to be responsible for tearing her group of friends apart. So Shade left things alone, and didn't bring the subject up again.

This wasn't the only time I had to stop Shade from doing something without thinking it through. There've been times when keeping her out of trouble has felt like a full time job. But even though my sister can be exasperating at times, I do care about her. Sometimes her being impulsive is even a good thing. I tend to be a little more cautious than Shade about what I say and do. I don't like to take risks if I can avoid them, so my life can get a little predictable, maybe even boring. Shade is the one doll who can get me out of my comfort zone and trying new things. So even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I'm still grateful to have my sister in my life. And if she ever needed help, I can honestly say that I'd do anything for her.

Orlando and Shade

There is another doll that I'd do anything for. From the moment I met Celeste, I knew there was something special about her. Maybe it was the far away look in her eyes, the way she seemed to be here but at the same time, somewhere else. Or maybe it was the graceful, nearly silent way she carried herself, as if she was used to walking on clouds. In some ways she almost didn't seem real. I still remember the night I woke up and saw her standing by the window, when she looked more like something made of moonbeams and shadows than plastic and vinyl.

When Celeste started spending time with Shade and Shade's friends, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know her better. So I started 'hanging around', as Shade put it. I quickly discovered that Celeste had become the voice of quiet reason in the group. Whenever Shade or one of her friends had some minor problem they wanted to discuss everyone else in the group would offer their input, debating back and forth what the best course of action would be. But Celeste would always listen quietly, taking in what the rest of the dolls had to say before she offered an opinion. When she did finally speak, her words were always insightful. Celeste seems to have a remarkable understanding of doll nature and behavior. Her sense of perspective is also amazing. Celeste has a way of focusing on the big picture, of seeing the whole forest as they say, when everyone else is only seeing the trees.

The more I learned about Celeste, the more I was drawn to her. I didn't fully understand my feelings at first. I only knew that I wanted to be near her, to spend more time with her. By the time I realized I'd lost my heart the feelings ran so deep that I was convinced I'd never be able to forget Celeste, even if I'd wanted to.

I didn't talk to my sister about Celeste, at least, not at first. But eventually I realized that I needed to talk to someone, and Shade seemed like the best candidate. Despite how different we are from each other, I know that Shade cares about me. She cares the way I care about her: friendly, teasing, maybe a little overprotective. But if there's one thing I know for sure it's that Shade wants me to be happy. So one day when I was standing by the window, my thoughts focused on Celeste, I decided to confide in my sister.

Shade had been walking past me, and had stopped to ask if I was ok. She'd found me this way before, staring blankly out the window, but I'd always brushed off her concern. Now I realized that silently pining for the doll I loved was getting me nowhere. Not only that, but Shade was obviously worried about me. I owed her an explanation, if only to put her mind at ease and assure her that there was nothing seriously wrong. I also knew that I could trust Shade to keep this a secret if I asked her to. Shade's a chatterbox by nature, but she wouldn't share something if she'd given her word not to.

When Shade asked if I was ok I exhaled slowly, not knowing the best way to bring up the subject. I was still facing the window, and I could see Shade's reflection in the windowpane. She was frowning, and I realized again just how worried she must've been. I slowly turned to face her.

"It's nothing serious really," I said, trying to reassure her. Shade didn't look convinced. "Something's bugging you. I can tell," she said.

"I don't want you to worry," I told her. "But...before I say anything, I need you to promise that you won't repeat what I'm going to tell you."

Shade looked even more worried than before but she said, "Ok, I promise." That was so typical of Shade, going into things blindly. But in this case I was grateful for her impulsive nature. I slowly exhaled again, trying to collect my thoughts, and said, "There's...another doll. She...she means a lot to me and I...I'd like to be more than just a friend to her. But...I don't know if she feels the same way."

Shade's reaction completely surprised me. She rolled her eyes and asked, "Is this about Celeste?" I felt my jaw drop. "You knew?" I asked. Shade gave me an indignant look. "I'm not stupid you know," she said. It was clear that Shade felt insulted by my question, and I'm sure I would've tried to smooth things over with her if another thought hadn't completely taken over my mind. "Does Celeste know?" I asked.

Shade looked thoughtful and said, "I'm not sure, to be honest. If she does she hasn't said anything to me about it."

This new information triggered a confusing mix of emotions in me. On the one hand I was encouraged that Celeste hadn't said anything that rejected me outright. On the other hand I still didn't know if she could return my feelings, or if she'd even realized that I had feelings for her. Basically I was back where I'd started. "I just don't know what I should do, Shade," I admitted.

Shade looked thoughtful again and said, "If you had a crush on anybody else, I'd say you should go talk to Celeste. She gives great relationship advice. She helped me a lot when..." Shade suddenly trailed off, looking embarrassed. I tried not to seem amused by her reaction, since I didn't want her to think I was laughing at her. But I felt the hint of a smile cross my face despite my best efforts. "I know about your infatuation with Carlos," I told Shade. She looked even more embarrassed than before, and quickly tried to brush the matter aside.

"Anyway, I'm not sure what to tell you," Shade said. "Celeste's a lot better at giving advice than I am." Suddenly, Shade's expression changed, as if she'd had a brainstorm. "I've got it!" she said. "What if you tell Celeste you need some relationship advice, but just don't tell her it's her you've got a crush on? That way you can get some good advice without having to tell her you like her."

At first I don't think I really understood what Shade was suggesting. "You want me to lie to her," I said, not liking where this was going. Shade shook her head. "You wouldn't have to lie," she said. "Just tell Celeste you're not comfortable saying who it is. That's not really lying," Shade reasoned.

It sounded crazy to me, and risky. What if Celeste realized that I was talking about her? What if knowing that I had feelings for her made her uncomfortable? I didn't want to lose what little contact I already had with Celeste. Shade must've realized that I wasn't sold on her plan yet, because she said, "Celeste told me once that it's not the things we do that we regret the most. It's the things we didn't do."

For a moment I just stood there in silence, thinking over what Shade had said. Could it really work? Could I really get some guidance from Celeste without having to reveal my feelings for her?

"I'll think about it," I said finally. Shade must've realized that I would need time by myself to think things over, because she left me on the windowsill. Over the next few days I carefully considered my next move. Eventually I decided that, if I really wanted a future with Celeste, I'd have to face the threat of rejection sooner or later. I made up my mind that I would ask for her advice, as Shade had suggested. And then maybe, during the course of the conversation, I'd see or hear something that would give me a clue how Celeste felt about me.

(To Be Continued)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Concord's Story (grape scented purple-haired Barbie fairy, redressed)

If there are any dolls reading this who've survived a failed makeover, you're not alone. I got some lousy results when my first owner tried to give me a makeover. The good news is, a bad makeover isn't the end of the world. Treesa said some humans like buying dolls with cut hair and bad repaint jobs so they can fix them up. Treesa's not one of those humans. She doesn't know how to style hair, and she's never tried to do a real repaint. But Treesa sees things a little differently than most adult doll collectors. She's not as worried about buying dolls that look perfect. She's more interested in having dolls with character and personality. I'll admit there are some things that up the odds of Treesa noticing you. Having a 'fantasy hair color' does help your chances of getting Treesa's attention.

Treesa bought me at a flea market that was set up inside a hospital parking garage. The lighting wasn't that great, but thanks to my purple hair Treesa spotted me right away. I don't think she realized I'd been partially repainted until she got me home. Like I said, the lighting in the parking garage wasn't so good. My lips had been repainted, but the paint job was really sloppy and Treesa thought my lips didn't have any 'shape' anymore. I still had my factory paint underneath, so Treesa ended up rubbing off most of the new paint layer. It's a good thing the repaint wasn't sealed.

Treesa also got me a blue dress that sort of matches my eyes, and what's left of my 'manicure'. Some of the blue 'nail polish' rubbed off. The dress doesn't match my painted stockings so well but that's ok. It's comfortable, and it covers up my molded top so I look more like a regular doll. My first owner also gave me some painted earrings.

Did I mention I'm grape scented? That's why Treesa named me Concord. She says my hair smells like grape Koolaid. The weird thing is, Treesa remembers seeing dolls like me in the store years ago and none of them were scented. Treesa tried looking me up online, and she said it looks like the scented versions were only sold overseas. I don't know anything about that. All I know is I was shipped to my first owner in a big, brown cardboard box and it took a long time to get there.

I think that's about all there is to say right now. I guess I'm just not that interesting.

Have A 'Grape' Day, Concord
(I know it's a bad pun. It was Treesa's idea.)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Vi and Viv at the Pittsburgh Zoo (Pretty Sweet Fairy Dolls, redressed)

Hello again friends and visitors. This is Treesa. I recently returned from an overnight stay in Pittsburgh. Some of my family members were going and they asked me to come with them.

I decided to make the most of the opportunity by packing my camera (fully charged this time) and two of my Kelly-sized dolls, Vi and Viv. I've featured Vi and Viv on the blog before. They're twin sisters, and they always do everything together. They also have a habit of finishing each other's sentences. And since Vi and Viv will be sharing the story of their little adventure in their own words, I will be typing the name of whichever doll is talking at the beginning of each line. The words will also be color coded, purple for Vi, blue for Viv, and green if both dolls are saying the same thing at the same time. Vi and Viv sometimes do that. Now, let's get on with the story.
Signed, Treesa

P.S. The picture above was taken at the Blue Mountain Service Plaza, where we stopped to stretch our legs.

Vi and Viv: Hi!
Vi: Tressa asked us to share all about our trip.
Viv: She took us to a zoo, 
Vi and Viv: in Pittsburgh!
Vi: Treesa tucked us into her bag the night before,
Viv: 'cause her family was leaving really early the next morning. The car ride was really, really long,
Vi: but we slept through part of it. When we woke up, Treesa whispered that we had to be really quiet,
Viv: 'cause Treesa's family doesn't know we're alive.
Vi: Treesa was sitting in back by herself with some of the luggage,
Viv: so her family didn't see us right away.
Vi: Then Treesa gave us chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. Dolls don't have to eat,
Viv: but they smelled really good.
Vi: When we got to the zoo, Treesa put us in her fanny pack.
Viv: (giggle) That's a funny word.

Vi: Treesa unzipped it just enough so we could peek out,
Viv: but the humans wouldn't see us.
Vi: We saw elephants,

Viv: and giraffes and zebras,

Vi: and we saw a real live dragon,
Viv: a Komodo dragon with long claws. It was scary looking,
Vi: but it was behind a window and couldn't get out. There was a fish pond at the zoo too,
Viv: with lots of fish. Treesa took a picture.
Vi: There were more fish at the aquarium, but Treesa didn't think she was allowed to take pictures inside the aquarium.
Viv: It was darker in there too,
Vi: and most of the fish moved really fast. Treesa said it's easier to take pictures if the animals aren't moving so much.
Viv: There were deer at the zoo too.
Vi: The zoo had a path that went right through where the deer lived,
Viv: so you could see them really close up.

Vi: Treesa said wild deer run away when they see humans.
Vi: That's all the fun stuff that happened.
Viv: The ride home was really, really long,
Vi: and it was raining really hard, so we couldn't see anything out the windows.
Viv: I think Treesa was worried. She looked worried,
Vi: but we got home ok.
Vi: I can't think of anything else to say, so I guess we should say goodbye.
Viv: Ok. 
Vi and Viv: Goodbye!


Monday, July 17, 2017

A Trip To Ringing Rocks With Hansel (from Storybook Favorites Hansel & Gretel set)

Hello friends and visitors, this is Treesa. This past weekend I accompanied some family members on a day trip to Ringing Rocks Park in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I thought the park would be an interesting location for a doll photo shoot, so I packed my camera and chose Hansel to be my traveling companion. I picked Hansel because I thought the park setting would compliment his fairy tale look. He's also small, and therefore took up less room in my bag. Not only that, but Hansel's short hair required less maintenance between shots than my female dolls' hair would've.

Unfortunately my camera battery died shortly after we got to the park, so I only managed to get a handful of shots. I've posted some of them below for you to see. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Signed, Treesa

(I added a digital filter to this shot, to enhance the fantasy/fairy tale look.)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sunny's Story (Mattel The Sunshine Fun Family big sister)

Hello. My name is Sunny. I live with a Barbie doll named Summer Sand and a baby boy doll named KC. Summer is helping me write 'cause I don't spell good.

Some dolls lived here with Treesa always. Not me. I lived with my Mommy and my Daddy and my Baby Brother. Our little girl grew up and all her dolls got put in boxes. We stayed in boxes a long, long time. Then all the boxes got put in the driveway. I was scared. But Mommy and Daddy said it was ok. They said maybe a new little girl would come buy us and take us home.

Little girls came and little boys came and grownups came. Nobody took us home. Then Treesa came. She wasn't little. She looked at all the dolls. She saw me and picked me up. Mommy and Daddy whispered to me that they loved me and to be good. Treesa looked at me and my clothes and my shoes. Then she paid for me and took me away. She took me to her house and left me with Summer.

When Treesa left I cried and cried. I missed my Mommy and my Daddy and my Baby Brother. I told Summer I didn't want her to be my new mommy. Summer said she was sorry. She said Treesa didn't make me unhappy on purpose. She said humans did stuff like that 'cause they didn't understand. I felt sad inside, but I felt mad too. I was mad at Treesa for taking me away. I was mad at Summer for wanting to make it ok. I said I hated Treesa and I hated Summer and I would hate them forever and ever. Summer said she would understand if I hated her forever and ever.

Then Summer had to get her baby from the babysitter. Summer has a baby boy named KC. KC looks just like my Baby Brother. The daddy doll is a Ken doll named Skye. Skye is grumpy a lot, but Summer says that's 'cause his knee is broken and it hurts all the time.

Summer takes good care of me and I don't hate her anymore. But I miss my Mommy and my Daddy and my Baby Brother. I hope they're someplace nice. I try to be good, like Mommy and Daddy said. But sometimes I forget.

Treesa said she's really sorry for taking me away from my Mommy and my Daddy and my Baby Brother. Summer says Treesa understands dolls a lot better now. Treesa even talks to us. And Treesa gave me new clothes. My old clothes got ripped at my old house.

I've lived here a long time now. Summer's really nice and I have friends my size to play with. But I wish my Mommy and my Daddy and my Baby Brother were here too.

The End, Sunny

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tennille's Story (unidentified brunette Tonner doll)

I've lived here with Treesa for quite a while now, yet I've never told her my original factory name. The truth is that I don't want Treesa to ever call me by my factory name. Too many of my memories are tied to that name, and if I ever did hear Treesa use it I can't honestly say how I would react. But I think Treesa understands.

When Treesa first purchased me from the thrift store, her intuition told her that my previous owner may have died. In this age of online auction sites, Tonner dolls do not turn up at second-hand venues every day, and I was not the only Tonner doll on the shelves when Treesa came in. This suggested to Treesa that someone's entire collection had been donated, and that whoever made the donation either wasn't aware how much Tonner dolls are worth or just didn't care. Treesa was right. My previous owner did pass away, and her surviving family did get rid of her entire collection.

I have very fond memories of my previous owner. She was very selective in her collecting, so consequently each of us dolls meant something special to her. She began collecting late in life, but I'll always remember what a vibrant woman she was, even when her health began to decline. For a while she was in and out of the hospital, but when nothing more could be done for her she opted to receive care at home. I like to think that looking at us dolls, neatly arranged on the shelves in her room, gave her some pleasure in her last days.

I don't think my previous owner's family ever really understood her hobby. They indulged her whenever she talked about us dolls, but they always seemed bemused by her enthusiasm for the subject. After she was laid to rest they set to work cleaning out her house for sale. Her possessions were divided among them, and anything that wasn't claimed was either donated or thrown away. I arrived at the thrift store with the rest of my Tonner doll friends, and we were priced and put out for sale.

I was still grieving for my previous owner, so much so that I didn't really give much thought to my own future. Then Treesa came into the store. She carefully picked up each of us one by one, studying our markings and the details of our clothing, looking at us as if she'd never seen a Tonner doll up close before. I discovered later that before that day at the thrift store Treesa had only ever seen pictures of Tonner dolls, and that she'd never actually held one in her hands. I also found out later on that, even at thrift store prices, Treesa couldn't afford to buy all of us, and that she chose me because I seemed in her eyes to be the most versatile. My clothing and hairstyle were simple enough that Treesa felt she could redress me in other outfits someday without feeling guilty that it might lower my monetary value.

At first, Treesa tried to discover my original factory name through online research. However she had very little to go on, since Tonner has manufactured a wide variety of doll lines and I wasn't inclined to point her in the right direction. For some reason the thought of anyone besides my previous owner calling me by my factory name upset me. Treesa eventually decided that I couldn't stay unnamed any longer. After all, she had to call me something. The brand name Tonner made her think of the name Toni, but Treesa didn't think that Toni suited me. However the name Toni made her think of singer Toni Tennille, and so Treesa decided to call me Tennille.

Adjusting to life in Treesa's collection has been difficult, for several reasons. I've had to deal with the loss of my previous owner and my Tonner doll friends of course, but I've also had to adjust to the size discrepancy between me and Treesa's other fashion dolls. As far as I'm aware, Treesa doesn't own any other dolls in my scale. Of Treesa's fashion dolls, the one closest to me in height would probably be Shana, from Hasbro's Jem doll line. But Shana is still noticeably shorter than I am. Despite how welcoming Treesa's other fashion dolls have been, I feel awkward trying to carry on a conversation with them.

Treesa also has a collection of 18 inch dolls, but because of how they're molded 18 inch dolls usually have the physical appearance and the mindset of children. There are certain topics that are just easier, and more appropriate to discuss, with a more mature doll. While it would be nice to have friends in my own scale again, I know that the likelihood of Treesa buying another Tonner doll is quite small, given the high cost. Still she found me at the thrift store. There's no harm in wishing that she'll find another Tonner doll there at a price she can afford.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating Geek Pride Day

Hello friends and visitors. This is Treesa, wishing you all a happy Geek Pride Day. When I first found out about the existence of Geek Pride Day I was all for it. I like the idea of a day where devotees from various fandoms can come together to celebrate all things geeky.

I was planning to do a special photo shoot this week for today's post, but it wouldn't stop raining. So here are a couple of geeky photos from the archives.

Misty with Tom Servo (Mystery Science Theater 3000)

Carrie with R2D2 (Star Wars)

Thanks for stopping by.
Signed, Treesa

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Two Year Blogiversary Post

This post is dedicated to everyone who has visited 'Fashion Doll Memoirs'. I would like to start off by saying, "Thank You". Thank you to everyone who has read, commented on, or followed this blog. Thank you for your support and your input. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to get to know the dolls in my collection through their stories. I hope that the time you've spent with my dolls has brought you as much enjoyment as they've brought me.

I started this blog with the belief that every doll has a story to tell. At the time only two of my dolls had committed to writing one post each, and I was unsure if I could convince enough of my dolls to contribute stories to sustain a blog. Add to this my mediocre photography skills and it really is amazing to me that 'Fashion Doll Memoirs' has done as well as it has. Over the course of two years this blog has earned 12 followers and has been nominated to participate in the Liebster Award, the Quote Of The Day Challenge, and the Great Doll Blog Award. Not bad for a blog with less than 100 posts.

For this two year blogiversary post, I thought I would give you a glimpse of the person behind the blog. The photo below was taken on a family vacation to Wildwood a few years ago. My face is mostly obscured by the camera I'm holding; I took the picture myself by photographing my reflection in the car window. I was trying to be all artistic, but the end result didn't turn out the way I was hoping.

This photo should give you a general idea what I look like. I didn't feel comfortable using a better picture, partly for privacy reasons and partly because I don't think I photograph well. I tend to smile too big when I know I'm being photographed, which looks fake and makes my eyes scrunch up too much.

Thank you again for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your day.
Signed, Treesa

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Platinum's Story: A 'Redress Success' Update (unidentified customized blond Barbie)

Treesa's 'experimenting' with a new look for me. She was never completely happy with how my hair turned out, and even though the blue ball gown she dressed me in did sort of match the color streaks in my hair it didn't really fit the 'look' Treesa was going for. So Treesa added a rubber band to my hair to give it more 'shape' and redressed me in jeans and a crop top.

Treesa's hoping to get me a 'real' headband someday. She wants something that will hold up better than a rubber band. Rubber bands usually don't age well. They either get brittle and break or they melt. But a rubber band should be ok for now, and my hair does look better. Here's a reminder of what it used to look like.

When it comes to my outfit, I don't really care one way or the other. I've never been that obsessed with clothes, even though I'm a fashion doll. But I'll admit the blue ball gown I wore before was a little too dressy to be lounging around the house in, though it might've worked if I was a Disney Princess doll. If there's one group of dolls who can wear fancy gowns without looking overdressed it's the Disney Princesses.

Stay Shiny, Platinum

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Elsa's Story: Chapter 5 (Disney Frozen Birthday Party Elsa by Mattel)

(This post will be a continuation of the previous post. I will be picking up where I left off, so you may want to read Chapter 4 to avoid confusion.)

The next time that Merida wanted Christian and Sven to join her and Nora for a game, Christian immediately said yes. However, when he and Sven came back from their 'playdate' Christian was frowning. "Christian, what's wrong?" I asked. Christian looked up at me and said, "Elsa, I don't think I like playing with Merida."

"Can you tell me why?" I asked. There was no judgment in my voice. I didn't want Christian to think that he had said something wrong. I only wanted to understand why he felt the way he did. Christian struggled a little as he tried to put his feelings into words. "When me and Sven play, just us, nobody wins or loses," Christian said. "We just have fun. But when me and Sven played with Merida and Nora, Merida always had to win." Christian's face took on a sour look and he added, "And she said Elsie's dress was stupid." Sven snorted, as if to emphasize Christian's words.

I could easily understand why that last comment had upset Christian. Elsie had been one of his closest friends. Saying Elsie's dress was stupid was, in Christian's mind, like insulting not just the dress but also Elsie herself. And Christian has always been very loyal to anyone he cares about. That anyone includes both other dolls and a certain plastic baby reindeer.

It also sounded to me that Merida was very competitive, and I knew that Christian was not. From what he had told me about Elsie and Annie, and based on what I knew about the dolls here that Christian sometimes spent time with, I was willing to bet that Christian had never met anyone as focused on winning as Merida was. Poor Christian probably had no idea how to deal with someone like Merida. I certainly wouldn't have known what to do if I'd been in his place, which made things rather awkward when Christian asked me, "Elsa, what do I do if Merida wants me and Sven to play with her again?"

I reached down and touched Christian's shoulder as I tried to organize my thoughts. "Maybe you should talk to her," I said. "Maybe she doesn't know that games can be just as fun if nobody wins." Then, in a sudden flash of inspiration, I said, "Why don't you try teaching Merida some games where there is no winner. Maybe when she sees how much fun you can all have just playing together, she won't worry so much about winning."

Christian took my advice, and he did manage to talk Merida into trying some new games. Merida is still rather competitive, and she still seems to prefer games where there's a clear winner. But little by little she's learning to consider, not just what will make her happy, but what will make the other dolls playing with her happy. When Christian, Sven and I first met Merida, she decided who she was going to play with and what they were going to play without asking her potential playmates how they felt about it. I think Nora was just too shy to stand up to Merida, and Christian was worried at first about hurting Merida's feelings. But eventually Christian's patience ran out and he ended up telling Merida that she wasn't being fair.

Merida was a little hurt by Christian's words, which made Christian feel guilty. But in the long run Christian sharing how he really felt seemed to do some good. Now Merida will actually ask another doll to play with her, giving them the opportunity to say no if they want to. She will also suggest what games to play, letting the other players ok her choice instead of choosing for them.

I said in a previous post that having Merida in the house brought some challenges. But Merida wasn't the last challenge we faced that year. Around the time that Christian was finally starting to work things out with Merida and Nora, a new challenge dropped into our laps. Let's just say that my family has grown, and that there were some growing pains along the way. But that's a story for another day.

Love From Elsa

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Elsa's Story: Chapter 4 (Disney Frozen Birthday Party Elsa by Mattel)

I promised in my last post that I'd tell you more about little Merida. Christian and I first heard about Merida from Treesa. After what happened when Christian and Nora first met, I think Treesa didn't want to take any chances. I was reading to Christian and Sven from a book of French-Canadian fairy tales that Treesa had left out when Treesa came to see us. "Sorry to interrupt Elsa, but I need to talk to Christian," Treesa said.

I looked up from the page I was reading and glanced over at Christian, wondering what this was all about. Had Christian done something that Treesa thought was naughty? I really couldn't imagine Christian misbehaving. But I knew it must be something important if Treesa was getting involved.

Christian looked as confused as I felt. But he must've realized, like I had, that whatever Treesa had to say was important, because he got up from where he was sitting and walked over to Treesa without complaining. I noticed then that Treesa didn't look angry or annoyed, like I would've expected if she'd been there to correct Christian's behavior. Instead she seemed nervous, which confused me even more. Why would talking to Christian make her nervous? Treesa's sixth-scale child dolls might find Christian a little intimidating because of his larger size, but I could see no reason why a grown human like Treesa would be anxious around Christian. Treesa took a deep breath and said, "Christian, do you remember how, when I bought you and Sven, I also bought a little doll dress?"

Warning alarms began going off inside my head even before Christian's expression changed. Christian had already told me about that dress, and about the doll it had belonged to. Christian frowned at Treesa and said, "It's ELSIE'S dress."

"I know Christian," Treesa said. She looked even more worried than she had a moment ago. Then she said, "Christian, I bought a little girl doll at the thrift store yesterday. Her name's Merida, and she's the same size as you and Nora. She didn't come with any clothes except her boots, so she needed something to wear, and I didn't have anything else that would fit her. So I gave her Elsie's dress, just for now, until I can find her something else to wear. There's a seller on Etsy who makes clothes for the Petite Princess dolls, so I should be able to buy Merida something as soon as she finds something she likes. I just wanted you to know in case I'm not there when you meet Merida."

By the time Treesa got to the end of her speech she was racing through the words, as if she was trying to finish what she had to say before Christian could interrupt her. While I'd known Christian long enough to realize that he'd been upset by what Treesa had said, I wasn't sure if Treesa could recognize the signs the way I had. Christian didn't throw a temper tantrum. He's too well mannered for that. And he didn't cry, even though he looked as if he might've wanted to. He just stood there silently for a moment, as if he was trying to come to terms with what Treesa had told him. "Ok," Christian said in a small voice. Treesa seemed somewhat relieved and said, "If you want, I can introduce you and Elsa to Merida later."

"No thank you," Christian said a little too quickly. Afterwards he must've worried that he'd been rude, because he added, "Not right now. Elsa was reading a story."

"Ok Christian," Treesa said. "Whenever you're ready, just let me know." Treesa left then. I had closed the book while Treesa was speaking, and when she left I walked over to where Christian was standing. "Christian?" I said, resting my hand on his shoulder. Christian looked up at me, and the expression on his face broke my heart. I immediately gave him a hug. "Elsa, do you think I'll EVER see Elsie and Annie again?" Christian asked. At first I didn't know how to answer. I knew how much Christian missed his old friends, and I worried that it would break his heart if I told him that the odds were he'd never see them again. But I also knew that I couldn't make him any false promises. If I raised his hopes too much, it would only hurt worse when he realized the things he was hoping for weren't going to happen. "I don't know, Christian," I said finally.

Christian hugged me back even tighter, as if he was afraid I might disappear too. Sven came over and nosed Christian's side. Christian looked over at Sven, then up at me. "Elsa," Christian said, "could you finish reading the story? I want to hear what happens to Prince Philidor and Princess Irena."

"Of course," I said. I sat down and opened the book to where we'd left off. Christian sat close beside me, with Sven close beside him. I'm sure we would've made an interesting picture to any doll passing by who didn't already know us: me leaning over a book with an out of scale little boy doll and a plastic baby reindeer by my side. But we were a family, and I hoped we would stay that way for a very long time.

When Christian, Sven and I did meet Merida it wasn't Treesa who introduced us. It was Merida herself. She came careening into our lives one afternoon in early summer of last year. Christian, Sven and I had planned to do some cloud watching, and we were headed towards Treesa's bedroom window when an unfamiliar voice called, "Look out!"

I turned my head to see what was going on just as a small plastic ball sailed past me and bounced off one of Sven's antlers. Sven wasn't hurt, but all three of us were startled. Then a little girl doll I didn't know raced up to us. The first thing I noticed about her was her thick, curly red hair. The second thing I noticed was that she was holding a Barbie sized tennis racket.

"Sorry," the little girl doll said. "Nora missed the ball. She was supposed to hit it back." The little girl doll looked me over, then said, "I'm Merida. What's your name?"

"My name is Elsa," I said. "This is Christian, and this is Sven." I gestured towards each of them as I introduced them. Merida looked them over too, then she asked Christian, "Do you play sports?"

At first I don't think Christian knew how to react. Merida's arrival and her question were so unexpected. "I play ball with Sven sometimes," Christian blurted out in surprise.

"Great, now we can play in teams!" Merida said. Just then Nora caught up with Merida. However, when Nora saw me and my family she hung back. At the time Nora was still a little uncomfortable around Christian and Sven. It was when Nora came into view that I first noticed that the dress Merida wore was identical to Nora's.

Merida noticed that I was looking at something behind her and turned around. When she saw Nora, Merida said, "Nora, guess what. I met another doll our size and he has a pet cow that plays ball! Now all four of us can play together!"

I'd never seen Christian look so angry before. He gave Merida a stormy look and said, "Sven's NOT a COW, he's a REINDEER. And he's not a PET, he's my FRIEND."

Merida seemed stunned by Christian's reaction. "Sorry," Merida said, sounding genuinely apologetic. "Don't be mad. I never saw a reindeer before. I thought reindeers lived at the North Pole with Santa Claus."

Christian's expression was still a little sour, but he seemed to be thinking over what Merida had said. "Ok," Christian said, only slightly grudgingly. He seemed to have decided that he should at least give Merida a chance.

Merida smiled. "Great," she said. "Now we can play. Come on Nora," Merida called. "We need a racket for Christian." Merida was gone a moment later, leaving Nora to hurry after her.

For a moment Christian didn't move. He looked as if he was going over the last few minutes in his head, trying to figure out what had just happened. Then Christian looked over at me. "Elsa," he said, "do you think Merida would be sad if I didn't play with her?"

It was obvious from Christian's voice that he wanted to do the right thing, but that he wasn't sure what was 'the right thing' in this situation. To be honest, I wasn't sure what the right thing to do was either. I knew it was important that Christian give Merida a chance. On the other hand, I could understand why Christian might not want to play with Merida right this second. For one thing, Christian had promised to go cloud watching with me today, and Christian hated going back on his promises. For another thing, Merida hadn't actually asked Christian if he would like to play with her and Nora. She'd just assumed that Christian would go along with whatever she wanted.

Before I could say anything, Merida and Nora came back with an extra Barbie tennis racket. "Here," Merida said, holding the racket out to Christian. Christian looked at the racket hesitantly. Then he looked at Merida. "Would it be ok if me and Sven played with you and Nora later?" Christian asked. He quickly added, "I promised Elsa we'd go cloud watching."

"Oh...ok," Merida said. Christian must've heard the disappointment in Merida's voice, because his expression changed. It was obvious to me that Merida's reaction had made Christian feel guilty, so in an effort to raise everyone's spirits I asked Merida, "Would you and Nora like to go cloud watching with us?"

Nora still looked cautious, but there was something in her expression that made me think she might be interested. However, Merida didn't look at all enthusiastic. "I don't like cloud watching," she said. "You have to sit still the whole time. That's no fun." Merida turned then, and started walking away. "Come on Nora," she said. Nora didn't follow right away. Instead she took one last glance at me and my family before she turned and hurried after Merida. I wondered what Nora was thinking in that moment. Was she considering accepting my invitation, and if so what had changed her mind? Was she still too uncomfortable around Christian and Sven to stay? Or did she not want Merida to feel abandoned.

Merida never looked back to see if Nora was following her. It seemed to me that Merida just assumed that Nora would come, the same way she'd assumed that Christian would be willing to play with her and Nora, regardless of whether or not he already had plans for the afternoon. As Christian and I sat on the windowsill, picking out shapes in the clouds, I noticed that Christian seemed distracted and I wondered if he still felt guilty for not playing with Merida and Nora. Christian did, after all, know what it was like to have difficulty finding playmates. I can still remember the look in his eyes, not long after we first met, when he told me that Treesa's sixth-scale child dolls didn't often play with him and Sven.

(I'm going to have to stop here for the time being. There's more to the story, but Treesa gets nervous if the posts are too long. I'll post the rest just as soon as I can.
Love From Elsa)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Doll Diversity, Fantasy Hair Colors, And Finding A Reroot That Won't Break My Budget?

Hello again friends and visitors. This is Treesa. As anyone who frequents this blog can tell you, I've been drawn to dolls with 'fantasy hair colors' ever since I bought Dandelion used at a flea market. Lucky for me, Mattel seems to be making a lot more of these dolls lately. The newer Fashionistas series has featured a number of dolls with 'fantasy hair colors', and Mattel's various 'fairy' lines have also shown a lot more variety in terms of hair color. Granted most of these 'fairy' dolls have non-removable, molded clothing pieces, but I've found ways to work around that in some cases.

A bigger problem I'm having is that a large percentage of these 'fantasy hair color' dolls are Caucasian. I'd really like to have more diversity in my 'fantasy hair color' doll collection, but it seems to be harder to find an African American or an Asian or a Hispanic doll with a 'fantasy hair color'. This is particularly true for the various 'fairy' lines, although Mattel does seem to be including more diverse skin tones and head molds in these lines lately.

Still, in this age of online shopping, I wondered how difficult it would be to find dolls of other ethnicities who'd been rerooted with 'fantasy hair colors', and how much money I would have to save up to buy one. Now I've never bought a custom doll before, except for a vintage Francie who'd been rerooted with pink hair.

But I found her at the thrift store so I don't think she really counts. The most I've ever paid for a Barbie doll was $40.00 plus tax, and that was for a new in box collector doll that I bought retail years ago. So $40.00 or less became my baseline price. I realized of course that it was probably unrealistic to expect to find a custom, rerooted doll for $40.00. But I needed a place to start, and I thought it wouldn't hurt to look. Besides, I could always go up from $40.00 later. This post will go over what I learned in my initial search.

My first stop was ebay. As a starting point I typed "Barbie doll reroot" into the search box and adjusted the settings on the sidebar to "US only". I live in the United States, and at this stage I didn't want to have to worry about international shipping or customs or anything like that. Then I sorted my search results using "Price + Shipping: lowest first". After scrolling past all the listings for doll hair and nude Barbie dolls waiting for their makeovers I finally came across something that looked interesting.

A seller named eblake seemed to have exactly what I was looking for, ethnically diverse dolls rerooted in various 'fantasy hair colors'. Not only that but the prices were unbelievable, starting out at just $13.50 plus shipping for a rerooted, DRESSED doll. However as I studied the listings more closely, I discovered what I think is the seller's secret to keeping costs down. Nearly every one of the seller's dolls included the word "Ponytail", or the abbreviation "PT", in the listings. As the seller clearly explains at the bottom of every listing, this term means that the dolls are, to use the seller's exact words, "rooted like the original Barbies and have hair all along the outside hair line and the scalp is bald". Now the dolls do look lovely. Some of them look downright gorgeous. But because of the way they were rerooted the hair can't be restyled. Now I'm not much of a hairstylist, but I'd still like to have the option.

After I finished scrolling through the dolls eblake had listed, the next likely hit came from a seller named kaylinasboutique2010. A lovely nude doll, with a pink shade of hair that was described in the listing as a "cranberry blend", was posted at $40.00 plus shipping. The seller had some other rerooted dolls for sale, but their price tags were higher at $65.00 plus shipping.

I still wanted to research my other options, so my second stop was etsy. Once again I typed "Barbie doll reroot" into the search box and set the filter for "shop location: United States". I was a little surprised by how few results I got. There were more listings for "packs" or "hanks" or "wefts" of doll hair than there were for completed dolls. RetroDollsUS did have a lovely reproduction Barbie that had been rerooted with a beautiful blend of blue and blue-green for $60.00. But that wasn't what I was looking for and I'm not the type to spend more than $25.00 on an impulse purchase. There's a reason I buy most of my dolls at the thrift store. Well, actually there's more than one reason, but cost is a big factor.

Thinking my search terms may have been too specific I tried typing in "Barbie reroot" (which gave me pretty much the same results), and "doll reroot" (which brought up a flood of Monster High and Blythe custom dolls). At any rate, I think I found out what I wanted to know, which was how much would a rerooted doll cost me. The answer is, more than I can justify spending without doing some budgeting in advance. I'm thinking if I can put a little money aside each month, I might save up enough to try my search again sometime. Or I might just wait and see what new dolls Mattel comes out with. Like I said before, Mattel seems to be branching out lately in terms of doll hair colors.

Signed, Treesa

Update: Look who I found at Walmart.

She's a Barbie Dreamtopia Sweetville Fairy doll. At least she was before I removed her wings and redressed her. Isn't her skin tone lovely? My camera doesn't do her justice. And that hair, it reminds me of cotton candy.

The trick to redressing these 'fairy' dolls is to keep in mind that their body shape is basically a belly button body, but the chest is usually a little larger thanks to the raised details on the dolls' molded bodices. So in general these dolls can wear pants and skirts designed for the belly button body, but when it comes to shirts it helps if they're either made of stretchy fabric or from the pre-belly button body time frame when Barbie's chest was slightly larger.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Golda's Story (redressed Golden Dream Barbie)

Have you ever had to 'reinvent yourself'? For humans, 'reinventing yourself' means deciding to change something about yourself to change how other humans see you. For dolls, it's sort of the reverse. Our owners decide who we're going to be in whatever game they're playing, and for a while at least we become whatever they imagine. You could say that being a doll is all about 'reinventing yourself'.

There are exceptions of course. Collector dolls, because they're made for display and not play, usually don't need to be as adaptable as playline dolls. But even playline dolls can have more set roles, depending on what kind of play they were designed for. I'm a playline doll, and like a lot of playline dolls I was made to take advantage of popular trends. In my case, I was made so children could get a taste of a lifestyle that was popular back when I was new.

I left the factory in the early 1980s. Dallas was one of the highest rated shows on television and being gorgeous, rich and successful was 'in'. I guess some things haven't changed that much since then.

With my 'billion dollar look', to quote the words that were printed on my box, I was made to live a glamorous life. Even my accessories were described on my box as 'glamorous'. And for a while my life played out exactly the way my designers had pictured it. My first owner imagined me driving around town in a fancy car, shopping at the most fashionable places, and attending grand gala parties in the evenings.

What I didn't know then was that it couldn't last forever. My first owner had to grow up sometime. And even though I was at the height of fashion when I was first made, I ended up hopelessly outdated as time passed and trends changed. Not only that, but my long-term future was basically sabotaged from the start thanks to one design decision. I was made with Mattel's trademarked 'Quick Curl' hair. Tiny wires were rooted into my head along with my regular hair to help the hair hold a curl when it was styled. The problem is that the wire doesn't hold up well over time, and 'Quick Curl' hair usually becomes very matted and difficult to work with as it ages.

I was certainly a mess when Treesa found me at the thrift store. To be honest, I have no idea why Treesa bought me in the first place. Maybe she didn't realize I had 'Quick Curl' hair. Maybe she wanted me because I was a 1980s doll still dressed in part of my original outfit. Treesa collects other 1980s toys. Maybe Treesa just felt sorry for me. Or maybe she saw past what I looked like and saw something worthwhile in me.

Whatever made Treesa decide to bring me home, she quickly got to work trying to make me look presentable. But she realized early on that my hair was basically a lost cause. The tangled mess of wires couldn't really be combed out. They could sort of be molded into a general shape, but that was about all. And a reroot wasn't an option, because Treesa has no rerooting experience. Someone else might've decided to throw me away. But Treesa's mind works a little differently than any other human I've met. Instead of trying to turn me back into what I looked like before Treesa helped me 'reinvent myself' by tying a colorful scarf around my hair and dressing me in a Disney Hunchback Of Notre Dame Esmeralda fashion.

Treesa named me Golda, a play off my factory name 'Golden Dream' and a reference to the musical Fiddler On The Roof. My new gypsy/peasant look was so different from the over-the-top glamour of the 1980s that it took some getting used to. But at least I wasn't alone. This past Halloween, Treesa did a photo shoot where I met Tara for the first time.


Tara started out as a western themed Barbie friend, but Treesa had bought her second-hand and dressed her in an Esmeralda fashion the way she'd redressed me. It was nice meeting another doll who was also adjusting to having a completely different look, and who seemed to have a lot of the same feelings I did about 'reinventing' herself. Tara seemed happy to meet me too, and we became very good friends. I think Tara might've been my first real friend. My first owner didn't have many other dolls and living with her was like living in my own personal, but imaginary, 'Beverly Hills' bubble.

Sometimes I still miss the glitz and glamour of my old life. But having friends like Tara helps to make up for that. Besides, I know there's a lot more to who I am than what I wear. Just because I don't dress in metallic gold anymore doesn't mean I'm not still a 'superstar'. Every doll is unique and valuable to the people, and dolls, who know and love them. There must've been hundreds, maybe millions, of dolls that were made to look just like me.  But in Treesa's heart, and in the hearts of my doll friends, I can never be replaced or forgotten. And in my heart, I feel the same way about them. Because friends like that are worth their weight in gold.

Champagne Wishes And Golden Dreams, Golda

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Redress Success featuring Mariette (blue haired Barbie Fairy-ettes doll)

Hello friends and visitors. This is Treesa, here to share my recent 'Redress Success' with all of you. I've redressed dolls with molded clothing elements before (Michaela, Abby and Maddy) but this fashion forward former fairy is only about 5 inches tall. The clothing pieces I used came from various grab bags that I bought at the thrift store, so I have no idea what doll or dolls these pieces were originally made for.

I know the 'look' I created for Mariette is probably a far cry from being stylish or trendy, but I still like the way she turned out. I'm especially pleased with how well her new top and the 'apron' I tied over her factory issue skirt match the color of her hair accessory.

I named her Mariette because I wanted a name that ended in 'et' or 'ette', since she's a Fairy-ettes doll, and because the rich blue color of her hair made me think of water, which caused words like aquatic and maritime to run through my head. I also have a red haired Fairy-ettes doll that I named Juliette, but her redress is still a work in progress.

Well, I guess that's it for this post. Hopefully one of my dolls will have a real post up soon. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by.

Signed, Treesa

Friday, January 27, 2017

Kaley's Story (unidentified tanned blond Barbie)

What's up blogosphere? I'm Kaley. That's what Treesa calls me anyway. Treesa's my second owner. My first owner didn't call me anything, but she was a way more ambitious doll hair stylist than Treesa. My first owner wasn't afraid to try out different hairdos on me. I had my share of hair don'ts when I lived with her, but if she didn't like the way something looked she'd just take it out and start over. I guess that's why my hair's so fried. But if my first owner hadn't been so hair crazy, I wouldn't have ended up with Treesa.

Treesa said she noticed me at that thrift store because of my hairstyle. Let's face it, blond Barbies are a dime a dozen. But when Treesa first saw me, my hair was still in the fancy braid my first owner left it in. She had started out by braiding the front on one side, then she'd sort of worked the hair around into a large braid at the back. Treesa liked it, so she bought me. But when she got me home she realized just how frizzy my hair was. And I had a bad case of split ends. Treesa wanted to save my braid. But there were just too many stray ends sticking out so she ended up having to undo it and didn't know how to put it back in again. Maybe if she'd taken a picture of what my hair looked like before it would've helped, but Treesa didn't think of that.

Treesa named me Kaley because I reminded her of actress Kaley Cuoco. I'm not sure why I reminded her of Kaley Cuoco. I asked Treesa about it, but she's not sure why I reminded her of Kaley Cuoco either. Treesa was going to name me Penny, after Kaley Cuoco's character from The Big Bang Theory. Treesa's mom likes that show. Then Treesa remembered she already has a Penny Brite doll named Penny.

I'm ok with Kaley though. At least it's a real name and not something Treesa made up. A lot of Treesa's dolls have names that don't really sound like names. At least Dandelion has an excuse. Her name came from the factory, not Treesa.

It's alright here. It's crowded, and a little messy. Treesa has a little trouble keeping things organized because let's face it, she just has too much stuff. But it's still better than that thrift store. Actually, crowded and messy makes it sound a lot like that thrift store. But at least there's enough doll clothes here to go around. A lot of the dolls at that thrift store were nude. Awkward!

So, I guess that's it. Sorry, my life's kind of boring right now. But if I get into any crazy adventures I'll let you know.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Raven's Story: Third Installment (Silken Flame Barbie reproduction, brunette)

(I apologize for the delay in posting this. I will be continuing my story from the point where I left off. Thank you for your patience.)

I was still walking at this point, my eyes cast down, too lost in my thoughts to really pay attention to where I was going. Considering the size of Treesa's collection, I suppose it was inevitable that I collided with another doll. "I'm so sorry," I apologized out of common courtesy before I'd even looked up to see who I'd collided with. When I did look up I saw that the doll in question had long black hair, an 'Asian' style head mold, and an outfit that had obviously been pieced together. 'A common playline doll,' I thought out of habit.

But the doll's voice was soft and pleasant as she spoke to me. First she pardoned me for my role in the collision. Then she looked at me for a moment and said, "I don't think we've met before. Do you have a name?"

"Raven," I told her.

"My name is Nokia," she said.


Despite my long held opinions regarding 'common' playline dolls, even I had to admit that Nokia seemed polite and composed as well as friendly. When Dandelion had initially arrived in her first and my second owner's collection she had been, in my opinion, a little too eager in her attempts to make friends. I understood that she was a young doll, just out of her box, experiencing the larger world for the first time. But still, there was such a thing as decorum. Dandelion's idea of 'personal space' also hadn't been quite the same as mine.

Just then, Nokia and I both heard a male doll's voice calling Nokia's name from across the room. Nokia smiled as she turned her head towards the voice. I followed her gaze and saw a dark haired male doll dressed in casual clothes. He crossed the room to where we stood and spoke to Nokia.

"Sorry," he said with a smile. "I guess I still have trouble keeping up with you sometimes." Nokia laughed. Her laughter wasn't like the tittering giggles I've heard come from some female dolls, the sound of which has always irritated me. Nor was it like the loud, snorting laughter that I've always thought was so unladylike coming from a female doll. Nokia's laugh had a delightful, musical sound to it, a sound that I knew I'd never be able to replicate. They say that practice makes perfect, and I've never been one to laugh often.

The male doll's eyes seemed to sparkle when he heard Nokia laugh. Then Nokia turned back to me. "Raven, I'd like you to meet Jimmy," she said.


The male doll, Jimmy, extended his hand and said, "Nice to meet you, Raven." I shook his hand once, politely, then let go. This must've seemed odd to Jimmy because he looked slightly puzzled afterwards. Perhaps he wasn't used to such a formal handshake. I've known many dolls who are much more vigorous when it comes to shaking hands. Then Jimmy shrugged and turned his attention back to Nokia.

"Did you find the book you wanted?" he asked. Nokia shook her head. "No, I didn't see it in the bookcase," she said. "But it might be on Treesa's bed. It is one of her favorites."

Jimmy smiled and said, "Do you want me to climb up there and check?" Then I saw a hint of mischief in his eyes before he added, "Or maybe we should both climb up. If the book's not there we could borrow one of Treesa's blankets and just sit for a while, maybe catch up with some of the 18 inchers." 
Nokia laughed again. "It's too warm inside to be cuddling under blankets," she said. Then after glancing in my direction she added, "And I was already talking to someone."

Jimmy looked embarrassed, as if he'd forgotten I was there. Then he quickly apologized. "Sorry for butting in," he said. Jimmy then turned back to Nokia and added, "I'll go look for the book. That'll give you and Raven time to talk."

"You could join us," Nokia suggested. She turned and asked me, "Do you mind if Jimmy stays?"

The fact that Nokia was considerate enough to let me make the final decision bolstered my positive opinion of her. I felt it was only right to try and be gracious in return, despite the fact that Jimmy hadn't made quite as good of a first impression as Nokia had. Jimmy wasn't the type of doll I typically would have chosen to be friends with. There seemed to be a 'laid back' aspect to Jimmy's personality that I normally would have associated with carelessness. However it was obvious to me that Jimmy and Nokia were very close, and I didn't want to upset Nokia by slighting her friend. So I answered Nokia's question with a shake of my head.
Jimmy looked bemused and asked, "Is that 'no, I can't stay' or 'no, you don't mind'?"
"I don't mind if you stay," I said. I had to admit I was rather curious about Jimmy's and Nokia's relationship, in spite of myself. I wondered how long they had been together to build up the kind of rapport that they obviously had. I also wondered why they would attempt to befriend me when they knew absolutely nothing about me.

Nokia first asked if I had been there long. I explained that Treesa had had me stored in a box for quite a long time. Both Nokia and Jimmy were very sympathetic to my situation. They talked about their time confined in a storage crate, and how it had led to their close relationship. Despite some sappy moments, Nokia and Jimmy were mostly able to stick to the facts when sharing their story with me. They didn't constantly interrupt each other either. Nokia agreed to let Jimmy tell the story, and when he had finished he asked, "Did I miss anything?" Only then did Nokia add a few details that she felt were important.

It puzzled me at first that Nokia would agree to Jimmy's offer to tell their story, in a way deferring to him when earlier on it had seemed to me that Jimmy was the one deferring to Nokia's wishes. That's when I realized that Jimmy and Nokia shared something truly special, an equal balance of power in their relationship. Neither one felt the need to constantly be in charge, to 'wear the pants' in the relationship as they say. And both of them were willing to compromise in order to make each other happy.

I learned a lot that day. I learned about Jimmy and Nokia's past, but I also learned a valuable lesson about life in general. I learned that if I gave other dolls a chance, regardless of whether they were common or collectable, I might be pleasantly surprised. Since that day I've met many other dolls, from many different backgrounds, and I've done my best to be more inclusive, more accepting. I would like to say that I've been completely reformed, and that my previously snobbish behavior is now all in the past. Unfortunately, one and a half decades of ingrained beliefs are difficult to overcome all at once, and sometimes it's been a struggle not to give in to my old ways of thinking. (The words 'common playline doll' still pass through my mind more frequently than I'd like to admit.) But I've learned a saying that has helped me to hold my tongue when I feel the urge to criticize or 'instruct' others: if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I try to think of this phrase before I speak, and to ask myself how the doll I'm speaking to would react to my words. Would they be grateful for my input, or would they think I was being unkind? I've also apologized to a number of dolls for my previous behavior, including Dandelion, though I doubt a simple apology will ever be enough to change Dandelion's opinion of me.

I'd like to thank you for reading my contribution to Treesa's blogging project. I'd also like to apologize for the combined length of these posts. When I first sat down to write, I didn't realize I would have quite this much to say.

Quote The Raven