Thursday, July 14, 2022

On Scaling

 Greetings friends and visitors, from Treesa.

I picked up this adorable, small plush manatee thinking that he might work well in doll scale. When I first bought him, I didn't have a clue how large a baby manatee was supposed to be, scale-wise. But thanks to the internet, I knew that I could figure it out. According to my online research, a newborn manatee calf is between 3 feet and 4 feet long at birth. (Like their land based 'cousins', elephants, manatees are large animals and their babies are born big.) This equates to 36 inches on the low end or 48 inches on the high end. To figure out how big a newborn manatee would be in doll scale, all I had to do was pick which scale to use and then do the math.

After seeing the real world measurements for newborn manatees, I was fairly sure that this plush would be too small to work with an 18 inch doll like American Girl. According to the label, this manatee plush is 7 inches long, though when I measured him myself to verify that, he actually seemed to measure up a little longer. Regardless, I started off my calculations using American Girl dolls as a reference point. American Girl, and similar 18 inch doll brands, are 1:3 scale. This means that something measuring 3 inches in our world should be 1 inch for them, although many mass-produced 18 inch doll accessories are notorious for being under-scaled. Anyway, a newborn manatee calf that's 36 inches long would be 12 inches in 1:3 scale, at the very least.

The next set of calculations that I did was for 16 inch dolls. This scale would include my Tonner doll, Tennille, and my Disney Store Singing Dolls. Dolls in this range are 1:4 scale, so a 36 inch newborn manatee would be 9 inches in their world. This measurement was closer to my target length, but still off scale-wise.

Finally we come to Barbie, and similar 11 1/2 inch fashion dolls. They are the primary focus of this blog anyway. Barbie dolls are 1:6 scale. Therefore, a 36 inch to 48 inch newborn manatee would be between 6 inches and 8 inches in Barbie scale. That's pretty much spot on with this plush.

So, here's Manny the manatee with Finnick, a Dreamtopia Rainbow Cove Merman. I thought that the name Finnick would work well for a merman, since he has a tail fin, or tail fluke? I'm not really sure of the terminology. Anyway, that'll wrap up this quick update post. I hope that all of you are doing well.

Signed, Treesa

Friday, August 13, 2021

I've Been Tagged For The Mystery Blogger Award


Hello friends and visitors, Treesa here. Quinley, over at the doll blog Q's Creative Corner, tagged me for the Mystery Blogger Award. Thanks, Quinley! I've been 'nominated' for similar blogging 'awards' in the past, such as the Great Doll Blog Award in 2016 and the Liebster Award in 2015. The Mystery Blogger Award specifically was the creation of blogger Okoto Enigma. Basically, these 'awards' are a way for bloggers to connect with and draw attention to other bloggers. The standard format for these types of awards requires any blogger who is tagged to answer a list of questions provided by whoever tagged them. Once these questions have been answered and the answers have been posted, the tagged blogger will then have to nominate a certain number of additional bloggers and write a new list of questions for their nominees.

The specific 'rules' for the Mystery Blogger Award are as follows.

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention Okoto Enigma, the creator of the award, and provide a link.

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.

6. Nominate 10-20 people

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

8. Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question.

9. Share a link to your best post or posts.

That's a lot of steps, so let's take them one at a time. I already completed steps 1 through 4, so we'll skip ahead to step 8 and answer the list of questions that Quinley posted. Now, I'm not 100% sure why Quinley chose to nominate me, since the questions she wrote mostly seem to apply to 18 inch dolls, while my blog focuses primarily on one-sixth scale fashion dolls. Maybe this nomination was actually part of a cunning plan to try to get me and my dolls posting more regularly. Just kidding, Quinley, no offence intended. I do at least own some 18 inchers, so I'll do my best to answer Quinley's questions.

Question #1: Who is your favorite American Girl doll, and why?

My family started receiving American Girl Doll catalogs back when there were only 3 dolls to choose from: Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. Kirsten was my favorite of the three, mostly because she befriends a Native American girl in one of the books of her series. I had a bit of a fascination with Native American culture back then. My mom actually contacted Pleasant Company after Felicity and Addy were released to suggest that they add a Native American doll to the line, and she was essentially told by a representative that because there were so many different native tribes in our nation's history it would be impossible to fairly single one out for inclusion in the line. So, when young me finally saved up enough birthday and Christmas money to buy an American Girl doll of my own, I chose Kirsten. If Kaya had been released at that time, I probably would've chosen her.

I also ended up developing a bit of a fondness for Josefina when I was going through my 'Zorro'/'Queen Of Swords' phase. For anyone who doesn't know, Queen Of Swords was a short lived addition to the syndicated TV adventure show craze that started with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. In a nutshell, the title character of Queen Of Swords was pretty much a female version of Zorro, a Spanish aristocrat turned avenger of the common people.

Anyway, as far as American Girl dolls go, I don't really have a current favorite either in my own collection or in the present American Girl lineup.

Question #2: Do you like any other 18 inch dolls that aren't made by AG?

I have a few 18 inch dolls that aren't American Girl brand. I have a Magic Attic Club Rose doll that I managed to get, dressed in her 'meet outfit', for an amazing deal at a thrift store. As a grade-schooler, I used to pour over the Magic Attic Club catalogs just as much as I did the American Girl catalogs. Rose was my favorite of the Magic Attic Club dolls because her character had Native American heritage.

However, I think my current favorite of my non-American Girl 18 inchers is my Madame Alexander Wicked Witch Of The West doll, that I bought when I was on my 'fantasy skin tones' doll kick. This Wicked Witch doll has a similar body type and similar features to a standard 18 inch doll, but with a green skin tone. I've redressed her in a contemporary American Girl doll outfit, given her a pair of American Girl brand eyeglasses, and named her Helen, after the legendary beauty Helen Of Troy, because my doll is beautiful just the way she is. Yes, I know I'm a bit odd. In my defense, I may have still been in my X-Men/Marvel mutants phase when I bought Helen. But I can't remember for sure. I also gave Helen a black plush cat as a pet, who she named Gilbert. In my little group of 18 inch dolls, Helen is the one who does the most reading, and her favorite author is Lucy Maud Montgomery, who is best known for writing the Anne of Green Gables book series.

Question #3: What retired dolls do you think AG should bring back, and why?

I think Caroline would be a good candidate for a comeback, given how popular the Federalist/Regency period is in modern society due to Hollywood's perpetual cycle of adapting Jane Austen's work. Granted, I've never actually read Caroline's books, so I'm not entirely sure what aspects of the time period they cover. I've also heard a lot of good things about the Cecile and Marie-Grace AG line. But again, I never took time to read the books, so my opinions of the line are under-informed.

Question #4: If you were to create an AG doll (or any other type of doll), what would your doll's story be? And what would your doll be like?

I've tried my hand at creating character backstories for some of my dolls once or twice. I came up with a reasonably detailed, in-universe character bio for my Monster High Create A Monster Witch doll, who I named Sabina Osborne. I also incorporated a few elements from the musical stage play Wicked into the doll's backstory. In true Monster High fashion, even the doll's name has some deliberate character allusions worked into it. Sabina is actually a reference to the television show Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, starring Melissa Joan Hart. But I dropped the R to make it sound more Ozian, because of course, Osborne = Oz born.

I actually wrote up Sabina's backstory, mostly in the form of a stylized, first person narrative, and then posted it to my account with the title Sabina Of Oz, under my pen-name T'Ley. I had started drafting something similar for my Monster High Create A Monster Sea Monster girl doll, who in my mind is now Calpurnia, daughter of The Sea Witch. But I never actually finished writing it.

As far as my 18 inchers go, the only one I ever really attempted to construct an American Girl style backstory for was Drexel, an American Girl Just Like You #24. But that backstory was never fully fleshed out, and because I didn't write it down I can't remember now most of what I had planned. I know I named the doll Drexel after a well-to-do family from the early 1900s who were prominent in the history of my hometown. Drexel, the doll, was going to be a history buff who enjoyed antique hunting and learning about other time periods. I even gave her a miniature, hardcover copy of the book Antiquing For Dummies, to keep in the reusable canvas tote bag she would carry while browsing outdoor flea markets and garage sales. Of course, Drexel's favorite books were going to be the American Girl series.

Question #5: If you could own any of the clothes that your dolls have in your size, which one would you like to have, and why?

For everyday wear, I tend to prefer comfortable clothes over fashionable ones. My casual, summer wardrobe can mostly be boiled down to tee shirts and shorts, while for colder weather I tend to lean towards fleece pullovers paired with long pants. I do try to wear fancier or more formal tops and slacks in certain situations where I want to be respectful, such as attending weekly religious services.

I also prefer to wear loose fitting clothes, and I'm very sensitive to the weight and feel of certain fabrics as well. So, pretty much everything I've seen in the current doll market would, in my scale, either be too tight, or too heavy, or too scratchy, or what have you.

Step 9 involves sharing links to my 'best post or posts'. Since I'm not quite sure how to judge which posts are the 'best', I'll just link to some of my most viewed, and presumably most popular, posts.

Lois' Story

Galoob Anastasia Doll Dress

Update from Dandelion 

(I am a little confused why this post has such a higher number of recorded views than Dandelion's original post.)

Sue's Story

An Inspirational Moment With Misty and Tom Servo 

As for steps 6 through 8, having to nominate other bloggers causes a bit of a problem for me, since so many of the ones I've followed over the years are no longer actively blogging. But then, my own blog has been rather quiet lately, so I can't exactly judge.

That just leaves step 5, tell your readers 3 things about yourself. I thought it might be a good idea to find out if there was anything specific you readers wanted to know about me. So, if there's anything that you've been curious about or that you've wanted to ask me, now's your chance. Leave your questions in the comments, and I'll choose a few to answer in a follow-up post.

Signed, Treesa

P.S. If there are problems with any of the links in this post, please let me know so I can try to correct them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Geek Pride Day: 2021

 May 25th is Geek Pride Day, which according to the internet is a 'holiday celebrating geek culture'. For fans of English born, science-fiction author Douglas Adams, May 25th is also known as Towel Day, a reference to Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I decided to take inspiration from Douglas Adams for this year's Geek Pride Day photo shoot.

Here we have Ken playing the role of Arthur Dent, the bathrobe wearing protagonist of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 'who really knows where his towel is'. The Superman symbols on the bathrobe are a bit of geeky fandom crossover on my part. That, and the colors coordinate with the towel pretty well.

This second photo is just for fun. I recently purchased a one-sixth scale BB-8 secondhand, and gosh darn it, I was gonna use him. But I only have two Star Wars dolls/sixth scale action figures in my collection at present, and I've already used Sabine for more than one Star Wars Day photo shoot. As for Han well, Fashion Doll Memoirs readers just saw him earlier this month in my 2021 Star Wars Day photo. And when I suggested doing another photo shoot with BB-8, Han wouldn't go for it. He told me he doesn't do 'cute', and not even BB-8 himself managed to win Han over.

The little droid does look a bit out of scale with 'Arthur' in the picture, since BB-8's coming up from behind and is some distance away.

BB-8 crossing the sands of Jakku (or as my brother calls it, 'not-Tatooine')

Happy Geek Pride Day to any geeks out there. May the Force be with you, Live long and prosper, Stay shiny, and above all, Don't Panic. I think that last one is especially fitting for the current times. Thank you Douglas Adams.

Signed, Treesa

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Star Wars Day: 2021


Happy Star Wars Day from the stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder (a.k.a. Han) and everyone else at Fashion Doll Memoirs.

Han: Who's scruffy-looking?

Me (Treesa): I wrote that with affection.

Han: Sorry, sweetheart. You're not my type.

Me: I think I'm starting to understand why Halle likes hanging out with you.

Han: What can I say? The doll has good taste.

Me: I hope you don't talk that way in front of Halle. She'd probably kick your butt. Anyway, Happy Star Wars Day to all my readers. May the 4th be with you.

Signed, Treesa

Friday, April 23, 2021

A Trip To Virginia, by Annabelle (Disney Frozen Anna Of Arendelle by Mattel)


(Note from Treesa: This post has been in draft a 'lot' longer than planned, but Annabelle was having trouble stringing together the photos I'd taken into a cohesive story.)

When Treesa started packing her bag for a long weekend trip to visit her sister in Virginia she didn't get the idea to bring a doll with her right away. Treesa hadn't been bugging her dolls for blog posts as much as she used to either. At least that's what I heard. Everyone I talked to felt like she'd been giving us dolls less attention. Halle thought this was a bad sign and said we should all prepare for the worst. But Suzanne told us Treesa sometimes goes through phases where her priorities shift and things get put on the back burner for a while. Suzanne said she'd seen it before and she didn't think it was anything to worry about.

What matters is almost at the last minute Treesa remembered the blog and decided she needed a doll to take with her. Word got around that Treesa was looking for a doll who would drop everything and come to Virginia. I'd heard of Virginia before at my old home. I knew a little about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from my first owner's history textbook. Treesa is my second owner. I also knew that a lot of important things in American history happened in Virginia like the founding of the Jamestown settlement and several Civil War battles. I've always liked learning about history. It's kind of my thing.

But I knew my chances of getting picked to go on the trip weren't good. I lived in part of the house where Treesa keeps dolls she thinks need some work. Nude dolls she can't find the right clothes for or dolls with molded clothing pieces she wants to cover up are kept separated from the rest of the collection. Treesa says it's because she wants all of us to have the chance to make a good first impression. But some of us end up waiting a long time before Treesa can rework our looks into something she's happy with.

I knew I had at least two strikes against me if I wanted to go on the trip and get my picture posted on the blog. For starters I had a molded top with molded sleeves. Treesa never liked molded doll clothes. When she redressed Sabine in that Princess Leia poncho Treesa was really happy with Sabine's new look and called it a "redress success". Treesa said the poncho made Sabine look "less like an action figure and more like a doll". I don't really understand what's wrong with looking like an action figure. Then again Treesa's a doll collector. She's not an action figure collector. So maybe she's worried her collection will get too big for her to handle if she starts adding too many 12 inch action figures. Maybe she's trying to stick to buying mostly dolls to keep her collection smaller and easier to manage. But if that's the idea it's not working very well.

The other thing that made it a lot less likely Treesa would want to show me on the blog was my failed makeover. My first owner had tried to give me a whole new look by chopping my hair short and adding to my paint. She'd covered my fingers with messy black paint that was supposed to be nail polish. Treesa stopped trying to clean it off when she realized my arms were molded from blue plastic with painted skin and the skin was starting to rub off along with the black paint.I also have a paint rub on my lip from Treesa scrubbing too hard when she was getting off some matching black lipstick. I never really liked how the black paint looked so I was glad when Treesa tried to clean me up. But I knew my paint issues would probably look bad on camera. So I knew my chances of getting picked for the trip weren't great.

I really wanted to go though and I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. So I went to see Treesa in her room. Getting up the stairs was a trip on its own but Halle helped me and made sure I didn't get lost. Treesa was packing some last minute things and didn't notice me right away. "Treesa," I said. I tried to talk loudly enough that she would hear me but quietly enough that I wouldn't startle her. But Treesa must've been distracted because I ended up startling her anyway. "Annabelle,you scared me!" she said. I tried not to feel hurt when Treesa said it but ever since Halle told me where the name Annabelle came from I'd felt sort of bad about that. 

"Is there something I can do for you?" Treesa asked at the same time she was turning back to her open luggage. Treesa does try to keep her dolls happy and she knows we depend on her for a lot of things. I looked down nervously and said, "I was wondering if I could come to Virginia with you." Treesa seemed surprised. "I'm not sure," she said. But then she stopped. Maybe she didn't want to hurt my feelings. But I was pretty sure she really meant no and I tried not to feel hurt again. But this time I couldn't help it. "Is it because I'm scary looking?" I asked Treesa.

She turned around real fast and looked at me. "Who said you're scary looking?" she asked.

"You named me after a doll in a horror movie," I said. Treesa looked angry. "Who told you that?" she asked. I didn't want to get another doll in trouble so I didn't answer. But Treesa figured it out anyway. "It was Halle, wasn't it?" she said. "Seriously, that doll needs a new hobby. All she ever does is cause trouble."

Then Treesa took a deep breath. I guess she was trying to calm down. She bent down closer to me and said, "I named you Annabelle because you're an Anna doll, and I thought you should have an old-fashioned name, since you like history so much." I watched the look on Treesa's face change. It was like she was thinking over what she'd just said. "Maybe it would be a good idea to have you come along," she said.

When we got to Virginia the first place Treesa tried to take pictures was in front of the large photo prints hanging on the wall in the hotel room. But those photos didn't turn out. Treesa said there just wasn't enough light in the room to take good pictures. She tried using the flash but she said that washed everything out and reflected off the artwork. So we had to wait until we visited Treesa's sister on the farm where she's working and living before we could get any photos for the blog.

This first picture was taken at a rock garden that Treesa's sister and another farm worker set up. They named it Stump Rock Village. The other farm worker made a sign and everything.

Then Treesa's sister showed off where she was living and I was left there while Treesa and her sister and the other family members Treesa came on the trip with went out to dinner. There was a cat named Shera who belonged to the other farm worker but Shera was old and she stayed curled up on a cushion the whole time everyone was gone so she didn't bother me.

The next day Treesa's sister met up with the rest of the family to tour the Civil War battlefield at Manassas. Treesa's camera couldn't seem to focus on the field and me at the same time.


A lot of the trees there were blooming and looked really pretty. So Treesa held me up by one of the branches to take my picture.

Then Treesa took my picture in front of a wooden fence.

Treesa saw this spot where the fence was a little overgrown and said it was a good metaphor for war. She said during war the ground gets torn up and life gets turned upside down but when the war ends things start to grow back and life goes back to normal. And people forget.

Here's a photo of one of the Civil War monuments. Treesa doesn't remember exactly why she took this picture but she said she thinks it's because the gates gave her a cemetery vibe and were a reminder of just how many people died, on both sides.

The next day Treesa's sister took the family on a tour of a hiking trail that's on the farm property. The trail is mostly for guests who are staying at an inn that's also part of the farm.

Later Treesa's sister showed off the farm staff's vegetable garden. Here I am next to a small tomato plant.

Since everything growing in the garden was for the farm workers and not for sale Treesa and her family actually helped Treesa's sister pick some of the vegetables.

And that's about all there is to say honestly. It wasn't a long trip so there wasn't enough time to see any more historic places. But I'm glad I got to go even though most of the stuff we did was sort of outdoorsy and I'm not really that outdoorsy. Just being somewhere and knowing that before I was even made something important happened there sort of made me feel like I was part of history.

Respectfully Yours, Annabelle

(This was a popular type of closing for letters written in the 19th century.)

Friday, October 9, 2020

Halloween Giveaway On My Other Blog

Autumn greetings to all friends and visitors, from Treesa.

Back in the 1990s, Basic Fun Inc. had a lot of success manufacturing keychains that were miniature versions of board games and other classic toys. These keychains were very popular as collectibles in their own right, but they were also favorites with doll collectors, who used them in their doll dioramas as props.

In honor of Halloween, I'm holding a giveaway on my keychain collecting blog, Grab The Brass Keyring, where I will be giving away a Basic Fun Ouija board keychain. I'm mentioning the giveaway here just in case any of my doll collector readers would be interested in the keychain as a doll prop. The details for entering the giveaway are at

Enjoy the fall season.

Signed, Treesa

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.