The Two Dollar Doll Project

A couple of weeks ago my sister and I  spent the afternoon together. The plan had been to have lunch then visit my husband in hospital but he called to say that he was being taken for a scan in the afternoon and would not be in his room. As we now had some time in hand we decided to visit the Glenorchy Tip Shop. Tip shops are shops attached to council dumps where you can buy recycled goods. A lot of it is junk but sometimes you can find some good things. I don’t usually bother with Barbies from this sort of shop as they are usually not remarkable and we consider a lot of them overpriced. On this day we saw the usual collection of naked clone dolls and blonde Barbies with chewed limbs and tangled hair. One caught my eye though. She had black hair and a pretty face. I picked her up. She had a few ink marks on her body and her hair was badly tangled but I liked her. I said to my sister. “I bet I could fix this one.” she said “Why don’t you get her? She’s only $2.20.” That’s cheap for here, used Barbies are rarely under $4 which is another reason I don’t usually buy them. I decided that I would. She’d make a good project to do while I was home on my own. Here she is as she was when I found her.

Raquelle as she looked when I got her.
This is how she looked when I got her.

I wasn’t able to start my rehab project right away due to Hubby’s health issues but while waiting for things to settle down  a bit I combed out the worst tangles in her hair. I find detangling dolls hair is good therapy when you are feeling stressed. I also gave her a quick wipe down with 911 as I didn’t know where she’d been before the Tip Shop.

Her worst fault is the stain on her leg.
Her worst fault is the stain on her leg.

A few days later I started treating her stained leg with Remove-Zit. So far it’s not making much difference. My Remove-Zit is nearly a year old now and may be past its best but I will keep reapplying it every few days. It worked well on my vintage Barbie two months ago. In between applications I washed the doll’s hair.

I’ve also been trying to research who this doll might be. She has one of the Fashion Fever bodies. She has the Summer face but her hair is black like Raquelle with some auburn/red streaks and bangs. Her earrings were broken but the one stud that remained was mauve.

I thought that it would not be too hard to identify her. It took me longer than I expected but after a couple of hours of looking at pictures of Barbies online I’ve cracked it. The Barbie Diaries Courtney 2006. Here is a link to a nice photo of her on Flickr. I think that mine may have had a hair cut too as her hair is nowhere near this long.

The Barbie Diaries Courtney
The Barbie Diaries Courtney

On another evening I redid Courtney’s hair into bunches and neatened it up a bit. Now all she needed was a new outfit. I haven’t done much knitting lately either. It’s been very hard to concentrate on knitting and I haven’t done anywhere near as much as I planned over the summer. So for now Courtney, or Robyn as she told me she would like to be called, is wearing a dress from my stash of Barbie clothes. As you can see the ink has not faded from her leg yet but I thought that rather than wait the weeks it might take I’d show her off now. Later I’ll find her some earrings. I know I have some stored away.

"Hooray, I've escaped from The Tip Shop!'
“Hooray, I’ve escaped from The Tip Shop!’
The Barbie Diaries Courtney, now renamed Robyn.
The Barbie Diaries Courtney, now renamed Robyn.

I think that she has scrubbed up quite well for a doll who nearly ended up at the dump.


  1. Robyn seems happy to have been rescued. Thank you.

    It makes me quite sad to think of all we put into dumps where I live. And we have no “tip shops”. The dumps are fenced off and scrounging is forbidden.


    • I think that Tip Shops grew out of the OH&S regulations that forbade people to rummage themselves. I never did it but I used to hear people I knew speak of having found this or that at the dump. As recycling became more popular “the powers that be” realised there was some money to be made. Some are operated or leased out by councils to non profits or commecical enterprises. The one we often visit at Glenorchy is run by a non profit and has lots of unusual metal art made from scrap on display. I must take my camera there next time.


    • He has been quite ill. He has Acquired Factor VIII Inhibitor, quite rare in Tasmania. Things were not great but he has now started to improve and his medications have been reduced. He has been in hospital for 3 weeks already and will probablly be there a couple more yet.


      • It is serious and was totally unexpected but at least he’s on the mend now. Thank goodness for our public health systerm. Overworked as it is it was there for us, we could never have afforded the treatment or hospital time ourselves.


      • This is exactly why we need a similar public health system in our country. Don’t ever allow your politicians to talk folks into “privatization”.

        I’m glad to hear he’s coming along. My prayers are for his fast and complete recovery.


      • The “US Model” of healthcare is good for corporations to rake in profits.

        But,as a patient, as a mother and as a doctor, I’ve found that the “US Model” is bad for patient care.

        Keep kicking and screaming and saying “no”.


  2. You did a great job on saving Robyn, well worth the work as she is a very beautiful doll.
    As for the stains on her legs, you might want to try acne cream. This has always worked for me like charm. I wouldn’t try it on older dolls like Mod Era as I was told that this treatment can make their skin pale, but it works great on contemporary dolls.

    Happy Easter to you and your family! My best wishes for your hubby’s recovery.


  3. I think Robyn is very happy and grateful you rescued her. 😉
    And I do hope your husband will recover soon.


  4. I use acne cream on this kind of stain too. I think different kinds of ink respond differently so if your Remove-Zit has worked recently, I wouldn’t write it off yet, this might just be tough ink. Robyn looks much better, though – such cute colouring 🙂

    I am so sorry to hear about your troubles, this must have been awful for you both. Glad to hear he is getting better now. Take care x


    • Thanks. I’m going to keep going with Robyn as I have lots of Remove Zit left and it hasn’t changed in texture like the previous lot did eventually so I think it may be OK for a while longer.


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