Well, what a year 2019 has been for us both personally and in our collecting. It started off in January when I was forced to leave home for a couple of weeks because of the threat of bushfires. It was hard to close the door on my doll room knowing that if the worst happened they would all be gone and there was nothing I could do about it. Thankfully that did not happen. I was more concerned about getting myself, Cindy and Polly to a safe place than anything else at the time. I know we always say “It’s just possessions.” and that’s true but my doll collection has taken twenty years to get to where it is now and while some dolls would be easy to find again nothing could replace the loss of dolls that I’ve owned since I was a little girl. As I write this piece terrible fires are burning in other parts of Australia and I feel for those people who have lost their homes more than ever before.
Equally significant this year was that I sold my house and Naomi and I bought another one at the other end of the state which will eventually be our retirement home. At the moment it is just me and a lot of boxes but we have plans to turn the whole downstairs area of our new house into a retro collecting area with old furniture, household items, toys, teddies and of course the dolls. Packing them up was a mammoth task and it will be a while before they are all out on display again but the good news is that all the fragile vintage dolls that I packed so carefully survived the trip intact.
New This Year
Of course the impending move did not stop us from buying new dolls and props. I have slowed down a bit on buying new fashion dolls because I’ve become very particular about which ones I want. A few Fashionista’s have made their way into the collection but I’ve been focussing a bit more on vintage dolls this year. A few items were ticked off the wish list. I finally found the “Mary and her Mummy” paper dolls. Naomi bought me Tressy’s little sister Cricket and Sindy’s motor scooter. I bought a vintage Arcon kitchen which is very similar to the Sindy kitchen. My greatest bit of luck was to be able to buy the Barbie Fashion Store at the doll show in August. So far I still haven’t set it up so I might try to do that the next time Naomi comes for the weekend as neither of us has seen it set up since the doll show. We also met Dr Kitty at the doll show which enabled Naomi to get her bear, James, mended and me to get Pedigree Penny a new wig and eyelashes.
Barbie’s 60th Anniversary
In March we celebrated Barbie’s 60th birthday with a series of posts of our vintage and reproduction girls ending with a big birthday ball.
I also had another busy year at the Op Shop tidying up donated dolls and redressing them. I always enjoyed being able to send them back looking better than they did before because whenever I go to Op Shops I see naked dolls with untidy hair and I always think that they might get more love if they looked nice. I also think that it is not right to charge four or five dollars as some stores do for dolls that have not even been cleaned. I will say that at our Op Shop in Geeveston we generally sold fashion dolls for a dollar or so and only asked more if they were being sold with extra outfits or if I knew they were collectible. A few Op Shop dolls ended up staying with me or with Naomi because we thought they were too good for kids to mess up. I will miss doing that and may have to find a new Op Shop to work in near here.
As for the blog itself, I am sorry that I have been a bit neglectful at times. I have many readers photos to upload and I have not spent as much time writing posts, answering emails and taking new photos as in previous years. Fortunately, Naomi pitched in doing a lot of posts during the few weeks that I was evacuated and also writing about her own finds and projects like painting her big Beacon Hill dollshouse throughout the year. It was also her idea that we should start the “Tip of the Month” feature which has been going since February. Naomi also started up “Teddy Bears Forever’ a companion blog to this one. Now that our move has been accomplished I hope to get back to posting more often and of course, we will update you on the progress towards the completion of the new toy rooms. Yes, there will be two. We have a lot of toys, teddies and dolls between us. Here are a few of my favourite finds and achievements from this year.
Our main goal for 2020 is, of course, to set up our new display areas. We need to paint and put up shelves or find new display units, put up dark curtains and decide on lighting before the fun part of deciding what will go where begins. Naomi will be making many trips with carloads of toys from her place but we hope that by this time next year we’ll have the beginnings of our permanent display in place. I don’t plan on buying a lot in the coming year. Of course, if that special doll or item comes along I will get it but I’m starting to think about consolidating, completing vintage outfits and adding other props. There may come a point where if one collection is to expand others may have to be downsized. For example, I would like more Sindy Scenesetters and maybe Sindy’s and outfits from the seventies but if I go down that path I will need to make space for them somehow.
Finally, I would like to thank you, our readers for visiting our blog this year. I wish you all the best for 2020 and hope we will all continue to meet here.