Friday, November 4, 2011

Patience is a Virtue ...

I am an elementary school teacher and believe myself to be very patient.  However, collecting Integrity dolls is like a piranha frenzy.  Sometimes if you don't buy immediately, you'll miss a good price.  I need to exercise patience more with my collecting.

I knew when I saw the No Reservations Kyori Centerpiece Doll that she belonged in my collection.  She looks very "old Integrity" to me.  I grabbed a NRFB one during the Convention weekend off e-bay.  There were only 180 in the edition size and that included the ones on the tables.  I like her so much, I don't even want to remove her from her box because she is presented so nicely!

I definitely wanted one NRFB and have seen Centerpiece dolls from previous collections go for ridiculous amounts following the convention.  Unfortuately, for some reason, this doll turns out to be less popular than I expected.  She has been showing up for over $100 less than I paid for her.  Should've waited and saved some money.

There were 39 dolls released at the Integrity Convention this year.  I have already added Point of Departure Eugenia and Workshop Imogen to the fold.  In addiiton to NRFB Kyori, I have Vivid Impact Agnes (whom I'm not sure what to do with).

Vivid Impact has caused me to add a new rule to my list of rules, "Rule 6:  Never buy a doll before seeing actual photos (even promo photos count) of that doll.  I look at Vivid Impact and am speechless.  I was tempted to purchase her simply because she was an Agnes and I was afraid I'd not be able to get her later.  Horrible mistake.  She is still available through Integrity for about 25% less than I paid for her.  She does come with a nice dress and accessories.  Patience would've paid off.  She'll probably be for sale in the near future.

Supporting my other rules, I have been very careful to limit impulse buying.   Other dolls from the Convention that had caught my eye were Style Counsel Adele and Veronique Giftset and the Les Silhouette Collection Fauboug Saint-Honore Victoire Roux doll and the accompanying ensemble Avenue Montaigne.  (Photo from Integrity Toys)

Integrity often sells the "extra" dolls from a convention after everything has settled down.  I got an e-mail and found that the Style Counsel Giftset and the Avenue Montaigne Ensemble would be sold on a "first-come" basis this past Tuesday.   Both at much discounted prices compared to what you find on e-bay. (Integrity Photo of Avenue Montaigne).

Realizing that the Victoire Roux doll had sold out at the convention, I hurried over to e-bay and found one at an excellent price NRFB.  (I had been patient, but now had to act; I expect she'll be hard to get later because her edition size was only 300 dolls.   This collection is based on retro chic fashions.)  Now, it is generally known that when a doll is sold out, the prices on e-bay tend to soar.  Since only the W Club members had been notified of what was available, I was able to purchase the one I got for a fraction of some of the current offering prices.  Patience paid off ... I took advantage of waiting for the right opportunity, but not waiting until it was generally known she would not be available during the Integrity Left-Over Sale. (Integrity Photo)

This past Tuesday was ANOTHER frustrating purchase day for collectors.  At one time there almost 400 non-registered users in the Integrity Shop and another 300 registered users.  (Which makes me wonder how 400 non-members even knew there was a sell since members were not supposed to share that information!)  Well, they were in for a surprise because you had to have a link to purchase any of the items available.  Kudos to Integrity for that one!

IT's site locked several times.  Collectors spent hours trying to purchase items.  Fortunately, I was able to go on at work ... we have an incredibly strong computer system here ... I just sat back, worked, and waited for each screen to load.  Within 40 minutes, I had both the Style Counsel Giftset and the Outfit.  I had seen some awesome photos of these dolls on The W Club, Pink Parlor, and Doll Divas with their hair "de-bumped".  So patience paid off again.

Unfortunately, I wasn't patient and had already purchased the ensemble Adele is wearing in the giftset.  It is very popular and I got the complete ensemble, excluding the necklace, for $89 shipped.  Now, I have two of this outfit. I find myself with two, so one of these will go on sale also!

My latest temptaton is The Collector's United Doll Show and Sell this Saturday.  You know I'm going.  It's not even up for discussion.  My husband doesn't even try.  There will be so much temptation there!! 

To help curb a melt-down, I am going to follow a suggestion from a friend on the doll boards, Vanessa.  I am going to make a list of what I'm looking to purchase and stick to it.  Here it goes:

The only dolls I am looking to purchase:
AFL Platinum Vanessa
Luxe Life Vanessa
Haute Luxuries Veronique
Graphic Language Adele
Center of Attention Poppy
Portrait In Black Poppy

Outfits I need (notice the word "need" not "want")
Soir de Paris
Lustrous Silhouette
Todd Oldham
She Means Business

Will Consider Vintage Outfits, Bubble Barbie, or American Girl.

Must Have:  Silkstone Mirror, Silkstone Screen.

I've been very good this year.   (I feel like I'm writing to Santa Claus.  I also feel like I am prefacing some bad news.)   Actually though ... I'm just making a statement, I have been very good this year.  44 dolls no longer reside here and only 29  dolls have taken their places.  But as usual ... I am always desperately seeking dolls ... and diorama pieces ... and clothing ensembles ... and .... and ...and ....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mistakes ... I've Made a Few

This week was a really rough week for me.  Oct. 26 was the first anniversary of my mother's death.  She really was my bestfriend, and I continue to miss her more than words can express.  Playing with my girls allows me an escape from the grief.

First up ... When I opened my Point of Departure Eugenia, she reminded me of Fine Jewel.  So, I photographed them together and had a "what were you thinking?" moment. 

I wanted everyone to see that wonderful bodysuit that came in POD's giftset, so I dresseed them similarly.  Jewel is wearing the bodysuit from the Dark as Night Giftset.  I was surprised by how different they look.  However, POD does remind me of the "older" FR dolls that I prefer to collect.   There is a super strong elegance to her.

Not to be outdone ... Fine Jewel changed for her own photo shoot.  She is wearing the Midnight Lace Mini Gene outfit.

POD Eugenia was one of very few dolls that I wanted from this year's IT Convention.  I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for school.  You find some amazing deals on e-bay at that hour.  Someone listed the Workshop Imogen with a pale FR Handspeak body for a super price.  I snapped it up.  Here she is on a NuFace body wearing the FR2 fashion Only Natural.  She is doll number 26.

This year will probably be known as my year of "grails".  I have been able to acquire many of my favorite dolls this year, and now I have started on some of my most desired outfits.  I believe Breaking the Mold Vero is probably the best doll sold to the general public by Integrity Toys this year.   I knew she would look great in Purple Factor.
 "No ... No ... No ... No!  I've had enough!  I can't believe all of this redressing and buying.   AND here I stand still wearing the clothes you put on me this summer.  AND it is snowing in the Upper Eastern part of the U.S.  I have been neglected long enough!"  Chaundra has scolded me brutally!

  "Well ... I did buy a new outfit today.  How about this one?"  I give a truce offering.

"You're kidding, right?  This isn't something that fits my attitude!  Good gracious, woman!  Do I look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to you?  That's a Poppy outfit, if ever I saw one!"

 "You're right, Chaundra.  Poppy does look cute in this."

"So ... Poppy gets an outfit .... and there's still nothing for me.  I'm URBAN.   The models will never take me seriously as their stylist wearing something like that."

"Did you say Urban?  How about Urban Geisha?"   I was finally able to purchase an Urban Geisha nude on a tall body.  The body had already started yellowing though.  The seller said there were no problems with it, but it is terribly discolored.  I got it at a good price; however, I had contacted another seller who was selling one NRFB for the same price.  I was "next in line" and was too impatient.  Turns out ... after I purchased this one, the other became available.  Total regret!

 "Urban Geisha!  I don't think so.   Another doll!"

I plan on putting her on a NuFace body as soon as they ship.  She is number 27.  I was on e-bay doing one of my "early morning runs" when I spotted an auction for the Dressmaker Details Couture Bubble Dress from the IT Convention.  I thought the seller was referring to the Convention ensemble Beautiful Beaux.  They said it was a pink bubble dress with netting and a bow.  Imagine my surprise when I opened my package.  Spent way too much on this one.  Another regret!

"See ... I told you I was the stylist here.  This is wrong on so many levels.  It looks hideous.  And when I said 'urban' I wasn't referring to another doll!"

"Okay ... how about this So In Style outfit?"  I hope this will end the chastising I am receiving.

 "Well ... it's not so bad.  It does have long sleeves and will be warmer. .... But what is this?  Another redress without my input?"

"Yes ... I also bought a grail outfit from the seller I got Urban Geisha from.  It is the Red Derby outfit.  I have been trying to find something that would look nice on Monaco Royale Vanessa."

"You better keep looking!  That is an amazing ensemble, but it is definitely on the wrong doll.  You need to leave the redressing to me from now on."

"I guess you're right, Chaundra.   As usual."  Even Vanessa looks mad!