Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 21

Things can get pretty intense in the doll world; even in the make believe lives of the dolls.   My girls can get pretty territorial.   Red Zinger Dania Zarr didn't care at all for waking up and finding her ensemble being worn by the new girl, Shapeshifter Natalia Fatale from a couple blog entries earlier.  Turn about is fair play!
As you can see, Red Zinger Dania can be quite pushy herself.  To the chagrin of Agnes Von Weiss, Red Zinger Dania was the first established doll to get to wear this new dress.

(BTW, the dress has a faulty design in that the doll's arms don't come all the way down when she is wearing it.  It was a disappointing surprise, but Dania doesn't seem to mind too much.)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 22

I decided to present something more patriotic because today is America's Birthday.   In celebration, a favorite around here, Bodacious Adele Makeda donned a Vintage Barbie dress, Cruise Stripes.
She had trouble deciding on her hat.  Will be the whimsical navy cap?
Or maybe the more traditional red felt hat?

Either way, Bodacious Adele Makeda always smolders! And regardless of what hat you may wear, we wish all of our readers the safest and most joyous of holidays.   May you be truly blessed this weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 23

A by-product of this countdown is that I've been doing some very serious thinking about which dolls stay and which dolls I can let go.  The dolls that stay sometimes require a "tweak" here or there.  It could be a paint tweak like Touch of Frost Eugenia, The Royal Weiss Agnes, or Glow Vanessa.  (By the way, the artist e-mailed me recently and told me she was feeling better.  For those of you who are interested, the artisan who did these eye corrections for me was Veronica Hage.  She can be contacted through her flickr page.)  Or it could be a body tweak like The Muse Adele.

One of my very favorite dolls in my collection is Cosmetic Takeover Natalia who was the subject of an earlier blog post.   To me, Natalia Fatale is blonde.  I don't know why, but I always think of the character as blonde.  Cosmetic Takeover did not come with applied eyelashes, and I've always wanted a Natalia with eyelashes.  I had settled on Shapeshifter from 2008.  She was released as a FAO exclusive gift set in an edition size of 500.  She cost $260 retail.  She is also very difficult to find on the secondary market.
Shapeshifter Natalia suffers from the quality control problem that many of the Integrity Toys dolls seem to come with.  I have seen Shapeshifter with really wonky eyes and/or very poorly cut hair.   (When I open a doll box from IT, I feel like I'm playing the old "Mystery Date" game, holding my breath and asking, "Will it be a dream, or will it be a dud?")  It took me a very long time to find a perfect version of this doll on secondary market at a reasonable price.  She came to live with me last year.
Shapeshifter was produced prior to the handspeak system, so I was faced with the challenge of deciding whether to put her on a regular handspeak FR body or the FR2 one.   For potential body donors, I owned both the Sweet Victory Natalia from the 2012 convention and the Brazen Beauty Natalia from the 2013 convention.  Brazen Beauty actually looks quite similar to Shapeshifter; however, in my opinion, Shapeshifter has a better face up.  Since IT announced there would be another blonde FR2 Natalia later this year, I decided to go with the regular FR body.  (Had I put her on the FR2 body, she wouldn't have been able to wear all the clothes from her gift set, so I was happy to keep her on the FR body.)

It was very stressful releasing this doll from her box.  There is always the potential of the eyelashes releasing during the heating of the head - it's happened to me several times.  Only one corner of one eyelash required a minor dab of super glue.  I carefully redressed her in Red Zinger Dania's skirt and blouse, adding the jewelry and shoes from Style Counsel.
I think she turned out quite lovely!  She has the most exquisite face up!
And look at the hair from behind!
I will probably loosen her hair in the near future, but, for now, why bother?  Shapeshifter Natalia is everything I look for in an Integrity Doll - chic, sensuous, elegance!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 24

Doing this summer countdown has returned some control over my doll collection.  By looking at each character and mold separately, I've been able to identify the dolls that are most important to me.  It has helped me let go of many dolls.   The section on the left hand side of the blog, where I list dolls added to and sold from my collection, has changed considerably.  I have sold off almost all of my silkstones, keeping only my favorite three:  Fashion Editor, Tea and Savories, and Capucine.  I am doing a great job of lowering my FR numbers as well.

In addition, I have been able to upgrade those dolls who are permanent fixtures here by finding appropriate handspeak bodies and selling off the donors.  It is liberating to know I have these dolls on the best bodies currently available that match their skin tones.  The Muse Adele finally got a Bionica Jordan body.

It is past the midpoint of my summer, so I am revisiting the beginning.  We will start with Veronique 1.0 who was one of the first two FR dolls produced.

Sometimes I get a doll and she becomes a character in my make-believe world.  This doll is one of the first dolls to come live with me.  Her name is Sheer Goddess Veronique Perrin.  She was produced in 2004 with an edition size of 1000 and sold for $100.  I gave her the name "Eris", and she has been the subject of many photo shoots.  She tends to be an eclectic dresser and is a highly creative individual in my dolly universe.
Short haired dolls are quite uncommon in the doll world.  They don't come along often and they aren't easy to get "right".   Sheer Goddess Veronique (Eris) has always reminded of a  Liza Minnelli/Sally Bowles and Lisa Rinna combination.  She is fun to photograph and is always willing to try on whatever I put together!

RECAP for Veronique 1.0:    Since I started the summer review, I have sold Flame Rouge/2003, Chic Escape/2003, Traveler by Nature/2004, and Stylish Escape/2006.   (Owned and sold in the past are Lush Life/2002, Midnight in Monaco/2003, Social Call/2004, Lights Camera Royal/2006, New Versailles/2006, Shine/2006, and Body Double/2008.)

That leaves six Veronique 1.0 dolls who are safe in my collection at this time are:

Diamond Dusted (2004)
Sheer Goddess (2004)
Shanghai in Bloom  (2004)
Girl of the Moment on a Nuface Body (2004)
Sound Advice/Ondine (2006)
Onyx (2008)

There is only one Veronique 2.0 doll living here and she was already the subject of a blog post:
Breaking The Mold/2011.  (Gone but not forgotten are Modern Comeback Noir/2011, Sweet Smell of Success/2012, Haute Society/2012, and Convention Hair Workshop/2012.)

So out of 22 Veroniques I have owned, only seven remain on my shelves.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 25

First, I want to thank everyone for the kind words I've received about my "Summer Vacation" countdown.  It means a great deal to hear them.  I've received encouragement on The Doll Page, here, flickr, and in my personal e-mails.   Thank you.

Today, I am going to spotlight a doll with whom I had trouble bonding.  It was very difficult to find a version of this doll that had good eyes and good hair.  Maybe it was because there were only 500 in her edition size.  She was part of a mini-basic line in 2010 called "The Dazzle Collection" and cost $80 retail.  She is Soul Deep Adele Makeda.
Collectors had been wanting a rooted Afro Adele for a very long time.   Somehow everything evolved into a doll that was very retro.  Even with those upward, side-glancing eyes, I do love my Soul Deep Adele - she adds something interesting and unique to my collection.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 26

One of the most exciting things about an Integrity Convention is the centerpiece dolls.   At each dinner or luncheon, there is a "centerpiece" that is a special doll that can only be purchased by a certain number of attendees who are sitting at the table.   Each person at the table is assigned a number at the first dinner and keeps that number throughout the convention.   The emcee calls out numbers, and those attendees are given the opportunity to purchase the centerpiece doll.  One number gets the actual doll on display and the other numbers get to buy a NRFB version.  I have seen collectors actually cry when they did not have their number drawn for a centerpiece.

Due to this lottery for purchasing the centerpiece, the dolls are usually produced in very low numbers, so they are quite difficult to get.  They are never offered with the other "left over" dolls following gthe convention.   A centerpiece doll can demand a hefty secondary market price.   In my opinion, Fine Jewel Eugenia Frost is one of the best centerpiece dolls ever produced by Integrity Toys.
Fine Jewel Eugenia was a centerpiece at the 2008 IT Convention, "The Heist".  There were only 160 in her edition, and she cost $150 to those lucky attendees whose numbers were called.  I had to get mine on secondary market.  I paid more for her than any doll I had ever purchased up to the point of her purchase.   As you can see, it was money well spent.  She is one of the most beautiful and sought after Integrity Fashion Royalty dolls ever.
Fine Jewel Eugenia is modeling the Style Counsel leopard print skirt and bodysuit from the 2011 Integrity Convention. It is one of my very favorite Fashion Royalty ensembles ever produced.  I've never seen a doll look bad in this outfit.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Vacation Day 27

My husbands tells me that I could probably lower my collection number to about 25 dolls because "there are certain ones you play with all the time".   They are my "go to" dolls.

Since he started saying that, I tried spreading the love around a little more.  The doll spotlighted today is  probably the doll I have photographed the most.  She really is a personal favorite.  In fact, I had two of her and, reluctantly, sold the second one recently.

Although many believe Firefly Agnes Von Weiss is version that looks less like the Agnes persona, I think she has the attitude that is most like the character.  She just exudes confidence and arrogance to me.

This past spring I sold her sister Behind the Drama.  I wanted to keep the dress and sell the doll nude, but I knew she was much more valuable NRFB.  Imagine how happy I was when I saw this dress show up on ebay a couple weeks ago at a great price.  If I had to list my favorite 10 FR evening gowns, this one would be very high on the list.
Naturally, Firefly insisted that it would belong to her.
Who am I to argue?