Do You Lurk?

Having done so much traveling this past week without my laptop, I often turned to the web on my phone  for the latest happenings in the doll world. I got to thinking how doll boards have changed my collecting experience.
When I was collecting Bratz dolls I found a Yahoo board that specialized in Bratz. That was my first. It was so much fun. I created my first doll story and had a very positive experience sharing my photos and looking at the photos other collectors posted.  I was already a collector of Tonner's Tiny Kitty, Tyler and Sydney dolls but looking back, I don't know how I survived without a network of collectors at my fingertips! The Tonner site, eBay and dealers' websites were all I had.
Sometime in 2004, I purchased my first Fashion Royalty doll on eBay and after that from other collectors. As I look back through my database, I see names of sellers that I could only have met on the boards.  Many have moved on to other pursuits or are collecting other types of dolls. One is running his own doll forum. Several have gone out of business.
One amazing experience was reading someone's post about a BIC exclusive Kyori coming out soon.  I wrote to BIC and that got me on the pre-order list to get the Ginza Kyori Gift Set. I had no idea what I was doing as I wasn't familiar with the big scramble for Fashion Royalty dolls. I think Ginza was the first FR doll I got at retail and that was no mean feat for a beginning FR collector back then. It was also the first year I attended a Fashion Royalty convention. That was in Toronto. If I hadn't been a board member, I wouldn't have known anyone in advance.

Like so many other collectors I became addicted to FR and the rest is pretty much history but I wanted to give a plug to the public doll boards I frequent most often.

The board which I have been a member of for the longest time is the Pink Parlor. The management has changed and the board is getting back to it's former lively self again. The (unstated) focus of the board is 1/6 scale dolls such as Fashion Royalty, Barbie and similar but many of the collectors have dolls that run the gamut. Registration is necessary and is free.

Logo Property of Pink Parlor. Click on it to go to the Pink Parlor.
Prego is the doll board I go to for the larger dolls like Tonner's Tyler, Sydney, Character Figures, Antoinette and similar 1/4 scale dolls. Again, the collectors there have eclectic collections and enjoy seeing pictures of other dolls. For a long time I thought that I couldn't post anything but repaints because many of the members have the most gorgeous collections of dolls that have been repainted.
I have learned that Prego is a safe board and that "factory" dolls are welcome as well as OOAK.  Many post pictures of Sybarite, Deva and Asian BJD dolls as well. If I post a question about something Tonner related, someone is bound to come up with the answer in minutes.  Registration is necessary and is free.
Here is the link to register to post at Prego:
Logo Property of Prego. Click on it to go to Prego.
If you collect Gene Marshall dolls and love fashions from that era, check out The Studio Commissary.
Every day the board posts a different vintage image in the header of either models or movie stars.
The Studio Commissary also hosts a link to the Fashion Sleuth which is a collection of images of real fashions which have been inspirations for doll fashions. For example, Azalea Ice Zita's gown was inspired by a Valentino. Board owner,  Mike Basala, has a great Flickr collection to which many sleuths have contributed. The board is open to all.

Zita "Azalea Ice"

Dolly Daily is a forum as opposed to a message board. One big difference is that on an active message board, a topic can scroll off quickly. On a forum, there are tools to see the latest posts in a threaded or hierarchical structure. Here is a link to Wikipedia's explanation of the different types of on-line discussion sites.
Dolly Daily has areas for all different types of dolls, general questions, birthdays and introductions, selling and buying, member blogs and more. Contributors get access to a game arcade and a steam room.
Posts do not scroll off and are searchable by topic and poster's name.
Although I am a member there, I mostly lurk, but I do recommend this forum for it's huge resource of collectors and information. Registration is required and general membership is free.

Logo Property of Dolly Daily. Click on it to go to Dolly Daily

For ball jointed dolls I go to the Den of Angels. This is a very closely moderated forum containing more information than most collectors will ever need. There are many specific sub-forums so it's easy to navigate and find what you are looking for.  They have a huge membership from all over the world. Right now as I type this there are 541 users online. There are 30,852 members of which 10,319 are active members.
Membership is by invitation and free.

Logo Property of DoA. Click on it to go to Den of Angels

These are by no means all the doll boards out there. There are scores of Yahoo groups and other hosted boards in a multitude of formats. One or more is certainly right for you!

Are you still lurking?


Bientôt un an que mon Chrom est arrivé chez moi, petit portrait des presques premiers jours et petit portrait récent avec nouveau make-up dans la foulée. La transformation est assez saisissante je trouve, comme l'évolution en photo. Voilà il aura presque fallu un an pour que Ténébos et Arguès ne soient totalement achevés comme il se doit :)

-------- Ténébos il y a un an ----------
-------- Ténébos maintenant ----------


Des deux j'étais le premier, j'étais celui qui devait diriger et contrôler, j'étais celui qu'on repoussait...

Des deux j'étais le second, j'étais celui qui devait plaire et séduire, j'étais celui qu'on chérissait...

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm sending wishes to all my US readers for a peaceful, joyous and delicious Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful for the luxury of being a doll collector. When I think about how lucky we collectors are compared to so many in the world I can't help but appreciate what I have.

If you are traveling, be safe and aware and save me some pie.

I'll be a little quiet on the blog for a few days but after Thanksgiving, I'll be back.

Three things to mention:
There is a sale at BC.Com on Wednesday, November 23. That's tomorrow.

—The Franklin Mint is at it again with their fake doll images that use a photograph instead of a doll. This time it's Kate Middleton, the future Princess of Wales. They are using a picture of Kate on a stick.

On December 11, 2011 there will be a Tonner and Wilde Imagination warehouse sale at the Holiday Inn in Kingston, NY from 9AM to 1PM. After the sale there will be a signing with Robert Tonner at the Tonner Company Store, 14 Hurley Ave., Kingston, NY.

If you are planning to stay over at the Holiday Inn Kingston, I recommend that you reconsider your choice of hotel. There are two new hotels near the Hudson Valley Mall that are much higher rated. It's a 10 minute drive from those places to the Holiday Inn.  It will cost at least $30 more per room but you won't be sorry. Come with friends and split the cost.

Courtyard Kingston Marriot  (Most costly)

Hampton Inn Kingston  (Free Breakfast and Internet)


"Contrairement à lui, je ne pouvais rien laisser paraître. Même dans la plus grande souffrance je devais rester cet homme impassible que rien ne semble atteindre. A chaque pensée pour elle, tout en moi aspirait à mourir une seconde fois si ce n'est cet instinct de vampire qui me gardait "en vie" envers et contre tout. Pourquoi avais-je donc fait cela ?"

Amazon.Com for Toys and Dolls?

I have purchased many dolls and other items at Amazon through the years. 

A doll collector friend sent me some information yesterday about a book which is directed towards pedophiles and instructs them on how to avoid getting arrested and more. Amazon was challenged on several fronts about their selling of this book.

Re: Pedophilia's Publication Promoted on Amazon
Though they  removed the book after being inundated with protests Amazon already legitimized the pedophiliac's written publication and the very act of pedophilia by putting it on the mainstream website
They said "Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts"
I guess they do not deem molesting children a criminal act!!!
I am asking everyone I know to NOT purchase anything from Amazon for the months of November and December (I am hoping they are hit hard enough financially to see how outrageously unacceptable their actions were).
She asked me to let people know about this on my blog.
Well if you feel like reminding doll collectors on your blog that their toy purchases from Amazon might be better spent at an online store that doesn't support and profit from pedophilia - feel free.
I am hoping for there to be some financial impact (at least during Nov/Dec)  for their promotion of this pedophile - and their profit off of this entire situation.
It was and is beyond disgusting and the damage has been done - perhaps fiscal damage will be something Amazon understands.
They certainly don't recognizing the rape and molestation of children as damaging as they vehemently defended the issue as a "free speech" one.

You decide.

Aphrodisiac in Jamieshow and Alex in Stolen Moments

Aphrodisiac Avantguard wears a Jamieshow gown from Angelic Dreamz. I was so happy to get this at the convention from George.

Here's the new Virtually Stunning Alex once more. I've changed her wig and dressed her in "Stolen Moments" an outfit from the Ashton-Drake Gene Marshall line.

Alex is starting to look really good. I need to darken her lips and move away from the red to a plum tone. I was trying out some colors using Photoshop. If only I could transfer those results from the monitor onto the doll.

I like her better this way. I also made her eyes look better by decreasing the size of the pupil.

Not Doll Related - Music Soothes the Soul

Nouveaux designs pour les blogs

J'ai terminé le relooking de mes deux blogs, je les ai voulu comme les deux pages d'un même livre : la page de gauche, Pretty Decay, est l'endroit consacré à mes travaux généraux et mes inspirations et la page de droite, Comatose Bunny Dreamer, est l'endroit dorénavant consacré à mon projet personnel d'écriture Lost Amnia et aux vieilles archives.
J'ai voulu un layout qui me corresponde pleinement tant dans les graphismes que les couleurs que les contenus. Tout ce qui est films, musiques et autres seront sur Facebook pour bien distinguer créas et blablas

Tentative Plans: Sandra Stillwell Presents Convention for 2011

San Francisco here we come for "Golden Gate Glamour" on June 3-5, 2011.

Details are not finalized. More information forthcoming.

Please let Sandra know that you are interested in attending.  502 3775153 

My Place to Create

WARNING! I didn't clean up my new sewing room before I took these pictures. What you see is what you get.

A month or so ago I talked my wonderful husband out of his "Man Cave". I was surprised how easy it was. I had been sewing in the corner of our family room for over 6 years. I didn't mind it for the most part, there were a couple of advantages: No one could see my space unless I invited them downstairs (I don't always feel like explaining my hobby to people) and I was still with my family. The disadvantages outnumbered the advantages though: My sewing area was always messy, I worried about other people's kids getting into my stuff, I couldn't sew and scrapbook at the same time, my fabric stash was stored in the garage, and my older boys were embarrassed about all the doll nudity when their friends came over.

My former sewing corner in the family room

My oldest son, Nathan, is 15 now. He likes having his friends over a lot and I like knowing where he is. I decided it was time to make the family room more "man cavey" and contain all my stuff in one area.

It took me a few weeks to get the old stuff out, and the new stuff in. I still have some things to organize, I can't believe how much stuff I have! The only challenge now is remembering not to isolate myself in my sewing room too much while my family is home.

My sewing area

Dolls and scrapbook supplies

Cutting/Scrapbooking/Thanksgiving table

More dolls, I need to make risers for the dolls in the back and hang up my clock.

My fabric whoared, now I can sit at my sewing table and look at all my fabric and tell myself I don't need more fabric, even though I could still fit one more plastic bin in there and the bin with the red fabric isn't very full.

My current project: 24 black cocktailers in 3 different styles.

Tonner Tuesdays

Every Tuesday at noon EST, Tonner Direct posts sales which last until 5PM. The items are an assortment and are different every week. 
Tonner Image
 I want this Antoinette outfit called Incendiary. I'm not a fan of the gloves but I love the style of the dress and the print. Antoinette fashions fit the Avantguard dolls. Most of the Antoinette outfits were originally in the $99.99 (MSRP) range which is not exactly user friendly. Now it is on sale for $49.99. Unfortunately, there is also shipping and NY tax which brings it up to an unfriendly price again. So I will wait until nearby non-New York dealers put it on sale or hunt it down on the boards.

Tonner Photo
Most dolls are categorized as "Dressed Dolls" or "Ultra-Basic Dolls." Here's one that's classified as "Semi-Dressed."
Tonner Photo
Kermit is not on sale but the 11 inch Basic Miss Piggy is. She is $39.99.

I really wonder how popular this line has been as I haven't seen collectors posting photos of these characters. If you have these dolls, I'd love to hear from you about them.

EBay - Opting Out

Yesterday another collector informed me that a seller was using one of my photographs in their auction. How did he know? My name and copyright were clearly on the image. Today the auction was ended either by eBay (I filed a complaint) or by the seller, who apparently did not understand English or thought he was doing the right thing. He may have been!
I  checked eBay's rules about intellectual property and was dumbfounded by what I found.
First of all, there are so many links to follow that I felt like giving up.  One has to opt out of a program in which eBay can add your photos to their catalog for other sellers to use. I can't even find the catalog to see if any of my other pictures are in there. I checked my preferences and apparently I am already opted out.

I'm not going to waste space here copying the text of eBay's skewed policy so here is the link. 
What I want to know is where is this catalog? I did a search for 'doll' in their catalog and came up with nothing so how did this seller find my picture? He claimed that was where he got it.

I have sold books and cameras and the eBay system offered images and text for those items but I have never been offered a picture of a doll. Maybe the jerky seller thinks my Flickr account is an eBay catalog.

Meaningless, random, cute elephant image.

Jason Wu's Alex - Redux

I've been playing dolls for more than two weeks now and it's time to get back to real life if I can figure out where I left it. Before I do that I wanted to get Alex just right. I was working at that when I just had to get out the scissor and hack off all of her hair. I fitted a 5/6 RnD wig to suit her face. She is dressed in an older Madame Alexander Amanda outfit called Unmatched Elegance. Shoes are Gene's.

 She will stay like this for a while. I'm not so sure about her lips. They're flat looking because of the way they're painted. I'd like to give them some depth with shading. And I will try other wigs on Alex.
 I love the way she can sit upright and cross her legs.

Here is Aphrodisiac Avantguard wearing Alex's dress and hat. The dress had to be pinned in the back to make it fit properly.

For the first time since getting the Mini Gene dolls, I redressed several of them. I love these dolls. For me the Mini Gene sculpt is Jason's best ever! I wish there were going to be more.

Red Desire wearing a Monogram Suit
Midnight Lace Wearing Smoldering Monogram Outfit

Contest. Enter to Win. Caption This!


Brenda took her corporate headhunting job much too literally! 
Who is anonymous?
Because we don't know who anonymous is, the second place winner will get the prize:
"Hmmm....when I said I wanted to get 'ahead' on the casting couch, this was NOT what I had in mind."

Let's play a game. Write a caption for this picture and post it. The winner, judged by my husband, will receive a gift. Contest will be open for a few days. Multiple entries are permitted. If you post as "Anonymous" please make up a name for yourself so I can respond if you win.

eBay Sellers - Always Good For A Laugh

I watch the auctions of a certain small fashion doll that was discontinued about 3 years ago. This particular auction was classified as: "New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item..."
In the description the seller wrote: "New in box in a nonsmoking home."

Her picture shows a nude doll tied into a doll box and a loose fashion displayed outside of the box.
The title she uses is that of a dressed doll from the particular line. The doll is neither dressed nor is the fashion the one the title says it should be.

I wrote to the seller and asked: "How can you say the doll is new in box if she is not dressed? She has obviously been handled and removed from her box."
One week later I received this response: "You can tell the doll is new in the box if she is not dressed because that is how I purchased the doll."

Do you have to read that again?

Integrity Toys Dark Romance Convention 2010 part 6 - finale

The Saturday night ballroom was dark but festive as guests arrived for the final event of the Dark Romance convention. The centerpiece doll was a FR Monogram doll: Smoldering. The Monogram dolls are very popular with collectors and this centerpiece doll looks very elegant and Haute Couture like all the dolls of this line. I guess most of the attendees wanted the chance to purchase this doll. Also she is the first dark skinned Monogram. I think she looks great.

Then the final piece to the Fashion Royalty Gift Set given to all attendees was given to them. Every convention guest was given a fashion that completed the Agnes Fashion Royalty Gift Set. This completed gift set is called Head for Glamour Agnes Von Weiss and contains a complete mix-and-match set of fashions and accessories. Agnes looks a lot like Dressing The Part Agnes as I said before and is bound to be really popular. A dark haired version of her was given out to all helpers with the workshops - here is a link to a photo of her. Such a nice reward for their efforts.

Jason Wu was the event's guest speaker, announcing his intentions for the FR lines next year. He tried to answer several questions from the audience after his speech and also revealed sneak peek photos of Veronique Perrin, the first ever FR doll (along with Adele) who has been absent from the line's release for quite a while. I saw the photos and I do think she looks really good, hopefully we will see her sometime early next year. Here is a link to a photo from that peek (from Shuga Shug)

After the meal, Jason unveiled the exclusive Dark Romance convention doll which was, contrary to many people's anticipation (but probable since Veronique would not be seen this year) Dark Romance Giselle Diefendorf. Since she was supposedly doing the "fashion show" her big sister was hosting, it was only natural to be presented as the convention doll. She looks fabulous in her gorgeous black frilly gown with beaded bodice, smoky eyes (those grey eyebrows and eye-shadow remind me of Mel Odom's Gene so much).

(Part five will be posted when FR2 info becomes available)

copyright Integrity Toys, Inc. and Intercap Merchant Partners, LLC 2010 and may not be reprinted or disseminated without express written permission.

Virtually Stunning Alex Styled by Jason Wu

My VS Alex arrived today and I am happy to say that she is prettier in person than her promotional photos indicated. I was on the fence about pre-ordering but when I saw that the Doll Market was offering her for $119.95 instead of the $149.95 list price, I crumpled and ordered. It's a sickness.
VS Alex is 16-1/2 inches tall, vinyl, rooted, eyelashed and highly articulated. She's a limited edition of 150 pieces.
Madame Alexander Promotional Image of VS Alex
Upon releasing her from her box I became alarmed when I couldn't move her ankle joint so she could stand properly in her pumps. I undressed her and tried and I was certain that I'd have to return her. But I warmed up my heating pad, pulled the foot out of the leg and warmed it in there for about 10 minutes. It worked! What a relief. I wanted to use some WD-40 but I didn't think that would be an intelligent choice of lubricant (duh) so I used a spray of wig conditioner. Hopefully that will last. If not, I know how to fix it.

If you are not familiar with the line of Alex dolls you may be surprised to find that they have a big head look. Alex also had big hands and feet. The big head seems to have grown some but the hands are nicer.  Here is a comparison between the newest body and the last body.

The legs are so much longer. I liked the original breasts better.
Older body cannot cross legs.
Legs are more shapely.
Prior to the last body, this line had articulated feet and happily they're now back.  Like almost all 16 inch modern fashion vinyl dolls, they have gone through a progressively more articulated evolution but the last release of dolls before these had less articulation.
Besides Alexandra Fairchild Ford herself, the other dolls in the line are Sophia Cruz, Paris Williams , Jadde Lee, Siena Evans, Suzette Morgan, Amanda Fairchild Ford. You can see many of them at The Matilda Company's website.

Jadde Lee and Paris Williams - Full articulation.

MA Alex dolls have historically held their value, possibly due to their limited numbers.

Back to Basics, Editor in Chief , Soleil Outfit, Dots Dress, Smashing Frame Outfit
MA has clothed their dolls in gorgeous fashions made from fine fabrics with detailed accessories. They have also produced some separate fashions for collectors to purchase. Again, these items are not easy to find except for a very few that were possibly over-produced or less popular.

Here are comparison shots with an Avantguard doll who is designed by Jason Wu as well.
Compare the size of the heads. Alex's head is huge!

Legs and torso are almost the same length.
I tried a few MA outfits on Alex and they fit. They will be shorter and the shoes will be slightly tighter. Antoinette dress fashions fit. Gene fashions will depend on the cut. The waist will be short in fitted fashions. Former MA Alex fashions will be troublesome as well due to the change in proportions. Again, the waist will be short.
Made for Gene.
Gene's suit.
Dressmaker Details for Gene and Avantguard
Tonner for Antoinette
The ringlets are well done without frizzed ends. Unfortunately the top of the head and the bangs are flattened against the head in an  unnatural fashion making her big head look even bigger. She needs height up there. I lifted her glued bangs to look underneath and her eyebrows are beautiful. Having no hair on her forehead changes her entire appearance. I will definitely restyle her hair. It's such a shame because I love the ringlet look. I don't understand the use of the helmet bangs over and over again. It's not attractive the way the factory glues them down. I can't picture a real person wearing their hair that way - even a model would look unnatural.
Her eyes are beautiful with lovely screening and great lashes. Alex has always had applied lashes. MA was always ahead of the pack when it came to lashes and articulation. I suppose they contracted Wu to bring the doll's face into the modern fashion scene. I liked her face as it was but the body is a big improvement.
The outfit she comes with is not what I've come to expect from Madame Alexander. The shoes are gorgeous. The rhinestone bracelet is lovely. The dress is a triple layer of fabric - lining, double knit in a dark color and an overlay of sequined lace. In this scale, the fabric doesn't drape or fit the body properly. The smooth black pleather handbag looks cheap and the hat with it's hot pink flowers would go better with a summery fashion.
I'm glad I purchased one of these new dolls but I will probably use the body for someone elses head unless I can fix up her hair and possibly repaint her lips to give them some depth.

As I was first working with Alex I couldn't get over how much she reminded me of Daryl Hannah as a mermaid in the movie Splash and the vengeful giantess in the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.