Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017!

Here's to a Happy New Year in 2017!  Wishing all of my friends and followers of this blog Champagne wishes and caviar dreams and that holy grail doll this coming year....Let's clink our glasses to the coming blessings of the New Year!

See ya on the flip side! 

#2017 #letscelebrate #happynewyear 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Saying Farewell to Tonner Doll Company, say Hello to Phyn & Aero!

I have held off writing about Robert Tonner's email that came in on my email
on December 22nd, simply because like most of his customers, I believe his timing was way off. 

I mean, c'mon Robert. It was three days before Christmas. And you're telling your fans ...your loyal fans and customers for over 25 years- No more Ellowyne. No more Evangeline Ghastly,Deja Vu,  no more Tiny Kitty, no more Tyler Wentworth. 

Instead, there will be a new game in town...wait for it...Phyn & Aero! 

I don't think that made the fans feel any better. There weren't any sneaks of what is to come, to get them excited, no words of comfort. I don't collect Ellowyne exclusively- (I only have one doll in my collection) but I felt tearful for those collectors upon reading the email. 

And so here it is. 

Tonner’s 25th Anniversary Year re-cap: 
2016 has been, perhaps, the most momentous year of my life. Celebrating 25 years of creating dolls and accessories was really kind of humbling. Culling through photographs of past events and seeing the faces of people getting so much joy out of the dolls and events we’ve produced was truly heartwarming. It reminds me yet again of how lucky I’ve been to enjoy a hobby that turned into a career and a business.
I’ve frequently been asked what have been the greatest accomplishments of my last 25 years in this business and there are definitely some standouts: 
-My first New York Toyfair, sitting at a single table in our tiny booth and selling out everything I brought in the first few hours. 
-The first Tyler Wentworth dolls arriving at our warehouse and eventually shipping to retailers. 
-The Betsy McCall and Mary Engelbreit licensed products that were so cherished and charming. 
-Being the only company to produce Harry Potter dolls for six years. 
-Ellowyne Wilde and the creation of Wilde Imagination, which allowed me to move in an entirely new direction. 
-All of the employees who have supported me along the way, whether they believed in what I was doing, or not! 
Currently, I’m spending a great deal of time learning (and hopefully mastering) some very new computer sculpting programs that, combined with state-of-the-art production capabilities, provide an entirely new method of creating dolls. I call it the “New Art of Doll Making™” and I’m really excited about what we’ll be doing in 2017 and beyond. It’s also awakened a pioneering spirit in me again and I’ve decided it’s time to completely re-think what we offer to collectors. Therefore, although Tonner will continue to make all of our established licensed products such as DC, Gone with the Wind, Outlander, etc., all of our proprietary lines, as well as those of Effanbee and Wilde Imagination, are being discontinued. 
A new company is being launched and it’s called Phyn & Aero. We will be introducing three new lines in 2017 in collaboration with innovative (and incredibly talented) new designers. I really feel it’s time to broaden our perspectives and see what some fascinating (and younger!) designers create for our collectors. I believe the collector market needs a major shake-up and I’m quite sure this will be it! 
As always, I’m so grateful for all the love and support you’ve shown to me over the years. I am also terrifically excited about the direction we’re heading in and hope you will join us along the way in this new, incredibly exciting adventure!

In all fairness, I myself understand a company needs new vision, new lines and new direction. But I feel the tone of this letter could have been handled with more tact to the paying customers and with a little more finesse. It's almost like this company doesn't care what their customers think and I suspect that they are going to not only compete with such doll companies as Kingdom doll and the bjd companies but smaller companies such as Integrity toys as well.

If so, Tonner better step up his game on articulation and customer service. I am hoping for the best for this company but this letter gives me mixed feelings on their haphazard new direction. This is just my personal opinion. I have loved their dolls and have a few in my personal collection.

Here's looking forward to new things from Phyn & Aero in 2017.....

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Love, Life and Lace Agnes Von Weiss...Merry Christmas to me!

So my event doll, Love , Life and Lace Agnes Von Weiss , arrived just in time before Christmas and this was my Christmas gift to myself.  I had to sell a few of my Agnes dolls this year because of the medical bills except Concerto in M, my favorite, which I will never part with. I will be getting another one soon in the sister Moguls set in January- yeah!

I de-boxed her last night.  I haven't felt much joy lately in de-boxing my dolls but I did with this beauty. I am finally getting my happy back ...and it feels so good.  This has been a year from hell on so many personal levels I can't begin to explain. Looking at this beauty, she takes all of it away. I love her sulky expression. Personally, I love her Mess with me bitch expression. ( Dear Reader, I apologize for the profanity ahead of time here. But Agnes brings that cattiness out in us doll collectors. It is all meant in fun.) 

Something else that gave me surprise when I deboxed her was the number on her certification. 379 out of 1420!

My only problem with this doll is her shoes. I did not take a picture of them, they are lovely strapped heels, very well made, but impossible to put on. I put them on her feet but strapping them on is impossible. I honestly wish Integrity would not make these god awful shoes that require a magnifying glass and skeletal fingers to put on the dolls. A simple pair of pumps would have been fine in the toned satin to match the gown. Strapped sandals that have straps that come apart don't appeal to me. My Veronique convention doll's shoes had a piece that came off her gladiator sandal and her shoes I didn't even bother to put on when that happened. It really is frustrating to have these intricate shoes that are a bear to put in. I would much rather have the intricate gown than intricate shoes I can't put on the doll. Just my two cents. 

All in all, she is lovely. I hope that everyone who got her loves her. She is definitely a keeper. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santa Poppy wishes you a Merry Christmas...

Yesterday while I did the Gothic Mansion photo shoot, I redressed Out of this World Poppy Parker and put her under my snow trees in front of the door of the mansion. It had a great effect. 

I am doing this post a little early on Christmas Eve, as I may be busy today and tomorrow. There's alot of news in the doll world I would love to post about - namely Robert Tonner's recent announcement and I will be posting about that soon. I have some other dolls I will be taking photos of and posting here to wrap up 2016 with. So stay tuned. Lots of photos coming your way!

                                 Merry Christmas & Have A Happy New Year!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the One Sixth Scale dollhouse and I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! 

I have been a little slow in posting festive photos but have been very busy this past couple of weeks and today is the first day I got to sort through these. I haven't even had time to de-box dolls I purchased months ago! 

Merry Christmas from the Gothic Mansion!

Martha Stewart decorating tip: Always make your Egyptian sarcophagus display look festive with handmade knitted Santa hats. And that's a Good Thing. :) 

Enjoy! Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! ~ Lisa

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Reception A' Versailles Veronique Perrin- Final W Club doll of the Year!

Well the Final W club doll of the year was announced- Reception A Versailles Veronique Perrin  and not many of the W Club members were thrilled with her.

I like her, and I am a little disappointed in her. I love her makeup and hair, but the title makes the owner expect great things- especially when the storyline includes a reception at the chateau of Versailles. Her dress says cocktails at 6 pm, at the local bistro, not Versailles. There isn't even a case thrown in, just some grey and black undies and thigh highs. I love her shoes, and jewelry, but the dress is very cheaply done. 

Since I had to sell my Out Sass Vanessa earlier this year, I went and ahead and pre-ordered her. 

Here are her specs:

Item # 91391
Réception À Versailles
Véronique Perrin® Dressed Doll
2016 W Club Exclusive
Approximate Ship Date: May 2017
Limited Edition Size: TBA Dolls Worldwide

Doll Tech Specs: 
Body Type: FR2013
Head Sculpt: Véronique 2.0
Quick Switch Feature: No 
Skin Tone: FR White 
Hair Color: Red
Eyelashes: Yes, Hand-Applied

Her accessories are beautiful...but it annoys the crap out of me that this doll has not better gown than this with the serges showing on it and cheap fabric....and with a name like Versailles attached to it. Why couldn't they have made the storyline a masquarade ball and had her in a replica of Marie Antoinette's white gown ? That would explain having the party at Versailles in the storyline.  Then we could have had a beautiful case. Something that screams royalty on it. 

I am predicting since so many of the w club members are not liking her, they will want her when they see her re-dressed. 

All for now. Lisa

Monday, December 5, 2016

Looking Back on 2016....

So I am doing my evaluation of the year post a few weeks early than last year's 
post on my blog Looking Back on 2015  .  But so much has happened this year, and my days are so busy, I have been making my lists early, when I read the post, boy, have I come a long way baby! 

I did have many challenges in the year of 2016, many that were health related, and finance related, as well as of a personal , family related that I would rather have not had to deal with. Challenging situations, people, day to day, week to week, month to month. Very draining on the heart and mind on both my husband and I. But we got through them all and weathered the storms. 

In the midst of these issues, I downsized my fashion dolls, and other dolls and alot of my doll and prop collection severely. I do and don't regret it. 

I do indeed call 2016 a year of Expansion, and I did succeed in expanding many of my areas to experience new things. 

1. De-Clutter..
This definitely happened all around. 

This is an example of our now dining room, which used to be the den. It is decorated for our current Christmas. What used to be the dining room is now the living room, and is being decorated. A HUGE amount of de-clutter went about to bring this about. We have a alot of work to do on the house, as far as home repairs, but the work of moving the furniture into this room was massive. The dining room furniture is cherry, and belonged to my husband's parents, so you could say it's antique. We love it. 
Also on the de-clutter end I have two storage units to sort and get rid of items that were overrunning the house until I have a yard sale, or that is sold on ebay. This has helped enormously with rotating the stuff to keep and get rid of.  This is a project that will continue into 2017

I had written that I was getting more into the Hot Toys, Ace, and Big Chief studios but I found myself often short of funds for those action figures. And I still do. To this end, I found myself during 2016 signifigantly buying less and less Mattel and less Fashion Royalty/Integrity as I had to sell more and more of my own collection. There were items or dolls I wanted but just decided to wait. And in one way, I am glad I practiced self control. 
I have discovered other dolls and customizing has really taken over with my building projects I want to achieve. I can't do all of this, along with getting back into food crafting if I am purchasing tons of dolls. So I have made lists of what dolls I definitely want to acquire, there are a few. Some are surprising, as they are not necessarily Fashion Royalty or Barbie. 
1- Petite 2010 UFDC Marie Therese Convention doll
2- Davida Mold Huret French fashion doll
3-Sideshow/BigChief Studios Teenage Harry Potter
4-Sideshow/Big Chief Studios Snape
5-Sideshow/Big Chief Studios Dumbledore
6-Sideshow/Big Chief Studios Hagrid
7-Mystic Forge Anubis
8-Mystic Forge Ramses ll
9-American Girl #55 for custom Laura Ingalls- Acquired

and I have a few more on my list. I have focused on these dolls as there are specific things I would like to do- sew, craft, or build with them in mind. Especially the 1:6 Harry Potter action figures and the Egyptian action figures. It has always been my intention to acquire those figures and do Hogwarts scenes/dioramas and an Egyptian tomb. 

I have also wanted to create more doll food, in 1:6 and 1:3 scales, and offer them more regularly in my ebay auctions and perhaps restart my Etsy store again. This year has been so full of distractions, it was impossible to do that or even have time to peacefully sculpt. So I am getting my workspace equipped again.
I had finished the Gothic Mansion in 2016, and did a ton of things with it. I did not finish the Santa's kitchen, but am close to finishing that. My goal last year was to add to the Santa's wonderland each year, which I hope to do. 2016 was a year of mishaps but I hope 2017 will be a year of 'Moving FOrward' and making progress on the building aspect. 
I really want to also make progress on building the other dioramas and hope to pull out my sketch books, and see what I can come up. 

4. Health and Wellness
Well this is where 2016 got in the way of that plan. It threw a monkey wrench into that with a kidney stone in April and then I had to go to the hospital, for an emergency stent, later with a lithotripsy to crush the 1 inch stone, which helped to pass it. But my recovery from it took quite a while as it drained me of my strength for month. Getting out of bed and navigating was a feat within itself. I did not begin to feel like myself until the middle of June. 
During the hospital stay with x-rays, they found a lump in my breast, which I had to go have a tests, and a biopsy for, which thankfully proved benign. All of this has been draining financially and emotionally. 
The good news was I lost more weight, about 18 lbs. My doctor was thrilled. 

Toxic People.....
I really don't have that much on this topic except I can say, regretfully I have alot of those in the family. More than I can to admit. It is with sadness that those closest to us treat us the worst, while sometimes friends and strangers treat  us the best. 
So....walk away from those that treat you bad, because life is too short to put up with it. Laugh often, love more, and cry less. Just because they are family doesn't give them carte blanche to ruin your emotional health or disrespect you. 

5. Expanding...& Moving Forward
I talked alot about expanding my horizons in 2016, and boy did I!
I did try new things, and I also stepped back from doing things the old way. One thing I stepped back from doing was ordering dolls just because everyone was on the kick of ordering the doll. I only ordered what I wanted, absolutely or liked. 

So I have decided that since 2016 was a year of Expansion, 2017 will be the year of 'Moving Forward' or progress, and maybe moving forward on expanding on all of those areas that I made a list of, and seeing what I can do to get ahead. 

This year I did move forward definitely when selling on Ebay, as I made Bronze powerseller within two months of selling this year. It amazed me, but I am now not really interested in maintaining that status, just interested in doing more with my collection and other spheres of art. I would definitely like to be able to sew more too. 

All for now, and enjoy your week!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dollhouse Display at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights

On Wednesday, November 30, my hubcap and I attended the Festival of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens which they have every year, starting November 25th. We are members and they also have special member nights, with tours of the historical house, and flute and harp concerts. We especially wanted to hear the harp concert that evening. 

In the garden's building where the library and classrooms and exhibit rooms are, the train display was there but the library houses the dollhouse display every other year.  This year I got some great photos. 

The tree in the library was lovely, with the little putz houses around it all lit up in the snow.

The church is by my talented miniaturist friend James Opher. He belongs to the Virginia Miniature Enthusiasts club that I used to belong to. 

This is the cross stitch or needlepoint house. It has been on display before and is truly remarkable because it is all 1:6 scale and for Barbie, and made from patterns. I can only imagine the time and work that went into this house. 

The Bartlett house, featured in the copy of the Miniature collector on display with the house. Below are closeups of the rooms

This house is often included in the displays every other year as well, it is an older house that has been lovingly restored and sealed with plexiglass and re-done. I love looking at it and how it must have stayed in the family down through the generations. 

I hope you've enjoyed the displays of the dollhouses, I have included as many as I could. The pics from my phone were better than the ones from my camera, the library was swamped and taking pics with my phone proved to be better than the ones on my camera.