Barbie for big girls.

The Doll Room Goes On Display

At the end of August of this year, just as my family and I were home from a long vacation abroad, I was approached by the fabulous ladies of the Assistance League of the Eastside.  They hold a holiday home tour fundraiser every year that raises money to fund programs that support families in need in our community.  They typically have 5- 6 homes on the tour every year and these homes open their doors to roughly 1200 visitors  for a day to show off their holiday décor.  The tour runs from 10AM in the morning until 7PM at night.  This year, they had a house that had to pull out of the tour and the Assistance League approached me to help out.  The main reason they came to me…..the doll room. 

Apparently news of the doll room is out and about in my local community.  I have to admit, I am always a little nervous talking to non collectors about having a doll room.  You get the gamut of responses from people when you tell them that you…as an adult…collect Barbie.   Some will take an uncomfortable step back and look at you as if you just said you were schizophrenic…and off meds.  Some will immediately downgrade their opinion of you and lump you in with the sad individuals they recently saw on a “Hoarders” episode.   You can understand that making the decision to open up the doll room for viewing did not come without a great deal of anxiety.  I wondered what people would think.  I know that my fellow collectors love the doll room but I was really unsure about what a non collector would think of it.  Then I had a moment of clarity….I came back to the reason why I collect in the first place….because I enjoy it.  When anyone collects anything, it typically is because they enjoy doing it.  If they like it enough to hook into a group of other collectors who enjoy collecting the same thing, they REALLY enjoy it.  I decided I was not going to be worried about possibly being labeled the crazy “Barbie” lady and just enjoy showing off something that I truly love to collect.   There would be people who get it…and people who didn’t…and that was okay.

To me, and I am finding to many many others, Barbie is a touchstone of sorts.  Most woman you talk with today have a Barbie experience to share.   I have found that when you put a group of woman together and give them this touchstone, it creates an amazing bonding experience.  You can have a group of woman from all different backgrounds, ages, professions and all of the sudden you are all connected through this one toy.  You all have an experience to share and that connects you.  There are multiple points of connection too.  Sometimes it isn’t about the doll but about the fashion and the discussion that promotes.   My greatest joys in sharing this doll room through the blog and with friends and family are the sharing of those stories and memories and the connection it creates.  It is just plain fun.

If I was going to do this, open up the doll room to roughly 1200 people, I decided I needed to call in some fellow doll experts for the event.  I enlisted the help of my dear friends Hilda and Deanna.  They graciously agreed to donate their time and expertise to help me show off the collection.  I could not have done this without them…from the bottom of my heart “Thank You!”  We had told the Assistance League that we would proctor the doll room and landing during the evening hours of the holiday tour.  If people had questions, they could come back during those hours and “ask the experts” so to speak. 

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So…what was the response??  Tune in tomorrow for more pictures and The Doll Room Goes On Display: Part II.

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28 responses

  1. Love it !!! Can’t wait to see the rest. That Lisette in front of the Lisette sketch. Wow so gorgeous.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    • Finally getting around to responding to comments ;-) I am so glad you enjoyed the photos my dear. I am also glad you noticed the little detail of Ms. Lisette in front of her sketch. I love this little terrarium I found. It is the perfect display case.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

  2. Thanks for sharing. This is great. Wish I had a place for all my Doll collections.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

    • I am glad you enjoyed it Ruth! I feel very blessed to have a space where I can house the collection.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

  3. leslie quinn

    Fabulous!

    December 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

  4. Deanna

    It was an honor and complete joy to have been a part of such a magical evening. I thoroughly enjoyed assisting in answering questions. It was educational for so many of the tour guests. I won’t give away comments and details – will wait to read your forthcoming Part 2.

    December 17, 2013 at 10:25 am

    • As I said…could not have done this without you my dear. My gratitude knows no bounds. {{Hugs}} And can I just say…you are an amazing Barbie ambassador. I listened in amazement throughout the evening as you explained all sorts of Barbie history and information. You are the Barbie whisperer :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

  5. WoWzers! Glad you could show everyone! Very nice of you to share and and I’m awaiting part #2. Very helpful to see others arrange their dolls! Thanks!!!

    December 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

    • You are very welcome Karen. I am glad you enjoyed. I am with you, I always love to see how other collectors arranger their dolls. It is so inspirational.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

  6. Wow I can’t wait for part two. I really want to know what responses you got from people. I bet it was really fun to put the room together but I would have been nervous too displaying a doll room to members of the public.

    December 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

    • Hi Gemma! Thank you very much for the link on your blog. I hope you got a chance to see post #2 about peoples responses. It was fun to put the room together and show it off.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:06 am

  7. I am so excited to hear more and so glad you decided to share your love for Barbie and dolls to your local community. It is the same where I live, many do not even know that adult Barbie`s exists and a discovery like that could change someone`s life right on the spot, I bet it did and thank you for sharing your inner sanctum with us too. hugs.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Brenda. Coming from an artisan in the community, this is huge praise. It was so lovely and validating to show of the collection ( and your lovely fashions) to non collectors.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

  8. lovindollz

    Wow, what a fabulous holiday display of your dolls, Rebecca. Thanks for sharing with us.

    December 17, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    • You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

  9. Wonderful!!!!! I’m speechless … I loved your doll room. Thank you so much for sharing so nice photos!!!

    December 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    • You are very welcome! I am glad you enjoyed the tour through my doll room. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

  10. Giuliana Soraggi

    Thank you for these beautiful photos. You’d be proud to love fashion dolls, you are a nice person :) Greetings from Italy – Giuliana

    December 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    • Grazie Guiliana!! I am glad you enjoyed the photos and blog post.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:09 am

  11. This was a great thing to do! The room and dolls are so lovely, and I can unterstand it took some “courage” to open it to the public. Thanks for the pictures and the article. Can’t wait to read the responses of the visitors!

    December 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    • Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the photos. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

  12. meganism

    Thank you so much for this! You have got a really fabulous (jawdropping) collection…so well-presented, too!

    My own collection is relatively modest – but I have received a number of rude comments masked as jokes from people who should know better (but sadly don’t). It was comforting to read about your apprehensions (the reference to the “Hoarders” episode made me smile)…and to know that there is nothing shameful about collecting something I we love (as far as I know, doll collecting is not contrary to law or morals…)

    I’m getting the sense that the reaction from the visitors who were privileged to see your Doll Room was overwhelmingly positive;)…I think we are all waiting with bated breath for Part II of your blog entry!:)

    December 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    • Here here meganism!! You are absolutely right…not contrary to law or morals. People are people and sometimes have no mental editor connected to their mouth. I hope you had a chance to read the second post and hear what the response was. It wasn’t just validating for me but I hope to all collectors. :-) Thank you for the very witty and gracious comment.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

  13. mole

    Amazing! Its look like a doll museum.

    December 17, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    • :-) Thank you! I did get that comment once or twice during the house tour.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

  14. Pingback: Top Toy Links 20-12-13 | Sofa Frog

  15. Deborah

    I love Home Tours, especially at Christmas. I’m so glad it was a big success (I can’t imagine all the work that went into it)…I would love to have been someone that had the wonderful opportunity to see a fab collection in such beautiful displays. I am late letting you know, (I usually read your posts on my iPhone and don’t respond). Today I’m trying to catch up with all the things I “should have ” done during this busy season. I’m a faithful follower and enjoy your ITFDS postings so very much. Thanks for another wonderful year of dolly designs and reviews!

    January 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm

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