Barbie for big girls.

The Doll Room Goes On Display: Part II

Yesterday I explained why things have been a little crazy at Inside The Fashion Doll Studio.  I have been working well over a month and a half ( since Fashion Royalty convention really) to get our house ready for a charity holiday tour that included the doll room.  The same weekend the tour happened, I was also contracted to photograph my daughter’s dance schools dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker.  We also needed to  attend her performances.  I also hosted a ladies holiday tea for about 50 ladies and to top it off…it was my birthday in there somewhere.  There was LOTS going on the weekend of December 6 – 8th.

I left off in part one of this post explaining my anxiety at opening up the doll room to the public for this holiday walk.   I was anxious to see what people would think.  I was fully prepared to answer a few questions and field comments like “Are you crazy?’.  What I was not prepared for was to be fully occupied the three hours Deanna, Hilda and I proctored the doll room area with comments, questions and exclamations of joy and wonder.  I called the evening “better living through Barbie”.  I think the thing I heard the most as people came up the stairs to the doll room area was their surprised gasps of “ OH MY GOD!!” upon seeing some of the collection for the first time.  It was an exclamation of an unexpected positive experience.

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The collection was not what people were expecting and the look of amazement when they looked around warmed my heart.  When I questioned people “ Not what you were expecting was it? You were expecting the Barbies you see at Target right?”  They would reply every single time “ Yes!” with a wide-eyed expression.  I received thank you upon thank you for sharing the collection.  There were lines to get up to the doll room area.  At some points during the day, there were lines just to get into the house let alone the doll area.  The Assistance League of the Eastside had told people that there would be some Barbie experts on hand from the hours of 4-7pm to answer questions.  People came back!  They came back and brought their mothers, their daughters, their sisters and some even brought back their husbands.  I think that was the biggest surprise of the evening for me.  These husbands not only came into the doll area but they spent time looking AND ASKED QUESTIONS!   I was completely amazed and overwhelmed at the outpouring of interest.  I enjoyed hearing the rich tapestry of stories and Barbie memories that unfolded throughout the evening.  Sisters recounted playtime memories with each other, Grandmothers and mothers remembered sewing or crocheting for Barbie and the granddaughters and daughters remembered learning how to sew through Barbie.  Many remembered the first experiences of self expression through cutting their Barbie’s hair. 

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The fashion was another big topic of discussion.  There were many conversations about particular designer influences and most everyone enjoyed the 1/6 scale purse tree in the actual doll room itself.  I had a buyer for Federated Department Stores come up to me and say how much she loved how everything was displayed. 

12151333  The most common questions of the evening were:

1.  How long have you been collecting?  Since my daughter was 3 so a little over 10 years.

2.  Why did you start collecting?  My daughter received a collector Barbie when she was 3 and my first thought was “ Great!  who gives a 3 yr old a collector Barbie?  She is going to trash it!”  But she didn’t so I thought maybe collector Barbies would be something we could do together…you know…something for Christmas and birthdays.  I started to do some research on collector Barbies and started looking at Barbiecollector.com and was blown away by the collector doll offerings.  I essentially went down the rabbit hole at that point….and have not come out yet.

3.  How many dolls do you have?  I currently have around 600 and that is most likely as big as it will get.  I am maximized right now which means…if something comes in…something has to go out.

4.  What is the most expensive doll?  I never really answered that question…instead I would point to some of the rarer items that are in the collection.  I have a BFMC display case that is a treasure in my collection and I managed to procure a City Smart Silkstone Barbie through a great doll friend a couple years ago.  I also have a set of 1/6 Bespaq bedroom furniture that is very rare and I treasure that as well.

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Some of the new displays for this year are as follows:

I adored the garden scene I shot so much that it became a permanent display in the doll room

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I also picked up some amazing 1/6 scale furniture pieces in Paris this past year.

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Elizabeth Taylor joined the work room display

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and the nightclub scene

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New Fashion Royalty convention additions

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And a new treasure added for the walk.  A stunning pink silk and French lace gown by Hilda of Bellissima Couture.  She made me this for my birthday…and I just about cried when I saw it.  Stunningly beautiful beyond words!!  Love ya Hilda…Mwah!

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The entire day of participating in this home tour and showing this collection was a completely amazing experience and the fact that it helped raise money to support local and very necessary programs made it that much more meaningful.  In this season of giving, I am so very grateful to all the people who opened their hearts, minds and pocketbooks to support the Assistance League of the Eastside.  I also want to thank those who came up to me and personally commented on the collection.  As an avid collector, It was a complete joy to see the love of this doll expressed and for some rekindled. 

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59 responses

  1. Picture perfect!!! Thanks for sharing … wish I was there in person! :-) Merry Christmas!!!

    December 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

    • I wish you had been there with us too Judy. Florida is WAY to far away. Merry Christmas right back to you. {{Hugs!}}

      December 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

      • October will be here before we know it! ;-)

        December 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

  2. pabboo Redfeather

    Wow your collection is Stunning!

    December 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

    • Thank you so much Pabboo! It was so lovely talking with you at convention. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

  3. Love you too! It was so special to be a part of it all.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

    • As I told Deanna…could not have done it without you. No way..now how. {{Hugs}}

      December 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

  4. I need to move to your town! Love everything.

    December 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    • :-) Barbie town is rapidly becoming the new “happiest place on earth” Thank you for the lovely comment Diane.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:17 am

  5. What a collection! I was wondering…what are the two silkstones in the pink outfits in the center of this photo? http://raberry65.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/12151317.jpg Are those OOAK outfits?

    December 18, 2013 at 10:01 am

    • Thank you Dave! The two dolls in the picture you reference are OOAK’s. The one on the left in pink and black is a doll restyled by me and dressed in a Bogue’s Vogues OOAK outfit. There are more pictures of her on my flickr…just check under the Silkstone group. The one on the right is a Matt Sutton OOAK that I picked up at Fashion Royalty convention this year. If you need info on Bogue’s Vogues or Matt Sutton just email me :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

      • Debi Drlik

        Hi again!! Can you please post close up shots of the two dolls that Dave was asking about – the Matt Sutton and the other doll that you restyled? In fact, could you start taking more close up shots of all of your dolls (that aren’t already close up shots)? I love photography, too!! Another fav hobby of mine. :-)

        December 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm

  6. I just can’t stop look at those pictures. LOVE LOVE LOVE !!!!! and that dress from Hilda is stunning. It’s so you !

    December 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

    • I know right?!! It is the most perfect dress in all the world to me. I am so glad you enjoyed the rest of the write up on the tour.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

  7. Cisca Durieux, Netherlands

    I so loved seeing all your pics, your doll room is perfect! So nice that people came back bring others with them too!

    December 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    • Thank you so much! Yes, I was very happy that people came back. It was a really fun day.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:20 am

  8. Natalie Viteri

    I’m amazed, I want to get inside your doll studio and look at every single piece and detail, please post more detail pictures of all your displays, specially the ones that did not got a close up. Also please post a picture of your rare items so we can enjoy them as well. Thank you so much for opening your house which I will call “Collectors Wonderland”.
    Happy Holidays !

    December 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

    • Thank you so much Natalie! I will be showing some more close up shots in a future post. I will also show the rare items I pointed out to people. :-) Look for a post on Christmas eve.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

  9. leslie quinn

    Just Fantastic!

    December 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

    • Glad you enjoyed! Thank you. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

  10. Gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing – phantastic collection and great pics!

    December 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

    • Thank you Karin! I am glad you enjoyed the photos of the collection.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

  11. mashaude

    It is as beautiful as the first time I saw it,and it brought tears to my eyes and it still does!!

    Happy Holidays!

    December 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    • Thank you so much Debra! I am glad you enjoyed the photos and a big Happy Holidays back to you. {{Hugs}}

      December 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

  12. Debi Drlik

    Oh, my goodness!! Sure wish I could see it all in person!! Where do you live? Lol After viewing this, I watched your seven minute video on UTube, too!! Love all of your dolls, their fashions, the furniture….etc., etc., etc. I cannot believe that you have only been collecting for ten years!! Gorgeous display, gorgeous eye candy!! I now have an overstimulated headache! Ha! Ha! Ha! But well worth it. I was also wondering – what is the size of your doll room?!? It looks almost the square footage of my entire livingroom. Thanks so much for sharing your amazing collection. I just started designing, sewing and selling my vintage-inspired Barbie fashions (for the vintage & vintage repros) to adult collectors on Ebay about a year ago. I am having super fun with the dolls, too. Happy Holidays!! Debi

    December 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    • Hi Debi,

      First and foremost, congratulations on starting a business and selling your fashions to the collector community! Well done you! I also liked your comment ” overstimulated headache” LOL! I think that is an apt description for this collection at times..but …as you say…it’s a good kind of headache. The doll room itself is a typical 10ftx12ft bedroom. Many of the photos are of the landing outside the doll room itself. I have to own up hear and state that the landing area is not normally tricked out with dolls like it was for the home tour. Some of the collection is housed in this area in the glass cases but the others were just display for the home tour. I needed more real estate than the doll room would accommodate for the dolls on this home tour. :-) Happy Holidays right back to you.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

      • Debi Drlik

        I must make a correction – You can normally find my fashions on Ebay by searching for “Vintage-Inspired OOAK Barbie Fashions by Debi” . (How could I have forgotten the “OOAK”?!? Lol I do not have any available at the moment though. They have all sold out. I am busy having Christmas with all of my children & grandchildren. I will start sewing again in January. So please look me up from time to time!! I sew very slowly, though. Usually one dress a week as I have mild OCD and am a perfectionist. :-) Happy Barbie Holidays!! And Happy Belated birthday to you!! Is your birthday Dec. 6th, 7th or the 8th?

        December 21, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  13. Penny

    Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful and unique experience. It was lovely to hear how much joy was shared by so many people. Hope you had a lovely birthday and happy holidays. Love Penny x

    December 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    • Thank you for the lovely comment Penny. I did indeed have a great birthday…it was the same day as the holiday tour so I guess you could stretch the truth a bit and say 1200 people came to my Barbie birthday party LOL! Now…when do you ever get a chance to say that?! ;-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

  14. Deanna

    One thing about having the experience and honor of visiting this room: there is never enough time. I think it must takes days, weeks, to soak in all that there is to see. I kept referring to it as “The Happy Place” when I was in there. You just can’t help but get an overwhelming sense of pure happiness when you step in to that magical place. It was enjoyable to see the excitement that the people on tour were experiencing upon entering the landing that is the precursor to the main room. Another comment that I heard a lot was “I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds of Barbies”. Most of them were mostly familiar with the vintage or mod faces and fashions. It was as if they were introduced to a whole new world. Rebecca, you are most generous to have shared it.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    • And you are most generous for helping out. I am so intrigued by your response here because people need to understand…YOUR doll room was one of the main inspirations for this doll room. I would be interested in seeing peoples response to your room my dear. You have such an eye for displaying things and telling a story with your collection. Love it and love you!

      December 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

  15. You have a wonderful eye for color and design, the room is gorgeous! Your attention to every detail really shows, what a stunning way to showcase your collection.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Andrea! I am glad you enjoyed the photos and tour of my doll room.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

  16. Linda Shoewalter

    fabulous….just amazing and inspiring.

    December 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    • Thank you Linda! I am glad you enjoyed it :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

  17. Debi Drlik

    Just realize that you live just north of me!! I live in the Portland area of Oregon. Can I come visit your doll room sometime? :-)

    December 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    • :-) Send me an email my dear and we will see what we can do.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

      • Debi Drlik

        My e-mail address is debi@drlik.net, Lady Rebecca!! I was “introduced” to you by my dear friend, Brenda Visaya, who has been my new bestest friend & mentor for over a year now. I design, sew & sell “Vintage-Inspired Barbie Fashions by Debi” on Ebay. (I sew for the original vintage Barbie and the Barbie repros to all of you adult collectors out there. I have not sewn for the Silkies as of yet). Yes, it would be wonderful to come visit your doll room one day!! :-) TTYS? Love your Blog and all of the wonderful videos of your dolls!! Debi

        December 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

  18. Suzanne

    Everything looked absolutely beautiful. Great job to all involved. Hope you have a very Merry Barbie Christmas. See ya at convention Suzanne

    December 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    • Thank you Suzanne! Merry Barbie Christmas right back to you. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

  19. Will you be putting these on Pinterest? I would love to repin the Christmas tree purse ornament pic! Just stunning!

    December 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    • Thank you Kelley! Pictures are up on Pinterest now :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

  20. Rebecca – I am totes blown away by your displays but SO impressed with your generosity and trust in opening your home (and inner sanctum) to so many people, and to have it benefit such a great cause! I bet Hilda and Deanna were wonderful docents! Thanks and love to you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    • Thank you so much Peter! Yes, Hilda and Deanna were fabulous docents ( that was the word I should have used in the blog post…where were you at 1AM when I was writing it? LOL)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

  21. What an amazing collection! I follow your blog, but haven’t realized till now, how many dolls you have … and how many beautiful fashions and furniture and accesories … And your display arrangements are breathtakingly! No wonder the visitors were impressed :-) It was really generous of you to host such event. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us! I wish you had a happy birthday and merry Hollidays, too!

    December 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Andreja! I am glad you enjoyed the tour through my doll room. :-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

  22. Eric

    Hello Rebecca,

    What a wonderful post that I was so enjoyed to read!
    If I were there, I would definitely participate this wonderful tour, plus, if you needed the volunteer, I would RAISE my hand!

    This is so generous of you to share your passions and your amazing collection as well as helping out the community.
    I am just so impressed, moved and blown away by it. What else should I say.?!
    —– so happy for you and your wonderful evening.

    By the way, irresistible dania in Mary’s dress- well, I was your competitor to bid on that dress on eBay. Now I know who the winner was- in fact, I have been wondering who owned that dress.

    Happy holidays to you and your family.
    Hope to see you at the next year’s convention, if we can make it next year.
    I would definitely say hi to you confidently! LOL

    OH, those rococo furniture are amazing. So cute, super elegant!

    Send you millions of hugs to you, Rebecca.

    Eric from NYC

    December 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    • Thank you for the lovely comment Eric! I hope to see you at next years convention too. Sorry about the pink gown…what can I say…I go nuts for pink. You have the powder blue version though don’t you? Keep your eyes open for the rococo furniture…I am starting to sell some of this style of furniture in the first quarter of 2014. Info will be on the blog in January. :-) {{Hugs}} right back to you Eric.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

  23. Robyne

    This is incredible. I loved the displays and your descriptions. I only wish I lived close enough to have taken tour. I can’t imagine the joy you brought to others by opening your home and your heart to this charity.

    December 18, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    • I wish you could have been there too Robyne! Thank you for the lovely comment. Missed you at convention this year :-(.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:44 am

  24. Johnny

    You have the most amazing collection. Thank you for sharing, you should be very proud. I know, it’s a lot of work maintaining it too!

    December 18, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    • Thank you very much Johnny! Yes, the collection takes effort to maintain…but it is always a labor of love. ;-)

      December 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

  25. Appreciable Gifts

    I have been following RBerry since I stumbled upon your YouTube videos several years ago. Thanks to you and other inspiring, creative, wonderful(I could go on and on) people I now have started “hoarding” my own collection of dolls and 1:6 scale items. Please keep giving –

    Sincerely,
    Appreciable Gifts

    Are the photo books available for purchase?

    December 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    • Welcome to the fold Appreciable Gifts! You are in 1/6 territory now. :-) I am glad you enjoyed the photos and videos of my collection. The book is in process. I displayed some preliminary designs for the house tour. I am hoping to complete it by this summer. I will announce it on the blog so keep your eyes open for it :-) Thank you for your comments!

      December 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

  26. Sam

    Hello Lady Rebeca … Happy belated birthday! As you well know that I am a die hard fan of yours. Thank you for sharing your lovely experience with everyone all of it is very heart warming. Whatever you do has always in my opinion is a class act. You are a treasure to the world of collecting. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Sam.

    December 18, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    • Ahhh…you are silver toungued Sam…you know how much I love to be called Lady Rebecca :-) Thank you for this comment. The very best Birthday wish I could get and thank you as always for your support for me and this blog. You never fail to encourage me and what I do. {{Hugs!}} Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

  27. Lori Birkeneder

    I have many many dolls of my very own, but seeing your collection, displays, and reading your commentary makes me long for some order in my collection!!
    I adore your room! The layout and design is wonderful! Every corner is a treasure and a delight to look at! And that is just from the pictures I am viewing! I can only imagine what it must have been like to actually BE in the room!!
    Gorgeous!!!!

    Lori Birkeneder

    December 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    • Thank you so much Lori!! I really wish there was some way to transport my Barbie friends for an evening so we could all talk Barbie. What I really wish for is a way to do teleporting to everyones collections…kind of like a progressive dinner…so we could do an evening of viewing everyones collections and favorites. How fun would that be?! Sombody…can you please work on that teleporting thing…there is important Barbie viewing that needs to happen here.

      December 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

  28. mouseandtea

    Oh wow! This is so impressive and gorgeous I hardly know what to say! Your doll collection makes me drool haha.

    January 29, 2014 at 5:49 pm

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