One of the things I enjoy most about The National Barbie Doll Collector Convention are the amazing One of a Kind (OOAK) artists that bring their creations to the convention. Most of them sell at private shows or in their rooms in the days leading up to the official start of the convention. Many collectors, including myself, go up to 4 days early to convention so they can attend these private parties and see what kind of OOAK creations they can add to their collections. For some collectors, these OOAK’s are the focus of their collection. There are so many talented artists within this community.
One such artist is Julia Lapshova of Julia Originals. I was lucky to get to her room early enough and purchased this lovely creation. Her attention to detail and tailoring is always extraordinary. I am so very happy to have Ms. Tokyo Chic in my personal collection. You can also follow Julia on Facebook.
This past year at The National Barbie Doll Collector Convention, the talented Magia2000 team of Mario Paglino and Gianni Grossi presented a collection that was very close to their hearts. They showcased a OOAK collection centered on the theme of love. A fitting theme as they announced at this event that they would be tying the knot themselves later that year. How special is that?!! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after that announcement. With all of the love going on in that room, many collectors walked away with the right to purchase some of this stunningly beautiful collection. They used a new system of drawing numbers and when your number was drawn you could choose from what was left or decline to purchase. The people who had their numbers chosen early walked away with their first choice of the options. I was lucky enough to have my number chosen while one of my favorites was still up for purchase. Her name is “Love in Praga” which I understand to mean Love in Prague. I am honored and so very pleased to have this one of a kind creation in my collection and was so happy to participate in this celebration of love at the NBDCC in 2015.
To see more of the beauties Mario and Gianni designed for this past convention, feel free to visit the gallery at their site Magia2000.
What do I mean by that? Good question. With all the negativity going on right now surrounding this new articulated silkstone body from Mattel and the general feeling that they are not listening to their adult collector community, I took a moment to refocus. I was getting too wrapped up in the negativity of the bad front end user interface of the Barbie Collection website and the lack of information and general feel of apathy coming from Mattel. I needed to come back to why I like to collect…”Why am I doing this?”. I needed to go look at my collection and start falling in love again. It didn’t take long. I went into the studio and took some photos and started rediscovering why I love to collect fashion dolls. It’s not about Mattel and what they do and don’t do. It’s not about Integrity Toys either. They do play a part because it is their products that fuel a passion but it’s not why I collect.
The love lies in what is done with these fashion models. It’s the creativity and support of the community that truly fuels and sustains the love of this hobby. With so much hurt and negativity going on right now, I think it’s time to pull back and refocus on my collection and what I enjoy most about it. I am not one to be driven by the acquisition of a thing nor am I what some consider a completest. Contrary to some people’s believe, I do not own every Silkstone Barbie ever made ( although I would not turn down the opportunity to LOL!). What I strive to do is have a collection of things that I truly enjoy. So…that is what I am going to try do do with the blog this year. Focus on enjoying the collection I have and not get tied up in where Mattel is going with their product line or not going with their website. It’s time to enjoy the collection I have. And I hope to share that enjoyment with you all through the photos I produce.
This gorgeous lady came to me at this past year’s Barbie Collector convention in Virginia. She is a Mannequin Maven. Mannequin Maven’s are the collaborative team of the very talented Maryann Roy and Hilda Westervelt. I love it when these two gifted artists get together and create! They never disappoint. Hilda and Maryann have collaborated for various charity donations for GAW, Kenvention, NBDCC and Rome Fashion Doll Convention.
The poodle…well…the poodle is a whole other story. That little guy came to me through a new friend made at Barbie convention and it quickly became my travel companion and sort of travel meme through the entire trip. For those in the “poodle club” …and you know who you are…it was time to bring the poodle out for a real photo shoot. We really need to give this little guy a name before next convention.
If you are a doll collector outside of the United States, it is sometimes very handy to have a shipping buddy within the U.S who can combine a bunch of your purchases and send it in one big box to help save on the shipping. If you are a BFC member that lives outside the U.S., you need a shipping buddy to receive your purchases from BarbieCollector as they do not ship outside the U.S. ( grumble, grumble…really?!!). It is also a treat when you share the same collecting habits of your shipping buddy and they allow you to photograph some of their purchases. I have to give a big shout out to my friend and fellow blogger Rogier of Dutch Barbie World for allowing me to photograph and share one of his recent OOAK purchases. She is a beauty!!
Dress: Bellissima Couture. Love the little dragonflies in this print!!
The doll came with a certificate of authenticity. Nice touch.
This is what Jon Copeland did with her. STUNNING!
Gown and Hat: Bogue’s Vogues
Gloves, shoes and jewelry: Mattel
I can do many things when it comes to doll collecting. I cannot do what Jon Copeland does. I can’t even contemplate it. I can, however, observe, enjoy and photograph it.
For those who are interested, she was originally a Mila™ Barbie® Doll.
Patience is indeed a virtue. It is a virtue I don’t happen to have a clear grasp of most days. When I send a doll off for repainting, I want it back like yesterday. I like to send a doll off to a repaint artist and give general likes or dislikes but I don’t give specifics about what I want done. I usually like to leave it in the talented and capable hands of the artist and I get what I get. I sent a few ladies off to Jon Copeland of SeloJDesigns a number of months ago and while the wait to get them back was longer than he or I would have liked….it was entirely worth it. I received three sublimely unique and beautifully painted OOAK’s that I am completely in love with. I will be photographing and showing them over the next couple of weeks. They are treasures…each and every one.
I am also going through a a bit of a wedding kick ( you know…the whole June thing) so a few brides will be thrown in the mix as well. My bride fetish and one of my new OOAK’s from Jon combined in the doll room this afternoon for a truly enjoyable photoshoot . I had roughly 30 minutes of sunshine today to do this set of photos. I believe I maximized the time well
I love my studio. Most days, I have more ideas than I know what to do with. Some days,however, are for photos outside of the studio. Some days are just made for grabbing the camera, no tripod, no light boxes, just beautiful natural sunshine and something fun to photograph. That is what this Saturday was for me. I just finished a new diorama in the doll room and I needed some unstructured camera playtime before I brought the serious lights in to set up a shoot for the diorama. I am a big advocate of the philosophy that you don’t need the best camera or the expensive professional lighting to take a really good photo. I also have to admit that you don’t NEED a really good camera but…I can’t lie…it does help. Case in point: Here is a photo with my point and shoot Canon PowerShot SX130IS.
It is a fine picture. On macro mode it is a fairly crisp shot for a hand held “no tripod” photo. The direct sunlight coming into the room made that possible. Now…here is what I can get with my Canon 40D DSLR and an f/2.8 macro lens.
Same light, no tripod. This is the difference between a point and shoot and a DSLR. You will just get more.
It is also important to note that while a good camera gives you more, the most expensive camera does not necessarily give you the most. My lovely husband surprised me this Mother’s Day with my dream camera. I had that baby unpacked and in my camera bag ready for the next days photo shoot as fast as my little fingers could manage it. While it is amazing and works like a dream in low light performance and theater shooting, it is not the best to use for doll photography. I still prefer my tried and true Canon 40D for my doll photography and I really don’t see that changing any time soon.
Silkstone and Fashion Royalty Repaints both done by Jon Copeland. Silkstone is wearing A little Moonlight by Randall Craig. Repainted FR Anja is wearing “Serenade in Satin” by Mattel. The hat was made by me.
I am still feeling the inspiration from my recent trip to Paris ( hope that sticks around for a while too). That coupled with the recent sunshine and Spring temperatures had me feeling like a Picnic….and here it is.
Model: OOAK Debut Silkstone ( no she isn’t the Paris doll festival Debut but doesn’t she look like one!!) I rerooted a caucasian Debut and repainted the eyebrows.
Dress: Bellissima Couture ( http://bellissimacouturefashions.wordpress.com/)
Hat: Bogue’s Vogues ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/boguesvogues)
Shoes, Gloves and Jewelry: Mattel
**The photos above were made possible by the following talented artists who were willing to share their amazing photoshop brushes on deviantart: Blazter(JavierZhx) and deseratedeceit. **
Miss Debut here represents my one and ONLY attempt at rerooting a Silkstone. That process is not for a first timer folks. I was lucky to have fingers when I was done and it took about a month LOL! I now have a completely new level of respect for anyone who reroots these Silkies.
After a couple of weeks of absolute holiday craziness…I am sure you all can relate….I have finally finished editing photos of the doll room and surround for your viewing pleasure. Because I have some avid pinners out there who are still pinning from my skydrive when I have asked “Please, please , please don’t do that ( you know who you are), I will not be posting all the photos in a slideshow. I have , however, put together a slideshow set to music which I have uploaded to youtube and am sharing here too. I will share a few stills but the bulk of the photos are in the slideshow. There are over 100 photos in the slideshow so a little something for everybody
Happy Holidays! From my doll room to your home, I hope you enjoy the photos and slideshow. I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge, huge “Thank You” to my readers and commenters. You are..in a phrase…”why I do what I do”. I thank you all for your support and encouragement. I hope in 2013 that my work will continue to interest you.
Note**** If you want to see the high resolution version of this, you need to tell the youtube player on your scrren to give you the highest quality. It’s one of the small icons on the bottom right of the youtube screen**
Okay okay….so I couldn’t get around to posting this yesterday so instead of doing my customary Bogue’s Vogues Vendredi (French for Friday)…I had to settle for a Bogue’s Vogues Samedi (French for Saturday). I have a new Bogue’s Vogues to share and I happen to have just received one of the most stunning dolls to model it for you. I have written before about my love and respect for One of A Kind ( OOAK ) artists. There are many, many talented OOAK artists in the fashion doll collecting arena. Jon Copeland is one whose work never fails to inspire and amaze me. I would say his largest body of work is within the Fashion Royalty repaint and retying category but occasionally he will work his magic on Barbie as well. I was fortunate enough to happen upon a picture of one of his Silkstone repaints for sale last month and it was love at first sight. I literally caught my breath as I opened the box with this lady. She is that stunning. Mr. Copeland….I tip my hat.
Model: OOAK Silkstone Barbie repaint and restyle by Jon Copeland ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/selojspa/ and http://www.facebook.com/SelojSpa) Note** sometimes flickr will filter his photos…there is nothing inappropriate about them so don’t know why flickr does that. Feel free to click through the filter and enjoy the eye candy of his work.
Dress: Bogue’s Vogues ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/boguesvogues)
The unparalleled Joshard
And last but certainly no least the wonderful and gifted Dan Lee
The amazingly talented pair of Nick and Marie who are Ninimomo
The incredible pair of Giani and Mario who are Magia2000
I remember when I was first starting out on this wonderful journey that is fashion doll collecting and I would hear people talking about OOAK’s. I would see the fabulous photos and see OOAK next to it and wonder “ Who is this OOAK and how do I buy”. I finally answered the clue phone and discovered that OOAK means One of a Kind. Duh Rebecca! As I am preparing to attend the annual National Barbie Doll Collectors Convention, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the OOAK’s I have photographed over the last couple of years and give some love out to those gifted artists that create these amazing beauties. I will post a different artist and photos for the next four evenings then it will be time to post NBDCC photos!
The uber talented and amazing Matt Sutton