Sunday, January 16, 2011

Care for a little Honey?

With the arrival of the newest header, it's about time to return to the introduction trail. My hope is to one day be finished with everyone I own, and never have to do it again. Since I talk about each new arrivel when they get here, I can leave them out, however I have tons of dolls that pre-date the blog. Remember only 17 dolls arrived last year, and I started this blog midway though the year, so I've got my work cut out for me.
This instruction is about my blond Midge, Honey. Number nine in the header if you count from left to right starting on the top row and working your way down. Honey came to me from the large influx of dolls from Shirley. I'm not sure if I shared this little story, so I'll say it now. One year ago I was looking though etsy.com, and I stumbled upon a Bubblecut Barbie for 24.00, which is insane, especially since she looked in decent condition. I e-mailed the seller asking them why she was so cheap, commenting on the few issues that I saw (minor nose nip, etc.) She then in turn LOWERED the price for her, she was now 12.00, I'm sure she could hear my jaw drop when I read that. I was trying to justify why she was so cheap in the first place, not get it for cheaper. It turns out she used to make clothes for Barbie and was selling a lot of her older dolls. She sent me a list, including prices. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Her prices were insane, although still a bit much for poor old me (everything always is). I did however manage to scrape up 120 dollars for dolls. A feat that has never managed to be repeated since. For that price I got a blond ponytail, a blond painted hair Ken, a blond Midge, a Ricky doll, and two titan bubblecuts. I also got "Solo in the Spotlight" Barbie fashion. The Ponytail cost me sixty dollars, but it was my first ponytail, so I splurged. She also came with the solo in the spotlight fashion, so I took that into consideration. How did I spend 60 dollars on the other dolls you ask? Because I took full advantage of the woman's low end dolls. I'm more than willing to overlook a doll's flaws for what I can afford at the time. Midge here has a lot of flaws, but she only cost me 8.50, a price that you can't even get a doll nowadays for. And her issues aren't that exorbitant; missing fingers, missing face paint, and a split in her back. She's actually on a Barbie body, no mention of Midge in her markings!
When the dolls arrived, I had an issue, this was well before I was sewing for them, so they all got stuck in whatever was handy. I actually took a group shot of all of my vintage dolls (minus Hong Kong Lilli) as a thank you for Shirley. In order to do that I had to get clothing for the six new nude dolls. I had to steal clothing from other dolls in order to do that. Midge here stole a dress that one of my reproduction dolls was wearing. It's a mommy made "Barbie learns to cook" type dress. While the rest of the collection look like a bomb exploded, the photo came along smashingly. Here you can see it for yourself, from time to time I dust this old chestnut off and edit the text in the box.
When I was done with this I was faced with two problems, one; I now had six dolls to dress and organize, since they couldn't keep the clothes I photographed them in, and two; they all reeked of smoke, which I did not know about when I ordered them. Originally I tried to ignore with it, since it will go away in time, but when I discovered that the smoke smell was transferring to their clean clothes I had to react. Going to their clothes were bad enough, I had even greater fears that the smoke smell would transfer to the dolls that they were standing near, which would be terrible. So I ended up storing the dolls in boxes (former Silkstone boxes) stuffed with baking powder. I checked in on them every couple of weeks as I waited for the smell to fade. I was fine with it not being completely gone, but I needed it to be not as strong to keep it from going to other non-smelly dolls in the collection. Eventually I felt that they had been there enough, so I took them out on a case by case basis. Even now, after a year and almost and a half these dolls still have a slight smoky smell to them, mainly their hair, the painted hair dolls don't smell as much, so you can have an idea of how much they smelled when I got them.
Now that they were finally deemed not a hazard for the collection I was able to work with how to dress them. This was about the time that I was working with the turtleneck pattern, when each time I made one it quickly got adopted, so I was always making one for the next doll. Which I hated, but was certainly needed. Before I got to Midge, I had dressed the painted hair Ken. For some odd reason he ended up with this beatnik outfit, I guess to go against his straight laced persona. When I did this I realized, you know what? Doesn't have to just be Ken as a beatnik, so for fun Midge borrowed a shirt (Hong Kong Lilli's) and some blue flats (Skooter's) and a pair of black stretch pants from the collection. Pairing this was a beret and some black sunglasses, Midge became a beatnik. I was so tickled pink with this I took pictures and posted them on the "In the Pink" Barbie forum. They are dotting this writing, as well as an unpublished photo where Waffles, the little showboat, came over to interrupt the shot, he's done that before. When I posted them, the wonderful Dorrie came up with her own interpretation, That Midge was actually a secret agent, and her name was Honey. And thus Honey was born, the name kind of stuck. I did however change her costume, but not her name.
I was forced to change her outfit because most of it belonged to someone else, I did however like the look of the black shirt, so I set about making another one (sigh), this one was short sleeves compared to the 3/4 sleeves of the other one. I can't recall if I had an outfit I was working with for inspiration, or if I was going off the cuff, but I paired a large white pleated skirt with it. It was a very early pleating attempt, and it took me hours to complete, but eventually it softened into a wavy skirt, which was nice, but not what I wanted, so recently I made another one out of a stiffer material. The shirt goes over the waistband of the skirt, and also at the waist is a white ribbon belt tied in the back in a bow. When I first finished the outfit she wore white gloves, but they're rare, so someone else took them. All this is finished with a pair of retro inspired red shoes, giving the outfit some "pop"! Midge isn't as showy as Barbie, but she can certainly dress to the nines. I think Honey here is a lovely doll, and a welcome addition to my collection. She's over on my vintage shelf (she arrived before the addition of the vintage runoff shelf), paired off against my mint-ish redhead Midge. I love having Midge in the collection, sometimes you need someone normal to counter-balance the fussiness that is Barbie.
Midge love!

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