It's true, I have survived my third trip to the Swell Doll Shop, and my first doll meeting. And I even had fun! I have TONS to share with you all, so I'll be splitting it up over the next couple of days, which is for the best since starting tomorrow I'm starting a project that I can't share with you, so at least now I have something to blog about.
Anyway, I'll start at the very beginning. Tiring myself out yesterday actually helped. I was able to fall asleep easily, and was able to sleep most of the night. I only woke up a few times, but was easily able to fall back asleep, which is awesome since usually I'm tossing and turning all night with anxiety. I only had two dreams last night, and while weird neither one was off putting. I even woke up a full fifty minutes before the alarm went off and decided to get a start on my morning just so I wouldn't feel rushed. An early breakfast, a quick shower, an early lunch, and a double check on making sure I hadn't forgotten anything I was on the road by 11:20 (my intended leave by time).
The meeting didn't start until 2:00, and it only takes an hour and a half to get there, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time in case I got lost. Also... I was told that people went shopping before the meetings and I was more than willing to be there for that! I knew that this meeting was going to be at the swell doll shop for a while now, so I've been working hard selling things hoping to have money to spend there. I managed to almost reach my goal, which was awesome. I haven't bought a new doll since August, although I more than made up for that today! (I think I'll share what I bought in later posts, this one will be all about the meeting).
I actually got there super early, I didn't have any travel missteps, and traffic was nice and light. I sat in the car for a few minutes as I waited for a decent time to go in, and build my confidence. At 1:10, I took a deep breath and left the car. I left everything in the car since I could come back for it after I was done shopping. There were several people inside the store. Bradley was there, as well as several women. They were chatting (and shopping), so I assumed they were other people in the club. He greeted me warmly and let me wander around. I managed to find so much stuff, most of it unpriced. But Bradley did explain that he just bought several collections and hadn't gotten a chance to go through them, but that I should feel free to poke through the boxes and pick out whatever I wanted and he would price it for me when I was going to check out. I managed to pick out a lot of different things, several dolls and some clothes. While I was shopping more women showed up. A couple guys showed up as well, one I knew one from seeing his picture before, and another I deduced from who he was from what I knew about him (the fact that someone called his name made it an easy guess).
When I had filled the bag Bradley had given me, I decided to check out. I was hoping I didn't overspend, but I didn't! I was actually well under budget. But more about that in other posts. While I was checking out Bradley asked about my collection. For some reason he remembered me and that I collected vintage. What's weird is that the only time I had met him before I actually didn't buy anything. The time he wasn't there was when I bought all those dolls. Weird. Anyway, I checked out and said I was actually there for the meeting. He asked my name and he was like "Oh! I was told you were coming, I just didn't know that I already met you." Then he introduced me to Linda, the club president who was sitting nearby. I said hello, and was told that the meeting was upstairs and that I could go up there anytime.
Instead I went out to the car and get my stuff. I ended up bringing in the tomato soup cakes, as well as the bag that had Ashley and Rebecca in it. I went back in, brought everything upstairs and started setting up. I had some Halloween decorations on sticks to stick into the cupcakes, and I had to unpack both Ashley and Rebecca and put their costumes together (Ashely's shoes are painted with black nail polish so I kept them off her when traveling, and Rebecca's basket needed assembling). There were already some people up there waiting, and I was introduced to them and introduced myself. I was able to put Ashley and Rebecca in front of me, like they were my guardians, and honestly they did help.
People really liked them. I got lots of compliments over them. People were incredibly impressed when I said I made their clothing. I think that the Little Red Riding Hood was the more popular of the two, but Ashley got her fair share of compliments. They really liked my pleating. Okay, I do have something to say. There might have been something negative said about one of them. During the meeting I overheard someone (who was accompanying a member) talking to someone else about "the one in blue", meaning Ashley. I don't know what he said, but his hushed whispers and tone didn't sound like he was being complimentary. But maybe he was saying something nice, I really have no clue. It's just something that bugged me. Oh! Another thing that bugged me (I swear it was a good time). You would not believe the number of times I was referred to as she or her. Mostly it was one person, who was sitting directly next to me. I didn't bother correcting her because that's pretty awkward, but it does embarrass me. That's the price you pair for having long hair. I did see someone try and correct her discreetly, and at the end of the meeting she referred to me as a he, so I guess someone corrected her. Sigh, gender's can be so confusing sometimes! But most people really liked their costumes, and several people took their pictures, especially after the meeting was over and I left them on the table. I did take a picture of them to share on the blog as requested, but I didn't take mine until it was pretty late and in my room, so the lighting is pretty shoddy. But I do have a picture of them in their costumes:
Then the meeting started. It started with Linda introducing me to the group. She asked if I wanted them to go around and say their names, but I told her that the odds of me remembering anyone was slim to none. I'm better with faces than names. From there it moved to discussion of the 2013 convention (I was strongly urged to go), even though they were talking about how hot and crime ridden New Orleans is. They mentioned briefly how expensive it was (the main reason why I couldn't go). From there it moved onto other topics of discussion including the new Jem dolls from Integrity, and their upcoming meetings in November and December. I was pretty quiet during the meeting since I really didn't have anything to add since they weren't talking about anything I was really educated about, also I'm pretty quiet when meeting new people, or groups.
There was also a presentation from a couple people that went to the Ken-vention a couple of weeks ago. It was really cool to hear about what they did and see what awesome stuff they brought back. Usually I only see these things in pictures, it's cool seeing them in person. We also played a couple games. One was undressing and dressing a Barbie. We were split into two teams of seven. One people would undress her, and the following person would dress her and so on until they reached the end. My team won! (Luckily I was an undress person so I was able to just slide the dress down and off her). Bradley gave the first person in the line a bunch of stuff to pick something from then pass it on down. I was early on in the row so I was able to get what I wanted out of the group. It's a pretty ornament from Ashton Drake of a brunette Ponytail wearing commuter set. It's so cute, and my first Barbie ornament!
There was another game, there was a jar of Barbie shoes and we each needed to guess the number, and whoever got it closest won. I ended up being way off, but it was still fun. The winner got a Barbie Halloween doll, from this year the cat one. (Since I don't collect that I'm not at all upset that I didn't win). There were also some door prizes provided by Donna, and I won one of those! Mine was a bag full of stuff. There were some Barbie puzzle erasers, a pink and white pen, an "Imagine" bracelet, a little accessory pack from the 2012 GAW convention, A Kenya Barbie McDonalds Barbie toy, and the best part three little shoe boxes with three pairs of shoes in them! They're reproductions of the vintage open toe heels. I have two colors, one is bright green and two pairs that are bright orange. I was able to find a home for one pair, but I'm not sure about the other two, but I'm still thrilled, shoes are shoes!
That was basically the end of the meeting. I know I talked mostly about what I got, but it was so awesome just talking with people, people who understood dolls. I was asked by Linda how I liked the meeting and if I wanted to come to the next one. I would like to, and did tell her that. I'm just not really sure how it's going to work. I know there's a yahoo group that they use to keep in contact, but I'm not part of that. I was able to go to this meeting since I already knew how to get to the swell doll shop. I would like to be invited to the yahoo group, but do not want to invite myself. I am planning on e-mailing Linda tomorrow and thanking her (and everyone) for a lovely time, hopefully something will come from that so I'll be closer to actually joining.
I don't know which was longer, the meeting or the post about it!