Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kizmet

Today started off like any other day, little did I know how different from normal it was actually going to be. Last night before bed I decided that I was going to work on that sheath dress for the Blonde Number Four Barbie today. I still haven't figured out what to add to it to make it more visually interesting, but I figured that I should at least finish it. I was so set on what I was going accomplish today that when I was asked if I wanted to go out, I said no. I thought today was going to be a slow day where I finished some sewing at home, but destiny had other plans for me.
Even though I was all set to be working on that dress today, I didn't start working with it in the morning. Instead I spent some time looking up more vintage fashions on Etsy in the hope of finding something that would work for one of the undressed dolls. I really didn't have much luck today, I didn't even find anything I liked enough to bother saving it in the hopes it would inspire me for some other doll down the road. And while I was doing that I was also spent some time on Flickr. One of my friends over there had posted a picture of a vintage Skooter box that he had just bought. When he found it there was a Skipper inside, but he wanted to find a Skooter doll like it was supposed to have to display with the box. The sticker on the box said it originally held a pale blonde Skooter. If you want to see the picture I'm talking about you can view it here. Also, I recommend poking around the rest of his stream and viewing what else he has shared. He has an amazing vintage collection, and not just Barbie. There's literally tons of vintage items to see. I don't know how he finds room in his house for it all. I'm having a hard time containing everything to my room.
Anyway, I commented on his picture that I've found that blonde Skooter's are harder to find, and usually cost more than the more common red haired ones. I also went on to say that I wasn't sure why I was even warning him of that since he has extrodinary good luck with Barbie finds. I'm not even joking. The man was given, I repeat, GIVEN, a high color American Girl Barbie. I'm still green with envy over that. There's other examples too, but I won't bore you with them. (Besides, it's painful to remember them.)
So I was thinking about his search for a pale blonde Skooter, I was just sure knowing him he would check on Craigslist and find one for like ten dollars or something. Since I was thinking about Craigslist, I decided to check out what was currently listed on mine. So I signed in and searched for Barbie under the for sale section. I clicked on the first link that was listed,
And...
that's...
when....
my...
entire...
day...
changed...
I found a listing for a doll I wanted, no, a doll I needed. And the universe was also telling me I needed her. She was a recent listing, she was being sold by a store in town, and I had her exact purchase price in my wallet (except for two dollars I needed to borrow for tax). My greatest fear was that she would sell before I got to her. With my heart pounding I raced downstairs to ask my father if I could actually go with him. Luckily he was still waiting to take my brother to school, and hadn't left yet. I nervously told my parents about the doll and my fears that someone would have bought her before I could get there. My mom volunteered to call the store for me and ask if she was still there. She did, and she was! They even offered to pull it from the sales floor for her! I was so happy! My mother is almost as phone phobic as I am, so it was really nice of her to call for me. So now she was even closer to being mine, although I was still worried that something would happen to keep her from being mine. But for the most part, the stars were aligning to bring this doll into my life.
We left soon left to take my brother to school, from there we drove right over to the store. Even though she was being held for me I was still a bundle of nerves driving over there. I swear we hit ever traffic light possible on the way there. Finally we got to the store and parked. I was actually familiar with this store. It was the second hand store near the (former) quilting coop. I don't stop in often, but this was the place that most recently had that Cinderella figure I wanted that sold before I got to buy it. But if I got this doll, it would certainly lessen the sting of losing out on Cinderella.
So I nervously walked into the store and went right to the front desk. I am NOT wasting my time browsing the store before I go up there, also even if I found something I didn't have any extra money with me. I had enough for the doll, and that's it. I was quickly greeted by the woman behind the counter, I had rehearsed my line before walking into the store. "Hello, My mother called about the vintage Barbie doll earlier, I'm here to buy it." She gave me a confused look. "Which Barbie?" she asked me. "The one in the box on Craigslist." I replied, my heart beating a little more rapidly. That still didn't clue her in for what I was looking for. Apparently they had gotten in a bunch of boxed (newer) Barbie dolls and they were scattered around the store. She went around looking at them before I could explain that the woman on the phone said she was going to pull it from the floor and put it on her desk. She checked the desk and didn't see anything, my heart started beating even faster. What if they sold it accidentally before I could get here? She said that the person my mother had talked to was on her break and would come back in five minutes, I told her I would wait and repeated that she said she was going to put it on the desk for me. The woman said the only way it was on the desk and she missed it would be if it was behind the computer, she checked it, and sure enough there it was. By this time I had already pulled out my money in anticipation of buying it as soon as possible and getting it out of that store. She brought it to the desk and started ringing it up... to thirty dollars, not the twenty is was listed at. I mentioned that I thought it was supposed to be twenty. My mother had seen the ad too, and had I misread the price I'm sure she would have corrected me. I only had the twenty on me, but my father was also with me. He didn't have the extra ten, but I'm sure he would have been willing to go to the bank and taking out that much for me. He would have to go alone since I was not leaving that store without her in my hands. She asked another woman working there there if she was listed for twenty online, who said that was her Craigslist price. The woman then rung her up for twenty plus tax, I gave her my money, she bagged her, handed me her and my change, and I ran out of that store so fast it was like a classic Road Runner cartoon. I'm sure I left the person made of dust where I stood. I wanted out of that store with my purchases right then.
It wasn't until I was back in the car that my heart finally slowed down. I had her, and nobody could take her from me.  
Now what would cause such a whirlwind of emotions and actions you ask?

Her:
She is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful titan number Six Ponytail Barbie. That's her after her refreshing, but she didn't need much. The first thing I did was take the pins someone had stuck into her ears. I'm not sure how long they were in there, but miraculously she doesn't have any green ear from them. She does have a small vinyl split in one ear from them though. I also took down her hair. Someone had pinned it up into a bun with more pins. When I took that down I discovered she still had her original top knot! Her bottom elastic however was broken (and I'm 99 percent sure was not original) and tied with a fraying ribbon. I took out the ribbon and gently brushed out the broken bits. I replaced it with a clear elastic and a new (prettier) red ribbon. And that's it, that's all she needed. Other than the earring split (which is very minor) she is perfect, like MIB perfect. She's easily the best ponytail doll in my collection. I still can't believe she was only twenty dollars, thinking about it still makes my heart beat faster. 
And she came with some things, besides her pin earrings (which have since retired from that job and moved onto my pin cushion). The box she's standing in? That's the bottom half (I believe) of her original box. My first time owning anything close to an actual Barbie box. The top part is gone however. She also came wearing her original swimsuit and shoes. When I saw her picture online she was wearing a crocheted dress, it wasn't until I had her in the car I realized she was still wearing her original swimsuit under that. Which is pretty cool. She was also wearing her original red mules, and luckily neither of them split. Just like her, her clothes are in amazing shape. 
But that's not everything! Like I said she came wearing a crocheted dress. It's a cute dress, but hardly anything I'd ever use. I'm not a fan of the everything's exposed skirt. Want to know something weird? There's not just one dress that came with her, there's three of them. All of them exactly the same, except the one she's wearing came with snaps sewn in, the other two don't have that. I wonder if someone was planning on selling them and she was the fit model? The dresses also came with some matching hat, also crochet. They're all very well done from a technical standpoint, but personally aren't my style. Two of the hats are decorated with (now very flat) flowers. I'm wondering if someone bought the doll back in 1963 to make doll clothes to sell, decided they didn't like it, put it all away, then never picked it back up again. It would explain her amazing condition if she as just bought for a fit model.
But she did come with something that would not fit into my theory. Also in the box with her was a two piece swimsuit and coverup. It's one of those outfits that came as a kit for you to sew yourself. I thought it was an actual Mattel product, but I haven't be able to find it online yet, so it might be a clone. It's kind of cute. I like the design of the coverup. If I did decide to put it on someone I think I'd remake it, some of the stitches are a bit... amateurish (and they must be bad if I'm saying that!). Also the bikini bottoms elastic is shot and needs replacing.
And finally she came with her original Barbie booklet. It's the booklet that came with dolls and clothes showing what else you can buy for your doll. Mine is copyright 1962 and predates Allen and Skipper and introduces Midge. It's in wonderful condition, and my first time owning one of those. It's amazing flipping through the little book and seeing the illustrations. Although my eyes nearly popped out of my head seeing the price for sophisticated lady. It's five dollars, you could get a new doll for three!

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