World Doll Day is fast approaching! I wanted to highlight a few World Doll Day posts I found while floating around the internet today.
The first comes from the blog “Crazy Doll Lady“. She wrote a really nice piece on an exhibit she put together for her local toy museum. It features lots of photos of dolls that vary from vintage to modern. You can read her article here.
Also joining in on the fun are the folks behind My Friend Cayla! They’re hosting a giveaway in honor of the event. Details can be found here. And keep your eyes peeled for a review of My Friend Cayla, coming soon to the blog! I must admit, I’ve had one hanging out at my house for review for a couple of weeks now. Rest assured, you will see her soon!
This one is for the Canadians among you. It seems Kidonan Place is hosting special World Doll Day activities this year, too! (Full disclosure, I have no idea what this place is, but I’m assuming it’s a mall.)
And don’t forget to enter my giveaway– win a Lottie in honor of World Doll Day. Use coupon code “DOLLCOLLECTORS” on Lottie.com to receive 10% off your purchase. Code works through July 31st, only on Lottie.com.
Have you written/filmed/posted World Doll Day coverage on your blog or channel? Share it in the comment area or message me the info and I’ll pass it along to everyone. It’s time to celebrate, guys!
World Doll Day is a week away and in honor of this day of celebration, Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter is hosting a special giveaway!!! Since we just finished Lottie Week, it seemed fitting to offer you the chance to win a Lottie of your very own.
Good news– this contest is worldwide!!! To enter, fill out the form below. You are required to do one of the following–like Lottie on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or visit their website and leave a comment in THIS post telling me who your favorite Lottie is. You can choose to do one or all of these things. The contest runs through June 15th. I will e-mail the winner.
The contest has ended.
I’d personally like to give Arklu a huge ‘thank you’ for providing these dolls and allowing them to be part of my World Doll Day celebration. And with that, I wish you all (worldwide) good luck!
But wait– there’s more! For 10% off your Lottie.com purchases through July 31st, 2015, enter DOLLCOLLECTORS as your discount code. This can be used on any of the dolls, including Finn. (I just used Muddy Puddles as an example.) Please note, this won’t work on amazon.com, so all orders must be placed on Lottie.com. If you have any problems with the code, please let me know.
At ChiTAG 2014, I met Patty. Patty is the CEO of College Savings Dolls. I’ve been following this line on facebook for a while now, where they post a lot of interesting articles about keeping track of your finances and saving for the future, but not so much about the dolls themselves. I asked Patty if she’d answer a few questions about College Savings Dolls and their website.
Q: What is your role and how did College Savings Dolls come about? What makes this line unique?
A: I am Patty Errera, the founder of College Savings dolls. Sarah Dugo is my co-founder. We both were discussing a show on Oprah about little girls around 5 years old, worried about how they looked. One girl would eat the corners of her paper, so she wouldn’t get fat. another little girl would argue daily with her Mom about what she would wear to kindergarten, so she would look perfect. It made us think about what messages are being sent to little girls everywhere about their own bodies and self esteem. This is how the idea of the doll started with a body that is realistic with a positive message, be proud of who you are and how you look. Not a photo shopped movie star with unhealthy body image that is unattainable for most people.
We wanted a doll that was bigger and scaled to real girl proportions, she is career oriented so girls can dream and imagine what they wanted to be when they grow up. Education is the key to success, so we wanted to teach parents and children the importance of saving for college and preparing at an young age, so they won’t be part of the student loan debt problem that leaves college graduates in debt before they even start their first job.
Sarah is a teacher and taught kindergarten and saw this impact in her class room, she strongly believes our dolls can make a difference, one child at a time. I have been in banking and finance for over 30 years and wanted to share my knowledge and keep it simple and easy for kids to start saving, by having them involved with their parents in preparing for their future. This is where we came up with “Play, Imagine, Save and Succeed”.
Our dolls are bigger than Barbie and easy to dress and undress. They have painted undergarments so there are no naked dolls laying around little girls rooms. We will have separate career clothes that can be purchased separately, so you won’t have to buy a new doll to get a new outfit.
Q: What do you want children to get out of College Savings Dolls and your website?
A: We hope that educating the next generation of girls and boys through our website about saving and how easy it can be to start and continue with small amounts of money saved on a regular monthly basis, this will grow over time into a larger sum of cash to put toward their education. Kids are smart and love to learn, by teaching them at an early age and getting them involved they will learn life lessons about becoming a smart financial saver. Student loan debt is over $1 trillion dollars, which is more than credit card debt. We want to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
Our website has important information about 529 plans and simple ideas for kids to start saving their own money. We have banks on our website that also can be purchased to get kids (boys and girls) started in their savings plan. Our website also has each real girls story about what college experience they had and everyone has their own choice of college. Some are good at a big University, some went to community college first, everyone is an individual and the school they choose should reflect their personality.
Q: Do you have any new dolls for 2015? Are there plans to add a boy to the line?
A: The three new dolls are Aliana (darker skin toned), Tara (dark brown hair with green eyes) and Lauren (has brown hair and brown eyes). These are all real girls that I know and have different goals and career options. We don’t have any ideas for a boy doll yet, but we might try to incorporate an action hero of some type to inspire little boys.
Q: Where can collectors find College Savings Dolls?
A: Our dolls are only sold on our website right now, but we hope to get them into some specialty toy stores next year.
Now, onto the review! I received a Deanna for review at ChiTAG 2014. She’s a doll that people will definitely have opinions on, both good and bad. Deanna is made of vinyl and is 15″ tall. Deanna is strung with thick white string. She’s modeled after a real girl, like the other dolls in the line. Bio’s telling the models stories are on the website. It’s a nice touch and brings the dolls to life in a way other lines can’t.
Deanna doesn’t have your typical 15″ to 18″ body type. First, this doll isn’t a pre-teen character. She’s a young adult and college graduate, at that. Instead of your traditional fashion body, with a skinny waist and petite features, Deanna’s body was designed to mirror an actual young adult body. Her torso is box-like in shape.
Her bust isn’t as robust or perfect as your traditional fashion doll body, either. It’s a body type you’ll either love or hate, depending on the kinds of dolls you collect. One thing that bothers me about the body is the thick neck. It seems too thick for the size of the head and makes the body look ‘off’.
Deanna’s head has good movement to it and will tilt up and down, as well as turn left and right. She has jointed shoulders and hips. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have elbow joints or knee joints. My doll doesn’t stand due to having a leg that is just a smidgen longer than the other.
College Savings Dolls come dressed in a few different items. Their undergarments, like Deanna’s bra and undies, are part of the body mold and painted white. The most prominent part of her outfit is her graduation cap and gown. The yellow gown closes with a yellow, plastic zipper. Under her gown is a black and white polka dotted dress. It’s removable, so you can change her outfit if you’d like. College Savings Dolls plans on selling outfits for these dolls, though I don’t see them offered just yet. Her look is completed with a pair of black flats.
In sticking with the idea of creating a doll that is realistic, Deanna has a realistic sort of face. Instead of the large, anime style eyes we see a lot on doll lines, Deanna has a more natural sculpt.
Her hair is surprisingly soft! Sometimes with start ups, companies will cut corners in the hair department. Deanna has a nice head of chocolate brown hair. It’s nicely rooted, stylable and soft.
Deanna and her friends are sold online. While two dolls are out now, three more dolls will hit the site in 2015.
And there’s more! I’m giving this doll away to one lucky reader. She’ll arrive out of box, but in good condition. If you’d like to win Deanna, fill out the form below. I’ll be choosing a winner 2/07/15. Due to her size, I can only ship within the US and Canada.
What do you think of College Savings Dolls? Share your thoughts below!
Early December, Megan, an Etsy shop owner, contacted me. Her shop, Trendy lil’ Stitchery, sells colorful, spunky American Girl clothing. I thought it would be fun to spotlight her here on Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter! Just like the Collector Spotlight posts, I asked Megan to answer a few questions about her shop and the hobby.
Q: Tell us about yourself:
A: I recently graduated from James Madison University with a BFA in Graphic Design. All of my passions lie in the arts. I have been a dancer since I was 5 and I currently teach ballet and tap. I also love to draw, which is how I got into Graphic Design. And finally, my love for sewing, which is how Trendy lil’ Stitchery began!
Q: What made you decide to open Trendy lil’ Stitchery?
A: I started Trendy lil’ Stitchery for many different reasons. I had some American Girl Dolls when I was younger and loved everything about them. My grandma made clothes for them and eventually I tried making some as well – it’s funny looking at them now… I thought they were so good at the time…. I have also enjoyed sewing for a long time and eventually started making doll clothes (on a much higher level/quality than my previous go around!) a few years ago for a close friend’s four daughters. I rediscovered the love and joy I found in making them. And from there Trendy lil’ Stitchery was born!
Q: How do your outfits stand apart from the rest?
A: When it comes to doll clothes, I think of the two extremes. On one hand you have the outdated, frilly, handmade clothes that are probably reasonably priced. On the other hand, you have the super adorable but horribly expensive American Girl Doll clothes and accessories. I wanted to combine the best of both worlds and provide parents with the option to buy good quality, fashionable doll clothes without breaking the bank.
Q: Where did you learn your craft?
A: I learned to sew from my grandma. She started by teaching me how to sew buttons onto fabric when I was 4 years old. I could have sewn buttons for days; I thought it was so neat. As I got older she taught me how to use a sewing machine – that’s around the time I began attempting to make my own doll clothes. Now, every time I visit my grandparents, my grandma and I always work on a sewing project, whether it’s doll clothes, fabric children’s books, etc.
Q: How would you describe your Etsy shop?
A: I like to think that my Etsy shop has some style! With my art background, I design all of the graphic elements for my shop. I also take my own pictures in my backyard (it still makes me laugh when I think about what my neighbors must think when they see me setting up a photo shoot for my dolls!) I like to find inspiration in today’s clothing; dolls have to keep up with the latest trends too, of course!
Q: Is there a certain reason you chose to design for 18-inch dolls?
A: The main reason I design for 18-inch dolls is because I grew up with American Girl Dolls and they seem to be a pretty popular sized doll. I specifically design for American Girl Dolls. Since I own three, they have become my models!
Q: What American Girl dolls do you own?
A: I have Samantha, Kit, and a “My American Girl” doll that I named Lindsey. Samantha was my first doll and I got her because she looked like me with her brown eyes and brown hair. Next I got Kit (based on talking to girls who come up to my booths at craft shows, she seems to be a popular one!) I loved her short blonde hair and freckles – at that age I would have done anything to have freckles of my own. Finally, I got Lindsey. I picked her out for her curly and unique colored hair and green eyes. Those dolls were my life when I was younger, and I guess in a way, they have become my life again!
Q: Do you collect dolls?
A: I still have my three American Girl Dolls from when I was younger, but I do not actively collect them anymore. However, I do collect Wizard of Oz dolls (or Wizard of Oz anything really). I fell in love with the movie when I was younger and I have been collecting ever since!
Q: Do you take commissions?
A: I do! I just recently completed my first custom order, a horseback riding outfit. I am more than happy to shoot some emails back and forth with a customer to figure out exactly what it is they want. Custom orders begin at $35; the price is subject to change depending on the outfit wanted.
Q: Where can people find you on the Internet?
A: I sell my items on etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/trendylilstitchery. I am also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/trendylilstitchery) and instagram (trendylilstitchery). And finally, you can reach me by email (how I handle custom orders) at trendylilstitchery(at)yahoo(dot)com.
The Contest!!!! Now that you’ve learned a bit about Trendy lil’ Stitchery, here’s your chance to win an exclusive outfit! The winner will receive this adorable apron and oven mitt set! I love the colors and patterns in this set and I’m sure you will, too! On top of that, it’s reversible, so it’s kind of like two outfits in one!
Here it is, modeled by Kit! (Doll not included in giveaway.)
US only for this giveaway. (Sorry, international readers!) Entering is easy! Follow Trendy lil’ Stitchery on facebook, Instagram or Etsy, then fill out the google form below! Follow Trendy lil’ Stitchery on all three sites and earn a total of three entries! Earn one last entry if you tell me your favorite design currently on Megan’s etsy page! There’s a spot on the google form for your answer. You have until January 25th, 2015 to enter. Good luck!!!!
I’d like to give Megan a huge thank you for answering my questions and offering this giveaway! What do you think of Trendy Lil’ Stitchery? Do you have a favorite piece? Share your thoughts below!
Dolly (Book) Review: Japanese Dolls: The Fascinating World of Ningyo by Alan Scott Pate + a Contest!!!!
Earlier this summer, I reviewed a comprehensive guide to antique Japanese dolls by Alan Scott Pate, published originally in 2005. A companion book by the same author was published by Tuttle Publishing. This time around, author Alan Scott Pate concentrated on the art of collecting Japanese dolls, specifically ningyo.
“Japanese Dolls: The Fascinating World of Ningyo“ is different from Pate’s past work in many ways. Where his original title was a textbook look at how dolls were intertwined in Japanese culture, this book was written for the beginning collector.
Its 260 pages cover a multitude of topics. Part one (pages 10-38), includes chapters on the art of collecting in both Japan and the United States, the first doll shops and collectors, and the introduction of ningyo in Western culture. I found it fascinating to read about the pioneers of Japanese doll collecting: Shimizu Seifu (1851-1913), Nishizawa Senko (1864-1914), and Tsuboi Shogoro (1863-1913).
All born in the Meiji era, which started in 1868 and ran through 1913, they were known in their time as the three great toy collectors. These three took it upon themselves to “preserve, document, and understand better the various ningyo and toy forms which populated the Japanese cultural landscape” by introducing “a systematic approach to collecting ningyo” (pg 26). According to the author, “the concept of collecting these beautiful objects, to intentionally acquire and organize them… for ones appreciation, dates only to modern times and the efforts of the men mentioned above and their peers.” Peers, being those in a society started by Seifu for the appreciation and study of Japanese dolls and toys (Odomo-kai, in English ‘Big Babies Club’) (pg 27). This chapter, also, features some amazing collection photos from the early 1900’s showcasing one of the members of the Odomo-kai, Endo Takeshi. This vast collection features rooms filled with ningyo of all shapes and sizes.
Part two (pages 48-249) focus’ on the different categories of ningyo, of which there are many! Pate’s 2005 publication went into great detail about specific dolls. This new book talks about what the characteristics of each type are and a little bit of their history. The type of ningyo’s discussed are: festival dolls (hina-ningyo, musha-ningyo and tableau dolls), display dolls (saga-ningyo, gosh0-ningyo, isho-ningyo and iki-ningyo), wood dolls, clay dolls, mechanical dolls, theatrical dolls and play dolls. While many of the artisans are unknown, this chapter features some fantastic photographs.
As with Pate’s first book, the gosho-ningyo’s captured my heart. Gosho-ningyo’s are known for their big heads and white skin. Made of wood, sometimes completely and sometimes hollow, they have a very childlike look to them. Nishizawa Senko helped popularize this form of ningyo, by collecting all the different regional names for these (there were a lot!) and promoting the idea of using one common name for them- gosho-ningyo’s. Gosho-ningyo’s were originally gifted “within the imperial culture of Kyoto of the eighteenth century” (pg 111). By the end of the eighteenth century, gosho-ningyo’s were “avidly sought after in all levels of society, particularly samurai and merchant classes.” (pg 111).
The play dolls, ichimatsu-ningyo, are some of my favorites, too. I love their large size and round faces. In 1927, 58 Friendship dolls, also known as ‘dolls of gratitude’ or, in Japanese, torei-ningyo, were created in Japan and sent to the United States as “ambassadors of good will“. Of all the ichimatsu-ningyo shown in this book, the Friendship dolls are my favorite. Can you imagine being one of the recipients of these beautiful dolls in 1927? (These were sent in response to the United States sending 12,000 ‘blue eyed dolls’ to Japanese children through the World Friendship Committee.)
Written with a new collector in mind, the information in “Japanese Dolls: The Fascinating World of Ningyo” isn’t too heavy or dense. It is written in a user friendly sort of manner that gives you just enough detail to understand the ningyo’s importance and their place in Japanese society, along with each types unique characteristics.
Part three (pages 252-257) helps you get a handle on how to start collecting ningyo’s. And, honesty, after seeing all the beautiful photos, how could the thought of adding a ningyo to your collection have not crossed your mind! Pate talks quickly about the proper care and handling of ningyo’s and tips on finding pieces for your collection.
I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘walking tour’ of sorts on ningyo’s. This doll line is a fascinating one, as the title of Pate’s book states. If you’re looking for an introduction to antique Japanese dolls, this is the book for you. “Japanese Dolls: the Fascinating World of Ningyo” by Alan Scott Pate is sold on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
Want to win a copy of “Japanese Dolls: the Fascinating World of Ningyo”? Fill out the form below! You have until October 20th to enter. The two winners (yes, two!) will be e-mailed by the publisher. Good luck!
EDIT: The contest is over.