Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Little Darling Doll Fun At MDCC 2017


I recently attended MDCC in Danvers, Massachusetts, and boy, I was not prepared for the level of excitement and fun that I was going to have there. Seriously. I've been to doll shows before, but never a convention. This event was absolutely incredible. With that being said, I encourage all of my readers to seriously consider going to MDCC if you ever have a chance. You won't regret it (not even all the money you've spent, LOL)!

At MDCC, there were two Little Darling events I attended: there was a dinner event (cost of $245), and the next day, a forum (free with registration) with the Little Darling artists. I want to talk about both of those here, to give you an idea of what they were like.

The Little Darling Doll dinner had a theme of "Cinderella." When you first walk into the banquet room (which is what I'll call it from here on out), you have to find a table. I was traveling with a friend, so we had to make sure to find a table with two empty seats, which wasn't difficult. Table hostesses would stand with fingers in the air, indicating how many empty seats they had left. Once we took our seats, we had a look at the table favor. From every event we attended, there small gifts/favors at each place when we sat down. The favor from the Cinderella dinner was a small, pewter colored carriage box, with a tiny glass (plastic) slipper inside. Very cute!

A few opening remarks were given by the master of ceremonies, Billie (not sure if that's her actual title, but she does a great job), and then dinner is served.

The first course was a delicious tomato soup and bread with butter.
The tomato soup, with a delicious piece of buttered toast (and I think I remember a hint of garlic)

The main course was a stuffed chicken with fresh veggies and potatoes:

Stuffed chicken with potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. 

The dessert looked so good I almost forgot to get a picture, but remembered before it was too late:
Cheesecake with raspberry sauce

As if all of that food wasn't exciting enough, the MAIN event began as everyone finished up their dessert. Out came Dianna Effner, dressed as the Fairy Godmother, to tell us more about the creation of the centerpiece dolls that were in the middle of our tables.
The centerpiece Cinderella, which retailed for $1,500

The dress that Center Cindy was wearing was a collaboration between Nelly and her sister Maritza. Cindy was painted by Dianna, and her "glass" slippers were made out of fabric from tea bags, glue, glitter, and beads. Dianna told an interesting story about how one day she was making tea with some pyramid-shaped tea bags by Lipton, and she noticed how the fabric of the teabag would be perfect for making glass slippers. She also that Lipton discontinued the tea line, but she was able to find something similar elsewhere. It reminded me of Harney and Sons tea, which I drink every morning. They come in a pyramid-shaped tea bag and are made of a shimmery, translucent fabric. The workmanship on the dress and the shoes was absolutely incredible. To think of the time that went into creating each doll is just incredible. 

You may be asking, how does one purchase a centerpiece doll if there aren't enough to go around to all of the attendees? In order to have a chance at purchasing the centerpiece, you write your name on a slip of paper and give it to the table hostess. She will then turn it in, and names are drawn lottery-style in order to purchase the doll. In this case, there were 4 dolls left over after the lottery, so everyone who entered was able to purchase. The lottery takes place at the end of the event, but I wanted to mention it here while discussing the centerpiece.

After Dianna's presentation, we received our event dolls and were able to open them. And the oooh's and aaah's followed.

                     Face Detail                                                                            Full Shot

Dress Detail

She is absolutely incredible. I have all 4 of the factory painted dolls from past events, and she is, in my opinion, the best. I believe all 4 were painted by Leannie at the factory in China, based on Dianna's model. I think Leannie's skills are improving, and the artists also said during the forum that they went back and touched up eyebrows and eyelashes because they weren't quite satisfied with them. The result is stunning! They also said that her apron was "soiled" -- their words not mine lol -- by using different colored stamps and inks and hand stamping each of the aprons. You can see how wonderful the result is for yourself. All in all, this event is WELL worth the $245. The food was incredible, and the doll herself is so beautiful. You won't find a better Little Darling for a better price.

During the forum, called "The Little Darling Doll Chat" the next afternoon, I learned lots of interesting things. Each artist addressed the fact that they are all behind, but they are also human, with grandchildren and families to spend time with. Life happens and each doll takes a long time to finish -- we've all seen the work and how beautiful it is -- and they just request that we be patient with them as we are waiting on our waiting lists.

They also addressed the issue of eBay auctions. They recognize that they happen and that there really isn't much they can do about it. Mainly, they feel bad for the real collectors out there who want a doll and are unable to get one, or are so desperate to get one quickly they pay the inflated price. They did say that they have blocked over 52 users on eBay who were obviously flipping dolls, and they also realized they were painting a lot of dolls that were being sent to Russia. They then found out that there was a Russian site where all of these dolls were being placed for sale for very inflated prices, so they were able to put a stop to that. They understand that some folks just want to buy a doll and they want to do it quickly, and because of supply and demand, the prices can get out of hand sometimes. They also understand that real collectors do have to sell their dolls sometimes, too. It was an interesting conversation because none of them seemed particularly upset about it, just that they felt bad for collectors who wanted to get dolls and maybe weren't getting them as quickly because of prospectors, or that they were having to spend so much money to get a doll.

I really have a new appreciation for these ladies and what they do. They are rock stars to all of us doll collectors, but they are just like us -- with families, other interests, and typical day to day things going on in their lives.

I hope you've enjoyed this post about the Little Darling activities at Modern Doll, and I hope I've convinced you to attend in the future :)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Amy by F & B Doll Studio


Welcome to 2017 everyone! I had a very eventful 2016, including taking the CPA exam (and passing the last section in December) that it's finally over, I hope to be able to spend more time with my dollies in 2017! 

This year for Christmas, my hubby surprised me with a new ball jointed doll. Her name is Amy, and she's by F & B Doll Studio. 
Here is the first pic I took of this sweet girl.

I had recently discovered F & B dolls through a doll group I'm a member of on Facebook. It's no surprise I hadn't heard of them before, as F & B just celebrated their 2 year anniversary this past October. In that time span, Amy is the first MSD they have created. 

Practicing her needlepoint.

When they started sharing pics of Amy during her pre-order, I casually mentioned to my husband how much I would like to have her. Or okay, maybe I tagged him in every single picture they posted of her, I can't really remember at the moment. At any rate, it was a huge surprise this Christmas when I actually received her! I really felt like a kid again, getting my American Girl Felicity on Christmas morning. It was a great feeling. Because she was a total surprise, I had not done any shopping for her in advance, so I found myself raiding my doll cabinets for outfits and wigs that she could wear. The outfit above is a Vidal Rojas dress, which actually suits her very well, and the fit is good. She is supposed to be able to wear Kaye Wiggs sized tops and dresses, but as I do not have any Kaye Wiggs dolls, I cannot confirm this. Her hips and bottom are a bit bigger, but I found that Journey Girls pants fit her quite well. I'm a huge Journey Girls clothing fan.

Looking a bit more modern.

In the above photo, she's wearing Journey Girls jeans, and a BFC ink shirt and boots. I think the fit is good, she might look better in something a little tighter. I spent some time last night making a legging pattern for her only to figure out I don't really have any stretchy fabric at the moment, so I will give that a shot sometime in the next couple of weeks. 

I was surprised at how quick the turn around time was for this doll, but as I discovered from reading F&B's Facebook page, it seems like the dolls are 100% manufactured in Russia. I can say that this doll has a very high quality resin and jointing. She is the easiest doll to pose of all the BJDs I own. I believe her joints were sueded before she arrived. I have never sueded joints before so I'm not sure exactly what it looks like when done, but it seems like there is a thin layer of silicon in each of the joints. I am so pleased with her quality, I am already planning to purchase the next doll they have up for pre-order. I'm really, really happy with the dolls beauty, flexibility, and quality, and I say, if you get the chance to make one of their dolls yours, go for it!