Mark Your Calendars: World Doll Day Toy Drive

What a fabulous idea! I will have some dolls in need of a new home but am not sure how to donate them except via the large donation I’m making to charity when I finish my general clear out.

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

It’s that time again! World Doll Day is Saturday, June 10th, 2017. Started by Mildred Seeley in 1986, the day is one of celebration for doll collectors. World Doll Day began with a letter, which is copied below. (Keep reading for information on our first ever World Doll Day Toy Drive!)

World Doll Day Logo

So, you have not heard of World Doll Day? This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn’t conceived the idea. To make it happen. I need cooperation of every doll collector, every magazine editor, doll newsletter, doll shop, library, doll maker, mother, grand­mother, father, grandfather, and all the stray aunts and uncles. The first World Doll Day is the Second Saturday of June 1986. Give a doll to a grownup, child in the family or just a friend. If you don’t have a child to give a doll to – find one…

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The West Enders: Episode Thirteen, The Breakup

SG208608Merida has finished her session with Midge and heads over to the George to meet her sister Luna, who has finished the band rehearsal for today. Over glasses of wine, the sisters talk about some of Midge’s suggestions for Merida.

“She asked me about us growing up together, singing together, and if I felt like I might also want to have a musical career. She said she heard that we sang together on New Year’s Eve, and how good we were. But we also talked about sibling rivalry and whether I might want to do something on my own or with someone else,” Merida tells Luna.

“Merida, that’s a great idea,” Luna responds. “You’ve been searching for something ever since you left the modelling agency. And as it happens, I’ve heard about an opportunity that might let you stick your toe in the water, without just diving in head over heels.”

“You mean the way I usually do,” laughs Merida.

“Absolutely!” Luna replies. “Barbie’s little sister Amy has come back to town and she’s auditioning for back up singers. I know it’s not instant stardom, but it’s a start.”

“That’s a great idea,” says Merida. “I’ll get in touch with her right away.”

“You’ll need a black dress,” warns Luna. “The group is called ‘The Ladies in Black.'”

Neither of the sisters notices that Sutton is gazing wistfully at Merida. He’s feeling a lot of conflicting emotions. Since the Valentine’s Day Ball, he’s texted Monique countless times and she’s always “busy” or just doesn’t respond at all. He is pretty sure that romance is going nowhere. But he’s terrified to speak to Merida after the nasty scene they had.

SG208609Steven hasn’t had any luck getting Sandra to answer his texts either, but he is unconcerned as he flirts with Blessing. Someone has found romance since Valentine’s Day, however! Marcelo has turned up at the George with Audrey Ruston, the actress and singer, and they are looking very cosy together. And they don’t notice that someone is also gazing wistfully at them – Yvette, of course. She listens to their conversation, becoming more and more cast down.

“I have to compliment you again on that beautiful colour you’re wearing,” says Marcelo, laughing.

“You know I said I would change when you picked me up and I saw we were both wearing the same colour shirt,” Audrey responds, teasing and playful. “You told me not to.”

“You look absolutely stunning, darling,” says Marcelo, “I can’t imagine you looking more beautiful, unless of course, you were wearing nothing at all.”

“Marcelo, you devil,” Audrey laughs. “Not too fast.”

Yvette is gutted. “I never had a chance,” she thinks to herself. “Audrey the actress, Charlotte the supermodel. Why would he ever look at Yvette the local barmaid?” She sighs.

SG208602Sam sees Merida in the pub and realises that Midge must be free. He hurries to the house and finds her getting ready to head out.

“Hello, angel,” he says. “I’m so glad I caught you. I wanted to talk to you about the wedding – and I have something important to tell you.”

“Wedding first!” says Midge.

” Could we set it for July, as soon as Sasha finishes school? At the beginning of the school holidays?”

“Wow, that’s not a lot of time to plan, but of course, sweetheart. I can’t wait to be married.”

“Neither can I,” Sam continues. “And I have something really important to tell you, especially because Passover is coming.”

“What is it?” Midge asks, curiosity piqued.

“I am in the process of converting to Judaism. I’ve been meeting with Rabbi Sheridan from the Reform Synagogue to start the process.”

“Sam!” Midge exclaims in shock, “Good heavens, I would never have asked this of you. You know I’m not very religious. You’ve probably seen more of Rabbi Sheridan than I have!”

“Midge, I want to have children, your children, our children. They’ll be Jewish from birth with you as their mother. I want to be part of that in their lives, in your life, in our lives as a family. It’s really important to me.”

Midge finds tears are streaming down her face. “Oh, Sam – I love you so much!” is all she can say. “Let’s tell Sasha! I think she’s outside playing.”

SG208603Nick returns from the pub and sits down at the computer. He goes onto Facebook and sees that Bonnie has posted an article from the Guardian, with the scary headline of “Sexual harassment at ‘epidemic level’ in UK universities.” He reads the article and becomes more and more agitated, especially when he sees, “‘There must be a ban on any sexual contact between university staff and all undergraduates, and between staff and graduates in the same field. The penalty for violating the no-contact rule should be swift termination with a public statement and a mandated report to a central UK registry.’” Nick feels ill.

At that moment, Yuki walks in and comes up behind Nick for a cuddle. She’s getting the feeling that he’s been avoiding her lately and decides it’s time to do something about it.

SG208604Nick quickly pushes her away and says, “Yuki, look, I need to talk to you.”

SG208605“What’s wrong?” asks Yuki in alarm.

“Yuki, I… I… You know I’ve applied for a lectureship at the university.”

“Yes.”

“Well, it’s just not going to be possible for me to continue our relationship. I can’t have a sexual relationship with an undergraduate as a lecturer. It’s just not possible.”

Yuki is gobsmacked. “Getting a lectureship is more important to you than our relationship?”

“Yuki, of course it is! It’s my life! It’s my career! We’re just… Our relationship is just… I don’t know, just temporary. I mean, it was never meant to be forever. Was it? We’re too different from each other.”

SG208606Yuki collapses in shock. “Oh, my god! I can’t believe I trusted you! I believed in you! I thought you loved me!”

Nick has no idea what to say.

Yuki rushes out of the room and downstairs to the kitchen.

SG208607 “Nick just broke up with me,” she wails. “I can’t believe it!”

Jazmin rushes to console her. “Never mind that party pooping wet blanket, Yuki,” she says. “He’s a drip. You deserve so much better. All he cares about is his stupid endangered species or invasive species, or whatever it is he does. And you’re even wearing a panda shirt! He’s an arsehole! Corbin and I have so many friends who love to party and have fun. That’s what you need, Yuki – fun!!!”

Oh, dear, poor Yuki! Stay tuned for the next episode, when Midge and Sam celebrate their first seder together. We’ll catch up with Yuki again soon.

Interlude: A J-Doll Disaster

Not too long ago, I had budgeted for a new doll and was thinking of going for a Ruruko by Petworks. I really wanted the recently released Ruruko of the Gables. But then I came across one of Groove’s J-Dolls on eBay with a Type 4 Pullip body. I now buy dolls if they will become part of the West Enders and this doll, Andrassy Ave., seemed perfect. When she arrived, it was love at first sight, and of course, she has already taken a role in the West Enders as Corbin’s girlfriend, Jazmin Szalay.

IMG_2620Here she is in full Andrassy Avenue regalia – very cute. And they make a very cute couple.

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And she’s a great model to play with.

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But springtime approaches and I decided she needed something a little brighter to wear so I bought her a couple of outfits from FabriMagoDolls on Etsy. Yesterday I decided to undress her for the first time so she could model her new outfits for my review of them (I love them and gave them 5 stars each.) That’s when the trouble began. It was quite daunting to get all the bits and bobs of her outfit off her body but I managed. Then I tried to get her fabulous little boots and her socks off. Disaster.

I tried wriggling the boots around a bit but nothing budged. I had read recently about putting the new Silkstone Barbie (Amy Roberts in the blog) with immovable boots in hot water to get hers off but I didn’t really want to stick Jazmin’s feet into boiling water while she was wearing those fabulous socks. So I used a hairdryer and they did start to wiggle a bit. And then I heard a crack and one boot came off with the foot in it. I prayed that it had simply disarticulated, but no, I had managed to snap it off just above the articulation. (It is now glued back on and articulation still functions.)

You would think (at least I did) that the darn foot would now just slide out. No. That foot was never coming out of that boot, so finally, reluctantly, I sliced down the back of those beautiful boots. Even then, I had to use a tiny screwdriver to remove the foot, still in the sock of course. I didn’t bother any other technique with the other foot – just slit the boot and pried out the foot. While I was doing that, Jazmin’s leg came off at the knee. Argh! At least that was at the articulation so I just popped it back on. That foot had terrible clothing stains, but that I can cope with.

Then she was ready to model her new clothes.

IMG_2767Gorgeous! Various colours in the dress match both her eyes and her hair. Wearing colour transforms her – she’s far more gorgeous in these new clothes than she was in original outfit, in my opinion.

IMG_2768She’ll be getting Momoko and Yuki to go clubbing soon – I can’t see Nick joining them however.

Many of you will have been doing this longer than I have and I welcome your thoughts, advice and comments. It is as if these dolls were not intended to ever have their clothes changed. I know many collectors don’t even take their dolls out of the boxes, and some simply display them, but for me, dolls are to play with. I definitely will not be buying another J-Doll, no matter how cute.

Now I have to save up for the next Ruruko I really love.  Ruruko of the Gables sold out quickly at the Petworks shop and will next reappear in various places for an exorbitant price, way out of my range. Oh, well.

The West Enders, Episode Twelve: March Weekend

sg208566Valentine’s Day is past and the milder weather of March sets in. A new coffee shop opens in town, managed by Zayn, who is a very ambitious young man. It’s an immediate hit and on a busy Saturday morning, there can be quite the queue.

sg208568Charlotte, Monique, and Mira meet up for a post-yoga class coffee. Monique fills her friends in on her Valentine’s Day ball date with Sutton.

“I was so angry at Emma,” she says. “I can’t believe how blatantly she set me up and made it impossible for Sutton to do anything except invite me. Does she think I am incapable of finding my own date? Does she think that I even want to go to a ball? Does she think about me at all? I love Emma, but she gets so fixated on things in her own head that she never even bothers to ask anybody if they want their lives to be micro-managed.”

“I don’t blame you for being upset,” says Mira. “But at least the ball was fun and the music was great. Kurhn did a great job – she has a beautiful voice.”

“I suppose,” says Monique.

“Did you like Sutton at all? Did you have a good time with him at least?” asks Charlotte.

“He’s okay,” Monique admits grudgingly. “But he’s not my type. He’s one of those guys who lives, breathes, and eats sport all day long. And he’s not very intellectually inclined. I doubt he’s read a book since uni.”

Poor Merida! If only she knew how little Monique cared about her date with Sutton, she might not have behaved so badly. She’s still very depressed and has decided to see Midge professionally. She’s not sure if she needs counselling or coaching or a combination of the two but Midge is qualified in both so she decides to make an appointment.

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Midge tries to help her to focus on what she wants out of life now that she’s not modelling any more. Merida is so fixated on finding love that it’s a difficult task at at the moment.

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In the kitchen, the young women are having a girly chat with Jazmin, the newest member of the house. The tweens especially are fascinated with her and she, Yuki, and Momoko are becoming fast friends since they are all students at the same university.

sg208596Kurhn is continuing her voice lessons with Nicole.

sg208598Luna and the Dolls are rehearsing in the yoga studio after the morning yoga class finishes.

sg208565There’s a new musical group rehearsing as well, but in the student union at the university where the ball was held. It’s the only space with a grand piano, which is Sandra’s instrument. Barbie’s younger sister is a singer as well and has been touring for some time. She’s come to town with her group, Ladies in Black, and Barbie and Sandra join them for an impromptu songfest.

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Barbie tries not to be jealous of Amy, who is younger and very beautiful. At the same time, Amy tries not to be jealous of Barbie, so wealthy, so successful. There’s more than a little sibling rivalry between the sisters.

img_2706Kevin is home on Saturday afternoon and  has agreed to watch the two youngest children while Steffi takes Evi out to play in the garden. The other children are there and Steffi enjoys the company and the gossip. There’s a football match on but Kevin thinks that Blessing and Yvette can handle the crowd at the George without him. He’ll come in for the evening shift.

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Bonnie has agreed to meet Nick for a drink. Neither realised that there was a match on and that the George will be heaving. Nick is close to finishing up his PhD and has applied for a lectureship at the university where Bonnie is a senior lecturer. Bonnie is happy to help Nick with his application and gives him advice on the best way to write up his application materials. Nick is feeling as if he is under a lot of stress. He really wants this job and he’s doing everything he can to finish his thesis. The problem, he realises, is Yuki.

Nick is starting to question everything about his relationship with her. He’s really fond of her, she’s charming, fun, sweet and young. So young. Very young. He’s completely baffled by her new friendship with Jazmin, whom he finds positively infantile. Yuki is happy to let him get on with writing except when she wants sex. She wants a lot of sex. All the time. Nick is starting to feel very stressed about that, almost as if the core of their relationship is built on sex. Well, he thinks, it is. It has been from the beginning.

He looks at Bonnie, sitting across from him. So mature, so adult, cheerful and pleasant, intelligent, a scientist, so interested in her field and so unaffected. No focus on fashion, just down to earth, jeans and a red checked shirt. Like him! He’s wearing a red checked shirt too. sg208576

There’s just one problem. She’s tall. Very tall. And he is not. All the Panenka sisters are tall. Tall and blonde like a pack of giantesses or Valkyries.

Suddenly his reverie is stopped cold. Bonnie has just said something very alarming.

“What did you say?” he asks.

“Yuki. Your relationship. I’m sure it can’t be a problem, it started when you were both students. She’s not in our department or even our Faculty, so I’m sure it won’t matter but the university takes a very dim view of academic staff having affairs or romantic relationships with undergraduates – or even post graduates. I’d just keep it discrete if you are hired so it never becomes something you have to explain.”

Nick is gobsmacked and can’t think at all. Then he sees a woman standing at the door, waving at someone in the crowd. She’s stunning. Completely and absolutely stunning.

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And she’s short.

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Nick can’t stop staring at her.

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And then she notices and looks back at him. Poor Nick is completely flustered and tries once again to focus on what Bonnie is saying. He finishes his pint as quickly as he can, thanks Bonnie and heads out.

Who is this beautiful woman? What’s Nick going to do about Yuki? Find out in the next episode!