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Just my personal thoughts
 on doll collecting.
 (for what it's worth!)

There are days when I have thoughts about doll collecting that don't really fit on a specific page on my site.  I'll just post on occasion, when I feel the need to rant and rave, or just share some tidbits of information. 

There isn't an area for responses . 
That's why I call it MY TWO CENTS!

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January, 2009:  My Website New Year's Resolution:  I am resolving to spend more time updating pictures on my site and revamping the store.  Because my site has been online since 1999, some of my earlier pictures in the informational section are not as clear as they once were.  Over time I think that the files get a little corrupt.  If I still have the doll in my possession, I will take new photographs so that the photos are clearer.  Unfortunately I no longer have some of these dolls, but I'll do my best.  I am working on making a store directory that is more efficient and user friendly to allow that all main areas of the store are accessible from a single page, thus eliminating the need to keep clicking and clicking to get to what you really want to see.  I also want to post more items for sale so that there is a larger selection from which to choose.   Happy New Year to all!
 
October, 2008:  It is a sad situation that more and more, my local antique malls are going out of business.  I used to spend whole days frequenting the shops within a small radius of my home.  They were a good source for inventory or personal treasures.  But little by little, they have been disappearing.  It is a sign of the economy as well as online sales and auction sites.  Just the other day I was on my way to visit my parents (about two hours away) and was looking forward to my halfway point stop at a favorite large antique mall.  My excuse is that it is my "potty break" from the long drive in traffic and too much morning coffee, but in actuality, I look forward to the stretch and the anticipation that I might find something I can't live without!  Or, I hope that I can find something that a site visitor might just be looking for, to help them with their search.   As I got out of the car and started toward the door my heart sank....CLOSED.   Wait, what is this?  Am I here on the wrong day?  A gentleman stood outside with a rather forlorn look on his face.  I looked past him to see boxes and dismantled shelves behind the closed doors.  Oh, no, this REALLY is closed, this is final!  He commented that he couldn't keep the shop open due to slow business and most of the dealers have either given up or gone to the few remaining malls.  He said the new owner of the building is going to make a go of a furniture store.  He looked so sad.  So, so, very sad.  ......Needless to say, I am too.

In these hard economic times, hug your doll a little closer.

 

September, 2008:  I just realized that the holidays are just around the corner!  If you are searching for a vintage doll for someone, it is best to start looking early since these items are not always easy to find on the secondary market.  Unless you can find the item on eBay it is pretty unrealistic to think that you can just pop into an antique store, thrift shop, or a doll website and find that long lost doll that your mother, daughter, friend  had, just two weeks before Christmas/Chanukah, etc.!!  So, heads up, start looking now!  I am trying to add some new items to my store in preparation for the holidays.  Hopefully I can help make someone's holiday a special one!

 
August, 2008:  I recently tagged along with my husband when he went to Missouri for a business trip and took the opportunity to drop in at the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc. (UFDC) headquarters, not far from the Kansas City International Airport.  I had heard of the organization and knew that they had a museum, so was excited to find that it was going to work into our schedule on our route to Jefferson City.  If you are ever in the area of the UFDC headquarters and have the opportunity to stop in to see the collection of dolls displayed, please do as it was fun to see such a variety of dolls all in one place.   It is located in an industrial park and not much to look at from the outside but once inside, you will be greeted by friendly staff and several glass cases filled with all types of dolls.   You wander through the cases on a self-guided tour.  The museum provides you with printed sheets describing the types of dolls in each case.  Depending on how slow you mosey along, (and I do like to mosey when it comes to "dolling"), it shouldn't take you more than an hour to go through it.

While I loved seeing the little Vogue Ginny dolls they had on display, I think that I have to say that my favorites were all of the lovely China Head dolls from the mid-1800s.  There were several examples in various styles and sizes.  I've seen many of these in books but it was a thrill to see them "in person".   

To learn more about the UFDC, Inc.,  visit their website at http://www.ufdc.org

 

June, 2008:  Back in 1999, when the Internet was relatively a new phenomenon for us regular folks, I designed this website with the intention to share a few pictures of my dolls and pass along the little bit of knowledge I had gained in my years of collecting.  I wanted to pass on to the viewer some information on dolls with links and suggestions on where to find more information.  I guess a doll web portal of sorts.  However, as the site's traffic started to increase, so did the emails.  While I was excited to talk about dolls to new friends, or help someone figure out who they had,  I began getting quite a few emails asking me to value dolls.  All types of dolls.

I never intended that this site was going to be a doll value/price site.  For one thing, a true and honest assessment of a doll cannot be done over the internet with any real accuracy due to the many factors that go into determining a precise appraised value.  You cannot simple say, "I have a Tiny Tears.  Tell me how much she is worth."  To do it right, one must be able to closely examine every part of a doll to determine it's condition, originality, age, and odor (yes it matters), and authenticate the clothing. Then one must also know the demand, provenance, and be familiar with recent comparable sales.   All of this takes a great deal of time and research, thus, cannot be done from a photograph or brief email description alone.   Even if someone says they just need a general price, if the doll is somewhat unfamiliar, it still takes a lot of time to come up with a figure.  Though I have been a collector for many years, I do not profess to be an expert in all of the thousands of dolls made, so I would have to spend quite a bit of time hunting for all of this information.  Many reference books have no values in them.  They were published to help collectors identify their dolls or learn what they looked like when they were new, what accessories they came with, or outfit variations.  Most actual doll price guides quickly go out of date.  Even those that are current usually only show prices for the most mint and pristine of dolls.

I can't justify the time I would need to devote to this since most people don't really need an official appraisal but are only mildly curious as to their doll's worth after either finding it buried in an old toy box, or running across a hopefully "lucky flea market find."  Some people are not even interested in keeping their doll and may only want to know a price in order to sell to someone or list it on an auction site.  Because an authentic time consuming appraisal is really not necessary for this, I have found that the dolly's owner can easily get the ballpark figure they are seeking by doing a little research on their own.  Thus saving me hours upon hours of time to do what I need to do (hubby has to eat!).  I've just created a new page on my website to help people help themselves.  Click to read through "How Much is That Dolly in the Window?"

Remember too, not all vintage dolls have value just because they are old.  Somebody has to WANT the doll.

Maybe one day I will start charging people for this research (my husband keeps telling me to), but since I have never been formally trained or certified as an appraiser, and cannot visually examine these dolls to make an accurate assessment, I don't feel justified to charge a fee.  Or maybe its a little bit more like, do I really want to spend hours each day sitting on my "bum" researching values? Not right now.  Life is too short and I've got places to go, people to see, and things to do.  Oh, and antique shops to explore!!!

 
January, 2008:  I just wanted to take a moment to honor my wonderful grandmother who passed away recently at the "young" age of 100.  I have mentioned her in various sections of my site because she was a big influence on me with regard to doll collecting.  She was my doll buddy.  While she was not an avid collector (she had a few favorites), she loved dolls and would often take me to the toy store when I would visit her house.  We loved to oooh and aaah over the beautiful dolls in the display window.   I fondly remember her buying me little outfits for my Ginny doll.

When I became an adult and my collecting bug really took off, she would enjoy coming to my house to see my new "girls".  She particularly liked my Effanbee Rosemary because she had a sister with that name.

Sadly, as Nana aged, she forgot many of the dolls from her past, but she did remember that when she was a little girl, around 1912, her parents gave her a beautiful bisque doll at Christmas. Almost immediately she dropped it and the head shattered into several pieces.  Though understandably upset, she remembered the doll being sent away and magically she was as good as new! 

Hope there are dolls in Heaven

In loving memory to my Nana Billie. 
1907-2008

Her favorite dolls were Raggedy Ann & Andy and they had a very important spot on her little rocker, as you can see in this 1969 photograph.


I'll miss her, much.  XXOXO!!

 

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Visit Kaylee's Korner
Doll Shoppe
FOR SALE ITEMS

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