Friday, August 3, 2012

De-boxing Fashion Dolls

Doll bondage. What a concept, huh? 

Walk down any Barbie aisle in any big box store and you'll see them. Playline dolls, collector dolls ... all bound to their boxes. I am looking at my newest acquisition ... "Katniss" Barbie doll (from "The Hunger Games") dreading removing her from her box. But! Remove her I will! She must be free!

Collectors ought to be able to sue for damages and mental anguish as a result of deboxing their dolls. Particularly Barbie dolls!  

If you collect Barbie dolls, you know about the injuries that can be acquired while trying to release them from captivity. Have you ever sliced a finger as you wrangled your trapped Barbie doll from her packaging?  Uh-huh. I thought so. 

And while struggling with Mattel’s idea of doll security, I find myself wondering about the child who has received a doll for Christmas or a birthday. What a nightmare for any child! It's imperative that a responsible adult assist in the de-boxing!  

I can remember when you brought your brand new Barbie doll home, slipped the lid off and lifted the doll out of her cardboard prison. I even found this photo on Flickr of Never Removed From Box bubblecut Barbies from 1961. You can see how easily the doll could be removed.  Wow! What a concept! Nowadays, it takes scissors, tweezers, needle nose pliers, and a whole lot of patience to free Barbie from her box.

Last year I discovered the Poppy Parker doll from Fashion Royalty and when I received her was immediately charmed by the box! The box lid is secured with soft pink ribbon tied in a lovely bow. You pull the bow and the lid opens very easily.  I love how the doll is gently tied to her liner with soft white ribbon. It took every bit of three minutes to get her AND all her accessories out of the box! Heavenly!

But, more recently, a new monster has reared its head. It began with the 1996 Holiday Barbie doll that I donated for a raffle. A lovely woman won her and seemed so pleased with her prize. She took the doll home and, not being a collector, she removed the doll from her box! Now, holiday Barbies are packaged to be beautifully displayed IN their boxes, and one would think she would be left that way. Alas! When this lovely lady removed her doll, the head fell off! She did call to report the mishap, and we asked her to return the doll for repair, which is what I will be doing tomorrow. {Poor beheaded Barbie!}

And, that's what got me thinking about it. De-boxing dolls, that is. I began de-boxing my dolls last year. I found I was running out of places to put them and I wasn't having any fun with them IN the box, so one by one, I freed my dolls from their trappings. Along the way I discovered that the rubber bands were dry rotted and the twist ties were rusted. These discoveries reinforced my efforts to get those girls out of their plastic cardboard prisons and I find I am enjoying my dolls even more!

I don’t think it’s necessary to attach a doll to a box in such a way that it almost requires destroying the doll in order to remove it. I’m sure Mattel has heard complaints about this. I’m sure they have justification for continuing the cruel and unusual punishment of Barbie and her friends. But, I think we are due for a kinder, gentler world of doll bondage, don't you? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bohemian ~ what is it exactly?


a native or inhabitant of Bohemia.
(usually lowercasea person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.
the Czech languageespecially as spoken in Bohemia.
a Gypsy.
Bohemian artist Beatrice Wood who died at age 105.

I was looking through my pin boards on Pinterest and discovered some underlying themes. I like old stuff, vintage stuff, stuff that isn't matchy-matchy, stuff and people with character, clothes that look like you've owned them for a long time and homes that appear to have been occupied for a lot of years.

That's what I think of when I hear the word "bohemian." So, I decided to look it up and find out what it REALLY means.

Bohemia is an historical region in central Europe now identified as the Czech Republic. The word itself comes from the French, Bohême, and, in our society, one thinks of artists as being bohemian. 
I remember as a girl my parents had friends who were often referred to as bohemian. She was a painter and he was a writer for the local newspaper. They always looked different from everyone else in those days (1957-1963), so I guess the word was used correctly.

I think a lot of it has to do with money. Artists and writers often don't have well paying jobs, so they must make do with what they have. Their homes reflect their creativity in the absence of funding and their style is evolved from shopping second hand.

What's funny (to me) is how bohemian style has been embraced by the younger generation of today. Some say it's the 1970s influence, but I see it as a mirror of these tough economic times.

Whatever it is, I like it.

So, my Pinterest boards reflect a little bohemian spirit. 

For that reason, I've captured a few of my favorite images for your perusal today. 

I hope you enjoy seeing them!