Hello all. I believe that it was Mrs Anderson of Andersons All-Purpose who once said that a blog destined to go no further usually has a long break in between posts, then an enthusiastic post featuring an apology for the long silence with a firm promise to post more in future … And then, nothing. (She put it better than me – I’m paraphrasing because I can’t find it right now). I smiled when I read it, because I’ve noticed this many times. However, now that it’s happening to me, it’s not so funny. I don’t want to be that person! I’ve put a lot of work into Barbiebeauties and got to know a lot of great people by doing it, and I’d rather not let it just taper off.
But I’ve not been posting, have I? Here’s the problem – Barbiebeauties has been annoying me recently. I started writing it pretty much at the start of my return to doll collecting four years ago and as a result, it’s grown organically, like my collection. This means that much of it is wrong – just wrong. I don’t mind the changes in opinion that you’d find if you go back far enough. I don’t mind the poorer quality of the older pics. I don’t even mind having my battle against (and my eventual defeat by) the desire to diversify documented. Still, it’s all terribly disorganised! For instance, do you know that I actually have no category for Lea dolls, despite having written well over thirty posts about them? Even the blog name isn’t accurate any more, as I post as many Monster High dolls as I do Barbies. This might not seem like a big deal to you – or maybe it does. Presumably, you’re also a collector, and collectors have a strange and intense relationship with the drive to organise. If you don’t have a system of some kind, it’s basically just a big pile of stuff, isn’t it? Well, Barbiebeauties has always been my system, and also my motivator. Up until recently that is.
Which brings me to another part of the problem: I have always liked to use Barbiebeauties as a way of cataloguing my collection, but it can take me four or five hours to photograph and write a post about each new doll. This year has been a year of car boot sales and extraordinary finds, as well as some fantastic new releases and many doll gifts from my generous partner, and I just can’t keep up with cataloguing the new recruits. I don’t tend to debox until I am ready to post, which leads to a backlog of boxed dolls which hang around until I’ve practically forgotten about them. Lastly, too often the choice seems to be – do I make something, or write a post? I’ve been sewing more and more recently, and I really enjoy it. But with a job, a partner, a five year old, three cats, two guinea pigs, three tortoises and an enormous snail (yes, really) to factor in, that’s a choice I really have to make, and just recently I’ve been choosing to make things. I need my blog to fit around my interests, not vice versa.
I know – whinge whinge. I don’t expect anybody to care about any of this except me and I’ve only written this as an attempt to offer some kind of explanation to the lovely souls who follow me, especially those who have been leaving me kind, concerned messages. I should have answered, it was unbearably rude not to, and I apologise. I just didn’t want to come back without a solution, and I didn’t have one. I’m still not sure if I do.
Here at Barbiebeauties, we are, to coin a bit of corporate-speak, “solution-focused”. Here are some of my proposed solutions:
1. I just need to chill out a little bit. Relax about it, and make some changes to my format. I know a lot of this is in my head. So what if I don’t do just one or two dolls per post and keep up with featuring my acquisitions? I actually hate writing reviews (I like to write about whatever interests me rather than general overviews, because I’m selfish like that) and this is where the “one or two dolls a post” approach leads. Plenty of doll bloggers just write about what they’ve been doing with their collection that week, or month, or whatever. Maybe I should be doing that – more of a “dear diary” kind of approach. And if I can get my categories right, the cataloguing will then take care of itself.
2. I don’t even know if it’s possible, but at least I could look into updating my categories and my tags, and work my way through the old posts. Yes, it’s a big job but I started a similar exercise on Instagram recently and I got a surprisingly long way in a surprisingly short time (heheh, got myself blocked doing it too, but that’s another story – I’m currently posting from @the_plastic_strikes_back instead of @intheplastic in case you’re interested).
3. More wordless posts. I’ve come to realise that sometimes I just like taking pictures, so maybe sometimes I’ll just take pictures … They’re quicker too.
4. Stop delaying deboxing until posting. Why have I been doing this anyway? I don’t know, probably just because the pictures of the boxed doll get “lost” in my massive collection of dolly pics. Still, it’s silly. And it annoys me. No more!
Any other suggestions/ comments/ observations are welcome, by the way. Please let me know what you think, I’m interested.
Anyhoo, enough navel contemplation. Would you like to see some more of the doll in the picture above?
I gave this Fashion Fever Drew a makeover recently, this is what she looked like before:
As soon as I saw her, I thought of early Madonna, but she’s been in my doll drawers for the longest time. Then I decided to do her for a doll challenge (@dollphotogallery if you’re interested, check it out, nice friendly hosts, it’s fun) on Instagram. It nearly killed me, but I got stubborn about it. This is what I did:
* Boil permed her hair, I did it messily on purpose btw!
* repainted her eyes blue and gave her the famous beauty spot
* rebodied her to a Fashionista – how could she have got into the groove otherwise?
* made her a corset top out of a bra closure
* pierced her ear and made her an earring out of beads – also made her a necklace out of some cheap dangly earrings and a cheap pearl bracelet
* the most time-consuming bit – I made a copy of her jacket and embroidered the back. I was quite proud of this, it’s definitely the most effort I have ever put into an item of doll clothing:
So anyway, I hope you like it. I certainly work harder with a deadline!
Back to the blogging issue. I can’t make any promises that this DEFINITELY isn’t another one of those apology posts to be followed by a big silence, but I don’t think it is – that’s all I can say about that. After all, its Christmas soon, which is always a nice time to be posting. My plan is to return later this week with some round-ups of what I’ve been up to while I’ve been away …