To All The Dolls I’ve Loved Before–Furga Doll from Italy

Ages ago I started this series–and then never got back to it!  Terrible when you get sidetracked, isn’t it?  I decided now was a good time to revive this idea though.  No time like the present.

I did two prior posts–you can read them at the following links:

https://sayhellotomylittlefriends.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/to-all-the-dolls-ive-loved-before-swingy/

https://sayhellotomylittlefriends.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/to-all-the-dolls-ive-loved-before-crissy-and-velvet/

Today I’m going to talk about a doll that was kind of a strange one for me to own.  I wasn’t a fan of dolls you couldn’t play with.  I was a huge Barbie fan because Barbie LIVED.  She had an active social life.  She did normal stuff.  My Barbie had a bike, rode horses, dune buggied, worked on an airplane, camped–she was one busy doll.  A doll who just sat there and looked pretty…nope.  Not my thing.

I don’t know what possessed my mother to even buy this doll for me.  I think I was about 8 and I received it for Christmas.  It was a very pretty doll.

I apologize in advance for this not so great photo.  It’s the only one I could find on the internet.  Believe me, I’ve looked and looked and looked.  The hat was different on the one I had, but you get the general idea.  This photo was from Ebay a while ago.

A little history on the doll–she was made by a company called Furga, they were in Italy.  They supplied dolls like this to all of the major catalog companies in the US–Sears, JCPenney, Montgomery Wards to name a few.  The dolls were all very nicely dressed and were a regular feature in the annual Christmas catalogs.  (remember those?)  A friend of mine had several of them as well.  If you look on Ebay, you will see tons of them available for sale.

The one thing I remember about this doll was the box, and that’s very well represented in this photo.  She had this huge hoop skirt, and it had a very stiff crinoline petticoat that went on under it which made it stick out way too straight to be practical.  It kind of gave her a “Little Bo Peep” look.  You could easily take it off too.  She also had a faux umbrella/parasol, it didn’t open, was there more as a prop.  It was cute.  Whatever.  She was close in size to an American Girl doll, maybe a little bit smaller, but they made these dolls in a variety of sizes and styles.  Her hair was a nightmare though, the curls had some sort of stiffener in them, so if the hair strayed, getting it to look the same was pretty much impossible.

She sat in my bedroom all through the rest of my childhood and into my teen years.  And then she was gone.  I honestly don’t know what I did with her.  I suspect I may have donated her to charity.  Or, I could have sold her at a flea market, which is a good bet.  If that’s the case, I have a feeling she probably ended up in the doll collection of a woman we knew.  Unfortunately this woman passed away several years ago and I don’t know any of her family, so no way of finding out.  (Insert shrug here.)

Anyone else have one of these dolls growing up?  I know they were somewhat popular and they weren’t exactly cheap.  One thing I do recall my mother telling me about it was when she opened up the box she was in, it was full of dirt from the boat she had been shipped on!  Times certainly have changed.

 

 

New American Girl Product Review–Lovely Leopard Coat, City of Lights Accessories, Belted Wallet

I recently posted about some new products that American Girl just came out with.  Several items caught my eye and I didn’t waste any time in ordering these.  In my order was the Lovely Leopard Coat, the City of Lights Accessories set and the Belted Wallet.

First I’ll take a closer look at the coat.  It’s very cute and I was pleased to see that it was at least partially lined.  The sleeves aren’t lined, but with doll clothes, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There was some loose fuzz and I didn’t clean it up, which I later regretted after it ended up all over Jenny’s navy blue shirt.  Ooops.

The quality of the fabric is very nice, very soft and plush.

The fit is a bit tight on it though.  I would have liked to see it a bit more relaxed.

It’s still a cute piece.  I think it would be really cute paired with the silver colored holiday dress from a couple of years ago.

Next up–the belted wallet.

This item is one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a while from AG.  The attention to detail is very good.  It’s even accurate down to how the belt attaches!

The interior is nicely finished as well. It’s not very big, not sure an AG sized cell phone will fit in it.

The belt is removable.  However, it would have been nice if it had been just a half inch or so longer.  It is possible to get it on the doll without completely undoing it, but it’s a stretch.

Here it is on Jenny.  Too cute!  Definitely my favorite piece out of this order.

The City of Lights Accessory set comes in a box.  I’m not sure why though.  An awful lot of empty space in this box, almost seems like a waste of packaging.  Not only that, but because of this, my order came in a much bigger box than what would have been necessary.  Grrr…

Despite the overpackaging, it’s still a cute set.

The watch is cute, and I love AG watches.  I just wish they’d make them a tad bit smaller for them to be more realistic, they tend to be a bit large.   The ring–I’m not usually a fan of doll rings, but this one is just adorable!

Jenny did a great job modeling, didn’t she?

The little bag is very cute and well done too.  How can you not smile looking at that, even if you aren’t a cat lover?!

It’s works as an over the shoulder bag:

As well as a cross body, although it is a bit of a tight fit.

Overall, I’m very pleased with everything in this order.  I give the belted wallet and the City Of Lights set A’s and the coat a B.  The coat gets a lower marking simply because of the snug fit.  Otherwise it’s a well made piece and a nice accessory to have in your doll wardrobe.

5 Years Ago… (Part 3)(the final part!)

I started 2018 facing a couple of decisions and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.  I decided just to take a “wait and see” approach, fingers crossed that some sort of idea would pop into my head.  I continued to post things on the blog as I had the time, and it seemed to be working out okay.  I still wanted to make some sort of change though.

In 2017 American Girl had introduced the “Create Your Own” line of dolls.  I was curious (as many of us were), but I didn’t want to jump on it immediately.  I figured I’d wait until some of the bugs had been worked out.  I was glad I did, there were a few issues, primarily with supplies not keeping up with demand which extended wait times considerably.  Finally in March of 2018 I decided to take the plunge and order one.  I chose to go with my original idea of a doll that was to look like I did as a kid.  I remember nervously opening the package, hoping I wouldn’t be disappointed.  Happy to say that I wasn’t, not in the least!

After Mimi’s arrival, I decided to make some big changes to how I was doing things in hopes of streamlining things.  One was to disassemble the dollhouse.  That was a major undertaking, but I’m still glad I did it.  All of my furniture and accessories are now in storage boxes to keep them clean and safe until I decide what I’m going to do next.  I then proceeded to make a room set just for Mimi.  I was really happy with how it turned out!

I decided to focus the majority of the stories on the blog from that point forward about Mimi.  She’s my “mini me”, so it seemed appropriate.  The other members of the gang will still make appearances as her friends, but she’s now the main character.  At one point I actually considered just starting another blog that would just be her, but trying to maintain two blogs just seemed to be more work than I was able to devote.  So far what I’m doing seems to be working.  Mimi has even gone on two major vacations, Ireland and Disneyworld–how many dolls can say that?

In the meantime, I’ve also made a couple of other decisions.  One major one being that I need to eliminate some of the excess stuff I have.  It’s really tough when you are writing a blog not to get carried away with buying things, especially when you do features like “Doll Sized Finds”.  I’m always on the lookout for items I can use for these posts, and when I was working on the dollhouse, it was great.  Now, not so much.  After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that some of these items were going to have to go.  It’s a slow process, but I think I’ve finally come up with a good solution to it.  I’m also trying not to buy anymore, but instead taking photos of items in the store that I think someone might be able to use.  So far so good!  I’ve already given a nice sized box of stuff to a fellow collector, I did that right after I took the dollhouse apart.  I have some other items that are going to go to the daughter of a friend who is into 18″ dolls.  It’s all a work in progress and it’s going to take some time.

So…where does that leave the blog?  I’m still here, and I’m still writing and I plan on doing it at least for a couple more years.  It might take me that long to get my collection to a reasonable size again!  One idea I have is to use some of the items I am getting rid of in one last shoot, post the story to the blog, then pass on the items to someone else.  I don’t feel bad about doing this with items I’ve found at thrift stores.  I look at it this way: I made a donation to a worthy cause.   I’m still planning on making stuff, writing stories, doing “Doll Sized Finds” (although maybe with a different twist) and all of the things I have done before.  I also have a couple of new ideas in mind, keep your eyes peeled!

Looking back on the past 5 years has been a lot of fun.  Yeah, there have been a couple of disappointments, but there have been more awesome moments.  I think back on some of my favorite posts–“The Protest”, Cassandra’s Minion birthday party, and of course the “When Bad Things Happen To Good Dolls/Bad Ebay” posts.  I wish I could have continued to do the bad Ebay posts, but it got harder and harder to find good material for those.  Ebay seems to have been inundated with sellers from overseas selling their cheap items in droves, and weeding through all of that got not only too difficult for me, but also way too time consuming.  In all honesty, I barely even go on Ebay anymore to even look for items to buy because it’s so frustrating.  Ebay has changed how their search engines work, so trying to narrow down a search for specific items tends to yield a bunch of non-related stuff, it’s very discouraging.  Oh well. I just think of all the money I’m saving.  There are still a few items I’d like to have for my Kit collection, but I’m not in any hurry at this point.  If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

I still love my dolls, and I’m always going to be grateful that something so simple could have introduced me to such a great group of people.  I’ve made some friendships that have extended beyond the doll collecting side of things and met people I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.  Everyone is always quick to point out all of the negative things about the internet and social media, but I’ve always believed that there can be a good side to it if you exercise some caution and don’t let it take over your life.  This blog, and the people I’ve met because of it are proof of that.

Thanks to ALL of you for reading, for your comments, your input and your support over these past 5 years.  I couldn’t have done it without you!  Even though the number of people reading blogs has dropped off, I’m still dedicated to trying to create a fun space that can be informative, helpful, and just goofy sometimes.  I have always tried to be somewhat original in my content, and I will continue to do that.  It’s easy to try and follow the trends, do what everyone else is doing, but it would be pretty boring if everyone was doing the exact same thing, wouldn’t it?  While I might not be posting as much as I have in the past, I’m going to try my best to keep moving forward and sharing my crazy doll adventures with everyone.

I’d love to hear in the comments what is your favorite post I’ve done? (Or posts!)  Was there anything I’ve done that you didn’t like?  I’d like to hear about that too!  I try to use some of the blog stats and comments to get ideas on new things to do or what I should stop doing because it’s not working.  That’s not always foolproof though and reader input is always helpful.

I think I’ve done enough talking–it’s time to celebrate!  Thank you for all the good wishes, hopefully we will be doing this again in another 5 years!