My Doll Diary

Daily thoughts of an avid doll collector.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Search for the Elusive 558-NB

Where oh where can I find the elusive 558-NB? What is 558-NB you ask? Well, its a knitting/crochet leaflet that was advertised in the McCall's Needlework and Crafts Spring/Summer 1961 issue. There is a gorgeous full page color picture of what they call a "Glamourous Trouseau" of outfits designed for a 10 1/2 inch fashion doll. The doll modeling a crochet wedding gown in the photo is a blonde American Character Toni doll. She is the same size doll as the Little Miss Revlon's, Cissette's, etc. of that time period.

The McCall's Needlework and Craft magazines of the late 1950's, 1960's and early 1970's are great sources for wonderful doll knitting and crochet patterns. A little over a year ago I collected many of these magazines and serveral compilation issues containing the best of these patterns. Most often the instructions for the patterns were in the issue. However, there were several cases where special leaflets had to be ordered and paid for separately. Unfortunately, these leaflets are very hard to find. I have a feeling that this one is exceptionaly rare because at the time this pattern appeared, these 10 1/2 inch dolls were begining to be discontinued. The 11 1/2 inch Barbie doll had been introduced a couple of years early in 1959. Barbie was becoming the new fashion doll standard and these 10 1/2 inch dolls were on the way out. I suspect this fact limited the amount of orders for this leaflet.

I did send an e-mail the other day to someone who has a website that sold old leaflets from McCall's Needlework and Crafts. While I was doing an internet search about a year ago, I found a listing for the pattern pointing to that site, but by the time I got there, the leaflet was gone. Unfortunately she responded today saying she did have the leaflet, but sold it. She said she would let me know if she got another one someday. I thanked her for this, but all the while I wanted to ask "WHY DIDN'T YOU MAKE A COPY BEFORE SELLING IT???" She could have made a bundle on eBay just selling the copies! I do have to give this person credit for only selling originals on her website while so many others bend the copyright laws by selling copies of old patterns. Still, it means so much to vintage doll collectors to be able to re-create outfits from old out of print patterns. So I am thankful also to those who bend the rules for the sake of keeping a piece of history alive. Ah, such an ethical dillema it is.

So, I guess I will continue to search for the elusive 558-NB. I finally decided to put a saved search on eBay for it. I'm hoping some day I can report a success story. I did have one such success recently when it took 3 years on a saved eBay search for me to finally find an elusive "Snip 'n Tuck". What is "Snip 'n Tuck" you ask? Well, that is a story for another day. Let's just say, good things eventually come to those who patiently wait!


Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Blizzard of a Day

Well, I survived the Blizzard up here in New England today. Since I was stuck inside, I was able to work on my website a bit. Still didn't get as much done as I would have liked. Will I ever get all my doll photos up there? I'm starting to wonder if it is a hopeless cause!

There was supposed to be a doll show in this area today. I'm assuming it never took place due to the storm. I went to this same show last year with my Mom. She does not share my passion for dolls, but it was fun to spend some time together. I'm sort of disappointed that we weren't able to repeat the event again this year.

I usually never buy much at doll shows. Most of the things already in my collection are much better than what I see there. Prices are also usually higher than I've found them to be on eBay. However, its fun to go to help me re-affirm that I do have some pretty nice things at home that I should really appreciate much more than I do.

I've been cutting back on my eBay doll shopping in recent months. I've come to the conclusion that I just do not have room for many more things. Plus I don't have time to devote the attention I need to each of the dolls I already have. I've promised many of my dolls new outfits and they have been waiting for a long time. I try to be a good "Doll Mom" so I keep my promises on my list hoping that I will get to them eventually. I hope my dolls don't desert me before I do.

I did break down and bought a Toni doll on eBay yesterday. Been looking for a dark haired one for awhile. I really think she is the prettiest of the 50's glamour dolls. Hopefully I will find the time to make something special for her when she arrives. I got a really good deal (less then $30.00), so I didn't feel so bad about it.

Really need to figure out how I'm going to keep up on my TK collection. I love that doll dearly, but I'm starting to realize that she is killing my bank account. Plus, space in my doll closet is starting to get low. I'm not sure what to do. Should I buy, take photos for my site, then sell them again? I have not been able to part with any of my TK's yet and I have 43 so far. I guess I could continue my searching on eBay and asking people if I could use their photos on my site. However, really good photos are few and far between. I really don't want to fall behind in my site though. I've worked so hard on it, and I want to keep it as complete as possible. Maybe I will someday find a financial backer to support my lavish dolly lifestyle. Hahaha!

Well, that's all for today. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Good night all!


Saturday, January 22, 2005

My First Doll Diary Posting

Hi everyone,

This is is the first posting to my Doll Diary Blog. I decided to create this blog to share my daily thoughts as a doll collector. I maintain two websites which display the dolls in my collection. The url's are as follows:

I hope to share more with you in the near future. In the meantime, please visit my websites and enjoy the doll photos, information, and memories.