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Our Love of Dolls
(an archive in progress)

I’ve always loved dolls!


  • One of my first life-sized dolls was a Baby-Alive, I named her Sherry after the song Sherry Baby by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. She would drink from a bottle and pee into her diaper.

  • In the mid 70’s my mom was a “Toy Ladies” demonstrator. I claimed the yawning baby that came within the very big box denoted as her “party kit” as my own. This doll likely had an Ellanee signature inscribed on the back of the dolls head. Caution, if you Google Toy Ladies today, the pages that come up are of different kinds of toys and different kinds of ladies!


  • Christmas picture (vintage 1970’s) of my sister Stacey (right) and I (left) holding our dolls.

  • Growing up, our family was of a lower income, Barbie was name-brand, we were often gifted alternate 11-inch fashion dolls. My favorite was “Darci.”



  • I envied girls having Barbie's townhouse. My dollhouse was of 4 cardboard 2-sided walls which intersected in the middle.

  • It spans nearly 40 inches in width; when together it creates large rooms. 

  • These are photos of it today, some 40 years later!

  • Can you spy the puffy sticker of Daphne (Scooby Doo) on the bedroom wall?

  • I never had the Sindy doll nor furnishings marketed with it. 


  • My favorite dollhouse piece was a kitchen set. Made by illco, it was battery operated with real running water, glowing range burners, and working blender. I recall the water feature failed to prime pretty early on, but always my favorite!

  • Yes, I have it yet today too!  

  • Another piece I had was the Charlie's Angels work van. I had a 6 inch ball-jointed doll that fit in it. I can't locate her any longer, yet I have these pieces of clothing. I sold the van in a garage sale some years back, idk if the doll went with it at the time. 

  • My mom handmade outfits for my sister and my doll's. Sadly, they are no longer around. Later, as a pre-teen and yes, even as a teen - I continued to collect fashion dolls. I babysit within our neighborhood and used the money I acquired to buy them furnishings and accessories. Today, children being babysat have already outgrown dolls! 


  • My aunt and uncle ran a ceramic shop in the late 70’s/early 80’s. The knowledge of working with greenware, firings, glazes, and ownership of a Kiln gave my aunt and mom the chance to create a few full-sized porcelain dolls of their own.


  • When I had my girls, I purchased porcelain dolls to commemorate their births. The Gibson Girl Mother and Daughter (Franklin Mint) and an Ice Skater (Ashton Drake) for my youngest.


  • Mom always favored Bru style dolls and also collects celebrity and actress dolls: Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy, Kate Winslet’s portrayal of Rose in Titanic, and more recently Prince William and Princess Kate. Shirley Temple's, Marie Osmond's, Madam Alexander's, and 1950’s dolls from her childhood comprise some of her favorites.      She recently acquired two German dolls, the oldest in her collection, and has assembled a trunk full of dresses, hats, and shoes for her. 


  • I was re-introduced to doll-collecting (mostly porcelain, a few vinyl) in the mid 90’s with my mom and aunts, as they would shop for full-scaled dolls from Home Shopping Network (HSN). Tina Berry and Alice Cleveland were the more memorable hosts. My philosophy back then was “the bigger the better,” opting for large solid porcelain dolls with several exceeding 3 feet in height. The shows were televised live on off-hours. I worked evening shifts for much of that time. Upon returning home from work, I'd watch and shop til early hours of the morning. We depended upon VHS back then, and often would record the shows. If selected when you purchased, you could choose to be placed on hold to talk with the hosts on air. I got that opportunity a time or two and it was most exciting. We each had our favorite doll artists and were hopeful to acquire dolls with a low lot number. The idea was that the doll would be most pristine early in use of the mold. The number of dolls issued and/or the duration of firings also affected the dolls innate value. Additionally, we archived all paperwork and saved each box with packaging materials intact. For several years, my girls were gifted dolls for birthdays and holidays. As you can guess, our collections amassed and took up an incredible amount of space. Hence, our conversion to miniatures around 2001 with the start of my first dollhouse.


  • In the later 90's we collected Beanie Babies. Although we amassed a large storage container of them, I'm sure none are of those considered to be most valuable. A later generation favorite set of Teenie Beanie Boppers: Snazzy Sabrina, Kool Katy, and Playful Peggy, 2002 resided in our car. Their hangtags list a birthdate, hometown, and favorite things. First in our van, to today's SUV, they still accompany us when on the road. 


  • In the early 2000’s my daughters collected Bratz dolls by MGA Entertainment. They have a total of 10 dolls with outfits, and a silvery blue car w FM radio decked out with black fur seats (Toy of the Year).

  • I too, indulged in a Bratz, purchasing Katia with Magic Genie Bottle, part of a play set released in 2006.

  • In 2018, I commissioned Paola Ragonesi, Italy, to make my 1/12th scale flappers (6), and a boutique saleslady, baker, and sleeping guest for our Queen Patricia dollhouse.

  • She was awesome to work with!

    • She sent pictures as she selected molds and clothing.

    • She was affordable (considering customizations and the shipping distance).

    • She was very timely and packaged items very carefully.

    • One of the coolest things she accommodated was with the indoor pool figures (8). The pool, at that time, was only in the planning stages. She made the father with shortened legs, so that he would give the water a deeper appearance once standing submerged in resin.

  • I couldn’t say more, these are the qualities I would hope for each of you if you order commissioned pieces.



  • In addition to my dolls by Paola, I have artisan 1/12th scale doll(s) by:

    • Creations by Mzia Dsamia (NY)

    • Debra Hammond (SC)

    • Debbie Dixon Paver (South Africa)

    • the late Veronica Ketch (UK)

    • Terri Davis, (PA)

    • Bespoke? (UK),

    • Fern Vasi (AZ)

    • Jane Timms of Thimblemins via Etsy (UK)

    • and several others acquired by unidentified artists (many of which from Estate Sales through Lynlott Miniatures (Pittsburgh, PA).

  • Over time, I’ve collected 12 Lady Planters and 7 head vases (Lefton, JAPAN), in contrast to my mother in law's 100 or so, and figurines by Lennox, and Avon.

  • Avon’s Albee…

    • If you’re not familiar, Avon honors Peris Foster Eames (FPE) Albee for her original Avon Sales through California Perfume Company.

    • Avon representatives are rewarded annually still today for their sales, given choice of products and figurines depicting Mrs. Albee.

    • In particular, 10 inch porcelain figurines were produced from 1978 through 2019.

    • We have two nearly full collections, one I gifted to my daughter, the other purchased by my mom.








  • They also produced 3 inch porcelain figurines marketed within glass domes with porcelain bases. Mattel made two exclusive Avon Special Edition Mrs. PFE Albee Barbies in 1997. See my collection on the "Avon Calling Cottage" page on our site. 

yawning baby.jpg
baby alive close up.jpg
baby alive 1973.jpg
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