On Monday I received the most delightful gift in the mail. It celebrates no occasion -- it's not my birthday, a holiday, or any other date of note. And no one bought me this gift. It's a present from me to me, and I'm giving it to myself for no particular reason. And yet I couldn't be more delighted.
As one of my pre-Breyerfest indulgences, I attended Anne Field's Field of Dolls Studio online sale. This is the second one of her sales I've attended -- at the first one I dipped my toe in the water buying a pair of fetlock boots and some tiny candy bars. I actually wasn't coordinated enough to get these during the live sale, but I managed to pick them up from the unsold leftover assortment.
For the most recent sale I got my act together and was actually online and waiting a few minutes before the sale started. I was also pre-tempted by Anne's blog post that morning, which featured pictures of all the items she intended to sell.
I love Anne's dolls, but I hesitated to buy one because I'm not a performance shower and I felt they would be wasted on me. I mentioned something to that effect in a comment on Anne's blog once and she said I didn't need to be a performance shower to buy one of her dolls -- that I might just find I have fun playing dress-up with a doll and a horse every once in a while.
I mulled that over for some time and this year, when I spotted a doll who really called to me from Anne's sales catalogue I decided to try to get it. From watching the video of the previous sale, I could see that most dolls sold very quickly, so chances were good that I wouldn't get the doll anyway, but I decided to try.
Well, I did manage to snag the doll I had my eye on -- the doll I really have no use for but wanted anyway. On Monday she arrived.
Unboxing her was a treat in itself. Just look at the pretty pink bag she was shipped in! How could anyone receive that in the mail and not find their day immediately brightened? Inside the bag was a cute little shipping box. I've never had anything shipped to me in a box like that before and I thought it was very attractive.
Inside the box was the inevitable roll of bubble wrap and inside of that was my doll, all wrapped up like a cute pink burrito.
She's everything I hoped for and more. I can't really tell you what it is about her that I like the most. I was initially attracted by her outfit, which is casual but classy, and by the no-nonsense look she appeared to have in her catalogue group shot.
When I got her in my hands and started to experiment with posing her, I found she was the most pose-able rider doll I've ever owned -- which is I suppose isn't all that much of a compliment since all my previous dolls have been Breyers, most of which came in sets with horses I wanted. But I could instantly see how much more versatile this doll would be.
One of the many things this doll has over the Breyers is her hand-painted face. I've tried taking a few photos of Breyer dolls and there's something flat about their faces, so that their eyes seem sunken and dead in photographs. My Anne Field doll not only has a beautifully painted face, but she has tiny little black earrings to match her outfit and eyes that are full of attitude. And even with my poor photography skills, she photographs very well.
(Her name, for what it's worth, is "May Mathers." This is because the first time I caught sight of her was in one of Anne's May blog posts entitled "Edible Math.")
There are tiny but charming touches throughout her outfit as a whole. Her hat is at the perfect angle, her shirt fits like a glove, her belt, threaded through tiny belt loops, is the cutest little thing, and even her jeans sport an unexpected back pocket. There also seems to be some wear on the seat of her pants. I don't know if this was intentional or a consequence of dressing the doll, but whatever it is it adds another touch of realism to the doll -- of course her butt would bear the brunt of repeated usage. It only makes sense.
Now, of course, I have a yearning to add a casual English rider to my brand new doll "collection," but I'll hold off until I've played with my new toy for a while. Obviously, I'm going to have to haul out my best Western tack (which is probably at least 10 years old by now), choose a horse and start playing dress up. Since I am currently involved with an online photo show series, I might try to get some set-ups done for future photo showing.
When I was a kid I never really played with dolls -- I just didn't like them very much. Who could have predicted that one day receiving a doll in the mail would totally make my day?