About me . . . I suppose I should really add something to this section. What to write?
A little history, I guess: I was born in a small town in northern Iowa in 1951 and grew up on my parents' farm, which actually belonged to my grandparents. I had an idyllic childhood, with loving and fun parents and two younger brothers whom I adored then and still do. By the time the Barbie craze hit the rural Midwest, my parents thought I was too old to play with dolls (ha!) so I didn't have Barbie dolls as a child and therefore do not have the nostalgic connection to the vintage dolls that many women my age do. That is not to say that I didn't play with dolls, however. I had several, including a Nancy Revlon, a Toni doll, and a Betsy McCall. My "play" largely consisted of building and decorating rooms for the dolls out of cardboard boxes and found items. I still have those dolls -- and their cardboard box living room -- to this day, and they are among my most treasured possessions.
Throughout the years whenever I was in a toy store or any other kind of store that sold dolls, I would always visit the Barbie aisle and wistfully look at the latest Mattel offerings. In the 1980s I was sewing Barbie clothes for my niece and decided that I needed a model to make sure they fit, so I bought my first Barbie. I made her a "Mrs. Santa" dress and decided she needed a "Mr. Santa", so I bought a Derek from "Barbie and the Rockers". An obsession was born.
A few years later I began building and collecting 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures. I have two doll houses, one of which is an enormous Victorian that still isn't finished, and several room boxes. I was really into dollhouse miniatures in a big way. Most 1:12 scale miniaturists go smaller (1:24 or even smaller) when they run out of room. I'm not sure what happened to me; I went bigger.
Over the years since my first Barbie I have amassed a collection of over 600 Mattel dolls, some of which were display dolls only and others of which were "play" dolls. I bought inexpensive bookshelf units and created scenes in the shelves, returning to my childhood love. I became aware a few years ago that people were writing photo stories featuring their dolls, and another obsession was born. It was about that time that I discovered Fashion Royalty dolls, and since then my Barbie purchases have fallen off to nearly zero. I love the articulation of the FR dolls, and their beauty is captivating.
I started by taking pictures and writing the story to go with the photographs, but soon found that to be somewhat limiting. Now I write the stories, keeping in mind my limitations as far as settings, and take the photographs to fit the story line. My photography is still improving, but is much better than it was in the beginning, partly because I have a better camera.
As to my personal life, I have a college degree in music education that I have never used. I've been married to the same wonderful man for 37 years and counting. We have no children, but thanks to a younger brother who married late in life, I have two young nephews who serve as my grandchildren. I have worked for the same telecommunications company for 26 years and am hoping that I will still be working for them when I decide that I can retire.
And that's me in a nutshell!