It’s been a while now, but I’m back! There are so many things that I want to talk about with all of my doll friends out there. but, it’s going to take me a little bit to get back into the flow of things. So in advance I beg your patience. Also, just a heads up, I will not only be talking about Integrity Toys fashion dolls anymore, as my tastes have expanded to many other companies that produce fashion dolls. Specifically the Glamour Oz dolls by Joseph Szekeres! But more on that and a ton of other stuff in the upcoming days.
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The Sweetest & Most Unexpected Surprise!
|Fierce... I especially love the little dog in the picture on the bottom left hand side!|
|The HOT Blond in the ad is the PHOTOGRAPHER....NOT the model.|
Ironic - huh? That's my friend Kris Reynolds! And to the right is
a sampling of all his amazing photography!
|One of Kris' Amazing Shots...featuring Miss Sassy DeVine at our friend|
Steven Dorsagno's Salon Split Endz in Orlando!
|THE ENTIRE CAST OF HAMBURGER MARY'S Tampa & St. Pete. I was so please to be a part of Kris' team to|
bring this now LEGENDARY & EPIC image together!
This week during his month long tour around the country taking pictures of some of the most notable entertainers in our community Kristofer chose to spend a couple of days in our home. It was just like old times. We collaborated on projects and had a great time bringing some of his amazing visions to life.
As a "thank you" for my involvement in his projects, Kris being the very thoughtful and observant man that he is, presented me with this very sweet present - A Dolce & Gabanna Inspired Fashion Royalty Doll (she is the Barbie Silkstone Fashion Dulcisima on Jemm's friend Minx)! Now, for those of you that do not know....one cannot just go to ToysRUs to purchase this...this is a gift that has to be planned as these dolls are very rare and hard to find! I was overwhelmed as the thank you gift was not necessary. I would do ANYTHING for him...he is FAMILY to me and Peter.
The doll now has a place a honor among my the other Divas in my collection and I will always think of this amazing last couple of days when I look at her.
Thanks Kris for being the kind of artist that understands that nothing worth while is done alone and it is always important to make YOUR team feel appreciated.
I guess we raised you right
F & P
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
DollBid.com - the Alternative Auction Site for Doll Lovers!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Amazing Designs of JOHN PAGOTO - John In Stitches!
|L.E. Lounging On The Lanai|
Modeled By The Gorgeous
Victoire Roux by Integrity Toys.
I recently met the handsome John Pagoto at last year's Fashion Royalty Convention in L.A. He struck me as a very nice and approachable guy - the consummate host of his table of fellow collectors. At one of the conventions evening events his table gifts were so outstanding that I had to ask him who had produced them for him. He smiled and shyly responded,"I did."
Wow! Not only is the man handsome, but he is also sweet and TALENTED! I asked him if he would mind answering a few questions for my collector's blog (www.dolldork.com) and publication What's Happening Magazine.
He answer yes and even went one BETTER! He offered to design one of his deliciously retro inspired ensembles as a limited edition for the for the readers of both the blog and magazine. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!
Below is his full interview and all the information that you will need to order your very own Limited Edition "Lounging On The Lanai" an exclusive for What's Happening Magazine and www.dolldork.com!
DollDork.com: How did you decide to start sewing couture for hi-end fashion dolls?
John Pagoto: I decided after asking other designers to create many outfits for me, that I should to try to do it for myself. I figured, buying a sewing machine would help me save some money and would also help keep my creative juices flowing.
DollDork.com: Do you have classical training in fashion design or are you self-taught?
John Pagoto: I have no classical training in fashion design.
The very talented Judy Frank paid it forward and graciously taught me. About a year and a half ago, she invited me to her home one afternoon to show me how to use my machine and how to create a simple dress from start to finish. She made it all so simple to understand. I took everything I learned and I ran with it!
DollDork.com: Your attention to detail is amazing. Do you normally design OOAKs or do you sometimes do limited editions?
John Pagoto: Thank you so much. I have donated OOAKs to the National Barbie Collectors Convention, but I mostly do small limited editions and some exclusives. That way more collectors can enjoy the fashions.
DollDork.com: Your designs are outstanding and seemed to be somewhat retro inspired. Where does inspiration for your designs come from?
John Pagoto: Well, inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. For example, when I was preparing to debut my premiere collection at the Barbie Convention in New Orleans last summer, I wanted to create something unique that would totally stand out. Then I thought, how cool it would be to create a dress out of a OUIJA board. So I created custom fabric to perfectly wrap the doll in the game board!
|More John In Stitches Designs On Barbie.|
DollDork.com: Do you exclusive design for female dolls or do you also have any interest in designing for HOMME dolls?
John Pagoto: As of right now I only design for female dolls since they make up the majority of my collection, but I’ll tell you, those HOMME dolls are amazing! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll branch out?
DollDork.com: Do you have a favorite MUSE doll at the moment?
JP: That’s a tough one to narrow down. I am equally drawn to Vicroire Roux and Poppy Parker for their amazing vintage style. Between the two, their range of fashions from the 50’s and 60’s is so inspiring.
DollDork.com: Are your ensembles able to be worn on dolls by different manufactures?
John Pagoto: Absolutely! I do my best to make my fashions versatile for a wide range of dolls from Fashion Royalty to Poppy to Barbie.
DollDork.com: Tell us about the finer details that your couture ensembles have that mass manufactured doll clothing does not?
|Sheath Dresses With A Twist!|
John Pagoto: Each piece is geared towards an audience who loves everything retro with hints of pop culture. I keep my edition sizes very limited. Usually 12 or less of each fashion are ever created. I hand pick all of the trims and fabrics, or I create custom printed fabrics when I can’t find what I’m looking for to get that specific look. I choose or create patterns to help keep with the retro the look that I want to achieve. And lastly, I hand finish each piece with a little TLC.
DollDork.com: Do you do commissions? If so, is it a collaborative effort or do you submit concepts to your patron?
John Pagoto: Yes I do accept commission work. It’s always collaborative. We discuss what look and feel they may be looking for and come up with an idea that works best for their needs.
DollDork.com: Tell us about the exclusive design that you have created for readers of WHM? What was your inspiration and how can people acquire one?
JP: I wanted to create a special outfit inspired by Florida. After finding the perfect cotton fabric, I decided to create a brand new pattern. The new silhouette is making its debut in this exclusive limited edition of 12 pieces for the readers of WHM. Keeping with my esthetic, I combined classic style with a fun retro print to create ‘Lounging on the Lanai’. A fun vintage inspired sheath dress that is made to fit most 11 ½ “ dolls. You can contact me at email@example.com to order yours today.
|Another Full View Of WHM & DollDork.com L.E. Exclusive: "Lounging On The Lanai"|
By John Pagoto
Friday, January 31, 2014
A HONEST & LOYAL DOLL FRIEND IS THE REAL HOLY GRAIL!
|Korrine Doll originally in Marti's collection. Debumped and re-styled. Introducing - Miss ARI!|
My friend Marti is one of those rare people in my life that makes me (literally) laugh out loud. Although, we don't live in the same state (he in NY and I in Florida), I probably keep in touch with him more than some people that I live with in the same city (thank Gawd for Facebook!).
|Marti being MARTI...even at work. BTW: Notice over|
his shoulder...HE EVEN HAS DOLLS AT WORK! LIVE!
I met Marti a couple of years ago at my second FR Convention in Pittsburgh and outside of the dolls I would say he was the best acquisition made that year…a friend.
Now I don't want to get all mushy and say that we are BFFs, after all, our common ground is dolls and that is what we normally talk about, but recently, I had a situation in which he proved himself to be not just a friend…but a great friend.
To not bore you with the details (although they are juicy), I made a mistake. A faux-pas as it were unintentionally. And just when I was about to fly off the handle and rip someone a new asshole (verbally of course), I thought for a second,"Let me get a second opinion on this situation." So, I turned to the right of my screen and saw that Marti's little "green light" on FB IM was on. I let him know the situation and he surprised me with his answer. THE TRUTH.
I measure friends very carefully. I've had my heart broken by "friends" a lot. And, there are two criteria that I find are really important in good friends - loyalty and honesty. Now, you would think those are a given, but they are commodities. Especially in the GLBT community.
Marti is one of those friends that has enough love in his heart for his friends to tell them,"Gurl, I think you are wrong…." and friends that will do that are few and far between.
You see in OUR community, the "kids" love FREE Entertainment, so they stir up the pot of whatever drama is brewing in the air and they add their own potent mix of alcohol and venom to it just to see how long it take for a REAL feud to explode.
Marti told me I was WRONG in my thinking concerning a situation that I had inadvertently gotten myself into…and he taught me a lesson which I accepted with an open heart and mind. I figure if someone has enough feelings for you to let you know when you are acting incorrectly (whether innocently or not) then they really have your best interest at heart.
I took Marti's advice and promptly fell on the sword of my own making. The situation was immediately diffused and I was relieved….because contrary to popular believe…I HATE DRAMA!
|Marti aka ARI KIKI on his birthday performing on of his patented|
A couple of weeks ago, Marti and I did a "trade" in our doll collections. He and I have that in common…I much prefer to trade with a friend than to have money exchange hands. I received the dolls last week that were the ones coming from him and I know I can't help but to think of them as my "Marti Dolls"! So, even though I have only restyled one's hair (into a fierce asymmetric bun with a tiny braid…that unfortunately you can't see in the picture above) and have her proudly displayed in one of my cases, I've decided to rename those two ladies (which I never do) after my friend's alter ego - One is named Ari - while the other has been dubbed Kiki. The one above is Ari. Kiki will be forthcoming in a future picture (sorry…I have a life!).
So this one goes out to my GREAT PERSON - Marti Balloveras: doll collector, performance artist, nipple rapist but most importantly, HONEST and LOYAL friend that will tell you when you are being an idiot. Trust - in this world that is the TRUE HOLY GRAIL!
Finally, one last pearl of wisdom from Marti that he told me last week. I have the unfortunate affliction of wanting to be liked by EVERYONE. I admit it…I wish there was a PLEASING ADDICTION Rehab I could go to because I'd be there like Lindsey Lohan, Zac Efron and Dean McDermott (can you believe that rat bastard cheated on Donna Martin!?!).
|The One and Only - ARI KIKI! NOTE: Those lips are brilliant!|
Thanks Marti once again for your words of WISDOM. I love you….Happy Belated Birthday!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Grey Skies ARE Gonna Clear Up....THEY'VE GOT TO!
|Rainbow Dash the Pony meets Rainbow Dash The Dynamite Girl!|
It's the little things really that make you happy!
Okay, so the last couple of days has really sucked and that's why I haven't blogged. But, I have a bit of perspective and time on my hands right now (I'll get to that) and therefore I thought I would "pump out a quick one" (all puns intended).
First off, if you read my last blog the small portion at the end was devoted to the puppy we just lost Napoleon. I was amazed at how incentive people can be about the death of a pet. It boggles the mind. Either these individuals are heartless and can't remotely sympathize with the loss of a beloved member of the family (which our pets ARE) or they are just sociopaths in disguise as normal humans. Well, enough about THOSE PEOPLE (and you know who you are) and let's move on to some other crap that has been going down.
For the last two weeks my partner Peter has been complaining of abdominal pain. He is not a complainer…but occasionally a chronic overeater…especially when it comes to his mother's Cuban cooking which he loves so much. So, I thought a couple of over the counter meds and this will be done. No such luck. When he continued to literally belly ache about the pain, I insisted he make a doctor's appointment. He was seen right away and later on that evening our physician let us know that the issue could be a case of Diverticulitis (which I have had friends who have had chronic cases of in the past that have lead to worse things). So needless to say, the worrying started. He was given a round of antibiotics and pain meds and was told that the pain should subside in 2 weeks. It didn't. Peter made a follow up appointment to the Doctor and was sent to a G.I. specialist who concluded yesterday that he had a possible problem with his Gall Bladder. So, right now I write this blog from the waiting room in the Hospital as Peter has a colonoscopy and endoscopy (think three-way…but not the fun kind) and that's why I now have time to write this blog.
To add insult to injury, our dear friend and housemate Quin (who works with us at the www.WhatsHappeningMagazine.com as our Financial Officer) had a major death in her family (an 2 weeks to the date of Napoleon's passing). Quin's mom passed away at 85 (her 86th birthday would have been later on this month on the 31st) quietly in her sleep. I hope that Quin's mom finds peace after the less than peaceful life she unfortunately had while she was on this Earth. She can although be very proud of the incredible women that she raised in her daughters and helped raise with her grandchildren. Sometimes working up to 2 jobs just to make ends meet. Rest in peace Mrs. Porté.
As for me, I went to the dentist last Friday expecting to hear hopeful news about the prognosis of my teeth after my accident a few months ago. Instead, I got hit with the worse case scenario. I'm really scared now, because I really don't like any kind of surgery (not that anyone does) and especially not on my teeth. So, now I need to make some important decisions about how I'm going to handle this dilemma taking place in my mouth (which coincidentally I've always felt has been one of my TOP 5 features).
The only thing that made me smile this week I will now share with you.
|I HAVE hope for the future because of MY LITTLE PONY!|
After having a conversation with a 7 year old boy at my Dr.'s office (don't get stoppid…his mom was the receptionist and was right there….I think kid's just like to talk to me because they recognize a kindred spirit that is the Peter Pan that lives inside me…and most gay men for that matter). Well, this very sweet, smart and witty little boy told me about his love for My Little Pony - the new animated series. I thought the show was geared towards little girls and therefore asked him why he like it so much and he said that he liked magic, ponies and the stories. He then went on to tell me that he especially liked Rainbow Dash (she is a Rainbow Maned colored Pegasus (winged pony) who is a bit of "tom-boy". The whole show is about love, friendship and not not only accepting the differences between individuals (in this case ponies) but celebrating them. And, Rainbow Dash, who is obviously the symbol of the GLBT community is the leader of the pack. Upon watching this show a smile came across my face for the hope that the children of that young boys generations will remember the lessons that they've learned by shows like My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic and will live their lives with the morals they saw on it. By the way, the show has adorable animation and the jokes are clever enough for and adult to enjoy. Am I becoming a BRONY? Possibly…and I'm proud of it.
So, after watching that show I decided that I wanted to ad a little Rainbow Dash to my collection of FR dolls. So I simply typed into to ebay "Rayinbow FR" and a set of incredible Rainbow colored tights came up on the screen. These tights, stockings, gloves and other accessories are made by a seller called "TheDaughterWhoSews" and she does excellent work that is very reasonably priced.
I bought the tights and they arrived in the mail within a week! That too made me happy so I pulled together the Fashion Royalty equivalent of Rainbow Dash using one of my favorite Dynamite Grils of all time. Enjoy the pics above of Rainbow Dash the Pony and Rainbow Dynamite the doll!
Now, finally the last thing that gave me a HUGE grin (maybe a naughty one) is the next video that was sent to me by a friend on NYE. I had not gotten around to opening it and when I did, I literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD. Now a WARNING, this is an adult themed video. If you are offended by anything that is pornographic and GAY ….I BEG YOU….DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO! Ironically is was made by a straight couple who have a friend that is a doll collector. Obviously, this couple and their friend have a very humorous and OPEN MINDED relationship.
I hope you enjoyed the things that made me smile this week….now let's hope the grey skies clear up and there is something better on the other side of the RAINBOW! PLEASE!!!
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Full Circle Moments or BLACK MAGIC POPPY The Remix!
|This is my Remixed version of Black Magic Poppy being modeled by|
Barefoot in the Park Poppy Parker in her fabulous Mid Century living room.
Like many ill started projects, this one too had an unhappy ending. Although, I met and exceeded all the expectations set by the team for me, I guess I did them too well. Because they were afraid that the crowd would be shower me with accolades because of all the work I had done and in their words it was going to become the "FRANK show". Little did they know that was never my intention and that I would NEVER forget to shine the spotlight on the team. They never gave me the chance to show them that. This is where the "GREEN EYED envy monster" comes in and the whole experience scarred me so. These cretin's (who I had confused and believed were friends) made my life a living hell before the final event came to pass....to the point that I decided not to even attend and stopped collecting fashion dolls of any sort for about 10 years. CUT TO: Then I met my friends David and Ken quite innocently and by accident at a local comic book show and they told me about the FR Convention which I reticently ended up attending...but now after going for 5 years...I'm sooooooo glad that I did. Making new friends and reconnecting with old ones has been very nice for me over the years....but especially life re-affirming....EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
Well, at this last FR Convention in L.A., I was able to have a full circle moment. I saw a Poppy Parker doll that was designed by my dear and talented friend David Buttry. Her name was Black Magic but all I could see was a dream come true. I rarely look at dolls as "one whole concept" (even though ironically...that is how I design my OOAKs). I tend to look at every part of the doll as separates: clothes, accessories...etc. I guess it is the designer in me that wants to make things "my own" and I like to do a bit of switcharoo with my dolls. Plus, isn't' that what doll play is all about? Well, for me it is.
I love playing "stylist" and pulling things together that make a doll special and unique to my collection.
Below is the fashion illustration that I did in 1996 (yes, I am that old) and above is the doll that I put together using the Black Magic fashion and the Barefoot in the Park Poppy to make my final vision come true.
David, you had no idea that you were doing this when you were designing this doll, but it has helped heal a wound that I've been carrying along for way too many years. So, for that my friend, I thank you and love you!
P.S. Putting in the mid-century home was a nod to YOUR favorite style of decor.
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