Barbie and me

One of the my Barbie weddings, August 1984 (note that Barbie herself is the maid of honor, not the bride)

When I was a kid, I don’t remember playing with dolls other than barbies. But oh man, I LOVED Barbies. Mind you, I was the oldest child, a product of divorce at a really young age with both parents remarrying pretty quickly and the first grandkid on my dads side. There was a lot of love from all of my aunts who had their first niece and the guilt of divorce/new parents PLUS I had 4 sets of grandparents from the age of 2 on, 3 sets for which I was the only grandkid for many years. Combine all of that with being born in the mid-late 1970’s and I’m pretty sure that all of the many gifts I received for at least 5 years were barbie related. I remember having a traveling case of Barbies with me at all times as a little kid. Although I think I enjoyed the accessories more than the dolls. Don’t get me wrong, I had piles and piles of the clothes, from my own time and an extensive vintage collection from all of my Aunts and was into them, but I liked having the Barbies do things, and I REALLY liked the props. I had the 1960’s Austin-Healy convertible that had belonged to my Aunts that I (oops) opted to cut the faux trunk open with an exacto knife and immediately depreciated it’s value. But hey, Barbie had a lot to do and a working trunk was necessary. As I also had the Corvette from my own era and I enjoyed how much more awesome Barbie looked tooling around in her vintage pink car, but the Corvette made me realize that I also really preferred the amenities of more modern times.

One of my favorites was the Barbie dream store, which I never knew any one else to have, but I had so much fun setting up a store and making the other Barbies work there. Side bar: One day I wrote numbers on each of my Barbies, high on the outer leg, with a permanent marker. This was how I organized them. I would tell Barbies 11, 18 and 22 that they would be models in the store today. And Barbie 8 would man the cash register and on and on. I somehow felt this process was much better than names. Where on earth did I get that idea???

I was lucky to also have many Barbie home items, including a few of the dream homes, the jacuzzi set, the bubbling spa, and many furniture items. I  remember the dream bed the most vividly as it was a canopy and the stars on the bedding glowed in the dark. But I never knew what to do with all the home stuff. Barbie is standing in the kitchen, Barbie is lying on the bed. Ugh, lame, Barbie wants to be out wearing her fabulous clothes and doing cool things. I did have Jem, her stage and all of her band mates, but I was really never into the rock star fantasy, so I didn’t play with that much, if ever. I of course had the horses, Dallas and Prancer, because of my mom, which I was also not into. I had a few Skippers and and Kens and Tracy and Todd, along with all the other side characters that all came to be in the 80’s but Barbie was always my main lady. And as she really had her mind set on work, aside from the occasional wedding or night out, all the others worked for her. It’s also hilarious to point out that thanks to a few photos that my grandmother had taken of one of the weddings in her garden, that Barbie was never the one getting married. She was always in the wedding, and often helped to plan them, but it was always Tracy and Todd getting married. I do remember being excited about all of the crazy, frothy outfits, like peaches and cream, the dream gown and a few others. But I never was into the “normal” clothes. From an early age, I declared that if you were going to take the time to dress up, you might as well go all the way, it was so not worth it to stick her in something less than extraordinary.

My very favorite Barbie thing ever was this fold up home & office that came about with the day to night Barbie in 1984. Day to Night Barbie was my most loved Barbie ever, btw. That whole executive by day and cozy apartment dweller by night was my idea of perfection! That fold up office and murphy bed things was so magical to me. I’m pretty sure I received my own Commodore 64 around this time, so Barbie and I would both spend hours typing away on our computers, tap tap tapping. I found the photo above to make sure you were aware of  the amazingnes in case you never saw one in person. On the other side of the wall was a murphy, a vanity and a bookshelf and was blue on pink I believe. The day to night Barbie was just as fabulous as her home and office. The idea was that she would wear her snazzy suit and then in the evening, turn her suit skirt inside out to reveal a tulle concoction, and you would remove the jacket and bam! all along there had been a sequined top under her scarf, Barbie was ready to party!

What I’m curious about was did I request all of these work related Barbie props, or was that just was out there in the 80’s? Did they play a part in influencing how and what I thought about as I grew up? Were the working Barbies and accessories store play sets the catalyst for future non kid having, work obsessed as an accessories designer Sierra? I truly believe that of all of the toys from my childhood, day to night Barbie had the biggest impact on me. It is absolutely what I remeber the most fondly. I thank whomever thought that I needed to have the department store and the home and office accessories way back in 1984. Maybe that really was what planted the seed? All I know was that 3 years later Baby Boom came out, I was 10 and remember thinking something like: “Forget babies, I want to be an executive with my own business, you can keep the crying kids. I’ll be over here with the cool job, my own computer and nice shoes. Suckas.” And I never looked back.

 

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Feeling the wind in my hair…

Sierra_pick_up
Every year I start calling myself whatever age it is I will turn in March…perhaps its to try the new age on for size before I have to commit.  Or because I have always wanted to be older. To be taken seriously as a designer, in business, as an independent woman.  This year has been tough to grasp…I’ve been having a few issues with this birthday.  Every woman has her scary age…and every woman has her own personal idea of why it scares her, and well…my scary has always been the age I turn today, 35.

When I step back, I’ll admit that I’m amazed at what I have done in 35 years…amazed that I have fit so much in!  Shocked that I have followed my childhood dream to become a designer and proud that I am accomplishing my adult dream of being considered a good one, and even more so, glad that I have the confidence to write it all here.

Still.  I find myself surprised when I hear a character in a movie commend herself for “still looking good at…” or saying “it’s never too late, even at…” and then ends her sentiments with…35.  Oof.  It kind of irks me that men never utter such lines in these movies, but maybe I’ve just missed those.

Today I plan on taking a little time to stand still.  Because if life continues flying by at this pace, I’ll be forty in the blink of an eye!

 

*photo of me…as a kid in the early 80’s, you know the days before we realized that seat belts might be a good idea.

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I’ve never like Sundays…

MistyForest

As a kid, Sundays were the worst days.  Saturdays were jam packed with early morning cartoons, fun adventures and sleepovers and then cam Sunday.  Everybody had to go back to their own homes, and it was sleepy and quiet.  As an adult, I’m still not a fan.  In my years in the bar/restaurant world I preffered to work Sundays as at least it made go by faster.  As my work life is now focused online, it gets even more depressing as the crazy busy sites of the weekdays are a ghost town come Sunday.

I declared my distaste of Sundays to Adam a few months ago and made a promise to my self to try and make it better for myself.  Its been going pretty well!  In an ideal world I would hang out with girlfriends on Sundays and gab away the day, but rarely two of our schedules align.  However today is one of those wonderful Sundays where the sun is shining, I’m meeting a new friend for coffee and then off for family time and birthday celebrations with nieces and nephews.  Now that’s a Sunday I can get on board with!

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Daily Muse: 6.20.11

RoadToNowhere_CornHave you ever run through corn fields?  It hurts. The leaves are rough and slice you and the stalks give just enough to whip the leaves at you.

As a kid, I went Beagling a lot and all of the kids used to run through the fields spending much more time chasing each other then the dogs.  In my teens, I still found myself spending a great amount of time in corn fields, mainly as a place of refuge while at boarding school where we would hide to smoke cigarettes.  I smoked for about 18 months, and started because it was an hour long adventure just to have one cigarette.  We’d hike out to corn fields in a little cluster and hide out in the rows with no shirts on, so we didn’t smell like smoke walking back in past the dorm parents.  Besides spraying ourselves with a gallon of body spray on the walk back, the rule of thumb was that if any faculty drove or walked by you and your friends (male or female) while you were off on an excursion, you hit the ground with the closest body and pretend that you were making out.  You were so busy laughing as you tumbled into a ditch with whoever was walking with you that you never even considered actually making out, but we thought we were rather clever with this tactic.  I’m pretty sure however that we were not only completely obvious in what was really going on, but so comical that the faculty laughed about how naive we all were behind our backs later.

Whenever I start remembering these stories I realize immediately why I will always feel so close to all of those I went to school with.

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Daily Muse: 3.25.11

Fireflies
we heart it

This summer I totally want to catch fireflies in a jar and read by their light.  Can you really do that?  A character in a book I just read had reflected om doing so as a child.  I actually have a perfectly clear memory of catching fireflies with Ashley one night when we must have been really young.  We were visiting our dads for the summer and had a sleep over had her dads house.  I think we planned on sleeping outside, not sure if we did or not, but there was definite firefly catching.  New Hampshire is perfect for catching fireflies.  Maybe I’ll save my firefly mission for my trip in August.  Seems like the perfect plan to me.

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Save Water…Shower With A Friend.

Save Water Soap

One of my favorite quotes is from a 1990 Earth Day Celebration Special, it was the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and Chevy Chase said repeatedly “Save Water…Shower With A Friend” though out the show.   He said it about every 5 minutes of the episode, and it stuck in my 13 year old mind rather permanently…I have for some reason been saying A LOT recently.  So far, no one I have said this to saw that Special and fully understands the reference, but I keep trying anyway.

Today I was in a drug store, looking for some random little presents for my mom who I found out as my sister texted me while I was in there, was feeling low today after a bad month of pet loss.  While wandering around the aisles, I stumbled across this soap.  I was so excited that I bought the last three boxes they had and tossed one in the goody bag for mom.

I arrived unannounced at the Hopper Compound and presented the booty…a movie I love that she hasn’t seen, cobweb/spider Halloween decorations, the soap and candy corn (which I broke my candy ban and ate with her, yum!!).  The loot was a hit, and the best part was mom got the reference!!!  Well, of course she did, I watched it sitting next to her.  I was so happy that not only did I finally find someone who appreciated the reference, but I made mom smile too 😉

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Alice meets Tim Burton & CGR

As a cgr graduate and a longtime fan of both Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton, I am pretty intrigued to see this film…and these photos have me chomping at the bit…

I recently have had the patience of a mosquito…so the wait until March is going to be absolute torture…

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Just make sure to remember the 3 rules…

1. Keep them away from water.

2. They hate bright light.

3. The most important rule. No matter how much they cry, no matter how much they beg, never, never feed them after midnight.

I actually remember watching this movie when it came out…scared the crap out of me…mainly because they made such a mess…

But I never forgot that movie, and it has always had a fondness in my heart, so I was instantly smitten with this Matt Jones Photo from the April 08 issue of ID.

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