It has been some time since we proclaimed a DollObservers.com Superstar Member and when it came time to name our latest there was one person who naturally sprang to mind. So without further ado it is my great pleasure to announce that the delightful Deb Buckner is our latest Superstar!
Since she joined the group in February Deb has become a stalwart of the community and has delighted us with her stunning photography and a talent for diorama. Deb is also one of the sweetest people you are ever likely to meet. Period!
Deb is pictured on the right with her favourite doll; daughter Jessica. So without further ado here is Deb’s interview in full:
DollObservers: What made you join DollObservers.com?
DB: I was on a search for a doll board community where members shared photos, tips and suggestions and actually interacted with each other. Not just a board loaded with For Sale/Trade posts… there are enough of those. I wanted camaraderie and actual conversation. DollObservers also interacts with Facebook, which is another of my favorite places to be! From my perspective, DollObservers is home to happy, enthusiastic, fun-loving members… there’s no bullying or underlying sarcasm. We all just have fun… and I think that’s what doll collecting should bring to our lives. DollObservers makes me… smile.
DollObservers: When did you start collecting dolls?
DB: This is a difficult question for me. I cannot remember a time during the entire course of my life when dolls were NOT present. From vintage Barbie as a child, to being blessed with my youngest daughter, who also shares my love for dolls… then picking up my own personal collecting again probably around 1995… up to present! There have always been dolls!
DollObservers: Tell us about the dolls in your collection?
DB: Presently I collect only two brands of dolls: Integrity Toys and Barbie. Integrity Toys will always be my number one favorite brand of doll because of their cultural diversity, articulation and quality of product, but also because of the family and team that design/produce them. It only takes attending one doll convention to observe the immense love and dedication of the Newsum family – who strive so diligently to work together and subsequently show their appreciation to their customers. The entire Integrity Toys team is… unbelievable. What a group of wonderful people! I’ve attended the last five years of conventions with this company…and I shall continue as long as I am able. They never fail in delighting me each and every year. Quality; beautiful products!!
DollObservers: What is it about dolls that you love so much?
DB: Because I work a lot with dioramas, I would have to say articulation is the first and foremost thing that comes to mind, along with expression. I strive for realism in my diorama shots, and without working articulation…. the dolls just seem to fall short in my opinion. When they’re just relaxing in a scene and enjoying life… it makes me smile. I think there’s enough negativity in the world and we all need something that makes us smile. Dolls are my outlet.
DB: Thank you! I probably derive the most inspiration from television and magazines. One of my top favorite channels on the television is HGTV…be it Divine Designs or anything hosted by Candice Olson or any of the other fine designers on that channel. I love to watch them transform a space into something warm and welcoming. I also pour through countless home decorating magazines at every opportunity, looking for something that I can recreate for the one-sixth world. Living in a teeny tiny little 800 square foot house…I also love to visit my friends’ and family’s homes and take much inspiration from their exquisite taste and design! I just really want my girls to live in the lap of luxury!
DollObservers: What has been your most ambitious diorama project to date?
DB: My most ambitious project to date was an old wooden dollhouse I found at a yard sale last summer. We yard sale avidly but this was a particularly difficult purchase for me to make. The wife clearly did not want to part with this massive wooden structure that had been made for her as a young girl by a family member. It broke my heart. Her husband went on to explain that they were moving and there simply wasn’t room for it. With tears in our eyes, I promised that gal that day that I would restore this house to it’s original beauty and always think of her every single time I played in it. It’s true, I do, and my finest and best pieces of furniture are always featured in this dollhouse. It has a front porch, a side balcony to the dressing room, a luscious staircase from the living room to the bedroom upstairs and a charming little dining room separated by a wonderful partition I made for it. You can see it in my pics album! Took me several months to complete and it’s always getting something new added to it regularly. I tried to keep my promise.
DollObservers: What are your top tips for creating a realistic scene?
DB: I love this question. You would need to understand the relationship that I have with my camera to fully “get me”. My camera is BIG… too big… and cumbersome. But it takes excellent shots! So before I ever grab for The Monster…. I sit back, look at the room I’m about to photograph, and I ask myself “Would you be comfortable sitting in this room? What can you add (or sometimes subtract) from this diorama before you begin shooting?”. It works every time… I just imagine myself and one of my BFF’s sitting in the room. Adequate lighting or mood lighting is always strategic too!
DollObservers: When you’re not playing with dolls, what do you do to relax?
DB: When I’m NOT playing with dolls? Well…I’m very blessed to have four beautiful grown adult children…who have additionally blessed me with two amazing grandchildren: my cherished granddaughter Brianna (who, like her Mom also shares our love of dolls) and my firecracker of a grandson Joshua. I can usually be found with my children or grandchildren. That is relaxation at its finest. I’m an extremely proud Mother and I adore spending time with my family.
DollObservers: Describe yourself in 3 words!
DB: This was the most difficult question for me as we don’t often have the opportunity to describe ourselves in three words. So I called my dear daughter Jessica… and here are her answers.
Generous… Creative… Shy…
Now I know she said “generous” because I’m guilty of just wrapping something up and sending it to someone if they seem truly passionate and genuine about something I’ve made. I’ve always found it feels better to give than to receive. Creative is a given… but it’s also a gift I was blessed with from my own extremely talented Mother. She could always make something from nothing. Shy… I painfully admit to. I see so many conversations that I would love to join…but tend to be more introvert. So I will sit back and smile silently to myself… when I probably should be jumping in. However, I’m very non-confrontational and I avoid drama at ALL costs! So sometimes being shy pays off for me in the long run.
Here is Deb’s photo collection. Click to see all the pics on DollObservers.com
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