Restoring a childhood collection...
I had a pretty difficult childhood and we didn't have much spare money. So when I was given a huge suitcase of Barbie in the early 1970s (that my stepmother's children had outgrown), I was ecstatic.
Many, many happy hours were spent dressing and undressing my various Barbies with their beautiful (now-vintage) gowns. They gave me so much pleasure, you cannot imagine (or perhaps you had the same experience). I especially loved laundering my Barbie clothes (this makes me cringe now thinking about the damage I did, but they were toys after all!) Consequently, my Barbies' outfits were pretty well-loved examples by the time I'd finished with them and I don't think I had a shoe left.
I also remember doing all the things that little girls do - popping heads onto different bodies, torturing Barbie by making her bendable legs do things they weren's supposed to, making nipples, new earring holes etc. :-)
Sadly, the outfits and Barbies remaining after I'd outgrown them were lost to me some years ago. (That's another story).
I have found that I have become more and more sentimental after having my children and as I mature (I'm 40 this year). So much so that I have recently begun restoring my collection, starting with the special favourite outfits that I originally owned. Funny how things stay with you, the feel of the heavy satin in Midnight Blue; the brocades in Evening Splendour; and the tulle of Campus Sweetheart.
Of course these names meant nothing to me as a little girl, they were just my much-treasured toys. Handling these gowns again now as an adult takes me back to simpler times, when I was just a lonely little girl playing with Barbies.
But you know what? I think they give me just as much pleasure today as they did then - with the added bonus of an adrenalin rush that comes towards the end of an eBay auction!