Thursday, 22 August 2013

Good News!

Sandy Kralovetz called this morning. After several weeks of illness that started during the UFDC Convention, Sandy is out of the hospital and back at home in Texas. The doctors are still not 100% satisfied, so she will have to continue with tests and treatment, but she sounds like her old self and she reports that she is feeling much better. Everyone arrived home safely.
Take care and get well soon, Sandy!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

UFDC Convention 2013

Congratulations to Janet Gula, the newly elected 
First Vice President/President Elect of UFDC! 
Janet produced her second convention in Washington, DC, last week and a good time was had by all. Members of Les Rubans Aubergines were highly involved with the convention, presenting 5+ programs, mounting two special exhibits, judging in the competitive exhibits, competing in the exhibits and selling in the sales room. For the first time in 20 years we didn't manage to have a meeting because everyone was so over-committed. 

Congratulations to Margaret Kincaid,  
winner of the Ralph Griffith Memorial Award 

Congratulations to Marshall Martin, 
who coordinated the finest salesroom ever.

Congratulations to Valerie Fogel, Fritzi Bartelmay and 
Margaret Kincaid whose booths won rosettes for decor. 

Congratulations to Margaret for the Sandra Sue Exhibit.

Our sympathy and thoughts are with Sandy Kralovetz, as she made the trip from Texas to Washington, but was too ill to participate. Get well soon, Sandy!

Club News:
  • The Fête de la Poupée in Paris is completely sold out.
  • The itinerary for the 2014 TLC Doll Tour is now on-line at 
  • Names of proposed new members should be sent to the club president before September 1: As is the custom, a vote will be taken before the potential new member is invited. Once the vote has passed, the sponsoring member will contact the potential new member to extend an invitation. 
My apologies for the poor quality of photos of our was a long day!

Mode Enfantine Pour Poupées

Thank you to Lori, Samy, Marshall, Susan, Lynn, Anne, 
Margaret, Sandy and our friends Cathy and Catherine
for sharing their dolls.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

3-Day Fête Registration Package

 The club is thrilled that the “Paris Fête de la Poupée” is so popular that the 5-Day Registration sold out in record time. In order to allow more people to join the fun, the club had a meeting with the hotel in Paris, last week, and negotiated a larger allotment of space for the luncheon and the program presentations.

Now, we are very happy to announce that we are able to offer an additional package, a 3-Day Registration, for collectors who wish to attend the Paris Fête de la Poupée functions on:

October 24-26, 2013

Your special 3-Day Registration includes:
v Special “Paris Fête de la Poupée” tote bag with souvenirs of the event.

Thursday, 24 October, 1830h
v Exclusive Private Champagne Preview Party and Special Exhibit at the newly reopened Musée de la Poupée-Paris. Location: Impasse Berthaud, 75003 Paris (M: Rambuteau)
·      Special Exhibit “Poupées de Mode du Second Empire” featuring the legendary trousseau for Chiffonnette by Sylvia MacNeil.

Friday, 25 October, 0830h-1700h
v A full day of presentations by world recognized experts. Programs will be presented in English, with French translations. Location: Hotel Les Jardins du Marais, 74 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris (M: St-Sebastien-Froissart)
·      0900h: Kimport Dolls, the Import Company inspired by the 1937 Paris Exposition, by Loretta Nardone, Researcher and Educator, Secretary-Treasurer of the UFDC Inc., USA
·      1000h: Refreshment Break
·      1030h: Women of the Paris Doll Industry, by Lynn Murray, Author and Researcher, Past President of the UFDC, Inc., Director of TLC Doll Tours, Canada
·      1130h: Dolls in Art, by Janet Gula, Vice-President of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc., Canada & USA
·      1230h: Special luncheon, hosted by Les Rubans Aubergines
·      1330h: Old Paris Porcelain, by Margaret Kincaid, Specialist and Dealer in Antique Dolls, USA
·      1430h: The Extraordinary Life of Mme Aubart, a Huret Lady of the Belle Epoque, by Lori Santamaura, Author and Educator, student in Museum Studies at the G. Washington University, USA
·      1530h: Refreshment Break
·      1600h: Marais, the Doll District in Paris under the Second Empire, by Samy Odin, Author and Researcher, Director at the Musée de la Poupée-Paris, France

Saturday, 26 October, 1000h-1500h
v Private antique doll show and sale, exclusively presented for registered guests of the “Paris Fête de la Poupée”. Antique doll dealers have been carefully selected and invited from the US, France and Germany.  These dealers, each an expert in their own right, will be willing and happy to discuss the dolls they have on display or mystery dolls that you may wish to have identified. Antique dolls, doll clothing and accessories will be offered for sale. (Collectors should expect to use Euros or US dollars to make a purchase.)

The 3-Day Registration Fee is 245 € per person
Space for this special event is very limited. Do not be disappointed. Register now.
For those living outside France, payment may be made via bank wire transfer or via PayPal.
For further information, Email your name and address to:

Fête Hotel accommodation in Paris:

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

March Meeting scheduled

Next club meeting: Paris, Wed, Mar 13, 10:30am
Walk-through of Fête hotel
Establish rate for Limited Registration at Fête

Thursday, 31 January 2013

15-day Doll Collector's Dream Vacation

The 5-day all-inclusive registrations for the Paris Fête de la Poupée are now sold out.
But you don't need to miss out!
There are a very few places left on the 15-day TLC Doll Tour, which includes the Fête de la Poupée.

TLC Doll Tour 2013
October 23 – November 7, 2013

TLC Tours are always all-inclusive, escorted tours, starting and ending in Europe, to allow you to select the airfare most favorable from your home country.
TLC Doll Tours are designed for congenial pairs of friends or couples. All rooms are European double/twin rooms. Single rooms are not offered for this tour.

Included in the price of the tour:
·      15 nights in European Four-Star Luxury Class Hotels
     Buffet Breakfast daily
·      Dinner daily
·      4 Special Luncheons
·      Registration for Paris Fête de la Poupée, Oct 24-27
·      Seine Dinner Cruise
·      Exclusive Champagne Preview Party at Musée de la Poupée, Paris
·      Escorted Walking Tour of 1860s Paris with Samy Odin
·      Full Day of Seminars & Programs by International Doll Experts
·      Doll Show & Sale
·      Escorted Trip to Paris Marché aux Puce (flea markets)
·      Antiques Fair - Brocante at Place Bastille
·      All Museum Entrance Fees
·      TGV First Class Train, Paris to Milan
·      Executive Coach travel Italy, Switzerland, Germany
·      Complimentary Refreshments on Coach
·      Escorted Walking Tour in Milan-Centro
·      Visit to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”
·      13 Doll and Toy Museums in France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany
·      Crêche Figure Exhibits
·      Day-trip to Oberammergau - wood carvers, museum, wooden toys
·      A Day with Käthe Kruse – factory tour, shopping, luncheon, museum
·      Final Night Farewell Party
·     Exclusive TLC Doll Tour Gifts and Mementos
    The price of the tour, per person, double occupancy is € 3650
    Space on this tour is limited. 

     Email your name and contact information to Lynn Murray at

October 22 
Tour members leave US/Canada to arrive in Paris on October 23.
October 23
You will arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), probably before 0900h. Transfer to hotel via train or taxi. (I recommend sharing a taxi at the end of an overnight flight, it is worth the €65,)
You will be met at the hotel, Les Jardins du Marais, by your tour escorts, Lynn Murray & Marshall Martin.
We will have a Welcome Luncheon followed by an easy orientation walk in our neighborhood of Paris, the Marais with a visit to one of my favorite Paris museums, the Cognac-Jay.
Dinner together at a Paris Brasserie

October 24
Antique Show at Place Bastille. This is a wonderful show, held two times a year. The dealers are in both indoor and outdoor sheltered booths all along the canal St Martin. In the afternoon, a visit to the Musee des Artes Decoratifs, before returning to the hotel to get ready for the evening.

Paris Fête de la Poupée begins with an exclusive champagne preview party. 
During the months of 2013, the Musée de la Poupée has been under-going renovations and restorations. The Grand Re-opening is this evening to coincide with the Fête de la Poupée, hosted by Les Rubans Aubergine Doll Club, from UFDC’s Region 16. The club will welcome you with beverages and a selection of delightful canapés, so you can relax, enjoy, greet friends and most importantly, visit the amazing collection of Samy and Guido Odin. 
There will be a very special exhibit unveiled this evening as well! Mlle Chifonnette and her marvelous 1860s trousseau completed for her by Sylvia MacNeil.
 Friday, October 25
Paris Fête de la Poupée Programs and Lectures
Speakers will be from the international doll world, with programs in English and French. There will be refreshment breaks morning and afternoon and a Special Luncheon midday and Dinner tonight in a famous Belle Époque Paris Brasserie.
Details will be posted here as the host club announces more of their programs.

Old Paris Porcelain, Margaret Kincaid
Miniature Old Paris Porcelain is a favorite accessory for doll collectors. The term is a trade phrase, referred to by the French as Vieux Paris porcelain. It refers to more than thirty porcelain factories in and around Paris from circa 1750 until the end of the Second Empire in the late 1870s. Some producers of Old Paris were well-known artisans who decorated blanks made at Limoges and Sevres.

1860s Paris, A Walking Tour with Samy Odin
Have you ever imagined what Paris must have been like during the Golden Age of dolls? Many of the factories and specialty shoppes were in this part of Paris, nestled in three or four tiny streets. You will be amazed and enlightened to discover how close competitive companies were to one another. This is the kind of history lesson that makes all we read and research come to life. Samy will pace the tour to the group and there will be plenty of opportunities for photos. (approximately 1-1 ½ hours)
Women of the Paris Doll Industry, Lynn Murray
Focusing on the inventive minds of Mme Rohmer and Mme Huret and the enterprising business skills of Mme Lavalee-Peronne and other women of the industry, Lynn will present a program on the poupées, or lady dolls of the Golden Age of dolls. A collector of poupées for more than 30 years, she will share with you some of the rarities and ingenious inventions of the day.

Dolls in Art, Janet Gula
A wonderful lesson in art history and the role played by dolls in art. Not surprisingly, dolls were often used as props during the painting of a child's portrait. When you consider that children of the 18th and 19th century had perhaps only one doll that was their companion for a lifetime, you realize what a significant role that doll played in the life of the child.

The Extraordinary Life of Mme Aubart, Lori Santamaura
What secrets a doll could reveal! What is the connection between this art movement doll, singer Mme Aubart, a certain Mr. Guggenheim, the Titanic and French designer Jeanne Lanvin? Certainly, her trousseau indicates she was a woman of means... but the mystery?

More programs to be announced.
Saturday, October 26
Paris Fête de la Poupée continues with a special exhibit room, open only to registrants of the Fête. Doll dealers from America, France and Germany will be set up for your browsing and shopping pleasure.
Later you will be picked up at the hotel and delivered to the Quai for an evening dinner cruise aboard a private tour boat. A Seine dinner cruise is the ultimate way to see Paris monuments. On our 2-hour trip we will cruise past the illuminated Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and the enchanting bridges that cross the Seine.
Spring Ahead – Fall Back….Daylight Savings Time changes back to Standard Time tonight, so you get an extra hour of sleep in the morning!
Sunday, October 27
Marché Aux Puces, St Ouen is the largest, most varied flea market in the world. No longer a place to assume you will find a bargain, it has become a major tourist destination. Everything from cheap knock-off hand-bags to vintage Vuitton and from 70s Lava Lamps to Louis XV chandeliers can be found in one of several Marchés. For the astute shopper, there are still bargains to be found. There are Change booths ready to help out if you need Euros and shipping services available to send home the goods! Whether or not you are buying or you simply enjoy browsing, the trip to the Marché Aux Puces is a must, just to see the vast amount of wonderful antiques on display.
This afternoon we will visit to the Musée de l’Orangerie, where you will see the massive canvases called in French, Les Nymphéas, and known to English speakers as Monet’s Water-lilies. If the weather is cooperating, we will walk through the Jardins des Tuileries to give you a view of the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde, the magnificent Champs Elysees and the Palais du Louvre
For our last night in Paris we will have dinner at one of my favorite Belle Epoque Brasseries.
Monday, October 28
After breakfast, you have a free morning to shop in the Marais or pack your suitcase for our onwards trip to Milano.
After lunch at the hotel, we will be picked up by taxi and taken to the Gare de Lyon, where we’ll board the TGV for Italy.
Our second tour escort, Samy Odin, will meet us at the station! In addition to his doll expertise, Samy grew up in Northern Italy, so he speaks Italian fluently. Samy and I traveled to Milan together in 2012 and perhaps that was when the seeds were planted for this tour?
At 2:30 the train departs for the scenic trip through the French countryside and into the rugged mountains and valleys of Northern Italy. Traveling via First Class on the TGV is a very relaxing way to make this 6 ½ -hour trip. You have reserved seating with comfy reclining seats and huge windows to let you enjoy the spectacular scenery. It’s the perfect time to catch up with your travel journal, visit with your friends or simply read a book. You are free to move around the train and the facilities are clean and easily accessible. In good European tradition, we will have a TLC picnic dinner on-board the train.
We arrive in the vital fashion capital of Italy in early evening. You will be whisked away by taxi to our hotel, ready for a relaxing evening.

 Tuesday, October 29
After breakfast at the hotel, we will experience the ultra modern Milan subway for a short trip to the center of the city. In the remarkably compact center city, we will visit the famous Duomo, third largest cathedral in the world. Considering it is late October, we will not have to worry about the strictly held dress code of covered arms and covered legs. The cathedral has just recently been cleaned and the forest of pink and white marble spires is truly an awe-inspiring feat of architecture. From the Duomo plaza, we’ll enter another awesome building: the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle. This four-storey shopping arcade was built in the 1860s, spired by the grand arcades and stores of Paris. It was here that Lenci had her original shop. Today the Galleria is filled with high-end stores and restaurants, wonderful for window-shopping and people watching!

From the Galleria we will go on to visit the most famous opera house in the world, La Scala and its museum and shop.
In the afternoon we will visit the Cenacolo Vinciano, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s mural, The Last Supper. Visits to see the painting are timed. At time of writing in January, we have ordered the tickets but we have not yet been told our time for visiting. Thus, the schedule for the day remains tentative.
Dinner this evening will be at our hotel.
 Wednesday, October 30
After breakfast today, we will meet our coach driver and board our private executive coach for an excursion to Lake Maggiore. Our first stop will be at the scenic lakeside town of Stresa, where we will board the vaporetto and cross the water to Isola Madre, one of the three Borromeo Islands. Isola Madre (Mother Island) is where we will visit the Marionette Museum and the elaborate home theatre in the 16th century palace.  
In the afternoon, we will board the vaporetto once more to visit the other side of the Lake Maggiore. High above the lake is the Castle or Rocca Borromeo of Angera, an unusual example of a completely preserved medieval fortified building. This is home to the Museo della Bambola, an extraordinary museum of dolls and automaton, toys and children’s fashions. This is the most important doll and toy museum in Italy.
From the fortress, you can view the spectacular beauty of the Alpine foothills in the foreground, and the Alps behind. Our coach will be waiting for us when we descend from the fortress and we will return to Milan for the evening.

Thursday, October 31
First thing in the morning, we’ll load our luggage onto the coach and make the very short trip to the Museo del Giocattolo e del Bambino, the Doll & Toy Museum. This museum has recently been moved from the inner city to a new location with more space for children’s activities and school groups to visit.
From the museum we will say farewell to Milan and depart for the trip to Basel, Switzerland. We’ll head north along the shores of Lake Como and into Switzerland, passing Lake Lugano then over the Alps summit to Lake Lucerne and northwest to Basel, a trip of approximately four hours, with refreshment stops and photo-ops along the way.
Once we arrive in Basel, we’ll take a short walk to the pedestrian only shopping area to help you get oriented to our new city. There will be a Halloween Dinner Party at our hotel in Basel tonight!

Friday, November 1
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart for a day trip to the nearby Riehen Toy Museum, housed in the 17th Century Wettsteinhaus. It contains one of the most significant collections of toys in Europe today. Parlor games, wooden toys, tin figures and metal toys are just some of the highlights of the exhibits.
From Riehen, we’ll go northwest 45-minutes to the lovely medieval city of Stein am Rhein. It is here that the studio dolls and sketches of Sasha Morgenthaler now reside. Though Sasha dolls collectors are singularly focused on the dolls, the artist played a significant role in bringing the plight of children to world attention. The studio dolls made by Sasha Morgenthaler are fascinating and very seldom seen on the doll market.

 You will have some leisure time to explore this small city on the river before we return to Basel in the afternoon.
Dinner tonight will be at a very famous and traditional Swiss restaurant in the Old City.
Saturday, November 2
No bus travel today, as we will visit two major museums in Basel: the newly named Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy World Museum) and the Haus Zum Kirschgarten (House in the Cherry Orchard). Both museums are within easy walking distance or a quick tram-ride from our hotel. (You will be given a transit pass for the Basel tram system, good for the duration of our visit)
First we will visit the Haus Zum Kirschgarten. It was built as both private residence and business premises for the silk manufacturer J.R. Burckhardt between 1775 and 1780. The period rooms showing how people lived in 18th and 19th century Basel are spread over two storeys. The premises houses special collections of Meissen porcelain figures, collection of clocks and watches, collections of scientific instruments, silverware made in Basel, and in the third-floor nurseries, dolls and toys. From this museum it is a short 2-block walk downhill to the center of Basel’s old town.
On the corner of Barfüsserplatz stands the Toy World Museum. It is in a spectacularly modern building, designed strictly as a museum and extremely high-tech at the time it was opened ten years ago. Over several floors you will be delighted by case after case of antique dolls, teddy bears, Schoenhut toys, trains, dollhouses and enough exhibits to leave your head spinning!
The magnitude of this museum never ceases to amaze me. I always have to stop for a rest, and go back to complete my visit. Luckily, they have a nice restaurant just off the lobby, where one can relax for lunch or traditional Swiss coffee and cake. Just outside the museum, you enter the pedestrian only area of the old town, a wonderful place to explore, especially for those in need of retail therapy.
Dinner at our hotel this evening. Don’t forget to pack your bags…we’re leaving in the morning for Germany.
Sunday, November 3
Following breakfast, we will once again board the coach, this time heading northeast into Germany. Skirting the northern shores of Lake Constance, called the Bodensee in German, it will take about 1 ½ hours to reach the small village of Hagnau am Bodensee. Here we will be greeted by Gerda-Marie Rössler, owner of Das Kleine Museum. This private museum focuses on dolls, dollhouses, kitchens and shops with particular interest in the Biedermeier period.
Frau Rössler will join us for a lakeside luncheon in the scenic town of Meersburg, before we depart for Munich.
In late afternoon we will arrive at our Munich hotel, located in the Old City, just minutes walk from the Marienplatz and the famous Glockenspiel.

Monday, November 4 
On a trip just an hour north of Munich, we will spend a day with the owner of the Käthe Kruse Doll Company, Andrea Christenson. We’ll have an escorted tour of the newly renovated studios in Donauwörth where you can watch the master painter hand-painting Doll I faces, meet the wardrobe designers and the very special craftswomen who hand-stuff the doll bodies with reindeer hair. You will have the opportunity to shop in the factory show room and at the outlet store across the road. At lunch-time Frau Christenson will join us to talk a little about the history of the Käthe Kruse dolls and how they came to be made in Donauwörth. The Luncheon will be full of surprises and fun for all. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a short walk through the city gardens to the Käthe Kruse Doll Museum.     

Tuesday, November 5
Today we’ll take a trip just an hour south of Munich, into the Bavarian Alps and the beautiful towns and villages of the Ammergauer Valley. These are wonderful vistas and memories for you to take home!

Our first stop will be to visit Schloss Linderhof. This perfect palace for one was built King Ludwig II as his retreat from life at court. Ludwig was a solitary young man whose life and death were shrouded in mystery.
From Linderhof Park we will go to Ettal for a brief visit to the Kloster. This magnificent church is one of the finest examples of baroque rococo churches in Germany.
At midday, we will arrive in the scenic town of Oberammergau, every ten years home of the Passion Play. The town is filled with traditional painted Bavarian buildings nestled at the base of the mountains. Throughout the town carvers of traditional jumping jacks (hampelchen), wooden toys and crêche figures (krippen), have their workshops and store fronts.
We will return to Munich in the late afternoon.
Wednesday, November 6

Today we will spend the full day in Munich. The tourist board tells me that one can visit a different museum in Munich every day for a year, but I have chosen my two favorites for you.
After breakfast we will go to the Bayrisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum). We’ll start off together viewing the spectacular Krippen. Throughout the long and winding passages in the lower level of the museum huge dioramas have been built to showcase the most extensive collection of Krippen (crèche) figures in the world. The collection is ever changing and growing. Seeing it is an experience you will never forget.
From the museum we will go to the center of the Old City, near our hotel, to see the Marienplatz with its towering Glockenspiel. On the edge of the square we’ll visit our last Spielzeugmuseum of this trip, a unique little museum in the old Rathaus Tower.
The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to do your packing, last minute shopping, another museum?
This evening we will gather for a special surprise farewell party.
Thursday, November 7
Auf Wiedersehen ~ Travel Safely
You are limited to one 26-inch suitcase with wheels and one small carry-on without wheels. Keep in mind that we will be traveling by train and motor coach and you will be handling your own luggage.
The nature of European cities dictates that the only way to see the sites is by walking. Many of the streets are not accessible by coach. While every consideration is given to the general age and physical condition of our guests, you must be able to walk easily and securely to be comfortable in European cities.
Every tour itinerary is considered tentative to allow us the opportunity to add an activity or an excursion to something that is announced after our tour information has been published.

Airline Tickets:
For this trip, you will need to book an “Open-Jaw” ticket. That simply means a ticket that allows you to fly into Paris, France and home from Munich, Germany.  We recommend that you select one of the Star Alliance Airlines to give you more latitude of choice when arriving in France and departing from Germany. The Star Alliance Airlines group includes United, Air Canada, Lufthansa, US Airways, Swiss, Singapore airlines and others.

The fine print:To the fullest extent permitted by law, the tour member agrees to indemnify, and hold harmless TLC Doll Tours, its elected and appointed officials, employees and volunteers and others working on behalf of TLC Doll Tours against any and all claims, demands, suits or loss, including all costs connected therewith, and for any damages which may be asserted, claimed or recovered against or from TLC Doll Tours, its elected and appointed officials, employees, volunteers or others working on behalf of TLC Doll Tours, by reason of personal injury, including bodily injury or death and/or property damage, including loss of use thereof, which arises out of or is in any way connected or associated with this contract.

TLC Doll Tours is a registered Canadian company with offices at 17102 Hwy 35, Algonquin Highlands, Ontario K0M 1J1,Canada. We have been in business since 1994. 
Sole proprietor: Lynn Murray

TLC Doll Tours accepts payment via PayPal only, in Euros only. This allows you to use a credit card for payment and to book trip cancellation and health insurance through your credit card company. We strongly recommend you do this to protect yourself, should your plans be forced to change. The cost of the tour is non-refundable.
Payment schedule:
€ 2000 due at time of booking
€ 1000 due May 1, 2013
€ 650 due July 1, 2013

Telephone +1.705.489.1473 (ET)