Tourmaline .’s 2020 Countdown to Christmas

I’m hosting my first ever Christmas challenge this year!

Each day in December, up til Christmas, there will be a new prompt. Share a picture, write a poem, write a blog about your day, anything along the lines of the theme will do!

Post as often or as little as you’d like. Share your links with me on my daily post and I’ll keep a running list of all participants both here and on the daily posts, whether by blog, social media, however you contribute.

If you’re posting on instagram tag #tschristmascountdown, and tag me @tourmalinenow so that myself and others can find your post.

Hope you have a jolly good time!

Continue reading “Tourmaline .’s 2020 Countdown to Christmas”

An Unexpected Christmas Display

We moved into a new apartment about a month ago now. I love it so much more than our last place but won’t get into it. When driving out the other night we came across a neighbor in his garage with a Christmas train set and had to get out to see.

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Walmart Toy Catalog 2019

We listen to Spotify at work and every few songs for the past week there was a Walmart ad talking about the big toy catalog release on November 2. You could go to Walmart, get a physical copy of the new toy catalog and test new toys from noon to 4. So I went to Walmart on November 2. I went to 2 Walmarts on November 2. And then I gave up. No toy catalog (although I’m told they should have it in the coming week or so) and no toys to test (although I hadn’t planned on doing any testing myself).

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The Clearing

Iridescent Christmas village snow, Victorian style porcelain dollhouse dolls and decorative mantle deer and glitter trees. With these I aimed to make some dreamy forest scapes and I think I accomplished just that.

While I typically disassemble my temporary dioramas after I’ve achieved the desired photos, this one I’ve left in tact as I have another image or two planned with a new doll that should be shipping to me shortly. Stay tuned.

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Connecting through Toys

I always wonder why I do what I do. Not in a negative or judgmental sense, but just because I like knowing myself.

As far as toys, miniatures and toy photography I’ve written and spoken about their draw numerous times. Here’s a few:

But the first 2 are generalized lists, for the world as a whole, and while the last talks about my coming into the photography of toys, I think my relationship with toys goes farther back in my history.

You may say this is obvious. Toys are a very important part of childhood. Through them we learn and role play the outside world, they help us develop our gender identities, spatial awareness, problem solving, etc. So, in this, my childhood was little different than that of other children in a similar economic class in America at the time. I lined up my beanie babies, and dressed and re-dressed my barbies, just like anyone else.Continue reading “Connecting through Toys”

3 Christmas Toy Catalogs that brought back all my Nostalgia

Is anyone else here nostalgic for printed toy catalogs?

I’m talking about this way too late for it to be useful for your gift buying this year, but I wanted to talk about it anyway :P

I was a kid in the 90s and early 2000s. I remember fervently looking through the toy section of the JC Penny’s catalog, dog-earing pages and even cutting out the pictures of the best toys and placing them in my view binder cover. It was a very special binder that held floppy disks of my Crayola Make a Masterpiece digital drawings and print outs of some of those same drawings, and then on the cover were mini cabbage patch dolls that Santa never got around to bringing me.

When I’ve talked about this to peers as of late, they nostalgically mention the Toys R Us toy catalog, but for some reason I don’t remember that one as well.

This joy at pictures of tiny things I could maybe own didn’t stop at Christmas toy catalogs though. The Dollshouse Emporium used to produce printed catalogs. Each category featured a room display with letters corresponding to that item’s product listing. The little dollhouse scenes with ornate furniture, and toys for the toys told me stories and I longed for every piece. They were exponentially out of my price range however, so I just enjoyed their 2-D counterparts. I ordered a catalog to fill this void, but that will be for another post :P

In attempting to fill the void that Toys R Us left, other retailers decided to release printed versions of their toy offerings this year. Of course Toys R Us says they’re coming back, and KB Toys said they’d be back by this coming Christmas, but it doesn’t seem those things are coming to light yet.

However, Target, Walmart and Amazon all released printed versions of their catalogs this year. Worse for the environment I have to admit, but I was also stoked about it. Amazon left me off their mailing list, I tried to call them out on twitter (I’ve bought plenty of toys from them this past years, I mean we bought an LOL Surprise house, what more do they need?), but to no avail. Target did send me theirs though (shout out to Target, although it was addressed to an Ashley, but at my address). And all three can be found and perused online.

Click on each catalog cover to be taken to that specific digital catalog.