Welcome to Land of Oz Dolls

Welcome to Land of Oz Dolls
Museum Quality Antique Reproduction Dolls by Connie Zink Land of Oz Dolls

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Update May 30th 2012

I just wanted to give everyone an update as to how we are coming along putting the soft-fired greenware end of our business back together after the fire. For the last week we have been picking up molds from all over the area that have been gifted to me to try to get up and running again with soft-fired greenware. It is going great! I may never have as many dolls to choose from in my catalog as I use to but I have got a really great collection started here with some fabulous molds! Some are new ones that I never had before and some are my old favorites tht are back! I am currently working every day on trying to get a catalog together and making space available here at the shop to store them all. I also wanted to mention I have a Facebook promotion going on right now. I am giving away a Christmas Bear on July 31st at 10:00 pm. For a chance to win please go to my Land of Oz Dolls Facebook page, "like" the page if you haven't already and then comment, share or like any of the pictures or posts. Every time you do between now and July 31st that gives you another entry in the drawing.
 
Until next time have a great dolly day!!!
Dolly Hugs, Connie
 
 
 
Update as of Tuesday May 29th:
Well, yesterday was a productive day! Two truck loads to the dump! Thank you Jeff and Alex!! Another two truck loads going to a new home! Thank you Jeff and Alex!! All the dirt is gone from the greenhouse built-in beds which was two dump trucks full when we got it many years ago. It has all been wheel-barrowed to the neighbors yard (they are moving up in the world ha ha). Thank you Jon and Pam, Jeff and Alex! All of the hundreds of landscaping blocks have been removed from the greenhouse thanks to Jon and son-in-law Kenny. Thanks to my friend CJ for helping me inventory and sort hundreds of doll molds yesterday and get them on the correct shelves. Thanks to neighbor Elmer for the use of his truck to haul molds over the weekend from Milwaukee, and to Stacie, Kenny, Stefanie, and Alyssa for helping Dennis and I to unload the truck last night. Now we are onto another day! I am hoping today all the cement blocks will be removed from the greenhouse. Then I still have to go thru all my stored flower pots, (lots of pots) get some planted and clean up and put away the rest, then the greenhouse will be emptied and ready to have the new rubber roof put on. I am hoping by the end of next week we will be able to start moving molds into there. we still have one wall of the garage to clean out then the whole garage will be really cleaned for the first time in 25 years. Dennis is getting in the spirit here and I think today we are getting rid of two riding mowers, four weed eaters, two chain saws, and numerous other things. None of which work, they were always we will save it and fix them later, well that never happened. What a wonderful day! I really do think something is to be said for people who move now and then. Dennis and I have been in this house for forty years now in June. It is the only one we have ever lived in and it is amazing how much junk you can accumulate. Well I am off to start on the garage and it's final wall. I couldn't ask for better weather! I hope everyone has a great day!!! Connie
 

A van full of molds from Milwaukee

Dennis cleaning out the garage.


Another load of molds brought in.

Goodbye junk!!!


Another load to the dump

Goodbye to the burned out shelving units and starting fresh

Update as of Monday, May 28th
Well, it has been a very long weekend but gratifying one. I have been blessed with such wonderful friends!! Thank you Diana, Pat, and Twyla for your generosity. I have been gifted hundreds of doll molds to help replace what has been lost in the fire. We have moved and inventoried hundreds of molds this weekend with many more hundreds to go. We picked up molds in Milwaukee, Wi. on Sunday and New Bo...ston, Il. and Muscatine, Ia today. My neighbor is still bringing a truckload back from Milwaukee in the morning. We had loaded his truck on Sunday in Milwaukee. My greenware selection is growing every day as we sort and catalog all these molds. I should have a start to a catalog in a week or so. I have now been able to replace quite a few of the great molds I lost in the fire, along with some new ones I never had in the first place. Dennis and I could not have come this far in two short weeks without the help of our family, friends and customers. Thank you to all of you who have helped in some way. We still have a long way to go to get back to where we were before the fire but we sure are a lot farther than we were two weeks ago. The moral support from everyone has been tremendous, I thank you all for that. Tomorrow, a friend will be coming to help me catalog all day and then we pick up more molds again on Thursday. Each day gets a little easier emotionally, but boy is the body aching. There sure are times I wish I collected something that weighed a whole lot less than these thousands and thousands of pounds of doll molds, but then I realise if we hadn't done what we have done for the last 33 years, we wouldn't know all these wonderful people that we know now. Thank you to all who have helped in some way and have a great week!!! Connie






 

Update Monday May 28th

Well, it has been a very long weekend but gratifying one. I have been blessed with such wonderful friends!! Thank you Diana, Pat, and Twyla for your generosity. I have been gifted hundreds of doll molds to help replace what has been lost in the fire. We have moved and inventoried hundreds of molds this weekend with many more hundreds to go. We picked up molds in Milwaukee, Wi. on Sunday and New Boston, Il. and Muscatine, Ia today. My neighbor is still bringing a truckload back from Milwaukee in the morning. We had loaded his truck on Sunday in Milwaukee. My greenware selection is growing every day as we sort and catalog all these molds. I should have a start to a catalog in a week or so. I have now been able to replace quite a few of the great molds I lost in the fire, along with some new ones I never had in the first place. Dennis and I could not have come this far in two short weeks without the help of our family, friends and customers. Thank you to all of you who have helped in some way. We still have a long way to go to get back to where we were before the fire but we sure are a lot farther than we were two weeks ago. The moral support from everyone has been tremendous, I thank you all for that. Tomorrow, a friend will be coming to help me catalog all day and then we pick up more molds again on Thursday. Each day gets a little easier emotionally, but boy is the body aching. There sure are times I wish I collected something that weighed a whole lot less than these thousands and thousands of pounds of doll molds, but then I realise if we hadn't done what we have done for the last 33 years, we wouldn't know all these wonderful people that we know now. Thank you to all who have helped in some way and have a great week!!! Connie

Friday, May 18, 2012

A New Beginning

Good morning everyone, it is a beautiful day here today. I am sitting here trying to figure out where to begin first. It has been a long week and I am so far behind in answering emails and Facebook messages so I thought maybe I should begin here. It is the easiest way to inform many people at the same time. I do however apologize. If you have sent me a message and I have not answered you I am so sorry. I will eventually work my way thru them all. Thanks to the help of my family, friends and neighbors we attempted to salvedge several hundred of the molds from the fire but it is hopeless. There is no way we can clean all these molds, the fire smell is too intensive and the damage too extensive, so Saturday morning they will all be reloaded and taken to the dump. We have to start over again from the beginning, there is no way to begin this process in the middle. Here are a few more photos from the fire and then we will begin the rebuilding process of putting my greenware business back together.


This was a boat to the left of my unit.

I also had a boat to the right of my unit.

A view from the back side.

Another back side view.

These molds took on intense heat, amazing they are still standing.

Another view from the back. That is me standing by the truck.

This 1960 Corvette was owned by someone that had had it since he was a teenager. I have heard it wasn't insured.

When they were trying to put out the fire, and excavator was used to find the hot spots so hence all the walls and doors were removed.

We did manage to save a few of the metal shelving units. Dennis has taken them to the car wash to try to get the soot off. The shelves were ruined but metal frames were still good. Hopefully we will be able to remove the smell from them.

A distance view to the right side of my unit.


This shelving unit of molds was pushed with the excavator and dumped two units away from me.

Dennis and I have thought long and hard for several days now, as to how do we begin again to build the massive selection of molds that we had built over the last 33 years. It probably would be easier to just throw in the towel and forget that part of our business, but as I watched Dennis try so hard to save any little mold  he thought he might have a chance to save, I knew this doll business was in his blood as much as it is in mine. He is the pourer, not me, every piece of sfgw that has ever left this shop has been expertly poured by him. I had always thought we would probably do this, until the day came we physically couldn't do it anymore. Now, I know that is the case. We will continue to provide expert quality doll greenware until we can no more. We have met so many wonderful people over the last 33 years, many of them became our closest friends, and many of those are no longer with us. We just cannot imagine our lives without the opportunity to know the future customers that may also become our good friends. So we will start with a new beginning here. Don't forget we are not moldless. We did have a few molds in Dennis's pouring room at the time of the fire and we also have my daughter's garage full of molds that my friend Marilyn had given me last month. (Thank God For That!!) My friend Jan is coming Saturday night to help me Sunday and Monday try to get a new catalog started. We will be starting to do an inventory of the molds still in the pouring room and the garage full of Marilyn's molds. So hopefully by next weekend I will at least have the start of a catalog of what is available. Also thanks to several generous donations of mold collections that we will have to go pick up, within a couple months, we should have an excellant selection of sfgw available again.
Our next step is where do we put them??? We no longer have a storage unit and the shop is full. I guess Dennis's garage is the next choice, (it has never seen a car parked in it anyway since it was built in 1986). We also did just get a new roof on it two weeks ago, (it had been leaking the last couple years) so I guess that is where we will start. But, oh my the cleaning that we will need to do.
We also have another option we are exploring of turning our old greenhouse that is between our shop and house into mold storage. That will entail putting on a new roof instead of the greenhouse panels, removing the built in flower beds inside with hundreds of landscaping blocks and removing several tons of soil. (Easy job, right?) Then that actually would connect to Dennis's pouring room. He could cut out a window of his pouring room and put in a door that would connect to the mold room. It is large, 14 foot by 40 foot inside there and would actually give me room for greenware storage inside there also. It already has a cement floor. It was an old patio that was between our house and shop. I will post pictures soon as we figure out what we are doing. It will have to be cleaned out also. All my extra pots and garden things are stored inside there.
So this weekend begins the start of rebuilding our massive mold selection. It is a daunting task but one I know we can accomplish with the help of our family, friends and neighbors. Here is some photos of the molds from my friend Marilyn that we will start to inventory this weekend. So here is to new beginnings!!! Have a great weekend everyone! Connie







Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Day After The Fire

Good morning everyone, this seems to be one of the fastest ways to let everyone know of our status here. Dennis is still off work today, and trying to save a few more of the molds. I am going to post these few pictures and then I have to run. Please rememeber this is not my house or shop. It is the off-site storage unit that was about three miles from us. The cause of the fire is not known yet. There were about 20 units that burned. Ours was in the middle and very close to where the fire started, I just don't think they have pin pointed the exact location yet. I will keep everyone posted and will try to get abck to answering messages here as soon as possible. Thanks, Connie









Monday, May 14, 2012

Sad News Tonight

Well, it has been a difficult evening. Please don't anyone think that this has affected our house or Land of Oz Doll's shop' but many of the storage units south of Savanna across from the airport went up in smoke tonight. One of those storage units was ours. They don't know the cause yet but it affected probably about 20 units. We just lost the 33 years of doll molds we have collected. (Only doll molds were in the shed, it did not affect any of our other inventory) As all of you know who do dolls, molds are not worth a whole lot when it comes to selling them, but what I had in that shed was well over $100,000 that I had paid for them. Most of those molds are not replacable as many of the companies are out of business now. Even if they were, I could not begin to replace them, they were not insured. You can't insure something like that in an off the premises policy. This development will make a huge difference in my soft-fired greenware business. If you have something ordered currently please bear with me as we start to sort out the orders we have and compare it to the molds we have lost. Some orders are in progress and the molds were here at home in Dennis's pouring room, but many were not. I know there is a few people that we will have to refund their money. I will know in a couple days who needs a refund. We are not totally moldless, a few of the more popular molds we poured all the time are safe in Dennis's pouring room, and we do still have that whole garage full of molds, that my friend Marilyn, gave us last month. I guess this will be the incentive to start sorting thru all of them and getting a list of what we have. All those molds were in my daughter's garage and are safe. It is very sad, aside from all the money invested, there is so much doll history there that is lost to me, but never fear I still have enough doll molds to make dolls, my selection has just gotten a lot smaller to choose from. Well, it is about 1:00 am, I guess I should go to bed. I will go out in the morning and see if anything is able to be saved or not. I don't think so, the hottest part of the fire was in units pretty close to mine and the roofs are all off now, plus the smoke and water damage. So thankful no one was hurt and my heart goes out to the Prowant family that owned the storgae units, it is a monumental loss for them. Goodnight everyone. Connie