For some people, having dolls in the house is unnerving, but for Portland resident and doll collector Kaylin Caddis she loves it.
Having grown up in a household with four older brothers, Kaylin said her parents must have been fairly excited when she was born.
Her mother started collecting dolls in 1949 when she was born, and then used to show them.
But Kaylin's mother passed away when she was only 18 so ever since then she has taken to collecting more dolls.
She now has a collection of over 500.
All of which will be displayed in the Bath House at The Foundations (Old Cement Works) in Portland during the weekends of November.
"The dolls have stayed with me for 50 years, and now with my children out of the house I can sort them, clean them, redress them if needed, have them restored," she said.
It was a friend that suggested Kaylin show the dolls.
"She is up in Queensland so she can't be down here, but she has helped me a great deal to get them ready," she said.
Kaylin said she loved the dolls when she was a child but after raising five of her own children she had to put them away.
"I had no room for them, we've been in the same house for 50 years so there wasn't much room," she said.
But when COVID-19 hit and restrictions were placed, it was the perfect time for Kaylin to bring out the dolls once more.
"Since COVID we haven't been anywhere so this was the perfect time to get them all out and clean them and see what needed to be done," she said.
"It took a lot to get them all ready, some had really deteriorated, so it was six months of washing and cleaning them and we had plenty of time to do it, so COVID has been good in a way."
Kaylin has a variety of different dolls from Antique German, a pedigree baby doll, Walda dolls and her cousins, a French boudoir doll in all original clothing from 1930, plenty of bridges including Queen , a rare Shirley Temple porcelain made in Germany, a large German porcelain doll and many more.
The dolls range from the 1880's, all the way through to the 1990's.
"Many of the dolls have their original clothing, but those that don't are wearing materials that my mother gathered," she said.
Some of the dolls are even wearing replicas or material that Kaylin wore as a child.
"We have kept material for over 50 years," she said.
As for if Kaylin has a favourite doll, that one is easy.
"The pedigree baby doll is one of my top favourites since it was my baby doll as a child, but I do have lots of favourites," she said.
Lately though the Walda Dolls have become a passion buy for the collector.
"They're not the most beautiful dolls but they're made of porcelain from the 70's and 80's and have come a long way since they were first put on the market," she said.
"They are slowly building in popularity and I was lucky enough to get some of the brides in their original clothing."
On how she decides what to buy, Kaylin said she has to love it.
"There is just something about it, you might love it, it might not be the prettiest doll but you fell in love with it, if I didn't like it I wouldn't buy it," she said.
Kaylin is part of multiple doll Facebook groups, and she said she has learnt a lot from them.
"The lady who does my doll restorations in Canberra, I honestly couldn't have done any of this without her, she really does fabulous work," she said.
Kaylin has made multiple trips to Canberra to get the dolls who needed restoring or redressing done.
"We would work together and converse on what colour the dolls should wear, what materials, all of that," she said.
Luckily Kaylin had many of her mothers materials or old clothes of her own that the dolls could wear.
It isn't just rare, original dolls that Kaylin has.
"We have this old pram from 1880 which is all original, the canopy is missing but the rest is how it was, we don't know how our mother got it, but it's a beautiful pram," she said.
"We also have this high chair from the 1800's, and then this beautiful dolls house that my Father made with all the decorations, it has been in the family for 70 years and I just wouldn't part with it."
Kaylin's father also made an accurate woodwork bedroom set from 1940's which she will have on display.
With the dolls on display, Kaylin said she will be selling some at the show.
"I want to make a little room, but I will be keeping my favourites, and I have way too many favourites," she said.
"It's more hard to part with them since they were mum's dolls and she didn't get to enjoy them."
Kaylin will be showing the dolls between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, 14 and 15, and 21 and 22.
If you can't make these times but would like to see the dolls you can contact Kaylin on 0488154126 and she would be happy to open up her collection for you.
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