Thursday, October 18, 2018

You can really hear the echo without any posts...

Hello Dear Readers,

I assume people have noticed the lack of a blog around here lately. You see, I was having some issues regarding the blog and had to .... retire it for a bit. Everything was reverted to draft form so I am hoping to eventually restore everything and get it back to as what it once was. I can't say it'll be any time soon, but hopefully it won't be too long.

I've had some changes in my life the last time I've made a post. I have a new job! I haven't started it yet, but training begins at the end of the month. I'm a little nervous about the job (it's a customer service job) and I don't love the drive but the pay is a lot more than I was making (and more than I've ever made before) so it certainly has some perks. It's also Monday through Friday! It was funny, in the interview they asked how I'd feel working some additional Saturdays I was like, "I've worked retail, weekends mean nothing to me". And really, I wouldn't mind working overtime since it's a really good rate. It's especially good since I have a very large (non-doll) purchase to save up for. I got hired through a hiring agency and it's a six month contract but hopefully they will keep me after that. Either way, it'll be a job for six months and I can figure out what to do after that.

Even with job hunting and several interviews I've also been putting effort selling stuff online. I haven't been as good as I should be, but I've been spending some time listing things in the hopes that it sells. I still have a lot more to go, I really let it build up more than I should have, but I've made quite a dent in what I had for resale. And if I'm being honest, I keep beating myself up for having too much stuff, but in a comparison with some collectors I know they'd look at my collection and my resell pile and say "Is that it?". Things are kind of slow right now, I've found that spring is when people are really buying but I keep listing stuff. It doesn't even have the chance to sell if it's just sitting around here gathering dust. I haven't started working on trimming down the collection just yet, there's still a lot of things to sell before I get there, but I'm making a mental plan for what I want to sell. In a situation like this is a lot better to mentally say goodbye to something before I actually do it, just to make sure I'm ready for it.

I have been kind of at a weird impasse with my doll collection, I know I keep saying that but it keeps being true! I've been kind of bored with Barbie and other 1:6 fashion dolls. I still have my favorites but things have been changing. I'm kind of taking a break from vintage. I have a lot and I've gotten several of my grail dolls so the drive just isn't there at the moment. There's still several grail dolls I don't have, but those are very expensive which are just out of my price range at the moment. I'm always still looking for a bargain, but I'm being a little more selective as to what is a good deal for me and the collection. Not saying that I haven't been buying things, but I've certainly slowed down and changed what I buy and for what reason.

I have been focused more on antique dolls lately. It really started when I won that bisque doll at that luncheon in April. It's a little tricky delving into this new dolly genre, I'm finding I have some of the basics (or at least figure them out using internet searches), but there's so much to learn. It's kind of frustrating going from Barbie where I have a lifetime of knowledge to antique dolls where I'm very much a novice. I'm having a hard time figuring out good resources for information. I just want to know it all now! If anyone has suggestions for resources or books I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

I'm trying to be smart with my antique doll purchases. I don't want it to be like Barbie where I wake up and find myself surrounded with them and overwhelmed. Also, I like them but they're fragile and I'm clumsy. I'm planning on keeping my collection very small (another reason to keep it small is they tend to be bigger than Barbie so space is a factor). As of right now I own two bisque dolls, five china head dolls, and two wooden dolls. I would like to add a male china head doll to my collection as well as a small felt doll like a Lenci but that's all that I'm really wanting. I did see a really cute bisque doll on eBay I put an offer in for but it was ignored until it aged out of the system. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. She was cute but nothing I had to have. All in all I'm hoping to keep the antique doll collection to about a dozen in total. I know I've added a lot to it recently, but even as the focus of my collection right now, I'm still not buying a lot. It's a lot of window shopping, which isn't a bad thing.

I think that's the big things that's been going on lately. I can't say for sure I'll be around that often, but hopefully there will be more content sooner. And maybe one of these days I'll actually take a picture to share!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What's Behind Door #19? A Christmas Surprise!

Welcome Dear Readers to Day 19 of our Advent Calendar Unboxing!

Day 19 already? This month has just flown by. I bought my third to last present today. I just have two more things to get, but those are just going to be quick trips to the store to get, I just have to physically go to the store and do it. It'll take like 10 minutes once I actually get there. 

We find out day 19 chocolate door on the far right, two below the day 18 door. This one has the image of a very Santa-esque old guy and a snowman with a menacing smile. 

I would not trust that snowman.

We may not know what's lurking in that snowman's mind, but we can see what's behind his door...

It's Santa (I think) with a sack full of presents!

On the Barbie Calendar, the day 19 door is on the far right row. It's three up from the bottom, right above the day 17 door. It's got the skier Barbie's arm and chest on it.

Let's see what's behind the door....

a pair of goggles!

I'm a little surprised, I was expecting a new base outfit, but goggles it is. I *think* they're goggles. They look like they're designed to mimic goggles, but they're actually more like sunglasses in their construction. There's not much to say about them. They're made from a pink translucent plastic and are a little hard to get correctly on the doll's head. I at first tried putting them over the doll's hair and couldn't get them to stay. I did push them into the doll's hair and did eventually get them to stay. I just don't like messing up the doll's hair like that.

They're a little odd since she's still wearing her baking outfit, but they're generic enough so it could just be some protective goggles for Barbie to wear when she's cooking. Barbie really gets into cooking and is all about eye safety!

See you tomorrow for day 20, gosh almost the 20th!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What's Behind Door #17? A Christmas Surprise!

Welcome to day 17 of our Advent calendar unboxing! 
Things are really rushing by, tomorrow marks a week until Christmas! Eek! 

The dog seems to be meshing well so far. Willow still avoids him like the plague but things have been going somewhat smoothly compared to what I was expecting. Poor Willow does get stuck in the basement each night with the other cat since I take the dog in my room, but she used to go down to the basement a lot and sometimes would even choose to go into the basement for the night with the other cat. In the mornings I go out with the dog at 9 for his first walk of the day, eat breakfast with him, then hand him over to my mother when she gets up. That's when willow is let out of the basement and has been coming back into my room. I take him from my mother for his noon, 3, 6, 9, and 10:30 walks, but she keeps him all day. I also have her feed him at 9 preparing the food when we're out doing his walk. She could walk him, but I don't like her being out when it's so cold, especially when it's dark. At 10:30 Willow is brought downstairs and Finn is brought upstairs.
And repeat. 

So far it's working out, Willow gets my room for the entire afternoon and late into the evening and the dog is taken care of.

Our day 17 chocolate door is located at the top row on the right. There's actually only two doors on the top row. It took me until the 17th to realize that. It's half under that woman with the cactus plants watching that squirrel riding down the roof. 

Pulling back the door reveals....

A car!

 One of those old timey cars. I'm thinking 1930's. It's clearly a drawing and not an exact one but it's not as basic as the 1920's cars, but not as fancy as the 1940's (I'm sure whoever was drawing these didn't think someone would be analyzing these so in depth).

Our Barbie door is on the far right row, second from the bottom (just above the day 14 door). It has the tiniest bit of the skiing doll, but is mostly covered with the yellow button proclaiming this set contains 5 careers! (of which we've seen 4 of so far)

I pull open the door to find....

A plate with cookies!

The plate was a nightmare to get out. Usually the accessories have been pretty easy to pop out of the plastic backer but this one gave me quite a fight.

Once we finally get it free we find a cute turquoise scalloped edge plate with pink cookies that have white decorations on top. I think they're cookies, but they are a little puffier than cookies and Barbie does have a muffin tin. (If you look on the image on the box the muffin tin looks like a cookie sheet so I think Mattel cheated and used a mold they already had). The plate's all one piece and the bottom is hollow. The paint on mine is a little crooked in places but overall the effect is nice. I have a couple other holiday plates from Mattel and I do like them. They're all different so they'll work on a Christmas buffet (even though I haven't done an ounce of decorating this year).

See everyone tomorrow for day 18!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

What's Behind Door #16? A Christmas Surprise!

Hello everyone, and welcome to day 16 of our Advent calendars unboxing!
 I am yet again behind, so I'm playing catch up again today. Luckily I'm not as far behind as I have been so you won't be inundated with posts.

Our day 16 chocolate door is located on the bottom row two from the left. It features the backs of three children with a blonde child excitedly pointing out some presents. 

We like that kid. 
Heck, we are that kid.

Opening the door reveals....
 another circle!

We pull it out of the package and see that it's a...


A candle with a circle background. I think it's an interesting design choice here. So far most things have just been what the image is. Very few of them have any type of background (the moon was one with a background). They could have easily done just a candle without a background, but chose to add the background. I assume they wanted to show the lines in the background giving the illusion it's lit.

Our Barbie door is on the far left one door over from the edge. It's directly under an image of Barbie as the vet with her very happy patient.
 I force the door open to reveal...
 A cloud?
A dirty cloud! (Luckily that spot is just a fleck of dust and came right off)
 Oh, it's a chef hat!

Made from a shiny hard plastic this chef hat is a nice plastic representation of the real thing. It's not completely hollow which was what I was expecting. Luckily it's also not too shallow and it fits a variety of dolls (Joe can wear it since his hair is pretty short, but Disney Store Kristoff could not). It had a molded in Barbie logo in the back. It also has molded in holes on the brim on the sides as well as one in the back. You should be able to rig up some elastic between the two sides so that the hat would stay on even better. Not sure what the back hole is for. It also has a small slit in the back, I assume so it has some give and will be less likely to break? Surprisingly I do like this, I don't know when I'd ever use it, but I actually do like it. I'd prefer if it was fabric, but there's been a lot of construction issues with fabric made things in this set so I bet if it was, I bet I would have liked it less.
Stay tuned for tomorrow (later today if I'm being honest) for tomorrow's reveal!

Friday, December 15, 2017

What's Behind Door #15? A Christmas Surprise!

Today is day 15 of our Advent calendar unboxing, time is really flying by!

How everyone's Christmas shopping going? I still have a few things to get but it'll be taken care of in one trip in town. I'm a little more behind in stocking candy, but since my sister is traveling and won't be back until after Christmas, we're not doing Christmas on the actual day so we can take advantage of the after Christmas candy specials! Right now we have it planned for New Years, which is good since we didn't get to do Christmas until April from last year since none of our schedules synced up until then.

The day 15 chocolate door is located on the far right two from the bottom, just above the day 2 door. It has part of Joseph and a Shepard on it. It also has a sheep on it. The sheep are one of my favorite images on this calendar. They're just so goofy looking. 

We open the door to see....

a truck, with a pile of something yellow piled in the back. I have no idea what that is. 

The Barbie calendar door is one row to the right of the center, also two up from the bottom. We're back to being on the image of the Ballerina. That is the biggest image so she does cover a lot of the box.

We open the door to find...

A muffin tin (also a sneak peak at the day 18 door, get back down there!)

This tin is also a silver plastic like some of the other pieces, but it's made out of a much harder plastic. It is a very cute muffin tin used to make six muffins. It has heart details on each end, a sort of zig-zag design on the top, and features the Barbie logo on the bottom of each of the muffin sections. It also has on the bottom a raised area. These are used in some Barbie play set so they can be clicked into place. I don't have any play sets like that, but I do have this exact muffin tin from that Barbie baking accessory pack from a year or so ago. Not in love with that feature giving it an uneven base, but if if bugged me enough I could just file it down. I don't mind having repeats of it, as someone who bakes from time to time you can never have enough muffin tins. I wonder if we'll see any other pieces from that accessory set. Time will tell. 

See everyone tomorrow!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

What's Behind Door #14? A Christmas Surprise!

Welcome Dear Readers to Day 14 of our Advent calendar unboxing.
I can't believe it's day 14 already, just 10 more days until Christmas Eve.

Before we get into the Advent calendars, we now have my sister's dog while she and her husband are away visiting his mother then my Grandparents. He's a sweet dog but little dogs are so much work. Willow doesn't like him, he's done nothing to her as far as I know and they used to be friends but now she does not like him and hides when he's here. I'd hate to have a step back in her coming into my room but at night he'll need to be in here so I can regulate the room temperature and keep him warm. I assume she'll disappear once she realizes he's going to be in my room, but hopefully once he leaves she'll go back to visiting my room.
(And maybe a little less wouldn't hurt, I love her but it's tricky working around her all the time!)

Anyway, our day 14 chocolate door is a little anticlimactic, it's directly under the day 13 door. I know I talked about that with the Barbie calendar, but you'd think they'd work really hard to avoid doors being next to each other like that. 
Our door image is a very excited little girl who looks like she's ready to take a bite out of Santa's arm. 
Seriously, look at that open mouth and evil twinkle in her eye. 

We pull back the door to find:

A Bell!
It's a cute bell in the classic look. It could be religious or not. Now that I'm thinking about it I haven't seen anything particularly religious in the calendar. I mean, there's Santa and a Nativity set but there haven't been any crosses or things that were 100 percent Church related.

Our Barbie calendar's day 14 door is at the bottom corner on the right side. 

We open it and find....

A doggy dish (a pretty ironic choice since we're now dog sitting)

It's a cute dog dish, made out of that same silver plastic as the stethoscope and the trophy. It's a simple dog dish, the only decoration on it is the Barbie logo on the inside. The plastic does seem a little thin, but it still feels sturdy. It's kind of odd we just got one and that Barbie as a vet is giving the dog food or water, which they don't normally do. 

Here's a picture of the vet outfit*:

*I did switch out the shoes since I couldn't get them to stay on the doll's feet.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What's Behind Door #13? A Christmas Surprise!

Here we are at another Advent calendar deboxing. Day 13! 
Things really are coming quick! 

We find our chocolate door for the day on the very far left. It's under a very surprised mother Although she looks too young to be a mother, seriously her face looks the same as all of the kids. You can just tell she's an adult because she's taller.
She looks like she's surprise by that mouse in this image, but the mouse is actually behind her.

Opening the door we reveal....

an egg...

Oh! It's a moon. I just got mooned!

 It's a cute moon with a fishtail? And check out his snazzy headband. He's got some nice flair!

Our Barbie calendar door is on the bottom row in the very center.

As we Tonya Harding Barbie's knee we find:

A puppy!

Luckily it's plastic because I'm not at a point of my life where I'm ready to take care of a puppy. So we finally have Barbie's patient, a puppy! It looks healthy and happy so I assume they're visiting for a
regular check up and not because they're sick. Our puppy is a cute little thing made out of gray hard plastic with white details. It has bright blue eyes and black eyelashes (Barbie should tell it's owners dogs should not be wearing mascara.). It has a pink collar with a snowflake tag. That snow flake should have been on the tiara Mattel!

It does have what looks like a neck joint and I can get mine to turn, but I don't know if it's supposed to. I can turn it completely around, but there's some plastic notch that you can feel going out of place when you do it. Also when the head is turned you can see at the neck seams it starts gaping. I'm not going to keep doing it since I worry it might get damaged. It's a cute dog, but limited in what it can do. I think a younger kid would enjoy it, but an older kid might get bored by the fact it can't do anything. It's just a static figure.

I think there's still one more piece for this outfit we're missing. Let's see what it is tomorrow!