Friday, December 31, 2010

Finish it up Friday, and a Retorspective

First off Happy New Years Eve everyone! I don't know about you but I will certainly be glad when this year is over. 2010 was filled with tears, hardship, and personal loss in my life. My family also struggled. This year I lost two Great-Uncles, one from each Grandparent, and lost lots of family friends. So I hope that 2011 changes this year of bad luck and welcomes in the good times.

On a positive side I did gain some people for the collection over this year. Surprisingly due to my financial struggles I've managed to gain 17 new people for the collection. They are as follows;
1. Hair Fair Barbie on a TNT body
2. Blond Skipper
3. Brunette Ponytail
4. Vintage P.J.
5. Brunette Skipper
6. Malibu Barbie
7. Vanessa
8. Most Mod Party Becky
9. Monster High Goulia
10. Dorthy Hamill
11. Peaches and Cream Barbie
12. Marie Osmond
13. Cindy Sad eyes
14. Malibu Ken
15. Walk Lively Miss America
16. Vintage Ken (Edmund)
17. Random Fashionista (Body Doaner)
Whew, that's a lot of dolls. In my defense some of these doll I just bought the heads, I used bodies that I already had. Just from looking at this I can see where my collection is focusing (as if I couldn't tell before). Out of those 17, 12 are Vintage. Very few from this list came in their original boxes. Only 8, 9, and 17 were from actual stores, the rest came to me second hand. Not horribly surprised over that since most of what I collect is no longer sold in stores, besides I have enough of a cast of dolls that I don't have to have just "anyone" I can (and should) be selective to who comes in. Right now I should remain focused on vintage dolls, including the 70's that I've only started to dabble in. Still looking for the rest of the Malibu gang. Here's looking for more to arrive in 2011, always room for more, right?

Now, onto the Finish it up Friday portion of today, it is Friday after all. Today it was very frustrating. I only managed to complete 4 items today, although I worked on a variety of other things, I just didn't manage to complete them. I worked on a black sheath dress, only to find out that it was too tight and wouldn't fit anyone. I had to cut it off a doll. I realized this only after I reinforced the seams and added one snap. I also worked on another dress that I wasn't able to finish, although this one just went back into the box. I also worked on a jacket that ended up getting a tear in it, so back into the box it went. So I wasn't able to finish five things, but it certainly wasn't from lack of trying.

First up we have a Ken jacket. It's a cheap nylon jacket from the dollar store. Honestly I could have just tossed it, but it was a simple fix, and you'll never know when you'll need it. Part of both sleeves had started to come undone and fray. I just took the inside seams in on both sides. That's all it took. It also got a good washing and the new side seams reinforced. I think it's a better fit now than it was before.

Next is another mending project. It's an actual Barbie skirt that used to belong to my cousin. When she outgrew her dolls she gave them to me. It's one of the only nice things she's ever done for me. This is one of the only things that has managed to not get lost or tossed. Not sure why, it's not like it's something special. It's issue was that part of the thread holding the pink and blue parts together came undone, so today I just stitched it up. Simple fix, although not sure if I'll ever use it, not really my aesthetic.

Staying in the same vein here's the next item. This is the jacket from my failed 80's outfit for Charlotte. It's a pretty pink and lined with blue. It's the exact same pattern that I use for Skipper jackets, so you should have seen something similar before. Today I ripped out one of the side seams and fixed it. After that it was time to reinforce the seams and I was done. Pretty simple stuff, and I got to use the pink thread I bought a while back.

Now it was something more complicated. I had started this dress way back when I made that black dress for Charlotte before the Connecticut trip. I wanted to make another dress, a companion piece for variety. I only got as far as completing the skirt and the bodice before I ran out of time and patience. Today I attached them, hemmed the back, reinforced the seams, and added snaps. After that I was stuck about how to finish it. Luckily I had this velvet ribbon that I've had forever out from a different project. I decided that it looked good and added the bow at the waist. I also added it at the shoulders for a different type of strap. After that all it needed was a dip in hot water to colorfast it. I really like how it came out, I've since dubbed it "The Tuxedo Dress." Not sure who'll get it, it might end up in the party dress bag, but it's still good to have. I mean, there's always a need for formal gowns in Barbie land, right?

Whew, and that's all for today. See you all in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pants, Day Two

Today armed with the knowledge of yesterday I hit the ground running, or at least sewing. Taking the pants pattern from yesterday I drafted a new pattern, using my issues from yesterday as a guide. I chopped off about a half inch from the top (or so) and added that at the ankles, a relatively simple adaptation (I've done more complicated tweaks to patterns). With that done there was nothing left but to test it. I cut it out and got to work. I also managed to scrounge up a spool of brown thread since the black thread really stood out when I used them in yesterday's pair. It's just a little spool of the cheap stuff, but it looks better. I've since added brown to the next color I'm going to get thread I'm going to get list. But at least I had something to use for my second attempt, and I was able to continue.
The initial construction was pretty easy, typically pants don't give me any trouble. When that was done it was time for their first try on. I picked Charlotte for my model (like usual). With her hard plastic body it's easier when testing out unfinished clothing. With this one there was some issues with it. I was still having a really wide waist on the pants. This is a simple fix of just adding a dart on each side. With that done I could really see my issues... they continued over from yesterday's pair... Shoot. Once again I found the pants coming up too high on her. Even when I took off the fabric from the pattern the pants were still coming up to her waist and not her hips like I wanted. Also the hems were hitting too high, like high waters. How annoying. If I just lowered the pants to her hips it made the crotch sink really low, which looked terrible. Also there was a new issue with these pants, there was some fit issues in the thigh area, Charlotte was literally swimming in them, but only in the thigh area. To combat this I took more in from the thighs, I also took in the crotch in too. These new pants fit much better! Yay success! After that I just finished it up, adding a snap and reinforching the seams. On a side note, when I took in the waist turns out I took just a touch too much. The pants fit in the back, but it's really tight. I think I'm going to have to make the pants again and take less at the waist, but not today. Done with pants today.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pants, Day One

Finally got my unpacking done today, although I still need to do laundry.

I also managed to fit some sewing into the schedule (Finally). Something new that just came up, since I still don't have any projects that I "want to do". I purchased this fabric in Florida from Jo-Ann Fabrics. It's a suiting remnant, not sure if you can tell but it's a rich brown with lines of pink stitching. It was an impulse buy, but I thought that I could find a use for it and since it wasn't that expensive I figured that I could at least try it. And being completely original I decided to make a suit. Today I decided to start off with the pants since I have the pattern, and I'm still looking for a decent jacket pattern.
I'm using the vintage Barbie pants pattern like always. I find that these pants are pretty decent. Although I had an issue with them today. Since they are for the vintage dolls, they are for the vintage body. I'm making mine for the bb body, also I wanted them to be hip huggers compared to ones that fit at the waist. These are certainly not hip huggers. Not only do they fit at the waist, they are much too high at the ankles. Not sure if there's anything I can do to fix this. Since it was my first attempt I'm not that concerned. I didn't even use brown thread when I made them (I don't have any, just black) I'll try again tomorrow. I didn't even bother to finish these. I just threw them into the box, maybe they'll see the daylight again, not sure when.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not a Typewriter Tuesday for sure...

Starting to get back to the routine, but still working on it. I didn't get a chance to sew today, but I'm closer to it than before. I did manage to get a dent in my unpacking done, it's not too bad when all you have to do is unpack one suitcase not one million like from the Connecticut trip. Although I was slowed in my progress because I went with my father to go get the dog.
Most of the family is still in vacation mode since my father is still on it. We were originally going to leave Florida today, but with the snow we got hit with everyone wanted to leave yesterday in case something happened. It was sad to see the trip come to a close, but leaving earlier was for the best. This also allowed my father a day to rest from the drive, and allowed him to go get the dog.
Before we headed off to get the dog we did our weekly grocery shopping. We stopped over at Rite Aid and checked out their Christmas supplies. Since we're doing Christmas late we can take advantage of the half off sales in the area. We managed to score some candy plus a holiday sock monkey for my Mom (Don't tell her though). I also got some stickers for our stockings and some large candy canes (Although I picked out a lollipop for myself). From there we went to Walmart. Didn't see much there I wanted, on sale or not. Although I was shocked to see that they had almost the full original line of the Monster High dolls, except Deuce and Cleo. I'm waiting for those dolls to start showing up in the second hand stores for me to collect. I'm also waiting for the fashionista body to do that too so I can start getting more bodies. Although, I will say this, everyone that can use a fashionista body is currently on one. Now I'm just waiting for them to come out in different skin tones. Oh! I did see something I wanted at Walmart. They had some Monster High clothing packs, I would love to get the Cheerleader one. But I really didn't want to spend the money on it, so I passed. I didn't see any new Barbie Basic dolls, but I'm not surprised about that. Besides I couldn't get one even if I wanted to, and the only ones I want from that line are the guys... maybe. Depends on how hot they are. I still want to get a fashionista Ken, but these are all down the road purchases.
Other than that it was uneventful, we got the dog without a problem. We also dropped off my sister's suitcase at work so she didn't have to spend fifty dollars taking it on the plane. He's home now all safe and sound, he was really good in the car too. My sister's home safely too, although I don't know how good she was in the car.
After we got home I took all the Christmas stuff upstairs and wrapped it. I'm hoping that if I wrap everything when we get it, it won't be such an overload when I get around to the actual date. Although it's going to be a lean Christmas again, so I won't be wrapping too much. I just know I already love what I'm getting, I just knew I wish when I'd be getting it! I managed to wrap all the candy canes, my Mom's present, and well as one for my Dad. Right now they're all on the dining room table as a reminder/bribe to get this Christmas started. Ha! I'm terrible.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm back!


Finally back in North Carolina this evening after a 12+ hour car ride. Let me tell you how great it is to be able to stretch my legs out.
Overall, the Florida trip was great, it was a very low key vacation which is nice, we didn't even squabble (we do that on vacation), but it ended much too quick. Looking back, we didn't do that much except hang out at my Grandparent's condo. Which isn't that big of a deal. We're all at a point where we like different things and we can never agree on what to do. This way we're just hanging out together and can do our separate things when we wanted to. I ended up re-reading "Toy Monster" (such a fascinating read of Mattel's story.) We did go to the beach one day, but it was too cold to try to swim in the ocean. Plus we're not big saltwater fans, we did collect a bunch of shells though. Besides that we stayed close to home, except the few times we went out to eat. That's where today's picture came from, it's the view from the pier at one of the restaurants we ate at. We did try to go swimming in the pool at my grandparent's condo, but the pool was too cold to go in, and the guy who said he'd turn on the heat never did, so it never got any warmer. Grr.
We gave my Grandparents the basket our first day there, so it wouldn't melt in the car. It went over well (sorry for not updating you, I was not in a good place.) I also learned that I might have a soy allergy, maybe. The basket was really well received by my Grandmother, which is funny since she really isn't that big into sweets. Might have to revisit them again some other time. I didn't end up doing any of the diabetic friendly candy since I had multiple issues with how they came out. So it ended up being just Rice Crispy treats, white chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, plain bark, and cookies. The basket managed to have quite a big dent in it by the time we left. I'm also planning on making another modified basket for my sister for Christmas since she liked it so much.
On the topic of Christmas my family and I have yet to actually do it. Well, at least our personal Christmas. We did a big meal down there and we each received a present from our Grandparents, and they one from us, and that was it. It was a great day, so no complaints. But we're waiting for my Sister and Father to have a free day so we can get together and do our family Christmas. So as a general heads up you're going to be hearing about my Christmas prep until it happens, since I'm not yet at "post holiday". Right now I'm still pre-holiday, waiting for my presents. There's still much work to be done. Luckily it still feels like Christmas, because the ground's covered with snow... yay snow. I'm still over snow from my growing up in Connecticut and my school years in New Hampshire, and now I want to move to NYC, I just don't get me. It's weird seeing snow out here since we rarely get it, this is the largest amount of snow I think we've ever had here, since we've been here. Here's hoping that record stands, I for one do not miss it.
Even with the unpleasant temperature, it's nice to be home with the dolls and sewing machine. They all stayed here for Christmas, I did bring Charlotte with me however. She just didn't get a lot of face time. For the most part she was stuck in my backpack in her travel box. Originally I wasn't going to bring her, but I decided to since I had two long car rides to amuse myself during she should at least come. I didn't bring anybody else with me, and only brought three outfits for her, this was certainly less luggage than the Connecticut trip. I wasn't going to be there that long, plus I didn't have my own room to play in. Actually, she didn't get any play during the first car ride since it was at night and I slept for most of it, but she was invaluable for today's. I ended up redressing her in all three of the costumes I brought, and ended up balancing her on her feet, placing a plastic stirrer on her head from my McDonald's tea, and seeing how long she could remain balanced like that before the movement from the car made her fall. The record was five minutes, yes I was that bored.
But now that's over, and it's time to unpack, I will catch you all tomorrow!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas from Aubrey's Mind!


Just popping in really quick today.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brought you whatever you wished for (if you were nice that is.) If not, enjoy your coal. Couple of quick pictures of Charlotte's Christmas dress modeled by Artemis.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"It takes work being this pretty!"

Just so you know it's not all fun and games for the inhabitants that live here. Case in point the following photo from the archives.

These are 3/4 of the Momoko collection getting a downy dunk. I had noticed that the ends of their hair had become very dry and icky looking. Not really sure why it's happened, since they're all different years and ages, and they all get different amounts of play. The only one without it is Akikio and I re-rooted her. I guess it's just their hair fiber is delicate, and this happens. That's frustrating because you'd think since they're not play line their hair would be better quality. I mean, I have doll that are 50 years old and they don't have this problem, but whatever. In order to combat this, or at least stop it from getting worse I left them soaking when I was up in Connecticut. I set them all up in Charlotte's spot on the bookshelf, and stripped them of their clothing, I left their monogrammed underwear though. We do have some standards here people!
Imagine being stuck like that for the three weeks I was away, or better yet don't. My poor little babies, but they did it with a smile on their faces.
Always a trooper!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Sun sets on another Friday.


"Finish it up Friday" went along super well again. I managed to do more than the typical allotted five items. I guess it means that I can still sew, I just need to have the motivation to sew something. Although, there's a tinge of sadness with this post because it's my last real day of sewing for fun. Tomorrow I have to switch gears to cooking for another basket. But I think today was a very good send off for "Finish it up Friday."

For our start up I began with something light. These are a pair of white ski pants. They came from some dollar store doll years ago. They came north with the blue box of doom and after a wash have been chilling in the to be finished box. They just needed the leg seams to be re-sewn and reinforced. Pretty simple fix, and they're all done. Added these to the Barbie casual clothing bags already.

Next is something that was supposed to be another simple fix, but it ended up being not the case. This is a ballerina type dress that came with a Tinkerbell doll from the Disney store. It also came from the blue box of doom. For the most part I didn't have to do much to it, just replace the straps on it. They were made from fake pearls, and for some reason they had begun to lose their coating. So I took them off, and put it into the box. Today I pulled out my pearl beads and started to replace them. It takes 20 for each strap, and that's pretty easy. But when I went to attach the back part of the first strap it shifted, and I was left with a gap in the beads. So I had to replace it. And when I was done with both sides I was moving it and Boom. One side came undone, releasing pearl beads all over. I could not believe it. So I was forced to redo it. Luckily this time it held and it was done, but it was still really frustrating.

Up for our next one is a skirt. Once again, blue box of doom, but with a twist. This is a skirt that was for a doll bigger than Barbie, who I have no idea, it was just one with a much wider waist than Barbie. Possibly a bear? But it was plaid, and I've never met a plaid I didn't like. So I took in the sides at the waist, I also modified the back. Interesting note, I was able to finally use the purple thread I bought a while back. Hopefully I'll find a use for the orange thread I bought then too.

After that I moved onto a pair of pants. These are designed for Momoko. I was going for a look, but went another direction. I think I made two of the same color, and these are the first pair, so you might have seen these before, but not really. Today I reinforced the seams and added a snap. A pretty easy fix, and now the Momokos have another pair of pants, I just wish I had a use for them.

After dealing with that high from finishing the pants I moved onto a more hands on task. This was a sleeveless Momoko turtleneck that I started around the same time as the pants, I got less than halfway done before I quit. Today I got around to finishing it, including three snaps in the back. It looks okay on Momoko, just a touch baggy. On a whim I tried it on Charlotte, and it looks much better! I haven't tried it on a vintage doll yet, but when I do they may end up with it. Sorry Momoko!

Next I wanted something simple, so I picked a simple mending project. This time it was fixing a tear in a sock that I had made. Now I didn't put the tear it the sock, it was Midge. I was changing her and when I took off her shoes I noticed that part of it had ripped. Today I just did a quick line of sewing, and it was fixed. Not sure who's going to get the socks, but it's still good to have them around. Besides, it's another thing out of the box, and that's always a good thing.

After that we have another thing I just modified. This is a Keri Mitchel top (I think at least.). The annoying thing about these tops is the fact that they have the opening at the bottom, and not at the top. In order to get it on the doll you have to pop their head off. That might work for their cheap dolls, but I will not do that with my dolls. So in order to use it I had to fix it. I just tore out the partial back seam and added two snaps. Boom, boom, done! Also, just for your information it doesn't really look like that. It's dark green with some gold threads, just the flash made it just pop in gold. I wish it did normally look like that, I like the look.

With all that done I just wasn't finished. I was finished with mending or finishing things, but I wanted to create something. So I did just that. So once again I made a pair of pants, for Joe. Because apparently I didn't get my fill of that the other day. These might look familiar because I made Joe a pair just like them before, but with his recent body switch he can no longer wear them. So I remade them, even though he's never worn the originals. But do you remember why I made them? I'll refresh you in case you've forgotten. I made them because... wait for it... Joe's going to get a Steampunk outfit! He was going to get one way back when, but when I was finished with Charlotte's I just wasn't in the mood to adapt a pattern for him. I stopped after I made the pants. Since he's on a new body I think it's time to return to that project and make it for him. It will take a while since I'm not going to be working on it for a while, but at least the first step is done. Look forward to that mess in the new year.

What an exhausting day. Catch you tomorrow, when we have Rice Crispy Treats to make! As well as a test of some sugar friendly cookies!
Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Redress List for December

Forgot that I missed the Redress List for the month of December, although there's nothing really that's changed, but I should still post it.

Right now the list stands as:
Scooter,
Becky,
Teen Skipper,
Licca,
G.I. Joe,
Princess Lea,
Integrity Toys Doll 2,
Integrity Toys Doll 3,
Cosette,
Marie 1,
Marie 2,
Fashion Queen
Dolls taken off the list; None, *Sigh*
Dolls added; None

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"But Papa, I just want to dance!"

Have any of you ever taken a dance class? I took one back in second grade, it was terrible. I was the only boy in the company and the teacher was serious a witch, and I'm being kind. I learned then that dance wasn't my calling. Not that I ever fooled myself into thinking that it was, but at least then I knew that I wasn't going to be a tap dancer. (Crossed it right off the list.) But really, not what this post is about.
Back on track; you all remember my G.I. Joe right (Joe to his friends)? If need be you can hop back a few months to his introductory post, it's good to know who I'm talking about. I'll wait for you to get caught up. You back? Great! Now that we're on the same page I'll continue. Let me start off, I love Joe, he's the oldest toy from my childhood, second in my heart only to Charlotte, but... lately not everything's been perfect over here at Aubrey's Mind, in fact it's been somewhat hostile, and actually it is Charlotte's fault.
Gasp you shall, how could Charlotte be causing trouble? My lovable little moppet. It's shocking I know, but let me explain, it's a sordid tale. My trouble's began shortly after the Fashionista body came out. Which I love, seriously that body was just a breath of fresh air into the collection (Love, love, love it!). I honestly cannot think how I lived without it. Naturally, Charlotte was the first one to get one (thankfully she was a matching skin tone). After she switched I had a ball playing around with all the poses she could now do. And part of that playing involved including Joe, her Husband (I rarely do doll families, but sometimes it happens). When doing this that's when I noticed how stiff Joe was in comparison. Charlotte was able to do all these cool expressive poses with him, and all he could do was stand there. Sure he could limited movements, but it was... very limited. While he had a greater range of motion compared to Ken he was still lacking compared to Barbie's new found joints. And that's when my journey for getting Joe a new body began. Heads up this is a long post, and it's still the abbreviated version.
It's been a long journey, with lots of hair ripping and tears. It's shocking how hard it is to research G.I. Joe replacement bodies online. Especially when you had some specifications in mind. What I wanted was a muscular body with jointed arms, that was taller than Barbie and used a neck knob. Sometimes it felt like I was asking for the moon with the rarity of information that I was able to find, but there were options.
I started off with using what I had at home. My brother has a collection of G.I. Joes, most of them are his, but there's a few that are mine (there's also some that nobody really claims ownership on, they are just "there") In there were some spare G.I. Joe that were much more jointed than Joe, so one of them became a donar body, but when I put Joe's head on them he just looked terrible. The new Joes are much shorter than Barbie, in fact much shorter than his old body. He looked like a hobbit. The main issue with the new body compared to the older one was the midsection, in the newer body it was almost missing, making the body shorter. I just couldn't deal with that, Joe was returned to his original body, and my search continued. But I did take a break since I was so burned out with that failure.
The next attempt came from seeing the new Fashionista Kens online. They had jointed wrists and elbows, and they would obviously be taller than barbie, also he would be able to fit Ken's clothes, something that Joe with his huge hands couldn't currently do. This was not a perfect body unfortunately, there would be some pitfalls. One of them would be the fact that Ken was much slimmer than Joe. I was willing to lose some muscle mass for the swap, and sometimes Ken looks downright wimpy. I didn't know if I'd be able to adjust to such a change in a body. Also, the neck system wouldn't work for Joe, right out of the box. These new kens use a swivel joint similar to modern Barbie, while Joe uses a neck knob like vintage body. I would have to modify one of the joints in order to make them compatible. I was not willing to do anything permanent to Joe's head so I was going to have to tweak the body in order to make them fit. This would make me lose the ability to swivel the head, but that was a small loss compared to what Joe was getting. I have done this kind of modification before when I changed a modern body to fit my Stacey doll, but I had not done it for a Ken doll before, so I decided to practice. Also I couldn't find a Fashionista Ken in store. Besides. I'd rather ruin a doll in the donate pile than one that I'd have to buy. And that's what I did. I had my father help me cut off the old neck joint. With that done I started to work on making the neck knob for Joe... but there was an issue. I didn't really like how Joe's head looked on the practice doll's body. It was just too slim. I was used to Joe being very muscular and this new body was not as big. He just looked silly. So, frustrated I stopped and returned Joe back to his original body. At least I was grateful that I hadn't wasted a 10 dollar doll.
At this point I was so frustrated I gave up on Joe. This was right around the time I was going to go up to Connecticut for "Christmas". Originally Joe was on the list to accompany Charlotte, but after his latest struggle I was so frustrated with him, he stayed home. Instead I brought Akikio and Vanessa, and Charlotte (naturally). And of course I needed Joe, because among my things I found a body that I wanted to try with him. I had gotten it from a lot of things that I had purchased a long time ago. I didn't want it, but since I don't throw things out it stayed. Unfortunatly both of it's feet were broken off and it was missing one of it's hands. But it passed a lot of the tests. It was muscular, it had bendable elbows, and it used a neck post. Still I didn't know if Joe would fit, or if it was taller than Barbie since it was missing the feet. And so I waited until I got home to finally try it out. My second day home was spent boiling heads and doing body swaps. And we had a winner! Or at least closer to one that we have gotten yet. Since this body worked out it was time to find out who made it and see if I could order replacement hands and feet. But there were no maker marks on the body... none what so ever. How is that possible? So I was sent off to the internet doing random searches trying to find a way to identify it. Luckily thanks to E-bay I found it. Turns out I could buy hands for 7 bucks plus shipping, or for 8 something I could buy an entire body with free shipping. It was an easy choice, so I had to wait for the body to come from Hong Kong. While I waited I "borrowed" someone's arm and feet for Joe. It was so much fun playing with him on his new body. Eventually his new body arrived. This was my first time seeing the feet for this body. They're pretty funny looking. I call them Pinocchio feet since they look like they're puppet feet. On a down side, they're also pretty big, so he can't fit many Ken shoes, but that's a trade off I'm willing to make.
But I have many good things to say about this body. There's so many good things that I'm willing to overlook the bad. This new body has opened a whole world of clothing for Joe now that his hands aren't too big to fit over things. These new hands pop out so you can put on shirts. Although I will say this, pants have been an issue. With this new body... um... the crotch is awfully low. He's also got chicken legs, so we shan't be wearing shorts ever. It also means a lot of the pants I have are more miss than hit with him. That's not a big deal since I can make them, it's just I can't make them as nicely as some of the ones I have. I guess in practice I'll learn, right? But seriously, I love Joe's new body, it's opened a whole new world of posing. He's had a greater range of motions including with Charlotte. I'm glad my search is finally over, and that Joe's much more flexible than he's ever been. He's going to get a lot more play like this than he's ever had before!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Typewriter Tuesday Stalls...

Writing was a little slow today. I barely got a page done before I called it quits. It was just too hard, I was writing the same section over and over again. I did however get Rosebud and Anton out of the throne room (they've been stuck there for weeks) and into the corridor. So it was some progress, just as not as much as I'd like. But I should never say no to progress. It's just I'm having a hard time saying what I'm thinking, very frustrating.
Anyway for our synopsis.
Ballad of Submission is a fairytale set in the Kingdoms of Zonlicht and Minuit. Once two prosperous Kingdoms, Zonlicht was destroyed one day by a band of Ogres. None were spared by their blood lust except for the young Princess, who possesses a power within her to stop the Ogres once and for all. Locked away from the world to keep her from discovering her true potential the Princess is discovered by our hero, Anton. Risking all Anton tries to free her from her captors. With a chance meeting at a ball the two take a chance to escape. With the Ogres in hot pursuit will the two reach safety? Will Princess Rosebud realize her true potential and dispatch the Ogres? Will Anton's sacrifice be worth it? Read it all unfold in "Ballad of Submission".

Monday, December 13, 2010

Uninspired for Monday

Sooooooooooooo, this Monday I didn't do much. I guess right now I do one day of something, then the next day nothing? It's a weird cycle, it's even weirder since right now I don't have any projects slated. Like I've said countless time, I have things I should do, just nothing I want to do. Hopefully something will come down the pipeline. Oh! My final two Christmas presents arrived today, and once again I had to go over a check list of how they looked without actually looking at them. Not sure when I'll get them in my hands, but I cannot wait. Right now I have lots of planning to do about them before I officially get them. Earlier I was doing some research. Didn't find what I wanted yet, but I found out what I didn't want, so it's a start.

Since I didn't do anything of real value, I once again get to talk about something that I took pictures up of in Connecticut. Since we were talking about Disney last time, I'll continue this trend. Here we have another Mickey Mouse item. Or actually two. These are two Mickey (and Minnie) ceramic figures. They're roughly 4" tall, and are one again my Grandfathers from his childhood. I think it's Minnie with the accordion and Mickey with the guitar, but I could be wrong. Now here's something cool, I actually found these same figures in one of my Disney books. Apparently they're from the 1930's and was actually a set of three. These ones have some dings and breaks, so it's not a total shock that at least one of them went missing. I've only seen them as a pair, so the missing third one was long gone before my time. These too live in the China Cabinet now a days with the ornament. Way back when they used to live in the safe in the basement, when the ornament relocated there so did some other stuff including them. Not sure what else to talk about with these, I really don't know much about these, and I don't have any nostalgic memory of them. Growing up I rarely saw them, I just knew they existed. I just think they are so cool!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Some pictures of my Vintage Skipper



Trying to be more active in the Barbie forum, so here's some pictures I took of my re-rooted vintage Skipper. Used the macro setting on the camera, so the pictures are a lot less blurry than usual. Hopefully that's a trend that continues!

The word of the day was "Pants"

And now in typical Pee Wee Herman style, run around screaming. Do you guys remember that show? I loved it, it was like my childhood show, that and Muppet Babies, those were like the shows I grew up on.
But I digress, today was all about making pants (AHHHHHHH!). Pants (AHHHHHHH!) for G.I. Joe. Recently he's being going though some... changes, and while shirts still fit, he needs new pants. (AHHHHHHH!) So today that's what I started off doing. I wanted to make him some jeans, that's what he was really lacking in his wardrobe. But I didn't want to waste my jean material since I was had to adapt the pants (AHHHHHHH!) pattern to fit.
So this is what I started off with. Yes, I know it's looks like I made them out of someone's couch from the 1970's, but I didn't want to waste my good fabric on something that might not come out. But I wanted to use some fabric that wasn't too out there in case I wanted to use the pants (AHHHHHHH!) if they came out nicely. A nice compromise I found was this brown fabric. I got it from a second hand store, it's very 70's, but neutral enough to use for men's pants. While I don't think Joe's going to wear these often, they're still good to have.
Next we have the actual pants (AHHHHHHH!) that I started off creating. I did some minor tweaking of the pattern between these and the brown pair. They have a side seam on ... well, the sides. Had to do a bunch of tweaking, but they came out! They're a simple pair of pants, (AHHHHHHH!) but they will work for now. Eventually I'll learn how to make more complex ones, but these certainly fill the void. What do you guys think?
Oh! Also I joined Flickr today. I'm still figuring out all the bells and whistles, but friends on there would be great. If anyone's on there I'd love to be freinds, or what ever Flickr calls it. Here's my page if anyone's interested; Aubrey's Flickr
And one more thing,


Pants!
(AHHHHHHH!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bairly left my bed Saturday? I like the ring to that!

Didn't get any sewing done today. It was basically a laze about kind of day. Although, in some exciting news, one of my Christmas presents arrived today! It's going to be a lean Christmas this year, so I went ahead and spearheaded my own Christmas presents. If I don't get a lot I might as well get what I want, right? I'm the one that found the thing and had my parents pay for it. Even though I'm "in the know" I'm still trying to make sure I have a surprise on the actual Christmas day. When it arrived, I refused to look at it, although I did make sure my mother opened it and saw that everything was in there. I'm the one that told them I wanted to wait for the actual Christmas date to get the presents, although I kinda don't want to wait, even though I know I can. I guess somethings you never grow out of. I'm still waiting for two more things to arrive for my Christmas presents and I know what they are too. I won't tell you so you're in suspense, but I will say, that if I was a girl in 1963 I'd be having a very good Christmas. *Wink*
Since I have nothing to share with you in sewing I figure I should share something from Connecticut with you. I haven't forgotten about sharing stuff with you, just stopped being so gung-ho about it. So since I want to interest you I'll share something from my Grandparents house, and since it's almost Christmas I'll start off with a Holiday thing. Here was have an ornament, one that's been in my family for a long time. It's my Grandfather's, from his childhood. It's Mickey (Actually Minnie) standing on top of a ball. It's about 3 inches tall and made out of the thinnest plastic I've ever seen. Come to think of it, it might not even be plastic. It's two pieces. The arms are separate from the body, attached together with some metal. From one of the hands hangs a bell. I remember these from way back in my childhood. Each year when we'd set up the tree in my Grandparents house these would appear from my Grandfather's dresser. We were never allowed to touch them (they are very fragile). There used to be two, but somehow one went missing, that's why I keep saying "them". I have no idea what happened to it, and I wouldn't ask about it in case it was a sore subject. I just remember them each year because as a huge Disney fan they fascinated me.
Recently the last remaining one's taken a break from it's tree duty. Instead it's been placed in the china display case in the dining room of my Grandparents house. I like having it there because I can look at it whenever I want. Taking it out to photograph it when I was up there I think it was the first time I've actually touched it. Love this Christmas ornament, and each time I see it, it reminds me of the many Happy Christmas times!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Triumphant Return of Finish it up Friday!

Finish it up Friday went along smashing today. I actually ended up completing six things from the box compared to the usual five. It's certainly still full, but I did manage to make an effort in containing the pile. Unfortunately usually there's more going in than going out, but at least with days like these I'm able to go though it and pick out some things to finish. Even when done it might not go into the clothing "pool", but at least it gets it done and out of the box. Today I picked a variety of old and new things to finish, so it's an eclectic group. Let's get to it!

First up is a pair of Ken shorts, I made these to test out the fit of the pattern on G.I. Joe. Also this was a test on working with Jersey knit again after a break from sewing with it. These are one if the first things I made after coming back from Connecticut. This pair is made using elastic at the waist. I decided that it added much too bulk, so I never bothered to finish it. Also one half is made from the right side material, and the other the "wrong" side. Not a big deal since it's the cutaway from one of my t-shirts, just annoying. It's not my A game, so it just ended up in the box when I moved on to another attempt. With this all I had to do was pull out the remaining stabilizer, and reinforce the three seams on it. I started off easy with today, not sure if I'll ever use these, but they're finished and in the Ken clothing bag.

Next we have the second pair of Ken shorts that I made the same day as the other ones, these are the second attempt. These are much better, compared to the first. I made sure I was using the right side of the fabric on both pieces, and they close in the back with a snap instead of the elastic, so they're a lot less bulky as the waist. Also I changed the sewing for the inseam, making a much tighter fit on the legs. I liked these enough to not make another pair, but hadn't bothered to finish them yet. For the past few days they've been held together in the back with a safety pin. Today I had to remove the stabilizer, reinforce seams, hem the back and add a snap. Joe's wearing them right now. These I like, I'm thinking he might wear them from now on.

For our third item that I finished today it's a Ken shirt. I for the life of me cannot remember when I made this, but I can say it's a very early attempt. It's made out of the white linen fabric that I used most of it like a year ago. I think it was an early foray into sewing sleeves and clothing for Ken. The sleeves had some spots that I missed when sewing. So I had to rip out the side seams and fix one side, and completely redo the other one. After that I had to redo the seams, hem it, and add snaps. I also added a collar to make it more usable. It's actually the Ken PJ top pattern, so that's why it looks weird. I toyed with the idea of adding buttons to it, but I didn't have any small enough. But I'm glad that I finished it, it's a nice simple white shirt, and goodness knows you can never have enough of those!

Next we have a red corset top. I made this back before Halloween for part of the mock up for Charlotte's little Red Riding hood costume. I wanted to see how it all looked sewn compared to just an idea in my head, but I didn't have the right color, so I ended up making the mock up in the maroon color I had already. Having decided it worked I went and bought the right color red, leaving this corset top unfinished. Today I reinforced the seams, hemmed it in the back, and added snaps. Not sure how I like this, or if I'll ever use it. It's really tight on Charlotte, so I can't see it getting used anywhere else. But still it's finished, and out of the box, and that's always a great thing.

For our fifth thing we have just something that needed to be mended. I have these knee high stocking things that came from Mystery... Something Mackenzie (Agent? Squad?). I loved them, Charlotte wore them with her Zombie Hunter outfit (as she would.), unfortunately one of the seams at the foot came undone, leaving the stocking to come apart. Today I repaired the broken one, which was a pain. Since it's not a real knit, sewing it (with stabilizer) still had the fabric stretching and moving under the needle. I had to sew it like four times to get it to look like that. It's not perfect, but I'm certainly not going to try again, It looks fine, and if it ever comes undone on it's own again, I can just give it another go. Not sure what to do with this, but I'm glad I have them back.

Now onto our final thing for Finish it up Friday. It's a dress that I started a while ago. It was supposed to be a simple black dress. I was going to just make one that was basically a black turtleneck that was really long. Very similar to the dress I made for P.J. a while back. But I accidentally cut it much too wide, so it would just hang on Barbie, like a sack. Frustrated I just put it in the box for another day. Today I decided to work on it again. To fix the sizing issue I just cut about 1/4 of an inch from the front and back, on both sides. (I told you it was much too big.) Since it was so big the collar was also pretty warped, so I couldn't do the turtleneck like I wanted. So instead I took a piece of black broadcloth, sewed it to the neckline and flipped it under. It kind of flares out a little, but I notched it so it's not so bad. I finished it up, sewing on three snaps, although there's some issue with it not fitting the best in the back, but you can't see it from the front.
And that's what I did today, a productive Finish it up Friday! (Although for at least one thing I basically sewed it in the first place compared to "finishing it up"!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saying Goodbye to our Original Header

You served us well, and as we say our goodbyes, we will always remember you.

Saved here for posterity

The Final Introduction, the end of the Road!

Now onto the final doll introduction! We're finally going to get this header retired, to bring in the Christmas one! The final one remaining from out current one is one of the Silkstones. For reference she's the sassy redhead in the upper hand right corner of the header. Now how I came into possession of her is kind of convoluted, but I'll explain. I just ask that you stick with me, because I need to explain it all.
When I started off doing my own vacations I would always go to NYC, it was close, had plenty of stuff to do, and the public transportation was always available. On my very first trip I found out that the Toys R Us in Time Square sold Silkstones, like in store. They were pretty reasonably priced, especially when you factor in the price of shipping for the dolls online. Silly me didn't want to buy one at that time, deciding to wait and see what else was out there. When I finally decided to go and get one, wouldn't you know I couldn't, so I had to leave NYC empty handed. Sometimes I can really shoot myself in the foot. But there's a happy ending, the trip had given me a desire to get a Silkstone. It wasn't my first one, it was actually my second one. Artemis came first, but she had broken in an accident. Since my craving one had begun I started searching online to find one within my budget.
It took a lot of searching, but I finally found one that I could afford, even including the insane shipping that it costs with Silkstones. So I ordered her and waited, and waited, and waited. When she finally showed up I was psyched. She was the Suite Retreat Silkstone. I had liked her from her stock photos, but when I saw her in person I just loved her. In my opinion all the great points of a doll was hit with her. Her coloring was amazing, her hair was just the right style and length, she was bold without being annoying. I just loved her, it didn't hurt that she was also super easy to dress.
She still is wearing part of her stock outfit, a real rarity in my collection. As of writing this, seven dolls in the collection are wearing part of their stock clothing most of them are older dolls that I've "found" their original outfits. Usually the first thing I do when I get a doll is take them out of their original outfit (I know, I'm like a child), but with her stock top, I just loved it. It's a cream colored blouse with a fitted waist and flared sleeves. There's just something about flared sleeves that just speak to me. I knew as soon as I saw that outfit I was going to have someone wear it. I did try it on Charlotte, but it was a bit too "bold" for her. So it went back to Suite Retreat. For shoes she ended up in her stock shoes as well, it wasn't a hard choice to make. Back then I didn't have that many options for the Silkstones left and right molded feet. Since then I've gotten a greater collection, but those shoes are just...hers. I wouldn't change them now if I wanted to, and I do not. I did however change the bottom of the outfit, originally it was a pair of shorts that matched her top. The basic Silkstones are dressed in nightgowns, and she certainly was. It was just that her nightgown transitioned better into real clothes than others. Instead I gave her the skirt that came from the Mousekateer(Sp?) Barbie doll. I bought that doll for that one outfit and loved it. That one ten dollar doll netted me a wonderful skirt, shirt, socks, and black Mary Janes. A wonderful Barbie purchase, had I known how valuable it was going to be I would have bought two. But that's basically her outfit since she got here. But the skirt is lovely blue flared numbed. When paired with the top it gives a very Dior New Look, and if you've been reading this you should know how much of a winner that is for me. For her hair, I opted for a simple ponytail, tied back with an over-sized bow. This doll has very full hair, and in my opinion when it's left down it just flares out crazy style. I've seen lots of pics with her hair down, and haven't seen many where I thought it was a good look on her. But she's my favorite I'm pretty bias. Right now she's on top of the bookshelf with the other Silkstones. But she's at the top, looking lovely as always. I guess that even though I hated to, she was worth the wait.
Yay we made it!
Stay tuned for the updates!