Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday again?


Typewriter Thursday was a no go today. I think a poor night's sleep did me in. When I sat down to write, I just couldn't get into it. Although I did try, but there's only so long you can stare at a word document before you get bored of not being able to type anything. Nothing came to me to write down, so I think I still need some thinking time for what I want to write next. Hopefully I'll come up with something in time for my next writing day, but we will see. When I gave up on getting my two pages I did some technical stuff in the section I'm going to work on next. Did some editing, wrote a few story notes, and began the section. Got maybe a half paragraph written. I'm really starting to feel that when I'm done with the section I'm currently working on, I'm really going to be able to sink my teeth into this next section. I just need to find a song that helps me get into the mindset. I love writing when listening to music, really helps set the mood, but there's time to find something, not working on that section yet.
After that I really didn't do much, tried to get some sewing done, but didn't like anything that I was working with. Made a few attempts, but nothing really took. I'm still working on dressing that Asian Integrity Toys dolls (and I am working with your suggestions of suits Lyndsey), but she's not making it easy. Not sure when she's going to get dressed, but it certainly isn't today. I'm thinking there's still hope for something I made today, but in a different application. It's not finished, but I'm sure you'll see it soon. After all, tomorrow is "Finish it up Friday."
Oh, and before I forget, my Grandparent's will be coming through a week from tomorrow as they travel back from Florida to Connecticut, so I'm going to have to go though another one of my cleaning sprees making sure everything is perfect. That means all my current projects are on hold until then. I might still get a chance to do some sewing, but nothing definite. Just a general heads up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

As promised a two in one post!

So yesterday, I was trying to think of something to sew. Again, I had a few things that I could sew, but nothing that really excited me. I've been toying with the idea of creating another Regency dress to go with the one that Charlotte's been wearing, but logically there's not a whole lot of reason to do that. Very rarely do I have people wear historical dresses, usually everyone wears casual day wear, so making another dress wouldn't be really practical. Honestly, when Charlotte's done wearing the one she's wearing now, it's probably going to end up in the costume bag for a long time, if not forever. So while I was still thinking about making another Regency era dress, I game some thought as to why I wanted to make another one. I came to the conclusion that really what I wanted was a companion for Charlotte while she's wearing hers. She's the only one wearing this type of clothing. Beautiful, but very lonely. So I decided that I was going to make another costume, but compared to another woman's I was going to make one for a man. Joe specifically (although, I'm sure someone else can wear it in time). Now I know I said I usually don't see though to making him a companion outfit for Charlotte, but sometimes I do. That's how he managed to get two kimonos earlier in the year. So I decided that Joe was going to get a Regency outfit, or at least try to make him one. Project found!
I started off with research, with was somewhat hard. There's a lot of resources out there, but nothing very definitive. I had to glean a little information from here, and little from there. But after a few hours, I thought I had enough of an idea to at least create something vaguely from that era. I decided to start off with shoes. Since Joe has such big feet I had to find out if I even had shoes that would work that would fit him. There's not a whole lot of options around here for Ken shoes, but I eventually settled on a pair of squishy Joe boots that I've had forever (AKA, don't ask where they came from, because I couldn't tell you if I wanted to). They fit his feet and worked somewhat for the era. (Best out of what I had.) With the shoes decided on I got to work on making him some pants. I was making them out of some tan broadcloth that I bought at Walmart a while back, back when I started sewing. You might recognize this materiel from Ricky's pants. I used the same pattern that I used to make the undershorts for the kimono, although when I first made them I forgot they needed a waistband, so they were dreadfully short, meaning I had to tear out most of what I had done so I could add one. I would have needed to do that even if I had remembered to add the waistband because how I had sewn the inseam was really off, they barely fit Joe! (He's got a really low groin.)
While I was working with the pants, I was also working with the jacket. Originally I was going to use a new Ken jacket pattern that I had printed (much) earlier, but found that I was missing a piece. Since I'm lazy I decided that now was the time to see how well the pea coat pattern would work for Joe. I knew that style wise it would work since the jacket I was making was double breasted. Unfortunately, in my wonderful wisdom had thrown out the pattern that I had drafted for him, thinking that I'd never use it. I had done it the day before literally. Since I'm not a proud man, I dug though the trash. I didn't find what I was looking for, but it doesn't matter, I ended up using the same pattern as the one that Charlotte uses, just with some minor tweaks, made off the cuff. I did use a larger sleeve pattern. Joe's arms are much bigger than Charlotte's. It went together pretty easily, but I'm an old pro at that pattern. I managed to mess up the collar a few times, but that's no shock, that happens all the time. Deviating from the norm, I was going to add a tail to the jacket, which was the regency style. I didn't bother changing the pea coat pattern, I was going to add it afterward, attaching it to the back. I made a simple square and attached it.
So with all that done, I started to do the fine detail work on what I had just sewn, clip threads, reinforce seams, all that fun stuff. Unfortunately when I was snipping seams on the pants, they shifted in my hands as I was cutting, and I cut a hole into them. A hole?!?!?! Oh, I was so mad, and it wasn't even on a spot that I could take in, it was in the seat of the pants. I couldn't believe that I had done that. I threw the pants across the room, I was so not in the mood to deal with them then. That's when I decided I was done for the night. I didn't trust myself with the jacket. Messing up the pants was one thing, messing up the jacket was another mess entirely. Plus, since the light in my room is terrible, working with black on black is terrible at night. I did however remove the tail that I had attached. It just wasn't working, so might as well cut my losses early on that one.
It was mid-morning of today when I got to work on it again. Last night was bad, with the alarm chirping in the middle of the night. For some reason it thought there was something going on in the living room when there was nothing in there. Sometimes it's screwy like that. I was also awoken by thunderstorms in the morning. But still I got to work, but before I started sewing, I went on a hunt to find Joe's other shoe. I thought I had it last night, but when I went to get it, I could only find one. I brushed it off last night, thinking that I must have misplaced it, but this morning when I checked all the places I thought it could be, I couldn't find it. I ended tearing apart my room searching for it. I was even back in the trash, wondering if I had tossed it in there by accident (it's happened). Eventually I did find it, I had accidentally put it into the costume bag last night. I had taken it out to find something from it, and I guess the boot ended up in there when I was putting everything away. I'm glad it showed up, I was beginning to think I didn't have a pair of them in the first place! Doesn't take much to make be doubt my sanity. With that behind me, I got back to sewing, I started off making another pair of pants, to replace the ones I messed up. These ones ended up being a bit longer then the first pair, but that's fine. They're actually going to be tucked into the boots, and the extra length means more volume for the puffy pant legs. Which is actually not correct for the era, but Joe's legs are so thin that he needs pants with volume. If they were skin tight, like they should be, you'd really see how small his chicken legs are! So, his costume is more an homage than an actual reproduction. Anyway, I got these completed, without slicing a hole into them. (Success!) My first item finished with this outfit. After that I worked on the jacket. I made another tail, one that was not just a square, this one was more tapered to the bottom. I think it looks much better than the old one. I finished the jacket the same way that I did the other ones, even doing the snaps in the front, making sure that I didn't sew all the way through. And if you remember when I made those other jackets, you should remember how much I love doing that... just love it. I also added six pearl buttons to the front (after I looked up if men wore pearl buttons back then.)
For his shirt, that's actually the one I tweaked on Friday. Remember how I said I'd never use it? Well I'm using it. I actually tore out the stitches I put in them to tack the collar down, I also had to rip out part of the Velcro that I moved when I tweaked it. The collar is supposed to stick straight up in this look. I might go and fix the Velcro later, but I might not bother. His neck tie, is just a tube of fabric tied accordingly. It's from the same fabric as that vintage Ken suit I made a bit back. I also blanket stitched the end of it. And I think that's it? And Joe's dressed, matching Charlotte. Originally I thought he was going to look like a Butler when he was done, but as a whole it works. He might end up getting some glasses, but I'd have to make them first (can't find his original pair), but I might not bother. He's been posing with Charlotte all day and they really look wonderful together. She, by the way, has managed to find a pair of shoes to wear. It's the white high heel Mary Janes that came with the Silkstone Waitress. Not sure how long either of them are going to wear these outfits, but they're going to be in them tomorrow. They're going to be the stand ins for Princess Rosebud and Anton while I write. See you then!
He looks so dapper!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Here we are again...

Again I find myself working on a project late into the night that I didn't get around to finishing. It would probably help if I started working on it earlier, but you can't plan inspiration. Since it's so late, I can't be bothered to do an actual post about it, so tomorrow's one gets to be twice as long.
See you then!

Monday, March 28, 2011

All over the place this Monday!

Monday's really seem to work in terms of my writing. I managed to get another page and a half done in the section I'm working on. I didn't get two full pages because I still need some more mental planning on the section. I feel that there needs to be a bit more personal dialogue for Princess Rosebud. So I'm letting myself think about that and getting back to it Thursday. I did figure out a way for them to get out of the room, and I think it's actually a pretty decent solution. Nothing too grandiose, but still has plenty of meaning to the reader, if they read between the lines.
I was lucky to get my writing done in the morning, because I went out shopping in the afternoon. It was another dry shopping trip for the dolls. I however picked up a few personal hygiene products (like I'm sure you were dying to know that!). I was planning on picking up a few snaps since I'm close to running out, but we didn't go to Walmart plus money was tight. I'm sure that I'll have enough to last the week, and if not I think I have some clothes that I can steal them from, but to even get to that point I'd have to sew a lot more than usual. I'm sure I will be fine. In an interesting note I saw another Barbie clone for sale when I was out. They had them in the small toy section in Bottom Dollar. These were a lot like the ones I saw last week, but they had better legs. They were blown plastic compared to solid, but at least she didn't look like she was going to snap a ankle just from walking. She also came dressed differently, and with boots compared to t-strap shoes. They boots were really cheap and terrible looking, so I didn't even think about getting one. It's just nice to see clone dolls in barbie size, I guess the Bratz doll reign of terror is waning.
At home I sat around trying to think of something to occupy my time. I ended up going back though the box of dolls that I'm still thinking about keeping from the Blue Box. I looked though the Kelly dolls that were in there. Right now in my collection there's only two, Kelly and Tommy. I'm not a huge fan of child dolls, but these two were Charlotte's kids, when she went though her Mommy phase. Plus they were a Christmas present from my parents, in a really sweet story, so they have a spot in my heart, and I just had to keep them. They are over on Charlotte's shelf, sitting near Ashley. But there were several Kelly dolls in the pile that I was still thinking about keeping or not. I pulled out a Tommy doll and decided to donate him, I don't need a second one, plus he had a nose nip, so maybe someone else will want him. I also decided to donate a Hispanic Kelly that I think came in the dentist set? way back when. I'm not sure why I even thought about keeping her, I never really played with her, she was just there. Still have to dress and rewash them, but until then, they're just kicking around. That left me with three Kelly dolls still on the fence. Two of those dolls were actually ones that I had for a while, ones that technically had a family like Kelly and Tommy. During Charlotte's Mommy phase I made a couple families. I think I only made three, and out of that three only two had children. I think this whole phase predates Ashley, because she doesn't have a family, and I can't see myself excluding her. One family was Mary Clair (Ballerina Barbie) and Micheal (from yesterday's post), they had two Kelly sized kids, Sally and ...unnamed. Those were two of the dolls that were still in the maybe keep pile, so I decided that since I hate tearing up families they were going to stay, even though I'm not in love with them. Besides, they're just two little dolls, not like they're huge dolls. So I cleaned them up and redressed them. Unnamed's face is a little stained, so I guess she's going to be always dirty. I think that I'm going to stick them on the Japanese doll shelf (Which is where I place all the short dolls since it's shorter than all the other shelves). I think I might tuck them in the back because I really don't care if I see them as often as the other dolls that I really like. I'm still on the fence about a couple dolls in the pile, mostly the two Barbies. There's reason to keep both of them, but I'm not a fan of either of them. They have the Mackie facemold, and I don't really like it. There's actually no dolls in the collection with that face, the closed mouth smile reads kind of fake to me, but that's just my opinion. I know lots of people who love it. So they are still very on the fence.
After I was done with Sally and unnamed, I did a few mundane things. Cleaned the room a bit, updated my index card pile, and played video games. I also tried to stay warm, it was plenty cold today. Hopefully tomorrow will be warmer. Still trying to think about what to sew, hopefully something will come to me, or else tomorrow's going to be another slow day.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Long post.... Hand cramp!

Now before I jump into what I did yesterday/today I just want to wish my Mother a Happy Birthday today! I spent a good deal of this morning making cupcakes quietly, hoping she wouldn't come into the kitchen during. I've been super secretive about it, I made sure all of the dishes I used went into the dish washer, I threw out the cake box in the trash in my room, and all of the cupcakes are in my room, so she won't see them until tonight. (Can we talk about temptation?) Also the cupcake pan is in the upstairs bathroom because it wouldn't fit in the dishwasher. The lengths that I go to surprise someone. I hope that it's still a surprise, even though I was super quiet when making them, I still made enough noise, I just hope she didn't hear it and figure it out, making all my work be all for naught. I still have to make frosting for them, but I'm going to wait for that until it's later in the evening, although I'm sure by the time I get this posted I will have made some.
Anyway, back to yesterday. I spent a good chunk of the day being lazy, trying to find something to sew. The issue is, I just can't think of anything that really speaks to me. Right now a lot of people are dressed satisfactorily, and all the people who aren't, I'm still thinking about how to dress them. If I could think of something, I would be working on it, but they're being difficult. But honestly, I like that. If everyone was dressed perfectly, it would be a very boring collection, I like it when it's always evolving, and getting better. Since I don't have any dolls to work on (that I really want to) it was time to get another doll. Not buy one, since that hasn't been something that works for me, but pull out one that isn't officially part of the collection. Now, some of you may remember "The Blue Box of Doom", the box of dolls that accumulated from my childhood that I left up in Connecticut. It made it's way down here last year and I vowed to clear out the mess. Since I had already picked out the majority of the dolls that I liked and wanted to keep, the majority of the dolls remaining ended getting cleaned, redressed, to get donated. (They're still kicking around, anybody need a lot of generic Barbie dolls?) A very select few remained that I wanted to keep, or still wasn't ready to get rid of just yet. The other day I pulled out a doll to clean and redress, then decided that I really didn't want him, so he's been added to the donate pile, so there's some progress. Today I decided to cull though the pile again and pull someone else out. Even if I don't take anyone out today, I'm able to think about dressing a different section of dolls that I'm not completely mentally drained with.
So I looked though my pile and selected one. His name is Micheal, and he's from Mattel's short lived "Young Sweethearts" line from 1975. I found him many years ago at a local antique mall, and in my naive experience I thought he was a Mod Ken. I believed he cost ten dollars, and came with his stock clothes and shoes. When he got home, he did not get the gentlest of play... I was not a destructive child, but for some reason with him I was not kind. He managed to break at both knees, as well as one foot. I managed to keep track of all his parts and I tried to repair him yesterday. But for some reason the superglue I was using was really bad and didn't even work. (It was so bad that it didn't even manage to glue my fingers together, which I always do whenever I use superglue.) So I opted to just tape his legs and foot back on. It's not a perfect solution, but it works for the time being. Eventually, I'll try again, or just flat out replace his legs. They're attached with elastic, so I'm sure I can fix it when a suitable replacement becomes available. He also got a bath, because he stunk!
When he was done with his bath, and lounging about to dry I started thinking about if I was planning on keeping him. Since he was still sticking around waiting to rejoin the collection, I knew that I wasn't too involved with him. Since I didn't stick in into the donate box, it meant that I didn't want to get rid of him right off the bat. Since he's been with us for a while, not to mention the doll that I dubbed his "wife" was still in the collection, (and on the named shelf no less!) that he should stay, also he was cute, and technically vintage. But then I had to make a difficult decision, where was he going to go? I'm still trying to decide where he belongs, either he's going to go into the vintage shelf (With the 70's dolls), or on the dregs shelf. It all depends on how I feel in time. I just don't want to add him to the vintage shelf because I don't want to add too many dolls that aren't official Barbie dolls, plus he barely makes the cut. But either way he stays, so it's time to get him dressed.
I started off with a photo that I found a while back, it was of the band Abba. While the women were dressed really boring, the men looked kind of interesting in a 70's way. So I wanted to dress a Ken like that, but didn't have any 70's era dolls, but I did now! This was actually the reason that I picked him from the pile, I wanted to make one of the outfits. The one on the guy on the left, if you're looking at the picture. I started with the white overalls since I knew that's what I really liked about the outfit. I used the bell bottom pants pattern that I drafted a while back, and just added a bib on front to make the top part. After that I needed to add the straps, and all the machine sewing was done. I did work on it after that, and got the entire thing finished. After all that I tried it on him, and was totally underwhelmed. It looked really cheesy, and not at all fitting in the collection. I just really didn't like it on him. It looked like, doll clothes. Which I know sounds weird, but makes total sense to me.
In a last ditch attempt to see if it would work, I got a shirt to see how it would look. The first one I grabbed I couldn't get over his hands, so I grabbed another one. This was the one that I made for my Mom's Ken, that had wider sleeve openings. This one fit, so he can use the same shirt patterns as vintage Ken, as long as the sleeves are wide enough to go over his hands. But there was another thing that came out of that little shirt try one, I really liked the pattern on him. In case you forgot it was that red and cream checkered material. So I thought about remaking the overalls in jean materials and making Micheal here a country boy. The problem is, the clothes would be nearly identical to the other Ken, and I really don't like that. I try to have a great deal of difference between how everyone's dressed, rarely using the same pattern multiple times, not to mention, practically the same styling of clothes. So I gave up the idea of the overalls, set them aside, and thought about my changing opinion. By chance I still had a pair of jean shorts that I had made for Charlotte out. When I made them, I needed to soak them, then wash them with my own laundry, and when that was all done she was wearing her Regency clothes, and it's too much of a hassle to take them off to just try on a pair of shorts, so they've been kicking around waiting for me to put them somewhere. So for a lark I tried them on Micheal. Here's a fun little tip out there for all you collectors out there; Vintage Ken can wear the same pants as modern Barbie. It might be a little tight in the back for some things, but they can share. So these shorts fit, and not to mention looked really cute. They were really short, but that fit's the 70's look. So I wanted to do shorts, but since his knees are going to be taped, I really couldn't work how it looked. Unless... I made really tall socks. And you know who wears high socks? Joggers. A quick Google search found me a photo of a sewing pattern of a very 70's jogger. He didn't have high knee socks, but it would still work with the outfit. Last night I worked on the shorts, using the pattern that I drafted for Charlotte. (Te he he!) I also worked some of the jacket/windbreaker. I used the Ken shirt pattern that I use a lot, but this time, I didn't use the curved bottom hem, I just cut it straight. I also cut the sleeves wider, so they didn't taper. I used the red Calico that I used for Charlotte's Halloween costume. Getting a little low on it, I think that might be my next Hobby Lobby purchase, in time. I still have enough for at least another project, but not a whole lot. I got a great deal of it done last night. And I will say the collar was the worst part. I ended up having to redo it at least four times before it came out decently. I got all the sewing machine part done on it last night before I headed off to bed. And I also made the red headband, which he needed because his hair doesn't lay flat. I'm thinking he might need a Downy dunk in time, but it can wait for a bit, it's not that bad.
In the morning I finished the jacket. All it needed was the seams reinforced and two snaps. I'm running out of snaps and will need more soon. After I was finished with the jacket I color fasted it. I also did that to the headband too since it's from the same material and is going to be touching his face, they're still drying so if they look wet in the pictures that's why. After that I started making his socks, which were not easy. These are the second pair that he's wearing, the first pair I couldn't even get to go all the way around his leg. Not sure why they were so messed up, but they sure were. Not sure if I'll ever finish the first pair for someone else, but the second pair worked. I made two lines of red stitching as decoration at the top. I also made him some white wristbands. These go with the overall look, plus it also hides the nick in one of his wrist (also my fault). These are jersey knit because they have to stretch over his hands. I also gave him a white t-shirt to go under the jacket because it's so low cut. I didn't have to make this because I had it already in the bag. I just love when I have stuff that works for a redress. His shoes are stolen, and belong to another Ken, but I don't have enough to go around. I got these from an antique store in town, so I may have to try and get there again and pick up some more, I have several Ken's who need sneakers.
So there we have it, another doll added to the collection, and redressed. And I really like this look on him. Honestly, I'd wear this look if I had the body for it. I love the look of shorts with knee socks. I will admit that it reads a little "porn-y", but I assume that's what the 70's were like. A mystical world filled with pool boys and pizza boys, and terrible innuendos (Among other things). Am I wrong?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

No Update Today

I finally found a project to do today, but I didn't get it finished today. I'll get it done tomorrow and do a big post about it Sunday.
See you then!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Finish it up Friday comes back...ish

Well today was an interesting day (I always say that, but it never really is). It started with Charlotte losing a dress, or at least giving it up. Usually Charlotte would get a dress, then in a few days it would head off to someone else and she'd get something different. But for the past five outfits I've created for her, nobody's claimed them after her. It's not that there's something wrong with them, in fact they've all been really nice, clothes that I wouldn't mind having in the collection. The problem is, they don't work for everyone, and everyone that can wear them are already satisfactorily dressed. And since I like these outfits, and that I just made them, they've been kicking around, even though Charlotte's not wearing them. I just can't bear to put them away just yet. I guess I'm just waiting for someone to come along and want them. Today was that day for one of the outfits. It was a shirt dress that I made recently and didn't bother sharing with you all, although I did take pictures of it and posted them over on Flickr. It's been hanging out for a few days before someone asked for it. It went to my Ponytail Reproduction Barbie. The funny thing is she was wearing a dress made from the same fabric as her new dress, and I've only made two things from this fabric. I guess it's just her color. Last year when she got the first dress she took it from Charlotte as soon as it was done, but now that she can have it back Charlotte's not interested. I guess she's moved onto different things. Oh well, more fodder for the bag. It's weird, even though I was racking my brain to find someone vintage to take the dress, I just couldn't, I guess I'm happy with how most of them are dressed, never though I'd reach that point, weird.
With the dress on it's new owner I started off with my actual work for "Finish it up Friday", but before I begin that, I want to add an amendment to it. I still have a bunch of stuff kicking around from the Blue Box of Doom, some of it needs to be rewashed, some of it needs to be repaired, and some of it needs to get thrown out. From now on I'm including that in stuff that I can work on for Friday, anything to get rid of that bag that's been hanging out in my room for like, forever. I didn't do that for this week, but maybe I will next week.
Anyway for my first thing, it was modifying something that I didn't make. I really don't remember where this came from, it was just in the box waiting for me. It was originally a cheap Ken knock off tuxedo shirt and pants, that were all attached. The pants were messed up, and made out of some cheap nylon, but the shirt was decent and out of cotton. So I decided to remove them and try and salvage the shirt. I ended up having to resew a great deal of it, even reattaching the Velcro in the back. I also tacked down the collar, the original had an issue with sticking straight up. I also removed the fraying ribbon bow tie it had. Not sure if I'll ever use this, but at least I've got the option now. I didn't bother with the pants because they're easy to make. I've actually got a decent number of pants that would work with this actually.
After that I worked on something else, but I didn't get around to finishing it, so it will have to wait for another day. After that I worked on this skirt. I actually have no clue why I made it, but now that I'm thinking about it, I think it was a failed attempt at something for Talking Barbie, but I don't really remember. I had to basically redo this entire thing, since whatever I did to it originally didn't come out too hot, but I didn't do very much with this before I originally called it quits. But it's done now, another skirt for the bag, came out kind of cute though.
After that I was looking though the box for another project when I was called downstairs by my father. I don't know how much about this project you guys know about, but I've been in need of a thread holder. Since I've been getting some new colors for my sewing project, the spools have outgrown the box I keep them in. I could either buy a new one at Hobby Lobby for 14.99, or have my Dad make one for considerably less. This one is made out of a cabinet drawer from Habitat for Humanity, costing us 38 cents. I marked off where I wanted the holes and my Dad drilled for me. So today I cut some dowels into 2 inch long sticks, wrapped tape around the ends, and pushed them into the holes he drilled. And then I had a thread holder! It actually looks really nice, and holds 21 spools. I had to tape the end of the dowels because they were smaller than the holes, they're really secure with the tape, but can I still take them out in case I need to. Like if I break one or something. Pretty cool, huh? Yay for new sewing stuff at a fraction for the cost. (Counting it for Friday's total)
After that I moved onto something else. But first I did move all of my spools into this new holder, and it looks pretty nice, and I even have a few spots still free. Anyway, I decided to add another accessory to Charlotte's current outfit. I decided she needed gloves. Ugh, gloves, so hard to make, but make so many outfits. So I set out to make them. I actually pulled out the old sewing machine to make this, my machine doesn't have the right tension setting to do it correctly. The first glove I messed up and made too short, but it wasn't a total loss. I have a Silkstone doll that's missing a glove, not sure where it went, so I think I may have accidentally thrown it out. Anyway, the poor gal's been wearing only one glove since them, (and I pushed her hand out of sight, so you can really notice that it's bare) and since it's short the one I made was a match for it. After that I made two more gloves a little bit longer for Charlotte. They're cute, but I just know that as soon as she takes them off someone's going to ask for them, it never fails.
And so that's what I got done today, technically five things, but not like usual. But still progress is progress and at least I know I'm going to use the thread holder and gloves compared to the shirt and skirt. So really, which is better?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So, I think I gave up buying dolls for lent...

Even though I didn't plan that at all, I think I really have. And I'm not even Catholic! I just haven't found any dolls that I want, or at least in my price range. I mean there's plenty of dolls I want online, just not a whole lot I can afford. But in terms of playline dolls out there, there's nothing that I really want. Sure I wouldn't mind if a few of the Barbie Basics came my way, but I'm not willing to spend that much money on a doll that I'm not totally in love with. For twenty bucks I could do a lot of other things, buy some new clothes, get a body for my (bald) TNT Barbie head, get some fabric, put it aside for Kyu, or even get some doll hair for some re-roots. On that note, I'm getting into the mood to do another re-root, I just need to talk myself into doing it. There's still several dolls waiting to be finished. I just need to get the energy to actually do it. And the one I really want to re-root I don't have the correct color hair for, so you might see me doing that, you might not. I'm usually pretty good at avoiding doing re-roots.
But anyway, today, was supposed to be a writing day, but I skipped it. I'm still thinking about how to finish that section, something's starting to form in my mind and I didn't want to rush it. It doesn't hurt that today was a shopping day. Originally I was thinking I was going to skip going, but decided to go when asked. We hit up the normal stores, including several second hand stores, where I turned up nothing. I even skipped going to Walmart and opted to go to the Dollar Tree instead. There I found a Barbie clone! It was actually pretty exciting because they never seem to exist anymore, usually they are Bratz sized or smaller. She was an odd one, her hands were actually really nice, using an interesting sculpt, her hair was pink, and she came with bright pink Barbie t-strap shoes, but the most interesting part about her were her legs. They were tiny, and I do mean tiny. It was like they stuck pencils under her skirt. It was pretty comical to see, and I did toy with getting her, but it would have been a waste of a dollar. Maybe if any of the clothes were decent, or if I could use her shoes I would have, but I didn't like any style of the dresses she came with, and I've never been a fan of those shoes. I have several of them from Mattel and nobody wears them. Here's the link from the dollar tree so you can see what I mean about her: Summer Cruzin' Dolls, freaky, right?
That's all I got done today, pretty uneventful overall. Here's hoping I'll get enough gumption to get "Finish it up Friday" done this week.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another day gone bye!

Warm weather seems to have hit North Carolina recently, and with it I found all of my creativity just sucked out of me. My lackluster creativity pause isn't helped by the fact that I really can't think of anything I want to sew. I'm still reeling from how quickly I was able to make the regency dress. I was expecting that to take a few days, compared to just one. So I took a break from sewing I guess. I didn't bother trying to make something to just make something because whenever I do that whatever I makes usually comes out terrible, and it's just a waste of my energy, time, and resources.
But before I came to that conclusion, I did try to work on some sewing, focusing my free time to get someone off the redress list. I picked my Asian Integrity Toys doll. She's been literally sitting on the bookshelf naked, waiting to get dressed, for like several months. Can I talk about these Integrity Toys dolls for a bit? I got her several years back at Walmart in Connecticut. This was before I know much about Fashion Royalty, and just really liked her face. I bought her, which was good because I've never seen another one like her, usually they just make African American dolls. I like those too, I have two of those. They're not perfect, their faces are amazing, but their bodies are terrible. Their legs are really thick and they don't have ankles. This doll I switched to a BB body. (The neck joint isn't a perfect fit, so she's got a really long neck, but it's still really pretty.) The other two I have yet to find a matching skin tone to swap them to, but overall, while I like these dolls, they're not my favorite. But I'm going off on a tangent.
So today I put Charlotte away, pulled out this doll and waited for her to tell me what she wanted to wear. And she never did! What is it with Integrity where all their dolls are very quiet when it comes to their clothing? It's like they expect me to know what they want without telling me. It's very annoying, and so far has happened with everyone of them that I have, right now only two of them are dressed, the other two are full time nudists.
So, even with her in hand all I managed to do was trim off 1/8 of an inch from the bottom of her hair. That's another issue with these doll, their hair is really poor quality. The ends of her hair has split and tangled so badly that I couldn't even get a brush to pass though it. So snip, snip time.
But that's all I did with her, so I ask you dear readers, how would you dress her? I am dying for suggestions from all of you, because I honestly have no idea how to dress her. So please, feel free to add some of your ideas under the comment section. And before I forget, Michelle, I actually did the outfit suggestion that you suggested for Vanessa way back when, but with her coloring it didn't come out at all like I envisioned it, and I didn't post anything about it. So I apologize for that, hope it doesn't keep you from posing in here.
Suggestions anyone?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride..."

So you know what's weird? My sister got engaged on Sunday, then my best friend from college got engaged last night! Literally back to back, and I'm going to be in both weddings. The first thing I asked my friend was when she was planning hers, since my November is booked. She said next year, which is great since I won't be double booked. Even though she's a great friend, if I had to pick one wedding I'd have to go with my sister's, but I don't have to choose! You like that header? I'm going to be using that joke a lot in the upcoming months.
On that note, I didn't get much of anything done today. Which is fitting because did you know that today is national goof off day? I didn't, but I feel much better knowing that I was following a national holiday, and not just being lazy. I did manage to get a few things taken care of that I was avoiding, responded to e-mails, put away laundry, clean up some around here. So, while I didn't do stuff as productive as I would like, I still got a few things done that I should have.
Now since I don't have anything exciting to share with you from today, I'm going to share with you what I did yesterday, but failed to share with you because I didn't want to drag out the camera. You guys might remember me getting some white calico and pink ribbon, well it was for the project that I did yesterday. For a long, long, long time I wanted to make a Regency style dress (Think Pride and Prejudice). This was one of those, wish I could make thing that I never thought I could make back when I started sewing. The other day I decided that I wanted to make one, so I started doing some research. I found a lot of good resources with pictures that were really helpful. I tried making a quick attempt, but I was working with the wrong material and pattern, so it sucked, plain and simple (Hello failure, meet trash can). So I looked though my patterns for a high waisted bodice pattern, finding two, one that was one piece, and one that was two. I printed them both out and tried them. I started with the one piece one, and it was exactly what I needed. I didn't even bother to cut out the second one. Why bother when what I had worked fine?
But I didn't have the right material, which is why I was so fevered to go out and get some white calico. And while I got some on Saturday, I didn't get a chance to use it until Monday, and if you know me, I hate waiting. So I started off making it yesterday when my writing was done...ish. I had decided to line the bodice so I didn't have to bother sewing the neckline. The rest of it is unlined. I did inset sleeves, the same ones as the Steampunk blouse, and they went in easily. I don't know why I'm so hesitant to use inset sleeves, they actually come out pretty decent for me, nothing like collars. (I HATE collars!) All this top has is some under-bust darts, and that was pretty easy. The top actually turned out a little big in the back, since the pattern is meant for a larger busted girl that's no shock. I ended up turning the edges under to make it not look as big in the back.
With the skirt, I winged the pattern, just going for a square rectangle. I also hemmed it with that heart lace that I always use. But when I went to attach the skirt, I found that I really didn't have enough to go all the way around. I tired making do with it, but I couldn't. I had to call it quits and make a second skirt. Luckily I was smart to realize that it could mess up, so I just attached the skirt with a number four stitch so I could easily take it off. The second skirt was much better, and much bigger. It was more of a bell shape than a rectangle. I was able to do the front pleat in the center that I originally had planned. I also used more of the heart lace at the bottom. With that the majority of the construction was finished. After that was snipping off extra thread, reinforcing seams, and adding snaps. I also added some pink ribbon to the waistband. Also I added a bow of the same pink ribbon at the center. The ends of the ribbons have been treated with glue. Let me tell you, sewing snaps though four layers of fabric is terrible, but I manged to get it done. It would have been easier had I bothered to use my thimble, but I didn't want to bother with it.
When I was working on the dress, I was also working on something else, a bonnet. I dusted off the steampunk pattern that I made and made another one. This one's white calico with the pink ribbon. It doesn't have the thin cardboard like the other one because when I tried it the writing from the box I used showed though. So instead I cut out some index cards, taped them together and used that instead. The back closes with more blanket stitches. That was all I did with it then, but it looked dreadfully plain. So today I added two small pink bows on each side of it, like at the temple. But I didn't do that until after I took the pictures, so you can't see them.
And so I managed to make the dress. Pretty shocking that I was able to make it so easily. I mean it took me several hours, but I still managed to do it. I don't know why I was so daunted to do it, every technique I used for it, I've done before. But anyway, I even gave Charlotte some appropriate undergarments. She's wearing socks and bloomers that I had just kicking around (No pun intended). I don't have any appropriate shoes for this outfit, but I'm not losing any sleep over that fact, if anyone asks, I'll just tell them she took them off to run though a dewy field... or something.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Why good evening, Mister Darcy"

Today everyone's still a bit shell shocked from the news that my sister's getting married. She called and told my Grandmother last night, when she heard the news my Grandmother burst into tears and sobbed for two minutes straight. She's a crier that one. My mom's been on the phone with her today, when she mentioned that my sister is planning on getting married up in Connecticut, she broke down again. She wasn't as emotional when my Mom told her that I was going to be part of the wedding party. "Oh, I heard of someone else doing that too." was the reply to that news. It's like come one Grandma, way to negate my contribution! (I kid, I kid.)
But anyway, what I did today. I started off my slashing my prices on all my etsy stuff. I guess I was a little overpriced with my initial prices, so I really knocked them down. Most things are now 9.99, with a few variations (Mostly less than that). Here's hoping things sell so I can start saving up my own money for Kyu. Finger's crossed for me today.
When that was done I moved on to my writing for the day. I was a bit lazy and procrastinated in starting, and even toyed with skipping it today and working in it tomorrow, but I sucked it up and got started. I worked again on "Meeting Room Chat", getting 1.5 pages before I called it quits. While I didn't reach my goal of two pages I needed to stop. Where I am, I need some time to think about how I'm going to expand and finish the section. There's a door that I need to think about how they are going to get past. Hopefully I'll think of something by Thursday. I won't lie, even as I was working on this section, I was giving some thought to the next section, parts of this is really beginning to shape up. I know I say this every few weeks, but I might actually finish this thing before too long. Which is a weird thought.
After I finished I decided to work on some sewing. Haven't had a chance to sew in such a long time that I was eager to get to work on my project that I wanted to do since... Friday? Either way, I finally had the free time and the materials so I set out to work. I'd like to say that I got a lot done, but that would be a lie. I got the entire thing done. By the end of today I made Charlotte a new dress and bonnet. I still need to add some decoration to the bonnet, but haven't figured out what yet. I'll share it with you tomorrow, I'm too lazy today to pull up the camera. Now that I've finished what I was going to do tomorrow, what am I going to do now?!?!?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a weird day...

Today was an incredibly exciting day, but it didn't start off that way. First off when I went downstairs for breakfast, I found out that Chester, the cat with an Iron stomach, had gotten into the cupcakes. The little bugger damaged FIVE of them! Two of them, he ate about half, so overnight the cat had more than a cupcake, the hairy jerk. Luckily he didn't seem to be suffering from any ill effects today, but he still shouldn't be eating any. He had only picked at one plate, which was the spare cupcake plate, so I still had enough. But then when I was getting all the stuff picked up to go to my sister's, I found out another pest had picked over the other plate. My brother had eaten several of those cupcakes, even though I TOLD him not to. Luckily there were enough unpicked cupcakes to bring a full plate. I also brought along the frosting that I had made, which was untouched.
The party itself went fine, was pretty low key. We watched a basketball game, followed by a repeat of "Project Runway", all in all kind of boring. We had talked about going to the Museum of Art, but decided against it because we had to call it an early night, my brother had a lot of homework for tomorrow. We had forgotten to mention it to my sister, so we accidentally sprung it on her. She then sprung something on us... she's getting married!
It was an absolute shock to all of us, we knew that she was in a serious relationship with her boyfriend, but they didn't seem in that much of a rush to get it official. But apparently they are. They haven't been planning for very long, but they're planning to get married in November, the 11th, up in Connecticut. She also said that she wanted me to be her male bridesmaid. (Is there an official term for that?) That was a bit shocking because I really don't think that she likes me that much to make me a part of her wedding. I was shocked to find out I was invited in the first place. So, originally we were going to leave at four, but after that announcement we were talking for several more hours. She had a notebook with ideas and thoughts. Right now she wants the color red to be featured a lot, and with hearts and ribbons. She asking for my help with it (am I really ready for something like this?), but I'm not really thinking about it now. Right now it's up to her to refine her thoughts and ideas to find out what she wants, after then I'll be more willing (and able) to help. But it's so weird, such a small change, but still so different. I'm sure the next few months are going to be a bit different, I've never been a part of a wedding before (even such a small one as this one's going to be)!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Can't think of a cool title, this will have to suffice...

Today was an interesting day to say the least. My father was going out grocery shopping today and invited me along last night, originally I declined, but I decided that I actually needed a few things so I asked him if I could still go along, he said yes, then I asked what time he was going to go, so I knew to be ready on time and not keep him waiting. He said 10, which was fine.
So this morning I was all set to go at ten, rushing my morning a little bit in order to get finished in time, then nothing. No call, no noise from downstairs, nothing. I go downstairs and see my father, we made small talk, neither of us mention going out, and there's noway he's ready to go out. So I head back upstairs. We don't end up leaving the house until 12:30, and by then I was steamed. I mean why tell me a time when it means absolutely nothing? It's a small thing, just something that really bugged me. I managed to get some sewing done when I was waiting, (and waiting, and waiting) but it didn't turn out anywhere how I liked it. It might be one of those things that looks better on paper than actual application. It's in the box now, but I wouldn't hold my breath that you'll see it anytime soon, pretty annoyed with it.
Anyway, when out we hit up a few second hand stores, nothing there I wanted, but that's not shocking or anything. They've all been pretty much a miss for a while now, so I wasn't too upset. After that I went to Hobby Lobby. I know, I know, I've been talking about how I'm not going there anymore, then I go there. I get it, my Mom teased me over it too. But you know what? I've drastically cut my spending down there, and frankly, they're unavoidable for some things in such a small town. Yesterday I finally hit my wall for not having any white calico. I needed it for a project, I knew this day was coming, so that's what I was buying. I also needed some light pink ribbon, as well as some interesting trim. I bought three yards of white calico, hoping that will be enough to keep me from needing it for a while. I don't think I've ever bought three yards of the same fabric before. But it's white so I know I'll use it. I also managed to get some pink ribbon. I wasn't so lucky on the interesting trim. I couldn't find anything that I really wanted, or liked. I think that I'm going to probably use that synthetic heart lace stuff that I got for Charlotte's Halloween costume. That stuff has payed for itself, it's my go to trim, that's another thing that I'll try and get more if when I finally use it up. I left there after spending a little more than ten dollars. Hopefully I'll be able to stay out of there for a while, let's hope it sticks this time.
I wasn't even tempted today at Walmart because I didn't even go there! But even if I had, I wouldn't have gotten anything. Like I said there's nothing out there that I even need. Even the fashionista's are ignored. But part of that is because of that annoying "swapping styles" feature. I don't need a doll that I can pop her head off at will. Also I dislike it because in order to be able to "swap" they got rid of the under bust joint. And that's a fail in my book, you can't offer me less movement. I've been spoiled by the first and second wave. I doubt I'll be buying much of them until they bring back that joint. But anyway, even at home I couldn't appreciate my purchases, or start using them. I had to buckle down and make cupcakes for tomorrow. Wasn't totally excited for it, but it must be done. Luckily they were pretty easy to make, and pretty easy to eat! (Have to taste test them!) I even managed to whip up some home made frosting to go with them. That's all I managed to get done today, but I think it's enough. Do you know that I just realized the next day that I have planned to sew is Tuesday, can I wait that long? (Yes, yes I can.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

No Finish it up Friday this week...

Took a break from "Finish it up Friday" today. It's the great thing about being your own boss, you can take a break and it's not a big issue. I just wasn't feeling it today, so I skipped. Didn't do much sewing this week, so there was nothing new in the box. Still lots to do in it, but nothing new, so I kind of break even.
Instead I ended up just being lazy all day. I didn't do anything productive, instead I read blogs, sat around, watched tv, read gossip websites, all that fun stuff. I did manage to get some sewing done today, but it was just a quick test of a pattern, one that I had to stop after the test stage because I need some materials to make the actual thing I want to.
Luckily, tomorrow I'm going to go out and pick them up. Although I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to make anything tomorrow, even with the correct supplies in hand. I've got something else scheduled for my day, cupcakes. My mother and my sister are having their birthday's soon, (the 27th and 28th) and we're having a party on Sunday for both of them. We're all going up to Raleigh to my sister's for the day. Originally she was going to have one of her work friends make the cake, but yesterday her friend canceled and my sister asked us to make it. My mom asked me to help, since I don't think it's right to make your own birthday cake, and it's easier if I spearhead the whole thing, I just said I would do it. Instead of cake, I'm going to make cupcakes since I think that they are easier to finish than a cake. I personally find it much easier to pick one up and just eat it than go though all the hassle with a cake, getting a plate, cutting it, putting it on the plate, etc, etc. I know I'm more inclined to eat a cupcake (or twelve), besides it's still cake, just in a smaller form. But either way I have to make it, tomorrow. So you might not get any real updates from me tomorrow, so heads up, Sunday might be a shot day too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More writing, more dreaming...

My day started last night, when I could not fall asleep for the life of me. No matter what I did I just couldn't fall asleep, I hate nights like that. If I had known trying to sleep was going to be such a bust I would have stayed awake and done something productive with my time. And when I did finally fell asleep I managed to have my dreams invaded my a certain someone who I wish would leave my subconscious alone, it's about time they stopped plaguing my dreams, for real. But this dream didn't affect my whole day like it has in the past, I actually was vindicated in the dream, which was a welcome change, but still I want them gone, permanently.
In the morning I was able to get up when my alarm went off. With the time change my schedule's been all messed up, so I've been sleeping in the past few days. I wish I didn't, but I've just been so tired. But I was up this morning on time, although, certainly not bright eyed or bushy tailed. Since it's Thursday you know what that means, time for writing! And write I did, I reached my goal of two pages like normal, and get this, they both were in "Meeting room Chat"! First time getting work done in that section for a while. I'm not in love with what I wrote, but I certainly feel confident that it's a good foundation. Eventually when I go back and edit it, it'll be better, but I'm happy with what I wrote right now. I'm just so glad that I was able to get some work done in this section, for a bit there I was worried that I was stuck again, but I guess I just needed some more time to think about what I was going to say.
When I was done writing I did some window shopping for my birthday, even though it's not for months (June, btw). I'm still holding out hope that I'll get enough money to afford and find the Dynamite Boy Ryu. Pray for me people, especially if someone's willing to sell him for cost plus shipping to me and not charge me their shipping costs. But that's would be just part of my presents, (this is about all my presents from all my family and more of a wish list compared to a "I'm gonna get" list) although he would be a major, major part of it. I ended up looking at the Disney store website, here's the link; Disney Store Dolls. Now you can see what I'm talking about. I really like their 12" version of Snow White. I think she's got a wonderful stylized look about her, and I love how she's not smiling like a lunatic. I had a Mattel Snow White a few year back, but we didn't click. She was a little cutsy, and not at all like the movie. I did like her, and couldn't bear to put her into the donate box, so she's one of the dolls that I brought up to Connecticut. Kept her clothes though, I did dress her however. But I really like this other doll, even though she suffers from big head syndrome. It's funny, she's not made by Mattel, all of the dolls in the Disney store are some other brand, but Mattel is still making their versions of these dolls too. While I have a huge love for Disney I only have one Disney doll in the collection, Cinderella. I've never been big into their doll counterparts, partly because many of them aren't very close to their movie images. I understand that it's hard to take a 2-D image and turn it into a 3-D product, but sometimes I with they would try a little harder. I really can't think I've ever seen a decent Ariel doll, for some reason they always make her lower face really narrow. But anyway, in this different line I really think they did a decent job with Snow White, Mulan, Belle, and Cinderella. (Although there are improvements that could be made with each.) But more interesting than the dolls, this line has something really cool clothing packs from the movies. Made in colors that are actually matching their movie versions! (Although there's still some cheap satin fabric for some things that shouldn't be.) They have one for Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Tiana, and Mulan. There's also a gift set of both dolls and clothes for Rapunzel and Tiana. I won't mince words, I want most of them, even the gift set, but only parts of them. If I had free funds Disney would be a very rich man from me. I'd want the dress form from the Rapunzel clothing set, the blue dress, yellow dress, and cape from Tiana's, the pink dress from Ariel's, the green dress from Belle's, Both of Cinderella's, the white gown from Pocahontas', both of Snow White's, both of Sleeping Beauty's, and actually nothing from Mulan's and Jasmine's. (Not that I would turn them away if someone gave them to me.) I just wish these came with shoes... you know me and shoes. If I had to make a decision now, I'd say I'd get Snow White doll and clothing set. They're part of the buy two for twenty dollars deal. But this is all just a pipe dream, lots to time between now and my birthday, besides who knows what will come down my way. Maybe there's a vintage doll in my future? That's what I got last year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Getting something else done when sewing isn't working.

Since I can't even think of anything I want to try and sew today I'm doing something else with the time compared to stressing over it. Instead I'm going to share with you some pictures from Connecticut, of the real Ellen Francis. And yes, I have been holding onto these pictures since November, let's hope they are like fine wine and get better with age.
In case you forgot what I'm talking about here's the original post about Ellen Francis; Her post
Now that everyone's all caught up, I'll start off with some details. Here's what the back of her shoulder plate reads;
370
A.M.-2-DEP
Armand Marseille
Made in Germany
This mean's that she's a model 370, which is the more common models. I guess she's the Barbie of the bisque world. But I'm not interested in her for any sort of financial gain, just a sentimental one. Without further delay, here's some actual pictures of this lovely lady:
Her in her display caseHer outside of the display case
And Showing off her sleep eyes
Lovely, isn't she? I honestly can't imagine having a doll so fragile to play with. Growing up I had one porcelain type doll ever, and yes she did get broken. Although in my defense it wasn't by me, it was by my witch of a sister. She was being mean and accidentally broke her (while still being mean). But I will man up and admit I've broken plenty of Barbie dolls in my time, and probably haven't stopped with that yet. Luckily most of my dolls aren't easily broken, I've dropped each of them plenty of times. If ever get a chance to own Ellen Francis here, I'm never going to touch her, never ever!
Okay, maybe a little...but I'll still be super careful...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My day today, plus a rant/review

So I was correct that in fact today was a shopping day. So I packed my bags and got ready to hit the dusty trail. We went the the regular stops, including Walmart, where I avoided getting anything (not like that's a big deal currently, sigh). But this time I fell back into an old pattern, by going back to Hobby Lobby.
I haven't been in quite a while since I'm still miffed at them for raising their fabric prices. Also when I e-mailed them about it several weeks ago, I have yet to get a reply. At this point I would even welcome a standard, "Sorry you're mad, but there's nothing you can do about it, please keep giving us your money" e-mail that most companies have stashed away in their files. But all I've gotten from them is silence, which shows how much they don't care about me as a customer. Which is fine by me really, since that incident I've all but stopped shopping there. But today I had to venture into there for a different craft project. I had been alerted to a line of paint markers that Hobby Lobby sells. I had heard some good things about them for doll painting, and I was eager to try them out. I would love to be able to repaint dolls on my own, but have never been able to master working with paint. I love to draw, and consider myself good at it, so getting around that paint/paintbrush hurdle would be stellar. There's another reason that I was looking into learning this, Charlotte. Since she's been home from her repaint, I've noticed that her lower lip paint has been wearing off. It started only a few days after she came home, so even though I've been super careful with her, she's still had enough wear on it to really show. Right now I think most of her lower lip is gone. It's annoying, but livable. With these markers I'd be able to fix any of the little dings and scraps that come up along the way. You'll never know, I might start repainting dolls on my own. Wouldn't that be the thing! But these pens aren't cheap, each one of them costs 2.99, hardly a throw away amount, especially to me. That was the same price as the shoe pack that I bought last week, so I only bought one to start off with.
Judging from the Hobby Lobby website there's not exactly an assortment of colors out there in this line, from "Tree House Studios". It does however come in different style tips, fine, medium, and bold (Guessing on that last one, didn't see it in store). Their pinks color selection is a tad limited, consisting of two, light and dark. I ended up selecting dark pink, with a fine tip. Since Charlotte's lips are a lovely mauve color I was hoping this would be a decent match. I wasn't expecting a perfect color match, but something similar would be fine.
I waited until I was home to try it. At first the paint came out a bit too fast, and I really didn't get too much of a fine tip, but as I kept working with it, it did become very fine, which was nice. The colors in this line are not labeled in this line, you won't find any creative name like a box of crayola crayons, but for the sake of giving something a name, let's just call it "Streetwalker Pink", because that's the first thing I thought of when I saw it in person. Whoever designed the packaging mush have not have the best eyesight, because the color indicator was incredibly different than what came out of that marker. This was a bold, almost florescent pink. It makes me shudder to think what I would have ended up with had I selected the brighter pink. But I thought, perhaps I was being a bit unfair with Streetwalker Pink. As of that point I had only tested it on white paper. Maybe when it was on top of a darker color of a plastic doll it would be more muted, and not so shocking.
So I pulled out my practice doll and started painting. Since I was just playing around, I just drew stuff for fun, ignoring that it was all pink. I drew on a couple eyebrows, an eye, a mole, as well as a lower lip. I will say that my control wasn't the best, but that was my fault not that of a pen. There were some minor paint skips, but I think when I learn the tricks and techniques of the pen it will go much better. The paint was a bit soupy, but did manage to stay where I put it. The color was unchanged from going the while paper to the skin tone of my practice doll, still super PINK! Satisfied that I had seen enough of how this pen worked I went to go remove the (still wet) paint from my doll's face. There was when a nasty surprise was in store for me. Like many people who had allowed a streetwalker into their car I found myself with a nasty little issue. The paint, for being on the doll for less than two minutes, had stained her. Every single spot that the paint had touched had burned a bright pink mark onto the doll's skin. Thank goodness I didn't try this out on Charlotte first. I don't know if the stains are ever going to come out, and I'm shocked that people would recommend this for dolls. And I'm especially shocked that this paint was so stain happy, it's not like it's cheap paint. For that price I could get several regular markers that stained just as much, and painted just as well. Honestly I find myself growing more and more disenfranchised with Hobby Lobby as a whole. I sent them a tweet though twitter over my disappointment from that marker, not that I'm expecting a response. Honestly, I'm going to keep spending less and less time in there over stuff like this.
Sad but true, lesson learned. Oh, also the paint pen, stinks! I'd be willing to put up with it if it wasn't such a crap product, so disappointed right now. Now what am I going to do with a almost brand new bright pink paint pen? Too expensive to trash, to worthless to use.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Got some writing done today...

Today was a writing day, and so that's what I started my day off with. I managed to get "Jadillo Cookout" finished (first draft). It only ended up being nine pages, but that's still something impressive. It started out as four pages, so I really expanded it. When it was done I added it to the whole word document. Right now the book stands at 116 pages (14 font, single spaced), which is mind blowing. I can't believe that this book has swelled to such a huge amount, and it's still growing. We're reaching the end of it, but I'm still not finished. When I was finished with that section, I did do some work on other sections. I did most of it in the previous section, "The Sky Cries Black Tears". For some reason that section had basically three drafts of the same scene. Each one saying the overall same thing, just worded differently. I guess I kept working on that scene, so I did some editing in it. I didn't get anymore writing done in any section, but I think that on Thursday I'll be more in the mindset of a different section. I'm still in the "Jadillo Cookout" scene mindset. I'm wondering if I need to add another section between that one and the next scene. Toying with it, but wondering if it's necessary, I guess I need to work on what I have before I decide what I still need for it. But more about that on Thursday.
When I was finished with writing I switched back to working on the dolls. But there's a big issue, I really don't have anything to work on right now. I know I say this all the time, but once again I've reached that problem again. I will however say that Charlotte's dressed. I figured that if I left her naked one more day I'd be attacked by her legions and legions of irate fans. But today I tried to get motivated to make something, but I just couldn't. There's just nothing that I want to make, and I spent a good chunk of the day just looking for stuff. I think that Charlotte needs an Easter dress (it's too late for a St. Patrick's day dress), so I tried looking at some of those, but I still haven't found anything I liked. I know it's early so I'm not too pressed. I just wish I had something at least in mind, but I guess something will happen, or else I'll go crazy and it won't be an issue. I think tomorrow might be a shopping day, so hopefully I'll have some more time to think about what I want to sew, or else just work on going crazy, either/or.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday gets things done!

Well, still didn't have any thoughts what to do today for sewing this morning, so I didn't just jump into doing anything. When it was afternoon and I hadn't found anything I figured it was time to do what I had to. I decided to make the final touches for the Momoko I dressed on Friday. She only needed two things, so it was quick fix. I started off with her socks, since I had to figure out how to make her tie. I was making some yellow socks for her to match the yellow teen Skipper loafers I had (Akikio wears the same mold only in red). I then discovered that the yellow of the shoes and socks were not a good match. Also with her lower half covered in yellow it was just too much for the outfit. Of course I only found this out when I had finished both of the socks. So I ended up having to make another pair, in white. I also made them a bit shorter, only to the middle of the calf. I also toyed around with using different shoes with this look, but once I had the white socks the yellow loafers weren't that jarring. Also they fit her feet over the socks, so I was sold. It's just annoying that I've got a pair of yellow knee socks for the Momoko's that I'll never use. I only have four of them, and right now they're all dressed. I guess that means I'll just have to get more!
After I was done with the socks (both pairs), I moved onto the tie. I had made one a while back, but was unhappy that I couldn't get the point on it, like an actual tie. This time I made one with a point, but it was much too big. Serves me right for using a Ken pattern for it. So it got me thinking, I liked the first one I made, except for that small fact, if I tucked it in, inside the jumper, we'd never see that. So why make another one? So the tie that I made today ended up into the box, but I don't think I'll ever need it. It's going to be one of those things that just lives there. And then I was done dressing my final Momoko! I also gave her the underskirt that I made for Sindy when she was getting this outfit. It helped made the skirt flair out nicely. I think it gives her a nice "Irish School Girl" look. But she shares several themes with the other Momoko's, pleated skirts and knee socks. At least I'm consistent?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday for a Book worm

Saturday was a pretty low key day today. And by low key, I mean I didn't do any sewing for the dolls. I barely did anything today with them besides dress a few of them that were still off the bookshelf from yesterday. Basically I put Vanessa away, still wearing her new dress, but her first outfit is still at her feet, when I get tired of this dress she's going back. I also put away Cosette and Most Mod Part Becky, but their outfits aren't finished yet. Both of them need some accessories for their clothes, but I didn't get around to making them, just not motivated enough. Even Charlotte is suffering from this lack of enthusiasm. As I'm writing this she's sitting over on the desk, only wearing a pair of shoes, since I confiscated her clothes to put into the spares bag. Luckily it's warm or else she'd be freezing in her Mattel given nudity.
Instead of sewing I did some other things that were more interesting to me. I started reading one of the books that I purchased the other day. Since I got so many I'm going to have quite a backlog to work my way though before I really need more reading material. On the bad side, some of the books I'm not exactly gungho to read. I got them because I'm sure I'd want to read them eventually, it's just right now I'm not dying to read them. So I started off with the book about Cleopatra. This was one that I just grabbed because it looked interesting, I didn't even know if it was historical or fantasy, adult or young adult, and so on. But in an exciting turn of events I went outside to read. It was a nice enough day to go outside and sit in the hammock. Since I didn't know if I would like the book I brought out another one in case the first book was terrible. I ended up only reading the Cleopatra book, it was an okay. It was a fictionalized account of Cleopatra's life using actual history as a base (with some poetic license), it was an okay book, but certainly not the best. There were a few times where I really didn't like the main character, like at all. Honestly, if I had the choice I would have stopped reading, but I've very rarely ever stopped reading a book after I started reading it. So I kept reading even though I had to move indoors after being outside for a half hour. While it was a nice sunshiney day today the windchill made it too much to be outside for too long. But the few times that the wind died down and the sun got to shine was really nice.
Even after I moved inside I kept reading, wanting to finish the book and move on. I did do some work on those Disney Princess shoes, but no pictures until their finished. Not sure what to do tomorrow, hopefully it will be a productive day, or not!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome back to the fold!

Finish it up Friday returned again after a several week hiatus, but I will say, I didn't really want to do it. I thought about skipping it again, but I couldn't think of anything better to do. I'd be willing to skip it if there was some project that I was dying to get to, but I don't have anything like that. So if I didn't work on this today I knew I would be just laying around, not doing anything productive today, like at all. So I made myself do it, forced myself into getting it done. And I did manage to get it completed, all five pieces today like it should be. And actually these things are a bit more likely to get used, compared to a lot of these things where I don't ever really plan on getting back to them.

I started off with this dress. This was one of may failures from the Mod project last month. It was a pattern that I drafted and working with, but I had some real terrible fit issues going on with it. There was no way it was going to fit Barbie, who at that time I was redressing. Today I pulled it out and tried it on Francie, it fit that body type much better, so I set out to finish it for that body type. Snaps, seam reinforcing, all that fun stuff. It's a cute little addition to the collection. From the front it looks nice, but the back is a bit of a mess. I'm thinking about leaving it on "Most Mod Party Becky" because I'm not satisfied with her outfit. But honestly, I'm not really into Becky as a whole, there's something odd about her, something a bit serial killer-ish. She was just cheap last year and I wanted to get her, but she has yet to live up to expectations.

After that I moved on to this shirt. It's a near replica of the shirt that belongs to the Little Red Riding Hood outfit. I made this one for Sindy when she was getting that jumper. I didn't finish either of them because I wasn't liking the look, and eventually went a different direction with Sindy (Who is still looking darling, by the way), so it stayed in the box. I actually got pretty far with this before I stopped working with it. All I had to do today was add two snaps to it and it was finished. I used Charlotte for sizing, but right now it's on Momoko and the difference isn't that noticeable (I planned that). I'm thinking that Momoko here is going to get redressed using this piece and the next one on our list.

Here we have the second part of the aborted Sindy outfit. This is the jumper made out of that John Deere fabric. I made two of them at the same time, but the other one stayed in the box. This one I had almost finished before I quit, so I wanted to finish it and get it out of the box, and onto a doll. I added the snaps in the back (Sized for Momoko, but easily adapted to fit Barbie), as well as the straps. With this, my final Momoko is dressed. All I have to do is make the accessories for this outfit. You know what's weird? All of my Momoko dolls are wearing pleated skirts. Just a theme in my collection, love the look.

After that I moved onto that failed black dress. I tore off the skirt, hemmed up the bottom (by hand, didn't bother with the machine), reinforced seams, fixed a armhole seam, added the collar (worst part), then added snaps. I added three snaps to this one, trying to get rid of some odd gaping that sometimes happens in these shirts in the back. I also added them at different spots and it did cut down on gaps. There's still more to do to make it perfect, but this was a step in the right direction. I'm sure if I was using velcro compared to snaps I wouldn't have this problem, but I don't want to use velcro, it always snags. I hate sewing snaps, but it's a necessary evil. And just like that I had another black turtleneck, and like always, I'm sure someone's going to need that at some point. Might be Charlotte herself.

Finally I reached my last item for the day, which was good because when I started I was unmotivated, by the finish I was getting super lazy. I picked out the sheath dress that I made for Vanessa out of that snakeskin material recently. This time I used Charlotte as a fit model, and wouldn't you know, it came out much easier. Vanessa seems to like being difficult. There were some fit issues that I struggled with today, especially in the waist. This was even more difficult because there was barely enough fabric to go around to the back. Luckily I was able to get it to fit in all places. I also went back and trimmed the insides of the shoulders to eliminate the bulk that was really bad there. Two snaps, some seam reinforcement and this bad boy was finished. Vanessa finally has a second choice of outfits, although it's the same fabric as part of her first outfit. Right now it's getting color fasted since I had a bit of a staining issue with the fabric the other time I used it. Also, here's the first picture of Vanessa here on the blog. Isn't she pretty? I just adore her, even is she is hard to dress.

And that was the final thing for the day. Even though I didn't want to start today I got several things done that are looking like they might get used. The box is still plenty full, so there's more to do for next week. So welcome back, "Finish it up Friday", you made a big dent in my snap supply. Still no clue what to do for tomorrow, but that's tomorrow's problem.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday is a bunch of stuff!

This morning was an interesting one, but still I did sit myself down to write (staying on schedule). And I actually did write. I continued to work on "Jadillo Cookout", still avoiding working on "Meeting Room Chat", which is not good but I will admit I get the most work done when I'm avoiding something else. I started off a little stuck, not really sure where this section was going to go. I was having a real hard time getting into where I was, and I even thought about skipping today's writing, but I stuck with it. I managed to get about a half page of shaky writing done before I had to stop and ask someone a technical question. That lead to a discussion where I was able to talk and explain situations and actions that I was having trouble putting words to. When I went back to my writing I managed to get three pages completed in the section. This section started off at about four pages before I started editing it, right now I'm on the top of page eight, and there's still about a page or so of material to work though, this section might end up being ten pages! That's just mind blowing to me.
I was lucky because when I was running out of steam on my writing project I got a chance to go shopping, and you know how much I love to do that! So I packed it in for the day and headed out, even though it was pouring. Ah, the things I do for new things. I didn't hurt that I needed some supplies for a project I'm working on. We ended up in a different part of town, near where my father works. I had never been to this section of town before, it was a bit rundown, pretty dismal looking. My father wanted to go to a pawn shop that he had seen and never been. At first I decided against it because it looked pretty creepy (he agreed), but when he asked me again I knew that he wanted to go so I agreed. It was .... sooooooooo creepy. Like I literally feared that I was going to get snatched from this place. I was super uncomfortable. They did have some newer collectible Barbies, but A. I didn't want them, and B. I certainly didn't want to buy any dolls in a place like that. It was really really creepy. I just wanted to get out of there. My dad felt the same way, and we left pretty quick, without getting anything. After that we went to Aldi's and Walmart, who didn't have what I needed for my project, I got something that might have worked, but I'm not really happy with it, so I may have to do something else. *Pout*
Anyway, the real fun part didn't happen until we went to Habitat for Humanity. They were still having their book sale so I really went crazy, getting books that I really wouldn't have other than the fact that they were only a dime for soft covered. I picked up Lauren Bacall's autobiography, Ingrid Bergman's autobiography, A biography about Jackie O (a pretty scandalous one!), Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier's, The Exorcist (Scary!), and a book about Cleopatra (Hardcover). I also picked up three more books, one for my father and two for my brother. Added to my final price was a small cabinet drawer that I got for another project, that my father's going to make for me. My grand total? 1.49, including tax. Everything over a dollar excluding books were 75 percent off. The store it moving soon and I think they are just trying to get rid of everything so they don't have to move it all.
Last time my father was there he saw a really interesting chair that he thought I might be interested in, and I saw it this time. I actually saw it independently and knew it was the chair he was talking about. Problem was it was ten dollars, and I don't need a chair that much, no matter how cool it was. After we had checked out, I commented that since everything's on sale it would have only been 2.50. This lead into a whole conversation about going back and looking at it. I said he could go back tomorrow (since he was in the area taking my brother to school), but he wanted me to make the final call on it. So we went back (which I felt super embarrassed about) to check it out. I did check it out in the store, it felt really comfortable, and even with all it's damage you really couldn't beat that price. So we got it, I made my Dad pay because I felt silly going back to the check out line. Weird I know, but that's me. The total for the chair? 2.70, not too shabby, although it was literally the last money my dad had. I will admit getting it into the car was a bit of a puzzle, it was too bulky for the trunk, so we had to do some shuffling to get it home.
At home I was able to look at it more. The arms were a little wobbly, but I was able to tighten them somewhat. I also was able to use the Walnut trick on the arms to make the damage on them less noticeable. I've already brought it upstairs and swapped out the folding chair I've been using for years. This is such a good upgrade, it's much better. The other one would get uncomfortable after sitting in it for a few hours, with made re-roots or any project where I was sitting for a long time unbearable, but now I can! I'm really starting to rack up some nice furniture, which is going to be bad because when I move, I can't take it with me for a while. But you know what, I can deal, and just enjoy my chair while I have it. It is really comfortable.