Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy One Year Birthday Blog!

Wow, I almost missed it.
Today's the one year birthday of the Blog.
Since last year I've written 397 posts, so I average more than one a day.
I didn't think I'd keep it up this long. Over the year I've been stunned when a new reader follows the blog. I'm up to twelve! I seriously didn't think that I'd get so many people interested in my ramblings. So I thank you all. Here's to a great year, followed by a second one! (Okay, maybe a little better.)

Curse you Hobby Lobby!

I'll start off with the good news. I was able to get everything I needed to into the mail this afternoon. I had the two envelopes for Jessica and Joanne as well as a package to send out. The package was the Sailor Moon Tuxedo Mask doll that I bought a few weeks back. I quickly found a buyer for him, and I was able to get him out into the mail today. So it's great that I was able to get all those three things taken care of and off my mind. Now I can get back to sewing for fun, which is more... well fun. Although, I still don't have any projects in mind.
Now I would have a couple that I want to do, all I'm missing are the supplies. And you can thank Hobby Lobby for that. Today was a shopping day, which was good because I needed some stuff. Unfortunately what I needed and what they had were two different things. Since Malibu Skipper is wearing those yellow flats I got from Jessica I decided I want to make her a new Kimono. Right now she's wearing a Rement one that I bought for Momoko way back when. It fits her better. But it doesn't match the yellow shoes, so I decided to make her one that did. But I couldn't find any fabric with yellow in it that was interesting. I'd rather wait and find something that really clicked with me instead of settling for something that was just okay. But there wasn't anything just okay there either it was all so boring, ugly, too big, or a combination of those. I guess Skipper's going to have to wait a bit before she gets new clothes. That's not a big deal, I was more mildly interested in making her a new kimono, I don't know if she's going to be in a kimono forever. She's a really nice Malibu Skipper, but her hair's been cut into a bob. I would re-root her in my quest to get one of each of the Malibu dolls, but since they're so new (to my vintage dolls) I'd rather get ones with original hair. It's weird I know.
But there was something else that I was looking for at Hobby Lobby, from the book I borrowed from the library I saw that you could make Barbie hats from buckram. I've been looking into making hats, so I thought this would be a fun and interesting foray into it. So I looked to see if Hobby Lobby had any buckram. They do sell it on their website, but I could not find it in store. I even asked the girl working at the fabric section. She was kind and tried to help me, but it was her first day, and everywhere she pointed out were sections that I already tried. So I guess they don't carry it in store, which stinks. I wanted to make hats now! I mean, they didn't even sell something similar to it. They should have had it. Hrumph!
So I didn't get anything when out. We even stopped in at the "Quilting Coops" so I could look at their fabrics. I wanted to see if they had still had some fabric that I bought way back when. I wanted to get some more, but they were out. I guess I should have been back earlier than this. It seemed like they had less fabrics there than last time. Also the woman working there was really overly friendly. Now I'm not sure if she was just really friendly or didn't think I knew what I was doing because I was young or a guy. I looked around for a bit, but didn't see anything I liked so I hightailed out of it quickly. I really doubt that I'll be back there anytime soon. I just didn't care for the atmosphere. So I was home empty handed. I went to log into the Doll page so I could tell Sue that her Tuxedo Mask doll was on it's way to her. That's when I found someone had listed a vintage Malibu Barbie for five dollars. And so I emailed the person asking them if she was still available and what her back markings were. She was still available and she was from Japan. Even if she was from another country I was still interested. She looked good for only five dollars, plus the Japan dolls are the better quality ones. I was able to get a shipping price and pay for it all in the course of a half hour. The seller was already heading out to the post office, so she's already on her way to me. I'm not sure if she's going to be wearing the clothes she's pictured in, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if not. She's going to be redressed once she arrives. It's weird that while I'm trying to collect all the Malibu dolls all I've really been able to amass are Barbie and Ken (and Skipper). And now I have two Barbie's. I honestly thought I'd have P.J. or Francie before another Barbie. Although I've never even seen P.J. in person, I've seen Francie once or twice. I guess that eventually their friends will come in time, just not now.
I guess it's time to do some research for some more 70's clothing... I'm thinking shorts, where do you guys get your inspiration for vintage clothes?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A maybe not so quick update...

Hey guys, still taking a break from blogging, but I still wanted to keep you updated to what doll related projects I'm working on, no matter how slight like I promised.
But before I begin, I'd like to say that the Canadian postal strike is over! They actually ended it over the weekend, with people going back to work on Monday evening, with the first possibility of mail being on Tuesday. That being said, it's reported that there's a huge backlog of mail to sort though, and I have no idea where my letter with the money order is. I hope that it would be one of the earlier things to get delivered since it was sent several days before the lock out started, but I really have no clue. There were rumors that the rolling strikes weren't rolling at all and no mail was being sorted at that time, but that's a rumor. But at least the mail is moving again, and eventually my letter will get to where it belongs, the sooner the better. It's weird, with all my research on this issue I've become a sort of expert on this situation. And it's not even my country, I'm just invested because I want my stuff!
On the doll sewing front I haven't done much with the book I borrowed from the library, I did try one pattern, but it didn't come out so hot. I think I wasn't using the right fabric for it, it calls for something with a lot of stretch, but mine wasn't as stretchy as it needed. Other than that, really haven't been motivated to try anything from it. But I have been sewing. Even though I haven't been really motivated to do so, I've been forcing myself to sew the presents that I'm sending Joanne and Jessica. I have a nasty track record of putting something off until it's too late to send it, I miss that window of acceptable gift-giving, but not this time. I made myself start and finish them, hoping to get them both into the mail tomorrow.
For Joanne, I made two pleated skirts, one in navy and one in plaid. The navy one was the worst, no matter the amount of care that I did when I went to sew the back seam it wouldn't match up. So I ended up tearing out the bottom hem and redoing it all by hand. That left me with some soft pleats on one side. I tried ironing them to make them sharper, but whenever I would do one pleat, another one would get warped. Eventually I just had to settle with some pleats not as sharp as I'd like. It was either that or redo the skirt all over again, and I don't know when I'll be back to the post office in a reasonable amount of time. The plaid skirt was much easier, it helps that it's got lines to guide you. Both skirts have been color fasted (the plaid one I did twice).
For Jessica I remade that dress I made for Skipper. She really liked it and it's what prompted her to offer to send me some shoes. Personally I would have done something different, but she really liked it, and when I make something I'd rather have the person like it. It's just collars are really not my strong suit, and I'm not sure how they appear to other people. I'm willing to overlook my imperfections, I just don't know how other people would feel about that. But I didn't feel right leaving the collar off, it's kind of boring without it. So I made it with the collar, hoping that it would come out decently. And it did, somewhat, it's better than the original one. Still far from perfect but an improvement is an improvement. I just hope Jessica likes it.
So right now they're both sitting on my dresser each with a thank you card and the addresses they're going to. I don't have any padded envelopes to mail them in. Hopefully I can get them into the mail tomorrow and be finished with them. Another task off my to do list!
I may have another project to share with you coming up, it all depends on Hobby Lobby...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hey Guys

So I've been thinking about my motivation problems, and they're not really going away. I mean today I spent the entire day playing Final Fantasy X, I just didn't want to do anything else. I've moved away from the cut scenes every two seconds, so now I'm more invested and there's less time to do other stuff while I'm playing. And honestly, I can't even think of a project do to at this time, so that's no fun.

So while I'm taking a break from doll sewing I'm going to take a break from blogging. Seriously, if I'm that bored living it, and writing about it, I'm sure you're bored reading it. Unless you're the kind of person who enjoys hearing me talking about a video game that's over ten years old at this point. I'll update if something big happens, but I'm going to be taking a small break, you should be familiar with this, I do this from time to time.

So it's old hat by now, see you in a bit!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A slow weekend starts

I think I caught can'tgetoffmyduff-itus. Not sure where or when I was affected, but I certainly have it. All day I tried to get myself to do something, anything, but I just couldn't manage to do so. The most I managed to do was pick up some stuff around the room. And honestly, with that it's never enough, there's always stuff out and things that need to be put away.
At mid-day I managed to drag myself outside to check the mail. Basically because I'm expecting something, otherwise I wouldn't bother. I've been waiting for this package for a few days now so I was hoping it would be there today so I wouldn't have to wait until Monday for it at the earliest. Luckily it was there, so I didn't have to wait until then! It was a present from Jessica from "In the Pink". She too had contacted me offering to send me some Skipper shoes, and I accepted. She sent me a pair of black Skipper flats, as well as a pair of yellow flats. They are darling, but unfortunately one of the yellow flats doesn't fit on my Skipper's feet. On the bottom it's marked "Philippines", while the one that does fit is marked "Japan" so I assume it's newer than the Japan one. I tried it on my Malibu Skipper doll and her foot had enough give to wear it. It doesn't match her outfit, but maybe that's a sign that she wants to be redressed... we'll see. The black pair are both marked Japan and fit Skipper just fine, I just don't have an outfit that matches them, so I guess I now have a spare pair. I am planning on getting more Skipper's down the road (since I'm planning on expanding the vintage collection overall), so it is always good to have a pair handy for when that happens. Jessica also sent me one of those cards that came in the recent reproductions, as well as a reproduction of the invite that comes with the "Masquerade" outfit. Ironically, I have part of that outfit already for Ken, now all I need is the mask and his shoes. Pretty cool huh?
After that I remained unmotivated for the day. For my entire evening I spent playing video games, one in particular, Final Fantasy X. I've been lured back into it's time-consuming spell. Luckily (or unluckily), there's like a billion non-skipable cut scenes in it. So while I played I was able to finish one of the dresses I started the other day. Still not happy with it, the fit in the back isn't the greatest, but it's finished.
Ho-ray for finishing something!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Youtube Chain Letter

Okay, this isn't my usual topic, but I saw this under a comment thing on Youtube, and I just had to, had to, had to comment on it. I'd sure you've seen it or something similar. It's a lame chain letter that our snail mail dismissive youth had to post online to get their jolly kicks.

I'll post it once, followed by a second time where my comments are in brackets (...) <--- those things. What are they called? I forget. Enjoy.

It read: My name is Kiki, and i was raped before i died. I use to enjoy pain and now i inflict it upon people. I was tortured and raped untill i could no longer breathe. Those meanies now suffer and die, and those who do not repost this to 5 videos will die too.i hate this 2 but i believe At the strike of 12AM, those who did not repost this will die a horrible death after seeing a bloody face covered with long black hair. Those who repost this will get a kiss from their crush.

Part two, my comment: My name is Kiki (Like the girl delivery service? Man that was a great movie!), and i was raped before i died (Even dead you should still be able use capital "I"). I use to enjoy pain and now i inflict it upon people (So now that you're dead you stopped enjoying it? Then why do you do it???). I was tortured and raped untill i could no longer breathe. (I've never heard of anyone being raped to death) Those meanies (Good name for murders!) now suffer and die, and those who do not repost this to 5 videos will die too (Hey, what did I do?).i hate this 2 (No you don't, you said you used to enjoy pain.) but i believe At the strike of 12AM, those who did not repost this will die a horrible death after seeing a bloody face covered with long black hair. (Someone saw the ring! And didn't it sound like Kiki was the girl writing this mess, and now it seems like they're talking about Kiki killing you?) Those who repost this will get a kiss from their crush. (Yay, kisses, always better than death!)

For my own sense of general comfort I've decided to edit and rewrite this "Chain Letter", let's see if I can improve it.
My name is Kakurine, and I was a victim of murder. My death was not an easy one. I was tortured and raped before finally my breath was stilled. But even as my mortal body was destroyed, I stayed upon this Earth as a spiritual being, one filled with a hatred and vengeance for those that did great harm to me in life. Those cruel monsters that tortured me suffered the same fate they gave me, but it was not enough. Still I feel the desire to kill people like I had been killed. But there is a way to have me leave you be, just repost my comment to five videos or else I will come to claim you during the night. At the strike of Midnight I will appear, my broken face still dripping with my own blood. It will be then I will take you back to hell with me. Those who heed my warning and do what I command will be rewarded. Not only will your life be spared, but you will receive a kiss from your crush... Like, Oh my God!

So what do you think? Better or worse? Can't talk now, I have to go post this on five videos, I want a crush kiss!

P.S. I don't think rape/torture/murder is funny or something that should be tossed around so casually like this, but I saw it and it was just too stupid to not comment on.

Another Quiet Day...

Well, I didn't finish the dress I started yesterday, I just couldn't find the motivation to actually work on it. Instead I left it alone all day, and because of that I left Charlotte alone in it all day because she's the one that got stuck wearing it last. Instead I started another dress using that same burgundy fabric as the one from yesterday. And yes, this dress suffered the same fate as the other one, languishing unfinished, still pinned to the doll. Just for some reason what I made so far doesn't excite me enough to finish them. Not really sure why that is.

Either way I went out today so I was unable to finish the dress even if I wanted to, which I did not. Let me show you what I got. See it? It's "Vintage Clothing for Fashion Dolls" by Mari Dewitt. Yes, the same Mari that complimented my Skipper and Francie dresses a few posts back. I've been wanting to look at this book for a while, but haven't been able to find it at a decent price. This copy isn't mine, it's one that I got from the Library through a loan. It came all the way from Virgina. It cost me almost three dollars to borrow it. I wanted to see the book in person before I shelled out 50 plus bucks for my own copy. From what I see from my general skim through, there's several dresses that I already know how to do, as well as several new things. I really haven't had that much time to flip though it yet. It's due back July 11th, so I think I have plenty of time to look though it, might even get a chance to make a few things before I have to send it back. We'll see.
The Library wasn't the only place that I got to today. I also stopped into Hobby Lobby again. Next week I'm going to be good and skip shopping because these last few weeks I've been terrible, just terrible. Today I got a yard of tulle, a yard of navy blue calico, matching thread for that, as well as a yard of that John Deere plaid. So now I have the material to make those skirts for Joanne, I'm planning on making them Sunday. I won't be able to get to the post office until Thursday, and I hope to have them done by then.
Back at home, I did some reading of the book I borrowed, that's where I learned the technique for using tulle to hem necklines and sleeves. So I tried it out. I decided to make something for Francie using the bodice pattern I made a while back to test it. I figured, Francie could always use more clothes, right? It came out okay, it's certainly an interesting technique but I'm not totally sold on it. I like lining better, having it lined just makes it seem more professional to me, just my preference, however weird. I mean I'm glad that I learned it, and maybe I'll come to find it invaluable, but right now I don't really care for it. Maybe if I learned it earlier I would like it more. Since I didn't know it early on, I learned other techniques, and I prefer those. I did manage to finish the dress so that's one less thing entering the unfinished project box, but still, I don't really care for it. I'd be more likely to use it to dress a doll that I would donate than use it on someone in the collection. But it's a usable garment from a test piece, not too shabby.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

So slow today...

Today was a sluggish day today. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't light a fire under my butt and get my act together. Even with my motivation troubles I did manage to work on some writing today. I only got about a page done before I called it quits. I'm not really sure I'm satisfied with the direction it took today, so I stopped and let it settle with me. I'll come back to it Monday and see if I still like it.
After lunch I spent my time checking the mail a bunch hoping my package would come in the mail, but it did not. In fact we didn't get any mail at all yesterday, how upsetting! But I guess I do need to learn patience. But I think I've been plenty patient lately. I mean, just look at how patient I've been waiting for the Canadian postal strike to end so I can finally get my birthday present. At this point if I get it before one month past my birthday, I'll be lucky. So see, I can be patient.
I also got some sewing done today. Working again with the organza that I bought the other day. And again, I came across some issues. Different issues than last time, but issues none the less. I'm thinking that this project can be salvaged and finished, but not today. Maybe tomorrow? Also the light in my sewing machine blew today, which sucked. I hope I can find a replacement. Where would they sell those?
See you then...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An untraditional day

Another quiet day around here. I ended up oversleeping this morning, and to make matters worse, my computer was being painfully slow all morning. It just shot my morning right to heck. I barely got my usual morning stuff done by lunchtime, that's how bad of a morning it was.

And I vowed to make my afternoon more productive, otherwise my whole day was going to be a wash. But before I got into the days stuff, I got a present in the mail! The wonderful Joanne from "In the Pink" offered to send me a pair of Skipper shoes for my poor shoeless Skipper. And I gladly accepted, I've had a dickens of a time finding Skipper shoes. So they arrived today, and they are darling. They're white, marked "Japan" on the bottom. I've never owned a pair of Skipper shoes before, they're kind of bigger than I imagined. I always thought they were going to be snugger than they actually are. When I first got them I put them on Charlotte to see if they would fit, and they did, just not very well. Just something new I learned. Also, while they are a tad roomy, they're still not roomy enough to put on over her socks. I only tried to put them on over the socks once, and didn't force them or anything. I know Skipper shoes split and I wanted to avoid that if possible. Right now she's wearing the shoes and the socks are next to her, not sure if she'll stay like that. I might end up putting the socks back on and keeping the shoes next to her. You know how I feel about knee socks. (Love them!) Also I took the picture of the shoes on the fabric I bought the other day, so now you can see the color of it. Pretty, right?
Joanne was also super kind to send me some extras! I'm a boy who loves surprises. She sent to me a pair of Barbie jeans, I think these are from the newest Barbie basics line. They're super nice but since they're for the model muse body, they're a too small for Charlotte and too long. They fit the vintage gals, but they're really long on them too. She also sent me some cute pastel colored elastics (they look like headbands to me!), a set of Barbie sized plastic gardening tools (Percy's going to love that), as well as a cardboard plant that goes with it, a plastic Barbie sized tote bag with a fake magazine, as well as two pairs of shoes. One pair is a black plastic sandal that I have one like it, oddly enough it came from the Barbie basics shoe pack, but it was painted, and they didn't include an unpainted variation. The last thing she sent was a green clear plastic ankle boot with a black painted sole. This one is really cool. I have several variations of this boot already, but since it's clear and the heel is dark, when on the doll's foot it almost looks like an odd variation on those Victorian styled boots (or spats). It just looked very Steampunk to me. So it might be time to make another outfit based off these shoes. Pretty cute huh? It's always a good day when you get more shoes.
Also I decided what I was going to make for Joanne as a present. I'm still trying to "pay it forward" when people are kind to me. Last time she sent me something I made two sheath dresses for her, not sure if she needed them or liked them, but it made me feel better to send them. This time, I wanted to send something different, but something I'd hope she'd like. So I decided that I was going to send her a pair of pleated skirts. I know I like them, and they're always something that could be used in a timeless wardrobe. I decided I was going to do one in navy, but couldn't figure out what to do the second one in. Then I decided to use that plaid John Deere fabric, that I had. I just need to go and get more of it. I figured that I should get a yard, since I really like this fabric. Doing this for Joanne, will just motivate me to actually get some. I'm also going to get more navy fabric and buy the matching thread in store, to save me the trouble. So heads up, that's going to be a project in the next couple of days.
I also manged to get some sewing done. I wanted to work with that fabric I bought the other day. But, I managed to mess it up. It's not as easy as working with cotton, but I was not having a total fail with it. My only real issue came about because I used the wrong pattern. I didn't throw out the messed up item, so I might be able to fix it, but not at this time. Since I'm already working with a new learning curve of this fabric, I didn't want to add any more to the pile. I can start fresh tomorrow.
See you then!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today's Tuesday, right?

Today I got a bit of a late start, I even didn't get to finish all four things off my to-do list, I had to bump one of them to tomorrow. In my defense I had a lot of little things I needed to get done, so I was able to cross those off my list, and hopefully tomorrow I'll get that last thing squared away.
Today was also stalled by the fact that it was a shopping day, you know how I just love those. We managed to hit up all three second hand stores, but I didn't see anything that interested me. Which is fine, I don't need to get stuff everywhere we go. We did go to Walmart, but I didn't even bother to look at the toy section, I know there's nothing there for me. I just hope whatever comes next from the major toy companies is more interesting, although from what I've already seen it's not looking good.
I also stopped in at Hobby Lobby to pick up some things. I meant to pick up some tulle for myself, but I forgot to get some. Will have to remember that for next time. But I was also on a quest for something. Lately...sigh, I have to say it. Lately, I've been bored with cotton. While I love cotton and it's many uses, I've just been noticing it's limitations from a design aspect. It's just not as formal as I'd like it to be. Lately I've been more dare I say it? Stunt sewing compared to making regular clothes. I mean look at the "Tales of the Hoffmann" dress, how practical is that? Since so many of the dolls have been dressed now I'm able to do more "out there" sewing. More for clothes that aren't meant to be worn all year round. So I've been looking out for a fabric that's similar to cotton in it's easy to work with, but is fancy enough to use for formal gowns. Sadly it's slim pickings out there for me. Walmart doesn't have a fabric section anymore, (although I hear some of them are coming back) and other than Hobby Lobby the only local fabric store is for quilters, so they would really just have cotton. So I set my sights to see what Hobby Lobby had. Most of it were fabrics that I've decided were not to my liking. Not a fan of working with lame, and I still detest working with satin. So today I found something that will be interesting to try. If I remember the name correctly, it's organza? (Although it's made of polyester.) I was hoping to be able to find a jewel tone in a blue or green color, but they didn't have that. The closest I found was this burgundy red color. They also had black, white, cream, and some other colors I forget... some orange looking mess, but nothing blue or green. A very limited selection. It was 6.99 a yard. So I decided to get a yard of it, as well as pick up some matching thread for it. The reason why I decided on a yard was that I had a forty percent off coupon, so I might as well make it worth it. I also picked up another spool of that thin white ribbon since like I said yesterday I'm almost out. My total ended up being eight something. But I will say I got stuck in a slow line when checking out. I was behind a woman who was buying a ton of decorative junk, then she paid by a check, which she took forever to fill out. Then after she had filled out the check, she got and took a call on her cell phone. Which is not a big deal, but the cashier was waiting to get her license so she could finish processing her check. Luckily the woman's daughter was there so she could get it on her mother's behalf. But still such a hassle. But I finally made it to the checkout , and I was able to use the coupon on my smart phone, I don't need to print it out each week. That's another benefit of this new phone.
I didn't get a chance to use any of my new purchases today, it was late when we got back home, and I really don't have the project that I'm going to use it on finished. Right now I'd say I'm ninety percent decided. I just need to decide a couple more things before I start. Also we had pizza for dinner, so that kept me preoccupied. We tried Godfather's Pizza for the first time. It was okay, not the best, not the worst. I will say that their sauce was a little sweet (and I hate sweet sauce), but also their menu was hard to read (it was really, really blurry) and very misleading. It needs the word "or" on it in a few places. I don't think we'll be back there anytime soon.
And the search for a decent pizza begins anew!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Well now I own Cindy Sad Eyes a new skirt...

Well, I started off today with some writing! It's been such a long time that I've been motivated to sit down and actually write. And the few times when I did open the word document, I'd just stare at it before I called it quits for today. But not today! I started off in the section that I'm currently stuck it. At first I was just rewriting the beginning part, but once I got stuck with that, I jumped ahead. Not to a different section, but to later on in the section I was working on. I didn't do any actual writing for that section, but I got the start of what I wanted to happen in that section. Overall I got about a page and a third written with a half page rough drafted out. So I'm really proud that I was able to get back to work with it, hopefully my progress will keep going!
Also today another monumental event happened, I picked Percy's (second) pepper. I haven't talked about my pepper plant since last year when I transplanted him from his pot to our outside garden on the deck, so I wouldn't blame you if you thought he died over the winter. I too had written him off since the time that I should have brought him in before the first frost I was stuck up in Connecticut unable to do so. Kindly my father, unbeknownst to me, went and unearthed him and brought him inside for me. All winter Percy was inside propped next to a window for sunlight. It was very similar to his start of life when I was growing him at my apartment in Maine. In early spring I began to bring him outside during the peak sunlight hours, making sure he was in for the night and one of those days a bud began to show up! Eventually it became two, but one withered and didn't make it very far. But the one that did survive has been maturing. I was able to plant Percy back outside a few months back and let him really get the sunshine. I've been letting the pepper mature into a nice red color. I'm also proud to say there's a lot of other peppers starting out on Percy! He has about five itty bitty buds on him. I doubt all of them will make it to full growth, but it's more than he's ever had before. I'm just so proud of my plant baby!
Also today I did manage to do some sewing... some sewing that I really liked. I was pulling though my miscellaneous fabric bin and I came across this red and white checked cotton fabric. I thought it would make a nice picnic outfit for Barbie. Unfortunately I only had scraps left and I didn't know if I would have enough for a full skirt. But then I remembered that I had made Cindy Sad Eyes a skirt from that material, actually two skirts. Back when I first got her, I needed to dress her, the poor gal showed up naked, and I couldn't leave her like that. So I made her some clothes. But for some reason the fact that she was almost twice the size of Barbie didn't click with me at first. The first skirt I made for her was almost indecently short. Cindy is taller than Barbie, but most of that is legs, she has legs for days. So while I finished it, I did make her another one using the same material, just much longer. That's what she ended up wearing for a while before I ended up making her other outfits. The first skirt went into storage until today. So I decided to take it apart and use the fabric for Barbie. The bodice is one I've used before and adapted. I learned that it needs some more adapting. It's a bit tight in the back and the bust darts are a little high, but it still came out decently enough. I also made her a matching head scarf, one that ties in the front using that narrow white ribbon I bought, I've used so much of that ribbon I'm going to need to get more soon. It just needed the usual finishing up and I was done.... and it was adorable. While I didn't start off planning it that way my TNT flip is going to be wearing this for a while. I'm not sure if it's her perfect dress yet, or just something she's going to wear for the time being, but I really like it on her. It's got a whimsical 60's charm to it. Very Maria VonTrap from the "Sound of Music". I paired it off with a pair of white heels that I had handy, and she's using Charlotte's basket from her Halloween costume last year. Not sure if I have enough room to keep it with her on the bookshelf, but it's certainly cute for photos. She might end up holding onto it for a while longer. Charlotte's certainly not using it.
Wow, a really varied day from me!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Everyone!

Hope everyone wished their father a happy father's day today. We didn't do much for it. My father's doing one of those terrible three day over the weekend shifts so there's not that much to celebrate. It'll be better Monday afternoon when he's had a chance to sleep and doesn't have to work for a few days. Even though he's tired from work, I still wanted to give him something on the actual day. So I gave him a card as well as a small present. He seemed to like it, so that's good.
My morning was spent posting things for sale over on the Dollpage. You guys might remember that I started a "for every one in, one must leave" rule back when I posted Donny, Marie, and Marie. With the recent influx of dolls you'd think that I'd be behind on that, but I'm actually not. Even including the two dolls from Canada (that is still on strike), I'm ahead of the game. Even the flip TNT was covered by the fact that I posted and sold a doll recently. But still recently I decided that it was time to sell my TNT reproduction doll. She was an impulse buy and we never really bonded. She was the one that really sealed my thoughts on getting reproductions. (To not get then anymore.) I tried clicking with her, but it just wasn't happening. Lately I've been unsatisfied with her clothing, but compared to redress her, I just wanted to get rid of her. So today I went and posted her, as well as Tuxedo Mask, and the Liv doll/wig I don't need. I also contacted someone on Flickr about giving them a vintage tie I got from my Grandfather. I got it from him for a project that I never got around to, and so I decided to give it away compared to just moving it from place to place. I didn't bother selling that because I don't know anything about it, plus I'm trying to give my karma a boost. Plus, it feels nice to de-clutter, so therapeutic. So, I don't know if you're keeping track, but right now I have a spot for one more doll to join the collection before I have to post someone else for sale. It would be two, but I'm not counting Tuxedo Mask since he never officially joined the collection.
I also did some more work dressing the TNT flip today, but it didn't turn out well again. I always have the worst luck with Mod dolls. It's just so not my bag. I'm starting to get to that point of frustration, but I'm trying to remain calm, I know I'll figure something out eventually. I'm also still having trouble with Sweet Sixteen too, and that just kills me because I love her and I want to dress her wonderfully, but I can't find what looks best on her. This is Vanessa all over again, and the worst part is, Charlotte can't help me because she's on a totally different body. At this rate there's going to be a while slew of dolls joining the redress list, and a lot staying on it!
Here's hoping tomorrow brings me better inspiration. Hopefully I have some Mod dreams tonight!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

Today was another one of those quiet days around here. Although I played around with Jenny some more. I really like her new body. I think that if I come across any Liv dolls second hand I'll buy them to re-body my other two Jenny dolls. But I'm not as invested with them as the one I did yesterday, so that can wait. (I'm also planning on expanding my Monster High collection that way!)
Even though I played with Jenny, I did manage to break away and do a little sewing, for my newest doll.
I just hate having dolls naked, so I wanted to get a crack on dressing her as soon as possible. Even though while nude my flip TNT is in good company, Sweet Sixteen is still waiting to be dressed too (Although she is wearing the underwear I made for her, so she isn't totally naked). And I haven't even thought about the American Girl or Casey (whenever they arrive). I'd hope to have at least one of the two dressed before they arrive. If not, pretty soon we're going to look like the Playboy Mansion over here, and I'd hate for that to happen, we're not zoned for that. So today I made my first attempt at dressing my flip. I say attempt, because it didn't end up being something I liked. I didn't even finish it before I saw and knew that it was just so... boring. So I called it quits, threw it into the box and decided to think about it some more. This is when having some fashion books would be really handy. I'd love to be able to flip though those and get inspired. But alas, I have none, so I'm going to have to look online and see what I can find.

But I wanted to talk to you all about something other than sewing. Lately I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. There's just too many projects going on here, and I know it's totally my fault. I'm the only one who can be blamed for that. And recently I've really been feeling the crunch of it all. So I've been doing this weird thing where I flit around to each project working on each of them for a short period of time before I move onto the next. Which is really counter productive. I don't get anything done doing that. So today I started a to-do list, something to work on. Each day I write down four things that I will get done during the day. And then I work during the day to get them taken care of. If I get more than that done, great, but I'm required to get the four things done each day. Today's list was; Write a blog post (I'm a few days behind), e-mail someone (name withed for their anonymity), redress Charlotte (She's been wearing a dress that I wasn't too fond of because it was what I had handy and her hair needed fixing), and put away twenty things (which I need to do each day). Nothing too extreme, but by just listing that and getting it done I feel accomplished and less likely to psych myself out thinking there's too much for me to do.
Finger's crossed that this is a step in the right direction!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Welcome to the Liv Side... we've got fun and games

That title will make sense by the end of this post. Heads up, it's going to be a long one because before I start with what happened today I'm going to do an introduction post. This will benefit me because I haven't done one of these in a while, so I'm super behind. At this rate that header is going to be around the whole year.
Now this doll isn't in the current header, but she would eventually have made her way into one before too long. So while it doesn't help me now, it does save me some work in the future. Enough set up, let's get to it!
If you'd been playing attention you should know that the majority of the collection consists of Mattel dolls. Barbie was my first love and has been the flame that's burned the brightest. You should also know that I enjoy having a variety of friends and family beyond Barbie in the collection, she's not alone in that aspect. I also like having a variety of other dolls beyond Barbie. They all have the genre of fashion dolls, just not from Mattel. We have Momoko, G.I. Joe, Fashion Royalty, and Takara Jenny (and a few others). Takara Jenny dolls were one of the first dolls other than Barbie that I collected. I think that Joe being Hasbro was the only one that predates Jenny. She holds a special regard because I actively searched for her since she's not something you can purchase locally in the United States. It wasn't until High School that I caught Jenny fever. (I think it was because of an article in Barbie Bazaar about the Takara Barbies.) From then on I was hooked and I burned with the need to add one to my small collection. Luckily I had an interesting tool at my fingertips, the internet, and more specifically E-bay. I forgot what I paid for her, but I'm sure it was reasonable. She was not wearing her original dress and her hair was a mess, but she was lovely and mine. She also came with a Licca doll, whom I still have, but I'm not attached to like Jenny.
While I was the one who spearheaded getting her, she ended up being a Christmas present from my parents. Eventually I learned that her dress was originally belonged to the first edition of Ariel (from the Little Mermaid) from Simba toys. I still have that dress, but she didn't wear it for long. She wore it all Christmas though, when we did Christmas we would do it at our house, then go off to my Grandfather's house, followed by my Grandmother's house, so it was a very busy day. I remember sitting on the living room couches examining her at my Grandfather's house on Christmas day, and burying her in the couch cushions when someone beyond my immediate family came into the house. (Doll collecting was my secret) Ironically we have those same couches in our living room. We got them after my Grandfather passed away in June 2003.
It's easy to see why I loved her so much. She was the usual Jenny blond, with large anime styled blue eyes. She had bangs, but like most of the dolls that came with the curled bangs they were flattened from play. Since I've had her they've been parted and brushed off to the sides of her face, it's a cute look. She also had the longest hair on any doll I've ever had. It's like, insanely long. For as long as I've had her she's had a high ponytail with two braids. This is a trick I use for dolls with really long hair. The braids help keep her hair from tangling, and since the hair in the braids isn't hanging straight it help mask how long it is and makes it more of a realistic length. Doing her hair was much easier than dressing her. Again, like a broken record I had a hard time dressing Jenny. She was smaller than Barbie, (this was before Francie and MUCH before Momoko, and even longer before I was sewing for the dolls) so her clothing options were limited, and don't get me started on her shoes. Jenny feet are much different than Barbie, so she was out of luck in that department for the most part. I forget what she changed into after the Ariel dress, but I'm sure there was a lot of changes while I was trying to find a decent outfit for her. For a while she ended up wearing the blue and white outfit that came with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. To deal with the size difference it was duct taped in the back, because I'm resourceful like that. It was then that Jenny became a character in one of my stories. It's a girl crime fighting group, called Club 500. All the members are based off dolls I own; Charlotte, Ashley, Artemis, and Jenny, even Joe is in it. Jenny here was the teams physic with a sad past. Her costume was the same as what she wore in real life, except she also had a grinning skull mask she wore all the time. To add to the macabre factor, the mask had three bleeding bullet holes. And yes, the mask really does exist, and yes, I still have it. Maybe eventually it will make an appearance.
She didn't remain in that costume for long term, as most dolls in the collection do, she changed again trying to find her "perfect" dress. Eventually she moved into the orange dress that came with the collectors edition Queen Amadala (sp?) from "Star Wars" that I got for a song. It was a really nice formal dress, and it was just unusual enough to become another character dress. That's when she became "Serene Moon", another psychic. That seems to be a theme for her. That's the dress she was in for years and years.
Jenny was not part of the first wave of dolls to move south. For a while she was in storage with all of the rest of the collection. She was however part of the second wave of dolls that made their way down here, as well at the other Jenny dolls (there's three in total). For some reason, Jenny had a weird reaction from storage, her torso yellowed, pretty severely. It's weird because her dress covered all of her torso, so it's not like it was exposed to the sun, and if it was the dress that stained her it would have leeched into her face and arms as well. Even odder if you took off her head, the top of the neck and neck knob were the original pale white. Just weird. So Jenny went over to the bookshelf when she finally got down here, on the Japanese doll shelf. She was the center doll on that shelf, all the dolls radiated off from her. Each shelf has their own center doll, they sort of make a line though the center of the bookshelf. Charlotte is the center one of her shelf, and my brunette standard Barbie is the one on the vintage shelf.
So Jenny was over on the bookshelf minding her business until today. It was then that I stumbled onto a picture of a Jenny doll on a Liv doll body. I know that articulation really made me enjoy Charlotte more, and I wondered if something new like that would bring a breath of fresh air into Jenny and my relationship. I just didn't know if the head would fit on the neck knob without any modification. I sent a comment to the person about that, but I went out before they could reply. Since they didn't seem like the type who did any real body mods I took the plunge and got one. I went to Walmart to find a Liv doll for Jenny's new body. It was a bit of a gamble because I wasn't sure if the body would fit, and I wasn't sure if there was a body as pale as Jenny. Annoyingly, Walmart only had one type of Liv doll, the beach line that came in skimpy swimsuits and no shoes, and still cost 14 dollars! That's nuts, she should have at least come with shoes. This would be my first foray into Liv dolls, I just hope that my re-body would work, would have to waste the last of my birthday money on a wild goose chase.
But I needed not to worry, the neck knob fit Jenny like a dream. It just snapped into place like it was made for it. The hardest part was taking off the Liv doll's head. The color was even a good match, I believe the original doll was Sophie, but I could be wrong. Either way her head, along with her sunglasses and wig are going to be sold, I don't need any of them. But the body is really nice. This is the first time I've handled a Liv body, and while there's a lot of subtle difference between this one and the fashionista body, it's a good option, but I still prefer the fashionista body. The Liv doll has better range of motions at the knees, but the fashionista body has better movements in the hip joints. I do like the arms and wrists of the Liv body, but I think the fashionista has a slightly greater range of motions. Still, it's a good option for some dolls. However while it's close to the fashionista body, it's not an exact match proportion wise, the Liv body is a bit smaller, but still it's bigger than Jenny's original body. This meant that the orange dress that she's been wearing for years, no longer fit like it used to. While I'm still adjusting to her gained bulk the dress wasn't make the change any easier. So I was forced to redress her. Also the Liv doll feet are much bigger than her original ones, so her shoes no longer fit.
I did not have to search long to find her new clothes however. Over on my new garment rack I had the Japanese School Girl outfit that I made for Sweet Sixteen that eventually went to Charlotte. So Jenny got to try it on, and... it was darling. It's now hers, Charlotte's lost another outfit. (Not like she doesn't have enough already!) She also claimed the socks that I made for it originally. That just left me with shoes for her. And do you remember the group of shoes that I bought from Matthew Sutton a while back? There were a pair of yellow converse that ended up being too big for Barbie and I theorized they were Liv shoes, remember that? Well turns out they are, or at least they fit her. They're a little snug because of the socks, but at least she has shoes and they sort of match her outfit. I'm just so in love with her now, this body was such a great buy. All day I've just been playing with her and having fun. I just can't make up my mind how to pose her when I finally put her away on the bookshelf.
Also, today I was able to go and get more hangers. Since they worked on my garment rack I wanted to go back and pick up some more before they sold out. I managed to pick up two different paper doll packs with them, so if I want to play with them I have more clothing options. I don't plan on popping them out, instead I'm going to donate them, or give them to my cousin's kids, (but they might be too young) paper dolls were never really my thing.
Oh! Before I forget, all this time with Jenny made me want to find out who she is. Since she came nude and used I really didn't have that much to go on. I did find a site that helped you identify your Takara doll based off their eye paint. It turns out she's not really Jenny after all. She's actually a friend of Jenny called Olive. Judging from her hair she's most likely Long Hair Olive from 1992, she's actually an uncommon doll. Pretty cool, huh? Also I'm assuming that she's that Olive because of her hair length, all the pictures I've seen of her have been really blurry or distant, so she could be a different Olive doll. I'm positive she's Olive doll. She's always going to be Jenny to me, even though her face isn't the same as Jenny's she's always going to seem like the iconic Jenny to me. I actually like her more than Jenny. Weird, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well now I did it.

So it seem that after my short burst of creativity the other day was just that, a short burst. I didn't have any desire to do any sewing today. The most I managed to do today was do some organization of the room. I didn't get it totally clean or anything (I don't think that will ever happen), but I did manage to get at least the dolls that were scattered around the room redressed and put back on the bookshelf. Even though it was just putting a band aid on a broken arm I usually feel a bit more organized when the bookshelf looks good. I still need to pick up and put away a bunch of stuff, but I'm running out of room! Also when you have a dozen or so projects in the air, there's not much you can put away that you don't just have to pull out again to work on something. Maybe it would be better if I actually finished something I started. (What a novel idea!)
But I didn't make any strides today on my projects, and in fact I went the opposite direction when dealing with getting anything done today by adding more to the pile, because today I went shopping. And this was not an ordinary shopping trip, this time I had money, wonderful money just burning a hole in my pocket. My grandmother sent me a birthday check, and I cashed it, last week. Originally I was going to be good and not blindly spend it. And I started off strong, right after I got it, I didn't spend it. I even skipped out on a shopping trip to avoid spending it. But that couldn't last forever. I could have been smart and left it at home to avoid spending it, but I didn't think of that at the time, or maybe I purposely ignored that option setting myself up for failure. Either way I set out for the day with 35 whole dollars in my pocket, that was eager to just jump out and into someone's cash register. It was all a matter of whose.
We started out at the Library bookstore, which for some reason my father really seems to enjoy even though for me they really don't have much of a turnaround in their books. I've never actually gotten anything there the two other times we've been there. I did find a few things that were interesting this time. I got "Salem's Lot" by Steven King, and a magazine from 1989 about making porcelain dolls. It's not my real interest, but the articles looked somewhat interesting and you never know what kind of info you could glean from a source like that. I figured for a quarter I could take my chances. I did look though that 70's sewing book again. While I still only like it for the small assortment of fashion photos, if my father drags me there again anytime soon, I'm going to get it, he should know better, tempting me like that.
Since we were in the area of the antique stores I could feel the heat of desire radiating off the money in my wallet. It was just across the street and pulled me in like a magnet. We went into the first one, but just did a quick sweep. It was really the larger second one that I was really interested in. Do you guys remember the stall that I buy shoes from? Well they've been having a sale there, everything's twenty percent off. I figured that with a sale like that I could get a vintage doll at a decent price. Using simple math, I figured that I could get a doll that was marked fifty dollars, if I borrowed some extra from my father. (Including tax.) So I went into the store and looked over the selection that were available. Even with my money and the sale, the majority of the dolls still out of my price range. There were still several within my price limit though. But a great deal of those were dolls that I was certain I could find elsewhere for cheaper. I mean, 50 dollars for a Malibu Francie? Not in this lifetime. I did see one doll that I was interested in, one that was interesting and within my price range. In fact at 23 dollars she was a lot less than my limit. But I wasn't totally sold on her just yet. Also, I hadn't looked upstairs yet, and you never know what you'll find up there. Also the prices are usually a bit more to my wallet's liking up there.
On my way up the stairs I passed a woman carrying down a Raggedy Ann doll. I smiled to myself because it was sweet. Although, when I was upstairs, I saw a few dolls including a Raggedy Andy that looked really similar to the Ann I saw on the stairs, and that made me sad. I would hope that it would be a coincidence, but it would be a shame if that person split them up. Either way, for the most part, upstairs were pretty much a loss, there wasn't much of anything that really called out to me. I did manage to find something in the last booth I checked out though. There was a bag with some Barbie dresses, as well as a smaller bag inside that with some shoes. It was ten dollars, but everything in that booth was half off. I tried looking though the double bags to see what shoes were there (and if they were pairs), but it was kind of hard to see. I saw a few pairs, as well as a few singles, so I figured I should take the chance and get it. (It was a gamble, because I wasn't a huge fan of the dresses themselves.) But if there were at least five pairs of shoes, I'd break even. So I ended up getting it.
When back downstairs, I looked at the doll again. And I decided that I wanted her. 23 dollars was a decent price, and then it was 20 percent off of that, so even better. She was a "Marlo" TNT doll, on a standard body, and I do not have one of these dolls yet. Her body has it's share of dings, cuts, and missing fingers, but for the most part I can live with that. Her hair on the other hand was lovely (maybe a little dry), I did have to fix her part line because it had gotten brushed to one side, but it was an easy fix at home with my re-root needle. And her face paint was stunning, with just one lip rub on her lower lip. She did come dressed, in a Best Buy fashion, and she came with a stand (Great!)! The stand was black, and has since been claimed by Vanessa, since it matches her color scheme. Her outfit was a blue patterned jumpsuit... thing. It's really not my style, so she's going to be redressed soon. I wish I knew the name (or number?) of this outfit, and it was on the price tag for the doll, but when you buy the doll, they keep the tag, so that really doesn't help me, like at all. Right now, she's only had her hair brushed, and still needs her bath, but... she's lovely. This is another case of I bought the reproduction of this doll and was bored with it quickly, but when I see the real deal it's just stunning. I know Mattel can't make identical reproductions for the second hand market, but these reproductions aren't even close to the originals. But at least I'm learning my lesson and stopped buying the reproductions.
It wasn't until after I bought and paid for these things that I was able to look at the bag of shoes. By the way, my total ended up being 25.27 for both things. The doll ended up being 18 dollars and change. So she was a deal... the clothes and shoes on the other hand, ha yet to be seen. Dumping out the bag in the car revealed that it netted me five pairs of shoes, as well as three solo shoes. There were a pair of shiny white Barbie pumps, a pair of red Barbie pumps, an pair of white Barbie pumps, a pair of black Barbie pumps, and a pair of dark brown (almost black) Barbie flats. I had seen the flats in the store, they were the shoes that sold me on getting this package, love those style of shoes. I'd say they are in my top five Barbie shoe types. It's weird with the pumps. They're the usually 90's generic Barbie pump that I remember from my childhood, but they're much thinner plastic. You don't have to force them onto the foot as much as the ones I have already, much better. The brown flats I assume came with a Cinderella doll because I've seen Mattel use them before with her. They look black unless they're next to something that's actually black, so that's a decent buy in my book. The solo shoes were as follows; a pink Barbie pump, a clear with glitter pump (possibly another Cinderella item), and a brown Ken loafer. I already looked though the bag of solo shoes I have and did not have any matches, so they join their solo brethren in the bag. I'm hoping someday I'll find some of their matches.
Inside that bag with the shoes there were also some accessories. A solid plastic silver Barbie purse with matching tiara and necklace, as well as a fabric crown (which may not be from Barbie), as well as a clone gold clutch, and a tiny, tiny silver clutch (which is darn adorable). Beyond the small bag there were three dresses in the big bag. The first one was a large gown. It has a "velvet" bodice with over sized bright red sleeves. The skirt is a green "satin" with crisscrossing black ribbons with red rickrack. It also has a matching belt thing from the same green fabric with several ribbon roses. Originally I thought it was a hat or a bonnet, but the nice people over on "In the Pink" told me that it went around the waist. I honestly never thought of that. It has a Genuine Barbie tag in the skirt. The second dress is white and gold and is super fluffy almost like what an angel would wear, an 80's angel. It has over sized sleeves too and huge beads at the neck and the waist. It's got a really high neck. So far every doll that's tried it on had had the collar touching her head. It's weird. There's no tag in the skirt for this one. Originally I assumed it was a clone dress (from the style and material), but when I went to try it on Charlotte I found a Barbie tag in the bodice. I posted these over at "In the Pink" asking if anyone knew what they were from, and I found out that they were from a Sam's Club exclusive Holiday giftset from the early 90's. There's another red dress that I'm missing, which is fine by me, neither of these dresses are really my style. The other dress in the bag was another Barbie dress, a wedding dress. I assume from the fashion avenue line because it has the pink Barbie label that I remember. It's a white bodice top with a fuzzy-ish skirt. There's also a flower decoration on the front. Also in the bag was a short jacket with a fake fur collar, and a veil with more fake fur. I assume that they belong to the wedding dress since their material matches. But the fur makes me think that this is a winter wedding dress, since they had a dress for each season in each fashion avenue, but why would it have a flower? Either way, the wedding dress is my favorite of the three dresses. But, gosh that makes me miss the Fashion avenue line, it was just so classy, especially compared to the stuff Mattel is offering now a days. (Edit: I did some research and it it is a Fashion Avenue from 1996, number 17625. The shiny white pumps belong to it, and it's missing the bouquet and possibly something else.)
Finally I ended up at the Dollar Tree. There I needed to pick up a couple Father's Day cards, as well as see what they had in terms of wedding decorations. My mother and I are planning my sister's wedding shower and wanted to see what they had to offer. There I made a pleasant discovery. They had doll sized hangers! They were actually part of a paper doll set. It was two sheets of card stock, the doll and her clothes. But she came with six plastic hangers, and a plastic garment rack so you can hang up her clothes. They looked the correct size, but I wasn't sure if they would fit on the dowels I'm using. I'm pleased to say that they do fit. It's a little tight, but they do fit around the dowel. The hangers themselves are a little narrow to use for skirts or dresses with wide necks, but they work for shirts. And also you can use the short garment rack that came with them for shirts. They're bright, bright, bright pink, but that's easy enough to ignore. I mean, I'm just using them for clothes. I might have to go back and get some more. It was even fun playing with the paper doll, which I did for about one minute. I've already used all six of them! At this rate I'm going to need another garment rack for all these clothes!
But yay for more hangers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well they did it...

Canada's Postal System is now on a total shut down. Leaving my money order lost somewhere along the lines. I don't believe that it reached the seller yet, even though I mailed it several days ago. (And yes, I do know how far away Canada is from here.) It just stinks that the one, THE ONE time that I would need to use it all of this stuff keeps happening. At this rate I won't have my Birthday present until my next birthday. And if you know me, you should know how much I hate waiting. And I hate even more when everything is in limbo like that. *sigh*

Anyway, today was another low key day. I spent most of it writing yesterday's post. I was able to post the pictures of Skipper and Francie over on "In the Pink", for family and friends day. And received some lovely comments. Since my ego always enjoys a nice stroking, I'll share some of my favorites with you.
"REALLY cute dresses!! Good job! Love them!" - Marirose (The same Marirose that makes wonderful Barbie clothing reproductions, and author of "Vintage Clothing for Fashion Dolls"!!!)
"Eddie, I love your fashions! Your girls are always dressed in the best of quality." - Danalynne
"Eddie you do beautiful work and Francie & Skipper look so pretty & summery in their fashions." - Judy in Pa
"Your outfits are exquisite!" - Wandy
I think that's enough self fawning over my skills. (Got to stay somewhat humble.) Also in some really cool news Joanne (the moderator over at "In the Pink") had kindly offered to send me some shoes for my shoeless Skipper. Joanne is such a doll herself, one of my favorite people over on that board. And it's so sweet of her to send me a pair of shoes. I don't own any Skipper shoes, these will by my first pair... ever. Out of the five Skipper sized dolls I own, three of them are wearing Barbie sneakers, and the other two are shoeless, but wearing socks. Francie suffers from the same fate too. But I'm so excited about getting some shoes for Skipper. Maybe it will motivate me to get shoes for everyone else that needs them.
Will this gift be the start of a new addiction?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Finish it up... on a Tuesday???

I started off today with some laundry. It's amazing that when you have only six shirts that are wearable in public how quickly you just run though them. The majority of my shirts are too big or have holes in them so they're fine for kicking around the house, I'm not trying to impress anyone there, but not so great for public display. So if I was planning on going out and not looking like a scrub I needed to get some clothes cleaned. Plus it's better to do it when it's small manageable loads and not a gigantic all day pile.
With that started I thought about what I wanted to do for the day. I could start a new video game, but I wasn't really feeling it. I think I'm still riding the post high of finishing Lego Batman. I wanted to do some sewing, and even though I don't have a project in mind, I turned my attention to another source of sewing projects. The unfinished project box. In there I have tons of projects that I started and gave up on midway though for a variety of reasons. The projects are already started so I just need to come back to them and finish what I started, fix whatever issue I was having with them, or cut my losses and throw something out. I started off with throwing something out. It was a pleated skirt I made out of material that was way too thick. I needed to reinforce seams and add a snap, but that was going to be hard sewing a snap onto that thick fabric and I'd never use it, so why waste my time and the potential damage to my fingers? So I just tossed it.
But that was the only casualty of the box today. I started by dumping the entire box and pulling though what was inside and setting aside the things that didn't totally bore me. One of the things that I pulled out was the dusty yellow bodice that I made for that Skipper dress that was from the wrong pattern. While it was too big for Skipper it was too small for the fashionista body. I was looking at it when I realized I have at least two dolls that are in-between those two sizes. Luckily I had a Francie right next to me who was waiting to be redress and placed back on the bookshelf so I grabbed her. Trying it on her proved that that it was a decent fit, it just needed some under bust darts. I also had to remove the collar that was on it. It was a attempt to do something different, that wasn't working. So hello trash for that. I decided I was just going to remake the outfit the same as how it was for Skipper, just in Francie size. I did the pleated skirt and set it outside to dry while I finished the bodice. I made a new collar and this one went it easier, I didn't have to redo it over and over like usual. When I was done with the collar I went outside and the skirt was dry! So I was able to attach it and be done with the initial sewing. After that I reinforced seams, added two snaps in the back, pulled out all the holding stitches in the skirt, and I added a row of pearl buttons down the front. I used chalk this time to show me where they needed to go, because the pencil I used on Skipper's dress, is still there. It's faint, but not going away easily. I also added the white ribbon bow at the neck, but that's just tied there. I'm going to run out of that thin ribbon soon at this rate, I've been using it a lot. I like this dress, it came out really cute. The only problem is that with the color of the fabric, any yellowing of the doll's face is really noticeable, and it makes them look even more sallow. I tried it on Molly and she looked super sickly. Out of my four Francie dolls, two of them are yellowed, and the other two are dressed how I like them, so this dress is going to become a spare for whomever comes into the collection that wants it. I took a Francie and Skipper out to take their pictures so I can share them over on flickr and "In the Pink", and wouldn't you know Waffles had to jump up on the railing, even though there's an at least 10 foot fall from there. So I had to grab him and take him back indoors. I did snag a picture though.
After that I moved onto another project, a quick fix this time, compared to the dress. I bought these doll shirts a while back. They're actually made for scrap booking, but are made up like actual t-shirts. The only issue is that they don't open in the back. So they went into the box for a while. It would be easy to just slice up the back and hem them, but they're kind of tight already and I wouldn't want to lose that much fabric. But I learned a trick the other day that really works wonders. Using medium thick ribbon (I think it's ribbon could be hem tape or something) you fold it over the raw hem and sew that together. That way the not hemmed fabric is enclosed, and you don't lose any extra fabric. I did this with one shirt a while back and it came out okay, but this one I did today came out much better. It looks much more professional. I also added two snaps in the back so it can open and close. And I was done... almost. When I was trying it on Charlotte when I was done the seam at the neck popped. It was a simple fix, but annoying that I had to do it in general. Oh, before I forget, does anyone need any of these? They came from Big Lots and there's still several of them left at the store. I'd be willing to buy and ship some for people if anybody wanted. They're pretty cheap, like 1.25 each. There's London, Paris, San Fransisco, and something else too (I didn't get the last one that I can't remember.) I'd be willing to send them MIB or adapt them like I did here (for a slight fee). If anyone's interested contact me though here. I should point out that they do fit the fashionista body. The reason why there's a gap in the back is because the dress form is slightly bigger than Barbie, also I couldn't be bothered to add more than two snaps. Had I added three it would have not have the gap.
After that I did another quick fix. I made this skirt out of the tiny woven houndstooth that I bought back at Christmas. I was having issues with the back seam, so I gave up on it. Today I came back and fixed it and finished the skirt. It's part of a suit that the jacket is still in the box, but at least the skirt is finished. It fits Charlotte (very tightly), but it's more for the Vintage crowd. Love, love, love this material, pain to work with though.
After that I finished up another dress. I made this red polka dot dress for the doll I'm sending to Pedro (which I still have not sent). The fit was off, so I gave up and moved onto another option for that. Today I dusted it off and finished it up. While the fit was off for the older style of body that it was designed for, it fit Charlotte's body. (I don't know why that keeps happening to me, it's not the first time this has occurred.) I will say it's not a perfect fit on her either. Today I reinforced the seams, added snaps, attached the straps, and sewed the back closed. It's cute and flirty... and really short. I must make sure that underwear is worn with this dress at all times. But still, cute, and finished!
Finally I moved onto another repair job. This dress is one that came in the lot of stuff that came with the Christmas Bubblecut. Do you see that fabric pattern? It's so lovely and geometric. They don't make them like that anymore. It's in pretty decent shape in the front, but there's some issues with the back. The skirt back hem had come undone and started to unravel. Again I had an issue with using too much fabric to re-hem it, so I used more ribbon to fix it. I took the back seam apart and added ribbon to each side, then sewed it back together. All it needed was some seam reinforcement and it was fixed. This is an unusual dress. It too fits Charlotte's body much better than the vintage one, and I didn't even make it. I assume it was made for the vintage doll because of who it came with. It can fit the vintage body, but it's extremely tight in the bodice, and I worry it will tear, but it's still a cute dress.
So that's what I did today, got several things out of that box. There's still plenty to do, but I made progress. And even more shockingly, I like all of these items and are more likely to use them in the collection compared to some other stuff I've finished on days like this. I really like that Francie dress. It's weird, I haven't made much stuff for her ever, but in the past week or so I made her two things. I guess I'm branching out?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some good news to share!

I finally completed Lego Batman! It's finished with a 100 percent completion amount. I've had this game since May of 2008, so it was about time I finished it, right? Now the good news is that now that I have that monkey off my back I can move onto something else. It's either some new sewing, or another video game. I will say, I want to do some sewing, but don't have anything to sew yet and... Final Fantasy X is sitting right there tempting me....
Either way I didn't get play more video games or sew. Instead I went out to the stores again. Needed a few things so out I went. I ended up at Walmart, and since it's been a while since I've been there I hit up the Barbie isle. And I was totally underwhelmed. And I'm not lamenting that fact. I know that I've complained about that before, but this isn't that type of post at all. I was walking down the isle and I didn't see anything that really jumped out to me, that I just had to have. Even though I had money on me, I didn't see anything that I really wanted. Although, I will point out that I would buy the Ken outfit that came with the boating shoes for Joe because I love those style shoes personally, but they're too small for Joe's big ol' feet. So that's more an issue with Joe. And I've been looking at the Jack Sparrow doll more lately thinking about buying him, but I think that's more me trying to make up for not getting that Dynamite Boy doll, so I'm trying to be smart and avoid him, especially since I'm not really into that character. (stay strong), besides I've never seen him in person only online. And if I'm really that much into an articulated male doll I can always buy a Fashionista Ken, he's a third of the price and I'll be bored with him just as quick as with Jack.
But enough comments on that stuff, this is supposed to be a positive thing. I mean, I'm glad that I'm able to look at these dolls and products more objectively. Before I started sewing I really had a lot of people that needed to be redressed, and my only option was buying them clothes. So I had to make do with what little that was out there in my style. I should comment on how I bought a five dollar Barbie a few years back just because she was wearing a simple red t-shirt. That was the only thing I liked about her, so I bought it. And then I went back and bought a second one, for another shirt. I spent ten dollars for two shirts that now I can make something I like better in a matter of hours, for a fraction of the cost. With all my sewing I've managed to dress a great deal of the people in my collection, satisfactorily. And while I pull out my hair over the people on the redress list, those are only the difficult cases, the majority of everyone else is dressed. And even though I complain a lot about those stragglers that remain poorly dressed, if everyone was dressed perfectly I'd be super bored with the collection. I mean, how many outfits can Charlotte wear? She's only one doll.
And so at Walmart today I saw a lot of things from Mattel that was not in my personal style. And instead of lamenting the fact, I realized that it's what motivated me to sew in the first place. If it wasn't for my dislike for what was available I never would have started sewing in the first place. And look at me, over half of the dolls in the collection are wearing something I made, and skill level has improved greatly. So really, instead of complaining about the lack of things I want to buy, I could applaud the fact that I'm no longer under the control of Mattel. My collection is now a greater reflection of myself because I'm no longer just styling these dolls, I'm designing and creating their outfits, many times from scratch. I have a greater pride in what I created, and continue to create.
Now I will say that I'm still a consumer, but now I'm a little more selective in what I'm getting. I mean, I'm still focusing the collection on vintage dolls and will always amass them whenever I can and however I can. I'm also still a shoe addict, even though at Walmart when I looked at the carded fashions their shoes were a little much. So I'm not a hard core junkie, more like a casual user/abuser. I'm also on a big hanger kick. I'm trying to find the best prices on doll hangers since I need more so I can hang up more clothes on that rack I made for Charlotte. Right now I only had enough to hang the Steampunk blouse and I want to hang the entire outfit, plus several other outfits. And finally I'm also looking into getting more dress forms. I have one and really like using it for displaying clothes. So eventually I will want more, even though today online I found a set that had two of them, but I didn't get it because I didn't care for the doll and clothes that came with it. I can get them somewhere else, in time. So I guess, I'm still in a purchasing state of mind, but I've grown to a more relaxed about it. And I can thank sewing for that.

But I still want that Dynamite Boy doll! Curse you Integrity for only making 300 of them!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It wouldn't be Sunday without some Family Drama

Another low key day, played more Lego Batman, and generally didn't get much done.
But there's been some extended family drama going down recently I wanted to share (vent) with you all. It might get a little confusing, so bear with me as I explain it.
It's dealing with my mother's mother's family. So my mother's cousin's son is getting married in August (Kyle). My parents got a save the date card a while back for it. We assumed that the invite was for everyone in the family (My parents, my siblings, and myself). Turns out that the invite was only for my parents, my siblings (and myself) were not invited. Which is fine, my sister is planning her wedding and has been forced to pick and choose who gets invited for financial reasons. But what's upsetting, is that they're inviting several of my cousins, but not all of us. They're inviting the three cousins who live in state. (Hillary, Sunny, and Lisa) "They didn't want to invite people they didn't know who didn't live in state". Which is total baloney because they don't know those cousins either, and when they made that decision, Lisa didn't live in state, she was in Mass. So they invited those cousins, but not Beth in Maine, or Donnie in North Carolina.
Ironically the invited cousins are the "popular" ones in our family, the ones that we have to let control the family and not upset them. Did I ever tell you the story of how Hillary forced us to do Christmas at her house compared to my Grandmother's one year?
I call that incident, "The Binch that stole Christmas."
I am bothered by this turn of events, but hardly surprised. That side of the family has a wide spread issue with causing petty drama. I'm more bothered by the fact that my mom's upset from this callous action. They were planning on going up for the wedding, but now are planning on skipping it. I mean, why pick favorites like that? My sister is inviting several people from that side of the family to her wedding, but only because she has to, and she's not picking and choosing who she wants there.
Uncalled for.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I don't know what's going on...

I just feel so unmotivated lately. For the past several days I just haven't been able to get any real desire to get anything done. (And I do mean anything.) I haven't even touched Charlotte in the last few days. She's been over on the bookshelf sitting in her chair, waiting for me. And for some reason I could care less about doing anything with her, or any of the other dolls for that matter. The last one I touched was Sweet Sixteen when I was putting her back on the shelf, still undressed. The last few times that I did any sewing I quit the moment that an issue came up, meaning that I really didn't care all that much about it in the first place. I mean even here on this blog my posts have been totally lackluster, and I have several comments to reply back on. I just can't find any motivation to do so. I bought fabric the other day and instead of doing anything with it, I just put it away.

I'd say I need a vacation, but you have to do something in order to warrant that!