Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day one of Cleaning...

Started the whole clean up process of the house today. Once again I was the only one doing anything. And actually I didn't have another prissy little freak out today, although those usually happen on day two or later. Today I started around 10:30, and worked for an hour and a half, quitting at noon. In that time I got done cleaning the dining room, the hallway including the stairs, did a load of laundry (which so needed to be done), as well as make a small dent in putting away things in the Kitchen. I think that will be the best way to deal with the kitchen, a little at a time, leaving it for last. The kitchen is usually where I have those (to myself) hissy fits and end up quitting. Tomorrow I have a living room and the upstairs hall on the to-do list. Saturday is quickly approaching!
In the afternoon I went out the check the mail. I know it's super early, but I was hoping the Skipper head would be here today. And it was! It was actually the only mail in the box today. So exciting, I love not having to wait a while to get my things. I eagerly opened the box when inside and got to see Skipper up close and personal. It's really a nice head. The makeup is flawless, her eyelashes are so long and full, no spots or fades, and the best part, her hair is so nice and full and uncut! It was a little sticky, so she's already gotten a bath and her hair brushed. I did have to fix the part in the back, but that was easy. With a little work it went back to how it was originally rooted. She does have one issue that I didn't know about, the back of her neck opening is a bit warped. It's flat like she'd been positioned like that for a while and the plastic settled on it. But it easily fit the neck post, and doesn't seem to be causing any trouble. I'm hoping that it will revert back to it's original shape over time, but not a big deal if it doesn't, you can only tell if you look at her closely. Also, she was a touch dirty when she arrived, so that's another reason for her getting a bath. For some reason she had some light reddish brown marks on her face, under her lips and over her eyes. Maybe somebody gave Skipper some makeup? Either way it came off with some water and soap.
After she was cleaned and drying I was looking her over. It's weird, I kind of really like her, even though she's much later than the other dolls that I usually like. She just seems so... fun. So fun in fact that I already started dressing her. For some reason I had an idea for dressing her popped into my head, which I liked but wasn't in love with. So I kept thinking about it, and adapted it. Eventually I had an idea that I really liked, so I started making it. And while I was adapting patterns, and and tweaking things on the fly it actually came out decently. I was even able to go back and fix the pattern that I made for making a Skipper shirt out of cotton. It's not finished, so you'll get to see it tomorrow. I hope you like it!
And last we have our final item for the month of finishing it up. Can you believe I've gotten 31 things done this month? This is a square of black fabric that I re-purposed. It was originally the tail of Joe's Regency coat, but it was too big, so I ended up making a second one that was thinner, but longer. But I kept this one, unsure what to do with it. Today I took it out of the box and looked at it for a bit. Then I wondered if it was big enough to make an underskirt out of. And it was! I've never made one out of black before, they've all been white so far. This one is lined in white (to prevent staining), but is black on the outside. I also used some velvet ribbon at the bottom to give it some decoration, as well as made a bow out of the ribbon as well. It's cute, and a little bit saucy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All over the place today...

So I was actually able to drag myself to get some writing done this morning. Exciting, right? It's even a bit surprising since I've been having more sleep issues again and I rarely get to writing when I'm tired like that. But I got another page done today, although I did switch to another section in order to get anything written. After such a long break it's no surprise that I'm having such difficulty jumping back into the emotionally heavy section I'm stuck on. I can work on the later stuff to get familiar with the characters again then come back to where I'm stuck. But the good thing is that I'm actually working on it. And getting some important sections expanded on.
I also went out again today in the early afternoon. I was specifically asked to go with, so I couldn't really say no. But I was good again. Today would have been the official day that I would have earned Skipper, had I not already gotten her. So now I have another doll that I've set my sights on. She's one of the dolls from yesterday's post. Care to take a guess? I did manage to stop into the store again and get a few more prices on dolls in that booth while out.
They are as follows;
Live Action Ken for 19.50
Brunette TNT on a Standard Body for 60
Titan Living Barbie for 39
Live Action Barbie for 40
Skooter for 50
Live Action P.J. for 56
Casey for 65
Malibu Ken for 18
Hair Fair Francie for 41
Tutti doll with case for 68
and an Allen for 55.
I also checked the doll that I was interested in. I wasn't going to get her if she was in poor shape, but she seems to be in good condition (Just not on the right body). So we are all set for getting her. I hope I can keep being good long enough!
Actually I did get something while out, some allspice. I needed it for a recipe that I wanted to try out. It's a variation on a spice cake, something like the tomato soup cake, just without the tomato soup. I got the recipe from here; a Snow White blog I follow. You're supposed to prepare it like a Swiss roll, but I didn't have the ingredients for the filling, plus I just wanted to see if the cake recipe was any good. And it was okay, not a very big cake, but you don't have a lot of ingredients. I think I'd rather stick with the tomato soup cake. It's popular, tastes good to me, and you get a small dose of vegetables with it. Total win-win. Or more like win-win-win.
Also I have some news to share with you all. I just found this out myself. My sister and her fiance are coming to visit this weekend. Overnight. Apparently, there's a play in Asheville that they're going to on Sunday, and while it's a long drive from our house, it's an even longer drive from their house. So they are coming to stay. Which means that again the whole house has to be tidy for their visit. It's not like it's a terrible mess... it's just we have a general amount of dissaray that we deal with, and when company comes it's time to clean up and make everything look presentable. But this time is worse because, since it's overnight we have to clean the upstairs bathroom to make it look nice, have only four days to clean everything, and with my brother back and school and my dad working several nights it's going to be a lot of cleaning on my part. So be prepared for some real boring updates on the blog. And her visit totally wreaks my plans for the next couple days. I have an announcement for you guys on the first, but it and my plans are going to have to wait until after the weekend. How come even when she's not living here she manages to cause trouble for me? Sigh.
I also managed to get my finish it up project done for today. You may remember a few days back I made a new underskirt for Barbie. I figured since I'm always stealing Charlotte's I might as well make a spare to have the next time I have someone who needs one. But the first one I made I used the wrong pattern, so I had a skirt that was much too small for Barbie. I tried it on Momoko and Skipper, and it didn't fit either of them. So I gave up on it and put it into the box. Today I was pulling through the box to see what I wanted to work on, when I pulled this out and remember a doll that I hadn't tried it on... Ghoulia! She's so much thinner than everyone else so she has a much greater chance for the small skirt to fit. And it did! Which is good since I hate taking off her boots, so I would have been annoyed to take them off only to have the underskirt not fit. Since it fit her I finished it up for her. I added the lace on the bottom, added the snap, and sewed the back seam. I just wish I had some skull like decoration to add to the bottom. This is my first bit of sewing for Monster High dolls. Not sure when I'll ever use this underskirt, but I'm darn pleased that I found someone to fit it. Waste not, want not!

Monday, August 29, 2011

More shopping...but not...

Went out shopping again today, I know I've been going out every five seconds. But I needed to go out and get something into the mail, and it's not fair to make my Dad to my errands like that. But I would like to say that I was good, I did not buy anything. Which is good since I'm still technically "paying off" Living Skipper, tomorrow will the be the day that I technically "earned" her. But I did go to the Antique stores again, but this time was different. I wanted to look over the Barbie dolls that the Barbie seller has at the Antique mall. I was curious to see how those prices were compared to what I found them for online. Especially when you consider the 20 percent off special that's currently going on. Plus taking into account the price I'd have to pay for shipping.
Here's the ones I wrote down, I'm posting them here to save them for the record;
Living Skipper for 50
Straight Leg Ken for 39.50
Living Barbie for 30
Another Living Barbie for 50
Midge for 65
Julia for 80
Another Julia for 80
Malibu Francie for 40
P.J. for 40
Growing Hair Francie for 55
Tutti for 35
Another Tutti for 55
Another Living Skipper for 25
Hair Fair Barbie for 27
Brunette Bubblecut for 109
Talking Stacey with a neck split for 55
Silkstone wearing Mod dress for 50
and a Malibu Ken for 5
There were also other dolls that I didn't write down either due to the fact that I couldn't see the tags from the other side of the case (I know that there's an Allen and another Malibu Ken plus more) and I didn't spend a great deal of time checking out all the dolls. I was only interested in a select few. I should point out that most of the dolls come wearing clothes. That Straight Leg Ken comes wearing a complete vintage outfit. For the most part the majority of them are out of my price range right off the bat, even including the discount on them. But there are several of the dolls that I'm interested in saving up for. While I complain about going out and not spending money, I think it's beneficial because I'm not wasting money buying things because I want to get something. Each time I'm good it compiles for me getting another doll for the collection. Maybe eventually I can go out, without having an ulterior motive, not get get anything, and not be a total heel about it.
Anyway, onto the finish it up project for the day. This short pleated skirt is something I tried on Malibu Barbie's dress before I changed into a simple rounded skirt. Since I could still use the skirt, I kept it. So today I took it out, added a waistband, took out the holding stitches, then finished it up like usual. I also made some darts on the waist to make it fit the waist better. And then I was done! It's a cute skirt, just really short. It's more like the length for Skipper than Barbie! But you never know when you'll need a lime green short pleated skirt, right? Right???
Oh! Also, I got notified that the Skipper head got mailed today. So hopefully I'll have it soon. Exciting, right?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Does Julia own that pattern?

Or another title could be; "The things I do for my hand". That was the original title for today's post around noon today. Because... I bought a new Living Skipper head. Yes, I know I should have just sucked it up and re-rooted the one I have, it's just that it takes forever plus I don't have enough hair left. I'd have to buy more hair to re-root anybody. So I thought about buying another head, and went over to E-bay to see what they were going for. I'm also looking for other Barbie body parts in this ghastly hobby of mine. Anyway, I found someone selling another Skipper head with good hair for 20 dollars (buy it now price), much out of my price range. So I made an offer to them of ten dollars, explaining that was all I could afford at the moment, and that I would understand if they declined it. I was expecting a counteroffer, or just getting told to buzz off, but they accepted! Shocking, that was. This was my first time making an offer on something, and I now know that when you make an offer you are asking to directly buy it. I guess I assumed that if they accepted your offer you'd then be prompted to buy it, not automatically close the auction and have you "win" it. But that's what happened. So I now have a Living Skipper head with good hair heading my way, arriving between the 30th to the 8th of September. The seller is from Kentucky, so that's not too far away so I hope I get it sooner than the 8th. So while I wish to not spend the money I just so don't want to do more re-roots. They take hours and always end up hurting my hands. Besides, I'm still going to have the original head, so if I choose to I can always re-root her down the road, and get her a new body down the road.
But anyway, the finish it up project for today is why I have a different title up there. I picked out my first attempt of making that dress for Julia. Since she's been dressed already, I decided to play around with this one. I ended up taking out the cuffs on the sleeves. It was much too much fabric to put in cuffs. Instead I hemmed them using the tulle. Then I added two darts under the bust. Unlike Julia's dress these go to the waist. Her's are just under the bust. After that I just finished it like usual. I even went and made a belt for it out of those gold jewelry findings I have. I kind of like this dress a lot how it came out. Charlotte's been wearing it for a while with those pink boots I got a while back (It's since moved onto that Silkstone body I use to display clothes on). But I also tried it on Casey (or just her body), and it looked good on her. It did need some minor tweaks, plus a different design element, but I could remake this dress for her. But I didn't. I have a real problem reusing fabrics like that, especially since it's so bold (and easily identified) and Julia and Casey will most likely be on the same shelf, and that they'd both be wearing outfits from the same pattern, just adapted. That just feels a little too similar for my feelings. I know that the same patterns and fabrics repeat through the collection, just not as blatant as that. Am I being weird, or does that make sense to you guys too?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A windy day... am I in OZ?

We got our part of hurricane Irene today. We were prepared with flashlights and things like that, but we were far enough inland to not have most of the effects of the storm. We just got some heavy winds around here all morning, and part of the afternoon. We were lucky, my sister in Raleigh lost power for a bit, and lots more places were slammed by it. Right now it's traveling up the coast to make trouble for the upper east coast. I hope it dies down, I hope my family in Connecticut aren't affected by this dangerous storm.

For the finishing it up project for the day, I picked this skirt. It's another pleated skirt made from that John Deere plaid fabric. I made this as another part of the failed project of dressing the TNT Barbie. So with this and the white shirt from the other day you can piece together "the outfit that never was". With this I got just as far as making the holding stitches in the skirt before I called it quits. So today I decided to finish it. But I did it a little differently that usual. I had a scrap of fabric left over that I wanted to use for the waistband, but it wasn't wide enough to fold over. So instead I used tulle to line the waistband. It's an interesting technique, and does cut out some of the bulk at the waistline, which is good to know. Other than that this is just another pleated skirt that I was able to finish and get out of the box. Yay! This one I might actually use too.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome Skipper!

Well, got to go out again. We're now three days in a row, which must be a personal record. But when we're dropping my brother off at school we're already out and have some time to kill until he's ready to get picked up, which is usually a few hours. Today we sent out to specifically get Skipper (as well as some things in case we get hit with that Hurricane that's expected). And we did! Get Skipper that is. I also was able to look at the Malibu dolls. Ken is from Hong Kong, so I'm not interested in him anymore, Barbie I was unwilling to pull down her swimsuit to see where she's from, but I checked her foot for "Japan" (my other doll has that marking), but did not see it. I'm still toying with getting her, but I'm not sure. Don't know if I really need another Malibu doll, especially at that price. I did manage to also flip through the pile of clothes in the case too. Saw several interesting things, and some were more modestly priced than what I was expecting, but still things were out of my price range, but I don't really collect the vintage clothes. The majority of the clothes in the collection I've amassed compared to actually searched for. It's much more fun to make my own! Anyway, Skipper was originally 19 dollars, even with the cut hair. The guy was automatically willing to drop it down to 17, but my Dad asked if he would call the seller if they'd be willing to go even lower. So he did, and they were. I was able to get Skipper for 15, plus tax. Yay! Now that I have her, I'm all set with the dolls from that store, unless I decide I want the Malibu Barbie.
In the car I was able to look at her. Like P.J. she had her hair hacked off. She's going to be another re-root project. But at least her face paint stunning. She was also very, very dirty. Like her legs were covered in a yellow patina. There were a few spots where it was still the original pink, the rest was covered with yellow dirt. I was a little concerned that her legs would be forever yellow, but I was able to remove some of it with just a little spit, so I knew that she'd eventually clean up. Her elbows are broken, but her knees are still nice and firm. An interesting thing to note, she came with her original swimsuit, which still had the original plastic tie held on my the original thread. Those usually get lost. I didn't even realize she still had hers until I was in the car with her.
Anyway since we still had some time to kill, we went to more local second hand stores. We went to the Antique Mall, where I saw a vintage Ken with a messed up torso for nine dollars that I passed on. I don't need another Ken in poor shape, if he was cheaper maybe, but not for nine dollars. We also went to the creepy antique store, our first visit in months, but didn't find anything interesting. I didn't see much different there than last visit. She still had the Chrissy doll there that she tried to sell me last time, claiming it was a friend of Barbie's. So we didn't end up with anything there and went to go pick up supplies for the Hurricane.
After that at home I worked on Skipper. Taking an old toothbrush and some soap and water and scrubbed her legs. Took forever, but they are not a nice pink compared to that icky yellow. I also washed her arms and face. She was a very dirty doll, but she's now much cleaner. Still a couple of spots that need to be scrubbed again, but it's a wonderful improvement. She still needs a re-root and to be dressed, but she really is a cutie.
When she was done getting bathed I made a decision. That Sport and Shave Ken I bought a while back? I'm not going to keep him. He's much too new for the vintage collection. Once I let him in, that will open the doors for the 80's dolls, and I don't want that. I'm already having a hard time with a Superstar Barbie in the vintage collection. So I'm letting him go. I went and posted him over on the Sell and Show page. While I was doing that I also posted Ariel and some other stuff I've been meaning to post as well. It felt good doing that. Those weights are off my shoulders and if people want them they can contact me, and if they don't, I've done my part.
Finally for my finish it up project for the day I have these shorts. I made them as the undershorts to go with that party dress I made for Skipper before she arrived. I cut them too big, and sewed them too big, so they didn't fit. (They were, get this, too big!) So it was easier to make another pair than to redo this one, so it went into the box. So today I took it out, removed all the stitches and redid it. It's now another pair of shorts for Skipper. I did mess up one cuff, but it's not too glaringly obvious. Plus, I doubt that I'm really going to be using these shorts much. Like all vintage dolls, the Skipper and Skooter ones don't change their clothes a lot, and when a new one arrives I'm much more likely to make something new than take something out of the bags.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going shopping and being bad

Today was supposed to be the second day of my back to writing plan, but I didn't follow through. I'm still stuck where I stopped last time, plus I way overslept today. I managed to fall back asleep and crash for another hour and a half this morning. I'm not too bothered with that since I'm still trying to catch back up on my sleep from before. Usually when I fall back asleep for so long, I need it.
So I was a bit late getting a start this morning. And when I was ready to actually get started on my day I got invited to go shopping again... which is not good. I made a comment about being good until Tuesday when I'll have earned Skipper. And was told that if I wanted to I could get her today. You really don't have to know that I eagerly took that deal. I couldn't pass that up even if I wanted to. So I went out again. We were picking up a few things that we had missed on yesterday's shopping trip. We even managed to visit the other second hand stores that we had missed the other day. Yesterday when visiting one, I managed to avoid getting anything, today I was not so lucky. At the Salvation Army, I found this jewelry box. Usually I see these often and am able to pass them by since they usually read more as jewelry boxes than doll furniture, but this one was really nice. And it had legs, making it more Barbie's height than others. I just really liked it, and had to have it, even though I'm really not a Barbie furniture kind of guy. The most I use are the chairs that Charlotte sits on on the bookshelf. But this was different, it was just too nice to pass up, even though I have no place or idea where to put it. Plus it was only two dollars. Can't beat that for price for Barbie furniture. I've been rubbing it with walnuts to get rid of the marks in it, and it's looking good. It has three drawers, the little one on top is perfect for Barbie shoes, as long at they're not too tall. I also bought another cameo when out. This is half of a pair of earrings, which is fine since I only need one. But I shouldn't have to pay 49 cents for half a pair of earring, should be less. But I still bought it because it's better scale than the one I bought before, plus it's another one. It's also a bit better quality than the pin I bought last time. Now I'm going to have to actually go and make something to go along with these cameos. Is it time to start designing a dress? (The earring is the one on the bottom, the pin is on top)
So with these two things that's all I bought. Because we ran out of time, and was unable to go get Skipper before we had to go get my brother from school. Which was upsetting but not life-threatening. I will survive, even if it means I have to wait. Ick!
I was able to get to my finish it up project, another simple fix. This is a modified version of the dress that I got on my second Marie Osmond doll. I ended up changing the skirt, making it a fitted one before I quit last time. The bodice is the same way that I got it originally. It's still an ugly heavy fabric. So today I finished off the neckline (with the tulle), then added the snap, and finished up the back seam. Rather ugly dress, so it's going into the bag of stuff for the dolls I'm going to redress. It is not something I'd use for my collection. (and yes, that sounded as snobby as I meant it!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Going Shopping and being good

More shopping today. I really go out a lot don't I? I try to be good and decline going, but I keep getting asked over and over again and I cave and go anyway. It was pretty late in the day when we went out, so we only ended up hitting one second hand store. But with going to one store, I didn't manage to find anything I wanted. And I was fine with that, I was actually pleased with myself. I can go out and not buy something, and not be a whiny brat. It's good to know that's possible.
I was far more bratty later in the day. I found a dress online that I liked, one that I wanted to make specifically for Sweet Sixteen. Who is still stuck wearing underwear over on the bookshelf. It was a bit different than what I've done before, but I could use several patterns that I've used before, adapting them to fit my needs. So I tried it, and let's just say it was a HUGE failure. Just dreadful, no matter what I did I could not get the dress to look anywhere as cute as it did in the picture. So eventually I gave up, ripped the wreck of a dress off Sweet Sixteen, and threw it into the box. I'm thinking that I must create a ban on sailor collars for her. Lately everything I've made with a sailor collar has been dreadful. The last decent thing I made with a sailor collar was TNT Skipper's dress, and that was a mock collar. So, I'm back to square one for dressing Sweet Sixteen. I hate to say this but... she's been more difficult to dress than Vanessa... there I said it! It's official.
I picked an easy project for today's finished it up project. My energy was low from today's dress failure. So I fished something out of the box that has been in there for a while, and I knew I could fix it, just needed the how. It's a shirt, Mattel made. I've had it for years, not a huge fan of it. I had a modern Midge wearing it for many years. It was from the Blue Box of Doom, but when I pulled it out then I found that something had happened to the bottom hem. There was a small chunk taken out of it. I had no idea how to fix it easily, so it went into the box. Today I realized that if I used the tulle trick it wouldn't be too difficult. So I took off the velcro at the bottom, and used the tulle to take in the bottom hem a bit, hiding the damaged fabric. It was pretty easy, but my stitches aren't the best. It had a little issue with the machine, but I'm not that concerned over it, I don't have any plans for this top. I also hand stitched the velcro back on and it was done. Out of the box and into the bag!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shake, shake, shake Senora!

It was quite an unusual day on most accounts. We (practically the entire East Coast) had an earthquake, a most rare occurrence. In all my years of living, I can't remember having something like this happening before. It was weird. I was in my room when everything started shaking. I specifically noticed that my bed, my floor fan, and my computer were all shaking. At first I thought it was a truck, since when the larger ones drive by the house it can cause some light trembles. I was thinking that it must have been a rather large truck to do that, but when it stopped I went to look out the window to see what caused it, there was nothing on the road. I had a quick idea of earthquake, but thought that was silly. I clicked over to "In the Pink" to see if there were new pictures to see, and someone posted that there was an earthquake on the East Coast. I clicked on the TV just in time to catch a news report confirming that it was a 6.0 that originated in Virginia. Weird! Luckily it was a smaller one, so we were all fine. My family up in Connecticut felt it too, although some did some didn't. My aunt and cousin in West Hartford did, and my Grandparents in Burlington didn't.
This morning was also a weird one because I did some more writing. I haven't mentioned it in a while because I haven't done any in a while. I took a break for some reason or another. But I've been feeling that I need to get back into it. I want to get this book finished. So I'm going to start my writing days up again. And I worked on it today! I got less than a page done, and it was just rewriting the intro to the section, but it's something new! I stopped because of a single word that I was stuck on. What would you call someone that's a term of endearment, but you don't really care for them (and to their face)?
I also got more cleaning done in the afternoon. I was forced to clean off my desk... finally. It's been such a mess that I can't do anything on it. So I made myself to clean it off, and put most things away. It still has stuff on it, but it's the cleanest it's been in months, which is sad to say. Hopefully I can keep it somewhat cleared for a bit. I know I feel better when things are more organized.
For the finishing it up project for today I did a quick fix. It's another recent addition to the box, but one I didn't make originally. This pink slip on dress came with the Ariel doll I bought recently. The back seam was all shot. I guess someone tried it on who was too big for it. There was also some runs in the back. So I ended up making a new back seam, easy-peasy. Don't really care for this dress, but I wanted to fix it so I could use it for someone else in the donate pile. Although, it's a little tight since I had to take in some in the back. So whoever wears it, will have to be thinner than Charlotte. Sorry for the super blurry picture. It came out like that and I could not be bothered to take it again. Enough of the details are there to show you how the dress looks, just not very clearly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"What a Dump!"

A quiet day around here today. I don't really have any specific projects in mind for anybody. Many people to dress, but not that many ideas for them. So instead I kept reading. I was able to finish the book I started yesterday. I also started a second book, but didn't get very far into it. I'm thinking about switching to another book. This one has yet to "grab" me, and I certainly have enough other books to start reading.
I also did something else other than just read, I started to clean. I've been so bad lately about leaving things where I last used them. This is fine for the few things I use often, but when there's so many things out because I couldn't be bothered to put them away it gets hard to work. It's not too bad when it's all concentrated in one area, but lately it's been wide spread over the entire room. The desk is an absolute mess right now. There's literally no place to put anything down on it. So sewing over there is not really easy at the moment. So it was time to focus on it and get something cleaned. I didn't start on the desk, instead I worked on the two closets in the room, as well as working on the top of the dresser. I was able to get the closets more organized, and the dresser in a little bit better of a shape. Still lots of work to get done!
I also managed to work on my finish it up project even though the desk is still a mess. It was something different today because it was for Joe, compared to Barbie. I made this months ago... a real long time ago, but was having trouble with it, so I gave up on it. It's a sweater for Joe made out of a dollar store sock. I had mostly finished it when an issue on the bottom made me quit and throw it into the box. Today I pulled it out, fixed the skewed hem on the bottom, reinforced the seams, and sewed the back. Originally I was going add snaps like the turtlenecks, but found out that it could easily slide on over his head, plus this fabric was a real pain I didn't want to bother hemming the back and adding more snaps. So this was an easier solution. So that's what I did. But I did have to hand sew a bit in the back since some of the stitches tore out when I was removing the stabilizer. But it's done, and it looks pretty cute. I guess this finish it up mess does have some benefits.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finishing the dress

Okay, I take back what I said about yesterday and the dress. I actually decided to go back to it and finish it for today's finish it up project. In order to do that I had to be honest with myself with where this dress went wrong, the sleeves. They were an afterthought as I was making it, but when I added them, the dress took a turn for the worse. It took it from a cute little sailor dress to Ronald McDonald doing Navy drag. So as much as I hated to do it, I had to take the whole thing apart and removed those darn sleeves. With that done I made the dress sleeveless, like I originally planned, then set about sewing everything back up again. Luckily I didn't run into any major issues with it. If I had I would have thrown it back into the box so it could languish. I had a little snafu when trying to figure out how to close it in the back on the top, but using a hook and eye I made something that works. I also added a snap at the bottom. After that I finished it up like usual. There were so many spare threads to snip, so many. I also added a red bow in front. I like it much better now that before, those sleeves were seriously a mess. Charlotte's wearing it now (that's her in the picture), but she's not going to wear it for that long. Even though I like it better, I'm still not thrilled with it. But at least I finished it, that's good.Other than that, a quiet Sunday around here. I just spent the day reading. I've finally gotten tired of buying books then not reading them. So today I started reading that book about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. It's so juicy! I think that I'm going to have to take reading breaks more often. I certainly have the book pile to work on!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You need to learn when to fold 'em.

I spent several hours working on a dress today. Do I have pictures of my work? No, because I ended up scrapping the entire darn thing. Really hate when that happens. Has that ever happened to you? Really, I shouldn't have spent so much time on the dress, I should have cut my losses earlier and saved my time (and my sanity). This was a dress that started off for Skooter, then moved onto Midge, then Charlotte, then Francie. It was on Francie that I threw in the towel and threw the ugly thing into the unfinished project box, where it may never see the light of day ever again. Stupid, stupid dress. It can rot for all I care.
But today wasn't filled with working on that stupid, stupid dress. I also went out shopping for a bit. I'm now trying to save up for Living Skipper, even though she's had a hair cut, she's the next doll on the list. Now that I have Ricky she comes next. Still have to see if the Malibu dolls are from Japan or not. I would like to say that I was very good, even though we hit up all of the local antique stores, and the three usual second hand stores. We even went out to another second hand store I found in town. I was over on Craigslist looking for dolls and found a store in Asheboro that had a Midge case for 20 dollars. It was posted back on July 21st, so I wasn't sure if they still had it or not. Either way I wasn't interested in the case, I was more interested in other stock they had. So we went today, and I was not really impressed. Turns out however, that the store is next to the Quilting Coop. (I did not even bother checking that store) I didn't see anything that was of interest for me at the second hand store. They actually did have the Midge case still there. Maybe down the road I'll decide that I have to have it and get it. Ha! That will be the day. I only got two things while out, at the Salvation Army. An Ariel doll (for resale) and a cameo pin that I have plans for. So I was very careful with my purchases, or at least better than some other times where I'm trying to be good.
For the finish it up project for the day I pulled out something that went into the box recently. Actually, it hadn't made it into the box yet, but was going to. It was a replacement pair of undershorts I made for Sweet Sixteen after I took hers to give to Trench Setter Silkstone. So I made her another pair, sort of like how I keep having to make Charlotte new underskirts since somebody keeps stealing them. Anyway, when I made the shorts for some reason they ended up being way too big for her. I thought I used the same pattern, but these shorts had much too much room in the hips, and looked terrible. So I gave up on them and put her in the underwear that the Silkstone was wearing, and left these shorts on my table. Today I was moving some stuff around and came across them. Since they were so big in the hips I wondered if Charlotte could wear it instead. And I tried it on her, and it fit! So I ended up finishing it so I can use it on the BB dolls. It just needed the usual finishing up. Although, I will say. This month has been killer on snaps. I'm going to need more soon! But first things first, does anyone need a pair of undershorts?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Really, What happened today?

You know it's a dull day when you can't even remember what you did in order to write about it (I'm a few days behind in posting.)

I do however remembered my Finish it up Project for today. Here was have this shell blouse. It's a recent addition, it came to me on the 80's Skipper that Jessica sent me. It's actually for vintage Barbie, and was in a bit of need of repair. While I haven't gotten around to working with Skipper, I did get around to fixing the top. I do like it. I did some repairs to the leg holes to fix some hems that had come undone, looks like someone else had repaired it earlier, but it had come undone again. I also added a second snap in back, as well as tacked down the bow in front. Those were all simple cosmetic fixes.
The neck closure was what gave me the hardest trouble. I'm really not sure how it originally closed, but on Barbie, the two pieces in the back didn't match up easily. Originally I thought that a hook closure would work (the cord loop was still there), but even the hook wasn't long enough to reach. I thought about ways to fix it, but they were all to complex and really had a great chance to not work. Eventually I had to get a little creative, with something simple. I used some of my jewelry making supplies for it. Using a gold claps (I would have used silver, but I am out), I added a length of chain until it reached across from one side to the one withe the loop. Then I attached the chain on the side without the loop. So basically it now fastens like a necklace, I just need to make sure the metal doesn't react to the doll's skin. But it's done, and I can use it if I so chose, and I actually might. I like this top, so somebody might end up wearing it. I just need to design the rest of the outfit for it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What did I do today???

It was such a low key day today I actually had to think about what I'd done to write about it.
It was a morning of firsts (now that I think about it). I actually took the plunge and listed my first E-bay auction. I've been thinking about trying this, and they are doing this deal where you can post a listing for free. So I thought, "Why not now?". Might as well see what it's like selling there and if it's a bust, I'm not out much. So I pulled out twelve nicer dolls from the donate box (stripped them, since their poor clothing isn't a selling point), and listed them. No bidder's yet, but it still has a while to go. Here's the link in case anyone wants to see it; my Ebay auction. I hope it sells (for a decent amount)!

Other than that I didn't do much. Don't have a specific project in mind yet. I tried sewing something for Ricky, but I didn't like it on him. I tried it on Skooter and she almost ended up getting to keep it, but the more I thought about it the more I disliked it on her too. Eventually I ended up taking it off her and putting it into the unfinished project box. I guess it'll be another project for another day, and it's back to the drawing board for Ricky (and Skooter).

I did manage to get my finish it up project done for the day. Today I finished this store bought t-shirt. Yes, it's another one of those scrap booking shirts that I bought a while back. In good news, this is the last one, so unless I buy more you won't be forced to see them again. Like the other ones, I cut the back open, used ribbons to finish the back seams, and added two snaps to the back. And it's done. I will say that after doing three of these I'm done with them myself. They're just so boring!Maybe tomorrow will be a bit more exciting?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cross her off that list!

I woke up this morning in a much better mindset than I was yesterday. I don't know what was up yesterday, but it was terrible. Scratch that, I was terrible. Hopefully I won't have something like that happen again.
Anyway, today I focused my attention on Julia. Other than the hat staining snafu her hair had come out really nicely from getting styled. I'm still not sure if it's been cut or not. I want to say no, but I can't really be sure. If it was cut, whoever did it was a pretty decent hair stylist, especially compared to the hatchet jobs I've seen other kids do. But either way, I felt it was time to work on getting her dressed. I was looking over on Flickr for Julia pictures to see how other people dressed her and what I liked best on her. And I found something I liked, it actually was the silhouette of the dress that I liked. It was a simple a-line dress, with bell sleeves and a turtleneck. It was a silver metallic fabric, which I didn't care for. So I drew out the design and worked on it a bit. I was going to do the dress the same as the picture, except I was going to gather the sleeves and add cuffs, and change the fabric. Instead of the silver (which I don't have) I was going to use that vintage green and pink floral fabric I bought recently. Remember how I claimed that it was too big of a pattern for Barbie? Well I should really stop making claims like that since I keep end up doing the opposite of what I say.
For the pattern I chose one that I'd played around before. You can find it online on Flickr. It's in the wonderful Dolly Stitches group, you can find the group here; the group. There's several other patterns there to try out. So I made a dress using that pattern. I did change the neckline, but other than that I cut the pattern out exactly how it was created. I gathered the sleeves into the cuff and everything. I got most of the dress done except the hem and stopped to try it on Julia... and wasn't impressed. Adding cuffs just was not working for this dress. It was not at all how I wanted it to look. So I gave up on it then, there's no point continuing on something I'm already so unimpressed with.
But I didn't give up on Julia just yet. In fact, I still kept using the pattern, or at least a variation of it. I had played around with this pattern before, back when I was trying to dress Talking Barbie. I went in another direction with her, but for a while she was going to get a dress made from this pattern, just adapted. I trimmed the bell sleeves to regular straight sleeves and changed the a-line dress to one with a more defined empire style waist. I had never gotten a finished garment out of it, but I knew that it would at least fit. Before I started this next one, I did another tweak to it. I taped the front and back pieces together at the shoulder seams. I find that I work better when I don't have to deal with shoulder seams. And so I got to work, with a dress now made from one piece of fabric, compared to three.
It went together pretty easily. I made mock cuffs from folding and sewing down the fabric at the wrists. For the neck hole I used the tulle trick. Which has been surprisingly helpful. Chalk that up for another thing that I shouldn't have made judgement on so quickly. I'm really starting to appreciate using that for neck holes. That alone makes borrowing that book from the Library worth it. I used lace at the bottom to hem it. Before I was finished it, I tried it on Julia. I liked it, but it was still missing that fitted look I like in most of my clothes. I ended up making two under bust half darts in it to bring it closer to her body. It actually made it look a little better because it gave the skirt a pleat in front, which was totally unintentional, but much appreciated. I also added a strip of ribbon at the waist for decoration. I thought it looks nice breaking up the big expanse of the patterned fabric.
I also ended up making a head scarf for the outfit. It was a bit of the leftover cut away that I had kicking around. I don't know what is about mod that makes me want to add head scarves. Hers also is made from using tulle to line it. For shoes I gave her the blue pilgrim clones that I bought a while back from the antique store. I was hoping to save them for Mod Midge, but they just worked for this outfit. I'll have to find something else for Midge when I get around to dressing her. I got the entire outfit finished and even took some Flickr worthy pictures to share. I was even motivated enough to share them over on "In the Pink", since it was family and friends day today. I was able to put Julia away on the bookshelf after that. She's chilling on Charlotte's shelf since I'm running out of room on the other shelves. At this rate I'm going to need another bookshelf!
For my finish it up project of the day, I finished this skirt. I made as part of an outfit for Charlotte before the outfit changed gears and ended up being for someone else, but by then I had already made a lot of progress on the skirt. It is made out of that silk like material I bought a while back. It's another pleated skirt, nothing too special about it. Today I added the waistband, reinforced seams, added a snap, and sewed the back together. It doesn't match up in the back at the bottom the best, but I don't care enough to tweak it. It goes out of the box and into the bag! Link

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A REALLY crappy day

Yes, another one, but this time it's not actual crap. Luckily the kittens haven't used my room as a litter box since the last time I wrote about it. It won't happen anytime soon since they've been banned from my room due to their actions today. They've been banned for a few days at a time for their misbehavior, but this time it's permanent. In my room there's really one place they're not allowed to go on, my laptop. And since it's the one spot, it's the one spot they love to visit. They've managed to knock my laptop on the floor several times, and I'm not happy about it. Today I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, left the door open, one second later... Crash! Laptop was on the floor. This time was more damaging than usual. They broke off a bit from the vent in the back, and the mouse no longer works as well as it used to. I managed to fix it so it's a little better, but it's never going to be back to normal. So they're banned from my room.
In the afternoon, I got asked if I wanted to go out. My father was taking my brother to school, and was thinking about going to the library bookstore near the antiques stores. And oh, I thought about saying no and staying home, I really did. But I ended up saying yes. In retrospect I really should have stayed home, I really should have. Before I went out I asked if it was okay if I got Ricky today, I had technically saved up enough money for him, even with all my... indiscretions. I got an okay, and went out. But at the store... it was not good. Ricky was still there, in fact all the dolls were still there, but the woman who usually runs the desk wasn't there. There was a different man running the desk. Since my dad went to the bookstore, I had some time to kill until he joined me. I went upstairs to the upper floors (this is the place with the creepy upstairs). Usually their empty, but this time there was an older woman up there. I wandered around giving her a polite distance. Eventually another woman was up there too, I assumed they were shopping together. The older woman was talking, to the other woman I assumed, but it turned out she was actually talking to me. And being so unprepared I totally botched it. I wish I wasn't so awkward in these types of situations. It's so embarrassing, I'm sure she thought me a rude cad. So I made a hasty retreat downstairs for my father to show up. Downstairs I found a different doll, a Maxi Mod doll, MIB. I've been seeing more and more of these clone dolls since a few of my Flickr friends collect them. She was interesting, and priced decently, so instead of talking to the man and getting Ricky, I took the easy way out and talked myself into getting her. Part of my reasoning was the fact that she was on sale. So I ended up getting her. And was immediately filled with guilt and anger of my actions. I should have sucked it up and gotten Ricky, and since I didn't I'd have to wait at least another week for him, and to top it off I now had a doll that I really didn't like.
Making matters worse, when I pulled her out of the box, she was even cheaper than I originally thought, and when I had her in my hand, one of her shoes fell off. Right in between the seat where it disappeared from view. So I, for lack of a better term, got real pissy. I was just so mad/frustrated/disappoint with myself that I got into a real nasty funk. Eventually I was able to retrieve the shoe, even though it resisted me and I almost didn't, but luckily with my determination and my knowledge of four letter words I was able to get it back from under the seat. Although my knuckles are still red from my efforts. I did explain to my Dad and brother why I was acting like I was, and my Dad offered to go back and get Ricky for me but I declined. I was still in a funk from earlier, and I didn't think my ego could take another hit. So I went upstairs to try and work myself out of my attitude.
It was there that I discovered another crappy thing about today. Earlier in the day I was working with Julia's hair. It's so mussed that it needed some attention to look good. I styled it with a brush, then poured some boiling water over it to set it. Part of what I had styled didn't stay when I poured the water over it, so I had to style it again. After that I put Skipper's G.I. Joe sailor hat on her to keep her hair styled as it dried. Later in the day, when I pulled the hat off to see if it was dry I had a shock. Julia's hair... had stained the hat. There were a variety of stains on the inside of the hair from her hair. Which sucked. She was only wearing the hat for a few hours, how could it happen so quickly? Just another thing to add onto this crap day,
I had basically gotten over my frustration with myself when my mother called me, literally she called my phone to ask if I was okay. I said that I'd meet her downstairs and explain what had transpired. And I did, bringing down the boxed doll to tell her and show her my disappointment. She also expressed that my father was willing to go out again and get the doll for me. He did need to go out and get some more money. This time I accepted the offer, and we went out. It was drawing closer to five, and we weren't sure if the place closed at five or six. Luckily my Dad had enough money for the doll and we didn't need to stop at the ATM. The store closed at five (good to know) and had we stopped we wouldn't been able to make it in time.
Even as we pulled into the parking lot, the man was clearing the stuff from the outside of the store and bringing it in. Seeing that they were in the process of closing I told my Dad to forget it, and let's go home. But he wouldn't hear of it. We went in and he talked to the man and he came over and opened the case. So I picked out Ricky. I still need to look at the Malibu dolls to see if they're from Japan or not, but that can wait for another day. A day where my confidence is a little higher. My dad asked if we could do better for Ricky at the front desk. And they gave me a better price, he ended up being 25 dollars, tax included. So that's pretty good. He actually ended up being one dollar more expensive than my original Ricky, and he came with his swim top, my original one one came with his shorts on. So after that long day of crap, I have another Ricky. He's already been given a bath, and he cleaned up really nicely. He's actually a bit higher color than my original Ricky doll. No idea on how to dress him though. Right now he's wearing a t-shirt that I made for my original Ricky to wear under that Jacket I got from Pedro and his original shorts. I don't think my original Ricky was that impossible to dress, so hopefully I can figure something out that I like quickly. Please let him get dressed quicker than Skooter. (Who's currently still boxed in the closet.)
For my finished project of the day, I picked something simple. This is one of those dresses that I made for dressing the donated dolls in. Back then, I made several of them in a row and finished them slowly. This one's the last one I made in this fabric. It's a quick unappealing dress, but it serves it's purpose. Maybe eventually I'll get all those dolls dressed, and donated.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday with some excitement.

Today was my brother's first day of school. He's back to the old community college trail. Isn't it weird that school is starting so early? I'm not sure if it's a local things, but when I was still going to school, we used to start after Labor day, then maybe around 6th grade they bumped it up to the last week of August. I don't know where this mid August mess happened. Actually, when I went to college the first day was even later than Labor day. I don't get it. Maybe I'm getting old, I'm already reminiscing what it was like when I was a kid.
Anyway, today was a shopping day, and again I declined but kept getting asked so I felt like I should go. I think my Dad prefers when I go since it's more fun with another person tagging along, plus I usually drag him to the second hand stores (which he usually is the one to suggest that I want to go), but maybe that's my justification for going. I also needed to go to get something into the mail. Late last week I had put a contest up over on "In The Pink", it was just for something small. It was the grape shorts and top set that I got with the Malibu Barbie. It was a perfectly lovely outfit, but not my style, and I couldn't see using it ever, so I decided to pass it along to someone who might actually want it. Also, it's nice to give something back to the group since it has given a lot to me. So I got it off and into the mail earlier than expected. I added a few extras, so I hope the winner likes them all.
So with that done, it was time to go shopping. Again, I'm still trying to be good. I'm so close to getting Ricky. But we did manage to hit up all three second hand stores. At the first one, I manged to find something, a book. Nothing craft related, this time it's a trashy book about the infamous feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. I won't lie, I love that feud it's just so ... juicy. I really need to spend some time reading, my book pile is starting to get unmanageable. That's all I got there. The second second hand store was a bust for me, which is a good thing. My Dad found two expensive measuring tapes for a dollar each, so that was nice. And finally we reached the third one, the Christian Second hand store. They had two small totes filled with Bratz dolls, it was an instant collection for somebody. They had it over at the main desk, which is good because a lot of time people let their kids play with the toys and they get scattered all over the place. It was... interesting, but I don't collect Bratz, so not that exciting. If it was for Barbie I might have been tempted (but maybe not, since it would have been modern play line). But over at the toy section I was looking through the bins, when something on a shelf caught my eye. It was something so interesting, I actually dropped what I had in my hands at the time. I found a vintage Skipper case! It was empty (no Skippers or clothing, it did however had a few tiny paper record covers in it. I guess the child used those in their play), and in really rough shape (40 year old tape is icky), but it was only three dollars and the image on the front is just too adorable. Plus it's not pink! It's yellow, my favorite color. For the price I could easily overlook it's many flaws. Even if it's just a display case, you can't beat three dollars for it. I also found a doll sewing pattern there. It's McCalls 717, "A Complete Baby Doll Wardrobe in 3 sizes: 13"-14", 15"-16", and 17"-18"". Most of the clothes are too young for Chatty Cathy, but some aren't. While I'm not sure if I'll ever make anything from it. I kind of have a compulsion to purchase any second hand patterns I find for dolls, or mens patterns in my size. As long as their affordable. And for a quarter this one was. It's totally uncut and has the factory folds. From the price and the picture on front, I'm guessing it's from the 80's. And finally from that store, I got this dress. It's the dress that came with the growing hair Anastasia doll based on the movie that was a Burger king exclusive. (I remember having one, they also had a train set, and a plush toy of the dog that would raise his ears, my brother and sister had those.) This store used to have a couple of the dolls in their boxes, but I never got one because they're not anything that I would collect. When I thought that their dresses might fit Momoko, I wanted to get one, but they were all gone by then. There was just one lone doll without her dress left. So I passed her by several times. Today I actually found the dress, but not the doll. So I bought it. It cost me a quarter. Sadly, it does not fit Momoko. It's much too high waisted and tight in the bodice, but with some minor modifications it fits Skipper wonderfully. It's nice because it's also an appropriate style for a dress for a young girl. It's also formal without being too mature. I'm glad someone can wear it. That's all I got there.
At Walmart I was still able to avoid those Liv doll jackets. I did see that they now had a giant Monster High Display. I was able to see several dolls and play sets that up to now I had only seen pictures of. It's all very interesting, but not very tempting. I'm still fine waiting for the dolls to show up in second hand stores. If I was going to buy another doll I'd buy Gloom Beach Frankie since I love her makeup, but I'm fine waiting for her as well. I would be tempted severely if they had the clothing pack in store, but they did not. So I was lucky about that. But I did see something upsetting... all the fabric was gone. Like every single of the pre-cut fabric was gone, they had plastic boxes in it's place. I found some of it in the discount section, but it seemed pretty picked over. I found a few fat quarters left for 31 cents, but there was only four and they were all ugly prints, so I left them. I was really hoping that the original fabric section was coming back to our store, but with this new development doesn't give me much hope. Maybe it needs to get worse before it gets better?
When I got home, it was a quiet day. Didn't get around to doing much. I did try and fix the Skipper case, but the tape didn't hold. Does anyone know the best way to fix cases? I know it's not going to be perfect, but I'd like to be able to use it. If I bend Charlotte's knees fully, I can fit her into the doll slot. So if I can get it somewhat decent working, it might become her travel case. Although when I travel with her I like it to look like I'm not a grown man carrying a doll, so a case with Skipper written on the front might not work out so well.
For my fix of the day, I worked on another item that was in the case that came with Casey and the American Girl. This was the fake rawhide bag that was in it. My brother didn't want it, so I'm going to keep it. It needed to have the straps anchored down, as well as part of the snap fixed as well. It was a pain since I was working on the inside of the bag and wanted my stitches look good on the outside. But it's done. Maybe I can use it if Charlotte becomes a frontier woman?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photos for today!

It was a quiet morning here, since I got that pink and white checked dress done the other day, I don't really have any projects in mind, or have the correct supplies for anything. I spent most of the morning (several hours of it) taking photographs of some random dolls in the collection that rarely get their time to shine. It took forever, and I only have a few photographs to show from it, I really need to get better at photography, or at least get a better camera.
We have Midge;

Silkstone Waitress;

Titan Bubblecut;

Mary Claire;

A Takara Jenny;


A different Titan Bubblecut;


And Blaine;

Afternoon was a slow start. I did get my finish it up project done though. This is a jacket that I made a while back, but never got around to finishing it. It looked better in my head than in my application of it. It really started off as a suit, playing around with dying that white fur I have. I finished the skirt a while back, (and I believe you've seen it before?) but the jacket still needed some work. Today I reattached the fur at the bottom and the top for starters. I also added four darts in it. Originally the jacket wasn't going to be fitted, but it looks better now that it is. After that it was seam reinforcements and adding snaps like usual. Since it was made for Vanessa, she got to wear it first. And it looks great on her, really love the effect the fur at the collar gives her. I'm glad that I came back to this. All it really needed was a break so I could reevaluate what it was going to be. It was a total pain getting her arms into the sleeves however. But it looks great on her! It just totally works towards her whole persona. She's going to wear it for a while!
And finally we have this red dress. I made this a week or so ago, but didn't share it. It was an attempt at making something for Free Movin' Barbie. I got the majority of the initial sewing done back when I first made it, but just didn't care for it when I was done, so I didn't bother finishing it fully. It was cute, but it just wasn't working for her. So I tried putting it on several dolls to see if it worked better for them, but couldn't find a doll that I really liked it on. I ended up leaving it on Trench Setter Silkstone for a while, still closed with safety pins. So when she upgraded into the dress I made for her the other day, I had it kicking around, still unfinished. Since I was watching TV last night and wasn't totally invested, I wanted something to do. Enter this dress. I got it finished last night, even went as far as to redo the collar, and hand sew the skirt seam. It's a cute little skirt dress, but I haven't found anyone that I wanted to dress it in. Not sure if I ever will, but it's done.