Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody!

Not a whole lot of spirited excitement around here, but I have something I wanted to share. A week or so ago I decided to dress everyone on Charlotte's shelf for Halloween. I culled through my clothing collection, and pulled out several different costumes that I've amassed, or made. I did have to do some scrounging (I am extremely limited with Ken and Kelly/Tommy costumes), but I had everyone dressed, except for Charlotte. While I worked on her's I manged to refine several people's costumes for some better options. I think the only people wearing their original choice are Vanessa, Ashely, and Artemis. Everyone else changed at least once, and I think Midge is wearing her fourth or fifth choice.And finally we have our final selections, so in order from left to right back row there's; Vanessa as Snow White (who I could not pass up on that ironic situation), Joe as a Football player, Charlotte as Odette from Swan Lake, Mary Clair as a Genie, and Blaine as a Samurai. Front row; Artemis as an Ax murderer (check out the heads at her feet), Kelly as a mermaid, Ashley as a cat, Tommy as a Cowboy, Midge as a Dutch girl, and Modern Circle as a sexy witch! Also check out the three skulls in the pictures, my Dad found them at a store and bought them for me. I added the hats just for fun. I did take the "Tales of the Hoffmann" dress out for the picture. Usually it's displayed in the front of Midge, slightly to her right. But I figured for the picture I should remove it so everyone can show off their costumes!
And speaking of costumes, I've just told you Charlotte's. She's Odette from the Ballet "Swan Lake", please don't be confused into thinking she's from "Black Swan", she's not. I've always loved "Swan Lake", and thought it would be fitting to make her into Odette from it. This was before I read that "Black Swan" was going to be one of the most popular costumes this year. Anyway, looking at the costume itself it should look familiar. The top is a pattern I've used several times before. It's actually the same top as the Little Dutch girl. It also used the same eyelet material edges as decoration at the neckline as that outfit as well. (I made this one first and ported those elements over to the Dutch girl costume). The sleeves are a combination of patterns. It's the usual sleeve pattern, but at the cuff it flares out. There's more eyelet material there too. The bottom of the sleeves is actually the same as the steampunk cuffs. When I find something that works, I tend to stick with it.
Like I said, I made this top three times before I called it quits. This is the third and final top that I made of it. Originally it had a different tutu. One made from white cotton, a circle skirt, edged with more eyelet material. I actually finished the skirt before I decided I didn't like the outfit in general and moved on to the Dutch costume. I'm holding into the skirt for a later date and possibly for another application. It wasn't until I got that shiny tulle for the Domo project that I decided I wanted to work with this costume again. One of the attempts for the Domo bride I made a skirt of the shiny tulle, but I cut it much too short. There was no volume to the skirt and it just hung there. It was a frustrating mistake, but one that worked out in the long run. I ended up making the skirt again for the domo, and that left me with a length of pre-cut tulle. So I decided to play around with it on this outfit, and I really liked the look. It helps give some sort of variation to the otherwise boring white cotton top. Attaching it was a bit of a challenge. Since the top is so fitted the the tulle is so voluminous I couldn't attach it like I normally do. Instead I made the skirt with some elastic, so it slides up the legs. It originally wasn't attached to the top, but when it was added under the top it made some unsightly ripples in the front. Also it left some annoying gaps on the hips. So I ended up tacking the front of the bodice down to the skirt. I also hidden stitched the skirt and the top together at the sides. It's not the best solution, but it sure works. If I ever made this costume again, I think I'd do something differently to attach the skirt. There's also a piece of ribbon sewed into the skirt front to back to hold the "V" at the bodice to a point. Otherwise it rippled and looked terrible. The Hoffmann dress has this too, but a piece of fabric, not just some ribbon. (Charlotte did have to wear underwear with this thing since the skirt is so sheer.) She's a modest little Ballerina that one!
For accessories, I already owned two of the three things that I needed. The ballet shoes should look familiar, they are the same ones from the "Tales of the Hoffmann" dress. We just borrowed them for this look. The silver tiara is something I bought from Hobby Lobby a while back because it was on sale and looked interesting. I hoped that I would find a use for it, and I finally did! It has a loop on the back and it held onto Charlotte's head with a bobby pin. You can see the end of the pin if you look at the back of Charlotte's ponytail, but most people don't, so I figured that I could get away with it. The wings are new. I bought those the other day at Hobby Lobby just for the outfit. They were 2.29, and aren't the best quality. I know they didn't cost much, but when I bought them I thought they'd be slightly better quality. I'll need to find a decent place to store these when Charlotte's done with them, they are a bit fragile. How they attach is pretty interesting. I was trying to figure out how I was going to put them on before I bought them, but it turns out that they have these paperclip like attachments on the back so you can just slide them into place. They just slide onto the back of the dress. One of the metal backings I had to bend into the curve, it was just originally a straight piece of metal. Luckily they both weren't like that or else I would be wracking my brain trying to figure out how to get them onto the costume. Now I can just take them off and use the costume without the wings if I want to.

I also got this picture posted over on "In the Pink", although I had to cover up Joe and Vanessa's faces. They're not Mattel, so they're not allowed. Although ironically they are both wearing Mattel made clothing, minus Joe's shoes and socks. I quickly made a pumpkin head to cover theirs. Check it out: Also, here's the pumpkin by itself in case anyone want to use him. I'm sure there's better versions out there (this one seriously took like four minutes to make), but if anyone wants to use him, go nuts. Just don't say I never gave you anything.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baby it's cold outside...

Again, not much motivation to get any sewing done. I didn't even bother to turn on the machine at all today. I just couldn't get enough of a passion to sew, and it's not like I don't have stuff to sew. Those stupid Domos are staring me in the face. And I hate them... I hate them so much! (Kidding... sort of.)
But I did figure out one of the reason why I'm so reluctant to sew. It's too cold! We've had a serious cold front descend on us and it's unbearable. This house is so cold in the winter, and I was so not prepared for it to get so cold so quickly. I mean my air conditioner was still in the window until today. It's out now, and it's a little warmer, but it's still cold. Too cold in fact to sew, it's much easier, and warmer to just stay cuddled under blankets. So again, I must end my post with the fact that nothing got done.
Oh! I do have something to share though. I finally got around to taking that picture of Midge in her Halloween costume. Not to toot my own horn, but it's adorable on her. But I'll let you guys be the judge.Cute, right? RIGHT???

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shopping fun!

Just like the day before, not a whole lot of sewing getting done. Don't have a lot of projects in mind, and I'm still avoiding those Domos. I really need to get around to working on them some more, but I just really don't want to. It's just not fun to me. Plus since they're for someone else, I want them to be perfect, and they're not going to be. I've never had anything come out perfectly from sewing. I know I'll get around to working on them soon, I just need to suck it up and do it!

But I didn't sit around loafing all day. I also went shopping! I hit up all three second hand stores, and didn't get a thing. I did see some cool stuff though. The Christian Second Hand store has gotten these really old marionettes. Not sure where they came from and how much they cost, but it was still cool seeing something like that.
I did end up getting something at Hobby Lobby, several things in fact. Since (fake) Christmas is coming up I really needed to get the rest of my supplies for the baskets. We were really not in that great of a shape for it, but now we are making progress. Today we got two pounds of white chocolate and two pounds of milk chocolate. I also picked up something for Charlotte's Halloween costume and some thin black ribbon. Elsewhere we picked up more marshmallows, a huge tube of quick oats, and some peppermint candy.
After today we're all set with the cookies, the peppermint bark, and the rice crispy treats. Still have to pick up several things for the final two things in the basket, but we are making decent progress! I guess I won't be shopping for things on the forth to start cooking on the fifth.
Back at home I had to reoganize where I was storing my supplies. They're in my room so I know where they are at all times. But I've run out of room in my closet! I ended up taking a plastic tote from elsewhere and filling it with all the supplies. Sadly it's now full. Did you know I have five boxes of crispy rice cereal? And eight bags of marshmallows? Sadly, I think I'm going to need all of them, and I don't even get to eat them!
Okay... maybe a few...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

And the final Halloween post! Sort of...

All right, first off, today was the second time removing the acne cream from Francie's face. Like last time I took a picture to show the difference from last time. I've started labeling these pictures in order to remember in what order I took them. Again I do not see any real change between the before and the now. There might be some minor change, but I still haven't looked at the two photos side by side yet. Sunday is the next update on her.

And finally we have the last piece of the Halloween costume. I've dragged this out long enough. These are the accessories to the costume, and the most telling as to what it is. I only made one of these things, the other two I already had. The shoes are clogs made from actual wood. I did not make them, they came with some random souvenir doll that came in a lot. The doll got thrown away, but I did keep her shoes. Which is a good thing because without them, I doubt I would have made this costume in the first place. They don't actually fit Barbie's feet, but the fit is decent enough so that it doesn't look too weird. I tried making them fit, but was careful since I didn't want to ruin the shoes. It's not that big of a deal that they don't fit. It's just a Halloween costume, and Barbie doesn't walk around too much!
The flowers are another thing I didn't make. I got them from a tag sale, they were inside a Superstar Barbie's Children's Safe. I still have the safe too, I just don't keep any valuables in it. They're cheap plastic flowers, that I figured looked like tulips enough to fit. It is missing one flower though, I got it like that. It's not that noticeable though. I thought about trimming off the stem without the flower, but couldn't bear to do it. What would happen if I found a flower without a stem? I'd be kicking myself for sure!
But I did make the final accessory. I did have to turn to Google in order to find out how. I've never made a hat like that before. In fact I have not made many hats period. There's only three hats in the collection I've made. (I'm not counting head scarves, there's actually six of those.) I found a pattern for an old doll that included a hat. I used that to make it, just changing the sizing to fit Barbie. My first one was too small, but my second one fit decently. It's super easy to make. You just sew the material and the lining together (I made both sides white calico), snip the curves, flip it right side out, and sew the back seam together. I did curve the back seam a little to fit the head better. I also sewed the brim up to keep the points standing out, but that was it. It was super easy! Probably the least labor intensive hat I've made.
So, that's all the pieces of the costume. Any idea what it is yet? Well, even if you can't tell, I'm going to reveal it. It's a little Dutch girl! I've always had some sort of appreciation of Dutch culture, for some unknown reason. Maybe I was Dutch in a former life. Ha!
But there's also some bad news with this little reveal. It's no longer Charlotte's costume. Yes, she's lost another dress shortly after it was completed. But this is a little different. Instead I ended up going back to her original choice. Which speaks volumes about how much I liked it since last years original choice is still sitting in the box waiting for me to either finish it or throw it out. I worked out my problems with the dress, so it will again be Charlotte's costume for this year. I still need to get some supplies for it, so it's not ready for it's big debut. I'm not going to do another drawn out reveal for this one since it's only one real piece. And do not feel bad for the little Dutch girl costume. It ended up on re-rooted Midge and looks darling. In fact I've tried it on several dolls and it looks wonderful on a variety of people. So don't cry, this costume swap just means someone else gets a brand new costume for Halloween. And really isn't that the best?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Took it kind of quiet today...

I didn't feel much like working with the Domos today, and didn't do much Barbie sewing either. I did some re-work on a Barbie blouse for a little bit, but stopped when it wasn't turning out like I wanted it to.
On an unrelated note, I got some bad news this morning. My Great-Aunt passed away around 2 this morning. It was sort of sudden, she had been hospitalized in the past few days, and while it didn't sound good, it didn't sound so dire. Yet, here we are. I'm actually not particularly upset over her passing. Now, that sounded pretty heartless. I feel sorry that she's gone, but I was not close with her at all. She was a woman who did not like spending time with my side of the family, and did not feel obligated to do so, even though she lived less than 20 minutes from everybody. I'm not really sure why she avoided us so, it started many years before I was born with my Great-Grandmother and Grandmother. Which makes it even more puzzling. I can't say a whole lot about my Great-Grandmother (she died before I was born), but I know my Grandmother is a real social charmer. She just knows how to talk to people, and is always making friends. Let's just say I did not get my awkward social skills from my Grandmother. So I have no clue my Great-aunt didn't seem to care for her. But, I digress. I'm truly sorry for her children and grandchildren, I know they will miss her, and that makes my heart ache.

So, I wasn't motivated to do any sewing. Instead I went back to video games (but ended up quitting after a bit) I also did more research for Joe's new body. I have still not heard back from the E-bay people, so I guess my repeat business means very little to them. I will not spend another nine dollars to just replace a hand on a body that I was only moderately satisfied with. I found several new options, some that I really like. It's just tricky finding exactly what I want, for what I can pay. I don't think I'm being that picky, but I kind of am. Why can't it be as easy as it was for Charlotte? I love the Fashionista body, and love how she can use it. Where's Joe's Fashionista? Or would it be Maninista? Anyway, I can't buy anything at the moment, but it's good to know what I want, and how much it's going to cost me. I did find one that looked really promising, but even with that there's a bit of a roadblock. I cannot for the life of me, find the company that makes it. I found the name of the company, but whenever I search for that I cannot find anything about it. I'm really not sure if it's still around. The picture I found was a few years old, and you know how things can go out of business quickly. I even signed up to a forum for people who make 1:6 scale custom figures to ask for their opinion. I'm just too scared to actually type anything. What if I say something stupid? Or put it in the wrong section?
Sometimes people online can get very catty over this type of thing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's my worst nightmare!

I'm covered in Glitter! It's like a stripper, while doing a craft project exploded in my room.

I'll explain, I was in a bit of a panic today, my sister's wedding is quickly approaching, and I am nowhere near done with her present. And I really can't put off anything at the last minute because my final days before the wedding are going to be filled with those (annoying) Holiday Baskets. And on top of the same baskets as last year, I'm also going to be doing some extra cooking, based off of something my sister requested. (But it's just more Rice Crispy Treats, so it could have been worse.) Also I want to have my time somewhat free in case I get another project handed to me shortly before we leave, like I am anticipating.
So I ended up skipping writing, and worked on her (and her fiance's) present instead. Let me show you what I got for them. I'm not sure if you're familiar with them, but they are called Domo (I guess plural would be Domos?). They're Japanese characters, and I know she and her fiance likes them. A couple years back she talked about getting one in a kilt, but couldn't find one. So I ended up making her one as a Christmas present. She liked it. So when I was decided on a Wedding Present for her, I needed to find something inexpensive and meaningful. Ding, ding, we have a winner! So I found one in Pink and one in Brown and bought them.
That was the easy part. I was planning on dressing them, and this time I wasn't going to do something as simple as a kilt. I was going to do full bride and groom regalia. When I dream, I dream big. Sadly, this dream meant that I was going to have to draft a pattern for each piece of clothing. And since these Domos (Domi? Domeces?) don't share any sizes with what I usually sew for, I couldn't even use any of those patterns as a starting point.
I did try to work with them when I first got them. I started off with the Bride Domo, since I thought it would be the most fun. (Fun is a relative term.) I was going to make it even more difficult because I wanted to pad the top of the bodice. Give her some body definition. Plus I have a funny joke that goes along with it, that I must make! But this meant that I was going to have to do bust darts, as well as line the back in order to keep the cotton padding inside. I made one pattern that I quickly discarded. When I made the second one, I actually used Barbie's vintage bodice, just with some major modifications. (Just don't tell Barbie that.) She and the Bride Domo have the same cup size... ha! But even with a working pattern, it was still hard to make. I think I've made... five of these tops, each worse than the last.
I won't lie, I was amazingly frustrated around mid day. I was at the point that I could and would have snapped at anyone who talked to me. Luckily, nobody did, so I didn't have to apologize to anyone. After lunch I decided to take it slow and work on just the veil. Something simple that would give me confidence that I could sew. And it came out pretty decently, although I was going to add some ribbon roses, but I could not find them. I tore apart the room, looking in every logical place, and several illogical places. But no luck. I guess I'll have to keep looking for them. But I ended up giving it one more shot... and this time it went better. Not perfect but better. I learned a lot from allllllll of the failed attempts. And I got most of the dress done. I just need to sew the second snap, and sew up the back hem, as well as sew the blue garter. The last thing I did today was hand sew the purple ribbon around the bodice. (Purple is my Sister's favorite color.) But yeah, that shiny glitter tulle? Sheds like a dog in 120 degree heat. Just unrolling it from the roll gives off a shower of glitter. It's everywhere, all over me, all over my sewing machine, all over my desk. I even saw that the top of the stairs are covered in glitter from when I went down there. I'm going to be cleaning that junk up for a while! But at least the bride is mostly done, now I just have to work on the groom.
More fun times ahead, more fun times.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An actual update today!

I had some unusual dreams last night. Not terribly unpleasant, but certainly not pleasant. I rarely have what you'd call "happy" dreams. Either way it seemed to unblock some of the creative issues I've been having. I actually started off my morning with drafting a pattern. A Skipper dress. I used some of my older patterns as guides and created a half length sleeve dress pattern that's one piece. I did have to go back and fix it after the first dress I made from it didn't come out so hot. I'm actually not in love with the second version of the dress either. It's a totally legitimate dress, just not what I was looking for. I'm at the point where I need to add snaps, but I'm not going to. I'm just going to quit and go back to the drawing board. No need to keep working with something I'm already so unhappy with. So into the box it goes, along with the first attempt I made with this pattern. Maybe eventually I'll make something I like with it.
Also today was also the first day of wiping the acne cream off of Francie's face, and reapplying it. Doesn't seem to be any change yet to it, but it's only been a little bit under three days. It should take a bit longer to work. I did take pictures once I wiped it off to show the difference (if any). I'm going to check again on Thursday. So Francie will see you then!

In the later afternoon, I got a chance to go out shopping! Which is great for three reasons. First, I ran out of white thread this morning (every sewers nightmare!), second, I needed some supplies for my sister's wedding present, and third, come on, new stuff! I spent about ten dollars on supplies at Hobby Lobby and everything was something I needed for one of my projects.
You better believe that I got some white thread. It was very unsettling to be without it even for just a couple hours. I was able to use the forty percent off coupon on that, so it wasn't that expensive. I also got three spools of ribbon, one white (for my projects), one purple (for my sister's present), and one multicolored Christmas one (for the Holiday baskets). They were all on sale, half off, making each of them a dollar. I'm really starting a ribbon collection. I wonder, does anyone know the best way to store ribbon, something that allows easy access? Right now all mine are just shoved into a bag that's getting pretty full. Also I picked up some shiny tulle on a spool, again half off. I needed this for my sister's wedding present as well. They only had one, and it was without the plastic, but it was the only one! So I had to get it, who knows when they'll restock. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, but I have had things happen were I get messed over from people stealing from Hobby Lobby. I also got a half yard of these daisy looking trim stuff. It's over on the trim by yard section, so it wasn't on sale (thus the half yard). It looked like it would be perfect decorations for some dresses of mine. If I like it I might go back when ribbon by the yard is on sale and get another yard. If I like it that is. I also got a half yard of red and white checkered calico. It's not exactly what I wanted, but it'll do. More details about that one at a later date.

I actually was able to use one of the things I bought today, part of the daisy chain trim. One of the reason I bought it for was because of a certain dress I made. I can't remember if I even shared it with you. I made it for the second Malibu doll. It's a simple sheath dress, that I tried everything to make it fit decently. I could not get it to fit how I wanted it (and I really did try, this thing is covered in ripped out stitches), so it ended up being a sack dress. But even when it was decided it was going to stay a sack dress it was still very boring. It needed some sort of decoration. I tried several things to it (adding more sewing holes to the fabric), but nothing stuck. So I gave up on it. Today when I found the daisy chain, I knew this could help. So I cut off five and played around their placement. I found a positioning that I liked, and sewed them on. I could finally finish this dress! I just had to sew up the back seam and it was done. Don't have anyone to wear the dress (and even if I could I don't think I would), but I am super happy I finally finished it. It's been almost finished for so long! P.S. Skipping posting Charlotte's final part of her costume, this blog post has been far too long already. My hand's tired of typing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just like the day before for the most part...

Another quiet day around here, could not find any inspiration or motivation to do any sewing, none whatsoever. I did however manage to add some new stuff to my Etsy store. No patterns this time, instead I added four ceramic cats. (One set of three and one solo one). They were my sister's and she didn't want them anymore, so I took them to sell in my Etsy shop. And I finally got around to posting them. I have a couple more to post, but I held off adding them. I did also re-list several expired listings. Here's hoping something will sell, I need me some money! Christmas is a comin'.
Other than that, didn't get anything substantial done.
Since I don't have anything interesting to share I guess it's time to share Charlotte's Halloween costume piece. We're really reaching the end of this costume, tomorrow will be the last day I will have pictures to share, I'll be at the end of the costume. So far there have been no correct guesses, no guesses at all in fact. Anyway, today we have an apron. This is actually the first item I started to make, and the last one I finished. I ran out of ribbon so I had to stop and wait to go to the store and get another spool. The fabrics and trim might look familiar to you because they're the same ones that I used on the underskirt, I did that on purpose. I'm trying to tie the whole outfit together. Other than that, not a whole lot to talk about. I've made aprons before, so this is nothing really new. I think it came out kind of cute.
So any guesses yet? Anybody? (Chirp, Chirp)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Not a whole lot to share...

It was a quiet day around here today. Didn't get a whole lot done, like at all. I did attempt to make a dress today, but when I ran into trouble I gave up. It wasn't turning out how I wanted it, so I decided to cut my losses early. Again, like usual I'm a bit stuck with how I want to dress many of the new dolls I've gotten recently. But honestly, that's nothing new. I think that's the real theme of this blog. Maybe I should rename it, "Aubrey complains about not being able to sew", but that's not really a catchy name. I'll think about it.

But I do have something new to share. Today I continue to share Charlotte's Halloween costume piece by piece. This piece is something that will never be seen, but still important to the costume. It's an underskirt! I could have gone and reused her usual underskirt, but I wanted to make another special one just for this outfit. That way if I ever decide to display it, or give the outfit to someone else I'll already have an underskirt for it. So, any guesses as to what it is yet?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Francie has a Mod, Mod, breakout! (Gasp!)

Okay, in order to tell this story, I have to start with another doll introduction. She might not be exactly new to you if you're friends with me on Flickr, and if you're not, how come we're not friends? You think you're better than me or something???
Anyway, I got her a few days ago, but held off sharing her since lately it's been a doll's introduction each and every day. One after another and I was afraid you guys were going to think I was So I figured I needed to start sharing something other than new dolls to keep you all invested in my blog. But in order to talk about what happened today I need to do another introduction. But this isn't going to be your average introduction, there's more to it!
Anyway, to the doll. What we have here is another Francie. She's joining the other three Francie dolls that I already own. She's a bit different because she's a straight leg doll. The other three are all bent leg dolls. She's one without a TNT waist, or rooted eyelashes. I think that means she's one of the earlier Francie type dolls. (But I could be wrong)
I found her over on Etsy, for a decent price. But I did not rush in to get her (like how I did with Skipper), instead I waited. You see, she has some issues. She has had a hair cut, which is a shame because what's left of her hair is really nice. But that's not a total deal breaker. Even though with my recent disgust over re-rooting I'd be willing to do that to her. I've wanted a titan Francie for a long time (I even posted it on a wish list at the beginning of the blog) and this is the one way I'm going to get one. Plus with her coloring and eyebrow paint she'd look great as a redhead. But she did have another big issue, she has a green spot on her face. It's on her cheek, close to her nose and lips. Roughly the size of a large pin head. Before I bought her, I asked around for advice on how to fix her. I got a lot of feedback, including a woman who e-mailed with a really great in depth response. I doubt she reads this blog, but thanks Linda!
It seemed that my best bet was to use acne cream on the spot. It would take a while, and would bleach out the spot, but it would get rid of the green. So I decided to buy her, since she looked like a really good doll, hair and spot withstanding. She was also pretty cheap (under 20 including shipping), so I decided to get her and try to remove the spot. Even if something happened and it couldn't come off, I could at least use her body for Casey, since hers was in such terrible shape. She arrived quickly after I bought her. And I took some photos of the spot and again asked opinions. That's where I learned that the spot was mold (ick!). So I knew that I had to remove it, ASAP. I did ask to know if any other dolls were in danger of getting mold from her. I was told they were safe, but I still kept her separated just in case. Today I was able to go to Walmart and pick up the Acne cream for her face. It's going to take several weeks in order for it to be able to work and remove the spot. I'm supposed to put the cream on her, and set her aside for several days. After then I'm need to remove the dried cream and replace it. I asked Linda how long it took her on average for when she did this, and she said around three weeks was normal. So I put the cream on Francie's spot (making sure it was only on the spot, it will bleach whatever it's on), and put her away. Right now she's in the box that I use to travel with Charlotte. That way she's out of sight and I'm not checking in on her ever five seconds. I hope it works. I'm going to be taking a picture every time I change the cream, so I can have something to compare it to to see if it's working.
I'll share the picture each time so you guys can see the progress too!

And for the part of Charlotte's Halloween costume, I'm going to be sharing the biggest part, the actual dress. It's made from several familiar patterns. The skirt is made from the same ones as the Steampunk Dress, and the bodice is made from the adapted corset top that I used in both Little Red and the Steampunk outfits. This is made from the fabric I bought the other day at Joanne's just for this project, the only thing I had to purchase for this costume. It went together pretty easily, although I did have some issues. For some reason the neckline wasn't sewing right, so I ended up pulling out all the machine stitching and tacking it down by hand. I also had to redo the waist a few times, but it came out decently. Luckily, because I was in no mood to make another Halloween costume. I love Charlotte, but four times making her a costume was not something I enjoyed doing. So, any guesses yet?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Halloween Updates (A New Beginning)

First off, thank you everyone for commiserating with me over yesterday's post. Today's been better, although I'm still dreading and dreading this wedding more with each bit of passing news. But I'm sure I'll survive it, and I'm sure bringing Charlotte. I'll need my little plastic support system more than ever up there! (Ew, that sounds gross.)
On the topic of Charlotte, I've been working on her Halloween costume lately. I thought about skipping it this year and just jumping ahead to Christmas, but with the fact I'm waiting for some supplies to go on sale at Hobby Lobby and with my own lack of ideas for dressing the naked dolls, I have some free time. It's either that or sit around complaining that I can't think of anything. So I decided to make her something for the holiday. Except, I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to make. Charlotte's an odd one with costumes because unlike the average person (or doll), she wears costumes whenever she feels like it. She's rarely bound to conventional clothes like normal people (or dolls). I mean this year she got the Tales of the Hoffmann ballet dress, and the Regency dress, not a whole lot of practical use out of either of those really. She doesn't wait for Holidays to wear unusual clothes. So I wanted to make her something new, something that was cute and not just a rehash of the "Little Red Riding Hood" outfit.
And I did think of something (eventually), and I worked on it. I started off with a drawing, then moved onto actually making it. I made it three different times, and three different way before I finally had to face facts. What I was making, just wasn't working. It was missing the "it" factor. So like last year I ended up scrapping my first attempt for Charlotte's Halloween costume. This one was a little more painful since it was a bit more labor intensive, and I made it THREE TIMES! But even I must cut my losses eventually.
When I finally gave up on that mess of a costume, I needed to find another one to make for her. It didn't take me long to think of another costume. I had actually attempted something similar to what I was thinking before, and it didn't pan out. I was ready to try it again with some of the new techniques that I had learned since then. And I have been working on it... but it's a surprise. Remember last year when I shared a piece a day and made you guess for it? Well guess what's happening again... exactly that!
Okay, for our first shared item of the costume, it's going to be something old. Here we have a pair of extremely high socks. They're supposed to be tights because my tight pattern was a bit saggy, and I couldn't be bothered to fix them, these are easier. I believe I made them for Charlotte's Harlequin costume (See, there's another costume!). I do have the tights from "Little Red Riding Hood", I just don't care for them. If she ever wore that costume again, she'd use these socks for it as well. It's something that ties the two costumes together. Makes it a cohesive collection. (Sorry, I've been watching Project Runway.) Actually there's a lot this new costume has in common with last years costume and the Steampunk outfit. Am I really that predictable?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

May I complain to you all for a moment?

It's been a while since I vented on the blog, and the need has arisen again. So today the majority of my day was spent going to a tux fitting. I spent my morning getting ready for it, and the afternoon doing it. We had to go all the way to Greensboro for it. Any by we I mean, my father, my brother, and myself since my sister is making all of us get tuxes for the wedding. And of course we ended up getting lost going there. Which is normal, and wasn't too bad, it was just a little high tension for a little bit. Finally we got to our destination, and they couldn't find the information in the computer. So we called my sister... and got no response. So while we waited to hear back from her we left Men's Warehouse, and went to Joanne's Fabrics. I had a coupon they sent me in the mail. I walked through the entire store and didn't find a single interesting pattern. Even the non-cotton fabrics weren't exciting. I ended up getting some blue calico and matching thread, but that's it.
We talked about having to go back to Greensboro another day to do the tux fittings, but we managed to find the info in the computer, no thanks to my sister. So we got our tux fittings, which weren't that long, but still super awkward. I just don't like strangers touching me... and asking questions about my body. But it's done and over with, don't have to deal with that until we pick them up in Connecticut. After that I thought we were going home, but I was wrong. We ended up at a few stores before heading home. At this point I just wanted to get home and relax, but no, we had to stop every few miles it seemed.
Eventually we made it home, but my mom had some bad news to share. Apparently, My mom's going to be sitting with some people she doesn't care for at the wedding reception, my parent's are going to sleep at my Aunt's house when they're there, my sister's lame college friends are going to be at our Christmas the next day, and we might have to get them presents. I am NOT pleased with any of these developments. It's just I'm not exactly thrilled with this wedding. (Our family has a track record of making things worse than they should be, plus last time I was up there it was DREADFUL), but each day it seems to get worse and worse.
Sigh, when will this all be over?!?!?
And will I survive it?

Ricky's Introduction

Okay, I've been just dreadful about doing the introductions of the dolls in the header, but it's just not fun. It's a lot of typing, and the last time I did one (this one in fact), blogger messed up and totally wiped everything I had written. I had most of it written, and just needed clean up, then boom, it was gone. Have to redo it all over again. Which is why I'm so hesitant to write another one.
Anyway, today's introduction is about Ricky. He's the second pictured in the header, between the "A" and "B" of A Bit of Aubrey's Mind. His story is one that I've already told. He came from the same lot of dolls that I bought from that woman on Etsy when I got my blonde Midge, Honey. You can read that on her introduction; Honey. I've always wanted a Ricky doll. In my odd desire to have a variety of Barbie and friends in the collection, he was one of the dolls that I wanted to get. Especially since I had Skipper and Skooter, and was just missing him. After that I'd have all the vintage Skipper and Friend dolls. But he was not as easily found as the others. He was not as common, so his prices were a little bit out of my price range. So I let it go, and focused more on dolls that I could afford. When Shirley sent me the list of dolls she had, Ricky was one of them on it, and I was sure interested in him. If I remember correctly he ended up being 24 dollars. He arrived wearing just his original swim trunks. Like the other dolls, he too stunk of smoke. So he got the sitting in a box with baking powder like the rest of them did. He was one of the first ones to stop smelling. I guess because his hair is painted there was less for the smoke to cling too. The other dolls still have a minor smoke smell if you sniff their hair. It's minor, but still there.
He really is a great doll, smoke withstanding. His face paint is great and vibrant. He has no hair rubs or anything. I doubt that he got a lot of play, if any. When he got here for the original welcome photo (also viewable at Honey's page), he wore Skipper's jeans, and Todd's shirt and jacket. That was just for the photo. Everything he was wearing belonged to someone else, and they took it back once the photo was shot. That left him with just his original swim trunks. If I remember correctly he was one of the first dolls from that group dressed. And it was not easy, I did not have any Skipper sized patterns, and this was the very start of my sewing for dolls.
To dress him, I had to adapt some patterns. He ended up with some tan colored pants. Made from a re-sized Ken pattern and some fabric remnant from Walmart. This was one of my first attempts at making pants, and they came out pretty decently. For his shirt, he got a turtleneck made from a green shirt of mine that the cat had wrecked. This was the start of me making the turtlenecks, so the majority of the dolls from that group ended up wearing them, several of them are still wearing them in fact. He got some of the usual Barbie sneakers that Skipper's in the collection get to wear. His are different because they have the paint to make them look like saddle shoes. It was painful to take them away from Charlotte to give to him, but she has her own pair now. And with that, he was dressed.
And he's been wearing that for a while now. Although, he did change his shirt for a bit. When I got that "leather" jacket from the Skipper Pedro gifted me, he wore it for a little bit. I even made him his own t-shirt to go under it. But he's since gone back the the turtleneck. And that's really about it for Ricky. He lives on the top vintage shelf, near Malibu Barbie, countering Skooter on the other side of the shelf. He has a dollar store stand so he can stand and I think he looks great there. He's really one of the dolls that help make that shelf feel complete and varied.
He'll always be my first Ricky!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goodbye Warm Weather!

Today was great, weather wise. It was in the low 80's, and sunny. It's supposed to plummet down to the 60's for the next week or so. I guess fall is back, rats!
I was able to get some writing done today, first time that's happened in a while. I got a page and a third revised before I stopped. Again I'm just revising the first part of the section I'm stuck on, I believe this one section has had the most redos of any previous section. But at least I'm working on it, that's better than not. I'll get back to it later in the week.
Other than that, it was a pretty quiet day. I have three different projects in the works (secrets to the blog, mainly because I'm too lazy to take pictures), and I worked on all three of them for a little bit. Made some strides in each one (and even went in a totally different direction in one). What I did not work on was Skipper's dress. I still want to work with the same flowered fabric as Hair Fair's dress, but I'm having a hard time choosing the silhouette of the dress. I want something cute and age appropriate, but I can't figure out what that is yet. I guess it's time to do more research!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am a liar!

Remember how I said that I wasn't going to get to the store until Wednesday? Well, I was wrong. I got to go to the store today. So I was able to pick up some snaps and hook and eye closures. So I was able to finish the dress and share it with you. Aren't you psyched? So without further stalling here we go: Pretty right? I really like this fabric pattern. I'm planning on using it for TNT Skipper too, if I can figure out the dress I want. But after that it's done. I don't like having too much of the same pattern in the collection. Usually two pieces made from the same fabric is my limit. (But I do have three things made of that John Deere plaid in it). Other than that, didn't do much today. But at least I got that dress done!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Qu'ell Horror!

I probably botched that up royally. That's supposed to be French, but I'm working off some incredibly rusty High School lessons, and I was never very good at it (Like I'm talking D's and C's).
I'll start off with the bad news, Joe's hand is broken. Actually the plastic ring connecting his hand to the post is broken. Not really sure when it happened, I went to move him, shifted his arm slightly, then boom, his hand fell off. Not exactly thrilled that this happened. I mean, his new body is less than a year old, and has not gotten a lot of use. Charlotte's been all over, and she's still in one piece. I can still place his hand back in and it'll stay as long as you're careful and not moving him, but that's not the best fix. I've already went to E-bay and looked up replacement hands. I couldn't find any. I did find the store that I got the body from originally and checked there. Couldn't find any there either, so I sent them an e-mail. Figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. I can buy a new body for nine dollars, but that seems a little silly to just replace a hand. I'm still waiting to hear back from them, but finger's crossed that they'll be able to help me. (And not the "help" where they tell me to buy a new body). If I do need to buy a new body, I'm thinking about shopping around for a different type. While I like Joe's body for the most part there are several things I'd like different. If it costs a little more to get one that I'll like better then I'll spend it. Of course that means nothing if his hand is just going to fall off in a year!
And more bad news... sort of. I worked some more on the dress I started yesterday. It's basically done, and I really like it. I even went and tweaked the bodice to fit a little better. It's just that I don't have any snaps, or hooks and eyes, and I need those to finish it. So, I'm a little stuck at the moment with it. And I won't be able to get to the store until Wednesday at the earliest. So right now the doll who's wearing it is using safety pins to keep it on. So I'm not going to be sharing it until it's finished. I hope you guys can wait that long!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Out and about in the town!

Got a chance to go out shopping today, and of course I went. Today was a fun shopping trip, so I got to hit up all of the local antique stores.
I really wasn't even planning on going to those places. I had been to all of them recently, and they don't have that quick of a turn around. But my Dad went, and so did I. I saw that the Malibu Barbie and Ken was still there, as well as the 187 dollar Skooter. I'm still not interested in any of them. I checked in at the dolls in the cases at the other store. Again, not really interested with any of the dolls there either. I guess I'm at a weird impasse with the dolls. Maybe when I finally start getting the hordes of naked dolls around here dressed, I'll start wanting more.
Anyway, we also hit up all the second hand stores in the area as well. Again, not much luck there. I did manage to find a Barbie pattern at the Salvation Army. It's Simplicity 8466, an extremely Mod pattern. It's been cut out, but I think that it's all there. I actually have this pattern in a digital format, but whenever I find doll sewing patterns, I'm compelled to get them. But only if I have a doll of that size so at least I can control myself in some aspect. Plus, this was only 49 cents, so I figured I could splurge. That was the only thing of interest that I found in all three stores. But that's what happens, thrill of the hunt and all.
But that was not the end of the adventures. We also stopped in at Walmart, from my asking. I was wondering if they had finished setting up their fabric section from yesterday. They had... not? It really looked the same as it was yesterday. It was only about half full. I wonder if they're going to fill it up eventually, but didn't have room on the truck for it all the first go around. Most of the bolts were still not labeled, so no idea of the prices. I did have to buy some fabric, couldn't resist it. I bought these three pieces, got a half yard each. I got this gray camouflage nylon for a non doll repair project, this lovely yellow, green, and blue floral cotton, and this orange flowered cotton (I think this is some sort of lining, it's a bit more sheer than I was expecting). Want to know how much it set me back? Three dollars. Can you believe it? I didn't see a lot of other fabrics that I had to have, but that could change. Right now they only have a small amount put out. So maybe they'll get more that I can use. I'm just happy that the fabric section is back. I was tired of just having Hobby Lobby as a source. I need variety!
I already started using some of my new fabrics. I decided I wanted to make one of the dresses from the pattern I bought. View 1 actually. I was actually trying to be really good and follow the instructions and everything, but when I went to try it on the doll, it was huge! Like, you had room for another doll in the top, and I know I made sure I was using wide enough seam allowances. I have a habit of using smaller than recommended seam allowances. But this was just too big. So I ended up taking it in in several places. It's now a fitted bodice compared to a regular drop waist. But at least I tried the pattern, so I can at least say that. I also got rid of the eyelet material at the neck, it looked silly, like she was in a neck brace. So even though I made it from the pattern, and followed the instructions, I ended up with an original dress. And I like it! Which is really great since I've been having such a dry spell, creative wise. I guess all that I really needed was some new fabric!
No pictures yet (you can see it when it's finished), I hope you all like it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Good News!

Okay, maybe just decent news, better than normal news? I went to Walmart yesterday. I haven't been in a while, so I like checking in to see what they've got going on in the doll section. They've revamped it some (no doubt for the upcoming Christmas season). Barbie is still where she is, but they did have some new collector dolls I've never seen in person. Saw the Rock Hudson/Doris Day gift set. He looks really good, she not so much. They don't have a lot of the Barbie Basics on display anymore, I wonder if they are phasing them out. The Monster High dolls have moved. They are no longer on an end cap display. They've been pushed back into the second section of the isle (along with the Bratz dolls). I saw most of the dolls (including the newer Classroom line), but none of the newer characters. They did have several of the "Day at the Maul" fashion packs, but still not the Ghoulia one. Honestly, now that I'm thinking about it, that's the only new thing I'm actively searching for first hand. None of the Barbie fashions I know about excite me at the moment. Even the shoe molds are pretty boring.
Anyway, that's not the interesting part, I also saw that my Walmart was getting it's fabric section back! I knew that they were bringing back fabrics in certain stores, but when our small craft section totally disappeared I was worried that it was the end of all craft related stuff in the stores. But today I saw that it had returned! They were still setting it up when I was there, so I didn't get to see everything. I did see some really interesting cotton prints, some fleece, and some shiny-er fabrics. I plan on getting some of the cotton prints eventually. I wonder how the pricing is going to be. I did see some pink and white dotted swiss, so that gave me hope that eventually they'll have the white and red type I love and covet so much.
But yay for more fabric options!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The last but not the least...

Now it's time for the final introduction of the dolls I traded for. I believe I've strung you guys out long enough for this. This final doll was a doll that really started this trade, and the one I was most excited in getting. When I first found her, I knew that I needed her in the collection. After I found her and sent my e-mail for a trade I kept checking back on the site time after time, hoping she wouldn't sell before I was able to set up a trade for her. I would hold my breath each time the page loaded, wondering if this time she'd be on hold and out of my grasp, but she never was! She was still for sale when I sent the list of what I wanted for trades, then she was mine all mine!
The doll? The foreign exclusive Malibu Barbie. From what I know she was released in Europe and Canada. (But she might have just been a German exclusive in Europe, my knowledge of this doll is limited). She's different from the U.S. version in one way really, her face paint. She is made from Stacey's head mold like the traditional Malibu Barbie, but her face paint is more like how Mattel painted Stacey. You know how most face molds have the guide lines for the eyes? Well, her eyes are painted using the eye mold marks as where the eyes should be, compared to Malibu Barbie who paints over the traditional eyes. Basically she's like Stacey, but with a Malibu makeover. I've heard people call her Malibu Stacey, and I really think that's a fitting name for her. I think she's going to be called that around here, since I already have two Malibu Barbie.
Also different than the original Malibu Barbie is her head. Not just the face paint, but the material it's made from. Stacey here (as I dubbed her) has a hard plastic head. There's absolutely no give to it whatsoever. It's actually a bit smaller than Malibu Barbie's head, and my actual Stacey's head. I assume that's from using the hard plastic to make it. I needed to soak it in boiling water in order to take off her head. And I needed to do that so I could give her a body swap. Stacey here came with one of those bodies with the straight arms that they were using in the 80's and early 90's. The palm facing back paddle arms. I remember them from childhood. I hate those hands, they are so limited in their movements and look so awkward. I've never liked them, even Charlotte started out on one of the bent arm bodies. And I would certainly never allow one into the collection now if I had my say. So I bought another Malibu Barbie from the seller with a messed up head, and a decent body with the "Mexico" arms. And I did a body swap. It was good because Stacey's hair was bent from being in a ponytail, and the boiling water straightened it. Her new body does have some of the plastic on one leg peeling, but it's high enough on the leg her clothes will cover it. Besides, her original body suffered from that issue as well, and it was worse.
I should say that her original swimsuit is different from Malibu Barbie's blue one. It's a orange/pink patterned one. It's also rare since it was only issued with her. She actually came with it, but it was in rough shape, missing lots of threads, but I still hung it up in the vintage clothes closet, it is rare after all. She's going to be dressed in something else. We're not one to wear our swimsuits all the time around here.
She is my only Foreign exclusive doll, and with my budget, the only one for a while. I was only able to get her because she was such a deal. I wasn't even thinking about getting her until I found her. She'll fit in well with my Malibu Doll collection (even though she's not from Japan). I'd say she's the one of rarest of the Malibu's, only beaten by Japanese Malibu Francie. I guess I can cross her off the "to get" list for the Malibu dolls. If only she was on it in the first place.
All I need now is; Skipper, Francie, P.J., Christie, and Ken... basically everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another new doll to share with y'all

Still I continue with the introduction of new dolls, we are reaching the end of them (but not quite done yet). Sadly these dolls are heading right from the introduction post into the redress list. I'm amassing quite the collection of nude dolls. Hopefully I can actually sew something decent soon. Lately my creativity's been a little... tapped. At this rate there will be more naked dolls than dressed ones. Sad really...
Anyway, this is the TNT Skipper that I bought shortly before I left. She was 30 dollars, including shipping. I found her, and pounced on her, knowing that if I waited I wouldn't get a second chance at her. She would have been someone else's lucky find.
I bought her a few days before I left, so I was not shocked to find that she didn't arrive before I left, so she was another doll that I got to open in the truck as I traveled back to North Carolina. She really is a lovely doll, wish some minor issues. She does have some bites to her foot, and with her one eye totally devoid of eyelashes she looks a little bug eyed. But she is a cutie. Both knees still click (although I think her legs is broken on one leg above the knee). I do need to fix her hair. It's a bit more messy than my first TNT Skipper doll. I hate breaking those curls, but they're really messy. I just need to find out a way to reset them after I fix them. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I'm so terribly at hair.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Icky... Just Icky

Today was a terrible day... It seems like every little thing that could go wrong did. It was like a rain storm (it did actually rain today) where I was pelted with a ton of little issues and problems (and some not so small). And while a lot of them were minor small things, they all did eventually get to me. I'm sure that if all that happened today was spread out over a week it wouldn't have gotten me so down, but it was all today. Sometimes the universe loves to keep kicking you when you're down. So I am depressed and no mood to blog.
Hopefully tomorrow is better, and I can get back into blogging.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Second Doll of the Trade... sort of

This doll is a little different from the others in one aspect, I paid for her compared to trading like I did with the other dolls. She was the most expensive of my purchases, totaling at fifteen dollars on her own. I could have traded for her and her alone, but I really wanted some of the other stuff from the seller. Luckily I had enough money to buy her (and pay for the extra shipping), so I was able to get everything I really wanted. (Even though there's still stuff I want, but I'm greedy like that!)
But enough talking about how I got her, let's see some pictures! Here you go:
From the pictures you can see she's a brunette bubblecut. And she's my second brunette bubblecut, I got my first brunette bubblecut last Christmas, and you should remember how I like having like dolls to balance each other out in the collection. Now I can do that with her. So even though I like that happening, there's a real reason why I wanted her... I adore her face. I must admit, bubblecuts are not my favorite hairstyles, there's not much you can do with them. But they tend to be the cheaper of vintage Barbie's which is why I have six of them. But with her, there was just something so lovely about her face that I knew that I needed her in the collection. And that was just from seeing her in a small photo, I had to be hopeful that she would live up to my ideals.
But she does! She is an amazing doll. My best condition bubblecut, which is ironic since she was one of the cheapest ones I have. Her face paint is beautiful, with full pouty lips. The only issue is the eyebrow rubs that usually happen. She has a couple dings on her nose, but they're not that noticeable. Her arms are a little swingy, but I can deal with that. She even has all her fingers, and nail polish, even on her toes. Just a really great doll. She might be my favorite bubblecut in the collection.
I'm not sure how to dress her yet. For a while she was wearing the dress to Suburban Shopper since that was a dress I packed for Charlotte when I was in CT, and the only one I had that fit her at the time. I liked it on her, but wanted to make something for her.
So add another one to the redress list!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Okay, another shoe post....

Thought you guys might want to see this. Remember when I showed you those Mary Jane shoes there were from the same mold, but were different colors? Like I said I was planning on painting them with nail polish. I was a bit hesitant about doing that since the last few times I've tried have been not so successful, but I still wanted to try with this pair. I love this style of shoe, and since I had one blue one, and one pink one I sure couldn't use them like that. So my hands were tied and in order to even think about using them, I'd have to recolor them.

And I painted them, in the shiny black nail polish I have. And let me tell you, they came out wonderfully. I guess that the plastic these shoes are made of are more malleable, so they took the paint easier then others? I don't know. I do wish it worked out this nicely for the other shoes I tried. Charlotte's been wearing them for a few days now and they've haven't chipped, or flaked, or stained her socks. I still have a couple spots to touch up on the pink one, the pink shows through more than the blue one. But they are easily part of my new favorite shoes. Charlotte is so keeping these! They might even replace her saddle shoes and her high heeled Mary Janes (when worn with non-formal clothing).
So pleased with how they came out!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's begining to feel a bit like Christmas...

Everywhere I shop. It seems each year the Christmas stuff gets put our earlier and earlier. Hobby Lobby had stuff out in late August this year. Not that I blame them, Christmas is a huge part of their profits, and the earlier they get people to start spending that's more money they get to take in.
But even with the beginning of the Holiday push, I too am thinking about Christmas, especially since one of my Christmas's is going to be soon. Since I'm going back up to Connecticut for my sister's wedding in November (don't remind me), we're doing family Christmas then. So again (I know I've talked about this before), I'm going to be making more of those baskets for them. Yay... But all that annoying ungrateful work aside, I have been thinking about regular Christmas too. Since I have... limited funds, I really need to start planning earlier (and stop spending all that money on myself), so I have enough to get my parents and my siblings (and future brother in law) something they want for Christmas. I've been doing some planning and thinking about it, and it's really hard! I want to find something for each person that they'll really like, but it's so impossible sometimes!
It's times like these that I really think that I don't know these people in my family, but I'm sure that's just my over analyzing our relationships to find the perfect present, I know them all fine. I did find something perfect for my mother, it was just expensive and I needed to save up money for it. I made the mistake of telling my father, and he gave me the money for it and I bought it for him, so I'm not really sure if that's something I can say I got for her since I didn't contribute financially. I do have something else that I'm thinking about getting her, I just have to find it online at a decent price. For my sister I had the great idea of getting her and her to be husband an ornament commemorating their first Christmas as a married couple. She asked for ornaments last year, and this would be a touching present that the two of them could use each Christmas. I already looked around for prices and found several decent ones. Now I just have to decide which one I want to get for them.
I also have several decent ideas for my brother and father... I just need to figure out which is the best for them at the best price for me. Can you believe that I'm already planning Christmas, and I'm making real progress?
I haven't even sent out my Christmas cards yet!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Malibu Francie Trouble

Yes, trouble. It all started earlier this week. I was looking around on E-bay for a Malibu Francie. It was all due to the fact that I received my E-bay rewards points, a whole 78 cents. While there I found two Francie's for twenty dollars each. I ended up picking the one with free shipping, since she looked in decent shape, even though she had some issues, a split ankle, and some spots on her heels. She was from Japan, and her face, hair, and makeup looked good. The seller shipped her super fast, and got her in the mail this afternoon.

I was excited to open her, then... the horror. She has the dreaded green spots on her face. Not as much as some, but she had one glaring spot on her upper lip. It looked like a blue-green cold sore. I looked over the ad, and it wasn't mentioned and the pictures were so brightly lit you couldn't see it, so I contacted the seller about it. I tried to be as kind as possible, since you get more flies than honey. And the seller said I could return her. I have to pay shipping (which was in the ad), so I'm going to do that. I would have also accepted getting some money off, but this might be for the best. It might be cheaper in the long run to return her and get a non-spotted face Francie doll.
Sad that it ended like this, but at least I can say that I owned a Malibu Francie even if it was just long enough to return her!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vintage Ken

Okay, time for our first of the introductions of the dolls that I traded for. Up first we have this Vintage Ken. For some reason I have a connection with painted haired brunette Kens, probably because it was the one that my mother had as a child, and she's always spoken so highly of him. I mean, there's three of that type alone in the collection, the most of any one type of male dolls. So when I saw this one on the site, I wanted him. Even though I really don't need anymore male dolls. But he was inexpensive, certainly part of the dolls that I collect, and very handsome.
So I traded for him. He has a few issues. He has a small stain on his hip (very small), a few pin marks on his right foot, and a minor hair rub on front. Actually the hair rub made him more likeable to my Mom, her Ken had that. He however does not have the back scratches her Ken had. But really, these are very minor issues, he's really a great doll. His face paint is really great, with only one minor chip to his eyebrow.
And so I have another Ken, and have no idea how to dress him. I mean I just dressed another vintage Ken that I had on the list for months then I go get another one... when will I learn?
It's TNT Skipper all over again, all over again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mom's Mask

Okay, you may remember how I was talking about how I was cleaning out the crawlspace at my Grandparents when I was up north. Well, while it was a terrible, annoying job there was a silver lining. Because when I was doing that, I found this:It was alone on the floor wedged between two boxes, a rather inconspicuous thing, something the average person would have quickly glossed over, or even worse, thrown out. But I found it, and was super excited to do so.
You know why? It's vintage Barbie. It's the diving mask from 1964's Barbie Skin Diver, and more importantly, it was my mother's. I don't have anything from my mother's and aunt's childhood collection, it had all been given away or thrown out well before I was collecting (or even born). I wouldn't have even had this if it wasn't lost in the crawlspace way back when.
I asked my mother about it, and she remembered the outfit from actually playing with it. She specifically remembered the flippers since they were of a squishy plastic and she liked playing with them, and the little snorkel since it was so small and realistic.
So this came home with me, and while it's not my usual style, it's certainly a part of the collection that means a great deal to me. I plan on collecting the rest of the outfit just because of this. I doubt I'll actually display it on someone, but I will display the outfit proudly, like I do with the Solo in the Spotlight dress I have.
So sometimes the smallest things can mean the most!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Similar to yesterday's post...

All right, for today's sharing item I have some explaining to do. You may remember my talking about the dolls that were coming into the collection in September, a grand total of five. Which is actually less compared to recent months when there's been a massive influx invasion of new dolls. Like I said I was trying to ease myself out of this cycle of getting so many dolls, so five was my cap, and all of those dolls were from things that started at the end of the last month.
Anyway, one of those things was from a trade. A found a website of someone who was selling some vintage dolls at a really nice price, and the best thing is that they did trades, but not for dolls, but for animation cels. Specifically My Little Pony cels. I'm not sure if you know this, I'm a huge animation nerd, love, love, love it. A few summers ago I went into a huge cel buying phase and purchased some, usually Disney whenever my budget could afford it. I also found and bought some My Little Pony and Conan the Barbarian cels, locally in New Hampshire (where I was going to school at the time). Now I bought them because they were local, but not because I wanted them. They moved with me, but I stuck them into the closet. But now I had a chance to turn them into something I could actually use.
So I e-mailed back and forth with the seller, and we worked out a trade. I was getting 15 dollars of goods from her site, for my cels. I paid 16 for them, but I could take the loss of a dollar to get the stuff out of my closet and get more stuff for the collection. From that 15 dollars I got several nice things, and I did end up buying something else I wanted separately. Anyway, I was waiting for this stuff to arrive in the mail when I was forced to go up to Connecticut. I hoped that it would arrive before I left, but no such luck. I have such bad luck when it comes to getting stuff from Canada, really I do. Anyway, it arrived when I was up there, so my Dad brought it up when he came to get me. So at least I had something to play with in the car.
Including the dolls I also got some shoes. (I'll share the dolls in later posts) I still had a little money left over from the dolls I got and wanted to get all my 15 dollars worth, plus you know my shoe addiction. So these are the shoes I got:From left to right we have a pair of dark blue superstar style pumps. They are unmarked, so I'm not really sure if they are actual Mattel or not. They're cute, and fit a variety of dolls, so they could find themselves on someone in the collection. They are hard plastic, so I'd have to be careful of splitting, and I'm not sure if they stain or not. There's a couple dark marks on the other shoes that I'm not sure if they were on that originally, or just from being packaged with the blue shoes. After that we have a pair of white sneakers. These are not the typical sneaker mold. They are more like the vintage Barbie sneakers, but not exactly. They're squishy which is nice since they're a bit smaller than the usual sneakers, but still fit Charlotte. Right now Ricky is wearing them just because. Some child wrote KW on the bottom of each of them in black sharpie, so they were cheaper, but the initials don't bother me, like I said they're on the bottom. Next is a pair of the usual white Barbie sneakers. These are the regular types, also squishy with the initials on the bottom. I know I can use these since I have several people wearing them in the collection already. And after that we have a pair of those white pumps. Again, nothing new since I have two pairs of these already, which I love. I know I can find a use for them. They have a few dark spots on them, but I didn't pay much for them, so it's not big of a deal.
But yay for shoes that I know I can use!
And I promise this will be the last shoe post for a bit, I promise!

Monday, October 3, 2011

First Full Day Back!

All right, today was a full day of unpacking and organizing. I got a fair bit done, but there's certainly a lot...lot...lot... more to go through. Right now I have a ton of stuff in my room where I'm not really sure where it's all going to go. Hopefully in time I can create some order around here, I always feel so out of sorts when everything is so cluttered.

Anyway, today's show off item for the day, doll shoes. You may remember my last big trip up north where I managed to bring back over 100 pairs of Barbie shoes, I think the official total was 107 pairs. Out of those 107, I think roughly half of those fit anybody, and fewer of those that fit went into the bags of shoes I plan on using, lots of them went into the bag of matched shoes I never plan on using. Anyway, this trip I barely managed to find any shoes. I think my last great haul was the majority of the shoes I have left, and from now on whenever I find shoes they're going to be one or two at the max. I only managed to find eight shoes this trip, six solo shoes and one pair of black boots. Back at home I managed to find matches for four of the six solo shoes in the bag of solo shoes I already collected last time.So from that trip I managed to find the matches to a pair of blue sneakers, a pair of sky blue modern sneakers, some silver pilgrim shoes, as well as a pair of Mary Janes. I know the Mary Janes aren't the same color, but they're the same mold for each, so I can recolor them to match. There's also those black boots I also found. I should point out that the silver shoes are in poor condition. There's a crack in one, and the other has several spots where the silver has worn off. They're also a bit too small for my dolls. They don't even fit the Mod dolls with their squishy feet. Oh well, they're matched and can go into the bag forever, maybe someday I'll find a doll who can fit them. Also going into the bag are the sky blue sneakers, not a real fan of that style. However I do plan on using the black boots, blue sneakers, and the Mary Janes if they come out well.
So while the trip was a wash, at least I found five new pairs of shoes, and I do love me some shoes!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Prodigal Son has returned!

And while I'm not saying you should slaughter the fatted calf... I would appreciate you saved the skin if you did. It would be interesting to play around with leather sometime.
Kidding! About the leather thing, not the being back thing, that's true. (Please don't kill the fattened calf.) I finally got back last night from a horrid two week trip to Connecticut. Sorry for the short announcement before I left, it totally happened at the last minute. You see, our storage unit in Connecticut had been broken into. And so we were forced to travel up north to deal with it. So that's what we did the weekend after I said goodbye to you all, leaving on Friday. Since right now my days are free, I volunteered to stay behind for an extra length of time up there. That way I could pack up more stuff, as well as sort though more things that when we put them into storage we though we couldn't live without them, but after enough time had passed we learned that we sure could. My father had to work during the week, so he couldn't stay. The plan was to leave me there, and come back for me in a couple of weeks to pick me up, along with whatever I packed. Originally we didn't set a specific come back date, so we could play it by ear, thinking that I could stay for at least two weeks, maybe more. Little did I know that the trip and the people I was dealing with would be so awful to me that I wish I never went in the first place, much less two excruciating weeks.
Since my father was leaving to go back south after the weekend was over, I was doing all of the work at the storage unit alone, but I was not on my own in Connecticut. Not by a long shot. I was staying with my Grandparents while I was up there at their house. Also I had two Aunts and several cousins there too. I love my Grandparents and always try to be respectful of them. Also since I'm staying at their house I try to be as helpful as I can to make my dropping in as noninvasive as possible. So I will do whatever is asked of my, and will volunteer to help out when I can. And it used to be not so bad. But the past few times I've been up here I have felt a little... taken advantage of?
Like I said, I don't I mind helping out whenever I could, it was just things kept getting piled onto what was asked of me, even by people who weren't my Grandparents. You may remember that I was up there to work on the storage unit. I do have a bit of a dust allergy, so I couldn't do a whole lot before I was coughing, sneezing, and better yet having a wheeze whenever I breathed. So I could only go and work on the storage unit every other day. But those days when I wasn't there working, I was still not resting my lungs, those people put me to work.
Out of those seven days that I was not at the storage unit, three of them I was co-babysitting with my cousin's baby. Was I asked? No. Was I thanked? No. And two of those days she was sick and in a foul mood. I did it because it made it easier for my Grandparents, since usually they are the ones stuck doing it. I don't know why people think I'm interested in babysitting, because really I'm not. I don't mind kids, but I would certainly never go out of my way to babysit one.
Also while I was there I (totally shooting myself in the foot) volunteered to work on taking a load of stuff to Goodwill. I had done that last time I was stuck up north for several weeks to deal with some stuff my sister left at my Grandmother's house. She had lived there for several years when on break from college. She left stuff there, and when my Grandmother asked if she wanted it she told her that she had taken everything she wanted and my Grandmother could deal with the rest... she can be so lovely sometimes that sister of mine. Anyway, I thought that was terrible, so I went and made sure all of her junk left my Grandmother's house last time, as well as getting rid of several things my Grandparents wanted to get rid of. This time I found several books of hers that I had missed. So I decided to plan another trip to donate stuff. When I mentioned this I was informed that "Hey, why don't you clean out the crawlspace? Then we can donate that stuff." Which was quite shocking to hear. Not sure why I was asked to clean up there, I literally have no stuff in there, and neither does my sister, or brother. And the best part was that not only was this place dusty, it was also short so I couldn't stand up fully in it. But I couldn't say no to my Grandmother. So I took this task under my belt and worked on it on my days "off". I didn't get a whole lot done, but there's several boxes less up there from my work and mine alone. Not only did I have to pull everything out of the crawlspace, I had to bring it downstairs and make sure that everything sorted out into keep and not keep, so I could donate it. This would be easier if I didn't have to get clearance from everyone that lived in that house since 1950 (when it was built). My Aunt "J" demanded that she had to look though everything before it left, or got thrown it out. Assuming that either I or her parents were idiots and would throw out something that she couldn't live without, even though the most recent thing I found in there was from 1981. Last Goodwill trip I had more of my (sister's) stuff and did most of the work, and this trip I had less of my own stuff, but did basically all the work.
But I did it, as well as many other chores they asked. There were days off that I was running all over that house doing chores when really I should have just gone to the storage unit and worked and dealt with the dust, I got just as much dust there as I did at the storage unit. I don't know why these people think for some reason I enjoy doing these mundane tasks. Somehow they think I enjoy being their Cinderella for the few weeks that I'm there. After a while, it really started to wear on me, I wouldn't have minded the piling up work so much if it wasn't just me. I have seven other cousins, and I cannot think of another time when any of them would be asked to do anything, much less actually do it. I have three cousins that live in state, and I saw each of them several times when there, and I never saw them do anything for anyone else. Even worse they made more work for everyone. Including one cousin who had her Grandmother and Mother make her spaghetti and home made meatballs, and didn't bother to even help clean up the dishes afterwards. She just sat at the table flipping through the Avon catalog while the rest of us cleaned up.
And for some reason all us cousins are called equal, a term that is laughably inaccurate. It's just some cousins are more equal than other. I certainly felt that this weekend, when I bent over backwards to help everyone, but was still low man on the totem pole with these people. Several of them took great pride in making comments about my gender, or things that had happened from my past, although they are hardly spotless in that aspect either. I guess I'm hurt by the disrespect? I mean I try to be nice and kind to my family, but they seem to have no concern for me at all.

I won't lie, there were nights I lay awake trying to understand it all, I even cried one night over it, but I think I'm beginning to accept it. This is just how my family works, and I am just a cog in the wheel. I will say that I was miserable when up there, and I will never, ever volunteer to go there again, those people have abused my good nature for the last time. I might as well help people who actually care about what I help them with.
Needless to say I was pretty happy when my father showed up last Friday. And I wasn't happy about the fact he brought me some present, I was certainly ready to get out of there. We left around noon on Saturday and we rolled in about 1:30 last night, and went straight to bed. I got up around seven, and have been on the go since then. So suffice to say, I'm pretty exhausted. So if anything I've written today doesn't make sense, that's why.

Now what does all this have to do with you, you ask? Well, you see, right now I have two entire loads of stuff from up north to sort though and deal with. While most of the stuff isn't mine enough of it is to give me plenty of cleaning and organizing for the next week or two. My room looks like something exploded in it since I have so much stuff on every free surface. So right now all my sewing projects are on hold. Even now it would take too long to even unbury the sewing machine much less sew with it. But do not fear, even though there's not going to be any sewing going on, I still have plenty to share with you. Each day until I've sorted out enough to actually do any project I will share with you something new, and I do have some interesting things to share.
And if you've read this far, God bless you. This took forever to type.