Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day Everyone!

Hope everyone had a good day. Mine didn't start off too hot, but then got better as it progressed. I just wish I could "leap" over the bad stuff and just deal with the good (I get two leap play on words for this post, humor me).
I started off my day by being groggy and icky, and it wasn't because I woke up early, I actually slept later than I have in the past couple of days. I'm not really sure why I was feeling so poorly. I wonder if I was feeling some side affects from I did that crazed Barbie head search. I followed though with what I said yesterday, and stuck the body in the closet. That way I won't be looking at it and obsess over it. It was actually a little bit of a relief to put it away. But that was a small improvement. I still felt not myself, I ended up just hanging out in the morning, even shirking getting any patterns posted online. I really just wasn't feeling it.
But things started getting much better in the afternoon, because... I got the big purchase in the mail today! It arrived super fast since I only bought it late on Saturday. I was keeping my finger's crossed that it would arrive today, but wasn't really expecting it to. I didn't know where it was coming from, so I couldn't use that as a guideline to estimate how long it was going to take to get to me. So when I went out the check the mail I held my breath as I opened it, and when I opened it I was greeted with a package for me! I won't leave you in suspense, let me share with you what was inside it:I'm not sure if anyone knows what that is, so I'll explain. That is the purse to vintage Francie outfit "Concert in the Park". I actually own most of that outfit already. It was one of the great condition clothing pieces that came from that Barbie case I got for my birthday last year. Now I'm just missing the hat and the shoes and I'll have the entire outfit. That might be tricky because I want them in really great shape since what I already have is in wonderful shape. I mean look at that purse, it's sparkling white. I doubt that it was actually ever played with. Can you believe that only cost me 26 dollars? Such a bargain!
I'm sure you all just feel in love with my wonderful new purse, and I will agree with you, it's amazing. But part of your new found love isn't real, it's a spell our model put you under. You see, I've hired a professional. I'd like to introduce you all to our newest addition, Twiggy! I guess she was a freebie doll the seller threw in because I bought the purse. I'm not sure what to do with her since I only wanted that purse. (I'm totally joking.). I bought it for Twiggy. The purse was just the icing on the cake since I already had most of the outfit it belonged to. Did you really think that I would spend that much money on a purse? Really people, it's like you don't know me at all!
To tell the story of how Twiggy came to join the collection I have to jump back to last Saturday. I was doing some searches for those doll heads I need, when I found myself on Ioffer.com. They didn't end up having anything that could help me with a Tutti or Malibu Skipper head, but since I was there I decided to do a search for vintage Barbie and see what showed up. Most of what came up wasn't anything I could use (or what I consider vintage) But I did see a post that caught my eye. It was a listing for a Casey doll, for only 23 dollars. I've been looking for a Casey doll since the one I have I've been really lagging on getting her re-rooted. I clicked on the link and let it load. When that was done I was scrolling down the pictures and I realized that the doll wasn't actually Casey, she was Twiggy. It's an easy mistake since the only differences between the two are Twiggy has heavier undereye makeup, and her hair is a bit shaggier. (The seller did note the hair since she thought she might have been given a haircut). The seller pictures were a bit blurry, but she looked to be in really good shape. I was already sold on getting her, but the fact that she came with some really great condition clothing pieces really won me over. I bought her on the spot knowing that if I hesitated I'd lose out on her. And I was so sure that someone was going to buy her before I could. I was so relived when I finally was able to pay for her. But I wasn't totally free from worry, I was a little nervous that the deal would fall through for some reason. Maybe her listing was a mistake (which is an ironic thought since this was before the issues with that Barbie body). I went to bed shortly after I bought her, and had a dream where the seller contacted me to give me a refund. I did wake up to an e-mail from the seller, but she was just telling me thanks for my prompt payment, and that she'd get into the mail on Monday.
So I was definitely getting her! Which was really exciting. I wasn't looking for a Twiggy, but one just showed up, kind of like Julia. I'm really excited her since she's kind of rare. She was only produced for a year, so they're harder to find than other Barbie friends. I still would have bought her if she was just a Casey, that would be a good deal for one of those too. But she's not, she's Twiggy! I waited until she arrived to check out her condition, like I said I thought she was in good shape, but looks and blurry pictures can be deceiving. But I'm pleased to say she's in AWESOME shape. The child who ended up with her must have not really cared for Twiggy and never played with her. She's as mint as a brand new doll. The only issues I saw with her was that she has a minor pale spot on one of her toes, and some minor paling on one of her shoulders, other than that she's in perfect condition. All her joints are nice and tight, her face doesn't have any paling, really a wonderful condition doll. I'm thrilled to have her in such great shape (and thrilled to have her in general)! I'm sad that this doll set me back on my monetary goals, but I could not have picked a better way to be set back. I'm quite enamored with her, even it it means I have to do some more mod sewing. And I can't even do my 50's take on Mod I sometimes get away with, Twiggy needs to be Mod, Mod, MOD. She's practically the face of it.
And like I said Twiggy didn't come alone, she also brought some stuff with her. I've already mentioned the purse above, which was the only piece to "Concert in the Park", but that's wasn't all that Twiggy brought. She also came with the slip, bonnet, and one stocking to Francie's "Dance Party" outfit, all in wonderful condition. The elastic isn't even shot on the slip! I don't have any part of this outfit already, but all I'm missing is the dress, the shoes, and another stocking. I'm part way there! Don't worry, I don't plan on starting to collect clothing, I'm still all about the dolls. Twiggy also came with a pair of "nude" stockings, but these are in the worst shape of the group. The elastic has snapped, and there's a couple of snags in them. They're still in decent shape compared to how they could have been, but there's other things that clearly outshine them. It's still pretty cool though, getting all this stuff for 26 dollars (including shipping). Now I just need Truly Scrumptious, and my Mod Barbie celebrity collection will be complete. But for now I'm just going to enjoy Twiggy, I'm just leaping for joy over her! (and there's our second pun.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Not my proudest moment

Just like yesterday I woke up pretty early, except this time was even earlier than the day before by a half hour. I'm not really sure why my internal clock is so messed up. I just wish that it meant that I would fall asleep easier at night, but it didn't seem to help much last night. So I'm a little tired. I am happy to report that I'm shockingly not sore from yesterday's overexertion. My arms are a little sore, but only when I'm lifting something they hurt. Everything else is fine, although I wouldn't want to run any marathons at the moment, but really have I ever wanted to do something like that?
Even though I was physically fine, I was in a bit of a mental funk. For some reason I seemed to be under a black cloud all day. An imagined one since it was a glorious day weather wise. Sometimes it lifted, but it hovered close by always ready to return quickly. I even thought about skipping posting the patterns today, but I decided to go for it and muscled through the get them all listed. I also worked on the blog. I'm still several days behind. I'm now a little less behind, but there's still several days that need to be written and edited. I'm trying to get a little done per day, but I just talk too much!
My day really didn't pick up until the mail got here. The first thing I'm expecting arrived today! I was hoping it would since it was coming from North Carolina, but it was shipped yesterday and sometimes the postal service takes longer than I think it should (granted I do think 30 seconds is too long of a wait, so they could never live up to my impatient expectations). Let me tell you what it is, a vintage Barbie body. I bought it on Sunday from Etsy. I was doing a search there for something and was looking though the older ads. I found one for a vintage Barbie body for five dollars, and wrestled with getting it (for about 30 seconds). I quickly added it to my cart, bought it, and paid with Paypal. I thought that it was going to be a standard transaction, but the seller e-mailed me confirming my purchase. She also mentioned that I got a great deal since the doll was listed at that price by accident, it was a typo. I wish I never knew that, immediately my guilt kicked in. I felt bad for taking advantage of this person's mistake. I felt so bad for buying it. I thought about telling the seller they could cancel my order, but I didn't e-mail them about it right away. I gave myself some time to think about it. I felt it was the right thing to offer the doll back to her, but I was having a hard time doing it. I mean it was her mistake and I didn't know it was a typo when I bought it, so I wasn't really obligated to give it back or anything. I wanted to do the right thing, but I didn't want to lose out on the body. It was quite the conundrum.
I ended up talking over the whole deal with my mother. She agreed that it was a tricky situation, but also agreed that I should offer the doll body back to the seller. So with reservations, I did. I told the seller she could cancel the sale if she wanted and I wouldn't hold it against her. (Not that I would have much option, I wouldn't be able to leave feedback if the transaction was canceled.) I was ready to lose out on the body, but it was the right thing, and sometimes that's the harder choice to make.
But the seller said she wouldn't hear of it, and let me keep the body at the much lowered price, so yay to that! The body was in the mail on Monday and in my hands on Tuesday. When I opened it I was in for a nasty little shock, the neck knob was broken! It hadn't broken in the mail, it was packed in it's own little bag and neatly labeled. Also included in the box was a paper print out of the Etsy ad, with all of the dolls issues highlighted. I'm usually pretty good at reading ads, so I wasn't really sure why I missed it when I saw the ad. I wasn't too upset since the knob was included and it looked like a clean break. Plus the rest of the body is in great shape. The hands are perfect with all their fingers and nail polish, the toes have all their polish too. Really, just a stunning body save for the broken knob, and one minor dent on one of the breasts (also highlighted on the paper).
I went up to my room and checked the ad to see why I hadn't noticed the broken neck knob being mentioned. Turns out the seller was a little "creative" with their listing. Yes, they did disclose it in the ad, but all the photos of the body are cropped to remove the missing neck knob, and the final picture that shows the entire top portion the neck knob has been placed back on the body. I distinctly remember wondering if the neck knob was missing based off the first three pictures, but seeing it was there in the last picture. I must have missed the sentence when they disclosed that it was broken. It's not that big of a deal (although I would have been bothered had I paid more), I was more concerned as to how I could have missed something like that. I usually have better reading comprehension skills.
Since the neck was broken, that meant I had some work to do. Apparently I wasn't the first to try and fix it. There was both a small metal post in the knob to try and hold it, and some glue. The post wasn't doing anything so using pliers I removed it and threw it out. I tried gluing with with some glue I had but with the old glue there it was creating enough space so that my glue couldn't take hold. I ended up using my seam ripper to scrape away the old glue to give the knob and body a tighter connection. After I was satisfied it would hold, and I removed enough of the older glue, I glued it again. This time it actually held. I checked it a few times and it seems to be connected strongly.
I heard from the seller this afternoon. They contacted me, informing me that the package had been delivered (I had paid for a tracking number). They said to me; "Please let me know if you are not happy with your purchase so we can make it right.". If I was happy they said I should leave feedback, then they'll give me feedback (which I don't think how that's supposed to work, I think she's supposed to give feedback first). Anyway, it seemed a little unusual, but it felt like like the seller had been burned in the past by a buyer being unhappy and didn't want something like that happening this time. I said I was happy and was going to leave her positive feedback (which I did). I'm glad I got this body, but I wish I didn't know about the typo thing. Every time I look at it I'm going to be reminded that I got it for such a great price at some elses expense. And I do remember stuff like that, I remember where most of the dolls came from, and when it's a bad experience (for whatever reason), that stays with them. Luckily they outweigh the bad feelings that can come up, I just wish they didn't exist in the first place.
After I had gotten the neck knob attached I started looking online for a head for it. Oh, I say that so casually, I didn't "look", I obsessed. I'm not sure why, but this weird driving force filled me and I tore though the internet trying to find a good condition head at a decent price. Right now I'm trying to find any style of vintage head except for bubblecut, I have too many of those already. I spent hours searching online for one, pulling out every single trick in my book trying to hunt one down. I just needed to find one NOW! I had the doll for less than a day and I needed to find it a head. I'm still not sure why this doll was so dire to complete right now. It's not like I don't have enough dolls already. And there's more than ten dolls on the Naked Party Pad waiting to be dressed so it's not like I don't have any dolls to create for (not enough dolls to sew for has yet to be a problem). Eventually I gave up the search when I wasn't finding anything after a couple hours. This is going to be a long time search. I am planning on sticking the doll body into the closet for the time being. I don't like how she makes me act, so out of sight, out of mind.
And with all that wasted time, I didn't get anything done with the patterns for tomorrow, I'm going to have to be busy in the morning to make up for it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

For the Love of Family

Early morning today. I'm not really sure why, but I was wide awake at seven. I tried going back to sleep, but with something like that once I'm awake there's no going back to sleep. So instead of fighting it in an effort to get more sleep, I got up and got my day started early.
One of the first things I got done was getting those patterns posted over to Etsy. I was able to quickly get the fourth ad written, and get all of them posted on the site, and in record time no less. Even though I've had such a major setback in my savings, I'm back to trying to be good and saving up my money again. After finishing those, I was so on the ball this morning I was able to pick four new patterns and get the ads written for three of them. I wasn't able to get the last one finished, not because my head was hurting, but because I had to go out this morning and get those two sold items into the mail. I was able to get that finished and no longer hanging over my head.
Back at home I didn't start back with the patterns just yet. I still needed to finish the fourth one and take the pictures of all of them, but it's been so overcast today all my pictures were going to come out very dark so I decided to hold off to see if it was going to clear up later in the day. But I never got a chance to do so today, my plans got made for me, and they did not involve patterns whatsoever.
Today was my sister's moving day. They had it all planned out, and none of it involved me, or so I thought. I should have expected plans changing, and the new plans included everyone driving to Raleigh to help her move. Nobody was thrilled by these new plans, but we all piled into the car and were on our way. We got there around four and were greeted with the movers leaving and a still very full apartment. This wouldn't be so bad except that my sister lives on the third floor without an elevator. We had to truck box after box downstairs, and some of them were remarkably heavy. Add to that the fact that my sister, bless her heart, is terrible at packing and moving. I don't know why she's done it plenty of times, but she seemed to have no clue what to do or what was going on even though she and her husband should really be in charge. So between myself, my brother, and her husband we ended up moving the rest of their apartment. We weren't done until eight. It was four hours of lugging stuff down stairs. Needless to say my legs are killing me. But she's out of there, and heading north now. I just pray the next time she needs to move I'm not available to help. It was just that stupid. I mean, I've moved before it's not that difficult if you plan it decently and don't leave everything to the last minute. And it's not like their actions affected only them, we all had to put in a lot of work, that we wouldn't have to if they got their act together.
SO frustrating.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Well, it's not MY day of rest"

I had a very busy day today. I woke up with a to-do list that was already a mile long, and I kept adding to it as the day went on.
I had patterns to prepare, photos to take, e-mails to respond to, and packages to prepare to get into the mail tomorrow. Yes, I've had a couple of things sell late last week. I didn't mention it because.. I have some bad news. I won't be able to add this sale to the thermometer counter, because, you see, it's now wildly inaccurate. I've hit a bit of a snag in my saving plan, mainly because of my inability to not spend money once I have it in my greedy little hands. I've managed to really dwindle my saved my money, with several purchases, including one pretty large one.
In my defense, the big one was a really good deal, and if I let it pass me by, I would be kicking myself for a long time. So I actually could not not get it. You can see how my hand was forced.
I'm going to hold off sharing anything about what I bought for now. I'm going to wait until they actually start arriving before I write about them.
So sadly, I'm basically back to square one about saving money, but I'm not too upset over that. I'm still waiting to hear back from the seller when I e-mailed them a couple of weeks ago. The longer I don't hear anything the more I believe that the item isn't actually for sale anymore and they just haven't bothered to remove the ad. But I'll keep you updated if I ever hear anything.
But I'm still working to sell those patterns, today is the start of another selling week. I managed to prepared three patterns for listing tomorrow. I would have done all four, but when I was working on the forth one I started to get a splitting headache and my eyes were having trouble focusing. I guess I'm still being affected by hitting my head a week ago. I'm mostly back to normal, but when I'm reading/writing it's a bit too much for my brain right now. So I called it quits for the day. I can get that finished in the morning. I just need to finish the last one, everything else is ready to go.
I also wanted to do some sewing today. All I needed to do was make Ken his socks and I'd be able to move him from the Naked Party Pad and into the collection. So I made sure I did that today. February is coming to an end I want to be able to say accurately that I managed to get three dolls dressed this month. It's been a while since that happened. He got a pair of white knee socks. I did change how I made them with this pair. I used tulle to help hem them, and I also used it as a stabilizer. They actually ended up being fully lined in tulle, which actually makes them better. They're a little stiffer, and a little stronger. I think I'm going to use that way from now on whenever I make socks. His are still not perfect, but they're one of the better pairs I've made. I'm actually really happy with his outfit as a whole, and as separates. It's one of the better outfits I've made ever, and it's another doll dressed! After a dry spell I'm making some real progress, although I've manged to set myself back with some recent ... actions. Anyway, here's his picture like promised:Looking good right? That's another doll moved from the Party Pad and into the collection!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Progress!

I think I'm getting to the end of my recovery from my concussion. I've been finished with most of the ill effects for a while. The headache and fuzzy headedness cleared up a couple days after the incident. All that's really clung on was being really tired during the day. All this week I'd find myself incredibly tired at random times. It wasn't like I was going to fall asleep at that very second tired, but yawning and wishing it was bedtime tired. I'm hoping that some decent sleep will get me back to normal, but several things have been keeping me from doing so.
And even though I'm getting better, my creativity's been shot all week. This week was supposed to be a creative week and I was hoping to make some progress on some of the nude dolls, but it didn't happen. Sad part is I even have ideas for them, but not the energy. This week has been very disappointing in that aspect of it.
In the morning I worked on my Flickr account. The past week (and a bit before) I've really lapsed on replying to people who commented on my pictures. I keep meaning to go back and finally get all caught up on it, but once it gets away from me it becomes such a daunting task. I want to say the right thing to people and let them know that their comment (and compliments) are really important to me, but sometimes it's hard to accurately respond what I want to say. The head injury didn't help any. Today I managed to go and reply to most of the comments I needed to. I still have two pictures that I need to reply on. The comment section of the blog is suffering from my lack of responses too. I just can't blame my head injury on that. Just know that I read each and every one and appreciate it, it's just the replying thing that I suck at. But I do read each one of them. I will get caught up on them, eventually, right now my focus is getting caught up on actual blog posts. I have several that still need to be written. I'm making progress, but time keeps being faster than I can type. Especially when I have trouble finding the right words for what I want to say, and really especially when I blather on like how I'm doing now.
Anyway, today I actually felt like sewing. I wanted to make progress on one of the undressed dolls. I ended up picking Ken. All he needed was a shirt, and since I bought the material specifically for that project it was time to make it and decide if it was working or start working on plan b. I mean Barbie already got a dress made from the fabric, it was high time Ken got something from it. So I pulled out the usual Ken shirt pattern. I was making it up pretty much like normal except I was getting rid of the curved hem since I wasn't planning on tucking the shirt in.
After I cut it out I got to work. I've had a good success rate with this pattern, and this time was no different. I did have some issues with the shirt being too big in the torso. When I got rid of the curved hem I also accidentally got rid of the curve of the side hem to fit Ken's body better. I had to take out the hem and take it in some at the sides, an easy fix. Although I am pleased to say that I was able to add an inset collar, and on the first time! That was the first time that's happened. I got the entire thing finished today, even sewing three snaps in the front. I really like it. It works really well for Ken, and with the shorts. And not to brag, but I think it's one of the best things I've made, quality wise. There's a few minor imperfections, but for the most part it's surprisingly well done. Ken is certainly going to be wearing this outfit.
I haven't crossed him off the redress list just yet (something that I've let lapse), he still needs some minor touches to his clothes. Tomorrow I'm planning on making him some socks. Not sure what to do about shoes since I don't have any that will work for him, but he can go without for a while. Once he's gotten his socks I'll be able to move him from the Party Pad and into the collection.
That fabric was a really smart purchase, I got two dolls dressed from it! No pictures today of it, but once he has his sock I'll be sure to take some!

Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Final Stretch...

I'm still working on showing off everything I purchased the last time I was out. I'm hoping this is the last post about it. I'm tired of writing about it, almost as tired as you are of reading about it. This is one of the reasons why I'm backed up in posting my blogs. I have several all written and waiting to go, I just need to finish this one up so I can start getting them posted. So let's wrap this baby up! Like I said in the last post there were lots more clothes in this case compared to the first one (but the dolls in the first one were much better). While some of the clothes were worth it, some of them weren't. For our first picture we have some of the... less than stellar clothing pieces from the case. Here's the picture of what I'll be talking about:Starting at the top row on the far left we have a pair of pants. These kind of look to be G.I. Joe pants, but I could just be saying that because they're olive green. The problem with these is that there's a large hole in the inseam, roughly the size of a dime. It looks like it was a stain that eventually ate away at the fabric. I'm sure I could patch it, but it would just be easier to make my own pants. I have no intention of even trying to fix them. To the right of that is this scrap of red woven fabric. No clue what it is, or what it was originally. Maybe I was used as a type of hair elastic (even though there's no actual elastic in it). It's a bit of a fraying mess and headed for the trash bin the moment this is posted. I have no use for it, and neither could anyone else for that matter. Below that is this jacket. I actually kind of like it. I was doing some research, and found out it's actually a best buy jacket from the 70's. Sadly it's in a bit of rough shape. Weird thing is, all the damage is on the right side, the left side is near perfect. On the right side several seams have popped. A couple of them have been very inexpertly repaired, and have started to come undone. But the worst thing is the fabric on the back and around the armhole have ripped and been shredded. And I can't fix that, which stinks. I may end up using it as a pattern since I really like how it looks and fits. Shame it's so damaged though. I looked it up online, looks like I can get both the jacket and matching skirt in decent condition for not that much money. Maybe I'll end up getting a replacement sometime. Moving on, kind of above it and to the right we have this little dress. Since it's so small I want to say it was made for Buffy, but it actually might be too small for her. I think it's homemade and a very bold color mix. It's falling apart, and I have no intention of fixing it. It's interesting though, I might end up copying the colors and silhouette for a mod doll sometime. After that here's something interesting. Inside the case was this seemingly random bit of white tulle. Originally I thought it was some random scrap that ended up in the case, but it looked like it came from something. I was looking at the Miss America dress that came in the other case and when I spread the dress out it was missing a bit from the back. This was that piece! If there's any evidence that could prove these two cases came from the same place this is it. Don't think I'll be able to reattach it, but it's really not that noticeable that it's missing from the dress skirt, and I don't think I'll be using that dress much. And rounding out the top row, we have this length of hot pink tulle in a bow. I don't think it's actually for dolls, just one of those things that ended up in the pile that was shoved into the case. I'm planning on using it for sewing.
Moving into the second row, far left again we have a pink dress. Originally I thought it was some clone dress, with some added embellishments, but I found out it's actually vintage Barbie. It's the overdress to Barbie's Evening In from 1970. It's not that hard to find, but apparently the gold medallion on the front is hard to find. (Someone's selling just the medallion on Ebay for 14.99, which is what I paid for the entire case). I actually thought that the medallion was added to the dress by someone else. When you look at the inside it's got some sharp points, which I did not think a toy company could get away adding to a children's toy. Apparently they could. Mine has a couple of tears and popped seams, as well as some added sewing. Somewhere along the line some child didn't like the front of the skirt being opened and sewed it shut in some really big sloppy stitches. I've already taken them out, and it looks much better. There might still be life in this dress after all, I just have to repair it. After that we have the vintage pants to Ken's Pajamas. These are also ruined. The fabric in the back has totally worn away. It's all threadbare. Not much to do with this unless I find a something to use the fabric for. To the right of that we have this dress, or what's left of it. Some budding fashion designer took their scissors to it and did it a real disservice. I can tell that it's supposed to have a tulle overlay because what's left of it is peeking through the waist, but it's all been hacked away. The dress itself is in rough shape, with stains, tears, and just signs of lots of play. Not much I can do with it. I think it's the pink variation to a Superstar era dress, but there's not much I can do with it, it's pretty much totally ruined. And finally we have this orange polka dot dress. I think this is something someone made. I don't think it's something originally made by a company that was fixed until it looked like something home made. It's an unusual dress, incredibly big though. It fit Joe the best out of everyone I tried it on. Everyone else it was really big on, especially on the shoulders. It does have some interesting fading element going on at the top. Not sure if that's intentional or just happened, but it's kind of cool. I don't have plans to do anything with it. I just can't see it getting used in the collection in any way, shape, or form.
So that was the first group of stuff from the case, not a whole lot of stuff I'll be able to use. Really I only have plans to save the Evening In dress. Everything else is going to be packed away until I ether dump it or find ways to use what's salvageable. But there's still other stuff in the case, stuff that was actually worth it in my opinion. But before we get to it, here's a late addition. It's just a pair of pants that I forgot to include when I was taking the pictures. I think they're Ken pants, and homemade. They're in pretty good shape, and just need to have the snap fixed. I'm planning on fixing them eventually and added them to the Ken clothing bag. Can never have enough Ken clothes. Here's a photo of that:And here's the photo of the better (in my opinion) stuff from the case:Does anyone recognize anything? Lots of it should be familiar to Barbie collectors since it's mainly tagged Barbie (and friends) clothing. Again, starting at the top left, we have the pants to Evening In. The pants are tagged the overdress (above) is not. It's from searching for the outfit the pants came from that I found out that I had almost the entire outfit (missing the shoes and earrings). They are in need of repair. There's an crotch seam that's split, and the elastic has given up the ghost entirely. I'm going to repair them. The two outfit pieces are pretty heinous on their own, but for some reason they work well together. I really kind of like them, even though it's so not my usual ascetic! Below that we have the coat to Skipper's Chilly Chums (I found the dress in the previous case). Like the Evening In outfit, only one of the pieces was tagged (the coat) and I only identified the unlabeled vintage pieces from researching the tagged ones. The coat is in okay shape. It's missing the belt, one of the gold buttons in the front, and the closures. Also it has fabric bands around the sleeve holes, one is perfect, and one is missing. But the coat itself looks to be in good shape. There's no tears, rips, or worn spots. It's even a cute color. I guess it's before hot pink took over the line. (I think that was more of an 80's thing). To the right of that we have most of vintage Ken outfit "Casual" (Barbie got all the cool outfit names). It looks to be in decent shape. The pants are a little dingy, and there's a couple smallish holes, and it might be missing a back pocket (should there be two?), but it looks mostly in good shape. Zipper works and everything. The shirt looks to be in really great shape without any tears or rips. There are some stains on it, and it also looks a bit dingy. The hat however is perfect. I don't think it was used much at all. No pills, not rips, no scuffs. The hat is one of the pieces that really sold me on getting this case. It's just in really great shape. To the upper right of that we have the yellow (fleece?) bodysuit that belongs to Barbie's 1970's Scuba Do outfit. It's in okay shape with no stains or tears, but it has a lot of popped stitches. So it does need some work, I just wonder if I'm the person who's able to repair it decently. Below that we have a more recent Ken suit jacket, it's got a tag. "A Genuine Ken Fashion", which I think came around in the late 70's. It needs to be cleaned, and have the snap replaced, but it's in decent shape. Not sure what outfit it belongs to. If anyone knows feel free to pass along the info. Jumping back up to the right top we have a coat. It's not Mattel, and it's certainly homemade. But I just love it. It's a wonderful trench coat in this really interesting white fabric. It might look like it's princess seamed, but the red stitching is all just top stitching. It needs a little cleaning up, but this is the exactly what I mean when I want to make a trench coat. I think this is going to be really helpful figuring out the best pattern to make my own. Below that we have a very interesting piece. It's the coat to Barbie's "Open Road" outfit. It's in really great shape, although it's missing the things that holds the toggle buttons closed. It does have a few things that I need to repair on it as well. One of the shoulder seams has come undone, also the armhole on one side is open. I'm not really sure the best way to fix it, but I'm sure I'll come up with something. It's really in nice shape for vintage Barbie, and it's a lovely coat. And finally we have the cape to Miss America. It's in okay shape, there's a couple spots where the red "velvet" has worn away, but there's no holes or anything. When I first got it one of the straps was broken, but I've fixed it before I took the picture.
And that's everything! Ugh, that was a lot of typing, but worth it all in my opinion. It's only because I was planning on typing all this stuff up that I ended up doing some extra research and finding out some things I wouldn't have otherwise.
Not a bad haul for 20 bucks. Now let's just hope I can use some of it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Changing Gears

I had a terrible night's sleep last night. And it's not even my weird sleep issue's fault!
Last night at 12:30 we had a thunder storm (I know because I looked at my phone to check the time because it woke me). It was short, sudden, and severe. It knocked out the power, which was fine to me, if I was going to lose power I'd prefer it at night when I'm not using it anyway. It also knocked out the phone line, which is normally not a big deal, except that the house alarm is set up thru the phone line. And it wasn't happy that the phone was down, so it alerted us, by chirping twice EVERY FIVE SECONDS. (I'm seriously not exaggerating) It was terrible. And wasn't a noise that I could easily tune out. Even thought I'm upstairs and down a hall I could hear it clear as a bell. I had to suffer though it since we couldn't figure out a way to turn it off. So it went off all night. Eventually I had to put in my headphones and use music to drown it out. I was able to fall asleep, but it was not any real restful sleep. Not a pleasant experience. If that happens again I'm ripping the system out of the wall.
To make matters worse, I couldn't even use the (much quieter) day to rest even though I was shuffling around like a zombie. (P.S. the power came back in the early morning) Today my sister and her husband were coming over with a moving truck (sort of) to store some of their bigger stuff here for their upcoming move next week. So my morning was spent cleaning, organizing, and generally making the house look presentable. I was the only one doing any cleaning, but to be fair I was the only one in the house. Everyone else went up to Raleigh to help my sister move the stuff. I was... left behind. I thought that I was left behind to specifically clean, but when everyone came back they were all surprised that I had cleaned. I guess I was such a jerk in the morning that instead of asking my help in Raleigh they decided to just leave me alone. Anyway, I was able to get the house cleaned up in not a whole lot of time. Luckily it was still mostly clean from Christmas, and I did most of the Living Room the other day. I was able to take several rest breaks during the day, and I was still done well before they showed up. I was even able to make chocolate chip cookies before any of them were back. I think it was around six they showed up, and they left around 11 in the morning. My father and brother-in-law unpacked and moved everything they brought. I didn't even have to help out then. I was expecting to be called into duty, but after they all showed up, they vanished and the next thing I knew they were done with the unpacking. I'm not complaining, I was pretty tired at that point. It was a long day, but a short night. We all had dinner together, and ended up sitting around chatting for several hours. At nine they left to head back to Raleigh. They move next week, so this was the last time I'll see them for a while. They've offered to let me stay with them several times, but I'm not sure if I'll take them up on their offer, still nice of them to extend one however.
After they left we all split up and went about our business. We still have the truck in our driveway, my parents are returning it tomorrow.
But that's tomorrow, luckily because I'm sure they're all as tired as I am. It's been a long day, and I'm bushed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Go on..."

Notice how on yesterday's post there wasn't much of an ending? (It really just stops) That's because I'm not finished sharing what I got. I was standing there with the pink case in hand super excited to find it when my father asked me, "What about the black one?". It was a total "Huh" moment for me because I only saw the pink one, and when I found it all my focus was on that one. But my father did see something that I clearly did not. On the shelf somewhat behind the pink case was, another case, a black one. Here, I'll let the pictures show you what I found:See? It was another Barbie case, but this one's older. This one is vintage, vintage. I did some research and it's one of the earliest cases from 1961. It's made by the ponytail corporation, but that's pretty obvious since it's written right on it. I think it's really cute, and I love how it's not PINK! I just love the graphics on the front of the Barbie dolls wearing vintage clothes, even though they are in the wrong colors. There's Commuter Set in green, Winter Holiday in orange and green (*vomit*), Suburban Shopper in red (this case predates Busy Morning), and a trench coat (which I'm not familiar with. Was it one of the unpronounced images from the vintage boxes?). It's in relatively good shape, with some small tears and some paint wears (I hate when I rhyme like that). The accessory box is also missing. For some reason there's also some extra paint on the front image, on the left side, mainly on the Winter Holiday panel. Not sure where it's from, or how to remove it. I left the price sticker on in the pictures. So you can see that it cost 15 dollars. A bit expensive for my typical purchases, especially since I already planning on getting that other case. I did toy with the idea of just getting the cheaper one, but after opening it and seeing what's inside I decided to ultimately get it (and after checking that we could afford it). I won't leave you in suspense, here's the inside of the case:Yes, there was a doll inside, but she's not one that will be joining the collection. I wish there had been a vintage doll in there, even if her face was messed up (although if she had been really vintage it would have killed me to know she was damaged like Skipper and Buffy was). The doll in the case is Miko, and could be either Island fun or Tropical, I really don't know. She's a pretty doll, and I've always liked seeing her in other people's pictures, but I'm not planning on keeping her. The plan is to sell her after she gets some hair help. She has super long hair, and it's in pretty decent shape (all things considered), but it's a little tangled. Other than that she looks to be in decent shape. Her dress however has seen better days. It's quick curl Barbie's dress and has been seriously loved to death. Like, there's no way I can fix it, it's falling apart. I may be able to do something with the pink checked fabric, but everything else is unsalvageable. So while the doll isn't something that I'm planning on adding to the collection, in this case it's the clothes that made me want it. Like the other case most of them need some sort of repair, which is understandable since both of these cases originated in the same source. How else would you explain several coordinated pieces being found in each case? I'm only going to share one photo of the clothes today since I'm going to split this post up over a couple of days. So here's the photo of some of them:In this lot, I recognize four things. I'll identify them when I describe them. Starting on the upper left, we have a green mod shirt. I believe this is a clone shirt. It's in need of repair since one of the straps on the side has come undone, also one of the snaps in the back has come unattached. I've already fixed this shirt and repaired the back snaps (even reinforcing another one), those clone clothes really did not have decent sewing on the snaps. I'm surprised as many of them held as they did. To the right of that we have a white, orange, and yellow geometric print pleated skirt. Which I love (I have yet to meet a pleat I didn't like). I believe it's home made, and really well done. This is one of my favorite pieces from the case. It's missing a snap in the back. I already fixed it, giving it an entirely brand new snap. This one might end up in the collection on someone, or Charlotte might keep it. To the right of that we have a knitted sweater. Finally something kitted that should be knitted. It's cute, but it needs some repairs, which is something that I don't know how to do. So this might end up being stuck elsewhere since I don't want it unraveling on me. Interesting pattern though. To the right of that we have the shirt to Mego's Bionic Woman. I actually didn't recognize this at first. I thought it was a cute guys shirt and was in the process of repairing it for Joe (it fits wonderfully except the sleeves are too short) when I got the feeling that I've seen it before. For some reason the Bionic Woman popped into my head as to who it belonged to and a quick searched proved that I was correct. It's missing the patch on it, but it's the shirt all right. I've already repaired it. Some of the stitching on the right sleeve had come undone and the red ribbon was unraveling. I was able to ease the ribbon back into place and carefully sew the sleeve back together. It actually came out really decent. I also fixed a snap that had come undone on one side. It's weird, this is the second Bionic Woman outfit piece I've gotten in the past few weeks (Darci's shoes are also Bionic Woman). Starting on the second row, on the left we have this fleece coat. It's so very 70's and has a Hong Kong label inside. It's very interesting with it's bright colors and fake leather interior. It's got some wear, but nothing too bad. I did have to reattach a snap and tack down the collar on the left. It's a bit too bold for the collection. It's a bit big for Barbie, but the sleeves are too short for Ken, so I'm not really sure who it's for. But it's not like these clone clothes are known for their impeccable fit. To the right of that we have a pair of shorts. I believe these are home made, nothing too special to note about these, other than the fact this is the first thing that I didn't have to repair from this case. I did have to turn it right side out however. Below that we have the shawl/arm wrap for Pretty Changes Barbie. It's the only piece of her outfit in the case. It's in okay shape, but that's not a doll I'm planning on collecting, so I'm not really sure what to do with it. To the right of that we have a pair of knitted pants. Which must be the most uncomfortable things to wear short of a knitted tank top. They're a really odd fit. Charlotte can wear them, but they are super big on her thighs. I don't know who they were knitted for, but they could have kept them. I have no intention of using them. They are a pretty color though. Should have make a sweater instead of these pants. To the right of that we have a pair of dark blue pants. I think they're Ken pants from the 80's? They're in decent shape, but need to have the snap replaced, one half is missing. They're made from an unusual fabric it's a slippery woven material. I haven't bothered repairing them yet. To the right of that we have Sweet Sixteen's original dress. It's in pretty decent shape. The rope tie at the waist seems to be shorter than it should be, but that seems to be the only issue is has. At least now when I get the Sweet Sixteen head a body I'll have her original dress to dress her in. And finally we have what I think is a ballerina skirt. I kind of think this is a 80's Barbie piece. For some reason I think this is something from the Barbie and the Rocker's era. At least it looks that way to me, it could be a shredded ballerina skirt for all I know, it's just the "tears" look a little more intentional than from overuse.
But that's enough typing for today, the next part will have to wait!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

*My Barbie Sense is Tingling*

This is a continuation from yesterday's post. Out final stop of the day was the Christian Second Hand store (it's usually Hobby Lobby, but I'm still on that self imposed hiatus). The first place I usually check out is their small antique and collectable area. While I was walking over to it, I saw something. It was the back of a box. It caught my eye because it was a very familiar pink. It almost looked like the back of a Barbie case. I kept getting closer, hoping it was. Turns out it wasn't. It was a box for a doll, but it was one of those common porcelain dolls. I guess my Barbie-senses are off. They are tingling when they shouldn't be. But when I turned the corner in the section I saw a really familiar pink, one with a graphic that I immediately recognized. I'll show you:Did you see? Turns out my Barbie senses aren't wrong, they were just not honing in exactly to where they should be. (It was off about 6 feet) The case should look somewhat familiar to long time readers, because I have it already. Except the one I have is the Canadian version (and in much worse shape). I got it last June with my American Girl Doll. This one is in decent shape, but isn't perfect. But for what they were charging for it, it was certainly worth it. They only wanted five dollars for it! I was all ready to get it when I wondered if there was anything inside it. I opened it and saw this:Interesting right? I'll start off with the bad news, yes that is Malibu Skipper and a Buffy doll in there. The bad news in that is both of them have been attacked by mice. They really did a number on Buffy. To quote my brother, "She looks like a burn victim.". But there's some good news, while their faces are total losses, both of their bodies are in really good shape (and I checked in the store, Skipper was from Japan). I've been wanting to add both Malibu Skipper and a Tutti doll to the collection for a while now, and these are a decent start. It's going to take more work since I'm going to have to hunt down the heads and buy them (and patience), but since I'm just buying the heads it might be easier than finding the whole doll. I've already removed their original heads and washed the bodies. I put the heads into the spares box, but there's not much I can do with them, the most I'll be able to use them for is a hair donor. I just can't throw anything vintage away, no matter how poor shape it's in!
There was also some clothing in the case too as you can see. I recognized a few things. It's a real mix of everything. Mattel from the 70's, 80's, 90's, homemade, and other companies. It's a real mix of generations. Most things have seen a lot of play, and most of them need repairs. Here's a picture of all that:What I recognized was the dress to Miss America (ironically I have Miss America, but she came from a different local store) and the skirt from day to night Barbie. I ended up finding out that the pink and yellow dress on the upper right is a Skipper dress from an outfit called Chilly Chums from 1969. It needs some repairs, but seems to be in decent shape. I believe the yellow and orange jumper is also Barbie's, I think it's a best buy outfit, but haven't been able to find it yet. The white tank top and the white patterned shirt with the purple fur collar I believe are both modern Mattel (the tank top doesn't have a tag, but the other one has the pink Barbie logo tag inside). The purple Ken sized shirt might also be Mattel from the 70's, but I have no actual clue. I don't think anything else is actual Mattel. The orange bathrobe has a shoulder seam coming undone, and is untagged. The pink dress in the middle I think it homemade, and is bigger than Barbie. Next to that we have a knitted tank top, which is just as sexy as it sounds! Underneath that we have this smock. Buffy was wearing it when I found her, it's much too large for her though. It's marked "Mandy" on the front. Has anyone heard of a doll (or maybe it's not a doll) named Mandy? Sorry for jumping around with identifying everything. It's just quicker this way. If anyone knows anything I don't (or if I identified something wrong), feel free to tell me. I have lots of repairs to do on these, except I might not bother repairing some of them. I have no intention of using some of them.
Not too shabby for five bucks right? Although I do wish Skipper and Buffy's faces weren't mouse bitten, that would have made it a much better buy (although they would have probably raised the prices had they been in better shape).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hey!

Well I won't leave you all in suspense, I didn't die in the night. So good news! I'm still feeling the effects from it today. It's better than last night, but some things are still lingering, basically I feel a little fuzzy still, there's a minor headache, and I'm tired. All annoying, but nothing too extreme. Basically it feels like I'm going through another one of my bad sleep cycles. I'm going to taking it easy for the next several days, I don't want to overdo anything and make it worse.
But even though I was taking the day to rest, when I got offered the chance to go out, I took it. What can I say, last time we went out we only got to one of the second hand stores, and when I don't visit all three I feel so incomplete. (A lousy excuse, but I have a head injury, humor me.) A short trip this time, we did most of our grocery shopping the last time we were out. So on the agenda we had the three second hand stores, plus a quick trip to a grocery store to pick up a few things we didn't get last time. We only had an hour to spend, so we had to go, go, go!
Up first was the Salvation Army, which was a total bust. Neither my Dad or I got anything there. Which happens, we were in and out there pretty quickly. After that was the Goodwill. This is where it got a little scary. Nothing scary about the inside of the store, but the outside. Yesterday we had some winter weather, our first of the season I think. We got snow and hail, about a half inch total. Most of it's already melted by the time we went out, but only the stuff that was in direct sunlight. The stuff in the shade was still all wintery. This included the sidewalk leading onto the store. I stepped onto it and noticed that it quite slick. It wouldn't have been much of a problem had I been wearing the right shoes, but out of habit I was wearing my boating shoes. While they are cute and comfortable, they also don't have the strongest traction. It really wasn't that bad, and I normally wouldn't have been so concerned (even though I do hate slipping on ice), I was worried about falling and hitting my head. Don't want to add another issue on top of the one I'm already dealing with. But I was able to navigate the short sidewalk without too much trouble.
Inside the store the toy section looked pretty stocked, but I didn't see any Barbie dolls at all. They usually get snatched up pretty quick around here. I was walking around the rest of the store when I found this... chair. I think it's originally a jewelry box/picture frame combo. That would explain the drawer and shelf thing it's going on. I just saw it as a cute spring chair for Charlotte. Yes, I'm still collecting chairs for her. At the rate I'm going she will have one for every month. Storage is going to be a nightmare. It's a little more homey than I normally like, but I'm going to keep it exactly as it is. Well, I'm not going to paint it. I do plan on change a few things on it. Since this chair will be used when it's a bit warmer out, I am a little concerned about how the paint would react to Charlotte when she sitting on it (although, she rarely actually sits in these chairs, she's usually elsewhere in the room) so I'm going to make a cushion for her to sit on instead of just the painted wood. I'm also thinking about doing something with the missing back. While all the picture frame backing is missing, the sliders to hold it in place are all still there, so I could easily make something to fit. I just need to decide if I want to make an image, or try to pad it. I have time to decide, it's still far too cold to switch over to a spring chair just yet! This chair cost only a dollar, which sealed my getting it. I was thinking about it, if it was more, I probably wouldn't have gotten it.
I'm going to end this post here. I'm going to split up the final store over the next couple of days, yes I got enough to warrant that. I'd do more now, but I'm exhausted, head injuries take a lot out of you (and this was a minor one). Plus, I'm not really going to be that exciting for the next couple of day, so I'll need something to keep everyone's intrest!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why???

I started off Sunday trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Not because I didn't have anything to do, but the exact opposite. I have about four different projects in the works, most of them started (or re-started) from my Hobby Lobby trip. I do plan on getting to them all eventually, I just need to decide which to work on today. I eventually settled with remaking the tennis dress. It was the reason why I went to Hobby Lobby in the first place, and now that the other dress I started was done I felt confident that the pattern should work. So I got to work. It went together pretty easily, except the skirt was a bit of a pain. The bodice edge is rounded, but the skirt is straight, so it's hard to attach them together. I hope eventually that will become easier.
So I managed to get most of it finished, but when I was adding the second snap I ran into trouble. I guess I didn't take into consideration how wide Living Barbie's hips actually are. So it was a bit too tight in the hips and waist. The dress is mostly finished, but I think I'm going to have to remake it for a better fit. Not really sure what to do with this newest dress. It does fit Charlotte (bit shocked to learn that her hips are actually smaller than Living Barbie's), but it's not really her style. I think I'm going to store it in the spares bag, not that I'll ever need two of this particular dress. But I guess if Living Barbie wants a tennis partner (do they have partners in tennis?), they'll have matching dresses.

But remaking that dress is going to have to wait until another day. I'm done for today, because... I gave myself a minor concussion. Weird, right? I was putting something away in my room, and I dropped something behind my dresser, I pulled it away from the wall and bent down to pick it up, and when I stood up I smacked my head into a doorknob. Honestly, I didn't even think I hit it that hard, but I have the classic symptoms. It's very minor so I should be back to normal after a couple days of resting. It's just weird, I thought my skull was thicker than that!
So I'll see everyone tomorrow (hopefully).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A dress fit for a Queen!

Okay, I wasn't totally honest about yesterday. I did manage to sit down in the late evening with my newly purchased supplies. A few dolls joined me as well. Ken and Living Barbie came over from the Naked Party Pad, and Charlotte also joined them from wherever she was at that particular moment. Each of them were there for the same reason, for me to decide who's project to work on first. I had bought supplies for Ken and Living Barbie, but after buying that fabric yesterday, I was wondering if it would work for a cute spring dress for Charlotte. I looked over all three and ended up picking the project that interested me most. Obviously Charlotte won. There are some definite perks for being favorite around here. I do plan on get to the other doll's projects eventually, they'll just have to wait a bit longer.
For Charlotte's dress I imagined a cute spring dress with a drop waist, but was still fitted in the stomach area. I figured this would be the perfect time to fix the princess seamed bodice before I started making the tennis dress again. I added a bit of width to the bottom of the back piece and got to work. I sewed the entire bodice last night before I called it quits. I decided that it wasn't going to work for Charlotte, just wasn't her style. These things happen. I stopped sewing for the night, leaving the bodice on Charlotte.
But I guess I wasn't finished with it just yet, Charlotte however was. I still kind of liked the bodice, but just not on Charlotte. Instead I grabbed the wonky eyed Fashion Queen from the Naked Party Pad and tried it on her. It kind of worked on her. She also fit the bodice a little better. She became my new fit model.
I wasn't finished sewing the bodice since I changed models. I needed to take in the waist a little bit to make up for the fact that Charlotte's waist to hips are a little more curved and the vintage body is a bit more abrupt in it's body shape. So I needed to add some darts to the back to give it a sharper fit. I did have some difficulty of that because if I took too much in, it wouldn't close in the back. I fixed that by only using half a dart in the back. I'm not sure how to explain it, but if you imagine the dart is a diamond, I only did the top half. The bottom half is left open. This seemed to solve the fit issues, although I did have to go back and make the dart smaller. I originally made it too big and couldn't get it to close in the back. I'm going to have to be careful with that. It's a recipe for disaster.
After I finished the bodice I turned my attention to the skirt. I was planning on using a pleated skirt for this dress. I made it up the usual way, except this time instead of soaking it in water and letting dry to hold the pleats I just ironed it. This is quicker, and seems to hold the pleats just as well as using water. Since I didn't need to color fast this fabric I figured that this would be easier. Side note: I really need a new iron, this one is quickly becoming harder and harder to use. Each time I think it's going to be the last time it works, but it manages to warm up again. Anyway, I attached the skirt and even managed to finish it today. I kind of really like it. I took it off Fashion Queen and tried it on several other dolls to see who I liked it on best. For some reason it only looked good on Fashion Queen. And it's not all Fashion Queens because I tried it on the other one I have and it didn't look as good. So Wonky Eyes Fashion Queen got to keep it.
I gave her a pair of brown Keri Mitchell shoes. They don't match the outfit, but I'm really running out of decent shoes. All the best ones are already taken. I'm not really sure what to do about her hair since she's supposed to be wigged. I do have two wigs, but they don't really work with this look, also since she's got those neck splits I worry about putting pressure on her head pushing the wigs on. I did try using some of the same fabric to make a headband, but any more of the fabric added to this look makes it look weird. It's such a masculine print that adding more just ruins the look. I'm thinking that maybe she will get a headband, but using a ribbon that either matches the blue or the yellow. But right now she's going without, that's a down the road addition.
After all this talking here she is in her new dress:Another doll dressed! Although it's a bit of a shame that someone else got to use that fabric before Ken did. I bought it for him! But there's still plenty left to make his shirt.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Why hello again, old Frienimy"

I was back on the pattern posting trail this morning. I got all four finished and posted on Etsy this morning. Here's hoping something sells, haven't had much luck with that this week. So far only one Etsy sale so far. I know that they're being seen since I've been getting a lot of notifiers for my items being saved as favorites, but nobody actually purchasing them. This week has been a bit frustrating in terms of sales since I've posted a lot of new stuff, but have only made two sales. But I'm trying to stay positive. Sometimes these weeks will happen.
Anyway, like I said yesterday, I did visit Hobby Lobby today, using up my one free visit for this month. Now that I've used that up, I'm going to have to hold fast and deal with any supply shortages that come up for the rest of the month. Eek! Here's hoping I don't have any big issues come up for the next two weeks.
Since I was using my one trip today, I needed to make it count. I was looking for three things today. A spool of red ribbon, a tennis charm to add to the dress to help it read as more of a tennis dress, and some white fabric with some sort of small red print (for a different doll project). I won't leave you in suspense, I only found the red ribbon. I once again was disappointed by the stock of Hobby Lobby compared to my sewing dreams, certainly did not miss that happening. But while they didn't have two of the three things I was looking for I didn't leave there empty handed.
The first thing I picked up was the red ribbon. Out of the three things I was looking for that one was the more important to me. I would have been most mad if they were sold out. They weren't so I got it. In my pursuit for the white fabric with a small red pattern I scanned the fabric section. Saw a couple new fabrics (including the most adorable Raggedy Ann and Andy fabric that I must find a project for), but I didn't see any fabric that would work for the project I was shopping for. In fact I don't think I saw any white fabric with red patterns on it. There's not a whole lot of white fabric with patterns on it there. Not really sure why. I also looked for the blue and white striped fabric I mentioned for Ken a while back. Either they sold out or I imagined it because they didn't have any. I wasn't planning on getting any since my dying experiment didn't turn out decent, but I still looked. I did find a fabric that could work though. It's white with light blue and yellow plaid on it. I just saw it and it looked like it could really work for Ken's shirt. So I took a risk and got it. It was an expensive risk since it was 7.99 a yard. I guess I have expensive tastes. I only got a half yard since I just plan on using it for the Ken shirt, if that. After getting that cut out I made a hasty retreat from the fabric section, worried the longer I lingered the more I'd find.
I headed over to the jewelery section to see if I could find a tennis charm that I could use on the dress like a fake pin. And they didn't have anything remotely related to tennis. I guess we're not much of a tennis town. I saw lots of other sports, but no tennis. Instead I picked up some charms for a different project, Joe's Steampunk costume. Yes, I still am planning that, eventually. I've been thinking about it more, and needed a couple things to have all the supplies on hand. I ended up picking up this heart lock and key set (half off). I just needed the lock, and it's not exactly what I wanted, but it will work. I was hoping to find a regular looking lock in bronze to match the key on Charlotte's costume, but we can't get everything you want. I also picked up this pair of jewelry bezels. I plan on turning one of them into a pocket watch for Joe's costume. This wasn't on sale, but finally getting the last thing I needed for his costume was worth it. Now when I'm procrastinating on making it, I can't use "I need to get some supplies" as a reason for putting it off. One less excuse means I might actually start making it!
But not today, I didn't get out shopping until late, so I wasn't home with my purchases until the evening. And we had more pressing matters at hand. My sister called my mother while we were out to announce she would like help moving some of her stuff to our house, tomorrow, and after that she was going to come visit for a couple of hours. Which meant I was going to have to get into gear and fix up the house, quickly. It hadn't gotten dirty since Christmas, but there's sweeping, dusting, and general putting stuff away for company. Which I had to get done quickly, and alone. I started working in the Living Room. I managed to get it all organized before my sister's plans changed. She's not doing the move until Thursday, so I have time to clean, compared to just doing the best I can in the least amount of time.
She's so thoughtful in that way...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Well, it finally happened....

My father went back to the night shift last night. For the past month he's been working the day shift so he could get trained on another machine. We knew that it was temporary switch, but tried to ignore that fact and just enjoy the day shift. But after the training was done, and they felt confident that my father was doing a decent enough job on the new machine they switched him back. So we're all back to dealing with the night shift, and it's terrible. I feel bad for my father, working nights are hard, I've done it before.
But back to me, I didn't post any patterns for sale today. I woke up late, there's no sunlight to take decent pictures, and my computer's been super laggy all morning. So with those three factors working against me I decided to skip posting anything today. I'll finish up what I have already worked on tomorrow, and I'll make up this skip day sometime next week. Really, I'm the only one who's affected when I change my schedule like that. So not that big of a deal.
Since I wasn't working with patterns, I decided to work with the dolls today. I went over to the Naked Party Pad and surveyed it's inhabitants. I ended up taking Living Barbie from there. For some reason I've really been gravitating towards her the most when working with the undressed dolls. I think it's because since she's the newest addition I haven't has as many unsuccessful attempts at dressing her than everyone else. But even though I had less sewing failures with her, I still didn't know how I wanted to dress her. I did have that idea I mentioned a while back, but I still haven't found fabric anything like what I wanted. I didn't think I was being that picky about it. But supply limitations like that means I'm going to have to think of something else to dress her in.
Which brings me to a major problem, (which happens a lot) it's just that I'm really sure exactly what I want for her. I have plenty of ideas I don't want, but haven't found out what I do want yet. Right now the guideline for her is the same starting point as everyone else, era appropriate day wear. After that it gets a little fuzzy. I did make that peasant type dress for her before her head arrived, but once she was completed, and I tried on Talking P.J.'s stock dress I decided I liked P.J.'s dress better and nixed the peasant dress. But I didn't like P.J.'s dress enough to keep her in it, I just liked it enough to discard that other dress. Also I've been on the fence if I should dress her in something that reflects her ability to pose more than the average vintage Barbie. Perhaps something sporty?
Then it hit me, a tennis dress. That was certainly sporty, it was also something worn in the 70's, and it was pretty preppy so it would work for my personal ascetic (pleated skirts and knee socks? I am so there!), and I should have a tennis racket around here somewhere. I started looking online for images, and I found one of several variations on a classic tennis dress. I looked them over and selected one that I thought would work for her, and I could do. I needed to use the princess seam dress again, shortened with a pleated skirt. I tested out how the pattern would look by putting the jacket I made with that pattern on Living Barbie. I noticed that it was sitting pretty high on her waist. Since I had to change the pattern back to a back closure I figured that I could also tweak it to make it sit better on her waist.
So I got to work, undoing part of what I did last time I tweaked the pattern. While I was doing that I was thinking about the tennis dress. I was planning on making it totally white, but would that be too boring? Also would that reflect the 1970's? So I decided I needed some color in it. I just couldn't figure it out quickly. So I let her shoes decide. Since she's going to need sneakers I started looking in my flats bag for what color sneakers I had. Most of what I have are blue, but I wasn't sold on blue, especially since I didn't have exact matching blue fabric. Eventually I ended up picking a pair of white slip on shoes. I know, not a color, but I was going to use color in the socks. I ended up picking red. I was going to make the front panel of the bodice red, and use some red ribbon on the skirt, as well as the red knee socks. I got to work, first color fasting all the red material since I couldn't colorfast it when I was done in case it stained the white parts when it was all sewed together.
I made pretty decent progress, getting it all sewn up today. But when I was done with all of the sewing I tried it on Living Barbie for the last time. It fit decently in the waist... but was gaping open in the back. Since it was lower in the waist than normal I didn't allow enough material so it would cover up her backside. There was nothing I could do to fix this. I was going to remake the entire thing. I would have started it tonight, but wouldn't you know I used up the last of my red ribbon on it. Darn it. I actually thought about that when I was cutting it, "I hope it fits because I can't redo it." Funny how that works out.
So I made a decision. I was going to use my one Hobby Lobby pass this month getting some more ribbon. But, only if ribbon is on sale this week. I checked, and it was. I'm expecting to go out then, so I'll be able to stop in then.
I was really hoping to avoid going at all this month, but then this happened. If I hadn't made the dress first I would have skipped it since for so long I would get materials for projects that never end up happening, but I made the dress, and I like it I just need to remake it so it can fit. Oh well, I gave myself this cheat for a reason.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hump Day

Another early morning today. I will say that I managed to get all four patterns posted in record time. It didn't hurt that I had all four finished yesterday, and my computer wasn't stalling every thirty seconds. So I was able to churn them out and get them on the site pretty quickly. And it's a good thing too since I had to get out pretty early again. I needed to get those two patterns that sold out into the mail.
It wasn't that so easily done. I needed to get some envelopes to mail them in. Since I've started really working on posting patterns I have quickly burned through the small surplus I had, and every store for some reason has been sold out. I checked three different stores today trying to find some. The first store was sold out, the second store (Staples) was charging almost a dollar each and I won't pay that, but the third store, our local Dollar Tree had some. I picked up four packs, and there's two in each pack, so it should last me a little while. I also picked up a package of clear elastics. I know I've mentioned they're terrible, when I bought that clear, white, and black pack, but they do help keep certain doll shoes on. And even when they snap they still hold somewhat. And at a dollar for 100 it will work for the time being. That's all I got, today wasn't a shopping day. It was a get that stuff into the mail day. Which I did, they're heading off to their respective buyers. I'm all caught up on getting stuff into the mail, until something else sells that is.
Back at home I started working on tomorrow's patterns. I managed to get two completely done. The third one still needs to be photographed, and I need to pick a new fourth one. I was writing the ad and checked to see if the pattern was all there, and it turns out it wasn't. In fact most of it was missing. I'm not really sure what to do with it. This is the first time the majority of a pattern is missing. It's a shame because I thought this pattern had a somewhat decent chance of selling. I guess it's just one of those things. I would have started already done it, except that I'm also charging my camera batteries. I'm not going to bother finishing them today, the sunlight's gone now. I can do finish them tomorrow morning. Back to the daily grind tomorrow. Here's hoping something will sell tomorrow, nothing sold today. (Sad Face).
Oh well, tomorrow's another day, right?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Let's get that out of the way first. Hope everyone's had a good day. Charlotte was my Valentine again this year. But we didn't do much, she didn't even get a special outfit for the day. I can't remember if she got one last year or not, and I'm too lazy to check. She's been feeling the brunt of my creative ebb like the rest of the collection. She hasn't gotten a planned outfit since Christmas, and her last unplanned outfit was back in January. So for today she's back wearing one of her older outfits, her red pea coat, after she took back the red gloves and red hatbox from Mary Clair (who will get them back when she's done with them). At least she's not stuck in her Christmas dress. Ashley, Mary Clair, and Midge are still wearing their Christmas outfits. I do plan on redressing them, it's just when I made their dresses for Christmas I liked them so much more than what they were wearing they stayed in them. I will remake them in non-Christmas fabrics, I just haven't found the right fabrics to do so just yet. I am limited by my fabric stores.
Even though today is a holiday I wasn't able to lounge about, this is a working week. I did manage to get all four patterns posted over on Etsy in the morning. And I'm pleased to say I've had another one sell. Not one of the new ones, but one that I posted last sales week. It wasn't very much so I'm not able to increase my counter. Actually the sale of this one is going to go towards paying my Etsy bill, it keeps growing and growing. I guess I'm officially an Etsy seller. Should I update my resume? Might as well have something new on it.
Anyway, I got my patterns all set to go for tomorrow as well. I do like this new system, even though it's sometimes hard to find the motivation to get my rear in gear.
Hmmm, that's about all to say. I still haven't heard back from the doll lot person. Although I checked again today, the ad is still there, and claims to be expiring today as well. Maybe that's just how it always looks. Having not heard back from them isn't filling me with confidence, but I'm not going to give up just yet. I'm going to keep working until I get to my 200 dollar goal then contact them again. If after that I never hear from them I'll assume that they are no longer selling and move on. And if that happens I'll be upset, but at least I'll have 200 dollars to console myself with. That's a lot of retail therapy, although I'd rather just hear from that person.
I'll keep you updated.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Busy day in retrospect

I'm back to the daily grind of posting patterns for sale. I think I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. One week of posting stuff, followed by a week of focusing on creative stuff. It does mean that it's going to take longer to potentially reach my goal, but I am now much less likely to get burned out and give up. Slow and steady wins the race and whatnot. So today was a posting stuff day. It went quickly, mainly because I did all the prep work yesterday. I've decided since I have few precious hours where my patterns are at the top of the page and more likely to be seen the quicker I can get them posted in the day the better. So yesterday I wrote the ads, took the pictures, and edited them. All I had to do today was plug in all the info into Etsy itself. So I was able to get all four ads posted in record time this morning.
And it's a good thing I got them all posted quickly because I didn't have much time to spare this morning in order to get the most of my day. I had to go out pretty early in the morning. Not my usual visiting all over I typically do, today was just to go to the post office and finally get those two patterns into the mail. The person's money order arrived on Saturday, so today was the first chance for me to get it in the mail and out of my hands. I'm pleased to say that's done and taken care of. I've already e-mailed the person to let them know it's on its way to them.
When I was back at home I started working on the patterns I'm going to post tomorrow. I got all four of their ads written, but stalled when taking the pictures. I put it off until all the decent sunlight was gone. I'm going to have to do that in the morning. At least I made a decent start for tomorrow.
Not much to report on the doll front, even though it's a selling week I can still work on doll stuff when my posts are done. I did some more research, but didn't find anything promising. I did try something for Living Barbie, but decided against making it. I'm sure she will get dressed eventually, I just hope it's sooner than later. I've had some of those dolls since October, and some even earlier than that!
Also, I've had something else sell! Ironically a pattern, but not from Etsy. It was one of those Blythe patterns that I bought a while back. I've been holding onto them forever, and one finally caught someone's eye! So I'm happy to say that I'm able to move the thermometer counter up a whole notch, exciting right? Hopefully this ushers in another week of successful sales, even though I'm trying to keep in mind some selling weeks won't be as profitable as the week before, but I can dream right?
And finally, remember how I talked about e-mailing the seller when I had two hundred dollars saved up? Well that little time frame got tossed out the window today. I was looking at the ad again (which I do from time to time to keep motivated). I clicked on the contact the seller button to just see what happens. Honestly I was wondering if this whole site was a scam and this is where they tried to get you. "In order to contact the seller please join the site and send up your credit card info", but it was nothing like that. Instead I saw something just as upsetting, the fact that the ad was expiring today. I did check other ads and they weren't all like that. I was in a bit of a coin toss. I'm nowhere near my two hundred goal so my actually getting them is way off in the distance, but if the seller thinks there's no interest and lets the ad lapse I won't be able to get them. Eventually I talked to my mom about it, and she voted to contact the person. So I sent a simple e-mail, expressing interest, but clearly stating I wasn't able to purchase them yet (but working on raising the funds), and wondering if they were going to re-list or post it onto another site. I haven't heard back from them yet, but here's hoping when (hopefully not if) they contact me it's favorable news.
I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I almost bought a doll today.

But I ended up not, therefor preserving my fifty dollars that I have already saved for those other dolls. Now before you congratulate me on my resolve, it was really the seller's fault why I didn't buy it.
I'll explain. Last night I was over on Etsy, checking out what was new. I saw an ad for a doll that I want, at a decent price. Since I'm saving up for that lot of dolls I didn't get her, also I wasn't totally sure of her condition. So instead I added her to my favorites, like I usually do. Maybe down the line I'll get her. So this morning I awoke to an Etsy message from the seller, noting my interest and mentioning a possibility of a lowered price. (They also mentioned their price being somewhat flexible in their ad too). They sent me their e-mail and phone number (which was kind of bizarre, I really don't need a number). I decided to e-mail them, asking first my question about the doll's condition. I tried to be nice, and really explain what I was concerned about since I don't think the seller really was that familiar with dolls. I got a curt e-mail reply telling me that the doll didn't have the issue I was asking about. I was a little put off by the blunt reply, but I know not everyone subscribes to the "try to be as kind as possible" e-mail philosophy that I try to do. But at least it was good news. So I e-mailed them back asking them the best they could do for the doll.
I got a reply back telling me that since the doll was new to the site, and they were getting some interest about her the best they could do was the listed 18 dollars, which was the original listed price. I wouldn't have asked for a better price had they not mentioned it TWICE, once directly to me. Talk about leading on a buyer. I know they said possible lowered price, but if they had no intention of actually talking anything off, the shouldn't have said that to me, or been a little nicer when explaining why they weren't planning on making me a better price. I'm not a total baby about expecting people to be super kind to me, but when you're trying to get my hard earned money, I think you should at least try to be polite. I said thank you for your time and ended the conversation. I'm not going to buy the doll after the seller lead me on like that. Even if they only bumped off a dollar I might have been severely tempted.
I did leave the doll under my favorites though. I figured that if she was still there after enough time had passed the seller might lower the price, or at least be willing to haggle. Especially after she's been on the site for over 12 hours, and I find that once something's been on there that long it's much less likely to sell. I popped over to Etsy, and guess what, she was still there, and the seller raised the price. She was now 22 dollars, she went up four dollars! And you know all the interest in her? I checked, she's had 10 views, and 1 admirer. I was the admirer, and I'm sure several of those views were mine as well. But let me tell you, I'm not an admirer anymore. I'd rather spend my money with a courteous seller who wants my business, not just my money.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I could not be any more lazy today!

The title of this post pretty much explains what I did today, nothing. It was one of those days where I didn't have the motivation to do a thing. I spent my morning convincing myself that my afternoon was going to be more productive. And it kind of was, but really it wasn't that hard to beat my morning lethargy.
I ended up going out again. I managed to visit all three second hand stores again. I decided that if the horse from yesterday was still there I would get it. It was not there, somebody already snagged him. All the Barbie dolls from yesterday were gone too, but I wasn't interested in them and had no plans to get them even if they were there. I didn't get a thing while out. But I do have something to complain about. What is it with people who are so inconsiderate and blocking the isles? I kept having to wait for people who randomly stopped and left no room for people to get around them. And it's not like most of them were even looking at something. Today the worst offender was this woman who was there with her friend, they both had carts (why people need carts in these stores is beyond me, I've never needed a basket much less a cart), the woman turns to talk to her friend about something randomly, and she turns her cart with her and blocks the entire isle. So I had to wait until she stopped talking and moved her cart back. Why? Why? Why? Stuff like that happened all over today, but that one was the most unnecessary and rude. There's several reasons why I don't like shopping at crowded stores, and that's one of them.
Back at home I tried to think about doing something productive with today, but failed. I was just more interested in doing nothing. I did do some light cleaning in my room. I picked up some stuff that wasn't where it was supposed to be and put it where it belonged, nothing to exciting and the room's still a mess. My brother gave me some empty cereal boxes he's been saving for me (I use them for added safety when shipping patterns), so I manged to cut them down for easier storage. I'd say that was the most productive thing I did all day.
Here's hoping tomorrow's more of a "get something accomplished" kind of day (and warmer, it's been freezing here all gosh darn day).