Thursday, May 31, 2012

Biting the Bullet

I got up bright and early this morning. Today I was heading to Greensboro again to get my glasses from Lenscrafters. I figured that since I was going to be unsatisfied either way when buying them, I might as well be unhappy with the cheapest pair.
But before we headed there, we made a quick pit stop to one of the Antique stores, per my insistence. I would have stopped in yesterday, but they're closed on Wednesdays. But honestly what I wanted could wait, it's been there long enough. What I was buying was a Jem doll. Now I don't collect Jem, usually I have no interest in her. But lately I've been seeing more and more of her on Flickr. And you know me and my Monkey see, Monkey do mentality. I wanted one, just to have one. Luckily I had a quick way to get one. Like I said she's been there forever, I'd say at least a year. She was marked for twelve dollars, but in the half off section. My dad talked to the people working there, and managed to get her for five. She came wearing a dress, but it's not hers, I believe it's handmade. It's nice, but not my style (especially that super sheer skirt). Jem (or as it said on her price tag Gem) is in pretty decent shape. All her joint click. I'd say she was a decent buy. Now that I have one I can get over wanting one. And like usual with these doll "lusts" (for a lack of a better word) I'll grow tired of her, then I can sell her. At least I'll be getting Jem out of my system. Plus I had to toy to play with for the long car ride ahead.
After I had her it was time to head to Greensboro. We went back to Lenscrafters, where we were actually helped by the same woman as last time, she remembered us. I thought I still had a decision to make, either go with the smaller pair in brown, or the larger pair in black. But the brown pair was gone, all that was left was the black. I was actually leaning towards the brown pair, but them being gone didn't upset me, it was just another slight this glasses ordeal has given me, add it to the pile. So I went with the black pair. I ended up getting all of the bells and whistles with it. All of them except for their thirty dollar year long replacement program. Since I've been using the same pair of glasses for seven years I felt paying that much for coverage that only lasted a year was a bit much. I'm really not that rough on my glasses. So after we paid for my glasses (240 AFTER insurance), we had some time to kill. It was going to take an hour to make them, so we could play around in Greensboro during that time.
We originally set out to visit Joanne's Fabrics, but plans changed when on route we found several second hand stores. I decided to visit them instead. I just don't need to visit Joanne's right now, it was really just because we were in the area. It's not like I'm looking for anything in particular from them at the moment. The thrift stores were a bust, nothing exciting in either of them. Since we were in Greensboro I thought about visiting Tuesday Mornings. I looked it up on the GPS and it wasn't that far from us, so we ended up going there, but not exactly. Turns out Tuesday Morning moved, and the GPS was to the old address, so we ended up in this creepy parking lot in a old strip mall sort of deal. In a funny note, I now know where The Doll Market moved to. I thought about stopping in there, but I wasn't sure if they were open to the public yet. Instead we went into a creepy (seriously overpriced) bookstore. Nothing of interest there.
When we left there we decided to go back to Lenscrafters. Much longer than an hour passed, so my glasses were ready, plus I was tired and disappointed by the Tuesday Morning mix up. We were driving back when I saw another thrift store, and decided to stop in. Even tired I'm still hopeful for the next place. This place was mostly nothing of interest. But I did find something I liked. Inside a tub of toys I saw a mop of red hair. I carefully unearthed who it belonged to. It was an 80s' Midge. California Midge if I'm correct. She was wearing a Mrs. Heart dress that I've always liked, but not enough to hunt it down online. The dress and the doll looked to be in really good shape. I figured that since they were only a dollar, I could get her for the dress and resell her. She does have the spotty leg issues a lot of the 80's dolls have, but her hair and face are in really great shape. I wouldn't ask much for her, but I think she'd make a wonderful rebody candidate. I found out when I was looking at her in the car that she was also wearing underwear. So I got a dress and a pair of panties. Not bad for a buck!
We also managed to stumble into Tuesday Morning's on our way back to the Mall (where Lenscrafters is). They didn't have much in the Barbie section, but I did see the Barbie loves Elvis and Sanatra dolls. They also had the Grace Kelley dolls. I did have to talk myself out of getting two more of those mannequin dress forms. While I like the two I have, I don't have the space, or the outfits for two more. So I passed on them. We finally got back to the Mall, to pick up my glasses. I tried them on, told the woman they felt fine, and I was on my way (after being reminded that since I didn't get the insurance plan, if they broke I was on my own). I ended up switching back to my old glasses when leaving the mall. It does time some time adjusting to a new pair, and I didn't want to fall on my face walking around an unfamiliar area with some new glasses! Here's a picture of them:I put them back on in the car for the ride home. I've been wearing them all day without any side effects. The same can't be said for my feet. They're not used to so much walking in my less than ideal boating shoes. They're so achy and I have a sore spot on my baby toe! I really didn't think I'd be all over today. But finally my glasses ordeal is over!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A little ranty...

I visited the final Glasses store in town that takes my insurance. It was a disappointment. I was hoping that they would have something I'd like but... it was just like the others. Tons of options, but all of them were rectangular. WHY ARE ALL THE GLASSES RECTANGLES? I DO NOT WANT THAT! The woman working there (who dressed really casually for a doctor's office, she looked like she was heading out for a jog or something) was really nice and showed me the three or so frames that they carried that weren't rectangles. But even though they weren't rectangles, they either were practically circles or rectangular with softer corners to be just barely considered something else. And I wanted ovals. I'm not asking for the moon, I WANT OVALS! Oval glasses have been around forever, I've been getting them for many years, but apparently there's an embargo on them. So when I left there I was not in a happy mood. Time is rapidly running out and I need to get glasses. It just sucks that I'm going to have to settle and get something I'm not totally happy with because that's my only option. I'm going to wear these every day for several years, so I'd like to like them. But apparently that's not an options because they only make rectangular glasses and I do not like those. Maybe it's a regional thing, those types of frames sell more so they stock them more, but why should I be stuck with such a limited stock??? It just makes me mad, because it shouldn't be like that. Not everyone wants rectangular frames. IT MAKES ME SO MAD! And it really doesn't need to be that way, just make a variety of glasses shapes. And it's not like there's no selection, if you want rectangular frames. There's a billion of those in every shape and size, but not if you want something that doesn't have 90 degree angles.
So I was not in a good mood for the rest of the day. I was going to have to make a decision, and pick the best of my choices and learn to live with it. It's just so frustrating since to me this is a big deal, and I think I should be happy with it, but with the crap selection I was going to have to settle. But whatever, Stupid eyeglass makers. Jerks. All of them!
I did try to push away my negative thoughts. I was going out shopping with my father and if I was in a bad mood it would be him that suffers, and he's not the person to blame for it. So I took lots of deep breaths and kept thinking of happy thoughts, and was very calm and calculated in how I spoke, even though inside I was raging so hard against those stupid eyeglass companies.
Shopping was pretty uneventful. Nothing to be had in most of the second hand stores. Sometimes that happens, and really I probably don't need more things, I already have too much. But honestly that didn't stop me from purchasing new fabrics when the opportunity arose. I was at the United Christian Outreach center. They tend to have the best fabric section (actually the only second hand store with a fabric section). I started digging though the bins wondering what wonders I'd find. I wasn't searching long before I managed to find several things I wanted. The first thing I found was some jersey knit. It's a medium blue, with a nice stripped pattern. I got it thinking it would be a nice pattern to make Joe another shirt with. But once I had it in my hand I thought it might actually work for a Ricky shirt as well. I'd guess the fabric was from the 70's, but it still could work for the 60's. (Men's clothing really didn't change that much). I took the picture of the fabric with Ricky to give an idea on the scale. What do you think, dear readers? Would that work for a shirt for Ricky? I'm thinking short sleeves, but still not sure about the collar. I might go with a turtleneck or not, I have plenty of material to practice with. There's over a yard here, shirts for everyone! This cost me 1.50. But I wasn't finished just yet. I also found a bit of what I believe is black wool. I've been hoping to make Joe a black pea coat, and this is exactly what I wanted. It's just perfect. I got about a yard of this, so there's plenty to use for the coat. Now I've just got to suck it up and draft the pattern. I've attempted it, but Joe's body is a lot different than the pattern is originally. I'm doing to have to to a total overhaul. And now there's no excuses, I've got all the material I need! (Darn it!) And finally, I picked up this white fabric. I think it's a linen. It's very nice, and since Hobby Lobby's quality went down I'm going to have to always pick up decent white fabric whenever I see it. This one was only a dollar and I got like two yards of it. That's crazy! No project in mind for it yet, but I know I'll end up using it sometime. (And yes, I know the black and white fabrics just look like blocks of black and white, but I didn't realize that until after I took the pictures, and that's the hard part. Since I took them, I'm going to use them, darn it!)
One of these days I'm going to have to start sewing, I keep buying the supplies for it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's may be wrong, but it feels so WRITE!

I did some writing this morning. It's been one of those things that I've been putting off a lot lately. I don't think I've written anything in months. And I know that I should be working on it, but I'm stuck. And last time I got stuck like that I went back and did a massive editing/rewrite of the entire thing. But when I tried that again, I just saw so much that I wanted to fix, but wasn't happy with my edit's either. That happens when I write. I just fear that I've lost my way with this story. And I do want to finish it, I've spent so much time with it, but I just don't know if I can. It's complicated.
But today I did some writing. Sort of for BoS (Ballad of Submission), but sort of not. I started a new word document and started writing a new section. One that would fit into the book, but I don't plan on adding. I figure that it would refresh me with my characters and setting, but I can be just as clunky and hackneyed as I need to be (and reuse words and phrases). I chose Anton getting into another battle with some strange creature from Zonlicht. I have more fun writing action than dialogue, and I figured it would be a good place to start. I just wrote a page and the creature hasn't appeared just yet, but I'm thinking it'll be some panther thing. I'm planning on making Tuesday my writing day again. I'm not sure if it will take, but at can at least try to write again. I think I owe those characters that much. Plus a page isn't that hard, especially since I use size 14 font.
Once I decided I had written enough, I had the rest of the day free. One of the things I decided to do was some more online fashion research. I'm still trying to dress a third doll for the month, always the dreamer that I'll manage that much in the short time I have left. I was looking through vintage sewing patterns to see if any illustrations resonated with me. Lately I haven't found anything that really called to me, but this time was different. I found a cute jumper and shirt set. I thought it would work for Skooter. For some reason I keep defaulting to jumpers in an effort to dress her. Anyway, this would be similar to my last attempt for her, but with different fabrics, and a different neckline for the jumper.
The last time I had started by making the jumper, but this time the jumper was going to be made from that John Deere plaid that I love. I just wasn't willing to cut into it in case it didn't work out (just like the last one). Instead I started with the shirt. This took a bit of work, I needed to adapt a pattern. I had a re-sized Ken shirt pattern that I made for Ricky. I used that for my start and changed it from front closing to back closing, and simplified the bottom hem. And so I got to work, using yellow calico to make it. After I cut it out, I started by adding the collar. And may I say, I still hate collars with a passion? They are sometimes so necessary, but I still hate them! The collar ended up being a little ragged, but passable. I just hate them so much!
Anyway, after that I added the sleeves. I used to hate inset sleeves, and while I don't exactly love them, they're no longer the foes they used to be. Anyway, I added the sleeves, but when I sewed up the side seams I ran into troubles. The cuffs were just too short for her arms to go through, and I wasn't able to widen them. I should have guessed that was going to be an issue since the sleeves are tapered, but I didn't compensate for it. I could have torn out the sleeves and cut out new ones, but I didn't. Instead I gave up. The shirt wasn't looking anything like how I imagined it, and my enthusiasm for the project quickly cooled.
Again Skooter got sent back to the Naked Sewing Cabinet (Doesn't have the same ring as the Naked Party Pad). She is a difficult one, but at least I wrote today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A painful start to my day. :(

I woke up this morning at three. I was having some terrible stomach pains. I tried to ignore them and go back to sleep, but they were too severe. I had lasagna for dinner that night, so I guess the acidity got to me. In the end I went downstairs and had a glass of milk to help sooth my stomach. That seemed to work, but I still struggled to fall back asleep. I figured I was in for a long night of tossing and turning until morning. But, wouldn't you know, the next thing I knew it was 11. I guess I was a bit more tired than I thought I was.
I wish that having slept in that late meant I was raring to go for the rest of the day, but that was just not the case. It took me forever to get motivated, and even then I didn't do much. I did do a little with Charlotte's dress. Not much, but at least I did something with it. The project I made the most progress on was a small one, cleaning off my desk. I've been trying hard to keep the general clutter off my desk. Most of the time it's still more covered than I'd like, but I have managed to keep it from getting as bad as it was before. And even though I don't feel like using my desk at the moment at least when it's clean it's easier to use when inspiration strikes me.
Maybe tomorrow will be better???

Sunday, May 27, 2012

And the walls came tumbling down.

I had the Party Plaza collapse on me today. This morning I selected two dolls from it to move elsewhere (Skooter and and Ricky). Ricky's foot caught TNT Skipper's leg and he managed to knock her from the top floor. She hit one of the posts on her way down to the ground. I guess she hit the post at just the right angle because the entire thing buckled. Knocking dolls this way and that as the entire thing went down. I was lucky to be right there so I was able to grab the entire thing before it hit the sewing table it's housed on. After the dust settled I was able to look at the damage. Luckily most things got out relativity unharmed. One of the railings on the circular stairs got bent, but I think some superglue should repair it. And the sewing chest got a nasty 2" long scratch on it. I'm more mad about that then the damage to the stairs. I already took some walnuts to it to help "erase" the scratch. I left them on all day to help the oil soak into the wood, and it seemed to help. I didn't bother with trying to fix the party plaza. I just packed it away and stuck it in the closet. It's just not sturdy enough for me to feel comfortable leaving the dolls on it anymore. I think they all got out unscathed, but I'm not going to chance them getting hurt if it happens again. I also have some more delicate figures under the Party Plaza. I think I was able to catch it before it fell on them, but if it happened again and I wasn't so quick they could get crushed. I'm just going to have find a better way to store these dolls. I thinking the best way now would to just put them on the sewing cabinet. It'll be less fancy than using the Party pad, but safer. Right now they're all camped out on Charlotte's shelf before I move them back to the tabletop.
And I really didn't need to move Ricky and Skooter, the two that caused this mess. The only reason why I moved them is because I got a crazy idea to see how many of each era I had left to dress. I was taking those two off to start the vintage pile when the whole thing collapsed. But even after the destruction I still wanted to group everyone up and see where things fell (no pun intended). Did you know the 50's is the biggest group still waiting to be dressed? Six dolls are from that era (I put Misty in that group, but I wasn't totally sure if she belonged there or in the 60's). There's three dolls in the 60's group, and only two in the 70's! I sure do a lot of complaining about a section that has the least number of dolls. I did have two stragglers, Monster High Frankie and Sweet Sixteen. I'm not planning on dressing them in era specific clothing, so I didn't count them with the others. I don't know about you, but I found that information very interesting.
But my day wasn't filled with just counting the dolls and dealing with the aftermath of the Party Pad collapse, I also went out. Not shopping like usual, this was another glasses related trip. I was headed to Greensboro to a large mall to visit the closest Lenscrafters. I was actually a bit more prepared for this trip. I had looked up online their selection. Like the other stores, for some reason it's slim pickings for oval glasses, most of them are rectangular (ick). But I did see one that I liked, so we headed out to the store to see if they looked as good in person as they did online.
I know it was a Sunday, and a holiday weekend, but the mall was very crowded. I won't lie, it was a bit intimidating with all those people. I haven't been in crowds a lot lately, so I had a bit of a reservation about it. It's funny, I'm planning on moving to NYC, one of the most crowded places in the USA and here I'm getting a little anxiety from a crowded mall. It's just most of my days I deal with three other people max, so I'm not used to all those people. Once I get back into practice with dealing with crowds I'll be fine.
Anyway, Lenscrafters, was a total disappointment. The frames I looked at online were in the store, but they were much longer in person than how they looked online. They must have been at least a half inch longer than I was expecting. And I really did not want that. My glasses are not weirdly small or anything, so I have no idea why it's so impossible to find something similar. I did see a pair that was really close to what I had, but they were in a icky brown/brass color. We asked the salesclerk if they had black, but they didn't. I really, really, really do not want brown. I've had brown before, not a fan. I felt really bad dragging my dad to Greensboro and not finding anything that I wanted. I do feel bad for being so picky, but when I'm going to have to wear them every single day for years, I want to at least like them.
Our next plan is to go to the second local eye doctor on Wednesday. Hopefully they'll have something I'll like, otherwise I don't know what I'll do, I am rapidly running out of time.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back again???

Another lazy day around here. I had a really hard time finding any motivation to get myself into gear. That's been the case a lot lately for some reason. I need something good (or not too bad) to shake myself out of this funk that I've settled into. It's a weird place to be in.
I did end up going out today. I was going to skip it, but I needed to go out for a couple things. Also I needed to do some glasses shopping. Yesterday I went to the place where I got my eyes tested, and couldn't find a pair that I liked. Unfortunately, the other glasses place was closed today. So I wasn't going to be checking any there today. There was another option, the Walmart Vision center. So we headed over there to see what we could see.
I actually did find something I liked, practically the moment we walked in. It was a pair of frames very similar to the ones I have now in shape. The lenses were actually just slightly smaller, and they they were even black! But they were part of the 8 dollar frame deal, which is a little worrisome. I know Walmart is all about buying in bulk to pass along the savings, but for something so low in cost, some cost cutting efforts have to have been made. And I don't want to risk them breaking. I'm going to need to use these glasses for a long time, every day. I was just browsing there today and I hadn't bothered to bring my prescription so even if I wanted to I couldn't get them. And I wasn't ready to make a commitment just yet, I needed to see what other people were saying about these type of frames. I'm not willing to rush into anything just yet, especially at Walmart (even though time is rapidly running out).
Since I was still in Walmart but out of the vision center I decided to take a whirl around the store. I haven't been there in forever since I decided to cut them out of my life. In the toy section I saw one Operetta, my first time seeing that doll in person. She's interesting and I was glad to see her I'm not really interested in her. I haven't been bitten by the Monster High bug. I also took the time to look at the Barbie stuff, and was totally underwhelmed. It's pretty sad when I think about it, I just do not care. I used to be sad and dejected when I didn't see anything that I wanted, but now I couldn't care less. That's just how things are in the Barbie world. I know I'm not their intended market (never was actually), but absolutely nothing interested me in the slightest. Just a fact.
I also checked out their fabric section. I stopped going there when they were bringing it back, so the last time I saw it it was half filled, at best. It's now fully stocked, but it's really hard to find anything. I think it's just organized by color, and not always. Not by fabric type or anything logical like that. I was trying to find some simple white calico (since Hobby Lobby was out the last time I was there), but I could not find it for the life of me. I checked that entire section at least twice and could not find it. I did see some several fabrics that I liked, including some that I had before and used up that I would like to get again, but no white calico. I also didn't see any red dotted Swiss. I saw several other colors, but no red. They had at least three bolts of hot pink dotted Swiss. Is that really that popular to warrant that many different bolts? So I left Walmart without glasses or fabric. Ha! You didn't get my money! Jerks!
The thrift stores were also all busts. My father and I didn't get a single thing at all three of them. I don't think that's ever happened before, usually one of us can find something. I was hoping to find some white fabric at the Christian second hand store, but no luck.
Since we were in the area and I still hadn't found what I needed, I asked if I could stop into Hobby Lobby. It's been a Hobby Lobby heavy week, this is the third time this week I've been there, and each time I've left with several different items. I'm thinking another no Hobby Lobby months will soon be in order.
The goal of this trip was to get some white fabric. I'm making progress on Charlotte's dress, but without that fabric I can only make the skirt. I'm going to need white for parts of the bodice. I hate being stuck like that. Even though I'm not at that point yet, I'll be more comfortable knowing I have all the supplies I need. I ended up checking the fabric section to see if they got the cheaper stuff in. Shockingly they did! There was a brand new big bolt of it there! My happiness was short lived. This new bolt? Terrible. It was basically a sheer. I held my hand under it, you could see every detail under it. Also the threads weren't even even. You could clearly some were thicker than others. It was like cheesecloth. I'm not even kidding when I say that broadcloth was a much better choice than this. I don't know if they're trying to force people to buy the more expensive stuff, but that fabric was terrible. I could not and would not use it. I ended up going back to the remnant section and checking to see if that bit of white fabric I put back last time was still there. It was, so I ended up getting it. I'm going to have to be frugal with my white fabric usage. If Hobby Lobby is going to start pulling tricks like that, I'm going to have to stop shopping there for solid fabrics, and find somewhere else to get them. I guess I can still use them for prints, but not solids. They're must be a cheaper place out there.
But with the white fabric in hand I wasn't done yet. I also picked up some new sewing machine needles. I only have one left, and with my dad's jean repair slated for soon I worry about it breaking. Denim always manages to break my needles and I'd hate to have my last one snap and be left waiting until I get to the store to get more. Also they were half off. If my needle broke, I'd have to pay full price after today, and I'm anything if not frugal. And speaking of frugal, I still had that 40 percent off coupon in my phone, and I hated not using it. But everything I bought today was on sale, meaning I couldn't use it on them. I looked around and thought about making a whim purchase. But I ended up selection a spool of white thread to use the coupon on. I'm super close to finishing up the spool I have (Every time I use it I think it'll be the last time), and if I ran out I'd be at a standstill in my project until the next time I get to the store. Now I have it and don't have to worry about that. I was able to use that same coupon for the THIRD time this week! I was lucky to have a different person checking me out each time, I'm sure I'd be recognized as a repeat user and get kicked out!
Back at home I didn't get right to work with my new supplies. Instead I looked up those Walmart glasses. Turns out several people have had issues with them breaking on them, which worries me. I really don't think I should get them. I just wish there was a perfect solution. Getting new glasses should be so hard! This should be a fun experience, and not such a hassle!

Friday, May 25, 2012

And Repeat... sigh...

I had a hard decision to make this morning. The underskirt I made yesterday, just wasn't going to work. The bottom hem just ended up being too long. When alone on a doll the lace at the bottom was almost reaching the floor, but when you added the fabric of a skirt on top of it, it made the tulle sag and made it much too long. In order to use it as it, I'd have to add an underskirt under it, or lengthen Charlotte's legs.
I felt it was easier to just remake it and raising the hem on the bottom part. Also this way I could fix a few issues that happened when I made the first one. So that's what I did today. This is basically the exact same skirt as yesterdays, but with a shorter bottom hem. I used the same measurements and everything. Luckily I have lots of that lace to use for it. Honestly I still have lots of it. I could remake this underskirt several times and still have enough lace.
While I hate having to remake something I already finished, I am happier with this second one. And the first one can still be used. The only thing wrong with it is that it's too long. I can always just tuck it under when using it with a dress. (I know I could have done that with this dress, and not remade it, but I want this dress to be perfect.) Is it sad that I like Charlotte just wearing the underskirt? It's just so pretty and feminine. She's like a princess getting ready for a ball!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's a start!

I went out again today, back to Hobby Lobby. But I wasn't shopping for myself. The other day my father asked me to repair some pants he had. The top part of the pockets had gotten all threadbare and worn, and he wanted to change one pair into a pair of shorts. While I hate doing repair work, I will if asked (for some people).
I did some thinking about the best way to mend the pants. In the end I decided the easiest was would be to use some bias tape. That way I could just loop it over the damaged parts of the pants, and sew it down. It's quick, it's easy, and it keeps me from having to sew multiple layers of denim. And since it's cotton, it should at least give some sort of stability to the worn parts of the pants. But there was a problem to this plan, it's just I don't have any bias tape that would work for the project. So off to Hobby Lobby I went to get some. I picked up a package in medium blue. I got three yards of the stuff, so I'm going to have plenty of leftovers. That way when I need to repair other pants, or replace what I've already done, I can. I was even able to use that same forty percent coupon to lower the price on it. Now I just have to get the pants so I can get to work, but I'm not rushing on that... I really don't want to do it. I hate working in denim, but I will... eventually.
I also picked up a few more things at Hobby Lobby. I wanted to get some more ribbon when I was there last, but I forgot with all the other purchases I was making. It's on sale this week, so I wanted to get it while the getting's good! I did go a little crazy with it. I ended up getting four spools of ribbon. I don't normally get that much, but I figure get it now, and you'll have it when you need it. And this way I'll have it and it'll save me one trip to Hobby Lobby in the future. Plus, it was only a dollar each, so I wasn't being so bad. In the fabric section I got a spool of 1/4 inch ribbon in black, and in the bridal section I got 1/8 inch ribbon in light blue, medium blue, and red. You get so much more ribbon for your money in the bridal section, it's not even funny. The black ribbon is only 54 feet (18 yards), but the other ribbon is 75 feet. But a heads up, only get the 1/8 stuff from the bridal section, the bigger stuff is the plastic kind. Only the 1/8 stuff is fabric, learn from my mistakes.
Back at home I put away my ribbon haul. My ribbon box is rapidly filling up. I'm going to have to buy a bigger box, or stop buying ribbon (and we all know that's not going to happen). I also started to work on Charlotte's dress. Actually I didn't start with the fabric I bought yesterday just yet. Before I get to that step I wanted to work on something else, something just as necessary for the dress, but not as visible, the underskirt. Since the skirt shape I'm going to make is a very era specific shape, I was going to need to make a new underskirt for this outfit. I didn't have anything already made that would work.
But I wasn't starting from scratch. I've made several underskirt before, and I was using other clothes to guide me to make what I wanted. I started off with the basic skirt that I normally use. You have seen this time and again, whenever I make an off the hip underskirt this is the pattern I turn to. I love how simple it is, and since it doesn't fall at the waist, it helps eliminate bulk. And I am worried about this outfit looking a little thick at the waist.
From there I hemmed the top, like normal. But I did things a little different for the bottom hem. Instead of just hemming it, I added a length of gathered tulle to it. (I should note, the ruffler does not work on tulle, it just shreds it.) Oh, I forgot to mention that I added some lace to the bottom of the tulle before I sewed it on. I like how it gives it more of a finished hem, plus I didn't want to spend all that time hemming tulle, because there's a lot of it in this skirt. The bottom part uses 31 inches of the stuff! That's a lot of tulle, and a lot of lace. After I gathered and sewed that down, I also top-stitched it. And that row was done.
After that I moved up about halfway up the white skirt part. I sewed more lace to 31 more inches of tulle. I started pinning this one just like the last one, except this one I did not gather in the front. I left that part flat, and gathered the tulle at the sides of the hips. I wanted a skirt that's bigger on the sides than on the front and back, so the hips are more "padded".
And finally I added another bit of lace, at the top. This one is the shortest of the three. I actually just folded the tulle over and sewed the lace to both halves. I did trim a bit of the other two skirts before I sewed them on, but just about an inch. This one is also not as long as the other two, it's only 21 inches, so I took ten inches off. This one is gathered similar to the middle panel, with more gathers at the sides than the front.
I think I made pretty decent progress with it today. I got the entire thing finished. I did have to hand sew several spots where I had gone off with the machine. Sewing tulle is hard!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I can see clearly now, the blur is gone! (Or going to be gone)

Not much got done with the dolls today. In fact, the day's almost over and the only doll I even touched today was Charlotte, and that was to take some measurements from her. My day was busy with something else, a Doctor's appointment. No, I'm not sick (although I am being struck by allergies), this was an eye doctor appointment.
The other day we got a letter from my father's insurance company. Come June 8th, the day before my birthday, I'm getting dropped. I'm going to be 26, and they are no longer required to cover me. So I'll be back to being uninsured. And while I understand it's just how insurance companies work, I've never actually cost them a dime. I've never used my father's insurance before, until today that is. After we got the letter we decided that we needed to make an appointment to get me some new glasses. I've worn glasses since the sixth grade, and I was in desperate need for a new pair. I did the math, I've been using my current pair for the past seven years. I haven't noticed a terrible change in how I see, but things certainly aren't as clear as they could be.
So that was today's big goal, getting my eyes tested. Turns out I do need a slight increase in my prescription. I told the Doctor that it's been seven years since I last got tested, and he used my glasses as a guide for where to start, and he didn't seem concerned about the changes, so I assume it's all good. But can I just say how much I hate the eye drops and the eye puff test? I know they're for my health, but they are terrible! But they're over and done with, and I guess they looked all right to him, he didn't mention anything. And my father's insurance covered the entire exam, we didn't have to pay a dime!
We didn't end up looking at glasses today. Our appointments (my brother had one as well) were late in the day, and my father took us. He's working tonight, so he needed to get back home so he could get ready for work. We're planning on going back Friday to shop for the frames and such. I'm kind of excited, new glasses! Although I'm sure I'll have to give up some fancy features my current pair has. I will miss you titanium frames and transitions lenses, but being able to see will be worth it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There's nothing white about that!

I didn't bother making a list last night for today. After having to force myself to do it yesterday, I knew that I wouldn't be able to do that for the second day in row. And it actually ended up being a good thing I didn't make one. I had a real shoddy night's sleep, and I was in no mood to be doing anything that I didn't want to.
Instead I went out. Before someone points out that I've been going out a lot lately, I should point out that I actually needed to. Last time I went out I mentioned going to Hobby Lobby and checking out some supplies for my Mom. This time I was actually going to buy some of what she needed. The first thing I picked up was some cross stitch cloth for her. I also found some embroidery floss on clearance and picked out two colors for her, gold and light purple (after talking them over with her). I also picked out a new inexpensive hoop for her. She doesn't cross stitch often, and couldn't find her hoop so now she was a new one to use. That means she can get started working now, and when she finds her original one, she'll have a spare.
You should know by now that I can't go into that store without shopping for myself. I did actually need to pick up some supplies for myself too. I'm super low on white calico. The only thing is, they're out of the cheap stuff. All that's left is the 7.99 per yard stuff, and I'm absolutely not willing to pay that much for calico. I'm sewing for dolls, not actual people, they can use the cheap stuff. I did find a yard of the expensive stuff in the remnant section, but even with that discount it was still more expensive than the inexpensive stuff. I guess I'm going to have to wait until they restock and I can get what I need. Last time I bought white calico I purchased three yards and that's lasted me a while. But of course when I finally need it again they're sold out. Oh the irony!
I didn't leave the fabric section empty handed. In the remnant section I found something that I wanted. It's a fabric that I've been admiring for a while, but hadn't found a project in order to buy it for. It's a lovely medium blue calico with a pretty, scale appropriate flower pattern. I really like how it could work for any of the eras I sew for, depending on the application. But even though I liked it, I couldn't think of a specific project for it, so I never bothered getting any. But when I found 2/3 of a yard just waiting for me, I had to get it. I know I shouldn't be buying material for projects I don't have in mind yet, but I know something like this will get used. Now it's all just a matter of "when".
But I wasn't finished just yet, I also got some material cut while I was there too, but this was for a project that I already had in mind (so you see, I can stick to my own rules... sometimes). The last time I was in the store I scoped out the fabric section to see what was new. I found a fabric that I really liked, but it was a bit ...untraditional, compared to what I usually get. Unlike the fabric I wrote about above this one was a lot less versatile. It just felt a bit more era specific to me, and not an era I usually sew for. So I didn't bother getting any, but I still kept thinking about it. But the other day I started watching a new anime, a period piece. I've since stopped watching it (it was so boring), but I still kept thinking about the clothing from that era. And that's when inspiration and opportunity met. The fabric would be perfect for a really vintage dress. Sometimes these things do work out. Plus it was high time that Charlotte got a new dress, and I just love putting her in costumes. So I purchased a half yard of it (it's expensive stuff). I'm sure it'll be enough for one full dress for her. The dress has already had several style changes, and an era change, but I think it's shaping up nicely.
So that's all I got while out. (But I think it was certainly enough!). I used the forty percent coupon this week on the cross stitch cloth. It was the most expensive thing I purchased, and one of the only things not already on sale. I really like being able to use my phone for the coupon. It's so much easier than printing the coupon out at home!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grrr.... and Sigh....

I did make a list last night to help me focus myself today, but this morning I just did not want to deal with it. It was one of those days that I didn't want to do anything, but I've had too many of those lately, so I buckled down and forced myself to work on crossing stuff off the list, no matter how much it made me grumble.
One of the things on the list was making another attempt at Joe's shirt. Even though, I still haven't figured out what's causing that rippling in the shoulders I was still eager to make some progress on it. One of the thing that I wanted to try was adding a collar. I was curious to see if adding the collar might help the rippling problem. Turns out it doesn't. In fact not only does it not help, it added some issues of it's own! Part of the new problem is the fact that I have to keep Joe's neck covered, meaning the collar has to hit high enough, and needs to be fully closed. No unbuttoned top buttons for Joe! Times like these make me wish I had found an actual replacement neck joint for him so I didn't have to craft my own makeshift one. Long story short, I didn't get any further with his shirt today. We're taking another break from it. So much of a break that I even went and changed his clothes. He's now wearing one of the jersey shirts I made for him. At least he's got something he can wear now, especially since making him a button up shirt is being such a slow process.
I also managed to post another comment on Flickr that may have managed to make someone mad, I think. I really don't think what I said was that bad, but based on their reply it could have been. But I may have read too much into what they're saying, I do have a tendency to do that. I did damage control as best I could. I guess I'm going to have to learn to keep my opinions to myself and be a little more "everything is sunshine and lollipops!" over there. Might make things a bit easier.
*Grumble, Grumble, Grumble*

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Shirt off his Back!

I didn't make a list for today. I've been doing pretty good about making one and following thru on it, but like usual, there's only so long I can follow my own rules. But even without it guiding me I still managed to get some stuff done today. So the list wasn't really needed.
I ended up wanting to working on something from the unfinished project box. I dumped out the box and picked out a few items that called to me, from those options I picked the one that called out the loudest. It was a yellow dress that I made... a while back. So far back I can't remember when or for who. It ended up having some sewing errors with it that ended with it being banished to the box. I ended up taking apart about half of it to get it back on the right track. But I didn't finish it today, I ended up sticking it back into the box. While I fixed some of the technical issues, it still is suffering from some taste issues. (Which was part of the reason it ended up in the box in the first place as well). It needs something to fix it. Right now it's just a yellow dress. And while I like yellow, I'm not a fan of a great expanse of it. So back into the box it went, for a day when I figure out the next step for it. At least now I won't have to fix the sewing issues the next time I take it out, they're all squared!
But I wasn't done sewing just yet. That dress was just the warm up for a project that I've been putting off for a while, making Joe a collared shirt. One of the big things I want to add to his wardrobe. It's just so difficult to make since cotton is a lot less forgiving than jersey. I've made attempts at it, but they've all be terrible disasters. But I did have a new adapted pattern I wanted to try, but have been stalling on it. Today I sat down and got to work. I ended up making three different muslins for the shirt. Each one fitting a little better, but still not perfect. I think I've gotten the fit pretty close to where it should be, but there's one spot that's giving me trouble. It's on his back, across the shoulder blades there's this really unsightly fabric puckering. I did whatever I could think of to get rid of it, but nothing has worked. Any suggestions out there? I'd really love to get that ironed out. I've even checked in my sewing books, but couldn't find this problem.
I guess he'll have to wait some more to get his new shirt. But at least I made some strides to being able to make him one. Can't get anywhere if I don't at least try, right?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another Productive Day!

Today, I did not go out. Just thought I should mention it, since lately I've been going out a lot more than usual. I also wrote out and stuck with my to-do list, getting the entire thing finished today. And that's including returning an e-mailing to a friend that I've been letting anguishing in my inbox for over a week now.
And I know I should have gotten back to him sooner, but... this may sound terrible, I really didn't want to. He's a friend that I was close with in High School, but after we graduated, we took different paths. We did keep in touch, but as time went on I found less and less in common with him. And sometimes I find he can be a little... unenlightened in his thinking, and that means I can't always be myself. Normally he's a great guy, but (as we all do), he has his issues. Now I'd be fine just having a Christmas/Birthday card friendship with him, but he does e-mail me, and I do try to e-mail him back, but when I let it go for a while I feel bad having left it for so long, and usually just delete it after a while. But maybe I'm being a bit of an unfair jerk, he clearly appreciates me as a friend, and has kept better in contact with me than most of my college friends. Maybe I should stop being a bad friend and just e-mail him back more often. Oh well, I will do what I do.
But also on the to-do list was working with Skipper. Today's goal was to finish her top. So I did that, reinforcing seams and adding two snaps. You know, the usual. I also played around her hair. After getting rid of the ruffle on the bottom of her outfit, I felt she needed something else. It was looking kind of plain. I tried several different hair looks, including pigtails with ribbon, and even going as far as making several beaded ponytail holders to go in her hair, neither of which worked. Took me hours making those beaded pigtail holders, and I didn't even use them. That stung. Eventually I just settled for a simple thin white ribbon headband. I also made that today. She was able to keep her white flats from her other outfit, they still worked. And like that she was dressed! Here's her new outfit:I really like this, I'm glad that everything worked out. I didn't mention this, but her top is made from vintage fabric. I bought a random bag of scraps from the Christian United Outreach Store a while back. A lot of them are too small to be of much use, but I was able to get this top out of it, so that's good. I like this much better than what I had her in the other day, it just seems to work for her than that dress. And with this dressing it means that this month has been a two doll dressed month! I wonder if I'll get a third one dressed in the time I have left? I'd really love that, there's so many dolls over on the Party Plaza there's not even enough room for everyone to be seated!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Getting Back onto the Productive Train!

I must admit, I went out again this morning. I guess I really don't learn from my past experiences. But in my defense I wasn't going out for myself, I was going out for my Mother. You see, my cousin is pregnant (actually going on six months at the moment) with her second child. My mother made a cross stitch for her first child, and she's planning on doing a second one for this new baby. She just needed some supplies priced for it. And since I am the most familiar with Hobby Lobby, it was up to me to do it.
Also it's just nice going to Hobby Lobby! I haven't actually been in a couple weeks. I guess that no month of Hobby Lobby really helped break my addiction. Lately whenever I go in there I get what I need and get out. No more piling on the purchases for projects that never pan out. Today I went in and checked want I needed to check. I was planning on purchasing some of the needlepoint cloth originally, but after talking it over with my mother we decided to wait on it. Which meant that I had a forty percent coupon all to myself. I did check a lot of other sections, but didn't see much that I wanted. I saw some interesting fabrics, but nothing that would work for the projects I had in mind. I'll have to think up projects for some of them, or just not get them. Eventually I was just going to leave the store empty handed. I was almost out the door when I spotted something over in the seasonal Fourth of July section.
It was a small assortment of plastic top hats, in red, white, and blue. Six in total and covered with bright tacky glitter. I looked at them up close. They looked to be the right size for Joe. If there was a way to fix them for my needs they had potential. I've been wanting a top hat for Joe, but couldn't find any. (Hobby Lobby does sell something top hat like, but it's felt and either too small or too big). Joe's original Steampunk outfit actually included a top hat, but had to be nixed due to lack of supplies. This could be the solution to that problem. They were a bit expensive (3.99), but I did have that forty percent off coupon. If they worked it would be a great price, if not I just wasted my money. I decided to throw caution to the wind and get them. I just hoped the glitter would come off easily, and that they fit him.
I was able to find out at home it did! With hot water and some gentle scrubbing I was able to clear most of the glitter off the sacrificial white hat I picked out of the package. I did learn that the top part of the hat is a little skewed to one side, but if you angle it just so it's not as noticeable. It does fit Joe pretty decently, with a little room at the sides. I ended up dunking it in boiling water and molding it to his head a little. I did do some painting on it with the black nail polish I have. It's taking multiple coats, so work is slow, plus it keeps chipping off. I think it might be time to upgrade to some actual paint that works on plastic. I do get tired of repainting Charlotte's shoes, and if it's going to keep happening to Joe's hat too, it might be worth the extra cost. You can see an in progress shot to the left, when I finish it I'll share a final photo as well.
Joe wasn't the only person to get some work done today. Malibu Skipper got some progress today as well. Yesterday I finished her shorts and today I worked on her shirt. I didn't finish it today, but I did get all the machine sewing done. I did end up changing it a bit from it's original design. It was supposed to have a ruffle on the bottom of it, but no matter what I did to it I could not get it to look how I wanted it to. Eventually I realized that it throwing off the proportions of the entire outfit so I ended up just removing it and hemming the shirt normally. It's actually ended up making the shirt sit a little higher than I normally do, but it kind of works for Skipper. She's the first doll showing some belly skin in the collection! Usually, we're all about legs here. I promise you'll get a picture when she's all done. And I promise I'll actually finish this one. It's very cute so far!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Bro!

It was my brother's Birthday today. My baby brother turned 21. He's now old enough to legally drink, the last big milestone. And that makes me officially old. He makes everyone in my family feel old since he's my parent's youngest child, and my Grandparent's youngest grandchild. But you know, time marches on and whatnot (and makes fools of us all!).
Since it was a birthday around here, I didn't bother making a personal to-do list. I had a lot of birthday related stuff to get done instead of focusing on myself. And while a list is helpful to keep myself on track, today was a day that a list wasn't needed. I was going to get what I needed to get done, or die trying.
I did need to go out today. Yesterday my brother finally said he wanted to his birthday dessert, even though I asked him several times earlier. He wanted some Lime Jello (weird, right?). Of course we didn't have any, so we needed to go and get some. Today I went out with my dad to get some, as well as some other supplies. We went shortly before I typically eat lunch. This has happened before, so I usually just tough it out and wait a few extra hours to eat. But not today, today we were out for FIVE hours. FIVE hours of doing errands (true there were some not so necessary stops made, but I was not expecting to be out that long). I was running (while admittedly cranky) on steam by the end of it. I kept thinking that we were done, but stores kept getting adding to the list. I was so not a happy camper. I don't eat a big breakfast, so my body was not really fueled correctly. I'm surprised I didn't pass out. It's been several hours and I'm still mad thinking about it.
Back at home in the late evening (around five), I was finally able to eat something. I also made the lime Jello that we had purchased. Unfortunately it takes hours to congeal, and getting home at 5 really makes it hard to have at a decent hour that night (Thanks dad!). Sigh. Luckily I had made some Jello earlier that morning (Cherry, which we did have on hand), as a just in case thing. Good thing too, at least by brother had some Jello for on his birthday. When the Jello was cooling in the fridge, I started making something else I bought the supplies for while out, Rice Crispy Treats.
Just like with my sister it was what my Brother was getting from me for his birthday. I made an entire box just for him. He helped me wrap it in saran wrap, and then I presented it to him. It's currently chilling the the fridge. But I wasn't done. I made a second batch of treats. This one was for everyone else in the family to share (my brother could have some if he wants to). I couldn't have a huge block of Rice Crispy Treats in the fridge tempting me that I knew I couldn't have! I needed to have some, so I made my own. I'll just have to try to keep from eating it all in one sitting now, it's just far too tasty!
It's been a long day spent mostly in the car. But I was able to get that package for my Flickr friend into the mail. I didn't tell him about it, I figure it would just arrive and he'll be surprised. I am glad I got that taken care of, just took me a couple months!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not as productive today...

A bit of a step back in terms of productivity today... like usual I just really didn't want to do anything. Even with the to do list in my hand I wanted nothing to do with it. And you should know by know when I don't want to do something I can manage to do a variety of things in order to avoid it. I've always been like that. I was never more spot on with my homework or chores when there was something else I was avoiding.
Even with my total avoidance with the list I did force myself to get two things crossed off it. The first one was finishing a skirt I made a while ago. All it needed was the back seam finished and I'd be able to put it away in the spares clothing bag. I've grown tired of dealing with it, but being unable to put it away so today I finished it. I thought about doing it on the machine, but it was just easier to do it by hand. I didn't put it away just yet, but it's on top of the chest of drawers where I store my spare clothing ready to be put away the next time I go in there. The second thing I managed to get done today was a blog post. Which is a good thing since I'm already several days behind, and I cannot afford to get any more backed up. But that's all I managed to get done from the list.
I did however do some doll sewing, something that I didn't plan on. I had an idea for Malibu Skipper and since I was never really sold on the dress I stuck her in, I was eager to try it. I spent a great deal of time making a pair of shorts that ended up not fitting, I hate when that happens. Spent all that time and fabrics on something I might not be able to ever use. But I didn't give up. I tried something else that worked better. I made some progress on an outfit, and while I think it's heading in the right direction, there's lots that need more work. I'll share it with you eventually, either the finished product or asking for advice on it.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll get back on the to-do list wagon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gettin' Stuff Done!

I've noticed a disturbing tend around here. Lately I've been super unmotivated to get into gear and be productive with my time, like at all. It's just like when I go through my video game phases, but this is even worse. At least with those I'm working to a goal, however little it helps my day-to-day life. In the past few weeks I've been having a hard time jump starting myself to do anything, and at the end of the day I've been kicking myself for not doing anything that actually needed to get done.
But I decided that needed to change. Last night I wrote out a small to do list. Consisting of five things, that I could accomplish today, and would.
They are as follows in no particular order:
1: Put away 20 things (I always try to do this every day, no matter how small a thing gets put away, something that was not in it's place at the start of the day is by the end of the day. Helps keep the general chaos around here somewhat managed.)
2. Write one Blog Post (I'm so behind on those it's not even funny. So while writing only one won't pull me out of that hole, it will certainly keep me from getting deeper into it.)
3. Respond to Flickr People (I'm behind on replying to comments over on my Flickr page, so I needed to get all caught up on that, and stop avoid doing it!)
4. Finish Joe's Pants (I started a pair of pants for Joe, and have been lagging on finishing them.)
5. Pack up Box for Cubby (I had this box practically packed for months now ready to send off to Cubby ((It's a gift, so I didn't leave him waiting for anything)). I was just avoiding writing a note to go into it and addressing it.)
Those were my goals for today when I woke up, and I'm pleased to say I was able to get all of them accomplished! I was working until late at night, but they all got completed! (Still having trouble getting motivated, but once I did I got to work!)
Having a list is a good thing, means I actually get stuff done!

Monday, May 14, 2012

I really am spoiled...

I went out again this morning. There were a few places we didn't get to yesterday on our grocery shopping trip that we still needed to visit, and also today all the thrift stores were open.
We managed to visit all three of those. I didn't find much of anything I wanted in any of them. I did however, find and buy some things to send to a Flickr friend. The other day I said something to him in jest, but based on his reaction and my re-reading what I wrote in hindsight I realize it was a bit much. I apologized, and he accepted, but I still feel super bad about it. I really didn't mean what could be inferred from it, I was in a bit of a mood that day, and I guess it colored my comment. So it came off worse than I intended. I guess I'm going to have to triple and quadruple read my comments to make sure I don't do something like this again. At least I'm trying to correct the behavior. Live and learn, right?
So in conjunction with the thrift stores, I also visited that antique store from yesterday. Even with my research being not as fruitful as I'd like I decided to go with my gut and get what I found yesterday. If it was still even there, I might have missed my chance. That has happened before. Luckily, everything I wanted from yesterday was still there, so I was able to get it all! I do like it when things work out for me like that.
Since I had been there just the day before I knew exactly where what I wanted was. The first place I stopped in was a booth on the first floor. Tucked away in the front corner was a box that had some Barbie dolls. Most of them were newer dolls, but they also had a couple older (ish) dolls. Mainly two beat up Ballerina Barbies and the doll I was actually after. She is Sun Lovin' Barbie. She is much newer than most of the dolls in the collection, but I just really liked her face. That Superstar face mold and paint job gets me every time. I later learned she's the 1980's version with the hard plastic legs, from the last year of production. She's the only 80's doll in the collection at the moment, but that might change. Not because I'm going to collect them, but because she might not stay. Whenever I find these dolls that I fall in love with, I rapidly fall out of love with them too. Since she wasn't that expensive I decided to throw caution and personal experience to the wind and get her. If it didn't work out for her staying in the collection I could sell her and at least break even. Sometimes it turns out these dolls are just visiting, while others move in permanently. I'm still on the fence about her. She is a very pretty doll, and in pretty decent shape. I may end up rebodying her to an older body and see how she fits in (I still dislike those palm facing back paddle arms!)
Once I had her in my hand my next destination was upstairs. This place was a double trouble one, because I was getting two things there. The first item was another doll. And unlike Sun Lovin' Barbie I know she's not staying around here. I bought her mainly for resale. Yesterday I found a box with several 80s' dolls. Most of them were very well loved, and of no interest to me. But even though I could see that it wasn't going to be my thing, I still dug into the box, you'll never know what's lurking in these type of places. I didn't find any doll that I really needed, but I did find her. She's Hispanic Barbie from 1979. When I found her, I had a vague idea of who she was, but wasn't totally sure. I'm hardly an expert in dolls from that era. She was one of the things I needed to do that research on. She's wearing her original earrings, and dress. Her dress looks like it's in really great shape, with some minor discoloration on the bodice. Her body and face look in good shape, but will need some minor work (Bath and such). But she really needs some major hair work. It's a terrible tangled, broken, icky mess. I'm not really sure how to fix it, it might be more than I can handle. I tried fixing her part line, but couldn't. I think it's come unthached. Hopefully I'll be able to help her. Any hair help suggestions would really be appreciated! She was pretty inexpensive too. If she wasn't, I wouldn't have bothered getting her. So hopefully I'll be able to get my money back when I sell her, no matter the condition of her hair.
I actually got her for two reasons, the first one is for resale, and the other one is to save fifty cents. I'll explain. None of the dolls in the box were priced. Instead, on the box was a sign saying, three dollars each, or two for five. She was the only doll in the box I wanted, but not the only thing in the box that caught my eyes. Also in the box there were two horses. I wasn't totally sure if the horses were part of the two for five deal, but they were in the box and unmarked just like the dolls. One of them was a generic Barbie horse, but the other one was different. I actually liked that one, but I wasn't ready to get it right then and there. I needed to do something thinking first. I have been wanting a horse for a while now, but whenever I found one I end up not getting it. I needed to figure out if I actually wanted a horse, or just wanted an idea of a horse. Also since it was not priced I wasn't totally sure if it was part of the two for five deal. I'd hate to get to the check out and have it be priced a lot more than I was expecting. Also I couldn't find any markings on the horse. But I did have an idea on who made it, so not only did I have some thinking to do, I also had some online researching to do.
Like you all know the research part was not that successful, but I decided that I wanted that horse, darn it. It was perfect for what I've been looking for. It was a realistic looking horse that was in a decent scale to Barbie. Too often the horses I find are way too small for Barbie. She towers over them and just looks silly. As you can see from the photo on your left, that is not the case. Also this one came with a saddle, which is hard to find on a second hand horse. So at that stall I picked out the horse and Hispanic Barbie. I even took a photo of the box on my phone to show the check out person exactly how I found it. I guess it was right because she wrote them up for the five dollar deal. So I was able to get the horse for only 2.50, which is a pretty good deal in my book.
At home I started doing some work with the horse. He (or she) was rather dirty, including some harder to remove smudges. I sat down with a magic eraser and got to work. That's when I found the maker mark on it. Smack dab in the middle of the back leg is a tiny mark. It's basically the same size of a tiny button, and molded into the plastic. It states that it's a Marx horse, with the roman numerals for 1965. And I won't lie, I thought it was a Marx horse, but I wasn't really sure I had only heard about them in passing. I've never actually seen one in person. Armed with this info I turned back to the internet, where it gets a little muddy. You see, I either have Jane West's horse "Thunderbolt" or "Flame" from the corral play set. I've seen this horse called both names by sellers. According to the 1966 wishbook from Sears my horse looks like "Flame", so I'm more likely to believe that source since it's a scan of the actual catalog. (In a funny note, I actually paid less for him than he cost new (2.99), however I didn't get his accessories). I do have Jane's saddle though, but it's missing parts. That does explain how Charlotte can fit the saddle beautifully and Joe cannot. And really, she's probably going to use it more than him. I even dug out that riding outfit I bought a while back to get those boots I use for the Steampunk outfit. Not only was the horse a good buy, he's also making use of that outfit I bought just for the boots. I won't lie, I really like this horse. Charlotte's been riding him all day. He is naughty though, a couple times today he's "trampled" the cats (all in good fun though). The pictures of the horse are before his clean up, I managed to remove a lot of the stain from him, he now looks much better. I'm just going to have to find a place to store him when I'm not playing with him.
See how spoiled I am? I get a horse, and it's not even my birthday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

First off, Happy Mother's Day everyone! I hope all the mothers out there got shown some appreciation today. Ours was a pretty low key holiday. My mother received a gift basket full of candy and a book from all of us, and a card. Can't forget the card. I think she liked everything. My sister called this evening and they spent some time talking, so I think overall she had a good day.
But today was not just Mother's day, it was also a shopping day. And it's a good thing that was today, we haven't been in a while and I was rapidly running out of what I eat. If we didn't go today, I had not idea what I was going to do for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Originally I declined going, but I was bribed into going.
What was the bribe you ask? Going to the Antique stores on Sunset. I know, I was just there, but sometimes it's easier to just give in and go then get asked then say no 20 times. I originally thought he meant the thrift stores that are open on Sunday, but it was actually the Antique stores like I mentioned. I really didn't see anything that was changed since the last time I'd been in there. I did check for that Skipper to see if she was still there. She was, I was right in thinking she had just been moved. I don't know why I bother looking for her, I'm not willing to spend 32 dollars on a weirdly sallow straight leg Skipper, so it's not like I'm hoping to buy her. But still I check, I always check. Even if it's that wreaked Ken doll that I have no desire to own in any way, shape, or form.
So the usual two stores I left empty handed. There is another store on that strip that my father visits, but usually I skip. I have been in there a variety of times before, but never saw anything remotely of interest to me. They do have Barbie dolls there, but they are all the newer collector dolls, which I do not collect. But I went into today for the heck of it. I didn't see much of anything that I wanted. I did see a lot of Chrissy dolls. I guess there's not a lot of demand for her in town since I saw a lot of her and her friends at low prices. If only she interested me in any way. I could have a decent collection pretty quickly. But I did actually find a few things that interested me, but I hesitated. While I did like them, I didn't really need them. They were interesting, but not something that fell under the guidelines of my collection. So I decided to wait. I wanted to do some research and thinking. I knew that them selling before I got a chance to get them was an option, but I felt like I should wait. Those places seem to have a slow turn around rate, so I wasn't taking a total gamble. So I didn't get anything there. I actually didn't get anything while I was out. And now that I think about it, neither did my dad. What a disappointment in that aspect!
I did do some research when I was back at home, but it really didn't net me anything satisfactory. I'm going to have to do more thinking.
But at least mother's day went off without a hitch!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well, my day is shot now...

I woke up this morning and had to get it into gear. Normally I start my day off a bit more slowly, but not today, I had plans. They weren't even my plans, they were someone elses! (Which is the worst kind).
Earlier in the week my father had made a deal to get a part for his Military truck from someone somewhat local. It was a two hour drive from our house. He invited me to go along with him, and asked if I wanted to visit any local second hand stores or fabric stores since we'd be in the area. That's pretty standard for one of these trips. I was planning on skipping it, but when I found out the part weighed 80 pounds and the guy wasn't going to be home to help my father load it into the truck I felt I should go to help. And I really was going to just help, I didn't even look up any second hand stores, or fabric stores (I really have no interest in fabric at the moment, which shows how over Barbie I am at the moment). So that's what I planned for my morning. We got to the house after about 2.5 hours in the car, it should have only taken us 2, but we did get lost a few times, and we stopped to pick up lunch. We pulled into the driveway, and guess what? The guy's home. His plans changed, so he came over and introduced himself.
Then my dad said it, those terrible words... "So, where's your truck?" The guy told him it was in the garage, then they went into the garage and TALKED FOR OVER AN HOUR AND A HALF. Leaving me outside, waiting. It actually could have been worse, I could have gotten sucked into going into the garage and had to pretend I actually cared about the topic, which has happened before, but still. I'm doing my father a favor, and he goes and leaves me there for an hour and a half. I did try to move the part on my own, but just managed to knock it over and get my hands and pants all greasy. So I was not a happy camper. I ended up sitting in the truck cab and waiting for him to finish his little gab fest and we could move the part and go back home.
So an hour and a half ticks by slowly in the hot and humid truck, then he finally shows up with the guy. Then THEY MOVE THE TRUCK PART WITHOUT ME. I guess I should be happy, but I wasted my entire day doing this thing for my father, and not only did he end up not needing me, he didn't care enough that I was waiting for him to not leave me waiting an hour and a half!
I was so mad. I was very short with him on the ride home. I wasn't mean, I didn't yell, but I certainly wasn't very chatty or putting up with his story telling. But whatever, my day was shot and I'll have to get over it. It's just so annoying that I'm doing something to be helpful for him, and he can't even be considerate to not keep me waiting for so long.
I won't lie, I do not like that truck, it's brought me nothing but trouble since it showed up here. And if it ruins my pants, that will be the real tragedy of the day.

Friday, May 11, 2012

An Accidental Dressing

I dressed a doll today, but I didn't mean to.
Today was a busy day full of non-doll stuff, I won't bore you this time with the details, plus I don't care to rehash all that happened today. It wasn't until the late evening that I actually started doing anything with the dolls. Since I don't have any fashion plans in the works, it was time to do some research and see what I could find.
I started doing some online searches for 50s' fashions. I won't lie, I looked for a while, and didn't see anything of interest. Eventually I gave up discouraged about what little I found that I liked. But it did get me thinking. I really shouldn't be spending so much time on 50s' fashion right now. It is my favorite (and I believe strongest) era to work it. I should be savoring the fact that I have dolls to dress from that era. I really should focus on the 60s', or the 70s' instead. I have plenty of dolls from all the eras at the moment, I should work with the trickier ones now, and save the more "fun" ones for later.
This realization gave me a second wind for research, but I didn't want to look up by era, instead I decided to do a specific search on a doll I'm trying to dress. That way I get to see how other people have dressed that doll and I get to figure out exactly what I do and do not like on her. I picked one of the new dolls to focus my attention on, Malibu Skipper to be exact. I typed her name into the Flickr search bar and started me search. I found some things I liked, but then I found something I really liked. It was Malibu Skipper wearing a outfit from a more modern doll. While I didn't love the exact outfit, I did like it's nautical look. I will always love nautical inspired clothing, forever and ever. Seeing that made me remember something. I had a nautical inspired Skipper dress already made. I made it for Skooter, and while I didn't like it on her, I still finished it. At the moment it was on my Frankie doll, but she was wearing it because it was the last thing I stuck her in. It didn't fit or anything. So I took it off Frankie and put it on Skipper. It was cute, really cute. I ended up giving her a pair of white flats, and pulling back the sides of her hair and tying them with a ribbon to complete the look. Here's a picture of it:I think it's very cute! Although I will admit that I like it as a "for now" outfit. I've always pictured Malibu Skipper in more of a sportier outfit, so this one will just be for the time being. I think she'll end up getting another outfit eventually. But this keeps her out of the Party Pad. Which is a good thing, there's no room to breathe over there. (Not that any of those dolls breathe or anything!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Wow, You're the Grooviest!"

So it's time to talk about our final item from the recent mail surge. I won't keep you in suspence any longer, it's another head! (Shocking, I know)
This one came alone, which is fine. I only needed that one head. This is the head to talking P.J. from 1969. You might remember I bought a Talking P.J. of those way back at one of the local antique stores. Her hair had been chopped off. At the time I thought I'd re-root it, but as I really thought about it, I decided it would just be cheaper and easier on my sanity to buy a replacement head (I did the same thing with Living Skipper from the same store/stall). I found this one a while ago on Etsy, but held off buying it. The other day when I bought that lot of heads, I figured I might as well totally drain my Paypal account and bought this one as well. I had just enough. I think I have like seven cents left in my account. When I spend all my money, I really spend it ALL.
It arrived super fast, and I was able to swap out one head for another, finally giving me a decent Talking P.J. without hours of re-rooting. This one is in good shape. Her hair is uncut, and her makeup looks good. Her lips look sort of unusual, but I think they're all original, just painted weird. I don't have much else to say about P.J., she's my first actual talking doll, (my talking Barbie is on a TNT body). She gets to join the rest of the undressed dolls over on the party plaza. And I get to do more Mod fashion research/sewing. *Lucky Me!*


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Something sort of different (but sort of the same)

Today I'm going to show you the final head from that lot. I've really managed to stretch out a thirty second purchase into a three day ordeal. This last one is actually a bit different than the other two and my usual purchases, because she's not from Mattel. While it's true that most of the collection originated from Mattel, a few other companies have joined as well. This new doll isn't the first of her company to join the collection. She's from Ideal, the same people who made Tuesday Taylor (whom I have two of). But this new head isn't Tuesday, she's actually an older Ideal product. Who we have here is Ideal's Misty.
I actually do not know much about Ideal or their Barbie counterpart Tammy. She just isn't something I was interested in. So I know even less about Tammy's more mature friend with sassy side glancing eyes Misty. In a somewhat weird note I actually just learned about the existence of Misty from a Flickr friend. He posted her picture and identified who she was. Otherwise I wouldn't have no clue as to who she was when I first saw her. And even after I learned of who she was I didn't hunt her down. I really wasn't that interested in her. So you should have guess she wasn't a big reason as to why I bought this lot. But she came with the lot, and I wanted those two other heads, so she came along for the ride! I'm just thinking that she's an added bonus.
That same Flickr friend did tell me that she could use a Barbie body, which is good news for her because that's all I have available. Unfortunately, TNT Flip got the last regular one, Misty is getting stuck with a Malibu body (It's the only spare one I had free). The color difference is pretty noticeable, but it works for the time being. I do plan on eventually getting her back onto her original body. (If I plan on keeping her). But even with the severe color difference I will say I'm not in love with her using a Barbie body. Since her head is so large, the (I assume) somewhat smaller Barbie body (especially the hands) looks silly. It's quite the bobble head effect. Which I'm not a fan of. Whenever I see pictures of her on her original body it still looks large, but not as bad as it currently does. Another issue that I'm having (that sort of goes hand in hand with her original body being bigger) is that Barbie's neck is too thin for her. Her original neck is thicker, and when you look at her you can see some of the lip on her head where the neck meets the head. If she was on her original body that would be covered. I guess she's going to need a lot of scarves!
She is in good condition for her age. Her makeup is sharp with a couple of minor chips. She still needs a bit of a scrubbing. She has dirt tucked in the crevices in her face for some reason. Her hair is nice (maybe a little dry), but uncut. I still have to do some styling work with it. I have brushed it and such, but Barbie and Skipper got most of my attention. Sadly she's probably going to be a second class citizen around here. I'm not even planning on getting her correct body right away, there's lots of purchases planned before that.
Sorry Misty! And finally here's her picture:(And in case anyone is wondering, the reason why her hands are are up in the picture is because I took them for a failed photo-story explaining why her body is in one color and her head another. It's just none of the other pictures came out. Which happens around here...)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I just FLIPped for her!

Now you heard yesterday about how I bought that lot of doll heads that included Malibu Skipper's. While it's true she was the head I needed, she wasn't the reason I eventually bought the lot. You see, I've had the opportunity to buy Malibu Skipper heads before. It's just I really didn't want to spend a lot of money for one. While she's a doll I wanted to add to the collection, and I already had her body, I just wasn't willing to invest a lot of money into her. I'd rather spend my limited funds on a actual vintage doll. So she was on my internet watch list, but not a priority.
But when I found that lot of heads, even though Skipper was a head I needed there were also a few heads that I wanted to add to the collection. One of those is what I'll be sharing with you all today. Also in the lot was a Barbie head, a blonde TNT flip. I already have two TNT flips in the collection, but they're both brunettes. I do like TNT flips, so I was more than ready to add another one to the collection. She was in decent shape. No hair cuts, or neck splits, and her face paint is in good shape. I think she has some paint wear on her lips and that's about it. So while I needed Skipper I wanted this Barbie. She's the doll that pushed me over the edge to buy the entire lot.
I actually ended up working with her first when all the dolls arrived. Unlike Skipper who had the correct body waiting for her TNT Flip is currently on a loaner. It's one of the broken bodies that came in that bag of random stuff that I also got those Living Barbie arms. One of the legs is broken off, but it's got a rubber band holding it on. It works for right now, but I will certainly be looking for a replacement body for her in time. Right now I just wanted to get her on a body so I could start dressing her. But before I started working on that, it was time for her bath and working on her hair. I had to reset her original style. She seems to have thinner hair than the other two TNT flips I have. She also has a green spot in her hair. It's on her curls. I'm not sure what it is, but it wouldn't wash out. Hopefully it'll go away somehow, but at least it's not too noticeable. When she first arrived I was worried that someone had cut off her spit curl (my first TNT flip is missing hers), but I was able to locate it in her hair. It had just gotten brushed into the rest of her hair. She still needs some more hair work, but it's a definite improvement. I really like her, and I'm glad I bought the lot for just her, the other two heads were just a bonus. Sorry Malibu Skipper (and third unknown head)!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Is the Mail here YET?!?!?!?

The other day when I lost out on two great deals online I decided to raise my spirits with some retail therapy, but with a twist. Instead of buying an entire new doll I was finally going to purchase a part of one that needed to complete one of the partial dolls I've amassed. It did help that someone posted a lot of doll heads for sale, for a decent price, that out of the four I needed one and wanted two others. I didn't buy it right away, but after losing those other two things I decided to get it now, or risk losing it.
It showed up today. The seller had given me a tracking number, so I was expecting it (and stalking the mailman) in the anticipation that it would be in today's mail (I have been burned in the past by that though). Luckily the estimate was right and it got here today! And I'm pleased to announce that I was finally able to complete my Malibu Skipper! I even took a picture of her classy goodbye to the rest of the headless bodies. Charming, right? I'm sure this was a one time attitude from her, and she'll be as sweet as pie from now on. I am pleased that I was able to unite and head and a body. Progress is progress! She's already moved over to the Naked Party Pad where she's probably going to live for a while. Even though I'm taking break from looking for new dolls, they are certainly stacking up. I managed to scrounge up temporary bodies for the other two heads I liked from that lot. That does mean I will eventually have to hunt down the correct bodies for them, but it works for the time being. You'll get to meet them soon!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

And the Winner is....!

I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that we are finally nearing the end of what I purchased the other day in town. After this we get to finally switch over to what I got in the mail! I can tell you're just thrilled. Hopefully once that all is behind us, I'll start getting back to doll sewing. But I wouldn't hold my breath for it, I'm still not really invested in it at the moment.
Lucky for you, I did save the best for last from my shopping trip. Let me set the scene: I was at the Christian Secondhand Store, I just walked in. I was already riding the high of my multitude of previous purchases. I headed over to the antique section. I spotted something interesting the moment I walked in, so I picked it up. Turns out it was just a generic Max Steele action figure. He was wearing G.I. Joe clothes, but other than the boots it was nothing that I'd ever use. And even the boots I already had a pair, so they weren't of much use to me. And he wasn't priced, so I put him down and went about my merry way. But just then just one step further, and lurking behind a box, I found it. My biggest find of the day. It was... It WAS.... IT WAS...

To be continued in the next post...

Just kidding! What I found was another Walk Lively Miss America! But this one was different than all the ones I've found before. This one was wearing her original outfit, except her shoes. She has her dress, her cape, her sash, and her crown is still stitched to her head. I really do not thing anyone has ever played with her. She even has some residue left over from her wrist tag! Unfortunately the store placed the price sticker on her bodice and when I removed it some of the bodice got shredded. It sucks that she survived so long in great condition then someone ignorantly damaged her like that. It's right where the sash covers it on the dress, but it still saddens me that it happened. Miss America must have been real popular around here. This doll makes the fifth time I've found her, or part of her locally. I've found her nude, her head, and her dress in various stages of abuse twice. This one was the most expensive of all the other ones, she cost six whole dollars! Time for her grand debut (Here she is, Miss America):
I'm not sure if she's going to be living here long term. I'm all about redressing dolls, but I wouldn't want to take off her original clothing. Plus I already have one Miss America in the collection, and I don't really need two. But I'm not going to rush into anything. I'm going to keep her around to see if we bond of anything. But still pretty good find, and a pretty decent way to end the day right?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Do you offer tailoring services? If so I'll take it!"

Since in yesterday's post I mentioned one of the shops on Sunset, you should have guessed that I also visited the others ones on the street as well. I mean, they're right ... there, if I didn't stop in and see what they had it would drive me crazy. I must know what deals are there to be found! So I also checked out the two story antique store (I forget the name off hand, it might just be Asheboro Antique Mall or something). I didn't see too much that was new. I think that a vintage Skipper might have sold that's been there for a while, but I didn't do much checking in that booth, she might have just been moved.
Anyway, one of the places I like to look is the dollar booth. Usually there's nothing there, but hope springs eternal. This time they actually had some interesting stuff! They had a small lot of 80's Barbies. I didn't bother with most of them, I don't collect that era, and didn't care for most of their clothing (the ones that were dressed that is). I did pick out a Skipper to resell, I figure that she's a bit more uncommon than Barbie so someone might be interested in buying her. I also found another doll that I actually was interested in, or more accurately, I was interested in her dress. She was a clone doll, a cheap blow mold one with terrible hair (of course the only clothes I liked was on the only clone doll there). I did wrestle with getting it. I actually walked away from it for a bit, but ended up going back for the doll (and the Skipper doll). Even though it was just a dollar I was still hesitant about getting it since I really didn't want the doll, just the dress. I have offered the doll to my Flickr friends, but nobody seems to want her. She's still on my flickr page, so head over there if you're interested in her.
But back to her dress. It's also a clone dress. Victorian in it's style, but not in it's application. I say that because the entire dress is made out of tulle. So it's incredibly see thru. I don't think many Victorian ladies would wear something like this, even in the privacy of their own bedrooms! But I thought with the right styling it could be really cute. So I took the chance and got it. Here's a photo of the dress shortly after it arrived here:I did notice that it needed some minor work when still in the store, just some slight repairs. The collar had come partially undone, as well as part of the lace on one of the sleeves. I carefully sewed them back on. It was a pretty easy repair. The styling of the dress was harder. First off I needed to deal with the fact that it was see thru. We are a modest bunch around here. I already had an idea in mind for a solution, I thought of it while trying to decide to get the dress. In the unfinished project box I had a simple white bodice with a skirt that I had made a while back. I forget why I made it, but it ended up in there for some reason or another. This would fit under the dress and cover up all the under parts, but not overwhelm the dress. Before I pulled out that dress to finish it I tried the dress on Charlotte to see how it would fit on a regular Barbie. I put her under dress on under it. It was basically exactly what I wanted in the other dress, but since Charlotte's is gathered at the bust I thought it might look a little improper for the Victorian look. But wouldn't you know it, it was actually perfect. The gathered part matched up really well with the decoration on the front of the bodice on the over dress. Almost like it was intentional, with a sheer top part. And that's how Charlotte ended up with it, it was just too cute on her to take it away. Lately Charlotte and I have been in a bit of a funk, but this dress is the perfect thing to fix our little slump. But it needed some more work first.
I'm not sure if you can tell in the picture of the dress on the dress form, but the dress is oddly high waisted. I knew that was a possibility since it sat too high on the clone doll's waist, but I hoped that Charlotte with her smaller bust would allow it to sit lower. But no such luck. I shouldn't be too shocked, that under dress was created to help fill out her bodice, so I guess I should be happy it's working. But I couldn't leave it like that. Not only was it too high, it was not very fitted, and you know I can't have that! So I cheated. I took a bit of ribbon, and tied it at the waist. But I placed the top of it at the seam of the skirt and bodice. That way it shows off all the bodice, and covers that little bit of the skirt that is too high for Charlotte. And I won't lie, I love it. It's so pretty and feminine. I also used her white tights, and one of her pink hair ribbons. Haven't figured out the shoes for it just yet, but those don't matter right now. I love it, I'm so glad I bought it, really a wonderful purchase. She's my little Victorian Alice in Wonderland. Here's a picture of the dress when it's all styled:Pretty impressive what a bit of styling can do, right?