Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Whatta Haul! Part Five (Finale)

All right, it's the final day of sharing what I purchased at the Swell Doll Shop. I'm really excited to get to this point, not because I'm thrilled about what I'm going to share with you, but I'm excited over the fact that it's the finale! I honestly was wondering if I'd ever get to this point.

Up first for today we have the hooded shirt to vintage Barbie outfit Winter Holiday. I actually bought this for someone. When I picked it out of the bin I immediately thought that it would work for my Bend Leg Midge, so I bought it. Unfortunately at home when I tried it on her, it didn't look so good. With Midge's big hair she couldn't wear the hood up, and it looked better with it up than down. Also, the shirt itself is rather... boxy. Since it's wide enough to fit in the bust and doesn't have any darts, it just sort of hangs on the body. And you know me and having a fitted bodice, so Midge is definitely not getting it, I'm not sure if anyone will. It is in decent shape though. It's missing the draw string, which I read is a common problem. There's also some popped stitching at the waist, and I think the hood itself is coming off, I might have to tack it down. But those are all very minor things, it's really in good shape. I just wish it looked good on someone so I could actually use it.

Moving on from there we have an item that I instantly knew that I wanted. It's the under dress to Friday Night Date. I didn't have an immediate idea as to who was going to wear it when I found it, but I knew I wanted it. It does have a couple flaws. There's some orange staining on the skirt (which I don't mind since it's going to be covered by the overdress), but there's a stain dead center on the bodice. I have no idea what it is, but I've tried several things in an effort to get it to come clean, but failed. It looks like a grease stain, which are impossible to get out, especially when they're over fifty years old. Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to clean it? I'm desperate for suggestions. Right now I'm thinking I might have to change how I design my overdress in order to cover it. Still a cute dress. I'm thinking that my Blonde Number Five Ponytail will end up with it, but that's not set in stone yet. Someone else could very much end up with it.

Up next we have my most regrettable purchase from the doll bin. It's the Star bodysuit from a 70s' best buy outfit. I've always liked this outfit, so I was really excited to find part of it, especially since it was the harder to make part. But I guess my enthusiasm blinded me to it's issues. There's a spot on the back that's totally threadbare. I'm going to have to patch it. I didn't realize it until after I got home with it. I wouldn't have bought it had I seen that in the store. There's also a lot of loose threads that need trimming, but I knew that when I bought it. But since that's the worst surprise I got out of what I bought, I should be pleased that that was the worst of it.

And before we get to our final item, we have a little bonus outfit. It's this little geometric print nightgown. Now I didn't buy this, but Tutti came wearing it. It's in good shape, it does have a couple spots and some discolorations. The weird thing, I already had this. This exact same nightgown came in those cases a while back. I have no clue who made it, I never was able to identify the first one. It's so weird that I ended up with two, both totally by accident. I don't have any plans to use this.

And finally (ugh, finally) we have a Ken Jacket. I think it's a pak item, Corduroy Jacket (But I could be wrong). It's perfect, like it looks like it just came out of the package. I would doubt if it was ever on a doll. It even has the paper quality control tag on it. I don't have a Ken doll to dress at the moment, but I knew that I had the have it the moment that I saw it, or else regret missing out on it. I'm going to have this up in the Vintage clothing closet, but the next time I get a vintage Ken I will pull this out as an option for dressing him in. Can you believe this was only two dollars?

Whew, that was a lot of writing. I'm glad that's over with. Now that I've shared everything I've gotten, I can get back to my usual topics of conversation. Like the fact that since today was Tuesday I got some writing done, sadly I wasn't that motivated and only managed to get half a page done before I called it quits. Sometimes these things just happen. Hopefully the next time I write I'll get more done. Finger's crossed!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Whatta Haul! Part Four

All right, now it's time for our final doll that I purchased from the Swell Doll shop. You might have noticed that my purchases have been very.... Non-Barbie. So far out of all that you've seen they've been friends or family of Barbie, plus that one Barbie body. Well this one is going to be different, because... the last doll is Barbie! She's a TNT Barbie, my second one in the collection. This one's different because she's a brunette, my first one was a blonde. Actually as I was corrected on Flickr, she's CoCo Go-Go, and my first was was Summer Sand. (Whatever! :P)
She was one of the last dolls I picked to buy. I was looking to buy a vintage doll, but when I saw her face I just could not leave her there. She's just so pretty. I knew that if I left her someone else would buy her and I'd be kicking myself for missing out on such a lovely doll. She does have some issues, missing eyelashes, some empty hair plus, I believe a hair trim in spots, her face has paling, some spotting on her legs, some feet chews, and some breast punctures. But those are easily ignored or concealed. She was the second doll that I washed and worked on her hair. She was basically already pretty clean, but I did have to scrub her legs, especially the feet. I guess this girl had spent a lot of time outdoors without shoes, the bottom of her feet had dirt caked on!
And that was the final doll that I bought at the Swell Doll Shop! I've finally reached the end of sharing all of that with you! Now.... it's time to share the clothing that I bought. But at least we have a light at the end of the tunnel. Also this should be a bit more exciting since this is totally new. Nobody else has seen what I'm about to share with you. I know you're all super excited!
Like I said in the general post about my experiences with the Swell Doll shop, when I was looking through the tub of doll clothes I picked pieces that needed repair work that I could do, or I could live with if I couldn't manage to fix it. The majority of what I got here was vintage Barbie, with a couple modern pieces, and a couple for Ken or Skipper. A few of them I had ideas for who was going to get them, some of them I just wanted. Up first we have the overdress to Orange Blossom. While I like this vintage outfit, I was never expecting to get it myself. It's a little too dressy for my usual tastes. But I do like the look of the overdress, and thought about making my own version, but never finding the right materials to make my own version out of I decided against it. But now I don't have to, I now have the original. This was one I had to repair, but it was so simple. The stitch that held the top part to the bodice had come undone. It didn't rip or anything, the knot had come undone. So I just had to sew them back together and I was done. It took me less than ten minutes and I had the entire thing fixed, super simple. I couldn't have even bought the supplies for two dollars and made it in under ten minutes, so I'm thinking that was a successful purchase. I didn't have anyone in mind when I bought this outfit, still don't. I think I'm just going to stick it in the vintage clothing closet for now. But I may end up using it after all, I've got the option now that I own it!

And after that we have the skirt to Skipper's day at the fair. I got it because it's really cute. I don't have any plans for it, I just liked it. It's in good shape. It is missing part of the clasp thing on it, but other than that it's fine. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it. I wish I had found the bodysuit that went along with it as well. I'm at a bit of a loss at to what fabric I could use to make my own that would compliment the Barbie pattern on the pocket, while still making the outfit visually interesting. But I've got time to think about it. Even though I have several Skipper sized dolls waiting to get dressed it's not like they have to be dressed right now. Maybe the right fabric will come along (or maybe know, who knows).

And finally for today we have the apron to the vintage Barbie outfit "Barbie learns to Babysit". It's in really good shape except for the fact that the black printing on it has transferred black spots all over the rest of the apron (which I read is a common problem). I don't think there's anything I can do to remove it, but I'm not that upset over it. I think it still looks very cute, and the black spots are easily ignored. This is another item that I bought that I didn't have anybody in mind for. Again, might end up living in the vintage clothes closet, but I think it was definitely cute enough to spend two dollars on!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whatta Haul! Part Three

Like yesterday we will continue by sharing dolls that came from the case. This next doll was the last doll I picked from the case (in case you can't tell I'm doing these in a really bizarre order). She's actually the doll that I put that other five dollar doll back so I could get. I didn't specifically put her away to get this new doll, but she was the doll I selected after I put that other doll back. The doll I'm talking about is Skipper. She's a titan straight leg doll, and really pretty. Part of the reason why I got her is because her hair is so nice. I own four SL Skipper dolls, three of them I re-rooted because their hair was a mess, that last one I want to re-root, but her face is cracking so I can't. This one will be my first doll with her original not shredded hair. I'm not sure what is it with vintage Skipper hair, but all the dolls I've gotten their hair has not stood the test of time. But not this one, her hair is lovely and full! It's so silky and smooth! Maybe that's why whenever I find Skipper her hair is all messed up, kids couldn't stop playing with it. Anyway, like all the other dolls she has some flaws, not many but some. She has some red staining on her hips (I assume from her original swimsuit), and she has a chip in her lip paint that's white. But that's about it. Can you believe this lovely lady only cost me twelve dollars? I will say it was a little nerve wracking getting her out of the case. She was propped up against a vintage Barbie diary, and I was terrified about knocking it over. I had to reach in at a weird angle to pick her up to even check out her price tag (again, the price was flipped away from me) to avoid knocking anything over. But she's worth it, she's so pretty! Even if that means I have another Skipper to sew for!
And after that we have the first doll that I picked out of the case (I told you I was doing this without any real order). It's Living Fluff! I've been wanting a Fluff doll for a while now, but held off getting them because the ones I find are either really expensive, or really beat up. She was a nice in-between, played with condition with a played with price. She was my most expensive doll that I purchased, costing me fifteen whole dollars! But I think she's worth it. But like I said, she does have her issues. Her arms don't bend any more (A problem that plagues my Living Skipper as well, I guess their arms don't hold up that well to play). Also her bangs are a little thin. I think overall her hair is a little thin, but I could be wrong. I do know her bangs should be much fuller. She's also missing her pin curls. But she's a beautiful doll and I'm glad that I finally own her. I just love her elfin smile! She was the first doll that I washed and reset her hair, although I had to go back and give her another scrubbing later. I don't know what it is with that "Living" rubber, but dirt clings to it like there's no tomorrow. Her legs went from a yellowish color back to their peachy pink!
Stay tuned until tomorrow for part four!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Whatta Haul! Part Two

Like I said in my original post, I got two dolls from the five dollar bin. You met the first one yesterday, and today you get to meet the other one. I won't leave you guessing (especially since I shared the picture of everything I got two days ago), I got a Tutti doll! Yes, my first Tutti doll. There were actually two Tutti dolls in the bin, one with cut hair and one without. Since I was planning on rebodying the doll and just needed the head I picked the one with uncut hair. But her body is actually in pretty decent shape. The only problem she has with her bendy body is her arms. One side has the wire totally gone, the other side it's broken, but she can still bend at the elbow. So I decided to keep her on this body, and get another head down the road for the spare body I have. This body does have a small green spot on the back. That's a sign the body's wires are affecting the rubber body. It's like green ear, but there's no way to avoid it. I've seen bodies on E-bay that are totally green from it, it even spreads to the heads! I'm hoping that since she's lasted this long without it spreading that much it would be too much of a problem. Just to be safe I didn't wash her like I normally do. Instead I just wiped her down with a wet paper towel. I'm so psyched that I have a Tutti doll, she's so cute! I'm not in love with the fact I'm going to have to draft all new patterns in order to sew for her, but I will do it. Now that I've got Tutti I kind of want a Todd doll too. These dolls, always a gateway for something else.Up after Tutti we have our first doll that came from the cases. Like I said in the original post there were more expensive dolls in the cases, but there were still lots that were pretty affordable. In fact four of the dolls I bought were from the cases, and like I said I was well under budget.
There was quite an assortment of doll in the cases, most ranging from vintage to mid 70s'. I did notice that there were a lot of Francie dolls in the cases. Several of them were a bit too expensive for my budget, but I did manage to get one. This lovely lady only cost me ten dollars. She does have her issues. She's had a haircut (she may get a re-root eventually and a hat in the meantime), she has a minor lip rub, she has a chip out of one of her fingers, and there's some weird darkening at both of her knees. But that's about it, she has not bites or breaks, both of her knees click and hold position (both knees in fact are the hardest clicking knees I've dealt with), and she has no paling. One side of her eyelashes are a little sparse, but there's still plenty of lashes and the other side looks relatively perfect. She's a real stunner and it's easily to overlook her minor imperfections, especially when she only cost me ten dollars. I apologize for her messy picture, I didn't clean her up before taking it. For some reason I've been avoiding cleaning her up.
Stay tuned for part three!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Whatta Haul! Part One!

It shouldn't come as much of a shock telling you that I've decided to split up what I got at the doll shop over a couple days of posting when I'm actually talking about what I got in detail. I felt I had talked enough yesterday just talking about my trip there, and both you and my keyboard needed a rest. You've all seen that dark picture of the dolls I got, so there's not too much suspense about those, but each of them will get their own introduction and detailed description over the next few days. I'm sure you're just thrilled about me prattling about my newest dolls, I know I am! (I actually am, you, I'm not so sure about.)

The first doll I'm going to share with you is one that won't be sticking around around here. I actually bought her to resell. I didn't mention it during my original post, but there was a small tote of dolls on the floor in the doll shop, for a dollar each. Most of them were 90's or later dolls, but I did see a beat up Malibu doll and at least one Sun Lovin' Barbie. Even though I could tell that they weren't going to really be of interest to me I still looked through all the dolls in the tote. Come on, they were a dollar, I had to! And that's where I found this first doll I'm sharing with you. I had no idea who she was at the time, but I recognized her body. It's the same body that Dusty had, and Princess Leia (Sp?). So while I didn't know exactly who she was I had an idea who made her and how old she could be. And since She looked to be in really nice shape, and only a dollar, I decided to get her. She was actually the last thing I decided to get, I added her to the pile of stuff I bought as I was walking over to the counter on the other side of the store with the rest of my purchases.
Last night when I was home I quickly found out who she is. She's "International Velvet" from Kenner from 1978. I don't think she's that in demand, but I'm sure she's worth more than a dollar. So she's got a date with the Dollpage soon, once I get the time and the drive to actually list her. I hope somebody wants her. I'd love to have my purchase from the doll shop help finance my next visit! (Even though I'm still twenty dollars in the red to my parents).Moving on from that we have the first from the five dollar box. She's actually not a full doll, she's just a body (so far). It's a vintage Barbie only body in decent shape. It's got a few bumps and scrapes, but it's in pretty good shape. I was shocked to find a decent condition body in the box for only five dollars. In hindsight I wonder if she did have a head, at the bottom of the box was a Bubblecut head that could have come off her. I'm fine that she didn't come with a head, and even if I realized that in the store I wouldn't have put the two of them together. I wouldn't want to cobble something together that wasn't meant to be together. I'm fine with just buying her body. Now I have to go on another hunt for a Vintage Barbie head. Just when I make progress on getting heads for the bodies I have, I go and buy another body. This doll does have a weird thing to mention, one of her legs is a lot longer than the other one. Like a full 1/8 of an inch. I ended up replacing it with a spare one I had. I tried replacing the other one, but couldn't get it to come off, and I didn't want to force it too much and break her. I'd preferred replacing both legs, but at least now she doesn't have such a huge leg height difference.
*Sad Update* I was using this doll as a fit model for some sewing, she fell from my lap to the floor, and her neck knob broke off. I think I'll be able to fix it, but I'm still livid that it happened. Why must I be so clumsy??? No picture of her because everyone's seen a Barbie body before, and I'm still mad I broke the darn thing. >:(

Stay tuned for Part Two, tomorrow!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Aubrey's Redemption... sort of.

I slept poorly last night, which was not surprising to me. I had a lot on my mind. You see, there was a reason I was tossing and turning all night. It's because this afternoon I was going back to the Swell Doll Shop, the location of my most recent self esteem crush, and hopefully I was going to be less of a basket case this time. So I was both excited and nervous, which is a real nightmare (pun intended) to my sleep cycle.
Even though my last trip had been a terrible crash and burn, I was planning on going back... eventually. I saw a lot of stuff that I was interested in when I was there, and I know that there was a lot I didn't see yet. And even though I felt really low from my last visit there, I was still willing to go back. I'm willing to subject myself to a lot for the dolls. I guess because ultimately they make me happy so I'm willing to live with the moments of extreme embarrassment they sometimes subject on me.
So while I wanted to go back, I didn't want to go with my father. My mother had volunteered to take me, so I did take her up on that offer. She did remind me that my brother's school starts soon and that if I wanted too long, she wouldn't be able to give me a ride anytime in the near future. So I decided that I would go not this week, but next week. I talked it over with her and we picked next Thursday for our day to visit. But shortly after we made those plans my father said he would take me on this Thursday, and wouldn't take no for an answer. I did tell him that I wanted to wait until the next week because I was hoping to save up some more money to spend at the Doll shop, but he wouldn't let that stall us. Instead he loaned me the money so I could go this week. So I owe my parents thirty dollars now, but I get time to pay them back. I really didn't know if I'd be able to sell anything before next week to get more money, so at least now I have the money and can repay it when something does sell. Kind of a win-win.
So today was very similar to last Friday, we left the house shortly after noon, and were in Chapel Hill around two. My dad dropped me off (with the plans to make himself scarce until I was ready to go this time), I walked into the mall and that's when my anxiety went up again. I walked past the store again, to scope out who was there before I went in. I told myself that I could do it, and thought good thoughts when I was opening the door to go in.
Inside the store there was a woman on the doll side and the owner of the other store on the other side. He greeted me when I entered. I thought that the woman was working at the doll shop, but turns out she was another customer. She didn't actually buy anything, but put a couple unpriced things on hold for when she would be back soon. The gentleman working at his store offered to call Bradley for her, but she said she's be back later for them. I guess Bradley wasn't there that day. And... this is going to sound terrible, but that was kind of a relief to me. Oh, that does sound terrible. I mean my short dealings with him the other day he was super nice and friendly, but I need a little bit of stuffy distance. I'm from New England, we don't do super friendly that well! But the other guy was doing his own work which allowed me to poke around and generally explore the merchandise. He did check in with me a few times to see if I needed any help or anything, or had any questions, but for the most part I was fine. There were things that I would have liked to known the price on, but I found plenty of marked items to spend my money on. More than enough really.
Like I said it's a tiny shop, but there's so much to see. It's mostly Barbie, but I saw lots of other dolls, including some that were much older than Barbie. Even though I don't collect them, they're still nice to look at. One of the first places I revisited in the store was that tub of vintage dolls for five dollars each. I thought that was where I was going to spend the most of my money, but it was not meant to be. Most of the dolls in there was just a little too abused for me. I do collect dolls with some play wear, but a lot of these dolls were a bit too played with. And I thought that instead of getting a billion well loved dolls, instead I could focus on one or two nicer dolls for the collection. I did end up picking out three dolls from that bin, and no Chatty Cathy was not one of them. I managed to avoid getting another one of those. I honestly didn't have the space for another one.
From there I moved to another spot in the store that I briefly looked at last time, but wanted to visit again. It was a tub of doll clothes, two dollars each. It was an odd mix of vintage Barbie, newer Barbie, some clone clothing, homemade bits, and other stuff together. Most of the vintage Barbie stuff had it's issues, and some I don't think was even worth two dollars, but I managed to dig through it and find seven things that I wanted in it. I avoided stuff that was torn, but if it only had minor sewing issues I got if. I limited myself to seven things, but honestly I bet I could have spent a lot longer digging though that box and found lots more that I wanted.
When I stopped looking at the clothes in the tub I actually didn't take what I found with me. Instead I left them in the tub, just all stacked on the top of the pile. While I did want them I still wanted to check out the dolls in the cases before I committed myself to getting the clothes. While the vintage clothes were nice, I'd rather spend my limited budget on more dolls. I made my way across the store to check out the dolls in the two display cases. I had looked at them the last time I was there, but very briefly. I didn't know how much most of them cost because while they were tagged, a lot of them their tags were behind them, and flipped around. And I was a little hesitant to check them because their was a sign saying "Please ask before opening the case". The cases were wide open when I was there, but I was still a little nervous about getting yelled at for not asking permission before I started touching the dolls in the case, even though I was super careful. I tried to be as quiet and careful as possible when checking out the dolls. I was expecting them to be somewhat expensive, but they so weren't! Well some of them were, but I found a lot (and I mean a lot) well within my price range. I however did not get the courage to look at the price tag for the beautiful number three Barbie on the top shelf. I knew I couldn't afford her, and a doll like that might have alarms go off it you get too close to her! But there were dolls in the case for as low as ten dollars. Nice doll, not perfect dolls, but certainly nice dolls! I looked over what was there, and weighed my options. I ended up pick four dolls from the cases. There were even a couple of Skooter dolls I could have gotten, but I decided I didn't want to drive myself completely insane, so I didn't get another one. Besides, they only had Redheads and I have two of those already, if I got another one I'd want a blonde or black haired doll. But I did get some really nice dolls, and some really decent prices on them.
I did keep a running calculation of my purchases on the tiny free spot on the counter that I piled up everything that I wanted. I'd hate to go over the money I had and have to put something back. I'd feel like an idiot for overspending, and I'd be sad having to put away something I wanted. So I decided to go well under budget. I could have gone really close to budget and picked out another medium priced doll, but I was already feeling greedy, I actually put back one of the five dollar dolls since I had decided she was too damaged for me. Plus without her I felt comfortable enough to get a better condition doll without going over budget. So I carefully carried everything I bought to the other side of the store where the man there checked me out. I actually only spent 77.07! I thought it was going to be well under budget, but I was a full ten dollars plus under. And I got a lot for what I spent. Like I said they have really good prices. I'm already thinking about my next visit there (whenever that may be). I'm going to have to start saving up again, well first I have to pay my parents back. I gave them back the ten dollars I had left over so I now only have to pay them back twenty. After that I can start saving up to visit again.
Needless to say this trip was a lot more successful than the last one. I know that since the actual owner wasn't there I wasn't forced to actually do much talking, but I was still am counting it as a success. The next time I visit while still giving me anxiety, will be easier. It's like getting into a pool, it's easier when you ease yourself into it. And today I got my big toe in.
And just so you don't have to wait until tomorrow to hear about the start of what I got (I've typed too much already), here's a quick picture of what I got:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trying to salvage something good.

Well dear readers, I'll start off with the bad news, I've done a total 180 on Skooter's outfit. I now hate it with a burning passion and I want to do nothing but take it off her and banish her back to the sewing cabinet (or worse). The only thing that is keeping me from doing so is the fact that I'm hoping that I'll reverse my position and like it again. So far it seems to be working, kind of. I keep flip flopping between love and hate for this outfit. I'll glance over at Skooter on the bookshelf and fall in love with how adorable it is, then look a few minutes later and feel like it's terrible and nothing like how I want Skooter to be dressed. I'm not sure why this bizarre turnaround happens, but sometimes it just does. This is not the first time this has happened, and I doubt it will be the last, much to my annoyance.
But while I sometimes hated the outfit I wasn't ready to give up on it just yet. It was so hard to dress Skooter that I really hated taking it off her. So I looked at the outfit more critically, trying to pinpoint exactly what I didn't like on it. It took me a little while, but I eventually decided it was the shirt that was making me dislike it so. While it was a cute shirt, and took forever to make, it just didn't go with the outfit. The jumper was more like fancy school clothes, and the style of the shirt was a bit more casual than the rest of it. So I decided to remake the shirt, choosing a similar style, but one that felt a bit more dressy. Quite honestly, all I was going to be doing was remaking it, but with short sleeves instead of the original shirt's cap sleeves. A somewhat simple fix, but one I was hoping be really effective in making me like the outfit again.
For the pattern I picked that one piece Skipper shirt pattern that I drafted for for Living Skipper. I made a couple changes from how I made it for Living Skipper though. I made the sleeves shorter. I also on the fly changed it from a back closure to a front closure, which was not easy. I mean I got it to work, but for a while I wasn't sure if it was going to be successful. I wouldn't have been too shocked if I made the entire thing then found out I messed up the placement on the neck hole opening and Skooter couldn't wear it.
But I didn't. I made quick progress on it. This one is fully lined like the other one (still using that super thin red dotted Swiss). I even did the inset collar again, I did however work out a new way to make it get set in easier. I'll have to try it again to see if it actually works, or if this time it was just a fluke. I finished it today, adding the buttons just like last time. I did change something decorative on it. The original design had a bow at the neck, but when I made that first shirt I ended up getting rid of it. On this version I bought it back. I'm not super in love with it's placement on the shirt, but I didn't feel like ripping it out again and retacking it down in place.
And then I was done. I'm still not totally in love with this outfit, but I do like it better than before. I'm leaving Skooter in it, and moving her over to the bookshelf. I figure she's dressed and if I think of something I like better I can always change her clothes. I'm just glad she's done, and she was our second dressed doll of the month! I was thinking I wasn't going to hit that number this month!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm too busy to write today, but it was worth it.

I managed to finish Ken's outfit rather early in the day yesterday. Like I said in that post, I only had to do some finishing up and repair work, and they shockingly managed to get done rather quickly. And since I had time to kill I ended up doing more online research trying to find something that would inspire me to work on another doll that's waiting to be dressed. I didn't find too much, I've scoured so many sources that I'm running out of places to look. But I did find something I liked, something for Skooter, which was shocking. It was actually something very similar to what I tried for her the last time I made something for her, but somewhat different. I feel like what I made last time was a step in the right direction, but not the exact thing I wanted. I had felt the outfit was looking a little boring, this new look was much more ... visually interesting?, for a lack of a better description. I did want to start working last night, but it was late when I found it and since I was going to have some pattern adapting I decided to hold off until the morning.
Today I started working on it. I actually started off with some practice pieces. You see, the design required a pleated skirt. Now these should be old hat by now since I've made those at least a hundred times by now. But I've been noticing that my pleated skirts have become rather... straight. Since I figured out a way to make the back seams line up better there's not really much flounce to my skirts. They've stopped flaring out at the bottom and just look like a straight skirt with some pleated detailing, which I am not happy about. So I decided to look at how I make them and see if there's something I can to do fix that issue. I made a test piece and played around with it. I tried multiple things, and I really couldn't figure out the ideal fix for my problem. I even did a Google search to see if maybe I was missing out on some part of how real pleated skirts are made to help them flair out, but I couldn't find anything. Finally I turned to my own collection. I did have that pleated skirt that originally made for Sindy that was being worn by my Midge doll. It had a nice flair to it, so I used that to see how they did it. Looking at the back I could see that instead of regular pleats there was a triangle of unpleated fabric on both sides of the back hem. This give the fabric enough of a flair at the bottom to help push out the skirt. So that's what I did to my skirt. I cut out a rectangle from the red calico I was going to make Skooter's jumper out of, hemmed it, cut the corners at an angle, then pleated from there. Fun fact, adding the triangles at the back throws off the hem. It ended up being a bit longer at the back than at the front. Annoying, but now that I know I can take that into consideration from now on.
I didn't bother dealing with it at that exact moment. Instead I worked on finishing the jumper, adding the waistband, ironing the pleats, then adding the straps. To add the straps I used those buttons that I bought a while back, I won't lie, I love those buttons, they're just so awesome, and make my sewing look more realistic. Anyway, I got all the buttons sewed on, then did all the seam reinforcement and adding the snap in the back. By the way I stuck a spare shirt of Skooter when I was doing all this as a place holder for the real shirt I haven't made yet. I'd hate to do all this work and not have her jumper fit over the shirt. When that was all done, I focused on the hem issue. I ended up ripping out the original hem and hand sewing it back in, after I manually adjusted the back so it was the same length as the front. It was annoying, but didn't take too much time, and it does look good. And the new way I made the skirt does make it flair out how I like it, I think this will be my new way to make these skirts, even if I do have to hand hem them from now on. The final product will be worth it in the end.
When the jumper was done, it was time to work on the shirt. I had decided that I wanted to use that Barbie pattern that I used for Midge's shirt for this outfit, just resized for Skooter, but when I tried to do that on the computer it was a terrible mess. So I ended up doing it by hand, just comparing her measurements to Barbie's and adapting how I saw fit. I made a quick test piece, and after a few more tweaks decided I had a workable enough pattern to use the real fabric. I decided to use that red dotted Swiss fabric. You may remember that last time I tried using it, it was a disaster because it was so thin, but I decided to just fully line the shirt so I could use it. The original pattern calls for a facing for the neckline, but since this new pattern was so much smaller, it was just easier to line the entire thing.
It went together okay, I'm still having a terrible time with inset collars. I love how they look, but they're a total pain to get in correctly, but eventually I got it in decently. So I set about finishing it, hand hemming the sleeves, but when I done with that I realized something... the collar was set in wrong. One side ended up being much bigger than the other. There was no way I could fix it without having to take a lot of it apart. So I decided to just start over. It was just easier to begin again than undo what I had done. Plus I could fix a couple things that I didn't like on the first one.
The second one came out better than the first. I made sure that stupid collar went in right and looked darn near perfect. I guess that even with that first one being a mess up I still liked how this outfit was looking since I got the entire thing done. I even put more buttons on it (I swear I'm not obsessed with these buttons). It's a cute look. I managed to make her a pair of white knee socks today as well. It's slim pickings for shoes around here, but she managed to get a pair of white Barbie sneaker/fake Saddle shoes. They were Charlotte's, but she rarely wears them, so she was fine giving them up. I promise there will be pictures, but not tonight. I'm too tired to be wielding a camera. I literally have been sewing for a greater part of today.
But I didn't want to lose my inspiration when I had it, especially if it's for Skooter.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ken's Finished, Ken's Finished, Ken's Finished!

All right, now that I'm well (enough) rested and the sun is back in the sky it's time to get back to that Ken outfit. The good thing is I still liked it and was eager to finish it and move him from the sewing cabinet to the bookshelf.
I decided to start by working on those pants. I'm not the most confident on my repair work so I wanted to start with them when I was my most gung-ho on the project. I had been thinking about the best way to repair them since I decided he was going to keep them. I did think about just tacking in some new elastic in the back, but I decided it was actually quicker and easier to take them apart partially and totally replace the broken elastic. And since I was taking them apart it would actually be easier to fix the broken seam in the back if I did that. Using my seam ripper I carefully took out the side seams, about 3/4 of an inch down the leg. After that I ripped out the back seam where the channel for the elastic was housed. I also had to rip out some extra stitches that was holding the elastic in place. I found out that the elastic wasn't shot, it had just snapped in one spot. But while it still had a little life in it, it wasn't much. I'm sure if I actually stretched it out some it would snap on me. I was able to use it to measure the replacement elastic though, that was helpful.
But before that I carefully sewed the back seam up a little to take in the small part that had come undone. Can I just say, I have no idea how Mattel managed to make this outfit? It's a fabric that frays like crazy and has the smallest seam allowance I've ever seen. It's crazy that the pants survived this long with so little damage. Once I had fixed the back seam I flipped the back hem down and made another channel to house the elastic. I kind of went off course and part of it didn't get sewed down, but I didn't want to redo it in case it would damage the pant's fabric. It was fine enough for my needs. Then I threaded the elastic through it, held it at the edges, and sewed the side seams back up. A quick thread trimming and seam reinforcement and he was good to go. This was my most successful repair to date. They look pretty good, not to toot my own horn. I like it when things work out like that.
From there I worked on the shirt. That was pretty standard. Just trimming lose threads, reinforcing seams, and adding snaps. I would had added buttons, but I didn't have any that were a decent color match. Oh well, he can live without them. It was a pretty simple to finish it. I did end up doing some more sewing on the shirt actually. When I was done it was looking kind of boxy on his torso. I had made it bigger at the waist because the original pants were kind of bulky there and I worried I'd make the entire shirt then have problems with it closing. But since his new pants were thinner at the waist, the shirt looked too big. So I added to darts in the back, really simple fix, and he looks better for it.
And then he was done! Well he was done when I fished a pair of brown loafers out of the Ken shoe bag to complete his look. (I didn't even know if I had something that would work for his outfit). I really like how this came out. And I'm pleased that I was able to dress at least one doll this month. It was feeling like July was going to be a month that no dolls got dressed. And so far I can at least say that one doll got dressed. And it's also been a slow month for new dolls joining the collection. So far we've only had one new doll, this Ken doll actually. Sometimes that happens, the newest doll is the first one dressed. Meanwhile dolls that I've had longer continue to anguish over on the sewing cabinet. Whatever, I managed to get Ken dressed and that's awesome! He looks so cool! (In a 60's sort of way)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Starting Fresh

Since it's Sunday it's time to put away the doll of the week and select a new one. I didn't mention this last week, but there was a doll of the week. It was Straight Leg Francie, and I made absolutely no progress on her. I didn't even take her off the sewing cabinet. I actually didn't pick a name this week, instead I did something different. I chose three dolls from the sewing cabinet, one from each era. We had Malibu Francie (not that many dolls from the 70s' to pick from), Mod Ken, and the Lemon Bubblecut. I'm thinking that maybe I'll have better luck if I have a wider net to cast with instead of focusing on one specific doll. I do know the irony of this statement since I started this doll of the week because I felt I needed to focus on one doll instead of everyone. What can I say, I love making rules for myself only to break them.
While I'm (back) on square one with Malibu Francie and the Lemon Bubblecut, Ken actually had a bit of a head start with his dressing. I had kept out those white bell bottom pants that I had gotten with that Sailor G.I. Joe to try on him. They had made their way to the sewing cabinet, but not onto him yet. So I started off with putting them on him. They took a little work getting up his legs, but eventually I managed to do so. They fit pretty decently. They were a little loose in the waist, but not terribly so. I liked the look so I decided he was going to keep those pants. Look at that, I just started and he's already halfway dressed! I just needed to make him a shirt.
I spent a little time thinking about what Mod fabric I had that would work for a shirt. I really don't have much in way of Mod fabrics. But I did remember something. A while back I bought a bag of vintage fabric scraps. I can't remember if I shared that with you or not, but I had most recently used it to make Malibu Skipper's shirt. It has lots of good fabrics in the bag, but I am not kidding when I say it's scraps. Some of the pieces are too small for even me to use. But I digress. I remembered that when I was first looking through the bag there was some fabric that I thought would be perfect for a Mod Ken shirt. Since I didn't have a Mod Ken at that time I squirreled that information away, and then promptly forgot. Today having Ken in pants and needing a shirt unearthed that little nut and I dug through the bag. Sure enough in it was a fabric that would be perfect for his shirt. And I had enough fabric to make it. I might even have enough fabric to make a second one if I'm careful when I'm cutting out the first one. I do like that safety net in case I mess up the first!
I pulled out the usual Ken shirt pattern and got to work. For some reason I have decent luck when sewing Ken shirts. I mean, they're not perfect, but they seem to come out better than other things I sew, especially when they always have both collars and inset sleeves to trip me up on. Anyway, I did have some issues with the collar with this one, but I was able to eventually get it to work. I originally was thinking about making it short sleeves, but when I was cutting them out I decided to make them long, they do look better like that. I managed to get all of the initial sewing done today. But when I was looking at it all together, something wasn't working. I liked the shirt and the pants, just not together. I think it's because the pants are blindingly white and there's no white in the pattern of the shirt to tie them together. There is however some tan. I decided to make him some new pants in tan and hold onto the white bell bottoms. It makes more work for me, but in the long run I'll like it better. I held off on making them because it was already so late I didn't want to start something new.
But then I remembered I had tan pants in the unfinished project box. They were the pants that came with New Look Ken a couple of weeks ago. They had a spot where the seam was breaking and the elastic in the back was shot. I stuck them into the box even though I really never planned on fixing them any time soon. I fished them out and tried them on with the shirt. They actually looked really good. I'm going to have to figure out a way to fix them, but he's going to be keeping these pants. That white pair can be used for some other Mod Ken, whomever that may be.
I really like how this is turning. Barring any huge issues coming up, he'll end up wearing this outfit. But it needs to be finished first, and that's going to have to wait until tomorrow. It's much too late to work on it right now. I'll do that tomorrow after a night's sleep.
It's exciting though! I haven't done much sewing lately, much less successful sewing!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dolls, Dolls, everywhere and not a single one dressed

Let me start off this post with introducing you to my first Mod Ken:He may seem familiar and it's because you've all seen him before, just not all together like this. His body is the one that I bought one of the last times I went out (his original head had shrunk and suffered a hair cut), and the head came from that bag of stuff that I got at the antique mall a while back (Both legs had been broken off). By combining the two I was able to get a decent Mod Ken doll, finally! I keep managing to amass their parts but not the actual dolls. And the grand total for this Ken doll? Ten dollars. That's just the entire cost of the bag of dolls where his body came from. His head ended up being free because I sold the Brooke Shields doll for the cost of the entire bag. I mentioned her selling, but didn't mention what it meant. It also brought down the price of Living Barbie and Sweet Sixteen. If anything that I list (when I get around to listing it) from the bag his body came from sell his price could go down lower too. He might end up being free! That's nice, right?

Sadly today has not been much of a good day. July has been really terrible in terms of doll sewing. So far this month I have not managed to get any dolls dressed. They're really starting to pile up on the sewing cabinet. With Ken added I've managed to cover up the entire top with dolls waiting to be dressed. Seeing all those undressed dolls is starting to wear on me. And I have a variety of people and eras so it's not like I'm stuck on one particular thing, it's everything. I know I dredge this little comment every few months or so, but my spark is missing. Right now I don't even want to work with Charlotte, and I'm usually willing to always work on her.
But I did do some sewing today, or at least tried. I started off with another attempt at dressing Malibu Francie. I thought maybe her dress would work out better if it was shorter, so I drafted a new pattern and got to work. Turns out I don't like it either way. Also I officially hate that flowered fabric. It's so slippery and frays if you just look at it making everything so much harder to work with. So I'm done with that dress. Before I started I told myself this was my final attempt on that dress and it was a terrible failure. I'm sticking with that promise, that fabric is going away for a long, long time. I'll just find something else for Malibu Francie, hopefully.
And I wasn't done just yet, I also had a terrible failure for Bend Leg Midge. I worked on a dress for her, and it was just a mess. I was trying something new and... I doubt I'll ever try something like that again. It was just a lot of work and wasted material for nothing. The less said about that the better, it still makes me mad. So really frustrated and upset I returned both dolls back to the sewing cabinet, carefully making room next to the rest of them that are piled there to squeeze them back in. I won't lie, I was feeling really low. For a variety of reasons, partially because I wanted to dress someone and failed twice, partially because I'm still feeling blue from how yesterday played out, and partially because I'm feeling a little ill, physically. It was really a bad little trifecta to plague my Saturday.
I'm just stuck with sewing. Most designs I like I've done already, and I keep feeling like I'm redesigning the wheel at this point. And I'm doing research, I've spent hours today searching both 50's and 60's fashion, but I can't find anything that really excites me. I can find lots of stuff that I don't hate, but nothing that really excites me into sewing or sticking with it when the moment it messes up. It's annoying...
I hate it... all those smiling faces over on the sewing cabinet mocking me. If they don't stop it I'm going to go and dig through the clothing stashes and find the most terrible outfits I own and dress them all up in them. I'm sure that will show them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A is for Awkward, A is also for Aubrey

I didn't share this earlier with you, but I had something exciting planned for today! I won't keep you in too much suspense in fact I'll reveal it now! I was going to visit The Swell Doll Shop! I was really excited to learn a while back that there was a doll shop located in North Carolina that specialized in vintage fashion dolls. It's a bit of a drive (1.5 hours), but I'm totally not used to living in a state where there's anything like that. So I've been really wanting to go and check it out. The thing is I want to have some cash saved up first, but you know me and money. Once it's in my hot little hands it must get spent. I was actually going to go there for my birthday, but then those Craigslist dolls happened and I had to put it off longer. But a while back I had that large lot of dolls sell (I told you about that) and I decided to hold onto that money and finally visit the doll shop. Today was the day that I was going to go!
But I was sort of hesitant about it... for a couple of reasons. One of those was the fact that I'm going through another anti-social awkward period. I'm just feeling super socially awkward. Probably doesn't help that I don't really socialize that much outside of my own family. It's just not a good feeling. Also another issue is that... I'm still really uncomfortable talking about dolls in person. I just feel really weird and embarrassed talking about them to people. I know I talk about them all the time (this entire blog is about them), but it's different in person. I just feel embarrassed that I collect them and I'm a guy. And I know it's just my issue since I know plenty of other male doll collectors online, but I still feel ashamed. Not when I'm around the dolls, but when I'm talking to people about them. I'm still pretty much in the closet with this collection with my friends and family. Of people that I know in real life, eight people know of the collection, and out of that number five have seen it somewhat recently (In the past 8 years or so). I've never had a real life doll friend, or much of an online doll friend. I have lots of acquaintances, but not a whole lot of friends. I don't want to sound like a total sad sack, but that's just how it is. I would like doll friends, but I'm not really sure if that's ever in the cards. Sometimes I feel like the doll community is very close knit and I'm always on the outside looking in. That's not exclusive to the doll community I have a hard time making friends in general.
Anyway, back to The Swell Doll Shop. It would come as no surprise that I thought about canceling the trip. I was going with my father, and thought of several times to say I didn't want to go anymore. But in the end I decided to go. I won't lie I was really nervous. Turns out the Swell Doll Shop is in a little mall type thing. I ended up walking right past the store when I first found it. Not because I didn't see it, but because I needed to build up my confidence. Again I thought about not going in, but I did.
I was greeted by the owner, Bradley. He was there chatting with one of his doll friends (a person, not an actual doll). He was talking about the Barbie convention that literally just happened. He was very nice and cordial, which made me feel so much more awkward and out of place. He and his friend were chatting away while I looked around. The store is very tiny, but incredibly packed. Honestly there was so much awesome stuff to look at I didn't know where to start. It was a treat in itself to just see what was in stock. I saw my first Number three Barbie in person today, that was pretty cool. I walked around with my hands firmly behind my back (I was trained by my father at a young age when I went to his military shows) while I looked at everything. Bradly did give me some brief explanations about stuff when he was talking to his friend and I tried to be a social as possible. Now I should say I'm not totally terrible at socializing, I just always feel like there's something I'm not doing or saying that I should be. It's embarrassing to be me sometimes. Anyway, I saw lots of interesting stuff, and lots of stuff within my price range. There was even a tub of TLC vintage dolls for five dollars. Some of them were pretty beat up, but for five dollars I'm willing to overlook a lot of issues. There was even a Chatty Cathy in that box. I didn't know if she was part of the five dollar deal, not everything was marked with prices, which I am not a fan of. I like taking everything in, then deciding what I want after I weigh out all my options trying to get the most out of my money. I was seriously thinking about getting some of those dolls in the five dollar bin.
But it was not meant to be. I was walking around the store feeling pretty awkward, but not awkward enough to leave. I was hoping that I would eventually select a few things I wanted and buy them. But I wasn't ready to do that since I was still looking at everything, and needed to ask some pricing. I won't lie I was feeling rather stupid at this point. I was like a tongue tied child. I'm 26 I should be able to handle myself better in this situation. But I thought that I could at least leave with a little dignity... but then Dad walked in. Guess who's Daddy came to collect him? Like I didn't feel like a child already this certainly would have brought me there. And not only would my sociable father make me feel more out of place, I would have him mentally tapping his toe behind me waiting to go. Even though I have spent countless hours waiting for him at his stores all throughout my life and even waited a couple of months ago when I went to get to get that truck park with him. And that's when I left. I had hit my embarrassment quota plus I was annoyed that my father had come to collect me after I told him it would be a while so I decided I was done. I just walked out the door. I'm sure Bradley thought I was both an idiot and a jackass. Not my finest moment.
And you know how long I kept my father waiting? Less than a half hour. And he wasn't even waiting that entire time, he was also next door at the Whole Foods picking out some things he needed. So he couldn't even wait long at all before he came to get me. It just makes me mad thinking about it since I've waited sooooooooooo long for his stuff, but when it's my stuff he can't be bothered to wait even a little bit. Seriously he could have called. But whatever, it was a terrible experience. I feel like such an idiot, and I didn't even get anything from it. I'm just done, I'm going to go hang out with Charlotte and try to mend my pride.
Good thing about today: ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


2:30, the time in which I got up to let out the dog who was barking. He was barking earlier than that but I stayed in bed hoping he would get the picture that nobody was going to let him out and I could get back to bed, but he would not be ignored. So I stumbled downstairs to let him back out then went back to bed. I did have a little bit of a hard time falling back to sleep, partially because Waffles (the cat) had run into my room when I was letting the dog out and was meowing loudly for attention. It's like none of the animals know what decent hours are. But eventually I did manage to fall asleep (and Waffles shut up), but I'm still rather tired today. I think the dogs will spend another night outside tonight. Even if they don't get the reason behind why they're outside it will at least give me a chance to catch up on my sleep.
Even with my rude awakening, I still managed to get some stuff done. With the stuff I bought during my last shopping trip added to the pile of things to sell I realized how much I needed to work on it. So today I worked on that for a bit. I got four ads written. I didn't take pictures because I didn't feel like it and kept putting it off until it was too late and too dark to actually take them. I can take them some other time, at least I got the ads written.
I also did some sewing, pretty exciting, right? Haven't done that for a while. Except that it wasn't anything new it was a total retread of something I had already done. The other day I was playing around with Joe, enjoying his still somewhat new to him wardrobe. I noticed that his jeans add a lot of bulk at the waist. It really makes his shirts fit weirdly and makes him look odd. Sadly that's unavoidable because in order to have those fake pocket I really like you need to have the denim layered, especially at the waistband. I do think that some thinner denim might help, but I don't have any. Instead I made a pair of denim trousers for him. They're just a pair of pants that have the pocket details top stitched on. They're not perfect and I don't love them or anything, but they can be a stand in to keep the bulk at his waist down. I'm not going to bother dragging out the camera for a photo of them. I think if I did find some thinner denim I'd remake his jeans again. I was thinking about ways to remake his pants and eliminate the waistband, but I couldn't think of anything. Has anyone wrestled with denim before? Any suggestions? I miss Joe having pockets!
Good thing for today: My cousin had her baby! (She was due earlier in the week) Her name is Emma and she's 7 pounds and 1 ounce. Bother mom and Baby are doing fine!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My arms are killing me!!!!!!!!!!

I had a rough night's sleep, and thus ending my streak of productivity. It's entirely my own fault since I pushed myself to play that game when I haven't done an honest arm workout in months. It was hard just falling asleep last night since every time I shifted my arm would hurt.
But I didn't learn my lesson. Honestly I would have played again this morning except that the Wii is in my brother's room (even though it's mine), and if you wake him up before noon you do so at your own risk.
So instead I ended up going out. I could have gone yesterday but was feeling super anti-social and declined, but when I was asked today I decided to go. I'm not sure why I'm still feeling rather anti-social, but I agreed to go. Since my father had been out the day before, I was hoping that it would be a quick trip and I wouldn't be dragged all over town and be out and about for hours.
But even though you know I didn't want to be out until the late hours of the evening I just had to visit all the the second hand stores, but I was sort of good, I didn't visit the antique stores, and I was was offered the chance. I also skipped going to Hobby Lobby. I haven't been in there for weeks now. If I wasn't also not sewing I'd be able to chalk that up to some decent self control. But since I'm not sewing, there's no need to get supplies, now is there?
Anyway, up first was the UCOC. It was pretty empty for my needs, but they had tapes on sale. On a whim I looked through them for more of those orange tapes for that person's son. I wasn't expecting to find any, since the last time I looked I cleaned them out. But they must have gotten more in since then, since I found three more! And they were on sale! I was able to get all three for a dollar! I'm not sure if I'm going to send them now, or hold off and try and find more. On one hand if I wait I could fill a box easier with four, on the other the longer I wait, the longer I keep from getting it done. And you know me and holding off doing stuff for way too long.
Over at the Goodwill I managed to find something for me! It was a Liv doll. I'm not planning on keeping her. I'm just stealing her clothes. She was missing her wig and shoes (they always are), but her entire outfit was still on her. It was actually still attached with those plastic ties that everyone hates (Myself included). For some reason I just had to have her clothes. I'm a bit of a jean addict for dolls. Whenever I see a doll with jeans, especially if they fit Charlotte I have to get them. And it's really weird because while jeans are my standard pant, they are not Charlotte's. In fact the entire collection is very anti-jean. Joe is the only person wearing them. Charlotte doesn't even have a pair on her garment rack. Jean shorts, yes, but not jeans. But I did like the top she was wearing as well. I've been using it as a dress though. It's a cute mod looking number. I'm thinking about using it as an inspiration for one of my dolls, perhaps P.J.. But while I have been thinking about it, I'm not that motivated to start doing it, so that may never actually happen.
And finally at the Salvation Army I got two things. I found this really cute little travel case. For some reason I've been thinking about traveling a lot lately and this looks perfect for some of Charlotte's stuff. I tried it out at home, and it really works well for her shoes. The bigger sections on one side even fits her boots! And I can store a couple pieces of clothing on the side with the four even divisions. Oh, and it fits Joe's shoes too so they can share. They are my main two travel dolls. I really like it, I think it's going to be helpful with on the road. And finally I also bought another G.I. Joe while out. This one I didn't buy so much for the clothes. I bought him basically for resale. He's got an interesting face. I've never seen this face mold before. He's got ears that stick out! I figured that someone might want an interesting face like that. (I might hold onto him for a little bit, I like his face too!) Also he came with a plastic holster. I didn't need one, but my brother did, so I figured for the price of him I could give that to my brother and sell whatever I didn't want to keep. I'll probably end up keeping his clothes, even though I have lots of military clothes already, and not that many guys to wear them. But still, I'm addicted to getting them.
I haven't even started posting the last stuff I bought for sale, and here I go buying more! I'm going to have to start focusing on listing this stuff before it overwhelms me!
Good thing about today: Playing more Mario and Sonic in the evening and not injuring my arms any further and getting more Gold metals!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Going for the Gold!

I started off my morning by being honest with myself, I'm just not liking those two Francie dresses. I'm not sure what my problem with them is, but when I'm so against finishing something I know something is up. So I'm cutting my losses. I took both dresses and put them into the unfinished project box. Maybe I'll come back to them, maybe I won't, but at least I'm dealing with the fact that I don't care for them and I can wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Honestly by leaving them as "I'll get to it eventually" nothing was going to get done. I was just going to keep putting it off. So even though it hurts going back to the drawing board for those dolls, I know in the end I'll be happier. And since I'm doing this sewing for me, I'm the one who should be happy with it, and now I have the chance to be. Hopefully something better will come along for them soon.
Anyway, since it's Tuesday, it's time to write! I'm still working on that practice section with Auntie, and I'm actually having decent success. I managed to get an entire page done pretty quickly (compared to the last section I was working on). I don't think I'm totally capturing their actual characters, but at least I'm committing something to the page that I don't hate. I'm thinking that this section will get me back into my groove and I can start writing on the book again soon. I'd really like that.
While my morning was productive, my afternoon was shot however. My parents signed up for Blockbuster online, and with that comes access to their movie and game catalog. And today my first item from our shared list arrived, Sonic and Mario at the London Olympics arrived, so I've been playing that for hours. It's a fun game, but I'm glad I rented it instead of buying it. I can see how eventually I'd run out of things to do. But it's still fun for the time being. Princess Peach and I have been going crazy with all the events. Although this really shows me how weak my arms are. Like I said, I played for hours and they are KILLING ME! It hurts, but that's the sacrifice you make for being an Olympic competitor!
Good thing from today: Getting to hang out with my brother while we played!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Good Morning, Good Day!

I woke up again this morning feeling good. I guess leaving the dogs out the night before made them appreciate the time they are allowed in and they kept quiet in the morning and I was able to sleep. Well, Yellow Fellow needed to learn. Pach is pretty good about not barking unless he really needs to go out.
And I was still feeling that desire to be super productive with my day, but I didn't want to do cleaning. While there's still progress that needs to be made I did a lot yesterday and really don't want to do more today. I still have a small pile in the center of my room to chip away at but I'm still super happy with my progress from yesterday. My room just feels so much bigger! Hopefully I can keep it that way.
But I still managed to make the most out of today, especially the bright and sunny morning. I did get those photos retaken for the ads I wrote yesterday. I even went and dragged everything outside so I could use the sunlight instead of the flash in my photos. I managed to get Todd, Steffie Love, and that Ballerina Barbie head listed this morning all before lunch. They're all listed and ready to be sold. They've already been moved off of my bureau (where all things waiting for their ads to be written live) and into the closet where I store the stuff I've written ads for. I'm glad that I was able to clear off the space they were taking up, but it wasn't free for long! I managed to fill it back up again! No, I didn't buy more stuff to sell, instead I looked through some of the stuff I had stored in boxes. Dolls that while I didn't want to put on display but I still felt I needed to keep for some reason. A couple of them I realized I didn't want to keep any more. I'd rather sell them and use the money to get a doll I actually wanted than just hold onto this one. So I took them (I had two like that) and put them on the bureau. I didn't get a time to post their ads, but their day will come.
I did however pull out some heads from that box as well. One was a Reproduction Barbie Ponytail head (That I'm not totally sure where it came from), and the other two were Ken heads. Again, I was holding onto them, but I wasn't sure why. These I managed to post for sale over on the Dollpage today. I'm selling the Barbie head, but I'm giving away the Ken heads, except for postage. I just want to get rid of those. I'm happy that I got all those ads posted. It feels good to be clearing out some of this stuff I don't want anymore. Now if only I'd stop bringing in more to replace it!
Good thing about today: Enjoying a lime Popsicle when it was a billion degrees outside!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I feel so Sunny!

I woke up this morning feeling good. My lingering headache had faded to an almost back to normal feeling, and I was able to get a decent night's rest. Probably because I left the dogs out last night. They have a very secure fenced in area they spend their days in, and they stayed in it all night. Perhaps that will teach Yellow Fellow that coming inside at night is a privilege, not a right.
I also woke up to a bit of good news, I had a pattern sell! It's been a long time since I've had a pattern sell, so I'm pretty psyched that one sold. It's going all the way to the United Kingdom, which is pretty cool. I do like seeing all the far off places that these patterns are going. Some of them are more well traveled than I am! (Okay, most of them)
But since I was well rested and feeling better than I have in days I had the drive to get something done and I just wanted to do something. Nothing about sewing, but something. I ended up with some cleaning. And not some light cleaning, some massive hours long overhaul of the junk in my room. I managed to get a lot done today. I'd say my room is about 30 percent cleaner than it was earlier. I put stuff away, I bagged stuff up, I dusted, washed stuff, and I even threw stuff away. I even made a few executive decisions on some items to get them out of my room and life. That's not a big deal until you realize I've been hemming and hawing on some of these things for about two years now!
I even cleaned off my desk and reorganized it. It was quite the whirlwind of activity in here. My room just feels cleaner and less cluttered. I still have quite a ways to go until I'd say it was totally clean, but today was quite an improvement. I was even able to go and get the pattern all packaged up and ready for the mail. I'm hoping to get it into the mail tomorrow, but it might have to hold off until Tuesday. I even got three ads written to post over on the Dollpage. I tried taking pictures, but it's a little overcast and they didn't come out so well, but I can retake them tomorrow.
I'm honestly shocked about all I managed to get done today!
Good thing about today: Reclaiming about four feet of the floor!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Final three dolls!

Guess who got woken up by the dog this morning? That's right, me! Again he was barking to be let out in the early morning hours. He was even earlier today than last time, by a whole 17 minutes. At this rate he'll be barking to be let out in the middle of the night soon. Stupid dog. Like usual I was the only one who heard him, so I was forced to get up and let him out. I was so exhausted from the dog waking me up all this week I went back to bed, and fell back asleep. It was not the most restful sleep, but I certainly needed it. I'm really getting tired (no pun intended) of dealing with this dog. If only he knew time and the decent hours for him to be barking was. Anybody know how to teach a dog that?
Anyway, today I did more work on the blog. I'm still struggling to get out from that hole that I fell into when I wasn't feeling well. I managed to make pretty decent progress today. I'm now only two days behind on it. I even managed to get some of the pictures taken that I needed to and got the posts they belonged in published. And the ones that I'm still working on have a decent start to them. If I keep my focus and attention on the blog in a couple more days I'll be all caught up, I'll be in an even better place than I was before my migraine. Let's hear it for dedication!
And now it's time for the final group of dolls that I bought the other day. As usual, here's their photo:Up first we have Twisty Curls Barbie. She's in played with condition and her hair has been destroyed. Her body however is in decent shape. Usually whenever I find these dolls their hands are broken off. I'm planning on selling her body. Interesting note about her head, there's a factory flaw in it. Along the neckline there's a bubble in the plastic. It's pretty noticeable. Next to her we have Mego's Farrah Fawcett. She has the typical melting issue of the Mego dolls, but she seems to be in okay shape. Again she's going to be sold. I don't have much of an interest in her, but maybe someone will want her. And next to her we have Steffie Love from Simba toys. I thought that Simba toys was only a European company, but apparently they sold dolls in America at some time. She's a very pretty doll, and in the best shape of all the dolls, and she too is going to be sold.
So out of the nine dolls I bought, I'm keeping two. And not even entirely two. One I'm using for just the head, and the other one for the body. But those two dolls were almost worth the ten dollars I paid. And if I manage to sell any of the other dolls, it'll be well worth it.
Ugh, I'm so tired.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Also, Happy Birthday Dad! Yes, it's my father's birthday today. Sadly he has to work tonight so we're not doing much in terms of celebrating. Instead we're putting it off for a week until next Saturday when he's off from work. But I did make him some cookies today so he had something special for the actual day, Mint Chocolate Chip. I know he likes them since he asked for them for his birthday dessert, but I figured I could make them twice, or let him pick out something else for next Saturday, he deserves whatever birthday treat he wants. From the terrible job he's forced to work, he's earned it.
I spent most of my free time today working on the blog. I was already several days behind my daily posts before my migraine and when that happened I fell super behind. I'm about an entire week behind at this point. I did have several posts started and had something written for most of them, but they were nowhere near ready to be published. Today I managed to get about two and a half ready to post. Unfortunately, they were posts from the middle of my backlog and not the start, so I'm going to have to wait to get them posted, but once I get the earlier posts finished, I can add them all one after the other. And any progress in catching up in blogging is great in my book, especially since I haven't been feeling well enough to do so otherwise.
And now it's time for our continuation from yesterday's post, three more dolls from the bag. Here's that picture:And now a brief breakdown and my plans for them. Up first we have Mod Hair Ken. His hair has been hacked off and his head has shrunk making him look weird, but his body is in good shape. And guess who has a Mod Hair Ken with a broken body, but really good hair? That's right, me! I'm going to use this guy to make a decent Mod Hair Ken, so that's exciting. He's one of the better buys from the bag. Next to him we have a Dirty Ballerina Head with chopped off hair on a Star doll body. Since taking this picture I've already pulled out the rest of her hair. I'm going to sell her head. Hopefully someone will buy it to re-root it, and will be more likely to buy it since I've done part of the busy work. And next to her is a Star doll head on a Ballerina body. Yes, some child did a switch between these two. Just like the other Ballerina body this one is really beat up. I don't know what the kid who owned this was doing with them, but they are destroyed. The head's pretty beat up too. I'm not really sure if anyone would want it, but it's also got a date with the Dollpage. Hopefully I can get caught up on the blog, I've got lots of ads to write for the Dollpage now!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting Better... it's a journey!

So I'm still feeling the affects from my migraine today. I'd say I'm 70 percent back to normal, but it's that 30 percent that's lingering that's starting to get on my nerves. I'm fine for the most part, but sometimes I feel a little bit cloudy, and when I bend over the blood rushing to my head is not a pleasant feeling. Nothing like I'm going to pass out or anything, just not a fun feeling so I'm trying to avoid bending over whenever possible.
But I did end up going out today. I was hoping that I was going to be able to get something into the mail today, but I haven't received the payment from the person. It's only been a little more than 12 hours ago that I told them which e-mail to send their money to, but their total disappearance is a little odd. I wonder if they changed their mind and failed to inform me. People like that annoy me. It's really not that hard to e-mail, "I'm sorry but I've had something come up and I won't be able to purchase the item.". I've had to do it before, it's not fun but it's better than leaving the seller hanging. And if for some reason if things change and you do decide you want to buy it, you're on decent enough terms to deal with the seller again. I'm hoping that this person is just taking a little time getting back to me, but only time will tell.
I thought about not going out since the reason why I was going out fell through, but I already said I was, so I fell bad backing out after I committed to go. So I went. I really didn't have much of a reason to go out, but that didn't stop me from hitting up all of the second hand stores and a couple of the local antique stores. I did however stay out of Hobby Lobby. I haven't done much sewing lately and haven't even touched most of what I bought last so there's no reason to buy more, is there?
You want to hear something weird? Remember how I was talking about the dolls moving out of the Antique Mall? I stopped in today to specifically see if the rest of the doll stuff was moved from the top of the booth, and it was. So I figured that the dolls were gone for good. I walked down the isle a little more, and wouldn't you know two cases over were the dolls. Yes, they were all back, just shifted down two spots. I really have no clue the reasoning behind that logic. They're in the exact same type of case, just down two. They even still had the 20 percent off sale going on. Now that I'm thinking about it I'm not totally sure if they're all the same dolls as before, but I really didn't stick around to check. I was really shocked seeing them back again. It was really weird. Next time I'm in there I'll stop again and verify if they're all the same dolls or if there's any new ones. Although I'm not sure the next time we'll be in that area again. My dad told me the library book store is now closed, and who knows when they'll open up again. We might end up not visiting Sunset for a while!
I didn't get anything at the antique stores. Really not that shocking since we had just been there and they don't have that much of a quick turn around. Most of the second hand stores were pretty bleak too. My father and I both walked out empty handed from the United Christian Outreach Center and the Goodwill, a very uncommon occurrence around here. Usually one of us finds at least something. We were at the last store of the day when I finally found something, something rather good. It was a large bag of Barbie and Barbie type dolls. Nine dolls in total, most of them from the 70's, with a couple from the 80's. They were all in really abused shape, but there are a couple of them that I could use for parts, and I think a couple that I could sell for parts. It was expensive, ten dollars, but from what I knew I had I think that I could make back what I paid, and get some use out of it. I'm going to split up the post over three days because I think this blog post has been long enough as is, and I'm still getting over that migraine. Don't want to over do it.For our first lot of three we have, Barbie's friend Todd (I believe). He's in decent shape, but his left leg has yellowed and his torso is really loose. Other than that I think he's fine. He has a date with the Dollpage. To his left we have a Superstar Barbie head on a Ballerina Barbie body. The head is in decent shape with a minor nip on the nose and a haircut. The body is a serious mess. It's been chewed up and well played with. Both thumbs are gone, and it can't stay up on it's own. I will be keeping this doll. I'm thinking she will get a re-root (not sure of the color yet) and a new body. Not sure what will happen to this body, I might hold onto it since I don't think anyone will want it. To her left we have a 80's Barbie, not sure who. She's a pretty doll in decent shape. I'm not sure if she's had a haircut or not, but she still has a decent length left. She does have an eyebrow rubbing off, but that's her only problem. Other than that she's a pretty decent doll. She too has a date with the Dollpage. I know it's a blurry distant picture, but does anyone know who she is?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's three dolls!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Time Makes Fools of us All...

My morning started off eerily similar to yesterday. Again I got woken up by the dog. This time however it was even earlier than yesterday, by a full two hours. I don't know what his problem was, but he was certainly insistent that he be let out. And I continue to be the only person in a house full of people who are able to hear his barks. So again I got up and let him out. Since I was downstairs I also let out the other dog, and the cats. And then lumbered back upstairs.
Even though I was still exhaused and wished I could go back to bed I knew I couldn't. Whenever I'm woken up in the morning I have a hard time getting back to sleep, and since not only was I up I was moving around I knew I was fully awake for the day, even though I wish I could go back to sleep and get more rest. I was just going to have to deal with being tired. I hope the dog is happy with what I sacrificed for him.
I was still having some issues from the migraine from yesterday. My head is still tender especially in the spot where the worst pain was coming from yesterday. I'm also feeling a bit cloudy. I don't think that's from the migraine, I think that's from being tired, either way not a fun combo.
So I took it easy today. I never have much success when I sew when this tired, and add to that the left over migraine symptoms, recipe for disaster! So I spent most of my day goofing off online and resting.
But I did feel a little bored just sitting around, so I ended up picking up a few things. Again the room is a mess, so I felt that every little bit helped. So I picked up and put away about 15 things. One of the things I picked up was a Skipper dress that had fallen onto the floor. If I remember correctly it came from that doll lot I got for my birthday two years ago (was that really two years ago?). It was a handmade dress and while I liked the skirt fabric and pleating, the top was really poorly made and that fabric was pretty terrible. I stuck it somewhere since I didn't know what to do with it, and it's been there ever since. But when I found it today, I had an idea, why don't I just take apart the skirt and top? I knew that I'd never use it as is. I didn't care for the look so I'd never put a Skipper doll in it, but I would use the skirt as a separate for Charlotte. It would be a little short, but that's how she wears her skirts.
I started off by fixing the hem. Whoever made it originally had some trouble with that. At the back of the skirt there's a spot that's unhemmed. This skirt has a seriously small seam allowance so there was no way that I'd be able to flip it up and hem it myself. I would have redone the entire hem, but the seam allowance was so tiny I'd have to take it a lot of the skirt in order to do that. This was already going to be a short skirt, and I didn't want to make it any shorter. I ended up taking some red bias tape I had and using that to cover the entire hem. I basically wrapped it around the skirt hem and tacked it down. That way I covered the unhemmed part, and kept the length. I did that by hand, and it took me a while since I didn't want my stitches to show on the outside layer. Once that was done I ended up taking off the original top. I held off doing that originally since I didn't want to take apart the dress in case I decided I didn't like how the red bias tape worked out. But since I liked how it looked, the next step was taking the dress apart.
I believe the person who made the dress used something like a ruffler to make the gathers on the skirt. It is a really pretty look, and I wish I figured out how to make my ruffler do such detailed work. Luckily the line of stitches that gathered the skirt was still there. I was able to remove the simple top and keep the skirt exactly how it was. I ended up making a new waistband out of more of the red bias tape. I was actually able to add the waistband higher than the original top, so the skirt is actually slightly longer than it originally was. To attach the bias tape to the skirt this time I used the machine to sew it down. I wanted it really held in place. After that I did my usual finishing work. I ended up using a new snap instead or reusing the original one. The older one was a bit rusty. And since I had to add whatever snap I chose I ended up going with a new one. And I was done! Here's the finished skirt:I do like it. It's very cute. Not sure how much use I'll get out of it, but I'm sure I'll get more use out of it like this than how much it got used as a dress. And I was finally able to put it away. That thing's been kicking around for almost two years. But now it's taken care of, and I got a cute skirt out of it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow.

I got woken up this morning by the dog. He was yipping, demanding to be let out. I tried ignoring him and going back to sleep he was most insistent. I was hoping someone else would hear him and let him out, but no luck. Even though my bedroom is the furthest from the dog's area, I seem to be the only one that's able to hear them. This is not the first time that's happened. How everyone else manages to tune them out I'll never know. But I was the one to get up, go downstairs, and throw the dog outside. What a start to my day, and it was downhill from there.
Since it's Tuesday around mid-morning I started working on my writing. I decided to give up on that panther practice section and start another one. This new one is a dialog and description heavy section that takes place between Anton and his aunt. I'm not really sure where it's going to go, but I managed to easily get a page written, and a little bit more planned out for next week. It was much easier to write than that panther story. And I'm liking this section, I guess I should have started here. Hopefully it'll get me back into my writing groove and I can pick up the actual book writing again. I'd love to be able to make progress on it once more.
It wasn't all smooth sailing when writing. When I was working I had a couple painful twinges in my head. I brushed it off and kept at it until I reached my page goal. I forgot about it until I was making lunch. I noticed that I was having eye trouble. No pain, but my vision was blurry, almost like one of my eyes had a film over it. Again I ignored it, thinking it was nothing. It wasn't until shortly after lunch the rest of my symptoms hit. Turns out it was an aural migraine. I get those sometimes. Not a whole lot, maybe once a year if I'm unlucky. They happen so infrequently that I'm not quick to identify the warning signs that they're going to happen until after they already hit.
And it hit me hard after lunch, but not as bad as it could have been. I'd say this one was a seven out of ten. Not fun, but could have been worse. Usually my best remedy is sleep, but since it was only mid-day and I wasn't really tired enough to sleep it was hard actually falling asleep. Also since I had just eaten lunch I had a full stomach that was really giving my trouble. Also for some reason I was really hot. Even though I had a fan and the air conditioner blowing on me I could not get cool. I'd keep breaking out in sweat. It was not a fun time. Eventually I did manage to sleep for a couple of hours, thankfully. I woke up in the evening a little better, but certainly not back to normal. Some aspirin and soda helped settle my head and stomach a little bit. So I've been taking it easy for the rest of the day.
Hopefully tomorrow this will be a distant memory. I hate migraines! (Ow!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Something small for today.

I'm still having a super hard time getting myself motivated to work on my sewing. Like always when I have the idea and the supplies I don't have the motivation, but when I have the motivation I'm missing either the idea or the supplies. Rarely do I have all three. I'm not really sure why I can't do any sewing at the moment especially since right now it would get two dolls dressed. I'm just in a weird place at the moment. I'm not even willing to sew anything for Charlotte, so you know something's up.
I did however force myself to work on something, something for Malibu Francie no less. Not her dress, but a purse I wanted to make to go with her outfit. I've been thinking about making it for a while, but put off doing so choosing to focus on the dress. Since I wanted nothing to do with the dress today I figured I could work on the purse. It's somewhat similar to how I made that bag purse for my number four Ponytail, but I did change how I constructed it some. I was hoping to avoid some of the issues that I dealt with on the first purse, which I did, but I managed to come across some new ones. I managed to finish most of the purse, but when I was looking at it I noticed how uneven it was. The left side and the right side were pretty noticeably off, which was not pleasing. I could just live with it, but I think I'm going to just remake it, some other day. I don't know what is with this current strive for perfection, but I hope this isn't going to turn into another SL Francie dress ordeal, where I have to keep redoing it and it never comes out right.
but at least I did some sewing, right?