Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Hello Dear Readers,

Been a while since you heard from me, right? I know I said I was going to come back last Monday, but I ended up holding off for a couple more days. But since today's Halloween it's time to break my self imposed silence and share with you all the doll's Halloween costumes. Hopefully this will be the push that gets me back into blogging regularly. So without further explanation here they are:

Please ignore the dust at their feet. I should have dusted but I didn't even notice how bad it was until I was editing the picture. I'm not even going to humor the idea of retaking the picture because I had a hard enough forcing myself to take it in the first place.
It should be pretty obvious, but I'm really just phoning it in this Halloween. Well, not just Halloween, at this point life in general. Lately I've been feeling really run down and have the hardest time find any motivation, for anything. I just don't want to do anything at all. Most days lately I've spent just counting down the clock until bedtime doing the bare minimum of what needs to get done. It's hard for me to explain, but lately I've been feeling sad. It's not like a boo-hoo kind of sadness, a good cry won't solve this problem, but it's like a clinging sadness that won't leave me alone. I mean I do have moments of other emotions, but they quickly fade and the sadness returns. Like usual I'm not sure what prompted this emotional change, but I can name several factors which I know played a part. Hopefully it'll go away soon, but since it's been here for about a week now, I'm thinking it might be sticking around for a little bit longer.
And the dolls have been (and continued to be so) extremely affected by my depression. As you can see from above I did change several people's clothes, but by heart wasn't in it. Poor Artemis (far left), didn't even get a costume. All she got was a sheet with a quick ghost vampire face drawn on. But she got more than some other dolls, several of them were just pulled off the shelf for the picture since I couldn't be bothered changing their clothes. I never got around to finishing Pierre's clothes. And I doubt I ever will, I've already taken his costume off him and put it into the unfinished project box, where it will probably live for a long, long time. Vanessa is wearing a flapper inspired Fashion Fever outfit that I just added the boa to (and kept off the weird leg warmers originally part of the outfit). I wanted to add a headband, but couldn't muster the enthusiasm for the project. Ashley got a old costume of Charlotte's (based off an outfit of Lady Gaga's). I think that one of the first posts on this blog was sharing this outfit, it's that old. Next to Ashley we have Joe, wearing something new. I made it much earlier in the year as a practice for using that gold lame. He's Rocky from Rocky Horror. In the center we have Charlotte who's a ballerina. She's actually just wearing the bodysuit and the first underskirt from her actual costume that never actually ended up happening. She's been wearing that for a week or so now, I couldn't be bothered to change her into the little red riding hood costume, or even give her shoes for this one. You know I'm feeling blue when Charlotte is being ignored. To her right we have a vintage Midge in a Mattel made cat costume (Ashley wore this last year). Next to her is Mary Clair in a harem outfit (she wore this last year), next to her is my Re-rooted Midge in the little Dutch girl outfit (again, she wore that last year), and then we have Modern Circle in her sexy witch costume (again worn last year). Kelly and Tommy are in the front, she's Minnie Mouse (Madame Alexander McDonald's toy dress and Mattel made hat) and he is a cowboy (just like last year, wearing Mattel made clothing). I wasn't planing it, but everyone on the left are wearing clothing that this is the first year they've been used, everyone on the right is wearing something I used last year. Good think I had some costumes from last year to fall back on, if I didn't have anything I wouldn't have done anything. It was hard enough getting these done as is. In fact, I'm so over Halloween at this point, it's not even noon yet and I'm already starting to redress them back into their regular clothes.
*Sigh*, I just want to feel normal again.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Here we are again...

Remember how I warned you all that October was going to be a really weird month?

A month where I couldn't post nearly as often as I usually do?

Well, it's time for another blackout here at "A Bit of Aubrey's Mind". This one is a bit different than the last two. Those two were because I wanted to keep things secret from people who read the blog. This one is because for the next week or so I have to do a bunch of boring stuff that doesn't interest me, so I'm sure will be ever more boring to you.

But good news, this one will the final one for the month, and I think things will get back to normal around here.

See y'all in a week (or so)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today was NOT an exciting day.

This will be brief.

Couldn't think of anything I wanted to do today, so I ended up working on the Blog instead. Managed to get three posts published, including two about what I bought at the Swell Doll Shop. Still have a lot to share with you, but at least I've started.

You're just thrilled right?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Scattered Day

I got another doll listed this morning. It was that Malibu P.J. that I bought at the Swell Doll Shop the last time I went. I decided to resell after I discovered she had some green spots on her face. Had I been better about posting what I bought there, you would have seen her by now, but that's not the case. I do plan on posting what I bought there still, but with October being so weird, I doubt I'll get to it until November. She's already had someone interested in her. I wish I could say sold, but I haven't received the money yet. I sent them a money request hours ago, but I'm still waiting for them to pay. It's not that big of a deal since I can't get to the post office until Tuesday, but since I've dealt with so many people who get to this point and never pay, I'll be happier once I have the money in my Paypal account and can say for sure she's been sold.

I also worked on Pierre's costume today. I ended up scrapping what I did yesterday and drafting an entirely new pattern for his Halloween costume. For something (and someone) that I'm not totally in love with I'm certainly putting a lot of work into it. I ended up getting most of the machine sewing done on it today, but I'm not totally in love with it. I might need to do some more work tweaking it. I didn't bother working on that today though. I'm not really chomping at the bit to finish it right now. I'm sure I'll get it done by Halloween, but I'm certainly not putting in the effort to get it done this early. I want to finish it, but right now it's just glorified busy work, it doesn't really excite me, and usually those projects are the ones I finish first. 

I also worked on Charlotte's Halloween costume a little bit. Nothing impressive, but I tried fixing the fit issues in the bodice, without much luck. I'm really thinking that this costume will have to wait until after Halloween. There's just too much to fix and do before that deadline. Luckily (as I've said before) Charlotte wears costumes anytime during the year so she's not really limited to Halloween for her clothing choices.

Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chilly day with a chance of Scattered Projects.

Today was the kind of day where I didn't focus on just one project. That happens when I really don't have anything I want to work on. Instead I flittered around on several different projects, getting a little done on each of them, but not a crazy amount of progress on one thing.

I started off with listing a doll over on the Show and Sell page. My dresser is getting overrun with stuff for there and my Etsy store. And since it's doing my absolutly no good sitting on my dresser I need to start listing things so I can move them off my dresser. Also with Christmas coming up I really need to sell some things so I can afford to buy presents for my family. I've already done some window shopping, and I have ideas for the majority of them, now I just need the funds. It looks like it's going to cost around 10-15 for most people, meaning I'm going to have to sell two things per person since my own items are usually on the lower end of the price range. Here's hoping something sells, or else people will be getting IOU's from me. (And I really don't want to do that!) So I think I'm going to have to work on listing stuff every day for a while. So while I only got one doll listed over on the Dollpage, I did get photos taken for three other dolls, so that's a start. And photos are always the hardest part.

I also did some work on dressing the dolls for Halloween. I got both Kelly and Tommy dressed. Tommy is the same as he was last year, but Kelly is something new. I don't have that much in terms of Kelly and Tommy clothes, so their options are limited. I also worked on something for Pierre. I really didn't have anything I wanted him to wear. I did put him in something just so he had a costume, but I didn't really care for it. I had an idea for a different costume when I was looking for accessories for the first costume. It would mean making something new, but it would be really simple. I did some work on it, but I don't really care for it. I still like the idea of it, but not how I was doing it. That's about where I stopped on that project today. I'm going to have to draft something for it, if there's time. Quite honestly, Halloween is approaching, and I still have so much other stuff to do. Poor Pierre might have to go back to the first costume. There's still four other dolls waiting for costumes that I still have no ideas for.

And finally I did some sewing for Charlotte today. I ended up working on her underwear again. The other day after changing Mary Clair into her Halloween costume I looked at the underwear I had just taken off her. They're from Mattel, and wanted to compare their pattern to mine. I realized they were made from one piece of fabric. The pattern that I was using, adapted from the body suit pattern was made from three pieces. It didn't even occur to me that I could simplify the pattern like that. The bodysuit needed side seams in order to work, but the underwear didn't. So today I drafted a new pattern, eliminating the side seams. I also changed a few other minor things that I felt needing tweaking from the last pair I made. And so I made a pair from this new pattern, and while it was better it was far from perfect. Just like the older ones this one was too long in the back. I ended up giving them to another male doll (don't tell Charlotte that a male doll wears the same size pants as she does, she'll never forgive me). There was another issue with the pair that I gave away. With the only real seam located at the bottom between the legs it ended up looking a little bulky. It looks better on the guy, but on Charlotte, it looked a little... unsightly. I was thinking about ways to cut down the bulk there, but then I remembered that swimsuit that the person I bought Malibu Francie from included as a freebie with her. In that suit the back seam wasn't located between the legs, it was actually further back, and located on the seat. That would definitely solve the issue I was having with my pattern. In order to do that with my pattern, I had to add some length to the front crotch piece, and take out some from the back.
So that's what I did, sort of winging it, but I did test the paper pattern out on Charlotte to see that it would fit. It did, so I cut it out in fabric, but when I was doing the top stitching I messed it up, and while I was removing it I ended up ripping the fabric. So that pair was a wash, I was able to use them to test the fit of the pattern however. I needed to take the back seam in a bit on order to get them to fit decently. I drafted a new pattern, and started over. These ones came out much better. The back seam isn't as pretty as I would like, but I think I can live with them. If I decide I can't they're actually pretty simple to make. It takes longer to do the hand finishing than the machine sewing on them.
I do like them, they're actually a really nice basic underwear pattern. It is a shame that I only have a few people who use the belly button body since this was designed for it. I'll have to see if it can also fit other body types. It would be nice to have some more underwear available, we are a modest bunch around here after all.

Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger's Autosave?

I wrote a post last night, but for some reason it won't autosave no matter how many times it tries, or when I click the save button. It's not letting me publish anything either.

ETA: Okay, I figured out the problem. Apparently, I can't use the drag and drop feature to add pictures to my posts. Which flat out sucks, since that was the only thing I liked about this "upgrade".

Stupid Blogger.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halfway to Halloween!

Well around here it is. Today I broke down and started dressing the dolls on Charlotte's shelf in their Halloween costumes. I will admit that I thought about skipping it this year, but then I realized, what's the fun in that? I have all these costumes and not much reason to use them for the rest of the year. So I dumped out the costume bag, and started pulling out stuff and redressing people. 
I managed to get half of the shelf in their costumes today. I got the easy ones done today. I did try to mix it up this year compared to last year, but several dolls still ended up in the same costumes that they wore last year. Mary Clair, Modern Circle, and Re-rooted Midge all defaulted back to last years look. I can't help it, I just really like how it looks on them. The Midge I got from my birthday ended up in the cat costume Ashley wore last year, and Ashley got an old costume of Charlotte's. Vanessa got a costume I had kicking around, but I still need to make something for it. So far only Joe has gotten something new for Halloween. I actually made it a while ago, but didn't share it with you. So at least there's something new for you all to anticipate!
Because right now, I don't think I'll end up making what I planned to for Joe. Again he get's the short end of the stick, but Charlotte is going to suffer too. Right now I really doubt I'll finish her costume before Halloween, so I'm already thinking about plan B. Right now it looks like she'll end up with The Little Red Riding Hood costume, even though Midge is wearing her tights.
When I was pulling out all the costumes, I made such a mess. I do have a system for organizing my stuff, but sometimes it's a bit... convoluted. I had to pull out and search through more than a half dozen bags to get all of the clothes, shoes, and accessories that I needed for dressing those seven dolls, leaving my room a total disaster zone. So I spent a good chunk of today cleaning up that mess, and the other messes that I've let linger for far too long. My room, while still nowhere near clean, feels a lot cleaner. The bookcase is still a mess though, maybe I'll tackle that tomorrow. 

I even did some sewing today (but nothing with Charlotte's Halloween costume). The other day when I was putting away some of Charlotte's clothes I noticed that there was some loose stitches on her underwear. Since I made that pair a while ago I decided instead of fixing them I'd actually just remake them. I was satisfied with that pair when I made them, but I've improved since then. I used the pattern I drafted for the bodysuit to make them, just adapted the bit. I was so confident in this pattern I cut out two pairs at the same time. Which turned out to be a big mistake, which always seems to be the case when I do stuff like that. The first pair ended up being too big for Charlotte. I guess I stretched the leg holes out when I sewed them? It was also really big in the back. They were so big they almost ended up fitting Joe! I ended up giving them to my Speed Racer Ken. I even took a picture of him wearing them:
They're not finished in that picture, but I did finish them today. He really didn't need them, but he's now wearing a pair of white bikini briefs under his clothes. Finishing those left me with the pair I already cut out. I did try again to make a pair for Charlotte, changing a few things with this one to get them to fit better, and they actually do. I'm not in love with these either, but the fit her better. I didn't finish them, but I will. I'm not sure if she'll end up with them. I'm thinking that I'll take what I learned from today and adapt the pattern some more.
I'm not really sure, I didn't think I'd have to do so much thinking about making underwear

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My first full day back in the state!

So now that the Wedding Present project is finished, and my next non-me sewing project doesn't officially start until next week that means that this week I'm free to go back to my selfish ways and do the projects I want, and are only for me.
I decided to work on Charlotte's Halloween costume. When I last spoke of it, I was at the end of my rope with it, but taking that break to work on the wedding present seemed to be the break I needed. So while I wasn't thrilled to be starting attempt number 974 of this dress, I still wanted to make it. I wouldn't throw out the word obsessed, but perhaps the psychologist trying to unravel my descent into insanity might.
I was going to change it a bit this time. All the other times I've made this dress I've made the bodice out of one piece of fabric. I like doing this since it eliminates the shoulder seams, and I have the worst luck with those coming loose and looking really bad. But when doing this, it does mess up the back a bit. Normally it's not a problem, but I noticed a few times specifically with this dress it did create a problem. So by separating the back and the front I was able to fix the back. I also changed the side seams a little bit. In order to eliminate bulk at the waist I needed to lower the skirt of the dress, and so I had to add some extra fabric to the bottom of the bodice to accommodate Charlotte's hips. Satisfied with my changes I cut out my new pattern.
And guess what didn't work? That pattern! (Shocker) And the weird thing is, it was a totally different issue than what I've dealt with before. I'm not sure what I did, but my changes threw off the neck hole, even though I didn't change anything there. I literally traced the old neckline onto the new pattern. But after attaching the bias tape I made to it, I tried it on Charlotte. Instead of fitting flush to her neck, it now gaped in the front, and if I pulled it close to her neck, it threw the shoulder seams off and they were at her shoulder blades. I still have no clue how that happened, but I didn't do any work on correcting that issue today. With this project I'm already so fed up with it, that whenever I have any issues with it, I just need to walk away from it.
Instead I started working on some sewing for another doll. I really don't have much slated for dolls besides Charlotte's Halloween costume. I haven't had much time to do any online research, or even just play around with the dolls in general. I do not think this month any dolls will end up dressed. The only thing besides Charlotte's costume I had an idea for Francie. It's been kicking around my head for a while now, and while I do like it, it'll required working with some difficult fabrics. Also I'm a bit worried about it being a bit boring. But since I didn't want to work on Charlotte's costume at that time, I decided to give it a shot. For this outfit I needed to make an under dress. It's just a simple sleeveless dress made from white cotton. I did need to adapt a pattern for it, but that was easy. I ended up doing all the machine sewing on it today, but when I tried it on Francie, I wasn't happy. I don't think that pattern was the best I could have picked. I don't want the under dress making fit issues for the actual dress. I'll find something better/simpler to use. I ended giving the dress to Charlotte (it looked like a cute nightgown), but in my efforts to make it fit better on her I messed it up. I put it into the unfinished project box, but I really should have just tossed it. I might end up making a new one for her, but I'm on the fence about that. She really doesn't need a nightgown, so I might not bother. I did draft a pattern for a better version, but I'm not sure it will work, and I don't care enough to make a test piece. I may just give up on that altogether and work on something else.

It all depends if I want to try that Halloween costume for the 975th time...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Spoils from "The Swell Doll Shop!" Part Two

All right, it's time for our second post of what I bought at the Swell Doll Shop. (I think there will be about six posts altogether... maybe seven.)
Now that I've whetted your appetite with that first post it would be neglectful to leave you waiting so long for part two. This one is a bit different because, it's going to be showing you the male dolls I bought there! My first time getting guys there, last time I only bought female dolls. But this time I found a couple male dolls that I just had to have for a variety of reasons.

Up first is a number one Ken doll. This was a doll that was in one of the tubs of stuff that was kicking around the store. Bradley had bought several collections and he hadn't gotten around to sorting everything yet, but I was told to look through anything I wanted. This Ken was in one of these tubs, and I believe Ken was actually the first thing I selected to buy. (It was all such a blur I can't really remember). He's actually not the first number one Ken doll in the collection, he's not even the first Brunette. You know why I bought him? Because he looked in good shape, and he came with shoes. (Brown Mattel shoes with the painted white uppers). I know flawless logic. He also came with pants, but the front part is broken, and I doubt I can fix it. But that's a minor concern to me. He is actually in good shape. He does have the balding issue to his flocking like most number one Ken's have. But other than that he's very nice. He was dirty when I got him, but he cleaned up nicely. I think I might need to give him another cleaning though.
Also, he does have an unusual "trick", his right leg has a nasty habit of popping off when you move it. I examined the leg and it looks like it's a mold flaw. The post on the leg doesn't have enough of a lip for the body to hold onto, so when you move his leg it pops out. It's not a huge issue since once he's dressed he won't get much actual moving around, and when it does come out you just pop it back in again. I think he's cute, so I'm glad I got him. Hopefully he'll be dressed sooner than later. Since there's less Ken dolls than Barbie in the collection I'm hoping I haven't run out of ideas for him like I have for her.   

Up next we have someone completely different than anyone in the collection. While it's true that he has some similarities to a couple of other dolls, he's the first of his kind. It's a Takara male doll. I originally thought that he was Jeff, but now that I'm looking at him closer I'm wondering if he's Pierre (Licca's father). I've tried doing my own research into identifying him, but I'm not finding any info either way. If anyone out there has any information I'd much appreciate you sharing it with me.
Either way he's a Takara male doll. I've been wanting one for a little bit now, but have been holding off because whenever I found him he was expensive and I didn't want one that badly. I wasn't sure if I really wanted one, or just wanted the idea of one. When I found him at the store I decided that he would be perfect for the collection. He came to me wearing a very unusual mix of clothing. It was a pair of over sized turquoise shorts, and an undersized brown shirt... thing. He was unpriced and Bradley sold me him for five dollars. A pretty good price, right? When I brought him home I took off his clothes and found out he was priced, under his shirt, at three dollars. I overpaid by two whole dollars! I guess someone stuck the clothes on him after he was priced or something and he ended up in the bins. I'm not actually upset over this price difference, it was only two dollars. Also while the brown shirt doesn't fit anyone (and looks terrible to boot), the shorts? They fit Joe, pretty well too. The stitching around waist is pretty wonky, but he looks pretty good in them. I'll have to check but this might be Joe's first piece of commercially made clothing, the majority of his wardrobe I've made.
Anyway, Jeff/Pierre is in okay shape. I think he's an older doll. He definitely feels like he's been played with a lot. He also needs another bath. Now I have a question for people who have Takara male dolls. Do their arms bend? I know the female dolls have hollow arms with wires in them so they can bend, but he doesn't.  He has the hollow arms, but no wires or anything in them. He does rattle when you shake him, so maybe they broke off and are inside him? Again, I'd love for any more information if someone know anything. Body wise that's his only issue. He's a little more worn on the head. He does have a scratch to one of his eyes, and one eyebrow is really light (still there though). From what I've seen of Pierre dolls I know they usually wear glasses, and that would explain why his eyebrows are more worn than the rest of his face paint. So this makes me think he might be Pierre. His hair is also a bit of a mess. It looks okay from the front, but from behind it looks like it's been cut short. You can see all his scalp. Right now the plan is to ignore it and leave him as is, but I might end up re-rooting him eventually. He might end up with a short(ish) ponytail like how I wear my hair, but that will have to wait. Even when I finally force myself to do re-roots he'll be pretty low on the list, there's several dolls who need one more than he does.

Stay Tuned for Part Three (But that might be a while...)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Spoils from "The Swell Doll Shop!" Part One

Ugh you guys, I've spent my entire day working on my friend's wedding present. I really need to keep making progress on it since the actual wedding is on this Saturday, and I don't have the entire week to finish it since I have a great deal of traveling to get there, but it's so terrible. I really want it to be perfect for them, so I keep scrutinizing every flaw that seems magnified to me. And to add insult to injury, I'm working with that glitter tulle again so I'm covered with glitter. I even noticed I was covered with it when I was at the doll meeting too. Hate that stuff, but I do like the sparkle it adds, just not to me!
But I can't share too much more with you (I may have already said too much), so I'll be zipping my lips about that little project. Although I will share with you the end product, but only after the people I'm making for have it in hand. Until then it's very hush hush.
Instead you all get to see what I bought from my last visit to the Swell Doll Shop! It's been a real test of my will having these dolls around. Even with my rapidly approaching wedding deadline, all I want to do is play with my new toys. I did spend a couple hours yesterday playing with them, but I want to keep playing! But I had to put them away and focus on the task on hand. But now that it's dark, (and I can't sew dark fabrics at night since the lights in my room are so poor) I get to talk about them, and play with them in doing so! (All under the guise of detailing them on the blog.)
I'll start off with the bad news... I bought a lemon. I have a bad tendency to not look as closely as I should at my purchases and have been greeted with a couple nasty surprises after I bought them. I really need to inspect these dolls in better before I buy them, not after. (Let this be the last time I have to learn this lesson). For the most part I can live with the issues I find, except for this first doll. Had I known her issues before hand I know I would have put her back.
She's a Malibu P.J. doll, as I've mentioned before I've been trying to collect all of the Malibu dolls. So far I have Barbie, Ken, Skipper, Stacey, and Francie. I'm still missing P.J. (and Christie), so when I found P.J. for five dollars I decided to get her. I did check her body over and it looked good, and she was made in Japan which is the one qualifier for joining the collection (although I'm learning that just because they're from Japan doesn't mean they have decent quality control). While I checked her body I made a grave mistake. I didn't check her face for the green spots the Malibu dolls get. I mean, I didn't see any when I glanced at her, but wouldn't you know it, she has them... under her hair. They're mostly hidden by her bangs, but I'm not happy about them. I'm willing to deal with a lot of issues, but not those green spots, especially on a doll that I only sort of want to complete the set. So I've decided I'm just going to resell her and try to get my money back. I didn't spend too much for her, so I'm not out too much money. And even if she doesn't sell I can always use her body, that's in decent shape.


Anyway, the next doll had her own issue that I didn't discover until again I was home with her. But unlike P.J. I'm willing to overlook it and keep her. She has a really big tear along the top of her foot. It's so big and deep that you can see her leg mechanics if you shift her. I am a little worried about it getting worse. For all you vintage collectors/restorers does anyone know of a glue that I can use to seal up the tear? I'm sure there's no ideal fix, but I'd like something that could help keep it from getting bigger. If anyone knows something please share it with me in the comment!
This tear in the top of her foot practically guarantees that she'll end up wearing socks, which there probably was a great chance of that happening anyway, since she's a Skipper doll! And I'm not sure if you noticed it, but my love for knee socks does apply to Skipper as much as it does to Barbie (and some Kens)! She's my first Bend Leg Skipper. Up to this point I've only had straight legs, or twist and turns. She's the in-between doll that can bend her legs, but not twist at the waist. She's in pretty decent shape, her legs bend and hold position, and other than her foot issues she doesn't have any marks. That white paint you see on her hip came off with some washing. Her face has some paling, and as you can see she's had a haircut. I do plan on giving her a re-root... in time. I don't have any hair that I want to use for her, and I don't have the funds to buy any at this time (or the actual time to do one). I ended up packing her up (as well as two other dolls due for a re-root) and putting them away. There's no need leaving them on the sewing cabinet when I have no intention to even think about dressing them until after their hair has been fixed. But she's still cute though.

Stay tuned for part two! (Although it might be a while, since it took me forever to get this one posted.)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I have survived!

It's true, I have survived my third trip to the Swell Doll Shop, and my first doll meeting. And I even had fun! I have TONS to share with you all, so I'll be splitting it up over the next couple of days, which is for the best since starting tomorrow I'm starting a project that I can't share with you, so at least now I have something to blog about.

Anyway, I'll start at the very beginning. Tiring myself out yesterday actually helped. I was able to fall asleep easily, and was able to sleep most of the night. I only woke up a few times, but was easily able to fall back asleep, which is awesome since usually I'm tossing and turning all night with anxiety. I only had two dreams last night, and while weird neither one was off putting. I even woke up a full fifty minutes before the alarm went off and decided to get a start on my morning just so I wouldn't feel rushed. An early breakfast, a quick shower, an early lunch, and a double check on making sure I hadn't forgotten anything I was on the road by 11:20 (my intended leave by time).
The meeting didn't start until 2:00, and it only takes an hour and a half to get there, but I wanted to make sure I had enough time in case I got lost. Also... I was told that people went shopping before the meetings and I was more than willing to be there for that! I knew that this meeting was going to be at the swell doll shop for a while now, so I've been working hard selling things hoping to have money to spend there. I managed to almost reach my goal, which was awesome. I haven't bought a new doll since August, although I more than made up for that today! (I think I'll share what I bought in later posts, this one will be all about the meeting).
I actually got there super early, I didn't have any travel missteps, and traffic was nice and light. I sat in the car for a few minutes as I waited for a decent time to go in, and build my confidence. At 1:10, I took a deep breath and left the car. I left everything in the car since I could come back for it after I was done shopping. There were several people inside the store. Bradley was there, as well as several women. They were chatting (and shopping), so I assumed they were other people in the club. He greeted me warmly and let me wander around. I managed to find so much stuff, most of it unpriced. But Bradley did explain that he just bought several collections and hadn't gotten a chance to go through them, but that I should feel free to poke through the boxes and pick out whatever I wanted and he would price it for me when I was going to check out. I managed to pick out a lot of different things, several dolls and some clothes. While I was shopping more women showed up. A couple guys showed up as well, one I knew one from seeing his picture before, and another I deduced from who he was from what I knew about him (the fact that someone called his name made it an easy guess).
When I had filled the bag Bradley had given me, I decided to check out. I was hoping I didn't overspend, but I didn't! I was actually well under budget. But more about that in other posts. While I was checking out Bradley asked about my collection. For some reason he remembered me and that I collected vintage. What's weird is that the only time I had met him before I actually didn't buy anything. The time he wasn't there was when I bought all those dolls. Weird. Anyway, I checked out and said I was actually there for the meeting. He asked my name and he was like "Oh! I was told you were coming, I just didn't know that I already met you." Then he introduced me to Linda, the club president who was sitting nearby. I said hello, and was told that the meeting was upstairs and that I could go up there anytime.
Instead I went out to the car and get my stuff. I ended up bringing in the tomato soup cakes, as well as the bag that had Ashley and Rebecca in it. I went back in, brought everything upstairs and started setting up. I had some Halloween decorations on sticks to stick into the cupcakes, and I had to unpack both Ashley and Rebecca and put their costumes together (Ashely's shoes are painted with black nail polish so I kept them off her when traveling, and Rebecca's basket needed assembling). There were already some people up there waiting, and I was introduced to them and introduced myself. I was able to put Ashley and Rebecca in front of me, like they were my guardians, and honestly they did help.
People really liked them. I got lots of compliments over them. People were incredibly impressed when I said I made their clothing. I think that the Little Red Riding Hood was the more popular of the two, but Ashley got her fair share of compliments. They really liked my pleating. Okay, I do have something to say. There might have been something negative said about one of them. During the meeting I overheard someone (who was accompanying a member) talking to someone else about "the one in blue", meaning Ashley. I don't know what he said, but his hushed whispers and tone didn't sound like he was being complimentary. But maybe he was saying something nice, I really have no clue. It's just something that bugged me. Oh! Another thing that bugged me (I swear it was a good time). You would not believe the number of times I was referred to as she or her. Mostly it was one person, who was sitting directly next to me. I didn't bother correcting her because that's pretty awkward, but it does embarrass me. That's the price you pair for having long hair. I did see someone try and correct her discreetly, and at the end of the meeting she referred to me as a he, so I guess someone corrected her. Sigh, gender's can be so confusing sometimes! But most people really liked their costumes, and several people took their pictures, especially after the meeting was over and I left them on the table. I did take a picture of them to share on the blog as requested, but I didn't take mine until it was pretty late and in my room, so the lighting is pretty shoddy. But I do have a picture of them in their costumes:
I've already returned Jenny's clothes to her. I'm holding off dressing Ashley in her usual clothes since it's October and I might just stick her in a Halloween costume of sorts. Anyway, before the meeting started people went and got their food. I didn't partake since I didn't want to eat anything, and I did not want to leave my chair. Despite my best efforts I was a little shaky from nerves and didn't want to get up. My tomato soup cakes weren't that popular, but the people who did take them finished them, so I'm counting that as a success. And that just meant I had plenty to take home and enjoy!
Then the meeting started. It started with Linda introducing me to the group. She asked if I wanted them to go around and say their names, but I told her that the odds of me remembering anyone was slim to none. I'm better with faces than names. From there it moved to discussion of the 2013 convention (I was strongly urged to go), even though they were talking about how hot and crime ridden New Orleans is. They mentioned briefly how expensive it was (the main reason why I couldn't go). From there it moved onto other topics of discussion including the new Jem dolls from Integrity, and their upcoming meetings in November and December. I was pretty quiet during the meeting since I really didn't have anything to add since they weren't talking about anything I was really educated about, also I'm pretty quiet when meeting new people, or groups.
There was also a presentation from a couple people that went to the Ken-vention a couple of weeks ago. It was really cool to hear about what they did and see what awesome stuff they brought back. Usually I only see these things in pictures, it's cool seeing them in person. We also played a couple games. One was undressing and dressing a Barbie. We were split into two teams of seven. One people would undress her, and the following person would dress her and so on until they reached the end. My team won! (Luckily I was an undress person so I was able to just slide the dress down and off her). Bradley gave the first person in the line a bunch of stuff to pick something from then pass it on down. I was early on in the row so I was able to get what I wanted out of the group. It's a pretty ornament from Ashton Drake of a brunette Ponytail wearing commuter set. It's so cute, and my first Barbie ornament!
There was another game, there was a jar of Barbie shoes and we each needed to guess the number, and whoever got it closest won. I ended up being way off, but it was still fun. The winner got a Barbie Halloween doll, from this year the cat one. (Since I don't collect that I'm not at all upset that I didn't win). There were also some door prizes provided by Donna, and I won one of those! Mine was a bag full of stuff. There were some Barbie puzzle erasers, a pink and white pen, an "Imagine" bracelet, a little accessory pack from the 2012 GAW convention, A Kenya Barbie McDonalds Barbie toy, and the best part three little shoe boxes with three pairs of shoes in them! They're reproductions of the vintage open toe heels. I have two colors, one is bright green and two pairs that are bright orange. I was able to find a home for one pair, but I'm not sure about the other two, but I'm still thrilled, shoes are shoes!
That was basically the end of the meeting. I know I talked mostly about what I got, but it was so awesome just talking with people, people who understood dolls. I was asked by Linda how I liked the meeting and if I wanted to come to the next one. I would like to, and did tell her that. I'm just not really sure how it's going to work. I know there's a yahoo group that they use to keep in contact, but I'm not part of that. I was able to go to this meeting since I already knew how to get to the swell doll shop. I would like to be invited to the yahoo group, but do not want to invite myself. I am planning on e-mailing Linda tomorrow and thanking her (and everyone) for a lovely time, hopefully something will come from that so I'll be closer to actually joining.
I don't know which was longer, the meeting or the post about it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Good News!

I have returned!
My replacement power cord arrived in the mail, and my computer is back up and running! The question is drear readers, did anyone miss me when I was away?
Well I'm back now... but things are going to be a bit different around here. October is going to be a really weird month when it comes to blogging. I have a ton of traveling coming up, as well as several projects that I can't blog about. One of those is a wedding present for someone that might be reading this blog. I don't think she is, but I'd hate to spoil the surprise. And the second one is Charlotte's Halloween costume, which you already know I'm being annoyingly secretive about.
I have been sewing this past week. I was really hoping that I could get Charlotte's costume done when I was away, but it was not meant to be. I've made five versions of that dress and they've all been terrible failures. I had to stop when I ran out of the fabric I was using. I was hoping that I'd have it finished by Saturday because .... I'm going to my very first doll club meeting! I mentioned it about a month ago about going to the September meeting, but due to some mixed signals I ended up not going. It was recommended that I e-mail the club president again to see if I could go to the October meeting by another member. So I did, and I'm all set to go to the meeting tomorrow, which is so nerve wracking. I've been trying to keep my social anxiety in check, but I'm sure as the time gets closer and closer it'll get worse. It's going to be at the Swell Doll Shop, which makes it a bit easier since I've been there before, this also means I get to do some shopping before the actual meeting. And you know how much I love shopping.
Also, I'll be bringing dolls which should help me feel more comfortable. The theme of the meeting is Halloween which is why I was hoping to finish Charlotte's Halloween costume before then, but I just could not do it. I was planning on bringing Ashley to wear it... I don't want to bring Charlotte, she's far too important to me to bring out of the house. Ashley's been her stand in before, and I'm sure she'll do it again. (Truth be told, if anything happened to Charlotte, Ashley is second in line to being the next favorite.) But since the costume didn't work out, I ended up having to pick something else for her. I ended up stealing Takara Jenny's Japanese School girl uniform for Ashley. It's cute, it's something I made, and it looks good on her. I did end up giving her the body suit I made for Charlotte's costume, so she's wearing something I made recently. It does look cute on her. The only thing I didn't make for her are the socks she's wearing, they're the ones she usually wears, but I could have made them if I wanted to.
But Ashley isn't the only doll I'm bringing. I'm also bringing Rebecca (Live Action Barbie re-rooted and on a Fashionista body). I really wanted to bring someone to show off that Little Red Riding Hood costume I made a whole back, and since it only fits a Fashionista body my options were limited, but it looks good on Rebecca and she's also been a stand in for Charlotte before. I did do a little upgrading the costume during the week. I added another snap to the back, and I washed all the white parts (they were looking a little dingy). It's not perfect in the back, but Rebecca's long hair covers all the less visual pleasing parts (which is why she got it over Ashley).
I'm also bringing food, which I'm supposed to do, but that's easier said than done. The problem is, I'm not really sure what to bring. I was told to bring something, but I have no idea what people usually bring. I'm actually going to bring three different things. I bought a bag of chips, I bought a bag of candy (that I'm going to put into a plastic pumpkin), and I made tomato soup cake. I figured that I could leave all of them in the car, then see what everyone else brought, then decide which one to bring in. I know that whatever comes back home with me will find takers.
I'm not really sure what else to say, I've been busy today getting ready for tomorrow (also hoping to tire myself out so I'll be able to fall asleep and won't be tossing and turning with anxiety). Oh, back to October. So I will be blogging, I do have stuff to share with you, including some stuff that happened last week (Like the FIVE dolls I ended up getting dressed), but it's going to be a bit slow, and I won't be able to post every single day. Hopefully after this month things will go back to normal and I'll be back to blogging.
But I'm sure that you'll hear all about tomorrow. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Oh, there's no picture of the dolls in their costumes since I packed them before I got this finished. If anyone would like to see them in their costumes feel free to comment that you do. Otherwise I won't bother taking a picture since both of them have been photographed on the blog before and the same goes for what they're wearing.