Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the Old!

It's here everyone, the final day of 2012. Shockingly it was incredibly similar to how the rest of 2012 has been.
In the morning I ended up going out. Again, I know I shouldn't have, but whatever. There was a reason for my going out. I found something online that was being sold at a local store that I wanted. I wasn't sure if it was still there or not, but I wanted to stop in to the store and see. But when we pulled into the parking lot we found it empty. There was a sign on the door saying it was closed until January 2nd. I guess I was just going to have to wait. Also while out we also stopped into the Salvation Army (Goodwill was closed). I did not find anything, but my dad found a book (like he needs another book, right?).
I had almost made a shopping trip without spending any money on myself... but then... *sigh*. Apparently there's a new doughnut shop in town (maybe just new to us). It's in the same plaza as Hobby Lobby. My dad wanted to stop in and get some. I decided that since we were already in the area I might as well stop in and see if they had anything that was of interest to me.

Of course they did.

I visited the Christmas section first. This many days after Christmas it's looking pretty picked clean. I did not see a single tulle spools left in that section, I guess they're popular and don't last long on the clearance shelves. Good thing I didn't wait to get mine, if I did I would have had to wait until next year when they restocked them for Christmas 2013. So it's not shock that I didn't find anything there that I could use.
No, it wasn't the Christmas section that did me in, it was the fabric section, LIKE USUAL. Let me share with you what I bought there today:
 As you can see I got quite the assortment. And in fact everything I bought was on sale. The first thing I picked up was that remnant of pink corduroy. I think it would work well for a Mod fashion, or for something Valentine's related. Last time I had been in the store they still had it in stock in the fabric section, but it had gone on sale since then, so I figured that was the last of it in the store. So I decided to get it or else miss out forever on it. And once that flood gate was open I quickly stocked up. I tried finding the clearance fabric section that is usually my wallet's bane, but I guess they got rid of it again. They did however have a section where they had the clearance Christmas, Halloween, and Fall apparel fabrics. So I guess they didn't get rid of it as much as they shifted it. I didn't see any Christmas stuff I wanted (or worked with my scale), but I found several fabrics that I needed. I've been eying that red with black flocked flower fabric for a while now, but held off because of the price and the limits the large scaled flowers present. Since it was now on sale for three dollars a yard I decided I needed it. I'm thinking would work lovely for a Barbie formal dress, something with a large full skirt, and maybe a black bodice? I have time to think about it. I got a half yard of it. I also picked up a half yard of it in pink since I couldn't decide which one I liked better even though I've been looking at the red one for the longest. They're actually a bit longer than the other fabrics, so I got more for my money. The multicolored chevron fabric in between them is a bit different than what I normally buy. It's just for some reason I think something like that would really work for my Julia doll, I've just held off buying something like it because I worry that something like that won't work in such a small scale. Since getting a half yard only cost 1.50 and I was already getting stuff cut out I decided to get some. And finally we have my favorite of my purchases. I honestly don't remember ever seeing it in the store before. It's a sheer, in a wonder Pucchi-esque print. It's so wonderfully late 60's/late 70's. I got an entire yard of that since it looks like it's difficult to work with and I didn't want to risk running out. I got the last full yard, all that was left was a small piece less than a half yard when I got it cut. I got it just in time! I'm actually a bit hesitant about working with it since sheers are so tricky to work with, but I could not pass it up. It's just so pretty! I managed to get out of Hobby Lobby for just under ten dollars, which was good since that was all that I had. But I really need to be better about that. I think that next month will be another "No Hobby Lobby" shopping month. Whenever I go in there I end up loading up on fabrics, which rarely end up being used. I really need to start using my stash instead of just adding to it.
Anyway, back at home we just spent more time visiting with my sister. I was lucky today and got a package in the mail. It was a doll item so I spent some time playing with it. I'll go more into detail later in another one of those posts for later that I owe you.
In the evening my sister and her husband wanted to watch the most recent Spiderman movie that they had rented during the day. Since I have no interest in that I excused myself and came upstairs to do stuff in my room, including playing more with what came in the mail for me.
But don't worry, I was downstairs well before the ball dropped. I was sitting in the living room with my family sipping on sparkling cider when that happened (alcohol was available, but I just don't care to drink). I ushered in the new year with my family, then ushered myself upstairs and into bed.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ouch...ouch...ouch...

I was not in a good place the day after Christmas. I'm not talking about that general depressed feeling you get after the Christmas rush has passed, I was in physical pain. It started around two in the morning, I work up with a terrible toothache and some stomach issues. I guess I overdid it with crunchy snacks yesterday. I know an easy remedy for my stomach issues, but I'd have to go downstairs into the kitchen to get it. The kitchen that is connected by a door less frame to the living room were my sister and her husband were sleeping. And I didn't want to go downstairs in the middle of the night making noise and turning on the lights. So I got up, stayed in my room, and suffered. Around five both aches had dulled enough for me to attempt to go back to bed. I did manage to fall back asleep and get a couple more hours of rest, but I'm still rather tired today. I haven't been sleeping well the past couple of nights, and I've been doing more running around during the day than I'm used to.

Luckily there's not much planned for the day after Christmas around here. Basically it was more hanging out with my sister and her husband. I wasn't planning on being around much since I was so tired and my tooth was still sore, but I ended up sitting down and chatting with everyone for a while. But we didn't spend the entire day just chatting, we actually ended up going out.

I know, I know, I shouldn't have. And it was my fault. I had mentioned the last time I had been at the antique stores that there was a lot of stuff that my sister's husband might be interested in. The problem is I know the general things he collects, but not the specifics. I know he likes comic books, Batman, Star Wars, and such, but I have no idea what he specifically collects or would think was a good buy. It's sort of like Barbie, yes I collect Barbie, but I don't collect everything that's out there. So I mentioned that it could be something that we did when they were here. Apparently that was something we were going to do today.
So I ended up going with them, I probably should have skipped it, but I wanted to go so I could point out some of the things of interest that I knew about... also who knew I might find something for myself! The first store was a total bust for everyone. I did find a doll I wanted to get, but when I saw that the dress she was wearing was torn I put her back, I was basically buying her for the dress she was wearing. The second store was much more successful. I did show our guest all the comic books I knew of, but he didn't find anything he wanted. He did however find a matchbox Batmobile he wanted, so that was good. And I found some stuff too... just not for myself. When I bought all those books for my father the other day I noticed that they also had a bunch of books in a series my mother reads. I mentioned that to her and she asked me to call her the next time I was there to see if there was any of them she didn't have. Since this was the next time I was there, I called her from the booth. Turns out the majority of them were the newer ones and she didn't have any of them. She ended up picking out six from all the titles I read to her. She didn't want to go overboard since she didn't know how much money I had. After I hung up with her I found something else in the booth. It was a box of vintage car magazines. They were from the 60's, 70's, and 80's, and about vintage cars. So they were Vintage vintage car magazines. The seller wanted 20 for them originally, but if they were considered books they would only end up being five dollars, ten if they weren't. I decided to get them. They would be perfect for my Grandfather who is one of the hardest people to buy presents for. I also picked up the remaining books that my mother had passed on. If the magazines were on sale too I could easily afford all of them. That was all I found there so I went downstairs and paid. They were all on sale, so I was able to get nine books and 29 magazines for 15 dollars, can't beat that if I tried.
The third and final store was pretty dull, but at this one my sister's husband found two comic books he wanted so that was good. Neither my father or I found anything we wanted in any of the stores, but sometimes that happens.
After we left there we were going to make a couple of stops in town. I asked my dad if he could hold off. I was getting tired of being out of the house, and I felt we shouldn't be dragging our guest around when we were doing chores, those can wait until tomorrow. So we went back home.
But some of us weren't going to be staying home. My sister and her husband ended up going out again. They were going out to the movies to see Les Miserables. They invited me to go along, but I so do not want to see it. The only song I was interested in was Anne Hathaway's version of "I dreamed a dream". I listened to it on Youtube already and found it so overwrought and melodramatic it was comical. Also it felt weird going out with the two of them, so I declined. It can be a date night for them, they were planning on getting dinner when they were out so they were going to be out for most of the evening. Which meant that I got to use it however I wanted!
I just used it to hang out in my room and relax. Not the most thrilling way to end the day, but lately that's been such a luxury that I cherished it!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It's finally here, my family's Christmas!

I'm a bit tired today. As usual I had a hard time sleeping last night. I'm not really sure why but I always have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep the night before Christmas. It was more understandable when I was younger and super excited about what my presents were going to be. And while I am excited about getting my presents, it's not like they're much of a surprise, I bought most of them. It's one of those things about me I'll never fully understand. 
It was around nine when I headed downstairs. My parents, my sister, and her husband were already awake. My father was preparing breakfast for everyone. My sister had requested pancakes for Christmas earlier in the month so this was planned. I don't like having something that heavy in the morning so I just stuck with the regular, rice crispies cereal and a cup of tea. After I finished I opened the first box of presents I wrapped and placed them under the tree, followed by running upstairs and getting the second box of presents and adding those to under the tree. Not to toot my own horn, but even with a limited budget, we managed to get a pretty decent amount of presents under the tree. But we didn't start opening them up as soon as breakfast was over. We ended up sitting around chatting for a while until my sister didn't want to wait anymore and woke my brother up so we could start unwrapping presents. I think that was around ten. How times have changed, my siblings and I used to be chomping at the bit Christmas morning to open presents, and now we're all sitting around leisurely before we finally get around to it, and honestly I could have waited even longer. I did want my presents, but I could have waited a bit longer for them.Even though I was the one who shopped for everything, and wrapped everything, I was also the person who handed out all the presents. Which was fine, I actually volunteered. I had a couple "gag" gifts I needed to hand out in specific orders and it was just easier (and better for the gags) that I handed everything out instead of directing it from my seat. It really didn't take me long, there wasn't that many presents to hand out. By handing them out I also had a front row seat to everyone opening their presents. I was mainly interested in mine, they seemed to go over well. I think everyone liked what I got them. My sister's husband liked the pinball game, but he especially like the Ewok bank we got him. I found it at a thrift store a while ago and held onto it to give it to him at Christmas. It's apparently going on his bookshelf which is a place of honor.
After I finished delivering everyone's presents I could finally open mine. I knew what most of them were, but there was still a couple surprise ones in there. I won't leave you waiting much longer for what I got. From my parents I got some Cinderella Squinkies (I found these at the Christian Second Hand store for two dollars), from my sister I got a Cinderella Uno Game, and a Snuggie... which was.... nice? (The Snuggie has been since given to my mother, who will use it more than I would). But that's not the big presents. You've heard about these before, but not in specifics. What I also got for Christmas were two vintage Ponytail Barbie dolls (a Number Five Blonde, and a Number Four Brunette)! Which is pretty awesome! Unfortunately you're going to have to wait a bit for the detailed introductions for these two, this post has gone on long enough.   After presents I started on Dinner. I managed to get the turkey into the oven pretty quickly. While it was cooking several people started playing Monopoly, which my brother got for Christmas. My father and I declined. While everyone was playing I spent most of the time cooking. I managed to get it all done with minimal help. Then we all sat down for a tasty meal. After dinner we just hung out for the rest of the day.
 Plenty of snacks, plenty of chatting, and plenty of fun.
I'd say overall this was a really great day.       

Friday, December 28, 2012

Slaving over a hot stove!

Even thought I was still seething from yesterday I couldn't let that get in the way of everything I had to do today. My sister was arriving tonight AND the house was still a mess AND I still needed to cook everything AND the next day was Christmas, so I couldn't put anything off. I set my alarm last night for seven this morning since I had a lot to do and a rapidly approaching deadline.
I hit the ground running and baking. Starting from 7:45 this morning I've made:
Two batches of Rice Crispy Treats (From Scratch),
Shortbread Cookies (From a Mix),
Chocolate Chip Cookies (From Scratch),
Sugar Cookies (From Scratch),
Cheesecake Mousse (From Scratch),
Chocolate Cream Pie (From a Mix),
Cranberry Jelly (From Juice),
Grape Jelly (From Juice),
And Meatloaf (From Scratch).
Needless to say it was pretty exhausting. I was cooking for about ten whole hours when you break it all down, quite the marathon. But I wasn't done there. I also was doing some cleaning all thru out the day. I still had to finish the upstairs bathroom, but also the rest of the house needed to be swept and done some minor upkeep, not to mention a final check to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I also finally decorated the house with the Christmas decorations. Since the cats are too curious for their own good we can't do it too early or risk them getting into trouble. Since I wanted everything to be set up before my sister got here I had to do it today. So I got the tree up and decorated, tinsel on the banister, and put our Christmas nicknacks up.
So you can see I was running around like crazy today.
My sister and her husband didn't get here until 10 PM. I was technically still awake, but just ready to pass out. I was just too exhausted to deal with anyone at that time, much less company. I didn't sleep very well last night (I never do when I know there's a lot I need to get done the next day) and I certainly tired myself out doing all I did today. I can see them in the morning, where I will (hopefully) be more well rested.

Merry (Belated) Christmas Eve Everyone!

P.S. The house eventually did get clean, the kitchen isn't as nice as it should be, but it's passable. I didn't think it would get cleaned, but it got done. It was a real photo finish.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pushed to my Limit

Alright, now that the shopping day is over and done with, it's time to get back to... ugh... cleaning. Since my sister and her husband are staying for a couple days I assume they'll want to take a shower at some point and since the upstairs bathroom is the most guest friendly bathroom that will most likely be the one they use, meaning I have to clean it. So I spent hours on my hands and knees scrubbing everything to make sure it was nice and clean. I eventually had to stop.

I won't lie, I tried keeping my cool while cleaning the bathroom, but it wasn't easy. Again I was the only one cleaning. Time is really getting down there and there's still so much to do, and I'm getting really fed up being the only one doing anything. After I gave up in the bathroom I started working on the laundry room... and that's when it happened. I reached my limit. I was the only one cleaning anything, nobody else seemed to give a crap, so I gave up. I stormed upstairs and slammed my door. If they want the house to look like a total mess that's fine by me.


Whatever.

After that my father called my brother down and they've been cleaning in the kitchen.

I still don't care.

I'm so over Christmas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

There's got to be a morning after... Christmas

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain, that and the chiming of the alarm on my cell phone. It was an early morning around here the day after Christmas. Now that (for most people) the holiday was over it means that all the Christmas stuff is on sale. Since my family is having out holiday after the traditional one that means I can use this to my advantage to stretch my limited budget just a little bit further. So that's why I was up so early, so I could head into town and get the best deals. Apparently Mother Nature was none to pleased with my plans because she made it pour today. A real torrential downpour of rain. But it could always be worse, at least it wasn't snowing. Lots of other places have been hit hard with heavy winter weather lately, luckily we're south enough so we don't have to deal with that.
After a quick breakfast and getting dressed it was time to hit the road. It was shortly before nine that my father and I left the house. After quick stop to the Bank to withdraw money from the ATM we were all ready to start our long shopping journey. From the money that was withdrawn I was given eighty dollars that was my budget for today. Hopefully it was enough, I had a long shipping list.
Up first was the Hallmark store at the mall. Just like last year my sister wanted ornaments for Christmas, so like usual we waited until after the Holidays to get them at a discount. But when I went into the mall first thing this morning, they didn't have any signs up saying things were on clearance. I wasn't sure if Hallmark put things on clearance the day after Christmas, they could very well do it tomorrow. I really don't shop there often enough to know how they do things there. I ended up leaving there without getting anything, deciding to either come back later or tomorrow. I had a lot of other places to go today.
After that we went to Hobby Lobby. I knew they had their Christmas stuff on sale since they had it listed in their sales ad on Sunday. All the Christmas stuff was now 66 percent off. I actually wasn't heading there for my sister, but for myself. (Shocking, right?) Well, I did look through the remaining ornament section to see if they had anything I thought she would like, but nothing really called out to me. The reason I was headed over there was to snag some of the Christmas tulle they sell now that it was even more on sale. In their Christmas section they have spools similar to the kind they sell in the sewing section, but these are made of 100 yards of tulle. They work out really well for doll sewing. Last year I bought the white and black ones, but they sold out of the colored ones before I got there. Since this year I got there bright and early they still had all of the colors in stock. I didn't bother getting white or black this year, I still have plenty left from last year's haul for those two colors. Instead I got red and hot pink. I left the spool of bright green, I only budgeted for two spools, and I decided that out of the three colors the green was the one I'd be least likely to use. I can always get it next year since I doubt I'll use up enough of the pink or red to warrant getting them again.
I did manage to hit up the two remaining thrift stores today as well. I didn't find anything good at the Salvation Army, but I did find a couple good things at Goodwill, both for my sister's husband. The first one was a mini-figure of Thor from a Marvel game. It was an exclusive on free comic book day, I know he used to play that game, but wasn't sure if he still did. I decided to get it, and if it wasn't something he liked he could always just get rid of it. But that's not all I found for him. Also at Goodwill was this pinball game. It was pretty big, about two feel long. It seemed pretty fun, and was only three dollars, so I got that for him too. Not sure if it still worked, but even if it didn't you could still play, just couldn't keep score or anything. I thought he would like it, and even better it would annoy my sister. 

From there I headed to the shops on Sunset. No, I wasn't visiting the United Christian Outreach Center at their old-new store. They're not open yet. Instead I was heading into the Antique Mall. Several weeks ago when I was last there I found a booth that had a bunch of military books that were 75 percent off, they would be perfect for my father for Christmas. Since I didn't want to make an executive decision at the time I held off getting any and talked to my mother about it. She thought it was a good idea, and decided that we should get them. This was just the first time I had been back since then. And since it had been a while since I visited last, I also did some wandering around the store before I headed to the book section. I checked the booth with the vintage Barbie dolls, nothing new there. I won't lie, I was trying to see if there was any room in the budget for me to buy one of the cheaper clothing items. I know, I'm terrible. Nothing really called out to me from the booth, so I walked away, possibly to return later, depending how much the books cost. I walked around for a bit more before going to the book section. And wouldn't you know I managed to find something Barbie related. It was three small bags of clothing, each for nine dollars, but they were all on sale for 60 percent off. I recognized several of the clothing items in the bags, so I decided to get them. Screw the budget I needed these clothes! (The clothes will be discussed in a later post). After I found those I went to the book section. I found seven books that I thought he would really like from what was there. I did a rough calculation in my head and thought I'd be slightly over budget with all my purchases. I brought them all downstairs and they rang me up. I was slightly over budget, but I still had a couple bucks left over from Hobby Lobby, so I was able to cover it. And with that, I got all the presents purchased for my father!
You'd think that after all that shopping I'd be ready to go home, but I actually wasn't... but we did go home anyway. Turns out we forgot the grocery shopping list, so we had to go back and get it. Since we were already here we unloaded our purchases and had lunch. After that we headed back out, making sure this time we had the grocery list.
We ended up back at Hallmark for the first part of the second trip. By now they had the signs up saying the Christmas stuff was at a discount. (40 percent off) The ornament section had been picked clean since that morning, but I wasn't looking for anything in particular. I looked through it and picked out the two I liked the best. One was a polar bear and penguin sledding, and the other was two Hallmark characters standing on a roof watching for Santa. I think she'll like them. I tried getting one medium priced one and one large one for her. I had budgeted 20 dollars for this stop, guess how much I spent?

19.84, not too shabby, right?
After there I went to Walmart. My brother asked for rechargeable batteries, and since I was out I figured that I might as well get them for him. It makes sense in hindsight, but they were totally out the day after Christmas. All they had left were two packages of AAA, and he wanted AA. But the trip wasn't for naught I ended up hitting up their Christmas section and stocking up on Christmas Candy. I was able to get enough candy for everyone's stockings at Walmart, and under budget, so that was nice.
After that I was done present shopping, and not a moment too soon. All that was left was grocery shopping, which while we only had a couple places left to go, we were getting a lot more than usual. It's weird that adding two more people to the grocery list added a ton more stuff.
Anyway, when that was all over we went back at home and everything got put away. I added batteries to the pinball game, and it works, and it's LOUD! I love it! Going to drive my sister crazy. I also managed to wrap most of the presents I bought today. I didn't wrap the pinball game since it needs some light cleaning. I should have also worked on my cleaning some more, but I'm just too tired to bother.
I've been everywhere today!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone out there is having a fun (and safe) Christmas.
As I've said earlier, we were going to have a low key Christmas today. Our big one won't be until Saturday when my sister and husband are here. But I still wanted to celebrate on the actual day. So the four of us got together at noon for a pancake lunch. We ended up watching some classic Christmas cartoons while we were eating. After that we each got one present, I actually got two. I think everyone enjoyed their presents, I know I sure did.
I should point out the only reason why I got two was because these were the dolls I bought on my own earlier in the month. I bought them with borrowed money, so it was my idea to atone for doing that by making me wait until now to actually get them. I did talk about them briefly when I actually got them since I held onto them for a couple of days so I could clean them. I promise you'll get a more in depth introduction to them in time, but for now I'll just share with you a picture. Here's my Christmas day presents:

They actually came nude, but I was able to dress them in swimsuits thanks to that package from my Flickr friend. Thanks again Cubby! These are my first pair of Ken swim trunks, I hope he doesn't mind Allen borrowing them.

I didn't get to spend a lot of time with them today, even though it's Christmas, I'm still working on cleaning the house. Today I started working in the upstairs bathroom. I spent a short time in there today, I stopped after mopping the floor since I needed to let it dry. Still have work to do in there, but at least I made some progress in there today.

And speaking of progress, I got an email from the person who bought that doll from me last Thursday, they got it in the mail yesterday. Which is crazy fast. Since they received the item and happy with it, that means the money is now able to be used! And I was very good, I used it to repay my parents some of what I owe them. I still owe them 30, but that's down considerably from the 72 I started at. And that thirty is all I owe for my actual Christmas present, I've now paid off that titan Ponytail and Allen and Stacey.

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the house,

not a creature was stiring,

except for me, because I was cleaning the dining room.

I know, I'm butchering a classic, but whatever. Today was the day I worked on cleaning the dining room. I know I said that I wasn't going to clean it, but the other day my father and brother went and cleaned most of the big stuff in there. There was a lot of detail work to be done, but I was touched by their actually doing something I decided to finish it for them. I did however not clean off the table, a couple things ended up migrating there that shouldn't have, so I left them there. Not my mess, not my problem. Since this room was mainly clean already, it didn't take me too long to get everything in order. I mean it still took me a while, but it ended up being a lighter day than some.
Since today is the last mail day before Christmas I ended up stalking the mailman again. I'm still waiting for those two things to arrive. Neither of them are Christmas related things, so it's not like if they don't arrive today anything's ruined, but I just hate waiting! 
But I don't have to wait any longer... well for one of the things. It was a present from a Flickr friend, and it was loaded with the most amazing Barbie things!

I'm going to hold off sharing it with you for a while. I'm just too exhausted to do a big post right now.

(So now I owe you two posts)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Back to work, sigh.

I decided that today was the day that I was going to start cleaning again, unfortunately. Now that it's Christmas week I really don't have much of an excuse to keep pushing it off. I decided to work on the living room today. Even though we're holding off on our major Christmas until Saturday, I was still hoping for all of us to sit down together on the actual day for a small meal and open one present each. And while I had done a lot of work earlier in the month, there was still a lot of work to be done, mainly detail stuff. I thought that other people would be doing some cleaning elsewhere in the house, but shockingly (not), I was the only one doing any cleaning at all today.
And even worse, my cleaning was actually hindered by some people. Want to know my favorite part of today? I was whip stitching a couch cushion shut since the zipper had given out. I was asked a pointless question about something I had nothing to do with, not paying attention to my task at hand, I stabbed myself with the needle, hard. I wasn't even asked if I was okay. So I'm sitting there trying to not bleed all over the cushion, and I was bleeding a lot harder that I thought I would be. Shortly after that I decided it was not worth it and took a break.
An hour or so later I ended up going back. I didn't want to, but I really wanted to get the living room finished today. So I spent several more hours cleaning... alone... but being bothered by people who didn't plan on helping. I won't lie, I was pretty steamed by then. I'm totally back to the point where I just want to quit and let people deal with their own darn mess. But I managed to get the entire living room finished, and did a little work on the dining room. But I was still fuming when I got done. And so I went back upstairs... where the cat knocked my computer onto the ground.... and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. So I picked her up and carried her downstairs and put her in the kitchen. She's banned from my room for the rest of the day. Luckily my computer seems fine. It's fall was cushioned by a pair of jeans that just happened to be in the right place. Good thing too, my computer is already in rough enough shape, and I fear that a straight fall to the floor could be the end of it.
So I was mad before, now I was livid. I was read to start throwing things and screaming but I didn't. Instead I took my frustration out on some digital people, by playing a video game. I fired up the X-box and beat the tar out of the cast of Dead or Alive 2. Kasumi and I did pretty well for not having played for many, many months. Eventually that calmed me down.
BUT I GET TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN TOMORROW!
Good thing Kasumi is always ready to fight, I'm going to need the release.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Day After the End of the World

No time to clean this morning. I didn't have time for it because I needed to go out. Like I mentioned in Thursday's post I had something sell from my Dollpage, but didn't get payment before I went out. It was waiting for me in my inbox when I got home. I could have technically gotten it into the mail yesterday, but I just didn't want to chance going out in case some fool decided to do something stupid. I figured that the buyer could wait an extra day, it's not like it was going to get there before Christmas anyway. In case you can't tell the world didn't end, or else I would have just refunded their money since I'm sure the post office was going to be closed. Anyway, it was going to be a really frugal trip this time. My family is waiting for some money to arrive in the mail, and right now it's pretty late. We were literally scraping together spare change in order to pay for postage. But we were able to get enough and I was able to get it into the mail and on it's way. I still need to e-mail the buyer and let them know that it's in the mail, but I can do that before bed. But even with such limited funds, we actually had another stop after the post office.
Today was the last day of the Christian Second Hand store before it closes and reopens back on Sunset in late January. I wanted to stop in and check out what they still had for sale, I was hoping that things would be further on clearance on it's final day. It wasn't, but I guess I should be happy with getting 75 percent off. And I did make the most of it. I picked up a box of vintage tinsel (I've been wanting tinsel but keep forgetting to buy it at the dollar store) and a table runner that I'm going to take apart for the fabric. And I wasn't just shopping for myself. I picked up a spare sheet for the futon (where my sister will be sleeping when she visits soon) and a sweatshirt for my mother. I managed to get all that and spend less than four dollars, luckily we had enough change between my father and I to afford it.
When back at home I started taking apart that table runner. I was able to take it totally apart in a relatively short time. I even ironed it and surged the edges of the green floral piece. (It frays really easily) I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but since it was a quarter I knew that I would be kicking myself if I passed it up. I really like the green floral fabric, it might end up being a Barbie dress, and I think there might be a pair of Mod Ken pants to be made out of that striped fabric.
In the early afternoon I went out to check the mail, I'm waiting for two things to arrive so I was hopeful something would get here today. Sadly nothing for me but the money my parents were waiting for arrived! So we went back out again to do some grocery shopping... and hit up the thrift stores!
 Since we were heading out so late we had to be quick at each store or risk not being able to go to them. Up first was the Salvation Army. I really didn't find much that I needed. But I didn't leave empty handed, almost did though. I was looking through their jewelry section for any small findings that could be used for Barbie. Instead I found this small gold chain. Normally I ignore those since they could be anything and not worth much, but this one still had it's original tag. On one side it said "Made in Korea" and on the other it said "18K Gold Plated", so I decided to get it. Even it's not worth much it should be worth more than the dollar I paid for it. Add another item to the resale pile, I'm really going to have to bust my butt after the new year getting all my stock listed.
After that we went to the Goodwill where I had better luck. Up first I found this bag of random toys, I recognized several of them as Bob the Builder toys. I'm not interested in those, however also in the bag was a Honey Hill Bunch doll. I don't collect these, but do own one so I was mildly interested in this one. However I wasn't willing to spend a lot of money on one. I decided that I didn't want it if it was three dollars, I looked over the bag and found a price tag, it was only a dollar. A much more reasonable amount to spend. So I ended up getting it. But that's not all I found. I also found a Fran Dresher Nanny doll, still in her box. The box was totally trashed but the doll and her clothes looked good. She was three dollars, so I decided to get her. She is destined for resale, but I might end up stealing her clothes first.
We managed to get through those stores relatively quickly, so quickly in fact that there was time to revisit the Christian Second Hand store for the last, last time. I did have a reason for going there again, they had another box of that tinsel that was a really good price, and I wanted to check out their jeans. All the ones I have are getting rather worn and I should start replacing them. We managed to get there with a little time to shop. At first I looked through the pants section. I did find a pair of jeans that would work for my needs, not perfect but for the price I couldn't do much better. I also checked out the toy section again, still nothing I needed. On a whim I looked through the young kids clothing section for clothing that has tiny prints. I did manage to find something there. It's a toddler shirt made from super tiny red houndstooth. I love houndstooth. I actually have a plan for this. Over on Flickr I found a picture of someone sharing a vintage clone Barbie outfit made from a similar fabric. I really liked it, but never found any fabric like the original, but now I have! Now I'm just going to have to actually make the thing, but that's going to have to wait until the new year, too busy right now. I also picked up that second box of tinsel, and a partial box of vintage wound thread ornaments, mainly because they came in a box. I forget the total for my items, but it was obscenely low. Goodbye for now United Christian Outreach Center, I will miss you!
Back at home I didn't do much. I did debox the Nanny doll.... she will be keeping her clothes. They're pretty cheaply made and not really my style. I will however be keeping her bathrobe. It's pretty well made, and if you cover the shoddy stitching in the front, looks pretty good on a doll. I may end up keeping her shoes too, depends on if I can find a use for them before I get around to selling her.
Come January my shop will overflow! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Apocalypse... Now?

So I really should have started working on cleaning today. The day my sister is expected to arrive is rapidly approaching and the longer I put it off the more likely I'm going to have to do one of those frenzied cleanings I was trying to avoid earlier in the month. But I decided that if today the world was actually going to end today, I'm not going to spend my final day cleaning!  That would be crazy, and really I don't need a decent excuse to skip cleaning.
Instead I picked back up where I left off on that dress for my Fashion Queen Barbie. Today I finally broke down and removed the skirt. It killed me doing that, but I knew that if I just ignored it and left it as is, I'd never be truly satisfied with it. So I ripped out the stitching, moved it 1/8 of an inch up the bodice, pinned it back down, and sewed it back down. Not an extreme amount of work, but it certainly made the dress fit better, so I guess it was the right thing to do. After that I went back to working on finishing the dress. But I didn't finish it today. Right now it's all done except for the back seam. I ended up quitting again because it looks like I might have to tear out the hand hem in order to get it to match up correctly in the back.

WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP TEARING OUT PARTS OF THIS DRESS?

At this rate I'm not sure I'll get this dress done before the end of the world (whenever that may be).

Also I know I left you with a teaser from yesterday's post that was supposed to be in this post and it's clearly not. I'm just not feeling like doing a big post right now so that's going to have to wait, hopefully I won't keep you waiting for too long.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My 900th Post!

Blogger tells me that this will be my 900th post, which is a pretty big milestone, especially since I didn't think I'd stick with it when I started blogging. I'm not sure if that's everything or just published posts. If it's everything then there's actually about 890 published posts with about 10 languishing in unfinished states, still an impressive number.
Anyway, it was a dull morning around here. Not much to mention there. My day didn't get exciting until the afternoon because I went out! I was planning on going out to get something into the mail, but I was still waiting to hear back from the buyer by the time I had to leave. So I couldn't do that today. But I still needed to go out. I needed to get some Christmas cards. I know, super late. For some reason I just didn't want to send Christmas cards this year, wasn't feeling like it. But I had a couple people send me cards (three), so I felt I should send them some in return (plus one more). My parents also needed cards, so I was going to get a big box for them and share.
I was planning on only going to get the cards today with no unnecessary stops, but my dad wanted to go to all the thrift stores, and I was so easily lead astray.


Up first was the Salvation Army. I didn't see much there that I was interested in. I did find a bag of Christmas cookie cutters, but for three dollars it didn't seem like much of a good deal, besides I don't need more cookie cutters when I finally just used the ones I bought ages ago for the first time just the other day. I didn't even find anything that would work for a present for anyone! I didn't leave empty handed though, I found this 90's Skipper doll. She looked to be in decent shape and wearing most of her (I assume) original outfit. I have no clue who she is, but decided to buy her to resell her. She will need a bath and some hair work, but she looks pretty good. After the holidays I'm going to have to do another drive where I push myself to get stuff listed, my dresser is rapidly getting covered again.
Nothing of any interest at the Goodwill.
It was at the Christian Second Hand store where I spent the most money. They're closing soon, on Saturday in fact, and their half off sale had grown to 75 percent off, which was amazing. I ran around picking stuff not because I needed it, but because I wanted it. Sadly the fabric section was pretty much bare, and I'm sure they're not going to be getting more stuff in before they close. The toy section was pretty bleak too. I did however manage to find this Kelly doll. I'm not sure who she is, but her freckles and short red hair really caught my eye. She has a couple of spots on her face, including some red paint, but I'm hoping some acne cream will clear that up. I do plan on reselling her if they come out, but I plan on stealing her shoes first! Her dress has been cut so I won't be able to salvage it, but I think her shoes are worth the quarter I paid for her. I also found something else for resale in the toy section, two vintage Care Bear stuffed animals. They're the 20" tall ones. I found Friend Bear and Love-A-Lot Bear. They both look to be in decent shape with some minor play wear. There is some dirt on them I need to clean, but that's about it. Again, after the Holidays, I'll get them listed. And finally I bought some more Christmas ornaments. These are for me, not for my sister. They're some really cheap flocked animals. I got a Penguin and a Goose. They're really pretty terrible, and the quality control on them is terrible, but they made me laugh. For someone who is always talking about their high tastes, I can certainly like some ugly junk. I also picked up some puzzles that came from the state zoo. This store got a bunch of extra zoo souvenirs they were selling really cheaply. I held off on the puzzles since they didn't really interest me at 50 cents for two, but getting six for that same price was much more tempting! Now everyone has one for their stockings!
Back at home I ended up wrapping all the puzzles. I normally wouldn't have, but I've been collecting small bits of wrapping paper and figured this would be a perfect way to use some of it up since I don't think I have very many small things left to wrap. So they've all been labeled and wrapped and labeled again. And that's about all that happened.
Oh! I did get something in the mail today, but I think that's going to wait until my 901st post since I want to devote a lot of time talking about it, so you'll all have to wait until tomorrow for that... unless the world ends and then it won't ever happen.
So you better hope the world doesn't end!
P.S. Sorry about the placement of the pictures. Ever since Blogger "upgraded" I haven't been able to get them placed easily or correctly. I just couldn't get most of them to match up to where they should in this post. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To be Continued... eventually...

So... another early day today. But I will say that it wasn't because of the cat. This time I was the problem. I woke up this morning with some... general discomfort. I tried ignoring it, but just couldn't. By the time I realized it wasn't going away I noticed that it was getting a lot lighter outside, so I might as well just start my day. But even with the early morning I haven't been super exhausted today or anything, so I guess what sleep I did get was restful enough.
Today I started working on that dress again. I made some progress, but not as much as I would have liked. I'm still having trouble with the skirt. I thought that I had it all worked out, but now I realize I'm going to have to raise it up about 1/8 of an inch. I didn't start that today since I didn't figure that out until after I had reinforced the seam on one side so I wasn't pleased. So I walked away from it.
I didn't mention it yesterday, but the doll wearing this dress will be my Fashion Queen. When I was working with her I noticed that she was looking a little dirty, so I took some soap, some water, and some q-tips and gave her a bath.
Girl...
was....
filthy...
I'm almost embarrassed how much dirt came off her. I am 99 percent sure that she didn't get that dirt here. I usually clean dolls when they show up, but I think I didn't do a great job on her. I think she got washed, but today I really gave her a scrubbing. I was able to get all the ground in dirt off her legs. She looks so much better from her bath. I guess I should look over the other dolls in case some of them need more in depth baths too.
I also did some organizing of all my spare Barbie clothes and accessories. I organized two shelves of clothes so that the ones I use the least are on the bottom shelf, and the ones I use more are higher up. I also moved the purses and bags across the room to where the Ken clothes live so there's more room the drawers. And I cleaned out the accessories drawer and shuffled some things around to make it more organized. It's still a bit crowded and I can't shut it, but at least it's more organized that how it was before I started.
And that was the end of my doll stuff for the day. The rest of today was spent finalizing what food to serve and get for when my sister is here (next week!). She has a unique diet and we want to have everything purchased for when they're here so I have been compiling a list of meals to make. Today I came up with the final meals I hadn't planned yet, then broke it down into individual ingredients. I still have to take the list a double check everything since I think we already have a couple things I wrote down, but I wanted to cover everything at the start.
Then we get to go shopping for it all, not much time left until the big day!

Oh! And the present I bought for my sister's Husband arrived today. It's funny, I bought it on Sunday, and it got here today, meanwhile, things I bought at the start of last week I'm still waiting for and have no idea if they've even shipped. You better believe that seller got a positive feedback out of me, if only the other people were half as good.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Actually a Good Day

Another night of decent sleep, and another day where I spent most of it feeling like my old self. I'll be glad when I'm totally back to normal.
And my being more on the mend was beneficial. I was good today, I had the opportunity to go out, but didn't. So you see, I can skip going out from time to time.
I even managed to do some sewing today. You may remember my last temper tantrum a few days ago when I mentioned that I had failed in making a dress for Julia. Today I sort of went back to it. I say sort of because it's now in a different fabric, and for a different doll (and with a different technique). It's weird, I've had the pattern, the doll, the idea, and fabric for a while now (I've been waiting to dress the doll for over a year now), but today they seemed to all just click. So I got to work and after a while I managed to get the bodice mostly finished. I did have to go back and tweak a few things, but I'm ready to add the skirt... which is easier said than done. I did try adding it earlier, but ended up having to rip out what I had done at least four times. It ended up being for the best since I needed to do more work on the bodice, but that means I won't be able to finish it until tomorrow at the earliest. But I am really liking how this dress is turning out. Could it be possible that I get a doll dressed this month? (Let's hope it keeps working out!)
I could have spent more time on that dress but instead I totally changed gears... and made more sugar cookies! Not for any real reason, I just had a craving for them. I guess making them for that meeting unleashed a beast, one that could only be quelled by more cookies! I was going to make them yesterday, but we were out of butter. But since my dad went to the store today, we had more! So I made another batch of cookies using the Betty Crocker cookie book again. Last time I made them I used biscuit cutters to make them all a boring and uniformed circle shape. This time I used some fancy cookie cutters that we bought a while ago but still had not used yet to make them more fun. I made half moons, stars, hearts, flowers, atomic gingerbread men, and a fancy diamond shaped one. I really had fun using those vintage cookie cutters!
But now there's a plateful of cookies that are just begging me to eat them! Which I'm sure I will. They won't last long around here at all. (But I will have help). I just hope I don't get people tired of them, I'm planning on making another batch on the 28th (Our faux Christmas Eve).

One week until Christmas (the real one that is)!!! Eleven days until my family's faux one!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I suck, I can't even make socks!

I'll condense this part,
Sleep: Same as yesterday
Physical Heath: Same as yesterday

I spent a while today stalking the mailman. Out of the three things I'm expecting in the mail, two of them are set to arrive soon, hopefully today. But it wasn't meant to be. But it wasn't easy to find out, the mail didn't get here until after four! I guess it's going to be here later and later the closer we get to Christmas, I just hate to wait to be disappointed so late in the day. But I really shouldn't have bothered, turns out that everything I'm waiting for in the mail has yet to be shipped. I totally understand the shirt I bought yesterday (which was the item that I was not expecting to arrive today), but everything else I bought early last week, so I figured that it would at least have made it into the mail by now. Not to sound too impatient but that's kind of annoying. I'm not expecting it to get into the mail the same day I bought it, but I think almost a week is pushing it.

Anyway, regarding the title. I'm still stuck on doll sewing, I have absolutely no ideas for anyone, and even worse, no drive. I did sort of come up for something for a Francie doll I have. I sort of liked it, but I would need to draft a new pattern for it. So I wasn't really jumping at the bit to work on this project, but I still wanted to sew. Since the outfit called for knee socks and those are quick to make I decided to sew up a pair. I also decided that since Malibu Francie will need a pair to cover that hole in her ankle, I'd make a second pair at the same time for her. Since the Francie sock pattern I found had "not perfect" written on it I decided to not cut them all out at once. I cut out one pair and sewed it up. It ended up being way too tight for Francie, and almost didn't fit Skipper. So I made a quick adaptation and cut out two pairs from this one... guess what ended up being too big? Now I have three pairs of socks that I'm not at all happy with and doubt I'll use.
I can't be messing up socks that's something I thought I mastered years ago!

I have a question for everybody...

I'm curious, when receiving a free sample from a company, do you just use the actual product to gauge the product itself, or do you use your entire experience to gauge the company?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Improvement... slight improvement

I had a much better start to my day today, the cat wasn't super annoying and didn't wake me up too early! I did take steps yesterday to try and tire her out during the day so I guess that helped. I'm still plenty exhausted from the past couple days of not getting enough sleep, but at least now I'm not getting any further behind. Hopefully this is the start of getting back on track sleep wise.
I'm also feeling slightly better physically, slightly. I'm still nowhere near back to normal but at this point every little bit helps. Again hopefully this is the start of getting back to normal and there won't be any fall backs. I really can't afford to be sick that much longer. But since I'm still feeling under the weather I didn't want to press my luck, so I took another day to rest. I skipped my cleaning again. But I wasn't a total layabout today. I did manage to do some shopping! Just some internet shopping (I'm in no mood to actually go out), and just for a final Christmas present. I had already bought presents for all of my family except for my sister's husband. Since the big day is getting closer (but not as close as I thought it was yesterday) I needed to buy his present so it would get here in time. Also I needed to buy it and stop spending every dollar that comes my way on myself, that's seriously selfish. Since they don't read this blog I can tell you what I got him. I bought him a Batman shirt from E-bay (I swear I bought it new!). It was one of the things from his Christmas list, so he should like it. It didn't cost too much, so I was able to stay on budget for him, even including shipping. I even had enough left over so that I could repay my parents back some. Between that and some earlier repayment I'm now only in the hole to them for forty bucks. Hopefully I can keep making progress on that. I don't have anything I want to buy right now, but I really dislike owing someone money. I want to own all these dolls outright!
I even managed to do some sewing today too. Late in the evening I decided to go back to Charlotte's Christmas outfit. I changed the skirt to something similar to my original design, but totally different. I was not using the steampunk outfit's skirt as my model. I sewed most of of it today, but I don't think I'll end up using it. For some reason it feels way too short, even though it's basically the same length as the steampunk skirt and I don't feel the same way about that. I really don't understand it. But I'm not willing to make this skirt for a third time. I guess it's really back to the drawing board for Charlotte's outfit. And you can tell that I'm in a better mood than yesterday since this little snafu hasn't resulted in a huge tantrum like it would have yesterday.
So really, progress all around. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

He's a mean one, Mister Grinch

*Warning, this is one big long rant, so feel free to skip it if you want to remain in a Christmas Mood. You can been warned.*
My day started off badly, and kept getting worse. We had another morning where I was woken up against my will. Little Miss Sunshine decided that she was done sleeping and so was everyone else in the room. It was later than she did the other day, but this time she didn't have Waffles to share the blame with. She was the only one in the room and just being a jerk. I don't know what to do with her. Whenever I try to kick her out of the room she just sits in front of the door and howls to let back in. If she doesn't stop waking me up like this I think she's going have to start sleeping in the basement. It's just right now the two kittens sleep down there at night because Mato .... sits outside my door and howls to be let it. It's a real catch 22. I can't have all of them in the basement because Sunshine still hates all the other cats. I just want my sleep! I'm trying to get caught up on the sleep I missed earlier in the week and I'm still sick. I won't be able to get better if I don't get any sleep!
I really didn't feel like doing much today, so I didn't. I did do some sewing for one of the dolls today, my Julia doll. It did not end well. I literally ended up ripping up the fabric in frustration. It's not that big of a deal, it wasn't going to work out anyway. But that one little failure really set me off. I was so mad I didn't want to deal with anyone, neither person, nor animal, nor doll. I was so testy and just ready to snap at the first thing that tested me.
Oh, and I was tested today, believe me I was. So we finally found out my sister's schedule for Christmas. So now we're having Christmas on the 29th compared to the 28th, but for totally dumb reasons. My sister is coming down from Philadelphia for the holiday. She's the only reason we're putting it off in the first place, she has to work, which I do not begrudge her. What I heard was that she was going to drive down to our house, spend a few days, then go to Raleigh and spend a few days there. Turns out it's reversed, she's going to Raleigh first then coming here, thus pushing back our Christmas to the next day. They are planning on getting here on the 28th, but when pressed for when they would arrive we were told "sometime in the later afternoon" and I am NOT squishing an entire Christmas day into the later afternoon (if they actually arrive at that time). I did not work that hard for just a few hours of Christmas, I earned the whole darn day. I know it sounds like a petty reason to get so worked up, but I'm annoyed by the lack of consideration. She and her Husband are required to bring and do nothing for the actual day but show up, and they can't even do that right! It just makes me so annoyed.
Oh, she asked what I wanted for Christmas today (and everyone else in the family). Apparently everyone's getting books, or were at least asked what books we wanted. I really didn't have anything to tell her. I assume she's going to a local Raleigh bookstore to trade in some books they have to use the credits to buy everyone's presents. That's what she did last year, she's a real big spender that sister of mine. I don't really have any titles to tell her. I don't read actual books a lot lately, and when I do find something I want it's so obscure I doubt she'd find it where she's looking (not to sound too hipster). And the sad thing is I told my mother a while ago a cheap and quick present she could get me a while ago, a pair of size 0 knitting needles. There's even a set of them on Etsy I could send her that's under six dollars including shipping that would work. But that's not a book now, is it? At least I know what I get from my parents I'll really like, unless I die of sleep deprivation first.
I'm at the point that thanks to several different factors I'm totally over Christmas. I just want to go to bed and wake up when it's all over. Between global, family, and personal stuff I'm just having a rough time this December, and I'm just going to give up on doll sewing. Sewing for seven dolls plus all the house stuff I needed to do was just too optimistic of a plan. And that was before I got sick. Right now I don't think Charlotte is going to get anything new for Christmas, same for Joe and Cindy Sad Eyes. I just don't have the energy for it. I need to focus that on not crying/screaming. Wish me luck!    


You're a monster, Mister Grinch, 
Your heart's an empty hole,  
Your brain is full of spiders, 
you've got garlic in your soul, Mister Grinch

Friday, December 14, 2012

....

A quick post today, I don't feel much like talking about my personal stuff. Today was not a good day, both personal and world wide. My head hurts still, but due what happened today so does my heart.

A quick note to say that I've also decided to do something else for Charlotte's Christmas dress, not sure what yet, but something else.

Although I'm not feeling very Christmassy anymore.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another night, another problem.

Another rough night around here, and no my tooth wasn't the culprit. (Although it's still bothering me). This time the trouble maker had a name... Sunshine. Last night I was sleeping okay. At 2:44 in the morning I head a loud vehicle idling outside. I listened to it for a while expecting it to pass. It didn't so I got up to go investigate. Looking out the front door I found it was a electric company truck. Not sure what was up with that, but since we still had power I figured it was for something down the road, so I went back to my room. It was then Waffles decided to run into my room, jump on my bed, curl up into a ball, and fall asleep. Since he wasn't being a pest I felt bad kicking him out so I left him there thinking it wouldn't be a problem. Boy was I wrong. Waffles was fine, I don't think he moved more than one foot the entire night. Sunshine however decided that since Waffles was on her bed she must now use the room as her personal jungle gym. She was running around, bouncing all around, and trying to get my attention for the rest of the night. I am so not pleased with her at the moment. Especially since my tooth is still hurting and has managed to manifest itself in a headache and some ear trouble. I'm thinking I have something viral, which is not fun. I have too much to do to get sick right now.
So I took it easy today. I skipped cleaning... but did go out instead. I did need to get a couple things into the mail. It was a real quick trip, I did go to one thrift store (after being pressured), and while I did find stuff I wanted, I ended up putting everything back after I really thought about if I wanted it. So I didn't get anything while out. And I really didn't need to, I have plenty at home to amuse myself with.
Back at home I started working on Charlotte's Christmas dress some more. I'm still working on the skirt, the pleated part. It did not go well. I think I tore out about three times as many pleats than what's actually going to be in the skirt. But I want to like it when I'm done, but right now it's not shaping up how I envisioned it.
Which is frustrating. Hopefully when I work on it next time I can get it more to how I want it.
But that will have to wait until tomorrow, I'm still exhausted, and if that darn cat even sneezes tonight she'll be sleeping in the basement with the other cats!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pain, Pain, Go Away

I had a rough night sleeping last night. I don't know when it started but when I laid down for bed I realized I had a toothache. It was very minor, it wasn't a "OH NO I'M IN PAIN!" kind of deal, more like a dull throb. Not enough to make me seek immediate help, but it hurt enough so that it would keep waking me up during the night. I'm already a light sleeper and this certainly didn't help me any. I also had some terrible vivid dreams, including one where my Twiggy doll was in actuality a Casey doll that had been repainted, and now the paint was leeching off and into her skin. It was very depressing. So needless to say, I'm a bit groggy today, and my tooth still aches.
But life must go on. I was actually incredibly productive this morning in spite of my poor sleeping last night. I managed to get my entire backlog of posts posted here on the blog. I was about a week behind so I'm glad to be all caught up. I even went and took several pictures this morning just so I could get everything I had written published. Here's hoping that now I can keep on top of things and not get so backlogged. Although we all know that's going to keep happen, it's inevitable. *sigh*
Feeling tired and sickly didn't stop me from my cleaning chores today either. Since my brother finally moved his backpack I was free to clean the stairs and get the rest of the downstairs hallway fully clean. Today I swept them and even went so far as to get a wet towel and scrub each step. They are looking much better for my efforts. I didn't just finish the downstairs hallway today, I also worked on the upstairs hallway as well. It's pretty much finished except I need to move a couple things back to where they belong. But that can wait until I'm doing my final touch up when we're closer to Christmas. I'm counting it as finished. That's all I did today since I'm not feeling 100 percent. I didn't bother starting on any other rooms.
I did however start working on Charlotte's Christmas dress today. I decided I was done working with my muslin and actually cut it out in the final fabric. I was able to get the start of it worked on. I wasn't able to get too much done with it today since I had to stop and colorfast it. The dress is going to be red and white meaning I can't colorfast it when I'm done since the red will bleed into the white. So I'm going to have to do it before I finish making it, so today I started that with the skirt. I also cut out a couple more pieces that I haven't started with yet, so hopefully I won't be stuck waiting for things to dry in the future.
But now I'm going to bed, I'm super exhausted.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A much needed break...

I didn't do any cleaning today. I know, it's only day two I shouldn't be ready to throw in the towel yet, and actually I'm not (but sometimes I do feel darn close to it). But I didn't get the chance to do any cleaning today because instead I went out. I actually did need to go out because I had to get some stuff into the mail. I didn't mention it, but between Sunday and Monday I had three things sell on my Dollpage, all to different people. I've never had so many sales in such a short period of time from there. So that was nice. Also I needed to go out and get some matching thread for the red calico so I can start working on Charlotte's Christmas outfit. So as you can see, my hands were tied.
And you just know that I had to hit all three thrift stores while out. I didn't find too much at any of them while out. I did get another ornament for my sister, and I found some Aida cloth for my mother. At the rate I'm picking up supplies for her she won't need cross stitch things for a while. I also found something else for her cross stitching, a set of towels that you can cross stitch on. She's been interested in these for a while, but held off getting them because they're rather expensive. I managed to get a set of two for a dollar each. They should have been four dollars, but everything at the Christian Second Hand store is half off because they're moving at the end of the month. It was news to me and my father. They used to have an antique store on Sunset and the thrift store where they are, but closed the antique store and moved that into the thrift store. Now they're moving everything into the antique store location. I'm not really sure why, but I will say I will miss their currant location, it was really convenient being so close to Hobby Lobby. I'm also wondering how much space they'll have at the shop on Sunset, I think it was about half the size of the currant store. I guess I'm going to have to wait until January 18th when they reopen to see.
I also picked up a figurine for myself when out. We stopped into the Habitat for Humanity and I found this darling little kitten. It's marked Japan, so it's old. I normally don't get chipped or broken figurines, but I could not leave this cutie behind. I'm keeping him for now, but I'm not sure if this will be his forever home. Look at that face and tell me you could leave him behind? He ended up being only a quarter!
 And I did stop into Hobby Lobby like planned. I wasn't in there to get much. I picked up a matching spool of thread, comparing it to a swatch of fabric I cut out at home, and some small gold beads. I strolled through the Christmas section hoping to find something small that I could use to jazz up that sheath dress but couldn't find anything. Everything that was in scale was really tacky and wouldn't work. I even looked through the jewelry section to find a Christmas related piece, but didn't see anything. In the end I just got some gold beads. I can use them to add some sparkle to the dress and they are what Mattel used on their sheath dresses, so it is historically accurate. Mine are a bit smaller than the Mattel ones though, I like them better than the next larger size. Using the coupon on the thread I managed to get out of there for under three dollars. If only I was always this good in Hobby Lobby.
I also went to the Dollar Tree today, I've been needed to go for a while but kept putting it off. Although, I managed to forget to look for tinsel which was one of the main reasons for going there. I also couldn't find a pencil sharpener that I needed to get for a present. I however was able to find several of the things I was looking for as well as a couple of extra things that I wasn't planning on getting there. Won't go into too much detail, but I can say that my dad has several more presents for Christmas now than he did at the start of the day.
When back at home I started wrapping the presents I bought while out and updating my Christmas list. At the rate I'm going I'm going to need another empty box to store all the presents in again soon. It's not that it's super filled, there's still room in it, it's just there's some bulky presents in there and some fragile ones and I don't want to overdo it and have anything break. Also the more I add to the stocking presents bag, the more room that takes up, and I keep getting more for that. I'm sure there's plenty of room for several more presents. But this one seems to be filling up faster than the last one.
I also worked some on Charlotte's Christmas dress. We're still at the prototype phase on it. I didn't work on it for too long, but I feel like that I'm making progress. Not sure how quickly I'll be able to make this dress since I can't work on it for long, but at least I'm working on it when I can.
I also worked on the sheath dress some. I added the beads to the front, I like them, but I feel like there's something missing. But I am tired of working on this dress. I ended up stealing some accessories in order to call it finished. She's wearing pearl stolen from a ponytail who's still waiting to be dressed, my blonde Midge's shoes, and my American Girl's purse. I'm still not in love with this outfit, but I'm calling it finished. She's only going to be wearing it for a couple more weeks then I can put it away until next year. Unlike Ashley and Mary Clair, this is one case where I like her day-to-day dress much better than her holiday dress.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Time is Upon Us...

Foreboding title right? That's intentional. That's because it's now time to start the massive house cleaning before my sister and her husband come stay with us. Like I said before the house is a mess, and I am the only one expected to do anything. I'm starting this a bit earlier than usual since I really want to do a thorough job and don't want to be even more rushed as we get nearer to Christmas. It's going to suck, but at least it's a less concentrated kind of suck.
I started off today cleaning the hallway, took me several hours, but I managed to make it look presentable. Although, the living room is bit more of a mess since I had to move several boxes into it. And eventually I'll have to deal with those. I also did some small things in some of the other rooms that need to be cleaned, but today was mostly all about the hallway.
I still have some work to do in it though. I was unable to clean the stairs since my brother's backpack was still on it. But tomorrow he's been instructed to move that or else. Then I can clean the stairs, they won't take too much time.
But then I get to start working on everything else.
Wish me luck, I'm going to need it. I already had to talk myself down from getting super mad several times today and almost quitting. And it's only day one!

I guess Christmas can't be all fun and games.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Just write one more sentence, then you can take a break.

Not a whole lot to report today. I spent most of my day working on the blog, on one post. For some reason I've been having the worst time writing down my experience in getting that (awesome) Titan Ponytail. So today I sat in front of my screen and spent hours working on that post. I did finally manage to get it all written eventually. With getting that finished that means I'm all caught up on my posting... except I still have to take pictures for several posts. I'm just waiting for a sunny day so they don't come out too blurry. But once that's done there will be a ton of updates from me. I hope I don't overwhelm anybody.

I also started working on the second version of Francie's dress, but just the sleeves today. They're very similar to the first ones I made, except I replaced one part with some tulle to eliminate the bulk. I didn't get much further on it tonight, because I realized that I'm going to have to line them too.

*Sigh*

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ugh, I hate the word "Redo".

It was a quiet day around here. The kind of day that are slowly coming to an end as December starts picking up speed and my "to-do" list can no longer be ignored. So I decided to make the most of it.
I started off with working on the sheath dress I started the other day. I was mostly done with the machine sewing, but hadn't started on any of the hand finishing. And even though I'm still thinking about how to decorate it, I figured I could at least finish it and have the actual dress done. I made pretty decent progress, but put the first snap in wrong. I was going to have to take the entire thing out and redo it. It was then I took a break. I hate sewing snaps. I only use them in my sewing since I really dislike Velcro in general, but I hate sewing snaps. I don't even want to think about the number of them I've sewn since I started sewing. I bet it's obscenely high, especially of you count the ones I've had to redo. 
After I stopped working on that, I started working on a Francie dress that I've been thinking about for a while. It's the one that I bought that white with black dots fabric for. I held off making it for a while, but I still hope (however unrealistically) to dress two dolls this month. I had the idea for which patterns to use, but did need to do some adapting. This actually came out pretty easily. I made one mock up of the dress and one of the sleeves, and it worked out well enough for me to start cutting it out from the actual fabric. I made the entire dress today, but I have since decided that I'm going to need to remake it all over again. The sleeves are a bit too tight and the doll has a hard time getting her hands through them, and I found out that the fabric, which has been becoming too common, is so thin that the doll's skin tone is easily seen though it. I'm going to have to add another layer to the dress. So I'm not totally happy with having to remake this dress, but at least I've learned something from this attempt.
And that is: Always check Hobby Lobby's white fabrics because no matter how expensive they are, they're always practically sheer.
But even after I decided that the dress I made was unsuitable for my needs I wasn't done sewing. I went back to the green dress and finished it! So now I've (sort of) made two of my Christmas outfits! The next time I'm in Hobby Lobby I'm going to look at their Christmas decorations to see if they have something to add to this dress. But as is, it's still wearable. I even totally hand stitched the hem.
No pictures of it today since the camera's batteries are dead.
You'll just have to take my word it's under designed.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I'll be brief (for the first time in the history of this Blog)

Today was a pretty low key day, especially after the endorphin high of yesterday. I'm still having a hard time believing I own such a beautiful titan ponytail doll, and for such a great price. I'm almost afraid to touch her in case it turns out to all be a dream.
I spent most of my time working on the blog. I'm a couple days behind and I want to get all caught up on it. It has a nasty habit of really getting out of hand and eventually I just move on instead of getting everything written and posted. And I really hate knowing there's these random gaps in the blog like that. But today I worked on some and got them ready for publishing. Right now the only post that I'm still working on what happened yesterday. There's still five days of posts waiting to be published, but those are just waiting for pictures and a final read through before I get them up. Hopefully tomorrow I can get those all sorted out.
I didn't spend all day today in front of my computer, I also did some sewing. I took another stab at Charlotte's Christmas outfit. I decided that I wasn't really ready to give up on it just yet. I was however ready to give up on that pattern I was working on. I made an entirely new (simpler) one for the cape.... and I'm still not a fan. This one is better, but it's still not clicking for me. I think that this was the final attempt for the outfit, I've spent enough time working on it when there's been no glimmer of hope for it.
But it's not a total loss, working on that lead me to another Christmas dress that could inspire me for Charlotte, it didn't but it lead me to something else that eventually inspired me enough to draw a picture for something for Charlotte. Again it's not at all your classic Christmas dress, but that's always how that plays out for Charlotte. I'm not able to start working on it right now because I don't have the right colored thread, but I am thinking about sewing it in my head, so that's a good sign. I just hope I have enough time to make it, like most of Charlotte's clothing it uses a lot of little pieces and I still have a lot to do before Christmas and can't devote as much time as usual to sewing this month.
I won't say too much right now, but I will leave you with a little teaser.
Think "Victorian"!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kizmet

Today started off like any other day, little did I know how different from normal it was actually going to be. Last night before bed I decided that I was going to work on that sheath dress for the Blonde Number Four Barbie today. I still haven't figured out what to add to it to make it more visually interesting, but I figured that I should at least finish it. I was so set on what I was going accomplish today that when I was asked if I wanted to go out, I said no. I thought today was going to be a slow day where I finished some sewing at home, but destiny had other plans for me.
Even though I was all set to be working on that dress today, I didn't start working with it in the morning. Instead I spent some time looking up more vintage fashions on Etsy in the hope of finding something that would work for one of the undressed dolls. I really didn't have much luck today, I didn't even find anything I liked enough to bother saving it in the hopes it would inspire me for some other doll down the road. And while I was doing that I was also spent some time on Flickr. One of my friends over there had posted a picture of a vintage Skooter box that he had just bought. When he found it there was a Skipper inside, but he wanted to find a Skooter doll like it was supposed to have to display with the box. The sticker on the box said it originally held a pale blonde Skooter. If you want to see the picture I'm talking about you can view it here. Also, I recommend poking around the rest of his stream and viewing what else he has shared. He has an amazing vintage collection, and not just Barbie. There's literally tons of vintage items to see. I don't know how he finds room in his house for it all. I'm having a hard time containing everything to my room.
Anyway, I commented on his picture that I've found that blonde Skooter's are harder to find, and usually cost more than the more common red haired ones. I also went on to say that I wasn't sure why I was even warning him of that since he has extrodinary good luck with Barbie finds. I'm not even joking. The man was given, I repeat, GIVEN, a high color American Girl Barbie. I'm still green with envy over that. There's other examples too, but I won't bore you with them. (Besides, it's painful to remember them.)
So I was thinking about his search for a pale blonde Skooter, I was just sure knowing him he would check on Craigslist and find one for like ten dollars or something. Since I was thinking about Craigslist, I decided to check out what was currently listed on mine. So I signed in and searched for Barbie under the for sale section. I clicked on the first link that was listed,
And...
that's...
when....
my...
entire...
day...
changed...
I found a listing for a doll I wanted, no, a doll I needed. And the universe was also telling me I needed her. She was a recent listing, she was being sold by a store in town, and I had her exact purchase price in my wallet (except for two dollars I needed to borrow for tax). My greatest fear was that she would sell before I got to her. With my heart pounding I raced downstairs to ask my father if I could actually go with him. Luckily he was still waiting to take my brother to school, and hadn't left yet. I nervously told my parents about the doll and my fears that someone would have bought her before I could get there. My mom volunteered to call the store for me and ask if she was still there. She did, and she was! They even offered to pull it from the sales floor for her! I was so happy! My mother is almost as phone phobic as I am, so it was really nice of her to call for me. So now she was even closer to being mine, although I was still worried that something would happen to keep her from being mine. But for the most part, the stars were aligning to bring this doll into my life.
We left soon left to take my brother to school, from there we drove right over to the store. Even though she was being held for me I was still a bundle of nerves driving over there. I swear we hit ever traffic light possible on the way there. Finally we got to the store and parked. I was actually familiar with this store. It was the second hand store near the (former) quilting coop. I don't stop in often, but this was the place that most recently had that Cinderella figure I wanted that sold before I got to buy it. But if I got this doll, it would certainly lessen the sting of losing out on Cinderella.
So I nervously walked into the store and went right to the front desk. I am NOT wasting my time browsing the store before I go up there, also even if I found something I didn't have any extra money with me. I had enough for the doll, and that's it. I was quickly greeted by the woman behind the counter, I had rehearsed my line before walking into the store. "Hello, My mother called about the vintage Barbie doll earlier, I'm here to buy it." She gave me a confused look. "Which Barbie?" she asked me. "The one in the box on Craigslist." I replied, my heart beating a little more rapidly. That still didn't clue her in for what I was looking for. Apparently they had gotten in a bunch of boxed (newer) Barbie dolls and they were scattered around the store. She went around looking at them before I could explain that the woman on the phone said she was going to pull it from the floor and put it on her desk. She checked the desk and didn't see anything, my heart started beating even faster. What if they sold it accidentally before I could get here? She said that the person my mother had talked to was on her break and would come back in five minutes, I told her I would wait and repeated that she said she was going to put it on the desk for me. The woman said the only way it was on the desk and she missed it would be if it was behind the computer, she checked it, and sure enough there it was. By this time I had already pulled out my money in anticipation of buying it as soon as possible and getting it out of that store. She brought it to the desk and started ringing it up... to thirty dollars, not the twenty is was listed at. I mentioned that I thought it was supposed to be twenty. My mother had seen the ad too, and had I misread the price I'm sure she would have corrected me. I only had the twenty on me, but my father was also with me. He didn't have the extra ten, but I'm sure he would have been willing to go to the bank and taking out that much for me. He would have to go alone since I was not leaving that store without her in my hands. She asked another woman working there there if she was listed for twenty online, who said that was her Craigslist price. The woman then rung her up for twenty plus tax, I gave her my money, she bagged her, handed me her and my change, and I ran out of that store so fast it was like a classic Road Runner cartoon. I'm sure I left the person made of dust where I stood. I wanted out of that store with my purchases right then.
It wasn't until I was back in the car that my heart finally slowed down. I had her, and nobody could take her from me.  
Now what would cause such a whirlwind of emotions and actions you ask?

Her:
She is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful titan number Six Ponytail Barbie. That's her after her refreshing, but she didn't need much. The first thing I did was take the pins someone had stuck into her ears. I'm not sure how long they were in there, but miraculously she doesn't have any green ear from them. She does have a small vinyl split in one ear from them though. I also took down her hair. Someone had pinned it up into a bun with more pins. When I took that down I discovered she still had her original top knot! Her bottom elastic however was broken (and I'm 99 percent sure was not original) and tied with a fraying ribbon. I took out the ribbon and gently brushed out the broken bits. I replaced it with a clear elastic and a new (prettier) red ribbon. And that's it, that's all she needed. Other than the earring split (which is very minor) she is perfect, like MIB perfect. She's easily the best ponytail doll in my collection. I still can't believe she was only twenty dollars, thinking about it still makes my heart beat faster. 
And she came with some things, besides her pin earrings (which have since retired from that job and moved onto my pin cushion). The box she's standing in? That's the bottom half (I believe) of her original box. My first time owning anything close to an actual Barbie box. The top part is gone however. She also came wearing her original swimsuit and shoes. When I saw her picture online she was wearing a crocheted dress, it wasn't until I had her in the car I realized she was still wearing her original swimsuit under that. Which is pretty cool. She was also wearing her original red mules, and luckily neither of them split. Just like her, her clothes are in amazing shape. 
But that's not everything! Like I said she came wearing a crocheted dress. It's a cute dress, but hardly anything I'd ever use. I'm not a fan of the everything's exposed skirt. Want to know something weird? There's not just one dress that came with her, there's three of them. All of them exactly the same, except the one she's wearing came with snaps sewn in, the other two don't have that. I wonder if someone was planning on selling them and she was the fit model? The dresses also came with some matching hat, also crochet. They're all very well done from a technical standpoint, but personally aren't my style. Two of the hats are decorated with (now very flat) flowers. I'm wondering if someone bought the doll back in 1963 to make doll clothes to sell, decided they didn't like it, put it all away, then never picked it back up again. It would explain her amazing condition if she as just bought for a fit model.
But she did come with something that would not fit into my theory. Also in the box with her was a two piece swimsuit and coverup. It's one of those outfits that came as a kit for you to sew yourself. I thought it was an actual Mattel product, but I haven't be able to find it online yet, so it might be a clone. It's kind of cute. I like the design of the coverup. If I did decide to put it on someone I think I'd remake it, some of the stitches are a bit... amateurish (and they must be bad if I'm saying that!). Also the bikini bottoms elastic is shot and needs replacing.
And finally she came with her original Barbie booklet. It's the booklet that came with dolls and clothes showing what else you can buy for your doll. Mine is copyright 1962 and predates Allen and Skipper and introduces Midge. It's in wonderful condition, and my first time owning one of those. It's amazing flipping through the little book and seeing the illustrations. Although my eyes nearly popped out of my head seeing the price for sophisticated lady. It's five dollars, you could get a new doll for three!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Progress for one, back to start for another.

This morning I started sewing the second attempt at that sheath dress. December is going to be getting busier as time goes on and I need to make progress whenever I can. To deal with the fit issues I had the last time, this time I lined the bodice. I found that the extra fabric makes the bodice fit better as a whole for the Barbie only bodies. Other than that this dress is very much the same as the one from yesterday. I did omit the pocket though, I just don't really care for them. Also, for some reason, the straps of the dress are further apart than the other one was, even though I used the original dress to measure out where they should go before I sewed them down. They're inset, so I'm not going to bother undoing everything in order to fix them, I can live with them as it. I managed to finish most of the machine sewing today, there's still a lot of hand finishing left to do.
I didn't get started on that today. I had a bit of a problem with the dress. It's just it felt rather... under-designed. It's really a simple dress, and the print is doing a lot of the work in making it look visually interesting, but the print isn't that much of a stand out type. So I felt it needed something to make it more visually interesting. I tried; beads, buttons, ribbon, all my usual tricks, but couldn't think of anything that really made me decide, "this is what the dress is missing!". So I gave up. I decided that I was going to take a break from the dress and give myself some time to think about what it needed. Sometimes strokes of genius take time.   
Instead I totally changed gears and ended up wrapping those few presents that I got yesterday. And I finally broke down and brought the box of wrapped presents downstairs and took a new box upstairs to start filling. I still had some room in the old box, but there's also some breakable things in there so I didn't want to force anything in it and risk breaking something. The only things in this new box are the stocking stuff I already bought (figured that I might as well keep it all together) and a vintage Star Wars Ewok coin bank for my sister's husband that I haven't wrapped yet. Although I'm sure there will soon be more stuff to add to it. I'm certainly not done shopping yet. In fact I won't be done until after Christmas because that's when I will be hitting up Hallmark and Hobby Lobby for their after Christmas sales and other places for discounted candy. Sometimes there's a real benefit from having a holiday late.
Oh! I actually bought a new present today. My brother asked if it was too late to ask for something for Christmas. I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I gave a November 15th deadline for people giving lists, so there would be plenty of time to actually buy their presents. I was tired of waiting until mid to late December to get people's lists and having to shop like crazy and worry if their stuff would get here in time. Anyway, he decided he only wanted money for Christmas, except he found something he wanted. I told him it was fine to add stuff, the deadline was more of a motivator to get people to give me their lists with a decent amount of time left to buy stuff for them. He wanted a video game, one that he already had, but for a different system. I don't think there's anything different between the two, but whatever, it's what he wants. It's his Christmas present. I ended up finding it for him online for a decent price shortly after he talked to me, so I bought it. I had enough money in my Paypal to get it (except for a dollar I had to borrow from my parents). I already bought him his present, so this will be coming from my parents. I was able to repay them eight dollars from what I owe for those dolls! Making progress!
I also started working on Charlotte's Christmas outfit today. I found a picture online of a woman wearing a beautiful red velvet cloak with some white trim. It was really cute and very classically Christmas looking. I thought it would be a good look for Charlotte, except I would still need to design a dress to go under it. Also I don't have any red velvet or the white fur trim, meaning I'd have to buy some. Hobby Lobby does have velvet, but it's super expensive. So before I went and spent all that money on fabric for an outfit that may never come to be I vowed that I would make a working prototype. So I started that today. The cape is made up of three parts, the main cape, a short cape that goes over that, and the hood. I started with the main cape. I used that capelet pattern that I'm fond of and lengthened it. I also changed the curve of it a little. I did more modification to the front part too. I wanted to add a opening for Charlotte's arms, so I added a seam to the middle of the pattern piece. That was all I did to the pattern before I made my first go with actually sewing it up. I liked what I had, but could see several tweaks I needed to do. So I started an new version of the pattern. I added more volume to the bottom of both pattern pieces, I also shifted the seam to the front piece about one centimeter over. I had to totally redo each pattern piece. After that I made another attempt at sewing it. This one came out better, but I still wasn't liking it. And honestly I don't think that I was ever going to be happy with how this was turning out, so I gave up on it. I'm going back to the drawing board for Charlotte's Christmas costume. So this little exercise was really smart, saved me like eight dollars in materials I'd never end up using. If only I was always this smart!
(Or actually learned this lesson!)