Thursday, January 31, 2013

It'll go by faster than you think...

It was an early morning today. I was out of the house by 8:30. The reason? The local Goodwill was having a one day sale. All their clothing was only a dollar, so I decided to go and wanted to be there when they opened. I was not the only person who felt that way. When I got there at 8:57 there were about 25 people already waiting. I was actually shocked with how civil everyone was. When the doors opened people didn't rush in, and there wasn't some mad dash to get the clothes. People were fast, but for the most part polite. It was incredibly crowded in certain spots. The children's section was mobbed! (But a polite mob). I did end up finding some things I wanted, mainly pants. I found a pair of jeans, two pairs of shorts, and a pair of jeans for my father. I also picked up a couple clothing items to use for fabrics for the dolls, although I'm sort of second guessing some of them now. They did not have much in way of toys.
Not much luck on the toy front anywhere else in town either. I didn't find too much elsewhere when out. I did stop into Walmart and pick up some valentines for the upcoming doll meeting. I got the Cinderella ones, the ones that came with the pencils. I hope nobody else gets those, I'd hate to go to the meeting and have someone have the same valentines as me. I purposely avoided the Barbie and Monster High ones because I figured someone in the club would most likely pick those already. (Besides I'm not a big Monster High person, nor am I a modern playline Barbie kind of guy). I also got some cookies while there, I'm not feeling like baking at the moment. I think I will bake something for the March meeting though.
Back at home I did more laundry. I still had some things to wash, plus I wanted to get the stuff I just bought washed. Depending on the weather I might wear something I bought today to the next meeting. I also started prepping some of the stuff I'm planning on posting for sale soon. Yes, that's happening. If you recall February is going to be all about selling stuff in an effort to raise funds for the March club meeting at the Swell Doll Shop. And with today being the last day of January means that it starts in earnest tomorrow. And I've decided something, I'm going to spare you a month full of me talking about what I'm listing for sale since I don't think I should be using the blog to shill my wares (even though sometimes that happens). I think the only thing more boring than listing everything I have to sell, would be having to read about everything I have to sell. And I do not want to bore my readers, even though I'm sure I've done so in the past.
But fear not dear readers, I will be back. I will say that my haitus might last longer than just February, it may be until March 9th. Luckily the March meeting is that date, giving me an extra week to raise the money. I'm hoping to raise 100 dollars between now and then. That means I need to earn 20 dollars a week. Hopefully I'll be able to reach my goal. (Finger's crossed)
So I bid you farewell for a little bit, dear readers. If you need me I can be found here: My Etsy Store and here: My Dollpage
(I told you there's some shilling going on)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BEGONE January 29th!

Today was an awful day, just awful. The only decent things about today I can think of is that the weather was really nice, and that I finally did laundry. That however is still sitting in the machine since I don't have the energy to hang it up right now. I'm too emotionally down to deal with it. Today has easily been the worst day of 2013, but I'm sure something else will come along to snatch that title.

It's really not that big of a deal, but it's amazing how a couple things could really put me in a bad place like that.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Changing Gears

Not a whole lot to report today.
I did do some work on dressing a doll today. No, not Stacey, I need a break from that little project. This was for one of the Ponytails, it however was a fruitful as Stacey's project has been. It's just, I wish I could say I really liked what I did today, but really can't. I mean, I don't dislike it, but I'm not super in love with it. I think that this outfit is a good start, but certainly not where I feel it should be.
This has happened before. Talking P.J. was a lot like this too. I knew some of the aspects that I wanted her outfit to have, it just took a while for the rest of the outfit to fall into place. So while I think what I did today was a good first step, it's not going to be my final step to getting this doll dressed. (Rats)
I also took some time working on ideas for other dolls hoping I'd find something that I really like, but couldn't. I guess that Stacey is the only doll with anything going for her.

I guess tomorrow I'm going back to working on that outfit.
(Rats)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I am a typing WIZARD

Today was a blog day, and boy was it ever! Including this post I will have gotten eight posts written today. Granted not all of those were written from start to finish today. Several of them were almost ready to publish and just needed a final edit, but there were a couple that didn't have anything written when I started this morning. By getting this publish that means I'm officially all caught up for the year. Which is pretty awesome.  There's still a couple posts I owe you all from over the holiday, but I'm making progress, I even got one of those written today. It still needs pictures, but I'm thrilled I got it written.

Oh, and I had something sell today, right before my February switch to selling and raising funds (heads up doll sewing will be taking a back seat). While I'm glad something sold, this happened right before that massive increase for postage, meaning I'm probably going to be taking a loss when it comes to postage. Which stinks, but sometimes that happens. Also the person paid by E-check, which is weird. I've never had that happen before.

Hopefully that's a sign that I'll be more financially prosperous in February?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Picking Up Where We Left Off...

Yes, I'm still working on Stacey's dress. For all the times I've mentioned giving up on it, or how I should give up on it, I keep working on it.
I was looking over the dress I made yesterday. I noticed that the side seam wasn't actually at the side. It started off on the side, and the underarm area, but as it went down to the waist it moved forward. I wondered if that was what was causing that annoying ripple, so I tried fixing it. I took the pattern and traced it, then I took where it met the fold and shifted it slightly. That way I could add some width to the side and bottom, but not the top. I sewed up this new pattern... and wasn't pleased. The changes I did totally threw off the fit of the dress all over and I didn't like it. AND there still was rippling at the waist. I think I'm going to have to scrap this version of the dress and go back to the pattern I drafted yesterday.
So not much progress there.

But after I scrapped that and stopped working on that dress, I did do some cleaning. I got my desk cleaned off and made some progress on cleaning off my work table, so at least something got done today.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Progress! Freezing Cold Progress!

Wow you guys, winter certainly made itself know today. It's been cold, windy, and sleeting all day. The entire yard (and I'm sure the rest of the state is in a similar condition) is a sheet of ice. I would not want to be on the roads today, Good thing I don't need to go out. Staying indoors means I'm avoiding the ice (except for the one time I went outdoors to being the dogs in so they could warm up) but the cold is harder stay away from. My room is freezing! I've been trying to avoid using the electric heater this month, but days like today make it really hard to keep from plugging it back in. We've been using the wood stove in an effort to keep the house warm, but that heat barely reaches my room. I kid you not, I can stand in the hallway in front of my door and it's warmer than in my room itself, granted it's only a couple of degrees, but in this weather every little bit helps. I'm really glad I (nor anyone in my family) needed to go out today, this is not driving weather, especially not in North Carolina. This is bunker down and wait it out weather.
Even though I wanted nothing to do with anything but staying warm under the covers I continued working on Stacey's dress today. Just like yesterday, I started over from what I was doing the day before. What I was working on yesterday just wasn't working, and I needed to cut my losses. Today I started fresh, and a little different from how I normally do things. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, the dress for Stacey is actually going to be a copy of a vintage Mattel dress. It's the Pak dress Sun Shiner from 1969 (a couple other dresses used that pattern too, but I'm using the Pak dress as my basis). Anyway, I found the picture of the dress online. The image I found was just the dress, not on a doll. I opened the image in a paint program, then I meticulously traced around the dress with the line tool. By doing that it gave me the silhouette for the dress. I then took that and used it to draft a new pattern, keeping in mind the shape of the original, and the placement of the dart. This was the "new style" of dart I was talking about back when I started this dress. It's call a French Dart, thank you pattern drafting book since the internet had no idea what I was talking about when I was looking up different types of darts. I was actually even able to add this type of a french dart to the outfit. I sewed up my muslin from this new pattern, and I actually like it. This is the closest to how I think it should look so far... except for some issues. I'm having some really annoying puckers at the hips in the front, and the back... is a mess. The material keeps gathering at the waist, and doesn't seem to want to fit over her backside. I took a picture of the dress to show you what I mean:

Any suggestions to do to help with these problems? I've tried darts in the back and that doesn't help anything. It's always something, isn't it?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quick Updates: Family and Doll Stuff

I'll start off with the good news. I found out today my sister is moving back to North Carolina. I knew that she wasn't happy living in Philadelphia and was looking for a new job, but wasn't sure where that job hunt would lead her. I knew she wouldn't mind living in North Carolina again, but wasn't limiting herself to job searching in the area. But apparently she got offered a job in Durham the other day, meaning she's moving back. Like one town away from where she lived a year ago. She starts in March, which means that once again I get to help her move. Lucky me right? Last time I had to help them move I vowed it would be the last time, but you know me and things that like, of course I'll be helping her come March. Although it could be worse, I could be my father. He has to help them move out of Philadelphia and into Durham since they need someone to drive the moving truck. I guess I should be grateful I only have to help with the final part of the move. Even though come March I know I will be complaining about helping them move (for like the billionth time), I'm oddly excited about her moving back here. I guess I missed seeing her (but don't tell her I said that, I will deny everything).
And for some sad news. I'm thinking of selling one of my Julia dolls. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but the last time I was at the Swell Doll Shop I bought a Julia doll. I thought she was Christie, but it turns out she's Talking Julia's head (Hong Kong) on a TNT body (Japan). I didn't find this out until I took of her head when trying to fix her hair. I wouldn't mind having a mismatched doll like that, except that the head and body are two very different colors, the head is much darker than the body. I tried ignoring it, but today when I was looking at her, I realized I just don't want to keep her as is. I looked it up online and it would be rather expensive to buy a talking Julia body or a Christie (or regular Julia) head, so I think I'm going to just cut my losses. She was my most expensive purchase from there, she cost 20 dollars. I'm not sure if together she'll go for that much, but I think that I'm going to separate her and sell her head and her body separately. I feel sort of bad doing this, but maybe someone is out there looking for a Talking Julia head, and someone else is looking for a AA TNT body. I still haven't decided if I'm for sure going to be doing this. I have a TON of dolls and things to list next month before I get around to that her, so who knows when that will happen. I never thought I'd be getting rid of a vintage doll like this, but here we are.
Anyway, on to what I did today. I ended up going back to that Stacey dress I gave up on the other day. Buying that fabric yesterday gave this project a second chance. I ended up scrapping everything I had worked on last time and picking a new pattern to adapt for it. I wish I could say that today was more successful than the last time I worked on it... but it really wasn't. This new pattern brought about a bunch of issues, some new and some old. So there really isn't much in way of progress on this outfit.

I wonder when I'm going to get the hint that this outfit just isn't meant to be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hmmmmm....

I started off today by working on the blog. I was able to get two posts finished and ready to publish. I could have posted them right then and there, but I held off. I'm honestly not sure why I didn't. Either way I didn't post them, but they're ready to go.
I would have started working on another late post, but I ended up going out. I had a realization the other day, about that fabric from Hobby Lobby I liked but didn't buy. And that was: it wasn't on sale. A pretty simple concept, but since it wasn't on sale at the usual 30 percent off that meant I could use the 40 percent off coupon on it, effectively saving myself 10 percent by not waiting. I know I said that the Stacey outfit I was going to use it on has been put on hold, but I think it would still work for any number of Mod outfits, so I decided to go ahead and get it. I had uploaded the coupon to my phone last night, so I was ready to go for today.
I did make a couple stops before heading out to Hobby Lobby, the two second hand stores. I didn't find much there. I did pick up a Britney Spears doll at the Salvation Army for resale (after I clean her up and do something about her matted hair). She's actually been there for a while, but I've held off buying her. Earlier in the month when I stopped in she was gone, so I figured that someone had bought her, but today she was back on the shelf with a couple of other dolls, so I decided to get her. She was nude, and unpriced. The woman checking us out charged us two dollars for her. Usually the nude dolls are only a dollar, but I didn't press the issue. That's all I found there. I did find a couple more things at the Goodwill, two dolls again for resale. I found a really nice conditioned Princess Tiana doll from "The Princess and the Frog". I don't think she got much actual play, her hair is still hard with gel. She does have some black spots on her face that hopefully will come off. She was wearing a pink princess style dress (not sure who's, but looks Mattel made). The sleeves are very similar to Snow White's. I think it's for the smaller torso dolls since it looks like Tiana was stretching it out some. I took if off her, I think I will resell this since I don't have any dolls who has that body type. And the second doll I bought there was a Barbie doll... or a friend of Barbie. She's using a newer style of face, and is on the Hobbit body. I bought her for the pink party dress she was wearing (which looks familiar, but I can't place it, does anyone recognize it?). Turns out the dress has a bit more wear than I thought, and I'm not sure if I can repair it. The doll is a bit of a mess. I don't think she was played with much, but she wasn't cared for all that well. I'm going to try and clean her up, but don't think she'll be worth that much. I only paid a dollar for each of those.
After those stores I went to Hobby Lobby. I did look around to see if there was anything interesting other than the fabric I was there looking for, but didn't see anything. So I just got a yard of the fabric and left. Using the coupon the fabric which cost 7.99 a yard only ended up costing me 5.13, including tax. So I think I made the right choice to not wait. Good thing I give myself a free pass every no Hobby Lobby month. I really like this fabric, and thing that I'll be able to make several different outfits for the collection with it...
eventually. The picture isn't that color accurate. I tried editing it in paint.net, but it really didn't help much. The colors are much brighter and more saturated that the picture shows.
That's all I got while out. Back at home I really didn't do much. I did start working on that wrapped skirt for Francie, I actually started the final one today. It went together pretty easily, if you don't count the piece that I could out wrong... TWICE! Eventually I cut it out correctly. I made the skirt, but I'm not sure if I like it. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm not sure how much I like the silhouette on Francie. So I'm not sure if I'm actually going to continue with this outfit. I'll have to sleep on it and then decide.
There goes another chance of having a dressed doll for January!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Giving up, and a new Beginning

So I started working on Stacey's dress again.
I hadn't gotten very far on it yesterday, but I was determined to make some progress on it today. I had marked off what I needed to fix in the next version yesterday, so I started to work on my third attempt for the pattern. I wasn't changing too much, I was just changing the size of the dart and the curve of the side seam. So I was able to make the pattern pretty quickly, but testing it wasn't so easy. When I sewed up the muslin, the dress was way too wide. For some reason my changes also added almost a 1/4 of an inch to the front piece, which threw off the fit considerably! I did take it in to see how my actual pattern changes fit, but even after doing that I could tell that the pattern would still need to be adapted. In fact I'm not sure if the tweaks I did today fixed anything or just changed the problems I was having with the dress. I think that right now this dress might be too difficult for me to make. It's times like these I wish I had someone more skilled I could ask questions to. I'm still mainly self taught, and there's only so much you can learn from the internet. I don't think this dress will be happening right now, it's just not working out.
After I shelved that project I was back to not knowing what to do with myself. I did work on the blog some (I'm back to being a couple days behind) and looked online for more vintage inspiration. I didn't type or find much. Instead I turned to something I found a couple days ago. It was a cute blouse and wrap skirt outfit that I stumbled upon. I thought it would work for one of the Ponytail dolls, but after looking at the lines of the outfit and my fabric stash I decided to make it for Francie. It might be on the early still very 50's style of Mod, but it would still be era appropriate. I started with the blouse, I did resize a Barbie pattern to start with, but when I went to go print it out, the printer was out of ink. Not a good start for this project. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.
Since I couldn't work on the blouse, I ended up working on the wrap skirt today. I had done something similar before, but not exactly. So it wasn't totally new to me. I made a quick pattern and tested it. I did have to adapt it some, but my second one looks pretty good. I still have some things I need to work on, but so far it seems to be shaping up. Hopefully it keeps going in the right direction. I'm tired of all these false starts I've been having!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A less that successful hunt

This morning I started working with Stacey's dress again. I picked up where I left off last night. Using the muslin I made yesterday I quickly identified the spots that it still needed some major refining. Using pins I did some quick tweaks to try and figure out the best way to fix them. But that's as far as I got today.
I ended up going out instead. I know, but the dress wasn't really calling me. I didn't remember this morning that today was Martin Luther King day, so places might be closed, but I was already ready to go, so whatever. The first place I ended up was the Antique Mall. They still have the second window up, so I wasn't there to do that again, instead I was there to look at that coat again. I was curious if it was the rarer TM version, and what kind of condition it was in. Turns out it is the more common R version, and it has a stain. It's at the bottom of the coat and is on both the lining and the brocade on the other side. I'm not really sure how well something like that will come clean, so I still need to do more thinking about it. Has anyone ever dealt with cleaning something like that? I'd be willing to live with a stained lining, but not the brocade. I need to do more research on the topic. Since I already had the case opened for me so I could look at the coat I poked around a bit to see what else was in there. I also found in it a complete vintage Ken Sport Short outfit for 20. It looked to be in decent condition, but I held of getting it because that's kind of an expensive purchase at the moment. Turns out that was the right choice because apparently I can get it considerably cheaper on E-bay, even adding in the cost of shipping.
The Ken outfit did inspire me though. When I found it and was thinking about eventually getting it I was thinking about who would wear it if I got it. I only have three dolls that could wear it, two Ken dolls and one Allen. I decided that it would work for the Allen. He's my only Bend Leg doll and I really want to show off his legs, so the shorts would be perfect for that. But that was before I decided to not get the outfit. After I had decided against it, I thought, why can't I make my own version of this outfit? I had already made my own versions of that outfit (and you could even argue my Canadian Ken was already wearing my own take on this outfit). I could make it for Allen picking colors and patterns that would work for him (I didn't think the original outfit would really work for his coloring). I had some nice green fabric that I thought could really look great on him for the shorts, but I didn't have anything that would work for the shirt. But since I was out, I could easily make a couple stops and see what fabrics were available around town.
Up first was Walmart, I was already heading there for something else, so it was just as easy to stop into the fabric section. I looked at every bolt they had, and while I saw a couple things could have worked, I didn't see anything that really jumped out to me. So I ended up not getting anything from there. I did however find some cookie cutters. They were a set of four "fashion something or others". They're in the shape of a sheath dress, a formal dress, a coin purse, and a high heel. I was mainly interested in the shoe one since the Doll Club members are called the "pink heels". Now the next time I make sugar cookies I can use this cookie cutter and color the dough pink and bring some pink heels to the meeting! They were on sale for a dollar, usually two, so I figured for the buck they'd be worth it.
I also stopped into Hobby Lobby, I know, I still on my one month ban from there. But since I wanted fabric for a specific project I wanted to check out to see what they have. I should have known they wouldn't have anything I needed. They keep letting me down like that. They were actually worse than Walmart since I didn't see anything that could ever come close to working for my project... lame! I did however find a really cool Pucchi print that would work wonderfully for Stacey's dress (maybe someone else too), but it was expensive and not on sale, so I decided to hold off on getting it. I'm not worried about it selling out since the bolt looked pretty full. It was part of their spring line of fabrics, so eventually it will go on sale. And that's when I'll get it. Hopefully by then I'll have Stacey's dress all worked out. So needless to say, I didn't get anything at Hobby Lobby.
Back at home I should have started working on Stacey's dress some more, but I really didn't want to, so I didn't. That can wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Born to break rules (but only my own)

So today was supposed to be working on the blog day... but that so didn't happen. I did try, but I just wasn't feeling it. I should have known this was going to happen. I keep making these rules for myself, but clearly rules are made to be broken, especially the ones I made and try to enforce for myself. I really should stop just making up stuff like that, I never listen to me.
Anyway, since blog writing was not going to happen today, I worked on something else. No, not sewing. Those projects I gave up on the other day are still banished to the closet. In all honestly, I'm not missing them one bit. And since I gave up on everything I was working on, that means I don't have anything to sew. So today I worked on finding vintage images that would inspire me to create. It took me a good while, but I did find a couple images that I liked. One of them even inspired me to sew.
It was a dress that would work for my TNT Stacey. I had a useable pattern, and some fabric in my stash I liked, so I was able to start working on it today. I was able to get most of it done pretty quickly, but when I was looking at it, it really wasn't matching up to the drawing. So I started tweaking it... and kept tweaking it.... and kept tweaking it. By the time I was finished I had practically a different dress. One that was still pretty, didn't really work for what I wanted. So I gave up on it. I realized that my issue was with my pattern, and there wasn't anything I could do to save that dress. It's still a nice dress, so you might see it some day on somebody else.
I did start working on a second version of the dress today as well. It will require me to do some major pattern adapting, but if that's how I'll be happy with the dress, so be it. This new pattern will require me working with a new type of dart that I've never used before, so that will be interesting. I did two versions of it today, but that's all.

Hopefully tomorrow I pick up where I left off, but with me, you'll never know.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back to Square Ones

So today was another sewing day. I'm still working on those blasted shorts, so that's what I started working on this morning. I made some progress on them, but when I tried them on Francie, I had the same issue in the back as I did with the last pair. So I gave up, I had reached my breaking point. Not just for today, but forever. This outfit is just not going to be happening. I was thinking that Francie was going to be the first dressed doll of the year, but it's just not meant to be.
 And I'm not sure who will be the first dressed doll of the year. After I quit on Francie's outfit I did some thinking for the couple other outfits I've been working on, and decided I didn't care for them that much either. So I took Francie's, Fashion Queen's, and Skipper's outfits, removed them from the doll, bagged them up together, and buried them in the closet. I am so fed up with these outfits I didn't even want to put them into the unfinished project box. I even stuck in the bag with the clothes all of the sketches of possible outfits that I've been working on for the other dolls. I just wiped the slate clean for everyone. I'm sure next sewing day I'll be tearing out my hair when I don't have anything to work on, but maybe that's better than working on something I just don't care for anymore.
Sometimes you have to go back so you can go forward... right?

Friday, January 18, 2013

I WANT!

So remember that 2-4 inches of snow we we might get overnight? Turned out to be a gross over exaggeration. We hardly got anything. When I looked outside this morning all we had were a couple of small patches of snow/ice, and I'm sure at the day goes on they will get smaller and smaller. I doubt they'll last too long. The back porch was actually covered in it though, I'm sure that will be around longer since it gets less sunlight, but overall it was an incredibly light "winter storm". Apparently there were places that got much more than we did, some as much as six inches (I've heard), but I'm sure that will be melting rapidly, winter weather doesn't last on the ground long around here.
Today is a blog day, but I had a hard time getting down to business. I did finally sit myself down and start working on a post, but had a difficult time writing what I wanted to say. Eventually I managed to get a decent start written, but then I went out.
Yes, I knew I said that trip had been cancelled, but with the roads being pretty much cleared, the trip was back on, although in hindsight I should have skipped it. But I wanted to go, and so I did. The main reason I was heading out was because today was supposed to be the first day of the reopened Christian Secondhand Store over on Sunset. But when I was there the other day it was pretty clear they were still working on the building, so the odds of them getting it all finished in a couple of days were slim. My dad when he was out in the morning even drove by and saw that they weren't open, so we pretty much knew it wasn't happening today, but I was still going to go out.
We actually were heading back to Sunset, literally next door to the Christian secondhand store. I was stopping into the Antique Mall once again. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but the other day when I was there buying that Jem doll right after I bought her I saw a vintage Barbie coat in one of the cases. It was the coat to Evening Splendor, an outfit I've been thinking about collecting. I couldn't see the price or if it was anything else was in the bag, but I decided to leave without asking them to open the case since I had already finished my transaction. Today I headed back and asked to look at it. Turns out, it's just the coat and they want 12 dollars for it. I also looked at the other items in the case, they also had the original Ken swimsuit and coverup for 10, and a bunch of non-Barbie bigger doll clothes. I didn't look too much at the condition of the coat, but I decided to hold off getting it. While I'm sure that's a decent price for the coat I needed to think about it some. I think the next time I'm in the area I'll look at it again, depending on the condition, and if they're willing to do better on the price I might end up buying it. Who knows, but I didn't buy it this trip.
I made another stop while out, to a different antique store. This one was one I've never been to before. It's a funny story. The other day I was over on Etsy doing some window shopping for Midge dolls (don't worry, I'm not buying anything, I have 11 cents in my Paypal). I clicked on a very pretty, very expensive bend leg Midge doll just for curiosity sake. Turns out the Midge was being sold by someone from here, who had a store just off Sunset. Small world huh? So I stopped in today to see her in person. I'm not going to buy her (she's way out of my price range), but it was interesting to see. While I was there I also checked out the couple other dolls they had, and their small assortment of vintage Barbie clothes they had (which while very tempting was more expensive than what I normally buy). I almost got something there, but decided against it since I really didn't need it and was probably just buying it to get something. So I left that store empty handed, but wishing I was rich.
Back home I went back to working on the blog, but my heart wasn't in it. I had a serious case of the "I wants" from what I'd seen today, even though they are much more expensive that what I normally collect. I did work on the blog and managed to get an one of the longer posts halfway finished, but that's it.
I know I should be focusing on the dozens of dolls that are waiting for me to get them dressed before I start on getting more, but it's hard.
I'm so selfish, but I WANT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Redo

Today was my second sewing day under my new system. I knew it was coming and I already was planning what I was going to work on today, but it was hard getting motivated.
I work up this morning to the sounds of rain outside, and hasn't let up since.  It's been cold, windy, and rainy the entire day. And it's only going to get worse! Tomorrow there might even be snow and sleet! I don't know about you, but I didn't move to North Carolina to deal with snow OR sleet. I was actually planning on going out tomorrow, but if tomorrow is worse than today, I'm going to be sticking close to home. I was invited to go out today since tomorrow is looking so bad, but I declined. I just wasn't feeling like going out today.
Even though when it's dark and rainy like that I never want to do anything, eventually I did get around to working on some sewing. I wanted to finish that Francie outfit, all that's missing are the shorts and she's all dressed. And I did make the short today, I even finished them. But after I dressed and styled her, the shorts kept bugging me. They look... okay, but there's some messed up stitching in the back and there's some things inside that aren't perfect. I thought about ripping out that part and redoing just the back, but I think I'm going to remake the shorts.... again. I did tweak the pattern slightly for the next pair, and even started them. I didn't make much progress on them, but they're shaping up.

But they'll have to wait until Saturday since tomorrow is a blog day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nothing Super Exciting

Today was a working on the blog day, which I certainly did. I got three posts finished and published. I also worked on a fourth one, but didn't finish it completely. Sadly these were all backlog stuff so I really didn't make progress as much as I played catch up. Tomorrow is a sewing day, but the next say after that I'm back to working on the blog. Hopefully then I'll be able to work on some of the more detailed posts I owe you all!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Good News!

I didn't go out today, AND I finally did some sewing. Baby steps people, baby steps.
I think I'm going have to start trading off my days. One day I work on the blog, the next day I work on sewing. That way I can be focused and actually get stuff done. And that way I don't feel guilty for neglecting the blog or my sewing since I'll be working on each of those on their own days.
Today was a sewing day. I don't have much slated for the dolls (still having a bit of sewer's block), but I do have that Francie outfit I'm working on. While I still haven't been able to find any white fabric in stores that would work, but I did remember that I had a pair of white pants in my stash that I've used before for outfits. It took me a while to locate it, but I did find it. There's not a whole lot left of it, but there's enough for a pair of shorts and maybe some other clothes depending on how smart I am when placing my pattern pieces. Since I didn't want to waste any fabric and was using a newly adapted pattern, I didn't start right off cutting out the shorts. Instead I made a quick test pair out of my practice material. They seemed okay, so I started to make a pair using the correct material.
These didn't take too long, but when I was finished I just wasn't in love with them. I felt the legs were too long, so I undid part of them and shortened the leg. These were better, but I still wasn't totally in love with them. I was thinking about doing a lot of hand work to get them to a better place, but I think I'm just going to do them over. This way I can change a couple of things I did that ended up not working out, and I can focus on eliminating bulk, especially between the legs. Francie's legs are so close together that she really can't handle too much fabric between her legs. These shorts had too much fabric there and Francie wasn't able to keep her legs closed! Which is the reason why I started sewing in the first place. If I wanted clothes for dolls that couldn't keep their legs closed, I'd buy what Mattel is selling. ;)
So I was going to have to remake the shorts, but I didn't start that today. I just wasn't feeling like dealing with it. I did however feel like giving Francie her bath today. I guess I didn't bother washing her when she first got her because she was filthy and I would hope she didn't pick up that much dirt here. She hasn't been here that long and hasn't done much except hang out on the sewing cabinet. So she got a nice scrub down today, and looks much better for my efforts. After her bath I put part of her hair up in curlers. It's not extremely noticeable, but the right side of her hair has had a trim. Maybe 1/8 of an inch. It's more obvious because the left side has more of a curl at the bottom than the other side. I'm hoping that the curler will help reset the curl so it won't look so different. I can at least try. If it doesn't work out, not that big of a deal, her hair was already wet from the bath and I wanted to try out those curlers I got from the last doll club meeting.
But that's all I did with Francie today. She currently drying with the curlers still in her hair. But I still wanted to work with the dolls, just not with her. I ended up picking up the Fashion Queen again. I had made decent progress on dressing her in December, but gave up when... issues arose. I knew the dress I was making for her needed some work, but I really wasn't feeling like working on it at that time, so we took a break. But I still liked the outfit, and wanted to work on it some more.
But I didn't want to start sewing just yet. Instead I worked with the accessorizing of her outfit. Like I said, I did like it, but always felt like it was missing something. She had a purse, but I felt like she needed something else. I figured that if I could find that missing accessory it would give me greater incentive to work on the outfit some more. I felt she needed a pop of color around her face. I played around with a ribbon in her hair, but never found a look or a style that really worked for the outfit. I was hoping the ribbon would solve my problems, but it didn't. So it was time to go to plan B, a necklace. Plan B was actually a better solution, but I didn't have the right supplies. I knew I didn't have the correct red beads I wanted for the outfit (the purse is red and I wanted to match that). I looked through my already made necklaces and didn't see anything that would fit. I didn't even see anything that I could take apart and reuse for the outfit. I ended up pulling out my Barbie sized bead stash trying to see if I had anything that could sort of work. I found a bag of multicolored seed beads, some of which were red. Using a needle I very carefully picked the red ones out of the bag. After that I strung them, then added a hook and clasp. I thought I had enough beads so that the necklace would hang a bit, but nope it was a choker, which was nice, but didn't work for this outfit. I thought about taking it apart and adding more beads, but I hated that idea since I had already finished it. I also thought about doing another one, but wasn't sure if there were enough red beads still left. Dejected I dug through my bead stash again when I found something... an entire bag of red seed beads, totally unopened. I remember buying it now, but forgot all about it until I found it just now. It's bad when you completely forget what you have. I opened this bag and made another necklace, making sure this one was longer than the first. It certainly longer, it was actually too long. I ended up making a third necklace, making sure it wasn't too long or too short. This third necklace was just right. It should be, I totally Goldilocks and the three bears that nonsense. But it was worth it, I do like the necklace with the outfit.
With that ordeal behind us, I had to admit while I liked the outfit, the skirt was where I was having problems... still. What is with this outfit and the skirt? I've had to tear it out like ten times already. The problem now was the length. I had taken out the hand sewn hem back in December when trying to fix something else, and it had really grown on me. I actually really liked where the skirt length fell when it was not hemmed. But I can't just leave a skirt not hemmed like that. And there's no way I could make the skirt magically longer, so I had to take it off and redo it with a longer skirt. And since I was already doing that, I also adapted the pattern a bit. I changed the back seam so it tapered from the waist to the calf. The skirt was a bit straighter than I wanted it to be, so at least now I was able to fix that. I did test it out before I actually added this new skirt, and the test went well, so I went ahead and added the new skirt. But... annoyingly the skirt is crooked at the waist, and in all honesty, I just don't feel like tearing it out again and starting over.
That skirt is seriously the bane of my existence at the moment.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Going Back

So... I went out again today. I've been going through another phase where I'm going out a lot more than normal. But since I decided I wanted that doll from the Antique Mall today was the day to go out and get it. That was the first place I went today. It turns out that today was also the first day of the second round of that window contest, meaning that I managed to get the first one done at the last day, and I could do that one today. My Dad and I managed to get it done somewhat quickly, even though it took forever to find one of the items. They really hid it on us. We went in, added our entries to the box, then I went upstairs to see if the doll I wanted was still there.
She was. I'm not too surprised since I think she's been there for a while, it's only recently I learned who she was. So I bought her, she set me back four dollars. In an ironic note, when I was leaving I saw some vintage Barbie clothes in one of the cases, including something I'm looking for. Since I was already heading out I didn't stop and ask them to open the case. I'm not totally worried they're going to sell (they might be out of my price range), but the next time I go out I'm going to have to look at them, whenever that may be.
After that I headed out of Asheboro. I was going to a pawn shop that my father wanted to go to, the real reason why we went out in the first place. We had actually stopped in the day before and he found something was interested in but held of buying until he did some research (just like what I did with the doll I bought today). He decided he wanted it, so today he headed back there. I went in too to look at the movies and video games they had, but I could have skipped it. I really don't need or want any movies or video games. I looked through them when he was doing his business, but not really expecting to find anything. Shockingly I left without getting anything.
After that we were going to go home, but on a whim I suggested we go to the PTA thrift store in Siler City. I thought it was just a little up the road, but turns out it was much further away that I thought it was, but still we pushed onward. But before we got there, we passed another thrift store and we stopped. And a good thing we did. I managed to find several things I wanted. The first thing I saw when I waked in was a box full of toys for 25 cents each. I eagerly dug through the box and found an assortment of things. One of the first things I found was a Liv doll. She was dirty and played with, but she still had her wig. I figured for a quarter, why not? I also found a 90s' Todd doll. He's the wedding version. For some reason I keep finding Todd dolls, I already own two of the McDonald's version, this is my first wedding doll. He has some play wear. His big toe on each foot has been cut off (do not ask me why), and his hair is a bit matted. He's wearing part of his original outfit, and it looks to be in okay shape, his bow tie is in shreds however. Also in the box were two baby trolls. I may be mistaken, but I believe my sister and I had these exact two when we were younger. Mine was the orange haired one, her's was the blue haired one. And finally from the box I bought a Hasbro My Little Pony-esque dog. He's had some hair cut on him, but I thought he was interesting enough to pick up for a quarter.
I thought that was all I was going to find there, but in another section I found a box of Barbie dolls, for fifty cents each. I looked through all they had and picked out three. I found Jazzie, who looks to be in wonderful shape who just needs some hair help (wearing a mint genuine Barbie outfit). I also found an 80's Skipper in very played with shape. I just liked her outfit (A slightly soiled genuine Barbie outfit) so that's why I got her. And finally I got a Maxie doll, also wearing a Barbie outfit. She's in decent shape, but has some light bites at her ankles. Overall, not that bad group for 4 dollars for all of them. I think I did pretty good for my money.
After that we finally went to the PTA thrift store. I'm really not sure why I keep going back there, their toy section is always pretty dismal. I didn't see anything remotely interesting. I walked around and looked at their measly fabric section, but didn't see anything I needed. I did think about getting a winter coat they had, but I decided against it. It wasn't the right size, and it looked like it had some wear. I guess it just wasn't meant to be mine. I didn't get anything there.
At home I worked on a couple different projects. I did some cleaning, worked on blog stuff, took some pictures, and worked on some of my purchases. I gave the Liv Doll a bath and combed out her hair. She still needs some work, but she looks much better now than she did when I got her earlier today.

I think tomorrow is going to be a sewing day.
And going back to the doll I bought today at the Antique Mall she's a Jem doll, or a friend of Jem. She's a Starlight Girl Doll, Ashley. She's in pretty good shape, and comes with most of her original outfit. She is missing her shoes and socks. She does have some damage, I believe the tip of her nose has lightened, and under her bangs she has an odd gray spot. It looks like there's a darker center in it, so I'm a little concerned there's something embedded in the plastic that might get worse. Has anyone have any experience with these types of dolls? I'm not sure if this will be her forever home, but she'll be hanging around for a bit. I think she was a good buy, and I should at least get my money back if I decide to resell her. But who knows, this may be the start of a massive Jem collection?
(I doubt it, Barbie will always be my first love.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I should ban myself from all stores that sell fabric...

It took me a while to fall asleep last night with my headache, but I woke up today headache free, which is awesome. Although I will have to be careful, when I get a bad headache like that, the next couple days after it lingers and I'm prone to getting another headache.
Anyway, even though I should have been working on some doll sewing I ended up going out today. But in my defense I had a reason. The Antique Mall on Sunset is doing a promotion for the next couple of months. Their storefront has these giant widows, and they usually have a varied selection of items from the store displayed in it. For the next couple of months, they also have a little game going on. Posted on the window is a list of ten items you need to find in the display and write down their location on a piece of paper. That piece of paper is your entry form. The list of what you're looking for changes every two weeks, and you can play once each time. At the end of the promotion (In early March), they will pick three entries from all that they get. The winner gets a 50 dollar credit, second place gets 25, and third place gets 10. Each week counts as an entry so you can enter up to five time. The first window's been up for a while and I haven't been there to do it, so I needed to go today or risk not getting the first week's entry. So you can see I needed to go out.
But I didn't head there first. First I went to Walmart. I know I had just been there the other day. But while I didn't find any white fabrics last time I did find some other fabrics I liked. I just wasn't sure if I liked them for actual projects, or if I just didn't want to leave the store empty handed. So I left them there thinking the if I kept thinking about them, that would mean I actually wanted them. And sure enough I kept thinking about them, so I went back. I got a half yard of this white with pink polka dot material (for a Mod doll), and a half yard of this mellow blue fabric with a tulip print (I'm thinking Vintage, but could work for Mod too). The tulip fabric was rather expensive, that half a yard cost me almost four dollars. I better really be committed to whatever I make with it since I don't want to have to go get more. The dotted fabric was only two dollars for that half yard. I also picked up a couple of presents when I was there, a Batman dry erase board, and a Lego car. Yes, I'm shopping for Christmas. I know it's crazy, but they were good deals. I've also already started a new Christmas word document. 
Anyway, after that I headed to the shops on Sunset. I didn't go straight to the Antique Mall, I checked out the Fleamarketeers first. I didn't see much there of interest, then it was off to the Antique Mall. I was wondering if the game would stretch out for the entire length of their store windows (it's a pretty long building), but the game was contained in a small section. My Dad and I first found all the items on the list, then we went inside and each got a paper to fill out. After that we put it in the box inside the store, and wandered around for a bit. I headed upstairs and looked around for a bit. I wasn't expecting to see much since I had just been there a couple of weeks ago, and it did not disappoint. I did see a doll there that I might be interested in, but I wasn't totally sure if it was who I thought it was, so I left it there. I planned on doing research online to see if it was who I thought it was. I'm not worried about it selling before I got back. I didn't get anything there, and I didn't find anything at the third store either. I did however pick up a video game my brother was interested in (I mentioned seeing it the last time I was there to him). He was the only person who got anything from those store.
I didn't do much back at home, another headache was brewing so I wanted to take it easy. All I did was work on the Blog. I am trying to make progress, but I keep getting behind an any progress I do is just getting back to being slightly behind. It's frustrating.
Oh! And I looked up the doll, she is who I thought she is. I'm thinking about going back to get her later, maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Going to all the places, ALL THE PLACES!

As I said yesterday, today was the first meeting of the North Carolina Fashion Doll Club for this year. It's typically the first weekend of the month, but this month too few people could make that date, so they pushed it back until today. I said last night I was less nervous about this meeting, but apparently that was a lie. I had a terrible night's sleep, which always happens when I'm anxious about the next day for whatever reason. I tossed and turned, and woke up every few minutes. So I'm pretty tired today. But I still managed to get up and out of the house in the morning, despite being so exhausted. I left the house this morning at 9:45, not too bad except I wanted to leave at 9:30. Luckily I was over estimating the time I'd need to get there so I wasn't really late or anything.
And it's a good thing I had allotted more time because I ended up stopping on the way. There's this thrift store that's in one of the towns on the way to Raleigh. It's kind of tucked away and you don't realize it's coming up until you've passed it and it's too late to turn so I've never been in. Also my mom's not much of a second hand shopper. This time however I was going with my dad, and he's quite the second hand shopper. So we finally stopped in. Good thing we went this time, it's going out of business.
In all honestly, there wasn't a whole lot there, and a lot of what I saw was on the higher end of the price scale. Everything was half off, and I still felt things were still a bit overpriced for a thrift store. I did find something of interest. I found a "World Kids" doll. Apparently distributed by Target. It was still in it's original plastic bubble mounted on a card. I could see from it's hands that it was using a Kelly body, even though it had an anime inspired head. It was only 50 cents, so I decided to get it. I didn't find anything else there. The only other doll I saw was a Bratz boy doll that was literally covered in permanent marker. Oh, and the best part, I stabbed myself with a random needle, fun! I found their small craft section, and was moving bags around to see what was there. I picked up a bag and found a needle... with my left ring finger. Turns out the bag of random thread had a spool with a needle sticking straight out, and it was just perfect to embed itself in my finger. Just awesome! Don't think I'll be stopping in there again, even if it wasn't closing soon.
After that there we no stops until after we got to Raleigh. I was actually there about an hour and a half before the start of the meeting, but this was planned. I had a couple places to go before the meeting. I had a couple stores around town I needed to return some things to and since we don't have any of these stores locally, we figured that we would kill two birds with one stone and return them when we were in the area. Up first was Joanne's Fabric. I had two straw baskets that needed to go back. I figured that since I was there I could use the gift card (I didn't have a receipt) on some fabric. But they actually gave me cash for some reason, which I gladly took. It was only about eight dollars, so it's not like it was that much money. I did look at their white fabric, but it seemed like everything they had was also pretty thin. I'm beginning to think it's me, maybe I'm too critical of white fabric. It's just I don't think I should be able to see the hip joints of a doll when they're wearing pants/shorts. Is that asking too much? So I left there without getting anything, but pretty frustrated since they were my last option. I was hoping that Joanne's would be my saving grace, but I guess I must keep searching.
That wasn't my only stop before the meeting. After that we headed to K-mart. We also had a couple things to return here, and I was hoping to use the return money for some sweet dolly deals. But... when I went to the toy section, they didn't have anything I wanted. They really did not have much of anything. The shelves looked really picked clean, and I wanted nothing to do with anything that was on them. (Were they not restocked after Christmas?) So we ended up going around getting a bunch of random stuff to use the the card. I honestly have no idea where there's a K-mart anywhere near us, so we needed to use all of the card up. We bought things that will be used, but things we could have bought elsewhere. Lots of snack foods, but some other stuff too. Unfortunately I'm trying to be better about what I eat, so I can't eat any of the snack foods! So nothing for me at K-mart.
After that I headed to the meeting. The meeting was at one, and that hour was rapidly approaching. I thought I might end up being late, but I actually got there early, but with just a few minutes to spare. So at 12:58, I picked up my two bags of dolls and the doll case and headed in. I was not the first person there. I was instructed to put what I brought to trade or sell on the folding table at the far end of the room, which I did. I also ended up unpacking P.J.. I wasn't sure if I was going to bring a doll, but I eventually decided to. I didn't have anything new from last month, so I grabbed someone who was already in the collection. And hey, they've never seen P.J. before, so she was new to them. Soon more people arrived, and people began looking through stuff. I actually had a lot of interest in what I brought. During the course of the meeting I sold about seven dolls. Most of them were dolls that were from my Dollpage. I did give people discounts from my online price, but that takes into consideration not having to deal with postage and Paypal fees. I would have liked to trade my stuff, but there really wasn't much there I wanted. The only vintage thing there was a pool playset, and I really don't do playsets. Ask the two of them still boxed up in the closet. I think I did the most business out of everybody. I was given a bag of random Barbie stuff. The woman selling it said it was free with purchase and I was thinking about buying something just to get it, but she saw me admiring it, and said I could have it. Inside there were 20+ hangers, including lots that were pants hangers, which I just had to have. Even though at the rate I'm amassing hangers I'm going to need a third garment rack to use them all. There's also some fun Barbie accessories, including some curlers. I hope I can use these, might be helpful curling doll hair. (I can at least try). I actually ended up making twenty dollars during the meeting from selling stuff, well thirty, but I ended up buying a doll. She's not a vintage doll though. She's a Toys R Us exclusive doll from the 90's, Radiant Red Barbie. I actually thought she was a different doll from my childhood, but I've since learned otherwise. I'm not bummed that I bought her. She was only ten dollars and the person I bought her from hadn't sold anything by the end of the meeting, so I think the sale might have made her feel a little happy. She's very pretty, but I think someone else will appreciate her more than I would. So she's going to be visiting and not living her permanently.   
The meeting wasn't all shopping and selling, there was also some business to talk about, basically upcoming doll stuff and whatnot. I got another push to join the Barbie Collector Fan Club, which I kept shrugging off. It's just not really worth it for 25 dollars for me personally. They reminded me about the 20 dollar bonus per quarter, but I really don't buy anything new from Mattel. After the business talk the meeting basically disbanded. But before I left, Linda asked if someone wanted some random baby shoes she had. Lori said she would be interested in any of them fit Chatty Cathy. So I pulled out my handy dandy Chatty Cathy foot template that has saved me many dollars on shoes that were not the right size. I handed it to her so she could see if the shoes would fit. I also explained what the random piece of cardboard I was handing her was. She ended up tracing it so she could have her own version. Lots of people were impressed with that. I'm not sure if you read this blog Dorrie, but I learned that trick from you so thank you very much for that! After I got my template back the meeting was basically over, so I left.
I met up with my Dad again. I handed him the twenty dollars I borrowed for the meeting (In case I found something I just had to have) and the twenty dollars I had made. I now only owe my parents ten dollars from December. Which is awesome since the March meeting might be at the Swell Doll Shop. Meaning that I need to get my rear in gear and sell some stuff (and forget that I'm trying to stop buying dolls). We didn't head straight home after the meeting. Instead we went to a Flea Market. My father had found it when I was at the meeting, and asked if I wanted to go back. Of course I did. I wandered around for a while. I won't lie, I was hot and exhausted, but still hopeful. I sadly didn't find much. I did find a clone case with some vintage clothing in it, but the woman wouldn't do any less than the 25 dollars she quoted me. She did point out that one of the items on the case was also on E-bay for 50, but I think if she really thought that she could get 50 for one item, that case would be sitting on E-bay instead of on the ground in Raleigh. Also I'm sure the item on E-bay wasn't covered in pretzel dust from the random open snack bag of pretzels that was also in the case, so I passed. I really didn't need any of the clothing in the case. She also had a lot of Barbie's on the ground that she offered to sell me for 30. I was interested in the Ariel doll she had, but not for 30. She also told me that the dolls were from 1966, "which is what collectors like". Yeah, just because a doll is marked 1966 means it's from then. The oldest doll she had was a Tyco Ariel from 1989. She was a fool, and didn't get any of my money.
After that I had one more stop, even though at this point I was tired and had the start of a headache and was more than ready to go home. There was still one more stop in out return-a-thon, Target. Again I headed to the toy section to see what they had. They actually had a lot more than K-mart... but I still didn't want anything. It's weird, out of everything they had... I didn't want ANYTHING. No dolls, no clothes, no accessories. I didn't even want to buy something to just buy something. I guess it's official, I only collect vintage now.
Weird.
After that I headed back home, finally. I won't lie my headache was getting worse. I was able to keep it from getting too bad, but as the day wore on it kept getting stronger. By the time I went to bed it was pretty bad. Hopefully it goes away during the night and I awake without it and feeling much more rested.

(Spoiler alert, I do)


About the doll I bought at the thrift store. I ended up taking the doll out of it's package. I looked it up online and the don't really sell for much MIB. Apparently they were a line of dolls dressed to represent different countries. I had the England version, which explains it being dressed in an English Guard outfit, and the Union Jack on the cardboard package. I undressed the doll, it does have a Kelly body, with a couple of differences. The legs are a bit wider set, and it's made of a more malleable plastic. Other than that it's a perfect match. The head however is totally different. I have no idea if that is a clone or not. It's kind of cute. I'm thinking about holding onto it for a bit. I'm toying with the idea of re-rooting it. Although, if I know me I'll hold onto it for a year then get rid of it when I realize I'll never do anything with it. The clothes are... okay quality. They're definitely clone quality, but I don't think they'll break on me. But having said that the silver strap for the hat already broke on me when I went to go put it back on the doll. I think I'm going to replace it and hold onto the clothes, Tommy might be a English Guard next Halloween!

Friday, January 11, 2013

One of those days.

I had a hard time getting motivated today. It wasn't until after noon that I finally got myself into gear. I started with cleaning. I managed to get my entire desk cleaned off, including getting some stuff put away that's been sitting around for a while, now if only I could keep it clean (but we all know I won't, I've fought that battle and keep losing).
Anyway, I did do some sewing today. I'm still working on that Francie outfit. The shirt and headband are still finished, leaving me with the shorts and the purse. Since I'm still looking for decent not see thru white fabric (Grr) I couldn't start on the shorts. So that left me with the redo of the purse. I was actually not doing much different than how I made the first one. I was however being more careful when I cut it out, and I changed the order of how I sewed it. This time it came out much better, I actually like this one. The fabric is still not totally even, but I think it's as close as I'll get it. Now I just have to finish the shorts, if only I can find the material (Grr).
And finally I've been collecting up spare dolls. Tomorrow is the doll meeting, and the theme is out with the old, meaning people are bringing stuff to sell and trade. I packed up a bag of random dolls, a Barbie case, and a lot of stuff from my Dollpage. I'm sure lots of what I have won't find takers, but I can at least try. And I would love to be able to trade some of this stuff for something I actually want. I mean, most of the money I get from these dolls I use to buy other doll stuff, so I might as well cut out the middle man if I can, right?
Here's hoping I can find stuff to trade for, I'd love to get rid of some of this stuff.

And I'm pleased to say that I'm slightly less nervous for this meeting than the last ones, so hopefully I'll be more social. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Brief Rant...

I went out today in search of some white fabric. I'm totally out, and I need it in order to finish Francie's outfit. I knew that Hobby Lobby wouldn't be able to help me (plus I'm still trying to stay out of there this month), so today I was checking out Walmart's fabric section. But in a very familiar situation, I was unable to find any white cotton fabric that wasn't incredibly see-through. I believe I looked at every bolt of white fabric in that entire section trying to find something that would work, but I was just not able to find anything that wasn't practically a sheer!
And I know that I'm a cheapskate, but even the expensive stuff wasn't any better than the cheap stuff in terms of thickness. I learned that lesson the hard way when I shelled out the big bucks for that expensive calico remnant at Hobby Lobby to find the entire thing basically useless. And it was the same thing here. No matter the price point I could easily see my hand definition from the other side of the fabric. The only thing I can think of doing is to do two layers of fabric which drives me crazy because I shouldn't have to do that in the first place and it adds way too much bulk for my liking. Other than that I am literally out of options, and it's annoying as all get out. You'd think decent white fabric would be pretty easy to find, I mean cotton is white!

So, let me ask you dear readers, where do you buy your white fabric? Is there a recourse that I'm missing?

My kingdom for white calico!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Still Making Progress!

I started this morning working on Francie's outfit. Since it's the only thing I have slated I figured I might as get it finished as soon as possible or else risk having another almost finished outfit... which sadly has started becoming the norm around here.
I started with the headband. I decided to totally redo it. It's just a simple tube of fabric and the first time I made it I wasn't really putting much effort into it, and it looked really sloppy. So I decided to redo it, this time making sure the geometric print didn't look so... off. I finished it entirely, including finishing the edges, and sewing on a snap. Unfortunately in order to get it to look the best it needs to cover Francie's ears. Good thing she doesn't actually need to hear anything! (And that her hair covers up the fact that it's covering her ears!)
After that I started working on the shirt. I had finished most of it yesterday, and unlike the headband I liked how it was coming out. Today I reinforced the seams (all two of them!), sewed down the daisy to the front, hand hemmed the bottom, and sewed two snaps in it. And just like that I was done, one of my easier garments to finish.
I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but after it moved from Malibu Francie to regular Francie I decided to add a purse to the outfit. Something that used both the check fabric and the daisy decoration. I was planning on making it similar to how I made the purse for my Blonde Number Four. I was even planning on using the same pattern... except I couldn't find it. I must admit, my patterns are really poorly organized. But I looked through the Barbie pattern folder three times and was unable to find it. I even looked through the Francie/Ken/Skipper folder wondering if it had been returned to the wrong folder the last time I had used it. No dice. I spent way too long looking for this incredibly simple pattern.
Eventually I just remade the silly thing. Just a couple swipes of a pencil on a pad and I had something that would work. I did make a quick prototype since it looked like it might be too big, it was so I adjusted it. Then I got to sewing. I made it pretty quickly, but wasn't totally in love with the final product. I was trying a new technique, and while it helped with the final look, it did create it's own type of problems. I did end up finishing the purse, but I don't think that will be the one that ends up with the outfit. The purse is so quick to make that I would rather spend the time making a second one I like better than using one I really didn't care for. 
But that's where I stopped sewing for the day. I didn't feel like doing more work on this outfit right now. Instead I worked some on the blog. I'm still several days behind from where I need to be. I managed to get three posts written, edited, and published. INCLUDING the last one from that stretch when my sister was here. Meaning I'm done with all of 2012 (well December, I know there's other posts from that year I'm missing). All that's left I need to work on are those "I'll do another post with more detail later" posts, and I have been working on those. There's six in total, and I've gotten half of them finished. Still a lot to work on, but at least I'm making progress.
But I think that's enough for today.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

26

26, twenty six. 
That's the number of nude dolls cluttering up the sewing cabinet until I get around to dressing them. We've had quite the explosion in the past couple months of new dolls, and quite the non-explosion of creativity. I had six dolls join the collection in December alone, with absolutely no dolls getting dressed. So you can understand that the sewing cabinet is getting pretty crowded. Here's a picture of it to illustrate what I mean:
And the sad thing is, that's not even showing everyone. There's still a couple of dolls scattered here and there, and I'm not even counting the couple dolls who need to be re-rooted (I'm not including them in the grand total until that's finished.) So you can see I have quite the pile collected up. A pile that would wear at me every time I looked over there and seeing all those dolls I should be sewing for, if only I could think of something. Then I'd rack my brain trying to think of something to make some sort of progress, but then fail miserably. It was a really bad place to be mentally. So I changed it. I went through everyone that was there and took about half of them off it. I made sure the ones I left were a wide variety of types, eras, and order of which I purchased them. However I did stress on no repeats. For example I went from three mod Francie dolls, to one. I did however leave Malibu Francie since she's different enough from her mod counterparts. The dolls that I took off the cabinet I carefully box up. They're going to be going away for a little bit. I'm not getting rid of them, just putting them away so they're not wearing on my psyche like they were. It's not like I can't work on them if inspiration strikes, it's just they won't be directly in front of me all the time. I figure that once I get one of the dolls that's still on the sewing cabinet dressed, I can take another one out of the box to fill that space. I already feel a bit better with this new system in place. It's feeling more like fun and less like a chore, which is how it should be in the first place.

And I even made some progress on dressing a doll today, which is awesome. I was looking up 50's sewing patterns online today since that is the biggest group of dolls I need to dress. I found something that I thought with the right tweaks and fabric would work for my Malibu Francie doll even though she's two decades later. I looked through my fabric pile and while I didn't find exactly what I wanted, I found something that would work, but only if I adapted my original design, which I did.
I even started sewing today. I started with the shirt. I was actually using a Skipper pattern, but I knew it was big enough to fit Francie, especially since I didn't want it to be fitted. I decided to line it instead of dealing with hems. I actually got pretty far with it. I also made the headband, and worked on the shorts some. Since I don't have a perfect shorts pattern for Francie I needed to work on it. I had the start of one from a while back, but it still needed perfecting. So I needed to work on that before I could keep going on the outfit. Since Malibu Francie has rubber legs and those are such a pain to get pants on and off of, I grabbed my straight leg Francie to be my fit model, but then I had a problem. As I was working on it, I realized that I really liked the outfit on this Francie. So Malibu Francie lost it. I think she's going to end up wearing this outfit... once it's finished. I still have a lot to do with it. The shirt is the closest thing to being done, but that's still nowhere near finished, and I'm still working on the shorts patterns.

But man, does it feel good to be back to work on dressing someone!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The start of the Week (If you don't count Sunday)

I did some sewing today, feels like I haven't done that in forever!
That's not true, I actually did some yesterday, but I really wasn't into it. I also had the worst case of rippling with the fabric, seriously it was really bad. But today I started with rethreading the machine, so that seemed to help. I still had some rippling, but I think that was partially due to the thin material I was working with.

I was working on a dress for my brunette ponytail, the one that I bought in the summer of last year. I had found an outfit online that I thought would work well for her. It certainly worked in my mind and on paper, but as I was working on it I found things weren't working out and I'd have to make tweaks and changes, and eventually what I was making was nothing like I originally planned. Now the design process is an organic one, and sometimes you end up liking what you made better than what's on paper, but this was not one of those cases. I really did not like what I was doing. So I gave up. I might go back to it at some point, but certainly not today. I put away my materials, packed away the patterns, and carefully wedged the Ponytail back onto the sewing cabinet. Done with that for now.

I ended up working on the blog some more, still several days behind, but I'm now slightly less behind. And hey, I did some sewing, felt good to actually get back on that horse!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lazy Day

I was incredibly lazy today. I didn't want to sew, clean, or work on the blog, so I didn't.


Maybe something will get done tomorrow, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Three makes it a collection (AKA Another Brief Blog)

I spent today a lot like I've spent the past couple of days, by blogging and cleaning.

I am pleased to say that I managed to get those final days of 2012 when my sister was here written and posted. Right now there's still about five posts I'm working on that can't be published yet. Those are the detailed posts about doll stuff the happened in the past couple of days that I wanted to give their own blog posts about. I am working on those still, so you will be getting them. So even though I did make a lot of progress, there's still plenty of work to do.
Cleaning on the other hand did not go so well, I think things might be messier than they were when I woke up this morning. I was however able to undress the last doll still wearing their Christmas outfit and put them back in their every day clothes. Actually that's not true. Mary Clair, Ashley, and Midge are still wearing their Christmas clothes. It's just I like those outfits more than what they normally wear, so I left them wearing those outfits. I did this last year too, I think Mary Clair didn't change back until March last year.
But other spots in the room are a bit of a mess, but it's because I did some sewing today. I found a doll dress that I wanted to make. I put off starting it until well into the evening. But when I finally started working on it, I found the tension in the sewing machine was really off, like really off. Not sure what's going on there. So I just ended up wasting some fabric today.

Have I lost my sewing skill since I took that two week break from it?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another Brief Blog

Not a whole lot to report today either. I spent a while working on cleaning in my room and working on the blog. I managed to get two more posts finished. I am slowly making progress on it! Hopefully I can keep working on it and get all caught up.

I also did some work with dolls today, some good, some bad. Stacey got a bath today. I didn't have time earlier to do it and I was working with her today when I realized how filthy she was. So she took a trip to the bathroom where she got a decent wash. She now looks much better, although I did discover she has several pink stains on the underside of one of her arms that I did not know about before. I also did some work on Fashion Queen's dress, but I'm not sure if it will end up working out. I may have messed it up more than I helped it. I set it aside for another day, I may end up putting it away for a bit. I think I need a break from it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Brief Blog

Not the most eventful day today. 
I was invited to go out, but I declined. 
I was feeling better today, but I still didn't want to go out. 
Instead I worked on cleaning in the room and working on the blog. 
I managed to get an entire giant post written including pictures and everything. 

Now there's only nine more to go!

I don't know I centered this entire post, but it sure makes it look cooler.

-Aubrey

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Better End than the Start

I had a very early morning today, but not by choice. My toothache came back with a vengeance during the night. I was hoping that if I took it easy for a bit it would go away, but I guess I overdid it yesterday. *Sigh* The other day when this happened it kept me awake for a couple hours then it subsided so I could go back to bed, but not this time. It's been a raging pain since 3 am this morning and I've been awake the entire time.

Not fun.

So needless to say I'm not a happy camper today. I've been grumpy from both being tired and from the nagging pain.
Around 11, I ended up going out. I had a couple places I needed to go which was why I went out in the first place, but nothing was more important to me at that time than to go to Walmart to pick up some Orajel for my tooth. I obviously went there first. It felt like it took us forever to get there, and actually buy it. The woman ahead of us paid by check, who does that in this day and age??? Eventually I was able to get it, and put it on my gums. It did help, it took my nagging pain down to a dull ache. Not as good as I hoped, but certainly an improvement. And I would gladly take any improvement. It was awful.
But it was a good thing that it wasn't so bad now, I had plenty of stops to make now that I was out in town. The first one was a totally frivolous one.You may remember a couple days ago when I went out to a store only to find it closed. Well today was the 2nd meaning it was now open, so I headed over there first. The reason I was going over there was a pretty bad one, I wanted to see if they had a doll. The other day I was on Craigslist (again) and I saw another listing from that local antique/thrift store, the one I bought that ponytail Barbie from. They had another doll listed, she wasn't a Barbie doll. She was a Tammy doll. She also came with her original shoes, outfit, and booklet, and just like Barbie looked to be in really good shape. She also cost the same at twenty dollars. Now I must confess, I'm not much of a Tammy collector. She doesn't do much for me. While she's the same size as Barbie I find her large head means she doesn't work well in the same scale as Barbie, but I wanted this doll. Mainly because she was local and a decent price. I just wasn't sure if she was still there, the ad had been posted on the 5th of December. I didn't remember her from the last time I was in the store, but that day I was only there for the Barbie doll and getting her and getting out of the store.
So today we stopped in to see if she was still there. I could tell from the picture online she was in their display case, so I headed their first. She was still there. I asked the woman behind the counter if I could look at her, so she got her out for me. I gave her a quick look over and decided to get her (The doll, not the woman). She wrapped her in some newsprint paper and stuck her in a Victoria's Secret bag (Gee, thanks?). I took her and walked out of the store. I'll go more into detail about her later in the post.
Since I was already out, and hadn't been in a while we also hit up the thrift stores. I would say it was slim pickings, but I managed to get something from each of the remaining two stores. At the Salvation Army I picked up a Myscene guy doll. His joints are really swingy and his lips and cheeks were painted with nail polish, but I think I can clean him up a little. I mainly bought him to try out his black velvet jacket on Joe. I found that he can wear Myscene clothing pretty well. The pants were a total wash (no shock there since they're so thin), but the jacket did fit, sort of. It was in fact too big. But when I do finally bite the bullet and make Joe a suit jacket it will be really helpful to have. I'm planning on selling the doll, depending on how well he cleans up. I think he'll be worth at least the dollar I paid. I also bought a Bratz doll from there. I don't collect them, or have any interest in them, but he looked in decent shape so I got him to resell. He even had feet! (Not the correct ones, but blank feet nonetheless) I asked around and was told he's Sports Something or other Cameron. I also paid a dollar for him. They were both unpriced when I found them, so I was expecting them to be two dollars, but the person working the desk rung them up as a dollar each, so that was nice!
At the Goodwill I didn't find anything... for me. I did however find a Spiderman Christmas ornament that would work for my sister's husband for a Christmas present... in twelve months. I guess the smart thing to do would be to start picking up Christmas presents here and there whenever I see them since I'm already shopping at the thrift stores. I won't go too overboard, but since some people's lists have been pretty constant for what they want I'm confident I can find what they will like. I guess this means I'm going to have to start a new Christmas word document to keep track of Christmas 2013. I don't know why, but it feels like it was just Christmas five days ago! ;)
And that's everything I got while out, but I certainly think I got enough!
All right, back to Tammy. She is my first Tammy doll, although I do have her English counterpart, Sindy (ironically I have the American version of her English counterpart). She's in really great shape, with perfect makeup. She has really heavy blush, in fact one of her ears has a bit of extra blush. I guess her painter was a bit heavy handed with it. I'm having a hard time finding a lot of information about her. She may or may not have had a haircut, I'm not really sure. Her hair is two lengths. It might be factory, or it might be a skilled amateur hairdresser. Does anyone know if that's how she came? Also, you know what's weird? She's not marked with her country of origin. Those Tammy shoes I bought a couple of weeks ago are marked Japan, as is that Tammy Pak dress, but she, nor her shoes have any markings. I thought that was a law? Weird, right?
Like I said earlier Tammy didn't come alone. She came to me wearing her original blue play suit with her white sneakers. Like the ponytail she also came with her original booklet (where they stuck the price sticker). Unlike the Ponytail she came with her original Tammy stand, which I didn't know existed. The booklet is in good shape, and the stand is in okay shape. There's a crack where the post connects to the base, and the post is all corroded. But I think that's actually in decent shape for a plastic doll stand.
I'm not totally sure if Tammy is here to stay, but she is an interesting addition to the collection.

So welcome to the first doll of 2013, hopefully she'll be the last for a while!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hello Dear Readers, I'm sure you've all noticed my silence for the past couple of days. Fear not, I have returned to you all. I noticed that I gained another follower during my absence, I'll try to not take that personally that the moment that I finally shut up someone new decides to follow me.    
I hope everyone's been having a wonderful start to the new year. Mine's been pretty low key so far. My sister and her husband left this morning. Around 11 today they started their trip back to Philadelphia. Don't tell her that I'm saying this, but I will miss her. We didn't get along much when we were younger, but now that we're not living together and seeing each other that often things are better between us. I may even think that I actually like her. But if you tell her that, I will deny everything.
After they left I did some work in the living room, basically putting away all the Christmas stuff that was still up. I had already taken down the tree the day after our fake Christmas, but there was still several other decorations that were up that needed to be taken down. I would say right now there's about ten percent still upstairs, everything else has been put way in the basement for next year. I didn't spend too much time on that, but I wanted to start on it since I'm hoping to keep the house in some order now that it's clean.
I didn't spend too much time down there, I'm planning on doing a little bit every day until it's all done. After that I went up to my room. Now that is a disaster zone. Usually I'm pretty good about cleaning up after myself, but with cleaning the rest of the house, followed by being host for the past several days, on top of several nights of poor sleep I have not been on top of things. I literally have been letting things lay where they fall, and there's things heaped upon everything. So today I spent a while cleaning and organizing things. I'm nowhere near done, but at least it's a start.
I ended up quitting early because I'm still rather tired today. Being a good host is exhausting! It's going to take me a couple of days getting back onto the swing of things. It's going to take longer than that to get all caught up on my past blog posts, I don't have a thing written!

But that's going to have to wait for another night. It's pretty late right now, and I am exhausted. Hopefully I can get a decent night's sleep and be raring for tomorrow. I'm feeling oddly optimistic for 2013, hopefully it won't let me down!