Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Progress...ish?

First of all, let me with wishing my Mother a Happy Birthday. She's not a blog reader and I plan on keeping it that way, but I feel it should be acknowledged here on the blog. I've already wished her Happy Birthday several times today (both digitally and in person), so she knows how much I care. We all had dinner together as a family where we laughed, shared, and had a good time. I think she had a good day today.

I managed to squeeze in some sewing today too. I wanted to make some progress on Francie's outfit, but it was not meant to be. I started off with making a single sock. I managed to get the entire thing finished, including reinforcing the seams, but when I was cutting out the excess fabric, I misplaced my scissors and cut directly into the front of the sock. I HATE when that happens. I've done that several times over the years and I get so frustrated when it happens. All that work and botch it up in the final inning. So annoying.

But I didn't give up, I ended up cutting out two more socks from the fabric. I sewed these up, making super sure I didn't do that same thing I did to the last one. Luckily I didn't make the same mistake twice... this time. But I had a different problem with this pair, they ended up being too tight at the top. I made a mistake by forcing them onto Francie's legs in an effort to make them fit, but only ended up bending back a fingernail when trying to get them off when I couldn't get the top over Francie's calves. I finished them, but they just won't work for Francie.

However they do fit Skipper. I don't really need a pair of Skipper knee socks at this time, but at least someone can use them. I'm not giving up on Francie's socks, I'm going to have to tweak the seam allowance in the back a little, but they don't need that much work to fit her, and at least I have a decent pattern for Skipper now? (I'm trying to see the bright side of things)

Also, I should mention, this will be my last post for a couple days. I found out my sister and her Husband are coming for Easter on Sunday and the house needs to be cleaned. And there's nothing more boring than cleaning is hearing about cleaning. I will see you all on Monday! 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ugh, we should have gotten a cart! (Oh wait... we sort of did)

Still no progress on Malibu Francie's outfit. I ended up going out instead of working on it. But this wasn't a usual going into town trip just for fun, I actually needed to go out today. I had to get something into the mail. I had something sell yesterday and I wanted to get it taken care of and out of my hands. It was a small item, so I didn't make a ton of money on the sale, but I am now four dollars richer, but one Ken doll poorer. Which is fine, I didn't really like him. He hasn't done anything other than sit around waiting to be sold. I'd rather have the four dollars. Especially when it gets me closer to my May deadline.
And even though I was just going out to get it into the mail you just know I couldn't do a quick trip like that. I ended up all over town today! Up first was the Christian Second Hand store. I didn't see anything I wanted in both toys or fabric. All I got there was a boring new sheet to use for testing out patterns. I did have to talk myself out of getting this vintage sheet with a really cool 60's pattern. It could have worked for a mod dress, but since I couldn't think of an application for it right then I walked away. I have too many fabrics kicking around that looked good in the store, but have yet to find a use around here. Plus I hate cutting up sheets to use even if they're boring, I image it would be even worse if they were cool and vintage.
I got out of there pretty cheaply, but then I made a rookie move. I went to the Fleamarketeers next door. In one of my doll groups they were talking about some Mego "The Black Hole" dolls. I remembered that that store had one MIB. I went to go find it, photograph it, and share it with the group. I actually couldn't find it in the store. I knew exactly where it had been, but the case it used to be in now had entirely different content in it. I still had my camera out, so I ended up taking several pictures of interesting dolls I found. One of those was a bag that had two modernish dolls in it at one of the booths. They're not my usual interest, but I ended up taking them both out of the bag to look at their markings. I also took their picture. They weren't that expensive, the two of them cost three dollars, but it was still a but much for a total impulse buy when I had no idea what they were. I also found another bag in near them. This one didn't have any dolls. It had a few odds and ends, the only one I was interested in was the My Little Pony looking figure in it. I have no interest in them, but this one was cute. It had an interesting feature, it's eyes opened and closed. I've never seen one like that before. Also in it was Princess of Power figure. This bag was cheaper than the other one, it was only two dollars. It was interesting, but not that tempting at that price. I was leaving that section when I noticed a sign, everything in that booth was half off! It wasn't tempting at five dollars, but at two fifty for both, it sure was. (Keep reading, you'll see pictures of my new finds at the bottom of this post)
I wasn't done looking around yet, so I was walking around with the two bags taking pictures of random dolls that I wanted to remember. I noticed a guy watching me taking pictures, which was super awkward. (I hoped it wasn't his booth I was taking pictures in). A little bit after I noticed him watching me, I ran into him again. He asked me what I was taking pictures of. I said dolls, so I could research them later. He understood and said it was a lucrative collector's market. I said sure was and that was the extent of our conversation. It was weird... but I was willing to admit I was looking at dolls to a total stranger, so that was better than I was a little bit ago. I hope to one day be comfortable in my own skin... eventually. I also ended up getting a knitting accessory there as well. It's a sheet of metal with holes so you can figure out the size of your knitting needles. It also has a ruler to gauge your knitting. I will admit my knitting hasn't progressed very far. I'm just not enjoying it, and there's one technique that I keep messing up on. I however do plan on getting back into doing it... eventually. It only cost a dollar, and I'm sure I will eventually need it. In total I ended up getting out of there for 3.50, which is actually not too bad, especially when before the sale it all would have cost me six.
After that I headed to the Salvation Army. Not a whole lot to see there. I ended up almost leaving empty handed. Instead I found one thing I had to have. It's a little woven straw purse. It's got the cutest image of two female ducklings sharing an umbrella while it's raining. The inside is lined with plastic. Weird, right? I thought it was from the 70's and bought it for resale, but according to a knowledgeable Flickr friend it's from the 50's and it's a child's purse. They also said they saw one for sale for 15 dollars, which is not too bad since I only paid a dollar for mine. This will eventually be listed in my Etsy store. Again, I have that May bill looming.
After that was the Goodwill (and the last place, thank goodness), but that's where I hit the mother load. I found a bunch of wonderfully priced items that will be perfect for me, or for resale. The first thing I found was a bag of random toys. I mainly bought it for the small Alf figure inside, but found out that it also included an early littlest pet shop toy. It also had a newer LPS McDonald's toy and a figure from a Power Ranger's playset, and some other random toys. Not sure what to do with those, don't think they're worth much and I certainly don't want them. I think they might end up being donated to a different store.
I also ended up finding a Fisher Price 70's Miss Piggy toy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this (it's a bit played with), but I've always loved Miss Piggy, so I couldn't leave her there. You all should know by now I have terrible impulse control. I also found the most darling cloth Christmas dog. I believe it's from the 60's. It's unmarked and I can see where there used to be a tag, but it looks like it's from that era. It's a little faded in spots but overall in wonderful condition. I'm planning on keeping this. It would be perfect for Christmas decorating although I'm going to have to be careful about that. I keep amassing all this Christmas stuff, and I don't have that much room to display it all! Eventually I'm going to have to start selling some of it, instead of keeping it all, but not today.
And for our final purchase from the Goodwill, we have this awesome vintage planter. Just like the dog it's
unmarked, but I'd guess it's from the 50's, could be earlier. I think it's from Japan, or less likely Germany. It's a wonderful design of a girl with her donkey cart. It's in amazing shape, I don't think it has any chips or anything! It's is really dirty though, I am going to have to clean it, I'm just going to have to be super careful I do not want to damage this at all! Just like the purse I'm planning on reselling it. In fact I plan on selling most of what I bought today after I clean it up.
Here's a picture of all the little random things I bought: 

Back at home I did some research into what I bought at the Fleamarketeers. The blonde doll from that bag was marked Creata. She's just a random clone doll, I found several dolls just like her, they don't sell for much. The orange haired doll was from the Lady Lovely Locks line from the 80's. She actually has some neck breaking going on, not sure what to do about that. She's actually wearing her original dress in the picture, but when I found her the blonde doll was wearing it, she was wearing a red and white clone dress (I think it's a clone dress, either way it's in rough shape). The pony I found was not a pony, she's a unicorn and an official Hasbro one. I thought she might be a clone, and I was fine with that, she's cool enough as is. But she's marked on her feet as Hasbro. Thanks to some pony identifying websites I found out she is Baby Gusty from 1987 (I think that's when she's from). She has the sleep eyes because her line were babies and you could put them to bed. She's not worth that much, which is fine by me. I just like her. I plan on keeping her for a while, then sending her on her merry way once I tire of her. But after a bath, she's filthy! Right now I'm planning on keeping the dog and the unicorn and send everything else on it's merry way, either on Etsy, the Dollpage, or just re-donated.

I think I did pretty good for myself since I think I spend about ten dollars in total today!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Off with her head!

So I did absolutely no work on Francie's outfit today. You know what I did do today?

This:

Midge here got her head removed and all her hair cut off them removed. I'm not sure you remember this particular doll. I bought her last year for my birthday off Craigslist. She came in a lot with another Midge, a Bubblecut Barbie, and a BL Midge on a trashed BL Francie body. The other three dolls have all joined the collection, (after BL Midge upgraded to a SL body)  but not her. She's be living in a box in the closet for a while now, due to her unfortunate haircut. Someone had cut off all the curled part of her hair. It's a shame because what hair that was left was in really nice shape, but I could not leave her with that highly unflattering bob. So today it all came out. I'm going to have to be careful when re-rooting her. I forgot how delicate the partlines are, and how they are prone to tearing on you, no matter how careful you are. She's got two spots that I need to be really careful with when re-rooting. Hopefully I'll be able to manage it, I've dealt with some similar tricky hair situations before. She also got a bath today. All four dolls were incredibly filthy when I got them, the rest of them got their baths last year, but since I wasn't planning on dressing Midge any time soon, I neglected to do that. But today I rectified that and now Midge is all squeaky clean. Now all she needs is some new hair and she'll be good to go. But she's going to have to wait until June for that. But she's good at waiting, she's been waiting a long time for me to even get to this point with her.

But I didn't work just on Midge today. This lovely lady also got the same treatment:
In case you can't tell, she's using Midge's body to prop her up for the picture. That's because I don't have a body for her yet. That's the Superstar head I got in that random bag of 70's dolls a while back. When I got her she was on a destroyed Ballerina Barbie body. She too suffered a terrible haircut at the hands of a child. Hers was more of a Bubblecut than a bob though, still just as unflattering. So today it all came out. I'm not looking forward to re-rooting her, like the more modern dolls she has a ton of hair holes to fill. Since she's not as vintage as the majority of my collection (the first Superstar doll is my cutoff for true vintage) normally I'd say forget it and not bother re-rooting her, but I've always been a sucker for the first Superstar dolls. Although at this point she's the only doll out of the seven I'm not sure which color to do her hair in. I want something different than how she originally came, but something somewhat realistic, but works with her skin tone. Unlike the majority of the dolls from that lot she's actually in pretty decent shape. Her face paint is flawless, but she does have this weird indent to the tip of her nose. It's a small line on it, not sure what happened there with it. But either way she's bald just like Midge. She too got a bath today.

So now I have two more dolls ready for their repairs in June than I did at the start of the day. I ended up finding a box to store them in as well. I figured that I might as well start collecting up the ten dolls when they're finished in one spot so they're not scattered about the room like they currently are. So now Midge, her body, the Superstar head, and a Francie head that I already removed the hair from are together. (I also have Francie's body, I'm just using that as my fit model for Malibu Francie's outfit so it stays out). 

I wonder what I will do tomorrow, work on Malibu Francie's outfit, prep another doll, or something totally different...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Has the patient been prepped?

As expected, I didn't end up doing much work on Francie's shorts today. I'm still feeling a little burned out on that project. As I was cleaning off my desk today I counted the test pairs I made yesterday, there were eight of them. Even for a quick sewn together muslin, that's a lot of sewing. Today I didn't feel like doing any sewing for it, instead I did some research. I was hoping to find a resource that helped shed some light as to why I was getting those gathers in the crotch. I figured since these are so similar to people pants, they must have that problem too. I was actually able to find a couple of pages with information about that. Finding out exactly what the issue was, wasn't so easy. I had a couple of choices. Either the groin was too low, or the thighs were too tight. So while it didn't help me immediately, I at least have a couple things to test out the next time I work on it. Whenever that may be.
Instead of working on the shorts pattern some more I switched gears, to socks. Malibu Francie is going to need socks with her outfit because she has a bit of flesh missing from one of her ankles. I've made socks plenty of times before, so when I designed her outfit I included some, now I just had to make them. The last time I tried making Francie socks, it was not that successful. I couldn't find the pattern I used in the past, and when I drafted a new one it didn't work out so well. So I decided to start from scratch... to some extent. I actually started with a Momoko sock pattern, I checked it against Francie's foot, they are pretty similar size wise. Except the Momoko sock pattern was for hand sewing with tiny seam allowances. I ended up drawing on a bigger seam allowance, giving it a quick test and then tweaking it slightly. They actually needed only a minor tweak for me to be happy with the pattern. I cut out two of them, then started sewing. But when I was sewing up the first one my stitches for the top hem got wonky and in the back that seam ended up not matching, (there's only two lines of stitching for socks and I messed up both) so I quit. I think I'm going to start over and cut out a new pair at a later date, and take my time making them perfect, but just like the shorts, not today.
Instead I changed gears yet again, sort of. Remember how I decided for my birthday I was going to buy hair and some repair parts from Restoredoll.com? Even though that's still months in the future I can get started on it now. In the end I'll be buying supplies for ten different dolls, with those dolls most of them will need some prepping before I can start repairing them. In most cases I can start doing the prep work now, and that will save me time since I can just start working on them when the supplies arrive in June. For the majority of them it means that I need to remove their original cut hair and they'll be all set to go. I however didn't work on that today. Instead I started working on those three 70's dolls that I'm buying the repair parts for. One of the three is already all prepped for her surgery. Sweet Sixteen just had one leg pop off and I already filed off all the melted plastic and sealed it with clear nail polish. She's also already clean since I gave her a bath back when she jointed the collection... the other dolls however need some work. Today I started filing off the melted plastic from both Quick Curl Kelley and Growing Pretty Hair Barbie. Nether of them are totally finished with that, but it's a good start. I ended up breaking off Kelley's second leg in order to get at the melting she had going on there, I might end up having to do that to Growing Pretty Hair Barbie too. I just feel bad about that since the body she's on that leg is the only limb still attached. I also started on their cleaning. I started small, I took the two loose arms and leg that eventually will belong to Growing Pretty Hair Barbie and washed them. I don't think I did that originally, they were pretty dirty. I think I'm going to have to wash them again, there's still some ground in dirt I couldn't get off. I also went and took out the broken joint pieces lodged in the arms and leg. I had to boil the arms to get the broken pieces out, but once I figured out how to wedge them out they came out pretty easy. The leg was the hardest part, the plastic was stuck inside the leg joint and it took forever to work it out. I have to do that three more times for the other dolls, so that's going to be fun. And finally for them I also put some acne cream on GPH Barbie's lips (I'm tired of typing out her full name). Someone had painted her lips with something (I assume nail polish) before I got her. I removed it, but it left some staining around her lips. Hopefully the acne cream will help clear that up. It's not a pretty look, either the original lips or the acne cream. It sort of looks like she's got rabies right now!
I also did some work on another doll. You may remember I bought that Barbie body the first time I went to the Swell Doll Shop. I ended up breaking the neck knob off when it fell from my lap to the floor. I put it away because it upset me to see it, but since one of the dolls I'm planning on re-rooting is going to need it, I decided to repair it. So today using nail glue I fixed the neck knob. I was looking at it after I fixed it, and I noticed that the plastic looked really thin at the spot where it broke. I think that the neck wasn't as strong as it should have been, which is why it broke from such a short fall. At least that's what I'm telling myself so I feel better about breaking it. That body also got a bath, it's in okay condition. It has some stains and other play wear, for a five dollar vintage body I can live with that. I think I'm going to replace one of the legs, I think I tried that before, but ran into trouble so I stopped. Either way I'm going to try again, but not tonight. Like the shorts and socks, that will have to wait until later. But at least I started on this project, with the way this year has been going, it'll be June before I know it!

Friday, March 22, 2013

I've got pants on the brain

So I was not as productive as I was yesterday. I'm not shocked since last night I did not sleep as well as I did the night before. It took me a while to fall asleep, and when I did I woke up several times in the night, including a time when I was wide awake in the middle of the night unable to fall back asleep for a bit. Fun times.
Even though I wasn't as rested as I wished I was, I wasn't as unproductive as I could have been (and have been). In the morning I got Baggie Casey's introduction post finished and published here on the blog.
In the afternoon actually I sat down for some sewing. I'm still working on that outfit for Malibu Francie, even if it meant I'm going back to work on the pattern for the shorts. I worked on that pattern for hours today, making minor tweaks in an effort to get it fitting decently. I think I made six versions today, could be more could be less. After a while they all start to look alike especially when you're not keeping track.
I managed to get a lot of issues worked out. But right now my biggest problem is the fit in the crotch. After several unsuccessful tweaks I ended up breaking down and busting out my "How to Make Sewing Patterns" bu Donald H. McCunn book hoping it would help me get a decent fit. That book was a lifesaver when I was working on Joe's pants. It did actually help, turns out the pattern I was using was way too long at the crotch, which is why I was getting such a terrible fit and some practically obscene wrinkles. So I took what I drafted from the book and added it to the pattern I was working on earlier, and made my final pair for the night. I could see that by changing the crotch did cut down on the wrinkles quite a bit. It still had some, but it was a step in the right direction.
I'm not sure if I'm going to work on it tomorrow or not. I'm a little tired of working on pants right now. Also I managed to give myself a paper cut at the tip of my right pointer finger, so I might give that a day off to heal so it stops hurting whenever I touch something. Also I'm also out of the cheap material I use to test out my pattern tweaks. The next time I'm out I'm going to have to buy another sheet. So I'm not really sure what I'm going to do tomorrow, we all will just have to wait to see!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I can't believe I didn't share this with you.

You may not remember, but I've talked about a doll that belongs to my Grandmother. The doll's name is Ellen Francis. I talked about her first here: Ellen Francis I, and shared actual pictures of her here: Ellen Francis II. The doll herself is named after her original owner, Ellen Francis Luke, who I believe was my Great-Grandmother's cousin? (Don't quote me on that). Ellen Francis didn't have any children, so when she passed away it ended up with my Great-Grandmother, when she passed it ended up with my Grandmother. One of the last times I was in Connecticut I "borrowed" some older pictures from my Grandmother. I brought them back to North Carolina, scanned them, then returned them (she never knew they were gone). One of those pictures was of Ellen Francis as a young girl. It is as follows.


That's her with her brother Archie Luke. I don't know much about him, I don't know much about her, but I know even less about him. I also uploaded the back of the picture. I scanned it to preserve the writing. In case you can't read it, it says; "Ellen Francis, Archie J. taken Oct 16, 1911 The day E.F. was 4 yrs old." I'm not sure if Ellen Francis the doll was around yet. The 370 model of Armand Marseille dolls were in production by this time, they in fact were being produced until the 1920's. I'd say if she didn't have the doll by then, she would have gotten it shortly after.




 


Productive with a capital PRO

I woke up this morning feeling good. I haven't mentioned it, but for the past week or so I've been having some sleeping issues. I haven't been able to fall asleep at night, and I've been waking up pretty early and have been unable to fall back asleep. I think last night was my first decent nights sleep in a while.

And I took full advantage of my well rested state. I started off my morning with getting stuff listed online. With May 4th rapidly approaching (the date I need to pay off that final 82 dollars for that doll) I need to get my rear in gear and start selling stuff. Right now I only have about ten dollars saved up, and that's nowhere near my goal. I said I was going to post things for sale one day a week, and I skipped last week, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss this week. I managed to get five things listed today. Over on Etsy I got that Shirley Temple book listed and those ceramic purple Rabbits I bought the other day. And over on the Dollpage I got Talking Julia's head, a Little Debbie Barbie, and that clone outfit listed. Hopefully something will end up selling, I'd really like to be closer to my goal. I know my parents said they'd help cover what I couldn't, but it looks like early May will be an expensive time and I'd rather not have to ask them for money. So keep your finger's crossed I'll start selling stuff.

I got that done pretty early in the day. After that I worked on the blog some. I wrote about a post and a half, not including this one. It was yesterday's post, plus one introducing another doll. That one still needs some work, but at least I have the start of it written.

And after that I worked on the Francie outfit! I told you I was productive. I was working on the shorts today. I wish I could say it was successful, but it wasn't. I don't think those shorts will work. I got them finished, but there were some fit issues that I didn't like. Truth be told, I still need to work on my Francie pants pattern. I have a decent pants pattern for practically everyone except her. I ended up working on tweaking the pattern some, but didn't make much progress on it.

I guess there's always tomorrow for that.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I am just as nice as everyone else!

You all already know about my current finances, how I'm in the process of raising up some money in order to pay off a doll I currently have on layaway. I haven't made much progress on it, but last week we had a little setback... a thirteen dollar setback.

In my defense (man do I say that a lot) I was actually not actively looking for this doll, which has happened in the past. This happened when I was signing into the Dollpage in order to list something I wanted to sell. You may not know this (not everyone is a seller on there), but when you sign in, it automatically sends you to the main page. I foolishly let my eyes scan the few ads that had loaded before clicking the "create an ad" button. And that was my downfall. I saw something I had to have. I immediately contacted the seller and quickly bought it. I think the entire experience took ten minutes and I was 13 dollars poorer for it, but I was also one doll richer.

I bought the doll on Thursday of last week. The seller said she would be shipped on Friday, she sort of was. The seller bought shipping for her on Friday (I received tracking info that's how I know this), yet she didn't even get into the mail until the following Monday. Not that big of a deal, but I kind of wish they had been more up front about shipping time. Anyway, she arrived today. She actually arrived ahead of schedule. She was originally slated for tomorrow, but this morning when I looked at the tracking she was "out for delivery". It's pretty cool that once she started moving she really started moving. And she had a long way to go, she came all the way from Washington state.

Would you like to see a picture of my newest doll? Of course you do, here you go:

Do you recognize her? That's a baggie Casey doll. This post is going to include a little bit of a history lesson. She's called a baggie doll because unlike traditional dolls she was sold in a baggie with a cardboard topper stapled on unlike a box. There isn't a really definative source of information, (so don't quote what I say as gospel) but from what I've gleaned over time, in the early to mid 70's Mattel released several dolls in baggie packaging. I know Barbie, P.J., Ken, Skipper, Casey, and Francie all had baggie versions (other dolls might have been released like that too). Traditionally these dolls were leftover dolls, either made up from parts that were in the factory, (you'd find 70's heads on recast vintage SL bodies with modern arms), dolls that were for some reason slightly different than the regular version (talking dolls without their talking mechanisms), or dolls that looked pretty similar to their actual release (Pose and Play Skipper). It was basically a way for Mattel to unload dolls that weren't perfect, or hadn't sold. I assumed this happened when Mattel was having some severe financial straits in the 70's (Including some major legal trouble for Ruth Handler which eventually got her kicked out of Mattel) and needed the money. They weren't produced for very long and in random quantities, so they are somewhat uncommon.
Baggie Casey herself is actually a bit unusual of a baggie doll. I believe she's the only doll that was specifically made to be a Baggie doll. As you can see she has the Francie face mold (I assume revenge for Francie stealing hers when she became Malibu Francie) with blonde hair. There is also a baggie Francie, the only difference between the two dolls is their hair color and the color of their original swimsuits. The dolls also have two other connections, Quick Curl Francie and Busy Francie. They all have the same face paint, but there never was a Quick Curl Casey or Busy Casey, she was phased out long before that. The Baggie Casey/Francie dolls were released in 1975, and I believe that Casey was discontinued in 1972 when she was replaced with Becky who never actually ended up being produced. I have no idea why they bothered bringing back Casey for this line, especially since Francie has been both a brunette and a blonde before. Either way the Baggie Casey and Francie were the last time these two dolls are produced by Mattel for a play line release.
Unlike baggie dolls that were leftovers from produced dolls, Casey and Francie are a bit different than their regular release peers. They are on a straight leg body, with the Mexico style arms (even though she is made in Taiwan). While the torso and legs are the same as the SL dolls, the material they're made of are not. They're a very pink plastic, one that's cheaper feeling and much lighter than the original Japan made dolls. This material is the same kind used for Sweet Sixteen, which is understandable since she's from the same time, and perhaps the same country. And that wraps up our history lesson for the day.

Back to my baggie Casey, the seller actually didn't know who she was. She had her listed as a TLC standard Francie (which actually does not exist), which is why I was able to snag her for only ten dollars, plus three for shipping. I was a little concerned what TLC meant, but she's actually in pretty good shape. Her hair has been cut, it should be about waist length. She also has some scrapes and scratches to her torso and legs (that shiny pink plastic really gets scratched easily), and she has some minor paint loss to both her eyes (really very minor). Other than that she's in really great shape, especially for what I paid for her. I don't think she got much actual play at all. There's not much I can do for the scrapes and paint loss (I've made peace with the fact I'll never be able to do repaints), but I do plan on re-rooting her. I compared her to other dolls in the collection, and it looks like her hair color is a similar shade to the Malibu Dolls. Which also makes sense since they too were being produced at that time. She's one of the dolls I'm planning on buying the hair for in June in order to re-root. She may be one of the first dolls I work on. I won't lie, I really, really like her. She's another one of those "I never thought I'd own" dolls.

Now I just need Francie! (Just kidding, I'm not expecting one of those any time soon!)   

Re-re-repeat

I continued my streak of not working on Francie's outfit. I'm not really sure what the problem is. I still like the outfit and plan on finishing it eventually, but I'm just so unmotivated to work on it. I'm actually feeling unmotivated for lots of things right now. Here's hoping those feelings pass, the sooner the better.

Today ended up being a pretty similar repeat of yesterday. I didn't work on Francie's outfit, and I ended up going out. I was actually woken up this morning with the offer to go out. I thought about it for a little bit, but ended up going. I ended up rushing through my morning routine quickly to not keep my father waiting. I was so rushed that I went out before I had breakfast. I did however had enough time to sign onto Facebook and contact the antique seller from yesterday to tell him that I was planning on stopping into the store and could he please have the Barbie stuff out. I was praying that the item that I wanted was still there and I could finally be able to buy it.
Even though that was the main reason I was heading out, I didn't go there first off. Since I sent my request right before we went out, and I wasn't sure when the gentleman who ran the Facebook page were going to see it and I wanted to give him time to read my post. Instead the first place I ended up was back at the Christian Second Hand store. My father was there buying a military jacket he saw yesterday but needed to do some research before buying. He decided he wanted it, so we headed back to there today. Luckily it was still there and so he got it. I did wander around the store on my own for a little bit, but everything that was there were things I had passed over yesterday. I did find something however, it was a book written in 1945 with Shirley Temple as the main character. I guess it was produced by the studios looking to cash in on her movie fame. I don't have much interest in it personally, I bought it for resale. Eventually it will find it's way into my Etsy store.

After that was the antique store. I walked there from the Christian Secondhand Store, it's literally down the road from it. The man who runs it had gotten my post and the doll stuff was out. He showed it to me so I started looking through it. He then stood over me and chatted with my father while I was doing it. I kind of wish he hadn't done that, made me feel very uncomfortable. Eventually I found the one I was looking for, it looks like the majority of what I saw that first time was still there, or at least the ones that I found the most tempting were still there. I bought only one though, I can't afford to get anything else right now. That one item was a bit of a splurge. My dad talked with the guy and was able to get him to lower the price some. It was originally 20, but he said he's be willing to sell it for 15, you good sir, have a deal!

Want to know what I got?    

Did you see? It's a pair of vintage American Girl stock issue shoes, or at least I think it is. I know it's American Girl shoes, but it may not be a true pair. It's just that they're both marked Japan, and only one of them should be. I've been looking at them, and it looks like I have a left and right shoe, but I could be mistaken. They're not a true color match (one is lighter than the other), so I'm wondering if I have two of the same shoes instead of a set. I know that the original lot at one time had a BL Midge and an AG Barbie, so I might have gotten one shoe from each of them. It's not that big of a deal since the shoes still fit on Barbie's feet and when she's wearing them you can't tell that they might be on the wrong feet. 

So you know I already paid 15 dollars for this, but I didn't get just the shoes. The shoes also came with an outfit, one that I didn't recognize, so I was pretty sure it was a clone outfit. (Spoiler alert, it was) I thought about asking the seller if he'd be willing to split up the lot, but in the end I decided to just buy the whole set and not even ask. I figured that I could sell the rest of the outfit and try and make some of my money back. I decided to take a picture of my new shoes to share on Flickr, I also took a picture of the outfit that they came with to post on Flickr. I figured might as well share them both. And it's a good thing I did. Let me show you the picture I shared:

You see those pink and red rings? Apparently those are the SUPER RARE bracelets and earrings (missing the posts) from Mod Barbie outfit Floating Gardens. Thank you Matthew Sutton for identifying them for me! Apparently, the bracelets have sold on E-bay for fifteen EACH and the earrings for eighteen (with the posts). I was shocked I thought they were random clone junk and was just going to sell them with the outfit hoping someone would want them. Not anymore, I'm keeping them! I don't think I'll ever get Floating Gardens, but at least I have one of the harder to find items already. He also warned me not to ever put the bracelets on a doll because they'll break. I didn't mention it, but I almost tried them on a doll before I knew what they were but didn't bother since I figured they wouldn't fit. That would have been such a regret if I had. I've already bagged them up and stored away in my Barbie clothes closet. That was a pretty exciting find.

I've got a good Barbie eye even when I don't know what I'm buying. That outfit however has a date with the Dollpage.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Same Old Song

So....... Francie's outfit? Didn't happen today either.

Instead I went out. I sort of had a bit of a reason, you see there's a Barbie item I've been wanting for weeks now from a local Antique store and due to several issues I've been forced to put off getting it. I actually decided to not get it since money's a bit tight right now and I really didn't need it, I just wanted it. So when asked if I wanted to go out, I originally said no, and explained that I didn't want the item anymore. But then I got pressured into going.... and I cracked, pretty quickly too. Apparently money isn't as tight as I thought, so we could splurge a tiny bit.
So I went out. Up first was the Christian Secondhand Store. I don't know if I mentioned it, but it reopened at the beginning of the month, a little more than a month after the expected to. I won't lie, I did miss them, some of my best finds came from there, especially fabrics. They didn't disappoint today either. In the fabric section I found this pretty white and royal blue tulip seersucker type fabric. It's a little less than a yard with some small scraps from whatever project it was originally used for. I really liked the print and thought it could easily work for either a 50's or 70's style outfit. I also found this interesting geometric print silver fabric. This one looked like it could work nicely for a vintage Ken shirt. I also got about a yard of it, and it looks uncut. However the more I look at it, the more I think it might be a bit too flashy for a Ken shirt. I'm still glad I got it, it's just I'll have to think of another application for it. I paid a dollar for each of them.
That's all I got for fabrics (but really, two is enough). They didn't have much for toys, they had a couple dolls, but I didn't see any that I actually could use or want for the collection. I did however find some interesting Easter decorations I just had to have. Up first I found this adorable little mama bunny and baby figurines. They are so cute, I honestly could not have left them there! They're really tiny and made of plastic. When I showed them to my mom she remembered that there used to be a kind of soap that came with little plastic toys imbedded inside. As you washed your hands and used the soap you revealed the toy inside. Since these toys triggered that memory for her, they might have come from something like that. All I know is that for fifty cents I needed them. They're now living on Charlotte's shelf as Easter decorations.    
That wasn't the only Easter decorations I found. I also found an entire bag full of vintage decorations. I think most of it dates from the 70's, but I think I saw some newer and later things too. Several things ended up on my bookshelf as Easter decorations, but several things did not. You'll get to see the stuff I'm keeping on Easter, but you can see the rest of it now. I offered what I didn't want to one of my Flickr friends. The three fuzzy chicks and the duck with crazy eyes will be eventually headed to Texas. I've already taken that grade school rabbit project down to his parts.

I paid two dollars for all that and more, not a bad shopping trip there at all.

 After that I headed to the Antique store with the Barbie accessories I wanted to look at/buy one. I walked in, went to where they were the last time I was there, and... nothing. It was gone, all of it. I couldn't believe it. I walked around the store hoping it had just been moved, but no dice. I found one of the dolls from the lot, but that's it. None of the accessories were there, which is what I wanted to look at. Dejectedly I left. I was in total shock since I really didn't think that EVERYTHING would sell in such a short period of time. I mean, those dolls at the Antique Mall have been there for years and only a few have sold, I have no idea how all these little things, in a more obscure location would sell like that. I won't lie, it really put a damper on the rest of my trip.
I went to the Goodwill and Salvation Army, but didn't find anything I wanted. I really didn't want to go, at that point I just wanted to go home and deal with my disappointment in private. 

*SIGH*


*UPDATE* I contacted the owner of the store on their Facebook asking if the accessories had sold. They got back to me, apparently they had not sold, they just weren't on display at that time. The next time I'm planning on going there they said to contact them and they would bring them out for me. So there's still hope I can get what I want. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Well that didn't go as planned....

So those Francie shorts I was going to get done today? That so didn't happen. In my defense it's been overcast all day. Without the sunlight, it's near impossible to sew dark fabrics since I can't see anything. The shorts are navy, so they're pretty dark. I did make an effort with them today, but for some reason when I fixed one thing, I ended up messing up another. I have no idea how I messed up the inseam since I thought I did it the exact same way I did it originally, but when I tried it on Francie it was much too high and the shorts barely fit! I did tweak it some to fix that problem, but I didn't get any closer to finishing them.

That being said, they're back to belonging to Malibu Francie. I tried the outfit as is on her, and it actually looks pretty cute, so it's hers again. Even though I didn't make much progress on the outfit Francie at least got a bath today. I think I washed her when she arrived, but that was months ago and she needed another one. She still has some dirt on her upper arms I couldn't get off. Does anyone have any recommendations for removing it? I'd love to get her looking ship shape.

And now for something totally random. Today I decided what I was going to get for my birthday from my parents. Don't worry you haven't missed it, it's not until June 9th. I was thinking about visiting the Swell Doll Shop, but I decided against it. Instead I'm going to use my money somewhat differently. I'm going to use the money to add 10 new dolls to the collection, kind of. I already have these dolls, but they all need some restoration in order to add them to the collection. I've decided that instead of adding new dolls to the collection, I'll work on fixing up some of the ones I already have.
One of the things I plan on buying is the repair kit for the 70's dolls. That way I can repair Sweet Sixteen's hip which broke in February, and repair Quick Curl Kelly and Growing Pretty Hair Barbie who both came broken from that bag of random stuff and have never actually been part of the collection. That's going to be about half of my birthday money. The rest of the money is going to be spent at the same place, but on hair. Despite my best efforts I've manged to amass seven dolls who need a re-root (I know crazy, right?). Even though I hate re-rooting it's time to bite the bullet and do it. I don't plan on working on all of them full time, but at least I will have the supplies when I'm done.

For the most part I've decided on the hair colors I want for each doll, but there's still two I'm having trouble with. So I turn to you Dear Readers, if you had the choice, what hair color would you pick for a straight leg Skipper and a Superstar Barbie? I want something usual, but not too outlandish.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Out with the old, on to the new

All right, we are finally all caught up on stuff that happened during my hiatus (Just a heads up, I'm still working on the Oz Doll review) and now it's time to start talking about new things.

That's just easier said than done. Truth be told, there's really not a lot of new things going on around here.

I've been sort of stuck in my sewing for a couple months now. I sort of hit a wall in December and haven't been able to recover from it. It's true that I've attempted to sew things, but other than the Fashion Queen dress (which I started in early December before my creative block started), usually whatever I'm working on doesn't pan out and it just becomes fodder for the unfinished project box.

That being said, I actually am working on something right now. I started it on Saturday. Shockingly I haven't given up on it yet. It started out as an outfit for my Malibu Francie doll. I was using a spare SL Francie for my fit model since her hard plastic legs are easier for test fittings. I tried what I had on Malibu Francie today, and didn't think it worked for her. There are two other Francie dolls here that I can give the outfit to, but I'm not actually sure I will. I'm not sure it's what I want for them to wear. I'm planning on continuing to work on it since I literally have nothing else slated to work on, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it too ended up in the unfinished project box.


Yesterday I worked on the shorts, most of the machine sewing is done but I have to tear out the inseam and the back seam in order to fix a fit issue with them. I think that's what I'm going to do tomorrow. This outfit may end up never coming to fruition, but at least I could get a pair of Francie shorts finished.

It's the little victories, right?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Out-turned Pockets...

So what's it called when you're so broke... you're more than broke? Because that's what I currently am.  You already know about how the Swirl I bought from E-bay drained all the money I had saved up for the Swell Doll Shop. What you didn't know was that after that major setback, I kept posting stuff for sale. But I was no longer working on raising money for the upcoming meeting. I had my sights set on something much bigger.
I believe I mentioned it before, but from the start of the year there's been a specific type of doll that I've had the strongest desire to add to the collection. I already had one like it, but I wanted another. It was going to be a super expensive purchase (it's going to blow the swirl out of the water), but I needed this doll. My first one I had lucked out on to find it for a decent price, but I knew I wasn't going to be so lucky for my second one. I was going to shell out the cash, begrudgingly. I actually found one on Etsy that I liked, except it was in a lot of stuff and well out of my budget. I e-mailed the seller and asked if they'd be willing to split up the lot for the one doll. They were willing, but declined my offer of 70 dollars plus shipping for the one doll. They claimed they had a higher offer, so I had to walk away. I just couldn't afford it.
But I guess their "higher offer" backed out, (or never existed) because the doll was still listed online long after I stopped talking with the seller. I thought it would be snatched up in a short amount of time, but ended up staying listed for a while. This gave me hope, and I decided to save up my money to see if I could afford it. Unfortunately this happened after I bought the swirl so I was starting basically over for saving money. But not totally. Since the doll was still listed after a while and I knew the seller was willing to make deals, I had a thought. I was wondering if the seller would be willing to take multiple payments for the doll. I just needed to raise up a sizable amount for the "down payment". I was hoping to get 100 dollars saved up since that was basically 2/3 of the full price, and I think anyone would be hard pressed to decline 100 dollars, knowing that the remaining 62 would be following shortly.
But it was not meant to be. The longer the dolls sat on the site the more hopeful I felt that they would be remain unsold long enough to make my offer. BUT the seller was sneaky. Instead of re-listing the lot to bump it back to the top of the links, he used the doll I really wanted (and the most desirable) as a size model in a different new listing, noting in that ad she was also for sale. So basically she was back at the top of the page. My heart sunk when I saw that. I checked my Paypal the moment I saw that new ad, due to some massive luck and selling (including selling something I never thought I would), I had 80 dollars. Not the 100 I wanted, but still a decent amount. I contacted the seller with my offer and waited.
I didn't have to wait long. HE SAID YES! The doll was mine... eventually. I sent him my down payment of 80 dollars after we hashed out the rest of the terms of the layaway plan. I have two months to get the remaining 82 dollars to him, which is a huge sum to raise (that's including the 14 dollar shipping price). Luckily my parents offered to underwrite this cost. I'm going to work the hardest to raise the money on my own, but they'd be willing to loan me the rest of the cash if I can't raise the full amount by May 4th. I really hope it doesn't come to that. I'd really love to have it paid off before then (I want it now!), but I hope I can raise it all on my own.
So keep your finger's crossed for me, I'm going to need all the luck I can get. I know this post is super vague, but you can look forward to reading all about my new doll the week after May 4th. (Can you stand the wait, I'm not sure I can!)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

G'Day Mate!

As I talked about on Monday, I managed to get one doll dressed and moved into the collection during the hiatus. You may have noticed I didn't mention that meant there was one less undressed doll around here. I didn't say that because it wouldn't be true. While I did get the Fashion Queen dressed, I also added a new doll to the collection. So while the number of undressed dolls didn't go down, it didn't go up either. At least I broke even.
I mentioned before, February was a really bad month for me. I was in a really low place. I knew that I was saving up for the Swell Doll Shop, but I was at a point where I really didn't care about that. So I decided to do some retail therapy to help raise my spirits. After some annoying false leads (that did nothing to help my emotional state) I ended up on E-bay. I found a couple of auctions that I wanted, that I could afford, and were ending soon. I decided to bid on one, try to win, and if I didn't I would take a deep breath and move on to the next one. I was trying to be logical about it. But I was lucky enough to win the first one I bid on! I was glad I won the auction, even though it took all the money I was saving for the Swell Doll Shop. But I wasn't too upset about that. I had decided to go all out and buy something I really wanted instead of something small that I sort of wanted and would eventually feel guilty about buying. And I really did want what I won.
What did I buy you ask? I'll be nice and won't keep you waiting. I bought a blonde Swirl Barbie doll! My first swirl in fact. Now all I'm missing from the vintage Barbie American issued hairstyles is a Color Magic doll (which I'm not holding out too much hope for). I won her for slightly more than 50 dollars, plus her 13.70 shipping fee. Why was that so expensive? Because she was coming from Australia. Which is another first for the collection. That also meant I was going to have to wait forever for her to get here. I looked through the seller's feedback and found another sold doll to the USA. I calculated the time from the end of the auction to the date the seller left feedback and found out it was two weeks. I was hoping that would be accurate since I really wanted to take the doll with me to the upcoming March meeting. Since I had blown my budget for the meeting on her, I wanted her there to remind me why I wasn't shopping. If my estimate was correct, she could get here on the day before the meeting. It was either that or the following Monday, after the meeting was over and done with. I was really hoping she'd get here in Friday. She could arrive on Saturday just  before I left for the meeting, but even then I couldn't take her, I knew from her listing she needed sprucing up before she had her public debut.
In a shocking turn of events, she arrived well before Friday. She arrived on Wednesday which was awesome. I eagerly took her out of her package and held her in my hands. She came a long way to be here, and I loved her. 
She was in pretty good shape, but she had her issues. Like a lot of the swirls she suffers from a darkened face. I later learned that means she's from 1964, since those are the dolls that have that problem. It's not a big deal, not reversible, but just something that happens to these dolls. I have other dolls with the darkened face, it doesn't bother me. Her face paint is in good shape. She does have rubs to her eyelash ridge (they usually do), she also has a couple of minor spots missing from her eyes, and one tiny rub to her lip paint. They're really very minor. Her lips are a lovely butter cream color (that changed over time from red), she even still has her nose dots! (Also a butter cream color). She does have green ear, the right side is worse than the left. The left isn't green as much as it is brown, which is odd. I'm going to have to invest in some Green Ear treatment cream, I've gotten several dolls recently that need that taken care of. She does have earring holes, but only one at each ear, except her right ear's hole is rather big, it looks almost like a gash. I'm going to have to be careful with her to make sure it doesn't get any worse. When writing this post I noticed she has a small pin prick on the side of her nose. For some reason it's driving me crazy, even though it's so not noticeable. I'm weird like that. Her hair is in pretty good shape. Her bangs had been brushed back into her ponytail (which is common for these dolls), but I was able to pull it all forward. I think her bangs have been trimmed. I noticed that after I fixed her hair the hair for the bangs were shorter than the rest of her ponytail. It makes sense since when they were brushed back they would have been longer than the ponytail, so they might have gotten trimmed. They still have enough length to go into a regular ponytail. I was unable to locate the piece that was supposed to wrap around her ponytail to create the topknot, which further supports my haircut theory.
Her body is in good shape. She does have minor play wear, but it's very minor. She has a great deal of fingernail and toenail polish. Her toes and one hand has pink nail polish, but the paint on her left hand has started to change. It's going from pink to butter cream, just like her lips. I wonder if the rest of her nails will also change color in time?
After she arrived it was time for her bath. She wasn't terribly filthy, but certainly needed some time at the Spa. The dirt came off her body relatively easy, but it really clung to her face. I ended up having to wash her three times to get her face totally clean. She did clean up nicely, several spots that I thought were marks on her face ended up being just dirt and came off. I also ended up taking off her head to clean out the inside of her ears. It was nerve wracking taking off her head since she has the large neck knob and I was worried her neck hole might tear, but with enough time with the heating pad I was able to get it off and back on without any problem!
Since she arrived well before the meeting, that meant I was able to bring her, I just had to find something suitable for her to wear. I was making a dress for her before she arrived, but I ended up not liking it and ended up giving up on it. For a while she was going to borrow the dress my Blonde Number 4 wears, but it felt a little too casual for the event. I ended up giving her the pink lace overlay dress I made for Charlotte a while back. She borrowed a necklace, bracelet, gloves, and shoes (and underwear) from several other people in the collection. People really liked her, everyone I talked about her with kept fawning over her and her dress. I loved it. But she doesn't get to keep the dress, eventually she'll get her own outfit. But for the time being she gets to go live in the box with the other undressed dolls. Even though I did dress Fashion Queen her spot on the sewing cabinet is getting taken by a doll that's been waiting longer to get dressed. If we're anything, we fair here at A Bit of Aubrey's Mind (Unless you're Charlotte, she gets anything she wants).

*Edit* On Friday March 15th, the Swirl in her party dress was featured in the banner over on "In the Pink". It's not my picture, and there's several other dolls in the picture, but my Swirl is front and center for Pink Friday! Awesome!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gee, That's Swell (Part Two)

No time for long introductions, it's time to get around to finally sharing the last of what I bought in October when I was at the Swell Doll Shop. With his post it means I can finally put it away instead of just living around it! (P.S. The doorknob these things were hanging off of has already been taken over by something else.)

Up first we have this lot of wigs. Not picture is the red headed one that ended up on my Fashion Queen Barbie you saw earlier in the week. Unfortunately that's the only one that fits Barbie. The rest of them are all a bit too small. I tried them on my Ricky doll and they seem to fit him, I think they'd still be too small to fit Skipper if she had any of her original hair. The blonde one does fit my Hong Kong Lilli doll (her head's a bit smaller than Barbie's), but I can't leave it on since the rubber of the wig cap would cause melting to her hard plastic head, and I really do not want that. I'm fine with only one being really useable, Bradley gave me the entire small lot of them for free! And without it, I don't think I would have gotten the Fashion Queen dressed, that wig was the starting point to her entire outfit. Thanks Bradley!

Moving on from there let's talk about dolls. I already shared with you most of the dolls I bought, but there's still a few stragglers. I can't remember if I shared Julia with you yet, and I'm too lazy to hunt down the original posts. I'm not going to bother since she ended up not joining the actual collection. Anyway, up first we have a TLC TNT Barbie. She was one of the last dolls I bought, and one that I was suffering from "buy it all without looking at it" madness. I'm sure you can already see it, but she's filthy. I don't know what this girl's been doing for the past 40 years, but taking a bath wasn't one of them. I washed one of her legs so you can see the before and after of it. It will need to be washed again (darn ground in dirt), but it did come somewhat clean. She does have a lot of those annoying green spots that TNT bodies get on their legs. Her knees both click and hold their pose, so she's got that going for her. I was thinking about just cleaning her up and adding her to the collection as is, but I noticed she has a bite to the nip of her nose, which is one of my pet peeves. I do have a TLC TNT head that I re-rooted in red from a while back, so she might end up with this body instead of her. I really haven't decided yet, I was sort of putting her out of my mind for a while. She only cost me five dollars. I don't remember if I said it, but when I was bringing up my purchases, Bradley ended up just selling a lot of the un-priced dolls to me for five dollars each. I really should wash her again. I don't like having such filthy dolls hanging around.

Moving on to our final doll from October (procrastinate much?) we have someone different. She's not Barbie OR Mattel. I know most of my collection is, but lately (I blame Flickr) I've started a small collection of non-Barbie competition fashion dolls. One of the dolls I've been wanting from seeing her pictures online was Mitzi by Ideal. She was created in the very early 60's by Ideal for Sears company when they ran out of Barbie dolls for the 1960 Christmas rush. Ideal kept making them after Christmas since they were popular, but ended up stopping production after two years when Mattel threatened to sue them. I've been wanting one for a while, but didn't want to pay the online prices for them, so when I found one I added it to my shopping basket. I honestly wrestled with if I should get her or not. I was expecting her to be a somewhat expensive doll, but she ended up being one of the five dollar ones! She's in pretty good shape. Her feet are somewhat messed up, (but that looks to be a molding flaw) one of her arms is a little swingy, and her bangs are messed up. Some of them have been brushed back into her hair. I believe I know how to fix this, but it's time consuming and hair has never been my strong suit. She also has a slight warping to her right hip joint (just doesn't match up as flush as the other side, no mobility issues) and she has some general play wear. Other than that she's in wonderful shape. I really do like her with her Vintage Barbie-esque features but different look. Now I just need to find a Miss Suzette and my clone collection wants will be complete! (Except for the guys, I sort of want an Andy doll.)

So that's everything I bought back in October. Hopefully when I go back and actually have money I won't be so long in sharing everything with you! And I promise you all, there will be a next time (there's only a few months until my Birthday!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gee, that's swell!

All right. Today's post is going to be about the one doll item I bought this past time at the Swell Doll Shop. It's also going to be including the few things I bought last time that I never finished sharing with you. I've always intended to getting around to sharing them, but failed to do so in a timely manner. They've been sitting in a bag hanging from a doorknob since October and I'm tired of looking at them and I want my doorknob back (in my cramped room that's valuable real estate).

Up first I'll share with you what I bought this last weekend. You already know it was a vintage Ken outfit. I won't keep you waiting. What I bought was a partial set of Ken's Skin Diver's outfit from 1964. It was the sweatshirt, the trunks, and the flippers. All that's missing is the snorkel and the mask. They were priced at 8, but Bradley sold it to me for five (which was awesome!). It's in pretty good shape, the only issues I could see with it is the string for the hood of the sweatshirt has started to unravel, and the back of one of the flippers has broken off. I'll eventually replace the flipper. I also need to get a snorkel. I already had the mask for it.
I'm not sure if you all remember it, but the mask I have has a special story. A couple years ago I was up in Connecticut visiting family. My Grandmother asked for my help in cleaning out her crawlspace. Since I'm an awesome Grandson I said I would. When I was doing that, I found the mask on the floor in between two boxes, no doubt lost by my aunts or mother many years ago when they were still children. The dolls that my mother played with as a child are all long since gone, so this mask is the only thing I have that they played with, so it's really special to me, so that's why I wanted the rest of the outfit. I believe they had the Barbie version, but I wanted the Ken version for a special reason. The Barbie dolls my mom played with her all hand my downs from her older sister, she only owned one doll outright, her Ken doll. He's since moved on, but he's a special memory for her. Now that I have this outfit for Ken I can put it on a look alike for her doll and combine the two. Now I just need to get another painted hair brunette Ken, the one wearing it now already has an outfit to wear and I like what he's wearing already.
Moving on from that, let's talk about the stuff I bought back in October. This post will be about the clothes I bought, tomorrow's post will be all about the rest. Most of the clothing I bought came from the 2 dollar bin. I rarely splurge on clothes since I prefer to make my own, unless they're something special like what I talked about earlier in the post. I did end up picking a couple pieces that I thought might work for the collection. You already saw the red shirt that ended up being part of Mod Ken's outfit way back when. It's now time to share the rest of it with you.

Up first we have this yellow Ken shirt. I actually thought it was a Barbie top when I bought it, it wasn't until I was looking at it home that I found out it was a Ken shirt. That's okay, just makes it slightly less likely that I'll use it. It does need some repair, the back snap has come partially undone and the bottom hem has some popped stitching, but those are all very minor and easy repairs. It does have some spots on it, and I haven't bothered washing it yet, but I'm hopeful they'll come out. It's a nice shirt, but just not what I was expecting when I bought it. I believe it is from Mattel (I could be wrong it is untagged), and I believe it's from the 70's, but I think with the right styling could easily work for the 60's.

From there we have another Ken clothing piece. This one I knew was a Ken outfit when I bought it. It's a jacket with a pretty floral pattern. I recognized the pattern, Barbie also had an outfit made from it. I believe it's a best buy outfit from the 70's. I bought this because it looked big enough to fit Joe. He really didn't need it, but for the price I thought I could at least try is. It is actually big enough for Joe, except the sleeves are too short. That's pretty common for him, I guess his arms are longer than normal. Even though I can't use it for Joe, Ken could still use it. It's in pretty good shape, the only issue with it is that the elastics in the sleeves are shot. But that's actually not too big of a deal.

After that we move onto Barbie's clothes. Up first we have the dress to Enchanted Evening. This was a total impulse buy and I really shouldn't have bought it. The reason I bought it was because it's the early version without the flower at the waist. I guess those little details clouded my eyes to how worn the dress is. It's got several holes, and it's just... very used. I'm not sure why I even bought it since I own two reproductions I never use. I'm thinking I might end up using it for fabric if I can think of a use for it. Again, the lessons I must learn when shopping at the Swell Doll Shop. Don't let the Barbie overload let me overlook examining my potential purchases.

And finally we have another Barbie dress. This one is a Mod dress. It's Loop Scoop from 1970. It's mostly in good shape. It's a little dingy, there some popped stitching, and one pull of the yarn trim. When I bought this I was thinking it would work for Christie (who was actually Julia), but I ended up not liking it on her (and not liking her in general). So I don't have plans for it right now, but it's certainly cute enough to keep.

That's all the clothing I bought back in October, stay tuned for part two tomorrow!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cross her off the list!

I'll start with some good news. I managed to get a doll dressed during the hiatus. Well, sort of. 
In actuality I finished getting a doll dressed during the hiatus. 
You may remember shortly before the hiatus started I took all the outfits I was working on and put them away in a bag in the closet. None of them were working, and I felt they were stifling my creativity. For the most part they ended up staying in the bag, but one of them kept coming back to me, the dress I was working on for Fashion Queen.
One day when I needed a break from posting stuff for sale I took the dress out. I put it on her and still liked it. But in order to fix it, I had to destroy it. I ended up having to take off the skirt, undo the side seams, undo the back seams, took off the beads in front, and remove the bottom snap. I needed to do all that to fix some stitches that had gotten loose when I was removing the skirt the billion times I had to. I then went and redid what I just took out. This time the skirt went in right the first time. I would hope so, I'd added this same skirt twenty times as least, ugh. I should be a pro by now.
I also did some upgrades, I took out the stitching for the skirt, and lined it with tulle. I ended up getting the entire thing redone in a day. But the back wasn't fitting how I wanted it. So I took out the stitching there, and using a hidden stitch sewed it all down, bowing it out slightly so I could add another snap to the top. I sewed the hem, then sewed up the back and the dress was done!
After that I worked on the accessorizing. I had already made a necklace for the dress, so that was all set. I ended up making a bracelet out of matching beads for her. I also took a red purse I made a while ago and took off the pearl bead on it and replaced it with a red crystal bead. And she was done! I do like it a lot. I think it really works for her. Sadly she doesn't have any shoes, she stole Midge's for the picture, but you can't win them all. She's wearing a wig I got at the Swell Doll Shop back in October, it really seems to suit her. She's my first dressed doll of 2013! She's been waiting for a long time to be dressed, but it's finally here!
Hopefully that means there's hope for the other dolls to get dressed.

Hey North Carolina People! (And NC adjacent if you don't mind a long drive)

Yesterday's post got me thinking, I know of at least two people who read here who are doll owners in North Carolina. I was just wondering if anyone local was interested in visiting the Swell Doll Shop? I know I only talk about the vintage Barbie, but there's literally tons of other dolls for sale there.
Lots of vintage, but there's also some modern dolls, including Takara Jenny plus tons of modern Barbie. Their website is pretty non-existent, but I'd be willing to answer any questions anyone has.

I'd also be willing to make plans to visit when you do in case anyone's interested in that. ;)

Also, is there any interest in joining the North Carolina Central Fashion Doll club? They mainly meet in Raleigh, and there is an online group where people interact. People don't usually go to every meeting, so you don't have to go to every meeting to be a member. And while the main focus is Barbie, people do collect other stuff. I brought Joe the other day and while he didn't get a ton of attention he wasn't shunned or anything.

 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

And I'm back!

Hello Dear Readers, I am back! We are finished with my month (and a week) long sell-a-thon and we are back to our regularly scheduled programming. I am now back to blogging every day. I hope I am able to pick it back up easily, I'd hate to have to retrain myself to do it. As usual after a long break the first week or so will be playing catch up. I have several things that happened over the hiatus that I want to share with you, but failed in doing so at the time, so you can look forward to that. Also included will be the review of the Wizard of Oz doll I bought.
I will say, I both did and didn't miss blogging when I was away. I did miss sharing with you all about what I'm doing, but I won't lie, February was an extremely difficult month for a variety of reasons. It got pretty low there for a while. It was a lot of little things that happened (and some not so little things). And while you can ignore some of them, when it's an annoying onslaught of them, it eventually gets to you. Luckily things have taken a turn for the better and I feel like I'm in a better place right now (although things are still far from perfect).
I want to talk about yesterday in this first post back. It was the big meeting for my doll club (I've been calling it my doll club, I guess I officially consider myself a member). It was the birthday meeting where we celebrated both Barbie's birthday as well as all of the members. It was held at the Swell Doll Shop, which is why I was working so hard to sell stuff beforehand. Unfortunately I spent it all a few weeks before the meeting and hadn't had enough time to recoup any money. So I wasn't shopping this trip, or at least I shouldn't have been.
Anyway, I got there shortly before the meeting started. Since I wasn't planning on shopping I didn't show up any earlier the meeting to do so. But it turns out I didn't have to. The entire meeting was being held downstairs in the store. I knew that would be a possibility since we were having a guest and she had mobility issues and couldn't (and shouldn't if we didn't need her to) handle the stairs. I thought that there might be a second area other than the store that we would gather for the meeting. Nope, it was in the store where I was surrounded by temptation!
I went in, unpacked my food (I made sugar cookies), carefully found room for it on the over packed table, brought my donated doll to the raffle table, unpacked Joe and the Barbie I brought, placed them on the display with the other dolls, and gave Linda my door prize I brought. There was a lot I needed to get done at the start of the meeting and it was somewhat difficult with so many people there. I'm sure most of my readers have never been to the Swell Doll Shop, but it's very small. After I got all that taken care it was time to socialize. I am getting better, but I'm so out of practice with it. I did spend some time talking, but some of it was just sitting on my own. I did look around the shop for a bit so I had something to do and I wasn't just sitting there. Bradley did offer me a shopping bag, but I declined. I didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't buying anything, but I certainly wanted to! He had so many tempting dolls laying about, including a brunette Midge. I've been wanting to add one of her to the collection for a bit now, just hadn't found one that was a decent price.
I wasn't the last person to get there for the meeting. There were still a couple people that hadn't arrived yet. We were also still missing our guest speaker and her daughter. While we waited for the stragglers we had some more socializing time, and a couple people handed out gifts. They were small favors, mainly candy, but I did get some doll shoes and a pair of doll earrings. That was really cool, and now I know that presents for everyone is something really small. I don't have to go all out. Eventually everyone who was expected to come arrived and we locked the door and the party started. We started with the cake (which is not usually how we start things at the parties I go to). The cake was very good, it was store bought, but not as sweet as they sometimes are. After the cake there was more time to socialize and shop. I ended up sitting down with Lori and Aylene as they looked through a box of vintage clothes. I was only looking and not planning on getting anything. I saw lots that I liked, but held strong. I did see a Fun and Fancy Free dress that was super tempting and I even pulled it out for a while to think about it, but couldn't think of anybody to wear it, so I put it back. I did look for it later, but I think someone else bought it. Which was both good and bad, bad because I couldn't get it, but good since I didn't have to wrestle with getting anymore. I did however end up buying something... I was so good, but I ended up looking through the Ken clothing lots and found something I had to have. Luckily it wasn't too expensive because it came out of my raffle ticket money. I didn't buy it outright, I ended up holding onto it for a while as I thought long and hard about buying it. Eventually the temptation won out.
After everyone was done with their cake we had our speaker. I forget her name but she was a woman who started the Barbie conventions back in the early 80's. She talked about her personal experience with Barbie and with starting the conventions. It was somewhat interesting, but I would imagine it would be more relevant to someone who goes to conventions (I'm still not planning on going). The speaker also brought out some things to pass around. One of them was a vintage Skipper prototype of a Girl Scout uniform. Apparently in 1964 (Don't quote me on that) Mattel was going to make a Girl Scout uniform, but it only got to that stage. So that was really cool. She also brought out something else... and I almost died. She brought her number one Brunette Barbie. Who she passed around! I GOT TO TOUCH HER! This was my first time seeing a number one in person, then I got to touch her! I picked her up, and even saw the holes in her feet! I'm still thrilled about that. After she was done speaking we moved onto the raffle. I ended up buying ten tickets. I must have been on a lucky streak because I kept winning! I ended up winning four times with my tickets. I won a handmade outfit, two Barbie visits ...... outfits, a Holiday doll, and a Barbie blanket. I didn't think I'd win anything, much less so much. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my winnings, but I can always use another blanket. I used it last night when I slept, Sunshine seems to like it.
The doll I donated got some interest, which was nice. I wasn't expecting it to get any. I should mention, I didn't bring that pink dress I was working on. I was finishing it late last week and was having trouble with it. The fit was terrible, and I just hated it. I decided I couldn't bring that. I ended up working on another dress, but ended up messing up on that too. In the end, I found another dress that was mostly finished I made for something else. I wasn't in love with it, but it was mostly finished. I stuck it on one of the spare dolls I had that I was planning on getting rid of. I fixed her hair as best as I could and brought her. I didn't have any shoes for her. I was using the doll as a mannequin for the dress, but I didn't end up mentioning that, so the bidder ended up with the doll and the dress. I was just going to donate the doll anyway. Next year I'll be a little smarter and make a dress earlier and hopefully I'll have less mistakes next time. I just hope the person who got her likes her, and doesn't notice all the problems I see with it.
After the raffle we did the door prizes. I ended up winning one of those too. It was a Barbie and Ken key chain. I originally won a tea set, but the person who won the key chain wanted the tea set so I traded. I didn't need either of them, so it wasn't a big deal to trade especially if it made her happy. After that the meeting was pretty much over. People started paying for their purchases, including myself. Bradley was kind enough to sell me the one I found for a discount, which was very nice of him. I hung around long enough to pack up all my stuff then left. 
Overall it was a really fun day. There were a couple things I'd change to make things slightly easier for a group that big, but I'm not in a position to make decisions like that. Which is really for the best, who knows if I'd go mad with power! The next meeting is in April, and I believe it's another dressing dolls to donate. I'm going to have to look around to see if I have anything to donate.

*A quick update about today. I didn't do much besides clean up the mess the room's become and write this. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post*

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quick Question

Hello Dear Readers,

I bought the Tolly Tots Oz: The Great and Powerful Oz doll last week. I was wondering if anyone would be interested to hear a review of him and his clothes? If anyone does, let me know in the comments. Otherwise I won't bother.

Thanks,

Aubrey

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guten Tag!

Hello Everyone!

We are in the home stretch. This is my second to last Sunday update before I'm back to blogging full time. I'll start off with the good, I sold something this week. I still have yet to have anything sell from my Etsy store, despite posting more things in it this week. Not sure what's up with that. I'm sort of on the fence about even keeping it running. So far this year I've sold one thing, and the expense of it far outweighs the profit. Anyway, even though I did sell something I'm not planning on taking any money with me to the Swell Doll Shop this Saturday. I have my eyes on a different prize, one that's much more expensive. So wish me luck on that, I will certainly need it. Don't worry, I am planning on getting back to doll sewing stuff when I come back. I am however thinking about keeping it up posting stuff for sale. I think that one day a week should be devoted to posting items I'm trying to sell. I still have several things on my dresser that need to get listed, and like I said I'm trying to save up for something. But I will say, I could see this easily falling by the wayside just like "Finish it up Friday", "Set it Aside Sunday", and "Typewriter Tuesday" did. Theme days do not have much staying power around here. I'm not going to bother giving it a cute name since I'm not planning on forcing myself to stick to one day, once a week will do just fine.

I did do some sewing this week. I finished a pair of pants for Joe. Just a pair of simple, no pocket, khakis. He has a pair similar to that already, but I wanted to have a better quality pair for Saturday. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but I'm going to bring him to the meeting. It's a very special year for Joe, he's turning 20. I was originally going to bring just Joe, but have since decided to bring a Barbie with me (I guess it's expected of me). I haven't decided on who yet, I do have several options (I do hope to bring my new one, if she arrives in time). I'm also working on a dress for the party, but work is slow going and I'm not sure if I like it. I may end up not finishing it, or it may end up having to wait until after the meeting to get finished. I still have a ton to do before next Saturday. I haven't touched my raffle dress in the past week, I still need to write down my ideas for the website, I need to back cookies to bring, iron Joe's pants, pick up my door prize at Walmart, and something else I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Really what a perfect time to be getting sick!  (I've started with this annoying sinus thing late last week, fun!)