Sunday, April 28, 2013

Clothing Wrap-up!

Even though I'm currently on a hiatus from the blog, and in sewing I still want to share everything I've been buying lately. I'm not sure if any of my readers are interested, but I personally like sharing it because it gives me a chance to really analyze my purchases, and it's a handy dandy source to remember where things came from later on. I'm still pretty good a remembering on my own, but sometimes I do forget, so this is a good backup.
Like I said I my last (for now) post, my creative streak is currents at an all time low, but my purchasing streak is at an all time high. I still haven't finished sharing with you all the things that came in that case lot inside the red Barbie and Ken case, and there's another whole lot to share with you right after I finish this one.

So, let's get to it! Up first we have the last of the homemade pieces from the case. Starting at the left we have a pair of... pants? They're either long shorts, or short pants. They're made from a red, black, and gray woven fabric, I'm thinking wool. They have an elasticized waist, and judging by the size of it, probably originally were for Ken. I think these are entirely hand made, just judging by the stitching. I actually really like this material, I just wish there were more of it. It there was, I'd remake them into a pair of Ken pants. Since there isn't, I've been thinking about trying to make a pair of pants for Ricky, but even for a much smaller doll, I don't think there's enough fabric. So I'm not really sure if they'll ever work out being used for anything. Right now they're in a bag in the freezer. There's a tiny hole on one of the pant legs, and I'm concerned that it could be from bugs. I know these pants could be 50 years old at this point and whatever made that hole most likely is long since dead and not a problem, I still wanted to be careful. I looked it up and to kill bugs in wool you could either boil the wool briefly or freeze it for a couple days. Freezing seemed a lot more fool proof and less invasive to the material so I went with that. I'll bring it back to my room in a couple days once I feel safe that anything living in it is dead. Moving on from that to the upper right we have a smock. At least I think it's a smock. It fits Skipper, but is extremely short, so if it's a dress I hope she wore tights and underwear under it, and never on a day when there was any wind. It's made from cotton, in a really cute print. The bottom and neck are bound with bias tape. Unlike the pants, this dress is made from both machine and hand sewing. The bias tape was clearly sewn down by machine, but the bound buttonhole in the back is clearly hand sewn. It's in pretty good shape, except for a few errant threads, and the purple ribbon in front has seen better days. My favorite part of it is again the print. I don't have plans to remake it or anything. There's not enough material for anything else. I plan on holding into it, but really can't ever see me using it. But I could always end up with a doll that's roughtly the same torso size as Skipper, but a lot shorter so it might end up finding a use around here. And finally for this group, we have a Barbie blouse. Made from a hot pink thin almost sheer material (could be nylon) it's entirely hand sewn, and closes in the front with two buttons. The buttons are really pretty, if a bit over sized. They're a champagne colored pealized glass (I think). For such think fabric, it's actually in pretty good shape. The only problem with it is that there's some fraying at the back at the neck hole. I don't plan on repairing it, it won't be easy to repair such delicate material, and I don't really want to put in the effort. I don't ever plan on using this blouse. The material and color aren't my favorites, and I'd prefer to make my own I needed something like it. Also those buttons are huge! It would be like you and I using ping pong ball sized buttons!

And that was the home made clothing from the case! That wasn't too bad was it? After that we have the few
factory made pieces from the case, mostly Mattel. Up first we have a shoe. This is your classic vintage Barbie stiletto. I believe it's the medium blue color, which came with four outfits: Knitting Pretty, Knit Separates, Midnight Blue, and Firelights. I have the right unmarked shoe. It's in pretty good shape. The strap is a little warped, but it's not broken. When I saw the pictures of this lot, I thought this was a turquoise shoe, but it's not. Add another shoe to my vintage singles pile!
Next we have the factory made clothing. Starting at the left, we first have the terrycloth top to Ken's original outfit. I have a ton of these, and just like with this one, the terrycloth top has lasted longer than the doll. Ken was not
part of the lot. This one is in really great shape, lots of times they have popped stitching or all dingy. The one is neither of those things. This one looks pretty good, I'm sure it could be a little whiter, but overall it's in nice shape. I can add it to the pile with the other ones I have. To the right of that we have a dress, one that originally came with Tressy. Just like with Ken, Tressy did not survive in this lot. I just have her dress. I actually have a Tressy doll, so it's nice to finally have her dress. It's actually in really great shape. It's got a tiny black spot at the hem, but other than that it's in wonderful shape. I don't think Tressy wore this for very long. To the upper right of that we have a vintage Mattel purse. It's made of red velvet and lined with white satin. On the front it closes with a rhinestone. That means this originally came with the classic coat Red Flair. It needs a bit of work. The satin lining is a little dingy, the rhinestone on front is coming off, and the loop at the top has come undone. I'm not sure how to fix that, but I am planning on it. Unlike most of the handmade items, I do like this, and I do plan on using it. And finally below that we have the swimsuit that came with American Girl Barbie. This is mostly in good shape. The top part is nice with bright colors and no popped stitching. The bottom part has a run however (Grrr), just one, and it's practically dead center so it's pretty obvious. This would be a really nice example of that swimsuit if it wasn't for that run. Oh well.

And that's all the clothes from that lot! Stay tuned for the most exciting part... the dolls!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This happened today...

I'm pleased to say that the glue worked wonderfully for both Barbie and Skipper. I was able to ease Barbie's head back onto her body without the tear opening up again, and Skipper's foot is now sealed shut. I was a little messy with applying the glue to Skipper, so there's a little more visible on the outside than I would have liked, but it's not that big of a deal. It's certainly better than what it was before. I'll just have to be more careful when applying it from now on. Although, hopefully I won't have to apply it too often, I usually try to avoid dolls with neck splits, or leg splits.

I even took White Ginger out for a quick photo shoot. I've been thinking about making an actual effort to contribute to "In the Pink" again. Lately I haven't been photographing dolls that much, and when I do it's just a quick shot I slap up on here and Flickr and be done with. They're very nice and I do like when people comment on my pictures... but I don't always feel welcome there. It's not that I don't feel unwelcome, it's just I don't feel like part of the "in" group there. I understand this is totally in my head, but I still feel that way. Either way, I dressed White Ginger in one of the few vintage Barbie dresses I own, swiped Midge's stand, and took her to the back porch for some pictures. Here's the best one from the lot after some photo editing:
I wish the pond didn't look so brown.... but it could be worse. At least it's not green like when it's covered with algae, that looks really bad.
I also took a picture of Skipper's bald head to share with you all (just for you guys though, I'm sure the people of In the Pink don't want to see that). This is to help people with suggestions for what hair color I should re-root her in. You can see how pale she is. I placed her in Charlotte's lap so you can see her skin tone compared to the modern Fashionisa tan. Feel free to comment in the comment section your hair color thoughts.

And I did some doll sewing today, but nothing good. All I managed to do was destroy a Barbie dress I was working on. That's been happening a lot lately. I've been destroying a lot more dresses than I've been finishing. So far this year I've finished one thing, ONE THING!!!! I'm in a serious slump. I was hoping that I could muscle through and eventually get back into where I was back in December when the trouble all started, but that's just not happening. Not only am I not sewing, after all these disasters I don't even want to sew anymore. So again, I think it's time from a blogging hiatus. It's really for the best so I don't have this blog hanging over my head. I'm not going to give myself any deadline for this since I really don't know when I'll be back.

I do believe I will be back though.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Busywork.

Not too much to report today. 

I didn't do much with the dolls today. No sewing, but I did work on some repairs that needed to be done. The other day I finally replaced my vinyl glue, so I was able to repair that White Ginger Bubblecut I got recently. She's still curing, so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to report that she's fixed. I don't always have the best luck with neck split repairs, sometimes I have to do them a couple times before they stick (no pun intended). And since I had that set up, I decided to work on another doll, my Bend Leg Skipper. She needed some gluing too, but not her neck, her foot. The top of one of her feet had a nasty gash and needed repairing. It was so bad that you could easily move her foot mechanism out through the tear. I've never repaired feet before, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. Just like the White Ginger, I'll let you know if it takes tomorrow. Hopefully it works. I have a couple of other dolls that need some repairs to their legs.

And since I had Skipper out already, I decided it was time to work on prepping her for her upcoming re-root. She's one of the eight dolls due for one in June. Just like with the TNT Skipper I had to be super careful about her rooted eyelashes, even though her's aren't as perfect as the TNT's. I managed to remove her hair with minimal damage to her lashes. I ended up pulling out one dark colored hair from inside her head. I'm not sure if it was even still part of her visible eyelashes, that one might have worked itself into her head before I ever got her. Now, I have a question for you all. I was planning on re-rooting her in a shade similar to her original blonde, but now I'm wondering if I should. I don't have a color I like better right now, but I'm just rethinking the blonde. Any suggestions to think about? She is extremely pale, so I'm not sure if she could pull off some of the darker colors. Think about it, I know I will.

And finally let's continue talking about that lot of stuff I bought over a week ago. I really need to be better about sharing it with you all, or else it will never get done. Right now it's cluttering up my work table, and I want that space back! We're still talking about the clothes that came in the case. Today we will be talking about coats and bathrobes. There were several in the case. You can clearly tell that they were made by at least two different people. One of them was a skilled sewer, the other one... not so much. I assume it was a mother and daughter and the daughter was just learning how to sew.
Up first we have the coat that I assume the novice sewer made. It's an a-line coat, made from a a turquoise woven material (nicer than burlap, but that's what came to mind when I first saw it). It's entirely hand sewn, not too badly actually. The biggest issue I have with it is the clunky decorative stitches along the opening, sleeves, and pocket. They're not adding anything to the coat, and make it look incredibly home made. When I first got it, I thought I knew which sewing pattern they used to make it, but now that I'm looking at it, I've never seen this pattern before. It's unusual, the front is all one piece, but the back has inset raglan sleeves. It does need a little bit of repair, the side seam has come undone, but I can't see myself getting around to repairing it. It's not a bad coat, just one that I could never see using so I won't bother repairing it. I've tried making a-line coats before and I just don't like the look on Barbie, and this version is just not what I would dress a doll in.
Moving on from that we have a bathrobe. This is actually very similarly made to the coat, except it doesn't have the raglan sleeves in the back, so it is a different pattern. It's made from a similar turquoise color, but in a corduroy material. It does use a different material for the collar and the front facings (I'm thinking a nylon), and has a cord tacked down to the back so it can be tied closed. Just like the first jacket it's entirely hand sewn, but does not have that tacky "decorative" stitching. As you can see it is stained on the sleeve, and there's a couple of other spots all over. I don't think that spot will end up coming out, I think it's just been there for so long it's set in the material. The material doesn't feel icky where the discoloration is, so it might not even be a stain, maybe it was resting against something for the past 50 years and the dye leeched into it.
 Again, not too concerned about it, I don't plan on using the bathrobe either.
And finally (for today) we have another coat. This one again uses a different pattern. Unlike the first coat both front and back pieces don't include sleeves, it has separate raglan sleeves. While it's a different pattern, it's another a-line coat just like the first one. It's the only jacket made from a print. It's a really lovely red satiny material with a black, gold, and silver floral pattern. It has contrasting red velvet cuffs and collar. This one is also entirely hand sewn, and even has a hand bound buttonhole (and over sized red  plastic button to close it with). This jacket is both the best conditioned piece out of these three, and my personal favorite. I thought about sacrificing it for the fabric and using it for something else, but I can't bear to do that. I'm afraid I'll mess up that lovely fabric. Also I can't think of an application for it at this time, so I'm just going to leave it as is. No need to mess with something when I don't have, want, or need to.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll make more progress in sharing those doll clothes!

Monday, April 22, 2013

In which I am Sneaky...

So the weekends major disappointments had me wondering. Was I being ignored because the sellers were flakes, or was it because they were jerks?
It had been several days since they stopped talking to me, but at this time, both ads were still listed on Craigslist. So I decided to contact them again.... BUT I pretend to be a brand new buyer. I mean, they didn't know anything about me, and since it would be a cash only transaction, they never really needed to know much about me, period. The first person was easy, that one I had only talked to the seller through text. So they didn't even have my e-mail address. So I emailed them, I wasn't sure if they were going to respond to it since in their ad they left their phone number so they might not bother checking their e-mail. But still I tried, I even went and changed how I phrased things so my written voice would be a little different than the first time.
The second person was a bit more difficult. I had both texted and e-mailed with them, so they had those bits of information already. However I have an e-mail address that's totally unrelated to my normal one, so I used that. Again I changed my wording a bit. With both traps set, I got to sit back and see if I snared me a seller.
I did not hear from the second seller, I guess they're just a flake. However I did hear back from the first seller, I guess they're a jerk.
I'm paraphrasing here, but; "Why yes, the dolls are still availible (jerk), but the Ken doll is now double the price (bigger jerk)." She asked me which dolls I was interested in. Like before I mentioned the Ken and the midge (purpose lowercase). Unlike last time I also said I was interested in the (80's Holiday) Barbie in pink. I didn't want the Barbie, but she was a red herring to throw the woman off. See, I'm a totally different person, I even want a different doll than that first guy. In that same e-mail I asked if she was free to meet that evening. I sent it off and waited for a reply, if one would ever come... this is where our transaction stalled last time. After several hours she got back to me, she was free, we made plans to meet at 7:30, she gave me her address, and we were all set to go. I didn't want to meet at her house, but I figured that the less waves I made, the less likely she'd flake out on me again.
After driving 50 minutes, I got to her house (my father went with me just so I had someone else there just in case). She was outside working on the yard with her husband. I said hello, we went into her house, went into the dinning room, and there were the dolls on the table. The three I was interested in were pulled aside for me. I looked them over and did look quickly over the rest of them (in her ad she said she had some other 60's dolls, but other than Midge and Ken they were all 80's dolls). Shockingly, I decided against the Barbie in pink, (Bwahahahaha!) and only got the Midge and Ken! I paid her 20 dollars, and then got out of there. I think I interacted with her for 2 minutes tops. Not sure what she thought of me, but in all honestly, I don't really care.
And after all that they were mine, all mine! All it cost was twenty dollars, and a fair bit of my sanity. Was it worth it? I certainly think so.
Let me share with you my newest dolls. Up first let's talk about Midge. Midge is your standard straight leg titan. They must have churned out a million of these dolls since she's the most common. Midge is in
wonderful shape, I don't think she got played with much, if at all. Her hair is wonderful, her face paint is perfect, and her body is amazing. She is easily the best Midge in my collection. There's only two things wrong with her, her bangs have parted in the center showing off a little bald spot, and her right arm is bent inwards. The hair is a factory issue, and I believe the arm is from her leaning on in the past 50 years in storage and with some heat it "relaxed" like that. I've already fixed it by letting it soak briefly in some boiling water. It easily went back to it's original position. And speaking of a factory issue, she has an unusual bit of quality control issues. On her left foot, she's missing some nail polish. Her three middle toes are perfect, but the two on the end don't have the polish where they should be. The tops are totally bare, but the sides each have a tiny little dot of polish. I guess she wasn't placed correctly when they did her toes and that's what happened. It's kind of interesting. Like I said she was in pretty good shape when I got her, but she still needed a bath. Even with light play wear she managed to pick up some dirt. Her pictures are from after her bath where she has some clear thread holding her hair curl down. Midge actually did come dressed, in a horrible homemade turquoise blue top (with ragged real fur trim), and an 90's Native inspired Mattel made skirt. She even came wearing a pair of panties! I didn't bother taking a picture of the clothes since I don't plan on using them. That top is a mess, the snaps were so corroded that I ended up breaking one in order to get the top off her!
Moving onto Ken, he was a really great purchase. You know why? He ended up being a Bend Leg Ken! It's so awesome, in the course of several months, I managed to get both a Bend Leg Ken and Allen. I never thought I'd own one of these dolls, much less both of them. I had an inkling that Ken was a BL doll from the picture in the ad. The person took the pictures using a flash. The flash reflected off his hard plastic torso, but not his legs. That could have meant they were the rubber (and not as reflective) BL kind. After I realized that I noticed that his feet looked a little thicker, like how the BL dolls do. I wasn't totally sure since the seller's picture wasn't that big or clear, and I didn't want to ask in case the seller decided to research him and find out he was worth so much more than a SL doll. I was hopeful, but was trying to not get too excited over him being a BL doll, but he was, so I am!
Just like Midge he's in wonderful shape. The only issues with him is that one of his arms was bent at the wrist, and his head was a little off-skewed. I think just like Midge he was leaning on it for too long and it bent like that. I've already worked on him with some boiling water. His arm straightened right out, but his head is still slightly off just a tiny bit. I have no problem dealing with that issue since otherwise he's in such wonderful shape. Really, he (and her) was an amazing buy. An absolute jewel of a collection.

*Update* I should mention that sometimes jewels need some work. I failed to say in the original post, that both dolls had an aroma when I got them. Nothing like cigarette or a basement smell, but an overwhelming floral scent. I thought that I'd be able to live with them as is, but when I found it clinging to me after I touched them I just had to do something. Right now Ken, Midge, and her clothes are hanging out in a box in the closet with some baking soda. Their baths did help get rid of it some, but they still need some time to "air" out. Luckily I have so many other dolls to dress right now I'm sure it will give them plenty of time to de-stink before I even think about dressing them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Even Sadder Charlotte!

IT HAPPENED AGAIN!
I texted that woman again this morning, hoping that maybe yesterday was just some miscommunication or something... and nothing. Total silence from them. So I gave up. I'm not going to stalk this woman over these two dolls, but I am extremely annoyed by her actions. I keep flip flopping between rage and sadness. 
>:(    :'(
But I tried not getting myself too down. I ended up over on Craigslist again trying to find a replacement to fill the void those two dolls left. I ended up finding a case lot, one with a doll, some clothes, and some accessories. The only problem is, no pictures just text. I e-mailed the person and they kindly texted me some pictures. The case was Mod, the doll however was not. It was a Quick Curl doll, and the clothes were all 70's outfits. I ended up asking a couple questions, and getting a couple more pictures. In the end, I decided to get the lot, even though it was further away, more expensive, one of the doll's legs were broken, and less of my total interest. I asked if the seller could meet today, but they said they'd have to get back to me sometime after three.
AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN???
No response. I texted them in the late evening, and still nothing. Unless there's a miracle, I guess I won't be getting that either.
I am seriously 0 for 2 this weekend, and I have NO idea why this keeps happening!!!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sad Charlotte!

This picture sums of my feelings pretty perfectly:

Why you ask? Well, the woman from Craigslist never got back to me about the dolls! We ended up making plans to meet tomorrow in the evening so I could look at the Midge and Ken. She was actually planning on being in my town that day, so would it ended up being better for me, also we'd be meeting in public so that it was less sketchy. I just didn't know a time since she had to wait for her husband to get off work to decide when they would be in town... BUT SHE NEVER TEXTED ME TODAY. I knew it was going to be in the evening, but that's come and gone. I have no idea what's going on. I texted her earlier this evening to see what was up and got no reply! I've been waiting hours since then and nothing. Absolutely nothing!

I checked and the ad is still up, so I don't think it sold or anything, they're just not responding to me anymore.

WHAT IS GOING ON????

Friday, April 19, 2013

Good, yet bad

I spent my morning cleaning my craft/miscellaneous closet. I didn't get the entire thing cleaned, but at least all the stuff on the floor is a lot more organized. I dusted, swept, moved stuff around, gave a couple things away, and even threw some stuff out! It really needed to be done and does look a lot better for my efforts. If only I was able to keep it looking that clean. It always ends up a mess. Eventually I will go back to it and work on the rest of the closet, but I was done with it for today. Instead I went out, and really that's for the best, I work best at cleaning when I do short bursts. Otherwise I get bored and end up quitting when everything still a mess and I end up having more of a mess then when I started.
I actually had a reason for going out, I needed to go to Hobby Lobby. I haven't talked much about going there this year because I've taken a conscientious effort to stay away from there. Last year I noticed that I was going there way too often and buying lots of stuff that I never ended up using. This trip will be my fourth time in the store this year, so I'm being good. And I'm sure my sewers block helps me with that, no need to go buy supplies when you're not sewing anything anyways.
But you just know I can't go out without stopping into the local thrift stores. I actually haven't stopped in for a bit, well a bit for me at least. And I actually didn't find much when I was out. Neither my father or I did. We both left the Salvation Army and the Goodwill empty handed, which doesn't happen a lot. At least one of us finds something in one of the stores, but today, nothing. The best buy of the day wasn't even for us. I ended up finding a big bag full of name brand, recent Lego pieces. I saw lots of interesting pieces that I knew my brother would love. It was rather expensive at six dollars (for thrift store shopping that is), but I know that you can't even get a small Lego kit for that price, so we got it. It had an added benefit since it gave me something to play with in the car when waiting for my father at certain stores I didn't want to bother going in to.
We found that at the United Christian Outreach store, but that wasn't the only thing I found there. The toy section was pretty abysmal. They still have the same few Barbie dolls there from when they opened. The fabric section however had several new things. I saw a couple Christmas fabrics I was kind of interested in, but ended up putting them back. They were either too similar to what I already had, or were so thin I could see through them and couldn't use them. It's only April, I have plenty of time to find more Christmas fabrics. I did however end up leaving with two new fabric bundles. The first one was a total impulse buy. I really can't use it for Barbie sewing, but I knew I'd be kicking myself if I left it there. It's around two yards of an adorable
printed cotton fabric.  It has the most darling images of a little girl and boy doing sweet things together, playing with a ball and hoop, sitting holding hands, and sitting on a boat together. If I had to guess I'd say it's from the 70's. I have no plans for this, but I had to have it. It only cost 50 cents. The second one I found is another unusual fabric. Just like the last one, I can't use it for doll sewing... well not all of it. This fabric was supposed to be used to make some pillows... some cat pillows. I really do not understand it. I have eight panels of two cats standing face to face of each other, and
several smaller panels of cats alone. I just bought it because I really liked the pink and red floral trim around the edges. That I plan on using for doll sewing. I didn't have plans for the cat panels, but my mom actually liked them, so they might end up getting used. But now that I'm thinking about it, they might be hideous enough for resale. Hipsters like cats and ugly things, they might sell.
And finally from the UCOC, I found a children's card game. It's called "Noah's Animals", and plays like memory. You're trying to match the tops and bottoms of the cards to make up the animals on the boat. The artwork is really cute. Check out that darling little mouse!
According to the instructions it was made in 1958. It does have some issues. I noticed several bent cards, some major box wear, and I'm missing two cards. But for a vintage game made from card stock, it could be in worse shape. I'm not totally sure what I'm going to do with it. I think it's adorable and might keep it, or I could list it for sale online. I think I'm going to hold onto it for a bit before I decide what I'm going to do with them. Once it's newness wears off, I'll be more likely to make a decision that I'll be fine with. 
And finally I headed over to Hobby Lobby. Like I said I was getting supplies, but not for myself, for my Grandmother. When she was here I noticed that her sunglasses holder (which I did not make) was looking really shabby. The gold material was really flaking off and just didn't look nice. So I decided to make her a new one, she deserves nice things. I would have done that quickly when she was here, but didn't have any material that would work for her, so I had to buy something. I wanted to get her some golfing related material, but Hobby Lobby didn't have anything like that. I wandered around the store trying to find something I liked, but it was hard. I did look at some coffee print fabric, but it wasn't really coffee, it said things like "Java" and "Espresso", which she doesn't drink so I couldn't get that. I almost left fabric without getting anything, but in the clearance section they had this really lovely canvas material. It's green with white and pink flowers on it. I thought it was lovely and perfect for sunglasses. And since the material's strong, it should last a while. Now I just need to buy some cording for the strap. I was going to buy it when I was there today, but I wasn't in love with any of it, and it wasn't on sale so I decided to hold off on it. It'll be either on sale next week, or just as not on sale. I was hoping to find black, but they didn't have any. That was before I found this fabric, so they might have a better match now. It was on clearance for five dollars a yard, but I only got a half yard of it. I do like it, but doubt I'll find a use for it for the dolls. I also bought a package of little silver beads when I was there today for a project I'm planning, but more about that when I'm actually working on it. I ended up holding off getting a couple things today so instead of the 15 dollars I had budgeted, I ended up spending less than five. Another good thing about this limited Hobby Lobby shopping, when I do go there I'm a bit more rational in my purchases instead of buying everything in sight. Now I just have to use them to be truely able to brag about my thrifty ways. I'm not saving any money if what I buy just ends up sitting around in a drawer forever.
Back at home I didn't end up doing much, we had a severe weather warning, so I just laid low. We brought all the cats in, and I brought the dogs in when it started thundering. Poor Pach hates thunder so I try to bring him in when I hear it.
I did end up over on Craigslist looking for dolls. I've had a couple false leads on there lately, but for some reason I've been compelled to keep checking. Today in Siler City I found someone selling a vintage Midge and Ken doll. I made plans to meet with them tomorrow to see if I want to buy them. So that's exciting, there will be more about that tomorrow though, and I know what you're all thinking. I don't really need more dolls, but I want them!

And now to talk about that doll lot some more. Just a quick few items today since I've blathered on long enough as is. Yesterday you saw the case, so let's start talking about what was inside it. Up first we have two pairs of underwear. They're totally hand sewn, no machine sewing at all. They're both made from the same pattern. Bloomers style that has elastic at the waist and is trimmed with the same antique lace at the legs. The only difference between the two are the material they're made of. The pair on the right is made from a nearly sheer white cotton, and the pair on the right is made from a thin yellow silk like material. I like them, they're pretty cute. They look a little dingy, so I kind of want to see if they'll lighten up any, but am not sure what to wash them with. Any suggestions? I may end up using them in the collection. I do like keeping my doll's modest.  
 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Laaaaaaaaaaaazy Day

I really didn't feel like doing anything today, so I didn't. Whenever I force myself to do something I don't want to, it usually blows up in my face, so what's the point?

It's still been a weird day though. My Dad came back home after being gone for two days. Nothing (too) bad for why he was gone suddenly like that. On Tuesday my Sister's Husband called. Their car broke down. He was driving it, heard a loud bang, then it just died on him, leaving him stranded and unable to go get my sister from her job, or anywhere for that matter. So my dad got into his car and drove up to him in Raleigh. He was hoping it would be a quick fix and he would only be needed for a little bit. He actually asked if I wanted to go with him, but I declined. Good thing too, turns out it was a belt that went, and to repair it would be very close to the cost of the car, so they're looking into getting a new car, but they needed a car to get around town with. So they were going to borrow my parent's car... BUT they were unable to make the two hour each way trip to bring him back home for a couple days, so he ended up hanging out there for the past two days. Most unusual, but it happens in life. Not too much changed with him being gone, but I did have to pick up some of the household chores he normally did. I took care of the dogs and was on dirty dish duty. Really, nothing I couldn't manage.

Anyway, continuing our introduction posts we have finally reached our final introductions. This is the one that I paid off in two huge payments, which was the most I've ever paid for dolls, ever. And in all honestly, I doubt I'll ever pay that much again. I really can't afford these big ticket items. For everything I'll be sharing with you over the next couple of days, I paid 162 dollars, which is a HUGE sum. I won't lie, I'm not totally in love with my big purchase. I mean, I like it and I'm glad I got it, but nothing I got was really "OMG I got an amazing deal on this!!!!!", and you all should know how much I love getting an awesome deal on things. I think sometimes I like that more than the dolls themselves.
Up first I'll be sharing a case. I'm not a big case collector, but I've managed to collect up several over the course of my collecting, I even have a TLC Skipper case on display so I do like them enough to display
them. The new one is different than the rest of the ones I have. It's a Barbie and Ken case, my first that includes Ken. Since it's designed for both dolls it's huge! It's the red version, with the front and back image being a Bubblecut Barbie and a Blonde Ken. It's weird, both Ken images are blond, but the Barbie is shown as both a redhead and brunette. They're both wearing actually produced Mattel fashions in the images, can't remember the names off hand, but they actually existed (sometimes on the cases the outfits were never produced, or never produced in the colors they're shown in). The outside of the case is in okay shape, it is pretty filthy, everything from this lot is pretty dirty. I'll be doing a lot of washing before I can put anything away. The images are in good shape, with minimal wear, you can see that Ken has some crayon on his face on one side, I'm hoping that will come off pretty easily, I haven't started cleaning that side yet. The other side had some sticky residue all over it. I kind of think it was like tape residue or something. I've been working on getting that off first. I've actually been making some decent progress on it. I'm hopeful that it will clean up nicely.
The inside is in okay shape. You can see that there's a pink (for her) and a blue (for him) side. Both sides have a space for the doll, a clothing bar, and the remains of where the accessory drawers would have been. Both accessory boxes have been removed. There's still some pieces of the Barbie one stuck to the bottom of her side. I've never gotten a case with the drawer totally intact, but I've never had them totally ripped out like that. I guess someone really didn't want them in their case. I'm also missing the straps that snap into place to keep the dolls secure. I mean, I don't ever plan on using this to carry dolls, but it would still be nice to have.  You can see the dividing wall between the Dolls and Clothes section is a little bowed, but not too badly.
Overall the case in in decent shape. It has a couple of splits in the vinyl (much less than some of the others ones I have), and there's some tarnish to a lot of the metal pieces, especially the clasp. I'm not really sure if that will ever clean up. I'm not totally sure about what I'm going to do with this case. I thought about actually replacing the Skipper case I had on display with it, but it's too big to fit in that space. Right now I think that I'll just end up cleaning it up, then storing it in the closet with the rest of the cases I have.
Like I said, I'm not a big case person.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Poor Thumb :(

I spent my morning working on that TNT Skipper I shared with you yesterday. She already had her hair cut down to the scalp before I got her, but needed to have the rest of it removed. So I popped of her head and pulled out the tweezers and got to work. I had to be really careful since I didn't want to accidentally pull out her eyelashes. That has happened before. Her's are near perfect, and it would kill me if I damaged any. I was super cautious, and I'm pleased to say they're all still in place. I'm going to have to be just as careful when adding the new hair, but don't have to worry about that right now. That's June's problem, or later. I have a TON of dolls to re-root, and I doubt I'll do them back to back to preserve what little sanity I have left. I hate re-rooting and only do it because it's a necessity.

After lunch I actually went back and got another doll all prepped for their re-root. I have about eight dolls (with this new Skipper included) that I'll be re-rooting in total. Right now I have five of that eight all set to go. There's still three dolls that need their hair removed, but that's going to have to wait. My thumb is killing me after wielding the tweezers for long enough to get the hair out of both dolls. Don't want to give myself a repetitive stress injury, I'll save that for June as well. Can I just say that I'm oddly looking forward to it, even though I know I'll be going crazy when it's actually here. I'm weird like that.

I even did some sewing today, but I wasn't that successful. First I messed up a dress I was working on, so I gave up on that. I ended up turning my attention to Malibu Francie. I took another stab at making her socks. The last time I tried I ended up overcompensating the back hem at the top and the socks were huge on her. I made a pattern that was smaller than the last time, but bigger than the first one (that one ended up being small enough to only fit Skipper). This one ended up being too big at the top, less big but still too big. I'm going to have to take more off the pattern. I have no idea why Francie's socks are giving me such trouble, they're socks. In my opinion they're one of the easiest things to make. Yet here we are. I didn't bother working on them any more beyond that first attempt. I started pretty late in the evening, and after the dress issue, I'm not in the mood to do any more sewing tonight. 

But now it is time to introduce another new doll I got last week. This one is different because it's not a complete doll, but just a doll head. This was the second thing I bought during my massive buying glut. It was shortly after I finished paying off that big ticket item I had on layaway. I had already heard from the seller and was just waiting for confirmation of it shipping. I was so excited to be finally getting it (and no longer having that massive debt over my head), but I also had another feeling. This one was a bad feeling, one of greed! After denying myself buying new dolls for a while (even thought it wasn't very long and I had just bought that Baggy Casey), I wanted more! I wanted instant gratification and something "new" now! So I headed off to E-bay, hoping to find something to satisfy that urge. Even though, finding something on E-bay wouldn't be instant, I'd still have to wait for it to ship, just like the big ticket item. Again, I'm weird.
I did several searches, and didn't find anything that I wanted. That can be a good thing, sometimes just the search is enough to satisfy that itch. I was about ready to call it quits, when I found something of interest. Like I said it was a doll head. It was a Bubblecut head with some issues. It had some paint loss, a neck split, and some green ear. Now I already have several Bubblecuts, so I really don't need another one, much less one in such need of repair. This one however was different than the others in my collection. I believed that she was actually a White Ginger, one of the rarest Bubblecut variations. I believe the only one more uncommon is the Brownette Bubblecut. Anyway, a little history about White Ginger's stolen from the internet:

"In 1961 Mattel made a bubblecut that was named 'White Ginger' (hair color name on box as well).  This doll came on a hollow 'Barbie' body, with red finger and toenail polish. What is special about her is that while the other bubblecuts from this year (as well as the 1961 #5 Ponytails) have red lips, the white gingers have a bubblegum pink lip color.  But just like the other Barbies® from 1961, white gingers have the thin faces, green-blue eyeliner, and deep turquoise eye-color. Most white gingers have hair that has oxidized to a blonde color over the years -- but the original hair color was very light."

Even though my gut reaction was that the doll head was a White Ginger, I wasn't totally sure. I have been fooled before. I used the example pictures from the website that I swiped the text from and compared them to the doll in the auction. She seemed to match up to the coloring, so I quickly bought her. Then I had to wait for her to arrive in the mail to see if I had spent my money wisely.
She arrived on Monday, and I was thrilled with her. She has a beautiful face, even with the lip paint loss. I was flip flopping if she was a White Ginger until a Flickr friend confirmed that she was. Her coloring matched a White Ginger, but I was having trouble with her hair. They're supposed to have small bubbles, and to me her's looked rather big. But now I realize that's such a subjective term, and that her bubble is a lot smaller than my Titan dolls, so while it may not feel like it to me, that is a small bubble. After she arrived, she got a quick wash where I cleaned out the green gunk from inside her head. I was hoping her hair would get lighter (like most her hair oxidized to a darker blonde), but no luck. It's still pretty though.
I stuck her on a spare Barbie body that I had (that actually belongs to someone else) as soon as she arrived. I wanted to fix her neck split, but the glue I normally used went to pot on me. I threw it out and will have to get a new tube the next time I'm out. For now I'm just being very careful I don't make it any worse. I won't lie, I really like her. She might be my favorite Bubblecut, just don't tell my Lemon Bubblecut, I'm sure she won't like being dethroned!
While I'm thrilled to have gotten her, I'm a little confused why I was able to get her for such a great price. I was able to get her, including shipping for about 20 dollars. I was able to bring down her costs a bit with my E-bay bucks. I had a whopping 1.60 saved up from all the spending I did last quarter. I'm glad I found something to spend it on, I'd really hate for that to go to waste when it expires at the end of the month. It was weird, the seller didn't have her listed as a White Ginger. She was listed just as a regular Bubblecut, thus the low buy it now price. I checked the sellers other auctions, and they were all vintage Barbie auctions, so they're definitely a collector, so I'm not sure why she wasn't listed correctly. I'm not complaining over that fact, I think if she was listed as a White Ginger, her price would have been much higher, and I doubt she would still have been listed for sale. I'm sure she would have been snatched up pretty quickly. 
Luckily, she wasn't and she's all mine! Now I need to get another Barbie only body since I still have a doll in need of one. What is with these dolls where I buy one and it just makes me buy more and more???

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday is... Tuesday

I continued my cleaning today. This time I focused on Charlotte's shelf. I pulled everyone off, dusted, then focused on giving some dolls some attention.

Here's a photo with everyone back in place, again it's blurry.


As you can see, several dolls are still wearing their Christmas dresses. I can't help it, I just like those outfits more than their usual clothes. But I did change Kelly and Tommy's clothes, they're now wearing more seasonal friendly outfits instead of their Christmas formals. I also changed Charlotte's chair. I've been using that wooden Ginny clone chair that I bought a while back, and I really didn't want to change it, but Charlotte has so many chairs that I've bought that I really should use something else from time to time. I also really should make a cover for that cigar box I use to prop her chair up with, it looks pretty terrible as is. Not much really changed on that shelf. You can see that Joe is not in his usual place, poor guy's been forced out. I stuck the Fashion Queen I dressed last in his spot a while ago and she's been refusing to leave. And today I ended up sticking my Lemon Bubblecut next to her. She had been standing randomly on the vintage shelf, but with the clean up yesterday she needed a new place to go. You can't see it, but her hat is tucked behind her. Adding her further pushed Joe out of his rightful place. I tried sticking him in Charlotte's chair, but he was too tall, so he ended up sitting on the cigar box. Not really sure what I'm going to do about that. We're really running out of room, and I keep adding more dolls! You don't even want to look at Vintage Shelf 2, they're practically stacked like cord wood in there.

And speaking of new dolls, I have some new ones to share with you, several in fact. I'll be sharing them over the next week. I'm not doing it in order of purchase, but in order of importance. The dolls I'm sharing with you today, I actually bought last.

Up first we have a doll who will not be staying, eventually she will be listed for sale. The only reason I have her in the first place is because she came with a doll that I wanted. She's a Malibu Skipper, from Korea. I already have a Malibu Skipper, so I wasn't really keen on adding another one to the collection. I was thinking about keeping her after I bought her, but once she arrived I knew she wasn't going to be sticking around here. She's in pretty good shape, but does have a couple of issues. For the most part her body is in great shape, except one of her arms is incredibly swingy. It won't hold any pose. Other than that she has a nice body, knees click and hold position, no bites or marks. The other issue she has is her head.... it's really big. It's the usual Skipper head mold, but it physically bigger. It looks more Francie sized than Skipper. It's a really nice head though, wonderful hair and beautiful face paint (including some lovely butter cream lips). If she didn't have those issues, I probably would have kept her, even if she breaks my "Japan Only" Malibu doll rule. Hopefully someone will want her and I can get back some of what I spent on her.

Like I said, I only bought her to get who she came with. That doll was another Skipper, but an earlier one.
She's a TNT Skipper. I have a couple of those already, but unlike Malibu Skipper I do want to add more to the collection. This one also has some issues. She has some dents to one hand (looks like she slammed her fingers in a car door), some small green spots to one leg, and her hair's been all cut off. Luckily I'm planning on doing those re-roots in June. It wasn't until after I bought her that I remembered this was the doll with the partline that goes all the way down the back of her head! Ugh! I'll still do it. I'm thinking about maybe red for her. She does have beautiful eyelashes. I'm going to have to be careful about those when removing the last bits of her hair. I've taken some out by accident before. I wish I could tell you where she's from, but while she's in really nice shape, her markings are very worn down. I can't read them. I don't think she's from Hong Kong, so that leaves Japan or Taiwan. She's still a little dirty since I haven't washed her yet, but I think she will clean up wonderfully. She has the most beautiful face paint, including dark rose colored lips. I think with hair, she'll be a real stunner.
But my poor fingers for having to do all that re-rooting!

Quick Sharing of something Not (totally) Doll Related

Someone I know from a different group has an Indiegogo campaign going for a line of "Absurd Animal Prints". They're all pretty humorous, but I must say that that "Porcupine twisting balloons" made me chuckle the most.

I know this isn't really dolly related, but they're offering trading card sized versions of the prints for a donation of three dollars, and judging by the pictures the look like they'd be amazing for doll scale posters.

Check it out if you're interested: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/absurd-animal-illustrations

Monday, April 15, 2013

I have returned (yet again)

Hello Dear Readers,

Did you miss me? I missed you. Although I'm glad I gave up blogging for the week so I could focus on the house and whatnot. Like you already know my Grandparents were here for the weekend. It was good to see them, I do miss them. We ended up having my sister and her husband over on Saturday and my cousin over on Sunday. I think that worked out for the best so that there weren't too many people here at one time (our living room/dining room isn't that big) and there was always someone new to help keep the conversation going. Overall it was a good weekend.
I will however say that it's exhausting being a good host. Making sure everything goes smoothly really takes a lot of effort. Add that to my sleeping troubles (which have not gone away) I'm pretty exhausted. As much as I wish my grandparents could stay longer, I will be happy to get back to my regular schedule, but that's not for today.

Today ended up being a relaxing day/cleaning day. I didn't even want to think about doing any sewing today, I just wasn't in the mindset. So instead I took it off, and focused on getting my room in better order. During the week I sort of let things fall where they lay and focused on the rest of the house. Today I worked on cleaning off my desk, and a couple other key spots in the room. I eventually turned my attention to the bookcase that houses the collection. It too has gotten a little messy. I ended up pulling all the dolls off the vintage shelf, dusting it, then giving the dolls themselves some TLC.

I dusted some of them, washed one of them, powdered some of their faces, and fixed the hair on some of them. I even changed someone's clothes! (A pretty big deal on that shelf!) I only managed to get that one shelf done, but it looks a lot better for my efforts. I think tomorrow I might do it again for another shelf. Right now everything's dusty and could use some sprucing up. I took a picture of my hard work. Not sure why it's so blurry, but I figured I'd share it anyway.

Anyway, I don't wish to tease you, but I also have several new things to share with you all. Several new dolls have joined the collection late last week and early this week. It's all pretty exciting, and I'll be sharing that over the next several days.

So that's what was good about today.... but there was plenty of bad to counter that. My heart is heavy whenever I think about what happened in Boston today. I know lots of people from there, and while luckily none of them were injured by the explosions, it's still extremely upsetting.

Monday, April 8, 2013

New Clothes, that I didn't make!!!!

Like I said the other day, at the last doll meeting I traded a bunch of stuff I brought for some of the stuff that was there. I wanted to share it with you, but felt that Saturday's post was way too long already so I decided to split it off into it's own post. That's what this one is.
I broke down everything I traded for into groups. Up first we have Barbie clothes that are fine as is.
First the picture:
Going from the top row left from right, we have the intentionally distressed peasant dress from a Snow White doll. I ended up getting rid of my Snow White doll, but I did keep her formal dress. I'm not sure if I'll ever get another one, but at least if I do I'll have her second dress already. And even if I don't sometimes Charlotte likes to dress up as the poor put upon heroine. To the right of that we have a Mattel made Disney night gown. This was the last thing I swapped for, and a bit of an impulse one. It's cute, but not sure if I'll ever use it. It's a little dirty at one shoulder, I'll have to wash it. To the right of that we have the outfit that came from the Baby Phat S.I.S. doll. It may look like a suit, but it's all one piece. I've always like this Chanel inspired suit, but wasn't willing to buy an entire doll just to get it, especially since it's not separates. I was really glad I was able to find this one to swap for it. Charlotte does look really cute in it. Moving down to the bottom row and starting on the left we have I assume is a mid 90's Barbie skirt. I got it because I really liked the pattern it uses. I don't plan on changing anything with it, but I think it would look amazing on a Mod doll. Maybe with a long sleeved yellow button up shirt? I couldn't pass that up. And finally we have another Disney nightgown. This one's an over sized night shirt. I already tried it on Joe, it doesn't fit. It's cute on Charlotte, even though it has no front closure and gapes open. It's in good shape, except the Goofy decal is a little worn.

Moving on from there we have some Barbie clothes that are in need of repair that I couldn't pass up for one reason or another.
Here's that picture:

Again, starting from the top row at the left. The first thing is a vintage Barbie pak skirt. This is in wonderful shape, except that the back had either been cut or ripped (and it was missing a snap). We couldn't use it on a doll as it, so I didn't feel bad about swapping it. I don't really like mending, but it looked like something I could repair somewhat decently. To the left of that we have a shirt. I'm not in love with it, but people thought that I could repair it, and insisted I take it. I ended up swapping something for it, even though I doubt I'll find a use for it. All it really needs is some snaps added to it. Right now all it has is one half of one at the top. That's a pretty simple fix. Moving onto the bottom row to the left we have TNT P.J.'s original swimsuit. This was an impulse swap, and easily the most in need of repair of what I got. It's got a ton of popped stitching, and a couple of earlier amateur repairs. I'm not really sure what I can do with it. It might end up needing more work than what I can offer it. It may end up being taken apart for reuse. And finally moving to the right we have a Barbie red furry body suit. I thought this was interesting, but am not sure if I'll find a use for it. I tried it on Charlotte and it really makes her neck look stumpy. It only needs a minor repair, at the hip one side has come undone, I think that will be a quick and easy repair.

But Barbie was not the only person who got clothes from this swap. Someone you wouldn't expect got some new clothes that day as well, Dusty.
That picture:

Yes, I found two tagged Dusty shirts in the pile. I don't collect Dusty, but have acquired two of her heads that are in dire need of a re-root. Both shirts look to be in decent shape, so I just couldn't pass them up. The red jacket doesn't need any work, but the green shirt needs the 3 in front glued down. Luckily I have some fabric glue that should easily do the trick. Other than that, these two tops are in wonderful shape. I don't think they got much play at all. I know they haven't been on a Dusty doll recently since they don't suffer from any melt marks. Does anyone know  good resource for identifying Dusty's clothes? I'm not sure how much of an internet presence she has.

After that we have shoes and other accessories! You know me and my shoe addiction! I brought several pairs that I didn't like hoping to swap them for something I did like, and I sure did. Here's that picture:

Starting at the top row on the right. We have a pair of white 90's sandals. I like these because they're nice and neutral and able to fit the vintage feet. They're not my favorite mold, but I do have a titan Bubblecut wearing a pair of sea foam green ones. They certainly work in a pinch. I swapped them since I've been having a really hard time finding decent shoes for the vintage dolls lately. Lots more people have been ending up shoeless than I care for. After that we have a pair of red sneakers. I've been needing a pair of red sneakers for a while now. I wanted to see if they would work for Malibu Francie's outfit. The only problem is, that at home I noticed that they're not a true match. The molds aren't exactly the same and there's a color difference. I can live with it, but eventually I would like to find a better matching pair. To the right of that we have a pair of those platform Mary Janes. I have a couple pairs of these, but not any pink ones. I used to like them a lot, but have since cooled on them. I still use several in the collection though. I have black, white, purple, and burgundy. I like how they fit Barbie, Francie, Momoko, and Takara Jenny. Not sure if anyone will end up with them, but I thought I should snag them. Moving onto the bottom row starting on the left we have a pair of gold modern style shoes. I actually already have this same style in gold, but I quickly snatched them again. This is one of my favorite modern styles of shoes. They are just perfect in both fit and style for the vintage dolls. If I found a place that sold them in lots, I'd buy them. They just work perfectly with my outfits, but they're a bit hard to come by. Gold is a little bit harder to use around here, but I love the style so much I'm willing to deal with it. To the right of that we have a pair of white 80's Skipper flats. These are slightly too big for Francie dolls, (but could work in a pinch) but I find they are amazing for the Flat footed dolls like Living Barbie and the Live Action dolls. I don't have any of those to dress right now, but you'll never know when I might find one. So I swapped for it, just to have it. And to the right of that we have a pair of 80's Barbie shoes. These are gray with mixed in silver glitter. I don't have any 80's dolls, but again I really like this style of shoe. It's very reminiscent of earlier styles. I wouldn't put this on a vintage straight leg doll, but it could end up on a bend leg doll, or Charlotte. I tried it on her, and it looks amazing on her, but it's not like she needs anymore shoes. And finally, you'll notice that at the thing at the top of the picture is something that's not a shoe, it's a hat. It's a motorcycle hat, that I fell in love with when I saw it. I quickly swapped for it, thinking it would be perfect for Joe. It looked like it was originally for an action figure so I was hopeful it would fit. It does, it's actually too big. He can still wear it, but it slides around his head. I made a way for it to stay on better. I have a circle of elastic that fits around Joe's head, with that on, the hat, while still a bit big, fits much better. I will say he looks pretty handsome in it.
And continuing with Joe, he actually got several things from what I swapped. Last time it was all about the fancy dresses, this one was more about Joe. The only problem with him is that he's an unconventional size, so I had to gauge it from memory what might fit him. I actually did pretty well. Out of what I got for him, only one thing ended up not fitting. It was a white Arctic coat that I ended up giving to my brother to put with his G.I. Joe stuff.
Up first is the things that fit without any problems. Here's that picture:

As usual, starting from the top row, upper left. Up first we have a very impractical shirt. It's an undershirt styled shirt made from a blue (broadcloth feeling) material with a black netting at the upper torso. This fit him wonderfully, except that since Joe has that nontraditional neck set up, he really can't wear it. If he did you'd see the the plastic canvas that makes up his neck and the elastic holding it on. I couldn't pass it up, even though I knew even if it fit, he wouldn't be able to wear it, but I really liked it. Eventually I'm hoping to find a way to fix his neck, but I still haven't been able to find a connector piece that will work without having to cut up his head (which I will NOT do). To the right of that we have a shirt. I'm not in love with it, but I got it because it looked like it was a nice large shirt with a collar that might fit him. I don't care for the material, but it looked like it could be used for a pattern. It actually fits him amazingly well. It's a little big at the sides than I care for, but if I didn't know better I'd assume it was made for a doll of his size. It's home made, so I'm not sure who it was made for, but if it was for Ken, he must have been swimming in it. Moving onto the bottom row on the left we have a pair of red shorts. Now, these almost fit Joe. I can get them up his legs and backside, but you have to really force them together to close in the back, and it causes some pulling to the crotch seam. I thought about taking them apart and trying to make them wider in the back, but I don't think there's enough seam allowance to add any extra length. Besides, it might be easier to make my own from scratch that dealing with taking these apart. I think they'd fit Ken, even though I don't think he really needs any red shorts. And finally we have a furry vest. It's marked Mego on a tag inside, which is why I got it. Although at home I found it it fits Joe really well. I think it's from the Sonny Bono doll? I think it's supposed to have two of the buckles on it, and it has a stain, but otherwise it's in good shape. Not really sure what I'm going to do with it, but I figured since it was vintage I should save it. Also I didn't feel as bad taking male doll clothes since we only had like two Kens to dress the entire day.

And finally (Finally!) we have some more Joe clothes, but these didn't fit. But instead of being too small, these were too big, which I don't think has ever happened before. Here's a picture of them:

We only had two things that didn't fit. For the most part everything did. On the right we have this blue button up shirt. It's untagged, but obviously factory made. For the most part it fits, the sleeves fall where they should, it closes in the front, and it's not too tight anywhere. The only problem is that the neck hole is way too wide for Joe. I'm not sure who it was made for, but they had a really wide neck. It looks really off when he wears it. I think that in order to fix it, I'd have to take it almost completely apart, so it's really not worth it. I can however use it for a pattern since the sleeves and such fit pretty well. And to the right of that we have a pair of pants. I was thinking that they since they looked big in the thighs they might fit him, turns out they are huge on him. I was thinking about taking them apart and making them over for him (and adding a snap instead of the elastic). Again, might not since it might be too much work and I don't love the fabric that much. However pants are easier to redo than shirts, so it could happen. I just wouldn't hold my breath over it.

So that's everything, and it's a good thing too. I'm about to give myself carpel tunnel from this post alone!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Good News/Bad News

Oh...

My...

Goodness...

You Guys...

My E-bay auction ended today. I started it at 15, over the next couple of days it inched along to 25, this morning when I checked it, it had blossomed to 64, and then right before the auction ended, it EXPLODED to 89... my mind is blown. The final bid was 89.55 for the Happy Family Neighbor doll, plus shipping. I looked it up, and by the time all the fees are taken out, I'll end up with around 77 dollars or so. Which means I'll be able to pay off those dolls almost completely from this single sale. Once I get the money, wait for E-bay to release it to me (I don't sell very often on there), and get confirmation that the seller is totally happy with their purchase I can contact my seller and finally buy the doll lot. And then I get to wait for it to arrive in the mail, but at least now I can rest easy that I'll have the money and won't have to borrow any or scrounge any at the last minute. What an amazing sale.

Wow

And now for some bad news, I'm going on another short hiatus. In fact, almost the rest of April will be a hiatus for one reason or another. It's not for anything bad, in fact it's good. For this one my Grandparents are going back North from Florida now that winter's over. They'll be stopping in and visiting for a weekend, which is great. Not being able to see them as often is one of the worst parts of moving down south. I miss them, but now I get to see them. But it comes with a price. A cleaning price. For their visit the house will have to be a lot cleaner. Now I already did a good start when my sister came for a visit, but now I need to be a lot more detail orientated. And like I said before, hearing me talk (and complain) about cleaning isn't fun. So I'll spare you that (and the eventual breakdown) and just take a blogging break.

I will see you all on the 15th! (Tax Day!)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Out of bed, sleepy/exhausted head!

I was up shortly before seven this morning. My alarm was set to go off at seven, but I was up well before it went off. I had another very sleepless night. I know I've talked about it before, but lately I've been having the worst time falling asleep. No matter how tired I am, no matter what I've done during the day to tire myself out, I'll be exhausted and have to drag myself to get ready for bed, but the moment my head hits the pillow I'm just not sleepy anymore. Tired yes, but not sleepy. It then takes me at least an hour to fall asleep, and when I do I wake up a lot during the night, including times where I'm up for a least a half an hour tossing and turning trying to fall back asleep. And even on mornings when I can sleep in to make up for the lost nighttime hours, I can't. Quite frankly it sucks.
But no time to sleep in today, even though I doubt I would have if I had that option, I needed to get up and go, go, go. I had done most of the prep work for today yesterday, so I wasn't rushed. All I needed to do was get dressed, have breakfast, brush my teeth, and I was all set to go. I was planning on getting onto the road by 8:15, and easily was ready to go by then. That was a little earlier than I needed to go for the meeting, but I needed/wanted to make a couple stops before then.
Up first was the post office. I got that Liv doll into the mail and on it's way to her new owner. I'm glad that's all taken care of, and that it sold. My May deadline is coming up, and the longer I go without a sale the more it starts to wear on me. I really hate having the debt hanging over my head, but now I'm seven dollars closer to the amount I need. With that taken care of it was time to hit up the more fun portions of our stops! The thrift stores! Not the local ones, the ones on the way to Raleigh, so they're different. I only get to visit these once a month if I'm lucky. The first one is another one with a Christian affiliation. I forget it's name, so I dubbed it the Wolf Thrift store, since one of the first things my father bought there was a book on wolves. (Don't ask me why he bought it, he just wanted it. And don't ask me why I dubbed it that, I just did.) I found several interesting things there today. A couple things for me, and a couple for resale, even though I haven't listed anything in my shops in a couple of weeks. (I've been bad). For me I found some fabrics. Lots of places don't even
stock fabrics, but this place does have a couple bins with random odds and ends of fabrics. I found this 60's bit of mustard colored cotton, I got a decent amount of it. I paid 50 cents for it. I think this would look really great on a Mod Ken doll, I only have one Mod Ken that needs dressing (but he's in dire need of repair first), but I'm sure eventually I'll get more. Last year I had a surge in Mod Kens, and I wouldn't be too shocked if more came later. I also got this bit of light blue cotton. Looking at it at home, I think it's broadcloth. I try to not use broadcloth in my sewing, but I'm sure I can find a use for it, even if it's just for practice material. I paid a quarter for that. And my final fabric was a bit of pink and white gingham. This one is basically two small left over scrap pieces from a project. Kind of wish I knew that before I bought it. I can still use it, but probably will only get one project out of it. I paid a quarter for that one too.
Like I said, I also found a couple things for my Etsy store. Up first I found this rustic horse figurine. It's
marked on the bottom with Japan, which is usually all I buy unless I really love something. It's white with painted in gold. It's a bit ... stylized for my tastes, but I think it has it's charm. No chips, breaks, or marks. I think I paid 50 cents for it. And finally I got this cute weaving loom. It's geared to children, but I'm sure children of all ages. I just got it because it was cute, and looked like everything was there including the box. It's got a bit 25 cents written on the box, but the woman couldn't find it and only charged me
10 cents for it, which I gladly took. It's got the start of a potholder already on it, but the rings are all stretched out. I wouldn't be shocked if they've been like that for decades by now. Now I have to get my rear in gear and start listing this stuff. That was all I got when out. I did stop at another thrift store, but didn't find a single thing of interest. I'm not too shocked, I never find anything good there. Yet, I keep stopping in. I guess it's that whole, "Hope springs eternal" thing.
After that it was time for the meeting. I arrived a few minutes early, but when I got there... there were absolutely no cars out front. I wasn't sure why I was the only car there, so I waited. I was hoping that someone would show up, when nobody did I began to wonder if I had gotten the location wrong, or maybe the meeting had been cancelled at the last minute after I left the house. I ended up waiting a little bit and deciding if nobody else showed up by 11:05 I was going to leave. I was all set to go when at 11:04 Theresa showed up. I guess the meeting wasn't late I was just ahead of everyone. I bid my father goodbye and reminded him I was going to leave at 3:30, and I went in with Theresa. Linda and Joyce were already there, as was Liz, but she lives there so that's to be expected. Linda and Joyce had been dropped off, so that's why I didn't see any car there. They had already started setting up the stations for our doll project. This meeting was another work meeting where we got together to wash, style, and dress all those dolls that we donate to children in need. We did this at the November meeting as well. They already had the doll clothes out. Of course I ended up sorting through them. Linda has a deal where you can swap out items. You can take something from the general pile, but only if you replace it with a like item. I brought a bunch of stuff, and I ended up trading a lot of it. I really should be better about that. I don't want people thinking I'm only doing this project so I can get something out of it, but it's hard passing up some of the stuff. I'm just so greedy.
I think I'll share what I traded for in a later post. Eventually more people trickled in. I believe in total we had nine people at this meeting, compared to the five from the November one.
We were working on washing all the dolls that were dirty. At the November meeting we just worked on the dolls that were already clean. The dirty ones were pulled aside for later, which was today. We had two sections, people washing dolls, and people dressing dolls. I started over at the dressing table, but since most of the dolls needed to be washed first I quickly ran out of work there and wandered over to the washing section. I sort of started doing my own thing by taking down any doll's hair that had anything in it. I had a pile of ratty elastics when I was done. After that I worked on the washings with several other people. I'm still having a hard time being social in the group, but I actually opened up and had a long conversation with Liz and Aylene. They both collect vintage, so we had a good topic to talk about.
We managed to get the entire paper box that was full of dolls washed before it was time for lunch. We ordered pizza from Papa John's, and had it delivered. Must be nice living in a place that's close enough to somewhere to get stuff delivered. I've never had that luxury. When it arrived we all gathered in the sun room to eat and have the sit down portion of our meeting. We had lots to talk about, including sharing that the majority of the upcoming year's meetings were planned out with location, date, and themes. I might end up missing the upcoming meeting due to a prior commitment, but didn't say anything today. They also talked about a toy show that's coming up at the end of the month. Again I'll be missing it (since I have plans and can't afford it), but didn't mention that. It was a good meeting, both casual and light, but also sharing some important information.
After that it was back to work. The dolls that had been washed had been drying when we had lunch and now needed to be styled and dressed. I stuck with the dressing and let the expert (Sal) do the hair work. I can only do like five hairstyles, and several of these beauties needed more work than my skills could handle. I ended up doing a couple more swaps too, good thing I brought plenty of stuff with me! We managed to make pretty decent headway when I was there. We were still working at 3:30 when I excused myself to leave. I stuck around for the clothing drawing. I think Linda offered a drawing to bribe people into going. I didn't end up winning, but that's fine by me. I didn't need to be bribed into going, and in all honestly the clothes you could have won were all similar to ones I've made before. If I really wanted one I could make my own.
Going home was a bit of a hassle. I was exhausted and starving, and of course we ended up lost. My father had heard of a thrift store that had Barbie stuff from my Brother in law, and when we tried to find it, we could not. We found the thrift store, but there were no Barbie things to be found whatsoever. And in going there, we managed to get off  the main road and couldn't find our way back. It was just annoying as all get out. But we did manage to get home. I didn't do much for the rest of the day, except play with my new things, trying them on dolls and looking up close at the ones that need repair (I picked up some TLC items).

I'm so exhausted I hope I can sleep tonight, but somehow I doubt it.  
(P.S. I heard from Linda after the meeting, we all dressed like 56 doll. I knew we made progress, but didn't think it would be that much!)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Prepping and Progressing!

I did some sewing today, but not for Kelley OR Malibu Francie. Instead I worked on something totally different. There is a certain bodice type I like, but have not been able to figure out. Several month ago (may be closer to a year now), I found a pattern for it online and I eagerly tried it. I found out that the pattern needed some major adapting, the fit was just terrible. I think I made six or seven versions of this bodice before I ultimately gave up on it. I just couldn't fix the fit issues. Last night I was thinking about a dress I wanted to make that could use that pattern, when I had a revelation. I already had a pattern that could work, all I would need to do was change the shoulders and neckline a bit.
I waited until the morning to start working on it. My first attempt was pretty good, but needed some minor tweaking. My second version was much better, but still needed some tweaks. My third version seems to the best, although I think I need to adapt the bust darts placement. For some reason they're now ending up a lot higher than they should be, even though I didn't change the bodice from the original design and I've never had a problem with the bust dart placement before, weird.
But that's going to have to wait until later, I don't have time to work on it anymore today. I had to change gears and get ready for tomorrow. It's the April Doll Club meeting, and since it's a lunch meeting I'm going to leave the house two hours earlier than normal. And since I live quite a distance away, it's going to be an early morning for me, so I wanted to get as much done tonight as possible.
I didn't want to cook for this meeting, so I bought some cookies earlier. Today I packed them, my notes for the website (I volunteered to help with it), the clothes and shoes I'm donating to the group (this is a meeting where we're going to be working on our doll donation project), and a package. I had someone contact me yesterday about one of my Dollpage items, we've been e-mailing back and forth a couple times and they bought it! It's a Liv Doll with it's dress and wig. I'm hoping to get it into the mail tomorrow morning before the meeting, so I wanted to get it all packed up tonight. It's now sitting in the canvas bag I always bring along with the rest of the stuff I need to remember for tomorrow.

I should mention, with that doll selling I'm a little bit closer to my goal! (And hopefully my E-bay auction will get me even closer, even though right now he's stuck around 25 dollars.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Zapped Enthusiasm

Today was a super icky day. It has been cloudy, rainy, and cold the entire day. Not a day for sewing (or sunshine). Since my room is so drafty the weather inside is similar to the weather outside and I didn't want to deal with it. So Kelley will have to wait another day to get her dress worked on. Didn't we just go through this will Malibu Francie's outfit? I really should stop talking about when I'm not working on something and just talk about what I am doing. Will save me lots of typing time.
Instead I went out. I actually had a reason for going out. I had something sell! It happened quite by accident. This morning is checked my mail to find out something in my Etsy store had sold, which was awesome. Lately it's been pretty dead over there. I was able to package it up rather quickly (helps when you've been hoarding packing material), so I was able to go out and get it into the mail today. And now it's over and done with, and the seller should appreciate my amazing turnaround time. Less than five hours.
And since I was already out and about in town, you know I stopped into the local thrift stores. I am a creature of habit, bad ones mostly. Up first was the Christian Second Hand store. We've been going there pretty constantly since they reopened, so I wasn't expecting to see much that I hadn't seen before. I was correct in that assumption, there really wasn't many new things there. I'm not shocked, their turnaround isn't that quick. I didn't end up getting anything there.
After that was the Salvation Army. Again I wasn't expecting to find much since I had just been there. I didn't find much, but I did find somethings. I picked up several vintage sewing patterns that will eventually be listed in my Etsy store (mostly 50's dresses with beat up envelopes), and Transformer's car for my brother (which I found out was missing it's feet, but it was only 49 cents), and a primitive art doll (which was super ugly and really poorly made, but the dress it was wearing had interesting material, so I bought it to re-purpose that). Overall I think I spent about three dollars for everything, maybe three fifty. I'm sure I can recoup my losses when I finally get around to listing those patterns on my Etsy site. And if I manage to get a doll dressed from that fabric I'm reclaiming, it will be well worth the entire cost. I think I have enough for one dress if I'm careful and don't use a full skirt. I'll just have to make sure I won't mess it up, since there's no spare fabric for do overs.
After that it was the final thrift store, the Salvation Army. I managed to find a couple things there too. I actually found some military things for my father first. It was an Army canteen, suspenders, and belt. Three things, but when I found them they were a tangled mess. Funny thing is, it was in the toy section where I found them. So it's a good thing I collect dolls, otherwise he never would have gotten them! They didn't have anything I wanted in toys, but I found stuff elsewhere. I found a partially used set of Hallmark Christmas cards for two dollars. Out of the 20 that were originally there, I got 14. I thought that was a pretty good deal. I've already tucked them away in the holiday closet for Christmas time. I'm probably going to end up giving them to my mother so she can use them. These are nice quality cards, so I think it would look better coming from her to our family than me. And I can still use some... just for the few people who aren't on both of our Christmas card lists. And finally I found some magnets! These are not ordinary magnets. They're from a company called Acme and they're made to look like household appliances. My aunt actually has one she uses that I remember from childhood. It's a coffee machine. It is wonderfully 1:6 scaled, and now I have my own! I also have a coffee grinder (that one's slightly broken), a meat grinder, a toaster, a cappuccino machine, a scale, and an oven. The oven's too small, that one looks to be dollhouse sized, but the rest all work for Barbie. I think my favorite on is the scale, it's big enough for Joe...but it's not like he'll ever need it. He's perfectly trim. I got all those for only two dollars, I don't think I could have gotten a single one of them for that price when they were new!
That's all I got when I was out, but I think I had a pretty decent haul. I ended up sticking the magnets with the rest of the Barbie furniture stuff. I'm not sure if I'll end up keeping all of them, I keep collecting up furniture and like items, but right now don't have the space or patience for a dollhouse. Oh well, I can decide that later. I also worked on taking that dress apart. The stitching was so terrible in places I was afraid it was going to tear on me. But at least I managed to get it finished. Now I just have to find a dress to make with it!

I wonder if tomorrow will be a sewing day?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Not what I wanted, but I'm not mad

I ended up not making much progress on Kelley's dress today. All I did today was sew down the skirt at the waist, iron the apron, sew the apron waistband, and replace the ribbon bow in front. I do like it a lot, but it didn't motivate me to work on it. I have however been playing with her for a little bit so that's a good sign.

Instead of working that dress I ended up working on something else. I had an idea for my Brunette number five Ponytail, and I wanted to try it out. I ended up making the shirt before I decided I wasn't going to bother making the pants. I just wasn't feeling it. With this doll I have a vague idea of certain aspects for her outfit, but haven't figured everything out. Sometimes it takes several false starts before things fall into place. I'm not too bothered over this less than successful attempt. I don't plan on finishing the shirt right now, but maybe at some point I will. It's still a perfectly useable shirt, so I didn't totally waste the fabric.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prepare to be Excited!

I sewed today! 

I haven't done that for a while, and it's been even longer since I actually made something I actually liked that will end up on a doll (hopefully). I'll be honest, I'm still in a terrible slump. Ever since December I have been stuck. Nothing seems to inspire me, and the nude dolls just keep piling up. Luckily I've also managed to slow down on getting new dolls. Instead of getting two per month like last year, so far we've only added one a month, but that's still more coming in than getting dressed. The only doll I've dressed this year was that Fashion Queen, and I started that dress back in December before this slump started.
Right now I have two projects that I haven't given totally up on yet. It's that outfit for Stacey and the outfit for Malibu Francie. Both of those outfits however are on hold because they need a lot of pattern adapting and I'm still burned out from the last times I worked on both of them. No, today I worked on an entirely different doll, one that's actually not part of the collection yet.
The other day I was searching online for some vintage clothing in the hopes of finding something that would inspire me to make something for the undressed dolls. I was searching 50's clothes since that's the largest group within the undressed dolls. I found a dress that while it could have been from the 50's, it read more as 70's to me. I ended up saving the picture, which ended up being the only thing I liked from my searching. Even though it wasn't a 50's dress I was looking for, for some reason this dress really resonated with me. The only problem was that I didn't have a 70's doll in need of a dress. Other than Malibu Francie (who I didn't think the dress would work on) everyone else was from the 60's or 50's. But then I remembered I had Growing Pretty Hair Barbie and Quick Curl Kelley in the closet. Both of them aren't part of the collection yet, but after they're repaired they will be officially joining it. And since this dress was inspiring me, I might as well go with it even if it didn't help me get an official doll dressed. And if it worked out, that just means I can move a doll right into the collection after I fixed it in June.
I decided it would work best on Kelley. For some reason I think Growing Pretty Hair needs a dress with more pink in it and it would look lovely on Kelly, or at least the version I created in my head did.
After deciding who was going to wear the dress it was time to get to work. I didn't start off with sewing though. I needed to work on the design some before I got to that step. I already knew that I was going to change a few things from the original dress. It was however a good starting point for what I wanted. I sketched it out quickly and I played around with some design features. From the waist down it looked pretty good, but I wasn't in love with the top, especially the shoulder treatment. I tried a couple different variations until I found one I liked. I ended up doing some quick test sewing runs of the shoulder straps since I was doing something slightly different than what I've done before. I sewed that up pretty quickly, and being satisfied with what I did I pulled out the fabric.
I had an idea in my head about with fabrics to use, but when I was looking at the fabrics in person together and with the doll... I just didn't like it. I ended up pulling out all over my stored fabric trying to find a better option. It took me a while, but I eventually found something I really liked. And it was a fabric that I had made a dress from before, but it didn't end up being worn. So that meant that nobody else in the collection would be wearing that same pattern. I don't mind repeating fabrics, several dolls "share" some, I just try to limit it within reason. With that decided I pulled out the patterns. Other than the one I tested out, all the patterns were ones I've used time and time again. I made a lot of progress on the dress today. I got most of the machine sewing done. And then I get to start the hand finishing.... fun!

I'm only partially kidding, I am really thrilled to actually be working on a dress I like. It's been too long since that's happened. Like usual you won't get to see it until later. Hopefully soon!