Saturday, May 30, 2015

Another quick question

Hello Dear Readers,

I was just wondering if anyone's ever bought anything off of Taobao.com? It's a Chinese site and I'd have to use a shipping agent to purchase anything on it. I was wondering if anyone could recommend an agent. I've done some research, but haven't found one I like the best. So I thought I'd ask to see if anyone could point me in the right direction.

Thanks!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Seeing Double!

I started a new E-bay account so I could start listing sewing patterns all in one place. Since I had a "new" account that I hadn't used yet E-bay sent me a 10 dollar off coupon off an item 25 dollars or more (not including shipping). I opened the account right before I started working so my E-bay time has been extremely limited. The first coupon I let expire. I did look to see what was listed that interested me, but I really didn't find anything. I didn't want to spend too much and all the vintage dolls in my price range I already had similar dolls of. And really, if I'm spending more money on a doll than I normally would just to use the coupon I'm not really getting that much of a deal, am I?

But then they sent me a second coupon (and oddly a few days after that a third coupon showed up in my inbox even though the second one hadn't expired yet). Again I was in the same boat with vintage dolls, I have so many of them that unless I find a great deal I really don't need any more. Unrelated to all this I've been wanting another Audrey Hepburn doll. Most places have sold out of the Roman Holiday doll except for the Mattel Collector site. As of a few weeks ago they had her for just over 20 dollars, but they really gouge you on shipping. I'm not sure what's compelling me to want another one. I do like the first one I have, but I'm already dreading re-rooting her and I don't play with her enough to justify a second one. I think I just like getting a deal on it and right now everywhere else I see her prices climbing so I want to get a second one while I still can, no matter how illogical getting a second one would be.

I did look up the costs of getting a second Roman Holiday doll on E-bay to see if the coupon would make getting one more cost effective. Then I had a thought, why don't I check to see if there were any listings for the first Audrey Hepburn doll, a doll that I did miss out when it was first released that I've come close to getting several different times but keep missing out on. And since this doll used a different face mold, getting one wouldn't be just buying the same doll again. I looked it up and found one MIB for 35 with 10 dollars shipping. Using the coupon would be like getting free shipping. I thought about it for a little bit and decided to do it. It would satisfy my Audrey Hepburn doll want and since I had both dolls, maybe I would prefer one better and only keep my favorite and let the other one go.

I bought it late on Saturday paying 10 dollars for priority shipping. However (I already posted my issues with this), the seller didn't get it into the mail until Thursday. I understand not getting into the mail on Saturday or Monday (Memorial Day) but Tuesday and Wednesday are a bit much waiting to get it into the mail. And I checked, they said nothing in their listings about only shipping on certain days or waiting X number of days until they get things into the mail. *Sigh*, even though it's annoying I did survive the wait (barely).

Audrey Hepburn arrived well packaged, at least they had that going for them. Like I said she was
MIB, but the box did have several spots of shelf wear, which was fine with me since I wanted to open her! There's less guilt that way. In a matter of minutes, she was free from her box. I also removed all of her clothes. The one I bought was the "Pink Princess" version because it's cheaper than the black dress version. I plan on keeping the shoes and tiara and reselling the rest of her clothes to make some of my money back. The pink satin they used for the coat and purse tends to get splotchy over time and mine has that issue too, but hopefully the dress and tights will be of some interest to people. And the coat isn't terrible, just not uniformly pink. I also ended up switching the body on mine. She originally comes with a Shawni body, but I prefer her on a different body. I wanted a body that was articulated and a bit closer to her real life proportions. I compared her skin tone to the pivotal body I have Roman Holiday on and it wasn't a great match. This new version (really the old version) is a lot more pink than Roman Holiday. I ended up settling with a Dream House Midge doll's body. The head is a little bit lighter than the body, but it's really not that bad. Her original body will also be resold.

After I got her on a new body it was time to compare her to the other doll.... and it's kind of a tie. I really don't have one I prefer over the other. Right now I like them both for different reasons. They're both going to need hair work. Roman Holiday needs an entire re-root but I think that Breakfast at Tiffany's could get by with just a partial re-root. I want to get rid of her blonde streaks and bulk up her bangs. I will admit that Roman Holiday was winning in my preference until I stole her dress for the new doll. She was still wearing her Christmas dress. Dressing her in something the real Audrey would have worn made her look more like her. The hat also helped a great deal since it smushed down her bangs to make them look less wispy.

So maybe there's room for both of them in the collection, for now it seems. They both look like Audrey Hepburn (to me), but I think Roman Holiday looks a lot younger while Breakfast at Tiffany's looks more mature. So for now I'm just going to hold onto both of them and enjoy them. Who knows what the future holds, but for now they both stay.   

I did some cleaning, but obviously no dusting

Here's a picture of Charlotte's shelf currently. 

As you can see a few dolls are still wearing their Christmas outfits. I would change them into something more seasonal, but I just like them in their Christmas outfits better than anything else I have for them. Audrey Hepburn is in a bathrobe since someone else stole her Christmas dress. Ashley would still be in her Christmas dress except I changed it to something else a while back but I ended up not liking it and was too lazy to put her back into her Christmas dress. I ended up changing her back into that swimsuit I bought/modified last year. Sebastian also changed into swimwear (he was nude before). Kelly and Tommy changed out of their Christmas clothes too and into something more weather appropriate. I pulled my other Homme doll from the shelf. He is still wearing his Valentine's pajamas, but I don't have a spot for him right now. I have a few things I moved back to the shelf after I took the picture, but it's a lot less cluttered right now. The bookshelf has kind of become a catch all for dolls and projects but I need to be better about keeping it organized. I know I always feel better when I can look over and it's not a jumbled mess!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Welcome to the family.... literally!

Our story starts last Wednesday, the start of my seven day work stretch. I was going in at 4 since it was the last day my coworker was going to be there before vacation and they had her working the day time. I was getting ready to go out when I noticed that I was very close to running out of mouthwash and in the shower I noticed that I was getting very close to also running out of shampoo. Since I was going to be working a LOT in the next seven days I decided to go out early to get replacements. When I'm working I don't want to have to make any stops on the way home. I deal with the general public enough during my day, once I'm off the clock I just want to go home and not be around people.
Since I was going out anyway I decided to leave even earlier and visit the local thrift stores. Now that I'm working I haven't been going nearly as much. I just don't have the time when I'm working and when I have a day off I hate spending so much time driving around town when I could be using it to work on the bunch of doll projects I've been neglecting, or you know be busy doing nothing. Since it was a work day, it was already ruined so I decided to go out earlier and hit up the thrift stores.
They were pretty much all a bust. Nothing of real interest in any of them, which stinks but I really don't need more stuff. Right now I should be focused on clearing out what I don't want instead of getting more. I have been better about only buying what I love compared to what I just like. I've also been a lot better about buying stuff fore resale. Haven't had much time to list new things on E-bay, so there's no point adding more to the pile.
 Quick side note, when I was at Walmart getting the shampoo and mouthwash I checked in their toy section. There's two new Fashionistas that have been showing up at random stores that I'm interested in. One of them I like their dress and the other I like the doll. I was thinking about getting them keeping what I like and reselling the rest but I found out Walmart jacked up the price of the Fashionistas! They used to be under 8, but now they're around 10. They didn't have the ones I wanted, but it's not a big deal any more. At eight they were a maybe, but at ten I'm no longer interested. And Walmart's shot itself in the foot with this one, now they're selling them for the same price as everyone else. I have no reason to step foot into Walmart to check for the few I still am looking for. So I won't be popping in and getting anything else since I'm already there. Your loss Walmart, your loss.

Anyway, thrift stores were a bust, but I did end up popping into one of the antique stores along
Sunset. I had been there fairly recently, but not that recently since the woman that owns it commented on my shorter hair. I guess that when I've been there since November she hasn't been working. I do miss my long hair, but you do what you have to do. The antique store was pretty much the same as the last time I had been there. However, I did find something to buy. I found Pepper, Tammy's little sister. I have a very small Tammy collection, and while I'm not seeking them out that much I would like to complete my collection of Tammy and her family. Right now I have Tammy, her father (who I want to get a better condition version of), and now Pepper.

My Pepper is the Pos'n version with the wires in her arms and legs. I didn't know this, but both arms and both legs are attached together. For a doll that's designed to "pos" it's really counter productive to not be able to lift one arm without having the other one move too. I think I'd prefer a doll without this feature if I was a child. Pepper can't even wave! According to her markings I believe she's the 1965 version. She has light brown hair in a bubble cut. She's in very nice shape, played with but not
too much. When I got her, her arms were bent. I assume she's been like that for a long time since she has white stress marks on the insides of her elbows. I tried easing them out with hot water, but no luck. Other than that she's in very nice shape. She has amazing face paint. I'm not sure if I'll get rid of the little dot of extra lip paint she has on her cheek. I still have to fix her hair, haven't had time for it yet. When I found her Pepper was prices at 9.50, but when asked her price was lowered to 8.50. Oh! I almost forgot, when I found her she was wearing Skooter's original swimsuit bottoms. The elastic's shot, but they look nice. I might try selling those on E-bay.

And so with Pepper joining my Tammy family I'm just missing, Tammy's Mom, Pete, and Tim. I'm not focusing on friend's just yet, but I do have Misty's head I got in a lot.

Quick Question for Gene Doll Owners

Quick question for anyone that owns a Gene doll, is her head squishy or hard?
Thanks!

Work, work, work, I'll never get my dress; re-root; restoration; blogging done

Hello Dear Readers,

I am exhausted! What a week! I just finished a seven days work week. Part of it was "paying off" getting my days off early last week, but it's not like I got to pick that. My full time co-worker is taking over a week off since her brother and sister in law are coming to town and I guess I'm kinda picking up the slack. I say kinda since even though I'm part time I usually get 30 hours a week on the schedule. Compared to the fellow part timers who one of them has 20 hours listed this week and that's the most I've ever seen one of them be scheduled. Traditionally they get 15 hours or less. But I am apparently in charge of making sure all the signs are put up on time and scanned into the system. I think it's funny, I've been working there for a little over 60 days and it's all fallen on me. And I'm even including supervisors not bothering to check to make sure it's getting done. I worked every single day this Memorial day weekend and on Monday we had a fair amount of people (which was great since the days before that had been DEAD). I was opening alone (like usual) so the signs didn't get set up since I was dealing with customers. My co-worker came in at 11, and even though I was still working with signs well into the early afternoon never bothered to help even though we have two machines to use with setting up. It's been all me. So right now I am so happy that I am home and not in there.
They did want me to come in today. That same co-worker called out yesterday for their shift tonight and they asked if I could come in. I thought about it, but said no. I do feel guilty for saying no (always have, always will in my life), but I just worked 7 days, including an entire holiday weekend (that my co-workers got at least one day off of) and Wednesday night are traditionally bad for sales. That would be fine if I was still on training pay, but now that I'm on commission and get constantly spoken too about not having a high enough sales per hour (and other things) I'm not going to come in to just benefit you, especially when my team efforts don't seem to count for any good will towards me. I literally got an average on my dependability 60 day review despite coming in on my day off once, coming in early once, and staying late twice to help them when they were short staffed (and not to mention always being there and on time for my actual scheduled shifts). Since then I've even stayed late at least twice to benefit them. And so I told them no. I needed my day off. Let them find someone else to take advantage of for that. They can't even call in the new girl since after a week of training she quit! And it's not like we have that many people in reserves, we literally have only 5 people in the entire department to cover the entire week and right now we're down to 4. We're better off than electronics who currently only has 4 all the time, but there's really not that many people who work in that store in general much less who can work in my department so when someone calls out it's a huge hassle finding a replacement. But that's not my problem. I will do my best to always be there for my shifts and help out when I can, but I'm not going to let them take advantage of me. This is a job, they don't get to own me and all of my time. I am a team player, but key word being team. I'm not going to become an indentured servant for this company when it's apparent that they do not care to cut me any slack even though I've only been on commission for two weeks now and you'd think there would be some sort of learning curve. But they really do not seem to have their act together when it comes to training. I know I feel that my training was really shoddy and can assure you that the new associate's training was turning out worse than mine (hardly surprised she quit).

Ugh, This was supposed to be a doll post with a brief work intro, but it's been all about work! I'll save the doll post for latter .I guess it's better when you don't have to hear about work first!    

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

You know what I hate?

Being forced to pay a ton for priority shipping to just have the seller sit on the item for days before getting it into the mail. 

I bought something on Saturday, paid 10 dollars for shipping, bought something on Sunday and paid 15 dollars for shipping. Neither of them have gotten into the mail yet. I understand not being able to ship something immediately as someone pays, but when I'm getting gouged so much on shipping (believe me I know how much these things weigh) I would at least like them to get into the mail by the second business day of the week!

*Grumble, grumble, grumble*

It's a hazard of living with me....

I dropped a Barbie doll leg onto the cat today. It didn't hurt her (didn't fall far), it just startled her. Maybe it'll teach her to not sleep under my chair anymore. I let her go to areas in the room I've never let a cat go, so she's got plenty of places to pick from.





On the bed, mostly free from flying legs.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hello again!

I'm trying to be better about blogging. Not sure how often new posts will be, but I will at least try to not allow such long break in-between blogs from me.
Today's post is going to be another doll introduction post, just slightly different than usual. It's different because I've already introduced this doll, in fact it might be the third time I've talked about her!

The doll is Free Movin' P.J., a doll I last talked about here. In that post I was talking about how I finished repairing a 70's era body to put her on. I wasn't expecting to find a free movin' body for her and I really didn't care enough to hunt one down for her. But wouldn't you know the Universe had other plans for P.J.. When I hung out with my doll friend to look through what parts he had I found a free movin' body. It was missing it's legs but otherwise was in good played with shape. It did have the palm to rear hands that I detest, but I don't dislike them enough to not buy the body.
I replaced the leg posts a few days after buying it, I also dealt with the minor melting it had going on.
After that P.J. made the switch over from the body she was on to this new one. Which is good since I had bought a pretty Deluxe Quick Curl Barbie head at the same time and she needed that body. However P.J. still had an issue she came with, someone had cut her hair right at the start of her part line. Not enough to warrant a full re-root, but enough to need something done. I ended up buying hair for a partial re-root. P.J.'s hair was a blend of two colors. This was my first time buying blended hair, and I'm not that impressed with it. I had a hard time blending the two colors together so it didn't look like highlights in the hair. (I was really not that successful) You can also tell the difference between the old and new hair, but it works for me. For what I paid for her P.J. was worth it (especially since her head came in a lot of stuff), but I'd never seek her out. However, I will say that I like her a lot more than I thought I would. That free movin' feature is fun, even if she looks like she's
having a physical issue instead of moving gracefully.

Hopefully this will be the last introductory posts about P.J. and the next time I'm talking about her it's because I dressed her!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hello Everyone!

Fear not, I am still around, I just haven't had the time or the passion for blogging lately.


I'm pleased to see that most of you are still here but I did notice we lost a follower *Heart Breaks*
Just kidding, I would have unfollowed me too since I haven't been blogging. 

What can I say about last month, other than it was terrible

 It was an extremely rough month on a variety of fronts. The first thing being someone very important to me fell off the face of the Earth. I went from talking to them every day, to pure radio silence. I was totally in the dark with what happened, and one of the worst things that can happen is to me being alone with my thoughts. I had all these terrible ideas and situations swirling in my brain that were all horrible to think about. It was a really rough time for me. I recently heard from their roommate, they had some big issues of their own that was keeping them away (like worse than my issues). They were hoping to be back soon. That was a couple of days ago and I still haven't heard from them but I'm being patient. Now that I know what's going on I understand these things take time, and I wouldn't want them to rush anything. I still miss him terribly though.

Work also sucked. I think in my last post I talked about getting a job, well I still have it. I am honestly shocked every time I leave there when I haven't quit in a huff. And the thing is, I don't hate the job. I like being able to help people and I think I could be rather decent on it with the correct training. The issue is my training has been so shoddy. I honestly have been forced to be incredibly proactive in making sure I get the training I need. I've been working there for about five weeks now and I'm still not done with my computer training. I worked on it for a while, but once I got stuck in a section due to computer issues they threw me out onto the floor and I haven't gotten a chance to finish it. People keep saying that I must be getting tired of being bugged to finish my training, but I'm not, because nobody is mentioning it. My immediate supervisor did talk to me briefly about it last week, but just the fact I need to get it done, which is nearly impossible since lately I've been the only person working in my department so it's not like I can be computer training and working the floor at the same time. I just am tired of being told I need to do something without getting the proper tools on how to learn it. With my training lots of time I'll get taught steps 1, 3 and 4 but they'll just ignore steps 2 and 5 until I'm asking what am I doing wrong. I'm tired of being wrong with things that I've never been shown in the first place.
I even got .... not really yelled at at work today. Some of my sales numbers aren't that stellar and they want me to improve them. And I hate to play this card, but I've only been working there for five weeks and there's SO much to learn. I am trying my best and going really out of my comfort zone with this job but it doesn't really seem to matter to them. My supervisor even mentioned my upcoming 60 day evaluation in a kinda you better shape up kind of vaguely threatening way. It's like, I've been working here five weeks, I'm always on time, I've already come in twice in order to cover someone else's shift, I'm trying to do everything by the book, and this week you've got me scheduled for 31.75 hours when I'm only part time. You need me just as much as I need you. I'm trying to remain "ever gentle and kind", but sometimes this Cinderella just wants to walk out especially when they are expecting the same level of sales compared to people who have been working there for years. You would not believe the number of times I've written my resignation letter in my head. And I'm already thinking of other ways to get money. It's like, I could throw myself into E-bay a lot harder and there's always re-rooting. Sure the hours of work compared to the pay suck, but it might be better than this job. It's gotten so bad that I've even though about selling the dolls in an effort to not have to keep working there. And when I'm thinking like that, you know it's bad.

What other fun stuff happened? Oh right! I had a fun play date with another dolly friend at the start of the month, came home to find out the cat had thrown up... blood, everywhere (mainly on my bed but we did get some fun blood splatter on my wall). I won't lie, if I had not seen the cat alive before that and just saw the aftermath, I would have assumed she was dead. It was gruesome. It's been a couple weeks now and everything is fine but boy did that scare me. She's a billion years old (either 17 or 18) so anything can happen. I don't know if I could had handled anything happening with her, that might have been the final straw for me.

I will finish off with a little good news, a new doll! I have been trying to be better about buying dolls but it's hard just going cold turkey. At the end of the month I bought a new doll off E-bay. It was a bit of a splurge (50 dollars) but it was a good price and a doll that was worth it. You won't get to meet that doll this time (she's still getting worked on), however the seller included a bunch of extras in with my dolls. A lot of it was of no interest to me (some of it was just trash or will be donated the next doll donation meeting), but I actually got two more dolls that I could use. Both of them will need restoration, but it's stuff I can do and they was free! The doll I will be showing you today is one of them. It's Talking P.J. (Hong Kong version). When I got her she was on the wrong body. In a stroke of luck, the body she was on I needed for a different doll. I ended up putting P.J. on a Taiwan body. It's not right, but it's closer than the one she's came here on. For a freebie she's in really nice shape. Nice hair (there's a spot on her bangs that want to flip up), lovely eyelashes, and really nice face paint. She's the kind with the harder vinyl head so she is different from the other Talking P.J. I have. Her hair was a little dry when I got it, but I did some treatments and it's so soft now. She stole another P.J.'s outfit for her photo shoot. And I made her shopping bag, that was something we did yesterday at the doll meeting.

Here's hoping to May being better than April!