Thursday, February 11, 2016

I think that pretty much sums it up for me.

(wry smile) Once again, for the second or third year in a row, I think, I have completely forgotten about the International Toy Fair. It’s this weekend. To my credit, the last several have been total crap – at least for the stuff I’m most interested in – and with the new Barbie bodies, I completely expect this year’s to be all about Babs again. MH represents more at ComicCon, and even that didn’t interest me much last year. Or any year past the one Slo-Mo was introduced.

As for the new Barbie bodies, well, I have just three or four questions, the primary one being, Why is the fat curvy doll stuck with the ugliest clothes and most boring hair ? I realize the doll can’t possibly look as good in standard Babs-wear, but she’s not being given the chance to wear anything remotely resembling the ‘glamor’ or ‘cute’ stuff that comprises most of Barbie’s usual wardrobe. Frankly, the stuff the Curvies come with is more Mal-Wart and far less Armani – there’s not a Team Glam or VaVa Violet in the Curvy line, I’m sure you’re not surprised.

I’ve half convinced myself that they only come with flat feet, too. (No, they don’t – standard Babs ‘no cankle’ feet here)  Just like in the real world, the only thing Original and Extra Curvy can share is shoes and earrings. And I’ve yet to see more than ‘blue’ ‘brown’  ‘green’ and ‘grey’ in the reported 22 eye colors. To be frank, I’m not wildly impressed, but I am curious. Because I refuse to sink $17.50 (yup, $7.50 to ship a $10. doll) into something I’ll probably end up donating in frustration (yeah, that Rosie O’Donnell doll didn’t stand a chance no matter how I rerooted her), so I’m again waiting for that legendary harsh light of retail. I’m also wondering if it’s just a stunt, that if they don’t sell, Mattel will have shut down all the complainers (“Hey, we gave you all you wanted, and you didn’t buy ‘em, we’re done !”) once and for all. If they do sell (i.e., they’re actually still around by Christmas) it’s all good for Mattel, too.

Speaking of dolls, I've finally begun a special project – one I meant to start years ago. I’m working for another one with zero patterns and a unique body, which means altering freebie or drafting my own patterns. I’ve got one matched to the measurements, we’ll see if it works tomorrow. Wish me (and him !) luck !

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Boring Wednesday.

Hit the local thrift today – and it’s mélange of dolls that’ve been there since either before Thanksgiving or just after Christmas. Neither Dearest Son nor I found anything remotely interesting, but we did get the collection of donations outta Emmy-car’s backseat and into the bin. Been meaning to do that for so long, it was on the ‘Week List’ ! All that’s back there now is a collection of grocery sacks awaiting recycling – or, more accurately, me remembering to recycle them !

Dollar Tree was nearly frantic, for whatever reason. Maybe folks in this town are cluing in that buying holiday stuff before the eve of the big day is a good idea ? I’m testing their cheep drawstring handle trash bags in the kitchen this week. They’re visibly thinner than the Mal-Wart house brand, but since we take it out every day, it turns out, that’s fine. Since we’re not cramming, the thinner texture is strong enough. At about half the price ! Ya’ll know me, I hate to pay for something I throw away, so spending $28. or so a year on trash bags is a lot more tolerable than shelling $50. !

Oh, and an interesting finding from last year is true this year, as well. I was surprised, when I bought a $1. Elmer Chocolate candy-filled heart at Big Lots, to find it had only four pieces of candy in it. Same brand, same exact image heart at DTree had five. Turns out, the pieces shown on the back of the packaging really are what’cha get. So I’ve been studying all the Elmer V-day hearts whenever I see them, and DTree is the only place I’ve found that had them with more than four pieces of chocolates in ‘em. Yup, Mal-Wart, too. I wonder what negotiations led to that ending ? And if I’m the only one buying enough cheep chocolate to notice !

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Old fan-habits die hard . . .

Didn’t sleep well last night – had the strangest dreams, short but freaky, so I kept waking up – so when I woke up with Beloved Hubby at 5am, I wasn’t worth wet hamburger. Went back to sleep after spending some time with him and making his lunch, and several hours of sleep later, still didn’t feel very rested. Dearest Son wasn’t in a much better mode, and Game Day was already a wash, so we just stayed in.

I got a new free AG pattern from Lee & Pearl, a really pretty set that’s Brazilian rainforest-themed. It reminds me of Carmen Miranda ! Can’t help but think of how pretty those shoulder-ruffles would look – altered, of course ! – on Tia and Aurora. If you get their newsletter, you get the once-a-year freebie, so if you sew for AG, it might be worth your e-mail. Even the non-freebie newsletters are fun to read, full of neat ideas, and are packed with photos.

Beloved was home early, so while he and Dearest napped, I paid a couple bills, ran up to the bank, and got the last of my library holds. That leaves us a lot less to do tomorrow, so provided there’s no canines out shopping, it should be a lot more fun !

Oh, and there’s a project I did last month. The design was a gorgeous freebie called ‘Love You More’ from Sew Inspired By Bonnie – that was only good for 5x7 and larger hoops. You may remember I have only a 4x4 inch one. I really liked that design, so I shrank it, and wanted to test it. The display photos were all pink or red, with an applique center of matching sparkle vinyl, which is nice, but I wanted to do something different. Ended up grabbing one of those little tote bags ( 3 for $1. at DTree) and a carefully cut scrap of Star Wars  fabric. It came out very well, despite being shrunken, then I repeated the row of stars and cut half of the ‘inner’ detail stitching, and the tote bag fabric is almost industrial waste when it comes to quality. But the designer – and 15 others – liked it !

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year, you funky monkeys !

You may have noticed I got the ink off Rose's face. So happy. . . 
Yesterday’s doll shoes came out so good, I kept going ! I had three LDP dolls that came from various thrifts barefoot – ‘Ivy’, ‘Ariel’, and ‘Rose’ – last year, and this could not continue. Especially since all I had to do was tweak the embroidery design I already owned and altered for the DP&M girls’ shoes, and poof, darn near instant footwear, at almost no cost. I was just bein’ lazy.

Measured and traced Ivy and Ariel’s feet, since Ivy’s are a bit bigger, and adjusted the pattern and added a bit more. The first trial pair, for Ariel, fit, but were rather tight, so I added a bit more so they’d hopefully flex-fit both. They’re still a bit snug on Ivy, but they work fine and stay on, so I’m calling it a victory !  That one pattern, bought on sale, now fits Timey, Dottie, Cathy, and Dancerella, plus the DP&M crowd, and now, all the ‘toddler’ Disney Princesses. Too bad I can’t get it to fit Elphie and FT Frankie, and the Barbie - MH - sixth-scale dolls ! I’d have every doll in Chez Insanity shod.

That felt soooo good ! Hope I have time this week to make something else. I’ve modified the ‘Three Projects’ list to a ‘new task every day’ one, and so far, I’ve finished Thursday and today’s. Tomorrow’s project is to get the donations out of Emmy-car’s backseat, and maybe peek in to the thrift shop while we’re there ! I know it’s childish, but if I don’t have a goal (i.e., a list), nothing gets done. Ask last week !

Sunday, February 7, 2016

New Shoes !!

Happy Superbowl Sunday ! Like it matters around Chez Insanity – nobody here cares, but it’s a prime opportunity for sofa loafing with tons of economical snacks ! I’ve been laying in supplies for days – markdown summer sausage, sale dip, salad, cheese and crackers, generic potato and corn chips, a budget rotisserie chicken, day-old Italian bread, discount doughnuts, going soon cauliflower chunks, and possibly gallons of house-brand soda ! – for whoever wants to eat ‘em whenever.

As for me, I had to hop up sort of early, to pick up some weekend-only sale hamburger, then one of Dearest Son’s Mal-Wart prescriptions. Since I promised to take him with me to M-W, I wasn’t really in a loafing mode. We looked at toys and electronics, wandering around and chatting, which is always a treat with Dearest ! I swear, he talks to me most then, about more than just what he’s been watching on YouTube. About all we bought were groceries, but it was fun to look and plot while it was not yet busy at all. Ya gotta get there before the after-Church crowds around here, or you can’t move a cart around the place, game day or not.

Once home, I knew what I had to do. Last night, I found m’self lingering around on eBay, looking at doll shoes – yikes ! Past time to get on the stick and alter the basic ‘ballerina flats’ machine embroidery design I have to better fit the Little Disney Princess / Animator’s dolls, like I’ve been meaning to. They can sort-of wear the shoes I stitch for the taller DP&M girls, but they fall off, so they really need their own size.

I’d originally intended to make shoes for ‘Iris’, my short-haired Disney Store Rapunzel, but once I saw that turquoise-ish felt in the stash, I knew that Ariel – who’s been barefoot far longer – would be wearing new shoes before the afternoon was over. They came out well, even resized, if a bit tight. Not sure they’ll fit the Disney Store or the Animator’s dolls, who have slightly larger feet, but felt stretches a bit. I was impressed that the heart design resized well, too. I’ve been skipping the heart part, figuring it didn’t translate to shrinking very well, but it did !

It even uses small bits of felt – I could probably make four pair from one 23¢ sheet of felt ! – but it comes with one drawback. They’re actually quite difficult to turn right-side-out ! I had to use a pencil’s eraser to push out the seam allowances. Still, yay ! I can now make the LDP-style dolls a pair of shoes in less than 40 minutes, and they’ll fit !

What a nice day . . .