Sunday, March 9, 2014
Current Notes: Well, look who's here !
After reading that a MH board member found a Slo Mo not far from here, I went on an idiot’s midnight run… and came up empty. Kinda figured, but it was special to me, to feel that rush and drive again. He’ll show up eventually.
It wasn’t bugging me much – hey, it’s not like I’ll never ever never have him, it’ll just take a little longer for me. This is so typical, I wonder why I’m even wasting the electrons to tell it to you. But today was kind of odd, right from the start, and it is worth telling, so let’s get it started already.
Even though I just went to my favorite thrift Friday, I went again today. I felt almost… compelled. Ever have that ? Got in right after they opened, so most of the ‘doorbusters’ were already gone, but I was mostly there for Beloved Hubby pants and general ‘time outta Chez Insanity’ for both me and Dearest Son. He dashed off to look at vintage electronics, I dug through piles of pants. Luckily for me, I could see him and dig at the same time. Blue tags were 25¢ or 5 for $1., green got you 99c clothes this week. I know it sounds weird, but I’m tracking the tag colors as a sort of thrifty game.
Soon had a pile – rejected two pair for damages – of eight pairs for Beloved, and a narrow pinstripe for doll clothes for me. Dearest enjoyed looking around, but didn’t see anything he wanted to part with any allowance money to obtain. I was making a quick circuit around the store, aiming for the nude doll pile on a rack above the clothes when I saw a familiar leg sticking out. A gentle pull…Tiana ! It was DP&M Tiana ! I couldn’t believe it ! She wasn’t there Friday. But there she was, a little scratched and in need of some hair help, but…wow. Of the three DP&M dolls I most liked, I’d now have two of them !
And you’re not gonna believe this but…she had a blue tag ! It even said ‘Disney Princess and Me doll’ ! So I got her for 25¢ instead of $5.99, although I’d have gladly paid the original price as well. She even had on some not-well-fitting sneakers, and a cute, if equally ill-fitting, cupcake t-shirt.
Wanna know what’s weird ? Last month, I bought a Tiana DP&M dress on a Snow White doll. I mourned a bit that I didn’t find Tiana. Well, that Snow purchase was exactly one month ago. Really ! February 09. And today, I find Tiana. On March 09. Talk about compulsions !
She is so beautiful...
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Current Notes: I love how her hair isn't 'yellow' blonde, it has a bit of brown to it.
Finally, some uninterrupted time with my new doll, LDP Rapunzel ! I was lucky, her hair wasn’t nearly as wrecked as it looked, and twenty minutes with a good brush, a spray bottle of water, and an episode of Law & Order, I had it out of the rubber band and brushed out. Her hair is a bit thin – probably due to me and her previous owner, I took out a child’s handful of hair – but it’s still pretty. Trimmed stray threads off her dress, which was also in better than expected shape, given the inexpensive satin and fragile tulle paired with Velcro ™. I’m also impressed by the detail in the plastic of her hairbrush. Very pretty. Glad I got this one !
She’s also all-vinyl. Like the original LDPs from Jakks Pacific, and unlike the Snow White I bought earlier. Snow’s all hard, shiny plastic, which makes her easier to clean and more of a ‘my first’ doll, but I really prefer soft vinyl. Prettier, easier to photograph, not as harsh looking.
Went out for a few groceries and found a few real deals. A box of instant grits for 25c, since the box was damaged but not open. Too bad there was only one. Two double-packs of sliced cheese, 24oz, for less than two bucks, and my favorite canned tamales, 68c. I’ll go back for more if I can !
Also saw a knockoff DP&M doll at Family Dollar. Sincerely not worth the ten bucks asking price, which is sad. Thin, stringy hair, blow molded body so thin that light shone through it while still in the box, painted pink eyes that belonged more on a MH doll than a DP one, and clothes with the cheapest thin paper-like satin, edged with lace I know costs maybe a quarter a mile wholesale, won’t sell to any but the most desperate parent. And Christmas is long past. I swear, I hate that lace. I see it on every knockoff doll dress, over and over. If it has lace on it, it’s got that pattern, always. I confess, I thought of snagging her anyway, just for the dress, but I simply couldn't justify it in any way. Especially when I know what fabric I could buy for ten bucks ! I can get velvet in at least two colors – more with coupons and judicious use of quarter-yard cuts – for that much.
DG Requiem released a new pattern, Victorian Steampunk, with a choice of several sleeves and skirts today. I try to snag hers early, while they’re still $2. Once they sell ten copies, the price moves to $3. I really like this new one, but I have no idea when I’ll get to it. I have so many other projects – duct tape shoes, DP&M clothes, Cinderelsa’s wardrobe, those blankets I promised to make months ago – stacked up and waiting !
Friday, March 7, 2014
Current Notes: And I don't tie bows very well, either.
Proud of me today. I successfully beat back the urge/ want to bid on a lot of LDP dresses. They closed fairly cheaply, but even $15. is kind of a big deal right now. Plus, I just bought a doll yesterday ! And isn’t my goal to create more, buy less ? Darn right it is. So I let it go, and I’ll probably let the DP&M dresses go, too. I’ve only made one dress for Belle, I want to sew some more, and work on the half-started project I have sitting here. So. I’m proud of me for not spending today !
And I did get to sew. Worked on the cloak for Belle I started Wednesday. On the third try, I pretty much gave up and put a casing in the top and ran a ribbon through it. That worked. Not what I wanted, but I may be able to use that to figure out where I keep bucking it.
First attempt, sewing it as directed, didn’t work at all. It pulled in weird places and was too big in others. The darts came out too far in the back, not close enough to the shoulders to fit at all, so the darts stuck up at odd angles, like Belle was concealing sharp-edged wings.
Second attempt went with nearly the same shape, but I rounded off the darts, eliminating them entirely. Decided to gather the top edge for shape and fit. Fit was still off, and hung slightly lopsided. If I pinched a half-inch in at the back, it fit about well, but then it had pulling lines at the collarbone. It was as if it was both too big and too small. But I found that I can hem a gathered line – usually that’s where I put the bodice, so I’ve never hemmed the top of a gathered skirt before !
Third and final (for today) was cut parallel on both sides (original pattern is slightly longer on one side, for fastenings), and I folded down a half inch for the casing. Fit is about right, drapes well and hangs evenly, but I can’t add a hood or collar to something that has an adjustable fit every time. Doubles as an apron, though.
I think the next try will add a dart to the back, at the collar only. See if that’ll cinch up the back a bit without subtracting too much from the front. And, hey, all these efforts keep me off eBay and out of Target !
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Current Notes: Plus, I wanted a new project. Like I didn't have enough already !
Heckuva week, huh ? Got all the way to the checkout line at Dollar Tree only to remember Beloved Hubby forgot to leave the debit card for me. Arrrgh. Luckily they took checks – I just had to give ‘em a blank one, they zipped it through the register and added everything, and it took even less time than running a card would have. Wow. Was only there for bread (delivered Monday and Thursday !) and a treat or two, so it wasn’t a big deal thing… but I couldn’t finish my planned shopping at Aldi’s. They only take cash, credit, or debit.
On the way home, I was witness to a car accident, so I waited in a safe spot for the cops. They took my info, not that it was necessary, the guy admitted to running the red light, but at least I feel I did the right thing.
Other than that, a bit of a boring day. I got to hit the thrift, though, once Beloved came home, and scored two pair of pants for him that he really likes. Funny, in women’s clothes, it’s mostly small sizes available, but on the guy’s side of the aisle, most of what I saw was on the larger side. I actually had a bit of a challenge finding his lower medium size.
They’d also gotten a bunch of non-Barbie dolls in, but somebody needs to teach whoever prices them that just ‘cause it looks like an American Girl doll, it probably isn’t. One was even labelled ‘Our Generation’ on a piece of paper stapled (grrrh !) to her skirt, and they still wanted $39.99 for her. Um, Target sells ‘em new, with a bunch of accessories, including shoes, for about $30., ya know. Was tempted by the $3. ratty-haired Crissy, but decided instead to go for the LDP Rapunzel for $9. I know, she’s only $26. brand new with non-messy hair, but she came with shoes ! She’s missing her crown and mirror, but comes with DP&M Rapunzel’s sold-separately purse. Which, of course, is now Belle’s. I almost wonder if it’s de rigueur that dolls come to me without their tiaras.
Finished up the grocery shopping for this and most of next week, and headed home. I’ve been weary and a twinge dizzy all day. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will end that. If not, well, there’s always naps !
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Current Notes: What if my entire life has been abnormal...?
Oh, man. Just found out that Ron Howard’s birthday was Saturday. He was the subject of my first ever actor connection – Hey, Richie Cunningham is Opie Taylor grown up ! – and he’s one of the few that wasn’t a teenager when I was in elementary school, but is currently younger than I am now. Anyway, prepare to feel old… he’s 60. Whoo. I feel ancient.
Been a heck of a week so far – Beloved Hubby had a dental appointment, and it went well, but now he needs surgery for an extraction. That’ll be next Friday. Hope he can tough it out until then. He already says he feels a little less pain just knowing it’ll be attended to soon. He’s had more sleep this afternoon than he’s had all night any day this month, and most of last.
Dearest Son and I have begun school again this week, and so far, so good. I’m somehow a lot more patient, he’s a lot more understanding. His reading is much better than I expected – I’m sure I can thank the internet for that ! – and the online lessons we’re using have added art and physical education modules, so we get to explore those together soon. Starting slow this week, building up his attention span and confidence… but he can focus for about an hour if we go at the pace he sets. Not bad for a teen with some challenges !
While it’s been a hectic week, I haven’t been completely neglecting my dolls. Went full-tilt clean on my Arena this afternoon. It’s come to my attention that if I leave it a mess, others decide to leave their own crap on top of it. That’s less likely to happen when it’s evident I’m using it. Seriously, several dolls had been buried under coats and clothes. So I’m gonna keep it ready to go to avoid tragedy. Plus, MIL delivered me her first pattern request, so I’ll be at Hobby Lobby this week sometime, probably Saturday. Funds are kinda tight, ya know.
I decided I wanted to use at least some of the white fake fur remnant I got at Hobby Lobby last week to make DP&M Belle a little cloak. Maybe one with a hood, like the red one worn in the film’s snow scene. Only problem is, the pattern I liked most was from DG Requiem, for the MH ghouls. Hrf. Well, let’s scale ! Printed one out at original size, scanned the pieces I wanted, and used PaintShopPro to tweak ‘em to the right size. I tried the classic ‘what you want divided by what you need’ formula, but the resulting printout fit LPD-size dolls, didn’t even come close to fitting Belle. So I measured around Belle’s shoulders, estimated for seam allowances, and enlarged the scan to match the measurements. It’s all printed out and assembled, and I hope to sew tonight. Wish me luck ! If I can make that, I don’t really need to buy that DP&M outfit – who knows, maybe I can even make the dress m’self !
And if I decide to get that DP&M Elsa doll anyway… it’d be nice to have a good fur cloak pattern, ready to go for her.
Still, though, when taxes come in, I’m gonna buy one of the skating outfits. Mostly because I want the skates !
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Not a good day at Chez Insanity – it started at about 4am, at least for me. Kept hearing a cat howl, and it sounded too low-pitched to be Ginger, and I couldn’t find the cat. Turned out to be FIL’s mackerel-striped grey American Shorthair in distress. Probably from a tangle with a car. Poor kitty was in a lot of pain and the emergency veterinarian (spit!) extracted $90. for a visit and basically didn’t do anything. Oh, she advised FIL of the approximately $3K in procedures it’d possibly take to get kitty back on all four paws, but she wanted it cash on the examining table, and no one here has that.
Clearly kitty was in a lot of pain, but without cash, she was unwilling to even curb or end his suffering. She’s free to have her own philosophy, but I was really disappointed in both her demeanor and her judgmental streak. Angry, too, if you want the truth of the matter. Yes, if you own a cat, you probably should have $3 to $5K waiting for emergencies, but the last time I saw money like that unused in a bank account with my name on it, it was during the Reagan administration. Most of the people in our ‘hood used their savings some time ago to keep their homes out of foreclosure or keep the heat turned on – not to mention restoring life back to normal after another of the tornadoes that seem to love ripping up the same streak right through this town.
Far too long later, kitty passed, cradled in FIL’s arms, his suffering finally over. He was a good kitty, who’d just begun to warm up to us again – Beloved Hubby had saved him from starving in an abandoned shop by basically carving a hole in the wall in his boss’ shop next door nearly a decade ago. He’d had a good life, with plenty of Cat Chow and as much attention as he sought. He fought ‘til the end, and our meager options to ease his pain earlier would have only added to his trauma, still, I feel like I didn’t do as right by him as he deserved. It doesn’t detract from his spirit, his cleverness, his eternal feline beauty, and his life before. Miss him already.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Current Notes: Selected contents of my Madeira Treasure Chest - embroidery thread.
Too lightweight for durable clothes.
Too lightweight for durable clothes.
Got interesting news today – along with another inch of snow. It was so beautiful early in the morning, pristine and clean and sparkling gently from several still-working streetlamps. Undisturbed until I let Ginger outside at her demand, then only her tiny paws marked the passage of any time at all.
News was, MIL wants to sew clothes for her toddler grand-daughter. I bet Beloved Hubby’s glad I talked him out of tossing that old sewing machine now. ‘Cause she ain’t getting near mine. Sorry, I’ll give anybody the pillows off my bed, but KJ and Brody are off limits. I don’t like it when Beloved uses my machine to patch a tear on a work shirt, to be truthful. He tends to pull fabric and break needles. Don’t tell him I told you.
She asked if I knew where to get inexpensive patterns, since all the ones she saw were nearly twenty bucks ! I quickly clued her in to 99¢ pattern sales and how I’d long ago found many simple styles online. Mostly infant patterns that I’d altered to doll clothes, but within 30 seconds, I’d found about a hundred for toddlers. Wonder what search terms she used. I also advised her to research Simplicity, Buttericks, and McCall's current patterns online, then write down the numbers of the ones she likes, to save time at the tables. Be glad to take her out shopping, or pick them up for her, her choice. Our Hobby Lobby still has pattern file cabinets – but the table and chairs and pattern books were gone last time I was there. Maybe they’ve ordered new ones, but I never count on anything returning once it’s gone.
I wondered about the status of yard sales and thrift stores where B & SIL live – I’d given up making clothes for Baby Crissy when I found gorgeous ones second-hand for pocket change – and at least twice I had to turn down offers of boxloads of infant dresses for free. Once I accepted, and donated the lot. Things must be different up North – and I doubt anyone’s having big yard sales with all this blinkin’ snow. Still, it’s usually cheaper to buy second-hand than buy fabric and notions…ah, but she had a plan already. She’s gonna use those old clothes of hers that I had her pull out of Dearest Son’s closet !
Well, I wish her luck. I’ll go through my stash, since she has no notions at all, and I have enough pins for a dozen quilting bees. Hornets, too. But she’ll need to invest in some herself, as I pared down my supplies before we moved, and most of my thread is old. Wooden spool old. Fine for doll clothes, not trustworthy for people clothes. Plus, I don’t want anyone else digging through all my stuff looking for a certain shade of pink thread. I can tell her a good place to buy Velcro ™ online, or take her to Hobby Lobby, but my ultra-thin stuff was expensive ! I hate to sound so selfish…but I am !
Still, I’m gonna wait until she actually asks me to pull her sewing machine out of the closet my desk currently blocks. No sense in tearing through stuff and giving her more clutter until she’s ready to use it. Without a sewing machine, there’s only so much she can do, or prepare. Plus, I honestly don’t know if she even has good scissors !