Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Current Mood : Jittery
Appointments aplenty this week and next - which means I have several experiences of 'pre-medical visit' jitters to keep me from sleeping soundly to muddle through. Even when I know, like today, what's gonna happen, I also know I'm gonna toss and turn all night anyway. Today was a three-hour diabetes class, and I have two more after this one. I'm 'pre-diabetic', my last test showed I'm hovering just above the cut-off numbers, so I need to know how to avoid worse complications more than anything else. I'll always be diabetic, but with an improved diet and more exercise, I should be able to keep it from getting fully-fledged, requiring more medicine or, Heavens forbid, insulin.
We had to pick a goal from a list, and since I was already exercising and weighing daily, I checked off 'keep a food diary' as the one I was most likely to keep. Although I could have clicked 'daily foot exam', since the class, I've been slightly obsessed with the idea. They suggest that I never go barefoot again ! But anyway, I already know from experience that, if I have to write it down, I'm far less likely to eat it, and my internal compass requires strict adherence - no fibbin' - if I agree to do it, so it's all to the good.
Afterward, we avoided a trip to TRU and instead picked up Dearest Son for a library run. Returned Subversive Sewing and That Darn Cat and scored a few more - I now have a copy of Monster High 3 : Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way - to read. The second one wasn't nearly as bad as the first, and the third seems OK so far, but I only got to page six before Beloved and Dearest were ready to go. Still, I really prefer borrowing the MH books to owning them.
I had a package waiting for me when we got back. When Mattel Store had a few days of '20% off, free shipping for all orders' Black Friday online sales, I took advantage. I'd wanted the MH Tattoo Roller for various nefarious uses, and when it went on markdown from $15. to $10., I snagged it and three more stitch-bearing Fearleader costumes, as part of my Christmas. Got the 20% off markdown and free shipping on it all, too. I was happy - with the discounts, the Fearleader outfits were nearly three bucks cheaper than they were at TRU. Each ! It was like buying the outfits and getting the roller free !
I'll probably end up giving one of the Fearleader outfits to Dearest Son. He wants one for his Toralei...
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Current Mood : Thrilled !
Current Image Notes : You may recognize it, it's an old photo, but Starlight's not changed much. Well, we did get the dust and 'bird notes' off, and she has fresher dust now, but otherwise, she's the same. And I'm still lazy.
STARLIGHT IS WORKING !! That's the big news for the rest of the year !
Beloved Hubby bought a new-to-us transmission yesterday, and began work on installing it in place of the old, fried one. It was soon dark, then too dark even with the shop lights, to work out there, but he was back at it first thing this morning.
I was with him for most of it, I don't like him being under a car up on jacks all alone. So I sit and chat with him when I can, or read when he's absorbed. All the time, there's a cell phone in my lap, just in case. I was lucky that it was such a nice day - a bit cool, but not at all uncomfortable with my ole hoodie jacket. Read all the directions for Simplicity #1955, doesn't seem too difficult. I hope to sew View D, the ruffled-collar jacket, soon.
Around mid-day, he had it back in, then after lunch, he was busy with connections and reinstalling everything he'd had to move and remove to get to the old transmission last week. We're missing a few screws, which was aggravating since he'd bagged and stored everything carefully, but he found replacements and around 4pm, we had a fully-functioning Honda Accord !
So he's feeling quite proud of himself - justifiably so ! - especially considering he never tackled anything this big before. Radiators, yes, transmissions, no. We took her out for a spin, and filled her gas tank. Less than $20., when filling the Diesel-truck is usually near $70. on a good day. So I'm thrilled, he's proud, and Dearest Son is bouncing around in joy.
Of course, having a working car means I need to get all the stuff I stored in her seats and trunk from the move redistributed...but I'm glad to do it. I've already found a new use for the cat-fabric folding knitting basket I bought years ago. You've seen 'em for decades, they have a wooden frame that folds small and flat, but opens big and square. I used mine most recently to store tulle and netting. Opened near my Everything Arena, it gives my oxygen tube hose a dedicated place to be - off the main house thoroughfare, and away from my second-hand office chair, where it always tangles and gets rolled over on, all the time. Heck, that knitting basket's more valuable to me now than ever !
For some reason, I was really tired, although I did pretty much nothing all day but watch Beloved...fell asleep twice reading a Mercedes Lackey book, which isn't like me, even with a volume I've read before. So I'm packin' it in early tonight...but I'm so proud of Beloved, I'm about to burst !
Monday, November 28, 2011
Current Mood : Bleh. Again.
A rather bleh day today - I think everyone played games and read more than anything else. Beloved Hubby worked on Starlight-car for a while, and picked up a new-to-her transmission from a pick-a-part yard, just as it got dark. The yard hadn't been able to pick it any earlier. So everyone sort of goofed around, and it would have been a great day to sew...
And I don't know why I didn't. I have a pattern I wanna sew all printed out and ready, and there wasn't a thing holding me back...but I didn't do it, preferring to just space out and read. Well, maybe that is somehow what I needed, but I really need to shake off this lethargy more !
Dearest Son wanted a Torelei Stripe - that orange Monster High cat-girl - more than anything for Christmas, so we ordered one when they suddenly became available. Our local Justice stores have been picked clean since I got mine. His arrived today, and since he already knew we ordered it, we asked if he wanted us to hold it a month, or if he wanted to open it now. 'Now' won, no surprise. So, for fun, we opened ours up together. He's fond of telling me that mine has a slight streak of red paint on one hand, so I'll probably leave it there, to tell them apart.
For some reason, though, the stand that came with his won't stay 'locked' at the stand and pole base, so it's been glued and is drying on my desk. He knows to put the 'waist' catch of the stand on the doll first, then slide it on the 'stick' part. It's probably good to go now, but I know that if I hand it to him, the first thing he'll try to do is pull it apart again, so I'll let it cure here overnight, just in case.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Current Mood : Heaving sighs...
After a leisurely morning spent with more cereal crunching than actual conversation, Beloved Hubby and I both realized that we needed new material to read. Most of my books are with me, but I've read 'em a few dozen times, and he's joyously in pre-college study mode. Dearest Son enjoys the nightly ritual of Granny reading to him, but he was really bored with her preferred material, the Little House on the Prairie series. He wanted to get some different books, "so she'd have something new to read". So, we were off to the library ! Well, we are pretty broke...
Ended up spending nearly two hours there ! It's smaller than the library in Former City, so I didn't think they'd have much, but they have more manga and teen vampire novels than Borders, may that book chain rest in peace. There's a whole shelf of sewing books I can investigate, and I came home with Subversive Seamster, a book of directions and tips on how to make blouses and pillowcases out of thrift store finds. I've already discovered that most of the projects don't apply to me - they kinda depend on their readers being about a size six to eight, for their 'huge size 16 man-shirt' revamps to work - but I was hoping for a few ideas anyway. I'll probably return the book when we take back the DVDs (That Darn Cat and a Bakugan disc) next week.
I also got a couple of Mercedes Lackey books. I enjoyed the Heralds of Valdemar series - especially the Queen's Own novels - and decided I wanted to read a few of them again. Got 'em !
Afterwards, we went to a 'last spree' sort of thing at a nearby restaurant. It'll be a while before we get to go out again, so we really enjoyed it. Much as I worry about him, Dearest behaves well in restaurants, although he does get a little bored waiting for food. Glad we had some new books to talk about !
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Current Mood : Spurred along by chills !
We had arctic blast winds last night, and evidently some got inside - I found several cut-out pattern pieces from my latest purchase, Simplicity #1955, scattered around the kitchen floor this morning. Well, when the universe wants to get something done, it often has to club me over the head to point it out. I confess, it's been sitting around quite a while, all cut out and waiting for me to scan, I've just been lazy.
Still, I'd have to drag out the ironing board and iron to flatten the pattern pieces - most were wrinkled badly enough to distort the lines, and I surely didn't wanna scan 'em that way. I gathered what I needed, waited half an hour until most of the house went back to sleep or retired to rooms to watch TV, then set up the space-hog board and antique iron. Seriously, it's from the sixties. I kinda feel 'vintage' just using the thing.
Of course, the iron had barely heated up enough to press a pair of shots I'd repurposed for the Monster High guys when suddenly everyone needed to cross right in front of my little base of operations, over and over. I didn't get it. Everyone had breakfast already, and were either asleep or engrossed in NCIS or Burn Notice episodes for nearly an hour... I'd even waited for foot traffic to die down. (sigh)
But I got it done, and started scanning. I always scan patterns before I use 'em, so I can alter and change and even ruin the pieces simply by using them, but still not lose the originals. Sure, when they're on sale for a buck or two, they're easy to replace, but fully 3/4 of the patterns I actually own aren't in print anymore. And when it takes me nearly an hour to cut 'em out the first time, I'm not eager to repeat it because I was careless ! Luckily I hadn't lost any of 'em, so about three hours later, I had it all scanned - at least, the S (Bratz) size. It wasn't until I completely lost a pattern that I started scanning the directions, too. I still skip the layout directions, though.
I am sooo cheap, I reduce the scans to black and white, and clean up stray marks in PaintShopPro, so I don't waste ink printing greyscale pieces. I even delete other languages while I'm at it, because it makes them look cleaner, less intimidating without six different words for 'sleeve' or 'center back seam' running down them. If it helps make that overpriced ink cartridge last for a few more print jobs, I'll do it !
Friday, November 25, 2011
Current Mood : Meh.
Kind of a bleh day, not much going on. The high point was going grocery shopping, and we even waited 'til late to do that, to avoid the Black Friday mobs. Did ya'll hear about that woman who maced other Mal-Wart shoppers, to get to the 'deals' ? The cops called it 'competitive shopping', which I feel downplays the seriousness of her assault. There's not a darn thing made in China, now or ever, that's worth sending people to the hospital to obtain. Especially at a discount.
We took it really easy, watched Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides on rental DVD, and just sort of frittered the day away. Dearest Son made his traditional holiday 'Wish List' - he wants DracuLaura and Clawdeen's beds, among other toys. He happily spent the rest of the day making a dollhouse / high school out of one of his bookcases, chattering on and on about Toralei arriving soon.
He also found a single stray Dark of the Moon Nitro Bumblebee MechTech Transformer toy at Aldi's - for less than five bucks ! He wants me to hold him for Christmas, so we are. I think he's too distracted by Toralei to want to figure out configuring more Transformers !
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Current Mood : Slightly ticked.
Sorry I'm late with entries again. It's kind of hard to explain, but let me put it this way - until today, I was almost afraid to write, because I didn't want to say what was most on my mind. I still don't, it's minor stuff, I know how petty I'm being, and nothing's changed since Monday - in fact, today it got worse ! But there's not much that can be done now, I just have to deal.
(sigh) Maybe I can boil it down this way - have you ever known someone who has the least resources of all your peers, but wasted the most ? Like using three paper towels to dry a pair of glasses, when you were the one who bought the paper towels in the first place, to help out ? And then, after you'd helped out all month and felt good about doing so, thinking you'd made a difference, your impoverished buddy showed off the fresh, new Coach purse she just bought, 'cause she 'saved sooo much money this month !'. Kinda like that, but not specifically. I don't feel I can criticize, but it's still hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes. Ok, ok, it's hard for me to keep my mouth shut all the time...
And clearly, on Thanksgiving, I need to focus on gratitude, not wanting to tear my hair out !
I have to reset the MH shelf, with all the new dolls needing a place to stand, but I wanted today's image of Ghoulia, before she got moved and redressed. She looks so pretty in the light.
Met our new across-the-street neighbors this morning, since it was such a lovely day, anyone who could spent it outside if possible. We won't have too many more days like today for the rest of the year ! They're really nice, and wished Beloved luck on Starlight, which he appreciated.
Speaking of 'my' Honda Accord, Beloved successfully extracted the transmission late this morning. I was surprised to learn that, when you buy a transmission from a parts place, you have to turn one in, or pay even more. At first, I thought it was a 'core charge', like for a car battery, but it isn't. And, heck, it's good to know he can get that thing out before we buy another one to put in. Hopefully the parts yard will be open tomorrow, we can't find the hours anywhere.
If they are, it'll be the only thing we buy. I refuse to get involved in Black Friday, and I've been like that ever since some woman in a huge SUV darn near ran over me in a parking lot - she was too busy talking on the phone. When I yelled 'HEY ! Watch out !', of course she looked at me like I was the moron who'd somehow materialized outta nowhere in front of her chrome grill. When that Mal-Wart employee died by trampling a couple years ago, I knew I'd never go again.
But if you're going out, please be careful and stay warm ! I hope you had a great day today, your tummy's happy, and your mind is at rest. As for me, I have such a yen for popcorn right now...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Current Mood : Delighted !
Dearest Son is driving me nuts, and now I know how Beloved Hubby must feel. Dearest has decided he wants a Toralei doll for Christmas, and he's making sure I don't go ten whole minutes in a row without knowing that. I've told him several times that he needs to write it down for his wish list Thursday after supper, but he still likes to tell me how awesome he thinks Toralei is. Along with repeatedly watching any episode she's in. Over and over and over...
Meanwhile, I haven't even opened mine yet, even though I don't have a real reason for not doing so. And now I feel that I can't, since playing with mine (and he will) kinda cuts the fun of having your own, ya know ?
So we were really lucky when Amazon.com had her for issue price - the two Justice! stores near us were sold out - today. She's been ordered, and is on the way. And yes, they don't have Gil yet either. Ah, well.
And here's what Dead Tired DracuLaura's hair looks like now. Part of it is still flying up in the back, but I'm hoping that'll ease down with time and gravity. I'm really enjoying her almost Pat Benatar-ish look !
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Current Mood : Hungry
Finally - a pretty image of Ghoulia smiling ! She usually has this 'slasher smile' that's frightening in its comic intensity, but not very attractive. It's from a Tesco exclusive video found here - http://direct.tesco.com/content/specials/monster-high.aspx . It really is cute, and features Slow-Moe and the other zombie fighting over her in 'Bermuda Love Triangle', along with geometry.
After all the walking around yesterday, I was pretty tired today, which was sort of depressing. I used to be able to walk (and shop !) forever. Ah, well. It was a good day for finishing half-done sudoku puzzles from the weekly alternative tabloid, and boiling doll hair. Poor Dead Tired DracuLaura needed it ! Even free of the rubber bands, her hair stuck straight up, just fanned out more. Yikes. She looked like she spent a super-charged night on Frankie's bed !
So I got water going, and totally forgot to not get her bangs wet. Yup, they stuck straight out, at about a 45-degree angle to her forehead. Gave her a quick cold-water rinse so I could touch her enough to get a clear elastic rubber band - from her packaging ! - over them, to hold 'em down. Her hair still flew everywhere when dry, so I soaked her again, and she's still wet. Here's hoping it looks better tomorrow !
The filtered water function in the fridge is fixed, so I'm back to drinking water over Kool-Aid or sodas. It's better for me, and I've really missed it. Even though regular soda is tasting better these days...so is cheese.
Makes me wonder - have I overcome whatever was making food taste so bad, or am I healthy enough now that everything tastes normal again ? I'll probably never know.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Current Mood : Joyous !
Today was a big day for us - Beloved Hubby is all registered for college ! I'm so proud of him, and happy, since this is what he's wanted for as long as I've known him. He's a little nervous and excited, so I got to ride along and keep him company during the process, which was mostly 'go here, do this paperwork, then take it over here and get it stamped, then take that form and another one over here...'. I got my walking in today, that's for sure ! Too bad I'm so wiped out, I can barely type !
We also got to spend a little time out and about - I found a new Goodwill near the campus, and cajoled him into going. Right inside the door, we found brand-new Bakugan figures, about four each of two sets of two. I recognized the name on one of 'em, and we got the best-looking ones, just $2. each ! We debated on holding them for the holidays, but Dearest Son is mercurial about his interests. This is the third go-round on Bakugan ! It's possible he might not want them by then, so we gave them to him tonight. It was so cute - he wanted to wait to open one set, although he ripped eagerly into the familiar-named one. The preserved set is 'too epic' to open now, he says. Squeee !
Speaking of toys, it's official - I am now a Monster High attractor. After finding zilch in the store, I took a quick spin around the display case, and noted a familiar looking shoe. DracuLaura's Dead Tired slipper. Hmmm... I soon spotted a box liner lying face down in the case, with $3.99 inked on it, and could tell that it was definitely a MH doll. Excitedly, I asked to see it. Yup. DT DracuLaura - but missing her left hand, right shoe, the stick part of her stand, and her 'Scary Human Movies' prop.
Ordinarily, I would have had no problems at all shelling $4. for her, but the missing hand made it a challenge to justify. While I hawed, the manager (not the cashier) flipped the box over, wrote '$1.99" on it and asked if I'd like it now. OH, yeah ! Not sure what I'd do about the hand, since buying it from Mattel Consumer Relations would bring her cost to within a buck or two of full retail (with all the props), but I just couldn't leave her there. I was probably the only one who'd showed any interest at all.
So she's here now, and I've decided to keep her. But you know me, if a doll has her hair up, I'll have it taken down in a couple days. So, stay tuned for that boil-perm update !
We also found a wonderful Korean grocery store, and drifted down the aisles. So many wonderful things to try ! Live fish, too - huge catfish and some other unidentifiable flat kind. Dearest enjoyed the 'Hello Panda' cookies we got him, and I couldn't stop eating the Mizuho brand rice crackers until the package was empty. And Beloved got the cooking chopsticks he's been wanting, along with a package of regular, pretty dining ones. I hope we go back there soon !
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Current Mood : Fat & happy ! And inspired...
McRib count : 6
You see before you, on your left, my latest goal. I fully intend to make my own Slow-Moe, using this custom as inspiration and guide. Isn't it fantastic ? I could swear it was a prototype, except for the sandals. This is the awesome work of xVivienx on Flickr, and I am entranced. I doubt I can do as well, but I'm gonna try !
Couldn't find a decent shade of grey paint, but I stole her tip and got another Gloom Beach Jackson Jekyll while we were out today. With a big storm coming, the utility company took today - yeah, a Sunday ! - to remove the old electric pole and replace it with a shiny new one. So the whole neighborhood was without power for a couple hours. No biggie. We went out for a while, for tools (Starlight's getting fixed soon !) , lunch, and Bakugan. We'd promised to take Dearest Son to Mal-Wart when our last trip to a brick-and-bathroom TRU was less than impressive. But we stopped at Lowe's first, since tools are very important !
Dearest found a few goodies and Beloved Hubby found the tools he needs, and Airsoft hobby stuff. We also snagged a new shower head and faucet set for the bathroom. While we have glorious hot water now, the shower itself is barely a trickle, and Beloved figured the old plumbing was simply worn out. And he was right - after an hour of soldering and installing, we have glorious pressure now ! He also replaced a broken part to DMIL and DFIL's refrigerator ice maker, so they're happy.
I was not a good person this morning, I must confess. ToysRUs had the "Dawn of the Dance" Monster High dolls on sale, for just $7.99 each. Too bad that was only for Frankie, Cleo, and Clawdeen, I already have them. If they'd had Deuce and Ghoulia, I'd have snapped them up and not thought twice. You may not be surprised to learn that I had to seriously beat m'self back from ordering all three again anyway, for shoes and clothes. Had 'em in the virtual shopping cart and everything. Decided I'd rather try to customize my own Slow-Moe, and returned it all to stock, for someone else to enjoy.
Now I can, without guilt, buy a pair of those awesome MH shoes Jemgirl makes !
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Current Mood : Ultra-silly
Today was so much fun ! Beloved Hubby was off, so we slept in, and went to Former Town to run a few errands. Finally got the 'not keeping' DVDs traded to Hastings, and scored $27. ! Not too shabby. Nothing new in their Monster High section - well, they had new-to-them stuff, although it was all merch I already had - but they did have Agatha H. and the Airship City, a novelization of Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius web comic. While it's been kinda slow for the last year or so, I'm still mostly devoted to it, and had been looking for the book since it was published in January. Even though it's a text version of the same story I've read online, I liked the style and decided to snag it. It covers from the start of the webcomic to the escape from Castle Wulfenbach, the aforementioned Airship City. Looking forward to digging in.
Dearest Son found some Bakugan books, one graphic, one text, and Beloved scored a study guide to higher mathematics, a subject he feels weakest in. With his upcoming education - he'll start in January - anything that'll make him feel more confident and positive is a good thing. I also found two novels in the Used section, on markdown, 2 for 99c. Of course, they rang up as $6.99 each, even with all the marker lines and Markdown stickers. Equally of course, I brought it up to the cashier, who fixed it. Hmpft.
We couldn't decide on lunch, having had a late breakfast, so we ended up with convenience store hot dogs and soda. It's not often you can feed a family of three for five bucks, and it isn't widely advised, but it certainly was tasty ! Got misplaced library books turned in, and headed to another strip mall - Goodwill was in that one !
(sigh) But we didn't find anything. It was crowded and busy and messy, and frankly, depressing. Ever go to a thrift store where even the books are broken ? By now I was a little tired and we still had a few groceries to score and some RedBox to turn in (btw, Everything Must Go is also kinda depressing), so we headed home. I was about to fall asleep !
I got a few chapters into Happiness Sold Separately, one of the markdown Hastings books, before I crashed for a solid two-hour nap. Played with Abbey Bominable for a while, and tested 'Physical Deaducation' Ghoulia's glued-yesterday arm. Seems to be holding OK, but I'm really timid around it. Don't want to break it again !
Toralei Stripe, the MH orange cat-girl, has been listed on ToysRUs.com, and was even marked as 'in stock' for a short while, according to folk at the LiveJournal group. Unfortunately, there are either sooo many people trying to get her, or the site itself was buggy for a short while after she appeared, because it crashed completely for a half hour or so. Then, when the dust settled, everyone who'd managed to click on it found their shopping carts empty and a reset to 'out of stock'. Not surprisingly, this upset a lot of people.
While it may be hard to believe that MH fans managed to scuttle a big-company website, I can believe that's exactly what happened. I felt bad for everyone who had one, I sorta went through the same thing with the K-Mart site a few days ago. Luckily that had a happy-for-me ending, and I hope that for everyone here, too.
Friday, November 18, 2011
Current Mood : Thrilled !
I noticed that, while it's easy to find images of Ghoulia's Comic Book Club outfit (sold separately), I never saw a photo of the box back. And if you know anything at all about Monster High fans, they want images of the front, the back, the spines, scans of the papers inside, you name it. So, here's the back of the box.
I wondered - while I held it in my hands, natch ! - what made me want this so much. Sure, it's for Ghoulia, but I still feel like DIsArmyWife about breaking her arm the other day, like I'm barely trustworthy with any doll, much less MHs and Ghoulias. And I know I wanted to pair her 'brain' patterned shirt from the Fearleader set with the matching skirt included here, but that's not enough of an obsession to warrant paying as much as I did. Oh, don't worry, it wasn't ridiculous, and was the lowest BuyItNow going, 'cause I got tired of waiting, but it was higher than the issue price, darn it. My seller was awesome, though.
Now, where was I...? Oh, yeah. What really sold this set to me was the green glasses - awesome ! - and the DeadFast action figure. I was dead set (ha-ha) against getting the ComicCon limited edition Ghoulia, much as I loved the character and even what she represented. But there was no way I could 1) pay that much for her and not play with her and 2) pay that much and play with her. I know, it makes no sense at all, but I'd feel stupid for deboxing and stupid for not deboxing, all at the same time. In the end, even when I might have snagged one at a reasonable rate from MattyCollector.com after the Con, I had already seen the Club outfit and figured it was better for me. Barbie has pretty much wrecked any lingering 'limited edition / keep in box forever to maintain value' thoughts I once had. So, months after Comic Con was over and I still didn't have it, I got obsessed. And there it is. You'd think Mattel would pay for psych eval of their consumers like this.
Speaking of Ghoulia's broken arm, I glued it back today, with special plastic adhesive Beloved Hubby bought for me. Hope it works. I know her elbow won't move again, but even with a straight arm, she's lovely and can try on clothes I'm working on. If I ever get to that.
Had my medical appointment and came home to notification of two more. Evidently, I'm gonna get tested for sleep apnea, which is scary. Those CPAP masks you have to wear at night scare me a little. And my diabetic classes are scheduled. (sigh) Sometimes I wonder what's keeping me together, if it isn't my guys and my obsessions !
Beloved's off for now through next weekend - Thanksgiving holiday in the US - so we'll probably run a few fun errands tomorrow. I just have to tamp down the impulse to call all the Justice stores in the immediate area, in case they got any Gil dolls in stock in the last 48 hours !
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Current Mood : Delighted and dizzy !
(laugh) It never fails. Few days after I post a photo of my 'complete' Fearleading team, the very next webisode shows Ghoulia suited up and...well, Fearing. I kinda wanted to get her a uniform anyway...and now I'm sort of torn. Since I'd also like one for Lagoona, should I go for another Fearleader Set (I can use Amazon 'book sold' money !) or snag two or three outfits and start scritching stitch decals ? I'm not really sure yet. Cash-wise, it's $43. vs $27., which is sort of compelling - and I'll get more megaphones ! As for why I'd possibly need three uniforms...
Well, you've seen the photo. Acting on the advice of Tanz_Fanatika from the LiveJournal Monster High site, I called up our local Justice! store. It's a girls' clothing and accessory shop, filled with so much pink and bright, you'll swear it's raining glitter. There's one not five miles from here, and in the mall where we lived before the move to CapitalCity. They gladly checked for me, and while they were happy to put Abbey Bominable away for me, they didn't have any Gil dolls. Oh, well.
Messaged Beloved, who was looking forward to a short day, and he advised me to be dressed and ready, he was on the way home within the hour ! Lucky !! And, as it turned out, they had just one lonely Toralei. I'm still on the fence about her. But it's easier to return a doll than to find one again in this line, so we went ahead and snagged her.
Took her up to the counter, and...oh, no ! There was a Spectra Vondergeist doll, with a big yellow "HOLD" tag taped to her. Oh, shoot - had I asked for the wrong doll somehow ? Nope. That was someone else's. My Abbey was backstage ! Wheee ! Since everything in the store was 40% off, the two dolls total were a bit over $38. Awesome !
Got home and deboxed Abbey. She is wonderful ! Bit of hair shed, but her glittery skin is just so, all over, and her pet wooly mammoth Shiver has the most impish grin ! Have you seen the tiny skullie-head key that dangles from her purse ? Amazing detail for something so small. I briefly thought of getting her 'Snowboard Club' outfit, but then I remembered - the pants are only knee-length, we have plenty of boots already, and I can find a snowboard in Barbie props somewhere. No, if I'm gonna waste money, it'll be on more Fearleader outfits, natch !
So. That leaves only Gil left on my wish list. And yes, I checked the Justice! in FormerCity. She said they didn't have any left. Arrgh ! Oh, well. For a doll that got nearly $130. by himself last week, when there were fewer than a dozen listed, there's pages of him available now, and $50. Buy It Now 'auctions' are being ignored. Evidently there's lots of Gils coming out, maybe even here eventually.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Current Mood : Sleepy
Got five loads of laundry washed, dried, and all put away - even Dearest Son's stuff. It was more than usual because Beloved Hubby cleaned out the Diesel and brought in two weeks' worth of shrugged-off sweaters and sweaty sweatshirts from where he tossed 'em in the backseat. He was cleaning stuff out to make room for work tools before heading out, and I was doing laundry, so it was a good time to get it all done.
Not much else going on - the seller I bought my Comic Club outfit from has already shipped it and it should be here Friday. So it should be on Ghoulia Saturday ! Still not sure why I'm so obsessed over it, except that I get that way when I finally decide I want something. I want it now, since I've kvetched over it for weeks ! Now all that's on my list is Gil and Abbey, which I actually sort of hope will elude me a little while longer. It's harder to appreciate new things when you get them all at once !
Got another medical appointment Friday, and Beloved's already got that day off, so I'm looking forward to it. He also brought home some plastic glue, so I can fix Ghoulia when I have some quiet time. I hope to get to that soon - my tummy's still slightly upset. Not sure why this tummyache is going on unusually long, but I get to see my 'primary care physician' (wow, that sounds so important !) next month, so I'll ask. None of the meds they have me on list stomach issues.
Hope your day is more fun - or that you at least get some stuff done !
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Current Mood : Eager
Had a wild hair today, since I felt a little better, to get all my 'moving on' Monster High dolls together, and reposition and redress most of the 'staying' ones. It's kinda sad that I'm keeping 20 - and that still leaves a bunch to relocate ! My keepers 20 includes fitting models DLaura and Ghoulia, and has open spots for whenever I find Abbey Bominable, Gil, or a Create A Monster. That's a good number of dolls for me, 20 or so, lots of variety without being a tidal wave. When I have too many dolls, it's easier for me to ignore them and buy more than it is for me to dress and play with them. Ask the Barbies.
So far, though, at least with the MH line, it's been too easy for me to buy dolls for their coveted shoes, clothes, or hands. Need to knock that off, and create more, buy less. I'm gonna redress the ones seeking new homes, offer them to the LiveJournal group as trades first, then commit the rest to eBay. I want at least one more locker, and some props...and the ghouls are always hungry for shoes !
My 'keep' criteria was fun to work with. I wanted all my original dolls, of course, so there were six girls and four guys, right there. And the duplicate character girls had to be significantly different to warrant keeping - my three Frankie Steins each have unique hairstyles I like, like my two Cleos. It's funny that I also kept three of the one I'm least interested in, Clawdeen, because I simply can't resist those hands !
So, the final tally by character is, one each of the four guys (Deuce, Jackson, Holt, Clawd), three Frankie, Clawdeen, and Ghoulias, and two Lagoona, Cleo, and DracuLaura dolls. Heavens help me if Mattel comes out with Headmistress and Slow Moe dolls - I want those so much, I'll be back up near 30 in no time !
Anyway, I soon got everyone placed, and decided to put my original dolls in the new Fearleader outfits. And when it got down to it, I just couldn't rip out DracuLaura's sleeves, they somehow just looked 'right' on her. So I decided to give each of the other ghouls something unique to her. Clawdeen got the 'glove' hands from the Dawn of the Dance version and the headband and earrings from her soccer uniform, Cleo kept some of her wrappings and got gold bracelets, Frankie got the 'stitches' uniform. I was not about to wreck the new one picking the decal off again !
My pair of clothes fitting dolls have been placed in a never-filled cubby in the Sewing / Computing Arena, and they seem to be mostly happy. I'm sure Ghoulia's mood will improve when I pick up some plastic glue and fix her arm. It's funny that I had this empty space in my loaded-up desk for this long, it's as if it was waiting for them.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell ya'll about Kmart.com. After exhausting all possible places that might sell an Abbey at less than gouger's prices, I suddenly remembered, I hadn't checked the K-Mart website. And - gasp ! - they actually showed 'Add To Cart' by the Abbey doll description ! I couldn't believe it, for just $17. ! I eagerly headed to check out when...cue the 'Fail' noise...the site chose then to tell me they were out of stock, and to check my local store. Um, there's not a KMart for 60 miles here, and you coulda told me you didn't have any before the 'enter your payment' screen. Most of the other MH dolls were out of stock, too, and they handled that by not having an 'Add To Cart' button. Hummph. K-Mart can go swing, as far as I'm concerned.
Perhaps it was that which led me back to eBay, where I found Ghoulia's Comic Club outfit for just a couple bucks over retail, and a Buy It Now. So I hit it, and now I can scratch that off the list. Hopefully Gil and Abbey won't be too far behind !
Monday, November 14, 2011
Current Mood : Better
McRib Count : 5 (yesterday)
Urggh. Had an off-and-on tummyache since last night - which is why this and yesterday's entries were late. It was all written and ready to go, but I hadn't finished editing the image yet, and couldn't stay upright long enough to get it done. I was in bed by 9pm and slept through the night. Woke up today at normal time, ate a bite of breakfast...and got a pitching tummy for the trouble. Add a darn near repeat tonight, but I had the image done, just didn't have the 'get up and go' to get it done.
Some rest got me to rights, but by lunchtime, my stomach was roiling again, and this time, I hadn't eaten anything... but I had to, because my prescriptions all have 'take with food' stickers. I've learned to not ignore that advisory. Also the 'drink lots of water' one, although that one takes a while longer to kick in. I was able to eat a bit of cheese, then had a quick bite of lunch and felt better. Two hours later... I ended up taking some generic Milk of Magnesia, which should tell you how bad off I was. I won't swallow that swill unless I am truly in pain desperate.
So, as a result, I got nothing done today. I'd meant to iron my new pattern - I cut all the S pieces yesterday - so I could scan it. I like to iron them, it doesn't take long, the iron's on low heat, and this one is full of shape-altering wrinkles. I'd also planned on doing laundry, so it doesn't get so far behind this time. (sigh)
About all I did get done was clearing out and throwing away the Monster High Fearleader set's box liner, after getting all I wanted out of it. Oh, and breaking a doll. Arrrgh. I noticed the 'Super Fan' Ghoulia had a black paint mark on her finger, about half the size of a pinhead, so I thought to swap that hand with the Physical Deaducation's one, since I've decided to keep Fan instead.
For some reason, the wrist posts seemed incompatable, taking much more of an effort to remove and reinstall than usual, so I decided to return the hands to the original dolls. I was working on PhysDead's - now I was having a bit of trouble getting the original hands back on ! - when, snap ! Her arm bent at the elbow, and popped right off, leaving the post inside her upper arm. Growlmutterwhine. I can probably glue it back, but it'll always be weak there, and I certainly can't trade or sell her. Ah, well. I may make her a fitting doll, and keep her on the Sewing / Computer arena with short-haired DracuLaura.
It's just not a good week for Ghoulia !
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Current Mood : Happy
If you bought the three-sized Simplicity pattern I highlighted a few days ago, #1955, and you haven't cut it out yet, lemme save you a bit of time. All the 'M' size pieces (for Barbie and LIV dolls) were on one sheet. Just the M pieces, nothing else. The 'S' (Bratz) and L (Moxie Girls) were together on the other, and even then, all the S ones were on one side of the tissue, and all the Ls were on the other. So, if you want just the M pieces (or wanna try the M patterns first), you won't have a huge mess unfolding around you (ha-ha) - just unfold one pattern sheet enough to tell what size they are, and be happy knowing it's all there together for ya, you don't have to unfold the whole thing, or worse, re-fold it, 'cause you got the S and L page. Of course, if you're like DIsarmywife, and you sew for more than one size, it'll at least allow you to keep things together as you enjoy it all !
Mostly today, though, I wanna talk about Ghoulia's bad booty shorts. They really don't fit ! And the image doesn't deceive you, the left leg (on Ghoulia) is noticeably longer. I even made sure they weren't just hanging wrong, and that the curve was clipped. Even the hems were the same. One leg was simply cut from the fabric longer, so of course, it sews out that way.
And the waistband...there's no elastic in it at all ! When I finally got G untangled from the box, the shorts were down to the bottom of her butt. I laughed, because sometimes Barbie's would drop the same way when you seated her, especially with loose or worn elastic at the waist or tired stretch fabrics. A simple tug up would correct the wardrobe malfunction. Not this time. There's flat-out nothing to keep them up at the waist, so they sag and moon the world. I could take them apart and add Velcro (tm) to the back, but it won't fix the uneven legs. So I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. First wardrobe fail I've run across on this line, can't help but be a bit disappointed.
Especially when the little tote bag even has tiny webbing 'water bottle' holders on the sides - amazingly sewn perfectly. Beloved Hubby joked that, if anyone wanted to create a Teen Monster Mom episode, the tote would make a great diaper bag !
The single pair of pom-poms were also a bit disappointing, as the dolls can only hold them if you keep them on the plastic disc they come on. I was thinking they'd have elastic wrist loops or something, and the plastic part was just for box display, but nope. Off the plastic backing, they're just strips of shiny tin foil stapled together. At least I moved the clear elastic holding them to lower layers of shiny foil, where they're not so obviously seen. I'll probably make three or four sets soon, maybe out of yarn.
But really, even with these few bobbles, I really like my set. Ghoulia's jacket is adorable, but I had to iron down the hem on her blouse, the raw edge of the neckline kept popping up. Can't wait for the Comic Club outfit to come my way ! Cleo has 'Gloom Beach' hands, which look great on her, so I'll probably move my GB Cleo to the donate/trade/sell part of the shelf. Never liked the odd GB lip colors, although they were more monsterish than the usual shades of red.
DracuLaura has the usual MH 'starfish' hands, but her hair is just gorgeous ! I'll probably remove the sleeves from her Fearleader costume, though. While I know most cheerleaders on a team in the 'normie' world don't wear the exact same uniform, and Beloved's hypothesis that DLaura can't be exposed to the sun, hence sleeves and hosiery, makes sense, I still want them to look...well, uniform.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Current Mood : Joyful (Consumer high)
As you may have guessed from yesterday's rant-fest, Beloved Hubby had to work after all, so we didn't get to go out. But we made up for it today ! Beloved, Dearest Son, and I each have a generous 'Christmas Budget' to spend as we please, whatever we want, it's all our holiday gifts to each other. Our first stop was Big Lots, which actually had Monster High dolls. Just not one single outfit. Not the old 'Fear Uniforms' ones and certainly not the new ones everyone else keeps finding. (sigh) Skunked !
I did better at Hobby Lobby. They had three copies of Simplicity #1955, so I was happy. And while touring the store, Beloved made a great find. I was all set to pay $32. (minus the 40% off coupons I had in my pocket, one for me, one for him) for an Olfa rotary cutting board - hey, they were cheaper than Hancock Fabrics. And I already knew how well Olfas held up. However, on our way to the sewing section by way of the art one, he found some *nice* self-healing cutting boards, big ones (18" x 24") - for just $15. ! I opened one resealable end, and they had good texture, too. Like the Olfas, they'd grip the fabric a bit, to aid in getting a precise cut. Cooool...
So we got two of them, since Beloved's art projects also frequently require a good cutting surface - at just $9. each with the coupons. Wow. I was all set to spend $20. for just mine ! And now, I have no. More. EXCUSES ! Time to sew !
But not quite yet. After a great lunch, I really went nutz at ToysRUs. From now on, you won't hear me kvetch over whether or not to get the Monster High Fearleader set anymore - it's already been got. I also picked up another Fearleader outfit, so I'd have the whole team. This is especially important, now that this week's webisode shows them all getting thrown out. My sense of timing is always something to behold.
Still, I'd long since fallen in love with Ghoulia in that group, and since I fully intend to have her Comic Club outfit eventually, I had to have the Fearleader one. Y'see, the blouse Ghoulia wears under her jacket on the Fearleader doll matches the tiny hemline swatch of it on the white skirt she has for Comic Club. I really think this is a plot by Mattel - but I fell for it, and as soon as I have Comic Club, I'll be satisfied and all happy about it !
I also went ahead and got the only sold-separately outfit I didn't already have, Clawdeen's soccer one. I never bought it before since I hated the shoes. Still do, but with all the MH sports / team wear I have now, it'll be nice to have the tank top and shorts. And it's plentiful here, at least it is now. On eBay, the old outfits are listed at $20. and up. And since I 'saved' $11. on my rotary cutting surface...
So there went about half my budget. Gonna save the rest for Comic Club, Gil, and maybe Abbey Bominable. Abbey's beyond my reach on eBay and every other place that sells MH. Heck, TRU and the Mattel Store don't even list her as 'sold out' on their sites, she's simply not there at all. I can get the Comic Club outfit if I don't mind paying $21. - and that's the cheapest one I can find ! For a $9. outfit, too. Tsk. At least it includes delivery...
I don't mean to be down. I'm not - I got new dolls and new doll clothes, and what I need to get off my butt and behind KJ, who, I'm sure misses me as much as a sewing machine can miss a person. It's just really frustrating to want for months and never find, even when ya got money. I mean, seriously, how often does that happen ? Ah, like it matters in le grande scheme du things. I got less than some, more than most, and I'm happy. Can't buy that !
Although sometimes you can buy stuff you like - when you can find it ! (grin)
Friday, November 11, 2011
Current Mood : Ticked for no real reason.
(sigh) I really need to stay away from Fashion Doll Review.com. It never fails to tick me off. Today I listened to a podcast from a woman with a pretty large 'dolly dollars budget' advise me how to stay on budget with my dolls. Um, dear ? I can't justify spending $20. on a doll that retails for $15. - and you wanna tell me how to save money on Tonner's latest $200. big-dress high-concept doll ? The one designed to look like a candelabra ? And that your latest doll is worth more than your older ones, so selling 'em is kind of a waste of time ? We're in different leagues, sweetie. I'm still over-thinking the $43. Monster High Fearleader set, since it's rather expensive, and you're gonna tell me how to not overspend on dolls ? I don't know who's more ridiculous, you or me for listening, knowing it'd be like that.
But that wasn't really what was ticking me off. There was a PayPal-powered beg on the side of the podcast page - annoying, but easy to ignore. I refuse to have them on any site of mine, and I bet my 'dolly dollar budget' is a lot lower than hers ! No, what got me was the begging cup and the in-podcast mention that she was trying out her new microphone app on her iPad - what did we think ? Grrrr....
I guess I'm just hyper-sensitive to the changes the US economy has wrought on our lives lately. I'd love to believe I can buy anything I want and the gravy train won't ever stop, but I've had to face facts. Lots more people are struggling now than last year. Good people who treat others well, who aren't at fault for what's going on around them. There's fewer jobs and more competition for each one. And at the same time, food and fuel prices are unstable, but usually going up.
So when someone who's whole site is dedicated not to making each 'dolly dollar' count by looking inside yourself to define who you are, what your dolls accomplish for you, and using this knowledge to avoid overspending, but to obtaining the latest hoo-hah during a 3% off sale, I just end up grinding my teeth. It's nice for her that she can afford all this stuff, and for her, cutting back is spending $970. a month instead of $1000. I'm sure it's awesome. I'm sure I could adjust to life like that ! But for someone who didn't have that even at the best of times - although we spent about $400. in MH during its debut year, I admit - it just kind of hurts a little. And that kind of hurt easily goes to anger, since it's a have/have not situation. It never feels good to be on the 'not' side.
I'm halfway convinced I need to re-start my old website, which actually was about learning what you like, being patient and waiting for sales, finding stuff at yard sales, making what you need, and enjoying what you have. You may have noticed I never told you what dolls got sold at the yard sale. While I don't regret doing it, it was very necessary, and I haven't missed any that left, it was still a wrench. But now, I can access all I have fairly easily, and I've pretty much distilled it to the most-loved essentials. I don't have to have every last doll - just the ones who make me happy would be great for me, and with the exception of a MH Gil, I pretty much already have that !
It's easier to appreciate what you have when you're not tripping over tons of it.
On the amazing side...I got e-mail yesterday, which is cool all by itself, but one was from a new friend, one was from Simplicity. Hi, Joanna ! Thanks for your sweet note, it made me feel so good ! Feel free to write anytime, although I think your sewing's far superior to mine ! You make awesome kimono, and your stuffie creations are incredible ! Wow. Soon as I'm done here, I'm gonna dig through more of your Flickr pages, there's so much incredibleness there to see ! Lemme know if I can share your link with the rest of the gang - I'm sure everyone who reads this (all three of you) would love to see, too !
Yesterday, after I posted that pattern photo, I wrote Simplicity.com. There's a line on the envelope - ' Visit pattern 1955 on Simplicity.com for designer tips on sewing fashion doll clothes'. I looked all over that page and never found said tips. I was gonna mutter, 'Sour grapes, I probably know all of them anyway', but, well...grapes ! I wanted 'em, sour or not, so I asked Simplicity where the tips were - and they really wrote back ! Less than 12 hours later, too. The tips are still being formatted for the site, but they kindly sent 'em along as an attachment anyway. Awesome ! And yeah, I did know most of 'em already, but they actually were quite well-written, I enjoyed reading them, and I wanna re-read the part about set-in sleeves again, when I'm sewing them. My success is still very random with those, more chance and luck when they work than any real application of skill....
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Current Mood : Relaxed
Hoping to hit Hobby Lobby tomorrow for today's image - a new pattern ! Now, if this were just Barbie-sized, I'd give it a pass, since these are designs for outfits I know I have a few dozen times over. No, this one's actually three sizes - 10.5", 11.5", and 12.5". According to the back, the small fits Bratz, the medium fits Barbie and Liv, and the large is for Moxie Girls. You already *know* what I'm thinking - it won't be much to tweak the Bratz size to Monster High size ! Hobby Lobby has a $1.99 sale on Simplicity patterns through Saturday, and Hancock Fabrics offers the same deal from Nov. 17 to 23. There's only one other new doll pattern, for 15-inch baby dolls like Bitty Baby, so if you sew for that size, you may wanna look up that one, too. Nothin' new at all (fashion doll size, there's probably dozens more for AG & clones) from Butterick or McCalls.
I'm also hoping to check out their rotary cutting surfaces, since there's a 40% off coupon. Still nothing on either of my 'old' ones, which really digs at me, ya know ?
Got really lazy today. Fell asleep watching the MST3K version of Manos : The Hands of Fate, and had a nap for the first time in weeks. I haven't been tired enough to want or need one in a while. The rest of the day was slow and quiet, even after Beloved Hubby came home. And I liked it that way !
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Current Mood :Frustrated and bored, if you can believe it.
A lot going on, but most of it is boring ole family stuff, and kind of more of the same problems I probably shouldn't have gone on about before. Only reason I'm even vaguely interested is that I'm in the middle of it, and even then, I'm angry but not particularly involved, if that makes any sense at all. (sigh)
Busy day today, too - got dishes done, mostly because I got tired of moving them out of my way, and scrubbed the remainder of the neglected kitchen counters. Sorted through two more boxes. Culled four outgrown shirts from Dearest Son's laundry Monday and got them put away today for donation - if he sees them, he wants to wear them, no matter how tight they are, but if they simply vanish, he never asks about 'em. Suddenly, his interest in Bakugan has been rekindled, so he's digging through all his toys to get them all back in one place again.
And I got some great news - one of my books sold ! The Barbie pattern one from Mari DeWitt went for $50., one of the least expensive ones offered. I confess, it's been a while since I checked it, and someone had since lowered his/her price on the same volume, but mine was in better shape. Can you believe some sellers are asking almost $175. and (gulp) $750. for the same book ?! Amazon took its commission off the top, so there went $10., but I still made $44., minus the $9. to ship it. At least the new owner will have it quickly, we upgraded to Priority. I'll probably get the funds about the same time she gets the book, so hopefully everyone will be happy.
Beloved Hubby thinks he might be off on Friday - and if he is, we're going out together, just the three of us, for lunch. He also wants to look at apartments, which might tell more than it seems. I'm glad to have something to look forward to !
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Current Mood : Weary, but not from work. Extended family stuff. (sigh)
Last night's mega-storm was so fierce, it blew raindrops in, almost horizontally, through the single window I had open. I'm so weird, I thought it was delightful, tiny splashes of cool water on my face while the rest of me is under a light sheet. What can I say, I get hot easily. Luckily, Beloved Hubby prefers to burrow in his sleep. That's why we have one fitted sheet and two flat ones ! One side of the bed always has a much heavier blanket than the other one, too.
While that was fun, the fact that the same storm soaked the two DVD boxes under the porch wasn't. The boxes were too waterlogged to move, so Dearest Son and I got all the movies in, one stack at a time. Not one disc was wet, but the more cardboard the packaging contained, the more wet it was. And we do like packaging. Some of the regular ones got the box labels wet, too. So I spent the morning opening them all, pushing the 'bone dry' ones to the side, and drying the rest as much as I could with a bath towel. I had a video Stonehenge on the kitchen table, of boxes with half-wet liners pulled half out, and folding cardboard envelopes unfolded to get the most air.
I gave some thought to DVD storage while watching an MST3K episode. We're already terribly crammed for space, but I know everyone would like to have our movies where we could get to them... Gave Dearest all the 'kid' movies, since his room has built-in shelves, and he already had some in there.
Decided to empty the 'shoe box', an old Rubbermaid tote we kept various shoes in before. Most had been in there so long, I wasn't sure what fit - or even what was actually in the bottom of it. So I emptied it, tossed three single shoes and a pair of outgrown Dearest sneakers, and found places for the ones we're likely to wear. The remaining good pairs went into an empty box, and got stored in the shed.
The Rubbermaid got washed out, dried out, and put to use as DVD storage. They all fit in there, and if you don't mind shuffling a bit, you can get to them all. I made sure to put the ones we're less likely to want to see on the bottom, of course ! That took up a lot more time than it should, but it's done.
I also consolidated two bathroom boxes into one smaller one (stuff we'll use) and one bigger one (storage). Been meaning to do that, and clean the gunk puddle that was under the microwave - ick. The microwave's been relocated since last week, but no one cleaned up the... whatever that was, and it was grossing me out. So I got that done.
I also got tired of using 'canned' finds from Google Image Searches for this, so I took a photo - yaaay ! I've really missed doing that. The little 'seat' Lagoona's on is one of those wooden massager-thingies. I remember buying my cousin one about twenty years ago, when they were about $20. at The Body Shop, and they didn't come with smiley faces embossed in them. Or showed up in plastic at Dollar Tree. Not sure where this one came from, it just appeared in our bedroom a week ago. And now, it's a freaky seat.