Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hot fun in the summertime !

Current Mood : Delighted ! 

Whoo-hoo ! Rent’s paid ! That always puts me in a good mood. Even though the client paid the first bill, not the new one he requested. (sigh) Ah, well. Getting out for a bit to pick up a few things will improve my mood some. On the agenda for today – Dollar Tree and Mal-Wart. All right !

Wanted to go back to DTree, even though we were just there last week, because there was a book I wanted, and a sheet of foam core. Ours only tends to have it during Back-to-School promotions, and I wanted it for a photo backdrop. The bookcase photo studio is too dark, no matter how much light I pour in there. Most of the foamcore I had before got damaged in the move, so… Plus, it’s Dollar Tree. I always wanna go there !

Soon had two foamcore sheets, one black, one white. It’s the first time I’ve seen it in anything but white there ! Had to dig for the book, but I found possibly the last one. It’s just a little volume on organizing, but for a buck, I wanted to read it. I also found a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic calendar for 2013, and snagged it for my favorite Brony, Beloved Hubby. He already loves it. (smile)

Got some of my favorite rice crackers and gherkins, and some hard candy for my desk jar. Since we still don’t have a microwave, I needed some small glass bowls and a cookie sheet for the toaster oven, and got ‘em. Dearest Son found a kitten mousepad and a Hot Wheels Aston Martin, so he was chuffed. On to Mal-Wart !

But first…the thrift store out front. Urgh. It’s changed…and not for the best. It was so dark in there, I couldn’t tell from outside if they were open or not, and clothes were racked to the rafters. If something had intrigued me up on the higher racks, I would have had no idea how to get to it, much less the stuff behind it. Yikes.

The housewares and toys weren’t much better. Broken, bizarre stuff piled high and priced the same. I found ironing boards, small for $5., full-size for $7., both worn and a bit torn. I then found almost identical ones at Mal-Wart, for $8. and $12., brand new. Ended up snagging a couple 50c books and knowing I wouldn’t be back anytime soon. They’re nearly as bad as the GoodWill down the street. And that place was the worst thrift ever. We stopped in for a few about two weeks ago, and almost everything I saw was broken or damaged in some way. Depressing.

Nothin’ new at M-W, just a full complement of the Ghouls of Sweet 1600. So I got the groceries we needed and headed out. Saw the bank thermometer – 105 degrees. I’ve never been so happy to be home, with all the air conditioning I could want.

I’m gonna go read – I got five new books to enjoy ! And no headache !

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hi ! Ready for back-to-school yet ?

Current Mood : Aura-ing.

And here’s the last of this outfit rework – with a bonus. I recolored the shoes to Frankie’s outfit and Clawd’s new glasses, then let them sit for a week. The sunglasses were from a Moxie Teenz accessory package, and are really too big for the girls. They fit the guys fairly well, but were too bright a pink to really look good on any of ‘em. So I tinted them, too, and got a photo. In my mind, Clawdeen took it, standing on the fountain during the summer. My old high school had a tradition that, for a couple days each summer, students could come in and pick up their Fall schedules. Not a big deal for most students, but kind of a biggie for those of us on the college prep and business tracks. So my MH school does the same, and like most friends, they travel in packs when they can.

Got the pile of dishes done, along with some general housework. And tonight, I learned that my visual distortions – otherwise known as the ‘aura’ that normally heralds an upcoming migraine – are actually quite typical in people over 40, even when there is no later migraine. I have no headache at all, but I can barely read for the ‘reading through water’ thing my eyes have going on right now. Think I’ll lie down now…

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tabitha's Beautiful Pattern !

Current Mood : Enjoying the day. Hope you are, too ! 

Here’s a photo of just DracuLaura in yesterday’s velvet dress. The velvet didn’t stretch enough to get it on her, so I cut a closure in the back, which sort of pulled the strap too far over. So I hand-sewed a dart to bring it down a bit, and it looks great. I’m thinking of altering the pattern a bit more, for drapey fabrics that don’t stretch, and see how that goes. It really is a great design – thanks, Tabitha !

Not much else going on today. I really should have sewn, and if I really wasn’t ‘into’ doll clothes today, at least get my long-delayed VA service project going, now that I have the fabric ready to go, but instead, I watched a Hoarding : Buried Alive marathon and kinda just vegged around. Lounged in the pool for a little over an hour, until the wannabe thug resident and the 15+ members of his friends & family took over. I confess, my language isn’t the best, but even I thought theirs was excessive. And I got tired of watching their kids while they blistered ears on their cell phones and inspected their toenails. So we left. At least we’d had some fun before they arrived. Since Mr. Thug stripped down right there at the pool, it’s the first time I’ve seen him without those pants showing about eight inches of underwear. Poor wannabe. He not only looks like an idiot with his underwear showing, but that lame trend is at least two years past the ‘fresh’ date.

Came inside to find that I’d won an eBay auction for a pair of those ‘cat’ shoes from the Create A Monster Witch/Catgirl set. Shipping and all, for just $3.10 ! One of the few pairs of MH shoes I liked but didn’t already have. Bonus - I’d completed a Pinecone survey Thursday, so I had $3. sitting in PayPal. So the shoes cost me a dime. Yaay !

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer daydreamin'...

Current Mood : So very lazy...

I had so much fun with today’s photo. Getting their eye contact right was a bit of a challenge, but even that was a pleasure. I’d kinda like for you to see the actual dress I made, so I took a photo of just DLaura. I think once ya’ll see Tabitha’s pattern ‘in action’, so to speak, you’ll want it, too. Tomorrow, lovelies !

Well, Beloved Hubby’s client gave him the brush-off on payday, asking for a final bill that he didn’t have ready yet, since there’s still several days of work left. Arrrgh. He’s got it ready now, so client had best find his checkbook ! Rent’s due.

That means it’ll be a quiet weekend, but at least we’re well-stocked with food and stuff to do ! Pool’s still closed, they’re working on pipes. Guess the folks who jumped the fence yesterday are probably pretty sick today ! The repair folks have it all torn up.

Speaking of that, we had police at the door this afternoon. Five cars got broken into last night. Not ours, though – ours were unlocked and had been riffled through already, about three weeks ago. All that vanished was Beloved’s $10. MP3 player (that was already malfunctioning), a partial pack of cigarettes, and a covered notebook I made him a couple years ago. They left the little bit of pocket change and his hand tools. And all my stuff for the flea market and thrift donations, imagine that.

I’m re-thinking buying the Skull Shores five-doll Target set. I really don’t need a new Cleo for her blue bangs, or Clawdeen’s latest swimsuit. I love the ones I have already ! If anything, I need to winnow down the herds I already have, not get more ! I’d still like to find Robecca Steam, but I think that’s about it, save for an outfit or two bought separately on eBay. And Headmistress Bloodgood !

That said, I’m now trying to figure if I want a non-damaged arm Skull Shores Ghoulia to replace the one I have. She’s one of the few readily available dolls around here ! But I hate to ditch a damaged doll, it’s like kicking them when they’re down, and it’s not their fault they broke. I don’t even want a duplicate of her swimwear. Hmm….I think I’ll keep the one I have, keep looking for inch-wide black elastic (as a sort of cuff to keep her arm pieces together), and wonder what’s due out next year !

Friday, July 27, 2012


Current Mood : Ooogh. I ate too much !

Ya’ll were right about Duck Norris / Duckota Farring. After he/she chased us, flapping and honking, halfway to the parking lot yesterday, that darn duck settled in our doorway and ‘marked’ it. When we got back, he got all mad after I poured water over his leavings so we wouldn’t track in duck crap, and staked out another doorway. I saw him this morning while on a laundry run, busily marking that one. Kinda feel sorry for whoever lives there – it was a very large pile !

Finally posted that silly MH fanfic I wrote – I just remembered I could yesterday. Only a bit over 500 words, it’s not epic. Just me bein’ silly. It's here.

I think Carlin looks fantastic in Operetta’s Roller Maze dress and the glorious white shoes Jemgirl gifted to me. Yes, she is standing unassisted, no stand, no support, nothin’, just her and the shoes. That’s how well they’re made. They require the same care when putting them on as the Mattel ones for Frankie’s ‘Dawn of the Dance’ version, but 99% of that is just figuring out which shoe is right, and which is left.

DracuLaura looks great in the velvet gown I stitched up today. I used Tabitha’s lovely pattern – the one she created and used on that gorgeous burgundy glitter dress she sent me, that I used in the ‘Who Wears It Best ?’ contest between Clawdeen and Cleo. The velvet you’ve seen, too. It was under the Jemgirl shoes yesterday ! The material didn’t stretch quite enough, so I had to improvise a back closure to get it on her, but it came out very nice just the same. Mark of a great pattern.

Already took the photo, too. Since it’s a simple dress, and I wanted to show the black iridescent glitter Jemgirl shoes as well, I went with an unusual pose. You’ll get to see it tomorrow !

Well, it’s home-made taco night, and that doesn’t take a lot of work, it does require some prep work. Hope your weekend goes well ! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I’m an idiot, but I'm either a bigger or smaller one than I always thought !

Current Mood : Wired

Current Image Notes : Click to see better, but please know my camera doesn’t come *close* to showing how beautiful and shimmery these shoes really are !

OK, so…a couple weeks ago, you may have noticed that I was buying stuff as though any unspent money would lose all value. I had soooo much fun ! But of course, I bought a couple things I can’t say I really regret, but that maybe I should have been a little less nutzo with my fundage. TRU sent out a ‘Hey, buy this markdown stuff !!’ e-mail, and I chomped on it like a bass in a drought. True, it was cheap stuff, but…

(deep breath) I’m just gonna say it. The Liv and Moxie accessory packs were among the markdowns. And I preface confessing my spending sin by saying that I’d just decided to not buy the Roller Maze MH dolls, since they were all characters I already had multiples of, and their skates were kinda weird. This was slightly before I found ‘em semi-cheap on eBay. So. I ordered six – yes, 6 ! – of the Liv Roller Skating accessory set. True, they were only a buck each, and I had free shipping, but still…I already knew the skates only partially fit the MH ghouls. What was I thinking ?

I further compounded the idiocy by loving the Mattel skates when they arrived. For whatever reason, TRU sat on my order for a week before processing it, so it was nearly three weeks before it arrived. And, just to prove how stupid I get, I tossed out the receipt. Eventually, I unpackaged the other accessory sets I bought, and was happy with them all, but…those six pairs of purple skates sat in the closet, unopened. I felt vaguely guilty about them every time I put clothes away.

I guess finally sorting out those culled fabric boxes put me in ‘declutter mode’, since the Liv skates were next. The receipts were well and truly gone, but maybe I could print out the order from the website and get a store credit or something. So I did, and got it all bagged up for my next trip over there.

Just out of curiosity, though…I pulled out the Liv skates I bought from a Mal-Wart two moves ago and, for the first time, visually compared them to the Roller Maze ones. They are worlds apart, but they sort of meshed. Like rental skates vs. customs, you could plainly see the difference, but they both rolled. The art is in the skater. And with a bit of a nick in the back slit, I could adjust the fit better.

Well, shoot. Now I wanna keep ‘em ! The set comes with a helmet, pads, water bottle, and ‘energy bars’, and it’d be easy to customize the skates and helmets, either with Sharpies or spray paint. If I keep them, that’ll give me twelve pair, enough for some great photos and fun play.

The bag is back in my closet. I still feel like an idiot, and I may never use all of them. But at least they’re there when I want to ! And I’ll crack into them later tonight, end the debate once and for all. TRU certainly won’t take ‘em back once they’ve been opened.

Otherwise, it was a sort of catch-up day. Hoping to sew this evening, as I’m all caught up with various small bits and bobs that needed doing, and I’ll have the time. Heck, Beloved Hubby came home, ate a sandwich, and went right to bed, poor Honey. I hope he gets a good night’s sleep.

And that he can snooze over a sewing machine motor ! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camaro bumper wall art and Dollar Tree finds !

Current Mood : Starting to think about machine embroidery again...

Didn’t get to sew today – had errands to run in the morning, and vacuuming in the afternoon. Place has to get picked up (especially in the Lego-prone areas) first, before I drag out the Bissell, then everything has to be restored, so it always takes about twice as long as I think it will.

But it was a nice day. Got the few fill-in groceries we needed, and Dearest Son bought some ‘wall art’ with last week’s allowance. When we visited the thrift in the same strip yesterday, he spotted the plastic front ‘bumper’ piece of a Camaro, complete with the name embossed in the center front. Only five bucks, and he thought it’d make a great decoration for his bedroom. He also wants to find some hubcaps. Unfortunately, Beloved Hubby left his drill at work, so he’ll have to wait before it’s hung up, but he knows where he wants it to go, and got it all cleaned up and ready to go.

We also hit Dollar Tree, mostly because I need a better Arena trash can – my last one got repurposed for the bathroom, and what I got to replace it is too small. Works to keep the bathroom cleaning supplies together, though. Got the white mesh wastebasket from the ‘Back To School’ display, and was pleased – especially since I’d seen the same identical one at Target for $2.50. Also got a bag of rice crackers, theirs are delicious ! They come in a bright green bag. Dearest picked out a toy taxi and some Funyuns.

I was really surprised to find Fill in the Blanks With Machine Embroidery in the Books section. I can’t say I’d been looking for it or anything, but for a buck, it’d be nice to have, especially since I liked several of the designs on the included CD. Most of the text is information I’ve already learned , but references are never bad to have, either. Funny that it was published in 2007 – like the publisher’s warehouse held a bunch of books for five years before letting ‘em go to Dollar Tree. They had quite a few niche books, and I hope to peek at them again next week. But I snagged one of their numerous copies of Fill In. It was originally $24.95, which is about average for yer typical machine embroidery books with design CDs. I scooped it up for a dollar !

Once home, and everything was put away and housework was done, I checked mail. I’d won a super-cheap auction for Ultimate Roller Maze Operetta’s outfit and skates, and that came in. Yaay ! Carlin looks great in it ! You’ll see her Friday, and my awesome Jemgirl shoes tomorrow !

Yeah, I finally got the culled fabric bins emptied, and I found a piece of velvet. Or something that’ll hopefully look like velvet when I photograph those shoes !

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shuffling fabric, rethinking things, enjoying Life.

Current Mood : So sleepy...

Ironically, I slept really well last night ! (grin)

Woke up today, really wanting to do pamper lil’ ole me a bit – even though I just got delicious, satisfying Chinese takeout last night, and was still feelin’ fat and happy from that  – and it hit me. I haven’t been to Hancock Fabrics since we moved. And there’s yet another sale going on ! I’d need to go out anyway, we needed a few things, so why not ?

Well…there’s the parsecs of fabric in my closet already, for one thing. Then something else occurred to me. I got all my sewing machines and notions newly arranged as I like ‘em on the desk-arena…but there’s no fabric out there. Hmmm…

The milk crate that held the smaller bundles of material – mostly from the old tin dollhouse – was wedged in a difficult-to-reach and hard-to-see corner of my closet. What if I swapped the box of Barbie clothes under the Arena-desks for that ? It’s not like the Barbie clothes will see much use, but the box is smaller than a crate, so it’ll be easier to access.

Or, what about the space that used to hold aquarium and fish supplies ? That was empty now, too, and those boxes of fabric I culled are still around, kind of in the way. I could move the fabric crates hidden away in the closet, move the ‘memory boxes’, full of photos and special memories, that’re also in the way into the closet space, and we’d finally clear most of that clutter away from the seldom-used dining area. Ooooohhhhh…

Took most of the afternoon, but I did it. All the memory stuff, the ribbon/trim shelf unit, and the Barbie clothes are in my closet. Fabric crates are in the living room, just off my Arena, and the culled fabric has been bagged up and will get donated as soon as possible. The only stuff remaining in the dining area is AirSoft, pool toys, and the wet/dry vac. Much nicer ! I wonder if Beloved Hubby will notice right off.

It helped that I eliminated two boxes, mostly full of scrap paper – I went through every sheet first – and things that should go elsewhere, like books. And bagging up the fabric culls freed up two plastic totes (with lids !) for AirSoft or anything else we decide. I’m gonna try to get the fabric to the VA volunteer dept., but it may end up at GoodWill. Long as it’s not underfoot, and our place is a little less cluttered, I’m happy.

I also had to go after the dishes that’d piled up since Friday, and I’m a day behind in my housework, but I can always catch up later. I’m just really happy about my new arrangements, and hope Beloved’s OK with them, too. Hoping to sew tomorrow, even if it’s just another little dress.

Kinda want to re-take yesterday’s photo, because my Jemgirl Creations shoes came in today – and they are *absolutely gorgeous*. I played with them, admiring them in the light, for a good fifteen minutes without any dolls. I got four pairs – black and clear with iridescent glitter, red with red glitter, and pearl shimmer – and each is more beautiful than the last. The first three pair share their shape with Frankie’s ‘Dawn of the Dance’ shoes, and the pearly pair are yer basic ‘Bee Girl’ FM pumps. She even tossed in a sweet gift of a solid-white pair like the first three that isn’t quite as perfect, but is just as well-fitting and pretty as the others. Left her good feedback and a personal thanks. I can’t wait to use them ! Abbey got to model the first pair, the clear iridescent ones, and they are perfect on her ! That’s why I wanna retake that photo. Wow. They’re like a breath of cold air with glitter, wrapped around her feet. Now I wanna go to the fabric store again, in hopes of finding some material to match ! Never mind that I spent most of today wrangling all the fabric I have all around the place…(grin)

And no good feeling without some bad…Today I got a critique on the Barbie gown I altered to fit Clawdeen a couple months back. Said it ‘looks a little frumpy’. Well, that’s his/her opinion, it might look better with the tulle I keep meaning to add to the hemline, but sheesh. Whatever happened to ‘ if ya can’t say something good, keep your bleepin’ mouth shut’ ? There’s lots of people I can hurt, mostly strangers, with my narrow opinions, and there’s a whole bunch of altered MH dolls I really don’t like. Luckily, I know I ain’t everybody, and if it ain’t my cuppa, I keep my yappin’ mouth closed. Sounds like I’m not the only one who could use a mask…at least I only need one at night. (meow)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just another maniac Monday...

Current Mood : Miffed. But sleepy. 

(sigh) I’m glad my Sleep Center appointment was early in the day. I had a good chance to forget that they put me in that mask-thing again, the one that freaks me out so badly. I told them on the phone how that thing makes me react, I told them about five seconds before the tech put it on me – ‘cause I saw it laid out – that it would make me totally lose it, but they did it anyway. And, surprise, surprise, I freaked out again. At least this time the tech was standing right there and yanked it off after just a few seconds, but it was enough. (sigh) When I had enough breath and could form sentences again, I screeched loud enough for the stranger-guys moving furniture to peek in, ‘Why the (expletive deleted) did you DO THAT ?!’ . Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son, waiting for me in the lobby, came running. I was so humiliated. I didn’t want my guys to see me like that, I didn’t want to have another episode, ever. I don’t even want to describe my state to you – believe this, if anything, I have very thickly glossed over most of it – but I’ll say it happened, and there it was.

If I freaked the tech out at all, she hid it well. Or she’s used to it. Either way, it was wrong of her. She calmly replied that she needed to know what part of it was causing my distress – the feelings of claustrophobia or the pressure. &^%$, I could have told her that without experiencing it again, and I freakin’ did before she slapped that snorkel from Hades on me. For whatever reason I have deep down, I can’t tolerate anything over my head. Further, if both my nose and mouth are covered, even by a thin sheet, I will come out of a sound sleep to knock it away. The only reason I can handle surgery anesthesia is because it’s only for a few seconds before I’m out.

It was about another ten minutes before my pulse was back down and I was breathing steadily. The nasal pillow device, the reason I was there, worked fine, because it doesn’t cover my mouth. True, I have to keep my mouth closed – imagine having to learn that at 46 ! – but it worked for me. I have another appointment for next month to try it out during a sleep test, and I’ll go…but I swear by all that is holy if anyone EVER comes near me with that CPAP…thing, I’m just going to walk out. I refuse to put myself through that again because some tech has a scientific itch to scratch and doesn’t want to simply listen.

Hmpft. Anyway, otherwise, it was a nice day. The new fishies are doing well, and we came home with an upside down catfish and two male Betta fish, a red Dragontail for Dearest’s tank (he picked him out) and a blue with red traces Halfmoon for ours. Gorgeous fish. We also got a new hidey-hole fake plant for our tank, and some specialty food for Diggy-frog. And I used my survey coupon !

Beloved wanted to do something special for me, so we stopped off for takeout Chinese. I’m happy ! Now if Robecca Steam would just fly by here soon…

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our next project...Puma Dude !

Current Mood : So sleepy...

We have much happier fish – and a frog and snail ! – today !  But I think that, if my room-mates and I went from a 5 gallon space to a 15 gallon one, I’d feel great to have so much more space to stretch my fins in. Diggy-frog immediately found three or four great places to hide, and the fish have chased each other around and hovered near motionless by turns all day.

Dearest Son wants to pick out his own fish and décor, so we simply found a good space for the ‘old’ tank and set it up. We’ll take him out for fish later this week. I did a survey from yesterday’s pet shop visit, so we have a $3. coupon to spend, too ! I much prefer coupons to contests – I stand a chance of using (‘winning’ !) the coupon. I don’t have a prayer on winning that iPod-a-day drawing, much less the million dollar one I forgot I entered at year’s end.

With that out of the way, I was free to reinvent my table-arena. After scraping off dried fish flakes and odd spills first, though. But it didn’t take long, and within an hour, I had the sewing machines repositioned and the folded-up MH School up where they used to be. At first, I wasn’t sure the table was gonna be big enough for it, but I lucked out and have just enough space. Yaay !

So I grabbed the never-opened plastic bags that held the larger props and started putting them together. The picnic table was very similar to the one that came with the Barbie ‘Manhattan International School’, part of the Generation Girl line, but this one had a ‘woodgrain’ pattern embossed in the ‘wood’ part, complete with a carved ‘DG + CdN’ heart at one corner of the tabletop. Squeee ! The desks are like nothing I’ve ever seen, and fit together only one way. Well, they’ll fit together ‘wrong’ but it soon shows that that little tab should fit in a slot, like it does on the other side…oh, I used the wrong side piece here. Luckily, I tend to keep things a bit loose ‘til I’m sure I got it right ! Wish it came with two more desks and another set of bleachers, though.

This is gonna sound so stupid, but I had a good hour of playing with the school without dolls at all. I reinstalled the fragile staircase, put up the cobwebby things – had to look at my box photos to see where they went ! – and placed everything, noting the little details and tiny treats. Still don’t want the skullie ‘disco ball’ and the pink pumpkins, or the sticker sheet, though. From what I can tell, no one’s ever sold those, so I’ll probably be lucky to get a dollar for ‘em. But it’ll be fun to try !

Oh ! Duck is back ! Later, lovelies ! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Duck !

Current Mood : Happy - and soon, with more space !

Current Image Notes : Clickie for more Duck !

Forgot to tell ya’ll – I have an appointment with the Sleep Clinic again, but it’s not an overnight this time. Thank Everything. No, I’m going to their office in a larger city Monday morning, to try out what’s called a ‘nasal pillow’ – basically a cannula with some push to it, that’s not likely to come out as easily. If I can tolerate it, they’ll recommend it for me. It’ll take longer to drive up there than the appointment’s scheduled for. I did some research, and I think it might work. Ironically, I’ve been sleeping better this last week, although the appointment wasn’t scheduled ‘til Friday afternoon.

Beloved’s home this weekend, and I let him rest…for a while. We hit the hobby shop, and I found a color of Tamaya spray paint that might work for my Puma-guy, but it’s really more silver than blue. We’ll see in a few days.

We also picked out a larger aquarium – on sale ! – and a new fish and a froggie, too. Our new fish is another Molly, a gorgeous golden lyretail. So far, we’re calling him/her ‘Freckles’, and our froggie is ‘Diggy’, since he’s always plowing to the tank bottom. We got the tank set up and are just waiting the requisite 24hrs. to install the fish and frog. We also got a free snail, which, predictably, has been named ‘Freebie’.

Our ‘old’ tank – which we’ve had for about a month ! – is going to Dearest Son’s room. I’ll help him keep an eye on it, make sure they get fed and such. He’s been wanting his own since we got it. Our newest one has much cheaper décor. Mostly recycled fake plants and some well-scrubbed rocks from the creek a few dozen feet away.

While we were making space and shifting stuff, Beloved called us outside. We had a visitor – a gorgeous brown duck ! I gave Dearest Son half a raisin bagel to feed him with while I located a plastic bowl and a Sharpie. Turns out, ducks really like ice cubes in their water. According to the kids upstairs, that’s either ‘Duck Norris’ or ‘Duckota Farring’, depending on whatever gender he/she is. It’s funny how many things around us lately are gender-nonspecific. He/She does enjoy a good bagel, that’s for sure.

So, tomorrow, I get nearly three feet of desk space back. I’m thinking I’ll move the sewing machines there, since I won’t have to worry about disturbing fish when I sew. They’re going under the TV in the new tank ! If there’s enough space freed up, I may set up my School playset, at least for some photos. I haven’t had the time or space to really play with it much, and I wanna ! And it’ll be nice to have the space for play.

Gonna kinda miss the fish, though….

Friday, July 20, 2012

A very full day !

Current Mood : Satisfaction. 

I was a little restless today. Felt much better, but as much as I wanted to sew, I was feeling a little cooped up. We really hadn’t gone anywhere all week. So, after some showers and a little picking up around the place, Dearest Son and I hit the road.

I mostly wanted to hit Target and see if they had the Skull Shores doll set in. Target exclusive, of course, and not yet on their website. Y’see, I really want the Cleo doll. Her short hair and turquoise bangs are just adorable, and…heck, I only have two Cleos ! I soon had one in my sights on eBay – and lost. It’s rare for me to ‘win’ on eBay, I just don’t want to spend ridiculously for most things. I did a bit of research and came to a conclusion. Heck, if I’m gonna pay $30. for one doll (no, I wasn’t, but just about everyone else is willing to go $25. - $30., with shipping for her, that was the going rate), I may as well toss in a couple extra bucks and get the whole set.

Clawdeen was a cutie, too, and having a ‘color’ Frankie to go with the greyscale one would be great. I’d also finally get the DracuLaura nautical swimsuit, and I’d have a replacement Ghoulia for my broken-armed one. So I soon had buying the whole set rationalized as neatly as you please, but…of course, they don’t have that in stock. Our Target has three Gloom Beach sets, but all I’d want out of there is Ghoulia’s swimsuit, and I don’t even want that one very much. So, maybe later.

Dearest Son scoped out lots of goodies he liked, too, but he’d left his well-earned allowance at home, on purpose. He decided he wanted to save up for some larger purchases, and I respected that. We headed for TRU.

Nothing new there, and all the ‘new’ stuff that was there when I bought the School playset was gone, too. Lots of one-torso CAMs, the new $40. CAM maker coffin-thingie (that lotsa early adopters are having big problems with), and Sweet 1600 girls, but not much else. Finally saw the Coffin Bean playset for the first time, but $30. for a sofa and chair – about all I wanted out of it – seemed a bit much. Dearest finally got to see the Lego ‘Monster Fighters’ Castle set, and it is a doozy. Remember me whining about the price structure for non-licensed items ? Yeah, I regret that. The castle is well-designed and amazing…and at $109., quite fairly priced in my book.

On to Mal-Wart. Lots of stuff I wanted there – markdown beach towels, lucky bamboo planters for Beloved Hubby’s desk, and craft goodies – but only Sweet 1600 girls on the shelves. Oh, and before I forget it, I did see Cupid, at all three stores ! It was a bit of a jar, since she started out as an exclusive. I kept thinking someone took a return they shouldn’t have. And I saw another MH party favor set, which had the eight tiny ‘decomposition book’ notebooks in it, for just $9. A buck cheaper than the Party Galaxy set, but it also had more stuff in it I didn’t like. Next week, I’ll probably snag the Party Galaxy one, but for now, we left empty-handed again.

In fact, we were out for nearly three hours, and only bought sodas. Hot day. It still felt great to get out and look around and not buy anything after all. Now I was ready to sew !

So I did. This is one of the Kristine Ann’s patterns I bought last month, and it sewed up very nice. I think I attached the skirt a bit low, which explains why the sides aren’t as snug as they could be. It went together quickly, less than an hour from cut to Velcro ™, and the darts were easy to stitch and well-placed. This is a cutaway piece from the pillowcase I made yesterday. Yeah, it’s a bit juvenile a print, but I like it, and it’s nice and soft. I think Operetta likes it, too !

Here's a link if you'd like to see the pattern set  - http://www.etsy.com/listing/102166640/monster-high-dolls-pattern-for-dresses

Beloved Hubby’s home ! My day is happy and complete. Hope your Friday was fun, too !

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The magic of Sharpie...

Current Mood : Achy-breaky tummy.

So. I got all my housework done early this week so I could take today to sew and play and have fun. Of course, I woke up with a major belly-ache, and when a belly as big as mine hurts, it definitely puts a crimp in your day’s plans.

Beloved Hubby wasn’t feeling much better, so he took today off. And we slept in. Waaay in. Felt a little better, but not really ready for anything complicated. Figured making that pillowcase I needed would be a good start, and once I got my fabric picked out, it went together quickly and almost perfectly. Of course, it was just a pillowcase, not very much of a challenge, but I’m always a bit nervous about my sewing machines after a move. Even if they rode to their new home on my lap, I still worry that I’ve somehow bumped them the one wrong way, and now the timing is off or some tiny cog deep inside is off-kilter. But, if anything, KJ is working better than ever now. Or maybe I’m just happy.

It was also a kind of test, since I pretty much have an all-new Arena, with everything in a different place than before. I even redid how my straight pins, snaps, and hook/eyes are stored. And I have to take the fishies into account, since their tank is on one of my tables. KJ’s everyday vibration would probably drive them crazy, so I used the other table and kept it slow, even though it was pretty much all straight-line sewing. But with a few minor adjustments, I soon had everything where it needed to be, and where I could grab it, so I’m pleased with that, too. And Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son already want a bigger tank, so I doubt the fishies will be with me much longer. I have no idea where they’ll go, but any bigger tank will have to be located elsewhere.

I’d intended to go on to some doll clothes today, but I just wasn’t ‘into’ it, ya know ? I felt like I’d somehow gotten away with it by having such luck with the pillowcase, I didn’t wanna risk my still-tense belly with any worry. And any new pattern, no matter how simple or easy it looks is a bit edgy for me. So I just kinda hung out, cleaned my desk-arena, and tested the laser printer, which also hasn’t been used since the move. Needed to print a copy of the pattern I wanted for later, so after a few efforts with scaling, I got it right, and it’s ready to go. I think I’ll try to sew it tomorrow.

For now, though, I’m still working on the revamp of that Frankie outfit I didn’t much like. It needs a couple more applications of Sharpie in, but that’s it so far. Haven’t touched the shoes yet – I was gonna spray ‘em brown, but I think instead, I’ll just go with black and red. Can always use those colors !

Starting to worry a bit about my Jemgirl shoes. They shipped July 4th, and aren’t here yet. If they aren’t by next Friday, I’ll contact her. Hopefully they’ll be in by then – I just can’t wait to put them on my dolls ! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rings not on my fingers (they might fit a toe)...

Current Mood : Sleepy

Sorry, I’m a little grouchy today. I was awakened at 5am by my phone cheerily announcing a text message from FIL. I thought it was the alarm, and got up. Nope. He was just happily informing us that their texting capabilities have been restored. I often wonder if he’s being passive-aggressive - I haven’t felt free to speak to him since May, for fear that my emotions will fly as soon as I open my mouth. But then I realize he’s probably just not thinking at all.

At least getting up early let me get more done. Hit the grocery store while Beloved Hubby was still home and before Dearest Son woke up. I had my list and $20. – and brought it in at $19.95, with a couple extra goodies. Salami sandwiches ! Got some fresh eggs, so I hard-boiled the old ones. Beloved loves an occasional egg salad sandwich, too.

Got Dearest to clean up his room for vacuuming as soon as he saw the frozen pizza I got him for lunch, and promised him I’d bake it as soon as his room was ready. Lightspeed ! I was just lucky he’d already had breakfast. He even props his bed up on end for me. It’s always amazing to see how much dirt that vacuum gets up. Got that done and took out trash, and started on the bathroom before I had my lunch.

I am so glad our bathroom is small. Even with not a lot of surface to clean, it takes a bit out of me. I usually do one or two parts, take a break, and go back, until it’s all done. I keep thinking some of those stains will scrub out, but they don’t. At least it’s done for another week !

Mostly tried to get all the housework done early so I could have a ‘Crafty Thursday’ ! With no excuses. I’ve put off sewing for so long, I’ve gotten scared of it again, so it’s time to get crackin’. All my patterns are scanned, all my housework is done. I got stuff I need to do, stuff I want to do, so it’s time I did it already.

For now, though, I’m ready for bed ! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Better than expected !

Current Mood : Content.

Current Image Notes : Bigger with the clickie !

I was pleasantly surprised by Lagoona’s odd jumpsuit when I opened it up. The paper doll beneath has the same bikini as the school sports uniform, but there’s a new color and design to it. Nice touch ! It’s hard to see the cute pink goblet cocktail in her hand, but the bendy straw makes it less ‘Cosmo’ and more ‘Seventeen’.

The jumpsuit was still a mess, in my opinion. The ribbons don’t come together where they should, and it’s off-center at the front. And while it has nothing to do with the design, the darn little plastic tabs holding it on the plastic form underneath opened up a hole right on the front. Patched it with Fray-Check, and hope it doesn’t snag or get worse.

However, once it was on her, it looked pretty good. I used the belt as a scarf, to hide the hole and the bad ribbon positioning. It’s still a rather odd design, but it suits her. I like that the ribbon on it matches the Moxie Teenz tote one, and it can hold all the three-eyed frogs we have. I thought to put it on sea monster Carlin, but the colors seemed to clash with her skin. The shoes look weird in package, too, but again, suit Lagoona more than I thought they would. The pink platforms will probably also look good on DracuLaura. May have to try those weird ‘Elton John’ glasses on her, too. So, while there’s no way I would have paid $8. for this, I’m glad I got it. I’d get even the ones I hated if they were always four bucks !

Got most of the housework caught up – finished the dishes and started vacuuming. I get to finish that, do the bathroom, and maybe finish up the laundry tomorrow. After that, I just have dishes to do, and I’m off for the weekend ! I got plans…

Monday, July 16, 2012

Skater's waltz...

Current Mood : Very sleepy...

Deboxed Abbey’s new fashion today – and was immediately taken with how soft and plush her fun-fur shrug was. You’ll definitely be seeing that piece soon, I already have plans for tomorrow’s photo !

I am having so much fun with ‘I Love Fashion’ Abbey, and even up to the minute I took her out of the box, I didn’t even really want the Abbey doll, just her clothes ! I’d made up my mind to buy her if I found her, especially after seeing just the clothes alone bring nearly $40. on eBay, but figured I’d trade the doll sometime later. I wanted that peplum skirt and those pants, bad ! Instead, I have had so much fun playing with her, she hasn’t gone on the shelf with the others – I want her on my desk, with Lagoona and Ghoulia, and the not-yet-finished puma-dude. I’m not sure why that is, but I don’t have to fight with putting her hands back on. That means a lot. I wonder if the engineering is a little better. I’m in fear of breaking some of my other dolls.

It's funny that her hair is wider around than her waist. I could barely get that black peplum overskirt around her hair, but it snugs over that dress just fine. With her hair back, she kind of reminds me of Grace Kelly...

I was glad I got the laundry over with early when the water suddenly thinned to a trickle. So much for doing dishes this afternoon ! Can’t say I was too upset. I really should have sewn, but I got lazy and watched Law & Order reruns and looked at the new Lego ‘Monster Fighters’ sets Dearest Son is currently enamored with, on the official website. You’d think sets that didn’t require paying Disney or Mattel a license fee would be a little less expensive, but you’d think wrongly ! It follows the usual ‘two or three small sets at $10. to $20., a couple more at $30. to $50., one or two at $60. or so, and one big one at $120.’ pattern as most others, licensed or not.

Not much else going on. Wrote up the menu for next week, cleaned up the kitchen. Around 8pm, we got hot water back, so tomorrow’s catch-up day on the housework. Luckily we’re too broke to go anywhere anyway ! (grin) I’m hoping my Jemgirl shoes come in soon. I’m really looking forward to getting them – and deciding which dolls get to wear them first !

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday chill !

Current Mood : Chillin' with Abbey, content

A nice quiet day. I needed one. Opened two of the fashion packs I bought last week – Clawdeen’s and Frankie’s – and got all the package backs scanned. You’ll see them over the course of the week, I love having images done ahead of time. I hate that I got rid of all the other packaging ‘paper dolls’ I used to have, so I kept these – and even hung them up on the blank side of a bookcase. I left Frankie and Clawdie (gigglesnort) on the package cardboard, but I have two dolls I saved without the cardboard, Ghoulia and Deuce. I’ll fit them in between. I’m happy I get to keep these.

Still don’t like the colors in Frankie’s outfit. So I cracked out the Sharpies and tinted the red webbing waistband around the skirt black. Can’t do much with the straps or the red hexagon patterns, but at least it doesn’t hurt my eyes so much. Next, the red on the shirt goes bye-bye !

I really love the fork and slice of pie that came with it, though. And I’m sooo painting those shoes a nice dark brown or something. As you can see, Clawdie’s glasses have already been claimed, but I keep mistaking her odd golden shoes for rice crackers or cashews. Toyed with the idea of making her weird pants into a skirt, but I don’t really think there’s enough fabric, even if I keep the same seam allowance. Not sure what to do with the jacket, either, but the top is pretty nice. Very fitted.

Abbey’s second outfit, the pants and top, are very nice. But her pants are super-tight, and if they didn’t stretch, they wouldn’t fit. As it is, it’s a ‘two moon junction’ when she sits, and half the time, the Velcro ™ pops open. Her seat is a little Disney Princess treasure box (from the dollar section at TRU), and like my Clawdeen is a ‘Hello Kitty’ fan, my Abbey is a secret DP aficionado. Too bad I ditched most of that stuff years ago. Luckily, they make plenty more of it !

Since I had the scanner all fired up, I also got the new pattern in. Now I can sew some of it ! First, though, I have to create a pillowcase. Turned out the ‘biggie’ new pillow I bought m’self Friday gives my neck a crick. So I swapped it with one of Beloved Hubby’s and slept like a rock last night. He likes the new one, too. The pillowcase I made for his birthday fits it, ‘cause I make ‘em large ! Just have to make me one. Now, what fabric to use…?

Pool time again today. My swimsuit, which I bought back in 1993, is turning from black to brown. Well, parts of it are. It’s funny that I’ve worn it more this month than I’ve worn it for the past near-twenty years. And I am so enjoying that ! But I may have to invest in a new suit next year. I’m gonna miss the pool when the season’s over. By then, I’ll be ready to go back to the Wii Fit program.

For now, though, it’s almost bedtime ! Hope your weekend was tons of fun !

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I had to do it. Pinkie Pie really is like a baby yak with ADD...

Current Mood : Dizzy, going to bed. G'night !

What a nice day today was ! Beloved Hubby was home today – his clients called to cancel – so we slept in, had a nice breakfast, and went out for a bit. We were hoping to score a few more pool floaties, but no luck. So we got snacks instead, and gosh, did those taste good after two hours of splashing, swimming, aqua-exercise, and floating. I’m just glad we remembered the sunscreen, or I would have been burned bad. My nose is still a bit snug-feeling regardless.

The new doll reveal from SDCC is ‘Caterine DeMew’, a pretty white catgirl with cotton-candy lavender hair sporting a pink streak. Much as I’m not really that interested in more MH cats – I’ve yet to really want any of the kitties out already -  this one is just lovely. I had to look up images of Catherine Deneuve, since I knew this new doll was designed to resemble her, and I couldn’t quite remember much about the French actress beyond her blonde curls and flawless skin and huge eyes. They did a great job ! She’s a Wal-Mart exclusive, like Cupid…but it was funny that I saw a Cupid at TRU a few days ago.  

To be honest, like a lot of other adult MH fans, I’m concerned about all these exclusives. So far, this year alone, there’s several at TRU, a couple at Mal-Wart and Target, and more expected in time for the holiday frenzy at Costco, Kohl’s, JC Penney's, and I’ve even heard a rumor of one for Sam’s Club. Luckily I’m not a completest, and most of these are simply extensions of what’s already out there – like the TRU-exclusive Ghoulia doll that comes with the widely available scooter – but if any of these are a must-have, or Heaven forbid, all of them are, that’s a lot of chasing around. And if the distribution patterns continue to be as scattered and random as what we’ve already seen…yikes. Add to that entry fees (Costco and Sam’s Club) or few outlets (there are no K-Marts here for three hours in any direction), and you end up feeding the scalpers instead of pleasing the fans. It’s that kind of thing that can scuttle a brand, no matter how successful it is.

Oh and I forgot to tell you. We forgot to get me a birthday cake earlier this month, but it was no big deal. I figured I’d just order a dozen of the new Monster High cupcakes, with the character rings on ‘em, sometime later. Too bad none of the bakeries around here have them. Oh, well. I ordered the ring-thingies off a seller on Amazon.com, and I got a dozen coming for less than five bucks, shipping and all. And I can put them on any cake, cupcake, brownies, or even baked potatoes if I want ! I would have just gotten six, since there’s only six designs, but I knew I’d want to share with Dearest Son. And have my own set !

Whoo. Just got a bit dizzy there. I think it’s bedtime for me ! Hope your Saturday was swell !

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th !

Current Mood : Slightly image-nervous.

Got kinda bored today, with the dishes done and floors swept, so Dearest Son and I hit the local Mal-Wart, to get out of the house and walk around. Plus, I was feeling a bit down about missing the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) – like I’ll ever get to go ! – and hearing all about the endless fun of the National Barbie convention, so sitting around at home, no matter how nice and clean it is, was just not enough.

Although I did get a laugh from Kevin Smith’s tweets of the event. He posted a photo of an endless line circled back on itself, reading ‘For those of you bummed about missing Comic con this year, this is the line to get into Hall H at 6:30 this morning’. Whew. Somehow that, and the Mattel booth selling out of exclusive dolls ten minutes after opening, never makes it to the official ‘We had sooooooooo much fun !’ posts.

Here’s the second SDCC reveal, Target-exclusive PolterGhoul (Spectra) and WonderWolf (Clawdeen). Sorry to rename them, but I honestly thought PolterGhoul was just an upgraded ‘Ghost Girl’ Create A Monster, the first time I saw her.  

Yesterday, it was announced that last year’s runner-up Headless Headmistress Bloodgood will be released – as a TRU exclusive – early next year. Some are flustered, thinking she’ll be part of a $$$ school bundle, but I think she’s more likely to be paired with her horse Nightmare instead. Besides, if there’s one thing I’ve learned – no matter how exclusive anything is, it’ll end up on eBay sooner or later. It’s up to each person who wants to decide what their limit is on what they wanna pay for it. I kinda want the Cleo from the Target-exclusive Skull Shores five-pack, but not enough to pay $50.+ for the set. She’ll show up on eBay sooner or later. Maybe even when I have money !

For now, I spent all I had on a power strip, a new pillow, and some lightbulbs. Oh, and a bag of mixed fruit, I’ve missed having fresh fruit every day. Aldi’s has been fruit-poor this summer. Now I’ve gotta break out the sewing machine – I need a new pillowcase ! And I can finally scan the new pattern. All I have to do is get off my butt…

Or out of the pool. We’re goin’ floatin’ again tonight ! Wheee !