Thursday, January 31, 2013

You survived January 2013 !

Current Mood : Wiped out.

The bathroom is clean. From tub to toilet, sink to floor, it’s looking more like an average bit-too-small average bathroom and less like something from Basement Dwellers magazine. Only problem is, I darn near passed out scrubbing the tub. No, I didn’t mix cleaning products, it just needed so much scrubbing, I kinda overdid it. The visual distortions really let me know it’s time to ease up, and I always listen to them. Next time, I’m gonna attack the tub by halves, with a half-hour break in between.

Only problem with all this cleaning is that it leaves me little time and energy to sew. I really have to find the balance again. Thing is, I’m on and off various medicines so my energy levels are all over the place. Still, I have hope for tomorrow.

Plus, I really wanna get poor Howleen out of her stock-wear ! It’s kind of funny, I’ve left several of my MH dolls in their issue clothes for months, but I really wanna get Howleen into something new within three days of buying…I mean, three days after she followed us home. At least I found her some shoes that fit ! These are LIVs, from that 48c markdown accessory pack I bought last month, and they mostly fit, but Howleen’s toes are just a little bit wider. That made the last toe strap looked awkward, so I scissored it off. Amazingly, a really cool seller on the MH board I frequent had a pair of LIV shoes I didn’t have on her ‘for sale’ list, and among other things, I snagged ‘em. Howleen even has a cute little bag for her shoes, so I don’t break another doll’s leg trying to get them on her.

I think I may be able to mock up a little skirt for her, though…

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Howleen's Happy Family

Current Mood : Accomplished ! 

Whoo. Finished the vacuuming today – I cleaned our bedroom while Dearest Son cleared his, both of which needed doing for some time. Ran the vacuum and even pulled out the edge tools, and now both rooms are vastly improved. While I had it out, I also redid the living room and dining area. It’s amazing how messy a floor can get 24 hours after it’s been vacuumed !

I’m sure you’ve heard of/ seen the TRU-exclusive were-cat Fearleader squad pack. If not, here’s the scoop – for about the same price as the DLaura / Cleo / Ghoulia TRU set, ya get nearly the same thing, just with Toralei, Purrsiphone, and Meowlody in Fearleader outfits with megaphones and cheesy printed cardstock pompoms. One of the good bonuses about this new surprise pack is that none of the kitties have gloved hands, something that’s evidently long troubled were-cat fans. I didn’t much care, truthfully.

Of course, now that the new set has surfaced, that means that Toralei’s price has begun to plummet on the open eBay market. It could also be, at least in part, due to the passing of the high Holiday shopping frenzy, but I can’t help but think that, when, say there’s 20 DracuLauras, they tend to not skyrocket on the secondary market. But when there’s only one Gil and he was only out for about a week last year, and there’s no plans announced for another one, Gil tends to sell for a much higher price than any one particular DLaura.

So I’m kinda surprised when folks who know all about Toralei 2 try to leverage their signature kitties into even trades for Gil or other rare dolls. Maybe last month, but now that ya know a slightly preferable version is out, it’s kinda embarrassing. Or I’m just weird, and it’s not my deal, so my opinion doesn’t count. But I’ve seen it over and over.

Ah, well. I’m gonna over-pay come June for my Dawn of the Dance Deuce, so it’s all about what yer into. And it’s not like I don’t already have enough to play with ! I’m done with Howleen’s box and I’ve played with her all day – she’s such a cutie ! Mine doesn’t quite have so much ‘tude as the webisode one. She’s more of an adoring little sister than the adversarial one.

If ya want the truth of the matter, what sold Howleen more than anything Mattel ever did is pictured in today’s image. This is also from, same person who did that glorious Jinafire repaint. I didn’t know that ‘til I went searching for the image again. I always feel so much joy in that drawing. I may have to re-create it with my dolls.

And I hope to sew tonight ! Gotta finish the swim / bodysuit pattern, and I hope to make something for Howleen soon. I am seriously contemplating taking the legs off her issue wear and converting it into her swimsuit. Wish me luck with that !

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I couldn't help it - she followed me home ! (after we paid for her, of course...)

Current Mood : Cute. And rosy pink, just a bit. 

Beloved Hubby was *very* happy that I insisted he take the umbrella with him to his classes today – about an hour after he and Dearest Son (riding up to spend the day with his grandparents) left, the heavy morning clouds overhead opened up and poured on us for hours unceasing. We have another mini-flood just outside the door. Ginger-kitty is ticked.

Anyway. Spent most of my ‘me’ day cleaning up so I could vacuum, then kinda just goofed off for the rest of it. I have no regrets. That floor needed a good cleaning more than my soul, and I’m glad I got it done. I always want to vacuum once a week, but end up feeling ahead of the game when I can say I did it at least once in the previous month.

Before I knew it, my guys were home, and about all I had to show for the day was a clean floor, a cat miffed by having to choose between  scary noisy appliance inside and wet everything outside, and four episodes of Rich Bride, Poor Bride logged as ‘watched’ on Netflix. The smell of the roasted potatoes I had for late lunch was still in the air. It went sooo well with the ham we cooked Sunday. Beloved Hubby had his paycheck cashed and had spent a bit of it on a tote of tacos ! Yum !

Then we were off on our little shopping expedition. I wasn’t surprised when the space reserved for Catrine was empty as before, but the stock clerk working that section said they’d put out all the MH they had, all day. Ah, well. I’d been looking at Dance Class Lagoona (her bodysuit’d look great on my sea monster Carlin, and I have a weakness for ballet shoes), Scaris Draculaura (I love her shoes and blouse so much !), and DC Howleen (although I wasn’t fond of her animated characterization, she was one I didn’t have multiple times or an earlier version in the ‘not keeping’ lineup) online, and our Mal-Wart had all three in, for the same $13. price. Arrrrgh.

DLaura bowed out early, since I had Gloom Beach in the lineup, and I didn’t much favor buying a doll just for clothes – even if it was cheaper than trying to score them off eBay. And then Lagoona swam off, reminding me that I was supposed to be working on my *own* swimsuit design, thank me very much, and if I really wanted to, I could make my own ballet slippers, too. Howleen just shrugged and looked adorable. So she came home with us.

It’s kind of funny. I bought Howleen, and earlier bought Operetta and Robecca’s Dance Class costumes from various sources. If I do get Lagoona or her outfit later, I’ll have snagged the whole series’ clothes !

She’s already out of box, and cute as a button. I’ve located a few LIV shoes that fit her, and the same shopping trip scored me another Winx wing and shoe set, on markdown for two bucks. She now has a blue triple-bow pair all to herself, and three other pairs besides what she came with. Possibly more, if I can find the Barbie shoe box, she kinda fits those flat ‘gymnast body’ shoes, but the test pair I had sat awkwardly.  

(scoff) At this rate, I’ll end up with Nefera next week ! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Now, I don't usually like repaints all that much, but...

Current Mood : Happy and anticipatory !

I have no idea why I’m suddenly having so many formatting problems between the ever-funky Office that came with Windows 7 and the Blogger interface. I’ve had not a single issue for forever, then last night, I couldn’t get stuff to stay where it was supposed to be no matter what I tried. I had no idea I could come up with so many ways to alter the transfer to test where the fault was, but I lost count at six. Because then, for whatever reason, it worked again. And again tonight, so here's hoping it was just a temporary glitch. 

And as for today’s image – wow ! If I’d seen her on the shelf at Mal-Wart (yeah, right, like that’d happen !), I’d have put my $20. down so fast, the cashier and I would have matching paper cuts. I’m not usually a big fan of repaints – some are gorgeous, some are frightening, some are, I’m sorry, ugly to me, and I’m so darn sick of sugar skull inspirations I could spit – but I would gladly shell the $75. for that Jinafire. I normally like big-eye dolls, but not Blythe big, ya know ? And to me, Jinafire by Mattel has buggy, almost wall eyes more like a fish than a fantasy dragon. This one is maybe a bit sexier than I’d normally go for, but it’s such a change over the standard one, I can’t help but wish for it. This lovely repaint isn’t for sale, but you can see other works by the artist at No Nap Time, including crochet MLPs !

Can’t tell yet if I saved a t-shirt from the rag-bag or for the rag-bag. I’ve had a purple tee for so long that I remember tearing out the itchy tag. Yup. It had tags ! But the last couple times I tried to wear it, the neckline still picked and bugged me, even with the collar torn open, the last vestiges of the tag dug out, and the collar resewn. I couldn’t even wear it around the house for very long without pulling it off and muttering that it was gonna be doll clothes soon. Seemed a shame, though, it really was a pretty color on an otherwise very comfy shirt.

Got tired of moving it out of the way in the ‘house wear only’ drawer, then got tired of shoving it to the side around the Arena, and got busy on it today. Cut the collar completely out, ran a line of stay-stitching a half inch from the newly raw edge, then folded it over on the stitch line and sewed it a quarter-inch from the stitches. Then ran two lines of zig-zag stitches to hold the raw edge down, and poof ! New shirt that doesn’t constantly prickle the back of my neck ! Whether or not it goes into the closet as a regular shirt or back into the ‘house wear’ drawer remains to be seen, but I kinda like the new neckline ! It seems like I fixed the problem, so it may be another couple of years before it becomes a doll ensemble.

I also found some wood glue while cleaning off the dining room table and fixed my craft tote stick bag. It’s often called a knitting bag, one of those fold-up totes you find at Hancock Fabrics – that’s where it came from. You can see it in that Law & Order photo with Ginger-kitty. It’s that red thing in the hallway. While it was sitting around storing tulle, two of the support sticks became unglued and fell out of their corresponding holes. It’s fixed and dry now, although I’m not sure what to do with it yet. If I actually went anywhere, I’d make it an ‘on the go’ craft tote, but for now, it holds my library books for Tuesday.

And yes, the winds have spoken, and I have tomorrow after Beloved Hubby’s drawing class all to m'self ! Dearest Son’s riding up with him to DM & FIL’s, and back after his course work – and when they’re home, we’re doing a little shopping. Probably just Wal-Mart, but I’m looking forward to it !

Now, if PineCone could just pay me for that second survey I did this weekend, I might be able to snag something for my selfish self… But first, it’s back to the prototypes with that body/ swimsuit pattern ! Wish me luck, I’m soooo close…

Sunday, January 27, 2013

When you have all the dolls you want, ya start looking at storage options for all their stuff !

Current Mood : Very Sleepy...

Actually, I want it more for fabric storage. 
Learned a lot today. Dearest Son commented he’d turned his track-pad, built into the bottom edge of his laptop, off. Why, I didn’t know you could ! And I curse at mine at least twice a day, whenever my hands stray and I lose half a paragraph to some random select-and-cut action the thing does, seemingly at random. I never feel m’self touch the thing, but there goes whatever I just wrote, unless I see it fast enough to hit the ‘undo’ arrow before it’s auto-saved. His was a function key, but mine didn’t respond the same way – but I soon found out how to activate the ‘disable’ switch. Yaaay !

I also finally got off my butt and got some stuff put away. Embarrassed to admit it, but when I had to move the MH School playset and all the dolls earlier this month, I bagged up all the pets and props and pieces and shoved the lot into the closet. Problem is, I couldn’t close the closet, and last night, Ginger-kitty decided to knock half my stuff in there over, and conclude her statement by dropping a glass roller-skate onto the bag with the lockers. Still amazed one (or more) didn’t get broken. Those ole Avon bottles are heavy !

So today, I decided to get it all sorted. I kinda hated to, because I wanted to keep some of it out, but my immediate space is pretty packed as it is now. Levered the MH bin off the top closet shelf and got the big stuff in there, mostly Coffin Bean pieces … but once I took apart the desks, carts, and picnic table, that left me with a lotta small, easy to lose pieces. And I wanted to keep the desks, lockers, and the second picnic table where I could get to them easily. The bin still had space, but…

Ah-hah ! You may remember I used to have a bunch of Barbie doll cases. I mostly used them for Lab decoration back then, but several, I really loved. I kept those, and hung them on my closet door when we moved here. Completely empty inside, save for one Midge case I used to store unwanted MH props until I trade, sell, or give them away. Turns out, the school furniture easily fit in the ‘Barbie Goes Travelling’ case with room to spare, and the lockers filled up the other Midge one. The food pieces fit with a baggie of other food bits I kept in the Arena, and I stuffed the extra lockers in the back of the ‘Pets’ drawer of the rolling rainbow cart. Now I can get to it all, but it’s safely out of the way. What a relief !

And I’m really looking forward to getting back on that swimsuit project Monday !

Saturday, January 26, 2013

D'awwwwww !

Current Mood : Sugary.

Today, I finished reading my fifth book – and started my sixth – on the Kindle app Beloved Hubby installed for us on the Tablet that Dearest Son and I share. Christmas present.  Too bad I downloaded four more freebie books this week alone. Including one that’s a collection of animal stories believed to date before 300 BC. Called The Panchatantra, or also Kalila and Dimna, it’s believed to be among the world’s oldest stories, first recorded in Sanskrit from even older oral traditions. It’s next on my plate – after I finish reading the three I already have half-started.

I tell ya, I love that darn Tablet. I didn’t think I would. But just for the free games, internet Bluetooth radio, and books, it’s worth its weight in platinum. There must be thousands of free books offered every year ! Only problem is, half of ‘em are vampire-based romance novels. That still leaves a lot to wade through – I’ve snagged cookbooks, financial planners, puzzle games, biographies, trivia, and yes, a few supernatural-themed romance novels. I use Kindle Buffet to sort through it all and recommend the best of it – saves me a lot of time over just looking at the same thirty ‘Author-loves-vampires’ fiction bits over and over on Amazon’s ‘Hot 100 Freebies’ list.

The rest of the day was kind of a bust. I know I should have been working on the bodysuit pattern, but I just couldn’t drag m’self to it. Gonna give me the weekend off, but Monday, we’re starting it up. I sometimes think the problem is, there’s too much I wanna do, and I have to finish one before I start another – at least with sewing and doll projects I do, or I’d have some from 2002 still with pins in ‘em – so when one gets soooo close to completion, I kinda jam up over what to do next ! And that makes it harder to actually finish. I figure, with a little time off, I can do a few other things and go back to the suit project refreshed, and with an idea of the ‘next’.

Watched the new ‘Defending Your Lagoona’ webisode, and discovered that there’s several ‘unreleased’ ones out there. They’re bonus features on the new for-sale DVDs. ‘I Scream, You Scream’ is about Cleo and a school-wide cooking show, featuring Scarah Screams, another, ‘No Ghouls Allowed’ is about a weird boyfiends’ night out, and the third, ‘Flowers for Slow Moe’ not only has the first time I’ve seen his nickname in official Mattel print, but is adorable, and familiar to anyone who’s read Flowers for Algernon, although the ending’s not quite the same. While I enjoyed ‘Lagoona’, and it was undeniably cute (but raised more questions about Gil’s parents than it answered), and I’m glad to see some way-underutilized characters get some screen time, I have no idea why this ‘clip show’ got an official release, and those three didn’t. All available on YouTube, natch !

In fact, I’m gonna go watch ‘Flowers’ again…

Friday, January 25, 2013

Maybe I'm protecting m'self in some odd fashion, I don't know...

Current Mood : See cat. 

Spent a fun hour arranging and rearranging the MH dolls on my desk, and it was nearly as enjoyable as playing with them. It’s much harder than you’d think to get forty-one (and one clone) dolls in a three foot square space where you can see them all. Dress-fitting Clawdeen (formerly Dawn of the Dance) now has her own little vignette, with a Coffin Bean tall chair and two doll-sized dress forms. It sort of looks like she’s daydreaming in an atelier’s study high up in a garret space in Paris – or Scaris, if you prefer. One that happens to have a giant (for her) sewing machine up there with her.

I think I needed that. Yesterday’s list, by the by, was a hoax, a list of ‘I wish’ that somehow got posted as fact. Suspiciously, it was an ‘I wish’ on that site I can’t stand that appeared as fact on that site I can’t stand’s Facebook. And people wonder why I am indifferent at best – and occasionally downright hostile - to Facebook, and usually avoid the pit of it.

While the winds didn’t blow right Thursday for a ‘me’ day, they may on Tuesday, but I’m not gonna count on it. I may give up on the notion and just do what I gotta do around everybody. I got piles of stuff that has to be put away, and lots of general sorting around that needs to be done soon. So we’ll see what next week brings.

Besides, it’ll keep me off the ‘lookie what I got new’ threads on the message boards. Even when there really isn’t anything I want, seeing all the new goodies makes me want, ya know. Maybe I’m weak that it doesn’t immediately translate to ‘go make something’ instead in me, but, well, maybe you understand. You’ll be one of the few, I don’t understand m’self lately ! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don'cha just wanna hug him ?

Current Mood : All messed up

Current Image Notes : New webisode, although it raises more questions about Gil's parents than it answers, and is actually another 'clip' show. 

I (heart) Slow-Moe !
And I got a good image to use when I decide to
knock off those letterman jackets ! 
Me and MH fandom, it’s a love-hate thing. Sometimes I think it goes beyond that, but I don’t wanna examine it too closely.

Quoted from Monster High Dolls’ Facebook page today :

Miss Ashley comes with good news! Thank you so much! 

Oh dear... Hold on to your wallets guys & ghouls, it's going to be a bumpy ride!
Toy Fair 2013 in New York during the first week of February, and a new multi-MH doll display will be exhibited. Here are a few of them:

Scaris City Of Frights Lagoona and Cleo – 

Skultimate Roller Maze Draculaura –
Dot Dead Gorgeous Frankie, Venus,Cleo,Clawdeen, Robecca-
Picture Day Clawdeen –
Ghouls Night Out Howleen, Lagoona, Spectra and Rochelle –
Dance Class Rochelle Goyle –
13 Wishes Gigi Genie, Twyla, Frankie, Clawdeen, Lagoona, Draculaura,
Cleo's Oasis Beach and Spectra's Haunt the Casbah Play Sets –
Dead Tired Spectra, Robecca, Lagoona,
Spectra's Creepy Bed, Lagoona's Shower and Draculaura's Die-Ner Restaurant –
Classroom Double Cleo and Ghoulia Mad Science, Heath Burns and Abbey Home Ick –
New Characters Heath Burns, ─░nvisi Billy, Catty Noir, Wydowna Spider –
Create A Monster Werewolf Boy and Sea Monster Boy –
Color Me Creepy Howleen And Lagoona –
Music Festival Clawdeen HipHop, Abbey himalayan, Venus Plunk –
New I Heart Fashion Wave 2 (Shoe Set) Clawdeen and Draculaura

That is in no way official – it’s from a fan site. Some of it’s already been proven, like the Die-ner (groan) and Spectra’s bed, while other bits are proven incorrect. For instance, the ‘Color Me Creepy’ line has already been discovered as a Create A Monster, not established character, one. Besides, if past Toy Fairs have taught me anything, it’s that Mattel does NOT bring out the big MH guns for it. They want Barbie and other lines to be the main attractions, and most of the new and astonishing MH stuff gets revealed at San Diego Comic Con. I’ve always viewed that tactic as unnecessarily splitting their forces, but it may be more of a ‘know your audience’ one, as the SDCC crowd, for the most part, could give a care about Barbie unless she’s wearing a DC or Marvel costume.

Maybe I’m going through the same thing again this year, but I still feel m’self pulling away from MH. Very little on that blue-hued list has my interest at all. More playsets and highly character-specific furniture I don’t have space for, themes that are more stereotypical than creative, not to mention done by Bratz not too long ago, characters I already have too many of, and the one character I am allowing m’self to have many multiples of…just isn’t here. Oh, I’m sure Mattel will get the bulk of my spending this year as the past two, but…I’m not as excited about it as I hoped I’d be. No Slo-Moe, gonna be a fight to get the guys, and another Were-cat ? Sheesh. Just seeing ‘Catty Noir’ – oooh, a black cat ! – makes me wonder if and even why I wanted Catrine. More I see others’ photos, the more she seems to have Jinafire’s staring eyes, which aren’t as attractive to me as they could have been. Or I just need to see more out-of-box.

I’m kinda hoping the list is a fake, a hoax, but it sounds true enough to be so. Already proven is a TRU exclusive of Toralei, Purrsephone, and Meowlody in Fearleader costumes. Man, and here I was, kinda regretting letting my Toralei go, just a bit, and it seems we’ll soon be up to our armpits in were-cats. Kinda glad I put the Purr/Meow set back when I was Christmas shopping now.

I just wish I knew why now, I don’t feel the fun anymore…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fun with spray paint - results !

Current Mood : Weird. 

This is actually the best photo of the newly-painted shoes – wish the brown ones had shown up better. They look great with those brown dresses I stitched up a few months ago ! Still have to hit that purple pair with some acrylic clear gloss, but I think they came out great.

Sewed up trials #4 and #5 of the MH swimsuit, and I am soooo close. Made another tweak to #5 – which I only sewed one back piece, instead of both – and there’s a good chance that’s it. The legs gap a bit, but I’m hoping that’s more due to my sewing instead of the pattern. Plus, it’s a really tiny gap…

While tomorrow won’t be a ‘me’ day, since Beloved Hubby’s classes kinda snuck up on us, we forgot to make arrangements, I hope to sew up the next few trials. The hardest part is hemming up that leg hole, it darn near gives me headaches. But it’ll do my psyche a world of good if I get a successful trial before the weekend.

We picked up Dearest Son’s site-to-store at Mal-Wart, and… no Catrines. I’m actually rather happy about that. I’m still not really sure I want or need another doll, especially now. Ginger-kitty seems to have a personal vendetta against Skull Shores Ghoulia, she’s knocked over or on the floor nearly every day. And I’ve moved her several times ! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

*Everybody* watches "Law & Order" at our place !

Current Mood : Decisive. 

Ginger really prefers the fourth and fifth season casts. 

Today went pretty well, considering all that had to get done. I’m looking forward to Thursday, ‘cause if all the winds blow right, it’ll be another ‘my time’ day after therapy, and I’m really planning a big one. While I have all my dolls about where I want them, none of ‘em are really displayed right. So I’d really like to have a day to tear it all down to the bare shelves and redo everything with all my props at hand. It’ll be a huge mess underfoot and on every flat surface, so it’ll hafta wait ‘til I’m alone and can wreck up the joint. Thursday would be great, so here’s hoping.

For today, though, I’m focusing on my still slightly off kilter desks. While I love all the light and new space – and I can sew without feeling so cubed up now ! – there’s a few small things about the arrangement that bug me. One is Ginger-kitty, who has accepted the clock in ‘her’ window,  now that I’ve shifted it over slightly, but still knocks over dolls. I’m hoping that can be remedied Thursday.

The other is the clamp-lamp. Shortly before we moved, I bought several clamp-lamps for a buck each at GoodWill, and they’ve been put to good use ever since. Beloved Hubby wedged one in at the window, clamped to the mini-blinds, in a perfect position for sofa reading. Since I now consider that 'my' window (Ginger's opinion notwithstanding) I repositioned the lamp yesterday as a perfect additional light to sew by, but I have to move the chair, grab the desk, and stand on tiptoes to turn it on and off. This often jostled the desk and made dolls wobble. Not working for me. I thought to get a foot-activated switch somewhat like this, so I could activate it that way. They always have those displayed at Christmas, for indoor tree lights – shame I didn’t think of it then. Plus, it kinda ranks to buy a $9. extension cord so I can use a 99c lamp, too.

Since we have to make a Mal-Wart run later this week – one of Dearest Son’s birthday gifts should be in Site-to-Store tomorrow – I figured on getting one then. But then I noticed the cheaper power strip priced under it. No foot switch, although it did have the familiar light-up red on/off switch…and that could serve the same function. Even better, moving the desks had ‘liberated’ one just like that ! Fished it back out from under the sink, applied a zip-strip to anchor the cord where I wanted it, and wouldn’t slide around, and there ya have it. My own free foot switch, and the light problem is completely solved. Yaaay, me !

After I forcibly restrained m’self from clicking my ‘new’ lamp on and off every 30 seconds, I got some housework done. Then I applied m’self to my latest crisis – do I really want a Catrine deMew doll or not ? It seems like it’d be such a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, but…I really don’t know. There’s so much going on about it. I’ve already bought one catgirl I ended up not liking, and I don’t want this to become another worry-bruise on my brain. But I know I’ll see everyone else’s photos and end up wanting… about a week after they’re sold out and going for $90. again on eBay. But I have so many now… arrgh. I think what I’ll do is just let it go. No extraordinary measures. If there’s one on the shelf when we pick up Dearest’s order, I can have it. Heck, I kinda~sorta wanted Jinafire ‘til I saw one in the harsh light of retail. Could be the same with Catrine. Already, many have noticed major differences between SDCC –displayed prototype and Mal-Wart exclusive production model, and there’s no telling what I’ll see.

What it really boils down to is this – every time I’ve rat-raced around, trying to find the newest MH doll, I’ve ended up seeing them shelf-sit a couple weeks later. With the exception of male dolls. Those, you really do have to take extreme measures to snag, Mattel makes so few. Seeing the school playset sell for $35. after Christmas really bothered me, especially when I remember acting like an idiot and spending above MSRP – at a retail outlet ! – for it… well, you’d have thought I learned with Barbie, but perhaps I really did with MH. I don’t need the latest (except for the male dolls) soonest – with most ghouls, I can afford to wait a while.

Heck, a few minutes ago, I couldn’t even remember what earrings Scaris Ghoulia wore in-box, and I just got her ! Red zipper-heads, just like the pink ones her signature doll wore. Never could figure out why those were pink, when most of her outfit was red, but at least now, I can rectify that.

Yeah, I think my particular case of MH fever has passed, but the fervor remains. So I’ll see ya if it’s local destiny, Catrine ! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another day, another swimsuit trial...

Current Mood : Headachy.

Got to make a run to Dollar Tree today – managed to find seventeen things we just couldn’t live without, but about half were food. Their pickles, both sweet and kosher dill, are great ! I also got the new broom we’ve needed, as well as some air freshener and a new wastebasket. I’ve never liked mine, even with the rocks weighting it to stabilize itself and keep my sewing machine pedal from wandering, and when I found a green wire one, it went into the cart.

It was fun spinning around all the Valentine and St. Patrick’s decorations. If I’d have liked any of the designs, I’d have bought a spool of ribbon, but the few that ran horizontal weren’t anything I liked, and the ones I liked ran vertical, not a lotta use in doll clothes. Ours is still thin-stocked after Christmas. The Toys section is still spread out, with maybe one toy per pin, and even then there’s gaping holes of bare wall. No dolls, no doll clothes, no faux ponies – like the MH wall was a few weeks ago, tons of dress-up stuff, no real toys.

Once home, I sewed up the third swimsuit trial – better, but still crotching too wide and overlapping the leg at the front. not quite meeting right at the seam. Finally about have the back right. Made some adjustments to the pattern and I’m ready to go for Version 4,  just not in much a mood to sew it. Had a minor headache for the last few days, and I think it’s weighing me down more than I wanna know.

Tomorrow’s gonna be a hectic one for Beloved Hubby. He has two jobs going, starts school again, and is still teaching the drawing class at the library. I’m just glad I got him to bed early, and I think I’ll join him, and hope that things go well in a few hours. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mail Call !

Current Mood : Nobody home. 

After all the fun and excitement of yesterday, it was great to take it easy today. Cleaned up the last of the cake (and Dearest Son hoovered up the roughly two pounds of frosting clinging to the cake box) and snack leftovers for lunch, snugged the candles into his corkboard, and found places for the gently-used blowouts. Beloved Hubby was quite wise to choose the ones without noisemakers or kazoos in them.

I’d made a small purchase during yesterday’s dash for forgotten party supplies – the cute little Valentine’s Day mailbox Ghoulia’s sitting on. Just $2.97 at Mal-wart, and they had pretty much every major licensee save for MLP, but it could have been that those were sold out. With nearly a month still to go before Valentine’s, the selection was already a bit picked over. I got one of two MH ones remaining, while Dearest selected Toy Story 3 over Avengers or Spider-Man. Or even the other MH.

The front is hinged and the flag actually works – I wouldn’t even mention it, but I’ve bought tin mailboxes that just had a lid without a hinge and the flag was just for decoration. It came with two sheets of decent stickers, but I was a little sad to see my fave ghoul Ghoulia wasn’t anywhere in evidence. Fixed that by putting her on the thing my own way ! Still, not bad for $3. I’m still looking for the classroom Valentines cards that come with pencils. Ours didn’t seem to have any, but I didn’t get much of a chance to look.

I did get to peek over at the MH section while securing the blind-bag ponies – nothin’ new, but they’ve finished the reset. I’m hoping to find the Siren Create A Monster set, to go with my sea-monster CAM, Carlin – and maybe also my CAM guys. The ‘mermaid’ tail’s been shown to fit both the male and female torsos. Even comes with a male-friendly sash. Talk about your Splash action – and I want it. I don’t even mind that it doesn’t come with shoes. Too bad we don’t have it around here yet.

Caterine de Mew is out, and is even in a neighboring state, but…(sigh) I do want her, since I don’t have any of the other catgirls, but I just can’t work up a good head of steam for a lengthy store-exclusive search. That may change later, ya’ll know me - ’inconsistency, thy name is Dorrie’ – but for now, I got a desk crowded with dolls, more in a box at my feet, and I just got a new Ghoulia. I can kinda justify the CAM, and fun, silly things like pencils and mailboxes, but another new doll…eeesh.

(laugh) Keep hearing a pharmaceutical-ad voice, ‘If you, or any of your loved ones, have experienced Monster High burnout, please call…’

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dearest Son's Picture Perfect Pony party !

Current Mood : Bouncy but tired

We celebrated Dearest Son’s birthday earlier this week with a party today, and while it was a bit of work and a lot of last-minute scrambling, he’s still thanking us for the fun time. The kids that showed had a blast, we fed everybody and their parents with enough to take home, and even got to spend some nice family time with DM & FIL. Kinda disappointed in the kids next door – we’d invited them early, got a confirmation, and said if anything changed (they needed a ride, had to cancel, whatever), we’d be glad to accommodate them, long as they let us know by 11:30 this morning, which I don’t think is asking too much for a 2pm party. But for the second time in a row, they no-showed on us. Well, their loss.

We did blind-bag My Little Ponys as favors, and had enough left to give to the parents who wanted one, too. It was hilarious to me that O., who previously disdained pony-fandom (bronys and pegasisters, represent !) in any form got a dark grape glittery male pony in his bag (Twilight Sky) – and when I offered him cash for it, he snaked TS out of my hand and into his pocket without a word. His father also got a boy pony – in the exact shade of gorgeous chartreuse he’s currently enamored with. His wife got a similar-color girl pony with a peach pie cutie mark. Peach pie is her favorite. Amazing things, these $2. blind bags…

So everyone had a good time, and that’s the best possible outcome for a party. I’m exhausted ! But the fun is still in my ears, the memory is still being stored, and I find m’self wishing he had a birthday every month. Maybe every other month.

Part of me is amused that I jumped right back into sewing after a lengthy hiatus with swimwear. As a kid, I could never figure out why the dolls in swimsuits were the cheapest. I mean, I could ‘make’ pinned together skirts, big-legged, big-stitched pants, and hole-for-the-head blouses belted with masking tape – I had no idea how to make a maillot. It seemed so hopelessly complicated, I didn’t know how those were sold so inexpensively.

Well…swimsuits aren’t that easy, but they’re not difficult either. Kinda like a collared shirt or a skirt with a ruffle or layers – doable, just needs more attention and concentration that the simpler, straight versions. Didn’t get to sew today, as my hands are still all jangly and wired, but I hope to have a publishable (or at least testable) pattern by Friday. Wish me luck ! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Strike a pose, Ghoulia !

Current Mood : Sewing !

When Ghoulia is asked to 'strike a pose' in her
new dress, it becomes obvious that
she's either avant-garde, or unclear
on the concept. 
Been studying photos of others’ Ghoulia Deluxe Fashion Pack, and I think mine has two left shoes. Ah, well. I’d call Mattel, but one shoe is such a piddling thing when the rest of it’s so perfect, and I don’t even really like those shoes anyway. Besides, from what I’ve read on chat boards and other places, they get called if a doll is short one inner eyelash on one side, sometimes just to scam free stuff. I may be one of the few hundred who has more than 20 dolls who’s never called Mattel over a product quality issue, and I hope to keep it that way.

Speaking of shoes, I may have jumped the gun by spray-painting those two pair yesterday. Tried one of each on a spare Create A Monster foot, and got a bit of paint from both of ‘em. So I think I’ll give ‘em a week to dry, and hope for the best. Sometime during the night – or I got better light now – they cured to a deep burgundy wine color, and I just hope they’re soon good to wear. I will go buy fabric to match that shade, it’s gorgeous ! And with all the skin tones I got, it’s sure to look good on one doll or a bunch of ‘em !

After my work was done, I made a list of ‘dolls with swimwear’ and ‘dolls with no swimwear’. Operetta’s ‘dice’ bodysuit came in, and it looks great on her. Nearly every character’s had a bodysuit or swimsuit, and some have had two or three ! Venus has a swimsuit doll coming up, but that leaves Cupid, Spectra, Rochelle, and all the Create A Monsters without. Most of the guys, too. So I traced my fitting doll and shaped a simple strapless tank suit and added a seam allowance. One day soon…

By then, I knew I was delaying and putting it off. I haven’t sewn anything since we moved everything, and I was reluctant to start up again, for a reason I haven’t divined yet. Well, a swimsuit wouldn’t use much fabric – scrap time ! – and didn’t need to be successful, so what the heck. Had to reposition the cord and foot pedal, but I’m off and running !  

The first version mostly fit ! Needed a dart in the back and a bit better contouring, so I adjusted and sewed it again. Second version fit better, but needs to have enough for a hem at the top, the crotch needs to be narrower, and the back dart needs to be wider. I’ve already altered all that on Pattern 3.0, and hopefully later tonight, I’ll get to try it. But we have Dearest Son’s birthday party tomorrow, and I have a bit of a headache started, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to it. I may just read on the sofa for a while !

At the bottom of the scrap stash drawer, I also found where I’d tossed my Dollar Tree placemats that I used for photo backdrops. I’ve barely used one of them, much less three, so I repurposed one as a food mat for Ginger-kitty. I love it when I get more space and more stuff gets used !

Thursday, January 17, 2013

And finally... Ghoulia !

Current Mood : Happy.

While shuffling dolls around yesterday, I decided to take the ‘Nanny 911’  Bratzillaz accessory pack cloak off Carlin, my CAM sea monster. Still not sure what I’m gonna do with it, I just can’t take that cape seriously, but the fabric’s too in scale to ditch without a fight. Anyway, the dress underneath wasn’t much to see either. I should know, I made it. That baggy fit on her was just bugging me today, so I wondered if it’d fit the Midnight Magic clones… and it did. Slightly snug across the butt, but I’m not whining. A few other clothing trades later, I had everything about where I wanted it.

And, yeah, two of the three MMagic dolls will also be moving on soon. I wanted to keep them, decided to do so – but got defeated by simple space limits. The shuffling got them both dressed in something I can easily part with, and freed up a Barbie dress for that one cheapie doll I bought for her pants that Dearest Son had running around commando. At least she’s not waist-down nude anymore !

Ginger-kitty and I are gonna fight if she doesn’t stop knockin’ over my dolls and the clock to get into the window. Now that there’s an approximate four inches of space over there, she simply has to be in it if she’s awake. But if all the cats in windows I see throughout the buildings – in our pet-free complex – are any indication, she’s following a basic feline instinct of some sort.

It was a glorious almost spring-like day – no real wind, sunny, and mild. Almost sixty degrees ! It was so nice, I checked the humidity. Spray-painting doll props needs an above 50-degree day with less than 88% humidity, and today was it ! It wouldn’t be this nice for another week. If I wanted the duplicate Operetta single-fashion shoes repainted brown, it was now or wait a while. (grin) Must’ve been Fate, since we had a just-emptied ramen box, ready to go !

I also obtained a second pair of those lavender  ‘chain knit’ Dot Dead Gorgeous  Spectra shoes from Marian, and I love them, but don’t need two pairs the same color. Dearest graciously let me use some of his aubergine car paint for a quick spritz while the spritzing was good. The Operetta shoes came out great as usual, with minimal touch-up. Man, that Fusion ‘Textured Sparkle’ is good stuff. I’m also the owner of a sparkly brown ramen box, which is also quite pretty. It can be argued that Fusion texture paints tend to overwhelm or engulf details, but I honestly hated those shoes, so the less they look like the originals, the more I like ‘em.

The car paint is, of course, model paint, and I’d tell you what the shade and brand is, if Dearest hadn’t ripped off the label when he first used it. I was kind of hoping for a purplish burgundy result, but got more of a deep grape soda color. I’m not complaining ! After the Ghoulia Deluxe Fashions photo shoot’s complete, I’ll snap an image of them, before and after. They should be dry and ‘settled’ by then !

That just leaves one pair unchanged – only because I don’t have what I want for them. I thought I was buying Skull Shores ‘color’ Frankie Stein’s slides, but I didn’t look close enough. They’re actually SS Cleo’s ! Whoops. Oh, well, they were still dirt-cheap, and all I’ll need for a ‘new’ pair is a gold Sharpie. Since most of Cleo’s palette is gold, sea blue, and black, and the original pair is sea blue, I’m gonna use an oil Sharpie pen to make her a gold pair. Soon as I get to an office supply place or stationery section that 1) sells individual pens and 2) has gold in stock. Should check Hobby Lobby when I get to go next, although I haven’t a clue when that will be. That tone tends to sell out quickly around here. Anyway, I think they’ll look great gold. Won’t Nefera be sooo jealous ?

With all that sprayin’ goin’ on, Dearest decided to paint one of his cars, and we finally used up the aubergine. We used the Fusion on the interior. It already looks better than the metallic blue exterior and black interior that it came with !

And I finally cracked open the last of the Deluxe Fashion Packs I bought last year – the one I most wanted, Ghoulia’s ! I think her ‘casual’ selection looks pretty good on her. Although I really hate the ‘drip’ motif, it’s really neat on these pants. May have to remove her shirt’s ‘brain’ bow and re-center it, but I love it, and it’ll coordinate that shirt with about half her Mattel-made separates. I love how simple the collar is. Love the little cherry vest, too, but like the time I tried to sew my own, they tend to sit waaay back on the doll unless it’s made much bigger than this one is.

As for her accessories, for some reason, I like this ‘brain’ purse when I haven’t liked the others, possibly due to its shape. It doesn’t look that much like a brain. More like a purse made from her ‘brain puffs’ snack accessory from the Dead Tired line. I don’t know why Mattel insists on giving her blue or partially blue shoes, possibly to coordinate with her hair, but I’d have rather they just be all black or black and red. Could use them with more dolls and clothes that way. Ah, well, that’s what paint and Sharpies are for – customization !

I still don’t like her earrings. They kinda creep me out, the whole ‘worms and the undead’ thing. What ranks is, they really look adorable on her. I’ve given some thought to sanding down the worm segments and painting them, but that’s a lotta work for a half-penny’s worth of plastic. I’ll probably bag ‘em and throw ‘em in the ‘pitch ditch’.

Tomorrow, her dress ! See ya’ll then !