Saturday, August 31, 2013

With all these bleachers, it's like it's game day inside, game day outside !

Current Notes : And we finally get the bleachers done *before* September. Yaaay ! 

Ugh. School has snuck up on me. First home game today at the University next door. We’re not going anywhere today. While the game vets have things nailed down pretty well, and function as part of the day as a well-oiled screaming machine, there’s always newbies that really have to suffer a shakedown their first time. Traffic’s a bear when things are going well, I’m not even risking life and limb out there today !

Beloved Hubby agreed…so we made bleachers ! Yes, finally, I have those three bleacher sets I bought back in June finished, and I love them ! They look better than I thought they would, I’d been second-guessing m’self that I should have just painted them all silver. Sorry the photo kind of ranks, but it was the best I could do in a few minutes – yeah, that’s not even all my MH dolls, and the ones not yet seated were temporarily in a bit of a risky place. I just wanted to get a quick shot of an empty one then load ‘em up. I’ll have to take another one tomorrow, show you how they’re crowded but happy. My desk sort of looks like a class assembly in a very small gym ! But I love finally having my bleachers, and having my dolls how and where I want them.

Which makes my next sentence really funny. We start moving tomorrow. No kidding. It’s one of the few times we have money and Beloved’s time together – he’s off ‘til Wednesday – so we’re gonna make it happen. While we don’t have much time to inform the property management co., they’ll get to keep over half a month’s rent in deposits for a place that’ll be pretty much as we got it when we moved in, so I don’t feel too bad. It’s a ground floor by the pool, it won’t sit vacant long. Our neighbor’s place got evicted on the 10th, and we had new neighbors on the 21st. Not too worried about the property holders.

Kinda worried about Beloved – his goal has us sleeping in PreviousTown Tuesday night ! First load goes off bright and early tomorrow morning. I have no idea how we’re going to do things, but DMIL & FIL are excited, and so is Dearest Son. All the rest is details. Painful, annoying, aggravating details.

So I spent tonight getting things ready to go. Broke down 23 stands I’m not using anymore, and added them to the Box ‘o Stands. Soon as I know how many Deborah needs, I’m gonna go through ‘em all, keep the colors I want and about a dozen black ones, and sell the rest. May make enough to fund one or two of those bleachers !  

But I think some sleep is the best thing for me. Gonna need to be well-rested for tomorrow !

Friday, August 30, 2013

Nobody ever expects the neon green...

Current Notes : Now that that's over... I can start obsessing about dolls and sewing again ! 

Well, my addition to the NG Creations’ shirt pattern didn’t work – I forgot that anything made for MH ghouls that extends past the waist has to accommodate those hips. Which are significantly larger than the waist. Ah, well. I chopped off the parts that didn’t come close to fitting, stitched a new hem, then went on to the skirt.

I also altered that pattern. Maybe the fabric I used for Tuesday’s skirt was a bit too thick for dolls – that happens, a lot – but it seemed like it didn’t fit the waist very well. So I scissored the top quarter of the pattern a bit more ‘in’, and sewed it up today. Better ! Now I need to scan it.

Tired of the rose print, star print, Barbie print fabrics. Dug in the Recent Fabrics bin and found this neat pink houndstooth print I bought as a 98c fat quarter from Mal-Wart a few months ago. I have a bit of a history with houndstooth. While my folks weren’t much on Barbie, for some reason, they gave me a Growing Up Skipper – a truly strange doll who aged with an arm rotation, and was basically a one-kid freak show when she jumped rope. I never could figure out the significance of that doll. I never liked Skipper, already had a Quick Curl one I barely played with, and gave all the ‘bad girl / evil sibling’ roles to, and now I had this one, a doll I never asked for and in fact, didn’t know existed until I had her.

About the only time I played with her was in front of my parents – a subtle ploy for more toys, once they saw how much I looooved this one ! Didn’t work, unfortunately – but her clothes were routinely raided by Barbie. She came with two red-and-white houndstooth skirts, another thing I’d never seen before. Skirts,yes, houndstooth patterns, no. In fact, I used to stare at it until I started seeing things in the print, and once stupidly looked at it with red-and-blue 3D glasses. Who needs drugs when you have 70s-era décor trends ?

So far, though, all I’ve seen in this fabric is a nice suit for Ghoulia. Oh, and my Etsy splurge arrived  yesterday ! I ordered several doll-size cameo pins from Jewels by April, and they’re here ! Wow – I just ordered them Sunday night ! Ghoulia’s wearing one with pride. They are amazing, and I got five of ‘em. While she makes cameo necklaces, too, the pins were less expensive, and I can string the pins on my own chains later. Fast shipping, beautiful items – and they came in tiny baggies small enough for the dolls to use for lunch sandwiches ! I’m amazed ziplock-type baggies even exist in such a tiny size. So, if you’re looking for gorgeous tiny cameos, in a variety of colors and metal tones, consider Jewels by April - AprilJewels on Etsy. I recommend her highly !  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Too confused to even remember to add a title to this one...

Current Notes : I need some sleep. About two weeks' worth...Maybe *then* I'll be worth crap in a handbasket...

Life crap abounds. Things are already better, but I need some time to recover and just stare in to space. I’m getting half a ‘me’ day, and I’m gonna spend it in a semi-vegetative state. Probably watching Bridezillas. Back soon. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

HooDude and Scarah - together again !

Current Notes : Oh, don't get me started ! 

Crisis at Chez Insanity. Not health related, no one’s deceased…let’s just say that which doesn’t grow and change will die, and we’re undergoing some very necessary growth and change. Doesn't mean it's easy and doesn't hurt, though.  Can’t really focus on dolls and sewing until it’s resolved, but we’ll be fine on the other side. See ya then ! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Carlin surfaces !

Current Notes : After a long summer spent down deep with her mermaid cousins, Carlin reluctantly surfaces, de-fins, and goes shoe shopping at the back-to-school sales at the Maul. Like most kids, she wonders what this year will bring - and hopes it's one to remember...for all the good reasons ! 

I admit it, there’s times I’m a softie. Poor Ginger-kitty managed to look crestfallen when she saw the new ‘improved’ window-seated milk crates, and tried to sleep on one – tell me, how does a cat manage to sigh so heavily ? Since she loved sleeping on the binders I had up there, I found an old one and placed it in her favorite corner. She curled on top of that and went right to sleep. She’s happy I’m not yelling, and it’s easier for her to get to her window seat. I’m happy I don’t have to straighten toppled figurines several times a day, and she’s not lounging on my Arena surface because she doesn’t want to jump to the window. Win-win, no guilt. That’s the best win.

“Window” was the first thing on my list. I wasted my last ‘me’ day, and was determined not to waste today. So I took a little time and made up a list of things I’d like to get done – for some reason, nothing motivates me more than a list. I had a few small sewing repairs to complete, then decided to make Howleen her own clothes storage bag. I made one for Abigail, the Headless Headmistress, so I wouldn’t confuse her too-large clothes with the other ghouls’ , and it made hers much easier to find ! Even though Howleen doesn’t have a lot of outfits, she’s starting to amass her own pieces, so I chopped a hunk out of that rose-print fabric, and stitched up a quick tie-string bag. Much better. I’d make a bag for the guys’ clothes, but that’s about a third of the whole big bag of MH clothes !

Speaking of Etsy yesterday, you might remember I bought several bags of scraps from Nevada Craft Supply. They’ve been fun, and it’s been a challenge to find some use for the smallest of them. Ever since I stitched up that tiny crop blouse from the freebie bodice pattern that came with NG Creations’ third pattern, I’ve wanted to sew the slightly larger one in her first set, so I found a pretty scrap that fit, angled the pattern to best use the design, and sewed it up.

It’s not much larger, really. If I’d have added slightly wider ribbon to the rose-print one, it’d be the same. So I altered it longer, and we’ll see how it stitches up. I want a simple, quick go-to shirt pattern, and if it uses some of these great scraps, I’ll be happy ! Even with my additional coverage, the blouse only needs a 5 ¼” square of fabric ! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cleaning off the Arena surfaces...while I can !

Current Notes : There's the most recent run at the Etsy dress. I've amended the pattern again, and hope to find time to sew it up again sometime ! I should sew it up as-is in stretchy fabric and pass it off as one of DracuLaura's old swimsuits ! 

I gotta tell ya’ll this, it’s a weird sort of funny. Few months ago, we upgraded Dearest Son’s computer, an expensive proposition with the usual ‘rebates’ slightly softening the financial blow. I made sure to get forms scanned and e-mailed and jumped through hoops for a big $30. – but we got it. In the form of two American Express Prepaid Reward Gift Cards. I can hear some of you laughing. Because you already know those things are darn near less than worthless. Despite the amounts never expiring, and there’s no ridiculous fees that nibble away at the already small amounts, they’re almost impossible to use. Beloved Hubby rode around with ‘em in his wallet for months, and every retail outlet he tried to use them at rejected them.

He gave them to me last week, wishing me luck with them. I wondered if they needed activation or something, even though the paperwork that came with ‘em said they didn’t, so I looked ‘em up on AmEx. Still good, still at the full amounts, but why weren’t they working ? I soon learned that most online sales sites don’t take multiple payments, so whatever I bought would have to be as close to the full value as possible without going over. Hmf. I had two small-scale games of Price Is Right in my pocket !

I soon found something on Etsy I liked, and, according to AmEx’s site, these cards were good (supposedly) wherever AmEx was. Of course, my order was rejected. But when I checked the card site, I found that Etsy had taken out a penny, to check the card, which made the $20. order useless – for the card was now only worth $19.99. (sigh) Four days later, the penny was still there, so I figured Etsy accepted that payment, and I made a slight adjustment to my order, then sent it through again, just for giggles and to be a jerk.

It went through ! (giggle) Now I kinda wish I’d been a bit more choosy with the order, but heck, I got a few little things I wanted, and I still have a $10. card to play with. I think that’ll get me a fat quarter somewhere…

Otherwise, it just wasn’t a good day. Dearest’s computer refused to acknowledge the internet’s existence today, so I let him use mine. Unfortunately, this blocked me from the sewing machines, my dolls, and most of what I find amusing. So I cleaned house and watched a few episodes of Bridezillas, but it was rather unsatisfying. No matter how those loonies rant and scream and believe their insanity makes them special, they still drive much nicer cars and live in much larger houses than I ever will. Usually that doesn’t matter to me, but today it just kind of dug under my skin.

Plus both cat and boy seemed to have lots of fun knocking my stuff over all day – I’d barely get it restored before it all toppled again. Dolls and things that stood upright for weeks fell two and three times today. Beloved Hubby didn’t quite see how this left me a bit on edge when he got home. Can’t do much about the dolls until the bleachers are finished, but Ginger-kitty gets a surprise tomorrow. All the stuff in the window that she seems to enjoy tipping over on her way to sleeping on my books ? It all goes away tomorrow morning – or as soon as she gets off of it. All the little figures, all the dress forms, all the books. I’m tired of fighting over it and being upset over it. Hope she’ll enjoy sleeping on bare milk crate ! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ghoulia's fixed !

Current Notes : You can barely tell where the Sharpie was ! 

Took the last of the Oxy-10 off Ghoulia this evening – she’s cured ! Wish I’d taken a  better ‘before’ photo, the one I used today doesn’t show how bad the glow and spread was. At least it’s nearly all gone now.

Today was also a great day to spray-paint ! Beloved Hubby and I sanded the pieces that we’d primer-painted a couple weeks ago, and spread ‘em out on newspaper. Two coats on each side, then a flip, and drying ‘til dark in the sunlight. They’re still a bit tacky to the touch, so we’ll let ‘em sit for a bit longer, then I have three new big bleachers ! I can’t wait – this project has been ongoing since June !

We only used two cans of spray paint, too. Wonder if I can take the other three back…

For some reason, even though I had the time, I just couldn’t push m’self into sewing today. I sort of get a ‘me’ day tomorrow, if Dearest Son visits his grandparents, but I have no idea what I want to work on next. I have jumpsuits and bodysuits to finish, and at least six other projects better doll sewing artists than me perfected two years ago, but it’s vitally important that I make mine. For some reason.

I think I just need some sleep. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Scarah's new roses !

Current Notes : Much as I like the blouse, it's really too darn short ! Luckily NG creations already has a longer one in its pattern catalog ! 

Funny, how I usually waste a perfectly good ‘me’ day. I start with all these plans, of what I’ll make, what I’ll do or resume, what I’ll make for lunch. And, by the time Beloved Hubby and Dearest Son are back home, about all I’ve done is sleep and feed m’self.

In fact, yesterday’s big task, the four-doll ‘Green Girls’ Night Out’ that’s now where it belongs, on Tuesday’s entry, was much easier than I thought and was done before they even left. And I’m pleased to say I used darn near everything Scarah came with – nearly all of her box, from the plastic to the logos to the dress form and table props, all her outfits, all her accessories – since I got her. She really is a great addition. I was lucky to find her just as I wanted to, without fuss or phonecalls, which surprises me when I read that many fans are still having trouble finding her. And Heath, too. Wow. Here I am, thinking I live in a doll desert…

Have you heard the new rumor ? Evidently a photo of two remote control MH vehicles are making the rounds. I’ve been stung too many times to repost a potentially stolen image, so I’m not gonna today. Besides, you’ve already seen them. It’s basically DracuLaura’s Sweet 1600  roadster and Ghoulia’s scooter fitted out with skullette-shaped remotes. Frankly, I could barely keep my scooter from falling over all the time with the kickstand down, I have no idea how that thing’ll stand upright with a motor in it and a doll on it, but I’m not really concerned anyway. Not like I’m gonna buy either, if given a choice, I’ll always go with the cheaper free-wheeling versions. One, they’re cheaper, two, they’re not heavy and awkwardly limited, three, they pose better, four, they don’t need batteries, and five, are never a level of loud that the ads somehow fail to convey. Yer average Barbie RC from the past few years is louder than a Diesel !

(grin) Ever wanna have fun with an old toy ? Compare a vintage (ha-ha) Furby’s sound output to the ads for them. I could barely hear mine ‘talk’ over all the servomotors whining. This is not a new thing, either. When I was first introduced to my friend’s brand-new 1975 Baby Alive, I thought it was broken, because the doll in the ad certainly didn’t make all those loud grinding noises while it fake-chewed pudding !  A quick check of the more recent version shows it’s still pretty noisy, but Hasbro tried to mask it by having the doll talk every time it ‘ate’.  

Oh, well. Maybe I just prefer to sew when I have to squeeze it in somewhere during the day. At least I got m’self bathed and fed ! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

80 for the win !

Current Notes : Yaay, jumpsuit ! I should trust the 80s more often...

My potential ‘me’ day got bumped to tomorrow, but it’s all good. Went ahead and stitched up the 80% version of the Leia flight suit – and it worked ! It fits the standard ghoul body just right, without any pulls or tightness. I have to re-work the armholes though, they look kinda strange from the sides, although I like how they look from the front. I’ll probably sew one with sleeves first, see how they work before making major changes. It may just be that I’ll need two slightly different armhole designs, one for sleeves, one sleeveless. But the basic design is there and it works !

Hmmm…I was also going to work on the collar – I did it much the same way with Leia’s, got the suit’s body more-or-less right first, then added stuff like sleeves later – add an actual shirt collar to it, change it into a ‘v’ instead of a jewel neckline, such like that, but just by folding the facings down, I have a whole new look, one that I like much better ! I’m probably also going to add about an eighth to a quarter of an inch to the legs, they look a bit short.

Not sure what I’m gonna do about the closure. It’s a full open-to-the-waist front, but it holds itself closed fairly well once it’s on the doll. The original design had elastic installed at the waist, to help pull it in, but it wasn’t necessary on the Leia doll, either. Kinda hate to add a Velcro ™ closure to it when I don’ t have to, mostly because I don’t want the stitches to show. I know of two ways to get around that, but let’s face it, I’m lazy. I won’t work on that until I somehow see it as a challenge.

Still have to take photos of the ‘perfect skirt’ and the crop top, too. It’s been a busy week – who knows what I’ll make tomorrow ? 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Not quite ready for flight...

Current Notes : I wish I could say I was nearly out of this fabric, but I have *parsecs* of it still...

Woke up today with a different wild hair sticking out, so I spent most of the morning trying to tame it. Couldn’t sleep last night, so I made a tiny crop top, from NG Creations’ third pattern freebie, her Empire Waist dress. I only sewed the bodice – snug and tiny ! But, as usual, it sewed up well and looks great with the perfected skirt, so I went to sleep happy… after, of course, I altered the bodice pattern to be just a bit longer. What can I say, my ghouls are fairly modest.

Turned out, that was unnecessary – the first NG MH pattern already had a longer bodice version of the same design ! Still, it was fun to see how close I’d gotten, I was maybe a quarter of an inch off in the back, but I had the proportions right.

But still, the tight-and-tiny original bodice had me on a tear. Would that work as the add-on bodice for my still incomplete jumpsuit pattern ? Wrestled with the program – PaintShopPro, for some reason, didn’t want to cut/paste the bodice multiple times on one sheet of paper without scaling it down by about a third. I couldn’t figure out why it was doing that. Even restarting didn’t help. Oddly, I could accomplish that in Print Layout, I just couldn’t save it that way. So I ended up printing what I wanted, then scanning it. Sheesh.

Then I realized that it probably wouldn’t work. I’d have to cut the bodice into four parts – two fronts, two backs – to go with the pant parts, and I had no idea how to do that correctly. I can easily modify a pants pattern from one piece to two (cut in halves and add seam allowances, done), but a one-piece shirt into four ? Yeek. I think that’s beyond my current skills to pull off well. So I decided to give the Princess Leia flight suit pattern another chance, and printed it off at 72% of Leia’s original size. And while creating that for Leia remains one of the high points of my sewing career, I can’t remember not one bit of the original sequence that sewed it. I’d have to fly this one as I went, and hope for the best.

I’d love to say it came back to me, and was perfect, but… I just kind of did what made sense at the moment, and it wasn’t long before I had a finished sort of flight suit. Not right, but given the small front opening, I was amazed it went on a doll at all ! Too small for the standard body, and even tight on Howleen. Pant length is too short, it’s too tight across the belly, and pulls at the crotch. Printed it again at 76% which wasn’t much bigger, so I printed it again at 80%. I’ll probably try the 80% version next, and go from there. At least now I have an idea of how to sew it – I even wrote it down as I went ! Wish me luck – I’ll probably stitch it tomorrow, I have a good chance at getting a ‘me’ day.   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wondering Wednesday...

Current Notes : I have so many photos to take... meanwhile, enjoy the packaging from Scarah's latest release !  Click to read easily !

A question for those that sew or knit or otherwise craft for your dolls – how do ya do it ? Do you follow patterns religiously, or craft your own ? When you end up with something, say 3/4ths right, do you trash it anyway, striving for the perfect, or do you add the finishing touches, intending to keep it until the latest adjustments and alterations work – then you toss or donate it ?

I’m wondering because I’m in an odd place. Went through the 2011 SDCC bag o’ MH clothes a couple weeks ago, and pulled everything I’m unlikely to ever put on a doll again, ever. Most of it was stuff I’d made years ago, inexpertly done but good enough for the time – but I’d long since crafted better, and knew I’d never use the early attempts, it was embarrassing to even look at them ! Found a use for them, dressing the  ‘nude’ dolls I hope to eventually sell, and that’s where I’ve continued to stuff the recent ‘decent but not keeping’ efforts to craft sheaths and jumpsuit patterns.

This week, which has been difficult at best for reasons I don’t even wanna get into, I’ve focused on one small thing – getting an adapted freebie online Barbie skirt pattern to fit an MH doll correctly, right down to the back closure. No puckers, no pleats, just as smooth in back as it is up front, and I knew it could be done, I’ve seen Dollar Tree doll clothes that managed it. I just couldn’t quite figure out how.

In truth, I still don’t think I’m doing it the way they did, but I finally figured out a way that suits me, and the skirt is perfect. It fits well, the back closure is just what I wanted, it’s got enough ‘give’ to fit over or under a blouse, and it folds at the hips the way a real slim skirt does when its wearer is seated. I can alter the skirt’s length by folding the pattern before cutting, and it takes about 20 minutes, start to finish, to make a plain one. Next, I want to work on adding a waistband to it, which will result in some half-good efforts, and I’m still working on the Etsy dress, which is becoming a factory of hate-to-toss versions.

Thing is, I’m growing more addicted to the challenge than the result. I mean, how many slim skirts do 33 MH standard-body ghouls need ? I keep saying I’ll eventually start selling my creations, but then I’ll remember or notice something else I haven’t quite figured out, and it’s off to the races again. I’ll end up making 20 of something to get it right – and by the time I’m ready to make the two or three I actually wanted, I’m either tired of looking at it, or I’m looking for the next challenge.

Anyone else having this issue ? Do you keep all your trial efforts, or keep going ‘til you get it right, or get bored trying ? My doll clothes bag is burgeoning, but I love making something new (preferably every day !) too much to stop. Especially when so many other things around me are going to the nethers…

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Organizing Tuesday...

Current Notes : And there's Scarah's last 'I <3 Fashion' outfit - along with a bunch of ghouls heading out for the night. And here I was, afraid of this photo - it went pretty well ! And I even got to use the table from Scarah's box. I like to use everything I can, ya know. 

Well. Ginger-kitty repaid my good deed in reorienting the fought-over printer by knocking an entire glass of water over, right into my face, as I was napping on the sofa. It was the only thing on the table by the sofa, she had her own water, both in the sink and in her bowl (not to mention the white porcelain ‘fountain’ she normally drinks from in the bathroom), so I have no idea what got into her. She probably has no idea why she spent most of this evening outside, dripping wet, either.

I’m learning that there’s a great, if simple, joy of getting small tasks done. Instead of thinking, ‘I need to do that’ and walking by, I stop and do it as soon as I think it, it’s done, and I move on. The place looks better, I feel more positive about m’self, and there’s not so much clutter inside my mind. I’d worry about running out of small tasks, but I live with these two guys that find putting things away when they’re done with ‘em an alien and unwelcome concept.

Spent a fun hour sorting recent patterns, and looking again for that Etsy dress one. No go on the search, but I enjoyed drifting through it all. I only kept out that one skirt pattern I’m possibly one test away from perfecting, and the just-scanned revision of the Etsy. Found a wild hair on me a weekend or two ago, and decided to match pictures I’ve taken with patterns I’ve sewn, so I have an instant reference. Plus, I just love to see how the pattern turned out, and it’s fun to reminisce with. Sheesh, I’ve sewn a lot of it ! Finished that up, too. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

You can always tell when the Headless Headmistress is shopping nearby... darn Nightmare photobombing !

Current Notes : Was playin' 'Subset', a silly game where I try to find as many dolls with the same characteristic as possible, and figured I'd take a photo with one. See what they share ? 

Today’s been a ‘get it done’ day – every time I passed something and thought, ‘I need to do this’, I did it. Lots of tiny little jobs are finished, and the place seems a bit less chaotic, just because I finally did a buncha one-minute tasks.

One task was to bag up all those magazines I pulled to donate, because the big ongoing donation bag’s too full for them all. And I started to wonder…if Barbie Bazaar  was still publishing, would they cover MH at all ? My guess is probably not. The publishers made it clear they were only into the collectable, big-ticket dolls, not anything that reeked of playline. Sure, there were occasional playline articles, but it was often about shanghaiing their clothes for Silkstones, or what’s been shoehorned into a big dress that’s coming out for the holidays. Mostly, they didn’t want to deal with anything that smacked of toys unless it was vintage and again, worth big money.

I then wondered if the other magazines, like Haute Doll or Fashion Doll Quarterly would come down off their collector towers either. Again, I don’t believe so. These are the same editors that pretty much ignored Tonner’s highly original (for the time) Wizard of Oz series to cover more ‘limited edition’ Tyler Wentworth dolls. It’s easy to believe that no one involved with either storied publication has never set foot inside a TRU or Mal-Wart. Ah, well. Less cash for glossy magazine PR photo reproductions, more for my lowbrow dolls !

Scanned Scarah’s box so I could cut it up and get it out of the way – while the Arena’s no more cluttered than it usually is, the living room is getting a bit crowded. We got new dining area chairs from an unusual source, and we haven’t yet decided where our old ones are going. For now, they’re shoved into the living room, doing double duty as play surfaces and dining trays, so they’re usually in the way. It’s a pain, but I can’t complain because I love our new chairs. They used to belong to Taco Bell ! The one in which we were dining just received replacements for the high café table stools, and the manager kindly asked if we wanted the ‘old’ ones before other employees hurfed ‘em into the Dumpster. They’re still in great shape, and are well broken in already ! Much more attractive and comfortable than the ones our dining area table came with.

I also re-oriented my still-new-to-me printer. Since the day after I installed it, Ginger-kitty and I have fought over it. She wants to sit on it, sleep on it, and scratch into it, and she’s printed more pages by accident than I have on purpose. I’ve tried to figure out how to block the buttons from her paws, and how to shield various intakes from her fur and dander, to no avail. So, I figured if I just rotated it 90 degrees, if she still jumped on it, at least she wouldn’t hit the ‘copy’ button every day or three. It’s still easy to scan things, but I’ll have to clear a bit of Arena to add paper, worth it if it gives Ginger and me less opportunity to get mad at each other. So far, so good. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I think all the 'bug' CAMs want those sunglasses, bad !

Current Notes : Here's Scarah !

I can cross ‘knockoff Oxy-10’ off the shopping list – despite its expiry date of ‘06/10’, the old stuff’s working pretty darn well ! I made a stupid decision a couple years ago to ‘touch up’ Physical Deaducation Ghoulia’s lips with a red Sharpie at each corner, in hopes of giving her more of a smile. It looked great for about a month, then the ink started to spread and sort of glow, and I’ve barely looked at her since. Even added her to the ‘sale’ box for a while, before I had second (third ? fifth ?) thoughts.

Decided to try the ole ‘oxy-10’ trick, see if I could save her. Basically, you apply cheap acne meds to a soft vinyl doll’s face, where the ink is, and it’s considered beneficial to have her under light, natural or bulb-sourced, until it dries. The acne goop pulls the ink to the surface, and when it’s dry, it can be rinsed or scraped off, and applied again until the ink fades. This treatment was popular among Barbie fans back in the day, when it was also used to eliminate green ear on occasion. As many swear at it as by it, but I figured saving a doll with a mere a $2. investment and minimal effort was worth a shot – and that was probably in 2007 or so. For the same bottle to still work in 2013 is pretty amazing. I’ve even heard of dolls with oxy-10 on them lost to a closet or abandoned, but when the stuff was washed away, the stain was gone with it. So I had hopes.

It’s faded quite a bit in less than a week, and I have hopes that by month’s end, Ghoulia will be back to her old ways and means. I’m only applying it once a day, and parking her on top of a sewing machine, where the sunlight and lamp bulb can help. Not a lot of effort, but I’ve already been rewarded, so here’s to treatment !

Wish I was having similar luck recreating the Etsy dress. I now have no idea how I got it right the first time, ‘cause nearly all my efforts since then have been dismal failures. Later tonight, I’m gonna dig like heck in hopes of finding the original pattern, since that may be where the magic resides – and why I haven’t had any success recapturing it with just slightly off the mark copies. In case that doesn’t work, I’ve altered the pattern.

What can I say, I want that dress ! And I don’t have more fun cash to spend right now. Luckily, I have tons of paper and fabric ! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Now I can relax... until Slow-Moe starts to hit retail shelves !

Current Notes : Yaaay !

Whoo-hoo ! We ended up with a few extra bucks, so when Beloved Hubby asked, you know where I wanted to go – TRU ! He knew, and just grinned. So, this morning, we were on the way soon after they opened. I had my coupon in-hand, and was trying so hard to not be disappointed if they didn’t have Scarah. I’d made up my mind to not buy anything if they didn’t have her in stock, as funds will continue to be tight, but I still looked forward to seeing all the new dolls - Create a Monsters, Music Festivals, playsets – and that didn’t include the Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse dolls I’ve still never seen in-person, or all the other toy companies’  doll lines that’ve just come out. However it played out, I was happy just to go see new dolls !

So I was a bit flat-footed when Scarah and three of her sisters were there waiting for me, lined up next to eight ‘I <3 Fashion’ Clawdeens. Our local store must’ve just received a shipment of them Thursday. So I had a merry time sorting through the Scarahs while Beloved and Dearest Son dug through ponies and Lego – to be honest, they could have been doing the Lindy Hop and I wouldn’t have noticed until the second encore.

Two of the Scarahs had pink smears on the box – telltale signs that her lip paint is probably flawed – and three had nose dots. The nose dots went away when the box was shifted a bit, but then I saw that most had some tiny black ‘strays’ in the white eye paint. Hrf. Now I had a quandary. The one I liked best had a box smear, and I could see where her lip paint was slightly lacking. But she had the most perfect eyes ! I shuffled around the four dolls (thank Everything there weren’t more Scarahs, or I’d probably be there still !) for a ten-minute eternity, and in the end, went with the one who’d had my heart since I saw her. Her eyes are perfect, her lip has a small smear – and she’s mine.

They also had Picture Day dolls on sale for $10., but it was a raft of DracuLauras, with two or three Abbeys. I didn’t want to over-spend, already had what I wanted from that line, and I got what I came for. Drifted over to gaze at the new Fairy Tale High  dolls  conveniently arranged next to the MH display. These are by S-K Victory, a toy company I can’t find out anything about, except that their CEO used to work for Jakks Pacific. Lawyers, start your engines. Oh, and they’re not to be confused with the round-headed Ever After High girls by Mattel. Even though they do have one other big thing in common – all the girl dolls share the same head mold.  And it really shows at FTH. Hrf. They all looked sort of bland and despite the obvious changes in clothes, hair color, and style, exactly alike. Belle was really bleh, although I did sort of like Snow White and Tinkerbell.  Still, for $18., I’d rather get a real MH and have more of a choice beyond just clothes and hair – ours had all the Music Festival collection, and I can tell ya, Venus was pretty tempting !

Our store didn’t have any of the Dreamhouse dolls – in fact, they barely had any Barbie at all. Of the two-shelving-sectioned Pink Aisle, one was taken over by cars, houses, My Size, and princess clothes for girls, and the other had all the dolls, which were mostly princess ballerina mermaids. No So In Style, no Dreamhouse, just Twilight character collectables, the standard playline princesses, and some travel dolls. Very disappointing. Dearest had found a small but awesome-looking Lord of the Rings Lego set that included two Gandalfs (Gandalfii ? ) mini-figs that, in his mind, were perfect Dumbledores, so he was happy. I felt a little bad that Beloved didn’t get a toy (grin), but he was happy that we were.

So, I now have Scarah ! So happy. You know, I thought her white jacket was another lab coat, but with a belt sewn to it, but it isn’t. It’s very much like the original ‘Classroom’ doll lab coats, snug and flared, but the collar is different and it’s made of vinyl ! And there’s actual belt loops. Wow. You’ll be seeing lots of Scarah in the upcoming week, because she is simply awesome.

Hope you found something you’ve wanted for a while this weekend, too ! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Organization : The key to having (and keeping) more than you need, can afford, or have space for !

Current Notes : The curse of the 'to do' list even extends to some dolls ! 

Today was ‘clean up the almost-done projects’ day. Sewed Velcro ™ on those jumpsuits I’m not keeping  - they’re going in the ‘for sale’ MH box, so I hope whoever buys the lot can use ‘em. Removed the Velcro ™ from a failed project, and stuffed the unfortunate garment in the Scraps drawer. I also finished up the back seam on a Headless Headmistress Abigail dress, and, hooray ! I’m done scanning the magazines ! That’s about thirty pounds of print that won’t have to be boxed up and moved yet again. They’ve been bagged up and await my next trip to a donation bin.

I then cut out another Etsy dress bodice, so it’s ready and waiting. And I’m now trying to remove the red Sharpie ‘lipstick’ I tried to give Classroom #1 Ghoulia a year or two ago. It’s starting to spread and looks bad, so here’s hoping. My knockoff Oxy-10 expired in 2010, so it probably won’t work. Hope I remember to pick more up next time I go out ! I also need some clear glue, and some glitter….

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Growing kids and kittens are *always* hungry !

Current Notes : Isn't he adorable ? 

We had a hungry visitor today – please notice how adorable he is, and not how bad the carpet is ! Such a sweet kitty. He belongs to an upstairs neighbor, we’ve seen him around before, but he’s never wanted to visit until today. He ate and drank his fill, even liked the treats Ginger-kitty has long since rejected, and was playful with Dearest Son. Then he slipped out the door – such a nice day, we had it open ‘til past noon – and went on his way. We left a small plastic dish of kibble out for him, in case he got hungry later.

Didn’t get much of a chance to sew today, but I did stitch up that skirt I cut out wrong the other day, and played with the closures a bit. I wanted to make a short skirt, but out of habit cut a full-length one. Since it was cut from the pretty spiral dot material, I didn’t want to waste it, so I cut it again correctly, and put the wrong version aside. The new changes made the back look much better, but my adjustments made it super-tight ! So I’ve altered it yet again, and I’ll give it a trial in a few days. I’m kinda tired of skirts right now, ya know ?

Oh, and if there’s a doll you want that TRU sells, and you’ve got a few bucks burning a hole in your purse, here’s a coupon to spend less of them – 15% off your total TRU purchase ! Snag it here, or if that doesn’t work, go to the main site and look for a pink banner for your ‘Summer Savings Pass’. About the only MH dolls I want are the ‘I Love Fashion’ Scarah Screams and Slow-Moe, so I doubt I’m going in time to use it (good through Saturday), but ya never know.  (grin) I am a $2. purchase away from a $5. TRU Rewards coupon, though…

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Blue Skies Abigail !

Current Notes : Made a 'fail' into a 'cool' ! Much better summer activity than swatting 'flies' into 'walks' !

And today, I called a doll shirt into Existence. Mostly because I got tired of its raw, unsewn form being draped over everything and anything in the Arena, and picking it off the floor when it fell off everything, plus I wanted a small challenge. I’d originally cut it out for Heath, but made a small mistake. The ‘Fold’ mark had faded from the packaging-plastic pattern, and I put the ‘back’ part on the fabric fold instead of the ‘front’. If you’ve sewn much, it’s kind of an axiom that the back pieces are bigger, to allow fabric for the closure, and it’s important to have it oriented correctly so it’ll hang straight.  A shirt with a too-large front might fit, but it would look off, and pull awkwardly to the back.

And I couldn’t just sew it anyway as-is and hope for the best, I already had a t-shirt for the MH guys in that print. So, I figured, I’d do it up a bit like Lagoona’s new robe-dress, and fold over a small tuck it the front, raise the underarm and make the sleeves more narrow to fit Abigail Bloodgood. She still doesn’t have much casual wear – or really, anywhere near as many clothing choices as the rest of the ghouls – so it’d encourage me to work on a slacks pattern for her, too.   

Used the standard NG Creations boys’ pants, and didn’t change a thing. And the fit’s pretty good – pants are a bit too long, and the rise is a bit low, but otherwise, if I want to make Abigail or any other ‘adult body’ MH doll some pants, I already got a pattern ! Just have to remember to take about a half-inch off the hem. She looked so summery, I made her a head scarf out of the shirt scraps and a strip of elastic. Yaaay !

Hope I get to bring something else new into existence tomorrow !

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Noodling around ( or maybe 'Needling around' ) on a rainy Tuesday...

Current Notes : Shoot. I sat down for a few to get this published and <yawn>...I'm falling asleep ! 

Rain. Rain all day. I’m sure the sun’s out there, I just never saw it today. Perfect snoozing weather, so perfect that if I was still for five minutes, I was dozing off. Fell asleep twice in my Arena chair, far from the most comfortable seating arrangement in Chez Insanity, but I did it anyway. The sofa was a sleep trap !

So I tried to stay busy. Scanned three of the doll magazines and added them to the ‘donate’ pile – but I kinda chickened out, those three were the ‘light’ ones, with single articles no longer than five pages. The rest have several articles, or eight-page studies. Ah, well. How do you eat an elephant ? One bite at a time. Since Ginger-kitty has slid on the to-be-scanned pile twice today, it won’t be long before I have it done, just so that that darn cat doesn’t destroy more of my Arena.

Wanted to sew, but not the Etsy dress or jumpsuit neckline trials again. I remembered how someone on the MH  board wanted a doll-size caftan, and figured that’d be easy. The few I’ve owned have basically been huge tent-dresses with billowy sleeves, not a lot of complicated sewing. More like a loose version of ‘doll clothes from a sock’ kind of sewing. Too bad I forgot that caftans, by definition, are flowing, light, and drapey and need that sort of fabric. Nope, for my dopey trials, I grabbed that blasted Barbie fabric again, which is stiff and not drapey at all, and had a nice, fun total fail. I also made the neckline much too big, which is why it’s folded all funky on Lagoona.

Not that I really mind, though. It was rather fun to just stitch along, and not care about what I ended up with. Not sure what I’m going to do with it. I’m actually kind of proud of it, and the sewing’s good enough to keep, but I can’t imagine any of my dolls actually wearing it ‘anywhere’. It sort of looks like a spa robe of some sort, and then again, sort of like a dress when worn with a good belt. I don’t know. Sometimes it’s enough to make something, get a photo, then let it go and move on to the next or previous project. That’s probably what’s gonna happen here.

I also wrestled with logging in to download the new TrueSizer software for embroidery designs sewing. Once I got that over with, the download was smoother than oiled silk. I used to have another freebie program for viewing designs, but the company either wanted to start selling it or stop providing support for it, so they let it die, and I went to TrueSizer. TSizer is now much more like that late, lamented software, so I’m happier with it. Should make my eventual return to embroidery a little less difficult and alien. One day soon…

We also made cookies this evening, but lest you be impressed, they were just the kind from a pouch that you add margarine and an egg to. Nothing special, but warm chocolate chip cookies are very nice to conclude the end of a rainy, sleepy Tuesday with !