Friday, February 28, 2014

Yaaay, Friday !

Current Notes: Ya never know what you'll find on a Friday...

We had a *great* day today ! I snagged a few very necessary grocery items this morning, before Beloved Hubby left for work, so he had a grand lunch today. And a good breakfast ! I got to go back to bed for about an hour and a half before Dearest Son woke up, groggily. He was fine with me running my Hobby Lobby errand while he dawdled over breakfast, and MIL & FIL said they’d keep an eye on him. It helped that, earlier I’d snagged them some groceries, too.

I figured out how, even with no data plan, I could still use my smartphone to show the standard 40% off coupon without printing one, so I was on my way. And, of course, the one thing I was there to get was out of stock. The other thing I wanted was out, too. Oh, well. I got the third thing, a grab-bag of mat stock from the framing department. It’s pretty much what they cut from the middle when they custom-make a mat, in varying sizes. My initial bundle of 11” x 11”, bought years ago, was smaller than I thought when it came to photographing MH dolls – so today’s pack was 35 pieces of 11” x 14”. Unlike that first set, these duplicated colors (I have three and four of several colors) but had textured pieces within – leathery, velvet, lacy, metallic… very nice. And work much better with fashion dolls than the first set. I have six in varying shades of white and cream that I can play with, along with six black ones. Thinking of paint splashing at least one of the black cards…

I also got two pieces of thin vinyl for $1.47 each – doll shoes ! – and a remnant that will make excellent white fur coats for 80¢. I spent about $7. with my coupon, and hoped for better luck next time on the out-of-stock stuff.

Dearest and I had a great time at the thrift. His keyboard had a pink tag – so did the two pair of pants he liked – so it was only 99¢ today. He also found a working vintage clock radio for $3. Books were 4 for $1., so I got several, along with a grab bag that ended up containing a girls’ pirate dress with sash, size 4 to 8. At least it was only 25¢, and I still have that neat buckle I saw. Can also salvage the ribbon, lace, and the neat vest material. Also one of those ‘Christmas Lights in a Glass Block’ thingies for $2. It’s actually quite pretty, and makes a nice night-light. It’s in the photo, too.  

Lunch was awesome, as well. While Dearest opted for a large pepperoni Red Baron pizza, I splashed out for a box of Popeyes chicken. Yum. A box of eight pieces was only a couple bucks more than a dinner, and I don’t like any of their sides. So, tasty, yummy weekend leftovers ! I devoured two pieces while storing all our new goodies. There’s a barbecue place I want to try on our next sojourn to that thrift…

And, while putting away Honey’s socks, I found the sheet to Frankie’s bed ! I knew we’d found it when we were packing, but then I couldn’t remember where I stashed it. In the belt– jewelry- glasses- purses- CAM leftovers- hosiery MH box, of course ! And, as predicted with the elastic test I ran last week, it works just fine with the new screws. Awesome, because now, I can use that sheet to make new sheets ! Hey, just ‘cause lightning bolts are Frankie’s sigil, it doesn’t mean she can’t have lavender or green every so often… Fun part’s gonna be making a replacement pillow. Dearest destroyed the one that goes with this set. Although I should be able to improve on it – with the original, the doll’s head was too far up to use the bed-mounted neck-bolt clamps. And who doesn’t want to use those any chance they get ? 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I have one brave son !

Current Notes: If there's anyplace that'd be awesome to hear music, I think 
the time anyone spends inside this thing would be it !

Yaay ! Dearest Son’s MRI went exceedingly well, and I think it’s due to both his prep-study the night before and the fantastic and cheery attitudes of the techs who ran the test with him. He was able to select his own music – he went with trance and 80s dance – and didn’t go near the ‘panic’ button at all. In fact, the techs joked with him that he was so chill, they thought he’d fallen asleep in there. He said he almost did !

We were drastically early – it only took ten minutes to get there – and so very close to our old place on the outskirts of CapitolCity that I made the command decision to see how far away that favorite thrift store was. Only about another ten minutes in lunch-rush traffic, actually. We didn’t have much time or money, but we poked around a bit, and Dearest fell for a new computer keyboard. I promised we’d return tomorrow to get it. So we both have something neat to look forward to. Luckily, they didn’t have any good dolls or stuff I like.

For today, though, I got him an extra-large Slushie on the way home, and we talked about his experience. He got to repeat it all shortly after, as Beloved Hubby was home a bit early, and he enjoyed hearing the tale. Chicken and dumplings, with roasted potatoes, for dinner tonight – too bad we’re out of milk for the dumplings. I think I’ll try water with some sour cream stirred in, see how that works.

I am sooo looking forward to tomorrow ! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Honey in February...

Current Notes: Still can't resist that smile !

Another quiet, non-motivated day. But it was a nice one. I finally had time to play with Honey (neè Clawdia) and was struck all over again how pretty she is. For the first time ever, I took her hair out of the clear elastic it was packaged in – it’d been in there so long, it was so tight I had to cut it out – removed her socks, and took off her necklace. I think she looks better this way. I even brushed her hair, since there was some product locking the curls down at the ends, and most of the curl remained. I can’t resist that smile of hers, that’s why she’s never left my desk for more than an hour or two since I got her. I’m having trouble picking what will be most becoming on her, so I’ve yet to sew anything. One day…

During yesterday’s doctor visit for Dearest Son, she advised an MRI, to rule out certain origins for his seizures. Beloved Hubby got a call today – he has an appointment for one tomorrow. Wow, that was fast. Unfortunately, Beloved can’t get off work again, but I know where it is, and it shouldn’t be too much of a fuss. I had one when my cyst decided to outgrow its moorings, and we showed Dearest what the device looked like and what it’ll do, which seemed to bolster his confidence. We go right past my favorite fried chicken place, day before payday, darn the luck. Ah, well. It’s not that far away when I want an indulgence for lunch…

I’m astounded that it’s almost March already. Here’s hoping for more stable times ! And nicer weather…

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I think he's inherited my night-before 'medical appointment anxiety'...

Current Notes: Loving the sun today...

Dearest Son had a medical appointment today, so it was sort of a quiet, lazy one. His appointment went well, and his new doctor adjusted his anti-seizure medicine so it doesn’t cost $180. every month. Whew ! We’d find a way to pay it, of course, but not having to makes things much easier for the whole household.

Things were getting cluttery, so I did some organizational work while my guys napped afterwards. DP&M Belle’s wardrobe was at risk of being repurposed as a cat bed, so I’ve been idly looking for storage options beyond the plastic $60. closet made for the DP&M doll line. Not that I’d have had the money to buy it right now, but… Anyway. Ended up repurposing the box her Cinderella nightgown came in – turns out, it was big enough to hold her robe, both gowns, and a few other accessories, with room to spare. It’s also a pretty box, so it’ll work. When I stored it in the closet, it reminded me of Snow White’s crystal coffin, and since the dolls come in similar boxes… nope. There’s never been a Snow White DP&M doll. Strange.

I kept thinking I’d sew or something, but I ended up reading and goofing off. Hopefully I can get on the stick soon ! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Now I really want some Chinese food...

Current Notes: Maybe a Twinkie, too...

Sorry, I’m gonna be a bit moody for probably a ridiculous reason today. (sigh) Yeah, I never knew him, but Heavens Above, I had such a crush on Harold Ramis. Many would think I had a crush on his Egon Spengler character in Ghostbusters, but I also loved him in Stripes, and could almost smell his writing style in Vacation, Caddyshack, and Back to School. Seemed like if there was an 80s comedy I loved, Mister Ramis was in the credits somewhere.

He died yesterday. Never got to meet him, always hoped he and Bill Murray would patch things up after their rift during Groundhog Day. Never heard another girl confess her obsession with him – in fact, the times I mentioned mine always earned me some strange looks, and 90% of the time, I’d have to follow through with an explanation of how they’d recognize him and what else he did. Then I’d get another weird look before someone wanted to discuss Tom Cruise or Tom Selleck again.

Ah, well. Some crushes are best enjoyed and/or suffered alone. I wish he’d gotten the credit he earned and hope he got the acclaim he was comfortable dealing with. Unlike my Star Wars fangirl years, I’m proud to say I spent a good part of my misspent youth – possibly the best part – obsessing over Harold Ramis. I have no regrets, other than I didn’t get to make an azz of myself in front of him over him. And maybe even that’s for the best.

Hope I see him on the other side, ya’ll. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Your bed is ready, Ms. Stein...

Current Notes: On to the next project ! 

Yaaay ! I’m done with the ‘repairs’ to Frankie Stein’s bed ! Left a bit early for the thrift store and stopped by the Ace Hardware I found. A very nice associate helped me find screws almost identical to the ones I had, just a bit longer. I splurged and bought two, so they’d match. I figured I could splash out a bit, as they were six cents each.

Got to the thrift just before they opened – now I know why I never find colored tag merchandise. There were at least fifteen people lingering around the door, waiting. At least a dozen more still in their cars, probably only due to the cold winds. But I got to go through the stuff, and brought home a dollar’s worth.

Snagged a full set of Disney Princess Pez dispensers. If the package had been fully sealed, I’d have put ‘em up on eBay – as it was, with the box damage and slightly torn cellophane, they were worth more as candy and fun for Dearest Son. I also snagged a stationery grab bag and a DP one, as well as an odd stick-puppet of Ariel and Sebastian in a soft-sculpture clam-shell. This is what it looks like. I’d seen it a couple weeks ago, on my first visit there, but $4. was too much for such an odd toy. For a quarter, why not ? DP&M Belle could have a seat (the shell) and Sebastian and Ariel toys. Thank Everything for seam rippers ! I now have enough pink Velcro ® for at least two Timey Tell dresses.

The stationery grab bag yielded a set of AG-size gel pens, a box of 24 brand-new crayons, a sample pack of photo paper, a stack of notepaper with a healthcare provider’s logo, two cute flat cat erasers, about two dozen pushpins, and a kids’ magnifying glass. Not bad for a quarter ! The DP bag held two stampers (Cinderella and Aurora), an unopened card of stick-on earrings, a ribbon-and-pompom hair scrunchie, and a Strawberry Shortcake beauty set – two small bottles of “Berry Dazzling” bath gel, a magic ‘towel’ (why don’t they just call ‘em washcloths and be done with it ?), and a pink and white polka dot shower cap in a plastic glitter purse with a ribbon handle. Wonder if I’ll smell like strawberries this week ? 

Snagged a few groceries, and stopped for gas. Just one problem – the little metal door over the gas cap wouldn’t open. Then I found the lever, and it still wouldn’t open. Even wedging my key in the space didn’t help. I had to ask for the money back, because I never could get it to open, and Beloved Hubby wasn’t answering his phone.

Went through the last of the clothes bags – final tally, six blouses, three tank tops, a tee for Dearest and two shirts and a pair of jeans for sewing projects. MIL wants to look through what won’t fit me (although I’m kindly holding back the size 2 jeans and just straight out donating those tomorrow), and what she doesn’t take will hit the bins later this week, I hope.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I really need to start embroidering again...

Current Notes: One obsession after another...

Okay. I’m just gonna say it. If I hadn’t been busy most of yesterday, my DP&M Belle doll would have been stuck to my hip. As it was, I kept looking at her and wanting to play, but there wasn’t time. Plus, I didn’t want to get obsessed, although I was clearly on the way to becoming so. I figured, maybe a day…

Of course, I woke up today, got dressed, and went straight to her. And finally got the measurements I needed to look for patterns for her. Too bad the one current doll her body mostly resembles is still too far off to use for much besides bodices, blouses, and dresses. Even those would require extensive alterations. But then I realized the key word in that line of thinking was ‘current’. Sure, I couldn’t find much in today’s doll pool, but it’s not like dolls have only been made for the last dozen years or so. What about Crissy ? She’s a little shorter but had a similar form…and I still have patterns for her. If nothing else, the best Crissy website ever has downloadable copies of  every vintage Simplicity and McCalls created for her. I’ll let’cha know what works soon as I can !

Meanwhile, I brushed her soft, pretty hair again – no snarls this time ! Toy Box Philosopher was right, get through it once, and it doesn’t easily get that bad twice – and daydreamed of what outfit I’d like best for her, and what to sew. Didn’t have much time for that, either, as Beloved Hubby’d scored a gallon of free paint at work (mis-tint, nobody else wanted it) and since it was a gorgeous day, why not paint all the bedroom doors ? Oh, yes !

We’d talked of just outright replacing them, as they were badly stained and frankly ugly, but ‘free’ was just a better deal, and the one we could afford ! I was mostly project runner, looking for this screwdriver and finding where to plug in that tool, while Dearest Son got to earn a few extra bucks sanding the doors down a bit with an orbital sander. He’s saving up for something big, so it’ll a be a week or three before we have to pay up ! (evil chortle) He also got to learn about eye protection and respecting power tools, always good knowledge to have.

Here and there, I looked for free patterns – snagged a few more in Finnish and French for the LDPs, but more of nothin’ for the DP&M dolls. I’m just gonna hafta knock those out m’self. Especially if the Crissy ones don’t work out. It’ll be a bit longer before I can afford to buy the one I’ve seen for sale, and honestly, I don’t like it very much. Too ‘quinceañera gown’ for me. My style is more casual, almost always.

You know what’s kind of funny ? Aside from one kitchen-table pattern and one mom who sewed AG patterns for hers and didn’t bother to resize or alter the patterns to fit the dolls at all (and every outfit hung like a sack, lemme tell ya), I’ve never seen a DP&M doll outside the clothing made for her or another DP&M doll. I whine about the clothes originally costing $20., but heck, a Barbie outfit with shoes is pushing ten bucks these days. I hope I do a little better job with fitting my efforts.

Oh, and I got four Mal-Wart sacks of clothes today from the across-the-street neighbor – it’s stuff that doesn’t fit her, and I’m welcome to keep any or all of it, cut it up for sewing, whatever. Yaay ! So far, I’ve scored five new blouses – two with tags still attached – three tank tops, a t-shirt for Dearest and two shirts I wanna cut up for dolls. Still have a bag left to go through, and she says she’ll have more for me soon. Wow. I’ll offer what’s too small for me to MIL, and what she doesn’t want, I’ll donate. Wish I could return the favor, but she says it’s enough that she doesn’t have to get rid of it all herself. How kind she is – I hope things are going well for her, I don’t get to talk with her very often.

What a great Saturday ! Hope yours was full of fantastic, too !

Friday, February 21, 2014


Current Notes: I have *got* to make Donna Summer’s dress for Clawdeen someday…

Beloved Hubby encouraged me and Dearest Son to hit Dollar Tree today – it didn’t take much ! Dearest got his usual two treats (that don’t come out of his allowance, he always asks to make sure ! ), I got the shampoo and a couple cheep grocery items we needed. Ours also gets bread deliveries on Mondays and Thursdays, too. It’s usually your standard $2. white and wheat breads, on thrift for a buck, but sometimes there’s English muffins, pita breads, and such. Wish they got rye ! Anyway,  when it’s mostly still fresh, I grab a loaf, even if we don’t need it right then. Bread always freezes and thaws well, after all.

As for me, my snack of choice – knockoff popcorn chips – was out of stock this time, leaving me to wander aimlessly, wanting the best for my buck, as always. Wasn’t much in the mood for regular or microwave popcorn, since I make stovetop at least once a week now, and I wasn’t sure about the off-brand cheese balls. They looked greasy. Just finished off pretzels last week, and we’d had corn chips, too… snack-shopping by mood is such a task sometimes.

Ended up taking a six-ounce bag of plain chips home. We had sour cream left from Taco Night, and half an envelope of onion soup mix for dip – it’d been a while since I did that, and it sounded good to me. After we got home, I stirred up Kool-aid for Dearest, got a load of laundry going, and put our purchases away, made my dip. And thoroughly enjoyed some non-perfect chips.

It’s funny how easy it is to get used to the perfection of Lay’s. Nearly every one is the exact same color, same taste – the rare ‘burnt’ ones either get saved for last or tossed out. To me, they’re the best ones, with real flavor in them. Today’s off brand from DTree was darn near all flavor ! Some chips still had peels on them, none of them were huge, some were greasier than others, and no two could really be said to be alike much. I loved it ! Noticed that these are the same brand I saw at the grocery store Sunday, in the dollar section there. Hmm. Wonder if they wholesale from the same distributor ? In any case, ‘Home Style Select’ chips were like most other house-brand grocery store chips… and I loved them for that. I’ll definitely buy those again. Especially if those knock-off popcorn chips are still out ! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New, improved Belle !

Current Notes: We tamed *that* beast ! 

Had fun today with lots of little things ! Swept up, and found two tiny screws, which reminded me of the Frankie’s bed project. Scouted around until I had a variety of them of all sizes and styles, and tried them on, one after another, like a weird game of Cinderella, with plastic and base metal. Found one suitably short enough, but the heads seemed big… but it looked OK when I tried one. I liked the shiny silver contrasting with all the pink, blue, grey, and black, better even than the original pink pegs. Only one problem. I had five of them. Need six. Arrgh. Looked all around, even scouted Beloved Hubby’s tool bags and boxes when he came home, nada. Ah, well. I’ll be in a hardware store sooner or later, so I installed four where they’re most visible, and stashed the fifth screw in my purse, so that next time we’re out, I might be able to find more. After all, they really don’t have to match, and the two on the bottom are nearly invisible. Could skip them entirely if I wanted to, but I’m a completionist. Long as I find one or two more that’ll work, I’ll be happy.

I also had time to try various shoes on  DP&M Belle. Turns out, I have next to nothing to fit her, but I think some of the shoes I used to have for Crissy might have worked. The AG-clone shoes are too wide and clunky on her, and the rest are simply too small. The only pair I really got to fit her are, oddly enough, a pair of satin tie-on slippers that went to LDP Belle, also made by Jakks Pacific. From what I can tell, that’s what she was sold wearing, but you’d think to find better footwear on a $60. doll. The only molded shoes I’ve seen for DP&M   were sold separately as play accessories in a set that came with matching jelly-style shoes for a little girl. They were pretty rare, and now sell on eBay for about $25. with shipping. So, it’s a good thing I know how to make doll shoes ! And I learned how to make ‘em with duct tape, so stay tuned for that project ! I also still have to see if I have anything ready-made that’ll fit her, or if I have to start sewing for her by creating my own patterns.

I also cleaned up around the Arena, since some stuff from the big bookshelf shuffle’d been dumped there awaiting final distribution, and I wasn’t in much of a mood to do it earlier. My chair is once again free for me to use, I just gotta get over there. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Haven't figured out how that neckline is supposed to go yet, either.

Current Notes: I think there's a chihuahua in there somewhere...

Guess who’s here ! I’m amazed, as the town she was shipped from was socked in by snow the day after I bought her. Figured it’d be another week, at least, before I saw her.  But she was here at 9:30 this morning, cold but happy ! It was just her inside the box, no cushions or anything, but she’s here, so I’m not gonna complain !

I wonder... is her last name is Havisham ? Hair all a mess, wearing an elaborate gown, no shoes. Hm. Belle Havisham. Works. Of course, I couldn’t leave her as a perpetual Dickens reference, so I set to work on her hair. But first, I had to fetch my pliers, she still had six barbs in the back of her head, just like the thinner ones that anchor MH dolls to their boxes – but hers were thicker and sharper, and hadn’t even been pushed in or trimmed down. Once those were removed, I got the dolls’ brush and comb and the spray bottle of water, and got to work.

It took an hour and a half, but I got it all smoothed out. Instead of silky, her hair seemed more wooly than anything else, but it responded well to my rudimentary care. According to the TRU page for her, it’s Kanekalon. I can tell you it’s two or more shades of brown, and it had bits of paper and lint caught in it, along with snarls that had been pulled out some time ago that tangled again in the strands. I pulled out a pudding cup full of hair, mostly snarls and mats like you’d clip from a puppy’s pelt. Actually, it was a fruit cup, but ‘pudding cup’ is a better visual, with her brown hair. I tell ya, some dolls shouldn’t be given to kids. My wrists are still a bit sore.

Luckily, her top bun-thing was still intact, and while her side-pieces were a mess, they were easy to detect, separate, and style. It’d be easy to braid the sides sometime, for variety. I had the bulk of her hair up in a simple ponytail while I brushed the sides, and it looked really cute that way, too. All of it save the bun down was pretty as well. Her hair is well-rooted, even with all I pulled out, and now that it’s soft and straight, it’s fun to play with. It’s frizzy at the ends, but has so far remained untangled. The Toy Box Philosopher went into far greater detail with her brand-new DP&M Rapunzel last year, and I agree with every word, doubly so since mine arrived used and even more desperately in need of hair care !

I put it in an approximation of her original style and let her rest from her ordeal. I didn’t want to put her back in the same dress she’s probably worn nonstop since 2010, or put her into another gown at least as old, so I opened up the Cinderella nightgown set. You’ll get to see how sweet she looks in a brand-new nightie tomorrow. It’s nice, though, to buy doll clothes that fit so well without any alterations or changes !

I am thoroughly enjoying playing with my new Belle, and may well invest in one – just one ! – of the fancier dresses made for her line. I’m in love with Tiana’s skating dress, Belle’s winter outfit, Cinderella’s tea dress… but at $25. (plus shipping) minimum on eBay, it’ll just be the one, unless I find another super, rare deal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I'm so tired, everything's hilarious !

Current Notes: LOL !!!

It was so great, falling asleep next to all my favorite books. Beloved Hubby says he’d like that setup, too, so hopefully this weekend, we can make him a custom bookcase from all this wood scattered around. I still had some minor tidying up from all that shuffling, so I did that today, and took a little time to play with some of my displaced dolls.

Seeing Frankie’s bed started me thinking about gluing those screws in again. And from there, I kept on wondering… what if I used it to enjoy a different doll each week ? He or she’d get to roost in the sole doll bed in Chez Insanity all week, get brushed and cleaned, model any new clothes that came around, played with and photographed. I think I’ll start Sunday if I remember ! Wonder if I can wedge a Barbie in there, or she’d have to sit on it while it’s horizontal…? The largest dolls will probably just think it’s a cool mirror.

As is usual a few days after Toy Fair, more ‘leaked’ photos have surfaced. I saw them here. Very nice. Ordinarily, I’d want any new  ‘I ♥Fashion’ doll, but like I passed on Clawdeen, I can just as easily let Venus go by. There’s a Creepeteria line and a Sports theme set coming up – we’ve seen both in tiny, blurry images before – and line extensions to Coffin Bean and Scaremester, with probably more to come in the Dead Tired series, even a customizable head (doll size ? Looks that way to me)… but not one Ghoulia. Mattel’s making it much easier this year for me at least to keep my money in my pocket !

Taco Night ! I tried something new this time – Spanish Rice, from scratch ! No box mix this time, and it came out really great. Almost as good as the time I just stirred salsa and cooked rice together ! Used this recipe, and I’m glad it’s a keeper, because I accidentally made a double batch. I’ll be eating it for a while. Wonder if you can turn Spanish Rice into Fried Rice…

Monday, February 17, 2014

This Monday, much like Sunday...

Current Notes: You know, don't you, how much I want this shirt...

Happy Presidents’ 
Day !

Today I got to work on a project I’d planned to do yesterday, but after visiting a rather bored neighbor – who kindly gave me as many single-serve oatmeal cups as I could carry away ! – and chatting with her all afternoon, I was tired and hungry and ended up just kind of sitting around until it was time to make dinner. Never even started it. Ah, well. At least I got us fed !

While I’ve enjoyed adding all these new-to-me dolls to the collection, the point of ‘dolls need more space’ was breached before I bought  the first one, the dolls I already owned were crammed up as I unpacked them. I figured the easiest way to clear more space was to relocate my two shelves of books to the bedroom, and have an all-doll bookcase in the living room. Beloved Hubby was fine with that, and I claimed a barely-used two-shelf bookcase from the Study, freeing up more space in there, where it’s badly needed. Found space for all the stuff that’d been stuffed there, and then the hard part began – moving books ! I have a row of fairy tales/novels and a row of doll/sewing/animation reference, and both rows are heavy. I found m’self imagining the living room bookcase sighing in relief at only having to support a few dolls from now on !

In short (too late !), I got all the shuffling and moving done in about two hours, and all the cleaning and fiddling around in another. Everything is where I want it, there’s nothing left on the bed, and it didn’t cost a dime. I have the wealth of the world at my fingertips while lying in bed ! Such is the joy of the Empress…

 Little Cinderelsa supervised. She’s very patiently waiting her transformation from a new perch, instead of laid across my sewing Arena, together with the newly-dressed Snow White, plus Princess Dorrie and Prince Beloved. I think Rainbow Brite will be moving along shortly, I just don’t feel a ‘pull’ towards her at all. I mostly bought her because she used the same head and body molds of most of the rest of my long-gone LDP collection. Also second-guessing Baby Belle. She’s cute, and I finally got her bangs to lie down (after that clear elastic was on there for what, a year ?), but I doubt I’ll be doing much with her anytime soon. Not sure if I’ll get or even want another LDP, but I have space for one more if he/she ambushes me.

All this relocating means I get to keep both Timey Tells, and DP&M Belle (whenever she arrives, I suspect she’ll be late due to a real snowstorm this time !) will have her own space. My second Hi, Dottie has already found a home, so I’m glad that worked out. I even reassembled Dearest Son’s Frankie Stein bed – I traded mine, but Dearest gave me his when he got tired of it, and I boosted his allowance accordingly – and gave it a place of honor on top of the bookcase. May even put a doll in it later this week. For whatever reason, Dearest pulled out all the pink ‘screws’ that act as pegs to hold the included sheet down, I may glue in real screws later to replace them. Give it a nice ‘industrial’ look ! Heavens know we got enough tiny screws underfoot around here for me to have a selection in a week of sweeping and walkin’ around…

Sunday, February 16, 2014

DDD Exclusive : Snow White Stole My Clothes !! Red Tells All !

Current Notes: Look out, she's goin' for the socks next !

I have to confess, I’m very underwhelmed at Toy Fair this year. From what I can see so far, Hasbro bought a herd of new Equestria Girls characters both original and long-time fan faves (yet still no Luna), and they did more than Mattel. Not even some half-baked last-minute grandstand ‘Barbie and Ken get back together !!!!1!!!!’-style publicity stunt, I can’t tell they even showed up, really. Most of the photos I saw could have been taken in their lobby and ported over. No really nice displays – unless you count maybe 1/3 of the MH crew on risers, probably the same dolls that’ve been dragged to every Toy Fair since 2009. Oh, no, I know that’s not true, unless they’re prototypes, most toys on display are donated to a children’s charity at the end of Toy Fair, I’m really being a brat today.

This is gonna sound so stupid, and you can remind me I said it in six months and you’re always free to laugh at me, but… I feel my interest in MH slipping away, and taking a little bit of me with it. So I’m grasping at darn near straws, trying to save the fun and other feelings, but they seem to bolt further with each new shrug from Mattel. I try not to invest m’self so far in one line of dolls, and buy a bunch of other lines I can fix and repair and make pretty again, so I don’t just grab every doll and chair and plastic car I own and shove it all into a box and shove the box on the curb with a ‘FREE’ sign on it. It’s possible I’m really in too deep here.

And I listen to how whiny I’m being and think, ‘Seriously ? You’re even *able* to have these thoughts ? First world problem.’ even though we’re broke again, have tons of other issues bubbling under the surface, and yesterday my long-alienated mother reached out and guilted me, her disowned daughter, four ways in a five-sentence e-mail. The first sentence was to wish us a happy Valentine’s day. I don’t know if I’m depressed, spoiled, or just need to be put down.

Either way, I got to hit my thrift, and truthfully, wasn’t at all interested in the doll bin this week. Yellow tags were 25¢, and about all I saw with one was this porcelain doll. Cute, but I’m just not into porcelain dolls. Still, she had a pretty dress… wonder if it’d fit Snow White ? I held her up to other loose dolls, thought maybe… and forked over the 27¢. I then explored a bit, found possibly one of the few remaining Ace Hardware stores, and a very near Tuesday Morning, then decided to visit a local grocery, mostly because I’d never been in there before.

It’s a mixed bag. Their ‘Only $1. !’ section was the biggest I’ve ever seen, two full-length gondola shelves ! With the exception of some salsa and a huge cauliflower, nearly all of my $15. purchase came from there. Lots of new stuff to try ! We already know the small bags of tortilla chips are good, and the 8oz huge dark chocolate bar was delicious. Their ‘regular’ groceries seemed higher than the same things down the street, but they had more of a selection. I already get their ads online, so I’m sure I’ll be back soon. Especially if the canned chili is tasty !

Once home, a neighbor beckoned. She’d gotten several boxes of single-serve oatmeal and didn’t like it – would we like to try it, and get it out of the house for her ? Sure ! If no one here chows down, I know where the food pantry drop-off points are now, thanks to today’s exploring. It was just kind of funny, as one of the dollar buys was a box of oatmeal !

I also found that my 27¢ doll was a Dianna Effner Little Red Riding Hood, made sometime in the 80s, missing her hood. Doesn’t make her valuable, even completely intact, she barely brings ten bucks on eBay. So she lost her outfit, which fit Snow very well ! Her blouse is both too big and too tight, so I need to cut it down the back, fold closures in, and shorten the sleeves, but the overdress fits beautifully, I didn’t even untie it. Shoes need new soles after I crammed Snow’s feet in, but hey, Snow got new shoes too. I’ll go for the socks next, but I need to see if they stain first. I’ll probably re-donate the poor nude porcelain doll to another thrift. Her porcelain really is high quality, but I don’t like porcelain dolls – except uber-cheap ones for clothes donors !

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I never dreamed of a deal like that !

Current Notes: It's Cinderella's gown, but from a short distance, the 'C' monogram 
looks like a 'B'. For Belle ! 

Hooray ! My Disney Princess and Me Belle doll shipped, and the seller’s already left me nice feedback. That’s always a good sign in my book. Don’t ask me why I’m so excited about it, it’s not like I haven’t been thinking about getting one for two or three years now, or had full-scale plans to buy a brand-new one at Christmas, but backed down when funds went thin. And there’s my own pangs of guilt  about American Girl-size dolls - I never did anything with the two My Generation clones I got at flea markets, despite having dozens of patterns and ideas waiting – I didn’t like the dolls themselves, but I still feel guilty for even looking at another doll that approximate size. Or that I’ve already figured if I didn’t do much with this one, it wasn’t like I spent big bucks on her. So I don’t know why I’m so hyper, I just am !

Got to keep my promise to Dearest Son, and we were out for his TRU-exclusive My Little Pony Favorite Figures Set  2 shortly after they opened. The store closest to us reported not having any online, but I called, and they had five. Without even asking, they put one aside for him, so sweet. He still lined all five up, and let one ‘speak’ to him. Then, after a lengthy study to make sure eyes were aligned (well, mostly aligned, since this pack has Derpy in it), manes were well-seated, and everyone was who they were supposed to be – no substitutions ! – he was ready to go. But was not against looking around a little…

I hit the MH section, of course. Best stocked I’ve ever seen, with the Frankie and Jackson ‘picnic casket’ set well-numbered… and there wasn’t a darn thing I wanted. Toy Fair is this weekend, as I’m sure you know, and I hope to see some inspiring photos soon, because right now, if it weren’t for Slo Mo, I’d have withdrawn from MH, save for what I already have, long ago. How can you have a line called ‘Zombie Dance’ and not show a Ghoulia ? Or a Slo Mo ? I’m trying not to be bitter…

Also dragged Dearest through the DP&M shelves, which were less than half of a half-gondola. Basically two shelves of dolls, that’s it. He spotted the lone outfit in the back first, the Cinderella nightgown set, marked down from $20. to $13. Still too much. But I wandered back – who knew, maybe it had another markdown, it wouldn’t hurt to shove it under a scanner to know for sure, and if was on clearance, maybe…. From the heft of it, the clothes were packaged as well as the dolls. Same window box, same big size, lots of photos on the back, displayed attractively. Very nice. We looked around some more, at dress-up pigs (?), markdown Valentines, and Star Wars making one more valiant effort, and finally found a scanner. Cindy’s sleepwear was… $1.50, marked down from $2. Whaaaa ? I actually scanned it twice, made sure my eyes weren’t misreading, but Dearest verified it. $1.50. Oh, so mine !

It rang up the same at the register, so it really is mine ! Wow. So far, I’ve paid $4. for the Belle doll ( if you don’t count shipping), $2. for a thrift store doll in Tiana’s gown, and $1.50 for Cinderella’s nightgown - $7.50 for a $60. doll and two $20. outfits ! Darn, I’m good. Beloved Hubby said it was my karmic reward for sharing cake with M & DIL, and being nice in the face of their antics, but I think it may just be, meant to be.

My poor doll, though. Between Tiana’s gown and Cinderella’s nightwear, Belle’s gonna look as though she creeps through castles when no one’s looking and snatches unattended clothing. This could have been avoided if just one Enchanted Object sewed, but noo-ooo…

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's ! Or, Day Before 50% Off Chocolate Day !

Current Notes: This month's mini-calendar image. Enjoy !

Well. Looks like I won’t be selling the Disney Princess and Me Tiana dress. I’ll need it… for my DP&M Belle doll ! My stipend check from last week’s product test arrived, and I found one online within my price range (read, dirt cheep !) and she’ll be on her way to me this weekend ! Her hair’s a mess, her earrings and tiara are missing, and I have no idea if her shoes are on or off under that ballgown, but for the price I paid, I’m not worried about it. From what I can tell, she only had costume-satin slippers anyway, and I can make those as soon as she gets here. I also have several tiaras she can wear, or a quick trip to Dollar Tree can get her outfitted (check the party favors section), and I don’t really need a certificate saying I’m a Disney Princess, too. I mean, when you’re the Universal Empress, those things are not as impressive as they could otherwise be. Plus, I have a printer.

To be honest, it didn’t matter to me which DP&M doll I got, long as I could afford her – so it was really lucky that it was one of the three I most wanted ! I got to see the Frozen ones at TRU yesterday, but…(shudder). Those looked even more weird than the fashion doll ones. Somebody needs to tell most of the doll manufacturers that there’s a huge difference between ‘wide eyed’ and ‘bug eyed’, and ‘startled verging on scared / recoiling’ isn’t the greatest expression for a doll to permanently have.

With the rest of the check – told you I was cheep ! – I bought our combined anniversary/ Valentine’s Day dinner (takeout gyros !) and a few snacks and treats from DTree between what was left and what was in Checking. Even got a little birthday gift for friend S., a sweet Webkins robin, fits in your hand, all soft and strokable and adorable. I told her the legend of the first robin of spring (make a wish on the first robin you see, if you finish before  he or she flies off, your wish will come true), and said this one would never fly away, so she could wish all year long ! Also, they were out of birthday pigeons. Those always sell out first…

Beloved Hubby gave me a lovely pink rose, and since I couldn’t find my favorite vase, I made one from a clean empty glass jar (suitably narrow, it used to hold minced garlic !), the glass star and oval stones I had left over from a project, and a scrap of red ribbon to cover the jar threading at the top. Much nicer than anything I saw at DTree.

Came home and baked the red velvet cake I’d intended to for the holiday, decided to use two 9-inch cake pans and give one to M & FIL, and keep the other. Baking is an entirely new project when your only oven isn’t much bigger than the microwave ! But buying a new-to-us full size oven from Craigslist is next on our ‘improvements’ list, so…

Hope your Valentines was extra sweet and very nice ! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New books ! Yaaay !

Current Notes: Isn't he the cutest kitty ? 

Today was Dearest Son’s game day, and I really wasn’t feeling well or into it, but he needs the socialization, so I dragged my butt up and over. We were ten minutes late, and were still the first to arrive. Also, it seems some parents have just been dropping their kids off – it was at FormerTown’s new library again - and not staying, as several kids known to the other moms were there about the same time we were – since I didn’t see familiar parents, I didn’t know that’s what those kids were there for. Got to talk to some of the other moms, but since they’re already longtime friends, I’m kind of on the outskirts, but I’m at least putting myself out there – and keeping my mouth shut most of the time.

Dearest had a good time and played several games, I found a bunch of new books. We also got to hit TRU, just to window-shop, but it was fun to look around. Big Lots again didn’t have anything, and by the time we were done, it was game time. Hoping to hit Dollar Tree tomorrow with a couple bucks I have left in Checking. With that possibility in mind, Dearest decided to forego the trip to the thrift. Besides, we may have more cash this weekend.

Come on, taxes ! I know you’ve only been enroute since Monday, but…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The closer Valentine's Day gets, the more likely you are to see Cupid lurking around !

Current Notes: Remember when she was a Valentine's Day/ Anniversary gift ? 

Hooray ! The drain to the washer’s working again, so I once again have the convenience of washing clothes at home without bothering anybody ! Which is great, we haven’t had Laundromat money in two or three weeks now, and I’ve been washing just what we need for the next day or two, and I have to ask FIL for help. He never did tell me what I had to do to keep it from flooding – he always volunteered to do it for me instead. Coincidentally, both F and MIL are out for most of the day on a medical appointment, so long as the drain holds, I’m having a laundry day !

Six loads washed, dried, and put away later…Whoo. I’m exhausted. Still have to make dinner, and Beloved Hubby’s working late tonight. Until 10pm or so late. He’s put today off so many times, it’s ‘do or die’ time, Hope it doesn’t wipe him out as thoroughly as the laundry did me !

My mind was raring to go, though. Realized I haven’t done much with Luna yet, save for plucking out hair and scraping off paint. While I wasn’t up to sewing, I thought she needed a late-night companion… like the pets the other MH crew came with. I’m still looking for an inexpensive white angora for Miss Rarity. Hmm, though. A cat would be a great pet for Luna, too ! Playful and nocturnal – and I already had one, thanks to the two baggies from last month’s thrift store. I’d scored the grey cat from Barbie’s 2002 Sweet Sounds Pet Shop, and his collar matched her blouse. Perfect ! So Luna now has Rakesh to make her life more fun. His name is Sanscrit for ‘lord of the full-moon day’, which I think works well for her and him. You always have to test a cat name by yelling it out loud, followed by ‘kitty-kitty-kitty’, and it works. Photo tomorrow, promise !