Sunday, August 9, 2015

Orange Cali Princess Barbie !

Success ! Junior-kitty proved the theory that cats don’t like tin foil. First time he jumped up on my cutting table, he squeezed as far away from it as possible – his paws were all wadded up in about a one by two inch space. I had to lift him down, he was unable to move. Last night he tried it again, and just turned around and jumped back down. He settled in the foil-free second shelf. Yaaay – no patterns or stabilizers for him to knock over there !  Of course, that’s where one of the doll playsets is going soon. . .

Oh, and here’s a funny. You remember that yesterday’s flea market haul included a Hannah Montana doll and a wand. I didn’t describe much on the wand, ‘cause the batteries that make it light up were dead – three ‘button’ AG13s, to be precise. It’s actually very pretty even not lit, in the shape of a crystal snowflake, with the ‘Tommy Hilfiger’ logo inexplicably printed on the light blue handle in perfect white. I figured we’d get some AG13 batteries today at Dollar Tree. Even if they were sold out of the red-carded packs they sometimes have, several of their smaller electronics run on the same three. 

Was cleaning up (ok, playing) with the two dollar dolls I got, and went to brush HM’s hair when I accidentally triggered her singing feature. Ugh. At least she had an on/off switch on her back, right under the tiny battery compartment. Battery…? A minute later, I had a pretty flashing, glowing Tommy Hilfiger snowflake wand and  completely silent nude Hannah Montana with her hair in a braid. She kind of looks like Elsa on meth, before her teeth go bad. I’ll have no problems letting her go – to that thrift shop Tuesday. 

While neither of them are a good match for my purple haired Barbie head, I was somehow oddly hypnotized into snatching up that very tan doll. Her orange gown complemented her complexion in a compellingly attractive way, and went well with her orange necklace, double-tied orange yarn bow, and two-tone ponytail. Maybe it was that she was a very updated Malibu, my first Barbie ever, who knows ? 

Some research showed she wasn’t at all a nattily attired barefoot Orange Princess Barbie, but a well-dressed Cali Girl. I’m thinking she was Mom-dressed, most kids don’t quite have that level of color coordination. Heck, I still don’t. The gown is quite well-made, I’d suspect it being one of Mattel’s, but the only tag is from the eternal ‘Made In China’ toy factory.

Her gown also intrigued me. I’ve loved the krinkly, slightly stiff, iridescent stuff her bodice was made of since 1983’s Crystal Barbie, and it’s been used for countless bodices and skirts and sleeves (My First Princess Barbie, 1989) and even bonded to a plastic-y vinyl (Peaches and Cream, 1984) ever since. While I love the look, I could never figure out. . . what was that stuff ? The ads never say, they just mention its scintillating, sparkling appearance. Well, today, thanks to machine embroidery, I figured it out. It’s Mylar !

Yup, same stuff used to bag snacks, glimmer nails, make survival blankets and shiny balloons. Well, sort of. Same basic process makes what’s officially known as PET (polyethylene terephthalate, a form of polyester), it’s just tinted and treated in production to make a thin film a vast variety of colors – often in the same piece ! Heat bonded to fabric, it gives a doll dress bodice that krinkly, often stiff, shimmer – and you can sew it like any other material. Bonded to vinyl, it still has all the properties and color of vinyl, but now it’s dazzlingly more iridescent. It’s popular in embroidery, to give applique and thinly stitched designs a unique extra sparkle. In free standing lace (FSL), the entire design is made of thread on wash-away stabilizer, with the Mylar filling in open spaces, in hopes of catching light in new and beautiful ways. 

I realize this isn’t a life-changer for anyone else, and I may be the only one who didn’t know what it was, but I’ve been curious for so long.  . . and once I can figure out how to bond it at home without a melted mess on my iron, I can make my own slightly tacky doll clothes whenever I want ! (starry gazed sigh) I live in the possibilities. . .

Anyway. Cali is cleaned up, and might be a keeper. I also decided to redo the cubby. Since my ancient  Room With A View won’t fit on the middle shelf, I cleaned off the top and set it up there. Can still use the washer as a cutting surface, the height is better for me. Learned that several of the ‘stage’ props have fallen apart, no big surprise, since two had fallen apart shortly after we bought it. 2008, possibly. Back then, I was shocked to discover that, while the walls were decently made (although one has bowed while being stored flat, somehow), the stage parts were held together with sloppy white glue and straight pins. Since Beloved Hubby paid about $130. for it, and not one part was without flaw or not made the cheapest way possible, I was really upset and ended up tossing the whole thing back in the box and trying to forget we even had it. But that was years ago. May as well use it, since there’s no way we’d get more than $10. for it, and I actually like the brick in doll photos. They sell other magnetic pieces – more walls, windows, doors – but I’d rather make my own or do without than give that company another dime. I got lotsa magnets, and access to the Library’s good printers. So, expect a lot of brick in future photos !

Setting that up meant fabric and small things had to be relocated, so that took some shuffling. I really need another bin, but for now, the Build-A-Bear box Luna came in works OK. Might get the blue. DTree is sold out, and the green one I have is full of knits and old t-shirts, so the next one, whatever color it is, will probably have a part of my metric ton of woven cottons. I may actually make something next week !

1 comment:

  1. Huh! Well I never would have guessed it was mylar! That's pretty neat to know.