Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Camping,Shopping, and how to wash a doll...

  Well, we had our mini vacation recently, which is all we had time for this summer. It was a few days camping. With Emma moved out and Fuzz officially an 'adult' now, (And THAT'S a matter of opinion really...), Ivy was the only one camping with us. (Apparently 'adults' can say, "I'm not going.") She still wants to hang out with us, but she'll be 14 soon, so I'm sure those days are numbered.
  It was Ken's ideal camping experience. In other words, we got the van hooked up to the electricity and turned on the air conditioning, (Ken,suffers from a bad case of "I'm English and it's too hot over here."), gathered wood and started a fire, and he cooked, and cooked, and cooked. (As with everything else in Ken's life, camping is all about the food.) The rest of the time we played games and watched a DVD on the lap top. Yep, Ken's a real out door type.
  Everybody was roughing it in the great outdoors. (That's our van in the front.) When I passed the camper behind us they were watching cartoons on a big screen tv.We used our air conditioner, microwave, and refrigerator.But bed was uncomfortable...

  Our camping neighbor was enjoying the hammock...

  To be fair, we also took a walk on the song bird trail and traipsed  around in the woods looking for firewood. We also took a ride and went to a cheese shop, Grampa's Cheese Barn, (Which did NOT have Venezuelan Beaver Cheese, but DID have cheddar.) where we tasted sample cheeses until our eyes fell out. We even bought some. (Listening to Ivy trying to get the name of her favourite, 'Cayanne Pepper cheese', right was pretty entertaining too. I just wish I had written down all the different incorrect names she used.)
  I stopped at a yard sale on the way to the Cheese Barn, but the doll-est thing they had was one of those wooden Polish dolls, and Ken insisted that the one we have, (Which his mother rooted with his own childhood hair when the original fell out.) is plenty.
   We went to a couple of stores too.Ivy got a new pillow...

  Sunday was the last day of Ivy's summer vacation, so I went out before she got up and got the last of the missing school supplies. (I swear that list gets longer and more ridiculous every year. Why does it matter if the painter's tape they asked for is BLUE?! When I could have gotten other colours for at least a dollar cheaper!) Since Goodwill is next to Big Lots where I was looking for her preferred socks and baby wipes for school I ducked in quickly to give the toy aisle the once over. I got a bag of dolls for $3 which contained these lovely ladies, and the chair for $2.

I have several Moxie Girlz with feet now, so I guess I should start weeding out all the ones without.

   This corn husk doll had followed me from a recent yard sale where I had considered her, but decided the corn husk doll population around here was getting out of hand and passed on her. Since she bothered to follow me all the way to Goodwill (and before she did it again and it got spooky) I decided to buy her.

  It was back to school Monday.Poor Ivy has a very long day this year. She is only in middle school but is taking high school French AT the high school. That means she has to get up extra early and be at the high school at their starting time for her French class, and then be bused over to her school for her regular school day.She gets high school credit for it,which will leave her room on her high school schedule for college credit classes. This has replaced graduating early, which is what they did when I was in school if you got all your high school  credits done early. Still, she came home pooped on Tuesday. May have to rethink that bedtime.
  Yesterday was second hand doll washing day.

Dogs, and Babies, and Bears,oh my....

    Some will stay and some will go, but they will all be squeaky clean!
   All of these were yard sale finds this summer except for the Asian Bitty Baby,which came from a small Flea Market, and the 'grunt face baby' (an old phrase of my neice's.), which came from the 'Auction of the Century'.(I'm hoping it was anyway. I couldn't take another one like it. We spent a monstrous amount,and took home so many dolls I could hardly fit them in the van, even living up to my self proclaimed title "The Master Spacemaker". I was literally dreaming about sorting Italian dolls after a a while. Luckily we made our money back and I got to keep loads of dolls I had been wanting for ages, as well as some I never knew I wanted before I saw them. I donated loads too, but I'm still trying to get rid of the rest!)
  All the Bitty's are Pleasant Company, and the Asian baby is an Our New Baby.Two of them came in tagged diapers.

 These guys are going to go. Eventually I might have a 'Dolls for sale' page for you to click on, but for now they will probably just end up on Ebay at some point.

Rub-a Dub-Dub...
   I know it says American Girls and Bitty Baby's are surface washable only, but don't you believe it! If I'm keeping  a doll I'm only going to display in the case, or that I intend to sell  more as a collectable for adults, I don't wash it unless it's a hopeless case otherwise, as it can ruin the doll (and the value). But if I'm selling a doll that is most likely to be bought for children to play with, I like to wash it. I know I would wash it if it were for MY children, so I like the buyer to know that it's sanitary for their kids to play with. Let's face it, kids put things in their mouths. They handle things, and then put their hands in their mouths. There's no way around it. Germs are going to end up in their mouths. Kids take dolls into their beds. It's just a good idea for second hand dolls and toys to be cleaned. I'm more comfortable selling them that way, and I think people are more comfortable buying them that way. These guys were washed in hot water, scrubbed and/or soaked where necessary, (I use a baby toothbrush and extra soap if there is soiling,and sometimes baking soda for vinyl dirt or marks and stain remover on the cloth body.),  thoroughly rinsed, run  through the drain and spin cycle in the washing machine, and put out in the hot sun to dry.

Look Ma, no hands...
 Tips: don't machine wash the dolls! A cycle through the washing machine will scuff the paint and possibly ding the vinyl. (Yes, past experiences...). Use the spin cycle to remove the excess water. Be careful your spin cycle doesn't use the agitator! (Some of them are 'rinse and spin' and they agitate on the rinse cycle.) When spinning, place the dolls carefully around the agitator FACING INWARDS. This will insure that the dolls faces aren't dinged against the wash tub in spinning. When in real doubt also put them in a pillow case(individually) to prevent scuffing. Tie a knot in it.When drying remember to turn the dolls occasionally. Dolls like Bitty Baby and American Girl, and others with cloth bodies and vinyl limbs hold water in their limbs. You can think they are dry, and then when you pick them up water runs out of the limbs, re-wetting them.
Three on a teeter. After hanging upside down all afternoon, these guys sit up to drain the other way for a while. Middle Baby developed an embarrassing wet spot when turned upright, which is hidden by the head of the Baby in front.
  I condition the hair on dolls that actually have hair. (nothing personal Bittys.) I have heard you're supposed to use fabric softener on doll hair, but I don't even use it on my laundry. (It's not really neccesary. And it's just more chemical junk in our water. Besides, I hate scents.) I use cheap conditioner, like White Rain or Suave. If the hair is really dry I sometimes resort to my own dry hair conditioner,(which I have to use now that I'm old!),Fructis. I've had pretty good luck with it. I've managed to rescue some American Girls, and even those vintage Skipper dolls with the dry frizzy bangs that are so balled up they look like they've been cut. (You have to HEAVILY condition those, leave them to soak in it, and comb them out with the conditioner still in the hair, and then rinse. I have often used a pin to pick out the mattedness in really bad Skipper bangs. It's almost the only thing that works. When they are really badly matted you can't really comb them until you have picked the matting out first.The brunette Sample Skipper in the Deluxe Reading Dream Kitchen post is one example. Her bangs weren't absolutely terrible, but they well were on their way there.)  
  Well, until next time, when ever that may be.    


  1. Great post. I had a good laugh about your husband and his camping experience. The Bitty babies are sooo cute. I love Asian dolls. Thanks for all the cleaning tips.

    1. Thanks Vanessa. That poor little Asian guy was in the worst condition of the lot when I bought him. I think my friend doubted my sanity at the time. But he turned out to be the best one after his spa treatment.I don't think you can see in the photos,but he has blushy cheeks.

  2. The Asian one is soooo cute! It jumped in my eye the very first second. Could you real give it away? I wished it was mine, I never had sold it :)


Thanks in advance for your comments.