Thursday, November 28, 2013

Beginning to feel alot like Christmas! (But Happy Thanksgiving anyway)

  So much to do this time of year! Emma and I went to Detroit to see Mike Nesmith last week. Emma has loved The Monkees since I showed them to her when she was little. We got her a 'meet and greet' ticket for The Monkees for her 18th birthday and she got the three that were doing that tour to sign her Monkees metal lunch box. Mike was the only one she didn't have,and she missed getting a 'meet and greet' ticket last time. So she bought herself a 'meet and greet' for this show and Mike signed her lunch box too. (Apparently he said, "You're completing the four. Are you excited?" He had no idea!) She had unfortunate problems with her camera dying and her phone having a full picture storage, so she was going to give up on getting a picture, but Mike was very nice and insisted on having one of his guys take a picture and her email address so they could send it to her.
  I've been busy trying to get loads of things ready for Ebay so I can see my house again! I'll have some of the things I made on sometime in the next few days. Ken will be listing the other stuff, (which includes tons of vintage Christmas things and American Girl and Bitty Baby dolls and stuff), but I have to get it ready too. I'm keeping the Samantha I found for a dollar at a yard sale this summer. Somebody has to model all these things!
  I also was busy trying to keep Ivy at bay so she didn't get to the computer and watch the 50th anniversary Doctor Who without me and Ken! Had to watch her like a hawk!
  I had a good day at Goodwill last week. I found an auburn piggy Chatty Cathy, a Kologne Kiddle in her bottle,some Pogo figures, and a Betsy Clark doll. Yay!
  Monday night was a quick trip to the Big City to buy vegetarian goodies for Thanksgiving. Fuzz wanted 'ham', I wanted a Quorn loaf (which I did NOT get), or Verisoy 'chicken' drumsticks that I THOUGHT would satisfy at least three of the four vegetarians, but surprisingly Emma said no. I got it anyway, because it's delicious! As for Ivy, she doesn't like anything.
  I have been planning a fall photo story, but I'm thinking it's a bit late for that. We had snow again today.Between that and all the Christmas stuff I've been getting ready for Ebay "it's beginning to look (feel) alot like Christmas"!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Return of the Internet and the Miniature Show

  Well, our modem has been replaced and we have internet again. It's been out since late last week. You have no idea how dependent you have become on the internet until you lose it! We were constantly wanting to research something and remembering that we couldn't! What a pain."Yeah, I'll go look that up.----No I won't!" 
  Anyway, the miniature show was Saturday. Like other doll related shows, it was a lot less busy than previous years. I sold bits and pieces which I did NOT make, and nothing that I did make. Several people looked at my Mrs. Beasley dolls, and one lady asked about the blue fainting couch. But alas, no buyers.

Little Beasley, and yes, she and the other one are poseable, and their glasses are removeable.

Slightly bigger Beasley

That blue fainting couch.

So. All that stuff is going on Ebay or Etsy. I keep getting told that I just need to give it time, to keep doing shows until people decide they can't live without my stuff, or figure out what they can use it for. But doing shows is so expensive. The tables at the miniature show are $110! Luckily I know a lady I share with, so that makes it an almost affordable $55. But there are other costs too. The gas it takes to get to the shows is one. Some people come an awfully long way. I drove a little over an hour myself. (Ivy and I made it worth it by doing some shopping while we were there, but she still didn't find a winter coat she likes.)Think how much you have to sell to make up the costs, let alone make a profit. And then of course, at dolls shows, (but not so much at the miniature shows), people ask you if you will take less than you have the stuff priced for! I sold alot of very small stuff, which I have to say I had at amazing prices.But that means I have to sell even more to make any money. I don't think I did more than make my table cost. (And less than that when you consider that the stuff I sold had to be paid for originally too.) If I were selling bigger ticket items, like the stuff I made, I would actually make some money.Oh well. We shall see. It may not be worth continuing this business.The lady I shared my table with suggested I make more dolls. I said I didn't know if I wanted to waste my time making more dolls I'm not selling.Still, I sold all the dolls I put on Etsy, so maybe that's the way I need to go with this thing.I am noticing that my hands are getting sore from doing alot of the stuff. I may have left it too long to start this stuff now. I may be getting too old and arthritic!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fashionistas on sale at Meijer

  Another quick post to let everyone know that Meijer have all their Fashionista dolls on sale for $5.00. The sales at Meijer are for every store, but apparently each store clearances at will. So, all the clearance prices are different at practically every Meijer you go to. They have a lot of dolls and accessories clearanced right now though, so it's worth checking out.
  The Columbus miniature show is Saturday. I'm still getting stuff together for it. I have half a table, which is all I need since the stuff is so tiny. I'm hoping to finish several half made things before then.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Finally fixed!

  Ok. This time the pictures should really be there! I am so not computer savvy that it's really not funny. I'm much more of a hands on person. But I think I finally solved the problem. Shew!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pictures should be there now!

  When I viewed the blog a while ago the pictures weren't showing up. I don't know why, as they were showing up last night when I posted it. I don't know if they were showing up for everybody else, but I went in and I think I fixed the problem.  Sorry.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dolls on Vacation: Your Kids Will Love It!

  Attention Emma! Do not read this post! Childhood spoilers!!
  One of the things we used to do with the kids when they were little was send their dolls on 'vacation'. I think it all started when Emma sent Fuzzy's dolls to the North Pole to meet Doll Santa. But I took it from there, with Ken's help, and Emma's dolls started to 'travel' too. The kids would pick where they wanted their dolls to go,pack the dolls suitcases, and the dolls would all board the plane. Sometimes the plane would have to  sit 'on the runway' for a while, until the kids weren't looking. Then it would 'take off'. Before we had Ivy her room was the spare bedroom, and I would 'launch' the plane from that upstairs window. The kids were below in the dining room so they could see it 'fly' off. When Fuzz was really tiny he said he could see the plane way up in the sky as it flew away. I still don't know if he really thought he could see it, or if he was just playing. The power of suggestion is very strong sometimes!
  The plane was gone and wouldn't usually show up again until the dolls 'came home'. Sometimes, for convenience, the plane would come back and wait until it had to go pick them up. The dolls would send emails home, with pictures of their adventures in all the far away places. This was accomplished by putting the dolls in front of colour photographs.(We had some books and calendars, and the library has loads of books.) I got pretty good at matching the lighting on the dolls to the lighting in the photographs. Some of the pictures looked amazingly real. If it was a sunny picture, I put the dolls in the sun with the picture behind them.

Emma and best friend Susan at the Eiffel Tower.
   I had to be careful there were no shadows or shine on the photographs the dolls were in front of. Sometimes for specific things we would do a bit of photoshopping, but those pictures never looked as real. I'm sure these days, with all the computer programs people have access to, an amazing job could be done.
  The kids loved getting emails from their dolls. I tried to make them funny, and also have them contain real information about the places they had gone. I used real places whenever I could. When Fuzzy the Doll went to Africa, he not only visited the pyramids, but a real mining town, which I had to research to find. I used pictures of the real places. When Fuzzy the Doll went to the Himalayas to search for Yeti,not only were there pictures of the dolls in the village below the mountains,

Fuzzy and his guide starting up the mountain in Tibet.

Little Purple gets to pet a yak in Tibet.
 ..but I put the dolls in our ice filled freezer and photographed them! They had a snowball fight, staked their flag up, and found a Yeti footprint, all in our freezer.
   When Blue went to China she brought home Lucky Money envelopes for all the other dolls, and explained in her emails what they were. So the kids learned a little about the country they had picked for their doll to visit each time.Ivy had a big interest in Pompeii, so Blue and friends went there.Blue even brought back a piece of lava. (There are crumbs of it all over the ground in the parking lot where Walmart sells their lava rocks in the summer...)

Blue views a mural in Pompeii.

Blue and Swingy Legs in Pompeii.
  The dolls always brought home souvenirs from their trip. That's when I started making all the miniature stuff. I had to come up with all those tiny things from all those places. From the Himalaya trip Fuzzy brought home a plaster cast of a Yeti foot print,a miniature llama (the 'Dolly llama') and a hat from the village where they stayed. When Emma the Doll went to Paris, she brought home a Paris dress with matching hat. When Blue went to Italy she brought home a grease stained paper bag of biscotti and a Michelangelo's David Dress Me magnet set. (He came wearing boxer shorts.) From England they brought home Beatles postcards from Liverpool,Doctor Who magnets from their trip to the BBC gift shop,a set of antique cigarette cards of British royalty,a tiny wooden box of hand milled English soap,a box of English toffee, a packet of real tea,and a print of the Titanic autographed by the last survivor,Millvina Dean the Doll. (Like me, Ivy has had an obsession with the Titanic.) When Blue and Fuzzy went to China they even brought back pet macaque monkeys.(You never know what you can make until you try!) They even went to Disney World once and brought back tiny Disney toys.They usually brought back money from their country too.
  The kids loved the dolls vacations, even though they hated being without their dolls. They also used to worry when they were really tiny that the dolls would be ok, so far away and alone. So the dolls went to Doll England,and Doll China, etc. And dolls are always safe there, even unchaperoned.(Not like the real world.)Of course, the dolls never really left town. Although, sometimes I did have to leave our house to photograph them without being seen by the kids! I remember fighting the wind in a parking lot once! I hid the dolls while they were 'gone'. When it was time for them to come home they usually did so while the kids were gone, and the kids would come home to find the plane back in Emma's room, or on the upstairs landing. Although happy to see their dolls again, the kids also dived for the suitcases to check out what the dolls had brought home.
  We still have all the dolls' emails. The kids have copies and I have a notebook with the whole set. They enjoyed occasionally rereading those emails for years.
  I just thought I would put this out there, for those of you who might like to try it. Bon voyage!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Big Lots Monster High/Barbie Promotion: Buying time is over.

  It just occurred to me that the Big Lots promotion is basically over, unless you made your purchases before Halloween. Sunday was the first time I had seen the display and the time frame completely went past me as I was typing it. That stinks. Sorry. But maybe some of you will have bought your qualifying purchases on time and saved your receipts,because you can still get the mail in certificates at Big Lots.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Big Lots and Mattel Free Monster High Promotion

  I thought I'd bring it to everyone's attention that Big Lots has gotten A LOT of dolls in for Christmas. Today they had a lot of Fashionista Barbies, Monster High,Moxie Girls,Bratz,some of those cheapo mix and match sets with the nasty cheap doll and great clothes, the Hunger Games Katniss doll for $15and they still had a few So In Style dolls.They also have the coupons for the currant Mattel promotion: spend $20 on any Barbie or Monster High product at Big Lots and get a free Monster High Create a Monster Mummy and Gorgon Girls, Ice and Blob Girls, or Werewolf and Dragon. The offer is only at Big Lots, and the purchases must be made at Big Lots between 10/30/13 and 11/27/13. The submissions must be postmarked by 12/11/13 and received by 12/18/13. The only catch is, you don't get to choose which set you get. But hey, it's free! You also have to send in the UPC code from the box, so if you're giving it as a gift, or have a thing about defacing your boxes,remember that. Still, if you're giving the bought doll AND the freebie as gifts to the same person, they probably won't have a problem with your cutting off the UPC!

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Halloween Party, a photostory

  People who know me will tell you that I am almost always late.Well, my Halloween photostory turned out to be a gigantic chore. Too many characters to come up with costumes for and get dressed. So here I am a day late with my Halloween story. Just think of it as a story of what happened last night. Around here we didn't even have trick or treat last night, as it was cancelled due to weather. We are having it Saturday, except there is supposed to be rain then too. (Plus there is a football game, so alot of people will be otherwise occupied.) So here, what none of you have been waiting for....
                                                           The Halloween Party

   The Worlds are having a Halloween party, with family and friends. Most of the grown ups gather near the refreshments. At 13, Vanessa likes to consider herself part of the grown up crowd. Tonight her costume is 'hippy'.She's sitting with Dolly's sisters and some of their kids.

I love this barn! It's a Melissa and Doug barn and is slightly too short, but I think it worked pretty well.

 And of course the men stay near the food.That's Kenzie's boyfriend Milo,Dolly's brother in law Ted (married to the sister next to Vanessa), and Dolly and Wally's son in law Roger. Looks like Roger's boots were too tight. He's in his socks.
  And on the other side of the barn, which looks suspiciously like the first side... 

The kids are going to bob for apples.Heidi and Maria set up the tub while Wally watches. Those Planet of the Apes costumes Tammy talked Wally and Dolly into wearing are pretty cool.

 Harry has come as a clown and Emma has come as Dorothy, but that doesn't mean she can't try on the clown mask. Kind of creepy...
My daughter Emma's 'Emma the Doll' in the middle. She went everywhere and did everything we did for years. She's a little scary these days, thus the mask. That's Ivy's doll 'Swingy Legs' (I kid you not!) on the left.

  Wally had to go 'check on the refreshments', so Dolly has taken over.
The various Tommy's and a couple of Kelly friends belong to Fuzzy.He hadn't touched them in ages, but when I invited them to the party he even dressed them for me.Well, except for Melody and Emily. He couldn't be bothered because they were never funny.
 Tammy: Mom, where's your ape mask?
Dolly: Oh. Uh,my face was sweaty.
Tammy: Mommmm!

The family that Apes together...

That's Maria's little sister Marcie behind Heidi and Tammy.
                                             Anne whispers to Tammy:Who's the weirdo with no shirt?
                                           Tammy, muttering under her mask: He's a friend of Gareth's.He's 'The Unknown Super Hero'.
                                           Anne: Oh kaaay.
                                           Simon: Got the water in. Where are the apples?

I found the little guy on the left at a gas station when I was a kid. He's made in Germany and has a strange lumpy body and one arm. Fuzz took pity on him as a kid and took him in. We named him Heimlich. That's Emma the doll's best friend Susan next to him.Of Emma's favourite dolls, Only Susan made it out looking almost perfect!
                                                       Harry and Anne are the first to try.

The kids all cheer them on. Since they're getting on so well Dolly wanders off to talk with the grownups. But pretty soon she hears alot of shouting coming from the apple bobbing area. She comes back, accompanied by Maria's dad, Mr. Campesino.

                                         Dolly: What's the commotion over here?
                                         Kids: Tammy cheated!
                                           Dolly: All right Tammy. Give them here.

Dolly: Dad! I found 'em!

Somehow nobody feels like bobbing for apples anymore...

But they still have a good time.

There are some of everybody's dolls in this picture. I felt like the Worlds couldn't have a party and not invite all their old friends, even if they aren't as 'aesthetically pleasing' as unplayed with dolls. The three Kelly dolls on the left are Ivy's favourites, 'Rose', her sister 'Blue', and their cousin---wait for it---'Meatball', so named for her giant blobs of puffy side ponytails.

  Apparently Vanessa got bored with the adults and has lowered herself to hanging out with the kids. What is The Unknown Super Hero doing with his Magic Pick Ax? Not the pumpkins!Emily tries to
 stop him.

My son Fuzzy's dolls Melody, as a princess, and Emily as a clown,Fuzzy the Doll as The Unknown Super Hero, Little Purple in the orange vest, and Prince Hashka. The names kids come up with! As you can see, Fuzzy the Doll has been well loved.Emily was originally Emma's, but she hung out with Fuzzy the Doll so long Emma finally gave up claim on her.

Ivy's favourite doll, 'Blue' (center). At one point when Ivy was tiny, all her dolls were named Blue.(Years before Beyonce' and Jay Z!)That's Ivy's 'Rose' on the left and 'Meatball' on the right.

My son Fuzzy's Fuzzy the Doll on the left. Fuzz dressed him for the party this way himself. He's 18 now, but he always had Fuzzy looking in similarly weird ways. That's Fuzzy's doll 'Prince Hashka' on the bale of straw. He's being a tourist for Halloween.
                                              Todd: It's going to get you Gareth! Whooo!
                                              Gareth: Forget it!You're not scaring me. That thing is made of plastic!
                                              Todd: Well how about I just twist your nose with one of these wrenches then?
                                              Fuzzy (The Unknown Super Hero): Man, your brother is cool!

Since Gareth can't tilt his head back, I made it look like he was looking up by just showing him from behind and tilting his hat waaay back. Those are The World's daughters Kenzie and Tina on the straw bale.
                                           Wally: Hey Gareth. I see you've rounded up a posse there Pardner.
                                            Gareth: It's not funny!
                                            Dolly: But there are kind of a lot of cowboys,aren't there?
                                            Gareth: These guys are lame! My costume is totally different.
                                            Wally: How do you figure?

                                                                   Gareth: I have a hat!

   Mr. Campesino couldn't be talked into wearing a costume,but Mr. and Mrs. Rettop were more than happy to dress as Batman and Catwoman.

Mrs. Campesino has joined them too. Mr. Rettop seems to be telling some kind of story.
                                           Gareth: Where'd all the apples go?

Fuzzy: Forget the apples. I have a better idea!

Later, after everyone is gone, Tammy wanders back in, looking for her mask...

 Tammy: Ahhhhh!!!!
Fuzzy: Heh heh heh. Yeah! Soaking in the tub!

Little Purple: I'm a foreign diplomat.
Gareth:Well, at least you're not a cowboy.

Behind the scenes:
As you can see, Emma the Doll, (the 'Dorothy' in the middle, showing Tammy her Toto-in-a-Basket), has no hair and very little face left. There was no way I could leave her out though.Her best friends Susan, second from the right of Emma, and Daisy (the blonde) are a bit more....presentable!
  The part with Fuzzy in the tub was Ivy's idea.We originally wanted him to pop up out of the water while the kids were bobbing for apples, (As Ivy said, "like Snoopy.") but I couldn't fit him in there low enough! When the kids were little and we were playing, this is totally something either Fuzzy or I would have had him do!
I hope everyone had a safe a happy Halloween!