Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rebodying a 'Dress Me' body Susie Sad Eyes

  After a freezing cold, rainy day yesterday, today was really quite warm and very sunny.I spent the day  transplanting hosta plants that my neighbor wanted to get rid of. I started transplanting them last spring. I moved part of them, but I never got the other half until today. All together I must have gotten over 100 hostas from her! They should perk up the front of my house where it's too shady for most things to grow.
  A while back I did a week of posts about Big Eye dolls. I showed you a platinum blonde Susie Sad Eyes head that I found in package on a 'dress me' type doll body at Salvation Army.(You can see that original post HERE.) I wanted to rebody her on something with more poseability than the 'dress me' body, with it's unmoving legs. It was only recently that I realized I had a body that was the right scale, and even the right skin tone for the super pale Susie. It's a jointed body from an 8" Mattel Harry Potter doll. I thought you might like to see what Platinum Susie looks like on her new body.

This particular Harry body has jointed ankles, as well as knees, hips, shoulder, elbows, and neck. The neck joint also makes the head able to tilt.Some of the Harry Potter dolls don't have the jointed ankles.The shoes are from one of the Mattel Hermione dolls, which have the same or similar body.

Brand new, but she still had a green spot on her nose!

The cute little dog shirt is a Barbie shirt, the shorts belong to a Stacey doll I think. I have no idea who the socks or the jacket belonged to.

In this photo, and the next one, you can see what a perfect match the skin tone of the body is for Susie's head.

The neck hole in her head is a little big for the neck knob on the body, so her head is a bit loose. I put some sticky tac on the neck knob to try to make her head less floppy.

She looks so cute.

I love how her body looks like a real kid's body in this pose.

  If you read the Big Eye Week posts you'll know I love Susie Sad Eyes and Susie Slicker dolls. I'm glad to finally have a body for this head.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Big Girls Like Dinosaurs Too...

  Yes, I am still a kid inside. I love miniature things, dinosaurs, and glow in the dark stuff! This past weekend I found something that covers all those things, plus takes me back to my son's childhood. When Fuzz was little he loved dinosaurs. (I have to say, he still does. He just turned 20 and for his birthday his girlfriend bought him a reproduction raptor claw like Doctor Grant carried around in Jurassic Park. She's a keeper...) For one birthday he had a Jurassic Park/dinosaur birthday party. One of the things we put in the treat bags was a put-it-together-yourself dinosaur skeleton made of glow in the dark plastic. Everybody got one, and Fuzzy and Emma had several. They didn't stay together very well, and stray bones are still turning up in weird parts of the house, but they were pretty cool. They GLOW IN THE DARK for Pete's sake! When I was out with Emma and Ivy last Saturday we stopped at the Dollar Tree to check on something for Ken. (I thought I had made a great coup: eight cans of clams! It was only when telling Ken about it and he pointed out that I was supposed to look for OYSTERS...

... not CLAMS

... that I realized I had bought the wrong thing! I bought eight cans of CLAMS. Hey. I'm vegetarian. It's all animals to me. They look kind of alike and go in some kind of soupish thing, right? Clam chowder, oyster stew. You know.)
   Anyway, I was pretty excited when I found mini versions of those glow-in-the-dark dinosaur skeletons the kids had when they were little.
There were 6 different dinosaurs available. They come in packs of two. Each pack is only a dollar.
  When I put one of them together they weren't as small as I had hoped, (and they still don't hold together very well.). They're still pretty cool though.

The triceratop, Fuzzy's favourite. Those rib bones keep popping out. You might want to glue these things.
They ended up being sort of the scale for 18" dolls.

Samantha here is giving you and idea of the size. They would look cute on a shelf in a doll's room. They aren't actually very skeletally accurate. (I made that word up...) I think they would still look good in a very small doll sized museum. Maybe your American Girl wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Review of Journey Girls Kelsey Doll,a Few Updates, and a Big Annoucement (For me anyway...)

  A while back you may have seen that I had been trying to lose weight. That effort kind of got laid aside for a bit when I got sick in March,(And managed to actually GAIN weight while sick and not eating much for a whole week!). Since then I've been trying to maintain the 10 pounds I had managed to lose before I got sick. (Maybe the pills the doctor has just put me on to take care of a slow thyroid will help get me on track.)Since I have been fighting a nearly losing battle to lose weight and had requested that Ken not buy me a lot of candy for Easter, instead he bought me something I've been wanting for a while now: a Journey Girls doll.  

I love red haired dolls, so Kelsey was my choice.I think this is the third series of Journey Girls dolls. The previous series was Paris, and this one seems to be London. That makes this doll a fitting gift for me right now, for a reason I will tell you at the end of this review!
Apparently the Journey Girls have won a Best Toy award.

Her box is decorated with pictures of the other Journey Girls and their non-doll counter parts...

...and images of travel stamps, and pictures of Kelsey's destination.

My favourite place: London.

One side has a window so you can see more of the doll before you buy.
Her box was sealed with the usual tape.I cheated and sliced it instead of peeling it. I'm lazy.

The insert slid out easily.

Kelsey was held in her box by wire twist ties on her ankles,some elastic bands,a piece of plastic...

...and this strange thing:

I didn't realize what it was at first. It actually has claws in the front that had an elastic band on them that held her head in place.

The elastic was easily slipped off the 'claws', (It's off in the picture, but the claws are around her neck.) and she came out.All in all she was easy to remove from her insert and kids really wouldn't need more than minimal help, (If any.) to remove her.Here is Kelsey straight out of the box.

 The inside of her box is decorated with airline tickets and pictures of Big Ben, (Actually, 'Big Ben' is the name of the bell inside The Elizabeth Tower, the clock tower at the end of the Houses of Parliament.Over the years the name has come to include the clock tower as well.), and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.(Ok,why the Leaning Tower when the theme of this series of Journey Girls is London?)
Inside there is also a 'luggage tag' with a picture of the human version of Kelsey, and some information about her in three languages.

The human Kelsey doesn't look much like Doll Kelsey.

Here's how Kelsey's hair looked straight out of the box.

It had three elastic bands on it. The top one was twisted a couple of times, but the bottom two were just slipped on. In spite of that, when I  took them off they still brought a lot of hair with them.

That worried me a bit.I combed her hair after removing the rubber bands, and found that the bottom was very knotted and hard to comb through.
The hair is somewhat thinly rooted too.

This is pulled back a little, but you can tell it started out thin.
She lost a bit more hair when I tried to comb the knots out.

Why was it so knotted straight out of the box? This doesn't bode well for future hair play, does it? But otherwise her hair is nice and silky. It looks a little like oily hair though. But it's a great colour of dark auburn. Ivy's friend Lainey has this colour hair, and the more orange haired Ivy covets it.

She has non-blinking inset eyes with 'real' lashes. Her eyes are quite realistic. My only negative comment on her face would be that the colour of her eyebrows is a little strange.
Her head doesn't tilt up or down, but when her head is turned to the side it slightly tilts upward on the swivel.

Kelsey is wearing a comfy looking shirt with a crown on the front. The only thing I don't like is the slightly leathery look to the sleeve fabric.

The shirt closes in back with Velcro.

Her head band matches her skirt. It's attached to her head with a couple of those little plastic thingies.

It has elastic in the back to make it easy to take on and off.

The cute plaid skirt has an elastic waist.

A lot of the Kelseys in the store had problems with their pleats. They didn't seem to lay properly.
Her sheer looking tights are actually lined all the way inside, even the legs.

That will make them much longer lasting for play.It does give them a weird side seam though, that looks like they are lined only at the bottom half of the legs.

Her shoes are rubber slip ons, but the bows are real ribbon.

Under her tights she has plastic covering her feet.

That is a good thing, considering that the plastic has black stains on it. There aren't any stains on her legs, so it has to have come from the shoes and not the tights. Nice of them to put the plastic on her feet, but since they obviously know the shoes will stain the doll, why not do something about it instead? What if the owner wants to use the shoes without the tights? It's clear you aren't going to be able to without staining  the doll. 

Journey Girls have vinyl limbs and head, but they also have a vinyl chest plate, which makes them look nicer in V-necks or clothes with shoulder straps, than the cloth chested dolls like American Girl.
She has a fairly detailed and realistic looking clavicle.

But absolutely no behind.
This angle looks really strange.
She has the Journey Girls tag on her body.
'Geoffrey' is  Toys R Us' own brand.

She's jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips.Her arms and legs have some outward movement as well as up and down.

Her legs can be turned outward a little, which is necessary sometimes when balancing her for standing.

                                                       But she can stand on her own.

And sit fairly ladylike.

She has a beautiful face.

 She's very fair skinned, but anybody who thinks real people couldn't possibly be this pale hasn't met me and my kids.

This gives you a look at her ear.Not especially detailed, but it looks fine.
Today we are having temperatures in the low 40s. (That's Fahrenheit.) When I took these pictures last Friday it looked like Spring was actually here and deciding to stay. The daffodils were blooming...

...and the wild violets,

and the iris's and the peony bush are coming up.The garlic is VERY prolific.

That's not grass she's standing in. It's garlic.
 The amaryllis' were starting to bloom. I've since had to bring them back inside.

The lilacs will be blooming very soon, if they don't get frozen tonight.
I LOVE my lilacs! They smell wonderful!

 And here are some more pictures of the very photogenic Kelsey.

There are those leathery sleeves. They're soft, but somewhat shiny.
 That gorgeous face.

 These shots are nice...

...but they do have one drawback:
This is sideways, but you can see the problem. My own hair kept falling in the way. I really should tie it back before doing this stuff.
Her body seems nice and sturdy. That hair worries me though. It could definitely be improved on.Her clothes are nice quality and easy to take on and off. I don't like the staining aspect of the shoes. It would have been nice if her head could tilt, for more expression in her poses.
  And one more shot of beautiful Kelsey.

My baby tomatoes are growing like crazy.
These are the ones I left growing in the amaryllis pot.
These are growing from the method that I used on purpose this year, after it happened accidentally last year: I dropped a 'past it' tomato in a couple of my amaryllis pots at the end of last season and let nature take it's course.Some of the tomatoes started too early and died out, but this batch is doing really well, other than a few I moved to their own little egg carton. A few of those, which I moved to thin out the seedlings so they could keep growing,failed to take. I am notorious for my black thumb, so that's not really surprising.
   I also finally managed to find actual full blooded beefsteak tomato seeds at an Earth Fare grocery store. They're heirloom seeds. Up until now all I had been able to find were hybrid seeds for some kind of beefsteak crossover. I don't want any changed around, mutated seeds. I want REAL beefsteak tomatoes. So I'm hoping these will grow as well as my 'nature's course' tomatoes!
  My nose is healing nicely, although it's still a little sore and red and slightly puffy. The doctor says it will be that way for a while, but eventually the swelling will go away.My head is still tender too, but I got the stitches out today. Turns out, there were actually more than four in there. Probably more than 6. But the cyst was benign, so that's ok.
  I finally found a hat that didn't look quite as idiotic on me. That's a relief since I'm supposed to wear one all the time. This one is soft and squashy too, so I can take it places with me without having to worry that it will get messed up like a straw hat might. I was forced to borrow one of Fuzzy's hats to go to the flea market last Saturday, and the bill wasn't nearly big enough. It was one of those almost Andy Capp type hats, so there wasn't much bill at all. My nose and head were covered though, which was the most important stuff to cover right now.
  As for the reason London Kelsey is the perfect gift for me, here it is: My family is being given a tremendous gift. Regular readers may know that my husband Ken is from England. He celebrated his 21st birthday over here, and hasn't been back since. I've been there twice since he's been home. (Both times were before I met him, even though most people assume I got him while I was over there. Weird, huh? For that story, go HERE.) He's now 52, so that's been a LONG time. One of Ken's sisters was going to bring the other two over with her and come to visit. When they couldn't get their schedules in sync Ken's oldest sister had another idea: Bring Ken over instead! I was thrilled when she suggested the idea because I knew Ken would LOVE to go home. We have always wanted to, but it was just never in the budget, especially after we had kids to include in the trip too. I thought the offer was for only Ken to come, so when the sister's called back when Ken was home and I found out that I was going to be included too I was shocked. How could we be so lucky?! Ken has always wanted to show the kids where he grew up, and Emma has always wanted to go  to England. I suggested I would tell Emma and maybe she would want to come along. Ken's sister said she couldn't bring three of us over, and I assured her I meant Emma would pay for herself. We also were going to try to get enough money together to bring Ivy too. (As I figured, Fuzz didn't want to go.) A couple of texts later we were told that Ken's sister was going to bring all four of us over! Ken can't stop talking about it and making plans. Emma has been making sure we get the things done we need to do, like getting our passports sent for and getting appropriate luggage. (Ken's old luggage is too heavy, and nobody thinks I should use my nylon bags.) Most of our time will be spent with family, but we wanted to let the girls see a bit of London, so we added a few more days to the trip. Ivy can't think of anything specific she wants to see, just 'stuff', but the rest of us have plans.Emma insists that I go stand on the Greenwich Meridian, since I have always said that I regret having lived right across the street from Greenwich Park for three months and never got around to it. Ken is making a mental list of all the foods he wants to eat while he's there, or bring home with him. It will eventually become a paper list. We've been trying to arrange getting together with some friends while we're there.Ken hasn't seen his best friend Robert for 31 years! Robert lives in the south, but is prepared to travel north to Ken's sister's area if he has to. That's a good friend. Not to short my friend Cheryl. She's coming to London from where she lives to meet us, but it's a much shorter trip than Robert going all the way to Yorkshire.
  Anyway, we're all thrilled and excited. I'll take lots of pictures and hopefully I can do some posts on dolls available there when I get home. Maybe I'll even buy something...