Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Disney Fairytale Designer Collection: Heroes vs Villains... Amazing Dolls!

  As you might have read here, we visited The Disney Store on our anniversary on the 16th. I saw the most amazing bunch of dolls while we were there. They're the new Fairytale Designer Heroes vs Villains sets. They follow the couples sets, the princesses, and the villains.They are totally unobtainable for me, and since they are so limited,(They are limited to 6000 sets of each type,worldwide.) to most other people too. But they are so amazing. If you get a chance, go to a Disney Store so you can see them in person. (They have examples at the store, but they aren't for sale in the regular way.A different set is available every Tuesday for the next few weeks. You have to go to the Disney Store and get a ticket which then allows you to have a chance to buy a set. Each store has 'no fewer than 8 sets' to sell.)They are available on the Disney Store site the following day.) The first set, which is actually called 'Snow White and Hag', was released to Disney Stores yesterday, and is still available on the Disney Store website now. You can check it out HERE. There are a bunch of other items with artwork to match the dolls.
 I thought the prices might go completely out of control on the secondary market, but I had a look at what the original series, the  Princess couples, were going for. Some of them have sold for semi reasonable prices recently. Looks like they're going up now that the villains have been released though. Beware: the new set is selling for crazy prices on Ebay, but is STILL AVAILABLE ON THE DISNEY STORE SITE FOR $129.
  These dolls are really wonderful. They seem to have the same articulated bodies as the classic dolls. (I hope they have something better than the rubbery bow legs those dolls have though.) The face paint is much more detailed and artistic, the females have rooted eyelashes,and the clothes are definitely more detailed and made with quality fabrics.
  My favourites were Peter Pan and Hook, (There's even a tiny Tinkerbell.), and Rapunzel and Mother Gothel.

The Snow White set is very nice too.

I didn't like the Little Mermaid set or the Frozen set. The dolls faces were painted with pearlized paint and looked weird.

I loved the Peter Pan though. I'd love to have him!

If you're at all into Disney, make sure you see these dolls in person.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Yard Sale Find: Vogue Ginny or Not?

    It was a dark day today, so these pictures aren't my best. But I mentioned recently that I have made some good yard sale finds. Well here's one of them.

  This little doll. She's about 8" tall, and she's what's known as a 'walker'. When her legs are moved back and forth in a walking motion her head turns from side to side. She works well.
  I'm hoping somebody out there can help me with a positive identification on this girl. She looks like a Ginny, but is she a  real Ginny, or one of the many Ginny wanna be dolls? Before you suggest it, I can't check the back of her head because the wig she's wearing is glued down too far to see the back of her head. (That's another question: Is this wig her original?)

 No markings on her back either.

Pardon the nudity, but it's not gratuitous. I'm hoping someone can identify her by her body mold.

 Her fingers are a bit distinctive.
She has dark blue sleep eyes with hard, molded lashes.

 She needs her lips retouched.
She's wearing a tagged Vogue outfit, which is a Ginny outfit. Update: The outfit is a Ginny outfit from 1956, called Gym Kids. The hat is part of it. I was only missing the pink socks and black shoes.

The outfit has such a cute shirt...

...and a matching pair of what we used to call 'pedal pushers'.

The shoes are obviously modern.
I couldn't get the shoes off.There are molded shoes on her feet,so she's not a Ginny.
My favourite part of the outfit though is the hat! It's a cute little pink beanie with an elastic chin strap.

I got this doll at the same place where Emma and I made an awesome yard sale haul a few years ago. You may have read about it in one of my previous posts: HERE.
  Although I do love the outfit on this doll,I'm not much into Ginny dolls. What I really liked was the other thing in the box with her:

This Barbie patio set is from 1998. I have found  a chair and cushion before, but not the whole set. I'd never seen the table before.

  There was also a light up garden arch.

Unfortunately the arch is a weird scale. It's way too big for 1/12 scale, and, at about 10 inches tall, not quite tall enough for 1/6 scale.  If it weren't made with an attached base I could figure out a way to make it just that little bit taller. There was a Barbie sister Stacie bicycle too.
  So while I'll probably be getting rid of the doll, I'm keeping the furniture.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Happy Anniversary to Us, A Girl For All Time, and More Stuff

  Wednesday Ken and I had our 26th anniversary.

Ken and I a couple of months before we were married, 26 years ago. Please ignore my sunburned nose. We had just spent a lot of time in the sun, taking Cheryl all over Ohio and Canada, when she visited from England in 1989.
(You may have read the story of how Ken and I became a couple when I posted on our anniversary a couple of years ago.)We spent some time out with Emma while Ivy was in school, and had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. ( Garlic Mozzarella bread and avocado egg rolls!). We also stopped at the Disney Store on the way home. I found these goodies on clearance:

  I love the faces and the colouring on the Tinkerbelle and friends. 

  We intended to have dinner with Ivy, Fuzz, and Fuzz's girlfriend, but only Ivy ended up being able to come with us. I was still fairly full from lunch, but eating is Ken's thing, so we had dinner out, with Ivy, at a local restaurant. I brought home part of my eggplant parmesan and spaghetti.
  As I said in my post the other day, I finally broke down and ordered an A Girl For All Time Clementine doll. Well she arrived the other day, so I'll be posting my review of her soon. I also made some interesting yard sale finds this week, and I'll be showing you some of those.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

...In Which I am Nominated For a Liebster Award

  First off, welcome to our newest follower, jSarie. Thanks for joining us! You can check out jSarie's blogs Revenge of the Toy Box and Project Evil Bunny, (I love this one! Simple, but funny.)
  Well, thanks to The Dorky Doll Collector for nominating me for a Liebster Award. I wasn't sure what a Liebster Award is, so I looked it up. It's supposed to be for new blogs, so I'm not sure I qualify, since I've been at this for a couple of years.But thanks Dorky! I've never been nominated for anything, so that's pretty cool.
  Apparently I'm supposed to give 11 random facts about myself. Here goes. Some of these will probably be pretty random indeed!
 1. I am actually only 5 feet tall.
 2. I'm something of a grammar Nazi.
 3. I married my first date.
 4.I'm extremely sentimental.
 5. For years I wanted to be an actress.
 6. I love old things: furniture, movies,clothes, houses. Pretty much pre-1950's.
 7. My favourite era is the 1930's.
 8. I never sewed until I had kids and had to make doll clothes and Halloween costumes. I was nearly 30!
 9. I can NOT learn to crochet, in spite of being taught several times and repeatedly watching a DVD! My brain just doesn't work that way.
 10. I am a big nerd who loves Cryptozoology, ancient Egypt, and anything that could be featured on "History's Mysteries".
 11. I once made my kids a goofy movie starring their favourite dolls. (I was the only person other than them who was allowed to do their dolls voices!).

I'm also supposed to answer these questions:

1. What is the one doll or toy related item that you dream of owning one day?
Probably an amazing dollhouse with real glass windows and a closing front to keep the cat out!
2. Anime, Yay or Nay?
Not really. Sorry: nay really...
3. Favorite candy?
Hmmm. So much candy, so little time... I love Russell Stover Roman nougat and Molasses chews. Those are probably my top favourites.
4. What would your dream job be?
Another hard one. I like writing, and wanted to be an author for years. I still write occasionally, (Other than this blog.), and it would be nice to get something published someday.These days I think being my own boss, making things, like I do, is pretty much my currant dream job. I also like my other job, which is searching out cool vintage items. I envy the guys on American Pickers! I have almost come to retirement on my real dream job though, which was raising children. It's a hard job to do well, but was something I always wanted to do, and I feel lucky that I got to do it.
5. What is your current favorite movie or TV show?
   I don't watch alot of TV these days. There isn't anything currently showing that I can't live without. I do enjoy American Pickers though, and historical documentaries. (Pretty boring, huh?)
6. What is your favorite doll or toy related item that you currently own?
   My childhood possessions have to be my favourites. If my house caught fire I'd grab birth certificates,photographs,my animals,and Pixie Brennan!
7. Have you ever cried during a movie or TV show that is mainly targeted at children?
   How much time have you got?! I cry at everything. The Muppet Movie, Dumbo, The Wizard of Oz. You name it. The Brave Little Toaster? Ahhhh!!
8. What is your favorite holiday?
   Christmas. I love buying presents and decorating.I love getting somebody something really special that you know they'll love.
9. What is your favorite season?
   Fall. I love cool weather and wind.
10. Are you calm and collected, or happy and excitable?
   Depends on the moment.
11. Is there someone that you currently look up to almost as an idol?
   Not really.
   I'm also supposed to nominate another 11 people! I don't think I know of 11 newer blogs! This thing is like the pyramid scheme of blog awards! I'll have to think about this one.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sale at A Girl for All Time and Clearance on Madame Alexander Travel Friends

  Just a quick note to let everyone know that A Girl For All Time is having a 20% off sale on their website. This sale ends TONIGHT (Monday, 14 September) at midnight. I'm not sure what time zone they use, so you might want to check on that. Use the discount code HappyBirthday4, and make sure you pick the page that applies to you. (US shop or UK shop.) You can go to their website HERE. They also have a 15% discount if you sign up for their newsletter, but note that you CAN NOT use BOTH discounts. So make sure you use the bigger one. You may have read my recent posts explaining how I fell in love with Clementine in England but found she was cheaper to buy from the A Girl For All Time website than from a shop in England.

Well, with this new discount, I broke down and bought her, as sort of a gift from my dad, who passed away last year. I'll share her with you when she arrives!

  Also, for those of you who have been wanting a Madame Alexander Travel Friends doll, (You can see my review of the India doll HERE.) Toys R Us has them clearanced.

They didn't seem to be any cheaper than they were when I bought mine, (They are about $10), but it does mean they won't be having them any more, and they are way more expensive even on the Madame Alexander site. Maybe Toys R Us is just going to get a new series of these very pretty dolls, with jointed knees and elbows!

Friday, September 11, 2015

What I Did on My Summer Vacation: England Day 8: York, The Miniature Scene of York, Mary Shortle Doll Shop,and the York Minster

  To start off, I have to welcome our newest follower, The Dorky Doll Collector. Welcome! 'Dorky' is only 14 years old and has a brand new doll blog you can check out HERE. It's looking good so far 'Dorky'!
   I have been really busy the last week or so. Last Sunday I was the main photographer for Emma's best friend's wedding, with Fuzzy and Ken sharing secondary photographer responsibilities, and Ivy as back up videographer. I was so nervous about it, because I was going to be responsible for Felicia and Jeff's main wedding pictures. I was so worried that if I screwed things up they would have lousy pictures. My head was swimming for weeks before the day.
  I don't think they would mind if I showed you a little of my work.

I have been asked to make sure everybody knows that the Groomsman just bought this truck, and the bumper stickers are not his own! That's Emma peeking out from between the Best Man and the Groom, on the right.

Batman high tops for the bride!

Emma is the Maid of Honour, in purple.Check out those shoes. They all,including the bride, wore Batman themed Converse high tops. Batman is the groom's thing.He and the groomsmen had Marvel comics themed bow ties. The bride loves Disney and Harry Potter. She made the bouquets herself, out of Harry Potter book pages, and decorated the flowers with Potter and Disney pins, jeweled pins, jeweled initial pins for each bridesmaid,and the handles each had metal Potter bookmarks of the different houses of Hogwarts.
 Since the wedding I have been busy going through the thousands of pictures we took and editing them for the happy couple. I also got a couple of hundred vacation photos ready for printing before the sale ended on Shutterfly. I was going on so little sleep that I was actually pretty sick a couple of days ago. I've caught back up a bit now and I'm feeling better. I am, however, still getting over poison ivy. I think I got it last week, pulling up weeds around the yard. It took it's time in showing up, as it usually does on me. Fortunately it isn't that bad. I have it between two fingers on my right hand, and on one knuckle of the other hand, and in my eye! The fingers on one hand have dried up now, and my eye is better than yesterday. It's the progressively enlarging blisters on my knuckle that I fear! 
  I have been anxious to get to this day of our trip to England. We visited York, where I sought out the miniature shop. But I'll get to that...
  The trip to York was a 'park and ride' trip. We drove closer to York, and then parked and took a bus into York, because of the problems of parking there.
Emma,Ivy, Ken's sister Marjorie, who treated us to the trip, me, and Marjorie's husband Cliff. We parked here to ride...
...this. We're in the back with Ken's sister Gloria, in white, on the right, and her husband beside her.Marjorie and Cliff in front of them. We do not know the guy in front who is picking his nose.

York is a very old city. It was founded by the Romans in 71 AD. Now that's old. In America, if something is 100 years old we say, "Wow! That's old!" But York is really OLD.

Constantine the Great was proclaimed Roman emperor in York in AD 306, in case you're having trouble reading the plinth.

The narrow streets of The Shambles,York. At certain points the houses lean close enough together that the inhabitants can lean out the upper floor windows and shake hands.That's Gloria and husband in the center of the picture. Emma, and me, front right corner.

   York is full of  buildings like this half timbered Tudor era house. Notice how it sags in the middle!

 It was a nice cool day, and York was very busy.

Ivy and Emma.
York is home to the beautiful York Minster.
There are some fantastic figures carved on the outside of the Minster, which is the second largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

The first church was built on this site in 627. The Minster, which is actually called the 'Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York', was built over 250 years, between 1220 and 1472. It was designed to be the greatest cathedral in the kingdom, and is still considered to be one of the finest Medieval buildings in Europe.
Ken was willing to go to any extreme for a good shot of this beautiful structure.

And we enjoyed watching him photograph it. Marjorie couldn't believe Ken was laying there to get a good shot, but hey, it's what photographers do sometimes.

What we didn't realize is that he was also photographing us.

The inside of the Minster is pretty awe inspiring too.

These days the upkeep of the Minster is subsidized by the fee charged to tour it. The last time I was there it was donation only. I guess that didn't bring in enough money. The crypts have wonderful statuary and carvings, but we didn't pay to see them. 

Seems like the Minster is always under repair. The first time I saw it was less than a year after the July, 1984 fire that destroyed a large part of the roof, (and caused 2.25 million pounds worth of damage!), and it was still being repaired. You wouldn't think that a building that's mostly stone would be so susceptible to fire, but the roof is made with wooden timbers. When it burned in 1984 it was rebuilt with timbers, in the original design. They wanted to keep things as original as possible, but there was one concession: parts of the new structure would be coated with fire retardant plaster.
Two ancient structures: The Minster, and me.
Keeping an ancient structure like The Minster in shape is a constant job.They have a permanent workshop on the grounds. Cliff told me that an artisan can start an apprenticeship at the Minster and work there until they retire. There's that much steady work.
Stone masons were carving while we watched.

From the Minster we looked around the streets of York. Ken caught me nipping into a toy shop. I was not allowed to take pictures though. I tried!

The little square had some performers working. 

As we went through York, with all of it's chocolate shops, it occurred to me that the ideal gift for my chocolate loving best friend Lori would be some of the artisan chocolates sold in York. British chocolate is wonderful. Maybe not as sweet as American chocolate,but it makes up for it with a higher milk content and a wonderful creamy texture and flavour.When I found chocolate horse heads I knew this was the right gift for Lori, who also loves horses! And what did she think of them? "Actually, I prefer a Hershey's bar." Whaaaa?!
  But the shop where I bought the horse heads had something else I also couldn't pass up...

   You are kidding me! Bakewell Tart ice cream! By the way, I can explain those dirty finger nails. We just got back from London the night before. The whole time we were in London I could NOT get my finger nails clean. As soon as we got there they got black underneath and in spite of repeated washings and cleaning under the nails, I could not get them clean. This is the stain that was left!

Emma wanted to get high tea while she was in England, (That is, lunch and dessert. 'Cream tea' is just tea and desserts. 'Tea' is dinner,at least in the North.), so she and Ivy stopped at this tea room.

And so as not to waste everyone's time, while the girls were having high tea, I sought out a miniature shop I had read about, The Miniature Scene of York.
It was a short walk from that square where the street performers were plying their trade.

It's a small shop, but they have a lot of wonderful goodies. All that time I was being good and saving my money? It all went astray here! 

  The shop is owned by a very nice man, Graham Barlow, who was working at the shop that day, and his wife, Lynda. They moved a while back, and are now at this address:

I promised Graham I'd email him when I got to the blog post he'd be in, so he could read it.

 As well as mass produced things, they also carry a selection of hand made items. Lynda  makes some of the hand made items, and Graham makes some others. They also carry items made by other artists.

  This was one of my favourite things! I really wanted it. It was made by a local artisan.

A tiny set of chisels in a wooden box. I LOVE it! Of the things I didn't buy I love this the most. It was too expensive for me though. And that thing behind it? It's one of those old fashioned water heaters the English used to have over the kitchen sink, or bathroom too I guess.

 But I did buy this. It's a radiator.

I also got this set of silverware.
  This case had some wonderful things. Look at that baby carriage on the bottom shelf!

This carriage is amazing. Keep in mind this is 1/12 scale! This was another favourite of mine!

I thought this jointed porcelain doll would be too expensive, but when I saw that it was only 6 pounds 95 I had to have it.
It's only about 2" tall.

I nearly bought one of the mail boxes on the top shelf. And look at that beautiful wardrobe on the middle of the top shelf.

 They even had some of the same things I make.

Like these ink wells with quill 'pens'...

...and these eye glasses and magnifying glasses. Graham made all these things himself.

See the umbrella stand with the walking stick in it? Graham gave me that when I ended up buying so much stuff.

The round racks had small goodies like these...

This is the cool working door knocker I bought.

And I got these tiny brass buttons that really have holes for the thread.To show you exactly how small they are, here they are with that 2" doll.

There was also a selection of hair for doll making on those racks. I bought several shades of red hair, my favourite.
This rack was loaded with rugs and house making parts.

This whole wall had house making supplies. I nearly bought some of that 'wrought iron' fencing and a gate.

This was probably my favourite case. I loved the kitchen scene on the right of the 5th shelf down.

This kitchen scene.

I resisted the bread oven door and flue because I thought I could make those if I really had to, but I did buy two different firebacks and a couple of sets of andirons. 

I preferred the last one, but look at this kitchen. I love the light up pot bellied stove and the spit and logs on the left!

Since I had the beginnings of that kitchen I couldn't resist this real working door latch and set of hinges!

This case was full of people.

There were some things to fill a witch or wizards lair.
Electric candles! How cool are those?!
And I loved  these cats too.
 I only spotted them t the last minute. If I hadn't spent every last pence and gone back for more I would have bought one.

  I even bought something for Emma. You should have seen her face when I told her I had. It was the "Eww. What could I possibly have wanted from a miniature shop?!" face. I got quite a different reaction when she saw it though. She loved it.
Emma is a huge fan of The Monkees. I got her the Davy Jones gold record.
 I ran out of money and had to go down the street to the pub where Ken and the rest were waiting on the girls, and me, to retrieve more. When I came back to finish paying, I noticed this...
Graham kindly gifted me with it so I didn't have to make another trip to the pub!
Graham was so nice. He allowed me to take all the pictures I wanted, and even posed with Tammy World.
Now there's a guy that's a good sport.

We talked about different ways of  making some of the things we both make, and shared methods and ideas. As I told him,I wish I had known ahead of time we were going to have that discussion. I would have brought Graham some Triple Thick Glaze, like I use.
In the end Ken was, uh, disturbed by the amount I spent. To be fair, part of the money was spent on supplies for making things to sell, so that doesn't count. Also, the only other big splurge I spent, (Besides those books...) was on things to sell and use in making things to sell. (With some for me...) Ken spent way more than I spent, on candy. Now what is he going to have to show for that?!

Anyway, if you visit York, pop in to check out the shop. Or check it out online.

Here's how I found Ken when I went to get more money:

It was a beautiful old pub. The sisters and spouses were all taking a break here and insisted that I get a drink.

I got a rose flavoured fizzy drink. I didn't care for it, but I knew Emma would, so I saved most of it for her. As it turned out, she loved it, and bought it several other times while we were in England.

  When the girls met up with us at the pub, Emma got my rose drink, but Ivy brought Ken an eclair from the tea shop. Ken is  always going on about how he wants an eclair with real cream inside, but they don't make them that way here. This one had real cream. It was pretty awesome,even if it did look nasty from being squashed in Ivy's shopping. 

After we finished our drinks we walked back into York's busier part, where we had come from. I spotted this shop.

Apparently there are two shops in Leeds and this one at 9 Lord Mayor's Walk, in York. You can check out their webpage HERE.

Hmm, looks promising.

                          I loved this little guy. I would have given him button shoes though, not saddle shoes.

He's beautiful!

Lots of bears inside.

New stuff, and old.

A real 'skin horse', like in The Velveteen Rabbit.

A case with dollhouse things.

 I liked this girl.She's made of wood.

She's made by Elisabeth Pongratz.

So were some of these.

 I really liked this girl, (Her eyes look freaky here, but it's just the light.), but she was bisque. Eww. I hate the feel of bisque. If she had been made of wood too I might have considered making her my splurge.

They had some Kidz N Cats dolls.

And lots of babies.

                                                              LOTS of babies

Loads of little dollhouse people.

But the prices were too high for me.

  We walked on back toward the park and ride bus stop.

Ken photographed this sign. Keeeen?!
What are you trying to say?

  After we retrieved the van we drove to this restaurant, where we ate dinner. Actually, it was lunch for me, since I was the only one who didn't get to eat in York. (Except for my Bakewell Tart ice cream.)

This delicious cheese and apple thingy was supposed to be an appetizer.

It sounded so good I ordered it and a meal, thinking the girls would try it with me so I wouldn't be eating so much. Unfortunately they would only eat one bite. I was pretty full before my meal came.

This was my meal: roast potatoes salad, and a vegetable pie.

  I think Ken had to finish it for me. We've been home for weeks now, and I am still craving those English potatoes and some kind of veg pie, which I am not good at making. 

  Back at Gloria's that night, the girls and Ken looked through Ken's mother's things and family mementos. The girls never met their grandmothers, so it was a chance for them to sort of get to know one of them a bit, and a chance for Ken to bring back some memories.
  More of the trip to come in the next post.