Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Francie & Casey House Mate Case

  Not too long ago I posted about Dawn's Apartment by Topper. I happened to find the pictures of some things I don't have any more on our old computer. Some of them were kind of hard to find, so I thought some of you might like to see the pictures. One of the other things I found pictures of was this Francie and Casey House Mate case from 1966.

It's a house and carrying case. The closure is up there on the roof.

There's a kitchen. Well, a picture of a kitchen.
You can only see the 'kitchen' when you fold down the pink bed. There should be a fold out table or something in the alcove on the left, where the orange thing is, near the floor.
The bed is that thin vacuform plastic and is often broken. It originally had a zebra print cover on it.

When the bed is folded up there is a vanity with a mirror on the other side. It's a Murphy bed I guess.
There is also a Francie &  Casey Studio House, which has two beds.


But it's one of the harder cases to find and the outside graphics are great. So there you are, A little eye candy for Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

My Christmas List for 2016

  While I started off ahead of things this Christmas season, I have ended up falling behind. I have all my shopping wrapped, but there are still a few things I need to buy. I have been working hard on getting rid of alot of things, and so hadn't devoted time to getting a space cleared for a Christmas tree, until just the other day. For the past several years there has been less and less interest around here in having a tree. When I could roust everybody out the door to buy one,there was nothing but arguing getting it in the house. Then nobody wanted to help decorate it. All Ken and Ivy were interested in was the lights, and no matter how many strings we put on, it was never enough to satisfy Ken, who insists no ornaments can be hung until all the lights are in place. That meant the decorating couldn't start until Ken approved the amount of lights, which he never does. I eventually have to just start hanging ornaments, and listen to Ken gripe that there aren't enough lights, all the way up to Christmas. Ken and Ivy normally hang a half dozen ornaments and leave the rest of the job to me,but this year Iwas on myown with the decorating. The angel has always been Emma's job. She doesn't live with us anymore, so for the last few years she only managed to get over and put the angel on right before Christmas. Until then, we were bare topped. This year she lives in another town, so that means no angel until Christmas,but she'd be very hurt if we did it any other way. And then there's the traditional 'nobody wants to undecorate the tree' too, followed by, 'nobody wants to help me take it out after Christmas either'.
  This year Ivy kept asking "Do we have to have a tree?" Her vote was for some abstract version of a tree, like a huge cone or something. Number one,no. And number two,NO! I'm far too traditional for that!  
  I enjoy seeing my ornaments every year, and going over all the things the kids made over the years. remembering where each ornament came from. (My sentimental linking of Christmas ornaments to family, friends, events, and places is something few have ever seemed to have 'gotten'. Over the years the fact that an ornament from somebody was a special gift never seemed to sink in.)Sine I had to decorate the tree by myself this year I started with the most sentimental things and ran out of room. So it's covered only with things the kids made, things my niece made when she was little, a couple I made in second grade, one I've had since childhood,and special ornaments that were gifts from relatives and friends over the years,plus one Elf on the Shelf type guy that came with the house.He's been a part of the festivities in this house for longer than we have, so he went up. I am still hoping to get out my elves given to me by my cousin, and my dad, and the ones I bought on vacation as a kid.I have a miniature stocking my mom gave me one year, and one ornament 'from' my dad. Dad wasn't much of a shopper and usually gave me money once I became a teenager.Christmas eve a few years ago we were visiting Dad in the nursing home, and he opened the gift given to him by the nursing home Santa. There was a shiny red snowflake gift tag with a ribbon on it, and Dad handed it to me and said,"You can have that." So I chose to consider it my Christmas gift from Dad, since he couldn't give me one any other way. It makes a pretty ornament and keeps Dad part of my Christmas. It was the last gift he gave me.
   And now I present:
        My Christmas List for 2016
  This list is partially for Ken's benefit, so he knows what I want,so some of it may not interest you. Case in point, we'll start with the non doll items:

The 2 disc special edition Blu Ray version of Ron Howard's Beatles touring documentary Eight days A Week. I missed it at the theatre and didn't want to pay to see it on Hulu when that's just watching it on tv any way. I held out to have the money spent on the BluRay.
  And then there's:
The live album of the Kate Bush concerts that I, and most of the world, missed a couple of years ago. I would have preferred the vinyl version, but it's twice as much as the CD. Now if she would just put out a DVD!
  Next comes this Charles Dickens biography:
I am sure to get this, because I put it in the cart, and it's been in the bedroom for months.
  I still don't have this 2014 album:
I would prefer it on vinyl too, and brand new vinyl versions are still fairly reasonable.
  I still need the series "Frasier" on DVD.

It's one of my favourites, and it won't be on Netflix forever!
  I haven't gotten a chance to read the Johannes Cabal book I got for Christmas last year, but I'm working on it. At least I started it!And when I finish it I will need:
and...
One of these is actually the first book, so that would be nice...
   I've been going easy on play line dolls the past year. They're affordable, and there are several I like, but I never actually buy them. Recently I've seen a couple of Project Mc2 dolls I like from the latest line. My favourite is this version of Ember:

 There is another Ember at the moment, but this one is more jointed and the other isn't nearly as pretty as this one. That's a shame, because she's much cheaper than this one, and I don't really need Garden Ember's experiment.
  I also like I also like the Disney Store exclusive mini Merida.
She's a tiny version of the Animator's Collection toddler dolls I love! She's even on sale right now for $15.99.You can buy her HERE.
  Another doll I really like is Marinette from Miraculous. I like both versions,(One has a lady bug costume on.), but I prefer this one:


 I first saw her at Target, but she's everywhere now.
  Now for the out of the question doll wishes. These are pretty much just fantasy things, but I put them on here anyway.
I still love Diana Effner dolls, and this Maru and Friends Savannah doll is on my list of wants. I was very pleased with my Maru doll. the quality and beauty of these dolls is wonderful. But Savannah has red hair! Maru and Friends dolls are available at the shop in Florida and online at Maru and Friends.
  Another beautiful Effner doll on my list is the unattainable Little Darlings dolls, like this one:

I am willing to settle for one of the smaller, cheaper, but similar, Heartstrings dolls. I especially like this one:
This is Simply Jackie.Heartstrings doll are only available online from Jo's Doll Shoppe.   I would have preferred the little boy that looks just like her, but they seem to be out of him.
  I also still want a Garden Patience from Tonner.

I have a Prom Patience, and she's nice. However, she doesn't have any decent clothes, because I bought her nude, and she has dark hair. Beautiful Garden Patience is a red head,and also wigged, so she can be whatever you feel like at the moment. She is also from a few years ago and now is VERY expensive. The Patience line disappeared for a while, and Tonner brought her out again this year. I was disappointed that none of the new dolls were red heads though. They did put out a red wig for Patience.
Another doll still on my want list is Raggedy Riley by Helen Kish.

She's from several years ago, and,as with Garden Patience, out of my price range. 
Continuing on the older dolls that are out of my price range but they are on my fantasy list, there's Creamsicle Lark, also by Helen Kish.

There are several Lark's, but this is my favourite, except maybe for:
 ...the equally unattainable Lark of the High Seas.
  I have an Agnes Dreary, but I still need a Viktor Dreary to go with her. There are several Viktor's. This one is just plain old Viktor Dreary.



And there is this one:
This one is Little Mister Melancholy.
And this more unusual one:
He's not called Odd One Out for nothing.
The only one I don't really care for is this one:
They named this guy right: Hide and Go Creep.
But these all came out ages ago and the Agnes line has been discontinued. They're out there though.
  And those are my big wants for the year. Have a happy holiday season everybody!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Tale of Autumn and Dawn's Apartment

  Here we are in the last week of December already! The year has passed so quickly. I missed my usual battle with the leaf sucker truck this year. I started raking my leaves and the rake wore all the skin off my thumb! By the time my thumb was better and I could rake again and had a chance, almost all the leaves had blown away. (We had a very windy Autumn!) I should have raked that narrow strip of wind tunnel I call a side yard, but it wasn't that bad when I had raked the front yard. Then I totally forgot about it, and by the time I got the chance to get out there again It was past leaf sucker season. I'll just have to rake up the side yard and leave it in the cans for the yard waste people in the Spring.
  In spite of my raking fail I am ahead of most things this Christmas season. (I celebrate Christmas, so that's the season it is to me. You're welcome to call it whatever it is to you, and I am not offended.) I had almost all my shopping done and everything I had wrapped before December began. I have never been that far ahead. However, I haven't got my tree up yet! Hopefully this week at some point.
  This weekend Ivy and Emma and I are going to the Holiday do at Malabar Farm. Malabar Farm was the home of writer,conservationist, and farmer Louis Bromfield, and is still exactly as it was when the family lived there in the 1950's. For the holidays the farm house is decorated with 1940's and 50's Christmas decorations, and you can wander through on a self tour and enjoy cookies and hot cider. I love that place. It's just like going back in time.I could move in now and live there.
  The other night I was trying to rescue some pictures off our old computer, and I found some pictures of things that I don't have any more. A couple of them were things you don't see very often, so I thought I'd give you a look at them.
   The first one is Topper's Dawn's Apartment.
I borrowed this picture of the box, and the ones of boxed sets below from the internet so I could show you. I will be pleased to remove them if asked.

  Here's the set I used to have...
 It was made for Topper by Amsco, specifically for Topper's Dawn doll, but to be honest, it's way too big for Dawn and friends.

There's a reason for that though.Topper was either lazy, or too cheap to design Dawn a set of her own...


  ...because this is just Penny Brite's stuff in a different colour!



   Penny was also produced by Topper/Deluxe Reading, but while Penny was 8" tall, Dawn only made it as far as 6 1/2" tall. Plus Penny was a completely different scale, so she was quite a bit heftier than Dawn. Dawn was just too tiny not to look awkward with this stuff.

I have seen pictures of Dawn and friends sitting on these chairs. Their feet don't come anywhere near the floor and the chairs are way too wide for them.

The set is made of thin cheap looking plastic. Still, it has held up all these years.

That kettle could hold about half of Dawn's body.



And Dawn is only about half as long as this bed. I guess that would be ok if she were supposed to be a kid, but she's not. On the other hand, Penny is supposed to be a kid, and the bed fits her. (But then Penny runs a hair salon and drives a car. Topper was just playing with our minds!) 

I'm hoping Dawn was at least tall enough to see herself in that mirror. As you can see from the edge of the bed, the furniture parts came on one of those plastic frames and had to be snapped off and put together. The little holes on the vanity are for the lamps, which are missing.




I bought this set pretty cheaply because the person selling it didn't know what it was and had it generically labelled. When I bought it I thought it was the Penny Brite one. I had only seen the real Penny one, and I assumed it came in various colours. Much later I found out what it was. By then, I also had passed it on to someone else and mislabeled it! So I'm paying the world back by educating you guys now.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Unexpected Benefits of Blogging

  I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving here in the United States had a great holiday. Ours was spent feeling ill, but we had all of our kids here,and that's the most important thing.
  One of the great things about doing a blog like this is that sometimes you get the chance to do a good deed and unite people with something they've been looking for. You may have read my post on the lady who found a replacement for her favourite childhood doll here on the blog.

(If not, you can read her story HERE.)
   Recently comments were left on my post on Ivy Cottage dolls Ruby Buttons and Violet Pickles by a couple of people wanting to buy Ruby and Violet dolls, and someone who had a pair of the dolls to sell.

 I was able to get them all together, and if any of them are reading this, I'd love to know how things worked out.
  Once in a while I get offers of dolls too.Usually somebody offers me more of what I already have. I got lucky a few weeks ago though. A guy who read my post on Beatles dolls and figures in which I mentioned wishing that instead of having just a couple of the Beatles cartoon figures, I had the whole set. He messaged to say that he had the boxed set.He was looking to downsize and get rid of a few things. It had been a gift, and he wasn't concerned about making big money on it. He just wanted to pass it along to someone who would appreciate it.

Well I appreciated it! The whole set! Up till now all I had were Ringo, found in a clearance aisle, and Paul, found at a yard sale.
  My husband, Ken, has always complained that I am too trusting. I was about to  offer to send the Beatles guy a check when I heard Ken in my head saying, 'This guy might be pulling a con and not even have the set.' I was worried about offending Mr. Beatles, but I asked him for a picture of the set  with a certain specific addition to make sure it was his picture and not one stolen from the internet. Luckily he completely understood and wasn't offended. He sent the picture, and also suggested that he would trust me, so I didn't have to trust him. He would send the set and I didn't have to pay him until it arrived. That had to be sincere! The set arrived, as  perfect as could be.

He had actually not even asked for enough shipping! It was packed with bubble wrap and four super soft plush border collies. The dogs were advertising items from the place he works. Coincidentally, Ken collects advertising items, my friend Lori loves dogs, and Fuzzy's girlfriend Shanna loves soft floppy plush toys. So the doggies have found homes already. I immediately sent a check for just over the amount he asked for, to cover that extra few cents shipping plus a few cents. It all turned out really well for both of us!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Sweater Season!

  Inspired by Vanessa's post about the sale on doll sized sweater ornaments from Christopher &  Banks, I actually went to a Christopher & Banks the other day to check them out.I was hoping to save myself the postage of ordering them online. Of course it had to be the next to last store at the far end of the mall, and upstairs too. Of course, it's not like I don't need the exercise.
   I was surprised that the display of them was so small: just one tiny little display tree on a table. I was very pleased with the quality though. Most doll sized sweater ornaments are rather stiff, with arms that stick straight out when they aren't on a doll, and bunch up in stiffish folds when they are. These sweaters were super soft and the arms actually hung down like sweater arms should. The weave wasn't so out of proportion, like most are, either. Most of the 5 styles were properly proportionate in the body as well. The blue sweater with the penguins and,one of my favourites, the aqua sweater with the cardinals, seemed a little short and stubby.

It looks ok here, but in person it looked too short in the body. I didn't care much for the attached scarf, and the mittens were not very mitten shaped on most of the sweaters. The positive side was, they do have an opening in the tops, so you really could put them on a doll. It might make you want to buy them in person though, so you can pick a sweater with good mittens.
Surprisingly, I think my very favourite was the pink  sweater with the striped sleeves.

 It just looked so much like a real sweater. The proportions were perfect, and it was super soft.

  To my surprise, the sweaters were NOT on sale. Not in the store, at least.So much for getting them at the store and saving myself the shipping.  But in the store the sweaters cost $7.95. Online they are still on sale for 2 for $6, plus shipping. With shipping they are still cheaper,but not cheap enough for me. With such a tiny display they will probably sell out before they get marked down,so I most likely will not be getting any. But if you're interested, you can see the sweaters and buy them on sale HERE at Christopher & Banks.
   But, if you're as cheap as I am, you might want to check out Walgreen's. I stopped in there the other night to make sure I wasn't missing any cool ornaments, like the Beatles lunchbox ornament I missed last year. No lunchboxes or Beatles of any kind, but I did find what seemed to be the last one of these.
You might notice that the collar is coming loose at the front. The seam missed catching it. Might be a weakness, so if you're getting one, check it over carefully.
The hanger came out pretty easily. Unlike with  a lot of sweater ornaments, it wasn't glued to the sweater. It didn't even seem to be sewn to it.

   Unlike the Christopher & Banks sweaters,this one is like I described earlier: stiffer, with arms that stick out. It has a smaller weave than a lot of sweater ornaments though, so it's quite soft and looks proportional.


It's also more the size for a Ken than a Barbie.

But even he could do with having his sleeves rolled up a cuff.
 And you want to know the other really good part? It cost $1.99! You can also turn it around if you'd rather not have the year displayed. That's handy for next year.



It was a pain getting it on him though. His fingers, thumbs, and even his elbow joints keep getting caught  on the threads inside the sweater. In the end I resorted to wrapping his arms in some plastic off a roll of wrapping paper I had close by.

It made it so much easier!

"Score!"
I highly recommend wrapping the arms in plastic first. It avoids a lot of frustration!
  The yarn loop to hang the ornament by is easily removed. I just clipped it and it pulled out. It's not woven in,just sewn through the sweater. It pulls out like a loose thread.

 Walgreen's  also had these Nightmare Before Christmas Tsum Tsum's on sale at 90% off!


They're a Christmas gift pack and a Walgreen's exclusive.Jack and Zero even glow in the dark! They are $16.99 at full price! Why are they 90% off?  They had a bunch of Nightmare stuff, like Santa hats, stockings, etc., and most of it was on sale, but not 90% off!
  For Star Wars enthusiasts there was a great BB8 filled candy dispenser that is perfect for 1/6 scale.It looked pretty realistic too. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it. If you have a 12" doll from the Force Awakens, the BB8 candy dispenser would look great with it. (Just don't look at the back of it. That's where the dispenser hole is.)
  I have several posts coming up soon. Stay tuned!