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 my own 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.)Since 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:
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.