Saturday, April 12, 2014

gah, England doesn't share their toys

Not sure how I landed on the Sindy website, but she's a very very British doll.  England does not share their toys.  Japan takes pride in showing off their toys, they'll gladly ship them out of the country.  That has me quite spoiled, and baffled by the lack of ways for an American to get in on the latest batch of Sindy dolls. 

Sindy changes manufacturers at times and has landed back with Pedigree in time for her 50th birthday.  The 'Today's Princess" line looks awesome- http://sindy.com/todays-princess/  Note the lack of horrid Hasbro era blandness.  Just because I can't get the dolls doesn't mean I don't see them, Mattel did Hasbro a favor by filing a lawsuit over the 'Americanized' Sindy.  I love Barbie, but I also like variety.  Sindy is not meant to be or replace Barbie.  Yes, I can see the resemblence between early Sindy and Ideal's Tammy, but let's face it, Tammy was cheaply made and not all that attractive.  If Barbie is a movie star, Tammy is selling the popcorn and Sindy is the sweet young lady that comes in to see the weekend matinee with her friends from school. 

I'm baffled by children and have no clue if little girls in the US would want these darling dolls.  I do know there's a fair amount of mums who are convinced that one single Barbie doll will result in their daughters becoming materialistic whores with low self esteem.  They'd probably like the angelic face and fashionable but reasonably modest look of Sindy dolls.  If I want one enough to rant into the interwebs about it, odds are good that there's other adult collector types who'd like a chance at a fresh new Sindy doll.  The old Marx licensed dolls do fairly well when they turn up in the secondary market, and most of those are blonds with bad hair- they're over 30 years old, it happens.  Please send us some new Sindy dolls. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hello Feedspot!

Wow!  Thanks to those of you reading this on feedspot- they sent me a nice note and invite to try it out.  I wouldn't have known how nice http://www.feedspot.com/ is without you folks- I appreciate it, barely getting started and I already like it.

Let me return the favor- there's a site I've been on for a while now that I really like, halfway between auctions and swapping.  It's called Listia- everything is auctioned in credits to use on the site instead of money.  They give you some credits to get started with, enough to actually win something.  My link https://www.listia.com/signup/42846 will put a few extra credits in your account, along with giving me a few.  There are categories for darn near everything, including dolls.  Monster High is hot stuff on there- it's where I got my scaris Deuce Gorgon doll.  I pretty much turned a couple pairs of earrings into that HTF handsome gent.  It's much easier and safer than direct trades with other collectors, Listia offers some great protection for both buyers and sellers.  Some auctions include free shipping, while others charge for it (and sometimes overcharge) so read carefully- but there's all kinds of lovely things being listed.

Hint hint, it's a great way to exchange those not-quite-right holiday gifts into things you'll really enjoy.  Not that I speak from experience or anything... but my dad thinks I love Hello Kitty.  He gets so excited about his finds, there's no way I'm going to tell him I outgrew cute little kittens over a decade ago. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Latest project- tissue box into a couch

Draculara and Jade on the kleenex box couch

I've been eagerly awaiting the last tissue in the box thanks to this super easy DIY Barbie couch from Kids Kubby how-to.  For a more finished look, I trimmed the corners on the end-piece fabric and glued it down under the main panel fabric panel- just clip triangles off on the corners and wrap them over the edge.  As the fabric I used seemed like it might fray, I folded the edges on that too.  I left off the arm rests, I liked the look better without them.



The fabric is a bit of vintage velvety striped upholstery from my stash- just had a small remnant of it and love the color. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

attention Target shoppers!

It's that time of year again, Target is clearing out the toy section to make room for the new goodies- toy clearance!!!

Lucky for me, it's also pretty darn close to my birthday.  I was out yesterday with Mum, and as usual she put up with me wanting to look at the Monster High dolls.  I've only got one- the first version of Draculara.  I've been looking at some of the other dolls in the not-Barbie aisle too... the Cloetta dolls from the Bratzillaz line fascinate me, she's got two different colored eyes just like my mom's dog, and my favorite comic book lady- Delirium from the Sandman series.  Delirium usually has one blue eye and one green eye, so the blue/brown combination on the doll is more like the dachshund version of Rainman that lives with my folks- that's my furry brother, so it's okay for me to pick on him a little bit.  Mum was amused at dolls with eyes like her furry bag of farts, so she told me to pick one.

Hmm... there's the one in a fancy outfit... and on the next shelf down there's one on clearance- and she glows in the dark!  It's fun being this easily amused.
"Well, if you'd rather have the clearance one, pick two- it'll still be cheaper than the fancier one."
So the glowing Jade J'dore came home with me too.  The sequin swimsuit makes her look like some sort of performer- possibly in a sci-fi themed burlesque troupe.  Probably not what they were going for on a toy meant for little girls, but I'm an adult- my dolls can be dancing girls if they want to.  It's not like I'm building a 1/6 scale whorehouse...  It would be a good excuse for lots of bedrooms with different themes though.  Darn it, that's starting to sound like a brilliant idea.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Look! Tons of craft ideas and a contest too? 18 inch doll related

Yesterday I stopped to check out a newly opened thrift shop my aunts have been raving about.  Yep, it's a good one!  Two dolls followed me home- they're not camera-ready yet, but I found a 1969 Effanbee baby, 99 cents, naked but in great shape and a Disney toddler doll for $1.99.  I've not seen 'Tangled', but the expression on her face looks like she's up to something, probably something fun.

The princess had a dress, but no shoes.  One dress and no shoes won't go far around here- so the pattern search began.  Not much, though the dolls seem quite popular in Finland?  Ok then.  Looking at the measurements, she's a bit shorter and slimmer than the 18 inch girls, but that's an easy alteration.  Oh my- there's at least a dozen different kinds of 18 inch dolls now!  When I was playing with mine, it was American Girl or nothing- I had Samantha and Kirsten, still do, but they're packed away at mom's with my half dozen Cabbage Patch babies and absurd collection of plush monkeys.

I've seen some of the Our Generation accessories and furniture used with MSD size BJD's- the horses in particular are great for 1/4 scale dolls.  Over at Doll Diaries they're running a contest- it ends tomorrow night (4/5/13) but if you see this in time, check out http://dolldiaries.com/our-generation-off-the-beaten-path-bundle-giveaway/ - the prize is a pretty doll, a camping tent with cute accessories and the most adorable doll sized jeep!  The whole package is a Target exclusive, $59.99 and a darn good deal.  Good luck if you enter- that set is too darn adorable.

I stumbled across the Doll Diaries blog thanks to all the wonderful how-to ideas they've got posted- pintrest loves them.  Some of the craft ideas would work well with the 16 inch fashion dolls too- very nice props for photo stories.  I'm thinking of trying out the candy-foil decorated doll plates.  I knew this doll was up to something!  She's smirking at me, looking at page after page of adorable little girl dolls- not a Barbie in sight.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blythe- make an offer?

Years ago I bought a Blythe- the Ashton Drake kind, she came in a paisley dress.  We never bonded.  I thought we would, so I didn't hang onto the box.  She still has her papers- I never opened those.  I'll let her explain...  UPDATE: brushed out her hair a bit, it looks much better than I thought- the ends are a bit frizzy still, maybe someone with more hair styling ability can fix that?  A trim would work too, she's got a LOT of hair.
 The huge 6/1 scale doll is mad at me.  She was looking for my dress when she broke 2 fingernails and half a closet worth of stashed away things fell on her head.  My hair looks worse than hers though...
 Maybe some nicer new friend would help me comb it, a friend who won't leave me tucked in a moving crate for years at a time maybe
 I know I look a little pasty and green- all of us Ashton Drake ladies do- it's because we're trying to be like those pretty Kenner dolls.
 Speaking of green, that big scary mean lady did research, if I were still pretty in my box I'd be worth about $120.
 I've got PINK EYE!
 Then big scary thing said "And take your little dog too!  Maybe that weird friend of yours will go along for a ride in the shipping box with you!"
 This is a customized Little Big Eyes, Blythe wannabes that were on the toy store shelf for a year or so, about a decade back.  This one has had her face sanded to a smooth matte skintone, a little bit of facial painting and a hair cut- it's a cute bob when it's combed.
 Instead of a pull string like Blythes, her eyes change colors by pressing a button on the back of her head.
She doesn't have to come along, but we do get along quite well.
If you think you'd be a better friend, please offer the mean lady a trade or some bail money.  We have a third friend with a broken leg who can come along- she's a Little Big Eyes too, her face is shiny and unaltered but she's been given wavy lime green hair.  She was being camera shy, we'll try again tomorrow.


Human speaking again-
I know I have Blythe's dress SOMEWHERE.  I've also got half a dozen crates of dolls to sort through... if I find it after sending the doll on her way, I'll contact her new friend and send it along.  I'm going to include some extra clothes, shoes and whatnot.  It'll be a surprise, depending how much I appreciate your offer it may include some pretty nifty stuff. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Seating DIY links for Barbie and 1/6 scale

While row upon row of fashionably dressed dolls in stands can be nice, setting up a scene with scale furniture is fun.  Those little chairs and sofas can get pricey- and if you're not a fan of pink, good luck.  Oh interwebs- always there with a link to help out!  This week I've found a few easy to make yet lovely to look at options.

A DIY Barbie sofa made from a tissue box
While I'm still a few sniffles away from an empty tissue box to try this with, the instructions are clear and simple.  It's hard to tell looking at the finished couch that it's mostly recycled materials and not a high-end miniature piece.  Using a remnant of a tweed suiting fabric or reclaming cloth from a damaged human-size dress could turn into a very elegant sofa.  It's getting to be allergy season, I should have an empty box to try this idea in black velvet fairly soon.  Adding some beads to the bottom as legs could result in a penthouse worthy bit of doll seating.

Chairs from a mailing tube?!
I love the look of these chairs.  The creative mom behind them used contact paper, but I'm thinking some scrapbooking papers or even gift wrap could be used for variety.  Perhaps some of that mylar gift wrapping tissue for a 70's ultra-modern dining set?  I've never had much luck finding nice designs on contact paper.  With a lower back, this type of chair would be darling at a dressing table.

And a little something for the younger set- the crocheted living room is part of a three part series of crocheted doll furniture.  Personally I got a giggle from the use of cigarette boxes in the tables- very creative.  Using shopping bags for filler is a nice idea too, a thrifty alternative to poly-fill that won't result in white fuzz all over the place.  Using a strand of eyelash yarn with coordinated acrylic yarn would result in a 'fun fur' style chair for a teen bedroom diorama.