Monday, May 21, 2012

Review of the Battat / Our Generation Blue Camping Set

Well, I am not going to doll class tonight, because my car is all like "here are some red flashy lights on your dashboard for you to spend your money on!" *rolls eyes* I'm afraid to drive it without having my husband take a look at it. I am clueless when it comes to cars. I can not sew it, therefore, I don't know what to do with it! But one thing I do know about cars is that sometimes if you ignore a problem, you can seize an engine and that costs thousands of dollars to replace, but when you're like nineteen and have no money, that turns in to your Dad selling what's left of the car for parts, and then you have no car, and then your boyfriend has to do all the driving back and forth to hang out, which is like 45 minutes to an hour each way, and then you feel super guilty and hate yourself. Not that I would know from experience, of course. *ahem* (On a brighter note, it didn't scare the boyfriend away, because he's now the husband! And car care-taker of the household cars, which is probably a good idea, in light of my proven lack of ability to look after them!) Anyhow. . .

If this were a normal Monday, and I was missing doll class, I would make an effort to make some sort of doll-related progress - like maybe finishing those underpinnings for Marie Louise! But this is not a normal Monday; rather, it's the Monday that is only a week and a half prior to Dress U, aka my hugest costume event this year. . . And all three of my ensembles for Dress U are in bits and pieces around my sewing room. A bottom for this outfit is done, a top for that one partially done, and patterning for a third is my current adventure. Plus I have half a bonnet and a pattern made for a second. So, I somehow can't spend time in my sewing room and have it be on anything but Dress U stuff without feeling very stressed out! So I'll use my unexpected sewing room time tonight dealing with some of that. . .

But, in the spirit of keeping up with weekly doll babbling, even though I have no progress to report, I present. . .

A review of the "Our Generation" Camping Set! (Yes, I know, I said I was going to post reviews of three OG sets, one per day, for three days. And that was almost a month ago. Oops! Better late than never though, right?) Okay, here we go. . .

As you can see, I went with the blue version. I know this is bananas since I am, like, the queen of pink! But what sold me on the blue over the pink were the accessories. The pink tent looked like it was mostly cooking stuff, where the blue one has a little of that, but also a lantern that really lights up! Plus, my own tent in "real life" is blue. ;)

So first, the accessories. . .

The lid can come off the pitcher, and the marshmallow and hot dog can both be removed from the stick, which is fun. (As I've said before, I always love doll accessories that seem to function or move somehow!) The stick with the hot dog and marshmallow is just too cute! And the lantern - how cute is it that it really lights up?!?

The sleeping bag is just about the right fit for an AG:

It's perhaps a tiny bit short, but if you stuck a pillow under her head, you'd never know it. It feels like sleeping bag material, but is pretty thin. I don't think Mia should rely on it for warmth, should she decide to go on any cold-weather camp-outs. However, she should be just fine posing for silly photo shoots for me in it. ;)

And now, the tent. . .

It folds up for easy storage, and the ties that can be used to hold open the doors also act to hold it tied together when collapsed, which is neat (if you can remember how to refold it properly):

I had heard horror stories about the poles not being flexible enough to be used for the tent, and when I checked them out in person, I thought I was going to have that problem as well, because they seemed seriously not bendy! But, with a little help from my husband, we got it assembled. It doesn't look exactly like the stock photo on the OG web site, but, it's functional.

Taffy would like you to know that it is kitty-sized, and very fun to sit in and peek out of the doors and windows at your humans. ;)

Anyhow. . .

The doors velcro shut, and can be tied back if you wish to keep them open.

Mia got right in to try it out, and make sure she would fit length-wise. . . She does - but only just. And I'm sure one could fit a second doll in beside her, but not with much space left over. I feel this is authentic, since every tent I've ever owned has only just barely fit the number of people it claims to! ;)

The final verdict: Adult help is definitely required for assembly, and indeed even as an adult myself, it was easier with two of us working it. Assembly aside. . . The set is adorable, and I would have LOVED IT as a kid, to take with me on the family camping trips. What fun would that have been?!? I give this set an A!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two hour lashes.

Just my weekly post-clast update here. . . This week? Upper lashes. That's right, a two hour class, and all I did was upper lashes. Well, not quite two hours; I left 15 minutes early and of course didn't start the minute I walked in! Anyhow. I definitely feel I'm getting more comfortable with lash-making, in that it doesn't feel so foreign holding the brush/scary trying it, however, I still struggle to properly slant my lashes! But in the end, I got results that satisfy me. For now. I might go back and add some more lashes nearer the corners of the eye, because while they looked "done" to me in class, now that I see them again, I think they might need it. . .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Brimfield haul!

I am SO excited because I just got back from a long weekend at Brimfield (among other adventures) and I am pretty sure I just purchased my very first antique china head!!! Unfortunately, she looks like the victim of some sort of horrific accident. But she's in luck because she landed in the hands of an apparent dollmaker! ;)

Here's a close-up of her pretty face (which I hadn't yet cleaned for these pictures):

She looks "right" to me. She doesn't have that mid-20th century-style facial features that the repros of that era seem to have, she's obviously got signs of wear (including a break in the back of her shoulder plate which was glued together a loooooong time ago), and her body looks like it's pretty old. I peaked in to see her stuffing where her left leg was, um, amputated, and I see she is stuffed with straw, which would be correct. I really think I might have the real deal here!

She had this little "recycle?" note pinned to her bum, (along with her price, but I was only charged $16 as she was on sale 20% off). I don't know what they mean by "recycle," but my plan is to try to find a similar size (she stands about 10 3/4" tall) and style repro doll mold from which I can make some replacement arms/legs at my studio. I'll leave her head/shoulder plate just as is, and I'll even try not to alter her body, because I think that's holding up pretty well.

Anyhow. I'm pretty excited about this! My first true antique doll, plus, I have the fun of hunting down a mold that will work for repalcement arms/legs, and then I will get to make those, and have the thrill of giving this sweet little doll a second chance at life. ;)

Also, while I haven't chosen a first name for her yet, Glenn says her last name is "Ramshack," due to me referring to her as my "silly little ramshackle doll purchase." ;)

Now, on to the Brimfield finds!

First up, a $5 tea set:

So apparently, I now collect doll tea sets. I didn't do this intentionally, but I seem to be a sucker for them! I now have. . . Let's see. . . I think seven of them? Plus a few vintage or antique single pieces of tea sets. A lone pot here, a cup and saucer there. What is wrong with me?!? Ha ha ha. . .

Next, this desk:

It needs some TLC, but for the price I paid I think it's a bargain! It weighs a ton and the size is exactly right for the AG crew, and it looks suspicially like the official Samantha desk. The pattern of the wrought iron bits is right, the wood bits look correct, and in fact everything seems to indicate a potential official AG item here except two things: first, that it does not have the "PC" markings on the wrought iron bits, and second, that there are screws holding the bit of wood at the front on (what would have been the back of the chair in front). I've seen the Pleasant Company version of the desk and know it should have both of these features. What I don't know is what changes Mattel may have made. So, I either have Samantha's desk, or a decent knock-off. I'm going to take it apart, clean it, and probably refinish the wood bits. Another fun project! I do love finding things I know I can fix up.

And finally, how my heart stopped when I saw this lovely doll couch!

Most of the time, the doll furniture I find is so clunky, as it's made to be knocked about during play, or it's intended for dolls like the AG crew. This is isntead incredibly delicate and lightweight. It has wear here and there, but I think it's in pretty good condition. And, it fits Fanny perfectly!

How lonely Fanny looks sitting there by herself. I think I might need to make her a friend!

Well, one thing is for sure: I am not in danger of running out of fun things to do in the doll studio - or in my doll/sewing room! ;)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First day of painting. . .

Last night I started painting the new doll! Here is her "before" shot:

And, after an hour or so of work, here is all I had to show for it:

The brow line went very fast (and is only a base line, over which I'll put more "brow hairs" next week). The lashes though? OMG lashes will be the death of me!!! I can NOT TELL YOU how many times I painted on lashses and wiped them off and did them again. Over and over. I got one side awesome pretty quick, but her right side. . . Ugh! I was just about to give up for the day, and I thought, I'll try it once more. And voila! Not perfect lashes, but satisfactory. This whole craft has been an exercise in me forcing myself to let go of perfection, LOL! But still, I think they turned out all right. I'm happy. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I finished the Marie Louise drawers last night! I also did a little more work on the chemises. . .

I'm really wanting to finish both underpinning sets before next Monday's class, but, we'll see!

Speaking of class. . . This week, I finished the greenware cleaning on the head and shoulderplate. So next week, painting begins! Hooray!