Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boutique Redesign and Barbie Basic Accessory Sale

Thank goodness I have a lot of patience.  I finished the video on Sunday.  Proceeded to upload it Sunday night.  Eight hours later, the upload finished.  It was running way too slow for my taste.  I searched and found 1 image out of 135 images that wasn't resized.  I made a decision to delete the video and fix the problem.  I started the reload Tuesday morning about 4am.  When I came back to the computer 10 hrs later, it said it had loaded, but it's not showing up anywhere.  So I will try again late tonight.  So while we wait....

Sunday when I got up to shoot the video, Racquel had redesigned the shop.  She said she had tossed and turned all night and realized the footprint of her shop was all wrong. I told her she was on the right track and thanked her because it was going to make shooting the video a lot easier.

Thanks to a blog post from Frannie of Thrift Store Dolls, I was made aware that Marshall's and TJMaxx had some Barbie Basic accessory packs on sale for $7.  I bought all of mine from TJMaxx.

I really want to find the fourth set with the cute gray handbag and red belt. 
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

So In Style Marisa on a LIV Body

Most of my dolls know at any moment they can lose their body.  Poor Marisa.  She lost here Fashionista body last week.  It wasn't a perfect match, so it went to another doll.  I had to scour around to find her another body so she can work in the boutique on opening day.  I decided on a LIV Daniela body.  The color match was better than the Fashionista body.

Her she is with the BB 2.5 body on the left and a Fashionista body on the right.

She is now the same size as the original Raven doll.

I like her a lot better on this body in her new outfit.  I had no idea LIV Daniela had those cute boots on under those purple jeans.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ni'Chalet's Grand Opening Happening This Weekend!

Just when I thought we were headed to the Bridal Shower/Bachelorette party, turns out we are headed to the Grand Opening of Ni'Chalet's, Racquel's fashion boutique.  She had a few setbacks the past couple of months and had to delay her opening.  She still has a few more things to do, but she has to get the store open before her three months of free rent expires.

She named the shop after their daughter, Nichelle, who's nickname is Shay.  She wanted an upscale sounding name to bring in more upscale customers.  She thought of a ski chalet, and decided to combine the two names; Ni'Chalet's.  She will be revamping her store sign.  She couldn't decide on the final look.

It's the end of the day. Racquel has spent the whole day putting the finishing touches on the shop.  Her husband, Terrance, was kind enough to pick up the baby from daycare, on his was from the office.

"I hope I don't forget to bring the refreshments tomorrow." (Racquel)
"Honey, how many people do you have helping you?" (Terrance)
"Well the new lady I hired will be here in the afternoon.  Faith is supposed to be helping out in the morning." (Racquel)

"I have more clothes to put out, but I don't want it to look cluttered." (Racquel)
"It looks fine just the way it is. (Terrance)

"It will be fine.  I can see that worried look on your face." (Terrance)
"I just want it to be a success.  I've been wanting to have my own shop since I was in high school." (Racquel)

"And now you do." (Terrance)

"It's not enough just to have it.  It has to be a success.  My family and friends are all watching to see if I am going to fall on my face." (Racquel)
"Now I think you are exaggerating." (Terrance)

"Shay, dd you tell your mommy how proud we are of her?" (Terrance)

"Honey, we are behind you 100%." (Terrance)
"I know. I know I am being a little paranoid.  I'll feel better tomorrow after day one is over." (Racquel)

"Okay, okay, Ms. Shay." (Racquel)

"Somebody needs a diaper change.  Let me go change her and get my things from the back. Then we can go."  (Racquel)

"What do you think we should do about dinner?" (Racquel)

"That reminds me, I forgot to tell you, we won the bid to build the new supermarket." (Terrance)
"Get out!  Congratulations, honey."  (Racquel)
"So I think we should go out to dinner and celebrate Ni'Chalet's and the new supermarket."  (Terrance)
"I like the way you think."  (Racquel)

The white table is only there to hold the refreshments.  Eventually there will be something else there.  Maybe a glass table to hold more product.  Did you notice the mirror on the wall?  That is the one I recently purchased from the thrift store.  Hmmm, the shelf unit is not centered.   Racquel will need to move that over and add more product there as well.

The sunglass holder needs to be painted or covered with paper. It will more than likely look just like that for the grand opening this weekend.

Hope to see all of you at the Grand Opening.  You never know who is going to show up.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

I Didn't Even Know She Was Teen Skipper

I bought this doll about 8 yrs ago from the Goodwill.  I think she was dressed in an old style dress.  I never realized, until a couple of months ago, that she is a  Teen Skipper doll.  In my mind, she was an older lady that I intended to use as a grandmother.  Amazing how our eyes and mind can play tricks on us.  I realized that she was a Teen Skipper when I was perusing someone's Flickr photos.  I thought I saw that she was Babysitter Teen Skipper, that came with three babies, on Debbie of Black Doll Collecting site, but I searched high and low and can't find that post.  At the time when these Teen Skippers were out, I was on a doll break and not really involved with them at all.  So I missed out.

So this is, I believe, Babysitter AA Teen Skipper.

She is a great candidate for any of those Model Muse pants, that don't fit too many dolls.  I love this doll now.  How can I look at her over an 8 yr period and see an old lady? Very perplexing.

I had to show my Kwanzaa doll again.  I am sooo in love with this doll.  I'm not sure if I told you guys I finally named her India.  Why, you ask?  Because she is a hairdresser and whenever I think of doll hair I think of our blogger friend Tracy India of Dolls and the City.  I always look to see what Tracy is going to do to her dolls' hair.  Ever since I deboxed this doll a couple of weeks ago, I have  been oohing and ahhing.  For the past 8+ years, I have seen her pretty regularly in the basement.  I had the boxed dolls on display so that I could see them all.  In her box, this doll was just so-so to me.  I could take her or leave her.  So now I am asking myself, how can you possibly be so in love with this doll?  Of course now, I have scouring the faces of all the dolls that are still boxed and wondering, who will be my next big surprise.  I am also questioning how many times I am looking at other things/people and not seeing/appreciating them for what/who they really are.

I did get a little surprise today when I deboxed my 'NSync doll.  The doll is not only articulated, but it is a dancing doll.  It has a very small (unobtrusive) lever in the back that makes her move.  She has a twist and turn waist.  There is some kind of mechanism inside her shoulder area that enables her to do actual NSync moves.  You will soon see who inherited this body. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Darius with New Sweaters and A Tip for the Non-Sewer

I finally got a chance to make Darius a few new sweaters, made from socks, of course.  Now I need to make him some new pants.  Nikki came along to make sure you guys didn't get out of hand.  These sweaters and this couple may show up in a video real soon.

The first sweater is a nice cable knit sweater with ribbed collar and sleeves.

Sweater #2 is made from the same material, but it is a sweater vest.
Sweater #3 is charcoal gray with beige grid lines and a high collar.  It is a vest type as well, meant to be worn with a short or long sleeve shirt.
"Honey, put away the guns." (Nikki)
"Oh now you want me to put them away.  You weren't saying that last night.:" (Darius)
"Why are you telling all my business.(Nikki)
"I hate to break it to you, but they already know you got business. (Darius)

This is sweater #3 again with a shirt and the collar turned down.

A couple weeks ago there was a 50% off notions sale, so I decided to test out a couple new products.  Liquid Stitch is used to provide stitching without sewing.  It's primarily used for appliques, home decor, hems and trims.  I tested it on a couple of the sweaters for the armholes for the vest.  I also tested it on the collar for sweater #1.  All in all I think it is a really good product.  I think with some practice a non-sewer could do wonders with this product.  It is washable, so the stitching is permanent.  One thing I didn't like about this product was that is didn't dry as clear as I would have liked.  So when usuing it for porous fabrics, it has to be used sparingly.  It's a little pricey at more than $6 per bottle, but worth it if you can catch it on sale.  I personally still prefer sewing the garments on my machine, so I will save this product for when I make some clothes for the infants.

Sobo is another fabric glue, but it is not washable.  So if you are making a doll garment that you intend to wash, this is not the product to use.  I tested this on sleeve hems and collars.  I really like this product because it dries a lot clearer than Liquid Stitch.  What I didn't like is the product packaging.  As soon as I opened the glue, the top fell off and glue was everywhere.  It is a fast flowing glue and there is a tendency towards waste.  At $6 a bottle that is not good. 

For all you sewers out there, my tip to you for sewing small garments is to use Stabilizer.  Another product that is found in the notions aisle.  It keeps the small garments from falling through the holes in the machine.  Also helps to keep the stitching straight.  It is pretty pricey these days.  I bought mine years ago for half of what it is selling for today, but it lasts a LONG time.  You may only have to buy it once in your lifetime.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meet Debbie the Fashion Designer and Brini the Blogger

There are a couple of different Etsy shops that I buy clothes from.  Chic Barbie Designs is one of them.  A little over a month ago, I got an Etsy message from the owner, Debbie, stating that she wanted to attend the wedding.  Wedding?  What wedding?  Turns out she has been reading my blog and following the Rod and Danielle story.  So she wanted me to pick out a hot brunette to represent her and she would be sending me a dress for her to wear to the wedding.  Crazy, right?  A couple of weeks ago, she went as far as sending me a couple of fabric samples she was considering using.  I thought I would die.  "Are they too bridesmaidsy?"  she asked.  She was really starting to stress out about the dress.  That's all I needed, stressed out potential wedding guests.  LOL!  I am stressing out enough.  So I got a message a couple days ago that the satiny dress she made went awry and she had to make another dress, that was on the way.  It arrived yesterday.  So ...... I had to quickly build Debbie a studio as she is now the fashion designer in Morristown.

So meet Debbie.  At the time she requested to come to the wedding, this doll wasn't even available.  When I saw her, I thought, there's a hot brunette.  This is Barbie Basics 3.0 Model #14.

These are 3 of the outfits I bought from Chic Barbie Designs.  The animal print jacket came with a pair of black pants, that Shantavia is currently wearing. She must be out of town, because I can't find her anywhere.  I couldn't pass up that lovely knitted sweater outfit.  Nor could I pass up the cute little nautical number.  There were many more outfits that I missed out on.  Sometimes they go really fast.

I threw this studio together pretty quickly.  I will make it much nicer in the near future.  The outfits will be removed and there will only be one dressform in the studio.  I will also look for a bigger, nicer sewing machine.

Here Debbie is testing out the seating comfort of the dress.  This is very important at a wedding.  The dress came with the cute purse and necklace.

So check out Debbie's, Etsy Shop, Chic Barbie Designs.

By the way, Danielle told me to tell everyone, the guest list is now closed.

Did you hear the news?  Brini just started a new blog this month and it's wonderful.  She is telling stories from a unique perspective.  It is quite evident that she has a talent for telling stories.  I actually felt like I was right there with her characters.  You can check her blog out here.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Halle Has Moved On and I Finally Listed a New Sofa

Once Halle made the decision to move on, she didn't let any grass grow under her feet.  Friday on her way back to Morristown from a modeling job in New York, she met Diego on the plane.  There was an instant connection and they have been inseparable ever since.

Meet Diego.  Interesting thing about Diego.  He's been wanting to move to Morristown for about 5 or so months now, but it was really an expensive move.  Just recently the opportunity arose that made it a more affordable proposition and here he is.

About 5 months ago, Tracy India and I were having email chats about potential prospects for Halle.  Tracy suggested 007 James Bond.  Well, we see how that went at the New Year's party.  I sent a picture of this guy, who was a complete action figure with accessories.  I don't know what Tracy thought of him, because I didn't get a response.  I took that as "Um, no."  Well he was $85, and I too, was like "Um, no".  Especially the way Halle has been throwing people to the curb.

Well about a week ago, I found his head for an incredible price and I had recently bought some bodies that were on sale.  So I was able to 'make Halle a man' for about $25.  Much better!  Turns out, there really was an instant connection.  Do I know my dolls or what!  Halle told me to tell everyone that even though he is not Darius, he has 'flava' and he's all man.  Hmmm.  I wonder what that means.  Probably that he's no push over like the other guys she was able to dominate.  Whew!  We are all breathing a sigh of relief over here.  We will learn more about Diego soon.

I was looking through some of my pictures from 2011, and I got excited about making furniture again.  The Etsy store is long overdue for some new pieces.  I'm starting where I ended, with a shabby chic sofa.  The one I did several months ago garnered a lot of interest, so I had promised to do another one soon.

Here's Halle modeling the new sofa.  Diego accompanied her on this modeling job. I will have to keep an eye on these two. 

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday at the Mane Event

It's early Saturday morning and already the salon is in full swing.

"Thanks for squeezing me in.  I don't think I could go another day with the bird's nest on my head." (Grace)

"Nothing a good deep conditioner can't fix.  But where did you find humidity?  It has been so chilly here lately." (India)
"I know. I don't know what to tell you.  It has been a bad hair week." (Grace)
"Have a seat.  We will take care of it." (India)

"So Jordan, what are we doing today?" (Kara)
"I think just a wash and set." (Jordan)

"Mommy, look." (Jessica)
"What am I looking at?" (Sylvia)
"The horse." (Jessica)

"What is this new obsession you have with horses?" (Sylvia)
"Well, Nicole has a horse and she is taking lessons now." (Jessica)

"So do you think I can take riding lessons, too?" (Jessica)
"Are you interested in riding lessons just because Nicole is doing it?" (Sylvia)

"Is that a picture of your man up there?" (Grace)
"Girl, no. That is the actor from Tyler Perry's movie, Why Did I Get Married." (India)
"I thought he looked familiar." (Grace)

"Hello everyone."
"Hello" (everyone in unison)

"You are just in time.  Grace is ready to be washed and I need her to be deep conditioned.  Give her about 20 mins under the dryer." (India)
"Okay." (Raven)

"Sylvia, I'm ready for you."

"Her toys are in the bag.  There's a bottle in there if she gets fussy."

"Will you think about the riding lessons while you are getting your hair done?" (Jessica)
"No, you need to discuss that with your father." (Sylvia)

Kara can't help herself.  She makes a bee line straight for the baby.

"Aren't you a cutie pie!  You want to come home with me?  You would like it there. You would get treated like a little queen."
"Sylvia, I'm stealing your baby."
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