Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Then you discover you're one of those ladies who buys decrepit fashion dolls at thrift stores for experimentation

"OMG! Could it be? It is..."

It's Cleo's cousin Hattie (short for Hatshepsut), who's a junior at ASU, majoring in archaeology. Hattie lost her left forearm in a dreadful accident of which the family does not speak.

(Of course, she's actually Dawn of the Dance Cleo de Nile, but I can't call them all Cleo. Or, given how the ancient Egyptians named their rulers, I totally could call them all Cleo, but I'm not going to because that would be confusing.)

The cousins are delighted to see each other. When I found Hattie at Goodwill in a Neglected Fashion Doll two-pack, I'd swear I counted arms and came up with the right number. Apparently not. Now I'm all "she's missing an arm!" and "I can't reject her because she's disabled!" She has an exceptionally pretty face, so there it is.

The purpose of this expedition was not to obtain more Cleos, nor to start a Fashion Doll Disability Rights movement, but to obtain cheap models for experimenting with hair-styling and face painting. I found two two-packs with dolls that weren't matted blondes, so let's see what's what.

The redhead shared a bag with Cleo. She has beautiful hair and troubling scars, apparently as the result of an encounter with a paintbrush, making her an excellent candidate for repainting practice. She has no articulation other than shoulders and hips, and she's stamped Mattel, so I assume she's a very cheap playline Barbie.

The brunette has a near-identical face but far more points of articulation. She shared a bag with our mystery gal, whose only articulation is click knees, and whose stamp I can't read. She has the most interesting face of this batch, though, and might be intended as a very light-skinned African-American.

Here we are after a great deal of hair-combing, looking roughly like my hair often does in Arizona's dessicating weather. Dark-haired maybe-Barbie in the center was so matted she was halfway to dreadlocks.

Partway through the detangling, I was asking myself why I was wasting time on these dolls when I have beautiful Liv dolls. Because eventually I'm going to want to comb their hair and the curly ones will need restyling, and I need to be able to do it right.

Also, I've been reading doll-collecting blogs, and reading about other people's adventures in repainting, restyling, and swapping bodies makes my fingers itch to play, too. With these little cheapies, I don't have to worry about screwing up -- the worst that happens is I re-donate them in better condition than I got them. The prospect of using them as guinea pigs makes me a little queasy, as if I'm committing crimes against dollmanity, but this is what people who mod dolls do.

Meanwhile, D'Laura, Hattie, and Cleo catch up on news and gossip, safe in the knowledge that nothing untested will be done to them. Maybe it's only the paint, but Hattie and Cleo definitely have different expressions.

It's boil-washing time! The new Official Boil-Washing Tub is a family-sized Hillshire Farms luncheon meat container (available at your friendly local Walmart, and probably still available even if your Walmart is not friendly). It's deep enough for better dipping, plus if it slips out of my hands, it will not shatter on the tile floor.

The assorted unnamed persons and Hattie lie about with deep conditioner in their hair. (Hattie's hair was stiff with product.) Dark-haired maybe-Barbie does yoga because she can. Dark-haired maybe-Barbie had to be done last because her hair was dirty, and I used shampoo on it, too. Washing her face has given her a paler skin tone, though she snow seems a bit sallow.

And here we are with rinsed hair! I also tried removing Redhead's face blotches with nail polish remover, but at most it dulled the shine of the blotches. Dark-haired maybe-Barbie looks much happier now that she's not filthy, though.

Having gotten all the visitors rinsed and dried, I then boil-washed my own hair. Seriously -- hot water, deep conditioner, cold rinse. Because when you look as bad as a thrift-store Barbie, action is required!

My first post was in mid-May, so we're looking at just barely two months from "I'm getting fabulous 11-1/2" fashion dolls -- wut?" to "let's learn how to mod dolls!"

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