Friday, January 30, 2015

A is for Aqua Apparel

When I started out to do the January Pinstrosity Challenge -- brought to you by the letter A -- I figured I'd be done with Cloe's outfit by the middle of the month. Easy. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy.

Cloe demonstrates the America's Next Top Model "hailing a taxi" pose.
I put the last stitch in her outfit at exactly 6:30 on January 30. The original goal was to start with these pants (Pin, original), which I'd made once before, but turn them into bell bottom jeans by adding a gusset inspired by reading about medieval and Renaissance tailoring (Pin, original), though how I wandered into that topic escapes me. Damn Google.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Alexis and Zora check out Super Bowl Hoopla

Downtown Phoenix is frantic with preparation for Super Bowl-related activities. Alexis and Zora, being big football fans, had to check it out. (Alexis is the one with hair today; she was in the second wave of early settlers and is studying for her realtor's license. Zora is her cousin, who arrived with the Polar Bear Club and who is an artist and community activist.)
We are big football fans and this... is a big football.
The football, located at Central and Washington, is twenty feet tall and made out of 7,000 pounds of steel and other building supplies. Our mayor touts it as an excellent place to take selfies.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Katie and Hayden's new bed solves some problems but creates others

Hayden is pleased, but a bit gobsmacked, to finally have a sturdy bed with storage underneath.

I think I may need a step stool to get in bed, Fitzroy!
The bed is based on plans for an actual real-life bed, found at This Old House. Mine is a bit simplified, and the measurements are based on laying the dolls on the foam core and seeing what fit for length and width, then using the wire baskets I found at Tuesday Morning as the starter for determining height. The black foam core is covered with black leather-pattern contact paper and trimmed out with random wood strips. Unlike the original, which has baskets on both sides and one at the end, I went with long baskets that are accessible only from the "public" side of the room.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A 24-hour bedroom rehab for the smaller Midnight Magic girls

Adele (mini-Draculaura) and Pilar (mini-Pippa) attend the "reveal" of the 24-hour makeover of their bedroom. Adele is a little worried that she might clash with the decor.
Adele, if I find out anybody has hot-glued feathers to the wall, I will NOT BE HAPPY.
The outside design-and-contracting team's first move was to paper the previously unpapered back and outside walls to match the multi-color leopard of the inside wall. (The breed mimicked in the paper is clearly the Panthera pardus josephus, as it has a coat of many colors.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bathroom week is survived, barely...

Abigail is thrilled to be able to wash her hands in a sink with faucets.

Now if we just could get the hot water heater to work...
My original plan had been to make the central faucet from a cup hook, as I did with Katie and Hayden's kitchen. However, as I as wandering through Howard's Ace Hardware, home of housewares and ammo, at the crack of dawn, I chanced upon picture-hanging hooks that whispered: "Turn me upside-down, and I would look like a faucet!"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fruits of Kitchen Week (and Patio Week) plus the introduction of the Roaming Bag

Katie is proud of herself for re-installing the kitchen shelves, now that the floor is reliably stable.

Whoa! The dishes are no longer scattered all over the place!
Hayden is grateful, but her mind has skipped ahead to improvements to give the place a little more style. This past week was Kitchen Week, so Hayden's not the only one with kitchen improvements.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sixth (and finally), my mother's Kellies meet the Sparkle Girlz Minis

For Christmas, I brought my mother some Sparkle Girlz minis, thus allowing myself to indulge in crooning over the minis without having to own any.

We are the Sparkle Girlz legion!
The backstory is that we'd been discussing the decay of Mattel's holiday costuming for Kelly from fabulously detailed to "heck, stick her in a dress and put a pumpkin on it," along with how the main Barbie playline had, since the 1990s, gone from being visibly ethnically diverse to looking like a bunch of white girls on the beach.

Sparkle Girlz to the rescue!

Acquiring them turned out to be more challenging than just walking into Walmart and buying a range of skin tones and head molds. We in Arizona have been visibly affected by the problems at the Port of Long Beach -- a shortage of trucks to haul containers, plus a strike -- and the minis were apparently very popular. I would go to a Walmart and it would have two minis, one with messed-up hair. I ended up boil-washing several of the girls because accepting messy hair was the only way to be sure of getting one at all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fifth, I help corrupt my youngest sister and we tackle the question of Korean dolls

Miss Hanzo has a mission for Minion Rei.
Leather pants! Why don't I have a pair of leather pants?
After unpacking and rebodying the Sailor Scouts, I started to feel creeping tentacles of guilt, as while Sailor Mercury (Ami) had been "my" Sailor Scout (geeky one who likes math... yup), I remembered quite clearly that Sailor Mars (Rei) had been the moral and philosophical property of one of my younger sisters (fiery spirit with a conscience... yup).

While Esteemed Youngest Sister hadn't expressed any recent interest in dolls, my conscience kept prodding and poking and prodding and poking... until something HAD TO BE DONE.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fourth, the unveiling of the Polar Bear Club!

Elspeth takes a break from pondering her future takeover of Pottery Barn to greet the Polar Bear Club.

And here I thought traveling in a tote bag with five other dolls was uncomfortable...
After the jump, there will be considerable amounts of doll nudity, as the Polar Bear Club packs lightly.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Third, the arrival of Betty Teen

Sophie looks startled to greet Betty Teen, who turned up at the same thrift store where my mother and I found Sophie herself last spring.

So you were seriously an alternative to Barbie? So am I.
I had no idea what she was, other than a mass of curly hair and had to be talked into acquiring her. While I gather from context and more context that, as far as doll-accumulating goes, this reluctance was very foolish of me, I consider any show of choosiness in a thrift store to be a sign that I'm not at immediate risk of becoming a hoarder, and since we also watched a couple episodes of the depressing Hoarding: Buried Alive, this is necessary reassurance.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Second, my mother experiences her first full-body transplant.

During my Christmas break, my parents introduced me to Orphan Black, which we binge-watched, and then I taught my mother how to swap heads onto more appealing bodies.

At long last, I can bend my elbows.
To explain the unusual young woman above, it's necessary to rewind a bit, all the way to a different doll. We had gone thrifting rather extensively and adventurously (Dad kept taking Neglected Fashion Dolls out of my hand and saying "oh, I'll get that for you"), with the result that I'd acquired a Hayden with incredible eye shadow (and her original wig!), only to discover that she was from a late Liv wave that didn't have articulated knees and couldn't sit!