Saturday, February 28, 2015

February: Progress without fruition, MGA Vi & Va sighting, Chinese and Japanese festivals,and new girls

My theme for February was "good intentions skid to a halt -- or, on occasion, plunge off a cliff."

Fianna, Daisy, Lauren, and Fairuza say hi!
That there are newcomers when the Polar Bear Club is not yet clothed is evidence of this.

Also, it rained a lot. It's raining now.

Community Festivals

The Willo Historic District Home Tour included nine 1930s-1950s houses restored to magazine perfection -- not a doll room, craft room or un-Elle-Decor-approved collection to be seen -- and an historic firehouse that had been built to look like a Spanish-style house.

I look so innocent--and inside, I'm creepily dorm-like!
The Chinese New Year festival served as a potent reminder that our Chinese population is small. (This is where I bought Lauren, who isn't remotely Chinese even in origin, but the booth vendor wasn't letting me escape until I bought a big-head string doll, and the price was reasonable.) I did not see even one piece of Year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep memorabilia, but the kiddies doing martial arts demonstrations were cute and I ate really excellent pot stickers from a food truck.

O hai.
The Japanese Matsuri festival reminds us that the local population of animé cosplayers is huge.

Mob scene.
The area around most booths was so packed that I had no chance of seeing what was where unless I wanted to stand in line for 30-45 minutes, but I did manage to snag a Japanese-style print in a fat quarter so Ami can have an outfit.

If I contemplate it respectfully, perhaps it will be sewn this year.
I have all the materials to make Hayden and Katie new bathroom and bedroom walls, but do we see actual new walls? No, we do not!

I came down here with a headache, but being down here is making it worse!
Daniela's forehead blotch is almost bleached. Almost.

Maybe it's just a thing to have a map of Venezuela on my forehead.
The revamp of the Colonial Revival Condo's vintage bath set is in progress -- notably at the stage where it looks substantially worse than the "before" because it needs touch-ups and detailing.

Cue self-doubt. It will look better when the tile lines are straight. I hope.
The revamp of the Glam Gloth Condo's kitchen, bath, and living room is almost done and has to beat the March 3 deadline for the Iron Crafter Challenge reveal.

I am a deliberately ambiguous shot because only progress photos are allowed before the reveal.
After rearranging my kitchen and scrubbing my grout, I came down with the urge to stain the pine storage thing in the closet -- and Mod Podge excess scrapbook paper to it -- so it can be "out" for doll-related storage, thus freeing some closet space and getting doll clothes better arranged. (The proximate causes were Vanessa's organizing efforts and this pine dresser redo on AT.)

I see a pine cabinet. Stain it black.
As far as using up the black gel stain, this was too successful -- I still have the drawers to do! And it turns out I have no Mod-Podge! I went to Michael's at Tempe Marketplace yesterday. . . and they had no Mod-Podge at all. None. I strolled every aisle twice, with increasing ire and frustration. I don't see how they're going to succeed at their goal of making denim happen for spring when they do not enable crafters to Mod-Podge it to things.

Despite my clear crankiness, I have been allowed out in public spaces devoted to commerce. Big Lots now carries its own version of the Dollar Tree scent lamps, suitable for 1:6 dollhouse scenes. I did not buy any, but it's nice to know they exist if needed.

The Target at Christown astonished skeptics by actually restocking the doll department. Among the new items is MGA's Vi and Va line, which may be their answer to the rise of Sophia the First. When MGA does Latina, the girls look like Latinas I see on the bus and about town, rather than like theoretical blonde and blue-eyed Latinas (who do exist, but if we go with the "well, there are blonde, blue-eyed people who are X" reasoning, then Barbie is sufficient to represent all ethnicities and we can go home).

Vi and Va are sweeter-looking than Moxie Girlz and younger-looking than Bratz, but they're clearly of the same species.
What big eyes you have!
There is a clothing line. It looks like the clothing ought to fit Barbie's sister Stacie, but at $9.99 for a dress, purse, and insanely high-heeled shoes, I'm feeling a little squeamish about buying one (especially when Barbie gets two outfits for that price and the Sparkle Girlz get five). At the moment, Vi and Va is a Target-exclusive line, sold only in stores, so there is no way at all to get a bargain, use a coupon, or even get eBates cash back.

Vi and Va shop only at Nordstrom!
JC Penney has new mannequins that lack faces and lower bodies but have articulated hands. These are going to be a huge win when they show up at salvage stores a few years from now.

Come, let me show you how to make Uncanny Valley Ranch salad dressing.
The Maryvale Walmart's supply of Sparkle Girlz has been devoured by voracious vultures, which is what pushed me into finally buying one. I was hoping for the super-dark girl (which means if I come across her, I'll own two SGz), but no such luck. Daisy's face "spoke" to me, anyway (it said "Take me home!").

Locusts like dark Sparkle Girlz and leave the pale ones, like husks.
This Walmart was also having a post-holiday clearance sale -- which was mostly the stuff that had been on clearance before the holidays, too -- but I decided the last (presumably) of their Moonlight Beach Fianna Fins needed to come home.

New Girls
I wasn't going to get involved with Bratzillaz at all, but she's very blue, and I was in a mood where blue sparkling lipstick just seemed like something I needed in my life (but not on my own face). I love her face, I love her eyes -- and her hair quality is atrocious, even after boil-washing.

Salt water reeks HAVOC on my hair!
Cleo is a little annoyed that Fianna comes home with blue lips when she didn't get to keep her own aqua lips. (Plus she needs her hair-deglittering touched up -- I'd swear the stuff is growing back.)

Just because you're a friend of the fishes or whatever... this is soooooo not fair.
It seemed like a good idea to pose her with all the blue-ish girls. Fianna seems very composed about having found her own people, while Frankie isn't sure what to make of a person who glows in the dark.
L-R: Monster High Jane Boolittle, Bratz Action Heroez Cloe, MH Picture Day Frankie Stein,
Midnight Magic mini-Mila, Kistiña the K-Mart Blue Light Special.
Then yesterday, on the way home from Tempe Marketplace, I felt a burning need to stop at Fortress CVS. There in the vestigial toy section was a box I'd never seen there before: My Passion! Yasmin with pale lips and dark hair. I asked for a price check, and when she rang up as $10.49, I couldn't leave her there.

So I seem to be accumulating Yasmins. I have managed to resist numerous excess Cloes (who did not have amazing blue hair), but a Yasmin is something else entirely. She's being named Fairuza.

L-R: Action Heroez Yasmin (Ynez), My Passion Yasmin (Fairuza), Xpress It! Yasmin.
It seemed like a good idea to try a group shot of everybody who's been declared to be of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean descent. This is an ethnic group I think of as under-represented among fashion dolls (probably because there's no Barbie friend of that ethnicity, unless we think Teresa is Greek this week), but in my own world, they're numerous enough to start their own sorority.

Back: Action Heroez Yasmin (Ynez), medium Lovely Patsy (Panthea), My Passion Yasmin (Fairuza),
Action Heroez Shira, Xpress It! Yasmin, Chic Boutique doll (Dena).
Front: Dawn of the Dance Cleo de Nile (Hattie), Gloom Beach Cleo de Nile, Getting Fairest Briar Beauty (Briony).
Contemplating Yasmins brought home the realization of why Daisy appealed to me so much. She's the Sparkle Girlz' nearest equivalent of a Yasmin.

We are totally sisters.

I'm sassy, she's sweet... and I've never been sure that time she told me the salt was sugar was an accident.
Meanwhile, Lauren the shopping big-head drops by the club where Dean and Don are discussing matters of importance. This is symbolic of how I'm spending my afternoon at a series of informative lectures sponsored by my alumni association rather than making headway on any project.

Don thinks #thedress was blue and black, while Dean is sure it's white and gold.
Fianna waves goodbye to February through the rain.

I am TOTALLY a Pisces.


  1. "Don thinks #thedress was blue and black, while Dean is sure it's white and gold." LOL, this happened to me today. My niece showed the photo to us and my mom and middle sister saw it was blue and the rest of us saw it as white.

    1. The dress that turns sister against sister and cousin against cousin...!

  2. Hi Smaller Places, there have been quite a bit of things going on in spite of the rain!
    I love Lauren she's so cute! "discussin matters of importance".....LOL...

    1. Aw, thanks!

      It's sort of mandatory that all blogs from the final week of February 2015 must include a reference to #thedress.

  3. I love your group shots; you gt a lot of figures in one photo. Neat!

    (Aside - there is a Greek Barbie, a Princess of Ancient Greece Barbie plus a Goddess of Spring Barbie and a Goddess of Wisdom Barbie. The last two were either Greek or Roman. And an Athena doll ... but there are not a lot of Greek or Middle East Barbies.

    Ah, just remembered, the Arabian Nights Barbie and Ken.

    Just sharing ;-)

    1. I'm glad somebody's keeping track of the collector-type Barbies, as I clearly am not! :-)

      Where my brain was, that I forgot collector Barbies exist and only visualized the toy aisle at Target, is a scary question where the answer probably includes zombies. Braiiiiiiinz!

  4. Fairuza is SO pretty! And now I want to go to JCP just to see those mannequins- lol

    1. Oh, thanks! I totally fell for her.

      The mannequins are worth the trip -- there was one wearing a rather fabulous peasant-style skirt made out of curtain samples. It was nicer than anything in the actual women's clothing department.