Sunday, December 10, 2017

Just One Phony After Another

Down the path of madness lie ponies.

Some time in early 2016, I went on a mini-My Little Pony Surprise Pack binge because Kroger had them on sale and buying more eased my resentment that grocery shopping must be done whenever one runs out of food, rather than only when there's a fun recipe in the future.

Somehow, in the course of post-Xmas dollar store sales, that led to this, at Family Dollar.

Like Equestria Girls, but with an extra buzzword!
That, in turn, led to this, which has an even more complicated origin that I'll get to down below the jump.

How many different toy lines are being knocked off here?
 We be unboxin'...

Friday, December 8, 2017

The First Rule of Clone Club...

Thanksgiving brings turkey, cranberry sauce, and the Buy One, Get One 50% Off sale at Family Dollar and Dollar General. This year's toy selection in my neighborhood was frankly disappointing, the highlight being...

The first rule of clone club is, we don't talk about clone club.
Drag your gaze to the bottom left corner of the back of the box. FUNVILLE. Weren't Sparkle Girlz from Funville Ltd.?

Yes, they are. Googling "Glimma Girlz" leads into a weird alternative universe of oddly familiar cone dolls and minis, to the point that I started to doubt my own reality. Had there only ever been Glimma Girlz? Had I had the name wrong all this time? Is there a glitch in the Matrix, and I've switched from a Sparkle Girlz reality to a Glimma Girlz reality? If so, what else is now different?

Apparently they've only ever been Glimma Girlz in the UK, South Africa, and probably some other countries that aren't the United States. So while we over here are sparkling, much of the world is glimmering. Or glimma-ing.

So let's unbox the Glimma Girlz Superstar Lifestyle pack (the superstar lifestyle presumably includes having a body double?) after the jump.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jingle all the way to the Lille Huset

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Elvin and Melvin's house. (Psst! There will be a SURPRISE of usefulness at many doll scales after the jump!)

Melvin, still in his robe due to chilly weather, is surprised when Elvin hauls home a tree!
Melvin said to lay out the garland and untangle it first, but does anyone ever listen? No.

It must have two ends! Everything has two ends!
Keep going...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Last Christmas, I Gave Myself Princesses

My usual habit with dolls bought at the dollar-store after-Christmas sales is to save them to be opened around Easter, and this year, I took that practice so far that it's now December.

Among last year's bonanza was two black dolls I'd had an eye on: a black Moxie Girlz Storytime Collection Princess and a black Lovely Patsy. Both had been, up to this point, creatures of legend in Phoenix, never seen by mortal eyes.

Don't piss off Tianna's* fairy godmother.
*the second N is for "clone"

While Hasbro's got the license for official Disney princesses, clearly this stops nobody from princessing all over the place. So let's haul these ladies out of their boxes and take a minute over their respective knock-off princess lines (the Moxie is distinctly slumming).

Monday, September 18, 2017

Tiny Fixer Upper: The Labor Day Adventure

Labor Day weekend was rehab time for the Dura-Craft Ponderosa that my parents bought for the furniture and I guess I talked them into redoing. Because doesn't everybody get on a plane to go rehab a dollhouse? You don't? Well...


Blue, blue, this house is blue
Around the early 80s, you'd'a been blue too.
I feel like "before" should be "beware." The porch is missing bits, the front door isn't actually attached, the blue exterior is, well, blue... and the interior has its own issues.

I got issues...
Those issues include elderly carpet, a mysterious wall that makes the kitchen barely usable, peeling wallpaper, and bathroom fixtures that were glued in. Oh, and missing window frames and window "glass" so yellowed with age that once I'd stacked the old windows on the kitchen counter, six times a day, someone would mistake them for a coffee spill.

Come along, bip-bip-bip after the jump, and we're going to make something of this house. (This post is going to be unusually photo-heavy, except for the parts where I forgot to take any photos at all. To help you get through the long journey, if you have Spotify, here's a playlist that turned up in my Twitter feed, which obviously is from more expert ears than mine but is very good for dealing with places and fixing things -- and then we can pretend we're all on MySpace, back in the day, except no purple sparkling text.)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What do you mean, it's been 2-1/2 months?

I cannot account for the passage of time. BUT if you click past the jump, there's a bonus project that nobody has seen yet!

Usually, there's a cat on the first floor.
Master bedroom is papered, but I haven't found a stair runner or put the trim back up.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fixer Upper: the second weekend brings wallpaper!

There are more ways to cut wallpaper wrong than to cut it right. (Infinity is larger than one!)

Bottom floor is re-papered, top floor is not.
Hanging paper was a tedious process, as the end walls have cracks, so it made sense to cut posterboard templates, Mod Podge the paper to the templates, and then glue the papered posterboard into place. My space is so limited that I could podge one back wall or a set of end walls at a time, and that's it.

And then it all warps and fits only so-so anyway. The doorways will definitely be getting trim that wasn't included in the original house.

O hai large flowers!
The desk with peach drawers is now a sophisticated black. I haven't entirely decided on the second color for the chair. Though blue painter's tape adds a jaunty industrial touch, it's a sign of things being in-progress, not an artistic statement. Fianna, supervising renovations, sits in an un-redone chair.

My punch list goes for days and days.
The fabric for the kitchen is going to be tea-dyed, possibly even tonight, when I finish cleaning up an experiment in authentic Irish soda bread that entirely explains why the Irish wanted to come to the U.S. for a better life.

Working our way toward industrial chic.
Meanwhile, Phineas marks the house as his. He hop-hopped onto the roof from the bed and went crazy. I guess the shingles feel good under the little cat chin.

It's mine, I tell you, it's MINE!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fixer Upper Day 3

Very little happened yesterday, due to disappointing trips to the Paper Source near the office (where all paper had gold flecks, veins, stamps, or other gilding) and to Jerry's Artarama (where every floral paper incorporated the exact shade of Pepto Pink that I spent Sunday painting over).

Today, the house is far enough along to be off its drop cloth and in its official spot at the foot of the bed, where it casts serious doubt on the wisdom of this room arrangement, but it's a convenient spot for working on it.

Still huge, less pink.
Between reading corporate reports, I recklessly painted some things. The bath fixtures are shiny pale aqua because I had half a can of shiny pale aqua, and it's a nice bath-ish color.

Super chi-chi vanity rehab in progress.
 Oh, there's more... and a surprise!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fixer-upper day 2

Tediously taping trim.

I painted things cream for the length of an entire movie on the musical influences of Leonard Cohen, which was pretty much a tour of how to be a Canadian intellectual in the 1950s and 1960s.

Lots of things needed to be cream, including a ton of window trim, the window interiors, the ceilings, and portions of the furniture. Oh! and the stairs. The stairs were held in place with two screws: one straight, one Phillips.

Notice what's missing? The carpet! I found the right corner to grip and gave it a yank. On Thursday, I'm going to Home Depot to look at flooring.

Phineas checks out progress at just the point where the paint might still be tacky enough to hold cat hair.

There's a Paper Source in the plaza that surrounds our current office location, so I'm shopping for wallpaper tonight. It's pricey, but not actually any worse than trying to buy large wallpaper samples online, and the selection is much better than at the nearest art supply store. (If I hate everything, there's always Jerry's in Tempe, but it's a haul.)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

And somehow I bought a fixer-upper

While cruising Craig's List between bouts of *cough* decluttering *cough*, I found a gigantic handmade house, with furniture, for $40.

A few hours later, it was delivered. It is literally so big that it needs to function as a footboard.

It's very pink.
It's Barbie-scale. I'd been vaguely hoping for 1:10 for my Madame Alexander family, but it's not like I don't have lots of fashion dolls who could move in.

Step one was to get some paint, as white-with-pink-trim is straight-up unbearable. I limply researched mid-century modern exterior color schemes, decided they were too dark to live with, and wandered off to Barry's Ace Hardware on the tram to look at light grays. Here we are after the second coat (the trim has had a little cream-colored paint so I could see how it looked but has not been addressed seriously, since that will require masking -- but I know where the blue painter's tape is!).

After the jump... interiors! And furniture that leaves me wondering if Greenleaf/Corona Concepts used to do playscale furniture kits.