Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Asian Lantern Festival at Cleveland Zoo, with Asian Babysitting Skipper

My daughter The Dancer usually works on Sundays, but since she had off, I suggested that we go to the Asian Lantern Festival currently on at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, as we both wanted to check it out. A mutual friend of Mr. BTEG and the Dancer also joined us.

There were so many incredibly beautiful scenes set up, and we had a great time. Fortunately for us the weather was bearable, because we walked around the zoo twice, once during daylight, and once after the sun had set. For anybody familiar with the Cleveland Zoo, we didn't walk around the whole zoo, as a good bit of it was shut down, including the Australian Adventure section. I would have loved sharing pictures with my Aussie readers. :) Of course, we didn't have much time for extensive picture taking. We were at the zoo over three hours as it was, although we did see a show between our two walks, and also took a breather a couple of times.

I didn't take a lot of pictures with my doll, now named Mingmei. There weren't a lot of places to get her into the picture in an interactive way, since the lanterns were usually well behind fences. Also, as I said, I was with two other people, so I didn't want to take forever setting up shots. The Dancer did hold Mingmei for me while I took pictures. Here are the shots that I took. There will be more shots from the event, without Mingmei, below the fold, if you are interested. And although this event was called the Asian Lantern Festival, everything there was focused on Chinese culture and history.

In front of a parasol, which was one of several. I got a good shot of some other ones from the set-up at night, below the fold. I want to make a blog header out of this, but Google is not letting me at the moment.
A goldfish and bubbles. According to a sign, goldfish are symbols of wealth and prosperity in China.
Narcissus flowers.
A blue ball. There was also a pink one, and they both looked like giant Christmas ornament balls.
By the beautiful archway that stood at the entrance/exit of the zoo.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Surprise Travel Doll!

Today I got a box in the mail from my sister. She's been helping my mom go through stuff in her house; my mom is healthy, but she is 83. Most of what was in the box was old school papers, but there was also a travel doll in her original box! Tam showed us several travel dolls on her blog, and now I get one out of the blue! Now that I'm looking at the doll again, I do remember having her when I was a little girl. Unfortunately, I can't remember where she came from. Let's take a look at her.

Here she is in her box. The box is beaten up, but mostly intact, and the cellophane or plastic on the cover is still there. Judging by my beautiful handwriting, I must have received her when I was maybe seven or eight at the most?
Her head, torso and arms are made of lightweight plastic; her legs and feet are made of rubber. Her shoulders and hips allow her to move her arms and legs forward and backwards, and her head can turn left and right. She does open her sleep eyes, but I'm not sure they open all the way. Something rattles a little inside her head when you shake her; maybe it is the sleep eye mechanism. I love the shape of her little hands.

She wears a white cap, a white rectangular neckpiece, a red and black garment that looks like a shawl, but is also the only thing covering her torso, an apron, a skirt, an underskirt, simple underpants, and rubber shoes. Her underskirt is held on by virtue of being attached to a string that ties around her waist. I think her hair is probably mohair.

The mark on her underskirt looks like it was possibly some sort of mark by the manufacturer? It feels like it is painted on. Is it possible it was paper that changed over her many decades? It also looks like her underskirt was either sewn oddly, or is inside out, as the raw edge of the hem is on the outside of the skirt as she wears it. I don't remember ever taking her clothes off, but her underskirt could have fallen off and been put back on at some point, I suppose.

She is about 5 5/8" tall, or 14 cm. That probably explains why the bottom of her shoes are marked 14M. Maybe there were larger and smaller dolls like this, making this doll the Medium size.
I only found one clue as to which country this doll is from, but it isn't completely helpful. On the underside of her apron, there is a tag which appears to read, Mele, Danmark.
So our little lady is probably Danish, but I'm not sure that I'm reading the first word correctly, as it doesn't seem to mean anything applicable in Danish. I also tried looking up the word as Mels, but I got no results with that either.

I hope you like my little surprise dolly! I also enjoyed going through my school papers. There were a couple of notes from teachers that shed a lot of insight on my personality, and a note from a kindergarten speech therapist concerned because I can't lift the tip of my tongue when I speak. Well, yes, because I'm tongue-tied. I wonder if my parents tried to do the exercises with me that the speech therapist recommended. To this day, I'm not always understandable with every word when I speak. Oh well!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Welcome to My Crib

I've been talking for a while about showing pictures of the craft/hobby area that I share with my husband and my youngest daughter, the Dancer, who still lives at home. I took advantage of the sunny day we had today, and the fact that my part of the room is about as organized as it might ever be, to finally get some shots.

The Dancer does not really have much set up in her area yet, but she just got her own table not that long ago. She previously had a little space kind of carved out of her father's table and mine, which used to be back to back. She paints gaming miniatures, as does her father, but she is also interested in cross-stitching. I hope to find more hobbies for her to pursue. :)
There is just enough room to get to the right side of the closet doors. The Dancer hangs a lot of her clothes up in here, since there is no closet where her bedroom is. On the left side of this closet, that is blocked by her table, hang all of her dance recital costumes. I just went through old photos and figured it out; she has 20 costumes from 5 recitals.
The white wire shelving unit is mine. The white three drawer unit on top has most of my scrapbook paper. There's a small tool box, and then the rest is doll clothes, doll accessories, and doll furniture that I need to either find a home for, or sand, paint and find a home for.
I couldn't get a good shot of my entire craft table, where you could see everything on it well. So here's the left side. Mr. BTEG splurged on a compressed wood table for me, that doesn't make my dolls' hair all static-y, among other benefits.
Here's the right side of my table. I've got a lot going on right now, and a few things that need put away. Some of the stuff you see on the table will be in future posts. The black drawer unit on wheels, that has the paper towels and other assorted things on it, is also mine. This used to be strictly for sewing, until I decided I needed it more for storing doll things. The two top drawers still have ribbon for trims in them.
Here's a picture taken a bit back, so that you can get an idea of what the whole table space looks like. The camper will probably be going to the doll display area in my bedroom, once it gets its redo. The blue box underneath the camper holds most of the dolls that I use for dioramas. They're all standing up in there.
Directly behind my table, is my tall shelving unit. Among the many things on these shelves are my Ever After High playset cases, doll furniture and accessories, craft supplies, and crafting books. The blue photo boxes hold Kelly, her friends and baby dolls, old style Stacie and friends dolls, and old style Skipper and friends dolls. Since I don't take out these dolls as often, I decided it was better to store them in an acid-free, cardboard box. A couple of the plastic storage boxes I had for these dolls got too plastic-y inside, if you know what I'm talking about. The door to the left of my shelf leads to the second bath on the second floor. It's the Dancer's bathroom, now that her sister has left home. There's another door from the bathroom going out to the hall, just outside the main craft room door, which is to the right of these shelves.
Here's Mr. BTEG's table. It sits at a right angle to mine; some of it was visible in the pictures of my table.
There's a portable heater under the table, which we'll need in the winter. This room sits over the garage, so the floor isn't as well insulated, plus the ceilings slant up to a high point, the room faces north, and the window is very large. You'll see the window at the end.

Mr. BTEG also has a shelf like mine. He does more than print 3D items and do miniature and 3D item painting. He keeps supplies for his multiple Arduino and Raspberry Pi computers here. He occasionally does soldering on electronics here. And there are a lot of tools.
And in the opposite corner on this wall, sits his 3D printer set-up. The large plastic boxes store rolls of filament that he uses to print.
Lastly, here's a complete view of the front window, which is front of my table. The curtains are somewhat insulative, so they'll mostly be closed when winter comes along. The top arch, however, would be very expensive to cover, because of its size. I've never found a really practical way to do it. Yep, the curtain rod sags. The curtains would be better on the type of rod that gets drilled into the wall on either side, but that kind of rod just hasn't happened.
I hope you enjoyed this look around our shared little area where the BTEG family pursues our individual interests. It's a boost to my productivity to have an area completely devoted to crafting and photography. I know Rachael is working on a craft room for herself, and Xanadu has a pretty organized space. What does everyone else do?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

LoveNikki and Barbie App

No, not the kind of app where the game is already all about Barbie. This is Barbie in a phone/tablet app game where Mattel does a tie-in with a pre-existing game owned by another company. In this case, the game is called LoveNikki, and it's a dress-up/storyline/outfit competition game, that I've mentioned to a couple of you before. If you've seen ads for Love Nikki, be aware that the game is nothing like the ads show.

Most of the clothing/background/accessory/other pieces can be gained without spending real-world cash. The game is also free-to-play, meaning you don't have to buy the game first at the app store. However, to generate sales and keep up player interest, LoveNikki also has regular events. Often, there are a few pieces that everyone can get for free. Other pieces can be acquired by using in-game currency diamonds. You can get diamonds for free every day, but it does take quite a while to save up enough to get a lot in an event. And then there is some stuff you can't get except by spending real-world cash. Honestly, I have spent money on this game. I've been playing it for a year and a half, and besides my doll/sewing hobbies, I don't do anything to spend discretionary money, like go to the movies or concerts.

So, LoveNikki has a Facebook page. Every day during the Barbie event, a new code was offered on the Facebook page, and you could enter that code in the game to win items. Most of what was given away were things like stamina, gold coins, and star coins, but if you entered all the codes, you were guaranteed to win Barbie's original swimsuit, black mules, and a pair of white sunglasses for your in-game fashion character to wear. Well, the sunglasses are held in the hand, and not worn. Here's a picture of the dress-up "doll" wearing the outfit. She also has make-up and hair from the two other outfits on offer.
The two outfits were named Space Fantasy and Romantic Moment. Space Fantasy was based on the 80s astronaut Barbie outfit, with a space-going dog and some space-themed background stuff. Romantic Moment was pretty much the same as the Silkstone 10th Anniversary doll, along with an necklace, fur stole, a cute kitty cat, and a Barbie throne background. There was a story that one Barbie was an astronaut, the other a fashion model; that they met and hit it off after finding out that they were both named Barbie; and that Barbie astronaut's successful mission into space gave fashion model Barbie back the courage to pursue her fashion dreams. Here is what the complete outfits looked like, taken off of Love Nikki's Facebook page. The complete sets in-game are too wide to fit into a screen-shot. However, below the fold, I'll show you some details of the individual pieces, if you're interested.

Monday, June 3, 2019

LORI Camper

I first noted the existence of the LORI camper, made by Our Generation for their 6" doll line, back in August of 2015. Our Generation is a doll company that makes lower cost (and quality) 18" dolls, like the American Girls. They also make extra clothes, accessories, and even roombox playsets. With the popularity of the mini AG dolls, Our Generation also began to make mini 6" versions of their bigger dolls. Then they introduced the LORI line, which makes 6" dolls of better quality, at a higher price point, and also lots of accessories, like outfits, cars, horses, a stable, a dollhouse, individual room furniture sets, and the camper below (or caravan for my friends outside the US.) :) Speaking of the US, LORI items only seem to be available at Target stores in person, although LORI also has a presence on US Amazon.
I'd wanted to buy one fairly soon after I saw it, but I kept putting it off. I finally decided I'd better buy one, since who knows when they're going to stop being produced, so I'd like to share a few pictures, now that I've gotten it home. I do wish I'd bought one back when the exterior trim and interior seating and beds were blue. They're now pink.
The camper comes with everything you see inside, plus another pot and a frying pan, cooking utensils, and a set of dishes and silverware for two. Most of those items have also been included with one of the cookware and food accessory sets, if you've seen that. The kitchenette drawers and doors open, although the doors under the kitchen sink are kind of warped. I'm thinking the doors can be fixed, or replaced. Also functional are the cupboard doors just under the roof of the camper, but they only open in pairs, so there are only two doors, and not four. The camper is exactly suited for the 6" doll, but since I don't have a LORI doll, I'm substituting mini American Girl Ruth, friend of 1930s character Kit Kittredge. She's the most modern era mini AG that I own. According to the American Girl website, the mini dolls are 6.5" tall, while LORI says their dolls are 6" tall. I think Ruth looks great in there anyway.

The small silver bar above the kitchen sink contains a light, which can be turned on by the tiny button you may be able to see on the right of the light. I forgot to get a picture of the camper with the light on. :(

I suppose the color scheme doesn't matter in the long run, since I really want to revamp this camper. I'm currently trying to think of a theme that I would like to use. Oddly enough, I haven't seen many pictures of this camper at all online, much less inspiring ones. Maybe mini doll collectors have moved on to other things, but this could still be used for other types of dolls of this size. Someone on Flickr took progressive photos of how she started with the LORI dollhouse as a shell, and almost completely broke it apart and put it back together with additions, using it for her miniature family and furniture. One person on Flickr did an impressive upgrade of the camper, using a Route 66 Western theme. She also added her own lighting. I also found one person who left the interior mostly the same, but did add her own bedding, and cushioning and pillows for the corner seating, plus a few decorations. And here's a second one with just new bedding, seating and curtains.

If I redo it, it's definitely going to be more of an overall transformation, like the Route 66 version. I may do something similar to what she did with the overall wood look, only make mine with more of the look of a rustic cabin. Buffalo check blankets, snowshoes, that kind of thing. It would take some research, but I have a vague idea, if I wanted to go that way. There are also lots of people who have done creative things with DIY camper kits, like the kind that you can buy at AliExpress. I feel that those ideas would be useful, because those kits are not very large, so you're also trying to make a lot of a small space. For all that LORI calls this item a "glamper," this really doesn't have the space or amenities that a lot of real-life big campers do.

When I was adding the links to this post, I noticed that the same person who changed up the LORI dollhouse, also made the Route 66 camper. I guess that really shouldn't surprise me, but it is even more of an indicator of how little creativity with these pieces is being shared on the Internet. The same person also did some pretty racy stuff with other dolls in another Flickr album; you have been warned if you go looking around her photo account. Lastly, one weird note: the table in the camper was originally the same fuchsia pink, and was spray painted to match the color of the wood-look floor. One good thing about this camper is the floor and table already have that wood look and an actual textured wood grain appearance, which I think would look great repainted.
Does anyone else have a home on wheels for their dolls? Do you yourself like to camp, in a tent or a camper? Or do you not vacation anywhere that you can't call room service? ;)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Cu-Poche and Ever After High

I've been wanting to take some pictures with my new Cu-Poche dolls and their sort-of-corresponding Ever After High dolls since I got the Cu-Poche ones. I bought the light strand, that looks like a vine, at Target on clearance after Easter. It's so perfect for lots of photo themes, I think. The blue bird is Re-Ment.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

New Mattel Dolls I've Seen, Via Instagram

Since I don't own these pictures, and they're not off of an official Mattel site, I'm not going to post any images here. But supposedly in July, Mattel is introducing a new line of five dolls called the Wild Hearts Crew. The theme of these dolls is that they do "cool" things like take pictures, play video games, or ride a skateboard; that's what I'm getting from their outfits. I'm pretty sure you don't have to be an Instagram member to see Instagram photos, so here is the link where I saw the dolls. There's an arrow on the side of the first photo, where you can click through to see all five dolls. If you can see them, what do you think? As an 80s teen, the safety pin jewelry made me laugh. We did it first! ;)

There are also small Monster High logos here and there on the girls' clothes, apparently an homage to Monster High. I wonder if they are targeting girls who played with Monster High when they were younger, and are now doing other things. As I was writing this, I just remembered my 10 year old niece bought a skateboard while we shopping together, the last time I saw her.

The dolls have articulation in their necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists and knees, as seen in the photos. Also presumably hips. There are also different body types, so I'm wondering if rebodying to a Barbie head would be feasible. One doll is wearing a necklace from a Barbie outfit, so I'm wondering if these girls will be able to share clothes with Barbie dolls. These dolls remind of My Scene; they have larger heads and are "edgier" than the dolls in the regular Barbie line. From a quick graphic I saw on Instagram, the dolls are going to be $14.99 each, and there will be outfit packs for them as well. They will only be available in the US at Walmart for now. I might buy one and review it, if I like the look of a doll, or think she would be good rebody material. XD

News has also been floating around about new Mattel dolls in the likenesses of K-Pop boy band BTS. Here is a webpage that talks about fans' mixed reaction to images of the line, but also has a good photo of each doll. I think I would only buy Jimin, but again, I wonder if these would be good for body swaps with pale-skinned Kens. Would anyone else like to see a line of dolls from a K-Pop girl band? I would! The BTS dolls are due to appear on shelves in September.