Dolls and Doll-related Items for Sale

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ever After High Signature Meeshell Mermaid Holiday Giveaway!

I've had a couple of successful trips to Tuesday Morning recently, including grabbing two EAH Signature Meeshell Mermaid dolls. So I've decided to share my recent good fortune by giving away one of the Meeshell Mermaids! I would love to be able to offer this to a reader anywhere in the world (or just about. I haven't looked into prices everywhere. If you want the doll and live outside the US, leave a note in the comments and I can look into shipping costs.) Depending on where you live, and postage, I might check out what it would cost if I deboxed the doll before shipping, so keep that in mind. I'm posting a couple of pictures of the doll I'm giving away, so you know what you would be getting. Also, this is one of the newer EAH dolls, so there is no stand, and only a story card.

To win this doll, please follow my blog (if you're not already), and leave a comment below. I will be accepting comments until midnight United States Eastern Standard Time, Friday, July 6th.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today (Not Doll-Related)

(Although Mr. BTEG did give me the doll that was to start my Barbie collection a short while later.)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Shopping: Tuesday Morning and Target Version

Let's start with Target, as one of the items there is time-limited. It's this doll-size grill. Tam already posted about it, and when I went to Target a couple of days ago, there were only two left, and one of them had come apart into two pieces and was on two different shelving units. However, when I went back today, there were three gleaming brand-new ones, and one of them was pink, which I hadn't seen before, but apparently Tam had. I imagine these will be in stores until after Independence Day, or close to it. In any case, if you want one and you have a Target near you, head in and grab one. They're in the dollar store section in the front. Tam's looks very realistic now that it's gotten a coat of black spray paint.
This Our Generation set caught my eye, because in my mind, I associate those build-a-molecule sets with chemistry, and not biology. Then again, the actual title of the set is Life Science.The Dancer and I had a small discussion about life science, biology, and atoms. According to the Dancer, they did learn about cell membranes, which have to do with things like potassium, in biology. I've only ever known students to get those molecule sets in chemistry classes, though. It doesn't matter too much, as the set is still cute (if you can call seeing someone's insides "cute.") I wonder if that set is structured with a real molecule in mind, or if the design is only to have an attractive grouping of "atoms." I flunked my high school chemistry final, so don't look at me!
These pet sets also appeared to be new. It's fun to see a variety beyond the usual cat and dog.
Speaking of dogs, this scooter set is super cute! It's the kind of clever, outside-the-box thinking that I like to see, that takes a doll product a step higher. Granted, it is easier to add something like this to products for the 6" size dolls. The actual product also makes use of "girly colors" beyond pink, even if the boxes themselves are pink.
And lastly, I took a picture of this science desk set, only because it is still full-price at Target (as far as I could tell) but also available (and marked down) at my local Tuesday Morning. The art desk set was also at Tuesday Morning.
Also, there were a couple of LORI dolls at Tuesday Morning. That surprised me, because I thought Target was the only brick-and-mortar retailer of LORI dolls, and Target generally clearances stuff down until it's gone.

As for what I got, I picked up my second Ever After High Raven and Apple School Spirit set from Tuesday Morning. I got, and reviewed, my first School Spirit two-pack for Mother's Day of 2016. The last time I went to Tuesday Morning, there were two of the packs on the shelf. I had enough self-control to only take one of them home the last time I was there, but for $14.99, I had to grab the other one when I found it still there two days ago. The dolls can always be re-rooted, re-painted, and re-dressed. $7.50 each for a full-dressed and articulated Ever After High doll is nothing to be sneezed since they're pretty much not around anymore. There was also a Budget Apple with straight arms and legs still on the shelf. Hopefully some little girl will find her and be happy with her.

I also picked up the Barbie violinist pack for $2.99, solely for the violin, even if it does say "Barbie" on it.
I passed on an Ever After High Castle Set, marked down to $30.00. You'd better believe I'll be looking to see if it's been marked down some more, though, the next time I go in.

Tuesday Morning has many kinds of products for sale, and I love to cruise some of the other aisles, looking to see if there are any other bargains that I can pick up. I got a cardboard scratcher for cats, and a small make-up type bag for the Dancer, since she's traveling a couple of times this summer. I also found a few great things for dolls, in the craft aisle: three of these three-bag sets of sticky-back white tiles. Each set of three bags was only $1.99! I also picked up one set of pink, as that was all they had of that. Not enough to tile a 1/6 size floor, which would have been fun, but they can be used for mirrors, tabletops, and kitchen/bathroom counters.

Anyone else pick up a good find lately?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Craft Store Haul

This actual shopping trip dates from a while back. I wanted to take care of some other things on the blog first, and then real life went sideways for a while, but I still want to share my fun finds! A lot of these items are for spring events that have passed, but they're all re-usable, so that's no big deal.  I bought all these things at Pat Catan's, which only has stores in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Pat Catan's was bought by Michael's craft store a while back, but still maintains its own stores and identity.

This is probably the least successful purchase that I made, from a size perspective, anyway. The basket is very nice, and I knew it was going to be big for the 1/6 set, but I was hoping it would pass for a storage basket, the kind you have in your living room that you store blankets in or whatever. However, the basket is just too big for that. I'm sure I'll find some kind of use for it.
On the floor is a "magazine" that came with a Barbie fashion set. Basket is definitely too big to store 1/6 size magazines.

Next are some St. Patrick's Day/Irish themed pendants. They're too big for Barbie and friends to wear on a necklace, but I could make them work as decoration, either on clothes or in a diorama scene. I wanted to grab these mostly because they're seasonal.

Next is a jar of items which may not be exciting to most of you, but I think they might be useful for me, mostly for my Ever After High stories and dioramas. I bought a jar of twigs! Yes, I can just get some from outside of my house, but these don't come with any worries about bugs, and I believe they're treated so that they don't start coming apart, like I think most twigs from outdoors would already be doing.

Also in the not-so-exciting category are these small red and green doilies. I bought these because they were cheap, I think I will probably be able to make some use of them, and I thought I might as well grab them because these colors are seasonal.
At some point I showed you some blue and white lanterns that I bought.
On this trip, I bought pink and white lanterns, and a yellow birdhouse. All are good sizes for 1/6.
Unless you sew for your dolls, this pack won't mean much. It is a set of nylon plastic-y bars to press bias strips, ostensibly for quilting. Supposedly, a hook on one end will help you turn the strips right side out, which was the more interesting part to me, as it can be a difficult task, especially the smaller the strip. I do want to try more quilting, but I can also see bias strips being used on 1/6 dresses with straps, or even to make a Celtic design on an outfit. I might not have bought this set, however, except that it was on clearance.
I picked up some St. Patrick's Day scrapbook paper, since I knew that would disappear as soon as the holiday was over. It's not suitable for wallpaper, but I figured I could use it for decoration.
I did cut some shamrock shapes out to use as decoration for my St. Patrick's Day diorama.
You can also see green shamrock lights. Some of the most fun things I bought on my shopping trip were several strings of small lights, a good size for doll dioramas. Again, these are seasonal. I bought the green shamrocks, red hearts, multi-color flowers, and purple butterflies. Sounds like a box of Lucky Charms cereal. XD I want to pick up some red, white and blue lights soon for use in a July 4th diorama. I'm sure mini lights with those colors will be available right now.

Although these crowns are maybe a little small for 1/6, I had to buy them! I think they were only a dollar each, or less, so I bought four, two silver and two gold. Next time I go back, I might buy one or two more if they still have them. I'm sure I can find uses for them. If they were attached to something else (maybe a veil?), they might even look not too out of proportion, as a small crown to wear on the head, with some tiny jewels added. I think it suits the petite girl best as far as size. They would be cute as little princess headwear for Stacie size too.

Lastly, I bought a scrapbook paper book that I loved so much, that I paid full price for it! :O Or at least full price minus my Pat Catan's discount. It is a book of fairy tale style sheets, and although not all of them will work as wallpaper, I think they would all make beautiful backdrops for fairy tale dioramas, and of course the Ever After High crew will be perfect for this. So that's going to be an ongoing project for a while, creating dioramas one or two at a time and putting them up here. I won't put up any pictures now, as I want every new diorama to be a surprise! :) I'm looking forward to it, but of course I wanted to get this stuff up first. It's way overdue as it is.

These items are not doll-related at all, but I've talked about decorating Eastern European style Easter eggs with BlackKitty, so I wanted to show her this endcap display. I didn't pick up any of these things, because I'd already blown my budget on doll stuff, and because we didn't really have any room to decorate eggs for Easter this year anyway. I've seen these items at Pat Catan's for at least one previous Easter, so I'm hoping they'll have these items again next Easter. At some point I really would like to try the craft.

Do you have favorite items to buy at the craft store? How often do you get sucked in buying cool stuff you happen to find?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Chapter Six: Meeting with a Stranger

"So what do we do now?" Sig asked Addi. They were eating their supper in a quiet corner of the dining room in a small inn in Normandie. They had already booked rooms for the night.
That afternoon, they had met with the current steward of the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. It had been pleasant, if not particularly fruitful. Mademoiselle de Marche was a daughter of the Duke of Normandie, and was a descendant of Beauty and the Beast. Mademoiselle was about Addi and Sig's age, and was presently residing with her family at her father's country chateau.

Addi waited until the barmaid had set down their plates and walked away before replying to Sig's question. "Well, you've figured out what my own deductions are in regards to these apparent invasions into the realm of fairy tales, into our world."

Sig slowly nodded his head. He hadn't been able to completely hide his startled movement of revelation, after a comment the Mademoiselle de Marche made that afternoon. The young noblewoman seemed very intelligent, and also both forthright, and extremely proud of her family and all of its history, including the more hidden side.
"I did hear about a possible break-in at Roseraie," she'd said in a matter-of-fact manner. "But it's nonsense to think of anything at Roseraie that would be worth stealing, from a magical sense. My great-great-grandfather was under a curse cast by a witch with a knowledge of spellwork. Any witch could get hold of such a spell today if she found the right books, I imagine. But that has nothing to with anything at Roseraie. My poor double-great grandfather was only sent there so his curse would not embarrass the royal family."

"Of course you understand, however, that having just looked into a suspicious occurrence in the Bois de Bruyere, we felt it was too much of a coincidence not to investigate here," Addi replied smoothly.
"It's certainly odd timing, but then there's nothing of value at the ruins of Sleeping Beauty's castle either, is there? Even back then, the Marchen knew the danger of leaving famous magical artifacts around, even if the magic was spent. Nobody believes in magic any more, but evil magic workers still exist. It's our knowledge of that evil that matters now, people who hold the keys, not things."

Sig heard those words again in his mind, looking at Addi across the supper table. He spoke slowly, concentrating on finding the right words to express his as yet vague deductions.

"We Marchen keep our existence and knowledge within a very small community. Anyone who wanted to use magic for evil would benefit from discovering those who have held on to the old stories."

"Exactly. Any plans made by an evil fairy or witch would be hampered by the few groups who still know about fairies, witches and magic." Addi shivered. "I think someone is trying to flush out Marchen to eliminate them."

"So what do we do now," Sig said again. "Lie low here and wait for another suspicious incident? Explore Roseraie? Try to get back home?"

Addi subtly nudged Sig with her knee. "There's a young man in the doorway over there who seems to be looking for someone," she said, her face showing no expression. "I think he might... yes, he's headed towards us."

Addi's hand reached for the small dagger hidden beneath her tunic. Sig shifted ever so slightly so that he could access the long knife in his boot.

The young man was dressed plainly, but carried himself regally, and spoke with careful politeness. Surprisingly, he addressed them in the high dialect of their own region. "Might I have the privilege of joining you?"

Sig nodded curt approval, but still kept his hand under the table on his knife.
His voice low, the stranger said, "My name is Phillippe-Emmanuel Oiseau. I know who you are, because I am one of your number as well. However, I also occasionally work with a smaller group called the League of the Fey. The purpose of the League is support, and acquisition of knowledge. However, they also keep an eye on everyone of their own kind, even those like your new friend of a few days back, who have chosen not to use their gifts. This led them to learn of your investigations here in Gaul, and it was decided that it would be best to take you into their confidence, especially as the leaders of the League here are sure there will be more strange movements in the future."

"And how can we trust you?" asked Addi, giving every indication that she did not. "We have been directed to our new friends, as you put it, through some of my own kin. You, on the other hand, have appeared out of nowhere."

The stranger shrugged. "Very true. However, if you would care to undertake another short journey, I could arrange a small meeting not only with myself but someone you might be able to trust, a member of your own clan."
"And is this member of my clan involved with this other League?" Addi asked angrily. Ulfer were not supposed to be formally allied with anyone, even Marchen, outside of their own clans.

"The young lady has helped the League from time to time, but her relationship with them is very informal."

"And when and where would this meeting take place, if we decide to take you up on your offer?" Sig was very quiet and stiff.

"There is a popular open-air eatery called the Cafe de Chaussure Argente in the village of Chenonceaux, where I reside. My friend and I will be taking tea there tomorrow afternoon, and we would be delighted to have you join us. It should be an easy journey by carriage, and there is a lovely inn nearby if you cared to spend the evening." Phillippe-Emmanuel rose from his seat and bowed. "Au revoir."

Sig tried to speak casually, to hide the upset of this sudden meeting from a dining room of strangers. "I suppose my question has been answered, Sister of Mine. That is, if you agree we should take the trip."

"I at least want to know who this betrayer of my kin is," Addi snapped.

Sig sighed deeply. "I knew you'd see it like that. Addi, dear, listen to me," he added as Addi started to speak. "Don't let pride and anger cloud your judgement. We'll need our wits about us tomorrow. I know, I know," he added quietly, interrupting her again. "Your clan is everything to you, keeping your own secrets safe is your highest loyalty. I admire that, I really do, and I realize how important it is. Perhaps this member of your kin is helping to keep her small clan safe in her own way. There might be someone out there right now after all of us. Remember that."

Addi looked down at the table and toyed glumly with her spoon. She wanted to keep her own kin at home safe, and heading straight back there tomorrow might jeopardize that; she'd realized that already. She knew Sig was right; they'd have to be at their most alert and clear-minded, ready to find out new information or face possible danger.

Sig covered her hand with his. "Let's finish our supper and get some sleep. My bed looked really comfortable, and we could both use a good night's rest. Try not to snore so loudly tonight," he finished with a wink.
Addi smacked his arm, but smiled.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Pullip Alice du Jardin Eye Mechanism

Since I'm adding six more pictures to show how Alice's eyes look in different positions, plus the mechanism in the back, I decided to just make a new post out of it. The original post is here.
Looking left
Looking straight ahead
Looking right
Lots of Pullip collectors like to repaint the eyelids with patterns like dots or stripes or even fancier designs. I'm not sure that's my style. Also, you can leave one eyelid open and one shut, to make her look like she is winking.

Lastly, here is what the changing mechanism on the back looks like. The lever in the middle moves the eyes back and forth. The rods on either side are what open and close her eyelids. I still had a bit of a problem getting her left eyelid back open. The rods pop in easily; I have a hard time getting them to pop back out. It doesn't help that I don't want to mess up her hair too much, and you really have to sweep it back just to access the rods. In this picture you can also see how her wig is rooted.
I think her changing eye looks will be fun for pictures. I've heard the movable eyes in Tonner's Patience doll are fun, except when they get too out of control and go cross-eyed or wall-eyed. Do you think you would like a doll with movable eyes, if you don't have one?

Also, Mr. BTEG glued Alice's shoe back together for me with Aleene's Tacky Glue.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Groove Pullip Alice du Jardin

For a while, I put off buying a Pullip doll, because the JPGroove official website was advertising some kind of future sale, and picturing three dolls that I was already interested in buying. I was hoping the three dolls were going to be sold in a reduced price three-pack. Instead, the dolls were full priced, but you also received two bags of eyechips, two bags of shoes, and a wig. In other words, Groove is dumping stuff from the Make It Own line, that didn't sell. Well, I certainly could use more shoes for my J-Dolls, and any Pullips I might get in the future that have wonky shoes. The spare wig looks very nice too, although I didn't get a picture of it. So I don't have anything to complain about there. You'll see the extra shoes at the end.

When I pulled Alice out of her shipping box and paper wrappings, I had an "Oooooh" moment that I haven't had in quite a long time, when viewing a doll in-box for the first time. As far as I'm concerned, for a higher-priced doll,  you should be impressed when you first view it. I knew exactly what she looked like; I've seen lots of owner pics of her. But just viewing her in person made me excited to own her.

Let's go over her head, clothes and accessories. As you may know, Pullips have a small lever in back that lets you turn their eyes from side to side, and also open and close the upper lids. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pick of the eyes in different positions. And when I closed the eyes, at first I was afraid I wasn't going to get them open again without brute force. It's been so long since I got Alice, that I've forgotten exactly how I did get them open. I'm pretty sure there's also a knob on the back of her head. Either I had to push that in, or the actual lever, to "release" the eyelids. I took some new pictures later to show how her eyes work and made it into its own post, which is here.

Alice's hair is gorgeous, and mostly in ringlet curls, but there are lots of loose hairs that create frizz. I'm very thankful that I have my Pleasant Company American Girl wig brush. I've been gently trying to brush her hair and incorporate some of those loose hairs into the curls. It's only going so-so, though. I may just have to accept some frizz, because it really doesn't spoil her look. What is a problem is that her bangs look crooked. I say look, because I haven't tried yet to re-adjust her wig, to see if that fixes the problem. If not, I'm going to very carefully give her a bit of a trim.
She's a very attractive doll, though not everyone's cup of tea. But I'm fine with her over-sized head, and I love her outfit, which is very well made. It was a little bit startling at first to see the J-Doll body, that I'm so familiar with, with an enormous head and outfit to match, but I'm getting used to her.

It was a surprise, however, to find out that there's no way to attach the huge brown bow firmly to her head. There is a stiff headband underneath the bow, yes, but it doesn't fit her head snugly, and it doesn't seem bendable to where it would fit. So her bow has to be carefully laid on top of her head. Considering her large noggin already makes her difficult to pose, this is just another challenge. She also came with the stuffed rabbit and stand. The rabbit is wearing a small clock-face pendant, as a small nod to the very loosely interpreted Alice in Wonderland theme. I'll tell you a bit later on why she's not wearing shoes.

Her costume consists of a dress with net underskirt and ruffle, an elaborate apron, and ruffled cuffs on her arms. I'm not sure whether those are supposed to be pushed up to the end of her sleeves, or worn as cuffs on her wrists. On the one hand, they tend to slip down and cover her hands in a very impractical fashion if they're worn on her wrists (although what part of this costume is practical, really?) On the other hand, they look strange right below the sleeves, at least to me. Like if they were meant to be there, why not just sew them onto the actual sleeve cuffs?

I called this clothing piece below an apron, because that matches the Alice in Wonderland concept. This is really an elaborate overdress, that could be worn as a dress on its own. I'm going to have to try to get a non-blurry picture of this. The viewing lens on my camera is so small that it's impossible to tell whether a picture is blurry until I upload it. And I've already put off this review for way too long as it is.
Underneath the dress is an underskirt made mostly of net, with a ribbon, a ruffle and lace trims. You can also see her underwear, and her stockings. Those stay on her fairly well, as opposed to most of the stockings that I've gotten with J-Dolls. That may be because these are made of a stretchable knit, as opposed to large-scale pieces of lace, as many of the J-Doll ones are.
Even without all of the fancy outer trimmings, the dress itself does not disappoint. I left the underskirt on, but the dress has its own ruffle with row of lace, tucks in the skirt and puffed sleeves, darts on the front of the bodice, a bib with pleated trim, and neckbow, although that is actually a separate piece. I'm almost scared to untie it, if I ever wanted to redress Alice. Would I ever be able to tie it again?

I only have one ridiculously small quibble with the dress, and that is that the stitches on the outside of the dress are made with white thread, instead of cream, which would not stand out as much as the white. But considering how well the entire costume is made, and how elaborate, that's really nothing but the perfectionist seamstress in me talking.
And now, for the shoes. Oh, those infamous Jun Planning/Groove doll shoes. If you've read any of my J-Doll reviews, most of the shoes don't even fit, although that's nothing compared to the pair that disintegrated before they even came out of the box. You can be sure, then, that I wasn't necessarily going to expect that a nice pair of shoes was going to accompany any Pullip, as oftentimes they wear the same shoes that I've already had bad luck with. From the pictures, however, Alice's shoes seemed like they might be one piece, and even sturdy. And indeed, the pink part is one solid piece, that fits relatively well (the giant rose covers the fact that there's lots of room between the upper part of the shoe and her foot.) The one-piece gold bow and straps are also sturdy enough. However, apparently if something can go wrong with a Groove doll shoe, it will. When they came out of the box, both shoes looked like this:
However, within about fifteen minutes, one shoe ended up like this:
At least the pink part is still one sturdy piece, and the bow hasn't broken into little pieces! Yeah, I may have low expectations here, but at least that means that the parts can be glued back together. Conceivably. I tried Loc-Tite super glue this afternoon, and the glue was more interested in sticking the shoe and my fingers together, than sticking the gold piece back to the shoe. However, that was only a first try. I'm sure there's lots of other things I can try, so I haven't given up yet, although it means Alice did not get to pose in her shoes for this review.

She also came with a stand. It's rather nice, with a large base and nice waist grip. The only problem is that the upright part of the stand is telescoping, which can mean it's difficult trying to stand up a doll with bending knees and ankles. At least for me, Alice wanted to collapse at the knee just as much as she wanted to stand straight so I could fit the grip to her waist. Also, the base and the upright section are two separate pieces, which kept coming apart, as the hole in the base, and the post of the upright section, are both very shallow. And of course, there's the fact that Alice is very top-heavy, but that's nothing to be surprised about.
To sum up, I'm really happy with my purchase. The body is nice, I like the face, the hair is perfectly acceptable as is (at least it's not filled with glue), the clothes are gorgeous, and her hairbow and bunny accessories are cute. I may get a tiny hairclip and sew it to the bow, to keep it in place on her head. The shoe coming apart is something that I would imagine could happen with any shoe with separate pieces glued together.

And speaking of shoes, here are the two shoe packs that came with Alice.
Nothing exciting, which is why I imagine that they didn't sell well. I myself looked at buying these a couple of times and decided against it. But I'm not sorry to own them. You'll probably see them on my J-Dolls at some point in the future.

The two packs of eyechips are not exciting, unless I decide I want to restyle a doll in the future, which is always a possibility. The wig, though. I haven't taken it out of the package because it seems so delicate, but this is the wig I got.
Photo belongs to Groove and is only to show the wig I received.
If I was going to pick a wig, this is the one I would have chosen, being the most elaborate. If you're going to get a wig-with-purchase, why not make it a more complicated 'do rather than a simple short cut? When I say it seems delicate, I only mean that I don't want to disturb those long ringlets until I'm ready to put the wig on a doll. And this also means that I can buy a Pullip who might be less expensive, but whose hairstyle didn't interest me, and swap wigs. Saving money, yay!

How do you feel about big-headed dolls? How do you feel about her Loli fashion? Any tips on how to glue Alice's shoe back together again?