Friday, July 25, 2014

J-Dolls Maroseica Street

This is probably the first time I have been majorly disappointed in a doll. I recently bought J-Doll Maroseica Street, although I hadn't played with her much. At last, I'm able to review her, renamed as Mari.

So, I read a review of Mari at the Doll Grotto. From that I expected that her shoes might be an issue, even though Heather said shoe problems were unusual. But sure enough, Mari's shoes were falling apart before I took them out of the bag.

This does not bode well.
 And the shoes fell to even more bits after I took them out of the bag. They're useless.


From Heather's review, I also learned that Mari's black underwear might stain. It did, but this is the best picture that I could get of the stained part. Basically it's right along the seam between Mari's bum and her hip joint. Not bad, but just another problem.


Mari herself is beautiful, and the reason I bought her was because her red hair and green eyes are unusual, maybe even unique, in the J-Doll line.


Mari's body came wrapped in plastic, and the foam pieces holding her arms up from the box were stained, so I did have warning that her outfit might stain. She hasn't worn it since I took her out of the box; I dressed her for this review. She has a black net petticoat trimmed with silver lace, but it doesn't do anything for the dress, and I never got around to taking pictures, for reasons you'll see soon.

The dress itself is unusual but not unattractive. It's made out of a green suede-type material, with sewn on lace, beads, small metallic looking decorations and narrow chains.


Heather's review warned that the trim around her doll's sleeve frayed, and mine did as well. The other sleeve didn't have a problem only because that hand popped off easily, so the sleeve fit right over the arm. I had thought that the left hand didn't pop off, or at least not easily.


Another problem was that this dress kept wanting to fall right off of Mari. And the Velcro closure in back did not fasten for the entire piece when I tried to shift this so it was covering her chest more. Like they hadn't measured in her chest when they put the Velcro on. If it wasn't for the fact that the otherwise detached sleeves are sewn by a small seam to the side of the bodice, the dress might very well just slide off.


At this point, I was going to put on Mari's headpiece and take some pictures of her in the dress and headpiece. But then I discovered that after wearing the dress for about only ten minutes, the dress was already staining the doll, so I pulled it off quickly.

Below is the damage done to the arm; when I took Mari into the bathroom to try to get the stains off with a Magic Eraser, I discovered that her left hand was also slightly stained as well. But when I went to scrub that, I discovered that it did indeed pop off, and it went right down the drain! :O I'm hoping Mr. BTEG can rescue it out of the trap when he gets home.


Here's Mari wearing the headpiece. I didn't get any more pictures because the headpiece fell off when I tried to rearrange her for another picture, and I was pretty tired of the whole thing at this point.


Heather tied the headpiece's ribbon in front, under the doll's chin. That might be more stable, but since this doll was named after a Russian street, I thought perhaps they were going more for a look like these headpieces worn by Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana Nicholaievena. As you can see, there is a veil in the back and you can also make out a ribbon bow. Without the matching dress, Mari's headpiece is not very exciting however you arrange it.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olga_%C3%A9s_Tatj%C3%A1na_in_court_gown_1913.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Olga_%C3%A9s_Tatj%C3%A1na_in_court_gown_1913.jpg

Heather said her J-Doll had three looped-up braids; mine has four, two on the sides and two in the back. I might redo this style if I get inspired with another idea, but it's fine the way it is.


So this is the first doll I am going to have to give a overall bad review for. Mari's shoes disintegrated, her underwear stained, and her dress stained. What can she wear that headpiece with, besides the dress it came with? Her stockings, like other J-Doll stockings, don't have any memory stretch to them, so they'll very likely start sagging after a few times of being taken on and off. So what you get is a doll, and a pretty uninspiring black net petticoat which I had to use a seam ripper to get off because the petticoat doesn't come with any fastenings. So basically, you get a doll. Even after knowing ahead of time that there might be issues, my doll ended up with more problems than Heather's did, since mine can't even wear her dress for pictures. I'm glad I paid less than Heather paid for hers, and if you're interested in one because you like Mari's face, I wouldn't pay more than $20 for one.

Update: Mr. BTEG succeeded in retrieving Mari's hand.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Daisy Chain Award

jSarie of Revenge of the Toy Box gave me a Daisy Chain Award!


She asked me to answer the 8 questions that I wish someone would ask about my doll collection and my doll blog. I hadn't really considered the question much before, but here are the questions that I came up with.

1. Do you have a "grail" doll?
Basically, a grail doll is a doll that is difficult/expensive to obtain. Very often these are limited edition dolls from conventions/comic-cons, which then explode in price when they're offered on the secondary market. You would really love it for your collection, but you have to spend a long time waiting for it and searching for the best price.
Having said that? I'm not sure that I have a grail doll right now. I've longed on and off for a High Seas Daphne Dimples by Tonner, but she comes up on eBay several times a year, and I don't know what I'd do with her dated hairstyle if I did get her. I'd also like some version of Tonner's Cinderella face sculpt, but there are many of those to choose from.

2. Do you have a favorite doll line?  
I'll always have a soft spot for Barbie. I played with her all through my childhood, and still have several prized versions of her in my collection. But I'd have to say that my favorite line is Tonner's 16" dolls. Possibly not a big surprise after reading question number one, hmm?

3. What kind of articulation level do you like in your dolls?
As I said above, I played with straight-arm, three-click leg, Barbies all through my childhood, and my child's imagination rapidly filled in the gaps between what the doll could actually do and what I wanted her to look like she was doing. But as an adult I have really come to appreciate dolls that can actually bend their elbows, much less move their wrists, and bend their knees more than three clicks. Much beyond that (and the general arm/leg/neck rotation), and the joints stand out too much for me. I do have some not-Barbie dolls in my collection that can't bend their arms or knees at all.

4. Any doll lines that you've moved on from?
When I first got into 16" vinyl dolls, I did pick up some dolls from Mel Odom's Gene line, and Madame Alexander's Alex line. All of those eventually went on to new homes, except for one coat and hat.
  
5. Is there anything you would do differently with your collection, if you could go back in time?
I don't regret any of the dolls that I've bought. I've always enjoyed them while I've had them, and I've been able to send them on to new homes at a price that was acceptable to me. I probably would have tried harder to pick up more of 18" Samantha's collection when it was offered by AG. But I discovered Samantha when Mr. BTEG and I were first starting our family, and a lot of other things took priority over the years. I never dreamed that Samantha would be retired, and since she was the first one to go, it was a total surprise. I can tell that the new BeForever line won't be anywhere near the same, but there's always eBay. :)

6. Where do you see your collection going in the next few years?
I think I'm going to be focusing more on furniture and clothes than on dolls. There are some dolls I would like to pick up, but the list is getting shorter and shorter. After thinking I wanted a certain doll, only to lose interest in getting her after several years, I've learned that I can usually live without specific dolls. A good bit of the time what draws me to a doll is her clothes, anyway.

7. Do you have anything that you want to learn do that will enhance your collection?
I used to think about repainting faces and re-rooting hair, but I don't think I have steady enough hands for the first, nor enough patience for the second. I absolutely have to learn how to construct/wallpaper/paint a dollhouse. I've been wanting to do it for years and have been too afraid to tackle it. Mr. BTEG and I are very settled where we are right now, so there is no time like the present. On a similar note, I need more practice repainting plastic furniture.
I also want to keep improving my sewing skills. Again, I've had lots of dreams and have not acted on nearly enough of them.  

8. What did you hope to accomplish when you started this blog?
Sometimes a blog is referred to as the blogger's virtual house. Since I enjoyed visiting other people's "houses" and looking at their dolls, I decided to invite people to my "house" and let them see my dolls. I wanted to meet people with whom I share some doll interests, and to have all kinds of conversations about collecting. I like talking to all of my readers, and visiting the blogs of those who have their own!

I'd like to pass this award on to Ghoulia13 and Ghouliette at Dollsville, USA, sister collectors. Here are the 8 questions I'd like them to answer.

1. Do you currently have a grail doll?

2. What doll in your collection gave you the most satisfaction in acquiring (hard to find/you found a good price/wanted for a long time/just really wanted)?

3. Which doll manufacturer produces the best quality clothes and shoes, in your opinion?

4. How much life (or death, if you prefer) do you think the Monster High line has left?

5. If you could bring one retired doll line back, which one would it be?

6. Pick a doll line and describe what your dream doll from that line would look like/wear.

7. Is there something you'd like to see offered by a doll line, that isn't available now?

8. What first attracts you to a particular doll? Hair, face, clothes?

I hope you two ghouls will participate!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Modern Kitchen Out of the Box

So here it is, finally. I wasn't pleased with the first round of pictures that I took, so I sat down and tried again today. I have to accept that these pictures are about as good as I'm going to get, at least with my set-up the way it is now. The kitchen is a little far away from the real windows, so sunlight only helps a little, and I don't have a portable light or lights at the moment. Also, the shelf the kitchen is displayed on is right by the side of my bed, so I was sitting awkwardly on my bed taking these and trying to stay out of the direct sun. The use of a tripod was a help today. But I realized that if I wait for perfect pictures, I'd never get these up!

One note, the light turquoise backsplash in the kitchen was added by me. There was a sticker of a coffeepot on a shelf, that was stuck above the sink. The sticker didn't want to come off, so I covered all the white plastic below the cupboards. I don't think this will be my final arrangement, but it works for now.

With most of the doors open, so you can see what I've acquired to go inside. A combination of Re-Ment, ORCARA, Mattel, Sindy and odds and ends.
The shiny plastic kitchen floor reflects quite a bit too much.
The kitchen with the doors all closed.
Adelheid, a J-Doll, for scale purposes. Kitty looks hungry.
Adelheid is just about to cut some French bread and spread it with tasty jam. Would you like a slice?
jSarie of Revenge of the Toy Box has kindly given me a Daisy Chain Award, and that will be the subject of my next post. She asked me to answer 8 questions concerning what I would like people to ask me about my blogging or about my doll collection. I have a list of questions made up, but if there is anything *you* would like to ask, please leave it in the comments!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

I don't really have what's necessary to set up any special Fourth pics this year, so I decided to go with mini American Girl Felicity. She is still a short time away from living through July 4th, 1776, but many events have already happened during her lifetime that will pave the way to the Declaration of Independence.


I want to do a post on my mini AG girls at some point, but I have some other things I want to work on first. I hope that all of you have a happy and safe weekend, including my non-American readers. :) I hope that Americans all have a great holiday!

Happy Fourth of July!