Saturday, April 30, 2016

Furniture and Food

Tonight I'm going to focus on some of the furniture purchases I've made recently, and the real cool Re-ment food that I found. By furniture, I mean chairs, at least as far as this post goes. Chairs are vital to a good doll diorama, no matter what room you're in. Well, maybe not the bathroom. I was looking for some more kitchen chairs, and really like this style. Found two for a good price, so I picked them up. Today Barbie will only be modeling with one. It really does look like a style of human sized chair currently on the market.
You won't catch me sitting down on the job! Mostly because I can't sit.
The next chair purchase was kind of a impulse buy. These were given out at the latest Barbie convention, and then of course, eBay was flooded with them. I looked at a lot of auctions to make sure I was getting a decent price. I've seen this style of chair a lot on various websites, mostly painted gold. The last place I saw them was in pictures of a Barbie exhibition in Paris. The chairs from the convention had plain satin cushions on them, with enormous tags attached. I ripped the cushions off completely. Since I have plenty of fabric and batting, I can make my own cushions. I can even make several in different colors and fabrics and change them around.
Lastly, I happened to see an armchair, still in bag, from the 8" Madeline doll line. It was a fantastic price, so I picked that up as well. I already have one, but as you'll see, this chair can look good for the 1/6 crowd as well. Plus, what looks cozier on a cold winter night than two matching armchairs before the fire?

Here Madeline models. She and her fellow 8" crowd are going to make sure they keep at least one of these.
See how nicely I fit in this chair? It's mine.
But really, this chair is not any shorter than a chair made specifically for Barbie.
So then I had Holly step in and take a seat.
So much more comfortable than sitting on plastic!
That's the last of the furniture for now. What do you think of the green armchair for taller dolls?

One of the things I look for very often is deals on Re-ment packs of mini food. Admittedly, they are a little small for 1/6 size, but so nicely made that the size issue can be looked past. I also love seeing them in dioramas people set up without dolls. It's amazing how with the right lighting and perspective, a doll diorama can look very close to real. I'm not anywhere near that skill level myself, but my dolls like to have something to eat and drink while they're sitting around on all these chairs.

Here is the bulk of three Re-ment sets that I picked up recently. The watermelon set I bought because it was a great deal. The whole watermelon is, I think, too small for 1/6. The watermelon pieces could be used, possibly. I'm not sure what that dessert looking thing in the white dish is, but I'm pretty sure those are pieces of watermelon in there. The dessert piece comes out of the bowl, so the brown plate, white bowl and spoon will be useful even by themselves. I actually bought two paella/sangria sets. I loooove sangria! Each set only comes with one glass, and really, who wants to drink alone? So two dolls can now nosh on paella and sangria while sunning themselves on the Costa del Sol. Heck, they can have a pitcher apiece!

Again, the sangria glasses are pretty small for drinking wine, to my eyes. Still, they've got that whole pitcher to keep the refills coming. I really like that you can see tasty slices of citrus all the way down into the pitcher.

And the good thing about the paella is that all the pieces come apart, for more play options. Those shelled items in the paella don't look much like the mussels I've seen in pictures of actual paella. However, if my dolls want to have a clam bake in September, these might work.

Buying furniture and accessories for dolls, speaking for myself, does not give me the same joy as opening a new doll. But after all, we only have so much space to display our dolls, or even to store them. And only so much money to buy them! So it's enjoyable to create dioramas for the dolls to pose in while on display, at least for me. Dioramas can always be changed to keep your doll display looking fresher, too. Win win!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Shopping

I was going to write about some of the things I've seen in the doll aisles while out shopping, and also about some of the furniture and accessory purchases that I've made recently. I really have been concentrating more on that kind of thing, and not just buying Ever After High dolls! :) However, I realized I have a lot of pictures of things I've bought recently, so I decided for this post, to focus on things I've seen while I've been out, and a head swap I did between two Ashlynn Ella dolls. My post about things I've bought will be my last post for April.

In case you haven't seen her for yourself yet, here's a picture of the new Wonder Woman doll by Mattel. Her face sculpt is great. Honestly, I think Mattel does the best overall job of translating the appearance of real people into doll sculpts. But wow, is she expensive!
At Michael's last week, I saw some items that might be nice if you are planning a garden for your dolls this spring. I especially like the lantern, although I'd want to get it off of the shepherd's crook it's on. And also spray paint it black. Two of those evergreens in pots would look good on either side of the front entrance of a dolly home.
I've been to TRU since last time I talked about the Bratz dolls and verified that everything is on sale except for the new metallic wave. However, no Bratz stuff seemed to be on sale at WalMart or Target. The Bratz section is smaller than it has been before at Target, since the new DC Super Hero Girl line has been added to that aisle. However, the large Customize Your Own Bratz display is still up, although most of it seems to be sold out.
Last time I posted, I talked about a Mirror Beach Ashlynn Ella I'd bought who had a bad case of glue head. Since then, I decided to grab one of budget Ashlynn dolls and try a little head swap. For only $8, I thought just the tiara, necklace and shoes were practically worth that. Budget Ashlynn's hair is not perfect, but it's better than her Mirror Beach counterpart.

Here's budget Ashlynn before she lost her head. :) As you can see, she has a molded-on bathing suit, and straight arms. I forgot to get a picture of her wearing her tiara, but you can see her necklace and shoes. I think I'm going to try to perk up all of those pieces with a little bit of paint.

Mirror Beach Ashlynn's neck post had quite a bit of glue on it, hardly surprising. It was also more "complex" than the budget doll. Budget A's head was on a straight post with no prongs. Please excuse the bad lighting in my bathroom. :)
As you can see, the two Ashlynn heads are pretty much identical. Neither doll is from one of the more deluxe lines. Mirror Beach is on the left; budget on the right. Their heads are wet because I kept both of the dolls in hot water for a brief time, to loosen up the vinyl and make the heads easier to pull off.
I now have an articulated Ashlynn with better hair, so I'm thinking about what I will do with my "spare" head. I'm tempted to try a re-root just for the fun of it, to see if I can actually do it. I'm also wondering if I might find some EAH dolls in less than perfect condition at garage sales this summer, and do some Frankendolly stuff with those. I'm looking forward to seeing what I might get.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shopping: Ever After High, Glue Head, Bratz

I've been wanting to post for a while, but I haven't known where to start. Hmm. Well, remember when I said I was buying Ever After High's Ashlynn Ella and Hunter Huntsman, back in January? I'm now up to ten Ever After High dolls in my collection. I've gotten really good deals on all of them, at least. Thanks to Tam's enabling, for example, my most recent purchases included Hat-tastic Cerise Hood for only 9.99 at Tuesday Morning. I also found some Nanotech blocks that I've wanted for a very long time, but wasn't sure where to find. I'll do a separate post about those, after I get some pictures taken.

At Toys R Us, I bought a Mirror Beach Ashlynn Ella. I love the doll, but she has an awful case of glue hair, the worst I've seen of the dolls I have. I've tried Dawn dishwashing detergent, tea tree shampoo, and baby powder. The baby powder seemed to help, but I wanted to wash it out, which made the hair feel greasy again. I very likely used too much baby powder. I'm tempted just to fix it with a re-root, but I'm nervous about doing it myself because of the tiny holes, and it's costly to have it done, not surprising when you look at the time involved. I'm just glad I got Ashlynn for half off. Not that I think she was worth her original price, what with no stand, not a lot of jewelry, and a simple bathing suit/skirt costume.

Speaking of quality and pricing, pictures are leaking of the new EAH dolls that are being produced this year. Maybe the reason they weren't at Toy Fair is because the quality has dropped in a big way. Darling Charming, for example, a major character whom collectors have eagerly awaited, has molded hair, and painted on pants and shoes. This also means his knees don't bend. Ugh! Several of the new dolls in the Epic Winter movie line also have painted on leggings. I read somewhere a suggestion that Mattel may be trying to fill in its range of toys for littler girls, now that the Disney Princess line has been lost, with EAH and MH. Thus, the more smiling faces, and fewer small clothing pieces to deal with. Not a good plan if true, Mattel. Get your creative team to be creative!

Although I was uncertain for a long time about getting Ever After High dolls, I'm happy now about getting into the line. I love bright colors, and EAH has those in abundance. The shelf these dolls are on really stands out among some of the other groups of dolls that I have. I'm trying to move my dolls around so they can be on a shelf where I can see them better. I'm actually kind of having fun with the overhaul of my sewing/books/dolls area. I guess that's good.

Oh, and I also wanted to mention that TRU seemed to have all its Bratz merchandise marked down and piled in a big bin in the middle of an aisle. That doesn't seem to be a good sign, but I don't follow the Bratz market. Toy drama everywhere! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ever After High Stuff

I finally decided to give Chinese website AliExpress a whirl, and my first purchase ended up being two pairs of Ever After High shoes. I picked them up from the post office today, and I'm happy with both pairs. Since they're not "official," they're not painted like many EAH shoes are, which I like, since they don't "go" with any particular doll's outfit or color scheme that way.

The first pair of shoes are from the outfit of Legacy Day Madeline Hatter. They look very pretty as Madeline wears them, with the teacups in different colors. I would also like these if they were all gold; Maddy's shoes are mostly bright gold, and I like the color. I'm not sure how well these shoes would take paint, however, since they are not solid plastic, but a bit more like rubber. In any case, they're beautifully detailed. Since I don't have a Maddy, Holly stepped in to model.

I could try just highlighting some of the details on these shoes with paint. That would be less of a worry than painting the whole shoe and wondering if the color will stain the doll's foot.

The next pair of shoes was designed for Cedar Wood. On Amazon, I saw a picture where the straps are a bright pink, and the leaves and the branches on the platforms made to stand out with some black shading behind them. Again, I might consider doing something with these shoes to bring out the patterns on the platforms. I also don't own a Cedar Wood, but since Ashlynn Ella not only loves nature, but can never turn down a new pair of shoes, she was glad to model for me.
Not only does Ashlynn have new shoes, but a very special furniture piece. I blogged about wanting to repaint this item about a year and a half ago, but I'm glad I never did. It belonged to a Cinderella doll set my youngest daughter had, appropriately enough, a shoe shop.
This bookcase reminds Ashlynn of her beloved mother, Cinderella. It even has a picture of her Dad, Prince Charming.
For now, I'm also going to display books from Legacy Day dolls on top. I only have one book right now, belonging to Briar. I'd like to get Legacy Day Ashlynn and Cerise Hood at some point, if their prices go down. Getting into Ever After High late, I missed getting some of the earliest dolls at good prices.
I have actually started painting some other furniture I have, now that the weather is warm enough (some days) to spray on an initial coat of Krylon before I start the actual painting. That will make up at least one other post, probably more. I'm documenting my work every now and then through the process.

Two more things:
1. I got both of my daughters watching the Ever After High webisodes. That actually made them interested in looking at my dolls! :) My youngest daughter even suggested she should get a Holly doll, and her sister a Poppy doll. My eldest daughter likes dying her hair, and just dyed one side purple, although it's more of a Raven Queen purple.
2. When I got my Legacy Day Briar in the mail, my husband brought the box in and opened it for me. At which point he said, "Briar? Don't you already have two of those?" (I do, First Chapter and Spring Unsprung.) I guess he does pay some attention to my dolls (although in this case I think a lot of that is because I've been buying dolls from our shared Amazon account.) He also watched a couple of EAH short videos with me, although he didn't get sucked in like my daughters' did. :)

Has anyone else gotten any doll items from AliExpress? I know SmallerPlaces has, and also BlackKitty.