Wednesday, December 14, 2016

a number of things....

Right now, I have a number of things going. I'm doing "Be your own Inspiration", "30 days of Art Journaling"and "Coloring Made Meaningful" With Allyson Bright's "Determined to Shine." program.
Because of that, I enrolled in Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Emporium, and plan on being there for maybe three months tops... her art is not exactly my style, but I'm learning. I got several art journaling books, and am planning to go through them one at a time. The first is The Confident Creative by Cat Bennett. It isn't exactly a journaling book, it's a Creativity book. Drawing in particular. I've always wanted to draw but never felt "good enough" but I just might be breaking through somehow. I guess it's about time.
The second book is 101 Mixed Media Techniques by Walter Foster publishing-- there are several authors. I haven't started this one yet.  The third one is something called Journal Spilling by Diana Trout. It looks like it will have tons of practical information.
The last one is The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Joanne Sharp. Lots of ideas for different fonts based on MY handwriting (or YOURS if you are going through it)

I'm also still working in my gratitude journal. I try to do a page every day or so, but I haven't been strict with myself. I am loving it.

I am also doing a challenge with my daughter, a Christmas 31 day scripture writing plan. Every day there are about 10 minutes of writing, so it's pretty do-able. I'm using it to practice lettering and good readable handwriting. I've also been doing some illustrations and/or stickers on some of the pages. I think it will be a great one to keep with my Christmas stuff and go through another time.

So is that all? I have also collected some coloring books. I love that they are doing this at the moment. The fad won't last forever, but that's okay, I probably have a few years' supply by now. Many from the Dollar Tree lately, because of Christmas.

So there you are.
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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fluttering Flitting Flying

I've been struggling with depression in a major way. So. I came across Determined to Shine, which was started by Allyson Bright a few years after the death of her husband by suicide. Read and hear  her story here. Determined to Shine

I'm not young anymore, on the outside. But I am on the inside. I have a LOT to learn. Allyson is about the age of my daughter! But she's gained a lot of wisdom along the way.

I don't want to say a lot about the classes, read about them on her website (link above) There are several classes so far, Be Your Own Inspiration, 30 days of Journal Prompts, and the brand-new Coloring Made Meaningful.

One of the things in the main class was making a gratitude journal. I scrambled some of her ideas and some of my own. I had purchased a Happy Planner (another story!!!) and ordered the small disks by mistake. So I made a little gratitude journal with 6 x 6 paper.  I am LOVING it and have plans for more for the rest of the year.


the cover. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for

One day I just couldn't think about ANYTHING to be thankful for. Then it dawned on me how much I appreciate having seasons.




My fourth child's birthday was last week. I am VERY thankful for him!


I found this quote online. It says it all. Even on those days when all I see is dark depression, I sure have stuff to be thankful for.


















And there's always Winnie the Pooh. ❤









So I have some more 6x6 paper on order.I see that I'll fill up winter before winter is over, since we've not exactly really begun. I just decided to start Christmas early this year. I need all the encouragement I can get. 

Another thing I found for journal prompts was "The Ungame" at the thrift store. I'm getting a good collection of stuff. And used some already. 
AND... while shopping for a coloring book, I found this. I've colored several so far and included one in a birthday card already. 


I am now rich in supplies for creating. Several new coloring books, gel pens, and markers. I've made a few background pages, and hope to get out my gelli plate one of these days too. I also found a journal that needs some decoupage on the cover. So there are no excuses to stop being creative. 


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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I guess I didn't think I had enough to do...

Thrift store SCORE today.The dolls were 75 cents apiece because on Tuesdays that thrift store has 25% off for Seniors which I gladly admitted. Actually, Lulu was marked 75 cents, so that made her 56 cents. I think Ricky was also marked 79 cents. I loved the regular Ricky and was a little sad to see him go, but thought he would be fun for JP who is being raised bilingually.


There's a Beanie Bopper named Lovable Lulu on the left. I have several others of those. Her hair was all tangly and as I straightened it out I saw that someone cut her bangs right down to the roots. It isn't super obvious, but I might take some of her back hair and make bangs. Right now I just surface washed her and re-tied her hair. 

Mini Ricky is next. This one's batteries are dead, so tomorrow I get some batteries and we will see what he says when you squeeze his tummy. I basically brushed him off well and got some junk out of his hair. These soft dolls can't really be washed but I spray them well with Lysol and let them dry. 

The next three are.... Bratz dolls with no feet. Can't leave the face painting alone. I already stripped the face off Cloe (the blonde) All have very tangled hair. All will need clothes, I downloaded the Tree Change Dolls knit and crochet patterns and I think that I can use Stacie's pants pattern with a little tweaking. Dresses would be simple. 

So now there are dolls waiting line, and decisions to be made, And something to reward myself when I get the chores done. 



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Sunday, September 18, 2016

I'm scared.


Can you hear the zombie music? This poor girl was sold "for parts" or TLC. There's a reason she was cheap. She looks about the same vintage as my Ginny, and I seem to be collecting two of whatever.

I am choosing TLC for this sweetie. She is filthy. Her wig is half off. It's in reasonably good condition although the cap has disintegrated. She only has half her eyelashes on one eye, her eyelids are painted different colors! She has no eyebrows and very little lips. She also has a crack on one shoulder and a small crack that hasn't split on her back.

She won't be a Play doll obviously but I have hopes for her. So far I started cleaning her, eased off her wig. Someone hot glued part of it. That came right off. I've been reading about wigs and I am going to re-use this one, hopefully. The seam has a tiny break in it but I am thinking fray-check. I will have to test it on an obscure part of the wig.

So this girl will be a learning experience. I love to fix stuff. I'm going to learn a lot such as How to Attach Wigs and How to Paint Eyebrows and Lips and How to Fix cracks. This is a bit more of an adventure that the 70s and 80s dolls I have done, and the minimum work I've had to do on my own littles.

So far I have cleaned her up a lot, taken off her wig so I can replace it STRAIGHT instead of wonky.


 She looks far less scary. I am still a little scared, thinking about doing a good job on her even though I don't really know what I'm doing. I have no idea on what kind of paint to use, or what kind of glue to use for her wig.

I did restring my own Ginny, so I do know how to do that much. I have the other hair bow, and amazingly her wig style is pretty intact. I can't imagine why she is so filthy. Well played with I guess but not loved in the last few years?

Here she is before I took her wig off. There's still lots of dirt to coax out of the nooks and crannies. What I imagine happened is that she was on a doll stand or something and not dusted for many years. The dirt is really sticky like the top of the refrigerator gets! I have to get more of those pointy q tips to get in those corners. I don't think I am going to try to repaint her eyelids, even though they are different colors you can't tell when her eyes are open.

So my goals for her are:

REALLY clean.
cracks repaired
maybe repaint her lips and eyebrows
hair re glued
make dress for her
let her join the Littles crew

and maybe do more with her eyes and eyelids when I know more. They work really well, unlike my Ginny, whose eyes have to be pried open once in awhile. The walking mechanism still works, although she's a bit pigeon-toed; but if she's displayed nobody will know. My Ginny stands by herself. This one might need a stand. We will see.

NOTE on 9/18... she's clean. I rebuilt her wig by making a new wig cap for her, washing the hair, restitching it to gauze and sewing it to the wig cap. Didn't take pictures. She says no pictures until her dress is done and her eyebrows are back. I think her hair is doing pretty well for a fifty plus year old wig. Right now her arms are off and maybe tomorrow I'll fix her cracks and her dress.




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Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Littles

Today I decided to bite the bullet and restring my poor Betsy whose head fell off. What I found out (by holding a flashlight to her head!) is that they must have put the rubber band for her head on before they even put her together! That means that little rubber band held up since 1959 when I got her-- 57 years! Pretty amazing! Of course I never really played hard with her, and many of those years were sitting in a box, sad to say. I restrung her after watching some tutorials, mainly

http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-mccall-twins-visit-hospital.html

with some thoughts from who knows where else. Her McCall twins look just like mine, falling apart! Ten years ago, a friend who used to run a doll hospital fixed her for me, her hip had broken and her crotch cracked. He fixed her up good as new, but didn't restring her head. She went back to the box.

Recently, I got out my old dolls and found out she'd lost her head. I researched getting her restrung, but found out it would cost me $30 or so. So then I started learning about restringing.

I used kind of a combination. I got some rubber bands for littles from dollspart. I did Ginny's arms (her walking mechanism still works!!) and Betsy 2's arms since her head is still on, although a bit wobbly. Poor Betsy 1 had no head. I used some elastic cord for her head, tied in in well, and then a rubber band for her arms. She is happy to be altogether.

And here's a picture of the three repaired ones (still needing hair attention but that's minor) and The Lotties on the right. I have no idea why I bought them other than their cuteness. At least they are small. :)



And I've been playing around with posing the Lotties. I saw the calendar on the wall and thought it might be a good background.

and of course Rain Puddles Lottie got jealous.

here's a picture of the three Old Little Girls. Wouldn't it be fun to be seven again?



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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Betsy's new dress

30 hours of riding in the car to go see my daughter... more like 32 total. She moved far far away. She had a sweet new baby I had to go meet. I took some crochet thread Just In Case I felt like making something. Here's what I did.

No pattern. I started out making a vest for Yasmin. Didn't like it, so decided to turn it into a Betsy dress. Just kept holding it up to the doll and adding stitches. Added the collar/sleeves as an afterthought. Like I did for the Barbie dresses.  Still needs a petticoat, but the basic dress finished.  Of course then I saw her hair was a mess. Oh well. She'll get a formal portrait later.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

I can't believe I bought a BRATZ. I don't LIKE them LOL

Here I go again. I found a Bratz doll for $5 on a clearance table. I've been really curious about repainting doll faces, so thought I'd give it a go. I haven't been feeling well the last few days, and

after I got up following yet another nap, I thought I'd try it.

Do I have an odd hubby, or was this doll designed by a man? He LIKES Bratz. I find the whole thing rather icky shall we say, their ultra-skinny mostly makeup huge feet selves? But since I know NOTHING about painting eyes I thought I could at the very least take off all that hideous (to me) eye make up. He thinks they look REALLY CUTE... and why did he marry me, I asked? He didn't have an answer, LOL. I'm a Plain Jane who has NO desire to wear makeup AT ALL and I own what, four pairs of shoes, three of them sandals? (my feet LOVE California) A girly girl?? No. I guess "they" call us LOW MAINTENANCE. A kind way of saying we don't like to wear makeup masks. That's what it feels like, wearing a mask, and as much as I try to explain it to hubby, and as much as he says it "enhances" beauty... (why did he marry me, he never said. Sounded like a good idea... Girly Girls are expensive. Been there done that, I guess. I'm #3, but he's been with me longest. I digress)

So I thought I'd try to JUST remove her makeup and not her eyes at this point. If I get braver I'll redo even the eyes, but for now she looks much better, in my opinion. I should know better than to ask my hubby's opinion. He just laughed and said, "Do what you want".


I think I will give her some eyelashes and maybe a touch of lipstick. And let her be more real.

Now she looks a bit pensive. Like she wonders what it will be like without all that makeup. She's pretty.

I read some stuff about Bratz dolls, and their designers. I admire a company that sticks to its guns and actually took on Mattel. And I really agree, if you don't like Bratz, don't buy them. From MY point of view, LOL, I've rescued her from something. A life having to be so caught up in "fashion" and being perfect. I also had a further discussion with hubby, and he said that I was putting a bit of a spin on what he said. I MIGHT do that, LOL...Cartoony isn't bad. Maybe I can think of the feet as cute.

Well. I'm kind of hoping to find another Bratz at the thrift store. The only thing is, I've heard they don't usually have feet.

So then there will be something else to try!! 

I used acetone and some of those really pointy cotton swabs I got when one of my kids got married and I thought I should wear makeup... A LOT of them. I need to look at her with a magnifying glass and clean her up a bit more. So far so good though.

Funny what "makeup" and "glamour" and "fashion" bring up for me. In school I always felt like an odd duck. My mom was the Glamour one. She would sigh and say, well you have to do the best with what you have.... and that we'd get some new clothes "when you lose that weight"... so I guess I can see that maybe my opinions are a bit.... well... colored with the hurt of my experiences. Maybe if I had been "good" at makeup and mask wearing... but then I wouldn't be the ME that I am, and I like me.

Oh. There are two designers. A man and a woman. Pretty cool, actually. Sometimes it does some good to read about the people behind the scenes.

But I still like her better without the makeup.

Sept. 1 note: She went with me to Idaho in hopes of getting a new dress. Betsy got it instead. But JP enjoyed playing with her like a 2 year old plays, by grabbing her by the hair and running around. I doubt if she enjoyed herself, but JP had fun. :)



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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Two doll restorations done!!

I got My Friend Jenny in the mail today. Here's the ebay picture since I forgot to take a "before". A little fuzzy since it's a tiny picture. I washed and combed her hair and found out that somebody did indeed cut her hair! Right on the top!! Poor sweetie! You take that chance when you buy a doll that looks like this. Which is why I would rather buy from the thrift store.

I think it will be okay. It sticks up somewhat, but whoever gets her will love her anyway. I put a clip on the top and that would do, like a little hair bow to match her dress... I washed her dress because it was dirty and the red bled into the white... but I can either use it as a pattern or replace the trim or both. In the after picture she's wearing her sister's extra dress. She has no shoes or socks yet I hope they are on the way. Her face is a bit darker than Mandy's. I think she's going to M. and I might have to get another for me. M's not ready to play with her yet so she'll get a wardrobe first. I'm doing G's Holly Hobbie too and L's Imogene, but there's really nothing wrong with them other than to re-glue Holly's bonnet and wash them gently so I won't document that.

Rainbow Brite is done too. I washed, finger combed and re-styled her yarn hair, Trimmed off some particularly ratty ends. Her bangs are uneven, but I'll leave that to Liv since she's the hair stylist. You can hardly see the ink spot but she just looks brighter and newer somehow.

So although I didn't accomplish much today other than clean the kitchen and pamper these two beauties, I had a satisfying day.  I'm excited that my grandkids will have some dolls to play with, even though 13 of them are boys, they can play with them too. There's another doll I should be sewing for right now but can't find the fabric for the gi. Another day.

After I restore them they are hard to give away. LOL but I know they will be loved by another generation, then probably need restoring again. So I might see them again!!



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Monday, August 15, 2016

Rainbow Brite


before any treatment
Poor Rainbow Brite has had an ink spot on her face since my daughter got her many years ago. I've been trying to get it off for the last few days. I've been working on all her dolls so I can return them to her in the best possible condition. She loved Rainbow Brite and carried her around often. She was a thrift store find like the rest of the dolls. I never tried to get the ink off, it seemed pretty soaked in.

I decided to try. I found a site that recommended putting benzyl peroxide acne cream on it and leaving it for awhile. I did that first. After about three hours with the acne cream on it. I couldn't tell if there was a change or not. It looked a teensy bit lighter, but maybe it's the lighting... I tried to take the pictures in the same spot with the same lighting.

after one hour in the sun
I read some more and found a site that advised putting saran wrap on it and leaving it in the sun so I did that next. Comparing the pictures I THINK it's lighter. Hard to tell.  I guess anything is an improvement.
two hours total in the sun
Here she is after another hour in the sun. I think if you look from the first picture to the last, you can definitely see a difference. I am hesitant to keep putting her out in the sun because I don't want to damage her... so...



this is what I did to the poor girl to protect her from the sun.




without treatment
3 hours not in the sun
and 2 hours in the sun





















My conclusion is that benzyl peroxide works well to get ink stains out. 30 year old ones... well maybe. It's better. After she has her hair styled again she'll be almost as good as new, except that she has no dress. That's ok, she's got a cute suit on.

There were a lot of sites that had this information, but one that encouraged me to try and reassure me that I wouldn't ruin the poor girl if I tried. She's out baking again right now, so maybe all of the ink will come out?? Even if no more came out I would be satisfied with this much, she looks much nicer already.

I let her sit in the sun another hour, and not much difference. This is a 30 year old stain after all... and maybe that faint stain can just stay as a reminder. And to prove she's really my daughter's doll and not an imposter. LOL.... I put some more on the stain and she's just going to sit in the bathroom for a few hours and we will see.

http://www.thriftyfun.com/Removing-Ink-from-Vinyl-Dolls-1.html

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tod-L-Tim

I had a doll in childhood I called "Kathy". She was a rubber doll, and she's still in a suitcase I haven't
been able to locate, haven't really tried, but she's probably in The Middle Bedroom {{shudder}}...

Anyway, I wanted to find out how old she was, and what she is called, and I found her. She's called Tod-L-Dee. I guess I didn't like the name Dee, I don't remember how she ended up Kathy. I don't even remember when I didn't have her.

So I found out that she had a twin, called Tod-L-Tim. Of course I had to have him, so I found him on ebay. Then of course he had to have some clothes. I drafted a shorts pattern for him, and I had a T shirt pattern that I thought would be about right.

The pants are made from some pants that were hanging around here, not sure where they came from but they were in The Rag Bag. Hubby puts a lot of inappropriate (in my opinion anyway, LOL) stuff in that rag bag. I took them out of there and put them in the Out Pile since they were still in reasonably good condition. They were pretty small so don't know whose they would have been... oh well stuff like that happens around here, we find stuff from years and years ago that no one is using, and we wonder why we don't have storage space. So I grabbed them and turned them into Tim's pants, with plenty left over for some other doll to have some pants too.

The T shirt was one of mine that I've loved for ages but has a few holes in it. It's probably 18 years old at least, but Timmy isn't going to mind. I don't really like the neckline, but this is the first T shirt I've made that is this tiny. I made dozens when my kids were growing up. There's plenty of fabric left for experimenting, and for now, Tim has clothes. And I'll make a dress for Kathy (Dee) when she surfaces, so they will be Matching Twins although Kathy is much darker. They won't care and neither will I.
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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Very First Doll Shoe

well, other than the ones I made out of duct tape.

I've been wanting to do doll shoes for awhile. I always want to try everything, LOL!! But I found a black leather skirt at the thrift store that I thought just might be good for such things.

So I made a shoe. I followed a tutorial, but not super pleased with it, but I should have started with an AG instead of Mandy. But poor Mandy has no shoes. And I don't want to pay $11.99 plus $9.50 for shipping. So I am just going to keep trying. :) I think I should start with something simpler however. But I might love it after I embellish it with a little embroidery. Of course I have to make another shoe. And she needs socks, I should have measured with socks. But I learned anyway. I think I will wait until she has socks and make a whole other pair. She shouldn't wear them without socks because of the dye in them, they might stain her feet. so... experience.
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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sweet wedding!

Whew... she got married, the dress fit, she looked beautiful. When I agreed to alter it, I didn't know I was going to end up in the hospital, and then have to recover from surgery. But it was finished in plenty of time.

Hallelujah! I am breathing a sigh of relief actually, because it is nerve racking to work on knitted sheer stuff... but it was a great challenge for me, and I'm glad it all worked out. It looks like it fits well, keeps everything together, and a perfect length for walking in the grass.  And what an honor to be able to do this for this sweet girl I knew when she was very small.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

something different

We got a new cooktop finally, we have
been without since April due to screwups with the order and delivery and it took until the middle of July to get it done. Anyway, hubby was concerned with having things (strainers and whisks) hanging up there. So I took them down, but it left the area looking bare and plain. I've been looking for tile decals online but thought about some butterflies that I still had hanging around, so decided maybe I'd put them up. They are probably temporary but they are fun. Five minutes to spark up the back splash. Of course pictures show up all the nicks and oldness of the tiles, plus all the spots I missed. When I actually put up the final decals, I'll have to clean it with alcohol or something. Then I start thinking about alcohol inks and sprays and..... ok calm down, it would just run down the wall. Anyway I'll have fun with the butterflies. Pretend you don't notice the cleaning supplies in the scene. This isn't a professional blog LOL... just me.
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Dolls again

Dolls again. Today I was in a thrift store again, and got another doll. She's an Our Generation Alejandra... she's gorgeous. Should have taken a before picture. Her hair's still a bit wild, but she had writing all over her face, and was marked 99 cents. Turns out she was also 20% off, so I got her for 79 cents. The baby onesie she's wearing cost 17 cents and the sweater was 99 cents. Now she has a few teensy chips in her face but otherwise she's great. Now to cut the onesie into a shirt and shorten the sweater sleeves and make her a skirt or shorts or pants to go with the top.

Daisy has a new dress and a new hairdo. I put it up because I think when she gets played with her hair would immediately tangle. I don't think Alejandra's will do that, it's a different texture. Anyway her onesie is a 3 month size and Alejandra's is a newborn. I just love Alejandra's sweater. Will have to see what else I can find. Love thrift stores. Daisy's bracelet is a hair clip from the Dollar Tree. I got a few thinking I could put new fabric or tape on them. This one goes well with her shirt/dress.

Now to not stay in love with these girls and find them some girls that would love to play with them. Or invite over to play with dolls, LOL

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About Me

My photo
just a crafty grandma experimenting with all sorts of things. My main interests are paper craft of any kind and quilting/sewing. But I've done leatherwork, polymer clay, on-the-wheel pottery, painted molded ceramics, papier mache, stained glass, plaster casting, linoleum printing, paper making... you name it, I've probably tried it. A few I actually stuck with. :)