Sitting across the bar, staring right at her prey
It's going well so far, she's gonna get her way
1st-Jan-2014 10:47 am - 2013 doll wrap-up!
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Honey (cheeky))
I've seen a couple people doing this, so here's a 2013 dolly wrap-up! First off, I got really into Kurhn dolls. January was interesting because, although Kalli had placed orders, China was celebrating their New Year so shipments were greatly delayed. I don't think any Kurhn dolls arrived until February! We didn't mind the wait, but we were both anxious about whether or not they'd arrive safely. (Kalli purchases them through AliExpress and occasionally uses a middle-agent to buy from TaoBao. Thanks to shopping on TaoBao I recognize quite a few Chinese characters and can easily convert USD to HKD.) Amusingly, our bank gets all flipped out over these purchases from merchants in China. We regularly get mail alerting us that shops located in China have charged our accounts for amounts varying from a couple dollars to $30 or so. I mentioned it to a teller, once, but it's not something regular bank employees can change (as it's in as a security feature). The retailers in China get paid, of course, but it just means Kalli and I both receive a lot of mail asking "did you authorize this transaction? If not, please respond immediately!" It's a waste of paper and I wish they'd do it by email.

Monster High depressed me for a large portion of 2013. I was really fed up with the glue issue and the on-going problem of finding dolls in stores. It was still next to impossible in the early part of the year to find older Monster High dolls on eBay, much less ones with good eye placement. All of these annoyances built up to me focusing on Kurhn dolls instead (and hoping MH would get their act together). I bought a music festival Abbey in June and.. that was it! (I liked her bangs and she's China without head glue.) A few weeks later Kalli discovered lots of people selling earlier MH dolls on eBay for less than what they'd originally retailed for. That was exciting, but I didn't bite until late November (with Christmas in mind). Kalli and I both ended up getting a couple more dolls - I got a School's Out Lagoona, Mad Science Lagoona, and Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen. Kalli got me a School's Out Cleo, too, and her face is lovely. It took forever to find one with decent eyes. Poor Cleo gets all the wall-eye there is. :/ This one's great, though. Kalli got her an outfit, too, but I want to try and find her something a little better eventually. She seems a bit incomplete at the moment.

Most importantly, perhaps, I reached the conclusion that I'm not determined enough to finish personal re-root projects in a timely fashion. I'm also a bit 'eh' about ordering from Restoredoll and Dollyhair because the site layouts really bother me. It's also hard for me to tell how a color shown in a picture will look on a doll, so it really helps to have samples to work from. Restoredoll doesn't offer samples (as the hair comes in skeins) but Dollyhair does. I've got a couple Dollyhair samples on hand (and my original Howleen's all figured out in that regard). It's much easier for me, overall, to safe up and seek talented re-root artists to do the re-roots which... is exactly what Kalli and I did! We commissioned Kristen for the restoration of my Spectra who's been sitting around without hair for over a year and a half and Kalli's Toralei, who'd been completely ruined by glue saturation.

They're both lovely. Here's Kalli's pic of Toralei:
Toralei's new hair!

And Spectra! (She's the one on the left.)

It seems a bit silly to make doll-related New Year's resolutions, but... I'd love to have a 1/6th Azone Pure Neemo doll someday. I don't think it'll happen this year because I'm building myself a desktop and that's the entirety of my excess financial aid from college. (Trust me, it wasn't much, and it's not technically 'extra.' Sadly. I'm maxing my loans and they'll need to be repaid once I leave school and start working. Woohoo.) I'm building myself a desktop that'll last, though, so this won't be a recurring issue. Maybe 2015 will see a Pure Neemo doll! :D Anyway... Happy New Year, everyone! I hope it brings you everything you're hoping for, even if your hopes are simply peace and comfort. :)
20th-Dec-2013 12:24 am - Sweet Screams
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Honey (cheeky))
Okay so I definitely wasn't thrilled about 'Sweet Screams' Monster High when I first saw them, but ... I changed my mind. Yep. Changed it. They're fabulous. I don't even care if they're Indonesia-made instead of China. They'll be mine, one way or another. So CUTE.

"With what money, Sadie?"

Shut up. I'm quite innovative when I need to be. ;)
14th-Dec-2013 02:26 pm - Bay of evil and weather
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Blossoms)
So I'm sure everyone knows, but people are selling off their Monster High collections on eBay. If you've got patience (and older dolls) that you particularly wanted back-when, nowish is the time to be hunting them. Kalli and I have managed to score a couple ghouls for less than what they originally retailed for. It takes me a long time to find ones with decent pictures so I can weed out eye-wonk, but it's worth it. I've stopped worrying about glue because if I'm terribly fussed, there are lovely people who offer rerooting services and really, it's just a matter of saving up for that.

My Christmas excitement is finally starting to settle in. I've really enjoyed having Kalli open up gifts. I'm awful, really, and hate surprises. It makes me happy to have her open up her things and look at them. (Saving items for one specific day is just silly. I like making people feel special often.)

We've got a Nor'easter on its way! I think we're supposed to get at least 14 inches of snow, if the weather reporters are to be believed, and eeeeeeeee I loves me some winter. Tons of dolls-in-snow pictures to come, I'm sure! We may lose power but that's no real hardship with a woodstove and piles of woollen blankets.

I should get some pics of the tree...
12th-Dec-2013 01:09 pm - Dolls and facial screening
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Default)
So I wonder what it is, precisely, about Monster High facial screening that results in dolls often having lopsided eyes. I don't see it nearly so often on Barbies, although it's been cropping up in recent years. How is facial screening done, exactly? I'd rather imagined it as stencils, arranged in a certain order, and each stencil is another detail to the eyes/eyebrows/lips (etc). I know MH have individual face-molds, but honestly.. Barbies never had this issue when I was a kid. I still have enough of them to know, and I've looked at plenty of different ones on Flickr over the past several years. Dolls made prior to 2006 or so have basically zero instance of wonk-eye.

It's irksome because I really like Monster High's Cleo, but her dolls are especially prone to this. I suppose it's not an issue for regular play, redressing, imaginative play, but when you're driven to take photos (and macro photos) it.. definitely becomes noticeable. :/ I've been trying (off and on) to find a School's Out Cleo with decent eyes since she came out. She was briefly in stores and I missed out on her because I didn't like her outfit. Now I'm kicking myself because she's had one of the three best 'Cleo-faces' of the whole lot. Clothes can be changed, hair can be rerooted. Faces? Well, I'm certainly no faceup artist, that's for sure!
8th-Dec-2013 04:21 pm - Randomly on Tumblr
teenythings: (Coral)
So people are using an image of mine to spread the word about baby powder. They're... obviously not aware that this only temporarily fixes the problem, but I suppose it's easy because baby powder's cheap and widely available. Amazes me that people are willing to overlook crappy manufacturing techniques if they find what they perceive as a quick-fix solution. :/

I'd prefer they didn't use my photo for it, but at least they linked back to its source.

For everyone with more than an ounce of braincells to spare: this method doesn't work. The only true fix is to completely remove the glue from inside the doll's scalp and replace the hair. A nice solution to the problem on a much larger scale would be for Mattel to stop using the glue entirely, or at least use something that doesn't break down into a greasy tacky mess. As is, people don't usually have the money for the former and the latter seems unlikely.

Mattel isn't listening. They don't care about the quality of their merchandise. As long as people continue to buy it, and people are indeed buying Monster High dolls (and Barbies and Disney Princesses), Mattel has nothing to worry about.

The only way I can foresee the 'glue problem' permanently going away would be somehow managing to prove that the stuff is actually toxic/potentially harmful to children. There's no case, otherwise, because it certainly looks like consumers are happy to douse their dolls with baby powder and ignore the larger problem at hand.
1st-Dec-2013 04:51 pm - Further stuff
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Juliet (holiday girl))
First day of December...

I gave Frankie a new hairstyle. :)
30th-Nov-2013 06:10 pm - Dolls!
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Darcy's trouble)
Christmas shoppers were out in force today. I helped some French-speaking tourists from Quebec get un-lost at Settler's Green. (Turns out I still remember some high school French after all!) I looked in at Justice for some Monster High but the new budget swim dolls (Frankie and Rochelle, only ones on the shelf) were made in Indonesia. Foo! The Toys 'r' Us Express (teeny outlet) had nothing (unsurprising) but Wal*Mart had a lone Scaris Deuce! I wanted to get him back in January but everywhere sold out extremely quickly. It was quite shocking to find him, as I wasn't sure if Mattel was still shipping the Scaris assortments. Maybe he was a return? Who knows. I've got him hanging out with Cleo on my desk.

I know Cleo isn't the sharing type, but she might just have to learn. I bet Rochelle's going to be making cute-sy eyes at him the moment she realizes he's here. ;)
27th-Nov-2013 11:52 am - MH Collection (up to date)
teenythings: (Your smile)
I've missed my Monster High dolls. ;.; They've been largely packed away thanks to all the dust that collects on things in this house. I know it doesn't damage them (at least, nothing past what a gentle wash couldn't fix) but all the same, it's depressing. Here they are, today, all brushed and dressed. This is my current collection, minus those I've got separated into the 'project box.' The Rochelle in the following photos is similarly a 'project doll' because Indonesia glue has ruined her hair. I'm planning on getting her re-rooted. The orange-haired Howleen has the same problem.

My project box (of which the contents are not pictured below) includes a second Rochelle, a Spectra, an Operetta, a ghost girl CAM, and Cupid. All except the ghost girl require new hair thanks to Mattel's shoddy use of glue.

On to pics! )

Of those pictured in the first photo, I'll eventually need to have the two Skelitas re-rooted, I've already got plans for Catrine, Jinafire's glue-y but I may just leave her hair in its present style, Robecca's starting to leak at the back of her head, and.. ugh, basically. These dolls require far more work than they're worth. I haven't added anyone new since June and the only upcoming dolls I'd like to acquire are two of those slim-box Toralei editions (if they're China-made) and the swim edition of Rochelle (as I'm planning on giving the existing two completely different hairstyles). Rochelle will need to be China-made too or I won't bother.

I don't know what to do with the Skelitas. Their current style is nice, so I'll probably just get the same black and orange for their re-roots. Hassle guys, though. Way too much hassle for $12-$21 dolls. :/
26th-Nov-2013 09:31 pm - Stuff to do
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Blossoms)
* Switch my sewing machine with my mother's (yes she's approved this plan)

* Clear off the lightbox table

* Cut backgrounds from the retired wallpaper catalogs

* Dig out all the Japanese sewing patterns and continue figuring out how to make them work

* Work with non-stretch fabrics (barring items such as leggings/socks/etc)

* Make things for Monster High dolls

* Make things for Kurhn dolls

I guess I've got my work cut out for me! I want to revive Kittyden because looking at Etsy just makes me think I could make better. What's more, I want to, but I'm such a scattered nutbox. x.x It'll give me something to bookend college with once I'm able to register for classes.
26th-Nov-2013 04:32 pm - A cleaning method!
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Little sprite)
Last night, completely at random, I decided I wasn't happy about the dingy appearance of my first Spectra's face. I remembered using some mild hand soap in the past to try and remove the dinginess with minimal success, so last night I figured what the heck and tried some exfoliating face-scrubbers on her. Huge difference! (I was very careful to avoid her eyes, eyebrows, and lips. I wasn't sure if the ingredients would strip the sealant and cause them to chip or worse.) She looks like new! Color me amazed. :D I wish I'd had the foresight to get a 'before' picture, but I suppose I can attach an 'after' in a minute here...
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