Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tagged: The Liebster Awards!

I have been tagged by Smaller Places and Jaye's Doll Space for the Liebster Award, so I felt it was high time I posted a response! Thanks to both of these lovely ladies for nominating  me.



Here is what you are supposed to do (or, your mission, if you should decide to accept it!)


  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. (CHECK)
  2. Give your readers eleven random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers to receive the award.
  5. Invent eleven questions for your nominees.
(This message has been brought to you by the number "11".)

Eleven Random Facts about myself:

  1. I am older than I look. Most people guess me to be 10 to 15 years younger than I am. I never stop appreciating that fact!
  2. I grew up on a big farm. We primarily raised turkeys, but we also had dairy cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep and crops!
  3. I am a single mom by choice.
  4. I adopted both of my daughters from China when I was in my 40's. I guess that is why I look so young!
  5. I am a good cook. I like to invent my own recipes (like white lasagna). I call it that because is is made from left over turkey or chicken, the sauce is made from cream of chicken soup you know, white ingredients as opposed to the traditional red! 
  6. I make fancy birthday cakes, many of my own design! 
  7. I am very handy. This has been a necessity in my book because I don't have a man around and I like the feeling of being self-sufficient.
  8. I was married for about a minute (well, 3 years actually) and it was a long, long time ago.
  9. I love to craft and sew.
  10. I am well traveled. I have been all over the US, to Europe (Germany, England, Scotland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland) and to China.
  11. I went to college totally on my own. I paid every red cent of my college tuition, got grants and scholarships and worked my butt off!

Respond to eleven questions from your nominator(s). 

Here are the questions posed by Smaller Places:

  1. What's the oldest item in your immediate environment (room, house, office, up to you)?  Well besides myself, I would say it is my mother's China. I remember us using this China for every holiday and special occasion in our family. While it is worn and has some chips and cracked items, it is still beautiful!
  2. When has a project exceeded your wildest expectations? How?  In my previous house, the builder put a very crude set of long shelves beside the shower in the master bath. The were only about 12 inches wide and about 50 inches deep. They were open and unsightly and the shelves were raw, unfinished plywood. Since my cabinets were oak, I purchased a nice oak bookcase, put casters on the bottom and a pull handle on the end and, wala, I had a nice pull out shelving system for my towels and other bathroom products hidden away when not in use! The current owner thought my concept was genius!
  3. Chocolate: white, dark, milk or none at all?  Milk Chocolate!
  4. If you could have dinner with three fictional characters, who would they be? Hmm, that is a tough one to answer, but here goes! Anne of Green Gables - I loved her sense of spirit and her soul. I admired how she was able to turn Miranda's heart into mush!  Captain America -- just because he is so damn wonderful and the sweetest superhero! Rhett Butler - because, "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" is one of my favorite movie lines of all time!
  5. What is your all-time favorite movie? This may come as a surprise, but "Gone with the Wind!"
  6. If you could choose a career other than your actual one(s), what would it be?  While I had a good career and it gave my many opportunities, the industry I was in was not very glamorous and I had to basically give up much of my personal life to be successful in it. If I could choose now, I think I would work for Mattel as a marketing consultant. If I had that job, I would make sure more dolls were articulated and there was no glue in the heads!
  7. How many cats is the optimum number?  Since I grew up on a farm, we had many, many cats and they were mostly barn cats. They were great fun and so appropriate for a farm! We didn't have them in the house. With my current living standards, I think 2 cats is perfect!
  8. What is the most versatile tool in your arsenal?  Oh wow, that is a tough one to answer. I love tools! I would have to say it is my electric knife. Great for cutting foam, styrafoam, wooden dowels. I don't use it to cut meat!  A close second is my got glue gun!
  9. Winter person or summer person?  If I have to choose between those 2 seasons, I guess I would say winter person because I like to be covered up. However, my actual favorite season is Fall!
  10. What do you most wish you could organize properly?  My doll room! I have so many dolls and so many doll clothes, plus body parts and other things, it gets hard to find the stuff I want. I have seen some amazing photos of organized doll rooms and I am so jealous!
  11. What do you do to find inspiration?  When it comes to getting inspired about my dolls, reading other people's blogs is very inspiring. I am inspired by the wonderful dioramas of people like Miranda Z and Vanessa Morrison. The doll town that Connie of Land of Dolls on Flickr has made is awesome and I wish I could have a town like hers. I am also inspired by stories of people I know and by life experiences. 


I am also going to answer the questions posed by Jaye's Dolls.

  1. What is the last doll project you worked on?  Since I tend to have more than one going on at a time, it is hard to pick just one. I am currently working on a classroom and a ballet room for my Tutu Ruruko. 
  2. Of all the things you do dolly related, name your favorite thing to do (i.e.. making clothes, making furniture, etc.)  I would have to say making furniture.
  3. Do you get dolly items gifted to you from family members or friends?  While it doesn't happen often, my sister sometimes gets me a dolly related item and my daughters have also gotten me dolly things. I have also gotten a dolly gift from a fellow doll blogger.  
  4. Which do you prefer when it comes to doll items - making them yourself, buying to customize or buying to use as is?  I seldom buy items and use as is, so I would have to say that I prefer both the other 2.  I really like to create items on my own, but I also like to take an item and customize it to make it my own.  Here are a couple of examples: 
  5. The bed was 100% made by me,
    The kitchen was customized from a bought
     Item!
     Are any of your characters based on someone you know? Yes, most definitely!
  6. If you could attend one doll conference, all expenses paid, which one would it be and why?  Since I dearly want to attend both a Barbie convention and the Fashion Royalty Convention, I had to think about this for a minute, but I am pretty sure I would choose the FR Convention. Why? Because FR offers such a variety of dolls, both male and female and what I have seen people come away with, well with all expense paid, that would be a no brainer!
  7. What one doll item do you wish you could find that you have never seen made for purchase? With all of the amazing crafters of doll items for purchase, I don't think there are many things that I could imagine that hasn't been made by either a manufacturer or a customizer, so at this time, I haven't been able to think of anything for this question!
  8. Do your take your dolls out in public to take photos?  I have not yet worked up the courage to do this, but when I see some of the amazing photos taken by others who do take their dolls out in public, it makes me really want to! Since I am at an age where I don't often care what others think, I will hopefully do this sometime and you guys will be the first to know!
  9. Where was your all time favorite vacation? Without question, it was China. Why? Because my 2 vacation trips to China is what made me a mom and gave me my family! I don't think I could ever top that feeling! Also China is an amazing place to shop! 
  10. Do you see movies in the theater or wait for the video? Actually, I do both. It depends on the movie. Movies that both me and my daughters want to see, we go to the theater. Movies that I just want to see, I wait for the video.
  11. Have you ever been to Vegas?  Yes I have! Shortly after I got my divorce (which was many years ago), my girlfriends took me to a Divorce celebration in Vegas. Lets just say we didn't sleep much and we had a lot of fun!
All Done!

Nominate 11 Bloggers

I am going to skip this as the people I would nominate have already been nominated! What i will say is that if you are reading this and have not yet been nominated, please jump in an participate.


Invent 11 Questions for Your Nominees

  1. What is your favorite line of dolls?
  2. Do you collect more that one scale of doll? What scales to you collect?
  3. What one doll did you decide not to purchase that you wish you had purchased?
  4. Do you speak more that one language?
  5. If you could attend a doll conference or convention (all expenses paid of course!), which would it be?
  6. Do you take your dolls out in public to photograph?
  7. If you could choose one doll to bring to life in 1:1 scale, which doll would that be?
  8. Do you write stories using your dolls as characters or do you just photograph your dolls simply for the pleasure of sharing them with fellow doll collectors? Or do you do both?
  9. Dogs or cats?
  10. What is your favorite dish to prepare?
  11. What gives you your greatest inspiration?

Okay! That is all folks! Looking forward to seeing who decides to participate and what your answers may be!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rururkos, Momokos, Fashionistas, Fashion Royalty - Oh My!

It has been a while since I have posted or even taken doll pictures. There has been a lot going on dealing with my health issues and depression. I never could have imagined how difficult it would be dealing with insurance companies! I am not going to go into here, but suffice it to say their main goal is not to help you, but to do their best not to pay you! Enough on that -- it just depresses me more! I have been trying to get out of this funk I have been in by purchasing some much coveted new dolls.

Over the past several months, I have been a "bad" girl and after a short moratorium on buying dolls, I went whole hog and really have expanded my collection. Let's start with Ruruko and Momoko dolls. I signed up with Petworks to get advance notice on these lovely ladies. First, the Ruruko dolls. I now have 5 of these little sweeties! Here we go!


From L to R: Tutu Ruruko, CCS Girl 15AN Ruruko, Ruruko Dreaming, Cotton Candy Ruruko, CCS 15SS Ruruko
I purchased Ruruko Dreaming and Cotton Candy from eBay sellers for very reasonable prices and I purchased the other 3 directly from Petworks. These little ladies command very high prices on eBay and other secondary market sellers, so I felt very lucky to get Dreaming and Cotton Candy for about the same prices as they sell for at Petworks. 

Many collectors of the Ruruko dolls feel a need to provide big sisters from the Momoko line for their Ruruko kids. I already had some that fit the bill and I also bought a few new ones from Petworks and from Miniwoo. I even re-styled one Momoko into a big brother!


CCS 15SS Momoko on Slim Male Obitsu Body, Sekiguchi Momoko Preppy Girl with CCS 15SS dress, Deep Purple Momoko, Merry-Go-Round Momoko, Sekiguchi Momoko Dancing with Kittens


Then came the task of matching each Ruruko up with a sibling. This was not as easy as you might think! For some it was a no brainer as I had the corresponding Momoko for some of the Rurukos. For some I am still weighing a couple of options. Here goes!

I matched Tutu Ruruko with Sekiguchi Momoko Dancing with Kittens


Ruruko Dreaming with Merry-Go-Round Momoko

CCS 15SS Ruruko with Male Hybrid Momoko and Preppy Girl Momoko


Because I missed out on the corresponding Momoko for this girl, I matched this J-doll with CCS 15AN Ruruko

Next, I have a choice to make -- which doll do you think would be the better big sister for this Cotton Candy Ruruko?
Left: Fashionista Redhead Skipper with Cotton Candy Ruruko
 or
Right: Deep Purple Momoko with Cotton Candy Ruruko

The 2014 and 2015 line of Fashionistas and Style dolls has been nothing if not stellar. At least for the facemolds. I think Mattel missed the mark when they did not give these dolls full body articulation.  However, these new facemolds have launched a renewed interest by adult collectors for the Barbie line. You have seen some of the earlier dolls I purchased, but I have managed to find a few more (imagine that!) after searching online daily for these ladies from various resources. Here is what I have added to my ever expanding collection from these lines in the past few weeks.


The Lea facemolds. Left is the 2015 Fashionista on a pale Momoko body. Glam Night Style Lea. She had arm articulation, so I swapped legs with a Director Barbie.  I got these both at Walmart.com.
Here is a close up of their facemolds:







The Asha and Goddess molds: On the left is the Fashionista with the Asha facemold. She comes with an updo, but I restyled her hair. She has been rebodied on a Style Theresa body.  On the right is the Fashionisa with the Goddess facemold. She has been redressed and is on a Style Nikki body. I got both of these at Walmart.com.
Closeups:





On the left we have a Fashionista with a Skipper facemold and red hair. She has been redressed. Originally, she had and outfit with a donut T-shirt. She has a hybrid body with the body and arms  of a Glam Night Friend and the legs of a Film Director Barbie. On the right is a Glam Night Style friend with a new facemold. She got a Style Theresa body and I am calling her Anna. I redressed her in this cute outfit I found on Amazon. I got Skipper on Amazon and Anna from Walmart.com.
They are ready for their closeups:



Brand New facemolds: On the left is the LA Girl Fashionista rebodied on a Divergent Tris body. She was very hard to find and finally was available on BarbieCollector.com, but only for a short period of time. Her hairdo reminds me of Demi Lovato, so I am calling her Demi.  On the right is a new Fashionista -- AA with red highlighted hair. Her skin tone matched Nikki, so she got a LITDH Nikki body. I got her online from Amazon before the prices sky rocketed. She is now available on Barbie Collector.com.
Their Closeups:


Here is a group shot of my 2014 and 2015 Fashionistas and Style dolls. I might be missing a few here, but the last year has been good for getting some great new faces from Mattel. I just wish somebody would tell them to articulate! LOL! I apologize in advance for the blurry photo. It was really hard to get them all in focus.




I also ordered a Glam Style doll from a seller in Japan from Amazon. I found this very interesting. She has full articulation. Her outfit is one that is very different from what you see here. Looking at the back of the box, you see other dolls in this release, with outfits that are unique to Japan. Since the head was a Barbie that I have, I decided to use her body for my blonde 2015 Barbie Look doll.  Her are the photos:


Only one of these dolls is the exact same as in the US




Finally, my recent Fashion Royalty purchases. One thing about being in the W-Club is you get an opportunity to pre-order dolls that may come much later in the year. What I have to be careful of is forgetting that I have one coming and not planning for making the final payments later. What I do like is that I have been able to acquire dolls that I never would have been able to afford in the secondary market. Here are my latest additions.


Here are Mood Changers Poppy Parker. I also ordered some of the extra bodies from IT so have all the heads on their own body. I also boil washed and conditioned their hair and redressed them in more casual clothes. I absolutely love the redhead!

Nigel North arrived! I don't even know what to say about him. He has some nice accessorie, but this outfit??!! And his hair! Looks like he is having a bad hair day!


Nigel got a boil wash and a new wardrobe. Personally, I think it is a great improvement!



Lastly, I added Style Notes Isha to my collection. Sheer perfection!



That is all for now. I also purchased some items to do a blog anniversary give-a-way. Even though my anniversary was a while ago now, I don't think is it ever too late to celebrate. I will do a post soon with what I am giving away and what the criteria will be to enter in the drawing for prizes. Stay tuned for more!