American Girl, keep giving us Dolls of Color for Girls of the Year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Crafting Creatively: Get Your Knit Together

Knitting and crochet look good--when you do it right. Sonali says~
There's a nip in the air, there's a talk of apple cider, and the trees are detreeing themselves. Things smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, and my birthday coming up. Mabon and the Autumnal Equinox have hit, and it's time to look towards the darker days of the year and the fact that come November the sun's going to be fucking setting at 5 pm. Long story short: it's fall weather. And fall weather draws in wearing sweaters, and sweaters mean knitting or crocheting, and there is a lot that goes wrong in AG crafting when it comes to making a good sweater or anything in yarn, for that matter.

See, I tied it all back to the fact that this is a doll blog. Mad skills.

Knitting and crocheting are pretty useful skills to have, even when you don't have a doll. And pretty neat too. It's turning yarn into clothes, and yarn into clothes is a pretty kicking rad situation. I've been crocheting for years and knitting for a few less years. And by a few less I mean that I learned crochet at seven and knitting at twelve and a half, so. It feels nice to make things of yarn and needles and hooks. At the same time, I see some things in the doll community that are perfectly good waste of yarn and time, and no one is telling these people no. Well, now I am. Cause some things are just a big old free spun worsted weight ball of NO.

Here are, in my opinion, some of the bad things done with a set of needles, hooks, yarn, and spacers that make your doll yarnwork look utterly terrible and a big old ball of handspun amateurity.1 There's going to be examples of things done right, and examples that should crash and burn into a twisted, melted knot of WalDeMart2 Red Heart Super Saver nightmares and be posted on What Not to Crochet or What Not To Knit.

Kanani showing how it's done right.
Bee-tee-doubs, this post actually covers both crochet and knit work. But "Get Your Crochet Together" doesn't make a pun on a cuss word, and we're not making a crotch joke. We're semi-above that. I am also going to shit all over Red Heart Super Saver. Brace yourself. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Magazine Monthly: May/June 1993

Doll. Magazine. Monthly.
Magazine Monthly: You know the drill, no need for too many details. Let's jump into this. Down the rabbit hole!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Casual Fridays: Rahel by Hearts 4 Hearts

Rahel from Ethiopia, another in the line of Black Dolls from Africa.
I meant to have this up several Fridays ago, but I had something come up like things do. Anyways, let's bring more of that Casual Friday goodness, and cover Rahel from the Hearts 4 Hearts line by Playmates. I have her along with Nahji, Lauryce, Mosi, Shola, and Tipi.1 

A few weeks back I had a guest review of Mosi and Shola from the Hearts 4 Hearts line go up on a blog I respect and follow, The Toy Box Philosopher (linked in my sidebar, like ya do). I had a lot of issues with the cultural fuck ups that Playmates made with the two. Especially Mosi's fuck awful "paint with all the colors of the stereotypes" story. A day or so after I started typing up my review for guesting, Rahel arrived--I went ahead and ordered her and her school set off Amazon. It wasn't that I hadn't seen her in stores--I had--but it still took me a while to actually get her. See, I know that doll companies are aiming for diversity and not making black dolls have straight hair perms, but at the same time I'm a little tired of the current trend of cultural lines making their Token Black Doll always be from some part of Africa and having tamed fros that aren't too scary to white people. But I digress. A few things, though, before we jump in:

1) I'm not going to cover in super detail like I did with Mosi and Shola. No need in retreading most of what I've already done. I hate the comb, fuck the bracelet, etc.
2) There, I didn't curse because TBP doesn't curse and I play nice with other people's blogs. Here I'm more likely to spice my language like I do--AKA curse a lot. I'm also likely to add things that I chose to leave out over there out of respect.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Creating Original Historicals for Fun and Frivolity: The Right Doll for the Job

Charlotte had her look picked before she was bought.
You're still working on your Original Historical Character Creation. and, if you've been following my pattern, you've got a time period you like and a name that doesn't suck. So now another step: The doll herself.1

Not every Historical Character created is going to have a doll, granted. But chances are, if you're into AG and you're creating an American Girl Historical, you probably want to actually bring your character out of the theoretical and into the actual. That's where dolls come into play. Some people buy the doll first and then create the character--especially if they get a doll secondhand or have one they own already they're turning to a Historical--but many times, a lot of things can be laid out before you actually pay for a doll. So some things to think about before you drop the cash on a character.

I'm just saying, if you're looking at a hundred and so dollars new, you might want to think more about it than "oh, why not her?"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Clothes Reviews: Marisol's Spotlight Outfit (2005)

Enjoy the spotlight, Marisol, and enjoy the Spotlight Outfit.
Marisol Luna was Girl of the Year the same year I got my first AG: 2005. So naturally, I skipped her in my mad scramble for Addy. She was later gifted to me by an ex-friend, who I've since fallen out with.1 But that doesn't stop Marisol from being one of my most beautiful gang members--I've thought she was gorgeous since I got her. She came in her near complete meet outfit; she's an MCM doll and has the black x on her ass to prove it. I have made a slow creep of getting most of her LE clothes that appealed to me, and am practically done. Marisol was marketed as a dancer, even though her story more dealt with moving issues and her love of dance and ballet folklorico--a traditional Mexican dance style that I, growing up in Texas, fell hard for. Swishy swirling skirts wee. In fact, Marisol here has a folklorico dress I made myself. I think it was a gross oversight that she got a bunch of common dance style clothes but no folklorico dress. That is why I had to make the set myself--and will make a set for Josefina. Damn it, AG. Moving on.

One of her more beautiful outfits is the Spotlight Outfit, which is basically a ballet performance set. The outfit originally came with a mesh and stretch leotard, a "lace" and tulle tutu, purple tights, purple iridescent toe shoes with tying ribbons, a stretch choker, and six pairs of stick on earrings. The original cost was $26. My set that came with no tights and earrings cost me a bargain at $16 last December. Costs range on eBay from about $26 to $50, ignoring stupid prices. The few times it shows up, of course--Marisol was one of those first three LE girls that didn't get her and her things hoarded like the new girls do now for resale. Not only is Marisol here to display her own outfits, but she is our resident dancer girl and wears her dance outfits with gusto. So you'll see a lot of her when I do any dance outfit reviews. Any of them. It's her niche.

A few things I'm gonna point out before we jump in: 

1: The tights aren't AG authentic. I just happen to have purple tights that work well with her ballet outfit. Not like AG tights have much variation, and there will be authentic tights in later reviews.
2: The tiara is not from her spotlight stand set, cause I don't own it. It's from me spoiling myself and her at AG Seattle and getting her hair done. So the tiara cost me $25, and came with the added bonus of watching Marisol get all prettyified for thirty minutes or so and chattering with the stylist about dolls.
3: Fuck stick on earrings. Even if I had them I wouldn't use them. Marisol will be getting her ears really pierced in a Crafty Crap post. They are graded F and I don't even have them.