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

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pajama Jammy Jams and Historical Clothes Reviews/Historical Accessories Reviews: Maryellen's Pajamas and Hairstyling Set

Jamming for bed, the 1950s way.
Don't you love it when things conspire to make sure you get fuck all done? I sure don't. So there I was on this past Friday, planning to take some shots of Addy in her Sunday Best Set and Maryellen in her meet set, after getting the mail. Addy so I could compare her to the tiny LE mini, and Ellie to show her in something before her PJs. This was planned after getting my package from the office.

...And then I had a random encounter with a curb. I rolled for dexterity to save my balance, hit a two out of twenty, tripped hard, fell even harder, and both scraped my palm and felt shooting pain in my leg. I caught my breath, got my package and went back home, and inspected the damage. And wow that was a lot of blood and a wide ass cut. A temp patch up and a painkiller later, I waited for the Bae to get home from work and hoped it maybe wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I was wrong. He took one look at the cut and put me in the car and made me go to the urgent care center. This is where the doctors looked at my cut and made faces at it before injecting me and poking and flushing things out with others and three hours of my Friday evening was spent in the urgent care center, including a book reading. All that is to say that there are probably six to twelve stitches in my left knee,1 it hurts like a son of a motherfucker to walk anywhere or flex my leg too much, and I'm not going to be doing any kneeling for pictures for at least two weeks. Fuck you too, gravity, you whore.

But I did have some older pictures I took beforehand, even if I wasn't planning this review to be Ellie's debut. So Ellie will just have to accept that her debut on the blog is going to be her in her pajamas. She's cool with this, considering she came with me to the Urgent Care center. If anyone understands healthcare needs, it's Ellie.

Ellie--Maryellen Larkin, but around here she much prefers to go by her nickname--wasn't initially going to be a Historical Character I cared for. The 1950s are the most overhyped nostalgia era ever for obnoxious white Baby Boomers, who want to remember the time of their childhood as a wholesome, perfect era of American Greatness when people didn't think about segregation, sexism, racism, or oppression and they didn't have to think about others at all. The Fifties get overly wrought down to the surface aesthetics: poodle skirts, records, jukeboxes, bobby soxers, roller skating diners, television spread, drive in movies, ponytails, white rock and roll, families with father knowing best and mother in pearls and heels, etc. Basically all the fluffy feel-good times with none of the understanding or discussion about the sociopolitial issues that plagued the time. But like Caroline and Kit before her,2 Ellie's stories endeared her to me--she likes comics, science, does art, and supports vaccinations (having been disabled by polio). I basically went through a set of Five Stages with her:

1.) Denial: "Damn the 50s! And damn her! She's hazel eyed, she's white, she's got the classic mold, her name is meh--there is nothing special about her. I'm not getting her."
2.) Bargaining. "That outfit's nice. And that one. I'll just get a few of her things for Edith. Edith can wear her clothes. Dorothy too. I don't need Maryellen."
3.) Anger: "I've read the books and why is she such a charming character?"
4.) Sadness. "eeeen I wasn't supposed to like you eeenn i am cry eeeeen"
5.) Acceptance. "Come on, Ellie-jelly. You're the newest member of the Gang. Meet Edith and Dorothy and be friends."

So I ended up getting her as my 35th birthday gift to myself along with some of her clothes, making her the fastest from "I hate you" to "let us snuggle and be friends" since Kit. This included her Pajamas at the standard cost of $24: a top, bottoms, and flat style slippers. A later trip I picked up her Hairstyling Set for $20: a set of twelve rollers, instruction card, storage bag, and sleeping bonnet. The eBay costs are not even being considered on this post. Go to AG, Go Directly to AG, do not pass eBay, do not spend $50. Seriously, it's been five months. Girls' variations on the pajamas exist for those that can fit into them; I am not one of those people.

Hairstyling set first because Ellie had her bonnet on and I took her curls down as I was taking the pictures.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Crafting Creatively: $15 PVC Photo Background Stand for Dolls

Tara's getting her picture taken. But she's not the topic.
Ladies, gentlemen, both and neither, you probably wonder where I take such plain backdrop shots of my girls. Well, it was my photo corner, which was basically three storage drawers with green non-pill fleece hanging from them. But that is a bit of a mess right now, hence a lack of reviews. Plus, I couldn't really move it around. Pictures had to be taken there, or they were taken nowhere. Okay, occasionally outside, but not with my green fleece. Well, that has changed. This pic of Tara--with Grace Brand clothing and earrings--was taken outside on my new PVC backdrop stand.

I've been spinning yarn, and one of the things I found a design plan for online was a niddy noddy--it's a way to wrap yarn to see how much you have--out of basic PVC pipes. I got it put together with all the sizes I'd want, and it's worked great and allows me to take it apart and store it as needed. So why not do the same with a backdrop stand? 

I can't take 100% credit for it, since I found a similar design on Dandelions on the Wall, for a $20 PVC backdrop stand. But I did--with the Bae's help because I can't measure for butts--work out the math for a short doll one. When put together it's a little over three feet tall. And well, this is something that I would like to share with other doll photographers. So as long as you point back here to show where you got the design, that would be sweet. Also don't make these to see on Etsy or eBay. This isn't for profit, it's for assistance.1

Below the cut for instructionables!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rambled Opinions and General Snarkiness: 2016 TropiKenna Sadness, Modern Dribbles, and How Melody Ellison is Practically Perfect In Every Way

New Adventures. Same Old Bullshit.
Welcome to 2016, my happy campers! That is, if you're into camping. I'm not. The wild can stay there. Still, it's a whole new year and a whole new region! But we still gotta document them all. 2015 was one draining crappy year, and if all the issues that plagued me and mine in that year could stay on that side of the arbitrary time division, that would be cool as shit. Still, 2015 did have some good things.1 We got Maryellen Larkin, and while I was prepped to be against her in every way, she eventually captured my love to the point that I got her for my 35th, birthday present. She and Amelia were the only actual AG members I added to the gang this year; no other new girls joined, and Amelia still needs new outfits. But my sewing machine is cleared up again and so maybe I can get back to goals of sewing something new once a month to use these hundreds of patterns I owe, and blogging like I want to. My audience likes me, after all, and I like you unless I don't. And you know if I don't like you. I tend to make that very known.

This Sunday, I went to AG Seattle with my closest in proximity AG buddy, who I hadn't seen since my birthday because she was busy traveling during the Giftmas season. We caught up and chatted and we looked at all the new shit together like we enjoy. Some of the new stuff wasn't there, for reasons, so I'll have to use the wiki images until I can go back and take shots. I did that with both Ellie's TV and Addy's new bedtime stuff, which I still need to snap up soon enough.

And we both fell in love with Melody, and are counting down the days to her ultimate release. I will talk more about her at the end. First, I have to take the medicine that is this year's Girl of the Year and all her folderol. I didn't get the clearest pictures because there were quite a few small children running around, so we've got what we've got. If you'd like some clearer pics, take a gander over to AGC's Ace Reporter on all things AG, Lissie and Lilly. Then come back here and see me yell.

To the cut and the complaints. And a very long, very needed historical ending tied to Melody.