Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Tale of Autumn and Dawn's Apartment

  Here we are in the last week of December already! The year has passed so quickly. I missed my usual battle with the leaf sucker truck this year. I started raking my leaves and the rake wore all the skin off my thumb! By the time my thumb was better and I could rake again and had a chance, almost all the leaves had blown away. (We had a very windy Autumn!) I should have raked that narrow strip of wind tunnel I call a side yard, but it wasn't that bad when I had raked the front yard. Then I totally forgot about it, and by the time I got the chance to get out there again It was past leaf sucker season. I'll just have to rake up the side yard and leave it in the cans for the yard waste people in the Spring.
  In spite of my raking fail I am ahead of most things this Christmas season. (I celebrate Christmas, so that's the season it is to me. You're welcome to call it whatever it is to you, and I am not offended.) I had almost all my shopping done and everything I had wrapped before December began. I have never been that far ahead. However, I haven't got my tree up yet! Hopefully this week at some point.
  This weekend Ivy and Emma and I are going to the Holiday do at Malabar Farm. Malabar Farm was the home of writer,conservationist, and farmer Louis Bromfield, and is still exactly as it was when the family lived there in the 1950's. For the holidays the farm house is decorated with 1940's and 50's Christmas decorations, and you can wander through on a self tour and enjoy cookies and hot cider. I love that place. It's just like going back in time.I could move in now and live there.
  The other night I was trying to rescue some pictures off our old computer, and I found some pictures of things that I don't have any more. A couple of them were things you don't see very often, so I thought I'd give you a look at them.
   The first one is Topper's Dawn's Apartment.
I borrowed this picture of the box, and the ones of boxed sets below from the internet so I could show you. I will be pleased to remove them if asked.

  Here's the set I used to have...
 It was made for Topper by Amsco, specifically for Topper's Dawn doll, but to be honest, it's way too big for Dawn and friends.

There's a reason for that though.Topper was either lazy, or too cheap to design Dawn a set of her own...

  ...because this is just Penny Brite's stuff in a different colour!

   Penny was also produced by Topper/Deluxe Reading, but while Penny was 8" tall, Dawn only made it as far as 6 1/2" tall. Plus Penny was a completely different scale, so she was quite a bit heftier than Dawn. Dawn was just too tiny not to look awkward with this stuff.

I have seen pictures of Dawn and friends sitting on these chairs. Their feet don't come anywhere near the floor and the chairs are way too wide for them.

The set is made of thin cheap looking plastic. Still, it has held up all these years.

That kettle could hold about half of Dawn's body.

And Dawn is only about half as long as this bed. I guess that would be ok if she were supposed to be a kid, but she's not. On the other hand, Penny is supposed to be a kid, and the bed fits her. (But then Penny runs a hair salon and drives a car. Topper was just playing with our minds!) 

I'm hoping Dawn was at least tall enough to see herself in that mirror. As you can see from the edge of the bed, the furniture parts came on one of those plastic frames and had to be snapped off and put together. The little holes on the vanity are for the lamps, which are missing.

I bought this set pretty cheaply because the person selling it didn't know what it was and had it generically labelled. When I bought it I thought it was the Penny Brite one. I had only seen the real Penny one, and I assumed it came in various colours. Much later I found out what it was. By then, I also had passed it on to someone else and mislabeled it! So I'm paying the world back by educating you guys now.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Unexpected Benefits of Blogging

  I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving here in the United States had a great holiday. Ours was spent feeling ill, but we had all of our kids here,and that's the most important thing.
  One of the great things about doing a blog like this is that sometimes you get the chance to do a good deed and unite people with something they've been looking for. You may have read my post on the lady who found a replacement for her favourite childhood doll here on the blog.

(If not, you can read her story HERE.)
   Recently comments were left on my post on Ivy Cottage dolls Ruby Buttons and Violet Pickles by a couple of people wanting to buy Ruby and Violet dolls, and someone who had a pair of the dolls to sell.

 I was able to get them all together, and if any of them are reading this, I'd love to know how things worked out.
  Once in a while I get offers of dolls too.Usually somebody offers me more of what I already have. I got lucky a few weeks ago though. A guy who read my post on Beatles dolls and figures in which I mentioned wishing that instead of having just a couple of the Beatles cartoon figures, I had the whole set. He messaged to say that he had the boxed set.He was looking to downsize and get rid of a few things. It had been a gift, and he wasn't concerned about making big money on it. He just wanted to pass it along to someone who would appreciate it.

Well I appreciated it! The whole set! Up till now all I had were Ringo, found in a clearance aisle, and Paul, found at a yard sale.
  My husband, Ken, has always complained that I am too trusting. I was about to  offer to send the Beatles guy a check when I heard Ken in my head saying, 'This guy might be pulling a con and not even have the set.' I was worried about offending Mr. Beatles, but I asked him for a picture of the set  with a certain specific addition to make sure it was his picture and not one stolen from the internet. Luckily he completely understood and wasn't offended. He sent the picture, and also suggested that he would trust me, so I didn't have to trust him. He would send the set and I didn't have to pay him until it arrived. That had to be sincere! The set arrived, as  perfect as could be.

He had actually not even asked for enough shipping! It was packed with bubble wrap and four super soft plush border collies. The dogs were advertising items from the place he works. Coincidentally, Ken collects advertising items, my friend Lori loves dogs, and Fuzzy's girlfriend Shanna loves soft floppy plush toys. So the doggies have found homes already. I immediately sent a check for just over the amount he asked for, to cover that extra few cents shipping plus a few cents. It all turned out really well for both of us!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Happy Sweater Season!

  Inspired by Vanessa's post about the sale on doll sized sweater ornaments from Christopher &  Banks, I actually went to a Christopher & Banks the other day to check them out.I was hoping to save myself the postage of ordering them online. Of course it had to be the next to last store at the far end of the mall, and upstairs too. Of course, it's not like I don't need the exercise.
   I was surprised that the display of them was so small: just one tiny little display tree on a table. I was very pleased with the quality though. Most doll sized sweater ornaments are rather stiff, with arms that stick straight out when they aren't on a doll, and bunch up in stiffish folds when they are. These sweaters were super soft and the arms actually hung down like sweater arms should. The weave wasn't so out of proportion, like most are, either. Most of the 5 styles were properly proportionate in the body as well. The blue sweater with the penguins and,one of my favourites, the aqua sweater with the cardinals, seemed a little short and stubby.

It looks ok here, but in person it looked too short in the body. I didn't care much for the attached scarf, and the mittens were not very mitten shaped on most of the sweaters. The positive side was, they do have an opening in the tops, so you really could put them on a doll. It might make you want to buy them in person though, so you can pick a sweater with good mittens.
Surprisingly, I think my very favourite was the pink  sweater with the striped sleeves.

 It just looked so much like a real sweater. The proportions were perfect, and it was super soft.

  To my surprise, the sweaters were NOT on sale. Not in the store, at least.So much for getting them at the store and saving myself the shipping.  But in the store the sweaters cost $7.95. Online they are still on sale for 2 for $6, plus shipping. With shipping they are still cheaper,but not cheap enough for me. With such a tiny display they will probably sell out before they get marked down,so I most likely will not be getting any. But if you're interested, you can see the sweaters and buy them on sale HERE at Christopher & Banks.
   But, if you're as cheap as I am, you might want to check out Walgreen's. I stopped in there the other night to make sure I wasn't missing any cool ornaments, like the Beatles lunchbox ornament I missed last year. No lunchboxes or Beatles of any kind, but I did find what seemed to be the last one of these.
You might notice that the collar is coming loose at the front. The seam missed catching it. Might be a weakness, so if you're getting one, check it over carefully.
The hanger came out pretty easily. Unlike with  a lot of sweater ornaments, it wasn't glued to the sweater. It didn't even seem to be sewn to it.

   Unlike the Christopher & Banks sweaters,this one is like I described earlier: stiffer, with arms that stick out. It has a smaller weave than a lot of sweater ornaments though, so it's quite soft and looks proportional.

It's also more the size for a Ken than a Barbie.

But even he could do with having his sleeves rolled up a cuff.
 And you want to know the other really good part? It cost $1.99! You can also turn it around if you'd rather not have the year displayed. That's handy for next year.

It was a pain getting it on him though. His fingers, thumbs, and even his elbow joints keep getting caught  on the threads inside the sweater. In the end I resorted to wrapping his arms in some plastic off a roll of wrapping paper I had close by.

It made it so much easier!

I highly recommend wrapping the arms in plastic first. It avoids a lot of frustration!
  The yarn loop to hang the ornament by is easily removed. I just clipped it and it pulled out. It's not woven in,just sewn through the sweater. It pulls out like a loose thread.

 Walgreen's  also had these Nightmare Before Christmas Tsum Tsum's on sale at 90% off!

They're a Christmas gift pack and a Walgreen's exclusive.Jack and Zero even glow in the dark! They are $16.99 at full price! Why are they 90% off?  They had a bunch of Nightmare stuff, like Santa hats, stockings, etc., and most of it was on sale, but not 90% off!
  For Star Wars enthusiasts there was a great BB8 filled candy dispenser that is perfect for 1/6 scale.It looked pretty realistic too. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it. If you have a 12" doll from the Force Awakens, the BB8 candy dispenser would look great with it. (Just don't look at the back of it. That's where the dispenser hole is.)
  I have several posts coming up soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

  Happy Halloween!

Ivy is 17 next week, so she helped me hand out candy tonight. it was the first time we have done it, since we either forgot we had to buy candy, or weren't home the last 2 years when Ivy was 'retired' from Trick or Treating.

Last year I ran out of time, but I was going to do a new Halloween picture this year.In the end I spent Saturday with my friend Lori, eating out and painting a stone lighthouse. Sunday it rained all day, so I figured I'd just do it today. Then I got a message from Emma asking me to do something for her. Then it was Trick or Treat time! The day and the day light was gone. I did leave Ivy to hold the fort for a few minutes while I ran inside to make the 'crescent dogs', (crecent rolls with Linkettes vegetarian hot dogs and cheese inside. Ivy just has cheese in hers.), which has been our Halloween tradition since the kids were little and I needed extra last minute time to finish their costumes before Trick or Treating.So, with no time left I am forced to steal Halloween pictures from myself. These are from my 'Worlds at the Pumpkin Patch' story from three years ago. You can see the whole thing HERE. Happy Halloween!Maybe I'll be up on things next year!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Mini Review: Pullip Nostalgia Isul Lir

   I have been so busy lately that I'm getting way behind in posts I wanted to do. I've been meaning to do this post for ages.
  A couple of months ago (or has it been longer?!) I had heard that Tuesday morning had gotten more Pullip dolls. Shortly after I heard we went to the Big City, where I planned to hit two Tuesday Mornings. I only had time for one, but it's the biggest one in Ohio, and supposedly one of the top 10 in the country. It did indeed have some Pullips: two minis, (Two of the same one.), and two larger ones, both Isul Lir. I really liked Isul  Lir, but I do have a Pullip. I have an  Erenfreid.
Erenfried is from an anime series called Neo Angelique... I think?

I really like his coat and glasses, but I could do without the pink hair and alien head.
This is the illustration from the back of the box.

When I saw Lir I was very tempted, but he was $40, and it wasn't my birthday or anything. When I got home I kept thinking how much I liked Lir, and wondering what I could do to afford him. Finally it occurred to me that I could sell Erenfried in exchange for buying Lir. I hadn't opened Erenfried because I still felt guilty about spending the money and thought I should keep him NRFB in case I might need to give in and sell him. Of course, I figured in the intervening week or two that had elapsed since I saw Lir, that both would be sold. But when we went to the Big City to go to dinner, (Olive Garden), and the movies (Captain America Civil War.Yes, we were a little late on this one.),I made a very quick stop at Tuesday Morning. All the Pullips were gone except one Lir!So  was dancing a jig. I had sold my idea to Ken before we got to the store, so I snatched Lir up.

See how much cuter Lir is?!

This doll is actually  the Nostalgia version Isul Lir.
This is the card that comes with the doll.
I learned that from looking up Pullip Isul, because it doesn't actually say that on the box,not in English anyway!
The back of the box.

And the back of the card.

  There's also a sister, with a matching outfit to Lir's. There was also some special edition or such with the exact same outfits, only in blue.
I like Erenfreid's uniform type coat, but Lir is wearing a sailor suit!

 And if you read the blog you'll know I love sailor suits, in all sorts of forms.

Actually. I wasn't sure at first if Lir was a boy or a girl. He does have ruffly bloomers and sort of a camisole thing on under his coat.

He has red hair and brown eyes,a combination that is kind of uncommon,but which both I, and my son Fuzz have.
You can't tell how red his hair is in this picture.
  His complexion looks very pale, but it's actually quite peachy. (That's where my son and I differ from Lir and most red haired people. We're definitely pinkish instead of peachy.)

Lir also has super long eye lashes.

 His sailor suit comes with  a huge hat (To fit his huge head....

 ...decorated with four different bows.

  This picture really shows a flaw in my Lir's jacket. The front and the sleeves look faded compared to the rest of the jacket.It's not sun fading, or the back of the sleeves wouldn't be faded and the front flap with the buttons would be.
   He also has a sash, which is decorated with bows and metals.

Unfortunately his metals only want to hang backwards.

 I kept trying to twist them around, but they wouldn't stay.

He also has a belt with a key hanging from it. Gotta love keys.

His sash kept slipping down.

I love the striped socks and boots.

They really lace and tie. If you read my review of Tonner/Wilde Imagination's Bashful Burt you'll know how his real lacing/tying boots impressed me.

  Lir has another cool feature: His eyes can move side to side and close, thanks to three switches in the back of his head. 

The switches are very well hidden under his hair. They're actually hard to find even when you know they're there. I had to dig through his hair. I was beginning to think he didn't have any switches.

His hair isn't especially thickly rooted, but it's very puffy, which helps to hide the switches. I like the colour of the hair. It's not super silky: sort of course really. But at least I can't mess up this style!

He also comes with a stand.

The stand has some pretty decoration on it.

So does the box.

  It took a while for Lir to loosen up and get posing. I had a terrible time trying to get his elbows to turn around and bend.His wrists didn't want to bend at first either. (By the way, Lir had the usual plastic on his hands and up his arms. And as usual, it was hard to cut off. It was so tight I could hardly cut it off without digging scrapes in Lir's hands.) Eventually his wrists bent enough for him to be able to salute and look out to 'sea',which I wanted him to do since he's wearing a sailor suit.
Looking out to 'sea'.

And trying to salute. His elbows were still not cooperating at this point.
   Lir doesn't have the type 4 Pullip body with the really unattractive wrists that break very easily. He also doesn't have the type 3 body either, with the upper body joint and huge clavicle. I didn't think there was a more recent Pullip body, but Lir's is different from either of those. He has an upper arm joint,elbow joint, jointed wrists and ankles,and  a waist joint that allows him to lean from side to side at the waist, but not turn on the joint.His head only turns from side to side, and can't tilt at all.Does anybody know what body this is?

Of course his boots keep his ankles from staying bent, even though the boots are soft enough to flex his ankle somewhat. I haven't taken them off to see how easy they go on and off.

  A little more looking out to sea.


I 'm really pleased with Lir. He's mostly what I would have chosen if given a list of features for a Pullip: red hair, brown eyes, and a sailor suit. And I love boy dolls. They're few and far between. I would have preferred his head tilt and his body twist a bit, but at least he has the wrists that don't break when you look at them. The opening and closing eyes that can also look to either side or straight ahead are a bonus I might not even have thought of.I'm happy with him.I don't think I'll miss Erenfried at all.