Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday giveaway reveal masquerading as a sneak peek:

I'll be giving away a Gene Marshall "Iced Coffee" mint in (not so mint) box from my own collection for my first holiday giveaway! Everyone is welcome to enter. Leave a comment on any of my posts dated December 1, 2011, through December 8, 2011, by midnight December 8, 2011 EST USA, to get an entry in the drawing! One comment per person per post qualifies for a drawing entry. Make sure you leave your name or username if posting anonymously. Play nice, and good luck!

What happens when I try to get a nice pic of Holly:

The giveaway will commence...

Tomorrow, I'll post a holiday giveaway! I'm not telling what yet (not a Tonner but a really nice fashion doll all the same), but the rules will basically be "say something nice (ie, dont be a troll) in a comment (leave your name, too) and you're entered in the drawing!" Easy enough, I hope. Starts tomorrow, December 1, 2011 (whenever it's December 1 for you!), and ends in a week, December 8, 2011, at midnight EST USA. Okay? Okay!

Day 30 of 61 Days of Martie.

I don't know who Robin and Sue are, but it was nice of them to donate a bench right by a 3-prong electrical outlet for all the wifi maniacs. Now, if they only had wifi here....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29 of 61 Days of Martie

Entirely too cute for this early in the day. On the left is the JakksPacific version of toddler Rapunzel. I think she's adorable, and doesn't need a repaint like her older JP sister did:
She looks much happier and calmer than she did when she arrived:

I was really thrilled when Doll Diaries featured repaints and my girl was included. I spent all day on Oct 31st remaking that face! I think she looks better in the pic above *with* her eyelashes, tho; Doll Diaries hadn't seen that pic when they posted. For the record: OMG I love those drugstore false eyelashes that come in little pieces! Took longer than strips, but I wasted (and swore) a lot less when a mistake meant one small section and not the whole strip.

Why am I so chatty? I haven't even had my caffeine yet!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28 of 61 Days of Martie.

Martie and a Rapunzel sister, a Disney store Tangled special edition I got on eBay. She has sparkly hair! SPARKLY HAIR!! I modded her the tiniest bit: she originally had "glamour" eyelashes that looked like a very startled tarantula's legs, and after thought, I trimmed them down to a more attractive length (like I care about collector value--I'm the collector, thank you). She's one of the few dolls I've gotten that I don't think I'll redress, because her costuming is exquisite and I actually don't want to mess with it. There's a rarity for me. My son insists she can't hold a candle to Martie, but I think she's stunning in her own right. She'll be a real center feature in the Rapunzel Corner.

I saved a little starflower piece of one of my other "Tangled" Rapunzel's boxes that says "Featuring RAPUNZEL!" and I'm going to put it on the front door on my otherwise-tasteful Hobbity "The Doll Room" sign (No One Admitted Except On Dolly Business) (Absolutely NO Sackville-Bagginses!) (Leave All Packages with Wizard).

We're still prepping to paint the doll room, btw--Kevin's very exacting about that, and as he's doing this room absolutely the way *I* want it as an act of  love, I'm not fussing (too much) over the prep time. Tonight I'm going to the house to sand the walls, then we wash down the woodwork and such that have collected a lot of dust and grime over the 26-plus years Ann lived in that house. THEN, I am assured, THEN we will actually paint! The walls will be a light lavender; the woodwork, frames, and doors will be a nice darker purple; and the ceiling an off-white/lavender blush. THEN the dolls come in to live, and THEN the workroom and computers are set up, and THEN beds and there we are.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Just beachy.

I mentioned on Twitter the other day that my American Girl Kanani is pigeon-toed. It's a stringing issue--she will stand with legs lovely and straight, but then they sloooooowly turn until she's like this:

 This doesn't bother me, I think it's cute. If I wanted to fix it myself, I could, so no worries. The stance makes her look rather shy, like she's scuffing her toes in the sand.

She really is a pretty thing. I love her coloring. And in case you're wondering why I bought this particular AG when I hadn't bought any others previously (except for my daughter's Addy in 1993--my daughter was 9, wanted Addy BAD, Addy was new that year, AG wasn't sure they could get her to me on time for Xmas...then around 4 pm on Xmas Eve, the UPS man came with Addy, and it was a Really Good Xmas) (PS--yes, that means we have a First Edition Addy, very well-loved):

Day 27 of 61 Days of Martie.

Meanwhile, at the salon:

You meet the most INNNNteresting people in this business. Why, just yesterday, I was saying, you meet the most INNNNteresting people..... {Pascal: "Hello, my baby, hello, my honey, hello, my ragtime gaaaaaaaallll....."}

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Potential giveaway--whatcha think?

I'm growing an urge of doing a giveaway for the holidays--each comment or retweet etc gets one drawing entry, then I have someone in my family pull a name, and that person gets a new doll. Whee! What do you all think? I want to do it fair and square, and of course my ulterior motive is to clear out some of my stuff in anticipation for the Big Move coming up. I have some dolls still in boxes that I'll probably never play with, and if someone would enjoy an NRFB doll, I'd like them to have it.

Does anyone have experience with this, good, bad, or indifferent? I know some people are going to kvetch no matter what, even with a totally free giveaway, but brightening someone's day and not having as much stuff to haul are good motivators!

BTW, don't let the capital letters fool you. The Big Move distance is only about a mile; I can walk it in 20 minutes in decent weather. ;D

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 26 of 61 Days of Martie

The last flowers of the season! 
I spent most of the day at the Other House--I'm trying to get out of the habit of calling it Ann's house, as it's now mine. I was going to say "We are painting the doll room," but actually Kevin is spackling and prepping, and I'm playing with the dolls and getting things together for Goodwill, eBay, and the trash. Ann had 70 years' of stuff in there (she lived there for 26 years), and her tastes and mine didn't intersect often, so a lot of it has me going "Oh, blech, WTF was she thinking?!"

Her color and fabric senses, for example, were 180 degrees from mine, for the most part. I've been going through a lot of fabric yardage she'd bought for various projects, and I can't really use any of it. Ann liked oranges, yellowish greens, screaming royal blues, and sparkly taffeta and knit synthetics. I prefer purples and blues, more muted subtle earthy colors, am generally not a big fan of sparkly (although lately that's changing), and utterly love cotton fabrics. Her tastes were from the shiny structured modernist part of the 1950s and 1960s, and she had boxes of Vogue patterns in those styles. I love denim and loose flowing things in colors you can find in a field of wildflowers, and wouldn't stitch those Vogue things unless there was serious money involved.

Basically, I now own tens of pounds of fabrics and patterns I can't stand. She also cut out at least a dozen garments that I've found so far, but didn't even start stitching any of them. If I could stand to work with some of those fabrics, I'd be in clover for doll clothes from those pieces. But a structured dress, cut out of burnt-orange-with-lime-green-dots double-knit polyester, that wasn't sewn? Not one chance I'm ever going to use any part of that.

Don't get me started on what's still in her closets.

I wish she was still here so I could tease her about all this. Then she could tell me I have the taste of a middle-class overeducated hippie (true enough) and we could keeping going until we laughed ourselves out of breath. Miss her something fierce.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 24 of 61 Days of Martie.

Good morning! Here is a shot of an actual #dollchat t-shirt, and any lumpiness is not *me*, thank you, but objects on my work table:

Here's where you can get your own: #dollchat shirts are HERE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 23 of 61 Days of Martie.

Sunday night in the hotel, when Martie finally had a chance to relax and read for a little while.

The following pics are from yesterday's excursion to the National Air & Space museum. Both of them. There's the one on the Mall, which is the most visited museum in the USA (possibly in the world), and then the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center, which is near the Dulles airport and bored the living pickles outta me.

First up, here's the main reason I went to NASM:

Make it so, Number One.

Charlie thinks this is the best thing in the whole place. It's in the downstairs of the Gift Shop, in the back. No kidding. Charlie wanted to take it home for her souvenir, but had to settle for a shuttle pilot doll, which is very nice, but just not the same.

Here's Martie in the famous main entrance!

Martie felt very sorry for this WW1 soldier, even though he was just a mannequin. Like a doll. Oh..... Now I get it.

It's. Uh. It's orange!

Women worked very hard in both World Wars to keep everything running on the domestic front, including in the military.

Now we pause to admire Martie's new necklace, which was her souvenir from the gift shop. The clerk said Martie was the most beautiful doll she'd ever seen.

Shiny space instrument that....okay, I don't remember, I really should've gotten a pic of the signage.

A lovely day in the Udvar-Hazy parking lot, yes?

THE LEGO STORE in Tysons Corner Center in McLean VA!!
The Lego store guys weren't really into the whole taking pictures bizniss, so we just took one quick one and put the camera away.

This was right about when I realized I didn't have my wallet. *quiet panic mode* Turns out it was on the floor in the car, thank goodness, but I really hate that panicky feeling. I am not an adrenaline junkie by a long shot.

I didn't know this mall had an American Girl Place until I saw it, and the panic was quickly replaced with barely-contained bouncing excitement. As a matter of fact, I was so excited, I totally forgot I even owned a camera. I also may have burst into tears. You don't know, you weren't there, shut up! I did get a few things--a hair care kit, hair fripperies, and carrier for Martie; and a set of underwear and an AG Place Washington DC tshirt for my 18" Rapunzel.

We went to the car and found my wallet (*whew*), went out to eat at IHoP, then battled traffic to get on the road home. Everyone was falling asleep, including our driver Kevin!, so we had to stop for latte with three espresso shots and a Coke. We made it home, and fell over. The end. ;D

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 22 of 61 Days of Martie

Today we went to the National Zoo! We got a very late start -- I couldn't get Kevin and Sam out of bed until around 10 am, then showers, then .... we got there around noon. We closed the place down, tho, and I got these shots in before my camera battery died. Oops.

What are we going to see first? We came in right by the Big Cats.

And the prairie dogs! I never saw prairie dogs before. They look like fat rabbits with little people ears.

Charlie liked the owl bas-relief.

"Martie! Get out of there! There are lions right behind you!" This picture was taken a couple of minutes after Martie tumbled off that rail onto the pavement. I'm grateful she didn't get any scratches, just some dirt in her hair. *whew*

The sign said "Do Not Climb." So Martie climbed. There are young lions in the enclosure behind her.

Second star to the right, bear, and straight on 'til suppertime!

Can you see the chameleon behind Martie?

There he is! But his name isn't Pascal, alas.

Is it a dragon?
After this, we saw snakes (seriously. huge. snakes), then red pandas, then GIANT PANDAS! Sam was very excited, he'd never seen pandas and he was very taken by the red pandas (no relation) as well. We also saw cheetahs, zebras, orangutans, elephants, a clouded leopard, a fishing cat, otters, and a sloth bear (not a sloth, just a big bear with sideways ears). Quite a day.

Kevin took a lot of pictures, and a couple with Martie, so you may see those later in the week when I get a chance to look through everything.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 21 of 61 Days of Martie.

What? What time is it?

OHMIGOSH! Today is Going-To-Museums Day! Smithsonians and ART!!

What should I wear? I want to be comfortable, and look good, and be warm enough, and...

....and this will do nicely! Mix of Bell-Bottom Blues, Winter Blahs, and a nice handmade sweater.
 Now we have a selection of a *lot* of pics I took today. I had to miss some good opportunities because there were either too many people crowding around an exhibit, or the guards prohibited it (like the entire National Portrait Gallery....). I also got a lot of shots of neat stuff without Martie, and someday I'll post those somewhere.
Outside the Air & Space Museum. I almost slid off!

Outside the National Gallery of Art.

The Natural History Museum. I'd better move, that elephant looks kind of miffed.

This isn't the Guardian of Forever? Oh, a meteorite! I see.

The Hope Diamond. Charlie wanted to take it home, but the guard said no. Meanyhead.

Now, THIS is a tiara fit for a real princess.

Is this an exhibit? It isn't? Well, then...what's it for?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 20 of 61 Days of Martie

After a loooong morning of appointments and errands, we finally got on the road just after lunch.
Buckle up, and we'll be off!

We stopped at a little place with a store and a diner all together. We got Cokes, and snacks, and. Uh. Used the potty. Ahem.

Lookit, I'm OVER the highway!

Neat, huh?

Over some rivers and across a highway, la la la la la.....

Actually, we're at the Sideling Hill Scenic overlook, just past Cumberland MD. I'm told it's very dramatic in early autumn. Now it's just kind of brown.

Let's get going again! *BEEP*BEEP* I'll spare you the next three hours, it was all driving and DC traffic jams. *grumble*

AND HERE WE ARE! These pillows are bouncy and wonderful.

But nothing interesting to look at out the window after dark, alas. Maybe in the morning.

May we have supper in the room? Pleeeeeease? I found the menu!
And five minutes after supper....Good night!!