Category Archives: Barbie

Happy New Year!

winterHappy New Year, everyone!

Because writing wasn’t going so well and we had a small break from the workload, I decided to fill an old promise I had made for my niece a month ago before NaNo began – new set of doll clothes.

It was partly inspired by a revelation that I had mom’s sewing machine only meters away from my writing desk and that I haven’t sewn anything or done any other handwork in a while. Well, little things excluded like teaching niece how to make snowflakes after her ballet class.

As of writing, I think of taking up Flash Fiction this year on my homepage. It is very hard to write and do things without deadlines it seems, so perhaps setting myself some goals again might help it.

 

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Half of the result of the 5 hours in the kitchen.

I had a little surprise this Christmas, too. It’s hard not to get in mood, when your folks declare that they are heading to the forest and you are left with kitchen duty on Christmas Eve morning, so after 5 hours I finally did “go in the mood”, sort of. I think it was more like this soothing feeling that even if you are not in the mood, traditions don’t ask and still happen. Which, considering my mood, was a soothing palm.

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Pinky Cooper, later named Poppy.

Also, who can stay angry when the Dwarf Express decided that as my niece had asked a dog doll from Santa, because the doll is so different from the rest, her aunty must need one too. So my only present this year was this on the right. To everybody’s surprise they are very nice! Soft on touch, articulated hands and feet, entire body toned with blush and beauty marks, soft changeable hair, DETAILED and WELL MADE costume (which compared to some of the Barbies and others I’ve seen – wow! Yoke! With buttons! SEWN ON!). My niece loves it and I love it.

So, as to fulfill my promises before the new year starts, I picked up the sewing machine and went for it. Lessons learned: don’t trust the pattern sizes and the newbie mistakes are bound to happen no matter how many times you do it.

 

We have this old piece of white polyester cloth that got ruined thanks to a little puppy nosebleed on the most inconvenient time, so it has been sitting for about 15 years. As nothing big can be made of it, but as you can skip doing edges for it melts, it was perfect candidate for this.

The first dress was actually the easiest. The reason it looks pink underneath is doll’s swim suit. My first time trying to make sleeve like sleeves. There has to be an easier way to sew them! Must be! Thank god I couldn’t break the machine as it is not mine or I would have pushed it off the table so many times. Fixing the mistakes I made with the machine took more time than sewing it all by hand. I would know, because I have done this by hand for a long time. But in the end The dress got made and I am very happy about it. It fit! And who can deny that satisfaction!

The white dress was an experiment. The lacy part is the back to add some spunk. I tried to make a layered petal dress. Relatively easy, given the pattern didn’t fit at all in the end and this was the dress that proved to me – I do not like patterns with seam allowance. It drove me nuts when I spent the next 2 hours fitting it on the doll.

The puff pants bad image – haven’t got another image. That’s testing my own made pattern. After I had enough of all the off size measurements, I decided to make one of my own. I recall it being far easier in school. Oh well, it was fun :D.

And the last, but not the least my joy and pride – a coat. Because my niece likes to take her Barbies one by one to kindergarten, then she might as well use a coat to cover up their dresses so they don’t get dirty. This is made of the same material I had my own old coat made of. It is heavy though, but I loved it. This piece alone took me a whole day – all the seam allowances had to be stitched over or it would be a very short lived. I still like Lolita fashion on Barbies :D.

And now, as the last sunset of 2015 has ended, the second picture of it for you. A pink sunset for the ending year.

May the coming year be filled with inspiration and will to work, stamina, coffee and friends. May it carry only the best and bring you lots of publications and good reviews. 

winter 2

 

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Filed under Barbie, Handwork, writing trivia

Bed and an armchair

After reading friend’s story last night – my first free day over a month! – I decided to do something in the other end of the prism and pick up that little project I had in mind before November came.

I wanted to make a chair for Barbie. Or, I was planning to buy one, but then I went on line and saw that the ones I liked, nice quality and nice to look at, were equally priced. Then I remembered a tutorial for miniatures that teaches you how to make soft furniture and thought – why not give it a try?

So here’s my results: bed for niece, because she has wanted it since her mom got the doll house and chair for my doll so she would not be sitting on my tarot deck bag.

Well, now I know why they cost so much. The bed took me  12 hours to make, both the furniture piece, the beddings and the bouncy madras and pillow. The chair took 6 hours. In either case I don’t count making the pattern, for despite there being quite few available online, I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I fantasized a bit. Both are mostly made of thick carton layered up so the pieces went together like puzzle game covered with costume velvet, finished with pegs for legs.

Those legs – if I even mention them right now aloud, my brother goes running for whatever errant he can think of, because they proved to be the hardest part in the entire project.

So, without further due, here’s the results:

 

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Adopted Steffi Love

I said I bought a doll from second hand shop. I finished fixing her up on Sunday and thought I might as well show her off a bit too before niece gets to take her home.

So, the doll itself is Steffi Love, as it turned out. The image on the left is one I found online when  I was searching what doll I was dealing with. Had to use that to show what she looked like before I had the “cunning” idea to repaint her face.

To start with, I washed and conditioned the hair. Turned out she had long hair! Couldn’t guess by the way they’d been puffed on top of her head with bad rubber. But when I saw that she actually HAS quite good long hair, I felt still at odds. It was cheep piece of plastic and I’ve never liked Steffi’s face much.

So after it sat about a week, I woke up one morning that I wanna try it. When else do I get a cheep canvas like that? Heh. Yeah. So I coughed off her head and did it. Used acrylic watercolor pencils and took my sweet time, doing one element at a time during 5 minute breaks from work. But that’s the result, and I rather like the outcome. Don’t want to take it up any time soon though. Or, well, until one of such crosses my path again.

Then the dress. Cheep 20 cent skirt from a thrift shop. The skirt actually has extra layer underneath and the lacy bodice is built to fit that doll and despite the snuggly look, it can be removed and put back on without any trouble. Same goes to the choker necklace and armband. It was important that the dress can be removed, for it is meant for playing after all.

Ah, yes, fun side project :).

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Gargoyles, gargoyles, gargoyles!

So, since I decided to write about gargoyles during the last year’s NaNoWriMo, and fixing up the book for contest, I’m back at them and thinking of another story to write during this Nano. I did try to write a short story to send in for FM Anthology, but as they wanted PG13, and, well, the gargoyles are hardly your typical boy scouts, so the story was left on the shelf. However, I am revoking it soon, for the characters there grew in a perfect pre-story for the next Nano.

As it seems I’m dealing with gargoyles more, I have a plan for this month – properly work out that fantasy world of theirs. Well, and perhaps build up some story base with it. One way or the other, get to know my little monsters is a good plan as it goes. Where to start? How about soil colors… Yup, that’s where I stuck my nose in first.

Other news? Well, competition, where the Gargoyles went wasn’t success. Learned a lesson there, but not related with the story. I still am obsessed with it and want to continue. At this point I have 3 storylines to obsess about and I’m a bit overwhelmed :D. or perhaps just soooo exited!

Oh, on the other note – I bought another doll. Well, it was for pretty much a dollar and from second hand shop, but it was intriguing. I’ve been eying it for close to a month now. First time I saw her, she had this horrible updo that made me think she’s got somewhat medium length hair. Brother later said he saw that doll a month ago together with a bucket full of other Barbie like dolls. All the other dolls got bought, which is a miracle, for they really had permanent ink painted masks, feet broken off, hair half cut away, piercings in weird places… That horrible updo seemed like the best doll compared to others, but for some reason I discarded her still. For that updo really looked doubtful.

Yeah, but then I visited dorm and saw that I had a hank of doll hair still in the closet (from time when I redid my Barbie) and figured that hey, if I can’t get that hair in order, I can just use her as another experiment for green hair. :P. Took me about an hour, but she was cleaned and ready. I didn’t have to cut her hair – turns out she has long hair, all the way to her buttocks and in two colors – creamy blond and white. Ok, so this was already something to go by, so I searched her out – Steffi Love? Oh, and her knee joints – seems that this particular doll is from around 2012?

Anyway, she’s all fixed up and I’m rather happy that she was left behind for she cleaned up good. 🙂 Next stop – a dress. And then another one for the Barbie, for the time she spent with my niece, she got some markings on it that won’t come out. No biggie – i can always make new ones 😛 :D.

It’s gonna be long night too – super moon and eclipse with it. FUN!

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Filed under Barbie, Gargoyles

With disappearing Moon, I finish thee…

 

Time of changes has arrived. It’s last days of Waning Crecent of Sturgeon Moon. With school year just up ahead, what better time could there be to finish some old projects? There is much in my life that have remained unfinished. So at least this year I decided that I’ll do things differently.

 

Remember the Barbie doll? The one I told, oh so long time ago, that I want to change her hair? Well, I began with it, then ran out of hair, then ordered new set, ran out of time and will and countless other reasons? I finished it. Decided two days ago that I want her to have her hair and took the time and finished it. It’s been bugging me for months now, but I didn’t want to take it to the next year. Besides – I have the last year in Uni, no time for side projects like this.

 

Here she is 🙂IMG_2479

 

Left her longest hair I could get out of those hair. I have a thing to Rapunzel Barbies and decided that if I’m gonna have my very own OOAK, I might as well have that long wished long haired Barbie. Always thought they had too short hair…

 

Copy of IMG_2474This doll ended up having three colors of hair – mixture of Nutmeg and Pumpkin Spice from MyLittleCustoms homepage, including pure Nutmeg for slightly (but not so that it would scream out) darker shades in the tone and to frame the face better. Thought it doesn’t show from the image, it does give lovely play in light. Plus Poison Ivy  for green highlights. Sparingly. But I wanted green ones, for oh who knows why. I did get some purple just in case as well – just in case I changed my mind. 😛 Now that I know the trick, won’t be much trouble to change the highlights if I so choose. It still looks a bit poof, that’s because I didn’t have the heart to toss all that hard work in hot water yet.

 

The other thing I promised pictures of, is the Dream Catcher. It doesn’t look black as I thought I’d make it, because I didn’t have enough black. Well, I kinda like that it didn’t happen that way. Instead it has lots of green and red insert with carnelians, green stone, which I have no idea what it is for spider and load of mother pearl. Plus some lovely jackdaw feathers. When I collected them, I also set one on my door. Interesting is, I felt there were too many people coming in and out without my control. Guess if that changed after a while? Interesting trick, I must say, and I’m keeping it.

 

The wreath behind the Dream Catcher is the one I made for the flowering season out of paper. As autumn is nearing by the days, I’ll change that into leaves.

 

I have also finished the blanket. 3 months and it is finally done, but I can only photograph it, when I get the camera together in the same room with it. Now that is something I am really proud of J. Rainbow colors to bring in all the blessings of the colors, all in good hexagons for protection. All 288 of them.

 

Copy of IMG_2486Just another project I wanted finished before school begins. So I could actually concentrate on what’s important – studying. I feared I’d be otherwise staring at those unfinished projects constantly, getting frustrated that I’ve had to set anotherthings aside to prioritize. This way I don’t prioritize. I have only studies. And perhaps writing. Isn’t happening that I set that aside. But everything else is finished. Now I only have Luain as the project. But the way things are going right now, the art notebook Luain must wait.

 

 

 

 

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Your designer heart still beats with common blood…

The headline is lyrics from  Repo! The genetic opera from song 21st Century Cure by Terrance Zdunich.

My brother is right now laughing his guts out. There’s a lot of politically incorrect jokes going on between us, because I told my brother that I still want to buy another Barbie to replace the body of Model Basics 001 corpse-like body.  I just needed to rant about how expensive the replacements are, because there are like freakishly few skin tones that actually match and of course he picked it out and has gone on and on about it, always reducing himself to tears. Because I happen to have quite similar skin tone and some time back we talked about the skin color test some kids did, he is enjoying himself fully.

He gets even more curved over by the fact that I refuse to go and just buy play line pivotal off the shelf in local shops,  because I can’t stand their hook-like knees and overbaked tan.  I am sorry, what is that? I know it might look appealing, but oddly they creep me out.

This doesn’t mean we’re racists. Yes, the ugly word. We are just having a laughs over a matter that I happened to buy a doll that has the lightest skin in Barbie line and am now searching a replacement body for it and that it is quite expensive for a doll and I’m not willing to make a covered-its-head-while-sunbathing type of doll. Doesn’t mean the other Barbie skin tones are ugly either. I just don’t like the overbaked kind that has no personality besides the fact that the rest of the doll’s color palette doesn’t match the skin tone.  That’s the worst that can happen to a doll – wrongly matched colors.

But if I’d dare to mention outside my home that I buy a pale Barbie a matching pale body and I happen to have similar pale skin tone, I’d be listed somewhere as a racist!

There was a comic traveling around at some point:

Panel 1:  African man: “I’m proud to be black!”
Panel 2: European: “I’m proud to be white!”
Panel 3: Paus
Panel 4: African man: “You’re so racists.”

As much as it is ironical, the fact I feel compelled as a pale skinned to keep my mouth shut each time someone with slightly more pigment shouts it out, has made me think harsh on the situation we are in.  As much as I am proud to have light skin, there are less and less ways for me to  express it without being automatically told that it’s a racist thought. So I don’t say it anymore and feel growing discomfort for such judgmental views placed upon me just because I’d like to join in and say that I’m proud to be who I am too! I bet there were plenty of those, who found that comic offensive too. You know, for showing African man to be prejudging towards the European.

Odd is, when it comes to religion, I have no taboos left anymore. I’m pagan and it is natural for me. Yet when it comes to expressing my sexuality or skin tone, I’m like tamed puppy. And the more I come in contact with minorities that shout like that, the more I feel the pressure of keeping my mouth shut. I’m white and hetero is like crime sentence.

(the fact that wordpress keeps suggesting me to change hetero word into hero or heater is not helpful)

I don’t think minorities should be shut up for us to feel better.  Thanks to unlimited internet I learned things others hadn’t even dreamt of in tender age and I must say it was quite liberating.  Try finding words to describe skin tones now and you find yourself in a mist of endless commercials and pointless links.  So I need to turn back to 1980s books to find out what skin type is common for what region of the world and what undertones they have.

Why is skin such a bad thing? Biggest organ we have and we go fighting over it. So important what skin tone you are! But behold if you dare to mention it! I don’t understand – we need different skin types to protect us against the Sun. How is that wrong? How is it, it is so important factor? If someone like me (swan white pale pink scandinavian type) goes to visit mediterranean area, I’d get first degree burns! I know, because I’ve gone through that hell and that was in November. Now I knowingly avoid going there in summer, because I can end up totally toasted. There’s no fun being boiled alive. So it is logical that in that area the people are better protected.

But these days it has been turned into a circus (and I knowingly use that word!) and now it matters so much that I’m made to feel wrong even if I have never got involved in racial meddlings. Even buying a freakin’ doll fills me with guilt, because I like her. And why? Because I’m white myself. Odd, isn’t it? If I don’t want to start a fight, I develope a limited vocabulary and even more limited writing style so I can be sure I won’t end up listed as a racist.  Because, to be called racist is a death sentence.

Why is this rant so irritating to me right now? Odd how a small problem around doll’s plastic can rise so much unsettled restlessness.

There is a story that I put aside few years back that I really want to write. It has limited characters and serious topic that is still a serious taboo and for a good reason. The problem with that story is that all the characters come from ethnic groups, but to keep it open and keep it from becoming an object of hatred from those ethnical groups, I wish to hide the ethnicity in background.  I quickly learned it was easier said than done, because my English vocabulary doesn’t come from being born in it.  But when I set myself on task to learn more about the skin tones and types so I can describe them without ethnical labeling, I was faced with the reality of our time – most articles talk about racial problems BETWEEN the groups, but almost none dare to actually explain what the ethnical groups look like!

And by this I know that our world is going in a very wrong direction about all of this. We don’t learn any more. We just ignore or hate, because we are told so. We ignore saying certain things, turning them into taboo topics while advertizing it openly. You are allowed to speak up, yes, but instead of intellectual conversation you can be sure to be put down like an enemy by the opposition.

Happened on a novel about Kenya few days ago. A man stole flour from a shop. But the thief was white man. And why? The writer explained it that he couldn’t make him an african, because he couldn’t sell it otherwise. He was a white man, so if he’d write that the thief was black, the entire story would be undertone by racism.

I was shocked. That’s the world we’ve come to. But the joke was on him, because his over protectiveness produced counter effect.  Instead he was labeled racist for pointing out that the thief was white, as to show that he can’t use african man, which therefore MUST mean he is racist after all! Go figure that logic. I had to read the backstory three times to understand the logic there. But why I even bothered searching out more about this writer, was the fact that he had turned something, in a way natural situation into total fiasco by putting the wrong problem in stage light. 

But I won’t give up.  That doll is important to me. Not because of the skin color, but because I don’t want to see my doll standing stiff on the shelf while I move the other one around.  I’m old enough to be bothered that the doll is put together from miss-matched dolls and to give attention to the fact that I don’t want mine to look like that. I like her and I want to involve her more in the action.

That story is important to me, too.  Not because it depicts minorities clashing , but because of the characters themselves and what happens to them.  But the fear is our companion these days and I know I will always dread the moment someone with more pigment picks me out and starts a witchhunt on me because of that book. Not because of the story, but because of a pigment in the character’s skin and the way they think it is wrong to show someone in certain lights.

Personally, I don’t care about skin tone. I never have. Everyone, who knows me, and even those, who joke about it, can tell you without flip of thought how little it matters to me. It just hurts every now and then, when you feel you need to walk around the bush, because you know how deeply insulting something so simple can get.  And it makes me sad that info is filtered or soggied up in such fear. The same fear I feel. But how do you cure a fear if you are kept from information to explain it to you? Because we often fear things only because we don’t understand them.

Then why not learn? Explain that we are different, that it is ok to be different and that difference is what defines us.  Instead we are shown like fish swarm – everybody exactly the same, stripping as further more from what makes us unique.

But you know what? Every fish in that swarm is still different.

 

 

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Filed under Barbie, characters, Working through ideas, writing trivia

New dresses

In the light of today’s and yesterday’s news, I felt I needed to do something totally different. Anything not related with my daily life.

So I finished a dress instead for Barbie. Which reminded me I have not yet posted the previous dress either, so I’m doing this now too.

* I’m sorry, I noticed only now that the images had all posted sideways. It’s fixed now 🙂

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