Porcelain

Yup, today I’m looking at a material, rather than a specific doll.  In order to add some variety, y’know?

When I was a girl, at some point I started really insisting that I wanted “a china doll.”  In all honesty, I’m not sure what I thought I meant by that — I don’t even remember when it was, specifically — but I do know that my parents tried to indulge me.  (Probably because they preferred that request to demanding a Barbie.)  So the first one they got me was this one:

porcelain 6

Looking at her now, I see a bisque doll reproducing (if in miniature) the feel of mid- to late-19th century German shoulder-head dolls with human hair wigs.  Looking at her then, all I saw was “not what I want.”  Because I was a kid, and kids can be unreasonable and selfish.  (Actually, adults usually are, too, but at least we’re aware of it and do our best to tamp down the worst of it.  Usually.)

I have two others that came out of this childhood desire for “a china doll,” but I’m not 100% sure which came first.  I’m going to start with the lesser doll, though I have a sinking feeling she came second of the two.

porcelain 4

Much larger than the previous doll, as you can see, her hair is a bit nicer, and her porcelain skin is in a human coloration, rather than being stark white.  (I’m not sure at what point she lost a shoe…)

porcelain 5

God, the dust!  It terrifies me how dusty some of these dolls are, considering they live on a shelf beside my bed and I’m allergic to dust.  (Yeah, I know, bad idea all around.)  Anyway, see her little necklace?  It’s a bracelet I got on a trip to the Southwest.  Somewhere around here I have a matching necklace in human size.  Well, actually, it may have been “little girl sized” to begin with.  Anyway, before I move on, as I was getting the worst of the dust off this doll (yes, it used to be even worse!) for the photo, I noticed her tag, and was surprised to find she’d been made by Russ.  Who knew?

All right, now we’ll move on to the coup de grace — admittedly rather early in the post.  The most wonderful and important porcelain doll I will ever own:

porcelain 3

I’m sure looking at her you can see one of the reasons I treasure her, since she’s inherently a lovely doll.  But the other reason, the more important reason, isn’t something that’s visible at all.  You see, this doll was hand made from a kit by my grandmother.  She knew I wanted a china doll, so she bought that kit, and sewed this extremely lovely and complex doll body and dress for me.

In many ways, she will always be the prize of my entire doll collection because of that.

I just hope I was sufficiently grateful at the time.  (Sadly, I don’t remember at all.)

In any case, we’ll move away from the sublime to the more-or-less normal.

After I hit my teens and I still had a passion for dolls, my mother convinced me to channel it into a new and fancy dollhouse, because “miniatures” are okay no matter how old you are, but dolls aren’t.  (Yes, she sometimes still gets on my case for collecting dolls.  Even though I’m 40 now, and what I do is really not any of her concern.)

So, I traded my childhood dollhouse for a fancier one with nicer furniture (though I still have a little bit of the original childhood furniture) and with nicer dolls to live in it….

porcelain 1

The mother and father are only porcelain in their heads (and maybe feet and hands in his case), but the two kids are all porcelain, having been jointed with pins at the shoulders and hips.

So, anyway, those are the porcelain dolls from my pre-adult life.  Though I suspect that what I really wanted back when I said I wanted “a china doll” may have been something more like this:

porcelain 8

Yup, that’s a porcelain Barbie.  I’ve actually got a surprising number of them, due to those Mattel outlet stores I mentioned a few days ago.  😛  It feels a little cheap only photographing one of them, but…they’re all either holiday or bridal dolls, and they all have the Superstar face mold, too.  So they’re a bit repetitive, really.  I picked this one because I like her dress, and she was the easiest to get out of the display case. 😛

porcelain 9

There’s one other porcelain doll I took out of the same display case, but she’s very different in pretty much every way:

porcelain 10

She’s small, inexpensive, and very badly lit.  Wait, that last one’s circumstantial.  Anyway, she’s kind of fun regardless of being cheap.

I have three more dolls to show you, but I think we’ll go in roughly the order I got them, even though it’s chronologically all wrong for the dolls themselves.

porcelain 11 porcelain 12

Yup, porcelain Bratz.  MGA only put them out pretty briefly, as far as I know.  I think it was right before Bratz shut down the first time.  As I’ve said before, I’m not exactly a Bratz fan.  But I do love things like this with minor historical value — oddities and unique products — and I never really got over my yen for “a china doll” so…I ended up getting two because I liked the clothes on one and the doll on the other.  (But then since I never opened either one, it hardly mattered in the long run…)

porcelain 13

This was the one where I liked the doll, but not the clothes, naturally.  Swap the outfits on the two of them, and I’d have only needed the one. :p

Okay, all right, I’m ready to finish up this post by showing you the porcelain doll in my collection who’s both newest and oldest.  She’s the one I acquired most recently — just a few years ago — but she’s almost certainly the oldest doll I own.

porcelain 7

She’s a Nancy Ann Storybook doll.  Isn’t she sweet?  There’s something about these little dolls that just tugs at my “awwww!” strings. 😛

Anyway, that’s been “P is for Porcelain.”  I hope it broke up the monotony a little. 😀

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New Year’s first blather post

Or something like that.  First I want to talk about the preceding two posts, the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day special posts.

New Year's Eve 1

Barbara’s dress (and shoes) are from the Barbie Look collection.  Neither fits her perfectly, but…they look all right.  (But it’s killing the shoes; the stiletto heels keep bending and warping.)  Ironically, if I had waited until the mail came in (and had checked it before 10 p.m.), I could have put her in her beautiful new red dress from Etsy.  But I didn’t, so she’s still wearing this.  (I’ll show her new dress soon.)

The table came with my sole Ever After High doll, Madeline du Jardin.  (Formerly Madeline Dupres, formerly Maddy Hatter.)  However, I re-painted the roses to be darker, and the table to be sparkly black, so it would look more Monster High.  The food and stuff is totally random, in a variety of scales. *shame*  The cupcakes are Moxie Girls (I think), the stack of cups is Liv (I think), cake slice and the crepe are erasers that I thought might be good for Kaiko (to take the place of KAITO’s signature ice cream bar), the tea pot is Monster High (though I think it might actually be a watering can), and I have no idea where the little pink wine glass came from.

New Year's Eve 2

Yeloume’s dress is Only Hearts Club, but her shoes are…uh…whichever little sister of Barbie those shoes came from.  (Stacie, I think?  Or is her name Courtney?  I know the doll they came with, I just can’t remember her name…)  I think the shoes match the dress better than the shoes that actually came with the dress.  I totally want to re-body Yeolume, btw.  Not only does she have minimal posing ability, but her joints are all quite loose, particularly her hip joints.  I want her to have a body that doesn’t flop around so much, even if it’s not much more posable than the one she’s already got.  (I was thinking a Licca body might be good for her.  I’m going to compare the sizes when I do the body swapping for the Licca Miku duo.)

New Year's Eve 3

No, she did not come in that dress.  She came in a green dress.  (She’s a collector’s doll, as you might guess by the jewelry (which is original to her), the face-up and the eyelashes.)  I found her at Tuesday Mornings cheaply enough that I actually bought two, this one and one to leave in the box.

Pyrrha's party dress 1

I know I’ve previously mentioned that I had bought Pyrrha a new dress, which I had to give a colorfasting treatment before she could wear it, just in case, but somehow I hadn’t actually gotten around to showing it yet.  So here it is.  In an older photo, because Pyrrha is still in pieces, with a blank face. 😦  (But at least I’ve gotten glue sticks, so now her eye chips are also out, and I’ve been able to test the ones I’ve made.  I’ll post photos tomorrow or so.)  The dress is by NinaBella9, who also made her “main” outfit, the whitish two piece with the reddish paisley and the black hat.  (I still don’t know where those shoes came from, though…)  Anyway, the feather boa she was wearing in the New Year’s Eve photo came from Jo-Ann’s…or was it Michael’s?  It’s just an untreated crafting product. 😛  (And may have stained the interior of her kneecap, strangely…)

New Year's Eve 6

I got this little guy at Michael’s.  I know there’s no reason to think of Falcor as flying overhead to herald the new year (even in the book, that never happens), but I’ve been looking for an excuse to do something with him ever since I got him. 😛  (Naturally, the tag called him a “good luck dragon” so they wouldn’t infringe copyright.  But he is so totally Falcor.)

"Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!"
“Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!”

The new Made to Move body is amazing.  (And the $15 price tag is sweet!)  It’s actually better for posing than that Obitsu body I got for Len.  (You know, the one that was too small!)  I’m totally going to get more of these.  Definitely Teresa will be next, but I just had to start with this one, because having her kneel in that kimono was going to look so awesome.  I meant to do something nicer with her hair than the simple ponytail she came with, but…time prevented me from actually doing so.  (Next year, for sure.)

New Year 1

Since this doll had the same face mold as the Barbie from the New Year’s Eve party, I thought I’d just go with the joke(?) that it was really the same doll.  (The pink hair is not, however, a wig.)  This is my favorite Barbie face mold, btw. 😀  (Oh, and this box is where I got the spelling for the Japanese greeting, so if I got it wrong, I apologize.)

New Year 7

And this is the reason this Bratz doll is still in the box:  the box is too cool to open. 😛

New Year 10

Yeah, this one was random.  I had brought the mini Lalaloopsy in to photograph her, then forgot to give her to any of the dolls who could hold her, and…well, Mulan was the next closest I could find to a doll in a kimono.  (If I’d thought about doing this more than a few days before actually doing it, I could have ordered some Pullip, Blythe or Monster High-sized kimonos from Etsy.  But as it is, the one I put on Lea was the only one to spare.)  The reason Mulan’s face looks a slightly different color than her body is that it’s got a color-change treatment on it:  it turns white, so you can give her the half-painted, half-unpainted face like during that one song.  (Yes, this is a doll I bought back at the time the movie came out.)

Okay, so before I finish talking about these posts, the album for the party is here, and the album for New Year’s day is here.  (But the Pyrrha photos aren’t in those albums, only in Pyrrha’s own album.)

Now, other stuff.  I had wanted my last toy purchase of 2015 to be She-Ra related, since it was her 30th anniversary, but since Mattel stubbornly refused to admit that She-Ra was a doll line that had been aimed at girls, all they’re making these days is those hideous action figures that look nothing like the dolls, so I couldn’t buy anything new.  And I hit all the used places around here that reliably carry used/vintage toys on the 30th, but couldn’t find any that I didn’t already have.  (And I didn’t have time to scour the antique malls on the off chance of finding one.)  So I was going to go on Etsy and buy a vintage one there (even though I wouldn’t have gotten her until this year) but the Perfuma I had favorited was “unavailable” when I clicked on her listing, even though it didn’t say “Sold” on my favorites menu. 😦  And I didn’t want to buy one of the wave 2 dolls, since their 30th anniversary would be this year.  (Well, not like there were a lot of them on offer, of course, but I could have gotten an Entrapta…)  Besides, I wanted to recapture a part of my own childhood, not to get a doll I’d never had before.  So I had to content myself with some fan art instead.  Well, “content” is not quite the word, but…it was something I wanted to get, so…yeah.

Moving on, I’m disappointed by the early shots of the new look Mattel is going to give Monster High later this year, but I’ll wait until I see them in person to give a final opinion.  However, this has all the earmarks of executive meddling, by making the dolls simpler, and thus less costly to make, in order to increase the profit margin on each unit.  (Not only was each successive wave getting more elaborate, many of the new characters had entirely new and unique bodies on top of the unique facial sculpts each character had always had.)

Anyway, before I made that Etsy purchase, I let myself into yet another way to drain away my money:  I made my first pledge on Kickstarter.  The project is called Dream Big Friends, for an articulated 10 inch doll called Yuna.  The doll is very cute, and as of about 10:30 this morning, they still needed to raise $100,000 more by January 3rd if the doll was to go into production.  So if you see this before then, check it out and maybe help them out, okay?  (Fortunately, at the moment there don’t seem to be any other doll projects looking for funding, so I may be safe there for the time being…but this morning I already upped my pledge from the “one doll” rewards level to the “two dolls” level, to help out more.)

Anyway, the next few days will hopefully feature a number of posts.  I’ve got a number of photos of Pyrrha’s (unpainted) face “testing out” eye chips, and Mei-lin is nearly finished (once her hair gets here), as is the all-Obitsu male doll.  (Whose name is still uncertain, but I know his epithet already.)  Plus once the other Pullip wig arrives, there’ll be a wig-swapping post.  (Said wig is coming from Quebec, so it shouldn’t take too long.)  Oh, and there’s Hangry’s new outfit (which I actually bought for a different doll) and Barbara’s new dress, so I’ll probably show those in a single post, too.

Happy New Year!

"Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!"
“Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!”

Lea is wishing her friends a happy new year in the traditional Japanese manner.

New Year 5

Rena is working at the family shrine again, selling good luck amulets to help people through the coming year.

New Year 9

Looks like Tsukasa is working at her family shrine, too…

New Year 1

Barbie is all dressed up to accompany Lea to the temple.  (All that pink hair last night must have been just a wig…)

New Year 6

May Lin is all ready to visit the shrine, too.

New Year 8

Looks like Jenny’s already gotten a charm from Rena!

New Year 10

Mulan’s even brought a little friend to wish everyone a happy new year!

Dal’s Fashion Show

Having learned that Dal can wear Monster High clothes, I decided it was time for my Dal Tinkerbell to upgrade her wardrobe! 😀

She had long ago ditched her Tinkerbell outfit, since it’s ludicrous for Tinkerbell and Peter Pan to be the same size.  (Well, okay, Dal isn’t quite the same size as Pullip, but…Tink is supposed to be small enough to sit on Pan’s shoulder, not come up to his shoulder.)  But I had put her in a Barbie dress that was absurdly too large for her and then just left it on her, ’cause it matched her bow.  That was definitely silly, but I’d been lazy about it…for several years. 😛  But last night I finally decided to stop being lazy and give her a new look, at long last!

First try
First try

I think this one came from one of the Create-a-Monster kits.  It has an almost caveman look on her, don’t you think?  Not quite what I was going for in her new look, needless to say, but still kinda fun.

Next!
Next!

I think this was one of the dresses that came with the I Heart Fashion Abby, but I’m not positive.  (Seems like one of her colors, though.)

Groovy!
Groovy!

I love the way my spare Viperine dress looks on Tink!  I tried to put her in one of the typical Monster High pigeon-toed poses for the picture, but I couldn’t get her to do it; Pullip/Dal bodies don’t seem to want to do the pigeon-toed pose.  Anyway, unfortunately, Dal bodies aren’t quite slender enough in the upper torso for Monster High clothes, so a number of the dresses and shirts can’t close in the back, and this was one of the ones that couldn’t close, so although it looks great from the front, it was hanging open in the back. 😦

Who knew?
Who knew?

I’d call this Bratz outfit perfect if the pants fit better.  They look good in the photo, but that’s because she’s sitting down.  That hides the really ugly way they don’t fit at the waist, similar to the ugly way they don’t fit Monster High dolls at the waist, which is the only reason these pants have never found their way onto any dolls in the past.  (They were, after all, the main reason I had bought that four outfit multi-pack.  Because look at them!  Those are awesome pants!  Maybe they’ll fit Pyrrha…)

Pretty sweet, huh?
Pretty sweet, huh?

A Bratz top and a Monster High skirt on a Dal.  It’s almost a miracle that didn’t cause some kind of implosion…

Racy!
Racy!

Should I be worried that I already don’t remember where this dress came from?  Maybe it came with Iris Clops…  Well, wherever it came from, it’s a bit too sexy for Tink.

In the opposite direction...
In the opposite direction…

This one’s like the total opposite in every way, y’know?  It’s not even Monster High–or Bratz.  This dress is from a line called Only Hearts Club, which has a cloth body, and thus somewhat formless clothes.  However, those formless clothes do just barely Monster High–though they’re a bit on the short side–so I’ve picked up a few outfits when I’ve found them at Tuesday Mornings.  This is one of them, which I’d had on a Create-a-Monster catgirl for a long time, until I gave up and removed it, ’cause it made her look pregnant.  (Seriously, that Empire waistline is unfortunate on a Monster High doll.)  Didn’t look much better on Tink than it did on the CaM, really.

Pink Tink
Pink Tink

So this is another Only Hearts Club outfit, one I hadn’t opened before.  (Due to having given up on trying to get the outfits to work on Monster High dolls.)  Anyway, I’d thought to myself “well, it’s just sewn onto the paperboard, no need for scissors; I’ll just rip it out easily enough!”  Not only was the thread stronger than the paperboard, but it was also stronger than me.  Seriously, I ripped the entire loop of the thread out of the freakin’ package and had to cut it!  I think a lot of my clothes are sewn with thread that isn’t that strong.  Argh.  Anyway, the dress looked okay on Tink, but not great.  The shoes fit nicely enough, which is surprising.

Last one!
Last one!

This was from that Create and Color wolf girl Create-a-Monster, or whatever she was called.  I think.  Not really a great dress.  I just sort of tried it on her on a whim at the end there.

In the end, I decided to risk implosion, and put her back in the Bratz pink turtleneck, with the Monster High skirt, along with her own undies and tights (which I had removed for ease in the constant dressing/undressing process), and then added the Only Hearts Club shoes to the mixture.  She still hasn’t imploded yet, so I guess it’s not a chemical imbalance. 😛

Tink and friends
Tink and friends

Back in her home spot with Peter Pan and Tiger Lily. 😀  Also with Pan’s LPS Blythe Tinkerbell, Angel Pullip Tinkerbell wanna-be, and a gaggle of other dolls.  (Unfortunately, I goofed in taking the picture, and didn’t get her shoes in the picture. 😦 )

Oh, and lest he get jealous about being left out…

Captain Hook
Captain Hook

I don’t keep Captain Hook quite close enough to Pan and the girls to cause any fights.  As to why right at his feet the third Doctor is squaring off against an Auton and two very old Cybermen (one of which has shrunk) while Sashabella Paws looks on…uh, well, there just isn’t very much shelf space at my house, so everything’s kind of cheek-by-jowl.  There’s no real logic to it.

Anyway, random update:  I’ve ordered some clothes for Pyrrha, but it looks like being a race to see what’s going to get here first, Pyrrha or the clothes.  One of the dresses is coming from Japan, and was being sold by multiple vendors, so while it’s not expensive enough to be an official Blythe product, it must be some kind of product.  (Um, that was supposed to make more sense than that.)  Anyway, it’s really quite cool, with a metallic bodice, and I think it’ll suit Pyrrha perfectly.  The other is handmade by the vendor selling it, so I don’t know where it’s coming from, but like the one coming from Japan, it gave an expected delivery date in early to mid-August, same as Pyrrha herself.  And the vendor’s other doll clothes included traditional Chinese and Korean outfits, so presumably that outfit is either coming from China or Korea.  So…yeah, it’s going to be interesting to see what gets here first!