Monthly Archives: December 2014

Round Two – Begin!

The next doll I will be creating for the blog will be Perpugilliam, better known as Peri, Brown. Peri was a companion of the Fifth Doctor and Sixth Doctor. She was an American girl who met the doctor when she was 18 years old. She certainly made an impression during her debut in a bikini; more than one of my male friends have fond memories of her in that episode (and others). Producer John Nathan-Turner said that she was added to the series to inject some sex appeal into Doctor Who. I think most people old enough to have watched back in the day can agree that they took that goal very seriously.

Peri appeared on three seasons of Doctor Who, and has made appearances in other media over the years due to her popularity. My favorite Peri episode is The Caves of Androzani. This story has Peri and the Fifth Doctor caught up in a war and both are poisoned. The Doctor only has enough antidote to save one of them, so he sacrifices himself to save Peri because he believes he will regenerate. He does, and the Sixth Doctor begins his adventures with Peri at his side. Peri and the Sixth Doctor had a harder relationship because she didn’t care much for his new personality. I don’t blame her; Six was rather arrogant and stubborn.

The doll I chose is a modern brunette doll that I recently found at a local thrift store. She is a Flower Power Teresa from 2000. She has a Shani body, and the joints in her knees snap into all positions. Also, she does not have giant feet. Yay! She has small pink earrings, purple eyes, and a dark purple lipstick. Her hair is cut to just above shoulder length by her previous owner. It is an even cut, and I have no doubt it is better than anything I could do at the moment. Overall, this doll struck me as Peri the moment I saw her at the store, so I’m going with it. Sometimes you have to work with the momentum life gives you.

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First and foremost, I will have to clean up the doll. She is lovely, but she is somewhat dirty and has some paint stains that need to be removed. Next comes her outfit. I want to do the classic Peri pink shorts and pink shirt outfit. It will also include an aqua belt and bracelet. I believe the shoes she wears with this are pink, and I sincerely hope that I can find a useful pair from the satchel of shoes I bought from China. I’m not sure what I would make as an accessory for Peri. Nothing is coming to mind….. Instead, I may do a second outfit. Perhaps a bikini reminiscent of her first appearance? We shall see what I come up with. Cofelia had her adipose, so I want to give her something. I have already scouted some outfit possibilities, and one promising pattern will require the knitting needles I just purchased. It is exciting how well this is coming together.

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This is it! The rough outline for round two of Barbie Who?, and I am confident that this doll will be a breeze. Thank you for your patience as I made it through the holidays. Things have calmed down somewhat, and that gives me more time for crafting and writing for this blog. Stay tuned!

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Winter Shopping

Before the latest snow storm came through our area, I had a chance to do one more big shopping trip. I mainly finished up my Christmas shopping, but, as always, I made some time to visit some thrift stores in the city. While there, I found some pretty cool stuff!

First I stopped at a store just south of the city. I like the store, but I just don’t make it to that area very often. I am very happy that I shopped there today because I found a couple of dolls.

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The first doll is a generic doll with a vinyl head and hollow plastic body (this picture does not do justice to how bad this doll looks). The second doll is a Disney Merida doll. I want you all to know that I would not have bought the first doll under normal circumstances. You see, the people at this store are very smart. They know that nobody in their right mind would buy the weird doll with the mismatched body and head, so they packaged her with a nice Disney doll and sold them together. Well played, pricing manager. Well played.

Anyways, they were packaged together and for $3.00 I bought them both. The Merida doll comes from Target. I was lucky enough to find a useful blog post about this doll by the Thrift Store Dolls blog that matches her dress and weird arms exactly. She is a Merida doll from Target circa 2011. She is one of the cheaper dolls produced, but that’s okay with me. My doll is missing the crown and belt, but she does still have her dress. That’s more than most dolls I find at thrift stores. Overall, she is a cool find.

As for the other doll, it’s head is vinyl while the body is hollow plastic. I doubt that the head was originally made for this body because the neck seems too short and too big for it. I don’t think it is glued on because you can twist the head. I don’t want to pull the head off because she has already been claimed by my kiddo. Said offspring is young enough that she doesn’t seem to mind the aesthetic problems. Her only real concern is the reaction she gets when she throws the doll at the cat. Merida will stay as just Merida for now, but she is a strong candidate for Amy Pond or River Song. I have another ginger doll that I adore, and either one could be transformed into those characters.

After finding those two dolls, I was super excited when I saw this in another toy bin.

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Not only is it a male doll, but I know I had an Aladdin doll growing up and it made me nostalgic. However, my initial glee was dashed once I took a closer look at the doll. He has markings on his body in permanent marker, his neck was torn open and was haphazardly re-glued, and he was vastly overpriced for a broken toy. $2.00 is what they wanted for this. Can you believe that? If he were intact, it would be a fair price (especially considering he isn’t nude and comes with his original pants). However, his head was literally falling off and the vinyl is torn beyond repair. Just look at it; it isn’t an easy fix.

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This doll would have been thrown in the trash at the thrift store I used to work for. It never would have made it onto the floor, and if a manager had put a broken doll on the floor, then they wouldn’t have overpriced it. It will be interesting to see if he is still there the next time we make it to that thrift store. I hope people have enough sense to know that even a Disney prince doll is worthless when it is in such terrible condition.

Back to shopping! I went to a new thrift store next. It was one my husband had pointed out to me a while ago, but we didn’t have time to stop that day. It was nicely set up, and I found some small knitting needles. My only qualm with their store is that their pricing was deceptive. The sign said $1 for knitting needles. In the jar, needles were taped in groups of 4 needles, so one can reasonably assume that each group is $1. Apparently, each pair is $1 and each taped group is $2. While I think $1 per pair is a fair price for knitting needles, I am miffed that their pricing was deceptive. Who knows what other surprises I’ll find if I keep shopping there? I don’t think I’ll be going back to this store because of this unpleasant experience.

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These needles are size one, two, and four. They are small enough for me to tackle some of the doll knitting patterns that I have seen posted online. I am excited! I hope to increase my knitting skills and doll wardrobe with them. It should be a lot of fun!

After a few more miscellaneous stops, I went to my favorite thrift store. It was happy hour (half off already amazing prices – YES), and I found an awesome vintage doll. She cost $0.12!

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Her shirt and skirt are from the Cool Times Midge doll, but the leggings are from the Cool Times Fashions Dance Outfit. The leggings for the original Cool Times Midge were spotted. I’m not sure what the doll is. I want to say she is Cool Times Midge, but her eyeshadow color is wrong (the doll in every picture I’ve seen has blue eyeshadow and my doll has copious amounts of green eyeshadow) and and the freckles are wrong (my doll has no freckles while the dolls pictured online all have freckles). Even with these discrepancies, I am going to call her Cool Times Midge. She bares enough resemblance that I feel confident in calling her that, but feel free to comment with a correction if you recognize her.

**Update** This doll is Dance Club Kayla from 1989. This explains her makeup and crimped hair. A giant thank you to Taswegian1957 for her awesome knowledge of dolls. You rock!

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I am excited to have such a distinctive doll! These late 80’s dolls are so much fun. I think I will keep her as-is for the foreseeable future. She is just too cool to change drastically.

My final stop was at the local Goodwill. I found a couple of awesome dolls there! They cost $1.00 each, which is a fair price for the area. First up is an amazing vintage doll from the 70’s.

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This doll is a very unique find. I knew she was special in the store because of the date stamped on her back – 1958 Korea.

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The older mold combined with the fact she wasn’t made in China told me that she is a pre-80’s doll. After some research, I found out she is a Barbie #7382 made in 1977. I lucked out because the My Vintage Barbie blog profiled this doll in a blog post last month. Without their information, I would have had a much harder time identifying her.

A few cool facts about this doll are that she was not sold in the United States, she used the Stacey head mold, and her stamp changed several times. I know she is a 1977 doll because of her stamp. Earlier dolls had a different wording on the stamp, and later dolls had a different stamp and different eye paint. Overall, I am very excited to add her into the fold. I don’t want to do anything extreme with her, but she could easily be a supporting character from any number of episodes.

The final doll I found is a more modern doll from the 90’s or 00’s in a cute dress. She is also the most striking of all the dolls I found this trip because she perfectly fits an idea I currently have for a Barbie Who? doll.

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I don’t know if her hair is supposed to be short or if she got a haircut, but I love it! It matches what I have in mind for Peri. Even her earrings match the color Peri wears. This doll is absolutely perfect for Peri. I now have crochet thread and the perfect doll, so there is no doubt that Peri will be the next subject for Barbie Who? – the universe is simply demanding it.

**Update** This doll is Flower Power Teresa released in 2000. The original doll did have long hair, so her last owner chopped it off. Another gigantic thank you to Taswegian1957 for the identification.

She isn’t pristine, though. This doll has some blue paint on her face that I need to remove without ruining her face paint. That will be the biggest challenge with this doll. She also has a price marked on her in permanent marker on her foot. My biggest gripe with the local goodwill is that they use permanent marker to put prices on the feet or back of dolls. This is treatable, but it kills me to see really neat dolls with such preventable marks. Other stores either have uniform pricing for all dolls or they bag the dolls. Once or twice I’ve even seen dolls with a plastic tag or sticker. I would much rather use a degreaser to get the sticky ick off of a doll than spend three days getting out permanent marker stains. I’m sure most people buying dolls would feel the same. /endrant

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This trip was a lot of fun. I found some fun vintage dolls, my daughter has a new doll to play with, and I know what direction I want to take the blog next. I am also thoroughly snowed in, so I have plenty of time to work on new patterns. Once I finish my Christmas crafting, I can begin on round two of Barbie Who? Just hang in there! The new year will bring plenty of time to devote to making clothes and doing other crafts.

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Who’s Next?

I haven’t decided what I want to create next for Barbie Who?, but I have a few ideas. I’m writing about it right now so that I can get my thoughts together in one place. I find that doing this often helps me make decisions. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please chime in; every perspective is appreciated.

Melanie Bush – I bought some pink crochet thread at a thrift store, and the color reminds me of the striped puffy shirt she wore. I also have a doll with ginger hair that I could curl. She is pretty high in the running at the moment, but I don’t want to commit just yet.

Madame de Pompadour – I love, love, love every costume used in that episode. They are amazingly detailed and I want to make several outfits from this episode. It would be quite an undertaking, but it would be glorious once completed.

Peri Brown – I have two skeins of thrift store yarn that remind me of her outfits – one is a bright pink and the other is a fun aqua-blue. I know that I could use both colors to create one (or perhaps two) outfits that would fit perfectly with Peri. My only hangup about doing Peri is her hair. I don’t have any dolls with short hair, so I would have to give one a haircut. This scares me almost as much as the thought of doing a body transplant.

Dalek – I have some plastic canvas, and I believe that I could make a cool Dalek out of it. I would even crochet a little tentacle monster to pilot it. It would be fun and allow me to branch out into other mediums.

Ood – I was on Pinterest one evening and saw a person that had crocheted an Ood ski mask. This have me the idea that I could just crochet something similar for a Barbie doll. I haven’t gone through to see if I have the proper colored thread, but the idea intrigues me.

The Fifth Doctor – I found a Ken doll. Yay! Out of all the Whovian men I am familiar with, the doll looks the most like him. My biggest hangups about making him would be needing to sew a few of the pieces. After the wrist strain I’ve dealt with after Cofelia’s stockings, I am not quite ready to commit myself to more hand sewing when my machine inevitably chews the fine fabric up.

K9 – I saw the cutest K9 crochet pattern on Pinterest! I want to adapt it to the scale of Barbie Who? The only issue is that I don’t have gray crochet thread. I have also considered making him out of plastic canvas. Plastic canvas would be sturdier and hold it’s shape better, too. Then is paper craft to consider…. So many options!

Lady Cassandra – Speaking of plastic canvas, I think it would be delightful to make Cassandra out of it. I think I saw a picture of someone making a plastic canvas Cassandra on Facebook once, although I didn’t pin it on Pinterest at the time. This is a very strong option, if for no other reason than her association with the Ninth Doctor. Eccles is my favorite; he was absolutely fantastic. The moment I find a male doll with comparable hair, he will be my next project.

I have a few other ideas floating around, but these are the most solid ones at the moment. I will make a decision and begin working on the next doll after I finish a few miscellaneous projects. This month is a busy one in my house, so it may be a week or more until round two begins. Things slow down after the holidays, and that’s when I can dedicate more time to this project. I appreciate your patience!

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Meet Cofelia

Cofelia is officially finished! Cofelia, or Miss Foster, is from the Doctor Who episode Partners in Crime. She is the head of Adipose Industries and matron to the adorably pudgy adipose aliens (when she isn’t selling weight loss pills). I started working on this doll in September (don’t ask me where the time went) and finished her in December. I didn’t have the sense to take a before picture, so here is a picture from early on vs a picture today.

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I started with a 2006 Beach Glam Barbie that I had purchased at a thrift store for $1. She did require some cleaning, but after a quick bath she was as good as new. I chose her over other dolls for her nice hair and her similar look to Cofelia from the show. To transform her, I removed her earrings, bought her a pair of glasses, styled her hair, and created several pieces of clothing for her to wear.

Top

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Jacket

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Skirt

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Stockings

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Shoes

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Adipose 1

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Adipose 2

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Bring it all together and you get one fantastic matron.

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In addition to all of that, I made four practice garments to polish up my skills. I also found many dolls and crafting supplies while thrift shopping. I have no doubt that I will put them all to good use as I continue making dolls as part of my Barbie Who? project.

Cofelia has been a delight over the last few months. I have enjoyed learning to work with new materials to create clothes for her and other dolls. I have no doubt that these skills will mean good things for the future. Stay tuned to see just what is in store!

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Cofelia’s Hair

Hair. Everybody has hair to some extent. My husband has very short hair. My daughter still has peach fuzz. I have rather long locks that I maintain. I figured that styling the hair of a Barbie doll would be easy. Oh how naive I was….

Dexterity is not my strong suite at the moment, so I was not able to do a French twist like Cofelia wore in her episodes. Instead, I tried my best to mimic the most prominent aspects of her style that I could see. This is what I came up with.

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I kept her bangs loose and swept to the side while the rest if her hair is tied into a ponytail with a small band. As with the shoes, I decided to mix trueness to the show with functionality that a real matron would sport. I feel like this strikes a good balance of that while staying within my skills. I was not brave enough to cut her hair to create more bangs like Cofelia sports on Doctor Who. Even as a child, I never decided to play barber with my dolls, and I am not starting today.

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The adipose approve! They are jealous of her lovely locks. Hopefully they’ll won’t get too rambunctious; I would hate for them to ruin her hair.

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Fun Furniture Finds

Last weekend was certifiably awesome. I went to a thrift store with the family and we found some amazing Barbie furniture. The best part? All together, they cost less than $1. Yes, you read the correctly. That store sells all toys for $0.25 each, and everything is half off during happy hour. The six pieces I purchased only cost $0.75 – I absolutely adore that thrift store!

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First off, we have some cool wooden pieces. The chairs are lovely and the legs on them are sturdy. The crib is a bit large, but I couldn’t break up the set. They’re all unfinished, so I may stain or paint them at some point in the future. They have great potential; I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

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Barbie and Meg (she reminds me of Megara from the Disney Hercules movie even though she is not a Disney or Mattel doll) look much more comfortable in the chairs than they did before. I’m sure I’ll be able to work them into the project. Perhaps I can paint them to match the palace in The Girl in the Fireplace and use them as accessories. I could also create a table and use them as-is for the dinner scene in The Empty Child. There are countless possibilities, so we’ll see which pops up first.

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The little toddler dolls fit in the cradle. I think I’ll let my kiddo play with it because it is so oversized. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to work it into any Barbie Who? pictures because it isn’t on scale.

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Next we have a sweet pair of patio/poolside chairs. They were finicky to put together, but I think they’re adorable. They look like the chairs from the Beach Blast Pool and Patio set that came out in 1986, but it may have been from a more recent patio set that didn’t pop up on Google. The chairs are the perfect place for the dolls to hang out and relax.

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See? They really set the mood for a casual date between the Fashionista and Arachnid Guy.

The last find is my hands-down favorite; it is awesome in every sense of the word. It is a white baby grand piano.

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I love this thing! It has cool stickers and a wonderful look. It doesn’t have a bench or chair, but I can figure something out for it later on. Right now, I’m just ecstatic to add it to the collection. I can see it being used as an accessory to dolls I make for The Girl in the Fireplace. Even if I don’t use it for the project, I’m sure the kiddo will enjoy it.

That wraps up my shopping finds for today! No dolls, but that is probably a good thing. I have quite a few ideas for the dolls I currently own. Right now, I am working on Cofelia’s hair but life keeps getting in the way. I hope to have her hair finished by the end of the week. Fingers crossed that I make this deadline.

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Cofelia’s Stockings

These stockings have been a headache, but I finally managed to finish them. Yay! I created them using this great tutorial by Adam’s Doll-Related Blog. His looked more polished, but mine will work for Cofelia’s look.

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The biggest difference between his stockings and the ones I made is that mine are open toed. Because it is quite different, I will post a few pictures of the process.

First I traced the leg, just as the tutorial said. Then I cleaned up the lines and drew a few guiding lines. I couldn’t draw a proper line from the toe to the thigh because Cofelia’s feet are too big. Instead, I drew a line from the ankle and worked with that line to create an open toed sticking. After playing around and creating a few lines for the shape of her leg, I inked the finished stocking pattern onto a fresh piece of paper.

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Next I prepped the cloth. I used an old pair of stockings. First I pressed the fabric and made sure to find an area without any flaws to attach the stabilizer. Then I attached the stabilizer. Much to my surprise, the stabilizing paper I used did not have to be ironed on. It is a peel and stick type, which was easy and convenient. That would also explain why it was ridiculously expensive. But I digress…

From there, I traced the pattern into the stabilizer. Pro tip: use a different color than the thread you are using to sew the item. I used a black pen and black thread, and it was hard to see. If I do another pattern, I will use ink that contrasts so that I don’t strain my eyes while sewing. Trust me, just don’t do it.

This next part is where I made another mistake on the first stocking. First, I forgot to attach the lace to the top before sewing the long side-seam to the stockings. I had to undo half an inch of tiny stitches so that I could go back and fix it. After fixing that, I cut and sewed the edge for the open toe with a blanket stitch and used a back stitch to sew the long seam. After that, I trimmed the fabric, ripped off the stabilizing paper, and turned it right side out.

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At this point, I tried putting it onto Cofelia’s leg. I then realized that the lace didn’t have as much stretch as the stocking fabric, so I had to rip it off and re-sew the top edge. From there, I was able to get the stocking on. With my newfound experience, I sewed a second stocking in half the time it took for the first one. The second one did have a slight problem with the stabilizer not wanting to release. There were several days between when I attached the stabilizer and when I ripped it off, and I believe this is to blame. The box says that the stabilizing paper releases best when it is attached to the fabric for an hour or less. Oops! Next time I will read closer before starting a project. Still, there weren’t any noticeable runs in the finished stockings, so I don’t need to make a third one.

I am so happy with how it looks! The shoes fit over the stockings, too. It is a big relief knowing I won’t have to make another pair. The only problem was that the open toe part was big enough to leave a gap of skin. I used a crochet hook to pull the stockings down and secure them to the shoes, eliminating this problem. It does slip at times, but for regular play it won’t matter. I did the easy fox just for pictures.

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The baby adipose are very happy with how their matron looks.

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They do still enjoy causing a bit of trouble, though.

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This leaves one final detail before Cofelia is finished: her hair. I am going to style her hair and take some finished photos! I am ecstatic; the end is so close I can taste it.

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