Tag Archives: Gift

Blog Anniversary Presents

Wow! I want to thank everybody who commented on the blog’s anniversary post. Your kind words warmed my heart; you are why I adore being part of a blogging community. I didn’t expect anything more than your comments for the blog’s anniversary. It was a pleasant surprise when I received gifts from two awesome people to mark the occasion. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t expect it, and I feel positively spoiled by their generosity.

The day of my blog’s anniversary, my husband surprised me with this gift. He claims that it was no small feat keeping it hidden from me over the past few weeks. I have been working towards getting the last boxes of random brick-a-brack unpacked, and he claims to have moved it several times because of my productivity. Honestly, I don’t know how I could have missed this; it is huge.

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This is a Barbie Bed & Bath Fold Out Doll House from 1998. It includes a bathroom and a bedroom area. It is missing the bow on the outside, but the inside is fairly complete. The canopy over the bed is missing, but there are different variations of this toy that never had a canopy. In any case, you can see pictures of a more complete model here. It certainly is a charming, even if it has some discoloring from sun damage. Thank you, my dearest, for such a thoughtful gift.

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The house itself opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the blog. I can repaint this and make it into any number of backdrops! It could be the Tardis. It could be any number of houses featured in the show. It could be a palace or alien world. The possibilities are endless! I am going to re-watch some Doctor Who episodes with Ood in them to see if any rooms are worth recreating with this house. If nothing strikes my fancy, I will keep it in mind for future projects.

Next, I will share with you a gift from my friend Gwen. I have to start by saying nothing is more fun that getting a package in the mail that you weren’t expecting. The box arrived a few days after the blog anniversary post. The pictures aren’t the greatest because I was having lighting trouble, and I hope you can forgive me.

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I won’t lie. I have seen this guy on shelves at various stores and I have been tempted to buy them every single time. So, so tempted…. Why? Because he looks like that one character. You know the one, I think his name was Ricky. Despite the resemblance, I never could bring myself to buy one because my budget has been too tight to splurge on a new doll. It appears that I am not the only person who saw the resemblance. Gwen included a note with this doll saying, ‘He reminded me of the plastic guy from the first episode.’ Deliciously fitting for a Ken doll.

The doll itself is called Water Play Steven or Barbie Beach Steven and he is a 2015 release. Wow! He is so modern for my collection; it’s hard to believe. I know he will need a facial repaint to truly capture the essence of Mickey Smith, so he isn’t on the short list for upcoming projects. I have a back log of projects I want to do before I dive into repainting. Still, I am glad to have this doll as part of the collection. It makes me smile to think of my plastic Mickey hanging out with the dolls. It is a delightful reminder of the season that pulled me back into Doctor Who after so many years.

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Who doesn’t love a good Disney prince? Well, at least when their heads are firmly on their shoulders (I’m not bitter). This is Eugene Fitzherbert from the Disney Rapunzel movie. I liked him in the movie because he is clearly more flawed than the average prince, and who doesn’t love his name? I’ve been a sucker for Genes ever since I watched Star Trek as a child. I’m getting off track! More commonly known as Flynn Rider, this doll has a nice head sculpt that captures his character. There was sticky note on him saying ‘Lose the goatee and he will look like Jack!’ I can certainly see the smoldering resemblance between the two. I think that this doll is destined to become Captain Jack Harkness, in all his glory.

The doll is a Mattel 2014 Flynn Rider doll. While I couldn’t find a review or similar for the doll itself, this post by Never Grow Up compares him to a Disney store Flynn Rider doll. I am a little bit scared because a blurb under one of the pictures says that his pants won’t come off. I…. I feel like this is the exact opposite of the Jack we all know and love. Will it be a disqualifier? Maybe. I will have to unbox him and examine him to know for sure.

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Now, the astute reader may wonder why I haven’t unboxed these two dolls. The answer is simple: my toddler loves unboxing. I am going to save the unboxing for a snowy (do we even get snow down here?) or rainy day when we can’t go outside, so right now they are hanging out in the front closet. I am sure they’ll strike a pose with the Ood ladies once they are free of their plastic prisons.

Speaking of Ood, I have been working on the Ood mask pattern. Something just came over me yesterday and I started making notes for version 2 of the mask. If I am lucky, I will only need two versions. I won’t know for sure if version 2 of the mask will be the final version until I crochet it and see how it fits on the dolls. My wrist is doing well enough that I tried knitting with my brace off yesterday. Yay for progress! I finished one of the gloves for the first Ood doll. With some luck, I can get the other one done and posted next week.

Also… The new sewing machine foot arrived! I chose a clear version of a 1/4″ piecing foot, and it is fantastic. I have been playing around with it by piecing together scraps of fabric; it is much easier to use than the larger 1/2″ foot. I love having a 1/4″ guide as I’m working. I plan on starting on the jacket and other aspects of the second Ood later this week! I have the fabric cut, so I just need to sit down to get the sewing done. Then comes pictures and writing and everything else…. Well, the life of a blogger is never easy. Now you know some of the cool things I have queued up for the coming weeks.

Once again, I want to say thank you for everybody who wished me a happy blog anniversary. I appreciate your kind words and the motivation you give me when I read them. Ya’ll rock! Thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic week.

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It Came From the Basement

This is the second installment in a series I lovingly call ‘stuff we found at grandma’s house’. These items were a total surprise to me. It all started when we noticed a rotten smell coming into the bathroom. At first, we thought one of the cats had hidden a dead animal somewhere in the area. After an extensive search and thorough cleaning, we didn’t find anything. When the smell became worse, we realized it was coming from the basement.

Nobody likes going down to the basement. My parent’s house is 120 years old, and the basement is unfinished. It has brick walls and a cement floor. There are always spiders and numerous spider webs on the stairs leading down to it. Occasionally, you will see a mouse or snake hanging out in there. It is pretty gross. Despite all of that, bad smells will make you do extreme things. We bucked up and went down to investigate.

When we went into the basement, the source of the bad smell was obvious. There was an inch of stagnant water sitting on the basement floor. It was overwhelming at first, but things improved when we used the wet-dry vac to remove the water. Because of mold and bad smell, we also had to empty everything out of the basement that we could move. Thankfully, there isn’t much down there: only emergency supplies, a hot water heater, and a few storage boxes. We moved everything onto the front porch to air out. While we were moving things around, we found this green tub filled with toys.

Long story short, the standing water in the basement didn’t come from rain. It was from a leak in the water heater. We replaced the heater, and that solved the bad smell problem. It took a lot of cleaning and a week of airing out the basement, but the moldy smell went away. The only thing left was to sort through boxes to see what had been ruined. Most of the items were salvageable, and we found some gems in the green tub filled with toys.

I was delighted to see the contents of this box. Unlike the other things we found around the house, I had no idea that my mom held onto these things. I thought these toys had been given to charity when I was a teenager, but it turns out they were tucked away in the basement for over a decade. I was delighted to take inventory, and these are the Barbie toys in the mix.

Growing up, I had two Barbie cars. One was a stretch limo and the other was this glorious beast. I remember that I received the limo for my birthday when I was 6 or 7. I was so upset because my younger cousin, Derek, sat on it and tried to ride it. I thought he was going to break it! Luckily, nothing bigger than a cat has tried to get into this car. In fact, I have fond memories of when my sister and I would harass our cat, Ariel, with it. She was a good cat who grew up with 2 rambunctious girls and all our crazy antics. It was a wonder that she ever let us pet her.

The car itself has held up well; it even still has the remote. It is somewhat faded, but the wheels move without any problems. It also cleaned up well and no longer smells like flooded basement. The car is battery powered, and I haven’t been able to get it working. My husband said he would crack it open and see if there was anything he could do to fix it. I found an eBay listing stating this is a 1993 pink Barbie convertible RC car. I wasn’t able to find anything else about this model elsewhere online. If I find anything more concrete, I will update this post.

Up next is an adorable Ariel doll. The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie growing up, and I had several dolls from the movies. This doll is a Hair Fashion Ariel doll made by Tyco in the early 90’s. She is shorter than the Ariel dolls made by Mattel, and her face looks younger. I wasn’t able to find any web pages or blog posts about this doll, but I did find this photo by PrincessMermaid. It shows a picture of the doll in her original box. Isn’t she pretty?

My Ariel doll is a bit worse for ware. She is missing a few accessories, and when I took its clothes off for cleaning I realized that her leg was broken at the joint. I am fairly sure that this break happened before I found the doll because I hadn’t tried bending any of her joints. However, I can’t rule out that some of the other people in the house handled her before I was able to start cleaning.

I don’t know if it is going to be something I can fix because of where the break is located. I am sure that I can glue it back into the joint, but I am fairly sure the glue would fill the entire socket and the doll would lose the ability to pivot in that area. With her tail on, it isn’t a big problem. The leg stays up and can bend into different positions, so I am keeping it as-is for now. This vintage Ariel doll is just hanging out with the other Disney princess dolls for now.

The other doll in the box is a veterinarian Barbie. Growing up, I loved animals and I insisted on having the veterinarian Barbie doll. She was released in 1996 and is called Pet Doctor Barbie. If memory serves, I received her as a birthday gift from my mother. I remember that she came with a cat, a dog, and a basket that made noise. While we seem to have lost a few pieces from the original set, her outfit is surprisingly intact. She has the matching shirt and pants. I don’t entirely understand why a veterinarian would wear a cropped off shirt, but then again it was the 90’s and Mattel did some pretty crazy stuff with some of their dolls. This Barbie even has her watch! Can you believe that such a small piece stuck around for so long? It would have been cool if she had her stethoscope, but I wasn’t that lucky. I am excited to have her to pass on to my daughter. I hope that she loves animals as much as I do and enjoys this doll as much as I did.

This Barbie doll and the Ariel doll didn’t lose the basement smell from airing out alone. These two dolls smelled terrible for longer than anything else we found. They smelled the worst out of everything in the box when we first found them, but I managed to solve that problem. First, I cleaned them and their outfits with dish soap and let them air dry. While I was cleaning Barbie, her pink plastic hair band disintegrated. The plastic was old and I think it had hardened with age. I picked out all the bits of pink plastic from her hair and, once the hair was dry, I replaced it with a brown plastic band. Cleaning with soap wasn’t quite enough to remove the smell, so I soaked both dolls in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water overnight. Then I let them air dry on the front porch. I repeated the soaking three times before the smell was completely gone. I like using vinegar. The slight acidity of the solution killed any microbes that were living on the dolls. The vinegar solution didn’t discolor the skin or hair of either doll or their clothes. It took some effort, but I am happy that I was able to salvage both dolls.

This next find is something special. It is my walking Barbie horse. I received this horse for either my birthday or Christmas in the 90’s. I remember how delighted I was by her and her ability to walk. I also remember how much our cat disliked her and would attack her when she was walking on the kitchen floor. Luckily, she was cured of basement smell with just a scrub down and airing out on the front porch for two weeks. Her hair was a bit worse for ware, but I’ve seen worse. To fix her hair, I combed it out and gave it a hot-water dip. That managed to tame it enough for me to braid it with my friend, Gwen. I did the tail and she did the mane. We were like little girls again, sitting on the living room floor braiding a doll horse’s hair. It was fantastic.

This horse can walk! Luckily, her internal electronics are still intact and running. This makes me extremely happy, and it brings great joy to all of us to see my toddler running after it. As far as identification, I wasn’t able to find an exact match for this horse online. I believe it was just called ‘stepping horse’ or ‘walking horse’ because I don’t remember the name Tawney at all. I can see that the horses released over the last decade or so all seem to be named Tawney. I was able to find several horse gifts sets that were released in the 90’s, but none of them rang a bell to me. I remember that my horse came with a bridal, a saddle, and some pendants for her hair all in matching pink. I was able to find a similar set, but all of the horse’s accessories were in red. Oh well! You can’t win ’em all. For now, her exact identity will have to be a bit of a mystery.

The craziest part about this horse is that I bought another horse exactly like her from a flea market nearly a year ago. I bought the flea-market horse because it reminded me of the Barbie horse I had as a child. I am just blown away that we were able to find that original horse after all these years. Now that we’re home, I managed to find the second horse and I braided her hair, too.

I need 4 more Barbie horses and we can reenact the Kentucky Derby. If I can find them, I will make sure to make outlandish hats and dresses for the dolls in attendance. Anything less would be improper.

The final item I will share with you today is a doll quilt. This quilt was made for my by my paternal grandmother when I was a little girl. I don’t remember when I received it, but I am fairly sure that all the grandkids got a small quilt for Christmas that year. This quilt is too large for a Barbie doll; it was made to wrap a baby doll into when playing. I adore it! It makes me want to dabble in quilting. I have considered making a pot holder or a Barbie sized blanket. We shall see how my other sewing exploits go before I commit to a big quilting project.

I’m not sure if or how I will incorporate these into Barbie Who?, but I thought it was fun to share this unexpected blast from my past. Currently, I am grounded from knitting and crochet because of an injured wrist. I was in a car wreck, and the steering wheel was none too kind to my body. I am trying to spend the down time writing on the blog and doing some sewing. Sewing is more of a chore because of the wrist brace, but I am confident I can adapt. Depending on my ambition, the next update will probably be a sewn garment for the second Ood doll. If not, it will be another tidbit from our summer back home. Until then, cheers!

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