Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's New at TRU

Robotica posted that she found the Tonner City Girls at Toys R Us so I headed over there this weekend to see if my store was carrying them. They aren't yet, but here are a few of the many new items they have in stock:

Deuce & Gil $34.99

I don't have a single male Monster High character. I've never seen one at the thrift shop and they're really hard to find in stores. Let me rephrase that. They are really hard to find on clearance. I would like this set more for their clothes and accessories than for the dolls themselves. So, unless it drops to $19.99 or lower, I won't be getting it.

Malibu Ave. Sets $34.99

Hmm. These do not look as cute as they did in the promo photos. Maybe it's because they are surrounded by shiny packaging and busy backgrounds, but in person, they come across as cheap, tacky and very garish. The little accessories such as people food and pet items do look nice and durable. Another set I'll be waiting to clearance.

Moxie Girlz Ice Cream Bike $34.99

Very nice! I am quite impressed with this. Not $35 impressed, but still. I've always wanted a street market diorama and this would fit perfectly in it. There was no button to press so you could hear the song it plays but I'm assuming it's the usual ice cream tune.

Moxie Girlz Baker(2) & Painter $19.99

More cool sets! The backgrounds in these make it seem like you are getting more accessories than you are. For instance, the cabinets in the baker sets are just a paper graphic stuck onto a shaped piece of plastic. The Painter version doesn't seem as dynamic as the Baker girls because it looks like all you do is change the color of the paper. You also only get 5 accessories and the others have 10.

This is the last week for the TRU clearance blast and everything is at 90% off; not that there is much left. I hope that a sale like this will be an annual event because even though I bought an obscene amount of stuff, you couldn't beat those prices.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grab Bag Fun

Brandy welcomes you to this post.

Earlier this year I stumbled upon the glory that is Michael's Grab Bags. Since then, I'm always on the look out for some. Unfortunately, they aren't put out with any regularity so finding them is rare. Which is why I turned into a glutton when I recently saw a cart full of them.

I got 7 of 'em. Some were double bagged and some singled. If they had all been doubled I probably would have purchased more. However, since a few were single bagged, I could see they had plates and napkins in them and I didn't want bunches of that. I did not buy that Premo clay sitting on top of the bags. I stumbled over it in the parking lot and kept it because finders keepers.

Plates and napkins were in every bag, but lots of other stuff too. Here's the run down:

Little flowers and ribbons.

Multiple embellishment packs.
Brandy's earrings came from these. ^__^

Tons of metal studs.

Betsey Johnson phone thingies and notepad.

Nail files. The lady one is so cute!

And then the freaking circus came to town:

Cup cake holders, wrappers, plates and napkins will all be thrifted.

Magnet frames, paper bags, bow tie and invitations.
I can always use magnets, so keeping those and thrifting the rest.

These are "Party Packs." The three different versions have banner letters that spell out; Celebrate, Big Top and Birthday Party.

They come with rope to string the banner and little flags that hang from skewers. Brandy shows that the little flags are a good 1:6 scale. The other things are bottle and straw wrappers. The wrappers aren't even adhesive (I licked one), you have to tape them into place. Pfft.

What a disappointment. I totally thought these were candy. I was all, "Ooh, lollipops!" I ripped it open, pulled away the big circle and it was just a stick inside. Then I was all, "What the blank is this bleep?!" The back of the packaging shows that you just poke them in the cake. These things are 3.5 inches in diameter! Unless your cake is the size of a desk, they are ridiculously huge.

This is my haul from the circus stuff. I'm keeping the rope, banner letters, little flags, magnets, non lollipop sticks, flag skewers and the backgrounds from the party packs.

Brandy demonstrates why I'm keeping the backgrounds. Pretty cool!

A lot of circus fail in this bunch, but I can craft the heck out of the rest of the stuff I got.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Can You Shrink a Liv Wig?

In my Fun and Failure with Acetone post, Lane recently asked:

"Gostaria de saber se com a acetona pura poderia encolher perucas Liv para servir na boneca Barbie ? Comprei algumas perucas, moro no Brasil e não sabia o tamanho da Liv, quando chegaram as perucas a diferença de tamanho é enorme. Poderia fazer este experimento com as perucas da boneca Liv ????"

"I wonder if with pure acetone could shrink Liv wigs to serve Barbie doll? I bought some wigs, I live in Brazil and did not know the size of Liv, when they reached the wigs the size difference is huge. Could do this experiment with Liv doll wigs????"

My response was:

"Oi, Lane! Eu nunca tentei encolher uma peruca Liv, mas vou dar-lhe uma tentativa! Volte em cerca de 10 dias e vou postar os resultados. Porque eles são dois tipos diferentes de plástico, na verdade eu suspeito que a peruca vai derreter, mas acho que vamos descobrir. ^__^"

"Hi, Lane! I never tried to shrink a Liv wig, but I'll give it a try. Come back in about 10 days and I will post the results. Because they are two different types of plastic, I actually suspect that the wig will melt but I guess we'll find out. ^__^"

So, the experiment is complete and the short answer to Lane's question is no, you cant shrink a Liv wig with pure acetone. Here are the results:

Summer is going to assist us. She's holding a Sophie Liv wig with the prong removed and demonstrates that indeed it's too big for a Barbie head. First off, if your doll's hair is long, the wig wont fit anyway, so I gave Summer a quick haircut.

Now that the wig cap can encompass her head completely, let's talk numbers and see what we are actually working with.

From temple to temple, Barbie's head is 1.5 inches and the Liv wig is 2.0. In order for a Liv wig to fit a Barbie head it has to be shrunk at least half an inch. With time and multiple dips you can shrink a vinyl head half an inch (sometimes). However, as I said before and not to get all technical, the composite material of a vinyl head and a plastic wig are different, so you wont get the same results.

First I put the wig in a solution of 1/2 cup pure acetone and 1/2 cup water and left it in there for exactly 48 hours. Upon taking it out, the only noticeable difference is that the opacity of the plastic changed from see through to white. The plastic did not absorb any of the liquid and the texture of the wig, which was rough to the touch anyway, stayed the same.

After being out of the solution for 3 days, the opacity changed back to clear, but there was no shrinkage of the wig whatsoever. And now, going on 7 days, there has still been no change to the wig using 50% pure acetone. So, let's give 100% a try. WARNING: There's a gross photo below, so hold something over the right side of the screen if you don't want to see it.

Gross Photo in

Using another Sophie wig, I put it in 100% acetone for exactly 24 hours. As suspected, it melted the plastic into a disgusting mess. Now, before anyone says I left it in too long, I checked every hour for 6 hours to see how it was fairing. The key to shrinking is that the material absorbs the acetone and then as it dries and dissipates, the material shrinks in on itself. If it doesn't absorb, then nothing happens. The plastic didn't absorb anything, it just decomposed.

Lane specifically asked about "pure acetone," so that's what I used instead of nail polish remover. Remover wont melt it, but I don't think it will shrink it either. If someone out there has tried it and successfully shrunk a Liv wig, please let us know!

Sorry, Lane!