Sunday, April 28, 2013

Put a Twist Around Head on an Articulated Neck

Sergio wants to know how to put an older twist type head on a newer articulated neck. Since I recently got some of the older bodies at the Thrift Store I was able to experiment. Neither of us tried this before, so if you know a better way, please let him know in his post, "Failure."

Sergio, here is my attempt:

You had only cut a hole around the small protruding section of the older neck and as you noted, it's not going to work.  Go ahead and cut out the entire area. There is a nice little ridge around the bottom of the neck - slide your exacto immediately before this ridge and cut all around.  If you cut it too thin, I'll tell you how to fix this later.

Next, place your head on a thick piece of cardboard and using the neck as a guide, pencil around it.  Draw a little circle in the middle and a line going from it to the edge.  Cut this out, but leave a little bit of extra cardboard past your circle, where you cut the slit.  Twist your cardboard disc open enough so that it slides under the articulated neck knob.  Once you get it fitted properly, put some tape around the slit.

Put your old head onto the new knob at a backward angle like so, making sure your slit with the extra portion of cardboard is in the front.  Then, holding the back of his neck, push his head down and forward until you cant see the cardboard any more.  Squiggle it down just a littttttle bit more (too far and you might split the neck).  Now, gently pull it back up so that it's in a "natural" location on his neck.

If you made your disc wide enough, it will get caught inside his chin and jaws and should look and move just like any other articulated head.  If you cut your neck hole too thin and his neck tears open in places, then take it off and put super glue INSIDE the neck where those fissures occurred. 

An alternative to using a Ken body is using a Liv Jake body.  They have a really wide neck knob.  So much so, that after you've cut out the opening in the older head, you should be able to just plop it on without making a cardboard disc. I'd make one anyway, just to be on the safe side

Good luck, Sergio!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Best Thrift Store Ever

A few weeks ago I saw this humongous thrift store on the other side of town that took up almost a city block. Last weekend I finally made a trip back over there and wouldn't you know it, they had sign in the door that the store was closing and moving to a new location. I was all bummed until I saw another sign that said everything was 90% off. I almost fell over trying to get inside. Unfortunately, I didn't arrive until 30 minutes before closing so the place was practically empty of merchandise but the line to the register was long as heck.

This is all I was able to snatch up. What I can assume was the toy section was extremely bare. All I found was a Playdoh stove that isn't even 1:6 scale. But hey, it was $0.20 so who cares, lol. I also got 2 rolls of wall paper for $0.40, 8 placemats for $.40, that wire rack thingy was $0.30 and the candle holder was $0.20.

I couldn't believe it when I saw another jewelry box in the same design as the other one I got.  This one was $5.95 but since the final price was $0.60, I didn't care that the lower draw was missing and that a knob was broken off. It was too sweet a deal to pass up and I really wanted to know if it had rounded cubbies in it too.  It does!

I don't think the heart design is as cute as the flower one, and I much prefer the hot pink over the light pink interior, but again - $0.60, so whatever!

While in line I got the scoop on the store and found out that they routinely but randomly have 20% off sales so I made sure to attend their grand opening this weekend. OMG, I got so much stuff! However, nothing was on sale, lol. Everyone in the store was ticked off, but not me because I still thought the prices were great.

Also, look! Unlike my local store, all their toy items were either out in the open or in clear plastic bags.  Imagine that, being able to see what you are buying before you buy it.  Genius! I found another roll of wall paper for $1.95 but I mostly spent all my time in the toy section which was HUGE. The dolls were paired in baggies so that two clothed dolls cost $3.95 and two or three naked dolls were $2.95. Even if you only wanted one of the dolls, you still at least got to see what the heck you were getting. Here's what I bought, photographed the way they were paired:

Brandy, yay! They did a great job with her face but I gotta get her a new body.  The one she has is articulated but it's weirdly done and she flops about.  Her neck knob is also stationary so her head cant tilt up or down.

Totally got this for the Liv outfit which is in perfect condition. I already have a Snow White so this one will be getting a repaint in the future.

No shade to Hanna Montana, but the smaller doll was the draw for this bag. She has the Susan Lucci face mold but a teen neck hole and body. Very interesting.  I'll see if she can fit on a Bratz. The Hanna sings and almost scared the crap out of me when she started screeching.

I wanted both of these two. Him for his outfit and her for her face. He's got a stiff, twist around neck but I'm sure I can work with it.

Although her outfit is atrocious, the teen was who I wanted here.  I guess she's an old Skipper? If she is I much prefer this mold over the current one. The new version has a smirk as though she's looking down on me. This one looks all friendly and happy with life. That Disney doll's earrings are molded to her ears. Why would they do that?

Heck yeah! Look at this sexy blasian. He was all by himself and $2.95. Yes, his shirt is molded to his body, but he has some great articulation. I'm sure I can adequately cover the molding.

The dude in the middle was the lure here. I think he's a High School Musical guy, maybe? His fro has seen better days but I'll fix that. Madison is a mess and her face is stained so I'll have to give her some TLC.

VESPA!!! Other than the kick stand being gone, it's in darn good shape.  These three were grouped together for $3.95. The Buzz doesn't seem like he should have been in this bag and he's the only item to be re-thrifted.

I thought the Kawasaki was going to be too small but it's perfectly 1:6.  Even the males could ride it. Liv Daniela looks hot on it!

The Vespa is so freakin' awesome! The carrier in the back even opens up. It's the My Scene Madison version and I'm delighted to have it. Why don't they still make stuff like this? No pink, no bows, no glitter, just cool as bleep.

I didn't even notice this until a lady said to her friend, "Oh look, Clara, here's another doll house and it's only $4.95." The lady already had a large doll house in her buggy and said she didn't have room for it. Man, I ran up to the front and grabbed me a buggy fast as a mofo. I don't have any place to store this dang thing, but it was $4.95! C'mon!

It's got a crack in the round roof, the end piece of the bed is missing, the elevator wont stay up (if it's supposed to) and some other odds and ends maybe gone, but still, well worth the price. A rehab is in its future but that's way, way, way down the line - if ever, lol.

Disney isn't the greatest place on earth.  It's this thrift store.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boxes and Bags

When I decided to do a moving scene with my diorama, that meant I needed some boxes. I had to open up a real box to figure out how to make some, but luckily I chose a simple box to mimic.

I tried some with file folders, of course, and I made a few with a express mail envelop turned inside out.  That doesn't look so hot on the inside though. In the end I used the bottom of a stationary box to finish the rest of them. Once I got the hang of it, I thought, "Hey, I could make some bags with this same pattern." So I did. ^_^

I have seen lots of dollie bags that are brand name, but my dolls cant afford to shop at those places. Using Word I created a table and inputted the row/column widths noted. In the final printing, my cutting and folding lines were light grey, not black. I don't know what they sell at Muff's, but they sure got some colorful bags.

Hemp rope would have probably been swankier, but yarn works just as well. I only used a single knot to tie off the yarn.  That way, my handles will always be even because uneven handles would make me batty(ier).

I also tried some smaller ones with premade handles. They could probably stand to be wider at the sides, but for a first try, they turned out okay.

Scale model says, "I wish there was something in these bags."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Anthony's Advice

Click here if video doesn't play

Video dialog for translation:

2 months ago.
It's moving day at 227N.
"Hey, guys," Tasha says.
Kevin and Anthony have arrived to help Tasha settle into her new place.
"Let's unload Tasha's ride first and then I'll bring my truck over with the heavy stuff," Kevin suggested.
"Aww, man, can't we eat first?" Anthony grumbled. "I'm starving."
Tasha shook her head, "You and your stomach. Why didn't you eat before you came?"
"Because I thought you were gonna feed me. You have food, right? Tasha? Girl, I know you hear me."
"Keep moving, Rodriguez," she responds. "You'll be fed later."
"Later?" Anthony repeated. "How much later? Tasha? Answer me, girl."
Moving continues but Anthony is soon distracted from his quest for food.
"Why, hello there," he drawls.
"Ut oh," Tasha tells Kevin. "Your boy is on the prowl again."
"If there's a girl in a one mile radius, he'll find her."
"So," Anthony says to the blonde. "You live around here? Are you married? Got a boyfriend? What about cats? You like cats?"
"Are you serious?"
"Totally. We should go out. You free right now? Wait. Where you going? Can I come too?"
"No, you cannot!"
Anthony stares after the departing blonde. "She left me. What went wrong? Didn't she feel the attraction between us?"
"What is wrong with you?!" Kevin and Tasha ask simultaneously.

Later on...
"Yo," Anthony called out. "There's only one more box left. Can't we take a snack break before we handle the heavy..." He drops the box he was carrying. "Uh."
Kevin thinks, "Oh, crap," while Tasha gasps. "Are you for real?! Why'd you do that," she demands.
"Err. Oops?"
"I'll 'oops' you!"
"Oh, snap," Anthony cries as he runs. "Dang, girl, it was an accident! Kev, help me out, man!"
"He won't save you!"
After catching Anthony and getting her revenge, they return to the scene of the crime.
Tasha informs Kevin, "I'll get the last box if you'll make sure this one cleans up his mess."
"Got it."
She walks off while Anthony thinks, "So bossy," but Kevin thinks, "So beautiful."
Anthony shakes his head as he watches Kevin stare at Tasha as she passes by.
"You fool. When are you going to bite the bullet and tell her you want to be with her?"
"Shut it. And I'm not telling her."
"Adopted by your dad or not, she's not really your sister. You know that, right?"
"Again, shut it."
Anthony raises his hands in resignation. "Alright, it's your love life... idiot."
Tasha lifts her head at the sound of fist hitting flesh.
"Ow, man! Why you so violent?" Anthony foolishly seeks sympathy in the wrong place. "Tasha, Kevin is being mean to me!"
"Good. You probably deserve it." Her words are harsh but inside she thinks, "Heh, lovable goof."
"Yeah," Anthony mutters. "You two are perfect for one another."
Moving continues...
With a particularly heavy piece of furniture, Kevin asks Anthony, "You got it?"
"Yeah, I got it. You got it?" He snarks back.
"Smarty pants. Just walk."

Almost everything is inside and soon it will be time for a well deserved break.
"Kev, seriously, let me say one thing - without you hitting me!"
Seeing Tasha in the doorway, Kevin halts Anthony before he can continue. "Hold up."
Delivering the last of the furniture to Tasha he returns to Anthony and sighs, "Okay, let's hear it."
"Almost two years, man. That's how long she was with that a-hole. Years of you feeling like crap every time he looked at her - much less touched her."
Kevin remained silent knowing that Anthony's words were true.
"Is that how you're going to live the rest of your life? Watching other guys come and go, knowing it should be you by her side? Step up, man, or one of these days you'll be hearing her kids call you uncle... instead of daddy."
Kevin gives Anthony a solemn look and promptly punches him in the arm.
"Ow, man! You said you wouldn't hit me!"
"Wrong. I never said any such thing. But seriously, dude. Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it."
"Stuff your thanks! My arm hurts. You probably broke something."
"Poor baby."
Anthony notices Tasha sneaking up on them. "Heads up. Incoming."
"Yah!" Tasha jumps on Kevin's back and hangs on. "What are you guys talking about?" She glances suspiciously between the two.
Anthony replies with a tweak of her nose, "That's classified, twerp."
Tasha moans in annoyance at their secrecy. "Ugh!" She jumps down. "Okay, fine, don't tell me. Anyway, the pizzas are here. Unless you guys want to stand around yakking some more."
Anthony pushes his way between them. "Not me! Get out the way. I'm hungry."
Tasha grabs Kevin's hand and begins pulling him toward the door. "C'mon before he eats everything." Feeling resistance she comes to a stop. She turns to him with a curious gaze.
Kevin asks, "After Anthony leaves can you and I talk for a bit?"
"Of course, but, what's the matter? Is it something bad?"
"No, it's not. At least I hope you won't think it is."
"Tell me!"
He begins to pull her toward the door but this time she stops him. "No matter what you have to say, you know that I love you, right?"
"I know. Same here." He thinks, "She's so sweet," as he stares at her intently. Finally he says, "Let's go inside."
Behind the Scenes:
Holy crap this video was almost 15 minutes and I still didn't shoot a beginning scene situated in the present that would have introduced this particular segment.  Time management is apparently not my thing but I got it down to 8 minutes without losing any of the photos.  So, if the pacing seems off or too fast - oh well, that's what the pause button is for, lol.

To give me more wide angle photo room, I added a walking path to the front of the complex. I kept the box my Barbie Estate stuff came in and covered it with the scrappaper. I also made a sky board using paper from Joann's and Handi Tak'd it to foam board. I made a tree board too, but that paper came from Michaels. I haven't used foam board in any projects before, because it costs money. However, I've run out of free cardboard and boxes!

I really wanted a scene of them taking boxes out the car and moving stuff but I had no more room on the bed so I built a parking area off to the side. It's bare bones, and I didn't have enough matching paper to pose as concrete, but overall, it's pretty cute!

I may have another video or two within me because I would like to wrap up their story in a nice neat bow, but dang, videos take a lot of time - at least the way I'm doing it, lol. Maybe I can do one once a month, or heck, once a quarter, but we'll have to see, so please don't count on it.

Some bonus photos of Kevin and Tasha:


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Things I Didn't Buy

This 2009 clothing set was in the clearance section at Walmart. You are getting a nice glare free photo because the top cover was gone. I could see that all the pieces were there so I was all set to buy it anyway, but it scanned for $11.00!  No way, man. That's only .99 cents cheaper than the Barbie 3 piece sets. That's not a bargain.

Another Walmart clearance for $15.00. I quite like their outfits and shoes and I'm always a fan of long sleeves for my Monster bodies.  If the dolls had been articulated then I would have been more prone to get this. I just don't want to spend that much on stiff bodies. Also, I don't think Walmart understands how clearance is supposed to work!  This stuff still costs too much.


Walmart $16.97. I think this is the first playset I've seen (or noticed) for La Dee Da. I'm going to admit that I have a bit of haterade for La Dee Da because Spin Master usurped Liv for them. Usually I turn my nose at all things Dee Da and go "Hrmph!"  This definitely caught my eye, not because of the design necessarily, but because SM has made some nice sets in the past so I wanted to check it out. It looks quite garish on the cover but in actuality, it's completely white so you can decorate it how you want.  I'm not the hearts and flowers type, but I can see the potential.

Walmart $10.97.  I can't handle the coloring, but I do rather like the corrsetted chair.  Repaint it in black and white and you'll have some french maid action. However, now that I'm looking at the photo, I can't tell if the chair pulls out. It's got to, right? It must, otherwise what's the point of a doll vanity?

Walmart; either $10.97 or $17.97.  This is something I would buy at Target for 50% off.  The bows are turning me off.  A fridge does not need bows, people. Not even a pink one.


Walmart $39.97. The exterior of this is perfection to me. I like the white, the hub caps, the inlaid lights... if only the inside was a different color.  Still, if Target clearances it out, I would be willing to pay $15 bucks for this.  It's not as sweet as the Mini Cooper but it's darn cute. Not $40 cute though.

Target $17.99. I don't play Angry Birds so can't say I'm a fan. I think this is their first character licensed line that I don't care for.  I liked the Paul Frank stuff and some of the Disney items. Maybe I would think it was cool if I played the game.  As it is, I only like the red pants, but I'm not buying a whole doll just for some red pants.

There was quite a lot of new things out that caught my fancy, but other than buying 2 of the new Ken fashions my money stayed in my pocket.