Thursday, January 27, 2011

A hairy experiment...

Well known Blyther Aveuch has written a fabulous hair washing tutorial that you can find here. It's quite different to the method that I normally use and uses human hair products instead of fabric softener. His Amarylis Aimee always looks so good (and Amarylis has notoriously frizzy hard to manage hair) so guess what I have been doing today...

Yep - washing dolly hair. All in the name of research of course :) Five girls got the royal treatment today and I am busting to see how it looks when it is dry. I must confess to enjoying the whole process immensely and the human shampoo and conditioner is without a doubt more pleasant to use than smelly fabric softener. I have been curious about this for a while - it makes sense to me that dish soap and fabric softener would be more appropriate for synthetic hair, but there is something kind of enjoyable about using "real" products. I think it stems right back to when I was little and washing my Barbie's hair.

I really should make time to do this more often - it was great fun! During the process Vanilla's name came to me which is nice as I was starting to think she would never have one. Apparently her name is Prickle and she's more quirky than beautiful. I am thinking of doing a little custom work on her very soon to make her a bit more appealing. Or maybe I'll send her off to someone else.... I still haven't worked out how to do those damn lips!

For some of the gang it was their first wash, so I am really looking forward to seeing if there is a difference. I don't know why I don't just do it as soon as I debox them really - maybe I will from now on (should any new Blythe make their way into the house). The drying process will probably take a few days as it's very humid here at the moment. I will have to be patient I guess.

Speaking of the need for patience, I find that I am beginning to miss having Holly my PuPe around. I've been stalking FrankieDarling's photostream hoping to get a glimpse of her! Maybe I should have sent out a doll that I wouldn't miss quite so much, but I really wanted her to be a Frankie custom - guess I will just have to suck it up and wait!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Swoon! A new dolly crush

When I first got into Blythe I could never understand the appeal of Dal with her scowling and (to me at the time) unattractive face.

How things change. For a few months now I've been finding them well....cute. And wanting one. And then I saw this just a few minutes ago, and I REALLY want one!

I think that Tinkerina may own the best Dal in existance :) Is she not the sweetest daintiest creature you ever saw?

It's so odd how tastes evolve. I can remember first seeing a Goldie and thinking she was hideous. And now I want one of those too! Shame my bank account would disagree somewhat. But the Dal...she's do-able. Let the hunt begin!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A little update

Once again, I find myself apologizing for my lack of regular posts. It feels a little trivial to be posting about Blythe when there is so much sadness going on in my city of late. Today workers were urged to return to work if they could, so in a sense it feels as though Brisbane is soldiering on, even though things are far from back to normal.

Over the weekend we ventured out of our immediate area for the first time in a little while. Once to drop my hubby off to volunteer for the cleanup (or attempt to!), and later to catch up with some friends at one of my favourite places, the Riverbend Cafe in Bulimba. Our ex-Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also likes it there and we saw him buying a coffee as he recuperated from the infection he got from floodwater in his foot while helping the members of his electorate. What a guy!

We passed quite a few places on the way there that had obviously been inundated, but with the huge turnout from the public to assist with the cleanup, the worst of the mud was gone and the rubbish had been removed from the streets (that I saw, I am sure that there are still lots of areas that are yet to even dry out). There is still a nasty smell lingering - a nasty, swampy, rubbish tip kind of smell. I hope that it dissipates quickly from the affected houses as it would be very unpleasant to live with.

The response from the community to help with the clean-up has apparently been quite overwhelming - there were so many volunteers that they had to turn people away! I dropped off my hubby at one of the volunteer muster points on Saturday (the traffic was crazy! - soooo many people were there) and after getting all kitted up with safety gear and braving a tetanus shot (a very big deal for him as embarrassingly he tends to faint when he has injections!), the roads were so congested with people helping out that the buses couldn't get through anymore. So I had to trek all the way back and fetch him without him even getting his hands dirty! It is great that so many people were willing to lend a hand. I just hope that the effort can be sustained until the job is done.

On my last post I mentioned that the supermarket shelves were emptying at an alarming rate that left me feeling a little scared. I went back 2 days later and took these pics with my phone (feeling like a dork while everyone stared at me). This is the bread department.

And here is a section of the fruit and vege department - apparently people aren't that keen on celery, shallots or cauliflower - that was all that was left!

I've been busy sewing some bows which I am thinking of selling to help raise money for the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. They'll be a measley $5 each and are very cute if I do say so myself. I've got a few different colourways in progress - black, white, pale pink, blue dot, red dot, yellow dot and natural linen so far. More pix to come when they are ready - hopefully very soon.

Just to keep this a little Blythe-y, my favourite girl and bow model Holly arrived safely in America (phew!) for her faceup. Shame that she is away right now as I think the bows look really sweet on her - I would have liked to have her here for the photos, but I'm sure the result of her makeover will be worth the time without her.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brisbane floods

I've been glued to the TV for the past 24 hours watching the most surreal events unfold.

Two days ago an 8 metre wall of water that has been dubbed an inland tsunami rushed down the streets of Toowoomba, inundating businesses and homes and picking up cars and smashing them like they were playthings. What makes this doubly scary is that Toowoomba is 700m above sea level, situated on the flat top of a mountain range. The water then rushed through small townships, lifting homes off their foundations and sweeping away entire families.

Right now my own city (Brisbane) is experiencing the worst flooding since 1974 and it looks as though tomorrow those levels will be surpassed. The CBD looks to be in real trouble. I just watched an iconic restaurant float down the river on TV. It is very surreal.

Our home is not in any danger of flooding as our suburb is neither close the the river or in a low lying area, but we are cut off for the time being as more and more major roads become flooded in places. My husband was sent home from work along with the rest of his colleagues yesterday when it became apparent that the water was rising very quickly. To give you an idea of how fast the waters rose, about 1/2 an hour after he arrived home the route he took was impassable. It's not expected that he will be able to return to his office until next week when flood waters recede.

People were panic buying at the supermarkets yesterday. I went out last night to get some pet food and a couple of things as I probably should have done the regular weekly shop (but was too busy watching for updates on the flood situation and fretting about my husband on his motorbike braving the rain, panicked people driving home from the CBD and the rising flood waters) and the shelves were completely empty. Not a single loaf of bread, bottle of milk, pack of flour, rice, pasta or noodles or bottle of water to be seen. All of the potato bins were empty bar a few at the bottom that escaped notice, any veggies like cabbage and corn that keep well were gone and most of the meat was gone too. There are no batteries and no candles to be had. I wish I had thought to take a picture - I've never seen anything like it! You would think that people believed that there was never going to be food again. The annoying thing is that I am sure that a lot of it will go to waste - especially the milk and bread as not that many people have the space to freeze it, and by being so selfish and overbuying a lot of other people may not be able to get anything at all.

My home town of Rockhampton has also been suffering from flooding for the past few weeks and my parents reported that similar behaviour in the supermarkets - people actually had fist fights over packets of 2 minute noodles and a lady bought every last hot dog roll from the local Wendy's! Probably at great expense too....

Unlike the situation here though, the people of Rockhampton are quite used to flooding. The waters rise slowly and most of the time residents have enough time to get their belongings to higher ground and prepare. In some parts of town the flooding is kind of a given event every couple of years. Most of the houses there are Queenslanders built high on stumps and although the water comes partway up the stairs, unless it is a severe event usually people are able to stay in their houses. My first job there was at Boral Gas right on the river and the staff told me that during a flood a couple of years before I started the only way to get to work was to be ferried in by dingy!

I have to say that I have never seen anything like this though.... I'd love to show you some pics but we are being cautioned to stay off the roads on order to keep the way clear for emergency vehicles, and besides it would feel like pretty poor form to be wandering about taking photos of other peoples misfortune. Here is a link to our local newspaper's photo gallery of the event to give you an idea of what is going on.

At any rate, as I said our home is high and dry, my family and friends are safe and we have a little bit of food in the cupboard and that is more than a lot of people have right now.

I have temporarily closed the shop for the time being as I can't guarantee that delivery won't be effected for the next week or so.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad Blogger!

I'm so sorry for my lack of posts of late - I've been such a bad blogger but don't worry, I'm still here!

The holidays were/are crazy busy and I haven't had a lot of time by myself to craft, do Blythe bits and pieces or blog which is why things have been so quiet on the blog front. Let me give you a quick catch up of what's been going in in Chez Dollybird of late.

I've been sewing people clothes - a long retro nightie for Miss B (which she loves!) and I'm partway though a skirt for me. I also need to start work on my practice version of my bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding. I don't have any pics downloaded of the completed nightie yet, but it's from this pattern. The one on the left. I made it in a really pretty cotton lawn in a rosebud print.

Xmas came and went and a great time was had by all, even if our celebration was very small this year. Miss B received a tonne of pressies including the Sylvanian Families dollhouse and furniture. No Blythe under the tree for me, however I must have been a very good girl this year as I got a super-duper DSLR camera! It's a Nikon D5000 and very flash. It was my Xmas pressie and birthday pressie from just about everyone I know. Truth be told I am a bit scared of it. I think I need to do a course!

In Blythe related news, I sent Holly, my very first Blythe away to FrankieDarling to be customised - I'm kinda worried about her travelling so far. As you may know, I'm in Australia and Frankie is in Portland USA - that's a lot of time in the hands of postal workers. I'm wondering if maybe I should have sent Vanilla as I would not be quite so upset if she was to get lost/damaged and she really does need something done to her if she's going to stay here. Crossing my fingers and toes that Holly arrives safe and sound. Aside from the anxiety about her being in transit, I am very excited about the customisation. Here how she looked when I first got her just before Christmas last year.

I've only ever had girls that I customised myself unless you count Poe, who was kinda ruined when I got her really. I think that a number of my Blythes will be customised professionally this year as there are not have that many new ones that I am interested in buying and to be honest, stock girls just don't do it for me at all anymore. This year I would like to get a Simply Peppermint and maybe a Rosie Red. I still need to find an SBL and a BL for my collection as I really would like to have one of each mold.

I also find myself toying with the idea of getting a Kenner - something I never thought would interest me at all! There's just something about their skin that really appeals to me. I think I would get a Raven girl.... I blame it all on Angel~Lily. She does the most amazing Kenner restorations rerooted in Alpaca.