Monday, April 14, 2014

What Hubby Does When I Ask Him to Make the Bed...

Most of the time, I'm the one who makes the bed, especially since Hubby works early and is gone before I get up during the week.  Every once in a while, though, when he has the day off or on the weekends, I ask him to make the bed.  And when he does, I never know what I'm going to find...

Exhibit A ;)

I love how he managed to balance Hugs (my scruffy purple bear) on top of the other bear (which is still unnamed). 

Carrots and Nutmeg seem fascinated by the show.

Exhibit B.  A week ago Saturday, I went on an out-of-town day trip, so Hubby made the bed for me.  That was also the day we got a replacement computer (since ours was having so many problems).  

Buckingham, Carrots, and Nutmeg

Hugs looking quite comfy. :)

My Merida doll I rescued from the thrift store has been hanging out on top of the computer for a while, but he had to move her while he hooked everything up.  Hubby said he took her back to our room, saw the bears, and decided to add her to the group. ;)

Going into our room and seeing something like this always puts a smile on my face. :)  I thought it might give you guys a little smile, too.

Hope you're having a great week!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ever After High Cerise Hood Doll Review

Hey guys!  I'm finally getting around to the review of Cerise...thanks for being so patient. :}  Aside from the craziness of the week that is pretty much typical for this time of year, I had a few little distractions. ;)

First, earlier this week, My Froggy Stuff released a great new video, which you can see HERE.  It's all about making a "hidden doll house" out of decorative boxes.  Since space is always a major issue for us, I thought this was the perfect craft for us to try.  I went by Michael's on Wednesday, and they just happened to have all of their decorative spring boxes on 50% off, so I picked some up:

Unfortunately, the top two were too small, so I ended up returning those and getting a second big decorative box for the girls to use.

Here's the inside of my box.  I've been needing a place for my Ever After High gang to hang out.  This will be the perfect place to make a little set-up and then store it away when I'm done with my photos or whatever. :)

The blue walls made me think it might make a great tea shop for Maddie. :)

Today, the girls and I worked on our houses for a bit.

I had some leftover wood grain contact paper that we used for the floors (and the girls' dollhouse door, too).  Man, is that stuff a pain!!  Even though we very slowly and carefully put it on, we still ended up with air bubbles. :}  Oh well, it looks pretty nice in the pictures (as long as you don't look too close and see my crooked cutting job). :}  I had some reflective scrapbook paper that I wanted to use for a small mirror on the right wall of my room, but it refused to stick, so I'll be putting something else up there.  I used school glue for the paper backing of the mirror, and when I tried to take it up, it ripped the paper lining of the box. :(  So for now, it'll just look tacky until I get something else up on the wall instead.

The girls did a great job on their room.  They did almost everything themselves (it's always fun seeing what they come up with).  As you can see, their reflective paper mirror stuck much better than mine. ;)  

Oldest Gal's Belle, looking quite lovely in Aurora's dress.

My girls really like my Ever After High dolls, but at this point we're planning on waiting until they're older to get them "officially" into EAH.  With her typical creativity, Middle Gal came up with her own versions of the characters by mixing and matching the clothing and dolls she already had.  Here we have her versions of Apple White and Dexter Charming (she thinks they make a nice couple...poor Raven!). ;)  "Dexter's" glasses are Littlest Pet Shop ones, but they work great!

Middle Gal also came up with her own version of Briar Beauty, seen here (LPS glasses were used for Briar, too). :)  Little Gal preferred to make up her own EAH characters.  Next to Briar is "the son of Jack Frost", but I can't remember what she named him.  Oh, and both of them are holding homemade saws...just what every fashion doll needs. ;)

This is Little Gal's other character, "Icicle", the daughter of Elsa.  I completely love how "color blind" Little Gal cool is that? :)

I also took My Froggy Stuff's suggestion and bought two big book boxes to store my EAH dolls in.  They fit very nicely on the dresser next to my big doll rooms.

Here's the front of one of the boxes.

This one has my Rebels in it:  Raven, Maddie, Cedar, and Cerise.

My other box holds my Royals...and Hunter, because I just couldn't split him and Ashlynn up. ;)  Hunter, Ashlynn, Briar, and Apple.

The doll room itself fits nicely underneath my Lalaloopsy collection. :)

My other distraction came this morning when I was browsing Facebook.  I noticed THIS Facebook post from Strawberry Reef, my favorite My Little Pony reference site.  She's asking artists to submit ideas for a G4 style logo of her Strawberry Reef pony.  Naturally, I was interested, and started doodling right away.

Here's what I came up with (yep, the paper is wrinkled...I erased too fast). :}

After I drew the picture, Hubby helped me scan it into the computer and print off a copy.  My thought was to color in the copy so I'd have the original.  Unfortunately, the ink from the printer bled horribly when I colored the pony in, as you can see.  I also was not pleased with the red outline of the pony.  I used a regular red sharpie and felt that the line was too thick and distracting.  (I also forgot and outlined the eyes before I remembered they were usually not outlined in the cartoon.)

So the second time, I colored in the original.  This one turned out much better. :)  The original black pen didn't bleed like the printer ink.  I also used a fine point red Sharpie marker for a thinner outline, and I added more shading and detail.  You can still see the wrinkle in the paper, and I had a hard time getting it captured on film just right, but overall I'm pleased with the result.

This was another attempt to photograph it.  My camera kind of fuzzed out her head in this one, though.  It's starting to have more and more problems.  I may have to think about getting it replaced. :(

I doubt that a picture in marker is what she was looking for, but I had a lot of fun participating anyway. ;)

But now it's time to stop getting distracted and get on to the post! ;)

Oh, and just so all of you know, I won't be going into quite as much detail with this one since I just finished a post about Cedar. :)

Here is lovely Cerise in her box.

A closer look at her face.  I started getting interested in Cerise when I saw she had a different face mold than the other gals. :)

Side of the box

Cerise's artwork

Back of the box

A closer look at the details...

...and her full-length box art.

Other side of the box.

Here are a few shots of her free from the plastic cover:

Here's Cerise, completely deboxed.

Back view

I really like her face paint.  She's serious, but again, not quite as "stuck-up" looking as some of the earlier dolls.

Cerise's profile.

When I first got her out of the packaging, I noticed she had a few strands of hair that were extra long.

It was easy to fix.  I just trimmed the long hairs.

Part of her hair was hanging out of the front of the hood and held in place by rubber bands wrapped around her arm.

The silver clasp on her hood was also held in place by a rubber band.

Her hood had a clear piece of plastic inside to make it look nice and full, and there was a little plastic tie that attached it to the top of her head.

The back of the hood had a big residue spot.  I'm guessing this was from the product in Cerise's hair, which was stiff and crunchy with some sort of gel (the hair, not the hood...just in case I didn't make that clear enough). ;)

I wanted to see what Cerise looked like without her hood, so I snipped the little plastic tie with scissors and pulled out the curved clear plastic inside the hood. 

The clasp on the hood was easy to open.  The brooch-looking plastic piece on the left had a knob that fit into a hole on the "chain" part of the clasp, as shown above.

Here's another look at the clasp.

Cerise's hood is incredibly detailed.

I love the pretty pattern on the cape.

I also love how the inside of her cape is lined with a soft, see-through material.

Her hood has a hole in the back for her long hair to go through.

Here she is without her hood.

Back view

Her bangs and the hair at the top of her head are heavily gelled so they stay in place.  Both the hair product and the way her hair is rooted would make it very difficult to do her hair in a high ponytail or any similar style.

Many have wondered if Cerise has her pointy ears.  She does, but they're very small.

A closer look at her outfit.

Her "leather" belt and "silver chain" accents are very detailed.

She has a red ring and a black leather-look bracelet.

Her leggings look like hard material, but they are actually made from a soft stretch fabric.

Her boots have some great detail.

Her basket is very cute and detailed, but does not appear to open like the other Ever After High "purses".

Side view

One thing I thought I should mention was that the tape I had to remove to get Cerise's stand out ripped a bit of the cardboard off of her name.  In the past, I haven't had a problem with the tape doing that.  Just be careful opening the box if you're into keeping your boxes as nice as possible. 

Cerise's instructions...

...and her stand.

Like all of the other dolls, Cerise also had a story bookmark.  

Most of you probably already know that Cerise is the daughter of Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.  In both the webisodes and the second EAH book, he is more humanoid in form, so he's basically a werewolf.  Normally I'm not into the whole werewolf thing (especially since I was terrified of them as a child), but I appreciate the way they've handled the story in this case.  I especially loved hearing Red and Wolfie's backstory in the second EAH book.  It was more a case of two sweet "people" falling in love, rather than the "he's dangerous but I'm still gonna go for him" storyline that is one of my pet peeves. :}  Cerise's parents love each other and love her very much, but due to the prejudices of their clans, they have to keep their marriage a secret.  

Anyway, here's Cerise's story from her bookmark.  Enjoy. :)

And now for some photos of the lovely Cerise:
It was really fun playing around and trying to find her best angle. :)

Cedar and Cerise are two of my very favorite EAH dolls because of their detail and their facial expressions.  I can't wait to see what Mattel releases next from this line (hopefully Dexter Charming!).

Here is my whole Ever After High collection so far.

Madeline Hatter, Raven Queen, Apple White, Cedar Wood...

...Cerise Hood, Briar Beauty, Hunter Huntsman and Ashlynn Ella.

And just for fun, here's one that I edited on :)

Overall, I'm thrilled with my Cerise Hood doll.  I'm not normally a fan of white streaks in dark hair, and I wish they'd made her skirt a little longer (although the fact that she's wearing leggings underneath makes it slightly better), but other than that, I have no complaints about the doll herself.  I think her face is cute and appealing, and it fits her character.  And while I'm more drawn to the bright, warm color palette of Cedar Wood, I enjoy red and black too (before kiddos and before they were "in" colors, I had a guest room in red and black). ;)  

Looking back over this review, I realize that I used the word "detail" or "detailed" a lot.  I apologize for overusing the word.  To be honest, though, the first word that comes to mind when I think of Cerise (or any of the EAH dolls, for that matter) is "detail".  Mattel has done an excellent job at paying attention to the small stuff with this line.  I think that's one of the things that make these dolls so fun and appealing. :) 

As I said earlier, the werewolf theme isn't one I'm normally a fan of, but in this case it's not a scary or dark werewolf theme (and much preferred to Twilight, in my opinion).  The story of Cerise and her family is handled tastefully, especially in the second EAH book, "The Unfairest of them All" (which made me like her as a character even more).  Also, I have to say, it's kind of nice to have a werewolf character that I like after so many years of being deathly afraid of them. :}  That being said, I would like to clarify that most werewolf/vampire/zombie type stories are ones I try to avoid.  There's a definite trend of glorifying the macabre and gory in our culture right now which I do not agree with and do not believe is healthy, especially for the kiddos out there.  I realize not all of you are on the same page with me on that, but I felt I needed to mention it.  For some moms who feel the same way I do and would like to avoid the whole werewolf scenario entirely (which is completely understandable), you might want to skip this particular doll. ;)  

Cerise gets a 5 out of 5 from me for her quality and "detail". ;)  

To check out my review of Cedar Wood, click HERE.  At the end of that post, you'll find links to my other EAH reviews. :)

Have a great night! :)