Saturday, May 14, 2011

Some Random Updates

So, did anyone else try not to panic when Blogger was down this week?  I was just struck with this thought:  What if everything I'd done on my blog was lost in cyberspace somewhere?  I felt almost sick just thinking about all of the time and energy I've devoted to my 3 blogs being gone in one afternoon. 

Now before you think I'm being way over-dramatic, I realize the situation wasn't that dire this time.  It was a good reminder, though, that the disadvantage to this digital age is that our creative works are susceptible to being wiped out with no trace left.  Yikes...that's a horrendous thought! :{

Along that line, does anyone have some sort of "back-up plan" for their blogs?  Do you print your pages every once in a while?  Do you use the "Blog to Book" option?  Do you just type away and not give it a second thought?  Do you think I'm over-thinking this?  Just curious what everyone does.

Well, moving right along.  I have some random updates and things to share with you. WARNING:  Prepare yourself for a very long, picture heavy post!!!  Hmm, come to think of it, what other types of posts do I do? ;)

 First off, I'd had several wonderful thrift store and regular store finds lately that I'd love to share with you.   (I know, I know, AlexAndrea...I said I wasn't going to be buying anything else for a while!  I really did well...for about a week or so.  Sorry!)

Here are a couple of things I found for Maggie's collection for a few bucks:

A bone China lion that reminds me of the old illustrations of Aslan...

...and a cute little pewter unicorn. :)

At the same store I found the lion, they had a sale on all of their Easter stuff.  I just couldn't resist this cute little stuffed lamb:

Isn't she adorable?  She's really soft, too.

I found this Ben & Jerry's ice cream container when I was in the freezer section trying to find a dessert that I could work into my Weight Watcher's points that still tasted good.  This wasn't the greatest choice for me (it tasted great but used to many points for the amount of ice cream I got), but I thought it would be fun to use it for the dolls.  It's not quite the right size (they bought a BIG tub of Ben & Jerry's!), ;) but still fun. 

When I was in Salvation Army, I saw this really nifty little key chain behind the glass display at the counter.  I thought the jewels looked like the breastplate worn by the Old Testament Jewish priests, and I could tell that there was something inside.   

 The detail on the front.

Imagine my excitement when I looked and found out there was a mini New Testament inside!  [Kind of ironic...I was expecting the Old Testament, or something like it, since the outside cover was from the Old Testament.]  I realized it was just the right size to be a little pocket New Testament for my dolls.  When I first saw it, I thought it might be some sort of souvenir from Israel.  When I took the price tag off, though, I saw "TBN" on the back (for Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian TV station with a wide array of denominational beliefs.  Some of the stuff is great, some of it...not so much.).  Oh well, it's still a pretty cool little item. :)

What's even cooler is that it actually has the entire New Testament printed inside...I think.  I can't exactly read print that small. ;)

Of course, the best Thrift Store day I had happened a couple of Mondays back! :)  My mom was really sweet and let me have some shopping time without kiddos. I had to mail a package at the Post Office and had some other errands I was planning. As I left the Post Office, I thought...hmm...Salvation Army is right here. Maybe I should just pop in really quick. I'm sooo glad I did! :)

When I got to the toy section, the first thing I saw was a brown eyed Bitty Baby. She was in a really cute lavender snowsuit with AG tags. She was in pretty rough shape, but nothing a little Magic Eraser and Oxy treatment couldn't fix. She did also have the slight beginnings of silver eye, but not enough to look creepy or anything. I snatched her up quickly. I didn't see a price, but figured at Salvation Army it should be in my price range.

I figured I should check the rest of the stuffed animal and doll bin that the Bitty was lying on top of, just in case. A few layers down, I saw a little white shoe on a foot. I pulled it out, fully expecting to see a cheapo doll...and pulled out instead a blonde haired, blue eyed Bitty Baby in AG Bitty Baby clothes!! This one was marked. The price? $2.50!!! This one was in even better shape than the first, and had beautiful blonde eyelashes. They weren't tagged, so I wasn't sure if they were Pleasant Company or Mattel, but I was so excited I didn't care! :)  After looking them over and doing more research, I'm pretty sure they're Pre-Mattel.

Last year, I found the Asian Bitty at a flea market for just 25 cents. I used it as a Potty Training reward for my youngest daughter. Now my two older girls have Bittys, too! They are very happy with their new dollies. :)

Bitty #1

Beginnings of silver eye.

Full body view.

This baby's previous owner decided to give her nipples and a belly button.  I haven't removed these yet.  I was thinking of trying one of those Tide pens and seeing if that does the trick.

Her head had some pretty major rub marks.  I haven't fixed these yet, either.  I learned from one of stephenswodadancer's vids on Youtube that using a magic eraser on a Bitty's head just removes more paint, so I can't fix it that way.  Eventually, I may try to repaint her head.  For now, my daughter enjoys her just like she is. :)

Baby Polly's face after clean up. :)  (The name was chosen by my daughter.)

Bitty #2

A few pen marks on the body, but not as bad as Bitty #1.

She had worse marks elsewhere, though, like this big green marker stain on her shoulder...

...and this, um, rather nasty looking stain on her bottom.  I'm hoping a Tide pen will solve this issue, too! :}

She also had rub marks on her head, but they don't show up as much, since she's blonde. 

Here's the first part I saw of her in the stuffed animal bin.  Isn't that a cute shoe? 

Baby Jessica, all cleaned up! (My oldest daughter's name choice) :)

Full body view.

As if this wasn't awesome enough, later that day, my mom and I went to pick up my oldest from school. We had my other two girls with us, too, and they really wanted to go somewhere before heading back home. Mom turned to me and teased, "Should we see if your luck holds out and check the other Salvation Army?"

I laughed, but thought we should go, as it was one of the girls' favorite stops. We went inside and headed back to the toy section (the girls' favorite part of the store).

Suddenly, I was practically hyperventilating. We were halfway to the toys when I spotted an AG Lindsey doll in her original meet outfit!!!! I managed to spit out, "Mom, it's Lindsey...there's a Lindsey right there!!"

It took my mom a minute to figure out what I was talking about, but once she did, she got over there and swooped her up. She's a definite fixer-upper, with loose limbs and wild hair. Like I said before, though, she has her complete meet outfit, minus her shoes, undies and barrette, and she even has the body tag that says "Made in China for American Gril" (instead of American Girl), which I've heard is rarer.

Lindsey is (hopefully) going to help me reimburse myself (and hubby) for my purchase of Piper! :)  She's currently listed on AG we'll see what happens.  I had her listed on eBay and had a horrible situation where a buyer purchased her using "Buy it Now", but then failed to pay or contact me until I mentioned having to file an unpaid item case.  What a mess!!  I decided to forget eBay on Lindsey and try listing her on AG Playthings.  If she doesn't sell, I may try eBay again.  We'll see.

Anyway, here are the pics! :)

This is how Lindsey looked when we first found her.

She was in her original meet outfit (I found out later that the gray socks were not an original part of the outfit).

Lindsey's tag.

Yucky stuff on her face that came right off with a Magic Eraser.

Lindsey's extremely loose limbs.

More stuff on her arms that came up with a Magic Eraser.

Here she is, all cleaned up! :)

I couldn't get rid of the worst rub mark, but most of the other stuff came up very nicely.

Lindsey's sweet face. :)

Her hair still has a lot of the original curl in it. :)

There were still a few light yellow marks on her arms and neck that didn't come up very well.

For those of you who don't know, Lindsey was the first of the limited edition "Girl of the Year" dolls made by American Girl.  She was released in 2002 and retired in 2003.  She is very rare and a very sought after doll for AG collectors.  While she's cute, she's never been at the top of my wish list, which is why I'm hoping I can use her to pay for Piper. :)


Here are some fun little items that my mom picked up for me.  Her doll radar has definitely been switched on, too. :)  Now she's constantly finding doll-sized items that work for our dolls.  It's so much fun! :)  I decided to use Piper as my model, since you haven't seen her yet! :) 

Mom found this cute little tabletop easel and canvas and mini paint set when she was out and about.  It's the perfect size for dolls! :)

At Walmart, she found this cute mini "Woolly Willy".  Piper had fun trying it out.


Next, I just wanted to let those of you know who are interested in Barbie stuff that I have several Barbie auctions on eBay right now.  Feel free to check them out, if you're interested.  You can get to my eBay world page HERE.

Okay, what else?  Oh, yes.  For those of you who have a Costco in town, you might want to check out these great gift sets they're offering right now.  For $15, you get an American Girl paper doll set and activity book.  At my Costco, they had Rebecca, Molly, Julie, and Kit sets.  Sorry, I won't be showing you the inside of this, because I basically bought it to get a pic for the blog and I'm planning on returning it.  Why, do you ask?  Because personally, I'd rather spend the money on actual doll stuff.  Plus, paper dolls don't survive very long in our house.  My daughters (especially my youngest) are still pretty rough with them (it's hard playing with all of those fragile paper pieces without ripping something). ;)  

Front view

Ana paper doll in the "Sneak Peek" part of the front of the box.

Back view

The back of the box shows pages from the activity book so you can get an idea of what's inside.

It also shows the things included in the paper doll set.


I realized that I never posted pics of Piper when she arrived!  You already got to enjoy pics of her above, but here are some more: 

What could be in the box?

It's Piper! :)

Her body was in great shape:  no rips, tight limbs, the whole nine yards.  Her hair was a bit wild (I think being wrapped in a plastic bag didn't help...her hair was full of static!).  After I brushed it, it looked better, but there were a lot of pieces I had to trim.

She had a few marks that came off easily with Magic Eraser.

This ink mark didn't come off.  I might work on it more later, but it is in a really unnoticeable place, so I'm not too concerned.

Leg marks that came off easily.

Pretty Piper! :D

My mom bought two more dolls off of eBay.  Her My AG #37, which she named Janie, arrived on the same day as Piper.  So of course, we had to take a picture! :)  Mom's other doll, a TLC Kaya, arrived the next day.

Piper and Janie :)

 I am currently working on Piper's introductory post on Tess and Maggie's blog, so I'll give you a "head's up" when I have that posted.  I'm also working on developments in my "Belle's Bulletins" page on the same blog.  I'm hoping to have another post on that by the end of the month.


I will be posting, either today or tomorrow, another post on this blog showcasing some amazing AG finds I discovered on my local Craigslist.  I can't afford the prices at this time, but as the seller is very friendly and willing to ship, I thought I'd let you all know about it in case you have more to spare in your budget than I do at the present time. :)  

Things will be a bit crazy in the next few weeks, so my posts may be rather few and far between.  My oldest daughter has her last week of school next week, which involves lots of time in the car since she has all half days.  

Then, on the 23rd, I get to have all 4 wisdom teeth pulled (oh joy), so I'm assuming I won't feel like doing much of anything but sleeping for a while after that.  And the following week, my family and I will be leaving for a vacation to the West coast.  

All that to say, I'll post as often as I can, but things may be a bit sparse for a while.  :) 


Hayden said...

Great thrift store finds!!! I wasn't on blogger all this week, so I was saved all the worry everyone else experienced :)

Katie said...

AMAZING finds!! I wish the thrift store near my house had a Linsey. I didn't even notice that blogger was down, I thought it was just my computer acting up.

marshmallow said...

hello, i hope you dont mind me appering here

just wanted to say i was also very worried about the blog this week,
and i wanna ask what's the "Blog to Book" option?

and i must say i'm going to look for a thrift store nearby! nice things you found :)

beast'sbelle said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for commenting. :) This was one of my most amazing thrift store finds ever, and I usually stop by those stores at least once a week. I guess it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I hope you all find some great things in your neck of the woods, too. :)

Marshmallow, I'm glad I'm not the only one that was worried...I was beginning to doubt myself. ;) I got the information wrong, though. It's actually "Blog2Print". I'd heard about it through our local writer's group first, and every once in a while after I publish a post, Blogger will have a little notice about it on the "Your post was published" page. Here's a link to the actual sight (you'll have to highlight and copy it):

Elaine said...

Congratulations on your incredible finds!
I'm inspired to keep a sharp lookout now! I've been to many garage sales where I found several now out of print AG books. I once came across mini Felicity and Samantha dolls for about three to five dollars apiece. I only got Felicity because I already had a Sam doll.
At one garage sale, I saw a AG mini decor set. Do you remember those? I believe they were named Illuminators or something like that.
Anyway, the price tag said $70! Needless to say, no one was anxious to get it at that price.
I sympathize with you about paper dolls. I have a few sets from years past, including a couple Little House on the Prairie paper dolls. But I don't trust my sisters with them, especially the three-year-old. They are just too easily ruined for all the work that is put into cutting the clothes out.
I'm happy to hear that you will be posting more on your other blog in the next month!
I hope everything works out for you during this crazy time, especially the wisdom teeth removal. Will be praying for you!

Chloe said...

That is so amazing that you found three ag dolls at salvation army. That is just so cool. I found a samantha dvd at my savers the other day, but that is nothing compared to three dolls. Hope Lindsey sells well.

beast'sbelle said...

Thanks, Elaine and Chloe! Definitely keep your eyes never know what you'll discover. ;)

Thanks for the prayers too, Elaine. I'll definitely need them, as I'm a complete wimp! ;)

marshmallow said...

thank you :D
i've tryed the "Blog2Print" and it's very useful for any more blogger crises that (hopefuly not) are to come

beast'sbelle said...

Great, marshmallow! :) Glad to help.

Anonymous said...

I found a bitty twin for 25cents!

beastsbelle said...

Congratulations! That's an awesome find. :)

Heather m said...

I was just wondering, Is this a real Lindsey doll? Her tag is marked 2008. How could her tagged be marked in the future if she was retired in 2003? Congrats on your finds btw.