Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beast'sbelle's Playlists

As most of you know, I used to have a playlist on the blog before Mixpod.com shut their website down.  A few of my blog readers suggested doing a post with all of my playlist tracks in it, which I thought was a great idea.  I thought it would be an even better idea to link it to my pages up top so you can find it easily.  So in the future, you'll find a link to this post on the "Beast'sbelle's Favorites & Playlist" Page up top. :)

Unfortunately, I waited a little too long to do this post, so I've forgotten a lot of the tracks I had on there. :}  I figure this will be another "in progress" page.  I'll add more songs as I think of them. :)  If there's one in particular that I didn't add and you'd like to hear it again, leave me a comment.  Here are the ones I can remember for now:

Former Blog Playlist Tracks:
-Song of Hope Duet from Lord of the Rings the Musical
-The Road Goes On from Lord of the Rings the Musical
-Now and For Always from Lord of the Rings the Musical
-One Fine Day by Hayley Westenra
-The Flower Duet by Charlotte Church
-Main Aagar Kahoon from Om Shanti Om
-Aankhon Mein Teri from Om Shanti Om
-Tere Liye from Veer-Zaara
-Frank Churchill Arrives  from Emma (1996)
-The Dance from Emma (1996)
-End Titles from Emma (1996)
-Main Titles from Emma (2009)
-The Last Dance from Emma (2009)

After I started this, I thought it would be fun to share some of my other favorite songs.  The following songs are divided by category. :)

Housecleaning Music:
These are songs that are a little more upbeat that help me fold laundry, do dishes, sweep, or anything else that requires a bit of physical exertion.  Of course, sometimes I have to remind myself to focus and not get too distracted dancing to the music (in my own awkward, uncoordinated way!), especially when I'm listening to the Bollywood tracks! :}  [Note:  some of these songs come from movies that I don't necessarily completely recommend, but the songs themselves are fun and enjoyable.]

-The Medley from Mujhse Dosti Karoge
-The Cat and the Moon from Lord of the Rings the Musical
-Lodi from Veer-Zaara
-Saj Daj Ke  from Mausam
-Haule Haule from Rab Ne Bana di Jodi
-Koi Ladki Hai from Dil to Pagal Hai
-Soni Soni from Mohabbatein
-The Cowman and the Farmer Should be Friends from Oklahoma
-Comme Facette Mammeta  by Mario Frangoulis (you can't help but feel happy when you hear this song!) ;)
-Any bluegrass music :)

Story Writing Music:
These are songs I listen to while working on my books.  They are often songs I've picked because they have a message or theme that fits into different parts of the story line.  Either that, or they are chosen to help me feel specific emotions.  For example, when I'm writing a sad scene, I listen to sad music to help me feel what my characters are feeling.  [Once again, some of these songs come from movies that I either haven't seen or can't recommend, but serve their purpose for my story.]  Here are a few of my favorite story writing tracks:

-Non ti Scordar di Me  by Russell Watson (couldn't find his version, but here's Mario Frangoulis' version.  I prefer Mario's voice, but I just love the instrumental part of Russell's version!  It's much more haunting.)
-All Love Can Be  by Charlotte Church (this one is set to pictures, and some of them are an odd choice...especially the walrus towards the end!) :}
-Remember Me by Josh Groban
-My Immortal  by Evanescence  (I'm not a fan of all of their stuff, and I don't care for the version of this song with the electric guitar.  I also would not recommend listening to a sad song like this all the time, but I use it to get me in the right mindset for the sadder parts of my stories.)
-The Swedish Rhapsody by Hugo Alfven
-Dulaman by Celtic Woman
-In Her Eyes by Josh Groban
-Any instrumental Celtic music
-anything by Hayley Westenra
-The entire "Let My Life be a Light" CD  by the Wissmann family (this link has one of my favorite songs from the CD)

Christian Music:
Here are a few of my favorite more contemporary Christan songs that I enjoy (well, as contemporary as I get...my music tastes are pretty conservative). ;)

-How Deep the Father's Love for Us performed by Fernando Ortega
-In Christ Alone performed here by Keith and Kristyn Getty (my favorite version is the one done by the Wissmann family)
-Calvary's Love performed by Steve Green
-Children of the Living God performed by Fernando Ortega
--I Will Carry You by Selah
-Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman

I grew up (and am still attending) a very conservative church, so I've had years of listening to the great old hymns of the faith.  I love these hymns because of their depth and because of the amazing stories that are behind them.  I was able to find several of my favorites to share with you:

-It is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford
-My Savior First of All by Fanny Crosby
-Take My Life and Let it Be by Frances Ridley Havergal
-I Will Sing of My Redeemer by Philip Bliss
-Sweet Hour of Prayer  by William Walford
-Have Thine Own Way by Adelaide A. Pollard
-Just As I Am by Charlotte Elliot
-Face to Face by Fanny Crosby (couldn't find this one on YouTube)

Like I said, this is a list that will grow and change with time, so keep checking back for updates. :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Social Media Whirlwind!!

Okay, I'm a glutton for punishment and have never been really great at doing things in moderation (hee hee). I just thought I'd announce that I officially have a Pinterest account and have uploaded a few videos to YouTube for you to enjoy. :}  You can link up to both accounts at the top of my left sidebar, or you can click HERE to visit my Pinterest page and HERE to visit my YouTube page.

I wasn't interested in Pinterest at all, really.  I mean, it seemed like such a silly idea, spending time "pinning" things.  Ahem.  It didn't take me long to change my tune.  I just started my account yesterday and I've already become a crazy pinner!!  I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be for me.  I'm a total list person, and I'm very visual...and it's like the ultimate collection of pictorial lists! }:D  Just looking at my Pinterest boards makes me happy. ;)

And as for YouTube, when I first considered doing doll stuff online I was actually planning to do a YouTube channel instead of blogging (or perhaps along with), but decided to stick with blogging instead.  I've really been wanting to do some videos of my doll rooms, though.  You can cover so much more in a video than in a blog post.  Plus, it's like I'm inviting you guys over to my house to give you the grand tour. ;)

Just so you know, I'm not planning on becoming a super active YouTuber.  I've got enough going as it is.  From time to time, though, I'll try to upload a few fun things.

Whew!  So, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Passionfruit ads all in the space of a couple of weeks.  I'm joining the social media whirlwind!  I must be nuts! ;)

Talk to you guys again soon. :)

P.S.  Yes, I know my grammar isn't the greatest in this post.  It happens when I'm super excited...or trying to rationalize my actions. ;)

Buy One, Get One Free Plush at Disneystore.com

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to let all of you know that Disneystore.com is currently offering a "buy one, get one free" promotion for their plush toys.  The deduction is taken automatically at checkout.  The free plush has to be of equal or lesser value.

You can see all of their plush toys HERE.

Happy shopping! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Two Awesome Thrift Store Finds: Hearts For Hearts Consuelo and Robert Tonner Tyler Wentworth

Hello everyone!  I hop you're all having a wonderful weekend. :)  Before I get started with my "squee" post, I'd like to mention a couple of things.

First off, a HUGE apology to those of you who have emailed me in the past few weeks.  I've been horribly behind and I know there are at least 4 or 5 of you that have been waiting on responses from me.  I normally try to be right on top of my email responses, but this month it just wasn't possible.  I like to have enough time set aside to give each person who emails me a detailed answer that is informative and personal, and the time for that just wasn't there these past few weeks.  I apologize for the delay.  My goal is to get caught up this weekend.

Secondly, I have several eBay auctions up again this weekend.  There were a few things that didn't sell.  Also, the buyer for my American Girl Samantha doll was unable to go through with the transaction, so she's been relisted.  And I have another special listing...but you'll get more details about that in a minute. ;)  You can see all of my current listings HERE.

Finally, another warning:  this post will feature an undressed doll with a developed figure for the purpose of reviewing the doll's articulation.  If this is offensive to you, please skip this post.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, on to the fun stuff! :)  I have two special thrift store finds to share with you.  First is this lovely Hearts For Hearts Consuelo that my mom found:

Isn't she a cutie? :)

[Side Note Here:  I'm rather embarrassed to have to announce that the dolls are actually "Hearts For Hearts Girls", not "Hearts 4 Hearts Girls" like I've been calling them. :{  I think the web address threw me off (the website is hearts4heartsgirls.com).  Anyway, I feel quite sheepish about this error and will be referring to them correctly from now on.  I'm not going to change any of the labels on my previous posts, but I'll eventually add "Hearts For Hearts Girls" as a label as well.  Good grief.  Just goes to show you that we all have our unobservant areas.] ;)

Consuelo has a few shiny marks on her face, but other than that is in pristine condition.

Her shirt was even still attached to her skirt!  I don't think she was played with very much.

Here she is wearing a Dora outfit my mom found at Goodwill.  (I know...my mom is awesome!) ;)

The dress is a little snug in the back, but it still works, and her hair covers the Velcro.

I've always been partial to Consuelo, and my mom's not interested in adding another line of dolls to her collection, so Consuelo will be joining Nahji and Zelia and becoming part of my doll family. :D  Thanks, Mom! :)

And now for the find that completely blew me away:  a Robert Tonner doll!!  

Isn't she pretty?

I've heard a lot about the Tonner dolls, but they were a line that, like the Pullip dolls, were so far out of my price range, I figured I'd never have the chance to see one in person.

I'm not an expert on these dolls by any stretch of the imagination, so when I got home, I began researching this doll to figure out who she was.  

As far as I can tell, she is a Tyler Wentworth Standard Redhead from 1999.  She has the original body with articulated knees and straight arms, and she is wearing the Tyler Wentworth "Central Park Benefit" outfit, shoes, and nylons.  I got most of my information from the Tonner website HERE.  I was able to identify the outfit from this eBay listing.  If any of you have additional information about this doll, please feel free to leave a comment. :)  

Here's a closer look at her pretty outfit.

And an even closer look at the detail.

The jacket has double snap closure.

It is very well made and completely lined on the inside.

Even the sleeves are lined. 

Her nylons are in great shape.

She even comes with matching pumps.

Unfortunately, the base of her right pump came unattached.  Her shoes had been coming off in the store, and when it happened again at the cash register, the cashier at Goodwill, trying to be helpful, attempted to put her shoe back on and ended up pulling the base off of the shoe. :(  It's an easy fix...it just came unglued.  It was still a little disappointing, though.

Her hair is nice and smooth.

It looks like it was originally in some sort of twist style.

A view from the other side.

This Tyler Wentworth has the original body.  Aside from her articulated knees, her joints are fairly simple.  I was surprised to find how hard her vinyl was.  She felt more like a porcelain doll.  

Back view

Her arms stay straight by her side...

...can go out (this is as far as they will go)...

...and can go up.

A closer look at her hand.

She has identifying marks on the back of her head (I found it interesting that the date was actually under the rooted hair.  I don't know if this is typical for these dolls or if this is a unique scenario.)

She also has marks on her back.

She can sit with her legs straight...

...or with her knees bent.  I think she sits very nicely.  Her hip joints are such that she can only move her legs back and forth.  She can't do the splits or spread her legs apart.

The only thing I found slightly frustrating is that her clothes are so fitted that when she wears them, this is the closest she can come to a natural sitting position.  She's going to have a very sore back by the end of the day. ;)

She has natural, subtle face paint that is very pleasing.  I had fun capturing her face at different angles:   

I did notice that her head did not move the same way on both sides.  It seemed to be stiff on one side and overly mobile on the other side, so she may need some restringing at some point.  It's not floppy at all and still holds a pose.  

Overall, I was very pleased to find such a high quality doll for such a great price ($2.99, in case you're wondering!!).

After thinking about it for about a week, I decided that I would not keep this doll in my collection.  She's very pretty and unique, but I don't really have a place for her right now, and most places I have for her would require her to sit.  Having her sit in such an awkward position would drive me crazy, and having her sit in my room naked is also not an option. ;)  And to be perfectly honest, I'm so spoiled with my dolls with super articulation, that I have a hard time enjoying a doll with more limited poseability.

As a result, I decided to list her on eBay for someone else.  I started her at $6.99, which should cover what I paid and at least most of the eBay and Paypal fees.  So, happy bidding everyone! :)

Sometime in the next week, before she sells, I will get some pics of her next to some of my other dolls to give you an idea of the size differences.  

I have more fun posts coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

60% Off Sale This Weekend at Disneystore.com!

Hey guys, just a quicky.  Disneystore.com is having a sale this weekend:  60% off of sale items when you take an extra 15% off with the promo code BONUS.  The sale includes dolls, plush, clothing, Vinylmation, and more.

You can see all of the items for sale HERE.

Happy shopping! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Disney's Peter Pan Pullip Doll Review

As I shared in an earlier post, I had the amazing opportunity to get a Pullip doll at Tuesday Morning for just $39.99! :D

WARNING:  As part of this review, I will include photos of the Pullip doll undressed to show her points of articulation.  If this is offensive to you, please skip this post.

I'd seen a few Pullip dolls online and thought they were cute, but figured that they wouldn't be a line of dolls I'd be adding to my collection anytime soon because of their expensive price (they range from $100-$200 each).  So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Disney's Peter Pan Pullip dolls at my local Tuesday morning for such a phenomenal deal!  And thanks to some gift cards I received for Christmas, Pullip was within the budget. :D

As I mentioned before, the dolls at my local store were Pullip as Peter Pan, Taeyang as Captain Hook, and Dal as Tinkerbell.  I didn't care for Tinkerbell's grouchy-looking face, and Captain Hook was okay, but "Peter" was really cute.  

The Pullip dolls are manufactured in Korea and have large heads and bodies that are mostly compatible with Barbie-sized dolls.

Here she is in her unopened box.  And yes, I said she...it was a female doll dressed as Peter Pan.  Which works, I guess, considering that the role of Peter Pan on stage was traditionally played by a woman.  I was actually really relieved that she was a girl doll since I planned to make her into my own female character. :}

Pullip's pretty face.

A few box details:

And a picture of the crazy price, just because I still can't believe it!! :}

Side of the box

Other side

Back of the box

A closer look at the instructions.

The Pullip dolls are recommended for ages 15 and up, and I would definitely abide by this recommendation. More on that later, though. :)

Inside the box were instructions for working the Pullip doll's eye mechanism...

...and instructions for putting together her stand.

Pullip's face again.  I love her sweet expression! :)

Her cape.  I found this an interesting addition since the original Disney Peter Pan didn't have one.

Peter's feathered cap

Her dagger

A closer look at her detailed shirt, belt, and sheath

Green leggings and brown booties

Her stand base...

...and stand top.

She also came with a collector's card.

Another face shot :)

The packaging was not overly complicated, which is always a blessing. :)

Her hat was stuffed with tissue on the inside to help it keep its shape.

Deboxed, but still with her plastic hair piece in place.

A view of the back.  I love the way her hair has the ability to flip up or curl under.

Here she is without the plastic on her hair.  I love the pretty red shade of her hair and her innocent expression.

Back view

Details on her cape.  The ribbon loop goes around the front of her neck and connects to the button on the other side.

Unfortunately, the loop on her dagger sheath came loose when I barely touched it.  Everything else seemed well-made, though.

The plastic dagger is cute and looks movie accurate. :)

The dagger in its sheath.

She is able to hold it.

This is about as close as she can come to holding it "correctly".  Her fingers won't spread apart any farther, and if you try to tilt her hand any more than this, the dagger falls out.

Her hat has a clip on the bottom, making for easy attachment to her head. 

I don't know, though...somehow this says "Pied Piper of Hamlin" more than "Peter Pan" to me. ;)

Her leggings are actually thick tights that completely cover her foot.  Her shoes are really cute and detailed.

The front of her collector's card...

...and the back view.

And now we'll take a look at her articulation.  

Front view.  As you can see from the photo, she has several points of articulation.  My Pullip doll has what is known as the Type 4 body.  I am by no means an expert on these dolls, so I'm not going to show my ignorance by trying to go into a lot of detail on the different Pullip bodies. ;)  However, if you want to know more, I did find some helpful information about them (and Pullip dolls in general) on this site.

Back view

A closer look at her body.

So, for starters, her chest moves from side to side.

Her arms have 4 points of articulation:  the shoulder, the upper arm, the elbow, and the wrist.

A closer look at her upper arm joint.  It turns completely around.

Her elbow and wrist joints.

I found her arms pleasantly poseable, especially compared to the Disney Store Princess dolls.  It was fun to have so many posing options.  Here are just a couple of examples:

The only thing I didn't like about her wrists and hands was the fact that her hands are a slightly different color.  It was hard to capture on film...this was the best I could do.

Her wrists are extremely flexible.

Ouch!!  That just looks painful! :{

Pullip can almost do full splits, but not quite. ;)

Her legs move very nicely...

...and are also able to hold a realistic sitting position.

Her ankles are also poseable:

I know that a lot of Pullip collectors prefer to buy Obitsu bodies because they are much more poseable (wanring:  if you Google "Obitsu" bodies, please be aware that they are VERY developed...just wanted to let you know ahead of time).  I'm fairly pleased with this doll the way she is, though.  The only complaint I have is that she's extremely top-heavy with her over sized head, so it's very difficult to pose her without her doll stand.

And speaking of her head, let's take a closer look:

First off, here's a look at one of her cute little ears. :)

The manufacturing information on the back of her head.

Those of you unfamiliar with these dolls may be wondering what on earth the weird knobs on her head are. ;)  One of the things that drew me to these dolls in the first place was the fact that their eyes are movable.  The cylindrical knobs on either side control the blink/wink mechanism, and the rectangular knob in the middle controls the direction her eyes are looking.

So, instead of having a doll that looks in the same place all the time, you have this:

And instead of a doll with stationary eyes or sleep eyes, you have this:
As you can imagine, having these sorts of options make photography really fun. :)  

And now for clothing.  At some point in my research, I had heard that these dolls could wear Barbie clothing.  I was thrilled to hear this since I have extra Barbie dresses around.

And overall, it works.

But the Type 4 bodies are considerably slimmer than Barbie bodies, especially in the bust line.  I think it's the Pullips with the Obitsu bodies, or perhaps some of the older body types, that fit better into Barbie clothing.

Here I've pulled the dress out as far as it will go in front.  As you can see, she has a lot of growing room in this dress. ;)

So, since the first Barbie dress was created for the older-style Barbies with the bigger busts, I thought I'd try a newer Mattel dress.

This one definitely fits better, but is still a bit loose on top.

As you can see, the dress has a tendency to slip off of the Pullip's shoulder.  Still, it looks a little more natural than the other dress.

I also tried Barbie shoes on her.  Some traditional Mattel shoes worked nicely.

The Disney Store princess shoes, on the other hand, were too shallow...I couldn't even get her foot in.

This dress looked okay on her, but I felt that this particular shade of pink wasn't the best color for her.

Then I tried this Mattel Rapunzel dress on her, and it just seemed to fit her.  The purple complemented her red hair nicely, and it looked cute on her. :)

Her hair still seemed kind of like an 80s boy cut, though.

When I tried flipping up the ends, her personality suddenly came through. ;)

And remember what I said about how fun photography is with these dolls?  Here are just a few examples of some of the poses you can do:

Even though I really liked my doll in her Rapunzel dress, I wanted to see what other doll clothing lines would fit her.  

When I found this Bratzillaz outfit on a great clearance at Target, I thought I'd give it a try.  Now, I'll be the first to say that I'm not a Bratz, Bratzillaz, or Monster High fan, but I thought the clothing looked everyday enough that it should work, and it looked like it might be the right size.  Plus, I knew it would be nice to have a fairly inexpensive clothing line available now to use for Pullips.

I got it on her, and it technically fit, but the shirt just barely Velcroed closed, and the jacket was so tight I almost couldn't get it over her shoulders.

The skirt was also a little bit shorter than I was hoping for.

So then I tried adding some LIV doll stretch pants to make it a little more modest.  I also added the purse that came with the Bratzillaz outfit.  Better...

I'm really loving this purse...I think it was worth it just for that. ;)

Here she is without the jacket.

And another closer look at her cute purse.

So overall, the Bratzillaz outfit worked, and it looked really cute, but it wasn't the best option because it was so tight.

Around that same time, my mom happened to find a Rapunzel Moxie Girlz doll at Goodwill, so I thought I'd try that outfit on my Pullip.

The dress fit her like it was made for her. :)  

Back view.

I personally prefer the length of the Mattel Rapunzel dress, but my mom and I are both going to keep on the lookout for dressed Moxie Girlz dolls at Goodwill from now on.  Their clothes fit my Pullip perfectly. :)

While I was at it, I tried the LIV shirt that came with the stretch pants I used under the Bratzillaz outfit.  It looks pretty cute, too!

Back view.  The dress was a bit loose on her, but it works.  

Final thoughts:  I'm very happy with my doll.  She's got fun poseability, a sweet, innocent expression, and several doable options for inexpensive clothing.  Her movable eyes are lots of fun for photo shoots, and she's very unique from my other dolls.

However, I don't know that I'd pay regular price for her.  She feels very fragile and delicate, and her joints loosened up fairly quickly.  Her eye mechanisms take a while to get used to.  At first, it feels like you're going to break them when you try to move them.  The other cause for frustration is the fact that she can't stand on her own.  And honestly, I have a hard time getting her to sit on her own because of how large her head is compared to the rest of her body.  The most success I've had is to pose her on the edge of a shelf where her legs can drape over the side, but I'm too paranoid to keep her there just in case she tips over and falls.

And along that same line, as I mentioned earlier, I would definitely stick to the recommended age range.  There is absolutely no way I would let even my oldest careful daughter play with one of these, especially if I had paid full price.  They are so delicately made that it wouldn't take much for them to break.

Still, if one of these is within your budget and you enjoy doll photography, I would recommend them for their uniqueness and for the hours of photo fun they provide, especially if you can find one for the price I found mine. :)

Do any of you have Pullip dolls?  I'd love to hear what you think of them. :)

P.S.  Just in case you're wondering, I haven't come up with a name for her yet.  I keep referring to her as "my Pullip doll" instead of by name. :}  I'll let you know when I decide on something. :)