Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My Week in Retrospect :)

It's been quite an eventful week in my end of the world.  I thought I'd share a few of the things I've been doing with all of you. :)


   First off, you might have noticed that I didn't do any Kickstarter Shout-Outs last Friday.  That's because I've already met my goal and didn't get any new backers last week (which is totally fine). ;)  As of now, I have 50 hours before my Kickstarter fundraiser ends.  And thanks to all of you who backed me, at that time I'll be able to collect my funds and pay the rest of my Mount Hermon entrance fee in full! :D

While I didn't have any new backers last week, I was very excited to receive my last shipment of artwork postcards last Friday! :D  I spent the evening signing and dating them and then letting them dry.  I can't wait to send these off to my backers! :D  (I also printed a few extra copies to take with me to the conference, just in case.)

Fun Finds:

   I also found some great new things around town this past week, some that came home with me, and some that didn't. ;)  

At Target, I found the new Crazy Hair Lalaloopsy Girls (this one is Scoops Waffle Cone).  While I'm not really a fan of this particular line from Lalaloopsy, I know some of you are.  I do love that they included Cinderslippers in this line, too.  If only they'd re-release her as a mini!  My Prince Handsome is lonely. ;)

   I do wonder how you get the hair clean once you've applied glitter to it.  You're supposed to be able to style and restyle this hair over and over again.  I'm just not sure how all that stuff would come out between styles. :}

I found a few little goodies at Goodwill.  First was this Lalaloopsy Littles outfit, still sealed in the package, for 99 cents.  It was just perfect for Middle Gal's Squirt Little Top, a thrift store rescue with no clothes. ;)

The back of the package.

I also found a vintage Friend Bear, from the Care Bears line, in the 49 cent table.  Friend Bear will look great on display with Funshine Bear and Birthday Bear, my other two Care Bears thrift store rescues. :)

Friend Bear from the back.

While at Kmart, I was excited by this Rainbow Rocks "Rockin' Hairstyle" Equestria Girls Fluttershy doll. (Wow, that title's quite a mouthful!)  While I didn't mind the first Equestria Girls movie, I wasn't as much of a fan of the second movie, especially because I don't enjoy rock music.  That being said, I think this is the first Equestria Girls Fluttershy doll I've seen that completely captures Fluttershy's sweet nature.

The face paint has a softer, sweeter look to it than the previous dolls.  I'm also thrilled that the new EG dolls have actual feet instead of the footless stumps the original EG dolls have.  I'm not a fan of peace signs, so I'd probably remove her necklace and earrings, but nonetheless, this doll might eventually become a part of my collection. :)

Fluttershy didn't come home with me that day, but a package of the new Lalaloopsy Tinies with hair DID. ;)  The girls and I split them between us.  A review will be up soon! :D

Toys R Us 
I haven't been to a Toys R Us for a couple of months, but my mom stopped by the closest store a while back.  While there, she found another item I've been wanting to see in person:  My Little Pony Squishy Pops.  These little blind bag-type toys are in little surprise balls.  They retail for just under two dollars.  She brought two of them home.

When you open them, they have a surprise wrapped in plastic.

Unfortunately, sometimes all you get are two plastic beads.  Phooey. :(

But you can also end up with a super cute pony! :D

I took some clearer pictures when I got home.  I'm not impressed with the beads AT ALL, but Rarity was darling!

Even though she's super tiny (right around an inch tall, give or take a bit), she's very detailed and painted well.

The black plastic under her feet in the previous photos is there to help her stand, and I believe also helps her connect to the bracelets and jewelry made as part of the line.

She also has a tiny suction cup to help her stick to flat surfaces.  

Here she is next to my blind bag Rarity for comparison.

   Overall, I think these MLP Squishy Pops are adorable.  I'd really like a Fluttershy for my Fluttershy shelf.  However, I think I'll buy one of the bigger sets that comes with a bracelet, where the pony is visible in the packaging.  That way I don't end up wasting money trying to find Fluttershy and ending up with beads instead. :{

99 Cents Only Store
When I was in the 99 Cents Only Store, I found this cute little Olaf figure.  They also had Anna and Kristoff figures, but they were very poorly painted.  Olaf was a bit bigger, so his paint wasn't all that bad.

In fact, he's rather adorable, especially for just 99 cents! ;)

He seems quite happy on my Frozen shelf with my other little Olafs. :)

Doll Surgery: 
   My doll club had a very successful doll restringing and evaluation booth set up at the mall during a local antique show a couple of weekends ago (I was even mentioned by name in my local paper!). :D  However, a few of the "patients" brought to us had cases too complex for immediate restringing.  So this past Saturday, my doll-stringing mentor and I worked on them at her house.  Here are two of the dolls that I restrung:

Poor baby!

I'm especially thrilled with how this doll turned out.  His (or her?) arms were strung similarly to an American Girl doll.  It took me FOREVER to work around the little plastic cups inside his arms, but I finally got him all fixed up and back to normal. :D

This poor dear was my first fifteen-piece body.  It was a lot of work, and I made a few mistakes along the way...

...but I was thrilled to finally get her all back together. :)

Fan Mail: 

   I was excited to receive some Fan Mail this week from All About Boog, a fellow blogger and the winner of the My Little Pony Express Giveaway I held on the blog two months ago.  It was very fun opening the early Valentine's Day Goodies she sent for me and my daughters to enjoy together. :D

Here are the goodies she sent:

It was so fun opening everything, like a little package of unexpected happiness. :) 

I think my favorite item was this vintage Strawberry Shortcake book, which All About Boog found at a thrift store.  She's another thrifter, just like me! ;)

    Thank you so much, All About Boog.  It made my day to know someone was thinking about me. :)  My girls and I are enjoying all of the fun things you sent us. :) 

   This brings me to a question for all of you.  I've now had several people interested in sending me things, and I'm hesitant to keep giving out my home address.  I've been considering the idea of getting a P.O. Box for fan mail.  If I did so and started receiving fan mail, I'm afraid I couldn't answer you guys personally (I'm already overwhelmed enough with email), but I would definitely do blog shout-outs whenever fan mail arrived.  What do you guys think?  Those of you who have P.O. Boxes, have you been pleased with them?  I've never had one before, so this is new territory for me.  I just think it would be nice to have the option, like I said, so I wouldn't have to give out my home address if my readers wanted to send me something.

Spirit Week:

   Part of this week's craziness involved Spirit Week (celebrating school spirit and culminating with Homecoming at the end of the week) at the girls' school.  There are four dress-up days, each with a different theme.  This means that I've had to come up with twelve different costumes for the week!  It's been a little crazy, but fun, too. :)  The dress-up days this year are Neon Day, Disney Day (hooray!), Under the Sea Day, and Red, White and Blue Day (our school colors).  I didn't think to get a blog-safe picture for Neon Day yesterday, but when Oldest Gal held up her mirror to her face for one of the pictures today, it gave me an idea.  I mean, I had to share the Disney Day pictures with you guys, right? ;)  

So here are Oldest Gal, Middle Gal, and Little Gal, aka Belle, Anna, and Alice.  Aren't they just adorable? :D

Here's a look at the backs of their costumes.  Oldest Gal's Belle dress was a modified old formal of mine.  Middle Gal's outfit was one she came up with herself.  I provided the black tank top and pink pillowcase cape (both Goodwill finds).  Little Gal's dress was an Alice costume we had packed away from earlier years. :)

   The girls had a great time, and it was super fun making this a special day for them.  However...

Doll Club: was just slightly hectic since in December I'd already committed to hosting the doll club at my house today! :}  If I had realized it was the same week as Spirit Week, I probably would have rescheduled.  God is good, though.  I got everything done just in time.  Well, sort of.  The girls were ten minutes late to school. ;)

   Some of you have asked me in the past about my doll club and what we do.  We meet once a month in a different home, and each meeting has a different doll topic.  (My topic this month was Strawberry Shortcake dolls.)  We also usually have a business meeting in which we discuss club finances, vote on things we need to decide or change, and go over minutes from the previous meeting.  It sounds pretty official, but it's more of a laid-back official club. ;)

   The greatest thing about the club is that we each share our knowledge of dolls in different areas, and we all come away from the meetings having learned something new. :)

   Since I was speaking on Strawberry Shortcake and it was February, I decided to go with red, pink, and Strawberry themed decorations.

The table had a pink tablecloth and lots of little goodies on the top.

We had Valentine's Day M&Ms...

...peanuts, goody boxes for each guest...

...and strawberry candies. ;)  You'll also notice I found adorable Strawberry Shortcake confetti for the table (thank you, Party City!). :)

I hung some of my Strawberry Shortcake pictures and a mirror on the walls:

I also swapped out the Big Hero 6 calendar that normally hangs in our dining room for Oldest Gal's SSC one, and each of the girls colored a SSC picture for the bulletin board.

Just under the TV, I arranged a display of all of my Strawberry Shortcake dolls and collectibles.  When it came time to share about the history of SSC dolls, I stood beside the display and held each doll as I talked about it.  I also passed the dolls around so everyone could see them up close.

   I had a lot of fun sharing about a line of dolls that are so near and dear to my heart, and the gals in the club seemed to enjoy hearing about them.  After we'd finished the main topic, my mom, who very graciously served as the caterer, fed the ladies her homemade tacos and dessert.  We had a wonderful time visiting and eating together.  My mom is the best.  I couldn't have done it without her today. :)

   So, I think that brings you all up to speed.  Tomorrow, I'll head to the library for more writing time, and then to the dentist's (oh joy), as long as Little Gal stops coughing and actually falls asleep. ;)  Friday, I'll go into the school to help the elementary students with an art project (illustrating their own books).  Saturday, we have a playdate scheduled with friends.  Sunday, I'll sing in a trio in church.  Then the madness begins again next week! :}

   I wanted to let all of you know that beginning next week, I will be really focusing on getting my writing for the conference done.  My goal is to have some blog posts scheduled for you, as well as my vlog for YouTube. (You guys can still leave me and my daughters questions for the rest of this week!  There aren't too many questions so far, so we'd love to get some more.  Details HERE.)  Aside from that, though, I will be taking a bit of a blogging hiatus.  I will not be actively blogging or responding to comments for at least two weeks.  I really need to get my book done so I can make the most of the opportunity I have to go to the writers conference.  I'll have more details on the official plan later, but I just wanted to let all of you know what's on the horizon. :)

   I hope all of you are doing well.  Has your week been as full as mine? 


MyLittleMegara said...

Sounds fun! I love the costumes, being a cosplayer.

beastsbelle said...

Thanks, MyLittleMegara. :) It was a lot of fun seeing the looks come together. :)

Nina said...

Sounds like you had a busy week! I love your girls' costumes! We have Spirit Week at our school in March. I love the Disney Day and Under the Sea themes! Having just done the Little Mermaid as our musical, they sound great;)

Have a great (next) week!

Farrah Lily said...

I always say the same thing "thank goodness for moms!" I feel the same way about mine..she has come to my rescue many times when it comes to hosting and entertaining. :) Glad to hear the get-together went so well and you did such a great job with your SS display!
I actually saw that Fluttershy when I was in Target last weekend. She really is quite cute and love her cute eyebrows as she's much more expressive the the previous versions.
I love the Gals costumes! Very, very cute.
That is the most enduring version of Olaf I've ever seen. :)
Best wishes for catching up with your writing and congratulations again on meeting your Kickstarter goal!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Nina! Yes, it was busy, but fun too. I kind of fell apart a bit tonight, but I think I should be able to make it through the rest of the week without too many issues. ;)

Lol, Oldest Gal said that someone should just dress as Ariel (a modest version, she specified) ;) for both days. ;)

Farrah Lily, I completely agree! My mom is the best. ;)

The meeting really did go well. It's always nice when it does. ;)

Fluttershy is super cute! I'm making an effort to stay away from stores for a while. I don't want to spend money this close to our out-of-town birthday trip for the girls (which will be a week from tomorrow). :}

I was so happy with how the costumes turned out...thanks! :)

I think Olaf is great, too. I usually don't care for the cheaply painted Disney toys at the local dollar stores, but this one turned out really nice. :)

Thanks very much...I got another chapter and a half written and some editing done today! :D

All About Boog said...

Thank you so much for the shout out! I can't believe I found that SSC book with no clue what or when your club was. Isn't that crazy? Apparently that book in MS just had to be yours :D
Have fun with all the up coming excitement and we all look forward to your posts when things finally slow down a bit for you (do they ever?).


beastsbelle said...

You're welcome! That is totally crazy and fun! :D

Thanks! I keep waiting for things to slow down, but it doesn't seem to happen. ;) Oh well. I just need to embrace the crazy. ;)

Saturday Sequins said...

Hurray for thrifting! It's one of my favorite things to do in my town. I've found some amazing things over the past year.

Your doll group sounds amazing. I love the idea of repairing old dolls to give them a new lease on life! Makes me want to start a doll group here in Urbana.

Have a great time at the writing conference! I'm so glad you reached your goal. PS: Have you ever heard of It's inspired me to write quite a bit. I love the simplicity of the whole thing. <3

beastsbelle said...

Hi Saturday Sequins! It's great to meet another thrifter. ;)

My doll club is pretty cool. I'm at least 10 years younger than the youngest member and somewhere between 20 to 40 years younger than most of them, but I love learning from them and think of all of them as my dear friends. :)

Starting a doll group would be a great idea! You never know who else in your area might have the same interests. ;)

Thank you so much. I'm so excited for the opportunity to go! :D

And no, I've never heard of It looks great, though...thanks for letting me know! :)

Yelinna said...

I was perusing your Equestria Girls reviews and I do look a great inprovement on Fluttershy: the eyes are more innocent looking in this Rainbow Rocks line. I see these dolls everywhere and I'm not sure if they are worth to buy. I already have the EQ Cutie Mark Crusaders, and it seems that my Neighthan Rot have enough sisters :)
I love your costumes!!

beastsbelle said...

Hi Yelinna!

I agree that the new Fluttershy face is much better. She may just have to join my other Fluttershys on my shelf at some point. ;)

Thanks! We had fun putting the costumes all together. :)