You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Barbie and Ken’ category.
Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.
A billionaire collector of Rembrandt’s works said he started his collection with the intention to take art out of hidden, private collections and put it back into the public domain by creating a lending library. He’s doing this in an effort to build bridges between different groups and countries.
Google unveiled a new set of features for its popular Maps app that lets users share their locations with friends and contacts in real time so they can quickly let friends know if they are running late to a meeting or stuck in traffic.
It’s that time of the year where people are crowding the shopping malls in an effort to buy gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Instead of fighting surly drivers for a parking space, how about staying home and buying some unique things from me? Here is what I’m highlighting for sale this holiday season.
Do you like adult coloring books? Looking for something different from the usual ones that are currently on the market? For some NSFW fun, try my adult coloring book, Burlesque Beauties, which definitely puts the “adult” in adult coloring book.
Purchase Burlesque Beauties right here.
When I originally created my first (and, so far, only) item for my new RedBubble shop, President Trump, I honestly thought that it would be something that was going to be hot for a limited time until Election Day then it would be obsolete. Thanks to the outcome of those elections, it looks like my President Trump line will be hip and relevant for at least the next four years (unless he somehow gets impeached or killed).
You can buy this design on a variety of products ranging from leggings to bedcovers to cases and skins for your favorite electronic device. Check it all out right here.
I also currently have the following items available for auction on eBay through December 29 or until someone makes the highest bid (whichever comes first). There are no hidden reserve prices or anything like that and I have set relatively low minimum bids on these products.
This is the same couch that I displayed at the 2014 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and the 2014 DC Mini-Maker Faire. While this couch came from a pattern that was made for American Girl dolls, I found that it can also fit Mini Super Dollies and Ellowyne Wilde dolls as well. Bid on this couch right here.
I recently made a series of DIY videos on how to customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) into Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I decided to sell the doll that was featured in that video series. I figured that anyone who is looking for a Squirrel Girl doll/action figure to give to someone else (especially a child) but doesn’t have the time to customize a doll would want to buy her. I’m basically taking advantage of the fact that, as of this writing, there are no officially licensed dolls or action figures based on this character by making my own customized version available for sale. You can bid on my customized creation right here.
I wrote about the making of this one a few days ago. I decided to put it up for sale. Keep in mind that this piece is hand-knitted (by me) using fur yarn so it’s definitely not some cheaply made Third World sweatshop crap. I sewed hooks in the front so you can close it and keep it closed. It’s perfect for people who are itching to dress their doll in something appropriate for this time of the year. Bid on this doll coat right here.
Like the smaller knitted coat, I also wrote about this outfit in this blog recently. I decided to sell this one as well. This is a one of a kind outfit that was hand-knitted by me. I sewed snaps in the back instead of using velcro, which is convenient because you won’t have to deal with the hassle of getting your doll’s hair stuck every time you change into this outfit. (Even though most of the official American Girl outfits cost around $30, they still use velcro just like the manufacturers of cheaper doll outfits. If I was going to spend that much for doll clothes, I would expect something nicer than velcro.) Bid on this outfit right here.
In addition to my handcrafted stuff, I will also have a couple of other items available on eBay. I didn’t make either one but I decided to list them here along with everything else.
This is the same action figure which I gave as a gag gift for my then-husband sometime during the first or second season of The Apprentice, long before Donald Trump’s foray into politics. I used this one in the video for my “Trump” poem back in 2011. Now that he’s the president-elect, I’m going to see how much of a collector’s item this doll really is. (If some hardcore Donald Trump fan wants to offer me a huge amount of money for it, I’m willing to accept the offer.) So if you’re shopping for gift to give to someone who voted for Trump and is a true believer, here’s your chance to surprise that person with an action figure that not only has realistic articulated joints but can also say phrases using The Donald’s own voice. I made a video demonstrating the action figure’s talking and posing capabilities.
Bid on the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure right here.
The cards in this set are about the size of baseball trading cards. They all feature vintage photographs of 1950’s pinup model Betty Page, who inexplicably underwent a popular revival in the 1980’s (while many of her other 1950’s female pinup contemporaries still remain in obscurity to this day) and she still remains a cult figure today with plenty of male admirers. I purchased this card set from a catalogue as a Christmas gift for my then-husband because I figured he would like it since he used to purchase the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue each year. It turned out that I was wrong. He told me that Betty Page didn’t really excite him all that much compared to Cindy Crawford or Paulina Porizkova. I think he only went through that card pack once or twice then left it alone. Of course he left it behind when he walked out on me five years ago this month. I tried donating it to the yard sale that was run by my support group for people who are separated or divorced by the organizers told me that I would be better off selling it on eBay because it might be a collector’s item. So I’m selling it for very low minimum bid mainly because I just want to get rid of it. You can view a few sample pictures from this set and make your bids right here.
That’s it for the auctions. I’ve set each one up so it’ll be relisted two more times if I don’t get any bids the first week. But the entire auction will end on December 29 regardless of whether I sell anything or not so don’t delay and bid today!
In 2008 I underwent a hip replacement. Shortly before surgery I ordered a book from Amazon.com that was written by Nicky Epstein called Knits for Barbie Doll. When the book arrived I saw this pattern for a Funky “Fur” Coat that required using novelty fur yarn. I was especially intrigued by the photograph.
I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts where I purchased some blue fur yarn. Then I underwent the surgery. During the long months of recovery I spent a lot of time knitting that coat since it was the one thing that didn’t require standing up or walking or any other kind of leg movement. I finished knitting the coat then I put it aside for a few years while I moved on to other things.
I would come across it every now and then. The coat was mostly done. All I needed to do was to sew on some hooks so the coat would close but I didn’t get around to buying the hooks. Finally this past week I decided that, once and for all, I would finish that coat. I purchased the hooks and sewed them on the coat.
I took a few dolls outside to shoot pictures while each doll took a turn modeling this coat, starting with Barbie (which is fitting since the pattern was made with her in mind).
Here’s my 1/6 scale Asian ball-jointed doll, a Soom Mini-Gem Uyoo, wearing the same coat.
The original coat pattern also had a separate pattern to knit a matching hat. I didn’t make a hat because I wanted this coat to be worn by as many different kinds of dolls as possible and many of them have different sized heads. One such case is this Pullip doll, whose oversized hear could never have worn a Barbie-sized hat even though her body can fit into some Barbie outfits.
Last, but not least, here’s my Blythe doll modeling the same coat.
I’m so glad that I finally finished that coat eight years after I started working on it. I even made a short promo video about it.
Previous in This Series
Last week I uploaded the fourth and final video in my tutorial series on how to customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ fun-loving superhero who has gotten a sizable following (especially among young girls). I’m only writing this post to let you know that I’ve made a YouTube playlist of all of the videos in that series. This is especially for those of you who prefer getting all of the videos in one sitting instead of gradually watching each separate video at different times. (The total run time of all four videos in this playlist is 30 minutes and 49 seconds.) Have fun with this one! 🙂
Previous in This Series
For the past few weeks I’ve been uploading DIY tutorial videos showing how one can take a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) and customize her into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ fun-loving superhero who has gotten a sizable following (especially among young girls).
The first three videos focused on selecting the doll, changing her hairstyle, and sewing her clothes. By the end of the third video I had the doll about 80% finished. This last video goes into the steps that needed in order to finish this project. I made her felt boots from a pattern but I had to totally wing it when it came to the headband and squirrel tail since there were no such patterns available (especially for 1/6 scale dolls like Barbie).
The video shows how I did it while also going into how I managed to find a tiny squirrel as a stand-in for Squirrel Girl’s closest squirrel companion, Tippy-Toe.
Here’s the video. I’ll provide links to the relevant sites below it.
Like I wrote earlier, this video is the last one of the series. I’ll end this post with a few photos of my new Unbeatable Squirrel Girl doll and her sidekick, Tippy-Toe.
Previous in This Series
This is the third part of a four-part series on how to customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbies) into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero who has gained a sizable following. The first video dealt with finding the right Barbie doll to customize into Squirrel Girl while the second dealt with changing her hairstyle in order to resemble Squirrel Girl’s very short light red/strawberry blonde hair. This video gets into the real heart of this tutorial as it focuses on how to make the clothes. Here is a drawing of Squirrel Girl in her superhero costume.
I basically did a lot of searching for patterns and fabrics that would be appropriate for replicating that costume. You can watch the video here. (I will put direct links to websites where you can get the patterns under the video.)
McCall’s Pattern 8552 (This pattern isn’t free but you can shop around both online and in brick and mortar stores to find the best bargain.)
By the time this video ended, I finished about 80% of the work needed to convert Barbie into Squirrel Girl.
I still had more work to do but I was starting to make real progress with this doll while I was making the video.
That’s it for now. The next and final video will go into making her boots, making her headband, adding her tail, and even adding her squirrel companion, Tippy-Toe, so watch this blog.
Next in This Series
Previous in This Series
A few days ago I mentioned that I was working on a new series of DIY tutorials on how one can customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbies) into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero who has gained a sizable following. I’ve just uploaded the second video in this series, which focuses on the hair. First here are a few words about the making of this video.
While most modern caucasian Barbies tend to have long blonde hair, the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl tends to wear a short boyish haircut that’s light red or strawberry blonde, as shown on one of her comic book covers below.
I’ll admit that it was a challenge but I took it on anyway. I managed to come up with two methods of altering Barbie’s hairstyle—the wig method and the DIY method. I initially tried the DIY method, which involves cutting Barbie’s hair then dyeing it red using a combination of acrylic paint and water. It’s based on an old tutorial that I found online years ago. (I wrote a post about that tutorial back in 2011 and it still remains among my most frequently read posts to this very day.) When I learned that the website which housed that tutorial went off-line, I found an archived version on the Internet Archive and provided a link to that tutorial. Recently another doll customizer known as Oak23 has taken it upon himself to repost the original tutorial on his Doll Junk Tumblr blog so those who don’t like dealing with the Internet Archive can go there instead.
I was hoping to save a few bucks by cutting Barbie’s hair by doing the DIY method. I initially had to wash Barbie’s hair before I could do anything because it felt stiff to the touch, like someone had put hair gel or some other stiffening substance in her hair back at the Chinese factory where this doll was made before she was packaged and shipped to the U.S. I had to wash her hair using liquid dishwashing detergent then let it dry before I could even begin to cut it. At least her washed hair felt softer but her hair was relatively thin compared to other Barbies I’ve worked with in the past. I began to cut her hair very short.
I tried dyeing her hair using the aforementioned process I found in an online tutorial. I have to admit that the results looked good on her. If I was just doing a generic redhead doll with a short haircut, she would’ve been very passable.
Unfortunately I was trying to get her to resemble the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and that person is frequently depicted with bangs, such as this comic book cover below.
I tried creating bangs in this doll but, no matter how hard I tried, I literally couldn’t make the short front ends of her hair hang in the front like bangs. I think it’s due to how the doll’s hair was initially rooted in the factory. I could’ve looked into trying to force the hair to go into bangs but I would’ve had to purchase something like hair gel, which would have her hair go back to having this icky feeling to the touch that her hair was initially when I first opened her package.
I decided to just scrap my DIY attempt and cut all of her hair off.
Then I ordered this wig from The Doll Peddlar, which not only fitted her perfectly but she looks incredibly cute as well.
Here is my video below where I not only demonstrate the hair dyeing method but I also mention how to find out what wig size your doll wears as well as the various online places where you can shop around for the best prices on doll wigs.
That’s it for now. Next time I’ll go into making the clothes for this doll so watch this blog.
Next in This Series
Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on a series of DIY tutorials on how one can take a Made to Move Barbie doll (which has more articulated joints than the usual Barbie doll) and customize her into a Marvel Comics superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
Here’s some background. Last year I had gone to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis when I saw that Howard the Duck had undergone a revival. At that time I saw the premier first issue another comic book titled The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl that sounded pretty funny. I briefly thumbed through it and thought that it looked promising but I ended up not buying it because, with comic books being priced at $3.99 per issue, I really couldn’t afford to get hooked on another comic book series that would induce me to spend even more money.
A few months later I found that the first few issues of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl had been reprinted as a graphic novel so I bought it and enjoyed it very much. I can’t always get to a comic book store every month so I basically only get The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl when the last few issues are reprinted in graphic novel form. So far I’ve read the three graphic novels that reprinted the comic book issues—Squirrel Power; Squirrel You Know It’s True; and Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now. (A couple of new Squirrel Girl graphic novels have come out in the last few months—The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl & The Great Lakes Avengers and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe—but I haven’t read either of those yet.) I found them pretty hilarious and campy and the stories are such a contrast with most other Marvel Comic superheroes (such as The X-Men), who tend to suffer from all kinds of angst and they frequently delve into seriously depressing subject matter such as drug abuse and racism.
What I like about the reprinted graphic novels is that I can buy and read several issues at once. What’s cool about the reprint books is that they even repent the letters from fans that were originally printed in the separate comic book issues. I saw pictures of the various cosplay Squirrel Girl costumes that people have made. But I got an idea when I saw letters from fans clamoring for Squirrel Girl t-shirts, posters, and toys only to be told that the higher-ups at Marvel Comics have to decide on what spin-off products they want to license and release and they haven’t come to a decision on Squirrel Girl yet. (Right now they are focused on characters based on the movies such as the Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man.)
One guy went so far as to take a female action figure and modify it so she’ll resemble Squirrel Girl and he sent the picture to the comic book and it printed that photograph. I thought it was really cool. I decided to take that concept of modifying a doll and go a bit further by actually making a series of video tutorials on how it can be done. My decision was cemented when I visited Target and I saw the Made to Move Barbie doll that was on sale. This Made to Move doll has more articulated joints than the usual Barbie doll so she can achieve more lifelike poses. Here is what my doll looked like soon after I removed her from the package but before I began to modify her.
Drawing on my previous experience with refurbishing old thrift shop Barbie dolls into fairy dolls (such as the Leopard Fairy, Zebra Fairy, and the Red and White Flower Fairy), I decided to buy a Made to Move Barbie and convert her into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl action figure while documenting the entire process with my smartphone. I ended up making it into a multi-part series of shorter videos (with the longest being just 10 minutes) just so people would have an easier time keeping up with the tutorial instead of having to watch a longer 20-30 minute video. I’m going to gradually release them online over the next few weeks.
So far I have completed the first three videos and I’m currently working on the fourth. I decided to wait until after I was around 80% complete with this video tutorial series before I even uploaded the first video because of my previous experience with taking an online video course. Last summer I took a series of free tutorials on how to do a mixed media book using a baby board book. The series was supposed to last 10 sessions and they were supposed to be uploaded over the summer months. The first three tutorials were uploaded over a three-week period but then she stopped uploading new ones. I patiently waited for new lessons that never materialized. At one point, after going for three weeks waiting for a fourth lesson, I posted something on the artist’s Facebook page asking when there would be more lessons in that lesson series. She responded the next day saying that she would upload new lessons soon. Except she never uploaded any new lessons, which was frustrating because I had a half-completed book. (Every now and then I add new art in it simply by winging it but I’ve currently misplaced it so I haven’t worked on it in a while.) I still see new art from her on her Facebook page so I know she’s still creating. It’s just that I wished she would have spent some of that time finishing that 10-part mixed media book video course because I had got a lot out of her first three lessons.
My frustration with that other artist’s free tutorial had made me resolve that I wouldn’t upload this multi-part video tutorial until I was nearly done with that course because I know what it’s like to have video lessons suddenly end before the course is finished and having an unfinished project because of it.
Here is part one of this new video series that I uploaded this past weekend. It’s basically an introduction where I briefly mention a few things about the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl then going into how to select a doll to use as a base for changing into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. While I recommended getting the Made to Move Barbie, I also mentioned a cheaper alternative where people can buy a used Barbie at a local thrift shop. (I’ve purchased some used Barbies in the past that had more articulated joints than other Barbies, although these Barbies didn’t have as many articulated joints as the Made to Move Barbies.)
Future videos in this series will go into things like hair and clothes so watch this blog.
Next in This Series
There was one weekend in June that had two festivals I was potentially interested in attending—one was the Maryland Faerie Festival and the other was Hon Fest. Both took place on the same weekend. I finally chose Hon Fest because I went to the Maryland Faerie Festival last year, money was a bit too tight for me to take a longer trip to Darlington, and I hadn’t been to Hon Fest since 2013. So I wallowed in this annual celebration of kitsch.
The only downside was the weather. For the past two or three weeks before the festival the weather had been a bit on the cool side with low humidity. It figures that the usual high heat and high humidity would make a comeback just in hime for Hon Fest. (The temperature went up as high as 91 degrees Fahrenheit and, boy, did I feel that humidity.) I dealt with the weather by periodically ducking into the air conditioned shops.
I took a whole lot of pictures because everything was so over the top.
One of the cooling stations was at St. Luke’s Church on the Avenue, which is a really lovely historic church that is engaged in all kinds of social action projects, such as setting up its own urban garden.
The church got in on the Hon Fest kitsch action by setting up this giant Kerplunk! game outside.
I did some more shots of the festival and the surrounding area. It was one large major piece of kitschy eye candy.
At one point I played around with my Hatsune Miku smartphone app, which resulted in this photo.
Other than that photo I basically took my Hon Fest pictures straight with no filters or special apps.
After my brief visit to The Nerdporium I resumed my picture taking of the sights of Hon Fest in general.
I showed up to one of the stages where I saw a band that I recognized. They are The Wild Anacostias and I have seen them play at various places near my home before. That’s cool to suddenly run into their performance. They definitely got the crowd going.
The Wild Anacostias led a procession of Hons (people who dressed up in totally kitsch fashion) to an area where a professional photographer took a group shot.
Even Mr. Natty Boh got in on the fun.
I shot a short video of the beginning of the parade where you can see what the people who followed them wore.
This next photo is of the inside of a Royal Farms Store. I’ve been to other Royal Farms Store but this one is the fanciest I’ve ever been in. This location actually has two floors with tables and chairs. The others I’ve been in are the usual convenience stores with no seating.
Here’s the Glamour Lounge where a woman can get her hair teased into a beehive.
Here are a few more miscellaneous shots of the festival.
I finished my time at Hon Fest with some ice cream that was made on the premises at The Charmery. They not only had excellent ice cream but there is also a pretty cool wall mural with a painted sidewalk on the side of the store. A lot of people chilled by that store.
After I finished eating my ice cream and taking the previous photos, I decided to head back to the parking garage so I could retrieve my car. (One great thing about Hon Fest is that Johns Hopkins University lends out its parking garage for only $5. It’s only slightly more than taking the light rail then transferring to the Hampden shuttle bus and it’s way more convenient.)
I went inside a shop called Bazaar Baltimore, which sells all kinds of strange stuff.
Once I left that store I blundered around the area for a bit. (I rarely visit that area.) I managed to reach the 700 block of 34th Street, which is the same area that’s famous for its annual display of Christmas lights. Seeing that block again reminded me of the time I went there in June, 2013 and I did a blog post where I posted photos showing side-by-side comparisons of that block in early summer with that same block six months earlier when all the homes were decked out in lights. I took a few brief pictures of those homes but not as many as I took back in 2013.
What’s more, two of those homes in that block are currently for sale. If you’re looking for a new home in Baltimore and you’re the kind of person who loves to totally decorate your home for Christmas and you don’t mind getting a lot of attention from people who literally come from across the U.S. (and even some foreign countries), then you may want to call the phone numbers listed in those signs.
At one point, while I was on my way back to the parking garage I tripped and fell on my knees. One knee was scraped up so much that I had to use tissues to blot the blood and I ended up covering it with a large bandage when I got home. I was feeling a bit woozy from the high heat and high humidity so I wasn’t quite as careful when I was walking. Luckily I was okay. The wound got slightly infected at one point but I managed to get rid of the infection by using Dr. Gordshell’s Skin Cream. It’s the same stuff my parents used to use on me when I was a kid and I would sometimes have a scraped knee that became infected. This stuff did a great job with my latest wound. Dr. Gordshell’s is so good at fighting burns and infections that if you have a situation where it doesn’t work at all, then it’s time for you to see the doctor. I’m serious about this. (And, no, Dr. Gordshell’s isn’t paying me to endorse this. I have had enough first-hand experience that I can vouch for its effectiveness.)
I managed to take one more charming photo of a home in Hampden before I found the parking garage so I could retrieve my car and drive home.