Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Welcome Back to another Dolly Wednesday

I never intended to get quite so into dolls on this blog, but they have gradually arrived, and then I found My Doll Best Friend website, n lockdown happened, I was feeling low and they are a welcome escape from the real world for a while, so here we all are. Today I’d like to introduce you to my Lottie Brown, who is a Vestida de Azul doll.

Lottie Brown

Vestida de Azul Carlotta

Vestida de Azul; Carlotta or as I call her Lottie Brown

  • My name for her; Lottie Brown
  • Brand: Vestida de Azul (translates from Spanish as Dressed in Blue).
  • Sculpt name: Carlotta
  • Height 11″/28cm (there are other dolls in this brand in other sizes)
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Articulation: arms and hips move on circle joints not balls. So arms and legs can go up and down but not out to the side. The hip joint means she sits with her legs wide apart, so if you wanted her to sit across a toy horse for example, these aren’t the joint that let you do that.
  • Head side to side.
  • Colour: she has a warm skin tone without being too sun tan orange! There are other ethnicity options of dolls available in the brand too. (I hope that’s thr right way to put that. really sorry if its not)
  • Features: soft gentle looking face, blue grey fixed eyes (they don’t close) and attatched eyelashes.
  • Hair: rooted hair, this doll is blonde with a fringe, but there are a lot of options on the website, different styles and hair colours.
  • Value for money ***** Excellent
  • Price: At time of writing this Carlotta dressed 11″ doll on My Doll Best Friend is £36.98 plus p&p.
  • If you are into sewing you can also buy some of the dolls in this range wearing only pants and the 28cm ones are under £20, today they are on the site at £15.
  • Stability: she stands really well, though its wise to put her hands slightly forward to allow this. Persoanlly I wouldn’t leave her for a long time standing, without support, though this could be the hairstyle unbalencing her a little. She sits perfectly too, so great for posing for photos.
  • Measurements: Doll measurements are on MDBF Blog, shown further down in this post. Here is a side by side picture of her next to a made to move Barbie.
Vestida de Azul Carlotta next to Made to Move Barbie

side by side size comparrison Vestida de Azul Carlotta 28cm/11″ next to Made to Move Barbie

This is a fab little doll, and could easily be a handbag doll if you wanted to take her out and about with you. I love my bjds but with my minimal dexterity they are hard for me to sew for with the machine, and they are heavy to hold. This little lady dressed weighs 247g out of the box.

My reasons for getting her

  • She’s so pretty
  • She was instock (sorry, but as a bjd collector used to waiting many MONTHS for dolls to arrive, this is a big thing). There are a few outfit options to purchase.
  • I want to make her some clothes myself. (hands currently wrecked, don’t hold your breath)
  • I wanted a smallish, light doll
  • Price, she is fantastic quality for a high quality of build and material used.
  • Her size means making clothes for her won’t take that much fabric
  • I want to practice making doll clothes (when hands allow me to)

Links

Please bear in mind that I’m writing this as an adult collector, and make no personal recomendations for child use, as I don’t have kids.

Please do visit My Doll Best Friend site as they have far more information on the various dolls they sell and if you are choosing for a youngster, they also have recommendations on there too.

Scroll down a bit, most of the dolls they sell are shown on this page but its a handy reference if you want to sew for them or see if clothing you may already have will fit them. Please note carlotta is 28cm/11″ doll, as there are different sizes of doll in the brand.

Final thoughts

This is a wonderful doll, great price, doesn’t take up much space to store, her box is little more than shoe box size, so not much space needed if you want to put her away.

I love the colour tone and feel of her vinyl, its also slightly soft on the hands. she’s not at all shiny like some dolls can be. Her hair feels nice and is long enough to offer different styling options. I’ve enjoyed having her on the desk, on the table next to me and so far have created a block pattern to start designing some clothes for her, when my hands allow. I never thought I’d be a dolly collector, I’m still trying to resit but there are so many lovey dolls around and when you are feeling sorry for yourself, if funds allow you to treat yourself to a little pal to raise a smile for yourself or someone in your life, why not. Id love to be doing so many crafts but my health and dexterity make that impossible, these dolls are something I can turn too, imange stories about and take me away from chronic pain, anxiety and depression. They help.

If you think she’s nice, go on, pop over to the site and choose one for yourself, there are many to choose from, and if you like sewing at under £20 for a undressed doll to be your next model, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it.

As the site says ‘Its good to have something to look forward to’.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

Welcome Back

With the help of my pal Hope (Wichtel doll Mona Muller), I would like to share with you  some wonderful self help cards made by Blurt. The Blurt Foundation is fantastic, they have the most supportive email newsletters and sell Buddy Boxes which are great for self care when you are feeling stressed or anxious. Blurt also sell lots of items individually. The self help card pack I’m showing today is ’54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind’.

Blurt 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

Hope shows you one of the cards from Blurt’s self help card deck; 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind

As the title suggests, the deck has 54 cards, each with an idea to try, to help ease anxious feelings. You can use them anyway that feels right for you. Shuffle and see which card falls out of the pack. Perhaps you want to use one card a week or one a day, as a thought for the day kind of thing. For me, when anxiety is getting bad, I also find them useful to just sit with and flip through the pack reading each one slowly. Just doing that, even when you don’t feel you can do more, is also calming.

The cards are printed on sturdy cardstock with a linen feel, they are pastel colours which is soothing. As someone who has dyslexia, I find the font style is one I can read as the letters are quite thick, which makes them easier to read. The cards were designed by Fern Choonet and measure 63.5mm x 88.8 mm, which is great, if like me you have small hands. Making them small enough to pop in a pocket or in your bag to take around with you.

***In case you are wondering the doll is MINE and NOT included with the cards 😉 ***

If you are creating a Self Care box, to have a collection of calming things to look at, listen to or read, then these cards would be the perfect addition to that.

Links

If you would like to get hold of a pack of your own, please visit Blurt. There are also other card decks available and during the lockdown, those wonderful people at Blurt have reduced the card packs to half price, less than £5!

Come on, you deserve a treat. A little drop of happy post is good for us all. You can also choose have them shipped to a friend.

  • The Blurt Foundation This is their home page, do pop by they have so many helpful resources there.
  • Self Care Card Packs Here is just one page from their shop, showing the range of card packs. If links change over time, go to Blurt site above, look for button ‘shop with purpose’ then ‘self helpful’ and under that ‘card packs’.
  • 54 Ways to Ease the Anxious Mind This is the card pack featured in todays post.

I can also highly recommend signing up for their newsletter, they are such encouraging supportive things to read.

As a child I enjoyed playing with dolls and I’m finding them great companions now too. What was it you loved as a child and might want to do again right now?

Hope and I are sending you the biggest and gentlest of blanket hugs.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, stay safe and I’ll see you again soon

Billie x

PS Sorry our picture today was a bit flashed out, its gone dark n wet here, there just isn’t good photography light anywhere in the house today and its set wet all week, so I didn’t want to miss posting and went with what I had.

Welcome Back

Today I’d like to introduce you to another of my dolls, I call this one Hope. Hope is a Schildkrot Wichtel doll, her sculpt name is Mona Muller from 2018.

Hope with her new clothes April 2020

This is my girl Hope. Hope is a Wichtel doll, a Mona Muller 2018.

Here is Hope with a bundle of new clothes I bought from My Doll Best Friend website. My Doll Best Friend is a wonderful site to purchase from, everything is so well laid out on there and as most is instock it doesn’t take long to arrive. I ordered these clothes on Sunday and here they are on Wednesday before 4pm!

I am finding comfort in my dolls at this challenging time. I’m so happy to have found this website and adore the Wichtel dolls, on MDBF site they explain the name, Wichtel means Balm for the soul. Thats just how Hope makes me feel, I see her happy smiling face and it makes me smile too. Imagining stories about her and her adventures takes my head to softer, kinder, gentler places.

Hope's new clothes, April 2020

Here is my Wichtel doll I call Hope, she has chosen the blue dress with white love hearts on it and the pink spotted cardigan, to try on first.

It would be nice to still be crafting, and I truely hope one day I can again, in however small a way, however, right now, my hands are not strong enough to let me do that so I was looking for a new direction, a new hobby and the dolls of various kinds are doing that for me. In the future it would be very nice if I could draft patterns for Hope and the others, but for the moment, I am very grateful to My Doll Best Friend site for instock options and also Etsy for some more clothing options too.

These little dolls realy are Balm for the Soul as their maker Rosemarie Muller says. I also agree with MDBF that ‘Its good to have things to look forward too.’

Links

My Doll Best Friend

Muller Wichtel http://www.rose-puppenkunst.de/RoseWebsite/Willkommen.html

Keep that page open to keep the links live but open a second tab and use this next link to  to read the translation of it into English

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=www.rose-puppenkunst.de/RoseWebsite/Willkommen.html

Hope that translation thing, didn’t confuse you too much. I am going to write a whole post on how to translate sites very soon. These dolls are popular around the world so its nice to make friends with other collectors and with a little help from Google Translate we can chat on various social media and read each others blogs and websites too.

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

 

Welcome Back

Our present circumstances are turning a lot of us into ‘have a go heros’ on the home hairdressing front. I was a little ahead of the curve here, and before lockdown was even on the cards, had decided to let my hair grow out from very short to jaw length. I figured I could ignore it and hair clip annoying bits out of the way or bandana my way through the worst bits.  I also decided that I might give a fringe a go, just for a while. Now I’ve not had a fringe in over 40 years but as my hair grows really fast, I figured it would grow back fairly quickly, even if I mashed it.

So being a research girl, the first thing I did was hit You Tube for tutorials. This went well and I’ve shared my playlist further down this post. I later found there were also ‘hairdresser reaction videos’ and I watched a good few of them. Don’t like to see anyone being critisised without love n helpful suggestions but…at least by watching them, I found which ones I had been considering to take OFF the ‘to try’ list. If you are going to give this a go, I quickly realised searching for video’s BY actual hairdressers, was a good plan and also looking for ppl showing videos on hair that is similar to you own and had AFTER pictures too. Though watch out for that, as some only show after they have had help sorting out what they had done to themselves.

I got the tools needed on Amazon, and today was the day! Though my hair is still fairly short, being wavy n thick, any hint of length and it turns Marg Simpson! I’m currently looking a lot like Einstein! My hair’s superpower is the ability to stand out with NO product at 90 degrees from my head! sigh, I have to own the mad professor image don’t I.

Here is what I learned from cutting my own fringe

Be REALLY honest about your spacial awarness abilities before you try to cut your own hair!

If you are someone who drives, ask yourself how easy you find reversing round a corner, reverse parking, or reversing with mirrors generally. Is it easy peeezy or are you a curb kisser! I kiss plenty of curbs perfecting my reversing. Its why I go REALLY slowly and avoid reverse parking whenever possible. I’m talking old school reversing, using just all your mirrors, not fancy cars with camera’s every few inches, tho I’m sure thats a whole new skill set, I’ve not tried that so I can’t comment on what that is like. But if the whole steer in the opposite direction to the way you want to travel fries your brain…then diy haircuts are gonna be harder too.

If your hand eye co-ordination needs some work or spacial awarness isn’t your superpower…this haircutting lark is gonna be more challenging.

Do you wear glasses? I hadn’t factored in how tricky the process would be, with glasses on! Needing to have your glasses on to see what you are doing but then they are in the way for the bit you want to cut!!! Ahhh. (no I don’t wear make up so it hasn’t been an issue till now!)

Now Im NOT saying cut your hair with kids play scissors that are so blunt they barely cut paper but if any of the above applies to you, I’d highly recommend practicing the process you see on You Tube with the kids play scissors, just to learn the spacial awareness thing, before you start lopping bits off you didn’t mean to, especially from body parts you wern’t intending to trim! (not even kidding!)

Work out where your fringe sits with dry hair, wet your hair comb out n see where it lines up to on your head, this will give you some idea of how much higher it will bounce up to when dry. Maybe my hair being thick n wavy is making this even harder. No wonder I’ve had so many bad haircuts even from profesionals over my lifetime.

Here’s how it went with my fringe.

  • Wet hair
  • Sectioned hair
  • Combed to where I wanted
  • Turned away from the mirror, leaned over the sink
  • Got the scissors and ….
  • Tried to cut it, ahh glasses in the way,
  • Looked over the top of my glasses, blurry vission! I can do this cut anyway and OWWW. Spacial awareness fail, point cut into my finger!
  • Shifted position, still can’t see though glasses over the sink.
  • Sat on the floor, repeated the where I want to cut it part of the process,
  • This time kept looking in the mirror as I cut, this meant I could see through my glasses 🙂
  • Spacial awarness still a problem, it was a bit easier keeping one side of the scissors in contact with one of my fingers but was at risk of getting chomped again.

Result

Its not great, but its not that bad either, I’ve had worse that I’ve paid for.

I think I’m going to give my first finger a layer of micropore tape for protection, next time. Then I can try the keeping the back of the scissor in contact with the second finger AND not slice into the first finger!

I’m going to let go of anything attempting to be perfectionism on this project. Just keeping my hair out of my eyes, one way or another will do.

My hyperflexing is a big problem with this, my fingers bend too far, this not only makes it painful to do things but also means that my fingers when I hold them straight, bend up like bananas. This makes cutting a straight line a challenge for me.

If you have a go yourself, let me know how your first time went. most important thing I want to share from this is

BE CAREFUL those scissors don’t just cut through hair, they cut through SKIN too! So if you don’t want to cut your fingers be careful where you put them and where you put your scissors. I know its obvious but I’m not a wally, and I chopped into my finger! Have some plasters nearby for your first attemps, just in case.

Poor spacial awareness is a thing for some of us, its nothing to do with intellegence, its just a thing. I have dyslexia and aparently dyspraxia (problems with co-ordination and spacial awareness) often comes free with dyslexia. If you are someone who walks into door frames when you are not drunk. Gets hoods or sleeves hooked in door handles, then please be extra careful n practice with some blunter tools before you reach for the hairdresser grade stuff.

I wish you luck with your hairdressing adventures. Here is the You Tube Playlist I gathered on the subject Hairdressing tips Please don’t take the fact its here as an endorsement, like anything you try from the internet, its At your OWN risk.

Just know that in time however bad it looks, for most of us it WILL grow back. There are still hats n clips n bandanas and right now, unless they live with a hairdresser, or have been doing this themselves for years, no one is gonna have perfectly cut hair. And its unlikely anyone will come round so unless you are going live online anywhere, no one is gonna see you!

best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

PS If you are wondering if I’ll share pictures of my hairdressing attempts NO WAY. I’m a shy soul n don’t put pictures of myself online.

 

Welcome Back

There seem to be a lot of tutorials around at the moment about how to sew masks for Covid 19 protection, for yourself but also to donate to those in need in hsopitals etc. I have done some research, please have a read through n watch a bit, before you sew. We want to help ppl, not give false hope.

How to sew a face mask

First video I watched was by Homemadeonourhomestead

Then their follow up videowith Q&A and lots of helpful links

This article on the materials used on homemade masks and their pros/cons limitations is IMPORTANT to read

Suay Mask pattern,

pdf pattern and instructions https://suayla.com/pages/suay-community-mask-coalition

Please consider adding a donation to his go fund me page, he is working to get testing for the material options for home sew masks but its $40 thousand. https://www.gofundme.com/f/mask-response-at-suay

Allergies and cleanliness

I applaud the thinking behind making masks at home, to help others, but my concern for this is also about the spaces they are being created in, have you sanitised your washing machine before washing these fabrics? Ditto other areas in your house.

Also allergies do you have pets? If your pet has had access to areas where you are creating these masks, that would need to be stated on the final piece. Sewing for yourself is fine, but if others have allergies that could be life threatening for them, then sewing in an area your pet has had access too, even if its not there today, if you have touched your pet then your sewing supplies, again, my heart says everything needs special cleaning down. The same is true of food allergies.

  • Please know I applaud all those wanting to create to help fill a gap, to ‘do their bit’ to help. But medical grade masks are made in sterile surroundings, with people wearing ppe while they create.
  • Please be aware of the limitations of the materials you are using, so you and those you are sharing these masks with can make their own informed decisions.
  • Please be aware that some people have allergies that can also be life threatening if triggered. This can be food related as well as pet related. Even in the smallest amounts allergens can be life threatening. So any food you or your area has been in contact with can be an issue.
  • Please wash your hands, wear gloves and a mask throughout your creation process.
  • This isn’t me being down on anyone trying to help, just that I knew someone who had life threatening allergy reaction, when they were in contact with someone who had been in contact with their trigger substance days ago! THIS STUFF MATTERS.

Sending love light and hope to all those struggling right now.

Thanks for reading, please share this post

Billie x

Update 22 April 2020

I stand by what I have written, and the allergy thing is still very important. As long as everyone keeps that in mind and is also aware of the limitations of such masks its fine. I have since done further research and discovered its possible to get liners for the masks which will improve their safety value to the general public, just for out and about.

Given the news is starting to lean towards possibly asking people to wear masks out and about, in the coming weeks n months, it would be WAY better to make your own, with one of the many many tutorials on You Tube than to deplete the already, dangerously low stocks, that are around and needed for front line staff.

Thanks for reading x

Welcome Back

As someone who is housebound, who struggles with dexterity I rely on online food deliveries. In the current situaution with COvid 19, lockdowns and no online food slots unless the site already has you listed as vulnearble, its hard to access food. And harder still to find out how to get classified to access these vulnearble people slots. We are al in this together and we need information in one place as much as possible, so after lots of research I’ve found the following.

How to register as Extremely vulnerable person. .Gov online form

There is a .gov site to register as Extremely vulnerable https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable I link direct to the site as criterior may change as things are moving so fast with all this. The local foodstore I use will only offer slots to those on their own vulnerable person list. and now points people to that .gov site to register. Please read this blog section Disability rights, for lots of helpful resorces.

I started this, and the first question was ‘have you recived a letter from the NHS as being recognised as extremely vulnerable.?’ eek no, I can’t go out, struggle to lift thingshold things or carry things. Couldn’t possibly gather food, in trolly, unpack it at check out, re pack it, get it to a car to load, nor carry it back in the house and that is why home delivery is vital to me but in purest terms no I haven’t had a letter and I was scared that if I said no now, that it might hex it and prevent me being able to use that site again, if their terms changed in the coming weeks.

Sample of NHS England letter sent to Vulnerable people

Off for research for the criterior for being extremely vulnerable. At time of writting 27 March 2020 I found this sample of the letter which is the one the NHS are sending to those ppl they currenlty consider at risk. Here is the PDF I found on NHS Englands website. https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/at-risk-patient-letter-march-2020.pdf

SO currently hoping that a friend who is going to try to get food, when she can is able too, and stays well. If she can’t the does it mean no letter= no chance? The online food shop I use says they are getting the vulnerable persons list from the .gov in the next week, so it sounds like, if you aren’t on that list forget it.

Disability Rights UK

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/

I did find the Disability RIghts UK website has this page re CV19 its impact and lots of helpful links on there too https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/coronavirus Totally brilliant website for resources and information

Also useful to know was the page Disability rights linked to on the 3 month delay on any face to face assesments for various benefits during governments delay phase https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/march/face-face-benefits-appointments-cancelled

Where as I fully understand how difficult this is for the .gov and the shops to mange, as it has happend so fast and SO many pp need help. It also feels that those most vulnerable, who can’t use phones, who struggle with forms, who have no internet and no advocates are going to be at great risk, not just from covid 19 but the impact of not being able to access food and help.

Even if you can use a phone, the lines are so overwhelmed its said to be near impossible to get through.

Websites of food shops are unstable at best and finding the help information isn’t easy. Have a good look at the Disability rights site, it was WAY more helpful for what is where.

Notes through your door offering help?

Its hard to know who to trust. If a stranger puts their number through your letter box, are they amazing ppl, heros do you feel safe to give them all your details? Are you someone who doesn’t trust facebook, or online apps, even if you have the tech to access them. We are told all the time not to put our information online, if you share it with others there is no way of knowing their privacy settings, who can see their contacts lists? Friends of theirs (who you don’t know) friends of friends? As someone who is vulnerable this is terrifying! Its not about being paranoid, its just that though there are absolute heros out there, there are also those less kind, who are ready willing and able to take advantage of someone who is less able n if they are asking a stranger for help, clearly has limited other support. Watch your backs, and stay safe.

I hope this blog post is useful to you. Please share it with those you know who are struggling to access help.

Best wishes and thanks for reading. Stay safe and see you soon

Billie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Back

On 26 March 2020, at 8pm, the UK is coming together to applaud those in the NHS for all their hard work during the Covid 19 virus pandemic. But I would like to thank them not just for right now but for every day, every night, every missed family occassion they have put their own needs asside to help others. You are the often unsung heros of the land. Thank you so much for all you do.

Thank You

Now more than ever its vital to say thank you to those still out there, risking their health, their lives to helping us.

I will also make a version of this for the window, and show it to everyone who is still out there; delivering post, emptying the bins, bringing food, supplies. you are heros too.

All too often these heros are facing verbal abuse just for doing their very best. Working long hours, driving miles and miles, often without the needed protection in the current virus crisis.

Lots of us are scared, for ourselves and our families, for the world.

THEY are too, and they are STILL out there, still HELPING YOU.

SO before you moan, or rant or rage from a place of fear, at those who are just trying to help. Take a breath, and if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

Please make your own versions of this for your windows, show those still out there, you care, you see them and their hard work, effort and appreciate them.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

PS. Turns out this is the 1000th post on this blog. I’m glad its a special one.

Thank you everyone who has visited this blog, left a comment or found this blog and is posts n links useful.