Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grandma Gets Grandpa

Mattel positioned a cardboard image of Happy Family Birthday Grandpa behind Grandma, who remains in her box.

My 2003 (box date) Mattel Happy Family Birthday Grandma had been living single because I have not been able to find the separately sold Grandpa at a price I am willing to pay.

The Candidate

Two years ago, I decided to purchase a rooted hair African American guy (Steven, Ken, whomever I could find on the secondary market at a price I was willing to pay).  The plan was to create a Grandpa for Grandma.  I chose Cali Guy Steven, shown above.  This poor guy has been lying around, literally, in the box since the July 2012 purchase.

Close-up of Cali Guy Steven before his aging process began.

This is the look I was shooting for, even though Cali Guy Steven is a few shades darker. 

 During a recent pending severe storm that had been forecast several days prior, my bottled up anxiety was released as I created Grandpa for Grandma after listening to a mini lecture from my husband on "Where's your faith?  If you are truly faithful, you would never get scared."  He laughs at me when we are in the midst of a tornadic-like storm because I get fully dressed with my shoes on and my purse and car keys nearby.  You'll never see me half-naked on the evening news with hair all over my head, reliving a horrendous experience to a news reporter.  I wouldn't relive an experience to a reporter anyway, but if I did, I'd want to be fully dressed!

Anyway... the photos and associated captions illustrate how I released my anxiety about something that never happened.  We did receive some much needed rain, but nothing more (and oh yes, I was fully dressed while aging Steven).  You just never know.

The mustache was created using several strands of salt and pepper braiding hair made of kanekalon fibers.  I held these together between a paper clip, applied Mod Podge to the very ends, and allowed time for drying.  After drying, the ends were trimmed straight, Mod Podge applied to the back, and then pressed in place underneath Steven's nose. 

I left the ends long prior to trimming the mustache to the desired size, which was a bad move because the thickness of the scissor blades caused some of the mustache to peel off.  I removed it all from his face, trimmed it to size, then reglued the tiny pieces onto his face.  Prior to doing this, I used a gray metallic permanent marker to color Steven's hair, which had been trimmed prior to this.      

A dark brown eyebrow pencil was used to wrinkle Steven's forehead and shade the smile lines in his cheeks.  The wrinkles are temporary and can be wiped off, if desired.  I dressed him in a plaid shirt, denim jeans, and navy blue loafers, which look like something a Grandpa might wear.  The back view of his new gray hair and another close-up view follows.
Thanks to poorly predicted weather, Grandma now has her Grandpa and I didn't have to pay three figures to get him.

Grandma and I like everything about Grandpa except his overbearing scent.  I am not sure if the smell is from the scent Mattel gave him (as indicated on the box:  Doll is scented), or the gray temporary hair color that I tested on his hair before using the metallic marker to color it gray.  I didn't have enough of the temporary hair color and only used a very small amount, so I think the unpleasant scent is from the manufacturer. 



Monday, April 21, 2014

Natural Hair Girls

These lovely ladies could not model the fancy hats featured in my previous post.  They did a photo shoot the next day to show off their natural crowns.  Their hair is in its natural manufactured state, boil permed, or wigged as follows, from left to right:

Fashion Fever Kayla - boil permed
Top Model Nikki
So in Style Grace - boil permed
Top Model Nikki
Barbie Basics Model No. 08, Collection 002 -- wig by Loanne Ostlie (Tabloach Productions)
Prettie Girls Cynthia Bailey 
Janay (a head I purchased on eBay)
Top Model Nikki
Model of the Moment Nichelle



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Church Crowns

Under the brim of a purple hat-shaped hair clip

In some instances of organized worship females are required to cover their heads as a symbol of modesty.  The only time I cover my head is at nighttime with silk scarves, to protect it from cold or rainy weather, or on "bad hair days," with scarves that I tie on it as fashionably as possible.

I do admire those who wear fancy hats whether for modesty or to compliment the rest of their attire.  My mother is one of these women, but she does not crown her head with fancy hats  "religiously."   My mother-in-law, on the other hand, did.  Hats, in her mind, completed her look.  When attending church, she did not feel completely dressed without a hat.   I suppose you would have to be from their generation to relate. 

My mother informed me of a new beauty supply store that opened recently.  She and other residents of her senior living complex went to Jenny's on one of their weekly outings.  From her description of its approximate location and massive size, I felt it must be located where an old Target store used to be.  I couldn't imagine a beauty supply store that large so I had to go see it myself.  I took Mr. G. along because we were going somewhere else afterward. 

After locating and grabbing three bottles of a hair lotion that my mother and I both use that we had not been able to find in over two years, Mr. G. and I browsed the store.  I stumbled upon a brown hat-shaped hair clip that I knew would be perfect for a playscale doll.  It was derby style with feathers and other embellishments.  "One of your dolls can wear it,"  Mr. G. said.  The hat hair clip had obviously been left where I found it by a customer who probably walked around with it and later decided against purchasing as there were no others like it in that area.  I knew there had to be more.  We walked up and down several aisles in the hair accessories section before finding the several others that were available.  There were several racks full.  Between the two of us picking and choosing which ones I should buy, I came home with the ones shown below after deciding against the brown one.

Shimmery silver hat-shaped hair clip (in front) , white, purple and black ones (back row) -- adorned with feathers, ribbons, faux gems, or flowers were 99 cents each.

Not that this is something I would ever wear, before removing all clips, I tried the purple one on as seen next:

Purple hair clip.  "Yeah, that's how it's supposed to be worn," Mr. G. said.  (I won't be wearing it, I thought.)
To prepare these for my dolls, I had to first remove the metal clips which had been applied with hot glue.  This was difficult, but finally done.  Some glue residue remains under the brims, but I left it there since it is not visible when the hats are worn. 

Chandra, who was already wearing a So In Style Fan Club-exclusive purple, two-piece suit, was my choice for the purple hat, or so I thought.  I discovered that it, like the white one, is too large for playscale dolls.  After Chandra modeled three of the four hats, I was able to adjust the fit of the purple one for her by stuffing the inside with tissue.   Below she models two of the others:

In the above two photos, Chandra models the black hat that has black lace trim, black and white polka dot bow, and black feather.
Next she tries on the shimmery silver hat.  Like the one above, it fits well and matches her silver shoes.

The purple hat, although too big for her head, is the one she settled on. 

Chandra is joined on "her" right by Kara whose white dress and mock black and white belt coordinate well with the black and white polka dot ribbon on the black hat.  Model 4 chose the shimmery silver hat that matches her shoes.  The white hat was temporarily worn by Glam 'N Groom Christie.  "We" (Christie and I) weren't in love with the way the hat looked on her, however.  Mr. G. even said, "That one is just too big.  Maybe one of your other dolls can wear it."

The larger purple and white hats fit 16-inch dolls like Paris Williams and Esme, who were kind enough to model them before returning to their separate display areas crown-free.

Colin Dehan eventually claimed the white hat and looks stunning wearing it.

These three chose to wear the other three hats.  See them better in the next close-up photo.

I thought my fun with dolls and hats had ended until I discovered an additional hat hair clip that was still in the bag with other items I purchased from Jenny's. 

This black straw hat has gold-trimmed black satin bow and gold etched netting.

Soon I will redress a playscale female and allow her to crown her head with the extra black hat shown above.  She can decide if wearing it will be for modesty purposes or just to compliment her fashion.