Jan…

If you’re a regular reader, you may remember back at the end of June, I picked up a doll at a thrift store to see what I could do with her. I’ve been working on her off and on now, I had to take a break when I hurt my back, but once I got to feeling better, I started working on her again. When I got her, she looked like this:
Jan 1

Here’s a closeup, you can see she had a real serious Rastafarian dreadlock thing going, her hair was a fright!!!
Jan 1.2

The evening I brought her home I decided I would start combing and see what happened. It didn’t take me long to realize that not only was her hair a tangled mess, but it was dirty too. Off to the bathroom for a hair wash! It was amazing how much that helped, I hate to think just how dirty her hair was before that. I combed it all out, what a rats nest! I had to clean the brush out a couple of times because it was full of loose hair. After I was done combing it, this is what she looked like:
Jan 2  Jan 3

Not perfect, but definitely better than what it was.   It was at this point she got her name.  I had her standing in the living room (as I often do with a new doll) and my husband walked past.  Keep in mind that my husband was a huge Brady Bunch fan growing up.  He stopped, looked at the doll and said “she looks like Jan Brady!”  I laughed and well, when my husband says something about a doll, that is a “mark it on the calendar” kind of moment, so I knew at that point her name had to be Jan.  I could just picture her saying “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!”

I wondered if perhaps I could soften those ends up with a Downy dunk, so Jan got to spend 24 hours soaking her hair.  What a letdown, it didn’t work and just left her with a super bad case of the greasies.  At this point I started to wonder just what kind of abuse her hair had been subjected to.  I originally had thought about giving her the iron treatment, but after seeing the results of this, I vetoed that.  I really think that poor Jan had been subjected to a hair dry/blowout involving a heat source–either a heater vent or worse yet, a blow dryer!!!!  (EEEEEKKKKK!!!!!)  Word of advice–NEVER EVER use a hairdryer on doll hair.  It will fry it so fast, and in some cases will cause it to break off or come out in clumps.  Yes, I speak from a traumatic childhood experience…

I couldn’t leave Jan with a bad case of the greasies, the poor girl had enough issues already, what with being one of six kids and a having a highly competitive older sister.  So I washed her hair again, and don’t laugh–in dog shampoo.  I have a shampoo that is extra gentle, and I really didn’t want to subject her hair to anything else since it was already so bad.  Plus now I know she doesn’t have fleas.  The good news is it took the fabric softener out and didn’t damage her hair anymore than it already was.

At this point I gave her a haircut, trimming close to an inch and a half to two inches off, depending on where it was.  I think she originally may have had ponytails or braids as she has a very distinct back center part, so her hair was horribly uneven.  I gave her a blunt cut, and at this point I came upon an interesting discovery that seemed to confirm that her hair had been exposed to heat.  While the outer hair was a fried mess, the under hair was actually in near perfect condition.  I debated on giving her a layered haircut all over, but I tried it with the front first, and because the top layer is sooooo dry, all that did was make it stick out worse.  Oh well, I tried.  After I gave her a haircut, I sprayed it heavily with braid spray, combed it through well and then let her sit for a good week so that could really soak in.

Now she needed some serious cleaning too.  This poor girl, not only was she abused by her previous owner, but the thrift store didn’t help matters any either.

Jan 8 Jan 9

They stuck the price tag on her foot which was fine, but then they wrote on it and her as well!!!!  And when I pulled the price tag off, it left behind some nasty sticky residue on her foot.  I needed to pull out my secret weapon:

Jan 10

UN-DU to the rescue!!!  If you aren’t familiar with Un-Du, let me tell you about it.  I discovered the wonders of Un-Du when I worked as a picture framer.  It also comes in very handy if you do any kinds of paper crafting (scrapbooking, card making, etc).  Just a little bit of Un-Du will release most (not all) adhesives.  If used in paper crafting just because you didn’t like the placement of something, carefully remove the piece after using the Un-Du where the adhesive is, set it aside until it dries and then restick it–no additional adhesive is usually needed!  In this situation I saturated the area where the adhesive was at, then wiped it thoroughly with a paper towel until it was clean, then wiped the area off with a damp rag.  Not only did it take off all of the adhesive residue, but some of the marker.  I’ve decided she just has a birth mark.

Jan 17

She also appeared to have been “cleaned” previously, she had some white residue on her chest and this glob of stuff in her eye.  I carefully picked that out with tweezers and then wiped with a damp paper towel.  I got most of it, she doesn’t look like she has an eye snot thing going now.

Jan 6
Gross, huh?!?!?!

Now I needed to clean up her body a bit. She has some mysterious marks on her cloth body, I’m not sure if they were marker, grease, makeup or what. I took a lightly dampened Magic Eraser to them, and while it didn’t remove them completely, it did lighten them up. She also had some marks on her leg and a little one on her face, those thankfully all came off with a few swipes of the Magic Eraser.
Jan 4

Jan 5

Marks of unknown origin, after cleaning:

Jan 18

 

Now it was time for her “spa” treatment:
Jan 7
Ahhhh, baking soda, the wonderful household product. What, you don’t keep a 4 pound box around???? Truth be told, I make my own laundry soap and it is one of the ingredients in it, so I always have a huge box in my cupboard of supplies. It is so useful for so many things, from getting stale soap odor out of bath towels, putting out grease fires (I know this from first hand experience!) taking odors away, cleaning drains–look it up on the internet sometime! It also is very handy in cleaning dolls. 🙂

I didn’t take any pics of this part of the process as I’m sure most of you have seen it over and over again and if you haven’t already, believe me, there are plenty of websites and videos showing the process. After I got her all nice and (semi) clean, I set her in front of a fan to dry as she did have some wet spots on her body from where I tried to clean off those marks. After she was dried, I found her a cute summer outfit and she was ready for her close up!

Jan 14
Much better, huh?! She definitely feels better.

Here’s a picture of the back of her hair so you can see just how much I cut off. It did help some, but not completely.
Jan 11

And here’s a shot with the top part of the hair pulled up so you can see that the under hair is in great condition, too bad that the top layer is so fried. I still may trim it some, I haven’t decided yet.
Jan 12

A shot of the upper back so you can see where her part continues down the middle of the back:
Jan 13

And some nice shots of her, relieved to be finished and looking out the window.

Jan 15
Jan 16

The obligatory before/after shot:

Jan 1.2 Jan 15

A couple of things that I will point out–Our Generation doll hair is definitely not the same as American Girl hair, so using some of the same techniques used to treat AG hair might not be such a great idea. OG dolls are also constructed differently than AG dolls, while both may have cloth bodies, their arms and legs are connected differently and their heads are definitely flanged differently. When I was working on Abby’s hair, I had no difficulty at all with her being rigid as I combed. Jan was all over the place, her neck would bend every time I pulled, making it a bit of a hassle to try and comb it out.

I think overall, she turned out okay and was definitely worth taking a chance on for $1.95.  I’m debating on giving her some freckles around her nose.  She may get some more hair trimming, that’s still up for grabs.  I also saw where Brenda over at The Savage Dolls had redone an OG and painted on some eyelashes to give that doll a more feminine look, so might try that too. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to work her into the stories just yet, I’m thinking she will be a girl that goes to school with the gang here. But her name will always be Jan.

If you happen to know which doll this is, I would love to hear. I’m not all that familiar with OG dolls, just OG accessories. Please leave who you think she might actually be in the comments, thanks!

The Soccer Game Disaster

Shivan plays in a soccer league in the Pittsburgh area, and while she was home in July, her team won a spot in the championship game. Unfortunately it was scheduled on a day when her parents couldn’t go because of work commitments, so they asked me if I would mind taking her. I was more than happy to! In addition to Shivan, Alya and Louisa tagged along to cheer on the team.

When we got there, Alya looked over and happened to see Felicity there. “What are you doing here?” asked Alya.
soccer game 1
“Oh, we’re here to cheer on my older sister Rainya, she plays on the Pittsburgh team” replied Felicity. “This is my other sister Trudy, she’s the oldest.”  “That’s cool, we’re here to cheer on my roommate Shivan, this is my friend Louisa” said Alya. “Nice to meet you!” replied Felicity and Trudy. “Nancy and Zoee are here somewhere too.”

In the meantime, Rainya and Shivan had to go get ready for the match. The girls have played soccer together for a couple of years now, and they thought it was funny that everyone knew each other!
soccer game 2

As the start of the game approached, everyone gathered in the bleachers.

soccer game 3

It was going to be an exciting game, the Pittsburgh Girls Soccer League VS The Erie Lake Club League. Both teams were really good and both had undefeated records! Shivan and Rainya were both very into the game.
soccer game 7

In fact, they were maybe a little TOO into it–towards the end of the game, they were both so intent on getting the ball they ran into each other!
soccer game 8

“OUCH! My leg!” yelled Shivan. “I think I hurt my arm!” replied Rainya.
soccer game 9

The good news: Pittsburgh managed to still get the goal to win the game. The bad news: both Rainya and Shivan had to go to the first aid center to be checked out.

As the game ended, the crowd was super excited!
soccer game 4

Perhaps a little too excited…Alya was jumping up and down because they won and caught her foot in the handle of Shivan’s soccer bag and did a header down the bleachers!
soccer game 5

“Ouch! My finger hurts!!!!”
soccer game 6

Alya headed off to the first aid tent while the rest of the girls headed to the clubhouse to celebrate the victory. They were also anxious to hear how Rainya and Shivan were. A little while later, the girls showed up:
soccer game 10

“Oh no!” exclaimed Felicity. “What did you guys do?” “My ankle is a bad sprain and Rainya has a sprained wrist” replied Shivan. “They decided to put casts on them to be safe until we can get x-rays and make sure nothing is broken, but they didn’t think it was anything more.” (After each of the girls were checked out thoroughly, it was decided that they are just sprains, Rainya has to wear her cast for two weeks and Shivan for a month. The doctor thought since they are both such active girls, it was the best way to keep them from making the injuries worse!)
soccer game 11
The rest of the girls huddled around them and then helped them to their seats in the other room and got them some snacks. No one even noticed Alya come in.
soccer game 12

“Guys, here I am! I just have a stoved finger! Guys…where did everybody go?!?!”

Dollhouse tour-Alya & Shivan’s bedroom

Welcome back to the dollhouse tour! I thought this would be a good place to take a break from posts about the girls, and show you what I was up to recently. This room was a serious challenge, but not for why you think. The big problem–space! Our house is a very typical 1950’s/60’s ranch with small bedrooms and whoever designed it managed to have something that creates an issue on every single wall in every single room, whether it’s a window, door or heating/cooling vent! Seriously drives me bananas. The dollhouse is on the only wall possible in this particular room (or any other for that matter!) and I was not sure how to proceed. As much as I would have liked to have purchased another set of those shelves and expand the dollhouse by another 5 rooms, it just wasn’t going to be possible.

I thought about it for a while and originally I was just going to do their room with presentation boards, but I really didn’t like that idea all that well. I wanted something a bit more “permanent”. Then it dawned on me–the top of our cedar chest would make the perfect space AND it was the perfect height! It was just a matter of rearranging the furniture a bit and swapping two pieces. Now you know how I hurt my back, ugh! But, once I got it moved, it worked out perfectly, and thanks to a heat pack, Biofreeze and some rest, my back is healing nicely. 😉

I already had the idea of making Alya’s bed out of the box Kit’s bed came in, long before Shivan even came on the scene. I wasn’t quite sure what to do for her once she arrived, but I thought it would be cute to have a daybed for her. Unfortunately AG had discontinued the daybed they made, so I was seriously looking at one on Amazon that Laurent Doll made. The very morning I had decided to order it, AG posted new sale items and lo and behold, there was their daybed!!!! I was super thrilled, I ordered it so fast it would make your head spin. Sorry Amazon! Not long after I ordered it I found that cute little white cabinet at Goodwill, the room was really starting to come together. Are you ready to see it?

a & s 1Once I got this room finished, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or Cassandra’s bedroom better.  It is truly a toss up.  I think this room appeals to me because it has a very “girly” feel to it.  I’m considering making Alya a different headboard in white so it all coordinates even more.  I’m not usually into matchy-matchy, but I think it would make a nice visual.

a & s 2
If you were following the bedding tutorial, you already got to see a lot of Alya’s bed. Overall I was very pleased with how it turned out. Something I didn’t tell you guys though–I didn’t buy that fabric to make bedding out of, I actually bought it to make doll dresses, ooooopps!!! I liked it so much when I bought it, I got way more than what I needed “just in case”. Good thing, huh? I do think I have just enough left to make a dress out of, I haven’t checked it just yet, fingers crossed. As you can see, Alya’s got all of her goodies laying about.

a & s 4
More of their “stuff”! On the top we have a lamp from Dollar Tree as well as two of the frames I picked up at thrift stores. Alya wanted a picture of her and Cassandra since Cass isn’t just her cousin, but her bestie too! Shivan picked out a picture of her and Kirsten from “Tea Time w/Melody Q”. She met Kirsten when we went to Coolspring and they hit it off. Unfortunately she lives on the other side of the state, but they stay in touch.

The cabinet, oh my, you have no idea how much I love this piece. It made a brief appearance in the bakery, but this is where I intended for it to end up. It was the perfect spot for the girls to store their toys and knick-knacks. Now for the crazy part–I discovered that they have this EXACT same cabinet over at Dolly Dorm Diaries, in a room with the daybed! How’s that for weird?!?! I still don’t know what it’s intended purpose really is, but I think it’s perfect in a doll bedroom.

a & s 3
This is Shivan’s side of the bedroom, she’s not nearly as messy as Alya. She has her soccer stuff and Archie loves hanging out on her bed. I also thought their bedroom would be a great place to put the Sit & Snooze fold out bed that I got such a fantastic deal on. I know what you’re thinking though–why do they need extra sleeping space when they have the trundle? Well…
a & s 5
The girls had so much stuff to store, we decided it would be better used as a drawer instead of a sleeping space. We have the extra mattress in storage just in case. Shivan has her painting supplies on the left and all of Alya’s things on the right.

a & s 6
Here’s a closeup of Shivan’s bedding. Hers was super easy since I only needed to make pillows, a sheet and a blanket. I was kind of torn on what to use as the backing, her fabric is similar to the bedding on Alya’s bed, but not identical. I am glad I chose the pink polka dot, its a nice contrast, but still goes well with the floral and green polka dot theme of Alya’s bedding.

I hope you had fun seeing their bedroom! It was really a fun room to do and came together faster than any other room I’ve done so far. We’re just about done with the dollhouse tour, later this month I’ll be showing you the bathroom. Ta-ta for now!