Decisions, Decisions

Hello fellow doll loving friends!  It’s been a busy two weeks around here, but it’s all a good kind of busy.  I took Laney for her follow up check up to see if all of the medications did what they were supposed to.  She got the all clear, yay!  I was so glad to hear that, I really didn’t want to put her through surgery if we didn’t have to.  I also got together with Xyra from Tea Time With Melody Q which is always fun.  Stay tuned for a post from that get together.

A healthy dog, yay!!!

The biggest thing for me was some serious cleaning around here, primarily my office/craft room and the spare bedroom which has turned into the “doll room”.  It was a wreck and needed both deep cleaning and serious organization.  Over the summer Aldi had metal shelving units for sale, so I picked those up.  I just needed some help in moving a piece of furniture out of the room and getting everything rearranged and in order.  My niece is trying to earn some extra cash for her move to Florida at the end of the year, so I hired her to help me with part of this task.  By the time she was done, everything was in place for “Operation Doll Organization” to get into full swing.  It was a lot of work, but I am super pleased with how far things have come along, but in the process I was faced with some truths about my collection.  Ugh.

The simple fact is I have way too much stuff.  Even with all of this organization, it still takes up a good bit of space, and in all honesty, there isn’t room for anything more.  I decided that I am going to limit myself considerably in any purchases I make in the near future.  For me, my dolls and accessories have never been so much about the size of my collection, but more a case of buying it because I truly like it and/or have an idea for a story to use it in.  Now I have to add to that only buying things that aren’t repeats of what I already have and genuinely have enough use for it as well as space to store it. That said, it does have some ramifications for the blog.  It’s a bit hard to do product reviews when you aren’t buying anything!

I also realized that I don’t need anymore doll sets/backdrops.  In addition to the doll house I have a pop-up bathroom, Louisa’s room, the coffee shop/bakery, The Lighthouse, the unfinished hotel room and another one I haven’t even shared yet!  All of this takes up a good bit of space, even with the backdrops folding up.  I am planning on utilizing several of these sets a few more times and then I may sell off the contents.  It would free up some space, plus allow me to create new sets in the future without feeling completely overwhelmed about where to store everything.  Several weeks ago I did a poll to see if my readers would be interested in purchasing some of the extras and there seemed to be enough people who were curious about what I’d be getting rid of.  Stay tuned, you may have an opportunity to pick up some good deals straight off the pages of Say Hello To My Little Friends!

How does all of this affect the blog?  As I mentioned before, there will be fewer product reviews.  I’m also going to cut back on the number of posts I do in a month.  I’ve tried to keep it at two posts a week, but I don’t know that I’ll have enough to keep it at that.  It also doesn’t help that I’m suffering from a bit of blogging burn out.  So I’m going to try and do a post a week and see how that goes.  I know of many blogs who only post once a week (or even less) and it works well.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t post more often sometimes as events happening in the doll world sometimes create a need for more posts.  I’m just going to make it a goal to post at least once a week.

Book group will continue as planned, I have no intentions of changing that at the moment.

After I was done getting everything organized, I realized the dollhouse needed some serious cleaning and de-cluttering.  Kit’s room was so dusty, not sure why it is so much worse than the rest, but it was in dire need!  Overall, the house had too many unnecessary things sitting around, making it difficult to use as well as clean.  I have to say that it looks so much better now.  I made a few changes in a couple of the rooms too–wanna see???

The kitchen was just way too crowded, so I took out the baking table and did some rearranging plus added garbage/recycle bins.  I like this set up much better now.

The living room has frustrated me since the very beginning.  As I was cleaning, I went to move the sofa–and it fell apart!!  I was going to try and fix it, but the more I thought about it, I decided not to bother.  It so seldom gets used and took up way too much room.  By removing it from the set up, I was able to move the keyboard in to the room.  I also took out the boat shaped bookshelves and replaced them with ones I picked up in the spring while we were traveling.  I like it much better this way.  I still may eventually build a new sofa, but that’s on the backburner.  I definitely need to get some wall art for in here though.

Cassandra’s bedroom is the only room I left cluttered, and the majority of the clutter is her Minion collection so it’s not a big deal.  That isn’t going anywhere!!!! I also had these cool puffy Minions (they are supposed to be tub toys) that I picked up quite a while ago, and after much thought, decided they would be fun wall decor.  I stuck them to the wall using Sticky Tack, hoping they will stay up that way.  I think it looks cute!

Kit’s room and the room that Alya and Shivan share didn’t change at all other than some of the clutter was removed.  The same could be said about Marie-Grace and Rebecca’s room, but they had several new additions to their room.  The aquarium and the hamster!!!  Chum is very happy in his new surroundings.  The girls are having fun with him…except when he runs on the wheel in the middle of the night.  I had to explain to them that most members of the rodent family are nocturnal animals and he really couldn’t be trained to change.  They are getting used to it.  (Just like I had to!)

That’s the update for today.  Stay tuned for future developments!  I’m still here, just not as often.  I’m not ready to quit blogging by any means, just need to find a better way to fit it (and my collection) into my day to day life.

 

 

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Book Group Is Back–and other random stuff!

Just wanted to let everyone know that it’s time to start up the book group again–and on October 15th we will be talking about “Meet Rebecca”.  I’m hoping this gives everyone who wants to participate enough time to locate and read the book.  I’m looking forward to getting back to doing this, and now that summer has passed and we are in the homestretch on selling my father-in-laws house, I will have time to devote to this.  Yay!!  I’m planning on “Aloha Kanani” for November 15th, so keep your eyes peeled for that one as well.  We will take December off because I know that it’s just too busy for many people, myself included, and will start again in January.

This brings me to a couple of questions though–I’ve been tossing around a couple of ideas for the book group in the new year, but wanted to get some input.  Do you want to continue this as a monthly thing?  Or do it every other month?  And what about reading whole sets of books and then reviewing?  I’ve picked up several different sets over the summer (thank heavens for Ebay, AG sales and borrowing from friends/relatives!)  and I’m just wondering the best way to handle it.  Would love everyone’s input, please be sure to leave a comment if you have any ideas!

I haven’t started the doll stuff clean out/organization project yet, but as the weather gets cooler, I’ll be more likely to stay at home and work on it.  I did purchase two sets of shelves to help with this project, but regardless, there are things that I want to get rid of.  It’s not all going to happen at once either, some of these items I may use one last time for a shoot and then sell.  And NO, I’m not getting out of blogging or dolls.  I’ve just reached a point where I’m overrun with stuff and no space to put it as we live in a small house.  Plus as new items are released, I want to be able to buy some other items that I think I will get more use out of, so something has to give!  And before you ask–it’s doubtful as I will get rid of any of the dolls, they are a family and I’ve very carefully picked them out.  What I will be selling is clothing, furniture and accessories.  One thing I have definitely decided is that it will be a gradual thing, for several reasons.  It makes it easier to manage plus it also gives those who maybe want to buy more than one item the opportunity to do so without breaking the bank.  My thinking it to list 5 items, once a month, with an advance notice here on the blog so I’m sure my readers get the first info and hopefully first crack at items they would like to buy.  I intend to keep the pricing very reasonable, it’s not about making a ton of money, but more a case of freeing up space and funds to purchase new things as they come out.  I will be sure to keep my readers posted as this project moves forward!

I haven’t given up on the hotel project either, I’m hoping to get back to that very soon.  We’ve just been so busy with odds and ends, I haven’t had the kind of time to devote to it that I’d like to.  I have supplies purchased, it’s just a matter of sitting down and working on it.  I’ve got some great ideas and I’m really looking forward to sharing them.

Hope everyone is having a great September and all of those who are “back to school” are getting back into the routine!

Super 8 Project–a dresser and nightstand!

Welcome to another installment of the Super 8 Project–in other words, my inexpensive version of the Grand Hotel set from American Girl.  So far we have the backdrop and the sink.  I haven’t had a lot of time to work on some of the more labor intensive items just yet, plus with the hot weather we’ve been having, the dining room (where I have space to work) has turned into a no-go zone!  Fortunately, cooler weather should be here soon, and I already have my ideas in place, so it won’t take long to get them finished.  In the meantime, I have something that didn’t really need much in regards to adapting, and it was a simple project.

Not long after I started on this project, I decided to make a run on several of our area thrift stores.  I found some fun things, not just for the dolls, but for me too!  I was about to head home when something told me to take a bit of a drive to a thrift store I hadn’t been to for a while.  Little did I know…

As I walked through the store, I  headed immediately to the housewares section.  I started looking around, and there it was!  Just what I was looking for.  But there was a little girl messing around with it, and I was afraid she was going to try and talk her mom into it.  So I looked at some other stuff, all the while keeping my fingers crossed.  Luck was on my side because after she left, it was still there.  Are you ready to see what it was?

This awesome jewelry box! I loved the configuration of the drawers on it, to me it was perfectly suited to be the dresser in the hotel room. Where the empty space was is a drawer that was being repaired when I took the photo. It also had something spilled all over it, but it all came off with some serious scrubbing with a disinfecting wipe. The interior was a bit dirty and it apparently had been previously used for some sort of craft storage as it had bright blue glitter scattered around in the top compartment. Thank heavens for a vacuum cleaner! I sucked that all up before it ended up scattered around my house, and then set to work.
  

I decided to line all of the drawers with scrapbook paper.  It was a lot of cutting, but well worth the effort.  The top part I left alone because I doubt I’ll ever use it for doll stuff since there will be things sitting on top of it.  I even contemplated gluing it shut with hot glue just so it won’t come open.  Still thinking about that.

I decided to line one of the deep drawers in white, and then put a divider in it so it is a pull out refrigerator! Originally I was going to put a hinge on the broken drawer, but it didn’t want to work very well, so I decided this was the next best thing.

Then it was time to touch up all of the nicks and dings. I dug out my trusty Sharpie furniture markers!

I was really pleased with how it turned out when I was done. Not bad for a $9.99 purchase!

Sophia thought it was pretty cool too!

Not too long after I finished that project, I had a trip to TJMaxx. I’ve found quite a few doll sized things there, and I always keep my eyes opened. The Super 8 gods must have been smiling down on me because I found this interesting pen/pencil holder:

Set it sideways though, and it makes a perfect night stand! I’m not even going to paint it either, I like it much better in just plain gray as opposed to silver. It was only $4.99 too, so I was thrilled.

That’s it for this installment.  Until we meet again!