Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beauty and The Beast (No, Not Dolls)

Three weeks ago Husband-Like Person did some car work for a friend who was moving away. As well as paying him, the friend told him to come look in his garage because he had a lot of stuff he was not taking with him. HLP returned and said to me "You'll never believe what I got!"

Beauty, the Rocketeer
It was a Singer 500A sewing machine which I have been wanting for years! It was nicknamed "The Rocketeer" by customers who thought it looked like something Jane Jetson would have. I had told HLP about it and shown him pictures, but you never really know how much they pay attention or retain, do you? HLP is a machinist by trade and even though he doesn't really have an interest in sewing machines, he appreciates a beautiful machine of any kind. It had belonged to the friend's girlfriend and she didn't want to "drag it to Arizona" with them. It is in near perfect condition, missing only the top spool pin and the secondary spool pin that goes to the left of the spool pin that pops up when the lid is up. It also doesn't have its cams, but I am not into fancy stitches so I don't mind.

With its lid up
I named it Beauty, a name that just sprang into my head after looking at it. It sewed beautifully, after a few thread-tangling starts.

Temerity and Beauty
Then a couple of week ago at work, I saw another Singer in our store. It was a 401A.

The Beast
It is similar but not as space-agey as Beauty and was obviously once in a cabinet. It was $19.99. After a few days of thinking about and seeing no one had any interest in buying it, I decided to get it. I had a $10 gift certificate from the store and my discount on furniture items is 30%, so it only cost me $5.08! After I got it home I realized it didn't have a power cord, which is separate from the foot controller. I found one at Sew-Classic for only $6.99. Every place else I looked wanted twice as much or more. I also ordered a package of bobbins and two spool pins. I ordered these on Thursday, January 23, and they arrived on Monday the 27th! How's that for fast service?

The Beast seemed to run fine until I actually tried to sew and then it came to a grinding halt. I am going to clean it thoroughly and put in a new needle. I already oiled it. It was getting dark when I tried it and my light is rather dim so I decided to wait until I could see what I was doing. The spool pins went in nicely on top, with gentle taps from a hammer.

I made simple dresses for Temerity and Maria with the Rocketeer.

The girls check out the new machines
Maria's dress is a little longer, because I was having the thread-tangling issues when I sewed the shoulder seams of Tem's dress but I have figured that out now.

This is proof that good things come to she who waits. And HLP got a lot of nice bike parts from his friend, so we were both happy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


UPS kept NOT updating the Tracking on her until last night, finally, it said she had arrived in Sparks, Nevada (where the UPS center is) at 9:28 p.m. I briefly considered rushing over there and pounding on their doors and making them give her to me. This morning Tracking said she had gone Out For Delivery at 3:30 a.m. Then I had to go somewhere until 11 a.m., at which time I stopped in our park office and asked the landlord if she had arrived. I explained it was my Christmas dolly I was expecting. He looked a bit baffled (not a doll person, obviously!) and said no, UPS hadn't come yet. So I went home and planned to call in a few hours, but at 12:30 the dear man called me and said she was here!

First photo
Out of the plastic
I wasted no time opening her. She was well secured with twist ties but I made short work of them.

Our first selfie
She is going to be Steampunk and Biggie Sis had suggested Temerity as a name. I like it. It's a Steampunk Virtue name. Her full name is Temerity Jane and she wants to be an airship pilot when she grows up.

Meeting Maria
I introduced her to Maria. I can see now that Maria is younger than Tem, but I think that will work out well. Everyone should have a big or little sister! Or both.

"How was your journey?" asked Maria.
Then we tried on a couple of hats.

This is pretty
And so is this
Maria tries on Tem's hat
I haven't yet taken off her clothes. I was pretty mentally exhausted by then and Tem, Maria, and I had to take a nap at that point. Maria wants to have some Victorian clothes, Steampunk or otherwise, and I will work on them tomorrow. I need to start looking seriously at patterns and fabric and dust off the sewing machine!

Monday, January 6, 2014

And a Little More Catching Up


There was a day back in November when all sorts of little things seemed to go wrong. Nothing major--just things like I had forgotten to put the basket in the coffee pot before putting in the filter so there were coffee grounds all over; I almost ran over a bicyclist on the way to work and even though I tried to tell myself it was his fault, I knew it wasn't (he knew it wasn't too but just looked resigned); and I spilled my coke all over my lap as I got out to go into work. "I must be very careful today," I told myself. "No sudden moves." So I worked away cautiously and as I was checking on the Collectibles (to make sure nothing was out of place, of course, not to look at dollies) I saw HER:

I knew at once she was Special
Who could she be? Not a Barbie, obviously. I looked under her skirt and saw she was made by the same company that made Spideyman! I do have an eye for the best, don't I? Now my dilemma: should I attempt to buy her now and hope Mark the new supervisor didn't notice that she had just come out that day or should I wait until she'd been out for 48 hours? Remember, I had been having a Bad Day and I didn't want to jinx anything. I decided to go ahead and try to buy her. It occurred to me that my Bad Day had actually started the night before when I set the coffee maker up, so maybe the curse was over. And what was the worst that could happen? Mark would just say no, I couldn't buy her. So seizing the day, or something, I took her up to the cash register on my break and good ol' Mark never even looked at the date. And I would like to add that the curse ended then and there.

Once I got her home I had to undress her, where I discovered that she and Spideyman/Nigel have the same problem--detached, duct-taped leg syndrome.

Arwen wishes to put her dress back on
A little googling revealed her to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings. When I first got Spidey and was looking him up, I found mostly LOTR dolls made by that company and I remember thinking, "Oh, I'd never want one of them!" I really think the best dolls are the totally unexpected ones that just come to us.

I was inspired by her to reattach Nigel's head to his original body and duct tape his leg on. Girly Man was happy to have his body back.
Spidey doesn't mind too much that he can't sit down now.
"How careless of the human to lose my tiara!"
Yes, somehow I lost her tiara while I was redressing her. I am hoping it will turn up but I may have to get her a new one.


"I'm not even going to look at the doll wall," I told myself, "because a very special girl is coming to live with us next week." But somehow one caught my eye.

The poor girl had no shirt but her pants are original. I think she is the cutest Mulan I've seen. Her hair's a bit wild so I put a headband on it.

"Ahoy, matey"

 She has told me she wants to be a pirate girl so I'm trying to think of a piratey name for her.

And Coming Up:

Amelia, a Girl For All Time, is coming to live with us, thanks to Biggie Sis!! She is expected to arrive on Thursday. I hope they wrapped her in a blanket since she's coming from the heart of the Polar Vortex. She will be glad to get to civilization and semi-warmth.