Sunday, December 10, 2017

Beautiful Blessings Deborah - Review

Deborah by Beautiful Blessings in her signature box, the front of which contains an insert that reads:
She's kind & ambitious.
Her positive attitude,
faithfulness, & good spirit
shine through. Her affirming
self-image reminds each of us
to be the best version
of ourselves. ♥

Left and right box side panels contain the "I am a Beautiful Blessing" logo, and the company's mission statement.  "Our mission is to empower young females & realign the impossible image standards set by other dolls.  Our unique doll collection promotes a more positive, realistic body image and helps inspire confidence and higher self-esteem in girls and young women."

At Beautiful Blessings (the left side panel reads), we believe "The Average Girl IS Beautiful!"
and every girl should look in the mirror and say, "I Am a Beautiful Blessing."

Noted on the back of the box:
Free Inside
Exclusive Beautiful Blessings
Mirror Card
included with every doll
A positive message card to keep you empowered & inspired everyday!

Deborah's mirror card reads:
You are a masterpiece
that was made strong, beautiful
& confident.  Accomplish your goals
and live your dreams!
Have the abundant life that was made
distinctly for you.  Love yourself & show the
world who you were designed to become.
Reach your destiny!
Remember, you lack nothing.
-Beautiful Blessings.

With a more realistic body, dressed in an elegant fashion, Deborah is part of a three-doll collection created to inspire a positive self-image.  Her physical attributes are described below.

Beautiful Blessings Deborah
Height:  12-1/2 inches
Articulation:  Five-points, at neck, upper arms, and upper legs
Hair:  Black silky textured hair, rooted in layers that are from 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart (styling the hair will be limited to the current style or an up 'do).
Eyes:  Painted, brown
Complexion:  Caramel brown with yellow undertones
Clothing:  Stylish red knit two-piece suit and matching hat; jacket and skirt are embellished with a strip of rhinestones.  Red pumps with black soles and red bottoms complete the look.
Body Measurements in Inches (Breasts, Waist, Hips):  7, 4-1/2, 7
Foot Measurement, Length and Width:  1-3/8 inches x 1/2 inch
Medium:  Soft vinyl head, solid vinyl arms, plastic body and legs, which are hollow.
Ears:  Pierced, without earrings.

Deborah has a lovely face which appears to be exclusive to the Beautiful Blessings line (I have not seen another fashion doll line that uses this head sculpt).  Her red hat was attached to her head with three plastic fasteners, which I removed to examine her hair rooting and texture, which are described above.

Deborah poses without her hat.
Her hair extends just below the waist.
Extra Head Shots Taken Outside




Body Examination and Comparison


Deborah has molded-on nude undies:  a strapless bra and bikini panties.  She has curves in all the right places!

Comparison with Boho Glam Barbie

In frontal and profile comparison photos with Glam Boho Barbie, Deborah stands a full 1-inch taller.  The two cannot share clothes or shoes.

Comparisons with Prettie Girls Lena and Big Beautiful Dolls Dasia prove that Deborah cannot share clothing or shoes with them either.

Deborah and Lena

 


Deborah and Dasia

Unlike Glam Boho and Lena, Dasia's figure is fuller than Deborah's and her feet are larger than Deborah's.  I tried Dasia's dress on Deborah; it swallowed her.


Foot Comparison

Deborah's feet are almost the same length as Draculaura's (Monster High), but her foot is wider than Draculaura's, as illustrated above.

What She Can Wear




The only dress I have available that Deborah can wear is a Sparkle Girlz sundress.  It fits her because of the fuller cut and the jersey knit fabric from which it is made.  Because of her bust size, it was almost a struggle to get the Velcro closed in back.


The white pumps Deborah wears comfortably were made to fit Jem/Color Infusion dolls.  These were ordered for my Color Infusion Janay doll from Facets by Marcia.


Overall Assessment
The adult collector will appreciate Deborah's full figure, but might be hard pressed (unless they sew) to find other fashions that will fit her more voluptuous figure.  The Beautiful Blessings website does have a link to Doll Clothing, but currently extra fashions are not shown at the website.   The adult collector would also appreciate closely rooted hair and more articulation, but because the doll is actually designed for young children the usual five points of articulation will suffice.  The quality of the clothing and shoes is nice and the retail price of $44.99 is reasonable.

The premier doll in the Beautiful Blessings collection, Virtuous Lady, is currently sold out.  Additional quantities will be available in 2018.  Deborah and Mary are still available.   With this three doll collection, the company can easily accomplish its mission to inspire confidence and self-esteem in girls and young women.  Deborah is pinned to my Pinterest board as one of my suggested Black Dolls for Children.


The founder of Beautiful Blessings, Ms. Raveen James, and others provide additional details about the inspiration for this unique line of dolls.



_______

Side Note:  Deborah means "bee" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine and prophetess who leads the Israelites when they are threatened by the Canaanites. She forms an army under the command of Barak, and together they destroy the army of the Canaanite commander Sisera. Also in the Old Testament, this is the name of the nurse of Rebecca. [https://www.behindthename.com/name/deborah]


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Friday, December 1, 2017

Problems with UgLy Christmas Sweater Ornament Sets



Problem #1:  My package from The Greater Good Animal Rescue that was supposed to contain two sets of two Christmas Lights Ugly Sweater Ornaments, as their website advertised and as shown on the left, was scanned in as delivered at my post office on November 20, 2017. I discovered this after tracking the package on Saturday, November 25th because as of that date, the package had not been placed in my post office box.

This past Monday, November 27th, with tracking info in hand, I visited the post office where they could not locate the package. I asked for and was given their consumer affairs (CA) phone number because this is not the first time I have had issues with this post office.  From home, I called CA and was told that the people at the post office should have taken the time to find the package since it was delivered there. The CA person, a very nice woman, opened a case, gave me the case number, and informed me that someone from the post office would contact me within 48 hours.

Within 48 hours, I did receive a call from a male postal worker who asked if I had actually been to the post office to check my box.  My answer was, "Yes, I was there this past Monday, the 27th.  The package was not in the box.  So I stood at your dutch door, but left there to stand in line at the desk because no one answered the buzzer at the dutch door.  The line clerk briefly looked for the package, returned and told me to go back to the dutch door, that someone would help me there. I did.  After another brief check by another clerk,  I was told the package could not be found but they would continue looking for it.  I asked for the consumer affairs phone number and was given that number, which is when the case was opened, which is also why you are calling me."

The man then said/asked, "Ma'am.  You're not understanding what I asked you.  Have you actually been to the [name of post office] station to check your box?"

I angrily shouted, "NO, IT'S YOU WHO'S NOT UNDERSTANDING.  I JUST TOLD YOU, I WAS THERE ON MONDAY, THE 27th.  I CHECKED MY BOX.  THE PACKAGE WAS NOT IN IT!  I STOOD AT THE DUTCH DOOR, THEN STOOD IN LINE.  YOUR CLERKS CHECKED, BRIEFLY, TOLD ME THE PACKAGE WAS NOT THERE.  I ASKED FOR AND WAS GIVEN THE CONSUMER AFFAIRS PHONE NUMBER!"

Him:  Oh, I'm sorry ma'am. I misunderstood you. Let me check something.  Can you hold on for a minute?

Me:  Yes (with blood pressure and respiration probably elevated).

Him, returning to the phone:  Ma'am, your package is in your box.  When I checked and saw that it was a small parcel, I decided to check something.  When did you say you last checked?

Me:  It is [excited and relieved]???  I was there Monday, but it was NOT in the box on Monday.  It must have been found and placed in the box after the case was opened.  Thank you for checking.

He either found the package when he left the phone to "check on something."  Or, after the case was opened and they were "forced to do their job," the package was found on Monday and placed in the box.


I went to the post office shortly after that call ended and found the plastic mailing envelope in which the ornaments were enclosed.  It was balled up as though it has been shoved into my box, as shown above.  What idiots!

______

Christmas sweater ornaments and Christmas stockings (?)(!)

Problem #2:  Recall that my order was for two sets of Christmas sweater ornaments (each package should have contained two-sweater-ornaments).  What I received in each cellophane envelop was only one Christmas sweater ornament and a Christmas stocking made from the same sweater material.  This is not what the website advertises or describes.

I called the Greater Good's 800 number and informed the customer service associate about the issue.  She apologized and placed another order for two sets.  She indicated there was either a warehouse mix-up or online description mix-up.  Either way, she explained, "You will receive either two more sets of one Christmas sweater ornament and a stocking or what the website describes:  two sets of two Christmas sweater ornaments."  So if anyone ordered these and you, too, received a sweater ornament and a stocking, call them and let them know, their 800 number is on the receipt and can also be found at their website.
______

While I wait for the other package to arrive and hope the post office places the package (balled up or not) into my box in a timely manner, I chose Tamica to model the Christmas sweater after redressing her in a black halter dress and black heels.


Because Tamica wears a copper arm bracelet that I did not want to remove and also did not want it to snag the sweater, I covered the bracelet with masking tape as illustrated above.


After a few failed attempts to lead Tamica's pointed fingers and hands through the arm holes of the sweater without the fingers catching the threads inside the sleeves, I temporarily covered both hands with masking tape.

On left, Tamica models the Christmas sweater and holds the matching stocking.  On right, she provides a better view of the fit.
Just as I feared, the sleeves of the sweater are not the ideal length for playscale-size dolls.  I tried lengthening the sleeves by pulling on them, which might have added a mere fraction of an inch, but really not enough.

Tamica poses for a close-up of the slightly lengthened sleeves after I pulled on these to stretch them out.
The Greater Good Animal Rescue Christmas Lights Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments will work better for 9- to 10-inch dolls.


Nine-inch Keyshia (friend of Fashion Madness Kenya) temporarily tried Tamica's sweater on to illustrate the fit.  The sleeve length still appears a bit short on her.

______

While I was in doll-dressing mode, using more appropriate size buttons, I took April's advice and replaced the over-sized buttons that were on Caleb's flannel shirt (a former Target ornament), shown above.  I could not decide if I wanted to use the same tan color or a darker color.  The decision was easy to make after I viewed both button colors on the shirt.

Smaller tan buttons were placed on the shirt before choosing which color to sew on.

Smaller dark brown buttons were tried next.
The original buttons had been hot-glued on.  Before sewing the selected buttons on, I removed most of the glue residue by placing a small piece of cotton fabric on top of the glue areas and ironing over these with a warm iron.  The iron melted the glue enough for most of it to attach to the cotton fabric and peel off when the fabric was lifted.

The shirt is now almost glue-residue-free.

Aunt Tamica poses with her nephew Caleb, whose flannel shirt now has new dark brown buttons.  I did not add buttons to the cuffs as I did not think those were necessary.

Reminder:  If you ordered the Christmas Lights Ugly Sweater Ornaments, expecting to receive two sweaters in a package and received one sweater and a stocking, call The Greater Good Animal Rescue folks and let them know.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dress Inspired by Beret, Shawl, Boots

Gift from Tamisha McPherson:  beret, boots, and shawl for Buttercup Trixie or similar-sized doll

After doll friend, Tamisha McPherson attended Vanessa Morrison's memorial service, she asked if I wanted her copy of the program.  I did.  Along with the program, as a surprise gift, Tamisha sent the above felt beret, boots, and shawl.  The attached note reads:

Hi Miss Debbie [she's so polite]
I have enclosed a little gift for Trixie, or one of  her (like sized) friends.
Tamisha
 P.S. Boots open from back, Velcro.


Prior to receipt of these items, Trixie only had her original, spring-looking yellow dress.  She needed something to wear with her new clothing items.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took the time to make (for the first time) a no-pattern dress for Trixie using a piece of felt I already had on hand.  I followed (most of) the instructions in the following My Froggy Stuff video:  Fabulous Felt: How to Make a Doll Dress.




Photos of what was done follow:

After retrieving the felt, which contains turquoise and other blues that complement the color of beret, shawl, and boot laces, Trixie was undressed.

The rectangular piece of felt was cut in half.

The two pieces were sandwiched together inside-out and placed over Trixie's body.  The neck area was traced and cut out.

Slanted lines were drawn from the top corner of the neck area to the sides and hand stitched  together.

An outline of Trixie's body was drawn onto the felt to create the sleeves and the dress area. 

 The outline was hand sewn.  Note:  In the underarm area, my tracing and stitching came to a point.  That area should have been rounded off as illustrated in the video.  A wider area for the body of the dress should have been traced and stitched -- you'll see why later. 

In this photo, all hand stitching has been done and the excess hem area cut away.

The added back slit creates room for the doll's body to be placed in the dress.

Trixie tried the dress on for size.  It looks like a perfect fit from the front.

Unfortunately, there is not enough room for Trixie's torso for the back slit to meet in the center.  This is the reason more room was needed for the body area.  
As a remedy for the gap, I used double-sided tape to keep the side folds attached to the dress. The opening is now in the shape of a downward arrow.

Looking very stylish, Trixie wears the dress with the beret, shawl, and boots added.
To hold the beret on her head, I used an aqua-tipped quilting pin that only slightly pierces her scalp.

Holding her (Only Hearts doll) Sydney, Trixie is now dressed appropriately for winter.
Thank you again Tamisha for sending Vanessa's memorial service program and for these surprise items for Trixie.
______

Among several other doll-related things, Tamisha sews clothing and makes shoes for a variety of dolls.  From time to time, she sells these items in her Etsy shop.  Tamisha does not have items listed currently, but she can be contacted through Etsy if there is a specific doll in need of clothing or shoes.  Adding her shop as one of your favorite Etsy shops is also a good idea.


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