Monday, September 28, 2015

Journey Girls Blue Italy Dress

Dana in a New Blue Dress

Many of Journey Girl Outfits that get released are modifications to outfits that have been released in past years.   The outfit that is being reviewed today is similar to the green dress that was released for the London line of clothes, and that is okay, because that outfit is awesome.  So it is to be expected that this outfit is also awesome.  Let’s find out!

Released earlier this year with 3 other outfits, this dress can be harder to find, but it is well worth the hunt.  The outfit comes with the deep blue dress, a pair of sandals, a crazy patterned purse, and a lace headband. 

The packaging on this outfit has “Journey Girls” written across it (all of the outfits do) a quarter of the way up from the bottom, which hides the huge gap of nothingness in the middle of the package.  Everything in the package is at the top or bottom, making the outfit feel very sparse when it’s first opened.

As mentioned, this dress is reminiscent of the green dress that came out for the London line.  (here is the review of that dress  It is made out of the same stretch material, except in blue rather than green.  That means that the dress is form fitting.  A v-neckline adorns the thick-strapped top of the dress.  There is black lace on the shoulders, almost like short sleeves or shoulder caps. 

The dress flairs just above the waist, similar to the green dress.  Unlike the green dress, this dress is gathered, compared to the straight flair on the green dress.  

The skirt is also shorter.  With the way the Journey Girls sit, it would be nice if the dresses were a little longer.  When Dana stands the dress looks perfect, but it is short when she is seated.

The headband is very simple.  It is black elastic with lace sewn onto it.  Not all the way around, just on the top half.  It is very cute, nonetheless.  The lace matches the shoulders of the dress, bringing it into the outfit.  This is a great piece to be used with many different outfits!  

The purse is fairly standard, except for the pattern.  The black and white chevron is unique, making the purse stand out and be unique, while still tying it in with the outfit.  A gold chain handle makes it easy for Dana to carry the purse around, although she is going to have a hard time getting anything into it since it is sewn shut!

Shoes are usually a disappointment with Journey Girl outfits.  This outfit would usually come with black flats.  Surprise!   There are black sandals.  Mikaella was the first to show up with this style of sandals.  

There is a slight heel, an ankle strap that Velcro’s, and two straps across the toes that crisscross. Unique to these sandals is the edition of a lace accent in the middle of the foot straps.  The sandals are already very cute (and much better than the plastic version from a couple years ago), the added lace accent is adorable!  It helps tie the shoes into the outfit, plus it makes them look fancier!

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8– This could be a ten.  The outfit feels like it could use another accessory or a fancier cloth.  Not to say that the outfit isn't made well, because it is.  Comparatively though, it is a very simple dress, with very simple accessories.  Nothing bad…just nothing outstanding either.

Fitment 10– Beautifully made to fit the Journey Girls smaller body, this outfit is a perfect fit.  The headband and shoes fit perfectly also.  The dress is very forgiving since it is made out a stretch material.

Versatility 8 – The headband, shoes and purse have possibilities with all sorts of different outfits. The dress is a dress.  Well very pretty, it is going to have to be combined with other outfits' accessories to become a totally different outfit.  Still cute!

Cuteness 10 – Beautiful outfit.  Looks great on all of the Journey Girls, but especially the blue-eyed girls.  The dress is flattering and has cute accents.  Not too dressy, more business casual maybe.  The way that the skirt ruffles out is gorgeous.  The sandals are super cute.  And the headband is a great addition.

Overall 9 – A wonderfully beautiful dress that isn't quite as fancy as the celebrate dresses, this is a great complimentary dress to the green one that came out a year or so ago.  The dress is made well, it fits great, and the accessories are great.  Great outfit!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Journey Girls' New Sleepwear Outfit

Mikaella In Comfy Sleepwear

One of the great things about the new releases from Toys R Us is the variety of outfits that are available.  This pajama set is a great example of the variety of types of clothing that they released for the Journey Girls.  It is also worth mentioning that there were three different pajama sets released, making it so that your dolls don’t all have to wear the same pajamas.  That is awesome!!!

The set comes with a gray long sleeved shirt, soft cotton pants, a sleeping mask, a little stuffed bird, and a pair of moccasin style pink slippers.  Everything in the set fits perfectly, as it should, since it is made for the Journey Girls.   The top is a simple gray ribbed long sleeve shirt.  It has a pink collar, pink cuffs at the end of the sleeves and a pink hem at the bottom of the shirt.  The shirt Velcro’s up the back for easy on and off.

The pants are a pastel purple, soft cotton fabric with printed birds on them.  An elastic waist keeps the pants snug and make it super easy to put them on also.  Gray fabric that matches the shirt is sewn on the bottom of each leg. 

The sleeping mask matches the bird print on the pants and is accented by pink piping around the edges, matching the accents on the shirt.  It has a simple elastic band to hold it on Mikaella’s head.  Since the Journey Girls can’t close their eyes, this is a great way to make them “sleep”.

Since this is a fairly simple set, it is nice that it comes with a few accessories.  Almost everyone had a favorite stuffed animal when they were growing up.  It’s nice to see that a stuffed animal is included in this set.  The bird is more like a pillow than a stuffed animal, but it totally matches the outfit.  If you look at the pants, there is actually a pink bird with orange wings, just like the stuffed bird.  The one thing that is a bit ridiculous is the tag on the bird is just as big as the bird itself.  Cut it off if you’d like.

The last thing that is in this set is also one of the best additions, the slippers.  Shoes are kind of a weak point in most of the outfits.  These are awesome, partly because they are very realistic and they aren’t plastic.  Yeah!!!  The slippers are pink, matching all the other pink on the outfit.  The soft fabric is pleated in the toe of the slipper with a stretched back.  A light pink bow adorns both of the slippers tops.  Getting the slippers on can be a bit challenging as the backs of the slippers catch on Mikaella’s heels, since the fabric doesn’t stretch.

All ratings are out of 10

Value 8 – Although this is a great outfit, it is just pajamas.  Most of the things are not going to go with anything other than other pajamas.  The top may be able to go with very casual outfits, but mostly it will go well with other pajamas.

Fitment 10– The outfit is a perfect fit.  Even though the slippers are tight, they still fit well.  You can tell that this outfit is made for the Journey Girls.

Versatility 4 – The pants and the shirt could be used for other outfits, but it would have to be the right outfit…like a lazy day outfit.  Sleepwear just doesn’t have many other uses than sleepwear.  

Cuteness 9 – Who doesn’t like little birds?  The print on this outfit is adorable.  The little birds are super cute.  The colors are great together.  There is just enough pink.  And the slippers are awesome!  Cute and functional, perfect.

Overall 7 – Don’t let the score fool you, this is an amazing outfit, it’s just not a very versatile outfit.  The Journey Girls have a lot of great outfits, but almost all of them have been daywear, so it is great to get some sleepwear.  The print on the outfit is really cute, the colors are great, and the accessories are nice too.   The bird is a bit of a strange stuffed animal, but it matches the outfit perfectly, and it is kind of a cute little pillow.  The slippers are awesome and stay on Mikaella’s feet well, once they are on.  Every girl needs some good comfortable sleepwear; this is a perfect outfit for that.  Buy it if you get the chance.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fixing a Journey Girls Arm

How to Put a Journey Girls Arm Back On (And Take it Off)

The Journey Girls are made pretty well, but every once in awhile something happens and they fall apart.  When this happens getting a new doll is not always possible.  So fixing the old, loved doll is the only solution.  To help with that, I am going to show you how to take an arm off of a Journey Girl and then put it back on.

The first thing you need to do is get your tools you are going to need to make this repair happen.  You will need an embossing heat tool (or a hair dryer), curved tip needle nose pliers (if you don't have those, regular needle nose pliers will work) and then a small Flathead screwdriver.

The embossing heat tool works better than a hairdryer, because the heat is concentrated in a more precise space.  This makes it so a smaller area of the dolls vinyl is heated.  If you don't have an embossing tool, the hair dryer will work, just be careful not to burn your hand.

Find a nice table to sit at to do this project.  Stretch the dolls arm out to the side as far as it will go.  Use the heating tool to heat the shoulder joint, going all the way around the shoulder on the arm side, not the body side.  Do this for 30 seconds to a minute.  You should not have to do it any longer than a minute. 

At this point the vinyl around the shoulder should be warm, but not hot.  It should also be more pliable. Pinch the arm, right below the shoulder a little to loosen it, then pull back on the arm, staying close to the shoulder.  Don't yank or wiggle it, and don't pull from too far away from the shoulder joint.  If you do you run the risk of breaking the plastic cup inside the joint.  If the arm is not coming off, heat the vinyl again.  The arm should start coming off of the joint cup inside.

Once you can see inside the joint (like above) you should be able to gently twist the arm off of the joint cup.  If it doesn't easily come off, heat the vinyl again or use the screw driver to pry the arm off.  Pry towards the arm, don't push down on the cup with the edge of the screwdriver as you are more likely to break the cup.

The arm should look like this when it is off.  It will have a hole in the middle of the shoulder.  Coming out of the doll's body is a cup with a plastic dowel attached to the bottom, that goes into the doll's body.

Lay the doll on her back or tummy (not her side).  Using the curved needle nose pliers (or the straight ones), get under the cup joint, pull it out a little until you can grasp the plastic dowel with the pliers. Pull it out as far as you can.  It will stop, don't pull it any further.  You just need it out enough to get the arm back on. 

Leave the pliers underneath the cup if possible.  It will help when you go to put the arm on.  Again, this just gives space so that you can get the arm around the edge of the cup. 

Heat the shoulder of the arm, especially around the hole.  Again only 30 seconds to a minute.  By that point the vinyl should be plenty soft.

You can also heat the vinyl around the shoulder on the body.  On older dolls you may need to do this because the vinyl on the arm is less pliable (even with heating).  If you can get the arm on without heating the body, that's better.  So skip this step at first, then go back and do it if needed.

Once the arm is heated squish it so that it makes more of an oval at the opening.  This makes it easier to get around the side of the cup.

Starting at the back of the cup, put the arm around the edge.  Once you have the arm on the cup a little bit you can let go of the plastic dowel with the pliers. 
(If you are having a hard time using the pliers and getting the arm on, get rid of the pliers.  Squeeze the arm so that the hole becomes an oval, scoop under the cup with the bottom of the shoulder hole on the arm, and push the arm on.)

Push the arm on to the cup.  It will not be able to go any further because of the plastic down at the bottom.

At this point you will need to squeeze the sides of the arm (not top and bottom), push onto the joint gently and kind of pull the arm forward (right at the hole).  The idea is to get the arm hole around the cup.  Make small motions.  Don't yank!  Don't go too fast!  If you are having lots of trouble use the screwdriver to kind of help the cup into the shoulder hole.  If the vinyl is beginning to get hard, warm it up again.  Keep working it around.

The first time I did this, the arm slipped off the cup a couple of times.  Take a deep breath and try again.  You will be able to get it back on.

When the arm is back on a massaged the vinyl around the shoulder on the arm to make sure that the cup was in okay.  It also helps the arm to get back to it's original shape.  Let the arm cool a little, then check the joint for any issues with flexibility.

The arm joint should be as good as new.  If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I will try to answer it as best I can.  Hope this helps save few Journey Girls.

Kelsey's Adventure: Until Tomorrow

Kelsey Goes Back Home

Elita begins flying through the forest towards the tunnel.  Kelsey looks back at her three new friends and waves one last time.   I wish I could always stay here, but I need to get back home.  At least for right now.

They wave back, Illy blowing her a kiss.  Kelsey smiles, turns around and continues walking, as Elita waits for her to catch up.

“Elita, Why did you bring me here?”

Elita continued flying, but slowed so that she stay even with Kelsey as she walked.  She didn’t imedeately respond to Kelsey.  Kelsey was about to say something when Elita finally responded.

“I found the tunnel one day as I was exploring.  Just out chasing birds and squirrels like every other ordinary day.  I’ve probably been by that log thousands of times.  For some reason, that day I went into it.”  Elita stops and hovers.  Kelsey comes around to the front of her.  

“I flew into the tunnel, my curiosity making me go further than I knew was safe.”

I know that feeling.  Kelsey thought as Elita continued.  “When I finally made it to the other end and saw the door I was so excited I didn’t think of what the consiquences might be, I just opened the door and went through it.” 

Elita finds a log and sits on it, her glow dimming as she sits.  Kelsey joins her there.  

“Your world was not that different than mine.  Squirrels chased after each other, birds flew from tree to tree, even the land looked similar."  

"I flew through the forest, until I came to the edge and saw my first real live human.  I was so scared I flew right back to the tunnel, through the door, slamming it as I went through it.  As I did, something fell onto the ground.  It was the key.”

Kelsey stared in awe at Elita, fascinated by the story.  Elita looked at the ground, “I took the key and brought it back to my house, vowing to bring it to Delphi Hallow.  But I didn’t."  

"Because my curiosity got the best of me…and I went back to the tunnel and went out the door.  Over the next few years I checked what was outside the door, explored your home, but never for more than an hour or so.”

Elita flutters off of the log.  Kelsey gets up and follows her as she begins to slowly fly forward again.  “I was in the tunnel the day you fell against the door.  I watched you through the keyhole.  It was then that I decided that I wanted to meet you, bring you here.”

“But why?”, Kelsey asks again.

“Elita smiles as she turns to Kelsey, “I am not sure.  I just wanted to see you up close.  As I watched you over the weeks after you found the door, I couldn’t believe that you would hurt me, or the other fairies.  I just wanted to find out for sure!”

Kelsey giggles and notices that they have come to the tunnel.  “So I was another one of your animals basically.”

“I guess.” Elita says, “Are you mad?”

“Are you kidding me?  I am so excited to be here!  And to meet you and all your friends.”

Elita smiles, relieved that Kelsey isn’t mad at her. She starts into the tunnel. 

“Let’s get you home.”

Kelsey follows Elita through the tunnel, Elita always in front of her lighting the way.  They walk in silence as they traverse the tunnel.  

Maybe I should just stay.  What if Elita is right and time goes much slower in my world.  It may be only a few minutes later than when I left.  Maybe…

She sees the light from the open door, pulling her back to reality.  Elita stops and hovers next to her.

“This is where I leave you.” Elita says

“I’ll come back tomorrow.” Kelsey says to her.  She waves, Elita waves back, and then she walks through the door.  

The day is still bright here.  She closes the door, locking it, and then begins walking home.    

What a day.  I so want to tell Kyla or Meredith or Dana about it!  But I won’t.  Oh I can’t wait until tomorrow!  Kelsey skips a little as she gets to the path, thinking of her day and all that may lie ahead for her and Elita. 

“I’ll be back tomorrow!”

Check back next week as Kelsey ventures back to Trillatia.