Thursday, October 20, 2016

Still at Reds' Networking

Syren and Ember have started their evening at Reds'.  There are other people mixing and mingling, hoping to make some good business contacts or at least hope those business people will remember them when their business contacts are looking for someone.

Ember chats with a gentleman who has nothing to do with fashion, is not a business owner, but does share some interesting things about the company for which he currently works.

Some more business women chatting.

Azalia:  So how often do you think we should do something like this?  It's a pretty good turnout.
Syren:  I think once per quarter is fine.  Make sure you're getting business cards for every attendee, like it's required as the cost of admission.  We'll work on building your personal marketing database for constant contact. 
Azalia:  Okay.  That's good.
Syren:  We'll also think about other ways to drive some business here.  We'll need to gauge from where the business came each time you book.  So always ask how they heard about you.
Azalia:  We can do that.  I need to take some notes.
Syren:  I'll type up a guide for you and we'll meet next week for the three of us to get together and review.
Azalia:  Sounds great.  You are a marketing wiz.

Ember is still chatting with the same guy before she moves on to other people.  She's not very concerned or hopeful about the prospects this evening.  She's just happy to be out socializing.

Giavanna just came out of the kitchen to pass around sandwiches.  She was a little delayed with some mishaps with the kitchen staff, but things are under control now.

Giavanna:  Thank you so much for joining us ladies.

After offering the sandwiches, Giavanna takes the tray back to the kitchen until she's ready to pass out food again.  When she returns, she's interested in meeting people who have come to the event.

Giavanna:  Hello.  Thank you so much for coming.  I'm Giavanna.
Ember:  Hello.  I'm Ember.  You have a nice place.  It's great for events.  The food is delicious and the drinks are just right.  I've had the lemonade, just enough sweet and tart flavors to balance it.
Giavanna:  Thank you so much. 
Syren:  Hi, Gia.  Ember's my sister.
Giavanna:  Oh!  Wow!  It's very nice to meet you.  Please remember that we are available for private events.
Ember:  I have had meetings with my models at a venue before, but they are all under drinking age.
Giavanna:  That's okay.  As you can see from the lemonade, we serve a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.  We can accommodate your needs.

As they are chatting, in walks Jun.  Jun is a freelance graphic designer.  Although he does very well and is sought after for assignments, he knows it's important to keep seeking clients.  He's hoping to make some good contacts this evening.

Jun:  This place is pretty nice.  I think we'll make some good contacts tonight. We can both benefit. I can talk up myself and you to everyone we meet.  You can do the same and that will double our chances of both getting more business.

As Jun is talking, Gia hears him and turns around to welcome her new guests.

Giavanna:  Hello and welcome to Reds'.  I'm Giavanna and Azalia is my partner.  We're so happy you can join us this evening.
Jun:  Thank you. You have a nice place.  I'm glad to have the opportunity to make some contacts here.
Giavanna:  Great!  You just walk around, introduce yourself, let people know what you do and how you can help them and just go from there. 

Gia notices Jun's friend behind him and encourages him to come closer so he can hear her better.

Parker:  Hello. 
Giavanna:  Hi.  Have you heard most of what I've said already?
Parker:  Yes, I have heard some about the introducing yourself and making contacts.
Giavanna:  Okay.  Again, I'm Giavanna and Azalia, who is operating the bar tonight, is my partner.  You can see her at the bar behind me in black and white.
Parker (looking):  Oh, I get it.  Reds' as in red hair?
Giavanna (laughing):  Yes, that's right.  I'm going to go get more food to pass. If you'd like something to drink, please let me know and I'll put in that order and then get them out to you.  Please enjoy yourselves.

Jun starts introducing himself.  The first person he walks over to is Syren, to whom he offers his hand to say hello.

Jun:  Hi, I'm Jun.  I'm a freelance graphic designer.  And you are?
Syren:  I'm Syren.  I'm a marketing manager.  My company is a marketing and public relations firm and my clients are all external.  I'm actually more of a consultant.
Jun:  Very nice.  Does your firm ever use graphic designers?
Syren:  All the time, for marketing materials.

Parker:  Hello, Syren.
Syren:  Hi, Parker.  How are you?
Jun:  You two know each other?
Syren:  Yes, we do.  Parker works with my sister, who owns an interior design company.
Jun:  Well, what a small world.  I like it.  Let's talk about how I can help you and your clients.  But please excuse me for just a minute.

Jun knows there's another female behind him, so he wants to be sure he is not rude and introduces himself.

Jun:  Hi, I'm Jun.
Ember:  Hello, Jun, I'm Ember.  I own Journey Talent Agency.
Parker:  She's also Syren's sister.
Jun:  Really.  Now that I've seen two beautiful sisters together, both business women, I'd love to see the third.  You guys are like a trifecta.  What a combination.
Ember (smiling):  Thank you.  So you know Parker?
Jun: We're room mates.  He moved in about a month ago.  He's a good guy.
Ember:  Yes, he is.  Such a gentleman.  It's very nice to meet you, Jun.

They all end up moving around so that Syren and Jun can discuss business.  Parker and Ember have a seat on the bench to chat.

Parker:  Are you enjoying the evening?
Ember:  I certainly am.  It's good to be out. I have a good, regular sitter now, so I'll be able to feel more comfortable about attending more events like these. Cyann has always been helpful, but I also didn't want to impede upon her home life.  So I feel like my business is about to grow now that I can be a little more flexible with my schedule..
Parker:  That's good.  Congratulations!  I hope it works out for you.
Ember:  I'm sure it will.  What about you?
Parker:  Business is good.  Although I came this evening to make contacts, work is pretty steady.  We're wrapping up a couple of home remodels and a bridal salon.  But I do think expansion could be good.  I'm just picky about a crew. You should see the skills I ask someone to demonstrate before I'll hire them.  The good thing is, I've been able to do more managing of the work than hands on all the time.  That's progress.

Ember:  It sure is.  It's nice to be freed up to manage better and work on your business rather than all of the execution.
Parker:  It sure is.  The hours won't be so long each day, so I'll have more free time on my hands. 
Ember (laughing):  My, now you'll be challenged with figuring out how to fill it.
Parker:  Yes, I've thought about that.  I was hoping I could start with taking you out on a date to get to know you better.


Right now Jewell is smiling and cheering, but probably disappointed this episode ends here.  But don't worry, we'll be back to see what happens.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The New Curvy Resident (Musings of a Blogger)

Here is my warning, this post is a little long, but I had to do it.

When Mattel came out with the new Tall, Petite and Curvy dolls, I passed because I am officially addicted to articulation.  I didn't have to worry too much about Tall ladies because the Integrity ladies and gentlemen are tall.  For the petite ladies, I could have tried Liv Doll bodies if I really needed to have them.  But there was no curvy articulated option that I was aware of, so I would have to wait and hope.  But hoping didn't have to last too long.

Mattel introduced the Harlem Theatre doll, Madam Lavinia, who is an articulated curvy doll.  She is Black Label, which normally means I would place her in the display case.  But my display dolls are meant to hold their poses, my articulated dolls are meant for play.  How could I display a doll I could actually play with, re-dress and pose?  However, I do like how she came and was torn about displaying, so I may add her to my Christmas list just to get her to display.  That means I can change lip color and hair on the one that just arrived.

I am a member of the Barbie Fan Club, so the moment the third quarter coupon of $20 was available, I placed my order.  She arrived today and I wasted no time in de-boxing her or re-dressing her for that matter.  So here she is, our newest resident...

 Just the box.

 In her box - looking all regal and stuff.  

 See that look she gave me?  She was very clearly demanding to be set free, so I obeyed.  As soon as I got her out of the box, I started removing items, starting with the head scarf.  I like her hair, but I may try making some wigs for her to help her mix it up.  

I was not very happy as I took down her dress.  A few areas of her body had double sided tape to hold items in place.

 Here - ouch!! 

 The back of the legs.

The front of the legs. 

At first I was aggravated because I thought it was glue and I would have to use soapy water (Goo Gone would be my last resort), but it was pretty easy to peel off without an issue or leaving marks. 

Then it was re-dressing time.  Since she's the first of her kind in the house, I knew most of the clothes wouldn't fit, but I was hoping shoes would.  She doesn't have the smaller feet, however, I do have some shoe options.

The blue shoe is a shoe I had originally purchased for the Prettie Girls bodies.  I found them on that 'bay' site by searching for Monster High Shoes.  While these are an option, the shoes are longer than her foot.  I can get away with using them as long as the back of the shoes is closed (heel not visible), like the blue one.  However, no open back shoes or she'll look like she bought them two sizes too big.

The white shoe I purchased for the FR girls from The Vogue HK (have I ever mentioned I love everything they sell for the ladies and gentlemen?).  These shoes are the better option, so I may have to add several to my Christmas list this year.  I may as well.  For the best fit, I will need to use removable glue dots to hold the heel to the shoe.

Now on to the clothes.  I knew most 'Barbie' off the rack items wouldn't fit, so I opted to try mostly items I had made.  This is helpful as I can easily see how I can adjust the pattern I have to fit her.  Which is great because while I'm trying my hand at it, I'm still not that good at making my own patterns, I think I can adjust an existing pattern until I get the hang of making my own.  I enjoy the techniques April uses on her site - Fashion Doll Stylist.  Even if you don't intend to make your own clothes, you should still check out the items she makes for her dolls.  Awesome!

Anyway on to the fitting photos... 

This actually looks more form fitting on her than it ever has for the thinner girls.  However, this shirt pattern (which I use often), needs some adjusting to work.

The shirt is very stressed in the back, which means I have to widen the back and front bodice pieces a little.  I also think the skirt could use just a half inch more to easily slide past her hips.

Here is another pattern I used for an easy one piece dress, but I think instead of straps that tie, I could use a snap for the straps.  The pattern works pretty well as is.  Her hair is getting a little disheveled, we may need a little gel or something.

  Here is an A-line dress I made last year.  I don't think the pattern needs much adjusting either.

I'm sure we all recognize this shirt from Mattel, which is a little stressed.  I made the skirt and it's a good fit because the material is stretchy. 

Here is the same skirt I showed earlier with another shirt pattern I use pretty often.  It will need a little adjusting as well, but it's not bad.

Then I thought I'd show a little bit of her motion/ability to pose.

She can touch her hair, not her face.  Her right arm is as far as it can bend toward her in that direction.  She can be on her knees without having to spread her legs far apart.

 Her arms can go behind her back. 

Her left arm is a close as it can get to her while that far up and the right arm can get closer while it's further down toward her waist.

This photo is to show her posture when sitting.  Her legs are close together, which makes her lean back some.

 If she spreads her legs further, she can sit up straighter.

 Here is arm range.  Her right arm is as far down as it can go in this direction with the shoulder facing up and the other arm shows how close her arm can be while raised.

 With her shoulder turned to it's normal position, she can hold her arm pretty much straight at shoulder height.

I'm happy I invited her to live here.  I'm sure she'll enjoy a major role here with the other residents because she is so special.  For some reason, I'm excited about working on some clothes for her, mostly because I think it will challenge me to figure out more pattern making and adjusting.  

I hope there will be more like her, maybe even some in 'Made to Move' version.  I'd buy them.

May the joy of collecting dolls be with you! ~ Jaye

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New World Peacekeepers at Big Lots (Musings of a Blogger)

I've been checking Big Lots hoping they have some good looking new men to join the residents (yes, I am purchasing more dolls when I was supposed to stop, but I need a few men). Finally I saw some today, but I'm disappointed because although they look good, those daggone permanent gloves annoy me.

Some of you may be interested in seeing if you can find these guys near you, so I'm sharing which guys I saw.

 This guy is pretty good looking.

 Just look at him.  One of the girls would love to have a good looking guy like him. 

 This guy looks similar to one I've seen before.  He even has a dimple in his chin.


 This guy is good looking...

But alas, there are those darn gloves...again!

Dear toy makers, you cannot make dolls and action figures with unnatural permanent items like gloves, shoes, and underwear.  It drives some of us neurotic people crazy.  But I digress...for now.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Monday, October 10, 2016

On the Way to Evening Networking

Ember is getting ready to go out for the evening.  One of Syren's clients, Reds', is hosting an event suggested by Syren to build their business. Syren suggested Ember accompany her for the opportunity to network and just get her out socially. 

Elaina, Ember's new babysitter, has arrived and is downstairs keeping Erwyn company.  Although she's almost ready to go, Ember is upstairs working on finishing touches - accessories.

Ember (to herself):  Maybe I'll skip the bracelet tonight.  I need earrings.  But this bracelet would look good.  Not sure.  Hmm...

Ember chooses earrings as soon as she starts putting them on, the phone rings.  So she quickly finishes popping in the earrings and has a seat to take the call while she considers what handbag to take.

Ember: Hi, Henna.  What's going on?..I'm on my way out...Syren has an event with a client. I'm not sure who'll be there. I'm not even sure there will be possible clients, but who knows?...You have a client for me? Who?...Oh, yes, I remember Zavier, but not his wife...Oh!  That's so nice, a bridal salon.  Well, the girls haven't done runway yet, just catalog.  But this isn't quite that type, right?  Do you know the budget?...I guess I can meet with her, but it doesn't sound like I can help her...Consultant, instead?...We'll see.  But I really need to get going.  I don't want to be late.

Ember:  Yes, we can talk tomorrow...When is she coming back?...Is she staying with you again?...Really, long-term housing.  Well, that's good, but I wonder why...Well, I can see that.  She will have her own space if she's staying as long as last time...Thanksgiving where?...Okay.  Well, I do have to go.  We can talk tomorrow when I have more time, okay?...Okay, good night.

Ember grabs a bag and then heads downstairs.  In the meantime, Elaina and Erwyn are going over their plans.

Elaina:  After we color, we can play some jacks. I'm going to teach you.  It's fun.  Oh and if we still have time, we can play Old Maid.
Erwyn:  I know that game. I play it with Brenna and my Uncle Grayson sometimes.  He says we set him up and he loses.  He's funny. 
Elaina:  Yes, Mr. Matthews is funny.  Your mother said you had dinner already, but we can have a snack too a while before you go to bed.  Yummy, right?
Erwyn:  Right! 

Ember walks in. 

Ember:  Did I hear something about a snack?  I'm sorry I'm going to miss that.
Erwyn:  Sorry, Mommy. 
Ember:  It's okay.  I have to do some work tonight so we can still afford more snacks. 
Elaina:  I hope you enjoy your evening, Miss Ember.
Ember:  I keep telling you that you can call me Ember, but I guess I'll let you get around to it.
Elaina:  I don't think I can call you that.  But thank you for the offer.
Ember:  Remember, bed time at 9:00. 
Erwyn:  Okay.  Bye, Mommy.
Elaina:  We won't forget.  Have a good time.

Ember heads out to meet Syren at Reds'.

 At Reds' the invited business people are mixing and mingling.

Ember:  This place is pretty nice, Sy.  So your client owns this place and is trying to build up clients?
Syren: Yes.  It's a good idea to have business people network with other people here so they can feel like they are getting more out of coming than just seeing the place.  They make contacts this evening and, hopefully, want to come back for their own events. 
Ember:  Who owns this place?
Syren:  Azalia Lucas and Giavanna Rossi.  And, as you can imagine by the name, they are both redheads.  Azalia, who is also called 'Zi Zi' or 'Zale', is the curly haired red head behind the bar right now. 

Ember: That's an interesting bar.  There's no sink, no refrigerator and no ice. 
Syren:  That's because they actually have a bartender who mixes up the drinks in the kitchen, but they can either top off a few things with liquor out here or mix something quick if the customer doesn't want ice.  They do bring out ice sometimes and  they may have a bucket of wine on ice at times.  The food comes out of the kitchen. 
Ember:  That's convenient.
Syren: What's even more interesting is that you can't order food.  They have a menu from which they serve each evening and they come around with a tray of each item, butler style, and you can just grab what you want.  That's why there's a pretty hefty cost to get in, but totally worth it because you don't have to keep purchasing drinks and food. It's included.

Dominic (to the lady on the bench):  So if you're ever interested in having an event at Select Spaces, drop by and get a tour.  It may be better if you call so you can see an empty space, but I can show you what we offer.
Lady:  That's such a cool concept.  I think I will stop by.  I may want to use a space.
Azalia:  That is a cool concept.
Dominic:  Thank you.  I like this set up here too, especially your selecting your own menu and not having to worry about what people want to order. That makes purchasing so much easier.
Azalia (laughing):  We don't have the patience or the time to cater to different menu options.

Azalia looks up and sees Syren and Ember.

Azalia:  Hi!  I'm so glad you made it.  (to the other two people) This is our marketing mastermind, Syren.  This event was her idea.
Syren:  Hi, Azalia.  It looks like you have a good turn out, and the evening just started.  It can only get better.
Dominic:  It's a nice event.  Do I know you?  I swear you look familiar. 
Syren:  I'm not sure, we may have met.

Dominic:  I own Select Spaces.  Have you ever been there?
Ember:  That's it!  Yes!  Our sister, Henna, designed for you.
Dominic:  That explains it.  How is Henna? 
Syren: She's doing very well.  Thank you for asking.  I know Select Spaces is doing well.
Dominic:  Yes, I'm grateful.  Please be sure to stop by.  Please let me know when you do so I can be sure you get a little extra special treatment.
Ember: I've been there a couple of times, but your space event planner set things up. 
Dominic:  Yes, she does a great job.  We have wonderful employees.
Syren:  You sure do, like my friend, Marlin.  She works for you.
Dominic:  You are really connected.  Marlin is one of my best employees.  

Syren (whispering to Ember):  Well, Sis, let's get to mixing and mingling.
Ember (laughing):  Okay then, let's get started.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye