Nothing is impossible – You just have to know the way how to repair your Barbie

I know that I’ve been posting not enough in the last months but I try to improve my number of posts in the next weeks. Sometimes I need more time for my videos because you know I’m a part-time youtube creator. Sometimes you need more time because things don’t work out they way you want them to. It’s normal but you as a creator feeling stressed when it does not work as you want.

This is not always the case but it can happen and I want to encourage you don’t let this come too close to you.

I have an example for you. The creation of the first part of this video was no problem. Everything was running smoothly. This was not my first try. I already recorded another video with the same topic in 2019 but back then I used another cutting program which gave me less freedom than DaVinci Resolve.

It’s just the way how to come from A to B. There is a product that does the work for you.

What caused more trouble was the second part. The hair was not co-operating here in the first place. I had to some tricks to get it under control and needed two evenings to tape the re-creation the hairstyle. After filming I realized that although that my hand was in the way again, like often. So I had to tape the whole process again but with another doll.

The try with the second doll was no problem. It did work out like it should. The little waves at the end stayed in place at my Ponytail Barbie dolls. So far no problem. Only the fact that this first record was anything but professional was annoying me. You know it try to do it as original as possible. It’s not impossible to recreate it but sometimes you have to find creative solutions for strange problems.

Barbie Francie doll, the cousin of Barbie Francie Fairchild

Christmas is over now but is this the best reason to say we have to wait until next year to sew a Xmas skirt for Francie? My answer is no and I can explain you why. In December 2020 I saw the fabric you can see below in the little video. I saw it and I thought it would make a perfect dress, skirt or top for Barbie doll or a family member like Francie. Francie is the cousin of Barbie doll, sold from the mid 1960s until the mid 1970s. Do I have to mention that she is still a very popular member of the Barbie family? When you’re into Vintage & Mod Barbie collecting then I guess I don’t have to.

Maybe it’s useful to explain it to the other side of my readers here. Although Francie doll is a very early member of the Barbie doll family she is still very popular among the children from back then, now being grandmas. Designed to be a bit younger than Barbie and more adolescent than Skipper doll Francie was designed to be approx. 15 years old with a little bit more breast than Skipper but less than Barbie has.

Seen from a marketing point of view and keeping in mind that the wild 60s in London, GB were such an influence that it was hard to ignore in general. Maybe this idea was the starting point why Francie doll was released in 1966. This was also a big opportunity to hop on the train because the fashion of Barbie was rather 50s like, classical, conservative, not hip. That’s the point where Francie could help. With her sling body she could wear hip mini-dresses, short skirts and tight things that Barbie was a little bit too old for.

When I made my first contact with Barbie Francie was out of production for a long time, almost 25 years but I immediately liked her when I got into collecting in the mid 1990s ( and yeah, she was affordable back then) but she was not my main focus point. I rather wanted to collect Barbie. The interest in collecting Francie was there from the first minute. After collecting for 10 years I found a Francie on a flea market with almost no clothing but her bathing suit. For a long time she had to wear it. In the last years she got another outfit but hey, believe it or not but I think the original clothes are hard to find and even expensive. Why not designing your own clothes for Francie? With this idea in mind this video is the logical conclusion of it. So here we are doing our own clothes for Francie when the original ones are too expensive.

The same stress as every year

I don’t how you feel it but in my opinion the time before Christmas is always the most stressful time of the year. It’s not that you have to find presents for every member of your family but the stress your unsatisfied boss tries to transfer to you. You have a lot to do because you have a lot of work to do and then comes something like “Oh, you’ve done it in a wrong way”…

no matter what you do. The ray of hope is your closing time because after closing time you can do your own projects, which you already started before work at 5.a.m. or 5.30 a.m. because the time between closing time and dinner is seldom enough time to work on your own videos, care about social media profiles, do funny thumbnails, literally dancing on several weddings at the same time.

How to manage it your time-table

As a part-time youtuber you have to plan exactly what you want to do on that specific day. The limit is the time you have per day. So you have to plan every day that you can reach your goals. For some of you it is surely a good way to write your tasks down. For others it’s not necessary. I have it in my mind and I’m on schedule. Of course it’s a lot of work but only when you work on it you can get better in things because you have to repeat them.

My timetable is tight and when the weather is bad and you can not ride your bike to work it is even tighter and has to be planned specifically. When to make calls, when to cut video, when to take photos, when to publish, when to make thumbnails and so on.

Plan everything?

This year my last days at work were not very stressful but partly filled with time to wait for answers. I needed several answers but I didn’t get them in time because my boss was not in the office. What to do? Having the stress your boss who tries to transfer to you? I’m not even allowed to install new programmes on my working PC. In this cases my smart phone is always helpful. What should I do? I’m not the biggest fan of not using my time in a perfect way. I have it to wait. What’s easier than to do your tasks on your smart phone?

The last days at home as a private person were even more stressful because I had a lot of videos to prepare for the vacation. I’m not at home. I’m visiting my parents right now but I don’t have any other social contacts at the moment than my parents. In this situation it’s an advantage to have no sisters and brothers. I’m an only-child.

I had to prepare videos for several weeks in advance. I had to cut all the promo and the trailers, load them up, prepare the thumbnails, do the preparation, do all the cleaning in our apartment, pack the luggage, keep everything in mind, not forget anything.

Plans for the new year

For next year I plan to be better organized, maybe doing some videos less. Maybe I hire somebody to help me doing all the tasks I do alone at the moment. Maybe I outsource some of my tasks. I know my post barely contains anything about myself but rather what experience in these days.

I also bought some new equipment for better videos in 2021. I also try to do cooperations so that I get a little help in some parts of my creative work because I think if I don’t do it I will ran out of time again.

Overall I’m satisfied with what I achieved this year with my possible time and work but I always try to improve what I’m doing. Don’t worry when you don’t hear anything in the next 4 weeks. I already wanted to post last week but I taped super empty highways within Germany … have never seen them so empty in my life before… and did a lot of research.

How can framerates per second slow your work down and you don’t even know it

This week I find the time to blog again because I was a little frustrated last week and my work is a little behind my time-schedule. I wanted to publish an IG TV video on Tuesday, prepared the whole video, reconverted it and realized it did not fit for Instagram. This time I had to learn it the hard way but hey, a day without anything learned is a bad day. It seems that IG TV only accepts a frame rate up to 30fps and not 50fps. My videos are cut in 50fps and I thought resizing the video would be enough to publish the video. My latest camera had the preset in 50fps per sec. I changed it in the meantime but did not realize it at first.

I think I got the point in the meantime. It’s not just the resizing, it’s also the frame rate per second what caused the trouble in the last days. Two weeks ago it was no problem to upload my promo video on all platforms. This week there was only a little problem with Instagram. All the other platforms had no problem with the format. I wondered for about two days where the problem was. This morning I found the solution because I read a lot of articles about the fps and the demands of Instagram and checked the video from last week. There was a difference. I cut last week an extra video for the promotion in a complete new size but I did not realize it last week. This week a found a more convenient solution but I think it’s not the best one. I will have to check and probably start from zero again. The good thing is that it’s just one minute and the bad thing that I’ve already cut 3 more promo trailers for my next videos.

Instagram had obviously problems with the platform

I was finally able to solve the problem. I reported the problem to Instagram when all that was happening. There was no response but suddenly after using it not for two or three days of frustration suddenly there was a new button even when using the web for posting on Instagram. It seems that they fixed the problem finally. After reproducing the videos in the correct frame rate it was no problem anymore. I don’t even have to use an application for reformatting the videos.

When posting a video on Instagram keep in mind that the solution 1920 x 1080 is in mp4 format no problem as long as you stay under 30 frames per second. The video has to be longer than 60 seconds. Videos under 60 seconds are not accepted. Why ever …

My solution to the problem in my DaVinci Resolve is to keep in mind that I have to stay under my 30 frames per second, no matter with how much fps my cameras filmed the material. The other pre-sets were okay. When you keep 24 fps in mind it will save you lots of time and trouble.

And another month passed by… what happened at Busy B.?

Now we almost have November and almost one month passed by since my last post. This time of the year is the busiest of the year for me. I’m preparing lots Christmas and Birthday presents and since I’m doing them by hand a lot of time is needed for this work. Maybe I show you some pics in the next weeks of what I’m doing at the moment ( like last year when I did a video about the German Lebkuchen I embroidered for my mother).

This October was somehow not really golden, rather rainy and cold and I got myself new Winter clothes for being able to ride my bike in Winter. It’s incredible how much things are offered. Unfortunately they don’t tell you what’s really good and what not. Don’t believe what’s written in the feedback for the product, especially not when you intending to buy from amazon. A lot of fake evaluations are written there. Be very careful when you try one of these platforms where they promise you free stuff but you have to buy it yourself and get the money back. When you should test something why should you pay for the product ?

Nevertheless I got one free product last month and wrote a review about it. It was no clothing and I have not paid anything for it. By the way it’s very useful for my videos. That’s what it should be like when doing a review. I applied for another test this month so let’s see if I can test another device. I don’t expect that I’m another time chosen but let’s see.

The progress on my video channel is okay. I hit the 500 subscriber mark in the last week. That’s a good sign I think. Maybe it’s going to be a bit easier from now on. The video cutting has become much easier thanks to the new program I use for two months now. I tried some of the features it offers but not all. There’s still a lot to learn. I will manage it. Just give me a little more time to do this more professionally. By the way I also improved my equipment last month but I think this is not so obvious for everybody.

I try to blog more often in the next time. I had/ have some video projects that need a lot of time and I don’t always find the time to blog every week.

Suburban Shopper, a vacation and a lot of work

I just saw that one month passed by since my last post. Ghee whiz, the time is really flying away at the moment. So at first my colleague had vacation in August and after her return it was time for me to take a week off. I admit it was really nice to have one with with no pressure, really good food and no time limits to keep. Really enjoyable after having had 14 years of no vacation.

It’s been a long time since my last real vacation after finishing from school I began with my studies and then had jobs with no vacation, working all year round. I don’t mind to work hard but I sometimes need brakes. In the begin of September I took one.

I was offline for almost one week and I have to say it was not even that bad. Now the first two weeks of work are over and I have started with my third working week, doing the 5 day 7,5 hours thing and after closing time my youtube channel, social media stuff and getting better with it. By the way I also had my first dance lesson again after almost 6 months of Covid 19. I admit I really liked it.

Coming to Barbie I have lots of plans for new videos, have a lot of videos to prepare, have only a few new Barbie dolls but I got the Suburban Shopper dress, the Vintage one, not the Unique Vintage x Barbie dresses, not the reproduction. This is gonna be one of my next projects because it needs some repair.

My new broken Suburban Shopper dress at the moment

So I think that’s enough for today.

A marriage, lots of work and other unexpected things that happened in the last 6 weeks

You haven’t heard anything in the last weeks from me but here I am. Many things came together in the last weeks that kept me from blogging. Often I was only home for two hours a day and for sleeping at night. Not enough time to blog anything…

So I thought hey, why not wait until the time-consuming phase is over and then blog again? That’s now. Well, we had a lot of work in the last weeks due to the marriage of a befriended couple that we know from the dancing staff. It was their wish to let us participate with some dance interludes. This was of course partly unknown to the couple. They only wanted us to participate in only one but we had planned even more which they were not aware of. As you can imagine leaving home after work just for dance training two or three times a week is time-consuming. The schedule for every day of the week was planned, when to leave, when to practise and so on. We did everything outside and this here permitted again since several weeks.

Help! DaVinci Resolve ….

After the marriage I found out that my main PC was not crashing anymore after choosing Windows 10. For more than 1 year the problem occured that the system forgot its graphic drivers with every new start. This gave me the opportunity to improve my skills in video cutting since I got DaVinci Resolve last year but have not been able to test it ever since. Within a week I had watched a course with the most important features and used it almost immediately. After doing so from Monday – Friday I was away on Saturdays so that only the Sunday was left for filming activities and cutting which was in fact not very much. At least I wanted to have a little rest from my weekly work.

That’s why I’m a little bit late in these weeks to blog anything new. My parcel with some donated dolls came. I have a few new Barbie dolls, really Vintage from the early years. I’ve been searching for some for a while now. On the literally hottest Friday evening of this year I find the time to finish this post.

How do you revive a Barbie doll’s hair?

That’s a very good question but it’s easy to answer when you know what hair fibre your doll has. In general there are only three hair fibres that were ever used by Mattel. You have Saran hair ( early dolls have until mid 1980s used widely), Nylon hair ( some 80s dolls have Nylon hair, very shiny, you find it mainly on MLP My little Pony) and Kanekalon hair ( mainly used in the 90s for Barbie dolls with giant amount of hair).

What you can do with every doll head is wash the hair to revive it. It’s artificial hair so nothing can really happen except that Barbie dolls produced in the last 15 years could loose their hair because they are glued in with resin or a glue, anyway something very gluey and stick but not resistant to heat. It seems that Mattel glued the hair in the head after they bought new machine which work automatically. It seems that the new machines don’t need a worker anymore. This a way of cost saving but what about the quality? Do you know that the glue comes out of the head after you debox the doll and comb it? Some modern collectors say the hair has a feeling like wax, not very pleasant. The original way how dolls got their hair is this one…

Here you have a worker but no glue. You can imagine it like a sewing machine for doll hair. Your thread is the hair. By the way these machine are expensive up to 3000 € and more in used condition.

But back to the topic now

The easiest way to revive the hair is by washing it. Treat it with conditioner instead of soap. I show you in one of my videos how I do this. The procedure is a little labor intense but it’s worth the procedure because the hair is always looking much better than before. What these sewing machines for doll hair do is this here

So basically due to the pattern inside the head that the machine made nothing will happen when you treat the doll with the conditioner. The hair pattern done by the machine is secured inside the head. You must proverbial cut the hair very short to be able to destroy the pattern. This here is my way to revive the hair …

This method also works for shorter hair and is a very good method to save hair so that your doll doesn’t loose so much hair. This method also works for Saran and Nylon hair but these fibres don’t tend so much to tangles. By the way the doll in my video has Kanekalon hair and I think this fiber was used mainly in the 1990s because it was cheap.

So I hope I’m able to give you a good idea how you can treat the hair of your doll to revive it.

New Barbie repair adventures ahead

I know I haven’t posted anything for two weeks but now I can tell you something new. I’m going to get a parcel this week with lots of Barbie dolls for repair and the best thing is I haven’t to pay for them. They are a gift from another collector who likes my idea to get repair without paying the repair itself only the shipping and handling costs and material costs.

She asked me to test a new glue for broken necks and I said I’d be glad to test and do a video, although I don’t know if this stuff is available outside from Germany. I’m curious to do the test. I heard a lot. Now I get the chance to do a test.

What else happened in the meantime?

Well I had to work only three days last week and had a long weekend that I used for Barbie, not for doing videos but to continue to develop my sewing and pattern making skills for Francie. I started on May 1rst I think with a pattern for Francie and had problem to make it fit to her size. I had too many wrinkles at the wrong places but this weekend I had an idea how to make it probably work. I tried it and had success with my idea. It’s not perfect yet but I think I’m on the right way to find the pattern. I did a second project yesterday and designed my very first sleeve. The sleeve is definitely something for the next weekend. I saw some progress in my Francie “Let’s Dance” sewing project. It feels good to see some progress.

Short update for pattern making friends

I can’t believe how fast the last week passed by. Last week I designed my first top pattern for Francie and I was really nervous how this would turn out because the pattern form I got for Francie was very similar to the pattern I did for Barbie. Had I used the right measurements? I was so nervous that I didn’t want to start sewing it. This sounds strange, I know. Again I had the same problem like with the one for Barbie. My front middle part had too much fabric to fit in a perfect way. I had this while doing my Barbie top. After my first Francie top try I already knew where to modify the pattern. I think the next try will fit much better because of the modification. This time I tried to document what I did because I realized that I forgot a lot. Additionally I took the measure from my Vintage Skipper so that I can do patterns for her or Ricky too in the future. Maybe pattern making becomes easier the more often you do it. At least I hope so.

If you ask yourself why I suddenly started to do pattern making for Francie, well this is due to the fact that I was not 100% satisfied with the pattern I used for my “Let’s dance” Francie dress project . So I decided to try another approach and doing my own top to come as close to the original as possible. You know I’m a purist. If you’re not familiar with the topic, just watch the first part of my new video series.

I’m going to insert a pic of my first try here in the next days. I’m still sitting here and write this article.