Idle Hands: Never with a Doll Blog!


Idle hands are the Devil's workshop! 

How many times have you heard that---from your mom, grandmother, of those busy-body friends who never stops moving?

Gilly never stops she's exercising on the dress rack at Vickie's Vintage.

When we aren't gardening, we are hunkered down in the house during the cold and rain.

I have another blog: Somethings:OldNewGreenRedo
where I do garden, home decor, cooking, and redo projects. I originally started the doll stuff on there..., but moved them to here.

WHY you should SUBSCRIBE
 to my Doll blog: 

I never hassle you more than once about a post through your email...I never sell you anything, no pop-ups, or annoying U-tubes. 
NO multiple contacting for newsletters, follow-ups or product hassles. 
No associate connections-pushing products on you--no associate links to big box stores or foreign owned companies to buy, buy, buy
Instead I recommend scrounging thrift stores for items to use for your dolls, reusing containers and packaging for projects, etc.

If I do recommend a's because it works for me, and I have used it multiple times. I have extensive experience working in multiple mediums from multiple companies. 

I have 50 adult years of ART experience: and ran the no.1 Art department for a big chain in the Chicago Area for several years. I've taught fine arts, floral and craft classes for GED certificates,  adults, as well as implemented children's programs: for park districts, Montessori school, and retail stores. I've taught many types of clay classes in two states for all age levels.

Here at barbieoldnewgreenredo, I do PG stories with different types of dolls, dioramas and a huge cast of characters ---ALWAYS AD-FREE, politics and religion free, and always safe for kids, with dioramas, how-to's, and all sorts of creative stuff. And, with the hope of giving you loads of information with a smile.

Since I have become older, I find working on a smaller scale for 'redo's' are really easier on my body then ripping down walls in a real house.

 Besides who doesn't have fun 'playing' with dolls. 

My latest project has been

this Grand Hotel refurbishment. I found it for $9.99---totally trashed, but with good bones. Enjoy the transformation in multiple posts.

Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I have never had issues with being alone, or keeping busy. 

So, my construction crew did some serious demolition, the posts for the hotel started HERE!

Adding a new floor, atrium,  and expanding. 

The best laid plans of mice and men!
Richelle was the main designer on this project.

This is the bones that were transformed to this, below.

The bakery(left) was the only shop able to open, because of Covid-19!

I've done several posts on Sindy's Pattiserrie, and even how they bake the goodies. And, how busy they are serving the near north side neighborhood during the pandemic.

Since the shut-down, Salon Jacquie(on the right of the first floor) hasn't opened, but she is ready.

Jacquie and her staff had a meeting the night before the total shutdown...! 
I keep reality in my stories. Carefully worded to explain to kids of any age what is going on. I try to keep the stories ethnically diverse, politics and religion free, with a sense of humor. 

Life is funny, sometimes! But, certainly not all pink!

Upstairs are two apartments, and a fictitious eight more on the four missing floors above.  I haven't even begun to introduce those characters, yet. 

The mysterious Diva, Colette and Emilie, who just arrived from Paris, with a very eclectic style. Just what IS their story...we have to wait and see. 

Lara, the manager of the BMR Ltd in Chicago, lives in the last small studio apartment. At least she has had time to unpack and catch her breath. 

Upstairs Atrium, hall and Elevator.
Please come visit the (Barbie Grand Hotel) now the GrandView located in the near north Chicago area. It's an 1892 refurbished building.

Now, I'm currently working on permanent walls, I did foam core to begin with, but decided, it was worth the time for some removable plywood walls strategically hinged. The Grand View is a journey and will be one of those projects, never really done.

Just when I thought I was finished, I was already planning the REDO! 

The downstairs lobby Atrium...perfect for a visit and coffee, (prior to shutdown). 
It's not all rainbows and unicorn farts---!

I've showed you
 the working craft room/doll room. 

 Hubby is finally working on my sink and water during the icky days, otherwise he is in the garage and yard. (Secret to a happy marriage and shutdown---alone time, lol!)

Here's a new storyline set-up, Jacquie's family---since the salon can't open, they are strapped financially, but working together. 

I have two work stations....I can set up foldable dioramas here, and also work. 
I seldom buy new dolls. But, Ella Fitzgerald is on the desk, she's gorgeous and will have a storyline as Colette's Ma`ma or is it Mama.

Waiting in the wings is Trish and her greenhouse garden center, which will soon be able to open again! 

*(Again, I work with current social conditions/weather here in Chicagoland).  She has lots of plants and seeds, and just about everything needed for an urban environment! 

So, that's why I'm not decorating the crap out of my own home---I have a whole town to take care of. I guess I'm Mayor or City Manager of this near north side neighborhood. 

Vickie and Joe's Condo!

Jackie and Craig's blended family, and niece Kimmy (Mom is a nurse afraid of bringing home the virus) so she stays with Uncle Craig and Auntie Jacquie. Cousin Vanessa is helping her mom with the salon's social media campaign.

Vickie's Vintage Boutique, Vickie's is closed putting three people out of work.

The HFIM house where Impoverished Millenials refurbish a Victorian+townhouse as a co-op! Most are working from home, but three are unemployed. 

Social distancing isn't easy with 13 in the house! 

There are special dates, occasional PG romance.

Restaurant business meetings.

Even special events---the Oscars! 

Mysterious characters? Diva Colette...from Paris?

Before social distancing, backyard fun with the teens. 

Great selections at Trish's Blue Sprinkling Can Garden Center!

Sometimes a little history: James A. Baldwin for Black History Month. I do keep an ethnically diverse group of dolls-similar to the make-up of the neighborhoods. 

 Almost all my dolls are thrift store rescues, as are my buildings, furniture and settings.

Celebrations, they even decorate for holidays, too! 

Celebrate their favorite sports teams! 

My characters have pets....who are characters, themselves (Insists Foofy!)

Occasionally a celebrity comes around! This is Barbara Millicent Roberts, (1959-60 no.3) the owner of BMR Ltd., an investment and urban renewal corporation, she turned 60 last year and is still going strong.

My gang makes seasonal to a pumpkin farm on a crisp Fall day.

Neighborhood events...the opening of a new business! Alderman and a TV crew.

Cultural visits to the Botanic Gardens!

Remember going on vacation?

How about sunning in Costa Rica on an Island.

...or Zip-Lining !

Working, planning, building! Vickie helps designer Richelle, plan for the new Vickie's Vintage. 

Charity have to have a real reason to get dressed up on my blog...!

Bowling in the Northwoods.

A glamour shot...and 

the how-to! Lighting is everything!

 Cooking at home....

Baking is a favorite past-time---my 5-year old grand helped Chelsea make these, in the HFIM kitchen! 

Sometimes there are Vickie's malicious 'ghost'. 

What was this all about????

Meanwhile we are shutdown:
Working from home....please visit my doll blog

 When you want to smile and get lost for a bit

 please visit and maybe subscribe to:

Special note: Eventually I will be selling doll stuff in my Etsy store---quietly posted over to the side of the blog in the part that everyone ignores, for you to peruse or not. 

At least my Etsy won't be flashing and selling you corn medication or ear wax remover or covering my blog content! 

Thank you for visiting, I will try and respond to every question and comment. 
Please follow me at these great blog parties:
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  1. Such fun!Magnificent collection and wonderful vignettes.Great job!

    1. Thank you, Maristella, trying to find some followers! Lots of visits, but no one signes up????

  2. The shot with the Dremel cracks me up and I'm lovin' the fabric on the salon chairs! I still can't get over your wonderful collection of Barbie goodies-have fun:@)
    PS-I always look at the side bars... Wouldn't want to miss anything;)

    1. You are one in a million, thanks, Lynn. We have to figure out how to get some more followers, any ideas?


Thanks so much for each and every comment, and I will try and answer any questions you may have.