Día de Muertos

¡Feliz Día de Muertos!

Happy Día de Muertos!

Saturday was All Hallows’ Eve, Sunday was All Saints’ Day, and today was All Souls’ Day. My family has a very strong connection to Mexico and Mexican celebrations and culture, so we always celebrate Día de Muertos. Last year, I even brought sugar calaveras to my French students to have them decorate the extra sugar skulls from an event my mother had led (and with which I had helped). Talk about mixing cultures, eh? Houston kind of already is a huge mix of cultures, and in various ways, so I grew up in a world of mixed culture, with my family embracing the people around us in life. In other words, mixing cultures is totally normal for me and to me. 😉

This year, I created a special project for myself. Mattel created a Día de Muertos Barbie both last year and this year, but sells the collectible doll for far more than I could afford to pay. (Though, to be fair, she is stunning. They both are.) I found myself wishing I could have just one of these Barbies, perhaps one day, and, as I was looking at photos of them, my brain somehow developed an idea.

You see, there have been several old Barbies – from my childhood – in a box in my mom’s laundry room for ages. They, for some unknown reason, are all naked, and they have always kind of reminded me of a graveyard of Barbies. Though, I’ve never used that word, graveyard, as I’ve always just thought of them as, “the poor, dead Barbies”. It seemed like an extremely low-risk situation, since, and I mentioned, the Barbies were already “dead” anyway. So, I went for it. And I had a student join in with me.

I brought a bag-o-Barbies (yes, all still naked) to her house, and we each selected a Barbie. We then painted their faces and bodies, over a few days’ time, to be the designs we each wanted. Afterward, I then shopped for some ribbon and tulle, picked up a few fallen fake flower bits at the store, and then sewed a couple dresses for the dolls.

I hadn’t played with Barbies for probably about two decades at this point, but I think this really was some of the best fun I have ever had with Barbies. 😀

Alas, here are the process and the final results of today. Enjoy!

And the dresses…!!!

Post-a-day 2020

Barbie Who?

My mom sent me a photo the other day of a hippy-like Ken doll. I wasn’t entirely sure that it was actually Barbie, or, even, Mattel, but I could tell it was something different. It was different from the standard, anyway, and intentionally so.

Today, while checking out some fabrics and yarns for making dresses for these Barbies that I’m painting for Día de Muertos at the end of the month, my mom stopped at an aisle in the store to show me something. Low and behold, it was the Ken doll… surrounded by several other new and different Barbies. And yes, they are Mattel and Barbie. They are the real deal.

Turns out, there is this whole line of Barbies and Kens that I had never even heard mentioned, let alone seen myself. From hipster baristas with man buns to prosthetic legs to heavier everyday girls, Barbie has released a line of dolls called “You can be anything” Barbies.

And, at Walmart, anyway, they are only $8 plus tax (total of $9 exactly in Texas), and I am kind of in love. Something within me wants to own, to have and to hold a couple of these Barbies…, specifically, the man-bun barista Ken and the hypopigmentation black Barbie.

Here’s a closer look at the lot.

Note the size and shape of Park Ranger Barbie and the neighboring Fashionista Barbie #144 (that seems to be the generic term for the ones that haven’t been given specific names yet). Big fan over here of the human-shaped Barbies. 🙂

Check those prosthetics! Baller! I still remember the video of the little girl who got the first doll she had ever seen with a prosthetic, how she cried, declaring, “It’s got a leg like me!” (Info here, and original video here. Fun fact: That girl is actually from Houston.)

And that hunky man-bun barista Ken… there’s just something about the hipster that always gets me! ❤ 😛

I know this is only a single step in an ocean of stairwells, but it is a huge step and it is definitely is a very good direction, so far as I am concerned.

Thanks, Mattel, for taking this seriously and to heart. It is very much appreciated, and probably more so than you ever will know. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Barbie therapy

Sometimes, a Barbie musical is just the way to go.

When I lived and studied in Wien (Vienna, Austria), I hit a point of lonesome depression as the Fall weather of constant overcast skies and regular rain took its place over the city.

When talking one night with my best friend, she and her then-boyfriend, now-husband, declares that my tasks for the rest of the evening were to go for a walk outside (bundled up, of course), and then to watch a Barbie musical movie.

That way, I got outside air and some physical movement in, plus I got a really good, feel-good story and music.

Turns out, their prescription was perfect, and it still is useful to this day – whenever I’m feeling lonesome and/or down, a walk and a Barbie musical movie fill me with fresh air and cozy comfort.

And even tonight, when I wasn’t particularly down, but just wanted some love, watching Barbie’s “Princess and the Pauper” gave me those loving snuggles I was craving.

Plus, it always feels good to have the bad guy in a story end up on bottom and the good guys to end up on top – Barbie movies are always sure of having that happen!

Also, the bloopers at the end are tops – an even better ending than the wonderful happy ending the film already has. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Being true to yourself

Sometimes, people are offended by who I am…, but, if I am being true to myself when that happens, then perhaps those people are just not people who are meant to be in my life for long… you know?

Like in the Barbie musical “Princess and the Pauper”, in the cat song:


And if what you are is a strange you,
Doesn’t mean you should change you.
Only means you should change your point of view.

Surprisingly deep for a Barbie musical, I know, but it’s really good, isn’t it?

Be true to your heart, folks… that’s my goal every day for myself, and it isn’t always an easy one to fulfill.

Post-a-day 2018