Thursday, October 27, 2016

A family visit and another Disney custom....

On Tuesday we had a great day with my husband's granddaughters who were on holiday here in Spain with their parents for three days.  We gave them dolly presents, the two younger girls who are 5 and  7 years old, were each given a boxed Disney Animator doll and the oldest girl, who is 9, I decided might like my recently customised Pocahontas.  She was delighted with her and wanted to know everything about 'customising' the doll.  I explained to her how the doll was now a little bit more 'delicate' than her sisters dolls, but that she could play with her as normal.  I was just the slightest bit concerned five minutes later when I saw her swinging her around by her ponytail....LOL...oh well!!!

We had a great day, as did the girls I think, running in and out of the swimming pool, even though the water was quite cold!!

On Wednesday I decided to customise the other Animator doll that I had here, Mulan.  I did her just like the last one, removing the default printed face paint and redoing her with pastels and watercolour pencils.  I am still not completely happy with the whites of her eyes but I think I'm getting there!!!  I didn't do the whites until after I'd finished the irises but I still feel that's not quite the right way to go....and although I used the finest paintbrush I own, I think even that wasn't fine enough! 

So here she is before I started on her:

And here she is with all her face completed....except I forgot to attach her eyelashes before taking these photos!!!!  She now has applied top eyelashes.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we've been up to this week.  Thanks so much for visiting, I hope you'll have a great weekend ahead!

Big hugs Sharon xxx

Friday, October 14, 2016

First attempt....Pocahontas has a new look!

After posting yesterday about my new customised Disney Animator Rapunzel, today I was itching to have a go at customising one of the two girls that I already have here.  I bought two girls for the price of one in the sale at the Disney Store in Romford last October when I was in the UK for the Chat n Snap.  I thought I'd take advantage of the cheap price and brought home both Mulan from Aladdin and Pocahontas.  They've been standing around for a whole year waiting for me to have time to work on them and finally today I took the plunge!!

I decided to start with Pochontas, for no other reason than she was already undressed!  Here is how she looks in her default state.  She is actually quite cute but I don't really like the printed eyes:

Because these dolls have rooted hair rather than wigged, I wanted to make sure her hair was completely covered during the 'makeover' process, so as not to ruin it with the sealant spray:

Having covered her hair, I removed her original face paint.  You can just see a very faint mark where her original eyebrows were as the paint was very dark and stained the vinyl.  It wasn't a problem though because that would be covered by the new eyebrows:

I used white acrylic paint to paint the whites of the eyes and I used brown chalk pastels and watercolour pencils for the new eyebrows:

I then used watercolour pencils for her new pupils and irises.  I used chalk pastels for the lips and blush.  I added freckles using thinned down acrylic paint and a cocktail stick!  When the face was complete, I sealed it all with Mr Super Clear sealant.   I didn't take photos of the individual stages here because I got carried away with it!!! 

Once the new face was sealed, I used a water based gloss varnish on her eyes and lips, one layer on the lips as I didn't want them high gloss and about 5 thin layers on the eyes.

After the varnish on the eyes was completely dry, I added human sized false eyelashes on the upper lids and then she was finished!!!

Below she is wearing an 'angel top' that I made some years ago for Sasha, tights, thick socks and she's borrowed boots from my Wichtel dolls.

I washed and conditioned her hair to remove any 'dressing' and then  cut approx 5cm off the length.

I'm actually really happy with how she came out because I've never done eyes before, but I have learned a few things in the process. 

Next time, when I customise my other Disney doll, I will do a couple of things differently.  Firstly, I don't think I'll use white acrylic for the sclera (white part of the eye) as it makes an uneven surface for the watercolour pencils, I would prefer the surface smoother.  Next time I think I will build up layers of white using a white watercolour pencil.  Hopefully then I will get a much smoother finish on the iris.

Secondly, I will wash and condition the hair prior to starting work on the face, I think it's safer that way! 

Apart from that, I think I will probably work roughly the same way on Mulan and I don't think I'll wait a year to start on her either!!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my customising of Pochontas, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A little girl comes to stay....

Today a little girlie came to live here in Spain with us.  The little girl in question is a Disney Animator doll that has been customised by an artist in Germany.  She is a Rapunzel doll from the Disney film 'Tangled' and is about 15 inches tall, an all vinyl 'play doll'.  These dolls have five joints, neck, shoulders and hips.  They are good quality and when buying default directly from the Disney store are very well priced.  The dolls hair is very soft and silky. 

Rapunzel fits into Sasha outfits and below is seen wearing an smock dress and shorts which I made some time ago from a Sasha pattern.  Shoes and socks are also made for Sasha.

Because Rapunzel has extremely long hair I cut it into a bob which is shorter at the back and then tapers to longer at the front.  I love how her eyes are hand painted, they are so pretty and much nicer than the default dolls eyes which are sprayed on.

The nude doll has painted on knickers, as shown here: (not my photo)

And here she is with her newly styled hair:  (I would prefer the dress a little shorter on her if I make another one)

A close up of the handpainted eyes.....

I also have two of these dolls that are still in their default state, so now I plan on customising them this space!!!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing this little review of a customised Disney Animator doll.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Commissions List.....An Announcement....

Over the last month, since just before my son's wedding,  I have been having some health issues and it has given me a lot of time to think.  I realise that I'm spending more and more time making dolls clothes and not having any time for myself.  I am finding myself stuck in front of my sewing machine for hours on end, cancelling outings or going out and generally not enjoying myself because of the feelings of 'guilt' that I should be home getting on with my commissions work. 

For the last ten plus years I've been operating a 'commissions list' for all sorts of dolls and there has never been less than a six month wait for a person's name to come to the top of the list.  I have mostly enjoyed sewing for other people's dolls and I have made some wonderful friends through the doll and doll seamstress hobby, and I cannot count the number of great friends I've made which began with an email or message that started something like "do you take commissions"....but there comes a time when it all gets too much....and unfortunately I have reached that time.  I've always said that when my hobby becomes a chore, it is time for me to have a rethink.  And that time has come.  I'm sorry to say that I'm no longer able to start on or complete the orders I already have and am cancelling the list. 

If I should find in the future that I want to make outfits to sell again, I will probably list them on my blog or my Sharon in Spain facebook page.  

Once again I'm really sorry for disappointing anyone, I know that people have been waiting patiently on my list for a long time, but my health really does have to come first.....and, all being well, I'd really like to enjoy my own beautiful, but seriously neglected dolls.   

Thanks so much for reading, for (hopefully) understanding, and for your continued friendship and support.  And thank you also to two lovely ladies (you know who you are!) who helped me to put this difficult 'announcement' together. 

Big hugs
Sharon xxx

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A new arrival.....

I've not done any sewing, dolly or otherwise, or had any dolly play time in about a month or more, and I have no real interest in my dolls at the moment.  However, that doesn't stop me from buying!!  In fact I have been really wanting to buy.....nothing I need, but who said 'need' comes into it eh? 

So a few weeks ago my friend in the US and I were chatting about a particular doll and both decided to order one.  We both bought on the same day and both dolls were shipped at the beginning of September.  Both dolls were coming from Greece and would you believe it, both dolls arrived on the same day too, even though my friend's doll was going all the way to the west coast of the US!

The doll is not a doll I'd normally go for, she's incredibly quirky looking and definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but she made me laugh.  I only have to look at her to make myself smile!  She is a Malisa by the Greek artist Chrishanthi of Ppinkydolls, who sells on Etsy.

When I saw the doll in her box I thought I'd made a dreadful mistake.  She was so pale and I really don't like pale dolls, also 'pale' doesn't really photograph well for me in the sunshine.  Also she had long spidery eyelashes, one of which had been crushed and was all out of shape because she'd been sent without any face protector.  BJDs are generally packed with face protectors because it prevents just such problems happening with the eyelashes as well as protects the faceup whilst in transit.

Here are some  before photos.  She is not wearing her wig in these photos but you can see her crushed eyelashes on her right eye (on the left of the photos).....and you can also see the messy thick glue that they were attached with.

My mum was here when the doll arrived and she couldn't stop laughing and said the doll was so ugly and like an 'alien'.....well that is like a challenge to me.  I was determined to make this little ugly bug into a cutie! 

First of all I removed the eyelashes that seemed like they were stuck on with super glue!  Then I removed the shine on her pink lips (I really am not into pink lips) and then I set to work giving her more colour. 

As you can see above,  I filled in her eyebrows as they were pale and nondescript, I wanted them to be darker so I used a couple of shades of ground down chalk pastels in brown, I then added more individual hairs to the eyebrows, using various shades of brown and grey watercolour pencils.  I used some black pencil around the eyes to fill in where the original eyelashes had been removed (the glue had taken some of the eyepaint with it when removed).  I added some more dark eyeshadow and then I worked on the lips.  I used various shades of red and brown chalk pastels which I applied with a small flat paint brush, building up the layers of colour and using Mr Super Clear Flat sealant between layers.  I filled in her mouth cavity with the same shades of chalk pastels and then I re-whitened her teeth using white watercolour pencil.  I also added some colour to her nostrils, her philtrum and the very sides of her nose, to define the shape of her nose more.  After that I added blush to her cheeks, forehead, chin and across the bridge of her nose.  I then sealed her again and once the sealant was dry I gave her new eyelashes.  I used one human size false upper eyelash and cut it in half then trimmed that down to size.  Her eye holes are not big compared to the size of her face, she wears 12mm eyes. 

When everything was dry, I put brown glass eyes in.  She actually came with a sort of two tone grey eyes but I preferred the warmth of the brown eyes.

The wig in the above two photos was the one she came with but I felt it wasn't quite 'zany' enough for her so today I looked through my wig box and found this bright auburn/ginger Tibetan lambswool one that I've had for ages.  I tried it on her and felt it was just perfect for this unusual and quirky girl!!  I've trimmed it about a bit to suit her better.

As you can see below, even with the extra blushing she now has, she still looks quite pale in the sunlight, but I'm happy with her new look.

She's a funny little thing, with a tilt of her head she can look so different from one photo to another!  I think in this photo (below) she looks quite happy.....

But in this one she looks really sad....poor girl, I wonder why?

And in this one, she looks almost annoyed over something!

She's wearing clothes borrowed from my Blythe dolls and shoes from Riley day I will get around to making her something of her own, I mean who wears a strappy summer dress with woollen leg warmers and boots!!   And her name, by the way, is now Riley Mai!

Well thank you for stopping by, I hope you all have a good weekend ahead, so until next time....