Sunday, February 19, 2017

Just some old photos.....

My son is over here for a week on holiday and so for the next couple of days we are at home and my dolls, apart from one, are I thought I'd share some old photos as I've not had the time or the resources to take new ones.  I hope you enjoy seeing these 'oldies' from my 'adopted out doll' photo archives :)

This first little girl was Judy, a Caio Bella tanned Judy by Bambicrony in South Korea.  She was a sweet little thing and had a lovely face up.  I remember selling her as I needed the money for another 'must have' doll, thinking that I could easily replace her at a later date. 

And I did indeed replace her!  With another tanned Judy with the same sculpt and face painting.  I used the same plum coloured glass eyes and even the same wig (not in the photo below of course) but this doll never seemed to 'hit the spot' like the first Judy, so she also was sent out into the world for adoption!!! 

The next photos are of one of the Blythes I customised some years ago.  I called her Candi but she was actually a Blythe Border Spirit.  In the first photo you can see how she looked after I worked on her, I was really pleased with how she came out.

After a while I thought she might benefit from pink hair so I dyed her blond hair using a cherry coloured fabric dye, and it came out this great deep pink colour!

Some time afterwards I rerooted her scalp with a soft baby pink hair and put it into two plaits.  I also gave her some freckles.  My friend Janet Myhill Dabbs fell in love with her and asked if she could adopt her, so last year Candi went to live in the UK where she is happy being Janet's first (and I believe, only) Blythe.

This next doll was called Briar and she was sculpted by the American artist Anita Collins, also known as Sleetwealth.   Briar was a very limited edition doll but I just had to have her!  I loved her haughty look, she was so beautiful but also very aloof looking, her serious but elegant sculpt really appealed to me.  However, I have to admit that really I am not a collector of more mature sculpted dolls, preferring child dolls, so this lovely girl didn't stay here long.  But I enjoyed photographing her whilst she was here.

Having said that, she did do a great job babysitting these two little Lati White tiny Belles, who really could be a handful sometimes!!

The next lovely girl is a Hello Harvest Blythe customised by the very talented Spanish artist Barb McFly Stark, also known as Little Miss No Name.  This was my first custom Blythe and I just fell in love with her the minute I saw her up for sale.   After a couple of years here, Cali, as she was called by the artist, went to live with another friend in the US.

The next photos are of a small Yosd sized BJD (ball jointed doll) from the now defunct company called Custom House.  She is an Ange Ai Honey Hani and she really was a sweet doll.  She was made before the company started to have problems and she arrived within a month after me ordering her and she was in perfect condition.  Sadly this wasn't the case with later dolls and there were horrendous problems for collectors who not only waited more than a year for their dolls but found that they were full of problems once they arrived.  :(

The little girl in the following photos also came from Custom House and she is the same size as the one above but she is an Ange Ai Uri who I had home tanned and painted by the Spanish artist Olga Ramirez, also known as Vainilladolly.  She was a real cutie but went to live in the UK a couple of years ago. 

These overalls have been worn by many of my dolls over the years.  As they were the first pair I made in this size, I decided to keep them and they really have had a lot of wear, from being worn by tall girls like this one, or with rolled up legs for shorter girls.  In the photos below they're being worn by Ganga by Dollstown, she was approx 45cm tall and had a very slim build.  She is another doll that I'd like to own again but probably would prefer her in light tan rather than this skin colour that I had before as it's a challenge to photograph her pale resin in the bright sunshine we get here.

Wonderfully grumpy profile!

Finally for now, some photos of another long gone girl, a tanned Mini Riz by Planetdoll with a custom faceup by Mystical Maz on Den of Angels.  This doll was a lovely one, very slim and child-life with the serious expression that I love, although not a great poser.  I don't really regret that she is no longer here, after all I can't keep every doll that I buy, but when I see her photos I do wonder about her!!

Well I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of my old photos in the absence of anything new, but I'll soon have some new photos for you, hopefully!  I hope you're all having a great weekend and hope the week ahead is a good one for you!

Big hugs Sharon xx

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dolly makeovers!

This week I've been busy with my Blythe dolls.  I think the renewed interest in them is because I'm going to the Blythe Con Europe in May as it is being held here in Malaga, at a venue just 25 minutes drive from here.  I'm really looking forward to it and as I'll be taking one or two Blythes with me, I decided that a couple of them could do with a bit of freshening up.

I decided to give Heather, my Heather Sky, a full makeover, so she has had a bit of extra carving and new face makeup as well as new eyelashes and eyelids.

Heather's eyelids were originally painted but after rubbing the paint off I decided to cover them with thin self adhesive fabric.  I had to sand the eyelids down quite well so that the fabric didn't catch on the eyelids when opening and closing her eyes.

She also got some pretty new blue grey eye chips.  I'd intended to always have her with different shades of brown chips but thought these blues would make a nice change.

Next up was my Vainilladolly custom Blythe, she got a different scalp to wear.  I rooted this scalp several years ago and finally someone can make use of it.  I think this style and colour suits her quite well.  (Apologies for the loose and flyaway hairs, it was quite a windy evening!)

After working on the Blythes, I decided it was time to work on my Tonner My Imagination doll as I've been saying for a while now that she needed different eyes.  I cut a hole in the top of her head under her wig and then cut into the vinyl at the back of her eyes.  I removed the vinyl and then, pushing from the front, removed her default acrylic eyes.  However, having tried her with several other pairs of eyes, I decided to go back to her original eyes again as they suited her, it was just the placement of them that was all wrong.  I also attached more natural upper eyelashes.

Here you can see that just the tiniest adjustment to the placement of the eyes can take a doll from having that weird "deer caught in headlights" look, to a more natural non staring gaze.  I hope you'll agree that it looks much better this way.

This is the 'before' photo, you can see that her eyes look very 'round' and staring, as if she is in shock:

 And now you can see that she looks far more natural, the eyes have just been lifted up slightly to show a tiny area of white underneath the irises, this softens her whole look:

Finally today I made a new dress for my Fairyland Mini Fee tanned Chloe.  I used a pattern I'd not used before and found the bodice was rather big on her so I took it in down the front then created this 'frill' using a strip of the fine knit fabric of the dress to cover the seam.  All I need to do now is remember to make adjustments to my pattern before I forget!!!

Well I hope you've liked seeing what I've been up to over the last week!  Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week :)

Big hugs, Sharon xx

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bring out the old!

Over the last couple of days I have been having fun with a couple of my old BJDs (ball jointed dolls), dolls that I've had for quite a while but have been neglected.

The first of these to get some attention was Samantha, my Hana Angel by the company Elfdoll in South Korea.  I don't think that Elfdoll are still trading these days but they used to make some great dolls, lovely sculpts and great quality.  Over the years I have had several of their dolls in various sizes but now I have just the three, and Hana is the tallest of these at 20cm tall.  Hana Angel has been with me for many years now, she came here back in June 2009 when I received her in a trade, however she had actually been with me prior to that when I bought her new from Denver Doll Emporium in June 2007!  I sold her to a lady in California and then regretted it straight away so when the lady decided to sell, we traded and I got Hana back again, however this time she came on a newer body!  Some years later I replaced all her faceplates (she comes with three faceplates showing different expressions) by ordering directly from Elfdoll.

So yesterday I decided to change her body again. This time she has 'grown' a little and is now using a resin body which I bought last year.  It is the perfect colour match to the resin of her faceplates and I really like that although the body is almost identical to her original, the legs are a little bit longer.  Here she is in an outfit that she's 'borrowed' from another doll:

I think what I really like is that whereas before, Hana was a difficult size to dress, being the height of say, Riley Kish, but skinnier, now she can wear clothes designed for Blythe among others, so there is a whole lot of patterns and ready made outfits available for her!

Today I decided to tackle another of my 'oldies but goodies', my very first BJD ever, Narsha by the South Korean company Dollmore.  I bought Narsha back in August 2006 and when she arrived I was just amazed at her, she was pure white and made from French resin which is so translucent, it's really beautiful.  However, French resin does have it's problems and one of those is that it yellows when exposed to UV light.  I knew this when I ordered her, but being new to BJDs and resin, I didn't know that French resin also yellows in the heat.  I was so careful with her, I took her everywhere but always she was wrapped in a dark cloth so that she'd not be exposed to any sunlight....but of course she was being exposed to extreme heat instead and it was only a matter of months before the beautiful white glow became a yellow tint!

The changing faces of Narsha by Dollmore: (top row L to R: when Narsha arrived looking all white and pale pink; when Narsha had been here just a couple of months you can see how she now has the slightest tinge of yellow appearing in her resin.  Bottom row L to R: Narsha returns from Ravendolls with a new faceup;  Narsha looking beautiful with her lovely Raven faceup.

However, I still loved her and in May 2008 I sent her away for a new faceup to an artist that some of you will know, a lady called Raven in the US.  When Narsha came back I was overawed by her beautiful new look but the new look didn't stop the doll from continuing to yellow and as a result I lost a lot of interest in photographing her.

This morning though, I decided to make the effort to give Narsha a good clean up and see if I could make her look better.  I took her head off and thoroughly cleaned her body and head cap with paint stripper.  It's strong stuff and not for the faint hearted, (always use outside or in a well ventilated space) and definitely needs to be kept well away from the face plate.  The yellow remained of course but it looked better as she was cleaner.  I'd noticed that her face paint had started to fade a little and the varnish that Raven used around her eyes feels sticky on one eye, and also her acrylic eyes had cracked which I've found to be quite common, which is why I prefer glass eyes.  So I removed her eyes, and replaced them with some soft silicone eyes because these were the only ones that fitted her eyesockets well.  Eventually I would like to replace these with some brown or hazel ones of the same type.  I reblushed her, adding lots of new blush to her cheeks, chin, forehead and the bridge of her nose.  I haven't sealed it but will redo as and when necessary.

Narsha now has a different darker wig which hopefully doesn't clash so much with her 'skin tone' as her blond one did.  She managed to get some of her clothes back from the Little Darlings who seemed to steal everything when they arrived. 

I'm really pleased with how much better she looks now.  She is still dear to me even after all the time she's been here and all the changes that have occurred to her.  (Sorry about the repetitiveness of the following photos!)

I'm enjoying revamping some of my older dolls and bringing them back to 'life' with a bit of TLC.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing them :)

Have a great weekend everyone and I hope your week ahead is a great one!

Big hugs Sharon xx

Monday, January 23, 2017

A 'crafty' weekend!

Last weekend I did a bit more sewing, this time making a dress for my Robert Tonner My Imagination doll who I'd read was a good fit for American Girl sewing patterns.  Well I have a ton of those so decided to make her a dress and I read correctly because the dress is a perfect fit on her. 

The pattern has short or long sleeves and a curved yoke at the front.  I guess I should have taken a photo without her jacket but it was a bit chilly ;)  The leggings are made from stretch fine corduroy and are my own pattern.  The jacket is a very cheap 'made in China' jacket that I've had for years, but I soaked it in diluted bleach and it looks much nicer now!

I do like this doll, she's lovely quality and it's great that she can wear so many of the patterns that I have but her eyes are a bit staring, so I might change them at some point.

I also made a wig for my Fairyland Minifee tanned Chloe.  I had ordered some alpaca from a seller on Etsy and had to wait for it to arrive from Estonia.  I made a hard wig cap and then I made the hair into wefts which I then attached to the head cap using PVA glue because it dries flexible and clear.  Using alpaca is a nightmare and it got everywhere!!!!  It's beautifully fine and soft but it got up my nose, in my eyelashes and all over my clothes and the floor!!! 

Anyway, the wig came out quite well for a first attempt until I decided she needed a fringe!  Oooops epic fail!  But I'm still happy with it and if I keep it 'messed up' like this, I think it suits her.  I love the colour and think the colour is really nice for her.  Would I make another?  I don't think I would in a hurry, no.  Apart from the alpaca being expensive, it's a very time consuming job and I realise now why sellers charge anything from £50 upwards for a custom made wig!

Tee shirt and jeans by me, canvas shoes by Dale Ray. 

Finally, although I didn't make this hat and coat set, I thought I'd share some photos of my little Gotz Happy Kid Emily (2016) wearing it.  I think it's made from real wool and has a faux fur collar and hat and is from the doll company Bonnie & Pearl.  It's great quality and the perfect fit on Emily.  (Leggings and boots made by me)

Thanks for visiting, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead and that you stay safe and warm.  It's been a bit nippy here in southern Spain recently but hopefully the temperature will be on the turn soon :)

Big hugs Sharon xx