Thursday, May 8, 2014

Conan Visits The American Girl Store

I am woefully behind in posting about all things doll-related, I know! I just had a good mail day with a few new things from AG. I could not resist the markdown on C├ęcile and Mary-Grace's "Parlor Desk & Seat" and "Vanity & Accessories," even though I don't have either doll! They're the right era for Kirsten. I know she's supposed to be a pioneer, but in my world, she'll do anything 1850s. ;) I also have a few other random purchases that have gone unblogged including one of my own personal holy grail doll-related finds ever, but those will have to wait for another day. . .

I really just popped on because, I'm almost a half a year behind the times, but at any rate, I just discovered this hilarious video of Conan visiting an AG Place and I could not stop laughing; I had to watch it twice! It's funny even before Conan gets started, when the manager states that the book store is the "heart and core" of their brand?!? I thought it was the super expensive dolls and OMG I HAVE TO HAVE EVERY LITTLE THING FOR HER!!! LOL! (Seriously though. . . Have you seen the prices on the newest stuff? It's getting more than a little out of control!) Anyhow. I needed a laugh today, so I enjoyed this!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review. . .

My doll family grew by two this holiday season!!! Molly was a Christmas present to me, since I was worried about her getting retired and me regretting not having her. Once she arrived, I knew I hadn't made a wrong decision. I love her, and am going to have great fun making cute 1940s things for her! Then for Christmas, my husband decided to get me another doll, and since my wish list was mostly things from Caroline's collection, he chose Caroline for me. She is so beautiful! Also, I am very spoiled!

I didn't do very much dollmaking/sewing this year! Sadly, all the doll heads I made back when I took classes are still floating heads. I really need to make some bodies in 2014! At any rate, here are some doll-related makes for 2013. . .



The pajamas and floral top were part of a wardrobe put together for my Mom's granddaughter who got her first American Girl doll this year! The flowery top was paired with a purchased pair of jeans and sparkley red shoes. Not shown is the Patriots Cheerleading outfit I bought, and the pompoms I made, using one of those cheap souvenir-type pompoms (as in, people-size) which I made into two smaller poms, and attached each to a small hair elastic so that they could slip over the doll's wrist. They looked so cute!

In 2014, I'm hoping to finish up a few unfinished sewing projects I have going for Charlotte and several of the AG crew, and of course, try and finally make some bodies to attach to the floating heads!

Wishing all my readers a very happy new year, and lots of luck and happiness in 2014!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back on an AG kick!

Wow, I have really abandonned this blog lately, no? That's what happens when, after almost a year of being unemployed, I finally land a job! YAY! And, it's a good job, at that! However, it's contract work, which means I never know when it could end. . . So, between that, and the fact that I've started back at school in the evenings, I'm not ready to jump back into doll making class just yet. . . But I am enjoying a little splurging on the doll front. ;)

At the moment, American Girl dolls are the current obsession again. This is due to the fact that my Mom took her granddaughter to get her first ever AG doll, and I got to tag along! We went to AG Place Natick, and after investigating the dolls in person, she settled on Saige. Meanwhile, I swung by the doll hospital drop off before picking out a couple of accessories from Molly & Emily's collection (since it is being archived this year).

Who was I dropping off at the doll hospital, you may be wondering? A new-to-me Kirsten doll, who was near perfect, except for being a zombie. No, seriously. . . These is, straight up, the WORST silver eye I have ever seen!!!

Do NOT scroll down unless you can handle creepy zombie doll eyes. . .

No really, I mean it. . .

Okay, don't say I didn't warn you!

Yeah. I couldn't live with that! So off she went, to the doll hospital. . . And I should receive her back any day this week. Very excited about that!

So, how I ended up with this Kirsten is by randomly deciding to look up American Girl dolls on Craigslist one day, and happening to be the first one to respond to an awesome deal for Kirsten & some other stuff. I paid $100 for the lot, and feel like that's an okay price to have paid for the doll alone, never mind all the other stuff that was included. . .

OMG did you see what is on top of that outfit pile?!? My personal holy grail of Kirsten's outfit: the drindl. This has been near the top of my most-wanted AG outfits list since I was around ten years old. SO EXCITED to finally have it! I didn't have the nightgown yet either, so was happy to score that. I do have her entire "meet" outfit, so I will resell either this or the one I already have. The original PC box for her "meet" accessories was included, so I might sell that one, since that should up the value a bit. I snapped this picture pretty quickly after getting her home, and once I took the time to investigate more closely, I realized the birthday outfit is totally a knock-off. But, on the up-side, I thought she was missing her pantalettes, and they turned out to be on the hanger under the drindle. ;)

So, there was actually even more stuff included in this lot. . .

So, a little handmade stuff, the hair care kit, and the rollerblade outfit, etc. I'm not really interested in much of this, so that's just more things to resell. . . Although, I may just pass some of it along to Mom's granddaughter, since she's at the start of building her AG wardrobe. ;)

So, all this AG stuff has launched me on quite the AG kick again. Expect more posts with AG doll-related fun in the near future. ;)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Birthday treasure!

I had an awesome birthday last weekend!!!

Among my presents. . .

OMG!!!!! Does that look like not a big deal? Well, it is! It is, in fact, my first doll mold, and it's for this doll:


My absolute dream FFD mold!!! Of course, I have no kiln, and am not currently taking any classes, so I have no way to make her. . . Yet! But, at least I know I won't be crying some day if they stop offering the mold. ;)

Also, my in-laws gave me some dollhouse things! A miniature sewing machine (I had vintage a vintage style machine; this one was modern, like my people-sized machine!) and three beautiful porcelain dolls! I arranged them and took a picture to send to them to thank them, so figured I'd share it here as well. . .

This has inspired me to want to mess around with finishing my dollhouse, which has unfinished floors, walls that are all painted just plain off-white, and some needed repairs (mainly, fixing the front door, but also replacing some windows which have yellowed with age). And I really want to hang some pictures/wall decorations. I was always terrified of "ruining things" as a kid, but now that I'm a "grown up" (HAHAHAHAHA YEAH RIGHT!!!) I feel brave enough to put holes in the walls in order to finish the decorating! ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So long doll class, for now. . .

Well, it turns out that it's taking me a long time to score a new job, and with finances therefore being tight, I'm cutting some corners. . . One of the things to go is doll class, sadly. . . So, I'm taking a break from class until I get a new job and pull myself together again.

But all is not lost, because I still have plenty to do as far as making bodies (and then clothing)! Plus, I bought some paint and a random doll head to practice on, and took home my brushes and such, so that I can practice brows and lashes like crazy. When I go back, I'll be a brow/lash pro! ;)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Another French Fashion doll. . .

Finished the MD2027/Renee doll, but having my doubts that she is MD2027! Supposedly, MD2027 makes a 15" doll, but the finished head is much larger than the heads for my 18" dolls. Also, the limbs that supposedly go with her are so tiny that they'd do well for a doll that was maybe 13"-14" tall. I did some digging and found another mold by bell (MD2742) that looks similar to my doll, but I'm not sure my head is quite large enough to be the 23.5" tall that doll should be, and also, my doll teacher hasn't mentioned having that mold! It's really too bad that the popularity of this sort of doll making died out before the internet really took off, because I'd love to be able to Google and find someone else who made this doll and see if they had the same experience as me.

Before I post pics, I should also warn that I made a major mistake on day #1 of painting this doll: I used the totally wrong shade of red for her lips. Reds are tricky because they paint on all bright and saturated, but then fire off to be much lighter. I chose what I thought looked like a rose red color, but after firing. . . Eep! They were almost brown, they were that dark! But at that point, there wasn't much I could do, except to just go with it. . . So now, I'm apparently making a brooding, possibly secretly evil, gothic-yet-still-Victorian doll. . .

The wig needs some taming and she obviously doesn't have a body yet (and you can be she's last on the list to get one since I will need to pattern and sew hands with fingers!) but you can see where I'm going! I've been having such fun dreaming up a personality for her and planning her ensemble that I almost don't regret making the mistake with the lips after all! In fact, the only regret I have is that I didn't make the brows more angled, and I would have liked them darker, but alas, this was the darkest brown I could find. . .

This brings my total "floating head" count up to three:

The two in front are my first two French Fashion dolls, and they are from the same mold, but look so different from each other, don't you think? I think the one on the front left (the one I most recently posted about, but now with eyes, so decidedly less creepy) is my favorite, which surprises me because I hated her when I got her home.

Now I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do in doll class. I'm overwhelmed by the growing number of floating heads (never mind dolls with bodies but still without clothing) piling up on my shelf, so don't really want to add to their number. It's already so bad that I had to give up the second shelf of my hutch for the dolls. By "give up" I mean that the fabrics that filled every particle of this space had to come out and be fit elsewhere, and I'm going to have to find new homes for some of it as it didn't all fit in the shelves in the closet!

While this arrangement is fine for now, I don't think it's going to work out in the long run. With the dolls seated, they just fit, but once those floating heads have bodies and are standing, they will no longer fit. I suppose I could try to find more furniture and have them all sit, but it seems kind of a shame to do that since the elaborate costumes I have planned for them (which were the whole point of getting in to the doll making in the first place) aren't going to look nice if they are seated. I'll just have to try and figure out something else, storage-wise. . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update on all kinds of projects from the doll studio!

I am woefully behind on updates regarding what I've been doing in doll class, that's for sure! So here's an update. . .

First, I finished a head for a second 18" FFD:

This doll is the same mold I used last time, but I did some things differently this time around. For one, instead of going with a pouring in a skin-like color, she was poured in white, and I did what's called a "wash" to give her skin a flesh color. Another thing I did was to outline the lips with a stronger red, in imitation of what was done on the antiques. I still feel I have a ways to go, but I'm pleased with how she turned out, in the end. (And no, I still haven't got a body, wig, or clothing of any kind on the first one! Therefore, this second one is likely to be a "floating head" for quite some time!)

Next, remember those super tiny fairy heads? Well, they have their bodies now!

Of course, no clothing or wigs on these guys yet. . . Nor is there likely to be any time soon because in my head, they are Christmas fairies, and I've no intention of finishing them in time for this Christmas, so I'll bet they don't get finished until next year's holiday season!

But most recently, I've been taking a brief break from the dolls and making a couple of ornaments in class. Every year, a friend of ours hosts an ornament swap, and hand made ornaments are encouarged. I decided since this is the year in which I've learned to make things of porcelain, that a porcelain ornament was in order! And, that instead of making life easy and using decals, I felt the need to hand paint a design, LOL! I decided on snowman because I figured they'd be fairly easy to draw. They were a little tricky in that you can't put white over colors, so for the first firing, I was only able to paint the blue background, and so they looked like this:

Then, over the next couple of weeks, I added the white, and then the details and the gold at the top (which has real gold in it!) I really hope they'll go over well at the swap!

So that's the end of doll classes for this year. I started in February, so took classes for almost a year, and I ended up with three antique repro dolls (well, the parts for them anyhow!), two fairies, and two ornaments. . . Not too bad! When I start back up again in January, I'll be working on yet another French fashion doll, but this time, from a different mold. . .

Bell's MD2027, or "Renee," creates a 15" doll, so this one could be a friend for Fanny. And, I'll be up for a challenge since the smaller scale means a need for even more intricate brows and lashes. I'm going to have to come up with a brush that is way less full or I'll go nuts, ha ha ha!

So, just for the record, between the dolls I made this year, and the few I aquired already-made, we're now up to eight dolls who need to be clothed, and of these, five need bodies (or repairs/replacement parts), and three need wigs. Not to mention, I haven't made anything for Charlotte in forever, and she's still waiting on getting a nice 18c wig made for her. Yikes! It seems like my New Year's Resolution should probably be to punch out a bunch of bodies, wigs, and doll clothes! ;)