Dolly plans for Winter

Hello everyone! It’s been a while, I know. I have a tendency to be very interested in dolls for a bit, then I’ll find something else but I will always come back. One thing I’ve noticed about my dolls recently is that they are mostly all dressed in Summer dresses as I’m much more inclined to buy a new doll than a new outfit for a doll, which got me thinking about some doll-related DIYs I could set myself for the near future.

Firstly, some snuggly clothes for my Paola Reina Liu would be lovely as her wardrobe is very limited at the moment! Possibly a name would help, too- I’m awful at naming my dolls.

Secondly, I have three baby Sasha dolls (as in Sasha Morgenthaler) who are in desperate need of new outfits. Two blond boys and a brunette girl. That’s four outfits to make- possibly enough for now!

Of course, as if having all these dolls to clothe isn’t enough I’ve also been looking at new ones (what is life without a doll wishlist?). At the top right now is Gotz Happy Kidz Emily 2016. I’m justifying this because she’s a size of doll I don’t have at all, which I suppose would allow me to make clothes for a lot of dolls in that size? Who knows if I’ll end up with her one day or not! Almost all of my dolls have dark hair so it would be an interesting change.

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This is one of the company photos that I found at http://www.petalinadolls.co.uk/ (where I can spend hours upon hours browsing), but I think I would dress her quite differently. I’ve seen owners photos of her wearing really childish clothes which I think fit brilliantly.

Who is top of your dolly wishlist at the moment?

-Julia

 

I bought a (doll’s)house!

Hi guys and sorry for the late post! It only feels like about a week since I last posted but apparently it’s been much longer, time has just been flying since I left college. I’ve got my results back (a completely unexpected distinction!) so I’m completely free for the rest of the summer. These last few days I’ve been kind of unproductive (unless playing Pokemon Go counts as productive) but I have adopted this new project. After completing the diorama from my last post I looked up doll’s houses (or dollhouses if you’re American, I think?) on Gumtree and found someone selling this blank wooden one for just £10. The lady who sold it to me was lovely and even delivered it to my house! It came flat-packed so I spent a few hours putting it together.

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I took over the whole sitting room and had to get my mum to help with some of the last few screws but we eventually got it looking like this!

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I’m afraid it’s pretty hard to get nice-looking photos of a big dolls house in the middle of a busy sitting room! Here’s some of the rooms inside:

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It is 1/16th scale which is the same as Sylvanian Families or Calico Critters. I’m hopefully going to paint the whole thing inside and out eventually. All I’ve done so far is a bit on the outside. I mixed sand with the paint I used (which is actually emulsion paint, I think) to try to give it the same texture a lot of painted houses around here have. I’m not sure if there’s a name for that kind of finish.

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It’s a start!

It’s also been very hot here (for England) these past few days which has been lovely so I’ve been outdoors lots more than usual. I hope you’re all having nice weather where you are, too! -Julia

 

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Diorama in an afternoon!

Very excitingly, my hand in date (like the end of my exams but my course doesn’t have exams) was on Friday! Now the exhibition’s private view is over, I’ve had a little rest and today I was all motivated to make things again. I’ve been looking at doll’s houses lately and I’m amazed at how intricate some of them are. I’m not sure if I want one because of this or because it’s very difficult to get an actual house when you’re 18 living in England right now, but for some reason,  I do.

I did not have a whole doll’s house, but I did have some doll’s house furniture from when I was little and I also had a box full of books, so I set to work! Firstly I removed the books form the box and coated the inside (which as you can see was bright pink!) with a layer of white acrylic paint. I used a sponge and a dabbing motion rather than a paintbrush to apply it to avoid thick brush marks.

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Not looking very homely!

I’m sure an actual primer would have worked much better but this did the job! By the way, this is my first attempt and I’m still learning lots so this is more of a learn-with-me than a tutorial.

Next I raided my mum’s stash of sample paint tins and found this pretty pale blue colour. I think it took about 3 coat of this on top of the pink to get full coverage. Of course, you could make this much easier by just not getting a bright pink box if you’re fancy enough to plan in advance.

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Ehh, I still wouldn’t live here.

I’ve had this scrap of fabric saved for a while because I thought it looked like a tiny carpet. I traced around the “floor” of the room and cut out a piece that size, but with a little extra added to the bit which would face the outside of the room. I’m not so good at explaining this but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. I didn’t glue the carpet down because to be honest I’d much rather have a wooden floor! For now, though, it works just fine.

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Goodness, that photo turned out really badly. The “carpet” is actually dark green!

Time to start moving in.

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All of this is stuff I found from my childhood doll’s house which I had stored in the top of my wardrobe. P.s. I think just after I took this photo I made the great decision to turn the whole thing to face a window so the photos are less dark after this!

I added a few more bits, glue-sticked some pretty paper (thanks Mollie Makes again) to one of the walls and…

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Ta-dah!

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The miniatures are things I found in my room, mostly, which I’d collected over the years. The jars are a wonderful birthday present I got this year for my 18th, the elephant and the hippo are from a gift shop by the sea. The drum is from a keyring, the Russian doll is the smallest one inside a full-size Russian doll which I have in my room. The wallpaper, image on the wall and mini magazines are all cut out of the most recent issue of Mollie Makes and the tiny folded bird was quite simple to make. The plants are Playmobil (I think) and the star is from a string of broken fairy lights. Oh, and the bed is mostly a folded handkerchief (not that I use them! It was in the napkin drawer.)

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You might not have these exact tiny things lying around, but I bet if you really look there are many things you could use in a little doll’s house scene!

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Things This Room Is Lacking:

~ Skirting boards. Non essential but for some reason it’s bugging me.

~A window! This is pretty important because it’s a little dark and poky in there right now. I’m thinking it’d look best above the bed. I’m a bit scared to cut a whole in my perfectly painted box right now, but one day.

~Maybe a light hanging from the ceiling. Again, not sure how I’d do this exactly but it would be fun to figure out!

~A rug would look nice in that empty space on the floor.

Really there are endless things I could add, but it sure isn’t bad for a few hours work. I like the higgledy-piggledy charm it has to it, with nothing really matching.

I hope you enjoyed this small post! As you can see my photography skills on such a small scale could really use some help so if you have any tips please comment them down below. If you try this too I’d love to see how it turns out. -Julia x

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Why the lack of posts?

By this stage you may all be thinking I’ve abandoned this blog entirely (and from my non-existent post schedule you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that!) so I figured I owed you all an explanation!

Basically, it’s exam period here in the UK. Whilst a lot of my friends are now taking their A-level exams, I’m on an Art and Design UAL course. I’ve really really enjoyed this course and I’m so happy I could specialist in something I love rather than having to take a whole bunch of subjects I have little interest in. The way the course is set out means that we do lots of kind of “practice projects” leading up to one Final Major Project which counts for pretty much our entire grade! My deadline is drawing horrifically near so right now I’m just pouring my time and energy into getting that done, even when my motivation is to play with dolls. (Although, my 18th was on Tuesday so I had a day off!)

If anyone is interested, I’m actually doing a short story book for my FMP about a polar bear named Mits. Completely irrelevant to this blog but still!

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Best wishes for everyone’s final projects, exams and summers from Julia x

Cloth doll making- looking back!

For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out how to make good cloth dolls, and I’m definitely not quite there yet. Rather than looking at the ones I can make now I thought today I’d look back one one I made over a period of time a year or so ago! I tried out lots of things for the first time with this doll and learned lots to do differently the next time.

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I constructed her head with a layer underneath which i put the “skin” on top of to give it a bit more shape. Sort of like a Waldorf doll! Except this doll is stuffed with polyester fibre. Her face was painted with acrylic paints and it a little quirky! She was going to have all white hair to start with. It took me a lot of time to even work up the motivation to give her hair. Poor girl. I now know how to make the neck of dolls less floppy, but at the time I had no idea and all that hair is quite heavy so when you carry her she does flop a little.

I’m a bit lacking in full body photos of her so here’s one I took for my college sketchbook a while back:

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I initially bought those shoes and made that dress (out of the top of a beautiful christening dress) for my MSD size bjd. The dress doesn’t fit her amazingly, but the shoes really help her to stand! She has thread jointed limbs which are so much fun for posing. Her hair is in that style because there is a lot a lot of it and if I free it it goes utterly crazy.

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I wish I could find more of this beautiful honey coloured skin fabric, but I have no idea where it came from! I might post more about the dolls I made before this blog existed as it’s really useful to have somewhere to see my (I hope!) progress. I searched my iphoto for a date so I could say exactly when this girl was made, but I can’t find any work in progress photos of her on here so she could be older than I thought!

Thank you so much for reading! -Julia

Liu Goes Outside

After all this not posting, I have a couple of photos to share! I found this sweet little coat to fit my Liu doll, put her hair in buns as I had planned to before she even arrived and took her outside to see the world.

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I’m really looking forward to making new clothes for her, too! Still deciding on a name for sure. This time I’m trying to make sure the company name doesn’t stick, but I’m not doing an amazing job! -Julia

New Arrival- Paola Reina Liu

My Liu doll arrived! Actually, she arrived yesterday. Yep, that’s right, on the morning of a bank holiday, amazingly. This isn’t going to be a real review of her, just a few little notes about her and pictures.

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What could be inside this very exciting box? I wonder.

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So maybe the box isn’t best prepared for shipping or photo taking, but that’s okay. Nobody can help static!

My full-body picture of her fresh out of the box turned out unfortunately blurry, so if anyone would like to see a photo of her in her full default outfit I’d be happy to take a new one but for now here’s a close up of her face which thankfully didn’t turn out too unfocused!

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So maybe her eyelashes and eyebrows are a tad crazy but I’m so pleased with her. She feels lovely; her vinyl is smooth and a beautiful colour. She has very thick hair which can be a little unruly which I don’t mind in the slightest.

Next we raided my doll-clothes box to see what fitted her. She is 32cm tall which is between BJD sizes and she also has quite a big head! This is all I could come up with right now.

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The cardigan is a little revealing at the front there! This is her default skirt and shoes too. The shoes are actually very good, and the skirt doesn’t seem to be bad quality either! The hat is made to fit an MSD size BJD head, but it fits her nicely. Putting a doll in “home clothes” is usually the first thing I do when I get a new doll before I make them any of their own clothes. Maybe it’s something about making them feel more familiar?

This is a very short post but I’ll be back with more photos of her soon for sure! I’m thinking maybe I’ll call her Lissy, but I’m still very much open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading! -Julia

Edit: I just realised I forgot to add in about this brilliant way she was attached to her box. No scissors were needed and no fingers were injured in freeing her, which I think might just be a first!

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There’s a little plastic hook stuck to the box on either side of her and an elastic band going between them holding her in. I haven’t seen this used in doll packaging before and I’m really hoping it catches on! -Julia