Friday, March 30, 2012

We won! We won!

So Emily at Toybox Philosopher (great blog!) held a contest to pick a middle name out for the new family puppy. I suggested Charlemagne, as a friend of ours has a really sweet and friendly chihuahua by the same name and because, well, I'm horrible history nerd. Turns out that name has a special meaning to Emily's family and we won the contest!!

I was especially thrilled because one of the prizes was one of the updated "Kitty Surprise" toys. My brother and I each got a Kitty Surprise in our childhood (his was a brown one and mine was pink) and I still own one of the kittens from my brother's Kitty Surprise. I had no idea that they had updated this toy, and I hadn't seen any whatsoever around the town I live in. I am so glad that now Ivy has her own Kitty Surprise!

Pardon the child's play clothes.. she had a different shirt on but got her morning oatmeal all down the front.

"What's dis?!" You can see she is very interested in what's in this package!

Not the most helpful letting Mama get it out of the package as she kept pulling it out of my hand. She took the mama-kitty and I told her there was more to it! So we opened up the belly and inside were....

IDENTICAL TWIN GIRLS!! Look at their cute little white ears!!

Ivy really thinks this is just about the coolest thing ever!! She was very amazed!

She just loves her little kitty family.. she promptly crawled off with the mama-cat, leaving the babies defenseless and sad. So I put them back inside mama-cat so that she could discover them again later!

Here are the prizes that Mama is keeping for herself for now:

Holy crap do the new Stacies have really cute faces!! And I just love the outfit and bunny the Kelly (oops I mean "Chelsea") came with. I am a little obsessed with this Stacie, I need to find her an articulated body! Any suggestions that will match? I think she might be too dark for an Obitsu 23cm.

Hurray! Thanks Emily again for having such a nice contest!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Some projects..

Melusina was feeling rather neglected since her daughter came along. So I made her some nice things to make up for it.

The dress was made out of part of a sleeve a friend gave me. I immediately jumped into the "maxi dress craze" that's been going on in fashion lately. I have also had a fascination with snoods lately. So I restyled Mel's hair and gave her a beaded snood I made for her. I really like her hair like this, it makes her look older and sophisticated. To finish it off I made her a really simple little turtle necklace!

I think she looks like she's going to the beach..

Sorry for the straight pin in that last picture - I use them to help hold hair (or snood) in the right place sometimes!

I haven't been around alot lately because Ivy is going through this phase where she is incredibly clingy, following me around and trying to climb up on me while constantly whining. I think she's starting to get in her first teeth (she's almost 11 months old and she's still totally toothless!).

I should be working on more dioramas (or finishing up the kitchen) but I've been getting distracted with sewing and beading projects!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hekate's New Dress

I've been doing a ton of sewing lately. This was the most recent thing to come out of it - I was really inspired by a forum member (JanetT) at the Junkyspot forums to do an Italian renaissance outfit. It was totally up Hekate's alley and since she's lacking "proper" dresses - I figured I should go ahead and make one for her. This was the result!

I think she's pleased!! Well as pleased as the undead queen can be at any rate.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Seraphina - Finished!

After a lot of fiddling around on my part, I finally got Seraphina finished. I'm in looove!

Phina is rooted, and styled by me. I also made the jewelry (some first jewelry making attempts). I threaded seed beads into her and pulled back two braids taking some more of her hair and finished it in a nine-strand braid. I made the hairclip with seed beads, faux pearls, and swaravorski crystals. Her necklace is just seed beads.

Liz of course, did her faceup. I wanted a girl with very dark eyes and neutral looking lips, my favorite look right now!

Phina owns the Villa (of which whose kitchen you've seen a lot of!). Her mother is Melusina, which makes her a half-siren, otherwise called a Diva. She is, for obvious reasons, very talented at music, but has been raised very secluded and secretively in order to completely preserve her innocence. Unfortunately for those who try to keep this little Diva caged up, Phina has an extremely wild and rebellious streak.

She tries to be an obedient daughter but she finds the word "obedient" very yucky in her mouth!

She is an Obitsu 01 head on an obitsu body that I've bashed a Volks soft bust onto.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Doll Hair 101 - Nylon, Saran and Acetate

So I decided to go ahead and do some "mini-lessons" regarding doll hair. I have been rooting, re-rooting, and styling doll hair for eight years. So first up - types of hair!!

"Hi Everybody!" 

There are a lot of different types of doll hair to root with these days. I am covering the three types of hair that I've identified as extremely common (I am not going to be addressing mohair today - that deserves a separate entry all it's own!).


Left to Right: Maven (Barbie Basics default hair), Obitsu 02 rooted Black, Kaede (Volks Rooted White Gold)

Saran hair is THE most common type of hair I find in Barbies. I don't own enough Fashion Royalty dolls to say whether or not it's common in them as well, but I find that my new FR2 Ayumi has saran hair. Saran hair is so common because... dun dun dun.. it's really cheap!!

Saran Pros:
- It's cheap and readily available in a ton of different colors.
- It's very easy to work with and once boiled down it remains very straight
- It has a nice, silky texture

Saran Cons:
- It doesn't hold curls or styles very well. You can see the doll on the right (Kaede) has curls in the bottom of her hair, they were much bouncier a few months ago. Also the redhead on the left (Maven) is looking a lot of the wave from her hair already and she was finished just a couple of months ago.
- The color fades drastically with time. I have watched nice ruby reds fade into a dull red, and a nice light blue, light purple combo I have fade into gray.
- Saran can also become a bit greasy with handling (or even when it comes to you). This is easily fixed with a conditioner wash though.

You can buy saran hair at RestoreDoll. They have excellent customer service and I've never had a problem with them!


Left to Right: Renji (Cherry Pie), Melusina (mix of Starlight and Moonlight), Genesis (mix of Vampire Kiss and Volcano), Seraphina (mix of Virgin Snow and Starlight)

Nylon hair is the hair you find in My Little Ponies. Individual strands are much thicker and it feels plasticy. They are very silky and shiny fibers. It's a dense fiber.

Nylon Pros:
- Nylon is extremely easy to style and holds curls and styles like a dream!
- Nylon is shiny and looks very nice under lights.
- Nylon offers a lot of really wild colors.

Nylon Cons: 
- Nylon can look very "fake" since is a denser plastic and is very shiny.
- Nylon is slippery, and when using the handknot root method, this can cause your knots to slip out easily if you make them too close to the end.
- Nylon is really easy to root too thickly with it if you are used to rooting with Saran. The same amount of Saran you would root, you need to reduce almost by half when using Nylon because of the thickness of the individual strands.

You can buy Nylon hair at DollyHair. To be honest, when I don't root with Nylon hair it's because I want to avoid DollyHair's slow ship times and bad customer service. I love Nylon hair - but I hate the fact that sometimes it takes almost a full week to ship it to me and then when I ask about it, I don't get a very friendly reply. I recall almost waiting 14 days for hair that was in stock on the website to ship to me. Still if you feel you're in a patient kind of mood - it's worth getting because of the variety of color and the ability to ask for specific percentages of mixes.


(Calli, a poor unfortunate Barbie Basics)

Acetate is the new horrific trend I am seeing from Mattel. Acetate is truly the most horrible thing I have ever seen a doll rooted with. It is made out of plant cellulose, which translates to very thin, brittle, frizzy craziness. I have tried everything I know how to do to make this hair workable and the short of it is just - you can't. I understand there is a history with acetate, as they used it for doll hair in older dolls a long time ago.

Acetate Pros:
- Uhhh... nostalgia??

Acetate Cons:
- Everything. The color is horrible, the texture is horrible and it doesn't style worth a crap.

Mattel has used acetate in a couple of their newer dolls. My suggestion is the rip it out the instant you can and reroot it with something that doesn't make your doll look homeless. You can order this from DollyHair... but honestly, why would you?

Here is a comparison photo of the three different types. I wish I had all of the same color to show you, but I don't have it just yet. I may follow up with it in a different post.

Any questions? Feel free to comment and ask them! Also, I'm taking suggestions for the next Doll Hair 101 mini-lesson, so go ahead and let me know what you'd like to know about.

Hope you liked it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Awesome Blog!

I was browsing blogs the other day, and I came across this one:

So many awesome mini tutorials!! These tutorials are great if you are crafty and want to make things for your dolls...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just a small rant...

I fully believe in following the market for the value of your dolls. But seriously, the scalping that goes on is ridiculous.

I know Liz has been trying to get the elusive Sweet Nothings Gretel. I know their market value is going to be high, but asking almost $300 is ridiculous. When you are one of the first people that posts it for sale, you are setting the market for the others - when you intentionally try to scalp people are you going to be getting some serious karmic backlash.

I saw the same thing happen with the Tokidoki Barbie and some other dolls. I believe in paying the value of the doll, and I believe in making a little money if you can, but when the doll retails for $50 and you have people paying $500.. or retails for $130 and you more than double the price of it.. that's just mean to other collectors who really wanted her.