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Thursday, 21 May 2020

A bit of sewing for Holly....

Holly is my Zwergnase Junior Wentje who came here at Christmastime, a present from my  husband Brian.  Until now the poor girl has stood for ages in her default outfit then she was changed into a 'hand me down' from one of my other dolls, but today, finally, she has an outfit of her own.

I wanted to make her some loose fitting linen overalls and so searched on line for photos of what I had in mind.  So firstly I made a pattern by taking her measurements and drawing it out on a large piece of brown paper.  She's 55cm tall so the usual A4 sheets wouldn't work for her.  I tweaked it a few times and then decided to use an old pair of trousers of mine to cut up for the fabric.  I don't have much linen type fabric here and all that I do have would have been too small.  Plus I didn't really want to use good fabric in case the pattern was not a good fit for her.


I'm really pleased with how they've turned out.  I used some red metal overall clips that are meant for human sized items, and they worked perfectly for her.  I made a simple cap sleeved white tee shirt to finish off the look.




The overalls have large pockets on the sides so that Holly can fill them with her belongings or of course she can fit her hands in them too.

I have tweaked my pattern slightly to make them a little less full under the arms, and next time I think I will make them with short legs for the summer.  


I hope you're all keeping safe and having a nice day.

Big hugs, Sharon xxx

Friday, 1 May 2020

Doll Review - Daniela with Pink Outfit by Llorens of Spain - PHOTO HEAVY!

In my last post I wrote about my impulse buy from a doll store here in Spain.  The order was for a Daniela with Pink Outfit by the Spanish doll company Llorens who are based in Onil, Valencia, Spain.  Well the doll arrived very quickly, the company I bought her from, Dolls and Dolls state on their website that they will ship within 24/48 hours and I ordered her on the 18th April which was a Saturday.  The Monday was a public holiday in Valencia where the doll was made and so she shipped on the Tuesday and arrived on the Wednesday.  A very quick service. 



I apologise in advance for the number of photos but wanted to be thorough πŸ˜ƒ

The doll was packed safely in a brown shipper and then inside she was in a very sturdy decorated cardboard box which could be used by a child in a number of ways. 

She was held safely in the box by some ties but none of those horrible plastic ones that are often pushed into the dolls head.  

Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the box but hope you'll enjoy this little review of the doll out of the box.  (I would have liked to have photographed her with other dolls in this size range but I don't really have anyone to compare her to!  But if anyone wants photos of her alongside dolls that I do have, such as Sashas, then please just give me a shout).

  
Straight out of the box.  She is wearing this very cute winter outfit consisting of pink knitted jumper with long sleeves and hood, the hood is edged with beige cream faux fur, a pair of mid calf length knitted leggings, a pink knitted bobble hat and faux suede fur lined 'Ugg' type boots.  She doesn't have any underwear or socks.



The yarn used for the jumper and hat is pink but it has a sort of 'tweedy' effect with white and grey flecks.  The jumper has pink turn back style cuffs.
 

 She has a very pouty face, the sort of face that really appeals to me.


She stands really well straight out of the box.  
 


Daniela has a very sweet profile, the scult is child-like with a cute nose and pouty lips.



The face painting is soft and natural looking.  Her eyelashes are a little on the long side for my liking but they are not too bad.  I will probably replace them with slightly smaller darker ones at some point.


Her hair is lovely and well rooted, there don't appear to be any big gaps between the rooting holes.  The hair fibre feels very much like the more expensive modern dolls from Gotz in Germany, very silky and soft.  The colour in the photo below is not true to life, the real colour is more like my other photos, it's a warm golden blond.  The style is good too, it falls nicely into a short bob.



She has cute well sculpted ears.


Her eyes are blue inset acrylic and they are quite detailed.  She does not have sleep eyes.  Her eyebrows are very sparcely detailed, I may well redo those by filling them in with more 'hairs' using watercolour pencils and chalk pastels.  And she doesn't have lower lashes, so I will add those, again with watercolour pencils.  


Her lips are very detailed with lip creases and are not overly painted or glossed.

Below you can see the outfit with the hood up. 


Daniela has quite a lot of head movement, she can pose with her head looking up, or over her shoulder, she can look down (although her head tends to want to come up again from the looking down position).  When her head is turned all the way around to the back, it remains level and does not look upwards as some play dolls do.  She certainly has good and natural head movement.



Her feet are quite detailed, with cute little toes and neat nails.  


Her hands are also very detailed, with small neat fingernails and lines on the finger joints.


She even has detailed lines on her palms!


Also her hands are not the same, each hand is slightly different!  Below you can see how detailed the lines on the fingers are.


When Daniela sits down her legs do splay outwards but not as bad as some dolls do.  She can sit up unaided without falling backwards.



Because the weather is warm here I wanted to make her something more summery to wear, so I took her measurements.  I compared her measurements with the Heart 4 Hearts dolls, Corelle dolls and the American Doll Wellie Wishers who's details I found online.   It turns out that she is almost the same size as the 14.5 inches Wellie Wishers dolls!  This was great to see as I do have patterns already in that size.  I think the only difference is that Daniela's hips are a couple of centimetres bigger.  

I made her this outfit below, in my favourite colours of blue and white, which I think suits her perfectly.

Outfit and socks by me, shoes by the late Jean Jensen (made for Sasha dolls and slightly too big for this dolls feet).






So to sum up, would I recommend this doll?  Yes!  I definitely would recommend this doll for both children and adult collectors.  She is very well made, using high quality and safe materials.  Her hair can be combed or brushed and she is sturdy enough that a child could play with her without fear of her falling apart quickly.  The company recommend her for children of 3 years and over and I would agree that she would be perfect from that age upwards.  Price-wise this doll is excellent value for money; she cost me 37,95 euros plus 6 euros postage within Spain.  

I would certainly recommend both the Llorens company doll and the Spanish retailer Doll and Doll for a good dolly shopping experience.

I hope you've enjoyed this review and seeing this new little girl!

Thank you for stopping by, keep safe and well everybody!

Big hugs Sharon in Spain xxx

Saturday, 18 April 2020

On line shopping....

In the absence of being able to physically go shopping, apart from boring stuff like food, I find myself looking on line at dolly stuff, I put things into the website's carts and then I just delete it again....I do this before signing in to these websites, just in case my finger slips and I find myself spending money that I don't have!!!

Well this morning I was a little bit naughty and I went searching on doll websites just to see what is available.  I was expecting that a lot of the sites wouldn't be shipping right now but one of the Spanish companies that I've used in the past, Doll and Doll, state that they're still shipping and also had some cute vinyl dolls in stock by the company Llorens, and me, not being able to resist a bargain, decided to put one in my shopping cart....just put her in there you understand, not buy her!  Then of course I saw some sweet little socks, 2,95 euros?  Not bad!! I put a pair of those in too.  And then I saw some downloadable patterns, yes one of those would be useful!  Into the cart it goes.  

But this time I thought "oh what the hell" and I pressed 'proceed to checkout'.  So a new doll and a pair of socks are going to be on their way here next week!  And the pattern is already downloaded and ready to print off.  

The doll is very cute though and the prices of these dolls, which are completely made here in Spain, are so very reasonable that it would be criminal not to purchase.  And with the way things are at the moment, the economy really will need a boost so I'm really just doing my bit to help my fellow inhabitants of Spain, don't you think?! πŸ˜‰

Here is the doll that I've ordered, her company name is Daniela:




She is 37cm tall, all vinyl with rooted hair.  She has fixed acrylic inset eyes and five joints.  If my previous experience of this company, Llorens, is anything to go by, then the outfit will be nicely made with good quality fabrics.  I like that the outfit has several pieces.  And the price?  A very good 37,95 euros (approx $41), so that cannot be bad!!!  

There are other styles too, here is a photo I borrowed from another website:



I have seen another one that is really very cute and if I like this doll and decide to get her a friend I might wait and order her, but for now I will just wait and see.  And I was even thinking that she might be a good candidate for a spot of customising seeing as I enjoy doing that so much!  Or maybe she is cute enough that I will leave well alone!!

All I have to hope for now is that the post office will still be delivering parcels!

I hope you all have a good weekend, stay safe and well!

Big hugs Sharon xx









Thursday, 9 April 2020

A Few Little Crafty Tasks....

Hello and welcome back to my lockdown world!!  Things remain the same here except that the lockdown is now being extended until the end of the month....I suspect it will be extended again after that, but I'm fine with it, as long as it keeps us all safe.

I have spent so much time on the internet and chatting on social media, but I have managed to read a few books on my Kobo and now I've actually done a few dolly things too.

Firstly I finished an outfit for one of my Kaye Wiggs girls that I'd actually cut out back in January.  I put it away when my son was coming to visit and had every intention of actually sewing it when he left on the 7th February.  Well that never happened but finally I started and finished about a week or so ago.  Here it is being modeled by Layla....





The outfit consists of a knit fabric hoodie with separating zip, a cap sleeved striped tee shirt and a skater skirt with attached leggings.

Another job that I've been meaning to do for ages is some partial re-rooting to one of my Sashas.  This girl is called Destin and she has been with me for almost 6 years, she is a Gotz Sasha Slate Eyes made in Germany in the mid 1960s.  She has nice thick hair at the back, although the ends are a little dry, but at the front on top it was a little thin.  I just happen to have here the perfect match in hair for her.  It comes from a modern Gotz doll that I used to have.  I cut off her hair and kept the hair before wigging her.  So the hair has been waiting to be used for this particular Sasha for maybe two years!!!  So I did that a few days ago and the hair really is the perfect match for her existing hair.  I didn't do too much, as I said above, her hair was thick at the back and I didn't want to overdo it, but I filled in some thin hair plugs and added just a few more.  Here she is before:




And here, showing you her new look:






Beautiful spring outfit is by Sarah Williams AKA Vintage Sasha
Orangutan is from IKEA
Socks by me and
Beautiful leather shoes by the late great Jean Jensen.

Finally,  I took some photos of Bailey, my 1971 wider faced brunette (rewigged) as she'd not been in front of the camera for ages.  I used my friend's camera to try it out....I didn't take many photos but thought these show her as she actually is....




Well that's all for now, so I will sign off and hope that you all remain safe and well.  

Big hugs

Sharon in Spain xx

Friday, 27 March 2020

Life in the Lockdown!

Well I was going to write about something other what is happening in the world at the moment, but the truth is, I haven't really got much else to write about but wanted to post something on my blog.  So I thought I'd try to show a more creative side to being locked down at home.

Firstly a little about the lockdown.  We are currently on Day 13 as lockdown started for us from midnight on Saturday 14th March.  It's been very strict from Day one, which I feel is the best way to go. I do not feel that my freedom is being taken away from me, I hope that this will help save lives and certainly help to ease the strain on the Spanish health service.  For example, we are only allowed out to go to the supermarket to buy food, to the pharmacy for medication, you can walk a dog but only 50 metres from your home, and it must be just one person, you cannot walk in pairs.  No cycling or jogging, no meeting up with friends or family, you can only stay with those you live with.  And only one person per car except if you are taking a vulnerable person to a medical appointment.  And fines are pretty high.  Police are checking where you go and you have to prove where you've been.  So yes, pretty strict.  The number of people who've died from the virus is very high here in Spain, so if it works, and saves some lives then I'm more than happy to do as I'm told.  

So what have I been doing with myself?  Well I started out with the intention of making some doll outfits.  I got all the pattern files out, I printed off some new patterns, I sorted through my fabrics and cut out a few outfits.  I started by making a pair of tiny overalls for my friends doll.  I cut them out wrong, and then when I'd recut them, so I sewed them up back to front.  I really could not concentrate, so I decided to stop that and sit and read.  I've read two or three books but my mind keeps wandering.  I've been spending so much of my time chatting on line, looking at the BBC news, Facebook, YouTube, everything apart from doing something productive with my time.

That is until a couple of days ago when I had the idea to sew some face masks for myself and Brian....then I thought "what about the neighbours?"  So I got started, it was fun to match the fabrics to the personalities of my friends....and so it started!  I have now made 22 masks and distributed them amongst the neighbours.  One friend has a fabric printed with items of clothing, another has one with little Scotty dogs all over, another has doggy pawprints.  A few of the men have skull and cross bones!!!  Others have fish, or flowers.  I even got an offer from someone who doesn't live here to buy some but instead she has made a donation to our local Animal Rescue charity because with the lockdown they cannot open their charity shop which they depend on for income.  So that's what I've been up to!

Waiting for the pleats to be put in.....



All neatly ironed!! 



I asked my friends to share selfies with me of them in their masks, so here are a few of them!!!








Thank you to my lovely friends and neighbours for being good sports and wearing the masks, I hope they help to keep you safe and free from harm when you go to the supermarket or walk your dogs.

I hope every one of you who reads my blog keeps safe and well.  Please don't take risks with your lives or those of your loved ones, it really isn't worth it.  And I would just like to add a special shout out for all the health care workers, street sanitisers, refuse collectors, supermarket and pharmacy staff, and anyone else in one of these critical jobs, who're helping to keep us safe.  THANK YOU!!

Big hugs Sharon in Spain xx