Tuesday 8 June 2021

Hello! I'm still alive!

 I'm really sorry that I've not been around for ages, I've not posted on my blog or read anyone else's either, which is bad because I do enjoy seeing what everyone else is up to on the dolly front.

As for me, well I'm well but have had six months of problems with one of my legs, several times I was unable to actually walk and I honestly thought the worst.  Well it turns out that I have 'severe arthritis' in my knee and lower leg and am too young (I like that!) for a replacement knee so I've been given strong painkillers.  They're working well but I feel so tired that sometimes I just cannot be bothered to do anything! 

However, I have actually been sewing, quite a lot to be honest.  I've let my house gather dust and concentrated on my dolls....well those dust mites deserve a life too, wouldn't you say?  Seriously though, I've been sewing, sewing and more sewing and really enjoying it.  I've also customised a doll so I will share some of those things here and hope, if I still have any readers left, you will enjoy seeing what I've been doing.

I received a new BJD back in April and although I wasn't sure whether I'd actually keep her, when she arrived I was smitten.  She is a Pao by Boto Doll and although she has a chubby body which I normally don't like, I really love her.  I've done a lot of sewing for her.....

 I've been having such fun with her, her name is Jin, which apparently means Jade in Chinese.

I've made outfits for my Gotz girls too....


Both of those girls arrived in the early part of the year....I had a bit of a spending spree!!  

Some more BJDs got new clothes....


Samantha (Elfdoll Hana Angel) got a new blue dress with beading around the hem.

Noa (Irrealdoll Nora) got a check dress and cream socks.

Black Cherry Dolls XiaoYu got a new denim pinafore and striped stockings.  The lovely knitted sweater and beret were a gift from a friend.

And she also got a linen dress in khaki green.

 Bastian by Little Cosmos Dolls got some new trousers and a matching top.

So these were just a few of the many things I've been sewing recently.

Finally I did a makeover on one of my Gotz girls.  Anna is from 2005 and although she was really nice, her eyes were quite flat and not the most attractive so I decided to give her a whole new face.

Here she is with her new look and new dress....well if a girl has a new look she really needs another new dress, I guess!  

 I almost cut her eyes out to insert glass ones but then I decided to try repainting her existing eyes, after five attempts I was happy with the ones I painted and after sealing them, I added clear UV resin to give them a strong shine.

I think she looks more like a child now and less 'doll-like'.

So you'll see that I've not exactly been idle, just not here on Blogger.  I will try my best to catch up with all the blogs but I might just have to start afresh from now.  Forgive me for all the things I've missed and for not commenting.

Big hugs and enjoy your week.

Sharon in Spain xx

Saturday 30 January 2021

Introducing Irrealdoll Nora

As promised I would like to introduce you to my newest little ball jointed doll (BJD).  She is sculpted by the Spanish artist Laura of Irrealdoll and is called Nora.  Nora is made of resin and fully jointed.  She was available in two colours, Peanut and Toffee, I chose Toffee because I already have a Toffee coloured Enyo and I wanted Nora to be his big sister!  Nora is 27cm tall and quite skinny, so much so that she can actually fit into some Blythe clothes, although she would actually be classed as YOSD size, meaning Young Super Dolfie.  The term YOSD actually belongs to Volks of Japan but is used throughout the BJD world to describe dolls in this size range.  At some point, when I get some time, I would like to do a comparison post showing the difference between dolls in this size range.

I ordered Nora back in July and paid for her on layaway, Laura offers a great layaway and I finished paying for her in October.  The doll then arrived just before Christmas.  Laura makes several different sizes of BJDs, I currently have three different sizes, and they are all of excellent quality and the posing, particularly of her later dolls, is second to none.

I recently made a wig for Nora, who I'm now calling Noa, by making a wig cap using PVA glue and then attaching curls of Merino wool, however I wasn't happy with the wool that I received from a seller on Etsy and so instead, I decided to order a wig from a seller in France.  I will show you Noa in both wigs for your opinion.  I like her in both wigs but feel that she looks a bit older in the homemade wig, plus the wig itself did not come out very well.  

Homemade wig using Merino wool and PVA glue wig cap:

Now wearing Tessie wig by Monique Doll Company:

Please excuse the photos, I'm struggling with the changes to Pic Monkey, the photo editing site that I subscribe to.

Noa came with light brown eyebrows so I have darkened them slightly as well as adding a little more colour to her lower lashes, but apart from that, her faceup is by the artist.  I love her very faint freckles.  Unfortunately you can't see them very well in my photos.

Clothes: Top photos, jeans by me (made for Planetdoll Mini Riz), tee shirt for Blythe

Bottom photos, same tee shirt, denim overalls by TTYA and sports shoes were keyrings!

I hope you've enjoyed meeting Nora/Noa!

Thank you for visiting

Big hugs, Sharon in Spain xxx



Saturday 9 January 2021

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone who visits my blog!  I am sorry that it's been such a long time since I last posted on here, but like a lot of people, I've lost interest in my dolls over the last five months or so and the interest is only really coming back now!  I suspect the virus has got a lot to do with it, l suppose you'd say that 'real life' got in the way.  

I would like to apologise for not commenting on any of the blogs that I follow.  Sadly with the loss of dolly interest, along went any interest in dolly blogs.  I hope to rectify that really soon.

Well a fair amount has happened in the last six months since I posted. First of all we moved home and we are now living just five minutes from where we were before, but we have a lot more space and I have a lovely new doll/sewing room, which unfortunately hasn't seen much action recently, but I do have a lot of things planned for the spring.  The house itself though is lovely, we have beautiful views of the sea and two nice terraces which I need to utilise more for dolly photos.  Having said that, I did take a few photos recently, so I will show them here.

Dolly news, I have received two new dolls recently.  The first to arrive was Nora by Irrealdoll here in Spain, she is very cute but I've not taken any photos of her yet because she is waiting on a wig.  So far I have made the wig cap using white glue but am now waiting on the lambswool to arrive from the UK.  What with the virus and Brexit, I suspect it'll be a while before it arrives, so I will have to be patient and poor Nora will have to stay safely in her box.

The second doll to arrive, who also arrived just before Christmas, is Johanna, who is an Wichtel artist doll by Rosemarie Muller.  She is 32cm tall and all vinyl and such a cutie.  She came in this beautiful smocked dress, lacy socks and pretty sandals, and she even has tiny gold studs in her ears.  You might remember that I had three of the Wichtel dolls before but sold them in 2019, and I missed them so decided to add another to my collection.  I decided on this sweet girl with her small smile....and although I don't usually go for smiley dolls, I'm glad I did on this occasion as she is very pretty. 

Isn't she a cutie!  I can't wait to start sewing for her 😊

In the meantime, I finally got to take some photos of my latest Zwergnase Junior doll, Rixte, who arrived here last October.  She is one of the 45cm girls and has such a cheeky face.  I changed her from her default outfit into this super Brownie dress made by Passion for Sasha on Etsy....she is now looking forward to starting Brownies very soon! πŸ˜‰ ☺️

Apart from that, all is well here.  My mum and brother came over here to stay with us on the 4th November because I was really worried about how things were going, virus-wise, in their area and they are still here some two months later.  I think it was the best thing for them to do, coming here, because not soon afterwards, their borough, just east of London, had the highest numbers of new virus infections in the whole of England.  Scary stuff.  Thankfully they are safe and well here and long may that continue.

I hope you and your families are staying safe and well and that 2021 will be a good year for us all.

Big hugs and thank you for visiting

Love Sharon xxx

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Saying Goodbye....

It doesn't seem that long since I wrote a post about losing my little Chihuahua, Choco, in fact it was just over a year ago.  And now today, sadly I'm writing about losing another little Chihuahua, Kara.   Yesterday we took our little girl to the vet for her to be helped to go over the Rainbow Bridge.  

Kara was about four months old when we first saw her.  She sat like a poor little waif in a pet shop window in October 2008, this was when pet shops here in Spain were still able to sell dogs from their windows.  Against our better judgement we went into the pet shop and asked all about her.  It was obvious that the guy working there didn't have a clue about her, but he must have spotted a pair of suckers when we entered the premises!  Well my husband wasn't happy to buy a dog from a pet shop and who can blame him, but as we drove home (an hour and a half in the car) we couldn't stop talking about this little sweetie in the window and how she would fit in with our other three dogs!!  

(Kara always ate on the sofa on her own 'tablecloth' (an old tea towel) because she was a slow eater and her sisters would steal her dinner if they could!)

I remember we got home and immediately decided to call the shop and tell the guy to hang on to her, we were coming straight back to get her!  So off we went, another hour and a half in the car and so little Kara came home with us that Saturday evening.  Of course she wasn't called Kara then, she was a nameless little thing, as quiet as a mouse and not much bigger!  Brian, my husband, suggested we call her Kara, after the Supergirl character, Kara Zor-el, and so Kara she became.

We wanted to take Kara straight to our vet for a check up but it was too late that Saturday evening, but as soon as we got her home we realised that something wasn't quite right with her.  First of all her tail had a 'kink' in it, it felt like a 'knot' and it stuck straight out the back.  It didn't worry us how it looked but we didn't want her to have any problems with it.  Also her back legs appeared to be twisted.  Her fur didn't feel as soft as it looked, it had a slight dryness to it but we thought we'd leave it for the vet to look at on the Monday.


Kara settled in but she was extremely nervous.  She seemed to be petrified of feet, if we walked anywhere near her she would cower down as if she thought she might be was not nice to watch but we were determined that she would feel at home with us as she was already very well could we not love the little sweetie?  She was gorgeous, the sweetest little dog and very cuddly!


On the Monday, when the vet saw her, she was really angry.  She said that Kara was obviously undernourished, her tail had been broken and not set properly, her back legs were indeed twisted because she actually had rickets.  Our vet hadn't seen a puppy with rickets in  in a long time.  Her fur was dry because she'd not been given the correct food for a puppy of her age.  


We went home with her and continued feeding her on the food that we'd been giving to our other pups, Lucy and Yoda, who themselves were only 9 months and 7 months respectively.  A week later when we went back to the vet, she could already see an improvement in Kara, her fur was beginning to feel silky and soft and she blossomed from then on.  She continued to have silky soft fur for the rest of her life.

Then a few years later, one Boxing Night to be exact, Kara suddenly started fitting.  I'd never seen a dog having a fit before and it was incredibly upsetting, plus I was so scared that we were going to lose her and what vet would be open at 8pm the day after Christmas?  Luckily, we didn't reckon with my son's future mother in law, who, knowing everyone in our town, got on the phone to a local vet who agreed to see us straight away.  And so little Kara was diagnosed with epilepsy and put on phenobarbitol.

Phenobarbitol is not a drug to be messed with but once we got her dose right, she had less fits although she did continue to have a few a month...however, what we didn't know was that it was affecting her eyesight.  We eventually tried other drugs and reduced her phenbarbitol right down but by then it was too late, her retinas were already beyond help and she gradually lost her sight completely.

At first her loss of sight wasn't that much of a problem for her, she'd never been a dog that liked going out for walks, she was actually a little bit of a Diva and enjoyed being carried about!  But as long as we didn't move the furniture she was fine, she could find the water bowls, she could find her way around without many bumps.  However about a year or so ago I noticed that her behaviour started to be a bit 'different'.  She started to walk around in circles and bark for no reason at all, and it was a 'strange' bark, not a normal one but we didn't really think too much of it at the time.  I asked the vet if she thought Kara might have the start of doggy dementia but she felt that she was too young at that point, so we didn't worry too much.


However, by the beginning of this year she started to get worse.  I'd done some research and found out quite a lot about dementia in dogs and she was showing quite a few signs, it was really sad.  As if the poor little thing didn't have enough to contend with, she was definitely showing strong signs of dementia.  The vet gave us a drug that is supposed to help dogs with these signs, called Cognadine, but although it seemed to help at little at first, we soon realised that she was getting worse.  We tried other medications, we tried cannabis oil but nothing really helped her.  She got worse and worse. 

In February when my husband was away visiting family in the UK, I was at the end of my tether.  Kara was walking around in circles and continued to do so for about 3 and a half hours.  Every time I picked her up and held her, she would struggle to get down, I would put her in her bed and she would get straight out and off she'd go again with the circling. She also started to bark for nothing at all and this too would go on for hours at a time.

Our vet then suggested another drug that is supposed to help dogs with dementia and had no side effects...we tried this and yes, for a few weeks it seemed to work.  It was increasing the blood flow to her brain and supposed to calm her symptoms down.  But over the last few weeks we realised that it just wasn't working anymore and there was nothing left that we could do for her medically.


Last week we realised that her time had come to leave us.  She no longer recognised us which was just so heartbreaking and her circling had got so treacherous for her because she couldn't see, she no longer was aware enough of her surroundings to know where everything was and so she spent a lot of time bashing into furniture, it was horrible to watch.  Horrible to see our sweet little girl in such decline.  Physically she looked fine, her fur was lovely and soft, her appetite in the main was good, but her mental state was in such decline. 

I cried all weekend after we'd made the decision to let her go.  I felt like I was 'playing God', deciding that her life was over.  But our lovely vet talked with us at length and she is not one to put a healthy dog to sleep or make decisions like this lightly.  She told us that Kara's heart was strong but her mind had completely gone and her life must be scary for her, she didn't know where she was and she didn't know who we were...that was horrible to hear but then the truth often is.  

So we said goodbye to her yesterday morning at 9.50am.  We held her whilst she was sedated and we cuddled her in her blanket as she was given the injection and  breathed her last.  My heart feels heavy and my eyes are swollen, but she will always be our little Princess Diva who'll live on in our hearts forever.


Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I'm sorry it was so long but it's hard to put 12 years of love for a little dog into just a few lines.  

Please give your beloved pets an extra hug from me tonight

Big hugs, Sharon xx 

Sunday 31 May 2020

Gotz Happy Kidz Emilia...A New Custom!

Last week I bought a Gotz Happy Kidz Emilia because I both liked the sculpt and wanted to do some customising.  I got Emilia because she has an interesting face sculpt, not the prettiest of the Gotz Happy Doll sculpts but a face that I find I'm drawn to.  I liked her on arrival but always like to make my dolls 'my own' and she was no exception.

Emilia before:

I've always liked Gotz dolls as their quality is very good and they're great as play dolls, being made with very safe and well tested materials, and for adult doll collectors too.

Firstly I removed the factory makeup and the acrylic eyes.  The eyes were not bad quality but I prefer them to be more realistic so they had to go, along with the eyelashes.  Here she is with her cleaned face, but eyes and lashes still attached.  I felt these eyes were also a tad too large for her eye sockets too.

The hair on these dolls is rooted so I covered her head with an old shower cap to protect it from the chalk and the sealant.

The hardest part was getting her head off.  I had to soak it in boiled water until the vinyl was soft and then pull it off.  The eyes are seated in little 'pockets' inside her head but the back of these are open so you can easily remove the eyes through the neck hole.  Here she is will her default eyes and lashes now removed.


I then gave her a new faceup using watercolour pencils and artist grade chalk pastels.  I wanted her to have glass eyes but I found that the ones I have here (and I have quite a few pairs!!) did not suit her or were the wrong size.  In the end I decided that I would stick with acrylic, so these eyes are by Glastic Realistic, unfortunately I have no idea what the colour is called.   As acrylic eyes go, I think these are a great alternative to glass or resin eyes as they are very detailed and natural looking. 

Between layers of chalk pastels, Emilia is sealed with several coats of Mr Super Clear Flat sealant. 

I hope that I've bought her more 'to life' and less dolly looking.  I enjoyed working on her, customising really is one of my favourite parts of the doll hobby to be honest!

She's wearing an outfit that I made for my Zwergnase dolls, I thought the grey of the outfit went well with the grey of her eyes.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you're all having a very nice weekend.

Big hugs and stay safe!
Sharon xxxx

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