Monday, December 31, 2012

If there's a Macros for Dummies book then I need it!

I've been using my new Canon Macro EFS60mm lens that my dear hubby got me for Christmas and, if the expression "practice makes perfect", then I have a lot of practicing ahead of me!  I used my smallest ball jointed girls as models, they are my Elfdoll Monnaemi Sisters which are 14cm tall and mega skinny.  I tried both the auto focus and the manual focus.....I took loads of photos and these are the best of them....and they're not that good either! 

First up is Song, she is a Bong Sun Hwa from May 2009.  She has a default faceup and is a very shy little girl until she gets to know you!  Here she is dressed as one of Santa's little helpers!


This next photo is of Callie who was my first Monnaemi Sister, she is a Jin dal Re, she came here in late 2008, but she is from an earlier release, although I'm not sure which one, possibly second edition.  She has a default faceup but one day I would like to send her off for a custom one as this faceup is showing signs of age now.  Callie is a funny little thing, she can be quite a worrier and fusses over her sisters all the time.


Next up are the twins, this first one being Twiggy, a Min dal Re from May 2009.  She has a default faceup and a bit of an attitude.  She thinks she is bigger than she is!!


And finally we have her twin sister, Minxie, another Min dal Re but an earlier edition, again I'm not entirely sure of which edition she is from, but I think she is from Rainman's second edition of Monnaemi Sisters.  She came to me secondhand in October 2009 and had a few problems including fading faceup, all her fingers missing on one hand and her legs were very misshappen and bandy because of tight stringing.  However, she was an easy fix and I fixed her up in no time.  She finally got a beautiful new faceup this year by the very talented Raven of Ravendolls in the US.  How Raven managed to work on someone so small, I'll never know.....look at those beautiful lips!  Bearing in mind, they are only 4mm, yes millimeters, from corner to corner!!!  But she is just perfect!


I love my little Monnaemi Sisters, they are such big 'personalities' in tiny bodies! 

On a non dolly note, I would just like to thank everyone who reads my blog, and wish all of you a very Happy New Year, may 2013 bring you everything that you would wish for yourselves, but especially good health and happiness.





Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Sasha family.....

Just before Christmas, I was lucky enough to receive two new Sasha kids who came to join my dolly family.   They made their appearances, a day apart, just after my mum and brother arrived from the UK to visit us for Christmas, so I was unable to really do anything more than take them from their boxes and check them over.  The first to arrive was a little red head Sasha 'waif', who I have mentioned in a previous blog entry.  She had previously had her beautiful two tone red hair cut into a cute bob, and I couldn't resist her when I saw her face looking out from my computer screen when she was listed for sale on Ebay.

I have dressed her in a little dress that I had previously made for my blond Sasha, Millie,  because I didn't have time to make her anything in anticipation of her arrival.  My mum gave her a pretty pink cardigan which she'd knitted for her for Christmas, and so this morning I made her some pink lacy knit tights to go with it and added brown suedette shoes, my 'not so great' first attempt at making dolly footwear.  Unfortunately, Ellory, as she is now called, let me know in no uncertain terms, that pink really is NOT her colour!  But as I told her, "It's pink or nothing for the moment, I'm afraid!" she agreed to wear the pink outfit until I can make her something more suited to her tomboy personality!  (LOL, you can see from her face in this photo that she is not overly impressed!)



Next to arrive was a cute brunette dark jeans Gregor from 1973/74 from Shelly at Sasha Dolls UK.  He had been described on her website as having good shiny non falling hair that needed restyling because it was sticking up in the air.  I found his face really appealling and knew that with a bit of patience his hair would soon settle down!  So he was bought by my husband as one of my Christmas gifts.  As soon as he arrived I put a beany on his head to help flatten his hair and sure enough it is now more or less flat and what a cheeky little chap he is!  He is very handsome and his name, he tells me, is Alexander, but we can call him Alex, apparently!




Now that my (human) family have gone back to the UK, I will make some clothes for these two new kids!  Luckily the weather has been beautiful and sunny and very warm, so I was able to take quite a lot of photos in the garden today.  Here is a cute photo of Devon and Millie, my little blond twins hanging out in the sunshine:



And finally here is my full Sasha family!!  I don't know how it happended that I ended up with four kids, I honestly only planned on having the two!




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Feliz Navidad to all my friends!

I've not had very much dolly time over the last week since my mum and brother have been here, but today Millie, my blond Sasha, received a new outfit that I won on Ebay, so she immediately had to change into it....and of course that meant photos.  I know that I said just a few weeks ago that I would join Lorraine with her quest not to buy any clothes for the Sasha's for a whole year and I already broke it!!!  Ooops!  I really wanted something warm and cosy for Millie and I can't knit properly so when I saw this sweet outfit by Dee, anislynn1066 on Ebay, I couldn't resist it.  (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!!) 

So on went the new outfit and of course Millie wanted to go out to show it off, so off she went to Santa's Grotto, where she met up with his little 'army' of snowmen!  This year we didn't have the tree up (long story) so I put together this little 'grotto' instead!  

Anyway, I think Millie was totally enchanted and mesmerised by the  frosty little men and she really loved Santa who came here from Germany and is wearing blue rather than the red that we're more used to.





I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends a wonderful holiday season and I hope that the New Year brings you everything that you would wish for yourselves, but especially good health and happiness.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Such naughty girls!

Because today it has been pouring with rain and I've not been able to take any photos, I thought I'd share a few older photos of two of my favourite girls!  The girls in question are my Secretdoll Persons, numbers 8 and 21, who came to live here in the summer of 2011.  First came number 21, who told me in no uncertain terms that her name was Persephone, but that I could call her Percy.  And what a little madam she was!  She knew nothing about good behaviour and definitely nothing about sharing!!! 

"Sharing? What's 'sharing'?"
  (Percy's reaction when I told her she had to share the tricycle!)


However, things really hotted up a few weeks later when Kobi came to join us.  Kobi, a Person No.8, had been ordered by a friend of mine in the Netherlands, however, she knew before the doll arrived that she would sell and so gave me first refusal....how could I refuse this little Person a place here with her friend Percy, so along came Kobi!  

Suddenly it was double the trouble!  If I thought Percy was naughty, nothing had prepared me for Kobi!  She has come up with so many 'hair brained' schemes that poor Percy can hardly keep up with her!  And the results of their escapades have turned out to be some of my favourite photos of the pair of them.   My friends on Flickr will have already seen these photos, but I hope that seeing them again will bring a smile to your faces!!

Playing at hairdressers!  
I love this photo, especially Percy's reflection in the mirror in her hand! 


No More Nails....Works just like it says on the tube!!
Luckily no-one was hurt whilst taking this 'sticky' photo!


New shoes!


 And finally, a photo of the girls on their visit to the UK where they almost wrecked havoc at Blythe Con in London, in October 2011......!  They're actually behaving quite well in this photo!  But notice, they nabbed all the souvenirs from the show too!


I really love these two girls, they are such funny little things and my goodness do they keep me amused with all their antics! ;) 



Saturday, December 15, 2012

A little dolly time!

This week I received a piece of lambswool that I'd bought on Etsy, so I decided to make a wig for my Volks MSD Toppi.  Toppi, who I call Taliah, has been with me since April 2010 and has worn the same wig the whole time she's been here, which is a long straight strawberry blond Monique Gold Paris, I think it is.  So this lambswool one is a complete change and I'm not sure that it'll stay on her for long!

Toppi is my favourite facemould of the Volks MSD (Mini Super Dollfie) releases and was always a 'holy grail' doll for me.  I had wanted one since the moment I saw her photo on Den of Angels, but for a long time I was either pipped at the post on auctions, or just that fraction of a minute too slow when one was put up for sale in the Den of Angels marketplace.  However, one day I saw a Toppi put up for sale on Flickr and quickly contacted the seller who, as luck would have it, lived here in Europe.  I made an offer for her and she accepted and so Toppi was sent on her way to live with me.  I was so excited to be finally getting this 'special' doll.

However, when Toppi arrived I got a real shock.  She was filthy.  The 'lovely body blush' described by the seller, was the most awful thick peach coloured paint which was dirty and chipped and her default faceup with "freckles added but not sealed, so easily removable" were just dreadful.  The freckles were very poorly done and even though they'd allegedly not been sealed, they had stained the original faceup.  On top of all that, if this wasn't enough, she stunk of cigarette smoke.  I was so upset and disappointed but the beauty of ball jointed dolls is that generally all is not lost!  I removed all the body blushing first and then gave her a really good clean with warm soapy water, then because I was unable to remove the stains left on her face by the freckles, I removed the default faceup too.  Then I got her a slot with one of my favourite faceup artists for a whole new look.  That should have been the start of Toppi's new life!

Ha! But all the best laid plans......nothing was destined to go smoothly with this lovely girl.  The faceup artist was suffering from burn-out and finally after about 6 months holding the head but not starting on it, she decided that she was going to send all the heads back undone!  Disaster!  But luck was with me on this occasion and the head was sent directly to Caroline of Viridian House in Scotland, who came to my rescue.  She felt sorry for poor Toppi and said that she would squeeze her in!

The rest as they say, is history!  Toppi really is a gorgeous sculpt, a very simple look but soft and beautiful.  And of course Caroline's faceup work is second to none!   I do think that all the 'trauma' was worth it to get this girl, she really is my Holy Grail doll!!

In her regular wig:


In her new lambswool wig that I made for her this week:


And a close up using my new Macro lens:


Thursday, December 13, 2012

A little of nothing....

Nothing much happening here on the dolly front as I've been busy cleaning and stuff in anticipation of my mum and brother coming over next week, just in time for Christmas.

Yesterday we had to get up early and drive our son Brendan to Malaga airport as he has gone to visit his girlfriend in Barcelona.  She is doing her Masters in Palaeopathology (bit of a mouthful that!) at university there.  So we were up and out by 6am .... such an unGodly hour I have to say!  And then after seeing him off and some breakfast in the airport, off we went to Ikea......where we did the usual wandering around thingy and buying things that we didn't really need! I'm sure others can relate to that!  However we did get some dining chairs which we badly needed, so at least we'll have something to sit on at the table from now on! LOL

The remainder of the last couple of days have been spent with no doll activity whatsoever so no dolly photos I'm afraid.  However, because a blog can be a bit boring with just writing, here are a few photos I took last week using my new Macro lens that I'm getting for Christmas.....well I've got it already really .... but maybe I'll get hubby to wrap it up and put it under the tree anyway, so that I can say when I open it "Oooh this is a lovely surprise!" ;)  Please bear in mind that these were taken the day I got the lens so they are not perfect, but I think I'm going to have fun with it!

I really like the effect of this little Margarita, it looks like it's floating in mid air!


Some more photos of the little flowers on the succulents, I took some with my regular lens a couple of weeks ago, now these are even closer with the new lens


 
A shell, not perfect clarity, but I like how it looks....maybe better against a darker background, which I will try next time.


And finally, a close up of my sons eye.  We think of eyes as being blue, or brown, for example, but it is amazing really how many beautiful colours an eye is made up from...it's also incredible how much detail this lens picks up...all those tiny red veins!  I think he needs some earlier nights!




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dianna Effner 13" Little Darling on Ebay

SOLD - thank you!

This little cutie arrived this afternoon from the USA and I knew before she got here that she'd not fit in with my other dolls. 

She was a complete impulse buy when I was feeling very low after I lost my beautiful Cocoa.....I should never buy during those times, but alas I did and now I am selling her on Ebay.

She's a lovely full vinyl doll, 13 inches tall, Little Darling #2 by Dianna Effner, beautifully handpainted by Helen Skinner.

If interested, she can be found here on Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230896010326?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

Thanks very  much for looking.




Saturday, December 8, 2012

Naughty naughty me....

I was very naughty yesterday and bought myself a nice pressie on Ebay.....a little redhead Sasha will be coming to live here with us in Spain!!   I didn't intend getting a redhead at all, in fact I've been mainly looking for a brunette girl but when I saw this girl pop up on my screen and described as a 'waif, looking for a new home for Christmas' well my heart just melted.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that not only did she have a 'buy it now' price, but she also was being sold by the very same lady from whom I bought Devon! 

However, in the time it took me to go and log in to ebay, when I went back to look at her again, she was gone....my stomach did a flip of deep disappointment, but then within a minute or so, there she was again!  It must have been my computer testing me to make sure I really did want her.  So I quickly hit the 'buy it now' button!!!  I know she will be just perfect for me because she has been well looked after.

The 'Sasha purists' might say that I was mad to buy her, she is a later girl from 1979 and has had her lovely red hair cut into a bob by her previous but one owner, but I'm afraid, despite everything I've been told by Sasha people and everything that I've read recently, when I saw her little face looking out of the screen at me, all that information and advice just flew straight out the window and was washed away in the rain! 

I guess my heart overruled my head, but I'm happy!

I already have a personality in mind for her and her name will probably be either Willow or Ellory and would you believe it, I even have those very same dungarees!  And they only arrived yesterday too!!  See...it was meant to be!

Here she is, not my photo, but hope the seller won't mind me using it!




Friday, December 7, 2012

The Bees Knees....

I've been meaning to do some sewing for almost two weeks now but every time I go into my sewing/dolly room, so I end up turning around and coming right back out again having done nothing.  But today I was determined that I would make the sweatshirt for Devon that I've been promising him since the arrival of his cute corderoy trousers that I bought on ebay recently, as well as his lovely brown leather Boneka shoes from the same place!

So here is the finished result.  I think that next time I'd make the body slightly more loose and maybe the neck a little more scooped, but apart from that, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  Of course he had to have a pull on beanie hat too, although it was far too wet and miserable out  today to go anywhere wearing it...so he wore it all afternoon indoors instead.

In fact I think we could safely say, that he thinks he's The Bees Knees!!!!





Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beginning to feel a lot like.......WINTER!!

It has been really cold over the last week and the dogs really don't do winter!!  They just want to snuggle all the time, which is fine by me as I really have been feeling lousy with these darn ears of mine, yes the doctor has confirmed that I have an ear infection in both ears.  So sitting on the couch with a couple of Chihuahuas down my sweatshirt, suits me just fine, thank you! 

Yoda and Kara don't do winters.....actually they don't do mornings either really!


It's a hard life being a dog!!
Lucy (Min Pin) and the three Chihuahuas are exhausted! 
(L-R Lucy, Suki, Choco and Yoda) Kara is inside her dads hoodie!


Sitting around doing not much of anything has given me the excuse (as if I need one!) to drool over other peoples photos of dolls on the internet, as I've not really been taking any of my own recently.  One photo that I found a little while ago, and really helped push me into getting my Devon, is this photo of a little Gregor, known as Ludo and he lives, I believe in sunny California.  He is owned by a contact of mine on Flickr, TuSabesBlythe, a Blythe collector who obviously enjoys other dolls too.  I just think that this little lad looks so 'cool' and he has just the sort of look that I'd like Devon (Gregor) to adopt once I get a bit more enthusiam going for sewing for my dolls!  I love his whole look, from the cute newsboy cap to the way he is standing there so nonchantly whilst his photo is taken!  Don't you agree?

Photo shared with kind permission of TuSabesBlythe:

Ludo


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Some reasons to be thankful.....

Although I feel incredibly sad about my beloved Cocoa, and can't for the life of me stop this silly crying all the time....(my eyes look remarkably like red golfballs)....I have many reasons to be thankful.  Apart from my lovely husband and son, I have my mum and my brother John in the UK, and I have some wonderful friends both on-line and off.....I have the rest of my fur and feather family too......

Mango our Blue Headed Pionus - age u/k but we've had him 11 years


Lucy our Miniature Pinscher - born January 2008


 Yoda our black Chihuahua - born March 2008


Kara our ginger brown Chihuahua - born June 2008
 

Suki our 'blond' long haired Chihuahua - born October 2011


And the baby of the family, Choco our 'milk chocolate' coloured Chihuahua - born December 2011


Friday, November 30, 2012

Goodbye Cocoa ... we'll really miss you....


Today has been one of the saddest days of my life because this morning our beloved African Grey parrot, Cocoa, died suddenly in my arms.  We didn't even know she was unwell.  Last night she seemed her usual chirpy self, we did our normal nightly routine where we say goodnight to both our parrots, and Cocoa always says "Night night Cokes" and blows us kisses.  She then comes up to bars of her cage, she makes 'kissing' sounds and I kiss her on her black shiny beak. 

When my hubby got up this morning to make tea at about 6.30am, she was on her high perch and again all seemed well.  He said good morning to her and as per usual, she ignored him!
However, when he came back downstairs again a little later, she was lying on the floor of her cage with her wings spread out.  He quickly called me and I rushed to see what was wrong, I lifted her from the cage and she felt sooo cold, but she was alive, so I tucked her inside my clothes and cuddled her.  I kept her there for four hours and during that time I gave her some water with honey through a syringe and also a little bit of mashed up cereal.  At one point I thought she was perking up a bit because she moved her wings as if to get more comfortable, but just after noon, she died still inside my clothes.  We just buried her in the garden.

I'm so very very upset.  I know that some people might say "but she's just a parrot..." and that's as may be to them, but to us she has been a valued member of our family since the day we brought her home, some 12 plus years ago, as a small little 12 week old chick.  She has never been a problem bird, she wasn't a screamer or a plucker and she really did enhance our lives with her funny chatter and her ability to pick up words, phrases and songs so easily!  She liked to be involved in everything and used to dance when we sang to her.  She was even bi-linqual as she could speak some Spanish words too!   Our lives will be quieter and less fun without her, she will be sorely missed.

RIP my little grey baby.....





Monday, November 26, 2012

Vespa it quietly....

......But I'm thinking of getting a motor scooter or moped! 

The town I live in is very very old and not designed for motor vehicles.  The streets are really steep and most are also incredibly narrow, so parking is an absolute nightmare for cars.  The majority of my errands around the town involve the use of the car as they are too far to walk, but then I go around and around, like everyone else, looking for a parking space.

So I suggested to my long suffering husband (who incidentally no longer drives) that maybe I should get a moped or motor scooter, which would be really handy for when I have to go out to the bank or post office, or nip to the supermarket for one or two things that I've forgotten.  Admittedly I would still use the car for the weekly shopping, or journeys outside of our town, but it would be so useful for everything else.  Amazingly enough hubby seems to agree that it is a good idea!  So today I nipped out in the car and went to the one and only motorcycle shop that we have here in Estepa.  They had some lovely models on display but I saw the cutest moped and so asked the owner of the shop all the details. 

Although I can't remember the make (it certainly wasn't a Vespa, unfortunately!) the model I favoured is described as the 'classic' model and he suggested I might prefer a 125cc to the 50cc that I had in mind.  Apparently the 50cc might struggle on the hills, and my driving licence enables me to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc without the need for another road test.  The guy must have thought I was so 'girly' when I said that I particularly liked this model as it was such a nice colour (cream), with an attractive brown seat and old fashioned look about it, and it had a little box on the back which would be perfect for my handbag!  The 'cargo' box, a crash helmet and an anti theft lock are all included in the price.......insurance would be extra but as my son so kindly pointed out, it wouldn't be that expensive for a woman of my age!!!!!!

Now to make the decision on whether I really will use it......because unfortunately they are not as cheap as I envisaged!!!


I guess I will have to think about it....so watch this space......!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Every dog has it's day.....

......And today was Yoda's turn to be in front of the camera.

Looks like there's a queue at the 'Free Salad Buffet'.....


Yoda, as usual is at the front of the 'queue'...and Choco, our only boy dog, is lining up behind her!

Yoda asks:

"Is this my best side, do you think?"


"Or perhaps this side?"


"Or maybe I just look good from all sides?"