Sunday 30 September 2018

My Little Cosmos Girls Again....

I'm really enjoying my two new girls from Little Cosmos Dolls, more so than I've enjoyed dolls in ages I think.  I've been sewing again for both of them and taking lots of photos.

Here is a dress I sewed a couple of days ago for Sienna (Bastian).....I used a very basic pattern and then added a white collar, I then made the socks and hat using some mustard coloured ribbed knit.  I made the leather bag previously....she looks all ready for school now!

Every time I look at her in this hat I'm reminded of Winnie the Pooh!  I think it's the 'ears' on each corner!  🌝

I also made this sleeveless summer dress, in fact I have made three of these dresses, one for Sienna and two others the same, as gifts.  The fabric was from a human baby dress that I bought especially to unpick.  I managed to get four dresses from it.  It's such nice fabric and looks like it's handpainted, although I'm sure for the price I paid for it, it clearly isn't!!

Today I finished off an outfit for Dylan (Robin).  I say 'finished off' because this outfit has been mostly made for ages, I just hadn't got around to finishing it.  I think the legs could do with being a bit longer on her but it wasn't intended for her, so I'd not adapted it.  I added the patch pockets by hand this morning, a challenge as I kept accidentally sewing the legs together!!  Cute rabbit hat is by Dafnery Dolls here in Spain.

You may have noticed something else about Dylan!  I have changed her eyes to brown glass ones, but more importantly, I have changed the colour of her lips to a lighter shade.  It's not that I didn't like the custom faceup by Under the Fern, but I just wanted her to have lighter lips.  So this morning I removed the existing ones and redid them in lighter shades of pastels.  I'm pleased with how they've come out.  

Here is a before and after comparison, before is on the left:

Apart from that, I have another new girl coming here early this week!  She is a ball jointed doll from another Spanish artist, this one based in Sevilla.  I love being able to support the individual BJD artists....and of course help the Spanish economy!!!  Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend and that the week ahead is good for you.

Big hugs Sharon xxx

Monday 24 September 2018

If you go down to the woods today.....

I've been meaning to buy some photographic backdrops for years....I mean literally YEARS!  And finally about a month ago I decided to have a look on Ebay and see what is available.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the price has come down considerably....when I first started looking many years ago, I'm sure the prices started around the mid $20 mark and because I thought it would be nice to have several, the price kind of put me off....after all, $20 is $20 more towards a new doll, right?!  🌝  Anyway, having had a good look at the hundreds of different designs available, I decided to buy a couple showing natural environments and the first one arrived today.

Firstly I was amazed at how small the package was, I was expecting a big fat envelope, but it was a reasonably small flat plastic bag and inside, the 3x5 foot backdrop was folded down to the size of a greetings card!  Of course all those folds meant a whole lot of creases, but could it be ironed as it was quite 'plastic-y'?  I took a chance and ironed it on a hot heat setting but using steam and not letting the iron rest in any one spot at all.  The creases came out quite easily and the backdrop wasn't damaged, it was now ready to use.

Because I like taking my photos outside in natural light, I guessed the best place to put it was over the gate on our deck.  I put the 'decking' part of the backdrop flat on our existing deck and the 'forest' part up and over the gate.  As soon as I did that, so the breeze picked up and the darn thing was blowing all over the place.  On to Plan B.  I stuck it to the gate posts with several pieces of 'poster tack'......had the dolls all ready,  posed them quickly and got the camera ready.  The wind then pulled the backdrop away from the gate and the poster tack, straight over the dolls, throwing them face down on to the floor.  Thank goodness they were sturdy vinyl Sashas, so no damage done.

On to Plan C.  This time I went outside the back door and fixed the backdrop to the closed door, using the poster tack to stick it to the doorframe.  This worked much better as we were out of the breeze, however we were now more in the shade so my camera wanted to use the flash!!  

Finally I got some photos of various dolls, I used several sizes so that I could see which dolls worked best with the backdrop. 

Firstly I took two of my lovely brunette Sashas, Stella (1969/70) and Willow (1969).  I think I took about 20 photos of these two girls but most were deleted.  Here is one of the better ones:

Next I took some photos of this tiny little Mariquita Perez Mini, she's approx 6 inches tall, made of hard plastic/vinyl, and has a shiny face....for those of you who've not heard of Mariquita Perez doll, they appeared on the market in 1940, being the best known doll of the forties, fifties and early sixties in Spain, Portugal and in some countries of Latin America. Nowadays it is still made in vinyl in normal version or mini, she also has a brother called Juanin. 

Finally I tried it with my two tallest ball jointed dolls, Hope and Layla by the Australian artist Kaye WIggs.  These two girls are 45cm tall, so I thought they'd be the best size for this backdrop:

I was quite happy with the photos, but learned from my mistakes.  

1)  I need to find a position for the backdrop that is in good light but out of any breeze;
2)  I need to position it so that the back edge of the 'decking' is straight, not seeming to curve upwards as in these photos!!!!!
3)  The dolls should be further forward away from the backdrop so that the photos have more depth;
4)  Definitely don't use flash!
5)  I must experiment with my camera settings so that I get less definition on the backdrop and more emphasis on the dolls themselves.

I'm sure I've learned more, I just can't remember at the moment!!!

I've come to the conclusion that the size of the doll is largely irrelevant with this particular backdrop.  I think the tiny 6 inch doll doesn't really look out of place with the tall trees in the background, I just need to work on her positioning in the photo.  Also, I think once I have worked on my camera settings, I can blur out the background a little so that the eye is drawn to the doll rather than the backdrop....I now know how to do that so will work on that for next time.

Well I hope you've enjoyed my little 'learning curve' and hope you'll pop back again to see if I can improve on these first attempts at using a photographic backdrop....maybe the other one will have arrived by then and I can share that one too :)

Big hugs
Sharon xx

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Dylan Invites Her Family!

Today Dylan's (Robin) big sister, Bastian arrived from Little Cosmos Dolls in Barcelona.  You'll probably remember that I said she was expected about now and sure enough she landed on my doorstep this afternoon.

I'm smitten!

I've already said how happy I felt to receive Robin having met her sculpture Sandra Locre in Barcelona back in June, and I'm doubly happy with Bastian.

Bastian is 35cm tall with a skinny frame, she was painted by Sandra and arrived with lighter brown eyes which I decided to change.  She now has dark brown glass eyes and she is wearing the untidy wavy dark brown/black wig that Robin tried on last week.  I really like how it looks on her but it is a bit scraggly, I'm going to see how it 'settles' on Bastian but might try some more wigs on her tomorrow.  I would like her to have dark hair because she has a very Asian look and the majority of Asians I believe have naturally dark hair.  I'd like to emphasise that with her hair.  

Just a few photos of her at the moment, I will take more soon.  I made her this dress and bag in anticipation of her arrival and fortunately the fit of the bodice is spot on :)  

Sorry that the photos are a little repetitive!


Bastian hasn't got a name yes, I thought I might keep her as Bastian but not sure yet.  I will give it some thought.

In the meantime, poor Dylan is trying to get out of going back to school!!!  

Oh my goodness, look at that stubborn face!!

No Dylan, a scraped knee is NOT a reason to get out of going to school!!

I'm sure she'll be fine when she gets there!! ;)

Thanks very much for visiting, enjoy the rest of your week :)

Big hugs Sharon xx

Wednesday 12 September 2018

Dylan & Olivia....Two Redheads!

Thank you for all the comments that helped me to decide on which would be Dylan's (Little Cosmos Doll Robin) wig.  I have chosen the red one as I think both the colour and the style suit her.  The wispy tendrils of hair around her face give her a sweet and child-like appearance, which I love!

So here she is today in her dungarees by TTYA, enjoying a bit of early evening shade.

I'm really delighted with this little sweetie!

Also this week I made a simple summer dress for another doll, but the bodice was too tight.  The benefit of having many different dolls is that I was able to give it to another one of my little cuties, my Olivia Kish who is slimmer than the doll it was intended for.  The cute fabric was a gift from my lovely friend Sue in the UK.  I've got quite a bit left over so will probably make another dress from the same fabric for Dylan or maybe for Bastian when she arrives :)

Well that's me done for the night, I've had too many late nights and early mornings recently.....time for bed!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Big hugs Sharon xxx

Tuesday 11 September 2018

A New Kid on the Block!

Robin from Little Cosmos Dolls arrived yesterday amid much excitement!  I ordered her back in April and have been waiting patiently for her to come home!

You may remember that I met the artist behind Little Cosmos Dolls, Sandra Locre, back in June at the Dolly Day 2018 in Barcelona, the post about that event can be found  here
and having met her and seen her dolls in real life, I was really keen to receive my much so that I ordered another of her sculpts from her on my return home!

As you all know, I love pouty faced BJDs, particularly sullen looking dolls, so Robin's face particularly appealed to me when I saw her up for pre-order back in the spring, so jumped at the chance to get her.

Sandra Locre describes Robin: "Robin has an aspect between sulking and sad, but don't be fooled, it is a tactic to get what she wants."  I guess Sandra knows, seeing as she was 'born' of Sandra's artistic talents.  You know there is something particularly lovely about receiving a doll that is created by the hands of a person you've met and like!

Robin is 29cm tall, all resin ball jointed doll.  She has size 14mm eyes and wears a size 6/7 inch stretch wig or 7/8 inch non stretch wig.  Below are some photos of her trying on wigs that I have in my wig box.  I think she looks cute in all the wigs I tried on her but what do you think?  Which is your favourite?

So here she is!  

Well that's just a small selection of wigs that I liked on her, it's so hard to choose but am leaning towards one in particular but you'll have to wait and see what one that is!  Will your preference be the same as mine? 

In the meantime, I think I need to make some new outfits for her too.  She is slightly taller than the rest of my girls in this category so the dresses look 'oddly' short on her, but no probs, I will enjoy sewing something just for her!

By the way, that's her 'nightie' that she's crept outside in.....I guess she thought that wearing it with her boots made it into a daytime outfit!!!

Well I hope you have enjoyed meeting Robin....who may end up being called Dylan as I sold another Dylan to get her!  I do like those boyish names for girls!

Have a great week ahead!

Big hugs Sharon xx

Saturday 8 September 2018

Happy Birthday Narsha

My first ball jointed doll, Narsha by Dollmore in South Korea, reaches 12 years old this month so I thought I'd share a few photos of her that I've taken over the years.  I hope those of you who've followed me for a while won't be bored with me using some old photos!  

Narsha arrived here in September 2006 and she was my biggest dolly purchase at that time.  I could hardly believe that I'd spent so much money on a doll!!  And neither could my dear husband when he saw the amount come up on the bank account! LOL  Not that he was annoyed with me, bless him, he was just concerned to see this big dollar payment for a company in S.Korea, show up on the bank statement!

So Narsha arrived pale and beautiful, wearing a little white outfit, a very pale blond wavy wig and big blue eyes.  She had long spiky eyelashes and I thought she was just perfect.  Even though I'd not been sewing for long, I started making clothes for her straight away.  A lot of them were a little bit 'hit and miss' but I kept sewing as I just loved this doll so much.  I remember that she used to sit on the back of the sofa in the evenings when I was relaxing and at night I sat her on my bedside cabinet, it was just lovely to see her last thing at night and then first thing in the morning again!

Here are some of my first photos of her:

Wearing a Betsy McCall outfit:

With her 'friend' Bitty Bethany Kish:

My first attempts with photos of her in grey scale:

Narsha the Flower Girl:

However, very quickly Narsha started to yellow.  I'd read about French resin yellowing with UV light so I was really careful with her, always bringing her straight back inside after photos or if I was sewing for her outside and needed her for a model, I was always careful to cover her with a big black cloth.  What I'd not read though, was that French resin would yellow not just with UV light but with heat as a result Narsha did not remain this pinky white for long!

There were a lot of 'firsts' that Narsha and I shared.  She was the first doll that I actually took outside to photograph in public...and you can see how rushed those photos were as I tried to take the photos as quickly as possible to avoid being seen 'playing' with a doll....

She was also the first BJD that I tried to knit for.....poor girl!  This photo taken in Nerja show her wearing a terribly 'out of scale' roll neck jumper that I knitted for her.  She looks like she has a doughnut around her neck!!!!

Narsha was also the first doll that I took on holiday with me.  She traveled on the airplane with me to visit my family in England and I 'bravely' (read 'quickly') took photos of her looking out of the plane window on our journey....

She was even there with me when we adopted our first donkey at the local sanctuary....

As Narsha changed colour so my collection of BJDs grew and she took a bit of a back seat when I got my first MSD, but she's always been there in the background....and she interacted very well with my newer BJDs.....

Once Narsha reached a creamy yellow colour and her faceup got a few rubs from all the handling I gave her, I decided that she needed a new faceup and attempted to give her one myself.  I believe this was the first faceup that I ever did...and it was quite dreadful but I was quite happy with her at the time!!  

But eventually I decided to send her off for a professional faceup and thankfully she went to the US to visit Raven, who gave her a wonderful new look!  I must admit that at first, having got used to her looking a certain way, I struggled to 'bond' with her again, but after a few weeks I just loved the new look Narsha....

Finally here are a couple of photos taken a few days ago to celebrate her 12th birthday!

Narsha may not be perfect, she is quite different in colour to when she arrived and she is only single jointed but I still think she's a beautiful doll and hope you've enjoyed seeing photos of her to celebrate her 'birthday'!!

Thanks for visiting, I hope you're all enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Big hugs, Sharon xx