Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Dollidays!

Hi there, dolly friends!

It's been way, way too long since I posted here. The dolls are furious with me! They're equally miffed because this year I didn't put up their tree. I can't imagine how many outfits I'll have to sew to make it up to them.

I did, however, go shopping at Michaels at the beginning of this month, and I happened to be there when their adorable miniature sweater ornaments were on sale. So I got four -- two for the guys and two for the gals. Here are two of my guys, Havi and Josiah, relaxing on a park bench and enjoying the fact that for once, they're not shirtless. 

A photo of the girls is coming soon. Until then, no matter what you celebrate, I hope you have a fantastic day.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Dolloween!

Hi there, dolly friends!

It's October, also known as Halloween Month. To celebrate, I'd like to share two new re-roots, wearing two brand new Halloween dresses.

You might remember Tyler from this post. When I bought her I was sad to learn that her beautiful red hair was covered in glue. Then I was relieved to find that I had her exact hair color in my stash. *Whew!* Here she is, glue-free, and looking the same as before, with the exception of a little extra length.

Her dress is made from Idea Store fabric that I'd been wanting to make into a dress for at least two years. I finally stopped procrastinating, and I'm glad I did -- it's just perfect with her hair and her complexion. I think she might want to keep wearing it when October is done.

Next is Zoe. I found Zoe at Goodwill this summer. She was in a bag with a bunch of other assorted toys, but I had to have her -- I'd been wanting a Surf City Midge doll for years and years. So I bought the lot for about 10 dollars, and it turned out that about half of the stuff was decent. The other half went to the Idea Store, so I consider it money well spent.

Zoe's pretty red hair was tangled, and even after I went through it with a comb and some conditioner, it still looked disheveled. A lot of the strands had broken. As luck would have it, I also had her hair color in my stash. And so she got a re-root, too. 

I named her Zoe because of my favorite musician, Zoe Keating. Years ago, Zoe Keating had bright red dreadlocks, and the resemblance is uncanny. I might end up braiding my Zoe's hair, the way I did with Timberly. If I can find or make a doll-sized cello, I may just faint from hysterical fangirl excitement. 

Zoe's dress was also made with Idea Store fabric that had been in my collection for years. Since she and Ty are dressed up so festively, I'll probably invite them to my writing group's yearly storytelling party. My re-rooted Torelai went last year, and my Lagoona went the year before, with her own little pumpkin-shaped bucket for candy. I think the redheads will have fun.

I have one more re-rooted redhead, a custom Merida doll I'm working on, but I wanted to wait to show her off until I'd curled her hair. Hopefully that will happen soon. I've also re-rooted Naomi, Tyler's friend, and I can't wait to show her off. 

Happy Dolloween, everyone! Let me know if your dolls have any fun plans.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Friday, September 18, 2015

New dolls! Francesca and Elodie.

Dolly friends, today I'm going to show off more new dolls. Introducing... Francesca and Elodie!

Both of them are from my favorite line, the Barbie Basics collection. I'd wanted them forever, and I finally broke down and bought them on eBay. They probably wouldn't want me to mention this, but I bought both nude, deboxed, to cut costs. I was planning to re-dress them, anyway.

Here's Francesca modeling a dress I made for Valentine's Day last year.

I love everything about her, including her hair! Those little curls are amazing. So no, I won't be going anywhere near her with a re-rooting needle.

Here's Elodie modeling another dress I made -- a fashion experiment of sorts, where I put an elastic through the bottom as well as the top. It can be scrunched up or pulled down to change the volume in the skirt. If I have the patience for double elastic and casing, there will be more like it in the future.

I love her curls too, and I wish I could say I was going to leave them alone. But poor Elodie... turned out to have glue in her head! So she's getting a re-root with Black Orchid saran doll hair from Restore Doll, which is a perfect match to her hair color, and I've promised that she will get the curls back. I also promised to practice and practice my boil perming skills on other dolls before removing their hair, so she'll look just right.

Here she is, showing off a bracelet I made.

Here she is, whispering with her sister. I'm bad at reading lips at the best of times, but when it comes to dolls, I'm completely clueless. I bet I can guess what they're talking about, though. How to get El at the top of the re-root list... and how to get Fran a bracelet or two of her own.

"But she still needs to order the hair," El is probably saying. "That could take forever."

"Don't worry," is her sister's likely response. "I snagged mom's credit card. As soon as she goes to bed tonight, I'll buy it. Would you like one hank, or two?"

"Can I have three?"

"Done. Now, about those bracelets...."

Like most of the dolls around here, I'll have to keep an eye on these two! I can't tell you how many times I've caught the other girls trying to order Ken dolls in bulk for their "birthdays."

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And scheming dolls)

Edit: The sisters would like me to clarify that this is not what they were discussing at all, and that I should not be so jaded when it comes to my plastic friends. They were discussing my birthday and the huge bash they plan on throwing. They have forbidden me to mention that it's not for another six months... and that they plan to use my credit card.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Greetings, dolly friends!

I've been tagged by two friends -- April at Fashion Doll Stylist and Debbie at Black Doll Collecting -- to participate in Sisterhood of the World Bloggers. I can't resist these blogging challenges/awards; they're always so much fun! So here we go....

April's questions: 

1.) Do you collect anything other than dolls?

I sure do. Besides dolls, I collect beads and sequins, which I use in jewelry projects, and also in doll projects. I also hoard collect fabric. Since I've become a fabric wrangler over at the Idea Store, this collection has grown exponentially.

2.) Why did you start a doll blog?

I started a doll blog because I wanted to share my custom dolls and clothing with the rest of the dolly community. I'd been blogging for years about my jewelry, and I'd been reading and enjoying doll blogs for awhile, so it seemed like a natural and fun next step for me. Plus, dressing and posing dolls for photographs is a great way to play.

3.) Which doll line is your favorite?

I'm a Barbie girl, all the way. Specifically, Barbie Basics.

4.) What is your favorite doll accessory?

I would have to say, shoes -- and not just to put on my dolls, either. I like to make Barbie shoe bracelets out of mismatched shoes, and I find a lot of those at the Idea Store. My favorite accessory to make, though, is beaded bags.

5.) Do you know how many dolls you have?

A little over 100, I think. The number continues to grow, with no signs of stopping.

6.) Do you play any instruments?

Yes, and no. I was forced into piano lessons as a child, and I didn't take to it. I did take voice lessons in high school and college, though. My primary voice coach worked with Lily Pons in her youth, and I learned a lot of the same songs, since I'm a coloratura soprano, too. My voice is nice enough, but I'm a lousy performer! Too much stage fright. Blogging is much more my style. ;)

7.) What's your favorite place you've ever been to?

Paradise Island in the Bahamas -- and not just because of the flamingos. I went there twenty years ago, and I still remember some moments like they happened only yesterday, like digging my bare feet into the warm sand... or being ambushed by peacocks at a zoo. Little buggers dropped right out of a tree.

8.) What's your favorite thing about yourself?

It's the same thing than frustrated me when I was growing up -- that I'm interested in just about everything. Writing, jewelry making, dolls, sewing, cooking, singing, calculus, foreign languages, physics. Hula hooping. Dog training. Psychology. I learned that I'm a Polymath/Scanner, and not someone with a short attention span.

9.) Favorite book or movie?

That's a tough one! I love plenty of both. I love It's a Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, and I'm over the moon that there's a sequel coming out. As for movies, Coraline is one of my all time favorites because it combines dolls, animation, Neil Gaiman... and miniature knitting.

10.) If you could design your own doll, what would it look like?

If I could design an individual doll, she'd have an articulated, Barbie-sized body with a closed mouth, like the Mackie or Steffie face mold. I'd love it if her head were easy to remove, like the Create A Monster dolls. This would make putting jewelry on her so much easier! She would be vinyl, so she could have rooted hair. Red hair... or maybe black? With red lips. Maybe she'd come without hair, so I could pick the hair color and the placement of the part. Wow, that gives me an idea....

If I could make a doll line, I'd make the above doll in different heights, skin colors, and eye and lip colors. I'd call her Customizer's Dream, since she'd be ready for a re-root, and for people talented enough to repaint (not me!) I would offer some versions with blank faces. No acetone! No cotton swabs! If there any doll makers reading this post, please. Steal this idea. Steal the heck out of this idea, and then send me some dolls. Thanks!

Debbie's Questions

1.) When did you publish your first blog?

Can you believe I created my first blog all the way back in 2004? It was during the days when Myspace was popular and Myspace blogs got a lot of traffic. I wrote about my misadventures in school, in the online dating world, and trying to survive in rural Vermont.

2.) What inspires you to write a new post?

Usually it's a doll. One I just bought, one I just re-rooted, or one who looks good in an outfit I just made.

3.) Other than your blog, what else do you write?

Besides two blogs, I used to write a lot of fiction. Short stories, novels. Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, mostly. Last year around this time I wrote a short horror story called Crazy Quilt, and it's my favorite to read out loud. Sometimes I write creepy Haikus.

I also do some nonfiction. I'm working on a couple of books at the moment, and I've been adding to them like crazy over the past month. They're a secret project right now, so that's all I can say.

4.) Has any of your other writing been published?

I still find it crazy that the answer to this question is, yes. I got an article featured in Bead and Button Magazine in April of 2014, and it was also included in Creative Beadwork, Volume 10.
When I submitted the photo of my bracelet, I didn't even have instructions written up, and I was a little shocked when the editor asked if it could go in the project section of the magazine instead of the gallery section. Shocked, but very happy!

5.) How long have you been a collector?

I've been playing with dolls since before I can remember, but I didn't start officially collecting them until 2000. My first collection doll was a Fashion Avenue Barbie with gorgeous red hair. I still have her... and another one in the box. 

6.) List everything you enjoy collecting.

Barbie, Monster High, doll furniture, doll accessories, plush birds like ostriches and flamingos, plush dogs. Miscellaneous tiny dolls so that my dolls can have their own collection. And tons and tons of craft supplies so I can improve my dioramas and dolly wardrobe.

7.) How do others feel about your collection?

I have some friends, like Audrey, who are super supportive of my hobby and love looking at my dolls. I have other friends whose eyes glaze over at the mention of dolls, and who don't understand why a doll needs a patchwork quilt (personally, I don't understand why a doll wouldn't need one!). Other people have gradually warmed up to the idea, or at least have come to tolerate my obsession. And at the Idea Store, I've met one or two people who have wanted to start collecting miniatures after hearing me talk about them. Of course, I'm more than happy to enable encourage them.

8.) If you could purchase anything you enjoy collecting, what would it be and why? 

I'd like to buy nice wooden cabinets and book shelves to refinish and turn into doll houses. I have one nice one, and I have a doll house I'm going to make over, but mostly I have book shelves that once belonged to my poor, displaced books. They're not wood, so I can't paint them, which makes me and my paints sad. I saw a gorgeous painted cabinet at the Fuller Craft Museum a few years ago, and I'd love to at least attempt something that beautiful.

9.) Please share anything about yourself that you would like your readers to know.

Well, I've recently been thinking about making clothing for myself. Nothing elaborate, just some funky patchwork skirts. But the idea has me really excited. 

10.) Share one thing about yourself that would surprise most people.

It's really, really hard to scare me with a horror story or movie. If a scene is especially gory or creepy, I'll usually squeal and clap my hands... or else laugh. It's the writer in me, appreciating good storytelling. 

But. I can't stand it when animals get hurt, and it doesn't help to remind myself that it's make-believe. Kill off all the main characters, if you have to, but leave the golden retriever alone!    

So there we have it! I'd like to thank both Debbie and April for tagging me. I'm very glad we're friends.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

PS: If you haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged! Choose any 10 of these questions to answer.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

New doll: Lenora

Dolly friends, before I introduce you to my new doll, I need to introduce you to Audrey. I met Audrey about five years ago, and we hit it off right away. We bonded over our shared love of writing... and of food, especially cake. Along with our friend Andrea and Uncle John, we formed a writing group, and we terrorized the local library for several years. She also inspired me to start making doll quilts because of her fantastic work.

Our lives have all gotten hectic, so we no longer meet on a weekly basis, but we still get together every now and again. And when we do, we always have fun. This week we had a dinner to catch up and to celebrate Audrey's first book,  and Audrey did not show up alone. She brought along my early Christmas present, which she'd found at a neighborhood yard sale.

Everyone, meet Lenora! She's a Fashion Fever Barbie doll, with the Lea face mold. I love everything about her, from her jeans to the tiny rhinestone pin on her jacket. I knew I wanted her when Audrey emailed me pictures of the yard sale, but I had no idea she'd be a present. I'm beyond thrilled, and I have to say... I love having friends who understand me. In another post, I'll show you the doll quilt she made for my birthday a few years ago.

Because Audrey is an awesome friend, in addition to a talented quilter and writer, I hope you'll take a look at her book on Amazon... and maybe help me spread the word? I am so very proud of her, in addition to being happy with my new doll, and I want to help her achieve her destiny as a Super Famous Writer. Think of all the cake she could buy!

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Re-root: Sally

Dolly friends,

I'd like to introduce you to one of my latest re-roots. Sally was a Top Model Barbie doll, and while she came to me with pretty strawberry blonde hair, she also had these odd green highlights. They didn't do much for her, in this dolly hairdresser's opinion, so I gave her a re-root.

And... honestly? The re-root didn't suit her, either. The maroon color was wrong -- I should have trusted my instincts on that one. I also used low-quality nylon for some of it, and it really stood out against the nicer stuff. So she sat on the shelf for about a year, while I re-rooted other dolls and refined my technique. And then a few weeks ago, I felt inspired.

Sally got purple hair! It suits her very well, and the saran hangs so much better than the cheap nylon. I was able to re-root her with just one hank of Restore Doll hair instead of two, thanks to the new re-rooting technique I learned and adapted to my own needs. I need a tiny bit more hair because there's a bare spot at the back, but she says she can wait. She waited over a year for her perfect hair, after all. She can wait for a few more hair plugs.

Sally is wearing a necklace I made, and it features the fantastically proportionate Chinese crystal beads I found at the Bead and Button Show a few years ago -- I seriously need to get more of those. Her sweater was also made by me, and so were the pants. The pants were sewn in a batch of 12 or so pairs, all in different fabrics, and they're my favorite, tied closely with the hot pink stretch velvet.

Stay tuned for more! The new technique has cut my re-rooting time in half, so I've done several dolls, in addition to the ones I'd already finished. I also have to share a present that my friend (and newly published author) Audrey bought for me at a yard sale. I was also tagged by two friends to do the Sisterhood of the World blogging challenge, and I'm still working on my answers. I'm having way too much fun with that one, and I have to remember to be less... wordy. 

I'll get to all of it, I swear!

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Karen Holshouser

Hi there, dolly friends!

I featured Karen Holshouser on my beady blog, and you should check her out. She makes gorgeous doll clothes and embellishes them with two of my favorite things... beads and sequins!

You can also find her Facebook profile here, and her website is here.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(and dolls)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Re-root: Rashida

Hello, dolly friends!

Today I'd like to introduce Rashida, one of my latest re-roots.

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of thrift shopping. I love to find well-loved dolls and adopt them, giving them a new home, plenty of brothers and sisters to make mischief with, and of course, a makeover.

Rashida, named after my girl crush Rashida Jones, was a Princess of India Barbie. I found her nude, with matted hair, at Savers. I tried de-tangling, but there were too many broken strands, so I re-rooted her with Black Orchid, one of my favorite colors of saran hair. I also gave her an articulated body, and wow! Quite a transformation.

Rashida is wearing a sweater, pants, and necklace that I made. I love the look on her, but confession? The above photo almost didn't happen. You see, she saw the Batik Quilt set up with all its pillows...

And she decided that she would much rather take a nap! "This is comfy," she said. "So, so comfy. I'm never getting up."

I tried to get her off the bed, but she wouldn't listen. She pretended to be asleep, but her snores weren't all that convincing. And so I enlisted the help of a friend, Ellie the elephant. "Wake up, Rashida!" Said Ellie. "It's snuggle time! Come on... pleeeeeease????"

Nobody, no matter how tired or stubborn she is, can resist the charm of a tiny blue stuffed elephant. So after a few minutes, Rashida groaned and sat up. "OK, Ellie. I'm up. Just stop giving me the sad eyes, will you? It's heartbreaking."

I let her enjoy some Ellie time, and then I pounced. "Since nap time's finished," I said, "I guess you can get that photo taken after all." Ellie, being a good helper, nudged Rashida off the bed, and Rashida mumbled something about us being devious and evil.

Guilty, as charged. But a girl has to be clever when dealing with dolls! I should never have let her see the bed, but it was set up for another photo shoot -- I really wanted to show off that quilt. It and the pillows were made with Idea Store fabric, which was one of my best fabric finds to date -- batik is so expensive in fabric stores! The sequined pillow was made with felt and embroidery floss from the very same place. It was going to get a post of its own, but dolls happen.

And that concludes today's post! Stay tuned for more re-roots, more dolls with attitude, and perhaps... more stuffed animals to help with doll wrangling.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And helpful elephant)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Re-root: Dominique

Hello, dolly friends!

I'm excited to share one of my newer dolls and re-roots, Dominique. She's a Barbie Basics doll, and I found her on eBay. She had a severe-looking haircut when she came to me, and while we were both happier with it after a trim, in the end we decided that she needed a total change. Here she is now:

I love how she turned out! Later on I'm probably going to add some waves to her hair, but for now, I wanted to show off how sleek it is after a hot water treatment -- you can see the highlights better this way, too. She's wearing a shirt and sweater by Mattel, which came with Glam Luxe Midge, and her floral pants were made by yours truly.

I was going to post her by herself, because honestly? A doll this fabulous demands a solo post. But then I saw another photo that Uncle John had taken of my newest Monster High doll, Ghoul Fair Heath Burns, and I realized... it looked like she was staring him down! And then he was like...

"What?!!! What did I do?"

And then she was like....

"You know what you did. Don't act cute with me."

This was completely unintentional on Uncle John's part, and I love it. Of course, after the photo shoot, both dolls sat on the couch, all snuggled up like nothing had happened. Almost a week later, they're still together, and it's clear to me that this showdown was all for... show.

Even though he didn't get his name in the title of this post, I'm excited about Heath, too. I love that I won't have to re-root him if I don't want to! Plastic hair... equals no glue. The top of his head looks a bit like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone, but I think that's part of his charm.

Stay tuned for more new dolls, re-roots, and dolly antics! I have another re-root coming up, and while she wasn't one hundred percent cooperative during the photo shoot, I think she's lovely.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dueling dolls)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

New dolls! Barbie Fashionistas.

Dolly friends, I have two new dolls to share with you today!

Overall, I've been very impressed with the new Barbie Fashionistas line. It's true that I wish they were articulated, and that the presence of icky sticky glue in their heads irritates me to no end, but I love the variety of face molds and skin tones Mattel has used for these dolls, and I like their modern look. Here are two of my favorites.

The first is Naomi. I was so, so excited to find her at my local Meijer! She's wearing a dress and necklace that I made, and that she borrowed especially for the photo shoot. She likes it so much, I don't think she'll be giving it back to Sasha anytime soon.

Naomi will be getting a re-root to take care of the glue in her head. I'm going to ditch the bangs so we can see more of her pretty face, and she has informed me that she wants funky colored hair. Maybe dark pink, to match the dress. I might have just what she's looking for, and I'm thinking... super long with a high ponytail.

The second doll is Tyler. I found her at Toys R Us, and I couldn't resist the red hair and freckles. She'll also need a re-root to get rid of the glue, but luckily, I have the exact same color in my collection. I'm going to keep it long, make it a little thicker, and maybe give her some curls at the bottom.

Tyler is wearing a dress I made. At this point, it's probably a little redundant to mention that it's Idea Store fabric, but I will mention that the skirt has been embellished with tiny blue flower sequins. I bought my sequins at Cartwright's Sequins, which is a fabulous place.

Tyler borrowed the dress from Delia, one of the dolls living in the Blue and White Room (you can see the quilt here). I offered to let Delia wear another dress while she waited to have hers back, but she went for a brown felt coat, instead. Which... made her look like a flasher, but she's a clever girl. "If I don't get my dress back after the photo shoot," she warned me, "I might start acting like a flasher. There's just one little button on this coat, after all. One itty bitty, teeny tiny button, and it could come undone so easily!"

Tyler and I agreed that she would get the dress back right away. We don't need anybody riling the Ken dolls up. Meanwhile, Sasha wished that she also had a flasher coat.

Here's a photo of Naomi and Tyler together...

"Nice dress," said Naomi. "You should get blue hair to match it."

"I don't know," said Tyler. "Delia seems pretty determined to get it back. Uh oh... did I just hear a button popping???"

In the background, Delia made creepy flasher comments, a la Monty Python. Sasha just laughed and laughed until she snorted. This made Naomi and Ty fall over snickering, and soon, we had to cut the photo shoot short because there was a big pile of hysterical dolls on the floor. Oh, these girls. Never a dull moment.

Stay tuned for more new dolls (no, Delia. New. New dolls, not nude dolls). Three of them are from one of my favorite lines, Barbie Basics. One of them has already had a re-root. And all of them are certifiably insane! Which puts them in good company, actually.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins
(And dolls)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pink and purple quilt!

Dolly friends, I had so much fun showing off my blue and white doll quilt, I thought I'd share another one. Introducing... the pink and purple quilt!

This is the second quilt I made during my quilt-making frenzy last year. It and the pillows are made of Idea Store fabrics, and most of the pieces are leftover scraps from doll dresses. The felt pillow is also made of Idea Store materials and stuffed with scraps of fabric that were too small to sew -- waste not, want not, right?

The bed skirt is just a piece of lace I pinned in the back, and the bed itself is a plastic storage container that used to hold beads; at the moment, it holds all the matchless shoes I keep finding in thrift stores. The bed goes in the pink and purple room with a nice faux-wicker chair and tiny vase of flowers -- both incredible Idea Store finds. Besides dolls, it's also a resting place for one of their stuffed animals, a tiny blue elephant. Ellie was originally on a key chain I found at Joann's. I wanted to show her off, since she's very cute, but she was feeling camera shy.

At the moment, I have seven quilts left to show you. A tame number, compared to all the ziplock bags full of interesting fabric combinations, lurking in my closet! I hope to show them soon, but until then, I have photos of some new dolls to share. I'll post them in the next few days.

Much love,

Sarah J. Sequins

(And quilts)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

World Doll Day tag!

Dolly friends, did you know that earlier this month it was World Doll Day? Yes, there is a holiday devoted to celebrating, and to giving, dolls! This year, there is also a World Doll Day tag, and I was chosen by my friend the Fashion Doll Stylist to participate. Today I'm going to name my three favorite doll purchases from last year, as well as three Holy Grail dolls that I haven't yet added to my collection.

Since my dolls are in charge of... pretty much everything around here, they decided that for this post, there had to be Rules, so as to minimize hurt feelings. I could not feature a doll who had already appeared on this blog, and I could not feature a re-root. The dolls featured must have their original hair. However, since the girls are nothing if not reasonable, they said I could re-dress my three dolls any way I want.

So I did just that, and then I had an idea. I would not only feature three dolls, but I would skip the boring white background and do something a little more fun. Each doll got to pose in this setup:

The end table is from the Idea Store. The little rotary phone is from Sally's Army. The tiny bear is from Goodwill. The quilt and the pillows were made by me, with Idea Store fabric, felt, and beads. The bed itself is just a square cookie tin -- that way it has a storage function. The rug and wall paper are from the Idea Store, too. 

Here's my first doll, Gianna (Gia). She was originally a Spanish Barbie, and I bought her off of eBay after literally dreaming about her every night since I was a child in the 1990's. I took her earrings out and re-styled her hair, and she's wearing one of my favorite dresses. She's snuggling with Cedric the bear.

The next doll is one I'd been wanting since around 2000, when I saw her in a collector's book. She's a Japanese New Year Barbie, and I've named her Mirabelle after my favorite bakery. Because I'm eccentric, and I often name my dolls after favorite things.

The final doll is Tessa, who was originally Secret Spells Kayla. I wanted one when they first came out, but the line was pulled after some silliness. So I had to wait. It was worth it, though! Tessa is wearing a dress made out of hand-painted fabric, and you probably can't tell in the photo, but it's sparkly. This is Tessa's dress -- other dolls can borrow it, but it has to come right back to her or she gets fussy. Most of the girls love swapping outfits, but a few of them get territorial. I can't deny that she looks pretty.

As for my Holy Grail dolls, My Melody used to be at the top of the list, but now I have her. So now I'm after Uhura Barbie -- not because I'm a Star Trek fan, but because she's just so darn gorgeous, and I'm a fan of Nichelle Nichols. I'm in love with Tokidoki Barbie because of her fierce pink hair and tattoos, but she's way out of my price range, which is why I customized a doll to look like her. And then I want this red-haired Barbie Basics doll (or this beauty). But of course, I love almost every doll in that line.

Before I go, I have to say that the dolls did not know about World Doll Day until it was over, and they wondered... where was their celebration? Where were their dolls??? Allison has had her eye on Divergent Ken for a year now, and she says it's about time that I buy him for her. To make up for my oversight, they want me to start planning for next year... now. They've decided that there will be a doll ball with new clothing galore, and I have a sinking feeling that means more jewelry, too. And bags. And shoes. I heard something about a marble dance floor, but I'm pretending I didn't hear that bit.

Maybe I can just buy the hot guy and call it even? I'll have to see what The Bosses have to say about this.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Dolly friends, this is a quick post to celebrate the ruling of the Supreme Court on gay marriage. The dolls and I are very, very happy about the decision, and we could think of no better way to celebrate than with... The Rainbow Dress.

Here is Isabel, modeling a dress I made from Idea Store fabric about a year ago. When you do most of your fabric shopping secondhand, you never know what you're going to find! Strawberries. Clouds. Pigs. Dinosaurs. When I saw this fabric on the sales floor, I snatched it up right away. I added a black bodice and some black ribbon at the bottom, and I made a dress that the girls love.

Isabel is from the Idea Store, as well. I couldn't believe it when I saw her in the doll bin! She's from the Barbie Basics line. When I found her, her hair was a giant knot, and she had so much blue ink on her face, I wasn't sure I could remove it all without damaging her makeup. But with a little benzyl peroxide and a lot of time, I fixed her right up. While she'll probably get a re-root at some point, since there are hair plugs missing in the back, for now she has a cute, short, tangle-free haircut.

Here at Casa de Sarah, dolls can marry whomever they want. If Isabel wanted to marry her girlfriend, Veronika, she would get the wedding of her dreams, no problem! They really are a cute couple. Of course, my dolls are more interested in ball gowns than wedding gowns -- they take after their mom that way. Still, Isabel says she's happy to see the human world catching up to the dolly world, and I agree with her.

(Now, if only America would catch up to us medically. One of my dolls underwent leg replacement surgery last year, and it took five minutes. And it was free!)

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Friday, June 5, 2015

More Rory!

Dolly friends, I have so much news to share with you!

There are two new members of the doll family, and one of them is a doll I never thought I'd own -- a My Melody Barbie doll I've named Bunny. There is another member of the bird flock as well, and his name is... Chicken (another ostrich). I couldn't pass him up when I found him at Goodwill because of this sarcastic little smirk on his face. Booby the tiny plastic ostrich has a new house, thanks to a sale at the Idea Store, and the most exciting news of all is that... I bought a 1/6 scale doll house!!!

I don't have photos of it right now, or of anything else I mentioned above, because I've been dog-sitting almost non-stop since May and have had no time. But I can tell you that it's from Goodwill, getting it from the store to my house was an adventure by itself, and it's going to be re-floored, re-papered, and even tiled in some parts. Big project.

What I do have, though, is another photo of Rory. It took Uncle John and I awhile to get around to this photo, and as a result, the poor thing was in the same pose for weeks. She's convinced she'll need a chiropractor (or maybe a new handbag to match her dress? She's being a touch indecisive).

In this photo you can actually see her little pink bracelet and the tiny flower hair clip.You can also see more of her cute and easy hairstyle.We're not big on fussy hairstyles at Casa de Sarah.

Rory is excited to be on the blog again, and even more excited that she has another sister. One of the new dolls I bought was Bernadette, or Bernie for short. Another Barbie Style Midge doll who is getting a brown re-root. It's not often that my dolls get to be triplets, so it's a big deal for everyone when it happens.

I'm hoping to share more photos once I'm home and rested up from my latest dog-sitting job. Until then, Rory, Bunny, and Bernie say hello, and Chicken the ostrich... says nothing at all. He's just smirking.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And Sarcastic Chicken)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Check out my rack!

By which I mean, the rack for my beaded doll purses. I hope you're not too disappointed.

Dolly friends, we got the photo of the purse rack taken sooner than I thought.

I helped prepare for the Idea Store jewelry sale again this year, and while I was setting up the earring table, something shiny caught my eye, the way it inevitably does. But this time, instead of beads (don't worry, I bought plenty of those, too) I saw this wire jewelry rack.

I took one look at it, with all those tiny little hooks, and I knew that I had to have it. So the next day, when it was almost time for the sale to start, I asked my friend Carol, who is in charge of beads and jewelry, if I could have dibs on it. And because she is wonderful, she told me I could. So it quickly went into my pile... along with some cute stuffed bunnies I'd found.

I'm not sure where I'll put my rack, but I do know that I plan to put plenty more on it. Beaded bracelets. More bags. Necklaces. The dolls are excited, and Melina and Mara, who have elected themselves as the Accessory Planning Committee, are full of suggestions. And by suggestions, I mean strongly-worded commands, because they obviously run the show around here.

Did you notice the blue and purple striped bag? It's new. I'm proud of that one. As I type, I have another bag in the works. As usual, I'm going to do something different for it, but what that will translate to... remains a mystery. Maybe I'll use some of the chain I bought at the jewelry sale? I will have to ask The Bosses if they approve.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And rack)

(And The Bosses, who have approved this post.)

Friday, May 22, 2015

More beaded doll purses!

Dolly friends, I have three new beaded doll bags to show you!

You might have caught a glimpse of one in my previous post, worn by the adorable Mindy:

Here it is again, along with two others: 

I like to try something a little different with every bag. One has two handles, one has a thicker shoulder strap, and one has... a flap!

 I'm very excited about the rainbow messenger bag, both because it's a messenger bag and because it was easy to make. After I made the bag using a circular peyote bead weaving stitch, I continued with a flat stitch on one side of the top edge. I just kept beading until The flap was long enough to close.

I was going to save this post until I had that last photo of all the bags together on the metal handbag rack (jewelry display) I bought at the Idea Store's jewelry sale, but Uncle John and I have been busy lately, so it could be awhile. But rest assured, as soon as that photo is taken, I'll post it here with a silly title like Check Out My Rack. And it may or may not have one more beaded purse on it.

Much love,

Sarah J. Sequins

(and dolls)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reroot: Rory

Hello, dolly friends!

Can you believe it's been almost a month since my last post? I thought I was having some problems with eye strain, but then I realized my problems reading the text on the screen started the moment I dropped the poor laptop on the floor. One of these days, I'll get another one -- but until I do, My posts will be image rather than text-heavy.

Starting with Rory...

Rory was originally Laila, but with her brown hair and blue eyes, she reminded me so much of one of my favorite Gilmore Girls characters. She approved of the name change.

I rooted her hair with two different colors of brown from

I decided to skip the bangs and to change her hair part from the middle to the side.

She's wearing one of my very favorite dresses, made with some of my favorite rose fabric. Lydia's sister Alison lent it to her for the photo shoot. The only jewelry she has on is a simple pink beaded bracelet.

Rory was originally a Glam Luxe Midge -- in my opinion, one of the most fantastic dolls Mattel has ever made. She isn't the first one in my collection. Here is Mindy, who has popped in to show us what Rory looked like before the hair change.

If you look closely, you'll see that Mindy still has her eyelashes. Rory's came out during the re-rooting process. Oops!

Mindy's hair is a honey blonde color. We'll probably keep it that way. She's wearing another one of my favorite dresses. Here's a closeup of the beading around the edge.

You might have noticed that she's holding another one of my beaded doll purses! She was so excited about it, I didn't tell her it was supposed to go in the next post.

That next post is coming soon. Just as soon as Uncle John takes a photo of all the beaded purses... hanging from the display rack I bought at the Idea Store jewelry sale. It was a fantastic find, and I can't wait to show you!

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Re-root: Ruby (and friends)

Dolly friends, did you know that last month I only bought two dolls?

That's right. Just two dolls. You see, as much as I love dolls, I have another passion... dogs. I make my money pet sitting and dog walking, which is the best job I've ever had. I always try to go above and beyond for my furry clients, but lately I've been feeling an undeniable need to help dogs who don't have homes yet. So I challenged myself to give the average amount of money I spend on dolls each month to an amazing animal charity. And I was not allowed to buy any dolls off of eBay, which is where I adopt most of my plastic friends.

Instead of buying new dolls, I (mostly) focused on the ones I already have. I finished a re-root on poor Laila, who was waiting forever for the bottom half of her hair, and now that I know how to thatch a part, I fixed Kenzie's part and gave her a few more hair plugs. But the doll I'm most proud of is Ruby, who got extra hair plugs, a thatched part, and a trim.

When I got back into collecting Barbies again, I discovered the Tarina Tarantino doll. I wanted one so, so much, but I didn't have a few hundred dollars to spend. What I did have, though, was a Barbie Basics doll I'd bought for super cheap on eBay and plenty of shades of pink to choose from at Dolly Hair.

The result was Ruby Reddington, one of the few dolls in my collection with a last name. After almost a year without a thatched part, she's finally finished!

Ruby's hair is a bit redder than Tarina's, and she doesn't have bangs. This makes her happy because she gets to be her own person doll. But since I happened to have a tiara sitting around, I let her have it. I also made her some glitzy jewelry. It looks more complicated than it is! It's just two long beaded ropes looped around her neck a few times and stacked on top of each other. I used size 15 seed beads and 2 millimeter faceted beads from City Beads, my favorite bead store in Chicago.

I also made the dress. It was an experiment -- I'm still trying to make the perfect fitted dress out of stretchy material. I cut slits in the sides because it didn't fit her below the waist, but in the end, I think this style is perfect for her. Next time I'd like to make one with darts in the front.

Ruby thought she would get the photo session, and this post, all to herself. Boy, was she surprised when not one, but two of her friends showed up! The first one is Lydia Holland, another doll with a first and last name, and the same version of the Barbie Basics doll. One of my favorites in the line.

Lydia claimed she wanted readers to get a chance to see how Ruby looked before her makeover, but she's a tricky one. When she insisted on a change of clothes and a new hairstyle, and then a chain necklace I'd made using the new O-Beads, I knew it was less about the reader than it was about... Lydia. But she's cute, so she got away with it.

Then someone else showed up. None other than Domingo Flamingo, one of my rescue birds. He said he wanted to kick-start his career as an international model and hearth-throb, and normally I would believe him because wow, that bird has an ego, but he also has a little crush. Because Ruby is so pink, he thinks she's another flamingo! Ruby doesn't quite know how to set him straight.

"One of these days," says Mingo, "I'm going to be Mr. Ruby Reddington."

"Oh, dear..." says Ruby.

Working on Ruby and her friends made the month fly by (like a lovesick flamingo). Once I've earned a little more money from dog-sitting, I'll do another monthly challenge. Until then, I'll continue to play with dolls both old and new, and I'll keep you posted on the antics of the dolls, Mingo, and the other crazy toys. Mingo may be misguided, but Peanut the ostrich is having a complete identity crisis!

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And toys Lydia the evil genius)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beaded Doll Purses!

Dolly friends, I have a confession to make. Yesterday I stayed up until 6 in the morning, working on a new project. If you guessed that the project was two shiny new handbags of the beaded variety, you're either psychic... or skilled at reading titles. Either way, here they are!

If you follow my Saturday Sequins blog, you know that I'm a beader. I started out making jewelry for people, but recently I've been interested in making things for my dolls, including the beaded bag I shared in this post.

Lately I've been focusing more on sewing and re-rooting, but the beading bug bit me a few days ago when I saw the gorgeous statement necklace the Fashion Doll Stylist made for her dolls. I wanted to make a necklace of my own, but then I remembered that beaded bag. I looked at the book shelf across the room from me and noticed that there were two beaded rings right at my eye level. Two rings that couldn't be worn, because while they were pretty, they were also huge. Uncle John couldn't even wear one as a thumb ring.

Just like a ring is a tube, a bag is a longer tube with the bottom edges stitched together. So I added a few rows of beads to each side, added some handles, and by the time the sun came up, I was exhaustedly weaving the remaining thread tails into the beadwork. And then I fell asleep until sometime in the afternoon.

When I woke up, one of the first things I did after gasping at the clock in horror was look in my doll room for the right clothing and models. Here are Melina and Mara, holding their new accessories and excitedly planning a new set of beaded goodies. If they have their way, there will be many, many more in our future.

"I love this zigzag pattern," says Mara. "I want a belt to match. And a bracelet, and a necklace, and an anklet, and...."

"Look at all the space on those shelves," says Melina. "I think there's room for a boutique! We'll put some purses over there, and over there, and over there. Beaded belts will go over here. And what do you think about beaded hat bands? Does Mom make hats?"

"She can learn," says Mara. Both of them burst into maniacal laughter.

Oh, those girls! So spoiled, but so cute, which is why they get away with it. Both are sporting new hair, since both came with heads full of glue and are founding members of Glueheads Anonymous. Mara has some maroon highlights in her dark brown hair, and we're thinking of giving her a boil perm as soon as I perfect my technique. I like Melina's hair just the way it is.

Melina is wearing a pair of the pants I made. Stretch velvet leopard print, made from material I had in my collection for so long that it's practically vintage. She's also wearing a felt shirt I made by loosely following this post by Almost Unschoolers -- one of the first shirts I've ever made.

Mara is wearing a dress I made out of hand-painted fabric. If you're interested in painting your own fabric for doll clothes, I go into a little detail in this blog post. I also added some sparkly fabric paint after the dress was sewn. It makes the fabric a little stiff, but... sparkles. Enough said.

I may not actually bead enough bags for a boutique, and Uncle John's books probably wouldn't appreciate the dolls moving in on their territory, but I will definitely make more. As I type this, I have my supplies out, and I have an idea for an even crazier bag. I might even try a different beading stitch. I'll keep you all updated.

Much love,

Sarah J Sequins

(And dolls)