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)