Saturday, March 31, 2012

Add Dolls To Any Space

I know I made so much more of this than I needed to, but that's one of my many foibles.  Hey, it keeps me off the streets, so I just go with it.  Without further freakin' ado, my ad imitation... finally!

Original ad for skylights.

My version, featuring horrible vector skylights and teeny origami doves.

At first I had no intention of trying to recreate the slanted ceiling and skylights, but when I was putting the dio together I figured I could at least do one photoshop attempt of it and then use the windows I made for the other photos.  Unfortunately, my vector skills are not what they used to be, lol.  Oh well, at least I tried.

I also tried using the Liv cabana poles to see if I could transform the bed into a tropical canopy.  Me no likey.  I do see how I could turn one of those poles into a nice tree with enough foliage though.

In neither photo does it seem like the doll is jumping in the air.  I was using fans and everything but there's no "movement" conveyed in the photos to me.  Maybe it's because I know where the wires are?  Eh.

Some yoga moves in the snazzy jumpsuit I made. ^_^

Presumably she's watching a TV on the opposite wall.

Enjoying a book while kitty sleeps.

Behind the Scenes

The Extras
  • Flowers and poster board are from Dollar Tree.  I changed the poster board color in photoshop so you wont find that shade in the store.
  • Pink pillow, white vase and kitty cat are Barbie.
  • Table is Liv.
  • I made the other stuff.

Many thanks to Ms. Leo for the idea!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Windows Are Done

They don't look like much, but they sure were difficult.  Spatial thinking is not my strong suit so it took me a bit to figure out how to put these together.  At first I was going to use 2 pieces of cardboard and just put a larger rectangle onto a narrower one.  Simple, yes?  But then I had to get all fancy pants and decided I wanted wood windows with mitered joints.  These don't actually match the ad I'm working on but they are what I want in my hangout so they won out.

To put these together I used a Easy Cutter and wood glue.  The cutters are at Michaels and Joanns.  With a 50% off coupon mine came to $12.50. ^_^  They cut through small pieces of wood like butter and I highly recommend them.  The wood is regular size craft (popsicle) sticks.  I only had the jumbo kind so I had to break my "no new craft items" rule and spend $2.47 on a pack of 150 at Walmart.  Considering how many sticks I wasted and how many are warped or misshapen, I might get 10 finished windows.

My little ledge is so freakin' adorable!  The window panes are cut from the Fairy Barbie box.  It had little stars and butterflies embossed in the plastic.  Although I used black tape to outline the panels I may remove that in the end.  Depends on the overall look of the dio.

In concession to the ad I did paint them white.  I should have gessoed them first.  I only have cheap poster paint and even though I applied 6 coats, it's still not as white as I would have liked.  I cut openings into a file folder to see how they might look up against a wall.  For my hangout I'll probably leave them natural... because I'm out of white paint, lol.

Another thing I wish I had done was check the sticks for warps before I started.  I usually make two of something at the same time so that way I'll already have a nice set if it works out. These were my first attempts and I will be using them regardless, but still, they are very wonky.  Oh well, now I know how to do them better. 

Pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forbidden Purchase

It's not really, but it felt that way when I bought it.  I'm doing very well with my drastically reduced budget and haven't spent much on doll stuff in the last month or so.  Although I keep adding dolls to my "list" I wasn't going to buy them unless they were on sale.  However, I saw this doll at Walmart and my plan went all to heck.

Normally, I wouldn't buy a doll like this.  I think it's weird that their clothing is molded to their bodies.  But then I saw her and was all, "OMG! That's an old mold.  I don't have that face!"  I was sure she was out of production but the box said it was made in 2011.  I wasn't going to chance it so I, [gasp!], paid full price of $10.97 for her.  That's what old Fashionistas used to cost!  And don't get me started on the bloated prices of Fashionistas these days.

Anywho.  I just wanted her head, but I did find the rest of her to be interesting.  She has an extremely small waist.  So small that she can fit into a Monster High stand.  She doesn't come with her own stand, but she should since she can't stand up at all.  I guess she is supposed to be in mid flight.  That one leg is permanently bent.  You cant really even prop her against anything as she'll just fall over.

Regardless, she is very lovely.  I like that her lips are only slightly opened instead of a full on smile.  She also has a normal sized head, which was a major selling point.  She has an ethereal quality that is quite fitting for a fairy.  She rang up as Barbie Fairy Nikki.  I could have sworn some blogs said she was a Christie.  When I tried to do an image search of Black Barbie Nikki, 90% of the photos were of Nicki Minaj. 0.o

That skirt fits Monster High bodies but put it on a Fashionista and she goes from high school production costume to burlesque showgirl.  The shoes will only fit this doll and my old Barbies from 20 years ago.  They are too small for Monster, Liv and Fashionista.  They are too long for Model Muse.

While she gives the appearance of a gentle waif, she sits like a drunken sailor.  Compared to a Fashionista, she cannot sit up straight or close her legs while seated.  Look at those big feet!

No matter, as she is rockin' out in her new body.  I tried to dress her more demurely but she wasn't having it.  She wanted to show off her new torso and defined abs.  Who am I to argue?

Look how well she sits now.  Such a lady.

The Extras
Pants with belt are Bieber
Jacket is Liv
Top is a Barbie dress with the bottom removed
Shoes are Barbie

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recoloring With Ink

If at all possible, I much prefer using ink when I can instead of paint.  For me it's easier to apply, less messy and I cant mix paint for crap.  For small items with intricate spaces I use Faber Castell artist pens, size B.  You can buy a single sized B black or sienna by itself or get a multi pack set in black, sienna or color. The color set is all size B's. I bought my sets with 50% off coupons naturally, so they were $10.00 each.  For larger items I just use plain ol' magic markers.  Here's some doll things I've used ink on:

Liv shoes aren't as plentiful as Barbie, so I bought an extra accessory set so I could turn the skates into a pair of boots.  The shoes were originally the same color as they are on the inside.  They are pretty dusty since they are on a doll that is out all the time.  I should have rinsed them off before I took the photo.  Too late.

The first pink pair was the original color.  The red pair looks way more red than they do in the photo.  I have so many because the Liv sets were on sale for $1.50 each.  Score.

The camera and lap top were all grey before.  The suitcase was pepto bismo pink.  I first used art pens to line the edges and then filled in the large areas with magic markers.

You've met Riley before, but did you know his hair, originally blonde, was colored with a red magic marker?  I do not recommend doing this at all.  It was an experiment and I actually like how it looks, but again, do not recommend it.  His lips, eye color, brows and eye liner are ink penned.

Teresa's "repaint" is all ink.  Her mouth is actually open.  By reshaping her lip line and using a dark ink it looks closed.  If I fill in the sides of her mouth with paint to match her flesh it might look more natural.  I didn't mind it though, so eh.

I've tried each of these to see which is the best to seal the ink.  Like the three little pigs, it's the last one.  The ink itself is pretty shiny.  Using gloss or satin just makes it too glossy and it has a tacky feel to it when it dries.  The matte varnish does not dull the ink down like you might think and when it dries it's smooth to the touch with no stickiness. 

If you use a liquid varnish instead of a spray, do not apply your brush to the item in strokes.  You have to put it on by patting areas with the brush.  If you stroke, you'll stroke the ink right off.  I first let my ink dry and apply varnish the next day or even days later if I'm doing multiple things.

I haven't tried this on anything larger than what I've shown you.  If I ever tackle one of those Barbie chairs or sofas with this I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's Bed Making Time

Even though I haven't been able to take the Asian doll out of the box yet, I have started on the advertisement that I want to imitate.  It features a platform bed and this is how I made my version of it.

First off, my platform (2 pieces of cardboard) is the wrong measurement.  Although I did use a doll to measure the form, I should have added an extra inch to all sides and totally forgot.  I did a crap job putting the duct tape on, so I removed the corner sections and reapplied tape.  I should have taken it all off and started over.  However, since the bed isn't the focus of the ad, I didn't bother.

For the legs, I cut 1 inch pieces from a jumbo popsicle stick, then wrapped a strip of cardboard around it (front, bottom and back) and finished with duct tape.  The top of the stick has no cardboard over it, which gives me a smooth area to apply glue to.  The legs were positioned in opposite directions because that's how they are in the ad.  If I wasn't trying to mimic the ad design, I would have used some of my cute ball point pen tips instead of these wonky legs.

This looks so gross, lol.  I made my "mattress" by drawing a box pattern onto a file folder.  The insides are strips of cardboard randomly connected for support.  I taped 8 paper towels around the top and sides for padding.  There's no padding on the bottom of the box.  I would consider this a standard full size mattress.  If you want it deluxe style I would double or triple the paper towels.

Walmart sells inexpensive sheets that come in bags made of the same material.  I unstitched one of the bags and that's where the green fabric comes from.  I sewed the pillow cases and will stuff them with paper towels (use cotton balls instead if you want nice fluffy pillows).  The piece I'm using as a flat sheet was already pre-stitched.  The "duvet" is a man's sock with the heel and bottom foot cut off.

I wrapped the portion of the "fitted sheet" around the box and folded it down like you would a present and secured it with electrical tape.  I slid on the sock and hand sewed it to itself while it was on the box so I could get nice clean corners.  Finally, I wrapped the portion of the "flat sheet" around the sock and box and secured it.

Bow chica bow wow!  Sexy, no?  By far, this was the easiest thing I've made, probably because it's squared with no round edges.  I do have some wood and foam that I could have made this out of.  But, right now, I'm enjoying this file folder/cardboard kick I'm on. 

The bed even matches the chairs I made.  Not surprising though, since that shade of green is my favorite color, lol.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dolls in Boxes

When I first started collecting and reading blogs, I didn't understand why some people left their dolls in boxes.  I know some do it because they're buying for resale.  It was the ones that fully intend to keep the item but wont open it I didn't get.  I was all, "How can you not want to play with it?"  Cue to a year later and look who's got a few dolls still in boxes.

Ms. Leo did a great post where she imitated an advertisement.  I finally found an ad that I wanted to try this with and the lady it features is Asian.  I have a boxed Asian lady who would be perfect but when I picked up the box I really didn't want to open it.

I only have 20 fashion dolls on display because that's as many as I want out at one time.  It's kind of a way of policing myself (it doesn't work very well though).  Dolls that are purchased for parts, clothes or rebodying go straight to the spare parts box.  But others that I intend to feature at some point, stay boxed.  Except, now that I have one to feature, I refuse to take it out, lol.  I just like how the boxes look together.  It's as though I have my own cool little toy section.

Hi, I'm Muff.  I like to keep my dolls in their boxes.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Troublesome Chairs

I want to create some type of hangout for my dolls.  I haven't decided exactly what type of place it will be, but I'm going to need furniture.  Since I vowed to be more crafty and less spendy, I'm going to try and make most of the furnishings myself.  I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

First up, chairs.  I want 8 of them.  I don't know why, but I get fixated on things and I've decided that I must have at least 8 chairs for this "hangout."  So, I've spent the last 3 weekends trying to design and put together a chair that I can easily mass produce out of simple materials.  I also need to be able to take it apart for storage and reassemble it without any damage.

The 1st weekend was a total bust and I had to scrap everything, including my choice of material (stinky duct tape)and my design, which was an armless chair with a singular rod and base holding it up.  I may come back to it, because I'm nothing if not stubborn.  However, I was stressing myself out, so a redirect was in order.  The 2nd weekend I came up with this design.

It's a very simple pattern.  I folded a piece of paper in half, sketched the shape I wanted by hand and cut it out.  It's not really that even, but it's not like I'm making them to sell.  I cut the 1st one out of a Dora Explorer box.  Although made of compressed cardboard it was still thicker than I wanted to work with.  The 2nd was cut from file folders.  I made an opening in it but didn't like how it looked.  What I did like though was the file folders.  They were the perfect thickness, easy to bend and I literally have hundreds of them.  The 3rd is folders wrapped in duct tape... that doesn't stink.

Every time I make a prototype, I seem to change how I put it together or I want to do something differently.  However, these are the basic materials inside each chair.  I decided I wanted to pad the front and make a cushioned seat, so the white things are cut up paper towels for this use.  The long strips of corrugated cardboard get rolled up and go inside the seat bases.

This chair is almost ready for production!  Duct tape has been applied to the exterior back, seat fronts and seat cushion.  Electrical tape has been applied to the corrugated chair bottom.  After I glue the two back pieces together and let them dry, I use electrical tape to secure the sides and chair bottom.  Very easy to put together and take apart.

3 weeks in and I've got a complete chair set!  Unfortunately, this is actually an abandoned idea.  This green Dollar Tree contact paper is more patterny than I care for on a grand scale, but in small sections I think it's cute.  However, using contact paper would cause me to have to cut out an extra back piece.  Since the contact paper is so thin, it shows the shape marks of the duct tape lines unless you put a thicker material between them.  I went ahead and made a second chair anyway because I had exactly 6 of these white "chair legs," which are the tips from ball point pens.

A photo with dolls so you can see the scale.  The seats are large enough for my widest guy to sit comfortably.  As for chair height, Fashionista feet can touch the ground, but Liv has to tippy toe.  My next chairs will not be as high because the chair legs will be shorter -- if I use any at all.  Like I said, I keep changing how I put it together.

Well, that's what I've been working on.  I don't expect to finish this "hangout" project anytime soon, heck, this year even, but the idea is there.  At this point, I just want to see what I'm capable of making. Hopefully, I can do this without frustrating myself too much in the process.  We shall see.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

From Pencil Top to Water Glass

I keep the bits from pens, as well as the tops from bottles, in case I can use them for my doll stuff.  I'm always on the lookout to see if anything I buy can be re-purposed to 1/6 scale.  On Saturday BigLots had a 20% off sale (and another one on Sunday if you have a coupon), so you know I had to stop by.  I got some aluminum foil, pork rinds and these cool pencils that were only 1 dollar.

I'll use the tippy tops as little water glasses, the slide caps as table top or wall vases and the erasers as chair legs.  The pencils I will use as... you guessed it, pencils!  LOL, I crack me up.

Anyway, for the price and the ability to use every single piece for something, I think it's one of my better finds.  I thought about cutting off the part of the slide cap that is poking up, but for what I'm going to do with them, I don't think it's necessary.  Just imagine a whole row of them along your dio wall with a little flower arrangement in each one.  Pretty swanky, yes?

Here's a scale shot of the "glasses."  Because of the line going around the middle it already looks like it has water in it.  You could put clay, foam or resin inside if you wanted a colored liquid look.  I've seen some bloggers that have doll bars or restaurants.  You could have a bunch of these on your shelves or bar top.  8 glasses and 8 vases for a buck.  Cant beat that.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Can Be... Fashion Designer

Love it!  Saw this tonight at Walmart for $13.98.  The outfit is awesome.  Okay, I would remove the tape measure from the blouse and just let it hang about her neck or shoulders.  It's a little gimmicky for my tastes to have it sewn to the top.  I couldn't get a clear shot of the shoes but they are cute black pumps.  I cant tell if both knees are articulated, but the way Mattel has been going lately, it would not surprise me if just the one knee is bendable.

The props, details and stitching are nice.  I even like the artwork on the background set.  Even though this isn't fully articulated, I actually think it's worth the price.  Of course I didn't get it though.  You know I have to comparison shop to see if I can get it cheaper.  For now, it's another one to add to my ever expanding list.