Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Antique lace overlay dress --This week's ad hoc project

At first I was going to make this a two piece dress, but I just started and this is what I ended up with:

I showed you the beginnings of this on Monday.

It was pretty simple.  As I'm not a seamstress and much of it was done by hand it took me maybe about 2 hours.  (I took breaks in between -- or should I say I was interrupted :)

How I did it:
First I pinned the silk "skirt" hem.  Then I stitched a piece of lace on top of the silk.  I hand gathered the waist of the dress.  I put that aside.  For the top, I pinned a piece of silk that had the top folded over (prevent a raw edge) around Agnes.  Then using a disappearing dressmaker's marker,  I marked under the boob area to represent 2 darts.  (marker can be found in Joann's quilting section or Walmart Sewing section).  I placed the antique lace over the top, I used the opposite of the skirt (so the scalloped edge was at the top rather than the bottom.  I basted the top "hem".  I basted the lace to the silk.  I then basted the darts.  I used the sewing machine to sew the darts.  I hand stitched the lace at the top (following along the embroidery that is part of the lace so the stitches won't be seen).

At first I wanted a two piece garment, so I hemmed the tail of the top.  I was going to add a waist band to the skirt, but then I decided I would rather have a one piece dress because I wanted the waist of the skirt to be so low -- falling on the hip rather than the waist.  So, being lazy, I didn't remove the hem from the top, I just blind stitched the skirt to the top.  This did not look pretty on the wrong side.  I just added a piece of lace to finish off that seam.

Something about the dress reminds me of Wedgewood pottery.  Maybe it is the blue.  Or the blue and the off-white; or the relief of the embroidery on the lace has the raised effect similar to the designs on Wedgewood.

Very happy with this dress.  Agnes has an Alice in Wonderland quality about her when she wears it.  The color is perfect with her eyes!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stuff I've made recently

This is the stuff I've made recently:

A necklace.  This was the thing I thought of as I was waking up one morning.  I quickly wrote it down and I'm glad I did because when I got to it, I forgot how I "thought it would work out".

(Now I know why people hire professional photographers) .  The sun hitting this necklace gives you an idea of the beauty of these beads.  They are translucent with an opalescence.  I got them in New York.  At my favorite bead place.  Beads World (it's on Broadway or maybe 6th Ave).

How I did it.  I took two needles each with a doubled nylon thread.  I first went through the crab claw latch.  Then I strung 5 beads using the two needles.  (with the thread doubled, there are 4 threads running through those first 5 beads), then I split off.  Strung 5 beads on each of the needles (now there two parallel rows of 5 beads, each with only 2 threads running through them).   On the 6th bead, I string both needles through that bead (all 4 threads run through that bead) This cinches the necklace -- so I repeat that pattern 5 times (why 5 -- I just like the number as one will always be "in the middle") and then I finish up by stringing both needles through the last 5 beads.  It gives the necklace a scalloped look.

It was pretty simple.  I think I'll try this again with a fancier bead as the cinching bead.

I got a real kick out of this.  I was using these beads to make a pair of beaded slippers.  I was at the doctor's office with my mom.  While waiting, I took out my beading (for my downtime).  I just love the look on people's faces.  It starts out with "Oh, what are you making" -- and I look them dead in the eye, with a slight smile and say "oh, they are going to be beaded slippers for a doll" -- people just don't know what to say ... They mutter "that's nice" or "oh really".  I just smile and say "yep" (secretly, I laugh to myself).  People look dumb founded.

I'll post those as soon as I'm finished.

Tomorrow, I'll post my latest Ad Hoc project.

Monday, August 29, 2011

What I have going on

I have some things in the working phase, rather than wait to post, I'm going to show you what I'm doing.

Well,  I want to make a skin wig.  I have two (that I bought).   I looked inside them and I think I might be able to duplicate it.  (I wouldn't go through this trouble if I were able to buy one readily) -- unfortunately, this is not the case.  So, I'll give it a go.

I started by making a prototype wig template out of muslin.

I had a heck of a time taking a photo of it as there isn't enough natural light and my flash "washes" it out.

This is a crappy photo, but you can see what the general idea is:

Here's one with more light.

You can see my trial and error stitching.  I'm getting the exact shape of her head.  This will be important for the next step.  But if I remember correctly, you can put skin wigs in boiling water, let them cool a little and place them on the doll and it will dry to the correct size.  I think I read that somewhere.

I'm also working on the wig made out of my daughter's hair.

I cut the Solvy.  Solvy is a Sulky product.  I read it somewhere on the internet once about using it for making wigs for dolls if the hair is not wefted.  You take a thin layer of hair, you fold the Solvy and place the hair between two layers of solvy.  You stitch the hair cut away the excess Solvy, then you wet it.  When it dissolves, it leaves like a bit of a residue that hold the hair in place.  I used it once for a wig I made for a tiny antique porcelain doll.

Once I rethread the machine, I'll separate and stitch the lock of hair.

Such a beautiful, naturally shiny, chestnut brown lock of hair (with natural auburn highlights) -- the fact that this is from my daughter's hair when she was little makes me smile.  She is a 3X donor to Locks of Love.  The charity that collects hair for children and young adults with hair loss issues.  Her hair grows very quickly.  Each time she gives 8- 12 inches. If you figure she has to have some left on her head, you can imagine how quickly her hair grows!

Then, I was thinking I don't really want a long dress out of the antique laces. Because I don't want to have to piece the lace together.   I want a cocktail length dress.  I started with a piece of blue silk dupioni (this is new silk -- not the one from my daughter's jacket).  Then, I added the lace stitched it on across the top.  I am going to hand gather.

This is the silk, cut and pinned for placement of the hem.

Here, I have the lace placed as an overlay.  I love old lace and it is so awesome to use it for "something worthwhile".

I have this dress to show!  I'll post the how to this week.

Wow.  While I was up in my sewing room, I came across the most beautiful old lace.  I took a quick snap of it.  I want to do a fantasy wedding gown collection.  This will definitely be part of it.

The photo doesn't show the work that is on this mesh lace.  It is really beautiful.  Once I make the gown, I'll ask my daughter to photograph it  so you can see.

The last photo came out more "Barbie pink" than it actually is.  These a pair of Steve Madden anklets in bubble gum pink.  I saw these I knew Agnes needed thigh highs made from these.  I have done a first fitting and put black baste thread to mark the place where I'll stitch these.  I saw a tut on Den of Angels.  Let me think now, who was the poster.  -- Ah yes, MissCarrion.  I made so many trial and error (or should I just say error) stockings before I read this.  I like to baste rather than use pins, then I can slide off and everything stays put.  Great tutorial.

These are so sheer, I am going to use Solvy (since I have it for the wig).  Uggh!  Realized when I went to stitch this that I forgot to turn it inside out.  Have to start over.

Been beading:

This is blown up, it's the top of a shoe.  Going to also make a matching necklace.

Then, I got to thinking I want to make a pair of leather slides.  I took out some leather to give it a try.

I have so many "things to do", I decided to rewrite my original list.  When I did this, I realized I had forgotten a couple items.

So, my list is long, but my goal is to complete it (I'm hoping before the end of the year) -- but to definitely complete it regardless of the time!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dolls, Dolls, Dolls!

I don't usually post on Sundays but I got up thinking about this and then it happened!  I was thinking about all the "new dolls" or new doll lines I was seeing.  This past week I came across two.  I like to see what is out there.  I was fascinated when I first saw a porcelain bjd.  Since then I have seen a couple people claiming to be the "first" porcelain bjd. "True pioneers" -- really???   Terri Gold had the funniest post this week.  It was a 50's picture of a woman with a spray can the caption was "smells like bullshit".  My sentiments exactly.   Truthfully, other than Agnes, I have not been interested (nor have I made any inquiries) regarding these bjds.

This is going to sound strange, but it is the hands.  That been said, there is a large selection of porcelain bjds out there, do I sound bad when I say only two or three interest me.  I've been having a nagging feeling that I want another doll.  Someone for Agnes to take photos with, share clothes with (have like coordinating/opposite outfits) -- I've seen this done, and you usually have some left over material, it would be great to have a sister/friend for Agnes.  I think I'll know when I find her.  Maybe that is why I'm so sensitive to seeing all these new dolls.   I'm not in a rush, I'll take my time.

I digress.  The reason for this post is not only have I seen two new porcelain lines this past week.  I was thinking about the dolls coming to market and then BAM!   I got an email from Cristy Stone (she is the woman that did that AMAZING faceup on my Narae doll).  She also is introducing a new line of dolls!  Congratulations Cristy!   She has a truly lovely doll.  She's at

I don't know if its me, the time of year, the time in people's lives, but it seems that there are a ton of new dolls out there.  The more the better.  It gives the collector more to choose from.

Years ago, when I first started collecting dolls (before the internet really took this to a new level) -- I collected "all over the place" -- meaning, I have Shirley temple composition, Jan dolls, Compo babies,  an old rubber doll, hard plastic, Celluloid, storybook dolls, Madame Alexander, Gene, Tyler, Elvis Presley -- see where this is going?

I spoke with someone in collecting and he gave me the best advice.  "Collect what you like".  I settled on child dolls.  German antique child dolls.  For the next several years, I collected nothing but antique German dolls. I don't have any other vices, so I slowly saved up and bought maybe 1 a year.   (sure an occasional Gene or Kitty Collier or Tyler snuck in there) Then I decided I would like to sew for a doll, this got me in trouble.

I saw bjds (resin ones).  Again, this got me on another road.

Now, I'm off all other roads.  Now that I have Agnes, I'm really happy with her and I can't see a need to collect any other type of doll. Of course, I still have a pang of envy when I see the remarkable clothes for Barbie and Fashion Royalty, knowing that my beloved Agnes can't wear them, but I also realize this is part of what makes her unique.

Agnes, being a 1/6 scale doll is perfect at 12 inches.  That would actually make her a 6 foot tall person.  Who is 6 feet as a woman you ask?  Before you laugh (or make any snide comments), my both daughters are almost that size!  I can't understand dolls that claim to  be 1/6 scale and are 13 or 13.5 inches???  Taller than 6' 6" ??? I think those dolls should just be said to be "not to scale" or figure out what scale they are.

In collecting, as in life, tides change.  People's tastes change.  What is "hot" today, may not be hot tomorrow.  I can see the tide shifting.

To leave you with a high note.  There's a funny story I some times tell.  I was in Maine (back when we lived in New England).  Those that I have been to Maine know the people there have a dry sense of humor.  Anyway, I was in a shop of "collectibles". ( I was looking at some "antique" Nora Wellings dolls. ) as I turned I noticed a rather large display of Happy Meal toys.  Yes, the ones you get from McDonald's in the kid meals.  I must of gasped.  The gentleman proprietor came over quickly.  I must have muttered something like "I didn't know people collected Happy Meal toys".  I will never forget his words.  I can hear them in my head today.  He said "Madam, there is an ass for every seat" with a dead pan face.  I had to leave the store to prevent my outburst of laughter from disrupting the other patrons.  I smile to this day.  When I see people fall over themselves to collect a specific doll, driving the price to infinity, I think there's an ass for every seat.  ;)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gathering up stuff!

I went to the pet store with the sole purpose of looking at fish tank plants.  I read a tip recently for dioramas naming these as the best ones to get!

So, (on clearance), I found:  There are 3 plants in the one of the left and one in the other.  4 plants for $2.60 (total, with tax) -- pretty sweet deal!

Coming next week:  I have a couple new projects that should be finished and ready to show soon.  I'm hoping at least 1 new wig, a new dress, and at least 1 new accessory.  Got to go (need to work on them and get photos!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Agnes relaxing showing off her rugs!

Here's a picture of Agnes reclined on her rug.  The rug is from my trip to California earlier this year.  It is a hand knotted wool rug with a very very short pile.  It is not a "prayer rug".  I have one of those, they tend to be square.  This is rectangular.  It is a sample of the larger "human" counterpart.  When I saw it for sale, I had to have it.  I'm thinking it will end up in a bedroom.  Or perhaps a dining room.  Depending on the type of furniture.

I have some stuff in mind.  Have to start collecting furniture.  ;)

Given 1/6 scale, this is probably an 8' x 10' rug.

Here's another rug (also wool) -- probably a prayer rug.
This pile is a little higher.  I bought this at an "antique" store in Miami.  I use quotes because I don't think the things in there are actually antiques.  One man's junk....

I was playing around.  Agnes is on all fours inspecting the carpet!

Given a 1/6 scale, this is probably about a 8' x 8' carpet.  Small, but still useful.

This is my "feel good Friday" kind of post.  So happy to have Agnes.  My husband asked me why I blog.  I said "because I like it!".  I really enjoy having Agnes and I'm very satisfied with her -- something I haven't found with other dolls.

Although you can't tell from this post, I've been really busy (I had a burst of energy this week) and I'll have lots of stuff to show for it!  Those Ad hocs, when I get bogged down, I just let my mind wander and viola -- something new!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A look behind the curtain!

Late posting today.  We were expecting a Hurricane (it seems to have missed us) yay!  My mom needed some help this morning, so I was with her.

You'll see by the photo why I don't let people see my "work space"  -- It's a mess!  I've taken over the dining room table.  But that will need to be "packed up" this week.  I love spreading out.  Any flat surface is taken over by Agnes and her "stuff".   Agnes is is the center of it all literally.

I'm "working" on getting an antique lace dress together for Agnes, so I had my laces out.

Here are the new soles I'm trying out on shoes for Agnes.

The green ones are cardboard inner soles and the black ones are  that iron on patch material.  I'm trying to figure out how to have her shoes not look as bulbous across the front.  Maybe one of these will have "backs" -- or there is always the sling back -- just want to change it up.

I have a jacket that was my daughter's.  She never wore it.  It got sun damaged in her closet.  It's silk dupioni.    I'm going to cut it up for Agnes:

I think I can salvage enough off the back for a gown (that's what I'm hoping anyway).

Had a thought last night how I would like to make a necklace.  I woke up and drew a quick and dirty sketch.  I hope to finish it by next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My latest Ad Hoc project

I had some trim.  When I was looking for some yellow ribbon to make the crazy braid wig, I came across this tulle and flower trim.  I just thought it would make a nice top to a dress.  Initially, I thought a day dress.  Then I decided something more "out there"  I thought a tutu skirt, but something on the long side.

It took me about an hour total, because I'm not a seamstress and I'm deciding as I go.  Someone quick could probably whip it up in no time.  It looks simple, let me explain what I did:

How I made it:

Materials list:  Tulle/flower trim.  This was inexpensive.  I think I got it at Walmart.  I roll of it is probably $2.  Tulle -- just the regular nylon matte tulle.  JoAnn fabric $1+ a yard.  1 1/2 yards total.
Yellow ribbon. (left over from the yellow wig).

The skirt was easy.  It is 1 1/2 yards of tulle, folded in 4 lengthwise.  Half and then half again.  That prevented a "raw edge" at the top.  I then ran a loose straight stitch and used this to gather the tulle.  I added a ribbon.  This I sewed to the inside waistband, did so by hand.  I find it easier when stitching gathered fabric.  This is the way the skirt is put on.  Similar to an apron.  If you see in the photo, under her arm, the bow from the skirt is peeking out from behind her.   I trimmed away the excess tulle.  I'm not good at cutting straight -- I should have stuck with the rotary cutter for this.  But, I scissored it.  As it is 4 layers of tulle, it is not particularly transparent.

For the top.  I measured the width of Agnes' shoulders then I added 1/2 inch to account for the cinch/stitch I placed in the center.  This formed a "V" shape with the trim.  The tulle that is up around her shoulders/ neckline is part of that original trim.  For the bodice, I took a piece of tulle I gathered/pleated it and stitched that in place at either side -- forming what looks like seams (under each of Agnes' arms down to the waist).  I made the tulle piece go around Agnes (similar to a tube top).  I secured it in the back by adding snaps.  Of course, the tube top wouldn't stay up as it has no elastic.  I then attached the original V shaped cinched trim to the front of the tube top bodice, allowed the trim some slack so it would fall on Agnes' shoulders (instead of looking like true straps).  Then I secured the trim to the back (thus forming the sleeves).

Agnes is wearing her beaded slippers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fabric arrival! New stuff pics.

Last Friday, my lycra mesh fabric arrived from NYfashioncenterfabrics.  I'm not sure how I found the website.  Maybe I was googling lycra mesh.  Having never ordered from them, I thought, I'd take a chance.  I'm very happy with it.  The prices and the quality are both very good.

If I remember correctly, the minimum was 1 yard.  There were a plethora of colors to choose from.  I can't remember, maybe 20 or more.  I got the silver (it is more of a gray, but that is what I wanted -- I didn't want a metallic), the black and blush.  The blush is more pink/mellon than I expected, (very vibrant) but I love the color.  In the old days, they would have called this shrimp.   If you have something that you want to match (I suggest ordering a swatch).

Here Agnes to show how sheer this fabric is.

With September on the horizon, I figure I should have more free time on my hands.  So, I also ordered some goat hair and some sheep skin.  I want to try to make natural wigs.  I have an idea in mind.  But, it is definitely trial and error.  I'm happy with Agnes' wigs and I still have that lock of hair from my daughter that I need to weft but I did want some natural skin wigs.  I was hoping that Anji's wigs would start up again, I tried to contact her a while back, but I haven't heard from her.

It arrived yesterday!  I got these from Dollmakers Journey.  They have a website  It was my first time ordering from them.   Super speedy.  Really love the skins.  Large, really nice.  I ordered the smaller pelts.  Great prices.  Great stuff!

Here's a pic of Agnes with the skins.

Big day yesterday!  Shoes arrived.  They are from  I love their stuff.  Great prices and really cute styles.  Very current.  I even have another package at the post office (hope it's my chair).

Well, Agnes was able to fit into one pair!  Victory of sorts.  These boots remind me of Uggs.  It gives her a young look.

Just got back from the post office, this morning.

When I took pictures, I should have used a lighter color dress.  It's not that important.  It was was my chair!  As you know, I love chairs.  This chair is very nice.  It is from EBay.  I know everyone refers to it as EvilBay.  But how else would a Shanghai company do business here in the states?  I've been to Shanghai -- trust me it's easier to get it from the net!

The chair would be perfect in a study/library.  I really want to get started on dioramas...  There are clothes, wigs, accessories, shoes, (pocketbooks -- those I have covered) -- want to do linens and textiles for a "home" for Agnes.  (I'll need furniture, home accessories, flooring, wall covering... see where this is going ;)  My creative juices are past overflow.  I think I'm at flood.  Wish I had more time, but life beckons.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shoe me!

So, when I was doing beading, I mentioned you'd see something soon.

Here it is.

I thought of some "slides" I have.  These are a few years old and by Oscar de la Renta.

Well, the only thing they have in common is that they are both slides and they look like linen.  Yes, the Oscar ones have a lot of detail and style.  But, I'm still happy with Agnes' version.

How I made it:

I cut out "tops" from that cool iron on patch material that I got from Walmart.  They looked like half moons with notches.  Then I sewed on the sequins.  The pearls are tiny so, they had to be hand strung (no needle).  One at a time.  Labor intensive.  Here' a photo of the front and back.

The white "half circles" are muslin.  I used that to line the inside of the shoe (upper).  I used an iron to fuse the muslin to the underside being careful not to cover the notched section.

Then I cut inner soles out of super thin cardboard.  I used an iron to fuse some more of that patch material to it.  I cut out two leather soles.   Here are the leather outer soles and the fused inner sole.

The top are the leather outer sole (right and wrong side), the bottom is the inner sole.  One side has the fusible patch material (looks linen like), the other side is the plain cardboard.

I then folded the tabs from the top (beaded part) around the toe of the innersole and glued each tab separately.  Once I finished attaching the top of the shoe to the innersole, I glued the innersole to the suede side of the leather.  I finished around the edges of each shoe by adding extra sequins and beads so the top would be pretty much covered.

Here's a shot of the bottom (sole) of the shoe.

So there you have it.  Oh, I also made a little shoe bag.  It is made out of bleached muslin with a draw string and it has a tiny shoe applique.  (I just stitched the applique on -- by hand).  These are scrapbook embellishments (pretty small)  -- fabric that has been machine embroidered.  I think I got them at the store Tuesday Morning.  (lots of odds and ends in that store).

I was about to post this and I thought, what's missing?  A pic of the shoes on Agnes' feet!

and here are the close ups!

And from the side:

Tah- dah!

I hope to do another "location" shoot of Agnes this week... Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Diorama Drama!

All right, I'll admit it.  I see these gorgeous dioramas and I think... HUH??  How did they do that?  It's a dream of mine (I'm a dreamer) -- I would so love to build a diorama.  When I finish wardrobe making -- I'm going to rush headlong into room/scene building.  I want to build, photograph and document my dioramas.

Here I was thinking my title was such a cute play on words.  Only to realize there is a group on Flickr with the same name.  I'm wondering if I saw it and it was somewhere in my subconscious, or if its a coincidence and Diorama Drama just goes so well together.

Now for the title.  Who knew?  What?  This is going to be SUUPPPER challenging for me.  I got a book from the library and I'm researching rooms.  Bedrooms for now.  I'm also researching furniture.  I remember seeing ( I think it was out of Mexico,) someone who made wooden and modern Barbie and Fashion Royalty furniture.  I could kick myself as I thought I had book marked it, now I can't find it anywhere.

Now, I looked at my stash and I have a TON of chairs.  I have a "thing" for chairs.  I have a whole bunch of chairs.  Too many I'm sure.  I'll need to incorporate them as I don't want to get rid of any ;)

(Hey I can use one in a bedroom, some in the kitchen, some in the dining room, one or two in a living room) ...

Take a look at the chairs:
What was I thinking.  Ok, so the two in the front match (in style) but not color,  I can probably work those into a room.  The two in the back are different colors/styles.

And more.

Looks like Agnes is waiting for someone to join her.  Dining chairs?
And more,

I liked that chair so much, when I saw it in leopard, I couldn't decide if I should get that and return the pink.  I kept both!  Pink though?  I bought the Barbie couch that was pink, now there would be too much pink in a livingroom.  Maybe I can use one in a corner in a bedroom.

And the last of the chairs

This is an ornately carved wooden chair with a burgundy fabric seat and back.

I think this one goes to the vanity of a bedroom.  Or I guess if I had more, I could use around a dining table.

Oh no, just remembered, I have yet another chair on order........  The attack of the chairs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Look what I found!

On our beach trip earlier this week,  look what I found: cute tiny shells!

Agnes is holding one

 Here's another of her holding an even smaller one

To get some perspective, I took (albeit crappy) a photo with a penny:

This is a stop and smell the roses kind of post.  I'm taking stock of enjoying my time with Agnes.

Next week:  New stuff I'm making for Agnes!  To stay "with my projects" -- I find I have to do some Ad Hoc ones in the meantime to stir my creative juices.  When I work on established projects -- although it is a great feeling to get something done, I find it is more exciting when I just let my mind wonder and do a side project (or two).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How I got to Agnes! AND purse info!

So, for several years I've poured over antique fashion dolls.  French in particular.  I loved the trousseaus that people made and purchased for them.   Really the precursor to Barbie and even to the American Girl Doll.  I was very intrigued by "Les Petites Dames de Mode".  I have many antique dolls.  I collected German "child dolls" for many years.  When I lived in Massachusetts, there was a mother- daughter team that sold dolls and I would visit (in their basement).  Those were the days.  It was before on line sales, etc.

I would redress some of the dolls if their original clothing was beyond repair.  I used Brownhouse dolls for patterns (they have a website) and purchased only fabric that would have been available at the time of the doll.  Silk, cotton, wool.  For the trim, I used only antique lace.  As many dolls were sold in a simple chemise, it was not unusual to have mommy made fashions on these dolls.

Then a few years ago, I started looking at books.  Books from museum collections.  That is where I saw Betty Modish.  The Massachusetts museum that houses her, loaned her out for a photo shoot for a book.
In my mind, Betty became my ideal.  I was really thrilled to be able to see Betty, in all her glory, in person during my last trip to Massachusetts.  Truly inspiring.   Also, I own many books about antique clothing for dolls.  The Theriault family photographs their auction items and turns them into beautiful books.

So, with this in mind,  I even purchased antique dolls with the intention of sewing a wardrobe for them.  One was a Jumeau fashion.  She is in a lovely original ensemble -- that I don't even touch -- for fear of the oils from my hands causing it to disintegrate.   I thought, this is too much of an endeavor, her body is leather, I won't want to manipulator her.  Better to buy a reproduction doll.  I went through several iterations of that ranging in size and body type.  I've had wooden bodies, compo bodies, even leather bodies.  All great dolls.  I sewed clothes for them.  Nothing elaborate, mostly undergarments.  Then poof, I lost interest.   There are so many of these reproduction dolls around.  I wanted something a little more "special".

Then, I decided on another antique German doll.  I think it is a Kestner.  I can't remember now.  It is a lady doll.  (smaller waist, older looking face,  hair in original updo).  I bought it at auction.  I was thrilled to see it months later featured in a doll magazine.  The actual doll.  There are a lot of "oh I have that doll" moments for collectors.  But not specific dolls that are antique.  Especially this doll, as she was redressed.   This doll's body was too clunky for my taste.  Yes, the waist is smaller than the child doll, but the hands and legs are well clunky.

Fast forward to present day.  I happened upon bjds.  At first resin ones.  I have had my fair share of bad luck with those.  The first one arrived.  Mandy man hands.  I just hated those hands.  She didn't hold a pose. And to this day, I think she has the wrong calf.  I think there are not right and left.  Then my second doll, inexpensive (by bjd standards) -- Not really what I wanted.  Slim, but eh.  Then my third doll -- see where this is going -- my husband was beginning to say "not another one" when the packages arrived.  I really thought this was going to be "the one".  She wasn't .  I waited, I think it was over a year to get her.  I haggled back and forth with the intermediary.  Those of you on other forums probably know how difficult it is when you've paid for a doll and it becomes a finger pointing of "the manufacturer is not sending it", or is it the intermediary not submitting the order.  Not thrilled.  This soured me on the entire resin market.  The doll itself, Narae,  is a good doll.  I can see the appeal.  The faceup was amazing.  Done by a woman in Texas.  She had done some for  a doll magazine shoot.  Really talented.  Cristy was her name.  Cristy Stone.  Amazing artist.  I then said, no more foreign dolls (meaning no doll through an intermediary) , I ordered JamieShow's basic doll during the introduction.  I saw her on the back cover of a doll magazine.  They were just coming into being.  Something about the photo was very appealing.  Fabulous doll.  I like the doll.  She has great clothes, etc. (She can wear other clothes, Tyler, Ficon Doll, and a host of other 16").   But she is similar to Barbie (read on before shooting me) -- in that her proportion are very exaggerated.  She has a large bust, a small waist, somewhat small hips, super long legs. -- I guess every man's dream :).  But once again, I wasn't motivated to sew for her.  I thought about getting a Sybarite.  Syb's are great.  But I laughed when I heard someone describe them as looking like men in drag.  Masculine features with overdone makeup.  There is a harsh/sculptured look to them.  Their proportions are also very "fashion doll like".

Then along came Agnes.  My beloved Agnes.  I was on yet another doll forum when I saw Agnes.  I was on the forum looking at yet another doll.  When I saw the PaperWhite doll (Agnes), I thought:  now finally that is a doll I would want.  But I was already saving for another doll. But when I saw Agnes, I really liked her face.  (It didn't look exaggerated or animated).   I loved her torso.  The way it is jointed under the breast.  I loved the subtlety of her coloration.  I loved that she looked young, but not too young.  I contacted Terri (Her creator) -- I think that was back in January.  She let me know that she didn't have any dolls for sale at the moment.  I asked to be put on a waitlist.  I thought about this doll and followed Terri's blog.  About the same time that I asked to be put on the waitlist, I was informed that I probably wouldn't get the other doll I was saving for.  I considered it fate.  When Terri emailed me, I jumped at the chance.  I said yes before even checking the price!  Yikes, I have two soon to be college bound kids.  What was I thinking.  Agnes is worth every penny.  I LOVE this doll.

So, that is my story of Agnes.  Agnes is a PaperWhite doll by Terri Abel.  She is ball jointed with a removable wig (magnetically held).  Agnes is 12" tall 1/6 scale and made of porcelain.  She holds a pose.  She's not a common doll.  She's everything I wanted in a doll.

P.S.  I can't help but have a little nagging feeling that I would like Agnes to have a friend.  Someone to share remnants with.  Someone to take photos with, be in dioramas with, have contrasting outfits with... I am thinking with two daughters, I really should have 2 dolls -- that way they would not have to fight when I'm gone :)  Agnes needs a sister ;)

You can see Agnes' detail.  Her gentle blushing.  Her ability to hold a pose.  She's really magnificent.  She's a keeper!


PURSE INFO:  For people who have asked about the purse info.  I spoke with the lady who does the purses.  She said it was ok to share her email.  If you are interested, please contact her.  There is no obligation.  She has two sizes.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Agnes' First location shoot!

This all started with yet another Ad Hoc project.  It is my only "free reign creative on the spot" kind of time that I have with Agnes.  I had this fabric left over.  I wanted to get a photo of Agnes on the beach in this bamboo "double chaise" that I have for her.  Naturally, she needed a swimsuit.  As this is a make as you go project, this took several iterations.  I just couldn't make up my mind.  I really wanted to make this a body suit once I started, but swimsuit it is.

Risque, not crazy.

I carefully packed Agnes and brought her to the beach.  It was very early and I woke my daughter who had agreed the previous night to accompany me.    I did one test photo and my camera battery died!  This is Agnes' first on location "professional" shoot.  It is shot by my daughter.  Better camera, better photographer!  Good natured as she is, she grabbed her clunker of a camera and was kind enough to shoot Agnes.  I set up the shots and said crazy things like "shoot up" -- "up into the umbrella"  "I want it from this angle".  A woman came by to see what we were shooting, but thankfully moved on.  I was waiting for her to say "that's a nice doll you have" (to my daughter) to which I was going to answer, "the doll is mine".

The colors look very saturated to me.  I asked her if she enhanced them in any way....  She said no, but the setting on the aperture may have something to do with it.  It is ready for a spot in a glossy magazine!

So without further delay.  Agnes shot on the beach:

After seeing this photo, I realize one of the snaps on the back of her bathing suit must have come undone during me positioning her!  She has fabric gaping on the back!!!

Any finally:

Thanks for looking!

Soon to come... All about Agnes.  How she and I ended up together.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Material girl & New Pocketbook

I ordered some lycra mesh spandex material.  I think a lot of people are using it for sleeves and necklines.  I can't wait to see what I got.  I ordered it on line.  It is a new supplier -- never ordered from them before.  I tried to buy it at JoAnn fabrics.  Ahhh!  I don't know how the store near me is staying in business.  The employees are downright unpleasant.  I asked one of them if the mesh material would be reordered.  She assured me that it already had been and would be in "any day now" curt, but seemingly efficient.   Two weeks went by, I asked another employee who told me that it used to come in 3 colors, now, all we have is white -- and no we probably won't get any more.  Well, at least she was pleasant.   Also, my daughter is in New York.  She was at a flea market and she got me some old lace.  (love that stuff -- I want to make a dress -- ).

I found an old petticoat that I had cut up long ago.  There's enough for something splendid.

Forgive my flash.  It is the only shot that shows the old lace on the end.

Oh, yesterday was package time!  I know some people have asked about the pocketbooks.  I'm not sure how I got on that pocketbook list a few years back.  I'm going to send the lady an email today and pass on that info.

These photo do not do justice to this bag.  It is fabulous.  One of my all time favorites.

I took both photos from above.  So, for more detail, I lay the pocketbook down on its side

The photos look a little better.  These are taken with my daughter's point and shoot.  My point and shoot stinks.  I don't really know how to use the DSLR and I'm not sure if she would let me :)