another abby

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Yes, its another Abby from NCIS.

What can I say? She’s a popular girl!

This is the last of the 3 commissioned dolls I just finished.

With this one, I once again had to re-root a barbie head. Have you ever noticed how many of the old barbies are blonde? Not many black haired ones among them!

I bought black hair from my favourite aussie seller again ((Custom Doll Hair AU)  and began work.

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Another faceless head on a stick…

Then I used watercolour pencils, pastels and watercolour to give her a new face.

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This Abby has the tattoos as well. My first Abby doll didn’t have those, but this time I went further even though you can’t see most of them when she’s dressed. Authenticity you know…

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Once Abby’s face and tatts were finished I put her back together and began dressing her. I bought a pleated black skirt on ebay and found a singlet top I thought would work well in my barbie clothing collection.

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I gave her a Monster High belt I thought the real Abby would appreciate, and made her a leather dog collar.

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I couldn’t find knee high boots so I bought some gorgeous over the knee socks from a maker on ebay. I painted a pair of boots I had in my collection and added straps to make them look a bit more Abby-like.

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I figured that Abby wasn’t totally complete without her lab coat, so I made one for her. I even rolled up the sleeves so she’s ready to get to work.

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Overall I’m pretty happy with how she turned out.

I do love those long socks!

z

katy perry doll

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Yep. I tackled the cupcake dress!!

This is another of the dolls winging their way to the UK and she was the one that took the longest to make.

Obviously.

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Most of the hair rooted – faceless doll heads on pens is a common sight around here…

Firstly I had to order blue hair from my favourite local seller (Custom Doll Hair AU), then I had to re-root my barbie head with said blue hair. And paint on her face, of course.

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I bought a dress which was suitable as the base for my cupcake skirt. And some cupcakes from ebay. There was no way I could make that many cupcakes in this lifetime…

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The only way I could figure out to make the skirt was papier mache. My old standby. I love papier mache and can make anything with it. I’m pretty good at it, even if I do say so myself. 🙂

So I built myself a ‘scaffold’ from cardboard (ok, its more like a layered cake) and tissue paper. It only took 3 goes to get it right. I gave it 3 coats of white acrylic paint and made 2 different layers of ruffles which I hot glued to the bottom.

I made a matching ruffle for the top of the dress, which I stitched onto the straps and neckline. I then cut the dress to the right length and attached it to the skirt using hot glue. Not while it was on the doll.

Obviously.

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Headless doll. Another common sight around here.

Once I picked the shoes I preferred and had her all dressed up she was ready!

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She needs one of those stands that holds her up by the legs cause there’s no way that skirt is going to allow her to have a regular ‘around the waist’ stand. What can you do? Its the price you pay for looking so fabulous!

z

 

another amy

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My life seems to have been dolls dolls dolls for the last few months. But the good news is I’ve finally finished the last 3 custom dolls so I can now maybe do something else with my spare time!

And since they’re now finished and will soon be on their way to the other side of the world, I can share them!

First up is another Amy Winehouse. This time made using a second hand barbie doll. You can see my first Amy doll here.

In order to do this Amy I began by removing all the (blonde) hair from the doll. I wanted to try using felt for her incredible hairdo so I used a combination of glue and the rooting tool to attach Amy’s beehive and messy hair.

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Then, of course, I had to give her a face…

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No Amy is complete without tattoos, and this girl is no exception. She has all the tatts, even the ones you can’t see under her funky 1960’s style shorts/dress.

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I couldn’t find black boots so I painted a pair of silver boots and gave her a black belt to tie in the outfit.

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The outfit Amy’s wearing is actually an original Barbie outfit from my collection of clothes and I chose it cause it really seemed to suit her style.

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I’m quite pleased with how the hair turned out.

… next I’m going to try using felted wool to make Captain Jack Sparrow!

z

 

amy doll

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Time to share another doll repaint. This is Amy. Winehouse of course. I decided to make her for a couple of reasons: the beehive hair and the tattoos. I like both of those!

This doll began as a Bratz doll with a really messy head of thick black hair. She was ideal. I didn’t have to re-root her. Phew. Re-rooting can be fun in its own way… its a kind of repetitive, zen-like kinda thing. But it can take so long! So when I get the chance to skip it… well, I’ll jump at the chance!

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I loved doing her tattoos. Not an easy task of such thin arms, but fun to do nonetheless.

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When I made Amy she was a doll I made for my own amusement. By that I mean I was only pleasing myself. I dressed her in original Bratz clothes that I felt suited her style and listed her in my Etsy shop. She was sold to a lady in Spain. Yay.

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With the sale came a request for a bit of customization. Her new owner wanted bigger eye liner and a different outfit. I made a black and white checked dress and a Blake hair pin. The photo below isn’t her finished unfortunately. I think I somehow missed taking finished photos of her. (oops.)

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This photo shows the dress un-hemmed, the belt undone and untrimmed, and the first attempt at the hair pin.

Trust me, she looked better when it was all finished.

z

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abby doll

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Given that I’ve been flat out lately, spending my days grooming dogs, working on custom dolls, watching TV and wasting time, I thought I should share some of the dolls I failed to share.

Abby from NCIS was the first doll I ever tried re-rooting. (Which is not something rude, but the act of replacing the original hair with new hair.) I did it ’cause I needed a Bratz doll with pale skin and black hair. And I didn’t have one. So I watched some YouTube videos and went ahead and bought some black hair from CustomDollHairAu on Etsy. She sells luscious hair blends and tools as well. I now have a collection of gorgeous hair blends and a lot of doll heads I plan to re-root one day…

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Anyway… I got started re-rooting with a needle, the hard way. Well, ok, not hard as such, but the longer way… It took ages to re-root the whole head but I loved the result. And to be honest it’s a kind of relaxing zen sort of activity.

Since then I’ve re-rooted 2 more dolls and I tried the rooting tool… I watched the videos. I tried doing it. I stuffed up. I watched more videos. I tried again. I stuffed up again. I broke so many needles it wasn’t funny. I have no idea what I was doing wrong.

I went back to the needle.

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If it works for you, stick with it, right?

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For this particular doll makeover I repainted her face, re-rooted her with black hair and adapted original Bratz clothes and boots to achieve the Abby look.

All in all, I was very happy with my first re-root!

This little girl has been sold through my Etsy shop.

z

rockabilly diner doll-o-rama

I’m sure I haven’t shared this. Its a post I began ages ago and forgot in my drafts. Ooops. So here goes now.

What’s a doll-o-rama you ask? Its a doll display box x diorama. I mean, its obvious isn’t it?

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I’ve made a few of them since I started this post, but this is the first one I made for one of my repainted dolls.

I had this Monster High Operetta doll that I decided to repaint into a rockabilly chick. Here is the before and after…

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This doll was crying out to be a rockabilly really. She already had tattoos and bright red hair… it was an easy decision.

After stripping her factory paint, I gave her a new face, coloured in her facial tattoos, gave her a quiff and new clothes, and voila.

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I really wanted to have a proper background for her though. I made a box out of some timber I had and created a diner space for her to stand in. The whole idea was to make it 3D enough to give the illusion of depth, but to make it simple to put together.

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I created the background with royalty free images I found online, putting them into Photoshop and putting them together to create the space I wanted. I printed out the image of a jukebox I found, mounted it on board and glued it in place halfway back in the box.

I secured the doll in place by making a little bracket out of black wire attached to the back of the jukebox. That way the wire ‘doll stand’ was almost invisible and the doll was easy to pose in a natural position – leaning against the jukebox.

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The little holes one the frame are there so a piece of perspex can be attached to the front to keep dust out.

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All in all, I think its a great little display. I listed her in my Etsy shop for a while but she actually sold at the market.

What fun!

z

game of thrones – melisandre

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Yes. Yes. I know. I’ve been absent, quiet, missing in action… just plain gone.

I began all these posts about my repainted dolls and then just… stopped. I have no excuse. Well, I actually have tons of excuses. I’ve been working. I’ve been flat out getting ready for the Etsy Makers Market. I’ve been tired.

So, just quickly – here is Melisandre – the Red Woman – from Game of thrones. First meet the doll who became Melisandre.

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Then see the inspiration…

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So there you have it. The Red Woman.

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You know, sometimes I catch myself dreaming of a simpler life. One where I groom (work) and garden (my one and only hobby). What a nice dream that is… I’d have a lovely garden cause I’d spend my free time working in it and there’d be nothing pulling me this way and that, demanding my time. I’d work, then I’d rest, and I’d garden.

I can always dream, right?

Cause there ain’t no way it’ll happen in my life. I can’t help myself. I will always have things to do and things I want to do. There is almost no creative item or method I can look at and think “I want to try that”.

The saying might go “there’s no rest for the wicked” but it should say “there’s no rest for the creative”!

z

 

 

fun chalkboard doll display

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While doing things yesterday, I found a box I’d painted with chalkboard paint for a project sometime last year or so and decided it was time to get it off the floor of the office.

Its actually too shallow to be a doll display shelf but I thought it might be fun to display my most recently finished Game of Thrones Bratz doll repaints in it for a while. They got tired of standing on my desk, the printer, the stack of papers to be filed and the ironing table.

So, what do you think?

I’m not sure whether I should call them makeovers or makeunders. I mean, they’re not madeUNDER are they? More like madeoverthetops… They sure aren’t Tree Change Dolls!!!

Anyway. I’ll share my Game of Thrones dolls soon. I’m really enjoying playing with dolls. Second childhood? Still on my first? I don’t know, I know I like remaking stuff. I can’t help myself. There’s just about nothing I will walk past without thinking “I can do something with that”.

It kinda explains the mess in the casita. And the white shed. And the silver shed. And the office.

Ok. I’ve been working on it. I’ve been getting rid of things. Either selling, giving away or throwing away things that I will never, ever get around to “doing something with”. Or by actually finishing them and selling them. Which is good as the money is always welcome.

I can use that to buy more stuff.

Its not my fault. I have a condition.

I have ‘I Can Do That’ syndrome. That’s where you look at something and think “I can do that” and proceed to start “doing that” with all that “that” involves – buying tools and materials to do “that”, spending hours working on “that”, filling your space with the results (and remnants) of “that”…

Its a thing! I read about it on a blog!

z

white horse makeover

Do you ever spend a whole day working hard, so in the zone that you don’t have breakfast till 11ish, forget lunch and then look around and think “what on earth did I do all day”?

I’ve had one of those days.

Sure, I did do a few things, but not really enough considering the hours I put in. I washed some dog blankets. I worked on 2 dolls I’m repainting. I worked on my horse makeover. I finished (mostly) my Barbie display box (will share later)… but somehow I don’t feel like I really got much done.

Anyway, here is my horse makeover. Sorry, I don’t have any before pics cause it was so truly hideous I couldn’t bring myself to take photos. Trust me. You’re better off not having seen the extreme hideousness of it. I found this little horror beauty at the tip shop, no mane, no tail, the worst smiley lips and blue eyes with painted on eyelashes. Eek.

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First thing I did was remove the paint. Phew. I could look at it without gagging. Then I attacked with the Dremel.

Yep. You heard me right.

I have a brave friend who sometimes uses sandpaper to alter dolls. I’ve never had the guts to try anything like that, but this horse was so ugly I had to give it a go. Nothing to lose, you know. Using the sandpaper attachment (which I use to grind dog nails) I got rid of the lascivious smirk. Then I sanded down some of the features to soften her look (cause I’d decided it was a girl by then) and even had a go at ‘dishing’ the face a bit to give her an arab look.

Cause I’d already decided she’s going to be Daenary’s horse. For my Bratz doll makeover. Another thing I’ll share soon.

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Note the bald doll head on a stick in the background. I’ve spared you the headless bodies on the other side. My office sometimes looks like Dr Frankenstein’s lab.

After all that I gave it a sand with 200 or 5000 grit sandpaper to smooth it all down. And I painted a more realistic face on her. I’m missing a photo right about here, after the hooves were painted, but you get the idea.

Then I moved on to the mane and tail. I used hair I bought on ebay, which came on stitching. I had no idea what I’d use it for when I bought it but I knew it’d come in handy one day. And so it did!

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I used glue to attach the mane and tail and then used glad wrap to keep it all in place while the glue dried.

Once it was dry I poured boiling water over the hair to make it lay the way I wanted to. And over my fingers cause you have to suffer for your art.

Here is the finished product. So different to the horse I found at the tip shop. Again, trust me on that. It gave hideous new meaning.

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All in all, despite not feeling like I got enough done, at least I got one thing finished.

Pat myself on the back.

z

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the problem with plans – and sneaky previews

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I was talking to a friend this morning and the topic of plans came up. You know. Plans are those things you make only to change them along the way. Or fail to follow through with entirely.

I don’t know why this is… I mean, surely, you make plans cause you want to get the things you plan to do done, right? Obviously. But it never seems to work that way. At least not in my life.

I make plans all the time: I plan the days I’ll groom (my job), the days I’ll do some gardening, the days I’ll work on dolls or other projects. I’ll also plan to do housework – well, that one is doomed right from the start. I never get past the planning stage of that one unless I’m expecting visitors.

So, why plan when it seems that by the very act of planning I pretty much guarantee not achieving what I planned.

Maybe making plans tempts fate, maybe I just jinx myself.

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Plans are different to To Do Lists. A To Do List is a list of things you’d like to get done in a day, week, month, lifetime. A plan is something something more concrete… it has a timeframe, usually…  for instance, today I planned to garden. Then I slept in till 9.30am. Took 2 hours to feed animals, have breakfast and drink 2 cups of coffee. Then I went to the local market to buy fresh bread.

Gardening? Its way too late to consider that now!

I think I may forgo making plans entirely. I’ll stick to To Do Lists and Suggested Things I’d Like To Do This Week/Day/Month/Lifetime…

Seriously, you know how I mentioned I’d love an entire wall of chalkboards? It’d be one way to keep my To Do Lists front and center.

Anyway. Moving right along.

What have I been doing that’s kept me so busy that I haven’t posted for a few days? It sure as heck wasn’t gardening.

Yet somehow, some things are doing well despite me. Like my camelia, loving its new spot on the porch and blooming!

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Ditto the pink geranium which is looking lovely!

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I’ve been playing with dolls again! I started on 6 new dolls all at the same time, I finished repainting them and now I’m on costumes. They take longer. But I got in the zone the last few days and lose myself in it.

Here are some sneak previews – more pics to come when they’re finished and I’m ready to list them in my shop.

Can you guess who they are?

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Answer: Cersei, Joffrey, Jon Snow, Tyrion and Ygritte from Game of Thrones!

Bad photos, I know, they were taken in my office using my mobile phone – the good pics will be taken when they’re all finished.

What fun it is to remake dolls. I saw there are tiny irons for doing craft/doll type stuff. I want one. Can’t afford to spend money on that right now, but its on the Things I Want to Own One Day list.

z