Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Happy crafting!

Hello, long time no see! I'm happy to announce I wasn't run over by a train, mistakenly arrested, lost in the wilderness or eaten by runaway zoo tigers! Instead of lame excuses, here is a picture by hubby (concept and execution) and some useful (I hope) resources for all you doll artists :)

Friday, 31 October 2014

Updates and a rant

It's been a long time since I last posted (or showed any sign of life in the blog community). I was busy taking care of stuff before a trip with hubby in September and I barely had time to finish a draft post before leaving. Then I came back, but I've been sick all this time. We found some new dolls which I wanted to introduce. I wasn't happy with the last "shopping" post where I hurried to take pictures while some of the dolls were still unbrushed. Well, now I took my time to tweak each of them a little. I mean, who hasn't seen a basic Raven Queen out of the box? Old news. But have you seen mine? Anyway, doll pictures ahead!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Big bun tutorial

A very rushed post before I disappear again for two weeks! I wanted to put up Cleo's long hair and so this hairdo was born. I took pictures some time ago and now I'm ready to show you how to recreate it. It's quick, fairly easy, and most important - non permanent!
Without further ado, the big bun tutorial :)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Different Barbies

Dolls in my house are treated like art supplies. They are displayed posed and mostly dressed on shelves, but they still run the constant risk of being yanked out and used as mannequins, laid upside down for hair treatments or wrapped in toilet paper for other experiments. I can't imagine keeping a doll in its initial state (or even worse, boxed)! I have a friend though who likes her dolls just as they are. She doesn't have her playline childhood Barbie any more, but since then she moved to collectible Barbies of the 90's and early 00's. Only two dolls are in her collection at the moment and a third in her wishlist. She kindly let me take pictures and share them here.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Mood for Mods: A firm stand

Mood for Mods (as in "modifications") deals with ways of fixing or restyling factory doll outfits. Skirt too short or too tight? Shoes with floppy heels? No problem! Are you in the mood for mods? Let's see what can be done!

You have my husband to thank for today's Mood for Mods installment. Not only did he provide the dolls that participated in the experiment, he also insisted I deliver another post although I filled my self-imposed two-posts-per-month quota. I had this planned for some time and just needed some more pictures. Hubby walked in on me taking the above photo and exclaimed in surprise: "They stand by themselves!" Yes, yes they do, that's why we love Monster High dolls! These two, however, came with very unsupportive shoes out of the box. Today we'll learn how to fix gummy heels - it takes a minute of your time and makes a huge difference.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

New faces

I went to a second doll meeting last week. It happened before hubby bought me Twyla but I never got around to editing the pictures for this post so now it's a good opportunity to introduce all the new acquaintances at once :)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Treasure Hunt from Hubby

I had a most exciting evening today! This post will be short and not informative at all but it's very special for me. First of all, I need to say that I have the best husband in the world and nobody dare contradict me. I've often talked about his contributions to my collection; it should come as no surprise that he decided to spoil me again. But he did it in a completely unexpected and ingenious way...

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Another return from Strasbourg

I wasn't sure how to title this post. Yes, I travelled and yes, I'm back, but it's really about dolls. Dolls in trousers - what a rare sight! Hubby told me to bring home at least three dolls and such was my luck that all three were trousers-clad versions of characters from my wishlist. What were the odds?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Vacation doll wishlist

This post is scheduled to go live while I'm curled in a bus seat en route to Strasbourg :) I left hubby to take care of one feisty and one shy cat, and since he couldn't come with me, he gave me one assignment - buy dolls! I decided to write a list of dolls I'd like to find (now, ever). Judging by the assortment at toysrus.fr, I have very little hope of getting at least one of them, but there are several other stores without an online catalogue, so who knows...
All the following are official promo photos.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Inspiration is contagious

This week, my second Ghoulia was finally able to climb on the shelf after spending almost a year in drawers and bags, often in pieces or in an otherwise very sorry state. She was one of three dolls I bought nude with the intention of customising. I regret that purchase for many reasons. The lack of outfits didn't lower the prices enough to make it a good deal. Second, any outfit, no matter how lame at first, is better than nothing. At the rate I sew new clothes, my dolls have to stay in their original ones for a very long time. Lastly, I discovered that I enjoy factory clothes (and shoes!) a lot more than I thought I would, even if they don't fit my taste. Poor Scaris Ghoulia with ruined hair was deserted on an empty shelf to remind me of my mistake until one day I was able to fix it and I went looking for a dress to fit her newfound gorgeousness. Luckily, the solution was right here in my reading list. I'll leave the hair story for another day, but I'd like to talk about a little relay race I had with Barbielea that led to the creation of this dress :)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Froggy's summer contest +poppy tutorial

Hello! Many of you doll blog readers are probably familiar with My Froggy Stuff. She is now holding a summer giveaway that ends in a few hours. It was on very short notice (for me, at least) and very challenging but in the end I managed to create my entry. I'd like to share some thoughts about the experience along with a tutorial for the props I used - 70 doll-sized poppies.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Wrist surgery

I took some extra time to prepare this post because I wanted to turn it into a more global tutorial. I was just about ready when Blogger had this annoying glitch for a couple of days. What was up with that? It drove me crazy! I half prepared another post while saving this one for a time when people could actually see it, but now it's fixed, and I know I kept the suspense long enough. I'm happy to say I got to the bottom of the blackening issue, then made a new wrist replacement, and another one for a different (not broken) doll. I now present you a full tutorial for fixing broken wrists/elbows/knees on any doll that uses the kind of joint seen in the first picture. The beauty of it is that it uses common materials and can be adapted for any size and colour!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

28th World Doll Day

Today was the 28th World Doll Day, a holiday started by a doll enthusiast, Mildred Seeley, to celebrate our hobby. I found out about this not long ago thanks to Confessions of a Doll Collector's Daughter's post. She included Mildred's letter to her friends where she described how she wanted this day to be (go read it!). I'm happy that we get our own holiday, but I was caught very unprepared this year. I have nothing to give, not even words of wisdom a tutorial. The best I can do is raise awareness about the fact that yes, there is a day for us collectors. I'll shut up now and leave you with a bunch of more or less artistic (read: edited) photos of my doll shelves. Enjoy!

Friday, 13 June 2014

J-Doll upgrade, part 1: A look at the broken wrist

When you are trying to keep a blog, nothing goes according to the plan. I like to think of myself as a fairly organized person. Yes, I'm slow and overwhelmed with ideas, but generally, I make lists, never skip steps and my stuff has to be in the right place or I flip out on the person who moved it. I take pictures for the blog that I put in labeled and numbered folders, signifying the order in which I intend to write the corresponding posts. Yet there's always some event that disrupts the perfect queue and this is how my promised continuation of the hair care saga has been in drafts for months and also, how today's post came into existence.

One week ago one of the girls from the doll meeting messaged me with good and bad news. Her new J-doll came in the mail, but one wrist was smashed to pieces. She knew mine had a wrist problem as well and asked if I'd fixed it. I had to admit that no, I was reluctant to move it and break it any further. Unfortunately, things don't fix themselves if you do nothing about it. I bought a doll, not a statue. I decided I've had enough of that.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Managing super fine doll hair?

Hubby caught me snapping the photo above this evening in our kitchen and now he wouldn't let me go to sleep until I write my new article :) Luckily for my killer headache, it's going to be a short one. I want to share a little discovery I made while trying to fix Scaris Ghoulia's fried hair that will maybe get us closer to understanding how this hair fiber works.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Not alone

I've often lamented about how moch it sucks not to have anyone  around who shares my hobby, well guess what? Last Sunday I bagged two of my dollies and brought them to my first ever doll meet!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Story of a story

Oh, look at my "2 posts every month" schedule! Half a month went by and the things I'm working on right now are moving too slow to have any results worth showing. Bad me. To make up, I decided to write about old stuff I've had on my mind for a while. That long rocky road we stumble on before completing a project. I usually try to sound optimistic and upbeat when I put a tutorial together and that may give the impression that I have a magic ability to do everything right effortlessly. Well, that's not exactly how it works in real life...

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Mood for Mods: Snap it!

Mood for Mods (as in "modifications") deals with ways of fixing or restyling factory doll outfits. Skirt too short or too tight? Shoes with floppy heels? No problem! Are you in the mood for mods? Let's see what can be done!

The folder with today's photos has been gathering dust for a long time. It's among the first things I wanted to write about, but somehow it got overlooked. I kept thinking that Tanya would be very mad at me for sitting on my butt without being productive. Yesterday I dared to wear mascara again after her death; today I finished this. It's a post about fixing one of the most common problems with factory doll clothes - the hook-and-loop tape (velcro) closure. It's a useful and fairly easy modification. Below you'll see two ways to replace the tape with snaps.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

In Memoriam

Reginleif - OOAK by Tanya
This morning I woke up to find the most heartbreaking post on my Facebook - the one announcing the demise of an amazing friend and OOAK artist, Tanya Van Der Ploeg, also known as Valkyrie. She was a kind, positive and fearless lady who battled a crippling illness for years while never giving up on her passion and the community she brought together. She was much like the dolls she created - incarnations of legendary heroines and warrior goddesses. Words can't express the grief we all feel right now. I gathered a few pictures from her own website for a short eulogy. Let her art speak of her talent and dedication.
All the images are clickable to the source website, while it still exists.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Eggs galore!

You know what's funny?

I started this post almost a year ago and when I checked the calendar to schedule it I discovered that Orthodox and Catholic Easter fall on the same day! I think it's really neat because both sides can prepare at the same time :)

This being said, I don't endorse any religion. This holiday is simply an occasion for me to introduce you to the art of pysanky* - Easter eggs from Eastern Europe.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Yesterday was my first blogoversary. Yay, I guess? I don't have many accomplishments to be proud of. It's not bad, it's a great improvement over the B.B. (before Blogger) era, but I still have a lot of things to work on. I'm glad I decided to start this blog. It kept my scattered brain somehow under control. I can easily count everything I managed over the past year. This is exactly what I'll do in this post - celebrate my little victories and plan new conquests.

Monday, 24 March 2014

A royal trio

At the end of last year I won a mystery runner-up prize in Ashley's holiday giveaway. When it arrived on March 1st it turned out to be an "I love shoes" Cleo doll which is the third Cleo in my collection. On this occasion, I brought the other two for a little photoshoot.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Miniature violin

I know, I know, I was supposed to write about something else but I just received this tiny violin a couple of days ago and it's so neat! I was just going to squeeze a picture of it in the J-doll post then I decided to separate it and I'll explain why...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The J-doll quest

J-doll Lavalle

This is a special post. I'm not much of a reviewer - there are people who do a much better job than me (pretty much everyone in my followed blogs list). I like to buy dolls, swap their clothes and play with them. This time though, I'll make an exception and review a much expected doll that I got recently. I'll concentrate on aspects I found curious or interesting, rather than doing a review by the book. This is entirely new for me, so there are many words and pictures ahead. Oh, and the doll? It's J-601 "Lavalle".

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Presents from far away

This will be short. I've been down lately with a nasty cold so I haven't done anything useful. Earlier this year, we bought a doll on ebay, which a kind friend offered to bring home to me. She had been back for a week, but I couldn't go anywhere because of my cold. Finally on Friday evening, hubby managed to get me the doll, and then I received a call from Mum, who said there's a package for me from the USA.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tiny beaded snowflakes

Hi! I must be the only one not writing a Valentine post, but I don't care. The snow is melting and I want to post my doll-sized snowflakes before this winter is over. These snowflakes are very easy to bead, before you know you'll have made a lot! You can put jump rings through them and use as little charms for human jewellery, thread them to make garlands, glue on gift boxes... I invite you to take a look at the tutorial and decide what to do with all the resulting snowflakes later.

Monday, 3 February 2014

C.A. Cupid as a fairy + new doll

A Facebook fan group recently held a contest where they asked people to imagine a new school for C. A. Cupid, the character who transferred from Monster High to Ever After High, and draw her as a student of that school. Now that the deadline is over, I'll talk about how I drew my entry and then I'll show a doll I bought earlier that arrived in the mail this week.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


I hesitated a lot before writing this post. It has nothing to do with dolls or crafts, yet what is going on around me is so unusual, I finally decided to share. A combination of high humidity, near-freezing temperatures and unicorn magic coated everything in a thick layer of ice. It's not something you see every day so I gathered some pictures you can look at from the comfort of your home. Grab a hot chocolate and scroll down (there is also a bit of doll talk towards the end) ;)

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Two Summers

While I'm waiting for my birthday gift doll to arrive in the mail, hubby decided I deserve more and one day he brought home what he deemed the prettiest doll in the store - a Fashionista Summer. Since I have another one from a previous wave, I had a little fun comparing the two and soon all my other Fashionistas were drawn into this sort-of review.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Guest post: DIY Moleskine penholder

Hi there, I'm starting the new year with a guest post from my friend Olga. She's pretty much the only person in my area I can discuss crafts and curse suppliers with. We had a couple of jewellery making adventures together. She came up with the idea to start my blog posts with a picture. She used to have a blog, but it's now gone so I'll give you her Instagram if you'd like to know her better. Today she wants to share her tutorial for a penholder for Moleskine (or similar notebooks), let's see it in her own words!