In the garden

In my attempts to tidy up the stuff on my PC I have found more unposted photos. These ones show a dress that I sewed for my Animators’ dolls quite a long time ago. I like to think it’s in Scandinavian style… but in all honesty, I have no idea if that’s even remotely correct 🙂

These photos were taken in my mother’s garden – Rapunzel traveled with me in a suitcase just so I could snap a few photos. I wish I had a garden of my own!

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It was strawberry season, too…

I guess that’s all – just a few pictures saved from being forgotten.

My summer vacation is approaching and I am still wondering which doll should come with me for photos. I’m dreaming of taking Willow from the Hairdorables, the trouble is, I don’t own one 😉 It’s fair to say it’s far from settled 🙂

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Rapunzel’s Lavender Nightgown

When I was buying my Disney Animator’s Rapunzel, the original one – dressed in a lavender nightgown – was no longer available. Nobody could know that a similar release would become available later… Nonetheless, one time I stumbled into the 2010 outfit and was overjoyed.

Now, that would have been about three years ago. Even though I did start taking photos right away, I ended up not liking them and unable to fix them. I had just bought a new camera and not only was I still learning to use it, to this day, it doesn’t handle indoor photos gracefully.

By now, at least my editing skills have improved… a little. I still think the colours are funny, but I’ve decided to give these photos a second chance.

This nightgown is indeed lovely – and movie accurate! I am not a huge fan of ball gowns on toddler dolls, but I imagine that these are the really iconic ones that appeal to many audiences – especially young fans.

Rapunzel got a a little teddy bear friend. It was a freebie that came with a package of tea. Random for sure, but just right for the dolls 🙂

I could never bring myself to retake these photos, because once you have already applied yourself to the subject, it doesn’t feel creative or exciting to go back to it anymore. I will be thrilled if the inspiration comes again and I can improve upon what I had done. Until then, here is a flashback to my 2016.

In more up-to-date news, I have been redecorating a Barbie dollhouse, but it sure taking time… I certainly would like to share more about it when it’s ready 🙂

My first Hairdorable

I don’t usually like mini dolls, especially ones that come in blind boxes, but recently Hairdorables really caught my attention. They are so cute!

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These are small dolls with brushable hair in all sorts of styles and colours.

They remind me of the little racer girls from Wreck-it Ralph…

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The packaging looks promising – adorable indeed:

 

When you open the box, it reveals small compartments that hide the surprises, and the center area makes a backdrop. There are a few different ones, but mine looks like a stand with treats at an amusement park.

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The first ‘surprise’ is a checklist:

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I went straight for series 2 because there are so many designs here that I am a huge fan of!

I would absolutely love to get either version of Noah…

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Rayne, preferably Festival Rayne…

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And especially Willow. Any Willow! But Fishtail Willow is my fave:

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‘Sea Willow’ is an extra rare, and the checklist does not reveal her appearance in detail. However, based on other collectors’ videos, she is a mermaid with very elaborate detail.

My least favourite ones are Bella and Neila. To me, Bella is kind of unexciting, and Neila is a little weird. Anything else I would be contented with…

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Before I find out who I got, let’s have a look at the accessories first:

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Hmm, I think I know who this is 🙂

Say hello to Dee Dee:

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This is Delightful Dee Dee, and she is a little baker. She is wearing a one-piece dress with an apron, a see-through cap, and the most adorable frou-frou socks and shoes.

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Her dress is sooo tiny. You think you know how tiny it is, it’s a small doll after all, but it hit me with extra force when I took it in my hand:

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It’s not hemmed, presumably because of its size. It’s understandable, but a shame nonetheless, because mine tore a little at the collar while dressing and undressing the doll, and I was being pretty gentle. It’s also wrinkled/bunched up at the upper half, and it’s almost certainly unintentional. I’m not too too bothered by that. The closure runs from the top all the way to the bottom on the back.

Dee Dee’s whisk is the one accessory that changes colour. Alas, it’s super hot, and I only have a single ice cube, so I only got it to change colour slightly. It’s supposed to turn pink everywhere below the handle.

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Dee Dee’s hair is two toned and curly, kind of like cotton candy. It is styled in two ponytails.

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She is articulated fairly well for such a small doll. Her arms and legs move to the front and back, to the sides, and rotate. Her head only moves to the sides, though.

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I really like the way her legs and feet are sculpted.

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Oh, yes, she also has a painted on pearly swimsuit underneath her clothes.

I’m fairly happy with what I got, Dee Dee is an adorable character. However, this outcome leaves longing for one of my top threes… This can be a trap, I know. Honestly, they were probably made to be a trap like that. Darn you, cute addictive toys…

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The price is an obstacle, these aren’t cheap at around 19-20 EUR/USD where I can get them. Are they worth it? I do think they are well made and that the designs are top notch. Therefore, it comes down to how much their style suits you – for me, the answer is a lot! I do think they are overpriced, but I like how they look so much that I might get one or two more… eventually.

Meanwhile, I will do my best to give Delightful Dee Dee proper appreciation, regardless of her not being a Willow or a Noah or a Rayne. They have something adorably Disney-esque about them, don’t they?

The Easter Bunny

Is the White Rabbit of Wonderland the same as the Easter Bunny? That would explain why the eggs are all made of chocolate – clearly the work of Wonderlandian hens.

In celebration of Easter, I naturally decided to incorporate Bunny Blanc in some festive photos. I dressed her all pretty and spring-like, in a dress I had sewn a while back.

Bunny’s signature top-hat seemed a little too uptight for the occasion, so I used her Archery Club headband instead , which I also repainted.

Before the repaint – what do you have against a little paint, Mattel?
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After the repaint – I think the band was supposed to be a laurel wreath (hard to tell), but it suits me more to pretend it’s fur. I think I lost some detail in the layers of paint, but I still like it more this way.

I didn’t want the watch showing on this occasion either, so I temporarily covered it with polymer clay flowers.

I adapted the directions from the video by My Froggy Stuff on how to make a hat and a beach bag to make my basket. The newest tutorial on how to actually weave one is pretty great too, but it wasn’t out yet when I was getting to work. Perhaps next year 🙂

As for the ‘eggs’… Off-brand Tic-Tacs in a variety of colours 🙂 Obviously, they don’t need to be off-brand, but these just happened to come in an assortment of colours straight from the packet.

Where did all the green ones go?? (No, I didn’t eat them!)

What you wouldn’t know from the pictures is that I had to do the “photo shoot” twice. On my first attempt, the sun went away just a few minutes after I left home :/ The whole morning until then it was perfectly sunny! I tried to take the photos anyway, but all the colours turned out weird. It was frustrating to have to re-take the photos, but the first experience did help me do better the second time around.

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One of the more acceptable photos from the first set. My husband said they were OK and to let it go, but the yellow tones really bugged me, and the rest of the photos were even worse.

All’s well that ends well. With a little extra effort, I managed to come up with something I am content to share in celebration of Easter.

To all those who also celebrate, Happy Easter! I hope it’s a joyful, sunny time 🙂

Perhaps the Easter Bunny will hop by your garden 🙂

Mulan in the gardens

Springtime continues, and so do opportunities for many pleasant walks in the nature ( I’d probably miss most of them, if I wasn’t motivated by my dolls).

Still in the botanical garden, I found a spot that suited Mulan quite well.

It was a peaceful day with very few people in the garden, which I certainly appreciated. The sun was gorgeous too, but sometimes a challenge as well – too much direct sunlight and the doll’s lashes cast very dramatic shadows. (This picture, I felt, was still OK, but many had to be discarded)

I really wanted a photo of Mulan looking up from her fan, but I couldn’t quite get it right. This is the next best thing I was able to achieve – not what I had in mind, but I kind of like it anyway 🙂

The ground was not only covered with petals, it was overgrown with moss –  nature kindly provided doll-sized ‘grass’ for me 🙂

I hadn’t been to the botanical garden for years prior to this spring, and I didn’t realise it even had a Torii gate, which made the setting even better! By the time I discovered it, my camera battery had already died, but agreed to start back on for a few more pictures, as if understanding the gravity of the situation 😉 I would have been inconsolable otherwise.

The sign said that this was a Japanese gate… but perhaps Mulan is travelling?

Having rediscovered the botanical gardens makes me want to come back again soon. Different sections had a different feel about them. On the other hand, some cityscapes would be a nice change, if only I can find the courage to take a doll to a place that public. I really want to, but it’s an internal battle 🙂

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re all enjoying spring and enjoying your dolls 🙂

Cherry & Other Blossoms

I have recently upgraded my Ruby Red Fashionista with a Made to Move body. When trees started blooming, I wanted her to be my model.

In all fairness, my original plan was to take photos of my new Mulan among the blossoms – and I did bring her as well –  but I wanted to reset the visual ‘taste buds’ before posting about her again.

The local botanical garden that I visited has a Japanese corner with three different species of cherry trees, all equally beautiful…

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With the Fashionista, I mostly stopped by the last tree.

I haven’t officially given her a name. The mold is usually called after the dolls Kayla or Lea. To me, she kind of looks like an Emily 🙂

I had not prepared a special outfit in advance, so I dressed the doll in a top and skirt from a fashion pack. I would have loved to make her a kimono of sorts, but I just couldn’t find the right fabric.

I was hesitant whether the pink accents in her clothes would go with her red lips. I decided that the red lip is her personal trademark and it just has to be so, regardless of the outfit 🙂

She is very lovely doll and it was great to finally let her be more expressive with an articulated body. I always wanted her, even when I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to re-body her, but the original, stiff Fashionista bodies do stifle creativity.

This one last tree in bloom is probably not a cherry, hence the title of the post 🙂 It had pink petals as well, but much more fine. That actually made them a better scale for the doll.

The beautiful show that nature has put on recently has really motivated me to go out and take photos, and I actually have some more waiting to be posted 🙂 Unfortunately, this will have to wait until I do a little tidying around the apartment – after all, with spring also comes… spring cleaning 🙂

Hasbro Royal Collection Deluxe Mulan

I gladly say that, in my opinion, Disney Store makes the best Disney Princess dolls there are. However, I have to say I have found an exception. I think Mulan dolls by Hasbro are better depictions of the character, and this one is the most elaborate of them all so far:

Now, if you already know you like this doll, you should know that at the time of posting this, the doll is on sale for 10,78 USD from 29,99 USD on Amazon.com (it is an Amazon Exclusive), so feel free to drop the reading and go buy her immediately :). If you’re not so sure, perhaps this review will help you decide whether she is worth adding to the collection. Oh, and perhaps I should mention I’m not paid to say any of that – I thought I’d share what I think is a cool find 🙂

My package traveled very far very fast, and unfortunately the box cracked in transit. That’s not a huge problem, since I was going to unbox her anyway. It is a very pretty box, though, that I think in-box collectors will appreciate:

I certainly appreciated the lovely images that looked very true to the animation.

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This is the first Hasbro doll in my collection. I must say that when it comes to the unboxing process, it was every bit as tedious as with other brands. Countless, countless tiny tabs, there is always at least one more hiding when you think you got them all. On the positive side, if you want her shipped to Mars, she won’t budge in her box.

At first glance, I’d say Mulan looks very sophisticated and overall gives an impression of nice quality.

She has a face that is reminiscent of the animated style of the film, finished off with ‘real’ eyelashes:

She is wearing removable earrings and a lovely crown with a lotus flower. The crown is attached with both a comb and some thread, for good measure. I am uncertain how well it will stay on with the thread removed.

Her hair is styled. Nothing extremely complicated, but just elaborate enough. She has some green tinsel in her black hair – this, I’m not a fan of…

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The hair is long, it reaches well beyond her hips. It is smooth and completely free from any styling product.

Her dress, a ‘hanfu’, I would (ignorantly) assume, is made of satin-like material, printed with flowers and some glitter accents. The blue and red middle section is permanently attached to the dress (unlike the sheer, light blue shawl, in other pictures – after you remove the one last hidden tab, that is).

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The sleeves are quite impressive:

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Her shoes are not quite as thrilling – they basically scream ‘playline!’:

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They are on an incline, but without a heel or a platform – it’s like she’s wearing flats and standing on the tips of her toes.

There is a two-toned fan that she can hold on her own. I think it’s a very nice accessory:

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Finally, the set includes a stand. Like the shoes, the stand looks kind of childish, but is nonetheless a welcome and practical addition. It’s going to be neccessary, given the shape of her shoe-soles.

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That concludes the list of accessories. Now onto her articulation! She has articulated elbows and wrists, which I believe is an upgrade over the classic Hasbro princesses. Unfortunately, the joints do not allow the arms to bend nowhere near a 90 degree angle:

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The knees do not bend at all, the legs are just solid plastic. The legs do go to the sides a bit, as above, and front and back, as seen below.

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The articulation is, therefore, mixed. Even an internal knee joint would have allowed the doll to sit on chairs with a semblance of grace; no such luck. The arms, although limited as to the angle of movement, do allow just enough poses to make photography options more varied.

Since Mulan is my only Hasbro doll, I was wondering what kind of clothes that I already have might fit her. Supergirl’s outfit (DC Superhero Girls) fits, but that’s not really a viable option:

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Original Barbie clothes sort of fit, with some room to spare:

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Now, Petite Barbie clothes fit really nicely!

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Barbie shoes are definitely too small, but some Ever After High / Monster High shoes can be squeezed on – if you don’t mind that she’s levitating a tad:

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EAH / MH clothes, however, are way too tight. So much so, there are no images available 🙂

Finally, let’s talk about the overall impressions.

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Unlike e.g. Disney Store Limited Edition dolls (but perhaps somewhat like their Special Edition releases), I feel like this Deluxe doll by Hasbro is intended for children, but perhaps as an extra special gift. This is of course no reason not to buy one for the collection! When it comes to her appearance, I don’t think she is lacking in any way at all. Her ‘compromise’ of an articulation gives away that she isn’t as top notch as she could possibly be, but it is her shoes and the overly sweet and childish-looking stand confirm in my mind that she was meant for a younger audience. And that’s fine – after all, adults shouldn’t have all of the Disney fun.

Is she then worth her price? She is beyond a doubt worth her discounted price. When it comes to the full price – close to 30 USD – I think she should have the full articulation to fully deserve it. That said, it won’t matter if she’ll make you happy with her striking looks alone, especially for those who decide to keep her in her lovely box.

Personally, I think she looks beautiful and have no regrets 🙂

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