Isi Dawndancer: October Colours

It all started with a sock. While shopping, I noticed a pair of socks with a pattern that was just the right kind and scale for a sock sweater for a doll. Then I though both the colours and the style were very reminiscent of Isi Dawndancer. From there, all other things just fell into place…

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To make the sweater, I followed the tutorial in this video. I also wanted a warm, cozy accessory of some sort, but not a scarf – that would cover the sweater – so I went with a simple sock cap (socks are definitely the heroes of this post ;)). It needed holes for Isi’s ears. I chose to finish them off with needle and thread, but that wasn’t even essential. It’s kind of hobo-ish in the back, but very cute on her πŸ˜‰

I added signature Cerise Hood’s boots and a faux leather bag that I made in the past. I really like these two accessories and use them a lot.

Even though I like to keep things simple, I felt like this outfit could use some jewellery, something in keeping with this doll’s unique style. At first, my thoughts went to jewellery bits and pendants from the craft store, but then, I had an epiphany! Warhammer bits πŸ˜€

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These leftover pieces from Warhammer minis – kindly supplied by my husband – look more appropriate for core Monster High characters, with all the skulls, skeletons and skull-encrusted shields, but I also noticed a wide assortment of arrows. That’s more like Isi…

I picked these two:

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I cut, glued and painted them. I went with gold, to indicate that it was indeed jewellery,Β  and turquoise, because it suits Isi (and because I’m not too too adventurous with combining colours).

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Later in the process I changed the arrow pendant (on the left) slightly to have the turquoise ‘straps’ hang downwards. I put it on a piece of brown thread.

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The other piece went straight into the doll’s pre-made earring hole and stayed there no problem. While I’m very happy with the earring, I can’t help but seeing the pendant piece as a bullet, and it’s not at all what I intended >.< Nonetheless, the accessories were meant to add detail to the outfit, and they did.

Autumn is so delightful right now. Without it, the photos would have not been the same. The golden leaves contrast with Isi’s hair so nicely. Even beyond dolls and photos, all the sunshine fills me with optimism. What you cannot see is that it’s also incredibly warm for this time of the year. I dressed the doll in a sweater, but I myself was comfortable in a t-shirt.

I took many more photos than I ended up using. In fact, I probably could have been even more selective – less really is more, at some point all the pictures become all too similar to one another – but it’s so hard to decide what to let go of. As a last stretch, I decided to include the green hut because I like its colour against the doll. The hut belongs to the local fishing club, but I don’t know what purpose it serves. It would make the world’s smallest headquarters, if that’s what it is.

I’m grateful for the lovely sights that became the backgrounds for these photos. I am sure they won’t last long. I have not ceased to be amazed at how awesome this dolls is, too – one of my favorites for sure. I am also happy to have stumbled upon the right pair of socks at the right time. And guess what – I bought two pairs, so when I wear them, Isi and I have matching outfits πŸ˜‰ Sort of, anyway πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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Pumpkin Time

Isi Dawndancer holding a pumpkin

I’m really loving autumn this year! It’s been so bright and colourful, it just fills me with a sense of gratitude. And even though Halloween isn’t big around these parts, I love pumpkin decor. Not even necessarily carved pumpkins, plain ones will do. It was only natural to let this become craft inspiration.

I made a bunch of doll-sized pumpkins according to the instructions in this video from MyFroggyStuff. I did make a few minor changes, though:

  • I made the cornstarch dough on the stove instead of using the microwave
  • I let them air dry – it took about two days…
  • I used satin spray varnish – I do think satin finish is more reminiscent of natural pumpkin skin
  • instead of sticks, I used apple stems – not only did I have them on hand, I like their rough look. I ‘extracted’ them before I ate the apples – if you just pinch them at the base and keep twisting in one direction, they come apart.

I really like these little pumpkins just as little decorations, but obviously I didn’t stop there.

The decision to include Isi Dawndancer in these photos was colour based, I just think her hair and her top work well with the scene.

Speaking of the scene, I had been hoping to have a nice outdoor photo-shoot, but I couldn’t think of the right spot – really short grass would have been a must (in my mind) and I wasn’t in the mood for checking parks around the city for grass length πŸ™‚ I settled for an IKEA Spexa background.

If you’re not familiar, it’s a a folding doll house – or rather the walls of a doll house. It can be a little shiny in the photos, and it never seems tall enough, but it’s overall a great option, considering how quick, affordable and accessible it is. Two of its panels show the outside of the house, and it’s a beautiful, dark-red and white, traditional Swedish house front. Wow, that’s a mouthful.

The fence is my own creation made of popsicle sticks. Unfortunately, I did not eat all these popsicles myself. The sticks were bough in a craft store 😦

Indoor doll photos certainly have a different feel to them. They look less natural, but you do have a lot of control in creating a more detailed and fun mini-verse. What I ended up is a little different from what I originally intended, but it’s not always a bad thing. The background brought in a lot of colour which is reminiscent of the season’s abundance (to me).

I am hoping you (and your dolls) are having a lovely autumn as well πŸ™‚

P.S. I did carve a real pumpkin this year, which I sort of made into a doll house as well. Unfortunately, it grew mould before I managed to find the right toy to pose with it πŸ˜› I made a tiny mouse hole door in it, too.

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This is *before* the mould situation πŸ™‚

If you’re in a Halloween mood, how about checking out my last year’s photos with Bunny Blanc as a witch? πŸ™‚

 

Holly’s Journey

Today I have a couple of photos I took this very morning. There will be trains, tracks, a suitcase, and the beautiful Holly O’Hair from Ever after High.

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The idea for these photos started with this little tin suitcase. I found it in a variety shop – anything doll sized is a great find! There were many designs, but this one in particular looked kind of realistic. Its colours reminded me of Holly.

I for one did not have to travel far to find the right spot for the photos. I live so close to railway tracks that I hear train sounds at home – but don’t worry, you do get used to it πŸ™‚ I have passed the bridge over the tracks countless time and knew exactly where to head for a nice railway-themed autumn view. I was only a little embarrassed as people passed me by…

I must admit I was a little tense letting her stand free on the railing so far above the ground, but thankfully, no dolls were harmed today.

I originally made this dress for Cerise last year,Β but I think it suits Holly very well too. I did have trouble finding the right shoes – all these richly embellished EAH shoes may look stunning with their original outfits, but paired with something more realistic they look over the top. I settled for Apple White’s basic shoes, but I do wish I had something a little simpler.

Thankfully, a misty autumn morning turned out to complete the picture rather well. Full-on sunlight tends to tint doll complexion garish orange, but I managed to avoid it.

Isn’t Holly absolutely stunning? I have had the O’Hair twins for nearly a year, but by some terrible neglect, I have only had them in one Christmas photo shoot before today.

This is in the nearby train station. As always, trying to make the doll look to scale is a little tricky. I lifted her up by standing her on a bench, but having nothing to lean on, she needed a stand. Luckily, Holly has more than enough hair to hide its clamps πŸ™‚

I kind of like this next photo, because it’s something different. The only downside is that people sleeping on benches in train stations is not usually a positive picture… She is a princess, though, maybe she can pull this off.

I’ll be the first to admit the colours here are perhaps a bit odd:

I was going for a ‘vintage’ and ‘filter’ look, but its definitely an arbitrary mixture of tints πŸ™‚ I may have to wash her hair, too. It was sweeping the train station all morning… I like to keep myself and my belongings clean and hygienic, but sometimes you need to get a little dirty to get things done.

Enjoying a little snack πŸ™‚

I did not plan ahead to try to capture an actual train, in fact, had I known the schedule, I would have probably tried to avoid any departures and presence of people they tend to attract. In the end, I managed to keep up my work despite two pairs of travellers’ eyes in the vicinity, watching, and was rewarded with the appearance of the train that they were waiting for.

Taking photos of dolls in the public always makes me a little tense, but I endured. And I am glad I did – I must say I am happy with the photos. I hope I will be able to take advantage of this beautiful autumn weather again before the world turns into Novermber’s muddy greyness.

A Little Yellow Coat

With the arrival of autumn, I developed a taste for warm colours. Combined with the desire to sew something that would complement Cerise Hood’s beauty, a whole set of tiny autumn clothes was brought into being. That, of course, was a few weeks ago, but it has taken this long for my colds to subside and for the weather to stop being wet, muddy, grey and altogether uncooperative.

The coat is based on a fantastic pattern by BFashions – apparently a fellow Polish doll sewist and collector! The blog is in Polish, but the pattern itself is annotated in English and the instructions are well illustrated, so I’m confident that anyone can follow it. It’s easily good enough to be sold on Etsy or so, but the author is kind enough to be sharing it for free – that’s really something to be grateful forΒ  πŸ™‚

I have strayed slightly from the original. I used felt and instead of properly hemming anything, I only added a purely decorative stitch at the edges – I find that felt doesn’t really fray.

The dress was also sewn especially for Cerise and intended to go with the coat. If you were to hold it in your hand you would know that it has some shortcomings, but I am satisfied with this creation. I believe that it fits Cerise in colour and style – it accentuates her charm by being girly yet simple and earthy. I really wanted something like this for her.

Given the season, I gave Cerise a scarf. This one – just like the real ones, coincidentally – is nothing but a square of hemmed fabric.The only difference being that this one wasn’t as shamelessly overpriced for what it is.

I had a lot of fun making the bag. It’s based on a free tutorial from http://www.howtoinstructions.org/how-to-make-bag-for-doll-step-by-step-diy-tutorial-instructions/ I had to shrink the pattern to make it the perfect size for EAH. I think I used 70% or 80% of the original size, but unfortunately I don’t really remember. I also skipped the lining. The bag opens and closesΒ  πŸ™‚

Finally, the bench is also my creation (but again, not my idea when it comes to the crafting procedure). When you’re taking photos of dolls, almost everything is out of scale, even the blades of grass. It helps to have a prop – like this bench – to reinforce the illusion that the doll is in a world of her own size.

If you’d like a doll bench of your own, grab some popsicle sticks and follow this great tutorial on YouTube. However, my bench is double the width of that in the video – if you’d like yours to be wider as well, you’ll need to glue together two sticks (trimmed on one side to remove the rounded end) for each plank.

Going to the park in December I wasn’t expecting dried leaves and grass, but I guess I shouldn’t be thinking about this too hard and just be glad that nature let me catch up on autumn themed photos. Hopefully there will yet be time for winter sessions too.

Finally, my favourite photo from the set:

See you in winter themed postsΒ  πŸ™‚

 

 

Golden leaves, Cerise Hood

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I am pleased to introduce Cerise Hood, my third Ever After High doll, in our first photo session together πŸ™‚

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One day, when I was just beginning to discover the Ever After High brand, I was browsing through online auctions, only to see a Cerise Hood doll for the first time. At that point I didn’t understandΒ  who would want a Little Red Riding Hood junior, when you could instead have one of the glamorous daughters of the famous princesses? But that was before I discovered the webisodes πŸ™‚ (be forewarned, the intro plays straight awayΒ  :))

I immediately liked Cerise’s personality in the series, and the desire to own the doll soon followed.

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Cerise Hood is of course the daughter of the Little Red Riding Hood. The Little Red Riding Hood and who else, you might ask? In fact, you should ask, or better still, find out in the webisodes πŸ™‚

Even despite the outward resemblance to her fairtytale predecessor, it is unlikely that Cerise’s story will mirror that of her mother, given that she counts herself among the Rebels. Not even the webisodes paint a clear picture of where she is headed. And that’s surprisingly intriguing.

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Being a Rebel means you get to take a bite of grandma’s lunch πŸ™‚

(I simply must mention that this mossy stump was fantastic πŸ™‚ I’ve noticed that some people make themed beds for their EAH dolls, however, nature has taken care of this one for me.)

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In Mattel’s own words: “Cloaked in mystery”

When I say that it was Cerise’s show personality that enticed me to buy the doll, it is by no means an indirect way of saying that Cerise is lacking visually. She is, however, a little different from other more ‘princessy’ characters, and perhaps does require a second, closer look. Her colour scheme – unique to her and preserved throughout different releases – is not one I’m used to seeing in play dolls.

In the series, miss Hood is swift and agile, has a talent for sports, and she seems to feel at home in the woods – often in solitude. But she is sweet too. I feel like a lot of this is well reflected in the doll, which to me makes it worth having over ones I used to think more attractive. Her voice in the show is also adorable, but the doll has so far refused to speak πŸ™‚

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Cerise making her way through the thorns and branches. All in a day’s work for a Little Red Riding Hood.

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I can’t think of a doll more fitting for this autumn landscape πŸ™‚
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Yes, it’s my third ‘aerial’ shot of a doll on this blog. It would appear I’m partial to these.

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The above photo is a variation of the one opening this post. I like them both because I feel like they capture Cerise’s character – mysterious and, in all the relative simplicity of her outward appearance – somehow alluring.

There is also a little inspiration story behind these two photos. One day I was walking through my city and I saw something that looked like a professional photo session in progress. The person being photographed was a young man in a hoodie, sitting on the stairs outside a building, his head bowed down, arms rested on his knees. This image stuck in my mind and became my inspiration for when I got to photograph my own little hooded model soon after.

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Many of these photos are very contrasty, especially compared to the previous ones with Ashlynn. My reasonable side makes me wonder if not excessively so, but at the same time something about the colours excites me.

The autumn forest is a beautiful photo set, but I also brought my own tiny leaves to make sure that Cerise looks like a Little Red Riding Hood and not one of the seven dwarfs in comparison to her surroundings. I made them from painted tissue paper using a leaf-shaped punch. I have long wanted to have one, and have finally found it, just in time!

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This unintentionally looks like “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” πŸ™‚

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Once again I couldn’t decide between two versions of a photo. I definitely prefer the lighting in the one above, but the second one seems to have a better composition?

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The signature Cerise Hood is a very intriguing doll, and much remains to be said about it, its clothes and accessories, and, when time is right, I will. An unexpected sunny day in the midst of deep grey autumn lured me out of my home with Cerise in my hand, but my focus was to enjoy the light, the landscape and the doll’s charm, more so than to gather proper review material. I intend to put together a separate in-depth review which will show the doll from a more ‘technical’ side – strengths, flaws and details.

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I’m hoping there will be more sunny days this October, and if not… at least we have our dolls to cheer us up πŸ™‚