Ariel’s Vacay part 2: The beach

The adventures continue, this time taking us to the beach. This isn’t my first beach photo shoot with dolls, but how can you deny a mermaid a trip to the beach?

The swimsuit I used for the photos comes from a Barbie Dolphin Magic fashion pack, as do the glasses, with slight modifications.

The swimsuit is pretty simple and it lacks a little stretch that would make it fit the doll better, but I chose it because it corresponds so well with Ariel’s signature purple shell top! I also added a piece of a light, green-colored fabric as a cover-up to represent her tail.

In some shots, she managed to stand on her own. In all the other ones, I made her stand straight using a bamboo skewer for support. If you align them with her legs, they aren’t visible.

As far as the rest of the beach gear goes:

  • the deck chair is presumably a phone stand, I bought it in a Flying Tiger store
  • the sun cream also comes from aย  Mattel pack, except I cut off the handles that it had to help dolls hold it (realism first :))
  • the drink is a really cool DIY! You use a clear plastic sheet and heat to shape it. It is not exactly a kid-friendly craft, and not all tries end in a shapely glass, but it certainly works overall. Here are the directions that I found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2tIENwFC9A4 . I topped it off with a slice of citrus intended for nail art.

There is also the surfboard. I made it according to the pattern and instructions from MyFroggyStuff https://youtu.be/jVTBkfCG6rc I decorated mine with wrapping paper and chose to add the pink details. Unfortunately, I don’t think it would endure being actually in the water – how cool would that be? ๐Ÿ™‚ So, floating, waterproof doll surfboard for a future craft? I would also have to not drown my camera, though ๐Ÿ˜‰

This year I chose an apparently less frequented part of the beach, where there were no visible steps and the surface of the sand had not been disturbed after a storm. It turns out that there are these totally tiny shells in the sand before people walk all over them! I had visited this area a few times before but I had never seen shells so small – and they are perfect for dolls ๐Ÿ™‚ I did bring a few home for future crafts.

I wanted them to face the ‘right’ way in Ariel’s hands, but they were so hard to handle on a windy beach.

Can you imagine the size of the creatures that must have lived in them? ๐Ÿ™‚

This concludes this trip, but there is one more ahead – and it’s my favourite ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Sand in the Hair

Holidays have not been good for posting, but on the bright side, I come back bearing beach photos ๐Ÿ™‚

Just before leaving for holidays I received a package containing my most recent doll purchase: “Tangled: the Series” Rapunzel from the Disney Store. After a moment of deliberation, I decided she is the doll that should come along.

Rapunzel’s signature dress wasn’t very fitting for the beach, so I quickly put together a swimsuit. This doll is still very new and there aren’t any appropriate sewing patterns that I know of, so I had to make one from scratch. If I tidy it up, and make sure it can reliably make a fitting swimsuit every time, perhaps I can share it for others to enjoy.

I love tiny doll accessories, and I love it when you stumble upon them in unexpected places. The cute bucket and shovel in the next photo came with a children’s magazine about pets. It’s always worth keeping your eye on these.

Tangled the Series Rapunzel doll on the beach

The one above is my favorite photo of the set. It looks colorful and bright, almost tropical, and ‘Raps’ is looking as lovely as ever ๐Ÿ™‚

Supposedly taking photos at the beach is tricky, and I believe I have experienced it on that day. Even though it was cloudy, the photos had a tendency towards being overexposed and the sky was often all washed out. I like to use wide aperture with doll portraits (the blur is pretty and it hides the oversized details of the landscape), but it was making matters worse. I really am no expert in these things, but opting for a very low ISO and messing with the EV setting helped to tame the light.

I must admit I was a little worried about taking a new doll to a beach. It’s always a dilemma. On one hand, I want to keep my collection in perfect condition, on the other – only keeping it safe behind glass would mean I never get to enjoy the dolls the way I like. In the above photo, it’s hardly visible, but I put pieces of clear tape over her knee joints to keep the sand out. Surprisingly, it worked quite well. Her hair, however, wasn’t as lucky…

…but that’s nor really why I took that photo, eitherย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get the sand out yet. With any other doll, I would simply rinse it out, but I happen to really like the way her hair is gelled into an arch over her face and I don’t want it to dissolve. Coincidentally, that gel, too, seems to be great at trapping the grains of sandย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still, I guess it was worth it.

So, this is Rapunzel vacationing at the beach. The doll, and her original attire, certainly deserve a better introduction and a review, however, I am seriously disappointed with the photos I took for the review, so, until I re-take them, I decided to go ahead and share the ones I am happy to share. I can already say this much, though – I am definitely enjoying this dollย  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

One last summer memory

The weather has just turned very autumn-like today, making it all the more clear that summer is now in the realm of memories.

This is another summer memory that I share with Ashlynn Ella, who accompanied me to the seaside.

This doll bracelet works rather well, doesn’t it? It’s a jewelry piece from craft store, it is used to separate beads in necklaces. The braid-like ornament reminds me especially of Holly O’Hair,ย but it fits this model and outfit no less.

I sewed the dress especially for a summer occasion like this. It is based on an in-depth tutorial by Strawberry Butterscotch. I would definitely recommend it: it can be used to make a dress for any doll, but the author gives you pre-measured dimensions to fit Ever After High dolls, and thanks to a smart workaround, there is no need to hem the neckline. I made minor changes by adding a sweetheart finish to the top, adding straps and opting for a longer skirt. I used lightweight white cotton, and, overall, ended up with something I would gladly wear at the edge of the sea myself.

In the photo, the dress bunches up a little, because I needed to anchor the doll in the sand to keep her steady without using a stand.

This little bottle would have made a nice souvenir once the photo session was over, but, unfortunately, it must have been lost on the beach. I wonder if someone was thrilled to find it.

We will have to find other ways to remember.


In a lounge chair, or another childhood doll item re-used years later:

She really looks quite Royal, though in a rather different way than the usual fairy-tale sense.

And so, the sun sets over the summer days.

The above photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147182045@N05/30035751286/in/album-72157672722218701/

Ashlynn’s Beach Holiday

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Doesn’t everyone look forward to summer, the time when the weather is great, when you can take a break from everyday chores and… pack your dolls for holidays? I sure did, and months ahead.

I imagined I would be taking one of the Animators’ girls – they would be adorable posed in the sand, doing whatever toddler things toddlers do on the beach. Alas, my imaginations were confronted with reality – the reality of my suitcase which couldn’t possibly hold a 16 inch doll – not if I also wanted to take a sweater or two, anyway. And when you’re looking for the highest concentration of summer beauty per inch, Ashlynn Ella is the perfect pick. In the end, I wasn’t even disappointed with this sudden turn of events.

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Ashlynn Ella from the Mirror Beach line (with my polymer clay ice-cream)

All Ashlynn Ella dolls seem to share a few pleasant characteristics – a lovely golden complexion, green eyes and cute, natural-looking strawberry blond hair. And yet it was the Mirror Beach version that stole my heart. It all comes down to, I think, her perfect coral lips. I just love this lip colour, on her and overall (I’ve been trying to find a matching lipstick for myself, but nothing has measured up to my expectations yet).

Coral accents appear all throughout the doll’s outfit, brightening it up and holding it together. There is also a skirt, which must be made of pure magic, otherwise I don’t know why I’m so bedazzled with it. It’s light, translucent and oddly tutu-shaped for a beach cover-up, but something about its ballerina-like charm speaks irresistibly to a girl’s heart. Let’s not forget the equally magical filigree print.

I mentioned earlier that I was only able to find this doll second hand, and even so I considered myself lucky (they were long sold out everywhere). Not having much choice I had to settle for one without the sunglasses that came with the original set.

I gave her some other beach accessories instead, such as a beach towel and binoculars. The binoculars date back to my original toy collection from my childhood. They came with a confused mishmash of knock-off Barbie accessories which included an arbitrary number of shoes per type, hats, permanently closed umbrellas, golf clubs and other beauty necessities.

Also, it was my idea to braid her hair – I like her with her hair undone, but this is cute too, and makes way more sense to meย  ๐Ÿ™‚ We wouldn’t want to get seaweed in her perfect hair, would we now?

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The doll’s swimsuit is very pretty. I would definitely wear it, only perhaps without the frills on the straps. I also appreciate the fact that it is separate from the skirt and can be used as a top to mix and match with other doll clothes.

Photographing the doll at the beach was great fun, but it turns out that not even sand is quite to scale. The ripples in the sand look more like dunes in comparison to her, and at the wrong angle the landscape takes on the appearance of a doll desert. Which could be interesting, but that’s an idea for another time.

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At least the Baltic Sea was kind enough to produce a seashell small enough for Ahslynn to enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately, the Baltic doesn’t perform quite so well when it comes to the colour of the water. But I love it anywayย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Apart from the binoculars, golf clubs and such, I was also able to unearth an old Barbie photo camera. The shape was very nice, but it was one solid colour (you’ll never guess which colour ;)). My husband was nice enough to repaint it for me at 9pm the night before leaving for holidays. Because that’s when I remembered I didn’t want it (spoiler alert) pink ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sand everywhere…
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…and twice so, because I couldn’t make up my mind on the photos.

Somewhere at this point I was reminded that sand is the enemy of all cameras, toy ones and real ones alike. I briefly lost the tiny one altogether, but was able to miraculously find it by feeling in the sand in the spots I had visited. As for my real camera, I may have gotten a few grains of sand into the lens mechanism :S In the end I got it out without any permanent damage, but it was a scary moment.

…but since it was still on and open anyway, I proceeded to take these last few photos:

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Basking in the summer glow.

Even the doll has sand in her hair. And probably joints. But don’t worry, she was alright after rinsing a few times with tap water.

I enjoyed posing Ashlynn Ella at the beach – she does seem to belong there. As for the Disney dolls… maybe next year ๐Ÿ™‚