The Summer Queen

Summer has been fun, perhaps a little too fun to commit to crafting and posting. But I would never miss a chance to take some doll photos at the seaside, and so I did put together a little outfit for Elsa…

As many times before, I followed directions from My Froggy Stuff to create the outfit. My doll romper is different in that I experimentally added a ruffle at the top.

I was very happy to find that the hat that I had made for my Ever After High dolls also fits Elsa very nicely:

As for the doll herself… I now own two Disney Store Elsas 😉 I bought this used one as a backup, because I really wanted one with her braid intact, and one with her hair undone. This one is also more articulated than the singing Elsa that I used for my winter photos here and here. Luckily, the used one was very affordable.

I think that despite her history as the snow queen, she belongs in the sun…

…only don’t get a sunburn, with that fair plastic of yours!

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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 🙂

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 🙂

Little Redhead in the Snow

Some of my friends have said to me that they are already looking forward to spring. But not me! Especially not now that we have finally been blessed with some snow ^^

As I mentioned in my previous post, it was already over a year ago that I prepared this winter outfit for little Merida. Unfortunately, last winter I stayed home for a whole month with pharyngitis and I missed all the nice snow that there was to be enjoyed that year. I’m happy to say that this winter I’ve stayed pretty healthy and I was ready to jump into action the moment it was white outside 🙂

The outfit was loosely inspired by Nordic winter clothes (I know this doesn’t really fit Merida’s origins as shown in the film, but she rocks it anyway)

  • I made the boots according to the awesome free pattern from https://iivenihmetykset.blogspot.com/2012/11/uggit-nelli-tahkapaalle.html (many thanks to the author for publishing it!), except I sewed the pieces in such a way that the seam allowance faces outwards. I think it makes them even more Ugg-like.
  • The ‘sweater’ is more of a sweater vest, and it was made from a sock. A sloppy, trial-and-error sewing job.
  • I actually knitted the scarf, that’s all I can do in the knitting department 🙂
  • I made the earmuffs similar to how MyFroggyStuff made hers, except I didn’t use pom poms. I used a circle of fluffy fabric and gathered it around the edges.

The rest of the clothes was recused from previous projects.

I was quite lucky to find the little sled in a home decor section. It is perhaps slightly on the small side, but not by much. Luckily, decorative sleds in different sizes seems to be popular these days. The furry seat was already there. I only added the rope to pull the sled.

This is my first post about an Animators’ doll in quite a long time. These dolls were the reason I decided to take up doll collecting again in adulthood, but at a certain moment did not inspire me the way they used to. Sometimes I’ve felt bad about it but, in the end, dolls supposed to be fun, you can’t force yourself to enjoy something. I believe you just have to let the excitement return to you naturally when it wants to.

…and sure enough, I had a blast with Merida that day 🙂

After that, there was coffee with cinnamon, and then another walk in the snow! (this time with a human companion)

I’m happy to say that my winter adventures may not be over yet, as I’m going skiing in a couple of days. Naturally, a doll will be coming along and I’ll be sure to share the photos 🙂

Snow in the city

I am afraid I am about to post about Snow White again…

Snow White in the snow

We don’t get much snow in my city, so every such occasion is celebrated. I did not have a lot of time that particular snowy day, but luckily the outfit was ready in advance, so I just slipped the doll in my bag and took a few photos on the way to a meeting. I had about 15 minutes altogether.

I was already aware at this point that Snow White has been getting all the attention lately, but the red cape suits her so well, I could not bear to go with any other character 🙂

There isn’t much to say beyond that, really, just a few photos to share. I did not use any particular pattern for the cape and beret, I just improvised. I suppose they could be used to make a pattern retrospectively, but I’ve never made one before.

 

Clearly, I’m still enjoying my MtM Snow White, but I’m now hoping to include some other dolls in the winter fun – time and weather permitting. I still have an Animator’s doll ready with a winter set of clothes and props since over a year ago, waiting for the right moment. Hopefully this year we make it 😉

At the Christmas Market

After being stuck at home with a cold for a few days, I finally grabbed Snow White and rushed outside.

I have been really hoping for some snow. I’m used to thinking that you can’t have true Christmas photos without snow, but with the weather having been all but snowy for the past few Christmases, I guess it’s time to review my perspective.

Luckily, the city has helped bring some jolly spirit to the streets by setting up a Christmas Market.

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I prepared some comfy winter clothes for Snow White (and eventually other Barbie sized dolls). She is wearing a sock sweater, which is not overtly Christmassy, but in keeping with the season’s colour scheme. I also made her leggings from old leggings of my own. Finally, for a fun touch, I made her mittens on a string with a design stitched to them (to the best of my ability).

The mittens are ‘real’, but not quite ‘functional’ – the opening turned out too small to put the doll’s hands in them. Nonetheless, I really do find comfort in knowing they are not utterly fake 🙂

I also realize they are to be worn inside the sleeve, but I liked how they look just hanging there 🙂

I really liked the wooden huts. They looked all wintery and festive with the lights and garlands, providing some lovely backgrounds.

It was quite windy….

Recently, I cleaned my baking supplies drawer and found snowflake sprinkles that have expired sometime in the last ice age. Since they still looked lovely, I thought they would make nice iced cookies for dolls! I wrapped them in plastic and voila! Tasty treats straight from the market:

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Apart from the wooden huts selling treats and handicrafts, there was an ice sculpture contest going on in the market square, however, what is the point of ice sculptures if I don’t have an Elsa doll? In all seriousness, I decided against going near because of massive crowds of people.

Overall, the Christmas Market was a lot of fun – even though I was too focused on the doll to actually buy anything. I am still hoping for a little bit of snow before all this is all over, and I hope to find the time for a little bit more Christmas themed doll crafts and photos. If you’re celebrating, I hope your preparations are going well and the spirit of the season is already in the air 🙂

Yasha, the 50-year-old doll

I don’t really enjoy sewing, it’s just a means to an end for me. I always imagined that if someone requested a substantial sewing favour from me, I’d try to politely explain this and decline. However, when a situation like that finally came up, it played out rather differently.

Recently, a friend asked whether I would make some clothes for her doll. She said that the doll’s name is Yasha, and that he got him as a gift from a boy who liked her when she was a teenager living in Russia – some 50 years ago. She explained that Yasha came with an outfit, of course, but he was played with a lot over the years, also by her children, and the clothes were lost in the process. She said she made him a makeshift covering, as seen below.

I’ll be honest: this is not my favourite type of doll. There may be some actual style and design to it that I’m overlooking, but all I see is a doll like the ones that I used to see when I was a child, that already seemed out of date and kind of strange back then – I can’t undo the conditioning of these years. Also, I was disappointed to find out the doll was a boy – I would have liked to make a cute dress 😉 But all my personal preferences aside, I was honoured to be entrusted with such a precious keepsake, and I said yes 🙂

When I first got Yasha to work with, he was kind of… dirty. I don’t mind, and I’m assuming he stayed this way simply because we get used to things gradually collecting dust and such, and stop noticing it. I knew where to look for doll cleaning tips, but I was hesitant whether it would be a welcome intervention or not. In the end, I decided to only gently clean him with a damp magic eraser, no detergent, no submerging in water. (Spoiler: my friend did notice and did not seem to mind).

The difference isn’t too clear in the photos, but still…

Before cleaning:

After cleaning:

Yasha looks like a toddler doll to me, but since I wasn’t sure, I wanted to go with something versatile age-wise. I decided on a fairly classic-but-cute outfit: overalls, a top, and a bandana.

I made the overalls according to the tutorial by MyFroggyStuff (it is my go-to for overalls for all sorts of dolls). I made one alteration, though. Instead of folding and hemming the bib, I added lining. I find it both easier to make and better looking.

The top is as simple as it gets, a white cotton tee. I really thought that it would look best this way – simple and classic. I also find that white is a good colour choice for dolls because it doesn’t clash with reddish vinyl tones, as many other colours tend to do. I used an Animator’s pattern and it was almost spot on, I just had to make the shoulder seam narrower.

Probably because of my relative inexperience, this already took me a couple of hours, but I still wanted to send Yasha home wearing shoes. I went with the simplest shoes that weren’t ugg-looking (I do like Uggs on dolls, but not necessarily worn with shorts…). I roughly followed a set of instructions I found on Pinterest. Unforunately, I don’t know who the original poster was. Nonetheless, the link to the image is here.

I also glued my shoes to craft-foam soles.

Honestly, mine did not turn out perfect… On one hand, I had considered making the shoes going the extra mile, but now that they were done, I mostly felt guilty for making them kind of wonky – unintentionally. I didn’t have the time to re-make them, so I settled for this pair. In the end they turned out a big hit! 😀 Both the doll’s owner and other friends present at the meeting (to which I brought the doll to return it) seemed to genuinely like them. I’m both glad and relieved, and still a bit embarrassed. There was hot glue showing here and there, and they are kind of uneven…

I topped everything off with a bandana – a simple hemmed triangle of fabric. Here is the final result:

I’m happy to report that my friend seemed happy with Yasha’s new outfit 🙂 Complementing the handiwork is the customary reaction to a gift or a favour, but beyond the words, it was the way she kept glancing at the doll throughout the evening made me believe she really meant it 🙂 If so, I truly am glad. It’s wonderful to think that my craft played a part in a long story of a cherished doll and brought more enjoyment to it.