At the mountaintop

This was supposed to be my last-day-of-winter post, but that didn’t work out. Oh well. Better late then never πŸ™‚

These photos, showing Elsa in her coronation dress, were taken during my trip to the mountains, now a week weeks ago. I can’t take credit for the dress or any props – these are works of the Disney Store – it’s just my photo tribute to Elsa’s iconic scene at the mountain.

During my stay, the weather was unreasonably warm for winter time. My last day there, there was finally a snowfall. It was still so warm that it rained at the lower level ski-lifts, and only actually snowed at the top of the mountain – and that’s where I hung out.

At one point the sky lost all its clarity…

I was taking the above photo, crouched down in the snow, when a fellow skier asked whether I had seen the Frozen 2 trailer. It’s encouraging to know that there are Disney fans everywhere πŸ˜€

I never went as far as to do a costume change and take a few photos in the iconic ice-queen dress, since I didn’t want to risk losing doll shoes and accessories in the snow in the process. I also really wanted the trees to look all frozen and frosty for that, but no such luck. This goes on my things-to-do-next-winter list πŸ™‚

I also did get totally soaked from sitting in the snow and from the slushy snowflakes. I went through two changes of hats, you could wring out water from my thick skiing gloves, and even the pack of tissues in my pocket was all soaked through! No dolls were harmed, though, as I covered her battery compartment with layers of tape in advance, and tucked her safe in the deepest parts of my backpack. I was actually quite happy to go back to the hotel and have some hot coffee that day πŸ˜‰

There are quite a few more projects I would have loved to complete this (past) winter, but with this one last touch of cold, I think I’m ready to move on πŸ™‚

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Gone skiing

About two weeks ago Elsa and I went skiing. It was freaky warm for a skiing trip! The snow was all but melted in the town below the foot of the mountains, holding on so-so at the slopes, and in a slightly better state only at the peak.

I love wintry landscapes, so it was a great treat to feast my eyes before the spring is here for good. I would have loved to see caps of snow on the trees, but Elsa refused to work her magic this time. She too deserves a holiday, I guess.

I am very much on board with the idea of Disney Princesses in modern, casual clothes. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I’m much less enthusiastic about sewing them. This time I decided to instead buy this custom winter jacket and leggings. The scarf is a loop cut out of a sock (and, frankly, so is the mock ‘sweater’ sticking from under the jacket ;))

The skiing equipment came from the Barbie Careers Advent Calendar (but it can also be purchased with the Made to Move Skier).

I painted in a few details (as seen above):

  • the silver buckles on the boots
  • the black handles
  • the teal baskets on the poles
  • the topmost snowflakes on the skis
Barbie ski equipment
The unpainted ski equipment from the Advent Calendar. There were also pink goggles, but I apparently forgot to include them in the photo πŸ˜‰

I did not use all of the included items on this trip, because they either didn’t fit the Disney Store doll, or because I had a different idea in mind. Just so people know, the jumpsuit was also extremely hard to get on Elsa’s rubbery legs (as in, I never succeeded, but then I wasn’t desperate).

I must say there is something heartwarming about putting Elsa in a setting where she looks like she is at peace, enjoying herself, in contrast to the turmoil we see in the film (which is an epic story, don’t get me wrong!). Judging by the recently released trailer for the second part, there may be more challenges to come… but not just yet, not here.

Just… chillin’.

Speaking of Frozen 2, I find this theory on what it may be about actually quite compelling… https://youtu.be/ryVdLROEkms I can’t wait to find out ^^

I really appreciate the doll and the few days I was able to spend in the mountains – and to put them together, it just makes sense πŸ™‚

See you in the next post πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚
  • 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

Mountain trip with Cerise Hood

Is it really almost spring? With the past two weeks having been freakishly cold (around -10Β°C/14ΒΊF) I barely noticed. It was also about two weeks ago that I made a short trip to the mountains that was indeed very wintery in character. I better get to reporting without any more delay πŸ™‚

Of course, this will involve a doll…

OK, so I am pretty passionate about dolls, but the trip wasn’t about doll photography exclusively. You see, I love winter, skiing and snow, but there is rarely an opportunity to enjoy any of the above in the city (even though we do have an artificial ski slope in the area, and even despite the cold, it’s not the same without natural snow). I was delighted when my family offered to take me along for a short skiing trip. Even though it only lasted two days, I still greatly enjoyed the rare chance to feast my eyes on snowy landscape.

The above photos were taken on the first day. This location was especially picturesque, and the weather was wonderful. Unfortunately, I did not bring Cerise on that day, and the next day we went to a different spot, and the weather was quite different. It wasn’t quite as magical, but I did my best to get the best out of it. To be fair, backdrop options are still plentiful for a doll so small in a world so big.

I made her coat just before leaving using the free coat pattern from BFashions, except I gave mine a hood and white trim. The idea for it was born thanks to the felt that it was to be made from – as soon as I saw it at the craft store, I imagined a doll sized, sheep-skin-inspired winter coat. And Cerise seemed to me like the right character to brave the cold and climb the mountains.

I attached the faux fur to the edge of the hood using fabric glue, but now I regret it. It made it stiff.Β  I chose to make a slit in the back to let her hair out. It’s an odd feature, but it works on this scale.

The day that the photos were taken, the doll was in my backpack all afternoon while I was skiing. I was worried about falling and breaking her (and the camera), so covered her in bubble wrap. Luckily, in the end, there weren’t any such dangerous moment at all πŸ™‚

These two are my favourite photos of the day:

I keep saying it, and I will say it again – I am not happy with the colour balance that comes out of my current Panasonic camera. I do try to adjust it in the camera and in GIMP, but it only makes things look even weirder. It’s especially stark in this post, compared to my old Fuji camera, as seen in the landscapes (although in this case the weather played a role as well). I don’t normally use the old one any more because it has far fewer options and its buttons have been used to death and barely respond, but I do miss the colours. I had another Fuji in-between the two, the infamous XF1. After two of it – the original purchase and the replacement – died to the same defectΒ (“lens control error”) year after year I decided to sulkily part ways with Fuji. I loved it otherwise.

If it wasn’t for the unexpected adventure, I wouldn’t have had a chance to take any photos out in the real snow, and it would be a real shame. Even so, I still have a brand new winter outfit for Animators’ dolls that I made that likely won’t see any use this year. I do love a proper, snowy winter, so I hope the next year will be more up to my standards, even in the city.

OK, now I better start thinking about something nice for Easter, spring and general sunshine.

Winter, Hats & Scarves

 

 

 

I am impatiently waiting for the day when I have so many doll clothes, handmade and otherwise, that I can effectively create new looks by only mixing and matching, no sewing required. But even though my collection hasn’t yet reached this point, I have been able to create a new winter look for Ashlynn Ella with minimal effort. Yay!

 

 

 

 

The only thing I had to craft were the winter cap and the scarf, and let me tell you that it was a piece of cake πŸ™‚ The cap is made following the brilliant idea from MyFroggyStuff . The scarf is of the infinity sort, and it is simply a ring of fabric cut off from the rest of that same sock. So easy and so fun!

 

 

I had made the coat for another photo shoot, starring Cerise Hood. The gloves come from a Draculaura (and are technically her hands… girls and borrowing stuff!) and the shoes are Poppy’s.

 

This last photo is my favourite, even though – it seems decent to mention – the snowflakes have been edited in in Gimp.

Ashlynn looks just as sweet in the snow as she does on a sunny beach ❀

A Red Berry in the Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I think it’s a little silly how often I mention the weather and the seasons in my posts, given that it’s a “doll blog”. But how could I not mention that we’ve had our first snow this winter? πŸ™‚ Outdoor doll photography has proven to be very closely tied to the weather conditions, and finally, weather has deliveredΒ  πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The snow only lasted three days, so, knowing the forecast, I prepared ahead by sewing a winter coat. I had initially planned to use the one from the last year, but it seemed too big! I did make it extra wide to fit a fluffy sweater underneath…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the new one, I used the pattern which originally came from ninnuskadesign.blogspot.fi. Unfortunately, the blog appears to have been closed. However, if you google ‘ninnuska’ and ‘animators’ you’ll still be able to find the pattern floating around the web. The one which says ‘takki’ is the coat/jacket in question. ‘Huppa’ means ‘hood’, and ‘hiha’ is the sleeve. The pattern does not have a seam allowance included.

You’ll find two versions of the sleeve – I used the straight one.

I also made the coat a little bit longer – perhaps about 1cm longer.

I found the hood to be a little tight – maybe that’s just me, but I feel like it wouldn’t hurt to add at least 0,5cm more space around the outline (and then the seam allowance on top of it).

Even though I decided to make slight adjustment, I think this is a great pattern, and I will likely come back to it in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outfit kind of makes the doll look like the Little Red Riding Hood, but that wasn’t intentional. Red is just such a cute colour for a little girl’s coat – even if she’s made out of plastic. It makes her look like red berries in the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found the gloves in a dollar store (Sort of. I don’t pay in dollars. I mean a cheap-Chinese-import-shop). They were keychains, but they fit surprisingly well. It’s definitely a good idea to check such places for doll accessory miracles.

 

I had already taken winter photos with Belle last year, so I was hoping to take along Rapunzel this time. Unfortunately, I found that the red really clashed with her complexion. I actually encounter this problem a lot with my Animators’ dolls. It’s best to check the fabric ahead against the doll’s skin vinyl.

I hope I will have another opportunity to put Rapunzel in the snow. Although… taking photos at their eye level means getting down on your knees, or lower, in the cold, cold snow and I’ve developed a very slight distaste for thatΒ  πŸ˜‰

If I do get out again, I sure will keep you postedΒ  πŸ™‚

Disney (Doll) on Ice

Unfortunately, I don’t have any tiny ice skates lying around, so no skating was involved.

Belle Animators Winter 008.jpg

Belle Animators Winter 005.jpg

As a French girl, Belle more than deserves a beret. I’d say it suits her, too.

Belle Animators Winter 006.jpg

The sweater was made from one of my favorite gloves, after I lost the other one. The bottom of the glove became the turtleneck. It actually did not have an opening in the back, so I had to pull it up through her hips. It was so hard to squeeze the arms in that I was afraid they might pop out, so at the end of the day I decided to simply cut her out of it. Rest in peace, favorite gloves/Norwegian doll sweater.

Belle Animators Winter 007

Depending on the outfit, sometimes I forget it’s a toddler doll, but in the photo above she definitely looks small and helpless.

DSCF7072bApparently there are beavers in the area.

Belle Animators Winter 010

The wool cap is the only item of clothing I did not make. It was made some 20 years ago by my aunt Marlena for my favorite teddy bear. I think she’d be pleased to know it is still used πŸ™‚

Belle Animators Winter 000

Belle Animators Winter 001

Belle Animators Winter 002

Belle Animators WinterUnfortunately, I did not notice that Belle’s collar is messed up in a lot of pictures, which is a shame especially that it also shows its imperfections – it’s the first collar I’ve ever sewn, plus it was improvised without a pattern.

I think that the reason I missed some details in the pictures is that I was quite distracted trying to avoid people. I greatly enjoy photographing dolls out in the real world, but it makes me feel very self-aware πŸ™‚