Random round-up

Theres a few things recently that dont really warrant their own post, but at the same time, i quite fancy putting up. Firstly, i want to share two more usueful finds from poundland. These socks are fantastic for doll clothes

2015/01/img_1970.jpg

Ive already used some of them to make clothes for Emily, and theres plenty left for my smallr dolls too. The lacy socks, I actually got four pairs for £1, which is excellent, because they’re knee highs, so theres a lot of material in them for that money. I also found these little draw units

2015/01/img_1971.jpg

I think the size is about right for dolls. The scale is a little off for Barbie-size dolls….

2015/01/img_1972.jpg

But they’d be fine for dolls any larger than that, and i think that for Barbies you could incorporate them into a piece of furniture. For instance, about three in a row with bedding on top would be perfect for a bed with storage underneath.
Speaking of furniture, I finished a sofa. Its straight from a froggy stuff tutorial, so Im not bothering with photos of the process

2015/01/img_1978.jpg

I think I might have got a but carried away. I was aiming for it to be a big sofa, so it could be in the family rooms of even my largest doll families without a problem, but I was sort of envisioning about a four-seater. That is a lot more than four. It works for dolls on a bigger scale though, which is nice

2015/01/img_1979.jpg

Here are my Jolinas taking advantage of it in a rehearsal break

2015/01/img_1980.jpg

Its only a little bit small for Emily, and its so long that she could sleep on it.

2015/01/img_1981.jpg

Which will come in handy until I get around to making her a bed, at least. Like her pjs? More designafriend offerings. I went down to smyths with the intention of buying her something from our generation, maybe the sleepover set, and a new outfit, but I think Ive gone off them. The outfits arent completely enclosed in plastic so you can feel them, and the fabric felt like much poorer quality than Id expected. Ive not encountered anyone mentioning that in a review, but for twice the price of the superior quality designafriends, Im not going to bother. Theres a lot more range, so Ill keep an open mind to them, but Im quite put off. Still drooling over the camper van though.
Ive found one mention of the Emma Loves doll, on toyboxphilosophers blog, where she did manage to find out the company name, but she describes the doll as being 14″, and didnt buy it. Emily is definitely bigger than 14″! But if you want some better quality photos of her, and to see her in box, the post is I believe called toy box tourist. I would put a link to it, but I honestly dont know how. My relationship with technology is a bit of a rocky one.
In TKMaxx the ither day I saw a completely new LaDeeDa doll, which seems a bit odd. Im pretty sure that line is dead and gone now, so they shouldnt be bringing out new stuff. Its a make clothes for Dee type set, which I nearly bought, but I didnt need it at all. Wish Id taken a photo, but i had no camera. I am curious about that one though

Introducing Emily

I mentioned a bit ago that I now have an 18″ doll, and today is her formal introduction. I put up a couple of photos of how she arrived, but shes since then got the beginnings of a new wardrobe, and a repainted face. I didnt much like her eyebrows, I dont like the thin ones, and I thought her eyelashes were too long. So heres a reminder of how she was:

2015/01/img_19051.jpg

And here is her beautiful face now:

2015/01/img_1956.jpg

Its quite a subtle difference, but I like it a lot more now.
But first of all, the specifics of the doll. Its hard to give much information about her. I bought her in TK Maxx, she was the only one, and Ive seen one doll from this line in Smyths as well. The line seems to be called Emma Loves, as the dolls all seem to be called Emma Loves (insert theme). So mine is Emma Loves Winter, which is why she’s all kitted out in her coat and hat. I have managed to find a few other examples online, Emma Loves Pets, Princesses, stuff like that. But its been hard to find out much more about her. I cant find her on the websites of either of the shops that I know sell her, and. I cant find any reviews of her. Ive only found much information about her on websites that I cant read, as they are all in what I think is italian, so Im assuming she is also italian. I dont know the company name, because while Im guessing it might be in her description somewhere, I dont know which word. If Id known she was going to be this complicated Id have saved her packaging longer, but I threw it away before Id found out how elusive she seems to be. But she definitely is available on amazons italian site, if anyone is interested. Also, if anyone reads this and knows more about her and the line, Id love to hear from you.
As far as 18″ dolls go, Id say she’s somewhere down the scale in terms of price, and possibly also quality? I dont really know as I dont have anyone to compare, but you do often get what you pay for. Her hair is soft and nice, and rooted reasonably thickly though. It has an odd hair cut, which I was thinking of altering, but when I put it in a ponytail all the wierd layers hang perfectly, so Ill probably keep it.
Her eyes are inset glass-like, with the aforementioned ridiculously long eyelashes. Seriously, they were pretty much touching her eyebrows! They dont shut when she lies down like some do, which I like actually, but I suppose it might be a drawback to some.
Her body is all plastic, no cloth

2015/01/img_1958.jpg

And the shape is different to what I expected. It looks a little mature for an 18″ play doll like this, those usually seem to be made with the idea of being similar to the child who will play with them. I could tell she was kinda thin in-box but it wasnt until I got her out and undressed that I realised she kinda has a waist and chest. Not much , but more than I expected. I dont think it’ll cause problems with clothes fit though, because being so thin overall, the bigger bits of her wont be a problem. She has the usual jointing at shoulders, hips and neck, nothing exciting there. And shes well on her way to having an exciting wardrobe, too.

2015/01/img_1957.jpg

This is an outfit I bought her from Argos, in a line called DesignaFriend. Its a little loose, but, I may have mentioned, I quite like loose clothes on my dolls. And it means the shoes are large enough to accomodate the tights I made her. Here are the two pairs together, so you can see the difference a bit

2015/01/img_1962.jpg

Its not massive, but they do fall off. But thats ok, the white ones are a very close fit, getting them over anything but bare feet would be a struggle. Originally it looked in the packaging like she had furry boots, but they were actually covers over these plain white flats. Its pretty useful, because even though furry boots are cool, white flats go with a bit more stuff.

2015/01/img_1961.jpg

In this photo you can kinda see how they’re still not a perfect fit, even with her tights. She’s also wearing the playsuit from the DesignaFriend set, so you can see it without the jacket on top, and the tights are made out of a sock (if you wanna know how to do that, watch myfroggystuffs justice inspired leggings video).
And can I just say, i was super surprised by the DesignaFriend line, because I literally had no idea it existed, and its pretty good! It might be because a lot of the blogs I read, and youtube channels I watch, are done by americans, so they dont have this line. America certainly has a bunch of stuff we dont here. I found DesignaFriend by actually searching the argos website, because I knew I was going to be near one and I thought it was worth checking. Now that I know about it, Ive tried looking for it by name, and have found a few reviews and stuff, but most of it is done by quite young girls, there doesnt seem to be the adult collectors perspective much out there.
Actually, some of those girls sounded american, so maybe my theory is wrong. As before, if anyone knows, tell me :).
I also made her a skirt and jumper-tee shirt thing:

2015/01/img_1959.jpg

Both also from socks. Thank you so much for that idea froggy, its been a real game changer! The jumper is from lacey textured girls school socks, which i can think of loads of things to do with. Also, the bag she’s holding is actually a leaflet showing a bunch of the DesignaFriends products that came with the outfit, which is pretty cute.
And heres one last photo of her, demonstrating the benefit of a loose jacket

2015/01/img_1960.jpg

It sits really nicely draped over her shoulders, and I think if it was a prefectly tailored fit it probably wouldnt sit as well.
This is the end of the bit about Emily (in my head her name just morphed from Emma to Emily over the last few days, so now shes Emily)

Im going to put up a bunch of picture of the contents of the DesignaFriends leaflet, just in case anyone wants a bit of an overview of what they offer. Its not on an our generation level, but its a ton cheaper 🙂
The six main girls;

2015/01/img_1963.jpg

The ‘little sister’ and boy dolls. Hes a bit taller, they’re a bit shorter

2015/01/img_1964.jpg

Outfits

2015/01/img_1966.jpg

2015/01/img_1967.jpg

Accessories packs

2015/01/img_1969.jpg

2015/01/img_1968.jpg

Amd furniturey-type stuff

2015/01/img_1965.jpg

Its all really blurry, sorry, but there it is. I like the idea of a boy doll and little sister dolls, but why on earth do they only have one generically non-white doll, but like three blondes? Not everyone is blonde! I mean, Emily is, but she only came blonde
Bye for now

Poundland find

I just wanted to make a quick post about these

2015/01/img_1951.jpg
All this furniture was for sale in poundland today, and I think it was a really good find. Each piece of furniture came on its own, except the chairs which were a two pack, and Im very impressed by the quality. Its all wood, Im guessing sprayed white, not very thoroughly but thats no big deal. It has some lovely details, like under the table

2015/01/img_1952.jpg
The way the two drawer sets havent got the exact same feet

2015/01/img_1954.jpg
And just the chairs, overall, are very detailed

2015/01/img_1953.jpg
It looks like a pretty basic set, but thats a lot of detail for such small furniture, its probably about the right size for sylvanian families, or barbies sister chelsea. And its wood, not flimsy moulded plastic, its a normal colour, not bright pink, and overall, except for the finish its something Id expect to see in a miniaturists shop, not poundworld. This is one iccasion where I dont think I could have made them any cheaper on my own, since Id have needed to buy wood, and tools, and actually Im not sure how Id have done the curved bits. Well worth it!

How its made- Circular armchair

I made an armchair for my dolls

2015/01/img_1950.jpg
Im going to kind of explain how i made it. This isnt meant to be a tutorial, if you’re wanting step by step instructions then a lot of peope have made those who are much better than me. I reccommend MyFroggyStuff, on blogspot or youtube, and if you just search for tutorials you can find loads. Im just showing its construction as an idea share. Ive executed it quite poorly I think, compared to how I think it could be done, but. I think a more skilled or neater crafter could take this inspiration and run with it 🙂
So, first I used:

2015/01/img_1932.jpg
A paper plate cut into three like in the photo, and I also trimmed the edge of another one to get a circle of card, but you could cut a circle out of any card.
4 bottle caps
A circular sponge, and some fabric to cover it all

2015/01/img_1934.jpg
And also a bit of loosed wadding of some kind, to pad out the arms and back. My way of working is waste not want not, so i used the bits I trimmed off Megs hair the other day.

2015/01/img_1933.jpg
Im guessing most people wont have a pile of dolls hair lying around, and to be honest it was pretty messy to work with because it didnt really stick together, so id suggest using something a little more traditional.
First, I glued a square of fabric to my sponge. Apply the glue to the fabric, not the sponge, it goes on more evenly

2015/01/img_1935.jpg
I glued in the straight sides, leaving to corners loose

2015/01/img_1936.jpg
Then flattened the corners down making little pleats on either side. I put glue in the pleats, trying to keep it from being visible

2015/01/img_1937.jpg
Now it kinda looks like a little parcel. I trimmed off the bits sticking up, and glued the card circle on top

2015/01/img_1938.jpg

2015/01/img_1939.jpg
And glued the bottle caps to this for legs.

2015/01/img_1940-0.jpg
These are actually the tops of little pots of toothpicks, not bottlecaps, but I would have been using bottle caps if i had four that matched, and you’re more likely to have those around the place

2015/01/img_1941.jpg
So heres the base. I glued the back of the chair to some more fabric

2015/01/img_1943.jpg
With a pretty generous margin around the curved bit. Then i started to glue in the edges, before adding some of my stuffing

2015/01/img_1944.jpg
I glued down the rest of the edges to contain the stuffing- this bit was super messy, my glue gun now has a ginger wig! Then glued it to the base

2015/01/img_1945.jpg
I had to add a few extra bits of glue to the edges to stick it down all the way around, it wouldnt do it in one go because of the curve.
Then i made the arms in a very similar way, from the smaller bits of plate

2015/01/img_1946.jpg
Only for these I didnt do it all in one piece of fabric. I glued one all the way around, then cut another piece shaped like the plate, glued it down by two sides, then added the stuffing before glueing down the third

2015/01/img_1947.jpg
Finally, I made a cushion in a contrasting colour and stuffed it with the last of the hair

2015/01/img_1948.jpg
The last step for me, was sitting down and cutting off all the little strings of glue that had got everywhere. Im not the neatest worker, so im not sure if everyone would have to do this bit. I think the chair looks really nice, if you get up very close you can see the glue at the seams, but its not apparent from a distance. And i could probably put some little strips of fabric over all the seams, to hide it, if i wanted to. Its also the teensiest bit wonky, but that doesnt bother me at all. The girls all love it, and thats whats important

2015/01/img_1949.jpg

Quick Post on Face removal

This is just a bit of information about taking the paint off your doll, because. I learned this from trial and error. I mean, Id read and watched other peoples information, but so far I havent encountered any brand recommendations, or anybody having the same problem as I had, so as far as I know this is filling a gap.
The first time I took some paint off a dolls face, it was a bit experimental, obviously. Im not someone that owns stuff like nail polish remover, so. I borrowed a bit that someone else had left in the bathroom of my shared house, on the logic that there was no point buying my own until I knew it worked how I wanted it to.

2015/01/img_1915.jpg
This is the polish I used that first time, and the paint came off super easily. I was really thrilled with the result, I took the little grape detail off LaDeeDa Juicy Crush Tylies face with it and now I dont think you’d ever know there was anything there. Ill show you a photo of that when I do her post.
So then I went and bought some of my own polish remover, since its one thing to borrow a tiny bit of someones nail varnish remover, and Im sure noone would mind that, we do share quite a bit, but its another to take the whole bottle. This is what I got:

2015/01/img_1914.jpg
I couldnt get the same brand because i was in a different shop. Also, everything Id read and watched seemed to say that the difference was in how much acetone it had in it, not the brand, and neither of these bottles specified.
Since then Ive been having lots of trouble with the paint smearing, and not coming off properly, so the features are still faintly there and the doll seems to have a dirty face. I did consider if it was the remover I was using, but also, since that first success Id become a lot more confident, and was trying to remove much more ambitious things. Plus, looking at video tutorials, people kept talking about the technique you use, so i needed to test it out. I took off Angels face with the original remover, to find out, and it was so much easier. So thats the story. I recomment the first remover, basically. Brand does make a difference!

Bratzillaz again! (Angelic Sounds)

So, I like Meg. A lot. And proportionally, she doesnt really fit with any other doll line that I have. She can share furniture and accessories, but clothes arent going to work, and they’d look kinda odd in a scene together………. And Im pretty sure any other doll collector can see where this is going. I decided Id better get her a friend, of course :). I looked at the other main characters in shops, but I didnt really warm to any of them. So many of the dolls in this line have fringes, and when the hair is a bit cheap, or just well loved, the fringe looks much worse than the rest of the hair once its gone messy. And Ive certainly found it harder to sort out too. Thats not to say I wont have any dolls with a fringe, not at all. But when I see a fringe on a doll, I do always think twice. And if I know the hair isnt great quality, or the fringe has a curl to it, or if what Im planning for that doll will make things worse, I dont go for it. So I have a Cerise Hood doll, but she’s more for display than anything. Im planning a more active life for my Bratzillaz though.
On top of that, I didnt like the strange pupils that Jade and Sashabella have, and Yasminas hair makes me suspect bald spots, if taken out of its original style. So that was that rather, for the basic dolls. I then turned to the two other student dolls, Im not sure exactly where they come in, I think they might be exchange students? I did think about Victoria Antique, but she still didnt quite grab me. And finally, the witchy princesses, where I decided that Angelic Sound is the one I like best besides Meg. And here she is!

2015/01/img_1910.jpg
She arrived this morning, another one to come out of my christmas tokens. In the first photo she’s on a stand, but that isnt her stand, just to be clear. I borrowed it from Meg because her dress is so tight she cant sit down properly. She has the same body as Meg, but i think its slightly better quality, none of the joints seem loose and she doesnt have the problems in her wrists. And heres a better look at her face:

2015/01/img_1911.jpg
And her socks and shoes:

2015/01/img_1912.jpg
I love those socks, though I was surprised by how little stretch they have, and her dress is fantastic too. Its much better than. I expected from the creators of Megs outfit, which whilst not bad, per say, isnt exactly inspired either. Her cloak and earrings I can take or leave, but I usually put doll earrings in a safe place instead of leaving them in all the time. I do like her quirky headband, but I thought it might sit better without those twists. I had a check and she does have a centre parting rooted in, so I knew that taking them out wouldnt be a total disaster. I actually ended up taking a photo halfway through the removal, because she did look sweet

2015/01/img_1913.jpg
Of course, I had already planned to redo her lips, the same as I did Megs, and for some reason she has much thinner eyebrows, which I wanted to fix too. And to be honest, I thought her eye makeup is too heavy.
Sooo, I basically ended up taking her whole face off and starting over. I really dont know when to leave stuff alone, I never have. But in this occasion Im super glad. I did it, because look at her now!

2015/01/img_1926.jpg

2015/01/img_1928.jpg
The photos havent really captured her sweet new expression, but im very pleased with how she turned out. She looks much friendlier now, typical Bratz makeup can look kinda agressive. Her headband sits better on her now, too. I like how she looks with a headband in, but I reckon Im going to find her something plainer for day to day, the bird cage is a tad impractical. Finally, I refuse to have a doll called Angelic, so she’s going to be Angelica, or possibly Angel from now on. At least those are names.
And to say goodbye, here is Meg, who has claimed Angels shoes to go with the new skirt I made her 🙂

2015/01/img_1929.jpg
Bye!

Newest Arrival!

And the post keeps pouring in. I got a lot of tokens for christmas, so Ive been adding various dolls to my collection, as well as a glue gun for their furniture, and some liquitex gesso so. I can use pencil on their faces. But todays star is Emma

2015/01/img_1906.jpg
She’ll get a review once she’s settled in a bit. And Im going to do a bit of work on her, now that i have the gesso. I dont much like the eyebrows, or lashes

2015/01/img_1905.jpg
She’s pretty exciting because I finally have an 18″ doll! Ive been eyeing up the out generation accessories in shops for a while, and reading peoples blogs Ive seen how much potential this doll size has, so I wanted in. I really want the our generation camper van, it looks like so much fun for a doll:

2015/01/img_1848.jpg
But. I dont really have the space for something that big, I already have two room boxes for my 12″ and a little house set up for the smaller dolls. Id like Emma to have her own setting, but Ill need a bigger setting for me first! Im also expecting one more Bratzilla, after I loved Meg so much. After that Ill probably work my way through the rest of my collection, theres plenty to write about without buying anyone new for a while now 🙂

Compulsive doll buyer