Letting go

Today really isnt seeming like a positive day. It hasnt actually been bad at all, but the bits that are going up here are all ending up negative, because I am thinking about getting rid of some dolls. And thats rather sad. I have in the past had dolls that I just havent bonded with, but Ive usually found a way around it. My wilkinsons style stars doll is about to start a new life with the supernaturals, and one doll who happens to have a green skin tone is a tree sprite in a trolls swamp cave set Im constructing. Unfortunately, that isnt alwas going to work. I bought a large doll, about 20″, in a previous foray into the world of larger dolls, and I chose poorly, because we really havent clicked. The clothes I planned for her were all on hold until I got a sewing machine, so thats barely progressed, and now i have Emily. Looking at the older doll through the filter of Emily, shes lost any appeal she had. Her head is huge, and not in a good way, shes made from cheap materials, all her joints are too loose for posing, I dont like her face. It makes me feel really bad for her, because I loved her in the shop, I had such high hopes. And now shes going to go to the charity shop. That seems like a sad fate for a doll,ca real rejection, but theres no point in trying to sell or trade or pass her on to another doll collector or anything like that. Noone would want her, shes just a giant version of the sparkle girlz dolls, and she definitely lost something in translation. I feel awful though. Truly awful.
Ive also got rid of an older attempt at a small dollhouse. I bought one in a charity shop and tried to repaint, but painting really isnt something I excel at, and now Ive found some much better techniques its just more clutter. Thats going in the bin, I basically wrecked it. Im contemplating a similar fate for a larger dollhouse repaint attempt too. Its a barbie size, and even though I put hours of work into it, i added a wall and hand painted the wallpaper pattern with toothpicks….. Its just not very good. And I live in one room, space isnt something going spare around here. The main thing that holds me back on that one is being judged. I mostly keep my doll interest away from family, but my mum has seen that one. Its too big to put away in a drawer. If she knows I got rid of it, shell say it was wasteful of me to get it. I dont think it was, I got so many hours of occupation out of it, but she can be kinda…. Harsh. I really hate getting called some of the things she says. My least favourite are idle, destructive, spiteful, and dishonest. Im pretty sure she could work most of those in there if she wanted to. I wish I could say its not her business, but I cant really.

And finally, Im considering arranging the departure of one of my Jolinas. I love them both, but they are almost identical, and I dont see the point in having both. One of mine is the learning music doll, and her joints are a little stiffer because she has an arm that moves with electronics and plays a tune. The speaker is on her tummy, so she can only wear tops that cover it, and I dont actually value the music feature at all because Im always very paranoid about putting batteries in dolls. I think I could sell her, but she’s missing a few bits from her original set, and obviously theres no longer a box, so Im not sure if shed be popular. I might try, I really want her to go to a loving home. If I cant be sure thats where shes going, she stays here.
Im even kinda having feels about my disney collection right now because I dont do anything with them, at all. Im not getting rid of them, but I need to work something out.
Also, Igenuinely dont know how much of what Im feeling right now is just good ol’ depression. I wont do anything unless aim sure I wont regret it, but that giant sparkle girl really has to go

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BAD review!

A while back I picked up a set for kids to make their own jewellery box

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Its in a line called wood worx, by colorific, an australian company. I figured it’d make a cute, quirky dolls dresser. It ckmes with very bright paint and stickers and things for decoration, which I wasnt intending to use, and Iwas also thinking Id swap out the heart shaped knobs on the drawers. The stencil that came with it should be handy for various decorating endeavours, since the lovely scrap book paper used by myfroggystuff is rather out of my budget.
But, alas. There are pieces of the drawers missing from the set, and I actually think that some of the ones I do have are wrong. On counting Im only two short, but I think Im missing more than that, and have extras of others. Theres enough to make the unit without the drawers, which I did

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But the pieces are so badly cut that I resorted to using hot glue as a filler to make it stay together, which isnt the most attractive decoration.
Basically, not a good kit. At all. Ive given it to my ever after high dolls for their part decorated room set, and they like it well enough

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But right now its all they have. The drawer units they are sitting on are borrowed from larger dolls. Seeing as I got this:

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For much less, which suits the same scale dolls, but with more storage space, its not worth it. I like the wood look better than the plastic, but you could put scrapbook paper over the plastic one, if you have it, or newspaper and paint it, which I would do. Whenever I get the bus I pick up the free newspaper, so thats one resource I dont have to worry about. Anyway, not reccommended.

She lives!

A while ago one of wilkinsons style stars dolls caught my eye. Its a pretty basic line, nothing fancy going on with face sculpts, so their non-white doll option was the same doll made in darker skin. But this doll was also wearing a floor-length, long-sleeved dress and a headscarf. I bought her because even though Im not a person of colour, or of religion for that matter, there do need to be dolls that represent everybody, and if people buy them, then manufacturers will make more. When I got her home I discovered that under the loose fitting dress she had an hourglass figure more like the earliest barbies I ever had, produced in the nineties. The contrast, between the progress in having a non-white doll, wearing clothes that would be more culturally relevant to the young girls who could relate to her, and the crazy hourglass figure, endeared her to me even more. Unfortunately, there was still the face. I dont think the screening for her face was changed much at all from the white dolls, so she had baby pink lips, the works. So off it came, and since then Ive been trying to figure out who she’s going to be, and give her a new face. Once I find her personality, anyway. And today, taking off my latest failed eyes, the half removed smears gave me an idea, and I think Ive finally got a handle on her. Here she is

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Also, heres that lovely nineties barbie-esque figure

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Shes going to join my supernatural girls! They’ll all appear on here eventually, but long story short, I have a little selection of ones that caught my eye, a few pixie punks, one twilight teen, and one draculaura on a pixie punks body. With those sunken eyes, she can be a banshe ghoul type thing and she’ll fit right in. Ghosts dont have to be white either 🙂

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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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:

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And here is her beautiful face now:

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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:

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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

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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;

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

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Outfits

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Accessories packs

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Amd furniturey-type stuff

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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

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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

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The way the two drawer sets havent got the exact same feet

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And just the chairs, overall, are very detailed

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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

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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:

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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

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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.

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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

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I glued in the straight sides, leaving to corners loose

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

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

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And glued the bottle caps to this for legs.

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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

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So heres the base. I glued the back of the chair to some more fabric

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

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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

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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

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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

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Finally, I made a cushion in a contrasting colour and stuffed it with the last of the hair

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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

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Compulsive doll buyer