Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Rescued From the Flea Market - Introducing Barbie and Bratz Yasmin

Two new dolls in this post, and, to be honest, dolls I don't think are very exciting, especially compared to Monster High and their kind. But if I am to sell doll clothes one day I should have at least one of each, or how will I know if my clothes fit them?
Luckily, I also get to practice doll mod techniques on these dolls, since there are plenty more where they came from - Todmorden Flea Market.

Emily's Christmas Present - An Outfit for Robecca Steam

I know, Christmas was three months ago. Better late than never. Last year, I gave niecelet #2 a Robecca Steam doll for Christmas, and this year I gave her this outfit, shown here on Abbey:

Monday, 9 December 2013

Two More Outfits!

I have been busy as hell lately. I have also been sick as a dog, so I haven't been in much of a mood to make posts, even if I was a paragon of regular posting (hur hur).

I did get a Bratz Yasmin, a Bratzillaz Meygana Broomstix and a Fashion Fever Barbie but I'll introduce them properly later. I'm making Monster High clothes, they're here to see if the clothes fit them too and also so I can make clothes from patterns intended for other dolls, make adjustments accordingly and not waste the first version.

But I have been busy making doll clothes - so busy, in fact, that it's hard to know what to show you first! So I guess I'll dig out an outfit each for Isis and Abbey and see what you think of those.

Okay, two outfits for Isis. This one's the boring one.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The First Complete Outfit!

Er, not at this time of writing the only complete outfit, or in fact the first complete garment, but the first bunch of garments that was ready as an ensemble for display. Also, since I am very worthy of my mother's nickname 'Little Bat', and live at the bottom of a valley in the North of England where good light is scarce even when I am awake - the only one I have photos of. With me so far? No? Tough.
It's for Petra!

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Monster High Doll Review: Music Festival Abbey Bominable, CAM Mummy and Gorgon set

Or: Meet my girls.

I love Monster High. When I was a kidlet we never had anything so engaging to play with, the fashion dolls I got were Barbies and Sindys, despite the fact that my mother never liked them much. My strongest memory involving a Barbie was the time I bought one just so I could chop off her hair, dress her in army gear and have her go on missions with my brother's Action Men. Monster High would have delighted my weird little heart.

The premise is that these are the children (sometimes the creations or the adoptive children, whatever) of the classic monsters, and they are all going to Monster High. They have delightfully awful punny names and are generally surrounded by sometimes surprisingly clever humour (the son of the Invisible Man, Invisibilly, has as a pet a box that may or may not contain a cat. See what they did there?). The point is that someone at Mattel is clearly having a LOT of fun.

And a LOT of kids are buying these things - they might be monstrous but the characters have a lot more personality and are a lot more easy to identify with than Barbie on her pink pillar in Malibu. In the web series and movies (you can find the series here), they deal with high school and friendship issues more than monster things, and have so far tackled an impressive number of important issues, like bullying, disability discrimination, racial hatred and sexism. And very importantly, all the characters are very different, and all very cool. One of the central messages, like that of MLP:FIM, is that there is no wrong way to be a girl.

They're also very well-made dolls - most have eleven points of articulation where your standard Barbie only has five, their hands come off at the elbow and wrist to make them easier to dress, and each character has her own face mould. This is an impressive number of different face shapes, and it's made them very popular with the BJD artists, especially since previously, you'd have to lay out £150 for a Blythe or a Pullip. Those are still very popular, and I personally make yearning keening noises when I see Momoko dolls, but unfortunately I don't have £200 to throw around.

I spent £45. Let's see what it got me.

Dolls and Mermaids and Yarn, oh my!

You know what, I'm not going to apologise for having been away for so long. At this point it's pretty pointless. I wasn't even going to come back - I'd resigned myself to going to Tumblr for good, and then the latest edit happened and I realised that it's a really bad place to host a craft blog, especially one with long posts and a lot of pictures, so I'm going to post my craft stuff here and link to this blog from both my Tumblogs. My main Tumblr is still gonna stay away from here, though - I am still too much into butts to put it in the sidebar - but you can have my art blog and if you find my other Tumblr from there, more power to you.

So what have I been up to? I promise I haven't been sitting on my tush doing nothing for nearly two years (I actually had to check that it's actually been that long. Good grief). Two days a week I've been interning at the local craft shop, Cheeky Sew and Sew (see their Facebook link in my sidebar), and in the last six months I actually had a commission! A real one! For money! Look!

I made those, they took forever, I was RIGHT up against the deadline and I actually did myself an injury getting them finished in time. They're puppets for a kid's theatre show of The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen version, not the Disney version), each one is toddler-sized and the brunette has hair that comes off to reveal short hair underneath. It was, as they say, a right pig. I had never done ANYTHING even REMOTELY like this before (except for that one time I tried to make a Victorian cloth-bodied doll from the Craft Encyclopedia and it failed because it was supposed to have a clay head and so I didn't make the neck long enough for a cloth head and ANYWAY), but you can hardly tell I was basically making it up as you go along!

Also: I HATE HANDS. These things have the stretchy skin layer and also the non-stretchy base layer so that means I had to turn EIGHTY stupid tight frayable fingers right-side out.

Okay.

Breathe.

Before the puppets, I learned how to knit! Well, sorta. This is my first knitting project.
It was actually begun about six years ago, but shortly after I went mum on this blog I dug it out again, realised one ball of pretty blue merino wasn't going to cut it, and decided that I wasn't going to cut corners just because this was my first project, and so this thing is about £50 worth of pure merino. In garter stitch stripes.

It's ridiculously heavy and warm. It goes with that hat tremendously well, which is a pity, because the hat's a spring hat and a touch too light for the weather that suits that scarf.

After that was done, I had some leftover merino and also a laundry hamper full of miscellanous yarn that my mum had offloaded on me, so I took a bunch of blues, whites, reds, greens and greys in roughly the same weights (I still know virtually nothing about yarn weight beyond 'too heavy', 'too thin' and 'superchunky'), got a friend to teach me to make granny squares, and crocheted a blanket. I do not currently have a photo of that, but I will show you when I do.

The crochet has been making way more progress than the knitting, if I'm honest. It's a lot more intuitive.

But now the puppets are done and making their debut, I bought myself a treat - three Monster High dolls, which I am having a blast making clothes for. And planning roomboxes for. And planning furniture for.

Not going to say much about them right now, since they're going to get the next post. Just giving you fair warning. This is why I came back.

Because this is about to become a doll blog.

Mwahahaha.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Prize Squid!

Well, it has been a while. How are you both?
A number of things have happened to me while I've been away - I've been to see my grandmother in Dorset and taken some photos of her garden, which I may or may not post on this blog. I also got hooked on yet another new thing in addition to Homestuck and Tumblr - it was slightly alarming, even to me, to find myself watching something called 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' and even more alarming to find that it's not only better than it sounds but I actually identify with someone whose given name is Twilight Sparkle. Either standards in children's animation are going up or I need my head read. Possibly both.
The third thing that happened - well, this happened LONG before the last post, but I just didn't tell you because I wanted to make a special post.


I completed the giant squid. The one that was mentioned way back in my first ever post on this blog. And wow, this thing is huge. It has taken a bit over four bags of stuffing and is about five feet long - I haven't measured it - and this picture here was taken with it hanging from the knocker of my front door, so you get an idea of scale.

Now, I was going to give it to my neice right away - it was about five months late, after all - but then my mother reminded me that the following weekend brought a local extravaganza called the Todmorden Agricultural Show. Now, this mostly focuses around horses, sheep, chickens, that sort of thing, but it does have a handicrafts tent. A competetive handicrafts tent.
I was reluctant to enter at first - I'd seen this thing before and it was all very traditional, but after a bit of thought I picked up an entry form and went in. Actually bringing the squid in was amusing - I had it slung over my shoulder and the man walking in front of me kept looking back, I could see him thinking 'I'm being followed by a woman in a horned hat carrying a squid...' but then, that's pretty normal in this town. We do have a community art college, after all.

I didn't really think it'd do very well, but I went back that afternoon, after the judging was over, and what do I see around the 'Open Class' table but a small crowd of people and, once I'd got through them, pinned to one of the tentacles...


Giant squid officially rule. The plan for next year is a steampunk ghost-catcher, among other things. Watch this space, I want more of these certificates.