New Doll Available!

After a bit of a hiatus, I have started repainting dolls again for offer in my Etsy shop! This one has been done for a bit, but life is finally allowing me to post her. For some reason, I really love working on freckled dolls, and they also seem to be pretty quick sellers for me which tells me that others like them as well!

I have another work in progress (WIP) that Ishould be finishing up soon and hope to get her photo’d this weekend for posting.

Thanks and enjoy!

 

 

 

July Was A Whirlwind…

I realized this morning that I hadn’t blogged in a while and when I logged in to see where my last blog left me, I saw that it was 6/30/16! Bad blogger for not being more consistent. I really do need to work on that. Perhaps that’s a post in and of itself.

July was filled with quite a bit of insight, upheaval and dealing with travel (for my other half – not for me unfortunately) and in dealing with all of it life just sort of caught up to me. That being said, with kindergarten fast approaching for my littlest one, I suspect that August will be just as busy, albeit with more opportunity to take a few moments of my days and post something that will hopefully be worth while to read. I’m still figuring out this whole ‘blogging’ thing after all.

I need to get back to making my dolls and refreshing the stock in my etsy shop. I love to work on them, but they do consume quite a bit of time – particularly if I’ve opted to reroot their hair and I have a tendency to just sit down and work, work, work once an idea hits me. I’ve been seeing a LOT of Suicide Squad Harley Quinn’s of late and that makes me happy. Some great ones have been created and I have to say the attention to detail amazes me.

 

Then there is the bracelets, which I also have been loving to make because they are quick, easy and something I can work on while watching TV at night. Been bouncing around the idea of trying to create some matching earrings for them to – but need to source some solid and affordable posts as I am HORRIBLY sensitive to anything plated and wish not to sell something I can’t also wear. I find it important that even if no one inquires, I wear my own creations daily. If you won’t wear your own stuff, then why would you think someone else would want to as well?!

 

 

I’ve also been batting the idea around to add some vlogs to my posts. I’ve been hell bent on relearning how best to apply make up and I’ve yet to see one from someone my age – which though I don’t look nearly close to what people would think 39 looks like, there are some base differences to how I can apply make up to say a twenty-something with fresh skin. I’ve also been wanting to post opinions of products and what I find works for me – in an effort to help out those in the ‘older’ set. If there is an interest in that, please let me know in the comments!

Racing is something I need to get back into as well once the weather is more conducive to running outside. I find running on the treadmill to be difficult at best since I can’t train in intervals nearly as easily (why for has the health and fitness industry not created a treadmill in which you can program timed intervals?! Get on that engineering/programming types!) I’ve been doing well on Weight Watchers and have managed through their program and walking 10000 steps a day approximately to loose a total of 12 lbs in about as many weeks so it’s a good, solid and manageable progression. Only 27 more to go!

There really has been a lot going on, and a ton that I want to start discussing more openly regarding my point of view on things. I just need to organize and start working on them. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Newly Listed – Memorial Day 2016 Edition

Recently I expanded my shop to include beaded stretch bracelets. I had recently gone to the department stores to look for some accessories to go along with that whole upping my game at work, and make up and accessories are likely the best way to do that while still being ‘me’. What appalled me is how unbelievably expensive they were. I realized then that I could not only make some, but that I could make styles that I really like.

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New stuff posted for sale!

 

Let me know what you think through my various social media outlets and happy shopping!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrysaliscreate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrysalisCreate
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chrysaliscreati/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrysaliscreation

 

When I Grow Up….

I was thinking about this on my drive into work this morning, what do I want to be when I grow up? This thought was prompted by watching two older gentlemen, bundled up by Florida standards in the lower-50 degree temps, playing golf. Where I work, our CEO is in her 70’s and you wouldn’t think she was over 55 in her appearance in part because she’s active, constantly learning and continually working on something be it professional or personal.

Here I sit, inching closer to what everyone considers the dreaded 4-0 and not overtly worried about it. I haven’t ever looked my age, and I certainly don’t act my age (whatever that means) enough that there are times I know it’s gotten me in proverbial hot water both professionally and socially.

 

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I was always brought up that age is simply a number – a chronological marking on the time spent on this planet from birth to death. Indeed, in America we don’t count you as a year old until after you’ve completed 365 days on this Earth – conversely depending on your cultural age reckoning system it may mean that you are automatically a year old on the day you’re born.  Age was something to be respected, but in my household it wasn’t something that should determine how you act necessarily. Maturity should, yes, but given that people mature at different speeds, my mother in particular never really stressed that I was such-and-such an age so I had to act THIS way, unless of course, I was 13 and throwing a temper tantrum.

 

Which begs to differ, as we do age, and with ‘elderly’ being almost a term of disdain in America in particular, what do I want to be when I grow up as I’ve certainly not gotten there just yet? I want to be active, yes. I want to have activities I enjoy that not only keep my body moving, but my mind engaged. I want to be happy, certainly, and hopefully have been successful enough during my working years that I can be comfortable enough in my retirement, whenever that may come. I think I’ll likely be the sort that still has at least a part-time job when I’m officially retired as I can’t quite see myself being STILL for that long. I want to travel, to explore, to do the things that working precludes me from regularly doing. I want to enjoy other cultures and immerse myself in new experiences. I’m not exactly sure what that will make me. But it’s a goal at least. I want to be classic, and outspoken and be able to inspire people somehow, kinda like this lady here…

 

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Helen Mirren, in case you didn’t know…

I want to know that the impression I’ve left on this Earth, either directly or indirectly through my children, is a positive one; that I’ve raised boys who are respectful, gentlemenly, supportive, creative, intelligent and witty. I want to know that the art I create can be appreciated by someone, somewhere. That my words, be they spoken or written, as well as my experiences and wisdom can help someone else in a time of need.

So I think, regardless how I act (or don’t act) now  – that I’m on the right path. I guess I’ll see when I get there, if I ever should.

 

 

New Year—New Start

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2015 ended on a rather good and solid note for me, though 2016 was rung in quietly and with ample amounts of sleep! I do hope, for anyone reading, that you’re new year began happily, with an abundance of hope and prosperity for the coming days.

I turn 39 this year and to me, age is indeed just a number. But there is something to be said for those ‘milestones’ – you know, aged 5, 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 25, 30, etc. It’s rather funny, actually, how we start to spread them out into 5-year increments starting in our 20’s, isn’t it? As my proverbial 30’s are coming to what is socially and chronologically considered their close, I have endeavored to make improvements for myself. Nothing major, and indeed I’ve already started with drastically decreasing my caffeine in-take, greatly increasing my water consumption and attempting to make better dietary choices without denying myself sweet, delicious junk food. I haven’t been able to run – physical limitations have been halting the forward progresses I had made there – but I have already established appointments to look into the causes of said issues and hopefully resolve them so that I can continue with the momentum I have building up.

Each weekend this year I want to DO something beneficial – this month it will be literally cleaning out some closets, purging what is no longer useful, needed or retain-able for sentimental value, and reorganizing my work space to accommodate a few things that are being developed – expanding my work with Chrysalis Creation and it’s Etsy shop which I LOVE and expanding my social networking there in through both its Twitter and Instagram feeds. My partner has started to home brew mead and I have to say that has piqued my interests too – something I can create, set aside to develop on it’s own through nature, and then enjoy afterwards with others. Exercise is taking a forefront again – especially weight training. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with running, but I LOVE weight training. There is something tangible about seeing your gains and lifting heavier weights, or easily doing more reps that I just enjoy. Gains with running I’ve noticed are very subtle, and subtlety and I have always had a rough relationship.

I had to defer the 10k I was supposed to run this week due to the aforementioned physical limitations I’ve been experiencing. I’m not certain if it’s due to plantar fascittis, shin splints, or even an IT band issue. But I know I can get it looked and and any of those can be worked out. I’ve already started to brainstorm possibilities for running costumes for the 10k I WILL be completing in April with the runDisney Star Wars – The Dark Side challenges.

So to all, on this first post of 2016 – don’t make resolutions. They fail. Simply decide what you want to DO this year and get after doing it. The rest will all fall into place.

 

 

 

Custom – Evangeline – 9.23.15

Recently I was commissioned to work on a doll for a client through my Etsy shop. I have to admit, I loved working on her and I think she’s one of the best I’ve created so far! She has been named Evangeline and she has been boxed up and shipped out to her new home as of today!

Please take a look. This was originally a Scaris City of Frights Skelita Calaveras Monster High doll. Her original factory paint was stripped and she was repainted using Faber-Castell and Prismacolor water color pencils and chalk pastels. She was worked on and sealed in multiple layers using Mr. Hobby Super Clear UV Cut Flat Matte Sealant. Her whole body was blushed to give her an over all distressed bone feel instead of her stark white original coloring. Her hair was washed, conditioned, curled and then teased into the bouffant you see here for a romantic feel. Eyelashes were applied individually and her lips and eyes were glossed in Liquitex Gloss Varnish.

If you are interested in a custom of your own, please make sure to visit my Etsy shop! I will work with you to develop and create what you’re envisioning (to the best of my ability).

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Newly Listed – 9.6.15

I have a new listing up in my Etsy shop!

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As with my other dolls, Draculaura’s original factory paint has been removed and she has been repainted using quality Faber-Castell and Prismacolor watercolor pencils and chalk pastels. She has also been sealed with multiple layers of Mr. Hobby Super Clear UV Cut Flat sealant to protect her with Liquitex Gloss Varnish for her eyes and lips to give them shine. Eyelashes were applied and her hair was washed, conditioned and trimmed.

 

She, along with my other dolls, are located for sale at http://www.chrysaliscreation.etsy.com and thanks for looking!

 

 

When Sourcing Products…

I use quality products when repainting my dolls. I want them to last and for collectors to look at them years from now and still see the (hopefully) beautiful work of art I created and appreciate just as much as they day they brought it home. To do that I did a lot of research before I started to figure out what I wanted to use and how best to get it. A lot of what I get, I have to get online. Other than your standard Michael’s and Joann’s, we only have one small arts supply shop in town that carries products I can use. I can tell you now, if you are ever interested in repainting dolls, or vinyl/plastic in general, unless you are a pro at using watercolor paints – you’re not going to find what you need at Michael’s or Joann’s. Michaels is better for me in taht I can get Liquitex varnishes and Prismacolor watercolor pencil sets. But that’s about it unless you’d like to tackle the task of gaining proficiency with watercolor paints on dolls.

But the hardest thing to source is the most important thing in repainting – your sealant. Monster High dolls, as with many other brands of dolls, have hard plastic bodies and vinyl heads. They can be difficult to stain, dye and repaint due to their mixed medium and the natural of their composition. After removing the factory paint, you want to start with a solid canvas to work with and your choice of sealant will not only ensure a good solid canvas but also protect the original doll which is highly important.

The sealants, however, are few and far between for which are recommended. You have the Zoukeimura (ZM) finishing spray, Game Workshops Purity Seal (which is more a semi-gloss and not a true matte sealant), Testors Dulcoat (NOT recommended), and the creme de la creme, Mr. Hobby Super Clear Flat Sealant.

I prefer Super Clear myself. But have been using the UV cut variety which was admittedly more expensive. I’ve had a good run with it, but recently have been finding fewer and fewer vendors on line who carry it, and when they do their prices have gotten ridiculously high. Which means I need to switch to the standard version, which I’m okay with. But even that is becoming difficult to get. Generally, I source off of eBay. Which makes me wonder, if I am having more issue locating it, how in the worlds am I going to keep painting?

 

 

Newly Listed – 8.13.15

Two new dolls have been listed for sale in my Etsy shop this morning! I’ve named them both, though only one will come clothed. First is “Seer” and she is a repainted Monster High Twyla doll made to look like an ethereal prophetess.

 

Her hair was washed, conditioned, and boil permed to acquire the curls. I removed the gray swirls from her legs (they were quiet scuffed as it was) and left the gray on her hands and forearms for a more mystic appearance.

As with all my repaints, the factory paint/make up was removed using 100% acetone nail polish remover and then she was repainted using Faber-Castell and Prismacolor watercolor pencils and chalk pastels. Each layer was sealed using Mr. Super Clear’s UV Matte Sealant. Liquitex Gloss Varnish was applied to the eyes and lips to give them that dewy appearance and in this instance individual eyelashes were glued for a more 3d, in depth look.

Second is “Chelsea”, whom I plan on doing a separate post about for my Adventures in Rerooting series of posts. Chelsea was a little more complicated, as previous posts show she had quite a bit of damage when I removing the factory hair plugs for her reroot. But I had this great idea to use DMC embroidery floss, pulled apart into separate strands, to restyle her hair and I LOVED the way it turned out. I fully expect to use this method and medium again. Clawdeen is truly one of the molds that I love to work on and shes great fun to play with.

 

She was also repainted in the same method above, with eyelashes glued for a more realistic effect. I just think she’d DARLING and I hope that she finds a wonderful new home.

Adventures in ReRooting, Part Deux

So I had a Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High to whom I had repainted her face…but I wasn’t a huge fan of this series doll’s hair. I had been considering for a long while what to do as reroots are still something I am brand-spanking new at and the idea of what I wanted to turn this doll into hadn’t fully surfaced yet. Then I had the idea to utilize embroidery floss in lieu of the traditional nylon/saran hair or yarn.

 

 

Original doll, after face up, after hair removal.

 

I went out and got myself some colors of floss that I liked and that I thought would work well with not only the dolls coloring, but how I repainted her face. I then proceeded to get through the daunting task of removing the hair from the dolls head. Removal of the head is actually pretty easy if you go slow and use REALLY hot water to loosen the vinyl. Once you do that head quite literally will pop off without too much force. Then I soaked the inside of the head briefly in 100% pure acetone to loosen up the gunk of glue that they utilize to keep the originally rooted hair in place. After a good rinsing, I grabbed my pliers and got to work.

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise – pulling out a dolls originally factory rooted hair is ROUGH. My hand, the day after, is STILL sore from having to grip the pliers and pull. The industrial strength glue that they use is RIDICULOUS! Not to mention, with this doll, they put a TON of hair in the dolls part which makes it even more difficult. As you can see in the second pic on the top row, there are quite a few places where, even trying to pull gently, the force of getting the glue out caused huge holes in the mold that I will now have to try to patch and/or cover. I think I’ll be able to cover them thankfully but was NONE too happy to have that happen. Finally I was working on the hair rooted at the crown and I could swear to the powers that be the dolls head was either trying to give birth, or throw up. I’m still not certain which it was. As you can see, the MASS of hair and glue was quite large and I’m actually amazed more damage wasn’t done to the head sculpt.

I’ve already begun the long and arduous process of rerooting with the floss and so far I’m quite liking the result. I wont always want to use it since I think it will lend itself to a certain signature, but I’m excited to see how she finishes up and of course pics will be posted when she’s ready for sale.

I’d also like to take this moment to point out that I know why most folks wll repaint AFTER a reroot now, since the process causes strain on the sealant and Clawdeen now has a white band across her nose – which oddly has inspired me to do a little more to her when I do to repair the ‘damage’. Make lemonade out of lemons people!

Also, if you ever wondered WHY repainted and rerooted dolls especially are so expensive – yes this process is something that I’m new to. But it took me about an hour and a half to remove the hair from the original doll and it’s going to take me roughly 3 more hours to reroot her. I spent an hour on her last night with the floss and I only had about two rows completed. Repainting can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours currently depending on what exactly I want to do to it. (The norm is about two to three). When you pay for a repainted one-of-a-kind doll your honestly paying for the artists time. Please remember to respect that. It’s one of the things I love about this community, however, is that the time spent really is something that true collectors appreciate. (And dont even get me started on constructing clothing! I’m still working on a dress!)