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!

 

 

 

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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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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?

 

 

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!)

 

Not Sure If It’s the Heat….

I have been beating myself up lately for NOT being as ‘productive’ as I would like to be. My running had stagnated and though my Etsy shop has been building and I am utterly thankful for all that have purchased my dolls AND left me wonderful reviews,  I have not replenished stock as quickly as I should. It’s not for lack of inventory – I think I have upwards of 30 dolls sitting in my extra room that are ready and waiting not only for their make-overs, but their close ups! 🙂 The difficulty, I believe, is in the transition.

Its summertime in Florida and if any of you know Florida, you know summer s literally the mid point of the temperature oven! Its not the actual temperature either, as the southwest has temps that far exceed our own, but it’s the nasty, sticky and oppressive humidity that does it. You walk outside and before you get to the car door in the parking lot you are drenched in sweat and ready for a nice cool glass of whatever your choice of hydration happens to be!

 

That being said, it’s absolutely no excuse for not painting. In fact, the warmer temps are ideal for my sealant of choice – though I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Dont start a new doll if you’re not 100% certain you have enough sealant to finish it. It’s not that it will do anything to the doll – its the fact that having a half finished doll sitting there looking back at me is rather sad.

I was at least able to get on doll finished though she still awaits being redressed and photographed for listing. I have also determined that she is, by far, my favorite of the Monster High doll molds in that she’s not only gorgeous, but one of the easiest molds to work with!

 

 

Honey Swamp is, by far, I think the best mold to work with as she already had defined eyelids, her nose is perfect and her lips can be worked with in so many ways! I had debated straightening her hair, in spite of the various controversies that surround doing just that – read here, here and here. But I have decided to keep it just as it fabulously is. Regardless, she should be up in the shop within the next two weeks for everyone to enjoy!

 

For now, though I try not to let the heat get to me and effect the drive I had. Have. Life’s too short and I have far too much I want to do!

Newly Listed – 4.19.15

I have yet another offering available today in my Etsy shop! She’s rather simply beautiful and I’m quite proud of her. Her hair wanted to give me a little trouble and I think I want to go back to washing and conditioning the dolls hair PRIOR to faceup so that when I go to style it I have an easier time, especially for some of the dolls with the thicker hair like Lagoona.

As always, Lagoona has been repainted using the highest quality products: Faber-Castell Watercolor Pencils and Soft Pastels, Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils and Soft Pastels, Mr. Super Clean UV Matte Sealant and Liquitex Gloss Varnish.

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Work in Process – 3.2.15

So I try each week to start a new doll. Sometimes I have to finish a doll instead of start one, as was the case last week when I finished up two I had begun. Since my rerooting adventure is now completed and I have a better idea of what in the world I’m doing there (and likely wont reroot for a while unless the absolute need to change a characters hair overcomes me again!) I started a new doll this week.

Usually, I’ll faceup the doll one weekend and then finish hair and photoshoot the next. I was trying this weekend to get this particular doll finished, but I like to leave the hair to dry completed before I photoshoot and her hair was still wet so opted to let her sit for a day (and likely longer) until she’s completely dry – so no finished photos until this weekend.

But what struck me about this particular doll is that I hadn’t started out to do such a sweet and innocent face. There are times when working with the dolls I’ve noticed where their feel just comes through regardless of what I had originally set out to do. With this Frankie, I wanted to do something a little more dark/gothic and somehow this darling little face came out instead. I’m rather happy she did.

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