Saturday, October 20, 2012

Little Red

Illustration from Childhood's Favorites and Fairy Stories

   A few weeks ago a customer asked me to work on a Little Red Riding Hood doll for her. I was happy to receive the custom order, but dreaded having to work on the hood so much I had nightmares. As I've said many times before, making clothes is not my forte. There are things I just can't figure out how to make and things get worse when they're for a shoulder-less doll. As you can imagine, that's a bit of an obstacle for a doll maker that likes to create a different outfit for each doll. I must say though, I think I've succeeded so far within my limitations.

Little Red Riding Hood by George Frederic Watts

   I searched online for a pattern or any tips that would help me construct the hood. After much fruitless searching I stumbled upon a website with a free Little Red Riding Hood Pattern. Since I create my own patterns, I had no use for the doll portion, but the hood part saved the day. I couldn't use it as it was because the size didn't match my doll pattern and I didn't love the shape, but it was a good starting point.

   After a lot of tweaking I ended up with a hood I love and will be using over and over again in the future. Once the hood was settled, everything else was easy. I pictured my little red blonde, so I hand-dyed some boucle to use for her hair. I knew I didn't want a completely red outfit, so I searched through my stash until I found the perfect fabric. I used white polka dots on a red background for her top and a dutch fabric called "The Gnome Story" for her skirt.

   Red's face is hand painted using acrylics, but this time I didn't feel like painting her shoes. I wanted to try something different, so I went for wool felt shoes. When Red was finally done, it was a hard letting her go. I keep falling in love with my dolls and sometimes I wish I could keep them.

Red by Carrousel Dream Dolls

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A pirate's life for me!

  These past few days I've been working on an awesome custom order. I was lucky enough to be contacted by Sarah from  Misfits & Vagabonds to create a doll for her growing pirate themed collection. Sarah has been making dolls since she was a child, but just recently started to collect the creations of other doll makers.

Mini Misfit by Misfits & Vagabonds

   The best part? Total creative freedom! She told me that she wanted a pirate, but made no specifications. And so, my imagination has been running wild. It was hard to narrow down all the possibilities, but eventually I came up with a sketch that I love.

Pirate Girl by Carrousel Dream Dolls
  All my dolls start with a sketch drawn on a 3" x 5" index card. I try to include as many details as possible in each sketch and constantly refer to them as I work on my dolls. If I try to work on a doll before doing at least a rough sketch, I feel a bit lost. In the future I'll be sharing more of these sketches with you, but some will stay hidden in my little plastic box because they're not pretty enough to show the world.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

French Royalty

Her Majesty The Queen of France and Navarre, Marie Antoinette.
   I must admit that I'm a huge fan of Marie Antoinette as a fashion icon. Her merits as a monarch are whole other discussion, but no one can ignore the influence she had on fashion. The idea of making a doll inspired on Marie had been floating around my head for some time, but for some reason I kept pushing it aside.

   A few weeks ago the perfect opportunity presented itself. I was invited to include one of my dolls on a showcase that had a "Diamonds and Pearls" theme. The first thing that came to my mind was Marie Antoinette. I went searching for some inspiration online and re-watched two of my favorites movies featuring Marie: Marie Antoinette & The Affair of the Necklace

   After so much eye candy, I started working. I knew I wanted her to be pale and have her iconic pouf. I also knew that her clothes needed to be breathtaking. I chose Kona Pale Flesh for her skin and found some gorgeous undyed boucle online to use for her hair. The fabrics and trims I used for her dress where a combination of vintage and new from my stash.

  Her hair is decorated with genuine freshwater pearls, a bird, four roses, a pink satin ribbon bow and an ostrich feather. Marie's face and shoes are hand-painted using acrylics and fabric medium.

Oh! and she's a miniature dolly, she measures 9.5" from the tip of her feet to the top of her hair.  
  I'm in love with the results and was lucky to have more than one collector fall in love with Marie. I already have some ideas for other versions of Marie, so expect to see more of her.
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