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Barbie for big girls.

How to

Getting Crafty at ITFDS

So what is Rebecca doing this week?  She is having WAY too much fun with the glue, florist foam and needle and thread is what.  I decided to do a little pictorial tutorial ( Hey!!  it rhymes!)  on the daffodils and tulips I did for the previous photo shoot.

I found the little clay pots at my favorite garden store but I think you can get them at Michaels or JoAnne’s as well.  Tangential thought…are all craft stores someone’s name?…Michael, JoAnne, Ben Franklin…Anyone know?  Anywhooo…onward…  Take your pot, fill it with something to hold the flowers.  I use florist wet oasis/ foam because it is easy to cut and it molds to any shape.   I usually have it on hand to do floral arrangements but you can use whatever you have on hand.  Many people use clay as well.   I cover the foam with black paint and while the paint is still wet, I sprinkle coffee grounds on the foam allow it  to adhere then shake off excess.  Yes, this floral arrangement will smell like coffee for a while.  You can use loose packed tea as well for a different look and smell.  You may need to send the tea leaves through a sifter to get them to a small enough scale.

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I cut pieces off of a random piece of greenery I had purchased at a craft store for the daffodils.  For the tulips, I used leaves I had purchased at a craft store ( usually in the wedding section with boutonniere supplies).  The pink paper tulips were sent to me by a friend from Holland ( love ya!) and the daffodils are another story.  They are fabric flowers and not paper.   I found them in a bundle at Ben Franklins(yet another craft store named after a person)  about a year ago.  Originally, the orange part was a full flower.  I decided to sew the flower closed to get a trumpet and voila!…daffodil.  I think it was just plain luck that it was in the right scale.

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I am currently in LOVE with an Etsy shop called miniCHAIR ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/miniCHAIR?ref=top_trail).  I purchased a shabby chic table with two chairs a week ago and loved it so much I had to get the hutch to go with it.  The prices are reasonable ,in my opinion, for  the 1/6 scale market.  They ship super fast and pack things well. 

I have also been busy with more paper minis.  LOVE the Laduree boxes.

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Poppy in the Conservatory

…with Professor Plum and a candlestick {Snort!}.  No, we are not playing the game Clue…but it sure sounds like it.  Some times I have an idea for a photo and it simply won’t go away.  I received a couple new pieces of furniture this past week and I knew I was in trouble when I formulated a game plan before I went to bed and woke up with new ideas on how to make the scene work.  I realized…I was already on the road to doing the diorama so I might as well get on with it.  My enthusiasm ( cough, cough obsession) was fueled even further by some amazing photos on Flickr  by Stilleto Queen (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stilettoqueen/).  This one was an idea that needed some lead time for construction so that explains my blog absence for the past week.  I was very lucky to find some resources online for this shoot and I will share them at the end of this post.  If you wish to make some of the items in this post, get ready to make glue, glue dots and scissors your best friends.

Model:  “Sea Breeze” Poppy Parker

Gown and jewelry: Petal Perfect by Dressmaker Details(http://www.windycitydolls.com/dressmaker.htm)

Table and Chairs:  Mini Chair ( http://www.etsy.com/shop/miniCHAIR?ref=top_trail)

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Some candid shots during the shoot.  Loved how the sun was hitting the scene while I shot this!! 

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Photo of the set up…real high tech…right down to the Star Wars AND Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit games holding up the chandelier.  My family and I are complete geeks.  Yes, that is an old window providing the back wall.   I love it!

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Do you like the French flower pails and tin pitchers?  Well they are made of paper and available for download at:

http://miniatures.about.com/od/dollhouseprintables/ss/flowercontainers.htm

Actual downloads are on page two of article above and in multiple scales.  These are all in 1/6 scale.  I used heavier weight presentation paper for this project because cardstock was just too heavy and hard to work with.  I also wanted a slight shine to the items but not glossy so the presentation paper worked well.  Tip:  to keep the flower pails from tipping over when you put something in them, fill them up halfway with rice.  It weighs it down and helps hold the stems in place . Tip:  Ever filled a mini pot and wondered what to use for dirt?  Try coffee grounds.

Happy mini gardening!!


An Updo Hair Tutorial

Over a year ago, a very nice woman wrote to me and asked if I would share some tips on a certain hairstyle I had done.  I was all enthused to do a hair tutorial and had every intention of posting the information.  Well…of course…I never got around to posting it.  My bad!  While at the recent Fashion Royalty convention in Chicago, I met a very lovely woman from France and yes…you guessed it….she was the one who had originally asked for information on how to do a certain hairstyle.  Now, having met this person face to face and having promised to post a tutorial, I hereby dispatch my duty LOL!

And for the lovely Rebecca V. from Paris, this one is for you . Merci beaucoup pour votre patience en attendant que cette information.

Here is a photo of the restyled table dolls I gave at the last Barbie Convention:

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*** A word of caution about this tutorial.  Once I do the dolls hair in an updo, it is not coming down.  It is a permanent hairstyle change.  If you are looking for temporary hairstyle changes, this is not the tutorial for you. **  Also…it is highly recommended to practice on a less expensive vinyl doll first.  I practiced on some older playline dolls of my daughters before I tackled the Silkstones.

I use the following products when I restyle doll hair:

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1.  Firm Hold Hair Gel

2. brush and rat tail comb

3.  Straight pins ( nickel plated…so far no reaction with Silkstone vinyl)

4.  Small clear rubber bands

5. A thimble

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First, I liberally apply the gel to the section of hair that I will be styling and rubber band it at the top/back of head.

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Then I put a rubber band about an inch and 1/2 down from the other rubber band and leave a small section out from the right side of the hair bundle.  This will be used to cover up the rubber band …you will see what I mean.

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Next, I pull the section of hair around the rubber band…..

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The gel will help keep it in place for a bit but I try to hold it there while I work on the rest.

The next step is the one that normally bothers people…yes…I cut the hair.  Please avert your eyes if you can’t handle it.

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Once the hair is cut, I fold it forward towards the face.   Notice that piece of hair that I left out of the bundle is wound around the bottom rubber band and hanging off to the right side of the dolls head.

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Fold the hair forward, concealing the ends of the hair under the bundle.

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Hold firmly and insert pin on top of hair bundle.  I use a thimble to push the pin down into the head.

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I usually use 3-5 straight pins for this updo but you may need more or less depending on the doll and the amount of hair.  I put one in the middle and one a little bit to the left and right.  Keep in mind that if you are working on a Silkstone head, you will need to use a fair bit of force to get that pin in her head.  I highly recommend a thimble if working with Silkstones.

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Once you have put in enough pins and the hair is staying up on it’s own without you holding it, you can take care of the section of hair that should still be hanging out the back from where you covered the rubber band.

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I use very sharp small sewing scissors for this .

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Then I fix the end of the cut hair with a dab of hair gel to “glue” it in place.

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Et Voilà!

finished product

I usually spend a few minutes snipping stray hairs and smoothing bumpy hair with the hair gel if needed.

I typically finish the hairstyle with a very fine mist hairspray.  Make sure you protect the dolls face when you spray as some sprays can affect the face paint or finish.

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Here are some of the ladies hanging out while they dry after I sprayed them.

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Hope this helps explain it!  If there are any questions, feel free to contact me…otherwise, have fun styling those ladies.