Monday, March 31, 2014

New Props for the Chateau project & Victoire love

I acquired some new props for the Chateau project and have just had time to take some photos of them. I also deboxed Evening in Montreal Victoire and took some photos of her with my Monte Carlo Victoire. To date I have three Victoires, I really love this character the W club came up with. 
First acquisition- this came over a week ago, but I set it aside as I wanted to set up a proper diorama to showcase it. This is my new plaster fireplace, hearth, screen from 
Jim Coates Collection on Ebay His work is stunning and the go to guy for an artisan quality period fireplace- they are handcarved, poured and just exquisite. I also received some decorative pilaster shelves to display porcelains on as well, right now I am just showcasing the fireplace in all of its glory. The mirror is by him as well- his mirrors hang in my shop LaBelle's.
2nd prop is a working grandfather clock that is just simply amazing. I love this piece and it is perfect, perfect scale. 
Evening in Montreal- well she has been deboxed and is lovely. I won't be parting with this lovely. Only beef is like Monte Carlo, her shoes will not fit with her hose on. I did not try on her gloves.
Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Experimenting with stop Motion photography- & a New Video!

I have long been inspired by those that do stop motion photography with their dolls on YouTube videos. The above video is a 'test' video as I used some techniques of stop motion, taking a still frame, then moving the dolls limbs to simulate the movement of walking, pulling out a chair, sitting, and drinking from a cup. I have wanted to go into a new direction with my dolls and work, and have been toying with the photography aspect of how to make my collection really seem 'alive'.
One source of inspiration I never tire of reading of on her three blogs is Caroline McFarlane-Watts of Tall-Tales Productions ( a blog devoted to her own miniature sets and project of creating a miniature film using stop motion) as well as her other two blogs-
Hummingbird Miniatures which showcases some of her marvelous 1:12 scale foods and 
Pixiedust Miniatures which showcases her magical minis. Her links to the stop motion and miniature set world has inspired and intrigued me to do research on this fascinating industry. 
This led me to looking at links on Youtube with stop motion. I realize that I will have to practice a great deal- especially on the art of walking for a doll. My above video is somewhat clumsy but was fun to do.I have been attempting to figure out how I would do a scene and how much work would be involved in filming it. I am also looking at purchasing a movie camera, to make filming more easier. Right now, I am having fun with the experimentation of the project and hope I can do some more intricate scenes. For now, enjoy the video!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New GI Joes have arrived..

I have had bunches and bunches of dolls that have arrived. First, Morning Dove arrived on Thursday...with my GI Joes arriving yesterday. Before that, my 2nd Momoko arrived whom I named Scout, she is so cute. I still have not deboxed Evening in Montreal Victoire! 

Here are some pics of the Joes. I acquired Man of Evil 2012 exclusive, and Adventure team guy too. I didn't deck them out in all of their gear. These Joes you will only find if you become a member of the GI Joe Collector club. The only problem I have with them is their ability to sit- very poseable, great facemolds. Man of Evil is quite interesting because he has a face mask but his 'real' face he is missing an eye with a scar, has an eye patch too. I thought he would be interesting to visit the Baroness. 

the clothing for these figures is really high quality. The little insignias are simply stickers that come off too easily. The Joes all have dog tags that are detailed too. The fuzzhead with the beard also has a camo jacket that goes on underneath the black jacket and he wears a tank top and boxer briefs as well. I purchased an extra set of boots so my Man of Asia could have some boots. The fuzzhead w/ beard also came with guns, as well as a skateboard! 
I did some recent sock sewing too for Scout. I had purchased some cute socks to experiment with and had an idea for use with some embellishments. Well, I made her one of those funny caps with dangling pom pom ties and used pom poms to make it look like a face on the cap.

Her sweater and cap were great fun to make. I loved how the sweater came together like a hoodie gathered at the neck with the pom poms that match the orange in her sweater, Momokos are so cute in bright colors. 
I have recently started a workout regimen at American Family and Fitness gym,with a trainer,  so my blogging may be cut back a bit. I had an indepth blog post I needed to do but have it in a draft, as it takes so much time with the links that I have /need to include. My health has not always been my first priority, and now that my schedule is manageable, I am making my health no. 1 at this time. Since starting I have felt better and I am able to move more quickly or have more energy. Also beginning to pay attention to what I eat, and not eat on the run so much. Now that I am slowing my schedule down a bit, I am hoping to devote more time to creating new items for the dolls, and my Etsy and Ebay stores as well. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

1970 Vintage Country Camper find

I think one of the reasons all of us collect dolls is at heart, we remember those happy hours of imaginative play we had- and what kind of dolls it does not matter- when we were small. There were no headaches except going to school and doing homework & a few household chores that your mom nagged you about. I know when I get together with the ladies from my Va. Fashion doll club, most of them collect vintage Barbie because that is what they have so many fond memories of- their Mother taking them shopping for Barbie's new outfit or wonders- getting the dream house for Christmas. I used to laugh at how people would go nuts over original packaging, still intact or even partially intact, until I myself succombed to the vintage mania. Such is the quest for the Barbie Country Camper.

I finally found one that looked like the one my Mom got rid of when I was a teenager and thought I was 'too old' for Barbies. I had both the Camper and the beach buggy- the Blue beach van is harder to find. I have on and off scoured Ebay for a camper that looked like mine with minimal damage. Some campers had the plaid tent and a pink and white flower design on the fold down table, others varied too. But lo and behold, I was scouring eBay yet again when just listed- was a Country camper, 1970, in the original box, unassembled. 

Wonder of wonders- it had the same orange tent and design patterns my old camper had I received when I was six or seven years old. It is fuzzy when I received it- I am guessing it may have been either a birthday present or a Christmas present. I also remember having tons of fun with my Malibu Barbie, PJ, Ken and Skipper going camping. The kid next door would bring his GI Joes and his Joe jeep and Joe would drive the camper because Barbie didn't know how (Ken didn't have a license because to us- he was a beach bum!lol so he didn't have a job!) the hours of play that camper received yet it was still in minor good condition except for a small rip in the tent- it seems all the tents on these campers were fragile- my mother would have me clean the wheels and wipe it down after I played with it. So I learned to take care of my toys. Her reasoning was if we played in the sand box with it I would track sand into the house, and the little boys mother next door thought the same. 
So my quest for the camper brought back alot of fond memories of growing up, when things and people were simpler, and Barbie cost $3.00 , lol. I think now if I find a fashion pak dress set for that much in Tuesday morning I've hit the jackpot!
The camper was missing the directions, so I am guessing someone got it, it came with two sleeping bags, two stools. My camper came with the campfire and cooking pots, so I may start looking for them on Ebay. The box graphics on this item were bold and lovely, and I think someone, whoever owned it, kept it in the box because that was a handy place to keepit, unassembled. Either way, it is an early birthday present or Easter present for me- birthday isn't until May!
So I took some quick pics of it yesterday. I will take more when I am more prepared and get everything together. I have been having knee and back pain so wasn't easy to stage the item. I meant to get my malibu Ken, Barbie and PJ in their outfits to stage with it, but haven't yet. So Poppy, the Momokos Scout and Cookie and GI Joe got to use the new camper.

The box was just as much of a present as the camper. I so remember tearing off the paper when I opened it as a child- who could resist the pictures of Ken, Barbie and PJ on the front? Here are some pics of the interior .

As you can see with Cookie standing by the tent, it is best for 'display' versus play. I folded it back up so Joe could drive (he is a little tall his head hits the roof) it reminds me of when my dad used to drive our camper, looking out the window and his rear view mirror having mom guide him as he backed into the spot at the campground. 

Unfortunately, Joe has chosen to park in front of LaBelle's and set up because there is a picnic table nearby! I did not have my vintage Malibu dolls ready except for Skipper. The swimsuit she is wearing came from a popular fashion pak for Skipper when the Olympics was on in 1971 or 1972? I cannot remember, I was only 6 or 7 years old. There was one for Barbie too- it came with a gold medal and red white and blue towel. When the Olympics were going on I came across this and meant to do photos of my Skipper, but she's ready now. Her original swimsuit- orange- I think is not in good condition or complete, I will have to look for it. One reason it is the same exact orange as the camper! 
I am planning to have some outdoor pics this year and the camper, along with my picnic table I have, will look great. I am also hoping to score a tent and some other items to create a really great scene. Iwould like to do more outdoor photos with the dolls so hopefully will get to do that if it stops snowing and spring gets here! Tuesday we are supposed to get a sleet/snow mix- again!
Enjoy the pics and more coming!