Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Va. fashion doll club meeting- theme 'Downtown Abbey'

This past Sunday I attended my Va. Fashion doll club meeting and we met again at Linda's house. I think I featured pictures last year on her amazing doll room. Most of our members are into reproduction and vintage Barbie- some of us are heavily into Jason Wu/Fashion Royalty like Karon Montague (Karon N va ) on the fashion doll boards such as Doll Divas. 
The Theme was the popular TV show 'Downtown Abbey' and we have quite a few members who watch it. I do not get PBS but to catch up I watched the new premiere of season 4 online and it was so intriguing! So I am somewhat hooked. 
Our theme was to bring dolls dressed as members of the cast and we also were going to have 'High Tea' . Backdrops of some of the rooms of the castle and gardens had been provided, and I was asked to bring some of my wingchairs and tea tables for the table shots. Our club members outdid themselves, as usual.

Some of the cast of the 'downstairs' staff, cook, Mary, Barrows and one of the house maids. Cook was a Carol Burnett doll from job switching set and her red lipstick taken off, wearing a dyed civil war nurse dress so it appears to be grey striped, our club member Jodie did this. Our club president, Debbie made Edith's dress and she did an amazing job matching the color and fabrics.

One of our club members from Maryland, Leslie, replicated the scene where Mary had a one night stand and the visitor died in her bed- and they had to move him back to his room- this caused alot of hilarity at the club.

All this doll play worked up an appetite for tea. There were egg salad sandwiches, chicken salad with grapes and cranberries sandwiches, cucumber & goat cheese sandwiches, with the crusts cut off of course-, marmalade, devonshire cream with orange and cranberry scones, lemon cubes, macarroons, chilled stuffed strawberries with almonds- (my contribution) fruits and a variety of teas such as Earl Grey, raspberry, and other tea assortments as well as lemonade, diet and regular sodas, and more. 
We had alot of fun and I now have a new 'show' to look forward to as I love period drama.
Enjoy the photos!~Lisa

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chateau project- 1:6 scale French doors

The Chateau project is still in progress. I just have not had much time for the doll stuff with commissions, and my husband's business LeoPaul & Assciates as with the winter cold, many clients need boiler work completed. The paperwork and other office stuff takes up alot of my time. 
But today I have had alot of time to work on one of the parts of this project that have perplexed me....1:6 scale French doors like those of Versailles and the Petit Trianon. After seeing other diorama artists who have made dozens of foamcore doors, I wondered if it was possible to do so with the French doors? So I began my experiment today.

I used a large scrap piece of foamcore from my stash since I didn't know if the design would work. I also had a large yardstick ruler, my steel ruler, exacto knife and scissors.
For reference, I used my tallest Fashion Royalty homme- Romaine and to the Fair Poppy parker for size /scale reference. 
First, I put the dolls and measured the length/height  of the doors I wanted. I originally thought of 14 inches high, but nixed that as the door would look too small for Romaine, who is 13 inches high. This is also a Chateau, so the doors should be a little taller than usual.I went with 15 inches high 5 inches wide.

Then, I cut out the door. Next I measured for 2 window panes going down. I ended up with 8 window panes, which resembles the French double doors that open onto the Chateau's terraces. Below is a picture of the finished set of doors, with the panes cutout, and a door frame of foam core around them.

                             Below I propped them up so you can do the height comparisons.

Showing them above with Marie Antoinette. Even though this is a mockup I was pleased with my first attempts. I am thinking of taking white contact paper and covering the cuts so it looks smooth and even, then adding some embellishments and doorknobs with hinges. 
I also worked on mockup with different papers to get an idea. I am using the lit du polannaise in this room so the colors have to mesh with it, soft taupe and sage green, with gold and cream

Above is a photo of some wallpaper mockups I did today too. The lovely paper behind Marie is a 1:12 scale sheet of miniature wallpaper I had in my stash from the Natasha French bouquet wall mural line, here it is cut in half and arranged on a background of green art paper from Hobby Lobby taped onto foamcore just to see how it all looks together. The Natasha paper looks really good behind Marie and reminds me of the scene in the Marie Antoinette movie where she is reading the letter from her mother and leaning against that gorgeous wall with floral vibrant paper/tapestry behind her. It really pops here. Right now my problem is the dimensions of the room and how large it will be. I am certain it will probably be temporary but I may end up glueing it together until I get it right. 
Hope this has helped, and I will have more photos on this project as I get/acquire more of my needed materials.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Custom doll- the young Marie Antoinette

As one or two of my previous posts showed, I was working on some custom furniture for an 18th century project. I call this my 'Chateau' project right now. While working on this to take my mind off of my mother's illness and her passing in December 2013, I sketched this out in my sketchbook with ideas I came up with. Like all of my dioramas, it began with so many ideas that it became quite indepth. The original plan was to just do a custom Marie Antoinette doll- but what is she without Louis XVl, the Dauphin and her daughter Marie Therese, as well as her faithful friends of her Court?
Right now I have finished Marie Antoinette's gown and her initial look. I will be making some other gowns for her, but this material I had on hand and so fits the inspirational photo from the Marie Antoinette/Kirsten Dunst movie.

The lit du polannaise divan/settee is all handmade by me - the drapes, tassels, pillows, curtains , cushions. I finished Marie's dress today. She is a Lilac Frost Poppy Parker withher hair washed and restyled into a tall Pompadour style using gel and alot of patience!
Marie Antoinette really did have a pug dog that she brought with her from Austria to France named Mops(Mops is a birthstone beauty Barbie accessory I customized by taking off his crown and making his silk ribbon rhinestone embellished collar- just like the Mops int eh movie) but it was sent back to Austria at the hand-over when the Queen was not allowed to keep anything Austrian. She later sent for her dog Mops to be brought back to her by Courier from her mother the Empress. 
The gown was redrafted from an old MSD sized Arcadia dolls pattern from an old issue of Haute Doll, I customized the skirt a bit because of the fabric. 
This project will be ongoing, and Louis is now in the works, but will probably not be done until late June. I am going to work on the Dauphin and Marie Therese next as well as the finishing touches to the lit du polannaise as well as working on the actual room for this scene. More later!