Wednesday, October 31, 2012

20% off Hurricane/Halloween sale in our Ebay store

Just a quick note for everyone out there we are having a 20% off SALE in honor of Halloween until November 1st in our Ebay store Pumpkin Hill Studios - some items even have FREE SHIPPING!

I also have 1:4 scale and 1:3 scale items on this sale, as well as miniature carpets like the one pictured above, with free shipping! So shop now as the Countdown to Christmas has begun!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pre-Hurricane Halloween party!

I thought a little pre-Hurricane/Halloween party was in order, while I still have power. The rain is beginning to pick up today, we have gone out this morning but soon came home. Many back roads further north towards Fredericksburg are being closed.

But I have been meaning to post something about Halloween, my week has been crazy and I had no time to set up for even minor pics. So today I thought I would give some neat links.

A Fanciful Twist had their Halloween party/tea on the 27th, but I did not sign up. However, she does a really cool Halloween party & her blog is awesome!

Since the dolls live in the pumpkin patch, which is quite magical here, I thought you would enjoy this pick above.

A Fanciful Twist Halloween party 2012  click on the link and scroll to the left for a list of participating blogs, it really is alot of fun!

In the Abbey Ruins, dolls were partying, trick or treating, as well as meeting the Wicked witch of the West and patroling for vampires and other things that go bump in the night!

Dont forget to go trick or treating TODAY over at the Doll Divas message board for their Monster Mash contests which are quite fun!

Above is the quick setup I did today. I am using the same cardboard structure for my Nativity scene I am planning for Christmas as the Stable/manger- but it works as the ruins of an old Abbey with cemetary for Halloween as well. I had made the crypt about two months ago and it turned out great- one of my best props I have made in a long time. Now if I can only acquire the W club Count Dracula who is on my wishlist, since this crypt was made for him. lol.

I have alot of spooky dolls on my haunted wish list, as I have always wanted to create a haunted mansion in 1:6 scale...Count Dracula and the Brides of Dracula by the W club, along with the Ashton Drake dolls - the Countess, Lucy and the Dark Hunters.
W club- Spooky Sooki dynamite girls
Mattel-  The Addams family giftset and the Munsters giftset from 2000
Sideshow- Ardeth Bey, Dracula Bela Lugosi, Frankenstein, wolfman, Angel, Xander, Human Spike, Vampire spike, and vampire Angel

hmmm, long list...better tone it down a bit!

I have always loved classic horror movies- and watching Svengooli on Saturday nights is my favorite! He is one of the last of the classic horror show hosts like Elvira, Mistress of the dark. This past Saturday night was Werewolf in London done in the late 1930's....really great old black and white classic. One of my favorites is the Mummy starring Boris Korloff as Ardeth Bey or the Mummy, and sideshow did a wonderful figure on this one, but he is quite pricey on Ebay.

All for now, and enjoy the links! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Barbie's 'used' Volkswagon....

I have been working so hard this week in my husband's office with his boiler business,Leo Paul and Associates , invoicing, picking up parts, delivering them to him, faxing, plus wrapping orders from my own business Pumpkin Hill Studios on Ebay  I have had literally no doll time. I have worked a little this week in the evenings on the Nativity - currently am working on one of the Wise Men's costume. Still have two more to do, plus possibly another shepherd and finding a good doll for the angel.
But today I could breath a bit, so I stopped by a large yard sale at the nearby Firestation in Hanover and found Barbie a used volkswagon. It is in a peach colored pink, but not too puke pepto-Bismol pink. I gave the man $2 and brought it home, and pivatol Barbie loves it- so its' her 'new' car.

I have missed being able to take pics and pay attention to Barbietown, this is the first time in quite a while I have been able to enjoy the dolls and start thinking of the holidays on how to decorate Barbietown for Christmas. I have wanted to do alot of different scenes- which call for MORE PROPS. lol....but I will try to restrain myself. Since Hurricane Sandy is due to hit tomorrow here in Va. and on the East Coast, I thought loading luggage for evacuation would be appropriate with the new car. After the yard sale I went to Walmart and the Dollar tree for supplies- water, matches, candles, flashlights, batteries- you know, the regular stuff.
Every time we have a threat of a natural disaster- I always wonder- what doll would I grab? This is hard to think about, since I have so many. And with the Barbie Collector sale ending on 10/29, I might possibly have more!
Here is some more pics of Barbietown...just because.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lucky thrifting finds today...

As I have begun to do alot recently, I went antiquing near my favorite haunts, as I am unbeknown to the doll world, a passionate china and crystal collector. (this is why you see part of my collection being moved on Ebay to make more room for dolls!lol)

So today I was in the antique mall near my home, and found this little guy. PERFECT for the Nativity I am planning. He is obviously vintage, but the weird thing is I have been watching two or three similar auctions onthis same figure- I believe even though he has yellowed, he is a Breyer mule/donkey made in Hong Kong. My lucky find was only $4

I could be mistaken about the Breyer part, but he is just nifty. I don't mind the yellowing either, because this little guy is just going to stand around the stable in the Nativity. The one I was watching on Ebay was on a BIN for $21!! So I saved a ton of money and time.
So I took a few pics of him standing about the Stable scene.

I think he looks great in this scene. He is not really tall enough for Mary to ride on, but that is ok, the price is right for the look I want with this setup.
I also am working on the first of the Wise men with a doll that just arrived from EvilKaren on Doll Divas! Since I was about today picking up items hubby needed, I treated myself to a quick Hancock fabrics visit and found some great fabric remnants. I could go nuts with their upholstery fabrics- but I controlled myself with the under $5 bin. Hopefully I will  have that Wise man finished soon, this week I am probably going to have very little dolly time. Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nativity diorama Progress...part 2

Progress has continued on the Nativity diorama, and I have finished turning the vintage Todd doll I had into either a shepherd boy or little drummer boy. I thought he has turned out well. Part of the problem with Biblical clothing is if I keep to historical accurate, Todd would not be wearing very much. So I went with rough trousers /bloomers made of grey felt, and a blouse tied with cord that also ties his hood. He is barefoot. I haven't decided if I should make a drum or buy it- right now he looks quite adorable as a little shepherd boy, so this will call for more sheep.
More progress has also been made on the Stable/manger structure itself. I took a piece of pink builder's foam and roughly cut it to fit the side, then cut the arch into it. With grey and black coats of spray paint - it has that decrepit look of crumbling stone. I also have almost finished the front door, with its cardboard hinges, also made of cardboard. I have been meaning to sculpt a handle off putty/clay, but haven't had time. But the scene does look good with the little shepherd boy peeking thru the stable door to see what is going on inside.
The basket and pottery urn, and wooden bucket are items I had in my props- the urn is made by a miniature artisan Alex Mechiljohn- don't know if I spelled that correctly- and he only sells at shows. One of the other clay pots with decorative carving on it next the tall urn is from Handley House.

Here are some more shots of the exterior of the stable, I will need to re-do these pics but it shows the stonework carved into the builder's foam. I used those dollar tree clamp lights for the light shining down on Joseph & Mary, clamped into the roof of the structure and then aimed down at the dolls.

Enjoy! I have one more shepherd to work on his costume before I begin on the 3 kings and their costumes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Progress of the Nativity Diorama

Yesterday evening, I made a great deal of progress on the costumes of some of the dolls for the Nativity diorama. I have to say this is the most in depth scene I have every done, as I am literally creating everything from scratch. I was fussing about the dimensions of the Stable/manger for the scene and my husband said- why not use what you have already created from that box? You already have the broken door, and the stone, and it's open on the side. He hit on what I had been musing over in my mind with sketches for over a week! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the progress thus far.

The stable/manger was made from a bubble wrap box and foam insulation  carved into stonework. This was supposed to originally be used as the Abbey ruins for my Sideshow Buffy figures and a Halloween/cemetary scene. It will probably double as that as well, but for now, staging what my work has done so far on the Nativity dolls helps me figure out the next figures/costumes I need to work on, and props such as animals I should start looking for/collecting for finishing this scene.

I did the finishing work on Mary's mantel, and Joseph and the shepherd's costumes as well. All of the remnants for the men's clothing came from Hobby Lobby except for Mary's costume, which I had in my fabric stash.

Mary's costume is a tafetta white underdress, quite simple, with a sheer overlay of chiffon. Her 'belt' is made of DMC floss braided like a friendship bracelet. Her mantel or hood is blue satin. I have to admit that I sewed to the camera, so to speak, and these clothing pieces are not the most finished or the best, as I sew by 'eye' and used a very straightforward one piece pattern. I have to admit I love the effect.
Baby Steven is from the Sunshine family and he may remain the Baby Jesus. I at first wanted the Baby Jesus to have brown hair to match Mary & Joseph, but have re-thought that for 2 reasons- most children are born with blonde downy hair that quickly turns, 2- I am on a budget and have not found any 1:6 scale infants that please me as to their expressions, and the Sunshine family infant has a serene expression on his little face. He is quite old- my Sunshine family dolls are some of my favorites and were my most played with dolls as a child.
Joseph I used a Barbie Basics Ken, and I am really glad, because he has the right expression on his face and the right body/stance for posing. I used unbleached muslin for his robe, but for his mantel I used a dark purple cloth. I thought this a discreet way to denote Joseph's descant from King David, and purple is a color of royalty.

Fashionista Ken Ryan was used for one of the shepherds. His arms are articulated, but his legs are not. This is not that big of deal since he will be standing and holding a sheep and a staff, or shepherd's crook, as I have  several of those to make. The other shepherd I decide on will have to have the ability to kneel. This shepherd was alot of fun to work on his costume- again, unbleached muslin for the basic robe, and this wonderful striped fabric for his hood and mantel. I used burgundy felt for his hood. His belt and the ties on his hood are made of knotted black DMC floss. As with everything in a Biblical costume, it depends on how you drape the fabrics to make it look natural.
The lamb is a 1:12 scale lamb from Hobby Lobby that I bought to see if it would work. I will have to probably give in and buy some Breyer 1:6 scale animals off of Ebay or comb yard sales and flea markets. I have been hesitant to do this, since they are expensive, but the Nativity Fontanini animals are hugely expensive. I think a bunch of these full grown ewes in 1:12 scale will work great for lambs to scatter about the stable. I could really use a cow, donkey and camel.
Here is the total scene of the stable. More pictures can be found in my Flicker

When the diorama is complete, it will probably be about 10-11 dolls. I will be using this scene for my Christmas card scene I will be sending out to my friends, family and my customers too. If you would like to be on the card list you can always contact me via Email with name and address. I usually begin creating/gathering my list together starting in October/November, and after Thanksgiving the Christmas cards are mailed out each year. I usually have my cards made with my pictures at either Sam's club, Costco or Walmart, it is so easy to pick out the card template and upload, then have them picked up at the store when I'm running my errands. I have been doing this for about 4-5 years now, and sometimes send out over 100 cards each year.
Enjoy the pictures! More to come as I work slowly on the rest of the dolls.