Saturday, January 30, 2016

Star Ace Studios casual wear Ron Weasley

He arrived from Ebay a couple of days ago and I have been taking pics and editing them. I have made a few props for him and Harry and enjoying myself immensely. Now I just need to get the funds for Hermoine, Sirius and Snape and Mad Eyed Moody and Dumbledore as well as Hagrid. They do have a Hagrid in the making as well as Malfoy and Harry in quidditich costume. Oh my poor wallet. 

Here is a link to the Hagrid that one of my buddies MiskatonicNick on Flicker clued me in on. Click HERE to see the photo link. 
If it doesn't come up- here it is, Below,  photo is not mine. 

And yes, that is Hermoine in her ballgown! SQUEE! I am going to be so broke! 

I made the little mandrake books and am still working on the mandrakes in their little pots. I have made two, one that resembles one in the book being pulled out by the root and one sitting in the pot, I just have to 'pot' it, lol. I am thinking of making these with little potting boards and a mandrake book like a dissecting board, or a potting board, to sell to finance my action figure habit if they are good enough. I found some better pics of mandrakes and that gives me a more better idea of what to sculpt. Especially on their leaves. Those are all over the place. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review of Disney & Mattel Lady Tremaine dolls from Cinderalla movie...

Recently I ordered the Disney version of Lady Tremaine from the Disney website when they had deep discounted prices about a week or two ago, and I was finally able to receive her yesterday. 

Here she is side by side with Mattel's version of Lady Tremaine. 

The Disney box was a little less elaborate but had this cool pop out butterfly on the front that kind of lifts. You may want to keep this for some prop art in your dioramas for a shop window. She was also a little easier to get out of the box than the Mattel version. 

The Disney version of course, has that wonderful traveling Victorian/Edwardian gown where she steps out of the coach with Cinderalla's father and her two daughters. This gown has a deep black velveteen straight aline skirt underneath the emerald green overskirt, which is lined with tissue paper to keep it from staining the doll's legs. She also has plastic Victorian high heeled boots on trimmed in the same green. Her legs are straight and seem to be hollow like the Mattel version, but I think they might bend. Her underskirt is stuffed with tissue to make it puff out too. The hat is heavy resin/plastic with a comb but may have a little difficulty sticking into her hair but stays. 

The Disney doll's head is bigger than the Mattel version and is more pink/flesh toned than the Mattel version- though I have to admit the Mattel version seems more Cate Blanchett and true to life. But I do like both. I just hate those plastic gloves on the Mattel version.

Here are some photos of the Disney Lady Tremaine of her in the box-

With the discounts, I was able to purchase her for 9.99 plus shipping for 16.79 altogether from the Disney website.  I am not sure if she is still available. I purchased three or four of the Mattel Lady Tremaines as they were my favorites and I wanted to transplant a couple of them onto Fashion Royalty bodies and do a Queen Elizabeth l doll, from the Cate Blanchett movie  'Elizabeth'  which I have in my dvd collection. I have a book by Sir Roy Strong on Queen Elizabeth l's gowns and portraits and have been deciding which one I would like to replicate. I have the doll and body, just need to decide now which fabrics and how to do her hair, which is the hardest part, and jewelry findings, and so on. I also want to keep one in the box too, one out of the box for display/play in my ballroom scenes as I do like her as she is too. 

I also have the Fairy Godmother and Cinderalla. I have wanted to get multiples of these two dolls as well, for customs. Lily James I have wanted to do a Downtown Abbey doll in the 20's costume , and I have wanted to do a Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter too. I really love my fantasy dolls alot. 

The only fault I could find wrong with her is her head size, it is a little large, but that was it, and the body of course is not articulated. All in all the outfit is very nicely made. 
I hope in the future to get some reviews of Cinderalla and the Fairy Godmother up here soon. ~Lisa

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowed in...

I have not posted much, as since Thursday evening here in Virginia it has been snowing and we have been housebound. Since we live in a rural area, we were projected to get alot of snow until 7am this morning, on Sunday. It was bright and sunny this morning, thank goodness, and had stopped snowing last night sometime in the early hours of the morning. Winds were up to 40 miles an hour. 

Forgive the pic, I took it with my new phone through my front door. I couldn't open my front door as the snow had come up too high! Ordinarily you can see the road in front of those trees, and a field, but all you can see is white out, that white stuff is a road, a ditch, and I assure you a huge field. somewhere across that road is our mailbox. 
Yesterday and Friday we weren't going anywhere- and today someone got stuck in our ditch in front of our house. We had not dug out our driveway or cars or trucks, so someone else had to help them. My husband and I were not going to risk it, the road was just too dangerous to go out on. 

So today I caught up on some dolly tag game pictures for Flicker. 
One was Dolls in lingerie an the other was Dolls in Black. 

I had not taken any pictures of my City Shopper Steffie Barbie in a long, long time. I made these black lace panties with the pink bows on them and thought I would take a pic of her as if she were getting ready to go out with her dress laid out, stockings, etc. I love her, and have always thought she was cute for a Model Muse. I ordinarily hate the body type but they are great for one of a kind dolls if you need a doll to display your gowns on. 

I used Dial V for Victoire for Dolls in Black. I got her at GLOSS convention in 2014 and she is now on sale, she is one of the more lovelier ones. Her outfit is wonderful. I have her skirt on another Victoire that is a saleslady in LaBelle's. This Victoire has the look of a cat burglar to me from the time I saw her outfit, hence the gun. I need to get her a Glock or a nine mil. or a James Bond type of gun. She really looks like she needs to be stealing diamonds or fine art. That is one of the dioramas on my list- it would be neat to have her doing that. 

Looks like I might be snowed in some more, even though it melted a little bit but maybe I might get some more pics. I don't do well without sunlight and today was the first day the sun came back out. I sooooooo....hate snow!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mandrake botany books for Harry....

I have been working on more books, spilled open , designed to lay open, with aged pictures, for Harry and hopefully, Ron and Hermoine when they arrive. I found some stunning pics on google images with mandrakes this past week and printed them off. I also wanted to do some Da Vinci themed books on anatomy, in keeping when Harry loses his bones when one of his inept Professors gets rid of the bones in his arm- remember? so I thought that would be a cool set of books to do as well. Here are the mandrake books.

The only bummer thing I could not make the mandrakes in their pots. I had the pots about in my craft stash but now cannot find them. It has been snowing all day today, so I concentrated on books. Later this week I will get the pots. 

Here is a picture of the closeups of Hogwarts Castle which was 1:12 scale, that was my inspiration for my 1:6 scale project. Click on the greenhouse with the mandrakes!

and now for my pics!

Hope you enjoyed them!~Lisa

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Blythe, Blythe, Blythe.....

I love dolls. One doll I am drawn to and go away from is Blythe. The big head, the eyes on the string that 'switch' ...she is ultimately fascinating and intriguing and sometimes can be repulsive with the big head, little body and adorable and cute and beautiful all at the same time. I remember wanting one in the 70's as a kid when Kenner made them and my mother simply hated their big heads and eyes. My mom had this thing about dolls with weird eyes, and not letting them in the house. (I think it had something to do with her 6th sense and being able to see spirits, but that's another long story, lol. ) 

But back to Blythe. One of the things on my long to-do list this year was to finally to something with the factory Blythe I had purchased on Ebay a few years. I had purchased her with the intention of doing a faceup and getting 'into' Blythe. Regular Takara Blythes cost as much as a bjd- up to $99-300 dollars, depending on edition size. Kenner Blythes run about $2000.  'Factory Blythes' are for the most part, essentially 'fake' Blythes and are made with parts from the Chinese factories. They are great for customization, body swapping, etc. 

My factory Blythe has a great wig, so I didn't take her wig /scalp off to do any work, just a light sanding on her face which was easy to do and I did the faceup on her brows, and lips and cheeks with watercolor pencils and chalks. I have not sealed it yet because now and then I occasionally add some color to it here and there. Here is a photo shoot I did this morning with her. I really need to get her a new body and some clothes.

Here she is on a Saturday morning adventure going exploring with Marigold Finch, Mr. Tickles the bear and Minuette Mouse. I have shown her here and I don't have a before picture but before, her face was extremely shiny and now it is more 'matte' finish. I want to swap out her body for a jointed Obitsu body so she will stand more easily and get some better shoes for her than the barbie ones I have. Her eyes are so big and 'all-knowing' of the things that draws me to these dolls when they are customized is the look of intelligence in their big eyes. 
So, I am currently beginning work on the staircase set, Set B, and it is hard going. I did some cleanup from Christmas in my workshop yesterday and hopefully I can get over there today.  I have several irons in the fire, so to speak and really want to get the staircase set done so I can do a whole host of new dioramas done. 
I also got a new phone! It's a samsung and the camera is awesome, even more better than my little cannon, which I may now have to takes great pics. I took some pics of the Gothic mansion yesterday with it, and they were really sharper than my camera pics. Simply amazing. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Star Ace Studios Harry Potter (Casual Wear) Philospher's Stone in 1:6 scale....

I have been a little awol until today because my new action figure, Star Ace Studios Harry Potter Philospher's Stone casual Wear just arrived today. He comes with Hedgwig, his snowy white owl, his wand, an extra hand, and of course, the philospher's stone. The graphics on the box are really wonderful. In America, the company is known as Star Ace Studios, but in the UK, it is known as Big Chief Studios . Look at the whole lineup of Harry Potter characters HERE

Here are my photos I took. I made some items for the table such as some little aged leather books, the candy sticks in the candy jar. The jar of wishes is an embellishment by Tim Holtz from the scrapbook aisle that I thought would be cool for the scenes I plan to do. 

When I first began getting back into miniatures in 2002-2004, the craze was for Harry Potter miniatures. Anything witchy, or any scenes, to do with the movie were the rage. At that time, I only knew 1:12 scale, standard dollhouse scale and was not collecting dolls, and was into building mainly in the 1:12 scale. I did some scenes in this scale. One site and one collector that was very publicized in the miniature magazines, was Sally Wallace, who engaged many artisans, namely Rik Pierce, to construct a miniature Hogwarts castle and other various roomboxes, in 1:12 scale to help her create her own miniature magical Harry Potter world. This was really inspiring for me. Since then, it has always been on my bucket list, if a company ever created decent action figures in 1:6 scale, I would then begin to collect them for the scenes as I knew i could create the accessories for the Harry Potter scenes.  Here is the link for Sally's site-
Magical Miniatures  as well as her old site- Sal's Site

Another artisan that Sally patronized and who is truly amazing is Erika Van Horn, of EV Miniatures. She creates the most magical, historically accurate visual, period miniature books I have ever seen. A truly wonderful artisan. 
Her site is EV Miniatures and she also has a blog Erika's blog . She also sells on Etsy as well. 

My plan this year is to pull back a little from crazy buying on the fashion dolls, or only on those that I can truly use or really wow! me on their quality. I'm just not buying every fashion doll I see. They have to fit into my needs this year and I am going to be focusing my collection on the action figures a bit more if possible. Especially the Star Ace figures as there are quite a few that I have on my list. I am gunning for Hermoine and Ron next. I wish they would do a Hagrid.  So I have alot of buying to do to play catchup, lol. I also have alot of sketching and building to do as well for the dioramas. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

How to Start the New Year off...

I decided to do a shoot comparison with some of my silkies and some of the new Integrity convention girls that came into the doll room for Christmas.. It really is hard to choose. Which is your favorite- Silkstone Barbie, regular collector Barbie- or Integrity toys with Poppy Parker, the Fashion Royalty 2 line, Style Lab Color Infusion, and the list goes on...

The last photo is a closeup of some of my Silkstones by themselves, with Stage Presence Veronique looking on from behind. I have to say that Boater and In the Pink from years past are still two of my favorite Silkstones. I do have more Silkstone Barbies than this just wanted to put a few in the shot that would go with the girls I had already set up in evening dress.  

The reason I am posting this is because of the recent email from Barbie Collector I received about re-joining...

This year, I am, of course, going to join. But I had to stop and think twice. I really , really did. First of all, I haven't purchased that much from Barbie Collector. I purchased Lady of the White Woods (backordered, had to wait.) then I purchased Queen of the dark Forest, (backordered, had to wait) both of these dolls, I used my reward. I ordered Haunted Beauty Zombie Barbie using my third reward , and then, finally, Boucle Beauty Silkstone Barbie with the last reward and free shipping. But this year whenever I have tried for that wonderful hard to get doll, such as Toki Doki- or there was another Platinum, it has been quite literally a disaster. 
The Andy Warhol doll was a one doll I was somewhat glad I did not try for. Some collectors ordered, paid, then were told later after being charged that the website had over extended the order and they would not get their doll! And the waiting room business- all of this to order a doll. 

For this reason, I have done business with Integrity. You don't have to fiddle around with someone who plays guessing games whether or not they want to sell to you or make you 'hunt the doll'. Plus their quality control is on point, they give you articulation, the clothing is beautifully made. 

I will say my only reasons for joining BarbieCollector...nostalgia, and I am eager to see what they do with the articulated Silkstones. But I believe not making some of the Silkstones non-articulated is a really bad decision- not all the collectors like articulation. (why,I have no idea unless you're stuck in 1959 and refuse to come out. ) There has been alot of talk on the Barbiecollector forum about who will stay and who will not buy and I think those collectors are not giving the new articulated Silkies a chance. 

But then again, who am I? I'm just a nutty diorama builder who hates mannequin dolls. I do love my Silkstones I have, and won't change them, but at the end of the day, they are mainly shoppers in my town, I cannot change their pose, their stance. They are not the stars, my buildings are. 

Two...I am collecting the Faraway Forest series of dolls and am hoping...HOPING. that Mattel will add some knee articulation into these idiot Model Muse dolls. We are paying $100 or $80 with a reward for a doll with jointed elbows and model muse legs. The outfits are stunning and so are their facial sculpts. I would love an articulated body on the bottom to go with it so I could get more poseability in pictures when they are out of the box. I was unable to acquire Forest Elf, the first in the series, so am hoping to get the others in the series, there are going to be seven in all. 

Probably my buying with BarbieCollector will be as skimpy in 2016 as it was in 2015...As there are some dolls or action figures on my list that I am simply dying to acquire. Integrity may be put on the back burner as well. I have vowed unless they come up with something that WOWS me, I will not be placing pre-orders.  Especially on the registration to join. Last year I purchased all three, this year I am hoping to save some money. lol...

So what about you? Any thoughts on your dolly purchases in 2016?