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La La Land – a review :)

In a total departure for me, I’ve decided to review this “little” film I saw yesterday, La La Land.

This film had me smiling all the way through, except when I was tearing up. Truly I was smiling without realizing it.

It starts with the colours for me. The wardrobe and sets are no accidents. Everything is considered. It’s subtle in places, but everything has been thought out here and appears for a reason. The balance of reds for instance in the opening singing and dancing number, is superb. All of the bright jewel tones that are chosen throughout the film. It has a distinctive look. The second number, the quartet “Someone in the Crowd” follows the same pattern.  Again we get four bright true jewel tones. It’s lovely to look at and the four dresses are great. The costuming follows an updated 50’s vibe. The dresses are mostly too short for the 1950’s but the styles echo that time. Emma Stone has a couple of looks that feel very Audrey Hepburn. Pencil leg capris and flats paired with a white button up blouse anyone?

The only complaint that I have in terms of costuming is that some of Emma’s wardrobe just doesn’t fit her as well as I want it to. The yellow dress with the black flowers gapes a little around the neckline which I found distracting. The purple sleeveless sheath I love. It’s got a great looking cut, but it does some flapping around the armhole. The yellow dress Emma does the tap number in, so it’s possible that’s why the looser fit around the neckline (maybe…) but she doesn’t dance in the purple. Again, minor, but distracting for me personally.

There are lots of nice echoes throughout the scenes as well. A dance number is performed while moving through a film set we saw earlier as the Ryan and Emma were walking around the Warner Bros lot. A nod too, to the orange ad in the background where Ryan stalks the Van Beek that reappears. (I think.)

The dialogue is delivered beautifully, masterfully. One is pulled right into this story. The party scene in which “I Ran” is played, well I won’t give everything away but it’s a delight and will have you laughing out loud! Emma Stone rightfully gets the Golden Globe for this performance. She has emotive eyes for days this lady. She conveys so much emotion in her face. (If you like Emma Stone and have not seen “Easy A” go do so. A great, underrated film. Maybe I’ll review that next!)  Ryan Gosling apparently spent three months learning how to play the piano for this role. I’m glad he did, it shows. Otherwise that whole part of the story would fall flat. It doesn’t fall though. Ryan is endearing, and excited about his passion, Jazz, and it works. Speaking of Jazz, and who isn’t? I was happy that the Jazz musicians that appear with him are introduced by name both on screen (Khirye Tyler, Cal Bennet, Nedra Wheeler, Javier Gonzalez , Eddie Clifton and are fully credited in the crawl. (Yes, we’re those people. The ones who sit through the credits at the end of movies, and you should too!)

Emma and Ryan do their own singing and quite a bit of their own dancing too. There is at least one, maybe two sequences where it’s probably not them, because their dancing is not super strong, but it’s accomplished enough for the task at hand and Mandy Moore (not the actress – different Mandy Moore ) does a nice job with the choreo.

The music is great, the dialogue is fast and funny and believable, the lyrics work the story. I won’t give it away, but you get a nice little “gift” at the end.

This movie is a delight! Go and see it….. right now!

~awsumgal

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Sadie – ooak Pippa doll reroot repaint make over

Happy Saturday doll fans! Today I have for you a repainted, rerooted and redressed vintage Palitoy Pippa doll. Same scale as her American counterpart, Topper Dawn. I don’t do very many Pippa makeovers, not because I don’t like Pippa, but because they are very hard to come by on this side of the Atlantic, especially in Canada. No finding them in boot sales around here!

I have a small collection that I have curated over the years and there have always been a couple of girls who were waiting patiently for new hair and faces. This is one of them 🙂

I gave this girl a platinum blonde reroot because I just love that super pale blonde hair! I use a sew in method that is a variation of the lock loop, so I don’t fill their heads with glue. I don’t use any glue. I also don’t poke the hair into the scalp from the outside as that method tends to tear the vinyl of the head.

After her reroot she was parted and styled and given a trim. (Side note: I was sure I had taken some in process pictures but now they’ve disappeared! If I locate them I’ll update the post.)

Then on to her new features. I gave her warm brown eyes with a little black subtle liner and deep red lips. I use artist quality paints pigments and sealers on my repaints. I want them to stay looking fresh and just painted for years to come. I rerooted her lashes as well.

She needed something fitting to wear and I chose deep red silk to match her lips. Her raw silk outfit is a two piece dress. The strapless bustier top is fully lined and fastens with two brass beads ands hand knotted red thread loops and the matching gathered skirt has a silk waistband and also fastens with a brass bead and hand knotted thread loop. It has metal chain and red glass seed bead hem embellishment all the way around the hem.

I’ve made accessories to finish her look. She carries a hard sided red silk purse. This tiny purse has metal wire handles, is lined inside, opens for Pip’s important bits, and fastens with, you guessed it, a brass bead and hand knotted thread loop. She’s also got a chain necklace sporting a small red Swarovski crystal in the center and she wears a custom pair of shoes. The little gold shoes have chain uppers and stacked bead heels.

This little lady is on Ebay right now but only for another day and a half!

Sadie on Ebay

Thanks for stopping in 🙂

~awsumgal

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Posted in awsumgal accessory, awsumgal outfit, Custom Face Up, dawn and pippa, doll, doll clothes, doll outfit, Doll Shoes, OOAK, OOAK Dawn and Pippa, Repaint, reroot, Restorations, Uncategorized, vintage No Comments »

A Bit of a Change is Needed …

Another day, another deeply underwhelming response to my recent offerings.

(You can overwhelm and underwhelm, but can you just whelm? What would that look like?  Lol. I digress)

Sadly, a high water mark of apathy. I’m not even confident that anyone will read this post! I guess I’m just writing this for me. In light of this, I need to take some time to rethink how I spend my days.

We all, as artists, face challenges when we create and work diligently to overcome them. I am no different, but the challenges are out weighing the rewards in this particular arena. Challenges that are beyond my control – Our dollar is in still in the toilet, I am geographically challenged from a supplies standpoint, postal rates have just about priced me out of the market and there’s always the dreaded possible strike by the very same overpriced post office looming over all Canadian online sellers.

I need a break and I shall be taking some time to consider my next focus. Don’t be surprised to see me trying some different things going forward while I try to find the right niche for doing what I love. Creating things 🙂

See you in the funny papers!

~awsumgal

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New Lux Art Doll ladies Are Taking Shape

and taking over the studio. Seriously, they are everywhere. And if not the dolls themselves, it’s their bits. Legs and hands everywhere you look. It’s ridiculous! I need to keep building the girls and finding some order in the studio.

I’ve just taken a break from that to show the new dolls. I’ve done a new face which is a dream to paint. (Lady Pompadour is finished, but for her shoes. Honestly I was a little distracted first by a commission that needed to be done quickly and then my new doll sculpt 🙂 I still intend to give her shoes, I’m just being slow and neglectful. Hopefully she’ll forgive me! I have bought her an amazing new desk and chair, maybe that’ll make up for it! Pictures next time.)

And again, I’m off on a tangent!

Anyway, here is a pic of the new gaggle of ladies….

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Here is a lady I’ve got big plans for. She’s the only one with any paint as yet, but I’ll get to everybody 🙂

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Gotta fly, so until next time, be good, have fun and thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

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Vintage Mego Wonder Woman – Dive Suit – Start to Finish!

I have set about creating a 12 inch version of Wonder Woman’s dive suit for underwater crimefighting! It’s a form fitting blue unitard with gloves and heelless boots, a hood, wrist guards, belt and lasso (of course!). Since I have already finished this outfit, I will recount the whole thing in a single post 🙂

I started with the unitard as it’s the basis for all things 🙂 Here is the actual real life costume…

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I had some fabric troubles here and there. I was using a two way stretch fabric and altered my four way stretch pattern, but alas not enough, so it took a couple of tries to get it just right. Sadly, my sewing machine was in a long winded and sometimes violent argument with my sewing machine! What I mean is, my machine hated to sew this fabric! New needle, no help, top tension adjustment, pfft, nothing, bottom tension adjustment, a most minor of improvements, stabilizer….. Yes, with the reinforcements in the ranks by way of stabilizer I was able to successfully sew this up. Then, calamity of calamity, the delightful blue shiny fabric of which I was so proud and excited to have found, wore. I mean wore down, shiny all gone! Right on the bust points, and the hips. Well, that;s not going to do is it?

Here’s that one…

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I mean sure it’s a little light, but I could live with that. I couldn’t live with it wearing out before I’d even finished the project!

After all of that, I had to find a different fabric. My original fabric seller was most helpful, but didn’t have what I needed. Sigh. Just as well probably as time was of the essence and I am closer to the east coast and they are closer to the west coast…. Next time. (Cali Fabrics Check them out!)

Luckily, my local had liquid metal! And in the right colour! So off to work again! From the beginning, and yes, new fabric, more pattern tweaks. My machine like this fabric only a little better. But we soldiered on and made it happen.

Here’s the new fabric beside her wearing the original version. You really can’t see that the finish has worn off the bust because of the flash glare, but trust me, wear off it did.

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This new blue is backed in black and your doll peeps know about that! For those who don’t though, black (or other dark or strong colours) can leach onto the vinyl, plastic or resin of your doll staining her. Most dark or strong fashions have a light, neutral lining and I have planned that here. The other reason for lining in this case is the impossibility of getting this unitard onto the dolls’ impossibly long semi soft vinyl legs! It’s like they grab onto the unitard and will not budge! So I nade the lining and put it on the doll and it’s great! So then I put the unitard on and it slips right onto her and I’m singing and it’s fabulous!

Silly me, then I attach the two together, and we’re back to an impossible tug of war trying to put it on her. Back we go, separate the two, and all is well again. So that’s how it will stay, thank you very much!

Tired of mediating the fight between the fabric and my machine, I moved on the gold bits for a bit of a break. (That blue hood is trashbound – wrong blue!)

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A little glue, a little support, and some “clamps” 🙂

 

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Proportion check…. The belt is good, but the gold cuffs are too wide. Ew. We’ll fix that.

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With that finally all sorted out, it was on to the hood, which I also lined. I left the back of the head open to faciltate putting it on and will add fasteners. It will need some gold bands and a red star.

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Then her red boots…. I looked at an episode I found online where she’s diving in this suit and her boots are heelless, so that’s what I’ll do as well. I toyed with the idea of incorporating them as one piece with the unitard, but decided against it. Realism (such as it is in this context) won out and I made them separate so they can be removed if desired. They’re stretchy and have the sewn on white tops and front stripe as they should. The soles and insoles are a series of fabric and card and glue and paint and stitching 🙂

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Next the gloves. These are always a challenge, but especially on this doll because of the shape of her hands. She is in a perpetual semi grip hand formation that makes it quite tricky to apply gloves. They too are separate from the unitard and need patience to put on! They are lined as well. I don’t want the doll’s hands turning black.

Her golden wrist guards need a tiny perfect red star each. I’ve done pearl shaped beads and stretchy thread loops for fasteners so they’ll fit over the glove and sleeve ends.

Last but not least, the embellishments on the upper chest of the untiard. Stars, stars and more stars!

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Big stars and little ones and one red band and one gold. Cutting out all of those tiny stars was a challenge as was placing them just so. Then they all got a single stitch each.

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Separately stitched, to preserve the stretchiness, and the fasteners down the back and it was finished 🙂

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I’ll be making a dress for someone next and then I’ll finish Pompadour’s shoes (finally) Phew!

Thanks for reading this long winded, entire project in a single post!

~awsumgal

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Posted in awsumgal outfit, doll clothes, doll outfit, Mego, replica, Uncategorized, Wonder Woman 2 Comments »