February, 2010

Venice Carnivale OOAK Dawn WIP 1

Good morning! It’s a very snowy Saturday morning here, which seems as good a time as any to blog about my next vintage Dawn project. A Venice Carnival (or Carnevale de Venezia) Dawn! Here’s why I’m so looking forward to this one….

Photo: Venice Carnival

Above photo by Sam Abell

Some of the best photographs of the beautiful costumes worn for Carnival have been captured by Silvano Candeo, a photographer based in Italy. His work is gorgeous and how could you not be inspired! His photographs can be seen HERE I have written to ask if I may embed a couple of his fabulous photos to show you why I’m so psyched about this next project. For now though, click the link above to see his work.

I never seem to do more than one of any idea, but I think in this case I may have to do a series of Carnival dolls. There is so much variety, so many colourways…… The mind boggles!

Many of the costumes for Carnevale de Venezia are inspired by Commedia dell’Atre (Commedia Italiana) which apparently is a uniquely Italian form of improv theater. Going way back, stock characters, easily recognizable to the audience despite minor differences from troupe to troupe, would perform basic stories that they would add to and embellish with some prepared scenes,  complicated insults, dance, song and other performance talents. The actors would improvise whatever was needed and take cues from the audience. No two performances were the same! In this art form, they could satirize and poke fun at all parts of society. Even the ruling clergy! Isn’t art GREAT!

The masks worn at Carnival have a long and semi sordid history. In the long distant past, masks were worn from the 26th of December (Feast of St . Stephen ) all the way to Shrove Tuesday. Masks were also worn during Ascension and also from October 5th (don’t know why it’s the 5th of October) to Christmas. So pretty much all the time :o)  Some inscrutable characters would take advantage of this anonymity to commit illegal and immoral acts. As a result of the decline in morality (in the minds of the religious leaders anyway) many laws were enacted, and mask wearing was restricted as to when and where it was permitted.

With all of this mask wearing, the mask makers, Mascherari were important in society and had their own guild. There are three types of masks. The Bauta, the Moretta and the Larva (or Volto).  The Bauta is usually a full face mask with no mouth and lots of decoration (although there are many that only cover the top of face and the cheeks allowing the wearer to eat and drink), the Moretta is a black velvet oval invented in France. Ususally worn by women visiting convents, it was held by a bit in the wearers mouth and secured with a veil. The Larva is the one that is mainly white and traditionally Venetian. They were also quite light and were also often open enough to allow the wearer to eat and drink while wearing preserving their anonymity.

Here is the girl I will be using. I have chosen her because her skin colour is poor and her face mask will not be removeable. A perfect use for a gal with blue pallor!

awsumgal ooak topper dawn carnival doll b41

awsumgal ooak topper dawn carnival doll b42

She does have pretty nice hair and lashes, but her face colour is really not good! I considered dying her, but her greenish tinge is not uniform and dying would then be uneven. So no, this is better imho.

Here is the colour palette that I’ll be using…..

awsumgal ooak topper dawn carnival doll palette

Black, grey, cream,  gold, white…… Silk, cotton, mesh and various beads, feathers and other findings will all find their way into this costuming!

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful weekend everybody. Thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

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OOAK Tonner Tyler Rescue Repaint and Redress

Good evening doll lovers!

I want to share a Tyler rescue that I have recently completed. I purchased a number of Tonner heads some in original state and some in various stages of customization. This gal needed some attention, well quite a bit actually….. So I started with her. I knew I couldn’t make her look any worse! No really! Here’s what she looked like before…

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Head Before

See what I mean? This gal needs some tlc to make her pretty again!

I cleaned her up and removed as much of the paint and whatever else as I could and started painting.

These girls paint wonderfully. They almost paint themselves, lol! OK not quite, but easy and fun to work with :o)

So here she is with her paint (most of it anyway) but before the taming of her long blonde hair…..

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 1

She has a nice tan bodytone and she’s blonde so I gave her a healthy California look. Blue and mauve eyes, neutral realistic lips. The colour  is a little toned down in real life.

Her hair needed attention as well. It was a bit unruly, needed taming and styling. I gently detangled it using a steel wide tooth comb. You don’t want to pull to hard on a dolls’ hair or you’ll pull it right out of her head! You also want to use combs that are only for dolls. Keep your people combs and your doll combs separate. The oils from human hair coat dolls hair and attract dust and dirt, so doll combs should be just for dolls!

I wanted her to look put together and groomed with a little of the romantic as well, so this is what I cahose to do with her hair….

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 2

I gave her a pretty beaded braid. I think it makes her look sleek and sophisticated but a little innocent too.

I made her a new dress. She wanted to wear yellow, so, of course I obliged :o)

I may still add more to this gal. Earrings, beading on her dress, maybe a waist scarf with a brooch? I can’t decide…. I’ll go and muse about what else she may or may not need while you (hopefully) enjoy these pics of her :o)

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 3

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 4

margot6wawsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 5

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 6

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 7

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 8

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 9

awsumgal Tonner Tyler OOAK Doll Margot 11

I’m really very happy with her look, and I’m really very pleased with the fit of the dress. It hugs in all the right places! I may have to make this in other colours :o)

Well I hope you have enjoyed her transformation.

Thanks as always, for reading!

~awsumgal

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Marilyn Monroe Dolls Finished!

Hello dolly people!

After many moons of toil my four beautiful Marilyn Monroe commission dolls are complete! I am sooo pleased at how they all turned out. Much tweaking and starting and stopping and waiting for rhinestones from China and shoes from here and there, and finding ostrich plumes, and doll hair on order and so on and so forth went into these ladies. I was pretty much immersed in the classic Marilyn movies. I found myself absent mindedly roving the web looking for pictures of Marilyn that I didn’t already have to use for reference when painting her features. I was seriously bummed that I couldn’t find any photos in colour of the Some Like It Hot make up! I mean what colour were her lips! (This dogged me for weeks!) Yes it’s true, I’m stubborn and exacting and a perfectionist (which doesn’t of course mean that I can reach perfection or anything. Wish it did, lol!)

OK so here is the finished quad…outfits, hair and face ups!

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe dolls 7 Year Some Like It Hot Happy Birthday Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1

A closer look…

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe dolls 7 Year Some Like It Hot Happy Birthday Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2

The black dress and the white dress were both made from scratch by me. The other two were altered, restored,  fixed and resewn as they were dresses for a larger doll originally.

Here are some more close ups and back views…. First – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe ooak doll Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe ooak doll Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 2

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe ooak doll Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 3

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe ooak doll Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 4

awsumgal Marilyn Monroe ooak doll Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 5

Next we have the little black dress from Some Like It Hot…..

awsumgal ooak Some Like It Hot Marilyn Monroe doll 1

There are a couple of posts here about the process of making the dress if you interested :o)

awsumgal ooak Some Like It Hot Marilyn Monroe doll 3

awsumgal ooak Some Like It Hot Marilyn Monroe doll 4

awsumgal ooak Some Like It Hot Marilyn Monroe doll 2

She had a heavier make up style in the film than I am used to seeing on Marilyn, but that’s what was in the film, so that is waht I tried to give her.

Next we have the Seven Year Itch!

awsumgal ooak Seven Year Itch Marilyn Monroe doll 1

This is the dress that required me to figure out how to make and use a pleater board on a small scale (or any scale really lol!)

awsumgal ooak Seven Year Itch Marilyn Monroe doll 2

awsumgal ooak Seven Year Itch Marilyn Monroe doll 3

There are also posts about the pleater board and the dress and her earring and other various aspects of this ensemble here too (filed under Marilyn Monroe and 7 Year Itch)

Last, my clients favourite, Happy Birthday Mr President!

awsumgal ooak Happy Birthday Mr President Marilyn Monroe doll 1

awsumgal ooak Happy Birthday Mr President Marilyn Monroe doll 2

awsumgal ooak Happy Birthday Mr President Marilyn Monroe doll 3

Well, it’s been a ride for sure. Each of these gals presented me with different challenges. In the end I hope I have captured the essence of those snapshots in time of Marilyn. I sure learned a lot during the course of this project, and not just about sewing either!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey (it’s half the fun you know, or maybe more!)

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

~awsumgal

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~Siobhan!~ OOAK Topper Dawn Reroot and Redress

Happy Saturday people!

I hope you’ve all been enjoying the Olympic Games this past week! What an emotional rollercoaster, wow!

I have just finished and listed a ooak vintage Topper doll refab. She is a six and a half inch K10 Angie. She had terrific face paint but her hair was missing a fair number of plugs and I considered restoring those plugs with her original colour, but then decided I would rather change her colour. There’s something quite nice about a blonde Angie, in my opinion.

Here she is before any work was done…

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 1

You can see how lovely her pace paint is. She missing her lashes on one eye as well, so she gets a relash too.

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 2

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 3

So you can see there is a fair amount of hair that is MIA…. So, off with the rest of it!

First the highly attractive buzz cut (sorry Angie!) She looks a little peeved I think :o)

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 4

Poof! She totally bald…..but just for a short while.

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 5

I’ve removed her lashes too.

And so it begins! I have chosen a honey blonde shade for her and I think it’s a wonderful colour for her.

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 6

She looks happier already, lol.

I took a couple of shots of the handbag I made for her while in process….

First I designed the bag after surfing handbag sites. There are some really terrific sites devoted to designer handbags. Did you know that you can RENT designer bags? Who knew? Well maybe you all did, but I sure didn’t. And Dang but there are some really delicious handbags out there….. I may become and handbag AND shoe hoarder Yikes!! But I digress……

Then I drew out my idea and decided on fabrics. When I was happy with the size and proportion and all I plotted a pattern and cut my pieces.

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 7

Here is her purse after almost all the work is done (sometimes I get so entranced in what I’m doing I forget to stop and take pics!)The bag just needs its’ second chain strap.

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 8

This tiny little handbag took an entire day! It’s amazing something so small could take that long to complete. (In it’s defense though, it is fairly detailed and complicated!) Her Mary Jane strap shoes also took an entire day, but I love them and wish they would fit my own feet :o)

They are beautiful quality palest pink microsuede that I purchased from a bear making supplier at a sewing show and one little piece was insanely expensive! But, it’s beautiful and a joy to work with! These little wee shoes are topstitched and have little gold bead accents and brown heels.

I didn’t shoot any process pics, but here they are done!

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 9

Here they are with their matching handbag…..

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 9

Here’s Siobhan all finished and ready to take on anything life throws at her!

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 10

Her sheath dress is silk in one of the prettiest prints I have ever seen! And it feels beautiful too :o)

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 11

awsumgal ooak Topper Dawn reroot siobhan 12

I think she looks happier, now that she has hair again and is dressed, lol.

Here’s a link to her auction…. SIOBHANS’ AUCTION

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

~awsumgal

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~Bird Of Prey~ ooak Ensemble for Sybarite Dolls Done and Listed!

My outfit for the Sybarite beauties is finished and up on eBay for a one week run. Click HERE to visit the auction!

Here’s a pic of the finished ensemble….

awsumgal ooak outfit for Sybarite dolls Bird Of Prey 1

awsumgal ooak outfit for Sybarite dolls Bird Of Prey 2

awsumgal ooak outfit for Sybarite dolls Bird Of Prey 5

awsumgal ooak outfit for Sybarite dolls Bird Of Prey 3

I added the plumage accessory and the “shackle” at the very end (today in fact, lol) and I think they tie in nicely with the Bird Of Prey theme :o)

Well that’s it!  Thanks for following along :o)

~awsumgal

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