Friday, January 27, 2012

Nefera de Nile

“So these are the peasants who took all your clothes,” said Nefera to her little sister, Cleo.

The Garoul sisters closed ranks and stared defiantly at the tall stranger but they proved no match for her.  

Nefera nonchalantly walloped Claudia with a backhanded slap. 

Then she knocked Claudine to the ground and straddled her, twining her hands in the glamour girl's, store bought mane.  

Claudine felt a section of expensive Indian hair break loose from its stitching and started begging for mercy in no time.

Tomboy Claudette still insists she could have taken Nefera if her sisters had not insisted on dressing her in a skirt that morning but Nefera unceremoniously dispatched her with a kick to the derriere.

Nefera extracted apologies from the bullies who had terrorized her little sister, 

then staged a public display of affection with their brother, Clawd, just so there would be no illusions about who reigned as the queen of his heart.


I initially didn’t care much for Nefera de Nile’s costume.  Although she has molded on, flesh-toned, textured panties like all the Monster High dolls, the Monster High girls’ skirts routinely make me shake my head and marvel “your mother let you out of the house in that?”

I also find the “bandage” prints that Mattel has created for the de Nile sisters’ clothes to be too busy, but the green scarf that drapes across Nefera’s body and over the skirt is an interesting accent although it is stitched to both the top and bottom of her two-piece outfit. 

You will have to pull off her left hand to free her arm from the one sleeve.  Monster High dolls are ostensibly designed so that you can do this without damage, but the prong that attaches the hand to the forearm looks rather fragile to me.  I would prefer not to remove body parts to undress the doll.  Once you remove the top, however, you will find a serpent tattoo on her shoulder 

The accessories were much more satisfying.  Nefera comes with an attractive scarab beetle named Azure who is her pet. 

She wears mismatched gold earrings and her necklace represents the biblical fall of mankind with a serpent and an apple.

Her hair is caught up in a kind of golden cap. 

Nefera also sports a gold cuff bracelet on her left hand and an impressive chip of “ice” on her finger. 

A thick, gold-toned plastic belt encircles her waist.  I think it is overkill on this outfit but it would probably be stunning paired with a flowing tunic in a solid color. 

If you have any cross dressing Kens, Nefara’s feet are big enough that they could borrow her shoes to channel Elizabeth Taylor in her role as queen of the Nile. 

The purse continues the serpent motif and is also cute enough for other dolls to borrow when Nefera isn’t looking. 

Borrowing clothes and accessories from Nefera could be a dangerous proposition, however given that she subdued all three of the Garoul sisters single handedly within minutes of being freed from her box!

Indeed Nefera truly is Cleo’s big sister.  She is taller

with longer, thicker legs

and a fuller bosom. 

She has the same sway backed stance as all the Monster High dolls but she looks lean and well-toned like an action figure instead of frail and spindly.  She has such a beautiful bronze complexion I couldn’t resist shooting her nude. 

I didn’t like her purple eyes or blue hair at first, but she photographed so well in this guise that I think I will have to buy a second Nefera to customize.  And maybe even a third – to be a donor for a normal sized head that needs an articulated body.  This doll truly is a royal treat.


Speaking of treats, this week's tutorial illustrates how to make chocolate bundt cake for your dolls from salt dough:

À Bientôt

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Salt Dough Fruit Bowl

My first pottery project was an ash tray.  Back before cigarette advertisements were banned and before the Surgeon General placed warnings on all cigarette packages, people thought the imprint of a pre-schooler's hand would be the perfect place to deposit cigarette ashes.  I want to start my salt dough tutorial series off on a healthier note, consequently the first project is a fruit bowl so your dolls can always keep healthy snacks on hand. 

Salt dough is not as elastic as polymer clay.  It will crumble if you roll it out too thin.  It can also bubble and crack when heated if the water molecules convert to steam and get trapped inside your project.  Still it is possible to make some doll sized "ceramic" pieces if you allow them to air dry. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different types of paint and glazes and I hope you will too.

 À Bientôt

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steve Jobs Action Figure

BBC News reports that a Chinese firm, In Icon, has decided to cancel sales of the 12" Steve Jobs figure it had designed as a tribute.  While producing the Steve Jobs figure was well within Chinese law, In Icon opted to respect the feelings of Jobs' family.  The figure, which was due to ship in February, had carefully sculpted, lifelike features and would have been dressed in Jobs' signature black turtleneck and New Balance sneakers.  Accessories included a scale model iPhone.  Collectors who had pre-ordered the $99 figure will receive a refund.
À Bientôt

Friday, January 13, 2012

Salt Dough 101

     One Christmas when I was in grade school, my brother and I each got a fresh stick of modeling clay.  Mine was green and my brother’s was red.  He immediately modeled a piece of excrement with his.  It looked so real that he grossed himself out and flushed it down the toilet.  Bye bye Christmas clay! 

    I kept my green clay for several years and spent many happy hours making pies and pancakes for my dolls.  They thought green pancakes were fun for Saint Patrick’s Day, but they got tired of seeing them every day of the year.  So eventually I bought a pack of Play Doh with my allowance.  With four colors to choose from, I was able to make a wider variety of appetizing foods.  I am, however, the kind of anal retentive Virgo who still has the original shoes that came with Barbie fashions I received for Christmas when I was six (that’s over forty years ago).  Was I going to mix the basic red, blue, yellow, and white dough to make other colors?  No way!  Kids I knew who mixed up their Play Doh ended up with yucky gray-brown lumps.  I don’t even like for different kinds of real food to touch on my plate.  

    My mother cooked up some home made salt dough once but it came out very soft and sticky and she only made one color – a murky red.  I had no idea salt dough could be such a versatile medium until about three years ago when I happened to check a book on salt dough crafting out of the library.  It only costs about $1 to make a three-cup batch of salt dough.  You can make enough salt dough meals to feed a whole platoon of hungry Joes from that one batch of dough so compared to the price of commercially produced plastic rements, play scale salt dough food is an incredible bargain.  It’s also tremendous fun!

    So I hope you will enjoy the first in a new series of tutorials on play scale crafting with salt dough and please excuse my silence last week (classes started this week and I was preparing my syllabi):

À Bientôt