Friday, April 27, 2012

Dead Week

    After a cold snap that dumped late April snow on some states, the weather turned balmy for the last week of classes, but Debbie and Vanessa haven't seen the light of day.  They have been holed up in the library putting the finishing touches on their senior thesis projects.

Debbie was a gift from Debbie Behan Garrett of Black Doll Collecting

Vanessa was a gift from Vanessa Morrison of Van’s Doll Treasures

My doll friends know that I like clones because they add a wider variety of face molds to my collection. 

These two dolls were originally on hollow plastic bodies.  Debbie came from the dollar store and Vanessa was a Chic Boutique doll who turned up in a bargain bin at a doll show.  They had to wait for more than six months, but this week I found a cache of dark-skinned Liv Alexis dolls on clearance at Toys R Us and was able to upgrade Debbie and Vanessa to fully articulated bodies. 

As usual I replaced their original hair with hand-crafted wigs.  Vanessa got a mane of long, straight dreadlocks,

 and Debbie got a curly mop of auburn locks.

Now they are sure to make the Dean’s List!  Many thanks to Debbie and Vanessa for adding these fresh faces to my collection.

Due to the end of semester crunch there is no tutorial this week. 

À Bientôt

Friday, April 20, 2012

Amira and Karim N’Diaye are still a little jet-lagged after flying in from Dakar, Senegal but they wouldn’t have missed Rod and Danielle’s wedding for the world.

Very best wishes to the happy couple!

Watch for the wedding on:

The brunch buffet series concludes with a tutorial on making waffles:

À Bientôt

Friday, April 13, 2012

Million Dollar Mermaids (from the dollar store)

“It’s about time” Lorelei said when she spied Nixie streaking through the water.

“Oh hold your sea horses, Pressyne is right behind me” said Nixie, raising her lithe torso out of the water.

Synchronized swimming was very different from the strokes that had carried her to victory in international competitions.  She would never have auditioned for this mermaid extravaganza if an injury hadn’t knocked her out of the pan-American games.

Pressyne glided in with a graceful backstroke, then flipped over and pulled herself up n a moss covered rock.  

“I promised my daughter she could watch us practice today, that’s why I’m late” she panted.

On the bank above the stream chubby little Melusine bounced up and down with excitement “Oh mommy!  Your costume is so pretty.  I want to be a mermaid just like you when I grow up.  Then daddy will be sorry, won’t he!”  

“Oh, so he threw your past up in your face and you’re leaving him again,” said Lorelei.  Pressyne kept her head down and remained silent.  “What’s Ondine’s excuse?”

“I’ve been here since before you got here” called Ondine from the opposite side of the pool.  “If you didn’t have your nose so high in the air you would have seen me.” 

“Well never mind all that,” said Pressyne.  “Let’s run through one time before the make-up call.  You know what a tyrant Buzz can be.  

“Is Miss Williams going to rehearse with us today?” asked Nixie, stroking towards the rock that was their starting point for the water ballet.  Miss Williams had been a champion competitor too and Nixie admired her greatly.

“I heard she’s feuding with Buzz because she’s pregnant again and doesn’t want to do the big dive in the finale” said Pressyne as the water sprites aligned themselves in the opening pose.  

“I’m glad I don’t have to do that dive,” said Ondine as the four backstroked downstream in tight formation.  

“And personally I’d like to know what old Buzz is smoking.  How does he come up with these routines?”

“Stop worrying about Mr. Berkeley and pay attention to his choreography, Ondine” snapped Lorelei as they flipped and headed back up stream.  “You’re out of synch with the rest of us.  Remember we glide with the right arm up first.”  

“O.k., o.k.  I’m on it,” said Ondine, adjusting her stroke as they turned at a right angle and fanned out to cross the pool from stage right.  

“But diving from a helicopter with fireworks going off all around you can’t be good for the baby – if it’s true she’s expecting again,” Ondine continued as they crossed back from stage left.

“Well that’s why she’s the star” said Lorlei.  “If I thought it would get me a speaking part I’d offer to do that dive in a heartbeat."

"Doesn't the mermaid usually have to give up her voice in order to win the prince and gain an immortal soul?"  asked Nixie.  No one had an answer for that dire observation.

Instead they crisscrossed the pool diagonally,

counting the measures inwardly

and watching out of the corners of their eyes so they could keep abreast of each other.

Mr. Berkeley wanted to film this sequence with several dozen chorines.  Woe betide the unit that missed cues or failed to keep in synch.  

“Jeez Ondine, you’ve still got the wrong arm up,” said Lorelei as they clustered in the final formation. 

“O.k, o.k., I’ll get it next time” said Ondine leaning against a rock in the shallows to catch her breath.

She could already feel the new life flutter kicking in her womb.  Should she take the plunge?  Motherhood might curtail her career... Larry's promises of undying, faithful love might prove to be as ephemeral as bubbles in the stream... But surely a baby would would kindle her soul...

The mermaids have gone off to enjoy a blueberry muffin brunch:

À Bientôt

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fairy Fashions

    Back in February Target put the Disney Fairies gift pack on sale.  I had been searching for Iridessa for months but could never find her packaged individually so I figured for $35 I would get a $12 doll that I really wanted plus five outfits at less than $5 each.  Deal!

    The Disney fairies and their fashions have been growing on me for some time.  I had already acquired Vidia to serve as a lingerie model in “The Cold shoulder.”   Here she models a red satin gown with a bubble skirt:

Like most fashions aimed at children, the color palettes of these ensembles are often noxious to adult collectors.  This gown had a garish purple bow and shoulder straps.  I replaced them with black ribbons which coordinate better with the ladybug spots on the gown’s bodice.

    I also altered Iridessa’s sunflower suit.  An earlier version of Iridessa wore a yellow top and petal skirt.  Subsequently the ensemble changed to Capri pants with a petal overskirt.  I hated the pants and hesitated too long to buy the doll which is why I was only able to find her bundled with all the other fairies.  Once I had acquired the doll and re-styled her hair in a crown of braids, I cut the Capri pants down to culottes so that the petal skirt is breezy and feminine but modest.

    After Christmas I found a number of Disney Fairy fashions on sale at Wal-Mart.  Rosetta was the original owner of the ladybug gown, but it clashed badly with her flaming red hair.  This pale green bodice and skirt set suits her much better.  

As the star character, Tinkerbelle gets the most interesting fashions but I couldn’t stand her brassy blond hair.  It looked like a very bad dye job and didn’t complement her complexion at all so I made her a short cropped wig in a lighter shade of blonde.  She looks very sophisticated in Silvermist’s slinky blue sheath.

    Tomboy Fawn spends her days training unicorn colts.

She finds Tinkerbelle’s leaf green tunic very practical for such work. 

But Iridessa is hosting a tea party this afternoon so Fawn has donned a party frock with layers of pink tulle for the occasion.  

 Fawn feeds her trusty steed some sugar lumps, 

and then sets off

Along the way she passes Tinkerbelle who has stopped to dance with a field of daisies.

This flower fashion was also on sale at Wal-Mart after Christmas.

    Meanwhile, Silvermist was still dawdling by the creek. 

 Decked out in a close-fitting blue overdress and a full, pink tulle skirt, Iridessa hastened to welcome her guests.

     The ladies spent the afternoon gossiping and  savoring sassafras tea. 

The tutorial for this week is “Bagel Brunch.”

À Bientôt