Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fashion Madness Men

 For the last few days, Just Jay  has been teasing us with boxed photos of the long-awaited Fashion Madness men.  This weekend I was fortunate enough to find them at a Walmart in Stockbridge, GA and had no qualms about plunking down my money for Night Out T.J.

and Everyday Dwayne.

The face mold somewhat resembles Ryan McDaniel, the actor who plays Kenya's boyfriend, T.J.

Jonathan McDaniel plays T.J.'s younger cousin, Dwayne.  Both dolls share the same face mold, but Dwayne has flocked hair.  

Although their chiseled torsos and molded on briefs are the same, T.J.'s legs are longer than Dwayne's so he stands taller.

Yet both cousins can wear Ken fashions.

Their slim, aristocratic feet fit most male fashion doll shoes.  While their ankles are not articulated, their knee joints pivot, which allows for more poseability.

Thus the fellows can indulge in a friendly game of hoops.  Here T.J. sports a Justin Bieber outfit,

while Dwayne works a One Direction ensemble.

Long-legged T.J. spanked booty again so Dwayne takes his ball and heads home.

T.J. and Dwayne have wider shoulders than the One Direction guys and could not wriggle into most of their shirts so I used this Ken shirt which opens all the way down the back.

Later that evening, T.J. and Dwayne take Kenya's BFF, Denise out for her birthday.

The $10 versions of Denise available at Walmart don't have the full articulation of the first wave Kenya dolls. 

It looks like Denise has nevertheless found an admirer.  Power Team figures can wear Dwayne's clothes.

-- but clothes sized for T.J.'s long limbs make it look like Mattel sent a boy to do a man's job.

The clothes are made of quality fabrics with neat stitching.

Still the big question is, how will our 1:6 scale ladies like these big-headed brothers?

Trichelle doesn't seem to mind Dwayne's over-sized endowments at all.

À Bientôt

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Recent Repaints

"Come on in!"

"What can we do for you today?"

Mimi and her husband own a business that repaints and re-upholsters furniture.  Sometimes they also do light carpentry and re-modeling.  They got a lucrative "pink be gone" contract from the prop department at Ayamedia Studios this summer.  Here are some of the sets they re-finished.

Customized versions of this Gloria set show up on eBay all the time.  Mimi and her crew were able to deliver this one at a much better price.

Lawn and Garden:
One day I would love to have a home with a gazebo set in a large, rambling yard.  In the mean time, I acquired this gazebo on eBay.  Unfortunately it was pink and purple so it has been in storage for the last 8 or 9 years.

This patio set came in a lot I purchased on eBay.   I liked the curlicue feet but didn't appreciate the pale purple color scheme.

Mattel also seems to favor lurid purple for lawn swings.  This one looks much more restful now.

The electronics that came with this Gloria play set are a little dated but it makes a useful period piece.

Living Room:
In one of my best eBay scores I acquired almost a whole houseful of Sweet Roses furniture from the 1980s.  All of the pieces were lovely but every one was pink!  Once I recover the pillows, my dolls might even be able to invite guests to visit since both the sofa and the arm chair fold out to make beds.

There was a matching end table and lamp set that went with this Sweet Roses living room but I haven't found it at a palatable price yet.  I do have the wall unit, though.

This Gloria play set feels like it should be covered in a blue and green plaid but after Mimi showed me how much the fabric would cost, we settled on deep purple instead.

I love Jane Austen novels and the Regency romance genre that developed from them so I look forward to using these Gloria pieces in drawing room dramas where ladies in high-waisted gowns engage in witty repartee with handsome lords.

In the play "No Exit," Jean Paul Sartre consigned his characters to hell which he imagined as a hotel room furnished in second empire style.

Mimi and her crew were especially careful to protect the glass doors with masking tape before applying the new stain to this clock. 

I believe this throne came with a Princess and Pauper castle that I bought on eBay.  It was hard to appreciate the detailed styling when it was pink.

This was a Barbie set from the early 2000s.  I liked the sleek, modern lines but the mattress was pink.

The wardrobe doors and dressing table drawers were also pink.

It took many coats of paint to make the bedposts of this popular Gloria set white like the head and foot boards.  Originally they were pink.

I decided to make the accents in this room green in honor of Princess Tiana.

A key principle of kitchen design is that the stove, sink, and refrigerator should be arranged in a triangle to facilitate meal preparation.

While this kitchen violates design logic, I still find it charming.

Mimi suggested bold yellow and black for this 1995 So Much to Do kitchen.  I said "Anything but pink!"

Dining Room:
My dolls like sushi just as much as folks in Morristown so I bought three of these sets for the local sushi restaurant.

I bought this dining room set at KB Toys circa 2006.  They had a whole series of furniture sets for about $10 each.  There was a soft plastic candelabra permanently mounted in the middle of the table.  It took Mimi and her crew a long time to remove it and fill the hole with modeling paste.  Their efforts to sand it smooth were not entirely successful so I positioned a Gloria candlestick in the center of the table to hide the defects.

Mimi made up for that mistake by hand painting the chair backs and seats to look like tapestry embroidery.

We chose a French country kitchen motif for this Gloria dining room set.

Here is more of the Sweet Roses furniture.

The original chair seats had dry rotted so Mimi made new ones.

Finding a can of "Georgia Clay" paint on sale at Michael's inspired this dining room suite which is a combination of Gloria and Fancy Life sets.

In the 1920s, the Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey promoted the colors red, black, and green as the colors of the "Africa for Africans" movement.  Since then, red for the blood, black for the people, and green for the land have become symbols of black nationalism.  Mimi used the hand-detailed stripes on the chair seat covers to express black cultural nationalist sentiments. 

Mimi herself was a Mimi Bobek doll.  

I used acetone polish remover to wipe the garish make-up off her face and I plucked her "fright wig" hair out by the roots.  Then I spray painted her whole body with Krylon Fusion paint and detailed her facial features with artist acrylics.  I used modeling paste to create her hairdo. 

Her pants are part of her original outfit but the top is from a Little Miss Matched ensemble.  Although she can't sit with ladylike decorum, like Kathy Kinney who played Mimi Bobek on the Drew Carey show, my Mimi is a great character actress.

À Bientôt

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hair Show

Back in February and March, Hey It's Muff was playing with a flocking set she got on sale and was generous enough to share the techniques she developed in a series of tutorials.  Muff made it look like so much fun in "Well Flock You Too" that I wanted to try.  Unfortunately, I could not find any flocking in the craft stores and didn't want to order any online.  My big chance came when I ran across some cheap glitter powder in Michael's.

This lady was a Dollar Store Diva.  I had more than a dozen of these heads to play with so I tried flocking four of them with different colors of glitter powder.  The gold was the most spectacular, but when I sprayed on acrylic sealer, most of it turned white so Miss Coppertop ended up with the most successful do.

The glitter powder made such a mess that I was not eager to experiment with it any further.  Fortunately Muff did another tutorial on customizing "Hair and Lips with Modeling Paste."  It's a good thing I had a 40% off coupon from Michael's because the modeling paste was expensive.  Still, my first efforts were encouraging enough to make the price seem worthwhile.

To make this style I slathered on a layer of modeling paste, then I took one of the myriad of doll brushes I have accumulated and pressed it into the paste all over the doll's head.  As I pulled the brush up, the paste formed peaks that look like a short, natural texture hairstyle.

Next time around I used a spare doll comb to make a side part in Teresa's new do.

Then I dragged it through the paste in a squiggly motion to make waves.

Kari Michelle is one of my all-time favorite face molds.  Somehow she has always looked better with short hair.

This was supposed to be a cornrow hairstyle.  I used a toothpick to section the "braids" but when I got to the back of her head, they were so close together you couldn't really tell they were braids so I didn't bother to add the detail that would look like braided strands.

I already had the Elektra Barbie when I found this one in the discount bin at a doll show.  I scalped her but didn't find much for her to do until I started experimenting with modeling paste hairstyles.

I made this wavy, center part hairdo by dragging a comb through the modeling paste just as I did for Teresa.

This doll was a Kmart clone that I bought circa 2005.  I used a toothpick to part her modeling paste "hair" in a grid pattern.  Then I put dollops of modeling paste in the center of each square to make bantu knots.

I'm in the midst of a major "lifestyle colonic" so all these ladies are bound for the Goodwill.  I just didn't want to send them off bald headed.  Now all the other Ayamedia actresses are clamoring for a chance to go to the salon and get short do's they can sport in between roles.

Many thanks to Muff for the inspiration!

À Bientôt