Thursday, March 20, 2014

Liebster Q&A

I'm back! I've been out of commission for a while, thanks to a few nasty hand injuries, but thankfully I'm fully healed and have some new fun stuff planned that I'll hopefully be able to share soon.

A big thank you to Hannah of AGDTime, who graciously nominated me for the Liebster blog award. It's been floating around the internet for a while, and I am so honored that you thought of me! Here are her questions.

Which AG doll do you want next?
I'm not really looking to get an American Girl doll any time soon, but I made a list of my favorites here.

Pleasant company or AG?
Since the Pleasant Company is the originator of the American Girl brand, the question is a little unclear. I'm going to assume that you meant Pleasant Company vs. Mattel (please correct me if I'm wrong), in which case I really don't have a preference. Some people like the Pleasant Company dolls better and firmly believe that American Girl was much better before Mattel took over, but to be honest it's not something that makes a big difference to me.

Saige or Isabelle?
Both dolls are attractive, and I can relate to various aspects of both of their stories. I don't think one is better than the other per se, but from an artistic point of view I prefer the design and color of most of the items that American Girl manufactured for the Saige collection. Naturally, I would have preferred that they had been Latina or African American, seeing as those are the predominant racial makeups of the areas in which their stories are set, and American Girl reaallly needs to add a little diversity to its Girl of the Year line, but that's another rant altogether.

Summer or Winter?
I'm not a fan of extreme temperatures, so I enjoy spending time during these seasons in places with moderate climates. Winter in Florida is fantastic, as is summer in Pennsylvania. My enjoyment of the season is pretty closely related to where I am, so this is a bit of a draw.

Fall or Spring?
That's tough too! You must think me so wishy-washy for not giving you straight answers. I'll go with fall, because the weather where I live is so nice then, but spring is wonderful too.

Bittys or 18 inch?
The Bitty Baby line is cute, but I've never been particularly enamored of it, artistically or otherwise.

Youtube or Blogs?
Generally I prefer to read people's blogs rather than watch videos on Youtube, but there are some really great Youtubers whose videos are a pleasure to watch.

Favorite hobby?
I love to draw and read good books. I also enjoy sewing, watching my favorite movies in late-night movie marathons, playing with my dogs, and doing chemistry experiments.

What is your favorite game?

Trivial Pursuit and Cut the Rope. I'm not the best at the pop culture questions in Trivial Pursuit, but I love the history ones.

iPad or iPhone?
With a larger screen, the iPhone would be my favorite, but the iPad is a marvel of design.

Favorite color? 
I can never decide on just one, but I tend to use blues, greens, and oranges most.

And now on to you! I'm passing the award on to anyone who makes paper dolls, blogs about paper dolls, or just has a passing interest in them. Here are my questions for you; feel free to answer them in the comments or on your own blog (just please give me a link - I want to hear your thoughts!).

1. What do you use to make your dolls (markers, colored pencils, etc.) and what do you like best? What brand makes that item?

2. What size do you make your dolls?

3. How do you store them?

4. What is the best thing you have made or seen in paper doll scale?

5. What is the most useful thing you have learned/discovered about making/storing/photographing paper dolls?

6. What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of paper dolls?

7. What are your sources for drawing inspiration?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Current Crush: Everything By Sitara Chandra

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I have quite a thing for Sitara Chandra and everything she produces. In addition to being a magical photographer and filmmaker, Sitara is also a fantastic seamstress. When I first thought about making the Current Crush series, it was only natural that I should dedicate a post to her incredible creativity and talent.

Since we share an interest in science, a photo shoot of the trio modeling L'Atelier de Sitara pieces in a laboratory set-up seemed only appropriate. (Yes, I know that they should be wearing safety goggles and lab aprons but the purpose is to show off Sitara's beautiful clothing designs.)

You may remember Corazòn's top from last week when Alia was modeling it. It's a combination of the "Academia" ensemble cape and shirt - I made the cape, then colored a scrap of paper to match the shirt fabric and glued it to to the cape. The piece came about as an accident - I added the shirt because I mistakenly made the cape too short - but now it's one of my favorite clothing items. The colors are brilliant and sophisticated (at least I think so), and look perfect with Corazòn's brown-green eyes.

You've seen Alia's outfit ad nauseam, but I just had to share it again. The jacket is from the "Most Likely to Succeed" outfit, and the top is "Fleurs d'Automne." The color combination is lovely - pastel without feeling childish - and a great seasonal transition piece. Thanks again to the Doll Wardrobe for styling this outfit!

Isabelle's shirt is the piece I'm not sure about. It's from the "À La Famille" outfit, and looks much better in fabric than on paper. I adapted it to a henly style to give it more visual interest, but I'm not thrilled with it. Maybe it'll grow on me?

And what kind of ode to Sitara would this be without my favorite capelet?

I made another one extra green and black houndstooth, so now two can play in the snow. Something tells me the outfit would look a lot more grown up without the OX Uglydoll hat, but I think it's cute and that Isabelle carries it off well.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Any suggestions for future Current Crushes?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Clothes Explosion

Well, technically it's more of a photo dump than an explosion, but "explosion" makes for a better title.

Last week I showed you the dolls' new clothes in progress. Here are a few photos of the completed outfits in a doll-house-esque setting (translation: with props).

A leisurely baking scene with Isabelle, Alia, and Corazòn, all (I hope) wearing their new clothes well. All the shirts and shoes are new, as well as Alia's jeans.  I'm a little obsessed with Alia's outfit, so expect to see it again sometime soon.

Meanwhile, Sally is attempting to snatch a cinnamon bun from the tray...

Poor Daisy is just a little too short to reach the barre. Perhaps I'll make her a smaller barre scaled to her size. She does look nice in her new brown hairpiece, though.

Who would you like to see featured more frequently?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dollhouse 3.0 - Make Bunk Beds

Last week Dollygirl requested a bunk bed tutorial, and here it is. It's very easy and shouldn't take long at all, particularly if you already have doll beds that you want to use.

If you don't already have them, make a pair of doll beds with this tutorial.

Cut a piece of paper at the height you want your poles to be. Color it and cut it in fourths.

Glue each pole to the ends of the bed and fold over the top a little to create a surface to glue the top bunk. I rolled mine into cylinders, but that's entirely up to your tastes.

Put some glue on the folded tabs and attach the top bunk. Use any scrap paper to make a ladder so the dolls can climb up and down.

And you're done! The next tutorial, per Malia Hanes's request, will be for a sink and caddy with working drawers. If you have any tutorial requests, please let me know and I'll do my best to make it happen.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Spoiled Girls

These past few weeks have provided an explosion of new releases - Wilde Imagination in late January, American Girl this past Thursday, and Toy Fair starting today. With all this wealth of paper doll inspiration, I decided to make a few things for my crew.

The trio, of course, got the bulk of the new items. Since they're the largest, it's easiest to make clothes for them. The top row is primarily replacement parts for missing/worn out clothing, and below are new clothes.

That's not to say that the trio was the only beneficiary...

Daisy got a few new hairpieces to go with her new dresses...

And Sally got a new hairpiece and dress. While the two Wilde girls are quite cute, their tiny size makes drawing for them very tricky (and the amount of clothing for them quite small), hence the smaller size of their new wardrobe.

I originally planned to make a few winter garments, as the weather was quite frigid for the past few weeks, but the sudden temperature rise changed my mind; ergo, the short sleeves. In a way, I envy my dolls a little - they are quite spoiled to get a whole wardrobe of custom-tailored clothing!

 How have you updated your paper doll wardrobe?

A brief sneak peek at an upcoming post:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dolhouse Part 2.2 - Bathtub

Finally, a tutorial that's actually on Tuesday! I'm going to continue the dollhouse tutorial series as long as you have requests for pieces for it, so if you want more of this, let me know in the comments.

Today's tutorial is for a bathtub to go with the vanity from this tutorial. Unlike the snack cart, it's quick and fits together easily. As always, you'll need the basic pencil, eraser, and markers or colored pencils, but you may also find a craft or pocket knife useful for cutting out the tiny pieces.

Start by sketching everything as basic shapes. In addition to the tub, I drew a shower head and curtain. If you want to add a curtain, be sure to make a curtain rod to attach the curtain to the tub.

Add in the small details of the tub, such as the soap dish and scrub brush or washcloth. If you've made several small items, you may want to make a caddy to attach to the shower rod and hold the little pieces so they don't get lost.

Color everything in, cut out, and assemble. I glued the shower rod behind the faucets, and attached the ends of the curtain rod to it to create a semicircular shape.

Here's a clearer view of the assembly. It looks a little rough, but I don't mind because it's not going to be seen in photos.

Sally is a little on the small side for the bathtub, but the scale isn't too bad.

I hope you liked this tutorial! What other pieces would you like to learn to make?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Make a Kitchen Island Snack Cart

I meant to post this tutorial on Tuesday, but since there was a lot going on this week it got pushed to today. I hope you don't mind.

I've been on a food kick since my post on the food boards, so naturally this tutorial is focused on food. It's an amalgamation of my kitchen tutorial and the campus snack cart by American Girl, and can be used for both. Just a note about this tutorial - take careful measurements of your dolls and the cart sides so that it will fit together. I eyeballed it instead of measuring, and that caused me a lot of problems later, when I was assembling it.

Draw the general shape of the cart to fit your doll's height. I didn't use an exact proportion, but it should be about chest-high on the doll.

Draw the details on the outline, and add a canopy if you are so inclined. 

Color it all in, and if you want to make it more realistic, cut out the refrigerator, sink, shelf (if you included one). Trace the holes and glue paper in with little tabs to make the features three-dimensional.

Here are a few photos of the cart in action. Please forgive the blurred quality - on rainy days the camera just doesn't want to focus.

Here you can see the refrigerator stocked with frozen treats. They are so small that I had to use a craft knife to position them properly.

By not gluing down the last side of the cart, it can extend for more counter space and work well as a kitchen island. I added a grill, and now it's all set up to roast pineapple shrimp skewers. 

You can see here how it looks in the kitchen, with a stovetop instead of a grill.

On a side note, I really love Corazòn's outfit. It's inspired by the Doll Wardrobe's Not Just Dancewear series, and the combination of L'Atelier de Sitara pieces (you know how I am about that cape) and Nora, Maple, and Penny's impeccable taste looks fantastic on Corazòn. Her hair needs a little work, but I don't know if I'll just trim it or make a new hairpiece. Your thoughts?

Hope you liked this tutorial! Let me know if you have any questions or requests.
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