Saturday, 29 October 2016

what to call this post?

Hello! Wow another week has passed! I have only have 2 more days of school until exam break! YAS! I still have that blinking flu! Don't feel sick just still coughing and sniffling all over the place! But I tried something new this week.. FACE TIME! I talked to my friends Bella from A Doll's Life and it was so much fun!
Now onto the photos, I want to start posting my photoshoots on here, I post them on Instagram but here you can see all the pics together I guess. Do you guys want me to post more photoshoots? Just tell me down below! 
Now I have no idea why these pics are so grainy, I don't usually have this problem.


My sister was a darling and made me a real flower crown! Now my siblings are funding my flower crown addiction too! >.<




Now I realised now after I've taken the pics, that if I had turned her 180 degrees then she wouldn't have been looking so purple! >.< I think it's because I was in the shade of a tree and the main bulk of the light was coming from the behind, even though I had a reflector, meh I don't mind!
Well it's a quick post today, I have a pile of homework that I've been working through, end of year stuff. BORING!!!
Happy Doll Loving!
Lydia 

P.S GUYS TOMORROW IS HALLOWEEN! Mmmm maybe next week I'll share some pics of what I dressed my barbies as :) I am preparing myself to eat a hella lot of lollies and not even care! 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

TUTORIAL: Getting your barbies to stand on their own

Hello my lovelies! Wow this weekend has just flown past me, I had a flu all weekend and my younger sister has been in hospital (but she's ok now) at least it's labour weekend and I have Monday off from school! YAS! So I decided to show you how I got Chandler to appear standing on her own :) 


This was my first time taking photos on a beach and it was really hard to deal with the blazing sun, lucky I found patches of cloud. But they were very over saturated so I had to fiddle around in the editing, but i LOVE how they came out. 
I was going for the tourist poster vibe with the lady walking along the waterfront but her sandals in her hands, I could have gone down to the water but I really couldn't be bothered walking that far! haha
But how did I get her to stand like that? Magic? Well let me tell you some things.
For me doll and toy photography is all about the illusion, making the doll seem to come alive! Making her hair be in that perfect place (though my dolls always have flyways, I'm working on that) etc..
So in the past I have used a wire that I wrap around the dolls waist and then blue-tack it to the ground but I don't recommend that because when editing it out of the pic it got a bit distorted.. Anyways i have recently gone and tried using Kebab sticks and i've had some great results ;)

So here are some unedited pics showing how I got the doll to stand up, now if you have photoshop you can usually photoshop the stick out (thats what I do when I'm getting frustrated and can't get the angle quite right) But if you don't have that kind of software DON'T PANIC! As I said earlier, it's all about the illusion, 
The sun was a bit of a pain. But I put the kebab stick up dress and rested it in the small of her back, that's where I find you can get the most stability. 
1. When using the sticks you want to think about it being another leg, look and see which way the doll is falling and position the stick to where the doll is off balance (Or if one of the legs it up or not touching the ground, then make the stick become the 'missing' leg)  
2. Now if you took the photo from this angle and didn't have photoshop then everyone is gonna see the stick and it ruins the illuison, but fret not! Notice what happens when I scuttle 90 degrees to the left (A quarter circle).


WOAH! Where'd the stick go?! How is she standing?! And that my children is how to wow an audience :)
Her front leg is actually hiding the stick so there is no need for a crazy editing system like photoshop!
  Cool huh?!

Now if you look closely at how she's holding the shoes you may notice what I used to get them to stay in her hands... BLUE TACK! My actual savior!  But I will talk about that in another tutorial


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful! It will work for any smaller doll that the kebab stick can bear the weight of. Now if you take photos of larger dolls (like AG dolls or the larger monster high dolls) the same rules apply, but don't use a kebab stick. I use a metal skewer. But if you like I will make another post with some tips I have found when exploring my larger doll photography.


Now please, I am no expert, I am just a crazy girl with a camera and some dolls but I have picked up a few useful tricks along the way and wanna to share my (minimal) knowledge with you guys. So please comment down below if you have any questions about this post or future tutorials. I will make a more in depth post in the future when i have experimented a bit more :) 
Happy Doll Loving!
Lydia 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Fixing Kendall?!

Heh guys! Ok so last week, or the week before, I attempted my first ever limb tightening and eye fix (I didn't fully remove the eyes just tried to adjust them) and I definitely have mixed feelings about the results! It was my first time attempting a eye swap (type thing), and tightening a dolls limbs, so I guess it was an experiment.
*WARNING- THERE WILL BE HEADLESS AND NAKED AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS IN THIS POST, IF THAT STUFF FREAKS YOU OUT PLEASE DON'T READ THIS*

Kendall was previously a McKenna doll.
So the reason I decided to fix Kendall's eye was because over the years it got more and more wonky until it was so bad that when I tried to take photos, it looked like she had a flipping glass eye!

Her limbs were also so loose that she couldn't stand up very well and her skin looked really oily, and she was really squishy (her cloth area was not very firm like a new doll) so we had a lot of work to do!

Let's start with the limb tightening and re-stuffing.

So I started off by removing her wig, but I could just pull it of because I haven't glued it on yet! >.< As you can see her toenails are painted, yeah that happened a few years ago and now it won't come off, I need to try that acne cream treatment sometime.
I then removed her head and pulled all her stuffing out
Here's half the stuffing out.

And there is her body with all the stuffing out! Lol it looks kinda funny


I then tied a hair tie on each limb following the tutorial by aggirl1109

Here's the vid (if it doesn't work just click the account name above)

That went smoothly and she now has limbs that are super tight, her body is way more solid and she can stand on her own now! Success!! 


Now onto the eye swap, yeah this is where things went a bit cringe..


So this is what she started of like. It's not super super major but it's enough to bug me. In my naivety I was going to remove both of her eyes and then put them back in but a person on Instagram suggested just heating her head and then adjusting her eye without fully removing them. That sounded like a better idea and a lot less scary!

I followed the tutorial by AGTriviaMaster but just adjusted to what I was doing

 
If the video doesn't work just click on the account name above to view the video.

Everything went smoothly, I boiled the water, heated her head and I still don't actually know what went wrong but after I had adjusted her eyes I noticed that a little bit of water had crept into her actual eye ball.

Maybe there was a hole in her eye socket? I hope her eyes don't rust, I'll watch it over time and see if it does any damage. Also when I was done her eyes look like they are permanently looking down..
this photo was taken at a lower angle so it's less obvious
Can you see that small black gap between her eye and the rim? Looks like she's wearing eyeliner. Yeah the eye pieces are like slightly in the skull.. it's hard to explain... So that isn't the best. Oh and finally her eyes don't close now!

So I don't think I would call that a success but it was a good experience, Kendall is my experiment doll :) I try everything new on her! Sorry Kendall, I do love you.


So the final thing I did was clean her skin, now I have a love/hate relationship with the baking soda & water method that American Girl suggests because in the past it has left my dolls with large patches of cleaner skin and other bits still dirty even a little darker skin. Not very attractive. But I don't have access to Magic Erasers that I know of so I just used this method and got on with it.
And it worked really nicely, the trick this time was to apply an even amount of pressure/scrubbing when cleaning. I had to scrub pretty hard but it worked! So in the picture above, the right (our right, the doll's left) arm has been scrubbed with baking soda and water and the left (our left, her right) is what it looked like before! What a difference, she's less shiny now and I am very happy! :)


So this is what she's looks like at the end. Here's what I learnt from this experience

1. Limb tightening & re-stuffing the doll is surprisingly easy and the results are really good!

2. Eye swapping is a different story, less scary than I thought it would be but please use a doll that you are half ok with if you muck up. I will probably go back and try push the bottom of her eyes forward in the future but for now i'm just gonna leave her. I'm kinda traumatized! ^.^
I don't even know if I fixed the wonky eye, I think I made it worse than to begin with :) Oh well, you learn from your failures i guess. So I'm not very happy about the eye thing.

3. And the baking soda cleaning method actually works, contradicting my previous thoughts, but you must apply an even amount of scrubbing or the skin will look patchy. That's my experience anyway.


Here is a unedited photo from a photoshoot I had been panning for ages with Kendall after fixing her up and her eyes are looking down! With a normal doll, at this angle they would be looking at the camera, also it looks like she has eyeliner on! :) So I got 1 photo from this photoshoot that doesn't look weird and you can see in my last post or on my instagram (@lydias.dolls) Also her hair is frazzled coz it got caught in a zip. #dollproblems. 

If ya made it this far thanks for coming along on this journey with me! Yeah I was scared but I learnt some valuable lessons that I hope I passed onto you :)
Happy Doll Loving
Lydia 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

My Skirt-Overall Faze

Ok so my most recent pixie faire pattern I bought was the 'Not your brothers overalls' and I have been sewing it a lot. This always happens, I buy a pattern and then only sew that for a few weeks until I buy another one :) So here are the 3 overalls I've sewn recently. 

Cecile in the purple straight overalls.
This was my first time sewing this pattern, and I love the groovy fabric that I used. It made it a real stand out piece and was super fun to make.
Ok I know her eyes look weird, i tried something different with the editing and it failed and I can't change it! Just pretend they aren't there.
The pattern has two variations of the overall or skirt-all and the one that Cecile is wearing is the straight bottom version. 

Isabelle in a retro ballet overall
 The fabric I used for this one was actually bought way back in 2014, when I first started blogging. (on my old blog) I bought it to make a ballet inspired duvet for her, I had some leftovers and 2 years later I made this! It was pretty nostalgic making this overall.
So this is the retro variation. It was definitely more simple to make this one, I found anyway.

Kendall with Log and the new guy Luke (according to my sister)
The final one I made was a dog inspired one, my sister had some fabric that my mum said I could use, it was in the garage ok?! And when I had finished sewing with it, my sister found out. Let's just say she got a bit annoyed.

But it was worth it, I only have one pic of this one because I don't like how they turned out. I tried to fix Kendall's wonky eye and I think I made it worse and then her hair got caught in the zip of the bag I was carrying her in for the photoshoot so it looked horrendous and I was on a tight time schedule to take these pics! ANYWHO.. I'll have a post about the eye fixing soon :)

But I hope you enjoyed these overalls and please check out the pattern on pixie faire, it's such fun to sew and not too difficult! I'll be sewing much more of these babies in the future! 
Happy Doll Loving
Lydia

Sunday, 2 October 2016

My new American Girl doll



'Ello, ello! Well this past week I have received a fair bit of mail and one of the packages I received was my annual order from American Girl! I call it that because I usually got once a year and binge at AG because the shipping is so high, 
if you want an idea, I paid over $100 NZ dollars on shipping.
$100.
I tried not to show my surprise on the phone when i was ordering..

Yeah I'm not buying anything for a bit.

So I usually get a doll within this order because why not?! And I'm not paying that much just for some outfits. 

My life is actually controlled by the shipping costs of the world

Anyway I'm not here to talk about how much I hate paying for shipping but about my new doll! This year I purchased the Girl of the Year Lea.
(I will make a haul post about what I got soon lovelies!)


So I quickly whipped out the day I got her but I'll try take a proper photoshoot of her soon.

Now what made me choose Lea was:
1. She is the girl of the year and I have a track history of seriously regretting not getting them and then they sell for a fortune on the secondary market.

2. I think lea is so unique! I love that she is Brazilian, though I do think American Girl chickened out a bit making her 1/8 Brazilian, like who even knows that?! 
My doll is full Brazilian and she's awesome! 
I really love her colouring, the combo of green eyes, tan skin and like golden hair just slays me!


But I have decided to rename my doll from Lea and I asked on Instagram for some name suggestions and I got quite a few!

Chandler, Cheyenne, Prudence, Valencia, Sistine, Carlee, Cadence, Calista, Cara, Delilah, Maple, Tatum, Brianna, Cora, Dory, Nim, Lucy, Penny, Cooper, Hayley, Charlie, Brogan, Amelia, Bethany, Cassy, Dakota, Ellenor, Fern, Gwen, Harley, Iris, Jahzara, Kailani, Ladasha, Mabel, Namiko, Ozara, Penelope, Brigitta, Cora, Valentina, Gaia, Julietta, Alina, Katerina, Sofia, Katherine, Angelica, Eliza, Peggy, Scarlette, Leilani,

I ended up choosing Maple, I think it really suits her but I now have a long list I can name all my upcoming dolls! Lol 
So meet Maple my newest American Girl! She was a bit pricey to get all the way over here but it was worth it! >.< 
Have a great week loves! I still have one week left of my school holidays! Hooty hoo, ok bye 
Happy doll loving! 
-Lydia