Posted in Camellia, Dolls, Fashion dolls

A sense of place

Isla La TotugaIt turns out, from my cursory research, that the Isla la Tortuga is one of the few uninhabited tropical islands where my Camellia character can have her adventure.

Tropical? Check (unlike just about any land mass off the US or Europe). Interesting animals? Check – capybara, coatis, even a jaguar which could be the source for the needle-felted black panther I bought for her.

IMG_1601However, it’s been a long time since Robinson Crusoe claimed an uninhabited island, and nothing of any size near enough to reach by a small boat is really uninhabited. Even the little island of La Tortuga gets some tourist traffic. Plus, for a story that depends on her regularly uncovering new things, it’s rather small. And sparse

So, while I think restricting the animals to those potentially found near each other makes sense (no polar bears romping with the armadillos), I don’t want to restrict her story just to give her an actual locale to live in.

I continue to struggle with the same problem with Daisy. Bob and I spent many weekends checking out various small towns she could launch from – trying to find something small enough that it would make sense for her to leave (no one launches an adventure *away* from Paris), while not being so small that she would really have to leave in order to have any kind of life at all. But, nothing so far has really been right. Some are so small as to not have any sense of place at all. Some have a great residential area while missing a really good main street, while others have a great main street while missing a really good residential section. Like Camellia, I think I’ll end up giving her a real general location but an imaginary town within it.

* Camellia is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.

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Posted in Camellia, Dolls, Fashion dolls

Camellia’s Journey Begins

Camellia’s story starts mid-adventure, with a dark backstory that I don’t think I’ll everĀ  fully reveal.

What lies in her future, only Camellia can say. While I create the storyline for the rest of my dolls, Camellia negotiates her own. She wasn’t even supposed to star in this story – I had another doll altogether in mind. But the doll I’d selected had such a clear need for human contact that I couldn’t bear to send her out onto a deserted island (the eventual landing spot for the story). I chose Camellia for the role because she was the only doll I thought could thrive completely in her own company

But then I had to work with Camellia to figure out how she got on the island. I had a storyline already in place, involving a shipwreck, but Camellia rejected it, along with the next few scenarios I came up with. Ultimately, those stories made her journey a reaction to someone else’s action, and she wanted to create her own wave. So, one evening in barefeet and a ball gown she gets into a boat and sets off. In the morning, when she wakes up, she’s mid-ocean with no land in site. That’s where her story begins.

* Camellia is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.

Posted in Daisy, Dolls, Fashion dolls

Daisy gets a dog

Each of the dolls has a pet, as well as a medium. For Daisy, it’s a dog and photography.

I spent most of my evenings for a month finding the right dog for Daisy.

First, she borrowed a beagle from my Lottie dolls

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The beagle is cute, but it looks like a cartoon, while Daisy looks real.
Then, I got a set of dogs from Ebay.

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This one was cute, but with Daisy’s mane, the dog’s hair was just too much additional distraction
But it was cute enough that *one* of the dolls got it.

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Very hairy dog rides into the sunset with generic Heather and generic Bob.
The chow just looked far too stern.

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And Melanie’s needle felted dog was so cute that Rosie took off with it.

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although Daisy did manage to hold onto Melanie’s rabbit.

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I got an actual, official Barbie dog off of eBay, but, good God! the thing is so enormous you can barely fit it into a shot, much less have Daisy put it in her should bag when she’s riding her bike.

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I got these two amazing dogs off of Aliexpress

but, as you might be able to tell from the chipped ear on the sitting one, they’re very fragile and I just thought Daisy’s outdoor shoots might be too dangerous for them. I left them with Jane, instead.

Daisy ended up with the third dog from my first batch from eBay. I have a feeling it’s like a dalmatian without spots from 101 dalmatians, but, whatever it is, it just looks like the kind of dog that Daisy would have.

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* Daisy is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, they can) Andrea creates muses.

Posted in Daisy, Dolls, Fashion dolls, Photography, Photoshop

Daisy goes for a bike ride

For a project built on the premise that dolls can have adventures, the difficulty of taking great shots of dolls “in the wild” is a huge roadblock.

Either I use one of my studio shots (on the left) where I’m able to capture a sense of motion, and then merge it completely unartfully into the real landscape, or I get a shot realistically in the wild (on the right) that totally misses that sense of motion. I’m hampered by my inexperience as either a photographer or a photoshopper, and it’s really maddening. I’m inclined towards building my skill set in the former rather than the latter – after 8 hours a day on the computer at work, the last thing I want is to be fiddling with Photoshop in my spare time.

A meeting point in the middle might be to try something Elgin Park-like, where I build a realistic base (a path and some grass) and then set it up on a table in a real setting and use the real world as a backdrop for the miniature world.

 

* Daisy is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, they can) Andrea creates muses.

Posted in Daisy, Dolls, Fashion dolls

Daisy’s adventure begins

Daisy is the first adventurer.

Unlike the other dolls’ stories, I wanted to start Daisy’s adventure off slowly, with a day in the life. She’ll get her call to adventure soon, but right now she’s just a young women in a small town going about her day.

Since her journey starts a few days after the first image, she won’t be spending too much time in her room – so I just roughly tacked it together. I built the wood window frame and the foam board window seat, but the wallpaper (visible in the upper left of the first pic) is just tacked with a pin to the top of the foam board wall, and the wood floor (slightly visible in both shots) hasn’t been removed from its adhesive backing. The adhesive backing is actually visible in the second shot, but it’s not keeping the story from moving forward so I’m not going to worry about it.

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Rosie’s room. Desk from next scene is off to the side.
On the other end of precision-and-care spectrum, just barely visible in the second shot is a bit of pink wainscotting. Somewhere in my studio I have a highly detailed 24 inches worth of the stuff, which I made by patiently trimming popsicle sticks down to the correct size, individually painting each with three coats of paint, and then gluing each to a balsa wood backing. I’m not going to estimate the time that went into it, but you better get a good eyeful now, because this is the only shot that contains them.

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There *is* a second stretch of wainscotting that will be visible once Daisy gets the call to adventure and returns to her desk. But that piece of wainscotting fits below the window, and so is much shorter then the pieces I already created.

When I first started planning Daisy’s story, I carefully did a complete layout of her rooms, including the exact dimension of the door way and the location or her closet. But her story only needed a few bits of her room, so I never hung the wallpaper or even created a second wall.

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It’s odd creating a world that only needs to exist in bits and pieces, and it’s hard to know before the story is complete which bits need to be fleshed out and detailed, and which appear only once, in shadow, or not at all.

* Daisy is the creation of Andrea Meyer of Wildflower dolls. If a doll can be a muse (and, I’d argue, it can) Andrea creates muses.

Posted in Sewing, Stuffed animals

Opposing circles, part 3

Success. Apparently the no-pin method works. Here’s theĀ link, circle diagrams and all.

I’m still puzzled why the head piece was originally drawn with an extra seam allowance. I cut it without the added seam, and it appears to match correctly with the body piece to which I had added a seam. I guess I’ll find out when I try to put it all together.

Note, though, in my excitement to get the two opposing circles to work, I completely missed the part where I was supposed to catch one of the fins in the seam. Hopefully the poor thing won’t drown.

Posted in Sewing, Stuffed animals

Opposing circles part 2

Or, “a breakthrough, I am doomed.”

After reading through several suggestions online (you’ll be shocked at how many pins you can fit in a square inch of fabric), I found a method that actually works. It has to do with matching up the fabrics on the seam line (not the cut line) and it involved no pins at all.

As you can see, the two pieces fit together with little pucker.

Can you spot the problem?

I am doomed. I’ve pulled so many stitches out of this tiny bit of fabric that there are hardly any threads left to sew.