Posted in Daisy, doll adventure, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, Lily, miniature adventure, photo novel, toy adventure

A sense of place, revisited

In one of my first posts, I wrote about trying to find a place for Camellia in the real world. Her location was difficult to find, since I needed a livable, sparsely-inhabited island which might house a panther.

Since there’s not going to be a real reveal on place for her (just far away shots of Rosie’s map) I can say that I imagine her on one of the islands near Venezula at a time before there was much tourist traffic to those islands.

Daisy, Rosie, and James are somewhat less defined. I’m imagining that they’re somewhere in Oregon, but I never did find a town for them that I loved.

Lily, however, is in a very definite place, and I’ve been using shots of that place throughout her episodes. She’s in Syracuse in Sicily, not too far away from my grandfather’s birthplace in Nicosia, Sicily, and a few hours away from my grandmother’s birthplace in Coreleone, Sicily. I’ve never been to Sicily – on my one trip to Italy, I never got beyond Florence and Rome – but I like the feel of Syracuse from the distance of my living room.

But, in this week’s episode, everyone is leaving where they are and converging on Camellia. Oh look, here are Lily and Daisy arriving at the airport now.

Posted in BJD, doll photography, Dollzone, Emily, In the picture

New eyes: Changing the look of a doll

I love the look of the Dollzone Gill doll. Unlike most of the 1/4th dolls, Gill is solidly a kid, although maybe a kid who’s prone to allergies and is always on the outer edges of the crowd.

But, when I got my Gill, the only eyes I had for her were these odd blue eyes with cone-shaped irises (or however you pluralize that word) – the eyes actually come to a point in the center. With the red-rimmed eyes, I thought it gave her a little bit of a creepy edge in some shots, like here:

or here

Partly, it’s that the blue isn’t a great color for her, but it’s also the way the light catches on the odd shape of the eye that makes her look a little other-wordly. That wasn’t terrible for the NOTLD piece, but I wanted to recapture her little girl look.

It turns out that she has the same eye size as one of my 1/6th scale dolls, so I switched eyes between them and gave Gill a more normally shaped pair of brown eyes. Here are a few shots with her new eyes:

I think she’s solidly back in little girl land now.

Apparently, Charlotte and Emily had a timely send-off for Roger Gorman. Most of his early films are in the public domain, so download a copy of NOTLD or Bucket of Blood and have a fun evening.

This week, I’ll be finishing the penultimate My Doll Adventure episode, with a whirlwind of activity as everyone makes their way to the location that Rosie pinpointed. In my never-ending revision mode, I’ve given that adventure a new name, and left the “My Doll Adventure” name as the moniker for my whole effort to create all these different stories.

In honor of their Italian heritage (and my own), and their floral names, I’m calling it my little flower, or Mia fiorella. I’m imagining it’s what Lily called Camellia when she was a little girl. If I’ve gotten the Italian wrong, let me know 🙂

Posted in Camellia, doll adventure, doll photography, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Episode 33: Back to the beginning

Camellia recalls the night she fled.

There had been a dance.

Camellia dances with the stranger, and then sees that Cado is watching

And then, when she realizes that Cado has left, she goes upstairs to find him . . .

and finds him holding Daisy, with a gun to his head.


As the late publication might suggest, I had a terrible time with this episode. I’d finished taking the photos with my original ending, and then felt like it was just too much – too much threatening of Daisy, and too much vilifying of Cado.

Here are those picture:

But, really, holding a gun on a toddler Disney Rapunzel? It’s just not right 🙂

So, we’ll go with this as the beginning, and, next time around, I’ll figure out a clearer way of moving towards it. And Camellia will shoulder a little more of the blame.

But, that’s it for the beginning. Now we’re on to the end.

Posted in Fashion dolls

When the going gets tough, the tough start . . . organizing

I had a millions things to do this weekend. I’m on job hunt, so lots of time and effort in figuring where/how to apply. And I have the last critical Doll Adventure episode – the one where we go back to the very start and see what set everything in motion.

On top of that, I still haven’t dealt with the huge influx of items into my living room and doll room, making the whole space pretty unwieldy to work in. And I have about a months worth of gardening work, after the grass pollen drove me indoors for the month of June.

So, naturally, this is the weekend I decided to do my very most persnickety organizing task. This is the task where I go through EVERY SINGLE SHOT in the whole adventure and make sure that I find, catalog, and store EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN EVERY ONE OF THOSE SHOTS. This is less obsessively compulsive than it might appear. Once I finish this draft of the adventure, I’m going to go back and redo some shots/episodes. In order to fix just a single shot, though, I need to be able to recreate it. And that means that I have to be able to find everything that went into the shot.

It’s also a way of letting me cull through the mass ‘o stuff in my doll room. If I didn’t use it in a shot, and I won’t have to use it again soon, it can move out of the doll room into the deeper storage in my garage workspace.

So, not completely insane, but certainly not the most timely thing I could be doing either. Here’s what Daisy’s drawer looks like:

I’m not including the big furniture items, but this is all of her outfits, and then the accessories for each scene/place. For example, here are the things on her shelf:

Which I’ve been remarkably inconsistent about. I think I only had the Madeline hat up there for the first episode, and then, somehow, it ended up with Rosie’s things.

It turns out Camellia has a surprisingly small number of items. Here’s everything from her first three episodes:

Basically, just a dress and a slip.

I had a few moments of pure panic, like when I couldn’t find the torn photo anywhere. It’s in a bunch of scenes, and I couldn’t possibly recreate the tear pattern. Finally, though, I found it in Camellia’s boat, although I have absolutely no idea how it got there.

I’m still missing the rag doll from Lily’s first adventure. I guess it really is lost 🙂

Anyway, I’ve gotten through almost all of Daisy’s episodes, and up to Episode 8 for the rest of them. And I suspect that if some big emergency comes up again this week, I’ll put if off while I go chasing down one of the pink high heels Rosie was wearing in her first episode.

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollzone, graphic novel, In the picture, miniature adventure, miniature photography, movies, photo novel, Photography, Photoshop, Souldoll, toy adventure, toy photography

In the Picture: Endless summer

The start of summer finds two sisters luxuriating in their freedom.

OK, maybe they’re the tiniest bit bored.

By evening, they settle in to watch a little TV.

Oh, great, it’s Night of the Living Dead.

Hearing a sound at the door, they go to investigate.

And quickly slam it shut.

Well, *that* was certainly odd!

And welcome to In The Picture, where two sisters find themselves, well, in the picture.

Guess they’re going to have to be more careful about what they watch 🙂

Night of the living dolls

I never thought I’d find myself downloading the 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead as part of my doll adventure, but that’s what happened this week.

After deciding (more or less) what I’d do with my two 1/4th dolls who got shut out of the treehouse story, I’ve spent the last few days pouring through the available public domain movies and illustrations. As you might expect, given that 1923 is the general cutoff date for things falling into public domain, there are more illustrations than movies available. Like maybe 1,000,000 illustrations for each movie. Or maybe more. There are so many illustrations that it’s hard to keep count of them.

That’s redefined the storyline as mainly entering books, and just occasionally entering films. Which makes “In scene” seem like a misleading title. Maybe “In the picture”?

But, since I started with looking at movies, that’s probably where the two girls are going to end up this week. And Night of the Living Dead is the one that’s caught my eye. It’s the sort of experience that might lead the girls to choose books over movies 🙂

So, I’ve downloaded a copy, and I’ll see if I can at least get it playing on the TV in their room.

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, Dollzone, graphic novel, miniature adventure, photo novel, Souldoll, toy adventure

In Scene: Plotting out the final storyline

Strawberry (now Fern) threw all of my plans into disorder.

I was going to have four un-related 1/4th scale dolls hanging out in a treehouse. Then I fell in love with this somewhere-between-1/6th-and-1/4th-scale doll, who fit so well with two of the 1/4th scale dolls that they ended up becoming a family.

That left my other two 1/4th scale dolls with a very diminished role in this now-family adventure.

So, I’ve spent the last two weeks figuring out what to do with them. And yesterday, I finally go an idea.

They’re going to start out having a very boring summer, and then start imagining themselves into old books, movies, and maybe, eventually, their own world that they’re creating. To support the writing-yourself-out-of-a-boring-place-and-into-your-own-world idea, I’m going to name them after two of the Bronte sisters.

So, meet Charlotte and Emily, just starting out their summer vacation:

That’s Charlotte, the older sister, on the right. She’s a Souldoll Bonnie. On the left is Emily, the younger sister. She’s a Dollzone Gill (also available with a set of cool metallic wings, but I just couldn’t imagine how I would work that into a story :)).

I’m still figuring out how they’re going to insert themselves into plots. There’s a big storehouse of films in the public domain (anything made before 1923, and some films made after that that were surprisingly left to slip out of copyright – like Charade and Night of the Living Dead. But, I’m still not sure I’m up to doing stop motion, so I may just insert them into stills.

Having them enter books is trickier. Do I just recreate bits of plots, and build the scene? Or do I find illustrated books they can enter? I know the British Library has released about 1 million images into Flickr commons (you can see them here –, including a ton of fantastic Gustav Dore sketches, so I may just plow through that. Or I may try to figure out what illustrated books I love are in the public domain.

Eventually, they’ll build their own world to slip into (something the Bronte sisters also did). I’ve been meaning to build my own Rainforest Hut (ala the incredibly expensive one from American Girls), so I may make their world a tropical island. Plus, I still have all that sand from Camellia, and it gives me something nice to work on during the rainy Oregon winters.

So, anyway, that should be the final storyline:

My Doll Adventure: The four Wildflower dolls

Underfoot: Three 1/6th scale dolls and two critters, living in a 1/1 scale world

Up Above: Three 1/4th scale sisters in a treehouse

In Between: Teacher and apprentice, 1/3rd scale, moving between a real and wizardly world

and this one

In scene: Two 1/4th scale sisters imagining themselves into other worlds

And that ought to be enough to keep me amused for awhile 🙂