Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Rowena Arrives Home

I heard from Rosemary today that Rowena has arrived home safe and sound.  I am so pleased, its always a tenterhooks moment until you hear from your customer that their baby has arrived and that they are happy.

So when I received such glowing feedback from Rosemary this morning I was almost in tears, it really made my day. 
I have loved working with Rosemary on Rowena, it was an absolutely pleasurable experience. 
Dear Lisa, I was going to write this in a pm but I want other people to know this also. Rowena arrived this morning and when I finally opened the box and saw her I was overcome with joy. her photos DO NOT do her justice, she is so beautiful and so well 'reborned' she truly is a work of art.
To hold her in my arms was just like holding my Olivia Rose, I could have cried. You have been very kind sending me updated photos but NOTHING prepared me for just how absolutely perfect she was, I love her Lisa, thank you so much ♥ 

Rowena Goes Home

I love what I do, although I write the magazine and sell supplies my favourite bit of my job is making dolls. It's the part of my life that brings me the most contentment and the most calm and sometimes my job is frustrating and slow work and hard but then every now and again it's downright dreadful, frustrating and depressing. But the best bit is providing a bit of happiness for someone else. 

Yesterday I sent off Rowena, a very special baby who has been a slow job for me... I have been lucky that the lady that ordered her was so patient with me and allowed me the time I needed to get Rowena looking the way I wanted her to. 

I actually felt a pang of sadness seeing Rowena packed up in her box.

I think I will miss this little lady, she has been a real labour of love for me, I wanted to make a doll that this very special lady would love and treasure.  It makes a massive difference knowing a baby is going off to someone you consider a friend.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Improving Mohair Quality

Sometimes when you buy a batch of mohair it looks wonderful in the pictures but when you get it in your hands its a bit dry and frizzy, at that point you can be a bit disappointed and worried that the mohair might not be any good to use.  

But just like our own hair adding a bit of moisture to frizzy mohair can make an enormous difference to its quality and at the same time make it much easier to use when you come to root it. 

When I mohair that turns out to be a bit dry the first thing I do is separate it into managable locks which I hold together with silicone bands, making sure the bands are twisted on really tight, you lose a lot less hair during the process using silicone bands as opposed to ribbon.  

I give the hair a good comb through with a small toothed comb, a pet comb with metal teeth or even a nit comb works well for this.  Once it's combed I use a leave in conditioner to moisturise the hair, the products I use are designed for Affro Caribbean hair so they really do moisturise the hair and improve it's condition enormously.  Once you have throughly soaked the mohair in moisturiser, comb it through again and then lay on tissue paper to dry out. 

As you can see the mohair goes from being dry and frizzy to sleek, shiny and soft. What looked like completely unpromising mohair becomes something special.

You do lose mohair during this process, specially in the combing out but it worthwhile to be left with such a soft usable product.

I find that this process also gives me a good opportunity to test the colour fastness of the dyes in the mohair, the last thing you want to happen is find the dye runs when you have already rooted half a head.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Makeshift Home Photo Studio

I get asked a lot how I manage to take such good photos and my main answer is "good light". 

Good lighting is essential but it needs to be the right kind of light, direct sunlight may sound like a good idea but really it's not, its harsh on vinyl, bounces off causing shadows and shine where you don't really want it.  Bright but dull days are my favourite days for taking photos. 

I take mine mostly in our conservatory, it has lots of windows, although I do close the shades on a lot of those depending on where the shadows are coming from. 

Contrary to popular belief you don't need a massive amount of space to take good photos.  In this example I am going to use just a corner of a sofa.  But I use lots of other set ups including crib style set ups which I will demonstrate in another post.

So starting with one bog standard 2 seater sofa, notice the shades are closed behind the sofa as I don't want light and shadows bouncing in from that direction. Obviously if I didn't have lots of other windows bringing in light I would be forced to leave open these shades as the light would be essential.

Using cushions of a stuffed roll create a base, cover this with a white cover, as you don't want the colours to show through. 

and then use a white sheet to cover the whole area you plan to photograph, the white will help bounce back the light in a low light environment.

This is the basis for all of your photos.  You can of course also use a black background but that will reduce how much light bounces back from your background. 

All you nee now is a selection of blankets and cloths to pop on top of your background to take your photos. Choosing different textures and colours makes for interesting eyecatching photos.

All of these photos were taken using this technique.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Pudsey Doll & Teddy Fair April 2012

Saturday 7th April was Pudsey's Doll and Teddy Fair, it was a bit of an adventure for me as I hadn't done this show before, after a long 2.5 hour drive and a very pleasant night in a comfy Premier Inn including a lovely meal and hot shower the show itself was a very busy day.  

The Hall was pretty massive with a big stage at one end of it, I got a great shot of the entire hall from up on the stage. as you can see there was an impressive layout of tables.

Once I got my tables set up I was able to have a wander around and take some photos and talk to other table holders.  It was nice seeing so many familiar faces and being able to coo over some of the wonderful dolls, bears and crafts on display. 

Sammie trying to hide... and failing!
Saw this gorgeous little purple dragon, really wish I had bought him!

I loved these wonderful felt and cloth dolls, they were just amazing. 

The next Pudsey Fair will be on Saturday 6th October 2012, more details of this show are available on their website


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

William - Available

Completed and ready to meet a new family is little William, created from a Laura Tuzio Ross "Walter Sculpt" Little William will be accompanying me to the Pudsey Doll and Teddy Fair at the weekend. 

William measures about 19inches from head to toe and has been painted with many many layers of Genesis Heatset Paints.  William is rooted with two tones of Slumberland mohair.