Posing Angie

How many ball jointed doll owners reading this pose/re-pose their doll(s) once a week?  How about every day?  Ahhhhh…. another junkie after my own heart.  It is addictive.  Of course proximity helps a lot.   I have a  “cubbie” in my staircase in which I place recently finished furniture pieces along with my doll Angie, providing the perfect opportunity to mess with her.  Occasionally, she gets into such a charming pose it simply must be retained for some time, but it’s a fun exercise in her best trait…..that would be being more limber than I am.

Ball Jointed DollsHere’s some new furniture, not yet ready for posting to my Etsy shop, but perfect for highlighting Angie “the poser” and some other new accessories which might interest the DIY’er in you.

BJD FurnituireShe looks a bit lost on this settee for 24″-26″ dolls, but finds it extremely comfortable.  She loves to relax in style.  I confess, playing with her and all the accessories, and then the big photo shoot, is more fun than I can say.  If you’ve followed me for a while you might notice the new end table and lamp. (Click on any image to enlarge.)

Exquisite doll furnitureI’m working on a post to show how I made it and will also provide information to DIY’ers, who might not have my workshop of tools, to create end tables that perfectly fit their dolls.  The lamp is one of two new ones and I’ll bet no one can guess what the base is.  Come on.  Give me your best guess!  It’s very heavy and about 50 years old.  I found it at a local antique shop and with a pre-made shade, it’s just about perfect for dolls.

Of course, end tables and lamps, backdrops and carpets are only rivaled by fashionable seating like nothing else you can find in the known Universe (well that’s what I heard).  Everyone knows that when Voyager sent back a message from deep Space after finding highly intelligent life deep in the galaxy, the message read “Send more Chuck Berry and Little Big Chairs!!!”.  What more can I say?  Photography and dolls are popular everywhere and accessories make it more fun!

Here are a few of the poses Angie came up with this time.

Doll ChairsBJD Furniture     Tufted Doll Chair

Posing1Best Doll FurnitureFine Doll Furniture

 

 

 

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DIY Doll House Floor

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You can easily make this pink and white marble floor for your doll photography or for a dollhouse floor.  I’ve pick a pattern I saw in a magazine, but you can google marble floors and find ultra fabulous patterns that can make you crazy looking at them.  They’re not that hard to figure out and since there are no rules…..you can’t go far wrong.

Start with your materials.  I’ve chosen a large piece of pink poster board which will serve as the base for the tiles and will show through as my “grout”.  Honestly, it’s a pink grout floor, but that didn’t have the zing that “pink marble floor” has, and I was going for subtle pink.  Also shown below (click on any photo to enlarge), are a couple of pieces of white poster board and some darker pink wall paper which will be used as accent tiles for this floor.  Some of the white poster board has already been cut into small rectangles which will be my white slate/marble tiles.

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I started by drawing a very very very light pencil line on a diagonal across the pink board as a guide line to get started.  All you have to do is start placing the white marble tiles on the pink board with a touch of glue.  You don’t have to be perfect.  I only made the one guideline and eyeballed it from there, but do whatever you have to do to keep things in line and fairly square.

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Keep adding more of the white tiles.  Below, you can also see that I’ve cut up the piece of wallpaper into small accent tiles.  You will have to figure out the scale of your floor to suit your needs at the start of the project.  I wanted pink “grout” to also show around the little accent tiles, so they were cut with that in mind.  Paste them in just like the big tiles.

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Here’s a close look at the finished product and then a photo of the whole scene.  You might notice that the accent tiles are made from the same wallpaper as the wall.  These kinds of touches are fun to make and can add so much visual appeal to your doll photography or dollhouse.  The garden door in the last photo is fun to make and you can learn how here.   Hope you like it.  Thanks for looking.  Ask questions if you have any.  Best Wishes, Melanie

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Doll Accessories, My Garden Door View

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Dolls can only look at walls for so long before they go bonkers.  Yes, they like art & books, but a great view is a lovely thing.  Creating a door or window will add a lot of depth and ambiance to your doll photography.  It also just makes it more fun to appreciate them when you see them in a space as lovely as they are.

Making a door or window with a view is easy.  I’ve used wood in this case….because I can.  I’m a tool girl and playing with my bandsaw is just too much fun to pass up, but you can simply substitute poster board or foam board.

First I decided on the scale, which in this case is 1/3 so it will go with my bookcase.  The first photo below (click on any photo to enlarge) shows my pattern, which was cut from heavy paper.  You can see that I’ve planned for the door and the surrounding moulding.

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Next, I mark the pattern onto my wood.  Even if you’re doing a version using poster board or foam board, play it safe and make a pattern first.  It might save you a trip to the store to purchase more materials when you realize you’d really like it a bit bigger or smaller or wider or whatever.

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Here’s my finished cuts ready for spray paint.  Just in case you’re wondering, I cut my trim parts in two pieces because it’s less wasteful of my wood.  If you’re doing the poster board version you can do it in one nice sweeping arch.  Of course you can make a rectangular garden door also, but I just love the elegance of an arch.

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This next photo shows the painted door and trim in off-white satin finish spray paint.  The beauty of using poster board is that you can simply pick the color you want and skip the painting step.  We’re looking at the back side of the door and you can see my staples holding everything in place.  You’re also looking at the back side of the photo of my garden, which was enlarged in photoshop (in sections) and taped together to get it that large.  Remember I mentioned that this is 1/3 scale (SD or 24″ size dolls), so the total height of the door is 27 inches.  The photo is 22″ tall, which is just enough to cover the needed area.  I simply taped the photo to the door from the back side and when you turn it over, voila!, you have a fabulous view.

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The last part is putting the hardware on to give it authenticity.  What you’re seeing below is a piece of green poster board which I used to hold my door hardware before I spray painted it with an old can of gold paint in a hammered metal look.  Love using up old cans of paint.  You can see four little pieces of wood that will make my door hinges.  They are  little wooden skewers bought at the grocery store and cut into one inch pieces.  You know, the kind you put veggies or meat on so they don’t fall through the grill as you BB-Que them.  Place them on a piece of masking tape, with the sticky side up.  This holds them in place while sprayed them.  Otherwise they’d have flow off from the power of the spray can.  The two brown circle looking items are the door knobs, which are large decorative nails I use in my upholstery business.  They worked fantastic, but you could just cut circles and add several small layers of poster board behind them to lift them off the surface and create the illusion of depth.  You could also make nice door knobs out of polymer clay. The little white paper shapes are my door knob plates, which are just poster board cut to a decorative shape and painted.  Pretty cute, huh?

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Here’s one of the many photos I’ve taken of this door.  The finished product is so easy.  You can make it in any size you want.  You could take a picture of yourself (or one of your dolls) looking in the window just for fun…..or your cat peering in….or aliens.  Whatever you like.  This is my garden just outside my dining room doors and the path I laid out of local antique brick and all the plants I planted…..cause I’m a DIY girl and don’t know when to stop.  ;o}    I think the wall looks better with more contrast between the door trim and the wall, but…..

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As an added bonus, here’s my latest view for my new modern furniture.  I wanted city girls to have appropriate views of their world.  It’s using the same techniques.  You can instantly create a fun space for your dolls or your stuff.  If you have smaller dolls you could set this up on the shelf of a bookcase, adding depth and interest.  See how I did the brick wall for these photos here.

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Please feel free to ask questions and thank you for looking.  Hope you liked it.

Lampshade Adornment

A ten inch strip of tape with crystals hanging from it had occupied space in my workshop for a couple of decades.  It was one of those items you’re certain would come in really handy a few weeks after you threw it away…..ten measly little inches of bling.

Then came the world of dolls and ten inches of sparkle suddenly seemed like a wealth of adornment for…..something?   If you’ve read my posts on lamp making, you know that the shades rest on a circle of clear plastic.  I glued the strip of crystals to a 1/2 inch wide circular piece of cardboard.

Of course, I could have permanently glued it to the bottom edge of a lampshade.  That’s the way it’s usually done in the Big World, but that would be so unalterable, so singularly useful, instead of a multitasking light catching eye grabbing delectably gaudy adornment!  I can see that you can see where this is going.

Versatility is a good thing.  No telling where it will show up next.  Hummm…a hat for Angie?

My Photography…..so far, Pt. 2

My photography improved as I began to create more illusion with intentionally created walls and floors.  I consider them props just like the rugs, furniture and plants.  It’s important to create them so they lay flat when not in use and can be mixed and matched.  I would recommend creating a “base wall”.  This is like the “bones” of your set.  It keeps the wall standing up straight and not falling over on the dolls, and allows you to shift the whole set as needed to get optimal light.

I frequently use my bookcases as a base wall because they’re so sturdy, but you can easily make one with common tools.  For the purposes of this demo, it took about less than ten minutes to make this since I had the materials on hand.  It’s simply a piece of foam board to which I attached small feet, also created from foam board.  The feet are removable (so it will lie flat), since they’re only attached with straight pins, which easily slide into the foam (below).  You can see one pin at the top and one at the bottom.  If you’re not worried about space, you could also hot glue them permanently into place.  This base wall measures 29 inches wide and 25 inches tall.  My cutting table is 57 inches wide and by turning it at an angle to my window, or letting the bookshelves hang off a little on each side, I can get up to 60 inch wide shots.  My bookcase is 29.5 inches tall, but can extend it upward with little wall extensions if I want to.

Now, you can start to place any one of the several beautiful floors you’ve created up next to it. Then lay one of your wall textures against it vertically (temporarily held in place with pins or tape, see second photo close up, below).  Voila!  You have the basic set ready to adorn with accessories.  A small piece of moulding (not shown) spray painted gives the appearance of a base board, adding realism.  Setting the stage is much like getting dressed in the morning.  You want lots of options that you can mix and match and accessories to make it pop.

My architectural prints wall was first covered in fabric and the prints permanently applied.  Fixing them permanently is a good idea if you have a collection……I love collections.  But, if you’ve worked hard creating a beautiful wall, or it’s a beautiful color of poster board and you don’t want to make a permanent hole in it or risk pulling the color off with tape, here’s what I do.  Rather than metal wire or twine, use clear wire commonly used for beading and jewelry making, or fishing line.   For the purposes of this demonstration, I’ve used a black twine.  Otherwise you couldn’t see it and would think I was bonkers!

The twine was looped through the little metal attachment on the back (I purchased this frame at a hobby craft store on sale). Several knots can be tied in it to allow you to hang it at various levels and it’s simply secured with a pin stuck down into the foam board  at the top of your base wall.  The clear jewelry thread doesn’t show at all in the photos.  I’m using 1/8 inch foam board which seemed sturdy enough.  If your picture frame is not too heavy, a pair of magnets works wonders without marring the wall surface.  Super glue one magnet to the top back of the frame and then position the other directly across from it on the back side of the base wall.  It stays up like magic and is easy to move up and down.

So here’s the base wall with the floor and the picture.  A really realistic scene coming together and haven’t even thrown in accessories!  Let’s add a rug and plant next. The rug is a nice piece of upholstery fabric…..very nice.

Now put in all the other little items that make you and your doll happy and we have the un-cropped finished look, followed by the cropped version.

In hindsight, probably should have lowered the painting to a lower knot on the chain, but……..I’d already broken down the set (takes about 30 seconds) and couldn’t reshoot it…….but this is how I’m currently creating realistic scenes for my stuff.   I like the way the small size of this set cuts off the floor, the pot, the chair & the painting.  It looks like we’re looking in on a private moment.  Shooting from an even lower level might have been interesting….and this is the problem….you can never get it quite right….so you never get it done….and you never stop having fun and being creative!  What luck!

Developing my vision of the scene in my mind and doing a little sketch on paper is a time saving practice.  Drawing it helps more idea flow to you.  You don’t have to be a great artist…..just a sketch is helpful.  I hope this has sparked your imagination or convinced you that great idea you had two months ago just might work.  Thank you so much for reading.