Friday, July 29, 2011

Over Ell's Rainbow OOAK shoes

I had promised to show photos of the OOAK shoe styles I created for the Over Ell's Rainbow doll retreat last month, and I just now realized that I never did!  So here they are - two pairs that were given as a door prize to one lucky winner:

And shown here with the 19 rainbow-hued pairs that all the attendees got as table favors:

That was a fun shot to set up!  :p  

Finally, here they are being modeled by a couple of my dolls:

There are more pics on my website, on the Shoes page under "One-of-a-kind," and you can also check out the retreat's Facebook page, for photos of the event itself.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun Furniture Finds

Another good place to look for doll-sized furniture and prop items is Goodwill. I was there on Saturday and found two fun new pieces - first there's this great jewelry box:

It's a little small for the 16" crowd, but works well with Tiny Kitty:

The other piece I found is a shelf in the shape of a staircase:

And it is the perfect scale for my 16" dolls!

I'm going to fix it up a bit to make it prettier, and free-standing so it doesn't have to be secured to the wall. Stay tuned for future updates! I also have plans to turn an old broken chair into a doll-sized four-poster bed...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Furniture Favorites

Wow, two months since I last posted! Sorry for the hiatus, but I had been working on my first real mass-production of shoes, for the "Over Ell's Rainbow" doll retreat next week. I'll share images of the special shoes I created for that event after it's over. But here's what 19 miniature shoe boxes looks like:

It was quite a fun project!

Now, on to the subject of this post. TONNERDirect asked Facebook this morning what types of furniture we like, and where we get our doll furniture. So I decided to dedicate a blog post to answering this question. One of my favorite pieces is a chaise lounge-shaped jewelry box, found at Walmart several years ago. I especially like it because my dolls can stand next to it, unsupported by a stand:

It's also good for sitting:

or lounging:

and it can hold multiple dolls:

(I use it a lot!)

I've also gotten several pieces of unfinished wooden doll-sized furniture at places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels, and I'm lucky enough to have a talented sister who carves, paints/stains, and varnishes them for me!

First there's this great bench that I bought many years ago (before I even collected Tonner dolls!) and had forgotten about:

(I made the cushion for it.) I decided I wanted it a darker, richer color. My sister stained and varnished it, and it's so handsome now:

Once again, more than one doll can sit on it:

The chest that Niobe is sitting on in the above picture is another example of my sister's work. This one she carved, as well:

I requested a dragonfly for the design, and she created the exact look I was hoping for! Here's a close-up of the carving:

Last but not least, she also carved the lotus flowers on the drawers, and stained and varnished this adorable dresser for me:

It is one of my very favorite pieces.  Isn't she talented? 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feels like summer!

I celebrated the warm weather today by doing an outdoor photo shoot of two new styles of shoes I've been working on lately.  They're really getting me in a summer mood!  Both styles will be available to purchase at my website shortly.  

First, we have cork wedges: 


Next, espadrilles:

I also have plans for flat styles using cork and rope soles, so stay tuned! Also, summer shoes coming for men!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Make your own doll hangers - Part 2

Guess what I bought today? Socks!  :p  Five pairs, to be exact, just so I could get five more of these:

I'm kidding; I actually needed new socks! But I also wanted to expand on my previous post about full-body hangers. So today I'm making my own!

First I traced around one of Tonner's clear plastic hangers:

And then placed two of my homemade hangers over the "shoulders" and "hips" and traced around those:

I've found that 4" at the shoulders and 3" at the hips will keep most garments from slipping off.

I then folded the paper in half and cut out my pattern so it would be even on both sides:

Then I traced around the pattern on my clear plastic and cut out two pieces. I taped them together at the top, to hold the hook in place:

And finally, here it is hanging up! You can see how well it holds even a one-shoulder top and skirt:

As opposed to Tonner's full-body hanger:


Here is my pattern, so you can make your own:

Hope this was useful!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Make your own doll hangers! (Or just fix existing ones)

About a month ago, Miriam Shepard (of YumYum Couture) posted this ingenious tutorial for fixing Tonner's full-body hangers so they actually hold clothes! I've been using her method with great success. The following is Miriam's original post, complete with photos (used with permission): 

Why in the world did Tonner design hangers for his trunks that do not function for 90% of the clothing he makes? I love the look of the plexiglass body hangers but the shoulders won't hold the clothing in place so I figured out a way to make clear plastic shoulders for the hangers that make them work and aren't an eyesore. I wish Tonner would take up my idea and make these himself with cute little TW insignias to fit his hangers. Dream on Miriam.

You will need:

One of those clear plastic boxes that UB Tylers come in. Cut it up along the fold lines.

Strong scissors
An Exacto knife or cutting blade
paper to make a pattern.

Make a pattern from paper. Cut a rectangle that is 2 inches wide and 3 and 5/8s inches wide. Fold it in half lengthwise. Trim the corners on two sides as shown in the picture below.

Use your paper pattern as a guide to cut your plastic. I find it is easiest to cut the plastic box into panels and then cut them into 3 and 5/8s inch sections and then fold the sections lengthwise and trim to 1 inch folded. Finally, trim the "shoulders". After folding and trimming the plastic, use the Xacto knife to cut through the fold so that the body hanger will slip through and the plastic shoulders slide down in place on the "shoulders of the hanger. See the pics: This is a dress falling off the Tonner hanger. Boooooo!

Here are pics of the pattern and of the clear plastic shoulders

More pics of the process:

Finally, the dress is hanging on the new shoulders which look good with the plexiglass hanger.

Brilliant, right? I love it! Of course, I only have six full-body hangers myself, so I can only hang up six outfits, right? Wrong! I modified Miriam's method to make my own hangers, as well! See, I'm a huge packrat. You know those tiny plastic hooks that come on packages of things like socks, tights, or ties so that they hang on the pegs on store shelves? Well, I keep those.

I always knew I would have a use for them! And now I finally do:

They make excellent hangers! The top one, being already over 4" long, is perfect for hanging a top by the straps. Then I made plastic "shoulders" for some, and "hips" for others - these hang skirts or pants. I made my "hips" 3" wide, which worked perfectly:

Now you may be wondering, if this tutorial was posted a month ago, why am I just getting around to making my hangers now? Well, before this week, I didn't really have a place to hang doll clothes. But I came back from a trip to Goodwill with this... well, I'm not entirely sure what it is:

The smaller one is an old candlestick of my mom's. Anyway, they look really good full of doll clothes:

Sayuri browses for an outfit to wear: 

Poor girl is still waiting for me to finish her red kimono... one of these days!