Monday, March 30, 2020

Hermione

For those of you who used to read the Toy Box Philosopher blog, you'll know that I love the Harry Potter books and movies.  I really enjoyed reviewing several Hermione Granger dolls (this one is my favorite).  Because of this obsession, I knew from the very first moment I visited Doll Clothes by Carole that I wanted to use Carole's amazing handmade Harry Potter costumes to create a small series of My Twinn dolls from this wonderful fantasy world.

The next four dolls that I'll share here will be based on Harry Potter characters.  Two of them (Hermione and Luna) will wear full Hogwarts robes while the other two (Ginny and Cho) will have simpler costumes to keep their prices lower.  These dolls will all be posted on Etsy at the same time--once the collection is complete.

I decided not to make Harry Potter himself mostly because I was unable to find appropriate glasses or a good wig.

I'm going to start this series with my favorite character, Hermione.  There isn't a My Twinn face mold that fully captures Hermione's sassy, expressive personality, but I settled on the Denika head because it has a bit more character than the other faces I have on hand:

1999 My Twinn doll with the Denika face mold.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

And the Winner is...

Thank you to everyone who joined in for a chance to win Valerie for $2.20!  Here are all of the names that were entered:


The odds were pretty good this time!  See the video with the winner after the jump.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Virus-Free Valerie

Well, these are some crazy times, aren't they?  I've spent the last two weeks moving three sad and slightly overwhelmed kids out of their colleges and back into our tiny house.  We're having fun, but we rarely go outside.  I'd love to hear how all of you are doing--please tell your story in the comments if you feel like it.

I was photographing my next doll for the Etsy shop when it occurred to me that a better idea might be to hold another giveaway!  We all need something fun (and inexpensive) to cheer us up.  So this doll will be offered for $2.20 on Etsy to whoever wins my little raffle drawing (see the rules and how to enter at the bottom of this post).

I searched my doll stash for a girl who didn't need much work, and I found this lovely Rosemary.  I saw her on eBay and thought she was one of the most interesting versions of this face mold that I'd ever seen.  I named her Valerie because it means "strong and healthy," and that's what I'm wishing for all of us right now:

1997 My Twinn doll with the Rosemary face.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Snap Decision Safiya

I feel very fortunate to have been able to work on this lovely doll.  She is extremely rare.  I found her on eBay (with her sister, Orla the autumn fairy) at a $200 Buy it Now price.  By some lucky chance, I saw the auction shortly after it opened.  I knew, looking at those two beautiful black dolls, that they would sell in mere minutes, but $200 is a lot to invest at one time.  So I had to make a tough, split-second decision on whether or not to buy them.  My main concerns were if they'd be restorable (they were in pretty bad shape), and if I'd be able to find materials that would do them justice.

Needless to say, I clicked that tantalizing Buy it Now button, and it was definitely a good choice.  Orla is currently off ruling the fairy realm in another state, and this girl was able to reach her potential with the help of a custom-ordered ZaZou wig.

Meet Safiya (sah-fee-ah), whose name has African and Arabic roots and means pure and wise:

1997 My Twinn doll with the Catherine face.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Signing My Work

The other day a friend from Etsy mentioned that I should think about signing my dolls.  I was so flattered by this comment, but I'd never really thought much about it.  Maybe that's because most of the hard work and artistry on a My Twinn doll was done 20 years ago--and not by me!

But I love the idea of giving each doll I work on a little token to document their time here.  Maybe even something that could travel with the doll to future owners and point them back to all of the information in this blog.

Here's what I came up with:

My Twinn Project Shop necklace!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Elegant Elsie

I'm always on the lookout for a new source of wigs, since fun hair is a great way to add diversity to the dolls I restore.  A few months ago, I was admiring the 11" American Girl wigs at ZaZou Custom Dolls and decided to ask if they could make some 13" wigs for My Twinns.  To my delight, ZaZou's owner, Danielle, was happy to special order this size of wig for me!  She took a ton of time and effort to make sure the fit was exactly right, too.  I ordered five different styles of wig and they arrived just a few weeks ago.

Because Danielle had to order each wig in batches of 10, and because I only needed a few of each style, there are still some 13" wigs for sale over at ZaZou if you're interested!  The wigs are beautiful, and I highly recommend the shop.  One note: the 13" Merina wig is not as red as it looks in the photo.  It's the same color as the 11" Bohemian Gingersnap wig.

As you can imagine, I was eager to work on a few dolls who could model these new wigs!  One of the girls is a very special doll who needs a lot of work, so I wanted to select a second doll who could be completed fairly quickly.  This is where my elegant Elsie--who looks like she barely needs any work at all--came into the picture:

1997 My Twinn doll with the Kelsey face.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Aurelia, the Gold Fairy

I'm sharing the last fairy with you today!  I'm a little sad that this foray into the fantasy realm is coming to an end, but I'm also really excited about the girls that I'll be working on next.  Among other things, I have some beautiful new wigs to show you, some glorious dresses, a few familiar faces from a popular story, and more unicorn fun!

But I'm getting way ahead of myself.  For today, let's focus on the gold fairy, Aurelia.  I chose this name because it means "the golden one," but also because Mr Darcy Colin Firth's character in Love, Actually falls for a beautiful woman named Aurelia and I adore their awkward, epically romantic story.

This is how Aurelia looked when I first got her:

2002 My Twinn doll with the Michelle face.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Sterling, the Silver Fairy

My efforts to share this doll with you yesterday were thwarted somewhat by the escape of my little mouse guest, Paddington.  Paddington came to me as a very dehydrated tiny baby who was trying to die in our downstairs bathroom, and I've been taking care of him while we wait for a warm spring release date.  Sadly, during our weekly cage change, Paddington ran up my arm and escaped into the kitchen!  I spent most of yesterday searching for him, but to no avail.  I'm pretty sad--he was a really fun little friend to have around.

In any case, I'm here to show you the silver fairy a day late.  I searched high and low for a good name that means silver, but it was much harder than I thought!  There are a million names that mean gold, but silvery names are more elusive.  I finally settled on the name Sterling, which doesn't mean silver, but is associated with silver of excellent quality.  Here is Miss Sterling:

2003 My Twinn doll with the Audrey face.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Gold and Silver

One of the final two fairies is complete, so I thought I'd give a little introduction here before she makes her debut!

These two fairies represent silver and gold.  I originally planned to have their outfits designed and made by a new artist, but that artist sews for human babies, and unfortunately her dresses didn't work for My Twinn dolls very well.  Still, there's a happy ending because Julie from Fairy Tale Blessings stepped in, worked her magic, and made these two sprites some absolutely lovely dresses!

The idea with these fairies is that they will deliver some of the charm of the seasonal fairies, but for about half the cost.  The silver fairy is a 2003 Audrey and the gold fairy is a 2002 Michelle.  Here's a "before" shot of the two of them together:

A 2003 pale My Twinn Audrey and a 2002 My Twinn Michelle.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Marina the Mermaid

Some of you might remember that when I first introduced the seasonal fairies, I had a pale, wig-less Ariel chosen to represent summer.  However, when it came time to start pairing the fairies' wigs and outfits, I noticed that the green wig I'd chosen for Ione didn't match her dress.  However, the green wig was an uncanny match for the sea-green factory eyes of wig-less Ariel!  That wig and that doll were clearly meant to be together.

In addition, something about the ocean-like shade of the eyes and wig made me think of mermaids.  I was reminded of the dreamy, muted-color scenes at the beginning of the movie The Shape of Water. Also, the doll has the Ariel face mold, which always makes me think of The Little Mermaid.

In any case, I set the green-eyed Ariel (and her wig) aside and finished the seasonal fairies with a different doll and a different wig.  I also sent a message to Julie Kelly of Fairy Tale Blessings to ask if she would be willing to design a mermaid costume for a My Twinn doll.  To my delight, Julie said yes!

So, I'm back today to share my first (and probably only) mermaid with you!  I named her Marina, which means "from the sea:"

2001 My Twinn doll with the Ariel face.