Sunday, October 24, 2021

My Way Nala

I should have known that resurrecting Toy Box Philosopher would slow down my doll projects, but I tend to have very unrealistic assumptions about time and the amount of work I can do in one day.  Poor Evie is still not listed in the Etsy store, but I figured at this point she might as well wait for her friend Nala to be ready, and then they can head over to the shop together.

Thank you so much for all of the words of support both here and on TBP.  One crossover idea I have planned is that I'll resume work on my stash of "quick fix" My Twinns.  These are dolls who need fairly simple repairs--stuff like new wigs, new eyes, and maybe some very light paint enhancement. No full face-ups or body work.  These dolls will not have in-depth posts on this blog, but I'll put a single comparison GIF here and then list them for sale in the Virtual Garage Sale store over at TBP.

I'll also be posting announcements for new dolls (and when they go to the Etsy shop) and new reviews on Twitter (@TBP_emily).  I'm not a fan of social media in general, but this seems like a necessary way to communicate these days.

For now, though, I'm starting work on the My Twinn Cinderellas and have finally gotten My Way Kid Nala's photos sorted out.  I really love this girl and am excited to show you her transformation!

My Way Kid doll with the Tender face and dark vinyl.

Monday, October 11, 2021

My Way Evie

Well, this is going to be a busy fall.  After what was surely not enough deliberation, I decided to start writing over at Toy Box Philosopher again.  This decision probably seems odd and sudden to you, and it seems odd and sudden to me, too.  All I know is that it makes me ridiculously happy to think about reviewing dolls again!  My goal is to start this Sunday with a Sunday Surprise review and take it from there.  I'm already planning about twenty reviews--some of which are underway.  There's a lot of catching up to be done!

Before that project takes over my week (and my life), I have two My Way Kids that I want to show you.  These two are probably my very favorites so far!  They'll join the Belle dolls over in the Etsy shop as soon as they can.  For Evie, that will mean later this week.

The first girl has the pale skin tone and the Mischievous face.  She came with brown eyes and a red wig:

My Way Kid doll with pale vinyl and the Mischievous face.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Belle 2

As a follow-up to my Disney version of Princess Belle, who you can see here, today I'm going to show you my interpretation of the historical version of the same character.

The earliest recorded version of the Beauty and the Beast tale, called La Belle et la BĂȘte, was published by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (what a name!) in 1740.  A more popular, abridged version was released in around 1760. Wikipedia has a nice summary of Villeneuve's story, and it's quite similar to the version we're all used to--with a bit of Cinderella-like siblings thrown in for good measure.

In my discussions with Leah, the talented and lovely seamstress who made all of the historical princess gowns, we decided to cheat a bit and make the historical Belle doll from 1770 rather than 1740.  Leah already had a beautiful pattern for a 1770s gown, and hair from that time period was really cool.  There were plenty of popular versions of the Beauty and the Beast story that emerged in the 1770s, including an opera (!), so it's only cheating a little bit.

2000 My Twinn doll with medium vinyl and the Madison face.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Belle 1

Sorry for the long delay in between posts, but there was a lot of back-to-school chaos around here recently, as I'm sure there was for many of you!  My son said to me the other day that he loves the fall and the beginning of a new school year because of all the possibilities that this time of year holds.  I feel exactly the same way.  Something about the cool air and new schedule makes anything feel possible.

I'm full of extra optimism today because the Belles are finally done!  Between the long stain removal process and lots of interruptions in my work schedule, it was starting to feel like it would never happen.  However, the princesses are now stain-free and ready for their royal debut.  

When I ran my poll last summer to see which My Twinn face fit which princess best, there was not a clear answer for which face should represent Belle.  Many of you thought Lenora would be a good fit, and many of you opted for Madison.  Madison ended up winning the role, mostly because more people thought Lenora would work better for Cinderella (who's up next, yay!!).

Here's the pale Madison who I chose to be the Disney version of Belle:

1997 My Twinn doll with pale vinyl and the Madison face.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Fairy Claire

Sadly, I ran into a little hiccup with the Belle dolls last week.  They both had really dirty vinyl, and when I cleaned off all of the dirt, I found a few small stains that needed Remove-Zit treatment.  That treatment can take several days to several weeks, and so I figured that while I was waiting for the stains to fade, I could finish up my Experimental Claire doll.

You can read all about Claire here, but as a recap, she's the doll I used to test out the handmade resin eyes I bought on Etsy.  These eyes are tiny works of art, and they looked beautiful on Claire, but they were just a bit too intense for a regular girl--probably because of the eyes' extremely white scleras.  Because I had to cut open the back of Claire's head in order to place the resin eyes, it was very easy to re-open her head and try out some different options.

When you saw Claire last, I had swapped out her resin eyes for normal sable brown Eyeco acrylic eyes. She looked like this:

My Twinn Claire with her Eyeco eyes.

Friday, August 20, 2021

My Way Pria

I never should have said that I'd share this girl by the end of last week.  It seemed like such an easy goal at the time, and yet here we are.  My estimates are--sadly--always wrong.  Three big events conspired to mess up my schedule last week, one of which was that I had to drive to Boston to pick up my granddog (a 10-week-old dachshund) who I'm babysitting for ten days.  I'd forgotten how much work little puppies are...but they're certainly cute enough to make up for it.

Some of you might have seen the updates I made to Claire (the crazy-eyed girl from my last post).  Since that update, I've changed her eyes yet again.  I've taken pretty much all of the advice that was given to me in the comment section at this point, so my next attempt will include a new (less intense) pair of resin eyes, darker eyelashes...and a fairy dress!  I'm hoping that will do the trick.  If not, this has still been a fun project to work on.

Today my mission is to show you the latest My Way Kid makeover.  I named this girl Pria.  Pria is a Sanskrit name that means "dear, beloved."  Pria started out as a dark-skinned Kid with light brown hair, brown eyes, and the Mischievous face:

19" My Way Kid with dark skin and the Mischievous face.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Experimental Claire (with an update)

I'm back again with a My Twinn doll who has nothing to do with the princess series.  I decided to work on this girl because I was very eager to experiment with a new kind of eye, and this is a doll who has been hanging around my house for a long time now, begging for a makeover!

She's a very pale Catherine from 2000.  The Catherine mold is not rare at all, but I really love this face.  It's so kind and friendly-looking.  Two of my most favorite makeovers (Safiya and Meg) also have the Catherine face.

My Twinn doll from 2000 with the Catherine face.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

My Way Lucy

I'm still working away on the princess series (both of the Belle heads are painted), but I've also been enjoying some non-princess dolls during the last few weeks.  Among them are two 19" My Way Kids.  If you're new to the blog or new to the My Way Kid brand, you can find a lot more information about these dolls in this post and in some of my other recent entries.

I'm slowly figuring out the best way to clean, strengthen, and improve the bodies on these little ones, which is a challenging but rewarding process.  The bodies aren't made as well as My Twinn bodies, so that can be frustrating, but I do think they have some nice features and I enjoy their easy-to-handle size.  What I really love about these dolls, though, is working on their cute little heads!  There's something about the face molds in this line that always makes me smile.

Today I'm going to share another Cutie-faced doll with you (Mila also has the Cutie face).  The Cutie face is the most common--as far as I can tell--and so this mold is probably the easiest to find.  This girl started out as a red-headed imp with zig-zagged bangs and faded eyes:

My Way Kid doll with the Cutie face and medium vinyl.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Rapunzels for Sale!

It's been so long since I posted the two Rapunzel dolls the first time, I figured I should do a new entry to announce that I'm finally ready to put them in the shop!

I decided to give up on adding curls to the historical Rapunzel's hair, but I'd certainly be willing to send her new owner the tendrils that I cut for that project.

I'm still struggling with my photo set-up, but I took a few pictures of the dolls together, and I'll also re-post some of my favorite individual shots:

My Twinn Rapunzel dolls.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

My Way Rosa (with some new clothing options!)

I have been so scattered lately, I can't even tell you.  First of all, we've had several visitors during the last few weeks (finally!), and I also decided that I wanted to do something about my dark basement work space.  So, I did a lot of painting and reorganizing, and my husband built me two new tables (yay!) and now I have a much bigger, brighter, better-planned studio that does not use old packing boxes for walls.

I also have a new photography set-up, but--even after a whole day of maneuvering lights and taking test pictures--I'm still in the tweaking process. Please forgive the (mostly overexposed) pictures. I'll figure it out eventually.

Despite some effort, I've failed to find a good solution for the historical Rapunzel's hair--even though I thought that the idea of adding detachable curls was brilliant.  For some reason I have not been able to get the hair to curl nicely...or I've been too busy to give it my best effort.  Anyway, with 50 responses to my poll, about 59.6% of you told me to leave the hair alone, so I'm feeling comfortable with that choice.  If I do find a way to curl the hair, I'll include photos of that when I do the group shots of the two Rapunzels.

I needed a quick break from princesses, though, so today I'll show you my latest My Way Kid.  I named her Rosa:

My Way Kid doll with medium vinyl and the Tender face.