Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Fairies for Sale!

All of the fairies have sold.  Thank you very much!!

In back, from left: Cyra, summer fairy and Orla, autumn fairy
In front, from left: Lumi, winter fairy and Ione, spring fairy

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Cyra, the Summer Fairy

The last of the four season fairies is complete!  And unlike Ione and Lumi, this girl's makeover gave me no trouble whatsoever.  It was a welcome relief and a lot of fun!

The doll I chose for the summer fairy is a 1997 Ariel.  I decided to name her Cyra, which is a Persian name that means "sun."  

This is what our sunny girl looked like when she first got to my house:

1997 My Twinn doll with the Ariel face.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Lumi, the Winter Fairy

Well, that took longer than I'd hoped.  A few things happened while I was in the middle of this doll's makeover.  The best thing that happened was that I got a new dog!  He's a rescue dog, though, so he came to me scared and in the habit of peeing everywhere, so it took about a week of non-stop attention for me to make him feel at home.  He's awesome, though, and I can't blame him for the delay in my work!  Mostly it was problems with making all of the elements of this fairy come together and coordinate.  I'll tell you all about it.

But you've been waiting long enough already, so I'll cut the chatter and get started.  Here's the winter fairy as she looked when she came into my house:

My Twinn 2003 Danielle.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ione, the Spring Fairy

At long last, here is the second fairy!  This one had quite a few unexpected delays in her makeover, so I'm especially happy to finally be able to share her with you.

I decided to name this fairy Ione because it means "violet" or "violet flower."  As you'll see, this ends up being a really good way to describe her final look.

However, when I first got this doll--a pale-skinned Denika from 2002--there wasn't much about her that conjured violets or spring:

2002 My Twinn Denika.

Friday, October 11, 2019

My Brown-Eyed Girl

Well, I finally have a wig for the spring fairy (yay!) so I'm hoping I can finish her and get her photographed over the weekend.  I tell you, that pixie is a feisty one!

Today I'll show you the second Grab Bag Girl who gets to model a Fairy Tale Blessings outfit.  This is a Denver-era Denika who I've had for about a year:

My Twinn Denika from 1999.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Platinum Kate

When I'm putting together a group of dolls, there's always this complicated matchmaking game that occurs with wigs, eyes, outfits, and face molds.  If a certain pair of eyes or a certain wig doesn't work the way I think it will, I often have to scramble around and change everything to find a new cohesive vision.

Unfortunately, the spring fairy is having a hard time finding the perfect wig.  She's already rejected two really nice wigs (one didn't match her dress and the other didn't work with her eyes) and now I'm waiting for the third wig to arrive from Korea.  It should be here tomorrow, so until then I just have to cross my fingers and hope that the third time will be a charm!

In the meantime, I'll share two of the Grab Bag Girl dolls that I'm selling, each of them modeling an outfit from Julie Kelly's Fairy Tale Blessings Etsy shop.  The first doll is a Kate from 2002:

My Twinn Kate from 2002.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Orla, the Autumn Fairy

It doesn't feel much like fall here in Maine yet (it must've been 80 degrees over the weekend!) but I still figured that the autumn fairy would be a good way to kick off this collection.

I decided to name this magical girl Orla because it means "golden princess."  Autumn looks different all over the world, but where I live the colors of the changing leaves and the low burn of the sun in the sky both make me think of the color gold.

I was fortunate enough to find Orla on eBay a few months ago.  She was a quintessential diamond in the rough--basically a dream come true for any vintage My Twinn hunter.  She was covered from head to toe with more dirt and stains than I've ever seen on a My Twinn (with the possible exception of one Tasha doll I worked on), but shining out from under all of that grime was a gorgeous, dark-skinned, Denver-era Kelsey.  It's rare to find a doll like this on the secondary market:

My Twinn Kelsey from 1997.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Fairies are Coming

My next collection of dolls is coming together, and I wanted to post a brief introduction to this group before I start sharing individual dolls.

The focus of this collection is a group of four fairies.  Each fairy will represent a different season of the year, and each will be wearing a glorious custom-made outfit by the talented Julie Kelly of Fairy Tale Blessings.  I've had so much fun collaborating with Julie over the last few months, and I hope you'll take a moment to check out her beautiful Etsy shop.

The idea for these dolls was inspired by Maggie, a friend from the blog who manages to see a little bit of fairy magic in every doll I work on.  Thank you for the inspiration and support, Maggie!

In addition to the four main dolls, there will also be a duo of fairies wearing dresses by a different artist, and three Grab Bag Girls wearing some of the lovely non-custom outfits that I bought from the Fairy Tale Blessings Etsy store.

While you're waiting for the first fairy to land, I thought I'd show you how the four season fairies looked before I started working on them.  They're a pretty rag-tag bunch, I'll admit, but I see great potential in those pixie faces!

From left, in back: a 2001 Ariel and a 1997 Kelsey
From left, in front: a 2003 Danielle and a 2002 Denika

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Hattie and Fern, Part 2: Infuriating Fern

I'm finally back with the second part of the Hattie and Fern saga!  This took way longer than I expected.  My plan for Fern seemed pretty simple when I first started, and I suppose the ease of Hattie's makeover had buoyed me with unrealistic optimism, but for whatever reason I figured Fern would be done in two days--maybe three.  That didn't happen.  Instead, things with Fern got complicated right from the start.

Good thing she's so cute:

My Twinn Emma doll from 1999.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Hattie and Fern, Part 1: Happy Hattie

I've been a little slow with my doll work this month.  It's always a crazy time of year with back-to-school and all of the chaos that comes with that, but this year has seemed especially hectic.  In addition,  I have two smaller, theme-based collections that I'm planning out, and these are taking a lot of my creative time.

And...I rescued a baby mouse that was trying to die in my basement, so he took a bit of time. :)

Anyway, for the past two weeks I've been working on a lovely pair of dolls that I bought months and months ago.  Even though these girls were from completely different sources, and arrived at completely different times, they immediately looked like they'd been friends forever:

Denver-era My Twinn dolls Helen (left) and Emma (right).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bad Makeover Millie

Today I have the last sister pair of My Twinn dolls to share with you!  I'm not sure I saved the best for last, but I certainly saved my personal favorite pair for last.  I hope you like them, too!

The big girl in this set is a 1999 Danielle in wonderful condition.  I bought her ages ago, so I don't have any pictures of her original appearance.  I can tell you that she was very, very cute in her auction photos (enough for me to way overbid on her...) with big brown eyes and what looked like red hair.  In person, though, her brown eyes had too much red in them.  They weren't a warm chocolate brown like I'd hoped, but more of a fiery demonic brown.  Also, her hair was not red.  Auburn at best--but mostly chestnut brown.

But no big deal, right?  I swap out doll eyes and wigs in my sleep, and Danielle has a wonderful face mold.  So, after some angsty deliberation about messing with a pristine Denver My Twinn doll, I decided to swap out her eyes (to Secrist's Tiger Brown), straighten and condition her wig, give her some freckles...and then sell her.  This is one of the photos I took for her eBay auction:

Repainted 1999 My Twinn Danielle.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Loose Ankle Lilac

As usual, my week was slightly busier than expected (with both kids heading back to college this month, I should have known...) but I'll show you my second pair of matching dolls today, and then hopefully get the last two photographed by the end of the weekend!

The big girl in this pair is a Denver Madison with very pale vinyl.  I found her on eBay with a super short haircut that made her even more appealing to me.  I love her pixie-like appearance!

1997 My Twinn Madison.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Trunk Sale Sadie

I've had a wonderful few weeks with a full house and great summer adventures, during which time the dolls had to take a bit of a backseat, but now I'm ready to share the last few girls from my second collection!

The first is a 2001 Audrey who I've been calling Trunk Sale Sadie.  The "trunk sale" part of her name is because she was from a large group of My Twinn dolls that someone was selling on eBay--all photographed in the trunk of a car.  I have no idea what the story was there, but nobody else bid on this sweetie, so I was happy to get her for $20 plus shipping:

2001 My Twinn Audrey.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tangerine Teresa

Well, I finally found the perfect cable ties and was able to complete Teresa!  She's been here since April, so it's high time for her chance in the spotlight.

I'm excited about this doll because she has a fairly rare face that I'd never seen in person before, and also because she has a darker skin tone.  I've been wanting to work on a doll with something other than a 01 or 02 skin tone for ages now, but they're hard to find and can be quite expensive--even the non-Denver dolls like this Teresa.  Judging by the 2010 skin tone charts at Logan's Ladies, I think she's "light brown," or 04.

This girl's nickname, Tangerine Teresa, came about not so much because of how she looked when she got to my house...

My Twinn Teresa from 2010.

Friday, July 19, 2019

My Kingdom for a Cable Tie!

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Teresa has been virtually finished for about a week now, but as I was doing her final assembly, I realized that the cable ties I have won't fit around her neck!  So, I ordered some longer ties from Amazon, but they were way too thick for the neck groove.  Argh!  At this point I have two sets of cable ties on order from reborn doll suppliers. They're supposed to be long and thin, which would be great.  I used to be able to get the ties I need from the hardware store, but I guess the market has shifted and everybody wants thicker, stronger ties now.  Everybody except doll people.

Anyway, the first group of ties is supposed to come today, so I should be able to post Teresa's story by tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!  In the meantime, here's a little hint at what's coming after Teresa:

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Daria Dreams of Better Days

Thank you so much to those who purchased dolls from my very first group of listings!  You had to take a chance on a new shop and I'm so grateful that you did.  Saying goodbye to that first group was a little bittersweet (I get attached to all of them...) but it clears the deck for the new dolls!

From the new group, Scarlett and Willow have already made a (brief!) appearance on Etsy and sold.  I'll try to keep up my Grab Bag Girl idea as long as I have the supplies to do it!

The doll I'm going to share today tugged at my heart when I first saw her bedraggled face on eBay.  She looked like she was pleading for some help!  I got even more attached to her when she arrived at my house and I had a chance to look at her closely and take her picture.

In this photo--one of the first I took--she strikes me as such an optimistic dreamer.  She's had some rough times, sure, but she can see a bright future ahead:

1997 My Twinn Ariel.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Wig Donor Willow

Before I get started I have a quick note about prices. Etsy is incentivizing sellers to offer free shipping.  I can see why--it's nice to have the price you see be the price you pay with no surprises.  So, I'm going to start using free shipping.  This will make the base prices look like they've gone up, but the totals should stay similar.  For example, a doll I'd normally sell for $50 will now be $65 or something like that.

For Skye, who is still for sale on the site, I have a special deal for you wonderful blog readers.  I dropped her price down a tad, but please also use the coupon code BLOGSAREFUN to get free shipping! And don't hesitate to let me know if you have any problems with that coupon.

Life is getting a little hectic around my house, with a bathroom that needs to be painted, a deck that needs to be cleaned, a dog who I have to potty train for the second time, etc.  So the blog might be quiet for longer stretches than I'd like.  However, I have three more girls whose makeovers are done (or almost done) at this point, so I'll be posting them over the next few days and then offering them for sale by the end of the week.

The doll I'm sharing today is one that I bought only for her wig...well, and because I love the Kate face mold.

But mostly because I wanted the wig:

2011 My Twinn Kate.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Squish-Faced Scarlett

I changed a few things around with the design of the blog, and honestly it was just to try and make my dark pictures look better.  I hope you don't hate it!  I miss having real photography lights.

In any case, I'm delighted to introduce the first girl of my next collection to you!  I call her Scarlett.  When I saw her pictures online I knew she had the Rosemary/Caitlin face...but something was off about her.  Can you see it?

1997 My Twinn Rosemary/Caitlin doll.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Disembodied Heads

First of all, thank you to everyone who weighed in on the fate of Teresa's eyes!  I added the results of that poll (and the decision I made) to the original post.

I'm currently hard at work on a new group of dolls.  There will be seven dolls total in this collection, and the first few of those should be ready for sale in the next week or so.  I'm really excited about this group!  I started working on most of these girls after I started this blog, so I'll have consistent before and after pictures (finally!).

In the meantime, I have two very special girls to share with you today!  I've been working on these two for a while, so I don't have pictures of every step, but--once again--a generous eBay seller gave me permission to use her photos of the original dolls...or in this case, the original heads:

Re-pour Clementine head, picture courtesy of az-duo on eBay.

Monday, June 17, 2019

An Eye Enquiry

I've been debating back and forth about something and thought that perhaps you could help me!

Here's my dilemma: I have a 2010 Teresa in my next group of dolls to restore.  She's lovely and I want to do her justice.  My rule of thumb with post-Denver My Twinn dolls is to never use acrylic eyes on them.  Why?  Because I suspect that the lower quality of vinyl used after 2002 reacts poorly with the plastics in the eyes.  I have no idea if this is true, but it's my current reasoning for why so many of the newer My Twinn dolls have faded eyes.  It could just be that the eyes themselves are of poor quality, of course.

This Teresa's original eyes look good now, though.  They're large and dark and there's no option on the market that looks just like them.  Maybe her right eye is slightly lighter?  Ahh!  So, the question is: should I replace perfectly good acrylic eyes with silicone or glass (so that the eyes never fade), or just leave things as they are (which may--or may not--result in faded eyes at some point in the future)?  Please comment or share your opinion in the poll to the right!  THANK YOU!!

What to do?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lost Finger Lenora

Ok, this is it!  This is the last doll in my first series of dolls who will be sold in turtleneck dresses from Doll Clothes by Carole!  The next group is a bit smaller and will be wearing lovely, colorful outfits that are perfect for summer.

Anyone who used to read Toy Box Philosopher might remember The Lenora Saga, featuring this poor doll with massive stains and a missing little finger:

My well-loved Denver-era My Twinn Lenora.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

How to Ruin Pearl

I've been working on this doll for so long, I can't even remember when I first bought her.  It was some time in mid 2018.  She's a Denver-era Pearl, so she was ridiculously expensive on eBay, but at the time I'd never seen a Pearl doll in person before and really wanted to get my hands on one.  She reminds me of someone I love.

Sadly, since I've had her around for so long, I only have this screen shot from her auction as a glimpse of how she looked when she first came to my house:

Denver-era My Twinn Pearl.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A New Look for Cookie

First things first: I apologize for not enabling comments on this site sooner.  I thought it would be automatic, but I actually had to go and chance a bunch of settings.  I've had a few people message me through Etsy with wonderful tips and suggestions, and I'd love to be able to share that kind of information right here for everyone to see.  Now that should be possible.

Also, I'm nearing the end of my first wave of dolls.  I have a sweet Cookie to show you today and then just one more doll to sell before I start fixing up a new batch of girls (with new outfits!). 

This 1997 Cookie is a doll I was working on way back in the Toy Box Philosopher days.  I never thought I would sell her, but I need to make some tough choices to get my doll room down to a reasonable number of inhabitants.

The Cookie face isn't ridiculously rare, but it's much harder to find than the faces I've featured on this blog so far.  In addition, this Cookie has the very pale skin tone, which can be elusive.

The only downside to this Cookie is that she came to me in pretty bad shape, with holes in her cloth body, a thinning wig, fading eyes, missing eyelashes, a loose arm, a lot of stains, and a lot of dirt!  She even had dirt wedged into her eye sockets.  I still thought she was adorable, though:

1997 My Twinn Cookie.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Oompa Loompa Lucy

I really like the Denika face mold, so when I saw a lovely brown-eyed 2002 Denika on eBay in immaculate condition, I jumped at the chance to buy her.  It's always a bit hard to gauge skin tone in auction photos, but I thought that there was a chance this girl had one of the rare pale complexions--the ones that are really great for redheads.  I was very excited!

Unfortunately, I had a bit of shock in store for me.  When I got this doll out of her shipping package, I think I actually gasped out loud.  She definitely does not have one of the pale skin tones.

Her vinyl coloring was...well...bright orange:

2002 My Twinn Denika.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sticky-Arm Skye

The Etsy shop is now open!  Thank you to everyone who has stopped by so far.  Ashley and Katie have already left for their new home!  I will miss their happy faces.

The doll I'm going to show you today was purchased before I started this blog, but I had another generous seller who was willing to let me share several full-sized "before" photographs from her shop.  I'm very grateful!

This is a beautiful pale-complexioned doll from 1997 with the Rosemary/Caitlin face (I can't tell which is which):

Used My Twinn Rosemary/Caitlin from 1997, photo courtesy of suburbantreasue on Etsy.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Stain Calamity Kate

This is the last doll that I'll show you before I open the Etsy shop.  This is also the last doll for whom I don't have decent before pictures.

This is a Denver-era Kate or "Kissy Kate" who lingered on eBay for ages before I finally bought her.  She was dressed in baby clothes first, and then the seller re-dressed her into a My Twinn outfit that I'd been wanting to buy, so I finally caved.

Denver Kates are usually like magnets to me, but I had a hard time getting excited about this doll.  First of all, she was covered with stains from her old clothing, and someone had put big black "x" marks on her ears where earrings should be.  I don't really enjoy wrestling with stains, and the results are seldom perfect.  Kate was also a fairly unremarkable doll overall.  She had brown eyes, brown hair, and the medium, slightly yellow skin tone that most My Twinn dolls have.  There was nothing to make her stand out...except that adorable Kate face, which is one of my absolute favorites.

As soon as Kate arrived at my house, I removed her scraggly brown wig, popped out her faded brown eyes, and coated her with RemoveZit to try and lessen the stains on her vinyl.  The first picture I took of Kate was after I'd been working on her for quite a while.  This is after a long round of stain removal treatments and the placement of new Secrist dark blue eyes:

Denver-era Kate in the middle of her restoration.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Walking Red

I'm still presenting dolls that I've been working on for longer than I've had the blog idea, but the first pictures I took of this Denver Catherine nicely capture the creepy, zombie-like appearance that she had in her auction photos:

2002 My Twinn Catherine with eyes removed.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Jane Fonda Jenny

This Denver-era doll has the "Caitie" face mold and is another doll who I was working on before I started the blog, so I don't have a great picture log of her transformation.

I found her on eBay, and was very fortunate that the seller agreed to let me post one of her big auction photos at the top of this post.  This will have to serve as the "before" picture:

My Twinn Caitie.  Photo courtesy of RosesMadeofAshes on eBay.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Fabulous Emma Twinns

These two cuties were both fixed up long before I had the idea to start a shop or a blog, so this (sadly) will be another post where I don't have any great before and after comparisons.

As much as I love a big reveal at the end of a restoration project, I'll have to forego that and just show you the finished Emma twins right away.

Meet Emma (left) and Tara (right):

Fixed-up My Twinn Emma dolls: Emma (left) and Tara (right).

Monday, May 6, 2019

Road Kill Monika

For my first post, I'll share a doll who is not actually for sale.  I love her, but she has way too many imperfections to make me comfortable selling her.  She's a good reminder that none of the dolls I restore end up perfect--these are old dolls and they carry with them the wear and tear of decades.

This Denika made a brief appearance over on The Toy Box Philosopher, but I never offered any follow-up.  She's become a bit of a mascot for this new site.

The poor thing arrived with a thinning wig, a moldy dress, missing eyelashes, no eyebrows...and a body that looked like it had been slashed to bits and dragged behind a car.  No joke.  But the Denika face mold--oh, man!  It tugs at my heart:

Denika when she first arrived.