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.
Some of you might notice that this is not the same doll that I originally cast to be the summer fairy.

The doll who appeared in my introductory post was this bald, pale Ariel from 2001:

This is a great doll, but her eyes happened to match a green wig I have (it's almost a perfect match, which is so cool!), so she got slated for another project that might appear in the future.  Also, I felt like her skin tone was too pale for a summer sprite.

The new Ariel has a complexion that appears slightly sun-kissed.  It's not super yellow or anything like that, but it's not ghostly pale, either.  Since Lumi and Ione are quite pale, this doll adds a touch of skin tone variety to the whole collection.

Cyra has a 1997 body with a white cloth torso, but fortunately she does not have the elastic-strung ankle joints that can accompany this body.

Her body came with some painfully loud squeaks in the armature.  I can handle a few squeaks, but this was pretty extreme.

She also had some bad staining on her cloth torso:

Here's a closer look:

Cyra also had a floppy left arm with a large hole in the side seam:

It almost looked like somebody had tried to open up the arm to repair it.

Cyra's original hair was a lovely color, but the wig was in bad shape (and of course I wanted her to have a new, dramatic fairy wig):

Her back is relatively free of picks, but there was a lot of pinkish-red staining along the midline and around the neck seam:

Despite the flaws, I love this doll and the Ariel face.  I think the mold's serene expression is especially well-suited to a fairy character:

Cyra's original eyes were blue--faded to purple:

The right eye was significantly more purple than the left.

Cyra also had some scuffs and white rubs on her face--and a sprinkling of original freckles!  To me, freckles seem like the perfect feature for a summer fairy:

I removed Cyra's wig, scraped off most of the old wig glue, removed her eyelashes, and then photographed her head again:

She was super-dirty, with faded (but nicely-shaped) eyebrows:

Her lip paint was in good shape, which was a nice treat.  I like to avoid re-painting the lips if I can.

Cyra's biggest facial flaws were a large white stuff on the bridge of her nose...

And a pair of shiny scrapes on her right cheek:

I washed the head thoroughly, scrubbed the white marks away with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and then sanded down the shiny areas on Cyra's cheek (and a little bit on her nose, too).

My next mission was to replace the eyes.  I suspect some of you are wondering why I didn't keep the purple eyes as they were, since purple is not a bad color for fairy eyes!

The biggest reason was that I wasn't happy with the mismatched color of the original eyes.  Also, I figured that if the eyes had already faded to this degree, they might continue to fade in the future--leading to an unpredictable color.  And, of course, I had a specific vision for what I wanted this doll's eyes to look like.

Here's one of the purple eyes after it was removed.  It had turned almost a neon pink in the center, even though the photo doesn't show this extremely well:

Orla, Ione, and Lumi all got $40 Eyeco Ultra or Fantasy silicone eyes, so I figured Cyra should have the same.

This time I chose the Fantasy A190 color, which is dark stormy blue with a sun-like area of yellow radiating from the pupil:

I love these eyes!

With the eyes in place and the head cooled, I gave Cyra some blush:

And a few more freckles!

Next I gave her some pale yellow-gold eyeshadow:

And I darkened her eyebrows:

And then I added some bright reddish highlights to her brows and accented her eyelids with gold:

I also drew in some golden rays at the corner of each eye:

Here's a better look:

While my work on Cyra's head was in progress, I was also fixing up the body.

I dismantled the whole body and soaked the fabric torso in bleach.  This removed all of the brown stains, but didn't completely eliminate the red stains on the back.  They're less noticeable now, though.

I also lubricated the armature and let that dry for about a week.  The squeaking is virtually gone now, and the armature moves very smoothly.

Here's what Cyra's broken arm joint looked like after I had stripped away all of the foam:

That cracked circle of vinyl was allowing the plastic armature to poke right through into the body of the arm and flop all around.

I tried to fix the torn vinyl with just hot glue, but the repair didn't feel sturdy.

So, I pulled all of the torn vinyl out and replaced it with some firm, concave plastic scraps (these are cut from old eyelashes holders):

This fix looks terrible, but it works well to keep the armature from slipping into the arm.  It also acts as a reservoir to hold a lot of glue that further secures the whole area.

Once the glue had set for a few days and I'd had a chance to test the arm's stability, I re-assembled Cyra's body.  This involved stitching up the hole in the arm seam.

Here's a look at the stain-free front of the torso:

And the slightly-stained, re-sewn back of the torso:

You can still see red areas near the neck and at the bottom of the back seam.

I thought Cyra looked especially cute while I was re-attaching her head, so I snapped a picture of that:

After I gave Cyra her new wig (another Dollmore creation, the color of which should not surprise anyone...) I added some blonde eyelashes that I tinted with pink acrylic paint:

The dress that Julie chose to make for this fairy is a lovely white princess dress with puffed sleeves and a tiered handkerchief skirt.  Julie decorated the dress with beautiful floral accents in shades of pink, yellow and gold.

Here she is!

This outfit has magical iridescent wings and a tall floral crown.  It does not include a wand.

Here's a closer look at Cyra's face:

I almost never choose wigs with bangs, but I really wanted a long, dramatic wig in this color, and the only option included bangs.  I think they look pretty cute, and they offer a nice contrast to the other three fairies.

While I have Cyra in a portrait-like pose, I'll go ahead and show you the GIF of her makeover:

And here's the regular version of her "after" picture:

Cyra's dress has a nice, simple design, and I didn't have to add anything to make it match the rest of the doll!

It's almost like a wedding dress, with its lacy bodice and dramatic sleeves.  Since so many weddings occur during the summer, this seems appropriate:

The right side of the dress has a cluster of flowers and leaves:

As does the left shoulder:

The skirt has two tiers of sheer embroidered fabric over a plain white underskirt.  The fabric wrinkles easily, but it also hangs out nicely after a little time:

Here's a look at the matching crown on its own:

I love the little gold beads that stick up into the air on the top of the crown!

This crown doesn't fit Cyra's head as well as some of the other fairies' crowns, but it fits well enough.

The wings for this outfit are my favorite of all the wings Julie has made for me.  They peek out from behind Cyra's mane of orange-red hair in the most adorable way:

Here's a look at the wings on their own--the veining and color are just beautiful!

Without the wings, the back of the dress is fairly simple.  I added in the pink and gold sash, mostly because I had a ton of leftover ribbon from Ione and Lumi's dress modifications:

While Cyra was without her wings and crown, I took the chance to show off her wig a little more:

I love the color of this wig.  It's almost a natural red, but it's just a bit brighter and more orange than the other red wigs I've used for My Twinn dolls.

It is spectacularly long--longer, even than the other two Sobazu wigs that I've used in this series:

As I did with the other fairies, I made Cyra a collection of themed hair clips to decorate the extravagant wig:

Most of the clips are little pink flowers surrounded by leaves, but two of the clips have yellow flowers and little green dragonflies:

Here's Cyra with her wings, crown, and all of the clips!

I took the hair clips out for a few simpler pictures:

And Cyra took the opportunity to make friends with one of her dragonfly companions!

I think Cyra likes showing off all of her fancy decorations, though, so I let her braid the flower clips back into her hair:

It's not the least bit summery outside these days, but I still wanted to get a few pictures of Cyra in the bright sunshine.  It definitely brings out the yellow in her hair and complexion!

I like this photo, with just a glimpse of the cloudless blue sky:

I also photographed Cyra in the shade so that you can see how different she looks in this lighting:

Her hair, in particular, looks like a completely different wig when she's in the shade.  I'd say that neither of these outdoor hair colors are true to life--the actual color is somewhere in the middle (more like the indoor photos):

I think my favorite shot of Cyra was when she was backlit by the sun.  In this next photo, if you look closely, you can see actual rays of sunshine streaking across her face:

With all four fairies finished, I still have no idea which one is my personal favorite.  Cyra was certainly the easiest to complete.  Nothing went wrong with her makeover, and I didn't have to re-order any supplies--yay!  That endears her to me in a big way, as do her red hair and freckles.  Another nice thing about this fairy is that the weather here has been dismal lately (pouring rain and high winds as I type), but Cyra inspired me to think about sun, flowery meadows, and buzzing dragonflies, which was a wonderful retreat.

Here's a list of all the work that was done on Cyra:
-her body was disassembled and the cloth torso was bleach-cleaned
-her vinyl limbs were washed
-her left arm was repaired and a hole in the arm seam was re-sewn
-her incredibly squeaky armature was lubricated with WD-40
-her head was detached and cleaned.
-scuffs on her cheek and nose were sanded down
-she was given new Eyeco Fantasy A190 silicone eyes
-her face was repainted, excluding lips, but including blush, extra freckles, eyebrow enhancement, and fairy eye makeup (all using acrylic paints)
-she was given new eyelashes that I tinted with pink acrylic paint
-her wig was replaced with a Dollmore Moore Sobazu wig in bright red
-the bangs of the wig were trimmed to fit the head
-she was dressed in a custom-made fairy outfit from Fairy Tale Blessings.  The outfit includes a dress, crown, wings, and the hair clips I made

Cyra still has some red staining on the back of her cloth body.  This is most noticeable at the back of her neck and just below her midline seam.  Also, since I trimmed her bangs, that job is not perfect.  The arm repair feels very secure, but I had to remove some vinyl in order to achieve it, so it's harder to vouch for the long-term durability.  Cyra is an old doll, so she also has the occasional faint scuff mark or shiny spot on the vinyl parts of her body.  Overall, she's in very nice condition.

This brings me to the end of my big fairy endeavor!  What a wonderful adventure it has been.  I still have plans to make two more fairy-themed dolls, but they will have simpler outfits, less extravagant wigs, and *probably* not any special fairy make-up.  Maybe a bit of sparkle here and there--we'll see.

Cyra has sold.  Thank you!


  1. Can't wait! I'll be holding my breath to pick up either Fall or Summer!

  2. Oops, it didn't include my name in that comment.

    1. Hi Micah! Thank you so much for your amazing support! I'm so glad you like those two. I'm looking at Saturday, December 7th to list them, probably at high noon. I'll have a post with all of the details following shortly! :)

  3. The color of that wig is everything. Luckily she can fly so she doesn't have to worry about stepping on it.
    I can't wait to see all four together! They're an epic group!

    1. Thank you so much, Willow! I agree that it's a gorgeous shade of red. It was really fun to explore the Dollmore wig collections. I wish I'd gotten a picture of Cyra flying, with all of that hair streaming behind her! That would have been something.

  4. Okay, so, I know this is morbid of me, but I can't help but think of the horror movie Midsommar when I look at her long-white-dress-and-giant-floral-crown ensemble. XDX Here's an example: . (That girl even has similar hair...)

    But, all horror movies aside, they all came out looking great and it's been quite enjoyable seeing these dolls turn from hard-luck cases into gorgeous fairy queens. Can't wait to see what you have planned next!