Saturday, February 20, 2010

Matisse Fashions

Photos of Matisse Fashions

Brenda's Story
"A very dear friend encouraged me to write a little about the last six years of my life and how finding Silkstone and sewing OOAK fashions led me to the point I am today.
Most of you know I started sewing OOAK fashions and selling them on ebay in the early part of 2003, after having recently discovered Silkstone Barbie at a local doll show.
Our family also had acquired a new Dell computer and while I was busy sewing regular Barbie clothes and selling these at local bazaars and flea markets, I came across some amazing OOAK fashions by equally amazing artists while scrolling around ebay.
I was instantly inspired not only by the more upscale realistic look of these doll clothes, but that the composition of the Silkstone Barbie opened up a whole new world of possibilities for sewing in miniature.
Their smooth harder body types and strike a pose look was perfect for the adult collector who loved redressing their dolls.
When I held one for the first time I remember thinking that this was the doll I had been waiting for and my love for Barbie was renewed.
So it began, I decided to try my hand at making some outfits to list on ebay, which was also a new experience for me. I dove into it head first, borrowed my brothers digital camera and proceeded to make and list six outfits in a row.
Needless to say, I was so tickled at the response and when the auctions ended I had never felt so elated and couldn't wait to get the next ones started.
At this time on ebay, several talented seamstresses were my inspiration, Shirley of Salemay, Juliet of Dangerousdames, and Debra Rule of ForBarbie. Each week they would offer at auction, fashions for the dolls that were so detailed and beautiful, but the most astounding thing was the prices they would fetch. The demand was high for realistic fashions and at auction many of these OOAK ensembles sold for hundreds of dollars.
I was constantly in awe of the collectors that saw the artistic value in these miniature works of art and was soon to enjoy the same wonderful patronage toward my own fashions.
As the months passed I would become much better at taking a good picture and finally purchased my own digital camera. I also learned more ways to market my fashions by collecting and showcasing the ensembles surrounded by 1/6 scale realistic accessories.
I love creating the backdrops and sets suggesting that Barbie was in a real place modeling the fashions and soon my collection of 1/6 furnishings had grown very large. There were many artists creating beautiful and realistic scaled furnishings for our dolls, and in another time and place I would have loved to experiment with this.
I spent the next year honing my skills at sewing in miniature and also sourcing out all of the necessary notions and supplies to create the perfect pieces. I had collected patterns over the years and was determined to find everything in print, vintage or otherwise dedicated to 11 1/2 inch dolls. I discovered many different ones that I had never known about and continued to add these to my collection. I would buy doubles and triples so as to have one kept in pristine condition. Many of the out of print ones are getting hard to find and fetch a good price when you do see them.
After the first year my name became known in the doll community and I continued to list a few fashions every week, building my clientele and making new friendships along the way.
Two years after launching my first ensembles on ebay, I decided to take the plunge and create full time, retiring from my part time job as a hairstylist and give up sewing home decor and human size clothing. At last I was free to create 24/7 and become focused on my work to the exclusion of almost everything else. I had always been a loner, having sewn most of my life, but any spare time now was devoted to the sewing machine. I had few friends and a low key social life, sewing had consumed me and if I wasn't sewing, I was thinking about it.
My family was supportive, being hobbyist themselves, and as time passed and it became apparent that I wasn't going to be stopping anytime soon, it was just accepted. No demands, or very few, were made on my time and my success on ebay depended on me creating the fashions that I loved and that would appeal to the collectors each and every week.
I worked through the next few years without a break and enjoyed the fruits of my labor of love as it were, having gained acceptance and regard for something that I not only loved, but felt compelled to do. I was alive only when creating, I felt that if I stopped even for a second, it would all just melt away. I had highs and lows with my sewing and many times I became distraught and distracted from any other purpose in my life. There was no balance, just sewing and as much as it was my greatest love, it would also became my greatest enemy.
My self challenging nature got the better of me, I eventually became obsessed with trying something new, striving to stay fresh each time, my fear of becoming old hat drove me to spend more hours than I care to admit on each and every ensemble. I became more and more reclusive, racing the clock for time. When I finally looked up from my sewing machine I realized I had missed the last six years of my life.
And just as the years had passed, so too did the high demand and prices for OOAK fashions, it could not have lasted forever, and just this past year many of us have had to rethink our collecting and spending habits. Less dolls, buying only what we love and treating ourselves to a OOAK fashion or artist repaint only on very rare occasions. I recall when you could hardly get your hands on a Silkstone, paying high prices when you did and OOAK fashions were at a premium.
I think I have come full circle, having perfected as well as I know how, my abilities as a miniature seamstress, with thousands of pictures of hundreds of ensembles to show for my efforts. More importantly, I have countless customers, whom I hope will enjoy their Matisse fashions for many years, and the lasting friendships that have come with this amazing hobby.
Just recently I have restored the balance in my life, still creating the fashions, but having stepped back to get a better view of what's ahead. "

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Infant Room at Daycare



I always wanted to do a Daycare center scene. I realized it was going to take too much room to do it as just one scene. So I am starting with the Infant Room. The toddler room will be next. I tried to slow the video down enough so you can read the story, but it may still be a tad bit fast. I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Finally got a Picture Gallery

I finally created a small picture gallery of some of my past work. Oh how I love making furniture. Take a look.

http://www.vansdolltreasures.com/photo-gallery.html

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

1st Giveaway Complete

And the winner is.... Actually, I am still waiting for the winner to respond with a name. But I didn't wan't to wait any longer to tell you the results. As soon as I have a name, I will announce it. The 1st giveaway was a choice of a 1/6 scale teaset; a classic Blue and White set, or a more modern Purple and Green set. The tea set will be delivered to the winner nicely packaged.




Are you on the mailing list yet? That is what makes you eligible to receive the free giveaways throughout the year. Join Today!

Getting Ready for "The Infant Room at the Daycare"

I've had this idea to do a Daycare slideshow. I wanted an infant room and a toddlers room. Initially I thought I would be able to put them all together, then I figured out it would be too much in one room. A couple of days ago I set up the scene and started taking pictures. Yesterday, I started assembling the pictures. It only took me about 7 hours to adjust the photos, but I enjoyed it. By the weekend I hope to have the slideshow complete for your viewing. Here are a couple of pictures to give you a glimpse of what is to come. If you "Join the email list" by clicking on the link at the top left, you become eligible for "giveaways" throughout the year.





www.vansdolltreasures.com
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