Thursday, June 30, 2011

Swapping Styles - I Finally Get It!

I remember when Mattel started producing the new Fashionista bodies with the easy shoulder/head swap. I didn't quite understand why at the time. I remember D7ana did a blog post about it, and there was a question as to why there was only one African American head available.

Well I finally see the true benefit of "Swapping Styles" and I have since adopted this new concept with my own dolls.  The idea recently came about because I ended up with 3 Trichelle Dolls and I love all three of them, So I want them all to be in my stories, as Shantavia. 

So here she is with her hair casually blown out. She can be seen in action in the latest video

Shantavia loves going natural most of the time.  We saw her first when she was photographing the kids with Santa in this video

And finally, Shantavia does love the glamour, so this will be her look when she gets really dressed up.  So I will behead two of these bodies and donate them to some other dolls.  She will eventually get an Artsy body when I start using her more regularly in the stories.

Remember Lisa.  This is what she looked like at the Daddy/Daughter dance.  You probably didn't notice that you had never seen this doll before.

This is the original Lisa that I had used up to this point.

Well I had a ballerina doll, with the sane face sculpt as Lisa.  Her hair was already in an updo and she had different color makeup.  Perfect!  One less doll hair to comb.

My two Chandras aren't that different, but I will still swap them when necessary.

I know some of you aren't fond of swapping heads and bodies.  If you have never tried it before, I highly recommend it.  I have personally gotten so good at it, that I no longer need water or hair dryers.  It takes me leass than 30 secs to pop a head off these days.  I have yet to break or tear anything in the process.  So look for all of my different styled dolls in my future stories.

I decided to go back and look at Fashionishta Artsy and add the pictures of the original Fashionishta Arty and the Swapping Head after getting Debbie's  comment.
Here is the original Artsy.

Here is the Original Swapping Heads Artsy.

And here is the swapping head.

So I would use the original as my "casual" girl and the the swapping head as the "glamour" girl.  I like that the makeup is so different.  For my purpose, the small subtle changes are perfect.  And as someone who doesn't like doing doll hair, I would leave both hairstyles as is and use when needed.  To Debbie's point, (see comment 1 below),  I agree that Mattel didn't take this far enough for the average little girl who is targeted for this doll.  Little girls love doing dolly hair, so I can't imagine that they would juust swap heads instead of just combing the hair.  So the swapping concept is lost when it comes to the intended market.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pigs In A Blanket?

Some things should just not be miniaturized.  We won't talk about how long it took to do these little succculent treats.  The first time always takes the longest.  I can probably whip through the next batch in half the time.  I like how they turned out though.  I will be getting quite a bit of use out of these.  I think I will put some in the shop soon. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Food....

So I decided on chicken drumsticks.  I figured it would be easy for the kids to handle.  Still potentially a little messy.  I also finished the celery and carrots.  They will be nicely displayed, probably with a couple more veggies.  Finally, crustless grilled cheese triangles. I knew I couldn't go wrong with this one.  But what a mess!  I will have to find a different technique to make these next time.  They were so sticky, I couldn't really handle them to do all the nice detail work.  But I know the kids will eat them, especially little Ms. Zahara.  I really should rename them my "Cheez Whiz" grilled sandwiches, because that's exactly what the cheese looks like.  Oh well. 

I may add a few more closeups later.  The lighting was not cooperating.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Made an Apple Pie for the Dance...

But it turned out so well, I decided to sell it in my Etsy Store.  Don't worry, I remembered that I have a really nice store bought (Rement) apple pie that I will use at the dance. LOL.

Here is the finished pie, complete with lattice topping.

There are actual apples under all of the crust.  And yes, the apples were nicely carmelized during the baking process. 
Camille is getting ready to serve Grace a nice healthy piece.

A Little Something for the Traditionalist

Just finished my new sofa.  I went totally traditional on this one, even adding a little fringe.  It is the perfect complement to those burgundy accent chairs.  Currently available in my Etsy shop for $55USD +shipping.

Here it is pictured with those lovely accent chairs.

Grace has stopped by to have tea with her mom.  (I have to give Grace a new body. That one is articulated only in the arms)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Video That Started It All Just Went Over 100,000 views!!!

November 2009 I posted a little video called "Barbie and Her Baby".  I don't really know why, but it was my first video featuring a fashion doll. I was experimenting because I had no experience to speak of with making videos.  It was the interest in this video that sparked me to continue making them.  When it hit 10,000 views, I was totally elated and couldn't believe that people were watching my video.  Needless to say, I am over the moon with over 100,000 views.  It has received 56 comments, 38 likes and 7 dislikes.  I'll take those numbers.  There has been a few people that didn't like that I was calling this AA doll Barbie.  They were young people, too.  I tried to explain that I was using Barbie as the trademarked name, not as the actual name.  I then had to point out that nowadays Mattel is referring to all of their playline dolls as Barbie.

So let's just reminisce, shall we? 

I Designed Some New Little Accent Chairs

I've been wanting to design a cute little accent chair and I finally got around to it last week. I think these accent chairs are quite versatile and can be used in many different scenes.   A few scenes that popped into my head are the following:  bedroom sitting area, doctor's office, bank, fireside area....  endless possibilities.

The burgundy pair is currently available in my Etsy shop.  The Beige Accent chair and Ottoman will be listed sometime today.  I plan to have many different fabric choices and various designs available on a regular basis.

This pair is currently available for sale.  In case you are wondering about the table (which is not for sale), the base is just a miniature planter holder and I added a clear glass top.   

William and Camille Langford are having a little wine, cheese and grapes.  They are potentially discussing the upcoming family dinner with their daughters.  

I will be reposting this picture when I reshoot it tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Was Up All Night Baking Cakes

Last week I decided there wouldn't be food at the Daddy/Daughter dance.  Of course this decision was made because I was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything that I was trying to get done.  Late last night I pulled out the clay and got busy.   I decided to try my hand at making some cakes.  This was my first time trying a new technique.  I didn't quite master it, but I am happy with my first attempt.  I am pretty happy with the way the strawberries turned out.  Not bad for 3am.  I particularly like the little leaf because I went from "how in the heck do you make the little leaf?" to what you see in the picture within minutes.  The strawberry leaf angels helped me out with that one.

Just a picture with Danielle to show scale.  There you can see a couple of the other cakes. I forgot to make a chocolate one.  I will probably make brownies instead. 

So, there will be food at the Daddy/Daughter dance.  I am still working on the menu.  I need kid friendly food that will not stain those pretty little dresses.  Feel free to make suggestions of things you would like to see on the menu.  I can't promise that I will make it, but I will at least consider it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

An Oldie but a Goodie

This morning I was reminded of the awesome Barbie House that was raffled off in December of 2008. Chances are some of you have seen this house already, but I never tire of seeing it, so I wanted to share it with you, again.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Video. Daddy/Daughter Dance The Arrival

A new video is finally ready.  Seems like this Daddy/Daughter dance is going to happen after all. 

A few weeks ago Danielle and the committee decided to give the dance a Princess theme.  They wanted the little girls and their daddies to feel really special on this day.  So they decided to go all out, and really make it a special day.  So in keeping with the Princess theme, all the adults were asked to dress the part as well. 

Here are the photos taken by Shantavia, our photographer/artist.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Introducing Quentin, My Real Life Godson

Quentin is my 18yr old Godson.  He is the sweetest young man you would ever want to meet.  Definitely not the typical teenager.  He is the hardest working young man I know, and his hard work makes you want to work harder.  He is an accomplished football player, but he is also an A student.  He does daily devotions and takes time out for the little things.  Saturday, right after graduation, when most teens are wanting to party, he wanted to take me and his grandfather on a drive to the nearby lake, because it is one of his favorite places to relax.  On Sunday, his parents had his graduation party.  Hours before the party he was in the kitchen making chocolate graduation lollipops from the Wiltons molds, for his guest.  And last but not least, he did not leave the house or return home without finding me and giving me a hug.  What an amazing person!  He makes everyone around him feel special. 

This is the end of a long night at his graduation party.  I am looking a little tired by this time.

Quentin is headed to Rutgers on a full scholarship for Football.

Looking dapper for Prom.  He had a date and she was a beautiful young woman.  I just wanted the single picture of Quentin.

Quentin's Dad, brother Joseph (15yrs), brother Brandin (23yrs) and mom. 

These pictures were scanned in from paper copies, so the image quality is not that great.

This is a video Quentin made 2 yrs ago which gives a little glimpse into his workout.  He is the one in the orange shirt.  The other young gentleman is his cousin. It's a fairly long video, but 2-3 mins in and you will feel like working out.  Great motivation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Storylines Have Been Named.

If you notice, the look of the blog has changed a wee bit.  Near the top you will see tabs with names.  Well these names represent the 5 different groups and the names of their storylines.  I thank all of those that gave suggestions.  I brainstormed for about 6 hours over the 4 day vacation.  I wrote down all the names that were suggested.  Then I researched all the TV shows from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today.  There were some good ones.  Then I used the thesaurus to add more names to the list.  I was very tempted to use names that were tied to some of my favorite shows like "Living Single", "Married with Children", "The Wonder Years".  I decided against any name that was tied to a show.  I didn't want anyone coming to me saying I had infringed on any copyrights.  I also took note that some of the show names were very simple like "Amen", "Dallas", and "Girlfriends".  So after much deliberation, I settled on the following, for now.

The Group               The Storyline Name
The Families             Family Life
The Elite                   Generations  (directly from William)
Young and Gifted     SISterly Love  (they are not the SIS girls, but they
                                wil be the ones that are "So In Style" and they
                                are Sisters in Spirit.
The Dreamers          Studio Dreams (all creative types have studios,
                                so it encompasses all the artforms)
The Bikers               The Riders

All of the videos associated with each group will be easily assessed by clicking on the appropriate tab.  Sometimes if there are multiple groups in the storyline, I will choose the best fit.

Since I used all of your suggestions to get to the final names, I've decided to offer everyone who made suggestions the prize.  You get to choose from 15% off an item in my Etsy store or Dollpages, good for one year, OR a free pizza that will be delivered by the end of this month.  I have the following people on the list, William, Georgia Girl, Hailey, D7ana, and Fresh Garden.  Please send me an email, with your preference.  That beautiful creme linen sofa is still available and so is Top Model Nikki!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julian Had New Friends When I Got Home

Well I am back from my wonderful vacation.  Everything went off without a hitch.  My Godson is such a fabulous young man and it was great spending so much time with him.  While away, I did work on organizing my storylines and I made great progress.  Thanks to everyone who got in on the suggestions.  I will be posting the results in the next couple of days.  When I returned home there were lots of goodies waiting for me.  It felt a little like Christmas.  There were outfits, little dolls, doll heads, dishes.... OH MY!

Here's Julian with two of his new school friends.  I found this Asian doll and redhead on line before leaving.  I have no idea who they are. The Asian girl has white legs and the redhead has yellow legs.  This was my first time seeing this variety in this size.  So I had to have them.

Danielle would be flabbergasted to see Julian standing on that couch with his shoes one.
Of course the new kids have parents.  The mom, Barbie Basic 1.0 #5, is one of the heads that arrived while I was gone.  I put her on a LIV body, which was perfect considering she has a short husband.  He is GI JOE height.

They will officially be named when they make their video appearance.  No they will NOT be attending the Daddy/Daughter dance.  Who asked that silly question? LOL! 

The second family has one of our avid bikers, Samantha, who is married to Kurt.  I bought Fashion Fever Kurt from Ms. Leo. 

Kurt rides too, but not as much since their daughter arrived on the scene five years ago.  This little girl will definitely not be following in her parents footsteps.  She is all girl.  There will be no bikes in her future. Samantha doesn't understand how she got such a little princess.    

So, I am glad to be back in the saddle.  I missed talking to you guys.  Actually, I did talk to you guys, just not through pictures.  Next on the agenda.... that darn Daddy/Daughter dance.  LOL.  I hope to start shooting part 1 by Thursday.  Everyone is dressed and ready to go, except me.  I still have to put up all the decorations.  Everytime I pass them in my studio, I hear them yelling at me.  They are so ready to get out of those hot clothes.  After all is has been mid 90s in Atlanta for about 2 weeks straight now.  So I will put them out of their misery real soon.

Sorry about the pitiful pictures.  I am experimenting and you know what they say, "sometimes it has to get worse before it can get better."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Help Me Name My Groups!

Before I branch out further into the different storylines, I figured I should take a little time to organize the different groups and figure out how to keep everything straight.  That is one of my missions, while I am on vacation the next few days.  Essentially there will be 5-6 groups to start.  You have met 2 of these groups already. They are "The Families:" and "The Elite"

   Group 1: The Families
Represented here by 3 of the charming kiddies.

Group II: The Elites

The third group will consist of my single, educated, young ladies. They are either currently in college or recently graduated.  These three have formed a pretty strong friendship.  More will be added to this group later. The ladies will range in age from 18 - 23 years of age.  None of them will have any kids.  
So far you have met Deidre, the young lady in the middle.  She works part-time at David's (Leslie's husband's) gym.  You have also been introduced to Raven, the lady on the right hand side of the sofa.  She is potentially the future love interest of Ian, who is still currently dating Olivia, since leaving the beach.  Valerie is the young lady on the left.  Her close friends call her Valtry.

Group III:  Young and Gifted

The fourth group will be older young ladies.  Mid to late 20s on average, but possibly early 30s too.  This group is sort of established in their careers.  They may have a child, or may not. They may be married, or may not.  I decided to keep close to what Stacey McBride-Irby had in mind with this group.  All three of these ladies are into the arts.  They are following their cultural dreams, so to speak.  It's not always pretty, because sometimes they are financially challenged while pursuing these dreams.  They are determined to do what's necessary to continue their dreams.
The lady on the left is Tanisha.  She is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional dancer.  She also teaches dance class to kids aged 2 and up.  Kara, in the middle, is an aspiring singer/songwriter.  She plays several instruments, and you may catch her giving music lessons when necessary.  Shantavia (Tavia for short) is an artist.  Her dream is to one day own an art gallery.  For the time being she is doing what she can to get her work noticed.  She enjoys giving back, so it is not unusual to find her giving art classes locally to kids and to adults. 

Group IV - The Dreamers

Group V are my bikers. They are a mixed bag.  Married, with kids, dating, single with kids, single without kids, etc.  They just enjoy the ride!
You've met a few of these people in previous blog posts.  There's Darren's wife and Taylor's mom, China.  She doesn't get to ride too much anymore, but occassionally she will connect with her friends.  Being a mom and wife have kept her busy to say the least.

Group V: The Bikers
In this picture, you get to see the two honorary members, Hailey and Cord.  I have a feeling that biking will be in their future, too.

So I have given these groups names.  I am not at all happy with all of them.  So I am opening it up to you for suggestions.  The goal is to make the names relevant and interesting to the groups.  Keeping in mind that whenever I make stories or videos of these groups, their names will be referenced perhaps with some Episode number or something else.  Feel free to offer suggestions.  If I like one or more suggestions, the person(s) who made the suggestions will either get 15% off an Etsy furniture purchase good for one year, or a free pizza.  Their choice.  If I don't like any of the suggestions, I will keep chuggling along with what I have, until something better comes along.  The two group names that I am most displeased with are "The Families" and "The Young and Gifted".  I think those two groups definitely need new names.  Although the more I say "The Young and Gifted", the better it sounds.  Please feel free to make suggestions for any of the groups.  Your suggestions should be submitted in the comments section.  Three suggestions, per person, per group, please.  Thanks in advance for your help.
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