Monday, April 21, 2008

How to make a doll house quickly

Just found this through Decor8: in Cookie magazine's March issue, they have an article on how to make a doll house out of foam board. It is not very sophisticated but it is easy, quick and would make a great set for at-home photo shoots with it's all around open sides.

So directly from their web page (in case you cannot find the magazine):

Meryl Levin, describes how she made a dollhouse for her niece out of foam core board. She put graphic wrapping paper on the walls, cut clocks and pictures of out of catalogs and "framed" them with Sharpie, and her niece filled the rooms with her own toys. Not only is it almost as fun to personalize as to play with, it also stores flat, and can even travel with her to Grandma's house! If you want to try this yourself, here's how Meryl did it (use the diagram below as a reference):

1. Start with a piece of 20"x30" foam core board (a standard size at art-supply stores), and using a box cutter and a T-square or yardstick, cut 10 inches off of the longer end to make a 20"x20" square.

2. Cut the board horizontally right across the middle to create two 10"x20" rectangles.

3. Measure 10 inches across the bottom of one rectangle, and cut a notch 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches tall. At the top of the second rectangle, make a notch the same size.

4. At the bottom of both rectangles, measure 4 1/2 inches from both ends, and cut doorways 2 inches wide and 5 inches tall.

5. Slide the notches into each other to form the x-shaped house.

Someone commented that the noces need to be 6 and 4 inches, not two, so think about this if you try and make it. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fashion Royalty - Agnes Von Weiss: High Gloss

Most doll manufacturers organize conventions for their loyal customers: it is a great way to create publicity about their doll lines, present new dolls and raise their sales. For the fans it is a great way to meet other collectors, exchange or trade dolls and outfits and buy new exclusive dolls. The most sought after dolls in the conventions are usually the official convention dolls and their companions: they are highly stylized and in limited quantities - or they should be.

High Gloss Agnes Von Weiss in no exception: she is, imho, one of the most exquisite Fashion Royalty dolls ever created. Designed specifically for the Dollz In Oz 2008 convention in Sydney Australia, and limited to 300 dolls worldwide, she embodies all that a fashion doll should be: bold, beautiful, exceptional, elegant, glamorous. Designed specifically to fit the event and the theme (Mardi Gras), her unique look places her at the top (or very near at least) of the best that Jason Wu has offered us.

First the gown: it seems that Wu has heard his fans: this is no classic full blown ball gown or mermaid style va-va voom dress. No sir, what we have here is a confection that can rival what Claude Montana did back in the days he designed for Lanvin Haute Couture. The white dress, designed to remind one the Sydney Opera (look at the turned up triangular edges) fits perfectly with Sydney - but where is Mardi Gras? Not that I mind, luckily it avoids any carnival reference, which can be only positive.

The fabric is white with silver pinstripes, making it shimmer in the light. The scale of the stripe is amazing, making the dress look even better up close. The craftsmanship is excellent, with the stitching and lining exquisitely executed. The fit is also great. The voluminous skirt stands great and needs little fussing over to look good. Same goes for the six panels that fall over it, accentuating the cascading hemline.

The bodice is looking great with the microsequined breast panel under the huge stand up collar. The necklace is a bit too much for this design, it would look much better without it. It is even too big for the décolletage, it never can hold its shape properly. The filigree and bead earrings are a perfect match.

The highlight is the silver "leather" corset-belt: it has a tiny non-functioning zipper at the front, framed by six studs, while at the back it ties with laces like a corset. Amazing detail and execution. Montana and Mygler would be proud!

The shoes are silver platform sandals that tie up the leg - the silver laces are slipping on the legs (and my fingers are not helping). The doll is not wearing any kind of hosiery but does have flesh coloured panties.

The face of Agnes is incredibly painted: her white porcelain looking skin is almost translucent, with barely blushed cheeks. All the focus is on the eyes: heavy eye shadow and eye-liner makes her look immensely dramatic, vampiric even - her bold dark eyebrows fitting this image perfectly. Pale shiny lips finish off the look. Her jet black hair is pulled back in a perfect chignon, making her look even more austere. I think it suits the dress perfectly and anything else would have looked too much.

A splendid doll from Fashion Royalty - I hope Jason Wu continues like this in 2008!