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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Elara, a Monster High hybrid doll repaint (lots of pics) on: July 19, 2018 11:03:45 PM
Howleen Wolf is one of my favorite Monster High characters because she's cute and spunky. One of my favorite things about the character/doll is that one of her ears is floppy, which only adds to her attitude.
So I wanted to give her a makeover that suited her character. I redressed her instead of making her clothes because I really liked this outfit for her.
Completed repaint on my sofa:


On my carport, so that she looks like she's waiting to get into a venue:


There are LOTS of Howleen repaints out there that utilize her shorter little sister stature to make adorable, youthful girls.
But I wanted my Howleen to stand out. So I decided I would body swap her with a Cleo De Nile I had whose skin tone was a perfect match.* I also swapped out her hands since Howleen's hands are curled like claws.
She was nearly finished at one point but I ruined her face and had to wipe it, which was actually a good thing because I love her new face even better.
The process:
First I wiped her face and put her head onto a Create-A-Monster body so that I didn't get paints or pastels on it and put down some light pencil work and some pastel on her lips


Then I used some purple yarn to give her "dreadlocks", which I glued on but it slipped off (I think I didn't let the glue dry enough before wrapping her hair up.) In this photo, she also has pencil work on her eyes:
j

I can't find any more photos, but at one point, she had purple eyes that were nearly the same color as her lips. But when I started applying the paint to the whites of her eyes, I slipped and couldn't get the paint to wipe off so I wiped her with acetone and put her aside. (The original version of this girl was started before my mini-me.)

Here are some photos of her hair, which was strategically rooted this time around. Her whole head isn't rooted as that would be way too much.






Building up the color of her face:











**Not all dolls of Cleo and Howleen have matching skin tones. I know their skin tones may look like they match in this photo due to the flash, but the shorter Cleo on the left (who got Howleen's body) is darker than the Cleo next to her and the Howleen next to Elara is lighter than her. Inconsistent skin tones are a common thing with Monster High: a doll made in Indonesia is often a slightly different skin tone (in this case darker) than one made in China and the difference is easily missed unless you're holding two of the dolls side-by-side for comparison.




If anyone is curious, Elara is wearing a random earring (not sure who/what it came from but I lost its mate), Ghoul's Night Out Spectra's outfit (minus the belt, which I lost), Music Festival Venus' VIM badge, and Emoji Clawdeen's boots. Emoji is one of the new, super basic dolls with no articulation; I only have her because she came in a doll lot I purchased. I stole her shoes for this custom and put her head on a spare Clawdeen body.
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / So you wanna do a repaint (guide/outline for total newbs) on: May 24, 2018 03:32:11 PM
If you're here, somewhere, at some point you've probably seen a repainted doll and are interested in doing it for yourself.
Maybe you've been hypnotized by Dollightful's work on YouTube. Or maybe it's Hextian or DollMotion or TheDollFairy? (These are just some of my personal favorite artists.)
Or maybe you just liked the Frankie doll I made for gozer or the doll I made of myself? Wink
No matter who it was or what their work was, someone, somewhere has inspired you and you want to create your own custom doll, which is awesome!

But where do you start?

I will start by saying that I am no expert but I've been interested in this form of art/craft for nearly ten years and have watched/read a lot of tutorials so I know a LOT of useful tips that I'll be sharing here.
I'm also going to point out that this hobby can be rather expensive, especially when you're first starting out.
I personally have a lot of supplies but I bought them all over the course of several years to keep from breaking the bank (which is highly advisable).
I will be breaking it down into sections as replies to this initial post. For your convenience, I'll link each section so that you can jump to the section you're interested in reading.

Links:
FIRST STEP
SEALANTS
WATERCOLOR PENCILS
ACRYLIC PAINTS
SOFT PASTELS/CHALK PASTELS
NOW YOU'RE READY


If there's anything more you want to know that's not here, just leave a comment and I'll do my best to give you the information. It might be something I have to look up, or it might be something that I know but completely forgot to mention!
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Let's play plastic surgeon (an experiment in doll modification; lots of pics) on: May 24, 2018 03:05:06 PM
I recently acquired two 28 inch tall Monster High "Voltageous Ghoulfriend" dolls from two sellers on Mercari (often cheaper than eBay!) I got them to use them as decorations: I intend to make various outfits for them (or at least one of them) and change the clothes according to the holiday.
One of them was nearly complete but the other was nude and didn't have her accessories, either. She was also missing her hands, had a piece broken off her arm above her elbow joint, a small crack on the side of her face, and another crack above her right elbow.
Here she is, as she was after I received her and took her out of her shipping box:

She reminds me of Jane Boolittle because of the skin and hair color.

I figured, since she was missing bits, I may as well use her as a guinea pig because I wanted to see if I could give her knee joints.
Now, I've never tackled any such modification but Dollightful, one of my favorite YouTube doll customizers, used Apoxie Sculpt and screws to transform a 17" Frankie Stein into the Pokemon Xerneas (note: it's a two part video because she did a LOT of modding on that doll) so I thought I could use the same technique on my doll, even though she's much taller.

So I sawed off one of her legs:


And put some Apoxie Sculpt on the pieces:


Which I broke off after it dried because I dropped it on my hardwood floor (note: Apoxie Sculpt is strong but it hit just the right (wrong?) angle):


So I sawed it all off and started over, deciding to saw her other leg off and do it all at once:








The sudden hands are because the nearly complete doll arrived and I put the extra set of hands (which were webbed) on this doll after modifying them.

After the Apoxie dried, I needed to modify the holes because they didn't line up quite right. So I used my rotary tool to make the holes bigger and threaded the screws and secured them with nuts.

Here she is, sitting on my dining table:


Her right arm fell off after I moved it a bit but I can fix that later.

A closer shot of her legs:


She still looks a bit rough but I'm not going to work on her anymore right now. When/if I get around to cleaning it up and making it look nicer, I'll update this post.
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Punk Red Riding Hood (Frankie Stein paint over/fix) -very pic heavy- on: May 19, 2018 10:09:05 PM
I was recently in the Nerd Games Swap and was partnered with the amazing gozer. I was so excited because she's AWESOME and I knew I would receive something amazing so I had to make her something equally great.
Like myself, gozer collects Monster High dolls and her favorite is Frankie Stein, the daughter of the Frankenstein monster. I can't blame her because Frankie is super cute.
I had an original release Frankie that I bought secondhand a while back to steal her shoes and belt for customs.
She's the one on the left:


But I couldn't bring myself to repaint her because I loved the original dolls' darker make-up so I was just going to change the color of her eyeshadow and give her some custom clothing.
Except that I had a mishap: when I used Goo Gone to remove the sticky gunk from her hair due to glue seepage/melted hair elastic, I got a bit of it on her face and when I wiped it off, it took off some of her factory paint! Shocked

Post accident:


Frankie was upset about it:


I was briefly upset then I told myself it'd be okay because I could easily fix her.
Well...maybe.
I had never tried to do a fix/touch-up/paint-over on a doll, only full repaints. I didn't know if I could emulate the original paint well enough for it to pass. But I knew I wouldn't know unless I tried so I gave it a go.
And I was pleasantly surprised with the results:


I changed the color of the eye shadow, as well as the shadows under her eyes, darkened her facial stitches, darkened her eyebrows, and gave her some subtle shading on her cheeks, corners of her mouth (in an attempt to give her a pouty look), and at the inner corners of her eyes (not as subtle):





Her crop top I made from a pattern that I hastily drew up because I couldn't find one I liked. I seem to have lost the pattern so I can't make another but Frankie's came out nicely the first try:


Her skirt was taken from a "Coffin Bean" Toralei that my sister gave me, as were her shoes. I made the leggings myself with the underwear/bikini/leggings pattern from Requiem Art Designs.


The shoes were cute but dull so I painted the details to make them pop (they were originally solid red):


Honestly, painting the shoes was the hardest part of this whole custom but it was so worth it because they look better that way.
I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the spikes on one shoe are darker than the spikes on the other. It's really subtle but I did it as a nod to how Frankie dolls sometimes had mismatched shoes.

I know what you're thinking "If she's a modern Red Riding Hood, where's the hood?"
Well, she's a modern gal so instead of a traditional hooded cloak, she's got a hoodie:






The hoodie pattern is also from Requiem Art Designs and is the same as the one I used for my mini-me's Deadpool varsity jacket Smiley

ETA: I forgot this pic of one of her rhinestone earrings:
5  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Doll-sized Deadpool varsity jacket on: May 17, 2018 11:09:05 PM
I decided to make a second Deadpool jacket in an attempt to improve upon my miniature sewing skills. This is actually the third varsity jacket made from this pattern from Requiem Art Designs. The second was a Captain America inspired one but I can't find my blue thread to sew on the Velcro.
Anyway, this one came out much nicer than the first, especially the collar, which I struggled with the first go 'round.

Front:


Back:



Though this one looks nicer, I'm more partial to the first I made:


I still need to make new clothes for Red but I joined three doll collabs on Instagram and need to work on those dolls first.
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Self-portrait doll (aka Red) PIC HEAVY on: May 12, 2018 03:04:35 AM
Exactly what it says on the tin Smiley I'm calling her Red because it's one of my many, many nicknames.



Close-up of her jacket:


Red's jacket was made using the Hoodie/Letterman pattern from RequiemArtDesigns on Etsy. I actually own a similar jacket but the red parts on my jacket are a brighter shade of red and my jacket has pockets. (I may go back and add strips of the red fabric so that it looks more like the real thing.
The Deadpool logo and black stripes were all hand painted with acrylic paints, as was the small section of black on the front of the jacket at the bottom.

The base doll for this project has been sitting in my stock box since late 2014.
I bought a Holly O'Hair doll (Ever After High) specifically to make a self-portrait doll, wiped and prepped her face, then put her back in the stock box because I couldn't bring myself to cut her long, pretty hair.
I was also afraid I would ruin her because my repainting skills at that time were less than amazing. I've since watched a lot of repaint videos and finally decided to bite the bullet and work on her so I could cross her off my to-do list. (Also, I bought another Holly so I would have a long-haired redhead.)

First layer of watercolor pencils:


Next-to-last layer of watercolor pencils:


After that layer of watercolor pencils, I gave her face some freckles (the darker freckles are intentional and echo my own):


I also repainted a pair of clear resin eyeglasses that I bought from Plastic-Curves.com way back when (sadly, she no longer carries this style):


Comparison to my actual glasses:


The doll on the left is what Red looked like before her repaint (minus the outfit, which isn't even for the same doll):



Expect more photos of her sometime in the near future: I've got to make her some clothes that actually fit (those pants are from a Monster High doll and don't Velcro over the EAH body's larger hips).
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Monster High doll repair (sort of a walkthrough but no progress photos) on: May 07, 2018 10:06:38 PM
I have quite the hoard of Monster High (and a few Ever After High) dolls for repainting. Any time my little monster sees me messing around with my dolls, he tries to make off with at least half a dozen of them. It's quite cute, so I've given him a few of his own dolls, though none of the ones whose hands/arms can come off due to the choking hazard they pose.
But he didn't have a boy of his own and kept trying to steal some of my boys. So I looked on eBay and found a very cheaply priced original Deuce Gorgon that was stripped of his clothes and shades and missing one of his arms.
As luck would have it, I had bought a mixed lot of Monster High dolls/accessories a few years ago that had a random Deuce arm in it and was the exact arm the doll was missing so I bought it.
Now, it being an original release of Deuce, he had elastic in his hips and it was quite stretched out so his legs were droopy and very wiggly.
It didn't take long for it to snap:


My son was NOT happy when I confiscated him for repairs: I had to wait til he was asleep to work.
I took some 1/4" black elastic and cut a very small piece off (maybe 2" long, if that) and strung it through his legs (this is the hardest part) then stretched it super taut and sewed the ends together. It's important to note that I did NOT attach his legs as I attached the elastic.
I sewed the legs together with the little bit of elastic then stretched it so that the elastic was really thin and slid it through the little crack at his groin:


The fact that that crack was there makes me think that's how they were attached in the factory.

Now Deuce is repaired and ready for action again:


I also put a little bit of hot glue (Gorilla brand because it's super strong) in the holes in his upper arms. His arms still rotate and bend at the elbow but they don't come out, which means they can't be lost or swallowed. I know he'll probably work them loose eventually but that just means I'll glue them again.

For anyone who might be curious: his shirt/hoodie is from a Scaris Deuce and the pants are from the Heath that came in the two pack with Abbey.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade Tater Tots (or hash brown patties) on: March 25, 2018 04:43:16 PM
I decided to try my hand at homemade tater tots. I didn't follow any recipes or tutorials (though I have read a few, years ago), just sort of made it up as I went along. I need a new grater so I used the larger holes instead of the smaller ones because I didn't want to spend all day grating potatoes. This means they came out more like hash brown patties instead of tater tots but they still taste good.



Close-up:


I started by parboiling four large Idaho potatoes. I only ended up using two of them, so after they cooled, I bagged the other two for later use (probably breakfast tomorrow).
After they cooled, I grated them into a bowl and seasoned them with salt (a tablespoon, I believe), black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. For best results, use the smaller part of your grater, unless you're wanting to make hash brown patties out of them.
If you've never done this, please note that grated potatoes are very sticky due to the starch in them. I imagine you could turn it into a sort of glue if you wanted Grin
I've seen where some tutorials suggest grating potatoes into a bowl of water to keep them from gumming up and sticking together, but you want them to stick together for tater tots and hash brown patties.
If you want to make just regular hash browns, grate the potatoes into water, drain them, then pat them dry so that they don't gum up and stick together.
After seasoning them, I put a little cooking oil on my hands and formed them into little balls. If you've used the finer grater, you'll be able to make much smaller balls than mine.



I had preheated my oven to 425F and baked them for twenty minutes. They came out nicely browned and taste pretty good.
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Fleur de lys make-up bags + daisy make-up bag on: March 24, 2018 10:19:31 AM
I'm going to visit family for Easter and wanted to make nice but quick gifts for the ones who would rather not have candy.
Both of them like fleur de lys and are going on a cruise soon so I figured a make-up bag would be a great gift. They can use them as a toiletries bag for their cruise then for some of their make-up when the come home Smiley

I used black thread to sew the first bag and wish I had for the second, too, because I like the contrast. I lined it with the pink/grey starry fabric because that one is for the cousin whose favorite color is pink. The second one has blue/grey starry fabric because her favorite color is blue.

Outside:


Lining:


Outside:


Lining:


The cute little wooden button tags that say "Homemade" were purchased from Wish. I think they're made of cedar or pine because they have that evergreen-y smell.

These were made using the Easy Cosmetics Bag pattern from Sew So Easy, which is a free pattern.

ETA: I learned a few days ago that my sister-in-law, who previously thought she wouldn't be able to make it for Easter, is coming. So I made her this bag. The sunny yellow on the daisies (I think they're Gerbera daisies?) remind me of her sunny disposition Smiley

Outside:


Lining:


I took this picture before I sewed in the "Handmade" button and sewed the lining closed.
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Star Wars mini messenger on: March 14, 2018 08:11:50 AM
This bag has been a WIP for the longest because I kept forgetting to buy the longer pins I needed to pin thru the layers of interfacing and fabric. It's kinda my fault though for using a slightly heavier interfacing for lining the outer part of the bag because it's what I had on hand.
Back when I bought the fabrics for this bag, I bought them because they were on clearance and I liked them but wasn't quite sure what to do with them.
I sent a pic to my younger sister and she said they would make a cute purse so I started looking through the purse patterns I have downloaded and found the Lilac Mini Messenger Bag by Blue Calla Patterns (it's free!) and made this bag for her.
It's a very easy pattern to follow and the bag made up rather quickly after I finally remembered the pins I needed Tongue

Front:


Back:


Flap up:


Interior:



Please excuse the ugly, dingy door curtains behind it. They came with our house and I've yet to make new ones.
Also, the flap wasn't sewn on backwards: my sister wanted the flap to contrast with the outside of the bag.
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