Welcome 2010!

The first few hours of 2010 daytime. I am awake at 7:15 a.m., alone typing this post in the living room. The sky is blurred from the revelry of fireworks as I think of days to come. Life plans are important, I've realized a bit later in the game -- but not too late. If you live, you still have that chance. One plan is to learn something new everyday, a new enriching experience. Go back to exercise -- seriously and create the results, practice new creativity, see old things in a new light and be at peace -- with everyone, everything, most importantly, yourself.

Happy New Year everyone from me and  Scarlett! 

One last, before the year ends: Tonner Scarlett "Kissing Ashley Goodbye" Portraits

Kissing 2009 goodbye in 2 hours 45 minutes, so I thought of doing portraitures of Scarlett ("Travelling with Mother...") in Tonner's "Kissing Ashley Goodbye".  Among the dresses in which Vivien Leigh's beauty was highly complemented, the Christmas dress in which she desperately tries to hold on to every second with her illusion is in my opinion one of the best. Why? The innocent girlish sweetness of the dress is at variance with the turbulent mature passion of a woman that demands for love. "Demand" being the operative word in Vivien Leigh's crafting of Scarlett -- whereas other aspirants exhibited "begging for love", Vivien Leigh's interpretation was unique and faithful to the characterization of Mitchell. "At variance" for while Scarlett displayed porcelain-like fragility of beauty and decorum as admonished by Ellen 'O Hara and Mammy, inwardly, she was endowed with the Irish-determination and gumption that stood out in the war-torn South.

I have posted pictures of the Franklin Mint version of this dress ("How Could He Resist") which is more faithful in color, length and accessories to the film. The Tonner version fails in the cameo (which was originally all black, and which I repainted to reveal that cute cameo silhouette).
The boots of this doll is red, whereas the Franklin Mint version uses red pumps. The Tonner version has a overly voluminous skirt. One has to iron the pleats (lukewarm) to tame the large skirt. I wonder how those women moved in small houses with such large skirts.

As the new year ends, we kiss it goodbye: holding on to its lessons, and letting go of its sad moments. And while we hold everything in memory - be they sweet or bittersweet, we must remember to Scarlett, we will, after the wars in our lives are over -- we will.

"When the war is over Ashley. 
When the war is over."

Integrity Toys W Club Fifth Year Registration Opens

It was a cold snowy day on February 14, 2006 when we left Woodstock in the late afternoon headed for Manhattan and FAO Schwarz where the first W Club event was to be held. We actually made very good time into the city and had plenty of time to eat and traipse around on Fifth Avenue. By the time we headed over to the store, the line outside was already around the block. Flurries were in the frosty air but so were the sounds of expectant W Club members. We stayed warm by huddling together, yakking and laughing. When the uniformed doormen finally allowed us entry, the going was slow as all our entry cards were checked against a guest list. But we were finally inside.
I had not been in FAO in a million years, certainly not since it was renovated. I liked it better before the renovation but it was still amazing with masses of huge stuffed animals alongside the escalator accompanying us as we ascended to the next level. It was a mob scene up there; the noise level was astonishing. I greeted many people I had met in Canada four months earlier. My poor husband was surrounded by wide-eyed collectors everywhere; nevertheless, he survived to attend many more events after that one.
An Isha gift set called Final Cut Cannes was the event doll. It was in a free standing showcase and rather difficult to see and photograph. I don't think we got to take them home that night. Many procedures were changed as the event went forward and that is a good thing because that night we had to stand on lines to buy the doll and it took forever. All the Integrity staff was there and although the event lasted only two hours officially, it felt like much more. Did I forget to mention that what did accompany us home was the de rigueur New York blizzard?
Meeting other collectors changes the entire landscape of the game. Even if one is in contact regularly on-line with other collectors, face to face encounters are so very different. I was saddened to learn that there will not be a February event this year other than a virtual meeting. For some people, the New York event was the only one they ever attended or could afford to attend. It is definitely a loss. From a business point of view, it's the right move for Integrity as it saves a huge amount of money. In that respect, I don't blame them for cutting out the event. The members of the W Club are a built-in market at this point. No further promotion is necessary. I don't know if Integrity ever did participate in the actual Toy Fair event anyway.
That being said, promotion may not be necessary but quality is. I'm in a quandry. One of the upgrade dolls is an AvantGuard called Freeze Frame. I love her look but they are so difficult to pose standing up and are so, the best word I can think of is wiggly, that I don't know if I want another one. But she is very cute - especially the wig and I want that wig. The dress, meh. The boots are cute. What will I do with the stuff in the middle? When will we get an AG in a gown? I plan to cut that wig Lady GaGa length and get some big sparkly sunglasses. I want a Lady GaGa doll!!!!

Base membership in the W Club for 2010 is $50. The AvantGuard Freeze Frame is $160. plus shipping.
The other optional or upgrade doll is "Spring Forward" Eugenia Perrin. There is nothing about this doll I like except the blouse and shoes. I find her to look very much like the original Natalia. See the inset of Natalia "Behind Velvet Ropes." Eugenia appears way too stern-bordering on severe and that doesn't go along with the bright, happy colors used on her.

The price for Eugenia is $75 above the membership.
There is also an option to purchase both upgrade dolls. The total for that with the base membership comes to $285.
The prices are quite fair in light of what we've been paying for AG and FR. Both dolls are scheduled for a May delivery.

Many Integrity dealers are offering W Club members a one-time free shipping per member for the coming year until December 1, 2010. And....members will be offered the opportunity to purchase two other Fashion Royalty Club dolls and one AvantGuard doll in addition to the upgrade dolls. That's what I mean about a built-in market. We sign up; we buy.

Payment must be made by January 22, 2010.

Since there is no contest this year to award the person who signs up the most new members, you can tell them my poodle, Rudy, sent you.

Jaques Fath Cocktail Suit

When I saw this suit in one of the 1955 editions of L'Officiel it was love at first sight. I loved the collar and original neckline. I loved the hat with the rose. I immediately started thinking of how I was going to make this beautiful suit for Gene.

The biggest challenge was finding the white fur. All the stores in my area only carry cheap looking white fur. I haven't had much luck finding fur on the internet either. When I went down to the "Hollywood Ahoy" convention one of my goals was to find some white fur in the garment district. I scored! The fur on my suit is a little fluffier that the fur in the original suit, but sometimes that happens when miniaturizing fashions.

For that same reason I wasn't able to make the cuffs look like they were pieced together. I tried, but the result was too bulky, and I didn't like effect.

The next challenge was finding the fabric for the suit. I really wanted to make the suit out of the same silk crepe I used to make this coat, I had loved working with this fabric, it was like butter. I loved the texture, and weight of it. Unfortunately, I found it in a grab-bag I had bought and it was all gone. I ended up making one suit out of a textured polyester crepe (my copy) and five others out of lighter weight black silk crepe.

The fur collar is attached to the suit with two hooks. The jacket could be worn without the collar for a different look. I need to take a picture of the jacket without the collar. The neckline is very lovely.

I changed Tornado's lip color again to match the rose on the hat. I am still thinking about repainting her lips. I really like her in red.

Oh La La in my copy made out of the textured crepe. I like this version too.

I hoped you enjoyed my saga of the suit. My next project is a suit from the film "Lucy Gallant".

La cantatrice fantasque 6

04. Désir

Picture of the Week Award ~ December 27, 2009

We are wrapping up the POW Awards this year with a gorgeous repaint of a Sybarite Seville by Idrusa. It's obvious that there's a lot of talent here! The repaint and the photograph are beautiful.

If you would like to see more of Idrusa's work, here is the link to her flickr photostream.

Congratulations on the Picture of the Week Award, Idrusa.

Tonner Scarlett "Travelling with Mother to Savannah" doll repaint

In previous posts about Tonner's "Travelling with Mother to Savannah", I posted pictures of the ensemble. Here now is the doll wearing Tonner Melanie's dress to Scarlett's Wedding. I think the "immaculate" pale blue is an excellent complement to the doll's supposedly fair complexion. What I find unique about the "Travelling with Mother to Savannah" doll is  its hairstyle -- it has a very defined middle part that goes all the way to the back.  Something you don't find in the regular  Tonner Basic Scarlett. The hairstyle is very much Civil War inspired with two braids crowning the head and intertwined at the back. The hair is very tight and I had to loosen it a bit to bring it down as much as possible. The effect is a hairstyle that can wear the Franklin Mint Wedding Gown (which unfortunately because of its rarity) I do not have. I am thinking Tonner will re-create this sometime soon as it still has a strong "want' in the marketplace. And I foresee, it may be priced at a premium price than the rest of the line (hope not, we've had too much of overpriced dolls which sell for less than half at year's end).

The inspiration for the portraits are Cecil Beaton's photographs. A famous photographer for royalties and fashion.  Now why wear Melly's blue gown? First, I think the fabric is very much similar to ones worn for  Victorian portraits. The gown captures the light and drapes in a billowy, balloon-like manner. Every fold seems to behave in the same manner fabrics do in Beaton portraits.  The fan is from Ashton Drake's "Love After the Hours". Unseen here are the bonnet that comes with the Melanie blue ensemble and the white gloves. I wish Tonner would use more of fabric that drapes and captures the light well.  It really is a sight to behold in person versus the organza they choose to use. The outfit is completed with charming period shoes with buckle in pal blue, stockings  and hooped skirt with layering of tulle.

I hope you enjoy the portraits and Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year to all!

Free stuffs 02

Some wallpapers (1280 x 960 px) for personnal use only ;)
Quelques fonds d'écran (1280 x 960 px) à usage personnel uniquement ;)

Download #11

Download #12

Download #13

Black Lace: The Third Mini-Gene Doll and Silver Zinger

Black Lace arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to rip open the shipper to see if this one was as wonderful as the first two. I was not disappointed. Of course I don't see how this one should be the same price as the others because she doesn't really have an outfit...but...the lingerie she is wearing is very nicely made. The sheer peignoir drapes nicely. The teddy underneath fits beautifully. Her hair is neat, not frizzy, and well done.
The only thing I was wondering about was the beige bow in her hair. Did they run out of pink ribbon to match the ribbon trim on the fashion? Very strange.
I'm happy to have the three of them.

My good friend Ovaz sent me Silver Zinger's outfit as a Christmas gift. Doll collectors are a great bunch of people! I changed the belt and altered the earrings which were too long. It's a great outfit. Aren't the shoes terrific? These shoes have the opposite issue from the usual issue. The platform is too high for the heels. So we're still looking for the shoe that will stand on it's own thereby enabling the doll to pose in a natural way.