Wednesday, 13 May 2015

☆╮"Wishful Thinking"╭☆

This was my Dad's first attempt at Photoshop in 2010, I think he must have been trying to live out his childhood fantasies through photo editing techniques! 

    I was so impressed when I saw this photograph ... I can't get my head around all those gadgets Photoshop has and I end up getting really frustrated when I try and use it, I've been promising myself I will master it one day tho'!

    Since nailing it on his first attempt my Dad went on to pass a diploma in design technology (Photoshop based), at the same time and since graduating he was teaching Photoshop for 20 or so pensioners (for Age Concern) part time...

    Not too shabby my daddy!!

    Sadly though he had to give it up as Age Concern couldn't supply the funding needed to pay for the overheads to keep the course running.

    The pensioners loved it so much and their monthly photography field trips and subsequent Exhibitions that they pleaded with him to keep the course running, even attempting to fund it themselves after a month it became obvious that it just wouldn't be possible and without coming under the banner of "Age Concern" they were unable to raise funds through grants etc.

    It seems fun things that older people really enjoy, that keep them fit, socialising and give them something to look forward to are not cost effective for Old Age Charities and our local Council and it just had to close.

    I really proud of my Dad, can you tell?!


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Thum Things Doll by Uneeda

I dunno if you know this but I have a bit of a thing about 3 faced dolls or expression changing dolls if you prefer...

I have two that I posted about a couple of years back, you can check it out here if you like: Vintage 3 Faced Dolls  last week I added another to my collection - this time I know more about her, although I didn't at the time of purchase, I just liked her quirkiness. 

She's a Thum Things doll by Uneeda from 1973, she stands at 5 inches tall and unlike the other two 3 faces I have she doesn't have a "top knot" with which to rotate her facial expressions.

The image above is of my girl showing her smart or as Uneeda marketed it; her "Thmart" face.

The gimmick with these dolls is you use your thumb to roll her face around and thereby change her facial expressions.

Here she is showing her sleepy or "Thleepy" face

I'm sure there must be several of these dolls whose faces have "rubbed off" due to excessive play as their facial expressions are the result of transfers which have been used to give them eyes, eyebrows and mouths depending on the face.

Her final facial expression  is her silly or "Thilly" one.

I'm pretty sure that she is wearing her original clothing as her outfit fits her perfectly and although it has what looks like a press stud at the back of her dress it doesn't undo and a home made or even shop bought dress would have to have an opening and closing stud.

Her body is moulded into a humanoid shape and has no moving limbs.

After I'd unpacked her and had a little play, I put her down on the bed and moved on to the rest of my mail when...

In walks Aaron and spots her... "What a weird looking doll" he says, grabbing her and attempting to "make her work".

 I was engrossed in my mail and wasn't keeping an eye on him - well he is 20!

When suddenly ... "Ooh how weird, It's got 3 faces! ... So how come you can't get to it's faces without taking it's hair off?"

"Omg, you what, Aaa?"

I look over and see her hairless pink ball of a head going round and round under his fingers!

Did I mention he's 20?!

Anyhoo, after the obligatory "STOP, move away from the doll Aaron." - I was ignored by the way!

But it didn't matter as he got it back on quick enough and after being told how it's supposed to work, had a quick go, got bored and has left her alone ever since!

Image found on (original source Ebay Seller bouchy.)

I found these photographs of the front and back of their original boxes (source credited in captions) and found them interesting as they have all the information you need to know on them.

Image found on (original source Ebay Seller bouchy.)

One other thing I've discovered about them which is not shown on the box is that when I googled them before and after finding out their name, the search only netted images of Blonde and Brunette versions, so I think my Redhead must be quite a rare commodity!

Oh wait I tell a lie, I just found this one on Etsy entitled " if you thought blythe was a weird doll just wait until you see this..."!

Bride of Frankenstein and the monster Target Exclusive Merry Monsters™

A few years ago a friend of mine - fellow doll lover and Horror Film Fan sent me these two little cuties from Maryland USA.

I instantly fell in love with them and I'm so lucky as he always sends me the coolest dolls and like these two very often I've never seen or heard of them before or if I have am unable to buy them in this Country.

I spent a long time trying to find information on these girls and discovered that they are from Mattel's Merry Monsters range, made exclusively for Target stores and sold in 2009.

                                                              Miranda and Kayla

Well butter me lucky 'cos we certainly don't have any Target stores in Wales (not that I'm aware of anyway).

 Nagabbit where I live; in a small village with a population of  1, 307 (measured in 2001) nestled into the base of a mountain, we don't even have our own Post Office (anymore) - maybe Cardiff has a Target, but nagdabbit that's over 56 miles away!

Anyhoo, I'm digressing the point is I didn't have to go and look for a Target or have to have anyone tell me about these dolls because my awesome buddy Kyle just knew that I would love and want them and sent them to me in a big box of goodies!

Hand Made Mona and Lili on the sofa Artist Dolls.

 I'm still going through my draft folder and trying to publish all those saved draft posts I have hidden in there, so I guess you could call this "One from The Vaults"!


Another gorgeous doll I discovered either last year or the year before while again innocently nosing around on Ebay was this stunning creation  by an Artist named Nina it was listed for sale by nina_ilchenko  - possibly the Artist herself ?

The starting bid for this beauty was US $1,000.00 - I had the listing address copied here but it's dead now so alas, you'll just have to put up with me telling you about her instead!

The page had been translated and sadly like a lost of translations it doesn't read quite right but I'll do my best..

The doll on offer was a 34 inch decorative doll called Mona who came with her own "mini" doll called Lili, who is 12 inches tall!

They came with their own sofa too, on which they can be displayed.

The sofa's dimensions are 17 x 7 x 6 inches so all in all this Art Doll is a pretty big piece.

The description describes Mona as "It is fancy-dressed doll, made in complex technique. Sewing and sculpturing skills, dress history and a fantasy of the professional artist Nina make the doll a unique in the whole world."

And goes on to describe the creative technique as being a mixture of wire, paper clay, paint and fabrics.

The listing states that her eyes are covered with glaze, so I suspect they are also painted even though they look like they are made of glass...

Her face and hands are made from paper clay and painted and her hair is made from mohair. 

Her dress is made from vintage silk and velvet, and decorated with beads, brooches and vintage lace. 

The body is made from a wire armature which is coated with several layers of fabric and leaves her arms and feet flexible and enables her to sit on her sofa.

Mona wears stockings made from vintage lace and a pair of  shoes which are beautifully made using vintage fabric and lace. 

The listing states: "The doll is made in a single copy and marked with an author stripe." I'm guessing this means she is an edition of 1/1 and signed...  It also mentions that she comes in "the special decorative box" but unfortunately the listing didn't show this item.

Another interesting point the listing makes is "Due to such different mixture technique it takes 1 -2 months to assemble one doll." So she definitely is a labour of love..

 "All these details breath a life into a doll figure, impressed her with king, musician, romantic and mysterious character." 

I think this statement really sums up her look very well, there are hints of Venetian Carnivals, Medieval Jesters, The Court of Versailles, Baroque Fashion, Harlequins and so much more!

º¤ø,¸Suzie - Limited Edition 13" Wooden Artist Doll.¸,ø¤º

Or here I go finding gorgeous dolls I'll never have enough money to own again!

Last year I was busy minding my own business nosing around Ebay when I discovered the most gorgeous doll I've seen in a long time, so gorgeous in fact that I had a hard time stopping myself from drooling!

Unfortunately bidding started at US $299.00!  -  But well just look at this girl...


Suzy is a Limited Edition ball jointed "Flapper" doll hand carved from maple wood by Canadian Artist M. Xenis. She stands at 13 inches tall and was made exclusively for the UFDC Region 1 2013 Conference and came with amongst other things, a Certificate of Authenticity stating her edition number and signed by the Artist.

UFDC stands for United Federation of Doll Collectors, if you're interested in finding out more about them you can visit their website here.

The annual Conference was held on 12th September to 14th September 2013. Each Conference has a theme and that year their theme was "Before T.V" - hence the Flapper doll.

There were only 230 "Suzy the Flapper dolls" made for the convention and according to the Ebay listing only a few of those were available at the conference itself.

If you've never heard of Xenis Wooden Dolls before, you can view their website here.

A word of warning though they are very and by that I mean VERY expensive but oh so beautiful, to give you an idea of what I mean; an Evil Queen with a resin Witch Mask  which fits over your Evil Queen's face and transforms her from beauty to old hag will set you back $1400.00 (USD) it is truly stunning though in fact I'd go as far to say that she puts Suzy to shame!

Talking of Suzy...

She came with her shipping box which has her edition number underneath and a UFDC Region 1 Conference 2013 label, inside which she was wrapped up snugly in paper.

The green label on the front of her box bears the same legend as the one written above the signature on her Certificate of Authenticity.

It reads as follows: "Through the stroke of a brush and imagination, here is a wooden doll that will capture your heart. Each doll is hand painted by the Canadian West Coast Artist and signed with the Artist's signature and Registration number."  Below this,it reads "A Limited Edition doll by XENIS makers of  Fine Wood Dolls."

The amount of detail on her face is astounding especially when you consider she is hand carved and hand painted with bright red lipstick, rosy cheeks, a beauty spot and those beautiful sideways glancing big hazel eyes of hers which give her a slightly flirtatious expression.

Her hair (wig) is made from mohair and styled into a bob cut which was very popular during the 1920's.

Suzy has several points of articulation with joints in her shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles. This makes her very poseable and with the weight provided by the density of the wood means she is also able to to sit or stand unaided.

In keeping with the "Flapper" theme she's wearing a low waisted fringed cocktail dress decorated with a peacock feather on the waist sash, this matches her head dress perfectly.

In true Flapper style she accessorised with black high heels and two long strings of white pearls which swing wildly as she dances!

The seller included in the listing a dvd which has information about the artist and shows you the production of the dolls and the history of the Xenis Company.

Man, I would love to watch that!

After a bit more snooping I discovered two more of these girls on Ebay - one was priced US $299.99 and the other was US $ 425.00 plus $38.95 Shipping cost *Sob*

I'm amazed by how "alive" she looks especially when you consider that her face has been carved from a piece of wood and then sanded and varnished; and the features painted onto it. The choice of wood (maple) seems to add a depth of colour that really helps to give realism - you can almost see this girl thinking!

The Sketty Flasher! - November 17, 2010

(Originally posted on Flickr)

This advert for the local weekly Newspaper made me laugh so hard I just had to take a pic' to share with you guys...

I found the advert board outside the Post Office on 27th October and couldn't for the life of me work why if they've been taking photos of him they still hadn't caught him?!


 But it did conjure up images of paparazzi wannabes hiding in bushes and waiting for the flasher to do his thing!  

Monday, 4 May 2015

♥♥ Meet Bellyache Makie! ♥♥

About a week ago I received an email from MakieLabs announcing their Spring Sale, which was supposed to continue until the end of April.

The email informed me that at the moment MakieLabs are having a 25% off sale with Free Shipping to U.K & United States on Makie Dolls!

So it seemed to me that the time was right to order my fourth (third - designed by me) and final Makie...

Bellyache was designed on 5th February 2014 but not made real as there was something a bit off about her so I did some tweaking in the Makie Maker changing her hair and eye colours and deciding on her outfit, and here she is; my redhead, pink skinned girl to be...

When I'd got her as I wanted her I purchased her and a Certificate of Creation and now all I had to do was wait for her to be "Made Real".

While waiting I received another email saying "The Sale has been extended until Midnight on the 4th May"- so there's still time if you're thinking of a purchase. 

In keeping with my other Makie Creations Bellyache is also a pointy eared Fairy Folk. I originally designed her with green eyes and long black hair but when I got-a-tweaking I realised red hair and grey eyes suited her so much better also it gives me a chance to try out "freckles" while I'm giving her a face up.

In case you're wondering the reason I've decided that Bellyache will be my last Makie is because the Makie Maker doesn't have that much choice wise in terms of outfits, wigs or eye colours and as I've created twenty six Makies since 2013 I feel like I've pretty much gone as far as I can with the options available.

There have also been a lot of changes with regards to ability to mix and match individual items of clothing and footwear to make your own unique styles for your dolls sadly though this option went out with the "Alpha Makies" as did some of the extra skin tone options that used to be available .

The clothing options now are very sparse and are matched with a pair of shoes so if you don't like a particular item then you either have to lump it in order to have the items you do like or get rid of it and find a completely different item for your doll.

The wig choices are also not so great, I prefer the long ones which out of thirty eight wigs gives a choice of sixteen.

As I'm also not keen on wigs with fringes, this gives me a total of ten to choose from!

Ten doesn't seem such a bad amount but when you rule out the black, blonde and brown wigs that I find kind of boring and also available to buy in many places online, it leaves six to choose from. 

The choice between them obviously has to take into account the doll's skin tone - of which there are now only four - white, pink, dark and light brown.

Since Pendle is white skinned, Rainy Daze is dark cocoa and Juniper is light cocoa bean, having Bellyache made real n the pink skin tone means I will now have one in each of the colour variations.

In terms of eye colours their have ever only  been a choice of  six to choose from.

 As Pendle was going to be my one and only Makie Doll and is Fairy Folk I chose black eyes for her.

I chose brown for Rainy Daze and Juniper came with a black pair too, of course these are simple enough to change and I do have plenty of spares here but I really would have appreciated some more "funky" colours to choose from as opposed to colours that are available cheaply and very easily found elsewhere online.

I guess grey eyes are also easy enough to find but not as easy as the other colours minus the black of course but since I now have two pairs of them I felt it was a choice between the others and none of the other colours really worked for me.

Like Rainy Daze she will most likely end up with a pair of new glass ones instead.

I guess that's about all I have to say until she arrives and I can do a Makie Maker vs Made Real comparison post.

Take care,