Monday, August 8, 2016

MY CUSTOM AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS

To most non-collectors the idea of customizing an American Girl doll- ripping off her wig, swapping out eyes, painting on makeup or freckles- seems kinda, well... a bit out there. And I get that.  When people curiously and invariably ask the whys- I respond that customization should be viewed as an art form- and the dolls as a canvas or a medium for expression. Deconstruction, Rehab and Rebirth! If that seems too philosophical or dramatic for a doll hobby then oh well.  It's just fun.  No different than any other hobby that happily eats away at your free time and drains your wallet. :)

I cannot recall the first custom AG doll I saw.  Probably a long time ago.  But I do remember the first time I saw a customized Marie Grace doll. That was when I had the "why didn't I think of doing that" moment. And that's really what starting the ball rolling for me. 

Currently I have seven customized dolls. That list does not include dolls that I only gave freckles or beauty marks to or simply changed their wig to a side part, so I did not include them here in my blog post. The list also does not include an eighth doll- a Jess mold with hazel eyes still awaiting a wig swap that I cannot seem to decide on. 



CHARLOTTE


Charlotte was my first customized Marie Grace mold doll. She has brown eyes and #56's wig which I loosened the curl on with a hot water rinse.  I also lightened her eyebrows a little by removing some of the original and repainting with a lighter color. I rosied up her cheeks with some pastel chalk too. I will admit that I had a specific person in mind that I modeled this doll after.  She still remains my favorite customized doll.







HANNAH


For a long time I will admit that I wasn't a big fan of the Jess mold. But I started really warming up to the various customs I would see on the web. When I had Marie Grace's eyes swapped to brown it was the perfect opportunity to create my own Jess mold custom- with blue eyes.  She's a #30 with Marie Grace's eyes and a super light smattering of freckles. 






FIONA



When #62 (Sonali mold/medium vinyl/amber eyes) was released last year I knew right away who she was going to be and what I wanted to do with her. She has #55's wig with a center part. I should have done a side by side comparison with her and my Alisande (my renamed Sonali) to illustrate the differences in hair, eye and skin tone between the two dolls.  A post for another day. 






SKYLAR



Skylar started out in the world as an Elizabeth.  She has Ruthie's grey eyes and #22's wig.  I painted over the original line brows and made them a darker shade and added little bit of a feathered look using a Prismacolor art marker. 






CLARA



Another Marie Grace mold doll. She has her original blue eyes, Saige's wig and a face full of painted on freckles.  I just adore freckles.  I guess mostly because I personally don't have any. 


I also transformed the vest she's wearing.  It's the current American Girl Love to Layer vest.  I carefully removed all the "interesting circles" from the front and I love the result. 


TEAGAN


Teagan is a #22 with painted on freckles and a light blond short "feathered"wig.  The wig is actually two different wigs that I sort of morphed together.  I purchased two short blonde "boy" wigs, completely deconstructed one of them and sewed it's pieces strategically onto the other. Doing so added length to the sides and to the back to get that wispy, feathered look. 







JASMINE



Sadly the #4 mold was retired years ago. I hope one day AG sees fit to bring her back.  My custom #4 has #41's wig which has been straightened. I also added a few freckles- a trait which I know is not terribly common for asian people- but not unheard of. I chose not to repaint her line brows, as I think they suit her delicate features.







VALENTINA




Valentina is my last Marie Grace mold doll.  I probably won't add another unless AG uses her mold again for another historical or modern doll in a hair and eye combination I find appealing.  She has hazel eyes and Jess's wig. I added a little color to her brows and also drew on a few eyelashes to her upper eye lid. 





My goal is to add a couple more customs to the line up.  As American Girl keeps evolving and releases characters with new and different wigs and face molds I'm sure I will continue to find inspiration.

Teresa













Thursday, July 7, 2016

SUMMER HIATUS & KITCHEN NOTES

This is a long overdue post and one that has been on my mind for weeks now. Ive been away from my shop and the doll world in general for a few months. Sometimes it's necessary to step away to reboot, refresh and reevaluate.  And I definitely needed a break. Several personal and family obligations have been cutting into my shop time- time that I devote to Pippaloo- basically since last December.  It was becoming a struggle to make it all happen each month. Something that was supposed to be fun and bring me joy was starting to become a source of great frustration and sorrow. So I took an early summer hiatus staring in May to do a little of that rebooting, refreshing and reevaluating.

Thankfully though, without getting too specific, over the course of the last few months, one of the personal issues has been dealt with and I'm feeling reenergized on that particular front.  The family obligation is another story however. But I hope to work around that better this fall.  Most likely that will translate into offering a reduced number of items each month and fewer spotlights on the historical dolls.  And unfortunately, given the more limited amount of time I will have to devote to my shop, I will not be able to take on any custom work as well.  I'm not thrilled with any of these choices and changes, but in a few years when my girls are older and away in college I will have every minute of every day to devote to Pippaloo.

So there were no new items for this May or June... and continuing that trend, there will be no new items for July or August.  However, I will be returning in September- on the 15th with a new, yet undecided theme and menu list.

More immediately, my plan for this summer is to do a blog post showcasing my custom dolls,  which I will be adding two more of to the mix very soon.

I want to thank you everyone for their patience, kind words and mostly for putting up with my shops's crazy quick sell outs, one day a month sales, limited quantities, Etsy glitches and the random clerical error.  I know I don't have the easiest shop to buy from each month- knowing that, I appreciate the effort all that much more.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer, cooling off in their favorite spots... or if you're like me, taking pleasure in the heat!

Teresa

Thursday, April 7, 2016

APRIL MENU LIST

I have been wanting to devote a month, for some time now, exclusively to savory foods- but there just never seemed to be an opportune time to make it happen.  Most months' menu lists are driven by a holiday or a seasonal theme and those generally lend themselves more to the sweet choices than savory. After all, how could one celebrate the winter holiday without a tray of decorated cookies, scare up Halloween fun without candy or celebrate Valentine's day without any chocolates?   April is one of the few months where it's a bit of a free for all for me.  And I know there is a real lack of savory choices out there for dolls.

Once again there is no historical spotlight for this month.  I really did want to make it happen, but time and circumstance have just not been on my side these past few weeks.  With fewer hours to devote to my shop, there just is not enough time to get it all done. 

This month I decided to offer all the items in a more a la carte style- breaking up what I would traditionally put into sets.  This way you can mix and match some of the items, zeroing in only on the foods that are of interest.  

Below is the menu list for Friday April 15th.  As always, items will be available at 12:00 noon EST on a first come first served basis.  Quantities that will be available are in parenthesis, followed by the prices.







Pizza Slices Set of Two  (8)   4.75








Whole Pizza- Set of Eight Slices  (1)   19.00







Fruit Set of Three- Apple Orange Pear  (8)   12.50









Grilled Cheese Sandwich  (7)   7.50








Spinach Quiche with Two Slices  (1)   20.00







Nachos with Cheese and Garnishes  (2)  22.00

-also includes single chip in a puddle of cheese





Braided Bread  (1)   9.00








Baguette (1)   6.50











Mac & Cheese Single Serving  (15)  7.00







Fish Fillet with Lemon  (9)  8.00








Wonton Soup in a Ceramic Bowl  (4)   13.50




Chicken Noodle Soup in a Glass Bowl  (6)   13.50







Golden Fish Crackers  (6)  4.75









Hash Browns Set of Two  (4)   13.00








Roasted Potatoes in a Ceramic Serving Dish  (1)   25.00







Eggs Set of Ten  (2)   16.00







Whole Roasted Chicken with Garnishes  (2)   36.00

includes:

-whole roasted chicken
-five petite carrots
-two orange slice halves
-seven green plastic sprigs
-ten cut roasted potatoes











Cup of Milk Set of Two  (7)  4.50






Mandarin Oranges Set of Six  (4)   4.00





Tortilla Chips Set of Twelve  (2)  4.75






Turkey Ham & Cheese Sandwich on a Kaiser Roll  (5)   7.50










Croissant Set of Two  (2)   10.00






If you have any questions about any of the items message me in my Etsy shop or comment here on the blog.

Teresa