Monday, October 30, 2017

Disney Princesses

According to Wikipedia, the franchise does not include all princess characters from the whole of Disney-owned media, but rather refers to specific characters from the company's animated films. As of 2017, the eleven characters considered part of the franchise are (left to right below) Jasmine, Rapunzel, Snow White, Mulan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Tiana, Belle, Ariel, and Merida.

The original line-up consisted of princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan and Tinker Bell. Five of them (Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Ariel) were royal by blood, two (Cinderella and Belle) married into royalty, and two (Mulan and Tinker Bell) fit the "princess mythology."

March 14th, 2010: Tiana officially became the first additional character to the Princess franchise, taking Tinker Bell's short-lived place as the ninth member. Tinker Bell was already heading up another franchise started in 2005 . . . Disney Fairies.

October 2nd, 2011: Rapunzel was "crowned" and inducted into the Disney Princess franchise as the tenth member.

May 11th, 2013: Disney added the first Pixar character Merida as the 11th Princess to the franchise.

Whether Anna, Elsa, Moana and Lilo are officially "crowned" is yet to be seen.

These are some of my little Disney darlings who I have been knitting for. I also have Elsa, Merida, Tinker Bell and Arial, but I'm not sure if they will be wearing the same knitted sets yet.

I still need to add Snow White, Aurora and Cinderella, but there's always tomorrow! :)

When purchasing Disney Animator dolls, please be aware there are fakes out there and if you want to know how to tell the difference, check this out!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Surprise, Surprise!

"Edith Head is considered the most significant costume designer in film history and today her name is synonymous with Hollywood costume of the twentieth century. Over her more than 50-year career in studio costume - first with Paramount Pictures and later with Universal Studios - Head worked with many of Hollywood's brightest stars on almost a thousand films."

Well after reading "no cameras" and thinking we wouldn't be allowed to take photos of the Edith Head exhibition, we found we were able to after all, as long as we didn't use a flash. So my dear daughter literally took hundred s of them (232 to be exact), however, I have selected just a few of my favourites to share.

Many of you were probably not even born when this two-piece wool suit was worn by Maureen O'Sullivan in The Big Clock (Paramount Pictures 1948), but if you're a movie buff and fan of the silver screen you may be familiar with some of the following.

This silk ball gown was worn by Natalie Wood in Inside Daisy Clover (Warner Brothers 1965).

This two-piece silk performance costume by Betty Hutton in The Perils of Pauline (Paramount Pictures 1947) is covered in Austrian crystal bugle beads . . . can you just imagine how many hours of work it would have taken to sew them all on. The back of this suit was stunning!

This silk evening gown worn by Caroll Baker in Harlow (Paramount Pictures 1965) is also covered in thousands of Austrian bugle beads. Click on the photo to see a close view.

Adding embellishment to simple costumes was one of Edith Head's devices for creating instant glamour. Many of her simply cut and modest shape costumes were vastly improved and given a much more glamourous air by the inclusion of sequins and bugle beads.

The medieval-style cotton velvet costume worn by Shirley Temple in Little Miss Marker (Paramount Pictures 1934) is beautifully embroidered. Shirley later wrote about her costumes for this film in her 1968 autobiography Child Star.

"An exceptionally talented artist, she decided to make my costumes from scratch instead of drawn off the studio rack. This would require many try-ons while she created exactly the desired impression."


The peacock silk costume worn by Hedy Lamarr in Samson and Delilah (produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille and released by Paramount Pictures 1949) has the most beautiful beaded applique.

The peacock feathered cape accompanying the gown above, is without doubt one of the most recognisable elements of this costume and while the gown became part of the Paramount Pictures Archive, the cape has remained in the DeMille family. It is too fragile to travel, so unfortunately could not be reunited for this exhibition.

The hooded wool coat worn by Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Paramount Pictures 1946) is shown with the black sweater and large gold chain she wore in the movie. I noticed that this style of chain was recently worn by Jayne Fonda on the Graham Norton Show, making it still very fashionable today.

I have been a long time admirer of Edith Head and her ability to design costumes for movies and although costuming may appear to be a glamorous profession, the work entailed is extremely demanding and time consuming. Especially when working on a period film, as all the costumes have to be thoroughly researched to ensure they accurately depict the garments worn at the time.

My daughter told me this exhibition had shown her a completely different aspect of film costuming which made her realise the amount of work that goes into each garment prior to the actual film's production.

Personally, I think Edith (above) deserved every one of the eight Oscars and twenty seven nominations she received during her fabulous career, and she still holds the record for the most awards won by a woman.

The final words belong to Edith Head:

"I would give this advice to every actress with whom I work, to every woman who will listen.

1. Be dressed for what you are doing.
2. Have the right accessories.
3. Don't wear your clothes too tight.
A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to prove you're a lady.

I like that last. You can use that on my epitaph."

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Because of the very long waiting list for Dianna Effner's Little Darlings, someone suggested I purchase a Boneka doll. The original dolls were also sculpted by Dianna, and the replicas are available from the Boneka website. They are also a vinyl doll and the painting of them is modelled after Dianna's, yet they are not quite as beautiful as the ones shown below, which are painted by Joyce Mathews.

Tuesday's Child ~ was the first introduced to the doll world. She is 25 cm / 10" tall and has a head circumference of 16 cm / 6.29" without the wig.

Dianna Effner 10" Doll Tuesday's Child.
All vinyl sculpted in 2005 for Boneka.
Painted by Joyce Mathews, Kuwahi Dolls.

Monday's Child ~ is 26.5 cm / 10.5" tall and has a head circumference of 6.7" with the wig.

Dianna Effner 10" Doll Monday's Child.
All vinyl sculpted in 2006 for Boneka.
Painted by Joyce Mathews, Kuwahi Dolls.

Thursday's Child ~ is 26.5 cm / 10.5" tall and has a head circumference of 6.5" without wig.

Dianna Effner 10" Doll Thursday's Child.
All vinyl sculpted in 2006 for Boneka.
Painted by Joyce Mathews, Kuwahi Dolls.

These dolls wear Boneka doll fashion size 24 cm, hat size 18 cm and shoe size 38 mm.
As much as I wouldn't mind one, I think the stock dolls would either need a repaint done to give them that wonderful personality that the custom artists endow or wait until one of Joyce's became available for purchase.

I won't be around to read your blogs this weekend, my daughter and I are having a girls weekend away, to see this Exhibition at the Bendigo Art Center. Unfortunately there will be no photos of the Exhibition this time, the BAC won't allow cameras. :(

Hope you all have a great one! See you next week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Arrival and More on the Way!

Well my dear little Noa Pirris doll arrived yesterday and I've renamed her Peggy. I thought the name she was given was a bit of a mouthful, and one I would soon forget.

She is a large cuddly toddler doll made in Spain by Antonio Juan. Peggy is designed to sit or lie in a crib, but she can stand with the help of a doll support. She is 54 cm tall, with her head and limbs made from soft to the touch vinyl, which is phthalate free and slightly scented with Vanilla. The colour of the vinyl is quite pinkish, almost like a redhead that has caught the sun. :)

Her cuddly body is filled with polyester fibre and has a voice box that says 'Mama, Mama' and 'Papa, Papa' followed by lots of giggles when her tummy is pressed. I didn't realise this when I ordered her.

Her loose red curls are rooted and are a little sparse at the back of the head, but I can live with it. She has beautiful fixed blue sparkly eyes with long lashes along the top eyelid and I adore her happy facial expression, which has a tiny sprinkling of freckles over the nose and cheeks.

I have several Spanish made dolls now and there is not a single one which I would not recommend. The quality of the dolls is wonderful and their prices are very affordable. Up to now, I have been able to purchase the dolls either from Petalina or My Doll Best Friend in the UK.

However, I recently came across another range of Spanish made dolls that I wanted to bring home, but as I don't speak Spanish, found them difficult to attain directly from the Vidal Rogas website.

That's when my dear blogging friend, Sharon in Spain, came to my rescue. Sharon was kind enough to help me purchase these two naked Mari dolls. They are pretty dolls, with slim bodies, but are not photographed as well as they could be (as you can see by the ones above, the colouring is not quite the same, although they are supposed to be the same colour). However, the best thing for those like Sharon and I, who sew for their dolls . . . they are available to bring home naked!

I hope you are all enjoying your dolly week, bye for now.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Bad Hair Day

Today I was up bright and early and I decided after recent efforts, I would stay away from the 'puter and get some more sewing done. Even after my recent clean up, I still have fabric all over the place.

Then the NBN tech arrived to connect the inside of the house, only to find the outside had still not been rectified . . . it's a long story that's been going on since December.

Pushing that aside and all the time hoping I could calm myself down, I thought to myself . . .  I will just take a peek to see who's done what in the blogasphere . . . and here I am three hours later still sitting at my desk typing away!

I did manage to prepare a couple of dolls for a photo shoot . . . but of course wouldn't you know it . . . before I could actually begin taking any photos,  the camera needed charging!

This was not a good start. Ruddy hell, I felt like pulling my hair out, except I recently had it cut short . . . and I mean really, really short!

All grumbling done, I do  have a little bit of dolly news though. I wanted to find myself a doll that would fit into some clothes that I'd made a long time ago, as they were too nice to throw out. The doll needed to be a little on the chubby side, as the clothes were originally made for a teddy bear. So after a little research, I found this one, which I think/hope will do nicely.

She is a Spanish doll made by Antonio Juan, and available from Petalina Dolls in the UK. I will provide more details once she arrives.

Well so much for good intentions, however, a new post is written. So now I will finally begin sewing . . . now let's see what should I start first? Mmm, I think the new project . . . yep, it's definitely the new project that's calling me the loudest. What goes on inside this head can be quite amazing at times, though you certainly wouldn't want to visit me in here, it's sooo darn noisy! LOL!!

Cheers all, have a great weekend!