I was recently reminded that I've been neglecting this blog so that made me think about what I could do to "make up" for it? How about some memories from Halloweens past, in the years before we started this website?? So much fun - I love Halloween!!!
Here is an outfit I made in 2004, along with Tonner's kitty outfit - Sylvester and Tweetie??
Here is Andreas in 2005 in his Terminator outfit .... pretty scary!!!!!
Also in 2005, the classic paper bag look and an outfit I made copying a ME illustration.
Yoi, Andreas and Michael in 2007 as the Three Musketeers (notice that Andreas is the only one with a musket!) I did not make these outfits - they came from a 1960-1970 line of dolls whose brand I don't remember off the top of my head.
Annie Laurie as a monarch butterfly in 2009. I made this outfit and it wasn't a Halloween effort, but it COULD be, right?
Now these 2009 outfits are certainly for Halloween!! Michael, Jack and Andreas. Andreas's outfit was a Build-A-Bear deal, as I remember.
Claudia was telling me recently about a pirate story she made up for her doll clan and that reminded me of my own pirate (kind of!) story. This was back in 2007, only four years after I'd become addicted to the Tonner dolls (and look at all the STUFF I'd already gathered for them!!); before I moved to North Carolina; long before our wonderful Tenner bodies!! It was the time when I was just beginning to realize the wonders of swapping heads around!! So many happy memories!!
The story (such as it was) involved Michael's discovery of an antique pirate map. He tries to convince the other kids to help him find the treasure .... nope, Georgia and Yoi are too comfortable where they are!
Then he tries to convince Andreas, Liat and Gabriella, but Liat and Gabriella are more interested in watching the local hunk, Andreas and Andreas is more interested in being the local hunk.
So Michael decides to go off on his own. Below is the Engelbreit drawing that inspired the story.
He digs and ..... finds the buried treasure chest!!!!
the treasure being a bunch of toy boats!! Strange pirates, these!?
So Michael shares the treasure with Annie Laurie and Sue Lin. End of story.
As I said at the beginning of the post, 2007 was the year that I myself started swapping heads around. In 2006 I discovered the Forever Friendz dolls by Michele Severino but at that point in time I was too timid to do "surgery" myself so I asked a friend to do the Liat swap for me. But by the next summer, it was obvious to me that I needed to learn to do this for myself! I not only had the other two Forever Friendz doll heads but I also serendipitously found a beautifully painted bisque Dianna Effner head at the local, once-a-year doll show (oh how I miss that!!) and bought it on a whim that maybe it too would fit the Tonner ten inch body. I include the photo above of that first Effner/Tonner chimera - as soon as he tried on the red wig it was obvious that he was Jack, a grandson of good friend Marlia.
A person named Linda beham has sent a question through our "contact us" option but the email she included for a response is not "good/functioning" so I'll answer here. The question was about an Ann Estelle doll currently listed on eBay with pinkish eyes. (eBay listing 264244842233). I myself am not aware of a Tonner-made doll with eyes like these. My best guess is that someone transplanted pink eyes into the doll to make it look like some styles of BJD dolls (you could tell if you can see "surgery" on the head, under the wig). Or the doll was left in strong sunlight for a long time and the eyes faded??? Sorry I can't be of more help. R.
Don't know if this link to a video from Facebook will work or not ...... (the Facebook "person" is TOY IS MONEY). I wish I could just paste the video, but I've never "grabbed" a video from Facebook ....
But talk about the "perfect" doll!!!!! R.
I can't help myself - I just have to share some closeups that I took while working on the Hina Matsuri line-up photos. I love these happy faces!!!! And I'm so pleased with myself that I had a part in making them "work" .... not that I could do it now/again (it's been so long since I learned to do the face painting that I'd have to learn all over again .....) R.
I had grand plans for Hina Matsuri this year and I even started planning, dressing and "wigging" dolls several weeks ago to implement the plans. I wanted to see ALL of my kimono and yukata on dolls simultaneously. And I wanted to make a photo of all the group together in one shot .... but my current physical disabilities got in the way of that part of the plan. So I've ended up photographing them in smaller groups and presenting the lineup here as a "slide show".
I suppose I should be a little embarrassed by the number of kimono I have purchased over the years from miniorient on eBay - they "called" to me, what can I say??!! And I've also had a lot of fun using great fabric from my "stash" to make all of the yukata (and a few of the kimono too.)
Although this entire project to celebrate Hina Matsuri this year was a bit of a chore (and although I'm disappointed in the image quality that I'm able to get out of my current camera) I'm happy I did this. It is so fun to have so many dolls dressed like this together. And it was fun to get my hand back into doing some routine BJD stringing "tune-ups", something I haven't done for a LONG time! The fourth photo in the line-up shows my Customhouse Petite AI Naneal (who is the resident ghost of Joe Pye Towers) and Sweet Pea, a Luts Cutie Delf. It is especially hard to get the Petite Ai to hold a pose, so I finally gave up and put Gabriella's head on one of our wonderful Tenner bodies. So this is really a completion of a full circle, since my way-back-when original efforts of combining Tonner heads and torsos with ball jointed arms and legs was with Petite Ai arms and legs! As I've said before, many times, our custom Tenner ball jointed body is the creame de la creame of ball jointed bodies .... they hold a pose so well - no quibbling, no sudden collapses!!! Andria and Claudia - we really did make the perfect doll, didn't we??!!!! R.
Talking with a friend about Tonner's recent Jamie-from-Outlander doll reminded me of a photo I took way back in 2008. No I did not make the outfit (and sadly can't remember the name of the seamstress) and yes, I did steal the set of pipes from a poor wee plastic tourism doll I found on eBay. I really need to get the outfit and pipes out again and put them on a well-articulated doll - in 2008 our fabulous Tenner ball jointed body was still only a dream and there was no way that Michael could actually hold the bagpipes (they are just magically levitating on his chest I guess!) What a difference that makes, eh?!
The strange creature to the left is someone's interpretation of a Highland Cow ... not really sure about that but at least he/she certainly looks happy!? Enjoy! R.
In the last couple of weeks I've worked on a project enhancing the lighting within Joe Pye Towers. And now it is finished!! Hard to get a "good" photo of the overall affect, but I still wanted to share the project. It continues to amaze me how quickly LED style lights have evolved over the last couple of years (and how their cost has fallen). Originally I lighted each cubicle with three single bulb fixtures. The new lights at the front of the cubicles are strips with six bulbs each .... and I moved two of the old one-bulb lights towards the back of each cubicle. They all have self timers, so I can walk away leaving them on and not worry about forgetting to come back to turn them off.
Many thanks to Brother for creating the nifty triangular pieces of wood that I mounted the front lights on, allowing the light to be projected into the cubicles instead of just straight down.
And yes, I know that these photos show that I haven't "done" anything new with my gang since February of 2017. I certainly still love 'em and little by little that is going to change now, I hope!! R.
Tricia and Annie Laurie are working on a summer project for their Firefly genealogy badges and they went to visit Dame Cecilia to talk to her about genealogy - Dame Cecilia and I share a common passion for ancestors!!! And it's good to see the young 'uns interested too!!
First they looked at antique family photos, maps and fan-shaped "tree" charts. And then Dame Cecilia told them about DNA analysis and what interesting breakthroughs it can lead to.
.... and then Dame Cecilia booted up her Apple laptop to show them a couple of her family trees in Ancestry.com.
The girls were really impressed at how much Dame Cecilia knows about her interesting ancestors and how well she has everything organized!! They are inspired to go home and work hard on their own families!!
Speaking of history, while working on these photos, it amazed me to realize that it has been eleven years since the first Firefly Girls of the World event! How time flies, whether you're having fun or not, eh? Here's a golden oldie photo of the first marshmallow roast.
Meanwhile, there has been an addition to Joe Pye Towers - a beautiful, two-story solarium (on wheels, no less!) This was a wonderful gift from my niece - many thanks, Donna!! Here you can see Dame Cecilia working on her laptop while relaxing on the upper level and Azalea taking care of watering the plants on the lower level. Cecilia and Azalea are too tall to live in Joe Pye Towers, so this is a great way to include them in on the day-to-day fun! R.
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