Dolls

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Shoes: For the lady from Sweden who wanted little shoes, try http://www.susan-lee-miniatures.comShe makes lovely shoes, most I think are leather, I don't know if she does resin, it might be worth checking her out.

Annie


Packaging the dolls so they survive in checked luggage: When returning from the CIMTA shows, we use the plastic "shoe boxes" from most any discount store.   Wrap your doll in tissue paper to hold it firmly in the box, then either tape the cover on, or we use large rubber bands. This works very well.

Tom & Kari


FABULOUS web site on Costumes, etc.!!!! I don't know if this has been mentioned before but I have found a web site that has EVERYTHING anyone would need to know about costumes and dress from Pre-Historic & Babylonian time through now.   The pages take a long time to load, in some cases, because there is SO much information but it is worth it!   There are also tons of links from these pages.

Information is there on everything from underwear to shoes and just about anything else you can imagine including listening to music of that time.   Just too much to mention here so get yourself a fresh cup of coffee and settle down for about 2 hours (at least) of browsing.

There has been a lot of discussion on "Egyptian" ... it is on this site.

My husband and I also deal in antique portrait miniatures and this site is excellent in helping us to better date the time period of sitters.   I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit or get ideas from "The Costume History at The Costumer's Manifesto".   Go to http://www.costu mes.org/pages/costhistpage.htm 

Bobbie


English doll kits: Someone asked the other day for an English doll kit maker. My favorite is Sue Harrington, unfortunately I can't find a web site or address for her perhaps someone out there knows if she can be contacted on the internet?

Her snail mail is: Sue Harrington, 51 Old Fort Road, Shoreham Beach, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex BN43 5RL Tel 01273 464670. She has a catalogue and her dolls are lovely.

Col


Pattern Material: I often made patterns for my old dolls by cutting them first and fitting using paper toweling. It is cloth like so can be fitted quite easily yet is strong enough to really use for a pattern. Have done this with mini dolls, antique as well as modern, in all sizes.

Anita McNary-Haynes


Kimono Books: One of my favorites, if you haven't found this one yet, (The Book of Kimono) by Norio Yamanaka a worthwhile reference book...Lots of good info on traditional wearing of the Kimono, with great pictures...Congratulations on your commission for the Japanese dolls & costumes...I know they will turn out beautifully...Kimono's are one of my favorite things to create, and to admire in full-size...Have fun !!

Thelma


Madame Alexander Dolls: Madame Alexander dolls are different heights - from 7 1/2" to 12 1/2" tall and taller. One of the best places to get information on these dolls is from the magazine Doll Castle News - http://www.dollcastlenews.com.  Their address is:
37 Belvedere Ave.,
PO Box 247,
Washington, NJ
07882
This magazine also has a classified ad section in the back which always has ads for doll clothes patterns, which I'm sure would include some for your doll.

Paulette in IN


Cold Porcelain: This is the recipe site for cold porcelain paste. http://membe rs.tripod.com/~LuJS/coldporcelain.html

Peggy


p>Cold Porcelain: Here are two cold porcelain paste recipes - I have not personally tried either of these, but they came from an egger who uses them to make decorations for her eggs.   Hope they are useful to someone.

3/4 cup of white glue
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of cold cream
1 teaspoon of glycerin
Mix wet ingredients until smooth over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes and add cornstarch. Stir continually until it forms a ball, remove from pan and mix thoroughly with hands do not refrigerate. Keep in an airtight bag. Use as you would any modeling paste, can be molded and used in many ways... use chalk powder to color, or paint with any paint when dry.   Use cold cream to moisten mold and/or when you are working with it, if it becomes sticky.. Or ..dust with cornstarch...adjust ingredients for more or less.

Another one:
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/4 cup of Bicarb soda
Mix all ingredients together and cook (stirring) until it forms a ball. This is used the same as above.


Cold porcelain paste:

3/4 cup of white glue

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon of cold cream

1 teaspoon glycerin

Mix wet ingredients until smooth, over medium heat. cook for a few minutes, and add cornstarch. stir continually until it forms a ball. remove from pan and mix thoroughly with hands( I like to cover it with a damp cloth until its cool enough to handle) Do not refrigerate. keep in air tight bag.... use in many ways. Use caulk powder to color, or paint with any paint when dry. Use cold cream to moisten molds/or when you are working with it and it becomes sticky, or dust with cornstarch ...adjust ingredients more or less

Mastic

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup bicarb soda

Mix all together and cook (stirring)until it forms a ball. This is used same as above

Pat Thompson


Cold Porcelain Paste:

3/4 cup of white glue

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup of water

1 teaspoon of cold cream

1 teaspoon of glycerin

Mix wet ingredients until smooth over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes and add cornstarch. Stir continually until it forms a ball, remove from pan and mix thoroughly with hands. (I like to cover with a damp cloth until its cool enough to handle) do not refrigerate. Keep in an airtight bag. Use as you would any modeling paste, can be molded and used in many ways... use chalk powder to color, or paint with any paint when dry. Use cold cream to moisten mold and/or when you are working with it, if it becomes sticky.. Or ..dust with cornstarch...adjust ingredients for more or less.

Another one (for some reason called Mastic)

1/4 cup of water

1/4 cup of cornstarch

1/4 cup of Bicarb soda

Mix all ingredients together and cook (stirring) until it forms a ball. This is

used the same as above. Great for flowers and tiny things!!!! and so soft to work with!

Terry Hale


2 T. mineral oil

1 C. white glue

1 C. cornstarch

White gouache (opaque water color)

Mix oil and glue in a non-stick sauce pan.   Add cornstarch and cook over low to medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until a dough forms and the pan is “clean”.   The outer crust of the dough ball will be solid, while the center appears sticky. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  Remove the ball from the pan and knead until the consistency is even.   Add about a teaspoon or so of white gouache   and knead in thoroughly.   ( CP without gouache is transparent when dry. )   Wrap ball in plastic and   put in plastic bag. It will keep a week or so at room temperature, but refrigerate for longer storage.

TO USE:

Working - Cold porcelain rolls, cuts, frills, etc., like gum paste. Unlike gum paste, however, it is extremely strong and the finished piece will last indefinitely.   If CP sticks to the working surface, cold cream or cornstarch can be used.   Cold cream on the cutter will also keep pieces from sticking.   Freshly cut petals can be worked more easily   than petals which have sat out for even a few minutes. yes">  If you like to cut several petals at a time, keep the resting pieces covered. Although uncovered pieces are not too dry to work, they will be tough.

Shrinkage - Use cold porcelain as you would gum paste, but be aware of shrinkage.   Make test pieces where finished size is critical, since CP tends to shrink by as much as 30 percent! Very thin pieces seem to shrink less than thicker ones. Plan for shrinkage when combining CP with non-shrinking media such as stamens by making the stamens stand a bit shorter than normal.

Wiring - If using wired petals or leaves, do not insert wire too close to the surface, as the paste shrinkage can leave the wire exposed.   Any water based “glue”   (gum Arabic, egg white, etc.) will work to adhere wires in CP.   Since the paste already contains glue, the “lick and stick method” works, too, but this is obviously not recommended for projects where hygiene is a factor.

Coloring - CP can also be   tinted with other gouache colors or with powdered food colors.   I recommend adding very small amounts of color to CP with white already added. Projects can be colored with petal dust and also steamed to set color.   The surface of CP seems smoother than gum paste, so more color may be needed. Projects may be painted with “petal paint” consisting of petal dust mixed with isopropyl   (rubbing) alcohol.   The color will be very vivid.   Isopropyl alcohol is poisonous if you drink it, but harmless when it dries. Projects may be dipped in coloring solution-Isopropyl alcohol with paste color dissolved in it. Projects can be spray painted or painted with acrylic craft paints.

Finishing - After the piece is assembled and colored, spray   with matte (satin) polyurethane.   A semi-gloss or gloss can be used for shiny leaves.

COLD PORCELAIN RECIPE

2 tblsp. of baby oil

1cup of Elmer’s glue

1/4 cup of cornstarch

Place in a saucepan and cook on the lowest heat for 16 to 20 minutes Turn out on to a cornstarch dusted board and knead in an additional 1/4 cup of cornstarch or enough to make a smooth non sticky paste to roll out, use cold cream instead of Crisco to grease the board with also, if you want your porcelain to be white and less translucent Use white titanium acrylic paint and add to paste till you reach the desired color. You can tint it any color by using acrylic paints also. Make sure you store it in an airtight container!

June


Polymer clay molds:. I just visited Sue Heaser's web site, and she now offers molds, too. Here is the link. http://www.heaser.demon.co.uk/products/Kits/dollmoulds.htm

Lauren from Abingdon


Making Mini Clothing:: There are many brilliant miniature seamstresses on this list and I'm sure they'll reply, too, but for my dolls, I sew many of the seams by placing the garment on top of tissue paper. After the seam has been sewn, I tear it away. It helps it move under the needle and not 'pull' that 1/8 " seam.

Diana Wieler


Making Mini Clothing: I've been dressing miniature dolls for 27 yrs now, and most of my work is hand sewn. (I do stitch underwear and petticoats by machine) But otherwise, you use a fine needle and make very tiny stitches. I almost never use Fray Check or treat seam edges because I never take the clothes off my dolls, once they're on. So the seams don't get any pull causing the fabric to ravel. If I'm using a very fragile fabric, I iron a lightweight backing to it, to strengthen it, before cutting out pattern pieces.

Paulette in IN


Knitting patterns:
Joy Parker of Swallowhill Dolls has a wonderful collection of patterns in every possible range you could imagine:

non given


1/4" Sculpting: I have been trying my hand at sculpting in 1/4" scale. I found a different sculpting medium for the smaller scales. The commercial name is Kneadatite. It's a blue and yellow ribbon epoxy. You take the two separate halves and mix them together until the mixture turns dark green. The texture is very similar to chewed chewing gum, yuk! The mix has about a three hour working time. It is easily added to and sticks well to itself. I have never had any adverse reaction from the epoxy, although I wash my hands after each use. I like it much better than Sculpey, etc. because I have hot hands. I'll try and post some pics of my leprechauns sometime soon. I've been sculpting a bunch of goblin heads from the movie, Labyrinth, for a doll maker. I'll post some pics of them as well.

Shaun


1/4 scale dolls: I have not attempted something this small, but here's my suggestions:
1) Try a different medium - I don't know which is which, but I know that Fimo, Sculpey, Sculpey III, paperclay, etc. each have a different consistency and pliability. Maybe one that is less pliable would work better.
2) Make the body out of wire, not sculpting medium. This way you're not continuing to handle the head once it's formed. Take a piece of wire and hold it vertically; from the top (neck) come down as far as the torso length will be and bend the wire slightly at that point - then go down as far as the leg will be (including foot length), and fold the wire back on itself. Bring the wire back up to the top of the leg and bend it back down again for the second leg, then back up on itself again. Twist it once around the hip area, then run it up to the shoulder area - leave enough at the top for the neck, including enough length to insert into the head. At the shoulder point, bend the wire out sideways and run it the length of an arm and hand, then back on itself to the shoulder, loop it once to anchor, and then across for the other arm. Back to the shoulder and loop it once to anchor and cut off remainder. Then crimp the leg and arm ends to form hands and feet. Form your head and stick it on top, then air-dry or bake upright. You can even add sculpting medium over the wire for hands and feet. I think this would be much easier and require minimum handling of the head.
3) Paint, don't sculpt, the head and facial features.
4) Make the head out of a bead or something rigid that can be painted.

Graceanne


Sculpy doll push mold: Rather than baking with the pipe cleaner already inserted, you can make holes through the limbs and insert pipe cleaners or wire after they are baked. Then your limbs are moveable.

Kim


Sculpy doll push mold: The push moulds are very easy to use. My husband gave me the full set for Christmas last year. I recommend a light dusting of talcum powder on the mould first to stop the clay from sticking .Then take a ball of clay the size of the head you want to form & take a third away from this .Using this third flatten it out but leave a small cone in the center to push into the nose. Push this all into the form then carefully ease it out. this can then be smoothed back onto the two thirds of clay remaining. Any joins need to be smoothed out ,I use a moistened cotton bud for this .Remember to make a hole in the neck to take a pipe cleaner. Then just bake. The faces can be sculpted & changed slightly i.e. cut the mouth open to change the lips or show teeth. If you use the moulds with a full amount of clay you may find them a little out of scale.

Liz Taylor


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