Friday, May 29, 2015

Beautiful Tribute Photos from Michaela Unbehau

Hey, hey friends! How have you been?
As usual, life has been quite busy over here at atelierniSHASHA.
So many to-sew items that need to check through my sewing machine.
So many sewn items that needed snaps, zippers and what not.
Yet, not much new photos and listings to be seen. I know.
I should be taking some photos real soon.

Note: The next paragraph is a boring thing that needs to be documented elsewhere so you might wanna skip over to the next one. =D

But new photos won't be long, as while I try to iron out some unfinished business, I am also in the middle of assigning projects to be done for the rest of the year. And one of them is, to more or less, lessen the burden of unfinished business. I’m talking about the dolly clothing that I had already prepared and cut, ready for sewing, but were left neglected for months and months due to lack of time management. I assigned these unresolved projects to be completed during the entire month of May. But because of that much unfinished items, I couldn’t finish everything before June starts. So I resolved on doing one sewing task every day until it’s all done. Sometimes, you need to let go and accept how your capabilities rate against available time. Baby steps, baby!
And so, yes… that resolution pulled me out of my self-imposed misery.

Anywhoo.. as the title says it, this post is about Michaela Unbehau’s tribute photos. These photos feature some of her beautiful Fashion Royalty dolls wearing my creations that she has either purchased or bartered with me over our more than three years of collaboration.
When these beautiful photos came out on Facebook, I was so surprised and almost cried of sheer joy! Here is Michaela, a published toy photographer from Germany, showing her appreciation of the little things I make. And these photos do not even show all the garments she has because I have too much bottoms and not enough tops! (I know I need to be adding more tops real soon..) That’s how much atelierniSHASHA creations she has in her dolly closet! 
And for her to give time, her effort (photographing A LOT of dolls IS NOT EASY!), and love – I am forever grateful. It is seldom you find someone who appreciates what you do this much.

Below are the stunning photos.
Michaela chose her dolls cleverly to bring out the best in the outfits.
Aside from photography, the very thing I admire about Michaela the most is her styling genius.
She seems to easily find the best girl to wear the garments, make the doll pose like she owns the scene and the frame, and apply the best photo treatment, and all other elements to make fabulous photos like the ones below. She also sketches/paints, which I think is a great stock knowledge if you want to further pursue photography. 
I could talk forever about how I love Michaela's photos. See more from her Flickr account.
But for now, I'm presenting to you Michaela Unbehau's
atelierniSHASHA tribute.

I hope you enjoy.

Yup, I love White, Black and Red - and some Blue and Purple =D
Paisleys and Stripes - my staple prints...
And any other print as long as they're in white, black and red..
And of course gray...
Love love love shorts... 

Thanks so much for dropping by and I hope you like my post today.
I would love to hear what you think of the photos.
Let's chat!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Storage Story - a Diorama, Storage Shelf and Photoshoot Studio in One!

Hey, dollies! How is your weekend coming?
Mine is somewhat different.. I never touched a needle since Friday night! Haha!
Well, now it’s time to discuss about the top challenge that we came up with based on the sort of survey we had a couple of weeks ago – Storage!
Now, to tell you honestly, I don’t have an exact solution for everyone, but I am hoping that through this post, everyone can share their helpful tips to our fellow doll lovers. One can then pick a tip or two that they can apply based on their circumstances. Isn’t that neat?

Storage is, for me, the second most challenging aspect of my doll collecting. Budget will always be the top one, because I guess I still want more dollies LOL. There are dolls that I would love to join my pack, but it may take a while to fund them. Perhaps when I overcome the first challenge, which probably yielded a huge number of dollies to store, that is when Storage becomes my top challenge.

When I was young, I would put my collection on a display shelf in the living room. I’m not sure if this is a pan-Asian culture, but most houses here in my country back in the day almost always had a shelf for collectibles or precious items and used as a living room decoration. Here’s 11 year old me with my little ones at my grandparents’ humble wooden home where I spent my first 21 years in.

I remember being very proud as a child about my tiny collection, which immediately catches the attention of kids and neighbors who visit our home. Since I play with these dolls almost every single day during the summer vacation, the shelf is well-maintained and always dust-free. In the tropics, dust is common so we clean our open shelves very often. During school days, the dolls wait for me to pick them up on weekends so I can bring them to my improvised playhouse at the corner of our veranda.

Now that I’m married with a home of our own, having a shelf full of dolls in the living room may not be much of good idea. Aside from the living room being a really small space, I live with boys. For almost 9 years living here, I relied on a neutral, minimalist look. Since coming back to doll collecting in 2010, I just store my dolls in their boxes. 

This was practical at that time because when I started building my new (adult-stage) collection, I came up with the idea that I can only continue with this collecting thing IF I had an additional income to support it with! That’s when atelierniSHASHA started. As I became a product maker mainly, my girls became more like my muses. And they had to be “readily undressed” all the time so that it’s easier for me to just pick them up for pattern making and fitting. 

But then I really felt bad for my girls. As I mentioned earlier, I grew up to regard dolls as works of art and that they are sort of like the focal point of a room. And other than that, I needed a photoshoot setup that is almost always ready when I’m done with my tiny fashions. Setting up a backdrop every time I finish an outfit can be time consuming. And lastly, delicate Momoko dolls shouldn’t be in boxes along with other girls. I know now that was a bad move. And I only realized it when I saw them chipping. Their hands, ankles, even the head. Ugh, so so sad.

So I decided to commission a local cabinet-maker to make me a living room diorama box. I thought it would be nice to let my girls lounge in there while waiting for their turn at the atelier. I placed the diorama box near a window so it is well-lit. I made them a couch, placed one of my watercolors on the wall, and got some of my collected travel trinkets become their room’s art decos.
Finally, my girls have a nice home!

Cece and Bree jammin’

Then, came another sub-challenge. Since the diorama is in the living room, little kids (relatives and neighbors alike) wanted to play with them. I allowed it for one time or two, but since little kids are little kids, they do not play carefully and it’s a pain to see! So I put them back to their boxes. It’s for their own good. LOL!

Since January when I have finally focused on my miniatures, I am not anymore working from a corner of our living room but safely in my son’s vacant room. He’s 9 but still likes to sleep with Mom and Dad. I can now easily have the girls lounge in their living room while I lock them up when kids visit the house. Easy peasy haha! But since some of my dolls are not articulated, I still have them in boxes. I am planning to add a few more boxes when budget allows for it, so there will be a kitchen, a bedroom, a veranda, and who knows what’s next. Everyone will then be in their appropriate rooms (standing girls can cook in the kitchen or sleep in bed teehee)! 

So basically, my diorama is also my storage shelf and a photoshoot setup when necessary.
There goes my doll storage story.

How about you guys? How did your doll storage evolve? How did you make it work?
We would really love to know and discuss solutions over here. Please feel free to reply to comments. I am so excited to join in the fun discussion!

S h a s h a

Thursday, May 7, 2015

atelierniSHASHA Giveaway: Beach bags are now sailing to you, winners!

Congratulations again to our lucky
Beach Bag giveaway winners,
Georgia Girl, Eli and Phyllis!

Your prizes are now sailing from the atelier to your doorsteps =)
Kindly check your emails as I have sent you earlier the shipping details of your packages.

Shipping to yah!

Again, thanks so much to all of you guys who participated in this giveaway.
It's a huge thing for me as giveaways are my way of sharing my creations,
as well as foster friendship and all things beautiful within our small dolly community.

For years, I have been longing to post more often here at my blog because communicating with the doll world aside from social media quite refreshes me. I'm blessed to be doing what I love at the comforts of my home and get to "hang out and chat" with like-minded people, the people who feed my soul. And when I say hang out and chat, it's this blog, and the other blogs I follow and comment to.

So, since the giveaway also provided us some insights from our friends,
I have collected the dolly challenges for sharing with you. The top challenge is *drum rolls* Storage or Space! 'Then followed by Budget, Time, Doll Posing, Wardrobe, Nostalgia/Letting Go, Lighting, Doll Identification, Focus on a certain Sculpt, Dolly Accessories, Limited Doll Offerings. Then the rest are limited male dolls, hairstyling, inventory, outdoor photography, camera/equipment, and being too picky with flaws, all which I think are also major problems that need to be addressed.

I have aimed to write at least a post for each challenge based on how I tried to overcome the challenge myself. And I will also incorporate proven solutions by other collectors. Who knows, through our discussions, we can come up with new, better solutions for all our challenges, right?
This truly excites me!

Okay, so in the mean time, I'll go back now to my nook.
Have a great day/night ahead, loves!

What miniatures do to painted nails =D

Chat with you next time!

dolly hugs,
s h a s h a