Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beach Wavy Hair for our Dollies (a Tutorial, yes!)

Ella and her beach wavy hair

Hey hey, guys! When I started sharing photos of the recent holidays diorama over at my Instagram account, there had been quite a number of dolly friends who loved the hairdo I did for Ella. Some even requested for a tutorial!

I also loved what “happened” to Ella’s hair makeover, but naturally, I did not document how I did it. When I first started gathering up my thoughts and confidence to finally write the tutorial for this beachy-wavy hair, I even thought I was using a certain tool instead of the actual one. I tried the “wrong” process to a "for-makeover" doll and the results were a mess.

So, I summoned up all the deities to bring back that memory when I was able to chance upon this fun 'do for Ella.

Ka-boom! Yay! I finally figured it out when I was digging through some of my many, many boxes and found the buried secret tool.

For the re-creating of this hairdo, I chose Luna because I think her default long hair gives her too much of the sweet side, and not enough spice. I’ve always wanted my girls to have that spice in them.

She's way too sweet in that long straight hair, isn't she? Or I'm just imagining, which I always do anyway. LOL! Let's get started?


These are the things you will need. A pair of trusty scissors, lots of hair pins, those toothed pieces, and a couple of combs, wide-toothed and that human eyebrow comb that works so well for picking hair strands to perm. There really isn't much difference from the doll hair perming tutorials we can find around the internet, but it’s that toothed thing I kind of devised that made the waves kind of look like how they are when you're done. How I made those? Read some more...

Note: I recommend doing this process at night, so she can dry her hair and set the waves overnight.  But of course, up to you. Just make sure the drying time allows for both hair and the toothed pieces dry enough.

Prepping your doll’s hair

Dividing doll hair into 3-4 parts
* Wash her up if she had been in the box for a long time. The hair should be free from dust and all things not nice.

* I used shampoo and a bit of conditioner to make her hair bouncy.

* Towel-dry hair. I brushed her hair using that big Barbie pink one such that it looks like she’s had it straightened/rebonded.

* Divide your doll hair into three to four parts –three parts vertically, then if you want, divide horizontally the center or back, to make your fourth part.

* Decide during this time what hair length you want to keep for your doll. For Ella, I cut her hair leveling her collarbone. Since at first I planned on retaining Luna's long locks, I went straight to the next step.

Prepping your tools

Those thick, toothed triangular cardboard pieces, though. =D
I took out thick cardboards from around the house that I cut in long triangular, toothed pieces. I chose this shape because I thought a cone could best shape a luscious looking perm. Since I don’t want round curls, I thought (flat) triangles would be best since it would give those vague, simple edges instead. Then I gave them “tooth”, so the hairs stick in between the "tooth" and stay secured, of course with the help of the hair pins.

Why cardboard? I don’t know really. I guess, it’s the only thick but soft enough material and still give the shapes I want, that I can find at that time. Well, I guess the cutting part pretty much dictated it, too since it will be hard to cut into plastic or harder materials unlike just thick paper.

Then I took out some hair pins. I think I used at least 50 pieces for Luna as I permed all of her hair, unlike Ella’s, whose bottom back parts I left untouched. I used two pins for each wrap.

With your toothed cardboard pieces and hair pins ready, let’s start perming!

Perming time!

* Pick a side to perm first, then start from the bottom of it. This way, all your set hairs are on the bottom, not getting in your way when you’re working through the top.

* Pick an amount of hair, not too thick, not too thin. Wrap it around your toothed cardboard.

* Secure with your hairpin on both ends.

* Do the rest of the other hair divisions you made.

* Once all hair wrapping is set, you can now proceed to the very effective boil perming procedure that I’m sure most doll collectors/stylists would know by now -boil perming!

* Boil some good amount of water, maybe about 3 to 4 cups. Once your water is boiling, turn off your stove and prepare your doll’s best position such that you can imagine how her hair would fall down once everything is done. In my case, I just let her sit in the sink, her head in normal, upright position.

* Run down boiling water on your doll’s head for several seconds.

* Pause for maybe 10 seconds then repeat the process up to three times. Make sure the hair curls are still secured.

* When you think hair’s been permed enough, place the doll on a towel, pat her hair such that they won't be dripping but with enough moisture that will set the perming overnight.

* Carefully place the set strands to places you want them to fall.

The next day…

* Slowly take off the hairpins and the cardboard pieces. In six hours, at least here in my tropical country, the cardboard will be dry enough. Drying time probably depends on your part of the world, or the season, right?

There you go. You can style her hair with some hair gel to keep some strands from sticking out. I didn’t do it with Luna’s in the following pictures as I was busy debating if I should retain the long hair ala Jennifer Lopez, or she sport shorter locks. Of course, my scissors won!

I hope you can get some useful tips from this tutorial. It was fun recreating the look with Luna. I love that she looks more fun now.

If you guys are trying out this tutorial some time, please let me know what you come up with. I’m sure there will be different results. It would be wonderful if you can comment if there are things I might have missed, or things that you can suggest for a more effective approach. That would just be so awesome!

Anywhoo, I’m off now. I hope to chat with you soon, though!

Hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,
S h a s h a

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Missing my FR Girls

Hi guys!

I did some quick photoshoot of my FR gals because I realized I've been missing these ladies and their pensive moods lately. ;P

Took out three of my best gals Violet, and sisters Tessa and Anais. Got them to wear something a little different from my usual tropical season garb =D

I hope you enjoy these photos, guys! Have a great Wednesday!

til next time, dolly loves!

hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,
S h a s h a

Friday, January 15, 2016

Dolls x Creations of 2015

Hey hey...

I must say that I have been a really good girl last year for being able to talk myself out of buying more dolls (just to eventually ignore them). And I'm proud at this!

Today, I'll be sharing photos of my gals who joined the atelier in 2015 --- sporting some of the creations I made also during that year.

I hope you enjoy, dollies!

Ella is a Barbie Style gal who started modeling for the atelier around the middle of 2015. Love her clean makeup, articulated joints and flat foot. Here she's wearing a beach outfit from summer 2015 that turned out to remind of the Mexican soap operas that I watch when I was a child.

This is Luna, a Barbie Fashionista wearing the Midnight Daisies sun dress I released around August of last year. I love that Luna only smizes and that she is a copper head - another unique gal in my collection.

Check out Ella and Luna's first ever photo shoot here, of yet another creation of mine that was totally sold out. Yup - no coral tuxedo-inspired romper for my girls anymore =(

And up next is Sari, that Kira girl from the 80s that has me smitten. I guess this is because her hair color and skin tone remind me of my friends, my beloved Filipino people. I have named her after my maternal grandmother Lola Rosario. Here's one of her photoshoots.

Then came Milka, previously Grace Kelly in Barbie Basics body, whom I have been rooting for in a long time. I just adore that face, so so elegant. I may give her a reroot this year, and hopefully a rebody to an articulated one. Here she's working one of my 2015 star bestsellers - the distressed denim shorts, paired with the comfy raglan chunky sweater.

Then while I was just passing by the community mall to check out something else other than what's been added in the Barbie shelves (LOL), this bright-eyed lady called me up. And there I go, off to the counter to swipe my card LOL! Chiara is currently on Raquelle's fashionista body, which is almost the perfect skintone match. Yes!

Here she's sporting a GNO outfit because that's what girls who so work hard do - play harder!

And how can you say NO to this face? Tell me so... And those lustrous locks? and edgy pose? Oh, geez, when will this end? LOL!

Kidding aside, Yoko here, my last doll purchase of 2015 is wearing the Amy dress, a dress I designed in summer 2015 in honor of my favorite music artist Amy Winehouse.

Yup, only 6 dolls! I could have included Fame Fable Kyori Sato that I ordered in July 2015 but she has not arrived yet so she will have to be in the 2016 list.

And here are some more photos for you..

Thanks so much for making our 2015 the best year yet, dollies!

hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,

s h a s h a

Monday, January 11, 2016

Indeed, a doll giveaway...

I normally don’t give dolls in my giveaways for the following reasons: 

----- When I start owning the doll, they become my friends – complete with names, backgrounds, attitudes and personal tastes. And when they seem to already develop souls, I CANNOT let them go. Nuff said. LOL!
----- I don’t make them. I love giving away a piece of me – my creations instead. It’s my way of telling the person how I care. So, often times, if it’s not my precious time, I give away my creations (which requires my time, anyway tee hee). Maybe if I start making dolls, too, that’s when I will probably be giving away dolls the way I do with my miniature fashion.
----- Straight from store, or factory-made dolls don’t seem to be as thoughtful as handmade things.

However, YESI DID HAVE A DOLL GIVEAWAY this holiday season. In fact, I gave away three dolls! I didn’t announce it over the blog because it was for little girls, particularly daughters of my high school classmates that I meet in a yearly reunion during the holidays.

My old high school buddy yearly organizes our reunion and the party always is set during the holidays when almost everyone is home for Christmas. Now, he asked me to make a sponsorship or something. I once cooked for the party, I also hosted it, I think I was once in the admin preparing goodies, so this time I think I would share something different.

Since I like giving my creations, time or services instead of money or store-bought items, I asked if I could instead give away my handmade doll clothes. He said sure I can, but it probably would be nicer if I gave them with dolls, right? So there. I picked three previously-owned dolls from my waiting-for-a-makeover box and chose the right fashions for them.

At the reunion, there were quite a few little girls who came with their parents and I felt a little sad to know that I can only give to three of them. The three girls who were lucky to get them seem to be delighted with these humble gifts.

I think this is such a fun activity – for me styling the dolls, and the little girls looking so excited to receive them. Even my old classmates wanted dolls, too! I haven't told my friend about this yet but I am planning to make this a yearly treat. Hopefully, next year I can accommodate 10 or even more! 

And I am so looking forward to styling these dollies for them. And seeing these bright-eyed girls eager to play with their new toys is just so warming.

Have you ever done something like this? Please share your experience with the rest of our dolly friends and perhaps you could also help me come up with better giveaway activities next year. 

Thanks in advance and chat with you soon!

Hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,

S h a s h a

Friday, January 8, 2016

How my Christmas Diorama dream came true (a rather lengthy first post and title of the year)

Finally, I set and gave the time to build my dream Christmas diorama! Yup -  that's how I made the dream come true - I intentionally gave it time! Being able to do this made me so happy and I felt like my 2015 was such a successful year. Browsing the final photos of the photoshoot leaves a really great feeling, but the entire process of building the diorama was priceless! Let me share with you how fun it was to set up all this jazz.

It took me about two weeks, from concept to coming up with the materials, to creating the girls’ clothes and the room décor, to styling and then finally to the photoshoot, to finish. I divided my tasks into two major parts – the girls, and the room.

The girls

I worked first on the girls, mainly because fashion making and styling pretty much are more my domain than the diorama making. The girls to star in the photoshoot were then chosen along with the fabrics to be used for their dresses. At atelierniSHASHA, it is essential that the girl complements the fabric, and vice versa.

I chose mostly my Barbie dolls because they look cheerful and excited to be in this diorama. I dug for fabrics that are shiny, sparkly or glittery to match the season then started matching these to my chosen girl squad. Although my Anouk and Portia don’t look too jolly with their almost-pursed lips and poker faces, they seem to make it work by the fabrics chosen for them.
I worked on the girls’ OOAK (for now) dresses for about 4-5 days. It took me this long as I made sure I have the best-fitting dress for each of the girls. Christmas only comes once a year, you know. I spent about a day or two for hair-styling and accessorizing.

The room

I already had a room box so all I needed were things to put in it. I used my existing couch, painting, some acrylic center tables, decors, rug and the trinket caddy that works as the Christmas tree platform. What I added in the diorama are my curtains, the Christmas tree, the presents, the center table ornaments and some wall décor, all made by yours truly. I made four panels of curtains, two for each window. They are made from a thick fabric, which I think I picked from the upholstery isle.

The Christmas tree uses a thick cardboard as a frame. I punched some holes into the cardboard before securing it into a cone. The holes are meant to show some flickering lights that I have put inside the cone, to stand as my Christmas tree lights. Then I wrapped the cone with the green, wire-stemmed “leaves” that I wrapped around the cone. The tree was super simple to make. I added hooks unto my silver balls, framed a string of Swarovski-like crystals into a shining star, hung all of them on the tree and voila, my Christmas tree. For the presents under the tree, I collected different types of papers and cords and ribbons from my stash. I remember watching some youtube videos as to how make miniature presents.

To add some holiday pizzazz to the center table, I rummaged my beads box and collected a good mix of red and white pearl-like beads, some crystal-looking ones, and iridescent smaller ones I oftentimes use for making doll bracelets. I instantly thought of using this red and white cord I found somewhere in the house to add to the color theme, but suddenly it started disguising as candy cane in some photo angles. I also added some glittery pieces I cut from our real Christmas tree décor LOL! I put all these tiny things into my glass bowl, and placed them on the acrylic tables along with the girls’ scarves, beauty magazines, and VOILA, a center table fit for the Yuletide season! I also made some wall décors from my ribbons and pearl beads as my wall looked so white and lonely next to all these fun stuff.

Now, for the lighting which we all know is very crucial to every photo shoot. I realized early on that my study lamp cannot provide all the light I needed, so I got myself a real Christmas lights set in non-colored, bright white bulbs. I put them around the floor, hidden at the back of the Christmas tree, then at the back of the couch, then around the plant vase to the right. I put the rest of the lights at the front of the room box to provide more lighting. I placed my study lamp next to the left window for added light.

Since I intend for the pictures to look sparkly, I decided to take pictures at night time. This reminds me of the Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi, which literally means evening mass in English. It was an event that everyone looked forward to. Most especially, kids are excited for the Christmas Eve mass. After the mass, we would then have our Noche Buena feast at home. And for the kids to receive their presents the next day, we would have to be asleep as Santa drops our present. Peeping means not getting any present the next day. Sigh, great memories of childhood. So, yeah I digressed again haha!

There goes my diorama’s behind-the-scenes story. Making it was a lot of work, but the experience was so much rewarding than I expected it to be. That is why I am sharing it with you, guys.

I hope you enjoy this post. And again, I wish you lots of cool miniature projects, fabulous dolls, more wonderful doll friends to come, and awesome life experiences and beautiful new memories to make in 2016. It shouldn’t be too hard when we have each other, right?

See you again on my next post!

Hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,

S h a s h a