Friday, April 30, 2010

Walk Like an Egyptian

I think I have gone quite over the top these days. Seriously. Mad as a Hatter, big headdress and all. I recently sent my OOAK cloth Egyptian Doll to a woman in Michigan and within days other people were asking me "do you still have that Egyptian doll?" No, I don't. But, with all my plastic doll madness, I got to talking with a new friend in New York and we decided the thing to do would be to make an Egyptian costume for big headed Blythe.

Well, why not? I didn't think I could come up with anything quite as grand as I had for my Egyptian statue doll, since Blythe is only 12" tall, but I knew that I was on a roll with headwear, so there'd be that at least.

I started with white cotton, made a strapless bodice and used gold/silver/pale blue thread and did a fancy design all over the front piece. I then knife-pleated a skirt, added some more fancy thread work and attached that. Added a pleated decorative overwrap and a red silk sash and voila', one Egyptian, Nefertiti style dress. Well, if you're going to have the dress, certainly you'll need the right hat. So, I spent an entire day cooking up a Nefertiti style hat.

I checked out the internet for pictures of the Nefertiti bust and set to work. I dyed up some white cotton in a beautiful blue, appropriate to the "real" hat, and had a piece of gold colored fabric for the front inset already. I wove a couple of ribbons for the band across the top, made a polymer and gold flake centerpiece and pulled the thing together. When it was done, I was actually quite pleased. Big head and all, I think it's a pretty cool costume.

I'm sending it to my friend in New York today. I rarely keep things I make, and this is no exception. I truly have run out of shelf space, and I have a lot of shelves! Stuff is piled under my 2 tables now (so much for my new plan of keeping stuff off the floor), the piano, the closet is full, the shelves are packed, and I really have no where to put a single other thing. Well, maybe just one more hat...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mad As a Hatter

When I was a kid I went to Girl Scout camp every summer for a week or two, probably 4 years in a row. At my last year there our group put on a play for the entire Girl Scout camp of our version of Alice in Wonderland. I got assigned the role of Mad Hatter (early job training?). I didn't pick it. I didn't want it. I got assigned it. The role was a singing role. It was also a dancing role. I don't sing, and if you have seen me dance, you know I don't do that very well either. I really, really didn't want the role. I tried to get out of it. No luck. So, the counselors gave me a stack of about 10 hats to wear on my head and I went out in front of the entire camp and sang the following ditty while sort of hopping around pretending to be dancing:

I've got these hats upon my head
Trying to sell one to you
Piled so high that I'm going crazy
And I don't know what to do.

Here, try a hat, buy a hat
Won't you buy one from me?

And it went on and I forget the rest. I didn't pass out or die. But that has stuck with me now for nearly 40 years.

This past week a woman contacted me and wanted me to make 3 hatter hats for Pullip's boyfriend, Taeyang. If you don't know Pullip, you'll have to look her up. She's another "trendy" doll that requires a million costumes including hats.

I made the 3 hats and made a few more while I was at it. I think I have gone mad. These are roughly 6" tall hats for a 12" tall doll. Imagine that in human proportions! I can't, and don't want to, but the hats look funny and fun on the dolls and the client is happy, so I am happy.

Grab a hat. Sing a song. Do a little dance. It'll be good for you! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bouquet of Roses

I love roses. I think it's one of the real joys of making hats. Roses all year around. Well, any flower really, but roses in particular. If only the silk ones smelled as fragrant! I just finished this custom navy blue silk hat for a woman I am getting my Asian ball joint doll from. She lives in MIchigan and collects dolls. She sent me pictures of hats she likes, and most of them had roses in them, too. She also likes navy blue. So, I made her a big-brimmed hat and put quite a bouquet of roses on it. It is for her CustomHouse St. Mina doll, which is a beautiful elegant doll. I think this hat will work out beautifully. Hope she likes it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blythe Blathering

If you talk to me much via email, you know that I have been trying to find a way to get myself a Blythe doll as a hat model. Blythe is a trendy vinyl doll with a giant head (about 11 inches around at the head, when the doll is only 9 inches tall) that has been trendy for about 10 years, I think, though that sounds kind of oxymoronic to me. But oh well. I didn't really want one that looked like it came right out of the box, and was feeling kind of chicken to spend $150 or $200 (minimum) on a doll that I was just going to pull open the head, pop the eyes out and start sanding and painting. I found a temporary solution that in a way seemed easier at the time that I thought it up. I bought a clone doll off Ebay from a person in Thailand. Mixed feelings about that, but really wanted to try my hand at popping this girl's head right off. It took quite awhile to get through the mails to me here in Vermont, and man, when I opened the box, cheapy plastic as all get-out! I sure hope the real ones aren't like that for $150. I doubt it. But I am talking cheap, cheap, cheap plastic. But, I took it apart, sanded it up, drilled a bit out of the nostrils, carved up the lips, had John, my husband, drill the eye chips out of their sockets and set to painting. Lo and behold after a bit of TLC, she turned out quite well.

I got her a new black and white wig, cut her regular hair a bit Marilyn-esque, as I continue to be obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, got some fabulous custom blue eye chips from a lovely gal in Argentina named Ana Karina and put her back together. Okay, I didn't really, John put her back together, but he also took her apart, so when I went to try it, it was more like Greek to me. I didn't really want to hover over him while he was doing it, but once I had the eye chips in the mail box, I was wanting that thing together pretty immediately. So anyway, I now have my Blythe hat model. I like her. I named her Ariel. I made 3 hats for her today and put them up for sale in my Etsy store. Giant hats, for giant headed dolls. Quite amusing. And, to tell you the truth, I am now quite a real Blythe fan. I think if I sell enough hats, I'll probably get a genuine Takara Blythe and use that one to show off my hats, too. In the meantime, I have a fancy-schmancy resin Asian ball-joint-doll young Super Dollfie coming, hopefully in about a month, but I'll save that for another story and another time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I am doing some spring housecleaning and have so many doll hats, I'm putting quite a lot of them on sale for half price. I need to get things that are now taking up so much shelf space out of the way so I can keep making new things. I have a small office, and with so much fabric, feathers, magazines, sewing paraphenalia and, well, doll hats, I am beginning to feel like the Mad Hatter if not just plain mad! So, if you want a doll hat and want it cheap, stop by my Etsy shop and take a peek.