Another Kate Middleton Doll and More Royal Silliness

"Kate Middleton Doll, The Royal Engagement, Vinyl Portrait Doll by Paradise Galleries. Phew. That's a  mouthful. This one will be available on Amazon.Com beginning April 15. No price is listed.
This one is prettier but IMO still doesn't look like the real thing.

This is for the human owner of the doll.

The doll mentioned in my previous post is even worse than I thought. Look at this picture:

Here is an excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle:
London's famous Hamley's toy store just introduced the Barbie-like doll that sells for 35 pounds ($75).
The toy store's website says that this doll "oozes British style"--although it seems that the doll's resemblance to Kate is less than striking. The doll has a horsey sort of look to her face; Kate is much prettier.
The doll is sporting a royal blue dress similar to the one Ms. Middleton wore when her engagement to Prince William was first announced last winter.
She's carrying an Eaton clutch bag that's an exact replica of Kate's with gold-colored fake snakeskin leather, a horseshoe clasp and a gold chain.
The slingback heels are inspired by British shoe designer Beatrix Ong and even feature a miniature Ong label on the insole.
And of course, the doll is wearing a shimmery purple amethyst engagement ring.
If you want to buy this special commemorative doll, then you better act now. Only 10,000 were made and anything related to Kate sells out fast. After the media got their hands on engagement images of Kate in her blue dress, stores carrying the same frock sold out of it within hours.

Every household needs one of these in addition to a few dolls:
Do you think it has coloring pages inside? I would like that. ;-)

This post is definitely going down the drain.

HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton Royal Bobble Heads

Only $80.16

Here is an item for your crown jewels, Royal Wedding Commemorative Condoms Collector's Edition. No, I am not kidding. Click on the link below and read.

Pretty Woman ~ Not So Pretty Doll

Soon-to-be Princess of Wales, Catherine Middleton, has been poorly rendered as a doll. It is being sold in London for 35 British Pounds. Sad.

I'm sure it's not the last or the worst.

Diorama 101: How to Make 1/6 Scale Dioramas by Nina

Are your dolls looking for something to read?

This real-looking bookcase library is scaled for 11-13 inch dolls. If you would like to learn how it was created, go to Nina's website, to a post entitled Dioramas 101 to find out.

Nina covers topics such as One Wall Dioramas, Walls, Floors, Dos and Don'ts.  Although directed at 1/6 scale collectors, all the techniques can be adapted to other scales.


Fashion Doll Quarterly: Summer 2011 "Fantasy"

The latest issue of FDQ is shipping now. While waiting for your copy, check out this wonderful and interesting video of Robert being interviewed by editor, Pat Henry.
The Fantasy issue is multi fashion doll oriented and features interviews, photographic essays, doll and artist information and so much more.  Pat's stunning photography graces the two distinctive covers which are available on this issue.
My own contribution on the hats of Cisca Durieux is included.

Click on the magazine cover below to see the Robert Tonner interview. 


Progress with Ekaterina and Hand

Conditioning and trimming helped tame Ekaterina's hair. A little gel added texture and control. I am happy with her hair now.  I never loved Dreamscape's gown but it was hanging out and E needed clothes. It's too tight in the bust so I basted it closed. It is cute on her.

Pokey and Gumby snuck in there when I wasn't looking.

Re: the broken FR2 hand stem. I was wondering if the bust part of the torso could be pulled off of the rest of the body like Tonner bodies. Yes, they can.

I used a small diameter drill to open up the clog.

The next step is making the pin on the replacement hand smaller so it will fit inside properly. Stay tuned.


This is not turning out well.

Today I worked on Dasha's hair and it finally looked nice. I put on her jewelry and shoes all the while handling her extremely carefully. In order to put on her solid bracelet, her hand must be removed. I pulled gently on the left hand and it came out. Unfortunately the plug end stayed inside the forearm with nothing protruding. 
This has gone beyond frustrating.
I wonder if I can drill it out. I have a Dremel and fine jewelers bits. If I can drill the pin to make it slimmer, I might be able to remove it and use one of her replacement hands. So now I will have to undress her in order to wrap her for protection. Not fun.


Renegade Dasha Needs a New Hair Stylist and So Does Integrity Toys

She looked gorgeous when I opened the box. Renegade is stunning in her red fashion. Her screening is gorgeous. Her hair color is a blend of light blondes. I love the color. But look at the back. WTF?

What is this?
I was so hoping I would love everything about this doll. The pony tail hair is divided into two sections. One is rolled under and ends are caught up in the hair that wraps around the ponytail. Did you get that?
Who thought up this stupid hairstyle?  It does not work and it looks ridiculous. Someone at IT had to approve it. The prototype was different but I never examined the back.
I will fix it by taking the end of the curled clump out and boiling it straight. I'm quite certain that I will have to take it all out. It ruins the joy of a new doll. That's two ruined dolls because of the hair. I am still waiting for my Flawless Elise replacement head.

Don't turn around.

 Maybe that's why she has side glancing eyes.

I Love How You Love Me — Poppy Parker Gift Set

A great benefit of being a shipping buddy to a collector who lets me debox to lower the weight of their shipment is that I get to play and photograph their goodies.
"I Love How You Love Me" is a Dolls Magazine exclusive of only 300 pieces and the retail price was $150. There was a huge brouhaha on the day half of these items went up for order as the link crashed and an alternate link was put up. Many who would have ordered did not know of the alternate link and it caused a great deal of angst. It's my opinion that this is part of the reason that the secondary market rise in price of this gift set.
This season's Poppy Parker fashions do not appear to have the same styling as prior years. Although this set is primarily white, the clothes on the rest of the season's Poppy's and Darla are darker and more sophisticated. Something is changing.

 She comes wearing a white a-line dress that has lovely bodice detailing with a pleated back and the omnipresent bow. This set has a total of eight bows. I may have missed one or two.
The coat is a different fabric from the dress. It is a thin brocade with silver thread running throughout. The jumper is simple and goes over a frilly white blouse. Her pajamas are a smooth fabric, perhaps a polished cotton, with ruffled lace and ribbons and matching panties. The accessories consist of 3-fingered gloves, clutch bag, hair bow, red flats, white low-heeled shoes, fuzzy slippers, lace pantyhose, regular pantyhose, pearl stud earrings and a hat pin.

The best pictures I've seen of this doll show her hair restyled. As it comes it is styled into 3 hard rolls without butter.


Out of The Box: Ekaterina and Roger Sterling

Buying Ekaterina was a mistake. It was the red hair and excellent promotional photos that threw me. I love my redhaired Silkies. I did see her in another fashion last week and she will be redressed.
I knew it the minute I opened the box that her hair was going to be a problem. It may look good in the picture because I used Photoshop to push pixels around.  She has more hair than my dog and it's a lot harder to comb.
The hat was sewn on in a strange way so that removing it also removed the stitches that were holding back part of her hair. Seen here, I have replaced the hat towards the back of her head and used a pin to hold it on. When I have an hour and nothing else to do ha she needs a trim.

I am planning to sell off her fashion as it looks like and reminds me too much of Je Ne Sais Quoi seen below.
Here are her boots which aren't bad but I could definitely live without. I think they'd look better without the golden tassles.

How many Silkstones came with this exact bracelet or a variation? Tiring. 

No one forced me to buy her and in a weak and needy moment I deboxed. There is a pleasure in deboxing: untying ribbons, snipping threads, lifting the freed doll from her cardboard prison. Ahhhh.
The same needy time period saw Roger Sterling come out.
I bought him because the suit looked really good and because I have no other Silkstone male dolls. His suit is excellent! I was impressed.
If he looks weird in this photo it's because of the awkward bend in his arm. They should have given him straight arms.
If I saw a man whose shirt collar was too short to come into contact with his chest when he was wearing a tie, I'd say he wasn't well groomed. This is a problem. I'm thinking (when I have time) to use a needle and thread to create the look of a tiebar to hold the points of the collar down. It would make a huge difference. That neck joint is awful.
 There are several terrific details like Roger's initials on his shirt sleeve. The suit is well constructed with tiny faux buttons to camouflage the fact that the closure is with snaps. Very well done!
 The hat is a squishy plastic that fits well and stays on.

The stand he comes with is a waist gripper type which must be used under his jacket.  He does stand on his own but I wouldn't leave him for long without support.

Sandra Stillwell Presents Golden Gate Glamour

The long awaited announcement regarding Sandra's 2011 event in San Francisco has been revealed.  Here is the outline of the event which will be more detailed as the date approaches. 

Golden Gate Glamour!

Please mark your calendar and make plans to join us June 3-5 in San Francisco, at the Embassy Suites SFO Airport South, for Sandra Stillwell Presents: Golden Gate Glamour! 

 Limited to only 60 attendees, this intimate soiree will be a celebration of friends, dolls, tradition, and timeless couture in San Francisco, a destination widely known as "America's Favorite City"!

Golden Gate Glamour will pay tribute to the haute couture master Cristobal Balenciaga, and the unparalleled legacy of his landmark career, as well as highlight San Francisco's rich fashion heritage, and explore the connection between the two.
Your convention registration will include a trip to the De Young Museum in San Francisco's beautiful Golden Gate Park, where we will view Balenciaga and Spain, the fascinating exhibit highlighting Balenciaga's magnificent creations and exploring Spain's influence on his designs.



You'll have some time on your own to tour the museum galleries or explore other sites in the historical Golden Gate Park, which is also home to the breathtaking Victorian-styled Conservatory of Flowers, the Japanese Tearoom, Botanical Gardens, and the Museum of Science, among other things

Optional tours will be offered to other not to be missed San Francisco sights!

Our souvenir will be a fabulous fashion ensemble gift set designed to fit your favorite 16" fashion doll. Inspired by Balenciaga's designs, the collection was designed and manufactured especially for this exciting event. Centerpiece dolls modeling stunning haute couture fashions will be showcased at each meal function. I believe you'll be as blown away as I am by the beauty of this collection! I can't wait to share it with everyone!

In addition to fashions, the registration fee will also include a desert reception and 3 meals, including a gala Saturday night banquet. We will also have illustrious guest speakers, interesting displays, table gifts, raffles, swap tables, and more surprises!

Expect a fun filled, activity packed weekend of dolls, friends, and fashion!

The registration fee is only $360 if paid in full, by cash or check, by May 2nd. (After that date, the fee is $375). A $15 charge will be added to other payments options. A non refundable deposit of only $50 will reserve your spot for this very special event.

A $50 cancellation fee applies to all cancellations prior to May 2nd. After that date, no cancellations are allowed.

Companion registration will be available if purchased with a full registration. Please contact me for details.

Please send payment for registration to:

Sandra Stillwell
8305 Blue Lick Rd
Louisville, Ky 40219

Please contact me if you need to pay by PayPal or make special arrangements.

Our convention hotel is the lovely Embassy SFO Airport/South San Francisco, located only 10 miles from downtown San Francisco! Each room is a spacious 2 room suite complete with refrigerator and microwave...perfect for room sales or socializing with dolly friends! 

We will have a special code to make reservations in our group block, which will be forthcoming soon. Please do not contact the hotel or make reservations online until this is announced.

Our special group room rate is $119 plus tax. Our group will receive complimentary hotel parking.

The hotel offers complimentary WiFi and computers in their business office, and in room Internet access at a discounted rate.

The Embassy Suites offers a complimentary shuttle to shopping and eateries within a 3 mile radius (based on availability), and an airport shuttle which runs every 35 minutes. BART conveniently travels directly from the airport to San Francisco and other suburbs.

There is another Embassy Suites SFO in Burlingame, so please be careful not to confuse the two when making reservations or taking the hotel shuttle.

The group rate is available from Monday, May 30, through Wednesday, June 8th (based on availability) for those who would like to come early or stay over to take advantage of the many fun sightseeing opportunities in the area. If you need rooms on other dates, please contact me directly.

I strongly encourage all attendees to stay at the Convention hotel for a complete "convention experience"! Besides all the fun and camaraderie those who don't stay at the hotel will miss out on, our room and food rates are based on our meeting a guaranteed minimum, and it is crucial I have your cooperation to meet that guarantee.
There are other great reasons to stay at the convention hotel....with our many planned activities, you'll find being onsite much more convenient, plus the Embassy Suites includes a fabulous cooked to order complimentary breakfast and manager's cocktail reception daily in their beautiful atrium. (We may have our banquet room opened so that we can all eat together, but if so, we will give details once the agenda is announced.)

Our room block is extremely limited. Though we are not yet ready for hotel reservations, it would help me greatly to know as soon as possible how many nights and what dates you are planning to stay, so I can increase the block if necessary. June is a busy time for the hotel and I may not have the opportunity to do so at a later date. Once the room block is sold out, reservations will only be taken on availability.

Airport and Flights:
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is serviced by all major airlines.
Oakland International Airport is also very convenient to the hotel. Both are directly connected to BART and Caltrain for travel to San Francisco or neighboring areas for sightseeing on your own.

When booking your flight, don't forget to allow a few extra days, if possible, to enjoy the multitude of tourist attractions and unique activities that San Francisco has to offer!

I'm excited to say that Casey LaLonde, Joan Crawford's grandson, will again be joining us for convention this year... and, if all goes as hoped, we are planning a surprise "wrap party" on Sunday night to celebrate Sandra Stillwell Presents 10th Anniversary! An optional event, this exciting evening will follow a day of sightseeing in San Francisco. For a taste of San Francisco elegance, I am proposing that we begin the day with a delicious breakfast buffet in the glistening Garden Court at the opulent Palace Hotel.

Details are not available yet, but I am also planning a very interesting excursion on Thursday that all doll lovers, vintage fashionistas, and sewing enthusiasts will be sure to love!

Depending on interest, we may also plan something on Wednesday.

If there is anything in particular you would like to see or do, now is the time to let me know!

Raffle Donations:
We will be having a raffle to help offset convention expenses. Donations of all sizes are greatly appreciated. If you would like to contribute to the raffle, please email me at dls6643@aol.com.

Please remember that this special event is extremely limited, so do not hesitate to register. If you plan to attend, please RSVP as soon as possible so I'll have an idea of how many to count on.

I hope you'll join me in San Francisco this June for an event to remember!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions...
Sandra Stillwell