Winners of Challenge Two

The CCDC winners have been announced. Here they are in order: beginner, intermediate and professional.

Dmitry Puzanov  

Dmitry was the winner in the beginner category and his work certainly deserved to win on that level as it was head and shoulders above the other beginner entries in terms of concept, execution and design. It was inspired by the game of Diablo and is a totally original concept. Click on the image below to go to his page.

Elena Prokhorova
Elena was chosen as winner in the intermediate category. There was a lot of competition in this category. Elena's design was based on Assasin's Creed. Click on the image below to go to her page.

Maria Ustynovska
Maria was the winner in the professional category and her work here is attractive, precise and very well executed. Personally I think it's a overly literal translation of the concept and design from the game Hitman. Click on the image below to go to Maria's page.

The winner of the photography segment this time was Anj Calvo. I like the image.

Photography Winner - Anj Calvo
Anj Photoshops her images. She won the last photo challenge as well and it didn't exactly conform to the rules which I have copied below:

16. In the two extra pictures, designers are able to show their photographic skills. The use of props and appropriate backgrounds are encouraged in these two photos.
17. For all photos, photo manipulation is only to be used to resize, refocus, or adjust the brightness/dimness of your original photo. Do not crop in backgrounds nor paint in corrections. Also, do not form a collage of several pictures. It is acceptable to merge together pics of different looks of the same outfit. For example if a designer has designed an outfit with three different looks, it is acceptable for the designer to take pics of all the looks and merge them together into one photo (see example). Each picture needs to stand on its own, and give the judges an honest presentation of your outfit. Overly photoshopped pictures will not be accepted.
As I said previously, the contestants were not properly placed in categories this year.  I wonder if they themselves categorize their levels or if they are pre-judged by submitting images of work they've created. It's great that the contest is open to everyone but those competing at levels above beginner should be pre-screened. Perhaps there should only be two categories - new and experienced - or some variation of that.

It would also be useful if the judges remarks were more specific and 'educational.' It hurt me to read over and over that "There is the wonderful thing on the internet called GOOGLE!" That was a snotty and mean way to tell a contestant to do research. I'm not saying that only positive evaluations should be offered. Honest and fair evaluations with suggestions for improvement would be helpful and more valuable.

Message to Rob:
It's Philip Treacy not Phillip Tracey: you can find out the proper spelling of his name on Google.  :-)


Doll's House Museum

Since its opening in 1998, the Doll's House Museum on Barf├╝sserplatz in Basle, Switzerland, has attracted between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors a year. The museum changed its name March 1 to Toy Worlds Museum Basle, which more closely reflects its purpose. Each year, the museum stages two themed special exhibitions and a Christmas exhibition on the world of toys. The museum boasts more than 6,000 teddy bears, dolls, toy grocers' shops, dollhouses, and miniatures, and is home to the world's largest collection of teddy bears - more than 2,500.
Click on the image above to visit the website.


Multi-Doll Photoshoot

I think I may be cured from buying Silkstone dolls. Afternoon Suit Barbie is seriously bug-eyed. I know they all have the same sculpt but this one is painted in such a way that her eyes are bulging out of her head. And I'm not very happy with one side of her hair. That can be fixed - I think, but I've put her in the cabinet already. I like the fashion. It looks well constructed and fist nicely.

My rerooted Kyori got to wear most of Gretel's fashion minus the boots. I'm not even going to try putting those boots on her. I think she looks fabulous. She's on a FR2 body.

Allure got another chance in front of the camera.  I was more patient this time and I am very happy with her image. I used a tiny drop of clear Elmer's glue on the inside of her finger to keep the ring from falling off. I put rubber bands on her feet to hold the shoes on. I made sure to turn the edges of the coat inside so the 'lining' wouldn't show. Her hair took plenty of post-processing time in Photoshop. She looks gorgeous.

The outfit seen on Gene below is called Lotta Moola. I've wanted this ensemble forever.

Last but not least is Winter Grace dressed in Hypnotic Antoinette's gown. Black wig by Cheryl Wood.

It was a busy day.


Everything's Better With A Puppy!

My new Winter Grace Jamieshow doll is getting plenty of camera time.

Grace is wearing a 1998 Ashton-Drake for Gene Marshall muti-piece lingerie outfit called Forget Me Not seen below on a promo card. The other pieces did not fit this doll body.

Monogram Doll: Allure

Monogram "Allure" arrived today.
My photos,  un-retouched except for a little sharpening and cropping, tell her story.
I was surprised by her eyes and eyeshadow. It's different than we've seen on any doll to-date. Her eyes are green and very side-glancing.

 Her coat is so large (I love it) that it acted as a support for the doll!

 The gown is lovely and the silver stitching is well done.

The shoes keep falling off. I think they will fit FR2. I wonder if all shoes will fit FR2 from now on.

The stitching on the lining of the coat is unattractive and I wish it didn't show up like that.

My overall impression:
The doll is very beautiful. The outfit is stunning but keep the lining hidden when displaying the doll. Was she worth the price? Sigh.

SALE Alert!

Two EXCELLENT Madame Alexander buys today at the Doll Market. 

I bought this one last year when it was on sale and I love it.
Designed to fit MA's 16" Alex line of dolls, it also fits Gene and Avantguard.  On sale for $21.97.
Here is the description from the Matilda Company's website:
Graceful Lace gown, a lovely, two-tiered, pink taffeta gown that has been covered with white lace. This gown with the sweetheart front is longer in back for a train effect and is embellished at the waist with a black velvet ribbon.

I ordered this doll today.
HOPELESSLY FABULOUS 50S Siena  16" Alex Runway Line  Madame Alexander LE300

The original retail price of this doll was $149.95. You can find her on the internet for about $79. But at $49.97, you can't beat the price. If you do not know Madame Alexander quality, the clothing is fantastic. 
If you look on the internet for a closeup of this doll, you will she that she is gorgeous. I really wanted the outfit, although when the entire package arrives, she may be staying to join my only other Alex doll. 

Here is the description from the Matilda Company's website:
Hopelessly Fabulous 50's Sienna Evans with her light grey-brown eyes and blonde curly hair swept up onto an up do is pretty in a light pink silk Dupioni, dropped waist, halter top dress that has a full skirt. The skirt, made more fabulous with box pleats, a pink belt with a rhinestone buckle worn at her natural waist and a scattering of rhinestones, also has a ruffled, pink tulle petticoat. A white fur boa with rhinestone accents worn around her neck, nude thigh highs, a matching bag and pink shoes which have rhinestones on the heels are the reason why 16" Hopelessly Fabulous 50's Sienna Evans is not 'hopeless' at all.


The Imperium Park Collection

Robert Tonner and Wilde Imagination announce the debut of the new Imperium Park Collection.

The collection consists of two basic dolls, two dressed dolls, four separate outfits and an apothecary case accessory. Each item can be purchased individually or as a collection as shown above. Free shipping for one week.

Click here for more information:

Click here for the back story of the characters.

Long Definition of Steampunk from Wikipedia:

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is widely used—whether in an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain or "Wild West"-era United States, or in a post-apocalyptic time —that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology, or futuristic innovations as Victorians might have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. This technology includes such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the contemporary authors Philip Pullman, Scott Westerfeld and China Mieville.

Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airships, analog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace's Analytical Engine.

Steampunk also refers to art, fashion, and design that are informed by the aesthetics of Steampunk literature. Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk.


Dolls Dressed in Cholo Fashion

 I got lucky and snatched up several Cholo gowns from a Thai seller a few months ago. Here are two of them modeled by Metal Maven Vanessa and Mini Aphrodisiac. The details on each gown are amazing. They are jewels in my collection and I want more!

Walking Suit Silkstone Barbie

I like the suit very much but I'm getting a little bored. They're all starting to look the same. This is my least favorite hairstyle for a Silkstone: giant forehead and platinum hair. I think it makes her look mean.
The suit appears to be very well constructed as does the hat. The gloves have straps or something around them which give them an interesting, large presence. I like the hatbox. The handbag is crap. I stuffed it to give it some volume. The umbrella is, of course, non-functional. You can tuck it under her hand which rests on her hip. No jewelry!

Jamieshow Winter Grace LE 50

I'm so far behind with my photography, it's ridiculous but Winter Grace made it in front of the camera for a brief photoshoot in her original outfit.
She came with a black bodysuit with faux fur cuffs, faux fur vest and skirt, faux fur boots, knitted scarf and matching hat with faux fur pom poms. That's a lot of faux. The fashion is beautifully made. Her wig cap needs stronger magnets as the slightest pull and it falls off. That's quite annoying although it does look very pretty when it's on. Her bald head cap stays on very well. I like her soft make-up palette. 

 Look at the difference in intensity of makeup from prior Graces to this new one.

 Winter Grace is still available at Angelic Dreamz. She is $395.