Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! 

Hope this finds you enjoying great company and looking forward to a fabulous year filled with love and laughter!

My American Doll House Background How To

Greetings and Salutations!!

Having committed to writing this blog, I've decided I need better photos of the dolls when I get something done and ready for them to model. So that set my mind to running about backgrounds. I researched it on the Internet and found several ready made models but the price tag made me about fall over. I mean, they are made out of cardboard! Sure, fancy decorated cardboard but cardboard nonetheless. So... I pondered how I could make one myself. As you will begin to find out as you (hopefully) read my blogs, I have countless amounts of crafting materials gleaned from a lifetime of crafting hobbies. I have quite a few Rubbermaid totes chockablock full up with stuff waiting for.... Now! Anyway, so I thought "How can I make one with what I have on hand for nothing or next to?" The following is what I came up with. 

First, I started with an item no one else on earth will probably have on hand at home but the good news is any decent sewing store will and so it's not insurmountable if you want to make one. The background started with this gem I found at a garage sale this past summer:

It's a sewing cutting board, to be used to cut out patterns. As if?! Patterns. Blah. Oh, what was I saying? Oh, cutting board. I bought mine because my daughter loves to paint and I thought I'd perhaps let her make a big collage on it or sommat? Tucked it away for a cold January day. Well, sorry dear daughter, I used it myself to make a room for the dolls! I got mine for 50cents but the price sticker on it read $8 and so that is not that horrible. So I unfolded it all and started to work!

I covered the bottom half of the board with wood panel print contact paper (again, I had on hand because I have a endless love for contact paper but that is another story), working slowly and deliberately in order to avoid air bubbles.

After I got that done, I needed wallpaper! What could I use that looks like wallpaper? Scrapbook paper! I have loads because that is yet another creative outlet and so I pulled out a packet of pretty flowered 12x12 paper and set to 'wallpapering' using a glue stick to adhere the paper to the cardboard, careful to try and keep it strait and overlapping the edges so it won't have apparent seams. Repeat over and over again until it's all 'papered'. 

I could've stopped there but wanted the wallpaper part to be as durable as the bottom portion with the wood panel so I used clear contact paper to go over the top and middle, again being careful not to get air bubbles under it. 

That's all there is to it except to go and fill it up with furniture and details and dolls and set to playing! I happen to own all the miniatures pictured, coming from that lifelong love of dolls and miniatures but I am sure your dollies will move their own things into their house and make it their own place! Here is my end result:

Thanks for stopping by!! Now off to make some items for the dolls to model in the house! Have a great day! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Greetings! Welcome to Penniless Caucasian Rubbish American Doll Adventures!

Hi there! My name is Heather and I've loved dolls all my life. Shamelessly loved them, collecting them until my 30s, on display even! Then when I had children of my own, my love of dolls slid into the background like many things do when you're new to Mommyhood. I had real dolls to care for now afterall! 

Fast forward a few years and now my dear daughter loves dolls too! She has really gotten into the American Girl Dolls naturally, like most girls her age (she is nine). Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are when my Grandma's would make and send me clothes for my My Friend Mandy and Jenny dolls! I still own and cherish each item to this day! 

So I wanted to recreate some of that magic with my own daughter but, while I am reasonably good at sewing, I find it tedium personified to go from pattern up, not to mention expensive! Fabric has gotten shockingly expensive since I last sewed regularly! (I used to make rag dolls BeforeChildren) So I was looking on Pinterest for ideas on 'easy' patterns when I ran across the most amazing idea!! Upcycling 'real' clothing into doll clothes!! This way about 75% of the work is already done! All the amazing details and smock working etc on clothes made for babies lend themselves very well to this! I just started making clothes for the dolls in early December and have made quite a few already. Enough so that I am working on a small wardrobe for my dear daughters best friends birthday in April. I *might* start selling them someday but I'll have to figure out how to become reacquainted with my sewing machine first since all of the items I've made so far have been done by hand sewing. I know, I am old school like that. 

So, without further adieu here are some of the items I've made in the last three weeks as I have had time. Let's just say I've slept very little. I plan to come back and talk about each outfit one by one and how I made it. I made all the items in photo other than the white shirts worn by first two on left and the striped on on Saige and some of the accessories. So, looking forward to telling you all about my adventures behind the needle! Have a fantastic day!