Friday, August 19, 2022

Back to School Sale


 Flash Sale for Back to School! Orders from my eBay & Etsy shops are discounted through 8/22. We are home from vacation a little early ~ all Atelier Mandaline shops are open and back to a normal schedule! Link from ateliermandaline.com to all my shops.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Baby's Back! How to replace a mask face doll body



Recently I got a request to replace a doll body in my hospital and found it was a mask face doll. Mask face doll replacements will cost more because I have to find and purchase fabric as close as possible to the original fabric, and it takes more fabric since I basically make clothing for the doll instead of just a body. I thought you might like to see the process of replacing a body like this. Regular body replacements are now $100 plus return shipping  if you have me do them and a doll like this will cost at least $15 more depending on the price of the fabric. So, it's a money-saving skill to learn for yourself!



First, carefully take apart the body. I take photos of the process so I will remember how to put the pieces back together. In this case a great deal of the original body was missing so I studied it to see how to recreate the original doll. I found scraps of lace inside many of the seams, so I realized the doll originally had a lot of lace trim that was now missing. I searched for mask face dolls online. I couldn't find this exact one but I saw many similar dolls. Many of them had "dresses" or "overalls" made by sewing lace trim over the printed body fabric to resemble those garments.




At this point in the process I contracted COVID and was too sick to do much of anything for about a week and a half. You can see from the "Before" photos that the doll's face and hands were extremely darkened when she arrived. I covered them with benzoyl peroxide acne cream and set them in the bright sun. Every day I added more cream and set them in the sun longer to bleach the vinyl. In the end that was the only positive thing about getting sick; the doll had plenty of time to bleach!


Once I started feeling well enough to work I cut out the body and sewed it partially together. When I laid it out I could see there must have originally been more of a neck and chest. That part of the doll's original body was gone; it was just stuffing with a bonnet the owner's grandmother sewed over it.

I used the grandmother's bonnet to make the neck and back of the head. I always pin the vinyl to the body before sewing to make sure I have it positioned correctly. It's very easy to sew the limbs or face on backwards because you have to sew them inside out. 




Once I got the face and arms sewn onto the body I stuffed it and added the lace trim. I think this doll would have originally looked like she was wearing a dress, bonnet, and socks sticking out of her shoes based on the lace fragments I found inside the body. I made a second bonnet to go over the doll's head because it still looked too sparse when the face was sewn on and stuffed. The extra bonnet made the doll look symmetrical. It's sewn onto the head so it's not removable. 

I think this dolly turned out really cute! She's heading all the way home to Canada. It is such an honor for me to be trusted with my clients' precious heirlooms! You can request a doll repair quote by filling out the Contact Form at ateliermandaline.com, or just purchase my Doll University book from the Shop page of the website and learn to do it yourself! I have been encouraging customers to buy my book and learn their own repairs for the past few years because we are gone quite often nowadays and I get overwhelmed with repair requests during the times we are at home. I'm not as young as I used to be and my husband and I are both working toward semi-retirement. My ultimate goal is to send my store stock off to fulfillment centers so the only hands-on work I'm doing is doll repair, and as I age that gets harder and harder on my hands. As much as I love all my little patients I recognize it's getting close to time to pass the torch.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Doll Eye Swap Tool


I'm happy to announce my new eye swapping tool is available from my shops at ateliermandaline.com. Link to your favorite shop to purchase. 


The eye swap tool is meant to be used on vinyl dolls with eyes sized 13mm or larger. You will basically follow my Eye Swap 101 tutorial, but instead of just pushing the eyes in and out, which takes so much strength and can hurt your hands, you can now open the eye socket  so it's larger and the eyes go in and out more easily.


First, heat your doll's head by filling it with hot water and letting it sit for 10 minutes. If your doll has rooted hair line the inside of the head with an oven roasting bag first.


When the head is hot, open the socket with the tool and push the old eyes out with a wooden spoon handle or similar implement. Then insert the new eyes. I can't show a photo of me inserting the eye with the tool in the eye because it takes both hands. If you need the tool to stay open you can wrap the handle with a rubber band once you get it to the correct width so it stays open. I couldn't find a locking version unfortunately. 


 This tool is perfect to use with my eye swap kits and eyes! You can find all those by linking to my Etsy or eBay shops from ateliermandaline.com.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Doll Collection



 

Attention, Doll Lovers! Now you can wear your favorite dolls ~ The Doll Collection is available from my Le Galeriste shop. These pieces feature my digital art starring my custom Pullip, Blythe, and Cissy art dolls. Wear your heart and your favorite doll on your sleeve! Link to my Le Galeriste shop from ateliermandaline.com to shop. #ateliermandaline #legaleriste

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Black and White


 The Black & White Collection ~ My largest Le Galeriste collection yet! Available in regular and plus sizes, made from my artworks: “Siren”, “Beyond the Gate”, and “The Letter”. Link to my Le Galeriste store from ateliermandaline.com to shop. #ateliermandaline #legaleriste

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Georgia Collection


Thank goodness for fulfillment services! I am down with COVID for the second time in six months, so I haven't been adding anything new to my shops. Luckily, the amazing people at Le Galeriste have been busy creating my latest collection of wearable art: the Georgia collection. 

"Georgia" is, in my opinion, my worst painting ever. It was commissioned when I was in college by one of my professors, who wanted a huge painting in the style of Georgia O'Keefe to match her sofa. Just FYI, never ask an artist to recreate another artist's work or style. Even if it isn't  direct plagiarism it's unethical and just plain rude. Nowadays I would never take a commission like this but I was a new artist back then and hungry for work, and my own style was still very much in progress. So I painted this monstrosity and hated it and never delivered it or collected my money for it. It's just too awful. The only reason I kept it is my friend Matthew helped me build the frame and prepare the canvas. He was an exchange student from Britain and was trained to create canvasses in the classical style, with rabbit skin glue for the sizing. This was an incredibly expensive canvas to make and nicer than any of my others, so I have been holding onto it for 30 years thinking I would paint over it.

I recently dug it out of storage because it's the size I need for a seascape I am planning to go in my new office. I decided to photograph it before it disappears. It's funny but certain people think this is my best work (people with tin eyes in my opinion, but to each his own I suppose). It occurred to me the abstract pattern might work for fabric, and sure enough, it turned out beautifully as clothing!

So far I have women's regular and plus size clothing, including activewear available in the Georgia print. I am still adding artwork to my Le Galeriste shop. I can only add three pieces of art at a time and then I can only get 10 pieces made with each print, so it takes about a week to add new pieces. When I am finished adding art for the time being I am going to make a Home collection. I have future plans for a men's line as well. If you see a piece you want but don't see it in the artwork you desire please contact me and I will have it produced for you.

My future business plan is to ultimately send all my offerings to fulfillment centers. That will be insurance against COVID and other illnesses, frequent travel, and will free up more space in my home. Right now inventory is absolutely everywhere. I need to weed out my less expensive things in order to get that done, since fulfillment for eBay starts at around $9 per piece and goes up from there. Instead of raising prices I want to just concentrate on my more valuable offerings. You can link to all my shops from my website to purchase; feel free to make me an offer!

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Asheville Collection

My “Asheville” collection just arrived to my Le Galeriste shop! This collection features my “Elk Mountain” and “Blue Ridge” mixed media artworks inspired by the Asheville area and comes in regular and plus sizes. Link to my shops from ateliermandaline.com