Friday, May 16, 2014

Cissy, Grande Dame

Custom accessories for Cissy

About a week ago, when I was sitting on the tarmac waiting for our connecting flight to Charlotte to load, I got an email requesting a custom Cissy sale. This is why I love, love, love the Internet and smart phones in particular! Although I kind of never stop working, technology makes it possible for me to never stop working. And since my job is more of a labor of love than work, I enjoy it. My hope is to someday make an actual living from the work I adore.

Cissy's custom gown

Anyway, Jenn, my new customer, asked if she could buy the outfit off my Scarlett Roses Cissy for her own Cissy. This is the green velvet Madame Alexander dress I got all torn up and covered with water marks and rust stains. I altered it to restore it into a custom Cissy gown. You can see the post about that restoration here: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2014/03/cissy-with-scarlet-roses-in-her-hair.html.

I'm totally fine with selling Cissy's clothing, since it isn't original to her. Now I will have the fun of designing a new outfit for her! This time I might do a cream colored satin gown with red embroidery. I have quite a few dolls ahead of her in line, though.

Photographic "sketches" I send to clients




Once Jenn received the green gown she loved it so much she ordered a headdress and bag to match. I sent a few different "sketches" as ideas for her. Instead of drawings, these are photos of the actual fabrics and materials folded and pinned so she could get an idea of what the pieces will be. I still have the jacket that went with the gown, so I used it to show the color of the gown against the accessories.



We ended up going in a different direction than the typical 50s styles Cissy might have worn. Jenn wanted something unusual and "grand". I thought, Cissy has always been a trend setter, so why not let her start the vintage clothing rage? Cissy found these fabulous fin de si├Ęcle pieces in her grandmother's armoire and she just had to wear them out. All her friends burned with envy when they saw her!




Jenn's doll doesn't have the flowers in her hair, so I think the headdress will look better than on mine. I think the ensemble has a very Downton Abbey feel. I can just see Cissy gliding down those gilded halls. This is a reason I welcome custom commissions. I learn about so many dolls and crafts new to me, like the series of 70s Barbie pets I'd never heard of, and I am able to stretch my creativity and try projects which might never have occurred to me.

My "elephant" tree

Besides Cissy's grand accessories, I've been enjoying having my Instagram profile public. I've been inspired by several photographers around the world, many of whom are just amazingly talented, and that's made me try harder to see possibilities. Yesterday I walked all around in the rain looking for neat photo opportunities and taking pictures. I pass a certain tree every day, but not until I saw it rain-drenched did I realize with its scarred smooth bark (where someone cut it all up and carved their initials long ago) and twisted gray branches, it looks just like an elephant!

Orange moon over Lake Norman

Night before last my walking buddy, Julie, and I had to stop several times to photograph the rising moon, enormous and orange, laced with shreds of sunset clouds. It's wonderful to work on my dolls, which I can churn out pretty fast nowadays, but it's also a great pleasure to try a new type of creation.

You can place your own custom orders by contacting me through my store: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline

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