Monday, March 30, 2015

Somebody's been praying over my computer!!!

My computer would not give me more than 2-3 minutes of time before it would freeze up.

I was SO stressed because I had the mohair finished and needed to get it listed today as that is what I have told everyone.  

Suddenly yesterday, it began to work again, giving me time to begin the listings which I was able to easily finish this morning.


Somebody must have been praying over my computer!

I am still taking it to the Apple Store on Thursday as even now, it just had a burp and almost said,
"you're done!"

Thank you all for your undying patience during these computer struggles!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wrapping up the mohair and Spring Break

Today I will finish processing the final three colors of the mohair insanity!

I only had one color batch go "wrong" but in the end, it went right!

I am calling it Tootie Fruity!
It is slightly strawberry blonde and slightly salmon.
It's really pretty 1st clip kid hair!
This color will be wonderful on Mermaid dolls and fantasy dolls!
It will be available on my selling site next week.

I am picking up my 12 yr old grand girl for her Spring Break on Saturday.  On the way home, we will be visiting the Angora goat farm.  
We are very excited to see the babies and select more raw hair for stock.

Our girl will be here for a week.

I will still be working to finish up the packaging and listing of the mohair, painting the little Berenguer boy's hair and I hope to start rooting the ethnic Berenguer's hair.

I have a plan stirring up in my head for my display at the ROSE show so I'll probably do a little shopping for that and over all have a much more relaxed week than the previous weeks.  I wish the Dolly House were ready for paint as my grand daughter wanted to help paint.  

Oh well, at the rate we are going on that project, she might be out on summer break before it's ready for paint! 

I'll pop in here when I can.

Have a good week-ending and weekend!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I AM getting there! MOHAIR!

I still have much to do but look at these luscious locks!

Pale Blonde:

 White to become AA curly black/brown (they're just so pretty in the raw, washed state!:

Signature Carrot Red!

And me after a day of processing:


Have a good day everyone!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Respect video

I guess there was a contest held regarding the topic of RESPECT.

This is the winning video and I think it is FANTASTIC!!!!

Not only do collectors get disrespected for their passion, artists do as well.  

GREAT video Laura!!!!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

A little personal collection time!

The dolly house progress is pretty slow.  
Our son needs the space where the nursery is in our old house, where we left almost all of my personal dolls.

Last night, I was finally able bring the dolls over to our new home.

Now, MOST will remain in boxes and totes but there were a few that I HAD to unpack last night and add to what I already had on display in the studio.

I could not leave my antique dolls packed.  I was too worried about them.

The tall girl is a 1919 JD Kestner doll given to me by a dear collector of mine:

The baby in the carriage is also a JD Kestner doll from 1910, given by the same collector:
I bought that carriage at the Sauder Village show in Ohio last August and had it shipped home.  It cost me a FORTUNE!  It is so perfect for this baby.

The other little one I had to unpack was my very special Marine boy who my very special Marine boy son gave to me during one of his deployments:

I will treasure them both, always :)

I did a little re-arranging of babies that were already there and stored some furniture for later use in the Dolly House.
It was just fun playing and relaxing a bit and it feels SUPER good to have my dolls "home".  
 I truly love the space I have in the studio to display some of my dolls. 

Today is our Friday so I'll be off working in the dolly house as well as hopefully moving all of my personal nursery things that are left in the old nursery to a new storage area so that the room may be used by our son.  Everything is packed up and torn down (cribs, changing table etc) and ready to move.  

Have a good weekending and weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Refreshment in the midst of gruel.

Processing mohair is labor intensive and very hard on my body...and sometimes my mind!

Over the last couple of days, a few of my customers have shared some of their dolls that they have used my mohair on.  

What a breath of fresh air!  

I decided to share the pictures with you today...because I am up to my eye balls in mohair, dust, dirt and well, goat poop so, I have nothing else to share!

This precious Knox by Laura Lee Eagles was created by Shelby Lynn of Shelby Hughes Reborns.  
She used a clipping of hair from a goat named Chunky that I no longer have clips from  :(  


I personally own one of Shelby's dolls in my own collection. I've known this young gal since she was 11 years old.  She has blossomed into a beautiful young...and now married woman and is an exceptional artist.  

This darling boy was created by Elizabeth Kless Luckman using one of my signature red colors.
I don't remember which clipping she bought but I am guessing this is Apple's 2nd clip hair.
I WILL have some of this hair available for sale when the processing is all done.  
I sortof love this baby!

And this little sweetie was made by Jean Ruth Campbell.  
Jean has been a mohair customer of mine for a very long time.

She loved this clipping of hair (I don't remember who it was from and she didn't say) especially because it laid down flat and didn't need a comb or brush to keep it neat: nice to see that people are happy with my product amidst the drudgery of processing it.

I can now move forward with a fresh breath!

Thank you all SO much!  
(Ps, I will have a good measure of mohair available for sale when it's all done sometime around the end of the month.)


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The hair dryer worked :)

Just a little update on the ethnic Berenguer painted with Baby FX paints.  
Using the hair dryer/blow dryer (NOT heat set gun) worked to finish curing the paints so that the doll parts passed the adherence test.

I am not ready to root yet as I am really tied up in mohair processing.  I suppose I'll start rooting some next week while the mohair is going through the dying process.

I may just paint hair on the Caucasian baby as I just received the Baby FX hair texture kit.  
It would be fun to show something new, right??  

Hugs for the day

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baby FX adhearance test.

I had said that I was going to re-test my Baby FX painted babies again on Sunday.

I did.  

The Caucasian and the test baby are totally stable, whether the paint was sealed or not.

I am still able to remove some of the ethnic coloring, even in the test spot that I "sealed".

I suspect because I used quite a bit more Slow Dry on the ethnic to get it to blend well and be smooth.

I will do what Melissa suggests and use a blow dryer (NOT a heat set gun) on it and see if that helps.

I have assembled the Caucasian baby on the new body...oh my goodness he is SO cute!
(He is not rooted yet.)


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mohair insanity!

I am back to work today and back to banding, combing, washing mohair.

This is what my next few weeks look like.  I won't start coloring until tomorrow or Tuesday, depending on how the banding and combing goes.  

All of the mohair colors will be offered at one time.  I won't be filling my shop with the colors as they are done simply because then I spend my days handling orders instead of processing mohair.  
Plus, it is a benefit to my customers as well as then they know exactly what I have and can participate in  one-stop-shopping.

My acid dye provider is short on help and is out of some crucial colors that I need so, I have stepped into a new world and purchased primary colors from Jaquard and will be blending my own colors.  

Yikes.  I hope this goes well!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

To seal or not to seal

For as long as I have been using air dry paints (since 2008, 5 1/2 years), 
I have never seen the need to "seal" the paints.  

It has been the belief of many artists and paint manufacturers that one MUST seal air dry paints.

So far, I have proven that not to be the case.  

Now, will all other air dry paints before Baby FX, my preferred way to use them was over a layer of Genesis Matte Varnish (baked on of course) and if I had any shine after that (rarely ever), I would use either Folk Art Glass and Tile Medium or Folk Art Outdoor sealer.  NOT to seal but to remove shine.

On the two dolls that I painted with the Baby FX paints, I didn't use any Matte Varnish or other type of coating to prep the vinyl.

Those paints were gloriously beautiful with an outstanding finish that is silky to the touch!

Neither doll was shiny or sheeny.  They each had a slight satin "glow" that looked like translucent real skin.

Chatting with Melissa early on in the process, I told her that I had better results with the paints by using the Slow Dry in the paints.  (She had told me that many artists like the paints thinned with just water {no slow dry} to get the mixture to the texture of Genesis paints mixed with odorless thinner, very watery and thin.)

When I said that, Melissa suggested that I then needed to use the 2 part sealer and matte when I was finished painting.

As I sat there looking at my finished paint work, it pained me to consider applying anything to the top layer.

Instead of contacting Melissa, I decided to go ahead and try the 2 part sealer on my Caucasian Berenguer.  

I regret it!  Although the finish is still very nice, the complete translucency is gone on the head.  I decided not to coat the limbs.  And I won't be coating the ethnic baby at all.

I do not like a sheeny opaque looking doll.  I felt that the sealer brought this look onto my doll.  I used a combination of the thick Last Coat with the Shine Reducer to get it back close to the original glow.  It is close but not as near as glorious as the limbs.

I then contacted Melissa via Facebook chat and told her my story.
And I asked her if there is any chemical reason that I MUST "seal" these paints.

She said "no".  There isn't a chemical reason, it is more a safety precaution for the artist.  Her motto is "if you sell dolls, seal dolls".  

Well, I have sold dolls and NOT sealed dolls for more than 5 years without a problem.

So I explained to her more of my experiences and what the general community BELIEVES about sealing dolls and expressed that I do not want to seal them anymore.  

She said that she agrees that the paints are very durable on their own and she believes the paints will be just fine without sealing. 

I figure that I have nothing to lose in this "test".  My collectors/customers know that I stand behind my work 100% and if I have to strip and repaint either of these Berenguer babies, they are just 1/4 limbs so the work will not be as intense as a full limbed doll.  I'll be rooting and processing mohair then possibly working on silicone again so there is time for these dolls to find a home and undergo some changing, cuddle time and play time.

In my preliminary testing of the paints and sealer, I have been able to get a little color off of the practice limb and off the head of the ethnic baby, but not off the Caucasian baby.

Now, don't panic!  

The Caucasian baby had the weekend to cure while the practice limb and the ethnic baby were painted just the day prior to testing.  I tell my students and people who write me to NOT try to get air dry paints off the next day as you probably can.  ALL air dry paints need TIME to CURE.  They may be DRY but they are not CURED.

The practice limb was painted according to the Baby FX paint insert instructions and the dolls were painted by my own personal techniques, using a 1/5/15 ratio of paint, slow dry and water.  The limb is a Doll Dreams limb so it's pretty sheeny and I made a hot mess of the limb using a different technique.  Nope, I am not ready to change techniques!  LOL

I will test the pieces again on Sunday.  I am just going to let them be while I band up and wash mohair for processing.  I am certain I won't be able to get any paint off but I'll give it a good test.

So to seal or not to seal.  
It is totally up to the artist.
I am confident enough to prematurely state that the paints will hold up, I am certain of that. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Are you ready for pictures?

Both Berenguer babies are now painted! 
(Using just Baby FX air dry paints and products.)
These were manufactured dolls, ready to be cuddled.  This is how we used to do reborn dolls.
Both of these babies are not only classic faces but also classic reborns.  
It was fun to reminisce.

Remember the sanding???

 Bald heads  :)
 Paint removed:

Here is how they look now.
(The babies are not on their bodies yet as they are on the way from the body maker as I type.)
The Caucasian head is "sealed" and matted.  The ethnic is not and I am not going to seal and matte it.
I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

The Caucasian baby which I think will be a boy:

 Pardon my VERY dry hands.  It's been an issue lately!

The ethnic baby who I think is Bi-racial and will be a girl  :)
 I didn't get many pictures of her as I had just finished painting her and I believe I'll have to use my other camera as my big-guns Canon as I call it doesn't do as well with ethnic tones as my older, smaller Nikon does.
 Once I began painting this little darling I found some scratches in her vinyl.  
That is so unfortunate!!
I don't know if I did it during her prep or if it was there when I bought the manufactured doll years and years ago.
Can you see them there on the right side of her face?  :(
But look at that fantastic complexion!!!!
That is the results of just the paint!
Incredible.  I've never worked with an air dry that was that beautiful without something under it or over it.  This is paint on bare vinyl.

I am going to add a little texture to her brows today and gloss her little nails.  Then these babies limbs will be weighted so that the glue has plenty of time to air out.  I think I'll start rooting next week~I am going to spend the rest of today and all day tomorrow banding up mohair to process.  
I am getting a lot of requests and I've been out for a very long time now.
I should have the offerings up in 2-3 weeks as I'll be balancing the rooting and mohair processing. 
 I hope I get lots made!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Air dry ethnic painting and mixing ratio

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so pleased to say that I LOVE using the Baby FX paints for ethnic painting!!!!

I don't have the entire color line yet so I'm a tiny bit limited with the baby I am working on but oh my...they are so smooth, go on SO nice and look beautiful!

I am finishing up the ethnic baby today (short of sealing/matting) and then I should have pictures of both babies on Thursday.

So the BEST mixture I have found for the Baby FX paints, in any skin tone are as follows:

For every 1 drop of paint add 5 drops of Slow Dry and 15 drops of water.  
It helps to have a small bottle to drop the water out of.

For these 1/4 limb Berenguers I have only needed to mix up one drop of paint but for a full kit, 2 drops of the pigment paint plus the slow dry and water should give enough to finish that color on your kit.  


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another day off...

I hate not getting back to painting today but with rental equipment in the dolly house that is due back tomorrow at 8 am and insulation that didn't all make it into the eves of the roof, I must work out there today.  

The dollies will have to wait...again.

I will be so glad when this project is done.  It has been very hard work, but I am so proud of what we have accomplished.

Again, I've never done this type of work before.  :)  

And I'll probably be taking Wednesday off too.  Ugh!  It never ends!
Hubby has his annual medical exam in the city and I really, REALLY need to take my Mac laptop over to the Apple store and have them check it out.  I simply cannot do business like this especially when I really get back to doing business.

And taxes.  
Egads.  I have not even started taxes yet.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Air Dry Ethnic Painting

Oh my goodness!

The air dry ethnic painting with the Baby FX line of air dry paints is going so much better than any air dry ethnics I've tried before!

I can't wait to show you and tell you more.

But, my day today (and it seems every day lately) is massively taxed.  



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baby FX Air Dry Paints

Yes, that is what I am currently working with.
Many of you have been waiting a LONG time for me to start using these 
and the pressing question now is:
"Will you use them in your class at the ROSE show??"

Well, I think I might.  I am waiting for the rest of the colors that don't come with the basic set and a couple more mediums to arrive before I fully decide.  

The Baby FX paints work just like the other three systems of paint that I use, as long as I put enough medium in them (Slow Dry).  I am told that some artists use these paints with only water but I only made a hot mess with them without the slow dry!  It just dried too terribly fast and I believe that mediums are a key ingredient to any air dry paint.

I do love the matte finish I am seeing on the first doll I am working on.

I don't remember if I told you what I am doing...

I have two of the same Berenguer sculpt.  These are the 16" LaBaby baby dolls that will make into about 18" reborns.

One will be Caucasian and one will be ethnic, painted entirely with the Baby FX paints and products.

Won't it be fun to see the different skin tones on the same sculpt??  

I am just finishing the paint on the Caucasian this morning and will start the ethnic today.
I can't wait!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spending a long day in the studio

I've not been able to get into the studio until around 1 pm this week.

I need to get in there earlier today and WORK!  

So, this is what you get for the blog...

Hannah is ending tonight on eBay.

If you have not already!  


Monday, March 2, 2015

They Never Grow Up Nursery~2013-2014~The Dolls

This will be the final post on my 10 year celebration regarding the dolls.
I will post next about the shows and the highlights of the last 10 years.

In 2013, I made 11 vinyl dolls and this marked my journey for reborning silicone dolls!

Let's talk about the vinyl dolls first.
Of those 11 vinyl dolls, 7 were prototypes.  
Oh my goodness, it is hard to say which I was most honored to do that year!!!
I just about fainted when Bonnie Brown asked me to do a Sally Prototype.
You see, my friend Sally suggested to Bonnie that this kit be named Sally, after her.
Oh what fun Sally was to reborn!  
She became the highest price newborn to date, selling on eBay for $1700.
That was pretty exciting too!
I did prototypes for Marita Winters
Kellie Beckett
Dianna Effner
Samantha Gregory
Betty Morel/Tru Born
and Stephanie Tackett.  

They were all fun and honorable.
I had a blast giving Marita's Mikki prototype lot's of swirlies in her hair:
My sister adopted LyLy Rose prototype by Betty Morel/Tru Born at the doll show in Sauder Village.  
You have NO idea how much she loves that doll!  
She took her to meet Santa at Christmas and had her picture taken.  She takes her everywhere!  
Pardon the poor show floor lighting: 

I made a couple of toddlers that year, one of my favorites was "Ashah", Greek for REBORN!
She was made from the Laura Tuzio Ross Suzon sculpt;

In roughly 2011, I began to study silicone painting and I desired to make 2013 my goal to begin silicone painting.
Just as I did with the vinyl painting, I studied the process for 2 yrs before actually beginning the work.  This is a priceless way to learn.  
I read every word of auctions and sale pages, I looked up words I didn't know what they meant.  I studied silicone supply company pages and instructions.
I read blogs, facebook pages and forum posts.  
I was very blessed to have built a relationship with a gal I call my mentor.
And I used instinct.   If it didn't make logical sense to me in regards to how silicone chemical structure is, I tossed what I read or saw out the window.

I began my first doll in May of 2013.  
She was a tiny micro-preemie from my personal collection made my Rita Rich Arnold.  I bought her as a boo-boo baby at the Tiny Treasures show in 2009.  
I had a hard time with brows and nail tips but otherwise, I had a wonderful time painting her and I learned so much!

Then I just kept going from there!  
I made 8 silicones in 2013.
I even did my first Artist Proof/Prototype for Rachelle Ferrell of her Preston Silicone kit.
He sold on eBay and went to France!
While I was at it, I did another Preston as a twin sister to him:
In order to get more practice, I began taking custom orders for silicone painting and rooting.
That took me into let's talk about the silicones of 2014.

I made 10 silicones in 2014.
5 of those were custom orders.
 This was one of them, Poppy by Lilianne Breedveld.
What a darling little Irish lassie she was!

The rest were kits I had purchased that I just liked.
One of my favorites was Jaylee by Britt Klinger.

I did one more of him order:
I LOVE that sculpt!!

My proudest moments were when my darling Precious by Lilianne Breedveld sold on ebay for 
$6200!  I still can't believe it!

She did me proud!

In 2014, I made 9 vinyl dolls.
Of those dolls, 3 were prototypes.
Ohhhh.... I got to do a Tavi prototype by Marita Winters!
Another honor or was Elijah by Jorja Pigott:
  And the funnest?  Lulu Prototype by Kellie Beckett!
He looked like my grandson!
Two other vinyl reborns stood out that year.
One was the custom that I made as my New Years Day Drawing.
I made her somewhat after me.
She was Noah by Reva Schick.

The other attention grabber was a Berenguer doll that I reborned just for fun.
It is the Beautiful Embrace doll.
Everyone loved that little fattie!

So now onto 2015.
I don't have any big goals this year having just moved and still trying to settle.  
(Other than my Dolly House which has nothing to do with business~it's just
keeping me busy!


Sunday, March 1, 2015


Sunday's are my Monday's.  
That is the day that hubby goes back to work for his work-week, as do I.
Sometimes my Sunday/Mondays are very quiet, and sometimes not!

Today is a not day so I am going to postpone my plan to do the 2013-2014 dolls in celebration of my 10th year until tomorrow.  Tomorrow morning will be a better morning for it.  

I am truly anxious to get back into the studio today and begin playing with 

I have a set of twin "kits"...AKA 16" Berenguer LaBaby dolls that I am reborning the old fashioned way:

These babies have 1/4 limbs which will give me just enough vinyl to work on to get a good feel for the paint.

One of these darlings will be Caucasian and one will be air dry ethnic.  I am VERY excited about the Ethnic!  

So, the heads are sanded, I will strip the paint here in a little while and get busy painting babies!!!