Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dalicious Challenge 5

Dear Readers,

I just submitted my photo for the Dalicious contest challenge no. 5 for which the theme is cooking!  This was a rather easy topic because there is so much possibilities and I have a lot of food miniature at home so I didn't have to be crafty.

My son suggested to stage a cooking show but I didn't really have the kitchen counters, costumes and background to do this.  So I thought of my doll and created a picture based on her character: Tweety Bird.  As you know, Tweety is not very fond of cats, especially Sylvester who is always chasing her.

So I staged Scout cooking fish and a black cat stealing her food!  I used two Orcara Japanese Food sets: a tabletop grill and fish and a tabletop stove with a soup pot.

The kotatsu (japanese table) and cushions are from Re-ment.   The japanese screens are miniature replica paintings from the Momoyama period.

I Tawt I Taw A Putty Tat! or Why Tweety never liked black cats...

It was fun to do this challenge but I am honesty very glad there is only one challenge left in the contest.  Being able to play with my dolls more often was a good thing but I would like to take photos of my other miniature and dolls as well :)

Hopefully after the last challenge, I will be able to post about them!

Have a great week everybody!

EDIT: You can see the other contestant's photo HERE.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sylvanian Families Competition

Dear Readers,

I wrote a lengthy essay about my health problems but I kept editing day after day and I am still not happy with it so I'll just leave it for now.  Maybe one day I'll be able to post it.   But to be honest, I don't want to bother anybody with negative topics.  I think we all have our share of problems and everybody has their ups and downs.

I would like to share instead things that make me happy and give me a reason to smile.

Today I would like to write about a contest organized by the very talented Mariana who writes the sweetest stories on her blog Sugarbush Valley: An Ideal Life.  The competition rules are HERE.

You can win a Sylvanian Families EB fridge!

Photo credit: Sugarbush Valley: An Ideal Life

In order to participate in the competition, you must join the SYLVANIAN FAMILIES FORUM and write a product review in the REVIEW SECTION of the forum  If you are not a member already, I can tell you that it's a wonderful place to discuss and learn about Sylvanian Families/Calico Critters.

The members are very friendly and I always feel welcomed whenever I post there, even if it's not often.  They are also very knowledgeable and willing to help you.

I would definitely recommend that forum to anybody who likes the Sylvanian Families toys or would like to learn more about them!

Joining is free by the way and nobody will ever pressure you to buy anything.  But after looking at the pictures posted by the members, I think it's difficult to resist buying more Sylvanian toys ^_^

The competition closing date is November 23, 2014!  Good luck to everybody who will participate!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dalicious Challenge 4

Dear Readers,

Mythology was the theme for the Challenge No. 4!

I was very excited about this theme because I remember being totally obsessed about Greek mythology when I was a teenager.  I read every single book I could get my hands on.  So this challenge was like a trip back in time and it was fun to ponder the different scenes I could re-create in my dolly world.

At first I wanted to do Icarus flying away from the labyrinth...or rather falling from the sky when his wings melted.  I needed to make some wings for him and I had in mind a very specific design.   

But I became suddenly very weak and I increasingly lost whatever energy I had left in me.  This past week was just horrible.   I will explain on another day what happened.

I could not make the wings I had planned so I settled for the tale of Cupid and Psyche because it was a scene I could re-create without too much work.  I wished I could have given Cupid his wings, bow and arrows... but time was not on my side.  I took a bunch of pictures on Saturday.

Today, I was in so much pain I nearly collapsed around noon.  I thought I wouldn't be able to submit the photo. I added a little candle flicker and a few light rays but I didn't dare do any drastic photoshop.   Now that I look at my photo, I realize I should have positioned Scout differently.   But oh well, it's too late to change so I'll just cross my fingers.

The story of Cupid and Psyche is one of my favorite in Greek Mythology.  Psyche marries Cupid but she does not know what he looks like since he insists on sleeping in total darkness. Psyche's sisters are very jealous to see that she lives in such a beautiful palace and so they convince her that her husband is a monster and that she must kill him!

One night after Cupid falls asleep, Psyche carries out the plan her sisters devised: she brings out a dagger and a lamp she had hidden in the room, in order to see and kill the monster. But when the light instead reveals the most beautiful creature she has ever seen, she is so startled that she wounds herself on one of the arrows in Cupid's cast-aside quiver. Struck with a feverish passion, she spills hot oil from the lamp and wakes him.

Kai (my Isul Lir) is cosplaying as Cupid.  I really loved the fact that this bedroom scene allowed me to leave Isul in the nude so I didn't have to worry about making an outfit for him!!! ^_^

Scout (Dal Tweety) is wearing a gown I made with leftover white fabric.  The knife is from a Barbie kitchen playset.   The candle is from WYRNA'S MINIATURE BOUTIQUE.  I got it along with some exquisite furniture that I bought to decorate the Chocolate Rabbit grandparents's cottage!

The previous challenge (Vintage) earned me a third position but I think this scene won't win any awards LOL  I am however very glad to have been able to submit the photo in time.  There are two more challenges so I want to stay until the end to finish the contest even though I don't stand a chance of winning anything!

The pictures are not up on the Dolly Market Forum yet but you can view some of them in the Dalicious Flickr Group.

Have a wonderful week everybody!

EDIT: The photos are now up on the Dolly Market Forum or you can go directly to the Challenge 4 Entries.  There are many amazing photos!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dalicious Challenge 3

Dear Readers,

The third challenge of the Dalicious Photo Contest was: VINTAGE! One single idea came to my mind and I did not have any other so I went ahead with that initial plan. Can you tell what is going on in this picture?

Gerda (Dal Dotori) is having a yard sale and she is horrified to see Scout (Dal Tweety) fighting with Dal Cinnamoroll (She does not have a name yet!) for a much sought-after Kenner Blythe doll.

The inspiration for my photo came from two sources: one is from reading stories about doll collectors hoping to find a very rare Kenner Blythe doll for cheap at yard sales.  They Kenner dolls were the very first Blythe dolls but they were discontinued very early on.  It's extremely difficult to find them nowadays, especially when they are in their box.

The other source of inspiration was from my own experience at a Tuesday Morning store.  I spotted a DAL doll and took her in my hands to see.  Suddenly another customer ran toward me and took all the remaining dolls on the shelf!  Then she looked at me and my doll.  I thought that she was going to snatch it from my hands LOL  She asked me if she could look at it and I showed her. She complimented me on my find and left.  I then realized that I took the ONLY DAL doll from the shelf... all the other dolls in her shopping cart were J-dolls for which I did not really care to buy.  Well I like J-dolls but I am very particular about which one so I only like a few models.

So that was not a fight but it was such a surprising reaction from a buyer.  I never had seen somebody so eager to get the dolls!  I think she regretted that she could not get the DAL!

The most difficult hurdle I had for this challenge was to position my dolls to stage a realistic fight!  I could not make them stand up on their own.  So I put Scout on top of Dal Cinnamoroll.   Posing them was so much trouble because I could not get them to look like they were really fighting. I had to re-position them at least 10 times.  I took at least 50 pictures this time, more than I have ever done before in the contest.

Many of my pictures came out blurry during the two first challenges but for this one, I received some help!  My husband bought me a tripod from a garage sale (we do love going to yard sales!).  It was only $5 and in excellent condition.  Thanks to the tripod, I didn't have as much blurry photos.

Here is a behind-the-scene photo :)

I was excited for this challenge!  I got to use THREE of my Dal dolls and I took some time choosing among the "vintage" toys I have.  This picture also marked the return of Gerda (Dal Dotori) who had a broken arm.  I gave her a new body (an Obitsu 21cm).  She is a lot more sturdy now but her neck is floppy so I might have to cut the neck in half to fix that problem.  Otherwise, that new body is a dream compared to the Dal stock body.

It was a very fun challenge and I love having three Dals on display!  But I am terribly unhappy about my photo.  I wanted to redo the scene but time ran out so I sent in the best pictures I had.  I hope the judge will like it enough T_T  Wish me luck :)

EDIT: All the contestant's photos are now up!  You can view them HERE.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Dal Cinnamoroll 10th Anniversary

Dear Readers,

I would like to show you the latest addition to my doll collection: DAL Cinnamoroll 10th Anniversary!  She was released by Groove (which also makes Pullip dolls) on September 2012 to celebrate Cinnamoroll 10th year anniversary!

Per Wikipedia:
Cinnamoroll (シナモロール, Shinamorōru?) is a character series created by Sanrio in 2001, with character designs from Miyuki Okumura. The main character, Cinnamon, is a white puppy with long ears, blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a plump and curly tail that resembles a cinnamon roll. He starred in his own manga series, an anime movie and various animation shorts.

This is not the first time Groove had made a Dal Cinnamoroll though.  There was a first Cinnamoroll produced in 2008 and she was quickly sold out.  This re-release has a few differences in the faceup and accessories.  The new version has notably pink eyelids instead of green.

I have been eying this doll on Amazon for months now.  My finger kept hovering over the "BUY IT NOW" button but I was trying to be good after a month of high spending!  But then I saw her price suddenly drop to $50 (no tax, no shipping fee) and I didn't want to miss out on that chance so I bought her.

She is much cuter in person than in pictures!  And her Cinnamoroll suit is super soft and beautiful!  The lining of the suit is made of a soft fabric in blue with white polka dot.  I had to hide her right away because my baby wanted to squish her in her arms!  You would too if you saw her :)

Her accessories are:
  • Cinnamoroll suit (with detachable mittens and boots)
  • Black dress and bloomers
  • Black top hat
  • Teacup-shaped purse
  • Moustache Necklace
  • Black cane with a charm
  • Chocola plushie
  • Blue stand   
  • Collector card

I like her dress and bloomers very much.  They feel silky and fit her perfectly.  But despite the high number of accessories, there are no shoes for the doll.  The white boots are very tight and it's nearly impossible to put her feet in them!

It's too bad I don't have enough space in my house to keep the box because it is a work of art in itself.  All the Pullip/Dal/Isul/Taeyang dolls produced by Groove actually come in box with an elaborate design!

I like how her doll stand matches her hair color and the inside lining of her suit!  And the moustache, cane and Chocola plushie all include a charm and a chain of some sort which I guess are useful if you want to attach it to your cell phone or handbag/backpack!

All in all I am very happy with this doll.  She is very pretty and has very nice accessories.  I would prefer the 2008 Cinnamoroll because of the accessories (white bag + plushie and a cup!), but that version is usually priced over $200 nowadays so I'll settle for this 2nd version.  And  I think I actually like this doll version better because of her blushing face and pink eyelids!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Stroll Around the Lake

Dear Readers,

The weather was gorgeous this weekend! Very sunny but cool!  We went for a walk along the lakeshore.  It took about one hour to stroll around the lake at a leisurely pace.   The lake was such a beautiful sight to behold and the air was so crisp and pleasant that they enjoyed it even more than I could have wished. 

I wished we could do this every weekend but the lake is not very close.  We have to drive about 45 minutes to get there.  It is however worth the drive.  Next time we will take the kayak with us and row on the lake for a change.  I hope the weather will be good once more!

Infinity pool just for duckies! There were many ducks in this lake.  It's lake a haven for them.  We saw turtles too!

I am not a fan of the great outdoors but when the weather is so perfect and the location so user-friendly, it certainly makes me want to be outside!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dalicious - Challenge 2

Dear Readers,

The second challenge's theme was Adventure!  Three things came to my mind :

1. The Indiana Jones's movies
2. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
3. The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland

I crossed out the first one because I didn't have any clothes or prop to make it happen!  My boy really wanted me to make the costume but I didn't have enough time nor skills to sew anything!  I crossed out the second because I was afraid the story wouldn't be famous enough for the judges to recognize.

So I opted for the last one because I already had most of the elements necessary for the photo.   I set up my scene on Saturday during baby's nap.  The most difficult part was making the card soldiers.   It took many trials and errors to finally get the right size and to keep them glued on their "feet",

I created the croquet scene because it's one of my favorite scene!  I wished I had a Sylvanian Families Hedgehog baby because he would have made the perfect croquet ball!  (I am sure mommy hedgehog would disagree with me!).  Instead I used a Playmobil hedgehog which was also very cute!

Pullip Merl is the Red Queen.  I didn't want to show her face because DAL is supposed to be the main focus in the picture and my Pullip doll has such a big head that I think she would most likely overshadow my little Scout (Dal Tweety)!  So I cut off her head (Get it? Get it? Okay, that was lame :P)

It took me a while to get the card soldiers ready.   Being made of flimsy paper, they constantly fell over.  The Little Pullip Cheshire Cat and Little Dal Romantic Rabbit were already part of my Alice collection and couldn't wait to be featured in this photoshoot!  They never get photographed, the poor dears!  The tree is the Sylvanian Families Treehouse (the old model).  I added some fake leaves. 

Overall, I am happy with my picture but the contestants created much better shots than I did.  You should take a look at the entries HERE.  Isn't it MIND BLOWING?  I would be happy not to finish last!!!

But to be honest, I had a lot of fun doing this challenge.  It felt like a SCAVENGER HUNT during which I looked all over my toy collection to see what I could use for this photo.   The third challenge has already been posted: VINTAGE!  I already know what I want to do.  I just hope the execution will be better this time and I won't wait until the last minute again!

Have a great week everybody!