Monday, May 31, 2010

De Hollywood à la forê quelque part entre!

From Hollywood to the Forest......and somewhere in between!


Juan chose to make a Sugar Plum Natalia. Her hair has been relaxed, and her face repainted and sealed. She wears an Exclusive limited gown, Sugar Plum by Dressmaker Details, high heel sandals in plum by Joe Tai, and Chandelier style earrings Juan made in sterling silver and black Swarovski beads.

Juan Albuerne lives in Spain. He began customizing dolls in 2000, and it was a long path till today, with many joys and a lot of friends who help him to develop his love for dolls, movies and painting. Juan became well known in the doll arena by customizing dolls into movie stars and singers using 12" dolls such as Mattel's Barbie and friends and Integrity/Jason Wu's Fashion Royalty mainly. He won three times the Barbie Bazaar Crystal Award (2002, 2003 and 2004 in customizing Celebrities category), and is very proud of them because they were given by people voting, and that meant they liked Juan’s work

Lately, after his mother's death, Juan felt down and had a hard time getting back to repaints. But he’s starting right now working on a completely new doll to him, Pullip. He’ll be doing them the same as before/ movie stars and singers are Juan’s focused work. By now, just a few know about this new work, but soon he will start to showing it on the forums and boards. Watch for these new dolls on his website, and Flickr.


Elisa elected to do two ensembles for two separate Natalias. One ensemble includes a silk dupioni mini-skirt and two layered bustiers which can be worn together or separately. A silk dupioni calf length coat in peach adds drama to the ensemble. To complete the look is a pair of black JoeTai boots and silver-tone earrings. The second ensemble features a silk two-tone dress in shades of teal with a brown faux suede belt and taupe jacket with mink collar and cuffs. Gold strappy sandals and gold flower earrings complete the look. All fashions are completely lined and have back snap closures.

Elisa Cetera first started sewing about 25 years ago in a high school home economics class--it quickly became a passion, and over the years she has continued to challenge herself to master a variety of sewing techniques. Elisa has been a member of SAGA (Smocking Arts Guild of America) for about the last 11 years, and has enjoyed taking many of their excellent classes during that time. She has also entered many of her heirloom sewing, smocked, and embroidered creations in the fair, as well as evening gowns and costumes. She has been honored to win many ribbons for her work including Best of Division, Judge's Choice, and Sweepstakes. She Is a stay at home mom of three beautiful girls..

In October 2008, she was inspired by a friend, fashion doll designer Tallulahbelle, to try sewing for Barbie and other 11 1/2" fashion dolls. As an only girl in a house full of boys, Barbie was a very good friend to her while she was growing up--and her friend's work just amazed her enough to rekindle a long dormant devotion. Within months, she was selling her fashions.

In early 2009, she was approached by Doll Divas to create an exclusive design for their members. In July of 2009 she attended IFDC for the first time and enjoyed the opportunity to sell her designs in the showroom. Elisa especially loves to create evening wear, elegant day wear, and handknit sweaters. Her designs can be purchased through her website, Petra Elise Fashion Doll Couture, that resides on Main Street of a popular doll mall, Couture Doll Shops.


Dot created an OOAK fashion fairy with her Natalia.  She felt her little fashonista would want her outfit made of more elite fabrics, not Forest faire, so her dress is made of pale green dupioni silk and ivory lace.  It is accented with soft pink flowers, a gold rose button, and more lace which has been deconstructed.  Her wings sparkle not so softly in a medium fuschia.  Her hair was trimmed but she was not repainted as her current face suited this haughty fairy's personality.  Her chair is not included but serves to show a desireable pose she can strike.  Dot had fun making her creation, and hopes whoever takes her home will enjoy her, too.

Dot Festeu is a hopeless romantic, collector of many beautiful things, and a true dollaholic who doesn't want to be cured!  Her goal is to provide doll couture, repaints, and OOAK dolls that are both innovative and fun, to blog, and to use any means at her disposal to promote both her work and the works of her fellow doll artists.

Dot happened on fashion dolls when one of her "regular" doll collecting friends told her about Gene - a doll that seemed to have been made to celebrate fashion!  Dot had been relatively happy identifying and collecting dolls favored by girls during her childhood, although she never even had a Barbie as a girl!  She simply had no interest in dolls growing up!  When urged by Patsy Moyer and Bev Mitchell to attend the Modern Doll Convention where she could see fashion dolls she knew she had to go.  And after meeting the likes of Jim Faraone, Mel Odom, and Robert Tonner, she was hooked on fashion dolls, too!  She discovered so much during that convention - like repainting the dolls, making jewelry, doing hairstyles, and even making little hats and purses - that she found herself spending hours practicing these things when she got home.  She also knew she had happened on the most friendly of doll collectors to date - years later, she knows she wasn't wrong!

OOAKs and repaints remained her constants although she mainly made and sold them at conventions.  In the last few years, she developed a desire to sew, and practiced doing online competitions.  She really had fun when she became involved with Larraine Elcock's Couture Doll Design Challenge, and today is the manager of that venue's, Couture Doll Shops.  Her store front that leads to her website, Dollenchantments, is located on CDS' Main Street.   In addition to maintaining this blog, she writes both the CDDC and CDS blogs, and is way behind in stocking her website - but plans to work on that this summer - so stay tuned!  

Natalia, called Dragonfly, received an updo with micro braids spiraled on top, including tendrils to soften it. Some of her extended eyeliner was removed. Her outfit is inspired by Barbie's vintage 1962 fashion 'Dinner At Eight', as well as Robert Tonner's Peggy Harcourt 'More Than You Can Chew' outfit. It became a bit of a collaboration with Mary Barbato of Miniaturecouture in New York City. We met on the Doll Divas doll board and Mary provided some badly needed advice for someone who had not sewn doll clothes since Mom had taught her as a girl. Mary provided the two fabrics (to thankfully replace the two I had on hand), and custom created the pattern for Natalia's fabulous coat for me.

The custom designed body suit in teal blue is of fine silk, with a silver dragonfly brooch accent at the center breast. It is lined in sheer black and has hook closures in the back. The big-collared, cap sleeve overcoat made from gorgeous, heavy bodied black lace, is gathered at the waist. It features another silver dragonfly at the center front waist where there is also a hook closure. Natalia also wears a pair of FR shoes, silver hoop earrings from Careless Love Dania Zarr's outfit, and a black cuff bracelet from Monsieur Z.

When it comes to dolls Barbara Brock, of BBruceBrockDesign, never really wanted to stop playing with Barbies as a child.  But, under peer pressure at age 14, she succumbed but picked it back up again in her 20's during the 1980's after meeting Robert Tonner.  He has had a very big influence on how she has viewed collecting ever since. Having been away from it for quite awhile, during the last three years, Barbara has ramped up interest and focus on the dolls, both 12" and 16". Her first Fashion Royalty doll was a nude Dressing the Part Agnes when she debuted - it was a wonderful discovery!!!  Although Barbara is not sure where collecting will bring her, she does want to focus on those creative skills and interests developed up to now, and loves the furniture!

Barbara holds a B.S. degree from NYU in International Business and Marketing, and worked at IBM for 18 years. After a career switch was yearned for, she began to pursue studying Interior Design at the New York School of Interior Design in NYC. She studied decorative painting with Andrea Tober at The Decorative Arts Studio in NC. Along the way, a wonderful and loving family was built, and many interests were continually pursued including upholstery, furniture refinishing, and working as a decorative artist in New York, North Carolina and Arizona.  The most recent position she held as Decorative Painting Artist (now retired) with Finishes First, a decorative finishes team based in Tucson, AZ was the best 'job' ever! It could be considered a culmination of everything she loves to do creatively in life to that point. It included applying a wide range of finishes to walls, columns, furniture, cabinets, ceilings, both indoors and out. These finishes went from basic two-color glazing, to antiquing, applying lime slag (for which you need very strong muscles) and reactive plaster. Here is the Finishes First website: owner, Patricia Swanson.

You'll mainly find Barb on Doll Divas and Prego, and she is planning on a sales table at this year's IFDC - her first convention since 1987! 'It is a fun journey getting back into the doll world and I am excited about meeting many other collectors and artists, as well as playing among all the creative avenues collecting provides! Both of my sons are avid artists - I find great joy in seeing their creative endeavors develop, and am very blessed to have a husband who is supportive of my love for dolls (to a point, LOL)!'  See more of Barbara's work on her website, and you can always email her,

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