Thursday, 9 April 2015

bridesmaid activist doll

Bridesmaid girl
Inspired by Tree Change Dolls:

After discovering Sonia Singh's beautiful work a couple of months ago, I got a bit carried away in a frenzy of charity shop doll buying. Sonia saves poor rejected Bratz dollies and gives them their faces back, and some warm clothes and sturdy shoes or feet where they have stumps. 

The new dolls are so delightful it is little wonder they have become something of a global phenomenon. What is even more amazing is that the artist has seemingly rejected all sorts of offers to get rich quick from this. She is very generous in sharing her craft secrets and just seems to be a really good person. She is very much into recycling and reducing waste so I feel a little bit guilty about my first attempt because, well, I cheated a bit. 

I really wanted to make a little dolly for my niece as bridesmaid and I couldn't find a second-hand one with the same hair colour. Time was pressing so I..cough...bought a new 89p doll. Which I know probably encourages the factory to make more astoundingly cheap dollies, and thus the planet is a step closer to meltdown. So I apologise. The second thing about my dolly was her original face was quite nice. OK she had crazy eyelashes, but I think when you see the Tree Change before and afters you get the point - the more the contrast the greater the satisfaction.
My dolly before the makeover
Sonia Singh Tree Change makeover
The first thing I did was remove her face with acetone (nail varnish remover). Sonia uses eucalyptus oil as well but I haven't come across that in the UK. Maybe tea tree would do the trick.

Then I gave her a bit of a haircut and painted the scalp brown with acrylic paints (89p dolls have quite marked alopecia). I mixed my own brown (with tubes of red, yellow and blue, black and white I figured I had a good base for all colours). Then I painted on the eyes with a tiny brush. DO NOT BE FOOLED into thinking this is easy just because Sonia Singh's creations are so perfect. It is a fine line between creating an amused glint and a psychotic glare. And don't get me started on teeth. At one point she looked like she had tooth decay. In the end I was reasonably happy. The natural eyebrows make a big difference. I sealed it with a coat of Matt varnish as suggested by Sonia.  
face detail
For the shoes there is a really good video below. I had a go making my own 'Oo-goo' with cornflour and bath silicone caulk sealant. My hands got quite sticky and as there were no measurements it was tricky to get the balance between too sticky and too dry.


Some of the shoes looked a bit cracked so I DecoPatched them. This makes them a bit stronger and prettier.
bridesmaid shoes
Finally I made a dress to look as close as the bridesmaid dress as possible. It seemed to go down a treat.
Worth every stitch. Mum made the real girl's dress - so lovely
after a good play and a ride in the confetti flower petal basket 
And finally if it is all looking a bit too girly, her alter ego 'the NHS Activist' to remember all the marching she has done this year with her mum Bad Hair Day Lady and her aunties and uncles
Born in the NHS
Hand embroidery. T shirt made from old pants!
Scottish outfit
Thanks Sonia this was so much fun. Next doll will be a recycled one!

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