1. My eyes are going! Wah! I can't do detail work like I used to. My days of sitting on the sofa making 1:12 scale minis out of polymer clay are over. I officially need to buy one of those huge magnifying glasses on a swivel arm so I can see what I'm doing. This sucks schmucks.
2. I have had the worst case of bursitis I've ever had in my life in the past three weeks and it's just not going away. It doesn't help that it's in both of my shoulders and I sleep on them, which is why they are constantly being aggravated... but nonetheless. BURSITIS! GARGGGGHHH!!!
Anyway... that's enough of that old lady grumping. I'm doing my monster-high doll project right now and this is where I am at the moment. Shall we?
The Hungarican Chick's first Monster High Doll Mod
Part 1 - Prepping & Rooting
I have always thought Monster High dolls are just cute as hell, and I never liked fashion dolls all that much; except to act out my years-long epics as a child. But these dolls have a really stylized and appealing shape--even moreso when you get rid of all the trappings added to them when manfactured. So I got a cheap Frankie doll, stripped off her hideous little garments and ho-bag shoes, and asked my fiberista sister to send me some angora mohair and other fine wool. These can be found online or at fiber fairs. Just look on etsy for what you need.
A lot of this information is duplicated on the videos provided, but what the hey. I'm a talker.
So here is the doll and the baggie of kid mohair are at the beginning of the project.
OFF WITH HER HEAD! I recommend that you look up on youtube or whatever how to effectively remove a monster high doll head. I didn't, naturally. You know me if you follow my blog. I act first then curse later. I actually split the neck which will require repairs. But I got her head off nonetheless. Here she is wearing it on her knees. Because I'm weird like that
Prepping the scalp and head
Prepping the scalp and head
Welcome to Salon Hungarican--where our stylists' skills compare to no other. Our stylists are also double-chinned and don't wear bras when they're at home crafting; so be prepared for that. As you can see in the videos below, it's a travesty. Try to ignore the tabletop boob and focus on what's going on with my hands. And also try to filter out my continual use of 'Ummmm'.
There's a reason that Salon Hungarican failed on its first day of business.
Cleaning the Face
Her face came off lickety split. I also cleaned her again because although she looked clean, there was still a very fine residue that remained after the initial cleaning. Use cotton swabs soaked in acetone to get into the little nooks and crannies like her lips and nostrils, where paint might flow in while cleaning.
One of the things I actually took the time to look up was how to reshape the feet of a fashion doll. I found ONE reference to using a heat gun, and it had no specific instructions except to hold it over the foot for one or two minutes. But I went with it. For $22 at Lowes, I found a heat gun in the paint department. And lo and behold it worked! I kind of wish I had a trash doll I could have practiced on, because the first foot, being the first foot, ended up slightly wonky. But what the hey... It worked and with the addition of stockings and slippers, nobody will ever know about the mangled foot.
|Stripper pose extraordinaire.|
|The first movement after running the heat gun over the ankle and top of foot for about a minute. I just pushed it on the table and it began to bend.|
|I let the heat gun sit too long and too close to the first ankle and the plastic started|
to bubble. I reshaped the toes, and let the ankle cool before attempting to flatten it
|Right foot looks a slight bit tilted, and the toes are squashed,|
but you live you learn. The second foot was a breeze. It's non-bubbly,
non wonky and the toes weren't completely ruined while being bent.
|The tool of awesomeness.|
Rooting the hair.
I am going to begin by saying that the little baggie of mohair I had was BARELY enough to fill the head. BARELY. I had to scrounge and scrape the last third of the head, and repurpose what I had deemed waste fibers (luckily I figured out how). So make sure you do not underestimate the amount of hair you need. You can always sell the balance or dye it and use it for another project. Just make sure you have plenty on hand. When I was done, there was only a tiny quarter-sized ball of fibres that were all shorter than 3/4 inches. Getting raw mohair might mean that it hasn't been washed and there might be VM (vegetable matter--hay, grass, etc..) in it. Your process will wash it anyway as you have to wet down the hair a lot ot tame it, but you can give it a rinse in cold water, no scrubbing, and then squash the pad of fibre between two towels to dry it up.
Anyhoo.... As for rooting, I had to be inventive and make my own rooting tool. In order to be slightly more specific about how I made my rooting tool. I found an old number two school pencil -- and a sewing needle. I clipped the back of the need off to make a set of prongs. I jabbed the pointy end of the needle into the pencil eraser and voila. A rooting tool. I recommend you find an emboidery needle that works for you--because they have a wider eye on the needle, making for deeper prongs. You slip little skeins of fiber into the prongs and then punch them into the little plug holes. Repeat until you're done. TIP: The prongs might bend a bit during use, and catch the hair as you're pulling them out. So wiggle your pencil a bit as you pull the needle out to make sure it doesn't drag loops of hair out with it.
Then you don't have to scour the web for a rooting tool, and you don't have to listen to anyone telling you that you should use a felting needle. With this, you control the size and length of your skeins and it costs very little. It worked for me.
Rooting in Action:
|The punk stage.|
|The holes around the hairline were made with a sewing needle.|
They are fine and your hair skeins need to be fine too. They are
larger (the plug holes) on the scalp itself so that bit you can add
thicker skeins and it goes much more quickly,
I'm digging this shield maiden/Lagertha look. :D
The mohair tends to frizz up and get pouffy as you work with it. Never fear, it can be tamed with water. COLD water. Just wet down the doll head if it gets unmanageable and it will behave (for a while). Even if it frizzes up, a wet comb later on when the hair is affixed will bring it all back down again.
|Pouffy and poufier|
Wow, that face is attractive. :::Oy::::
The Painting begins
|Before we begin painting, you need to cover up the hair. Our|
first-aid kid came in handy for supplies. I'll try not to rue this decision
the next time someone severs a finger in this house.
|I used a tiny condiment bowl to mix the solution in small batches,|
as I don't want to make too much. I can also blend it to the right
consistency for my airbrush before filling the little cup.
Chalk pastels are the thing I'm using here. Frankly, I'm not too pleased with it. I'm considering going to my makeup case and pulling out some blush from there. But the step was to brush on the flushing on her cheeks and around her eyes, so that's what I did.
|I started with 1 tsp each of the mediums, but I ended up adding|
airbrush medium to thin it out more. The PSI of your airbrush
compressor will determined what solution works best for you.
She looks serene and in this softened light, you don't see the blotchiness of the blushing. So I will probably swab her down and do it again, and maybe try it with actual blush or a different brush. I may even try it with the airbrush and acrylic paint if push comes to shove, but I have to test that out a lot before I move forward. But this is where we are at this moment. More to come.