Friday, July 31, 2015

The Library Doll Project

Hello dear reader,

If you follow me on Facebook or Youtube, you will know that I have been talking about this Doll Project for almost 2 months. Well, I am happy to say it has been done!!

I present to you my long over-due Library Doll Project!!

TADA!!!


This project came about when I was talking to my sons' school librarian about body image and how important it is to raise healthy balanced children in today's fast-paced society.

And although I don't have girls, I grew up in a household of 3 daughters where my parents struggled to balance make-up, fashion and self worth and confidence within our personalities.

I grew up playing barbies and have watched as dolls today have evolved into something more- and not something very positive I'm afraid.
I got the idea to remove factory make-up from Bratz dolls and to give them more age-appropriate attire in a hope to encourage girls to dress within their age-group and be proud of who they are where they are (it's ok to be 12 and not dress like 16).

So this project was broken into 3 sections:

1- The dolls and their clothes

I managed to find a bag of Bratz dolls at a local garage sale. And I took before and after shots as a comparison

Doll 1- Orange haired Girl

This is what she looked like before:


And this is what she looks like now:


I re-painted her face and created boots for her out of air-drying clay which i then painted pink to go with her outfit.


For her outfit, I managed to find a really cute dress on clearance at Toys R Us for $1.40 . It is "sweet" themed which gave me the idea of portraying her as a dessert loving doll.

Doll 2- Black haired Girl

This is what she looked like before:



And this is what she was wearing:


And this is what she looks like now:


Her face contour was the hardest to re-paint (the vinyl on her face had been previously scratched near her mouth) and I must have drawn, wiped and re-drawn at least 5 times. There is a point where you have to let go of all perfection and just let it be.

Once again, her outfit was on clearance at Toys R Us for $1.50. I loved her yellow boots and so I

Once again, her outfit was on clearance at Toys R Us for $1.50. 
I loved her yellow boots and so I decided to match her hair ties and her stand with co-ordinating pattern paper. I also found these cute critters in my son's bottomless box of trinkets. 

The bones were blank and I thought "Be good" and "Be kind" were simple but powerful messages that young ones do understand.


Doll 3- Blonde haired Girl

This is what she looked like before:



And this is what she looks like now:


I love her soft features the best. And these pink pyjamas I found just seemed to fit really nicely with her whom persona.

Actually call her the Sleepy Unicorn Girl. I hd visions of her going to bed and dreaming of horses and ponies and I managed to find a My Little Pony at our local thrift store which completed her stand perfectly.







Doll 4- No haired Girl

This poor girl came to me with her hair shorn off.


I did manage to make a wig cap and a wig out of brown yarn but I felt like it defeated the purpose of the message I was sending out which was to be happy with who you are regardless of what you've got (the wig did make her look flamboyant). So I decided to crochet a little beanie for her and leave it at that (the hard decisions you have to make when you realise all the hard work you've just done does not fit in with the master plan).

This is her wearing just her wig cap before I added the yarn to it.


And this is her wearing her beanie:


I actually sewed her t-wshirt and her jeans skirt. I really love that denim look on her. The stockings came on one of the Bratz dolls from the garage sale.
I also found this furry creature in my son's box of plenty and he was so cute and he acted as both a feather boa and a buddy. Too cute.

Doll 5- Baby Bratz

Oh my word I HATED this monstrosity when I first saw it. Seriously, how can they dress a baby like this?? Crop top and bright red lipstick??


She was actually the first doll whose face I wiped.

AHHHHH- thats better...


Because of her larger than average face, I decided to re-paint her as a manga chibi girl with large eyes. I LOVE how she turned out. By far my best repaint job.
This is what she looks like next to her sister (whom I left with the factory make-up because she didn't look TOO bad)


For my chubby girl, I made a costume for her out of denim and a plaid skirt (you can just see her original factory painted red toe nails):


I love this little star button :)

And for her sister, I practised more sewing and made her a onesie and a cardigan:


And finally, the creature whom is neither here nor there:


I re-painted half of her face using Barbie eye to brow proportions and left the default factory make-up on the other half. I also left her wearing her highly inappropriate rag dress


2- The stands which they were propped on

Hubby found me these planks that click together and cut them to approx 100mm x 125mm



I painted them brown and drilled a hole at the top, large enough to accommodate a pencil.



Next, I had the HARD task of choosing patterned paper to match the personality and outfit of each dress. This alone left me restless for 1 whole week!

I finally decided on these. The pencils were then hot-glued into place. I used twist ties to secure the dolls around the pencils when they were finally ready to stand



3- The base where they were presented

So this was originally a Whiskas tray holding canned food as can be seen by one of these early pictures.




First, I paper mache'ed newspaper. Many layers!




Next, I painted the whole thing white, then collaged a thin layer of tissue napkin using napkin glue.



I then chose the patterned paper that was going to go on the inside of the tray (another week of deliberations!) (All that and I forgot to take a picture of the final choice but you can see it here in the final picture (please excuse the photo bomb by my little Mister Z):





And just like that, my obsessing has come to an end. I say I am glad it's done. I've learnt a lot and done a lot and my house is cleaner now, but part of me misses these cute personalities!!

To end this already long blog post, I wanted to show you just how WONDERFUL our library is and what little treasures are on display when you walk through the doors.




















Indeed, the library is where I went constantly when I was in high school. It was my sanctuary and I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful community and our local school library.

Until we meet again, 
Take care,
xxAmira


3 comments:

  1. I love everything about this story. The transformation of the dolls. The body image statement. The process you took. Love the scrapbook papers. I absolutely love the library. Every little detail is superb. A place that welcomes and encourages children to read. I think I want to go live in that library. Well done Amira.

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    1. Thank you Jan for your thoughts.. I agree!! You and I can live in the tee-pee *haha*..all my love xxA

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  2. How totally fabulous! Remarkable transformations. The 'before' dolls were positively FRIGHTENING!!!!!
    And I LOVE your library!! <3

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