Thursday, 2 February 2017

Update, and Crafting Doll Boots

First things first, I must apologise, again, that it has been so long since I last posted. 

The simple truth of the matter is that my depression makes it very difficult to do most things that I normally enjoy doing, including blogging.

I've had chronic depression for the last 12+ years, and its severity can vary wildly from barely noticeable to unable to leave the house. I've tried to post about it here so many times I've lost count now, but every time I deleted the post because I reasoned that people don't come here to read about my mental health. However, I'm mentioning it here now because I want to be honest with you guys about why I don't post so often these days. Other bloggers who occasionally write about their struggles with depression, like Horse Tender Studio, have helped me to see that it's ok to write about it, so I'd like to ask you to please be patient with me: I haven't forgotten about or abandoned my blog, I'm just struggling to post as often as before. With that said, I've set myself the goal to post at least once a month, so we'll see how that goes.

But enough about that, moving on.

Plenty has happened, model wise, since I last posted. New faces have joined my herds, I've rediscovered my love of Grand Champions Model Horses (I hope to write a more in-depth post on them at some time in the future), and I'm slowly making my way through the 101 craft projects I'd like to attempt. And, on that news, I'd like to introduce you to some non-equine faces.
 Another blog that I enjoy reading is Tiny Horse Talk, and for some time now she has been posting about making clothes and props for her Breyer doll, Sarah. The more I read the more I felt inspired to get a poseable doll and make some of my own accessories for it. 
 In the end, I got three. The two blond dolls are both Grand Champions riders that I was able to buy very cheaply second hand. The brunette is a Breyer Classics doll, and also came to me second hand with a foal that I've been after for a while now.
 They're both from the Pet Groomer set. I wasn't too bothered about getting the other animals and items from the set, so when these two were offered for a very good price, I went for them.
 The foal goes perfectly with the Classic Haflinger mare. He's meant to be a palomino, but since their colours are so close, foals often have lighter baby coats anyway, and pangare on flaxen chestnut lightens the coat to the point that many people confuse it for palomino, I have no trouble calling him a Haflinger. 
 Since Mum's name is Dancing Gypsy, baby told me he wanted to be called Traveller's Tango, or Tango for short.
Anyway, back to our dolls. I decided very early on that I preferred the brunette's clothes on one of the blondes, so shirts and shoes got swapped around. Unfortunately, being second hand, one doll came without shoes, so once swapped over that left the Breyer doll with literal cold feet.
 As an interesting side note, the Grand Champions dolls (left) have longer feet than the Breyer Classic doll's (right). Thankfully the Breyer shoes still fit the GC doll.
After doing a bit of searching on ebay for spare shoes, I failed to find anything suitable, so I opted instead to try making my own boots for the doll. Most of the tutorials I found seemed too complicated or required materials I haven't got, but then I stumbled across this step-by-step guide by My Froggy Stuff for making doll UGG boots. I had felt, I had needles and thread, so I decided to give it a go!
Of course, as a first attempt they're a bit crude. I opted for purple felt to match the doll's waistcoat, and I used some old thin white fleecy material for the trim. It didn't work out as well as I was hoping, but it does pull the whole thing together, so I'm not sorry. 
I had a bit of trouble at first following the tutorial, but thankfully I could pause and rewind the video as often as necessary until it finally clicked into place for me. I really find video tutorials helpful in this regard, because watching someone actually going through the steps is more useful than looking at a signal frame in a photo guide. 
 The soles were actually cut from a piece of black foam that previously came as packaging for some sort of electrical equipment (I can't remember exactly what, it's been so long...). The foam was perfect for the job, and I just love it when you get a chance to use one of those hundreds of 'come-in-handies' we all have lying around :) I tweaked the tutorial slightly by scoring the underside of the soles with some scissors to add ridges for extra grip.
 Of course, 1:12 (Classic) scale is much smaller than the 1:6 scale of most Barbie-type dolls, which the tutorial was made for, so sewing and gluing everything was very fiddly. And I had no buttons small enough to use as final details, so instead I dug through my craft box until I came across 4 purple beads. Using a needle and thread, I sewed bows onto the front of the boots, added the beads onto the loose ends and secured them with a knot on the inside. It would probably have been easier to use wool or embroidery floss for the laces, but cotton thread was all I had :)
  Once the glue had completely dried I pulled the boots onto the Breyer doll's feet, and I'm very happy with the end result. Thankfully, UGG-type boots are designed to be large and easy to pull on. The felt isn't the exact same colour as her vest, but that doesn't bother me. 
 Her jeans didn't really want to tuck inside the boots, but with some gentle persuasion they can be encouraged to go in. The large soles of the boots help the doll to stand up, and her feet fit snugly inside.
All that was left was to give her a name. With her brown hair and blues eyes, she reminds me of my late aunt, so I decided to name the doll 'Janet' after her. I think it suits her, but I don't have any blonde women in my family, so I'm still trying to figure out what to name the GC dolls. I'd like to make more items of clothing for all three of them eventually. But I might need a while to recover from the tininess of those boots :)


  1. First off: ((hugs)). Depression is awful, I've been battling it for a long time too. I'm so glad that me talking about it has been helpful for you. On to happier things: I loved Grand Champions too! I have several of them, currently boxed up in storage while we are overseas. I have not had any rider dolls yet, but am hoping to get a couple to mess around with at some point. I think you did a great job on the boots - they are very cute! :)

  2. I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award!
    You can see the post here