Phase Two of the Barb-Way

I fell down a rabbit hole.

A 1950's French rabbit hole.

Behold, my Barbie dress collection, "Paris 1952." See if you can spot the Dior "New Look" suit.

Let me break this down. The first part of the collection are these dresses with bows.

Then the sundresses:

And the shopping outfits:

I used plain eggshell muslin and some hand-painted muslin and linen I cranked out back in 1995. The hats and bags were made with felt, ultrasuede, chamois, and leatherette. 

I swear that Phase Three will be the end of this madness, when I make the black & white collection for The Jade Dog.

Unless I get sidetracked by beading the muslin stuff from Phase One.

But I won't. I'm longing to get back to the Big Fat Art Project. 

So - more later for sure.


Project Barb-Way. No, Really.

I set aside my Big Fat Art Project in order to make some holiday gifts and do some baking and finish a book series I've been reading (the Poldark novels by Winston Graham). And then *this* thing came up.

I was messaging with my daughter, who has been - let's just say she's not been herself since November 8th. She mentioned that when she's really down she breaks out her Barbie dolls and makes art jewelry for them. We talked of this and that and before I knew it, I had committed to making a dozen outfits for her in black and white. I have a lot of old Barbie patterns so I showed her what I could do, she picked out what she liked, and I made prototypes in muslin - because that's what you do when you're designing a collection, right? I showed her photos of how everything turned out, and she made her final selections from there.

A sampling of the patterns

Most of the prototypes

So I took a little break and did some baking and started making some gifts for my grandsons. I also decided I would decorate my house for the season - get a tree and all that - something I haven't done in sixteen years. I've always been too busy with decorating the bookshop. I went over to the Dollar General where I knew I could find an inexpensive tree, and while I was there I wandered down the toy aisle.

Let me back up a minute here. I had four Barbies I found at a thrift store a few years ago - I got them for an art project I never quite got around to. When it was Barbie's 50th anniversary, they came out with a reproduction doll EXACTLY like my first Barbie, which I never forgot, so of course that was my birthday present to myself six years ago, which increased the herd to five.

And last month I got a surprise package from my BFF Antonia, which included the Barbie-as-Sandy doll. Now there are six.

I get into this whole Project Barb-Way thing, remembering how much I enjoy making the tiny clothes, getting all nostalgic, and walk down the toy aisle in the Dollar General.  So now the herd has increased to nine.

I can't believe I did that.

No. Wait. Yes I can.

Kirsten, Jane, Emma, and Violet were the original four.
Tamsin, Regan, and Deirdre are the new kids.

Now I need to make some clothes for the two Ken dolls I have . . .

Just to legitimize all this for the beadwork blog, the plan is to eventually bead all these outfits.
Honest. That's the plan, anyway.

More later.