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The Return of Vita Plastica

Hi guys, good to be back! Let's get to it, I have a lot to cover.

Basement Studio

Like I said, I've moved my workshop into the basement. Soon I'll move all my crafty stuff down there and have upstairs purely as a showroom. So here's my workshop so far. Sigh. A work in progress.

Dry Brushing

I heart dry brushing. It's easy, it dries fast and even when you do a major screw up, it looks awesome. I strongly recommend it for those heavy of hand and prone to mistakes like me.

I had one of these Barbie vanities. Was it a My Scene? The one that came with the leopard skin seat. It was originally peach I believe.  I painted it brown and it was serviceable but the model paint began to chip over the years, so I dry brushed it. Behold:

It came out so well, I couldn't stop there. My next victim was the dining set I got in trade with Cat from Doll Affinity. I think this will go into Josephine's blue room. I forgot to take a picture, but you'll see it soon...

Buying 1:1 for 1:6

Do you ever find yourself buying something because you know when it's served its purpose for you, your dolls will use it? Of course you do. 

Well when we realized with our second kid that buying 8 types of bottles to please her and properly fit in her mouth/stop causing gas/totally fix global warming was dumb and expensive, we found these sweet cheapos.

See those tops? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? I waited 16 long months for those tops. Now they are mine:

The flash washed out the color a bit. They're more on the brown side as opposed to the salmon you see before you.

The Beauty of Ugliness

My friend Carey (the creator of the Year of...) and I love the beauty of ugliness. Like old rusted out factories, a half burned building, abandoned tractor, etc.

Our doll world is infected with pretty. If it's not the cutesy Barbie pink, it's the agonizing elegance of Fashion Royalty. I don't have a single ugly doll or chubby doll or anything particularly interesting.

This is why I wanted to make a skanky bathroom to go with my dive bar. Realism doesn't just mean the pretty side. I want to ugg it up!

Remember the Barbie horder pictures? What makes it brilliant is the realism. The disgusting realism.

I'm not finished with the walls, floor and ceiling yet, so here's a taste (done with coffee and watered down paint:

And I made some toilet paper rolls to go under the sink:

Paper Fetish

I've always loved paper. I think paper is what made me a writer. I love fresh notebooks. I will write on one page, then stick it on a shelf for a year.  I knew I was nearing the time to work on doll art. This is tedious work for me and not at all inspiring until it's done (like reroots).

Then while in Chicago, the Hubs and I stopped by an art supply store and I found some beautiful paper. It was really inspiring. I've been working on some paper goods. Here are some basic paper lanterns (remember making those as kids?) with copper wire handles. I made these for Dani and Felix's wedding.

The Wedding

Man, don't I wish I just called them married and never promised to do a wedding! At this rate, it will be next year. And don't expect the big production. The real story of the wedding is everything happening before it. And the reception.  But rest assured I'm still putting together props and figuring out if I should build a set or hold the ceremony outside. I wish GA would get snow regularly. A winter wedding would be gorgeous. Anyway, we'll see.

Os Brasileiros!

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm obsessed with Brazil. The culture, the music, the people. I don't think I've ever felt as comfortable and at peace as I have in Brazil. But I have ONE Brasileira and she's just a side character that can't even bend? (Janaina-bartender and ex girlfriend of DJ Nadia) Wrongness.

So I was on Dark Beauty Doll's page and saw the Angelica Barbie (Penelope Cruz in Pirate of the Caribbean) and fell in love.

Then I bought that hot new Fashionista Ryan. There, two more Brasileiros! They will be the little sister and brother of Janaina. Angelica becomes Raimunda. (Pronounced High-MOON-Dah). Raimunda was Pene Cruz's character's name in Volver. Their brother will be Lucas. Together they are the da Silva family. Lucas is a high school student and Raimunda is the local sex bob-omb.  PS: Friggin' Ryan has bendy arms but stiff legs! WHY Mattel?!! One step forward and two steps back with those folks.

Enjoying the washing machine in the back? Classy.

Me Without You

Really this break has been liberating. I noticed that if a project went badly, I just threw it out and began again. There's no rush or pressure. Tallulah's house was a boring color so I repainted it. The window seat I made looked crazy, so I tore it out and made French doors. The molding didn't feel right, so out it went! (The house is done. You'll see it in the next post).

I redid the park bench but decided it was the wrong material so out it went.

I'm even going to redo the Alurium Vaccarra because I found a better material for the walls. It feels very free to not answer to anyone. But like being single, it's also lonely not sharing my joy with you.

Many more projects being worked on, so stay tuned!



  1. Whoot Whoot! That toilet looks really...used and realistic! My girls here though, don't apperciate realism and would rather have pepto bismal pink (ugh). I just love Raimunda!

  2. It was absolutely refreshing to have my Vita Platica fix once again! (^_^) Everything looks exceptional! I will keep my eyes peeled for whenever the blog bug bites ya into the next installment. *hugs*

  3. Thanks guys! Feels good to post stuff. It's like, okay finally I can put this project away!

  4. LOL...I had to do a double take on the bathroom. I thought, did she just take a picture of a public restroom? Love the realism. I so want the new Ryan but let me get something straight...he doesn't even have bend-click knees? What in the world is going on over at Mattel? Bunch of loadies! ;P

  5. No bend and click knees!!! They are primitive! His arms don't move all that well either. But it will serve. Can't we pop off legs like we do heads? Mattel, don't you make Monster High? Maybe invite the MH staff into your Barbie board room. I need to start researching action figure man bodies. But buying man dolls does nothing for me.

  6. Everything looks fabulous. Love the drybrushed dresser. The daSilva family is really nice. My first time seeing your Janaina doll. Very nice! I won't comment on the Ryan body. There is no excuse for some of the craziness that happens at Mattel. Last but not least, the bathroom is incredible!

    1. Thanks Vanessa! I can't wait to work on the walls (tonight).

  7. Loving your new/old projects. Nice to see you around again. Love that Amazon. Yeah it sucks about Ryan but I swapped his body (it had to be done :O)

    1. Thanks! I tried to rebody the Amazon but it really made her stock plummet. Those tattoos really sold me on her. Poor Ryan, I had just found a job/life for my older fashionista boy. But now, looks like he's slated for donation!

  8. A great return Dani!! Your creativity has no limits, I love everything!!

    1. Thanks Sergio! I'm really trying to improve my technique. Taking more time with each project seems to help.

  9. Welcome back. Looks like you were busy thanks for sharing your work is very unique.

    1. Thanks mustiwait! I have next week off so I'm going to try to do as much as possible!

  10. I'm glad the break did you good; I enjoy reading and seeing your workshop and your plans for future DAF events. Rubbing hands together, oh goody, another wedding!

    The rest room ... shudder. Especially the realistic toilet bowl. Like ... ewwww. Can't wait to hear the comments from your dolls on entering and exiting that room, lol.

    Yes, that is a My Scene vanity. I've got it somewhere among my stuff. Peach with brown drawers and brown mirror, I think it is. Looks better all brown - wood.

    1. Thanks D7ana! Yeah the toilet is pretty gross! My sister came over and saw it and she's like, "" hahah! Making things ugly is a lot of fun. You can't really go wrong!

  11. Awsome that your back! Ive been looking for the new ryan for a few months now but havent had any luck!

    1. Hi William, I'm a hermit, so I found mine on Amazon:

  12. Now that's my kind of bathroom! Love the filth, super realistic! :)

  13. It must be great to have a large space to work in! I need a space like that. BTW, what is dry bushing? The dresser does look good. That bathroom looks so real, I reached for the bleach! I am so dissapointed in Mattel! It like a cha cha with them. One step forward and two steps back! Poor articuation! Bad Mattel! Bad, bad!

    1. Hi Ms. Leo, Dry brushing is basically taking putting a little paint on a brush then brushing most of it off until you get the tiniest amount on your brush. Em'lia talks about dry brushing here:

      It's great for aging things and adding some realistic detail.


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