Tag Archives: DIY

Happiness is… Repaint Project One 2014 (xx)

14 Mar

I’ve been meaning to ease myself back into repainting some of my old doll houses, but I wasn’t really sure I could commit to such a lengthy process right away. I’ve had the materials on hand for a while now, but I couldn’t get myself to jump in on a project. That is, until a perfect “practice” project came along.

I am talking about a Licca dressing room I got recently through a Facebook contact. I got it at a very reasonable price, albeit it was not complete and was, in fact, missing a very important part- the cover for the main dressing room. It also had minor discolorations and small chipped parts. Still, I was very happy with the purchase because it was small enough to work on and not have the project drag on for days, or weeks even,

Brand new, the Licca dressing room would have looked like this (pictures borrowed from Playmoya Japan:

Licca dressing room

Licca dressing room 02

Licca dressing room 03

Very cute, right? I think it’s a very nice playset, functional too, as the shoe closet also serves as a carry case for a Licca doll when traveling.

Now, this was what I got, and mind you, I still loved it, flaws and all:

Repaint 02

This Licca dressing room was missing the hinged flap that serves as a cover to the room. As you can see, there are two exposed hinges on the side where the plastic hinge of the cover should be.

Repaint 01

The good news was that the door was in great condition, save for some dings on the sides and small scratches on the design in front.

Repaint 03The back and sides also just had minor discoloration strewn here and there in small, irregular patches of yellow.

It took me just ten hours to finish this project, spread over two days and with long drying times in between. I actually spent more time waiting for the paint to dry completely, so I did chores at home or worked with Alphonse while I waited.

The plan was to make it less childish in appearance by changing the color palette to one more suited for an adult doll collector. Choosing white and gray as its base colors and gold as an accent made this project elegant and less plasticky in appearance.

This is the finished project:

Repaint 04

Front

Repaint 05

Front with open shoe closet

Repaint 06

Back

Repaint 12

Details

I used a stone acrylic paint spray for the roof to add texture to the gray primer and base pant. The white I used was a mixture of flat white primer and pearly white acrylic spray. A bright gold was painted on selected parts to serve as accent color.  I also covered the cardboard backing with a printed sticker (printed on matte sticker paper and sealed with a clear sealant to prevent smudging or running) and kept the black and white theme on it to make it less fussy.

I sealed the whole thing with more clear spray and waited overnight for the seal to dry. Just this morning, I tried it on for a few pictures with my dolls, just to see how it would look with them.

Repaint 10

Nimes: “Hmmm… I hate it when I have nothing to wear… Sigh…”

Repaint 11 copy2

Sitti: “Oh, c’mon, Nimes, stop dawdling around! Wear your jacket and let’s go! We’ll be late for school!”

Success! I like that I now have an extra closet for Blythe doll clothes. I will keep looking for that missing hinged part or perhaps replace it in the future with a home made cover. Another option would be to hang sheer white curtains in front (with tiebacks) to keep the clothes covered when not in use. In any event, this modded set will certainly get a lot of use as Nimes, Sitti, and their Blythe sisters play dress-up.

Am I ready to remake a Sylvanian building now? You bet I am ! On to the next project!

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Pika- Pika- Pick a Chu!

23 Oct

It’s no secret that I am a trying hard, desperate crafter-wannabe and that hasn’t changed at all in all these years. I think the desire to create, to embellish, and to bling has gotten even worse as my mind conjures more DIY possibilities for the things around me.

Take the case of my beloved Pikachu 3DS xl. It’s lovely as it is and terribly cute. And since this limited edition sold out on its release early this year, you’d see its price already horribly inflated in the market.  pikachu original

As such. the thought of “skinning” it gives me the heebie jeebies (okay, worse than that, actually). No one in his/her right mind would dare tamper with the original design for fear of ruining its value. And yet, my itchy fingers are nagging at me to do something.

Something to personalize it and yet won’t be irreversible in nature.

Hmmm… Something like this.

Can you recognize who they are?

Pika 01Meet Hello Pikachu and Dear Pikachu, Pikachu’s take on Sanrio’s most famous couple, Kitty and Daniel.

Of course, once you start on this path of craziness, it’s bound to get worse. *cackles maniacally* Some days, Pikachu just has an identity crisis on his hands, never knowing which superhero he wants to really be.

Pika 02

And then there’s this, an homage to one of my favorite modern literary characters (I made this for my friend Laser), here’s a truly confounding sight. Confundo!

Pika 03

Is this Harrychu or Pikatter?

Now,  should I being doing “Chu Chang” next?

Happiness is… (xviii) Sylvanianizing!

2 Apr

If you’ve been reading this blog for quite a bit now, then you know I can be quite obsessive. And when it comes to things I absolutely love, like Sylvanian Families, I do tend to get carried over a bit and turn everything I have into similarly themed items. I did the exact same thing ages ago with Hello Kitty, remember? Although I still do carry “Kitty-fied” things with me, these days, I much prefer to  “Sylvanianize.”

Sylvanianize [sil-vey-nee-uh-nīz]

  1. provide or complement with Sylvanian Families accessories
  2. design or produce something with a Sylvanian Families theme

When I think back to when it began, I suppose it would be the day I started playing around with the idea of personalizing my phone.  A♥ had given me a very expensive bumper case as an alternative to the Hello Kitty silicon cases I used but it just seemed too plain for me. I was toying with the idea of having a Sylvanian Families cover case professionally made but I kept holding back because of the expense. Adding a back cover to my bumper case (to replace the velvet cover it came with) seemed a whim at first but I grew to love the idea. I started with a Union Jack design and then made several more Sylvanian-themed back covers as  got increasingly adept at switching covers.

DIY phone unionjack copy

Another back cover, this one with my favorite “Jerry Maguire” line.DIY SF phone copy

The plugy is a DIY too, made from a Sylvanian Families gashapon figure, a hook screw, and a plugy attachment.

DIY plugy copy

I then moved on to notebooks, making stickers and notebook covers for them. Here is one I use for my Sylvanian Families inventory. It’s not pink, but it’s the shade of blue I really do love. 🙂

DIY SF notebook copy

Mugs became easy targets once I received one that I can personalize. After I finished with one, I immediately got a hankering to do more. Fortunately, there are plenty of them at stores, and at different price ranges too.

DIY SF mug copy

I hesitate to use the word ‘last” because I doubt if this will be the last of its DIY kind. I’ve been having a lot of fun with felt from my lens cap holder project that I have moved on to making them in Sylvanian designs as well.

Here’s a chocolate rabbit…DIY chocolate rabbitand here’s my first attempt at a charcoal cat. Not too shabby, right?DIY charcoal cat copy

I like DIY projects a bit too much to stop right away. I guess that Sylvanian bug has really bitten me hard. And what can I say? It really does make me happy. So, for now, I will continue to: Sylvanianize, Sylvanianize, Sylvanianize!

DIY Day

17 Sep

I got a lot done yesterday (yay!) even if one of the nannies was down with the flu (I hope it really is just the flu).  After the kitchen chores and the daily bedroom clean-up, I found time to do some long overdue projects when Alphonse decided to stay outside and play during the day. I could never do any of them while Alphonse was around; he’s a very curious fellow and turns my things upside down when he gets interested. Sometimes, he even steals the scenery from my Sylvanian photo sessions, hahaha.

So what did I do yesterday?

First, I kittified my Kindle. See?

It took all of 30 seconds to stick that itty bitty thing but it’s something that I keep forgetting to do. I like that my Kindle is in a pink leather case but the Kitty head somehow tied all of it together. Vavavoom- instant bling!

Second, I got all of the new Hello Kitty items I collected last week and arranged them for a photograph. I have been very remiss in documenting my HK collection but hopefully, this will give me the impetus to start up again. The diecut bag and pouch from Gift Gate are denim and very casual so these are my everyday bags for now.  The bling stickers (aren’t they’re adorable?), the dispenser, the plastic pouch and HK Nerd necklace are my purchases from my Multiply friends (hello, Mia and Jing-jing!). The iPhone case is a gift from A. ♥  

Next, I worked on photo boxes. This one took a little longer but I was actually able to finish two yesterday. I’ve been following my forum friend Toukkero’s blog, Monta Suloista Kokoelmaa,  since she started sharing her Sylvanian collections online. She has all these really lovely photos of Sylvanians in different rooms and settings. Her blog is in Finnish and I do need Google Translate to get the gist of her stories but I am sure you all will agree that her pictures are amazingly cute! Toukkero is also very generous with her “secrets” and twice in her blog, she shifted to the English language so I can understand her instructions on photo boxes.

Inspired by my friend’s creativity and generosity, I worked on my own boxes. Not only are they meant to be beautiful, they also have the added bonus of being portable. Whenever I set up my work table, it takes a while to clean up everything. When Alphonse barges in, as he inevitably does each time I work on my photography, I scramble to keep everything away before anything catches his fancy. He really loves miniature trees and so far, he has snuck out and ran off with two from my set-up.

I added strings to the front and back edges of these sturdy double corrugated boxes so I can fold them up and carry them outside. The walls are made from a solid removable piece of illustration board that can be replaced with other designs as needed. I experimented with wrapping paper first but I think it’ll be better using scrapbook paper or boards in matte next time.  I love the design of this one so I opted to try it out but flash photography fights with the gloss of the paper.

Living Room photo box

Here's how it looks all set up with figures

Outdoors photo box

How I take photos- with two extra lights and the camera in a tripod

The carpet I use as grass comes from our Christmas tree set and I do have to return it soon as the Holiday season is just around the corner. That it serves another (and more important) purpose explains why I can’t cut it to box size. Instead, I stuck it down flat with some velcro stick-ons.

I’m happy with the boxes for now but I’m a little disappointed with the resulting pictures. I think it’s because I haven’t worked out the kinks on lighting. I am using a battery-operated lamp from Alex’s desk and a portable rechargeable reading lamp. I will try out the different kinds of light available in the house and see what works best. As you can see, almost everything here is DIY and comes from easily accessible materials.

Lastly, just before bedtime, I got started on the Sylvanian pizza store I was planning to make from an incomplete bakery set I bought on sale. I used stickers to mod this, not wanting to permanently alter it and make it unrecognizable. Besides, if I do change my mind, all I do need to do is peel off the stickers and make new ones for, say, an art museum or even a bookstore, as some of my forum friends have suggested.

I printed the stickers on photo paper, stuck them on, and used a cutter to cut the excess. The fluted edge of the canopies was a challenge but it just needed a steady hand and a lot of patience to get through it in one sitting.

Next step would be to replace the missing counter and put the extra accessories from the pizza sets I already have. The window on the left will connect the store with the  takeout pizza stalls, I will have to think through the idea of replacing the missing counter but I do have a few things in mind already.

I’m amazed I was able to do all these in one day. Thank you, Alphonse, for cooperating and giving Mama some hours to do as she pleases. Thank you to my boys (my loving husband A included) who complimented my handmade creations. And most of all, thank you to the Man Up There who never fails to remind me that a day is only as productive as one wishes it to be. I am tired, but it’s a good kind of tired.

The Bionic Sylvanian (DIY)

19 Mar

The inspiration came from this little keyfob Harriet noticed hanging from my camera strap.

“Oh, Kittymama, where’d you get that?’ she asked.

It was a gift from a friend, I told Harriet. I had no idea where she got it, or even if it was a genuine Sylvanian item. But it was cute and I loved it.

Over a series of text messages sent back and forth, I was seized with this idea of using babies as keychains. They were small and discreet, not too chunky or heavy, and in truth, they were the cutest of the Sylvanian Families characters. “Mind you, it would require some form of “torture” to screw those little thingies on them, ” I reminded Harriet.  We had to think long and hard. Were we ready to hurt the ones we love?

At that point, however, I wasn’t quite ready to commit myself to any form of Sylvanian torture. That night, I searched the web for SF keychains and lo and behold, I found out my idea wasn’t too farfetched at all. They were using babies as sacrificial keychains! Gasp!

Not only that, their prices made me hyperventilate. They were really cute, but twelve dollars for a thingy to hang with my keys? Double Gasp!

That settled it. Operation Bionic Sylvanian was born. As the opening sequence of The Six Million Dollar Man played in my head (“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic … ehr… Sylvanian baby.” ), I set upon this course of action resolutely. The following is a photographic documentation of this Bionic experimentation on Sylvanian Families babies. 

Warning: Not for the faint of heart or for die-hard Sylvanian lovers.

 

Surgical intruments include forceps and metal file with pointed edge, although any pointy thing can be used. Implants consist of metal hook screw and short lengths of ballchain.

Assessing the condition of the patient, Kittymama gives the patient a complete physical examination. No fur rubs. No damaged limbs. Tail intact and complete. Verry good.

Patient receives a mild anesthetic and twilight sedation (aka lots of  kisses) and prepped for surgery. The location of the implant is determined using precise measurements of head size, calculations for circumference and total surface area, as well as post-operative aesthetic considerations.

The hook screw implant is slowly inserted into the vertex of the patient’s cranium and turned tightly, using short clockwise movements to prevent making a larger burr hole than necessary. The ballchain is then added to the loop of the hookscrew.

Post-op, the patient was in great condition, and perfect for hanging about Kittymama’s camera strap.

Disclaimer: No Sylvanian was harmed in the making of this post. They’re plastic!