Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Dianna Effner

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In today's post, I want to focus on Little Darlings artist Dianna Effner aka the Khaleesi, the Mother of Darlings, Queen of the (an)Dolls...well you get the picture. I think it's of utmost importance to point out first that without Dianna, we would not have these wonderful dolls that so many of us collect and enjoy. Not only did she develop, perfect, and then teach her painting technique to the other artists, but she actually sculpted and created the dolls themselves. 
Annie, painted by Dianna Effner

I do not own a Dianna painted doll, and I have specifically not reviewed any artists whose work I have not seen myself in person. Luckily, my good friend Janice sent Annie to my house for forwarding on to Australia, and she allowed me to open her up and have a look. The first thing that struck me about Annie was how natural her freckles looked. She absolutely looks like a sunkissed little girl in the middle of summer. I was really impressed when I noticed that even her little chest is freckled! What great attention to detail. 
Close up of Annie's eyes and face

As far as Annie's eyes go, I love the color that Dianna is able to achieve. The color is so realistic, which I think is hardest to achieve with green eyes - I could be wrong but from looking at many, many dolls, green seems to be the hardest to nail down. A friend of mine subscribed to Dianna's Reborn Revolution videos at one time, and in those videos Dianna details the process used for giving the eyes their life-like effect. She uses photos of real children and expertly mixes colors together in order to get just the right look. With this doll in particular, you can really tell the level of care that was taken in her creation. 
A photo of Annie dressed by her Mumma

If I had to use one word to describe Dianna's style, I would say "natural." She goes for an all natural look, one that is very realistic. It's easy to imagine this girl playing in a sandbox somewhere because her features so resemble that of a real girl. 

Thanks for reading Little Darlings artist series so far! These are all the dolls I have at the moment, but I am expecting a Pat Green doll anytime now, so as soon as I receive her, join me back here for a review of her style. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

International Doll & Teddy Show 2016

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I have been attending this show since it began back in 2014...then it was just called International Doll Show, or IDS for short. I make it sound like it's been soooo long, but this was my 3rd trip to the show, and I wanted to do a review of it. I have never attended MDCC, BJDC, or UFDC, so I can't really compare IDS to any of those shows, but I hope to give you a good idea of what it's like, in case you plan on attending. I'm going to just pepper this post with pics from the show for your enjoyment.

Hannah, by My Meadow. Face up is by Charlene Smith and I believe the outfit is too.


IDS is held every year in Asheville, NC, at the Crown Plaza hotel. Because I am a native Carolinian, I have never actually stayed overnight for this event, but from folks I have talked to who have, they say the rooms are quite nice.

Connie Lowe dolls - my apologies I am not sure of their names.


IDS, or IDTS, has a mix of reborn dolls, ball jointed dolls, various different types of artist dolls, and teddy bears. It has grown considerably since the first year I attended, and the room is jam packed full of artists and their creations.

One of Val Zeitler's beauties

IDS doesn't have as many events as some of the other shows, but they do offer a few pre-show classes and seminars. The good thing about this though is how affordable it is to attend. It's only $10 to get into IDS! 
Some Liz Frost beauties with face ups by Charlene

I think the best thing about IDS is how up close and personal you can get with the artists. As I have said before, I haven't been to other shows so I really have no benchmark, but you can stop in and chat with the artists at their booths throughout the show. I was especially excited to chat with Berdine Creedy again, she's always so lovely to talk with. I also got to meet Nikki Britt, who is a fellow Potterhead and general fun-loving soul. 

Berdine's table. I had already bought my own Edi by this point. 

A couple of Nikki Britt cuties

This sweetie ended up coming home with me :)

The other thing I really like about IDS is the variety of dolls and artists that are there. I have been introduced to so many different types of dolls through this show. 
These dolls are from Larissa's Divine Creations. I plan on adding one to my collection in the near future.

I've also met a lot of people from my neck of the woods by attending. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe there are so many wonderful dolly people living so close to me!
Kardenchiki dolls, represented by a new local doll friend!

A doll by Rafael Nuri. Her work is second to none! If I ever win the lottery, I'll be adding one of her stunning creations to my collection.

And lastly, the precious little Avery that I really wanted to take home but just couldn't do it :(

If you have any questions about the show, please leave a comment and I will try to answer them. I took loads of pictures, so if you want to see more, you can check out my album on my Facebook page: here . Thanks for stopping by!









International Doll & Teddy Show 2016

0

I have been attending this show since it began back in 2014...then it was just called International Doll Show, or IDS for short. I make it sound like it's been soooo long, but this was my 3rd trip to the show, and I wanted to do a review of it. I have never attended MDCC, BJDC, or UFDC, so I can't really compare IDS to any of those shows, but I hope to give you a good idea of what it's like, in case you plan on attending. I'm going to just pepper this post with pics from the show for your enjoyment.

Hannah, by My Meadow. Face up is by Charlene Smith and I believe the outfit is too.


IDS is held every year in Asheville, NC, at the Crown Plaza hotel. Because I am a native Carolinian, I have never actually stayed overnight for this event, but from folks I have talked to who have, they say the rooms are quite nice.

Connie Lowe dolls - my apologies I am not sure of their names.


IDS, or IDTS, has a mix of reborn dolls, ball jointed dolls, various different types of artist dolls, and teddy bears. It has grown considerably since the first year I attended, and the room is jam packed full of artists and their creations.

One of Val Zeitler's beauties

IDS doesn't have as many events as some of the other shows, but they do offer a few pre-show classes and seminars. The good thing about this though is how affordable it is to attend. It's only $10 to get into IDS! 
Some Liz Frost beauties with face ups by Charlene

I think the best thing about IDS is how up close and personal you can get with the artists. As I have said before, I haven't been to other shows so I really have no benchmark, but you can stop in and chat with the artists at their booths throughout the show. I was especially excited to chat with Berdine Creedy again, she's always so lovely to talk with. I also got to meet Nikki Britt, who is a fellow Potterhead and general fun-loving soul. 

Berdine's table. I had already bought my own Edi by this point. 

A couple of Nikki Britt cuties

This sweetie ended up coming home with me :)

The other thing I really like about IDS is the variety of dolls and artists that are there. I have been introduced to so many different types of dolls through this show. 
These dolls are from Larissa's Divine Creations. I plan on adding one to my collection in the near future.

I've also met a lot of people from my neck of the woods by attending. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe there are so many wonderful dolly people living so close to me!
Kardenchiki dolls, represented by a new local doll friend!

A doll by Rafael Nuri. Her work is second to none! If I ever win the lottery, I'll be adding one of her stunning creations to my collection.

And lastly, the precious little Avery that I really wanted to take home but just couldn't do it :(

If you have any questions about the show, please leave a comment and I will try to answer them. I took loads of pictures, so if you want to see more, you can check out my album on my Facebook page: here ,









Monday, July 25, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Joyce Mathews

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In today's post, I want to talk about Little Darlings artist Joyce Mathews. 
My Mary, wearing a Matilda Pink dress

The first thing I want to talk about that I believe makes Joyce's style stand out is the depth of realism she creates with the flesh tones of the dolls. The facial coloring seems so alive that you might think you could touch her cheek and it would be warm. I also find that the contouring and shading she does can make the features seem to be completely  different from other dolls of the same mold (all of the artists achieve this to some degree but I notice the most variation among same-mold painting with Joyce). 
Face close up

Now let's talk about Joyce's eyes. The main thing I have noticed about her eye painting style is how sharp her eyes are. There is clear definition between pupil, iris, and whites, where some artists do more of a feathering or fading effect. I think this gives the dolls a very intent gaze, and I love how different it is from the other dolls. 

As for her eyebrows, they are not as defined as the other Little Darlings I have. You can definitely see some definition but they are more fuzzy and less of individual hairs. I think this may have to do with the way the eyes are contoured on my specific doll, the eyebrows sort of lead down into the shading of the doll's eye socket.

One last look

Joyce's dolls are beautiful and often command high prices on eBay. I was able to snag mine from Etsy when she listed her there quite awhile back. I did pay a premium for her, but nowhere near the eBay prices. She is my only brown eyed girl and a treasure in my collection! 




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Lana Dobbs

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My newest Little Darling is from artist Lana Dobbs. I placed my order with her back in March of 2014 and received my doll in May of 2016...a two year and two month wait. But it was so worth it! 
My Ginny, painted by Lana Dobbs

Lana's painting style is one that gets lots of realistic colors into the dolls eyes. While most of my other Little Darlings have different hues of the same general color, Lana somehow blends various iris colors together to make a very realistic eye.
You can see yellows, greens, and browns all in her eyes.

The eyelash and eyebrow painting is very delicate and fine, even more so than some of the other artists. I can't even imagine how she gets a brush stroke so thin on the the doll's brow. 

The lips also are a little darker and fuller than some of the other dolls I have. I think this gives her a more mature look, so I see her as "older" than some of my other Little Darlings. 


I think a good way to sum up the way I feel about Lana's dolls is they are very realistic. If you get a chance to stare into someone else's eyes (or even your own eyes in the mirror), you will see the different flecks of colors that occur naturally in the human eye. Lana is able to capture this feel with her painting style, which I think makes her dolls so highly coveted.

Join me in the next post for a close up look at Joyce Mathews' painting style!



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Little Darlings Artist Helen Skinner

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The first two Little Darlings I acquired are my sister dolls, Anna and Elsa (yes), that I purchased directly from Helen Skinner at IDS back in 2014. I had every intent of only buying one, but when I saw both of them, I knew I had to had to have them. 
Elsa and Anna - Elsa's dress by Darling Little Bee and Anna's by Jazzy Fran

Helen's painting style gives the dolls a more mature look, in my opinion. My Elsa almost looks contemplative, while my Anna reminds me of a sassy teenager.
Close-up of Elsa's face 

Helen's eye painting is deep...almost as if the eyes hold the secrets of things they have seen. The pupils and irises are more defined than some of the other artists', which may be what gives me the sense that these dolls are more mature than my other, more child-like Little Darlings. Elsa's lips are also very pronounced, while her eyelashes and eyebrows are very delicate. 
Close-up of Anna's face 

Now take a look at my Anna doll. Her freckles are absolutely perfect and natural looking. They are all different sizes, and blend in so perfectly with her face you would think the vinyl had to be made that way in the factory. On this doll, the eyebrows are more pronounced while the lips take the background. As with Elsa, Anna's eyes make her look older than my other Little Darlings from other artists. I think if you were looking for a doll to wear the latest fashions and trendy outfits, Helen would be a great artist to choose because her painting style really creates a depth to the eyes. And after all, the eyes are the windows to the soul. 

In the next post, we'll take a look at a Little Darling painted by Lana Dobbs.