New 16 second heartbeat boxes for dolls & plushies from the Home page links! #ateliermandaline #dollsupplies #dollheartbeat
Several years ago I had a client ask me to create a replica of Barbie's pet cat from the 1972 Kitty Kapers fashion set. This was part of the Put-Ons & Pets line and today it's extremely rare. Any piece from one of these sets is worth a fortune now and the pets are especially desirable. I made a cute cat with needle felted fur (definitely cuter than the original, which in my opinion looks like road kill). Then I offered them made to order for other people and they were quite popular. I ran out of the original yarn and beads I used so I recently re-designed these cats. I used a new technique, making an armature from wired pipe cleaners and needle felting over it. I think these look more like the original cat. They're also easier to make smaller for Barbie sized and the wire inside makes them more poseable. I made a larger version as well for bigger dolls like Cissy. I have one of each ready-made and they can be ordered from my Etsy shop on the Home page.
These typically take only a few hours but I have a 2-3 week turnaround on them just in case. Today, for example, I was called to pick up my son from school after he tried some kind of Olympic-level jump from one playground structure to another and fell. He sprained his wrists pretty badly and lost consciousness for a while so we are having to monitor him for concussion. Anyway, since I never know when stuff like that will happen I added some extra time. We are also remodeling our kitchen ourselves and that's sucking up a lot of my time. If I can get them made faster I will. I hope you enjoy my replicas. I try to make them smile more than the originals, which are pretty angry looking!
My cats, as compared to the originals above.
The larger version.
When we bought our house more than a DECADE ago we agreed it needed a kitchen renovation. It’s finally happening! We’re doing everything except the counter installation ourselves so it’s going to be a lengthy process but we’re excited!
It's hard to believe, but my brand is almost 13 years old already! Although I started selling online in 1998 I didn't have a branded store until 2012, when I opened Atelier Mandaline on eBay and Etsy. The name came from my Mandaline Artful Living blog, which I started in 2011. At the time every variation of my name, Amanda, and nickname, Mandy, was taken. There was even an artist named Amanda Baer (my maiden name) who already had a website! I thought and thought and decided to use my grandfather's nickname for me, Mandaline, but even that was taken as a domain name! So when I bought my own domain I had to use Atelier Mandaline.
"Atelier" means "studio" in French, and specifically the teaching studio of an artist. Doll companies have been called ateliers for hundreds of years, so it made sense to use that name. Unfortunately, "Atelier Mandaline" is really difficult for people to spell, so it's hard to tell someone my website and expect them to find it and it's too long for a lot of sites where I sell. My Poshmark boutique is called "Studio Mandaline" for that reason. Now, however, I was finally able to get the mandaline.com domain! So all my various sites will be united under the Mandaline brand ~ or Mandaline Metaverse, if you will! There are still some hiccups; every search and editing site constantly changes it to "Mandolin"!
In all the years I've had a brand I've only rebranded twice, and the second time was over two years ago. I still haven't moved the new logo to all my shops. Everything is just too scattered. It will be really nice to have one brand for good. I spent all day building the website. My brain is fried, so please, give me some advice! What do you think? It's far from finished. The very first photo of the lady with the laptop is only on there because I can't figure out how to remove it from the mobile version! It's terrible how technologically inept I am! I have learned a lot recently though.
As you know I've been super busy taking classes for the last few months. One that I'm still knee-deep in is the Click Funnels software. Click Funnels just unveiled a one-stop branding site. That means eventually all my products, website, blog, membership site, courses, webinars, and email list will all run from one place on Click Funnels. Right now I have a confusing, clunky, and very expensive network of websites scattered all over the Internet. You only have to look at the ateliermandaline.com homepage to see what I'm talking about; what a mess of confusing links! To build mandaline.com and connect it to Click Funnels I had to learn how to create a subdomain and code DNS tables. It took about a month longer than it should have but I finally did it!
So tell me, what does the overall design so far say to you? I started as a reseller online, just buying goods on sale and selling them. Then I added custom dolls and doll supplies. But now I have my own branded dolls, doll supplies, home goods, fashion, and art. I am an author now too, teaching doll repair as a career, and I have more books on the way. I am branching out from dolls to teach people to start their own business in any field. So really Mandaline has become a lifestyle brand. I want to convey Mandaline as your destination for unique and custom-made goods as well as a place to learn to start your own journey to creativity or self-employment. Mandaline is about sustainability, exclusivity, and freedom. Does the website design portray that? Please let me know. And please let me know any topics you want me to cover in my upcoming courses and webinars as well. I love to hear from you!
Subscribe to my new YouTube channel! I’m https://youtube.com/@ateliermandaline
As you know, I’ve been making all kinds of videos because instagram hired me to be a content creator, so I figured I might as well have a YouTube channel too. So far my channel is just “shorts”; more short form videos of 15 seconds or less (a recent report says Americans’ attention spans are now only 7 seconds on average). I have ideas for longer videos on the way however! My husband got me a ring light tripod with remote for making videos and I’m excited to try it. Look for longer tutorials & recipes on my YouTube channel. Instagram doesn’t allow long videos & this blog only has the capability for smaller files so I can’t post long videos elsewhere. For all of you who’ve asked for video tutorials over the years, it’s your moment! I used to be wary of YouTube because of all the haters but now there’s a content moderation setting that restricts hateful comments so I’m hopeful it will become a more positive forum. I hope you’ll check it out and subscribe!
Right now I’m restoring a vintage VT-18 Revlon doll. These dolls have a metal rod that extends from the head to the groin. The head is attached to the rod with a screw. Below that a large spring reaches the waist. The rod runs through a bell-shaped metal washer in the groin and is held on with another screw. Because of this sturdy construction you rarely find these in need of restringing. However, somehow the little mommy who owned my Revlon managed to rip her apart. It appears all her pieces are included but there’s no way to get them out of her body to re-assemble them.
I talk all the time about how doll repair involves a great deal of improvisation. Many vintage dolls have parts that are no longer available. This was a case in which I had to make up a repair. I attached a stringing hook to the top of the spring, as close to the neck as possible. Then I drew elastic cord through that down to the pelvis. I made a stringing bar from wire I inserted in the pelvis opening and strung the cord to that. Then I pulled as tight as possible and knotted it. The repair worked and Revlon has a twist and turn waist again! It is looser and actually more poseable than the original. This doll will be available from my shops soon, so keep watching!
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.