I am happy to announce a new product: recordable voice boxes! These are the same boxes used at Build-A-Bear Workshop. Make a doll or plush toy with a special message or one that says "Mama" or "I love you". Find step-by-step recoding and installation instructions on my blog. Purchase a box from my shops, link on the Home page.
The Census At Bethlehem by Pieter Brueghel The Elder
Early this year, I was hit with a premonition. We were driving up to the mountains and I saw a man walking along the side of the highway. I can't remember any particular thing about him but for some reason he struck me forcibly as the iconic tramp, a symbol, like The Walker in The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper (with which I was obsessed as a pre-teen) or Strider from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. I was still musing over why I saw him as a tramp and not just a stranded motorist, and also considering the ancient origin of the term "highway", when we passed a wooden wagon full of hay straight out of a Brueghel painting. The wagon wasn't in a farm yard or anything, just in a clearing by the road. It wasn't the kind of wagon you could attach to a vehicle and I have no idea how it got there. I suddenly had the impression we were hurtling backwards through time, driving inexorably into the past. As it turned out, I was somewhat correct. The arrival of the pandemic, the medieval quarantine, the slowing of life's pace are all experiences our ancestors would recognize. The year seemed to freeze us in amber, or at least in some viscous miasma we had to drag ourselves through, every movement labored and spotlighted. There were some blessings; I didn't miss our usual hectic summer sports rolling into the even more frenetic holidays. It has been especially hard on the children, however. They miss their friends and their usual activities. It was worsened by our daughter's advent of back pain and subsequent diagnosis with scoliosis. Swimming, her favorite sport and the activity most recommended by her osteopath, was closed to her.
And of course, the year has been a disaster for so many. The past again: bread lines, famine, mass unemployment, and the complete absence of any government relief. People have been left to sink or swim alone. Our town Santa Claus died of COVID, as did a high school friend. My sister's entire family caught it, though they seem to have come through okay, thankfully. I did the only thing I could think to help and wrote my Doll University book and Tiny Budget Tiny Cabin books. These teach you to set up your own home-based doll repair business as well as get into a tiny home as cheaply and quickly as possible. I fervently hope my advice helps you turn this year from the past into a prosperous, or at least stable, new future.
Here's to 2021. May we take only the good with us into the new year. Happy New Year, from Atelier Mandaline!
Merry Christmas! Atelier Mandaline shops are closed for the holidays. May you have a wonderful Christmas!
I've been re-branding Atelier Mandaline. It's been 15 years since I designed my logo and packaging and my business has evolved. Back then, I only sold girl's clothes and dolls on eBay and I didn't even have a storefront. Now I have eight shops and a doll hospital and I've become an author. My customer base has become more diverse since I started selling men's fashion. My new logo reflects my increasing focus on doll eyes and supplies and my previous pink and white color scheme has become more neutral to appeal to all my clients. I am still using the handmade unicorn tags created by my kids because they're just so cute and I do still sell a lot of dolls and girly stuff.
My re-design has not yet reached my web presence; I still need to update my website, blog, and store logos. Rest assured, I will get those done as I can. I did change my logo on my newsletter and immediately got an Abuse report to Mail Chimp. Evidently, someone didn't recognize me! I never subscribe anyone to my newsletter unless they request it because I hate when I buy something and end up with a ton of spam. I would not do that to someone else! So please pay attention to my Atelier Mandaline name, not my logo. The new logo is the one shown above. It's still me, just with a new look!
One of the reasons I'm not completely done with my re-brand is because I've been working on my third book, Atelier Mandaline Presents Art Dolls, second in the Atelier Mandaline Presents doll series. This latest book focuses on making one-of-a-kind dolls using pre-made dolls, like Barbie, American Girl, Blythe, and now, Pullip.
For literally as long as I can remember, I've wanted to make my own dolls. As a teenager I made rag dolls, but I really wanted to learn to sculpt dolls. I started sculpting them from clay and polymer medium, but because I didn't have a kiln they were extremely fragile and not long-lived, and they weren't professional-looking.
Over the past couple decades I've learned to make unique dolls without having to manufacture them. I found I can completely re-design commercial dolls by replacing their eyes, wigs, and re-sculpting and re-painting them. My custom dolls sell for hundreds of dollars each. Making art dolls is a huge trend right now and it's a perfect work-from-home career during the pandemic. I decided to share my tips so you can learn to create your own dolls.
I already covered Blythe and American Girl art dolls in past blog posts, and I added a historical doll section to help you create accurate vintage and antique art dolls. I still wanted to learn how to make a custom Pullip doll so I could show that to you.
Pullip dolls are "big eyes" dolls made by Jun Planning, similar to Blythe in that they have convertible eyes. While Blythe has color changing eyes, Pullip dolls have moving eyes. Pullip dolls can wink, sleep, and look from side to side. They use eye chips a little smaller than Blythe's. The eyes don't change color but you can customize the eye chips. Pullip dolls come with a ball-jointed body. Jun Planning makes finished Pullip dolls but they also sell a kit with a blank doll ready to be customized. I ordered one of those kits two years ago and finally got around to finishing it. Allow me to introduce "Autumn", my new custom Pullip.
Autumn has custom-painted shimmering hazel-green eyes and a red curly wig. She's painted with a peaches and cream complexion, freckles galore, and metallic copper eyeshadow and blush. Her wig is attached with silicone adhesive in front. leaving the back open so you can easily reach the buttons and lever to manipulate her eye mechanism.
Autumn wears a vintage hand-crocheted dress with organdy slip. Her slip can be worn as a babydoll dress. Autumn's coin head band can be worn as a necklace. Autumn is for sale in my shops, and she will also be featured in Art Dolls so you can learn to create your own Pullip doll. You can link to all my shops from my Home Page to purchase her from your favorite site.
I'm thrilled to introduce my latest book, Tiny Budget Tiny Cabin! As anyone following my Instagram knows, we spent the past year building a tiny cabin in the mountains. We finally have our space completed to the point we can live in it and I want to share our experience. Learn how we built and furnished our cabin for less than $20,000, got a great deal on waterfront property, negotiated the permit process to save cash, and created a sustainable lifestyle. I know it's a departure from my usual doll repair content, but I wanted to help anyone else who might be interested in tiny living. We started saving up for a fishing camp more than 20 years ago and we finally realized our dream!
I am having a pre-order and launch sale through 12/26. You may pre-order signed paperback copies of the book or immediately download the e-book. As always, the e-book is a high-quality printable PDF so you can print pages or the entire book for reference. The e-book is available from my website and the pre-order paperbacks from my website and Etsy. Please note, the pre-order copies are currently in production and will not ship for 3-4 weeks. Please follow my Amazon Author Page to see the moment the book becomes available from Amazon.
Happy Thanksgiving! Atelier Mandaline is closed for vacation. Everything in my shops is on sale. You may purchase items but shipping will be suspended from 11/24-12/1.
Just like everyone else, we are having a remote Thanksgiving celebration with only our immediate family. We hope and pray this will be the last holiday season we have to spend apart from loved ones. May you have a meaningful holiday, even with the Covid isolation.
In other news, my Doll University books arrived early! You may now order from Amazon and all my other shops. I will honor the pre-order sale here on my website. Order my book for 50% off through 11/30.
I'm so pleased to announce I am turning my Doll University book into a series! Coming soon, two books on making your own custom dolls. My Art Dolls book will show you how to make one-of-a-kind art dolls from existing dolls, no kiln or manufacturer required! My Pressed Felt Dolls book will show you how to create your own pressed felt dolls in the style of antique Lenci dolls as well as how to identify authentic Lenci dolls. These two books are partially-written. I would love to finish them in time for Christmas but I think that might be pretty optimistic, at least for the paperback versions! I will format them as both e-books and paperbacks. You can pre-order my Doll University book from my website or Etsy and you can download the e-book right now from my website. Both are on sale until November 30th! While you're shopping, why not sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss out on any launch announcements and sales?
In a departure from dolls, I have written another book called Tiny Budget Tiny Cabin. This is a book sharing how we built and furnished our environmentally-friendly tiny home for less than $20K and how you can do the same. I also reveal how we got a great deal on waterfront property, negotiated the permitting process to save cash, and made our home sustainable. I am finished with the manuscript and am in the process of formatting the book as a paperback and e-book, and I expect it to be ready for download and pre-order in December.
These covers and titles may change when the books are finished since they are still in progress. Please, however, enjoy these mock-up shots of Tiny Budget Tiny Cabin; I had so much fun making them!These covers and titles may change when the books are finished since they are still in progress. Please, however, enjoy these mock-up shots of Tiny Budget Tiny Cabin; I had so much fun making them!
Several years ago I was lucky enough to get a vintage textbook from a Midcentury trade school that taught doll repair. This book has detailed instructions for problems with specific dolls, such as Saucy Walker, Tiny Tears, Cissy, Valentine, Thumbelina, and more. I am so happy to offer these to you in printable PDF form! You can view them on your device or print pages to see diagrams better. Some parts of these Midcentury lessons are obsolete, so each packet comes with an information section I wrote to help you update them. Purchase these packets here by choosing your doll's name. Please note, these are specific to each particular doll. For general doll repair, like eye replacement, purchase my Doll University, Repair Dolls for Fun & Profit book. Have fun with your doll repair career!
I am so happy to announce my book, Doll University, Repair Dolls for Fun & Profit, is available immediately for download as an e-book! I got concrete information today that the paperback copies are set to arrive November 30th, so I am extending my 50% off pre-order sale until then. I will also be offering a special sale price on the e-book until November 30th. Buy the e-book here on my website. The paperback my be pre-ordered here or from Etsy.
I set up my e-book to print full-page at high quality, so while you can read it on your computer or device you may also print out a paper version of your own. This is especially helpful when you are using my proven "cheat sheet" tutorials with step-by-step photos. As you can see from the Table of Contents, I cover every type of doll repair I find essential as a doll doctor and restorer. The e-book is set up with UNLIMITED access; once you buy it you can download it as many times as you like with no time limit. I am still working out whether to offer the e-book on any other sites. I would have to completely re-format it to sell on Amazon and other platforms.
Order today and give yourself or a loved one the gift of a new career!
I'm so happy to announce my book is finally here! Are you looking for a new home-based career? Doll University, Repair Dolls for Fun & Profit is the answer! I have been working from home for more than 20 years restoring and selling dolls and running a doll hospital. Doll repair is an underserved field, especially in times of financial hardship when people desire to fix their dolls rather than buy new ones. My book will not only teach you to repair all kinds of dolls; I also walk you through opening a doll hospital or doll shop, purchasing wholesale supplies, manufacturing and importing your own goods, and creating and promoting your brand.
My book is currently in production. You may pre-order it here or from Etsy for $40 shipped in the USA. The price will double when the book is released. Pre-orders will take 3-4 weeks to arrive and you will get a paperback signed by me. If you were to send dolls to my hospital for all the repairs shown it would cost over $700, not including shipping, and that doesn't even take into account all my advice for setting up your business! This is your chance to start a fun new hobby or business or inspire someone else by gifting a copy to them. People all over the world have learned doll repair from my tutorials. All my lessons are included in this book and I've added a few new ones never before posted! Here's what just a few of my recent students had to say:
If you've ever wondered whether you could repair dolls or start your own business I am here to tell you YES you can! Place your order and get started today!
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.