Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Visual Eye Candy Ends Our Year!

I woke up this morning all excited!  First of all, my decorating is done! Whew!! The cooking is underway, some packages wrapped... 

Oh, but most of all the reason I'm here!!! I was excited to get to announce the winner of Anna's contest........drum roll please...the winner is........
 Nilsa Donelan!!   Hooray!  

Nobody got all of our questions right but that was okay - remember our contest instructions only said "To enter, answer the questions down below as best you can" -- it never said your answers had to be correct!!  But for those who wondered about the answers:

Answers:  #1  Our first shop opened was Sweet Creations of Main Street.  Connie Casteel is officially our first subscriber, and the first one to be ready to open.  She also keeps a great inventory for a lot of dolls - well worth a peek in if you haven't yet!

#2  The last shop owner to open on CDS was Frances Weir.  She worked very hard to be open in time for our Holiday Happening, and specializes in couture clothing for 1/6 scale; primarily Barbie and Fashion Royalty.

#3  The members of our FTK list helped name Couture Court and Designer Drive.  A list of names was presented, and they voted on it.  If you'd like to be part of naming our next street, be sure to sign on to our Yahoo Group!

Now if the winner will please email me I should be done with my work for this year.  Yes, I'm officially off through January 1.  But have no worries about CDS - I do monitor my emails daily, so feel free to contact me if you have something that demands immediate attention.

Now on with the fun stuff!  Recently I took a "stroll" through CDS as I'm often known to do, because I wanted to do a few more interviews with our shop owners.  I am having a lot of fun really getting to "know" them through this process, and I hope you are, too! 

My wandering took me to Couture Court where I caught up with Deanna Torigian.  I wanted all of you to meet her because I wanted people to know CDS is interested in catering to the fashion needs of all kinds of fashion dolls.  Remember, Cissy, Miss Revlon, and other vintage (and reproductions of these dolls) NEED new clothes, too!!

Deanna Torigian  
Blogmeister:   Who are you? In other words - tell us a little bit about the real person behind your business name?

Deanna: I am a hairstylist by trade. I owned my own Salon for over 20 years. When I sold my Salon four years ago I didn't know what to do with my time. My aunt sent me some dolls that she had saved over the years. She remembered that I loved dolls as a child and decided to pass them to me. I wasn't sure what to do with them.

Some of them were in bad shape. Bad hair is something I can't ignore. I began restoring the dolls she sent.  I had to learn about them. I decided to make copies of their original clothes. It was more challenging than I expected and I was hooked!  

Blogmeister: How and when did you discover your love for creating fashion art in the doll world?
Deanna: I loved  dolls as a child, especially Barbie.   My first Barbie was brunette TNT with real eyelashes.  

I became a  hairstylist. Art, fashion, and   making women beautiful have naturally been my life.

Blogmeister: Did you begin creating for yourself and then create fashion art for sale?

Deanna: Once I started sewing I didn't want to stop. So I didn't and I sold what I made.

Blogmeister:   Was anything or anyone a significant influence on your work initially?

Deanna:  My aunt was originally the seamstress in our family. She made my dolls and I clothes when I was young.  I was blessed to get her old pattern collection. The very patterns she used to make the things that she gave to me.    

Sadly, she passed away last February. She is thought of almost every day as I use her patterns. I have made clothes from these patterns for my nieces as well. Passing on and creating a tradition. 

Blogmeister: Today where do you find inspiration for your projects? 

Deanna: My Aunt started this "ball rolling". I get inspiration everywhere, what I see in the stores, what I see on fashionable people, fabrics, patterns (old and new) and the dolls themselves. I have so many ideas and not enough time to try them all. I completely love creating doll designs, I want to learn all I can. The designs I produce are pure pleasure for me.

Unfortunately, after that answer Deanna had to roll on herself - what a hectic schedule all of us have during the holiday season!!

Next I thought I would backtrack to Main Street.  I had heard that perhaps John Prewitt and his lovely wife Cindy were passing out eggnog and gingerbread cookies this afternoon - hum, what a great "excuse" to meet them....and see their Holiday Happening fireplace in person!!

As a lot of you know, John makes incredible furniture for your doll's dioramas - well just wait and see.  Let's go in and talk to John now.......

John Prewitt

Blogmeister: Who are you? In other words - tell us a little bit about the real person behind your business name?

John: The real me? Well, designing doll furniture is a part time job for me. I have a full time career in IT, as a technology architect. I am a husband and father with a fabulous wife, and two wonderful children. I also have four of the most awesome grandchildren in the world. All of this makes for a challenging balancing act but it also makes life fun! My goal is to keep it all in perspective and do my best to keep family first.

Blogmeister: How and when did you discover your love for creating fashion art in the doll world?

John: It started when my wife and I attended our first doll convention. It was the 2nd IFDC held in Irving, Texas. We met some of the nicest and most talented people I had ever seen. The creativity we saw was off the charts. I have always enjoyed creating things with my hands. And working in IT does not allow for that type of creative outlet. We went back to IFDC the next year and I decided I wanted to try creating something. I tried my hand at face repainting, and at sewing outfits but those options were not quite right for me. Designing furniture in a smaller scale and creating diorama accessories turned out to be the perfect fit.

Blogmeister: Did you begin creating for yourself then transition to creating fashion art offered for sale?
John: I actually started making doll furniture and diorama accessories for my wife.  She was having a hard time finding items she liked so she asked me to give it a shot.  I started out with a fairly simple design and built from there. Pretty soon the people in our doll club were asking me to design things for them, and then we decided to see if there was a market for my creations. The response has been excellent, and I think our customers are extremely satisfied with the items they have chosen.

Blogmeister: Was anything or anyone a significant influence on your work initially?

John: The biggest influence on my work has definitely been my wife.  She was my original muse, and she has a really good eye for style and color.  She is my best advisor and critic.   Before I started trying to make furniture to sell I did some online research to see what other doll furniture designers were doing. From that research came two goals: find my own niche and make items that looked as realistic and in scale as possible. 

 Blogmeister: Today where do you find inspiration for your projects?


John: For furniture most of my inspiration comes from designs I see for people. I occasionally try to duplicate a design I see, but most often I end up adapting it to something similar but different. Looking for diorama accessory ideas is a skill I think we can all develop over time. When we go shopping I now find myself looking at everything in the store to see how it might work in 1/6 scale. So items such as placemats become flooring or napkin rings become lamp shades. The possibilities are endless!

Blogmeister: For people who would like to create their own fashion art, would you have any words of inspiration or advice?

John: I think everyone has a spark of creativity and with so many avenues that allow expression of that creativity there is certain to be something you will enjoy doing. I believe that doing something you really enjoy is extremely important because it will help you stick with it until you achieve your goals.

  Blogmeister: Lastly, what's up for you right now?

John: I am starting to make some 16" furniture. I have converted a few of my 1/6 scale designs and now I am looking to do some new designs that may only be available in 16".  Who knows, creating for even bigger dolls might be something to look into as well.

Wow, what incredible news - but, unfortunately, this was the last I was to get!  It was now closing time, and John and Cindy were ready to go home.  Where does the time fly when you're visiting nice people!?!

I hope you have enjoyed the Happenings of CDS this year, and that you've taken advantage of meeting our wonderful merchants.  We have really appreciated your support in 2011 and look forward to serving your further in 2012!!

 I (and CDS) would also like to wish you a most prosperous New Year --  a year of joy, laughter, love, peace, success ...and, of course, wonderful couture fashion!  See you next year, dahlings!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Do the holidays have you running in circles?? Are you finding yourself angry?? Is stress in abundance? Well, I'm no physician, but this layman can tell you, you need to snap out of it!! None of this can come to any good, and I don't want a one of you to be sick over the holidays!! Soooooo, it wouldn't hurt to just look over my tips; now would it!?!

Traffic: More people are shopping, so there's bound to be more traffic - so allow for it whenever you go out. Don't let a fender bender ruin it for you or the other driver. And, if someone is rude, don't stoop to their level - smile and go on - and take down their license plate and post it on Craig's List!! Just kidding!

Clutter: More people eat fast food while shopping, so there seems to be an abundance of clutter. I even saw some food wrappers in a toy drive drop-off box the other day. Sure it upset me, but just until I got the clutter to the right place. It took me minutes to eliminate this being MY problem! Maybe their Mama didn't teach them any better!!

Baking overload: If you love baking this probably isn't a problem. If not, you really need to control this and other cooking tasks you take on during the holidays. Don't raise your hand for one of the four courses in a progressive dinner - instead be the one who brings the bread and butter, or drinks, or even items to set the table. No one will ever know you're not kin to Martha!

Fat phobia: With all the extra food floating around, you may start to feel your clothes getting a wee bit tighter. But it doesn't have to happen if you work at eating smaller portions every day - save the splurging for the "real" special occasions. Jump on the treadmill when you have time - practice dashing away like Santa's reindeer, and you'll be able to dance the night away come New Year's Eve! And ALWAYS start your latest diet on January 2nd!!

No time for yourself, or worse, for your dolls! Yikes! For me this is the easiest to conquer. Do a little every day...for at least one of you. Steal away to do something you want to do - like viewing your Christmas cards down below, or seeing what's new at CDS! Read about a BJD you've been interested in, sketch, sew, get caught up with FDQ or DOLLS Magazines. Opportunities abound in the strangest places - who knew my conversation with my old Aunt Hattie would turn to designing for dolls!! LOL

Seriously, see holidays through the eyes of a child, celebrate what you believe in, and don't take things overly serious, and you may just figure out you actually love this season!

Please note:  If specific dates are not shown for a gift with purchase you may assume it is available 12/9-15.  The link to get to the street each shop is on is right after the writing about each shop - just click on the bar with the shop name on it.  Thanks, loyal fans!! Enjoy!

Aponi Designs presents “Peppermint Patti” from the Cocktail Collection. It fits Barbie® and similar sized dolls. Included is a white plush shoulder wrap with rhinestone mini brooch; and a single-shouldered dress of red and white striped silk featuring hand beading on the décolleté. Accessories include a white ultra suede wristlet featuring red embroidery and a red rhinestone pièce montée, red gloves, red silk hat band, silver beaded hoop earrings, and a mini cocktail. Purchasers before Christmas receive a Christmas stocking like the one pictured and free shipping! This shop is the first one on the left on Couture Court - check it out.

Facets will be having their big holiday promotion in their shop that begins December 13 and ends at noon on December 25th. One necklace/earrings jewelry set will be featured daily for a special price of $20 shipped free worldwide. Also there is an EXTRA SPECIAL deal featured through December 12 for a limited number of complete sets for those who would like to purchase all of them - don't miss this one! Visit Facets today right in the middle of row 4 on Main Street!

Two OOAK Luxury Christmas Robes are this shop's featured items. Notice also, tucked around the toys in Santa's sleigh in the card picture, are two sets of elegant cushions. Each set is a gift which comes with the purchase of one of the robes for your favorite Fashion Royalty doll. Your doll will shimmer in either the silk or taffeta robe - see them both in CDS' newest shop, Francesca's, located on the far left on the fourth row on Couture Court!

Cindi's Doll Apparel's featured item was made especially for SD size BJD dolls. Your gal will be ready for any occasion in this sweet dress with flirty ruffles. The gift with purchase for this item is your choice of any pattern in this shop. or a wig cap in your desired size. Cindi's shop is just a click away; located on Row 2, middle shop, on Designer Drive.

The Night Before Christmas Holiday Collection is on sale now! And to thank you for your loyal patronage, you will receive one pair of silver toned earrings with any order in December. Visit Babette's Doll Fashion's shop located on the last row, last shop to the right, on Couture Court to check this out today!!

BW Designs offers exotic flavoured designs from her Touch of India collection for 1/4 scale dolls. Each of the three new styles are unique, and are made from fine Indian sari silks. Sugar is featured here, and will come with the recycled fur shown with the fashion. Each of the styles will come with their own OOAK necklace (similar to the one in the inset photo) as your gift with purchase, also. Visit BW Designs located on the 4th row of Main Street, last shop on the right, to see all styles.

Create a beautiful holiday gown with Designs by Jude's Dazzling pattern for Cami and Antoinette. The pattern features a floor length gown with a full skirt and fitted sleeveless bodice. The look of the gown changes easily with the addition of short puff sleeves or a full length sleeve, also included. The dress also features a snap back closure. Enter coupon code cds promo to receive FREE shipping on any order that includes this pattern 12/9 - 15.  Visit this neat shop located in the middle of the second row on Couture Court!

Millie is modeling a romper and sweater set in shades of red and black. Made of wool, cotton & knit, this ensemble consists of a one piece sleeveless romper, a cardigan, a knit hat, stockings, and a fleece scarf (not pictured). Free Priority Mail shipping throughout the promotional dates. Dec 9-15. is Connie's gift with purchase. Sweet Creations is the 2nd shop from the left on the first row of Main Street; see her ensemble there today!
The ensemble from Nasha's Doll Boutique is a strikingly gorgeous, jewel tone, strapless gown cut from fuchsia dupioni that features a dropped hipline, and flares into a full skirt. The waist is cinched with a beaded belt of black grosgrain ribbon and fuchsia dupioni, and is mirrored at the dropped hipline as well. An oversized bow accents the back of this gown. It closes with snaps and is fully lined. Gown comes with a purse made of lace over fuchsia dupioni.  This shop's gift is a 15% discounnt on any additional purchase + free shipping. This shop is located on the far left corner of the 6th row of Designer Drive.

This gorgeous 1/6 scale fireplace has features of a stone-like finish of charcoal and sand with gold accents. It's for Christmas with red tinsel, gingerbread men, and stockings. The mantel is also decorated with blown glass and other holiday accents. Included with the fireplace are fireplace utensils, a Christmas dog, and two topiaries in gray urns. This fireplace is sized for Barbie or Fashion Royalty dolls. Included (but not shown) with this fireplace is a clock, picture frame, and candlestick for everyday use. This shop's free gift with purchase is your choice of Canvas Art from our website. See all the goodies in this shop, JC Dream Designs, located far left, row 6 on Main Street.

Poppy is decked out for the holidays in frocks made from 100% cotton which are fully lined. They have hook and loop closures in the back. Each style features whimsical, heart-warming prints.  Only two of the designs are shown on the card.  Currently there are more styles are available which can be seen in the shop.   A gift of a miniature wreath is included with each purchase. See all the designs of Tres Chic Boutique - it  is the last shop on the right on the fourth row of Couture Court.

Chic Indulgence is featuring two 18th Century French Rococo Costumes from her Let Them Eat Cake Mini Collection. Both the “Sweet Silken Sorbet” and "Lovely Luscious Layers" ensembles are made to fit 16” Ellowyne, Delilah Noir or BJD of that size. Both are contructed of the finest silks, laces, brocade and believe it or not - even a bit of leopard print. A pannier hoop skirt, pantaloons, and jewelry consisting of pearls and a cameo accompany each outfit. And the gift with purchase is a lovely doll purse Durelle designed. Find out about a special hat you might purchase separately, and see both ensembles in this shop located on Main Street, 3rd row, 2nd shop from the left,

Winter has arrived, and the girls are ready for their holiday shopping spree. Sweater dresses in several colors are Oohlalaz' special item. Each has faux fur cuffs and Gayle's special shawl vest. Accessories for these ensembles ( handbags, belts and earrings) will be included this Christmas month, and thank goodness all the elves are whispering " FREE SHIPPING Dec 9-15 " -- this is this shop's gift with purchase to you! You can view all of these special creations by visiting Oohlalaz - it is located  far right on the 2nd row of Couture Court.

Click Designs by Kevin presents a festive holiday dress titled "Five Golden Rings" -- so titled because of its unique bodice design. The dress is made from a gold crepe satin with a lame' dotted tulle overlay, and then the top also features the gathered tulle as shoulder straps. What a perfect gown for this season's holiday parties! As a way of saying Thank You! for your patronage this year, Kevin is giving away a FREE pair of matching handmade earrings and, as always, he'll be offering free shipping in the continental USA. See all the clever designs in this shop located on the far left of the 3rd row on Designer Drive.

Les Scintillance de Rouge (Glistening of Red) describes a Holiday gown sure to make you the belle of the Holiday Ball. Bright red silk taffeta, a corset-style bodice, and full, trained skirt with ribbon swirls and sequins are some highlights of this gown offered by MRC's Lori Lyon. To create more volume, a red petticoat made of multiple layers of tulle is included.  On her delicate feet are Glistening red glitter mules upon gold stiletto heels. There is also a headpiece of red blooms, feathers and gold lace .. Free shipping till January 1 is this shop's gift with  purchase + purchase $100 by Dec 25th - receive a free pair of MRC hosiery. See this shop -- next to the last on the right on the first row of Main St.

"Tis the Season" for red and green is a simple yet elegant sparkling evening gown with matching bolero jacket available in a variety of sizes in the Kolkman Kreations sales room under Special Occasions. You'll want to see this lovely glittering stretch velour garment! No fasteners are used for a perfect fit; this slides on easily. The jacket is unlined and seams are left unfinished to avoid a bulky seam. Order a set of gown & jacket by December 31st in red or green and receive free shipping worldwide. Please allow 1-2 weeks lead time for sewing the item. See all in this shop located  next to office on Row 4 Designer Dr.

Angelic Dreamz offers Special Edition JAMIEshow, Madame Eshe, Ltd. 50 pieces. Her Royal Highness peers out with royal blue eyes, golden eyehadow + real eyelashes. Standing 16' tall, with pale skin tone, this J-resin doll has 19 points of articulation. Her gown is red silk satin in multiple layers  with intricate gold details + lace cuffs. Ruching, gold pearls and white lace serve as adornment. A bustle in crimson + gold stitching, red crock and leather shoes, and her royal gold crown by Facets will all come with. Wig cap rooted and interchangeable for regular wigs. Free shipping orders  $100, December. Visit Angelic Dreamz, Row 3  Couture Court.

Anna loves making custom bedding by order. She prefers taking orders for her custom bedding,  so she didn't have an item to offer a gift with purchase, but she wanted to participate!  Her solution was a contest with the winner to receive the bedding set shown in her card!  To enter, answer the questions down below as best you can.  Then send them to the CDS Manager. If you use Outlook click the link; for other email  servers right click the link to get web address  Entries accepted December 9 - 15, by clicking HERE.   Drawing and the winner announcement 12/16 on our next blog.. Hurry over to Anna's shop in the middle of Row 6 on Designer Drive.

                                          Anna's Contest 
                     (NO PURCHASE NECESSARY to enter.)   
                         Question 1:              
     Who was the first shop owner to open on CDS?
                         Question 2:   
     Who was the last shop owner to open on CDS?.
                         Question 3:  
     Who helped name Designer Dr. & Couture Ct.?

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!  
On with your shopping - at the CDS Mall!