The fun challenges are almost here! But the wait is over to know WHO will participate! The competitors have been chosen!!
Here's the low-down....well at least what we know so far...from your blogmeister's point of view!! Here they are, in no particular order!!!
1. Sandra Walker - comes from Maine, and has been a doll collector since she was a teen. This woman not only restores and redresses dolls, she's long since moved on to designing and creating cloth dolls. Shall we call her a passionista, and will that passion push her to the top!?! Cissy and Ellowyne are among her favorite dolls to design for, but she was working on reproduction vintage MAs when we caught up with her. She's anxiously awaiting the competition and watching the rain; her town is experiencing the wettest summer on record!
2. Louisham Osman - goes by the name Louos in doll circles. He's always loved toys and dolls, and had a very active imagination. That's where the wonderment of his designs stem from, he believes. After graduating from design school, he began making doll clothes as a sideline from his regular job. Starting with Blythe and moving forward to Fashion Royalty dolls, his taste has varied and his direction changed with each season, because he feels fashion goes in full circles and is ever evolving. "With each change," he says, "there must always be a distinct individual taste to your design, something that makes others recognize it is your work - and this is his aim with every creation." But most of all, he loves the interaction with doll friends all over the world. Could he already have the popular vote in the bag??
3. Fay Popejoy - She began sewing for dolls in the late 1950s. She was delighted when Barbie patterns were available; now she could expand her dolly wardrobe! Although she had to sell all her dolls in the mid-1960's to help finance her college expenses, she later re-discovered her love of dolls in the mid-1990s, and started collecting Barbie dolls once again. Her taste then grew to include larger fashion dolls such as Gene and Alex, and even Blythe. Fashion design school was her dream, but not her reality, but she never lost her love of fashion. Her design interests lean toward goth, futuristic, and items that are wild and fun. Will Fay take us on a wild ride?!?
4. Denise Beaudin - is from Canada, and has been sewing since childhood. She began fashion designing for the 11.5” fashion dolls by creating hand-stitched outfits made from remnants of her mother’s fabrics. She is college trained as a Registered Medical Laboratory Technologist, but has continued her passion by teaching herself crocheting, knitting, and needlework. She has also taken evening courses on pattern alteration and creating garments, and has found the time to study pattern making, fabric selection, and new sewing techniques. Can we assume just when we think we know what she can do, she'll learn something new to compete with!?! She now creates outfits using a sewing machine, and has a nice range of dolls to sew for under her design name, Denidolldesigns, on ebay.
5. Aly Greaves - is a costume designer for the theater who likes to design for small scale girls on the side. Shall we dim the lights, pull the curtain, and watch her designs shine?!? She has been designing and selling her garments for a couple of years now. She's familiar with doll design competitions, having recently ben involved in another doll design competition she had to leave due to a death in the family. She loves to make her own patterns or experiment with draping designs on her dolls, and is quite anxious to join in this competition.
6. Joey Versaw - is from London City, Oregon, and found out about this contest through a fellow flickr friend. The first fashion he ever made was done completely by hand with no patterns. He now makes his own patterns because most commercial patterns never quite live up to his expectations. Hum, how high will he set the bar in this contest, anyway?? Ellowyne Wilde and the NuFace FR dolls will figure in his design plans, and he is truly excited for this competition to begin!
7. Emilia Nieminen - lives in Finland, and dreams of getting a doll fashion line of her own some day. She feels this challenge is a good way to test herself to see if she can handle the task. But this tomboy wouldn't be seen with a doll when she was young. Oh, how that has changed! Her interest in amateur theatre got her into doing makeup and costumes, and led her down the path that brought her here. Could we expect less than a production each challenge?!? Her career choices have always been geared to fashion, but her educational choices have been very different. She owned a small company where she designed and made wedding gowns for real people during the period she was studying for her bachelors degree in business. Today she studies, teaches and translates Mandarin Chinese, and hopes to get her Masters degree by Christmas. But she doesn't see herself as an academic, rather she finds designing most enjoyable to her, and has never though of using a pattern in her design work. Her dolls of choice are the smaller dolls including Fashion Royalty and Misaki dolls. Her method of design is what she refers to as sculpting rather than sewing, favoring the Fashion Royalty dress form for pinning and hand-stitching. All her creative impulses are channeled to her dolls; fashion, interior design, architecture, and painting. She's spent all summer building houses, making basic ready-to-wear collections for sale, and repainting and rerooting dolls as well as dressing and photographing them.
8. Vicky Lujan - started collecting and sewing for dolls 9 years ago, and mostly collected and sewed for Barbies. But now she's grown to love 16" dolls; especially Ellowyne. She started out using patterns, but has slowly learned how to design without them. She has also met some very nice designers who have helped her design without patterns and to develop her own patterns. Have these designers given her the winning formula?? She says she is entering this competition to learn from seasoned designers and the judges; to improve her designs; to learn further information on designing without a pattern; and to have fun designing! She is very excited about being in this competition
9. V.L. Snead - better known to us as Vickie, hails from rural Virginia. She's lived there all her life except when she managed to "escape" when traveling with her Marine hubby. She's been back in Virginia for over 20 years now and loves the rural life. She has 2 grown sons, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 granddaughter, and a brand new grandson.....they'll just be calling her Grammy! Will her built-in cheering section give her an edge!?! Since she's alone in her home quite a bit, she depends on her dolls for company. She says she's been sewing since she was 9 and has sewn forover 40 years since then!! She's been making her own patterns for both her granddaughter and her dolls, and is looking forward to the challenges.
10. Deborah Robertson - has three cats and way too many dolls. She discovered Tonner dolls, and a newly found world (the internet) where adult doll collectors play - and she joined right in! She confesses a love for Barbie, but prefers to sew for the 16" gang; and has somehow developed a large fabric stash for her work! The whimsy of Ellowyne and Prudence currently inspire her, although she still loves to sew for Tyler and her friends as well. She says, "It all depends on what the piece of fabric in my hands wants me to do with it." Will her stash will her to create a winning design?!? She sells some of her designs, but mostly they just end up belonging to her dolls.
11. Irina Koroleva - is from Moscow, Russia, and says playing dolls makes her feel young. Her childhood dream was to become a fashion designer, but life took her in a different direction, and she has worked for about 10 years in IT/Telecom before taking a small pause to be a Desperate Housewife. She actually confessed to liking housework...along with cooking, sewing, knitting and embroidering! She's fashion doll crazy, and her collection includes FR, Nippon, Momoko, Susie, Tonner, Sybarite and BJD. She wishes all the competitors good luck. Could her niceness see her through the challenges??
12. Dot Festeu - lives near Houston, Texas. She's a wife, mother of 2 boys and a grandson, and was never interested in playing with dolls as a girl. Today she has an extensive collection that includes entries from the antique, vintage, and fashion lines. She began repainting making OOAKS after attending a doll convention. When she wasn't working for the medical profession, she has made a living selling her painted goods and teaching ceramic painting, even though she is a business major. About 2 years ago she began concentrating on learning proper doll clothing construction, and confesses to sewing all her garments by hand...so far. This sewing newcomer says she will approach the challenges armed with determination and a borrowed sewing machine. Could she have already revealed her secret weapons?!?
13. Kathrin Eseryel - is known as Kathi, and is from Germany. Rescuing makeover flea market Barbies brought her to the design world, but her love of the Fashion Royalty dolls made her stay - she finds them perfect models. She only owns the smaller fashion dolls, and it's often the pleasure her sewing for dolls brings that infects people. Will we catch her fashion bug!?! She was the March 2009 featured artist on the Doll Divas doll board, and says she's here to play with her modern day wear!
14. Dan Lee - lives in California, but is originally from England. He has been creating OOAK fashion dolls for over 10 years, and it is his full-time passion. He loves working with strong color coordination, natural fabrics such as silk and cotton, and man-made fabrics that include PVC and plastics. His OOAKS are often styled to make Mod, Japanese, or High Fashion statement. They include rerooted hair and repaints, and are sold under his Wide Eyed Girls entity. Will he paint an exciting new design picture!?!
15. Sylvia Christianson - is from Kansas, and secretly wanted to be a fashion designer. But there was a problem - no money for New York! So, still wanting to fuel her creative juices, she attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and majored in Graphic Design where she achieved a double minor in photography and painting. She is an empty-nester since her daughter left for college, but has good company in her husband, two cats, and her dolls. She learned valuable lessons from her Aunt, a professional tailor, when she was a teenager. Will she have the designs that just suit each challenge?!? She's been sewing for a whopping 43 years, and is happy her passion for dolls and fashion brought her to CDDC.
16. Breck Sullivan-Carpenter - is from Connecticut, and began sewing and playing with dolls when she was 5. Her creations for Barbie, made from Mom's scraps, often featured a Southern Belle theme. She spent hours fitting those huge belle skirts to the doll's tiny waist. In high school she was introducted to theatre, and became involved in both acting and costumes. In fact, she has spent over 25 years designing, and has even worked on Broadway where she was a draper/first hand in the early 80's. She holds a degree in both theatre and psychology. Will we be in more danger of her upholstering us than analyzing us if we get on her couch!?! She says she's really a closet doll and fabric lover who likes to have fun - and is really looking forward to the challenges!
17. Lori Lyon - is from California, and is the designer of Madeleine Rose Couture and Angel Rose Couture for BJDs. Although she's slimmed down her collection, she likes to keep at least one body type for each doll she designs for. Her primary focus is on Sybarites, Tylers and 60 cm BJDs right now. This savvy designer is slow to mention that she's been featured in both the online magazine, High Maintenance, and the print magazine Haute Doll! Could hiding her assets be part of her winning strategy??
18. Cassandra Coleman - lives outside Houston - in HOT DRY Texas! She's a dollaholic who played with dolls when very young but grew out of it when she discovered horses. Since she began playing with dolls again she has learned to combine her passion for painting, sewing, and costuming both when doing her doll work and when making items for the Texas Renaissance Festival. Will the Wizard give her a winning potion?? Dolls she favors are Tyler, Ella, Gene, Elise and the Flava girls(Bigheads). Although she loves to make bridal dolls and favors detailed beadwork, some of her work is not high fashion. In fact, her favorite redos are Old World Santas made from GI Joe type dolls who get rooted beards, painted details, and outfits that include robes, staffs, bags, and toys.
19. Amy Nardone - has been a fashion doll artist for over 13 years, and creates her dolls with a Gothic feel to them. In Gothic Illusions Wanda Kinnie is her is partner.s It's rumored she is very excited to try this competition, as it will get her off of reality TV and Facebook. Could she favor this kind of challenge where she cannot be voted off!?! She's rarin' to get started!
20. Wanda Kinnie - also known as Wyked Wanda, is the other half of Gothic Illusions with her BFF, Amy Nardone. Could she have an unpleasant apple tucked in her sewing basket!?! She didn’t play with dolls growing up, but now collects Barbie, Integrity dolls (Dynamites, Fashion Royalty, Avant Guards), Susie, Momoko, and OOAK dolls. Also, you can sometimes find her playing dress up as a Pirate Wench for Renaissance Faires. This will be her first attempt at anything like this, and she is really excited and hopes to do a good job. She has been sewing for a long time, just not clothing for dolls! She is married and has 3 furrkids, and volunteers for a local Animal Rescue Group. Her real life job is working as a Certified Pharmacy Technician.
21. Kelly Uphold - has been making clothing for dolls most of her life. She started around the time she was 8 with Barbie & Dawn. Her first designs may have been crudely hand sewn, but she made up for it with her choice of fabrics. You see, she gathered "scraps" for sewing from clothing belonging to her older sister and her Mom, much to their dismay! Should the other designers put a lock on their fabric cabinets!?! Her collecting and sewing for Barbie continued until she discover Gene, and since then she's made hundreds of fashions for various sized fashion dolls. She also likes to make clothes for vintage Mod-oriented fashon dolls such as Tiffany Taylor. She has always made her own patterns, and often develops a garment by cutting at a piece of fabric until it looks like it will work. She confesses to loving dolls and designing for them, and is excited to have this opportunity.
22. Anita Stoklosa - is from Poland, and is known to doll collectors as Anicetta. She loves hanging out at the Polish doll discussion forum, Dollplaza, when she's not busy stitching tiny outfits. Stitching such outfits is the passion of her life that she dedicates each spare moment to. She loves creating new patterns and observing fashion novelties. Does that mean her outfits will be fashion forward!?! She considers creating these miniature outfits to be OOAK art, so she never makes copies of her outfits. All of her dolls receive new makeup, hand postures, hairstyles, and, of course, unique handmade outfits. Her collection of miniature models consists of nearly 200 dolls manufactured mainly by Mattel, but does include some Tonner and Fashion Royalty dolls as well.
23. Jen Eugley - is a Calgary, Alberta, Canada native who now lives in San Diego, California with her husband, Chris. She has many interests including fashion design, sewing, reading, sketching, and trying not to burn everything she cooks! Whew, could her designs be sizzling?? As a child she used scraps from her mother’s sewing projects to design for her first muses, Barbie dolls. But as she grew up, she left Barbie dolls behind to design for real, life-size women, and is currently working on her Associate of Science Degree in Fashion Design. Last year her friend, Alison, introduced her to the world of doll collecting and designing, and she began making miniature clothes for Tyler dolls as well as the Barbie dolls that reemerged from her past. Today, when the intellectual part of her brain needs a rest, the creative part leads her to her sewing machine and miniature wardrobes materialize.
25. Pauline Lyngard - is the designer behind B/W Designs. She is a forty-something married lady with no children who loves to spoil her three Italian Greyhounds and one diva of a Lilac Point Siamese cat. Her main job is working as a payroll technician, but she has done several jobs including being a licensed Esthetician, and has even worked in the fashion/modeling industry. Her doll "job" is as a fabric artist that uses dolls as her "canvas". Will her design elements be more like Rembrant than Picasso?!? In her opinion, "Texture is more important than color, and my work focuses on that concept." She recently had the pleasure of designing for and acting as chairperson for her doll club’s mini-conference held March 2009. She is excited to participate in this online competition because it allows her to stretch her designing skills in a public forum.
26. Dal Lowenbein - is from Connecticut, where she lives with her husband, 3 children, and 2 chihuahuas. After graduating from the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan, she studied at Pratt Institute and went right to work in NYC as an art director. Today in real life she has her own design studio. She collects vintage and new dolls such as FR, Ellowyne Wilde, Momoko, Pullip, and Japanese dolls from the late sixties and seventies. When she began re-collecting her own vintage Barbies, her interest turned to Bild Lilli dolls and her retro fashions. She decided to re-create them with vintage fabrics. Subsequently she sold many of her Bild Lilli designs, and was featured in some of the early Barbie magazines. Will she take us on a trip down memory lane!?!
27. Cheryl Sorenson - is from Houston, Texas, and is the newest inductee into the doll fashion world. Although she has been sewing all her life, she is a real novice with dolls. She was only recently introduced to Ellowyne by a fellow designer - and the rest has been history! Now she is totally stoked about being involved in this challenge. Could a newbie totally smoke the competition?!? She's a confirmed fabricaholic who is looking forward to digging through her stash to find just the right goody to work with in each challenge. She's also confessed that she looks forward to learning from all the talented designers here.
28. Durelle Brown - is from Houston, Texas, and is very glad to get to play dolls with so many fun people. She loves to unwind from her job by stretching her brain with fun challenges. Will we need surgery after competing with her?!? She has been sewing all her life but has only sewn for dolls for about 8 years. As a girl she was a Barbie collector, and has all her dolls from childhood. After a few years as an OOAK artist of smaller dolls, she moved up to the big girls. Her passion is Ellowyne, who she adores sewing for her; but she does have some other new girls who are hoping to get new clothes from this. She is thrilled to be able to change dolls to suit each challenge. Her Steampunk outfit is featured in the current issue of Doll Reader; it is the 2nd one featured from her Chic Indulgence collections!!
30. Meg Hunt - creates patterns from scratch and does everything herself for her designs. She considers herself an amateur designer although she has sewn through all phases of her life; kid, teen, and adult. She does admit to reteaching some things to herself when she started sewing and collecting dolls in 2000. As a day job, she a lawyer involved in federal public policy by profession. Will she impress us with an incredible opening statement??
31. Deborah Evans - has been a doll lover practically since birth; she remembers her father cutting out Betsy McCall paper dolls before she was five, and her first "important" doll being a Chatty Cathy with a wardrobe that matched her own. Her mother taught her to sew when she was 7 or 8 and she started making her own clothes in High School. In college she discovered costume design, and ended up working in the Costume Shop. Regional Theater called her name, and she was able to work her way up to Assistant Draper. But, since the birth of her first daughter, she has only worked as an Assistant Designer for a short time as a first sample maker for Coleco's Cabbage Patch line. Today she works as an Office Manager for a wholesale dress company, but still enjoys collecting dolls and making clothes for them, knitting, spinning, gardening, and cooking. Could this Domestic Goddess step up to the plate as this competition's winner?!?
32. Peggy Burney - is from Tenessee. When she was a child, she learned to sew some from her mother. Then she began to look at things she'd like to sew, and just figure out how to do them. She's married, has three children, and one grandson. One daughter has cerebral palsy, so she is caretaker for both her and her elderly parents and an aunt. She deals mainly with making brides, and replicas of the bride's actual dress - veil, hair,and bouquet - the total doll. She is also open to making other things on all size dolls from Barbie to Cissy, and does do commissions Her real time jobs include teaching Special Education, and running her own catering and cake decorating business. Is she Wonder Woman, able to leap tall buildings.......oh, that's another blog - will her work ethic ensure the stamina and talent necessary to conquer these challenges?
Quite a line-up, eh?? But what's up with the bios that have no pictures - is this another strategy ploy?? Or have they merely been so busy designing they haven't had time to send one in? Check back to see...I'm sure these divas will have more information coming.
The balance of the information for spectators and competitors alike, including the official dates when each of the challenges will be given, is on the CDDC webpage.
Now this blog entry has given us the who, when, and where of things! It's also nicely teased the competitors - but just for fun, because fun is what this competition is all about! And now we're ready for the how - so stay tuned for the next blog entry!