Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Favorites #26

It's time to start the Christmas Countdown!
Here are some items that will help you get in the festive mood!

1. I'm in love with these Christmas Trees from Blinkydoll's Boutique!
I ordered one, and I'll be doing a review soon :) but let me tell you now,
it's AWESOME. They have a larger size too!
©Blinkydoll's Boutique


3. The Little Hedgerow has little lights that will help decorate your home!



Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Favorites #25

Hello, once again!
This is our final week of Thanksgiving Tastiness!
Next week's Friday Favs will feature
I... I might LOVE Christmas. 

1. Little Things from Anna has a lovely cornucopia... it's 1/12 scale, but it could still be a cute decoration on the mantle.

2. How about a lovely Fall Themed Apron from Wandy's Whims?

3. I'm such a sucker for this holiday favorite... and One Sixth Sense's Jellied Cranberry Sauce looks fantastic!

4. This Happy Harvest banner  from Small Spaces Interiors is such a great idea for a Thanksgiving decoration!

5. Let's face it, after all this eating, we're going to need somewhere to sleep off the turkey!
This bed by miniCHAIR is just lovely.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Really, Mattel?

it looks like they have Charlie Chaplin mustaches for eyelashes...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Favorites #24

Today we continue on with items to
celebrate Thanksgiving:

1.  I'm feeling a sweet tooth coming on today... so let's start out with some pie!
This Plum Pie from puttering is beautiful!

2. Why stop at one pie when we could have two?
This Apple Pie from One Sixth Sense looks perfect for a cold Fall evening!

3. Maybe you've got this whole food thing covered though, and what you really need are some decorations? Check out these real autumn leaves from Small Spaces Interiors! How cool is it that they're made from real leave??

4. You know they had to be on the list, what with our week-long Blinkydoll's Boutique extravaganza XD But it's no lie that I love these mercury vases,
and the new Mulberry Floral Arrangement is fantastic!

5. Last but not least... check out this lovely wreath from 4hala!
Wouldn't this look great in your home this holiday season?!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Christmas time is here!

So, you'll have to forgive me,
but I've just been on a Blinkydoll's Boutique extravaganza this week.

I want to keep you guys psyched up about the giveaway! XD
Although it seems a lot of folks are psyched about the giveaway items...
the shop is down to its last three 17 Item Shopping Spree sets!

Of course, it doesn't help that their shop just updated with some cute
holiday items.

All images in this post are © Lea St. Germain...
since the product just came out this morning,
I don't have it in hand to photograph myself XD
But I will... oh yes... I will...

It certainly doesn't help my wallet at all...

Look at this room setup? 
How cute is this?!
*I* would love to live in this room!!!!

© Lea St. Germain

This tea set with a little tart as a snack is adorable...
it makes me want to go home and brew up my own pot of tea right now!
(it also reminds me of the teapot episode of the BBC's Sherlock...
that teapot has such a lovely patina... hehe)
© Lea St. Germain

I really love this red and white fabric on this 100% cotton linen hand tied quilt.
This listing comes with the teddy too :)
... and is it just me, or do we all want to know where this Poppy gets her
fabulous dress from???
© Lea St. Germain

There are several sets of Holiday Hand Towels to choose from,
but I fell in love with the Santa ones.

© Lea St. Germain

Here's a twist on the wooden crate I bought,
How cute would this look filled with packing material and
christmas bulbs???
© Lea St. Germain

This Bit of Christmas floral arrangement is a lovely accent...
but Poppy must not have a cat...
my cats would totally eat that!
(not the doll sized one, I mean a real plant, lol)

© Lea St. Germain

I'm in love with this Vintage Pendleton Throw Blanket....
(the red one at the end of the bed)
I can think of a million photographs to take with this!
I'll bet it would double as an awesome picnic blanket too!

© Lea St. Germain

the vases have been one of my favorite items for a while now.
I'm still kicking myself for not throwing one on my initial order.
© Lea St. Germain

Last but not least,
I love the postage stamp and printed word look.

© Lea St. Germain

That has been their holiday update for the week, with more to come this weekend, or so I hear!
I have this terrible problem of wanting to buy everything in their shop, LOL.
 Please stop by the other posts from this week and check those out too!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Blinkydoll's Boutique Giveaway!

Welcome to Day 3
of a Blinkydoll's Boutique extravaganza!

There are three days of fun!
Day 3: GIVEAWAY!!!!
Today we're going to have a Blinkydoll's Boutique GIVEAWAY!!! 


They also have graciously given me a discount code for their etsy shop to share with my readers!
Use this code to get 5% off of your order :)

What are we giving away?
A bevy of beautiful gifts from Blinkydoll's Boutique,
very similar to the Boutique's 17 item shopping spree
(in case you don't win the giveaway, but still really want something like it!)
What's inside these lovely bags, you're wondering?
Everything from wonderful pillows to real, playscale-sized bars of soap!

Some lucky 1/6th gal is going to get quite the holiday gift!!

Poppy: Yeah... ME!

Vanessa: OH NO YOU DON'T!!!!
*drags Poppy away*

 Poppy: FINE! But I'm taking the Dior!!!
(hahaha, don't worry... Poppy is *NOT* taking the Dior)

Right about now, you're probably asking yourself:
How do I enter?
To enter, you must visit the Blinkydoll's Boutique etsy shop,
then return here and leave a comment on this post
telling me what your favorite item in their shop is!!

The below buttons are the ones to put on your blog, or in your sidebar:

Use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter,
it will also tell you how to earn extra entries :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Interview with Blinkydoll's Boutique

Welcome to Day 2
of a Blinkydoll's Boutique extravaganza!

There are three days of fun!
Day 2: Interview with the lovely ladies behind Blinkydoll's Boutique
Day 3: GIVEAWAY!!!!

Today we're going to have a little interview with the ladies behind

They also have graciously given me a discount code for their etsy shop to share with my readers!
Use this code to get 5% off of your order :)

All photographs in this post are ©Lea St.Germain Photography
and used with permission.
If you're wondering where you can find the fantastic photography of Lea,
check out her Facebook, blog and Instagram!
She is available for commission work,
and something to keep in mind for next year,
©Lea St.Germain Photography
Blinkydoll's Boutique is run by a mother and daughter team.
 Deb (Mom) is the lead miniature maker,
while Lea (Daughter) is the talent behind the photography.

©Lea St.Germain Photography

Their shop is Eco-friendly,
using repurposed wood and fiber in their projects
to keep things stylish and affordable.
1. Where did the shop name, Blinkydoll's Boutique come from?
Deb: When Lea found her first Blythe 20 years ago she didn't know what doll she was,
so she named her "little blinky eyed doll" and it stuck!
So Blinkydoll's Boutique is in honor of her first Blythe.
©Lea St.Germain Photography
2. What inspired you to make Blinkydoll's Boutique a reality?

Lea: I created this shop because too many fashion dolls live in a pink plastic world. It drives me crazy when fashion doll decor is either shiny plastic, too short, or horrendous colors!

As an adult fashion doll collector, I would like to imagine that if fashion dolls were living in today's world they would be urban recyclers, using natural fibers and reclaimed timbers in their environment. Their settings would be harmonious,
with natural light and subtle textures, similar to what we use in our own homes.
I believe today's fashion dolls would shop wisely at small business owner boutiques and thrift stores.

As a doll collector on a limited budget I am well aware of the costs of every little exquisite accessory.

Keeping that in mind helps us at Blinkydoll's Boutique create unique, budget and Eco friendly items for all fashion doll and miniatures collectors.
It's about having fun, creating affordable style and thinking " out of the box"!
Our pieces are versatile, can be mixed and matched, are Eco friendly and have a lasting quality that comes from being hand crafted.
3. What would you like people to know about your shop?

Deb: 1. EVERY customer receives a free hand stamped gift bag, we always tuck in a few tiny treasures and a return buy coupon code for future savings, no expiration!

2. Our prices are budget friendly! We absolutely can mix or match linen sets or pillows, Need a particular size on a blanket or small quilt ? Need a table higher, lower, longer, shorter? No problem! Just send us a message!

3. We work with you every step thru your customization!

4. We are Eco friendly, and we pack responsibly no packing peanuts or shredded paper to hurt your pets.

5. We are doll collectors, we understand a scene is made perfect by the tiny details, if you don't see a particular detail, send us a message and we'll see if we can make it happen!

Recently an etsy seller spotted a tiny pillow and asked if I got wool from her and I did!
I bought one of her scrap bundles and created little pillows from it.
Well the piece was something her grandmother had used when this woman was a child!
She is my age now and that tiny piece of wool is over 50 years old!
It brought joy to her heart to see it being used again!

©Lea St.Germain Photography
4. How did you get started collecting fashion dolls?

Lea: My whole life I have enjoyed dolls.
I could spot a wrapped barbie box at Christmas from across the room!
My barbie was "The" gift I had to open Christmas Eve. My Mimi (grandmother) said it wasn't Christmas if I didn't have a special doll!
My mom made dolls for me and accessories for whatever doll I was attached to at the moment.
My dolls even went to college with me! They hang out wherever I happen to be.
Deb: In 1959 I got my first barbie. We were fairly poor, and having 2 sisters, I pretty much had to make accessories from whatever was available, Kleenex dresses, tissue box beds.
When Lea was little, we made houses from washing machine boxes and she and her 2 brothers would play for hours in there! Whatever my children needed in the way of play, costumes, accessories for their dolls or action figures , I created from whatever was handy.
Dolls of all sorts just followed me along the way.

©Lea St.Germain Photography

5. What kind of dolls do you collect?

Lea: Barbie, Blythe, Fashion Royalty, Lorifina, Pullip, Ellowyne. I have some very beautiful BJD dolls that I photograph bald as their eyes are so expressive. Whatever doll speaks to me.

Deb: 1 or 2 Barbies , my red head Blythe, a few Poppy Parker's are all working dolls.
They are very casually hanging around, sitting in their house waiting to model my next project.
I debox everything and immediately wash and comb the doll's hair, then she is dressed in a simple dress with no distractions, then I create!
©Lea St.Germain Photography
6. Do you have a favorite doll, or brand of doll to photograph?

Lea: Barbie, Fashion Royalty, Blythe, especially articulated dolls, I love movement and natural light!

Deb: I am not allowed to photograph anything! For some reason everything is always a blur!
©Lea St.Germain Photography

7. What inspired you to start using your dolls in your photography?

Lea: I was  hooked over 20 years ago as a teen when I found an original Blythe for 50 cents at a yard sale. She was all disheveled and so sad but underneath her cute little expression captivated me. My mom helped me carefully clean her and she has a place of honor in my collection. My passion grew from that moment and I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, produce soul and life and tell stories through my photographs.
©Lea St.Germain Photography

8. How did you get started making miniature items for your girls?

Deb: It's a life long addiction, I swear! I think I can make anything, or at least try! I used pallets found at work 15 years ago to make furniture, I thought I invented that until it became so popular! When you are living on a budget, you learn to make do and be very creative in all that you do. As Lea needed items for her photo shoots, my partner and I just started finding, refurbishing, and creating whatever she needed, including a 3 story town house all made by hand with no pattern, I am pretty proud of that piece! (below are images of the dollhouse :) )
©Lea St.Germain Photography
©Lea St.Germain Photography

9. What was the first item you ever attempted to make? Was it a success?

Deb: You name it, I have made it ! Sometimes it works sometimes it looks way better on paper!
The funniest item is Lea's doll fireplace! I decided I should make the basic fireplace, then have assorted mantles that pop on and off as seasons change, except I put so many little wooden trims to the front that unless it's puttied to the floor or wall it tips noticeably forward! So I decided that I created it leaning to get a better photo. Not all mistakes are lemons!
©Lea St.Germain Photography

10. How did you guys start collaborating as a mother and daughter team?

Lea: I started photographing dolls and mom has always filled in the backgrounds and details! She and her partner, Steve, are my Go To's for everything !
Deb: I say our store is the best collaboration possible!
Lea thinks and sees and we both imagine, then we create a story,
she with photographs and me with details.

Lea and her eyes keep me modern and simple,
when I border on the crafty edge she pulls me back!
My partner Steve works very long hours but never questions a cut I need or an idea and he knows not to interrupt the thought process by asking questions!
Just cut! And he does!
My sister Lisa and her husband, Steve, and my best friend Pauline and her husband, Dennis, scour vintage stores and thrift stores for usable lovely items,
they find treasures and send them to me, they never ask anything in return.
My partner Steve and Lea's husband Marty stay out of the way of the creative process.
They know better!
My son Dave just built his own tiny house and lives very frugally. His was the first email we received on opening day. It just said " That's neat." 
He gets it and supports us for trying!
Blinkydoll's Boutique would be nothing without Lea's eyes and all the family and friends who just do... and keep finding and never question why.

 11. Tell us a little bit about each of you:

Lea: I have my own photography studio, Lea St. Germain Photography.
My mantra in all things photo related is shoot clean, modern and well lit with natural light. I truly enjoy my work. Photography is a vocation, it's life long learning, it's never being satisfied with the ordinary! It's telling a story or creating a lifetime memory in each and every shot. Long after memories fade photography helps to recreate the moment. I would love to make a million dollars as a photographer, in this economy every penny is important. So my customers truly get a million times more from me then they could ever pay for.
Dolls, people, inanimate objects all have stories to tell,
I believe my photographs tell that story, and will live on.

Deb: I am a mom, first time mim (grandmom) and a life time "make-doer." I was taught "if you don't have it, make it, if you can't afford it figure out how!" I have dabbled in most crafts, mastered some, others didn't hold my attention. I love creating something from very little. 
Maybe there is an easier way to do things or I could make more money if I charge more, 
for me that's not doable.
I use what inspires me, I charge what I would willingly pay, and as for making my items, I love getting customer input because I feel if you are spending your hard earned money in our shop you should be free to customize as to your needs.
I am a doll collector and a person on a budget, I am very used to others not understanding why a person collects or what joy they get from it, or why you need a specific detail to make your scene complete. I totally get the peace and joy and quiet time that play brings.
So I want each and every customer to know they are buying from a shop that understands them and plays right along with them!
©Lea St.Germain Photography

12. Do you have any advice for aspiring doll photographers?

Lea: Pay attention to light and the effects of light. Add tiny details that enhance but don't detract from the photo.

13. Do you have any advice for aspiring miniaturists?

Deb: If you think you can do something then you can! Don't ever ever let someone criticize you for trying. Just keep trying. Don't ever stop imagining or playing.

©Lea St.Germain Photography

14. Who have been real inspirations to you in the realms of photography?

Lea:  My father. Growing up I was inspired by his photography tricks and skills. Later I was mesmerized by fashion and fashion magazine photography.
I love and admire the work of Annie Leibovitz and Herb Ritz.

15. Who have been real inspirations to you in the realm of miniatures?

Deb: So many people create beautiful items, but for me, I don't find inspiration from people. Rather it's a dolls expression, or the grain in a piece of reclaimed wood, the way vintage fabric feels and smells freshly laundered and line dried on a sunny day,. I wonder about the story behind each item I use. I imagine our dolls shopping at a life size Blinkydoll's Boutique and finding reusable lovely treasures. I imagine what a modern doll's home would look, how would she live.
Hopefully not full of pink plastic!
I imagine a life around each piece I make. This is why I like to create sets or simple versatile pieces to foster someone else's imagination.
I like to think they will be creating a story of their own with my pieces.
If a customer tells me the item is for a certain type of doll then I imagine her hands resting on the table. Are they tiny and dainty?
Then the table shouldn't overwhelm her. It's things like that that inspire me.
©Lea St.Germain Photography

16. Is there a “dream project” that you would love to do or a dream collaboration?

Lea: To get more commission work, especially in fashion photography.

Deb: To play and build something with my grandson, Emmett.
©Lea St.Germain Photography

17. What does your studio look like?

Lea: It's a doll explosion room, with book cases full of dolls and accessories from 1950's thru modern day. Lots of windows and french doors for light,
a large work table in the center somewhere under the present project!
And an almost 4 foot high 3 foot wide three story dollhouse full of lovingly made items.
I want the doll room that you see in magazines,the ones that apparently never gets used for day to day life, because they're always beautiful!
My ideas and limited photography time overrule daily organization.

Deb: It's a large room full of all sorts of fabric and vintage reusables neatly organized.
I need neatness when I work, and quiet.
I have vintage hats, an old, well-loved 1920s sewing machine stand that I perch my sewing machine on, that Steve rescued from someone's trash.
My faux fireplace is always lit because the flickering light pleases me . I have a tiny Christmas tree with sparkly high heels Lea made me that's lit too!
Paintings my step dad, an artist, painted for me and pictures he painted for my mom, both passed on, The paintings watch over me as I create.
I use 2 chairs, 1 a rescued Boston fire dept. captains chair with the metal tag still in place. It was a $5.00 thrift store find! Strong, sturdy and oh the stories it could tell!
The other is a chair on wheels that sometimes, for no reason,
decides to roll randomly across these 100+ year old floors.
My shelves were made from my oldest sons childhood bed.
My sorting table is made from all sorts of pieces and it works beautifully. 
It's quiet, and I can create without distraction.

©Lea St.Germain Photography

18. How long have you been photographing dolls?

Lea: Since I was 3 and used my fisher price camera to photograph anything and everybody!
Over 20 + years with a real camera.

19. How long have you been creating miniatures?

Deb: Over 50 years creating. At 9 years old, I created a Barbie carrier from a tissue box and string complete with pillow and blanket!
I thought it was pretty cool until my mom thought it was part of the weekly trash!
Then I switched to a green leather purse with shoe storage, pillow and blanket.
I guess my dolls were in need of rest!

©Lea St.Germain Photography

20. What kind of camera and lenses do you use?

Lea: Canon 5d mark 111. Canon L lenses, 24-70 mm; 85 mm; 100 macro

21. Do you have any camera/equipment recommendations for the beginner?

Lea: If you study light and the effects of light you can make any camera work for you. An iPhone can produce amazing pics if you know your light.
Personally I recommend canon cameras. For dolls and miniatures make sure it has a good macro lens.

©Lea St.Germain Photography


A HUGE thank you to Deb and Lea for taking time from their busy
schedules to answer my questions!

Right now, Blinkydoll's Boutique is having a special deal:

HOLIDAY SPECIAL"Shopping Day Extravaganza" fashion doll size and customizable ! For $10! The perfect little budget friendly gift!
©Lea St.Germain Photography