Looking for a unique personalised gift? Or maybe you're a teacher or home-schooler looking for hands-on learning activities? Welcome to my shop, where you will find handmade magnetic dress-up dolls and Bible story sets to use on a magnetic whiteboard.
My magnetic paper dolls are mounted on 3mm craft wood. The clothes attach to the dolls with magnetic dots. All items are handmade by me, from the original art work to the finished product.
***Personalised dolls can be made on request.***

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Glimpse at my Process

I thought it might be interesting to show you a glimpse of the process I go through to make a personalised magnetic doll.
Step 1. Adding the face from a photo.
There are two main tools I use for this part of the process: Photoshop Elements and my Bamboo tablet and stylus. First I isolate the relevant part of the photo, resize it and adjust colour and lighting to match the doll. Sometimes I need to remove blemishes or add some extra touches, as well.

Step 2.  Make a clothes set.
Still on the computer, I put together a selection of clothes based on the customer's requests.  These may be selected from the ones I have on file, or made from scratch.  If the photo is full length, I often add clothes based on the ones in the photo as an extra!

Step 3. Print...
...taking care to use the right papers- adhesive photo paper for the doll and the packet label; high resolution paper for the clothes and card for the packet.
Step 4. Making the doll
 I peel of the backing paper and fix it to a self-adhesive magnetic sheet, which is then stuck to a piece of 3mm MDF. Using a scroll saw I cut the doll out, and finish it off with a coat of varnish. Finally, I add a magnetic strip to the back so it can be attached to a fridge.

Step 5. Preparing the clothes.
First I cut out all the clothes, laminate them, and cut them out again. Then I add magnitic dots so that they will stick to the doll. To cut out the dots from the magnetic sheets I use a lovely punch from Fiskars which makes the job so much easier than the previous type I had.

Step 6. Package
Package the finished set, and it's ready to send off. (Making the packages involves another few steps which I won't go into here.)

Step 7.
Time to play! They can be displayed on the fridge or on a magnetic whiteboard. We have used them on a cookie tray while travelling, and my daughter keeps hers in her school bag to use when there is a wet day timetable...

...Oh, and in case anyone who recognises the girl in these pictures is wondering... "Emily" is not her real name, of course! Just one of my favourite names, used to protect her privacy:)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not the Biggest Success!

I did a "market" at a small shopping centre today. My mum has had a craft stall there for thirteen (!!!) years, and averaged about $300 each time. Recently the centre has decided to have a "Market Thursday" once a month. There is no charge for fees, my recently-retired husband was home and able to take care of the school pick-up, so I thought "Why not?"
I arrived at about twenty to nine and there was not one other stall set up. I sought out centre management and knew it was going to be a good day when the person I spoke to said, "Market?? What market? I know nothing about any market!" She then said that the person organising the "market' was running late and wouldn't be in till 9:30.
I decided at this point that I needed a coffee, and while I was drinking it I saw someone starting to set up a table. I made an executive decision to ask for mine to be set up next to hers and the chap who had carried her table out obligingly helped me procure one, too. At this point my Mum arrived, and I found that I happened to have set up next to her regular spot.
Anyway... after about two hours I made my first and only sale for the day. It was a double sale, really- a Size 5 "Mandy" doll and a matching clothes set.

After that sale, I talked to a lot of nice people who "wished they knew who to buy them for", "remembered playing with paper dolls as a girl" or "had only grown up kids and no grandkids yet".
After 3:30 things started to look up, with school kids and their parents starting to arrive and stop for a look, and I'd decided it might be worth staying a bit to see if things improved.... when the principal  rang to say that Miss 6 had not been picked up from school. Neither of us could get hold of my husband on the phone and the principal said he'd drive her home. (Fortunately we know each other well, as he happens to be my boss, too!) So that was that.  Even though there was nothing I could do, I couldn't relax anymore.  Besides, my feet were hurting!  So I packed up and left.  I got stuck in peak hour traffic, of course, taking almost two hours to get home.

On the plus side:
It was fun spending the day with Mum!
The stall was free.
The $20 I made covered the coffee I bought during the course of the day!
Said coffee was some of the best I've ever tasted.
I talked to lots of people and handed out information cards.
Just as I was packing up a lady came up and asked for my card.  She said she'd been wanting to order some of my multicultural dolls for her school, but had lost the information brochure.  When I asked where she taught it turned out she is Head of Primary at Plenty Valley Christian School, which was where my husband worked until he retired two weeks ago!!! So I was able to vent to someone who knew him about my displeasure with him just now. She smiled and said, "Go home and forgive him, He's new to this game!"
Which I've done. He's calling me to come to dinner as we speak... another plus!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Giveaway Winners announced!

The winners for Mrs MonkeisJewelry Giveaway were:
Deb Mather who will receive the bracelet
and Anita form AMK Creations, who will receive the bookmark1
Congratulations to both winners, and many thanks to all those who took the time to participate!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mrs Monkei's Giveaway- Last Chance to Enter!

Tomorrow the winners of Mrs Monkei's giveaway will be drawn!  Remember that each comment is worth one entry! (Multiple actions described in one comment count as one entry!)
Having trouble posting?
If, like several people I have spoken to lately, you are having trouble posting comments on Blogger, you can send me an email at amariastark@hotmail.com and I'll add it for you.

 When I offered to host this giveaway for Mrs Monkei's Jewelry I made it clear that my policy is not to ask for free samples- I aim to write reviews about items I've bought, or host giveaways to help out a fellow crafter. 
Nonetheless, Erin sent me a gift in the mail anyway! Two lovely bookmarks!
This one is similar to the bookmark being offered as a prize in this giveaway.  It features a tastefully chosen collection of flowers and beads dangling on chains from the silver placekeeper.

My favourite one, though, is this, because it happens to be my favourite colour combination!  (It's marking the place here in an old encylopedia I salvaged from my parents when they were downsizing, marking the entry for "gemstones."  The Dutch words translates as "noble stones", and to me silver and blue has something noble about it!

So I speak from experience when I say the prize will be worth the effort! Entries close at 7pm tomorrow night (Saturday, 9th July Australian EST) and the winners will be announced on Sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mrs Monkei Jewelry Giveaway

I’d like to introduce you to Erin, the lady behind Mrs Monkei Jewelry .

I “met” Erin through the MadeIt forum  and we found we could help each other out- she wanted to host a giveaway, and I wanted to start using this blog to promote fellow crafters…

Erin comes from a craft-orientated family. Her mum made a living doing markets with her crafts when she was young and is still a source of inspiration.
Under the name of "Mrs Monkei" Erin makes jewellery - bracelets, earrings, necklaces, hair adornments- as well as bookmarks. She uses glass and crystal beads and semi-precious gemstones that she has collected over a number of years.

“I love creating things for people to enjoy,” Erin told me when I asked her what got her started. “I love it when people see something I have made previously and request it for themselves in their own colour choices. It feels far more individual than making stock for a shop.”
Asked to tell me a bit about her favourite piece she said, “I'm excited about the pieces I made recently for my sister-in-law's wedding.” Unfortunately Erin and her husband can't make it to England for the big day itself, but she has made hair combs for the bridesmaids as well as 100 bookmarks to be included in wedding favours for guests! “I'm very happy to be able to contribute from all the way over here in Melbourne,” she says.
At the moment Erin’s work can be seen online in her MadeIt shop and on Facebook, but she also looks forward to selling at markets in the not-too-distant future.
The Giveaway!

 Erin is offering not one, but two opportunities to win something she will make especially in the winner’s choice of colours!
The first prize on offer is a bracelet similar to the one pictured below, in your choice of two or three colours.
Second prize is a flowery metal bookmark as in the photo!
All entries will be placed into a hat and drawn at 7pm on Saturday 9th July (Australian EST)

How to Enter:
Leave a separate comment below this post for each of the following actions. 
  • Visit mrs Monkei Jewelry on MadeIt and leave a comment here with a link to your favourite item. 
  • Like Mrs Monkei Jewelry on Facebook and leave her a friendly message! (Note that only likes from your personal page count!)
  • Publicise Mrs Monkei Jewelry in some way- and let us know how (Tweet, blog, shout-out…whatever!)
  • Follow Mrs Monkei’s blog and comment on one of her posts.
  • Tell us about something you’ve already bought from Mrs Monkei Jewelry.
  •  Follow this blog (or say hello if you already are!).

 Bonus points: 
This promotion is about Mrs Monkei Jewelry, but if you’ve already done all of the above (where possible) and want more opportunities, you can also earn extra entries by visiting AmariasPaperWorks on Facebook Etsy or MadeIt and leaving comments about your visits here.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Competition Result:

Here they are- Sari and Budi from...

Two people guessed correctly: Susanna on Facebook and Jessica on this site. Both had many other guesses as well:) They will both be allowed to choose a gift from my shop and will be notified personally of their win.
There was also a second chance draw, in which every person who participated was entered once for every guess. The winner of the draw was 6 year old Andrew, who got his Mum to enter his guess of South Africa.
I'll talk to him about his prize myself!

I've been wanting to make a pair of Indonesian dolls for a while, in honour of my Mother.          
Mum was born in Indonesia, and her earliest memories are of the tea plantation where her father was a manager. When she was three years old-70 years ago this year-the war broke out and, along with her mother and her older brother and sister, she spent the next few years in a number of Japanese prison camps. Her father died as a prisoner of war on the Burma Railway.
Last month Mum took a trip to Indonesia, something she has been planning to do for years. She and my sister visited various places Mum remembered, and hearing her tell about the trip and the memories it evoked has been a special experience for me. Getting an insight into her past has made me feel as though I have come to know my mother better and appreciate her more than ever before.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Custom order in the mail

Here's one of the reasons I haven't quite finished my new multicultural pair of dolls; I've spent most of the past week working on a large custom order.  Four personalised dolls, their dog and at least twenty-five custom outfits!  They needed to be ready for a birthday, so I had to make them a priority.

The ....?... dolls will be ready tomorrow night, however, so keep those guesses coming! Remember: one guess per comment, and each individual entry will go into a hat for a second prize draw!  Multiple guesses will not be counted :(