Wish to stop a moment in time... Wish to hold on to your most special memories, literally, physically, forever. Your wish is my command.

About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Ciao! My name is Elisabetta Monari and I'm an artist reborner. My passion for dolls and art started in childhood, and the love for children soon after. I combined them in reborning, the art of creating still shots of infancy, tridimensional portraits achieved with many layers of translucent paint on a "doll canvas" sculpted by another artist. I'm also trying my hand at doll restoration, reborn restoration and sewing BJD outfits, for a change... this is my creative time, stay tuned for more!!! :D

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bethany on Ebay!

Bethany decided to leave home and fare the Bay to find her new mommy!! 
She is a brand new, wonderful and adorable little preemie baby! 
Please cheer her on and wish her to find her mommy soon!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What I've been up to

January 2013: we visit Vegas.
February 2013: hubby gets job offer in Vegas.

Fast forward to June 2013: we move to Las Vegas, NV, in a temporary apartment.
Find a house by July.
Retrieve our belongings from storage by August.

Go to Italy for a couple of weeks, and it's September.
We end up staying in Italy until mid January. :)

So, speaking dollies... it's been a haphazard year, in which I had to say no to all the doll shows.
But it's been an inspirational year.

From antiques to babies, to reborn restorations, to packing and unpacking babies... I can say I've seen it all. ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm on FACEBOOK!!!!

It was about time to get in the 21st Century, like my husband says!
Elisabetta's Babies now is on FaceBook!!!!
Please check the link below and like my page!
I hope to be able to befriend many more of you from FB. I hope you will let me know how the page is doing and any changes you'd like to see!!


"Hey did you hear? We are on FaceBook at last!!!"

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bitten by the mini bug! A BJD story!

A couple of years ago I saw this super cute mini BJD for sale on DF... had to sell a kidney but I had to have her!
Measuring at about 4 inches high, my beauty, whom I call Monet, bit me hard with the mini bug!
First it was clothing, but after a while I started wondering how she would be posed in a mini environment...

This is the result of my starting efforts. Let me know what you think!!

Monet's garden and fruit stand:

Monet's Christmas (I also made a rocking horse to go with this setup, which is almost ready):

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa Claus,
this year I've been very, very good.
I think I deserve a new dolly, what do you think?

Ops... you were fast! Thank you!

Meet Nazareth, my Christmas present baby!
And Merry Christmas to you all!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What happens... happens.

There are no words for what happened only a few days ago at Sandy Hook Elementary,
there are no ways for me to express the feelings I have inside.
I find myself neglecting dolls a little more in favor of my boys, who get hugged much more and much longer without knowing why...
I was able to shield them from the news, one is too young to understand, the other still so young to hear such horrible things.
Families of Sandy Hook, I will never be able to forget you and your children. They refreshed a very hard lesson on the shortness of life, and childhood.
Families of the world, hug your children now. They will be grown ups tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A year later

A year later... sounds like the interjection from a movie, but in fact it fits... it's been a long while since I cared for the blog, always in my thoughts, never in my time.

My baby is a non-sleeper. One of those people who needs to go to bed hugging mama or papa, and wakes up several times a night.

Yet 2012 has been one of the most wonderful years for my longtime passion, dolls... so here I am, writing again, updating, posting pictures.

I will add a timeline of what happened this year:

January 2012: Patty Jarrard of "Reborn Artists of Distinction" gives me the opportunity to show my dolls at IDEX in Orlando, FL. One of my wildest dreams comes true, all of a sudden. I show alongside some of my doll friends, and some of the highest artists in the field. Talk about a honor.

March 31st: doll show in Roseville, CA. I have my own table. My whole family has to come to help me. Fun! Not sure the family agrees though... ;)

I also started a collaboration with Marianna Battocchio of Mose' Edizioni, and publish on the first and only Italian doll magazine: "Bambole". 
After publishing a tutorial, various articles and a couple of interviews, the magazine stops publications, 

but morphs into a wonderful blog.
where you can find my articles, past and future, among others. 

The year isn't over yet, and there will be a big surprise soon, I hope... actually more than one.
As long as the Mayans were wrong, of course...

See you soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A baby of "the other" kind!!

Sometimes it's incredible how my expectations for my day and reality can clash.
I wake up and think "ok, today I'm going to reborn, finish that little project, organize my bedroom, update my blog with fresh pictures, go for a stroll at the mall..."
Then it's 11 in the evening and I realize that the doll sits there untouched, the little project is staring at me, the bedroom is still a mess, the stroll hasn't happened and... the blog waits.

Truth is, I'm still completing the mini's outfits, and I don't have half a picture to post for your enjoyment.

Sometimes I feel so unaccomplished and stressed out it's not even funny. My day seems to roll extra fast while I'm toddling by at the speed of a turtle, and while I'm still getting to the basic tasks of life, cooking, cleaning, children, POOF the day is gone.

SO, if you didn't see updates for a while... it's their fault!!!!
(Don't they look cute?) 
Raising a child is the highest job on Earth, and they sure make up in cuteness for all the time they require!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A study on skin tones, the Caucasian babies!

Ok it's 1.30 in the morning but I couldn't wait to show how far the Caucasian babies have gone today!!!
I finished blushing them and painted the hair, deciding to do one blonde and one redhead.
Painting the hair on such a small size is a little different than painting on a life size baby, also because I had to keep the molded ridges.
I used a very fine brush to do one or two layers of a base color, then added depth and detail with a superfine brush I used for eyebrows as well.
This is the base color on the blonde baby... unfortunately I wasn't able to pick up how thin the brush really is.
I used four different shades of blonde on this little head, it's almost impossible to tell them apart, but here is the end result!
The redhead baby got soft curls all around the hairline, hand painted with that same microscopic brush.
Usually it takes me quite a long time to make myself a thin brush like that... it's the result of carefully choosing the brush, which is usually a 000, and thinning it with mini scissors, a hair at a time, until I get a perfectly rounded yet ultra fine tool to paint.
Base coat and first curls on the redhead...
and both babies finished with temporary eyes!!
Had to try the hazel eyes on the redhead, but at last she ended up getting the green eyes... this way the blonde baby gets more of a soft look that I think really enhances his overall coloring.
The eyes are still not glued in this picture, although I set and glazed them afterwards.

We are getting very close to seeing these adorable babies all put together! Now I need to make bodies and outfits... get ready for some surprises!!!

My son's baby is coming along too... yesterday he started putting on a very subtle blushing. He is very committed to his little doll!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Study on skin tones 2: the asian babies!

Here they are... of course nowhere near finished but still!
Going from the ethnic complexion to a light asian one wasn't easy... I decided to keep these babies very light for now, and I'm still debating whether to give them a wash of raw ochre to warm up their complexion.
 Pieces on a rack... I'm painting two minis at a time to make sure not to mix up the limbs. It may not be obvious at a first glance, but they all have different skin tones, which required different color mixing.

As you can see the eyes are here! They are very nice... here this baby is trying on his new peepers, which are not set yet. He's a little oriental guy and since he looks quite Japanese to me, his name will be Takeo.

I was hoping to keep one of these cuties for myself, and it seems my clumsiness made it possible.
While enlarging the eye socket inside the head I cut off a chunk of the right eyelid, next to the nose. I was able to patch it up with a shaving of vinyl from the inside, but since this baby is now a "boo boo", she will have to stay.

Group shot so far! Baby on the left is Madeline, then Takeo, Laci and Anisha, and on the far right my little keeper Lola. I matched Lola's hair color with my son's hair because I'm planning something!
On the back you can see the last three babies... they will be Caucasian. My son is painting one for himself, which is slowing down the work because I want to paint with him, but makes it more worthy to me. 

Alessio working on his mini. He is very concentrated and careful, and I'm loving reborning with him.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A study on skin tones

In the last year I got bitten by the mini bug, and now a good deal of the little time I have for dolls is devoted to minis.
Got these mini Berenguers in a trade and thought of reborning them... the idea of making seven Caucasian babies was boring... so the "study on skin tones" was born.
Here are the first two... I decided they are going to be ethnic girls, the one on the left being the darker. I'm using a picture book, "Baby Love", as visual reference. The hair is going to be painted, since it's impossible to sand away the molded hair grooves... the vinyl is way too thin.
Here they are! The painting is almost completed, they still need blushing and veining. I decided not to mottle much, on this size I don't trust the effect to be realistic. Furthermore, these little thingies will be babies around one year of age when finished, so they can realistically sport a creamy complexion.
I'm still waiting for the eyes to arrive from Antina's Doll Supplies, but I have a way too small pair of glass eyes  to try on: what do you think?
In the last picture baby is completely painted. I decided her name will be Laci.
After seeing the first two painted I'm on a roll, as much as having a three months old baby allows! 
As soon as I come back home from my son's tae kwon do class I promise to post more pictures of the asian babies!

Monday, June 27, 2011

As promised...

... the big news!
Please welcome the arrival of Ivan, my son! Ivan was born on April 23rd. Mommy, Daddy and big brother are very happy and proud of him.

Ivan's birth brought with it a huge bout of creativity... new life seems to do that to me, it happened when I had Alessio as well.
I spend my evenings and nights, when Ivan sleeps, working in my atelier... last night I burned my finger with the hot glue gun at 1.30 am.
This room has become the heart of the house for me... it's still a work in progress, but now I can attend my projects in here instead of just organizing the place.
Where's the real doll?
Actually, the real doll is in the first two pictures, in the stroller... this is my reborn collection, or at least part of it. It's exciting having all of them out of boxes. I haven't enjoyed some of these babies in years, and it's time for a makeover for some of them.

That may be a good project for tonight at 1.30 am. ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Tutorial

I was asked to write a tutorial about reborning with acrylics by an Italian magazine, "La Bacchetta Magica".

Of course I was very honored by the request, and mostly enthralled by the implications: reborn one of my babies for the public, under a constant photo shoot!
My husband was game to take the pictures, and little Isabella was the result of a couple of weeks worth of work!
Personally I think she's lovely, but I'm very biased with this baby. She looks a little like me in a very old and faded baby picture...

Here for your enjoyment are some pictures I decided not to include in the tutorial. To get 54 pictures for the article we took about 500!

Hmmm... are we ready? Is everything in place? Is my huge pregnant belly covering the shot???

Smile to the press!!!
Work in progress...
I think you may want to see more of the end results now!
Here is Isabella all put together and in her Sunday best!

And... what do you think of my new atelier?
More pictures of my new dolly room and atelier to follow!!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Proudly announcing news! :)

I involuntarily took a very long break from blogging... and I need to blush, apologize and explain why.

For the last few months I was very busy on a different form of creativity, the creation of a new life.

Proudly announcing... the soon to be arrival of Bebe', my second child.

Here is the most recent picture I have:

This is a great time for me and my family, especially for my son who will soon be a big brother! Be ready for news around April 15th, for that time this baby should be born.
I don't know if we are having a boy or a girl, surprise surprise!!!

This pregnancy also forced us to move, so very soon (as soon as I unpack at least) I will have a new atelier-dolly room to share! A small room but big improvement for me from creating my babies on the living room's coffee table!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Obsession... or not?

It looks like reborns and reborners make the headlines more and more often these days.
After "My Fake Baby", documentary by BBC, and a segment on "20/20", even the Italian tv had a few short minutes of the news dedicated to our passion.

I know that because my mother in law supposedly jumped off her chair and said to everyone, "Those are the dolls my daughter in law makes!".

My mother in law also once said that I'm in need of specialized medical assistance due to my "obsession with dolls", but since she said so for other things, I brushed her off.

Until this week some fellow doll friends pointed me towards another blog.
(I've gotten permission from Almighty Dad to link his blog to mine, by the way).

Reborn babies pandering to a mental disorder?

Well, supposedly we are crazy my friends. Totally off the hook, "out there as a balcony", grossly translating an Italian way to say it.

We make these real looking dolls, then dress them, feed them, cuddle them, stroll them around, buy expensive furniture for them, set up nurseries... in this man's opinion we even get up in the middle of the night to check on them!!!

Although many friends of mine were pretty offended by Keith's piece, I was actually pretty amused.
I don't see myself waking up in the middle of the night if the house isn't on fire, one of the cat isn't peeing on my bed, or my son doesn't need me.
Hubby can fend for himself.

Not to mention the other allegations... the best thing about dolls is that they are available for me when I want, and not the other way around. I don't need to keep them on schedule, check that they don't wear the same clothes for three days, sign school papers, send them to tae kwon do.
I don't need to have dinner ready at a decent time for them.

Still, some things Keith said resonated with me.
Why can't we get pleasure in creating, handling, collecting our dolls, without being labeled as mental instable?
Or laughed at?
Or called creepy, and all the other nice words that are thrown at us?

Simply, why do people need to judge and put down what other people like?

Somebody told me that opinions are like hineys, everyone has got one. ;)

But still, we have the option whether or not to express openly that opinion.
And as much as in this great Country there's the right and freedom to talk, sometimes maybe people would be happier leaving other people a little bit alone.

I'm so lucky to be able to share a lifelong friendship with two persons that I hold as high as sisters.
We live a continent and an ocean apart, see each other two times a day (usually in the same month), and every time we quickly update the news, current number of children, town gossip... and then there we are, sharing the deepest folds of our souls, as if I never emigrated and we'd seen each other every week.

I have almost polar opposite views than my friends in many very important topics, starting from position on abortion, to having children, to piercings, to house neatness, to... many others.
Dolls are another thing we don't agree on.

But this is what makes our friendships so strong and important... the ability to look at the other, disagree, share opinions, sometimes fight, and still respect each other.

I'll say it out loud: RESPECT EACH OTHER.

And if for a few people a reborn makes the difference, if for somebody dolls are a "mental crutch" quoting Keith, so be it.
They are legal, and have no side effects.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Playing with Preemies!

At some point this week I realized that my couch was literally covered in preemies... four babies of different birth were taking up space, being moved around all the time, lying on the headrest.... always in the way.
Not for a single moment I acknowledged their presence for what it really is (an invasion!) or resolved to put them away...
So today I decided to have some fun.
After taking a photoshoot of Lakita and Beau, who are up for adoption (see THE ADOPTION ROOM for info), Tati and Giordana got in the picture as well.

Four very different babies, three of them reborned by me, one a precious gift from a wonderful friend, gathered on the Boppy near the window to have a group picture taken.

How do you take pictures of four squirming preemies?

These are some of the results...