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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The color theory

It helps when you need to tweak the paint job on your work to know a little of the color theory.
Basically it's the same stuff you learned during circle time in preschool, but never knew it would come in useful some day. ;)

For who was absent that day: there are three PRIMARY colors, red yellow and blue. They are actually Magenta, Cyan yellow and Cyan blue if you want precision.

Black and white are not colors, they are light saturation. Black is total lack of light, white is total light. All the colors behave differently depending on what light they are in (also your paints do, so be careful if you paint at night!).

If you mix your primary colors you obtain your SECONDARY colors:




Now you see that every color has one opposite. That color is called its COMPLEMENTARY (not "complimentary", nothing is free here). So red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow.
These colors tend to neutralize themselves if mixed, that's when all this babble comes in useful for us reborn artists.
When you have a weird colored kit or your paint job doesn't come out as expected (it happens to us people who mix our own colors), you just look at a good color wheel and go for the color opposite of the one you want to correct. Here is one for your reference, but you can google "color wheel" and have your pick.

Why all this? Well let's say that yesterday a very sleep deprived reborn artist decided to set aside all the good work she'd need to do and color correct a beloved baby of hers who was rather purplish. One of those reborning jobs on BB old grey vinyl of yesteryear, who never seemed to look right no matter what. Something like this:

Then during... (Matilda wasn't actually thrilled to be photographed this way!)

... and after. Can you tell the difference? 

Note to the fellow artists: you can see some of the colors I used in my plates next to Matilda, but the huge cup of tea is mandatory during this process. Being totally sleep deprived is not, but helps. ;) 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Re-rooting Kieran

I received my new needles from DollsbySandie in the mail and decided to try them against the ultimate challenge: black yearling mohair.

You can guess why I still had this baggie of black yearling I bought years ago... it was way too showy to root with my old, "stab" method. I won't even call it a technique, since at the time I learned rooting was still at its beginnings (yeah this dates me as a reborner!).

Anyways, since I always envisioned little Kieran with a full head of jet black hair, I chose him for the challenge. And I'm very happy with how he came out!!

The needles pick up the hair effortlessly, I was able to separate and root only one hair at a time.
Sweet Kieran slept through the whole process! ;)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Esme Two (or How some dolls grow roots in our hearts).

You are not seeing double.
I am in fact working on the Esme kit by Laura Lee Eagles... again.

It seldom happens that a kit makes such an impression on me that I have to get it again.
Guess it's a matter of preference... I just counted and there are five Laura Lee Eagles babies here at the moment, either in my private collection (Liberty, Sweet Pea Awake), ready for the ROSE show (Miracle), in my kit stash (Tegan), or in the works (Esme two).

Which makes Laura Lee the most represented sculptor ever in my house.

Esme two has a compelling story. I first bought Esme (one, but I didn't know there would be others then) a few months ago, fell in love with her, but the high price tag of the kit made me sell her. I regretted it almost instantly, but by the time I realized it the doll was sold and packed and I was about to mail her to the buyer.
I decided that I was not the kind of person who breaks a deal.
(Esme One, adopted). 

Of course I didn't expect to miss her so much. 
I toyed with the idea to look for a new Esme kit after the ROSE show, but then found one at a very reasonable price and decided I couldn't pass up. 

Here is Esme Due (two), as she's currently called in our house. Here to stay. 
What do you think, was it worth it? 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

R.O.S.E.International Doll Show!!!

Finally after three years of absence from the doll show scenes I decided to bite the bullet and accepted to exhibit at the R.O.S.E. International Doll Show in Denver, CO!

The show will be held in July 2015. Of course being the usual procrastinator I find myself with only a few months to complete enough babies to fill a table, their clothing, and choose a theme and set up.

I've decided to reopen my blog and use it to chronicle this long journey, possibly daily or at least every few days, to keep you all updated with my works in progress.

So far I've completed Miracle by Laura Lee Eagles. She was supposed to be a keeper to console me from selling her sister Esme, but since Esme seems to be irreplaceable in my heart, poor Miracle will come with me at the show. She sports probably the best rooting I've ever done, with a longer do than I'm used to.

After Miracle, I put in the works two more babies: Joshua by Jessica Schenk, a sold out micro preemie kit, and Kylah by Wendy Dickinson.

I decided that since I have a closet full of hard to find kits I might as well create some for the show, so my "mommies" will be sure that their baby is unique possibly on the whole showroom floor. ;)

Here is Miracle:

Joshua and Kylah so far, plus Pixie who is awaiting rooting: 

And now... back to work. Time for some painting and a good cup of tea. :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.