Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fanciful Delights - an interview with Roweena23

I discovered Fanciful Delights, and Jessica (also known as Roweena23 on Den of Angels), a few weeks ago, and I couldn't resist asking her for an interview. Currently, you can find Fanciful Delight's handmade one-of-a-kind hats for sale on Etsy, on Den of Angels' Marketplace forum, and often at GoGa and GoGa Lite conventions in San Francisco.

About the business:

Jessica creates gorgeous one-of-a-kind hats to fit mostly SD and MSD-sized ball-jointed dolls, such as Volks, Peak's Woods, D.I.M. Souldoll and many others. She's done commissions in the past; however, due to the limited nature of the trims and materials she uses, at this time, Jessica mostly uses supplies on hand for her current creations.  All pieces are one-of-a-kind and created by hand, and feature hand-dyed roses and lace, plus the trims and crystals are often unique. If one particular style strikes her fancy, she may create similar looks, only with other materials and trims.

The flapper era is her favorite -- ever since she had a few dresses commissioned from Val Zeitler. She decided to try her own hand at hats. Jessica has found there is very little of this era available on the market, and she already had a love of hand-dying trims and lace.

Her background in crafting (as long as she can remember) has certainly been a help to her: everything from making pillows and purses to creating collage plates with gold, silver and copper leaf to give to friends and relatives as gifts has served her in this venture. The embellishment process of a tiny doll's hat is very relaxing--it's hand-sewing you can carry with you, or do with music playing in the background.

Currently all the sewing and crafting is done by herself, though her very kind husband will make necessary trips to the post office to deliver packages.

Flea markets, antique shops and of course the web are her favorite sources for lace and unique embellishments. The treasures are what determine the hat design, for the most part. She stays away from too much color matching, but allows the embellishments to coordinate and compliment each other.

Her favorite part of the creative process is adding final touches to the piece--like Austrian crystals, pearls or feathers. "It gives me a sense of accomplishment on a hat just made," she says. The worst part of the job is waiting for trimmings to arrive in the mail!

New stuff in the works are some very simple flapper-style dresses (I can hardly wait! Can you put me on your mailing list?) to coordinate with the hats, but those are still in progress.

I asked Jessica if she ever gets creative blocks while working on her hats. She replied:
I don't really get creative blocks when making my hats; the only thing that might hold me back is when I might not have enough trims when I need them! I do have days when I'm not particularly inspired, but then I'll turn on some good music and suddenly get into a creative mood for sewing and/or decorating soon after.
About her dolls:

As in all the interviews I've done so far, I have to be nosy and ask our interviewees about their doll collections. Jessica has been collecting Madame Alexander, Barbie, antique porcelain dolls, pin cushion half dolls, and 1920's and 30's boudoir dolls for many years before she discovered the world of ball-jointed dolls. Though she has a variety of BJDs, she's attracted Volks and Peak's Woods dolls the most often.

Though she loves all her dolls, she has a few favorites: her Volks Suigintou, Luna and Kurumi. They are a great little group of best friends that go well together.

I asked her what attracts her to a doll: 

I just look for a mold that I find super cute and/or pretty first, make sure I love the shape of the nose, mouth and eyes, and then decide from there whether I want him/her to have a different face-up. Sometimes, I don't have the heart to change the default, but then I'll see someone's pictures of the same mold painted up by someone and can't believe the amazing transformation. That will sometimes influence me to send a doll off for a new look. 

Her collection is themed with ruffles, lace and floral prints. Pretty much anything Val Zeitler has designed with Dollheart and sold as collections through Haute Doll in the past have been her top favorites (Eek! Mine, too!).

Contact information:

If you'd like more information, you can find Fanciful Delights on Etsy (as well as many more of Jessica's hats), or you can contact her on Den of Angels, and see what goodies she has.

Thanks so much for sharing your lovely hats and your creativity with the Fashion Doll Review!

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