Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Miss Scarlett!

Just playing with Photoshop. Might as well maximize this subject. I'm well now and ready to head back to the grind. I have always wanted to work in a less stressful country -- New Zealand, Canada perhaps or maybe Austria (that's what you get from watching "Sound of Music" every summer as a child). Well, this is perhaps a last portrait before I head back to the office.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

UFDC Tonner "Return to Tara" Scarlett Repaint Part 2: Introspection

While doing this doll, my thoughts went to the doll's name "Return to Tara". Pondering on Scarlett's uncompromising love for land and home. "Land is all that matters, it's the only thing that lasts", Gerald 'O Hara tells his daughter. She would not realize his words until perhaps his demise.
In the Philippines just a few months ago, the land that mattered, on which homes of many stood were devastated by a major flood. Rains for days poured, unrelentingly. No one was spared. People went to their roofs bringing whatever food or clothing and valuables they could. There is no rich or poor in the eyes of  mother nature. Pets who were left tied died. Dogs, cats were seen hanging on trees and electric wires after the flood receded.  A young couple was killed locked behind closed glass doors of a fastfood restaurant, perhaps thinking that the waters would not rise that high. When I think of Scarlett, I am inspired by her spirit and her want to "do anything to bring Tara back to what it was." But what of the inner Tara inside of her, and beyond that inside us. Can we bring back the splendour of what we were back to what it was? Scarlett had her answer and perhaps we should too. Courage or gumption. Nothing should take our inner Tara away from us "while we got breath  left in our bodies". And so, we must conquer the world like Scarlett with her mother's curtains and roosters feathers on our head. This is why Gone with the Wind is immortal to me. Beyond the love story, beyond the beautiful gowns, it is about the iconic and legendary Scarlett O' Hara who will forever be conquer whatever fate brings her way.

This is how we create our own lives. There is no such thing as destiny. Destiny is whatever we make of our own fate.  Tomorrow is another day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

UFDC Tonner "Return to Tara" Scarlett Repaint

I've had fever the past few days. Must be the change of weather. What to do? What to do? One look at the Tonner "Return to Tara" doll -- it's time to "return" to repainting. It's been awhile. And I think I need more practice since I've been forgetting the steps. Well, here she is with rolls on her side and a pensive look -- must be the fever.

I was also able to scan a photo of a the scene where she wears the dress. A close shot of the hairstyle shows the bun to be much bigger at the back, whereas the doll has a bun that stops chin-length. I would think it was a hair attachment that Vivien wore during the scene. She had so many hairstyles there, it must have been torture on her hair. In real life, Vivien Leigh had curly shoulder length hair, so I surmise that there must have been a lot of hair extensions and attachments during the filming.

This doll still needs some finishing touches -- or retouches if I find something else that needs to be improved (from how I see it).

To all those posting comments. I've been a hard time replying, sometimes my comments get posted, most of the time, they don't but I do really, really appreciate your comments. Thank you for joining me in this journey into Gone with the Wind.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

OOPS! Return to Tara (correction)

Some honest mistake in reporting. Here is a message in the yahoo group that shows what the original "Return to Tara" afternoon dress was really made of. Thank you Nikki. The previous post of Helen pertains to a dress that Scarlett wears in the last scene of GWTW, a scene which was never shown on screen.

Re: [ScarlettOharaVinylPortrait] "Return to Tara"

Hi Helen~
This is a wonderful book to have... and can be rare to find.
Many descriptions are a bit off tho, but all in all a great reference.

This "return to Tara" dress you have listed is the one she wears in the very last scene of the film which we cannot see.
The "Rhett's Promise" dress is listed as "Return to Tara Afternoon Dress", listed on p. 209.
It says it was made of off white faille with green faille trim.

It is was indeed faille, then it was made like the honeymoon/shopping spree dress.
From the photos I have I just cannoot tell.  Perhaps faille with a sheer overlay?

Erratum: I mentioned in the previous post that the Vanity Mirror set and the miniature GWTW book was supposedly made by Tonner. Marcia, NJ of Prego wrote me in Prego and gave me the following information.  Thank you Marcia for this information! = )
FYI - the book and vanity set were not made by Tonner for the doll. They were table gifts provided by the host club of the UFDC event, MetroDolls. The book was made by Laura's Little Loot and the vanity set was made by Facets by Marcia (me). I didn't base the vanity set on anything particular to Scarlet - MetroDolls just thought it went with the general period theme.

Fresh from the box: UFDC Convention Doll - Tonner Scarlett "Return to Tara"

Fresh from the box. With plastic still on her hands. Here she is with and without her bolero-type jacket

If asked why I ordered for this doll, I guess you could call it "impulse". I've been tracking some Franklin Mint GWTW dresses -- the rarer ones, and just end up frustrated because I have to dive into bidding with the rest of humanity for them. I think it's also a need to escape (haha) from work and from the stress that made me get this dress. Beyond that, I love Civil War dresses. And this one is a good example of one using Margaret Mitchell's favorite color: green. This doll doesn't come with the usual Tonner hoop skirt, instead a cloud of tulle and a white underskirt. The doll comes with white pumps, stockings and earrings (I assume they're supposed to simulate emeralds). The buttons on the bodice are sewn beads similar to the earrings). 

The white pumps and earrings. The zigzag pattern and stripes all in perfect symmetry. 

Tonner's Return to Tara doll can either be a frustration or a work on positivizing (coined) what you have. I was dismayed by the organza but the cut and the fit of the dress is wonderful on the doll. The zigzagging pattern is something to behold too. There is also a jacket the tassels of which do not fall gently on the doll's shoulders as the real dress does (sigh). The green is faithful to the film dress, however I am not too keen on the ribbon-y type of material used. It's too shiny, reminding me of ribbons used for gifts. Nevertheless, over-all, it is a GWTW dress and something which I think is faithful to Civil War dressing.  The hairstyle is faithful to the film and with a little tug here and there, one can ease the tightness of the style, loosen it a bit, and make it a little becoming to the face of the doll -- tug I did, until at least I could see Vivien Leigh there -- somehow. It is a complicated hairstyle and I must commend Tonner hairstylist -- with this at least -- for able to simulate the hairstyle that Vivien wore in the film and a civil war hairstyle that can fit any of the clothing I've found for the doll. The hairstyle is amazing actually and I can only imagine how long it took to perfect such a tight style such as this. Over-all 2 rolls are found on each side. So when the doll faces front the rolls frame the face IMHO, beautifully. 

The hairstyle: Looking at it, I can only surmise how difficult a job it was to make this one. 

It is strange that the values added to the doll are nowhere near what we see on screen: A silver comb and mirror with a powder case, powder puff topped with a white rose and ribbon; a miniature GWTW book (capturing the cover of its initial release). I thought the book would have the text in it. No, only the cover and the opening page -- fine by me. 

The miniature GWTW book (in proportion to doll size) has the opening text of GWTW written on the back and front cover pages. It also comes with a title page.
 I think it was a charming addition. 

The accesories: Silver comb, hand mirror and silver powder case with powder puff adorned with rose and ribbon. 

I think she's wondering if she needs a repaint. I think she's pretty as she is -- this one. At least good enough for anyone to "return to Tara".

In the "yahoo groups" where I find so much information, Scarlett Vinyl Yahoo Group, one member (thank you Helen) found information on material of the actual dress. Here is her message 

Hi Boots,

Don't mean to butt in but this is from my book "Gone with the Wind on Film A

Complete Reference" by Cynthia Marylee Molt. I hope it helps your dilemma.

Scarlett #58: "Return to Tara"- #2 Dress: Fitted, except for semi-full skirt.
Medium green muslin. Fitted bodice with self- fabric buttons and loops that go
to the waist. Sweetheart neckline is edged at the top of the bosom with heavy
white cotton eyelet. Sleeves are semi fitted with large, rolled back cuffs.
Hair: parted in the middle. Falls at the back in sausage curls. Accessories:
Hat-Same as Scarlett, #21. Ring - wears the ring worn with changes Scarlett,
#39 - #56. Scenes: Return to Tara - #2. Facts: Since green happened to be
Margaret Mitchell's favorite color, the final return to Tara dress was
fashioned in this hue and shown only in silhouette. It is also an adaption of
the medium green original barbecue dress used in tests.

The thing I don't like about this book is it's reaaly not too clear on some
subjects and no pictures.


Do I intend to repaint her? Perhaps. I'll think about that tomorrow. 

After all, tomorrow is another day.
But here's a first, I couldn't help but photoshop the doll's face. It's a guide for a repaint.