Return to Oz

 I’d been utterly intrigued by this movie as a child, mostly due to the shockingly creepiness of it. I was thrilled that someone actually made a horror movie for children! Even so, I was reluctant to tackle this project because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. But someone asked me to paint a set just as I was getting the itch to and was actually starting to compile the photo references needed to get me started. Return to Oz

It was clear from the start that other than Dorothy, I had to paint Jack Pumpkinhead, Mombi, the witch with a collection of heads that she switch up to suit her mood, the dastardly Nome King, Mombi’s henchman, a Wheeler, Ozma, the Queen of Oz, and of course, Tik Tock. I thought about the Gump, which is a moose head attached to a bed and brought to life by a magical powder but couldn’t figure out how to work him into this set. The buyer made a mention of it and you know I don’t like to disappoint. The simplest solution is to do this:

The Gump

Problem solved!

Some details:

wheeler-Ozma Billina

The Wheeler, Ozma, and Billina the talking chicken.

Nome King Mombi

The Nome King wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Mombi with her mandolin.

It’s Vacation Time!

It’s been two long years of non-stop painting for yours truly. I would get irrationally happy at the prospect of having half a day off during these times. Imagine having seven weeks off! I did a Jig of Happiness and nearly fell down the stairs. Not a good way to start one’s holiday, is it? Of course I could’ve given myself a day or two off, but you have to really be in love with your job to keep on working, and I suppose that’s why I couldn’t stay away from my sweatshop.

Ant Irene1

The Hubs and I are returning to my native land for a combination birthday celebration (his)/family reunion (mine)/and honeymoon holiday. It’ll give me some time to post some of the sets I painted in the last 2 months and haven’t gotten around to updating!

The Kayys

Every now and then I get to do some fashion-y stuff. It’s not often, though, as the general shape of the nesting dolls doesn’t tend to flatter the wearer of high-end garments. But I was asked to paint the summer/spring line of the fabulous Qatar-based designers The Kayys.


One of the designers asked me to pick 4 outfits myself, which I was more than happy to as I was rarely trusted to make fashion-based decisions. I hope I did this set justice!

Some close ups:

KayysFashion3 Kayys Fashion2


Then I was asked to add more hair to the models. That worked out even better!



I have to admit I was never very impressed by fantasy films made in the 80’s, not since I was forced to watch “Clash of the Titans” with my classmates so the teachers could go out for a smoke or something. The special effects were pretty dreadful. I kept expecting to see a giant hand swooping into the screen to straighten out the creatures that were bent unnaturally at the waist. So when it was pressed upon me to view “Legend” starring Tom Cruise so I could create a set of the main characters, I hemmed and hawed but finally agreed only because A. it was made during a pre-Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch era, B. two words: Tim Curry and C. Unicorns!

It was a fun movie. I got all nostalgic thinking about “The Neverending Story” and “The Dark Crystal”. I got around to thinking that maybe I didn’t hate 80’s fantasy films after all, just “Clash of the Titans.”


From left to right: Jack in his bling bling armor, Lily, fairy Oona, and of course, The Darkness with them horns.

As this is a set of fours, I decided to hide a little surprise inside the Oona doll for the buyer:

Unicorn horn

It’s a itty bitty unicorn horn!

Immortal…and Tardar Sauce

As someone who gets odd requests now and again, this has got to be the strangest one yet. This set features the Norwegian Black Metal band Immortal and Grumpy Cat. It’s meant to be a housewarming present. Why not? I myself have been given a Buddy Christ figurine from the movie “Dogma” and a Tick action figure when I moved to a new apartment years ago.


And who doesn’t love a Grumpy Cat nesting doll?

The Nightman Cometh

When I was painting the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” set, I had the entire score of “The Nightman Cometh,” a rock opera performed by the main cast, running through my head the entire time. So it’s only natural that this set be the follow up:

Nightman Cometh

It features (from left to right) the Troll, Coffee Shop Princess, Dayman, Nightman, and Charlie as Dayman: Champion of the Sun.

It’s utterly ludicrous. I highly recommend it.

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink

Someone requested a “Mean Girls” set a while back, which I agreed straight away although I didn’t see how I could find the time to paint it. But it got painted and here it is!

Mean Girls

This one features Cady Heron, Regina George, Karen Smith, Gretchen Wieners, and an itty bitty fruity cocktail drink served by Mrs. George after school on a Wednesday afternoon. So fetch!



This gorgeous little cocktail is provided by Everyday Gourmet.

The Double Doctor Who Mega Deluxe Super Special Set

When it rains, it pours, right? On the heel of the simple set of 5 Doctor Who ones I’d only just painted last month came a request for a super mega double set featuring all the actors playing Doctor Who (one of them twice). As I had too much going on in the sweatshop to begin with, I resorted to painting this set after hours, often times after after hours. My friends and acquaintances wonder why I sleep in most mornings and wake up cranky, this is why. At night, however, it’s a different Irene altogether. That’s when things get done!

Doctor Who cast

Both sets feature a Tardis each lovingly 3D printed by the Hubs.


Set A is:

William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

Set B is all about:


Peter Capaldi, Matt Smith, David Tennant, David Tennant with glasses, Christopher Eccelston, John Hurt, and Paul McGann.

Some details:

The Doctors Set A The Doctors set B

I got used to having bits and piece of the doctors and a Tardis or two sitting about the sweatshop in the last two months. Will definitely miss these little mascots  when they’re gone!

Doctor Who

Several people have, over the years, asked me to paint Doctor Who sets. It usually resulted to nothing as that show’s been on since the Dawn of Time and it was hard to secure the correct amount of dolls to recreate all the Doctors over the years. I myself am not too keen on the idea of painting the first doll as the Tardis, although many have done it and made it look good. As luck would have it, one of my returning customers requested a simple Doctor Who set this year…and the Tardis didn’t turn out so bad.

Doctor Who 2

This one features the 10th Doctor (David Tennant), Rose, Dalek, and the Weeping Angel.

I was very vocal about my dissatisfaction of having to paint the Tardis as a doll, so much so that the Hubs 3D printed me a mini Tardis.

Doctor Who

But wait, there’s more! I was so happy with the 3D Tardis that 2 more large ones were printed for an upcoming massive 14 Doctor Who dolls project (David Tennant gets to be painted twice for this one!).


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