World’s Biggest Barbie Fan Collects 15,000 Dolls in 19 Years

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Bettina Dorfmann, from Dusseldorf, Germany, will be featured in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records for her amazing Barbie Doll collection which numbers 15,000 items. She started collecting Barbies in 1993 and doesn’t plan on ever ending her quest for new additions.

Ever since Barbie was created, in 1959, it’s estimated about 1 billion dolls have been produced, and there are over 100,000 passionate doll collectors all around the world, hunting for the rarest items. But none is more dedicated than Bettina Dorfman, from Germany. In the last 19 years she has amassed an impressive collection of over 15,000 Barbie dolls, from vintage items of the 1960s, to the latest models launched by Mattel. The 52-year-old Dusseldorf-based collector says she has loved Barbie ever since she was just a little girl. “They are great for children. You can wash their hair, change their clothes, buy new outfits”, she told the BBC, back in 2009, when she had “only” 6,000 dolls. But even after she grew up, Barbie still appealed to her, and since her daughter Melissa always seemed more interested in the new Barbies that came out than in the old ones Bettina had saved for her, she decided to keep them for herself.

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Artist Creates Incredible Portraits Out of Thousands of Tiny Colored Paper Dots

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I love it when artists go to great lengths to create extraordinary art. Case in point, Nikki Douthwaite, a young British artist who uses tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of tiny paper dots to assemble incredibly detailed artworks.

Nikki Douthwaite is a master of dot art. She uses colored dots produced by a hole punch, and painstakingly sticks them, one by one, on a canvas layered with double-sided sticky tape, with a pair of tweezers. Can you imagine spending up to 12 hours at a time arranging thousands of colored dots to create just one of these amazing works of art? It requires mountains of patience, but for Nikki every piece is a labor of love. Inspired by the pointillism work of 19th century French painter Georges-Pierre Seurat, she came up with the unusual technique during her Interactive Arts degree at MMU. Seurat created images using dots of coloured paint, which the human eye blends from a distance, but Douthwaite developed her own unique technique, by replacing the paint dots with tiny bits of paper. The dedicated artist, from Timperley, Cheshire, has suffered repetitive strain injuries in her arm, hand and shoulder after spending hundreds of hours sticking hundreds of thousands of paper dots, but has never considered giving up on her art.

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Would You Give Him Your Vote? Tattooed-Face Man Runs for President

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Meet Vladimir Franz, probably the most tattooed man to ever run for president in any country of the world. The eccentric candidate is currently gathering signatures in order to be able to candidate for president of the Czech Republic in 2013.

53-year-old Vladimir Franz has what many people call a striking appearance. His face and body are covered with tattoos, which actually makes him look blue, literally blue. But that’s not all that makes him stand out from the rest of the candidates. He’s the perfect example of why people should never “judge a book by its cover”. You couldn’t tell by looking at him, but Franz is actually a drama professor at one of the most prestigious universities in Prague, a talented painter and a successful opera composer. As a young man, he also graduated from law school and got a doctorate in the field of law, but chose not to pursue a career as a lawyer or magistrate during the communist Czechoslovakian regime. Instead, he turned his atention towards art, and after studying painting and music, he became a university professor as well. He is well know in the Czech Republic for initiating a serious of cultural movements for the country’s youth, which makes him very popular among young voters.

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The Mind-Blowing Staple Art of Baptiste Debombourg

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For most of us staples are necessary office accessories, but for French artist Baptiste Debombourg the tiny pieces of metal are a unique art medium that allow him to create detailed masterpieces inspired by Italian Mannerism and the German Renaissance.

We first featured Baptiste Debombourg on Oddity Central in March, after he unveiled a monumental mural made with 450,000 staples, but he’s been keeping busy and now has an impressive portfolio of new awe-inspiring staple artworks. For years, the French artist has been gradually perfecting his unique technique taking to a level where he’s now able to create detailed re-interpretations of famous classic paintings. Instead of relying on the usual art mediums, like acrylic or oil paints, he takes these simple objects we use in our every day lives and creates thought-provoking works that blend classic and contemporary art. His Aggravure series contains hundreds of thousands of staples and is currently on display at the Krupic Krestig Gallery in Cologne.

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Russian Pensioner Decorates Her House with 30,000 Plastic Bottle Caps

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Olga Kostina, a Russian pensioner from the Russian village of Kamarchaga, in the Siberian taiga, has decorated her simple wooden home with artistic patterns made from over 30,000 plastic bottle caps.

The Siberian taiga is one of the most beautiful natural ecosystems on Earth, but with a population density of just 3 people per square kilometer, it can be a very lonely place sometimes. But one woman living in the rural area at the edge of the taiga’s endless forests has found a very entertaining hobby to help pass the time when there’s simply no one around to talk to. Olga Kostina started collecting all kinds of plastic bottle caps from soda bottles and when she decided she had enough, she began using them to decorate the walls of her wooden house, in Kamarchaga village. The pixelated patterns that cover most of her home range from traditional macrame motifs to animals living in the neighboring forest. The Russian pensioner placed every single bottle cap by hand, using a hammer and nails to fix them in place, and used the macrame technique (hand woven and knit knots) to create the intricate mosaics. So far she has used over 30,000 plastic bottle caps and her home has become a local landmark of sorts. But she’s not planning on stopping until her house and adjacent structures are covered with colorful patterns.

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Skilled Artist DRAWS Victorian Photographs with a Pencil

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You could swear these old photos were taken decades ago, and have been stored away some place collecting dust, but in fact these tiny artworks are painstakingly drawn by Paul Chiappe, with a simple pencil. Mind blown yet?

28-year-old artist Paul Chiappe, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been drawing with pencils ever since primary school, and throughout the years his skills have improved to such a degree that he’s now able to create detailed photographic artworks. I remember even in primary school meticulously copying images for art class,” Chiappe remembers. “I would end up drawing dolphins and things from wildlife books. Basically, anything I would draw I’d make sure it was as realistic as possible.” Now he’s become an expert at creating Victorian-style photographic artworks in such stunning detail that you actually need a magnifying glass to tell them apart from real photographs.

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Don’t Sneeze! Beautiful Dry Tea Illustrations by Andrew Gorkovenko

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Moscow-based graphic designer Andrew Gorkovenko has recently created a series of awe-inspiring dry tea illustration, as part of a series of packaging designs for Triptea. I’d definitely buy some, if only for the box artworks.

Talk about an unusual and refreshing art medium. There are a few thing I imagined could be done with dry tea, but drawing definitely wasn’t one of them. Obviously, Russian graphic designer Andrew Gorkovenko has a richer imagination, since he came up with the idea of using the nicely-scented dried and ground tea leaves to create these amazing concept illustrations for Triptea ‘s packaging. Using only basic tools to manipulate the dry tea on white paper canvases, Gorkovenko created a series of intricate designs which illustrate the origin of the different tea varieties – the Great Wall of China and a detailed pagoda for green tea, a picturesque Ceylon landscape for black tea, etc. As Christopher from Colossal notes, Andrew really went above and beyond for this campaign. Triptea must be pleased.

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Ukrainian Car Enthusiast Turns His Mitsubishi Eclipse into a Lamborghini Reventon

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Alexander Stupkin, a 30-year-old car enthusiast from Odessa, Ukraine, has spent the last two years turning his old Mitsubishi Eclipse into a gorgeous Lamborghini Reventon replica.

It’s barely been two weeks since we posted an article about Wang Jian, the 28-year-old Chinese farmer who built his own Lamborghini Reventon from scrap, and now we have another Lambo fan who decided to built his own dream car. His name is Alexander Stupkin, a young Ukrainian jeweler from Odessa. Apparently he has always been a fan of beautiful sports cars, and since he was already working in a field that requires patience and accuracy, he decided to try his luck with tunning. Although he had no experience with tunning cars, with the help of family and friends, Alexander managed to transform an old 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse he bought in 2008 into a stunning replica of his Italian dream car, the Lamborghini Reventon. It’s true the build process took over two years, but the end-result is really impressive, if you ask me.

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Anime-Faced Chinese Model Will Freak You Out

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Meet Tina Leopard, a Chinese blogger and model who earlier this year sparked controversy among Internet users after photos showing her extremely sharp chin and large anime-like eyes went viral on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Apparently, there’s a new fashion trend sweeping across China – the anime look. The country’s most popular social media sites are practically flooded with tons of photos of young people clearly going out of their way to look as much like an anime character as possible. The trend took off last summer, when a girl going by the name of KOKO uploaded photos and videos showing her thin body, pointy chin and disproportionately large eyes. It turned out she used all kinds of makeup tricks to achieve her anime look, and her photos were apparently also altered in Photoshop, but that didn’t seem to matter much to people who wanted to look like the characters in popular Japanese cartoons. And while some of them actually look pretty cool, others are just plain freaky. Case in point, Tina Leopard, a young Chinese model whose extreme facial features have often been compared to those of an alien.

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Artist Creates Gigantic Snow Artworks Using Only His Feet

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They look like something aliens might have created, but the large-scale snow circles spread around the Les Arcs sky resort, in the French Alps, are actually the work of one man –  British artist Simon Beck.

Using an orienteering compass, measuring tape and a pair of snowshoes, 54-year-old Simon Beck turns the hills and frozen lakes around Les Arcs into geometrically-perfect immaculate masterpieces. His intricate prints are huge, often spanning the equivalent size of six football fields, but while you’d be tempted to think Beck needs at least several days to complete just one of these patterns, he really only needs about 10 hours, on average. Hard to believe, considering they’re all done by walking with snow shoes, but Mr. Beck doesn’t mind the exercise. In fact, that’s what made him take up the unusual habit. Because of some problems with his feet, the artist cannot run anymore, so plodding on level snow was the least painful way of getting some exercise. And he’s not one to hold back, walking around in the snow until he’s completely exhausted, and using a headlamp if it gets dark first.

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The Breathtaking Glass Temple of Johor Bahru – A Shining Wonder of Malaysia

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In the city of Johor Bahru, close to Malaysia’s southern border with Singapore, lies one of the world’s most amazing pieces of architecture – a Hindu Temple covered almost entirely with glass. It’s called the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman temple, and it’s one of the must see attractions of Malaysia.

Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman is one of the oldest temples in the state of Johor. It started out as a small shelter, built in 1922, and grew steadily over the years, but its true expansion started in 1991, when the current chief priest, Sri Sinnathamby Sivasamy, inherited the administration of the temple from his father. He became the driving force of this once humble hut, and committed himself to turning it into a beautiful Hindu place of worship. Despite facing many challenges, Sivasamy managed to expand and completely rebuild the temple in just five years, and in 1996 it was reopened to the public. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman had already transformed into an impressive display of Malaysian architecture, but it would soon become a truly unique Hindu sanctuary, unlike any other.

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CW Roelle’s Wondrous Metal Wire Artworks

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CW Roelle is often referred to as the “Wire Magician” and looking at his breathtakingly intricate wire artworks, it’s easy to see why. The Rhode Island-based artist somehow manages to twist black metal wire into detailed masterpieces that resemble pencil drawings.

The first time CW Roelle used wire as an art medium was in 1997, during the second semester of his junior year of college. One day, when drawing a model, he suddenly felt he wanted to reach in, grab the lines of his drawing and just move it around. That night he started redrawing his classroom works with wire. Over the years, his skills improved immensely, and Roelle is now able to create detailed works of art with nothing but metal wire. Some of his pieces can take just a few hours to complete, but there have been some that have taken the artist as long as four months to finish. He says most of his medium-size artworks take about two-three weeks, which is actually less than his realistic pencil drawings take. Because they are all handmade, no two wire drawings are the same.

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Real-Life Shrek and Fiona Have Their Very Own Fairy Tale Castle

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A Ukrainian couple from the village of Akimova, in the Zaporozhye region have spent 10 years building their own fairy tale castle. And because of their resemblance to the popular animation characters, they are known as Shrek and Fiona by the locals.

Anatoly and Larisa Galitsky love children, so one day they decided to built a castle-themed cafe where they could come and play in a fairy tale setting. The courtyard was supposed to be full of swings and carousels for the kids to enjoy, while the castle interior was designed to look like what they read in popular stories. But alas, the real world has its own villains, and in the Galitskys’ case it was the local sanitation department who just wouldn’t authorize the build of a public cafe on the site of an old landfill. After several attempts to convince the authorities to approve their project, Anatoly finally decided to give up and make his castle into a unique residence. The real-life Shrek drew up the plans himself, and after 10 long years, he and his beloved Fiona finally have a castle to call their own. The entire structure covers an area of 300 square meters, has three large halls, a bedroom and a huge kitchen. The three stone walls also house a bathhouse and a garage. Of the castle’s six pointy towers, only one is actually hollow, the rest are just for show.

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Intricate Doodle Portraits Are Made with a Single Continuous Line

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Pierre Emmanuel Godet is a French self-taught artist living in Barcelona who creates incredible artworks with a single continuous line. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the little doodles that make up his artworks tell the tale of the subjects he’s trying to depict.

On his blog, Pierre Emmanuel Godet says he used to work in Research Engineering, in his native country of France, but he had always been more interested in art, so one day he decided to take a leap of faith and become a professional artist. Although he has an impressive collection of oil and acrylic paintings, his one-line drawings are by far him most amazing works of art. He started this unique series in 2010, while exploring the idea of making art with very few materials. Godet’s first attempts were chalk drawings on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, but as he got better he transposed them on canvas, with Indian ink. In the beginning he created simple shapes, like animals and symbols, but as he became more experience he moved on to more elaborate works, like celebrity portraits. Each of these amazing renditions is unique and contains objects, shapes and stories related to the person they’re depicting. It’s hard to tell from a distance, but if you look closely, you can see that almost all the doodles (apart from exceptions like the eyes, or the nose) are linked together in a continuous line.

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Artist Creates Beautiful Mosaics from Discarded New York Metro Cards

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German artist Nina Boesch uses discarded New York Metro Cards to create beautiful mosaics inspired by the Big Apple. The resourceful collage master reckons she has used about 30,000 metro cards, so far.

To most New-Yorkers, the iconic metro card becomes just a useless piece of plastic after they’ve gotten on the subway, but for Nina Boesch it becomes an invaluable piece of art precisely after it’s been thrown away. The 33-year old artist gathers material for her amazing mosaics scouring the metro stations of New York City. “I can’t leave a subway station without looking around, it’s almost OCD at this point,” she says. “Sometimes you’re lucky and you find a whole stack of them.” She has become famous for using hundreds of these yellow, black and blue pieces of plastic to create intricate collages, each with its own New York-inspired theme. So far she has assembled portraits of famous New-Yorkers like Woody Allen and Catherine Hepburn, as well as renditions of the Statue of Liberty, yellow cabs or the New York Subway.

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