Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve


It's Christmas Eve! K, who is visiting, says "You live in a Wyeth painting!" I said I hoped it wasn't an N.C. Wyeth painting, because there would be pirates. This is the view from our kitchen, without pirates.

Eight Tiny Reindeer


And here they are! Never mind that Nuru is missing his kudu horns and a paint job, that Brisbane (in the blue/gray hair) has no idea he's even supposed to be a reindeer, and the Soom Cuprit is plainly cheating (and she makes nine). There are eight Soom Sphaler heads in this picture. Next week one of them goes back to his real owner, and the rest of them will get more clothes and horns as needed, but I did in fact find 8 kirin in time for Christmas. Even without a sled, may they bring everyone good luck and a Happy New Year as well!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Way of the Gun and Sword


Stuart Jaffe has finished the sequel to The Way of the Black Beast, with a new character added to the mix. This guy's name is Owl, and I like him a lot, even though his base file came from Jimi Hendrix's arrest photo in Toronto (You can tell Jimi was pretty high at the time, because in his photo he's doing the "if I hold my eyes really open no one will know how stoned I am.") Owl looks a lot more sober, but the background came out pretty trippy.

I'm looking forward to the third book!

Crystal Impl Feeple


My birthday is close to Christmas. I received some money for it and as usual, promptly spent it on a doll thing. In this case I upgraded a body for Crystal, whose fabulous ears were (in my opinion) too wide for her "native" Impldoll body. (Image on the left). I like the Impl body for some heads; it's very tall and narrow and looks great in Victorian skirts, but poor Crystal just looked like a bobblehead on it. So I found a slightly used Fairyland Feeple body, which is basically a elongated version of the old Luts Delf body (the one Roswell is on). It's an elegant body, but it is the first body that I have had to wire and apply "sueding" on to get it to hold a pose. Usually *I* am the one picking out the previous owners' wires, hot glue and moleskin, but this time I jammed in some copper wire into her arms and painted the inside of her elbows, knees and shoulders with clear acrylic gesso (thinner and less lumpy than hot glue, with a little tooth to it.) Now she can call a taxi if she needs to.
The blue stuff is so I can put the picture in Photobucket. Apparently Dolly Porn is ruining the Youth of America. But if you make some blue marks it's all ok, because now it's invisble. 0_o Apparently naked animals are still ok.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Honorary Reindeer


Stein Sculpture makes all these cool little resin things for ball-jointed dolls. I have bought several masks from her, and they keep getting more elaborate. This mask is not just a faceplate, it has detachable horns so that my Cuprit can cheat and stick them directly on her own head. (this "Special Order" version of Cuprit, that serious collectors sniff at because they are a reissue of Soom's Monthly Dolls, still has the magnet pockets for the Monthly Doll horns. I was so happy when I popped open her head and saw that! I just need to order more magnets for the pockets.) My Cuprit was affordable because she was modded as well (lips sanded) and bodiless--I managed to trade for an Olivine body from Buff and now she is as good as new. Feet and everything.:) (Buff made her outfit as well.)
I still need to figure out how I want to paint the mask...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunny


Because there are not enough cats on this blog.
The weather here is amazing--over 40 degrees F.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brisbane

This is Sphaler Head no 8, which makes 8 tiny reindeer (or kirin) for my Christmas holiday. Never mind that I'm short at least one body, some other resident doll may have to lend theirs so I can get all the Sphalers in a group photo for the most Ridiculous Doll Christmas Card Ever. Meet Brisbane:


He's currently on an FDoll boy body so he looks like a bobble head, but it means he can also wear some pretty cool clothes that don't fit on the bigger guys. He's from an Australian Den of Angels member, and he may be a rental rather than a long-term member of the collection; as she is still quite fond of him and I am not sure I need to permanently stable 8 of these guys here. I'm guessing the climate change alone is a shock--I know I'd rather be in Australia right now on the beach, instead of in thermal underwear and with 10 boxes of books still to pull out of the 25 degree garage and haul up 3 flights of stairs. I've been told this is the mildest winter anyone can remember here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ducks (some strings attached)

Another photo taken inside Bass Pro Shops. you could almost imagine there was a real flight of ducks going on there, if it wasn't for the "being stuffed" and the fishing line holding them to the ceiling.




All this is above the Waterfall/Mountain Goat/MuleDeer/Fishing Pond display. In the back by the glass elevators there is a mannequin in a tent, unaware that stuffed raccoons are sneaking up on him. Luckily for him they are very slow. There is also a table I covet in the shoe department:


The bench is cool-looking but trust me, it's bony to sit on..like a bag of antlers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bass Pro Shops

Well, I am now living in Chicago. I have not gotten my updated driver's license yet, but after much drama I have my cardboard temporary plate on my car. (The locksmith who came to put new locks on the back door and the garage took an interest in my spinning the bolts on the back plate, and after some dremelling and drilling we got the Jersey plate off. It will take professional help to get the real plates on when they come, we totally thrashed the bolt holders in the process.)

Anyway, J took me to Bass Pro shops as a sort of Christmas pre-event. We were looking for thermal underwear and instead I found Taxidermist Disneyland.


You have to click on it to see how over-the-top it is. It is three stories high and includes a giant tank of some kind of freshwater fish. (Walleye or carp or something, I have no idea.) There was an enormously fat catfish in there as long as my arm, too; sadly the picture came out blurry. Even more amazing, apparently Cabela's has the same thing. Since I am at best a spin fisherman, I have never bothered with going anywhere but KMart for my fishing licenses and supplies, so I have missed this spectacle.

The attached bar there has a coral reef, actual size. I want to go back with a low-light camera and order a rum and coke and take more photos. It's cheaper than a flight to Florida. ;)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roswell's Overcoat


Now she has a second coat of paint and she is pretty much a "uniform level of blotchy" all over, so I will work on shoes and clothes next. The wig is just a temporary one that I keep meaning to take apart and redo--it used to belong to a doll named Violent Violet in Colorado, and between Violet's adventures and Stripey Cat's maulings, it needs some tlc.

Roswell's Undercoat


Here's the base coat on Roswell. Once the sun is up today, I will add a second, even coat of Burnt Sienna and hopefully she will be a little less blotchy, but still with some texture to her skin. I ordered a couple of extra Safrin eyes for her as well, since I think I want pupils, cool as the Soom pupiless eyes are. She'll still be very prone to chipping, but as long as I have acrylics I can patch her.

The cats got picked up this morning exactly at 6AM by an ex-military man. The cats were Not Pleased. I hope they don't howl all the way to Newark.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thousand dollar cat


Yes, this guy and his sister. Next Friday, a limo will come to pick him and his sister up, the limo will drive them to Newark, put them on a plane, then they go to O'Hare, and then they will be driven to the new rental house. They have two new FAA approved crates that weigh a ton each, and each cat will have as much paperwork as if they were applying for a Secret Service post.

If I could have bought a soft carrier for them, and put them under the seat, it would have cost 75.00 each; but I would have had to buy two seats, and they would be expected to "behave".

They will not behave. Stripey Cat will drown out the sound of the jet engines with her own operatic skills, and will do it for the whole 2.5 hour flight. Grey Cat will be "uncool" inside the carrier, plus he farts when he is anxious. If I was in the cabin with them, my fellow passengers would probably stab all of us to death with the sporks that come with the "snack". And we'd deserve it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Roswell's head arrives


Well.:o Here she is and she is pretty freaky. She's a large head, and quite beauty green "My little Martian cutie", and she has purple eyebrows. Which I sort of like. She is also very bumpy, and has some kind of scar on the bridge of her nose. My plan is to just live with how she is, clean her up with some solvent, and paint her to match her body, covering up most of the problem. I could try to sand her and build her up with epoxy sculpt, but sometimes I think that just adds to the problem. I'd rather just take her as she is, dings and all. ;)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The eighth tiny reindeer


Meet "Brisbane", my last kirin; he still has to come up all the way from Australia, but with any luck he will be here for the holidays. This is the owner photo. I also bought the splendid wig, with an eye towards someday making a Pele doll with one of Iplehouse's tan girls. I'm pretty amazed I have been able to find 8 Soom monthly heads, each for far less than 200.00 (Brisbane was probably the most expensive, and I blame myself for cornering the market.;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Roswell


Roswell is just a body at the moment. I saw her head for sale on a private marketplace for only 30.00, as it was in bad shape..or it looks like it's in bad shape, though it's hard to judge from the freaky cameraphone picture:


The photo is kind of an art piece in itself, and the head is a good head underneath it all, a nice old-school CP Des head with elf ears. So I have paid for it, and am now waiting for it to be shipped. I think the owner is 16 and has neither transportation or any sense of urgency about mailing it, so I may end up writing off the 30.00 and go find another Des/Soo head to put on the body above. My friend C and Erin dyed the junk Delf body above with RIT dye, and though it is not perfectly even, it's much nicer than I was expecting from the powdered dye (liquid Rit is supposed to work much better), and it's a gorgeous color (which you can't tell between my kitchen light and the blue light bulb). The dye acts as sueding in the joints, too, so she poses like a dream now. She just needs her little head...!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fancy Feet and Art Meat


At last we have the fancy feet on Balthazar, the Soom Sphaler, and he will not be keeping them. They are much too sharp and heavy, and I am going to get some kind of injury off of them if he keeps wearing them. So I may make him some sculpey feet instead. Since he's wearing sculpey horns I made for him, he might as well be all of a piece.

K called me last night fit to be tied, because the painting class is having it's mid-term exhibit in a gallery room. K and B (another student) went in and painted the walls gallery white and fixed up their assigned spaces (B does abstracts, K does huge oil paintings of scenes from Bollywood movies, for Non Western Cinema Aesthetics and the Portrayal of Women in them). The next day K was hanging paintings and T, yet another student, came in with some meat in a bag. Old smelly meat. And started tacking it up on the wall opposite K and B's stuff. K was like..."what is that? Won't that smell?" T replied, "I want it to smell". K was livid, since it was kind of a pervasive art piece, might stink up everyone elses' stuff too, and K is very fussy anyway about clean and smells. (All the ducts in K and B's studio were washed by K with bleach to get rid of any mold, standing on a ladder, about 15 feet worth of giant duct.) So you can imagine.
It's mean to laugh.

The professor's verdict on the meat exhibit; "Not enough meat."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Horns


I made some ram horns out of sculpey. They don't look too awesome up close, but I got the D93 neodymium magnets from K and J Magnetics in the bases without any comedy. (Always a possibility with rare earth magnets covered with Gorilla Glue). That D93 size is the horn magnet size for Soom, just in case you need to buy them for your Cuprit or Beryl horns. While I was at it I put the magnets in Fu Bai's horns as well. None of these guys get to lean on my computer any more.

Monday, October 10, 2011

And one more pic..


..because I can. I think I lost a pint of blood to mosquitoes taking this one, they are bad this year. I need to make his horns next.

Hooves


Fu Bai has feet now; he's on an Impldoll body that belongs to one of the other Sphalers, and Chalco hooves. The Chalco hooves are huge, heavy and impressive, but Fu Bai makes them look more like elk hooves than Pan hooves, with his serious little face. I forgot that his old box is too small for the hooves, and I was running around the house yesterday morning holding the poor man under the armpits, trying to think of a place to hide him because there were viewers for the house coming at 11:30 am, and of course they look in all the closets to see if their own crap will fit (and of course it won't, because mine doesn't, they will have to bring chest of drawers and trunks like I do) and Fu Bai was too long for my small chest of drawers, and the deep drawer in the big bureau already has Rain and Bryan tucked in together and they looked annoyed at me pushing them about to see if I could cram Fu Bai in there as well. No one was interested in a menage a trois.

I was desperate enough that I even eyed the laundry hamper --and though I could put him in there and put a clean towel over him so there would not be a 3 foot tall "devil doll" standing all embarrassed on the hearth with the tongs and the broom and the stone hippogriff, I was afraid someone would poke in the laundry hamper just because they could. But then I found a box that had wrapping paper in it from ages ago when the school did some fundraiser, and he just barely fit, and I was able to tape it closed and stuff it under the twin bed. Whew!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

6 tiny reindeer


And here is Fu Bai, whose name means perhaps "Lucky Money", "Clear/White 100", "payola", "Lucky 100"-- or perhaps is short for "Foolish Buy" because he makes number 6 of my Sphaler heads. I'm only two short of a sleigh ride ;)

Fungus, ornamental


We've had so much rain there are mushrooms everywhere. Some are prettier than others, though it's not good news for the tree that there are these wood ears at the base. Still, they are decorative and easy-care.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tragic hat


It's not really a tragic hat, but a very silly one that happens to look adorable on my Iplehouse Denzel. And even better, it was a gift, from Laura Buff--I bought back a head from her that I had sold a while ago (you can see the head in The Lady or the Transmission), using the poor doll as a sort of resin pawn shop, and in the box with Amethyst's returned head was a pile of clothes! Buff has taken pity on my poor Denzel's skimpy closet and rolled a few teddy bears for new shirts, pants, and the aforementioned Hat. Buff is awesome :))

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Extra Hands


Immortality of Soul doesn't have "option hands" and as much as I love the IoS default hands, he can't hold a gun, a sword, a coffee cup or swim too well, so I decided I would make some spare hands out of Sculpey. The color is off because I had to use what Sculpey I had laying around here, and I got it a bit toasty in the oven. My plan is to glue a fabric cuff on it and some thin fabric on the hand itself and tada, a gloved sword hand. Still have to make the sword.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giant Spider


I have a big spider living on the edge of my kitchen door.It's about the size of a small mouse. It has built a web across my porch light, which is probably how it got so fat. It's big enough to almost be some kind of gross pet. I would be happy to not use that door, but I am having an "open house" on Sunday, and I am not sure what to do about the spider. Should I put up a sign? If I say, "Do not open the door, there is a spider" people will think, oh come on, there are a million spiders, I will open the door. This scares the spider, who likes to sit on the edge of the door where it is warm, and then it runs up the web and tries to make itself small and inconspicuous so it is the size of a quarter instead of a golf ball. It's on the left side above the railing and under the awning, but it is right at eye level. I have taken a couple of bad pictures of it, but to get a good one I have to get closer than either the spider or I are really comfortable with. If I say, "Do not open the door, really huge spider, do not disturb", then they will not buy the house because apparently we have gigantic spiders and there might be many more sleeping in the closets or whatever. I could say "Do not open the door, there is a giant spider outside and you will scare it but it really is the only one and I am sure if you bought the house the cold will have killed this one and it will not be a problem." Of course I am sure there are a lot of little egg balls all around the back porch now, and I am not going after them because I am busy and no way I am reaching under the porch, because there are spiders. Really big ones.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Photo references/painting


Here's the other cover I was working on..much too long, due to the renovation nonsense. I'm really happy with the type and the central angel guy, slightly less happy with the Brad Pitt look-alike behind him (I met him on istockphoto) and fairly happy with the 500 year-old guy in the back. (He's in pretty good shape for that age). I wish I had done more to match the photo refs and the painting--the difference looks obvious to me now, but at least I am learning.:)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pretty Saturn


Courtesy of Cassini and Nasa, because sometimes you just need a pretty BIG picture!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Way of the Black Beast/Final

Here's a crop of the final--I didn't want to make it too smooth, and I didn't want it to look like photostock or Poser; the idea was to have it look hand done, though with a digital pen. I'm pretty happy with the result, though I doubt any mainstream press art director would put up with the looseness or the style. This is why I am so happy I was able to work directly with the author, who let me just do what I wanted. Stuart Jaffe is a very good writer--he writes very strong characters and keep the reader turning pages to find out what happens next. I might have to go buy a print copy when it comes out!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Denzel

Still diggin' this doll...he's really big. He's sort of spoiled me for the smaller dolls.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Denzel arrives


And he is the coolest. Around 7 pounds of Korean engineering. (This reminds me I need to go get groceries today.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In progress


And very messy it is...I paint like a collage artist. The end result will be smoother.

wow, 50% off!


Probably because I am the only one on earth who likes these waxy, toxic-red-dye-no 5 treats.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Waiting


My Iplehouse doll is still in NYC, perhaps in customs. The doll that is supposed to be his partner is here, with a suitably "any time now" expression. I hate waiting!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dollar wig


Sometimes a dollar wig from Ebay looks like a dollar wig. But it's pink, and Myrtle (Soom Coquina) doesn't care. The azaleas were outstanding last Spring!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mantis

Irene seems to have shaken up the bug population in the yard--I'm seeing new bugs, including this 6 inch long Praying mantis, who was (I think) hunting ants, and annoyed that I was pushing a camera so close to him. I also saw a very large walking stick, and a countless number of crickets and spiders. Unfortunately Stripey Cat likes to eat them, and then a few minutes later return them. On my printer.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pencil Magic


Every now and then I find a wonderful book at Barnes and Noble. I had never heard of Ed Org before, and I am glad I found out about him. He's a wizard with a pencil. While this is a perfectly good how-to book, it's an even better gallery of his art. He shows the original photos and the final art is oh so much better than the reference, as it should be. Lots of amazing art noveau curlies everywhere.

Most pencil work just looks "medium grey". His drawing have the full range of values, though my photo doesn't give you the full effect. When I grow up I want to draw like that!




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Candy Japan


K went to Japan in early August. August is not the best time to visit Osaka, because it is..hot. I got a phone call on the first Tuesday of K's visit and K said that the visit had included a stay at the Kinki University Hospital for heatstroke. K said the hospital was "the nicest K had ever seen", and blocks of ice and gatorade-like substances were provided. K was embarrassed about the incident but then Shuto, one of the other Kinki University students, had to spend a whole day in the hospital as a result of an allergic reaction to mosquito bites and the bamboo they were sanding for a sculpture, so K felt less self-conscious. K had an amazing time and wants to go back. Candy was also brought back from Japan for J and I. The candy is gorgeous, even if it is not technically candy-as-we-know-it. It's much less sweet. The little package above is a small meal of rice flour with a bean paste center, like biscuit dough and jam. The ones I liked best were some kind of clear rice or agar with a tangerine slice embedded in the center, very squishy, not too sweet, perfect for hot weather. Also rather filling.




New Jersey Sky


Courtesy of Irene. The hurricane was not much of a problem here, just a lot of steady rain. We'll have toadstools again by Wednesday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Many Moons


I like the older Luts.com dolls, the ones designed by Cerberus Productions. When I started buying dolls in 2007 they were the "hot dolls" at the time and I couldn't afford them. But as time has passed they are considered old and busted, and they are inexpensive now on the secondary market; especially the Moon sculpt, who was almost as popular as the Lishe and El in '07 and '08. The first one I got was a Redemption the Moon, just his chipped little head, no splendid costume or even a body. He's still one of my favorites. And a couple of months ago I bought a Fairyland Vamp Moon that had his teeth sanded off by someone, for the price of a decent dinner. All told, I have 5 of these guys, with various mismatching bodies. Here's Vittorio (He was Viktor at his last house, and as I had no name for him I kept it as close as possible while making him a brunette instead of a blonde.) I wonder why they took his teeth off? They are so tiny, like cat teeth.

This is what the Vamp heads look like with the teeth.. I think Vittorio has had his eyes opened as well. This is Alejandro the vampire:


(Ellis the Ghost is down with the haunted apartment story). My last Moon is a Dreaming Moon, and the poor man ended up fitting a girl body that I had, so Queen Hermione he is. He needs some better dresses:


I think that's all of them at the moment! I'm still tempted when I see them go by on Den of Angels or Ebay.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bug in a jar


A present from the cats. I have no idea what kind of grasshopper this is, but he was released back out into the night after I got him off the drapes.
(Click for full-size).

Bee wallpaper


For no reason except I like it. If you "Center" it, it should leave a margin for your icons. (Click for full version).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rain Revised


One of my very first ball-jointed dolls was just a head. A free head, that a friend got as a freebie with another doll order. He looked sort of anime, with big ears--he was a Dream of Doll Tender Lahoo, and he went through a whole progression of ridiculous bodies, from a cloth one I put together:


to a two-toned thing (note the blue wig, and Delf hands):


To a tall, lanky Resinsoul body with a regular, if used Lahoo head:


To finally, a splendid and hard-to-find Immortality of Soul "G", that I stumbled upon on the secondary market at 4 AM one morning, before anyone else saw it. He's painted now, not very well, but close to what I wanted. He just needs all new clothes, since he's a very different size and shape from the Resinsoul version.


I will say this about the cloth body--it was easy to pose. This version needs his arms restrung and wired, as they are far too tight! I'm still very, very happy with this version!