Thursday, May 31, 2012

On Shipping


I looked in my email this morning and found the Notice from the Soom Emporium:

We modified with the detalis that Fishcake ordered as follow.

AIIIIEEE the magic words! Gneiss has been put either into the Bucheon, Korea Post Office bin or actually on a plane there (the EMS Korea tracking page shows a little default plane, so you can imaging Gneiss clutching a tiny boarding pass and some ginger pills, ready to look at the Skymall mag for tiny exercise equipment or Bose noise-cancelling headphones.)

Ten days. That is about how long it takes to go from Korea, through customs in Chicago, and go out for delivery. I assume we will still be here in ten days, things are not going well in either negotiations or the house itself...there is some mysterious, Lovecraft-type seepage going on above the foundation cut-out which contains the septic lines from the house, where it joins the Habitrail hookup for the washing machine and sump pit. I suspect a cracked pipe and a 10,000 dollar bill for men with hammers and shovels to come fix it, which I would pay assuming that the landlady would take it off the house price. Or fix it herself, but neither seems likely.

Though we have tendered an official offer, with our broker, the landlady is still asking us to drop the broker and sign the paperwork with the house "as is". I have not yet gotten her to understand that the mortgage company does not do "as is." Nor does the mortgage company lend without an assessment or inspections, which the landlady would also like to bypass. We look at more houses Friday, the inspector comes Saturday.

The dolls waiting for the moving truck above are from last year, and are Sirius (a Doll In Mind Special Elf head on a 72 DollZone body), Kalypso my Shushu (pre-faceup), and Small Bryan, back when he was a Delf Moon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tremo's Cloak


I have no clothes for the Birdman coming in August, so I thought it would be a good idea to start sewing,and use up some of the fabric that I have stored in the basement. Since I am not sure of his exact measurements, I decided to start with something that didn't need to fit, like a cloak. This is just some net cut out in a D shape and edged with a small feather boa from JoAnn's Fabrics, with some sequins and beads. I will need to line it --if Bird has no clothes, this would be a little drafty.

While I was taking this picture I put Stripey Cat outside, so she would not sit on the drape or the doll. She came in only a minute later carrying a fledgling robin. I picked up the robin and carried it back out to it's very angry robin parents, and shut the door with Stripey inside. So she went and sat on the doll instead.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Matte Painting Blog


nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.co.uk

I have always been interested in matte painting, since I like fantastic landscapes, but I never really "got" how the Painting-on-Glass thing really worked. This blog has a long interview with Jim Danforth (that is his painting up there) and not only can you see how the glass mattes work with models and live action footage, the movies are pretty awesome too. Plus, who wouldn't want to paint a triceratops doing an "oops" off a cliff to the accompaniment of a flaming sunset? And he even got paid to paint it!

Trees in Finland and old bottles


It was hot yesterday, and the AC refused to get the house any cooler than 82 degrees F. When you get to be a certain age, being hot is a problem. I am already hot enough, thank you, and not in the pinup sense of the word. I tried bullying the AC via the thermostat, which did not work, and then I went outside today to look at the perp. I found a very small, sad little air conditioner trying to cool 2400 square feet of plywood and plastic, so I guess I can't fault the poor thing. I am going to go buy a window unit so that I can cool just the room I am in, and not the remote corners of the farmhouse. The mice can get their own AC, or go outside. I did find a very cool picture, where it is not hot. These are pine trees under snow in Finland. (Finland, by the way, is hot, in the pinup sense, the language and the landscape look awesome)

Finnish Trees Under Snow #1

Finnish Trees Under Snow#2

When I was picking up the yard earlier in the year, I found a lot of bottles. I recycled them, but Mom suggested I should have saved them for flower bed edging, and I wish I had--this is in the Children's Garden at Cantigny.

And here are some Cantigny roses:

2 megabyte original file for downloading (I needed roses just like these for a romance cover, and had to pay 5.00 for them, so you can have these free. I would still paint over them a little).

Pink Stock Roses, 2 megs

And finally a hot van, because painting flames on something always makes it look better (and keeps you from seeing any rust). It was also in the Cantigny parking lot. I sort of want one, but I think this van probably needs work.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tank Petting Zoo


While we waited to hear back on our house offer, we went to Costco. They had no fly swatters. We already tried Target. So we went first to have lunch at a kebab and pita place, opposite the World of Beer:

And then to Cantigny, which I found out is pronounced "Can-teeny", because it seemed appropriate for Memorial Day to go look at a place that had both tanks and poppies. First the tanks-- this was my favorite, a Korean War veteran that was not very "stealthy" but definitely styling:

There were tourists from Taiwan, and a wedding party:

There was a Children's Garden, and an awesome frog pond, with hundreds of tadpoles:

And of course poppies

Which you can also have as wallpaper here: Cantigny Poppies

Last Soccer Game And Sphaler Claws on Impl


Soccer With A 5 year Old Substitute On Wimp, of course, and adorable.

I don't remember if I put this up--it's Sphaler claws on an Impldoll Star Boy body--they fit fine on this vintage of Star body (2010, I think), though I did end up selling the claws.

The claws were heavy and sharp--they would catch on my shirt and belt and forearms and were sharp enough to draw blood. Balthazar now wears a pair of Simply Divine Hooves by Stein sculpture, and we are both happier.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Little red wig


I needed a wig for Gneiss when she comes, since my old Juri07A stole the one I bought for Gneiss. So I sat down and pilfered some of the "Homespun" yarn I got from Joann's. As a wig it is fine, unless you tug on the strands, and then they tend to come off entirely. On the other hand, I have a lot more yarn so I can fix it any time. I had an earnest lady in Texas ask me if I sold wigs, since she was disappointed with the quality of one she had bought off Ebay. I am sure she would be even more disappointed if I sold her one of mine, and she discovered that it was both uncombable and that the stitching looked a lot like it was an early practice piece by Dr. Frankenstein. (Here you have to picture Gene Wilder embroidering, perhaps with a small Marty Feldman trying to climb in his lap). That is pretty much how it looks around here, though Marty Feldman had better table manners than Stripey Cat does.

Dye-Pot Darling


This was, I thought, a Bobobie/Resinsoul Ya... until I put her together and saw her ears had been sanded down, making her most likely a Resinsoul Mei. Whichever she is, she has the Worst Sculpted Eyewells ever. I am going to have to find a dremel tip and redo them as soon as the house nonsense is settled. But she is a lovely color thanks to claywimmin on Den of Angels, and after some wiring and sueding, a lot of fun to play with and pose. Her name ("Rilly") was more amusing when I thought she was a Ya...rilly.

We did make an offer on the house. The inspector for the mortgage company may laugh himself silly when he comes to do the appraisal, but it's a start.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shushu storm front


Another day of mowing--a good thing I started early, a storm front is moving in. Because the petunias won't last, I took a picture. Kalypso was willing to pose, now that she is once more on the Minifee body:

It was pretty windy. Stripey Cat was a little freaked out.

It became obvious it was time to go in...

Tomorrow we go sign stuff at the realtor's.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sleepy Head


It's another Minifee head! A minifee Sleeping Chloe. And the Miyu head Did Not Want to come off that Minifee body. I'm putting the Shushu head back on it for now, and the other two heads will just have to sulk in the box. I spent the morning doing an informal inspection of the house (insufficient foundation, septic needs pumping, roof needs bracing, probably chimney lining needed, garage door, front and back outside lights non-functional, deck steps in need of repair, deck and upper room balustrades need brackets, upstairs toilet needs replacing, carpenter ants infesting south side, water entering in north side foundation; rabbit warren, possible hornets in outbuilding, gas service needs updating, new front windows, paint, siding.)

(Not much, really.)

Then I spent the rest of the day digging a small bed by the outbuilding, and dug up what is either an old Coke bottle, or more likely a cough syrup bottle. It was like old times at the New Jersey house, which had been built on a 1890's dump. Everytime we dug in the yard we found patent medicine bottle, shoes, harnesses, and all kinds of other small items.

And finally, another sleepy face:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Extra Otter


This otter looks like he is saying "Fu fu fu" which is what Japanese supervillains say before they do something really outrageous. Tomosuke214 took a number of otter pix in that Flickr set (including the previous linked one on the Daily Otter),

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24256658@N06/7225897754/in/photostream/

but his real love seems to be elephants...there are lots and lots of great elephant photos from (I think) the Osaka Zoo. I'm not such an elephant fan--an elephant would pick me up, instead of me picking it up. Plus I think they are smarter than I am.

Spring Weather


The weather here has been perfect--a little rain, a lot of sun. So nice that I was able to drag out two dolls at once to take photos in the yard without worrying that they would get too hot or muddy. I did have Fu Bai the Sphaler bring a napkin to sit on, just in case--Violetta was wearing a nice cotton dress:

And today's Daily Otter is so freakin' cute: http://dailyotter.org/post/23350998478/otter-is-born-model

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Willowbrook Owls


Just some of the rescue animals at the Willowbrook refuge--these guys had wing and eye problems. There was a bobcat I wanted to take home--he looked like a big kitten snoozing on a shelf in his habitat.

Sock Dress


My Yur may be going out--I have had her for two years and she owns just a pair of shoes, a catsuit and a sock dress. You have to admit the sock dress looks pretty good. The table behind her I bought from my landlady, along with a chair and a regrettable lamp. I'm working on buying the house from her so I won't have to move the table, the lamp or the chair. Or the cats. The cat waited for her turn to get a photo after I took some pictures of the Yur:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Phlox


Spent the day driving around, looking at houses. At this house, carpenter bees are getting pushy, even though I bought them some petunias to keep them busy. I guess carpenter bees aren't fans of petunias, those these are really nice fat white ones, hung at carpenter bee eye level on the gazebo frame.

Here is a handsome group of phlox in the back, being unenthusiastically viewed by Marilyn. There are also a lot of raspberries setting fruit along the pit bull fence. I spent the evening doing some mowing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Daily Otter


"You Talking To Me?"

Yes, you can get an otter picture a day. You can have an otter that shows your mood for every day, even. Annoyed would be my mood today. My landlady is selling the house I am renting and forgot to tell me. I now have a lot of boxes and tape and bubble wrap all over the house, and I took a cup out of the cupboard and poured coffee in it without looking to see if it was right-side-up,(which it was not) making an equal mess to the sneezing incident. It looked a lot like the otter photo, in fact.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pit Bulls


See that perfect lawn? Pit bulls live there. The owner has a scrap metal business so I guess he felt the pit bulls were part of the image, but he's also a garden enthusiast. His parents come over and garden with him. Here are the dogs themselves, Sire and Sage.

Sire always has one ear askew; we try to tell him to fix it, but he just looks puzzled. They are good dogs and not yappy, but we don't stick our hands over the fence, either. The giant dog on the other side of the yard we pet all the time, even though it looks like we could saddle him up and ride him- he's got much smaller jaws.

We went house hunting. It was bogus. This playhouse looked better to me than the places we visited.

After 3 PM we gave up and went to Naperville for lunch, where we saw a mural being painted. (Naperville has lots of murals).
And finally, PD finished making my scary peony drawing into another gorgeous virtual fabric:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Magical beach/ New Scientist

Short Sharp Science: Bioluminescent bloom makes beach a magical minefield

Frog Princess


Myrtle up close. ;) She is supposed to have frog feet, but she is the only doll in the house that has shoes that fit properly, so I haven't made her frog feet, or hands. Today the realtor comes so we can look at more houses. I am not looking forward to it. Also, don't sneeze when you are pouring coffee.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sabina's shushu


PB072536a.jpg This pretty Shushu belongs to Sabina on Den of Angels, and she is the best-dressed shushu I have seen, judging from Sabina's Photobucket. The link is here for the whole set:

http://s230.photobucket.com/albums/ee219/Aloedoll/Shushu/

Doll Scale


I opened a box last night (we are still bringing in boxes from the garage) and I found an old Ken doll. He needs to be repainted; years ago I would have just put him in the charity box, but now I know they can be repainted and fixed up, and I have always had a soft spot for this surfer blond guy. I put him next to my soom Coquina (who is wearing a dress sewn by Mercedes Lackey) and you can see their relative sizes. And the untidy living room/computer room.

Jessica


I'm still not sure about Jessica..she's the rolling head I bought from Iplehouse. Sometimes she looks a bit Barbie to me, other times she looks interesting and cranky. And for some reason, her lipstick on camera always looks orange. Also Hermione the Delf Dreaming Moon wants his body back, so I need to do something about him...I tried sticking him back on a regular male Delf body and then realized his entire wardrobe (and tiaras) would go to waste.

PD has transformed the wave into a spectacular 3d fabric:

I need to do some fish and dragons today! (And pull more poison ivy). Benadryl gel is amazing stuff.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Birdman


Soom has released the new version of the male body (Gneiss was the new female body). "Tremo" (Who sounds Italian, maybe it's a kind of marble?) is styled to be a Firebird/Phoenix. He's very splendid except for his wings, which provoked an almost universal wtf in the comments below his release photos, except for the brave souls that confessed they were going to use the wings for crab claws (they are molded in resin as realistic naked chicken wings, with real feathers added--something that no doubt solves some engineering problems.)

Tremo's sales page

Note staggering intital release price, and don't read the "Legend" as the ad copy will make your head explode..though Tremo's isn't quite as absurd as Sphaler's was (Sphaler has episodes where his brain "turns to stone", which I can both relate to and I think there may be a translation problem). Amphibel's resin angel wings were so heavy she tipped over backwards, and no one was really happy with Galena's arm wings, since it meant she had no hands, plus it was a casting challenge to get the feathers to come out cleanly.

In any case, his wings got a "thumbs-down"-- so Soom did something unprecedented--it let people buy the fantasy parts a la carte. I had originally planned to buy him as a set with Gneiss, but his initial release cost plus shipping made me change my mind...as well as my conviction I would break those delicate foot claws. But after a lot of hesitation I ordered him in the stripped-down, human version with just the flaming ears and head crests. I really wanted both the male and female new bodies as a set, and where the releases fell (both right after big events where people were able to order the older, limited molds again) meant that not many people had the funds to buy these new releases (I am guessing less than 20 of Gneiss were sold worldwide, and I am thinking maybe less than 50 of Tremo will be purchased) Compare that to the Unicorn male Heliot, who had something like 300 sold in the original release. Since my bank account is earning no interest, a gain of 10% on my doll purchases looks pretty good. The problem is..I like them! And playing with them decreases the value...I suspect my Sirocco is probably worth all of 450.00 now, though her initial release as a fullset(clothes, eyes, wigs, makeup) was around 1K with shipping. Check out the bat feets:

Migma's sale page
It's very hard to guess what will be valuable. My little avatar doll has gone up almost double from when I bought her, because the company stopped making Delf Lishes, and there is still a demand for them, so I have sadly boxed her up in acid-free tissue so I won't damage her. One of the things I enjoyed about her was that originally she was about as valuable as a designer Barbie, so I didn't worry about dragging her around for photos. I should sell her now in case the lawsuit between Luts and Fairyland gets settled and they start producing them again, but I just can't quite bring myself to do it. I did sell one of the Lishe heads and a spare body to help fund the Birdman.

Sirocco on the Rocks


After a day of mowing and weeding out poison ivy, I hauled some rocks into a pile for my dust fairy (Soom Migma human)to sit on. I have finally gotten her cloak mostly finished, though it's one of those projects that just keeps growing as I find more rubbish to sew to it..there is even a cellophane wrapper hidden in there. She has been so much fun to work on!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Naperville at Night


We went to Kuma's for dinner; the weather was perfect and Naperville was full. We had to park down the river a couple of blocks and walk back. It looked as busy as Disneyland, but with dogs as well as small children, teens, bikers on big shiny motorcyles, and hundreds of college students roaming around with cell phones clamped to their heads or in their hands. I am always surprised how many of the shops are closed, but maybe the owners are roaming around eating gelato as well. Here's a statue outside the library honoring Dr. Seuss:
This is the view from the covered bridge across the Du Page river (the river runs right through downtown):
On the right, where you can't see it, is a giant,Olympic-sized nasty public pool full of green water and ducks. I assume it gets cleaned with a flame thrower and opened for Memorial Day; but you can't get rid of ducks.

We have a pond 2 blocks from us, and it has ducks. And dragonflies.

The Gray Cat, Friday afternoon


and his sister, high on catnip: