Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tygati's Cuties


These are Tygati's current crop of dolls--my favorite is the Soom Vega Last Song, who is the doll on the second row, first on left, with the orange hair--he donated his previous wig to Bird. It's the flaming orange wig I like so much, so I am happy Goldfish (and tygati) were willing to share!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Soom Quartz


Soom has a new dragon boy for sale until the 5th of September, and he's very cute--I'd love to have his body for one of my Sphaler heads, because he has Feet of Awesome:

However, I will be spending an equivalent amount of money on food and lodging in downtown Chicago at the Worldcon. I'm hoping to sell some art to pay for all this!

(My brother took that splendid picture).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hermione


Hermione is a Fairyland Dreaming Moon--for ages I have had him on a Soom Super Gem girl body--I bought the SG body from Tygati and she stuck Hermione's head on it just for a joke when she sent it to me, but the resin match and the sculpt looked perfect together. So I gave him a girly faceup, and as time went on, he collected various tulle dresses and tiaras.

Last week I finally got around to swapping some bodies around and got Hermione on his "real" male Feeple body..only to discover that he looks weird to me in boy clothes. And as I have a heavy investment in princess dresses, I guess I'll need to let out some seams in the top of the dresses and he'll go back to his regular wardrobe. The Feeple body is an amazing poser in spite of Mecha Angel-sized legs, better than the female version, IMO.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Head Swap:Old Soom Heads, New Bodies


(Click to enlarge photos) AnitaS wanted me to show an older Soom head on the new body. On the left is Sensei Fuzzy, Soom MD Sphaler; on the right Bird, Soom Tremo.

The inside of Bird's faceplate. You lift off the magnetic backplate, then hold the faceplate (very important) before you lift the banana. Otherwise the faceplate just falls off. Trust me.

The "banana" on the neck. I slipped a ribbon under it and tied together the two loops of elastic so I could pull on them. I was unwilling to use the resin banana for a puller.

Comparing the two heads--the Sphaler head is smaller than the Tremo head, but not by much. Both wear 8-9 wigs, though Tremo does better with a stretchy wig.

Comparing torsos--Tremo's is much thicker in the chest and upper arms, but the neck dimensions are almost the same.

Sphaler on the new body. I think it looks fine, if silly here.;)

Banana on the old body; fits fine.

Faceplate, then headcap, and the two guys are swapped. I think Tremo looks a little bobble headed, but future heads from Soom may be smaller, since they vary in size (Tremo and Chrom are fairly close in size and maybe color, too, if you have a tan Chrom head.)

Back to normal...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bird and a Mirror


"Who is that pretty boy?"

Yes, show a Bird a mirror and look what happens. The flaming wig is courtesy of Tygati, and I may keep it as his party wig. Bird also looks good in Gothy stuff, though the outfit is swiped from another doll who probably doesn't want to part with it, since it's all he has at the moment.

The bad news: the old Super Gem tops are too tight across the chest, unless you have something stretchy.

It looks like he fits the Super Senior Delf clothes perfectly, and he might be able to wear suits designed for SD17 dolls as well, not that I am buying Bird Volks clothes anytime soon. I am very glad I bought a stand for him, though.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tremo arrives


My Soom Tremo arrived yesterday; he spent some time waiting at the post office because of a mix-up, but then J rescued him and I was able to get him home. Of course the box with his stuff has disappeared among the other moving boxes; so here he is wearing Fu Bai's wig and Vittorio's underwear. I have to say his body is not as well engineered as Gneiss's was, but the body may be a work in progress--there are a lot of pieces inside the body, but they don't quite work together. More than anything else, he needs the waist joint back, and I should have bought the Extra Pose legs. However, his hands with the magnet prongs seem much more robust than Gneiss's, and the ability to take off hands makes dressing much, much easier.

His legs are shapelier than the older body, but he also needs larger feet to balance the weight of the new shoulders.

The faceplate is also a big plus, like the hands, it makes it easier to change the eyes and work with the elastic, which is held on by a curved resin piece. I still put a ribbon through the top of the loops, so I have a handle I can really pull hard with when I need to work with the elastic.

I'm so happy to have him--he's the last doll I will be getting for a while, as I have things like sump pumps and carpet to pay for.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Painting for Worldcon


Unexpectedly I am going to Worldcon, which is a large science fiction convention which this year, happens to be in Chicago. Since I wasn't planning on attending, I will have to paint fast if I want something in the art show. Or I will have to repurpose something that I already have, to make it fit the rules that all displayed art must be of a "fantasy, science fiction, or fannish nature."

One year, right before a convention, I found a landscape in my basement; and I painted a UFO on it in the corner. It was sold, and I think it got a ribbon, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Random Rose


We planned to go downtown to look at otters at the Shedd Aquarium, but there was an air show, and a football game; so we stayed home and went to Target, and spent a long time looking at lightbulbs. This is what happens when you are married for a long time. We still had fun.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wasp Traps


I have a giant ground wasp nest by my back gate, which is making mowing awkward. The nest is big and deep enough that spraying was ineffective, as was putting a bucket of ice on it, and I didn't want to go to the more extreme methods like gasoline and flame because it's right against the house, and gasoline is much more dangerous than wasps. So we decided to try some traps. If you add cat food to the juice bait, the bees aren't interested in the bait, but the wasps are even more delighted with it. So we bought a really cute wasp trap:

After three days we caught nothing but ants in it,(it's not deep enough) so I made a ghetto version out of a plastic milk jug and holes in the middle of the sides and at least 4 inches of liquid in the bottom (fruit juice and cat food mixed, tablespoon extra sugar) that I knew from experience works:

You do have to let it sit for a couple of days for the wasps to find it, even if you put it right in front of the flyway for the nest. But they did find it:

That is the view down into the milk jug after 3 days. Eww. We still had to spray again and when it gets cold we will have to add more ice and dig the nest out. If the wasps had moved in on the far side of the yard we would have left them alone, but they really can't live where I need to work. And I was happy to say there were no bees (like the one on the thistle above) in the trap.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shipping Notice


I just got the shipping notice that Bird (Soom Tremo) is on his way! (Happy Dance!)I got the simple pose body--he is the new Soom Male SuperGem standard body, so I don't know if any of the old Super Gem clothes will fit. But I will find out soon.

Problem Mirrors


When we first walked through the house, J and I agreed that the mirrors had to go. Two sides of the living room are covered with mirrors. High quality, bevelled mirrors. Aside from the problem of my having no interest in watching myself vaccum or pick up mouse bits off the carpet (which is mostly all I have done so far in there) the mirrors on this side have been damaged--if you look at the door, the mirror covering it has been smashed by slamming the door shut. (Look at the doorknob, where it was cleverly repaired with duct tape). The door can be fixed by taking it off it's hinges and putting it on the curb, but the panel above it has some water damage, and the whole run of mirrors has a metal frame on the top and bottom that was welded on there for the ages--otherwise I would just put contact sticky paper over the whole thing, put on a pair of goggles and have at the mirrors with a prybar.

I think the previous owner who installed them regretted the mirrors as well..she had a huge sofa-set in the sun porch, and the movers refused to move the couches through the door past the mirrors, so she hired Junk Kings to come with a chainsaw.. and cut up the couches and remove them. I went out and measured the screen door and if the movers had taken the outside screen door off, they could have taken the couches out of the sun porch and then down the hill through the garden gate; but hey, I wasn't here when they were moving out. The couches were pretty ugly.

And I am getting used to the mirrors, though when I needed a mirror to look for mice in the crawlspace, there wasn't a single one in the house that was less than 2 feet long.

Angel Toast Paints Amber


This Amber belongs to Anneke on Den of Angels--same mold as the one HerrZog painted, but this one is the Free Choice Amber in Bronze, so she looks suprisingly different, but still very good.

I keep meaning to send a head to Angel Toast (who is based in the US) but once a head is professionally painted, then it's stuck that way--I can't move the eyebrows or suddenly wonder how a purple tattoo would look!

Here is Angel Toast's commission site:

http://angel-toast.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Herr Zog paints Amber


Yes, it's time to visit HerrZog's Flickr again and see what is new--there is also a pale Lishe that looks like an elegant vampire, and a rather adorable Soom Sard--usually Sard looks unhappy, but HerrZog's painting makes him look handsome and even a little playful.

Amber has grown on me--when I first saw her at Soom I thought the idea was wonderful but that her face looked a little blank and frightened (like a real deer!) but since then, numerous repaints have made me see how pretty she can be. And blue and purple suit her, especially since she comes with little crystal horns. Here is the link for you to see the rest of HerrZog's current pieces:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/herrzog/

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rodents


We has them. And they are not all as cute as the one above. The chipmunks stay outside, but the mice, attracted by the leftover seeds from the now-removed bird feeder, have learned how to climb in under the air conditioning pipe into the house, then walk along the top of the foundation wall inside, and then back under the kitchen to find people food. The larger kitchen was an addition to the original house, so the basement doesn't extend back under the kitchen--it's just a narrow space underneath the floorboards, about 50cm high, with a small-rock-and-plastic-sheeting floor. I know this because I took my camera, set it on flash, and stuck my arm in wherever I could wiggle it in around the pipes. The photos look like something from a James Cameron remote camera, but they are useful for seeing not only the mice, but the wiring and piping down there. It looks like soon all the Ikea drawer cabinets,shown here:

(which we have dubbed the Fukken cabinets because of how they are set on their tracks) will have to be pulled out and replaced with cupboards with floor access, so we can reach where the mice are hanging out more easily. As it is, we trapped 2 last night on glue traps, caught one in a spring trap, and Stripey Cat brought us the last one around 3:30 AM, so we gave her a treat. The grey cat has two eyes again, so he no longer looks like a pirate on coke, and he also had a mouse for breakfast this morning, on the white carpet under the dining room table.

Below is the plastic piece, that once removed, allows you to slide off an Ikea drawer, if you need to go after mice (or a lost placemat, which was jamming the drawers by the breakfast table).If you google "removing ikea drawers", Ikea itself has an online pdf showing (in theory) how they are removed. You will need a screwdriver and an xacto to trim the plastic piece in front so you can get the plastic tab back in

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Outdoor Malls


In Chicago, where the weather is either hot, or brutally cold, the malls are not enclosed. At the Oakbrook Mall, which has lots of high-end shops, they disdain to even have the double-door "airlocks" that New Jersey stores have to keep the cold air out and the hot air in. I feel for the clerks at L'Occitane, for example, because the store is small and the doors are large, and when it is 5 degrees F below zero I can imagine them having pans of charcoal and flaming trashcans behind the counter to keep warm. Perhaps the mall brings in some extra plastic vestibule/porch affairs and places them over each door. I know the flowers are all brought in a truck and plugged in like little lightbulbs, and removed at the first sign of spoilage, and the fountains are drained and the pumps removed at the end of the summer season.

The mall in Bolingbrook has a really cool fountain of spinning solid granite balls that you can push with your hand, and I assume those too go away for the winter, though they must be difficult to move, being both fragile and heavy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A chicken in a hat...


A fancy feathered hat (from the Kane County Fair, a leftover photo)

A chick in feathers..(What IS that, Popodoll?? The Barbarian of Rythmic Gymnastics?)

And Galena Chicken Feet, which I need to finish painting. I would have worked on them today, but a good chunk of today was spent at the Arboretum Animal Hospital, waiting for a doctor to see the gray cat, who (we think) rolled in the mulch outside and got a stick in his eye, or at least the corner of it. He seems to be fine now, though he will need monitoring and twice-daily eye salve. There is no point in having him be an inside cat, either, since he is capable of eating a cord on the miniblinds or finding pins to chew on, or pulling a bookcase over on himself. At least outside he is busy chasing things on grass 90% of the time, and then he comes in and sleeps.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Suddenly Rabbits


I went out into the screened porch to store some boxes (it's become a storage room for the moment) and the cats were staring intently at something on the back lawn. It was 2 large rabbits.

These were much larger than the baby bunnies that my gray cat caught and ate every night at the rental house, so I figured the rabbits were safe, until I turned around to go back in.

I got the tongs, picked the rabbit up with a lot of difficulty as he was heavy. As the gray cat yowled and fussed, I took the rabbit out and put it under a bush. Somehow the cat had managed to grab the rabbit,(as big as the cat himself is), and then the cat dragged the rabbit to the house and then up and over the windowsill, into the screened porch.

There is too much "nature" here, I have decided. There are birds everywhere because the previous owner fed them, and they also poop everywhere. Because of the leftover bird food, there are mice, and because there are mice, there are snakes. (I have not seen one yet, and I am ok with that.) I was standing chatting with my neighbor Ed about the local wildlife (the house roof had to be replaced because while it was empty somehow raccoons moved in up there, and a possum). While we were talking I felt something sting my foot, and just as I was saying "Damn ground bees!" I looked down and my foot was covered in ants..I was standing on an ant's nest. This was the first time I had ever told someone "Ed, I gotta go--I have ants in my pants" and meant it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dynamic Cloth (and cicadas)


I should be testing some Asian 3d fabric patterns (PD and I have both been busy) and I found this dynamic kimono in my stash of Poser stuff. It's so much fun to pose, it is a huge time sink; since it's easy to forget why I started rendering in the first place, and just play with poses and settings.

The cicadas are finally out, it must be August. We have gotten enough rain that I think they decided it was safe to come out after all. This one was from New Jersey; though I can hear them, I haven't seen a Chicago one yet.

Stretch


I mowed the back yard yesterday evening (uphill, both ways, using a push mower), and this morning I found that I don't use that set of calf muscles very often. I think today I will unload boxes instead of doing yard work.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

House Tour


I am probably the only person to have a wtf koi pond. I think the reason the liner is pulled up is that Deborah, the previous owner, bought a 24 inch deep liner and then was told that the koi would need at least a 36 inch depth if they were going to "over winter" successfully, so she sort of folded it in half and stuck it in a deeper hole. The other theory is that she didn't buy the "geothermal liner" that is supposed to cushion and provide an escape route for methane and other gases that build up under the pond as things decay under it, and pulling up one side vents it. In either case, the koi will either go to my neighbor's koi pool in the back, or back to the shop for winter; the pond will get redug and relined, and have frogs and goldfish instead. And water lilies.

View of kid paradise next house over, from my dining room. Not shown: trampoline, Scooter the dog, 7 children, flaming chiminea or James, age 8 with his airsoft gun and dirt bike. I am hoping that eventually James will be interested in mowing the front lawn, once I get grass to grow on it.

And finally, a cat in a box!