Friday, November 30, 2012

Pinkie (2813)


I'm still learning Poser Pro, and part of that is adding content to the "Libraries". Poser Pro is complex enough it has it's own internal browser to find your 3d stuff on your hard drive, and between the two of us we can almost find everything. I'm having to reload a lot of things by hand, partly because of the way they were sold originally. Hint--if you are making add-on software, don't assume that the parent software is always going to be called "Poser". I had to make a fake "poser" .exe and folders to get a lot of my older Daz files to work, and then manually move all kinds of little files, because of course I am now working off of "PoserPro.exe." Here is Pinky (aka Pixeluna's Ruffa) and her Hello Kitty breathing mask, a present from Laura.

And here is what she looks like to the computer (it knows where each of the corners of the polygons are in 3d (there is a number for each on a x, y and z axis, and the computer what they look like, how transparent, shiny, glowing, or rough from the "texture maps".

Powerball


We did not win last Wednesday's national powerball, to my relief. J, who is a statistician and who should be immune to such things, went and bought a ticket Wednesday afternoon. We only got one number to match the winning numbers--I was hoping that if we were to win something, it would be a "matching four" number, or something that would get us some reasonable amount of money, like a couple of thousand dollars. (I was surprised to read that many people don't know that matching just some of the numbers can get you a small payoff). In New Jersey, where I would occasionally buy tickets because the proceeds go in part to education, I think I won 5 dollars that way. I have a friend in Massachusetts that has won over 70 thousand dollars (over several years) playing the Mass lottery, but she worked at a convenience store and could buy tickets when the sales were slow and the odds were slightly better. Here is a photo of my local BP gas station--on the wall they advertise that they have "Ice" and "Oil" which always makes me think of the Exxon Valdez. You can see the neon "500" (million) for the Powerball prize on the right of the door.

And here is Stripey, who I think needs to have her catnip ration cut a little.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Glitter on Every Page


This is my calendar for next year, which I bought partly because it does indeed have glitter on every page..the floor at Barnes and Noble underneath the calendar display was very sparkly. And I also found Bilbo Baggins' calendar online. It's not too different from mine, but his handwriting is better. And why don't all calendars read vertically instead of horizontally?

In other news, I got a little holiday surprise in the form of a Or-doll Little-Y; which according to the or-doll website, can either be a boy or a girl. And I say nonsense, that is the cutest little elf doll girl I have ever seen. Though she needs a body, clothes, a wig and maybe some eyelashes, too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obitsu dolls


The first "sort of ball-jointed doll" I ever owned was a 60 cm Obitsu Haruka. I bought her on ebay, from a nice man in Kyoto who was a Obitsu dealer, and I paid around 175.00 for her. She arrived in four days direct from the Kyoto airport, in a long box, with a stand and a metal plate, and "directions for some assembly", all in Japanese. (Luckily there were photos with the directions). Violet is the dark-haired doll with bangs peering into the box here:

The good thing about Obitsus is they are light, and when you pose them, they stay in that position. They can even hold moderately heavy things, including their more floppy strung companions. The downside to them is that they are made of vinyl (like Barbies) so they stain from clothes or package labels (you have to be careful where you put them down) and when you move their joints, they squeak. Loudly, and painfully, like a sound effect for arthritis. Since I can duplicate that effect with my own joints, I ended up selling Violet to someone else who didn't mind the noise.

If you are in the United States and want to check out more obitsus, go to the Junky Spot (www.junkyspot.com) or elsewhere to the site in Japan where Parabox is:

Parabox's Obitsu Info Page

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful for sushi


I totally stole this from Reddit...and this is how I feel about sushi too. (Those are actually shrimp in there).

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Job


Mostly, I like my job a lot. Except when I glue a "P" to a candlestick...a complicated, reflective candlestick... by absently merging down the wrong layer in Photoshop, and then finding out an hour later (and after two "saves"). I was able to fix it after 30 minutes of erasing and careful cloning, blurring, adding "noise"... and swearing.

More free wallpaper


I wanted a new wallpaper for my own larger monitor, so here is a TieraZon-created fractal:

"Jewels and Chiffon" Wallpaper 1280x960

And here is another photo wallpaper from a carousel at the Aurora Mall that has a fun ocean theme (you can ride a seal, too).

Aurora Carousel Wallpaper 1200x900

Sunday, November 25, 2012

At the Strip Club


(The picture is sort of unrelated, it was a test Poser render of one of Laura's characters from 2007)

Anyway, K was getting off work on Friday night, when her co-worker Angela asked if K would go with her "to see her boyfriend Kenny play in a club, because she didn't want to go by herself." And K said yes, even though Angela admitted that Kenny's band "was the opener...in a strip club." So off they went, and K was delighted to get in free, along with Angela, because they were "with the band" and K even got a plate of "surprisingly good" french fries (for free) to eat while they went upstairs to the stage area. Kenny, who has a real job and a Master's degree from Oxford in Greek philosophy, did his gig; and then of course everyone decided they had to go downstairs and check out the show. K said that it was not very busy, and the other clientele were "creepsters", but that the girls did "some amazing ninja moves", so that was fun. Amusingly, the waitress came to get their bar order, they ordered "rum and cokes", and the waitress returned with just cokes. No one really minded, though then one of the girls came over, Kenny's bandmate gave her a dollar, and she said "thank you" and left. So once the cokes were gone, everyone left and went on to have dinner in a Mexican restaurant in Fishtown.

Photo of Kenny and Angela provided by K. K says Kenny does not like this photo, as it makes him look tired, but if I worked all week and then played a gig and now it's one AM in a Mexican restaurant, I would look tired too.

Madlore's Kowalski


Isn't he a handsome cat? I think he is a Siamese, and he is kissing what looks like Dollmore Alex. Madlore has a bunch of new and spectacular photos of her Soom Dia, as well as photos of some of her sewing (A 14th century sideless surcote, among other things!) Such a talented woman!

Madlore's Deviant Art Gallery

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pennsic in Black and White


I found this photo last week; I think it's from 1994*, and I have no idea why it was taken in black and white film. J is on the lower left, wearing the chain mail neck protection; Luke, a Gulf War vet, is kneeling next to him; the guy in the cloak is Jim B, the master of the Halloween Haunt and the first person to show me how to do 3d art and Poser (he walked me through a Poser file and I was hooked); counterclockwise to Jim is MacSeamus, (the guy who looks like Tom Selleck) who used to own a furniture store in Woodbury, and I am sorry to say I never knew the names of the other two Iron Guard members, though I sewed most of the cattail tabards they are wearing. You can Wikipedia the Pennsic War--it is held annually at Cooper's Lake, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh. Here is a battle photo from the same roll of film (clicks up large)

I also found my hoard of "Pennsic Tags", which is pretty small compared to some people's.

The tags are your ID tag issued at the gate, and you wear it the whole time you are there; people make bandoliers of their past tags and wear them like ornaments, so you will walk past someone wearing 14th century garb and they will have a glittering, clattering belt of tags. The armor the fighters wear often clatters, too, so those sounds: drumming, ocarina music, (and distant shouting), and the smell of woodsmoke and chemical toilets all make me think of Pennsic. I kind of miss going, though packing is a monumental hassle.

* When I looked again at the photo on top, I realized that everyone is wearing those little ribbons ("favors") with an M on it, so to find the exact date all you'd have to do is find out when in the early 90's "Margaret" was Queen of the East during Pennsic. (I think the reigns are 6 months long...I'm embarrassed not to remember for sure!)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday


Well, not really--even if it is the "biggest shopping day of the year" where the account books of stores across the US go from "in the red" to "in the black", J and I are staying home today, except perhaps a trip to the post office to mail some letters. K was going to not shop, but she was coming back from Jersey on the train (with a pie from yesterday's festivities, a change of clothes, and a coat) and passed "the ghetto shoe store and they had everything 27% off", so she went in, pie and all, and tried on some shoes. They weren't super busy and they were very helpful, and K needs a big size, so she was delighted to buy 2 pairs of shoes.

K did say that "suburbanites were wandering around Center City like newborns", forgetting that as a child suburbanite, K (and us) would go over to Philly just to look at the Christmas decorations and shop at the Reading Terminal Market, so we could get our Amish duck or ham for Christmas, and home-made candy.

And finally, a photo from yesterday's happy Thanksgiving here:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Male Feeple 70 cm Puzzle


Yesterday I shipped a Feeple 70 cm body to Xtal, since Hermione is just not going to wear it, in spite of the fact that the Feeple body has the very convenient "neck key" that lets you take Luts, Feeple, and Minifee heads (Feeple and Minifee are both "Fairyland" lines) off and on with just a twist of the key:

You can see from the nick on the body's neck that the previous owner(s) probably also used a conventional S-hook on the neck, probably for a non-Feeple head. It's easy to damage the neck getting heads on and off without the key. You can also see that the eyelet on the key has been squashed tighter with pliers; the key was probably in another neck and needed to be made smaller to fit in the current body's neck. Xtal is being very nice in letting me keep the key; I will restring it and put it in the spare SuperGem girl body I have here..somewhere..and then I can put Hermione's head on with the neck key instead of rigging a bit of wood across the inside of his head.

Xtal is very "handy", which is why I took apart the body to ship it to her--she will have no problem restringing it and providing an S-hook; she will probably also clean out the "hot glue sueding" that has made the inside of the joints looks dirty.(Actually she will open the box and roll her eyes at the level of unstringing I did. :D) Sueding makes the dolls stand better if it is done right-- if you can avoid making lumps. Sueding adds friction to the joints. Personally I have no skill with melty hot glue, so I don't do it with my new dolls. Here's the body all packed up:

Xtal owns Cecil, a Soom Sphaler--I have a crush on this doll!

(Photo provided by Xtal)

Very Early Morning Coffee


One of these is good in coffee, with whipped cream. The other one is not.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

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Item Status: In Stock

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(Imagine this under the tree :D) Go here to buy one (Just a head available too):

http://www.museumtour.com/product/7423/T-Rex-Full-Size-Dinosaur#.UK1W04YiUct

Obligatory Crazy Cat Lady Note Cards


Found at Barnes and Noble. It would be cuter if someone had not "improved" it by painting a strange little smile over the original cat file, but as it had gold foil on it, I bought it anyway. And Laura sent me another cat caption thing:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not Santa's Reindeer


We went back to Bass Pro shops on Sunday because J needed a firearm license to shoot on a range, and I needed gloves. The wait time for the license is now 2-3 months, which didn't bother J, and we picked up the paperwork and went off to see what Christmas displays Bass Pro had put up. We were not disappointed. Where the Boat World section use to be, it was now Santaland, complete with a deer carousel, a nerf gun shooting range for plastic ducks and a laser gun range for animated deer, and Santa himself, ready for Christmas wishes for things that go bang.

I could see some awkward conversations with children about the taxidermy deer heads, as the kids would worry that it was Santa's crew decorating the walls. I would hope that the parents already had hunting and fishing as part of the culture at home before they brought very small children. On the other hand, children are practical. When I lived in Idaho, my next-door neighbor would use the kid's swing set on the front lawn to hang the deer he had poached to skin and clean them, and the kids would help. The kids had a complete understanding of where dinner came from, and the neighbors had no issue about it either--everyone hunted and fished for food, since money was tight.

There were new fish in the fish tank too, including this Long-Nosed Gar. I just wish it wasn't such a blurry photo--he was BIG.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just Ruffa


I buy virtual dolls, too--they are easy to store. This one is "PS-Face Play Ruffa" by "Pixeluna" at Renderosity.com, and she is a character for Victoria 4 (Daz3d.com's base Poser model). I did a computer render in 3d, adding clothes and hair and the mech behind her, and then manually added a lot of scenery and details in Photoshop, including a lot of textures from my trips to Cantigny for the rocks and ground.

Sarqq's dolls


*Sarqq (the actual spelling on her Deviant Art account) is a Finnish artist who collects and customizes mostly Soom dolls, and they are amazing. And so are her photographs! I swiped this photo ages ago for a blog post, but she has added so many photos since I think this may not even be the best example of her work. She makes little accessories out of bits of jewelry and trim, but the end result is astonishing.Here is the link:

Sarqq's Deviant Art Gallery

Waiting for a catnip mouse...


The mice need to be re-stuffed with catnip every now and then, as they get chewed up. Stripey waits patiently at the table. (And yes, she was just sitting like this, not washing).

Here's a couple more patient cats, first Tuppy in Philadelphia, photo provided by K:

And here is "Zane"(Grey) who lives with my brother, though I think Zane belongs to someone else (my brother thinks Zane is saying "Tell them I am in a stakeholder meeting, that is what I pay you for", while I think that looks a lot like "bedface").

And finally, J in the 1960's, beginning his career as a "catman":"I'll take the kitten, you can have the puppy"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tiger Down


Sent to me by my friend Laura, who knows I like cats. And silliness. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Joy's Tardis Refrigerator


You may have already seen this--Joy writes that the photo has "gone viral" and of course it should; is there anything cooler than a Dr. Who fridge? And if you visit her blog, you can see the small print as well on the ice maker.

http://joysblog.glassnebula.com/art/making-a-tardis-refrigerator/

I still love Joy's glass cupcakes :D

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Migma Wings


After some struggling, I got the wings put together. The hardest part was gluing in the magnet inside the torso, one was already glued in (thank goodness) but the other one required some wooden toast tongs to get it in place. I think square-ended chopsticks would have worked, too:

Once the magnet in the torso was in, it was easy to put the wing on the support and pop it in...

..but the wings make the doll a little wobbly (and Sirocco is loosely strung, like all my dolls), so over she went, and I discovered that the Elmer's glue wasn't quite strong enough to keep the claws anchored to the wings. Today I have to go buy some superglue, as it dries clear (I use Gorilla Glue on the magnets)and glue the claws back on.

Perhaps I should iron those curtains, too.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Boy Amber


Well, it was a mistake to go look at the Soom site for instructions, because they have a new Legend doll out--and perhaps because they were teased about Bastet's name,(and maybe because Ignim was hard to remember,) they have hyphenated this new doll's name to be Benmore-Cernnunos. It does sound a little like a major (pagan) appliance company, but at the same time the doll is neat--it is a recast of Amber's head (actually, it's not, as I found out later) (so it is a little small on the body, but not ridiculously so) on the new male body, with a update of the very stable Chalco hooves. (it's a new sculpt of hooves, and magnificent!) I'm looking at this, thinking if I bought it, (I bought it) I could use the body for my rolling Sphaler head (which I know fits on the new bodies) and take the Amber head for one of my girl bodies. Thrifty! I will give you a link to the less expensive kit form, though you should look at both before you buy the fullset or the kit form. Order period is Nov 16th, 2012 to Dec 14th, 2012.:

http://www.dollsoom.com/eng/shop/item.php?it_id=1352959146

Updated 6/28/2013

Painted Wings


Painted up the Migma wings last night; I still need to attach the magnets on the back of the doll body, though I should go read the instructions on the soom site first.

The Girl who Named Curiosity


And that would be Clara Ma, who has a short, lovely essay about it here:

http://mashable.com/2012/11/16/clara-ma-curiosity-rover/

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bats and Rabbits


I just finished a commission, so I thought I would take a day off and put together the Migma bat wings. The bowl was the perfect place to let them dry; I'll cook the apples later. Here's the way the wings came from Soom, though you can see I put the magnets in the back anchors already:

Here is also a video showing an artist/technician prepping a little bat and his wings for a skeletal exhibit. The delicacy and artistry needed to do this amazed me. The video is not for the squeamish--the bat jar in the beginning looks like something I have in my own fridge, and the technician has to deal with the bat just like you would to debone a chicken; though the final cleaning stage is done with beetles. (The beetles seem to ignore living flesh, as the tech reaches in to retrieve the bones with no hesitation at all). The video is 4:35 with no narration (and no ads).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwT6RLsYe1c

And in natural history at my house, I went downstairs to do laundry last night and both cats were in the basement, a bad sign. Instead of a mouse, there was a..rabbit.

Luckily for the rabbit, there was a laundry hamper right there I could push him into...

... close the lid, and take him back upstairs to dump him on the front lawn, where he could get a good head start from the cats. I have no idea how the gray cat got the rabbit through the cat door in the first place!