Friday, July 31, 2015

AM Watering


Photos don't really capture how great things look at 6 AM with the sprinklers on--I normally would be asleep like a normal person, but we have had a patch of dry weather and I wanted to water early. More random photos:

And an early morning Mr. Ropuha Toad:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Odds and Ends


Some days I miss doing a blog post because I am out all day, and on other days I have spent the day doing things like using a Magic Eraser on the tub, which no one really is interested in (including me). Then there are days when way too much stuff happens. Yesterday was like that--I received a Breccia head from Lilien, in Budapest, and so I wanted to get her on a body and in a wig and an outfit so I could send Lilien a photo (I always feel like I should reassure the previous owners I have no intention of painting their former dolls purple or using them to prop up tables, unless they were in on the plan).

So I took this gorgeous head, and put her on the body she was intended for by the factory and in the right color...and it didn't look all that great. Her head is fairly small, and the original Breccia body was large, with the added bust and legs and a huge fur tail... and I have no idea what that was about. Ideally I think she should be on a new Super Gem Body, which is smaller and nicer than the one she shipped with originally--but unless I want to decapitate Noodles (again), Miss Breccia is just going to have to wait. In the meantime she is on the Mirodoll body, which except for the neck being a bit thin, looks quite good:

So this all took some time, and then Buff sent me this ENORMOUS box of wonder which included, among other things, a scale version of Loki's scarf from the first movie, a repainted Juri 07 b (the former Violetta, now all repainted and refreshed), a complete suit for Tauriel including an extra magnificent overdress, 2 pairs of boots, 2 "option parts" for boy dolls, and a suit from a famous anime (a very expensive set of clothes that includes a fur-trimmed coat) and a pinafore..AND my Karena head, now repainted to be a stone/gem fairy. So no one needs to get me anything for Christmas. :D

Coriel in the meantime was fully occupied being the fit model for a "shirt" for Chalyss' demon girl, who hopefully today is being delivered to her, and also hopefully is in the Lucky Chinese Red that she asked Impldoll to cast it in. So now I need to get Coriel into her new things and out for some photos so Buff can see what an amazing job she did on those clothes. Also, it is sunny and dry so I am trying to remember who needs painting, while I can paint and spray. I should also paint the shed door today while I can.

Also, in a First World Problem that only doll collectors have, it turns out the cyborg body is an exact match for the Breccia head, and the old Super Gem looks like it was intended for Garnet (which is sort of is, as Garnet is a reissue of Vesuvia). Hmmm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ashbet's Murmur


Ashbet has a truly stunning collection of dolls--partly because unlike me, who tends to just get anything that is put under my nose as long as it is between 60 and 70 cm, Ashbet actually has a strong curatorial sense and a willingness to go out on a limb to get a truly special doll, whether it is the first version of Lahela (in her tattoos and fullset!), or spending hours and hours customizing and modding a Soom Garnet to make a LLT Edria hybrid with it, and her collection has a strong focus on demons, vampires and other elegant creatures of the night. (And a truckload of Monster High girls). Also one of her cats is named Zuul (and there is almost as much Zuul as dolls on her Flickr.) Her photostream is here:

Ashbet's Photostream

It's a wonderful (and inspiring) visit!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Fairyland 60 head and a Granado Maiden Body


I have been trying to put together a particular doll for ages, so I can make some bizarre fantasy clothes for her. The Gnostic god Abraxas, who is noted for looking pretty darn goofy...

...and who is supposedly the basis for the "magic" phrase "Abracadabra", hasn't much material culture left over these days; a few medallions, a few medieval notes on "Abraxas as Demon", which happened to a lot of the older minor gods when Christianity moved into where the older gods had been worshiped previously, and that is about it. So what does a retired god do? Keep bees? Take up knitting? Most likely collect books about their former speciality, which I assume was ceremonial magic and possibly calendar-keeping. Since I felt Abraxas didn't have to be male or female (it's hard to tell anyway when you are a chicken-headed snake thing) I settled on looking for a 65- 70 cm Amazon in Beauty White and started looking around. I got a Dia, but I had forgotten how immense the Dia head is (which is why you see mostly Dia boys.) I tried various other combinations of heads and bodies, and it was all pretty meh--until I saw snowgray's Celine Sleeping Plate. Sleeping plates usually don't have eye holes in the back, so they tend to be quite affordable, and this one had the most beautiful faceup. So once she was here, I put her on the spare white New Super Gem girl body I have:

And this was pretty good--here's how the head stayed on:

She has good head mobility:

The problem was that she had sort of large hands for that smallish head..so I looked around and saw...

... that Maiden body. Here I put on the bottle cap hack that gets Fairyland heads to sit at the right level on the necks--I have it on upside down here and I had to turn it over to get it to fit right (it's been a long time since I have hybridized a Fairyland head). And yes, the body is Normal and the Head is Creamy White. I have decided that no one is ever the right color, and I have chosen to ignore it. Besides, look how cute she is!!

Also, that Maiden body is so much fun to pose:

So it turns out that the somewhat mighty Abraxas is actually a petite Eurasian woman in NS. :D Also, with a bottle cap and a bit of chopstick maybe any FL 60 head can go on a Maiden body.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Cool Little Book


Akutenshi7 came over today and brought me Kona coffee, organized my clothing bins and presented my dolls with this wonderful little book. (Josiah Aldwood, Victorian Gentleman and the proud new owner of the DollHeart cravat; is currently holding the Book.)

A close reading of the cover is pretty amusing--it says:

(Flourish with crown)

"Write Down Your Wish

This magic book is gonna help you

(ornate medallion)

MAGIC SPELLS

Purebook

(end ornate medallion)

Precious Memories

Linenote, Idea, Memo, Daybook

Since 1981

Tradition Notebook

(flourish)

Well, that seems to cover everything. It's blank inside so Teodor can add his own Greek scribbles and diagrams. I need to make more of these little books!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Roswell, Agate and some Cherries


Roswell was once a "Beauty Green" Dark Elf Soo from Luts, and she was in pretty tough shape when she came-- you can see her right out of the box here. She was put on a heavily modded and dyed Luts Delf body and painted Sienna all over, and she has been one of my favorites ever since. She sits happily out in the sun, wears any goofy thing I have or nothing with equal good cheer. She's currently wearing some second-hand Dollbakery eyes and they are pretty nice--I like the smooth resin back. I think the color is "Galaxy"? Which seems appropriate for a little alien.

Other people are also progressing--I have Agate's feet just about finished (I need to add some padding between the ankles and the paws):

Yes, there is glitter on her toes. Here she is full-length before I redid her feet:

(Cat made her splendid cloak)

I think she is just adorable!

Today's task will be to glue in her horn magnets and decorate them.

I got up early this morning (the cat was hungry and dropped on me from on top of the climber), so since we were up anyway, we went to Home Depot and then up to Downers Grove to the Farmer's Market, all before ten o'clock. Among other things, I found fresh Michigan sour cherries, which need to be pitted; but once they are all ready I am going to see if I can make a tart out of them.

Forty-five minutes of pitting later (and I still missed some pits), then some stovetop cooking and dough making, and then this:

It was pretty tasty, but next time I think I will use conventional cherries.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Review of Granado's Updated Maiden Body


So here she is, (sitting with her knees together) and she is Normal Pink, Forward Bust; and at the moment, lacking a head :D. I would say that I have two small pieces of bad news and one doll-nerd fantastic good news about this body. First the bad news: with innovation comes problems:

You see here built in sueding of silicon inserts, which does make arm posing really nice. But...the inserts are tricky to place in such a narrow spot, and I have shadowing on the front of the chest plate, here:

I would suggest letting the owners put in their own sueding here, as different people want different things (and sometimes completely different arms). It would save hassle and problems when casting, too.

Problem number two, which has nothing really to do with the design but with this particular chest plate:

A little hard to see in the photo, but the chest wall is paper thin between the breasts--this seems to be a common casting problem. (some of the full doll Soom Super Gem Saiphs came out like this). I'm going to glue in a bit of fabric to reinforce this area and hopefully prevent cracking in the future.

OK, enough of the bad news--this body has a little innovation that I want everyone to run out and do the same, because it is simple but awesome:

I can hear you say "A hip slot...so what?" Look again at the right leg--no visible hip slot. Then look where the slot is in the right leg. It's not on the front of the leg, but on the inside of the thigh. And you know what? It works just exactly like a front slot, you just have to rotate the knee slightly outward for some poses, like this:

The peanut knees float a bit, so they can adjust to the pose of the hips. The shape of the hip ball (which is attached) is super important--the groove you can see across the top of the leg lets her both sit easily but also securely, and at the same time you don't need a separate ball there, or Fairyland's weird slot covers. And guess what? The body is conventionally strung all the way through:

AWW YESSS!!!! This is like my dream leg arrangement. I am a big fan of the peanut knees and elbows too--I know some people have an aesthetic problem with them, but oh man can they pose.

Just a foot detail--I like that it's a real person's foot, someone who had slightly too tight shoes when growing up, so the toes are a bit crowded.

Here's the lovely hands:

And finally standing on one foot--it's a little hard to see, but she has one foot about an inch off the table.

I'm going to try on the Nuevo heel feet on this body later and I will post the results then, and maybe some heads too.

A Note From Soom


Dear Soomers,

We are really appreciate your everlasting love .

We deeply apologize that our delivery service was not smooth these days.

We couldn't delivery your precious goods which you are waiting for a long time.

So all staffs do our best to prepare your order and we hope you can understand us.

The delivery is delayed because of moving of distribution center, enhanced quality standards, mistake of representatives and so on.

However these problems will be cleared soon as all staffs are working hard since last month. We are aware of the urgency of all our dear customers orders and are doing all our possible

to ship your orders as fastest as we can do.

Please understand it as much as you can and we promise to do our best .

Last but not least, we will make sure to reward all our dearest customers, a good quality and service with this opportunity !

Thank you once again for loving Soom and for having trust in us~

Best regards

Soom

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stuff in the Mail


First up, Sicktress fixed Dragael's wings (she also named her, so it seems appropriate). Unfortunately, it turns out the Nephelin wings are sort of custom drilled, so the holes on each side of her torso aren't drilled the same:

(You can see where I need to put the magnet back in as well. But after seeing Sicktress working on her guy to build up his back, I think I will do a small scale version of the same, and drill out that left wing hole where it needs to be, and fill in the other holes completely with LaDoll. The wings will be in just one position, and that is ok with me. I also got a pair of Soom Monzo wings and they have a sort of hex key connector which is a million times more sensible than the magnet and pin assembly--you can change the angle but the wings are in there securely:

And Mom sent me two wonderful things! A dress, which Ereshkigal promptly stole:

It's sparkly and has a lot of center detail that you can't see from this angle, as I was just trying to get the light right for the photo. The design is by Undermost Salamander on Ravelry.

Then there was this amazing scarf; the pattern is from Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren from the Twist Collective, and it takes some sort of supernatural knitting ability to make this:

Despite matching his hair, Coppersmith does not get to keep it--it will go to Gemma or Tesla, the steampunk girls. Mom is the best. :D ( She has dolls too).

And finally, Jenny Nemesis sent some boots, which also went into Ereshkigal's rapidly-filling bin. The boots not only look awesome, Eresh can wear them in her flat feet and stand unaided on my rickety deck.

Thank everyone SO MUCH and for the EYES..LOTS AND LOTS OF EYES bwahahah. It was like Christmas in July!

Soom's (Female) Romantic Heliot, in Tawny


Once again Prince Whitemare is first on the Soom site and comes back with the URL of this pretty lady. I will update it once she is released! This is also the first outfit that I have really, really wanted. It's just my style. :D Of course here is another splendid doll released after earlier splendid dolls, so I am not sure how or if I will be able to get her, but I will certainly stalk her photos!

By the way, Soom's site uses Flash; (Soom, why) and after disabling it in Chrome, the top bar on the home page and all the moving stuff no longer displays. I guess I can live with that. Flash has gotten so virus-ridden the newest version of Firefox kills it right off the bat, also eliminating a lot of pesky ads.

And...there is a Boy Romantic Heliot! The girl and the boy are both on the new bodies, but so far the listing doesn't have a drop-down for the Easy Pose thigh, and you need that. Here are the outfits. And the wigs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Iplehouse Isis


Iplehouse, having apparently looked through my doll character sheets, has decided to actually make an Egyptian Princess, in this case based (according to Den of Angels speculation) on Natalie Portman:

(She already looks like an Iplehouse doll :))

So here is the prototype:

I will be waiting a couple of years to get her (I waited for Doria, and that was fine) but this bottom-feeding technique makes it hard to impossible to get her fullset clothing, which is looking pretty awesome:

Pictures are on Flickr:

Princesspink thinks the actress is Mila Kunis: