The weather today was perfect, so I ducked out of work and went outside and weeded, watered and took out Mr. Ropuha for a small photoshoot (Since he is about toad sized, all his shoots are small ;) ).
My moss patch is now big enough to hold his table, 2 chairs and a Tokidoki Unicorno:
Although I have resisted it so far, my local nursery has a lot of Ropuha sized stuff, including a cottage:
And also some teeny ferns, finger-sized:
But so far all Arnold has is the table set, a teacup, and the moss patch-- which set flowers this week!
Here Arnold sees something:
Because I was quiet, our resident wild rabbit came out to eat clover blossoms:
Arnold went to sit with the mermaid:
And to check out the hollyhock:
And finally to have a small nap in the hydrangea:
(Giving a new meaning to "flower bed") He's fun and easy to carry around for photos, I should take him out more! He's from Whispering Grass via Jpopdolls.
I should say that I think this is in ABS plastic, because that is what Hujoo normally does their figures in, and the cost of Azela is only 200.00 USD, even though she is 60 cm tall. Here is April Lee's Sahara that she bought last year, and a mini-review. (April bought her as a fullset direct from Hujoo in Korea.) The photo of Azela, above was lifted from The Junky Spot and if you live in the US, Emory ships from his in-stock collection, so you get it fast and for minimal postage (compared to EMS from Korea). Azela is 260.00 with a faceup from there, click on Hujoo on the sub-menu and then scroll down to see her--click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.
"Draw Me Like Your French Girls"
Thanks to Ilsonya, I found some flickr pictures belonging to a Russian artist CrowBlackJay. Check out the posability of this little dragon, approximately 47 cm long, according to Ilsonya, here. Such an elegant little dragon! Apparently not for sale..yet.
Haha yes, the Snip tool in Windows and the Zoom Viewer are not entirely compatible, but this is the Adult Mesmerizing Mermaid at the Spirit of Halloween... and I love it. Although Halloween is a ways off, the Spirit is a 24/7 online operation owned by Spencer Gifts, LLC, and you can "get your costume on" anytime there. This mermaid is one of their more expensive "theatrical line" outfits and considering the amount of work in this one, I think the price of 169.99 is cheap..sadly, I am pretty sure that the only sizes offered aren't going to go around my hips, and that is not an easy alteration with the complicated wrapping they have going on here. (Such a clever way to make "scales" though!) They do have plus sizes and some of the offerings are pretty amusing, like the "sexy raccoon" My favorites, though they are short and not quite work-appropriate, are the Hello Sailor variety like this one:
That is the "Shore Thing" and it got great reviews, though they did mention tights are probably a must if you bend over. ;) I'd love a mermaid costume for Halloween, but it looks like I will have to make it myself. The SoH sells shoes, too--once they open in September I am going to go see what they have in person, because they have styles you can't get at Payless.
If you are an American Express card holder, you may already be aware of David Muransky vs. Godiva Chocolatier. I wasn't, until a Chicago law firm, via AmEx, sent me a polite request for a deposition relating to a transaction I had in March 2015 at a local Godiva store. After some cogitating and photocopying I remembered that was when K had visited, and I had bought her a box of raspberry stars with my AmEx. Coincidentally the next day, someone named "Jose Hernandez" used my card number to buy a ticket from Dallas to Santiago, Chile; and as I pointed out to AmEx a month later, when I received my statement, that this was unlikely-- as I have no acquaintance with Mr. Hernandez nor a working passport of my own. My money was refunded, I received a new card and I sort of forgot about it until the request for the deposition.
Meanwhile, AmEx looked around for someone who had lost their card number to fraud "because allegedly Godiva had printed up store receipts with the card numbers exposed", found Dr. David Muransky in Florida, and brought suit against Godiva (which is owned by Campbells) because AmEx had been forced to make good on some number of fraud cases allegedly resulting from Godiva's folly. I figured this was just a clash of the titans and nothing would come of it, but no! Turns out that Godiva (while admitting to NO FAULT) is willing to pony up roughly 6 million dollars in a settlement to the afflicted card holders, Dr. Muransky, and the lawyers involved. That breaks down roughly to about 2 million for the various lawyers, about 10,000 for Dr. Muransky (who wants to donate it to a consumer protection agency) ( Godiva wants to donate the unclaimed settlement funds to Save the Children), and the rest of us who sign off on the settlement get maybe about 200.00, depending on the number of claimants. J asked "Can we get it in chocolate?"
I have to say the biggest question I have is "What did Dr. Muransky buy?" Those raspberry stars are Mighty Fine. I would still buy stuff from the Godiva store; I just pay cash now.
Although it is probably easier to grow vegetables in New Jersey, where the dirt is naturally sandy, and the weather milder; I have to say Chicago in the summer does pretty well. Last year we grew so much cabbage and broccoli we had to give some of it away, and it looks like this year crookneck squash may be on everyone's menu in the neighborhood. I'm getting a bowlful of black raspberries every day now:
As you can see, the squash plants are big:
There is a pepper, though I haven't had much luck with them in the past:
Some really terrible basil (I think the dirt here has too much clay in it). Also with bonus if blurry firefly:
And some pretty good parsley, probably because I had the wit to keep it in a pot:
I've got a struggling rosemary plant and maybe some onions--I wish I had started some spinach and peas earlier, but maybe next year. The weeds grow even faster than the "farm" plants and there are some tricks that we need to use, like keeping netting over the broccoli to discourage the cabbage butterflies. (If you don't, you get too many worms to easily pick out, and even if you boil them they are sort of off-putting on one's plate). I've got tomatoes but they are growing slowly. I also planted hollyhocks this year, and I hope to do more and foxgloves too, next year, now that I have more sun in front. So obviously not much else is getting done around here--it's mostly digging, weeding and watering outside. I love summer :D
Sunday got off to a rocky start--we were out of milk and bread, it was supposed to storm, and I had to drive to Target in the truck since it was in the accessible slot in the garage and had AC. This was at an hour when I am not really qualified to run a toaster, much less a motor vehicle; but I got there OK, got my stuff, and even managed to resist the lure of 4.00 coffee in order to go home and make my own.
Then the storm veered off somewhere else, and it was sunny, so I decided to both dremel down the top of a body to fit Deesse/Danu's head on it, and to try using the iPoly dye to dye that junk body. ( The junk body was the former Headless Laurel, but Laurel has a head now, but it is now on a Loongsoul Cartoon Boob body, which is actually a lovely, beautifully posing body even if it looks like Hugh Hefner designed it)
("Was this really necessary?") But Laurel, look how well the resin matches AND you have joined fingers now.
I did the dremelling first, and it actually worked really well--I did wear a respirator and goggles and I did it outside, and I am so glad I did, because it threw resin dust everywhere. I even had to hose off myself, the body, and the dremel bits and change my clothes when I was finished, but it went really fast--just a couple of minutes to convert the neck from a mushroom shape to a reasonable cone.
Anyway, the IPoly dye is supposed to stink when you cook it with the resin, and J didn't want me doing it in the house on the stove anyway, so we set up my Goodwill pot on the side burner of the barbeque. This was problematic as the burner is really uneven in heating, and my pot was too small for the thighs. It was actually too small for most of the Idol body:
I slightly melted the shins along the ankle when I first started, so I turned off the heat and kept going. The resin really didn't take the dye well--I probably should have sanded it, used an electric burner, a larger pot and a candy thermometer. The cotton string turned a quite gorgeous ebony brown, but the best piece, the elbows, ended up as mostly a sort of pleasant coffee color. So the next step was just to paint the poor thing, because I was tired of Danu rolling around loose. Here's some sponge painting:
It being summer in Chicago, it was really humid and the paint stayed sticky even with spraying with MSC, which meant that it also slid right off in the spots it got wear:
But I just kept going--mostly she will be covered with clothes. I did replace her ankle balls with brown ones, and that helped a bit. Eventually I may try dyeing her again, or see if I can get another Dark Tan Idol, but in the meantime, Danu does have feet. :D
And with the magic of Photoshop, I can touch up the chips.
I guess this is "Souldoll Fan Art"-- it was super fun to do. All the parts are washable by hand in warm water, too, dry flat. I discovered it is easy and fun to sew with those stretchy polyesters that make humans sweat, but fit all sizes of dolls. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday and bought a stretchy polka dot shirt to make into a doll dress later, once I finish some other projects!
Also, making doll stuff with yarn is quick and easy--apparently I remember how to crochet, and while I am still a very messy crocheter, I can actually make something... mostly flat... with it. :D
Here is the previous post showing the outfit's progress.
Iplehouse said "What shall we do next?" and someone said "Everyone LOVES elves!" (Which is true). Grace looks awesome as an elf there on the left, though I have to laugh at the Elvish Glamor Bust. Aurora looks like she came in the first release with elf ears; she just always looks serene and elfy... and I don't recognize the cute pie on the right*.
Elf clothes could be Mighty Tempting.
*Oh wait, that is Vera. She looks super in elf ears.
Aww, Pammy, why so cute? Is it the big eyes? The potato nose? The complicated expressions? I just like this girl, especially with the slightly ratty blonde wig. You just know her life is as out of control as her hair.
Yes, he's here; and so amiable. He's a nice neutral color between Normal Yellow and Normal Pink, and would be super for any number of bodies if it wasn't for his huge Evol body neckhole--he's just a great sized head (8-9 for wigs). I did have to wrestle with ORD Customs a bit for him as once again the shipper for Granado didn't bother to sign the customs form swearing that all the infos were true on the form, so someone just shelved it at ISC until I wrote an email looking for it. They have no problem processing the larger boxes because (I think) the paperwork comes direct from Granado and everything is signed, but I will have to look into it. At least now I have a 1-800 number to call ISC Chicago direct if I can't find something. (Chinese EMS has it going on, by the way--they knew perfectly well that it had come out of Customs into a holding pattern, and even what time it passed through ISC.) Here's another photo:
So glad he's here safe, though now I need to get some dry weather to paint him. Also today came some hands from Alice's Collections! They shipped via DHL and came in just a few days, with no fuss whatsoever. Also I love dealing with Alice's--they are so pleasant to work with. Here are the hands, a larger male set that fit Rain the IOS G perfectly (yay!) and a more delicate female set in environmental resin that I think I bought to swap out one of the Soom girls' magnet hands, but I will have to look around and see for sure.
They are a little smaller than Daisy's hands, but she might get them anyway--they are so pretty. I also have a trade body from Loongsoul that they might fit--one of those cartoony Big Bust ones. Clothes for her will be a challenge. :D
Still very WIP, but I have reinforced her shoulders. For some reason this body is just the nicest poser ever, it's drilled very carefully inside. It's just a fluke that the shoulders came out of the mold so thin!
I even managed to wrestle the forearm pin into the slot on the elbow piece for this pose. :D
Since she is a cyborg, she is G rated even topless--which I think is slightly odd, but with clothes it makes no difference:
Such an elegant doll! Soom really outdid themselves when they created her!
And everyone has the fantasy parts you'd expect. I give huge props to Soom for how they organized the web pages--it's done all in photos so you can see what you are getting instead of puzzling through text, which had to be annoying for anyone not using English as a primary language. And for those of us who need pictures ;) So you can scroll up and down and mentally assemble your dollie.
If you order Epidia GET THE EXTRA POSE PIECES otherwise she won't stand properly. Just saying. You need them for anyone, really.
It does include a Garnet that I did a trade for, a full doll with certificate. She did need some epoxy reinforcing on a cracked shoulder on one side, and a thin one on the other, but I plan to texture and paint the shoulder caps and cover the repairs that way, once I have time.
I may have posted this one before. I just love how cranky she looks ;) Granado Fayette on a Maiden body.
My Sweet Witch Galena (the first Sweet Witch) and Deirdre's hat.
Liliana Vess looking fierce on the top shelf..with one arm taped on. >.<
The sky over Target...
And the other direction, with picturesque parking lot foreground...
And finally, a political bumper sticker sent to me by a friend: