My friend Andy had some sad news today, George, the fuzzy monarch above, 14 years young, passed away on Sunday. While he may not have been the most spoiled cat on earth, he was probably in the top ten. He had good taste to spend at least one of his lives with Andy. Also, Andy was smart and took lots and lots of pictures of him, including some silly ones. He will be greatly missed.
And here is a local cat, always happy to pose for photos:
Yes, it's another ounce of the suri alpaca, and it's creator...I don't really know what to do with these adorable photos--I can't throw them away, they are too cute. The hair in this pack is a lot less flyaway and holds together better than the white, for some reason.
I am still working with the white. I had enough to make an entire size 8 wig and there is still a lot left over--I think I will try felting the rest over a net base and make a small fairylike "waistcoat" out of the remainder. But the wig I am working on still needs a bit more strands on top to cover the felted base, and then some little tiny paper flowers where the blue is stitched in. The base is a small-mesh nylon net and will need some hot glue applied to the inside so the whole wig won't slide off, since there is no elastic.
(You can see on the left that there is still a lot of alpaca remaining to be used)
Today activity was mostly yard work; and my weigela is blooming. It's a Midwest native, and if I had know how great it was I would have bought a lot more of it; I just need to find more sunny spots for the bushes. Even without the blooms, the bush is quite handsome.
If you live in Victoria, Australia, apparently The Pet Rescue of Australia has a fine male black cat for adoption (only in Australia, alas). Lord Biggleworth has a lot of attitude, is "stupidly healthy" and probably will bring you half-rabbits if you like that sort of thing. He's not really a house cat, but he reminds me a lot of my much-missed gray cat!
Here are the three Soom bodies that you are likely to find if you look around on the Den of Angels Marketplace or Ebay. There was a male body before 2010, and I think it was the same as the 2010 except that the elbows were the simple "peanut joints" like Cass and Amber had. From left to right: the new thinner body, who had the slightly higher shoulders and more prominent lats,( those underarm chest muscles), a free-choice body from maybe 2011? and the first Soom Wolf body from 2015, I think; or early 2016.
If you are looking to hybrid, the new 2016 and the "old body" have forgiving necks, though the 2012 works here with a Luts Wintery 2016 head. (Sicktress did his makeup).
If you bought the "Wolf the Cat" guy and chose the 2012 body, I hope Soom realized that there is a size difference in the hands and feet between the 2016 body and the 2012 body. Here are the feet, 2012 body is on the left and the 2016 body is on the right:
It's possible the ankle balls will still fit in the older body if you ordered the "toe up" feet, or the heels, but they are shown in the Soom promos on the 2016 body. The "Meow Hands" and "Elegance Hands" also may be a problem, since they too will be made to fit on the 2016 body:
I guess we will find out! The Meow Ears should fit everyone :D
A woodpecker, in fact! It was very stormy last night--some of my neighbors lost big tree limbs and my neighbor across the street has some patio furniture cushions far, far away from the house. The bird feeder was fine, though I could hear it hitting the metal flashing on the pole as the wind whipped it around.
I refilled the feeder this morning, and this evening we went to Costco-- and discovered that they sell ENORMOUS bags of cardinal feed, so I bought a bag. It might be once I put it out, the birds will say meh--they didn't like the Target seed. If they hate it, I will put the seeds into the compost and go back to Home Depot for the Songbird Supreme. That stuff actually smells kind of good when you open the bag. :D
I am working on a wig from some of the alpaca--I managed to weft a good bit of it, but I put the locks too close together and now it is ..heavy. I am hoping to counterweight it with some beads in the front once it's filled out. The wig cap is nylon net and it is a bit slippery too, though it's easy to get the needle in and out. You can still pull off fibers from the ends, so the next one I make I may try braiding the locks or some other way to keep the fibers in the wig. The top of the wig here is felted and it does indeed love to felt. It makes a good base for the fibers on top.
I also have a small Fantasia body corset going:
The labels help me remember which side is the "fashion side" and which piece is which AND which way is up. The gray is the lining and the test-fit I did of the piece in the center of the photo (1/2 of the corset lining) looks like it should fit OK. I haven't decided if I want it to lace in front or in back yet.
(The paper here is not quite flat--if you want to reproduce the pieces, you will have to count the 1/4 inch squares. the seam is about 1/4 inch as well.)
Tomorrow hopefully I can get it all sewed up (I also cleaned some carpets outside today since it was clear and hot).
Finally, a tea-dyed napkin:
The brown one is dyed, it had some stains and was from the Flea Market (25 cents) but it's linen and pretty. The recipe I used was a quart pot of boiling water, and about 1/2 cup old stale tea leaves (dry), then 5 minutes of stirring, then 2 Tablespoons salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, a bit more stirring, a cold water rinse and then a few minutes in the dryer with just it and a rag. The rag got some tea stains as well. Hot water and bleach are supposed to reverse the "dye"-- so it's hand wash in cold water for whatever I make with the napkin.
I did not know Julia Cross had a Flickr, but she does, and the photos are marvelous. They include clays of some of the newer dolls and sketches too--and closeups of some of the jewelry she makes for her dolls as well!
I think this is "Leah" and she donates suri alpaca fiber to her owner E. Brumwell; the photo came in my Etsy order for some fiber I wanted to use to either make, or add onto, some doll wigs. I wasn't sure how much an ounce was, but it turns out to be just enough to make a reasonable size 8 wig if you don't do too much combing, or lots and lots if you want to fill in for a mohair wig. I have an Ebay mohair that I like a lot, but the front had a thin place, and the alpaca hair was the perfect color and texture to fill it in. It is super soft and a little staticky, so water helps a lot when you are trying to separate the locks--it's as soft as bunny hair:
You can dye and braid it--I was combing it with a wide-toothed comb to get some of the tiny bits of hay out (it works better to use tweezers, actually), and it is a lot of careful, painstaking work. You aren't really saving money buying the suri fiber this way, you are just getting stuff that you can customize the way you want. I paid around 22.00 usd for an ounce of this ( including about 5.00 for shipping), and then there is a lot of labor involved, so I can easily see how 100+ for the final wig is maybe just making a small profit above cost. The nicest thing is that if the cat accidentally eats some, it won't hurt her like a polyester fiber would, and the same goes for me. It is also fun to pet. Supposedly it is "great for felting" but I have no idea how that works.
Also these cool "heel feet" that include the shoes, though I find the feet tend to slip out of the resin shoes and need poster tack to stay attached to the shoes. Outfit, eyes and wig are also available on the main page.
It looks GREAT. It's taller and leaner than the SID body that I had Doria on before, and I just like the body shape more--the SID is a competent poser, but there is something blocky about the lines of the Iplehouse design. The Fantasia body is a slightly less-sturdy poser-- but has a more aesthetic flow.
I am going to have to figure out shoes, though--those feet are large. :D Also my Oni girl was wearing one hand until yesterday, so the nails are still green--I need to fix that.
("Shh", Granado Fayette says, "I fit so much better on this Maiden body than Mercury's head did"). Mercury was intended for a Male/Female sculpt, and the end result for M/F heads is that the necks always gap on the female bodies. It wasn't too bad with M/F heads on the older bodies because the Nuevo female has a big neck and the male 64cm and 68cm bodies had sort of normal-SD-sized necks, so it wasn't so noticeable. The Lads, and the new Evol and Embody bodies have MASSIVE necks-- so it's gotten pretty incompatible for switching. (sad face emoticon). Anyway, Tabitha is just as cute, and way more photogenic in her current form. Also since she is "small SD sized", like an old Luts Delf girl, there are a ton of clothes ready-made for her out there. This dress was very inexpensive and came with stockings, it was purchased from BlueBlood Doll, who I recommend highly. I like their acrylic eyes, too!
I also swapped an Evol body for a Feeple 65 body. I liked the Evol, but I already have one under my Granado Enoch, and it is a heavy body and a large one, and I am trying to downsize a bit. My trading partner had a Jupiter head that needed a body, and I can always use another female body, so it was a good trade; I knew the Feeple body has some issues (I took one apart a couple of years ago and it was ...complicated), but I was ready to take this one apart and mod it if necessary. So the first thing I discovered was that this FL65 had magnets only in the feet, which made me happy. But the neck key was behaving oddly, so I took it off, and this is why:
The bead is supposed to be dead center in the key, and this bead was warped--and also not sanded too well. I tossed it out, and sueded the neck instead:
(That is just a chamois from the auto repair store; it's some kind of microfiber that works just like real chamois with 100% less goat). Next I wanted to restring her since I had cut off the old string from the key. The old string was pretty heavy, I wanted to swap it for 3.5mm so it would travel better through the knees and the neck ring.
Since this body has a tendency to snap backwards when sitting, I wanted to do everything I could to minimize this. I wanted to be sure the main strings went in front of, and not behind, the arm strings. This way the arm strings could act as a stop for the back arching behavior:
Heavier, real suede at the top of the torso piece:
I also wanted to try the "A frame" stringing on her, where one string goes up to the neck to hold on the head, and the other string just goes through the pelvis. This puts less tension on the torso and also makes it easier for the doll to sit, though sometimes you have to work the torso back and forth a little to get this lower string to seat properly when you bend the doll to sit.
Hip plates go in next. The pointy parts go in the center, Left and Right are marked with initials:
The two knee pieces are fitted together here (I wanted to be sure I had the two correct pieces before I tried to string them together. The narrower string fits well inside the knee without crowding it.
And finally the foot goes on to the ankle piece. As much as I hate the fact these feet come off in boots, the separate pieces make getting the feet on so much simpler. It's also a flexible joint--she can point her toes. And now that she was all together, she can stand up perfectly! I also added some soft wire inside her arms, after being so pleased with the Fantasia Doll's performance with wires there:
And yes, she can sit too!
You still have to fiddle a bit with her hips--those inner plates aren't too helpful for sitting, and I don't quite understand how the inner slots are supposed to be aligned with the hips, but it does work. I might put a bit of hot glue sueding on top of the regular sueding in her torso, just to keep her posed in different angles, but this is very good without wiring inside the legs/torso. And now Laurel has 2 bodies; though I think I will keep her on this Feeple body since it's her native body. Someone else gets the Fantasia body. I wonder if my Iplehouse Doria head will fit? :D