Friday, June 23, 2017

Black Raspberries, and 2 More Costume Books

I love summer. These taste excellent; I am surprised the birds haven't eaten them all, but maybe they prefer the seeds in the feeder.

I found a couple more fun costume books! The first one is a look at some of the historic men's clothing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is beginning to have a world-class collection of Western costume.

There are gorgeous photos of items in the collection, and some very good essays to go with them--it is a little annoying to read, because the clothes are grouped more by theme than by chronological order, and that bugs me--fashion is very organic, with one silhouette growing from the previous ones, so to really understand the context I think it's important to show things in the order they came--you can do insets or pairings of "historically inspired" items, but every period has it's own distinct branch on the family tree. It was nice to see some history of things like the "Aloha shirt"-- originally a Japanese clothing salesman (Musa-Shiya, 1935) made shirts from kimono fabric and sold them in Hawaii, and it grew from there), and the "Zoot Suit" which was originally based on the "Harvard Baggies" style of the 20's but made more stylish by Filipino and African-American adaptors in the late 30's and 40's. There was even some tidbits from modern Nigerian and Congolese men's fashion--I would love to see a whole book devoted to these. It's a worthwhile read and not too expensive for a pretty coffeetable book.

Then there was this book: "Costume Close-Up" by Linda Baumgarten and John Watson
This book is totally the cat's pajamas. I took a fail photo of the cover:

But look inside--the authors took just a few sample pieces, and patterned them:

Took reference photos of the front and back, with detail close-ups:

And best of all, photos of the INSIDES:

And I have to say one of the delightful things of seeing the inside of someone else's fantastic historic gown, is to see places where the sewer just said EFF MY LIFE and cut in a little bridge piece of fabric, or slapped trim over some questionable area, or went back and added some support or just plain sewed something on crooked and said I MEANT TO DO THAT. The struggle is universal.

The book also shows the tools used for pinking and other neat things. It is a treasure!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Porch

It's technically a "Three Season Room" but as it was, it was a junk storage area-- that was bitterly cold in the winter and an Easy Bake Oven in summer. It was also prime real estate for spiders, because of the black walls and a ready supply of ants. So...many..ants.

The first step was to remove a lot of the rubbish that was living in there, and then primering over the black paint--the wood underneath is insanely rough--it might even be redwood, since the cabinetmaker who did a lot of the additions on the house seemed to have an endless supply of the redwood. I don't like it; I'm a pine and birch and oak person; and this stuff sucks up an incredible amount of paint--the original black oil paint has now had all the oils sink in to the wood, so the black pigment mixes annoyingly with the primer. Once the primer in on, the top coat will just be white, with the soffit the same color as the exterior of the house. Here is the primer--this stuff is good:

It goes on heavy and smooth, even on the rough wood, and doesn't have much odor. You don't want to get it on your hands though, because it's irritating and really hard to get off, so you need these:

And safety glasses for when you paint overhead. In order to discourage bugs, I bought a tube of this "Alex Fast Dry" silicone seal to run around the edges of the windows and fill cracks. Hopefully that will block drafts as well. It works so well, I need to get a couple more tubes of it to go around the outside of the house and seal up some of the other windows as well.

(No, I did not use the Redi-Whip first) :D I did also buy a good brush even though I know acrylic primer just kills brushes, especially when you have to force the paint into corners. This brush is pretty much dead and done, but it did 80% of the porch first:

I'm hoping that once the primer is on, I can switch to rollers--they put paint on much, much faster.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trolling on Twitter

An adorable photo of the Queen and Harry --I thought at first "Wow, she must really like horses" and then realized that they are probably Prince Philip's or Charles' polo trophies. I would have guessed ther are china corgis around somewhere but the photo is too small to tell :D

All I did today was paint the porch with primer--my fingers have white specks all over them, even after a shower. That is good paint!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


The first echinacea is open! I have a lot of sunflowers, too--thanks to both my brother, and the birds, but they probably won't flower until August. Meanwhile I have black raspberries from the box I planted last year from Target, when a batch got moldy in the fridge:

And I have a ton of daylilies:

And a cat and daylilies:

It was gorgeous this morning so I went to Home Depot and bought a can of stain for the back gate, and then of course it absolutely poured all afternoon, and then it was gorgeous this evening, so we went to Naperville for dinner. They had some fun public art set up--benches made to look like favorite kid books! There were a lot of them but I just took photos of three of them:

We walked up the river to the Millenium tower--it's Tuesday so the carillon was playing, like a giant music box:

Then we had a really nice dinner. Summer is just way too short here, but it is also not very hot, which is great.
In doll news, I sold that Granado Maiden body, and I am working on selling this Impldoll Karena on a Mirodoll body. I"m trying to get everyone in one storage area!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Twigling Has A Site

Twigling, an Australian bjd artist, has a new site up--it's very arty so it may run slow for you, so here is the link to the Gallery, which shows some nice, if not entirely Safe For Work, photos of her previous creations:
There is also a video showing the assembly of the dolls, which is fun to see. Twigling girls are very tall, 67 cm in some cases, so you need to keep in mind if that will work for your character. If you go look at the shop portion of the site, you will find measurements, and blanks of the head sculpts. You can also do custom colors. I seem to remember the wait can be slow; in the past Dollshe has done the casting, though that may be different now. I have to admit I like the art as much as the dolls :D

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Amazing Quilt!

Rajendora (Sewing Box Designs) sent me this amazing quilt!!! It's actually for Captain Aldwood, so I had it "delivered" by Camigwen, the Messenger of the Fae Court.

So much detail! All hand-embroidered 0.0 Camigwen points out the peacock on one corner, for India. (Aldwood was there as a midshipman, and actually missed most of it as he came down with some kind of stomach ailment, alas). Behold the beautiful compass roses!

The African plains are represented:

And of course a lion. Aldwood has only seen them in the mountains of Algeria, not in the central part of the continent:

There is a leopard, which delights Aldwood as it reminds him of his Boatswain, Consuelo, who is a species of Panthera fae and one of his closest friends:

Ayers Rock, which Aldwood has not seen, though he has been to the north coast of Australia and admired the great number of colorful fish there.

 And he has been to Stonehenge on holiday:

And the Arctic, which Aldwood admits was his least favorite voyage. Luckily he spends most of his time in the Mediterranean now :D Camigwen is a little envious of this beautiful piece of art.

And Captain Aldwood sends his profound thanks for this wonderful (and practical) gift! <3

("I am smiling!")

The Quilt's finished size is about 22 and one half inches by 30 inches, and is wonderfully soft--the back has a ticking print flannel that is soft and warm.

I might have to make Camigwen a cloak to make up for her lack of any bedding :D

Friday, June 16, 2017

It's Almost Time for the 2017 Soom Super Gem Free Choice!

Dear SOOM fans,


We will organize 2017 Free Choice Event - Super Gem Male soon !

Please check out details below. 

Order Period : Open on June 22th (Thu) 2017 A.M 11 ~ Close July 6th (Thu)  A.M 11 _Korean Standard Time

* Sales for one head + one body as a set; make-up is available.
  (Ex. Ordering one body with two head is not possible)

* Make-up and body blushing will be same as original version; however, these will be done according to it's skin type.

* Layaway payment is acceptable.

* SGM heads are compatible with both SGM OLD Body and 2012 SGM Body. (OLD Body and 2012 Body parts are not compatible with each other.)

* For more information for the 2012 SGM Body, please refer to The Gem Gallery page.

* SGM is abbreviation for Super Gem Male.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Soom Idealian Ieren

I can't tell from Soom's font if it's Ierne, Jeren (what it says on the wig page) or Ieren...maybe pronounced Yeren? Irene? Anyway, she is gorgeous and you can name her what you want :D
Ieren Sales Page (log in first). There is also a pretty Ivory version if you scroll down. The outfit is nice too!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

B'sue Boutiques

Souldoll likes to incorporate brass stampings into their doll clothes, and I was interested in trying something similar--but I was having trouble finding nice new stampings to experiment with. But there are some fun ones at B'sue Boutiques:

The selection isn't huge but it is nice, and there are a lot of other fun things on the site as well, including some instructional videos:

I'm thinking that if you lived somewhere that didn't have a supplier for findings or Modge Podge or resin nearby, this might be a good place to order from. (I haven't tried it yet myself, so I have no idea how the customer service is.) But it looks interesting!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Porcelain Doll

This was the doll I pulled the fairy costume off of--I am going to return her to the thrift store, but I didn't want to drop her back in all sad and naked, so I made her an outfit from some of the piles of scraps here--I wish I had more narrow orange ribbon, because that would look better with the skirt band. Originally the bodice was going to be orange with the floral lining, but  I decided the floral side looked better. The sleeves are a cheat--they are hemmed and then stitched to the bodice so they won't catch on the doll's fingers.

The hat was a straw blank that I got a couple of years ago in a bundle from the doll show. It was fast and easy to decorate:

She has a winding stem for her built in music box (so odd)

(She plays "A Whole New World") :o

She has shoes and her original drawers and net petticoat, since I didn't care for those. Here she is all ready for her next someone else's house :D

I just wish I had been able to get the box lid! But at least this will keep her hat on and her stand and shoes with her.

The Cat House

Andy sent me a listing from Caldwell Banker in Arizona--for 240,000 USD you can get a 20 acre spread in the Arizona Desert, 2 beds, one bath, but a lot of square footage--2,500 sq feet. Difficulty: it's a log cabin. Painted in primary colors inside. As the listing states,

If you love cats this is the home for you! If not bring your sandblaster! Custom build, hardwood kitchen cabinets (Oak, Lacewood, and Bocote) artistically accented with river rock. Cat walkways and in great room Medieval cat castle with different levels (stone). All interior doors custom built (wood). Must see to believe it does exist!!! Once in a lifetime find extremely fun home!

I think that if you did bring your sandblaster, you might indeed find a really nice house under the thousands and thousands of cats and cat products; there is good wood, nice stone accents, and big windows. But OMG the layer of cat is intense:

And the large bath:

I hope that is a throw rug and not glued down....
Anyway, go click on the link and enjoy the 42 photos of someone's cat paradise. It could be that once the paint is scraped off you would have a showplace, and for the size and space it's not a bad price. You will want to check for air conditioning, though, I forgot to look.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cool Doll Books

This is an old Tim Tierney/Dover paper doll collection of 1890's fashions--I thought they would be a nice reference for sewing for my Soom Cuprit, Carissa--she has hoofed feet so she is pretty much limited to skirts, and this style looks good on her since the shoulders balance her big old head. :D

This next book seems like it would be kind of dull, since it's just the older dolls from the 1700's to the early 20th century, which I am not really interested in, but as I started to read the book it dawned on me that the doll clothes were what people really wore (since they were made to look like the owners in many cases) instead of "Sunday Best" and fashion clothes--and the props were what women would have in period--like toothbrushes and tooth powder! Also there were underclothes (things like split drawers) and children's clothes, which are actually sort of hard to find references for in paintings, but which are all over the doll world! Here is the spine:

And look at the huge number of period illustrations:

And photos, and drawings of outfits, too!

 Look a this smug little puss (it me):

And then in the back, in fact the whole back 1/3 of the book...

PATTERNS. All this for 5.00.

And the other book I bought was one Mom has, so I know it's a great reference for all things embroidery:

A classic! And this was a somewhat battered first edition, but the pages were fine.

 Here's a sample of embroidery (not recommended for your first project):

Aside from the basic stitches at the front, there is a ton of historic examples and notes:

I'm so happy to have this classic at home. I did spend a lot of time reading the books, but I also worked on a replacement dress for the poor porcelain doll before she goes back to the thrift store. I finished decorating her hat, and her skirt just needs a back snap and some hem lace. The bodice needs the loops for the front lacing and the undershirt, which is cut out but not sewed up yet. She is actually a music box so there is a winding stem in her back I need to work around. :P It plays, too!

K will recognize the orange lining fabric as "cabbage" from the x-wing pilot outfit she made!