Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vermont Doll Lovers October 2017

I made it to the meet-up! There was some question, seeing as Luts shipped my Model Delf boy mid-week and I could tell it would arrive on Saturday (even though tracking said Tuesday). Mail comes later on Saturday than during the week, so a pending delivery usually means I have to make a choice between meet-up and waiting for the carrier. I ordered this doll three months ago so I intended to wait for it, come what may. Lo and behold, it arrived by special delivery, long before the regular mail ever appeared. So I quickly packed my dolls and headed down the Interstate. I arrived only an hour late.

Displays seemed to overlap so I couldn't always tell where one person's dolls ended and the next began. Names of unfamiliar dolls flew by me, but here are my photos with as much information as I have.
Most of the above belong to Bittersweet Blue, with the exception of the witch on the extreme left, a Soom Faery Legend who belongs to Modern Wizard. The partially hidden witch (in red) belongs to either Modern Wizard or Bittersweet Blue. In the chair is Dream of Doll Petsha. Standing in the short denim jacket is a tan Minifee Chloe. The doll in pink sitting on the arm of the chair may be an Obitsu. Not sure about the cute little witch in the foreground. Could she be a Ginny doll?
Most of the group above belongs to Modern Wizard. The bear in the kitten suit on the right belongs to Bittersweet Blue.
The doll with two skulls belongs to Modern Wizard. Need I mention that this was a Halloween themed meet-up? Also belonging to Modern Wizard is the tall thin doll below, a Doll Chateau body with a head that Modern Wizard designed. It was produced for her by (Angel Studio?)
His (yes, it's a he) unique face reminds me a bit of Batman's Joker. Also Disney's Cruella deVil. Here's a close-up:
The Volks SD grouping below belongs to Lyrajean.
Included in the group below are Lyrajean's Unoa Lusis and Sist, Volks YoSD Kira and Yuh, Custom House Petite Ai Uriel and Sariel, and Hujoo Freya. (Who is the tall doll in the mask?)
One more of Lyrajean's, showing two Spiritdoll Bastets and a kitty mummy.
I brought my littlest troublemakers: Realpukis Pupu, Soso, Papillio and Kaka; my cookie monsters: Aileen Dragons Lapis, baby Ashes and Rot; WithDolls Happy Ending Story Laney and Little Fox Lucy, and Pukifee Sheep Story Rin (dressed as a mouse).
We meet in a town library. Near the end of the afternoon a librarian asked us if we would play host for a little while to a group of children who had become unruly and were about to be ejected from the library. Unruly children? Unleashed into a room containing thousands of dollars worth of resin? Some of it small enough to pocket? I had reservations but the others agreed. In came the youngsters with firm injunctions from the librarian to touch nothing. The girls kept silent. The boys asked lots of questions. I would like to think it was from interest, except for a remark one of them made as they exited to the effect that his eyes were bleeding. From boredom, maybe? We had a good laugh. No dolls were injured. Mischief managed.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Getting Ready for Halloween: Realpukis

Hard to believe, but next Saturday is the Vermont Doll Lovers Halloween meeting. The actual holiday is still more than three weeks away, but our November meet comes after the fact. I thought I would preview some of my costumes, seeing as there will be so many dolls to cover next week.

This past summer I crocheted some clothing for the Realpukis. Instead of making costumes from scratch I decided to accessorize the existing clothing. Here are the outfits I planned to dress up:
I wasn't happy with was Papilio's pants and vest. First order of business was to make him something else. He ended up with dark brown shorts and a striped shirt. The shirt was fun to make. Until now my only attempt at stripes was a beach blanket for which I did a lot of cutting and weaving in of yarn ends. This time around, because my stripes were so narrow and I was using only two colors, I simply left the yarn attached and picked up each color as I needed it. Instead of adding fasteners, I laced up the back with a piece of yarn. I love the result. I decided that he would be a pirate for Halloween, so I crocheted a bandana and attached tiny coins and beads. The coins are just out of view in the photo.
Pupu's transformation was the easiest to accomplish. I removed the orange yarn from her "hair" and crocheted a ball, which I stuffed with fiberfill and attached to the top for a Tinkerbell style bun. I cut wings from a piece of organza ribbon, sewed them to the back of her dress and voila! A fairy.
Kaka was to be a witch, so I switched her shoes with Soso, giving Kaka the buckles. I didn't have black yarn for the hat and was going to make it from dark purple, but at the last minute I ran over to Jo-Ann's. Fortunately they had Aunt Lydia's #10 black (along with two other colors missing from my stash). Because I made the hat without a pattern, it's not pointy at the tip. I still don't know how to get that effect. With a black belt as a final touch, my witch was done.
I left Soso's outfit until last because I wasn't sure how to accomplish it. He was to be a pumpkin. At first I wanted to make a body costume shaped like a pumpkin. All the pumpkin crochet patterns I found online started out round, however, with their final shapes emerging from yarn drawn outside the pumpkin and in through the stuffing. That wouldn't work if I meant to have a doll inside, unless I made a full lining and stuffed between the layers. (Too much trouble.) Then I thought of making a pumpkin hat. On the one hand that would work; on the other hand it wasn't very interesting. So, what if I made it an oversize pumpkin hat? It would have been really cool to leave holes for the jack o'lantern's eyes, nose and mouth, but also difficult to plan out and execute. I opted for the easier alternative of simply leaving a big opening for the face. Look at it this way: if he were a human child, his mother would fill in the missing features with face paint. Actually, he looks so perfectly silly that I like the pumpkin head just as it is. I did add fiberfill in a couple of strategic places to plump it out and keep it from falling down over his eyes.
Here is the group at the moment I thought all the costumes were finished, complete with crocheted trick or treat bags:
The pirate kept nagging at me, however. He wanted a black hat. Now that I had the black yarn, why not try it? So I did. It could have been bigger, and if I have time I'll make him another one, but for now it works. I gave him a sword--a vintage cocktail pick--and a worthy opponent--a dragon. Pirates and dragons? In my world, absolutely. 
Right now I'm working on an animal costume for PukiFee Rin. If it works, she and my WithDoll tinies will attend the meeting along with the Pukifees and dragons. It will be a tiny Halloween. See you next week!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tricky BJD Feet: Shoe Sharing for Larger Dolls

I will deal with both male and female dolls in this post because, while I used to have a sizeable collection of large BJDs, I am now down to four (seen below). Den of Angels classifies large BJDs as dolls 50cm and taller. My cast of characters includes: a Soul Vito Jin, 52-54cm depending on who is measuring; a FeePle60 Moe Mirwen who measures 54cm; a FeePle60 Moe Lacrima, 54cm; and a Soom Idealian51 Cuba who measures 51cm. He looks taller because he's sneaking some extra height from the thick base on his doll stand.
Obviously the girls share shoes because they have the same foot size: 6.5cm for the flat foot and 6cm for the heel foot. What's interesting is the other doll shoes they can share, like the high heels shown below. On the left are heels from Iplehouse for their old YID girls, and on the right are heels from Dollmore for their SD size girls:
The brown shoes have a removable ankle strap, not shown. Here's a closer look at all four shoes:
Please note that the Iplehouse shoes for old YID are discontinued. If you happen to find some on the secondary market, be aware that only the closed shoes fit FeePle60. The open toe high heels fit FeePle65. I currently have no high heel boots that fit. Last year I bought the short black boots seen below from Code Noir for SD. I was able to make them fit by stuffing the toes and putting stockings on the doll, but they look ungainly to me. The proportions don't work to my satisfaction.
The tall Iplehouse boots below are sized for all of Iple's large girls. I got them on and like how they look, but getting them off again required a struggle that resulted in scratches on my Moe girl's feet. She won't be wearing them again. I need new boots.
Shoes for flat feet open up additional possibilities, such as the two pairs of low heeled shoes from Soom for Gem and Super Gem ladies, below. Note that I haven't tried Soom's high heels. Also note that the red shoes came with different laces. They felt waxy and wouldn't stay tied, so I replaced them with narrow ribbon.
Some DollHeart shoes for SD will fit, such as the pink and white platform shoes on the left in the next photo. These are older but DollHeart still offers similar styles.
Let's turn to the boys. Below you see four pairs of shoes, left to right: light brown oxfords from Dollmore for Zaoll/Alex girls; light brown oxfords from Soom for Idealian51 (both shown on ID51); black oxfords from Iplehouse for nYID boys and brown loafers also from Iplehouse for nYID boys (shown on Vito).
Idealian51's feet are 6.9cm long, so Cuba is able to wear many of the same shoes as 7cm foot FID men shown last week. Vito Jin's feet measure 7.5cm. He's more comfortable in nYID shoes. If you are wondering how ID51 looks in nYID shoes, see below:
Remember those oversize-looking white canvas FID shoes from last week? They're too tight for Vito, but both the white and the checkered canvas shoes fit ID51. In fact, the white shoes fit as if they were made for ID51. I think he's going to keep them.
Boots are another story. Because Vito can wear nYID shoes, I had hoped he could wear some nYID boots I have. The tall boots fit loosely in the foot, but his lower leg is too thin for all that floppy leather on top. Too bad, because for some fantasy costumes you really want that Puss in Boots look. The short black boots work fine as an everyday boot.
Vito can also wear shoes made for old YID boys, such as the oxfords below:
I hope these shoe posts help some of you BJD owners figure out what footwear to buy for your dolls. I have the advantage of having lots of doll shoes left from past dolls. All I need to do is discover which, if any, of my current dolls can wear them. And now I'd better take the white athletic shoes and cream colored pants off Cuba. He looks like Summer, while the date and the weather say Fall.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tricky BJD Feet: Shoes for Mini Men

This is my second blog post for the trickybjdfeet site. The first TrickyBJDFeet post appeared on Wednesday, September 20. In it I covered shoes for mini ladies. This one's for the mini guys. Feet forward, gentlemen, it's Cinderella time! Will the shoe fit, or not?

First up, meet some of my mini men: (left to right) WithDoll Egon Elf, Lumedoll Meissa Elf, and Model Delf Avalanche. They are modeling shoes that I bought years ago when my mini guy collection consisted of two Limhwa Limho Mono. I'm not positive, because it was a long time ago, but I believe the canvas shoes came from Releaserain. The saddle shoes may have come from either Releaserain or Mimiwoo. Either way I bought them on ebay.
I also have the canvas shoes in red, but I don't use them anymore because the laces have turned pink from rubbing on the shoes. The shoes are white inside, but I'm still wary. Here is a closer view of the shoes:
Avalanche usually wears shoes made by Luts for Model Delf. He has the smallest feet of all my boys--5.3cm--so his Luts shoes don't work for any of the others. To be fair, I have only tried one style of the Luts shoes, so it may be that a different style might fit someone else. Something else for me to buy when extra money falls into my lap.

Prior to the photos Lumedoll Meissa was wearing a pair of Dollmore boots in normal MSD size. Way too big! In fact, they are shown below on a Dollmore Dollpire Kid Shiloh, who does wear standard MSD size. The boots are snug on Shiloh, which is why I thought Meissa might be able to wear them, but Meissa's lower legs are thin, which made the boots look especially awkward.
The lad on the right in the photo is an Iplehouse JID Edwin wearing another pair of Dollmore boots. The foot space is more ample than he needs, but I could just barely get the boots to zip over his pants and the pants were too narrow to fit over the boots. How's that for a quandary?

Pictured below is Shiloh again, this time wearing one JID boy shoe (white) and one mystery shoe (black). I don't think the black shoe is from Dollmore, because I've had them longer than any of my Dollmore purchases. They resemble the Dollzone shoes on ResinRapture's blog. If they are Dollzone, I would have bought them at Denver Doll. They're too big for the other guys.
The JID shoe is a bit loose on Shiloh, so it would work better with socks. It is not long enough, however, to fit Iplehouse FID men. Let the buyer beware: Iplehouse lumps JID and FID male shoes together. FIDs can wear JID boots, but not shoes. The JID shoe is shown below with an Iplehouse FID shoe in a similar style. The FID shoe is slightly longer.
JID boots, on the other hand, fit fine on FID men. The reason for this is length. The JID boy's foot is 6.2cm long, while the JID boot is 7.8cm long. The FID man's foot is 7cm long. (By the way, does anyone else find it alarming that Iplehouse clothing and shoes for JIDs are all but gone? Either there's a major re-size coming, or else the JID line is about to be phased out.) Getting back to the boots, below you see FID Claude wearing JID boots. The fit is excellent.
On the right in the photo, FID Leonard wears similar shoes from two different makers. The one on the left is Dollmore's Luxury shoe for Alex and Zaoll; on the right is Soom's ISS1203, made for Idealian51. The Dollmore shoe is 8cm long, made from soft calfskin. My first pair was such an excellent fit that I bought two more pairs, only to find that the newer ones are so tight that socks are not an option. I'm hoping the calfskin will soften a bit more with time. The Soom shoes are 8.5cm long. They are longer than necessary, especially seeing as the Idealian51's foot is only 6.9cm--shorter than the FID man's 7cm foot. Whatever they're made of, it's very stiff. Perhaps they wouldn't go on if they were shorter. Here's a close-up:
My last shoe of the day is a canvas sneaker/athletic shoe. Well, two canvas shoes. The white ones are from Iplehouse for FID, while the checkered ones are generic MSD sneakers. Both fit FID men--with more or less success.
Would anyone care to explain--or to venture a guess--why the FID sneakers are so big? Seeing the photo without knowing anything about the shoes, I would say the white ones don't fit. They're so wide that FID Bichun doesn't need a doll stand. In this case the generic MSD shoes are a better fit. I should mention that I replaced the laces on the MSD shoes. The shoes came with the same laces as the FID shoes--big enough to lace a human baby's shoes, ridiculously out-of-scale for a doll. My replacement laces are lengths of thin, round elastic from the fabric store. I no longer have the paper wrapper so I can't tell you the exact size but they're not hard to find. The elastic does fray at the ends, so I need to try some Fray Check on it. Here's a close-up for a better view of both styles.
Dollmore sells similar shoes for its MSDs. I'm guessing the checkered pair came from Denver Doll.

That's it for this installment. My next TrickyBJDFeet blog post will cover both male and female dolls over 50cm in height. The reason for this is that I have so few large dolls left. Most of them went to new homes in order to fund my growing collection of mini guys and girls. C'est la vie!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Shoe Sharing for Small Foot BJDs

I decided I couldn't wait until Sunday to write my first shoe post. I've amassed many shoes during my years of collecting BJDs, which means that every time a new size doll enters the collection we spend a day trying on shoes. Most don't fit. No surprise there, as the original MSD (Mini Super Dolffie) set the standard for shoe size. My collecting interests, on the other hand, have veered in the direction of slim mini mature dolls, whose feet seem to be getting smaller and smaller. As anyone who has ever bought a FairyLand MiniFee girl knows, MSD shoes are too big. So what fits?

Iplehouse JID boots work for MiniFee, WithDoll minis and Model Delf girls. Below you see (left to right) WithDoll Priscilla wearing tall JID boots, with MiniFee Lishe and Model Delf Annette wearing short JID boots. The boots have a slightly built-up heel, but not enough to warrant heel feet or to prevent the girls from standing in them. I do not own Iplehouse flat shoes so I could not try any on.
JID boots on WithDoll, MiniFee, Model Delf
Iplehouse JID heel shoes fit MiniFee, WithDoll, and Iplehouse FID. With tights, textured stockings, and/or a felt insole, they fit Raccoon girls. Neither of my MiniFees is currently wearing heel feet, so I didn't include one in the photo. Unlike the hands, the feet do not attach by magnet and are a bother to change, although I did fit a foot easily into a heel shoe to test. The shoe is a little loose, which means it will accommodate stockings comfortably. Below are Iplehouse FID Raffine and WithDoll Emma wearing JID heel shoes. The pink shoes on the left are the ankle strap style. The strap is not tight enough around FID ankles, so I remove the straps. (They pull right through the back loops.) Raffine is wearing the normal height heel feet, not the high heel feet.
JID heels on FID and WithDoll
There is a separate photo below of Raccoon girls wearing the JID heels. The shoes are admittedly loose. That said, the most recent JID heel shoes I purchased are tighter. If all your doll does is stand for fashion photos, that might work for you, but if you like to pose and play with your dolls, you may find it annoying. In terms of the shoe project, they're not a fit; however I still use them.

DollInStyle flat shoes are a perfect fit on MiniFee. They also fit WithDoll and Model Delf. None of my FID women are wearing flat feet at the moment. It's a chore to change feet, so I didn't, although I did try fitting an FID flat foot into a shoe. It went in but it was very snug. Luckily the shoes are made with soft leather, so they will stretch a little. Despite that, I don't plan to have any of my FID ladies wear them, as I don't want to stretch the shoes to a point where they're too loose for the other girls. Below are WithDoll Priscilla, MiniFee Mirwen and Model Delf Annette wearing Stitches by DollInStyle.
DollInStyle Stitches on WithDoll, MiniFee, Model Delf
I bought the shoes at Denver Doll Emporium denverdoll. They also had a two-color style which I very much regret not buying. First I couldn't decide which colors I wanted, then when the colors I wanted were gone I waited for a re-stock, which never happened. If I had known this, I would have bought every DollInStyle shoe they sold in every color available. Korean company DollInStyle is now AnyDollStyle which appears to specialize in clothing for tiny dolls. I don't know if they plan to re-introduce shoes for minis. Denver Doll still sells the company's clothing and Ice Cream Loafers for LittleFee size feet, so I'm keeping an eye on them. I want more shoes!

DollInStyle made another style called Bows in a slightly smaller, narrow style that fits Raccoon girls. They're a wee bit loose so they can accommodate stockings.
DollInStyle Bows on Raccoon girl
And while I'm on the subject of Raccoon girls, who have even smaller feet than MiniFee, WithDoll and Model Delf, below are FairyLand MiniFee high heel shoes on Raccoon Lucy:
MiniFee heel shoes on Raccoon girl
These shoes come only in black but they are available in both matte and shiny finish. I wish they had other colors--and I'd love a style without the straps because those little buckles drive me crazy. Below is a group shot of Raccoon Gene, Mika and Sarah wearing DollinStyle Bows in various colors. Lucy, on the right, is probably wearing the MiniFee heel shoes except the mermaid skirt hides them.
DollInStyle Bows on Raccoon girls
One more photo of Raccoon girls, this time wearing the MiniFee heel shoes (with pants) and JID heel shoes (with textured stockings and tights). I took this photo some time ago so I'm not sure who's wearing what except for Lucy on the left and Sarah, second from the right. The shoes on the right are the ankle strap style with the strap removed. You can see the loop for the strap peeking from behind.
MiniFee heel shoes (left) and JID heel shoes on Raccoon
Next time I'll look at shoes and boots for mini men.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Camera, a Dress, a Project, a Shrub

Dragon Mistress Mei
The Camera:

My camera jammed soon after last Saturday's meet-up. It seemed like such a small, easy-to-resolve problem, nothing more than a stuck on/off button. How hard could it be to fix? The man in the camera store couldn't get it unstuck. He recommended I take the camera to a shop in another town and estimated around $129 (or more) to repair it, which struck me as excessive. Better to buy a new camera than to repair one that might not have many years left to live. The store buys used photo equipment for resale, but everything has to be in perfect working order. Even in perfect condition the old camera would have earned me less than $50. Spend $129 to earn $50? Something's amiss with that calculation. I left the store with both my old camera and a new one.

The new camera talks to the computer using WiFi. I downloaded the required software and began working through the steps, stopping frequently to re-watch the how-to video to make sure I knew what to do. Then I made a wrong selection and couldn't find a way back to correct it. After spending way too much time wading through the camera company's "helpful" articles and videos, I sent them an email. I must commend them on their response time. They did get back to me within the 8-12 hours they estimated. Their work-around got me past the bump in the road so that I could get on with the installation. And then everything ground to a halt as I was referred to a non-existent access point button. This time I grabbed the phone.

All I can say is thank goodness I didn't sell my old camera and its accessories, because I am able to use its interface cable to transfer photos from the new camera to my computer. Even better, the technical advisor admitted that the cable is faster and easier. So why isn't the interface cable included in the camera package? Oh, and that access point button? The technician admitted that it doesn't come on my camera model. Hmm... Then why does the installation software for my model tell me to press that button?

The Dress:

What with one thing and another, I didn't get any sewing done this week. I did, however, make a dress the week before for Creature Doll Mei to wear to the meet-up. It's based on Petit Nuage, designed by MHD Designs for 18-inch Kaye Wiggs girls. I first made the dress when I had a Kaye Wiggs Layla. I can't find any photos of Layla wearing it, but here it is back in March 2012 before I added the embroidered flowers:
I recently discovered that the dress fits FID women and thought I'd use it for Mei. Because Mei was going to the meet-up as dragon mistress to my Aileen dragons, I wanted the dress to look more medieval and so I made a long skirt instead of the pattern's bubble skirt. Below are FID Raffine in the original pink dress and Mei in the sort-of medieval version. I had some fit issues because of the purple fabric. It doesn't feel particularly thick, but no matter how many times it's pressed it refuses to lie flat, and the bodice is completely lined. I ended up adding a narrow panel of the same fabric in back so that I could close it. Hard to believe, isn't it? In the photo Mei looks thinner than Raffine. The pink dress was made in eyelet cotton, which is thin and presses flat, and that makes all the difference.


I've embarked on a collaborative project with Mia of resinrapture called TrickyFeet. Mia is creating a database which should help collectors identify shoes and shoe sources for those hard-to-shop-for BJDs whose feet are either smaller or larger than the norm for their size. The tables are not yet ready for publication, but Mia has already posted some shoe photos on her blog. I expect to have some photos ready to share here next week.

A Nature Note:

Finally, this is the time of year when activity in the garden slows down for the season. I have a large hydrangea paniculata behind the house that is in the last throes of fecundity. I've seen bees collecting nectar ever since the bush flowered, but in the past week activity has built up until the bush is an absolute frenzy of bees and monarch butterflies. There should be plenty for everyone, but I notice the bees being less than hospitable. They're bumping the butterflies right off the flowers. Come on, guys! The monarchs need fuel for their coming migration. I would have taken photos except that, to paraphrase the alien Oh from the movie Home, if I go out there I am one-hundred percent popular for being stung.

Here's the hydrangea a few weeks ago when I photographed LittleFee Ante. The thing grows like a fiend. I cut it back to almost nothing two years ago and it now wraps around one side of the deck and almost obscures the bathroom window. Help!