Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Iple Christmas

Today the Iplehouse kids at Resin Corner gathered to celebrate the season.

Jamie and Evgeny took charge of decorating.  Where they found the "tree" is a mystery, unless they have been poking around in my basement. 

I usually display handmade ornaments on that stand.  I can see where the Paperclay heads might have spooked them.  The question is, what did they do with them? 

Thank goodness they didn't get their new tee shirts dirty.  Considering my usual difficulty matching stripes, I am rather proud of those shirts.  I do have fabrics in colors other than black, beige and white.  I just haven't gotten to them yet.

The girls showed up after the decorating was done.  Anastasia had the little ones in tow.  I know for a fact that sleigh came from the basement.  How did they get it up here without my seeing them?

Jamie modeled a winter hat belonging to Elfdoll Soah. 

Yuri showed off the sled he borrowed from LittleFee Ante.

And everyone joined together to say, "Have yourself a merry Iple Christmas...!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Le Pantalon" for Soah

Le Pantalon equals trousers.  I haven't made many for my girls.  Part of the reason is my lack of patterns, part is my dislike of many of the pants patterns I see for sale.  This one is from MHD Designs.  I like her patterns and decided to give it a try.

I had been saving the gray-brown-blue striped fabric for just such a project.  It was a remnant, so I wasn't sure I would have enough; as it turned out there was plenty.  I have enough left over to make another pair of pants -- or a matching skirt.  The blue suede-like fabric paired with it beautifully, and the cream color rib knit was perfect for the body suit and socks.  (I wanted socks with this outfit because Soah's shoes are a little wide.  Le Pantalon does not include socks, so I used the sock pattern pieces from MHD Designs' Spring Summer Body Shirts.)

This outfit incorporates a bit of nostalgia for me.  The flower appliques came off my high school graduation gown.  I attended a small school for girls.  For graduation we did not wear traditional academic gowns.  Instead, our floor-length gowns came from a bridal shop.  They were white, very plain but with a row of blue and yellow flowers between two rows of baby blue piping accenting the high waist.  A year later I shortened the dress, wore it a few times and then finally discarded it, saving only the appliques and some of the white linen from the bottom of the skirt.  I never imagined I would reuse the flowers to dress a doll!

Soah's shoes from Monique Trading.

If you are a steady or even a sometime reader of this blog, you know that I generally find fault with printed patterns.  Many times it is the pattern that is at fault; just as many times the fault is mine.  I had only minor difficulties with this one.  I am not in love with making tiny fabric loops to pair with buttons.  I made the one for the pants, then thought I would try something different for the vest.  (For "different" read "easier".)  Why not take embroidery floss and crochet a chain to use as the loop?  Nice idea in theory.  In practice, I couldn't maneuver my smallest crochet hook through the slippery floss.  Then I tried yarn, not crocheted into a chain but folded into a loop and sewn into the vest.  Everything worked fine until I turned the vest right side out and the yarn slipped right out of the fabric.  So much for that idea.  That's how Soah's vest ended up having no closure at all.  The buttons are there for show.  I placed two on either side for balance and to give the illusion of a double breasted vest.

Wig from Iplehouse.

We are coming up on the shortest day of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere.  It sure snuck up on me today.  Even though Soah's outfit was finished, I was sewing a tee shirt for one of the boys as if I had all the time in the world, thinking I would stop around 3:30 p.m. and take pictures.  By 3:45 the sun was dipping down behind the building across the street, long shadows stretched across my sewing table and my camera flash was going off with every other shot.  PhotoShop saved enough pictures for me to post my blog.  Nevertheless, next week I'll plan for an earlier photo shoot.

The flowers were originally oriented horizontally.
I have re-used them in the vertical position.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Doll Meet-up: McKenna's Day Out

"To think I envied Soah when it looked like she was going to the meet-up.  If her new outfit had been finished, she would have gone and I would have stayed here, where it's warm.  I've never been so cold in all my life!  BallJointedWoman made me sit outside to have my picture taken, without a coat, with the wind blowing my hair across my face.  There was snow on the ground.  SNOW!"

McKenna is an Alchemic Lab U-noa Lusis.

"Don't be such a drama queen, McKenna.  It couldn't have been that bad.  Last time, she made me stand in the wet woods, without even a dry place to lean against.  Of course, it wasn't all bad...  Sarah was such a lovely companion.  Was she at the meet-up?"

Jamie is an Iplehouse SID Elemental Guardian Claude

"No.  Nobody named Sarah."

"Anybody I would have liked, then?"

"I seriously doubt it.  The only girl your size had gray skin, red eyes, and fangs dripping blood.  She looked like she wouldn't mind having one of us for dinner." 

Araminthe is a Boy and Girl Doll Snarling Burrysa.  She belongs to ModernWizard.

"A vampire!  I'll bet she didn't mind the cold."

"Maybe, maybe not.  She sure minded the wind, though.  She had to hold onto her hair, same as the rest of us."

"It was hot the day we went out.  BallJointedWoman made us stand in the full sun for some of our pictures.  Didn't the sun make it hot for you?"

Yuri is an Iplehouse BID Elemental Guardian Byuri; Lillibets is a KazeKidz Lillie Tan Elf

"Not nearly hot enough.  Not hot at all, as a matter of fact."

"Were there any littles there?"

"One.  Her name is Logan.  She's very sweet, only she needs some eyebrows."

Logan is an Angel of Dream MiMi.  She belongs to JustKate.

"Don't be a snob McKenna.  Just because your eyebrows are sculpted on."

"When I went to meet-up, I had to perch on a tree limb for my photo.  And I don't like heights!  Was there anyone my size this time?"

My Kaye Wiggs Layla Fair Elf is named Brooke.

"Not exactly your size.  More my size.  She's pretty.  A pity she's too small for Jamie, because she has a great body."

Fairyland Minifee Chloe belongs to Goldi.

"So, Miss Fussy McKenna.  Does all this complaining mean you won't go to meet-up again if you get the chance?"

"Absolutely.  Not until warmer weather, anyway."

Outside in the bitter wind.

We've been to doll meet-ups.  Who will be next...?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Great Pattern for Iplehouse BIDs

It's so nice to have a pattern that works for the Iplehouse babies without having to fuss with all kinds of adjustments.  The pattern is #53 Perfect 10 from Gradefaerie designs, "a wardrobe of separates inspired by original patterns by Charie Wilson".  The package doesn't say anything about BIDs.  The two sizes are for 10.5" Goodreau and Creedy dolls, and 10" LittleFees.  I've had a go at this pattern for three outfits now, one for Julie (BID Erzulie) and two for Yuri (BID Byuri), with mostly positive results.  Knowing that LittleFees are slimmer through the torso, I used the pattern pieces designated for the Goodreau/Creedy dolls.

You may remember my first use of this pattern.  A few months ago I made shorts and a tank top for Yuri.  I was thrilled with the fit and couldn't wait to make him something else.  This time I made the overalls and a long-sleeve tee shirt.  The shirt came out too big.  Not sure if this was due to the pattern or to the fabric I used.  It could be that the fabric stretched as I sewed it.  That has happened to me before with similar ribbed knits.  So for the time being I am not blaming the pattern.  I have some different tee shirt fabrics and will try again.  Luckily his Iplehouse sweater fits under the overalls and is the perfect color to partner the rock-and-roll star print.

The overalls would be a better fit if I had lengthened the overall straps slightly.  As it is, I have to tug the overalls up as far as they will go to meet the snaps.  I like that the back waist is elasticized.  It helps hold the shirt in place and ensures a gap-less fit.  Looking at my photos, I see I forgot to sew a couple of buttons where the straps join the bib.

Julie's dress makes me smile every time I look at it.  I bought the paw-print fabric some time ago, not knowing what I would do with it, only that it was worth holding onto until the perfect project came along.  The dress is a perfect fit.  No alterations needed.  I'll probably make a few more, because every little girl needs a closet full of dresses!

Julie's wig is Elle by Jpopdolls; Yuri's wig from Iplehouse.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wigging Evgeny (aka Iplehouse SID Barahan)

November is such a dreary month in the North country.  I waited all Thanksgiving weekend for enough sunshine to get some decent photos, with the sun playing peek-a-boo from behind the clouds when it deigned to appear at all.  Once I thought I had enough light and tried a few shots.  Awful, every last one of them.  Thank goodness for digital cameras:  delete... delete... delete... delete.  No film wasted.

Finally, today--Sunday--the sun came out long enough for me to photograph Evgeny in various wigs.  It was an interesting exercise.  His head is narrower than Jamie's (Iplehouse SID Claude).  Even though they wear the same size wig, the fit is quite different.  All of the wigs seem to fall in Evgeny's eyes--much more so than in Jamie's.  I hate to cut any of them, because I never do a good job.  And unlike real hair, a wig won't grow any longer.  Once it's cut, it's cut.  I waste enough money on wigs without butchering them in the bargain.

Evgeny is wearing Iplehouse's slim fit black tee shirt.  Slim fit?  Try
extremely tight fit.  Although this shirt could fit a much smaller doll,
I like how it defines his muscles.  The black wig, like most of the
others, is from Iplehouse.

Little Yuri (Iplehouse BID Byuri) is quite taken with his Daddy.  I caught them in a tender pose when they thought I wasn't looking.  The gray wig is Barahan's default wig.  I thought I liked it in the website's promotional photos, but I am liking it less the longer I look at him wearing it.  I also tried these photos with Evgeny wearing the black wig (above), which I liked better.  Unfortunately, the scene contained too much black; it activated my camera flash, which washed everything out.

I have yet to take photos of Evgeny and Jamie together.  They are the same size, but there the resemblance ends.  And once Shane arrives, the mix will be even more interesting.  I still can't believe I bought three big male dolls.  I don't like sewing for the guys.  Men's clothes are boring.  Just look at the male SID clothes on Iple's website if you don't believe me.  Black.  Gray.  Brown.  There is a green tank top, a blue-and-orange plaid shirt, and some hip-hop thing with a bit of color, but that's it.  Just black, gray, brown.  And beige.  How could I forget the beige?  I think I bought the black Le Roi Danse outfit primarily because it had a red vest.  I may have to sew something in spite of myself.

This sepia wig looks better on Jamie, in my opinion.  The eyes are
11 mm Platinum Glass from Eyeco.  The color is Morning Sky.

The Lucius Malfoy look (Silverado by
Dollzone) looks better on Evgeny.

Another view of the sepia wig.  I like how the
shadows in this photo show off Evgeny's sculpt.
The light in the previous photos was rather flat.
Iplehouse has announced a December special event wherein all the Elemental Guardians are available again for a limited time.  I had promised myself that I had finished buying dolls for the year, but how can I resist this opportunity to pick up little Naias?  She was initially released at the same time as Byuri.  I didn't feel I could buy two dolls at once, so I chose the latter.  Now Naias is calling to me again.  She's such a cutie.  I can't say no a second time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Box Opening for Elemental Guardian Barahan

I tried three times to post this to the Den of Angels Box Openings subforum, only to have the site freeze up on me each time.  Out of desperation, I decided to post my opening here.

Barahan arrived at my local Post Office on Monday, November 21st, after what looked like a dizzying ride back and forth between Vermont and New Hampshire, according to the USPS tracking system.  Turns out he never went to New Hampshire.  My local Post Office employs a faulty scanner, which for some reason likes to report that my packages are out for delivery in Manchester, NH.  At least the next time it happens I'll know not to panic.

I ordered Barahan without the Elemental Guardian costume.  One, although I do occasionally produce a period inspired costume, I am not at all into fantasy; and two, I envisioned him as a regular guy.  I also saw in the sculpt a similarity to two other Iplehouse dolls in my collection:  BID Byuri and JID Asa.  Here was the perfect opportunity for them to have a father figure in their lives.

Because I had already given the two smaller dolls Russian names (Yuri and Anastasia), Barahan has become Evgeny.  Here is the story of his arrival.

Yuri:  "That's a really big box.  What do you suppose is in it?"
Anastasia:  "It's your father.  Weren't you paying attention when Ball Jointed Woman told us about him?"
Yuri:  "Yeah, I guess so.  Why did you bring a shirt?"
Anastasia:  "Because he might need something to wear."
Yuri:  (snorts)  "Seems to me what he might want is a pair of pants."

Yuri:  "What does the writing say?"
Anastasia:  "It's our address and some information for Customs."
Yuri:  "What's that funny red-and-white sticker?  Looks like a glass sticking out its tongue.  Except glasses don't have tongues."
Anastasia:  "I think it means what's inside is breakable."
Yuri:  "Whoa!  You mean if somebody dropped the box, Pop could be in there with a broken arm or leg?"
Anastasia:  "Let's hope nothing is broken."

Yuri:  "Look at this stuff!  There's a pair of pants in here.  And the other one looks like hair."
Anastasia:  "We'd better open those.  He'll want both."

Yuri:  "Those are the biggest pants I've ever seen.  He must be a giant!"
Anastasia:  "I think Mr. Jamie could wear these.  He's very big."
Yuri:  "Like I said, a giant."

A layer of bubble wrap, a box lid, and a black foam cushion later:

Evgeny:  (from under a clear plastic face mask)  "It's so bright in here all of a sudden.  Is that the sun?" 

Evgeny:  "Ah, it's good to get up and stretch.  It has been a long voyage.  Who are you?"
Yuri:  "I'm Yuri.  If you're my father, how come you don't know that?"
Evgeny:  "Perhaps it's because I have recently crossed the Sea of Forgetfulness.  Tell me, why does the young lady look away?"
Yuri:  "That's not a lady, that's Anastasia.  Your daughter.  She's embarrassed because you don't have any clothes on."
Evgeny:  "Well, let me remedy that directly."
Anastasia:  "Here is your shirt.  No, don't stand up."

Yuri:  "How tall are you, anyway?"
Evgeny:  "Sixty-five centimeters."
Yuri:  (impressed)  "I'm only a little over ten.  Inches, that is.  What's that in centimeters?"
Anastasia:  "Twenty-five."
Yuri:  (fixated on Evgeny again)  "You're as big as a mountain!"
Evgeny:  "Someday, Yuri, you will be as tall as I am."
Yuri:  "I guess I'll have some big shoes to fill.  If you were wearing any..."

Since these photos were taken, I have changed Evgeny's eyes and wig.  For some reason, nearly every doll I order from Iplehouse comes with the same dark blue eyes.  I think Asa was the only one who came with a different color.  They are a nice blue, but I like variety.  I also like eyes with a smaller iris, because they look more natural.  I bought a black wig in addition to the gray.  I think it suits him better.

New photos will have to wait until the weekend, however, when the sun is supposed to return.  Light from energy saving bulbs is barely adequate for picture taking.  And the camera flash washes out much of the detail.  I need natural light.  More (and better) Evgeny later.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tamsin's New Outift

I am still experimenting to see what will fit Tamsin (aka Lagoon by Batchix).  The red mohair pigtail wig was a pleasant surprise, as it is supposed to be a size 6/7 and has been worn by some of my tiny dolls who do indeed wear a 6/7.  For some inexplicable reason, it's a perfect fit on Tamsin, who wears a 5/6.

Her outfit is made up of pieces crafted using three different patterns.  I had already sewn the jacket for U-noa to wear with her jodhpurs.  The cropped jacket pattern by Her Delicate Strength appeared in the February 2009 issue of Haute Doll.  (I sorely miss that publication for its patterns.  So far the Haute Doll that is appended to Doll Reader magazine contains only articles.  Bring back the patterns...Please!)  The jacket always felt too tight for U-noa, so I was delighted to see that it fits Tamsin.  I might even add snaps so that she can close it in front.

There is a similar jacket in the Fashion Forward pattern for Ellowyne designed by Tamara Casey (Designs by Jude).  Fashion Forward inspired the overall look of what Tamsin is wearing.  I used the tank top from that pattern and made a similar skirt.  You really don't need a pattern for a simple gathered skirt.  It's basically a rectangle for the skirt and a smaller rectangle for the waistband.  The wider the rectangle, the fuller the skirt.  I measured her waistline to get a good fit.  I started to make a pin tuck in the skirt as a design element, then decided it would be fun to tuck a piece of lace under the fold instead. 

The leggings came from a surprising source:  Magalie Houle Dawson's Petits Riens pattern for 14 inch Kish Chrysalis Girls.  Tamsin is closer to 15 inches and her body shape is different, but I figured it was worth a try.  Four-way stretch fabric is very forgiving.  The leggings could have been a little longer; if I make another pair I will factor in an extra half-inch.

The Fashion Forward pattern includes a visored hat.  I was tempted to make it, but as usual found myself racing the clock to finish on time.  I needed to take photos and this time of year daylight hours are at a premium.  As it turned out, it rained all day and I ended up with horrible flash photos that cast orange shadows on my background.  I'm kicking myself because Saturday was a beautiful day full of sunshine, so naturally I was out all day and didn't finish the outfit until this morning. 

I'm hoping for sunshine over the long Thanksgiving weekend, so that I can retake the photos from last week's blog post as well as this one.  I have an ulterior motive for redoing last week's photos.  Yesterday while shopping I found a Littlefee-sized sled.  Perfect for Ante to enjoy while wearing her white winter coat. 

P.S.  A reliable source tells me that Iplehouse Barahan has been sighted at JFK airport in New York.  Once he clears Customs he'll wend his way north to join the family at Resin Corner -- just in time for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

LittleFee Ante's New Coat

I was going to title this "My One-Hundreth Post" except that it isn't really.  A while back I deleted some Foto Fridays, so technically speaking, post number 100 happened at least 5 or 6 posts ago.

Ante's new coat makes her look like a snow baby, so I thought I'd get into the spirit of things and let her encounter a creature normally associated with Christmas: a reindeer.  I'm telling you it's a reindeer in case you don't recognize it, because it is constructed from the same stuff used to make artificial Christmas trees.  And no, I didn't make it.  It came from the local Michael's, an arts and crafts chain store.  Or was it Jo-Ann Fabrics?  Either way, it was an end of season bargain a couple of years ago.

"Look what followed me home!  Can we keep him?"
Ante's coat is made from the Kitty, Kitty pattern by Adams-Harris Patterns.  I don't remember what the fabric is called.  On the outside it looks like fleece, while inside it looks like a sweater knit.  I think the ears on the coat are supposed to stand up; as I understand it, a cat with laid back ears is not a happy cat.  What can I say?  I had trouble putting it together.   My life would be so much simpler if patterns came marked center front and center back.  When faced with a pattern piece that looks like a lopsided teacup, I have a hard time knowing which end is up, much less which is the center back seam that I am supposed to stitch.  Yes, I did it wrong.  Took out the stitches and pinned it together a different way to see if that would work.  Eventually I got it right.  A simple CB for center back would have saved me a lot of time.

"Hold still.  I want to get on."

Other than that, the coat was easy to make and worked up quickly.  I didn't have buttons the same pale orange as the trim and couldn't decide which other color to use, so in the end I used four different colors.  It gives an otherwise plain white coat a little interest.  I was tempted to put the coat on Little Lishe, because her normal skin would have provided a bit of contrast, instead of putting it on the white-skinned Ante, but Lishe didn't want to change out of her pumpkin suit.  Can't say that I blame her.  It looks very comfy.


Yesterday I picked up a remnant of pale green fleece at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I'm thinking of making a jacket for Little Shiwoo using the same pattern.  Of course I'll omit the ruffle; maybe I will also reduce some of the coat's fullness.  I think he'll like the ears, so we'll keep those.  This time I think I will line the ears in a different fabric.  Who knows, maybe this time I will get them to stand up.

"That was fun!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Lagoon by Any Other Name ... Is Tamsin

Lagoon is a ball-jointed resin doll designed by the talented artist known as Batchix.  About 15 inches tall, she is petite and solid at the same time, with a wonderful resin feel and good posing ability.  She is very well proportioned.  In fact, it was photos of Lagoon's body that sold me on her.

My Lagoon (renamed Tamsin) arrived a couple of weeks ago without a faceup.  There were two resin colors to choose from -- normal and white, and two faceups -- light and dark.  Most people who ordered her -- and that includes me -- selected normal resin with the light faceup.  The faceup artist in China erroneously assumed that the light faceup went with the white resin and the dark faceup with the normal resin.  I could have accepted the doll with the dark faceup, but Batchix also offered blank dolls as an alternative, and that is how I came to do Tamsin's faceup myself.

Tamsin wearing Gracefaerie's Play Day.  I made the dress for
Narae; it's a bit big for Tamsin.  Jpopdolls shoes for Unoa.
White blonde wig from Tonner for Evangeline Ghastly.
I didn't take step-by-step photos, because I've done that before with other dolls.  The process was the same, only the results were a little better than usual.  Maybe, if I do enough of them, I'll actually get good at it.  I do wish I had smoothed out the eyebrows before spraying with MSC.  Close-up photography shows them to be somewhat ragged.  And the eyelashes gave me fits.  One side curls up, the other side droops.  I could pull them off and try again, but that sometimes removes some of the eyeliner along with the glue, and I don't want to have to redo it.

Allie wig from Monique Gold.  Faceup by BallJointedWoman.

We tried on a lot of wigs.  For the most part, 6/7s are too big, although I have a couple of 6/7s that run small and do fit.  A wig made for Evangeline Ghastly fits nicely.  I tried it on her just for fun, because I had no idea what size it was.  I don't like the texture of it, but the color and style remind me of an old-time movie star.  Her best wig size is 5/6, which is the same size my Pukifee Zoe wears.  Too bad Zoe's taste in wigs doesn't quite fit Tamsin's personality.

I had heard that Lagoon was smaller than other MSDs, so I wondered if Ellowyne Wilde's clothing would fit.  We tried on a couple of Elloywne's things, although I almost stopped at the very first item.  It was a sweater, and no amount of coaxing would make Tamsin's hand go through Ellowyne's sleeve.  The wrist was simply too tight.  We had better luck with a sleeveless dress that I had made for Goodreau Innuendo from a pattern for Ellowyne by MHD Designs.  Tamsin's waist is smaller than Innuendo's, however, so I had to move the snap in.  I think I will be able to use other patterns designed for Ellowyne, but I will have to alter them as I go.

Above:  Tamsin in a variation on Plaisirs D'Ete by MHD Designs.
Shoes from Goodreau Dolls.

Goodreau Innuendo in the same outfit.  Shoes made to
fit vinyl Innuendo by Dale Rae.

Shoes are also problematic.  Her foot is narrow, so shoes made for most MSDs are too big.  The best fit I found was from shoes designed for Goodreau MSDs.  The problem there is that Goodreau seems to have discontinued that size doll, hence no more shoes.  Luckily I have a few pairs of them, because they also fit Unoa Chibi, the mini Supias, and the newer SoulDoll bodies.  High heels from Jpopdolls (made for Unoa) also fit, although she does not balance as well in heels.

I cut out a dress for Tamsin but didn't get around to sewing it.  (I finished a coat for LittleFee instead.)  The dress will complement the faux suede jacket I originally made for Unoa Lusis.  To my surprise, the jacket was a much better fit on Tamsin.  I can actually add snaps and close it, which I couldn't do with Lusis.  I wonder if the boots will fit?  They were so tight on Lusis that I thought I would have to cut them off her feet in order to remove them.  Must go try them on...