Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Introducing Maddie ( Baby Iplehouse Ringo)

I held off writing this week's post because a doll I had ordered was reported to be On Shipping.  On Shipping is a time for renewed excitement, because it usually follows a fairly lengthy Before Shipping period.  This time the waiting period lasted only a week.  I was expecting an early shipping notice because Ringo is a basic BID (Baby Iplehouse Doll).  Basics can be ordered anytime and tend to be in stock.  It's the limited editions that take months to come, because the doll company takes orders first and then manufactures the dolls.  I ordered Ringo with an extra pair of hands and a wig.  You can get a little more basic than that, but not by much.

Pattern pieces.  I ended up putting the socks on a doll who was
wearing looser shoes.  They didn't fit with the Iplehouse shoes.

To fill the time while I waited, I made Ringo a dress.  (Ringo is available also as a boy.  I ordered the girl version.)  I knew that the dress pattern from Gracefaerie's #53 Perfect 10 would be a perfect fit, because I had already made it for BID Erzulie in a black and red pawprint fabric.  This time I made it in a tiny blue floral print on a cream background.  It's the same fabric I used for In Powder and Crinoline, which I made for Blue Fairy Tiny Fairy Jasmine and Dream of Doll Twing-key to share.  (Both dolls have since been sold.)

Ringo's distinguishing feature is a pouting lower lip.  She
came with brown eyes, which give her a puppy dog look.
I'm not sure if I will keep them, as they photograph very dark.

Until now, all of my Iplehouse purchases have flown KoreanAir, landing at JFK in New York the morning after they ship.  This time I saw an airline code I didn't recognize:  OZ.  (Did I mention that I start tracking the package as soon as I get the e-mail notice?)  OZ turned out to be Asiana Airlines, which flies to Anchorage, Alaska before heading for New York.  The long trip got longer when FlightAware reported the flight as delayed.  I breathed a sigh of relief when it finally touched down at JFK.  It would be here the next day, for sure.  Or it would have, had it flown KAL, but it showed up next in Boston.  Only then did it head north.  Please, Iplehouse, my dolls are begging you.  Fly KAL in future.  OZ takes a toll on their nerves (not to mention mine).

A full-length view of the dress.  The blue shoes are from Iplehouse.

Maddie (her new name - short for Madeleine) arrived wearing the basic BID open hands, but I changed them to the balled hands that make it look like she's crying or angry (or both). 

Maddie is either about to start bawling, or else she is warning the
photographer to put up her dukes and fight!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New U-noa Face-ups

Every once in a while I haul out my stash of U-noa faceplates and see who needs a re-do.  It turns out they all do, because I'm never satisfied with my work.  Part of the problem is that they look perfectly fine until I take a photo.  As soon as I see the face blown up on my computer, I'm appalled at all the imperfections I see.  Because I can't see the details as I'm working, I tend to make the same mistakes over and over.  I do have a lamp with a magnifying glass attached.  I wish it weren't so hard to use.  I look through the glass at the faceplate, which is easier to see than with the naked eye, and then I see a huge hand holding an outsized brush and I simply cannot make that brush touch the faceplate.

Sist Bully Face on left, Sist Default Face on right, both with old face-ups.

I still have three U-noa faceplates without face-ups:  Lusis and Sist sleep faces and an L-Bi sleep face modded to have open eyes.  I could have worked on those.  Instead, I pulled out two Chibi faceplates, one B-El and one L-Bi (the two boys), and two Sist faceplates.

Chibi Roron pouting face on left, Chibi Lilin serious face on right.

I decided that the Chibi Lilin faceplate needs only new eyelashes (one side is longer than the other) and left that one alone.  I was also going to skip the boys--in the end I opted to enhance one of the faceplates without first wiping it clean.  I think he is B-El.  The faceplate lacks the identifying code on the inside, while the other faceplate is branded L-DF for L-Bi Default Face.  Without the codes I can't remember which boy is which.  One is the male version of Lusis (open mouth) and the othe is the male version of Sist (closed mouth).

That left me with a Chibi Roron pouting face, a Sist default face, and a Sist bully face. 

After cleaning:  Sist Bully, Roron pout, Sist Default.
A U-noa characteristic:  the eyebrows are sculpted on.  Some
face-up artists sand them down.  I prefer to leave them on.

Removing the old face-ups took forever.  I used to have a bottle of pure acetone.  It worked on contact.  The bottle I have now (because I couldn't find any pure) is diluted with water.  It makes a big difference in the amount of time it takes to remove the old makeup.  I scrubbed with cotton balls, I scrubbed with Q-Tips, I scraped with toothpicks.  Most, but not all of it, came off.  What didn't come off would be covered by the same colors, so a little residue didn't matter.

New face-ups:  Chibi Roron on left, Sist Default on right.
I didn't like the pink eyelids on the old faceups.

I did get an unpleasant surprise this time.  After washing the faceplates with soap and water, I could see a bloom left behind on two of them, presumably by the acetone.  I didn't photograph it, but it looked like a thin layer of talcum powder that was stuck to the faceplates.  A little of it came off when I scraped it with a fingernail.  I decided to try using a superfine sanding sponge, which I wet first so that I wouldn't release what might be resin powder into the air.  It worked.  Another wash and dry, then outside for spraying with MSC.

Sist Bully face on left, B-El on right.  B-El got just a touch-up.

I spent most of the afternoon on those faceplates.  As I worked, I realized:  I have a Style.  No matter how hard I try to vary the face-ups, in the end they look pretty much the same as before I redid them.  Now I wouldn't mind if this were a wonderful style, but it's pretty humdrum.  Would they look any better if I used an airbrush?  I like to think they would, but I suspect they wouldn't.  For better or for worse, they would still be in my style.  Or maybe I just need more practice...

Sist Default Face with eyes, but no eyelashes. 
The old eyelashes are unusable--I need to order more.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June BJD Meet-Up in Vermont

Technically, I suppose that should be a meet-up of doll collectors.  However, as the BJDs outnumbered the collectors by nearly 4-to-1, I'm leaving the title as it stands.

I love meet-ups, even when there are only 2 or 3 collectors present.  Think of it as shopping with no commitment to buy.  I get to see dolls in the flesh (in the resin?) that I don't collect.  Sometimes I am even motivated to go home and order a doll I've just seen.  It didn't happen this time, although I brought my own Fairyland Realpuki Soso after admiring Modern Wizard's Soso at other meets.

After missing the previous meet-up (someone forgot to notify me), I was happy finally to see some Volks SDs and a Yo-SD.  New Volks dolls are difficult for Westerners to buy, requiring either a trip to Japan or the use of a buyer's agent in Japan, or else a trip to the US store in Los Angeles.  It's a little easier to acquire a new or previously-loved doll on the secondary market from Den of Angels or e-bay, but be prepared to shell out big bucks.  Currently on e-bay there is an SD-16 Megu for just under $2,000 (love her but can't afford), an SD-16 girl Ami Ayase Tokyo limited for $5,000 (love her even more but forget it!) and an SD-13 Doll Party limited head for a mere $1,600.  And I thought Iplehouse dolls were expensive!

Lyrajean's dolls:  A U-noa Sist and 4 Volks BJDs:  a Yo-SD
and 3 SDs.  (Will update when I get the particulars.)

I was also glad that Modern Wizard brought her newest Soom couple again, because I had only seen photos.  They were smaller than I imagined, closer to Barbie size.  The transparent resin wings were very effective at conveying the ethereal quality of fairies.

Modern Wizard's Soom Faery Sprites: Kremer (whom she has
named Flower) and Aenigma (who goes by Ginevra)

I gave Iplehouse YID Harin an outing, but first I had to make slight alterations to her dress.  I originally made it for Oasisdoll Natalie, who is a bit taller and larger.  Natalie recently went to a new home, so I took in a few snaps to make the dress fit Harin better.  I need to adjust her choker, as it is still loose.

My Iplehouse YID Harin

My three Realpukis contributed more than their share of merriment to the gathering.  I wonder what Kaka and Pupu mean in Korean?  Did their sculptor realize what images the names would conjure up in English?  Probably not.

Soso, Kaka and Pupu climbing on Volks SDs.

The next meet-up is two months away, time enough--I hope--for one or both of my current orders to arrive.  If not, there are still a few dolls at Resin Corner who have not had the opportunity to attend a meet-up.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Old Dolls Exit; New Dolls on Order

Some of you will be surprised to read that OasisDoll Natalie has left for a new home, as has the Yaoyue head.  The Linglan head remains, sans body.  I'm hoping she will find a buyer soon.  I liked Natalie--some of the time--but I never fully bonded with her.  I bought the other two heads hoping I would like the doll better.  I regret to say it didn't work.  So it was better that they all exit. She doesn't really leave a void, because Iplehouse YID Harin can wear the clothes I made for her.  Harin speaks to me whereas Natalie/Yaoyue/Linglan didn't.

Natalie and all her extras: heads, hands, feet, elastic, certificate, postcards, etc.
Also, after what feels like many months on the Den of Angels Marketplace, SoulDouble L-Heart has found his way into someone else's heart.  He will leave as soon as the final layaway payment reaches me.  I didn't entirely dislike him, either.  He looked good with the Elfdoll girls.  The only trouble is that Iplehouse YID Mars fills the role better.  Finding the right BJD boy is a little like selecting a partner for a ballerina.  Sometimes the dancers simply don't look right together.  Other times it's a match made in dance heaven.

If you are guessing that these departures have freed up some dolly dollars, you are right.  After buying a new house, I can't afford to buy a doll unless a prior sale has paved the way.  I freed up enough money to order a New Young Iplehouse Doll (nYID).  You may remember that Iplehouse cancelled its old YID line earlier this year.  I hurried to buy Harin and Mars before they disappeared altogether.  A good thing I did, too.  A few of the old YIDs remain for sale, but Harin and Mars are both sold out.

The new YIDs did not immediately win me over.  The body shape (only girls have been released so far) was quite different, with a small waist, wider hips, bigger thighs, and the introduction of a "glamour" bust.  The bust was the bone of contention for me.  I collect dolls, not sex toys.  From the outset, the choice was glamour or large.  Collectors clamored for medium and small.  Iplehouse eventually responded with those sizes as well.

Instead of looking more realistic, the first three girls (Erica, Emilia and Rexy) seemed to be a throwback to the old YID line in terms of facial features.  This is most noticeable in Erica's eyes.  They look very much like the half-closed eyes of old YID Gentle Cocori and Gentle Freezia.  All three new girls were very attractive, with limited edition costumes to die for; however, they all left me waiting to see what else Iple would come up with.

Enter the fourth nYID girl:  Bianca.  At last, a new YID with realistic facial proportions.  I won't say anything more about her, so that I will have something to write about when she arrives.  I expect it will take a couple of months, at least.  Her sale period ends July 8th, which means Iple won't ship any Biancas before that date.

Iplehouse promotional photo for Bianca.
Before that date I should receive the other new doll I ordered:  Fairyland Feeple65 Siean.  She is the last doll I ordered before I closed on the new house.  I have already been waiting for her for two months; however, I have her on a 3-month layaway--that means at least another month before she arrives.  I didn't order her costume, so I will be scrambling for something for her to wear.  Luckily, Feeple65 girls can wear Iplehouse SID clothing.  Anything that fits Zera will fit her.  As of now, that means one of two outfits.  Something tells me I had better get back to sewing!