Sunday, January 27, 2013

Socks, Patterns, Restringing, and an Adieu

I know.  It sounds like they have nothing at all in common.  But this week's post is a mix of elements, and each will have its moment in the sun.  They are:  a sock dress for Narae, patterns for YIDs, restringing an Iplehouse doll, and the sale of another.

I have wanted to make a sock dress for some time.  At first I didn't have a pattern, and when I finally came across one, my socks looked like they wouldn't yield enough fabric, so I ended up working without a pattern after all.  I chose Narae because she is slim enough that my small amount of material shouldn't make a difference.

Narae in the top part of one sock.  I actually had two identical pairs
of socks to work with, and used just slightly more than one pair.
The body of the dress was easy:  I simply cut the foot off one sock.  I should mention that these are old socks.  They look fine on top, but the feet were worn so thin I could see through them.  At first I was going to finish the dress by putting straps of the same fabric over her shoulders.  Then I decided that a sweater dress really needs to have long sleeves.  The sleeves led to a shawl-like collar, which had to be elasticized so that I could get it on her.  The end result is not the prettiest dress I've ever made, but it's warm, which is what counts.  (Resins do get cold, by the way.  I left a new doll in the car one winter's day after picking her up at the Post Office.  When I got home after work, it took hours for the resin to come to room temperature.  I was afraid she'd crack from the cold.)

The finished sweater dress.  I may have to take the
sleeves in, as they are too wide.
A couple of days ago, someone on Den of Angels asked if old YID boy clothes would fit nYID girls.  I had never considered the possibility, but was intrigued enough to want to see how they fit.  It turns out that Mars' cargo pants are a pretty good fit on Jillian (nYID Audrey).  I didn't try his sleeveless tee on her, because Kiri (SID Mari) is currently wearing it under a sweater.  The close-fitting SID men's tee shirt that Mars has been wearing was loose on Jillian, so I doubt she'll be borrowing clothes from the SID guys anytime soon.

Jillian (Audrey) wearing YID boy cargo pants.
The SID men's tee shirt is not such a good fit.
This led me to a hunt for YID boy patterns.  I have three, all from Adams-Harris Patterns, so I'll try making jeans and slacks for the girls with them.  One of the patterns -- for jeans, a vest and top -- revealed an unexpected treasure.  I had been looking all over for pattern pieces I remembered cutting out.  Here they were, right in the envelope with the pattern itself.  Now, after reading that denim stains resin, I wonder if I will sew them up after all.  It seems a shame to waste them.  Perhaps I'll sew them up for fit, as if they were a muslin, then remake them from a more resin-friendly fabric.

Classic Blue by Adams-Harris Patterns.
Undressing Mars was like handling a limp marionette.  He was so loose that he could no longer stand, even with a doll stand.  I've had him sitting in a chair because of it, but the chair occupies a lot of real estate on top of my bureau -- space that I need to display Narae and Narin.  Much as I've been dreading this moment, the time had come to restring him.  Iplehouse furnishes replacement elastic with its new dolls.  No matter what size doll it is, the elastic all seems to be the same size.  It's fine for the smallest dolls, but woefully inadequate for the larger ones.  I chose a heavier elastic from my stash.  I didn't have his instructions handy and didn't feel like spending time looking for them, so as I unstrung him I studied how he was put together.  The thicker elastic made stringing a bit of a challenge (at one point I had to hold him down with my foot while I pulled on the elastic with both hands) but I finally succeeded.  Mars now stands unaided, and has relinquished the chair to another doll who will soon need to be restrung.

Mars holds his original elastic on the left,
a sample of the new elastic on the right.
Finally, my readers may be surprised to read that I sold nYID Elemental Guardian Bianca this week.  I've been trying to bond with this girl ever since she arrived in August, but it just wasn't happening.  I love the nYID body and the peach gold resin is simply gorgeous, but Bianca's sculpt was just too sad-looking.  I always had the feeling that she was about to break into tears.  It makes me doubly glad that I never bought JID Kassia.  When Kassia was released, my first thought was that she would make a perfect little sister for Bianca.  I soon realized that the resemblance hinged on the same mournful expression and wisely backed away from purchasing her. 

Don't cry, Bianca.  You're going to a lovely new home.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

D-Storic Held a Farewell Bimong Sale

And I did what I'm sure D-Storic intended me to do -- I ordered a Narin and a second Narae.  It was a no-brainer, really.  If D-Storic is no longer the official distributor of Bimong's dolls as of January 1, 2013, who will be?  Bimong himself?  He went that route once already, before turning over the distribution to D-Storic.  I figured it might be a long time before I got another chance to pick up one of his lovely dolls.  And besides, 30% off was too good a deal to pass up.  I ended up getting both dolls for less than the first Narae cost me in 2008 when Dollfair International had the distribution rights.
Narae (left) and Narin (right)
Who will they be?  Looking at the blank faceplates, it's
hard to predict what they will look like after faceup.

I extended my savings by buying both dolls without faceups.  This was a little scary, because my faceup skills are still not as good as I wish they were.  I need to buy a hands-free magnifying glass, because I think I'm doing a good job until I see the photos in my PhotoShop program.  Then I realize that I just don't see what I'm doing.  To be fair, the dolls are considerably smaller than the computer makes them look.  They look fine to the naked eye.

Faceups are done.  I used Holbein hard pastels this time, and
water-thinned acrylic paint for the eyeliner only.  Eyebrow placement
is dictated by a sculpted ridge.  It could be sanded off, but I decided
to let it be my guide.  Their eyes are 11 mm soft silicone by EyeCo.

It took me a while to decide which faceplates to order.  There were several to choose from.  Finally I selected 411 and 412, which are both closed-mouth faces with slight smiles.  I already had an open-mouth Narae and wanted something different this time.  Besides, the closed mouth means I don't have to fuss with positioning the teeth, which come as a separate piece with the open-mouth dolls.  I toyed with the idea of buying extra hands and heel feet, then decided I didn't really need them.  My original Narae wears high heels even without special feet.  I didn't see the point of adding another foot size which would require that I buy shoes to fit.  [Do we sense a theme here?  Money is tight.  I'm trying to buy new dolls without spending for extras.]

After trying on lots of wigs, Narin ended up with the
same mohair wig he started with, while Narae ditched the
red J-Rock for a blonde Pretty Girl by Monique Gold.
My first Narae was a tan urethane.  I don't buy French Resin.  When it yellows it looks horrid.  The urethane has weathered fairly well, although she looks sallow next to the new dolls, which I bought in Korean Ivory urethane.  The ivory, which sounds like it should have a yellowish cast, is actually a pinky white.  It's a bright, gorgeous color.  Unfortunately, it makes my original Narae look faded.  I think I'll have to blush her cheeks and maybe darken her eyebrows slightly.

I had thought to make her a brunette, hence the dark eyebrows.
That didn't stop her from going for the gold.  I'm still on a
freckles kick.  First Soo, now Narae.

I tried out several different names with my first Narae.  None of them ever stuck.  Now that I have a second Narae, each will need a distinctive name to differentiate one from the other.  I'm thinking of going Irish:  Maeve for Narae #1 and Niamh (pronounced Nieve) for Narae #2.  Narin might be Conal, unless I think of something else.  As soon as I find my book of Irish names I'll have a look and see what else might fit.

No freckles for this guy.  I found my dark, curly eyelashes only after
installing these long, thin spidery lashes.  I may change them later.

These should be the last two dolls for a good long time, while my finances recover from last year's house purchase.  Just my luck:  Iplehouse has unveiled two new nYID boys and one of them is a must-have.  If, or rather when, I buy him, I will have to do layaway.  It's the only way I can afford a doll that expensive without breaking the bank.  I'm going to be good, however, and wait until February to order him.  Let's see.  Today is the 20th.  Eleven days and counting...

Her outfit:  a sweet little dress that accompanied a doll I bought on
e-bay.  His outfit:  separates I made from an Adams-Harris pattern
designed to fit SoulKid boys.  The lumps under his shirt are the
waist grips on his doll stand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Faceups for Soo and Quartz

I finally did it.  Quartz's ghostly pallor got the better of me and I decided to inject a little life into his looks.

I started by removing the blond eyelashes.  They were so pale I could barely see them.  I removed the blue from his ear tips.  Then, I wiped the gloss from his colorless lips.  The rest required only touching up what was already there.  I made his eyebrows a little darker.  I gave him some cheek blush and blushed the tips of his ears and his chin.  Because one eye had a little more blue under the bottom lashes than the other, and because I was afraid to remove it in case I damaged the painted-on lashes, I added a bit more blue to the side that had less.

No more ice blue ears.  I also changed out the pink eyes for a light green.

The lips came out darker than I had planned, even after I applied the palest pink in my box of pastels.  I lightened the color by adding a bit of white pearl powder to the clear gloss I applied at the end.  Finally, I replaced the blond lashes with black ones.  The end result is that the Ice Dragon has at last  come in from the cold.

While I was at it, I decided to redo Iplehouse Soo.  I "fixed" her once before, but she still looked like a cold, hard hussy and I found I just couldn't warm up to her.  I knew the look I wanted: a sweet, innocent, natural beauty.  But could I achieve that look for her?

Removing her faceup was scary, because I was taking all of it off.  I don't have the tools, the talent, or the eyesight necessary to paint feathery bottom lashes.  I would do the best I could do and hope it passed muster.  That hard red mouth was difficult to remove.  I ended up scraping some of it off with a craft knife.  I left a tiny bit on the interior.  It was impossible to get at, and the mouth should appear darker towards the inside anyway.  In the end, I made it fade in the same way I took care of Quartz's mouth -- with a bit of pale color added to the gloss medium.  As a final touch, I gave her a sprinkling of freckles.  And then I gave her back her SID body.  (Lahela has reclaimed her original EID body.)

With blue eyes and freckles, Soo has become the girl next door.
I also made her some new earrings.

While I was at it, I took new photos of Kiri (Iplehouse Mari SID) in the wig that Soo had been wearing.  I think I like her as a blonde.

Carleen (Iplehouse Lahela EID) is happy to be reunited with her body.  She is enjoying the yellow gradation wig I purchased for Jillian (nYID Audrey).

Next time I will attempt faceups on my newest arrivals, who spent the weekend at New York's JFK Airport and should finish their Northern bound journey either Monday or Tuesday.  I hope the weather stays on the warm side for their faceups, or else spraying with MSC may prove problematic.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Iplehouse Elemental Guardian Mari

Mari is one of the last dolls I ordered before real life got in the way.  Thankfully she was on a 3-month layaway.  I finished paying for her just before my auto mechanic hit me with the news that I would need 4 new tires -- immediately.  So I plunked down the cost of an SID and drove away wearing (well, the car was wearing them) four new snow tires.  The bad news, as if this were not bad enough, is that come spring I will need a new set of all-weather radials to see me through the rest of the year.  No new SIDs for me for a while.

But back to Mari.  Originally I had hoped she would arrive before Christmas.  It's as well she didn't.  Smart girl, waiting until after the Christmas rush.  She left Korea January 3rd, breezed through New York on January 4th and arrived in Vermont January 5th.  To make sure I wouldn't miss the delivery, I spent time outside shoveling the hard-packed snow out of my driveway.  I was just about done when the delivery vehicle pulled in beside me.

Mari in her orange SID box.  The plastic bag on the right contains
her certificate, some postcards, and a detailed manual for assembly.
Just above it in the photo is a 2013 calendar that Iplehouse has been
sending out with Christmas orders:  Something to drool over all year long!

The driver had to have his fun.  "I have a small package back here."

"It better be a BIG one!" I went around to his side of the car.  Yes indeed!  There was the familiar Iplehouse box, but missing the familiar fragile sticker showing a broken cartoon glass with its tongue sticking out.  I signed for it, waved the driver off and returned to the house with my spoils.

Mari is an SID (a Senior Iplehouse Doll).  That makes her about 62 cm tall.  I should have measured her when she had her flat feet on, because now that she has her heel feet she stands taller.  I ordered her in the new peach gold resin, which is the same color as my nYID Bianca.  (It washed out in these photos.  In reality it is a much richer color.)  Iplehouse is sending Mari dolls out with nYID hands instead of the standard SID hands.  They're lovely, expressive, delicate looking -- and just begging for a manicure.  Bianca came with a manicure, free of charge.  Now I have to do it myself.  Oh well, how hard can it be?

Hello dark eyes!  Sticking out of the foam at bottom right are
Mari's heel feet.  She came assembled with flat feet.

She was available with a small bust, so I thought I'd try that for a change, as my other girls are all either large or medium.  I also went with the mobility thigh joint.  Of all my large dolls, only Zera had the mobility joint until now.  One of these days I'll actually put those joints through their paces to see what they can do.  Most of the time my dolls just stand around, modeling clothes and looking beautiful.  The mobility joint is supposed to aid in posing.

I didn't order a wig or clothing this time.  Not that I didn't want to, because the Hanbok set that Iplehouse offered with her was drop-dead gorgeous.  Alas, it was also drop-dead expensive.  I opted to save some money.  I'll see what fits her out of the clothes I already have, see what I can make for her, and if all else fails buy her something new later in the year.  I really do need a few more outfits.  When everyone is dressed, there is very little left over if anyone wants to change her outfit.  All of the dress shoes are in use; I have nothing left but boots.

For her first photos, I laced Mari into the red-and-black goddess gown.  She still had her flat feet on at the time, so she went barefoot.  The dress is so long it covers any shoes, anyway.  We tried on a few wigs to see how they look.  It wasn't long before my flash started going off.  Winter days are so short in northern Vermont!

I changed Mari's dark brown eyes to a pale plum from Safrin Doll.
These eyes resemble the eyes she is shown wearing on Iple's website.
I love her in black hair, but the flyaways are so much more noticeable.
Mari will be known as Kiri here at Resin Corner.  For now she is resting up after her long journey.  Time will tell if she has it in her to break any resin hearts.

Introducing Kiri.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Don't remember what I was looking for, but recently I came upon a dress at the very bottom of one of my plastic bins.  It was a short, gold and white brocade and lace dress that I made for Limhwa Luna and which has been packed away since I sold her.  Luna was rather chesty, so the dress didn't fit any of the other girls then in my collection.  I brought it upstairs, not really expecting it to fit anyone now, either.  I tried it on Jillian (Iplehouse nYID Audrey).  She has a medium bust, so I expected it to be loose.  It was a perfect fit.

Seeing as it was the ideal dress for a fancy New Year's Eve party, I looked to see what I had for SID Shane to wear.  I remembered Le Roi Danse, which no one can wear because Iplehouse male shoes are too tight to wear with stockings.  Le Roi Danse has knee-length pants.  It has to be worn with tall stockings and shoes.  Bare legs don't cut it.  Shane was already wearing long black pants and boots.  All I had to do was add the dress shirt and red brocade vest.

Voila, Jillian and Shane are ready to party the night away.

Happy New Year 2013!