Saturday, October 25, 2014

Introducing FairyLand's FM60 Mirwen

She's here!  She is FairyLand's FeePle60 Mirwen on the new Moe-line body. 

I've waited a long time for this doll.  Not that it took an inordinate amount of time for FairyLand to send her.  It took just under three months from order to shipping, which is about normal when ordering direct from the company.  Instead, the long wait stems from the initial debut of the original FeePle 60 body.  After much anticipation, I was disappointed to see the finished product.  The promo photos showed a lower torso joint that didn't sit flush on the pelvis. It looked like it would be forever popping out.

Enter the new Moe-line body.  The pesky lower torso joint is gone, replaced by a single smooth lower torso and pelvis combined.  This doll has other issues, namely the same ultra-delicate hands and fat, tiny feet as the Moe-line MiniFee, which I don't care for.  Luckily they can be changed whenever FairyLand re-releases the regular F60 bodies and parts.  On the other hand, the M60 feet fit into shoes that none of my other current dolls can wear, so maybe I won't be so quick to replace them.  And the hands are shaped so as to enable them to hold items, which is a good thing too, so long as I don't break any of those delicate fingers.

I ordered the Mirwen head with this body because I already have the MiniFee version and I like the sculpt.  She is one of the more mature looking heads they make and also has smaller eyes.  At 16mm they're still large, especially compared to the 12mm eyes in my Iplehouse dolls, but they are smaller than the 18mm eyes many of FairyLand's other large sculpts wear.  Many owners replace the default eyes with smaller eyes.  Currently I have her in 14mm glass eyes.  I don't think I can go smaller without gaps in the corners, unless I find 12mm oval eyes that I like.  The oval eyes I've seen just don't have the same color selection the round eyes have.
In order to qualify for one of FairyLand's event gifts I ordered the sleeping head in addition to the regular head and got make-up for both.  Forgot to photograph the sleeping head--I'll show it another time.  I rarely buy these, but a closed-eye sculpt can look asleep or it can look like it's awaiting a kiss.  Until I get her a boy in her size, that head will continue to sleep.  (My event gift was a MiniFee Soony Elf head.)

Her face-up struck me as more colorful than my previous FairyLand face-ups.  The makeup is darker and bolder than Siean's.  It's possible that Siean has faded slightly since I got her, but I don't remember her ever having such high color as Mirwen.  I was particularly struck by all the red around her eyes.  It was only upon closer inspection that I noticed her eyelashes are red.  Eventually I may change those to black.  For now, especially with the dark red-brown wig I found for her, they work.  Speaking of wigs, she has quite a large head.  My regular size 8/9 wigs don't go on easily if they go on at all.  Luckily I have some 8/9s that run large, like the LeekeWorld wig she is wearing in these photos.  She can also wear an Iplehouse size 9/10, which means she will be sharing wigs with Siean.

So how does the FM60 body move?  Beautifully.  I find her easier to pose than my FeePle65 Siean.  For one thing, I've never been able to get Siean to sit.  Mirwen sat easily the first time I tried.  She has shorter legs and a lower center of gravity, which may help.  In fact, she is surprisingly short, period.  The thing to remember with the numbers is that they refer to the height of the male doll in that particular line.  The female is always a few centimeters shorter, and the Moe-line body is shorter still.  The difference in height between the Moe 60 and the regular 65 is huge, but not as huge as the photo above makes it seem.  Siean is wearing heels, Mirwen has flats on.

Some dolls take their sweet time letting me know what I should call them.  This one gave me her name as soon as I put a wig on her.  It's Colette, she is French and her hobby is photography.  I am notoriously bad at remembering names.  Let's see how long I remember this one.

Have I mentioned that I absolutely love this girl?  I eagerly await FairyLand's next release of the F60 Moe line so that I can order another one.  Wonder which sculpts they will make available next time?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pas de Deux for Iplehouse nYID

Some of the new clothing I bought recently for my Iplehouse dolls inspired me to imagine them in a ballet.  I chose La Sylphide, a dance in which a Scotsman, James Ruben, who is engaged to marry Effie, falls in love instead with a forest spirit known as a Sylph.  Playing the part of James is nYID Oscar.  His costume is IH's Traveler set.  Playing the Sylph is nYID Audrey.  She is wearing IH's Misty Pink set.  Wigs and shoes are also from Iplehouse.
I know this is not a ballet pose.  It's a "hurry up and take the picture before they fall out of balance" pose.  Her shoe was also about to fall off.  If I ever redo these photos, I will wrap white ribbon around the shoes and tie them on, as Iplehouse did in their publicity photos.  Why show this photo at all?  Because I wanted you to see both costumes in their entirety.  Besides, I love his boots.  They are as soft as glove leather and stay up by virtue of a belt underneath the folded cuff.  Ingenious.

As I indicated above, photographing the dolls in ballet poses proved somewhat problematic in terms of balance and just plain standing up.  No one likes to show the mechanics of a pose.  A shot where the doll stand is in full view tends to shatter the mystique as well as the beauty of the scene.  I mention this for those of you wondering why I showed so little of the dancers below the waist.  Yes, there is a doll stand down there.  You can see it in the first photo.  Ideally I would have put the boy on the stand and let him hold the girl in her poses, but I simply don't have a stand that can safely clasp a boy that size around the waist.  Generally they end up clasped around one thigh:  strong enough to hold the boy, but not strong enough to help him balance the girl, too.  Because he is anatomically correct, a saddle stand does not fit securely, so the girl ended up in the saddle with the boy balancing himself by holding her.

I would have liked to set the scene with some sort of drapery over my shoji screen, but it's been a typical autumn weekend with the sun playing peek-a-boo in between periods of rain.  When it finally appeared and even looked like it might stick around a while, I grabbed the dolls and start shooting.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vermont Doll Lovers Halloween Meet-Up 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Halloween meet-up of the Vermont Doll Lovers, formerly known as the Chittenden County Doll Club. The new name reflects the fact that not all of us live in Chittenden County. Not everyone lives in Vermont, either, but one has to draw the line somewhere when naming names.  So Vermont it is.

We were a small group yesterday, as many people had other places to go and things to do.  "Hey, folks, you missed a good one!" Halloween means costumes and props, which we had in spades.  Modern Wizard brought her graveyard scene again, although with a darker backdrop this year.  It looked spooky; unfortunately the darkness forced everyone's cameras to let in more light, with the result that the dolls looked washed out.  Surprisingly, I managed to get a small number of halfway decent photos with it, but I deleted more than I kept.  With one exception the RealPukis looked like white blobs in front of it.
Run, KaKa!  He's gaining on you.
"To be or not to be.  What was the question?"
In addition to the graveyard, ModernWizard brought Rement Pose Skeletons (with their props) and her Takara Microlady, as well as Trinket Box Cookie, a doll she won in a raffle at the recent Dollism in Buffalo, NY.

New member NerdyVictorian brought two dolls:  Muse (a Spiritdoll Stayne) and little Crispin (a Dollzone Luke).
"I look so much better without the mouse suit, don't you agree?"
"I like him either way."

Lyrajean's group included her U-noa Sist in a new outfit from Dollism, two Custom House Petite Ai (Uriel and Sariel), Volks YoSD Kira, Volks Chiyo, her Hujoo Freya cat, and a new Xagadoll Sylvia.  Cat masks were two of the fun new props she brought back from Dollism.  (Good thing I didn't attend Dollism, or I would have done some serious damage to my credit card and checkbook!)
The lovely Chiyo

Iplehouse SID Vincent led my crew. He was mightily put out to find no Iplehouse girls there after I had promised he would meet Lyrajean's EID ladies, Bibiane and Asa.  Alas, they didn't come to the meeting.  Instead he found himself in charge of all five of my trick-or-treating Iplehouse BIDs:  Byuri, Erzulie, Naias, and the Ringo twins Maddie and Max.  Rounding out the group were my three RealPukis:  SoSo, KaKa and PuPu.  I don't know which they love more:  holidays or making mischief.  (I made Vincent's sweater set, the bee and pumpkin costumes, as well as the RealPuki costumes.  It's been a busy few weeks.)
"Shall I hang with the rugrats, or chat up the floozie on the floor?"
Bunny Naias and Pumpkin Erzulie
"Bzzz-zzz!"  Max and Maddie, the angry bees.
SoSo, the littlest devil
KaKa flower, SoSo devil, and PuPu candy corn
Near the end of the meet-up, a number of trick-or-treaters ganged up on Muse, who couldn't imagine how it would all end.

"Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!"

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SID Vincent Box Opening

I haven't done a box opening on Den of Angels in ages.  What usually stops me from posting there is the sheer hassle of uploading photos to Photobucket before I can proceed.  Here, thank goodness, I can upload directly from my computer.  So much easier.

I ordered Vincent on July 24th.  Iplehouse has been catching up with their workload now that the English manager is back from maternity leave, so the wait times are pretty much back to normal.  In fact, Vincent shipped two months to the day after I placed my order.  I wasn't expecting him so soon, which is why I placed a clothing order earlier that same day, thinking it would ship before the doll did.  As it is, the clothing shipped one day after the doll, but because the two packages flew via different airlines, they arrived at New York's JFK on the same day.  For the record, the clothes flew Korean Air, while Vincent flew the slower Asiana.  They arrived at Resin Corner together.

It has been a while since I ordered an SID male.  I think Shane was the last, and that was when he debuted as a limited in Iple's Western series in late 2011.  I was surprised to see that the image on the box has changed.  Not only that, I can't figure out which doll it is.

Revealing the face is always a source of trepidation.  Will I be happy with the faceup?  Or will I wish I had chosen the alternative?  The trepidation increased this time because Vincent is the first Real Skin doll I have ordered since Iplehouse changed their formula.  Would I like the color?  Would I wish I had ordered Normal skin instead?  The minute I saw the plastic face cover, all I could think was, Hurry up and take that thing off so I can see him!

The verdict?  I'm happy with his faceup, although I would have preferred a little less brown between his lips.  The Real Skin is very nice.  I stood him next to Barahan and see very little difference in their color, which is a good thing.  I was afraid he would look flat and lifeless; such is not the case.  Iple sent him with dark eyes.  Because his eyes are small and squinty, I couldn't tell what color they are until I took a photo and the flash went off.  The extra light revealed them to be a dark green.  I'm not sure what his final look will be; I'm still playing with wig styles and eye colors.  I still can't find a doll for the silver gray glass eyes I bought from Iplehouse earlier this year.  Three dolls have tried them on and rejected them.  They're too pale.  I had hoped they would look a little grayer in real life, but they look almost like clear glass.  I bought medium blue eyes this time around.  I thought of trying them in Vincent, but I'm really holding them in reserve for Chris.  Maybe I'll try some light green Eyeco eyes next.  For now he is wearing some purple Gumdrops.

My clothing order included vintage pants and a plaid shirt for Vincent, as well as dresses for nYID and SID girls.  Vincent needs shoes.  Right now I have him in boots because I happened to have an extra pair, but I would prefer either a low boot or a sporty shoe.  Iple has a pair I like, but the price stopped me from buying them.

I spent this weekend making him a sweater set.  It should have been simple:  few pattern pieces, nothing complicated in the execution.  I had made the long-sleeve tee shirt before with no problems whatsoever.  It fit beautifully with little or no alterations.  This time, because the fabric didn't have the same kind of stretch, I ended up enlarging the body too much and the sleeves too little.  I then wasted precious time trying different ways of enlarging the wrist opening enough to get his hands through.  In retrospect, I should have cut new sleeves, but that would have meant picking apart the armhole seams, and I had finished them too well to attempt it.  The vest turned into a comedy of errors.  I can't tell you how many times I picked apart those seams, not because I don't want to tell you but because I didn't keep count.

Vincent will accompany me to the doll meetup next Saturday.  Although it's the Halloween meetup he won't be in costume.  After this weekend's almost-fiasco, I think I want to take some time off from sewing.  Unless he puts on Shane's sheriff costume and goes as a representative of the Wild West.  We shall see.