Gratitude

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Introducing nYID Chris and Doll Chateau Ada

If you read last week's post, you know that Chris was delivered too late to get a formal box opening. With the doll meet-up scheduled to begin in mere minutes, I cut him out of the box as fast as I could, dressed him, and sped down the Interstate, thinking I would take lots of lovely photos once I got there.  Only when I took Chris out of his carrier bag did I discover that the one and only wig I had brought for him didn't fit.  We borrowed a curly, feminine wig and he spent the next two hours cowering in the background, afraid someone might photograph him looking unmanly.  Seeing as he is still feeling grumpy about his undignified debut, I decided to let him share in Ada's box opening.


That's a small box.  What size is this resin person?

Not sure, as I've never seen one in real life.  Smaller than the box, obviously.

Well, are you going to open it?  I'd offer to help, but I can't bend over.  My jeans are too tight. 

Sorry.  [I cut the box open and took out some wadded paper and an envelope.]  Here.  Hold this.
THIS is what's in there?

I sure hope so.  Could you manage to look a little less horrified?

What are these...things...on either side of its head?

They're supposed to be antlers.  Like a moose.  Here.  Hold this.
What the...?


It's her extra belly.

Do I even want to know?

It's so I can convert her from four-legged to two-legged.

I think I'm going to be sick.

Please don't.  Ooh, pretty blue bag. There are two bubble-wrapped pieces inside.  Let's start with this one.  It appears to be the body.

It appears to be something I might smash with my boot.

She wouldn't like that.  And neither would I.  This other piece must be the head.  How do I attach it?  [I had to remove the eyes in order to be able to turn the S-hook inside her head.  Then re-insert the eyes behind the hook.]  Isn't she a cute little thing!


No comment.

You'll hurt her feelings.  Shake hands and be nice.

How do you do?  I'm Chris.  (I feel like I'm talking to a large mouse.)

I'm Moosilda.  You can call me Hilda.

There.  That wasn't so bad, was it?

I guess not.

So, are there any other giants like you in the house?

Um...yeah.  Most of us.  I can think of only three that are smaller than you.

Smaller than me?  That will be fun!


Fun?

Could be Hilda will give the RealPukis a run for their money.  That WOULD be something to see.


Doll Chateau Ada (aka Moosilda, aka Hilda) arrived on Friday, November 28th.  On Saturday we had sunshine for the first time in days, so I took advantage of it to do her face-up.  No body blushing, however, as I wasn't about to risk unstringing her in order to do it.  Her limbs are so spindly, I'd never get her put back together!  After giving much thought to how I might clothe her, I sewed a prototype outfit on Sunday.  Of course, by the time I finished it was too dark to take good photos, but I took a few by flash.  Here is the best of the bunch:

I realized that in order to clothe her, I had to treat the front and back ends separately.  In front she wears a sleeveless top with attached half skirt.  The back end wears a matching "skirt" treated as if it were more of a horse blanket.  I made the wig for a RealPuki.  Turns out Hilda's head is the same size (i.e., just slightly over 3 inches in circumference).  I'd like to make her a feather wig like the one she wears on Doll Chateau's postcard.  I also want to make her some shoes so she won't slide on the furniture.  Her feet are so tiny!  I think a sandal sole should work with some ribbons to tie it on--times four.
I waited a long time for this tiny doll.  Ordered on May 1st, she took just under seven months to arrive.  Chris, by comparison, was ordered on September 14th and arrived a week ahead of Ada.  This hobby is not for the impatient.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November Meeting of the Vermont Doll Lovers Club

The Vermont Doll Lovers celebrated Christmas a month early yesterday.  Like Halloween, this is a  holiday that brings out the props as well as the dolls.  There were lots of both on hand.   

My FairyLand FeePle60 Moe-line Mirwen couldn't believe her eyes when she looked up--and up and up and up--at Nerdy Victorian's Spiritdoll Stayne.  At 70 cm, he stands taller than any doll Mirwen has met so far.  Also in the photo:  Nerdy Victorian's DollZone Luke and Yan, at the table; and Volks SD10 Kira (holding DollFactory Bobo) with Resinsoul Mu, wearing antlers.  I didn't get a close-up of little Bobo, but you can see him on Modern Wizard's blog.  (See link below.)

Perhaps Mirwen will find these three boys more to her liking:  my Iplehouse nYID Addiction Chris, on the left, with Lyrajean's Volks Date Masamune and Hijakata Toshizo.  Chris is wearing a borrowed wig.  The Postal Carrier delivered Chris just before noon yesterday.  I took the time to dress him, but waited until reaching the meet-up to put on his wig.  Long story short:  it doesn't fit.  It's the first Iplehouse wig I've bought that did not run true to size.  This one is so tight that I suspect it's a mislabeled 7/8 instead of an 8/9.  So, no close-ups of Chris until I find him a wig and change his eyes.  Love the color but they are too big for his face.

Among the ladies in attendance:  Modern Wizard's Yamarrah, on the left.  Yamarrah is a hybrid consisting of an Iplehouse Addiction Doria fantasy head on a Domuya Perennial Flexi body, with Mirodoll torso and Soom Topaz fairy hands.  She joins two Iplehouse EID ladies, Asa (standing) and Bibiane (seated), who belong to Lyrajean.

My three FairyLand LittleFees woke up from their naps long enough to come and wait for Santa.  They are Little Shiwoo on the sled, Little Ante Elf in the chair pretending to read (because she doesn't know how to read yet) and Little Lishe sitting on the floor.

The LittleFees enjoyed some sledding in front of the Winter background from American Girl.  Br-r-r-r!  They must be chilly without coats and hats on.

And because I seem to collect things in threes, here are my three little troublemakers, FairyLand RealPukis SoSo, KaKa and PuPu.  I seem to recall they were caught stealing gifts at last year's Christmas meet-up, too.  They're incorrigible.

Lyrajean's Volks Chiyo reads a Christmas story to Volks Yo-SD Kira.

Nerdy Victorian's DollZone Luke and Yan offer treats to my Alchemic Labo U-noa Lusis.

Doesn't that tablescape look yummy!  Can you tell which treat is real?*

 
Custom House Petite Ai Uriel spies a cat--Hujoo Freya--atop the Christmas tree, while Custom House Petite Ai Sariel sits nearby with her gingerbread house.  The three belong to Lyrajean.  Perhaps the cat has been treed by the three ferocious RealPukis at the bottom?

Boys behaving badly:  Nerdy Victorian's Spiritdoll Stayne and Lyrajean's Iplehouse EID Bichun express their feelings for the festivities.  Stayne's sign reads "Dashing Through the No"; Bichun's sign reads "Bah Humbug".

Xagadoll Sylvia trims the tree in her babydoll pajamas.  She belongs to Lyrajean.

Did you notice that we have two Volks Kiras in the group?  One is an SD10 while the other is a YoSD.  Same sculpt, different sizes.

I think Mirwen has a secret admirer.  Someone has given her a gift.  Which of the boys could it be?

Spiritdoll Stayne behaving badly again, this time with the ladies.


You can see Modern Wizard's photos of the meet-up at http://vtdolllovers.blogspot.com.  There is little duplication between us, as most of her photos are close-ups whereas I took more group shots. The Vermont Doll Lovers meets again in January.

*Answer: the candy canes.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Doll Stands: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Last week JSarie asked what kind of stands I use for the larger dolls.  Good question, but not one I could answer quickly at the end of a blog post.  It's a question that deserves to be answered in full and with accompanying photos.  Seeing as other doll collectors may be asking themselves the same question, I thought it deserved a blog post all its own.

Obviously, the larger BJDs pose a problem when it comes to finding a good stand.  You want a stand that is sturdy enough to support the doll's weight while accommodating itself to the doll's size and shape.  Some stands are strong enough, but don't extend to the needed height, or they assume that a doll is tall but has no figure.  BJDs come with hips and buttocks and thighs.  A stand that is straight up-and-down with a tiny waist grip just won't cut it.  I know because I have several of them.  They were expensive and totally useless.
An array of stands
Above are two of my large dolls: an IpleHouse SID (62cm in flat feet but closer to 64cm in heels) and a FairyLand Feeple60 Moe-line (54cm in flat feet but closer to 56cm in heels), surrounded by a few doll stands.
Standard metal stand
The FM60 can be accommodated quite easily by the standard metal doll stand.  It can clasp her securely either under the bust or around the waist.  Above are two identical stands, one clasped under the doll's bust and one by itself to show its construction. 

I use the same stand with my SIDs, even though it does not extend enough to clasp them around the waist.  I let the stand grip the doll's upper thigh instead.  It doesn't hold as securely this way, but it does hold, although I might think twice about doing this if I lived in earthquake country.
Standard metal stand placed around thigh
I have a few larger metal stands that I use with taller dolls.  They are similarly constructed except that the white section wraps completely around the front concealing the wires all the way down.  They also have a wider base.  Both features combine to make a stronger stand, although ideally the white section would lean forward.  This would accommodate a doll with a more ample figure, such as a FeePle65.  Mine ends up with the clasp just under her buttocks.  It holds her, but I'd be happier if it held her around the waist.  The photo below shows an SID using the same style stand.  The clasp isn't as wide on this one, so I have it clamped around her thigh.  What's nice is that the waist wire is coated, so there is less danger of bare wire scratching resin.
Another thigh-gripping stand
The cream colored stand at the front of the top photo isn't much to look at.  Not only does it look too flimsy to hold a large doll, but the wire piece barely fits into the bottom piece.  Nevertheless, this ugly duckling actually can hold an SID with a minimum of intrusion.  My only worry is that the open wire ends in front may damage the doll's clothing.
Awkward looking wire stand from the rear
Front of the ugly duckling stand
I like saddle stands for some of my large dolls.  Although the stands I have are tall enough for SIDs, they are not wide enough at the base.  When an SID straddles the saddle, I can't get her legs any closer together than you see in the photo below.  One foot rests on the base, but the other one doesn't quite make it.  I don't have this problem with the nYIDs; despite having the same size feet, their smaller torso and legs make for a better fit.  These stands don't work with the male dolls; their anatomy gets in the way.
Saddle stand
I have one strange stand that looks like a mistake was made in its assembly.  (See top photo, extreme right.)  The post goes through the base dead center, as you find in a saddle stand, yet the clasp is the waist variety.  Waist stands always have the post at the back of the stand.  This allows the doll to stand in front of it with her feet on the base.  With the post in the middle, the doll cannot stand in front of it because there won't be enough room for her feet.  I would have sent it back except it came from Korea and I wasn't about to pay for shipping.
Insecure waist grip
All of the tall stands with wooden bases in the top photo, except for the saddle stand, are pretty much useless for the larger BJDs.  While their waist grips look strong, they are flexible.  You can open the clasp wider to place the doll in it and close it tighter around her.  Unfortunately, you may think you have a doll secured, only to have her pitch forward when the clasp inexplicably loosens.  I've had that happen.  Luckily I was standing there and caught the doll.  I haven't used one of those stands since.

You may be wondering what sort of stand I use for my larger male BJDs.  With the exception of my Soom Super Gem, who uses one of the large metal stands mentioned above, my guys generally stand upon their own big feet and lean against a handy wall behind them.  When they get too loose to stand, I give them a chair or something else to sit on.

Where do I buy my stands?  I find the smaller ones at craft stores like Michael's and A.C. Moore's.  I have ordered some from Dollspart.com.  They have a saddle stand identified as a BJD dollstand.  It's good for the smaller of the large dolls, as they give the size range as 15 to 23 inches.  (23 inches equals 58.5 cm, which means this stand will accommodate the FeePle60 Moe but not the SID.)  In the past I have seen doll stands sold by some of the Korean doll companies, but I don't see them there now.  Luts has only one stand for the larger dolls, a saddle stand good for up to 60 cm.  I've seen some stands on ebay but haven't bought any there.  If any of my readers have found reliable, strong stands for their large BJDs, please let me know where.  The search for a really good stand continues. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Day in Fairyland

Part of the fun in collecting ball jointed dolls is changing the dolls' appearance, be it via wigs, eyes or costumes.  I'm still experimenting with Colette (FM60 Mirwen) to see what suits her.  I really like the first combination I had on her with the short red wig, short denim skirt, white blouse and blue vest, and white Gothic ballerina shoes.

We had an accident of sorts when I took off the shoes to try on another pair: the foot came off but the magnet stayed behind, firmly stuck to the magnet in the ankle.  Oops!  Those are some mighty powerful magnets.  I'm guessing the glue wasn't up to the job.  I separated the magnets and glued the one back into the foot, but I'm not certain it will stick.  As usual, my super glue dried in the tube between uses, so I had to make do with Aleene's Tacky Glue.  Until I can buy more of the super stuff, I have put Colette's heel feet on and let her try on some of the high heels I have on hand.

One thing led to another.  High heels demanded a dress and the dress suggested a new wig.  We tried a short knit dress from Elfdoll and a short blonde wig from LeekeWorld.  I'm not sure the blousy top suits her.  I'd like to try to sew a similar dress, maybe with a little less fabric on top.

The switch inspired me to change F65 Siean as well. Not too long ago I ordered some clothing from Iplehouse.  One of the items was a dress for SID called Misty Secret Garden.  Here it is on Samantha, my SID Grace:

What you can't see in the photo is that the dress didn't lace completely across Samantha's back, so I put it on nYID Olivia.  It felt big and heavy on Olivia, so I decided it was time to try it on Siean.  I don't know what it is about that girl, but she always looks good in Iplehouse clothing.  Her body is more nipped in at the waist, so the lacing fit better.  The dress is also a better fit across her bust.

Once Siean had on the Misty Secret Garden dress and a wig that felt more in keeping with the mood of the outfit, I couldn't resist trying Siean's curly red wig on Colette.  I have since changed Colette's dress as well, but for the photos she was still wearing the gray knit.

On the MiniFee front, I recently bought two outfits for Ellowyne Wilde on sale.  Ellowyne's shoes and pantyhose never fit, but the rest of the outfits did.  The yellow dress also has a fake fur coat in the same vibrant yellow.  I didn't photograph it.  Maybe next time.  It's a hard color to wear.  I put it on Chloe because her makeup and red hair were bold enough to offer some contrast.  It would have washed out white skinned Calandra (Juri 2008), who nevertheless looks ethereally lovely in lavender.  I only wish these two could wear Ellowyne's dainty footwear.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pumpkin Glow

My Iple BIDs were still in costume from the doll meetup earlier in the month, so I took some Halloween photos of them, along with Narin (dressed as a pirate) and JID Tania (dressed as a Goth/Punk pirate--sort of).  I had one mini pumpkin left that hadn't gone bad.  Oddly enough, it was the white one.  They are known as Caspar pumpkins, as in Caspar the friendly ghost.  I shot indoors, both because it was a cold day and because the lawn maintenance crew that takes care of my development was out on riding mowers, kicking up mown grass and chopped-up leaves and making a level of noise I usually associate with chainsaws.  Not the best time to take dolls outdoors.

What to do?  Hello dining table and shoji screen festooned with Halloween fabric--my go-to backdrop when all else fails.  I took my photos, downloaded them to my computer and yawned. Another set of boring group photos.  They needed something.  Well, why not?  Time to play with PhotoShop.  A word of warning: these photos are not Art.  All I did was apply effects and filters, just for the fun of it.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and get the full effect.)

Here goes.

Colored lights dancing in the forest.  What could it mean?  

A ghostly pumpkin, glowing eerily.

"Hey!  Where did the light go?"

"It doesn't like you, Yuri.  See?  It glows 
white when I touch it.  Nice pumpkin."

The twins are thinking anything but nice pumpkin.
Do you think it can read their minds?

"It's like there are fairies in the forest."


"Pumpkin fairies?"

"Pumpkin Spirit, will you let us pass through this wood 
tonight unharmed?  All of us, including Yuri and the bees?"

The eerie lights disappear.
"I guess the answer is yes.
Come on kids.  Let's go home."


Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween.