Sunday, May 31, 2015

Steaming Through Time - Chapter 3

In the ship's box room, Lincoln Green has discovered something.

Lincoln:  I don't know if those parts came from the crate or from the control panel, but they weren't on the floor the last time I looked.  And the scarf shouldn't be hanging out, either.

Daniel:  Daphne could have been playing in here.  Have you looked in the crate?

Lincoln:  Not yet, sir.  I thought you might like the honor.

They kneel beside the crate and slowly lift the lid.

Lincoln:  Uh-oh!  Do I see what I think I see?

 Daniel:  Daphne!  Come here, please.

Daphne enters.

Daphne:  Oooh, it's a baby dragon!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Daniel!

Daniel:  Do you mean to tell me you didn't know it was here?

Daphne:  If I knew we had a real dragon, I wouldn't have asked to turn Kizzy into one.  Please can we let it out of the crate?
The little dragon is only too happy to climb out of the metal crate.

Daniel:  I need that part he's chewing on.  Go find him something else to eat, please, Daphne.

Daphne (returning with a cookie):  Here you go, little dragon.  Daphne has something sweet for you.

Daniel:  I'm not sure that was the best food choice for him.  If he gets too excited we may not be able to contain him.

Daphne:  But he likes it!  Right, little dragon?

Daphne:  I can't keep calling you "little dragon".  You need a name.  I know!  Tweazel!

Daniel and Lincoln ponder weightier matters.
Lincoln:  I don't understand, sir.  How and when did he come aboard?  We haven't visited the Middle Ages lately.  Where did he come from?

Daniel:  I don't know.  What worries me more is that the ship is not as secure as it should be.  If a small dragon can stow away, we may be open to other unsanctioned visitors.  The Brotherhood won't like that.

Lincoln:  So our shields are down.  You think he's responsible for all our mechanical problems?

Daniel:  If he's been satisfying his hunger by gnawing on parts, I expect so.  At least I know what I have to do.  I only hope he has left us with some usable spare parts.  The question now is what do we do with him?  I can't just show him the door without knowing if a dragon will cause undue commotion in this world.  Besides, Daphne appears to be forming an attachment to him.

Daphne:  Don't worry, Tweazel.  You're my dragon, now.  I won't let them send you away.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Steaming Through Time - Chapter 2

It has been so long since our first chapter that many of you will have forgotten how it started.  To recap, time traveler Captain Daniel finds himself a continent and a century off course due to some technical malfunction or navigational miscue.  Lincoln Green, his second-in-command, is working with him to uncover the root of the problem so they can get back on track.  Also aboard the time travel module is Daniel's little sister, Daphne.

While the boys pursue the technical gremlin, little Daphne pursues her own agenda.

Daphne:  Don't worry, Kizzy.  I'm sure I'll find a spell in this book to turn you into a real dragon.  You want to be a real dragon, don't you?

Kizzy is a pretend dragon, so she can do no more than look at her mistress with hopeful eyes.  As this is her only expression, it can mean anything from Please-turn-me-into-a-real-dragon, to Let's-play, to I'm-hungry-please-feed-me, to I-love-you.

 Daphne:  [After paging through the book]  This is bigger than both of us, Kizzy.  We need Daniel's help.

Daphne:  Daniel... Daniel?
Daniel:  What is it, sweetie?

Daphne:  [Climbing up on the chair beside her brother]  I want to turn Kizzy into a real dragon.
Daniel:  I'll be happy to help you, Daphne.  As soon as Lincoln and I find out why the time module is stuck.
Daphne:  How long will that take?
Daniel:  I don't know.  We're working on it.

 Lincoln:  Have you looked at the control panel, sir?
Daniel:  Not yet. [Sighs]  I suppose I should start there.
Lincoln:  That's what I would do. Sir.
Daniel:  Keep poring over the charts while I go look.  There is still the possibility that we misread coordinates.

Daphne:  My dragon...?
Daniel:  She'll have to wait a while.  This is more important.
Daphne:  [Whispers]  My dragon is important...

Daniel:  [At the control panel]  Hmm. It's stopped. Everything seems to be here.  Or is it?

Daniel:  [Shouts to make himself heard in the other room]  Lincoln, look in the box room.  There's a crate with spare mechanical parts.
Lincoln:  [Shouts back]  You looking for any part in particular?
Daniel:  Not yet.  Just see what's there and report back.

A few minutes pass.

Lincoln:  Sir?  I've found something.  You'd better come here.

To be continued...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Meet Iplehouse JID Edwin

You can count me among the Iplehouse fans who were clamoring for a more mature looking JID boy.  After all, some of the JID girls look like small-sized women.  Why don't the boys match?  So what did I do?  I fell in love--hard--for possibly the youngest looking JID boy in a long time.  I think what did it is the vintage outfit shown in his promo shots.  There is something so perfectly old New York Irish newsboy about him in this get-up.  He is fresh-faced and cheeky, with a bit of the smirk that I find so endearing.  (Other dolls that have it are Claude and Oscar, both of whom I bought.)  It was a no-brainer.  The minute I saw him, I knew Edwin was coming home, as was the outfit.

He arrived in record time.  I put him on layaway at the end of March, paid him off at the end of April, and he shipped about a week after that.  No doubt about it, Iplehouse is spoiling me.  I now expect this kind of fast turnaround with every order.  I'm already checking the status of my KID Bambi order, and it's been only two weeks.  Wishful thinking is what that is.
Here is Edwin right out of the box.  Or, more accurately, still halfway in the box.  The makeup looks quite dark on Iple's normal skin, but once the doll is dressed and wigged it's less pronounced.  The 12mm brown acrylic eyes had to go.  I had already purchased 10mm glass eyes that I knew would better suit his small eye openings.  I also discovered, upon changing them, that the acrylic eyes were cracked.  This seems to happen regularly with the acrylic eyes Iplehouse uses.  Just for fun I went through my stash of acrylic eyes and found that most of them had cracks.
It's funny.  The new eyes looked green in the package.  Once I installed them they looked more blue, while in my photo they look more gray.  Doesn't matter.  I really like them.  The reddish brown wig is from LeekeWorld.  Edwin's promo photos show the outfit with a newsboy cap.  Hats sometimes come with the outfits they're paired with, but more often not, and in my haste I forgot to check and didn't order it.  I have since placed a clothing order, so his proper hat should be here within a week, along with some other stuff.  Meanwhile, he is borrowing the nYID hunting cap, which is a size too large for him.  I hope he'll give it back, because the longer he has it on, the better he likes it.
What's wrong with the above picture?  Just about everything.  Iplehouse clothing should come with reference photos so the buyer knows how to put things together.  Instead of going online I relied on my memory, which obviously decided to play tricks on me that day.  Aside from the wrong hat, there is a single knot in his tie.  It's supposed to be tied in a bow.  His shirt is tucked in; it's supposed to hang outside his pants.  His pants are on backwards!  Really.  These pants are supposed to fasten in the back.  (No wonder I had so much trouble with the buttons.)  Makes no sense to me; however, when they open in front he can't sit down in them.  Turn them around and all of a sudden he can sit.
This is how the outfit is supposed to look.  I ordered Edwin with the mobility thigh joints.  So far I'm not impressed by whatever increased poseability this is supposed to give him.  For instance, I would have loved for him to be able to lean forward and straddle the trunk.  Not happening. I also hoped he would be able to pose as if he were riding the bicycle shown below.
The first time we went out to try it, I was running out of useable light on the deck.  Not only that, but the wind was picking up.  Eventually it picked up both Edwin and the bicycle and tossed them to the floor of the deck.  Yikes!  He lost his headcap and his dignity, but nothing broke.  His outfit wasn't even soiled.  For the record, I wasn't able to pose him either seated or else throwing one leg over the seat as if he were hopping on.  I had to settle for a rather static shot.
We went out this morning to take advantage of the sunshine, the lilacs and the complete lack of wind.  My deck faces west and gets direct sunlight all afternoon, unrelieved by any kind of awning.  Even at 10:00 a.m., the sun was coming around and causing problems.  Despite that, I was able to get some nice head shots, thanks in part to the brim on Edwin's cap.

I am not going to rename this little guy.  In the first place, I rarely remember names I give my dolls.  In the second place, Edwin suits him just fine.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Forecast: Breezy With a Chance of Dragons

Finally.  FINALLY!  My precious little one has arrived.  The baby flew Air Mail instead of EMS, so the journey took nearly 4 weeks instead of the usual 4 days.  It was logged in at the airport in South Korea on April 9th, showed up at JFK airport in New York on April 27th, and took until May 4th to arrive in my town by way of a meandering path through New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.  By contrast, I received a second doll this week.  It shipped EMS from South Korea on May 6th and was delivered on May 9th.  I won't introduce that one now, as he will get a post of his own later.

Because Aileen Doll dragons are off topic at Den of Angels, I am doing the box opening here.  Other anthro dolls are on topic.  As to why this one isn't, I believe it's because the doll has no knee joints.  That's too bad, because this little dragon is beyond adorable and I would like to share him with everyone.

The package.  You'll notice it says EMS in the bottom left; however, that is printed on the clear plastic envelope, not on the airbill.  The airbill itself is marked Air Mail.

Inside the package, the contents were neatly wrapped in a foam-type wrapping.

The box!  How cute is that?

Baby is bundled in a pillow and more foam wrap.

Say hello to Dragon Lapis version 2.  He came without eyes, but luckily I have large glass eyes that match almost exactly the eyes shown on the website.

And here he is!  He finds his new surroundings somewhat frightening, which is why his mouth is open in a silent scream.  Also so that I can show off how his mouth opens and closes.  It allows for more facial expression than a traditional fixed sculpt can.  I have named him Tweezel.

Tweezel's new friends, Belch and Kizzy, are resin figurines with no mobility whatsoever.  Obviously they stand in awe of Tweezel's poseability. 

Uh-oh.  Do we have a cookie monster on our hands?

Tweezel makes another friend, Moosehilda (a Doll Chateau Ada).

Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Time will tell.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

New Iplehouse Fashions for nYID

I received a clothing order yesterday, always a fun and exciting event.  Clothing orders for in-stock items ship quickly when not tied to a doll order.  I ordered on April 30th, the package shipped the same day and I received it on May 2nd.  I barely had time to track the flight before it arrived.  The box was surprisingly heavy.  Here's what was in it:
The heavy item was the red serapina dress.  Dresses never look big when squished into a cellophane bag.  But release them from the confines of the bag and they go on forever:
By comparison the boys' outfits were lightweight.  The first outfit consists of baggy white pants and a navy/white stripe T-shirt.  I bought a gray knit beanie separately, thinking it would look like a sailor's watch cap.  It's a bit wintery feeling, so I'll keep it for the cold months.  Maybe get a short coat to go with it.
The second boy's outfit is made up of multiple parts.  First, a black two-tone knit sweater; second, black dress pants; third, a white dress shirt; fourth, black shoes; and last, a hunting cap.  I'm wondering if I got one of the last pairs of these shoes.  They were on sale, supposedly until the last item sells out.  Now there is a "coming soon" over the photo in the product list, which usually means waiting to restock. But if the sale items are there until they sell out, why restock them?  Makes no sense to me.  I'm just glad I got them because the fit is good and they are easy to get on and off.
It took me three tries to get the red serapina dress on Grace because I couldn't remember which way the single strap is supposed to go.  I tried it over her right shoulder, then her left shoulder, then back to her right shoulder.  In the end I had to look at the item on Iple's website again to see if I got it right.  The back zipper was killer.  Sometimes it takes four hands to dress one of these dolls: two to hold the piece of clothing closed while the other two tug on the tiny zipper and hold the lower end in place. 
I wondered how the dress would fit.  Any time a clothing item is said to fit two different sizes, it will fit one size better than the other.  This was labeled for SID/nYID.  The photos show it only on SID.  Now that Grace is on the nYID body, how would it look?  The answer is long: long in the torso and long overall.  The dress would fit better on a larger bust.  The strap rode up every time I changed her pose, which I did often during the photo shoot.  I didn't always remember to reposition it.  Still and all, it's a stunning dress and Grace looks quite the femme fatale in it.
On to the boys' outfits:

I originally wanted one of the outfits for Andrew and the other for Chris, because the outfit I wanted for Oscar is marked "coming soon".  Because Chris has had so much camera time lately, I decided to put Oscar in one of the new outfits and let Chris have the Imperial Guard outfit when and if it comes back into stock.  That's Andrew in the sailor set and Oscar in the black.  Here they are individually:
It's unusual to get pants from Iplehouse that are roomy enough for the boys to sit in.  The white pants allow for seating with no need to unfasten the button at the waist.  Andrew was delighted.  Not only could he sit, but there was room to spare.  Oscar could only look on in envy.
Here are some ensemble photos to end: