Sunday, April 24, 2016

More Arrivals. Oh My!

I ordered an embarrassing number of dolls over the winter months. No, I didn't wake up one day in a vault full of cash. (Don't I wish!) It's simply that after the holidays, after months of inactivity the dolls I had up for sale finally started moving out. That freed up funds to place orders. The two that arrived this week were ordered in February. There is still one January order that hasn't shipped yet. If there's one thing this hobby teaches, it's patience. Wait. Wait. And wait some more.

First to arrive was a Lumedoll Meissa elf.  Lumedoll is a small artist-run company based in Florida. They offer a limited number of head sculpts, each of which can be ordered as either a male or a female. I had never seen a Lumedoll in person. The measurements were compatible with my Raccoon Doll girls, however, so I took a chance and ordered Meissa as a male. I knew he would be a tiny bit shorter than my Raccoon girls in high heels, but hey, that happens in real life, too.
He arrived swathed in bubble wrap inside a cloth bag surrounded by foam peanuts inside a shipping box. (Who says you need two boxes to provide adequate protection?) Even though I knew his measurements, his size surprised me. This is no will-o-the-wisp fairy creature. This is a muscular guy. Happily his small head did not come as a surprise, although seeing his S-hook lodged sideways and surrounded by extra elastic did. Never saw one with that configuration before!
Lumedoll does not offer face-ups. Given the head size, I did wonder how I would manage to paint it. My eyesight and hand-eye coordination aren't what they used to be. So far I've given him two face-ups. I overworked the first one so I wiped it and tried again. Still not sure about number two. The paint blobbed in the corners of his mouth and then resisted my attempts to remove or fix it. I'm giving it some time. If it doesn't grow on me I'll try again. I could send him out for painting, except I hate to pay for something I can do myself. I just wish I could do it better.

We tried on a lot of clothing. I thought for sure he would be able to share clothes with my Model Delf but that proved not to be the case. Meissa's narrow waist and hips refuse to hold pants up, even if the legs fit otherwise. The pants that came closest to fitting are a pair I made for my long-gone Limhwa Mono. If I can figure out which pattern I used, I'll make Meissa some with a smaller waist. In the meantime he is wearing an Iplehouse outfit for JID boys. It's too loose in the waist and hips, but the laces on either side allow some customization in fit, provided you overlook the bulge of excess fabric at the top (artfully hidden in the photo).

The week's other arrival is a Dollmore Zaoll The Song of the Night Luv. While I have long admired Gu Mi-Jung's lovely sculpts, none of the face-ups on the limited or basic dolls grabbed me until this one. It's a happy combination of everything I like in eye makeup and lip treatment. Plus I like the full set.
Song of the Night full set
Luv took her sweet time getting here. Until now, all my Dollmore orders were filled within 4 to 5 weeks. Allowing for Lunar New Year and a couple of other holidays, Definition of Hazy Roo and Song of the Night Luv each took just over 2 months. I realize this is par for the course for many doll companies and fast compared to some, but I have been spoiled by faster turnaround times in the latter half of 2015. Of course, Dollmore always sweetens the pot by including numerous thank-you gifts. I was hoping for something Zaoll-related and Dollmore did not disappoint. They sent jeans, shoes, bloomers and a pair of stockings, in addition to a bookmark and paper doll. One of the stockings was too tight to go over Luv's calf, so I ended up giving the pair to Roo. The bloomers also look a bit small in the waist, so again my Judith girls benefit.
Wrapped like a mummy!
I am absolutely delighted with the doll. She is a new size for me. At 52 cm (slightly taller with shoes and a doll stand) she is the "missing link" between 1/4 and 1/3 scale dolls. Naturally that poses a problem with clothing. What fits? Here is a surprising find: at the moment Luv is wearing the skirt and Roo is wearing the shirt and vest from L'Ecoliere, a pattern by MHD Designs for 18-inch Kaye Wiggs girls. While I no longer own any Kaye Wiggs dolls, I have plenty of patterns for them. This opens up so many possibilities.
L'Ecoliere skirt; Iplehouse wig size 8-9

We spent the afternoon yesterday trying on wigs, clothes and shoes, including some things I ordered for her before her arrival. The stuff I had on hand was pretty much hit or miss as far as fit. Luckily the clothing items I bought fit, mainly because I shopped for items with an elasticized waist. I needn't have bothered. Checking her measurements, I find that Dollmore misstated her waist measurement. It's not 21.5 cm, it's 16.5 cm. That's a big difference! It means that she is shapelier than I had thought and that standard 1/3 size clothing may fit after all. Length will be an issue, as she is unquestionably shorter than other 1/3 scale dolls. On the other hand, with the trend in doll clothing running to very short skirts, even the shortest dresses and skirts won't show her underwear when she bends over.
Size 8-9 wig by Iplehouse (Love this one on her, but it's loose.)

Luv's fullset includes a size 7-8 long blonde wig. I went through my stash, trying on both 7-8 and 8-9 wigs, to see what else she might like. We didn't try everything--I have a lot of wigs--but I discovered that I like her better in darker colors, especially shades of red. A few of the 7-8 wigs were too small, and most of the 8-9 wigs were too large, depending on the company. I had less luck with shoes, no doubt because my stash is smaller. I have a pair of shoes that I refer to as my Cinderella shoes. No, not glass slippers. They are a pair of shoes that so far have refused to fit any doll that has come through this house. No big surprise that they didn't fit Luv, either.
Jpopdolls wig Reiya Autumn Moon, size 7-8
If I have one quibble with Meissa and Luv it is that, with the exception of Meissa's arms, both dolls are single-jointed. Single jointing not only limits the doll's posing ability, but also may require sueding or wiring to allow the doll to stand solidly. No problems at the moment, but it's early days.

And because I haven't done a comparison photo in a long time, here is a size line up of several girls in my collection: (from left, back row) Iplehouse nYID, FairyLand Moe 60, Dollmore Zaoll, Raccoon Doll, Dollmore Judith; (front row) FairyLand MiniFee, Iplehouse KID, FairyLand LittleFee. The nYID's stand adds about 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) to her height.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Prince Pink and the Maiden (a photostory)

(Note: If this looks familiar to some of you, it's because I posted a shorter version to Den of Angels a few days ago. I've amped it up since then. Just because.)

Contrary to popular wisdom, the vampire does not require an invitation to enter a victim's chamber. Invite the vampire in? Fiddlesticks! What is one supposed to do? Stand at the open window and call out, "Yoo-hoo! Any vampire in the vicinity, please come in. I'd love to meet you." Rubbish. If a passing vampire wants in, he's coming in. No bones about it. Don't believe me? Observe.

Prince Pink: What is this? A lovely maiden, half asleep. Waiting...perhaps...for me?

You'll notice that he has not been summoned. And yet he is inside the house. Unless the lovely maiden has wandered into his house, which is unlikely. Did he encounter an unlocked door? Again, not likely. The vampire goes where he wants to go. How he gets in is his business.

Let's look in on the current object of his interest.
Prince Pink: Let her sleep a few moments longer. At my summons, she will wake.

Cue the sleeping maiden.
Prince Pink: "Give me your hand, fair maiden."
Maiden: "Who are you?"
Prince Pink: "Have no fear. I am Prince Pink."
Maiden: I feel strangely lethargic...unable to move from the sofa. What sorcery is this?
Maiden: Oh dear. He comes closer.
Prince Pink: "I am love's tenderest dream."
Maiden: He is so full of it. But let's see where this goes.
Maiden: "Oh...!" He's not wasting any time.
Prince Pink: "It is useless to resist."

Maiden: Watch your hands, Bozo.
Maiden: "Oh! Okay."

Okay, so technically she has invited him--by giving her consent. Obviously the child vampire has charmed her with his round face, delicate little fangs and quaint manner. What of it? You use what you have to get what you want. As he did. And I guess, in a way, she did, too.

Prince Pink was played by Dollmore's Dollpire Kid Boy Shiloh.
The Maiden was played by Dollmore's Dollpire Kid Girl Definition of Hazy: Roo.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Anna's New Skirt, a New Doll, and a Doll Meet-Up

I had a chance to see Frozen again recently, which brought home to me just how short my Anna's skirt was. With Anna scheduled to show off her outfit at a fast approaching doll meet-up, I rounded up my fabrics and patterns and started an entirely new skirt.

My original skirt was not only too short but too full and too stiff, due no doubt to both my fabric choice and the fact that it was fully lined. This time I would use knits to give the skirt better drape and make a separate slip instead of a lining. Going back to the Frozen patterns I selected the skirt from Elsa's coronation gown, which was already floor length on the 18-inch play doll. I then added to it the scalloped edge plus bottom band from Anna's skirt pattern. I didn't make a muslin. There was no way this skirt would be too short!
I have a very large plastic bin full to bursting with knit fabrics. You'd think I would have all the colors I could ever need. The truth is, I do and I don't. The skirt's bottom band should have been a royal blue. I have the color but only in a rib knit. Fine for a sweater; not so fine for a skirt. I made the band in aqua. I also came up short on green for the appliques in the decorative motifs. (I limited the embroidery to a back stitch on the stems and French knots among the leaves and flowers.) Only after I settled on a dark olive green and cut out all the appliques did I find the green knit I had been searching for. It was stashed in a different bin with the other fabrics left over from the original project. Too late. I wasn't about to cut out all those skinny leaves again, especially after using up the tissue paper pattern pieces. It is what it is.
I didn't take any in progress photos. The photos I took at the meet-up show the completed skirt. It's not as uneven as it looks in the top photo. The doll stand (necessary because Anna/Lacrima can't stand in the Iplehouse boots) had hiked up one side of the skirt and I didn't notice until I edited the photos.

Also making her debut at this meet-up was my Dollmore Dollpire Kid Girl Definition of Hazy Roo. (Who comes up with these names?) I don't know that I would classify this doll as a Kid. The head sculpt (Roo) is from Dollmore's Kid line, but the body is from the Judith line, making her a company produced hybrid. There are others, for example my Ballerina Kid Pirouette Zinna, whose head is from the Judith line and body from the Ballet Kid line. You'll notice that in this case the company classified the doll as a Kid because of the body. Following that same reasoning, Roo should have been classed as a Dollpire Judith. But that's just me, nitpicking.
Because Saturday deliveries always come later in the day than weekday ones, waiting for Roo made me late to the meet-up. First I opened the box and freed her from her wrappings. Then, without the computer on for reference, I dressed her to the best of my recollection. The outfit includes both a short, lacy peignoir and an underbust corset. Which goes on top? I tried the corset over the peignoir but it was too tight to fasten. So I put the corset on underneath. Now that I check her sales page, it appears the corset goes on top. But it doesn't fit! Doesn't matter. She'll wear her widow's weeds mostly at Halloween anyway.

Roo is a gorgeous doll. Her voluminous full set came with a black wig. I ordered an additional blonde wig because I thought it played off better against the black fabric. It does, but she is still difficult to photograph. The camera sees all that black and opens up to let in more light. The flash goes off, another photo ruined. (My Iplehouse KID Lisa has the same problem when wearing her full set.) I removed Roo's full set when I got home and found her something else to wear. She was much easier to photograph the second time. Next month's doll meet-up will have a Steampunk theme. I have an outfit I made for JID girls that I can alter to fit her. That way she can make a reappearance dressed for photos.
And because there were other dolls besides mine in attendance at the meet-up, here are photos of some of them.
(To be identified)
Hujoo Freya and 2 Spiritdoll Bastets ride a telescope
Xagadoll and 3 to be identified
Custom House Petite Ai Uriel and Sariel
New Barbie full figure girls
Bimong Meronica and U-noa Zest (minus faceplate)
Soom Faery Legend
U-noa Lusis and Sist

Sunday, April 3, 2016

More Regency for MiniFee

After the success of Shushu's dress last week, I knew I had to make similar dresses for Lishe and Mirwen. I used the same pattern: New Romantic (for Ellowyne Wilde) by Adams-Harris, varying it by using different fabrics and trims.
Mirwen's dress is white cotton printed in yellow and blue, i.e., both the background color and floral design are printed onto the fabric. Because my Mirwen has a small bust, I knew she would not fill out the bodice the way the two large chested girls do. I could have altered the neckline. Instead I opted to use the pattern as is and make up the difference with lace. I trimmed her dress with pale blue lace and three yellow roses.
I selected and rejected several fabrics for Lishe's dress. In the end, I went back to the first fabric I had pulled: a pale yellow-beige with a floral print in shades of orange. It's trimmed with deep orange mini lace and gimp trim. I threaded pale green ribbon through the lace at the waist.
Usually I don't make three of the same dress in quick succession. The advantage to doing it this way is that I became so comfortable with the pattern that I only glanced at the instructions now and then to reassure myself that I hadn't forgotten something. Although I toyed with the idea of making a Spencer (jacket) for one of them, it would have required giving one of the dresses small cap sleeves. Otherwise there's no way a jacket would go over the pattern's big puff sleeves.
The temptation to dress more dolls as characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is great. The question is where to draw the line. After all, there are five Bennett girls, (I would omit Mr. and Mrs. Bennett), Mr. Bingley, (I can omit his two sisters), Mr. Darcy, (minus his sister Georgina), and the devious Mr. Wickham. But should I include the simpering Mr. Collins and Elizabeth's friend Charlotte? What about Mr. Darcy's imperious aunt?
The trouble with Austen's minor characters is that they are so deftly drawn that it's hard to say no to any of them. I am also seriously hampered by a lack of male dolls in slim MSD size, so casting the major male characters requires that I buy more dolls. (If you read back through my older posts, you'll see a number of possibly suitable male dolls. The trouble is none of them live here anymore.) At the moment, the only in-scale male I have on order is an elf with a head two sizes smaller than the MiniFee heads. Frankly, I don't see him as any of these characters. So for the time being, it looks like I'll stick to the girls.