Sunday, June 26, 2016

WithDoll Angela Finds Her Elf Self

Usually, when I order a doll direct from the company that makes it, there is a waiting period of a month or more. That gives me time to plan a look for the doll and even to start making clothing if I have a good sense of her dimensions. Because Angela came to me in an unexpected trade, I had to find her something to wear immediately. No planning was involved or even possible. Now that she has been here a while and I have two more WithDoll elves on order, I have a clear picture of where I am going with them.
I didn't order the limited outfits with either of the incoming elves (Egon and Ruby). That leaves me free to come up with costumes that unify all three. For the girls I am going with sleeveless tops, shorter than waist length but longer than right under the bust. The tops will be paired with shorts and, under the shorts, leggings that are short enough to wear with boots, assuming I can ever find boots to fit their skinny ankles and narrow feet. (As soon as I wrote that sentence I remembered I have Iplehouse JID girl boots that might fit. I tried them--and they do! Now if only the colors coordinated better with my outfit fabrics.)
The boys (I plan to dress LumeDoll Meissa as part of the group, despite his smaller head size) will wear tunic tops over pants fitted under the knee. I may do a long-sleeve top to wear under the tunic. I've already bought boots for both of them. Both boys and girls will get cloaks and arm guards, along with weapons. Ruby is the only elf coming with bow and arrows, so I will try to duplicate the bow in polymer clay. I already have thin wooden skewers that I can chop down for arrows. My three birds molt frequently, so finding feathers for the arrows is no problem. The boys should have swords. I have a few letter-opener type swords in different sizes, but if they don't work I can attempt to fashion some thin metal into weapons. Key word there is attempt.
For patterns I am doing my usual combining act, picking pieces from whichever patterns will work. The girls' tights and shorts are adapted from MHD Designs' Petits Riens for 14 inch Kish Chrysalis girls. Logic says this pattern should not accommodate the taller, thinner WithDoll girls, but in fact the Kish dolls are thin in their lower half, only becoming childishly pudgy in their upper body. Even with the thinner lower body, I still had to reduce the pattern in width. For the top I am using the short top (minus collar and sleeves) from Gracefaerie's #14 Mini Wardrobe for 43cm Narae. This is one of my go-to patterns for slim mini fashions. I really should get the pants pattern, too. It's sold separately. I'll discuss the boys' patterns when I actually start working on their outfits. I have a cloak pattern from Gracefaerie but will probably not use it as I want a different shape. I may have to wing this one.
Angela's outfit still lacks accessories. The belt is temporary. I have some double stitch ultra suede on order which should fit my belt buckle exactly, along with some faux suede lacing for the arm guards. I also want to make her a small purse/carrying bag, because even elves need a place to stash their essentials as they make their way through the forest. I'll make a quiver for her arrows once I see how Ruby's quiver is constructed. Each doll will wear his or her clan badge: Angela's brown leaf signifies the brown leaf family within the Maple Clan. Ruby gets a red leaf, Egon gets an orange leaf, and Meissa belongs to the acorn family within the Oak Clan. (Only because those are the colors and shapes of the buttons I have.)

I've been having trouble finding a good wig for Angela. Those elf ears get in the way of all but one or two of my wigs. This week I came across a photo on Den of Angels of a SoulDoll Vito in a fur wig. Vito guys lack elf ears but have the same problem with fit because their ears are set so far back on their heads. I went in search of a fur wig for Angela. The funny thing is that I received one with her but never tried it on because it sheds the moment you touch it. I still didn't try it on her, but went through the other fur wigs in my stash and found a perfect candidate in the same blonde as her eyelashes. I trimmed a little bit off the front to make it fit better and liked the result so much I ordered another fur wig for my Vito Jin. (This move entailed a considerable leap of faith because only one of my other fur wigs fits him. Chances were not great that a new wig would fit any better, but it arrived, it fits, and I like it.)
Excuse the wonky eyes. I need to re-position one of them. (Things you never notice until after you have posted pictures.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Papillon, Dragon Hunter Extraordinaire, part 2

I posted this chapter of the story two days ago on Den of Angels (Photostories Gallery). Here it is again for those of you who missed it on DoA or who do not belong to that forum.

Hakkon lifted Papillon onto his shoulder and secured him with a makeshift belt so he wouldn’t fall off. As they set off on their journey, Papillon called out joyfully, “Good-bye, mushroom house! I’m off to hunt dragons."

Soon they left the peaceful valley behind and entered a dark forest.
“You know where the dragons are?”
“More or less. I sometimes come across them in these woods.”
“Oh, boy!” Papillon could barely contain his excitement.

“Stop wriggling. You’ll fall off.”
“But I’m your lookout. With my keen eyes and your big feet, we’re a team that can’t be beat.”
“If you fall off, you walk."

“My sword is glowing!” Papillon shouted a few minutes later. “The dragon’s lair is near.”
“What did I tell you about waving that thing near my face?”
“Sorry. I can’t control it when it senses dragons.”
“Just be careful.”

“We have to follow. It points to where the dragons are. There! Put me down! Put me down!”

“Fe, fi, fo, fum…Watch out, dragons…here I come!”
But Papillon didn’t see any dragons. For some reason his sword stopped in front of an ordinary looking tree.

As Papillon watched, the tree turned slowly towards him, followed by three stumps with faces on them. The tree had a face, too. Was that what his sword sensed?

“Pardon me, Mr. Tree. My sword says there are dragons here.”
“A talking sword, is it? I have never seen such a thing.”
“Well, I’ve never seen a talking tree, either.”

“Magical beings are everywhere. Most people simply do not see us.”
“Where are the dragons?”
“You seek dragons? Why?”
“Because I am the Most Extraordinary Dragon Hunter that ever lived!”

At those words, unseen by Papillon, the little dragons that had been hiding behind the tree turned and filed silently into the cover of the woods.
 “Alas, little man, there are no dragons here. As you can plainly see.”
The tree must be telling the truth, because Papillon’s sword no longer glowed. The dragons might be gone now, but they were there earlier. He was sure of it.
Hakkon lifted Papillon up. "Shall we go home?"

“For now,” Papillon sighed. “But I want to come back. I know they’re near. I can almost smell them.”
Hakkon waited until they were almost out of the woods before speaking again.
“They were very near. But they got away.”
“You saw them?”
“I did.”
“Why didn’t you say something? I could have slain one!”

“It was a nursery. Would you slay a baby? A great hunter like yourself should hold out for a fully grown dragon.”
 “Oh…I guess you’re right.”
A fully grown dragon. Oh…MY!

To be continued…

"We are the tree pod people. We run interference between the hunter and the young dragons. When he gets close, we get in his way. It is the way of our kind."
 (I found these tree sprites on the website. I knew the moment I saw them that they would be the perfect accompaniment for my Greenman figure. They were all one color, making it hard to distinguish details, so I painted them in shades of brown, green and gray. Indoors they are so dark that they make my camera's flash go off, so I took them outdoors and photographed them in the morning sunlight.)