Gratitude

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Soul Doll Kid Yarn, Winter Prince Version

Soul Doll released Yarn and Annamari, his corresponding girl sculpt, for Christmas 2014. I had been ogling them ever since, but panic set in after the girl costumes sold out. That influenced my choice of Yarn over Annamari; otherwise I liked her costumes better. She debuted in both an Ice Fairy version with two different costumes (ice fairy and visitor--unmistakably inspired by Elsa and Anna) as well as a School Girl version. Both versions came with the same makeup. Yarn came as either the Winter Prince or the School Boy, with a different makeup available for each. The school boy looked younger, although it's hard to say if makeup or styling was responsible.
I had a second, more pragmatic reason for choosing Yarn. There are plenty of girls in my collection but not so many boys. My Dollmore Judiths, in particular, are too tall to pair comfortably with any of them. (Why doesn't Dollmore make a boy in her size?) At 47cm, Yarn was tantalizingly tall. I questioned whether his head would be big enough. He wears a 6-7 wig; my Judiths wear a 7-8. Knowing that I could still pair him with other girls if he turned out to be too pin-headed for my Judiths, I ordered him.
According to Soul Doll's description of their Kid boy body (N.L.)--which is now the only boy body they sell--it is available with either shown or hidden double joints. The difference can be confusing. One is more visible when the doll stands, but results in a smoothly rounded joint when the doll sits. The other is less visible when the doll stands, but results in a sharply angled joint when the doll sits. Soul Doll's sample photos show a pale, unblushed doll against a pale background, making it hard to see the difference. I worried that I would order the wrong joints, then worried even more when the order selection process did not offer me a choice. Luckily I received the rounded joints I wanted. Curiously, Soul Doll sent extra elbow and knee peanuts. Extra hands and feet are common, but this is the first time I've received extra joints!

Yarn's Winter Prince costume is excellent quality, as is true of Soul Doll's clothing in general. The outfit consists of trousers, a belted shirt, a coat and a lace jabot. If I have any criticism, it is that it was difficult to get the coat on over the long-sleeved shirt. I should have put the coat on over the shirt and then put the combination on him, but of course I never think of that until I am struggling to coax long, lace-edged sleeve cuffs through narrow coat sleeves without tearing them. I plan to make him a Scottish kilt to wear with the shirt. The gray-brown-black plaid will pair perfectly with the black and brown shirt, with an extra length of plaid to drape over one shoulder. Although his feet are a little smaller than JID boy feet, with socks he'll be able to wear JID shoes with the outfit. A reddish wig will complete the look. Then he can play Jamie Fraser to my Dollpire Kid Roo's Claire Randall, seen below. (Those of you who are watching Outlander will need no more explanation than that.) Of course, Claire has dark hair so Roo will need to change wigs. Roo is on the Judith body.

I should mention that Yarn's head is a little small next to the Dollmore Judith heads. I haven't decided if the difference is enough to bother me. In the photo with Arasa Blue Zinna (below) Yarn makes her look like she has a fat face, but at least he's taller than she is--if you don't count the headdress.
His proportions pair more neatly with Narae and my WithDoll girls. Narae is wearing flat shoes, which make her look smaller than usual, but I like the height difference between them. Her princess dress and crown were gifts from Dollmore with two of my Judith Girl purchases. The dress is not a good fit on the Judith body, but Narae loves it. WithDoll Priscilla is wearing platform heels and still stands half a head shorter than her dance partner.
Even though I bought him a wig from Soul Doll, I ended up putting Yarn in an older wig from Kemper. It's one of those wigs that I try on each incoming male doll and put away because it's too tight, so I know his head is on the smaller side of 6-7. In fact, one doll who has worn it is Raccoon Sarah, who normally wears a 5-6. Maybe I should try some of my other 5-6 wigs on him. Here are a few more dance photos to close.




Sunday, October 23, 2016

WithDoll Dark Knight Priscilla

I ordered Dark Knight Priscilla without the costume and extras that make her a dark knight. Some people might ask: Why buy a limited edition doll without the components that define the edition? My answer to that? The face-up. Basic Priscilla never spoke to me. Dark Knight Priscilla made me sit up and take notice. That said, I did wonder if I would be wowed once I saw the doll without the fantasy trappings. From the moment I opened the box, I was. In case you're wondering, the contraption on her head is the face protector. Instead of removing it to take the photo, I slid it over her head. What you see is the tape on its bottom edge.
I chose Priscilla in normal resin with large bust. She came with an extra pair of hands (for clasping the sword that I didn't buy--maybe I'll give her a musical instrument instead) and high heel feet. I switched to the heel feet immediately, because the only other thing I ordered with her was a pair of pumps. WithDoll calls them silver. In reality they are transparent with some silver glitter mixed into the resin. The sparkle! The bling! Oh, yeah! (See second photo below.)
Her dress could have been a bit longer. The shoes have a platform sole as well as a high heel, which I didn't plan for when I cut out the dress. Then again, a longer dress might have hidden the shoes, so I'm not altogether disappointed. Emma claimed Priscilla's cloak some time back; the new one is not ready. I worked on two long seams yesterday, then quit because cloudy conditions meant I couldn't see what I was doing. I've learned from experience never to work with black thread on dark fabric in low light. It's just too hard to rip out the mistakes.
For her initial photo shoot, Priscilla wore a Monique Pretty Girl wig in brown black/blonde. I didn't use the acrylic eyes that WithDoll sent. Instead I tried various glass eyes from my stash. I had to reject some lovely eyes because their domes were too high to work in this sculpt. Below you see the blue eyes we started with. I love that they match the color of her dress. I don't love that they make her look like a deer in the headlights. Priscilla appears to be a wide-eyed sculpt. The effect intensifies when the camera's flash goes off. 
I gave the blue eyes to Angela. That set off a chain reaction with dolls trading eyes until Priscilla ended up with the light gray-green that Egon originally wore and he ended up with new jellies from DollBakery. I changed Priscilla's wig to go with the lighter eyes; she is now wearing a Monique Ginger wig in peach blonde/ginger brown. I like the softer look this gives her.

Below are Egon and Angela in their new eyes. If I'm not mistaken these are both from DollBakery. Egon's are Wisteria Jelly (no iris) and Angela's are blue denim (low dome-small iris). The blue eyes look much smaller and paler in Angela, influenced both by her narrow eye openings and her dark resin.
Also in the box with Priscilla was Ruby's missing quiver. Ruby is delighted to have it, especially as it coordinates perfectly with the outfit I made her. I crocheted the arm guards. They're a bit thick, so I may replace them with fabric in the same color to match her tights.


Priscilla's dress is adapted from Plaisirs d'Ete, a pattern for Ellowyne Wilde by MHD Designs. The cloak pattern is #27 The Cloak by Gracefaerie Designs for MSD size dolls.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

WithDoll Elf Hunter Ruby

I'll tell you a silly secret. When I first saw this doll's name, I thought Ruby was a girl who hunted elves. You know, like a vampire hunter hunts vampires or a ghost hunter hunts ghosts. So I was delighted to discover that she was an elf named Ruby who happened to be a hunter. Whew! That's a relief.
In the box

She was cute but her full set didn't thrill me: a bra, hot pants, a one-sleeved shrug that WithDoll calls a jacket, and a variety of arm warmers, leg protectors, and belts. It wouldn't be hard to make something in the same vein but more my style, which I did by combining a hodgepodge of pattern pieces. On the other hand, I will admit to instant lust for her bow and arrows. I almost opted to forgo the weapons in favor of making my own from wood, wire and polymer clay. Good thing I ordered them instead, because mine would have ended up way too short.
Option parts
WithDoll's options menu left me somewhat puzzled. They showed a resin shoe that hooks onto the ankle like a foot. Does that make it clothing or an option part? The quiver looked like it was made from fabric. Again, clothing or option part? Scrolling down to the bottom of Ruby's sales page I saw a list that showed both the shoes and the quiver as option parts. I really didn't care for the shoes but I wanted that quiver, so I selected the option parts but not the clothing.
What a long neck you have!
I also ordered her default fur wig, knowing from experience that WithDoll's elf ears sometimes get in the way of wigs fitting properly. It would be good to have at least one wig that fit at the outset. Ironically, I didn't care for the fur wig once I got it. One of my LittleFees is currently wearing it, while Ruby chose Roxy by Monique Gold. I believe the color is Foxy Red.
Unpainted long bow
After just over four months Ruby arrived, slowed down at this end by the lack of mail delivery on Columbus Day. Taking inventory, I saw the resin shoes but no quiver. I asked on Den of Angels and someone responded that she hadn't received a quiver with her order either. On Friday I posted a question on WithDoll's site. Is the quiver supposed to come with the option parts or not? They don't work weekends, so the earliest I can get an answer is Monday. I'll post it here.
WithDoll Elves Angela, Egon and Ruby
I ordered Ruby in WithDoll's (UV) Real resin, a light tan color with peach undertones. It reminds me of an Iplehouse Peach Gold with a bit more brown. WithDoll showed Ruby in Brown Tan resin. My greatest fear in ordering a different color resin from the one shown is that the face-up will not be adjusted for the new color. I ordered the default face-up and crossed my fingers. For the most part I like it, although I wish the lips had less brown pigment. At some point I will probably repaint them. I think I can manage that without affecting the rest of the face-up.

I took my first set of photos before I understood how to make Ruby hold the bow. After someone on Den of Angels explained how to pose her, I decided I would paint Ruby's weapons and take new photos. Ordering unpainted weapons saved me $30, not an insignificant sum considering I could do it myself for free. Yesterday, spurred by a weather report predicting rain for the next two days, I rushed through the job. My results provide ample proof of the adage: Haste makes waste. I painted a black wash over my detail work to hide it and then sprayed it with MSC. Now I'm thinking I should have buffed the raised design slightly to reveal a bit more color. Better yet, I should have used my photos of the unpainted bow and arrows for today's blog and waited to paint the weapons later when I could take my time. Lesson learned.
Red boots from Iplehouse for JID girls

Ruby came with both flat feet and heel feet, plus the option brown high heel feet/shoes. She also has two pairs of hands, one set of which allows her to grasp her bow and arrows. WithDoll included brown acrylic eyes, but no putty for inserting them. After trying on glass eyes in various colors, I selected a bright green that doesn't disappear against her skin. Luckily, I always have spare putty on hand.
Some of the color on the bow shows through
I made a pair of arm guards for Ruby just like the ones Angela and Egon are wearing. For some reason they're too big. It's just as well, because while the stiff guards work for the sword-bearing elves, I want something more pliable for my archer. I am attempting to crochet arm guards for her. If they don't work I'll make a pair from fabric, perhaps to match her leggings. All my elves still need cloaks. Ruby will get one with a standup collar to offset that swan neck.

Now if only she could stretch that bowstring enough to let the arrow fly!

Update October 18, 2016:

I heard back from WithDoll about Ruby's missing quiver. Apparently it should have been included in my package and they will send one as soon as possible. In other words, as soon as they make one. Ruby and I are very happy.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Vermont Doll Lovers Halloween Meet-Up 2016

We're three weeks early but who's counting, right? The Halloween meet-up is always so much fun. Many of the dolls come in costume and folks bring all sorts of props. After mingling and taking formal photos for a while, we tend to get a little silly. That's when the dolls get creative and do stuff like balancing things on their heads, trying out coffins, pooping pumpkins...in other words, the usual.

For some reason I took very few meet-up photos last month. I remedied that this month by taking way too many. So after spending hours editing in Photoshop, I put together collages for each attendee in order to show as many photos of their dolls as possible. Instead of going back through my meet-up posts trying to figure out which doll is which--because let's face it, I never write anything down--I'm just going to identify the owner and post the photos. They show up small in Blogger, so if you want to see any of them larger, just click on the photo.  Here goes!

These are mine:
Rapunzel found it necessary to beat off a little vampire with her trusty frying pan, while her chameleon, Pascal, made the rounds perching on shoulders and heads. (I took so many photos of Rapunzel and the vampire that I may give them their own photostory somewhere down the line.)

Bittersweet Blue:
I just LOVE the candy corn mouse! Great job on the mummy, too. When I tried that with my Realpukis, it looked like they were wearing oversized diapers.

Lyrajean:
Check out the Star Wars action between Rey and Kylo Ren. The Force is strong in these two--or else it's because I edited out the stand that lets Rey fly.

Modern Wizard:
One of her girls brought a foam person to the party. Or who knows? Maybe he simply shadowed her here.

Melface:
Is there anything so cute as a small doll in an oversized witch's hat? You'll have to enlarge the photo to see the conjoined rabbit twins one little boy is holding.

Hope you've had as much fun looking at these as I had putting them together. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! (A few weeks early.)






Sunday, October 2, 2016

Rapunzel and the Little Fox

It may sound like the title to a story but it's not. Rapunzel's outfit is finished, and my Withdoll fox Lucy has arrived.

I made some changes to Rapunzel's outfit from what you saw last week. For one thing, her sleeves were too long. They're supposed to be 3/4 length, so I cut off about an inch and a half and re-sewed the lace. I replaced the lavender daisy trim with white daisies. They have pink centers, which makes them closer in spirit to the original dress's pink embroidery. I added a second row at the sleeve hem.
Finally, I decided against making a slip. The skirt was too full as it was and didn't need any extra volume. Instead, I sewed a piece of lace from the inside so that it hangs below the skirt. Of course now the skirt is too long. I made the mistake of measuring for length when the doll was wearing high heels, forgetting (or maybe ignoring) the fact that Rapunzel doesn't wear shoes in the movie so I would have to switch to her flat feet. This is one mistake I won't fix--there is simply too much work involved. It is what it is: long.
I ended up sewing Rapunzel's corset entirely by hand. I've made this one before and know from experience that I have trouble sewing the curves of the bust accurately on the machine. Add small pattern pieces in a slippery fabric and you get the general idea. I didn't want to waste time ripping out seams. This is one time when hand-sewing was actually quicker.
Dollmore's Rapunzel wig is not entirely accurate. They gave it bangs. The movie Rapunzel wears her hair swept to one side. It's nowhere near as long as Rapunzel's hair is in the movie, which I don't mind seeing how easily it tangles. Any longer and I'd be tearing my own hair out. Every time I change Pascal's position, the curl of his tail catches a few strands of hair and pulls them out of place.
My online search for a frying pan yielded two choices. (If you haven't seen the movie, a frying pan is Rapunzel's weapon of choice for dealing with unwelcome intruders. It proves so effective that by the end of the film the palace guard has adopted it.) I found an American Girl version on ebay, part of a gourmet kitchen set that someone was selling piecemeal. It was gray with a pink handle, not what I wanted at all. The other was all black and came as part of a Coleman stove set for generic 18-inch play dolls. Perfect! I ordered it, it arrived quickly, but not quickly enough. I had just finished taking photos, struck my set and put everything away when the mail arrived. Rapunzel will bring her frying pan to next weekend's Halloween meet-up; I'll get photos then.

On Wednesday my Withdoll tiny fox Lucy arrived, a mere two days after shipping from Korea. If only the waiting time leading up to it had been as short! I ordered Lucy on May 15th; she arrived September 28th. Allowing for two Korean holidays during that time, it still took four months. Was she worth the wait? Absolutely!
Like my little lamb, her furry costume invites cuddles. I think she may be a little bigger than the lamb, or maybe it's only that her head is bigger. If it weren't so hard to get their animal suits on, I would have undressed Lamb Chop and compared them side-by-side to see if there is any actual height difference. Lucy's head is definitely bigger, as are her eyes. Lamb Chop wears 12mm eyes, Lucy wears 14mm. I'm not sure if their wigs are the same size, because there is no size label in Lucy's wig or on its package. I know that Lamb Chop's size 5-6 wig is loose on her, while Lucy's is tight, so maybe they are the same size.
Lucy (whom I have renamed Lulu because I have another doll named Lucy) came with fox paws (hand and foot) as well as human feet and two pairs of human hands. I was able to get the hand paws on, but couldn't change the feet because the doll is strung absolutely taut. Because the paws aren't painted, you really can't tell which feet she is wearing. I thought the fox paws would help her stand more securely, but with the costume's long tail acting as a stabilizer, the smaller feet aren't a problem.
I didn't use the acrylic eyes that came with the doll, instead choosing a pair of light brown glass eyes from my stash. They are flat back eyes, so hopefully they won't make her head as heavy as it would be with full round glass eyes. She already has quite a heavy head for such a small doll!
Lulu and Lamb Chop are headed for the Halloween meet-up next weekend. In the meantime they are dancing with excitement (inasmuch as their fat little animal legs will let them dance). How cute is that?