Sunday, August 27, 2017

Safrin Eyes and a Crocheted Dress

Earlier this summer I ordered resin eyes from Safrin Doll. I've purchased eyes from them before, without ever really liking how my dolls looked in them. Their colors can be intense, which I find distracting in larger dolls. People on Den of Angels are using them in FID and similar sized dolls, however, so I decided to give them another try. I ordered six pairs: one pair of 10mm in Natural Autumn for Unoa Chibi Lilin, one pair of 8mm in Bold Meadow (a violet) for Raccoon Sarah, and four pairs of 6mm eyes: Natural Aegean seen on Raccoon Mika, Bold Juicy Pear on Raccoon Monica, Natural Tiger Lily for FID Grace, and Natural Icicles (still in the package). Of the six colors, the Natural Autumn look the most natural:
It's hard to see because the outdoor lighting makes them look brown, but these eyes are hazel.

Safrin calls the following eyes Natural Tiger Lily. I'm so glad I didn't order Bold, because these are plenty bold enough! I had been searching for amber eyes for Grace for when she's dressed as Claire from Outlander. The Glib eyes I ordered first looked amber on my computer screen but were just plain brown in person. So I ordered Safrin's Tiger Lily, hoping they might come down on the brown side of orange. Just my luck, they are definitely orange. With a black wig, however, they'll be fun at Halloween.
Below you see Raccoon Sarah, Monica, and Mika. Sarah's Bold Meadow eyes look better in person than they do in this photo, Monica's Bold Juicy Pear look particularly scary no matter which doll wears them, and I had to put the so-called "Natural" Aegean in small-eyed Mika because they made everyone else look like they had green fire in their eyes. Whatever else they are, these colors are intense. The advantage to using them in dolls with small eyes, of course, is that they show up in photographs. Boy, do they ever! So I shouldn't complain.
Here's a better view of the Bold Meadow. They work better than the Sprouty Eyes Sarah wore previously, not to mention how appropriate they look with the flowered dress she wears.
For now I intend to put the Natural Icicles (a light blue) in Raccoon Elf Daisy when her head arrives, because Raccoon ships bodiless heads without default eyes. On the other hand, I don't love the Sprouty Eyes that Creature Doll Mei is now wearing. Either eye is pretty by itself; the trouble is they don't match. The color is slightly off and one eye has a sequin or large piece of glitter that catches and reflects light. I would give Mei the Natural Icicles eyes except they're 6mm and she looks better in 8mm. (Her eyelashes don't appear to match, either. That's what happens when I sort through tiny, previously used eyelashes without a magnifying glass.)

Last item on the agenda today--but certainly not least--is a crochet dress I made for LittleFee Ante. I've wanted to make something incorporating shell stitches for some time now. I had a pattern description for making the shell stitch; the rest involved row-by-row fitting on the doll and problem solving. That said, I only had to take out small sections of stitches, so I'm happy. The dress uses five colors of yarn: a variegated yarn with multiple colors in it for the bodice, and four individual colors for the skirt and the shell pattern. I tried to match the individual colors to those in the variegated yarn and got it for the most part. My one fail was the green. (It looks yellow in the photos.) I chose a color called Wasabi and didn't notice until I had gone too far along to change it that I should have picked Sage. Oh well, it's not the end of the world. And the dress did come out cute, if I say so myself. Just don't ask me for the pattern, because there isn't one.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

FID Raffine, Raccoon Doll Steeze Rosie, and Creature Doll Mei

Can you believe it? Three arrivals within four days! I ordered Raccoon Doll Steeze Rosie in May, FID Raffine six weeks later (June) and Creature Doll Mei two and a half weeks later (July). Raffine arrived first on August 10th and the other two girls made their appearance on the 14th. Luckily I had most of my sewing done, so it was a simple matter of dressing each new arrival and taking photos.

Iplehouse FID Raffine was available in a choice of two makeups: this one (which is similar to FID Miho's makeup, which I eventually removed) and one with a lot of glitter and gold in it. (I haven't seen any examples of that one. Must be it didn't catch on with collectors.) For the record, I think this makeup works better on Raffine than it did on Miho, although I wish the Iplehouse artist had a lighter hand with the blusher. It photographs well, but in person it looks like a bad sunburn. Raffine arrived in time to go to last week's doll meet-up. Here are some additional photos:
She wore the above For My Doll wig to the meet-up. A couple of days ago I received a new Queenie wig by Monique Gold that I had intended for Creature Doll Lucia. As it turns out the wig is too full for Lucia--it hides her elf ears. Raffine tried it on and liked it. So did Mei, but Raffine is keeping it for now. It adds a bit of color to her overwhelmingly silver gown. (The dress pattern is Star Gazer from Designs by Jude. I had to remake the bow because my fabric wouldn't hold a crease.)

I asked on Den of Angels and also searched online for the meaning of steeze because I had never encountered the term before. According to a couple of urban slang dictionaries, the word is a combination of style and ease. That makes Racoon Doll Steeze Rosie a girl who carries off her style with ease. Sort of a street version of panache. The alternative face-up choice was Kong's Ann Rosie, whose platinum hair and red lips conjure up Fay Wray as Ann Darrow in King Kong. Although I liked both incarnations of Rosie, it was Steeze Rosie who jumped off the screen and demanded to come home with me. And here she is:
I bought the Monique Gold Ginger wig before she arrived. One look and I didn't need to try any other wigs on her. As for her outfit, after I made the aqua top and a coordinating print skirt, I came across another outfit while searching through my clothing stash. I don't remember for which doll I made it--possibly a WithDoll--but all I had to do to make it fit Rosie was to move the snaps a bit. It's from Gracefaerie's #14 Mini Wardrobe for Narae pattern. When I made it I omitted the sleeves from the jacket and blouse and left the skirt unpleated, which makes it look like a completely different outfit.
Rosie is cast in Raccoon Doll's new Milk Mocha resin, a beautiful soft color between normal and Sweet Mocha. Shortly after she arrived, Raccoon Doll announced the sale of four limited edition heads, one of which is an elf version of their Daisy sculpt. Much as I would love to have a Milk Mocha Elf Daisy, I can't afford a whole doll at this time and ordered the head in normal resin. She'll take over my WithDoll Priscilla's body. The timing was perfect, as I had been about to list Priscilla for sale. Now she'll be repurposed instead. I know the head will fit the body because I tested a Raccoon head for fit; I only hope the resin color will be a decent match. Both of my normal skin Raccoon girls are now two years old, so odds are the resin has mellowed. Even so, their color isn't too far off WithDoll's normal resin. It should work.

Last of the new arrivals is Creature Doll Mei. Unlike Lucia, Mei is human, not an elf. (I wanted one of each.) As I don't care for the company's face-up style, I ordered her blank and painted her myself. Here she is before face-up, which lets you see the basic sculpt:
I encountered the same problem when painting her that I encountered with Lucia: a slippery spot above her left eyebrow that wouldn't take color even after spraying with MSC. Fortunately I noticed before I got too far in the painting, so I was able to remove the color I had already applied and go over the area gently with a fine-grit sanding sponge. It's odd that two dolls should have the same issue. I wonder if it's something to do with how they prepare their molds for casting? Here is Mei with completed face-up:
Mei went through several costume changes over the course of the week before I decided to make something that would be uniquely hers. Using the same Gracefaerie #14 Mini Wardrobe for Narae pattern, I chose the pieces for the Lolita dress and then deconstructed it. Gone are the sleeves, the collar, the excessive fullness of the skirt and the lacy embellishments. I knew it would work because I've done it before (in two different sizes). The result is a simple sleeveless dress which I embellished in a coordinating fabric:
Finally, a comparison shot of all three girls. Keep in mind that Raffine is the only one wearing high heels. The other two are wearing flats. All three are pretty close in height and aesthetic, not surprising when you consider that Raccoon's and Creature's sculptors both worked for Iplehouse before setting out on their own. Mei's wig is by Iplehouse.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Vermont Doll Lovers Meeting August 12, 2017

Lots of photos today so I'll keep text to a minimum. We had 8 attendees at yesterday's meetup: 5 members and 3 guests. Everyone brought dolls! They ran the gamut from an oh-so-real looking elf reborn to anime figures to BJDs. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)
My girls. I'll introduce FID Raffine (on right) next week.
Bittersweet Blue's crew
Dancing Hare's (NY guest) elf baby, made from a kit. He didn't cry once!
Modern Wizard's big girls.
Lyrajean's crew
Bishonen Steve belongs to Melface.
Part of Urban Hermit's (Montreal guest) crew
Two really big guys from Granado and Dollits.
Melface's crew
Anime figures and skeleton crew.
Uh-oh! (Belongs to Bittersweet Blue)

Lyrajean's Licca

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Three More New Outfits: I'm on a Roll

I don't know how I did it, but I managed to turn out three more outfits this week: one dress and two skirt-and-top combinations. My impetus was the expected shipping of Raccoon Rosie, because I wanted her to have something new and uniquely hers upon arrival. So, even though I was itching to start a skirt and top for FID Grace, I started with a dress for Rosie.

I chose a tried-and-true pattern: Dressing Up, from Designs by Jude (for 17-inch Hermione and Nancy). I've made the dress before for Raccoon girls, as well as the skirt-and-top option for Creature Doll. Much as I hate to keep recycling the same look, the dearth of suitably sized patterns at least inspires creativity. This time I omitted the sleeves from the dress. I also made it in color block instead of the same color throughout. Both fabrics--an orange print and a yellow eyelet--came from my stash. Raccoon Monica served as my fit model.
I love how it came out, and the colors work well with Monica's sweet mocha resin. Of course, the longer I looked at it the more I wondered if the color combination would work equally well with Rosie's new milk mocha resin, which is supposed to be pinker in tone. On the off chance that it might not work and because Monica informed me that she intended to keep the dress, I looked for another quick project. (I mean, just look at those eyes. Would you dare cross her?) I chose Designs by Jude's Urban Beat, a skirt, jacket and long sleeve top pattern that I have previously used for both Raccoon girls and Judith girls. I made the skirt and top in colors that should work better with pinker skin tones. No jacket this time. More photos when Rosie can try it on. Fingers crossed that she'll like it. If not, it's back to the sewing table.
After all that rush, here we are a week later and Rosie is still queued for shipment. Hmm, how long is this queue?

Mid-week I finally got the chance to start Grace's new outfit. She has been dressed as Claire from the Outlander series pretty much since the day she arrived. That worked well in cooler weather, but it's now August and just looking at the heavy cowl and gloves made me itch. Recently I purchased two patterns from Designs by Jude fitted to FID ladies: a two-piece casual outfit called Clam Bake and a long gown called Star Gazer. I'm sewing Star Gazer for FID Raffine, who is on order. Not waiting for a shipping notice this time, I started sewing it yesterday. Gonna be gorgeous! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had been thinking for some time of making a bohemian/hippie style outfit for FID, inspired partly by a Doll Heart outfit I purchased for my FeePle Moe60 girls and partly by the hippie style outfits produced recently by Iplehouse. Until now, the only thing stopping me was wondering how to construct the three-tiered skirt. Making Rosie's skirt this week provided my Eureka! moment. So, with the halter top from Clam Bake, an extra tier added to the skirt from Urban Beat, and a variety of prints in shades of gray and near gray from my bottomless stash, I came up with a vintage bohemian look for Grace.
Her wild and crazy hair is a new wig from Iplehouse. Believe it or not, it spent a full day soaking in water and fabric softener--which didn't help in the least. In the end I figured I'd let her embrace it as part of her look. Also, after taking these photos I added another snap set to keep the top from gapping so much in front. Despite an entire page of photos, the halter pattern was somewhat hard to follow. There was one bit I didn't understand at all, so I'm not sure the fit is exactly as it's meant to be. If I make it again (to go with the clam digger pants in the pattern) I'll try putting it together slightly differently and see if that makes it fit better.
Both girls are wearing new eyes from Safrin Doll. Monica's are a color called Juicy Pear Bold; Grace's are called Tiger Lily Natural. The colors are rather intense, even the so-called natural ones. I did get a pair in Autumn Natural for a larger doll that look normal by comparison. I need to take photos. Monica is also wearing a new wig: Wendy from Monique Gold. The part should be on the side, but either way I like it.