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I am taking advantage of a true vacation to work on a list of doll projects that has expanded alarmingly in the past months. So far I have:
  • Derooted Cutey Honey's brittle, shedding default hair. When she went to the last VTDL meetup, I noticed that sad state of her hair and vowed to replace them. I don't have the appropriate replacement hair, so she's mostly bald at the moment. At least she's not shedding anymore, though.
  • Put Thalia on the body formerly belonging to Janvier Jett, painted her hands and gave her a temporary outfit.
  • Found a large, fabric-covered storage container at Goodwill and set it up on its side, thus converted it into a passable seat to accommodate long-limbed dolls like Jareth.
  • Improved Yamarrah
Yamarrah's hair was not sticking up enough, so I tacked down more of the long pieces.
Read more... )
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I've decided not to laboriously reproduce my picture-filled posts on this blog when I can just point to the official VTDL blog post in which attendees did entertaining things with their dolls and Xmas props. I think Yamarrah got a little overwhelmed on her first Xmas... :p
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I decided to bring Timonium and either Yamarrah or Araminthe to Dollism. First, they represent my major scales, 1:6 scale and 1:3 scale respectively. Second, they have no small movable parts to lose. Timonium's wig fits snugly; his skirt's rubber-banded around his waist with clear elastics, his choker is hot glued down, and he doesn't have detachable ears [like Flower's] to come loose.

I'm not sure about whether to bring Yamarrah or Araminthe. Yamarrah's earrings, wig and glasses are all secured to her head with hot glue, so her hair won't escape [the way that Araminthe's occasionally does]. However, I really need to extend the orange of her hands up her wrists if I'm going to bring her, as her color mismatches really piss me off. Araminthe has a sturdier, less fiddly body than Yamarrah, but she doesn't represent my fabulous [har!] skills in faceups and wigmaking the way that Yamarrah does. Araminthe's faceup is completely default, and I haven't yet worked up the courage to wipe and redo it.
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Yesterday CCDC welcomed its largest complement of attendees ever! A whole dozen of us attended, including newcomers Pink and their husband [from Maine] and Pink's friend from Quebec [who doesn't have any dolls...yet]. We spent the entire extended duration [noon to 4:00 PM] talking dolls, posing and photoing them, in between side conversations about mutual interests such as Monster High, Internet-based cartoons and fursuits. As far as I can tell, everyone enjoyed themselves. :D
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This is probably because the BJD community places such a high value on aesthetics, which means that laboriously sanded and delicately layered works receive more approbation than messy, experimental, jerry-rigged ones. I have learned, however, that, in the end, resin BJDs are no different than plastic action figures. Both types of dolls mod very well with an application of hacksaw, rotary tool, Aves Apoxie Sculpt and hot glue. Read more... )
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Because it's been too hot to go outside and do her torso/abdomen mods, I have stayed inside and brightened Yamarrah's faceup. What's shown below is pretty much done; I just need to even out the color on her tongue and regloss it.

I'm pretty sure she's trying to decide her favorite creemee flavor: either vanilla/chocolate swirl or black raspberry. ^_^

Read more... )

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After languishing in pieces for over half a year, Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!!! Today I took her new torso [specially cast by Mirodoll to match her Iplehouse realskin head] and modded it to accept her original Domuya arms. I filled in the large shoulder sockets with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt so that they would more snugly accommodate her shoulder balls, which were on the small side. I managed a snug fit by layering Aves Apoxie Sculpt on the inside of each socket and then, after letting it stiffen for about 45 minutes, rolling the shoulder ball around in the Apoxie Sculpt to create a new socket, perfectly shaped for her shoulder ball.Read more... )

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Yamarrah stole the wig I made for Jareth, as well as his glasses. Well, I guess that wig's not for him anymore... :p The glasses, however, he's not giving up so easily.

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I've been working on Yamarrah's faceup for a long time, mostly, as can be discerned from the results, with orange, red and yellow Prismacolors. Her tongue, inner mouth, eyebrows and eyelashes are done, and right now she's resting to see if I like the way her lips have turned out. If I do, I will seal her lips and then work on her teeth.

She's one of the sweetest dolls I've had the pleasure of working on. I can't really describe it any other way except to say that her mischievous expression and floppy body combine to make her a friendly, cuddly, cheery person. I've thought about getting a bronze Soom Mega Gem body to match her head, but I really do like her wiggly, floppy Domuya Flexibody. As much as her inability to hold a pose bothers me, it's become part of her character now that I don't think I can sacrifice, even for resin matching. I guess she's just a really loungey fire elemental!

Read more... )
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Yamarrah moves closer and closer toward completion. She got new and improved eyes recently from Captured in Glass. They are low-dome 14mms with chartreuse irises and pupils the color of oxygenated blood. They go better with her overall concept than did the pink ones. They also photo brilliantly!
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Yamarrah has hung around without a faceup or a creemee because I've been trying to think of the best method to match her light brown head with her yellowy body. See the mismatch?
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I got her head in Iplehouse "real skin" color because that's the color that the split partner chose who bought the body. I got her body in Domuya NS because, at $145.00 shipped, it was the cheapest 1:3 scale body I've ever seen. If one part of her was WS and the other NS, I wouldn't care so much, but the different between the brown and pale yellow resins requires a remedy.

I'm now currently thinking to prime and spray paint parts of her torso and arms. Her upper torso [she has a ridiculous number of torso joints] and her separate neck ball may be painted some light brown. I'm not looking for an exact match to her head, just something closer than pale yellow. Her upper arms and separate shoulder balls may be painted the same light brown with orange highlights. Her forearms and separate elbow joints may be painted lighter orange with darker orange accents.

So basically the concept is to move from her clear orange hands to light orange forearms and elbow joints with dark orange accents. From there, we move to light brown upper arms and shoulder balls with dark orange accents. From there we move to a light brown upper torso and neck ball.

Not sure if I will get all this priming and spray painting done by the time the weather turns too cold to spray. This doll is taking much longer to complete than I expected. I don't want to do a sloppy, rushed job on her, so I expect that the increased waiting time will pay off.
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What would happen if Yamarrah, fire elemental, and Gloravnia, sprite of tears, became friends? I dunno, but it sure would be entertaining!

As a side note, I'm thinking that Gloravnia wears a cropped T-shirt, bellbottom pants and little hightops. She has different stripes of blues in her hair, double ponytails and little cat's-eye glasses. Not sure where to get little cat's-eye glasses...

Gloravnia likes toasted marshmallows. [Excuse to get Rement s'mores set.]  Maybe she can cook them on Yamarrah's hair. :p 
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I tacked some more around her scalp and a lot on her sideburns, trying to make them less voluminous. I also put some Mod Podge in her bangs so that they appear to be affected by gravity. She has no clothes on because I took them off to wire her from her torso all the way down each of her legs and also through each arm.

I think her forelock needs tacking.
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Tacked more flyaways down. Combed out the spikes for more of a blended look. Glued in some red bangs, then pulled down some orange pieces for further bangs. Still need to sculpt the bangs a bit and, of course, the widow's peak and sideburns will lie flat against Yamarrah's skull when I'm done; I'll either glue them or use sticky tack on them after I do her faceup. Still, it's looking good!
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Last night I added a bit of bulk to one of the sideburns and stitched some flyaway locks to her wig cap so that they pointed upward. Still need to tame some errant strands, but it's looking much better now.

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Made another draft wig this morning out of pink fibers, cutting them with the grain so that the hair pointed down. I rolled under less of the edges so that this one was a bit bigger than the first draft, but still snug. Yamarrah models in the first picture, Jareth in the second.

Confident that my pattern would fit Yamarrah, I cut out her final wig from the yellow base fur with red and orange spikes. The third picture shows her hair before styling. I then saw that her hair sat high on her forehead, so I experimented with the addition of a widow's peak. The last picture shows her current hair after the addition of Mod Podge and widow's peak, a separate triangular piece of fur that I stitched in.

I still want to give her little pieces of loose hair hanging in front of her ears. I am satisfied with progress so far, though.


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I made my first 1:3 scale faux fur wig tonight! To create a pattern for Yamarrah's wig, I used Janvier Jett's wig, made by Akasarushi. I flipped it inside out, traced one half and reverse-engineered a simple pattern based on two semicircles side by side. Then I hot glued the edges under and stitched the center part. Had to rip out a stitch or two from the part at the back edge to make it fit, but otherwise it was the correct size. A successful first draft!

I noticed when I turned the wig right-side out that I had cut the draft wig against the grain of the fur, meaning that the hair was pointing up instead of down. Since I want Yamarrah to be a fire sprite, the resultant messy, anti-gravity look is actually pretty cool. It also adds to the 1980s air she has, I think.

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Her current pink eyes do her no favors, so I'm getting some 14mm low-dome Captured in Glass ET11s, with yellow irises and red pupils.

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Look what I got today! Faux fur for Yamarrah's hair! Initially she was going to have black/red/purple zigzag hair, but, as I decided she is a fire elemental, I wanted to continue the orange coloration beginning on her semi-transparent hands. Incidentally, I wanted this to be the material for Mellifer's wig, but it was sold out when I was ready to buy, so he got a purple base with orange and yellow spikes instead.

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I pierced her ears today by putting a drill bit in my Dremel and using a very low speed. Success!


Read more... )

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Commissioned from violetheavensky on Etsy, these meticulous, affordable items arrived today.
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I filled in Yamarrah's deep neck socket with Aves Apoxie Sculpt this weekend. Here she is waiting for her shirt and for some wiring. I think her sculpt is beautiful, even unpainted. I like how rectilinear and smooth it is.

Right now I'm planning to do flames along her neck, flames for eyebrows [!], flames up her forearms and possibly flames on her ears. This may change once I actually start scribbling on her.

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A calculating cutie, deliberating on how to acquire her next creemee. She is not shown on her body yet because the neck is horribly short, so I have to fill in some of her neck socket at the bottom of her head.

I really like the clean, rectangular lines of her face. The curled tip on her tongue is my favorite detail, and I also appreciate her stupendously wide earspan.

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She's wonderful! She has a little tongue! And little teefs! Iplehouse "real skin" is a nice light tan with a brown base.
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Seller PacificBlue [Maria] just alerted me that she has sent my Iplehouse Doria vampire head from Quincy, MA to my workplace by priority insured. She should arrive on Monday!!

Also scheduled to arrive Monday [to my house] is Barrett, my FR London Calling Kyu, who is apparently coming MIB. I can always use a nice, sturdy doll box for something....

My package containing the tan Liv, P. Bo and Jazzie has also left the building, but I'm not sure about the location from which it was sent or the shipping method.

No word on the progress of Shopping While Constipated Raquelle and friends, although I do have someone interested in one of the Dream House dolls coming with Raquelle.

It's raining dolls!

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I'm surprised the package didn't disintegrate on the way from Sweden, however, given that it was a mere shoebox secured with Scotch tape, with the address label on a single sheet of wrapping paper poorly adhered to the box. >_>

Fortunately, however, the contents arrived intact, though fully strung. I expected an unstrung doll, so was actually disappointed that I did not have to reassemble her.

Though renowned for its poor posing abilities, the Domuya Flexi body is much more than I expected. Mine, at least, is strung with just the right tension, and it's balanced, engineered and weighted well enough to stand on high-pile carpeting right out of the box. There are indeed lots of joints, making the body better suited to sitting, lying, slouching and curling up, rather than standing. However, nearly every single joint has locks so that limbs and torso segments can keep their position. Thus the body is pretty solid, even without wiring, though I am gonna wire the arms.

Anyway, here's Yamarrah's body and outfit as it stands. The sweatshirt fits, but it rides up on her shoulders whenever I move her arms, so I will not be using it. Instead I will go with an oversize, lightweight T-shirt of the same color with a boat neck and raglan sleeves [yeah, 1980s!!!]. I just have to commission that. The sweatshirt will do for now, though. Besides the shirt, I'm very pleased with the results. I look forward to painting flames up her forearms and neck to disguise some of the resin difference.

Read more... )
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I just scored Yamarrah a Domuya Flexi Perennial body off the DOA marketplace for $145.00 shipped, which is less than I paid for her head. O_O Known for their high level of articulation and concomitant difficulty in posing, the Domuya Flexi bodies have a distinctly segmented, mechanical look to their sculpt [in contrast to the Shinydoll Thaasa bodies, which represent a beautiful marriage of engineering, aesthetics and poseability -- yes, it's a menage a trois!].

Ever since I restrung August last summer, I have grown increasingly confident about customizing my BJDs more intensively. I've improved my subtractive mods, such as sanding Novella's head, removing Béatrice's pointy ears, modding Isabel and Carter's necks, etc. I've even ventured into additive mods with an Aves Apoxie Sculpt headback for the dead version of Isabel. I've developed my own fur wig pattern and gained enough skill with faux fur so that I am ready to branch out into the wool that I got from Georgia Landau. In conclusion, I'm ready to take on a challenge like Yamarrah's new body.

The Domuya Flexi will need significant wiring in order to hold poses, I think. I may also need to fuse the hip balls to the thighs and perhaps one of the torso joints to the other to prevent parts spinning around. Furthermore, since the resin of the body, which has pink undertones, will not match Yamarrah's head, which has brown undertones, I will be painting [or scribbling] stylized flames on her upper breast and neck, as well as her wrists and forearms. Yippee!!
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Note to self: The DOA marketplace contains many cheap, aesthetically acceptable bodies by Fantasy Doll. Searching under "fantasydoll," "fdoll" or "fantasy doll" finds them.

Further Yamarrah concept: Fire elemental with flames up her forearms and on her breast, up her neck, to incorporate cool translucent hands and to cover mismatch in skintone. Possibly also flames on ears and cheeks.

Yamarrah: "Hey little dude! I'm a fire spirit too!"

Mellifer: O_O

Hee hee hee. 
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Remember her? I did a split for her along with a person who wanted the human head and a person who wanted the body. I have already paid off Yamarrah's head [good thing too, as expenses in our new place are really draining me], but I am waiting for the other two split partners to finish the 3-month layaway. The final payment for that is due at the end of June, so Yamarrah should ship to the buyer of the body sometime in July!

I already have the following pieces of her:
I should lay all these pieces out and take a few photos.

Of course, she needs a body. Given that her hands are translucent yellow and obviously not matching the rest of her and also that most of her except neck and part of shoulders will be covered, I wonder if I can find a cheap body on the DOA marketplace and paint the exposed parts to match? I've done it with 1:6ers...



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While not a fan of Soom's 1:3 scale bodies, which I find rather stiff and unyielding, I love their fem hands [ref. Jareth's]. I just scored a set of Soom Topaz' translucent yellow hands off the DOA marketplace, for no other reason than the fact that they look really cool. They have the same sculpt as Jareth's, only with shorter nails. I really like the expressive positioning of the fingers on Jareth's hands, so I'm pleased to get a similar set for Yamarrah.

:p :d

May. 20th, 2013 08:06 am
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I just caught the first owner pictures of Iplehouse Doria's vampire head -- i.e., Yamarrah's sculpt. Her tongue curls up a bit at the tip! Adorable! 
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This photostory started off as a simple showcase for my latest 1:6 scale accessory, a blood bag, but then changed into something longer and more pointless.
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...was purchased for the sole purpose of illustrating the joke below. Coincidentally, it also happens to be perfectly 1:6 scale, so, now that its express purpose is finished, some musically inclined 1:6er may appropriate it.
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I made her eyebrows thicker. As is my wont, I'll most likely end up doing her up based on what I think will look best when I have her and my colored pencils actually in front of me. Well, and my paints too. There's no way I'm scribbling on the inside of her mouth. Read more... )

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The seller's photos of the creemee appliques for Yamarrah's sweatshirt do not encompass the sheer tackitude of these decorations, so I have scanned my own appliques.

Read more... ) 

I can just imagine the designer's thoughts:

Okay, this needs to be REALLY BRIGHT. I'll do light pastels: pink and blue. Wait...I really like pink. Better add some magenta. And canary yellow. 

Hmm...still not enough. I know! Besides pastel pink and baby blue, the creemee swirls should be iridescent purple. Tres glitzy.

I don't know. It's just not POPPING.

Hmm...Hmmm...

Well, of course! The cones need to be polka dotted! And the ice cream needs stars on top!

...Whaddaya mean -- a Bedazzler would put us over budget?! I wanted rhinestones!

Fear not, frustrated designer! With the small adhesive rhinestones from among my supplies, I will rectify such a grievous decorative omission!
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You've heard me and Jareth talking about her, but, unless you're Janna, you haven't seen detailed renderings of Yamarrah's mockup. Here they are.
OOAK HTF VINTAGE LQQK )
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As I mentioned last October, the Chinese BJD company Magical Angel combines low prices with extremely responsive customer service, a rarity in the BJD world, where language barriers and time differences regularly contribute to sporadic, frustrating communication with doll makers. Though I have none of their dolls, I really like them because they seem ready to do all sorts of custom things that most companies either don't do or charge exorbitant amounts for, like sculpting custom heads or making custom resin matches.

Anyway, I'm just making some notes for myself based on PMs that have been hanging around in my DOA inbox for a while.
  • For custom sculpting, MA accepts .obj files, and it is okay if the .obj files do not show eyewells, neck hole and headcap. One can specify head circumference, neck circumference and eye size. They would do a truly 1:6 scale head for Juniper [8mm eyes, 10cm head circumference and 4cm neck circumference] for $800.00.
  • For resin matching, MA will either match a photo [not recommended] or a body part, such as a headcap. For example, I'm thinking of getting an MA 60cm girl body with custom resin color for Yamarrah.  The custom color would add just $30.00 to the base price. As Yamarrah's head is a semi-translucent resin, I may go for a semi-translucent body, which would also jack up the cost maybe $20.00. Still amazingly cheap, though...
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Well, that was arduous. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I created custom panel layouts in Photoshop Elements and then figured out how to stick photos in the panels so that they wouldn't overlap and/or block out other panels or photos.

I thoroughly frustrated myself in research about transparency, layer masks and clipping masks until I discovered that Elements has a Paste to Selection tool. I therefore just selected the interior of the desired panel with the Magic Wand tool, then copied my desired photo and Pasted to Selection.

After the photo is pasted, I can resize and reposition it, although this feature goes away as the panel and photo layers merge when I move to work on another panel. I'm sure there's a way to Paste to Selection or its equivalent, while retaining the ability to resize and reposition the pasted photo, but this method suffices for now.

So here's me experimenting with my new pages with the help of Jareth and Sardonix. I need to create custom shapes for speech bubbles with different orientations and also figure out how to make the bubbles default to white with black outlines and the text default to black, but, again, this suffices for now.Read more... )
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From head to toe:
  • Faux fur wig with parallelograms of pink, red and black
  • Earrings made from Iwako creemee erasers
  • Oversize, off-the-shoulder, pink sweatshirt with a) red cuffs, collar and bottom trim, b) glittery creemee applique and c) added shoulder strap to make it seem like there's a tank top underneath 
  • Black leggings
  • Black/red basketball shoes
She will also, of course, have actual non-clothing creemees to eat. :D

I sure hope this split goes through! :D

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Iplehouse Doria's special edition fantasy head amuses me to no end [as does the phrase "tonsil hockey"].

Read more... ) 

I keep thinking she needs an ice cream cone. :d "Whoops...sorry...dribbling a little bit there... Creemees are so delicious, but so messy!"

Araminthe: "Keep your sloppy desserts away from my camera. >:( "

As may be surmised by the fact that she is already interacting with my other dolls, this doll will most likely join the 1:3 scale hordes. More specifically, I am trying to engineer a split in which one buyer gets the body, another the human head and me the fantasy head. Then I'll scrounge her a body that is cheaper and much more poseable than Iplehouse's shapely, but not very movable, offerings.

If the split goes through, her name will be Yamarrah, and she will be extremely! perky! She will enjoy ice cream and Jazzercise, and she will dress in an oversize sweatshirt, leggings, legwarmers and hightops. She may also have a sweatband and large triangular earrings. She will definitely have a fur wig! She and Janvier Jett can swap makeup tips.
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 Iplehouse's EID special edition Doria The Addiction is sticking out hers, at least on the fantasy head. She and IOS Infernale should get together and play tonsil hockey.

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