…although, since he is on layaway, the doll will not arrive for a while. Expensive fucker.
I am zees close to buying a Sabik [Iron Brain edition, yahahahahahah!] on layaway when he is available tomorrow.
I want this doll because it looks like a character of mine [Will] and because it’s approximately the size I want as well. With mannequins [aka life-size dolls!!] as a comparison, I mistakenly assumed that 1:3 BJDs would be much BIGGER than a measly 60 or 70 cm. Sabik’s size, 80 cm, approaches what I’d expect from a BJD, although I’d be much happier with a 3- or 4-footer.
EDIT: I really hope that Build A Bear clothes would fit Sabik as egregiously short crop tops or shorts or microskirts, especially since they are cheaaaaaap and there is a BAB store nearby.
In my investigations, I have discovered two more companies to add to my list of companies I do not want to patronize because they are tainted by plagiarism.
Lolidoll is right out for ripping off the Volks School A head.
DollMore’s latest Model Doll Girl outfit has clearly lost something in translation. Sex is pretty funny…
I had a mini-misu for breakfast. It looked like tiramisu, smelled like it, behaved like it and, importantly, really tasted like tiramisu! When I next try the recipe…
I adjusted my tiramisu recipe. I reduced its size to make two little tiramisus, each in a ramekin, or mini-misus. Pictures and recipe alterations below.
Ingredients for 2 mini-misus
2 cups 1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese. 1 tsp vanilla extract. Shit…I forgot the vanilla extract this time.
1/2 cup low-fat, non-dairy whipped topping [new ingredient].
1/4 cup granulated superfine sugar.
1/2 lb 3 slices angel food cake.
1/2 cup instant decaf coffee.
1 tsp 1/2 tsp cocoa powder.
Make coffee in a wide-mouth container. Let cool. Ignore foul stench.
vanilla extract whipped topping and sugar in a bowl.
Slice the cake.
Dip one face of each slice Dunk the whole piece of cake quickly into the coffee. Coffee should soak the cake about halfway through, but leave the other side dry. Put the slices dry side down in a casserole dish or similar till they cover the bottom of the dish. Put 1 1/2 slices of coffee-soaked cake in the bottom of a ramekin.
Spread the cheesy goodness on top of the coffee-soaked cake.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder on the top of each mini-misu.
Refridgerate the mini-misus for at least an hour.
Since Jennifer’s elbow joint broke at the last Burlington meet, I’ve been waiting for replacement parts. Today I received them, so I installed her new elbow and forearm. Temporarily thwarted by an overly tight elbow joint, I then realized that the hemispherical halves of each “ball” in the Obitsu joints are actually caps concealing a screw that holds the joint together. I loosened this screw with a letter opener and got her new elbow to the appropriate tension. I also fixed her loose right leg by tightening her knee screw.
As I took apart and put back together the Obitsu body, I admired Jennifer. I realized that I have not paid much individual attention to her since getting her last November; for example, she hasn’t had a photoshoot of her own. But, now that I have calibrated her so that she is more mobile and poseable, I appreciate her much more. I recognize what drew me to her when I first saw her last summer at Ivy’s house. When calibrated correctly, the Obitsu body is a tough and flexible poser. Additionally, I love my Jennifer because of her face. Her expression and her maturity fluctuate slightly with each angle. Such an unstable physiognomy works well for a character who is both childlike and full-grown, sexual and also innocent. [Plus I like her glowing eyes.]
Blah blah blah, silly photostory below.
RealDoll. [That’s a link to a Salon article, not a link to Abyss Creations’ site.] I swear…in the 10 [gah, has it been so long?!] years I’ve been actively playing with dolls, whether fashion dolls, action figures or BJDs, all discussions eventually wind around to RealDoll. This is probably because RealDoll encompasses and foregrounds the complicated relationships that people have with their dolls [personification, sexualization, idolatry, possessiveness]. What seems to be on the margin [RealDoll ownership] actually illuminates the central paradoxes of doll play.
In my continuing series on dolls helping [or hindering] the laundry, I now present Submit doing the laundry all by herself. [She insisted. Stubborn gal.]
Slayage, the online journal of Buffy studies, has a new URL. It can now be found here: http://www.slayageonline.com/
O frabjous day!
For the past few years, I have been looking for books about the affective, psychological and cultural meanings of dolls, specifically as they might pertain to the modern popularity of BJDs. If anyone has more suggestions, let me know!
I should probably buy Barbie’s Queer Accessories since I’ve read it so many times. It’s a grassroots ethnography of the creative and subversive ways in which children [mostly girls] play with Barbie and other fashion dolls. It’s a great counterpoint to the top-down philosophizing of, say, Life Like Dolls, the author of which probably never played with dolls.
I just ordered Created in Our Image: The Miniature Body of the Doll as Subject and Object. It looks like one of those exhaustive academic treatises, which is fine with me. I don’t mind the exhaustive academic treatise or two, especially since few scholars take dolls seriously. I think it’s an overview of images of dolls in British literature over the past 250 years.
On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection is next on my list. It discusses the modern fascination with little things [miniature books], big things [expanded museum replicas of the human heart, for example], souvenirs and collections. While not directly addressing dolls, I’m certain this book can provide some insight into the closely related phenomena of cherishing, amassing and idealizing…all common activities with one’s dolls.
And here’s an interesting one: Plastic Culture: How Japanese Toys Conquered the World. I’m sure it would contain cultural context, and it had better mention dolls, since there’s a Blythe on the cover!
Finally the weather turned seasonable, sunny and warm [75 degrees F!], so Sardonix hit the park for the first time. Then we went out to eat and she stole all my French fries…
I realized that I have never taken a portrait of my latest crop of BJDs all together. So, since today was warm and sunny [after unending days of nor’easters and gloom], we repaired to the front porch for a photo session.
The Onion launches a barrage of zingers at the radio show This American Life. It is a very funny article. All the zingers find their mark as the piece deflates the bombastic, precious excesses of TAL. Here’s my favorite part, a fictional quote from TAL producer Alex Blumberg:
“At first, we were getting a lot of stories from recovered drug addicts and East African refugees living in the States, which had their compelling elements but came off a bit cloying…But then we realized that if we had overeducated people with voices rather unsuitable for radio narrate the stories with clever analogies and accessible morals, the whole thing would come off far less depressing.”
I think TAL could benefit from a format more like To The Best of Our Knowledge. TTBOOK has the same structure of a few stories on a theme, but doesn’t explicitly spell out the connections between all the pieces. It prefers instead to show some restraint and let the listener make connections by him/herself.
Studies of Jareth.
I checked out my tiramisu made from the improvisational recipe mentioned earlier.
It looked like tiramisu, smelled like tiramisu and behaved like tiramisu. It didn’t taste quite like tiramisu, though. Things to change when I make it again:
Put more sweetener in the ricotta.
Experiment with artificial sweetener.
Possibly thin the ricotta by adding some skim milk.
Or put half whipped topping, half ricotta, to make it less sludgy.
Soak both sides of the angel food cake until it is soggy all the way through, but not disintegrating. It will harden a bit in the fridge.
Do not put cocoa on top. It tastes like chalk.
Make small experimental versions with just a few ladyfingers.
One of my favorite desserts is tiramisu. I do not eat it frequently, though, because it’s expensive [involving Mascarpone cheese] and complicated [involving egg whites and other daunting things]. However, in the wake of a truly tasty birthday tiramisu for a coworker last week, I sought online for tiramisu recipes. Inspired by the recipe section on Heavenly Tiramisu, I combined several recipes to create a tiramisu-like dessert for the culinarily challenged. Best of all, it involves no raw eggs, no Mascarpone cheese and no liquor!Continue reading Tiramisu for the culinarily lethargic
Where “epitome” = “goofball.” Top and choker from DollHeart Kala outfit, bloomers from DollHeart Hell Queen and hat from… Where’s that hat from, Sardonix?
I made a monogoggle prototype just now with my usual plastic cap for a lens base and bronze paint. Then I added several layers of leather, cut from an old purse, for padding around the eye. I felt confident that this might actually be a finished product and not a prototype, but then I tried it on my largest BJD’s head [Frank’s].
It covered most of his face….
But it was the perfect size for human use!
More for me than for you.
Will’s got his self some duds, despite lack of a head:
–blank tank by Gayle
–stretchy camo pants by Butterfly
–black vinyl skirt by pansyrocker
I was not going to get the skirt, but it was too awesome to pass up.
Frank’s also got the following on the way:
–groovy wrap dress by Dutchgirl
–altered Haund jeans with embroidered flowers by Dutchgirl
More clothes coming in means a bunch going out, hopefully at the Burlington doll club meeting this Saturday.
Jennifer also has a fabulastic wig being dreaded and accessorized by littlepinkfaery. She may not forgive me for the results [Jennifer, not littlepinkfaery].
Screw caps seem to work pretty well for lens fittings on BJD-scale goggles.
I would, however, like ideas for materials to surround the lens fittings. The electric tape looks kind of cool with its telescoped out effect, but it doesn’t impersonate metal. I’ve also tried craft foam, but I can’t cut it with an even edge.
Basically I’m looking for something thick that will give me a smooth edge when cut. I may go to the thrift store tonight and look for old leather or suede accessories to mangle.
EDIT: I got an old leather purse at Goodwill tonight to use for straps and padding. Also feedback on DOA suggested that the lens cap should be shallower and there should be leather embellishments. That’s what I thought.
I modified Brass Goggles’ tutorial on disposable steampunk goggles for humans tonight. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I took her tutorial as inspiration for some experimentation of my own based on the screw top for a small maple syrup container. The area around my desk still smells like syrup, even though I finished the monogoggle a half an hour ago. I can honestly say that this was one of the sweetest projects that I’ve done. HAR. While incredibly messy and unfinished, the experimental monogoggle looks more professional and convincing than my cardboard goggle mock-up.
Now making the rounds on the Net is the BBC2’s docu on the Westboro Baptist
Before I comment on the docu, I must praise Theroux. He’s intelligent, insightful and curious, without any shade of mockery or pretension. Theroux uses his sincere, almost ingenuous, questions to get fascinating answers [or lack of answers] out of cult members about what they believe and why they believe it. He has a talent for pushing people to answer hard questions, as well as a talent for letting people dig themselves further into holes. Yet he doesn’t make fun of his subjects [although his dry delivery does let some ironic humor slip in]. Mostly he seems to be having fun at his job, and this sense of warmth conjures up similar friendliness in his subjects [yes, even the cult members], which makes them seem more understandable.
It is heartbreaking to watch intelligent, energetic adults waste all of their lives and mental faculties in glorification of a hatred-obsessed man. Moreover, it’s especially disturbing to watch how the third generation of cult members, from babies to college studies, suffers the power of the hate. Watch the 7-year-old boy who has no idea what the “fag troops” on his picket sign are…and yet who gets a soft drink launched at him from a passing enraged motorist. Watch the 21-year-old lawyer wanna-be that Theroux interviews in depth as she uses nervous laughter to cover her growing realization that her beliefs may be just empty platitudes. Upon viewing this documentary, you get a different angle on the repulsiveness that is the Westboro Baptist Church. You see not only how they do violence to the targets of their pickets, but to their own members.
Find the docu on Youtube here. While you’re at it, check out Theroux’s earlier interview with born-again Christians. It’s an interesting complement to the Westboro Cult docu because you can see the same messages of absolutism [only the believers will be saved, and we are the only believers], but with a completely different delivery.
Size is relative, as illustrated in this photostory about a sizeable piece of candy. Sardonix appears to have pissed off even the perpetually cheerful Submit. What will happen? Stay tuned.
Doggles sells eyewear for dogs. There are many different colors and sizes, as well as swappable lenses!! The sizing chart seems to suggest that an XS size would fit your standard 60 or 70cm BJD’s head. [I assume that the “head size” refers to circumference.] According to some more detailed stats, the XS head band adjusts from 5 to 13 inches, and the lenses are 1 inch high and 1.25 inches wide.
Doggiduds also sells goggles for dogs. No changeable lenses, but slightly cheaper.
EDIT: I just bought a pair of the XS smoke/chrome ones…strictly for research purposes, you know. $18.00, free shipping…and that was the lowest I could find after shopping around. Hopefully I can customize them with steamy, punky gimcracks… EAT MY PRICE TAG, ANOTHERSPACE!
Anotherspace sells goggles for dolls. It boggles my mind that the price is $42.00 for a pair of 60cm goggles with leather frames. Why are they so freakin’ expensive? Is it the leather?
Here’s an aviator outfit for teddy bears, including goggles.
Here are some white goggles, along with a swimsuit, from Build A Bear.
Here are some human-sized brass and leather goggles for inspiration.
Here’s a TUTORIAL on how to make brass[ish??] and leather human-sized goggles out of escutcheons and old belts…
Here’s an Instructable about modding welder’s goggles to make human-sized steampunk goggles.
Thwarted in my quest to refine the goggles because all the craft stores were closed today, I worked on my crocheting skills. Instead of using a small yarn that showed my mistakes more clearly, I chose a soft, fuzzy, pink yarn that camouflages skipped stitches and irregular gaps! It is called Caron Bliss, Article BL1000, Color 0002 Cotton Candy. I think I got it at Walmart. I liked how soft and violently bright it was. Sardonix, however, did not. See discussion and pictures below.
I worked this hat differently than Submit’s smaller hats. I used a 2-1-2-1-2 series of stitches in an unjoined spiral for the crown. I continued this pattern of stitches until the crown seemed the right size to fit over Sardonix’ head. Then I began to do circles of single crochets with each row joined. Thus I made the sides until I tried that hat on her and it covered her ears. As a result, I got a lopsided [as usual], irregular hat, but the frothiness of the yarn disguises most of my mistakes.
I’m more pleased than I expected with this hat. Having purchased the yarn for its obnoxious properties, I did not expect to produce a project that I was proud of. The messy, forgiving weave of the yarn worked to my advantage, though, creating a serviceable hat that looks much less atrocious than I feared. While I have not achieved the evenness and perfection of my fiancee’s crocheting [she’s the one who taught me], I am slowly mastering hats and becoming less self-conscious about my abilities. I won’t be selling any time soon [not unless anyone particularly wants a fuzzy pile of crocheted cotton candy vomit], but I slowly approach my goal: neatly done amigurumi animals.
This evening, using the pattern mentioned in the previous entry, I constructed a pair of lensless prototype goggles for Frank. I used cardboard for the frames, masking tape as an adhesive and rubber bands for the nose piece and the head straps. Since I was scaling down a human pattern, I guessed on the measurements. The actual size of the frames looks correct, but the side pieces are clearly too deep. I also made the mistake of using a stretchy material for the nose piece so that the goggles stretched out to look wall-eyed. Despite these first-time blunders, i proved to myself that I could indeed construct goggles. With better materials and more refined measurements, these will look pretty cool. The picture of just one of Frank’s eyes gives a sense of how neat these will be when drafted again and finished! Reference pictures below.
Denny Kim, representative of Doll In Mind, struck up a thread about likeness BJDs earlier this year. After an initial spurt of interest and a round of orders in mid-February, the first set of custom sculpts are surfacing on DOA with model photos for comparison.
Oh, the results are beautiful! The talented sculptors working for DIM have a genius for translating photos into 3-D likenesses. The amount of accuracy varies, depending on whether a person choses a stylized likeness [50% similar to photos] or a realistic likeness [80% similar to photos], but overall the results are impressive. All the sculpts so far capture the recognizable, essential details that make each commission individual; furthermore, even though the sculpts are drawn from photos with neutral expressions, this does not mean a bland or vapid look. Each example sculpt so far shows an expression that is flexible enough to be interpreted in multiple ways, but still indelibly stamped with the likeness of the model photos.
Now I’m thinking that I’d like a Mini Mee custom head for Will, rather than a Sabik. It would be much cheaper than getting a whole doll of which I would only use the head. [The Mini Mee price runs about $400, excluding shipping, for 2 heads. But I don’t need 2 heads!!] But I do not know if the Mini Mee heads will be offered again; the continuation of the project depends on the level of interest. I also don’t know exactly what model pictures I would use for Will…
Submit likes the 1:6 blue hat I crocheted for her. I also think she likes Frank… My crochet skills are slowly improving, although I find working in the round more challenging than straight lines [e.g., a scarf]. I keep messing up the counts when I’m increasing each round. I also still have problems figuring out where to poke the needle for the next single crochet. Despite these obstacles, I produced a small serviceable hat on the second try. It even looks like a hat too, which is more than I can say for the pith helmet. Pictures below.
I loved making maps of imaginary countries when I was young. Now I can do the same thing on the computer with the freeware AutoRealm. I wonder if I could bring the United Provinces of Ilion into digital format?
CrazyTalk software does simple animations on still photos so that they seem to be speaking in synch with sounds. Interesting.
…you should have seen it before I cleaned it up with the paint remover. I am returning to my dolly roots lately with some 1:6 makeovers. Using BBI’s latest issue of the Perfect Bodies, I’m making yet another head for my 1:6 Frank doll. I repainted the eyes brown and made them glance to the side. I also added shading around eyes and nose with paint. The eye shadow, blush and lip shading is done with pastels. Stupendously enough, I’m actually much better with pastels now than I used to be. I still need to find some appropriately curly, dark brown hair with in-scale, small curls…
I like the concept of this outfit — cranberry leather, many grommets, complicated laces and bared flesh — adapted for a male doll.
Pink pirate shirt!
I like the needlessly complicated neck ties on this shirt.
Oh yeah…and while I’m at it…
Custom fur wigs, including two-tone ones and ones in various lengths, can be purchased at Wicked Wigs. Punk Stripe colors: Pink and black combo, pink and red, orange and black, orange and brown, orange and red, pink and orange!!
Not Doll Lab’s Miriam looks like
their earlier release [EDIT: DollMore’s] Banji [translucent skin, round eyes, pursed lips], although larger and more mature. I like the sculpt, but the shallow cuts all over her body distract me. I can’t think about the aesthetic appeal of the doll or the paint job when I’m trying to wonder how someone would receive such wounds. I can only guess that she peeled off her pajamas and went sleepwalking through the raspberry canes, in which case the whole conceit appears silly, rather than edgy. Also…what the heck is that background…raisins on a sheepskin rug??
Before moving on to animals, I will practice making hats first. My initial attempt at a hat turned out lopsided and pathetic. However, Submit was much more gracious about my crocheting than Sardonix was!
Frank and Submit go so well together. His character definitely has maternal inclinations.
Problem: Itchy sweater. Solution: A creative one as only Submit can think up.