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Help Kali get a service dog [and training for both of them].

Help Kali get a service dog [and training for both of them]. published on No Comments on Help Kali get a service dog [and training for both of them].

He will help her lead a more independent life [she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome], but she has trouble affording the cost of him and training and all, especially since her car needs a lot of repair. Story here with Paypal link.

Brainstorming sources for unusual 1:6 accessories

Brainstorming sources for unusual 1:6 accessories published on 3 Comments on Brainstorming sources for unusual 1:6 accessories

Righty-o, so I’m reshooting all the eps of LHF that were done in digital renders because digital renders are ugly and impersonal compared to the warmth and flexibility of my dolls. I can approximate almost every digitally rendered ep without trouble, except for 2.1, "Homecoming Costumes." It’s basically a joke ep in which Anneka and Will wonder how to cover themselves up so they can drive to Vermont without sunlight hitting them and burning them. They consider options from their huge stash of kinky roleplaying stuff:  Continue reading Brainstorming sources for unusual 1:6 accessories

LHF 5.1: “Vampires Are Stupid”

LHF 5.1: “Vampires Are Stupid” published on No Comments on LHF 5.1: “Vampires Are Stupid”

Previously on LHF: Anneka explains to Will that the guy who felt her up in the Nightcrawler is her abusive ex, Thomas Fell. At first he seemed glamorous and sexy, but soon his nasty temper and manipulative behavior showed through. Even now, Anneka gets bad memories from his ill treatment of her. She goes out with Pippilotta, Rori, Davry and Andrew in an attempt to escape her flashbacks with karaoke, but she feels smothered by their insulting solicitude.

Meanwhile, Will consults Mark for advice. He tells his best friend that he’s worried about Anneka, but somehow the conversation gets derailed. Will ends up professing his love for Mark.

Anneka decides that she needs some space. Though Will offers himself for her to do whatever she wants with, Anneka declines. Instead she wants to head to her parents’ house in Vermont.

With Anneka gone, Will bemoans his "sorry relationship" with Velvette and Viktor. Each of the three friends has their own troubles. Velvette wants to move to Provincetown with girlfriend Gemini, but she feels tied to Cambridge by her obligations to take care of Janet. Viktor has been programmed to be Sibley’s sex slave, but Sibley has banished him, leaving Viktor unable to perform his duties. Will feels increasingly estranged from Anneka and knows that he should probably break up with her, but he’s wallowing in too much self-pity to do so. Velvette and Viktor give him a metaphorical swift kick in the butt and tell him to stop whining and do something constructive.

Up in Vermont, Anneka spends time with her family. Her grandmother Mamie interrogates her about her "queer" nocturnal habits, which Anneka excuses by saying that she has anemia. Anneka asks Mamie what she does, now that her wife has died; Mamie talks about staying busy managing the estate and photographing sunsets. Despite Mamie’s curt exterior, Anneka sees that Mamie is greatly devoted to both her and Minerva.

Anneka dreams that she and Minerva are in a fall cemetery. She does not want Minerva to leave, but Minerva says it is time for her to go. They sing Gaudeamus Igitur, a rather morbid song by which Minerva taught Anneka Latin. Anneka finds herself alone in her dream.

Anneka swaps stories about Minerva with her parents Alexandra and Max. She feels happy to share in-jokes with them, but Will, over the phone, worries that Anneka is spending too much time up during the day. Anneka argues that her time with her family is necessary and therapeutic, especially since Will can’t understand her grief the way that they can. Stung by her self-conscious separation between him and the rest of her family, Will says to Anneka that he thinks they should break up.

In which Velvette wonders how Anneka got so dumb.

The rest of the Twilight movie goes like this.

The rest of the Twilight movie goes like this. published on 1 Comment on The rest of the Twilight movie goes like this.

Everybody slurs their stilted speech as if they’re all tranqed, at least until the last half-hour, when suddenly a chase occurs. The viewer realizes suddenly and irrevocably that no one has any talent in this movie except Billy Burke as Bella’s dad and Robert Pattinson as Edward. The viewer ceases to be intrigued by the murky, pretty colors of the depressing, pretty scenery and falls asleep, despite the pointless chase scenes trying to compensate pathetically for the complete lack of plot. Danger and death do provide a certain illicit thrill, a primal libidinal allure that we cannot distinguish from fear because, at base, all our emotions are a type of arousal, but viewers will certainly find no exploration of the allure of the deadly in this movie. The vampires are not deadly in this movie; boredom is.

I really dislike most characters with disabilities in pop culture.

I really dislike most characters with disabilities in pop culture. published on 4 Comments on I really dislike most characters with disabilities in pop culture.

You know why? Because, all too often, characters with disabilities appear in pop media as one-dimensional fictional entities, lazily "developed" by having what I call compensatory strengths. Such compensatory strengths are supposed to sort of narratively cancel out the characters’ disabilities, but this never happens. In fact, the compensatory gifts just highlight the characters’ disabilities even more so that the characters, instead of being well-rounded, interesting individuals, end up being portrayed solely in terms of their disabilities.

To get an idea of what I’m talking about with compensatory gifts, look at a few characters from comics and movies. The X-Men’s Professor Xavier, who has mobility impairments requiring the use of an electric wheelchair, "compensates" by having a mutation that allows him to basically move mentally among all the mutants on the globe. Another comic superhero, Daredevil, gets blinded by radioactive waste, but conveniently compensates by developing his non-sight senses to superhuman levels. Another character with blindness, from the movies this time, is Ivy, protagonist of M. Night Shyamalan’s 2004 movie The Village, who is blind, but somehow sees the goodness in people instead. As you can see, in each of these cases, the characters’ super abilities are directly tied to their disabilities. In fact, their super abilities all offer workarounds for their disabilities, effectively canceling out the characters’ disabilities.

In an especially egregious example of compensatory endowment, Daphne from Heroes has the power of superspeed. Somehow her zippiness  "compensates for" and overrides her cerebral palsy, which is a disability so shameful that, when she loses her speed and has to go back to wearing leg braces [THE HORROR!] and using crutches [OH WOE!] in 3.10, "The Eclipse, Part I," she hides from the entire world in ignominy.  In Heroes, Daphne’s CP is equated with tragedy, limitation, reclusivity, sadness and rejection. Her compensatory gift, super speed, provides her with glamour, adventure, riches and happiness. Yet, though she may seem to have some interesting contrast between her past, disabled self and her current, speedy self, she really doesn’t. Heroes, like all other lazy pieces of pop culture artwork that use the trope of compensatory strengths, shows no interest in exploring the psychological flux that might realistically go along with great strengths in one area and great deficits in another. Nope, Heroes just wants to make a dramatically compelling character, so it gives Daphne a tragically crippled [I’m using this word because you can see the show thinking it] past. Wow. That’s so deep.

What the lazy shorthand of compensatory endowment ignores is the simple reality of actual people with actual disabilities, to wit: Amazingly enough, people with disabilities don’t necessarily go around bemoaning the fact that they have disabilities. In fact, people with disabilities are much more likely to bemoan the ignorance, stupidity and inaccessibility of people and institutions. Some people with disabilities even accept that they have disabilities and, instead of "overcoming" them or "compensating" for them, accept their disabilities as a fact of life and go on about their business. And, stupendously enough, when you take a look at the types of lives that people with disabilities are living, they’re not, at base, fundamentally different from the lives of people without disabilities [although people with disabilities do daily battle with ableist people and institutions that may not be apparent to people without disabilities].

Ya know — sometimes characters with disabilities are just your average, normal, run-of-the-mill people who DON’T feel the need for pity-based super-endowments given to them by lazy, paternalistic, condescending creators to soothe the supposed horrid angst that characters with disabilities have over not being people without disabilities. Newsflash to dipshits: Creating a disabled character with a "compensatory" ability is not inspiring, unusual, original or desirable. By making a character’s notable traits the narrative inverse of his or her disability, you still end up defining the character by his or her disability, and that is a dehumanizing, reductionist simplification demonstrating only your limited, shallow imagination and your inability to see people with disabilities as people first.

Planetdoll Mini Riz coming to me

Planetdoll Mini Riz coming to me published on No Comments on Planetdoll Mini Riz coming to me

I bought a Planetdoll Mini Riz off of DOAer tinybear. She will supply Absinthe’s body, with a few minor complications.

  • First, the body is in normal skin [which has a peach undertone], and Absinthe is bleached white, so I’ll have to paint the neck or something.
  • Second, the body’s neck is thicker than Absinthe’s neck hole, so I’ll have to aggressively sand down the neck.
  • Third, the body has tiny, conical, disturbing breasts, which need to go the hell away. More sanding. I do not understand the presence of breasts on this doll. All other cues of proportion, body shape and fat placement suggest that Mini Riz represents a child or young teenager who has not yet pubesced. Why does she have breasts?!

Anyway, I got my Riz for $200, which includes dolly, eyes, wig, faceup, dress and insured shipping with tracking. That’s an unbeatable price. Ideally, I would have liked a white one to match Absinthe’s head, but I couldn’t resist the tinybear fur wig, which will be repurposed for Little Will. This Riz also comes with a charming, lightly done set of freckles that I really like. She also comes with this white shift that tinybear made, which will be very helpful as an interim outfit [and old-fashioned nightgown!] as I attempt to find out what clothes will fit Absinthe’s new body.

I’m eagerly looking forward to the Mini Riz body for Absinthe. From what I can tell, it will pose expressively, even without wiring. [Look — she’s touching her face!] I really hope so. As a bonus, the body comes with an adorable headsculpt full of character. The head is currently unassigned, but I am sure I can make good use of it…..

Savvy Soom knows what sells.

Savvy Soom knows what sells. published on 4 Comments on Savvy Soom knows what sells.

After the great success of its original and striking series of monthly dolls inspired by zodiacal symbols, Soom has now created a mythical world with different zones pertaining to different elements and different doll characters as representatives from each zone. In practice, this means more dolls with limited, androgynous headsculpts, weird, fetishy outfits and therianthropic parts.

March’s issue, Cuprit, illustrates Soom’s smart capitalization on the most popular aspects of their previous monthly dolls. The Ice Queen character has pointy ears, horns, wings and hooves. The only thing that could make her even more desirable would be vampire fangs.

Though I hear some people grumbling about yet another doll with hooves, the majority of people interested in Cuprit are gushing with enthusiasm, even though her therianthropic parts have appeared on previous issues. Bravo, Soom. You know what sells, and you’re making money while making a lot of doll owners very very excited. Continue reading Savvy Soom knows what sells.

Little Will 3.0 with faceup

Little Will 3.0 with faceup published on 2 Comments on Little Will 3.0 with faceup

Now I know why Will has his eyebrows painted into such exaggeratedly happy upward curves. He’s compensating for a childhood during which during which his eyebrows were exaggeratedly depressed downward curves.

I did the faceup with chalk pastels, sealed in matte and satin varnish. To prepare the surfaces I wanted to paint, I gave them some tooth by laying down an initial coat of matte varnish. I know that my results do not achieve the delicately applied, gauzy, symmetrical, subtle effect idealized by so many painters of Asian BJDs, but I don’t paint my dolls for perfection. I paint them for character, in all its asymmetrical, messy, uneven, unpredictable forms. My stylized paint job quickly communicates personality and expression, which is what I want it to do. Why should I waste time with meticulously presented layering if I can achieve my desired effect my way?

Little Will is my saddest doll ever.  Continue reading Little Will 3.0 with faceup

Little Will 3.0

Little Will 3.0 published on No Comments on Little Will 3.0

I got my Notdoll Miriam head in today. It was going to supply the head back for Little Will, but, on a whim, I put the whole Miriam head on his 20cm Elfdoll body. It looks much more suitable than the custom painted Kathlen head. While Kathlen has a large head with a smooth facial sculpt and a small smile, Miriam has a smaller head with a built-in pout and bags under her eyes. Miriam’s brow ridge is also slightly more prominent. She’s sculpted to be unhappy. Here’s the latest Little Will, a Notdoll Miriam head on a 20cm Elfdoll Kathlen body. Needs eyes, faceup and hair. DANG! Just when I thought I was finished with him….  Continue reading Little Will 3.0

Grapefruit yogurt cake, now with pictures!

Grapefruit yogurt cake, now with pictures! published on No Comments on Grapefruit yogurt cake, now with pictures!

Verdict: A dense, moist, fluffy cake, substantial, but not as heavy as pound cake, this lightly flavored grapefruit cake is perfected with a grapefruit glaze that cuts the sweetness with a zippy bit of citrus flavor.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Made by my wife!!  Continue reading Grapefruit yogurt cake, now with pictures!

In response to…

In response to… published on No Comments on In response to…

RaceFail 2009 [in which white sf/f writers are called out as racist by POC readers, and waaaaah, the white writers' feeeeewings are hurt, so they throw insults and won't listen to POC's reasoned, increasingly exhausted arguments, la la la la la WE CAN'T HEAR YOU], the correct response is not to pick up your toys and go home. [RaceFail '09 threads compiled by rydra_wrong. Pout'n'exit executed by davidlevine and deconstructed by multiple people, including tacky_tramp.]  A more productive response is to:

1. Acknowledge one's racism.
2. Educate oneself through reading, listening and paying attention to POC and their experience. Coffeeandink has a collection of links to start with here. So does zvi_likes_tv.
3. Don't stop with baby steps. Actually change your life and perspective.
4. Continue creating art and learning from your mistakes.

Twilight the movie: a-duuuuuuur.

Twilight the movie: a-duuuuuuur. published on 6 Comments on Twilight the movie: a-duuuuuuur.

So I watched the first 30 minutes of Twilight last night before my copy crapped out. It was so boring. I liked the pretty colors on the screen, very gloomy, dense and rainy, but the stupid, empty script, combined with the endless staring, drove me up the wall. Kristen Stewart may be hot, but she apparently has Jennifer Connelly Syndrome: an inability to keep her mouth from hanging open. Rob Pattinson has a fascinatingly angular profile, and his acting is a damn sight better than Stewart’s, which, in this film of feeble performances, is not saying much. The movie Bella has all the personality of a piece of uncooked tofu, while the movie Edward is prickly, insulting, pissy and completely unattractive. I don’t know what these characters see in each other.

Now a confirmed fan of Notdoll/Roxydoll 1:6 BJDs.

Now a confirmed fan of Notdoll/Roxydoll 1:6 BJDs. published on 2 Comments on Now a confirmed fan of Notdoll/Roxydoll 1:6 BJDs.

I can’t quite distinguish between Notdoll and Roxydoll, so we’ll just call all dolls on the site Notdoll and forget any distinctions. I own a Tan Lucy [Susie] and a Miriam head [in the mail]. I also like very much, but will never get, their new issue, the 10cm Baby Manjou. Unlike most 1:6 resin approximations of babies, it’s not horribly deformed in its proportions. At the same time, it’s also extremely cute. I’m not really keen on their NDLC Lady, Man or Nari-pon lines, but their 1:6 dolls with realistic sculpts are utterly charming.

LHF 4.10: “Blood Ties”

LHF 4.10: “Blood Ties” published on No Comments on LHF 4.10: “Blood Ties”

In which Anneka and her parents reminisce about old times, but are interrupted by Will on the phone.

Comments: Hooray, a reappearance of Anneka’s mom and dad! I don’t think Anneka gives Alexandra and Max enough credit.  I know she thinks of them as demanding, perpetually unimpressed and kind of condescending, but it’s very obvious to me that they love her very much and want her only to be happy.

It may be difficult to see, but Will has an array of food around him in the kitchen. There’s a fruit tart over to the right of him when he first appears. On the table he has potato chips, some sort of huge drink and meatloaf. Here we have more evidence that vampires eat food for nostalgic and comfort reasons.

Small dolls comparison…the short characters of LHF.

Small dolls comparison…the short characters of LHF. published on No Comments on Small dolls comparison…the short characters of LHF.

Geordie: 6 in., 15.24 cm.
Little Will: 7.8 in., 19.81 cm.
Susie: 7.8 in., 19.81 cm.
Little Anneka: 8 in., 20.32 cm.
Margie: 9.4 in., 23.88 cm.
Davry: 9.8 in., 24.89 cm.
Absinthe: 10.4 in., 26.42 cm.
Chow: 10.4 in., 26.42 cm.
Tituba: 11.3 in., 28.7 cm.
Continue reading Small dolls comparison…the short characters of LHF.

Roxydoll Miriam head incoming

Roxydoll Miriam head incoming published on 1 Comment on Roxydoll Miriam head incoming

I have 3 Elfdoll Kathlen faceplates [no thanks to the USPS, which ATE my fourth >: ], but only 2 head backs. In my search for a third [for Little Will so that Submit can have hers back], I noted that DOAer misa1 was selling a Roxydoll Miriam head. The head back of the Miriam head resembles the head back of the Kathlen head, so I think that I can jam Little Will’s face plate and the Miriam head back together to create a better head that the squishy plastic head back I currently have for Little Will.

That leaves me with an unused Miriam face plate.

In other BJD news, Little Will still needs an appropriate wig, and Absinthe still needs an appropriate body.

In BJD wishes, I’d really like to get a Fairyland Puki Singing Piki faceplate for Geordie. Hell, I’d really like to replasticate her as an entirely resin BJD, Fairyland Puki Singing Piki…

…And, while I’m REALLY dreaming, I’d also like Elfdoll’s Doona Ryung just because she looks so mature and pissy.

I feel like I’m starting a Home for Unwanted 1:6 BJDs here. I started off with my 2 cut-rate Kathlens from Dolls and Friends’ going-out-of-business sale, then continued with a tanned Lucy who’d been on the DOA marketplace for a while. Now here comes the Miriam head, which is one of maybe 3 Miriams on DOA, and I was the only one who showed any interest in her.

Little Will doll is back after much travail.

Little Will doll is back after much travail. published on No Comments on Little Will doll is back after much travail.

After being commissioned about 2 months ago and having his open-eyed plate eaten by USPS 1 month ago, Little Will has finally gotten his free faceup from tiffanyjbt, and he has successfully returned to me. Hooray! The faceup is pretty much as I requested, and it does a great job of making this otherwise perky and cute headsculpt look weary and worried.

After 2 months of annoyance, Little Will is STILL not finished. As you can tell from the flyaway mess on his head now, he needs a real wig, one NOT made by me out of spare Barbie hair….probably a mohair one.

When Little Will gets his little hair, he will finally be done. Then I want him to earn his keep, so he’ll pay me back for all the cost and aggravation associated with his creation by getting his own side plot.

Speaking of side plots…

  • Absinthe currently has one running, although, at the rate she’s causing me grief and money as I seek a resin body for her, she’s either gonna get ANOTHER side plot or be incorporated into the main cast a lot more quickly.
  • Susie has a side plot coming eventually. I have its arc sketched out, but I haven’t written it yet.
  • Little Will’s gonna get one.
  • If Little Will gets one, then Little Anneka gets one for parity. Also I’ll take any excuse I can to use Alexandra, Max, Mamie and Minerva.

Wow, it’s BUSY in LHF land!!  Continue reading Little Will doll is back after much travail.

Planetdoll Tiny Riz fits into Tonner Agnes Dreary clothes?

Planetdoll Tiny Riz fits into Tonner Agnes Dreary clothes? published on 1 Comment on Planetdoll Tiny Riz fits into Tonner Agnes Dreary clothes?

She might, according to DOAers. If that’s so, then that’s an even greater incentive to get such a body for Absinthe, since I really like the Agnes Dreary clothing.

  • Minor Conundrum outfit [unfortunately comes with doll] has a bit of a fetish edge.
  • Dreary Dinner Doldrums [unfortunately comes with doll as well] looks like it’s made out of spider webs spun from dried blood.
  • Recess in the Cemetery is nice and serious and subdued, but I think that the lace collar and cuffs detract.
  • Naughty or Nice [dammit — a doll] would be great formal wear.

While I’ve got an interest in Tonner 12-incher clothes, I might also note that Marley, Alice, Lyra, Dorothy and Gerda are the same size. Do they have anything interesting??

  • Alice’s Victorian Stripes [unfortunately comes with doll] is just beautiful.
  • Marley’s Upstate Weekend is good for climbing trees.
  • Lyra’s Lyra at Oxford outfit is simple and practical.
  • Lyra’s Svalbard outfit contains a glorious clash of patterns and textures, not to mention an awesome parka.
  • Gerda’s outfit is simple and practical and subdued.

Saga of international shipping concludes. Also our economy is in the shitter.

Saga of international shipping concludes. Also our economy is in the shitter. published on 1 Comment on Saga of international shipping concludes. Also our economy is in the shitter.

Well, somehow the French buyer for the Dollshe body argued her way out of paying customs fees on the full insured value, and she only ended up paying them on the postage and a nominal value. So, anyway, she’s happy because she got the body parts [and some extras] in perfect condition, and I’m happy that this needlessly complex transaction has completed…also that I have half a thousand dollars heading toward my furniture bill!

Sardonix’ Thaasa body is still up for sale, but no one wants it, so she’s staying. In yet another sure indicator of economic crap-out, the DOA marketplace has slowed considerably. In fact, I see on the DOA marketplace some interesting trends that show anecdotally how shittily we are in the economic shitter:

  • I’ve seen a spike in the number of dolls on the block because people need the money for various reasons [job loss, mortgage payments, car payments].
  • I’ve seen a slight increase in rare valuable dolls on the block, such as Dollshe Bermanns. In an illustration of this point and the previous one, my friend actually sold her Bermann late last year because she and her husband needed the $$$.
  • Dolls remain unsold for longer periods.
  • Many sellers are lowering prices. Some really want or need to sell their dolls so badly that they start dropping prices by $25 or $50 after a few days or a week of no responses. Others offer free insured shipping, usually only to locations in the same country where they live. I’ve also seen many people selling "regular" dolls [e.g., not limiteds or highly coveted ones) at a 15-25% loss.

All of these indicators prove advantageous to buyers, but there aren’t as many buyers these days as there are sellers.

So delicately sculpted, so poorly constructed

So delicately sculpted, so poorly constructed published on 1 Comment on So delicately sculpted, so poorly constructed

So I got a 12″ Character Options Martha Jones doll in a trade from corsetkitten today. She has a marvelously molded face with a welcoming, neutral expression, a simplified and realistic paint job and a passable likeness to Freema Agyeman. Actually, the doll has a longer, wider face with larger, less classically beautiful features than the person it’s supposed to represent. I think that only adds to her realism, however. Furthermore, her hands are small, proportionate and intricately sculpted in useful relaxed positions, including the character’s jewelry. I love her face and her hands.

I really hate the cheap, poorly constructed body, though. It completely lacks aesthetic appeal. The upper arms and upper thighs are not perfectly cylindrical, so any use of the swivel joints shows how the upper and lower parts of the limb do not perfectly mesh. Furthermore, the double-ganged knees and elbows have horrible notches at the tops and bottoms, making the bent limbs look unrealistic and hideous. In fact, I have no idea why the Dr. Who dolls have double-ganged limbs because, unlike other double-ganged limbs with better joint designs [e.g., Obitsu, CG, DML…heck, pretty much anything], the double joints actually add nothing to the poseability. You can’t see the nasty articulation under her clothes, but trust me…you don’t want to.

Anyway, may I now present the latest character in LHF? I don’t know who she is, but she’s certainly not Martha Jones or even Alicia Simms [who I had originally planned to enplasticate with this fig]. She isn’t even finished because she lacks Pink Hair of Awesomeness. However, she is quite adamant that her FQ [Fabulosity Quotient] is astronomical already!

She’s wearing a dress by Andrea, stockings from a BBI Goth Angel, shoes from a Mattel My Scene horror and a 1:1 stained glass earring dangling in her cleavage. Believe it or not — I actually spend quite a bit of time deciding how to dress my characters in the LHF style [whatever that is]. Continue reading So delicately sculpted, so poorly constructed

Support Cambridge Cares About AIDS AND piss off the Westboro Baptist Church!

Support Cambridge Cares About AIDS AND piss off the Westboro Baptist Church! published on 1 Comment on Support Cambridge Cares About AIDS AND piss off the Westboro Baptist Church!

Support 2 great causes: AIDS advocacy/research AND foiling homophobic bigots!

Westboro Baptist Cult protesters are scheduled to protest for 50 minutes on March 20, from 11 AM – around noon, in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Pledge a set amount for every minute that the WBC dingdongs hang around, and, after they leave, your pledge will be multiplied for the total number of minutes that they stayed, and the total will be donated to Cambridge Cares About AIDS, a local organization for AIDS education and advocacy for PWAs. Go to the CCA Web site to pledge. Then go here and enter your donation information so that the amount that you pledge will be added to the total tally of money that the dingdongs are raising.

What the hell is up with Thomas Fell?

What the hell is up with Thomas Fell? published on 3 Comments on What the hell is up with Thomas Fell?

Well, he sure gets points for consistency. I suspect he’s constantly baffled and frustrated by the failure of the world to live up to the gendered scripts running in his head. I mean, for God’s sake, HE’S following them! He attempts to be the dashing, noble, protective, dominant, aggressive, macho, sex-obsessed dude that he’s scripted to be, so why aren’t the women he’s interested in adhering to their proper submissive, passive, biddable scripts? Continue reading What the hell is up with Thomas Fell?

Absinthe in my latest lazy lens experiment

Absinthe in my latest lazy lens experiment published on 1 Comment on Absinthe in my latest lazy lens experiment

I used my magnifying glass and my macro setting on my camera to take a portrait of Absinthe. This is how she sits on my desk, her head bent, her voluminous hair obscuring her closed, inward-turned face and shy, thoughtful smile. She turned out exactly the way I wanted her to [except for her damn plastic body]. Continue reading Absinthe in my latest lazy lens experiment

Dead Girl’s Diary 3: “No True Love”

Dead Girl’s Diary 3: “No True Love” published on No Comments on Dead Girl’s Diary 3: “No True Love”

In which Absinthe demonstrates to Margie that real life does not follow romance.

Comments: Previously in our side plot, Dead Girl’s Diary, we were following the adventures of the person who vamped Will, his ex-girlfriend Absinthe. She was writing, with great sadness, about the pivotal events in her 200+-year life, especially how she loved her Native American grandfather and also Will.  Her “foster mom” Margie then interrupted her, announcing to Absinthe that she had mail. It was the Metro Moonlight, which Absinthe now reads.

…Obviously she’s reading the gossip section. Actually, I imagine the entire MeMo to be written in the same nosey, sensationalistic tone; it reinforces the concept I have of the vampire clans as citizens of a very invasive small town. :p

Franklin, Massachusetts, is on the coastline south of Boston called “the South Shore.” Salem, being north of Boston, is on “the North Shore.”

News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed! published on 5 Comments on News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

Val alerted me to the fact that a rough draft of the Song of Solomon has recently been discovered. This is evidently the version that was written when the collaborators were drunk, high, feverish, hallucinatory, sleep-deprived and suffering from concussions. Continue reading News flash: early version of Song of Solomon unearthed!

Friendly comments about LHF

Friendly comments about LHF published on No Comments on Friendly comments about LHF

melopoeia advertised LHF in general on March 8th, saying:

So I haven’t been keeping up with any of the webcomics I enjoy except for xkcd and Wondermark for a while and I just went back to check on Love Has Fangs, which is about the adventures of fabulous intellectual queer vampires (think David Bowie, amazing clothes, Baudelaire references, bits of French & Latin, bloodsucking, zombies, wry humor that puts Joss Whedon to shame, as well as deep interpersonal relationships and dealing with grief) in the Boston area.
Then she made a note about 4.8, Gaudeamus Igitur, on March 10th, saying:
The culmination of a plot, in a graveyard. Best strip yet. Ok, I won’t push this anymore but…this one is unique.

4.8 Gaudeamus Igitur

That we all have these stories inside us are why books like The Graveyard Book do so well. We don’t just love vampires and ghosts.

We are and we carry within us vampires and ghosts.

D7ana and I have been talking about the magnifying glass "lazy lenses." On March 10th, she posted about her own experiments with magnifying glasses, but she started off addressing her entry to me:

First, I want to applaud your close-up photos of Anneka and her grandmother in the Love Has Fangs chapter, "4.8: "Gaudeamus Igitur". The clarity of the close-ups enhanced the story and drew this reader briefly into the intimate world of Anneka and her grandmother. The magnifying glass "trick" transcends trick status when it renders such detailed photos. …

An aside here, but your aged your grandmother figure is admirable. I would guess you used wax and paint to convey her chapped lips and weathered skin? Excellent job. Gives a genuine, aged look without making old, caricature.

Thanks, guys. 4.8 has been extremely well-received by all readers.

Results from the lazy lens experiment

Results from the lazy lens experiment published on No Comments on Results from the lazy lens experiment

Earlier I mentioned the possibility of using a magnifying glass as a cheap telephoto lens. In today’s ep of LHF, you can see the results of my experimentation. All close-ups of Anneka and her grandmother were taken with me holding the magnifying glass right in front of my lens with my camera on the autofocus for close range. The magnifying glass, which has 2x power, allows me to get a bit closer to my subjects and fill the frame with super close-ups. I’m pleased with the results. I just have to remember to angle the glass correctly so that it does not catch glare from the lights.

Horrors from Witch City Consignment and Thrift Store, Salem, MA

Horrors from Witch City Consignment and Thrift Store, Salem, MA published on 2 Comments on Horrors from Witch City Consignment and Thrift Store, Salem, MA

We went to Salem, ostensibly to take LHF photos and wander in cemeteries. We ended up capturing thrift horrors in Witch City Consignment and Thrift Store, displayed here for your delectation. Continue reading Horrors from Witch City Consignment and Thrift Store, Salem, MA

Really cool — but unfortunately out-of-print — Rements

Really cool — but unfortunately out-of-print — Rements published on 1 Comment on Really cool — but unfortunately out-of-print — Rements

I like almost every item in Rement’s 2004 set, Vintage Home Appliances, but these things command ridiculous prices on Ebay. Look — the phones, toasters, blenders, sewing machines, etc., all have a design that would be perfectly at home in any living quarters from 1950 to the present. Continue reading Really cool — but unfortunately out-of-print — Rements

BREAKING NEWS: The following people are not God.

BREAKING NEWS: The following people are not God. published on 4 Comments on BREAKING NEWS: The following people are not God.

1. Joss Whedon. Just because he was behind a clever movie [BTVS], a generally awesome TV show [BTVS], two better-than-average TV shows [Angel and Firefly], an acceptable movie extension [Serenity] and an intermittently witty but mostly flaccid Web movie [Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog] does not mean that his latest outing, Dollhouse, is automatically wonderful.

  • In point of fact #1, his quality has been going downhill ever since BTVS.
  • In point of fact #2, Dollhouse so far is a silly TV show on par with Fringe in that both shows contain silly premises, unconvincing, murky universes and leads with all the acting ability of lukewarm tap water.
  • In point of fact #3, Dollhouse so far is actually worse than Fringe because it lacks the emotional warmth and accessibility that major players John Noble and Joshua Jackson bring to Fringe.

2. Alan Moore [and Zack Snyder]. V for Vendetta is overrated; for a comic book, it has art equivalent to the poorly mimeographed ads in the back of my childhood Archie serials that wanted me to send $1.25 to a PO box in New York so I could get a box of "hilarious" practical joke devices. Watchmen is overrated; for a story about a whole world on the brink of collapse, it conveniently disregards the female population, except insofar as they are defined by sexually abusive relationships with wankers. And both Alan Moore and Zack Snyder are overrated; both of them are too busy staring at the magnificence of their own egos to register the fact that the world contains individuals besides tragic, conflicted, chisel-jawed men.

The people who need to be notified of these not-God individuals — namely, the Whedon wanks on Television Without Pity’s Dollhouse forums parsing every moment of dialog looking for "Jossian greatness" and the Moore/Snyder posse who seriously believes that the Watchmen movie is on par with The Godfather trilogy [seriously?!] — are not going to listen to me. However, if you happen to be of reasonable sanity and you wonder what all the spooge in a teacup is over these not-God individuals, rest assured that you are not missing anything in avoiding either Dollhouse or Watchmen. I’ll keep you updated on the off chance that Dollhouse improves. Anyone associated with #2, however, is a lost cause.

To conclude, the following people are God.

1. David Bowie…or, more precisely, his Area. That is all.

Lazy lenses for a digicam = magnifying glass

Lazy lenses for a digicam = magnifying glass published on No Comments on Lazy lenses for a digicam = magnifying glass

Because I am notorious for wanting the best results with the minimum amount of effort, I pass along this possibly intriguing tip, which D7ana alerted me to.  Apparently an easy way to increase the macro function on one’s cheap camcorder is to put a magnifying glass in front of the lens. See video by k6yarddotcom for proof. Because I do not feel like dropping huge amounts on extra super special lenses [and because I am too lazy to learn how to use them], I shall try this with my digicam and report on the results. I just need to find a magnifying glass….

Absinthe’s body, round 3

Absinthe’s body, round 3 published on 1 Comment on Absinthe’s body, round 3

Round 1 was when she was an action fig head on a cut-down Toy Biz body. Round 2 was when she was an Elfdoll Kathlen head on an Obitsu 27cm torso with Obitsu 23cm legs. Since the large torso and the small legs didn’t fit together very well, I got her a whole new Obitsu 27cm body with the intent to cut down the legs to an appropriate length. After all, I have experience doing so in the form of Geordie.

I’m currently stumped, though, since the Obitsu 27cm, despite its appropriate scrawniness elsewhere, possesses comparatively thunderous thighs. But Absinthe, being 13 when she died, is not supposed to have any curves. There’s no way to get rid of the thunderous thighs unless I swap out her pelvis and legs for those from ANOTHER doll. Maybe a Volks EB Dollfie boy? Part of me just wants to get her a resin body, preferably Planetdoll Mini Riz’.

Right now she’s in pieces as I try to construct a body for her. I am unhappy that one of my favorite characters is in pieces. After the many frustrations I am going through to make her, I am making her a primary character, just to get back as much blood, sweat and tears as I put into her.

LHF increases in popularity.

LHF increases in popularity. published on 1 Comment on LHF increases in popularity.

I now post LHF eps on this blog, on MWD, on FN, on OSAFB and, when I remember, on Facebook. Comments and praise have spiked recently, especially for Will’s My Sorry Relationship plotline, universally hailed as hilarious. People also really like Anneka’s plotline about going back up to Vermont and seeing her family; apparently this is sad, emotionally engaging and compelling.

As measured by sheer volume of comments, my most popular eps are:

  • Meanwhile 7: When Zombies Attack! (16)
  • Meanwhile 8: Zombie in the Diner!! (12)
  • Meanwhile 9: Zombie in the Library (12)
  • 4.5: My Sorry Relationship I (12)
  • 4.6: Gift of Sunsets (12)
  • Meanwhile 3: Yummy Summer (11)
  • 3.9: The Revenant (10)
  • Meanwhile 13: Materyllis’ Pesky Pussy (10)
  • 1.1: Domestic Vampires (9)
  • Meanwhile 4: The Vampire FAQ (9)
  • Dead Girl’s Diary 1: Irredeemable Mind (9)

I’m not sure that I can draw a lot of conclusions from these, but I do see some interesting trends.

  • Zinnia Pascale [directly responsible for the success of Meanwhiles 7, 8 and 9, as well as 3.9] is the most popular character I have ever created. There’s just something about a crochety, ass-kicking Fruits zombie….
  • Light, humorous interstitials inevitably garner the most positive response.
  • That said, the popularity of Irredeemable Mind and Gift of Sunsets shows that a majority of the audience appreciates introspective, emotionally charged eps full of character development.
  • Most of the most popular eps are from recent seasons, suggesting that the dolls are much more liked than the 3-D models and also that LHF is gaining readers as it goes.

Go me!

How to make an Edwardian updo

How to make an Edwardian updo published on 2 Comments on How to make an Edwardian updo

This tutorial on how to make a late-Victorian pompadour, created for 1:12 dolls, looks perfectly adaptable to my method of gluing 1:6 hair on people’s heads, if only I can figure out what’s going on in the step where she turns the doll upside-down.

If this works, I can take that horrible bun off of Leonora’s head and replace it with something more realistic.

Repainted Kellys!

Repainted Kellys! published on No Comments on Repainted Kellys!

I’m not particularly keen on Mattel’s Kellys and Tommys, but this site, showcasing the work of doll customizer Loanne Ostiie, showing reroots, repaints and makeover on the little tykes, demonstrates to me that they can look cute, engaging and non-idiotic. The hairstyling is particularly impressive. Thanks, Kinjou!

P.S. Check out her gallery of custom Tommys, available from the index [first link].

What the world needs now is pink, sweet pink…

What the world needs now is pink, sweet pink… published on 1 Comment on What the world needs now is pink, sweet pink…

Aria, from the Dynamite Girls’ Electropop release, has pink hair and fabulously mismatched clothes. She’s almost LHF-worthy in her default state. I would be more impressed if I couldn’t cobble together a similar doll for much less from my existing hoard. I do like her, though, but I think there’s a distressing lack of neon in a series supposedly based on fashions of the 1980s.

Trials and tribulations of international shipping

Trials and tribulations of international shipping published on 4 Comments on Trials and tribulations of international shipping

The US does not charge customs charges on incoming international packages. Apparently, this is not standard practice; most countries do charge customs fees on incoming international packages. I just sent Jareth’s body to France, for example. The buyer wanted me to mark the package’s value at $75.00 so that she would have to pay only a small amount in customs fees [25-30% of marked value!].

However, I wanted to adequately insure the package in case it got eaten [as Little Will’s open head was], and the amount insured for had to equal the stated value. So I had to state $675.00 as a value and insure for $650.00 [the max allowed on international priority]. Now the buyer is distressed about having to pay customs fees.

Overseas shipping is just a huge, anxiety-producing, expensive hassle, even if the recipients aren’t trying to avoid high customs charges.


That package had better arrive promptly and in excellent condition. I am never going to sell dolls out of the US again.

Geordie is done, with hair and shoes! Pink Squad +1!

Geordie is done, with hair and shoes! Pink Squad +1! published on 1 Comment on Geordie is done, with hair and shoes! Pink Squad +1!

She’s wearing hacked-down Only Hearts Club clothes. I was saving the hat to use on some of my pink-loving adult figs, but, once she had it on, she wouldn’t give it back. Sigh…

Note: Pink Squad now has 13 members!!   Continue reading Geordie is done, with hair and shoes! Pink Squad +1!

LHF 4.7: “My Sorry Relationship II”

LHF 4.7: “My Sorry Relationship II” published on No Comments on LHF 4.7: “My Sorry Relationship II”

In which Viktor and Will compete on My Sorry Relationship.

Comments: As you may recall, Will, Velvette and Viktor are bitching about their relationships: Velvette’s with her sister Janet, Viktor’s with his owner Sibley and Will’s with his girlfriend Anneka. Will thinks that the whole conversation sounds like a competition, so he’s imagining the three of them on a TV show of disastrous relationships, hosted by the current bane of his existence, Thomas, Anneka’s psycho ex. Since this whole game show scenario represents Will’s interpretation of events, we can gather that he has no patience or sympathy for anyone, including himself, as evidenced by the derisive words he puts in others’ mouths.

It is interesting to note that Thomas appears less perturbed by Velvette’s gun at his temple than by Viktor’s threat to disintegrate him. It is also interesting to note that Will pays no attention to this scene occurring behind him.

Geordie needs shoes.

Geordie needs shoes. published on No Comments on Geordie needs shoes.

Here is Geordie in her current state with no shoes or hair. She is 5.5" tall! I ended up using a pelvis and legs from the same 21 [?] cm Obitsu doll. I took 2.5 cm out of the thighs and approximately the same amount out of the calves. I sacrificed ankle articulation, but the double-jointed knees and all thigh articulation remain functional. Oh yeah, I also hacked at least 1.5 cm out of her torso and fused the pieces so that her torso is not articulated at all. I’m sure that, if I had been neater, I could have retained at least all the articulation from her arms and legs, but, as she stands, she is good enough for me.

To finish, she just needs hair and shoes. I do not know where I will get shoes…  Continue reading Geordie needs shoes.

Returning My Sister’s Face And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice by Eugie Foster READ IT!

Returning My Sister’s Face And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice by Eugie Foster READ IT! published on No Comments on Returning My Sister’s Face And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice by Eugie Foster READ IT!

Clever, crystalline fairy tales treating Chinese, Japanese and Korean folktale elements with respect and magical creativity. Read it! 😀 Buy here.

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