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Of the many baby BJDs I’ve seen…

Of the many baby BJDs I’ve seen… published on No Comments on Of the many baby BJDs I’ve seen…

…the Baby Supia Sena is the most engaging, probably because the baby fats are expressively sculpted. The wide eyes and open mouth also make it look like it’s in mid-gaga. I can’t decide whether this is a 1:3 baby or a 1:6 toddler.

If I bought all the 1:6 kidsy dolls that attract me, I’d have a whole school from daycare through grade 6!!!!

The Strain Book 1: not worth your time

The Strain Book 1: not worth your time published on 1 Comment on The Strain Book 1: not worth your time

As I mentioned earlier, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have started a vampire trilogy with The Strain, first of three books about vampire-as-virus infesting New York City and the Holocaust survivor and public health official who beat back the plague.

In two words: don’t bother. The thoroughly pedestrian prose takes way too long to get into the story. [Why NO, we don’t need 50 pages about the strange airplane full of exsanguinated dead people; just tell us that it was creepy, but they’re dead, exsanguinated, filled with white stuff instead of blood, and there was a weird coffin onboard that disappeared. You can do that in 20 pages, 15 even, and ramp up the tension even more.]

The cast is so large and fleshed out only so far as stereotypes allow that it’s impossible to give a flying fuck about any of them. Their voices aren’t very well differentiated, and, like I guessed earlier, there aren’t any female characters worth blowing one’s nose at.

Not even the innovative reinterpretation of vampirism as a cancerous sort of virus that is motivated by blood-hungry worms in one’s veins can compete with the crashing bore of this book. del Toro’s vivid, cinematic, disgusting and memorable imagination apparently doesn’t translate well out of the filmic genre, even with the help of a ghostwriter. Stick to movies, Guillermo.

Verdict: Don’t catch this disease.

I am getting one of these.

I am getting one of these. published on No Comments on I am getting one of these.

It is an Orient Doll Ye. At 12cm high, it’s about as tall as a Kelly doll, but cuter. Its smile looks pleased, rather than the default toothy Kelly smile, which looks kinda vapid. I got a great deal on one with a partial trade. No character designated for it yet, but I’m looking forward to its cuteness.

Qingting the Chinese vampire, or, Hacking up a collectible doll

Qingting the Chinese vampire, or, Hacking up a collectible doll published on 3 Comments on Qingting the Chinese vampire, or, Hacking up a collectible doll

When I first saw that someone on 13doll was selling American Girl’s Girls of Many Lands dolls for a steal, one of them called out to me. Spring Pearl, portraying a Cantonese girl in 1857, charmed me with her sweet wondering look and her beautiful, bright, brocaded outfit. She told me right then and there that she was a Hun type vampire, and she needed to come home and be with Chow and Baozha and the rest of the Hun, not to mention the whole LHF cast.Continue reading Qingting the Chinese vampire, or, Hacking up a collectible doll

LHF 5.9: “Velvette’s New Pattern”

LHF 5.9: “Velvette’s New Pattern” published on No Comments on LHF 5.9: “Velvette’s New Pattern”

In which Velvette reveals her true feelings.

Commentary: Upon winding up the story of her death, Anneka fiddles with one of Janet’s many robots. It is actually a wind-up toy, Noggin Bops, that dances by swinging its hips! Meanwhile, Velvette takes Anneka’s advice in a different way than she expected.

How to convert old word processing files

How to convert old word processing files published on 1 Comment on How to convert old word processing files

So I found a company that manufactures software so that files from obsolete word-processing programs, spreadsheet programs, presentation programs, etc., may be converted to readable version. The company, Advanced Computer Innovations, offers a simple program, WordPort, and a more complex and flexible one, FileMerlin. This page offers a comparison of the two types. Basically FileMerlin is more expensive and powerful, suitable for huge batch conversions and complex documents.

Just so you can see how powerful the software for both programs is, ACI offers free unlimited trial versions of both. The only catch is that the trial versions introduce spelling and numeric errors into the software. I can attest, though, that, even with the introducted errors, ACI’s software clearly translates files and their formatting quickly and with 98.9% accuracy. [They messed up the indents on my initial paragraphs.] If you have small files to convert, consider downloading the trial version and then spell-checking the translated docs.

But, if you’re like me, you have some files that will take a while to fix if run through the trial version, but not a large enough number of files to warrant coughing up $95.00 [still a steal, though!] for WordPort. How can you get at the precious data inadvertantly time-capsuled in formats for First Choice, Microsoft Works 4.x and other early word-processing programs?

Fear not, for Advanced Computer Innovations offers an online file conversion service for a nominal fee per file. With the help of a simple drag-and-drop interface, the files to convert are uploaded to ACI’s server, translated and downloaded, usually within minutes. Billing is made to a credit card, and this service is available any time. Again — 98.9% accuracy and quick access to your old files! No painstaking retyping or reconstruction!

This is the awesomest thing in retro software ever since I discovered DOSBox so I could play Jumpman!!

In Tabloach’s Kelly repaint gallery, a mini Living Dead Doll!

In Tabloach’s Kelly repaint gallery, a mini Living Dead Doll! published on No Comments on In Tabloach’s Kelly repaint gallery, a mini Living Dead Doll!

I admire Tabloach’s repainted Kellys, but I’m even more impressed with the made-over Mini Living Dead Dolls. Here’s an example of one. I’ll try to find more, but I wanted to bookmark this one before I lost it again. Here’s another example, this time of a reroot and repaint.

True Blood, season 2, ep 1: still entertaining

True Blood, season 2, ep 1: still entertaining published on 1 Comment on True Blood, season 2, ep 1: still entertaining

So I just caught the first ep of season 2 of True Blood, thanks to the fastest download ever. Most of the plots are continuing from the first season in that people keep dying; Sookie continues to break up and make up with Bill, who keeps looking wounded and red-eyed most of the time; Sam keeps crushing on Sookie; Tara keeps love/hating her mom and getting closer to that creepy "social worker" Maryann; Sookie’s dumb brother keeps pursuing the vamp-hating church; and Bill’s vampire spawn Jessica keeps being petulant. The only one who’s had a real change in status is Lafayette, who’s being kept in a dungeon by Sheriff Highlights Eric for dealing vampire blood.

I find the multi-layered stories interesting and the characters fascinating, except for Sheriff Highlights. He can die and be replaced by someone who can convincingly play an law enforcer. I don’t know where people get off thinking he’s sexy because he’s not.

Of course, after everything, I keep coming back for Stephen Moyer’s portrayal of Bill Compton. I especially appreciate how he builds his acting on stillness and silence, but is able to generate expressive looks without devolving into sad puppy dog eyes. He lurks around looking bloodshot, haggard and cheese-colored most of the time, which is how I imagine your average vampire to look. I appreciate that the costumes and makeup people give him a scraggly, loose comb-over, a pale complexion and other traits that downplay his attractiveness. I approve.

Something very bad happened to Cindy.

Something very bad happened to Cindy. published on 2 Comments on Something very bad happened to Cindy.

She started off as an innocent, perkily smiling Colonial Barbie head and turned into a shambling disaster! I was going to do a simple repaint on her, since I found her face cute in a somewhat manic way.

To reduce the appearance of derangement, I wanted to cut out her teeth and glue her mouth shut. I did not make a clean cut, however, and she seemed to have fangs or broken teeth worthy of some sort of undead creature.

The unhinged lower jaw, head wound, anxious look and bloody garments followed from there. What an improvement! Continue reading Something very bad happened to Cindy.

The Jareth Experiment II: Cakin’ on the facepaint

The Jareth Experiment II: Cakin’ on the facepaint published on No Comments on The Jareth Experiment II: Cakin’ on the facepaint

My experiment, previously detailed here, continues apace. After spackling covering the Sculpey mods, the prior epoxy mods and the resin with enough paint to cover a sail boat or, alternatively, all the color inconsistencies in materials, I am now putting features on the head. That means I am drawing outlines of eyebrows and lips with pencil, then using them as guidelines for the actual application of colors. Shown here are lips and eyebrows done in Prismacolor. Still need to add eyeliner, bruise the eyelids, smudge color up toward the eyebrows and put a line between the lips. Faaaaaaaahbulous, daaaaahling, no? Look at the symmetry! The subtlety! The realism, luminosity and perfection!! 
Continue reading The Jareth Experiment II: Cakin’ on the facepaint

Dead Girl’s Diary 6: “The Family Tree”

Dead Girl’s Diary 6: “The Family Tree” published on No Comments on Dead Girl’s Diary 6: “The Family Tree”

In which Absinthe and Will have kids.

Comments: When we previously looked in on Absinthe, she was reporting to her foster mother, Margie, about her trip up to see her former jailer/father substitute, Ethan Stuart of the Colonial clan up in Salem. Her visit to Ethan reminded Absinthe just how attached she had been to Will, and her old feelings toward him are now only growing. She has bittersweet memories of the plans for the future that she and Will used to share.

This ep introduces one of Margie’s daughters, Maggie. It’s the older one, Laurie, who’s pregnant, of course!

Absinthe and Will’s imaginary daughter is portrayed by Submit, who will appear later in the future. For now, all you need to know is that there’s definitely a family resemblance between her and Absinthe. Like Absinthe, she is an Elfdoll Fantasy Kathlen head; the difference is that Absinthe has closed eyes, while Submit’s eyes are open.

Clothing for dolls

Clothing for dolls published on 1 Comment on Clothing for dolls

Absinthe has two new dresses! One is a burgundy velvet gown with a horrendously large lace collar. It is from the Sentimental Valentine Barbie. I scored the outfit alone for ~$12.00 including shipping.

The other outfit is a blue dress with white collar and underskirt and wretched red bow detailing. It is from the Colonial Barbie. It was not one of my first choices, but it is simple, conservative and appropriate for Absinthe. I couldn’t resist the price either: $8.60 including shipping.

I think the Pioneer Barbie outfit would be best for Absinthe, but the prices are currently a little steep. I’d like to get the whole package or just the outfit for <$15.00.

In other news, I have had no luck finding shoes for Junior, a Kelly-based doll. Kelly/Tommy shoes are difficult to find and to keep track of, which makes them disgustingly expensive on Ebay and also impossible to procure from my usual fellow doll-loving sources. I don’t feel like spending a lot of money on a minor character, no matter how charming he looks.

Absinthe’s clothes

Absinthe’s clothes published on No Comments on Absinthe’s clothes

I keep encountering problems when searching for clothes for Absinthe. I imagine that she wears clothes from the Victorian era, but all the Tonner Victorianish clothes that I want are expensive. I am left with 3 options:

Absinthe’s white shift, which she came with. Good for a nightgown or running around in the house, but not formal wear.
Leonora’s burgundy velvet dress, from Victorian Lady Barbie. Good for winter and formal portraits, but not spring/summer.
Justine’s purple walking suit, from P.F. Albee Barbie. Good for spring/summer, but has been stretched to boobular proportions by Justine.

However, it is possible to find other Barbie-based Victorian fashions. For example, Barbie with Cedric Bear, a dressing gown and nightgown combo, can be purchased for ~$20.00, if one knows where to look on Ebay. Victorian Tea Barbie [the plastic one], a white summer outfit, can be purchased for between $20.00 and $30.00.  Same for Gibson Girl Barbie, a 1910s working woman’s outfit. The Disney Mary Poppins Barbie, a very stylized white 1910s outing dress, can go for <$20.00. Sentimental Valentine Barbie, a dress for winter formals, has an outfit from the 1830s, more properly the period of Absinthe’s adulthood, and she goes for well <$20.00. No one wants her.

New toys for kidsies

New toys for kidsies published on No Comments on New toys for kidsies

I went to doll club today and got American Kitchen #4 Baby Goods and #9 Merry Christmas. Geordie was particularly interested in the Merry Christmas bear, since pink is her favorite color. Even though she is mentally around 8, Submit was very amused with the pull toy ducky. Continue reading New toys for kidsies

Beet bracelets

Beet bracelets published on No Comments on Beet bracelets

So Shakesville talked about a woman who was raving about her bracelet made out of pressed beet slices and copper. I therefore clicked over to Margaret Dorfman, who makes bowls and jewelry out of thin layers of dried fruits and vegetables, then presses them together to make delicate, translucent works of art. Look at the beet and starfruit bracelets! They are so vivid and yummy. They are making me hungry.

Yay a new vampire book??

Yay a new vampire book?? published on 3 Comments on Yay a new vampire book??

The Strain, written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, imagines vampires as a virus and apparently contains no prominent female characters, which is pretty mind-boggling, considering that over half the threatened human populace is female. Nevertheless, I will read it and report back to my loyal follower about my thoughts.

5.7: “Bang-shi-fu’s Meaning of Life”

5.7: “Bang-shi-fu’s Meaning of Life” published on No Comments on 5.7: “Bang-shi-fu’s Meaning of Life”

In which Anneka reveals who exactly turned her into a vampire. [Hint: it wasn’t Will!]

Comments: Remember how Anneka said that Will’s vamping “didn’t work?” Now we learn why, with bonus commentary on the undead life from Bang-shi-fu, one of my favorite characters.

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