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My Jareth: render 7, ready for Angelsdoll!!!

My Jareth: render 7, ready for Angelsdoll!!! published on 1 Comment on My Jareth: render 7, ready for Angelsdoll!!!

I left my headsculpt of my Jareth alone for 5 days so that I wouldn't be tempted to fiddle with him and ruin the great likeness I had captured so far. This evening, I went back to him with fresh eyes.

I tinkered with various values, deleting them completely, then putting them at high, low and medium levels, just to see their effects. In the end, the only changes for this round were slightly increasing the x axis width of the face from 95% to 97.5%, lightening the creases at the ends of his smile and lowering his eyelids marginally to give him a more relaxed look. And that was it. I was done with my part of the sculpting.

I exported him to an .obj file, and now I'm waiting to work with Angelsdoll on getting them the file, making sure it's readable and making sure that they are going to adhere to my requested measurements and my digital sculpt as closely as possible.

Here he is!
Continue reading My Jareth: render 7, ready for Angelsdoll!!!

I don’t get it.

I don’t get it. published on 3 Comments on I don’t get it.

On the DOA marketplace, huge sums of money regularly change hands. With that in mind, I do not understand how anyone would put "concealed cash" as an acceptable method of payment. "La la la, I just committed to buying a $650.00 doll. I'll just stick some bills in a padded mailer and send 'em first class." Who thinks that is a good idea?

The problem with wearing clothes until they fall apart…

The problem with wearing clothes until they fall apart… published on 1 Comment on The problem with wearing clothes until they fall apart…

…is that, when I'm going to the bathroom at work, I'll be staring at my shorts, and then I'll suddenly realize that they have a hole in the crotch. A big one. Right where the 4 seams join too! :p

I don’t understand this…

I don’t understand this… published on No Comments on I don’t understand this…

There's a person on the DOA marketplace who has an Elfdoll June for sale. She's a 58cm, single-jointed BJD from 2009, "no damage," coming with default faceup, wig, eyes, box, earrings. As you can see, she originally sold for $500.00 + s/h, but the seller has listed her for $180.00 + s/h.

That's the first thing I don't understand. The secondary market for Elfdolls is pretty soft in general, especially compared to, say, that of Volks or Soom, but other Junes have gone or are going for at least $350.00, more like in the $400s. Why is this one so cheap?

And then there's the shipping quote. The seller says that priority shipping in the US will be "approximately $85.00."

That's the second thing I don't understand. "Approximately $85.00" for shipping a BJD by priority mail in the US is patently false. For one thing, you could unstring her and stick her in a large flat rate priority box, which, with insurance for $200.00 and delivery confirmation, would come to a total of $19.10. For another thing, even if her box were oversized [say, 36"x12"x12"] and 8 pounds [which is overestimating everything], priority shipping from California to Vermont with $200.00 of insurance and delivery confirmation would come to a total of $70.20. $70.20 =/= "approximately $85.00."

It's kind of despicious. >_> I suddenly feel a great desire to rescue this doll from her current owner.

Hasbro + Integrity Toys = Jem and the Holograms?

Hasbro + Integrity Toys = Jem and the Holograms? published on 16 Comments on Hasbro + Integrity Toys = Jem and the Holograms?

Yeah yeah, late to the party, but apparently Hasbro and Integrity Toys are doing high-end, articulated, fashion-doll remakes of Jem and the Holograms. I wonder if they'll do the rival band too? I never got into the dolls the first time around, but I'm curious to see what the remakes look like. If they are 1:6 scale [as opposed to the original dolls, which were more like 13"] with articulated elbows [as opposed to the original dolls, who had articulated wrists, but no articulated elbows, for mysterious reasons], they could be interesting.

EDIT: Holy crap! 1:6 scale! Articulated elbows! Pink hair! Of course, this particular doll was one of those super-duper special editions available only at the 2012 Comicon, therefore now available on Ebay for $gazillion. Well, there'll be more of them in the future.

Figured out what the Doll Chateau adult male body reminds me of.

Figured out what the Doll Chateau adult male body reminds me of. published on No Comments on Figured out what the Doll Chateau adult male body reminds me of.

It looks exactly like a fashion illustration featuring a scrawny, elongated model who's about 11 heads high. It's like someone took your average BJD, reduced the x axis to 75% and increased the y axis to 125%. In a marketplace full of rounded, blocky, childlike dolls, Doll Chateau's gravity-defying aesthetic really stands out. I dig it.

Grimm: now with even MORE stupidity, misogyny, rape apologism and classism!

Grimm: now with even MORE stupidity, misogyny, rape apologism and classism! published on 1 Comment on Grimm: now with even MORE stupidity, misogyny, rape apologism and classism!

Grimm is back for a second season, and it's still incredibly stupid. The latest episode, Bad Moon Rising, follows our protagonist, police detective Nick, as he chases a gang of coyote Wesen [= therianthropes]. The gang leader kidnaps his teenaged niece, Carlie, who, along with her parents, left the pack when she was very young. The gang leader plans to rape Carlie, as is apparently customary for coyote Wesen to increase the numbers of their pack.

Continue reading Grimm: now with even MORE stupidity, misogyny, rape apologism and classism!

Poser 8 is so racist [and misogynist and anti-androgyny and anti-trans, not to mention ableist]…

Poser 8 is so racist [and misogynist and anti-androgyny and anti-trans, not to mention ableist]… published on 2 Comments on Poser 8 is so racist [and misogynist and anti-androgyny and anti-trans, not to mention ableist]…

The default shading colors for its 3-D digital human models make the people look Caucasian. Like this:

Continue reading Poser 8 is so racist [and misogynist and anti-androgyny and anti-trans, not to mention ableist]…

Stupid USPS.

Stupid USPS. published on 3 Comments on Stupid USPS.

I'm trying to get an accurate shipping quote to send Noodge in her box to Australia, and USPS will not give me the exact type of shipping I want. What I want is something relatively inexpensive with insurance.

Let's say it's a 2.5 pound package [probably overkill, but let's just be safe]. Where insurance is noted, it's for $195.00.

I could do express mail in a flat rate box with insurance for $75.80, HAH HAH HAH.

I could do international priority in a medium flat rate box with insurance for $52.70, HAH HAH HAH.

I could do international priority in my own packaging with insurance for $47.00, HAH HAH HAH.

And that is the cheapest that USPS goes for insured shipping.

I could do a first class international parcel in my own packaging with registered mail for $32.77, but there's no insurance. Apparently you can't put insurance on first class international parcels. WHY NOT?

My Jareth: render 6

My Jareth: render 6 published on 1 Comment on My Jareth: render 6

Put ears more flush with head, gave more depth to philtrum and shape to upper lip, narrowed lower face a bit, pinched outer corners of lower lip a bit, narrowed full dorsal plane of nose a bit, dropped outer corners of eyes down a bit, narrowed top of head to more realistic proportions, erased forehead folds, narrowed width of back of head.

Continue reading My Jareth: render 6

August has the most beautiful hands!

August has the most beautiful hands! published on No Comments on August has the most beautiful hands!

I gave her some hair clips today so that it's easier to see her face, especially her adorable winking eye. While taking pictures of her, I got distracted by the beauty of her hand sculpts. They're so elongated and delicate!

Continue reading August has the most beautiful hands!

You do not know how long it took me to do this.

You do not know how long it took me to do this. published on 1 Comment on You do not know how long it took me to do this.

I would make some Labyrinthian crack about "downloads untold and .objs unnumbered," but I'm way too tired. All told, I spent maybe 6 hours finding the correct program, downloading it, installing it and then beating it into submission. At long last, however, I have finally achieved an .obj file that hopefully will be useable by the Angelsdoll team when they are sculpting Jareth. Behold — I have finally figured out how to remove the eyebrows and eyelashes from the .obj!

Continue reading You do not know how long it took me to do this.

This sounds so stupid.

This sounds so stupid. published on 2 Comments on This sounds so stupid.

Elsie Chapman’s first novel, Dualed, sounds like a cross between a bad Hunger Games ripoff and the stupidity of someone who has never actually thought about what it’s like to be an identical twin. It’s about a city where people prove their worthiness by killing their identical twins, who are raised apart from them.

The stupidity hurts. Why is one half of the population murdering the other half? Are they in a competition for scarce resources? In that case, why keep both twins around at all? Why not selectively abort or turn to infanticide?

Furthermore, the ableist and eliminationist implications of this are disturbing, to say the least. If one twin has a disability and the other doesn’t, there are many ways in which the twin without the disability could exploit the other’s disability to kill him/her off. Has the author thought about the bias against disabled people inherent in her worldbuilding? To be clear, I have no problem with ableism in worldbuilding. I do have a problem, however, with ableist bias in worldbuilding done by an author without a grain of self-reflectiveness.

You know, if you really wanna run with this “kill your twin” premise, why not attack the inherent ableism head on? Give both twins disabilities. One could be a deaf person with agoraphobia and an anxiety disorder. The other could be a person with depression, narcolepsy and binge/purge syndrome. Then they could grow to be friends. Maybe they would even fall in love. They would decide that this whole “kill your twin” thing was, in fact, incredibly stupid and struggle to make their own lives in a society that a) expects them to try to kill each other and b) devalues people with disabilities anyway.

Man, that would be a much better story!

Four dolls on the marketplace…

Four dolls on the marketplace… published on No Comments on Four dolls on the marketplace…

I currently have four dolls on the marketplace: Lola Paprika, Dorothy, Noodge and Sarah. I'm not in dire need of funds, but I would like them to sell off expeditiously so that I have have the money to pay for a) the rest of estate planning fees, b) the FLE car's well-car checkup and then c) JARETH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Jareth: faceup

My Jareth: faceup published on No Comments on My Jareth: faceup

Meggilu has an extremely detailed tutorial about how to paint eyebrows on BJDs. I may use it, or I might squint and say, "Okay…the eyebrows go about there…" *scribble*

Naiara's general faceup tutorial on DOA.

Cifr's general faceup tutorial on DOA.

Elisa_maza's tutorial on DOA.

Leechy's tutorial on DOA.
Continue reading My Jareth: faceup

Someone’s jealous…

Someone’s jealous… published on 2 Comments on Someone’s jealous…

On the off-topic section of the MWD board, a repainter of 1:6 figs asked why some people “hated” repaints. Most of the respondents replied that they loved repaints, naysayers be damned. The only truly negative comment came from one “Daniel Wickson” who wrote:

Lack of artistic talent translates into any medium even lil’ dollies At least yours aren’t yarn haired tr*****s.

I starred out the slur that he used for trans people. >:(

Given that my subtitle on that forum is “Transgender[izer]” and that LHF featured several characters with yarn hair, as well as trans characters [but no trans characters with yarn hair], I strongly suspect that the poster was referring to me and my dollies. ^_^

He’s just jealous ’cause he lacks my imagination.

My Jareth: the pain in the ass

My Jareth: the pain in the ass published on 2 Comments on My Jareth: the pain in the ass

I was exporting Jareth's head to an .obj file last night, and these stupid extra polys from the eyelashes and eyebrows kept coming with the basic headsculpt. After asking around on the Daz forums, I learned that I will have to take the .obj into a modeling program, remove the offending polys, resave and re-export to a new .obj.

Therefore, I have to download another huge, bloated memory hog [even if it is free] and figure out how to use it well enough to achieve the desired results. Argh.

I'm doing this because I love you, you pain in the ass. You hear me? Because I love you. :p

EDIT: Here's the salient piece of advice from chohole in my thread on the Daz forums: "[W]hen I export an obj into Bryce I can select the eyebrows and lashes as separate meshes and remove them."

And advice from JimmyC_2009 for Hexagon: "[Y]ou can do it in Hexagon too.  The head comes into Hex as one mesh, but you can select a poly in the eyebrow, grow the Selection, and then delete it, same with the eyelashes."

Regarding Poser, chohole says, "In Poser I would go to the hierarchy editor and turn the eyebrows and eye lashes off before exporting."

EDIT 2: And an archive thread from Runtime DNA on the same topic.

EDIT 3: BrowsGone and LashesGone morphs???

My Jareth: the mouth

My Jareth: the mouth published on No Comments on My Jareth: the mouth

I'm doing the faceup on Jareth 2.0 myself. I'll have no problem with the eyes; those shapes are pretty flat, so they're easy to deal with. I will, however, have problems with all the nooks and crannies of the mouth. I hate painting mouths.

I've decided to go for the "nude lips" look, in which the lips are exactly the same or almost the same color as the surrounding skin, differentiated mainly by high gloss varnish. I thought it might be as easy as just glossing the lip area repeatedly until it really shone, but I asked Andrea, more experienced in doll painting, if she had any tips. She said:

"Put lots of high gloss varnish on it!  Oh, wait…  Another thing I've done is to use paint that's almost the same color as the skin.  John (kd_230692) will paint the lips, then wipe away all but the paint that's deepest in the line between the lips (usually he'll do that because he's not happy with the lips he painted, then likes the look of the line alone…)

"I've also used a bit of pastel on the lips, then glossed over that (but I've done that only once, for Gretchen here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dollsahoy/6076359350/  –a color closer to the skin tone would make the effect more subtle, of course. )"

I think I'm going with the paint-and-wipe effect. It ends up looking pretty good, actually.

This is the Platonic Form of froofy pink dresses.

This is the Platonic Form of froofy pink dresses. published on No Comments on This is the Platonic Form of froofy pink dresses.

It has 2 swappable skirts, a separate bodice and separate sleeves, so the fashion possibilities are endless slightly less limited than they would be if it was all one piece. It's stupendous in its commitment to pinkitude, and, because it's made by CheeryDoll, you know it's high quality.

It is very beautiful, but I am never, ever, ever getting it because it costs ~$390.00 excluding shipping. I've bought whole dolls for less money than that. The entire cast of Me and My Muses cost ~$260.00 a piece, while Lola Paprika, Janvier Jett and August were all around $300.00. I am willing to drop loads of money on dolls [see cost projections for Jareth 2.0, for example], but this is where I draw the line: buying clothes that cost more than your average BJD. $200.00 for a BJD outfit? Fine. Double that? No.

Soom Quartz the Ice Dragon

Soom Quartz the Ice Dragon published on 2 Comments on Soom Quartz the Ice Dragon

Soom's monthly doll in the Mega Gem size is Quartz the Ice Dragon, your standard cute, androgynous guy with fantasy parts. Nice dolly, but why are his wings made out of tinsel and cubic zirconium? Is there a resin shortage in South Korea? If I'm buying a doll that starts at $750.00 [which I'm not], excluding options and shipping, I expect wings of a better quality than those I could get off an Xmas ornament from the dollar store.

EDIT: Fixed the link.

What part of “for sale” don’t you understand?

What part of “for sale” don’t you understand? published on No Comments on What part of “for sale” don’t you understand?

I get so irritated when I post dolls for sale on DOA, and then people try to trade me their dolls for mine when I have explicitly stated that I'm not open to trades. No! I don't want your f'in' doll!

Oops.

Oops. published on No Comments on Oops.

I think I just bought Jareth's shirt and jacket. I was trying to just figure out shipping and handling, but I seem to have finalized a purchase instead. I detest online ordering systems that hide shipping and handling fees at some obscure point in the checkout process. And I really detest online ordering systems that calculate shipping after you place your order. [I'm looking at you, Denver Doll. >_> ]

My Jareth: cost projections

My Jareth: cost projections published on 1 Comment on My Jareth: cost projections

Angelsdoll custom headsculpts [2] in white resin: ~$600.00-800.00 ended up being $717.80

Doll Chateau adult male body in white resin from Denver Doll:  $480.00 with est. s/h

Mid-calf laceup black platform-heeled boots and thigh-high black regular-heeled boots with buckles from Alice's Collections: $47.79 turned out to be Doll Chateau adult male Cyril whole doll and and Yuhao black platform high-heeled boots from Mint on Card for $597.19 with s/h MINUS $120.87 from sale of Cyril head = $476.32 

Faceup: $0 [will do myself] gonna end up getting some expensive Pan Pastels

Pants: $0 [already have]

Red frilly blouse and long black tailcoat from CheeryDoll: $156.11 with est. s/h turned out to be $150.11

Calf-high black platform heeled boots and thigh-high black platform heeled boots = $45.98

Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit = $124.00

Eyes: Y10 [Normal Eyes set] 14mm and ET59 [Special Eyes set] 14mm, both low dome, from Captured in Glass: $16.38 ended up being ET59, 14mm, low dome: $10.38 with s/h

Wig: wavy long blond 7-8inch from LeekeWorld: $49.00 with est. s/h turned out to be a Monique Ginger wig in blond from the DOA marketplace: $22.00 with s/h

Total: $1549.28 [assuming $800.00 for the custom heads]

It would be really nice if the custom heads cost on the lower end of what I've projected.

My “no more dolls” resolution expired last week.

My “no more dolls” resolution expired last week. published on No Comments on My “no more dolls” resolution expired last week.

…Mainly because of my Jareth 2.0 project. Jareth is my most important character ever, and rendering his likeness in 3-D physicality has also been extremely important to me, ever since I first saw Labyrinth, then became extremely frustrated that there were no Jareth dolls. In pursuing this project, I respect the importance of my creative life by freeing it from arbitrary moratoriums.

Now that I think about it, I have no good reason to constrain my artistic expression in such a way. My interest in dolls brings me joy, intellectual excitement and challenge. It helps to give my life some balance. I can afford my interest as well; more to the point, I am able to save for moving and purchase things related to my dolls, so dolls are not really taking money from the moving fund. I could always, I suppose, save for moving all the money that I spend on dolls; that was my reasoning behind my expired resolution. However, the enforced misery that would result would not be worth it.

All this being said, I was motivated to make my expired resolution because of many impulse purchases in the past few months. For example, I got Nathaniel and August because they look cool, not because they represent characters that I love. I do not wish to continue purchasing dolls on impulse, especially when I have to move them all in less that a year! Therefore, my resolution should more specifically be that I will not get any impulse dolls till next summer. That I can live with.

Anyway, I have two major expenditures barring me from dropping major moolah on any doll project. First I have to pay the fees for my estate planning; I just made a down payment of 50% today. \o/ Then the FLE car needs its well-car checkup. Then the fun can begin.

Hmmm, I wonder if I have enough $$$ to get the FLE car's well-car checkup out of the way this week.

[All of this still does not address the subject of that Soom Auber, who, as far as I can tell, is still on the marketplace for a very reasonable price. Does he count as an impulse doll? I've been wanting him since last spring. Should I jump on him because I might not be able to find another at such a price? Or should I pursue 2.0 with the money I could have spent on Auber? Maybe someone will purchase the doll and render my decision irrelevant. :p ]

The Lura Project: custom goggles

The Lura Project: custom goggles published on No Comments on The Lura Project: custom goggles

I decided that Lura needs goggles to protect her eyes during her flights, so I'm commissioning Eileen at Silverbeam on Etsy to design a pair of 3-D printed, nylon plastic goggles to my specs. I gave her necessary measurements today, as well as pictures relating to my concept:
Continue reading The Lura Project: custom goggles

Increasing wrist range of motion in BJDs

Increasing wrist range of motion in BJDs published on No Comments on Increasing wrist range of motion in BJDs

I love Sarah and August, but I'm very irritated by their inflexible wrists. They don't cock more than a few degrees. I'd love to get 90 degrees forward and 90 degrees back out of both of their wrists.

twigling says in an old DOA thread,

I think you can drill/cut the slot in the wrist ball so it is deeper and comes further down on both sides towards
the palm of the hand to increase the range of motion.

I wonder if I can do that with a craft blade? I'd certainly play with them more if they could move their damn hands more realistically.

EDIT: The problem may also be that the wrist balls are set too far in the sockets, in which case a thick layer of hot glue could push them out and make them more flexible.

EDIT 2: Tutorial to increase wrist mobility.

The Labyrinth Museum

The Labyrinth Museum published on No Comments on The Labyrinth Museum

I found this Tumblr dedicated to a Spanish collector's memorabilia hoard. As I page through the photos, what most strikes me is all the candids of Jennifer Connelly with a beautiful grin on her face. I've been ragging on her for years because she portrayed Sarah in a near-constant state of open-mouthed stupefaction, to the point where I thought she was seriously incapable of other expressions. Now I realize that she made a conscious choice to hang her mouth open all the time. What a pity, as Jareth would say; I think the movie would be vastly improved if she had just presented a neutral face with closed lips.

Old Labyrinth news: manga prequel about Jareth

Old Labyrinth news: manga prequel about Jareth published on 1 Comment on Old Labyrinth news: manga prequel about Jareth

Archaia will release a manga about Jareth's backstory. Meh. Just because you can write sequels/prequels doesn't mean you should. Please refer to the wretched Return to Labyrinth manga series for a case in point.

I have a "to read" tag. I should probably have a "not to read" tag. :p

Me and My Muses 3.8: “Sisterly Advice 2”

Me and My Muses 3.8: “Sisterly Advice 2” published on 4 Comments on Me and My Muses 3.8: “Sisterly Advice 2”

Ellery gets advice from sister Avery about jealous muse Lucian.

And, with that, we're on hiatus for a while till I figure out where the story wants to take me.

Continue reading Me and My Muses 3.8: “Sisterly Advice 2”

Clothes for Jareth 2.0

Clothes for Jareth 2.0 published on 2 Comments on Clothes for Jareth 2.0

I have a pair of rather lightweight black leggings from Jareth 1.0 that 2.0 can use, but I've been recently poking around for a default outfit for 2.0.

I love this CheeryDoll shirt in red ["maroon"]. It looks delectable with this CheeryDoll long coat in black.

I also found some nice boots on Alice's Collections: mid-calf laceup platform heels in black, mid-thigh laceup regular heels in black or red, mid-thigh regular heels with buckles in black. I'm sure that the last linked pair would inhibit poseability, but I kind of want them for the LOLs. Naturally, I would have to swap out heeled feet from one of my 60cm girl dolls to 2.0 for these to fit.

DollHeart has a lovely outfit for male 70cms, My Mother Has Killed Me. [Thank you, bonus fairy tale reference!] I especially like the ruffles and flounces on the jacket and the pleather corset.

Dollshe male body vs. Doll Chateau body

Dollshe male body vs. Doll Chateau body published on No Comments on Dollshe male body vs. Doll Chateau body

Here's a Flickr photo of a Doll Chateau 70cm male body [left] compared to a Dollshe male body [right]. In other words, it's a comparison of the body that I'd like to get for my "my Jareth" BJD to the body for my Jareth 1.0 BJD.

Wow, the more I look at it, the more I like the Doll Chateau male adult body. It's almost inhuman in its slenderness, very appropriate for an imaginary, mostly human character. :p

P.S. I could order a DC male adult body from my favorite US dealer, Denver Doll Emporium, and save a bunch on shipping.

P.P.S. Doll Chateau head measurements for the adult male body are as follows:

Head circumference: 20.5cm

Neck circumference: 9cm

Eye size: 18mm [probably could go down to 16mm]

P.P.P.S. This CheeryDoll shirt in red ["maroon"] would look great on Jareth 2.0!

The Lura Project: practicing the sculpture of feathers

The Lura Project: practicing the sculpture of feathers published on No Comments on The Lura Project: practicing the sculpture of feathers

As previously noted, I found a YouTube tutorial about sculpting feathers which I thought would work for my sculpture of Lura's wingy ears. Unfortunately, you can't hear squat because the sound quality is so poor. I have therefore decided to adapt Kriddles Couture's tutorial to still photos with text instructions.
Continue reading The Lura Project: practicing the sculpture of feathers

Wildflower Dolls is still doing beautiful custom 1:6 heads.

Wildflower Dolls is still doing beautiful custom 1:6 heads. published on No Comments on Wildflower Dolls is still doing beautiful custom 1:6 heads.

You can see the shop on Etsy. These wonderfully expressive, lively heads look too large for the scrawny Mattel Barbie Fashionista bodies they are given. I wonder if she would consider putting one of the heads on an action figure body?

I originally noted these in 2009, and now, years later, I still want one. Specifically, I want a Kate [link to an example of the headsculpt]. She's the best!

Millie finally gets to have some “military fun!”

Millie finally gets to have some “military fun!” published on No Comments on Millie finally gets to have some “military fun!”

You may recall that I recently purchased a Phicen Military Fun action figure, with which I was pretty disappointed because it was neither military nor fun. I therefore decided to make her into a bash that, for me, would actually connote "military" and "fun." [Please note: No actual military facts were used in the making of this kitbash. Please don't tell me that anything is inaccurate. :p ] Here she is! [Yes, indeed, she does owe a great debt of inspiration to Takara CG Kat!]

Millie is a Phicen Military Fun head on a Takara CG 1.0 body with Phicen Military Fun hands on Takara CG 2.0 wrist pegs. She is wearing a Takara CG Aska fishnet bodysuit with a Takara CG Kat camo vest over that. Her shorts are custom from SithLord McGyver. Her boots are from the Phicen Military Fun figure, while her garrison cover is from Hot Toys' Sucker Punch Amber. Her ridiculously large gun is courtesy of Ronnie of fuzzheadquarters.
Continue reading Millie finally gets to have some “military fun!”

The Lura Project: parts on Araminthe’s body

The Lura Project: parts on Araminthe’s body published on No Comments on The Lura Project: parts on Araminthe’s body

I just acquired a pair of Soom Euclase dead hands [thanks, tygati!], so, this morning, I decided to see how my current assemblage of parts fits on Lura's proposed body, for which Araminthe is currently standing in.
Continue reading The Lura Project: parts on Araminthe’s body

The Lura Project: custom wig incoming

The Lura Project: custom wig incoming published on 1 Comment on The Lura Project: custom wig incoming

After deciding that a shoulder-length bob did not suit Lura at all for hair, I poked around on DOA for a wig maker that I could commission to create a fur wig of my design. I had forgotten who did the wonderful custom three-tone fur wig for Lola Paprika [and then Janvier Jett]; it was Akasarushi, which I highly recommend. Anyway, since I hadn't logged the maker of Lola Paprika's/Janvier Jett's wig, I looked for another maker.

I found Spite and Malice, and the wig maker was open to custom orders! \o/ I liked the blue/pink mix of the bobbed wig, so I went for a pale pink/pale blue combo for the new one, but a completely different style: a mohawk! The sticky-uppy part [that's the techncial term :p] will be light pink, the "shaved" sides light blue. Awesome!

I'm very pleased with my experience with S&M so far. She responds to inquiries in a fast, friendly manner, and she also focuses on details [like the hairline and the shape of the back of your doll's head] in a way that bodes well for the final product.

Doll-related things to do

Doll-related things to do published on No Comments on Doll-related things to do

Make Millie's hair lie flat!

Pin her stupid little hat to her head.

Buy sticky tack — a LOT.

Get more 20 gauge [?] wire.

Wire MacKenzie's legs.

Wire Janvier Jett's articulated hands!

Buy Play-Doh.

Practice sculpting feathers for Lura's wingy ears!

Take a picture of Lura's profile for S&M.

Figure out how to create a wire frame on which to sculpt additive mods.

Post extra eyes for sale.

Post Flower's Faery feets for sale.

Post Lura's old wig for sale.

My Jareth: sculpting services

My Jareth: sculpting services published on No Comments on My Jareth: sculpting services

Uh oh…from what I hear, Nobility Doll's custom sculpting service has a poor track record of wretched communication and quality control. If I'm trying to get a sculpt made of a character that means a lot to me, I'd rather spend more $$$ to go with a company that I know makes good stuff.

Angelsdoll offers a custom sculpting service that looks like it could meet my needs. I really like that you can specify head circumference, neck circumference and eye size, and I think it's cool that they do their sculpting with a 3-D modeling program. [I wonder if they would accept OBJ files as source material?] I am also familiar with Angelsdolls' beautiful non-custom headsculpts, their prompt communication and their great customer service.

The only catch is that the minimum order is 10 heads. I have no desire or need for 10 heads…2 maybe, 10 NO! I also have no desire to go through all the work of setting up a group order to order 10 heads and distribute them all. I have therefore asked if I can get just 2 heads for the price of 10. Yes, that's $500.00 a head. No, I don't really care that I'd be overpaying. My Jareth short-circuits logic!

EDIT: Angelsdoll got back to me, saying that they would be willing to work with me on the price, which they are thinking about lowering anyway. \o/

My Jareth: possible bodies

My Jareth: possible bodies published on No Comments on My Jareth: possible bodies

Even though I may not be actually getting my "my Jareth" doll until some time next year, I've been thinking about bodies for such a custom head.

At first, I was thinking about a Dollshe body, as that was the body that my first Jareth BJD had. Dollshe no longer makes the exact type of body that Jareth BJD 1.0 had, but it was something like this. Unfortunately, Dollshe's bodies are just really aesthetically unappealing and clunky, even though they may have fixed that stomach popping out problem endemic to the first release of bodies. Jareth 1.0 always felt like he was top heavy.

Then I discovered Doll Chateau's Adult male body, which could best be described as elongated. It is the scrawniest male BJD body I've ever seen. It's also a beautiful piece of sculpture, much more simple and much less fussy than Dollshe's. I actually really love it, especially because that's the shape that I'm looking for for my Jareth BJD.

The only thing with the DC body is that it's really easy to mess up the proportions. It needs a tall, narrow head to go with the tall, narrow body so that it doesn't look bobble-headed. If I were to go with the DC body, I would have to give the custom sculptors specifc instructions to make the head a certain size [height, width, depth] so that it fit the body's aesthetic.

Holy crap, that is a skinny body!

EDIT: Dollshe heads actually work pretty well on the Doll Chateau Adult male body.

My Jareth: render 2 [and some comments about Daz Studio 4]

My Jareth: render 2 [and some comments about Daz Studio 4] published on 1 Comment on My Jareth: render 2 [and some comments about Daz Studio 4]

I was originally rerendering my Jareth on my old compooper, on which was installed Daz Studio 3. The compooper moved very slowly because most of its memory was used up. While I was trying to get to sleep last night, I thought that, if my Jareth is going to be a long-term project [which he is], I should probably move him to my new, current compooper so I can easily futz with him.

And so began the Epic Trek. I thought that I could [relatively easily] port him over by saving his morphs as a Daz character preset [or a pose preset — not clear on the difference]. Then I could install the latest version of Daz on my current compooper, as well as the files needed to build my Jareth. Then I could load the appropriate raw Jareth materials, then apply the presets, and voila! Insta-Jareth [TM]!

Insta-Jareth [TM] took about 5 hours because Daz Studio 4 is, as the kids are calling it these days, a horrid piece of shit. First I downloaded the raw Jareth materials, which took about an hour [huge files]. Then I downloaded Daz Studio 4, which took about another hour. Then I installed it, which took a ridiculously long time because it wanted to add all sorts of slick starter content and fancy plugins that I did not want. Then I spent some time swearing at the new interface until I beat it into intelligible submission. I installed all the raw Jareth materials and sent up a raw Jareth-to-be figure, downloaded my presets, tried to apply them and…

And nothing. Daz Studio 4 could not, for some reason, read my preset files from Studio 3. I'm not sure why. I ended up taking screenshots of my morph settings on my old compooper, saving them, then referring to them on my new compooper as I transferred the values by hand. Yeah, that took a little bit of time. >_>

Anyway, my Jareth model is now on my new compooper, along with a whole bunch of other starter content crapola that I have no use for. I may try uninstalling Daz Studio 4 and seeing if I can redo a custom installation. I don't need your freebies, Daz!

I don't understand how anyone can use Daz Studio for more than either amateur futzing and/or digital porn. It's a bloated, jerry-built piece of software with a non-intuitive user interface and way too many bells and whistles. Did I mention it was also a memory hog? Its documentation remains incomplete, woefully behind the times and obscure.  I only know how to use it because I climbed its steep learning curve several years ago, and I'm only using it now because I bought a lot of content threw a lot of $$$ in the Daz toilet, and it's perfect for this particular case.

What's that? Oh yeah, I did futz with my Jareth today. Here he is with a much less pointy nose, although it's probably almost impossible to tell from this angle.
Continue reading My Jareth: render 2 [and some comments about Daz Studio 4]

My Jareth: initial rendering

My Jareth: initial rendering published on 3 Comments on My Jareth: initial rendering

After getting all excited about commissioning a BJD that looks like my version of Jareth, I decided to recreate, to the best of my ability, the Daz render I did about 3 years ago that looked as much like my version of Jareth as I could get.

To do this, I had to go back to my old compooper where Daz Studio still lives. Then I had to download Michael 3 [the Daz male base figure], all his Daz morphs [so I could change his shape], plus Capsces Digital Ink's super awesome custom morphs for M3 called Brom. I have probably previously sung the praises of these morph packages, which she releases for every major Daz base figure, but I'll sing them again. Capsces' morphs add so much more customizability to the models, and they come with handy-dandy face and body presets that fit my preferred aesthetic: stylized, exaggerated and full of character.

Anyway, I dumped all that onto my compooper and slowly fired up Daz. When I last modeled my Jareth, I worked off a preset Brom face, which is the digital equivalent to a headsculpt. If you'd like to see what I started with, you can go to the Brom page and click the first thumbnail under the main product picture. I started with the pink elf guy in the center of the second row, though, of course, he had a different texture when I was using him.

I futzed around for a few hours, pushing sliders to distort specific areas of the digital model in specific ways; in essence, I was digitally sculpting. Here's my rough draft. The hair and complexion are just placeholders; they don't really matter for sculpting purposes. It will be further futzed with later to increase its accuracy [to the character in my head]. Wheeee!

Continue reading My Jareth: initial rendering

The Lura Project: testing body, eyes, wig

The Lura Project: testing body, eyes, wig published on No Comments on The Lura Project: testing body, eyes, wig

Just for the heck of it, I stuck Lura's head on Araminthe's body. Araminthe is a Boy and Girl [B&G] Doll Burrysa snarling. She is a 60cm doll in grey resin. As far as resin matches go, B&G is on the paler side of grey, so it doesn't look that bad with Lura's rose grey head. She would definitely need a longer neck if she were to use this body, though!
Continue reading The Lura Project: testing body, eyes, wig

Return of the Eyes That Can See Forever: now with added vampire!

Return of the Eyes That Can See Forever: now with added vampire! published on No Comments on Return of the Eyes That Can See Forever: now with added vampire!

Lura's Eyes That Can See Forever have moved on to Araminthe, where they have become the Eyes That Freak You Out. Observe how they catch light!

Continue reading Return of the Eyes That Can See Forever: now with added vampire!

Aww, that’s kind of cute: a chibi Araminthe?

Aww, that’s kind of cute: a chibi Araminthe? published on No Comments on Aww, that’s kind of cute: a chibi Araminthe?

Araminthe, as my loyal readers [all 2 of them!], know, is a 60cm Boy and Girl [B&G] Doll Burrysa snarling in grey resin. I noticed recently that B&G Doll updated its Web site with a 25cm version of Burrysa. She most closely resembles the 60cm Burrysa with a closed mouth. Even their outfits are similar. It's like an extra-portable Araminthe! :p

B&G Dolls do not seem very popular on DOA. I only know of 2 other users with Burrysas, and I think they both use the closed-mouth head, which is a pity because it's not that exciting. I'm the only one who has posted pictures of my Burrysa snarling on the boards.

Tonight I'm going to work on Lura…and Araminthe as well. I want to try the 14mm eyes in Lura's head and get rid of those O_O eyes. Since they glow so nicely, I think I'll put the O_O eyes in Araminthe's sockets, substituting for her current murky red ones. I also want to put Lura's head on Araminthe's body to see resin matching and proportionality.

Adventures in scientific publishing, part 4

Adventures in scientific publishing, part 4 published on No Comments on Adventures in scientific publishing, part 4

Corresponding author: Here is a submission that we hope will be published in your journal.

Me: No thanks. [supplies rejection letter]

[Ten months go by.]

Same corresponding author: Here is a new submission that we hope will be published in your journal.

Me: No thanks. This is the exact same thing that you gave us [some time] ago. We actually rejected this before, under [date] and [manuscript number], so we cannot consider it again.

Sometimes authors submit the exact same thing again because they forgot that they submitted it the first time. And sometimes authors try to sneak stuff by us. >_>

DAMMIT JANET.

DAMMIT JANET. published on No Comments on DAMMIT JANET.

Now that I have made my solemn vow to myself not to get any more dolls until next summer, the temptations are cropping up.

1. There's a grey Soom Faery Legend Auber on the DOA marketplace for a very reasonable price. I have really liked this little dude from the moment he debuted in 2011, because he reminds me of Jareth. ["It looks like Jareth" is sufficient justification for anything in my book.]

2. Someone is soliciting participation in a group order for a custom BJD head from Nobility Doll ["press papilla good feel!"]. She wants to commission a sculpt of DAVID BOWIE from the Ziggy Stardust era.

EDIT: Never mind…she's commissioning it from DIM's MiniMee service. From what I've seen, DIM tends to make their headsculpts way too big, so I'm not sure if I would want to pursue such an order.

Well, anyway, now that I'm thinking about it, I see that I could use Nobility Doll's custom sculpting service my own self and get a doll that looks like my version of Jareth. Reference pictures below:

May 26, 2009: From mind to pen: did it work?

May 26, 2009: "Print to action figure."

June 17, 2009: Some guy I know.

Sigh…I've been pursuing the Ultimate Jareth Doll [TM] for years now. I will probably never quit this quest, in part because my version of Jareth does not have a fully fixed physical appearance.

EDIT: I no longer have the particular morph of Jareth linked in those three entries above, as it expired in the Great Hard Drive Expiration of 2010. But I do have Daz on my old compooper. Should fire it up and try to recreate that morph, then actually get it rendered in resin [at some point in the future]…

“Arrival at unit”: so close and yet so far

“Arrival at unit”: so close and yet so far published on 1 Comment on “Arrival at unit”: so close and yet so far

Tracking a package online is kind of like watching a pot boil. Nothing happens…nothing happens…the tracking status does update…doesn't update…the water sits there, not bubbling…not bubbling… Then the package moves 1 or 2 steps on its journey; a few bubbles make their way lazily from the bottom of the pan to the top, etc., etc. The more I want the package to arrive or the pot to boil, the slower the process seems to go.

Sometimes the moment right before delivery/boiling seems to last the longest. Currently, Lura's head, coming from Germany, has achieved "arrival at unit" as of Saturday. This sounds great, right, like the package has actually been dropped off at its destination? WRONG. "Unit" = post office. "Arrival at unit" is followed by "out for delivery" and THEN "delivered." The ambiguous wording really irritates me in this case, especially since the "unit" is 5 minutes' walk from my work address, to which the package is being delivered. So close and yet so far.

GIMME ME MY PACKAGE!!! I called the "unit," actually a carrier station, not a full-service PO, and they said that Lura was out for delivery as we speak, so I sure hope she comes today.

Apparently we need to know Caster Semenya’s hormone levels STAT!

Apparently we need to know Caster Semenya’s hormone levels STAT! published on 3 Comments on Apparently we need to know Caster Semenya’s hormone levels STAT!

On Saturday, June Thomas wrote a Slate blog post speculating about why South African runner Caster Semenya did not win gold in the women's 800 meters. Could she have purposely not run her best? Who gives a flying fork?

Naturally, because the media is hung up on these things, any mention of Semenya must include reference to her humiliating debacle in 2009, when the International Association of Athletics Federations self-appointed gender police subjected her to intrusive testing and a temporary ban from competition because she was too awesome for them to handle. There's been all sorts of speculation about the results of the tests — OMG what does Caster Semenya have in her pants the world HAS to know?!?!?!!??! — but Semenya refuses to dignify this bull hooey with a direct response.

Thomas encourages Semenya to discuss the results of the IAAF's tests. While acknowledging that Semenya's physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the IAAF was "humiliating" and that the people who gossip are "nosey" [sic], Thomas seems to think that Semenya has only 2 options. First, she can hide forever. Second, she can tell the world in excruciating detail all about her hormonal levels, her reproductive organs, her external genitalia, et hoc genus omne.

I vote for option 3 — ignoring people like Thomas and the self-appointed gender police. Gender variant people like Semenya do not owe the gender homogenous masses anything. Gender variant people do not have publically available bodies that anyone can check out and see what's inside; they aren't library books! People are way too hung up on policing gender, and Semenya's public response to the IAAF's abuse would grant power and legitimacy to their invasive crapola. Jesus Christ, it's not that hard. Anyone who identifies as a woman should be allowed to compete as a woman against other women, and she should not have to drop trou every time she does something impressive.

Fairyland BJD sizes

Fairyland BJD sizes published on No Comments on Fairyland BJD sizes

It seems like every BJD company has different names for different sizes of BJDs. From largest to smallest, for example, Volks goes SD17, SD16, SD13, SD10, MSD, etc. From largest to smallest, Iplehouse goes Elder, Senior, Youth, Junior, Kid, Baby. From largest to smallest, Souldoll goes Zenith, Double, Vito, Souloid, Kid, Sweet, Little. I'm personally amused by D-Storic's lineup, which starts with God [1:1 scale!], King, Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Pawn.

Anyway, Fairyland gets my award for most confusing naming system. I'm writing a list of their sizes and names below because there are too many Fees and Pukis running around. And I can never keep LittleFees and MiniFees straight. MiniFees are the mature 40cms, while LittleFees are the child 25cms, but I think that the LittleFees should be larger than the MiniFees. ARGH!

Feeple ~70/65/60cm
MiniFee ~40cm
ChicLine ~40cm
LittleFee ~25cm
PukiFee ~15cm
PukiPuki ~11cm
RealPuki ~10cm

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: vermont chick’s dolls

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: vermont chick’s dolls published on No Comments on Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: vermont chick’s dolls

As usual, vermont chick came to the meetup bearing many Iplehouse dolls. On the left is an EID Soo. In the middle is an SID Lahela. On the right end, looking ready to bolt in petulant disgust, is a YID Bianca.
Continue reading Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: vermont chick’s dolls

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: Nathaniel

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: Nathaniel published on No Comments on Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: Nathaniel

I bought Nathaniel after seeing Lyrajean's Volks Masha [below at right] at the previous meetup and thinking that she, like Nathaniel, was an Emma. The two have some similarity, but they are quite different. I took pictures of both of them for comparison. I really like the Masha sculpt, except for the bags under the eyes!
Continue reading Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: Nathaniel

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: goldi’s dolls

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: goldi’s dolls published on No Comments on Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: goldi’s dolls

goldi's Fairyland LittleFee Rolly stands next to one of Lura's talon legs, from Soom Galena. It's as big as she is!
Continue reading Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: goldi’s dolls

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: August

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: August published on No Comments on Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: August

August hangs out with goldi's DollZone Ulli. I had a WTF moment recently when I saw this sculpt online, but, now that I've seen it in person, it's pretty hilarious. It looks drunk and sly.

Anyway, August has a new eye! It's smaller than the gold one, so she looks a bit older. Now she's pink all over.

Continue reading Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: August

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: some of Lyrajean’s dolls

Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: some of Lyrajean’s dolls published on No Comments on Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: some of Lyrajean’s dolls

Lyrajean, vermont chick, goldi and I gathered for the Chittenden County Doll Club this afternoon. It was very exciting to have 4 people! :p

Here's a shot of everyone we brought with us, Lura's talons and mecha arm excluded.

Continue reading Chittenden County Doll Club, 08/11/12: some of Lyrajean’s dolls

I am officially confused by DOA’s topicality guidelines.

I am officially confused by DOA’s topicality guidelines. published on 2 Comments on I am officially confused by DOA’s topicality guidelines.

Angelsdoll Ieseul is on topic, but the same company's Ieseul Cat Avatar [whence Janvier Jett] is off topic. The official reason given by one of the mods is "because of the aesthetics of the doll's face sculpt." I know what those words mean, but they don't make any sense because the aesthetics of the Cat Avatar's sculpt are the same as regular Ieseul's sculpt, and she's allowed.

It is a mystery.

Well, THAT was counterintuitive.

Well, THAT was counterintuitive. published on No Comments on Well, THAT was counterintuitive.

I use Windows 7 at work and Microsoft Word 2010. Sometimes it opens files in windows that are half the size of the screen, rather than the full size of the screen. Since my default display settings include a navigation pane for the document I’m working on, Word’s decision to open things in half-screen windows automatically cuts off the right half of each document, necessitating a manual adjustment on the window size, which is a pain.

I finally got fed up with this today and searched for a way to make Word automatically open documents in full-size windows. This is what I found:

Right click on the Microsoft Word shortcut, either in the start menu or on the desktop.

Left click on Properties.

Go to the Shortcut tab.

Under the Run dropdown menu, select Maximized.

Hit Apply or Okay.

Swear at your Microsoft products a little bit less.

Well, that was counterintuitive. Control over the size of new Word windows has nothing to do with the program shortcut’s properties. It has to do with display options.

I’m beginning to think that Word was designed by programmers who wanted to stuff as many features as possible into the app, rather than people who wanted to create an accessible, intuitive, user-friendly program.

Woo hoo, doll meetup tomorrow!

Woo hoo, doll meetup tomorrow! published on No Comments on Woo hoo, doll meetup tomorrow!

I'm bringing Nathaniel, August, Mellifer, Lura's talons [to see if they fit certain bodies] and Lura's head [if it comes today]. I will also be sure to put in a fresh camera battery so I can get lots of pictures of dolls!! vermont chick, goldi and Lyrajean have confirmed! \o/

You know what else really irritates me?

You know what else really irritates me? published on 1 Comment on You know what else really irritates me?

Sellers on the DOA marketplace who say, “Please add 4% for Paypal fees.” No, you add it. Price your items to compensate for the fees. You’re not supposed to blatantly ask buyers to cover your damn fees. Suck it up as a cost of doing business.

I also really dislike sellers on the marketplace who specify that buyers should send payments as “personal.” No, I will not send you a personal payment. If I do so, I forfeit my buyer protection and my ability to make a claim and possibly get a refund if we have a problem transaction. I know you’re trying to avoid fees [again], but I mistrust anyone whose business practices make it easier for them to abscond with my money.

What is THAT? O_O

What is THAT? O_O published on 2 Comments on What is THAT? O_O

A certain amount of stylization is expected in the sculpture of Asian BJDs, especially "anthro" BJDs. Anthro BJDs can best be described as BJDs that combine the bipedal stance of humans with the features of quadruped non-human animals. You know that Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson where all the cows are standing around on their hind legs talking, until one of them sees a car, at which point they go down on all fours? Not only is it pretty much my favorite Far Side cartoon ever, but it also perfectly illustrates the concept of anthros.

Anyway, most anthro dolls look like very cutesified versions of the animals they represent. They have huge eyes, usually in the lower thirds of their faces, small noses and mouths, large ears and foreshortened muzzles. They more closely resemble baby animals, rather than mature animals. Once you accept the aesthetic, though, it's pretty easy to determine which animal an anthro BJD is supposed to be.

…Until I came across this one, a DollZone Ulli. It's supposed to be a sheep.  When I think of a sheep's distinguishing characteristics, I think of a long snout, eyes on the sides of the head [you know, befitting a prey animal] and horns. Ulli has horns, but no long snout or eyes on the sides of the head. The anthro aesthetic's tendency to a) shorten the muzzle and b) move the eyes to the front of the head really work against the "sheep" concept. I don't know about you, but I don't see a sheep in there. Plus it looks drunk.

Rock on, Janvier Jett!

Rock on, Janvier Jett! published on 1 Comment on Rock on, Janvier Jett!

I gave Janvier Jett the outfit, wig and eyes that once belonged to Lola Paprika, and what a difference! Janvier Jett's bright faceup and glasses really complement her horribly bright outfit and hair. Especially since she now has 2 jointed hands, she looks very pleased with herself. Scratch that…she always looks pleased with herself.

Continue reading Rock on, Janvier Jett!

Goodbye, Lola Paprika.

Goodbye, Lola Paprika. published on 1 Comment on Goodbye, Lola Paprika.

Lola Paprika is moving on. [Well, I hope she is. I put her on the DOA marketplace today.] She never really turned out to be the doll I wanted anyway.

I first learned of Angelsdoll at doll club back in April of 2011, when I was struck by the beauty of a fellow enthusiast's Ruby on the massive girl body. Such a sweet, soft face. Naturally, I wanted Ruby.

When I hopped over to the AD site to order a Ruby, I saw that they were having a super sale on Hyang. Basically you could get a Hyang with eyes, faceup, outfit and free shipping for the price of a blank Hyang excluding shipping. The cheapo in me won out over the aesthete in me, and I bought Hyang.

While poking through the AD site, I also discovered Cat Avatar Ieseul and her super awesome/obnoxious default faceup. I much preferred it over Hyang's default plaintive, understated look. I therefore expressly ordered my Hyang with the Ieseul Cat Avatar faceup, planning her look and her personality to match.

I'm not sure how this happened, but Lola Paprika came with the default depressed Hyang faceup. She was so beautifully done that I didn't want to have her faceup wiped, so I tried to keep her as she was, with the default faceup and a look for a more obstreperous doll, but she never really worked for me.

Meanwhile, in June, 2011, AD lowered their prices of blank 62cm girls to $220.00 before shipping. I had the extra eyes and outfit that came with Lola Paprika, and I still wanted Ieseul Cat Avatar's faceup, so clearly the logical course of action was to buy a whole Ieseul Cat Avatar. How could I resist?

Janvier Jett became the obstreperous character that Lola Paprika never did. She demanded leg fuzzies, spiky hair, cat's-eye glasses, a guitar, jointed hands, even a brightening of the already loud colors in her faceup. With her cute little smirk, she exuded all the ebullience that I had wished for my anxious introvert Lola Paprika.

Recently I admitted to myself what I'd been thinking all along: Of my 2 Angelsdolls, I liked Janvier Jett more as a character, even though Lola Paprika's outfit was much cooler. Last night, when I was in the midst of wondering what more BJDs I could get rid of, I decided to stick Janvier Jett in Lola Paprika's clothes, hair and eyes; I would then sell Lola Paprika with the clothes and eyes she came with. That way I would have my Flaming Hot Pussy guitarist and the eye-bleeding clothes I'd spent so long carefully mismatching!

Watch for photos of the new, improved Janvier Jett later today!

Soom’s latest Faery Legend, Labas the Weaponsmith Sprite: meh

Soom’s latest Faery Legend, Labas the Weaponsmith Sprite: meh published on 2 Comments on Soom’s latest Faery Legend, Labas the Weaponsmith Sprite: meh

Soom just issued the latest in their Faery Legend line, a little winged dude in brick red resin: Labas the Weaponsmith Sprite. This is the first time in a long time, but I think Labas is just mediocre.

I love the concept of a fiery fairy, but Soom did not execute it well. Some parts of the sculpting work, while others fail. I love  the sculpted flames on his Faery legs, but that's about it. His wings look heavy and drippy, rather than light and flame-like. His headsculpt seems mushy and generic, while the default faceup, in colors very similar to his skin tone, doesn't do him any favors either.

I'm also disappointed with the palette used. I like the brick red resin for Labas' body and the transparent red resin for his Faery legs. but nothing else. Labas' brown wig and black outfit really kill the themes of light and fire. I would brighten one or both of these elements with some oranges and yellows. A fur wig would be great, mimicking the tongues of flame. Furthermore, even though Labas' eyes are apparently yellow grey, they don't pop at all. This guy needs neon eyes. O_O

While I'm criticizing Labas harshly, I think that he could be an awesome fire sprite in the right hands, as long as you don't get him with faceup, eyes, wig or outfit and pass on the waterlogged wings. A good customizer with a vision [like me, if I cared to get him] could really improve this doll, but I'm not interested enough in such a bland headsculpt to pursue this project.

My only picture of Jujube

My only picture of Jujube published on No Comments on My only picture of Jujube

Jujube, my Elfdoll Winky from the original release, appears in no photos that I have taken because she went directly from my house to work. The only photo I have of her comes from her seller, Demure Dolly on DOA, and I'm posting it here before it gets lost in the marketplace graveyard forever.
Continue reading My only picture of Jujube

Poooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Poooooooooooooooooooooooooo. published on No Comments on Poooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

The credit union E-mailed me that my rent check, which tried to go through today, overdrew my account by ~$150.00. I'm seriously not sure how that happened!

Anyway, once I momentarily stopped panicking, I discovered that I have overdraft protection, so the credit union fronted the money, covering the rent check. Of course, they also assessed me an overdraft fee. And, if any of my other pending charges hit today, they will be covered by overdraft protection [I think] and assessed overdraft fees.

Sigh.

Anyway, I had $200.00 sittin' in my Paypal account, so I moved that over to my checking account ["3-4 business days" to transfer]. More immediately, I called my financial advisor and had her transfer some money from my short-term savings to my sadly denuded checking account. That transfer is either happening today or tomorrow. I had to pay a wire fee to expedite it.

I should be fine for the next 7 days [next payday is the 14th]. My only major expense during that period will be my grocery shopping and maybe some gas. I have gathered together enough funds to cover the -$150.00 and then leave me some extra. I think this will all work out. I'm just trying to clear leftover hyperventilation out of my system.

You know what really irritates me?

You know what really irritates me? published on 2 Comments on You know what really irritates me?

[No, I’m not outraged right now.]

Doll clothing with out-of-scale buttons. I see this a lot on clothes for 1:3 scale BJDs [i.e., ~60cm or 2 feet tall]. Makers of doll clothes will go to incredible lengths to replicate and scale down all the details of, say, a shirt or a jacket, and then WHAMMO! They’ll completely spoil the whole effect by using 1:1 scale buttons [suitable for human clothes] as fasteners.

And they’re not doing it for a purposeful aesthetic effect either. This is serious, unfunky clothing that they’re making, insofar as doll clothes can be serious. It’s especially hilarious when you’re looking at suits for BJDs: “Oh I like the structure of this jacket. The detail on the lining makes it look almost GOOD GRAVY WHO PUT BUTTONS THE SIZE OF SAUCERS ON THE CUFFS???”

In-scale buttons exist! I know this because I see them with some regularity on 1:6 scale clothes. I know they exist for 1:3 scale clothes as well, but I’m not sure why they aren’t used very much by makers of doll clothes in 1:3 scale.

I mean, surely, if you can be arsed to put in-scale zipper flies and functioning pockets on your denim dolly jeans, you can put freakin’ in-scale buttons on your dolly shirts, right?

You know what…while I’m pissing and moaning about BJD stuff, let me get this off my chest. Asian BJD companies can now officially stop with the Alice in Wonderland [sic] special edition dolls and/or outfits. Way too many doll studios have done or are doing something with this concept. Boooooooring.

If Asian BJD companies want some non-Alice concepts, I can supply some. Let’s try the Chinese zodiac, the months of the year [not the same as the non-Chinese zodiac, more of a personification theme], celestial bodies [again not the non-Chinese zodiac, more of a personification theme], fairy tales, seasons [mud season!], weather, trees/flowers, the Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, ceremonial dress from different cultures, the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck, medieval Western European character types [king, queen, knight, damsel, jester, maid, serf, etc.], characters from famous ballets, et hoc genus omne. Some of these concepts have already been appropriated by some companies, but I think they still have a lot of life in them.

Furthermore, we need more therianthropic characters. I’m not just talking dolls with resin ear attachments; I’m talking dolls with non-human limbs and torsos and such. We have not yet reached market saturation on centaurs, especially female ones, and merpeople. I also strongly advocate for naga [human/snake hybrids], human/bear hybrids and human/zebra hybrids. We definitely need more human/arachnid dolls [Soom Vesuvia and Impldoll Colin being the only ones I know of]. And we’re also seriously lacking in human/insect hybrids. That’s just for starters…

Let’s play a game.

Let’s play a game. published on No Comments on Let’s play a game.

I’ll say a phrase, and you tell me the first words that come to your mind.

Okay? Ready? Here we go:

“Lesbian vampire erotica.”

Continue reading Let’s play a game.

In which the author yells at books and they do not respond

In which the author yells at books and they do not respond published on 2 Comments on In which the author yells at books and they do not respond

Hey kids! Are you ready for your daily dose of outrage?

You are? Well let’s get crackin’!

I just read Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. More precisely, I tried to read it, but ended up throwing it against the wall in disgust about 50 pages in.

Ostensibly, the book is a feminist reclamation of the word “cunt,” which apparently amounts to a long discussion of how wonderful uteruses, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, eggs, menstruation and all associated hydraulics are. I don’t object to the concept — we need more appreciation of these long-devalued body parts — but I object strenuously to the execution.

Muscio insists that all women have cunts. Yes, she actually writes that. I promptly yelled at the book, “NO THEY DON’T!!!!!!!” but this did not alter her erroneous assumption. Apparently all the women I know who don’t have cunts aren’t women??!?!?!?!?!?!? Keep your essentialist claptrap to yourself, Muscio.

In one of the book’s early chapters, Muscio talks about her childhood in which she was shamed and characterized as unclean for menstruating. She then recounts her reacquaintance with her reproductive system, her determination of her own reproductive schedule and her switch from “feminine hygiene products” to sea sponges and rags. There is also a huge tangent about the ocean and the moon and how this somehow relates to fertility [hint: it doesn’t]. Yay hooray, she liberated her reproductive system, and she feels good about it.

The problem arises when Muscio prescribes her reproductive liberation program for all women. First of all, as I mentioned before, not all women have the same biology. Second, even if they do have the aforementioned long-devalued body parts, they don’t all menstruate. Third, if they do menstruate, they don’t necessarily do it on a regular schedule the way that Muscio apparently does. [“Fun” experiment: try figuring out your menstrual “schedule” if you have PCOS!] Fourth, the ocean and the moon have nothing whatsoever to do with menstruation. Fifth, some of us have slightly more complex relationships to our bodies than “Ick, I’m disgusting; the patriarchy has oppressed me!” then transforming into “My womanhood is wonderful!” However, Muscio presents her experience as the sole option, thereby foreclosing on the full and varied range of experiences that a full and varied range of women have in their bodies.

This is not feminism. This is simplistic, biologically reductionist bilge in complete denial of multiple axes of oppression.

Lura’s wingy ears: the preparations

Lura’s wingy ears: the preparations published on 1 Comment on Lura’s wingy ears: the preparations

This weekend, I bought a pound of Aves Studio Apoxie Sculpt, which was recommended on DOA as the best sculpting medium for adding permanent, durable, modifiable mods to BJDs. Tragically, there are no stores in Vermont, New Hampshire or northern New York that sell Aves stuff, so I had to spend $10.20 on shipping for $15.00 worth of Apoxie Sculpt. This is my despicious face: >_>

I also collected reference pictures of possible shapes for wingy ears. I got some owner pics of Soom Clozel's wingy ears, which are long and rectangular. I'd love to get some owner pics of Soom Amphibel's, which are high and rounded. I wouldn't copy either type of ears; I'm mostly curious to see how much detail is sculpted in for them to be recognizable as feathery.

Today I searched online for information on how to sculpt wings. eHow has a whole series of videos on a guy sculpting an angel, and the 2 vids about sculpting wings are somewhat helpful, though the incised detail on every single feather seems like overkill. I think that demarcating the boundaries between feathers is more important when sculpting than trying to engrave all the details of the barbs [the little hair-like things that protrude from the rachis, or "stem," of each feather]. Making the wing forms. Sculpting details in the wings part 1. Sculpting details in the wings part 2.

Anyway…I really love how the woman in this YouTube tutorial shapes each feather. Too bad the light and sound are so poor.

And here's a tutorial [still photos] on sculpting wings for Warhammer 40K miniatures with alternative techniques for detailing feathers.

Hmmm, I should probably post this in the customization section on DOA. You know, for science!

Catholic Church leadership and Boy Scouts of America leadership both adept at hiding rapists

Catholic Church leadership and Boy Scouts of America leadership both adept at hiding rapists published on 2 Comments on Catholic Church leadership and Boy Scouts of America leadership both adept at hiding rapists

The Catholic Church leadership and the Boy Scouts of America leadership are similar in another way besides their virulent anti-gay sentiment and policies: they both abet child abuse. Just like the Catholic hierarchy, the BSA hierarchy apparently has a history of ignoring allegations, letting accused child abusers move to other troops or locations and otherwise keeping abusers around.

It's extremely hypocritical that both the organizations denounce the immorality of queer people and yet fail to recognize the immorality being perpetrated largely by straight dudes inside their organizations.

Pieces of Lura

Pieces of Lura published on No Comments on Pieces of Lura

I very rarely track all the sources of all the parts for dolls I 'bash, but I've decided to do it for Lura because she comes from so many different places.

Head: Iplehouse Luna Tamer human in rose grey resin

Eye 1: Creamsoda 14mm steampunk factory second

Eye 2: Either Iplehouse 16mm red, Volks Dollfie Animetic 14mm pink or Soom 14mm pink iris/purple pupil

Faceup: Iplehouse Luna Tamer human default

Hair: Currently light blue/light pink mix shoulder-length bob from Andrea

Wing ears: To be sculpted by me out of white Aves Apoxie Sculpt

Body: Mostly likely Illusion Spirit 58cm girl body in grey resin

Right arm: HTTDolls "automail" arm in dark grey resin, to be painted by me

Hands: uncertain — claws? — talons? — transparent resin? — jointed?

Feet: Soom Galena talons in grey resin [may require mods to fit knee sockets]

Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn.

Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn. published on 1 Comment on Daaaaaaaaaaaaamn.

After inveighing against people who buy recast, knockoff, bootleg dolls, I just bought one myself unwittingly. Since Millie's seamless Phicen body broke an arm when I breathed on it, I purchased her a pale TTL large bust body with standard, visible joints, which came yesterday. I was very pleased with it. Then Andrea told me that it was a recast of the CG 2.0. Pooooooooooop. Now I'm back at square one because I have to get rid of this TTL body and find an ethical replacement.

In good news, the guy who sold Millie to me, Sith Lord McGyver, offered to replace her broken body, so I'm trying to find out what that would entail.

Mecha siren!!!

Mecha siren!!! published on No Comments on Mecha siren!!!

I just got a loopy concept for Lura: she could be a cyborg siren! For that, she would need cyborg parts, avian talons and possibly wings. So freakin' awesome!

Now to find sources of wings and talons. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any sources for talons besides Soom fantasy parts.

For wings…

Soom Gneiss fem [head-mounted]

Soom Carbon/Luxulia [Teenie Gem]

Soom Amphibel fem [ears]

Soom Sphaler dude [ears]

Soom Euclase dude [ears]

Oooh…FlightofIcarus on DOA makes 'em!

For talons…

Soom Tremo dude

Soom Arkose dude

Soom Obsidius dude

Soom Migma fem

Soom Bazael dude

Soom Nephelin fem

Soom Monzo dude

Soom Galena fem

Soom Sphaler dude

Soom Euclase dude

Business skills online training

Business skills online training published on No Comments on Business skills online training

The company just contracted with a vendor of online business skills training courses. Subjects offered are as diverse as PivotTables in Excel and anger management.

I have no problem with the hard skills courses, but I feel ambivalent about the soft skills courses. On one hand, I am grateful that such courses exist because their existence implicitly acknowledges that nobody automatically knows how to manage anger effectively, for example. On the other hand, I have deep philosophical discomfort with the way that emotional labor — i.e., soft skills — is demanded by corporate culture, but coded as feminine, demeaned and undervalued in this society. 

There's also the philosophical discomfort created by knowing that the corporations are trying to control what employees feel and how they feel it.

I have no easily summarizable thoughts on these subjects.

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