My 1:9 scale Bill had a thigh gap that was bugging me. People tend to sit with their thighs side by side, but the first picture below illustrates that the Toybiz 8″ Famous Covers Storm body could not put its thighs together. Continue reading Closing the thigh gap on a Toybiz 8″ Famous Covers Storm body for 1:9 scale Bill
Well, yesterday’s attempt at curry came out sadly bland, so I seek alternatives. I am guessing that the problem is a failure to scale up my spices…also to somehow make the flavors stick to the food.
Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew is expressly made for large slow cookers.
Here’s another Slow Cooked Vegetable Curry. I’m starting to think that I need to cook the onions and spices first to make a savory base before doing anything else. This may make the flavors stick more.
2 16 oz. cans low sodium chickpeas, rinsed
1 lb. carrots, sliced and diced
1 can low-fat coconut milk
1 large russet potato, diced
2 cups Signature Kitchens unsalted chicken broth
1 to 1.5 cups precooked chicken strips, diced
1 large red onion, chopped
1 jar Taste of Thai red curry paste
1 to 1.5 cups frozen mixed veggies to fill in cracks
Prepare as directed. Mix together. Cook on low heat for at least 8 hours. Add to 1.5 to 2 cups of rice cooked in the rest of the unsalted chicken broth. If the flavor dies out of this after 24 hours, I’m going to scream.
1:9 scale Bill is wearing a Mattel Babysitters Inc. AA Skipper jumper, Mattel Made to Move Barbie leggings, and a Fresh Dolls Mia bolero. She needs a sunflower for her hair, some decorations for her boots, and some jewelry. But she’s definitely rockin’ the look. <3 <3Continue reading 1:9 scale Bill Potts is TOO CUTE!!!
The three best companions ever in the history of Doctor Who are tied for first place: Alison Cheney, Bill Potts, and the Master. Alison and Bill suffered truly shitty adventures, so I paired them off, and now they are living happily.
Anyway, I’m always looking for little 3D representations of Bill, so I was checked online to see if Character Options had made her yet. No, of course not. But I did discover a Titan vinyl figure of her with a wonderful caricature that captures the essence of her lively, curious, upbeat personality. It also looks amazingly like Pearl Mackie, so of course I had to get it.
Further research into the DW offerings from Titan revealed more of my favorite characters, including the Third Doctor, the Tenth Doctor, and [coming in September!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] Delgado Master. I began to consider the possibility of dolls in this scale, especially since there were headsculpts for two of my core fanfic characters, Bill and the Master.
But what about Alison and the Doctor? I decided I could get a decent Shalka Doctor out of the First Doctor Titan. Then I discovered Toy Biz Famous Cover 9″ action figures of superheroes. One of them, Storm, looked in the pictures like she might approximate Alison’s sharp features, so I ordered her.
Well, Storm’s head turned out to be small, asymmetrical, and un-charming, so that was a bust. However, Titan Bill’s head looks great, accounting, of course, for eventual skintone matching.
This was not enough to console me, however, because I was still pissed off my by lack of Alison. Then I realized that I’m a digital sculptor with access to a 3D printer, and I have also made a digital Alison. I can just print her out at the correct size. With 1:9 scale versions of all four members of the Dork fam in the offing, I was finally pleased. Pics below. Continue reading Adventures in 1:9 scale, or, I blame Bill Potts!
Stuff I’m getting rid of. Continue reading Take my stuff, please!
After cruising around Chinatown, I headed back to the dealer room just to see what I could see. I saw more dolls, doll stuff, and original art. Continue reading Otakuthon DollFest, 08/05/2018: Back to the dealer room
On Sunday morning, the last day of the con, I hung around Chinatown before Otakuthon opened at 10:00 AM. I took some pictures of this small, ethnically diverse neighborhood of comparatively poor people and cheap goods [including lots of delicious food] that is being relentlessly reduced by the rich forces of gentrification that have subsumed the rest of Centreville. Continue reading Otakuthon DollFest, 08/05/2018: Chinatown
When I went out at around noon to appease the parking gods with another day’s offering, I saw a functional phone booth kitty-corner to our hotel. Continue reading Otakuthon DollFest, 08/04/2018: Dealer room, show and tell, Danny Choo, shabu shabu
Saturday morning we started the day with the DollFest meetup, where I assiduously chased around people until I got their names, the names of the doll sculpts, and the names of their doll makers. I enjoyed an excuse to talk to strangers and share our enthusiasm.
Continue reading Otakuthon DollFest, 08/04/2018: Saturday meetup
Bittersweet Blue, Lyrajean, and I traveled up to Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Friday morning for the BJD-related programming at Otakuthon. Continue reading Otakuthon DollFest, Montreal, Quebec, 08/03/2018-08/05/2018: Friday travel and hotel, Saturday morning
I’m making 1:6 scale versions of two of my favorite Doctor Who characters, Jo Grant and Carol Bell. In my universe, they’re a couple who end up flying around time and space, notable for embodying the groovy spirit of the Seventies, whatever that is. They play to people’s expectations by rotating through endless closets of flamboyant period clothes. This is all hilarious because neither of them are fashionable…or they weren’t when they lived in the 1970s. But now they’re totally groovy!!
I went through the paper dolls that I saw at the last VTDL meetup and selected outfits that I thought would work for Jo and Carol.
Mary brought hundreds of pages of paper dolls to the VTDL meetup earlier this month, but I just processed the pictures tonight. All of them capture the bright colors and enthusiasm for prints characteristic of 1971. And they were all so playful and exuberant that I couldn’t select a few favorites. All the [crappy] photos are below the cut. Continue reading Paper dolls from VTDL — the glory of the Seventies!!
I decorated some of my 1:6 scale scenes with cards from my Tarot of the Sweet Twilight by Christina Benintende. I like the twisty, humorous, phantasmagorical designs on almost all cards, so I selected cards for each set based primarily on pictures.
I also gave 75% of the Little Dorks, Alison, the Little Witch, and the Little Fixit, new hands with which they could hold things. Little Bill will get new hands when I have the time. By drilling the holes bit by bit on a low Dremel setting and testing the new wrist pegs frequently, I achieved securely fitting pegs. That’s more than I could ever do when turning the Dremel up to highest speed. No melting plastic either!
Continue reading Today’s 1:6 scale work: new hands and Tarot deco
I walled off a corner of the living room with two bookcases to create a place where I can hang out in my new recliner and have [the illusion of] privacy. Here are the new scenes on these shelves:
When he was at @natalunasans’ house, Harry experienced leg problems. I had originally shortened the legs on the DML body and stuck the feet back on, sacrificing ankle swivel articulation. The feet did not adhere well to the reduced calves, and they broke apart.
This weekend, I finally found a solution for this problem that would keep Harry on the same matching body and also maintain his comparatively short stature. I jammed some long Takara Cy Girl ankle cups up into the holes at the ends of his calves and stuck them there with a lot of hot glue. Then I stuck the pegs in some Hot Toys Willy Wonka bootfeet. Now he has ankle swivels, but no flexion. I don’t care, though, because he stands stably. Also the slim black heeled boots with red details fit his preferred colors.
As much as the default DML hands hold things well, I dislike them. They’re unnaturally posed, and the fingers look like hot dogs. So I picked up a Living Toyz 10″ N*Sync Justin Timberlake marionette from Goodwill for $6.00. I removed the hands, cut off the soft, swivel-only pegs, then drilled holes into the base of the hands and popped them on Takara Cy Girl wrist pegs. The hands, while slightly paler than Harry’s body, are close enough so that I’m not painting them. And they’re so much more detailed and expressive!
Do your small populations need some totally blinged out desserts of questionable aesthetic value? Look no further. BC Mini, purveyor of Japanese novelty erasers, keychains, squishy food replicas, and other necessary things, sells overdecorated circular cakes and candy houses, perfect for all your small-scale baking competitions. Continue reading Recent 1:6 scale activities part I: BC Mini cake and candy house keyrings
10 oz. sliced carrots
15.5 oz. LOW SODIUM chickpeas, rinsed
5-6 medium beets and shoots, chunked
1 jumbo russet potato, chunked
2 red onions, chunked
6 cloves fresh garlic, diced
1 tsp salt
1 cube Edward & Sons LOW SODIUM Veggie Cubes [bouillon equivalent]
2 cans LOW FAT coconut milk
1 package S&B medium hot golden curry sauce medium hot, softened and mixed into 1/2 c. water
1 c. frozen mixed veggies to fill in cracks
Prepare as directed. Stir well to distribute spices throughout ingredients. Cook for 4 hours on high. YUM YUM [hopefully].
I’ve been moving my furniture around the apartment. I used to have my compooper out in the main room, but I moved it into my bedroom onto the desk that I had been using for dolls and photos. Now my former doll desk is my compooper desk. The table that once held compooper now holds creative projects. I also ejected a large brown bookcase that stood on the bedroom floor in favor of shelves in the deep windowsill. And there are some new 1:6 scale sets for my dolls to enjoy! Continue reading New 1:6 scale spaces in my bedroom
Modifications from first attempt noted.
1 large sweet potato, diced
~4 oz. ~6 oz. shredded carrots
~1 cup ~2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 15.5 oz. can LOW SODIUM chickpeas [Garbanzo beans], rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can
LOW FAT coconut milk
6 medium beets, diced, and their shoots, chopped [NEW]
1 medium red onion, diced
3 4 heaping teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger [in small pieces larger than powder]
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 3 generous teaspoons garlic granules [in small pieces larger than powder]
2 3 coconut milk cans’ worth of water
1 cube 2 cubes Edward & Sons LOW SODIUM Veggie Cubes [bouillon equivalent]
Prepare as directed above. Mix together in slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high. YUM YUM [hopefully].
A few shots of how the stuff from my vacation with natalunasans now appears… Continue reading Dolls old and new in their natural habitat — my room
We hit Target before I flew out this morning. I was looking for the Fresh Doll with boingy hair, but didn’t find her. I found some other stuff, though… Continue reading Day 7 with natalunasans — stretchy clothes, bits and bobs
We took some dolls and went to South Mountain State Park, NC for pictures. Continue reading Day 6 with natalunasans — South Mountain State Park, NC
Today I made more 1:6 scale reading material while natalunasans went out and did errands. Continue reading Day 5 with natalunasans — even more tiny books and a meeting of the catwitches
Yesterday we headed off to Table Rock State Park. Small-scale drama ensued in the form of a multipart photostory called The Master Disaster. Continue reading Day 4 with natalunasans — the Masters at Table Rock State Park
Yesterday, July 4th, we celebrated the United States’ independence by staying inside the air-conditioned house, except for an excursion to Books A Million [discount bookstore], Michaels [craft store], and two discount clothing/housewares stores that I forget because I didn’t get anything there.
Note to self — Start donating to the Fresh Dolls Patreon as of August! Support Black excellence and 1:6 scale awesomeness!
John did some body mods on a Fresh Dolls body to enhance existing articulation. Now that I have three Fresh Dolls, I’ll be modifying them similarly, especially for greater elbow flexion. I’d also like to add wrist articulation too…
Today we stayed indoors with the air conditioning on as we worked industriously on 1:6 scale props. Continue reading Day 2 with natalunasans — limb swaps, pulp fiction, and narcotics
I’m currently visiting natalunasans in South Carolina for about 6 days for almost an entire week of doll-related fun. Yesterday my dolls got some new duds. I also got some new dolls. I swear that they multiply when I’m not looking… >_>
Continue reading Day 1 with natalunasans — new duds for small populations
Adapted from a recipe on The Fitchen.
1 large sweet potato, diced
~4 oz. shredded carrots
~1 cup. frozen mixed vegetables
1 15.5 oz. can LOW SODIUM chickpeas [Garbanzo beans], rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can LOW FAT coconut milk
1 medium red onion, diced
3 heaping teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger [in small pieces larger than powder]
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 generous teaspoons garlic granules [in small pieces larger than powder]
2 coconut milk cans’ worth of water
1 cube Edward & Sons LOW SODIUM Veggie Cubes [bouillon equivalent]
Prepare as directed above. Mix together in slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high. YUM YUM [hopefully].
Adaptations depended on several factors. First, I was using stuff that I already had [sweet potato, shredded carrots, frozen mixed veggies]. Second, given my lack of measuring cups and spoons, all measurements are approximate. My “teaspoon” was a small dinner spoon. Third, I am lazy, which is why I threw the bouillon ingredients in separately. Fourth, everything can be improved by the copious addition of garlic. Fifth, I hate red pepper flakes. Sixth, the original recipe has a ridiculously gratuitous amount of sodium, most of which can be eschewed by choosing low sodium chickpeas and low sodium bouillon.
EDIT: Delicious, though flavored much more strongly of ginger than anything else because the little pieces of dried ginger root are much stronger than ginger powder. I added a bunch of rice, which cut much of it, but now I know to reduce the amount of ginger by at least half if I’m using small pieces of the root. I feel like it may need some capsaicin…
I used to have just my dolls hanging out on shelves, talking to each other so that they wouldn’t get bored. Back in February of this year, though, I realized that I also had lots of nifty furniture, props, accessories, etc., that languished in storage. I could arrange them into vignettes for my dolls so they could do activities besides talking! Below are overviews of each scene, then detail shots. Continue reading Small sets in my bedroom and bonus Shalka dorks
Well, most of them, as of 06/23/2018. Continue reading All my dolls, 06/23/2018
@dollsahoy gave me a Mego 13″ Bionic Woman recently. I love robot dolls, and I had never encountered this one before, so of course I was thrilled. This doll is in the likeness of Lindsay Wagner as Jamie Sommers. Unlike most Mego celebrity portraits, which are sharp and square, with insufficient cranium, this headsculpt has more rounded features and nearly enough cranium. The wide smile is also charmingly done. I can’t attest to the likeness, but to me she bears a certain resemblance to Britney Spears. Anyway, I quickly named her Sappho the Lesbian Love Bot / the Lesbionic Woman. She’s just your average cheery seven-foot lesbian with a big smile and a penchant for bright colors, and she’s looking for love. Look at her beautiful facial screening!
Sappho has almost as many joints as today’s action figures, but that doesn’t mean they work well. With only a neck and a waist swivel, her upper body poseability is curtailed. It’s impossible to get ninety degrees of flexion out of either her elbows or her knees. Additionally, she can’t spread her thighs or her arms away from her torso. Her inability to plant her legs farther apart greatly reduces her stability, but she can stand alone in certain positions.
I conditioned her hair and trimmed it in an effort to improve its look, but it remains stiff. I dressed her in an outfit that would show the computer chips embedded in her arm. The dress comes from a generic 11.5″ fashion doll, but fits Sappho’s larger frame because of its stretchiness. Her leggings from Old Joe Infirmary are made for female action figures. No idea about her shoes, but they fit perfectly. Her antennae are, of course, pins that I jammed in her head. I think she’s adorable.
My doll of the Master has gone through a few iterations already. He came with a constipated-looking scowl, as shown here: Continue reading Smile, Master! — resculpting a more cheerful expression
Frittilaria and Never the Less went. Pictures on official blargh.
The Master is currently not smiling. I’d really like him to smile. Rather than print an entirely new head for him, I have decided to modify the existing head. Continue reading Resculpting the Master
These two are adorable together! I added stylized reflections to their eyes. Frankly they probably should have been heart-shaped. 😀 Continue reading Little Alison + Little Bill = WUVS junior
Carol is another character in my loosely related universe of Doctor Who dolls. In canon, she’s the Brig’s assistant during the Third Doctor’s tenure. In my mind, she’s Jo’s partner, and I took her appearance in a different direction from the person who played her. Body mods below. Continue reading Making Carol
Lakis Atlantean, latest addition to my universe of reinterpreted Doctor Who characters, is done. She’s a Mattel Hawaiian Fun Kira head on a Mattel Curvy Made to Move Fashionista [Dancer] body. I customized her by stitching her bangs against her scalp, giving her the headband from a Mattel/Hello Kitty Chococat outfit and bootz from an MGA Bratz, hand-sewing her outfit [!!], and of course repainting her. It’s a very simple faceup, but I didn’t want to give her too much detail, as she’s supposed to be just 17 years old and very cute.
Credits: Inspiration for this body/head combo comes from @dollsahoy’s recent custom. Dress made by modifying a T-shirt pattern by @cosmomoore. TARDIS from @natalunasans.
I finished repainting Lakis Atlantean tonight. Since she’s a relatively young character, about 17, I did a simple faceup, with no characteristic eye bags. She just needs her bangs subdued and some footwear to make her feet look more proportional, and she’s done! Continue reading Lakis repainted, waiting for hair and shoe improvements
Time to get rid of more shit. PM me if interested.
Here’s Lakis, a Mattel Hawaiian Fun Kira head on a Curvy dancer body, before repaint. I made the T-shirt dress from a pattern by @cosmomoore, but I added sleeve and hem extensions. Lakis’ leggings are from my own reverse-engineered pattern. Continue reading Handmade shirt dress and leggings for Lakis
Here’s Ten in what, for them, is the epitome of fashion: one of my standard sock sweaters [albeit with sleeves and cuffs from jersey knit] and some sock leggings, based on a pattern that I reverse-engineered. Swapping out 4 of 9 sweater pieces for jersey makes it easier and more visually interesting to make, since I can have contrasting sleeves or something. Continue reading Ten rocks their socks [sock sweater + sock leggings]!
The inhabitants of House Rainbow Barf [Jujube, Dorothy, Jeff, and Honorine] went to VTDL last Saturday. Pics and video on official blargh.
@dollsahoy sent me a 13″ Mego Cher and a 13″ Bionic Woman recently. Here they are with a standard fashion doll for comparison. Next to your average 11.5″ Barbie or equivalent, the Megos are Amazonian! I seriously contemplated hacking the Bionic Woman down to standard size, but I couldn’t bear to mangle her unusual and fully articulated cyborg body. But it’s okay. She can be like a 7-foot robot. As for Cher, I think I’ll keep the head, torso, and hands, but replace arms and legs to get her down to an acceptable 1:6 scale height.
Here they are as they came: Continue reading Mego 13-inchers from @dollsahoy!
Jill and I nearly pissed ourselves with laughter over the hash that the speech-to-text made of Poe’s Raven.
Jill and I were reading poems into the default speech-to-text converter in my computer. It made the following hash of Robert Service’s Cremation of Sam McGee:
Starring Princess Leia x2. The one on the left is mine. The one on the right is Jill’s.
It’s been cold and snowy recently… Continue reading Springtime in Vermont — starring Jareth and Jennifer
Purchased at the end of January because the fan crapped out on my other one; then the hard drive died. Then I had to get another one. I still think that Wires Computing hastened its demise, though….
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor
16GB Memory default installed RAM
AMD Radeon RX 580 default graphics card
1TB Hard Drive
I finished my repaint/restyle of Fresh Dolls Mia as Pearl Mackie’s character Bill Potts from the most recent season of Doctor Who. I completely repainted her face and cut her hair. I also moved her to a Takara/BBI Cy Girl 1.5 action figure body. The head is lighter and yellower than the body, so I painted the neck and bust with acrylics to match. As a nod to her loud and awesome clothing style, she’s wearing an OJI magenta leotard under a Mattel Chococat dress, with Hasbro Shoezies modified to fit Takara/BBI Cy Girl bootfeet. I made the horrible/fascinating felt sunflower fascinator. In the last picture, Alison and Bill are having WUVS!!
As long as I’ve been interested in making dolls, I’ve been interested in making likenesses. My interest in likenesses led me to digital art using Daz Studio, a program where you can customize 3D models, arrange them into scenes, and render the results. In other words, Daz Studio is like playing with digital dolls. Continue reading 3D printing 1:6 scale heads for 12″ dolls/action figures I
Sardonix, Thalia, and Sweet Sue went to VTDL today. Official blargh has photos and video.
I’ve been improving my 1:6 scale power wheelchairs in recent months, and I finally finished my steampunkish power chair. Pics below. Continue reading 1:6 scale power wheelchair upgrades: steampunk style!!!
Members of the Dork fam Alison and Bill have a little adventure with Anima [the Doctor’s TARDIS]. Continue reading Last week’s photos — Alison, Bill, and Anima have an adventure
By Cosmo Moore.
More work on my Bill doll. It’s a constant balancing act between the features of the headsculpt and the features of the character I’m trying to depict. For example, Fresh Dolls Mia has big eyes. Pearl Mackie does not have big eyes. She does, however, have an amazing set of dramatic, expressive eyebrows, kind of a long nose, and a wonderful round mouth. I tried to evoke these features as much as I could within the confines of the existing sculpt.
I think she’s mostly done in terms of paint. I want to make a sunflower hair clip for her and, of course, move her to a more poseable body.Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia as Bill Potts — further work
Deciding recently that my current Fresh Dolls Mia repaint did not adequately resemble Bill, I tried again. Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia as Bill Potts, take 2
Araminthe, Yamarrah, some Mattel Curvies, and Donna [a new-to-me 1950s American Character doll] attended yesterday. Blarghity blargh blog.
I got two more felted sleeping kitties from Nitwit Oddments recently. They are Loaf and Pretzel below, and they are adorable. They fit right in with the others. ^_^ Continue reading A Field Guide to Some TARDIS Cats
Fritillaria and Sardonix attended. Shitty pics on official blargh.
I got a TARDIS in the mail from @natalunasans recently! Also a smiling Ten head! Here’s my largest prop and my interpretation of the Tenth Doctor.
Robo Ten is my fanfic universe’s version of the Tenth Doctor, a robotic replica created by Harry [Simm Master]. Robo Ten is a slightly enhanced BCS smiling Ten head on a BCS body with Triad Alpha hands and Hot Toys shoefeet. Sweatshirt is from TTYA.com, and jeggings were commandeered from a Mattel articulated Curvy.
Since Robo Ten is even messier than regular Ten, I took off their bangs, dunked in hot water, reshaped, then froze for a while. Antennae are wired that I coiled around a bamboo skewer, then hot glued behind the ears, adding beads to the top. Yes, I added eyeliner and lipstick to my version of Robo Ten. I love this headsculpt. The expression is playful, geeky, and slightly sheepish.
As for the TARDIS, this thing is so frickin’ cool [besides being frickin’ heavy and frickin’ large]. I’m pretty sure it’s the BCS Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS. It has a little phone, an openable door to go in, a little door to reach in and get the phone, and battery-operated lights. I particularly like the herringbone pattern of the flagstones inside. Anyway, you’ll be seeing more of it just because it’s really cool. I hope to do some on-location shoots….Continue reading MW’s biggest prop — and introducing Robo Ten!
Part IV: A Happy Ending!
Part III: Safety First!
Part II: A False Start. Continue reading Little Shalka Dorks in Fixing the Horse II
The Little Shalka Dorks get busy with a new project: an old toy horse of my mom’s that we rescued from my parents’ attic around last Xmas. Little Alison is the one playing with dolls. Little Bill is the one reading pulp fiction. The Little Witch, in the cape and top hat, is my version of the Master when he was a little girl. The Little Fixit, with alien T-shirt and tool box, is my version of the Doctor as a kid. None of this information is really necessary to understand and enjoy the story.
Part I: The Dorks Gather.
The TARDIS cats have very demanding lives, okay?! An excuse to showcase some felted sleeping kitties by Awa of Nitwit Oddments, my preferred source for TARDIS cats. Order yours today!Continue reading Alison, Bill, and some TARDIS cats
Whenever possible, I like to work with doll supplies on hand, rather than buying new. Therefore, since I wanted to make a Little Bill with the recently released adorable Mattel Skipper Babysitter Inc. AA doll, I used an articulated body that I already had from Mattel Made to Move Gabby Douglas. I yoinked the Babysitter head off the original body and spent several days hacking the MTM body to the appropriate size.
I am never modding an MTM again. Unlike a Spin Master Liv body, which has partly [but not fully] solid limbs and a hollow torso, the MTM body has solid limbs and nearly solid torso pieces. That’s a lot of plastic to cut through.
Furthermore, the proportions of the MTM don’t lend themselves to creating kid bodies. While the Liv’s limbs are largely tubular, thus shortening without much deformation, the MTM’s limbs are just weirdly shaped throughout. The MTM’s elongated ankles are the worst. I cut down the core and limbs until the proportions looked good, then gave up on the ankles. I took out the feet and jammed the stumps into shoes that I filled with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Covered by clothes, the reduced MTM looks convincingly like a chubby kid.
Another 1:6 scale kid is done chez Modern Wizard. It’s the Little Witch! Continue reading “I am the Little Witch, and you will obey me!”
The last chapter of Zombieville begins. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 19.1: Lumberjack vs. Frat Kid
I customized the one-footed redhead Jakks Pacific Juku Couture Audrina from @glaceleau today. I redressed her in an MGA Bratz dress and some random leggings, then took off her remaining foot. I filled some Mattel Barbie hightops [also from @glaceleau] with
goo+goo=thing Aves Apoxie Sculpt, jammed her leg stumps in them, and made shoefeet. All dolls with Juku Couture heads then gathered for a group shot. All of them are unreasonably adorable. Four kids, and not a lick of fashion sense among ’em. ^_^Continue reading The Juku gang [NB: not an actual gang]
About six months ago, I noticed a distressing lack of kids under 13 amongst my small populations. Continue reading Some of the under-13 set chez Modern Wizard
Over the last few days I’ve been working on a digital likeness of Roger Delgado as the Master. I finally got it pretty good, excepting the white blazes in the hair. This is another project done entirely within Daz Studio, with commercial morphs, custom D-Forms, and other tools available within that program. It was a challenge because there are few good stills of him to work from. Here are my progress screencaps that I was sharing with fellow dorks. Continue reading Making a digital version of the Master
The following are neural network results that could be useful for building a world run by neural networks. If uncredited, by Janelle Shane.
Trade list continues.
I have too much doll stuff that I am not using, so I hope to trade it for some stuff that I can indeed use. Continue reading MW’s Shit-B-Gone, part I
The 1:6 scale Shalkaverse crew expands with two new members of the extended Dork family. One of them is [fuckin’] Charlie Foxtrot, a repersoned, refaced Cyber person that the Dork fam rescued from Newland, a Mondasian colony ship. The other is Reeve, humanoid robotic form of the Stylist’s TARDIS. Continue reading Two more for the Shalkaverse: [fuckin’] Charlie and Reeve
I have used my vacation to repaint a bunch of dolls that really needed it From left to right, we have a Mattel Hip Hoodie Fashionista with head and neck spliced onto an articulated Mattel My Scene body, then two 10″ American Teen Dolls by Dieter Mueller, Dominique in the center and Tara at the end.
Let me tell you about the American Teens. I opine that these dolls were designed by someone who had never seen either a doll or an actual American teen. The character sketches on the back of their boxes claim that they’re in their mid to upper teens, but their undefined, barrel-chested, short-limbed physiques suggest an age no greater than 12. In any case, they’re damn cute, with strong brow bones, round noses, and little smirks. The headsculpts, hair, and pants on these dolls are the best parts.
Onto the bad parts. Their stock shirts and shoes were so cheaply made that I threw them out. As for jointing, these poor kids had solid single-ganged elbows, knees, and ankles, but movement was all but inhibited by the rubbery plastic in which the joints were encased. Why would you go to all the trouble of adding articulation, only to render it useless? I replaced Tara’s arms entirely with some action figure arms and hands. But for Tara’s knees and for all of Dominique’s limbs, I just hacked away enough plastic to expose the joints and make them functional. Both of them now have long shirts and pants so you can’t see their hacked out arms and legs.
Anyway, the first pic below shows their default looks. Next two pics show Harold and Tara after I
messed them up repainted them. I erased and redid Harold’s eyebrows, along with shading around eye sockets, nose, and mouth line. I erased and redid Tara’s eyebrows and added shading around eyes. As you can see, eye bags make everything exponentially better.
The Master apparently got a pipe wrench and a ball peen hammer for Christmas, while Alison got a drill and some pliers. All items are from ZC World’s latest 1:6 scale tool kit, shown on the floor in front of them. Jill’s tortoise, Sunny, is not 1:6 scale. Continue reading Shalka Dorks and their tools [with bonus tortoise]
My sister and I always rearrange the NOEL decorations at my parents’ house. I deputized the dolls to do it this year. Continue reading NOEL –> LEON
Little Alison is complete! She’s a representation of my interpretation of Doctor Who extended universe companion Alison Cheney, who appears in The Scream of the Shalka. She is a Jakks Pacific Juku Couture Kana head, repainted and rehaired, on a modified Noix de Rome Ninie body. I would have kept her on her original Juku Couture body, but it was all single-jointed, with an inability to sit realistically with thighs together, so I spent much time and labor splicing her onto a Ninie body for the double-ganged arms and knees, plus the realistic thigh position.
For head mods, I removed all original hair and paint, except for eyelashes. Removed a patch of skull to make hair removal easier. Carved out neck hole to fit Ninie neck. Repainted face. Made hair by gluing to scalp in spiral pattern. Made hair band from waistband of Bratz pantz.
For body mods, I wedged part of a fake plastic grape around neck prong to fit larger head opening. Painted neck and breast to roughly match head. Added upper arm swivel joints made of pins sunk into shoulders and held with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Hot glue provided tight friction fit. Spliced original Juku Couture forearms onto Ninie forearms with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Ripped off original squidgy feet and sank ankle stumps into plastic Barbie sneakers filled with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Glued sneakers on ankle posts.
Also of note is that Little Alison is wearing a pair of pants that I handmade all by myself from a pattern that I reverse-engineered correctly on the first try. She was originally wearing some Bratz pantz that were the right length, but did not cover her butt. I ripped apart the pantz and reverse-engineered a pattern from them, being sure to add enough room to cover the butt, even when Little Alison was sitting down. These pants, sewn from stretchy knit, were the result.
I now know how to make two types of shirts, a collared one and a raglan sleeve one, and one type of pants. With this knowledge, I can make serviceable clothes for any of my dolls, no matter what the size. MUAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
In other words, all my dolls are going to wear novelty sock sweaters, loud printed cotton shirts, and leggings of questionable taste from now on. Continue reading Behold Little Alison!
When I acquired House Rainbow Barf, an American Girl AG Minis Groovy Room roombox, back in early 2013, the same seller also had the Petite Boutique available for another $50.00. However, I did not purchase it and promptly regretted it. A complete Petite Boutique, with roombox and accessories, recently appeared on Ebay, so I got it for just under $90.00 shipped. House Rainbow Barf, I have decided, is in a building with the Petite Boutique on the ground floor and residential quarters above. Since I have 4 Elfdoll 14cms that do not all fit in one roombox, 2 can hang out in the store, and 2 can hang out in the house!
Picture from auction below cut. Continue reading House Rainbow Barf now has a ground floor: the accessories shop!
Sardonix, Jujube, Dorothy, Jeff, Honorine, Submit, and Touralyn went. Pics on offical blargh.
This photo says so much about their relationship…
NB: Alison got a better collar for her key. This one is more in scale.
NB II: Alison stole that black over-robe from him, as well as the ombre skirt [not shown].Continue reading Two Dorks and their relationship
@firespirited was nice enough to give me an original Malibu Barbie head for the price of postage so that I could make a doll of Queen Galleia of Atlantis, a minor character from the
Third Doctor Delgado Master DW adventure The Time Monster. While not truly accurate to the likeness of Ingrid Pitt, who played Galleia, the Malibu sculpt nevertheless captures something essential about her delicate features, not to mention the whole 1970s feel.Continue reading Galleia of Atlantis faceup in progress
Been making a lot of sock sweaters recently, including a bunch that I cut out last year and only now have gotten around to sewing. Three quarters of the Dork fam shows a few of the results. As for the other quarter, why yes, Alison does steal the Master’s clothes. :p Continue reading The Dork fam and sock sweaters
Fritillaria “Don’t Call Me Fritzi!” went. Pics on official blargh.
Cracks and shadows around nose, mouth, and inner eyes have been enhanced with #2 pencil, black Prismacolor, DecoArts black paint, Prismacolor blending stick, and spit. I also painted a line between her lips and the insides of her sockets black. She doesn’t really look sweet anymore…Continue reading Fritillaria gets freakier
I threw some paint on Fritillaria this morning and then took some photos to see how the concept looks with the rest of her. I need to bring up the cracks around her nose more and erase some of the grey undershading around her mouth too. Other than that, though, she looks very promising. I’ve decided that she’s going to have no eyes, just empty sockets, and no wig. I like the juxtaposition of an elaborately finished outfit with a “partially cooked” doll. Looking like she’s somewhere between broken, old, and unfinished, she foregrounds the doll as an object of which the artificiality is often disguised by BJD owners who pursue some form of verisimilitude. This is a doll as a construct, not as a person.Continue reading Fritillaria’s faceup in progress
She’s got the appearance and the mannerisms down, don’t you think? 😉
Jareth, Thalia, Timonium, and some others attended. Pics on official blargh.
Me: “So does the Engineering division have brown bag lunches regularly?”
Supervisor [pause, blink blink]: “I need a more precise definition of that term.”
Me: I really like writing and editing, and I’m really good at it…
Supervisor [unblinking bafflement]: So…you…actually like writing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?
Retiring engineer’s favorite engineer joke:
How can you tell the difference between an introverted and an extroverted engineer?
An extroverted engineer stares at your shoes while they talk.
Isabel, Brandeis, and Lumberjack update each other on recent activities.
The wizard in his own mind wedges himself into a Hasbro Amidala Traveling Gown outfit out of which I hacked the undersleeves. Yes I understand that it strains over his shoulders, but the overall effect surprises me with its suitability. I imagine him as preferring heavy fabrics, extra drapeyness, black, gold, sumptuous displays. Therefore he doesn’t look to me as if he’s crossdressing, but as if he’s himself, wearing what he wants. Continue reading The Master looking dramatic in Amidala gear
So apparently the Master’s style borrows liberally from the silhouettes, colors, and layers of the characters in that dull middle Star Wars trilogy. I picked up two Hasbro Princess Amidala dolls, one of which was the Hidden Majesty version and the other of which was the Traveling Gown edition. I hacked out the red undersleeves of the Hidden Majesty robe and yoinked it onto him, then covered up any gaps with two layers of robes from the Hasbro Darth Maul. The black net sleeves are from somewhere else, as well as the black stretchy leggings, not shown. I knew that this was the sort of gear I imagined him in, and I also knew that he looked pretty good thus dressed in my head, but I did not expect the doll to look equally hot. He looks very cool, in the intensely geeky way of someone who wears big fwoopy red robes with his name all over then in mystic runes when he’s summoning Daemons. >_>
He has yet to learn that “cute” is Alison’s default adjective of gleeful approval. Continue reading Shalka Dorks experiencing unexpected hotness
The Master drops in on Alison. :p Continue reading Shalka Dorks in feline-related conflict
Isabel gets some culture at the Body Shop. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 18.2: Acculturated
I made a broom. The handle is a wooden chopstick painted red and sealed with Mod Podge. Bristles are made of string, of which I cut many individual lengths, attached with micro rubber bands and Mod Podge, then trimmed to be even. I glued some stiff folded manila folder at the core of the bristles to make them stand up. Then I wrapped some more string near the head and near the base of the broom and unleashed my creation into the wild. Pointless photostory resulted. Note: Scintilla, who’s all in blue, is the humanoid robot form of the Master’s TARDIS.
Today I increased the articulation of two of my Black girl dolls. The taller one is 8″ high. She is an MGA Moxie Kids head with repainted eyes on a very hacked-down Mattel ballerina Barbie. I removed length from the calves, thighs, waist, and wrist. I also sawed off the breasts and filled in the cavity with stuffing. Since the kid’s head, neck, and hands are all that’s showing, I painted these areas roughly to match. Hands are from a Noix de Rome Ninie body, mounted on pins. Oh yeah, and I also replaced the elbow joints with wire for better flexion. She’s held together mostly with hot glue and prayers, but she makes a decent bulky kid when fully clothed.
The shorter one is maybe 5.25″ high when hair and platform shoes are subtracted. She is a Mattel Chelsea Club kid that I found at Walmart yesterday. Despite her painted-on tank top, her excessive mascara, and her weirdly hot pink lips, I saw potential in her. I cut her limbs at the major joints, drilled them out, then hot glued wire in both ends so that she could have some basic articulation. I also wiped off the brows, mascara, and pink lips, then redid the brows. I’m pretty sure she’s Alison at age 5. 😀
The poor kids look atrocious when they’re naked, but I don’t care because they look fine with clothes on. All kids are tertiary characters in my stories, which means that they don’t sustain the levels of scrutiny that Isabel and Alison do. I am fine with jerry-rigged dolls, as long as they have decent articulation and paint jobs. And these cuties certainly qualify!
When I got Never the Less, I purchased an expensive $300.00 Souldoll outfit, Eve ZF, for the resin mask of the Souldoll Evelyn vampire head. I kept the rest of the outfit in its packaging, uninterested in it. A few days ago, though, I thought I’d try it on Fritillaria, whose original concept as an escaped marionette jester of death was not piquing my interest anymore.
The outfit comes with an underdress and an overdress, so I just used the overdress. That peacock collar is supposed to stand straight up in a grandiose and imposing manner, so I’ll have to work on that. Other than that, though, I’m digging the look, though I may invest in some electrical tape pasties. I also need to exchange the owl on the choker for a skull bead.
I’m digging her new look, though I remain uncertain on how to paint her. Maybe I could do her headcap black to be like a skullcap. I think that, like Thalia, she’ll be another black and white doll, but with no magenta tongue. I also think that she’ll be another hairless doll, the better to admire the contrast between her sweet face and her melancholy outfit.Continue reading Fritillaria is cruising toward baldness…
Tonight I set up a corner of the Body Shop, a nexus of PWS culture in Zombieville. Continue reading The Modern Wizard school of set design illustrated with the Body Shop Cafe
I Photoshopped Alison’s eyes partly closed, but that’s it. This is an outtake from the story about modern witchcraft.
The Master got a better body in the mail today. It’s a knockoff of the Hot Toys narrow male body, with smaller and slighter proportions than their standard male body. I prefer the narrow body, as it is closer to the proportions that I see more regularly on everyday people. He reduced about the equivalent of six inches in height [!], but I’ll take the reduction because the body corresponds to the physique I imagine for him. It looks a little scrawny when naked, but it wears clothes much better than the bulkier bodies.Continue reading Shalka Dorks and modern witchcraft
Redid the Master’s cat ears and tail over the weekend. I was going to show them off a bit more, but the story went on a tangent about my mini Dalek, a gift from Lyrajean. Alison doesn’t know what a Dalek is! Continue reading Shalka Dorks encounter mini Dalek
There was a point to this photostory, but I forgot it in the midst of Alison and Bill being darn cute. Oh yeah…I found some felt witch hats as earrings. They are 1:12 scale, but they work well as “accent hats” for people like Alison, who have floofy hair!Continue reading Shalka Dorks in hat competition
I love my doll of the Master, mostly because I love Roger Delgado. The likeness, however, came with a built-in scowl. I wanted a more neutral expression so I could suggest a wider variety of moods. It was time for a change! Continue reading The Master remastered — or, Modifying the scowl off a custom 1:6 scale resin action figure head
Alison masters [?] Cat Master. Continue reading Shalka Dorks and the demanding TARDIS cats
The cat saga takes a more psychological turn. And Bill shows up!
She and Alison are in so many WUVS. 😀
This cat thing is still hilarious. Made tail and pants today out of black velvet.Continue reading Shalka Dorks attack T.P. and find mice
I was just going to see if I could make a window seat set out of my recent bookcase efforts. I thought I’d just get some shots of Alison being cute as Alison Wonderland, but then the Cheshire Cat came in… Continue reading Shalka Dorks showing off window seat and incidental Cheshire Cat
I was just going to take some photos of the kid I recently spliced together, but then it turned into a photostory. The kid in question is an MGA Moxie Kids head on an articulated Mattel Stacy body with hacked off hands and extended neck post [with Aves Apoxie Sculpt]. Hands are from a Noix de Rome Ninie body, mounted on pins and painted to match head. Extensive outfit coverage obviates need to match more of the body for skintone. :p Alison’s in the Alice in Wonderland gear, and the Master is wearing some Sith stuff. Making him the butt of jokes will NEVER get old. NEVER.
Inspired by this xkcd cartoon. The Shalka Dorks meet a cat. Hand felted by Nitwit Oddments on Etsy, this was originally a brooch, a little large for 1:6 scale, but so damn cute that I couldn’t resist. Alison [in dress] is a human. The Master [left] and the Doctor [right] are Time
Lords Dorks. Continue reading Shalka Dorks encounter a KITTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A few months ago I approached Peppermint Circus on Etsy. She has a store full of BJD dresses with puffy sleeves, aprons, and A-line skirts. I wanted an Alice in Wonderland costume for Alison, a bitchin/Eric Barclay resin head on a Triad Alpha medium bust body, and Morgana’s work looked stylistically appropriate. She was also one of the few tailors I found who worked in 1:6 scale. I asked her if she took commissions and if she would be willing to sew for the Triad Alpha; she said yes to both, though she did not have an Alpha. I sent her one for modeling purposes, and we embarked on a collaboration of several months that culminated in the outfit that you see below.Continue reading Alison Wonderland — commission for Triad Alpha by Peppermint Circus
Some more pics of stuff that I got when I went to see @natalunasans this past weekend. Continue reading More stuff from @natalunasans’ house: clothes, props, kids, and a freaked out Master
When I went to @natalunasans’ house, I brought my Missy, a Barbie Fashionistas head repainted on a Takara Cy Girl body. @natalunasans also made a Missy out of a Spice Girls head with some repainting on a Spin Master Liv body. They proceeded to harass her Simm Master, despite intervention from her Ten. Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props. Instructional book by me. Continue reading “Me, me, and…me have been busy”: Missies give Simm Master shit
I visited @natalunasans over last weekend. After our Shalka Doctors and Masters met each other, our Shalka Alisons met and had a picnic with their girlfriends. @natalunasans’ dolls are on the left, mine on the right. @natalunasans’ Hot Toys Rocket tries to get the damn kids off his lawn. Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props. Food made by Rose!
While I was at @natalunasans’ house over the past weekend, my Shalka Master met her Simm Master. They’ve talked before and gotten on pretty well, but this is the first time they met in…person? Since @natalunasans had just taken pictures of her Simm as Razor, I decided that, for some reason, he was cosplaying Razor. The two proceeded to give each other shit about their outfits. Ah, friendship. Continue reading Master meets Master: my Shalka Master and @natalunasans’ Simm Master cosplaying Razor
Hanging out in each other’s laps. Alison goes zzzzzzzzzzzz. Body language is fun!!! Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props.Continue reading Holding Fast: Alison and the Master
My Shalka Doctor and Shalka Master met @natalunasans’ Shalka Doctor and Shalka Master when I went to @natalunasans’ house recently. My Doctor is a custom Richard E. Grant sculpt that I modded the eyebrows on and repainted, putting on a Triad body. My Master is a custom Roger Delgado sculpt that I painted and put on a Hot Toys body. @natalunasans’ Doctor and Master are both custom sculpts by @thegoodwhovian on Hot Toys bodies. Cape in question by me. Background by @natalunasans. Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props.
The Doctor is very proud of themselves. The Master is…less so. Alison thinks the whole thing is damn cute. Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props. Continue reading “But he’s a GOOD kitty!”: the Doctor paints a T-shirt for the Master
The Master, being a wizard in his own mind, took advantage of a visit to @natalunasans’ house to don a truly impressive pointy hat. Alison is either going, “EeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeee so cute!!!!!” or laughing at him, probably both. Shot at @natalunasans’ house with her props. Continue reading The Master: a wizard in his own mind
I went to @natalunasans’ house for a long weekend, coming back today. My DW dolls met her DW dolls and had several photostories. I also helped her sort some of her massive amounts of 1:6 scale stuff and chose those items that I wanted for myself. Continue reading Small populations from @natalunasans’ house!
Sardonix and Yamarrah went to VTDL. Pics on official blog.
Alison is in the center. Bill is on the left. The Master is on the right. Still having fun with body language!Continue reading Thee quarters of the Dork Quadrangle: Alison and her partners
My 1:6 scale version of Michelle Gomez as Missy is a partially repainted Spring Into Style Curvy Fashionista head on a Takara Cy Girl 1.0 body. Dress/coat thing is by @dollsahoy [remember that one? 😀 ]. Leggings are from a Made To Move Barbie. Top hat is from Pop Toys’ British Detective. Motorcycle boots are from Pop Toys’ Robot With Coffin outfit. I may match the bust piece with the head better or maybe not…depends on how lazy I am.
The Master is wearing the jacket and pants from the Robot With Coffin set. Thanks, @natalunasans! Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Missy — repaint done, body and clothes added!
I started this project because @natalunasans gave me the Curvy Barbie [Spring into Style Fashionista] in question, who had the perfect cheeks and jaw for Michelle Gomez. This repaint is done with spit, Prismacolor pencils, and acrylic paint, sealed with matte varnish.
Michelle Gomez has a very distinctive face, with weaponized cheekbones and a lower lip that’s significantly more visible than her upper, so even an approximate likeness is recognizable, I think. Appropriate hair and clothes will increase the likeness. In translation, I may weather her face more, but the likeness is about 75-80% there, which is good enough for me. Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Michelle Gomez as Missy in progress
I had the eyebrows too thick and >:[ on my Bill doll, so I repainted them tonight thinner and more uplifted. I wanted to capture her friendly, wondering expression. She kicks ass too, but I think of her more as an open-hearted character. New version below.
1:6 scale kids/teens I have.
I love the Disney Elite 10″ Jyn and Rey figs I got, but their small heads make them unusable for my larger 1:6 scale populations. I thus got the idea to make the figures into 1:6 scale kids by putting Barbie heads on them. I did this by popping off the original heads and twisting off the neck posts inside the torso. Then I sawed off a neck from a donor Barbie with a roughly matching skintone, cutting the edges so that they fit in the torso socket. After hot gluing the neck in there, I added a matching Barbie head.
My quick and dirty solution works well for a few reasons: 1) Both Jyn and Rey’s costumes disguise the area where Barbie neck and Disney Elite torso meet, permitting me to just glue the necks in without finished or matching paint, which I can’t be arsed to do. 2) Both Jyn and Rey’s costumes cover enough skin to make the difference in tone between Barbie heads and Disney Elite bodies less noticeable. 3) The heads being comparatively large works for more childlike or teen-like proportions.
While I was customizing these bodies, I also did a partial repaint of the tan Barbie head, who is from a Made To Move body. I removed original eyebrows and atrocious lipstick, as well as some eyelashes. A suggestion of eyebrows and a lip line do a good job of sketching more youthful features. Leaving as is because I don’t want to overdo it.
About four years ago, I bought a 1:6 scale kid doll from local figural sculptor Georgia Landau, along with some mohair [or maybe wool] wig fibers. She has a porcelain head/neck, lower arms/hands, and lower legs/feet, all attached to a cloth body with wire armature. Though she has limited poseability, she is extremely adorable, with a gawky, earnest, curious personality. However, she has been sitting on my shelf, garishly dressed and bald, thus unfinished, for most of her life.
Making mini vintage sci-fi pulps is too much fun, so I made another four. Here are the Shalka Dorks engrossed again.
All of them, as of 08/11/2017.
Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:
- [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
- Bug[s] me: my universe.
- LHF: Love Has Fangs.
- M3: Me and My Muses.
- SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
- Shalkaverse: Scream of the Shalka.
- Zville. Zombieville.
Lyrajean, Bittersweet Blue, and I drove up to the Palais de Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for Otakuthon, 08/04/2017-08/06/2017. Well, we mostly attended for the small amount of BJD programming, otherwise known as Dollathon.
Here’s Bill! I finished the repaint this morning. She’s a Fresh Dolls Mia head on a temporary body: a tan Cy Girl 1.0. I customized her by giving her a full repaint, a haircut, and a pin-back of some of her hair. She’s wearing an action figure fem shirt, a vest by Dolls Ahoy, pants from Fashionista Ken Color Block, and shoefeet made from Hasbro Shoezies.
While only single-jointed right now, she can still cuddle with her girlfriend Alison. Awwwww, lookit the WUVS! <3 <3
Alison is a custom cast resin action figure fem by Eric Barclay on a Triad Toys “Hispanic” skintone. I customized her with a full faceup and addition of a [shittily styled] wig. I also modified all major joints for greater flexion. She wears a Triad Toys leotard, arm sleeves and skirt from Mezco Fashion Victims, and her favoritest yellow sneakers, even though they do not match. I made her choker.
For context, Alison Cheney is the companion of an alternative Ninth Doctor in a [crappily animated] web series done for the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who called Scream of the Shalka. Bill Potts was the companion of the canonical Twelfth Doctor in the latest season of Doctor Who, otherwise known as A Tragic Waste of a Wonderful, Compassionate, Curious, Level-Headed, and Overall Adorable Black British Lesbian Character Played by the Talented Pearl Mackie. I disapproved and fixed things in my head by moving Alison forward to the present day, having her rescue Bill, and then having them get together. See? They’re so happy together! And, when Bill gets a body with better articulation, they’ll really be able to snuggle!Continue reading Fresh Dolls Mia repaint as 1:6 scale custom Bill Potts done
Added eye bags and lips.
This morning I erased the Fresh Doll Mia’s eyebrows, most of eyelashes and eye makeup, and lips. Current status of repaint below. At least needs better eye bags, as well as gloss to eyes and mouth. Hanging out with Alison below.
Well, the Integrity Toys Janay head, which I previously thought would be a good base for my 1:6 scale Bill Potts, ended up having an irredeemably sharp jaw, so I gave up on it. Thanks to @natalunasans, I am now in possession of a Fresh Doll Mia, who has a much better face shape. Below is a picture of Pearl Mackie at the DW season 10 photocall in London in April. Below that is a photo of Fresh Doll Mia after I braided some of the top left of her hair and then clipped back some of the top right. Looking good… Still needs redone eyes and lips. Also more eyeliner. Unsure about body, as this light brown/golden skintone is nowhere available in action figures.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts take 2
I just got an Integrity Toys Janay head to make a 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts as played by Pearl Mackie the amazing.Continue reading 1:6 scale version of Bill Potts forthcoming
The Internet Archive has a beautiful trove of pulp magazines ranging from the late 1800s through the 1990s, all free, all scanned in high-quality color, available for you to read or to admire the pretty pictures.
Being a sci-fi and fantasy fan, as well as a connoisseur of the Technicolor cover art of 20th century pulps of that genre, I picked out some of most iconic and amusing covers for my own use. I modified the covers to add silly titles and author names. Then I reduced covers and backs to a size at which people could still admire the covers, but at which my 1:6 scale populations could also read them.
Here are my Shalka Dorks getting meta-fictional: sci-fi characters reading Atomic Age pulps!
Now that I have had time to concentrate my rage into the long-smoldering core of righteous fury that burns within my core, fueling both activism and fixit fics, I would like to mention two more ways in which Season 10 of Doctor Who was horribly wretched.
It’s especially shitty, particularly in in World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls.
Think of the Cyber people as people with disabilities: difficulties in communicating, in gross motor control, in feeling/connecting with their emotions, and/or people with chronic pain. You will soon understand how disgustingly they are portrayed.
A. They look dead. They are shown at first as motionless figures in wheelchairs. Their white costumes and head masks recall either body bags or bags over people’s heads when they’re going to a firing squad; either way, they carry connotations of death.
B. Their voices are silenced and treated as irrelevant. The first Cyber person who does have a voice, saying, “Pain, pain,” with their communications device, is treated as an annoyance; the nurse deals with them brusquely. Even further, Bill turns down the device’s volume so she doesn’t have to hear the disabled person speak. Her action suggests that the disabled person’s voice as scary and objectionable.
C. They do not want to live; they all want to die. After the pain Cyber person, we hear two other Cyber voices in the hospital. One person says, “Die me.” The other says, “Kill me.” Viewers are expected to take this death wish as applicable for all Cyber people; even Bill, in The Doctor Falls, says something like “If I can’t be me, I don’t want to go on living.” In this case, “me” means the entirely organic, able-bodied person that she was before. These statements from Cyber people imply that life with a disability is so hopeless and miserable that even those with disabilities don’t want to continue living.
D. They’re treated as cannon fodder. The Cyber people look dead, have no voices [according to able-bodied people], and say that they want to die. It’s very easy to jump from these observations to the conclusion that they are not people, but mere objects. Their deaths don’t count as deaths of people because they’re subhuman and…well…they were essentially dead already, right? As a result of this dehumanization, we get torture porn of the people at the orphanage blowing up Cyber people because killing nonpersons isn’t really killing, so it’s not a real problem or anything. It’s so kind, brave, noble, compassionate, admirable, and heroic for the Doctor to indiscriminately slaughter crowds of disabled people. This show really sends the message that we should respect all people’s worth, dignity, and integrity. I love it in shows and movies and books when all the disabled people die. I find it inspirational and uplifting.
For another ableist treatment, refer to the depiction of Eyeliner Master, as played by John Simm. Last time we saw the dude in the End of Time, he was insane on account of the Drums. Yup, that counts as being disabled. When he reappears in the Season 10 finale, he acts more like Roger Delgado’s Master: mentally disturbed and disordered, but much more restrained in speech and action. He presents as being sane[r]. Notably, he makes no reference to the Drums that so deranged his earlier life and plot arcs. What’s going on here? The character gives no explanation for the change, and all supporting media portray Eyeliner Master as a return of EoT Master, which leads us to conclude that they’re the same person. So EoT Master = Eyeliner Master – disability.
What the hell, fuckos? You can’t just wave a Magical Wand of Disability Deletion! After years and years of making the Master’s Drums and consequent Insanity a key part of his character, you can’t just remove them because you feel like it. The cheating is especially transparent because there’s no in-story explanation for his reappearance, his changed behavior, or indeed what the hell he was doing circling the drain in a Mondasian colony ship in the first place. An in-story explanation could have made his personality change more plausible and acceptable. For example, maybe he’s still insane, but he has learned how, at great mental and physical cost, present as “sane.” Or maybe he adapted some Cyber technology to partially inhibit his explosive rages and so restore some measure of his beloved self-control. However, without an in-story explanation, we are left with a deus ex machina Magical Disability Deletion. The form of the character remains, but not the content. In a way, disabled EoT Master was dehumanized and discarded just like the disabled Cyber people. The character is lost, and so is his [highly problematic] representation.
BILL POTTS DIED FOR YOUR SINS
Those squealing with unalloyed joy over Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor should note that a white woman came on as the Doctor just as Pearl Mackie, a woman of color, departed.
@stardust-rain points out that the timing is no coincidence:
also everyone ignores the fact that we are getting a female doctor in the expanse of getting rid of an amazing black lesbian character. that’s right, this is the reason why Bill Potts isn’t coming back, bc having a female doctor AND a black lesbian would have given a heart attack to the bigoted fans all at once. they had to make a sacrifice and Bill was it.
When I say BILL POTTS DIED FOR YOUR SINS, this is what I mean. The show has had an overall craptacular history of representing women and/or queer people and/or Black people and/or disabled people. Attempts to make the show more accurately reflect the demographics and identities of the viewers have been piecemeal and insultingly small. Bill, as a queer Black woman, had the potential to significantly improve the show and make it more relevant, interesting, nuanced, and overall better. But she was done in by a poorly organized conception [seriously, what’s her backstory beyond chips, Moira, and a mum about which we know nothing, not even her fucking name?] and horrible, stereotypical writing.
Bill became a liability to the show, not because of her underdevelopment and shitty lines, but because she was a queer Black woman. Here’s the thought process at the BBC: “Whoa there! That’s just way too much representation; the straight cis white dudes won’t stand for it! If we stick a white female Doctor in the mix along with a queer Black female character, the straight white cis dudes will pitch shit fits. We need to think strategically and make it look like we’re actually representing our audience when we’re not. So Bill’s gotta go. There aren’t that many queer and/or Black people who watch this show, so it won’t be a big deal. We can just turn her into LITERAL SLIME and send her off with her space stalker and call it a happy ending. THEN we’ll have a female Doctor. We can’t have a queer Black female Doctor because that would be too much representation. But we can have a straight white female Doctor. Yeah, that’s just enough representation. We’ll look edgy without really making substantive change. [Plz fanboys don’t hurt us. D: ].”
Bill Potts was too real for the BBC to handle. Thus they killed her off, making her the scapegoat for their cowardice.
Oh look spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The latest season of DW has treated Bill shittily, both as a WOC and as a lesbian, and The Doctor Falls was just the diarrhea sauce on a crap sundae of disappointment.
If you think it’s a “happy ending” that Bill, the first lesbian COC [companion of color] on Doctor Who, suffered medical violation for ten years by the Cyber conversion team and ten years of mental violation by Eyeliner Master, then ended up condemned to the equivalent of TOTAL NARRATIVE DEATH, flying off into the universe with a personalityless dead wet white chick with whom she had no substantive relationship just because the DWWC had been stalking her for a decade, go read something else.
If you feel like partaking of my rage, stay with me. Other people, I’m sure, will direct their rage, frustration, and sense of betrayal into far more eloquent and exhaustive essays than mine about how this entire season failed Bill. I’m only going to focus on two moments from the beginning of The Doctor Falls that epitomized for me just how racist, sexist, and anti-Black women the narrative has been.
Note: I’m quoting from memory here because I have better things to do than to go back and watch the show torture Bill.
Both moments of quintessential misogynoir occur early on in the episode when the Doctor is telling Bill about her Cyber conversion and its consequences.
1) The Doctor says to her something like, “You’re so strong,” then lists examples of Bill’s mental strength, including her survival of physical and mental rape for ten years. He then adds something to the effect of her having to resist her programming.
So the Doctor blows off Bill’s stated fears of both dying and of Missy [see World Enough and Time], then proceeds to get her thoroughly perforated and DEAD, tells her to wait for him, doesn’t come for her, leaves her to a decade of medical torture and mind-fucks from Eyeliner Master, then has the audacity to say that she’s so strong for having survived despite the fact that he failed her on multiple levels.
This is the equivalent of straight and/or cis and/or white and/or dude-type persons treating queer and/or Black women like subhuman objects for years and then saying that they’re so impressed by how the queer and/or Black women handle adversity. It’s the Strong Black Woman stereotype: the idea that Black women’s fortitude is an individual choice of personal responsibility, rather than a trait often developed out of the necessity of surviving in an oppressive society.
2) The Doctor also says to her in this conversation, “You’re a Cyberman now. You cannot get angry.” Of course, Bill, having been raped and tortured for a decade, then pulled out of hell too late by the Doctor, does become angry, so her blaster fires and something burns. “Because of that,” the Doctor says.
Right…so…here we have a straight cis white dude lecturing a queer woman of color. The QWOC has just spent a decade of her life being abused, raped, and tortured in ways that queer and/or Black women have been particularly vulnerable to now and throughout history. The QWOC is full of rage, pain, and sadness. The straight cis white dude tells her not to feel her entirely understandable emotions.
This is playing directly into the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman whose wrath scares white people [especially dudes] so shitless that they must prohibit it. This also plays directly into the tendency of straight people to do tone policing on queer people, claiming that, if queer people weren’t so loud/flamboyant/outraged/“openly gay,” they would attain their goals of equal rights more effectively.
Bill deserved so much better than all the objectification, humiliation, and cancellation she suffered, but she was doomed from the start. The story tied up her arc and identity in losing and then ultimately finding that dead wet white chick with no personality. However, there’s a stronger case to be made that Bill’s arc and identity may more accurately be linked to an anxiety about her identity, her parentage, and being seen for who she truly is. [I am indebted to irascible bogtrotter’s thoughts on the subject.]
But the narrative didn’t give a shit about that, so it deprived the character of a significant chance for true development and flourishing. Add to that all the flaming racism, sexism, and homophobia that the showrunners et al. heaped on Bill, and you can see why the way in which she was constructed as a character gave her no hope of any satisfaction or satisfactory development in-universe.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m never watching the new DW again. I’m going back to play in my Shalkaverse sandbox, where it is quite possible that Alison Cheney, the Master, and the Doctor will vworp over to an alternative timeline and extract Bill from that shitshow to help her achieve the dignity, respect, and happiness that she was never able to in her season.
Sardonix and others went to the VTDL meetup, but only the photo with Sardonix came out. Pics on official blog.
Net Neutrality is under siege again. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is making it easy for you to send your public comments to the FCC about why we need Net Neutrality. There’s a form letter, and a place for you to personalize it. All letters require name, address, and E-mail. They all become public record as part of FCC comments. Here’s what I wrote:
Existing Net Neutrality rules based on Title II must stay in place. Freedom of information, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, and freedom of action are inextricably linked. Current Net Neutrality laws support the first, and, in turn, all of the other freedoms I listed. Killing Net Neutrality would contribute to the demise of all of these freedoms.
DW creators think that it’s an inspiring show about a fixit hero who can be watched by all ages. The script has the Doctor claiming that he is motivated primarily by kindness, justice, and mercy. In the wake of the TRULY CRAPPY S10 finale, there are fans who take the viewpoint that DW is indeed an inspiring show, suitable for children, about a hero who fixes problems with kindness and mercy. Some of these fans say that others shouldn’t take the show seriously because the show doesn’t take itself seriously. I believe that we should take it seriously, and here’s why…
If you think that DW is an inspiring kids’ show and hope and kindness because that’s what the creators say and that’s what the Doctor says on occasion, that’s not really looking at the whole picture. There’s a lot more going on in that show than the authorial intent and the script. There are characters’ actions, cinematography, lighting, costuming, etc. There are also of course outside pressures, such as characters leaving, actors getting older, ROGER DELGADO DYING… D: All of these have effects on the stories. A comprehensive interpretation of the show must take authorial intent, script text, AND all those other factors into account.
A huge thing that we also have to consider that DW is part of a larger culture. Even if the creators don’t think it does, DW reproduces the racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism of the society in which it was created. It also sends that racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism to a wide audience. It affects the thoughts and feelings of a huge amount of people. In other words, DW has a serious effect on people, as does any piece of media. We absolutely should take it seriously by contextualizing it, analyzing it, and criticizing it.
In fact, that’s how I get my hope and belief. I get my hope, inspiration, and belief not from the Doctor’s speeches, but by criticizing pop culture phenomena such as DW. It’s through this contextualization, analysis, and criticism [translation: fixit fics] that I sustain my hope and belief and sense of helping people.
I deconstruct DW because I’m enraged and unhappy over its racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism. In taking the show seriously, I figure out how I wish it would have gone. I envision a world in which racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism exist, but don’t fuck people up so much. I envision a setting in which people can work against their oppressions and achieve some measure of happiness for themselves, even as they make the world a better place.
I see in my mind’s eye my version of a better world, and I share it with people. I hope that people who feel similarly might feel gratified by what I read. Maybe they’ll go away feeling less disappointed with the original. Maybe they’ll get an idea for their own fanworks. Maybe, if they’re exhausted from their own activism, my stories will cheer them up.
In other words, I take DW seriously because it’s an influential piece of culture. I also take it seriously because it fails me. When it fails me, I have the chance to imagine a better world. When I imagine a better world, I believe in it more strongly. My belief leads to passion, which leads to action. I write fixits as part of that action. I also act creatively and politically for social justice in other ways.
I derive hope and inspiration from DW, but not because I believe the show’s superficial claims that it’s about that. I derive the hope and inspiration from what I make of the show: a chance to seize something better from a disappointment, a chance to use my passion to change the world.
Inspired by an upcoming visit to the Montreal Otakuthon Dollfest, I finally got my ass in gear and finished Delmar. She is the top half of a Leekeworld Little Mermaid. Her fat little butt + tail I commissioned from @pandorkful who made it out of wool. She also put an armature in it so that Delmar can either sit reasonably well or lie down. Either way, the tail provides a drastic improvement over the resin one that she came with. I only need to make one improvement. Because her tail is lightweight felt, she does not sit well against propped against something. I need to weight her tail to keep her upright better.
All of them, as of 06/27/2017.
Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:
- [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
- Bug[s] me: my universe.
- LHF: Love Has Fangs.
- M3: Me and My Muses.
- SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
- Shalkaverse: Scream of the Shalka.
- Zville. Zombieville.
Doctor you started with: Ten.
Favourite Doctor: I don’t like the Doctor.
Favourite Companion: Neck-and-neck competition between Alison Cheney and Shalka Master.
Favourite Episode: Roger Delgado. Uh, wait a minute. I mean any episode that Roger Delgado is in.
DW OTP: Shalka Doctor and Shalka Master.
Favourite line/quote: Too many amuse me, but currently at the top of my head is a line from a novel [don’t know which]: “Characteristically, the Master explained everything.”
Favourite Character that isn’t the Doctor or a companion: Roger Delgado’s MAGISTERIAL eyebrows. Queen Galleia of Atlantis [The Time Monster]. Shreela Govindia [Survival].
BrOTP: Donna/Ten [right up until nonconsensual mind-fucking].
Favorite relationship that I made up and which is neither an OTP or a BrOTP: Alison/Shalka Master.
Favourite DW fic (if you have one): Frankly, whatever I’m writing at the moment. After that, anything by @natalunasans
Favourite DW fanart/blog (if you have one): @halorvic for fanart.
If you could pick anyone to be the next Doctor, who would it be? (Why, if you feel like explaining): Any awesome actor but another straight cis white dude.
If you could pick anyone to be the next companion who would it be? (Why?): I’d like to see Pearl Mackie as Bill continue with some decent storylines that did some decent addressing of her gender, color, and sexuality. While I’m dreaming, I’d also like the current President to be impeached and forced to resign.
Favourite fan theory: The Doctor is NB. The Doctor is ND. The Doctor and/or the Master are some variety of ace. The Doctor and the Master are polar complements. [See what I did there?] Gallifreyans are so obsessed with Earth because they’re descended from Earthlings, which makes them basically humans with magnified faults. @charamei’s whole conjecture on the Gallifreyan class system.
Other fandoms: ????
Chapter 17 ends with a kiss.
Yessssss, two of my most poseable 1:6 scale figures can actually frickin’ touch each other. I sure wish that the Triad Alpha had as much range of motion as the Pop Toys/HT/whatever body. My characters apparently need to look down a lot.
Polly and I went out this morning along the Burlington [Vermont] bike path. At long last, she sat on the edge of her home waters!
Alison and the Master talk interior design. Scintilla, the Master’s TARDIS, butts in. Set is from the Mattel She-Ra doll box. Continue reading Shalka dorks presenting interior decoration
Doll lovers from Montreal came to the BEACH PARTY themed meetup! The gang from house Rainbow Barf [Jujube, Jeff, Dorothy, and Honorine] represented my small populations. Pics on official blog.
The Master argues with Alison. As usual, he loses. You think he’d know better by now. 😛
Isabel and Barrett visit her favorite place. No, not the morgue.
- Spring Fire by Vin Packer [book review]. Published in Out in the Mountains, October 2004.
- Page Turners [various short book reviews, credited as Elizabeth A. Allen and EAA]. Published in Curve Magazine, April 2007.
- “Mary’s Diary in Context.” Published in Mary’s Diary: Courting, Schooling, and Skating in Mid-Victorian Plattsburgh, New York, 2010. Entire book available online at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Feinburg Library Special Collections.
Most recently I got a fabulous set of kitchen cabinets and appliances, along with two Disney Elite Star Wars 10″ figures, Jyn and Rey, as well as a 7″ Disney Star Wars Elite K2SO [not shown]. I really like the 10″ figures. Though a bit smaller than 1:6 scale, they have amazing articulation [including double-jointed limbs and ball-of-foot joints], decently tailored clothing, detailed molded plastic accessories, rooted hair that accurately replicates the styles in the movie, and headsculpts with recognizable likenesses to the actors. I weathered both Jyn and Rey’s faces and redid their eyebrows to add more character. Then I shot this pointless photostory to show off some of my @natalunasans gifts. Zombie was also from her.
If you’re going to write Scream of the Shalka fanfic, Alison Cheney is where it’s at, folks, and here’s why:
Alison is important. Though the SotS canon writes her as a walking, talking plot device for the Doctor Learning To Care Again, Alison is central to all SotS stories because SotS is her story; it’s her story about finding equals in curiosity, partners in adventure, and a life that’s finally as thrilling as she always wanted it to be. Alison must appear in all SotS stories because they’re all her story.
Nobody fucks with Alison. Sure, the canon turns her first into a Shalka loudspeaker and then a victim of a psychic vampire, but enough is enough. It’s not that nothing bad happens to Alison; it’s just that she never gets gratuitously victimized, objectified, or turned into a MacGuffin just to move the plot forward. She’s already traumatized enough from her canonical mind-fucks; she doesn’t need any more. [Special corollary: I don’t care how far the Master gets in trying to mind-fuck her in the animation; he never uses his psychic powers on her unless she knows what she’s getting into and consents.]
Alison doesn’t have to do anything alone. As a corollary to the above statement, Alison has staunch allies watching out for her who will do everything they can to ensure her happiness and safety. In my version, that’s primarily the Master and Brad, secondarily the Doctor. They can err on the side of overprotectiveness, and they’re not always right in what they think she needs help with, but they do well overall. They keep her from harm as best they can. And, when she’s in need of care, they help her and take care of her. She knows that she can count on them, and she’s happy to have them.
Alison is badass, tender, vulnerable, and flawed, all at the same time. In fact, her greatest power is something like irresistible love, acceptance, and sense of wonder. Add to that a pointed, analytical mind and a zero tolerance for bullshit, and you’ve got someone who has no problem calling out Time Dorks on their crap. At the same time, she doesn’t just go around Shouldering The Weight Of The Universe And Taking Care Of Everyone. As someone who has lived with racism and mental invasion, she struggles to embody the image of the Strong Black Woman, even as she realizes that it’s impossible. She doubts her confidence, has trouble recognizing her own power, and has a secret wish for someone to hold her fast while she cries. Fortunately her friends/partners/allies/chosen family love her and support her, whether she’s feeling capable or overwhelmed. And yes, there is always, always, always someone to hold her fast and let her cry.
Alison is a Black British woman. Why yes, the canon completely ignores this, but her race and gender affect almost all aspects of Alison’s backstory, character, personality, even the conflicts and adventures she encounters. Her race and gender do not predetermine all these things, but must be considered as part of all these things. And even though she doesn’t appear to think about or talk about her race and gender in canon, she definitely does in fanfic because, realistically, that’s what people do when they are navigating a society where they are discriminated against and/or a minority.
Alison is awesome. The canon does everything it can to objectify the shit out of her and make her a prop in The Doctor vs. the Master: Married Edition. But there’s enough there for a wonderful character foundation, including, but not limited to, the following: having dropped out of a history degree and become a barmaid, being the only woman of color in a town apparently populated by white dudes, yelling at the Doctor, “How emotionally needy are you?!”, looking the Master in the face and taking none of his blandishments, dressing in a very casual style without makeup or pierced ears, and, unfortunately, getting mind-fucked twice canonically despite proclaiming, “I’m not your zombie!” And this is why I write SotS fanfic: to give her the stories and development she deserves.
Isabel and Barrett chat about convergent interests. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 17.3: Our Toys Can Be Friends
Seeing how much of a wilted posture I could put the Master in. Continue reading “I am tired; I am weary / I could sleep for a thousand years / A thousand dream that would awaken me / Different colors made of tears…”
He laughed, and, before they came to the door of the house, drew her aside and kissed her. “There’s more enchantment in these two lips of yours and in these two dear grey eyes than in all the books of Azzimari…”
“Ah, no,” she said. “There’s no enchantment in me, except what you’ve planted. Perhaps that’s it: you captured me that night and you’ve kept me in a cage ever since because you wanted someone to practise spells on. Is that it?”
“Do you mind if it is?”
“No,” she confessed, smiling up at him and speaking with a most innocent simplicity. “I like being your captive.”
They laughed silently at each other as he held her a little way off to look into her eyes.
“Who is Azzi–? The name you said just now?” she asked.
“Azzimari. That was the name of the Berber Kaid who bought my ancestor, Captain Trethewy, from the Sallee Rovers. He was a practitioner of the art of magic, which seeks to know the other side of nature. It seems their doctors had studied these matters, there in the Southern Atlas Mountains, before the Koran came among them. The captain translated some of Azzimari’s books and brought them back with him.”
“And you’ve learnt magic from them?”
He nodded solemnly. “From them and from experience.”
She bent her head and stroked his arms. “And you are Azzimari to me, and I’m a slave like the Captain. Dear Captain! I’m glad he brought Azzimari’s magic home for you. I wonder if he loved his master as I love mine?”
“Perhaps. But he fled from him at last. And you too will want to be free.”
She pressed close to him, winding his arms about her. “No, no. I am free, like this. You must be a stern master, and if I try to break the spell, you must double it and treble it, chain me down in the deepest dungeon in your castle, imprison me in the hollow of an oak in your enchanted wood. You must not let me go!”
“Ah, no,” he said with wondering tenderness. “Dungeons I have and hollow oaks, but not for you. One ancient ceremony of bondage is enough. If you want to be my slave, I’ll perform it: the same that Azzimari performed upon the Captain. Shall I?”
“Yes, yes,” she said in a scarcely audible voice, pressing her head against his coat.
He laughed. “Not now. It must be in the propitious conjunction of the planets. Time and place must adhere. I will do it when you come to see the puppets.”
This is the point in one of my favorite novellas where everything kind of goes off the rails in the best way possible.
Up until then, it’s been a cozy little story of Clare, a bored, stifled, and restless 19-year-old, on the edge of graduating from Paston Hall, a dull little residential school somewhere in England in the 1950s. Studying with the mom and son of the local gentry, she crams on the subjects she needs to learn so that she can sit for a scholarship at Oxford.
And yeah, she’s got a crush on Niall, who’s in his late twenties, and yeah, he says with an absolute deadpan that his ancestor learned magic and the secrets of making immortal bonzai, and yeah, he makes uncannily realistic likenesses of young women, some of whom have died.
But maybe the two of them are just bored out of their skulls and doing some sort of elaborate role play because it’s much more exciting than anything else going on in Paston.
But then Niall goes away for a few days, and, when he comes back, this happens. Clare says to herself that she’s in love with him, and, for the first time, they speak explicitly about their role play, the expectations, and where they want it to go. Magic, ownership, submission, imprisonment, punishment, and love, all previously subtextual or implied, become apparent and textual.
And so does the danger. The tone changes here, and they speak with serious depth. On her end, Clare abases herself before Niall with as much abjection as possible, trying to give herself entirely to him. On his end, Niall finally tells her the ominous consequences of the powers about which he has been making merry. Eventually she will tire of Niall-possession and Niall-mastery and search for self-possession and self-mastery.
Of course, at this point, I’m screaming, “Run away, Clare! Run the fuck away! He wants to turn you into a doll! Definitely in a figurative sense and possibly in a literal sense as well! Furthermore, this guy is the veritable quintessence of the Creepy Dom, and he’s telling you in his own words that you’re gonna regret it. Pay attention to all the fairy tales about deals with the Devil and bargains with the fairies and promises made to sneaky magicians, and don’t do it!”
And of course Clare’s not listening to me because story characters never do. They really should, but then there’d be no plot.
But what happens? Does Clare go through with this bullshit? [Spoiler alert: Yes.] Does she become Niall’s doll? [Yes.]
Does she save her own damn self in the most satisfyingly dramatic possible that one can break off such soul-sucking dysfunction without an impassioned monologue of self-righteous fury to the Creepy Dom in question? [Yes.]
Do you like stories of psychological depth and subtle horror that balance perfectly between realistic and supernatural explanations?
Do you just love it when the young, previously innocent, now more experienced heroine discovers inner strength, wises up, and kicks the older, psychologically manipulative, antagonistic dude’s ass?
Then read The Doll Maker by Sarban. By taking the naive Clare’s quest for self-determination absolutely seriously, the author imparts to the age-old trope a sensitivity and depth of character development rarely seen in such tales. That, plus the treatment of dolls, the kinky overtones, the possibility of either a realistic or a supernatural interpretation, and the clear, fluid prose, keeps me coming back to this sadly unknown gem.
Is he casting an illusion to seduce people into thinking that the bullshit is true? Or might he be casting an enchantment to dispel the bullshit and show reality? Or maybe he’s just making a general commentary on anything that comes out of the current President’s mouth.
These were the kind of photos I wanted to make almost 20 years ago: super closeups of expressive moments between two people, full of strong emotion. At long last, I have begun to achieve what I always wanted.
On the positive side of things, someone decided to repurpose it in his world domination schemes. Oh wait…that’s probably another negative, huh? 😛
From left to right: the Doctor, the Master, Alison, Brad, the Stylist. There’s always someone a) not looking at the camera [the Doctor], b) wondering if this is beneath his dignity [the Master], c) totally chill as the center of attention [Alison], d) hamming it up [Brad], or e) not at all thrilled with any of the proceedings [the Stylist].Continue reading Shalka dork photos: there’s one in every picture…
@natalunasans surprised me recently by sending me some Doctor Who and Doctor Who extended universe buttons by @halorvic of Coffee and Tea Dragon fame. I got probably my five favorite DW characters in halorvic’s inimitably cute style: Alison Cheney [Shalkaverse], the Master [Shalkaverse], the Ninth Doctor [Shalkaverse], Delgado Master, and the canonical Tenth Doctor. The three main Shalka dorks posed proudly with pictures of themselves, although my iteration of the Master was confused, as he’s robotic, a la Shalkaverse Master, but Delgadesco in every other way. He decided to hold up both. For those who are interested, you can buy your own fab Halorvic stuff here.
Everything went well until a Zombieville denizen, Farrier, discovered that one of the buttons looked strangely like him. [No surprise there, as he’s a BCS Tenth Doctor.] He puzzled for some time over whether it could indeed be a cartoon of him before deciding that it couldn’t possibly because it looked way too happy.
Don’t you hate in when that happens? Continue reading Shalkaverse dorks and photostory problems: when you’re hampered by lack of accessories
I’ve been watching the Vevo version of Dead Or Alive’s Something in My House music vid and basing Pete Burns’ ham/cheese/bananas ability on that, but apparently there’s another version from the 1986 Rip It Up concert vid. This other version has no suggestive banana T_T, but it does have lots more live architecture; i.e., the heads on the door are actual heads, actually blinking. It also has lots more quick cuts and a better view of Pete dancing/writhing/having tantrums, so that’s always a plus. Furthermore, the plot, such as it is, becomes more apparent: it’s Pete qua werewolf/vampire/professional lurker in black pursuing Steve Coy qua hapless dude with a lantern. Unfortunately hapless dude appears to take refuge in the professional lurker’s house. At least I think that’s what’s going on. Anyway, if you like Pete Burns singing and making faces [and who doesn’t? — that man is a master face-puller], check out the other version.
Alison and the aliens went out in the front lawn and climbed a lilac
bush tree. [Just pretend that the Master found a way out of the TARDIS, okay?] Alison literally hung around, which made the Master nervous. Then the Doctor sang a lot and nearly flattened the Master, which made him annoyed. Alison, very worried, wanted to know if the Master was okay, an inquiry which he found rather confusing. They all went home because he needed some fixing up. Alison insisted on accompanying the Master during his surgery, which caused him yet another moment of confusion. After that, Alison hugged him, which was also very puzzling. In short, it was a very confusing day — well, for the evil alien super-powered robot at least. 😛
Naturally I displace my complaints onto the characters in my head. Continue reading The trees are having sex in my nose, and I hate it.
Experimenting with body language — here’s the Shalka dorks and their default postures upon encountering something new.
Nicolas Jebran’s fall 2017 collection features strategic use of multicolored embroidery, holes, partial transparency, high necklines/short skirts, and voluminous tails of fabric to create an elegant, opulent look that seems to cover most of the body while also revealing it. O_O
I had a Mattel Fashionista Zigzag Curvy hanging around, the cool WOC with half cornrows and half rooted blond curls. I also recently acquired a Wolf King Female Joker, mostly for her cool clothes, a reinterpretation of the Joker’s from Batman Begins. The two-tone hair on the accompanying sculpt put me in mind of Zigzag, whose head I liked more. I decided to make a person cosplaying the Joker.
Of course, that’s where my idea started, but Ziggy took it in her own direction. At first I thought I could pop her head on the Wolf King body and just paint the neck to match, then hide the rest with clothes. Well, it turns out that paint don’t stick to those #%&%@$ squishy bust bodies, so I hacked off the Curvy’s bust. I removed the arms and reamed out the inside of the bust with my Dremel, then glued it over the Wolf King framework. Then I had only to cover everything else up with clothes, which I did. Ziggy’s pink socks prompted me to keep her BRIGHT PINK lips and then add some more pink in the form of the hair covering her original rooting area.
Anyway, folks, here’s Ziggy Marshall, the Maestra of Mystery, the Magical Master…Maestro of Mistress… Fuck it. The title is still a work in progress, apparently. Anyway, she’s a stage magician. She can juggle pretty well, but her specialty is scrying, which is cold reading with an acrylic juggling ball as a prop.
The Master is prevailed upon to compromise his dignity [?], which appears to be a regular occurrence. Continue reading Shalkaverse Shenanigans: Get Me to the Doctor!
The final Shalkaverse cast member is done. Here’s the Doctor! Headsculpt is a custom sculpt of Richard E. Grant as Withnail, which works surprisingly well as a base for the Doctor. I modded it by removing the original eyebrows and sculpting them higher on the forehead. I painted the head and stuck it on a Triad Omega body. Hands are from an unknown figure. Vest, pants, shoes, and coat are from Pop Toys’ British Detective figure. Cape is by dollsahoy. Shirt is from unknown figure.
Despite being conceived of as “aristocratic and aloof” by screenwriter Paul Cornell, my Shalka Doctor wouldn’t know “aristocratic and aloof” if it smacked them upside the head. They’re rather a mess, which is why their shirt is untucked and vest unbuttoned. They’re an extremely enthusiastic and hammy person, any aloofness being a misinterpretation of the fact that they often get distracted in their attempt to experience all of life in all its wonder all at once. While they certainly have various wells of guilt, melancholy, and sadness inside them, I wanted to emphasize their scenery-chewing aspects — hence the boingy eyebrows and blue eye makeup. Hey…it works!
Articulation and I have a vexed relationship in 1:6 scale. I have long been interested in body mods at the expense of articulation, which leaves me with an awesome diversity of body types, but with compromised articulation. With my Shalkaverse people, though, I decided to maximize likenesses and articulation. Thus, while I can’t have the dolls do everything that the characters do in my head, I can get ’em pretty damn close, as shown below.
I’m still impressed by the effectiveness of the advanced articulation here in transmitting the emotions. The illusion of eye contact also helps. I guess it was a really good idea to paint all the eyes looking slightly up…
NB: Yes, she trusts him. No, they’re not in a romantic relationship with each other. Gag me. No, there’s no mind-fucking involved either.
Hey everyone! It’s Alison from the Shalkaverse and Brad, her partner that I made up. Alison is a custom cast resin head from Eric Barclay/bitchin on Men With Dolls, painted by me, on a Triad Alpha body in Hispanic skintone. Brad is some Volks Neo Goh [?] dude head painted by Jon/pickles/etc. on an Obitsu slender male body. Alison is a woman who uses feminine pronouns. When she first meets Brad, Brad is an NB person who uses feminine pronouns, but they soon switch to third-person plural. Continue reading Alison and Brad
All of them, as of 05/17/2017.
Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:
- [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
- Bug[s] me: my universe.
- LHF: Love Has Fangs.
- M3: Me and My Muses.
- SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
- Shalkaverse: Scream of the Shalka.
- Zville: Zombieville.
Now she looks more realistic and more like how I picture her in my head. Continue reading Alison got a haircut
Zville’s back with Chapter 17! And Isabel’s not dead! Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 17.1: Status: Mostly Alive
Finally I have finished a doll that I have been working on for about three months. It’s my version of Alison Cheney, protagonist of alternative Doctor Who adventure Scream of the Shalka, for which I’ve been writing entirely too much fanfic. This is the version from the Alison Wonderland ‘verse, which means that she and everyone else are significantly happier than they were in the Reverberations of the Shalka ‘verse. In my ‘verses, she ends up much closer friends with the Master [the Magister to her because it means teacher in Latin, and don’t tell her any different :p ] than the Doctor, which is why she’s hanging around with him in these pictures. Once I finish the Doctor, I’ll have all four major characters of the Alison Wonderland series. [The other is Brad, Alison’s significant other. Hmmmm, I should take pics of the two of them, though Brad has not officially entered the storyline yet…]Continue reading At long last, Alison Cheney!
Support Net Neutrality by leaving public comment on the FCC’s 17-108 filing, Restoring Internet Freedom, which is a lying misnomer. If enacted, this piece of bullshit would take Title 2 oversight off Internet service providers, allowing them to discriminate in the way that they transmit information to customers. Instead of all information being treated equally and broadcast equally, it would be treated preferentially based on who was bankrolling it. In other words, the Internet would become more overtly controlled by the rich.
Log opposition here. Click the “+ Express” link to fill out contact information and add brief, personalized comments about why this is a shitty idea. Public comments close today, so do it before 5 PM EST! This is what I said:
I urge you not to repeal Net Neutrality regulations and to maintain Title 2 oversight on ISPs. With the Internet essentially a necessity these days, it is absolutely vital that all information online be treated equally and transmitted equally, without bias. The Internet has been my lifeline for information and community about being queer, being kinky, and being nonbinary. If Title 2 oversight on ISPs is lifted, unscrupulous businesses could suppress potentially controversial information such as that which I used, thus cutting off many people from much-needed information, community, and support. Net Neutrality is necessary to a functioning democracy, and it must be maintained.
Yamarrah, Touralyn, and Timonium went to VTDL. Pics on official blargh.
I’ve spent the last few weeks making miniature books, both openable and dummy. The openable ones have page blocks made from a notepad that I cut down with a paper cutter, gluing pages with hot glue. Some of the covers are patterned notecards, while most are made of origami paper. Dummy books are made of craft foam for page blocks, more origami paper for covers. I love making books of different sizes, thicknesses, and covers, then arranging them messily on the shelves. 😀
Exit vampire. Enter more weirdos. End season. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 16.4: Isabel and Carter’s Weird Friends
A bill to create a state-level Racial Justice Oversight Board is stuck in committee in the Vermont House of Representatives. This state, which touts itself as liberal and accepting, but yet is full of passively racist white people, really needs such a board at the state level to analyze the intersection of race and justice. Two weeks ago I wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the topic, and today I just E-mailed the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, where the bill is apparently stuck in committee. I said:
Hi all. I’m writing as a white Vermonter and advocate for social justice in the hopes that you will support H.492, the act relating to the Racial Justice Oversight Board. With this bill passed, the state can institutionalize an analysis of race’s intersection with justice. Our government can promote anti-racist application of law enforcement to people regardless of race. Please support this bill and Vermont’s reputation as a leader in equal rights.
Remember, people — think globally, but act locally! Harangue your local officials!
So @halorvic drew one of their super cool cartoons of the Third Doctor swapping clothes with Ten, as well as Delgado Master swapping with Simm Master. @natalunasans and I were recently cracking up over Delgado Master’s “NO.” Recently I discovered why he’s objecting so hard. See photostory. Handcuffs are standing in for a 1:6 scale straitjacket and collar, which I [surprisingly] do not have.
Continue reading The Master and the Stylist in “Handcuffs vs. Hoodies”
My sentiments exactly, Jennifer. My sentiments exactly, although I’ve been expressing them with more swears. Continue reading Jennifer’s Soliloquy: because imaginary characters yelling at inanimate objects will never NOT be funny
Remember this individual? Maybe. Missed him, didn’t ya? Debatable. Need more pictures? Nah. Too bad! I’ve got pictures, and you will enjoy them.
Two frames from a digital photostory, soon to be posted, showing what happens when Jareth gets really bored. Style happens — that’s what!! *jazz hands* Continue reading I think this ensemble should be called “Yes, Milord!”
The Master got some new shoes yesterday, DAM Gangster Kingdom Marshall’s shoefeet, and holy flaming shitballs — they are the bomb diggety! Well, I think so, and so does he. The Stylist, however, begs to differ. Also starring the nifty molded plastic chair that came along with my Pop Toys British Detective dude, as well as one of the many blank books I’ve been working on.Continue reading The Master and the Stylist’s snark-off continues.
@natalunasans sent me several sets of 1:6 scale accessories made by Battat for their 8″ Lori dolls. As you can see, they all work great for 1:6 scale people. While not on the level of Rement, all pieces show very good molding, sparing but realistic paint apps, realistic color schemes, and overall charming design. Better than Mattel playline.
Also starring a plastic overstuffed chair that came along with my Pop Toys British Detective [unlicensed Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock from the Abandoned Bride ep of the eponymous show set in 1895 or something]. And finally you can get a good look at the Stylist, who is a 2016 AA Holiday Barbie headsculpt on a Made To Move Body. I removed her eye makeup, brows, and lips, adding new brows, new mouth, and, of course, shading around eyes and nose. I also added a scar on her forehead because she was going to be Alison, but she doesn’t look like her.
Anyway, here’s the Stylist plowing her way through a selection, with eventual interception from the Master, whose pantry all that stuff was in. :p
No, apparently my Time Lords don’t have adventures; they just hang around and annoy the shit out of each other. 😛 Continue reading The Stylist gets into the Master’s kitchen: a.k.a., True Friends Poison Each Other
Over the past two days, I successfully sewed a 1:6 scale semi-circular cape, lined and hooded, without a pattern. Black velvet forms the outer layer and the long, dangling, tapering hood, while small white skulls on black field form the lining. There’s a hook and eye for front clasp. I’m surprised at how well it came out! I originally made it for Barrett, a Zombieville denizen, but the Master got to it first. Here he is talking about it with the Stylist:
My current temp assignment places me in the state’s largest office complex, as measured by square footage. Like the hospital where I once worked, the complex started as separate buildings, together forming an integrated plant for the manufacture of computer chips. Over the course of expansion, separate pieces of architecture merged into one convoluted maze. The company that originally filled these buildings now retains only a ghost of a presence; current primary tenants are another chip manufacturer that bought out the local division of the first and a division of the state’s Health Access Department, where I work.
I’m ostensibly here to do UAT testing, which in itself is its own recursion of absurdity, but, after several weeks, I’m now 86.2% certain that I’m in the Labyrinth. Here’s the evidence:
Everything looks the same. The sadistic genius who constructed this place started off with that thoroughly dank industrial style common to so many 1960s and 1970s office buildings: unadorned square forms the color of wet mud, cement walls, long rectangular windows impossible to open, raw metal pillars, endless corridors – all topped off with liberal use of jaundiced fluorescent lighting. After duplicating this style in several cubes, they then linked the cubes together with identical glass catwalks. I have walked around for fifteen minutes, expecting myself to be in one building, only to realize I’ve gone through three replications instead.
The landmarks aren’t landmarks. When I discovered that one of the glass catwalks had bird decals along its sides, I rejoiced, thinking I had found a way to differentiate it from all the other catwalks. But no. All the other catwalks have the exact same decals, in the exact same pattern, at the exact same positions. It’s like the place is working against me.
The arrows point the wrong way. There are signs pointing to two key locations, the cafeteria and the state offices. 95% of them actually show you which way to go, but 5% of them point you in precisely the opposite direction, just for shits and giggles. Of course I followed the 5%.
The maps show you where you aren’t. I came across a route for indoor walking that described a loop through several buildings. It showed a location where the route started, but there was no indication of where I was in relation to that starting point. What is the point of a map if there’s no basis for comparison?
The denizens have a sarcastic and scatological sense of humor. I saw a sign on a door that said, “We provide fast service…no matter how long it takes!” Also someone scribbled out the first word on the “Records Retention Room” label and wrote “Poop” instead.
Time runs differently here. You may have no idea where you are around here, but you’ll always know what time it is. Well, scratch that. You’ll always see a clock, as they hang throughout the halls at junctions both major and minor. You’ll probably never know what time it is, as each clock seems to preside over its own local time zone that varies from all contiguous ones anywhere between zero and ten minutes.
There are dangers untold and hardships unnumbered. To get to my office, for example, I must traverse the Fiery Corridor of Death, a catwalk in which the overcranked HVAC combines with exposure to natural sunlight to yield about 50 feet of heady, smothering heat. Then, of course, there are the Exits of Mockery, which means that the door most convenient to my car would sound a fire alarm if I opened it, so I have to circumvent it with a 10-minute walk in the opposite direction. And then there’s a Failure Analysis Lab, where, I assume, you are taunted with explicit details of all your past mistakes until you cry. Chilling.
I suppose that, if I solve the maze, I will escape and win a permanent job with decent pay and benefits. But what constitutes a solution? Should I be heading for the center? As far as I can tell, this place has no center. Should I be heading for an exit?
And who’s in charge of this thing? The Goblin King appears to be conspicuously absent, which I suppose is good because he’s an immature, petulant little shit. So should I be looking for Daedalus or perhaps Ariadne? Should I be on my guard for a Minotaur? Now that I think about it, I do hear a dull roar, but that could just be the air conditioning….
So I got my first Hot Toys body today for the Master. Aside from some squeakily tight joints, it far surpasses all other male action figure bodies that I have ever encountered. It can even do a decent fetal position!
I also got my second “Chinese suit,” as the first one’s plastic snaps broke off. I replaced the snaps on the first with some metal snaps, only to discover that the snap position interfered with all that cool HT neck range of motion. Ugh. Fine. I guess he’ll be wearing something less restrictive. Hey, at least the pants are nice. Continue reading Body upgrade and clothing frustration for the Master
“Hey, so I finally finished my book!”
“Congrats! What’s it about?”
“Emily Dickinson’s letters.”
“Like the relationship between her letters and her poems? Or the letters she wrote to her sister-in-law? Or the letters she wrote to people asking weird questions like ‘Do you think my Verses are alive?’”
“Well, yeah, no. Actually about the Master letters.”
“Aw, neat – one of the great literary mysteries! So…any new background – theories – discoveries – secret insights?”
“Actually, that’s not really what the book is about.”
“How can you write a book about three incredibly intense and fragmentary literary texts and not go into any of that?”
“Okay, well, actually, I didn’t really write the book so much as I transcribed it.”
“Are you telling me that you transcribed the Master letters and tried to turn that text alone into a book under your very own name without including any sort of critical apparatus?”
“There is so some critical apparatus! I put in facsimiles as well as transcriptions that show the stages each letter went through.”
“So…then…what you’re saying is that I have to get your book to actually read the letters, but then, if I want any clue at all about their context or significance or, you know, anything else, I have to hit the library again? Dude – seriously – you can’t say you’ve written a book about something if all you did is reproduce the text. That’s like me claiming that I wrote a whole book about Shakespeare when all I did was transcribe a bad quarto. Cheater.”
Because I can’t get it all from staring at her collected poems and trying to write my own [crappily] in the same form, I really need to look at her letters because they are extraordinary – just as intense, condensed, experimental, elliptical, and fascinating as her poems.
Okay then…so I need a general bio for context, after which I’m planning to focus on two of her most ambiguous, interesting, and charged correspondences. The first are to her sister-in-law, Susan Huntington Dickinson. The first are interesting because there’s an open question about what sort of relationship the two had. They were both writers, and Susan knew more than anyone about Dickinson’s poetry, having received 250+ poems over their 30+-year correspondence. For Dickinson, the relationship was at once intimate, cherished, world-opening, and contentious.
The second are three fragmentary texts known as the Master letters – i.e., after the addressee. They are very…charged. What the hell are those things – diary entries, poetry, draft letters, fair copies of sent letters, literary experiments? And the addressee – a real person, different real people, an imaginary person, different imaginary people, a personification, a deity, an abstraction, and/or several of the above? Here’s an overview of the Master letters, which, of course, assumes that they are all about SEX!!!! D: D: D:
I’m going to go with my favorite answer to questions like, “Are you x, y, or z?”:
Pro tip: Depending on how sarcastic and/or generally devious the people in your head are, do not use this formulation when asking them questions because you’ll only get one answer instead of the three you expected. And, even if that single answer is the most accurate, it’s neither explicit, nor elaborate, nor ultimately satisfying.
“Right then. So is there any way at all of you answering my questions in a more useful fashion?”
“My answers are plenty useful. It’s just your perspective that’s unhelpful.”
“I’m very helpful. It ain’t my fault if you’re not ready to consider the truth of what I say.”
“So, in other words, you’re quoting the Gospel according to Mick: ‘Thou canst not always get what thou wantest, but, if thou tryest sometimes, thou just might find, thou gettest what thou needest?’“
“Well, the archaic conjugation kinda kills the meter, but the sentiment’s correct.”
Here. Typical Poe. Everything starts out seemingly normal, yet still uncomfortably…cockeyed, and then it quickly progresses into an exquisitely torturous phantasmagoria in which the elements that you would least suspect to betray you do just that, turning the world into a pathetic fallacy of misery.
I think of the I felt a Funeral, in my Brain poem by Emily Dickinson, which is also about sound overwhelming sense. I also think of her poem He fumbles at your Soul, though that could be more of a description of Poe’s authorial technique.
If Emily Dickinson had a motto, it would be Death, God, and Bees — Lots and Lots of — Bees.
Some things that fly there be —
Birds — Hours — the Bumblebee —
Of these no Elegy.
Some things that stay there be —
Grief — Hills — Eternity —
Nor this behooveth me.
There are that resting, rise.
Can I expound the skies?
How still the Riddle lies!
How does she do that? How???
Behold Barrett bearing brains! [Well, not yet, actually, since I have to make him a cape, but he’ll show up soon enough.] Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 16.1: Cape and Cooler
My first iteration of the Master is finished! Custom sculpted Roger Delgado head painted by meeeeeeee [note to self: skin color is a mixture of Plaid/Apple Barrel Colors/20556 “Medium Flesh” and Anita’s All Purpose Acrylic Craft Paint 11007 “Chocolate Brown”], Dragon action figure body, “Chinese suit” for clothing, gloves from some other action figure, shoes from Character Options Dalek Sec [the only ones that fit]. The Stylist, a fellow Time Dork, is a 2016 Holiday Barbie repainted by meeeeeeeee, Made to Move Barbie body, most of the MTM yoga outfit, and MC2 shoefeet. Bookcases are from @natalunasans. I made the books a few weekends ago with a perfect bound notepad for signatures and note cards or origami paper for covers.
Now that I have him all together, the Master definitely needs some improvement. 1) A better body with more poseability. 2) Gloved hands in molded plastic. These bendy ones are shit. 3) Decent shoes. 4) A decent suit. 5) Most importantly, his Domina carissima, Alison!
P.S. Hey, Master, you do know that’s Julian’s Device, right?
Behold my latest magnificent creation, which I have designed especially to achieve my devious plans. It may appear to be the underside of a record player turntable, but the ignorant masses clearly know nothing of such cutting-edge technology as mine. This is an audiovibratory physiomolecular transport device!
“You mean…he’s gonna send us to another planet?!”
“Planet schmanet, Janet!”
The adjectival form is Delgadesco – thank you very much. [Thank you @natalunasans for this tidbit – I was using Delgadovian, and it wasn’t working at all.] Now you have the perfect descriptor for [arguably] the most magnificent set of eyebrows ever to grace the screen.
This post brought to you by Amateur Etymologists for Roger Delgado.
Continue reading The adjectival form is Delgadesco — thank you very much.
Fritillaria has eyes! I made these with do-it-yourself 16mm acrylic BJD eye supplies [backs and lenses] from Megannart on Etsy. I measured the iris well diameter and created black circles to size in Photoshop Elements, adding white royalty-free Grim Reaper images on top. I then printed them out, cut them out, placed them in the iris wells, then snapped the lens caps on. Then, since Fritillaria is a marionette who damaged herself when she jumped her strings, I went outside and smashed one of her eyes with a hammer. Continue reading The escaped puppet jester of death has eyes!
I love this picture so much of Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie dancing!
Julian and Cara showing off their Fiendish Devices. The larger one I previously detailed. The smaller one is another circuit board from the same stereo, housed in an iPhone 5 box, with indicators made of findings with pins inside. Continue reading Julian’s primary and auxiliary Fiendish Devices
The end of Chapter 15. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 15.4: Resigned
Appearing on the Haserot family tombstone in Cleveland, Ohio, the Angel of Death Victorious is a fitting companion for the Angel of Grief. The verdigris tears of black make the figure all the more striking. Atlas Obscura has clear photos. Forgotten Ohio has creepier, more atmospheric photos.
I want one! No, seriously, I want one of these in 1:6 scale…
In times of great crisis, the angel will walk. It moves with a slow, sort of grating, slightly molten, titanic motion. It will arise and make its heavy, earthen way to the scene of the calamity. Its tread sounds like the bones of the earth resettling.
And it will stand, its torch burning with an eldritch fire, its eyes seeing everything and nothing. And it bears speechless witness, offering both illumination and darkness.
The people in its presence react variously. There’s the usual fainting, shitting of pants, screaming and fleeing, that sort of thing.
Some who see the angel feel peace, a peace as cold as iron, as heavy as the mountains, as deep as the crust of the earth. This weight, this solidity, this strength, and this groundedness unjellify their shaken limbs and steady their qualming hearts.
Now, having seen the angel, they know their own strength. The angel’s cold slow burn of indomitability becomes theirs as well. And they become the activists who are in it for the long haul. They will labor on the side of good and fairness and liberty and justice in whatever way they can for the rest of their days. They will do so persistently, unstintingly, tenaciously, for the angels of the earth are behind them.
And then there are those people who look into the angel’s eyes. We don’t really know what happens to them.
But there are always a few who are drawn inexorably to face that abyssal gazeless gaze. Whoever said that thing about being careful if you look into the abyss because then it might look into you was probably onto something… because the people who try to find the angel’s eyes end up losing themselves.
Their eyes become orbs of light, and they weep in endless illumination. We don’t know what they see [if they see anything] or why they weep because they won’t answer us. They no longer speak; they only sit in reverie.
And then, inevitably, one day, they take their torches, rise, and begin to walk.
I worked a little on Julian’s Fiendish Device 2.0 today. I made a case for it out of a wall-mounted curio shelf. I had been keeping the shelf around for a 1:6 scale bookcase, but I never did anything with it, so today I took out the interior shelves. I then mounted my largest circuit board inside the frame. It just fit, so I hot glued it in there. Then I bent some of the loose wires around the back and in various configurations, gluing them there, so they appear to be plugged in. I added some unusual plastic capsule things [they kind of look like ornate vacuum tubes] at the top of the circuit board and the shelf decoration. That grille-like thing in the back is the base of my HT Princess Leia stand. More to come.
Please note that Julian now has glasses on her face and TWO pairs of goggles on her head. She figures that it’s a logical place to store them until she needs them. 😀
Heart from @natalunasans. Dialogue from, of course, my twisted imagination. Continue reading Fritillaria finds a heart…
Araminthe currently wears a dress made by @dollsahoy that I got about 10 or 11 years ago, around the time when I got my first 1:3 scale BJD. Because this dress not only encompasses my love for bright colors, obnoxious patterns, and short skirts, I have wedged a succession of my BJDs of various sizes into it, all with amazing results.
Unfortunately, however, the dress is sagging around the shoulders, making it real easy to take a look at Araminthe’s pointy grey cleavage. To obviate this, I constructed a crude camisole out of a stretchy wristlet from @natalunasans, with straps of ribbon in my favorite colors: magenta, slightly darker magenta, and more magenta. I then pinned Araminthe’s dress to the back straps of the cami.
I have now achieved a twofold result. 1) No more sagging dress. 2) Araminthe’s outfit is now even MORE meretricious!!
Even my dolls are involved.Continue reading Small-scale political activism on my desk today
You can tell he’s enraged because he’s snarking instead of shriveling. O_O I was trying very hard to balance his expression between sadness and anger.Continue reading Jareth goes off.
Isabel scares herself. Continue reading Zombeville Chapter 15.3: Desperate
I made palazzo pants for my HT Princess Leia, following Nadira037’s guidelines. Of course, since Nadira037 is very polished and glamorous and I am not, the pants came out looking mediocre. However, I am proud to have successfully sewn my first pair of pants, thus proving that I can make bottoms as well as tops. Other wardrobe elements include default boots, tank top from unknown commercial source, and hoodie by Glissando on Etsy.Continue reading Leia has pants!
HR7, passed by the House earlier this week, codifies the evil Hyde Amendment and further restricts access to abortion by prohibiting abortion coverage through multistate insurance plans. Millions of people could lose coverage for abortion. Obviously this is an incursion on human rights and bodily autonomy that could, if passed, could jeopardize people’s bodies, health, and lives. Anyway, I called Senator Peter Welch and Senator Bernie Sanders at their district offices to tell them this and to ask them not to let it get through the Senate.
Note: This was my first set of live calls, so I was very nervous. Therefore I made a quick script with the key points I wanted to make: my name and address, the fact that I objected to HR7, my biggest problem with it [restriction of abortion access and thus threat to constituents’ bodies, health, and lives], and what I wanted the Senator to do about it [filibuster it and keep it from passing the Senate]. I stuck to the script and made the calls very quickly, in like under 2 minutes each.
In both cases, I expected to just deliver my speech and walk away, but it didn’t happen. Anyone who calls a Congressperson’s office and gets a live response should be prepared for a little bit of conversation. Here are some aspects to a live call that you might not have considered:
- They might ask who you are and where you live again, even if you state that in your intro. The staffers specifically asked for my name and town again, which I gave. [I think they were making a record of that.]
- They might ask for your contact info [mailing address, phone number, and/or E-mail]. Leahy’s staffer asked if I had called the office before; I said no; he asked my contact info, which I gave because I am okay with being on a mailing list.
- They might ask for clarification. Leahy’s staffer was unfamiliar with HR7, so I added that it passed the House earlier this week and codified the Hyde amendment with even more restrictions on abortion.
- They might put you on hold. Sanders’ staffer said in the middle of my spiel that she had another call and had to put me on hold. She came back shortly after, and I finished my speech.
- Remember to be polite to the staffer and thank them!
To modify for Leia.
I am so late to the party on this, but I love this song. I’m always interested in villains’ songs; this sounds kinda like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and @natalunasans introduced it to me with accompanying images of Roger Delgado playing the Master in Doctor Who, and Roger Delgado is nearly up there with Pete Burns in terms of scenery chewing and fun having, only with more eyebrows.
Posted on Facebook and Tumblr about The 65.
The 65, taking its name from the at least 65 million US voters who rejected the current President, offers one way to act for liberty and justice for all.
With its tagline, “Making Congress Work for Us,” the 65 posts Weekly Calls to Action, topics on which people can call their Congresspeople. Suggested scripts are included, as is contact info for your local leaders.
…is that it scales and degrades really easily. T_T Since such a fate has befallen my 1:6 scale fetish nun dress, I decided to give it a last hurrah before consigning it to the dust bin of history. Continue reading The Truth About Pleather…
Isabel hits them in her attempts to find food. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 15.2: Dead Ends
Once there was a vainglorious and mediocre man who wanted to rule the land. So he used his talents for trickery and promised the people that he would make their country great and powerful, if only they would let him lead. He’d defend the land from foreigners without and suppress the influence of evil woman within. He scared people enough that they chose him as their leader.
The vainglorious man set himself up in the capital city. He made his home in a opulent mansion with servants at his beck and call. He postured and blustered at them, and they scurried to obey his whims. His lackeys could not recognize the man’s insecure bullying for what it was, for he had the power of appearing strong.
Realizing that he couldn’t fool everyone by intimidation alone, the vainglorious man used different tactics on the capital city’s inhabitants. He developed reality distortion fields and forced everyone to use them. Through these devices, the capital denizens perceived the world as rich, prosperous, safe, and successful — all thanks to the vainglorious man. He had surrounded himself with unquestioning adulation, and life was good.
Then he began to hear reports of the girl. They started as whispers, but soon gained momentum; soon news of her exploits was on everyone’s tongue. Even among his most fervent admirers, gossip surfaced about the young woman and her agenda of democracy, transparency, and honesty in government. She was on the road straight to the capital city and the vainglorious man’s door.
No one really knew where the kid had come from. The first news of her appeared in a remote rural district that had, until lately, been under the authoritarian rule of one of those nasty women that the vainglorious man so despised. Citizens of that district claimed that the girl had pulled a deus ex machina and neutralized the dictator, but the vainglorious man couldn’t believe the word of such credulous people. The girl was probably the mascot of an underground terrorist cell that had chosen that particular moment to demonstrate its might. The formerly oppressed citizens mistook her for an assassin just because she happened to be nearby. Surely she could have done nothing.
But other incredible stories joined that one, and a picture soon emerged. Despite [or perhaps because of] the calamity that had left with pretty much nothing left to lose, the girl was fearless. Nothing stopped her. A lion menaced her pet, so she yelled at it and punched it in the nose. She entered an opium den, the ambient drugs of which felled even the fiercest of beasts, but somehow she, a mere kid, emerged unscathed. The vainglorious man was forced to revise his opinion. She was no mere figurehead, but a frighteningly competent agent, perhaps even the leader of the resistance herself.
Later stories confirmed the young woman’s disturbing militancy. In yet another district, yet another nasty woman had brutalized her way into command and compelled the once-free inhabitants to serve her. This second autocrat kidnapped the young woman in an effort to gain the terrorist’s strength for herself. I mean, who wouldn’t? the vainglorious man thought. The kid clearly had an almost magical invulnerability.
But then, something happened; the vainglorious man was not sure what, as intelligence was unclear on this point. In any event, the young woman spoke truth to power, and the second autocrat essentially shriveled up and melted away. No longer under her tyranny, the citizens of the second autocrat’s district enthusiastically supported the girl. They sponsored a flight for her and her friends that brought them even closer to their target: the capital city.
There was the real problem with the kid, the vainglorious man mused. –Her friends. With a combination of charisma, kindness, and straightforward friendliness, this death-dealing terrorist charmed suckers effortlessly. He could sort of understand how all those bumpkins, sick of being under the thumb of their respective nasty women, easily transferred their affections over to their savior. Less comprehensible was the rumor that non-human animals [besides the dog] now followed her, and even inanimate objects [?!] supported her grassroots democratic movement.
Now the vainglorious man had grown up in Tornado Alley, and he knew well those whirling storms for which his region was named. Intense in their focus, relentless in their pursuit, they swept up everything with irresistible force and destroyed all obstacles in their path.
In a skin-tightening clutch of terror, the vainglorious man knew then that there was a tornado bearing down upon him now. It would shatter his sphere of fawning flatterers, lay waste to his reality distortion devices, and destroy his illusions. In short, it would reveal him for the trumped-up humbug that he was.
And the Wizard of Oz feared that tornado, for her name was Dorothy Gale, and she had the power of truth.
Other Minds by Godfrey Smith.
Posted on Facebook and Tumblr about Black Lives Matter Vermont and tagged some locals on Facebook.
The fledgling Black Lives Matter Vermont group http://blacklivesmattervermont.com has hit an obstacle. They have spent recent months renovating their space, coordinating actions, recruiting and training volunteers, obtaining merchandise, etc., and now they have unfortunately reached the extent of their resources.
BLMVT needs our support more than ever now. Vermont is one of the whitest states in the nation, so BLMVT might seem irrelevant to some folks, but that’s not true. We absolutely need a diversity of social justice groups like BLMVT if we are going to make this state respectful of human rights and dignity for ALL people.
You can empower BLMVT to continue the important work for which they have built a foundation. The best way is to head on over to BLMVT’s Web site and become a sustaining member for $23.00 a month: http://blacklivesmattervermont.com/sustaining-membership/ That way, we can guarantee the financial stability that BLMVT needs to flourish.
If you cannot give monthly, you can make one-off donations here: http://blacklivesmattervermont.com/membership/ Every little bit helps!
There are other ways to get involved as well. Check out BLMVT’s Volunteer page: http://blacklivesmattervermont.com/volunteer/
Here’s the Events calendar: http://blacklivesmattervermont.com/events/
And here’s the store: https://squareup.com/store/black-lives-matter-vermont
Thanks in advance!
This wig, of 4 alternating curved panels of tricolor fur, suits her much better than her rainbow stripe one from last night, I think. Continue reading Fritillaria’s confetti hair
Sent letters to Morton County [ND] Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and ND Governor Jack Dalrymple, calling for humane treatment of NODAPL water protectors. Mailing addresses from YES magazine. Letter based on Amnesty International template.
I write urging you to respect the human rights of all water protectors gathered at Standing Rock in opposition to DAPL.
US citizens, including American Indians, have the right to express their opinions. Don’t demonize peaceful public assembly.
–Impress upon law enforcement that they should facilitate, rather than restrict, assembly.
–Don’t use riot gear unless absolutely necessary.
–Disperse assemblies only when there is no other way to avoid violence.
–Don’t use chemical irritants to prevent peaceful assembly.
Again, respect the human rights of ALL people in your jurisdiction.
It took me all afternoon, but I successfully altered a size 6-7 fur wig to be a size 7-8 for Fritillaria, whose concept is vacillating somewhere between clown of death, doll, jester of death, and escaped marionette [of death, natch]. The wig was originally orange, yellow, green, and blue. I added red, magenta, and royal purple. Results look promising! Continue reading Fritillaria’s rainbow patchwork hair
All my dolls as of 01/15/2017.
Tags denoting which universe dolls belong to are as follows:
- [No tag: Not assigned to any universe.]
- Bug[s] me: my universe.
- LHF: Love Has Fangs.
- M3: Me and My Muses.
- SciAdv: Julian the Scientific Adventuress.
- Zville: Zombieville.
Isabel’s dream is not particularly metaphorical. Continue reading Zombieville Chapter 15.1: Brain Drain
Specifically, the glasses included for the Kelly doll fit Julian, which just goes to show you how comparatively small and narrow the She-Ra head is to an average Barbie head. P.S. I love you, @natalunasans!
Continue reading Glasses from Eye Doctor Barbie fit Julian!
I purchased Barrett back in the summer of 2013, well before Zombieville started, because I thought that Isabel might fit into FR dude clothes. Also the secondhand price of something like $75.00 MIB for a London Calling Kyu was a great bargain.
Continue reading Barrett, the heavily modded FR guy: a custom 3.5 years in the making
I suppose it’s a testament to the detail and realism pursued by Hot Toys that I thought that the Sweeney Todd barber chair really did function, with movable footrests, armrests, and back, only to find out that NO, it doesn’t. Everything that looked articulated was, in fact, cleverly molded and perfectly stationary plastic. So I broke it. Stay tuned for modifications so that footrests swing in and out and the back goes up and down, as they both should have in the first place…
Incidentally, I don’t understand why HT would go to all the trouble of modeling all the individual pieces and pistons and gear teeth, only to make them stationary. It seems like it would be an easy enough modification to go just a bit further for real swinging action. >: