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.
Yamarrah, Touralyn, and Timonium went to VTDL. Pics on official blargh.
Yamarrah and Never the Less discuss menu options, with special appearances from Submit and Araminthe. Continue reading Dolls survey 1:3 scale food in prep for next month’s feast.
Never the Less and Yamarrah attended. More at the VTDL blog.
Lyrajean and I started bright and early for Lowell, MA, yesterday, leaving my house at 7:00 AM for the long-awaited NERDS Show. I brought Yamarrah, not for sale, but to attract attention to the various clothes and small resin items I was selling. Lyrajean hauled along a few display peoples, but mostly a yard sale’s worth of furniture in various scales, as well as clothes she had made.
We traveled without incident until we approached Lowell. The city, which started off as a mill town, features densely packed, narrow streets, the lay-out complicated by canals and the Merrimack River. This lay-out probably worked fine before cars, but it’s a clusterfuck for automotive traffic. Because it’s so hemmed in by water, Lowell cannot easily expand its streets for the usual complement of cars + bikes + pedestrians, so it accommodates all modern-day travel by creating a labyrinth of one-way streets. Somehow this gets people where they’re supposed to go, but in a manner that is neither logical, nor expected, nor easily discernible by the casual visitor. Let’s just say we had some difficulty getting around in Lowell. Fortunately we had budgeted time for getting lost, so we arrived at the Western Ave. Studios before the show began.
But we made it! Western Ave. Studios, a previously light industrial space converted into a warren of artists’ studios, reminds me favorably of artists’ studios in the South End. The NERDS Show set up in the Onyx Room. Painted black, windowless except for a skylight, and strung with disco balls and paper lanterns, the Onyx Room looked like a great place for a dance party or theater in the round. Round display tables, where people could show off their dolls, were distributed in the entry way, while about ten rectangular vendor tables, including ours, lined the inside perimeter. Some clusters of upholstered chairs in the center provided a space for mini meetups. Right by the off-street parking, the bathrooms, and all the studios participating in the Western Ave. Studios’ open studios event that day, the Onyx Room was optimally situated to attract not just doll enthusiasts, but also people who came for the open studios. In short, the Onyx Room proved the best possible place to have the show, with the sole reservation being that the lack of natural light made photos a challenge.
Lyrajean and I set up our wares all over our table. Good thing I had much less stuff than she, as her stuff was literally stacked in layers. As I have never staffed a vendor table, I did not know what to bring beyond my goods, my tablet computer [in case people wanted to use Paypal], cash, and my camera + memory card, of course. Thus I tossed in paper, pens, plastic bags, tent cards, an extension cord, water bottle, snacks, painkillers [as I fell on the ice last week and banged an unpadded part of my ass], even my cell phone [which usually never leaves my house]. That seemed to be a comprehensive array of supplies, although, in future, I will also bring hand cream and a snot rag. I will also eat a substantial lunch [not a bag of Deep River rosemary and olive oil chips, however delicious they may be] before the event starts.
I set up Yamarrah on Jareth’s “crotch stand” [i.e., a stand of adjustable height with a U-shaped clip that a doll can situate their crotch in] with one her favorite creemees to attract attention. As Lyrajean observed, she did a very good job of it. Her bright and unusual styling caught the eye of passersby, as did the fact that she was standing up in a naturalistic position. Anyway, I have decided to acquire more “crotch stands” for my 1:3 scale BJDs. They’ve been sitting around [literally] for years and years, as I’ve always been worried that standing them without support would lead to shelf dives, but they just look so much cooler when upright occasionally!
The felt food toys at the FeltFoodTruck on Etsy immediately charm me with their use of bright, bold felt from recycled plastics. Add to this the masterful inclusion of realistic details, such as ridges on crinkle-cut fries and texture on chicken nuggets, and the products from this felt smorgasbord just amaze me. I think I know where I can finally get Yamarrah’s creemee — I’ll commission a black raspberry one in a sugar cone with five or so swirls of ice cream. Yamarrah will be happy!
Two of my three open-mouthed vampires, Araminthe and Yamarrah, accompanied me to yesterday’s meetup. Pictures are on the official blog.
I am taking advantage of a true vacation to work on a list of doll projects that has expanded alarmingly in the past months. So far I have:
- Derooted Cutey Honey’s brittle, shedding default hair. When she went to the last VTDL meetup, I noticed that sad state of her hair and vowed to replace them. I don’t have the appropriate replacement hair, so she’s mostly bald at the moment. At least she’s not shedding anymore, though.
- Put Thalia on the body formerly belonging to Janvier Jett, painted her hands and gave her a temporary outfit.
- Found a large, fabric-covered storage container at Goodwill and set it up on its side, thus converted it into a passable seat to accommodate long-limbed dolls like Jareth.
- Improved Yamarrah.
Yamarrah’s hair was not sticking up enough, so I tacked down more of the long pieces.
Continue reading Working on dolls at long last!
I’ve decided not to laboriously reproduce my picture-filled posts on this blog when I can just point to the official VTDL blog post in which attendees did entertaining things with their dolls and Xmas props. I think Yamarrah got a little overwhelmed on her first Xmas… :p
Yesterday CCDC welcomed its largest complement of attendees ever! A whole dozen of us attended, including newcomers Pink and their husband [from Maine] and Pink’s friend from Quebec [who doesn’t have any dolls…yet]. We spent the entire extended duration [noon to 4:00 PM] talking dolls, posing and photoing them, in between side conversations about mutual interests such as Monster High, Internet-based cartoons and fursuits. As far as I can tell, everyone enjoyed themselves. 😀
Continue reading Chittenden County Vermont Doll Club meetup: 08/23/2014
This is probably because the BJD community places such a high value on aesthetics, which means that laboriously sanded and delicately layered works receive more approbation than messy, experimental, jerry-rigged ones. I have learned, however, that, in the end, resin BJDs are no different than plastic action figures. Both types of dolls mod very well with an application of hacksaw, rotary tool, Aves Apoxie Sculpt and hot glue. Continue reading I used to think that modding BJDs worked on different principles than modding action figures.
Because it’s been too hot to go outside and do her torso/abdomen mods, I have stayed inside and brightened Yamarrah’s faceup. What’s shown below is pretty much done; I just need to even out the color on her tongue and regloss it.
I’m pretty sure she’s trying to decide her favorite creemee flavor: either vanilla/chocolate swirl or black raspberry. ^_^
After languishing in pieces for over half a year, Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!!! Today I took her new torso [specially cast by Mirodoll to match her Iplehouse realskin head] and modded it to accept her original Domuya arms. I filled in the large shoulder sockets with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt so that they would more snugly accommodate her shoulder balls, which were on the small side. I managed a snug fit by layering Aves Apoxie Sculpt on the inside of each socket and then, after letting it stiffen for about 45 minutes, rolling the shoulder ball around in the Apoxie Sculpt to create a new socket, perfectly shaped for her shoulder ball.Continue reading Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!
Yamarrah stole the wig I made for Jareth, as well as his glasses. Well, I guess that wig’s not for him anymore… :p The glasses, however, he’s not giving up so easily.
I’ve been working on Yamarrah’s faceup for a long time, mostly, as can be discerned from the results, with orange, red and yellow Prismacolors. Her tongue, inner mouth, eyebrows and eyelashes are done, and right now she’s resting to see if I like the way her lips have turned out. If I do, I will seal her lips and then work on her teeth.
She’s one of the sweetest dolls I’ve had the pleasure of working on. I can’t really describe it any other way except to say that her mischievous expression and floppy body combine to make her a friendly, cuddly, cheery person. I’ve thought about getting a bronze Soom Mega Gem body to match her head, but I really do like her wiggly, floppy Domuya Flexibody. As much as her inability to hold a pose bothers me, it’s become part of her character now that I don’t think I can sacrifice, even for resin matching. I guess she’s just a really loungey fire elemental!
I’ve been working on Yamarrah’s faceup for days. I realize that, even though she has fangs, she is not a sanguivorous vampire. She is, as I have mentioned in the past, a fire elemental. She eats igneous rocks and drinks lava. Her fangs help her to pierce the rocks, either to break them down or to get tot he lava inside.
The mystery is what she’s doing in Vermont, way the hell far away from any active fault line. Probably looking for creemees. ^_^
Yamarrah moves closer and closer toward completion. She got new and improved eyes recently from Captured in Glass. They are low-dome 14mms with chartreuse irises and pupils the color of oxygenated blood. They go better with her overall concept than did the pink ones. They also photo brilliantly!
Continue reading Yamarrah updates: eyes, earrings, sweatshirt, spray paint
Yamarrah has hung around without a faceup or a creemee because I’ve been trying to think of the best method to match her light brown head with her yellowy body. See the mismatch?
Continue reading Stalling on Yamarrah’s completion
I tacked some more around her scalp and a lot on her sideburns, trying to make them less voluminous. I also put some Mod Podge in her bangs so that they appear to be affected by gravity. She has no clothes on because I took them off to wire her from her torso all the way down each of her legs and also through each arm.
I think her forelock needs tacking.
Continue reading Yamarrah’s wig, part ?
Tacked more flyaways down. Combed out the spikes for more of a blended look. Glued in some red bangs, then pulled down some orange pieces for further bangs. Still need to sculpt the bangs a bit and, of course, the widow’s peak and sideburns will lie flat against Yamarrah’s skull when I’m done; I’ll either glue them or use sticky tack on them after I do her faceup. Still, it’s looking good!
Continue reading Further work on Yamarrah’s wig
Last night I added a bit of bulk to one of the sideburns and stitched some flyaway locks to her wig cap so that they pointed upward. Still need to tame some errant strands, but it’s looking much better now.
Made another draft wig this morning out of pink fibers, cutting them with the grain so that the hair pointed down. I rolled under less of the edges so that this one was a bit bigger than the first draft, but still snug. Yamarrah models in the first picture, Jareth in the second.
Confident that my pattern would fit Yamarrah, I cut out her final wig from the yellow base fur with red and orange spikes. The third picture shows her hair before styling. I then saw that her hair sat high on her forehead, so I experimented with the addition of a widow’s peak. The last picture shows her current hair after the addition of Mod Podge and widow’s peak, a separate triangular piece of fur that I stitched in.
I still want to give her little pieces of loose hair hanging in front of her ears. I am satisfied with progress so far, though.
I made my first 1:3 scale faux fur wig tonight! To create a pattern for Yamarrah’s wig, I used Janvier Jett’s wig, made by Akasarushi. I flipped it inside out, traced one half and reverse-engineered a simple pattern based on two semicircles side by side. Then I hot glued the edges under and stitched the center part. Had to rip out a stitch or two from the part at the back edge to make it fit, but otherwise it was the correct size. A successful first draft!
I noticed when I turned the wig right-side out that I had cut the draft wig against the grain of the fur, meaning that the hair was pointing up instead of down. Since I want Yamarrah to be a fire sprite, the resultant messy, anti-gravity look is actually pretty cool. It also adds to the 1980s air she has, I think.
Her current pink eyes do her no favors, so I’m getting some 14mm low-dome Captured in Glass ET11s, with yellow irises and red pupils.
Look what I got today! Faux fur for Yamarrah’s hair! Initially she was going to have black/red/purple zigzag hair, but, as I decided she is a fire elemental, I wanted to continue the orange coloration beginning on her semi-transparent hands. Incidentally, I wanted this to be the material for Mellifer’s wig, but it was sold out when I was ready to buy, so he got a purple base with orange and yellow spikes instead.
I pierced her ears today by putting a drill bit in my Dremel and using a very low speed. Success!
Commissioned from violetheavensky on Etsy, these meticulous, affordable items arrived today.
Continue reading Yamarrah’s sports bra and sweatshirt
I filled in Yamarrah’s deep neck socket with Aves Apoxie Sculpt this weekend. Here she is waiting for her shirt and for some wiring. I think her sculpt is beautiful, even unpainted. I like how rectilinear and smooth it is.
Right now I’m planning to do flames along her neck, flames for eyebrows [!], flames up her forearms and possibly flames on her ears. This may change once I actually start scribbling on her.
A calculating cutie, deliberating on how to acquire her next creemee. She is not shown on her body yet because the neck is horribly short, so I have to fill in some of her neck socket at the bottom of her head.
I really like the clean, rectangular lines of her face. The curled tip on her tongue is my favorite detail, and I also appreciate her stupendously wide earspan.
Seller PacificBlue [Maria] just alerted me that she has sent my Iplehouse Doria vampire head from Quincy, MA to my workplace by priority insured. She should arrive on Monday!!
Also scheduled to arrive Monday [to my house] is Barrett, my FR London Calling Kyu, who is apparently coming MIB. I can always use a nice, sturdy doll box for something….
My package containing the tan Liv, P. Bo and Jazzie has also left the building, but I’m not sure about the location from which it was sent or the shipping method.
No word on the progress of Shopping While Constipated Raquelle and friends, although I do have someone interested in one of the Dream House dolls coming with Raquelle.
It’s raining dolls!
I’m surprised the package didn’t disintegrate on the way from Sweden, however, given that it was a mere shoebox secured with Scotch tape, with the address label on a single sheet of wrapping paper poorly adhered to the box. >_>
Fortunately, however, the contents arrived intact, though fully strung. I expected an unstrung doll, so was actually disappointed that I did not have to reassemble her.
Though renowned for its poor posing abilities, the Domuya Flexi body is much more than I expected. Mine, at least, is strung with just the right tension, and it’s balanced, engineered and weighted well enough to stand on high-pile carpeting right out of the box. There are indeed lots of joints, making the body better suited to sitting, lying, slouching and curling up, rather than standing. However, nearly every single joint has locks so that limbs and torso segments can keep their position. Thus the body is pretty solid, even without wiring, though I am gonna wire the arms.
Anyway, here’s Yamarrah’s body and outfit as it stands. The sweatshirt fits, but it rides up on her shoulders whenever I move her arms, so I will not be using it. Instead I will go with an oversize, lightweight T-shirt of the same color with a boat neck and raglan sleeves [yeah, 1980s!!!]. I just have to commission that. The sweatshirt will do for now, though. Besides the shirt, I’m very pleased with the results. I look forward to painting flames up her forearms and neck to disguise some of the resin difference.
I just scored Yamarrah a Domuya Flexi Perennial body off the DOA marketplace for $145.00 shipped, which is less than I paid for her head. O_O Known for their high level of articulation and concomitant difficulty in posing, the Domuya Flexi bodies have a distinctly segmented, mechanical look to their sculpt [in contrast to the Shinydoll Thaasa bodies, which represent a beautiful marriage of engineering, aesthetics and poseability — yes, it’s a menage a trois!].
Ever since I restrung August last summer, I have grown increasingly confident about customizing my BJDs more intensively. I’ve improved my subtractive mods, such as sanding Novella’s head, removing Béatrice’s pointy ears, modding Isabel and Carter’s necks, etc. I’ve even ventured into additive mods with an Aves Apoxie Sculpt headback for the dead version of Isabel. I’ve developed my own fur wig pattern and gained enough skill with faux fur so that I am ready to branch out into the wool that I got from Georgia Landau. In conclusion, I’m ready to take on a challenge like Yamarrah’s new body.
The Domuya Flexi will need significant wiring in order to hold poses, I think. I may also need to fuse the hip balls to the thighs and perhaps one of the torso joints to the other to prevent parts spinning around. Furthermore, since the resin of the body, which has pink undertones, will not match Yamarrah’s head, which has brown undertones, I will be painting [or scribbling] stylized flames on her upper breast and neck, as well as her wrists and forearms. Yippee!!
While not a fan of Soom’s 1:3 scale bodies, which I find rather stiff and unyielding, I love their fem hands [ref. Jareth’s]. I just scored a set of Soom Topaz’ translucent yellow hands off the DOA marketplace, for no other reason than the fact that they look really cool. They have the same sculpt as Jareth’s, only with shorter nails. I really like the expressive positioning of the fingers on Jareth’s hands, so I’m pleased to get a similar set for Yamarrah.
I just caught the first owner pictures of Iplehouse Doria’s vampire head — i.e., Yamarrah’s sculpt. Her tongue curls up a bit at the tip! Adorable!
I made her eyebrows thicker. As is my wont, I’ll most likely end up doing her up based on what I think will look best when I have her and my colored pencils actually in front of me. Well, and my paints too. There’s no way I’m scribbling on the inside of her mouth. Continue reading Yamarrah’s edited faceup concept
You’ve heard me and Jareth talking about her, but, unless you’re Janna, you haven’t seen detailed renderings of Yamarrah’s mockup. Here they are.
Continue reading More detailed mockups of Yamarrah
From head to toe:
- Faux fur wig with parallelograms of pink, red and black
- Earrings made from Iwako creemee erasers
- Oversize, off-the-shoulder, pink sweatshirt with a) red cuffs, collar and bottom trim, b) glittery creemee applique and c) added shoulder strap to make it seem like there’s a tank top underneath
- Black leggings
- Black/red basketball shoes
She will also, of course, have actual non-clothing creemees to eat. 😀
I sure hope this split goes through! 😀