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Archive for July, 2008

I wonder why we like little things so much. I love how many crazy aunties by girls have who can’t resist the temptation to make something small. Even smaller than possible for hoomans. Life reduced in scale, it’s poignant, precious. The doll laundry doesn’t pile up, the doll dishes never need to be done.
I made a wee cardigan that needs some serious perfecting, from this less than lovely (imho) colorway of fixation. (I love orange and pink and purple, just not together in this form, I don’t know. It’s like Kureyon 102 without the blue and yellow, but that takes away something). I started with 24 stitches on 3s, and then just kind of fudged it.
Here’s Garnet (with a haircut) modeling it:
Garnet in the cardi

Here’s a mental-visual list of things I’d like to learn to sew for Blythe:

A trenchcoat like these lovely ones on etsy

A high-necked halter dress like this.

A dress with wide waist like this. I’m getting one of these dresses from dear froggymonkey, who is lucky enough to have them at her local Walmart, so I’ll be able to study it.

Now I need one of my girls crazy aunts aka my unsuspecting sewing mentors to step up so I can actually do some of these. 🙂

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Introducing…

She was the hardest to name. I gave up on Aven “Aventurine” because I just didn’t think it fit.

This is Fable. I have cut her weird tendrils and dressed her in some sketchy Blythism jumper from M. that seems to fit her name 🙂

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to be a dolly, waiting at the post office? There you are, twist tied into your box, all stiff in your stock clothes, the only clothes you’ve ever had! You have no idea whether you are going to be someone’s first doll, or their 30th. You have no idea if you’re going to be rudely yanked from your cozy package and have your scalp torn off, or if you’ll be gently hugged and treated to a spa day of hair washing and wardrobe choice.

You don’t know if your name will be Toad or Petronella. Are you going to have sisters, or girlfriends? Will you be treated like a 5-year old or a Sex and the City star? Are you going to have to live with stuffed animals, Dals, Pullips, Bratz, Barbies?

Are you an ADG going to be the first custom of a bipolar Kenner-addict who will rip you limb from limb? Will you have a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom? Will you live on a shelf standing up forever? God forbid, will you be NRFB?

Will cats paw at your pullstring? Will you have your arms chewed off by a dog? Will you live with a disapproving spouse who cusses at your when your mistress isn’t home because of the extra expense you cause?

Are you going to have lots of shoes? Are you going to have any at all? Will you star in photos all around town, or will you never see the light of day? Are you going to be a 1972 mama or a punky goth lolita? What if you don’t like your first dress?  What if your jeans stain your legs?

Today we’re going to pick up Blythe #6 from UPS. She’s an ADG Medieval Mood named Aventurine, Aven for short. We don’t much else about her, but we will try to assure her we will make her as comfortable as possible. Right girls?


Here’s a shot of our small shoe collection. It’s a start. Click through to flickr for notes on brand and fit.

Shoes and bags

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I have actually opened four out of five of my dolls. Here’s the rundown.

1. Alonza. RBL. Easy Peasy gaze correction, boggling. Wow, I thought, this is great. I can do this to all my dolls.

2. Garnet, ADG. A little scary. Involved cutting the back of her scalp open (jaggedly). I then clipped too much off her t-bar and now her eye mech doesn’t click properly. M. figures she has an EBL t-bar, so it needs to be replaced. Also, the ADGs don’t seem to gaze correct quite as dramatically as the Takaras. Their eyemech looks pretty much the same, but it has a much softer click and seems to just naturally rest lower despite how long the t-bar is.

3. Clever, SBL. Since she’s a STA and I heard the later SBLs are easier, I went for it with the pry method.  Her faceplate came off pretty easy with minimal cutting. I needed to re-spray matte her and swap some eyechips.  I managed to chip her grey eyechip, and over-boggle her so that her lower eye mech shows. I’m waiting for advice to figure out how to correct this hopefully without carving the lower eye mech.

4. Cade. SBL. She’s got that notorious PWP downward gaze plus a very loose neck. I tried my hardest to open her head but it just wasn’t happening. I cut away her scalp on the back of her head for basically no reason at all. I finally ended up gaze correcting her without having her head all the way open, I just wedged her open, swiveled her t-bar around, and clipped it with a animal nail clippers. Then I wrapped a little clear rubber band around her neck to create friction. Her gaze is more blythe-normal (not totally corrected, but oh well) and her neck is nice and snug. All in all, a sucess, but she does have some marks around her face plate from prying.

(5. Dell is looking at me like “Don’t you f’ing come near me, crazy lady. I really do think I will leave her alone because there are no further issues.)

6?? what?? 🙂

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In my summer of Blythe. Soon I’ll have to go back to teaching and not get to spend so much time with my dollies. We are also moving, so the whole thing is just crazypants. My last doll of the summer arrives today, #6, and to round things out, she’s and ADG like Garnet. I am pretty sure her name will be Aventurine, or Aven. She’s a Medieval Mood, so she’s going to probably look like Garnet with straight hair. I’ll be curious to see if there are differences because she’s one of the older ADGs, but I know she will be gorgeous and not resemble a green monkey. Omar confided in me that he was the one who won the Bratz Tokyo Pop Car on ebay! Eeep! An anniversary gift for me. Here are the results of my head opening surgery: spray matte, boggled, gaze corrected.

Clever was also matted, and last night she had a fabulous haircut which has yet to be photographed. Garnet had a slightly less exciting haircut, but her hair was getting too snarly for me to deal with.

The girls had an adventure which involved puppets! Click the pic for the whole story (flickr set)

WOOT. We got our fab Blythe Mode MJs. We are fortunate to be in the good graces of the shoe people.

Join our flickr group for Blythe in Barbie and Bratz clothes. Promised to be heavily guarded against spam by the meanest biotches around who don’t want to see your etsy ad in their community! Down with DIY! Up with shiny, nasty, stiff fabrics and crappy serged hems! Here’s Alonza is some Barbie clothes (Not fashion fever, and still fit pretty well!)

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The girl with 1000 blogs

Okay, so I may have found a solution to my discomfort with having too many places to blog. I also hate that non-LJ people can’t read a protected entry, iffin I want them to.
This is hardly an elegant solution, but there doesn’t actually seem to be an elegant solution available, at least not for mac users.
I’ve downloaded a trial version of a program called Marsedit, a desktop blogging client. While it doesn’t allow you to post to more than one blog simultaneously, it pretty easily allows you to click on a just-posted entry, and repost it to another blog you have configured. (We played around with writetomyblog.com, too, but couldn’t get it to function right)
So my idea is this. I will move into Blyther, my wordpress blog (currently just the doll blog) as headquarters. Then I will use Marsedit to repost occasional personal updates to LJ. WordPress allows categories that each have their own RSS feed, so for example, if people just want to read about knitting, or dolls, they can. Plus I can hook up just the knitting category RSS to Ravelry. This will also allow me to automatically configure a category that will be streamed into facebook notes. Additionally, wordpress allows you to password protect individual entries, I can put personal things there without having them be LJ exclusive.

Our knitting blog, which has been buried under an avalanche of spam, will likely be resurrected by Omar, who will use Weblog or something to combine knitting feeds from our two blogs into one.

I’m having trouble just admitting that I don’t like LJ anymore. There are so many people there whose journals I’ve been reading so long, it would be sad to leave all together. Yet it seems to have hardly changed interfaces in the eight or nine years I’ve been using it. It just doesn’t feel right anymore. However, it’s also weird not to think about having a captive audience, and just kind of being out there floating in the blogocosm ether. What I’m trying to say is, what if nobody reads my blog? 😉

Other Downsides to this plan:
-Marsedit is only free for a 30 day trial
-It also is a mark-up editor not a WYSIWYG (i.e. return doesn’t make a paragraph)
-I may find I don’t blog at all during the school year or just revert to old habits
-Marsedit doesn’t have any interfacing options for LJ, for instance, no friends filtering or tags, so I’d have to come back to LJ and do that
-Ugh, this is confusing.

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I opened my first Blythe head! Alonza’s a champ. She’s also my only RBL, so she was a shoe in.

I wanted to gaze correct, boggle, and spray matte.

First off, it took me ages to unhook the spring, I finally had to use tweezers, I have tiny crochet hooks but they don’t cooperate!

I cut my t-bar but I had no real idea how the eye mech worked or what the t-bar position was supposed to be, so I freaked out for a good 15 minutes that I cut it too short. Then I got it back in place, and whew, all is well.

The boggling still needs to be checked, but jeebus, getting the eye mech out was way harder than I thought. I need all sorts of cheerleading for these things, mostly “press harder than you think you should!” It just flew out and I don’t know if I’d be able to replicate that motion. 🙂 Thank god for the little tools in my sewing machine repair kit.

During this whole process I’ve been searching the TIB board and flickr trying to get views of innerworkings of heads, I reread the Puchi tutorials so many times and wasn’t getting it.

I couldn’t find Testors Dullcote anywhere! I checked the newest Micheal’s, Joann, and a hobby shop. At the hobby shop the guy sold me Model Master Flat Lusterless. I really hope it works. Alonza is on the balcony right now with her first coat drying. I read a few good things about it in a BJD forum and it’s made by the same company.

So far, the first coat looks good! I kept her string attached and just put her eyemech in a ziplock.

Clever’s the other one I’m definitely spraymatting, I can’t get a decent picture of either of them because of their paleness and shine. But I’m not opening Clever’s head just for that, so I’ll just have to mask her off and go to town.

ADGs don’t need spraymatting, and I want to keep Dell kind of shiny, plus the Magic Eraser kind of matted her a bit (plus if I ever want her to have blush I’ll probably sand matte her).

Cade is sort of a project, she has some stress cracks from shipping, and she has a loose head that I’ve seen a few other people refer to as almost endemic of PWPs. She also has that extreme downward gaze so if I do end up opening her, I’ll replace her body, gaze correct, and spray matte.

I was suprised how unemotional I’ve been seeing Alonza apart, it’s been interesting and I’ve learned a lot!

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