Saturday, 31 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 30

Have you ever been to a doll meetup? Did you enjoy it/do you plan to go to one in the future?
I've been to a couple meet-ups before. I would say that I mostly enjoyed the ones I went to alone. The couple I brought other people to weren't as fun because I felt like I had to occupy my friend instead of enjoying myself as they didn't really seem to want to be there.

That being said of course, the local group is fairly tight knit and I find it can be difficult for new people (more so the shy I'm-afraid-to-come-near-you type of people [i.e. me]) to integrate into the group, especially if they can't go to many of the meet-ups. Some people are amazing at it and I will admit I'm always a little jealous of the people who find it very easy to make friends.

I'm going to Anime North in May and am going to attend at least some of the Doll North activities (and hopefully joining in on the cosplay contest [*fingerscrossed*] if I have enough time). I think I'll have a bit more luck with this sort of thing because if I'm having any troubles with talking to people, I can just wander away to another part of the convention, then come back and try again later.

[Full list of questions]

Friday, 30 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 29

Post a picture of your dolls exploring the outside world!

Tobi exploring a tree in Québec. :)

Tobi - Unoa Lusis hybrid

Don't worry, it wasn't too high up.

[Full list of questions]

Thursday, 29 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 28

Post a crazy/silly pose!

I don't have an old crazy or silly pose to post and don't have much time (or light. :/) to take another... so here's another photo of Jonas in the hopes that she's cute enough to get you to forgive me.

Jonas - Bisou Ai Bonbon

[Full list of questions]

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 27

Do you have a favourite out of your own dolls? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell the others ;D)

Umm... this one is sort of tough, since my 'favourite' seems to be whichever doll is inspiring me most at whatever moment in time.

However, I think if I had to pick, it would be Mali. Jonas is just too little and Tobi is still very much a work in progress (not to mention if she was a real person, I would probably want to punch her in the face...), but Mali just clicked the moment I opened her box. She always looks perfect regardless of what unspeakable things I may put her through and just makes me very happy.

Much as I adore my other dolls and could never part with them, I think if it was absolutely necessary that I sell them, Mali would stay anyway.

[Full list of questions]

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 26

Done your own face-ups?

Minifee Shushu in-progress face-up

Yep... I've done a bunch on Mali and one on Tobi. I really liked Mali's last face-up, but I made a mistake with the gloss on her eyes... so it needed to go.. and her sleeping head was sitting around for a year without a finished face-up so I thought I would redo both to match each other... and Tobi's (including attempting to colour match her faceplate) at the same time and they all came out pretty horrid.

Jonas's face-up is scratched and somehow discoloured (not sure how that happened) and the artist who originally painted her doesn't take commissions anymore... so I may have to do hers soon as well, but I would really like to send her and Tobi off to get painted properly.... -.-

Face-ups - fun but stressful. Yay.

[Full list of questions]

Monday, 26 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 25

Have you ever modded a doll?
I've done some basic seam sanding and evened Tobi's eyes out a little, but nothing major.

[Full list of questions]

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas! :)

Now that they've been delivered, I can share photos of all the Christmas presents I made this year. I only did some for my younger cousins and co-workers, but it was still a decent amount of work and took much longer than I expected.
I probably should have planned it more since when I knew what I wanted to do, they went very fast. Oh well.

Felt Barrette Covers

This isn't nearly all of them, since I'm really terrible with remembering to take photos, but I think it gives you an idea. There was also a space themed headband, a polar bear barrette, a rainbow barrette and a bright green leaf headband to go with the leaf barrette.

The work people got ornaments because that seemed logical somehow, but the dog and the purple bear were originally just stuffed figures.

Felt Christmas Ornaments

I'm not back at home until the new year, but I've brought along enough fabric (and am going shopping for more :P) to do some solid work on my collection, so look for some updates around the 5th.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day!

30 Days of BJDs - Day 24

What about your favourite part of the hobby?
This is going to seem a little bit odd, but it's the people.

There are so many amazingly creative and phenomenally generous people in this hobby that I am inspired by every day.

Whether it's a beautiful dress, a photoshoot, someone going out of their way to give a horribly detailed answer to someone's question or the incredible support for budding artists or victims of theft, the community at large is just fantastic.

[Full list of questions]

Saturday, 24 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 23

Is there a part of the BJD hobby that you dislike?
There are lots of parts of the hobby I dislike, I could probably go on forever... so I'll just do my least favourite: the people.

This doesn't mean all people obviously. Most of the collectors I've met in person or try to talk to semi-regularly are amazing people.

However, there are a few rather vocal people who sort of spoil the whole 'community' aspect for me. I've not been in the hobby for as long as some people, but long enough I think to notice a sharp increase in the amount of entitlement crap going on, especially with the newer members.
I deal with that enough in my regular life, I don't need it in my hobbies. It's for this reason that I tend to stay away from the community areas on DoA. It sucks because then I miss out on some of the really awesome people... and I would love to have some 'BJD friends', but I don't think I'd love it enough to go sifting through all the cries of 'my doll isn't perfect WTF?!?!?!111' to find them.

[Full list of questions]

Friday, 23 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 22

What’s your favourite doll scale prop?
I had a hard time with this one. Jonas has some little scale cars that are pretty cute and I have some books and stuff, but in the end (or at least for now) I think my favourite is the little white deer I made for Tobi.

[Full list of questions]

Thursday, 22 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 21

One doll you love, but will never (probably) buy?

Well... Supia Rosy... obviously. But Soom Vesuvia is another. As I mentioned a while back, I can't handle the really large dolls, so as stunningly gorgeous as she is, I will probably never buy one. If I did, it would likely only be as a sewing model... and let's face it, there's no real reason to buy an expensive limited just to have a sewing model - no matter how beautiful it may be.

[Full list of questions]

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 20

What is your dream doll?

It used to be a Supia Rosy (I mean really, just look at her!). I had no idea what I was going to do with her, but every time I saw one I was just floored by how beautiful it was. However... now that I've already got three dolls and am thinking more about what kinds of dolls I like vs. ones I would actually want to own, I think I already have my dream dolls, a MNF Shushu and a Unoa Lusis.

Shushu was the first doll I fell for and Lusis has just been there patiently in the back of my mind since I saw the first one a few years ago.

[Full list of questions]

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 19

A least favourite company?
Again, this is hard because I don't really buy much from companies past the doll itself... so I don't have too much experience.

From a purely aesthetic point of view... I would have to say Notdoll, Dollzone or Bobobie/Resinsoul. There have been the odd couple dolls from these companies that I've liked, but they've mostly been after a customizer has gone to town on them. I can't say I've ever liked one of their dolls past the: 'oh, I guess that one's kind of interesting' stage.

I suppose that's good though... if I liked every single doll company out there, I'd have a much harder time keeping my wishlist in check.

[Full list of questions]

Monday, 19 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 18

Do you have a favourite company?
Overall? No, not really. There are doll companies I'm generally more drawn to: Fairyland, Soom, Customhouse, Supia, etc. in terms of specific dolls I like. But they each have their good and bad points.

I guess overall I would have to say Fairyland? I like a lot of their sculpts and their posing + aesthetic is second to none, but they're not as well rounded as others in terms of clothing and the like... I haven't really dealt with many companies either, so I would say I don't really have a clear cut favourite.

[Full list of questions]

Sunday, 18 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 17

What is your favourite item of dollie clothing?

My favourite clothing item changes with every new thing that I make, but right now I think it's the lavender dress that I made for Tobi this summer.

Tobi - Unoa Lusis hybrid

My second place (and my boyfriend's first) would be Mali's jeans... although they just ripped (they were worn pretty much every day for 2 years, so... can't really blame them too much...) so I don't know if they count anymore.

Mali - Minifee Shushu

[Full list of questions]

Saturday, 17 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 16

Can any of your crew stand on their heads?

Mali - Minifee Shushu; Tobi - Unoa Lusis hybrid; Jonas - Bisou Ai Bonbon


Yes they can.

(please ignore Tobi's indecency... she and Mali are still mid-face-up. -.-')

[Full list of questions]

Friday, 16 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 15

What does your family think of your dolls?
For the most part my family is indifferent.

Like my friends, they've had a variety of reactions to me and my dolls.

My mom is glad they make me happy, but doesn't really care. She'll tolerate me talking about them, but they don't really interest her.

My brother thinks they're embarrassing.

My one Grandmother is convinced I'm regressing and won't really budge from her 'dolls are for little girls' POV.

My other Grandmother finds them interesting, but doesn't really care for them too much. She's more interested in the sewing aspect and always asks about new outfits and things.

My extended family, again, doesn't really care. It's just another one of the weird things I do, but one of my cousins adores them and keeps bothering her parents to buy her one. I guess we'll see where that goes....

And lastly, my boyfriend is incredibly supportive. He doesn't like Jonas all that much, but loves Tobi. I'm glad he puts up with my constant chatter and 'maybe this for Bella' musing. He's always willing to offer an opinion if I ask and doesn't think I'm crazy or childish for having them, it's rather fantastic.

[Full list of questions]

Thursday, 15 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 14

Have you ever had a floating head?

Minifee Shushu - Sleeping head

What about a headless body?

Customhouse Little Junior body
Also yes.

What do you think you would do if you had either?

Minifee Shushu head on Customhouse Little Junior body
This probably. Though it would be funnier if I still had an SD head.

Silliness aside, I have had both. Not counting sleeping heads...
I got a Juri B head when I ordered Mali and finally sold it this year after letting it sit in a box for 3 years. Tobi was originally supposed to be on a LJ or Chibi Unoa body so I bought a Darea and an Icarus girl for my friend during one of the Customhouse 2-4-1 sales. My friend ended up not buying her from me so the Icarus and extra Darea head were also sold.
I kept the other LJ body, but when Tobi got here I realized there was no way she is ever going to use it now (too much A-line love). I use it for sewing but otherwise it lives in a box.

[Full list of questions]

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 12

What do your friends think of your dolls/dolls in general?

Mmm... most of my friends either don't know or just sort of ignore it as 'another weird thing' that I do.

My closest friends find them interesting and beautiful, but would likely never get one of their own. They put up with my constant doll talk and give me ideas and the like if I ask, but I try to limit how much I talk about my dolls to them so that it doesn't drive them insane.

A couple of my friends have purchased dolls for themselves (through me) because of Mali, one of them is currently hanging out at my house, and I'm not sure what happened with the other one. I doubt they'll ever go much further than just having the doll - which is fine, just very different to how I interact with mine.

I have one friend who is decently creeped out by them, but he seems to be getting better at dealing with them as long as they're not in pieces and are fully clothed.

Lastly, one of my other decently close friends is horribly repulsed by them. Unfortunately, this means she often makes fun of my dolls/dolls in general which can be a little hurtful....
She's okay with the realistic ones, but the ones that look like dolls freak her out a lot. I try not to talk about them or have them sitting out (or at the very least not in pieces or naked) when she's around, but she likes to bring them up... so it's a little confusing.

[Full list of questions]

Monday, 12 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 11

Do you prefer girl dolls or boys?

I had to hunt this question down from another blog since it seems to have disappeared from the lists of all the blogs I follow.

Anyway, I prefer girls over boys. I find them easier to relate to (what with being female myself and all that jazz) so I find I can create more realistic characters. I also think girls have better clothes, and since one of the things I love doing with my dolls is dressing them up and making them clothes... this is kind of a plus.

[Full list of questions]

Sunday, 11 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 10

Post a picture of a doll and an animal!

Mali - Minifee Shushu; Tobi - Unoa Lusis hybrid
This is my kitty. Her name is Esper. She likes cardboard and fuzzy blankets.

[Full list of questions]

Saturday, 10 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 9

What is your least favourite size?

This is a toss up between the really tiny ones and the really giant ones, though I also have a bit of difficulty dealing with Yo-SDs...

I think I would have to go with the 70cm+ range though. I think I could get used to the puki eventually and I do have a Yo-SD-size visiting me, but I find the giant ones incredibly hard to pose, hard to carry and overall there aren't that many sculpts in this range that appeal to me.

[Full list of questions]

Friday, 9 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 8

What is your favourite size?

Definitely slim mini. I find the chunkier MSDs cute, but not nearly as interesting as MNF and the like. I really like that they are big enough that you can put detail into their clothing without it becoming tedious, but they're not too big that it becomes very time consuming to do so.
They're also a good size for transporting places - not too small that they could get lost easily, but not too big that you get tired of carrying them after 5 minutes.

[Full list of questions]

Thursday, 8 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 7

Smallest size you own? (Have held/seen/like)

The smallest size I own is my Bisou Ai Bonbon, Jonas. She's 19cm tall.

The smallest I have seen or held are pukipukis. There are a lot of them in my 'local' group, so I've be able to play with quite a few.

The smallest size I like... again a bit complicated. I like pukipukis in theory, but I have a really hard time with them in person. I could probably deal with a blank one... or one with no hands or feet... or both.... I find the size so intimidating because they look so breakable and their pieces can get lost.
I think Jonas is the smallest size I could ever own, even the Pukifée that I've seen are a little bit too small for me.

[Full list of questions]

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 6

Biggest size you own? (Have held/seen/like)

I assume the brackets are for people who don't yet have a doll... but I'm going to answer them anyway.

The biggest size I own would be Mali, my B-Line MNF, since she's a touch larger (both taller and just bigger) than Tobi.

The biggest size I've held would be an Abio Angel Shi named Effie and belonging to cadney.

The biggest size I've seen in person was a 90cm... something or other... I can't remember the company only that he was male, skinny and super giant... I was a little bit intimidated to go near him to be honest.

Lastly, the biggest size I like is a bit more complicated. There are some dolls, like Soom's Vesuvia or Iplehouse's Akando and the like that are giant but I absolutely adore. However, if I were to just say dolls I would like in person or to own, the biggest I could go would be 60cm as an absolute maximum. I can handle 50-60cm dolls... but 60 and above I just sort of freeze.

[Full list of questions]

A Post about the Weather.

I've been hoping to post photos of some of the MNF-sized stuff I've been working on for Subtle Memory, but Mali and Tobi are still mid-face-up as it's been either raining or pitch black by the time I get home from work everyday, so I can't finish them or take even vaguely decent photos.

Hopefully it will go away soon... or maybe snow or something instead so I can post a few teasers, but if not, I'll just keep sewing and will have more to show off whenever it's nicer out. :)

Just know that I'm working on it and (hopefully) look forward to the release of everything in April!

And in the mean time, here's an old picture of Jonas being cute:

Bisou Ai Bonbon - Jonas

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 5

What/who was the very first BJD you saw?

It was on DeviantART in ~2005. Someone had posted a link to a Volks page I can't find any more that had about 5 dolls on it all dressed in a simple dress with different hair and face-ups. The first one I saw had a name that started with a 'K' and had black hair... possibly in low pig tails. They each had a story so I think I assumed they were character dolls... they actually might have been Dollfie Dreams now that I think of it... They were cute, but not for me.

I couldn't figure out how to navigate away from the page so I just sort of assumed that these were the only ones available and didn't bother with much past that. Then someone posted a link to Dream of Doll and the rest is history.

[Full list of questions]

Monday, 5 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 4

What/who was the first BJD you ever owned? Do you still own them?

This one:

Mali - Minifee Shushu

I most definitely still own her. She's a far cry from the blonde ethereal thing I had planned, but she's perfect to me and I could never sell her.

[Full list of questions]

Sunday, 4 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 3

Post a picture of all your dolls

Mali - Minifee Shushu; Tobi - Unoa Lusis hybrid; Jonas - Bisou Ai Bonbon
Ta da! Glamorous. I know.

All of my dolls are in pieces right now either getting a bath or a new face-up... so this is the best I've got for now.

[Full list of questions]

Saturday, 3 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 2

Do you own any? If so how many?

Yes indeed I do. I own 3 full dolls (technically 4, but that's for another question), a MNF Shushu - Mali, a Unoa Lusis/MNF hybrid - Tobi and a Bisou Ai Bonbon - Jonas. I only plan to get one more, a modded MNF Rheia (or Mirwen? ... Rheia... something like that) to be my character Bella. I've had many other dolls on my wishlist (and still do if you check DoA), but I have no plans at all to get any of them.

[Full list of questions]

Friday, 2 December 2011

30 Days of BJDs - Day 1

Why do you like BJDs?

In a short phrase, because they make me happy.

Longer explanation is because they bring together so many of my different interests - sewing, photography, writing, character design, painting, miniatures, etc. - and give me a tangible item that can display all of the progress I've made in these areas. Not to mention, they are wholly mine. I may not have sculpted them from scratch, but I have put in time and effort to make them my characters, with personalities that are unique to them and me and clothing and posing and face-ups that suit them and (hopefully) bring out the aspects of the sculpt that aren't just 'Shushu' or 'Lusis', but Mali and Tobi.

[Full list of questions]

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Onward to bandwagons! - 30 Days of BJDs Meme

I've seen this meme floating around on a few of the blogs I follow (officially stolen from: mendokusai) and it seemed like an interesting idea, but I'm insane and didn't want to start it halfway through a month. That would just be crazy! So I decided to wait until December and will post one question a day with other updates thrown in.


1) Why do you like BJDs?
2) Do you own any? If so how many?
3) Post a picture of all your dolls!
4) What/who was the first BJD you ever owned? Do you still own them?
5) What/who was the very first BJD you saw?
6) Biggest size you own? (Have held/seen/like)
7) Smallest size you own? (Have held/seen/like)
8) What is your favourite size?
9) What is your least favourite size?
10) Post a picture of a doll and an animal!
11) Do you prefer girl dolls or boys?
12) What do your friends think of your dolls/dolls in general?
13) Dollie shoes! Show us how many you have!
14) Have you ever had a floating head? What about a headless body? What do you think you would do if you had either?
15) What does your family think of your dolls?
16) Can any of your crew stand on their heads?
17) What is your favourite item of dollie clothing?
18) Do you have a favourite company?
19) A least favourite company?
20) What is your dream doll?
21) One doll you love, but will never (probably) buy?
22) What’s your favourite doll scale prop?
23) Is there a part of the BJD hobby that you dislike?
24) What about your favourite part of the hobby?
25) Have you ever modded a doll?
26) Done your own face-ups?
27) Do you have a favourite out of your own dolls? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell the others ;D)
28) Post a crazy/silly pose!
29) Post a picture of your dolls exploring the outside world!
30) Have you ever been to a doll meetup? Did you enjoy it/do you plan to go to one in the future?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Sewing Update

I've been spending the last little while working on finalizing all of the fabrics and designs for Subtle Memory. I have to order some of them online (if the designers will put up with my requests that is) so I'd like to get that done as soon as I can so that they're here when I need them, and I can deal with any issues that might arise before it's too late.

I also need to get some buttons and a few more zippers, but I think they can wait for a bit.

The first 'official fabric' prototype is well on its way to being finished (some MNF shorts :) ), but realizing how difficult it's been to find time to work on them what with work and Christmas, applying for exchanges and rushing off to visit my Grandmother, coupled with the sheer size of this insane undertaking... I've decided that I'm going to need a little bit of help.

And I think it's going to have to be in the form of my arch-nemesis:

Singer Sewing Machine
Image stolen from the internets. 
I'm pretty sure it's not the one I have... but I don't actually know what mine looks like so I can't be sure.

Yes... I'd wanted to keep this sewing-machine-free... but I think I'm going to have to enlist its help if I'm hoping to get everything finished by April. Especially if next term turns out to be as busy as the last couple of weeks have been!

There's going to be a steep learning curve - even though I've (sort-of) used sewing machines before - since everything is so tiny... not to mention I have an intense disliking for sewing machines. Luckily, this one is brand new, and I don't harbour too much distaste for it specifically... well... not yet anyway.
Most things will likely still be done by hand, like anything Bisou Ai size or smaller and basically anything else I can get away with... but the more repetitive seams I'm going to attempt on the machine. If it doesn't try to kill me... I think I'll consider it a success, and if I get some usable items, hey, all the better.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Fun with knots v2.0

Alrighty. Now that I've satisfactorily ruined the wig with some stray scissor snips, I thought it was time to post up the second part of the wig tutorial. Though I'm still not too sure that's what it is.


  • curly fibre wig *this won't work with heat-resistant wigs
  • water
  • kettle
  • sink or something you can pour boiling water into without issue
  • plastic cutting board (the flat one that are easy to roll up) *you only need this if you're using a sink, it's just to block the hair from falling down the drain
  • little plastic doll brush (à la Barbie or MLP)
  • towel
  • wooden ball the same size as your dolls head *important
  • wig stand or something that can hold the wig while it's drying
  • rubber gloves

This is actually a lot easier than it might seem.

First, gather your supplies. Here's my wig from the last post after I had brushed out all the curls:

Damaged Soom Glot wig

Fill up your kettle and set it to boil. While it's bubbling away, put the wooden ball into the wig. I forgot this while I was working on mine that's why it's not in the photos, but it's very important. Do not skip this step!

Half-straightened Soom Glot wig
You can see where the kink was starting to form.

Now, for the first bit, I put the wig on top of a metal bottle. This worked until it was pointed out to me that the bottle was really big and would leave a kink in the hair, so I switched to a glass one with a more tapered top - as you'll see later. You just need something that you can rest your little wooden head on and is long enough for the wig. You could be fancy and use an actual wig stand... but a bottle will work for now.


If you're using a sink, put the cutting board on the bottom of the sink covering up the drain (don't put anything else in the drain though, you still want the water to go down it).

When the kettle is boiled, wait a minute or two before you start pouring. This will cool it down enough to not fuse the fibres, but it will still be hot enough to do what we need.

If you want to wear gloves, now's the time to put them on. Personally, I didn't, but that's just because I love burning my fingertips with scalding hot water... and couldn't be bothered to go find them.


The water should be cool enough now, so grab your trusty little brush and the kettle and head on over to your sink. Work slowly, one section at a time. I tried to work in about 2cm patches for the first while. Put one finger on the crown/part of the wig to hold it down and keep it from flying off your bottle. Pour some water over the top of the head, not right by the crown, but a centimetre or so below it. If your wig has bangs, avoid these for now.
Just pour enough the get it wet and then brush through. You can skip the brushing step if you want wavy hair... that seems to be what happens otherwise, but if you want pin straight hair, you'll need to brush it.

Continue doing this until you reach the other side of the wig and then start again.

Once you're mostly satisfied, take the wig off the bottle and put it (with the bangs facing up) in the sink. We're going to try and get the wavy bits at the base of the wig now. Do the same thing as you were when the wig was on the bottle, pour and brush, pour and brush, just try to avoid pouring too much water on the elastic. They don't enjoy that much.

Straightened Soom Glot Wig
Voilà! Nice and straight. :)

Finally, once you're satisfied, put it back on the bottle and pour some water right over the crown (including bangs) and brush out everything one last time. This is only for wigs with a circular crown. For ones with parts, you'll have to do this twice instead. Once on one side, and again on the other. I'm not going to get into side bangs for now. Sorry.

Leave it on the bottle to dry over night and tomorrow you can get on to styling! Yay!
(Just be careful and think before you cut or you'll end up with a lovely mess just like me)

Monday, 14 November 2011

...and The Teeny Tiny TARDIS

Now that it's reached its new home, I can post photos of the secret present I made to accompany the puki!Dr. Who commission from a while back.

I wanted to send her a gift for being such a fantastic person, but I didn't know what to make until I was watching an episode of the show and realized... you can't have a tiny-time-travelling Doctor without his tiny-time-travelling Police Box!

And so the Teeny Tiny TARDIS was created. It was a lot easier than the little clothes since the stitches could be a little bigger and a little messier, so I could work on it when it was too dark for the clothing.

Doctor Who: Tiny felt TARDIS

Doctor Who: Tiny felt TARDIS

This was only my second time ever doing embroidered letters (that I can remember anyway), so they're a little wonky, but I think they came out alright overall.
While making this, I realized that I truly adore making plushies, lettering not so much, but I love making plushies.... I think I'll have to make a few up in between working on presents and collection pieces. Not sure what I'll do with them after, but at least I'll have made them.

Also... I kind of want a little TARDIS for myself now....

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Christmas Gifts

This year, I've decided to make felt hair accessories for my little cousins. I like working with felt since it's very forgiving, but still looks nice (and it's also super cheap!). I have lots of felt and embroidery floss already from random phases I've had, so I probably won't need to buy all that much, but I will need to find bases for them. Hopefully I can still get them at Michael's, otherwise I'll probably need to go to the dollar store or something and see if there's anything I can deconstruct.


I'll be working on this alongside my spring collection, but considering the fast-approaching deadline (that I definitely did not forget about... >.> <.< >.>), the gifts will probably be taking centre stage until they're done.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Consistant Vision

I haven't had all the much time recently to work on the collection. Not to mention, I've been banned from sewing until Monday so I can... you know... have one of those fancy life things....


Luckily, taking photos of sewing materials isn't sewing, so I can finally make this post!

I saw a mood board on a friend's blog (zis one) and it got me thinking. I always make mood/inspiration 'boards' in my head, but I've never actually made a real life one before, so, since this is a brand new endeavour, why not start now?

I don't have all the supplies I need for this collection, but I've got it nailed down enough that I think, for me anyway, it doesn't need to have everything in it. So, I just grabbed everything I had and tossed it together to make this:

Subtle Memory - Inspiration Board

As you can probably tell... the three MUTED colour idea has sort of gone out the window and I've added navy blue and chocolate brown. I plan to keep them to a minimum, but I just couldn't get it to work in my head without a few dark colours in there.


I think having everything laid out like this is a good way to keep yourself on track. If you want to add something and it just really isn't fitting with what you already have... then it probably doesn't need to be there. Sometimes, it's good to have less things with more 'flow' than to try and cram every single thing you want to do into one project.


For most people, I think something like this would be enough to keep them on track. For me, however, I know my brain likes to fly all over the place and I get very easily distracted thinking about other ideas, so I need a bit more to keep me focussed.

That's why I have a nice little organized folder on my computer of inspiration photos. But I think I'll keep those secret for now. A more complete and useful board would include them... but Photoshop keeps crashing... and I really don't want to deal with it right now.

In addition to the fashion and colour inspirations I keep, I also have a list of some more intangible things, namely music. Now, this collection was supposed to have a more calm and pleasant atmosphere to it, but every time I hear If I Die Young by The Band Perry, I can't help but be reminded of it. Every time it comes on, I want to work on something related to this collection. The song has a more melancholy feel than I'd wanted, but it just seems to become more and more relavant with each passing day.


Do you keep an inspiration board when you're working on a project? Why/Why not? Do you think it's a good idea even if you don't make them yourself?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Google+ Page

I've started a page on Google+ for inEssence.

You can find it here.

I'm not sure how much I like it as of yet, but I'll probably post some collection-related updates there at least for a while.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fun with Knots

Alternate title: Restoring a damaged wig.

A few weeks ago, I bought a damaged Glot wig from someone on DoA. It was pretty tangled and sort of looked like a ball of fuzz caught in a fishing net when I got it.

I was planning on cutting it decently short and using it for Tobi if it was really damaged, but after I combed it out, it just looked like it was really tangled, but actually not all that damaged - much to be expected from a ringlet wig. So I figured I might as well try and see if I could get it back to a decent state and if not, I could still cut it like I'd planned.

It was rather dark and I was kind of tired and I wasn't originally planning to write about this, so I don't have many pictures, but here's what I did:


  • damaged (curly) fibre wig
  • water
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • little plastic doll brush (à la Barbie or MLP)
  • towel
  • paper towel ripped into strips about 1 inch wide and as long as the wig
  • wig stand or something that can hold the wig while it's drying

The first step was simply soaking in in lukewarm water and brushing it out the best I could with a little doll brush.

Do not use a people brush or comb.

They will pull on the fibres and can make an even worse mess than what you started with.

Make sure to flip it over and brush from the inside too. It might not seem like it, but it will make your job a lot easier later.


It doesn't matter if the curls get separated or if it goes all frizzy, just make sure you're not pulling the fibres so that they break in the middle. This will make them curl up and you will have to cut them out. If you're having trouble getting the tangles out, start from the bottom and work your way up, just like you would getting a knot out of your own hair.

Next was washing it, since it felt sort of odd to the touch. I just used my regular shampoo and squished it into the wig, brushing as I went and making a big foamy mess. Using my shampoo seems to work fine and I haven't yet had any problems with any of the wigs I've washed.

After shampooing, I just rinsed it out with cold water and brushed it again.

While I was working on it... I noticed this wig isn't actually very great quality when compared to the other wigs I have, which was a little bit upsetting.
Isn't Soom supposed to be 'Master of Everything'?
Oh well....

After I'd rinsed the wig, I got a bunch of my conditioner and worked it into the wig. First just by running my whole hand along it, then in smaller chunks. I used quite a bit of conditioner, but I wanted it to be thoroughly coated.

Then I went on to the fun part. I separated the wig into chunks of curl, just using how it naturally clumped. Some were big, some were small, didn't really matter, I just didn't want to fuss with the fibres too much. Just twist them around your finger then pull it out and twist the curl at tight as you can and let it go.
I worked on each curl individually, making my way around the wig top to bottom. It doesn't really matter which order you do it, but it's easier to work from big to little.

Whichever way you choose to work, take the first curl and hold it as close to the base as you can with your index and thumb (or thumb and finger of choice) of one hand. Then, with your other hand, start drawing your fingers down the curl until you get to the end. Then, start over. Keep working down the curl until it feels smooth and there are no stray fibres.

Don't let go of the base.

When you think the curl is smooth enough twist it tight, take a piece of paper towel and start wrapping it around the curl in the opposite direction of the curl. The paper towel should get wet enough to stick to itself just from the water in the wig, but if it doesn't, put some water on your finger and continue wrapping until wou reach the end of the curl. Then simply wrap the paper towel over itself and squeeze the whole curl to make sure it's sticking.

You can let go now.


Do this for each of the curls and then put the paper towel-coated wig on it's stand and leave it on a towel over night (unless you want a big puddle of water... then omit the towel).

You should be able to just slide the paper towel curlers off once they're dry, but if not, you might have to uncurl them. The curls will feel a little bit crispy, but that's okay.

Now, I didn't wash the conditioner out after the wig was dry, I just ran my fingers lightly through the curls and ended up with super soft ringlets.

Here's a sort of but not really helpful photo of after I did this.

Damaged Soom Glot wig
If you want to wash the conditioner out, wash the wig again under a slow stream of warm water and then redo the paper towel curlers and let it dry overnight.
After it's dried, you can do some styling and cut out any frizzy bits that are left (probably the very ends).

To cut/style wrap your doll's head in some saran wrap - make sure it's tight around the neck - and put the wig on over top. Then just cut away to your hearts content. Try to take off a little less than you think you want to so that you can correct any mistakes.


After all of this, I decided that I think I actually want the wig straight... but that will be another post (with pictures this time! I promise!) if I decide to go ahead with it, since this one is getting a bit unruly.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Itty Bitty Doctor...

Many eons ago*...

I messaged someone about a WTC thread they had put up for a pukipuki-sized Dr. Who cosplay outfit...


It's been a bit of a painful process since I'm more used to just making something and having it fit the first try and I've had no end of troubles with these tiny outfits....

But I've finished nearly everything, just little details here and there need fixing (closures, buttons, that kind of thing.) This is the third or so tie that I've made... I have a feeling I'll find the others in a month or two tucked away under the couch or fridge, just out of paws' reach....

pukipuki Cupid2 - Doctor Who: River Song costume
pukipuki Cupid2 - Doctor Who: Jenny costume

Interesting though it was, I'm glad to have it finished - and I'm now 100% sure I don't want a puki! I am so bad at posing and photographing them. ^^;

Now I can start on Christmas presents and my collection! :)

Lesson Learned: Sewing for tiny tinies is much harder than one might think.

*not really.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


I waited 3 years after I started sewing to open up my commission thread, even though people kept telling me that I should.

It was mostly because I didn't think my sewing was good enough, but also things like: 'I need better pictures', 'I need a better layout', 'I need better patterns', 'I need a better way to record orders', etc. I was second guessing myself left right and centre so even when I finally decided, 'Okay, I think I'm good enough... let's do this', it took me months to finally get something decent put together, and I'm STILL not happy with it.


inEssence Banner 2010 - Mali - MiniFée Shushu
Okay I guess, but not quite right.


Looking back I realize that I should have just started it and let it evolve over time, but I am a crazy perfectionist... so I also realize it was very unlikely to happen.


Originally, I looked at the fact I had to close my thread early as a complete failure. Now, I'm trying to change that to something more akin to it being simply a failed experiment.
I plan to use my work on my collections so set a better baseline for prices and timing, since I'm not paying myself nearly enough for the amount of time I spend on everything.

I'm planning on opening up again in December for one or two slots, but until then I'm going to work on my collection. While I have the final intention of selling (almost) everything in it, the idea behind this collection and the pieces in it are things that I want and is made to cater to me and my tastes. I think as long as I think of it like that, as something I'm doing for myself, I won't get too overwhelmed and stressed about pleasing everyone else and maybe it will get done on time.

Hopefully I can have it completed and listed by April. Depending on how well that goes, and how much free time I think I have, I might open plushie commissions (things along the lines of the dog I posted earlier) in between everything.

I find them fun and relaxing, since they go together so fast and I don't have to spend weeks ensuring that the pattern fits perfectly, just that it doesn't look stupid or out of scale.

We'll see. Look out for updates here and on DoA. :)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


So, now that I'm embarking on this little shop 'for real', I figured it was time to get myself properly organized.

My sewing and doll stuff has always been the most organized part of my room (aside from my bookshelf) but as I'd recently moved, my previous system (categorized bins tucked under my bed) was a bit at odds with the new arrangement (no 'under the bed') and as such quickly fell apart and I found myself leaving bits and bobs all over the place and not being able to find what I needed easily.

Messy and disorganized... and somewhat painful when lost pins found their way into feet....

So, after much pondering about what the best solution might be, we ended up purchasing a rather tall storage shelf and some boxes. Now I have all of my fabrics in two bins - knits and 'not-knits' - threads in another, beads, trims, clays, shipping supplies etc. in others neatly organized on each of the five shelves... and the three in the little cabinet I kidnapped from the dining room... with everything I think I'll need for my upcoming project in another bin that I can easily cart around so I can work on it anywhere.

I'm not sure if it's going to stay this way, since the shelf and all of the boxes are completely full, but it looks like it will work for a while.

At least now I can stop worrying about where I left that roll of ribbon and concentrate on getting things done!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Spring Collection

Jonas - Bisou Ai Bonbon
Isn't she a cutie?

This whole project idea started when I was trying to figure out what style of clothing Jonas would wear on a regular basis since the whole 'gothic lolita-type thing' wasn't working out. Her character is a slippery little thing, so it took quite a while, but I eventually came up with something based on the character that my Bisou Ai was originally going to be. Cute little girl dresses with light airy colours, ribbons and flowers and all that fun stuff.

And then... in traditional 'me-style'...

It spiralled completely out of control.




Anyway, spiralling out of control isn't always a bad thing. It means that your imagination can run wild and you can come up with hundreds of ideas to use in the future.

I've spent nearly a year thinking about this project and have pages and pages of written ideas and sketches, but recently I've spent some time paring down my ideas into something more cohesive and manageable that I can actually start (and hopefully finish).

I'm going to be working with 3 main colours: off-white, light blue and tan. Not the most diverse palette, but something that I can use to help ease me into working with muted colours. The theme will be something like... trendy meets mori-girl? I don't really know how to describe it... and that doesn't make much sense since mori is trendy right now.....


Let's just say it's inspired by Jonas's dress (as shown above), but with more grown up aspects for my bigger girls.

I plan to make it available in all the sizes I have easy access to (MiniFée, Little Junior, Petite Ai and Bisou Ai), but since there are other dolls in very similar sizes (e.g. Unoa Chibi, LittleFée, PukiFée etc.), I'm also going to see if I can get my hands on them to try things on and make adjustments if necessary.

I've mostly been working with MNF, so I think those patterns will be made up the quickest because I can alter things I already have - but the other sizes will be quite a challenge. And then making sure they fit countless other dolls on top of that...? I hope I haven't taken on more than I can handle.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Thoughts and Aspirations

[warning: lots of text]

I've been dabbling in nearly every kind of artistic media for most of my life. It started with the typical crayons and markers and has moved through everything from pencils to pastels to paint, woodworking, sculpting, digital art, jewellery making, fashion design and nearly everything in between.
I tend to prefer bright, bold colours (as might be evidenced by my choice of theme) and generally find chic, minimalistic designs with clean lines most attractive and natural.
It's rather upsetting since there are a number of highly detailed works of art with muted colour schemes that simply take my breath away, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to work with high levels of detail and embellishments or muted colours.
When it comes to art and sewing, I also have horrible time management skills. I tend to be either very easily distracted jumping from project to project and focussing on whatever strikes my fancy or so doggedly focussed on whatever it is I'm doing that I neglect other important aspects of my life (e.g. eating).

While this has allowed me to become well acquainted with a wide variety of different media, it also means that I rarely finish what I set out to do in a reasonable time period. It is especially true when you consider how much of a perfectionist I am and how long I generally take to finish even the smallest of artistic works. The prolonged period between the beginning and end of most projects has restricted my output of many of the kinds of artwork I have long wanted to master. In the last few years my sewing has improved but my photography, painting, drawing and sculpting skills have been languishing.

My hope is that by having a project with so many different parts, I can practice multiple skills and jump from mini-project to mini-project while still progressing towards one end.
One of the things that I love about collecting and customizing ball-jointed dolls is that they are an amalgamation of so many different artistic endeavours. If you want to be able to show off a doll or their character they way you envision them in your mind, then all of your artistic abilities need to be at a level that will allow you to do so, or, you need to find someone else who can compensate for the skills you do not currently possess.

Therefore, I have decided that I am going to try to work on a few of the areas in which I find myself lacking.
  • Muted Colour Schemes
  • Experimenting with different colour palettes is really the only way I will get better at using these types of colours. I have decided that my first big project, and one of the real reasons I started this blog in the first place will be centred around working with these colours.
  • Time Management
  • I'm hoping this can be helped by maintaining a regular(-ish) update schedule here and possibly on other sites as well.
  • Speed
  • Hopefully, more diligent practising and streamlining my production will allow me to gradually increase my working speed over time. I don't expect an overnight miracle, but if I want to have any hope of being able to fulfil my dream of opening a viable doll clothing and accessories shop (not one that I have to close for months on end or one where I'm paying myself pennies an hour) this needs to be a constant priority.
  • Photography, staging and posing
  • Photography is another one of those things that can really only be improved with practice and careful observation. Since I refuse to take any classes, my plan is to ensure I take ample photographs while I am working and when I complete a project. I plan to construct a light box to help me ensure I am always working with good lighting as well as deconstructable stages where I can take photos of my dolls and my work instead of relying on whatever my living room floor has to offer.

There are many other things I hope to improve in the future, but for now, these six are my main objectives. The big project I mentioned will be outlined in my next post and who knows where it will go from there.

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