Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 in Review and Plans for 2016

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I think the dolly highlight of the year was getting to know more people in the doll hobby through the trade I did with Rikkistar and crafting sessions with her, wiskebjd, and raouken. I can't describe how wonderful it's been getting to know such amazing people and sharing dolly ideas with them. <3 I hope it will continue into the new year. :)

As for last year's resolutions... well... there's a reason I don't normally make them. But here we go anyway:
  1. Spend more time working on my own dolls. 
    • ahaha ha.... nope. I failed on this one BIG TIME. Just straight up fail. I don't think any of my dolls got anything new this year that they got to keep, and Tobi has been faceless for over a month. DX
  2. Get back to working on my photoset. 
    • Yes and no? I didn't work at all on my indoor photoset, but did start on a brand new set, so it kind of counts? Maybe?
  3. Take more photos!
    • lol... no.
  4. Share more about my dolls' characters.
    • This one I think I actually did okay! I'm going to be reposting the 10 facts things because I never did get anyone but Mali posted properly (they're written, I just never took a photo for them -.-;). 
    • I did little character interviews with each of them on Instagram, and made a 20 questions thing on the BJD Worldbuilders page that I then filled out (Thanks to Rikkistar for the motivation!). You can see those answers here: (link), and a blank list of the questions is here: (link)
  5. More doll meets!
    • Yes? I think? In addition to Doll North this year, I got to visit starsarerobots and opalescent_raven, and they came down with bumblebeeena to visit me at my house. I've also been able to meet a bunch of new people in the area and got to play with an SD and a beautiful Withdoll Ruby (omg Withdoll hands *drool*) belonging to binrand. Still not quite sure about the SD size, but that's okay.
  6. Finish at least one big personal project.
    • Ehhhh..... no... not at all. :/ I think I've decided on the big project for 2016 so lets hope it happens. I might need to call on my fiancé and wiskebjd to keep me on task. :p
  7. Get a MNF Moe body for Tobi (with small bust)
    • DONE! Shorty Tobi is go.
3.5/7? Not as terrible as I was expecting, but still not ideal.

This year, I'm going to restrict myself to 5 concrete(-ish) goals and try to focus on continuing with the good things from this year while weeding out the things that I think need improvement.

And so, without further ado, my list for 2016:
  1. One full, complete outfit (+accessories) for each of my 4 character dolls.
    • Considering I will have had Mali for 8 years the end of next month, the fact that she doesn't even have pants right now is pretty pathetic. 
  2. Finish my two main personal projects.
    • I'm not sure if I want to reveal either of these just yet, but they are my main dolly goals outside of clothing my own dolls for 2016.
    • Both are somewhat related, so I should be able to work on them concurrently, which will be a big help.
  3. Set aside time every week and practice taking photos.
    • I feel like I've regressed with photos recently and it's hindering my ability to represent my dolls as I see them.
    • Not to mention I'm getting really bored of the same old thing, so taking photos right now feels like a chore rather than something fun.
    • I'd love to do A Doll a Day again, but it's quite a bit time commitment, so I might go with A Doll a Week and one of the monthly prompt lists if it seems like a good idea.
  4. Continue building relationships within the doll hobby
    • I feel that while I've been building strong relationships with certain people that I've let others grow weak. Growing apart is a natural process, but I may have helped it along in a few cases and I want to remedy that as best I can.
    • As I find more people to chat with, I've realized that just striking up a conversation can be the best way to start a friendship so I plan to reach out to some people in the new year. It might take a while as I'm quite an anxious person, but I'm definitely going to try!
  5. Get organized! (This is not as small and concrete as I'd like, but it's an ongoing process that needs to continue)
    • Plan out my days and figure out where I can improve my time management
    • Organize all my fabric, unfinished projects, and other supplies
    • Finding a better way to display my dolls
    • Continue upgrading my accounting and auditing methods
    • Set aside time every day for exercising and eating properly - and actually do it!
    • Revamp and streamline my web-presence
I have a lot of ideas for things in 2016 that I'd like to see come to fruition so some major changes will need to take place in order to make all that happen.

Has anyone else made any resolutions for this year?

    Saturday, 26 December 2015

    20-ish Questions - Round One

    Bella - Fairyland Minifee Rheia

    Hola everyone!

    Over on the BJD Worldbuilders page on Facebook, I posted a list of random questions designed to get people thinking more deeply about their characters. It was meant to get creators out of their comfort zones and learning about their characters in ways that might never be relevant to the main story, but are nonetheless important for development and realistic portrayal.

    Be warned, these questions are rather odd, and some require fairly in-depth answers: it took me a few days to answer them all, even though the questions themselves were written in less than an hour. I've posted the blank version here for anyone who wants to try it out. If you fill it out, send me a link, I'd love to read it!

    Mine is filled out for all four of my character dolls: Mali (Minifee Shushu), Tobi (Unoa Lusis), Bella (Minifee Rheia), and Jonas (Customhouse Bisou Ai Bonbon). It's somewhat harder to follow, but I like how easy it is to see the contrasts between them all as you read through their separate answers.

    If you'd like to read it, please click here: [link], and if you have any more questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you!

    Monday, 14 December 2015

    Trade with Rikkistar/Fleece + Feather

    A little while ago Rikkistar of Fleece + Feather Studios contacted me about doing a trade with her. She gave me carte blanche to make an outfit for one of her dolls. It was a tough decision, but I ended up making some pieces for her doll Xoxo. She's a very edgy but fashionable character, so I was excited to make something for her with my collection of sparkly fabrics. Rikkistar wanted the outfit to be a surprise, but since she's received it I think I'm safe to share photos. ;)

    inEssence Creations - Minifee Pleather Pants

    For the first top, I tried out a new pattern that I've been working on for a while. It looks great in the sparkle fabric, but didn't come out quite how I wanted. None of my photos came out well, but you can see Rikkistar's photo of it here: (link). She's a master of accessories! I'll be trying it out again at some point, but still work to do.

    The second piece was a pair of pleather pants. The ones I sent were v.2 since this is yet another new pattern, but I'm really happy with them. :) Hoping I can find more fabric like this, it's a total dream to use. I've had it for about 4 years and got it out of a remnants bin, so not quite sure where to start, but I'll keep looking!

    It took me a bit longer than I wanted because my wrist started hurting again (stupid thing) and new patterns always take longer than I think, but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.

    inEssence Creations - Minifee Outfit

    Because I wasn't entirely satisfied with the indigo top, I made one of my gathered halter tops as well in a fun 'dragon skin' fabric because Xoxo is meant to be a dragon hunter. It looks like Rikkistar's Nanuri (Dragon) has claimed this top, so I'm wishing I'd thought to make it in one of her colours instead. Maybe next time.

    To finish off the look, I made a bright red butterfly cardigan. I think it matches really well and gives a pop of colour.

    Playing with textures is one of my favourite things with sewing, so I tried very hard to pick ones that complimented each other well and could be easily mixed and matched while still feeling balanced. I'm hoping to get a chance to work with more textures in the future.

    inEssence Creations - Minifee Halter Top
    The 'dragon skin' top with lovely gold details.

    In exchange for the outfit, Rikkistar made me a cute little pudgy raccoon! This little one is going to 'belong' (as much as a wild animal can :p) to Bella - I have a lot of plans for her that I hope to be able to make happen in 2016.

    The Fleece + Feather photos are way better than any I've taken yet (and probably any I will take /skillz), so I asked to share one so you can see tiny raccoon in her proper glory. :D

    Fleece + Feather Studios - needlefelted raccoon

    I love doing trades because they give me a chance to make things I don't usually get to make, and push my boundaries with sewing. They can also be really stressful because I worry about ensuring I'm living up to people's expectations. I hope to be able to do more trades in the future, but I think I need a bit of a break in between. ;)

    Friday, 4 December 2015

    Etsy Update: December 6th

    Hello everyone~!

    Just a heads up, the probably last Etsy update of the year is going to be on Sunday December 6th at approximately 11:30am (Toronto time).

    I've got a whole bunch Minifee skirts ready for everyone, including restocks of each Sumomo colourway (there is two of each colour) as well as a bunch of one-off skirts in some new fabrics. One of the skirts is in a new Liberty Tana Lawn fabric that I picked up in NYC. I'm having a REALLY hard time letting it go - should hang it up on my wall so I can look at it all the time. ;)

    Commission slots are coming in the new year, but will be pretty limited, but I've also got something new in mind to try out, so keep an eye out for lots of new stuff in early 2016! :)