Friday, 22 January 2016

Photos from Spain

Realized today that apart from some Instagram snapshots, I'd never shared any photos from my trip to Spain back in April. I took Bella with me because her character is from Spain (mostly) so I was excited to get some photos of her there. :)

Bella - Fairyland Minifee Rheia
This was taken about 45ft from the ground on a little lookout.
The space to her right is just a straight wall down.

I picked up this little guitar in Segovia. Bella already had a guitar (originally bought for Mali before I realized she plays piano), but the tuning pegs are broken and I haven't managed to fix them yet, so when I saw this one in a shop window I just had to get it. :) Now Bella has a proper Spanish guitar. ;) I'll eventually switch the strings so that they look more like classical guitar strings, but they're fine for now.

Bella - Fairyland Minifee RheiaBella - Fairyland Minifee Rheia

One of my goals for this trip was to try forced perspective... I don't think I super got the hang of it (Bella wasn't very stable and I hadn't brought a stand, so I was being really cautious), but some of them are pretty close. :)

Bella - Fairyland Minifee Rheia

The Merida aqueducts are amazing. Beyond amazing. The town itself is so-so (except for this one restaurant I forgot to write down the name of DX), but man, they are worth a trip.

This is the first spot I really tried out the technique on purpose. It's... okay? lol I was very nervous because this is in a public park and there were so many people wandering around. The only place I could actually see the aqueducts was from the path, so the path it was. :p

An elderly man stop to chat with me about it all... Unfortunately he was talking in really fast Spanish so I only caught about every third word. :/ Oops.

I haven't edited many of the non-doll photos from the trip, but when I do, they might pop up in a new post. :) Hope everyone is doing well!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Custom Orders Now Open!

Hey everyone! Custom orders are now open in my shop [link]. There are a few spots for butterfly cardigans, halter tops and dresses, and shorts and pants for Minifee - and even more fabrics than last time (I might have a bit of a problem ^^;). Go check it out! :)

ETA 3:20pm: Looks like there may have been a problem with DNS redirects but it should be fixed now. I've updated a bunch of links just in case.

ETA 10:30pm: Apparently today is cursed, Storenvy has been having problems too. If you've had any trouble trying to order things today, please message me and I can take your commission directly. I'm so sorry for any inconveniences. <3

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Liebster Tag: Part 2 - Asking Questions and Recommending Things

Time for Part 2 of Musume's tag [for Part 1, click here]. :) As mentioned last time, I'm fudging the rules a bit, but here are my 11 questions (+bonus thing) for anyone who would like to answer them, as well as some awesome people you should really check out.

  1. What do you feel your biggest dolly mistake has been since you joined the hobby?
  2. What is your favourite prop, accessory, or piece of clothing you have for your dolls?
  3. Is there something in face sculpts that continually draws you in? (e.g. pouty lips or big noses)
  4. Do you generally choose your doll's styling before or after they arrive?
  5. Is there something regarding dolls you wish you knew how to do? (e.g. sewing, face-ups, etc.)
  6. What is the story behind your doll-media username?
  7. What is something you wish was a bigger part of the doll hobby [in your area, if relevant]?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve in the doll hobby? 
  9. Who are your three biggest inspirations when it comes to dolls? (They don't have to be doll people)
  10. Have you ever bought a doll or [expensive] outfit/accessory on impulse? How did that turn out?
  11. The apocalypse has come and you can only save ONE of your dolls. Which one do you pick? (Seriously. Only one, none of this 'I can't possibly choose' nonesense).
I'd also like to re-point people to my 20-ish Questions doll character questionnaire. It's a really in-depth set of random questions to get you thinking about your characters in new ways. You can find it here: [link].

Even though there are tonnes of people I'd like to recommend you check out, I'll stick to the 11 people limit from the tag since I'm already fussing with it. Most of these people have presences on other sites, but I'm just going to link the places where I follow them most. I'm going to leave another link for Musume up here, because she was the one who tagged me, definitely check her out - she does really useful and interesting interviews and is also a fellow hand-sewer who makes some really stylish stuff!

RECOMMENDATIONS: (in no particular order)
  1. Revilis (Flickr) - Her photography has so much movement and emotion in it, something that I would love to learn how to do.
  2. Yenna (DeviantART/personal site) - Yenna is a pretty big presence in doll photography. Even if you don't recognize her name, you'll likely recognize some of her photos. She does atmosphere like nobody else (except maybe Mizya, who I'll link too, because they do a lot of things together). They are also both excellent seamstresses and have made some really beautiful and inventive outfits.
  3. Lightly Battered (Flickr) - I only recently discovered Lightly Battered's photography, but immediately went through her entire Flickr stream. She does amazing photostories filled with so much detail. I really want to be able to do this some day. Have to start practicing, she is a master!
  4. Roterwolkenvogl (Flickr) - Roterwolkenvogl has some of the most intricate outfits for her characters, and always has such life-like posing. Her stories are also really fun to read - SO MANY CHARACTERS! @.@
  5. Denaliwind (Youtube/Instagram) - Alicia is, I think, one of the gems of the doll hobby. She's incredibly sweet and does really lovely face-ups (this Shushu is a personal favourite), but she also has two storylines that have absolutely captivated me. Even though I was a bit sad to see two characters switch over from their original roles, I still wait impatiently for every little bit of news.
  6. Antique Lilac (personal site) - I really hope this is old news for everyone, but if not, get yourself over to Martha's website. She takes really wonderful photographs of both large and small dolls, and makes some really beautiful outfits. I'm generally more partial to her larger scale outfits, but her little ones have some gorgeous dresses. Also, free tutorials.
  7. Emmr (Flickr) - Emma's been doing a few of the doll-a-day challenges the last few years and her photography just keeps getting better. She's excellent with posing and character interactions. AND! she owns my most favourite MNF Rena of all time. :)
  8. Inkyghosts (Flickr/Instagram) - Chanel is no only a wonderful photographer, but she styles her dolls just flawlessly. They always look amazing, and their characters are intricate and fascinating. Her Folklore is one of my favourite MNF ever - and she's also a wonderful artist as well!
  9. Wiskebjd (Instagram/Youtube) - Wiske and I have become quite good friends over the last year and it's been wonderful to see her doll family grow and develop. She also started a Youtube channel recently where you can keep up with her massive dolly projects.
  10. underthefern (Instagram) - Carolina is one of an ever-increasing list of Spanish doll artists that I need to keep an eye on. I first found her through her art Instagram, where she posts the most beautiful drawings, but she's recently started a dolly-focused account and I simply cannot get enough of her delicate outfits.
  11. RenMaaru (Flickr) - RenMaaru is a big sewing inspiration for me, I love everything she makes. Her newest characters also have a really interesting backstory that's been unfolding - definitely check her out.
*Rikkistar was originally on my list, but because Musume linked to her too, I figured I should pick someone else. ;P **
** This is totally not a ploy to get more people on the list... what are you talking about!? >.> <.< >.>

ETA: Because I am a forgetful jerk, I need to point you to starsarerobots (Flickr/Instagram/personal site), because she is not only an awesome photographer, and person in general, but also she's amazing at noticing when my shop is doing weird things or I've messed up a link. So go look at her photos because I <3 her and she has pretty colourful lovelies. I wish I had enough money to pay her to take sales photos for me. :p

Monday, 11 January 2016

Liebster Tag: Part 1 - Answering Questions

I would like to thank the wonderful Musume of My Dolly Adventures for tagging me in this (check out her blog for interviews with awesome dolly people!!). I'll be a horrible person, and not actually tag anyone because I don't follow many doll blogs - and precious few with not many followers (also I am a chicken and too scared to contact some of these people), but I will include some links at the bottom to a bunch of people I think you should check out, if you're not already, and some questions to fill out for anyone interested, so hopefully that cancels out.  ^^;

  1. Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog.
  2. Post the award image on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  5. Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. List these rules in your post. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them your post.
  1. Have you learned any craft because of the hobby?
  2. Honestly... just going by 'learned' as an absolute, not really? I dabbled in so many things before dolls that I haven't really taken any up from scratch. I have, however, improved immensely at quite a few. I've gotten far better at sewing because of dolls, and actually learned to enjoy it (handsewing ftw!), as well as clay stuff, dioramas, and doll painting. I've effectively dropped 2D art at the moment though, and really want to get back into it in 2016. Pencil drawings used to be a big part of my life but have been getting less and less frequent since I got into dolls.
  3. Have you gotten a doll you thought you would never get?
  4. Umm... well. I never really thought I would end up with a Unoa. I'd spent a long time researching alternate sculpts until Tobi popped up on the marketplace. I also never expected to get a LittleFee. It had been on my list for a far future thing, just to try out sewing for that size, but I didn't think it would actually happen. I got very lucky with both of them.
  5. Do you have a preference for any BJD size in particular?
  6. Slim mini is my favourite size. They're big enough to have a presence but small enough they're not super heavy or taking up massive amounts of space. The only thing I dislike about this size is the lack of props and shoes and such available. It's the one thing that brings me back to pining over SDs and tinies.
  7. Do you collect any other type of doll besides BJDs?
  8. I have a little Azone Picco Neemo, but she's meant to be my Unoa's BJD, so I don't know if that counts. I'm more of a plush collecting kind of person.
  9. Have you ever "re-shelled" a character?
  10. Ehm.... yes and no? When Customhouse was doing their manic discount sales my friend wanted to order one, so I bought a Junior Ai Daria with her to offset some of the costs. I figured I could settle and make her Tobi but really expected it was not going to work - and it didn't. I painted her and made clothes and stuff in an attempt to force it, but she was never 'Tobi'. She got sold within a couple weeks after my friend decided she didn't actually want the other doll.
  11. What calls your attention first: the head sculpts or the body sculpts?
  12. Head sculpts for sure. I only really pay attention to bodies when I'm considering buying one, or if someone specifically points it out to me.
  13. Do you "research" the hobby? (find new releases, read reviews, find info about brands...)
  14. Yep! All the time. Musume's blog is great, and I get a lot of info on new Fairyland, Merrydollround, Iplehouse, Soom and many artist doll releases and WIPs through Instagram. Since the big DoA migration I've been pretty far out of the loop for other companies. :( When considering a new doll, I research intensely before making any decisions - owner photos, reviews, videos, hybrids, seeing them in person when possible, etc. Dropping so much money on a doll is pretty nerve-wracking so I'm always very careful before I make the final decision.
  15. Do your dolls have a back story?
  16. The four dolls I've expressly purchased (and my Picco Neemo, sort of) have a backstory. I've been working on it for a few years and the pieces are just starting to fall into place. Hopefully I can start sharing it properly soon! The other two (LittleFee Chloe, and MaskcatDoll Belina) have a sort of... personality? that makes me gravitate toward certain styles, and feel odd dressing them in certain things but no backstory or specific character.
  17. How do you take photos of your dolls: go outside, prepare a big setup, or just snap in any place?
  18. Outside is where my favourite photos are generally taken, but it gets really cold here, and some of my dolls aren't the best posers (even with stands) so I tend to stay inside more than I should. The last while I've been really lazy with photos and just take them wherever, or in front of my little corkboard set up where I do sales photos. In 2014 I was taking a lot using computer backgrounds and they came out really well. My favourite photo of Mali was taken like that. But we've since moved the computer and this isn't possible anymore (my laptop screen isn't big enough). I'm hoping to get a few big photo sets done in 2016 so maybe I can move into the 'prepare a big set up' camp soon. I'd love to be able to pull off some of the things Revilis and Lightly Battered do.
  19. Which is your main avenue to enjoy the hobby? Blogs, videos, forums, social sites?
  20. Most of my enjoyment comes from making things for myself, which is quite disconnected from the social parts of the hobby. But otherwise, I think it comes from interacting directly with other people in the dolly world. Looking at beautiful photos and projects on Instagram, Flickr, and blogs is great, but it's not the same as having a real conversation with a real person.
  21. Have you done doll cosplay?
  22. Yes indeed! Tobi dressed up as San from Princess Mononoke for DN 2014. The outdoor photos are hiding in this album if you want to see: [link]. We also attempted a Vanille cosplay before that, but ran out of time to finish it. I hope one day to try again and do Vanille, Fang, and Lightning together, but we'll see. :) Jonas also needs to be something cute someday. ;)
inEssence Creations - Minifee Princess Mononoke Cosplay

And there you have it. ;P

In addition to the questions, I said I was going to add my own questions and some recommendations for people to check out... but I think I'll put that in a follow-up post because this is quite long already.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The White Dress

I posted a WIP photo of a few items on Instagram just before the holidays and one of the dresses in the photo seemed to draw everyone's attention. At the time I figured this was just because it was basically the only thing you could actually tell what it was. :p But after finishing it and taking a bunch of photos, I'm not so sure anymore. It has a sort of... magnetism and presence to it that I haven't felt in quite a while.

All of the photos of it turned out perfectly, which is really, really unusual for me (it's got 8 potential sales photos and 3 cute portrait shots, where normally 4 total is a struggle!), and I don't know... it's just. Something. :)

inEssence Creations - 'The White Dress' Minifee Halter Tank DressinEssence Creations - 'The White Dress' Minifee Halter Tank Dress

I don't have much of this fabric left, maybe enough for one or two more dresses (though I'll check the store and see if they have any in stock), so it's likely that this will be a limited item. I do, however have a bunch of other white fabrics from my grandmother and great grandmother that I've squirrelled away - so there will probably be more 'the white dresses' to come. :)

Friday, 1 January 2016

Commissions Open: Jan 16th at 11:30am EST!

Despite a few hiccups along the way, my wrists are finally feeling well enough that I feel comfortable taking on commissions again. I do want to make everyone aware that there is the possibility of them taking longer than usual if my wrists decide to prove me wrong. 3-4 weeks is a definite possibility, so please keep that in mind before ordering.

Commission slots will go live January 16 at 11:30am EST (Toronto time) on my custom shop (link)
They will not be available on Etsy.

How it works: I have a few slots for specific items. You can order as many things as you want within this limit, but once the limit is reached that's it for the current round of commissions. You can see what is available here: (link), but not the limits, so if there's something you want snatch it quick, because the larger variety of items being offered means the limits are much smaller.

This time around I'll have a few Minifee items from my Subtle Memory Collection available again: Skirts, Shorts, and Cardigans and a very small stock of Halter Tops and Dresses.

Additionally, I will be offering some things from my new collection: Tempest. Tempest is still very new and most of the items are still being tested, but I'm very excited to bring you this little intro.

For anyone who has been watching my Etsy store, this will be old news, but I've been working hard to perfect my pants patterns and will be offering a few custom slots for Minifee Cotton Pants in M-Line and A-Line sizes.

Here are some of the prototypes I've made to get you thinking:

inEssence Creations - Minifee Cotton Pants
Minifee Cotton Pants in Adelaide
inEssence Creations - Minifee Cotton Pants
Minifee Cotton Pants in Aurora - Teal
inEssence Creations - Minifee Cotton Pants
Minifee Cotton Pants in Minicity
inEssence Creations - Minifee Cotton Pants
Minifee Cotton Pants in Bastas