Spring Song Poppy gets a Make Over

I worked on her last week and over the weekend and while she’s come out ok I’m not particularly satisfied with how she came out. I feel she shows how rusty my repainting skills have become, but with that in mind I am just going to have to do more of them to get back into practice.

So. This is what she looked like before I started:
Not really inspiring by way of Poppy…But I picked her head up relatively cheaply last year and added her to my pile of “someday” projects.
Fast forward and this is how she looks now:
3 (2)

1 (2)

2 (2)

After I repainted her I decided that maybe she would be more appealing on the NuFace 2.0 body–so I popped her head on it and ta-da! It fits and it seems to fit her personality.

I was going to try to trade her or sell her but now I am not so sure because I am liking the vibe she’s giving off. But then, if someone offered me one of the other dolls I want I would trade her off in a heartbeat!

Ok that’s it for today’s post!




Like riding a bicycle…?

One of my friends told me the other day that I have nothing to worry about when it comes to my ability to repaint dolls. He said it’s just like riding a bicycle–you’ll remember how to do it once you start doing it again.

I’m not sure that I agree.
Yes, I’ve picked up the brushes, and found them all shot to hell (note to self: do not attempt to repaint if your brushes are old. No matter what the results will be disappointing.)

I decided that I was going to touch up the paint apps on Avery (Decorum Eugenia). Unfortunately it all went tits up and she now has no face. I kept struggling and my friend Nat said to stop and wait until I could pick up some new brushes. It was hard for me to stop but I knew she was right. I picked up brushes the next day but didn’t immediately try the repainting again.

What I did instead was futz around with Springsong Poppy’s head and try to make her look like she has a little more personality. I’m afraid I may have made her look like she fell into the make-up pot. Uh huh.

And then I decided that I would see what I could do with Never Ordinary Lilith’s head. The hard lines of her blue eye make up really bothered me and I was not loving her at all. Note: I have also lost a lot of manual skill in removing paint :S so that didn’t go as planned. But funnily enough I actually like her more now. So I’ll be sure to take a photo of her and Springsong Poppy on sunday. I have an event this Saturday and I have to put my dolls aside and prep for that and do some rush stuff for it that I have been putting off.

Talk to you all later!

Falling in love again…Rare Find Isha gets a second chance!

For those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long while you’ll recognize my Isha.  She was a prize that I won in 2007 from the Doll Diva’s board when they held a raffle.

I got around to repainting and re-rooting the front of her head in 2009.

Not the best repaint I’d ever done but somehow it still seems “right” for her so she never ended up with a second repaint.

She did however end up with a swapped body… She started out on the 2nd or 3rd generation Fashion Royalty body and it was floppy and annoying as all hell. Could barely hold a pose long enough for me to shoot it with the camera! I hated taking photos of her because of it–so it was important for me to find her a body donor. Finding another body to match her was difficult (especially since she wasn’t even a great match with her original body). My good friend Will gave me a hot toys hispanic female body for her to use.

The plus side was it was definitely more articulated than her original but it was hard to find clothes to fit in a way  I liked and at that time I didn’t much feel like sewing for her…so she got relegated to a box and that was it. Every time I went to re-dress my dolls my eyes would stick on her and I’d feel guilty that such a pretty doll wasn’t getting fair treatment and being photographed and really cast with a good role in the Quinlan Chronicles.

What to do? What could I do?

Funnily enough, I was going through my collection this morning with an eye to plan some repaints and sell off some dolls I don’t play with—when I realized that Isha’s body was a really good match for Moonlight and Kisses Darla Daley’s! Oh I am happy about that! 🙂 and then I figured that I might as well do body mods on he since  want to use her a lot in the future and being able to pop her head off for dressing and jewelry application is a good thing! And an expanded range of motion at the chest join is super helpful too in posing.

You know….I just couldn’t leave her eyes (or eyebrows) alone. I felt this compulsion to repaint them…I don’t think she came out too badly considering how very long it’s been since I did any repainting.

So here she is now:


and two more pics just because! 🙂



Next I need to find a new name that suits her….


Dolls, dolls dolls!

Some thoughts on my collecting…

Let’s be clear, I’m not one of those doll collectors who have a closet full of dolls, dolls on shelves, boxed dolls on display and only a very few that ever escape from the box. Nope. not me. I don’t keep any doll BNIB unless I have bought it for someone else as a gift, and then I know it’s gotta go.

That’s not to say that I don’t have a great deal of dolls. I do (in my opinion). I consider it a case of I have 2 distinctly separate collections. One consists of my Volks and Japanese 1/6 dolls. I know all of them and they are all kept stored in a large sterilite box to keep them from getting damaged, etc. They’re “old friends” and except for a few culls that is now a static collection (since Volks no longer produces 27cm dolls and parts). The number is about 45 dolls in total.

I have about 10 male action figures on either Hot Toys bodies or on the various clone bodies that are out there. In the future I’d like to add a few more since my collection is skewed heavily toward being femme-centric.

So let me talk about the fashion dolls.
When I first got started in the hobby of collecting/customizing dolls I started with Barbies. Because they were easy to get, easy to customize and easy to sell on ebay. I really hated the fact that they had such poor articulation — the bend and click knees, no wrist joints, etc. When someone introduced me to Volks dolls it was a revelation for me that there could be dolls with great range of motion. The difficult thing with them at the time was seeing past all the joints, the bodies looked so strange compared to the Barbies I was used to. But I got used to it and they became my faves. Then Volks stopped making them and I started to flounder.

My friend Will told me about Takara Cool girls action figures. They offered a better ROM than barbies but they were beefy bodies with a weird joint at the crotch that made them appear to have a *package*. Nice if you put them in skirts, or anything that didn’t hug it. But not the ideal (for me).

Fashion royalty came along and at first IMO they were glorified Barbies with a much higher price tag. I didn’t see the point since they were like silkstone barbies–pretty but too limited for my tastes. Then they started to improve. And improve some more. And even more.
Nowadays Fashion Royalty are the dolls that I collect the most of.

Here are some reasons why:
The various headsculpts are the biggest draw for me. There is a lot of variety.
They tie in first place with the hot toys female headsculpts, but because I dislike their (HT) current bodies and haven’t yet had the $$ to lay out for some of the steel skeleton’d phicen dolls (which have some interesting face sculpts too)to try out as a character.

The next reason is because although their bodies started out crappy they have been steadily evolving into a better body for my purposes in shooting photostories. They still need me to make modifications on them, but I can cope with that especially when I see them creating bodies that are completely modular and prime for body part swapping.

So how many FR dolls do I have in my collection?
(I’m clumping poppy parker dolls & Color Infusion in with it since they’re made by the same co.)
It would be embarrasing to say I don’t know. Wouldn’t it? ;P
Seriously though, I need to start taking headshots of them so that I have a visual roster of them and what characters I have (or am) casting them as. I often buy my dolls 2nd hand or just their heads. When it comes to Fashion Royalty & Poppy dolls I have more heads than bodies.
I am going to finally admit it now that I have completely given up on Volks reviving their 1/6 line and am now a confirmed collector of Fashion Royalty, Nu Face and Poppy Parker dolls. I make them into my own characters, but yea, for now they are my go to dolls (and I make allowances for their limitations).

Anyway, just thought I’d share that.

Meet Emerson Appleton: a Nightscape Giselle

emerson 6

Lovely, isn’t she?

Emerson Appleton
I feel very lucky to have her in my collection. She has (in my opinion) a completely different vibe than Giselle (customized Old is New Giselle). She seems softer and dreamier to me.

So what do I know about Emerson?
Let’s see….

Emerson Appleton is in her early 20’s. Her personality is moody and creative with highs and lows. Her fashion sense is “I’m gonna wear what I want and anyone who doesn’t like it can sit and spin!” (This is tempered at times by her Aunts’ strongly worded recommendations 😉


Emerson (or Em as she is often nicknamed by friends and family) is single and looking but she’s had her fair share (and more) of jerks and wonders why she bothers looking. She is looking for someone who’ll love her no matter where she ends up in life, and she wants someone who is sensitive and willing to understand her artistic nature…Really, she isn’t very good at the whole dating thing and usually ends up waiting by the phone for the text/im/call that never comes for a second date.

Emerson Appleton

She has a small family consisting of her two aunts: Arabella Appleton and Agnes Appleton-Weld, and an Uncle: Theo Appleton & his wife and their children (her cousins). Emerson’s parents are deceased and losing them as well as her sister has left a mark on her psyche. She dislikes her Uncle Theo’s wife, but tolerates her at holidays when necessary.

Sometimes Emerson is looking for a place to hide away from the world.


She is struggling as an artist and although she has had her work shown in a number of galleries and juried art shows she isn’t “there” yet and wonders if she will ever be truly successful in the way that Warhol or Pollock were. Emerson is a trust fund-baby and as such doesn’t have to worry much about where her rent money is coming from as long as she stays in line with the budget her Aunt Agnes (known as Aunt Ness) made for her.

Quick facts:
Emerson’s favorite colors: black,  blue, dark purple and crimson/mulberry colors.
Favorite clothing: Emerson likes to wear everything from raggy T & Jeans to formal wear.
Emerson’s background: Born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. To: Joseph and Sarah (nee Black) Appleton. She had a twin sister who went missing as an infant. Emerson completed a BA in fine arts at Yale and decided that getting an MFA would be a waste of her time when all she wants to do is make art. She spent a year after graduation traveling and then moved to Seattle for two years before she settled in NY, NY. where she has connections with some galleries and restaurants to hang and show her work.

She goes out evenings to see bands play, and spends a lot of time in the libraries and museums around town.

Modifying Fashion Royalty with Magnets?

Modifying Fashion Royalty with Magnets? Really?

Yes! 😀

Ok, so unlike a lot of people out there, I never bought one of IT’s dolls that came with the “quick switch” body. Initially it sounded like a good idea but apparently it wasn’t executed the best and I guess a bunch of folks ended up with bobble headed dolls. That was a shame IMO since that could have had some great applications. Oh well.

I mentioned to my friend Will that I’d collect more dolls if I had the option to swap their heads out–meaning that instead of buying multiples of the same doll (to have one character who could have dark hair, one with blonde, different hair styles etc.) I could get the heads only and allow each doll to have one or two main bodies and as many heads as that character would need.

Will mentioned that he did something like that for his action figure girl, Gillian. He has something like 10 different heads for her and each looks different for different roles (she’s an actress).

I asked him if he thought it would work for the Fashion Royalty girls and he said it should. So I gave it a go. It was a bit of trial and error but it worked.

And the verdict is I love it!
It is exactly what I wanted and will allow my characters to have different looks while using only one body! 😀

If anyone is interested I can post a tutorial about it this weekend…

Taking stock & changing focus

There are times when in the course of collecting–be it dolls, books, antiques or anything else–that you find your focus or interest is changing. You notice that it’s trained on a different area than it was when you first started.

I am dealing with this now. And I have been struggling to accept it.

When I first started really collecting dolls (I don’t count my forays into making OOAK barbies as part of my collecting since I never kept any of them.) I was introduced to Volks 27cm Dollfies and Volks Super Dollfies (the original japanese ball jointed resin dolls). I owned both and then sold my SDs to concentrate on the 27cm/ 1:6 scale Volks. Volks appealed to me because they were fantastically poseable. They looked kind of weird to my eyes at the time because of the multitude of joints that they had. But I grew to love them and they became the main focus of my collection from 2000 to 2015.

For the record I’m not a big “collector” type.

My dolls & action figures get a lot of use. They aren’t shelf-sitters, or display models.
I play with them. I re-dress them. I photograph them. I write scripts for them…
I don’t have any display cases filled with 1/6 figures.
I don’t have a single figure that is BNIB or NRFB.

In time my collection expanded to include Takara Cool Girls, Integrity’s Fashion Royalty dolls as well as Takara Blythe. Each had pros & cons about them and none of them could knock the Volks out of #1 spot. Those others I would buy and sell according to how my interests waxed and waned. But never the Volks. I always kept them and kept an eye out for more of them. I started adding more CG & female action figures and Fashion Royalty dolls to my collection. It was interesting to see how they changed through the years almost all of them for the better.

One of the big things to realize about my collecting is that I collect the dolls and action figures because I want them to be characters in photostories. This matters because I want to be able to use _all_ of my dolls in my photostories–without any of them (except the Blythes) looking strange or out of place. My compromise with that was to think of the Volks as mostly younger/students for the University and everyone else fell under Non-University people. Not the ideal solution but I was willing to go with it, you know?

When Volks discontinued their 1/6 dollfie line I was gutted. I couldn’t see where that left me. None of the others could compare to their range of motion or articulation. But if there weren’t any more of them being made then I could no longer create new characters using them. Which made me feel lost.

What was I going to do?

I remained in denial for a long time. I kept hearing rumors that Volks was re-tooling their 27cm/1:6 line and that they would be releasing more dolls. I held onto that like a lifesaver. Because if they stopped making them then I had to deal with another issue: my Volks collection was anime style and was at odds with my action figures and fashion dolls–both of which were considerably less stylized.

So over the last year or so I have slowly started coming to terms with the fact that I need to put the Volks to rest. I am thinning out the majority of my collection and plan on keeping about 18-20 of them. The rest will go up for sale and find new homes and maybe collectors who don’t feel the same way I do about the fact that they are no longer available.

My newer focus is on action figures (both male and female) and fashion royalty dolls. At least with a bit of tweaking they can all work together as a cast–and that’s important for me.

I feel melancholy as I write this, knowing that I am admitting that I have to step up and embrace the change even though I don’t particularly want to.

I’ll blog again soon–and I promise it will be more upbeat.

Does Aristocratic Agnes need a Tweak or Two?

Agnes is a gorgeous doll. I feel very lucky to have her. I asked myself, “How can you see this and not want to have her in your collection?” So she was a no-brainer. It was difficult to scrape up the $$ for her but I managed it (selling parts of my collection) and I am glad I did!
This is her default appearance:(photos property of Integrity Toys)


She’s lovely, right? Yes.
I love her color combinations (I’m not usually a huge fan of blonde dolls) but this one works for me. And for the personality I think she will have in my photostories. That said, IMO she needs a little tweaking. Look at her eyes:


She is suffering from Upward Eyes Syndrome — that thing that makes the doll look like she is either rolling her eyes or getting ready to pass out. It is a personal pet peeve of mine and it is something I compulsively fix on my dolls.

So her eyes need tweaking. Check.
What about her lip color? Her eyelashes/eyeliner?
I’m not sure about those yet. The lips are a much starker, brighter red than in the promo pics. It’s not a horrible red…just not my particular favorite. Part of me would like to do her lips in a soft rose/nude because I think it would look great with her coloring and also lend itself to being more casual. I’m not sure though…

Anyway, just wanted to share.

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