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!

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.

Hello there…

It feels like it’s been forever since I have had the time and energy to write a post for the blog. The good news is that I am feeling better for the first time in months. While at the moment I don’t have a lot of new content to share (other than pics of new dolls and stuff like that) I hope you all will roll with it until I get things back into production here…

While I mostly plan on posting about the two rooms etc/Dioramas I am beginning to work on (How long it will take me is up in the air since one is a studio apartment and the other is the long-awaited cafe.) I am also planning to post some customs I want to work on, and some experiments that I hope to do in the next couple of months. And yes, chances are I’ll be including some profiles for the characters of the Quinlan Chronicles other than those associated with the university life. 🙂 So stay tuned!

Welcome back, Welcome baaaaack

It’s the same old blog that we laughed about…

Seriously, folks. I’m back. Although I may not (definitely) be batting 100 or 1000 I am at least functioning & feeling well enough to sink my claws back into this hobby of mine.

Let’s be clear: I love 1:6 and suspect I will until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil (or have a personality transplant. Whichever happens first) 😉

It is embarrassing to admit that since my last post in September I have done absolutely nothing with my dolls, dioramas, props or sewing. It probably shouldn’t embarrass me–I mean I suffer from clinical depression and have periods like this throughout my life that this happens. With pretty much everything. I hope that anyone who reads this blog can understand and forgive me for being a bad blogger! Please?

While I am on the uptick I still need to be careful about how much/many projects I take on and commit to at one time. For me it’s easy to rush headlong into allllllll the things I could be, want to be, and should be doing. But I’ve just gotten my equilibrium back and I want to stay as level and balanced as I can for the sake of myself and my family and friends.  SO I am going to spend the next month (the rest of this month, and half of January 2016 playing with my dolls and action figures. It has been such a long time since I’ve done that in any way, that I need to.

I want to sit and re-dress them.
Some of my dolls don’t even have “real” (as in assigned) names yet. I want to become familiar with those so I can cast them as characters in the Quinlan Chronicles (which is going to start shooting in 2016, I swear!).
Maybe make a shirt or two for one that needs a certain style. I can’t even remember the last time I sewed something for a doll?
Take photos of them. I mean, basically I want to do what everyone else does! 😉
I just want to take some time to enjoy them.

So just a heads up that the next month of posts may be mostly be showing photos of my dolls and things I am doing for (or to) them. Maybe I will do a little customizing, maybe I won’t. Either way I plan on allowing myself to have a little bit of fun with 1/6 scale and go from there.

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.

NDR: Being honest isn’t always easy…

It really isn’t when it comes to me discussing how my life is going and more importantly, my depression. No one really wants to talk about it. And I don’t in general like to fill my blog or tweets or flickr up with talking about it–because ultimately I’m on my own with it.

It isn’t so much that I hide it–I’m very honest about having it and suffering with it from my teens onward but that when I hit patches I can go one of 2 ways: I focus on only one thing or interest and try to use that to push through until I can get to a more tolerable spot mentally and emotionally OR 2) I try to carry on as usual and keep hoping that it will improve or I will encounter something that makes me feel some kind of interest or whatever to help me drag my psyche out of the inertia it ends up trapped by. Or 3) I have a major depressive episode and I see a doctor and either get put on meds or am hospitalized.

So. Yes. I have been suffering.
Because I couldn’t make #1 happen and #2 wasn’t helping.
Nothing I did was making a difference.
I don’t think I realized exactly how bad it’s been the last 6 or 7 months.
Bad. Unpleasant. Fatiguing. Pointless. Useless.
Those words don’t really cover it.
I contemplated alternatives. I thought about what the world, my cats and my husband would have to deal with if I wasn’t around. I have been a “downer” and a “bummer”. And even though I knew it I could not seem to do anything to change it. I thought a lot of it was related to the severe insomnia I suffer from. My doctor insisted that I was suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder but she wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. I was told it was all anxiety related. Which of course made me feel worse. I have been hospitalized for depression in the past and I know enough about myself to know what I’m experiencing.

The last time I saw my doctor mentioned that it was worse and that things were getting much more difficult to cope with and that the depression was making my life pretty much not worth the while to live.
That sounds more dramatic than it was.
It has just been the case that doing anything took so much more effort than I had. Interacting with people was about putting on a smiley face and then crying when I got home. All the things I took joy in — my dolls, my action figures, my photography all were too much for me to do or consider. It was picking up a craft knife and not thinking about crafting.

So about two months ago she prescribed 2 different things for me: 1 is an anti anxiety med and the other is a drug that is supposed to help me to sleep and also, have the added use of being efficacious as an antidepressant.

Anyway, I’ve been taking them and I am finally starting to feel closer to how I used to feel, back when my depression was relatively controlled.
And you know what?
I am starting to “play” with my dolls again!
I can feel the twinges of wanting to write scripts for them again. And to work on diorama projects that have been languishing half-begun or still stuck in planning stages.
I don’t feel good. But I feel better. And the fact that I am able to start looking at this stuff again without feeling guilty or like a failure must be a good thing.
I’ll update more soon.
Thanks 🙂

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