A Reason to Save

As of late, the Smart Dolls by Danny Choo have been occupying my mind. Currently, Smart Doll offers a core line of characters in 1/3 scale, however, the Smart Doll really caught my attention when I saw that they were working on a 1/6 scale doll to come out this winter.5ab20f156de5039f153baa480e2e39c0

There are a few reasons why I’ve been obsessing with Smart Dolls

  • They aren’t strung. Instead, they have an internal skeleton

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  • They are made of vinyl, and not resin. Vinyl seems sturdier than resin (this might be a misconception of mine though).
  • The core dolls are based off of characters, with names and backstories, and a signature look (which could be changed of course to base the doll off of an OC to the owner’s desire). In a way, I find this part similar to Blythe dolls in that once I choose a doll/character, I can tweak the doll to suit my aesthetics, whether it’s by changing her hair, changing her eyes, or dressing her a certain way. I already know that I’m not the faceup master, so having a cute default face (like a stock face for the Blythe doll) is a plus.
  • The 1/6 scale is so tempting because of the possibility that I might be able to share wardrobes between my blythe dolls and whatever Smart Doll I add to my family. But… the more I look at the 1/3 scale dolls, the more I wonder whether I wouldn’t enjoy a big poseable doll also!

I hope to get a smart doll by the end of this year (whether it’s the 1/6 scale or the 1/3 scale, time will tell). Actually, I’m half hoping that this Smart doll obsession is a phase XD. They are mighty expensive.

Crocheting and Knitting

I did a little bit of both this weekend. I haven’t been crafting with yarn every other day (like I normally do) for about 1.5 weeks, and part of me was afraid I’d forget how to knit. I decided to try a knitted Blythe hat instead of a sweater, like I originally planned, because I figured it might be easier. I’m also in the mood to do nothing but nap and marathon season 3 and 4 of ‘House of Cards,’ so I didn’t want to be overly ambitious.   I am not the biggest fan of this yarn, and I recall purchasing it because it was on clearance at Michaels. It’s a dark brown with shiny copper running through it, and it reminds me of Halloween. I’ve been using this yarn as my sacrificial test yarn for when I try a new pattern out. This pattern can be found on Here.

I haven’t knitted with more than two needles in a really long time (probably 11 years), and using five needles frustrated me from time to time. This project took me two days to finish – I had to put the knitting down and take breaks because it frustrates me that my progress was so slow (lol, counterintuitive!). 

I like the overall effect of knitting though, which is unfortunate… 😦 it feels like a trial getting through a project, unlike crochet projects. Knitted hats are more stretchy than crocheted hats, which have a bit of give but not anywhere near that of knitted hats. The stitches for knits are also smaller/daintier than crochet stitches.  I also tried out a new pattern for a slouchy beanie. The original pattern has instructions for many sizes, which made resizing it for Neo Blythes pretty easy. I used a different size hook and yarn weight than the pattern called for, and tweaked several of the rows in order to take the blythe’s head shape into consideration.

I really like how this hat looks on my Blythes, and I think I’ll make one for myself soon ^^.  I like the slouchy beanie look because I think it makes my girls look cool, as opposed to girly. … It doesn’t go with Reese’s dress though, but she’s just modeling it so NBD. The hat is listed on my etsy store ^^.  

Happy Monday folks!

Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale – 3DS Game review

This game had been on my radar long before it released, as I’m a huge fan of the Harvest Moon and Story of Season franchise. It is a crossover game between PopoloCrois and Story of Seasons, which I found intriguing. I’ve never played PopoloCrois, but based on the synopsis and screenshots, Return to PopoloCrois reminded me of Rune Factory, but with a stronger focus on the plot and characters. I think the game taps into two fanbases without alienating either. This is going to be a review from a person who has no knowledge of PopoloCrois, or attachment to the characters (I’m on Team HM and SoS). Also, I will try my darnest not to include spoilers. Story and Battling: Return to Popolocrois is a casual RPG with a farming sim option. You play as Pietro, the prince of PopoloCrois, and will travel and battle in a team of 4 for most of the game. It’s turn-based fighting is reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics, in that you move on a grid and have a range of movement and attack. I say it’s casual, not because of how light-hearted the plot or characters are, but because the monsters and bosses are so EASY. You can choose to play on 3 modes, and you can also choose the monster encounter frequency. I played on Prince (normal) the entire time, and had the frequency set to Low. Normally, I would worry that by doing this, I wouldn’t level enough to beat bosses, but that was never an issue. I never felt like I needed a strategy or to re-equipt my characters to play against a boss’s weakness. Another thing to note is that you can put your characters on Auto during battles (but from what I saw, the characters on auto pilot didn’t really make smart choices).

Farming: The farming in this game is also low-maintenance/key. Unlike in Harvest moon or Story of Seasons, doing any farm-related activity doesn’t lower health or energy. At first I wondered what the point of it was! There’s no accountability for wasting energy, time, or inefficiency! Similar to HM and SoS, your initial farming equipment sucks (a single plot at a time), but through questing and continual farming, you are offered upgrades (always nice). Farming is optional in this game, as it doesn’t have any effect on the progression of the game. Farming comes into play for completion of subquests and getting certain achievements. The HM/SoS fan in me gets a sense of satisfaction from upgrading my farm tools, getting the achievements, and completing my “notebook” of completed quests and discovered recipes, materials, and bugs.

Characters: As a HM/SOS fan, I was disappointed that the game didn’t carry over the character personalization and the potential bachelor/bachelorettes. As Pietro, you get to “cultivate” “friendships” (/air quotes) with girls blessed by the realm’s goddess. Honestly, to me it looked like Pietro was collecting a harem of swooning young women. I get that canonically Pietro has a love interest, but then why make the NPCs you can give gifts to ALL GIRLS? Regardless of this, most of the characters are pretty endearing. I chose to play the game with Japanese voice acting, because I prefer Japanese voice overs to the English (Always). The Japanese voice acting in the game is pretty good too! Post-game Playability: I completed the game at level 50, logging 30 hours. I consider this a short amount of time. There’s no real objectives post-game, and the player is meant to Take in the sights, enjoy the crowds, and bask in all the subtle joys of farm life”. I guess, at this point in the game, you would want to complete your note book of subquests, recipes, crops, ores, and bugs, explore the optional dungeons, collect souvenirs, befriend all of the ladies, and upgrade your tools to max level. Pros

  • Turn-based fighting, similar in style to the Final Fantasy Tactics games.
  • Encounter frequency and game difficulty can be adjusted.
  • Characters and graphics are charming. The characters are likeable, and the towns are fun to explore.
  • The optional aspects of the game (farming, subquests, collecting) are also fun and a great way to take a break from storyline progression. The subquests give NPCs more depth, and these activities often trigger achievements in the form of snail mail.

Cons

  • Low character customizability.
  • Missing key elements of Story of Seasons, such as the romance and farming as the primary source of story progression and money-making.
  • It’s a pretty short game. Also, there’s a lot of repetition in the main quests.

Despite how critical I sound in my review, I really enjoyed this game. I liked that I was able to play at my own pace, without feeling like the game was forcibly directing me toward story progression. The game is low-key, and I didn’t at any point have an “oops” moment (ex. In Final Fantasy VIII, I forgot to pick up a magazine in a flashback sequence, and so in the end of the game, I didn’t have one of my character’s best weapon available.). If you have a completionist/collector’s personality, you will definitely enjoy this game. The game kept me entertained, and I even played it outside of my commute and lunch times (my normal playing hours).

Also, I have to say, if this sounds like a game you’d like, I think you’d also like Recettear and Adventure Bar story.

Just wanted to share

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These awesome photos belong to my giveaway winner’s doll in her new duds. ^^ Gochemoche’s Cadence Majorette named Azure is wearing the mustard colored tights, black beret, and shrug from the giveaway. The whole outfit and scenery gives her a ‘roaming the countryside of France’ look. Seeing things I made on other people’s dolls makes me really happy and excited ^^.

I’ve been taking a break from crocheting and knitting the past couple of weeks, but I think I’ll get back into it in the next few days.

Can’t wait for the weekend!

Welcome Hujoo Nano Rabi


My Hujoo Nano Rabi came in the mail today! I ordered this doll from the Junkyspot on Friday afternoon, and received it today (so quick!).

I’ve decided that he will be a boy rabbit, kind of like a rabbit spirit/sprite. I need to find him a white collar shirt with a black ribbon neck tie. No pants for this rabbit though, a la Winnie the Pooh or Donald Duck. ^^ I’m planning on working on his faceup this weekend.

I ordered two pairs of glass eyes for him from eBay (many thanks to Chrissy of Kicky Resin), but since those are shipping from China I don’t expect them to get here for another few weeks.
Not my photos (I took them from the listing I purchased on eBay).They’re both 12mm eyes from the seller Mybayer2008. I wasn’t sure what color I should go for, so I purchased the two pairs that I liked most. I really like the netting pattern on the taupe eyes.

I’m very excited to see my rabbit on completion!

Plastic Fashion Fans

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From left to right: Finley, Reese, Marina, Rory, and Elowyn

I have a bit of a thing for my girls in Plastic Fashion dresses. Somewhere down the line, I decided that with each new girl I get, I would purchase a dress just for her. For four out of five of my current girls, it has been a Plastic Fashion dress (I actually purchased a Button Arcade dress when I got Reese). I’m particularly partial to my dresses that have the Peter Pan collars.

The sewing on these dresses is impeccable, and the lines are really clean. The prints and color combinations are very playful, and the silhouettes are really cute. The dresses have tiny metal snap closures. I hope to one day snag a long sleeve dress, that has a collar, and has either a fuller skirt, or a smock style dress shape. The dress also looks quite cute on a licca body (which Rory is currently on) or a pure neemo flexion xs body.

^^ My favorite dress is a tie between the one Finley is wearing and the one Elowyn is wearing. I was inspired to dress my girls in Plastic Fashion this week, because my friend recently purchased her first PF dress. My girls look so cute in their kind of matchy dresses (matchy but not really matchy because the colors and shapes are varied, but the style/feel of the dresses are similar). This photo also shows my current Blythe collection.

It’s weird… but when I have them all lined up like this or I’m doing a big group photo, I feel oddly satisfied with my collection! I guess because balancing five dolls for one photo takes some work, and I’m not sure I would be able to do it for more than five (that table barely fit all my girls. Maybe that means I need a bigger table).

My Rationalizing Doll Brain

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going on a bit of a dolly buying ban in 2016. Now is not the time in my life to be accumulating things, but rather, it’s the time to declutter. This is particularly hard because I have so many dolls on my wish list, and already there are two blythe releases coming out in the next few months that I have my eye on. They both have more stock clothes than is per usual, which in hoping means that Takara is upping their stock game ^^.

Neo Blythe Playful Raindrops – I expect she will be the May release. Immediately, I’m drawn to her short hair and her adorable stock. She’s already up for preorder on CC Toys, and her $189 price tag makes it easier for me to resist.

Neo Blythe Allegra Champagne – She will be a summer release. Look at how fancy she is! She has two outfits, which is rarer for the new releases. I regret not getting last year’s Anniversary girl (Dauphine Dream), so there’s that.. I’ll be trying as all heck not to get any new blythes this year (I may sign up for the lottery for the anniversary girl depending on how the actual doll looks), and to try to appreciate the girls I have. 

But… when I see new girls being released or a good deal on older releases on adoption groups or on ebay, I get major FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out (XD this acronym is probably not used much in this context). Like, what if the new girl becomes hard to find later? Or what if she becomes too expensive for me to purchase? What if it’s a long time before I see another of the older release for adoption at such a good price? 

I’ve experienced this sensation before in the makeup hobby, however in that hobby there are almost always dupes in other brands, and the price of a single item usually isn’t something to fret over. If I liked something, I bought it, and if it was limited edition, I bought it FAST. Blythes are way more expensive than lipsticks or blushes, so I tend not to make impulse buys. Blythes are also bigger than lipstick and blush, and therefore more tricky to pack and move, so it doesn’t make sense to expand my family. 😦 Trying to be logical here, but the heart wants more blythes.

Also, my logical mind tells me that there will be more releases in the future that I may find cuter or love more than the ones I won’t be getting upon release. My logical mind is so annoying.
 
To appease the part of me that craves for a new doll, I’m thinking of getting a Hujoo Nano Rabi! XD Rationalizing Olive rationalizes that the Hujoo Nano Rabi shouldn’t count as breaking the doll ban because A) it’s so small! B) it’ll only be about $35 for the doll and eyes, and C) it’s so cute. I originally wanted the Nano Freya, because I love cats, but I’m not a fan of the shape of the head and how far apart the ears are spaced. I’ve also seen way more cute faceups on the Rabi than on the Freya, and I think he’d look cute as a tea party guest for my girls – he will be a well to do rabbit.
 
I will most likely order a Hujoo Nano (not sure yet if Rabi or Freya) next month. The weather is getting nicer, and I kind of want to try another faceup.