Things I’m looking forward to

  • The weekend – It’s been hell-week at my job.
  • Ordering yarn from Knit Picks – I think I’ll bite the bullet this weekend! My sister said she would dye yarn with me, so I plan on getting a few skeins of bare yarn ^^. Also, I’m going to treat myself to some sock yarn! I want to attempt to knit myself some socks.
  • The BJD eyes that I ordered for my Hujoo Janus Gato – They’re currently at customs… Hopefully they come next week.
  • Quite possibly making a 2 hour trek via public transportation to Gundam Planet in the next state over for some MSC (because I ran out… also I kind of want to check out this place).
  • Receiving a swap package from a dolly friend. ^^ She’s already received the package I sent to her, and tried some of the items on her dolls. I love seeing photos of other people’s dolls wearing things I’ve handmade. The below are from her flickr ^^ (I made both hats and the white sweater in the photo on the bottom).

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  • A weekend of knitting while cuddling with my cat and watching doll-related youtube videos.
  • Finally head out to the nearby park with one or two of my Blythes and have a photo session (most likely at 9AM in the morning to avoid them crowds).

Here’s to a very quick Friday!

 

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Who’s that girl? What’s her name?

It’s Rory! I spent all day redoing her face-up. I didn’t do much carving, though I did deepen her nostrils a bit. I’ve forgotten how much work actually goes into customizing a blythe doll, and I think I might have spent five hours giving her a makeover. Here’s a list of what I did to her:

  • New lid art – Her lids used to be a kelly green with a grey scallop edge design. Now they’re a light pink with a white line design. Also, the lids were done with acrylic paint instead of pastels and watercolor pencils, and they’re glossy instead of matte.
  • Rosier lips and cheeks
  • Pink and yellow eye shadow
  • Slightly more defined nostrils
  • Smaller winged liner

It’s not much, but I think she looks better! Her old makeup was being super washed out with her new dark brown hair.

As per usual, there were some snags during the process. Rory’s eye mech snapped on the lower lid area, which I promptly glued back together. It’s holding in there, but probably one day I’ll order a new eye mech. The eye mech also sticks after her brown side-facing chips… and because of my impatience, I also kind of scratched the lid art on her left eye (woops!). These things don’t bother me terribly, because Rory’s lid art had some blemishes on them before, and I don’t change my girls’ eyes a ton.

Rory is also looking pretty darn fashionable. I put her in a top I knitted, a Kuloft skirt, MiniJijo socks, and some stock shoes.

She really feels like a completely different doll! It’s a little weird, as I’m really not used to seeing her on my shelf the way she looks. She’s definitely way easier to dress with her dark brown hair, as opposed to her bright orangey-pink hair. I wonder how this new look will change my perception of how she should be dressed and photographed.

The Hair Makes the Blythe

I’ve mentioned in my Rerooting Adventures posts that I really wanted to change Rory’s scalp. I wasn’t happy with the way I had cut the neon orange and pink hair, and the color also read more orange than pink to me. I had bought more saran to try rerooting my second Cool Cat scalp, thinking I would do a better job, and that the second time would be easier than the first time. Well… I sort of fell into a rut with the rerooting. Rerooting was really tough on my hands, and the process as a whole wasn’t very fun. I had “work on reroot” on my To-Do list for ages, and I just wasn’t getting around to it. SO, I decided to part with the materials and I got a Didee Eureka scalp for Rory instead!

Old hair on the left, new hair on the right! She looks so different! I was considering redoing her face-up and deepening her carving, but honestly, I don’t think I’m ready for such a big project. Also, I’m a little attached to her simple face. I think of her as kind of the transition between my fully customized girls and my stock girls. I will, however, be redoing her eyelid art. I’m not a fan of the primary green on her lids. Also, they’re a bit scuffed, which bothers me some.

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So here’s what Rory has going on:

  • Didee Eureka scalp
  • Fake/factory face plates, eye mech, and body (not including the arms)
  • Licca chan arms

All in all, I’m so glad the weekend is finally here! I have a number of projects I’m looking forward to working on ^^.

Things I’m currently about

Hobonichi-ing 

I’ve taken to sitting at Starbucks and killing time during lunch. My favorite thing to do is watch YouTube videos (thank you for the free Wi-Fi Starbucks), and decorating my Hobonichi with washi tape. It’s pretty soothing, and definitely stress relieving. Decorating with washi is a way for my brain to take a break from how angry my work makes me. /Angst

This Hi-Tec C Coleto Pen 

muji on the left, coleto on the right

  It’s replaced my very old multicolor pen from Muji. Jann of Project Dollhouse loves the pilot Hi-Tec C, and I knew I had to try it. I liked that I could pick the ink cartridge colors and size, and the pen case. I ordered the pink coleto with Black, Purple, Cherry Pink, Apple Green, and Aqua Blue ink, all in 0.3 mm. I’m a huge fan of the black, purple, and cherry pink. I probably could have done without the green and the blue. The Cherry Pink shade actually reminds me of a pen I had when I was either in elementary school or junior high school – it’s the same shade of this scented pen I had. Literally, when I look at my writing using the Cherry Pink ink, I can remember the odd artificial cherry/strawberry scented ink of my youth. 

Stardew Valley

I’m not sure exactly how many hours I’ve logged on this PC game, but I’m near the end of my first winter. If you love Harvest Moon and Rune Factory, you will LOVE this game. It’s kind of a Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, and dare I say an Animal Crossing hybrid. The graphics remind me of old PC games (think mid-90s) or Super Nintendo games. It doesn’t bother me much, because this sort of retro graphics has its own charm and it’s nostalgic. The game itself is immersive and full of surprises. Without spoiling too much, here are some pros and cons to the game so far:
Pros

  • The accessible areas are huge. Way bigger than any harvest moon game maps.
  • There is a ton of content and areas to unlock.
  • There are a ton of cut scenes, not just limited to with the bachelors or bachelorettes. The characters each have depth and backstories. They have realistic problems, and to befriend them is to learn more about them.
  • You’re limited to two gifts a week per person. (Huge plus). I hate having to make daily rounds to distribute gifts to all the townsfolk.
  • Regardless of your gender, it looks like you can court any of the bachelors or bachelorettes.
  • There are tons of quests and events
  • It almost feels like an open-world game.

Cons

  • Because the game is still fairly new, I’ve encountered some glitches. But I believe the game has continued to release updates to fix this.
  • Fishing is the Worst. The absolute Worst.

Only two more days till the weekend!

Very Crafty Weekend

I was both productive and unproductive this weekend. I was unproductive in that I cancelled a kind-of important appointment I had, because my work week was really something. I was dealing with a lot of emotions and unexpected events caught me off guard and really, I just wanted a weekend to myself – a weekend where I didn’t have to follow a schedule or plan around anything in particular. I was productive in that I did two major things – I bought some sharpies and a pack of shrinky dink paper and made a ton of stitch markers, and I got around to giving Tsukki, my Hujoo Nano Rabi, a face-up!

A friend and fellow member of the Blythe community in NYC started a podcast about knitting, crafting, and dolls. Julie’s is the first podcast I’ve ever watched/listened to, and I get the feeling I’m missing out on a whole world of listening material. When I knit, crochet, or am doing arts and crafts, I love to play doll videos and vlogs on my computer as a source of inspiration and entertainment. I really enjoy knitting/crocheting while listening to Julie’s podcast. ^^ The latest installment:

It was through this podcast that I had the sudden urge to try making things out of Shrinky Dink and dying my own yarn! I haven’t gotten around to the yarn dying yet, but I’ve been making stitch markers out of shrinky dink paper all weekend long.

These drawings are all traced, as I wanted to make sure that my stitch markers came out cute. I had a ton of fun with this!! Even watching the pieces bake in the oven was entertaining. I think I might make a little pendant as a blythe pull charm to add to one of my girl’s pull rings. Oooh, maybe a little fox or deer for Elowyn. The possibilities are endless.

Now onto the face-up:

It’s been a while since I’ve done a face-up of any kind, but I’m happy with how Tsukki turned out! It’s a bit simple, but I think he came out cute. I wish my lines were cleaner though. I also settled on the pinkish taupe eyes for him, instead of the sparkly dark navy blue.

I thought the color of the dark blue eyes was hard to see, and the eyes looked less striking. I also really like the mesh pattern of the taupe eyes.

And now I’m exhausted, and will be playing the game Stardew Valley or my new 3DS game, Bravely Second, until it’s time to turn in for the day.

Hello Hujoo Janus Gato

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This is a Janus cat.

 

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This is the Hujoo Janus Gato. He arrived from the Junky Spot, and so quickly too! I picked him up today at the post office and deboxed him. I was really surprised by how big he is! He’s about 12 inches tall, which makes him about as tall as a Blythe, but because of his proportional body, he seems so much more substantial than my other dolls. He has two faces, one cat face, and one human face, and this doll was one of the very first strung bjd-style dolls I had wanted a little less than a year ago.

Straight off the bat, I noticed some quality issues with the doll. He had a nick on the top of his head where his face plates meet and another one on the side of his chest. Now… I was upset when I saw it, but not so much anymore. Let me explain – it took an hour for me to pry his damn head open. I have to say, between this Hujoo Janus and my Hujoo Nano, Hujoo dolls have got to be the worst in terms of opening up the head. I even googled “how to open Hujoo Janus head” to see if I was doing something wrong. I guess this sculpt is either rare or unpopular, because there aren’t many references to it outside of the Hujoo official company website and maybe one or two blogs.

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My hands are killing me right now, between yesterday’s arm transplants and today’s head opening. Like the Nano Rabi, the Janus Gato’s head is also held together by these plastic pegs. To open the head up, I had to pry the head open little by little with a tiny flat screwdriver (covered in layers of tape), and slowly work it open. I did a lot of pulling at first (to no avail) to try to avoid using the screwdriver, but I didn’t think I had much of a choice after a certain point. When I was able to get the head open, I found I didn’t care so much about the little chip at the top of the head, seeing as how I made a couple of my own pry marks at the bottom of the head. I sanded off the small nicks with very fine sand paper, and I’m relieved they aren’t noticeable.

I have also come to terms with the fact that once I install the eyes, do the faceups, and push the head plates together again, I may never ever open up this guy’s head ever again. Ever.

For his eyes, I am purchasing these two eyes:

The seller is KOK Doll Collection on eBay, and I’m undecided what size eyes to get (waiting for the seller to send me a new invoice with combined shipping). The Janus Gato calls for 14mm eyes, so I might ghet the purple/grey eyes in 14mm, and the green/gold eyes in 16mm for his cat face plate. I want there to be more color than white part (woo science words I don’t know) for his cat form eyes, so please correct me if I’m wrong to size up >_<.

He doesn’t have a name, but I’m leaning toward Felix or Mamoru.

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don’t judge my drawings NooOOOoo…

XD Here are my doodles done in my Hobonichi Techo. My inspiration for this doll is the maneki neko. He will be a maneki neko spirit. Kind of in the same family as the nekomata and bakeneko, his character will be a spirit in the form of a cat, but unlike those two, he’s a benevolent being. I’m not sure that Japanese folklore views the maneki neko as a spirit, but rather a symbol of good luck with an origin story. He comes into existence because the energy and hope for the statue of the cat to bring luck and good fortune and its use as a symbol has brought about the birth of spirits associated with that symbol and all it stands for (not a naturally existing spirit, but one born by necessity of the people). I may still get him red eyes, but I’m undecided. A white maneki neko symbolizes purity, happiness, and good luck. He needs a red or green bandana for his neck, and either a collar with a bell or a necklace with a bell. I might dress him in a raglan style white top with grey sweatpants, and also attempt to make him a kimono.

Funny enough, his cat face is the face that inspires me more! I’m excited to start his faceup, but I might do some more sketches to get a better idea of what I’m going to attempt.

Frankendoll

I recently asked a facebook group what their favorite body is for their Blythe dolls. I have opinions about the bodies commonly used for Blythes (at least opinions on the bodies I’ve owned):

Jointed body (Sweetiiger and Azone) – I haven’t tried the Azone on a Blythe, but I have owned dolls on an Azone body. I like the poseability of the jointed bodies, and the different hands are fun for photos. However, I found that these types of bodies don’t support a Blythe doll’s head very well, and the joints tend to buckle under the weight of it.

Licca Chan body – I love the look and proportions of this body. I like the bendy limbs, and its potential for posing. I prefer the non-tilt neck bodies over the tilt-neck ones. The feet are bigger than that of the regular stock bodies, which makes finding shoes that fit inconvenient.

Stock Blythe body – I don’t dislike this body – it has a classy feel to it and because it’s the body that stock blythes come in, I associate it with just being quintessentially blythe-like (kind of like shiny stock faces). The stock body doesn’t really have a wide range of poseability, but there’s just so much out there in terms of clothes and shoes.

Now, here’s something I never thought to do – one person in the group commented that their favorite body was a stock Blythe body with Licca arms. /MIND BLOWN

Here’s the tutorial I followed.

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I first tried it on Rory, who was on a tilt-neck Licca chan body. Her head wobbled a lot because of the tilt-neck piece, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of that as it felt a bit unstable. I put her back on the body I purchased her with (the fake blythe body), and transplanted the Licca chan arms into the sockets. This was relatively easy, as Rory’s stock body arms popped right off with some vigorous pulling.

I decided I would do the same for Finley as I wasn’t crazy about her stock body anyway, but I also didn’t want to completely swap her body out for a Licca chan body, being that she is one of my professionally customized girls and I have never had success with opening up her head ever.

Finley’s stock arms were a nightmare to take off! My right hand is swollen right now from all the pulling and twisting I had to do to get them off. BUT! I am REALLY happy with how she looks right now! SO CUTE. So happy!

I took this chance as an opportunity to try out my newest dress on her, and kind of play with her hair. I ordered a Plastic Fashion dress a couple of weeks ago, and delayed opening it for a day I felt like I needed a pick-me-up. I wasn’t sure who this dress would go to, but it suits Finley because it has a Goldilocks vibe to it.

I also tried doing a waterfall braid for the first time. I plan on going to the park this weekend to hopefully see some cherry blossom trees, and I’m definitely taking Finley out for photos!

Happy Friday everyone!