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.

Weighing in on Scale

😀 Word play.
When it comes to the size of my dolls, scale is very important to me – more important than I realized when I first started collecting.

From a budgeting standpoint, the semi-fiscally responsible me would argue that having different scale dolls means also having to purchase different sized wardrobes. The cost of doll clothes and shoes really adds up quickly! Sometimes I’ll think about the amount I’ve spent on clothes, and realize that I could have purchased a whole new doll. Then I quickly poo-poo on that thought, because having a variety of clothes and shoes to choose from helps me to better enjoy the dolls I have. Also, purchasing a wardrobe that’s sort of one size fits all my dolls helps alleviate the buyer’s remorse.

I think my comfort zone is the 1/6 scale size, because my gateway doll, the Ever After High dolls, and the Neo Blythe doll are 1/6 scale. The larger dolls are also a bit foreign to me. The only time I’ve ever seen a bigger doll in person was at the anime convention I went to, where they had Smart Dolls and Dollfie Dreams on display. Those were 1/3 scale, and I remember thinking they were HUGE! I would feel compelled to seat them on their own chair, and also hang up their entire wardrobe in my closet so they don’t get wrinkled… 

Also, I’m not one for heavy lifting, I can’t imagine how one would travel with such a big doll! Maybe I just need one to understand their awesomeness. I do love seeing photos of these big bjds, and all the details that go into them. There’s also something quite magical of having one that looks so lifelike. I think if I was more of a dedicated writer, and my dolls personified a character in my stories, I would be able to better appreciate a doll to that scale as a source of inspiration. Also, if I was better at sewing, I’d probably love having a big doll that can grandly model my creations.

For dolls smaller than 1/6 scale, the only experience I have is with the sole Middie I owned, Bryn. I’ve since sold her and all of the middie scale clothes and shoes I had.

I want to say that Middies are 1/10 scale? She was super easy to tote around, and adorable in her own right. But I think, if you expect all you expect out of neo from a middie, you’ll find the middie to be a bit lacking. The big reason why I decided to sell her was that I would not reach for her as much as my neos. With my limited number of middie outfits, redressing Bryn wasn’t as fun. Also, surprisingly, the smaller the doll, the harder it is to make flattering to-scale dresses!

In the end, it boiled down to me not wanting to accumulate two sets of clothes.

I haven’t owned any other small scale dolls. Though, I am sorely tempted to buy a Hujoo Nano Freya and Rabi! Since they’re affordable, I wouldn’t feel too worried about doing their faceups myself, and since they’re like baby animals, I think I’d be okay with them Donald Ducking it or Mickey Mousing it … or Winnie the Poohing it (apparently, they can only wear a shirt or pants… Not both).

I don’t find my aversion to different scales all that limiting actually. Right now, I’m really loving and wanting ALL the Azones, the Jerry Berrys, the Rurukos, the Licca Chans, and a Red Berry Doll. In my next post, I will hopefully be able to show you progress on my Marshall Lee inspired hybrid.I kind of wish obitsu and azone came out with a grey skin option, as I’m not comfortable spray painting or dying plastic myself. I purchased the Obitsu Petite P Chan head in white skin, the Parabox eye decals, and an Army Painter Psycho paint brush (not featured) from Junkyspot. The body is the Pure Neemo Flection XS boy in white skin. That background is ironically just a random bit of scrapbook paper.

I hope the eye decals look good! 

Also, YAY it’s finally Friday!!

 

On the subject of Anxiety

This topic is only vaguely related to my hobbies. I’ll try to make it come to a full circle in the end, but no promises! I’m in a kind of melancholy mood and I wanted to write about it.

I have anxiety, though I feel like everyone has anxiety to some degree. The level of my anxiety can range from simple everyday worries, to full blown panic, to a constant sense of unease or general wrongness. I have social anxiety as well, where I’ll type something or say something and then endlessly think about what I’ve said or typed when it’s too late to take it back… and then I think “Whhyyyy did I sayyyy that????” /cringe /derp /facepalm /g2gkthxbai4ever. So awkward. … times infinity. This is probably why a lot of my hobbies are solo hobbies (crocheting, reading, blogging, doll collecting and appreciating). When it comes to hobby-related stuff, I start to doubt my enjoyment of the activity and its value to me.

I’ve struggled with anxiety probably my whole life. I say “probably” because it’s really hard for me to say when it all started. Until a few years ago, I always assumed that the way I was feeling was normal, because how would I know otherwise? Since then, I’ve learned a few ways to deal with my thoughts (cognitive therapy really helped), and now that I’m able to recognize the feelings and thoughts for what they are, I also recognize that there are times I need to force myself to move despite my body telling me that it’s a good time to shut down (I have an awful relationship with sleep. When I want to sleep, it eludes me. When I want to stay awake, BOOM. Nap time.).

Understanding that a lot of what I’m anxious about doesn’t often make sense (or at least the degree of my anxiety doesn’t make sense), and willing myself to do anything isn’t always easy. However, for me, the first step towards getting away from my dark place is doing something I generally enjoy, even though at the time it might not seem worth it. Sometimes, a distraction (whether it’s petting my furbaby, or redressing my dolls) is enough to recalibrate the brain and put things into perspective, at least for a little while.

FullSizeRenderI’m still torn on what to name her.

I’m in a really weird doll mood.

I’m currently back to being obsessed about the idea of repainting doll heads. I did this for two of my Ever After High girls (that I’ve since sold on evilbay), but I had a really hard time getting what I pictured in my head to translate on the doll’s blank face. Drawing and painting are not my fortes, but I go back and forth between accepting that I’m just not good at art to thinking I might get better if I just practice some more. 😦 When will I learn?

I have major issues with drawing symmetrically and with with achieving depth in color and lines. I might try practicing sketching anime-style eyes before attempting doll repaints. Also, the next time around I will be using eye decals (thank you, Genius who invented the eye decal). I’m definitely going to hold off on buying any blank doll heads until Blythe Con has passed. I’m not sure how much I’ll be spending there, or if I’ll come home with a new doll in two weeks! Also, I’m not sure if I’m just going through a weird phase.

Currently, I’m waiting on a Merry Go Round Licca doll and a Pure Neemo Flexion XS Boy body.

not my photo! courtesy of google images.

I’m not sure if I’ll harvest this girl’s body and give it to one of my blythe girls, or if I’ll keep the Licca as is. If I do rebody her, I’ll probably purchase an Azone Pure Neemo Flexion XS girl body for her. As for the boy body, that one is eventually going to become this guy:

And if I can successfully put together a pure neemo version of him (Marshall Lee-esque – I won’t be spray painting his whole body and face grey, but I am getting the white pure neemo body and I will get the white obitsu head.), I will be making Fionna the Human too ^^.

I got so excited at the idea of putting together a doll that I couldn’t focus on anything else… I guess I should focus on getting one project done at a time! >_< This weekend I will be giving my cat girl face plates some makeup. I also have to finish crocheting that blythe carry bag! And, I have three baby blanket commissions. Behold, my WIP:

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I still have to attach the arms, and sew the face on.

By the way, I’m super excited about this three day weekend. My plan is to get a ton done!

Crochet Therapy

For me personally, crocheting can sometimes be a way for me to sidestep the stress of the every day – whether it’s a bad at work, worries about the future, or generally negative thoughts. I am someone who struggles with anxiety in varying degrees. It’s not so bad now, and I’m glad to say that for the past two years, I’ve had more good days than bad (which is definitely more than I could say about the period of my life prior to that. #darktimes #sorryIcouldnthelpmyself #neededtoinsertjokehere).

I didn’t expect crocheting to be therapeutic in the least. I picked it up on whim when my best friend asked me if I was interested in learning how to crochet with her. We sat down in her living room with our newly purchased hooks and yarn, and proceeded to watch a handful of Youtube videos explaining how to chain, single crochet, half double crochet, and double crochet. And then, my hobby turned into something of an obsession (OR maybe I should refer to myself as an extreme hobbyist, because it sounds slightly cooler and less unstable).

I’m not that good at crocheting. It takes me a while to complete projects, because I’m so finicky about mistakes (in that there must not be any) and my hands aren’t very nimble. When I’m working on amigurumi or a new pattern especially, I tend to concentrate very hard on the pattern and the hook and yarn I have in my hand. On the rare occasions when I attempt to freehand a project, I get lost in thought trying to picture where the increases and decreases should go in my row. When I really get into crocheting, my mind is so focused on what my hands are doing – making sure I don’t drop stitches unintentionally, making sure I don’t suddenly have more or less stitches, checking the gauge, and keeping track of my rows. This activity doesn’t really leave much room in my head for worries that shouldn’t be worries to the extent that I build them up to be.

I had a point to this post. …

I wanted to share the tops I’ve crocheted!

collage

I must say that having a spare body is terribly convenient. This particular body is a stock Takara body that came with Finley. The top on the left was worked from the bottom up, and the one on the right was worked on from the top down. All of them need snaps, except the dark red and white striped top at the bottom. I plan on sewing skirts to one or two of these tops. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out though! It took some hemming and hawing on my part trying to figure out where to put the increases and decreases and how to finagle the arm holes, but totally worth it ^^. (I’m considering sharing the pattern here or on ravelry, but they’re pretty simple so I’m not sure if I’d really be adding anything to what’s already out there).

Finding a fellow Blythe fan IRL

I just recently found out that one of my coworkers is also a blythe aficionado! The conversation sort of went like this: 

Me: I wish I could go to blythecon. It’s being held in Chicago this year in October. (I mentioned this as we had talked about conventions in general earlier).

Her: You like blythe?

Me: You know what blythe dolls are?

Her: I love blythe dolls!

Me: Did we just become best friends?

I’m just kidding. That’s not how the conversation went (yay for random Charlie Bradbury reference!), but we were both really surprised that we shared the same blythe doll interest. She has 2 neo blythe dolls, one of which includes a Bianca Pearl! She seemed mildly interested in going to any potential dolly meets and maybe even venturing out together to a park to do a photo shoot.. Neither of us have IRL doll friends, and we both agreed that it’s kind of crazy that the first doll lover we encountered in person was at work. 

It’s actually kind of heartening to find out that someone I know has the same niche interest as I. I don’t have very many people who I can talk to about blythes or dolls in general (I can definitely count them on one hand), and it’s exciting to be able to gush about dolls with someone out loud (gush, squee, whateva, whateva). My coworker and my initial conversations were more like long-run-on-sentences-with-no-pauses-between-words-and-punctuated-with-OMG’s-we-were-that-excited.

^^ Anyway, I hope everyone else is having a good Monday!

Fighting in the morning

I guess I have this problem where I need justification to make big purchases. Or approval maybe? So I made the big mistake of sharing with my mom the fact that I will most likely purchase another Blythe.

   Big mistake. (For backstory, I (28 years old) live with my parents, as does my younger sister. I really don’t have an intention to move out until I find a new job that relocates me to the west coast.).  My mom got all upset when I brought my doll hobby up, saying that I should be saving money and thinking about my future. I have crazy Asian parents, stereotypically unforgiving, critical, and always struggling with denial. 

It’s hard to hold onto positivity when I’m living with negative parents. I find it insanely sad that a lot of emotional and psychological problems stem from a person’s relationship with his or her parents. But the years of struggling with my own issues has sort of taught me to be kinder to myself.  For every few critical things that are said to me that hurt me, I force myself to think of one positive – because it’s just too easy to also be hard on myself. 

I understand the point that my mom and dad were trying to make this morning (a blow on my age, the fact that I’m living at home and kind of a mooch, and I’m not married, and I’ve developed this doll hobby in the past two months). But I also understand myself that there are a lot worse things I could be into at my age than dolls. 

I should probably look into moving out sooner, but that doesn’t fit into my 2-3 year plan, as unfair as that is to my parents for me to live with them I guess. 

ANYWAY, the two promotional pics of the blythes above are from the Junie moon site (Japanese site). I got SO FREAKING EXCITED when I saw Spright Beauty!! I was eyeing Pixie Peaceful (the middie), but I hesitated at the thought of accumulating two different size wardrobes. I really want a pink haired blythe. I even have the perfect name for one! I was contemplating getting a factory girl, but I’m not confident I can make her look like I want.  The second photo is a (tentative?) photo of the My Melody blythe. I love her color palette too, but I want to get a blythe with a different hair style than Finley.

 I miss my furbaby. And I can already tell today is going to be a long day.