Thursday, October 30, 2014

ZOMG! Shoes!

I've been wobbling about shoe making for ages now.  It's sort of a phobia with me.  Early sometime last year, I finally tried a tutorial as a challenge to myself to just get over it. The felt pair I made for Kiki (MSD Dragon Doll Girl) were good for a start; until after one day on her, the felt relaxed, frayed, picked up lint, and ended up looking like hairy puddings.  Before they went too far, I had to stitch embroidery floss around the top and tie bows to keep them on for her dress photo shoots. Felt: Bad.

Having little cash to spare, I went shoe shopping last month for a pair of flats I could push a wheelchair in, and discovered something.  I hate everything I can 'afford' and love everything I can't.  Plus, what I can afford, I've been fooled by before.  Cute and CHEAP as Payless Shoes are, they aren't meant to last more than 3 months.  Such is the way of the Evil Shoe.  And I have shoe envy from looking at doll shoes.

So I came up with an idea.  I'll make myself some doll shoes.  Using the tutorials, and having a good look at my now sadly worn red plaid cutie pie shoes, (you are spared the horror of a photo) I hacked it.

So the prototype I've been fretting at a bit every morning for two weeks is ready for the first batch of rubber cement work (upper to inner sole stack) tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Going Visiting!

Toshiaki (Raurencio Studio's Vincent on a Dragon Doll Uncle body)
 Jiji (Dragon Doll  Xizi ) and Sakuranbo (Doll Love Lina). 
A few of my dolls are going visiting this coming week.  I normally take some hand sewing with me, but little gets done because I'm chief wheel chair pusher for when hubby is getting his walking boot camp. But Dr. Jocelyn has seen a few things in passing and yesterday, she said, "Bring your dolls, I want to see them!" So I'm putting Jiji, Toshi, and Sakuranbo, who's been in Alice mode nearly a year now, along with floating head Anthea in a baggie and bubble wrap, in my rolling back pack and taking them off to PT next Tuesday.  And I made sure that not only is Jiji in jeans for obvious reasons, Sakaranbo, AKA Cherry-boo has little matching shorts on.  We will have no panty checks.  (And Toshi's junk is in a bag in a box somewhere...) (okay I LOST his junk.  Serves them right for making it changeable  >.>;; )

This outing involves at least 3 total non-doll people meeting part of my gang.  I'm nervous.  Plus, I think it would be interesting for someone who has a doctorate in how the human body moves, both muscle and neural, to have a look at ball joint dolls.  Unless she chickens out over 'creepy dolls'! LOL!  I chose this trio for the difference in size, and they all pose very well without arguing with me, unlike some dolls I can mention. (Kyou has the whole self defense thing down quite well.  He will beat the heck out of you for trying to get him to do anything.)

After our photo session, which went quite well with the natural lighting in the bedroom, Tama who had been trying to photo bomb again, got his time on the table.  The moment I took the camera off the tripod and he realized no more photo taking was going to happen, he went right back to his favorite place.

"This table is MINE now."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

18th Century Doll Meets.

Scanned from Historic Communities 18th Century Clothing by Bobbie Kalman
This is a re-enactment of an 18th century fashion doll meet.  Far traveling and local sales ladies, actual 'Ladies' of a certain social level, were hired on the side by the ateliers and tailors of the time, and much like Tupperware in the 1950s, would get commissions from any orders they made for the full size garments.  With much advance planning via snail mail, they would show up in the next town, another country, or across the sea, with a chest full of dolls, sketches, fabric samples and 1/3 to 1/2 versions of the latest fashions. These were the original 'fashion dolls' and not meant for child's play, because they were rather simplistic and fragile.  The figures were (like modern human models) molded to the silhouette of the time, not to the human form.  The dolls themselves are now rare collector's items, but it's a fun example of how doll meets are really nothing new.  We just focus more on the dolls now.

You can find more information about the traveling fashion dolls on the following blogs: 

I found this picture in the book while plotting my next to next tutorial for BJDCollectasy and had to share.  ^_^  


Once again, Blogger is not letting me reply to comments on my own blog. O_o

@ Fishcake: Truely epic would be dressing up your dolls in period costume and having some of those little clothespin head dolls dressed up for a BJD fashion party! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ink! Gotta Love it!

No I don't mean tattoos, though at some point, I need to learn how to do that, because I've seen some gorgeous work done on dolls.  I mean the *insert your favorite cuss word* tendency of printers to tell you "I can't do that, Dave."  SRSLY?   I OWN you, not you, ME!

I ran out of ink.  I'm broke.  I have three perfectly good legit cartridges and a bottle of ink.  Printer is being horrid about it.  Refusing to accept the cartridge and reset ink levels.  My particular cart does not allow for resetting the cart's chip.  Printer makes like it's printing, but out comes a blank page.  For 2 weeks in too tried to sleep time, I searched all over the nets, did the cleaning thing (depleting my color cart!) did the three cartridge thing, the tape over sensor thing, the clean the cartridge thing, the unplug it thing, I've even *GASP* taken my printer apart a few times (Door not Open notice problem solved back in December) trying to find that so called battery to unplug.

On the dry back street of the internet, something like page 98 of the google search, I found the answer!  H*P*and all its variations and possibly a few more printers, etc.  You don't need a patch someone has made up, all you need to do is to tell it to STFU! and stop talking to your computer.

Disable. Bi-directional. Support.

You are now in total control.  This enabled thing is the default setting of printers when you install them.  Just go into the control panel, printer, printer properties (not just 'properties' it's under 'printer properties') scroll down to the bottom of the frame and you will see a check box for bi-directional support.  I'd put the image here, but I don't want a certain company to fry me.  Or for that matter, route around it or something.

Fill up your ink cart, make sure it's not out of date, because that stupid chip has a date line on it; most new carts are good for a few years so don't worry, and plug it back in.  Follow your normal cart cleaning/lining up routine if you need it and just ignore the "OMG fail!" popups you get, and print anyway. Pin-pon! Success! And I found out if you turn it on, let it warm up a bit, you might have a few mis-prints before it starts printing beautifully again.  That's happened to me twice today, but after that it prints like nothing's wrong again.

So happy, because Mr. Ink Jet has 4 ounce bottles and shipping for the price of one cart and I know that last bottle lasted me FOUR years and two printers.

This is awesome because while I wouldn't mind a continuous ink supply set up, (my dorky nerd idea of heaven) they are expensive and probably very messy.  I'd rather just have the 16 bucks worth of ink than the $100 kit, you know?  The only thing left is the problem with the expiration chip in some brands of cart, but if you start with a legit company cartridge, by the time that happens, you'll probably need a new one anyway, because of the wear and tear.

Edit: a friend of mine told me this is the computer equivalent of: "Get in the kitchen and print me a sammich, Peripheral!" Nerds....

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baroque Angel Would Love This Movie

A week ago we were discussing kitties and being a 'crazy cat lady'.  First of all, does having one crazy cat qualify you?  Because technically, Tama is 'mad' as a little hatter sometimes.  He acts a lot like the big cats in this clip sometimes.  Not out to really hurt, just hey, I'm a feline predator and this how I roll.

I found this clip today and thought, wow, I need to see this movie.  Talk about a crazy cat person. o_o

The last bit cracks me up because people are always OMG what happened to you! for little scratches.  

Isn't it ridiculous how you intend to do some research online and end up in a completely different place? O_o  

Friday, October 10, 2014

GRRRR!!!! Doctors!

My thyroid biopsy was today.  They 'allowed me' this 'once' to see the doctor in the local office, but they are tripple booked for the next month and I would have had to make another 50 mile round trip again to be seen next month.
ALL the doctor would spare breath to tell me is that he can almost guarantee it is not cancer, but Hashimoto's.  Buh-by.  Make an appointment for next month in St. Bernardine's.  No explanations  no time to sit and discus what my treatment is going to be, and oddly, despite the swelling and nodes, no talk of surgery.  They were going to "just leave it".  My immune system is trying to kill what's left of my thyroid gland and that's IT?!

Gee.  Thanks.

I went home and called the insurance and started working on getting to an Endocrinologist who accepts IEHP Direct and is definitely LOCAL.  Now to get my passive aggressive G.P. to let me have the expedited referral so I can see the new one next Thursday and see about getting this lumpy swollen thing out all together. My throat feels like someone tried to kill me and the nurse left more bruises than the doctor who did the biopsy did.  I was literally choking while she applied pressure to stop the bleeding after ward.

I supposed if I were a "good patient" I would just accept what ever the doctor told me and be all happy to be getting anything done, but you know what?  Insert foul language here.  It's MY life.  I have to get my life together to take care of my husband.  I can't do anything if I'm dead tired and run down from something that can be EASILY treated with the proper medication just like diabetes or high blood pressure, and a small operation I've already had the half of.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MSD Victorian/Steampunk Etsy Listing

I made this outfit for the series of tutorials on BJDCollectasy and I'm trying to organize piles of stuff in overloaded drawers, and my 1930s flapper girl has this Victorian outfit she'll probably not wear, and the Hubby said, why not just sell it, it's cute as heck.  I might just do a complete closet clean soon.  O_o I can't close the drawers!

So, for 55.00 USD and 5.00 shipping, it's up for sale at an already discounted price.  Normally I would charge at least 100$ USD to make this set.  The corset closes with snaps.  More photos on the listing. ^_^

Monday, October 6, 2014

Commission: Soul Doll Zenith, Kahn wardrobe from Star Trek: Into Darkness

Finished!  Post moved to today's date.

MonkeyGraph's Soul Doll Zenith is getting another set of big billowy coats (I think Mr. Cumberbatch was born to sell long coats!)  I have most of the fabric on hand, but the texture of the black/grey trench the character swipes off the back of a patio chair in the get-away scene is problematic. That's the one I still need to locate.

This project is being slated for late April/May 2014. (EDIT: Yeah that worked. >.>;;)

I also found out that so many companies were doing riffs off the costumes that it was difficult to track down the actual designs worn in the movie.  And with the scenes being mostly close ups, fight scenes and distance shots of running and fighting, that was fun.  But I've nailed down the 'real' designs to the best of my ability.

Swiped from Google Images

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Another Heat Wave

So, today I've turned in all my files for another tutorial on BJD Collectasy.  I'm pretty proud of this little trick of making something, so you have to go see how to do it and try it if you sew for yourself.  No actual brides were harmed in the making of this tutorial.  But when I finally went to my computer to look at the photos I had taken Thursday, I realized the whole series SUCKED.  We just had the solstice change, which means, ta-daa! the sun is now on the other side of the building.  I get super bright light in my living room from cross aligned windows now and was using flash.  >.<;;  Today, I found the perfect time of day for photo taking, and redid the whole project to re-shoot.  The photos look very crisp and I had a lot less work because I didn't need the flash or constant fussing with the lights or the shadows.

It's been nice, but the sample of this thing called 'Fall' that everyone speaks of is over.  Now we're back to 'Summer' with 103 degree heat today, and more of the same projected for Sunday.  I have to get things done in the early morning before the heat drags me down by the thyroid.  The hubby had minor surgery this week for 3 lipomas on his thighs, so I've been thrown a bit off by all the hurry up and get this and do that, and find the files and retake the EKG and so forth, and getting up at 4 am to get to the hospital for the actual surgery, but it's over. One thing I have learned.  Doctor time is not quite Mechanic time, but it's close.  1 hour actually equals 3.  So if they say be there at x time, you get there and then wait 3 hours.  No matter WHAT.  Mechanic time is more like, "it will be done today".  "Today" being their word for a series of days adding up to a fortnight.  Repair men are in there somewhere, with Today being Next Tuesday-ish. The Hubby's "in a minute" is basically Five and his "Now" is 20 minutes later.  

It's probably because of his previous job, but lipomas can form when you get a good deep muscle tissue whack and then later, when you've forgotten all about the ouch and the bruising, the body reacts to the damage by padding it up with fat that turns into a real lump; usually in a sensitive area like an inner thigh or rib, but in researching, I've seen a lot on people's shoulders and backs.  It's just a human weirdness.  Oysters do it much better. We make fat lumps, they make pearls. The problem is, these things were like small, barely noticeable for years before the stroke; negligent, cosmetic type stuff. After the stroke, one grew like crazy, the other one got smaller then started to grow again and another one turned up until everyone was noticing them and asking 'what's this?'.  So yeah, biopsy time.  Lucky for him they were only subcutaneous and not deep in the muscle.  One got about 7 cm by 5 by the time they took it out yesterday.  And staples everywhere.  I guess some people can't sew. (Innocent Look).  I'm still waiting on my thyroid but I hope I can have it done at the same hospital.  They have a super crew at Montclair Hospital.

As it stands, I'm just about to finish up the machine top stitching on the Into Darkness set for Monkey G, and the Hanbok project slipped a little due to being over tired again, but the hand hemming on the purple skirt is finished. Then I have Cadmuss22's order and Aernath's Heian era princess, which is very fun.  But it's getting a bit scary this month.  The car problem taking more than we thought, and my lagging because of everything has meant not knowing what we're going to do for November.  I can only hope for November and December orders.  The hubby is getting more 'independent' around the house, so I can probably leave him alone for a part time job, but we still have so many appointments to work around and I'm not so sure that the recent news of how great the job market is is actually applicable here in Southern California.  It's --- getting scary.  Frankly, I'm not sure I'll be able to pay for my phone/internet bill next month.  But something has always come up before. So we'll see.  I need work.  >.<;;