Saturday, 28 March 2015

♥¸¸.•* Rot's New Face! ¸¸.•*♥

Well Rot's arrived at his new home and has just got the first part of his face up, I'll be finishing him off soon but decided to wait a few days - I tend to do this a lot with my face ups; I feel it gives me time to get to know my new doll and his or her personality which I then attempt to bring out in round two of the face up... 

So here he is so far,  I've already decided on some of his tweaks but I'm going to wait at least a week before I do them as I have several other face ups waiting at the moment.

I stupidly forgot to take "before" photographs as I was far too excited to even think about doing so prior to starting - dur!

He came with a pair of acrylic half round eyes, but I really didn't think they brought out his personality very well and as I go through phases of buying both acrylic and glass, half and full round eyes of various sizes and patterns, I always have plenty to choose from when doing my doll customs.

While hunting through my "Eye Drawers" I found two pairs of full round blue glass eyes which were a perfect fit for this little man, one pair were slightly more realistic but I felt these light blue ones really "popped" as they oddly make his face look more alive. 

I really love the contrast between them and his skin tone, so light blue it is!

I still have to give more definition on his teeth , claws and spikes but these will be the finishing details... I want to bring his scaly bits out a bit first but I'm not sure if these will be a different colour to the rest of him or not... Oh decisions!

Anyhoo, I'll update once I've decided and have finished him.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

(¯`*•. 1982 Twirly Curls Barbie ¸.•*´¯)

I remember how happy I was to receive Twirly Curls Barbie for Christmas.

 I was seven years old when this doll was released and I guess I was very susceptible to advertising because I can still sing the jingle word for word, I must have sung it so much then that the words have been embedded into my brain more than thirty years later!

We were sleeping over at Nan's that year and I'd already woken up early, gone down my pillowcase -we always had a pillowcase full of presents instead of a stocking.

 I was sitting up in bed surrounded by wrapping paper, munching on the satsuma I'd found at the bottom and looking forward to starting the day smelling of my new Victoria Plum rose scented talcum powder when my Nan came into the room with a cup of tea, some biscuits and a surprise present for me!

I was so excited, it was box shaped, rattled slightly and I couldn't wait to find out what was inside it,

 I eagerly ripped off the paper and "Oh my..."  

There she was beautiful smiling Twirly Curls herself and even better than that ... she was MINE!!
I've found a copy of the advert, which may be of interest to you, I felt like a little girl again watching it and of course it brought back memories of Christmas when it was still magical - unfortunately the video is not great quality but well it is 32 years old! 

My Twirly Curls has remained one of my prized possession, although over the years I have lost the items she came with and of course her earrings and ring... I put the loss of the chair, brushes and "Twirler" as being in the boxes with my other dolls, dollhouses & furniture which all went missing during our move to Wales, it saddens me but at least I still have my girl.


I decided a few years back - around 2008 - to take her out of storage and photograph her so I could upload her photo' to my Flickr Photostream, I was surprised to discover that I was one of those little girls that chew on their Barbie doll's faces - WTF??

I have absolutely no memory of ever doing this and cannot think of one reason when I would have felt the need to do so?!

This of course began a quest to find another, but one in perfect condition... The plan was not to replace my original - that could never happen as I have way too many happy memories wrapped up in her, but to have another as she should have been kept, so I began looking...

Twirly Curls & Ooak Pube Job Barbie

During my teens I went through a phase of doing "hair wraps" I used Twirly as a model for practice, she's still wearing the wrap that started it all!

I took a comparison pic' of her next to the "Pube Job Barbie" I made - Don't ask!

I find it very weird how much the face has changed in just over a decade - I also find it weird why Mattel keep changing the faces I'd love to know why they do.

Anyhoo, my quest came to an end a few months ago, when I won this little girl at the starting price.

Ebay Listing Photo

Even better she came with her "Twirling Wand", Chair, Outfit, Brush and even her Comb!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

I have a confession ...

My recent post about Pendle got me not only obsessing over Makies again but also flitting backwards and forwards between my photographs, Makies account where I have 26 Makies that I designed and the Makie Shop...

I guess it was inevitable that I would end up parting with some money if I didn't hurry up and finish my post, well I wasn't quick enough and I did end up spending and oh my gawd, my Makie family is about to expand!

This is how it happened ... I noticed there were two Limited Edition Makie Dolls for sale, quite a bit cheaper than the "Designed by You" ones I have saved, one of them really caught my eye - she's called June (short for Juniper, apparently) - well for now anyway...

She comes in Cocoa Bean skin tone and looks like this:

Now I can't say I'm too impressed with her puckered looking mouth, but I loved that hair of hers and hue of her skin, and that in turn got me thinking...

I went back to My Account and started comparing her with a Makie I designed last year who I called "Rainy Daze" she looks like this, I only have a computerized image of her as she hasn't been made real yet:  

Now I have to admit, I really do love this little girl, she has eleven ears like Pendle and a similar grumpy expression, for some reason I like to make mostly "Grumble Guts" Makies, which may possibly be another reason why a certain idea popped into my head while I was comparing both these girls

 And that idea was; how different an experience is it between designing and receiving a "Designed by You" Makie and receiving an off the shelf designed by someone else Makie so I decided to experiment

How's that for justification?! Lol

I'll be posting my feelings on this once both girls arrive and I have a chance to compare, photograph & play with them both!

Keep Ya Posted...

•.☆♥♫♥☆♥♫♥ My Homemade Blythe ♥♫♥☆♥♫♥☆.•

About seven years ago I started to notice all the custom and replacement parts available with which to customise Blythe Dolls, at the time I didn't have a Blythe but desperately wanted one and after losing gawd knows how many auctions for one and so I was trawling the internet regularly trying to find one to call my own.

I started to believe it was a hopeless task and so began looking at alternatives; this new quest lead me to Little Big Eyes, Baasak, Blybe and various other C.C.E Dolls, all of which became great practice dolls to learn techniques such as sanding, matting, carving, eye chip changing, sleep eye function...

 But none of these girls were the real thing and although I loved each of them, the real thing still eluded me...

I began to look seriously at the parts available for customs and repairs and wonder how easy it would be and if it was even possible to build my own Blythe Doll from them, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying, after all if I couldn't do it I could always use the parts in other customs..

I purchased an Azone Pure Neemo Flexion Body in natural skin tone as I really loved the sturdiness of it's design and the amount of articulation points which I felt would give a wide range of natural poses and also be strong enough to support a Blythe's large head and the weight of the eye mechanism inside and also the weight of a long wig.

I chose an RBL face, back plates, dome & Scalp for her head as I like the shape and definition of the chin on this mould better than some of the others which were available at the time. 

As I'd already bought the Azone Pure Neemo body I decided to buy a pack of hands from the same range as this would add to the realism of poses my doll would have once finished.

For the eye mechanism it made sense to buy the RBL one as this would fit perfectly inside her head once I'd put the face and back plates together to make her head.

I had quite a few fancy and sparkly eye chips in my customs stash pile which I've been amassing for use in my customs over the years so I had plenty to choose from when making this little girl.

As I had all the other parts ready to make my new girl and as I knew she was going to be something special if for no other reason than the fact that I'd made her - I wanted something cute and kind of special to use for her pulleys.

I had already decided that she would have two, the first would be for the standard "Eye Colour Change" and the second one would be to work for "sleep eye" mechanism.

So I kept a lookout for the perfect  and cutest little thing I could find for this purpose.

It took quite a while to find what I was looking for, especially as at the time I had no idea what I was looking for!

This part actually took the longest as although I didn't know what I was looking for I knew I'd know it when I found it... And one day I did when I wasn't even looking for them!

And there they were two absolutely perfect "pulley charms" in the form of a standing wide awake mini Kewpie keychain and the other a closed eye, kneeling (in prayer?) mini Kewpie keychain.

The kneeling one reminded me so much of those adorable chubby children kneeling in prayer by their beds that The Victorians loved to use to illustrate their Greetings Cards, that everything about him said to me "Sleep Eye"!

So there they were the perfect charms, now I just had to buy some strong Rainbow coloured cord to make the pulleys and raid my bead stash pots for the perfect combination of matching beads for each pulley cord.

So now she just needed some hair and so the hunt for the perfect wig began... I had decided she was going to be a cute child-like little girl and so she became as I began carving her mouth, so I decided a baby pink wig was what I would look for, I also wanted it to be long and curly.

I found what I thought was the perfect one and waited eagerly for it to arrive from China so I could try it against her as I was customising her face which would then take her face up in the way she wanted it to go...

I have what probably seems a weird belief which is that the hair of a doll contains quite a lot of that doll's personality.

When the pink wig arrived I of course tried it on her and it did suit the personality she was beginning to exhibit but the top of her head which looked like a ruffled cascade of curls just didn't sit right and look the same as it did in the listing photographs when placed upon her head, so I unpicked that part of it and began to sew the wefts back in place.

While this worked out okay, and looked cute on her, I was no longer sure about it. While I was umming and ahhing over it I spotted a purple wig on sale from a U.K Seller the style was a little more mature than I wanted for her but the price was good and it's always good to have a choice of wigs in your "Customs Stash" so if it wasn't quite right for her I could always use it for someone else.

As it turned out she looks adorable in either although I still haven't decided which one suits her best yet so at the moment she alternates between both!

I sanded and matted her face, carved her mouth into a grumpy little pout, gave definition to her nostrils, added long eyelashes four pairs of sparkly and fancy eye chips and gave her a natural looking face up.

I have to admit that lip carving on a Takara face plate is actually one of the fastest and easiest custom carvings that I have ever done.

I was worried at first as this was my first time carving a Blythe face - until I carved this girl I had only ever carved Little Big Eyes, Lovely doll (Pullip Clone), my Real Pullip's mouth, Baasak dolls, my Icy and various other clone types.

The difference between  carving them and carving a Radiant Blythe's face plate is that the file slides through the RBL plastic like a warm knife sliding through butter, while the clones take a lot more effect to get the effort you were going for.

I'm going to have to take some more photographs of her soon as none of those that I've upload so far show her watery eye definition very well, I saw "watery" but what I really mean is those big tears she has under her eyes and just beginning to drop towards her cheeks from where she's had yet another of her tantrums.

She looks kind of cute but as you can probably guess she's a bit of a handful - to be honest she's actually a "Right little Madam" which is actually how she got her name - incase you're wondering she's called "Cry-Baby, Grumpy- Guts" and boy does she ever live up to her name! 

She somehow looks even naughtier when her sleep is activated - almost like she's blatantly ignoring you and feeling quite smug about it!

As you can see in this photo' the little Kewpie are the perfect size to be either toys or babies for her. 

I made sure that I made the pull strings just long enough so that when she is sitting she can cuddle them on her lap, or hold them in her hands while standing.

I really do love this choice of body on her, it feels so robust but at the same time is quite childlike in a way and yet dainty enough that she can wear sweet little outfits like this one from Sugar Mag.

Not only that it is so easy to pose, all the joints bend and move fluidly without any stiffness which is often found in new articulated body.

This is how she looks in the purple wig, I think it makes her look older and I have to admit I like it on her but I dunno there is something that doesn't quite gel about it, it's probably the age thing, hmmm?


*•*¨*•。✿ The long awaited Pendle Makie arrives!! ✿。•*¨*•。

Or rather she doesn't ...

She's been here for months and sadly I got so caught up in playing with her, making little outfits and buying her cute stuff that I totally forgot that I'd started this post in readiness for arrival then over the months it got buried in my draft folder, only to be found today while I was going through the sixty-seven posts I have there waiting to be finished and posted.

 I have resolved to do this even if it's just two drafts a week  and I just can't believe my beautiful Makie girl hasn't been given her online brag time, so here goes, but first look at this:

I found this on MakieLabs an hour or so ago and omg - She was "Made Real" on 31st Jan. 2014 - I received her around a week later - so for over a year I've owned and loved this girl and still haven't given her her own post - I'm so ashamed *hangs head*

Since she's been made real her display picture on the site has changed, prior to that she looked like this:

                                             It's one hell of a difference ain't it?!

I didn't order a face up for her, so I was quite surprised to discover when she arrived that she had been given a light one, I kept it as it was subtle but sadly it hadn't been sealed and my "I love you Pendle Play Time" was obviously too much for it, so I was forced to give her my own face up instead.

I made a point of saving the animations as I was creating her so I could do a comparison post just to see how close to the animations the finished doll is so I already had them uploaded to this post, waiting for "Made Real" photo's and words, which is great 'cos it saves me from going looking for them but kind of annoys me too as it means I stupidly could have had this post up online over a year ago *sigh*

Here she is with her original face up taken on the day she arrived at her new home, as you can see being Fairy Folk and never having used a seat that wasn't made of twigs and moss or toadstool caps before, she has no idea about having decorum when she sits down.

 I'm pleased to report she has gotten a lot better, but I fear she'll never quite get the hang of it!

I made that little dress she's wearing around a year before Makies were released, I made it for Blythe from a pattern I found a small jpg of in Google.

 I guessed the measurements and went for it (never again!) - it didn't fit her but I loved the fabric and was determined to find someone it fitted so I kept it and waited...

When Pendle moved in I thought "what the hoo, give it a try" so I did and it fitted like a glove - Yay!

The wig she's wearing is not the one she came in I bought it a while waiting for her to arrive  - although she mostly doesn't wear either, I'm not sure why but I think she much prefers the feeling of the wind on her bare head...

Here she is with the replacement face up I gave her,  I'm pretty pleased with how "alive" I've made her look especially when compared to the picture below, which shows her as she was when first designed and waiting to be "Made Real".

"Made Real" is definitely the right term to use, while it may have started out as a quirky way of saying the doll has now been made tangible there is something about these dolls - more than you get with mass produced dolls, these dolls really do have a "personality" and more than the imaginative play of yesteryear... There is a "realness" to them that's hard to explain to anyone who doesn't have one of their own.

I took photographs of her in each of the positions in which you can rotate your creation to see how you like your doll as you're making her, as I wanted to do comparison shots once she arrived  - I did too but unfortunately I have no idea what I've done with the blooming things!

 I did however have the Makilab ones saved in this post, so I dunno I guess I'll just have to take some more but of course they won't have her original "face up" 

 I'm quite struck by how different these to images are, but at the same time I'm very impressed by how close to my designed doll Pendle is, it's actually quite astounding to think that a few tweaks with a fun little online gadget can produce a doll that is exactly to my taste and not only that - a doll no one else has or ever will!

 The more I look at these images side by side the more impressed I am. Pendle really is an exact replica of my design not just having a resemblance too, like many Ooak dolls are but an actual, tangible representation of my design.

It's really an amazing experience to hold a doll that was designed not only for you but by you!

 To be honest I was a little worried about how she would come out and especially in the case of her ears the holes in the "Makiebot" images look really big and very high up her earlobes but I shouldn't have been concerned as on the finished doll they are exactly as I want them!

 I have to say for an artist, doll collector & customiser like myself, Makies have to be the perfect doll!

Not only has it always been my dream to design my own doll although to be honest I haven't a clue how to start hence my almost subconsciously becoming a customiser, but they also provides so much creative input that you actually feel like you really have made the doll yourself!

 I'm really pleased with the distance between her head and her ears, it's exactly the distance I wanted...

I really need to tidy up my "play pen" as I can't find which safe place I put her original wig in, so sadly I had to use the spare I bought for the following comparison pic's - the ones I took on the day she arrived were in her original wig but unfortunately my computer is as in need of a tidy as my play pen - ho hum!

 Pendle hates having to stay still for my photos so sadly they've come out pretty fuzzy but even so, it's still easy to make the comparisons between them and the "Makie Maker" images.

I didn't realise until after I'd uploaded that her eye's on the wonk, oh well I've fixed it now just a little too late for the photo shoot.

I would ask Pendle if she'd let me take some more but she's a bit busy right now...

Pendle is very sturdy and is able to hold onto her mischievous, wriggling imp of a son (who she caught scratching up the wall behind her and laughing maniacally) with one hand, unsupported.

I think from the look on her face she's beginning to regret Motherhood - Still I'm sure he'll calm down once his had his nap!

When Pendle is not having to deal with a naughty "Mudwamp" up to no good, she likes nothing better than entertaining everyone with her best impressions of Groucho Marx while I rue the day I ever let her watch Duck Soup!!