craft, Doll, Uncategorized

Now with no dead bugs!

I’m wrapping up my day off.

I’ve joined a Pullip Doll group on Facebook. It’s not a selling group. The woman running it makes solid Pullip related videos and seems to be good at creating community/an online presence with give-aways and discussion prompts.

Much of it is people un-boxing things they’ve ordered, sharing doll stories and pictures, but there is also some face-up content.

Since I’ve come to this WITHOUT actually collecting dolls and then getting into fixing things and THEN face-ups, I feel a little freakish.

“Hi! I’m here to post HORRORS and start doing the massive undertakings ya’ll have eased into! IS MY WIG CAP ROTTING INTERNALLY!?!?!”

(Reads touching story about dolls as therapy after truama)


Not that this isn’t therapy of sorts. At the school I work in there’s a support staffer who comes every few weeks. She’s tri-lingual and has learned I make SO MUCH STUFF. She now brings projects she’s working on for me to check out. We catch up on works in progress. Last time she told me she’d seen a bag that says ‘Knitting, because it’s cheaper than therapy” and laughed.

I laughed too and then smiled and said, “hahaha, yeah. I do both!” and  when she paused slightly I explained that I’m on medication, regularly see my shrink, and craft like the wind.

All part of normalizing mental health!

Let’s see how my doll skulls are doing!

The above shot shows where I started lightly sanding the surface (right half) to make sure the discoloration didn’t go deep into the plastic. Much of the glue lifted off with some soaking in water.


Sanded glue residue vs unsanded.


Everything you see painted on was done by the last owner. I soaked and removed the eyelashes and started at the face with rubbing alcohol and light paint thinner. Paint thinner is nasty.

Many youtube tutorials show people removing doll faces with just rubbing alcohol. Not working for me. Wish it did. I save it for wiping down and removing sanding dust before fixing.

Listen to me acting like I have a set routine.


I also took a break at lunch and made a trip to a used toy shop via bus. It was a bust, I now know I’m not missing out on anything…. BUT I picked up 3.00$USD used Minnetonka boots nearby so WIN!


Look who has no BUG PARTS in her skull! THIS DOLL!



I also located the eye-levers and eye-lids I need to repair winking. The biggest hurdle is that these parts generally use doll-related terms-of-art. Like “Eye-Mech’ and “eye chips” so I not only have to figure those out, then I need to figure out the Japanese versions of the terms so I can search for them in auctions or locate what stores might have them.

These are the levers to wink, blink, or sleep the eyelids and the eyelids and springs themselves with extra eyelashes. They were both offered by the same online auction dealer so I was able to negotiate combined shipping. Everything altogether is about 1,000yen or 10$ usd which I paid at the nearest convini in cash (a wonderful buying option here for online purchases).

The eye-mech is pretty amazing. I’ll discuss it more when putting it all together.

And my Dal face is coming along.

craft, Doll, sewing, Uncategorized

When you find yourself Googling “remove doll scalp”…

It’s been a hectic but rewarding few days of teaching (dance and English) and I am on the eve of a day off.

The Dal Doll face is evolving….


I’ve done adjustments on the wig I think I’m going to use, making it slightly smaller and tighter. I have also “washed” the wig.

The Internet has recommended that doll hair and doll wigs are best soaked in a 50/50 solution of fabric softener and water. I never use fabric softener so I purchased the cheapest available and soaked the wig.

Boy-o-boy. That’s a smell that lingers. You don’t rinse it all out. Floral AF.

I found a book of doll patterns and purchased it. Usually I would hunt around a used book store or just nab stuff off the internet, but this was an impulse purchase at a medium-to-small book store. That Japan often has a doll “section” in bookstores (smaller than the model building stuff) and I had multiple choices just shows you..Japan takes the crafting of wee things SERIOUSLY.

doll outfit

Research shows me that the Pullip Dal Doll has a similar doll clothing size as Licca-chan, Japan’s reigning doll champion! This book’s “M” size should fit.


I’m never NOT going to share “Rough Trade Records” “Street Licca”

So tomorrow I relax/ work on choreography/ and continue with dolls: Dal’s face, Archie’s shirt…and my newest rescue doll…which is why I have been Googling about doll skull/skull-type/scalps.


Nope, no doll phrenology. That shit was some scientific racism.

See, I visited DollyTeria in Ikebukuro when I was stressed. I saw a Pullip that I couldn’t forget about. It was naked in a bin and someone had done a poor job sculpting elf-ears onto it. MY KIND OF DOLL.

So later I looked at the web-site they have…and bought it. But I confused it with another doll there and accidently bought the wrong one.

Instead of buying THIS “Byul”


I bought this Pullip


She’s got the same sized head at Dal but a taller and more adult body.


She also has three part head instead of a head that comes apart in two halves.


The scalp looks…like it was handmade poorly and may have pockets of mold. I’ve figured out this is replacable and where to score new skull..thing. There is also yellow discoloration arounf the joined areas as if the glue the hobbiest used wasn’t water soluable white glue. I’ll see if that can be sanded off.

Time to open her up. She SHOULD have little knobs coming out of those larger holes.

Those operate her eyelids. Whoever had this removed her moving eyelids. I’ll see if I can get these parts without replacing the whole eye-mech.


Oh, but what she lacks in eyelids/ moving parts she makes up for in DEAD DESICCATED BUG PARTS.



So, yes, before typing this I washed my hands. Next I’ll wash out that head.

My work is set out for me.

Oh, and her head is a little wobbly but  after all this making her neck join a little tigher will be EASY PEASEY.


craft, Doll, pullip, Uncategorized

Dal Dolly, what did they do to you?

I’ve been stressed. This means I’m learning new aspects of doll craft.

I was at the Hobby Off in Kashiwa.  I know that’s dangerous.


This is not my Hobby Off. This is included so you can laugh at the Off store names.


I was thinking about picking up a Peco-Chan and repainting her in some surreal manner. I was just daydreaming, my heart wasn’t in it.


Slogan: Milky tastes like mama. NOT A LIE.

No new-used Disney dolls so I looked at the case of BJD (Ball Joint Dolls) and related dolls. Don’t worry. I still believe that Blythe dolls eat the souls of pug dogs… and are evil.

But there are Pullip dolls there and I kinda like them.

From Wiki: Pullip (Korean: 풀잎) is a fashion doll created by Cheonsang Cheonha of South Korea in 2003.Pullip has a jointed plastic body (1:6 scale) and a relatively oversized head (1:3 scale), with eyes that can move from side to side and eyelids that can blink. Pullip was first marketed by Jun Planning out of Japan; but the company underwent management changes in early 2009 and, since then, has operated out of South Korea under the name Groove.

Since the release of the original female doll, other companion dolls have been added: male dolls Namu (나무, tree) and Taeyang (태양, sun); Taeyang’s younger sister, Dal (달, moon); Dal’s best friend, Byul (별, star); and Pullip’s younger brother, Isul (이슬, dew). In February 2013, a new member of the Pullip family was introduced, called Yeolume (열매, berry/fruit), who is Pullip’s future daughter. There is also a miniature line called Little Pullip, with 1:12 scale bodies and 1:6 scale heads. Pullip and her counterpart dolls are often customized by collectors, with the most common customizations including wig changes, eye color changes, and rebodying.

At Hobby Off I’ve seen and been curious about one that’s WAY up high, not behind glass, and was much cheaper than the rest. It’s a Dal Doll (Pullip’s boyfriend’s litter sister?…I’m still new to this) and she’s in her box and everything but….

Dal ” Dreaming Bird of Myth doll” should look like this….

But now looks like….


I Googled some information about removing paint from Pullip dolls. Unlike vinyl dolls you MUST NEVER use acetone. You either sand it off to use rubbing alcohol/Mr. Thinner model paint thinner.

And I bought the abused dolly…and hit up the Kashiwa Yellow Submarine (A chain of gamer-geek supplies and , sometimes, model supplies) for sandpaper.


Her wig slides right off. This is a sign that she’s been modified because to get to the eyes (and change the eye-chips) you have to remove the wig and open her skull.


Damage Tally:

  • added paint
  • added paint with GLITTER
  • Creepy eye chips
  • Extra eyelashes glued on
  • Pearl glued on outside edge of eye
  • heart glued on on inside edge of eye

I opened her head by unscrewing thee screws at the back of her skull.


Then I unscrewed the eye mech. The eye mech probably should be attached by 5 screws but only 3 were in evidence. More to fix later.


Dal is the only Pullip doll who doesn’t have eyelid action, her eyes just move back and forth via a switch at the back of her neck. I carefully removed the eyelash pads, as the original eyelashes were ragged.

THEN I SANDED HER FACE! I used wet sandpaper on a wetted surface. I think you’d usually want to start with 600grit but I went for 300ish because GLITTER…and then got finer grit sandpaper after the worse was gone.



Then I worked my way to 12000 grit sandpaper and Mr.Thinner on toothpicks and q-tips.


This has been finely sprayed with Mr. Super Clear fixative. The sanding plus fixative should get the surface enough tooth to hold pigments

I also started making a croquis for doll/face planning. I should add the body after I refine it. The first draft I wasn’t actually with the doll face, just a photo, so it’s…even creepier.


And yesterday, after a horrible day I don’t want to talk about and can’t because of job privacy, I visited DollyTeria in Ikebukuro which deals in used dolls and doll wigs and stuff. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a bargain basement gal.

I came home with new eyechips and three used wigs. I’m fine with used DOLL wigs. Dolls don’t sweat or shed skin flakes. It turns out two of the wigs are a little big, so I will alter them…but not before having some fun.


This is like one of the Archie comics where they address crazy counter culture.



And thus concludes the start of Dolllll Hospitaaaaaaaal!

craft, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, Uncategorized

First Disney Repaint.

I’ve got dolls, they’re multiplying. And I’m losing control.

Well. I have more than one Disney doll now.

Before Craftsmas an online friend contacted me about two Disney Animators dolls (Belle and Lilo ) she picked up for about 5 USD each. She’s planning to send them to me, but some holiday called Christmas has delayed her.

One of those dolls I have serious plans for.

I figured I needed to actually do some test repaints to learn the craft better, as it’s not coming easy for me and I can’t expect my first Disney repaint to go super smoothly.

Repaints I’ve done so far:

Secret Barbie (in time I shall share)


That’s not many.

Japanese resale shops don’t have a great selection of cheap dolls. People either keep the boxes and get the dolls back to very good condition (and then charge near-new prices or higher than new for dolls only a few years old) or just junk them.

Browsing Yahoo Auctions Japan, I found a Tiana “My First Princess Toddler” doll for 900¥ . In America these seem to be around 9 to 11USD new but in Japan I see them new in Toys R Us for about 2,800¥.

The toddlers are slightly smaller than the Animator dolls with less range of motion on joints and head and no visible eye shape once the makeup is removed. They’re not as nice or sturdy.

In the future I’d like to give a doll a boil perm to create tightly curled hair, but it looked like no child had tried to comb out Tiana’s hair so it still retained good curls for her two hair puffs. The Ariel and Cinderella doll I saw for sale by the same lister..half-combed out messes. Did not want.

The first step in these doll repaints is to remove all the face with acetone. Then, cover the body and hair in some sort of protective wrap. Finally prep the face surface with a light coating of sealant to create a slight tooth/texture on the face for media the adhere to. This is what Archie taught me.

Mr.Super Clear seems to be the brand of choice and it’s Japanese in origin. Repainting supplies, if not the dolls themselves, are cheaper and easier to score here. Japan LOVES making models.

Then I worked with a variety of chalk pastels, colored pencils, and acrylics

I’m having the most difficulty getting a really good eye white, as you can see.

I think in the future I will contour with chalk pastels, spray fix, slowly built up the whole whites of the eyes with thin layers of white acrylic, spray fix, and then use a variety of chalk pastels, water color pencils (w and w/out added water) then do a spray before adding liquified lacquer to the lips and eyes.

These are the stages Tiana went through.

And finally she and Snow are sporting the two bathrobes I made. Tiana will require slightly smaller patterns than Snow but the nightgown and robe are generally one size fits both.

craft, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, Uncategorized

XXIII:Mary’s Flannel Petticoat

Excerpts From
The Mary Frances sewing book; or, Adventures among the thimble people
Fryer, Jane Eayre, 1876


Don’t you want to go with Grandma to-day?” asked her grandmother of Mary Frances.

“Where, Nanny?” inquired the little girl.

”Well,” said Grandma, “I’m going to take a trolley ride through the park.”

“Where the monkeys are?” inquired Mary Frances.

“Yes,” said Grandma. “I thought you’d like to share my ‘afternoon out.’ “

“I dearly love monkeys,” said Mary Frances. “They crinkle up their faces so!”

“Come, then,” said Grandma, “get your hat!”

Monkeys that live in parks are never nice monkeys. 

It’s nothing against monkeys. Monkeys by themselves are fine, delightful even. Monkeys in parks have had multiple interactions with humans. We are horrible. We are a bad influence.

My monkey experiences are skewed by the fact I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. You may not think of Madison as being famous for monkeys. Unfortunately in our zoo we had a collection of monkeys that were descendants of Madison’s famous rhesus macaque laboratory monkeys from Harry Harlow’s behavioural research. Ya know, wire-mother/terrycloth-mother, fear-test monkeys, and infant isolation chambers. Those descendants were not ok and were worse than your average monkeys who have had to deal with humans on the regular.

I live in Japan now. Asian park monkeys are known for robbing people and stores of their edible souvenirs and being generally ornery and aggressive. I have had to try and distract a monkey so it would drop a bag belonging to my friend that held candy AND her wallet.

We never get to learn about Mary’s local park monkeys. Mary runs up to grab her hat but stops to listen in at the door of the sewing room, where she hears the Thimble People excitedly chattering about the next project, a ‘flannel pet’.

“The dear things!” thought Mary Frances, “and I was going to run away! What can a flannel pet be? Is it a flannel cat, or rabbit, or dog?”

“Mary Frances!” called Grandma.

“Listen, Nanny,” said the little girl leaning over the banister, “will you feel much disappointed, dear Nanny, if I don’t go? I— I—”

“Why, no, my child!” said Grandma. Mrs. Bennett is going with me, so I’ll have company, but I thought you’d be lonely. Good-bye, dear,—take a nap if you feel like it.”

Mary, you weren’t going to ‘run away’. You were going to have social interactions outside!

I can’t be too harsh though, I have canceled human interactions for craft time. I have some social anxiety issues. I might also pass on monkey-laden parks if offered the chance.

Of course Mary soon learns that she’ll be making a petticoat, not a flannel animal. Actually, this chapter is all about making an underwaist of flannel, not the flannel petticoat which comes in the next chapter…a fact that confused me to no end.


The Underwaist is our first garment that doesn’t use the T shaped shoulders. HUZZAH!

Of course I wasn’t going to make a bland under-garment. I was going to bust out the patterned fabric and make a dress.

The skirt doesn’t use a pattern. It’s just a measured rectangle that gets hemmed, joined with a felled seam, and is gathered at the top edge before being joined to the underwaist top.

Tutorial for felled seams at Colette.

I used two rows of machine stitching to better gather the seams this time, lesson learned, and I finished the edge with a decorative feather stitch as suggested by the book.

The top is lined to protect/hide unfinished seams. I opted for snaps instead of buttons.

if this seems like a rushed description, WP ate a chunk of my text earlier.

Mostly finished but no snaps.



But I actually wasn’t finished. I wanted cleaner shoulders so I started draping my doll and consulting a tutorial for drafting your doll’s bodice.



My new bodice pattern in progress.

And I started using YET MORE of my Star Trek fabric.


I even felled a FEW seams because i didn’t have a long enough scrap for the skirt.

Check out that pattern matching! The skirt was temporarily machine bias hemmed and then finished by hand.





I figure I can play around with this bodice and raise the waist and hem and such for a variety of cute skirts.

I’ve also learned where I draw the line.


I’ve been working on a secret project and lemme tell you…Barbie clothing, even at it’s most simple, is too fussy for me.

craft, Mary Frances sewing, sewing, Uncategorized

Chapter XXII: A Ruined Dress.

Let us all bow our heads, Craftsmas had come to a close. No longer are my days for all the crafts. I am back to my jobs. Now is the time for manageable smaller projects.


The last days of Craftsmas were spent finishing off another scrap quilt, it had remained 2/3’s finished after last Craftsmas. Now it needs batting and backing and I need a three day weekend and an audio book.


It’s also time to crack open the books and get back to Mary Frances!

Excerpts From: Fryer, Jane Eayre, 1876-. “The Mary Frances sewing book; or, Adventures among the thimble people.”

I’ve already made the Morning Dress from this chapter, twice, so today we shall focus on the plot.


Aunt Maria has just left, taking her backhanded scolding with her, and the Thimble Folk rejoice as the Sewing Bird sleeps. They banter in what must have been HIGH humor in 1915.

“Oh the Old Grunt had to go home,” said Scissors Shears, standing on one pointed toe. ”Why?” asked Tommy Pin Cushion.

“I don’t care a tinkle,” exclaimed Silver Thimble, ”why she went—I’m only glad we’re to have the little Miss to ourselves once more!”

“Humph!” exclaimed Ma Chine, “if Sewing Bird were awake, little you’d speak in so cutting a way about an old lady, Scissors!”

“Click! CHck! Chckety-click! Rip-her-up-the-back!” snapped Scissors Shears, making across the table.

“You old Thread Chewer, you!” he exclaimed, “everybody knows you have wheels in your head! You old Thread Chewer! You—! You! I double dare you to—”

“Zunmi! Zumm! Zumm!” Ma Chine began to whirl.

I lied about the humor. There is nothing deliberately funny in these pages.

Little girls were not allowed near humor in 1915 for fear they’d develop ‘a sharp tongue’ that would alienate gentleman callers down the road. They were instead encouraged to engage in the worst of wordplay to actively demonstrate how they posed no intellectual threat to menfolk.


Once more, Silver Thimble exhibits his red flags. If your thimble is jealous of the time you spend with family members and friends and actively isolates you from the company of others, please seek help.

I forgo the use of thimbles most of the time. Sure, it gives me the sort of rough hands that tip-off gentlemen callers that I am not as high-born as I pretend…but my sharp tongue already dooms me so who cares about my calloused fingers?

As the Thimble Folk trade words Mary is standing just outside the room, listening and hoping no harm will come from this spat. Mary, still passive AF.

Suddenly Scissors Shears stumbled and fell flat on the table, his feet being all entangled in the folds of some pink lawn.


This apparently is the downside to letting temperamental Thimble Folks prep and finish your work. Sometimes they stumble and SLASH your DRY GOODS into ribbons.

There on the sewing table was Scissors Shears looking woefully upon a pretty little doll’s dress carefully cut out and pinned together. All over it were gashes and slashes where his sharp feet had cut into the material.

“What shall I do/’ began Scissors Shears, ”oh, Sewing Bird, what shall I do?—There’s no other goods! I took such care to make that so perfect,—ready for the little lady’s lesson to-day!”


Now, if I were Mary I’d be livid…probably.

There are risks to having unpaid labor do your prepping and finishing and a few lost fabrics is nothing in comparison to a revolution. I don’t think Mary is properly compensating ANY of the anthropomorphic folks who help her. She never questions all this free labor and education.

At the least I’d make sure to craft a cosy for Scissors Shears… like a quilted straight jacket.

Oh! That reminds me. Ever since I wrote about the Sewing Bird I’ve started keeping a Pintrest page of lovely sewing objects.

But Mary puts Scissor Shear’s feelings first, suppresses her own, and acts ignorant.

“Come!” said Mary Frances to herself. “That’s enough! Poor old Scissors Shears!—I’ll pretend not to notice it.

Good-afternoon!” she said going into the sewing room, “I’ve changed my mind, dear Sewing Bird Lady—I think I’d like to use some other goods rather than that I left on the table for this lesson. I’ll just throw this aside in a little bundle,”—pushing the ruined dress aside,—”and may I use this pretty pink cham-bray gingham to-day?”

“The very thing!” exclaimed Fairy Lady, “much better than lawn, for a morning dress.”

Damnit, Fairy Lady. You know what she’s doing. It’s ok for Mary to be angry or to discuss her disappointment…

What’s that you say, Fairy Lady?

Not if she’s going to survive a 1920’s marriage?

Thimble Folks, sometimes I really hate you all.

Yeah. I know. Gentlemen don’t appreciate sharp tongued spinsters like me and Aunt Maria.

Anywhoozlebee…Mary pretends everything is fine and they set to work on the morning dress.

“That’s your week’s work,” said Fairy Lady, ”if you finish it for the next lesson, I’ll be so proud.”

“And so will I!” laughed Mary Frances, resolving to work hard. “Good-day, dear Thimble People.”

The Chapter ends with Scissor Shears continuing to be in his own feelings.

“I’ll help her if I dare,” said Scissors Shears.

“What could you do, now?” asked Tommy Pin Cushion. “You’re in disgrace!”

Little does Mary, Tommy Pin Cushion, or the Fairy Lady know…this is the least of S.Shears’ private shame and not even the secret he fears Mary will someday learn.


No…no one ever saw the Clauss Girl again.








archie, craft, Doll, sewing, Uncategorized

Terror Gets a New Pair of Pants.

Well, I couldn’t very well leave Archie pants-less. He’s scary enough. Even with the make-over an apartment guest recoiled slightly at his visage.

After the ass-reduction Archie couldn’t very well wear his old pants.

Also…Archie has some ugly pants.

archie pants

Comics are a hellofa drug.

Trust me, they are a repulsive fabric to behold.

archie pants 2

Fuck the Patriarchy! Not worth fighting over.

But, accurate to the classic look.

archie pants 3

This is just included because I saw it and now want a world where Betty seduces Veronica in Sexy Archie Drag….because that’s EXACTLY what she’s wearing.

There’s NO WAY I was ever going to find orange fabric with a black grid in the right scale. I didn’t like the original fabric enough to alter it either. So what I needed was to find a real-world interpretation of what those pants might be.

I used a Harris tweed with a subtle plaid pattern including flecks of orange. Then I altered the original pants and used them as a pattern. The original pants had pockets but two layers of tweed gets bulky.


I also repainted and scuffed up the shoes..and gave them dark soles.


Cuffs! That inseam could use a pressing.

When the stores reopened here I also hit a “Hobby-off”. Book-Off/ Hard-Off/Hobby-Off are a chain of resale shops selling books & Manga, furniture and home stuff, and geek stuff.

I am now off the Kinder-Egg grid for a Maz Kanata.


There are now Maz busts available online but I don’t want Maz or toys to totally takeover my apt…so I set out to upgrade Maz.


 After (Her base is somewhere, will find when tidying up later)

It’s mostly just messy washes but it gives her a bit more depth. She’s really tiny. I will need even smaller brushes and magnifying visor if I do things on this scale.