craft, Doll, Social, Uncategorized

New Years Eve

It’s New Years Eve.

My  破魔矢 ”Hamaya”/ Demon Breaking Arrow from this year is ready to be burned in a bonfire tonight.


My bedroom and kitchen are clean enough for guests. I’m spending my third New Years Eve in a row with Jamie. I’ve known her since we were both wee cosplay dorks at cons in America. 20 years?

I’ve pulled out one of my futons. it’s folded up beyond my desk.


None of these dolls were here last year. Contemplate that for me.
The desk, however, I bought sight-unseen from another foriegner before I moved to Japan…17+ years ago. It’s been painted many colors since.


Jamie will come over. We’ll get snacks and catch up. Then we’ll head to a shrine in Kashiwa to count in the New Year. I’ll burn my arrow.

I don’t usually buy Hamaya but I’d been asked to pick up two for a friend in America and then got one myself. That friend turned out to be a full-time scam artist…one of two friends this year who turned out to be harboring secrets so horrible that they traumatized too many people to even contemplate…watching it burn will hopefully be cathartic.

I’ve rid my home of so much from the scammer but never by burning.

In my dance room my quilt is pinned and ready to be tied…and tied…and tied.


Tomorrow Craftmas begins in earnest and without interruption.

craft, Doll, Uncategorized

Hush Makeover

What’s on my balcony?



I couldn’t resist. There’s been a Living Dead Doll at the Kashiwa Hobby Off. She was in a tightly sealed baggie. I resisted for over a month.

I know nothing about LDDolls. If I’d taken the time to figure out who was in the bag before I bought I would have been ahead of the game.

Here is what I bought.



Here is what she should look like. Hush from series 6 of the Living Dead Dolls.


Yeah…she should have pinkish tones to her skin…not olive/mustard.

You know what hit me when I opened that bag?

Nicotine stench.

Just waves of it.

I’ve been removing her paint and washing her and washing her…soaking her in vinegar…scrubbing…lightly sanding…


It’s the worst where her outfit didn’t cover, like her face and shoulders…but the smoke was so absorbed by the vinyl that there are stains and discoloration even UNDER where her underwear was painted on.


But nothing really explains it better than once I realized I’d have to take her apart. Look at that color difference. This is after scrubbing and soaking.


I’ve been trying to get the sun, what short amount we have each day, to help do the work.

I’ve scrubbed them up in a slurry of baking soda/ hydrogen peroxide/liquid soap and have been putting them out on the sun.

It’s new years eve and her torso and limbs are soaking. Her head has been re-slathered and is on my balcony to see the first sunrise of the new year, as is custom in Japan.

If anyone has tips on how to battle soaked-in nicotine I’d love to hear it.

craft, sewing, Uncategorized


For the last week and few days my mother has been here (and we’ve traveled to Vietnam) so crafting hasn’t been my highest priority. Tomorrow she heads back to America and the Craftsmas resumes.

It’s time to line this scrap quilt I made last year. When spring of 2018 started coming I stopped after I purchased the batting. Warm weather isn’t what I need to go forward on a scrap quilt.

Now that my free time is starting it’s time to finish this.


It’s 160cm wide by 240 long. Ignore the mess. It’s what happens when you have to push everything to one side of the room.

The Mom and I visited the Nippori fabric district and I came back with my quilt backing fabric (and more…) and threw everything into the wash when I got home (and then hung to dry).

Tonight, after she went to bed, I finished the backing.

Tomorrow it moves to my dance room (where I am currently sleeping) to begin tying it.

blythe, Doll, sewing


Let’s move along to finished projects I should have told you about ages ago.

My Aggretsuko Blythe! Just in time for the Netflix Christmas Special!!

Her face just wasn’t right last time. I realized that it was because I’d given her lips. Red pandas have mouths that pop out from under white fur.

That issue solved:

Eyes I ordered locally:

Hearts and skulls!

I also used a pattern book to make that tiny shirt. I drafted the skirt myself.

Local wig! I decided to trim it after this picture. I made the ears out of white fake fur and orange felt. They are lightly stuffed and stitched to the wig.

Hair cut! Fake beer from a Gotchapon


I used a pattern book again but altered a jacket pattern into a vest pattern.

With leftover white fake fur (I painted with watered-down acrylics and brushed between colors to prevent clumping) I created her tail.

I also drew one pair of her eyes and glued them to 14cm glass cabochons.

And printed out the last pair and glued them similarly


Happy Holidays, Y’all.

craft, Doll, pullip

Holly went roughly.

Doll fixing while cleaning:

Picked up this damaged, unwigged, naked Audrey Hepburn for about 2,500¥

What she’s supposed to look like.


She was missing blink bars…which didn’t much matter as is because her eyes had been modified so they stuck out too far for her eyelids to close anyways.

I’d found a listing on Mercari for two sets of blink bars and two sets of eyelids for this generation of Pullip (three-part head with body type 3) for 500¥ MINE!

I found her generation of eye mech at Dollyterria with some large eye-chips the same time I bought her. 500¥ MINE

Good thing too!

Her body was in good shape but I had to figure out what was up with her eyes.

Ok. Eye-mech broken. Replace and save for items that can be used to repair future eye mech.

Eyes…wtf? Some sort of doll eye has been hollowed out and fitted (and smashed) over the eyemech eye area. This is probably the stress that eventually broke the eyemech.

Useless to me.

With Audrey’s face off I took the time to remove the rest of her face. Her lipstick had been removed by a previous owner.

Then I put her eyelids in, put in a new-to-her eye mech, inserted her new eye bars and reassembled her.

The eye chips in the eyemech also stick out a little too much, interfering with her blinks, so they’ll be replaced when I decide how I want to repaint her.

But there we have another doll ready to face-up when inspiration strikes and we still have two pairs of extra eyelids and one pair of wink bars.

Doll, pullip, tutorial

Replacing broken knee joint


While cleaning up my craft room (as part of a Mom/Craftmas is coming I’m also tackling “to do” unfinished work.

This might be my inability to avoid distraction or it might legit be reducing my clutter/ getting things prepared so that craft work can begin whenever I’m ready.

Dal surgery:

A baggie Dal I picked up recently experienced a broken knee joint when I tried to put her in her bunny outfit.

The knee joint broke off inside the thigh….wedging itself there and in the shin.

Upon further inspection i realized that this rescue Dal has forearms and shins a pinker color than her body…so she’s not new to surgery.

I had an extra knee joint from rebodying the footless Monomono/Bedhead Dal, but first I needed to remove the joint.

I took my dremel tool and carefully drilled a hole into the broken off joint. Then I screwed a smallish screw partway into that hole. I used my leather man tool to then pull the screw and joint out.

I repeated the action to the other half of the broken joint.

Then I used my extra joint to thread everything back into place.

Surgery finished, broken parts disposed of, doll ready for future modifications!

Disney, Doll, Uncategorized

Who is the gaijin in your neighborhood?

Hi, Neighbors!

Don’t mind us! We’re just TEATHERED* to the balcony here and slathered in acne cream.


*we get earthquakes. I figured it’s best to tie them for their protection.

I  dressed them because I rationalized that seeing naked dolls would be more upsetting for my neighborhood.

These girls need sunlight to clean their face-stains. Well, sunlight and acne medication with 10% benzoyl peroxide. I’m nearly out so Gina is sending me some. It’s not available in Japan.

Cinderella’s stains are responding, slowly but surely.


Aurora? Not yet.


About Auroa’s hair. This was my first very intense boil perm.


Unfortunately some of the curls on the right hand side of the photo were too loose and I’m redoing those looser curls. They’re drying right now.

I thought about redoing them all because she’s alarmingly curly but…I might just turn her into Claudia when I repaint her.




Sunday damage report.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve moved my private dance lesson so my body can rest all day.

The last two weekends have involved evenings with back-to-back restaurant gigs in a single night. How not-glam is that? Three solo shows in two days on top of dance lessons can be killer…and I haven’t modified all my costumes to not pinch the pack of my neck.

To show you what a figurative pain in the neck double gigs are, I give you SATURDAY NIGHT.

Here I am in restaurant closet/office/changing room #1 of the night. Both restaurants (in Shibuya) are owned by the same guy…otherwise I wouldn’t do a double. There’s too much chance location one will run late and mess things up and location two…but with the same owner that onus to keep everything on time is on the staff, not me. If I did gigs for restaurants owned by competitors I’d be in the wrong if I was late for a second gig.

These restaurants are within walking distance of each other so after my first, sweaty, set I put on a cover-up robe and my full jacket and just wheeled my cart to location two. The week before I danced at restaurants in different areas of Tokyo which required a train ride. I changed out of costume for that one.


Location two actually has no heated changing area. You go down the building stairs to the basement. To your right after the stairs is the TINY restaurant.


To the right behind the check-out and the owner’s son, that’s the kitchen. You might think that to the left it’s BIGGER. nope. To the left, the area of the restaurant you can’t see, it’s only about a elevator wider than what you see. One row of tables. I’m very good at dancing with a 3-meter silk veil in a confined place.

To the left after you’ve come down the stairs…is a wall with a a fake-wood screen against it. The other side of the screen is fake-gold.


That’s the changing room. It’s opened up into an L shape and I scurry Into that space near the storage closet.


And that’s where I huddle, in my jacket over my costume and standing on my shoes for warmth.


The owner used to insist on putting a heater in there, and newspapers on the floor, but I was afraid of catching fire.

(Picture from last year, December)



And that, in a nutshell, is why I’m resting today.



craft, Disney, Doll, monster high, Uncategorized

New Hands Are Here!

Right now it’s hard to prioritize things. I get home and everything shouts for attention: my bed, my need for nourishing food, my need to make that food, my crafts, the things I need to do for dance and the studio…

Before I know it it’s past my bedtime, way past, and I feel like nothing got done but a mess was made. I know that’s in part the depression talking but it’s also true that my focus feels fragmented.

I did manage to get the studio website updated to the best of my ability tonight.  Unfortunately I had some questions about some class description titles not matching the names of the classes on our schedule.

This is all compounded by the fact that I can read (almost) all the home page and promotional copy I get from my dance partner, in my second language, but I can’t always trust my second language for generating new copy when something is lacking or contradicting itself.

My dance partner also just had a baby. It’s a fresh baby…like 3 months text replies to my questions to her might come at once or at 4 am. I’m closing LINE/Instagram and the studio homepage editor for the night and just being glad I started the process and have made headway into new classes and the 2019 schedule.


You say new baby, I say napping partner. This was at his 2 month mark. I’m going to be doing a lot of baby duty while she gets back into classes at the studio in the new year.

The good news is…I can feel like I did much more tonight because my replacement hands arrived in the mail.


I found replacement hands for my Sally Doll in progress. Shipping from America isn’t always cheap but…I wasn’t looking forward to hand sculpting hands with a wrist joint and arm pegs.


…and I can send more goofy text photos to friends here.