It was on Bubbles that my series languished. I’d chosen one of the two Auroa dolls I have. It’s not a face sculpt I much like. The eyes feel too large and wide apart but I thought it might work for Bubbles.
Alas, her hair parted on the side and I found no way that I could make her hairstyle work. I chopped off her hair and thought I’d make a wig….but I never did.
Last week, in surveying projects to finish up, I knew in my heart it was time to move on…and try making Cinderella into Bubbles instead.
When I first got Cinderalla she was sporting some facial stains that I finally bleached off with 10% Benxoyl Peroxide acne cream this summer.
I figured that she had a middle-part hair and would work…but it was difficult to really make out the full part because of how matted her hair was.
I conditioned and brushed and conditioned and brushed. At first I did so without gloves and then realized that if I’m going to increase doll work I’ll also need to increase protection to my skin and body. Gloved up.
It was only once it was fully dry that I realized the top part was great for pigtails….but the hair becomes too sparse in back to support that style.
I’m never going to fully reroot a Disney Animator doll again, that was a special hell, but her hair seems easy to match and I’m fine with just adding a part and longer bangs in front.
Which is how Bubbles came to get the back of her head removed so I can more easily glue and access skull bits without removing her head.
I’m not going to have time this week to get more hair, so I don’t expect to get any further on her until after the dance studio has it’s show. The rest of my night tonight is for cleaning and costume alterations.
When Powerpuff Girls hit big time in 1998 it made and impact on me and my female friends.
We were recently out of college or finishing up. You can’t tell me that we WEREN’T the key demographic…I know that we were in my heart and because by the time it was on video I worked at an independent video store and had seen the promotional goods and screeners and the info that went with them.
Kick-ass female cartoon characters were still few and far between. We had to make do with a single female ass-kicker in a group of men OR turn to Japanese Anime. Three powerful little girls? YES, PLEASE. Did we discuss the dynamics of which character we strongly identified with? YES.
I was Buttercup. It wasn’t up for debate. I didn’t have to argue for it. It was known.
Strong temper? Not a morning person? Blunt? Not the best impulse control? Somehow loved despite that?
Me in the late 90’s. SEE?
While I am now more of a Buttercup/Blossom hybrid, I didn’t see that shift coming. Shout-out to medications that help me be more level-headed and not ALL id.
Last year I completed Blossom and Buttercup’s faces and hair. I realized today that I’d not shown you that. Last I shared Ariel and Snow White were still detached heads, getting bangs and the start of the Blossoming.
And this is Blossom now:
Buttercup has also finished with her face-up,this is an in-progress shot to show the lip-scar. I figured she’d be the one most likely to have split a lip or sport bruises.
And her head returned to her body.
I’m a little nonplussed with the dresses I made. I think they need to be cuter with fuller skirts.
And that has left Bubbles…in the corner.
I’d picked an Aurora doll…but her hair part wasn’t right. I figured I’d make her a wig, but hand sewing a wig is something I haven’t found a great tutorial on. Progress has been spotty. The wig shown was a Mercari buy so I could harvest cheap wefts.
In the interest of tackling unfinished projects instead of starting new ones, I’ve decided to go another direction with her. Stay tuned.
Where have I been? I’ve been doing my summer thing. I’ve made a lot of stuff, done some social things, and visited America for 12 WHOLE DAYS.
And now, with my day job lurking beyond this weekend it’s time to start catching all of you up on my projects.
First up we have a work in progress: Powerpuff Girls.
I have a ton of Disney Animators dolls so Ariel is becoming Blossom, Snow is Buttercup and Aurora will be Bubbles.
First I had to clean them and do many days outside with 10% Benxol Peroxide acne cream to remove stains.
Which brings us to hair.
I’m ok with Blossom’s hair being more red than orange but neither Ariel nor Snow have bangs.
Which meant removing heads in order to properly root some bangs in.
I had to do the same thing with Snow. I also figured there are two waysI could interpret Buttercup’s hair. It can be slick with the up wave at the ends or I could make it more of a messy curly bob as her out of place hairs and morning illustrations suggest. I’ll be going team curly. Why not? More variation.
Aurora/Bubbles. Her hair just didn’t have the right part to do ponytails AT ALL AT ALL. I’ll work at making her a wig because I am never going to reroot a whole ‘nother of these heads. I’m sewing my first large wig cap for her, as I couldn’t find a light colored 13inch doll wig cap available online in Japan and I have stretchy nude fabric in my stash.
I’ll be buying a used wig of Mercari here later to remove blond wefts from, cheaper than buying them new.
And I’ve started on Blossom’s face.
I have already drafted a pattern that’ll work for the dresses, I did that back in the early stages when I thought I’d just learn a bit more about hand sewing by using a book about sewing for dolls….ya know…that thing that lead to all these DOLLS and Repaints.
And that, my dears, is only the start of what I’ve been up to.
The most awesome doll in the doll haul from the American consignment shop:
MONSTER HIGH INNER MONSTER SHIVERING SAD, EEK EXCITED, & HAUNTINGLY HAPPY DELUXE PACK
So great. So great. Mine was without a box but I don’t care about boxes. I had everything but the notebook/diary. I don’t need that diary. I have this here blog.
Oh, and mine had one other issue.
A head detached from her body. I had yet to really understand how awesome she was. But her head alone had an exposed brain that, when pressed, changed her eye colors.
With much rattling and tweezers I finally got the broken neck-part out of her head. This allowed me to figure out how the neck and head were supposed to attach.
Oh, did I not mention that her body plates come off to expose her SPINE and such? When I bought the lot I DIDN’T KNOW. Even when I got it I hadn’t googled for more info. I only figured it out when I saw how the seams of the body moved a bit when I manipulated the head.
I opened her up!
I then drilled a screw partway into her neck and used Apoxie Sculpt to make a new head node.
Here’s the copy for this amazing product in bold.
Monsters have feelings too!
Yes, we do.
And now they can express their monster moods – or yours!
Awesome! I am a sucker for toys and stories about how our emotions are a natural part of who we are…thus my Inside Out love.
This Monster High ghoul has creepy cool transformative features and killer ways of emoting!
With three of options, this monster can run the gamut of emotions from Shivering Sad to Eek Excited to Hauntingly Happy.
I have more emotions than that. That’s not technically running the gamut.
Fun fact about “Eek Excited.” I will respond to Eek. If I see it typed out I will identify with it as possibly meaning me. This comes from my misspent youth being a 14 year old with a 2400 baud modem who learned about local chat lines. I quickly chose the handle Eclipse and from ages 14-19 that was generally shortened to Eek.
Press on her scary cool neon brain to change the look in her eyes – the eye-changing feature even works with the wig on!
Three different eyes!
Swap out the three faceplates to change her facial expression from gore-geous to gaga.
This is something I’ve wanted with a MH doll AND IN LIFE. Extra faces.
This is another thing that dates back to my childhood love of the Oz books and the brief appearance of Princess Langwidere.
“Langwidere is a different person every time I see her. For the only way her maids and subjects can recognize her at all is by means of a pretty little key made out of solid ruby; which she always wears on a dainty chain attached to her left wrist. So when we see the key we know we are beholding the Princess.” ―Ozma of Oz (1907)
That key was to her hall of HEADS.
Back to dolls.
Plug emoticons (emotion-based peggable pieces) into her inner skeleton to make a literal statement and get even more “in touch” with your emotions.
Ok. So you can put a clear chest plate on her and see her spine/pelvis AND put little mood pegs into that skeleton.
I’m just keeping the thunderstorm in her pelvis. I feel it. There are three more places to plug in emotions on the rib cage. All extra emotions can be stored in her purse. I generally done have emotions in my purse but I usually carry around emergency nuts in case my blood sugar drops and I get Radically Raged.
And of course, fabulous feeling fashions and clawesome corresponding accessories can match the mood on the outside.
Clawed omelette is what my autocorrect made of Clawesome.
Throw on the enchanting wings, the creepy cool genie tail or both! Choose a hair-raising purple ponytail or a colorful wig. Swap the chest plates and the fashions to complete the look. When the right mood is captured, record the monster’s story in the fill-in-the-blank diary to take personalization to new scary heights.
Ok. The creepy cool genie tail. I had questions.
In the pictures of the lot I was going to get I kept wondering, “What is that hungry penis plant thing? Will it make more sense when it arrives? ”
Turns out, that’s for her Eek Excited look. You pull out her legs and shove her pelvis in that. That’s ok and not disturbing at all! Probably less disturbing than the uncanny valley that Will Smith often inhabits in the live action Aladin.
This video from Surprise Egg and Toy Collector on You Tube shows each of the three looks.
The whole video goes over every aspect I mention in better detail and each of the looks It’s late and I’d rather not set up to take photos.
The set includes one full doll with eye-changing/brain feature, three interchangeable face plates, two peggable/interchangeable skeletons, one additional chest plate, three monsterrific accessories (wings, tail, furry peplum), multiple inner emotion-based pieces (that snap into the doll), two over-the-top fashions, one pair of shoes, doll stand, brush and fill-in-the-blank diary. It’s a brand new way to play! Collect other dolls and expansion Add-On Packs for even more frightful options (sold separately). Ages 6 and older.
I would have gone insane for monster high dolls if they’d launched at the right time of my childhood…or in my childhood AT ALL.
I’m not changing this one.
She’s currently wearing another doll’s outfit and being a Sad rocker.
And doing Sadness a great concern.
But, most things do Sadness a great concern. It’s her thing, really.
Job stress: Will I be under employed? Can I find a different job quickly? Will I get permanent residency? Should I just go with being underemployed and cram for JLPT N2 6 months earlier than planed?
These are the things that make me want to just nap all day. When I’m asleep, I can’t consciously worry. I’ve had a few days since learning about work that involved doing one or two things and then nap. Nap. Nap.
I know this is depression.
When I can craft, that’s a win. It means I’m not asleep all day. I’m working on my kanji and Japanese gramar studies daily as well. I’ve applied to various jobs and…if I don’t hear anything in 3 hours…will do more of that. I continue to teach dance and know I may need to increase that soon.
I’ve had an interveiw….but I haven’t heard back since.
Always go early to interviews to make sure you can find the location. This is extra important when you travel by train and on foot. But you don’t want to officially arrive TOO early, that’s a bad look. Hopefully the offices will be located near a Donki Hote or similar store where you can relax a bit.
Of course, this is purely hypothetical.
In doll land, I am knitting Snow a sweater and have made her jeans. I don’t plan to keep her. I do plan to try and sell her and a few of the other Disney Animators dolls I’ve done. Knitting helps. Even when I have to frog a row, I concentrate.
I’ve been modding a random 200yen figure to make a “Pretty Pegasus Raven” to try what I think is a Japanese version of Apoxy Sculpt, Wave Epoxy Putty (light weight).
Yes, taking a handsaw to a doll’s hair was…theraputic.
She’ll get more putty layers before I’m finished.
Raven the average sized Ever After Doll continues as well. I’ve made her her cape, her arm/thingies and boots.
I sculpted some accessories and her belt from air-dry polymer clay..but they are still drying.
And that’s how I’m moving forward. There are three dolls on my balcony drying a new layer of Mr.Superclear. I’m reminding myself that I only awoke a few hours ago so I can’t possibly nap yet. I’m thinking about lunch.
Ahh…my first week of relaxation and catching up on crafts, sort of.
Because of how the dispatch company I work at is set up, this year they pulled English assistants out of the public schools a record week before graduation, adding another week onto our unpaid downtime as part-time workers before our contracts begin again in mid-April.
So, I figured time would be abundant and I’d tackle crafts.
I’d also study for the JLPT N2 this year, something I’ve been doing daily since the new year begun but have been afraid to say anything about lest I jinx it.
I decided, last Tuesday, to just tackle another large Disney Animator doll from the BOX OF DOLLS. I picked one of the three Snow Whites I have.
I’ve long thought that Snow White wouldn’t be thrilled with the amount of Snow White merchandise that features apples: apple scented Snow White hand lotion, apple earrings, and so on. If I were Snow White I’d sure have some serious apple-related trauma to deal with. My idea was to keep Snow White herself, but update it to a Snow White who has been THROUGH her ordeals and come out the other side.
I think this is the 1st generation of the Snow White Disney Animator’s Dolls because she has the shortest hair, which was in keeping with the vague idea I had for her.
I pined her hair away, covered her body, and then removed all her makeup with 100% acetone. There were faint hints of where her lip color had been but I’d be giving her darker lips so it didn’t matter.
Then I sprayed three layers of Mr.SuperClear (MSC) UV Matte (allowing them each time to dry) and started with the first layer of chalk pastels.
Then, over the next day, I built up pastels/water color pencils and layers of MSC…feeling MUCH better about my grasp of eyebrow shapes and location but like I need to do some sketch studies of eyes before my next few dolls.
It’s at this point that friends on social media usualy remind me how deeply creepy these images are.
Then came the tattoos. I primed her chest with MSC and got my magnifying set-up out and started to free-hand. Some doll customizers use nail transfers to do doll tattoos but what I wanted to do wouldn’t be readily available in that form.
My friend Whitney has awesome tattoos and the idea of adapting Snow’s bird-buddies for chest tattoos draws heavily from Whitney’s real life ink. Whitney’s birds are more traditional but she has AMAZING Oz-related sleeves…and I have a poppy on my back and use Ozma as a stage name. We met way back in the day on LJ just because of Oz-related icons. More on her later…
This is the tattoo midway through.
As you can see, the sword and the apple are a visal riff on the Evil Queen’s heart box. You know the one she had handy to be all “Hey, huntsman, go kill Snow and THEN put her heart in this decorative heart-stabby box.”…except instead of a heart being stabbed it’s and apple because…well… DAMN APPLES.
Snow wouldn’t be the first person to have tattoos to commemorate what she’s survived. Nor…as I look at the face-up I gave snow…would she be the first person to gank make-up style from a problematic source.
More detail work.
This would be around Thursday, at which point I got an email from my company saying:
Hai! Yeah. So…. your next contract? It starts on your birthday. Yay. We’ve cut back your hours even though you were very specific. La la la la la. And we’ve put you in a school situation that you’ve specifically said “NO, Don’t. Nope.” to so there’s that. HAPPY WEEKEND.
Dramatic re-enactment of my reaction to this.
Sure, I was planning for this to be my last year with them. It’s part of why I’ve upped my Japanese study rate and desire to get N2 and eventually N1 certification…so I have more options. But ESCANDALO none the less.
I have since contacted my company with questions…and got a lovely email back that answered approximately 25% of my concerns/questions.
Luckily, my resumes are ALL up-to-date.
Saturday, after teaching dance classes, this is where Snow is. Her lips and eyes have been fixed and glossed. I found a 100¥ bandana print headband and reduced it to her proportions.
Here’s where she started and is now.
And….here is Snow and Whitney…because as soon as I posted Snow, Whitney was all “I love her but she stole my look.” In turn, I stole a picture of Whitney looking very Snow.
I’m currently knitting Snow her own yellow, wide, sweater. Tomorrow, as I take my train to my first job interview, I’ll be bringing my knitting needles to relax my nerves. I also have enough left over denim fabric from making tiny doll jeans to create some jeans for her.
I’m glad I have art supplies to ride out the stress.
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 fresh..so 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.
Meet Princess Melody, the daughter of Ariel and Erik.
That there is all I know about Melody.
Gina’s daughter knows more. She loves Melody. This is how I pay for the 15 dolls Gina sent me. Melody gets made.
From Gina, re: which doll gets Melodied and is she planning to wig or reroot:
I was thinking the belle doll. I didn’t know what would be easiest for you it would be fine if she was a brunette for it as Freya (Daughter) is a brunette if her hair is Good enough. What ever floats your creative juices.Most of all, have fun.
I’m a brunette.
Disney faces are so simplified that hair shape and color do a LOT for identifying character ….So, I wanted to get CLOSE. At least a darker brunette if not black.
The dramatic sweep of bangs and the side part make Melody read as Melody…so I set to experimenting.
First I noticed that there aren’t many videos about re-rooting these dolls.This is probably because of what a pain in the ass removing the heads is AND how much time rerooting a giant head takes. Most customizers seem to go with wigs or gluing wefts to the dolls. Kid play made both of these seem like “meh.” ideas.
I have two Belles in my collection, both from Gina. One is from the first generation of Belle dolls (I can tell because she has blue painted on undies to match the blue dress she came with) and MORE hair, and a second generation doll with yellow undies and less hair.
I started experimenting with more hair Belle and figured I could trick her bangs into doing a side-sweep…even if I couldn’t move her hair part. I set to work seeing if I could get her hair any darker.
I know that synthetic strands don’t really take dye well….but I’m not above magical thinking and believing in the power of stains.
Yeah…No. Neither Dylon nor alcohol and arcylic inks worker to get her hair more than a shade darker.
I have a new sink container now.
I turned to Belle with the more sparse hair…and chopped.
Then I dipped her head in boiling water and set to softening her vinyl. Her neck softened first, ball of the head joint.
Unlike Barbie dolls, the ball part in her neck is what rotates and moves. The section inside her head remains connected to the head….but it had to come out so I could glue the hair from inside the head.
It was possible to get my tools in at the front of the neck between the joint and the head vinyl but in the back section the vinyl and joint were fused together. I had to tear some vinyl.
The neck hole is a little jagged but I figure I can bond it all together with liquid fusion after rerooting and repainting.
The pencil line shows where the part will be moving to. I’ll also be doubling up on the small holes at the front of the head so hair can be swept forward for bangs and back for her pony tail…no gaps.
Starting the rooting process. I’ve painted the scalp so it doesn’t show through the hair..
Which was when I realized that I hadn’t done the same for my Wednesday doll. The hair is pretty thick but I stopped rooting to paint the top, as that is where the scalp will most likely show through.
And this is how my Monday evening is looking…hairy.