craft, Doll, sewing

Diana Prince pt 2

I’m doing fairly well with the “finish it” goal of February and so-so on the frugal one.

Diana Prince, the groovy boutique owning super spy WW with no powers, is almost finished. Removed the Barbie lining of her jacket and I relined with leftover kimono silk from my own jacket re-lining project last year.

She still needs jewelry and boots, because this Diana Prince understands the essential nature of good accessories.

Alas it seems to be hard to get a good even white on her existing boots.

I may need to make her a pair. Making shoes/boots is probably in my future. The “Bratzilla” doll I remade has irregular sized feet (for a doll). Unlike the snap-off shoe-feet of Bratz, Brazilla have feet-feet…but larger than your average fashion doll.

Same for the DC Superhero girls dolls. I love the fact they have more realistically proportioned feet but am sad that this means a dearth of ready-to-wear shoes. These dolls can wear other doll’s clothing but it’s mighty hard for Wonder Woman to find civilian clothes that work with her red boots with WW gold accents. How’s she supposed to have a secret identity once she gets her super powers back?

Bruce Wayne doesn’t have to wear Batboots in the boardroom. It’d make things obvious.

Bruce Wayne, I imagine, has to be mighty good with makeup/concealer. That cowl doesn’t protect his whole face from bruises. Does he send Alfred to buy it? “It’s for Master Bruce’s….mistress”

That’s a montage I want. Superhero dudes learning bruise concealing makeup techniques.

And I want more doll shoes.

And if I want either of those things, I’ll need to pay someone or make them myself.

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Color Blocked to fight crime: Diana Prince part 1

The day after I wrote about craft as meditation the world decided to throw me a curve. Someone I had once been friends with has done something I can’t stomach and legal action against him has thus been thwarted.

I blocked him. I posted the information and screenshots I’d received as proof of his actions. I took a tea cup he’d once given me outside and smashed it with a broom and then swept up the shards.

I went inside and worked on Diana Prince.

In the 70’s, after Wonder Woman’s original creator had passed away, her readership had been flagging. Then Wonder Woman became the New Wonder Woman for a while. She gave up her super powers and became Diana Prince who ran a mod clothing shop, was a martial arts expert, and a ass kicking super spy who’d get dropped into any 70’s issue or fad: cults, biker gangs, occult witches, drug running, violent hippies and more.

And she might have been stripped of her powers but, damn, she embraced color blocked fashion and was styling. The look of these issues were lush, blending true romance comic art, 70’s ads, up to date fashion, and ass kickings

More info on this run.

I once bought a 1970’s chiffon dress in pink and yellow because it reminded me of her outfits.

In early December when my Step mother sent me three random used dolls, and one of them was a DC superhero girl Wonder Woman I knew I wanted to make Groovy and Hip Diana Prince.

She’s not my favourite version of WW but she’s the most visually compelling for me.

First I cleaned up her hair and gave it some curl.

I removed her face with Acetone and adjusted a Barbie jacket and dress to better fit her. I still need to reline the jacket in something without a Barbie print.

I’m still getting used to working this small and getting the eyes smooth (without some lumpiness of the white acrylics) is alluding me. Still, each time gets better.

To troubleshoot wonky symmetry I’ve been taking photos and mirror flipping them to better see shape differences.

And I added false 3-D lashes because if ever there was a Diana who was lashtastic it’s Romantic Spy Boutique Diana.

At a friend’s suggestion I used a black pipe cleaner as a “bump it” to increase hair volume. I realized my previous hair curling wouldn’t quite work for the new “bumped” style so she’s been gently boil permed again and is now waiting for everything to dry.

Which is fine because tonight and tomorrow I’m at live music and dance rehearsals where I am feeling imposter syndrome revving up as nervousness starts to shut down my second language skills.

I’m in a coffee shop on break to get some food and caffeine in me before I go back.

But, when I finish tonight, and spend an hour on the train getting home, I know the dolls in doll spa, like Diana, will be happy to see me.

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Aggretsuko!

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

Machine.

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

Tada!!!

Happy Holidays, Y’all.

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BoxDoll: Ariel’s Blessed Hair.

Ariel’s hair abides.

It’s magical. I don’t know chemically or structurally what makes her red Disney Animator Doll hair so impervious to abuse but I am thankful for it.

It doesn’t suffer the frizzled bent shape that plagues other matted colors. It bounces back. You soak, untangle, and go.

Here are two from the box after washing and brushing. One has waves I finger crunched back as she dried, the other has sections I twisted and secured before drying.

They’re wearing dresses because I have grown tired of having too many naked dolls in my apartment as they dry, but this is not their final form.

And, there may be more dolls coming. My father and step mom (who may or may not be my secret doll clothes hookup…but who are definitely the perps who sent me The Thimble People book that got me into doll clothes ONLY LAST YEAR) have sent me a Christmas package.

I wasn’t here to receive it a few days ago but it’s now scheduled to arrive after my three dance lessons and before my gig tonight.

Wish my apartment luck.

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Not Orphans

We all have a few pop culture references that are so specific that we rarely say them out loud, knowing that they will fall on ears that don’t get them, yet so persistent that they haunt us time after time.

One of mine, and I think it too often, is:

Jerry: I was under the impression that you could win prizes or money. Not orphaned children.

It’s from the Mind Match skit from The State, a sketch comedy show that ran three seasons on MTV. The concept of the bit is that two games show contestants find themselves winning orphans they DO NOT WANT and start attempting, without much luck, to throw the quiz and stick the other person with the lonely souls.

Susan : Um, I have a very small apartment. I don’t know what I would do with four foster children.

Host: Well, figure it out because you’re their legal guardian and it’s time for Round 2, where the orphan points double.

What cemented this skit in my mind was the two years I worked in an independent video store in my hometown. A store so amazing that in 2018 it still exists. We had free range over what we showed/watched while working only limited by what others on staff could not stand to see again and decency (at certain hours decency not included) And we had a VHS compilation of The State ( The State and Stickers*…*stickers not included) which we often popped in.

Susan: I didn’t say anything. I mean, I didn’t answer. You must’ve-

Host: A smart move. A wrong answer could have cost you the lead. (Bell) Hey, that bell means it’s time for our Double Dare question! Jerry, how many of your orphans are you willing to wager?

Jerry: All- all of them.

Host: Hey, it looks like Jerry is looking to double his orphans. Susan, how many will you bet?

Susan: Well, uh, all of them.

And as much as The State is a beloved cult classic for for ages it wasn’t released in full only video or DVD because, as an MTV show, it used a lot of modern pop music they then couldn’t get the rights for….and the music/MTV combo meant that clips released to You Tube were cracked down on…and Mind Match never had the pop culture reach of, say, “240$ worth of pudding did.

So I don’t often say “I was under the impression that you could win prizes or money. Not orphaned children. “ but if the topic of orphans or gameshows or even winning comes up…I’m thinking it.

So when I opened up Dolly*Dolly Vol 20 and met Little Miss No Name.

There it was.

An Orphan. That quote.

In 1965 Hasbro asked itself, “What do little girls want?”…and perhaps knowing it wasn’t up for doing battle with Mattel’s fashion warrior Barbie and her additional purchases kingdom…answered “Orphan. Little girls want an Orphan to take care of.”

And they made an orphan. Nothing fancy or aspirational like Little Orphan Annie promisingyou’ll be scoped up and taken to bigger and better things. Not. A Keene-esque sad-eyed orphan among orphans. Fake dirt on her cheeks. No shoes. A patched burlap dress. A TEAR DROP. Her hand outstretched….for something. Anything.

Her box read, “ I need someone to love me. I am so tired and cold. please take me home with you and I will be yours to hold. I want someone to love me, I want to learn to play, please take me home with you and brush my tear away.”

And she was called Little Miss No Name.

From Dolly*Dolly Vol 20, pg23-24

My rough translations of….

Model: Little Miss No Name

Text: momiji

Where is love?

Where is that person?

So, this world

We can see photons and phonons, right?

Shouldn’t we be able to hear where we’ll meet this person?

The sounds of wheels on London pavement.

The permeating ether of 1,000,000,000 years connects us.

I’ve spent my time the leader of loneliness and silence.

The wandering Oliver whispered in my ear

Have you found eternity?

The world I can see from my window, is this all there is?

Yes, really. This must be all that’s been created.

To make sure, I’ll slip away tonight.

愛はどこにあるの?

あの人はどこにるの?

この世界はね

フォトンとフォノンでできてるの

ほら見えるでしょ?

あの人と出会った場所

ほら聴こえるでしょ?

倫敦の石畳のあに車輪の音

充満したエーテルが繋ぐ十億年

孤独と静寂の支配者は去ったよ

彷徨うオリバーは耳打ちしたの

永遠はみつかった?

窓から見える世界は全て真実?

ううん本当はね きっと全部造りものなの

それを確かめる為に私、今夜抜け出したのよ

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SD Jargon & Closet Freak Doll Trunk

Doll magazines have a lot of jargon that I’m just starting to grasp. Dolly*Dolly magazines have a lot of clothing patterns for dolls but they usually refer to the specific doll it was designed for…which means I’m trying to learn about other doll bodies to know what will work on my dolls.

One of the doll trunks featured in Dolly*Dolly Vol 4. also has sewing patterns for the dolls shown MiniSD…so I needed to figure out some VOLKS jargon. I promise pictures of a doll trunk follow.

  • Volks, Inc.  is a Japan-based corporation that produces Dollfie, Super Dollfie and Dolfie Dream dolls as well as resin kits and mecha model kits.
  • Dollfie is one of the brand of vinyl dolls Volks Inc makes. Dollfie is the 1/6 playscale version of Volks dolls which makes them similar in body size to Pullips and Dals or Barbies. They’re generally 23–29 cm (9–11.5 in). Dollfies are intended to to be customized, generally coming with unpainted/unfinished heads for owners or artist to paint themselves.
  • Super Dollfie (or SD): Are also made by Volks but are a brand of ball-jointed doll (BJD) which means their limbs and points of articulation have ball joints and are all strung together inside the body with thick elastic cord. SD are made of polyurethane resin, a dense plastic with a porcelain-like finish. From this point on all the dolls I’m talking about here will be of that sort of construction (not vinyl like basic Dolfies)

 These dolls are much taller than basic Dollfies and seem to come in different sizes: SD10 are 55 cm tall (almost 22”) and SD13  girls are 57 cm (about 22.5”) and the boys 60 cm (about 23.5”) tall. SD dolls are presented at a price-point that makes them targeted at adult collectors. They are dolls designed to be easily customizable (as Volks also makes wigs, eyeballs, optional hands, different chest dimentions and other body parts that can be swapped in and out). They are generally (like Pullip/Groove dolls) sold with various face designs but those can easily be removed and repainted. The doll resin can also be carved and sanded.
  • Mini Super Dollfie (or MiniSD or MSD) has more child-like bodies and stand about 42 cm (16.5”) tall.
  • Yo-SD Are even younger looking than MSD dolls. They stand 26.5 cm (10.5”) in height.

ONTO THE PICTURES!

DisclaimerI am also not a translator. I’m doing this for my Japanese practice but my Japanese translation style is more “getting the jist of it” than it is “accurate”… so if you have feedback please present it with kindness. I want to learn more but I don’t wish to be scared off.

181007_1902_005

Me and Her: Traveling Doll.
MINI SD * Closet Freak
In this villa she and I can spend our days off, it is my favourite trunk to travel in. It’s crammed full of dresses I love.

small text at bottom

The doll used in this article is one-of-a-kind custom made SD (Super Dollfie) by Closet Freak. For information about the MiniSD head and “Sakura” body used for the base of the doll, please contact Volks. Super Dollfie is a registered trademark of VOLKS inc. all rights reserved.

Original Japanese

私と彼女と旅するドール
MINI SD * Closet Freak
あの別荘で彼女と一緒に休日を過ごすために、私はお気に入りのトランクで旅に出る。大好きなドレスを詁め込んで…

この記事に使用しているSDはCloset Freakのこ個人的なカスタム作品です。ベースに使用しているミニSD健ヘッド・サクラボディについいぇのお問い合わせはボークスへお願いします。

Scan 1

In olden days, young ladies would travel with the dolls they loved. We created a trunk the likes of which the children from good families of the early 20th century would use for their own beloved dolls. So that no matter where they went, their dolls would be with them. When they left for their holiday villa, their dolls would also have their collection of party clothing, play clothes, undergarments, favourite clothing, stuffed animals, toys, and toiletries same way their owners would. The trunk the doll was in would also have a closet, a dresser, and a comfortable bed to relax in. It was with this image in mind that a wood grain box was decided on and then decorated with a drawing of a bird and antique beads. So, when on vacation how does the beloved doll of our young lady spend her time do you suppose? Shall we sneak a peek and see?

古き良き時代、小さな淑女達は大好きなお人形と共に旅に出る。20世紀初頭、良家の子女たちに愛されたお人形をイメージしてトランクを制作しました。お人形はどこへ行くにも、きっと一緒だったはず。別荘へ出かけるときは、ー持ち主である女の子と同じようにパーティー服や遊び着、ネグリジェなどお気に入りの服と、ぬいぐるみ、おもちゃやお化粧道具まで揃えて出かけたことでしょう。お人形を入れるトランクはクローゼットであり、ドレッサーであり、心地よく安らぐベッドでもあります。そんなイメージから木目調でまとめ、表面には鳥の絵を描きアンティークビーズで彩りました。さて、小さな淑女 に愛されるお人形の休日、どうやって過ぎていくのでしょう。少し、のぞいてみましょうか?

My notes:
This style of doll trunk is getting closer to what inspires me. It’s part storage and part doll living environment.

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Dolly * Dolly Vol.4 Ryo Hada doll trunk.

Back in America print and magazines are languishing but in Japan there’s a magazine for everything.

There is even a four-times a year Bellydance Japan magazine… and I contributed heavily to their MOOK about how to create bellydance costumes.

So, it was a dangerous discovery when I realized I could buy used copies of old “Dolly * Dolly” ドーリィ*ドーリィ magazine/books (colloquially called MOOK) on Amazon Jp. It contains doll reviews, how-to articles on constructing doll items, doll clothing patterns, and various features about different aspects of doll life.

And Dolly Dolly Vol.4 from 2004 had multiple articles on doll trunks so I started justifying purchases there.

Disclaimer: I do not have a scanner at home. These scans were done at my local convenience store when I was tired, which is why some areas of the page are cut off.

I am also not a translator. I’m doing this for my Japanese practice but my Japanese translation style is more “getting the jist of it” than it is “accurate”… so if you have feedback please present it with kindness. I want to learn more but I don’t wish to be scared off.

The first article features work and an introduction by doll artist Ryo Hada. I can’t find much on 波田亮 . The listed web page https://www.ryo-hada.com seems to be out of commission. It seems they also go by the name Aquirax Kuroda now and create a lot of cat-related art.

Original Japanese text follows English.

Dream doll trunk

“There is a story about the marten’s pelt attached to this overcoat”

“There’s also a trunk, let’s open it and see”

What came from within were various doll costumes so resplendent they dazzled the eyes.

Dance clothing, walking clothing, tea time outfits, items trimmed in green lace and silk stockings! And then chokers, muffs, gloves, hats and lace fans and such!

The above quote is attributed to Frances Burnette, translation into Japanese by Ayame Mizushima, from the 7th chapter of A Little Princess published by blah blah blah (sorry)

It’s a famous scene from ”A Little Princess”, which I’ve ecstatically read time and time again since I was a young girl.

More than the story of Sarah Crewe, the generous protagonist of high birth by chance, or the scene in which Sarah gets her famous doll Emily, I was enraptured by the doll present itself.

The elegantly shimmering silk cape, the meticulously folded skirt with its hemmed pleats and petticoat edged with lace shipped from France. To be spellbound by a trunk packed to the brim with precisely made clothing and accessories, all miniature sized.

And there’s also our small friend’s wardrobe, and there’s a room, and there’s a secret universe all amazingly packed tightly into this dream doll trunk. Even now as a grown up, it thrills the deepest reaches of my brain.

It can honestly be said this is an homage to A Little Princess.

(Smaller Blurb)

Magic of Antique Doll Unsolved magic

Doll artist, Ryo Hada’s runk case is a two tiered construction. The lower section has a set place for the doll: neck, waist, arms and legs are secured. First of all, the size of the doll determines what sort of basket is proper, various sizes of dolls will affect construction methods. (The pictures doll is approximately 40cm)

夢のお人形トランク

「外套には、物語の貂の毛皮がついているわ」

「トランクもあるわ、開けてみましょう」

中から出たのは、目もまばゆほどにきらびやかな、おにんぎょうの衣装

の、かずかずだった。ダンス服、散歩服、お茶時の服、レースの緑飾りや、絹のくつ下。それから首飾りや、ムッフや、手ぶくろや、帽子や扇やー。

(バーネット作・水島あやめ訳大日本雄弁会講談社世界名作全集第7巻『小公女』より)

小さいな女子の頃から、繰り返し読んではうっとりいた、「小公女」の名シーンである。

主人公セーラ・クルーの誇り高い心や素敵な偶然に支配されたストーリーよりも、セーラと有名彼女のお人形、エミリーの出会いの場面や、このめくるめくお人形プレゼントに心惹かれた。

上品に光るシルクのケープや丁寧にたたまれたスカートの裾のプリーツにフランス渡りのレースのペティコート。。。ミニチュアサイズで呆れるほどきちんとつくりこまれている小物やお人形のお洋服がギッシリ詰まったトランク。

小さな友だちのワードローブでもあり、お部屋でもあり、秘密の宇宙でもあった「うっとり」がぎゅうぎゅうに詰まった夢のお人形トランク。大人になった今も、脳味噌の奥が痺れてしまう。バーネット夫人は「小公女」によって多くの女の子に人形への果てしない物欲を覚えさせてしまったに違いない。

この特集は実を言うと「小公女」へのオマージュである。

Magic of Antique Doll 解けない魔法

人形作家波田あきらのトランクケースに重構造

底の部分に人形がセットされ、首・ウェスト・手・足が固定されます。まず程よいバスケットを用意してからお人形のサイズを決めるため、作品によってお人形の大きさはまちまちだとか。(このお人形のさいず:約40cm)

 

Description of the outfit with the apron and head cover

Commonly sold lace was too thick so I ordered some lace to be specially made abroad for the trim on this traditional French costume.

一般に販売されているレースで厚すぎるので海外の工場に頼んで特別つくってもらってというレースをあしらった、フランスの民族衣裳。

Main description of the work shown.

Magic of Antique Doll, Unsolved Magic.

Doll Creation

Written by Ryo Hada

From grandmother to mother to daughter, European antique dolls have been handed down for generations. Within this doll trunk are dresses from various eras as if to give an impression of the history of clothing. It’s this sort of essence of antique dolls that artist Namda is trying to create in their doll trunks. The doll begins with a traditional French peasant costume and goes until 1980’s era inspired clothing with her 5 outfit set, the sort of doll that would be treasured in any European home. Making it a trunk set that passes beyond its eras and onward into timelessness/eternity

Magic of Antique Doll 解けない魔法

創作人形

By Ryo Hada

祖母・母・娘へと代々受け継がれているヨーロッパのアンティークドール。そのトランクケースの中にはそれぞれの時代につくられたドレスが入っていて、まるで服飾史をたどるよな感覚だといいます。そんなアンティークドールのエッセンスをもらって製作しているという波田さんのトランクケース。オールビスクのお人形ち実際にフランスにあった民族衣装からはじまる1980年代ぐらいまでの衣装のイメージしたドレス5着がセットされ、本当にどこかのヨーロップのお家で大事にされてきたもののよう。「時代」を超える魔法が永遠にかかっている、そんなトランクセットになっています。

Under photo of the yellow dress:

From 1860’s-1870’s inspired fashion comes this day dress for traveling, a straw hat, parasol, and suitcase are included with the look.

1860年~70年ぐらいに旅行ったデイドレス風ファッション。表わら帽子や日傘、トランクもちゃんとセットさせれている。

Under the photo of the outfit with fur muff:

A hat completes the cute coat in this Twiggy-evoking look. It’s a taste of the 1970’s in this ensemble for going out.

帽子とお揃うのキュートなコートはちょっぴりツイギーを意識して。1970年代のテイストをちりばめたお出かけ着。

(Right hand text)

Nice to meet you. First, please give me a name.

Ryo Hada’s doll has not yet been given a name. The reason is because “I believe that the doll is completed only when the person who has purchased the doll has given it a name .” These aren’t just decorations or disposable items. Position them in a central location “ so you can continue to get the most out of them through playing.” If they spend their days being loved they become exceptional special dolls.

In the left hand corner of the page there is an additional blurb about awards given to and exhibitions including Ryo Hada from 1996-2004 but I was tired so I’m ending it here for today.

はじめましてまずは私に名前をつけてください。

波田さんのお人形には名前がつけられていません。なぜなら「買われた方が名前を付けてはじめて人形が完成すると思っています。」飾りっぱなしではなく、かといって使い捨てでもない。そのちょうど中間に位置する。「遊びの中で生かされ続ける人形」だからこそ。時代を超えて愛される、特別なお人形になるのでしう。

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Dal Lipoca

Ebony and I visited Dollyterria again during one of our Ikebukuro meet ups in July. Again, I came home with a new friend.

Dal Lipoca is a 2008 Groove doll release. She retails new/mint condition for about 100USD/10,000¥. My Lipoca was around 3,000. Dolly in a baggie deals! She was FILTHY. She obviously lived with a smoker. Her white jumpsuit was brown. Her hands were stained. She smelled. She was missing her pitchfork.

New VS. Baggie Deal

Who amongst us hasn’t seen some rough times in the last ten years? Some of us just hide it better than others. MINE!

I hand washed everything. The jumpsuit will never be 100% white again. I’ve tried. Her wings molted a bit but they’re good enough for now or until I feel like replicating them. When I eventually copy them, expect that half my doll crew will be sporting wings.

The original wig suited her so I pried it off and washed it (shampoo) and conditioned it (fabric softener) and let it dry on my makeshift wig head (styrofoam ball from 100¥ shop of a plastic bottle. I liked her face and eyes as is, no repainting.

Then it was time to scrub the body. I had some leftover arms from when I replaced Monomono/Bedhead’s body that I swapped in because her hands were permanently tabacco stained.

Here’s a photo of the face with just a quick localized soapy wipe on one cheek.

I disassembled her and washed everything. EVERYTHING.

I’m not against doll nudity but I feel better if the dolls in my room have some sort of clothing prior to their final outfits. You can just tell she has no love for the extra Barbie Gear in my stash. Dal dolls are petulant 24/7.

I found some black fabric with a. red and white lipstick motif…left overs from making to Moana Wrap Dresses. I stitched her a quick skirt to replace the jumpsuit she’d word. I then returned her original outfit to her, minus jumper, and plus a skull hair ribbon. I do love her devil hat…but the others are taking turns with it…and I was drafting some new headwear based on it.

She’s now joined the crew and can usually be found with a coffee mug and one of the many coffee tables I’ve set up.

A friend recently remarked on how she never expected to envy the clothing of dolls…she’d always thought them too…something….but that it did make sense that my dolls would reflect style.

They do, they reflect my style and my life. Which is why I now have a collection of coffee mugs, a few beer glasses, and chairs and tables for my growing collection.

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Alice could be living….anywhere.

Last night a friend messaged me to catch up and to let me know he’s read this blog and…”crikey, dolls creep me out!”

Accurate. My humor thrives on discomfort. I’m a cuddly creep, it’s how I get past your guard.

“I was looking and thinking ‘fuck, that’s creepy. Very, very good. But very creepy.’”

And now…he might not ever know where dolls sit in wait…for him.

In the Scammer Aftermath ( http://www.sabrinataylorscams.com )

I made a few trips to Ebony’s place. Taking the train from my area to Ebony’s means a transfer at Ikebukuro, Tokyo….where Dollyterria (my prime location for used dolls and accoutrements) has just expanded to two (tiny) floors of dolls.

While fixing up a Jack Skellington for Ebony, I purchased a used Little Pullip Alice who had seen better days. I can’t resist Alice.

This is what a pristine Alice looks like.

This is what my Alice looked like. She suited my mood perfectly. This is the Alice who, like me, had to explain to her therapist that her mid-month email about the insanity around her and her friends and why she might need emergency medication (full-time scammers/police raids/uncovered lies/ abuse/ torture/ confiscated crime scenes) wasn’t overblown…just accurate.

I removed her scarecrow wig and opened up her head. Her eyes are a little cloudy but someone hot glued them into her skull so I decided not to bother changing them.

In Akihabara I picked up a PiccoNemo body a wig and shoes.

I wanted a brunette Alice because I was

a selfish, brunette, only-child.

I made her a new dress without a pattern. It’s rough around the sleeves because TINY. I put a new front panel on her existing pinafore so it would correctly fit her new body. I embroidered it because I can. I’ll probably make her new white bloomers when I’m ready to work that small again.

That’s a 14cm/ 5.5 inch body.

And I thought I was done…but then I looked at Pinterest.

That’s how the craftsters get you.

And I saw one of Helen CW’s Blythe Doll Carry Cases.

And I posted it on Saturday morning. And my friends whispered, “you must….you just must.” And Ebony shouted “Seria has so many wooden boxes.” And I was shouting, “I can combine my love of making things with my love of being organized?!”

Before I knew it I was making a detour to a 100¥ shop before teaching my Saturday dance lessons.

I got two of the larger wooden boxes, some hinges, wood, and a closure.

Once home, I cut one of the boxes down and sanded it. I made a drawer. There was a lot of sanding and glue. I only have 100¥ cutting tools.

Now. I THOUGHT it was going to be a home for a Dal Doll, because I never measured anything.

Alice fit. It would be Alice’s

I thought a while and decided it would become an homage to the sitting room Alice is in at the start of Through the Looking Glass.

I found some images online and resized them. I picked a cover I liked from an edition of Through the Looking Glass that appealed to me (if I weren’t making it for myself I’d get artist permission, make my own, or go for a version beyond copyright) and raided my stash of acrylic paints.

Sunday, I visited a Book-Off (used books and Magazines ) and bought a used catalogue for gothic Lolita looks (so many Alice references). I found some miniature inspiration at the adjoining Hobby-Off. I hit a fabric store for decoupage paste. At an art supply store I bought ornate origami for the wallpaper. It’d read a bit Asian influenced for England but I figured that with the right surroundings it would just read “Orientalist Inspired”

I also realized that if you put Alice in a doll stand too tall for her, she levitates with great menace.

It’s now Wednesday and the decoupage is nearly done.

I’ll soon be figuring out how to upholster a chair for Alice…but not tonight or tomorrow, as I have relaxing and teaching to do. Expect a final installation early next week.

until then….obey.

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craft, Doll, Uncategorized

Like Grandma

A friend checked in on how I was doing yesterday.

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I haven’t knit for at least eight years. In fact I’d cleaned out my knitting yarn stash a few years back (keeping all my needles and supplies, just letting go of the odd yarn) in a Kon-Mari spree.

My stash was a reasonable size because I knit small things….and my friend (above) knew  my knitting history in Japan as he is the happy owner of my knitted Yoda.

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I figured out how to knit in the round with multiple double pointed needles and started making my own creatures. For some I took detailed notes that I still have in a notebook, although with years of not knitting it at first reads like the diary of a madwoman.

Nope, no patterns. Those just flowed from my brains through my fingers. I seem to like multiple heads and solitary eyes.

Yet I never thought I’d knit doll clothing. It’s silly to say that now. No one who knows me and my crafts would think that I’d have a weird block about knitting doll clothing..but I did.

Knitted Doll Clothing? That’s a grandma thing. That’s, specifically, a Grandma Leah thing.
Grandma Leah knit doll clothing for my Barbies. The dresses were nice, the sweaters were maddening (Barbies hands would catch in the sleeves and they had the tiniest of buttons) and the underwear ungainly. She also watched bowling, called the dog Stink Ass and could sigh and complain in a passive aggressive manner that will never be forgotten.

My Grandmothers were two very different women.

Grandma Christine was educated and strong-willed, able to extricate herself from tough situations and start out on her own power and brains and find the skills to do whatever it was she needed to do to survive and raise two kids…time and time again in her life. She could also sew anything.

Grandma Leah was never in charge of her own destiny and I have no idea if she could read much beyond patterns and catalogues. Life sort of happened to her and existing family helped her. That’s how she came to live with my father and step-mother when I was young. But…she could knit and crochet. She could sit down, follow a pattern, and make a thing. The thing wasn’t usually artful but it was executed with precision… Her sense of color, texture, and grace was lacking: cheap acrylic yarns, the worst colors, bulky scratchy things. Things she made served a purpose…often that purpose was to be sold at a craft meet so she could make some money.
I have her knitting and crochet supplies now. I even have three oddly written pages someone sent her explaining how to make an infamous pair of slipper booties. EVERY family member got these booties. She was always crocheting these booties. They were warm and ugly.

Someday I will have to make sense the notes I have of hers… if only to make my father and step-mother a pair of booties each…out of the worst acrylic yarn colors I can find. You know, for family traditions to be remembered. I’m not tackling it just yet because it’s crochet, which makes far less sense to me than knitting. I can do it but it’s never become an automatic skill I can easily freestyle in.

How did I get to knitting a sweater?

I made my Monomono doll a pair of pajama bottoms and thought…”She needs a comfy sweater for bad days.”…I guess it is time to knit for a doll.

I found a Blythe sweater pattern on Knitty and picked up a substitute yarn, figuring I had all the supplies at home. I looked at some black yarn and thought “No, your home lounging sweater isn’t your out-and-about sweater. It’s the odd one that is more about comfort than looks. It’s how you hug yourself when no one is there.

Then, once home, I learned I didn’t have a pair of size zero needles.

You don’t understand how shocking that was…. THIS is my needle collection.

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I had everything BUT. And I mean EVERYTHING. That baggies is full of 4-5 double sided needles from 1-7. There’s a whole ROLL of hooks under that baggie you can’t even see. I have at LEAST 3 of each size of single sided needles.

I figured out the gauge and managed to knit up the sweater on size 1 needles. A gauge swatch being slightly off on large projects means HUGE difference but for a tiny project? not so much.

I knit for a day, relearning what knitting abbreviations mean, and had a doll sweater.

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Your new favorite synthpop band.

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Your new favorite Golden Girls remake.

I think she needs a pair of bunny slippers, or skull slippers, or bunny skull slippers next.

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