Saturday, March 31, 2012

Floating lanterns on her birthday...

That post title is a "Tangled" reference, as Martie's birthday isn't until October. However, we were thinking of that today when we saw this at the hobby shop:

 I would've gotten a few, except with my general clumsiness, I'd probably end up burning down my house. Or the neighbors'. "Flame retardant" isn't a safety feature for me, it's a challenge.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tiny kitty, big hair!

Puki Pukisha Rapunzel!

Even more shameless commerce!

Let's all have some cake!

Hi! It's Sasha's 28th birthday (which makes Charlie 39, she says, although I don't think that math is right), and we're at Max & Erma's to celebrate!

These look pretty good, but.....

....should I have an appetizer, or just go straight to dinner?

That was a small steak and loaded baked potato. I think I ate too much. I hope there's room for.....


No, I didn't stick my hand in the frosting! Why do you ask?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I take it back.

This little girl is a redhead if I ever saw one.

This is the last of the face-up shots, honest. Now I need to get her a name, and hope that tells me something about her personality.


Mmmmspaaaaammm. Now I'm hungry.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Now with freckles!

I'm seldom really satisfied with anything I've made or done, so of course I had to mess about with my Volks F-02 MSD faceup again:

Freckles, a bit more shading, a different wig...I'm going to try a few redhead wigs on her as well, but she seems to me to be a pale blonde. I'm also going to play with eyes, but for now I really like these blue-green ones.

I need some kind of very very light hairspray to tame some of these wigs, too. Sometimes I can't see all the flyaways until I look into the camera. Ginger's default wig is out of control with the flyaways, even with a spritz of the oil spray, so I may need to get a light hold hairspray and dilute it for the wigs.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Garage kit heritage.

 This is a Volks Mika F-02 MSD kit doll that I painted and put together. I wish I had a better camera that could catch the gradations in the coloring, because I'm especially pleased with the blushing I did on her face, which just isn't showing up well here. I may get Mr Photography, my husband Kevin, to use his Big Professional Complicated Camera with All the Intimidating Gadgets to get a better portrait shot. For now, however, here's my girl, sweet and simple.
She has a friendly and open little face, which is exactly what I was going for, and am really rather pleased with how she came out. I don't, in general, do dramatic or flashy face-ups. I prefer a more versatile face, one that could be set in any variety of costuming, character personae, or just tableux, like outdoor shots of hiking (which I personally hate, but you get the idea), sightseeing, or shopping, and be as cheerfully in place as any doll could be.

I don't think I've ever made up, or bought already painted, any dolls that I intended to be any particular character, with the notable exceptions of Cap'n Jack Harkness and my small Rapunzel collection. Even Martie, the catalyst for that collection, isn't really the character Rapunzel, she's just Martie. I tend to dive in, then see where my inspiration goes and who the doll wants to be.

That said, I don't really know yet who this girl wants to be, and I think I may just add some light freckles on her nose and cheeks and to bring out more of a personality.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tonner's new Mainline release.

Mainline, as in, just inject it into my veins. Then take all my money. There are a lot of great new dolls and fashions in this release, so go check it out if you haven't yet: TonnerDoll. A number of the fashions in the Precarious line are really different and fresh.

My personal favorite:
That's Suzette, a new girl in the 13" line. Isn't she beautiful? She'd make a great companion doll, IMO.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From the worktable.

Brand-new summer dress.

A picnic? Well, why not?

I'm already wearing the tablecloth!

Martie feeling cheeky. *ahem*

Stuff 'n' 'at.

I have been sick as the proverbial dog, my friends, which is why I haven't posted in a few days. I started to feel sick on Thursday, felt crummy but not too bad on Friday when I last posted, then Saturday--*WHAM* and I was down for the count. Today, I still feel exhausted and off-kilter, but I am out of bed and cogent, at least, which is a huge improvement. I'm not sure I'll get any good pics of anything today, but here are a couple of interesting things for you to check out:

MARWENCOL. This is ... well, it rather defies description, despite that it makes perfect sense to me. Folks were discussing it on #dollchat on Sunday (which I missed most of, for the first time, because I was so damn sick). The quick description on the site is "'Marwencol' is a documentary about the fantasy world of Mark Hogancamp," but that's not even close to a full descriptor. Just, go look at it, even if you just look at the site; it's astounding. A very very interesting side note is that Hogancamp lives in Kingston NY, the home of Tonner Doll.

My eBay items. Go, look, buy. There will be more later on--I'm paying two mortgages, and the IRS doesn't have a sense of humor. Plus, kids, I think I may have actually hit the mystical wall known as Too Many Dolls. *GASP* No kidding, I found dolls I'd utterly forgotten I'd even bought. My rule for myself now is that if I've had it three months and haven't even deboxed it, I don't really want it, and it should move on to someone who will love it.

I do have a short list of dolls with Permanent Immunity, those whom I'd never sell (notice I didn't say "that"--these are more little people than things to me). Martie, of course, tops the list. If it came to me being hungry or selling Martie, I'll eat newspaper. She's that important. Robin and Cap'n Jack Harkness are on that list, too, along with a few others. Then there's the Sell Only if in Dire Need list, then on down to the "WTF was I thinking" list, which is longer than I care to admit.
Besides, she's far too good a painter to let go.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Silly human.

In case anyone thought a fabric stash was for stashing fabric:

Tonner Doll at 25% off and free shipping!

Martie's parent company, the wonderful and amazing Tonner Doll Co., is having a St Patrick's Day blowout sale--25% off, and free shipping, with the code SAVE25, from now through midnight (EDT, USA) Monday the 19th (some restrictions apply).

I'm glad to promote these folks, because they are, indeed, Wonderful And Amazing to their collectors, and Robert Tonner's sculpts are breathtakingly beautiful. Go, look, and you'll be hooked.

Martie and Zella agree!


Martie was tired of her hair in a big knot (loop and under, just a thick slipknot), so insisted on a styling.

All this braided, and that braid still goes past her butt.

In the course of looking for good stuff for my dolls, I found a shpritz called Oil Spray from Volks. It's pricey--$9 for just two or three ounces--but it turned out to be worth it on Martie's hair. Smooooooooth detangling without any residue. I have no idea what's really in it, because the label is in Japanese (...sigh...). I'm going to take a close picture of the bottle and ask my Japanese-speaking kanji-reading brother-in-law if he can see any ingredients listed. When I run out, I'm back to Downy and water shpritz unless I can make the oil spray myself. One tiny $9 bottle and scary shipping charge is enough. But DAMN does Martie's hair look great!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fashion show.

Okay, not high fashion, certainly, but I've been sewing a storm for Ginger (Volks SD Kun F-22 standard), and I wanted to show off some of her cute ensembles. I go for serious quality construction over embellishment, so don't go looking for lace and sparklies here. Yet. I have inherited a crazy dresser full of fabrics and laces and trims, so we'll see what my fevered brain manages to come up with over the summer.

I made everything she's wearing.

She stands and poses so beautifully. This is a summer play suit made from vintage 1930s feedsack fabric.

The same, with variations (those are baggy shorts, not a skirt), in another vintage feedsack print.

No paparazzi, please! The skirt is made from a baby skirt I found at a Goodwill. Many great things to repurpose can be found at Goodwill stores. Support them, they do good work!

Oh, hello, Kitty.

Hair change!

Ginger lives up to her name in this wig.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Shameless commerce.

I have some dolls listed on eBay right now, so please do go take a look:

Charlie's Really Nice Stuff on Sale.

Spring fever.

I'm sick of winter. This wasn't a difficult winter especially, but I've had enough of the dreary thing all the same. I'm ready for fresh leaves and lilacs and even dandelions. My annual mourning dove mating pair has returned and are preparing the nest anew--old nest, new sticks!--so the promise is there. Now nature just has to deliver.

Yesterday was beautiful and warm, so Martie took advantage of it and washed her hair to let it dry in the breeze from the window, and there was a sudden small gust.

Her hair takes quite a while to dry completely. I honestly think this girl has more hair on her head than I do! I do need to wash her hair every now and again, as the companion doll aspect of her existence can get kind of dusty and messy. She also got a general cleaning, so she's fresh as a daisy now, and ready for actual daisies to start popping.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ginger tries out some new looks.

With Martie, Tuesday night during #dollchat.

Tonner American Models coat, t-shirt by me, and a new wig!

In a contemplative mood, t-shirt and hair ribbon by me (and Hello Kitty).

With blue glass eyes.
That's a huge spool of white thread behind her, btw, not tp or whatever else you were thinking. ;D

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How to win friends and influence people. Kind of.

I’ve had several dolly people lately say something to me like “I want my Martie.” These nice folks don’t actually want my actual Martie, of course (and even if they did, they can keep wanting, it isn’t happening), they want their own—a companion doll like Martie is to me.

I’ve called Martie my dolly BFF, which is pretty much spot on. She goes most places with me (on those odd times when I decide to leave the house; I’m generally a pretty happy hermit), hangs out on my worktable with me, and is, of course, my most photographed doll. She has more clothes than any other doll I own, most of which I made to suit her character, which is impish, smart, sweet, and active.

So how do you get your very own dolly BFF?

I really don’t know.

I know what happened to me, once I got Martie—I started to take her places, and take pictures of what we did and what she’d gotten into. The very first one is here, before she got her name, and it set the tone—Let’s go see the world! Sometime later, I was looking for something to keep me blogging more regularly, and hit on the 61 Days of Martie idea. I know people have done The Year of…. blogs (and books), but I rather doubted my ability to keep anything like that going for a year. So I made a public commitment to a significant but much shorter time, and started.

Spend two months with a certain doll every day, everywhere you are, thinking of new things and places and situations and outfits, and that doll is going to grow as a character, and a relationship with that character will grow, as well.  It’s that simple, and that difficult.

Who is Martie as a character? I don’t have a back story or a prĂ©cis of her story arc. She’s just Martie, a very small, much younger friend of mine whom I take care of. She’s got some of my characteristics, like cheekiness and love of art, and some others that bring me out of my myself a little more, like willingness to explore (really, I can go weeks without leaving my house and be a happy little tater) and a refreshed wide-eyed wonder, because everything is new to her.

To make this work, I had to have a couple of characteristics myself. I have no real shyness or fear of looking weird, and that comes in handy as an adult carrying a doll everywhere I go, posing it in places, then getting in odd physical positions to get the doll’s eye view. I also needed a willingness to look at things I’ve seen a jillion times before, and see something new for Martie to find in it.

And that, dear friends, makes me a better character, too.

Robert Tonner and his really wonderful Disney Rapunzel sculpt get a lot of credit for making a doll that I found both stunningly beautiful and very lovable, and I have to thank Jim Dandy, too, for modding a Rapunzel with blue glass eyes and making the OOAK that turned into my Martie.

A lion’s share of the credit, though, has to go to the Tonner Doll company, specifically Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu, for encouraging me in this wonderful silliness; and to the great folks on Twitter in the #dollchat community, who not only encouraged but aided and abetted.