Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Custom Repainted Monster High Cleo de Nile and Ever After High Madeline Hatter

I finally got around to finishing my Madeline Hatter repaint!  It took a bit longer than usual because I had a specific look in mind for her :3.  I wanted it to be just right!  This repaint is currently available for bid or purchase on eBay here: Maddie's Auction

Custom Repainted Ever After High Madeline Hatter
Maddie <3
Everything about this girl is just perfect for me :).  I'm in love with pastel colors lately (who isn't, right?).  I wanted her to have large, sweet, and curious eyes.  I kept the rest of her makeup color palette very soft, with pastel hues.

Custom Repainted Ever After High Madeline HatterCustom Repainted Ever After High Madeline Hatter

Maddie's doll is unique in one aspect that I failed to mention in my earlier review:  She's very tiny!  She's a full head shorter than the other girls in her line and I find that absolutely adorable.  Even in the Monster High line, the majority of the girls are the same height (save for Nefera, Howleen, and Twyla, but they are older and younger than the main cast).  I would have loved for Draculaura to have a height more representative of her character on the show.

Up next is a custom I created of Skull Shores Cleo de Nile, which I nicknamed Aria.  She's already been snapped up on the 'bay, but I wanted to go into a bit more detail because this is my favorite version of her that I've worked on so far.

Custom Repainted Monster High Skull Shores Cleo de Nile
Custom Repainted Skull Shores Cleo de Nile
First of all:  THERE'S NO !@#$%$ING TINSEL.  I absolutely loathe the type of tinsel Mattel uses for her hair (and Nefera's), it always becomes separated from the thread and ends up looking stringy and gross.  It's also a complete pain to sit there and remove each strand.  Why they couldn't just use the type of tinsel they root in Abbey's hair is beyond me.

All of the other girls in this line have some kind of skimpy bathing suit with a skirt type or pullover coverup.  I love Cleo the most because of her fabulous palazzo pants.  You don't need a skirt and a tiny bathing suit to look fierce :).

Custom Repainted Monster High Skull Shores Cleo de NileCustom Repainted Monster High Skull Shores Cleo de Nile

Friday, July 26, 2013

Toy Fiend Friday: World of Warcraft Arthas, Sindragosa, and Goblin Trike from Megabloks and Blizzard

Had Heather not posted her adorable little Ragerock and Murlocs, I might have never even known about the World of Warcraft Megabloks.  Late to the game again, gosh, what kind of nerd do I even think I am?

Whilst searching ye olde eBay for two more tiny Murlocs to add to my collection (two is a collection, right?  right.), I came across this monster of a set:

Megabloks Arthas the Lich King and Sindragosa
Arthas, the Lich King and Sindragosa, via
Having not been aware of the existence of a Warcraft Megabloks line, imagine my surprise when I came across this epic set.  I'm in love with Death Knight lore, Arthas is my favorite character.  I play a Death Knight:

Goblin Death Knight in Judgement Recolor Transmog Set with Unborn Val'kyr Battle Pet
Lol, hi, I'm Axelspark.  The Purple Death Knight.

I have a giant, fluffy grey Maine Coon named Arthas (though we call him Artie, for short):

Arthas, the Maine Coon
How in the world (of Warcraft, hurr) did I miss this?  Blindspots aside, I was elated when I was able to grab this set on eBay for about fifteen bucks.  About an hour later (I'll make no excuses for my inability to follow instructions, I just plain suck at assembly) I ended up with this!

Megabloks World of Warcraft Arthas, the Lich King and Frostmourne
The teeniest little Lich King!
 LOOK AT THAT TINY FROSTMOURNE!  His little helm!  This is the most adorable rendition of Arthas I've ever seen > 3 <!  He's just so tiny T___T~  He looked a little lonely, though, so I tossed in a couple of my Playmobil skeletons to keep him company on his frozen throne.

Lich King Arthas on the Frozen Throne with Skelebuddies
"Who do you want to maim today?"  "I dunno, who do you want to maim?"  Arthas: "DON'T START THAT AGAIN!"
As if a teeny Arthas wasn't frickin' sweet enough, there's this giant ass Sindragosa:

World of Warcraft Megabloks Sindragosa
I still hate fighting her =_=.  Putting her together was a pain, too.  This will have to do until I sort my priorities and finally get my Frostbrood mount (it's only been... how many years? .__.;).

Before I snagged this set, though, I found the Goblin Trike on clearance at Target for about six bucks.  There was no way in the world I could pass it up.

World of Warcraft Megabloks Goblin Trike
Time is money, friend.
Admittedly, I prefer the look of the Turbo Trike, but I'll take what I can get.  The details on these sets are pretty sweet given that they're comprised of blocks, they even included that kitschy raccoon tail.

World of Warcraft Megabloks Goblin Trike
It's not a bug, it's a feature!
The smaller kits don't come with secret loot, but I did get one with the Lich King set!

World of Warcraft Megabloks Secret Loot Soul Releaser Staff
Soul Releaser Secret Loot
I was hoping for a Judgement Helm or Shard of Azzinoth, but I guess I'll just have to keep trying!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ever After High Madeline Hatter and Raven Queen Review

It should come as absolutely no surprise that I'm a gigantic fan of all things frilly, floofy, and sparkly.  I fell hard for the Ever After High concept and watched their news like a hawk; anticipation doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  I needed these dolls!  Briar Rose and Apple White, which have already been repainted and rehomed, were my first taste of this line and I was dying for more.

Maddie and Raven
I may be a little late to the game as far as reviewing goes, these girls have been out for a few weeks now.  However, I wanted to expand on the idea from the point of view of a repaint artist, and point out specifically the advantages and disadvantages of customization later on in this post.

The bottom line is that these playline girls rival the quality and costuming of limited collector dolls that fetch many times their price point.  Other than Monster High, I can't think of a single line that even comes close to approaching the detail and design of these girls.

Madeline Hatter has been the girl I was frothing at the mouth over.  Her pastel hair and brightly colored dress were absolutely irresistable!

She's also very tiny compared to the other girls in this series, which is just ridiculously adorable.  I'm a short gal myself, so consider me biased.  The tiny gold flourishes and little painted gloves with cuffs absolutely make me squee.

Raven Queen, on the other hand, is not having any of your shenanigans.  The feathery details of her collar are even antiqued and shaded.   The iridescent sheen to her bodice is very pretty in the light, I love how it changes colors against the black undertones.

Each doll comes with incredibly detailed accessories.  Their rings, however, are loose and very easy to lose (say, if you snip the elastic off when it's not completely unwrapped and it sends the miniscule bauble rocketing across your studio; not that I have personal experience of crawling around for twenty minutes on my hands and knees or anything...).  Their shoes, clothing, and jewelry are just flawless.  They're incredibly well made for playline dolls.  In regards to their predecessor, Monster High, the bodies are much thicker.  Esthetically, I prefer this look, it's more realistic to me, while still maintaining a 'super deformed' cuteness.

As for customization, I absolutely love their face molds.  While these dolls do use the same mold for each girl, their faces are wide, with large set eye areas and pretty, defined lips underneath that pre-shaped eye and lip color.

 Apple White and Briar Rose, makeup removed.

As you can see from the above photos, their eye and lip areas are much larger than the painted shapes suggest.  Also, their eye shapes are not defined as harshly as most Monster High girls, leaving much more room for artistic liberties.  This means that underneath those decals, there's a wonderful canvas for customization!

 Apple and Briar, repainted!

I enjoyed customizing these girls very, very much.  They are extremely versatile, regardless of having the same mold.  With that being said, I'm off to start work on Maddie and Raven and I can't wait to show you the results ❤!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mewclops :3, the Kitty Cyclops

Ready to stare into the soul of onlookers!
Excuse me whilst I flail a bit over here.  I'm a crazy cat lady.  I love cats.  It's no secret.  But a PASTEL CYCLOPS KITTY?  Oh, yes.  Yes, please.

Both the BF and I are feeling under the weather today.  Mine's just coming on and his has a foot out the door (as it usually happens with couples =_=).  I doodled this adorable little guy up in illustrator while I was confined to my chair because the floor wouldn't stop spinning.  We were supposed to be joining some friends for a day of table top gaming, but since we're still newcomers to Nashville, we're catching all of the seasonal bugs (;- ;  ).  I rescheduled for a dolly playdate later this week when I feel better, though!

I've added tees and totes with this design in the Etsy shop <3!

These are printed using two different types of methods.  Flex materials (first and last photo) give a crisp, smooth, and vibrant image on any color.  The result is slightly raised, smooth, and feels a bit like vinyl.  Full color digital prints (like the kitty in the middle) are best on light color shirts and produce a vibrant, smooth image.

The new totes that are available are from Ecobags.  They're made of 100% recycled cotton and are very large.  They'll easily hold more than a grocery bag full of goods.

Mewclops Large Totes, $25
These are printed using the specialty flex materials.  The bottom two are printed with amazing metallic foil flex.  It's a true metallic material with lots of shine and shimmer :3.

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  It's time to get back to the grind again tomorrow (~_~  )!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New designs at Kawaii Machine

These are a few of the adorable designs I've come up with recently for the Kawaii Machine Etsy.  I have so much fun creating these kawaii shirts and accessories, I can't even begin to describe it.  I'm so happy to have found a local printer that I can rely on for fast turnaround and stunning quality.  Every time I pick up an order, it makes me want to get one for myself XD.   

Aaaand... I usually do ~( .__.)~.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to do a real photo shoot with some of my products. 

Chibi Tiger Blood RAWR Tee, $19
My model, Amanda, was so incredible to work with.  She was kind enough to bring along her lights (she's a photography student, usually on the other side of the camera!) and I remember asking, "What's the Kelvin?"  When I got an immediate answer, I could have melted.  It was a uniquely gratifying experience, haha.  My life may revolve around kawaii, but I'm a geek at heart.

 Butterfly Dreams and Keys to the City Custom Printed Pastel Trouser Stockings, $13

These stockings may be my favorite accessories so far.  They're created from my original designs using a sublimation technique for a vibrant, all over print that won't fade.  The base I use is an extremely soft microfiber blend, perfect for sock skating across shiny surfaces :3.

Galaxy Lucky Kitty Tote, $18
Even tiny Bandit got in on the fun.  I had the pups corralled in the bedroom since we were moving all over the place, but they cried so much that eventually I had to let them in on all the excitement of these new people.  Originally Smokey, our other Chi, was in the bag, too, but he got so excited that I was afraid he'd wiggle out D:!  Luckily, Bandit is easily coerced into a cute photo by saying 'STICK?!' or squeaking a toy :3.

Cookie Bunny Tee, $22
This giant donut has been floating around my studio for weeks.  I bought it especially for the shoot, but I really can't wait to take it to the pool or lake!

For the background, I got a HUGE canvas drop cloth and spray paint in the prettiest pastel and neon colors I could find.  Did you know they make glitter spray paint (as in, it sprays micro glitter, not just a metallic color)?  I DID NOT, but now I do.  We live in a balcony apartment, so it was pretty funny to have this gigantic neon kitty draped over half of our railing to dry.  I had to do some touchups when I was finished and had it hanging inside, though.  The upside is that the fan I used to evacuate the fumes now has a lovely dusting of fluorescent pink on its blades <3.  I still have paint left over, too.  I asked the boyfriend on a scale of one to EVERYTHING, what should be turned pink.  He was nonplussed, but I think it'll grow on him :3.  I loved every second of this shoot and I can't wait to do it again!


I'm always happy to exchange links or promote posts, just drop me a line!

Message Retrograde Works


Pure Neemo Blog The Majokko Shop
DollsAhoy Custom Doll Clothing
Amy Lilley Custom Doll Clothing
NoNaptime Custom Dolls and Artwork

About the Blog

Hello lovelies <3!

I've reopened the blog and I have some wonderful things ahead.  This blog will revolve around all things ridiculously cute, featuring the toys I collect along with my own creations.  After all, I thrive on creating cuteness :3.

Retrograde Works, LLC is my main business, I create custom designer toys and dolls via commission and for sale directly.  I've focused heavily on the Monster High line, but I also paint ball jointed dolls, Fashion Royalty, Ever After High dolls, and other various 1/6 size fashion dolls.  I also create customized urban vinyl figures (commission and sale as well) from virtually every genre you can imagine.  My favorites to work on are Konatsu and Max Toy Negora and Kidrobot Munny.  I have a Youtube channel here where I record video tutorials and demonstrations of my customization techniques.  You can visit my official website here for more information regarding commissions or sales.  My tumblr features more on the fly, less involved updates.  You can also follow me on Facebook for more shared news and updates.  I feel incredibly honored to have gathered such a following for my work.  I do what I love and I love that I can share it with so many people!

Kawaii Machine is my new baby!  I design and create kawaii clothing, accessories, jewelry, prints and more from my original illustrations.  The Etsy shop for Kawaii Machine can be found here.   You can find more product and design updates via the tumblr here.  Kawaii Machine also has a Facebook page.

As for me, well... I'm a 29 year old girl that spends the majority of her time surrounded by toys and pets :3.  I'm a little sarcastic and mostly derpy. I live in Nashville, TN with my boyfriend. We have three cats, two dogs, two guinea pigs and a couple of tarantulas <3.  If I'm not searching the web for the next cute thing to be obsessed with, I'm probably in the middle of a tornado of paint and pencils.