Monday, May 26, 2014

Have you heard about Tiny Frock Shop? (Fabulous Vintage Doll Clothes!)

I'll be honest, I have no idea how I even first came across  I've spent a lot of time tooling around the internet searching for various types of vintage dolls, it's hard to keep track!

The Tiny Frock Shop is a website filled with modern, vintage and oldstock 1/6th fashion doll clothing.  Occasionally, they also have gently used and NIB dolls for sale as well.

The shop is owned by Pamela Thompson, a fashion designer who worked alongside the likes of Betsey Johnson and Anna Sui.  Once she moved from New York City to Chicago, she founded Tiny Frock Shop as a fashion outlet for her creativity. 

Once I started digging into the site, I knew an order wasn't far behind.  Not only is the selection incredible, the prices are amazing and they update with new items frequently.  Everything on the site very well organized into separate categories for each type of clothing, which is just the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.  I love sites that make it easy to find what you're looking for!

My package arrived a few days ago, but I was only able to pick it up this afternoon.  It shipped very quickly, only a couple of days after ordering.

Vintage doll clothing and accessories from Tiny Frock Shop.

Hah, do you see those ridiculously eighties dresses?  I almost died when I found them on the site.  They're two of my favorite dresses I remember having for my own Barbies when I was a kid.  I absolutely could NOT resist!  In all, I purchased a striped blouse, the two eighties dresses, a jacket, a tiny pink canvas backpack, a pleated circle skirt, a Rockers tee, some high waisted shorts and a pair of pink sneakers.  With shipping included, everything came to around $30.  The little butterfly dress was a freebie thrown in :D.

The quality of the clothing is fantastic.  You'd never know these items were vintage if it weren't for their telltale styles.  I dressed up my Mami and Madoka Pure Neemo girls in the super bright dresses.  They look like a couple of Spank! girls!

Pure Neemo Tomoe Mami and Kaname Madoka

It's so cute, I can't even stand it!

Meanwhile, Suzette looks perfect in my new LITD Midge's alternate dress and the high waisted circle skirt.

Uneeda Miss Suzette
According to a post I read on Tumblr, I guess Suzette is out to get herself a man.  From the size of that bow, she really means business.

I'm already planning another order from TinyFrockShop!  I can't recommend them highly enough!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fallindoll Rabi complete!

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally finished customizing my Fallindoll Rabi, Eleanor.  You can read more about her initial customization process over here.  I've since applied lashes, switched up her eyes, and created an outfit for her.  This is the first time in a while that I've finished sewing a dress I like.  I modified a Blythe dress pattern I had laying about to fit her and it's not perfect, but I'm so happy with actually finishing it, the flaws don't bother me.  Now all I need to do is finish her counterpart, Fallindoll Force *sigh*.  Thanks for looking!  I hope you enjoy her!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Workspace Wednesday: Sculpting the Monster High Custom Clicker Zombie from The Last of Us

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of videogames.  I'm actually taking a brief pause from hoarding gold in Diablo III to post this >_>.  The Last of Us from Naughty Dog absolutely captured my heart.  Then it stomped on it, set it on fire, and then tossed it in a pile of excrement.  I don't think I've ever seen a game that was quite so completely, unbearably awful to its characters.  Tragedies aside, it's one of the greatest (and most terrifying) stories ever told.

I've been talking about creating a custom Clicker and Ellie custom Monster High set for months and I finally got the kick in the pants to proceed thanks to watching Feral Works' breathtaking progress on her Clicker mask.

Custom Sculpted Monster High Clicker Zombie
Sculpting to the sounds of the Yogscast.
I started off by lopping the face off (and a few fingers) of a Dragon Girl Create a Monster.  Instead of just sculpting the cordyceps on top of the head, I really wanted it to look like it was exploding from inside the cranial cavity.  I laid down a base layer of air drying foam clay for added texture.  Once dry, it's actually a bit squishy and flexible to the touch.  A few days of drying later, I began to add more details using Super Sculpey.  The foam clay is nice, but it's nearly impossible to create little details.

Custom Sculpted Monster High Clicker Zombie
Adding texture and stability to the Clicker using Super Sculpey.
I also wanted to be able to paint these smaller details more efficiently, since the foam clay tends to soak up paint.  It has the added benefit of creating more stability for the foam clay as well.

Custom Sculpted Monster High Clicker ZombieCustom Sculpted Monster High Clicker Zombie

As with most of my Sculpey use, the layers are kept thin enough to be hand cured with a heat gun.  Tufts of hair will be added between the cordyceps fungus.  I'm playing around with a few different ideas for adding 'decay' to the body, but I haven't decided on which looks best yet.

There's still a lot more progress to go, including creating an outfit, but I'm really liking how the custom looks right now :).  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Monster High Commissions: Honey Swamp and Jane Boolittle for Machelle

These two girls were created for Machelle :).  I can't even express how much I love painting Honey.  I really need to get my hands on another of my own so I can really get at that amazing body detailing.

She's one of the most amazing dolls I've ever seen from a playline release.  Pink and green is one of my favorite color combinations, so getting a chance to use these colors on her was so fun.

Jane is quickly becoming another favorite of mine.  I really love her dark lavender skin tone.  She has very nicely sculpted lips and eyewells.

Monster High Repaint Custom Jane Boolittle DollMonster High Repaint Custom Jane Boolittle Doll

 I'm very glad I have my own still left to work on!

Monster High Repaint Custom Jane Boolittle Honey Swamp Doll
Jane Boolittle and Honey Swamp Custom Monster High Repaints
Thanks so much for reading :).  I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Belated Workspace Wednesday! Eleanor's Faceup (Fallindoll Rabi)

Fallindoll Rabi BJD Faceup
Eleanor, a Fallindoll 27cm Rabi

So, this is what I worked on most of yesterday :D.  I knew I wanted to try something a little over the top with both Rabi (newly named Eleanor) and Force, but I waffled a bit over which direction to take.

Eleanor here isn't completely finished, she'll be getting some custom made eyes, a new outfit, and still needs lashes, but the majority of the work is complete :).  I airbrushed her body in a flecked agouti coloration with little black spots and gradient hands, legs, and ears.

Fallindoll Rabi BJD Faceup
Die cut vinyl detail, drawn in Adobe Illustrator.
I designed the vinyl appliques using Illustrator and exported them to my die cutting machine's program.  Drawing these designs would have taken forever, wreaked havoc on my poor hands, and still wouldn't have been the effect I wanted.  I measured the different areas of her face to get the spacing and layout correct.

Her hands and feet have already chipped a bit of the paint with movement, which is to be expected.  I'm thinking about going back over them with my black Plasti-dip spray since it worked so well the last time I used it on a doll.

Fallindoll Rabi BJD Faceup

Fallindoll Rabi BJD Faceup

I'm super happy with how she turned out :).  Force (yet to be named) will be completed in the same fashion with different designs (more lace like, in cream or white), which I'm still working on.  I hope you guys enjoyed!  Thanks for reading :D.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fallindoll Rabi and Force Ball Jointed Doll Review

Emory over at recently got Fallindoll's new Rabi and Force (27cm) in stock and I nearly broke my neck ordering these two.  I missed out on Hujoo's fennec fox, Penny, a long time ago and I wasn't about to let another slip through my fingers!  I couldn't resist Rabi, either, I seem to be amassing a collection of bunny themed dolls.

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force
Adorable little boxes!

Honestly, I don't keep up with the BJD community as much as I used to.  I only get snippets and photos from those few I follow on Tumblr who also collect and customize.  I'd never even heard of Fallindoll until I got the newsletter from Junkyspot saying they'd come in stock.  If you get a second, definitely check out their site.  They have quite a few ridiculously cute offerings.  I've also got my eye on their vinyl Panda, which is akin to dolls like Wonder Frog and Tokissi.

Anyway!  On to the review!

I ordered Rabi in Light Grey.  The information for Rabi is conflicting on the page, the first notice says they take 16mm eyes, which is likely just a typo.  They actually take something more like 12 or 10mm depending on the dome.  High domed eyes would look awkward in Rabi, her eye wells are not very deep or rounded.  I have plenty of other girls who can use the pink eyes I ordered so I just gave her a pair of brown glass eyes I had on hand.

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force
Holy crap, that's cute.
I -instantly- fell in love.  I mean, jeez, look at that face *_*.  Feel free to use either of these headshot photos for your own mock faceups, if you'd like!  I haven't decided exactly how I'll paint her yet, but it'll have to wait until we get over the flu epidemic going on in our house right now T_T.

Force is equally adorable.  I love how mischievous she looks!  The 16mm eyes fit Force perfectly and I'm glad, I really wanted a golden color for her :3.

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force
Ready for all kinds of shenanigans.
So yeah, they're friggin' adorable, but what about their function?  Both of these dolls are constructed from super durable ABS plastic.  I prefer it in my BJD's because I'm not exactly the most graceful creature on the planet.  The one thing you might be astounded to know is that these cuties pose like pros.  I've owned a ridiculous amount of BJD's over the years from pretty much every brand you can think of and I've never, ever seen dolls pose like these two before.

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and ForceFallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and ForceFallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and ForceFallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force

The roombox their standing on isn't even remotely level.  It's propped up on my quilting arm for my sewing machine lopsidedly.  It took about five seconds to get the one legged poses level and sturdy.  There are notches on the inside of their ball joints which 'click' into place for different poses.  You pose them and they... just -stay- that way.  It's crazy and I wasn't expecting it at all.

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and ForceFallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force

Fallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and ForceFallindoll Ball Jointed Doll Rabi and Force

I mean, holy smokes, that's ridiculous.  Their legs are able to fold up flat against their thighs or out to the side suwarikko style.  Their torso can be moved forward, backward, side to side, and it just holds in place like it doesn't even care.  Their joints don't jerk or slip out of place and that just boggles my mind.  I have several other ABS dolls so I was expecting them to perform in a similar fashion, but no, these are hands down the sturdiest BJD's I've ever owned.

My complaints are few and won't matter after I'm finished customizing them.  The headcap was a complete pain to remove.  I had to insert a butterknife between the gap and gently wiggle it out.  I don't expect to be removing it very much once I finish painting them, but it's something to be aware of if you like to reposition your eyes more than I do.  It's also virtually impossible to position the eyes inside the head with wax or tack while the strings are around the pegs which connect the head to the body.  If you have a full stem eye that extends too far, you also might run into issues with the strings knocking your eyes out of place, so stick to half round or acrylic stems that can be popped off.

I'm incredibly happy with these guys, they're so completely adorable.  I'm really looking forward to finishing them and taking photos, especially now that I know they pose so incredibly well.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Custom Fashion Doll Repaint Commission: Lucy Liu for Seanan

I don't get to do realistic dolls very often, but I do enjoy them.  I'm so happy with how this doll turned out.  I'm always terrified of flubbing repaints like this.  Lucy Liu is one of my favorite actresses, and I'd hate for a repaint based on her likeness to turn out as more of an insult, lol.  She's an Lucy Liu (Alex) doll from Charlie's Angels that Seanan commissioned.  I believe the inspiration for this repaint was Lucy's character, Dr. Joan Watson, from Elementary.  Seanan transferred the original head to a  much more articulated Fashion Royalty body.

Charlie's Angels Lucy Liu Character DollLucy Liu Custom Repaint Fashion Doll
 A photo of the original doll, from and my completed Lucy Liu repaint.

I tried my best to capture her features, she really is such a beautiful woman.  She has such cute little freckles <3.

Lucy Liu Custom Repaint Fashion DollLucy Liu Custom Repaint Fashion Doll

Lucy Liu Custom Repaint Fashion Doll
 I had a lot of fun working on her, it's always nice to be able to paint unique dolls :).  Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workspace Wednesday: Ambitious Works and Blank References for Monster High Honey Swamp, Jane Boolittle, and Gigi Grant

I... might have gotten a little ambitious about my plans today.  These are all girls that have been waiting in the wings (you know, minus the poor Draculaura and Insect Girl that have had base colors for like... a month...) to be repainted.  I can lay down base coloration much more easily when I have everyone laid out at once.  Some girls use the same color blends (or colors I only need to change a bit), too, so it's easier on my airbrush.  That Lucy Liu is first on the chopping block, though.  She's a commission for dear Seanan :).  I'm definitely excited about painting her!  I love getting to paint dolls I've never worked on before.  I believe she's a Charlie's Angels Lucy Liu from the movie release back in 2000 (judging from the stamp on her head).

Image of Repainting Monster High Dolls
Pretty girls all in a row, waiting for new faces.

Image of Repainting Monster High Dolls

I've also started coming up with color palettes for the girls I'm working on, as opposed to just... flying by the seat of my pants.  I have a pretty good understanding of color theory, but I think I'll like having a preplanned color chart.  Mainly so I don't have to dig through bottles of paint, to work more efficiently.

I am never without coffee.
While I was snapping WW photos, I decided to do a few blank shots of the newer dolls.  I'm pretty sure you can find a blank face photo of Ghoulia everywhere, so I didn't photograph her.

Blank Monster High Gigi Grant Reference
Blank Monster High Gigi Grant Reference

Blank Monster High Jane Boolittle Reference
Blank Monster High Jane Boolittle Reference

Blank Monster High Honey Swamp Reference
Blank Monster High Honey Swamp Reference
Feel free to use these to plan your own faceups or share them (just please don't remove the watermark).  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Workspace Wednesday: Adventures in (Mathless) Resin!

I wish I could claim the 'mathless' resin description for my own, but I snagged it from a discussion I had with a follower on Tumblr :).  You see... I despise calculations.  I'm a trial and error kind of girl, regardless of the awkward situations I might find myself in as a result.

I've wanted to try my hand at making resin jewelry and accessories for quite some time.  I just couldn't get past the idea of measuring, dividing, adding, subtracting, and possibly wasting an entire batch of resin because I got it wrong.  A few months back, I stumbled across a brand of UV curing resin from Lisa Pavelka.  I ordered it to do some repairs on the default eyes my Kinoko Juice Kiki came with, but I thought it was such an amazing idea.  Curing resin in minutes using a UV lamp.  Of course, this is almost the same thing that you would have applied to your nails in a salon with a gel manicure.  Though, that particular type produces a sticky film that has to be removed with alcohol.

Sadly, both of these options would be incredibly expensive when using in large quantities.  One measly ounce of Lisa Pavelka Magic Glos will set you back about $10.99 on a good day.  UV gel intended for nails varies widely in price, with the cheapest brands being around $2.99+ for a tiny, half ounce pot that goes nowhere fast.

I knew that this couldn't be the only available quantity of UV curing resin.  I mean, it just couldn't be.  So, I buckled down and scoured the internet for a solution.  Finally, I came across Solarez polyester clear casting resin

Solarez Polyester Clear Casting Resin
Solarez Polyester Clear Casting Resin, Quart Jar

This particular resin is almost identical to Castin' Craft polyester resin with one key difference:  It cures in sunlight in three minutes straight from the jar (or you can still use the catalyst to cure the old fashioned way).  I could hardly contain my excitement.  This is a huge quart (32oz) jug o' resin for $23 that I could allegedly pour straight from the bottle with no mess, no waste, and very little curing time.  The same size jug of mix and pour resin costs over 30$ on Amazon.  More money, more waste, and more time.  No, thanks.

The thing is, this stuff wasn't showing up in crafting supplies at all.  It's marketed purpose is to seal things like surfboards and paneling.  I double checked the MSDS sheet against other popular crafting resins and could find no significant health related differences.  As with most resin, the fumes can be pretty stinky and you don't want the uncured product on (or in) yourself.  I'm used to working with a respirator and gloves, so this isn't really an issue for me.  I have a huge fan and a glass sliding door that I can open fully to properly ventilate while working inside.   

Always, always, always make sure to use the appropriate protective equipment when working with hazardous materials!  Crafting is fun, but safety is first!  A dust mask won't cut it, you need a NIOSH approved respirator.  Polyvinyl gloves and goggles are a great idea, too.  Pretend you're Heisenberg and craft at your own risk.

So, how does this stuff hold up when using it for crafting purposes?  Well, you tell me!  These are some of the pieces I've created over the past two days using Solarez.

Image of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin Jewelry

Image of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin JewelryImage of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin Jewelry

Image of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin Jewelry
Image of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin JewelryImage of Kawaii Fairy Kei Pastel Goth Resin Jewelry

 All of these projects (and more) are available in my Etsy shop:

Each piece was blended with dyes, glitter shapes, micro glitter, or real candy sprinkles and poured into polypropolene molds (treated with mold release beforehand).  I cured the pieces using my timed UV lamp (36 watt designed for use with gel nails) and each tray only took about three minutes, though some of the thicker pieces required a bit longer.  They produce a moderate amount of heat while curing, so if you try this method, be careful not to burn yourself.  Because I'm using the UV curing method, I have to stick with molds that are translucent, which allow the UV rays to penetrate into the resin.  Opaque molds will only cure the top layer and leave the bottom in its liquid state.  I was able to dye the resin using the polyester dyes I had on hand with no issues, but you have to be careful about complete opacity, so as not to run into the same issues as opaque molds (not curing thoroughly).

I noticed that with Magic Glos, if I even so much as moved the mold wrong, bubbles would form within the resin that absolutely refused to surface.  With Solarez, if I let the mold sit for a minute or so to 'breathe' most of the bubbles rise and pop themselves.  I can also gently stir the resin within the mold to cause any bubbles caught under the decorations to rise up without creating new ones.  The majority of bubbles that did stick rose up into the flash that would be sanded off anyway.

So, there you go.  Easy to use, minimal waste, and no more hazardous to work with than most other crafting resin.  I'm extremely happy with my results and frankly, I can't wait until the ludicrous amount of molds I ordered arrive today :).