So. Much. Dust!
Some of the dolls in “Skipper’s Halloween Party” have been sitting on my shelf for 15 years. (Specifically, just about anything Barbie has been around that long. Including Skipper herself.) And I don’t dust my dolls very often. (Because, seriously, that would be a week-long task!)
Before I go into the behind the scenes yammering I wanted to do after every picture, let me first talk about my newest BJD Ai, Bee Balm.
I was really surprised to find three BJD Ai boxes at Tuesday Mornings last week! (And then I rushed off to one of the other two locations in my area, only to be disappointed to see that all they had was one Little Byul+, and it was one of the two I already had. When I managed to get to the third location a few days later, all they had was that same Little Byul+! I get that they’re having trouble selling it, but man! How frustrating!) The other two Ais were fully sleeping dolls, specifically Lupinus and Prairie Gentian, if you want to see what they look like. Thing is, I already have a sleeping Ai, Hyacinth, so…I just didn’t feel the need for any more of them. But Bee Balm is at least a little awake — and at $30 it felt like a shame to pass her up.
I love the BJD Ai box, shaped like a big white book, and opened just as easily…except that there are magnets in the box to keep it shut, and that I don’t like. (I never know just how protected electronics are from magnetic interference, and I get sort of paranoid about it, to be honest.) They’re super-easy to get out, being just tied in there with a couple of ribbons.
However, not all was fun and games. See all the stuff in there with her? That’s a large part of her costume. Specifically, the black tights and T-shirt she’s supposed to be wearing under the bee suit, as well as her antennae-headband, shoes and those yellow puffy things for her arms. The headband, shoes and puffy things were no problem.
But the black stuff!
See that tutu she’s wearing? It’s sort of to give the abdomen of the bee suit some shape, I suppose. Whatever it’s for, it can’t go much above or below where it is on her in this picture. It’s not elastic, and it doesn’t have any way to open it; it can only be removed by cutting it off. It wasn’t too much of a problem getting the shirt and tights on around it, but trying to get the bee suit back on…!
I would never have thought it could be that difficult to get clothes on and off a doll this size, especially not clothes specifically manufactured for her. (It was even worse than getting Hyacinth’s clothes back over her open hand.)
And needless to say, I had to suffer through the on-and-off of the bee suit twice, because there was no way I was leaving those black things on her, since they would undoubtedly stain like crazy, and I have no intention of leaving her dressed like a bee. In fact, I’ve already ordered her two outfits from Etsy. One of them was designed for Hujoo Baby BJDs, which are supposed to be about the same size, but I won’t know until it gets here. (Like most of what I’ve ended up ordering so far from Etsy, it’s coming from overseas. Why is it that the stuff I end up ordering is always coming from the other side of the world?) However, the second outfit, from Silly Kitty, arrived on Friday!
The shirt is absolutely adorable on her, but the jeans were a mistake. They’re well-made and super-soft to the touch (they only look like denim) but they don’t match the style of Bee Balm’s frilly wig; I should have gotten a skirt to go with the shirt instead of pants. The other outfit is a dress, so it should look better on her, and then I can hold this outfit in reserve for the Hujoo Baby I want to order from JunkySpot whenever they get her back in stock. (They have that doll in stock in Apricot, but I want the Chocolate one…though I question the decision to name their colors after foods…)
Okay, so now that that’s over with, I have lots I want to say about the party photo shoot, and/or the dolls involved.
The disturbing thing about Skipper’s outfit is that that feather was originally pure white. You should have seen the dust accumulated on the polymer clay rose she was holding. Scary stuff. Anyway, her costume was always intended to be Viola; Twelfth Night was the first Shakespeare play I read (back in the 8th grade!) and it remains my favorite. (I was so ticked off when I saw the movie they made of it, because they completely botched it. 😦 ) Anyway, if you’re wondering where I got the nifty outfit from, the top and hat came on a Barbie clone I showed in my post on clones, and the tights…um…no idea. Presumably they were Teen Skipper tights. 😛 BTW, the reason I said in the post that she was in college was because how else would she have her own space to have a party? Besides, she can be in college and still be a teenager!
The painful thing, to me, about this photo is that when I was picking Skipper up again to move on to the next shot, her boot caught on one of the pieces of furniture, and both the table and the counter from the Diener had everything fall off and go scattering about. (And this was, of course, the first picture I took. So frustrating!)
Ugh, where to start? I sewed those costumes sometime around 1999/2000, and I only had one pair of tights and one pair of socks, so Buttercup ended up with neither, because it seemed like of the three, she was the one who’d be most likely to go without. They were on display on a shelf with my homemade “Barbie Loves Powerpuff Girls” doll (who was wearing a PPG T-shirt made out of a child’s sock) for a number of years, until I got tired of looking at their shabbily homemade nature, and shunted the four of them into an under-the-bed (or under-the-dresser in this case) container of Barbies and Barbie clothes. Hence the disaster that was once Bubbles’ ponytails. (Though to be honest they never really behaved anyway.) If I ever had a ribbon for Blossom’s hair, it got lost in the bracken that is that container. So why did I put them on display for the whole world to see?
I don’t know, really. I just felt like I needed some little kids at the Halloween party, I guess. Besides, it’s nice to have costumes that are actual costumes, rather than “ooh, I’ll have this doll wear that doll’s stock!” (Not to mention a few “well, this doll’s already in costume!”)
Okay, now to explain this. “Watashi wa kirei?”, “Am I pretty?”, is what kuchi-sake onna says to people she stops on the street. Kuchi-sake onna, btw, is a yokai (demon is probably the closest single word translation, but misses a lot of the flavor of it, especially since yokai are sometimes benevolent, or at least not malicious) who looks like a beautiful girl wearing a mask over her nose and mouth, of the kind that is commonly worn in Japan when someone has a cold or minor virus, so they can go out and about without getting other people sick. Anyway, if the victim says “yes” then kuchi-sake onna pulls off the mask and says “Even like this?” with her over-sized mouth. (Her name means “slit-mouthed woman.”) Then, usually, the person screams and runs away, and she chases them down and slices them to death with a scythe or a pair of scissors (don’t run with scissors!) depending on the version of the tale. However, there are a few safe methods to drive her away without being killed, and one of them is to give her candy, or at least sweets. The book in which I read that part (Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt) didn’t specify whether the “traditional Japanese sweets called bekko ame” were candy or something a little less easily portable. If you want to read more about kuchi-sake onna, Alex Hurst did a post about her at Part-Time Monster. (Topped with a really disturbing .gif of her from a modern horror movie. Gives me the shudders, so I didn’t want to send you in without warning. 😛 The post is really good, though.)
Pyrrha’s hat did double duty: for Romana, it took the place of the Doctor’s brown fedora (you ever tried to find one of those in Blythe size?) and for Pyrrha it’s taking the place of the Evil Queen’s cowl. I didn’t have a Blythe-sized crown, however, and didn’t want to try making one, so she’s just crownless. The dress, btw, is off the Disney Store doll, not the Mattel collector’s doll. (I have that doll, but she’s going to stay NRFB.)
Until I was re-dressing all these dolls in these outfits, I didn’t stop to think about just how good those outfits really are. They’re utterly wasted on those ugly little bendy dolls that don’t even look like the characters! I am now on a quest to get new dolls to go with the outfits. Problem is, I have no idea what doll is the right size for them. Stacey is the one the clothes fit the best, but that is so not an option. I’m thinking Obitsu 21cm is probably too big, being Dal/Byul size, but I worry that Pure Neemo XS will also be too big, and that Picco Neemo will be too small. 😦 I need to get my hands on both bodies and check. (I’ve been overspending a bit lately, though, so I’ve ordered a Pure Neemo XS for now, and then I’ll get a Picco Neemo later if it turns out the XS is too big.) Also, I have no idea what kind of heads would go with the Pure Neemo XS and Picco Neemo bodies; Obitsu, I guess? Anyway, I got all the bendy dolls used, so I have no idea what that orange stuff is on Tomoyo-chan’s sock. (Okay, technically, the bendy doll is Sakura-chan, but why have more than one Sakura-chan and no Tomoyo-chan?) Yeolume and Jasmine did not want to cooperate with the photo shoot, btw. Yeolume was supposed to be sitting on the sofa, but wouldn’t stay in position, and I had to use Pyrrha’s chair, and Jasmine’s hair kept making her head tilt backwards.
Okay, I don’t like that I used both halves of the costume swap. But Jasmine’s clothes look so good on Janine that I couldn’t resist! (Janine, btw, was part of a two-pack of reproduction dolls connected to the Ghostbusters animated TV show from the 1980s, which I got on clearance, planning on both re-dressing her and re-painting her hair to some fun color, but when I said so to my brother, he said I was destroying his childhood, so I suddenly felt guilty and merely re-dressed her. 😛 Seeing as the other doll was a pumpkin-headed male doll (sort of Pyro Jack on steroids) I should have figured out where I put him and dragged him out for my Halloween posts, too. (Now that I think about it, I think he’s in one of those storage tubs under my bed. They’re mostly filled with SNES and Genesis cartridges, but there are also a few action figures, so I think I must have stashed him there.) Next year, I guess… Oh, and she never spoke at the party because apparently she had a different personality on the TV show than in the movie, so I had no idea how she should talk or behave.) Anyway, she’s bustier than that little Jasmine doll, so the top won’t fasten; it’s being held in place by her arms. Despite that, she’s one of the ones I’m thinking of leaving in her costume for a while even after Halloween is over. (Since the whole Cardcaptor Sakura crowd is also going to be left in costume for a while, that works.)
So much fail! I had this idea that the photo would be Teresa teaching Bryden how to do the Charleston. Only then Teresa couldn’t do the pose I wanted, either. 😦 I liked the idea much better when at least one of them knew how to do it. Also, Bryden’s dress is too big and keeps slipping down off her chest. (You can see it’s starting to go in the photo…) Aaaaand I didn’t have any other shoes for her to wear, so she’s barefoot. *sigh* Teresa looks good, though, right? (Of course, she actually lives in that outfit. I had found that Roaring Twenties Barbie for cheap enough that I got one to keep in box and one to open, and the one I opened got put in a somewhat art deco-style wedding gown, and her outfit went to Teresa here. Though I should probably have cut her hair at some point…)
I mentioned my attempted Red Dwarf set of dolls back during that clone post, right? Well, these two are, naturally, part of it. I think new Kochanski turned out pretty well…probably because all I had to do was re-dress her and change one part of that coat from pink to black. Rimmer…well, actually, I think he turned out pretty well, too, but time has not been kind to him. His hair got badly messed up at some point (it shouldn’t be ploofing up like that on one side) but I’m still pretty proud of the outfit I sewed for him. (By hand, of course. Though I don’t think I’d have the patience for that anymore…) I had to paint on the details like the insignia, stripe, collar, and so on. (The material was quilted when I got it, however.) But his boots! Oh my god, what happened to them?! Okay, what happened was that those are genuine Mattel-made Ken boots (I think they came off the prince to go with the Rapunzel who was the first playline doll to feature the Mackie face) and they’re made of that faux leather that does not age well. You know, the stuff that turns all horrible and sticky. That stuff. So they’re icky to touch now, and I have no idea what that white stuff is on the side of the one boot. I wanted to pose him so that was hidden, but…he’s so heavy he had to be leaning against the counter, and once I had him upright on his own, I didn’t dare move anything to try and hide his boots, lest he fall over and disrupt everything.
It was tempting to include this shot in the Halloween party, too. Merida looks surprisingly good in the miko outfit! Though not as good as Rena in Merida’s outfit, of course. If only it fit a little better, I might make them swap costumes permanently! (I suppose I could give Rena a new, slightly larger body, but…that seems excessive…) Rena and Merida are also going to be staying in their swapped outfits for a while.
Teen Skipper may be my favorite doll in the Barbie line. (Though I wish I’d gotten more of them in the short time they lasted! I’ve only got maybe half a dozen. No, wait, there’s at least 8. Still…) But having since gotten used to being able to pose Monster High, Pullip and Pyrrha, it’s hard to go back to the limited poseability in Teen Skipper. That’s about as far as her knees would bend. She couldn’t kneel or crouch or anything. This was the best I could do. 😦 Her elbows are jointed, but not her wrists. It’s frustrating to work with. (I know that’s not the point; she’s a play-line doll, and she probably didn’t need anything more than this to be played with, but it’s still frustrating.)
And here’s a big expenditure from this past Friday, one which sprang itself on me suddenly. 😛 (Though it’s not actually that big an expenditure: I’d have spent almost this much at the Groove store if someone else hadn’t bought Elizabeth…) My old 3DS was an original (not even an XL) so it was actually a bit low on processor power, and Super Smash Bros. was impossible to play on it, because everything on screen was so tiny that I couldn’t see what I was doing in the least. I’m amazed I was able to pre-order this less than a week before its release, though! The Majora’s Mask version sold out long before then. Then again, that one got a lot of hype, and this one didn’t, so that may have something to do with it. 😛 I meant to take a comparison shot of the new one with the old one, but I left the old one at my brother’s place (after transferring my data to the new one) so he could have it, since he hasn’t got one. Of course, I hadn’t brought any of my games for the system with me, so it obviously didn’t do him much good until the next day. 😛 (Though of course he could always have downloaded some if he was impatient to play something on it.)
Anyway, I’m excited about the new one, even though I don’t really have time for gaming right now. Not only is the system all cool and decorated, even the box looks cool. 😀
Now, in closing, let me give you two gallery links. This one goes to the gallery for this post, which contains some extra images showing bits and pieces of the set for the party without any dolls in the way. (Well, I wanted to take the pictures anyway, so I can see how I put everything up in case I want to do this again next year, so I can achieve something similar but not identical.) And this one goes to the gallery for the party itself, though there aren’t any pictures in it that aren’t in the post.