Pet Rainbow “Unity” (Kickstarter)

Something a little different now, but it’s such a timely project (in several ways) that I had to promote it here.  I was just made aware of this Kickstarter last night:

(c) Pet Rainbow Project.
Image source Kickstarter
Click for link

It’s not a Gay Pride rainbow, but I think the core values it’s promoting — particularly “Love” and “Respect” — fit in with the Pride Month theme.  Early on the Kickstarter page, the project’s mission is described as follows:

The goal of The Pet Rainbow Project is to teach core values that inspire positive behaviors so that together we can put an end to racism, bullying, violence and hate crimes.

By associating the rainbow’s colors with core values, Pet Rainbow brings to light a fun and engaging way that not only promotes our positive behaviors today, it helps create the positive leaders of tomorrow.

Promote this uplifting message and share it with the world, and help Pet Rainbow achieve its goal to end division, promote inclusion and create one incredible global unity for all.

One of the goals of the project is also to donate a number of these plushes to children’s hospitals.  (The number presumably being dictated by how much funding they get.)

Please check out the Kickstarter page if you have a moment, and consider backing them.

My June Posting Plans

So, for the last few posts, I’ve mentioned having plans for the blog for the month of June, without ever mentioning what they are.

So now I’m mentioning what they are. 😛

As you may or may not be aware, June is Pride Month.  I’m asexual myself, but I’m very supportive of the LGBT community.  And in today’s political atmosphere, I feel like it’s very important to voice my support.  Or in this case, photograph it.  So my posts this month are going to be either rainbow-themed or same-sex romantic (but always safe for work!) photos.  You’ll be seeing a lot of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. 😉  (But also some other anime, Monster High, possibly Vocaloid if I can figure out the right way to handle it, and anything else I can think of that actually seems appropriate.)

Today, I’m just going to recycle some rainbow-themed photos that have been on the blog previously.

New photos will appear next time I post.  (And I’ve already taken several photos of the Uranus and Neptune Figurarts, so I’m almost kinda sorta prepared!)

April and Other Updates

So, for starters, I thought I should admit — as April is almost upon us — that I won’t be doing April A to Z this year.  😦  I’ve enjoyed doing it the past two years, but I have two research projects due this April (in the same class, despite that the “final exam” date is in mid-May) and I’ve been sick all month, so I haven’t been able to get anything done on anything at all.  (In fact, I spent a whole week doing almost nothing but sleeping.)  However, it turns out that there’s a new, less posting-intensive April challenge available, only requiring one post a week (an improvement over my posting here of late), so I’ll be doing that instead.

I’ve found myself going crazy wanting to do doll shopping while I’ve been sick.  Mostly I’ve been able to relegate that to “extensive browsing,” I’m glad to say, but a few orders have been made.  (Of course, what I really wanted was to be able to go doll shopping in person, which probably helped make it easier to resist the online shopping lure to what little extent I was able to do so.)  Alice’s Collections has had a spring promotion going on for some time, wherein you get a massive discount on a tiny little deer BJD (pet-style, not anthropomorphic) if you spend a certain amount of money on accessories, or buy a regular doll over 25 cm.  (And I do mean massive, btw:  $10 instead of $120.  But I also mean tiny, as it’s only 12 cm tall.  But for $10, that’s okay.)  The promotion ends at the end of the month, so I couldn’t wait any longer in the hopes that another sale would kick in to mitigate the cost somewhat.  (And I couldn’t pass it up, ’cause it’s a deer doll!)  Thankfully, I held back from buying a YOSD satyr girl (though I really want one!) and just bought accessories.  I got some new clothes for Arthur (again), some protective garments to protect various dolls from staining, a green wig and green eyelashes for the dark fairy — I mean, dryad — and…uh…I think there was more than that, but I’m having trouble remembering what.  Maybe some clothes for Juliet, too?  Oh, no, that’s right!  Shoes!  I bought some new shoes for Ivy that wouldn’t contrast so badly with her current outfit.  (I still need to get her a different outfit that will match her cute rainbow shoes, though…)  That should be an interesting package when it gets here, but it won’t be for at least a month, because they have to have the deer made.

There have been a few Etsy orders, too.  I ordered some shoes and socks for Betsy, and some white bloomers from Patsy, but they haven’t come yet, because while the shoes and socks were pre-made, the seller has to make the bloomers before the order can ship.  At about the same time I ordered some Mattel dolls from the ’80s and ’90s, mostly because there was one I’ve been wanting for some time now.

(Hint)

And just last night I finally ordered some dresses for the light and dark fairies.  (Well, fairy and dryad.)  It’s been hard to figure any dresses that would work for them, because I want them to be able to wear their wings and their clothes at the same time!  (And most sellers don’t post photos of the backs of the garments to show how low — or not — they are in the back.)  But I think these have low enough backs that they’ll work, and they just look so much like fairy dresses, you know?  My biggest worry is that they may have been made for a slightly more slender doll, and therefore might not fit. 😦  If they don’t, they’ll certainly fit Houston, in which case Ellowyne could wear what Houston is wearing, and one of the fairies might be able to wear Ellowyne’s dress, but…I’m really hoping they’re going to fit, since they’d be so perfect otherwise.

More than anything else, what I’ve really been finding myself drifting towards (almost obsessively) in the past few weeks is the idea of adding a vintage 8″ Betsy McCall to my collection.  I know I looked at some earlier and thought I’d prefer the Tonner version, and it’s not that I’m not happy with the Betsy I have (she’s adorable!) it’s just that somehow the vintage ones have started calling out to me of late.  I’ve found a couple of them that are actually quite affordable (much more so than 8″ Tonner Betsys!) but I’ve been dilly-dallying, not sure which one I wanted to order.  One of them is slightly cheaper and has nicer hair, but the hair is rather similar to my Tonner Betsy.  The other one is slightly more expensive (and has higher shipping) and has less nice hair, but she’s got her shoes.  Both are wearing vintage clothes that don’t particularly appeal to me, but finding them replacement clothes will not be difficult. 😛  (In fact, I’ve found a pair of nice vintage dresses on Etsy, and the seller who made my 14″ Betsy’s dress has some that would look gorgeous on the smaller Betsy, too…though then they’d feel even more like clones than they already would. 😛 )  Before I bought the fairy dresses (about $60, with shipping from Germany), I was thinking I might choose between the two Tiny Betsys and order one soon, but that is not to be after all…

…because this morning I got an e-mail from Ruby Lane about a change to one of the items on my wish list.  I don’t like that they send those e-mails (I keep wish lists so I can find things again, not necessarily to keep abreast of their price fluctuations) but in this case it turned out to my advantage.  The item in question was a 16″ Madame Alexander Princess Elizabeth doll in need of repair work.  Primarily in the form of re-stringing, as she’s in pieces, but her face also needs some re-painting.  The photos aren’t great (or I’d share them), but they seemed good enough to assure me that the doll is actually in pretty good condition other than that she’s unstrung; the crazing seemed minimal, and her eyes are evidently undamaged.  (I think they must be tin, rather than glass.)  Modern Madame Alexander dolls don’t always do much for me, but the old composition ones are lovely, and I’ve been wishing for a long time that they weren’t so deucedly expensive.  So then here’s this girl, reduced down to $25 because of her TLC-needed condition.  I don’t know how much it’s going to cost me to have her fixed up at the doll hospital (if it was just the stringing, I’d try it myself, but I’m not about to try painting her face), but I know the total cost will still be way less than buying one in perfect repair.  Of course, I’ll also have to find her something to wear (she’s only got undies right now), but that won’t be hard to do on Etsy.  Still, her shipping was pretty pricey ($15 shipping feels like a lot on a $25 doll!), and given the doll dresses just last night…8″ Betsy is going to have to wait. 😦  Especially since I’ve so far only worked two days this month, due to my aforementioned sickness.  (Man, my paycheck will be pathetic this month.  Maybe they won’t even bother with it, and they’ll just tack it onto next month’s wages.)  But I’m on my second round of antibiotics now, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal by next week.

Anyway, I thought I should also mention that Bubbly Bliss has arrived, and she is gorgeous. 😀  I’ll do a proper post once I’m not sick and can take proper photos, but I did take a box shot before I freed her from her paperboard prison:

Given all the stars, I’ve decided to name her Stella.  She’s so tiny and cute!  And that translucent skin tone is amazing.  It’s easy to see why the translucent Blythes always sell out so quickly, and then skyrocket in price.  I was a little surprised by the roll wheel in the back to operate her eyes; I guess I was more expecting a little lever like on Pullips.

Once I’m well again — and have gone to the library to research the blasted take-home test (which is configured in such a way that you can’t do your primary research for it over the Internet, because this professor should have retired ten years ago) — I’m hoping to finally do the massive cleaning my place requires, which should let me add more doll shelves (so many more doll shelves!) and finally open some poor lasses (and at least one lad) who have been languishing in their boxes awaiting the day they can be released and join their fellows.  And hopefully I’ll manage to set myself up a nice workspace where I can do face-ups properly.  At this point I’ve got four BJDs (and that little deer on the way) in need of a face-up, and I still want to buy that grape Nano-Rabi from the Junky Spot, though that one probably won’t get any face-up anyway. 😛  (I almost ordered him the other day, actually, but I wanted to add on the DIY eye kit so I could make the perfect new eyes for the dryad, but I realized I didn’t know what size she needed. 😦  I need to take one of her eyes out and measure it, I guess.  Ack, that sounds gross.  I suppose I could also be all pedestrian and contact the artist on Kickstarter and just ask what size the eyes are….)  Anyway, the point of this paragraph is just to say that if things go to plan (like that ever happens), then I’ll probably still be pretty quiet on the posting for a while, but then it should pick up again with a considerable improvement in quality over what there’s been lately.

Frustration and Delay

Ideally, I’d have a real post for you today.  (Ideally, it wouldn’t have been over a month since my last post, either…)

But my place is still a mess, and I’ve had two major events at work — each with massive preparation and post-event clean-up — plus there’s another one this week, so…yeah, there hasn’t been as much time for photography as I’d like.  Especially since I was doing NaNo again this year.

However, I should have been able to at least do a quick photo of my Black Friday Junky Spot order.  (I know, I have no room for things, so why am I still buying them?  Well, I’m trying to cut back as much as possible, but…deals…)  It’s not a huge order, but I’m looking forward to the dolls in it.

If they ever get here.

Okay, so I made the order on Black Friday, yes?  And — as is typical of the efficiency of the Junky Spot — they were also shipped on Black Friday.  And on Monday, when I got home, I found a notice in my mailbox saying that I had a package I needed to sign for.  I go into the post office on Tuesday to pick the package up, and after standing there for 20 minutes while they look around, they still can’t find it, and say they need the tracking number to find it.  The tracking number wasn’t on the notice they left in my mailbox, so I had to go home and find it in my e-mail.

While I was getting the number from the e-mail, I went ahead and used the “Track Package” link, right?  Guess what I saw when I did?

Just guess!

Yup.

The package returned to the post office a little before 11 o’clock Monday night…and then shipped out again a little after midnight.

They didn’t hold onto it for ten days like they’re supposed to:  they started the “return to sender” process before two hours had elapsed!

It gets worse, though.  I’ve called the post office several times to try and get them to stop the return process and send it back to me.

Nothing’s happened.

At all.

As of last night, it’s still in the same place it was on November 30th.  In a limbo called “In transit to destination.”  Without saying what the destination is.  Did they lose it in between the airport facility and my post office?  Did they lose it on the plane back to San Francisco?  Did some creep make off with it?  Did someone run it over with a truck?  No freakin’ clue.

That’s the worst part, y’know?  At least if I knew what had happened, I’d, well, know what happened.

I’m gonna try calling the post office again to see if anything can ever be done.  And I guess if nothing happens after another few days, I’ll e-mail the Junky Spot and see if there’s anything they can do on their end.  (If nothing else, they should be able to get the post office to cough up the insurance money so they can replace my dolls without having to go out of pocket.  Though I think one of them may be out of stock now.)

I’m trying not to blame the post office for this.  I know they’re swamped with work at this time of year.  But I was really looking forward to those dolls (even though they need face-ups that I don’t really have time to give them), and they’re just out there somewhere in the cold, cruel world all alone, instead of here in my cold, cruel house.  (Uh, wait…)

The problem is that, even though I know it’s unreasonable, this is making me start feeling fearful for all my other inbound packages.  Realistically, there’s no reason to worry about other packages on their way.  Most places I order from don’t require signatures for the packages when they arrive, and it was the signature (rather the lack thereof) that caused the problem.  Statistically, the odds of lost packages are very small:  in all the time I’ve lived here, I can only recall three problem packages.  This one, one from Amazon that was lost for a month (though it did eventually arrive…) and one that was coming from England and just plain got lost en route.  So I shouldn’t worry.  But I can’t help myself.

Once I have some time and composure, I’ll try and give some reports on my other Black Friday and Small Business Saturday purchases.  There’s one in particular I want to do a comparison report on, which’ll take a lot longer than just “hey, here’s this doll I got” or “hey, here’s some nifty doll clothes I bought”.

EDIT – This time when I called the post office, they told me that when a package was being returned, they sometimes stop using the tracking number, so the package was already back with the shipper.  I e-mailed the Junky Spot, and the package isn’t back there yet, but they’re going to re-send it when it does get there.  UGH, though.  It’s just such a…okay, right, stop.  Trying not to blame the postal workers.  So I’ll just stop talking now.  I’m still trying to sort through the last month of incoming blog posts, after all.

The Stench!

This is the second time I’m re-blogging one of my own posts…but it beat writing the same info twice. (As before.) I can’t even visit most of my dollies right now due to stench, because I don’t want to let the smell into the dolly room. And I put Gen back in his box and closed the lid, to protect him until the smell goes away. 😦 Hopefully I’ll be back to “life as usual” sometime next week…

The Mad Grad Student

Something died in the walls of my house.

I’m assuming it was one of the mice.  (I shudder at the thought of anything else!)

Whatever it was, the hallway in my house now reeks of decay.  Consequently, I’ve been spending the majority of the last two days at my brother’s place — which is why I didn’t post anything yesterday — and will likely be avoiding my house like the plague until such a time as the stink goes away.

Naturally, I’ve got the windows open to air the place out as best I can, but…it’s a hallway; it doesn’t have any windows!  Not to mention that I can’t get flow-through, because no way am I leaving the door to my bedroom open and letting that stink in here, nor am I leaving the door to the back room open and letting that stink get all over my dolls!  I…

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An update

So, though I’m not technically finished with class until I turn my paper in tomorrow, I’m basically done, in that I’ve totally finished the paper.  (To the extent that I already e-mailed it to myself in case I forget my flash drive tomorrow.)

That means I should, technically, be free to give myself that reward for finishing class — specifically an Etsy shopping spree, and/or that semi-graily Pullip that showed up used on Mandarake about a week ago.  (Assuming she’s still there…but she was there on Monday when I said to myself “yeah, the first draft is done, so you deserve a present!” but then I ended up not making the order, for reasons even I don’t understand.)

I’m a little hesitant to go ahead and give myself my reward, though.  Not that I don’t want it!  I very much want it.  And it’s not that I can’t afford it.  (Within reason.)  It’s just…

…well, it’s complicated.

Part of it’s that I’ve already bought some stuff that wasn’t the reward — things that weren’t going to last that long, and Target’s web site finally had the DC Super Hero Girls dolls back in stock, so I went ahead and ordered the other three (it should have been four, but I really don’t like their Supergirl doll) because I was worried they were going to completely vanish on me — and I guess part it’s just that I don’t really feel like I deserve it.  This place is a sty, and my final paper’s more than a bit lame.

(LOL, I took a drink of my water right after I wrote that, and as I was drinking, I glanced up at Bumblebee, and she’s giving me this look like “Of course you deserve it, girl!  Stop beating yourself up so much!”  Such a helpful, friendly doll!  Unlike Grell.  He’s still giving me this “why haven’t you let me out of here yet?” look, no matter how many times I explain that there’s no room for him and the Undertaker on my shelf right now…)

Anyway!

Thing is, I want to shake things up around here over the summer break.  I want to get the house clean so I can have lots more shelves, so my dolls aren’t all cramped up like they are now.  And I want to finally fix Pyrrha’s eye mechanism (I’ve finally started taking the eye chips out of the new mechanism; that’s a start, right?) and get her eyelids re-painted, and stuff like that, so she’ll finally be finished.

In the spirit of finally finishing dolly projects, I finally finished changing Selina’s eye chips!  Or rather, I finally got her put back together again.  All those little springs inside her head really didn’t want to cooperate with me.  I’m starting to think any custom Pullips I want that need more than a change of clothes and/or wigs are going to have to be paid jobs by professionals.  Just changing her eyes was almost too much for me…

In any event, here she is:

new eyes 1

All that time in pieces in a box seems to have made her go a bit punk/goth loli.  Hopefully a nice new dress from Etsy will make her feel better. 😉

new eyes 2

Here’s a close-up so you can get a good look at her new eyes.  They’re really pretty, right?  They’re by BlytheEvolution…but despite the shop’s name, they are intended for Pullips. 😛  The chips are a bit flatter than actual Pullip chips, which does mean that they’re a little more in the shadow than they might be, so I probably should have gotten something a tiny bit brighter:  they’re not as lovely when they’re not well lit.  But even then they’re still light years ahead of her stock chips!

Anyway, you may notice a line on her cheek in the photo?  I’m not sure where that came from.  I mean, it happened in the box, but I’m not quite sure how…or what to do about it.  Still, it doesn’t mess up her looks too badly, especially considering you can’t see it except in good light and from close up.  (Plus if the light hits it right, it looks silver, which is much prettier.  (I fear it came from a loose screw down in the box with her…))

So, hard to say exactly what the future holds…except probably some more posts when a few packages come in. 😛  I plan on reserving future Thursdays for cleaning, so hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have made enough of a dent that I can start getting my space issues resolved, which will give me more photography options — and let me finally open Grell and the Undertaker! — and get some real posts going again.

….!

OMG, I just went to the Junie Moon site in the other window, to look for news about Allegra Champagne, the anniversary Blythe coming out this year.  And at first I was like “yes, she’s a translucent!” ’cause I really want a translucent…

…and then I saw her price tag.  ¥34,900.  Which, according to the currency conversion site, is currently $321 and change.

MSRP of over $300?

Ugh.  Too much!

I mean, yeah, there are dolls that cost more than that, but most of them are about twice Blythe’s height.

Seriously, if I was gonna shell out that much for a Blythe, I might as well pay a little bit more and get the Hatsune Miku one.

Man, if I’d known a) how gorgeous translucents are and b) how expensive they quickly become after being released, I’d have totally gotten Cherie Babette while I could. 😦

Well, I guess I’ll just have to keep on waiting for another one to be released.

Oh, on a final, unrelated note, I forgot to add a gallery link to my A-to-Z reflections post.  It’s there now, a link to the April 2016 A-to-Z gallery, which has all the photos from the month!  So it’s large and chaotic. 😛  But if you want to know the order in which I took the photos, then you’re in luck! 😛  (Except the Vash photo.  It got stuck at the front because apparently PhotoShop took off the time stamp, so Dropbox considers it “without a date”.)

Reflecting on April A-to-Z

The extra rules I set for myself definitely made the challenge a bit more challenging, but I liked taxing myself a bit to come up with something fun for those letters that were a bit harder to deal with.

The one real negative is that I had to do last minute replacements on a couple of letters. 😦  For “E” I wanted to do “Eren Jaeger” and finally open my Eren Figma.  Or rather, I wanted to let Mikasa finally rescue him.  Because when I bought him I decided that I wasn’t going to open the box, but that Mikasa was going to save him from his predicament.  (My Mikasa Figma, I mean, of course.)  With me taking photos, naturally. 😛  Only my house is so cluttered that I have no good place to take such pictures, and my backyard is out of the question because I have too many nosy neighbors.  I was hoping to use my brother’s place, but then he started preparing to move and so there was extra clutter everywhere, and…ugh.  I am gonna get those pictures taken eventually!  Even if I have to go into his place after he’s moved out and do it then!

Ahem.  Anyway, the other one I had to change was “H,” because I had planned on doing “The Hobbit” for H, using my Funko Pop! Invisible Bilbo and Smaug for a photo shoot…only then I loaned them to my brother when he was going to check out his copy of the Extended Battle of Five Armies and I couldn’t think of a good excuse to ask for them back before he was done with them.  *sigh*

But a few little detours aside, I think it turned out very well, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Unfortunately, due to my work load for class and for my other blog, I didn’t have time to fully take part in the April A-to-Z by visiting everyone else’s blogs.  But I’m going to do that over the next month or so!  Once my final paper gets turned in on Thursday, I’ll be done with class for the semester, and I can go around the A-to-Z linky and see what everyone else did for theirs.  Better late than never, right?  Of course, before I go to the linky, I’m going to start by checking out everyone’s blogs who left a comment here! 😀

Hmm.  Not much of a “reflections” post, is it?  Not sure how much else there is to say, though…

I should probably put a list of my posts here, but…I don’t have much time before I have to go to work (pre-writing this on Saturday morning), so I’ll just leave a link to the posts tagged for the A-to-Z challenge, so you can scroll through the alphabet backwards. 😛  Or you could click this link and go to the gallery where every single photo taken for this year’s A-to-Z is stored!  But they’re not in any kind of order — apart from chronological — and there’s no info on them, and there’s over 250 of them, so don’t click on it unless you’ve got some time to kill. 😛