The resin stuff I didn’t get to last night

Yep, that’s one catchy post title, huh? ūüėõ

Well, anyway, this is just me trying to finish last night’s post, so a catchy title is hardly necessary.

Okay, so where I left off, I was still talking about headbands, so I think I’ll finish up with that. ¬†(Yes, there was more.) ¬†Specifically, about the smaller headband size. ¬†Because I’ve started to work on making the replacement headband to go with this outfit. ¬†I made molds off the two wings, and cast them in opaque resin. ¬†One of them was unfortunately ruined by poorly placed air bubbles and will need to be re-cast, but the other is good to go. ¬†While I was doing that, I also tried to make the headband itself. ¬†Because I knew there was a good chance a painted headband would get wrecked up, I wanted to make the resin itself blue.

And it so happens that I now have a lot of resin pigment on hand. ¬†Because the first time I wore one of my homemade resin barrettes in front of my mother, she noticed it (it was a bright red, sparkly lightning bolt; it would have been hard to miss), and asked me about it, and after I explained, she offered to give me all the resin supplies she had left over from when she had tried using resin to make jewelry. ¬†I had no idea she’d ever dabbled in resin, but I wasn’t about to pass up free resin stuff! ¬†The resin itself is different than the stuff I use, and I’m not sure if it’s still good or what, but the colors! ¬†She had to have bought at least twenty colors of pigments, including a bunch of¬†metallic ones. ¬†I am¬†so looking forward to playing with¬†those!

Anyway, I had planned on waiting until I used up my current resin, in case the pigment only works with the same type of resin. ¬†(This was perhaps silly of me.) ¬†But I decided “what the heck” and dug out the blue that seemed the closest in color to the headband’s blue, and after I cast the wings, I mixed some of it into the rest of the white resin to make blue resin.

Unfortunately, the opaque resin has a working time of maybe ten minutes (and more like five) so this was not a good plan.

(My squalid workspace...)
(My squalid workspace…)

As you can see by the disastrous mess on top of the mold, I had trouble getting the resin into the mold because it was already starting to harden. ¬†And this photo was taken hours later, btw. ¬†All that resin still in the cup hardened like that. ūüė¶ ¬†I have no idea what to do with it. ¬†It feels like a waste to leave it there, but…among other things, it’s stuck to the cup. ¬†(Not to mention, what am I supposed to do with it, anyway?) ¬†That stick up near the match (which was the one I used in lighting the candle to heat up the glue sticks to remove Pyrrha’s stock eyechips, btw) shows you the color of the actual pigment I put in the resin. ¬†Pretty different from how it turned out!

Resin v. Original
Resin v. Original

As you can see in this picture, the cast headband is¬†almost complete. ¬†There’s just this big ol’ gap there where no resin got in. ¬†I haven’t decided if I’m going to just toss this in the scrap heap (or rather the scrap jar, as I’ve been saving up all my resin scraps in the hopes I’ll come up with a use for them) or what. ¬†In any case, you can also see that the pigment didn’t actually come out being anywhere near the color of the original headband…even though in the jar, the pigment was almost exactly that color. ¬†I guess the natural white color of the resin paled it. ¬†I need to try using the pigment in some clear resin and see how that works. ¬†(The clear might be less likely to stretch, too.) ¬†The wing turned out okay, though! ¬†(I was obviously planning on painting¬†it all along, since it was going to have to be two colors anyway.)

Okay, so that’s about all I have to say about the headbands. ¬†Now I want to show you a couple of experiments before I move on to yet more eyechips for Pyrrha. ¬†(Someday I’m actually going to have to decide on which ones to use…and that’ll probably be the day when I’ll order my next factory girl. ūüėõ ¬†Turns out this whole eyechip-making thing is just tons of fun.)

Experiment 1
Experiment 1

Okay, as is, that may look a little macabre, so I”ll explain. ¬†I was wondering how resin affects paper, and particularly paper with things printed on it. ¬†(Because I thought printing some interesting graphic out and putting it in that rectangular mold shape (the green one in this picture) might be good for future barrettes.) ¬†I didn’t want to specially print out anything new, so I thought I’d just use one of the sets of eyes from the paper eyes I’d gotten for Pyrrha, specifically one of the sets I knew I’d never use, and this set definitely fit the bill. ¬†(The 8-bit heart thing was just a mold I had handy that I wasn’t planning on using any time soon and that was big enough to easily accommodate the paper eyes.) ¬†I handled them both differently, too. ¬†The one with the seal on it I just placed on top of the resin and left alone. ¬†The demon eye, on the other hand, I put some resin in, put in the eye, and then put in more resin. ¬†Though it doesn’t look like it in the photo, due to an angle thing, it worked much better for the demon eye than for the seal eye. ¬†(I don’t get these eyes, though. ¬†Why would Ciel have demon eyes? ¬†Just how badly did the anime screw up the story? ¬†I am¬†so glad I was turned off by the first episode. ¬†I’ll just stick with the manga.)

Experiment 2
Experiment 2

This one really doesn’t look like much, and to be honest it wasn’t really supposed to. ¬†I had made too much clear resin while I was doing the experiment above and making a bunch of eyechips and other things that needed clear resin (the top coats on some of the barrettes for me, and the adhesive coat on the dolly barrettes), so I poured it into this empty gem-shaped mold (which is too small for a barrette, but had proven not to work for those clip-things), and then stuck a small piece of old, glitter-filled resin in it. ¬†I wanted to see how that would react, how it would work out, if the old resin would maintain its cohesion. ¬†What I’ve found (and in both this and the other shot I took of this, it’s hard to see it well) is that the glitter maintained its cohesion quite well, but as the new and old resin bonded, a lot of air bubbles were produced. ¬†(Compare the number of air bubbles here to the ones in the experiment immediately preceding it, after all; they were the same batch of resin, and had the same level of air bubbleage when I poured them into the molds!) ¬†The main reason I wanted to test this is that I have this vague fantasy of somehow, someday managing to create molds to make my own original resin BJD, and I was thinking it might be interesting to make a special, clear one, where the clear resin has been filled with these scraps, making for a…actually, I have no idea how that would look. ¬†But what I now know is that it would mostly look like an air bubble festival. ūüėõ ¬†Not necessarily a bad thing if used in some other context, but not ideal for a doll. ¬†(And, let’s face it, I was never going to be able to model my own doll anyway; my skills are not sufficient for that, not in sculpting¬†or in mold-making. ¬†But it’s a fun dream none the less.)

Anyway, now that that’s finally over with, I can move on to the eyechips! ¬†And some of them are from a brand new mold that’s very different from the old one!

But I’ll start with the ones from the old mold, first.

more resin 1

Technically, you’ve already seen these chips, just not at this close-up level. ¬†They’re still not perfect, given the air bubbles, but I think they’ll do.

more resin 2

These, on the other hand, will not. ¬†Pale pink glitter, like white glitter, is too pale to work as the background for an eyechip. ¬†At least, I think so. ¬†(Even if it would work, these particular ones wouldn’t work, because the beads put in to be the pupils are off center.)

more resin 3

More of the same, really. ¬†Except that the darker pink hearts — which look really nice contrasted against this same pale pink glitter in my barrette —¬†really¬†don’t work as pupils, in addition to the background being too pale.

more resin 21

I got the big stars in a pack of Mardi Gras confetti I found on clearance at the grocery store (of all places!) for 50¬Ę. ¬†(Unfortunately, there’s a lot in it that I can’t really use. ¬†Unless I want to cut up the ones that say “Mardi Gras” in order to use the individual letters. ¬†But I don’t want letter-shaped pupils in my dolly eyes!) ¬†I went through all my colors of glitter to find the one that most closely matched Pyrrha’s eyes for the background of these eyes. ¬†The color match isn’t great, but it’s not¬†too bad, either, and I like the star-shaped pupils, so these are (tentatively) planned to be one of her keeper sets.

more resin 22

In this case, the little gold stars that were intended to be the pupils were entirely subsumed by the pink behind them. ¬†You can barely even tell they’re there at all. ¬†ūüė¶

more resin 23

And ditto with the little gold¬†circles in these…

more resin 24

These green ones are hard to see in front of the blue, but they’re actually mismatched — one is a circle and one is a star. ¬†I was running out of spaces to put pupils in, and decided to get crazy with it. ūüėõ ¬†They’re also very off-center, but at least I finally know¬†why the pupils always go off-center in these things: ¬†my workspace is actually not level. ¬†I had all these pupils in shallow clear resin, and then added the glitter resin after it had dried, right? ¬†Well, every time I looked back at it, I saw that the pupils (particularly the small ones, like these) had drifted away from the center again. ¬†Eventually, I realized that was because it wasn’t level. ¬†So in future I’ll have them drying somewhere else, somewhere that’s actually¬†level. ¬†That’ll have to help.

more resin 25

The little purple circles are slightly more visible than the little green stars, enough so that I seem not to have added them to my “reject” jar, and have instead put them in my much smaller “acceptable eye chips” container. ¬†(For some reason, all my finished resin projects are now being kept in an assortment of plastic gelato containers. ¬†Some of them are in the hard plastic screw-top jars, and others in the softer plastic pop-off top containers. ¬†I’m not sure exactly how this happened. ¬†I guess it’s just because I had a lot of them sitting around the house, ’cause they seemed too useful to recycle.)

more resin 26

As with the gold-on-mauve pair, these large purple star-pupiled chips work pretty well, in my opinion. ¬†Pyrrha’s not keeping them — she’s already got a pair of blue glitter eyechips — but they’re not going in the reject bin, either.

And now we finally move on to the new eyechip mold! ¬†Every single one of these is an unfinished chip, because they’re all going to require painting…

more resin 27

Check it out! ¬†They’re basically shaped like¬†genuine Blythe chips! ¬†I put a little too much resin in all of them, so they have a bit too high and too flat of a surface, but it’s not a big deal. ¬†The pupil area is much wider than on Pyrrha’s original chips, so I was worried they weren’t going to fit, but they did fit just fine. ¬†Looking at them, though, I wonder if they’re actually molded off of¬†Pullip eyechips. ¬†Because the pupil-to-iris ratio looks more Pullip than Blythe to me. ¬†I need to get Selina’s stock eyechips out so I can test these to see if they fit her. ¬†(I’m not sure how to go about that, though. ¬†Is it just the same procedure as for a Blythe? ¬†With the glue sticks and all?)

Anyway, I did several plain ones like these, but I also did a number with the Mardi Gras confetti.  To save time in photography, I decided to show these in mismatched pairs, only showing one of each set.

more resin 28

In¬†this eyechip shape, the small bits of confetti would only be highlights against the pupil, instead of the pupil itself, so I think the small ones will probably work just fine once I’ve painted the chips.

more resin 29

On these, the question will be if I want to put black behind the big stars so that these, too, are just highlights, or if I want to make these the actual pupils, and paint behind them in the same color as the iris will be. ¬†Maybe I should color on a piece of paper and hold these over that to see how it looks? ¬†Yeah, that seems like a good idea; I’ll try that first before I do anything rash with the paint brush…

Okay, so that was the last of the eyechips. ¬†But I still have one more eyechip observation. ¬†The “keeper” pair turned out to be too thick, so I’m going to have to sand down the backs when Pyrrha’s new eye mechanism gets here. ¬†(If I ever get around to¬†ordering it…) ¬†But in discovering that, I realized something:

more resin 30

This cross-bar is the actual part where I have to worry about clearance, and it was probably the chips pushing against this thing that caused the damage in the first place. ¬†And because of the way it’s shaped, some chips that will clear in the front-facing slots will clog up the works in a side-glance slot. ¬†I probably didn’t actually need to tell anyone that, but…I felt like mentioning it. ¬†The important thing, however, is that now that I know that, I can safely and carefully test chips for the new mechanism without risking damaging it.

Now, one last set of photos to share.  These being largely irrelevant, but I thought this was kind of pretty, so I wanted to show it to people.

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This glittery, pink and blue, Yin/Yang-looking thing is the excess resin from that batch of pink and blue backed eyechips. ¬†I loved the way the pink merged (or not) with the blue. ¬†However, just from looking at this, you may not be able to tell what it is…

more resin 32

So I thought I’d flip the mold over and show you. ¬†It’s my TARDIS mold! ūüėÄ ¬†Yup. ¬†I’m gonna have a pink, blue and who-knows-what-else colored, glittery TARDIS.

Not sure why, exactly.  But it seemed a more useful application of the excess resin than making more Space Invaders aliens.

Okay, now I am finally finished with this post!  The gallery for both these posts is here.

This¬†should be the last “testing out eyechips” post, btw, because I promised Pyrrha I wasn’t going to take her apart again until her new eye mechanism arrives. ¬†(This may have been a premature promise, but…yeah, I better order that eye mechanism pronto, huh?)

Dolly Barrettes and Other Resiny Stuff

So, I finally got some pictures taken of my dolls with their homemade barrettes in place. ¬†I’ll start off with the doll who inspired the whole project:

Barbara, beautiful in red
Barbara, beautiful in red

There’s something else to see here, before I get to my barrettes, though. ¬†See? ¬†She’s got new shoes:

barrettes 2

They’re a little bit large for her, being intended for Blythes, but as long as you don’t get this close, they look fine. ūüėõ ¬†They’re by MissBlythe2012 on Etsy. ¬†The important thing is, they match her lovely dress, and they aren’t Barbie pumps, so they’re not going to break. ¬†(Seriously, the white Barbie shoes she was wearing in the earlier shot of her in this dress? ¬†One of them developed a fracture running through it. ¬†All I can think is that they’re not designed to hold up the weight of a Pullip head.) ¬†I don’t have a lot of other red clothes — though they might look nice with Romana’s stock outfit, now that I think about it — but since the red looks so good with the tanned skin tone, I’ll just have to get more red clothes for Barbara and Selina.

barrettes 3

Anyway, here’s the barrette that started this new application of my resin stuff. ¬†Or rather, the barrette whose need started the…well, anyway, the shade of red isn’t¬†quite right, being a bit too dark, but it still looks a lot better than that Monster High barrette did. ¬†And it holds her hair out of her face, which is the important part. :p

Continue reading

Pyrrha’s eye mechanism

…is still not working. ūüė¶ ¬†But before I go into details, I want to share three new sets of eye chips.

eye mech 4

These would look better if they hadn’t gotten mismatched air bubbles under the pupils. ūüėõ ¬†Also if the pupils had remained centered when I added the resin…

eye mech 5

And this time only¬†one of them got an air bubble, while both of them got a bit off center. ¬†*sigh* BTW, I’m testing them in the side-glance slots because that’s where they’re going to live, since the central slots have already been decided on.

eye mech 6

These don’t photograph very well, unfortunately. ¬†They look better than this in person. ¬†And, actually, the’d probably look better photographed from a better angle. ¬†(I hadn’t actually put her head together again, so I was photographing looking down, right under a harsh light, and that’s always awkward.) ¬†Anyway, I’ve decided on these for one of her side-glancing chips. ¬†Just don’t know about the other set yet.

Now I’m going to talk about the way in which her mechanism is no longer working. ¬†This will require photographs of the inside of her head. ¬†Anyone squeamish about dolly innards should leave now. ūüėõ

Continue reading

Pyrrha update

Well, Pyrrha is finally put back together, for the moment. ¬†Unfortunately, I seem to have damaged her eye mechanism, so I’m going to have to buy a new one. ūüė¶ ¬†Anyway, please forgive the lousy picture quality (this room is not good for late night photography) but here’s her current appearance:

Pyrrha update 1

Being taken apart and stored in a box for more than a week did not do her bangs any favors. ūüė¶ ¬†Anyway, as to her face-up, I did the black eyeliner for two reasons. ¬†1) I’ve been playing¬†Hatsune Miku Project Mirai DX lately, and that’s how the Vocaloids all look. ¬†2) I was really impressed by how good that looked on Rory. ¬†(Sorry if it feels like I’m copying you, Olive.) ¬†I never did manage to get them to quite match up, though. ¬†Her lips look better at a distance than close-up, and her cheeks aren’t quite evenly matched, ¬†but I think they look acceptable. ¬†Anyway, what you’re seeing right now is just paper eyes with no eyechips in front of them. ¬†These were the chips that were to get the heart-pupil chips, but one of those was a bit too thick, and my attempt to make it thinner proved disastrous, so I need to make new ones. ¬†Well, technically I only¬†need to make one new one, but since the not-ruined one is the one with the damaged bead, making two new ones makes more sense. ¬†In any case, I can’t actually switch her eyes to have other eyes facing out because of the damage I did to the mechanism. ¬†Three of the four sides swap just fine, but this one won’t swap out unless I’m inside her head moving it by hand. ¬†I think that’s because the next set of eyes is this one:

Pyrrha update 2

They look really cool there, right? ¬†And they fit under the eyelids in the front-facing slot, so I was like “Yessss!” and put them in place here, and tried to use them. ¬†Only they didn’t fit so well under the eyelids in a side slot, and consequently I damaged the eye mechanism. ¬†Obviously, I’ve taken these back out again, but the damage is already done. ūüė¶

Anyway, I also gave her sleep eyes and painted her eyelids:

Pyrrha update 3

Plain bronze eyelids seemed a bit over the top, so I added some metallic plum. ¬†I would have liked to do a gradient, but those are for people with skill and/or airbrushes. ¬†So I did a stripe at the base, and then painted a thin layer of plum above that, and wiped most of it off, to leave only an (inconsistent) hint of the additional color. ¬†I probably should have replaced her eyelashes with ones that looked a bit nicer, but…that seemed awfully fiddly. ¬†(Maybe I’ll do it when I have to take her apart again to replace her eye mechanism.)

Anyway, I have to get ready to go to the museum, so I’ll sign off here. ¬†(Ugh, I don’t want to go! ¬†It’s 40 and raining out, and the temperature is going to drop all day, and the rain’s supposed to turn to snow by afternoon. ¬†This is an ideal day not to leave the house, so why am I driving ten+ miles to sit in a basement doing work I’m not being paid for?)

EDIT — I found a trick online while at the museum that may let me fix her eye mechanism. ¬†I’m going to experiment with it later tonight and/or tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how it goes. ¬†(And if it works, I’ll be sure to share it, in case anyone else has the same problem!) ¬†Also, the storm mostly passed us by, so I didn’t get caught in any snow. ¬†(But tomorrow’s still supposed to have a high of 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and I still have to go back down to the museum again. ¬†Bleah.)

2nd EDIT — My first attempt to fix the mechanism failed. ¬†The instructions I found said to use the stick from a cotton swab, but specifically the¬†plastic stick, and the only ones I have are the kind with the cardboard stick, which looks a bit thinner than the plastic one in the photo. ¬†That didn’t work (and I decided it’s way too cold outside to go downtown, plus I was feeling sort of woozy at the time I would have needed to leave, so I’m staying home today where it’s less cold, and can’t get the right kind today) but I’m going to try again whenever I can find some cotton swabs with plastic sticks. ¬†(Assuming I¬†can find some. ¬†I know I’ve bought some like that in the past, but what if they don’t make them anymore? ¬†Then I’ll have to figure out something else that might be the right size.)

New Year’s first blather post

Or something like that. ¬†First I want to talk about the preceding two posts, the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day special posts.

New Year's Eve 1

Barbara’s dress (and shoes) are from the Barbie Look collection. ¬†Neither fits her perfectly, but…they look all right. ¬†(But it’s killing the shoes; the stiletto heels keep bending and warping.) ¬†Ironically, if I had waited until the mail came in (and had checked it before 10 p.m.), I could have put her in her beautiful new red dress from Etsy. ¬†But I didn’t, so she’s still wearing this. ¬†(I’ll show her new dress soon.)

The table came with my sole Ever After High doll, Madeline du Jardin. ¬†(Formerly Madeline Dupres, formerly Maddy Hatter.) ¬†However, I re-painted the roses to be darker, and the table to be sparkly black, so it would look more Monster High. ¬†The food and stuff is totally random, in a variety of scales. *shame* ¬†The cupcakes are Moxie Girls (I think), the stack of cups is Liv (I think), cake slice and the crepe are erasers that I thought might be good for Kaiko (to take the place of KAITO’s signature ice cream bar), the tea pot is Monster High (though I think it might actually be a watering can), and I have no idea where the little pink wine glass came from.

New Year's Eve 2

Yeloume’s dress is Only Hearts Club, but her shoes are…uh…whichever little sister of Barbie those shoes came from. ¬†(Stacie, I think? ¬†Or is her name Courtney? ¬†I know the doll they came with, I just can’t remember her name…) ¬†I think the shoes match the dress better than the shoes that actually came with the dress. ¬†I totally want to re-body Yeolume, btw. ¬†Not only does she have minimal posing ability, but her joints are all quite loose, particularly her hip joints. ¬†I want her to have a body that doesn’t flop around so much, even if it’s not much more posable than the one she’s already got. ¬†(I was thinking a Licca body might be good for her. ¬†I’m going to compare the sizes when I do the body swapping for the Licca Miku duo.)

New Year's Eve 3

No, she did not come in that dress. ¬†She came in a green dress. ¬†(She’s a collector’s doll, as you might guess by the jewelry (which is original to her), the face-up and the eyelashes.) ¬†I found her at Tuesday Mornings cheaply enough that I actually bought two, this one and one to leave in the box.

Pyrrha's party dress 1

I know I’ve previously mentioned that I had bought Pyrrha a new dress, which I had to give a colorfasting treatment before she could wear it, just in case, but somehow I hadn’t actually gotten around to showing it yet. ¬†So here it is. ¬†In an older photo, because Pyrrha is still in pieces, with a blank face. ūüė¶ ¬†(But at least I’ve gotten glue sticks, so now her eye chips are also out, and I’ve been able to test the ones I’ve made. ¬†I’ll post photos tomorrow or so.) ¬†The dress is by NinaBella9, who also made her “main” outfit, the whitish two piece with the reddish paisley and the black hat. ¬†(I still don’t know where those shoes came from, though…) ¬†Anyway, the feather boa she was wearing in the New Year’s Eve photo came from Jo-Ann’s…or was it Michael’s? ¬†It’s just an untreated crafting product. ūüėõ ¬†(And may have stained the interior of her kneecap, strangely…)

New Year's Eve 6

I got this little guy at Michael’s. ¬†I know there’s no reason to think of Falcor as flying overhead to herald the new year (even in the book, that never happens), but I’ve been looking for an excuse to do something with him ever since I got him. ūüėõ ¬†(Naturally, the tag called him a “good luck dragon” so they wouldn’t infringe copyright. ¬†But he is so totally Falcor.)

"Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!"
“Akemashite omedito gozaimasu!”

The new Made to Move body is amazing. ¬†(And the $15 price tag is sweet!) ¬†It’s actually better for posing than that Obitsu body I got for Len. ¬†(You know, the one that was too small!) ¬†I’m totally going to get more of these. ¬†Definitely Teresa will be next, but I just had to start with this one, because having her kneel in that kimono was going to look so awesome. ¬†I meant to do something nicer with her hair than the simple ponytail she came with, but…time prevented me from actually doing so. ¬†(Next year, for sure.)

New Year 1

Since this doll had the same face mold as the Barbie from the New Year’s Eve party, I thought I’d just go with the joke(?) that it was really the same doll. ¬†(The pink hair is not, however, a wig.) ¬†This is my favorite Barbie face mold, btw. ūüėÄ ¬†(Oh, and this box is where I got the spelling for the Japanese greeting, so if I got it wrong, I apologize.)

New Year 7

And this is the reason this Bratz doll is still in the box: ¬†the box is too cool to open. ūüėõ

New Year 10

Yeah, this one was random. ¬†I had brought the mini Lalaloopsy in to photograph her, then forgot to give her to any of the dolls who could hold her, and…well, Mulan was the next closest I could find to a doll in a kimono. ¬†(If I’d thought about doing this more than a few days before actually doing it, I could have ordered some Pullip, Blythe or Monster High-sized kimonos from Etsy. ¬†But as it is, the one I put on Lea was the only one to spare.) ¬†The reason Mulan’s face looks a slightly different color than her body is that it’s got a color-change treatment on it: ¬†it turns white, so you can give her the half-painted, half-unpainted face like during that one song. ¬†(Yes, this is a doll I bought back at the time the movie came out.)

Okay, so before I finish talking about these posts, the album for the party is here, and the album for New Year’s day is here. ¬†(But the Pyrrha photos aren’t in those albums, only in Pyrrha’s own album.)

Now, other stuff. ¬†I had wanted my last toy purchase of 2015 to be She-Ra related, since it was her 30th anniversary, but since Mattel stubbornly refused to admit that She-Ra was a¬†doll line that had been aimed at¬†girls, all they’re making these days is those hideous action figures that look nothing like the dolls, so I couldn’t buy anything new. ¬†And I hit all the used places around here that reliably carry used/vintage toys on the 30th, but couldn’t find any that I didn’t already have. ¬†(And I didn’t have time to scour the antique malls on the off chance of finding one.) ¬†So I was going to go on Etsy and buy a vintage one there (even though I wouldn’t have gotten her until this year) but the Perfuma I had favorited was “unavailable” when I clicked on her listing, even though it didn’t say “Sold” on my favorites menu. ūüė¶ ¬†And I didn’t want to buy one of the wave 2 dolls, since¬†their¬†30th anniversary would be¬†this year. ¬†(Well, not like there were a lot of them on offer, of course, but I¬†could have gotten an Entrapta…) ¬†Besides, I wanted to recapture a part of my own childhood, not to get a doll I’d never had before. ¬†So I had to content myself with some fan art instead. ¬†Well, “content” is not quite the word, but…it was something I wanted to get, so…yeah.

Moving on, I’m disappointed by the early shots of the new look Mattel is going to give Monster High later this year, but I’ll wait until I see them in person to give a final opinion. ¬†However, this has all the earmarks of executive meddling, by making the dolls simpler, and thus less costly to make, in order to increase the profit margin on each unit. ¬†(Not only was each successive wave getting more elaborate, many of the new characters had entirely new and unique¬†bodies on top of the unique facial sculpts each character had always had.)

Anyway, before I made that Etsy purchase, I let myself into yet another way to drain away my money: ¬†I made my first pledge on Kickstarter. ¬†The project is called Dream Big Friends, for an articulated 10 inch doll called Yuna. ¬†The doll is very cute, and as of about 10:30 this morning,¬†they still needed to raise $100,000 more by January 3rd if the doll was to go into production. ¬†So if you see this before then, check it out and maybe help them out, okay? ¬†(Fortunately, at the moment there don’t seem to be any other doll projects looking for funding, so I may be safe there for the time being…but this morning I already upped my pledge from the “one doll” rewards level to the “two dolls” level, to help out more.)

Anyway, the next few days will hopefully feature a number of posts. ¬†I’ve got a number of photos of Pyrrha’s (unpainted) face “testing out” eye chips, and Mei-lin is nearly finished (once her hair gets here), as is the all-Obitsu male doll. ¬†(Whose name is still uncertain, but I know his epithet already.) ¬†Plus once the other Pullip wig arrives, there’ll be a wig-swapping post. ¬†(Said wig is coming from Quebec, so it shouldn’t take too long.) ¬†Oh, and there’s Hangry’s new outfit (which I actually bought for a different doll) and Barbara’s new dress, so I’ll probably show those in a single post, too.

New Year’s Eve (Dolly) Party

"Welcome to the party!"
“Welcome to the party!”

Barbara’s holding a New Year’s Eve party for all her friends.

New Year's Eve 2

Of course, Yeolume is more interested in the snacks than anything else. ¬†(She’s going to have to go to bed long before midnight anyway…)

New Year's Eve 3

Barbie’s ready to dance long into the new year.

Pyrrha's party dress 2

Pyrrha’s always ready to party!

New Year's Eve 4

Someone seems to be looking for a dance partner…

New Year's Eve 5

Cleo, Draculaura and Frankie are waiting for the rest of their friends to arrive.

The party will keep going until the stroke of midnight, when Falcor the Luck Dragon will fly through the sky to herald the arrival of the new year!

New Year's Eve 6

Face-ups, Re-bodies, and other updates

Well, I’ll start with the easiest, and happiest update. ¬†Remember this?

Noooooooo!
Noooooooo!

Well, now it’s this:

Ta-da!
Ta-da!

The drilling worked, mostly. ¬†(Thanks, BlackKitty!) ¬†The broken-off plug is still rattling around in there, but I’ve put a big enough hole in it that I can get the other hands in now. ¬†There’s a bit of a gap, but…it’s much better than no hand at all. ¬†(And I’m afraid to keep drilling, because I was starting to wreck up the lip that holds the hand in place. ¬†The plastic is pretty soft.) ¬†She’s not currently wearing her little lilac…thingies…’cause I forgot about them. ¬†ūüėõ

Anyway, Yuki Miku has more changes in store in the future; I’m going to give this body to either Sakura or Tomoyo-chan, put this head and outfit on the Licca body, and the regular Miku Licca head and outfit on Len’s old Dal body, once that’s available.

Speaking of that….remember this?

Len is excited to have his new (boy) body arrive!
Len is excited to have his new (boy) body arrive!

Len was less excited to have me rip his wig off, unscrew his head and remove his body. ¬†Especially because when I then tried his clothes on the Obitsu body, it turned out I’d ordered the wrong size. ūüė¶ ¬†(I should have tried his clothes on the body before taking him apart!) ¬†So now I have this male Obitsu body just lying around uselessly, and Len needs the next size up. ¬†On the other hand, there’s that head I wrecked up by trying to sand its mouth off, so I’m going to give¬†that head to this body. ¬†(Not sure what I’ll do to remedy the flat chin situation. ¬†Possibly a fake beard, in the Egyptian style. ¬†I could make a pharaoh. ¬†Or, given my limited skill, maybe I should wrap it entirely in bandages and make a mummy…though that would be something of a waste of an Obitsu body…)

Anyway, you may recall that earlier I said Suve’s face-up was finished and just awaited sealing? ¬†Well, she’s been sealed, and is now wearing her wig and clothes:

Suve, all put together
Suve, all put together

The white shirt really highlights the yellowish tone of her skin, unfortunately. ¬†I don’t know why they made a skin tone that looks jaundiced. ¬†(I wonder if I could dye her?) ¬†Anyway, I think her eyes worked out well, although I didn’t strictly speaking¬†intend to give her a side-glance: ¬†the first eye I put in there got nicely positioned that way, and I decided it would be easier to make both of them looking to the side than it would be to try re-positioning that first eye. ¬†(Though even so they’re still not quite aligned with each other…)

Face-up close-up
Face-up close-up

I’m pretty proud of her eyebrows. ¬†(I already knew I was putting a pink wig on her, so I went ahead and made her eyebrows and eyelashes pink to match…though the shade’s not actually the same, unfortunately.) ¬†However, her lips make me want to cry. ¬†They looked¬†so nice before I sealed them! ¬†But apparently the sealer I was using (Testors Dullcote) melts my pastels. ūüė¶ ¬†The colored pencils stayed, but not the pastels.

Anyway, before we move on to my other big over-the-break project, I want to give a bit of a further update on the¬†Cardcaptor Sakura dolls. ¬†Drawing a large open mouth does seem to work (thanks, Olive!) but I don’t have any pictures to show yet: ¬†my first attempts were good enough to show that it’ll do the trick, but not good enough to keep, so I’ve already erased them. ¬†I’m going to have to dig out my¬†CCS artbooks and try to reproduce each character’s real smile, if that makes sense. ¬†(Not like I’ll be able to come anywhere near reproducing CLAMP artwork, but…I can at least use it as a guide.)

And — quite literally in between those two pictures of Suve — my package from AmiAmi arrived, with the two Pure Neemo XS boy bodies. ¬†(Also with a cool statuette of Yosuke. ¬†I’ll post pictures later.) ¬†It was a struggle, but I’m pleased to say that I was able to get Mei-lin’s clothes on the boy body (unlike the girl body) so while it’s sort of sad that she has to have a boy’s body, at least she will¬†have a body! ¬†Yay! ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†So I’ll have to get on painting those mouths and getting the eye decals in place! ¬†ūüôā

Okay, so now I can move on to my other major project…

This is Pyrrha's current state.
This is Pyrrha’s current state.

Getting her taken apart wasn’t¬†too difficult (though a few of the inner bits were kind of tricksy), but…I felt like it was a partial waste of time. ¬†Why? ¬†Because it turned out I didn’t have any glue sticks to get her eye chips out! ¬†I was¬†sure I had gotten some, but evidently not. ūüė¶ ¬†And I don’t know when the heck I can go and get some, ’cause every place is crazy due to the impending Christmas. ¬†(Unless the grocery store would have them. ¬†But I somehow doubt that’ll be the case.) ¬†I guess it’ll¬†probably be safe by Monday…but that means I won’t be able to do anything to figure out if the eye chips I’ve made look even halfway decent until then. ūüė¶

Anyway, sanding off the shine was pretty easy (though a few bits linger, particularly around her ears) but getting all the color off her lips was nuts. ¬†I had to use a teeny tiny jewelry file to get at the color in between the lips, and I think there’s still a trace of pigment remaining even so. ¬†*sigh* ¬†Once the sanding was done, I figured I’d just put a coat of sealer on as a primer, so the plastic would more readily accept the pigment, particularly the pastels.

By the time I had put the cap back on the can, I noticed bubbles forming on her forehead, and on the plate that’s the back of her head. ¬†I’m not sure if that was the sealant having a negative chemical reaction with her plastic, or if I just didn’t shake it up well enough (it’s a new can, which doesn’t help; maybe they changed the formula?) or if they were just air bubbles or what. ¬†But I wasn’t about to take any chances, so I wiped it all off. ¬†(I should probably also give her another going over with the sandpaper, just to be sure.)

Thus my Junky Spot order took on an emergency nature, and I placed it right away, adding a can of MSC to the new body for Len, and the replacement head. ¬†While I was at it, I also ordered a wig for Mei-lin, and a wig for the mystery new guy…which I guess means I’m not making a pharoah or a mummy after all. ¬†ūüėõ ¬†(I will still probably go “beard” route to hide the chin problem, though. ¬†Or he could be a cowboy with his bandanna over his face like a bank robber. ūüėõ ) ¬†When it was just the head and the body, I was going to wait and see if they had a post-Christmas sale, but when the sealer needed for Pyrrha’s face-up became involved, then it couldn’t wait! ¬†(Though, of course, it still won’t come until around the 4th, according to the e-mail, but…it’d surely take even longer if I wanted until after Christmas, right?) ¬†This will also let me fix up Suve’s lips, while I’m at it. ¬†I ordered the wigs because they’re actually cheaper than most of the wigs that size I found on Etsy. ¬†(And Mei-lin has long, straight hair in pigtails, so the only styling I’ll need to do is putting the hair in the twin tails, and I think I can handle¬†that much. ¬†The wig comes with bangs, so no cutting is required. ¬†That’s the important thing.)

Okay, so that’s all the updates on direct dolly situations. ¬†Now I’m going to bore you with accounts of my further experiments in resin casting. ūüėõ ¬†But I’ll start with the eye chips.

Painted eyes
Painted eyes

At some point earlier, I’m pretty sure I said that I had bought something at Michael’s that might let me paint perfectly round pupils. ¬†Well, that thing — I think it was called a “dauber” — was for use with stencils, and turned out to be a dowel with a small sponge on the end. ¬†I probably would have been better off with just the dowel, because the sponge would splort out extra paint to the sides and…well, the end result is still a lot more perfectly round than anything I’ve painted free-hand, but it doesn’t look too great, either. ¬†And it’s still up to my bad visual centers and poor hand-eye coordination to get the pupil in the center of the eye, so…well, you can see above that while they’re better than my previous attempts to paint an eye, they’re still not great.

(However, I am crushed to report that at some point between starting work on this post yesterday and right now, I have somehow lost one of these eye chips. ¬†I had them lying out on top of the table by the chair where I sit in here, and suddenly I looked over this afternoon and only saw three instead of four. ¬†(The other two being the pair pictured below.) ¬†I had left them out because I wasn’t sure if I needed to maybe seal them or something. ¬†But one of them seems to have been knocked off the table. ¬†And there’s a lot of stuff in the way of searching the floor. ūüė¶ ¬†I’m going to have to move everything all over the place and shine a bright light into the nooks and crannies and hope I can find it. ¬†Probably that’ll be tomorrow morning, before I get dressed to go to my parents’ place for Christmas.)

More painted eyes
More painted eyes

The pupils on these are a bit less centered — and a bit less perfectly round — than the other pair. ¬†I can’t begin to imagine how people successfully paint realistic eyes on the backs of eye chips. ¬†I mean, seriously, how do they do that? ¬†You have to paint the details on¬†first, and then the larger colors on top of them! ¬†It’s a little nuts. ¬†Anyway, if these don’t look too crappy in place (of course, they¬†do look too crappy), they have the bonus that the white stripes are actually glow-in-the-dark. ūüėÄ

Heart pupils
Heart pupils

Another idea I had was to put beads in the resin to be the pupils. ¬†I bought some round ones for that purpose, but they were too wide and too thick. ūüė¶ ¬†However, these little hearts are a good size for it! ¬†Except with the slight flaw on that one… ¬†Anyway, I haven’t decided if I want to paint these, or put them in front of one of those printed sets of eyes. ¬†(Probably the thing to do would be to paint them a solid color, or maybe a blotchy color?) ¬†The resin on the sides looks scratched in the photos, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a weird angle on the air bubbles giving an optical illusion of a scratch.

Fail.
Fail.

This was an idea that would have been really awesome if it had worked. ¬†And the “fail” is not because one of them is totally off-center, btw. ¬†(Though that doesn’t help.) ¬†No, the fail is because those aren’t teeny tiny little mirrors. ¬†Let me show a comparison shot with these eye chips and duplicates of what I had placed inside the mold to be pupils:

face-ups 9

The focus isn’t as good on this one, but you can see what they are, anyway. ¬†If this had worked, it would have been so cool! ¬†But the gem-like parts melted. ūüė¶ ¬†(In the previous shot, you can actually see the melted bit surrounding the silver backing. ¬†Which makes me want to try it with a colored gem-like sticker to see how that would look.) ¬†I think the reason I wanted to do this is because I’ve seen some fashion dolls that actually used this kind of thing for the eyes. ¬†I had one as a girl — a Barbie-inspired doll, possibly with a fairy theme, which also had wonderful purple hair, but all I have left is her little plastic flower crown — and I’ve seen more recent Disney princess dolls that did that. ¬†(Probably from the early 1990s. ¬†There’s one in the museum’s collection, but I don’t think they were around at a time when I was actively collecting, so I’m not sure of the date. ¬†They’re Mattel made, though; the museum’s catalog had identified the doll (who is clearly Aurora) as Barbie.)

Anyway, I wanted to try and make gem-cut-shaped eye chips, so when I was at Michael’s…last weekend? ¬†This past weekend? ¬†Ack, I’m going senile? ¬†Well, whenever it was, I went there unexpectedly, so I didn’t have an eye chip on me for size comparison, and I had to find something in the store that was labelled as being 14 mm in diameter, and then compare it to beads that had the right cut. ¬†My intention was to make a mold off the bead, and then use it to make eye chips, right? ¬†Unfortunately, the height difference from the place where it reaches the 14 mm diameter and the top of the gem-cut is about twice the thickness of an eye chip, so that turned out to be a waste. ūüė¶ ¬†I still think it’s a good idea, though. ¬†I’m going to actually remember to have an eye chip on me next time, and I think I’ll try at Jo Ann’s, too.

face-ups 10

So I’ve been making a lot of different eye chips filled with glitter. ¬†I’m not sure how any of them are going to look in a Blythe face, though. ¬†This was my first experiment.

face-ups 11

This experiment was more subtle, and a much better idea, but it unfortunately didn’t work very well. ¬†I had placed large snowflake-shaped pieces of glitter (more like sequins without holes, really) in the center of each mold, and then added the glitter-filled resin on top. ¬†Unfortunately, in filling in underneath the snowflakes, it rendered them all but invisible. ūüė¶

face-ups 12

I did the same thing with these — made in a Mod Podge mold intended for hot glue…? — and as you can see it worked perfectly on the small one on the top, but the larger one has the same basic problem as the eye chips. ¬†(I’ve been playing around with these gem-shaped molds a lot, in part just to get rid of excess resin, ’cause you can’t really mix only enough resin to use with the eye chip mold, and it’s a shame to just waste the rest. ¬†Though I suppose in a way it’s still a waste, as I have no idea what I’m going to use these for.¬† I’m not going to bore you with all the photos, though. ¬†They¬†are in the gallery, however.)

face-ups 17

This is jumping ahead a bit, but I tried again with the snowflake pupil eyes. ¬†(Because I’m thinking that next factory girl I get, whenever that’ll be, I may want to make each of her sets of eye chips relate to one of the four seasons. ¬†That seems like fun, right?) ¬†This time, I filled the mold with clear resin, and then just sprinkled glitter on the back. ¬†It worked¬†better, but there are still problems, in that the blue glitter wasn’t enough to cover the whole back, and there was so much of the white glitter that it made the resin spill massively over the side on one of them. ¬†(Obviously, if I just trim that off, it should be fine, though there’s still a lot of unglittered area.) ¬†For all of these, I can probably just use a similar colored metallic paint on the back and it’ll be okay, but it’s still not ideal. ¬†I think the thing to do is to put in a small layer of clear resin over the eye chips, let it harden, and then fill the rest of the mold area with the glitter-filled resin.

face-ups 15

These were made at the same time as the first snowflake attempt. ¬†In this case, I tried to liven up the eye chips by using two different sizes. ¬†There’s fine silver, and then a purple and teal mix that’s the same size as the orange and gold mix in that first set. ¬†The purple and teal is largely hidden by the silver, though, so you mostly just get a hint of it. ¬†(Not sure what else I expected to be the case, mind you. ¬†It’s called an experiment for a reason, right?)

face-ups 19

TARDIS blue, right? ūüėõ ¬†I have some little gear-shaped charms (beads?) that I’m going to use as pupils and back them with this kind of glitter to make a new pair of eye chips for Romana. ¬†(Since there was one of hers I really didn’t like.)

face-ups 23

These have a medium-sized glitter. ¬†It’s probably the best size for this kind of thing. ¬†Assuming, of course, that solid glitter eyes don’t look hideous in place in person. ¬†(I’ve seen photos of other people’s all-glitter eye chips, but I won’t know what I think until I see these in Pyrrha’s face, y’know?) ¬†Although, obviously, this particular color will not do for Pyrrha, being bright red, since she has pink hair. ¬†But I was mixing up red glittery resin for another reason…

face-ups 24

That reason being this. ¬†The mold was a novelty ice cube tray I got at Target for about $1 a couple of years ago. ¬†(I know, weird, right?) ¬†But I’m sure you’re wondering what I wanted a red, glittery lightning bolt for, right?

Tada!
Tada!

It’s a barrette! ¬†For me! ¬†(Finally, I’ve made something¬†useful!) ¬†I look terrible with my hair pulled all the way back, but I can’t have it just loose, because it would then fall in my face, and I used to wear headbands, but the ends of them conflict painfully with my glasses. ¬†So I’ve taken to braiding the sides, and using the braids to pull the hair out of my face. ¬†But the best thing to hold them in place is a small barrette, and it’s¬†really hard to find those that are in any way interesting. ¬†I’ve mostly been wearing the same barrette over and over and over again, and that gets dull. ¬†(I also have some plastic ones that I got cheap at…ack, I forgot the name. ¬†Claire’s? ¬†Is that it? ¬†Jewelry store aimed at the early teen crowd. ¬†Whatever it’s called, the plastic ones are in bright colors that only match maybe a third of my shirts.) ¬†Anyway, I wanted to make some that would be fun and maybe match some of my clothes, and this was my first attempt. ¬†It’s good enough to use, but it still has issues. ¬†I used too much resin, so it’s much too thick; there’s too much red, and then there’s too much silver, which makes it hard to open and close the barrette. ¬†I have some other fun novelty ice cube trays (all of which I had bought planning to use them for molds with polymer clay) so I’m hoping some of the others are also the right size. ¬†(Though why I would need Space Invaders themed barrettes I’m not quite sure…) ¬†In any case, since these barrette clips are so small, these could also work as large barrettes for dolls with big heads, like Blythe, Pullip and 1/3 scale dolls, so if I ever decide to start selling things on Etsy, I can sell barrettes, too. ūüėÄ ¬†(Though I’d probably want to make something in polymer clay and make a mold off of it, so I wouldn’t be using a professional mold. ¬†That’d sort of be, you know, unethical.)

face-ups 27

While I was putting the silver-glitter resin on the back of the barrette, I also made some more eye chips with it.  The red splotch on the one in the center on the lower register was another experiment:  there had been some dribbles on the side of the mold for the red part of the lightning bolt, and I put them in the center of the eye chip mold for these, wanting to see what the result would look like.  They moved as the new resin was added, though, so the result is mostly just messy.

Okay, now I want to share a bit of the continuing story of my attempt to make some charms for Blythe pull strings.

First, you may remember this:

resin 26

I did my best to get him polished up, and now he looks like this:

face-ups 6

Not a big improvement.  Barely any improvement at all, in fact.

Anyway, I tried again with the TARDIS mold, but it was partially just using up excess glittery resin from the eye chips earlier:

face-ups 3

Halloween with the Doctor? ¬†I guess? ¬†Anyway, the important thing is that it’s got that same residue on it as Mokona. ¬†A second attempt at the K-9 charm proved no better, and showed that his tail really didn’t get added into the mold at all.

face-ups 21

I found a new mold-making material, and made a new TARDIS mold. ¬†The light on top still has a tendency to get ravaged by an air bubble, but if I was going to make a charm, that’s the part that would get drilled for the connector, so that’s okay. ¬†And there’s no horrible reside now, so yay! ūüėÄ ¬†Of course, I’m not sure what purpose there is in a glittery red TARDIS (Christmas with the Doctor?) but…it was mostly an experiment to see if the new mold worked, and I was partially just using up resin I’d made for that barrette anyway.

So, that’s about where I stand with resin-casting. ¬†I need to make the new K-9 mold, and do some more work before I can figure out if any of my non-plain eye chips are going to work. ¬†I think the barrettes are pretty promising, at least for my own use if for no other reason. ūüėõ

I’m still hoping to find something I can use to make a gem-cut mold that’s the right size to be gem-cut Blythe eye chips (or Pullip eye chips; that’d work, too, especially since Selina needs new eye chips), but who knows if I’ll find anything. ¬†Anyway, as work progresses, I’ll continue to post about Pyrrha’s face-up and new eyes (those’ll come faster than the face-up, what with the delay to wait for the MSC to arrive) and I’ll definitely show the results of the new Obitsu boy, and the¬†CCS dolls (though I haven’t even ordered hair for Sakura, Syaoran and Tomoyo yet (not to mention I still need to order another female¬†body)) and Len’s eventual rebodying, and the Licca Miku rebodies that will accompany that. ¬†I also have a post planned called “Wig Swapping,” but I’m waiting on another two wigs that are on their way before I post any photos. ¬†(Rather, I don’t wanna have “Wig Swapping, Part 1” and “Wig Swapping, Part 2,” y’know?)

I may or may not still be making some “I shouldn’t be doing this” orders in the coming weeks. ¬†I feel like I need to get Ciel Robin to go with Private Tutor Sebastian, and there are a few others that are almost gone that I feel like “ack, I need!” even though technically I know perfectly well I don’t need them in the least. ¬†(Ugh. ¬†Why is my brain wired like this?) ¬†I’ve decided¬†not to get an Isul or a Taeyang to be perpetually redressing dolls, though, because of the difficulty in finding male doll clothes. ¬†(Of course, that doesn’t exclude the possibility of getting a particular Taeyang to redress once into a certain¬†mythological figure…)