Partial Mail Call

I’m so unmotivated to take pictures right now.  I can’t explain it.  😦  Anyway, because of that, there’s a lot of stuff I want to show you that I didn’t end up taking pictures of.  (This is, after all, like two and a half months’ worth of purchases we’re talking about.  And I’ve been down in the dumps, which means I’ve been spending more money, ’cause I’m a moron.)  Hopefully I’ll get motivated later on and take more pictures.  Hopefully better ones, too.

Anyway.  So new clothes and wigs were something I wanted to fill you in on.  I finally got Ivy some new shoes:

There’s something massive about them that doesn’t really come across in the photo:  in person, they’re like a girly version of the Frankenstein monster’s boots.  And they don’t entirely match Ivy’s butterfly outfit.  (Though I’m admittedly at a loss to guess what would match it.)  Fortunately, I got her a new outfit that matches her rainbow booties, but I’ll show you that a little later on.

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Pullip Make It Own Wig Selection

Yikes, how’s that for an exciting post title?  And after I’ve been absent for so long, too. 😦

Well, things are still weird here, so…yeah, things will stay sporadic until my life gets back under control.  Now that the semester’s started, I’ll be working fewer hours, which might give me more time for dolly things.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  (Goodness knows I still have two Pullips and a Taeyang waiting to be deboxed, not to mention another Pullip coming pretty soon.)

Anyway!

Back when JPGroove was offering a discount code to celebrate San Diego Comic Con, I used that code to place an order.  Those two Pullips, and one of the “Value Sets” of three wigs.  The dolls are still in their boxes, unfortunately, but at least I can finally show you the wigs.

Oh, but first, meet Nadia:

Pullip wigs 3

Technically, she’s shown up here before, as Tiger Lily Byul, but since I got a new one whose wig hairstyle wasn’t messed up, the original became free for re-styling.  Just taking down the wrecked up braids and putting her in this Monster High dress from Etsy really changed her look a lot!  I wish I had a full progression to show for her, but unfortunately she’s still got these same eye chips in.  Because Byul takes Blythe-sized eye chips, right?  So I was gonna have a big eye chip trying on party, letting her try all those eye chips that I decided weren’t right for Pyrrha.

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I’m back, but not very.

Yeah, that title makes no sense.  I know.

Anyway, the thing is, while I’m now done with July CampNaNo (preliminary report can be viewed here on my other blog), I can’t actually, you know, do much right now for the blog, because I hurt my back on Wednesday, and I now need to spend most of my time lying down until it gets better.  (I go into that on the other blog post, too.)

The big problem about the back is that I can’t really even get into the room where most of my dolls are right now.  Because I have some mouse issues in my house, and there’s this thing blocking the door so they can’t get underneath it, but now I can’t pick up the thing ’cause I can’t bend over.  And that really sucks, because I got a Taeyang from Amazon a few days ago, and the two Pullips I ordered from Groove should be arriving today.  (Ironically, though I intended to use their SDCC discount code to order the SDCC 2016 Pullips, I ended up ordering older dolls instead.  Amusingly, I ordered the Taeyang as a partner to one of those Pullips, and I ordered him several days after placing the Groove order.  He got here on Friday, even though he wasn’t supposed to arrive until tomorrow at the earliest.)  There’s another post I want to do that was going to involve photographing things on my bed instead of in the dolly room, so hopefully I can get those photos taken soon.  (Then again, I’ve been saying that for a while now about a lot of things, haven’t I?)

Because the Urgent Care center I went to for my back was in the same parking lots as one of the local Tuesday Mornings, I have an unexpected new girl in my collection:

boxed Tiger Lily 1

You may be thinking “Hey, didn’t you already have that doll?”  And you’d be right.  I did already have a Tiger Lily Byul.  So why buy a second one?  Well, ’cause I took her out for photography enough that I totally wrecked up her hair.  And I broke her bow string.  So this way I have a pristine stock Tiger Lily, and I can remove the messed up wig on the original (though in truth it’s really just the braids that are messed up, not the wig itself), and re-dress her in something that doesn’t have real fur on it, and maybe give her new eye chips.  Given the paucity of darker skinned dolls in the general Groove catalog, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to pass one up. 😉

Her new name will be Nadia.

So far I haven’t deboxed the new Tiger Lily, because all my spare clothes and wigs are in the room I can’t currently access, so there’s not much I can do for Nadia, unless I want to put her in some Barbie clothes.  (Or strip a Monster High or Skipper doll nude and let her have those clothes. 😛 )

I really want to get to the other Tuesday Mornings in the area to check for other Groove dolls, but I’m not leaving this house today while my package from Groove is still on the way. 😛  If it gets here soon enough, I might venture out, though.  (However, I hadn’t been to a Tuesday Mornings in months.  It could be that Tiger Lily had been sitting there a while, because everyone else didn’t want her, as Byul is very unpopular.  So it may be that checking the other stores won’t actually do me any good.  But I wanted to check for Monster High dolls originally, as I went into Target earlier in the week and all the Monster High and Ever After High dolls were on clearance, as Mattel is beginning to unleash the new, watered down versions.  In fact, Target actually had one of those in stock for Monster High:  that it had no wrist joints wasn’t nearly as shocking as the fact that it had no knee joints.  Facially, it didn’t look too bad, but that may have been because it was a new character, so I had nothing concrete to compare it against.  But I’m not about to buy a Monster High doll without working knees though.  No freakin’ way.)

Oh, one last thing before I go.  My stats reflect the weirdest thing.  After puttering along at the usual 30-40 views per day, on Saturday it reported 100 views, and on Sunday 216.  Almost all of those views of the kind that don’t register as being views of any particular page or post.  I think it must have been some kind of bot accessing all my posts in the late hours of Saturday and the early hours of Sunday.  I have (not counting this one, obviously) 226 posts and 11 pages, so that’d average out to about 40 actual views per day on those days; in other words, normal days.  Did anyone else have a massive jump in views on those days?  (I mean, obviously said bot wasn’t accessing all of WordPress all at once, ’cause it didn’t hit my other blog.)  I’m wondering if it’s some kind of search engine cataloging thing, or what.  Regardless of the cause, it’s strange.

Oh, btw, if you want to see the rest of the awkward box shots of Tiger Lily (box shots looking down at a box on a bed are not ideal), I put them in the Stock Byul gallery.

The diva Kaiko is born!

(Or something like that.)

Byul has finished her transformation into Kaiko.  More or less.  She still has to borrow Len’s headphones/microphone for every photo shoot, and I should probably get her a scarf that matches her shirt a bit better, but…otherwise, I feel like she’s pretty much come into herself.   (Though I still want to fix up her hair at some point; it’s still a mess.)

Showing off her diva stuff!
Showing off her diva stuff!

The one thing that annoyed me, in taking these pictures, is that I felt like no matter what I did, I wasn’t really capturing the Kaiko essence of her costume.  😦  It’s that coat; it’s too small for her, being Monster High, so it doesn’t photograph very well.  Maybe I should re-body her with a slightly smaller body, so it’d fit better.  (God, that would be dumb reason.  There are plenty of good reasons to re-body her, but that would not be one of them.)

Playing her guitar.
Playing her guitar.

Actually, I have no idea if Kaiko is usually depicted with a guitar–it doesn’t seem like a typically KAITO instrument, so probably not–but it matches her so perfectly that it absolutely is her guitar, regardless.  Besides, Kaiko’s just a fanloid, anyway.  I can do whatever I want with my version of her, right?

Singing her synthetic little heart out.
Singing her synthetic heart out.

The Byul mouth is perfect for a singing mouth, isn’t it?  I’m surprised they didn’t use Byul for any of their official Vocaloid dolls.  Actually, they should have done some UTAU dolls; Byul would make a great Defoko.  Okay, yes, stop me now.  I promised myself I wasn’t going to go there.  I’m not buying (or making) any more Vocaloid Pullips.  Except maybe KAITO…or MEIKO…or….

I have to figure out how to make Kaiko her own set of headphones.  She can’t keep borrowing Len’s.  It’s not fair to Len, plus what if I want to do a photo shoot with both of them?  (Not to mention the fact that I have to be careful about angles, since the yellow on the earpieces reveals them to belong to Len, rather than Kaiko, as hers would have blue.)  I looked for doll headphones on Etsy, but the closest I found were some Blythe-sized ones that were very un-Vocaloid in design.  Being Blythe-sized, they’d be too big, and being un-Vocaloid in design, they wouldn’t work even if they were the right size.

I’m thinking I’ll have to make my own, but I’m not quite sure how.  I bought some resin at Michael’s, and I already had some mold materials from my polymer clay days, so I guess I’ll try experimenting with that…if I can find the free time.  If.  Ugh.  So much reading to do…

Anyway, speaking of Etsy, I did finally place an order.  I ordered a Moxie Girlz Teenz dress so that Madra Lord can have the Gene dress one of mine has been wearing all this time, and a dress for Pyrrha, and a mold to make blank eye chips for Pyrrha, plus a download to print out eyes to go behind those blank eye chips.  Won’t look as nice as hand-painted eye chips, but if they don’t fit, then I won’t have spent as much money, right?  Plus maybe I’ll find I’m good at making eye chips.  (Unlikely, but weirder things have happened, I’m sure.)  I already got the clear resin to use with the mold, and while I was at it, I got super-fine sandpaper to get rid of the shine on her face, too.  (Didn’t need to buy anything to do the re-paint, as I’ve already got a huge number of such supplies from various semi-abortive attempts to re-paint Monster High dolls.)  For the moment, I’ve told myself “no buying vintage toys online.”  I can look all I want, and create lists galore, but I can’t buy them.  That’s the rule I’ve set myself.  Hopefully I’ll be able to stick to it.  (Though it’s sorely tempting, seeing some of the stuff from my childhood that’s available on Etsy…)

Byul-tiful Photo Contest, Final Week

The final week’s theme is “Oh no!” or “Oh my!” or something like that.  Due to Byul’s permanently shocked expression. 😛

Obviously, my first thought was to make poor Tiger Lily witness some pseudo-yaoi embrace between Pan and Hook–since they’re actually just Pullip and Taeyang dressed up as said characters–but even if I could bring myself to do that, it wouldn’t look very good because default Pullip bodies aren’t very actually flexible.  (I mentioned the difficulty on the forum, and it was pointed out that it’s not so hard to make them look intimate, and examples were provided…every single one of the examples showing a modified Pullip on another type of body.  Yeah.  That’s helpful.)

Eventually, I decided to settle for her love of nature, because, well, I wanted to submit something.  Unfortunately, by the time I did, the sun decided that it was time for three or four days of cloudy skies. 😦  So the lighting’s not very good on the photos I ended up taking.  But since the idea was none too great, either, perhaps that’s irrelevant.

I thought I had four working versions of the shot, but it turned out I only have the two, because in the other two her stand is still showing. 😦

Version "1"
Version “1”
Version "2"
Version “2”

Bah, the lighting’s pretty bad on “2” there, isn’t it?  I mean, worse than on the other one.  She’s pretty washed out.  I guess I’ll have to go with version “1” by default.  Ugh.  I wanted to have options.  I took about fifteen or twenty of these, and most of them are utter garbage.  (Lol, that’s ironic, considering the subject matter is litter!)  It didn’t help, of course, that the hedge row in the background was actually pretty thin and I had to trim the photos because you could see my neighbor’s house.  That kind of ruined the illusion, too.

Anyway, since I was finally done with the contest, I had one last photo to take with Tiger Lily:

Tiger Lily's Revenge
Tiger Lily’s Revenge

That’s what Pan gets for having all those Tinks around!  Now Tiger Lily’s got a mini-Pan of her own! 😛  (Too bad it’s not a Liddle Kiddle one, though.  That would be be awesome.)

(I would provide a link to all the photos in their full size, but it would seem that Dropbox has decided that it doesn’t want to work anymore.  Seriously.  I tried to put the pictures into the gallery and it told me my log in wasn’t being allowed because it seemed to be automated.  Eventually I managed to convince it it that I was, in fact, a human being pushing buttons and not a robot pushing buttons, only now it won’t give me anything but an error screen and won’t let me at any of my files.  So, yeah…no bigger versions of these pics right now.)

(Dropbox is back up, so the link to the full Byul-tiful photo gallery is here.)

Anyway, in other Byul-related news, Kaiko has her jacket now, and I almost ordered her dress from Etsy last night, but kind of panicked at the last second when I saw how much I was going to be spending on other stuff, too.  (There were also dresses for Pyrrha, Moxie Girlz Teenz, the eye chip mold for Pyrrha, and stuff like that.  It was going to be like $86…and I freaked out and decided to wait until I could buy those lottery tickets first.  Just in case.)

Why did I sign onto Etsy?

Seriously, I think I made a mistake.  I spent a huge chunk of time yesterday on there–and about an hour this morning–browsing and favoriting and stuff.

I mean, I haven’t spent any money there yet, but “yet” is the operative part of the sentence.  (So far, they don’t have my credit card/PayPal information, and that’s about the only thing stopping me.)

I only went to look for eye chips for Pyrrha, and clothes for Byul/Kaiko, right?  That’s harmless, right?

Um, but then I did some searches.

There are so many vintage toys from my childhood!  Things I’ve long lost–like She-Ra dolls and Galoob’s Golden Girl dolls–and things I’d forgotten I’d ever had, and things I remember but didn’t actually have because my parents were more capable of saying “no” to me than I am.  Not to mention all the vintage toys that are older than I am but which I’ve seen in the museum and fallen in love with and now want for myself.  (And it’s kind of scary that I can find some of them in better shape on Etsy than the ones in the museum’s collection, and they’re not even that pricey.)

Thing is, this is exactly how I got myself in trouble years ago.  I started buying toys from my childhood, and ended up with boxes of crap that I no longer want, and…ugh.  I’m trying to stop myself before I start, you know?  I need to put a limiter on myself, on my spending.  I wonder if Etsy has a way of putting a limiter on what kind of things you can buy, like “no vintage purchases other than She-Ra” or something.  (Okay, that’s way too specific, they’d never have that.)

I’m determined that if I do indeed take the plunge and start actually buying things, I absolutely will be a good girl and start with what I meant to start with:  hand-made doll clothes, and eye chips for Pyrrha.  (Am I still allowed to call myself a “girl” now that I’m 40, or am I breaking some kind of international law?)

Not all the clothes are going to be for Byul/Kaiko, though.  In fact, I’ll probably start out with some that aren’t.  I was thinking of getting a crocheted dress for Yeolume…if one of your Middie Blythe dresses with fit her, Olive?  They’re really cute. 😀

I also found some knitted dresses for Moxie Girlz Teenz, which will take the place of the Gene dress one of mine is wearing, so I can give that to Madra Lord; that will be much cheaper than getting a new dress actually intended for a Gene doll.  (Though there are some actual–in package–Gene dresses on Etsy for pretty cheap, but I don’t like any of them for Madra.  Besides, the knitted ones are so cute that I can’t pick which one I want, and I’m gonna hafta get two of them. 😀 )

The real question becomes about eye chips, though.  I could use some advice, in fact.  I know that the way to handle Blythe customization (or any doll customization) is always deeply personal, but hearing others’ thoughts is always a good way to help focus one’s own thoughts.  So there are all these great eye chips out there, but trying to find four eye chips I really like that will fit Pyrrha’s personality and color scheme in a similar style is going to be more difficult.  So is it typical to have one or two that are really spectacular, and the rest be more plain, or is it common for them all to be wild and wonderful and unique, or does it really differ by everyone who customizes, or by the personality of the doll?

On top of all this, I also find myself wanting to buy the Taeyang KAITO before he vanishes like the other Vocaloid Pullips (I checked, and Pullipstyle doesn’t have Miku anymore after all, which is actually okay, because I’d probably do creepy things with her and Luka if I had her), which means roughly $100, and then there’s these other really cute dolls I was thinking of getting from Amazon, one of which is down to the last 3, but to reduce shipping costs I have to get two dolls (since it’s partially by weight and partially per shipment (from Korea), the shipping is $15 for one doll, $10 the other, but $20 for both) but that would be about another $100, and then there’s the Pang-ju Black Russian cute little vampire doggy doll and the BJD Ai Tsubaki cute little fox spirit, both currently on sale at Pullipstyle, both of which I’d like very much…and which would combine to another $100.  OMG.  What is wrong with me?  The worst part is that on all of the stuff in this paragraph, I feel like if I don’t buy these things in moderately short order, I will have either missed out on them altogether, or would have to pay far too much for them later if I do ever want to acquire them.  I think that’s my real problem.  It’s not so much that I have this greedy sense of “I want” going all the time, it’s that I have this sense of “if I don’t get it now, I may never have a chance ever again, and I’m going to hate myself for missing my only opportunity!”  Which is perhaps merely the same thing from a different point of view, but…sigh…

I should get ready to go to class instead of continuing to gripe about this.

Byul the Diva

I was trying to figure out a good name to give to my Byul Insane Humpty Dumpty.  I came up with some names based on the blue of her hair–Glauke, Hyacinth–and the entirely inappropriate Eglantine, to tie into the egginess of her original incarnation, but those were thoroughly rejected.  (Though Glauke and Hyacinth are both good names for Pullip-type dolls.  Eglantine is suitable for a more old-fashioned type of doll, I think.)

Anyway, I also wanted to keep trying some new clothes on her, and see what clicked personality-wise.  So I tried this dress on her that came off a rock-themed Bratz doll, and borrowed Pyrrha’s car for the photo shoot.  The idea was for Byul to be sitting in the car.  That wasn’t what happened.

Posing for the camera
Posing for the camera

Then I realized the truth.  This girl’s a diva!

More than that, on thinking about it for a while, it dawned on me that she wasn’t just any diva.  She wanted to be a Vocaloid.

She wanted to be Kaiko.

Kaiko, for those less obsessed with Vocaloid than myself, is the gender-bend of KAITO.  Now, Byul here does not actually look much (or, in fact, anything at all) like the Taeyang KAITO.  Her hair’s a different shade of blue, her eyechips are totally different, and her skin tone is probably different, too.  (Haven’t seen him in person (yet) so I can’t say on that part.)  But I just couldn’t shake the idea that that’s who she wants to be.  So I thought I’d let her test out some Kaiko-like clothes.

Now, as a gender-bend, Kaiko isn’t an official Vocaloid.  She’s what’s known as a fanloid or a pitchloid:  her songs are created by recording KAITO singing something, and then the recording is manipulated into a girl’s register.  (Or something like that.  I don’t know how it works; Vocaloid voicebanks cost at least as much as a full-size Pullip, so I don’t have any, and don’t know the detailed intricacies of the software.)  As she isn’t official, she doesn’t have one official costume, but is generally depicted in a feminine version of KAITO’s outfit, the major feature of which is that big, white leather jacket.

So I thought I’d put her in the white leatherette coat off the Scarah Screams TRU exclusive, but she’s sewn into that thing, and I don’t want to cut it off her and wreck it up, so I put her in Ghoulia’s lab coat instead, which is the same size, except having shorter sleeves.

Kaiko outfit test run 1
Kaiko outfit test run 1

Of course, this test run photo is so chaotic that you can’t see a darn thing other than her new guitar.  (I went back to Toys R Us, and they still had some of those Beatrix Girls things on clearance, so I was like “heck, yeah, I’ll get another guitar!”  And this one’s a good color for Kaiko, so it doesn’t need to be painted if she is, indeed going to be Kaiko…which she pretty much is, at this point.)

Anyway, I took another shot, without the guitar, and without the scarf (KAITO is also known for his scarf, though his of course is blue, rather than stripey, but I didn’t have a blue one handy, and I did have a stripey one), but it was naturally made awkward by the fact that she needs a shirt to go under the jacket.

Kaiko test run 2
Kaiko test run 2

Looking at her this way, she almost looks born to the part, doesn’t she?  It’s eerie.  Well, to me, anyway.  :p  (I had her borrow Len-kun’s headphones, to complete the illusion, naturally.  Not sure where the heck I’ll get her some headphones of her own, though…)  So I’m going to have to buy another Scarah–fortunately, though TRU no longer has her, she can still be had at a decent price from Amazon, as of last night–to get another of those lovely leatherette jackets, though I don’t know what she’s going to wear under the jacket.

I’m worried I’m about to start sliding down a slippery slope, though.  Not only are the other Vocaloid Pullips now hard to come by–apart from KAITO himself, and I think Pullipstyle may still have regular Miku–then there’s the fact that what I really want are the other Vocaloids.  Other official Vocaloids like Gumi and Gackupo and Lily, and other fanloids like Neru and Haku and Zatsune.  Yikes.  I mean, some of those wouldn’t be too difficult.  Zatsune is just a palette swap on Miku, after all.  But Gackupo?!  OMG, no freakin’ way.  I would have to pay someone a lot of money to make his costume.  It is seriously complicated.  Lily’s is also pretty complex…and probably wouldn’t actually transfer very well to Pullip anyway, being rather risque.  Oh, but there’s Iroha!  She’s super-cute and would work well as a doll, and I’d much rather have her than Lily anyway!  And, of course, then let’s not forget UTAUs like Teto and Defoko and Ritsu and…ugh, the list could go on forever.  Seriously, one could have an entire doll room just of Vocaloid and UTAU dolls.

For the moment, I’m just going to give in to Byul’s desire to be Kaiko, and order that Scarah to get her the jacket (it helps that I have the perfect outfit to put that Scarah in to make her fit into the Freak du Chic line-up, making it a more appealing purchase overall) and try to tell myself that she’ll be my last Vocaloid Pullip purchase.

Except maybe KAITO.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha is feeling neglected.

Pyrrha's sad face
Pyrrha’s sad face

But I had some spare time at the museum on Sunday, and I was looking at Etsy–which I have so far tried to avoid, because do I really need yet another place I can spend money?–and saw tons of gorgeous eye chips, so I’m thinking of getting her some replacement eye chips soon.  Not sure how many, though.  I mean, the pink ones with the B in the middle are definitely going.  Really don’t like those.  Actually, I think the question is just if I’m keeping the violet ones, or if I’m going to replace all four.

Of course, I’ll need to find some tutorials about how to go about replacing eye chips, and how best to sand off the shine on the face plates while her head’s disassembled–I’m assuming re-painting the face is the same as re-painting any other doll’s face, which is something I’ve done before–and how best to give her a good hair cut.  But…yeah, it needs doing.  She’s been languishing in factory state for too long, and I think it’s really annoying her.

(But at least this gave me an excuse to post that Cinderella picture!  I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to use that for quite a while now! 😛 )

(Oh, if you want to see them, there are about four other versions of the “diva shot” on the car.  They’re all in an album on Dropbox here.)