Sitting across the bar, staring right at her prey
It's going well so far, she's gonna get her way
1st-Jan-2014 10:47 am - 2013 doll wrap-up!
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Honey (cheeky))
I've seen a couple people doing this, so here's a 2013 dolly wrap-up! First off, I got really into Kurhn dolls. January was interesting because, although Kalli had placed orders, China was celebrating their New Year so shipments were greatly delayed. I don't think any Kurhn dolls arrived until February! We didn't mind the wait, but we were both anxious about whether or not they'd arrive safely. (Kalli purchases them through AliExpress and occasionally uses a middle-agent to buy from TaoBao. Thanks to shopping on TaoBao I recognize quite a few Chinese characters and can easily convert USD to HKD.) Amusingly, our bank gets all flipped out over these purchases from merchants in China. We regularly get mail alerting us that shops located in China have charged our accounts for amounts varying from a couple dollars to $30 or so. I mentioned it to a teller, once, but it's not something regular bank employees can change (as it's in as a security feature). The retailers in China get paid, of course, but it just means Kalli and I both receive a lot of mail asking "did you authorize this transaction? If not, please respond immediately!" It's a waste of paper and I wish they'd do it by email.

Monster High depressed me for a large portion of 2013. I was really fed up with the glue issue and the on-going problem of finding dolls in stores. It was still next to impossible in the early part of the year to find older Monster High dolls on eBay, much less ones with good eye placement. All of these annoyances built up to me focusing on Kurhn dolls instead (and hoping MH would get their act together). I bought a music festival Abbey in June and.. that was it! (I liked her bangs and she's China without head glue.) A few weeks later Kalli discovered lots of people selling earlier MH dolls on eBay for less than what they'd originally retailed for. That was exciting, but I didn't bite until late November (with Christmas in mind). Kalli and I both ended up getting a couple more dolls - I got a School's Out Lagoona, Mad Science Lagoona, and Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen. Kalli got me a School's Out Cleo, too, and her face is lovely. It took forever to find one with decent eyes. Poor Cleo gets all the wall-eye there is. :/ This one's great, though. Kalli got her an outfit, too, but I want to try and find her something a little better eventually. She seems a bit incomplete at the moment.

Most importantly, perhaps, I reached the conclusion that I'm not determined enough to finish personal re-root projects in a timely fashion. I'm also a bit 'eh' about ordering from Restoredoll and Dollyhair because the site layouts really bother me. It's also hard for me to tell how a color shown in a picture will look on a doll, so it really helps to have samples to work from. Restoredoll doesn't offer samples (as the hair comes in skeins) but Dollyhair does. I've got a couple Dollyhair samples on hand (and my original Howleen's all figured out in that regard). It's much easier for me, overall, to safe up and seek talented re-root artists to do the re-roots which... is exactly what Kalli and I did! We commissioned Kristen for the restoration of my Spectra who's been sitting around without hair for over a year and a half and Kalli's Toralei, who'd been completely ruined by glue saturation.

They're both lovely. Here's Kalli's pic of Toralei:
Toralei's new hair!

And Spectra! (She's the one on the left.)

It seems a bit silly to make doll-related New Year's resolutions, but... I'd love to have a 1/6th Azone Pure Neemo doll someday. I don't think it'll happen this year because I'm building myself a desktop and that's the entirety of my excess financial aid from college. (Trust me, it wasn't much, and it's not technically 'extra.' Sadly. I'm maxing my loans and they'll need to be repaid once I leave school and start working. Woohoo.) I'm building myself a desktop that'll last, though, so this won't be a recurring issue. Maybe 2015 will see a Pure Neemo doll! :D Anyway... Happy New Year, everyone! I hope it brings you everything you're hoping for, even if your hopes are simply peace and comfort. :)
26th-Dec-2013 08:56 pm - More shelves!
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Juliet (holiday girl))
So I'm finding (rather unsurprisingly) that I focus better when my desk isn't cluttered with dolls. I love having them around (duh) but they tend to.. pile up on my desk, and this is awful because it means I can't find anything and I'm knocking stuff over whenever I try. My housemate/landlord said he'd love to put in shelves for Kalli and I over the next few days so I'm sure that's the problem sorted, but in the meantime: my desk area is doll-free! I've got a mug of tea, my lamp, my computer pieces, and just.. yay. Space! I can't wait for the shelves (and the pictures I'll get to take of everyone on them)!

The tiny shelves I sanded and stained over the summer aren't nearly enough. I've got my special Kurhn dolls on one and the fairies are occupying the other.

Pic under here. )

As you can see, no room there! New ones to come though. *-*
20th-Dec-2013 12:24 am - Sweet Screams
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Honey (cheeky))
Okay so I definitely wasn't thrilled about 'Sweet Screams' Monster High when I first saw them, but ... I changed my mind. Yep. Changed it. They're fabulous. I don't even care if they're Indonesia-made instead of China. They'll be mine, one way or another. So CUTE.

"With what money, Sadie?"

Shut up. I'm quite innovative when I need to be. ;)
18th-Dec-2013 07:01 pm - For decorating purposes only
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Honey (cheeky))
Doll stands for Kurhn dolls........

I need these................................ like right now! ;.; Shame I'd need to order them from TaoBao and they'd take a month to get here, assuming I even managed to get them before the Chinese New Year. If my order flows into that I wouldn't see them until March.
14th-Dec-2013 02:26 pm - Bay of evil and weather
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Blossoms)
So I'm sure everyone knows, but people are selling off their Monster High collections on eBay. If you've got patience (and older dolls) that you particularly wanted back-when, nowish is the time to be hunting them. Kalli and I have managed to score a couple ghouls for less than what they originally retailed for. It takes me a long time to find ones with decent pictures so I can weed out eye-wonk, but it's worth it. I've stopped worrying about glue because if I'm terribly fussed, there are lovely people who offer rerooting services and really, it's just a matter of saving up for that.

My Christmas excitement is finally starting to settle in. I've really enjoyed having Kalli open up gifts. I'm awful, really, and hate surprises. It makes me happy to have her open up her things and look at them. (Saving items for one specific day is just silly. I like making people feel special often.)

We've got a Nor'easter on its way! I think we're supposed to get at least 14 inches of snow, if the weather reporters are to be believed, and eeeeeeeee I loves me some winter. Tons of dolls-in-snow pictures to come, I'm sure! We may lose power but that's no real hardship with a woodstove and piles of woollen blankets.

I should get some pics of the tree...
12th-Dec-2013 01:09 pm - Dolls and facial screening
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Default)
So I wonder what it is, precisely, about Monster High facial screening that results in dolls often having lopsided eyes. I don't see it nearly so often on Barbies, although it's been cropping up in recent years. How is facial screening done, exactly? I'd rather imagined it as stencils, arranged in a certain order, and each stencil is another detail to the eyes/eyebrows/lips (etc). I know MH have individual face-molds, but honestly.. Barbies never had this issue when I was a kid. I still have enough of them to know, and I've looked at plenty of different ones on Flickr over the past several years. Dolls made prior to 2006 or so have basically zero instance of wonk-eye.

It's irksome because I really like Monster High's Cleo, but her dolls are especially prone to this. I suppose it's not an issue for regular play, redressing, imaginative play, but when you're driven to take photos (and macro photos) it.. definitely becomes noticeable. :/ I've been trying (off and on) to find a School's Out Cleo with decent eyes since she came out. She was briefly in stores and I missed out on her because I didn't like her outfit. Now I'm kicking myself because she's had one of the three best 'Cleo-faces' of the whole lot. Clothes can be changed, hair can be rerooted. Faces? Well, I'm certainly no faceup artist, that's for sure!
8th-Dec-2013 04:21 pm - Randomly on Tumblr
teenythings: (Coral)
So people are using an image of mine to spread the word about baby powder. They're... obviously not aware that this only temporarily fixes the problem, but I suppose it's easy because baby powder's cheap and widely available. Amazes me that people are willing to overlook crappy manufacturing techniques if they find what they perceive as a quick-fix solution. :/

I'd prefer they didn't use my photo for it, but at least they linked back to its source.

For everyone with more than an ounce of braincells to spare: this method doesn't work. The only true fix is to completely remove the glue from inside the doll's scalp and replace the hair. A nice solution to the problem on a much larger scale would be for Mattel to stop using the glue entirely, or at least use something that doesn't break down into a greasy tacky mess. As is, people don't usually have the money for the former and the latter seems unlikely.

Mattel isn't listening. They don't care about the quality of their merchandise. As long as people continue to buy it, and people are indeed buying Monster High dolls (and Barbies and Disney Princesses), Mattel has nothing to worry about.

The only way I can foresee the 'glue problem' permanently going away would be somehow managing to prove that the stuff is actually toxic/potentially harmful to children. There's no case, otherwise, because it certainly looks like consumers are happy to douse their dolls with baby powder and ignore the larger problem at hand.
2nd-Dec-2013 10:37 pm - Doll re-rooting projects
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Little sprite)
Ever since getting into Monster High (and perhaps more specifically, doll customization) I've had this fear that someone will come to me and say "I had that idea first!"

Thanks to worrying about this, perhaps unnecessarily, I've rather carefully kept quiet about various ideas involving dolls, re-roots, and outfits. The only person who's been 'in the know' is Kalli.

So I guess I'm going to write this entry, and it's going to be about dolls, re-rooting, and Things I Wanna Have Done (since my lazy ass sure isn't doing it).

* Spectra re-rooted in the same style she came with, in the same colors. (In-progress!)

* My two Rochelle Goyles done with gray hair (majority) with cotton candy pink prominent in one and cotton candy blue prominent in the other. Hints of pink and blue in both, but essentially one as 'twilight' and one as 'dawn.'

* A Lagoona Blue completely done in her original blonde tone, boil-permed into curls.

* A Lagoona Blue done in the two shades of blue that usually comes streaked throughout her hair. (Possibly some variation here, depending on the doll's make-up.)

* My original yellow and orange-haired Howleen re-rooted in the same colors, long and straight. (I might curl it eventually, or give her a chic cut.)

* My pink haired Dance Class Howleen done in her original pink mixed with a lighter pink (like her 13 Wishes version) but long. (Also may curl/eventually evolve to chic cut.)

* Operetta re-rooted in black hair with a lone streak of white. Curled, movie-star style.

* Catrine deMew re-rooted in glossy black saran, anime-esque 'bangs in front, long in back' style. (This one is not my own idea, was rather completely inspired by this.)

* CAM Sea Monster re-rooted with black hair mixed with pink and sea green/teal (matching her eyeliner and lipstick) underneath in streaks. 'Scene hair' style.

* Robecca re-rooted with glossy black (majority) with dark blue (glossy) filtered through. Not streaked so much as blended in.

* CAM witch re-rooted with carrot orange (if such a thing exists). A hint of a widow's peak on her forehead.

* A Spectra doll re-rooted with ice white with teal streaked through.

I've had these ideas swimming in my head for ages. They're my own (except Catrine) but, given how long it's taken me to actually send off one of mine (and Kalli's) dolls, I have no doubts that other people out there have already done some of the above. My versions aren't likely to be the first of their kind, as such things go. Nearly all of my inspiration was drawn from each doll's face, or pictures of them wearing different outfits, or their backgrounds (canon or imagined).

Having these ideas hangin' out in my head has also been a source of frustration. I'm currently a rather typical poor college kid and re-root services can be pricey. Moreso, as someone who used to sew (since I don't, at the moment, and can't really continue to claim something I haven't touched in months), I think re-root artists undercharge for their work. Re-rooting is difficult stuff, not to mention time-consuming. I want to be like "here take my money" on a regular basis because the results are just so amazing, but this would be far more effective if I actually had money. Spectra's being funded by Christmas giftcash from what remaining family doesn't hate me for becoming a rampaging lesbian who votes liberal. ;)
1st-Dec-2013 04:51 pm - Further stuff
teenythings: Beautiful artwork by Kazuko Taniguchi (Juliet (holiday girl))
First day of December...

I gave Frankie a new hairstyle. :)
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