Another girl coming home?

Just like most collectors, I have a seemingly never-ending wishlist. In my case the wishlist is made up mainly of dolls that I’d really like to shell OCs into (plus a few extras like Aileen dragons). In all honesty, the wishlist could be almost completely done if Fairyland ever decided to sponsor me, but recently I decided that a Luts Honey Delf Lolly would do nicely for one of my characters.

Isn’t she pretty? (Image belongs to Luts)

I really like her, but of course I worry about how she would look with my Fairyland dolls especially, since those are the ones she will often be posing with – I guess that is one of the worries, when you’re a mono-company collector such as me! I do have a handful of Latis though, but they can make any picture look absolutely precious.

Lolly would be the shell for my character Rikkilea, whom also happens to be the character I’m dedicating this year’s NaNoWriMo to! However she is currently a distant dream, as funds are more than limited (strangely, sitting at home and waiting to get better doesn’t yield tons of doll money), and as such I won’t be able to bring her home anytime soon, unless somebody decides to do a trade with me! So while I listed Rikkilea as one of those characters that won’t be part of my life in doll form anytime soon, Lise (from Red Riding Hood) decided to mess with my plans a little. She has decided to get herself a new doll from Fairyland, and as such she will be getting a free gift. Being generous and nice as always, she decided that she wants to gift me the LittleFee gift faceplate for reasons I still don’t fathom! And while I was absolutely determined to turn her down and tell her to sell the faceplate to fund some dolly stuff for herself, I made the grievous error of going to Fairyland’s page and looking curiously at the faceplate – well, I obviously needed to know what I was turning down. And BAM, I was hooked. I rarely see the potential in a blank face, but even I could tell how absolutely stunning this face had the possibility of being. And while still being determined to turn that crazy “Santa Claus meets fairy godmother”-impersonator down, I of course peeked at my doll wish list to see if it would be able to replace any doll. Luckily, this faceplate would not be suited for any of my characters! Crisis avoided!

(Image belongs to Fairyland)

I wondered though – this faceplate reminded me of some other faceplate. Lise and I discussed it for a while and ended up agreeing that it was probably that “Fairyland feel”, where they all feel a little alike in the best way possible – they have the Fairyland look, and they look cohesive when together. Then I later looked at the Lolly sculpt (when I find a pleasing sculpt I like to look at it a lot in the beginning), and the crisis returned with an orchestra and it’s own full-length trailer. Somehow this sculpt reminds me of the Lolly face! And while I seem to be the only one who can see it (something about the lips especially, but also the eyes), I absolutely cannot unsee it. So yes. I will be getting another floating sometime head next year, dang it. I don’t know if she will completely replace Lolly as my Rikkilea shell, I have my strong suspicions. Especially considering I’m a little afraid to purchase outside of Fairyland, as I really really love their posing, and I’ve had to sell my Momocolor doll due to her posing. Also, I’m plotting on winning the lottery and buying some expensive doll for Lise and clothes for all her dolls (and a wig for Connor) to make up for all these precious gifts.

So you’d like to see a mock-up of her, you say? Alright! Luckily I’ve gotten a new, gorgeous phone for my birthday (thank you, family!), so I have a lovely (and fun: My brother would not make a pretty sister!) program for makeup, as I don’t yet feel ready to do a full mock-up in Photoshop (although absolutely taking tips on how to do that).

Mock-up by me (Image of blank faceplate belongs to Fairyland)

Mock-up by me (Image of blank faceplate belongs to Fairyland)

I’m not completely settled on the look yet, but I really like the strong lips and the bold eyeliner, as I’m hoping for her to look a little 1940’s in her makeup, but still twisted in my own way. The pink leaning lipstick has been chosen over the traditional red due to me wanting her wig to be lilac/lavender. I’m wondering if it’ll feel too boring in the long run, or if her accessories will make a more “interesting” faceup a little too much.

Do you do mock-ups of dolls you’d like to own? Would your brother look lovely with blue eyelashes and strong, pink lipgloss? What do you do when you can’t decide between several sculpts for a character?

NaNoWriMo

Some of you might already have heard of NaNoWriMo, some you might even be participating this year or have done so before. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a writing “contest” that you win by quite simply writing a novel of 50,000 words or more during November. I’ve participated once before, didn’t even come close to winning. But this year some friends of mine are participating, and I felt like giving it another shot.
I’m a bit worried that my head will dislike me quite a bit for attempting it, but if I have to quit, I’ll just be head cheerleader for those still going strong – especially my friends. As of now the clock has actually passed midnight and it’s officially November 1st, so I should probably be writing, but I think I’ll wait until I’m done cleaning tomorrow to start it up – I’d like to feel a bit more awake and ready for the start at least! I’m feeling pretty good about it so far; excited and ready to go. I even have a fancy title! At least it’ll give me something to do that’ll keep my brain from slowly turning into a swamp where nothing grows except for mold. On the other hand, give it a week tops and I’ll likely be begging for someone to chop off my fingers so I don’t have to write another word!

To actually win you’ll need an idea, some way to get your words down (computer, paper, your best friend’s arm), and the will to do at least 1,667 words a day. Deceptively simple. Because huff-puff, that’s a lot of words. In comparison, this blog post is XXX words in total. And you’ll also need to sit on your inner editor that constantly wants you to go back over your writing and EDIT IT, because it really sucked. And actually you could change this scene a bit and it’d be much better…well, if you want to churn out that many words in one single month, quantity is far better than quality. December is for editing (and getting an actual paper version of your book, courtesy of some of NaNoWriMo’s awesome sponsors!).

If you get super-bored, you’re also welcome to actually watch my word count go up every day (hopefully) and stare at the blank space that is supposed to be info about me: My NaNoWriMo profile.

So, what does this have to do with dolls, I hear you ask with a deep sigh. Well, I’ll tell you! The story I’ll hopefully be writing is going to be about a character that I will absolutely shell as a doll. It will also very likely be including all of my other dolls (and future dolls!) or at least most of them. For me dolls are not only so gorgeous and wonderful photography subjects, they are also all shells for characters – my Lati dolls being less complex characters, as they are all children; my LittleFee characters all being slightly more complex and quite weird. There are of course exceptions such as Phia, who will be a PukiFee, but still quite a complex character, but in broad, sweeping terms, my Latis are sweet little children. Well. Children at least. Spoiled, demanding children… Aaanyway!

Will you guys be participating in NaNoWriMo?

Still alive!

I know it’s been a while, but I promise – I’m still alive!

I’ve been having a little romance with a new site where you get to breed pretty, pink dragons. (Well, there’s other colors than pink, but my lair is pretty pink!) I tend to have these little periods where I go all nuts about something for a while, then it simmers down to something more normal than a complete obsession. I think I’ve gotten through to the other site regarding my dragons, so while I’ll still be having fun (I’ve actually so far shelled a future doll in a dragon) I’ll also try to concentrate a bit on dolls again.

Another reason for my absence has been my sadness regarding the hobby. I haven’t fallen out of love with my dolls, but I do feel a distinct sadness on several levels. On the more overall level in the hobby, I feel sad that everything is about recasts these days. When I started in the hobby just a few years ago, recasts were a hush-hush sort of thing and most people just wanted that elusive grail doll. I even considered getting a Juri 08 in recast, because she was and still is impossible to get. But now everything is getting recasted, even really cheap basic dolls. I’m not going to get into a full-on explanation, because my friend Akatsuki/Lise says it far better. On a more personal note, I hate how I can’t get any new dolls and Lati still hasn’t shipped my centaur. It’s been more than 9 months (in fact we’re getting closer to 10 months!) and it sucks so bad. At this point I’m somewhere between “just give me back my money!” and “at least send me a big honking gift AND GET HER SHIPPED!”. And while I recently sold my Momocolor Lucy, I can’t use those funds to get a new doll – mainly because our economy is a bit uncertain at this point where I don’t know if I can keep getting money from the state for studying, because I’ve taken so long. I hate my head these days, it just won’t stop hurting. Plus half the time I keep forgetting things. I spent about 15 minutes yesterday trying to remember a word, and for someone who has always had a gigantic vocabulary, it’s almost physically painful.

So yes, I’m still here. I’ll try to be more active, but I think I need to rediscover the joys of the hobby. You guys got some great suggestions?

About giving up

I’m one of those people. The ones who will decide to do something and then hang onto it, nail and tooth, even if they’re not enjoying it anymore. I believe I’ve touched on it before here on my blog – I don’t just say A, I will also say B. And sometimes even C. When I ask myself why, the answer is that I’ve been taught not to quit. My parents have always been pretty awful about letting their children quit things, and as such I’ve always had to have a really good explanation as to why I didn’t want to do something anymore. Whether it was quitting handball, quitting a friendship or even quitting school. While it has certainly taught me something about persisting, it has also begun to stop me from trying new things. If I don’t see myself being pretty good at something in the beginning, I tend not to like doing it, but if I want to quit again, I’d have to have a better reason than “I’m no good at this”. So instead of trying, I’ll just steer clear of it – then I won’t have to feel like a failure for giving up.

While this all sounds very serious, it has been brought on by something much less serious! I decided (weeks ago) to give up on A Doll A Week. It was fun, but sickness and stress has kept me from doing it every week, and it was causing a feeling of guilt in me that I wasn’t keeping up. And it was one of those things where I could actually find a pretty good reason to quit: My hobby isn’t supposed to stress me out!

But while I was discussing with myself whether to give up or not, I suddenly realised that I don’t have to answer to my parents anymore – at least not when it comes to a hobby (with my parents, things like school and job is another matter entirely). I don’t even have to justify it to my husband. I just have to ask myself if I’m giving up for a good reason, or if I’m merely being lazy (because honestly, I need to kick my own ass into gear sometimes!). And with ADAW I’m giving up for a good reason, and besides I’m not giving up doll photography. I’m just giving up on forcing myself to do one photo shoot each week. I’ll still be doing the Adventurer’s Club and random shoots when I feel like it, and good thing Heather is giving us themes. I tend to feel inspired by the themes, and I try to challenge myself a bit, do something I haven’t tried yet.

adventurersclublogo

Losing your imagination

I sometimes wonder why there is so much stigma about owning dolls – even pieces of art like BJDs. The subject comes up sometimes, usually it’s brought up by a new person in the hobby wondering aloud whether they should or shouldn’t tell family and friends about their new passion in life. I personally haven’t let my family know about my dolls yet. My parents-in-law know about them as they have seen them, but they both choose to ignore it. I think they simply don’t know what to say. My friends all know, since all my friends are people I’ve met through the hobby. My last non-doll-owning friend also knew about them, and while she didn’t want one for herself, she was okay with me telling her a little bit about something exciting every once in a while. Those friends who aren’t close (people I know from the university) don’t know. I simply don’t want to discuss it with them, because I know they’d be very likely to find it strange.

But why is there such a stigma? I’m sure we’ve all encountered it at some point or another, whether it’s with dolls or another hobby considered “childish”. Personally I like dolls, playing electronic games (Wii, 3DS, PlayStation, computer) and watching movies made for children (Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc.). All these things carry a stigma, at least in Denmark. I’m sick of pretending that I buy things for my nieces and nephew, but it’s just so much easier than having to endure the stares. Sometimes I’m brave and tell them that “no, I don’t need you to wrap it, it’s for me”, but it’s rare. Can I please get to color in a coloring book with my niece (and then alone when she leaves the table) without getting sarcastic comments from my annoying uncles? Can I please get to play my 3DS in peace while on the bus without people staring at me like I’m insane? Can I please give my husband the Lego house he wants for Christmas without my family giggling about it?

My dolls are the only thing that makes me stick up for myself. I will proudly walk through a crowd where I’m likely to meet someone I know, holding my friend’s absolutely gorgeous SD boy (my own are tinies, they get packed into my bag). I will sit with a group of friends and all our dolls on the table and happily answer all the silly questions from people passing us. I will display my girls in a cabinet in my office and be excited and proud.

But why the stigma? Likely because we’re supposed to lose our imagination when we grow up. Playing with dolls and Lego and watching Disney movies are absolutely fine when you’re little. So is pretending that you live in a world filled with fairies and princesses and glitter. Want to dress up as Princess Peach? Sure, we’ll buy a costume in a toy store! But the moment you cross that invisible line and people begin to expect you to be mature and reasonable, all these things are supposed to fade into the past. You’re supposed to accept your responsibility and channel all your dreams into your life – make your life better than your dreams. If you don’t succeed, it’s just bad luck, and you have to change your dreams accordingly. You have to keep going, have to keep acting as a person whose imagination only goes as far as to real-life things like getting a promotion, getting a new sofa, or seeing your child become older. Imagining fun things are for children – real life is the only thing adults get.

So in this home, we play with Lego (and admire Lego creations that light up), we play with dolls (okay, that’s mostly me), watch movies for children (okay, again mostly me), dream up worlds filled with fairies, princesses and glitter (my husband’s imaginary worlds have more lightsabers than glitter I believe) and dream of dressing up as a princess (either Belle or maybe Rosalina from Mario, possibly even Garnet from FFIX – but again that’s mostly me…). What is your home like?

Liebster Blogger Award

I got nominated for the Liebster Blogger Award, and I have absolutely no idea what it is! But apparently it involves answering a bunch of questions, so I’ll do that!I was nominated by Lise of Red Riding Hood.

1. What is the next doll you have planned?
That’d be Phia, a PukiFee Ante. I’ve not been wanting her for very long, but when I came up with the idea for her, I basically wanted to carry it out right now. Sadly, money isn’t what I’ve got most of right now though…

2. Most people in the BJD hobby have characters for their dolls. Assuming you do too, how did the character come to be?
As a figment of my weird imagination I believe, haha? Sometimes I dream about characters, other times I just get ideas that either get tossed out or worked on.

3. Do your dolls have a theme song and if so which one(s)?
Sometimes I find songs that somehow point to a specific character, but theme songs? Not really, no…

4. Where do you prefer to talk about dolls? (DoA, blogs, Tumblr, other?)
That’d be Skype, where we have a close-knit group of friends who like to chat about both dolls and life in general. We’re all pretty strange, but we create a safe place for all of us to talk about problems or just wanting that new gorgeous doll.

5. What do you like the most about the doll hobby?
Honestly? Making friends. The less pathetic answer: Photography and being able to show my characters even though I’m not able to draw.

6. What do you like the least about the doll hobby?
It’s so expensive, which I absolutely hate. I don’t actually like spending money!

7. Do you dream of any kind of doll that does not yet exist?
Maybe a peacock anthro doll? Or an even cuter, four-legged dragon? I don’t even know how the first would work, but yeah, haha.

8. Do you have any irl friends who share your hobby?
No, sadly.

9. If you could get 1 free doll right now, which doll would you choose?
PukiFee Ante in tan.

10. Have you gotten any new friends through the doll hobby?
Yes, several. I really like having something to bond over, even if we’re quite different in other aspects. I tend to gravitate towards people I have other things in common with as well, though.

11. Honestly, do you think you’ll ever lose your interest in dolls?
Yes, absolutely. Some day it just won’t hold the same magic for me, and I’ll slowly drop out.

Impulse control

(First a little note: No, I haven’t given up on my blog, but first I was sick, then my husband got sick, and now that he’s feeling well again, I’m back to being sick!)

I’ve never considered myself an impulsive person. I’m not the type to book a last minute vacation, because I need at least a month to be stressing out about it. When I decide to do something, I go through with it (like continuing in law school despite realising second year that it probably wasn’t for me – but at this point I’m almost done with my law degree). My older sister is far more the impulsive one, though that isn’t really saying much, and when we go shopping I usually come home with things I really like but wouldn’t have bought unless she was there to tell me to “Buy it!”. I’m the type who’ll go home and read reviews and consider for a very long time whether I honestly want to spend $20 on that lipgloss.

But when it comes to doll characters, I’m impulsive. I’m usually always working on a new character or trying to get to know an old one better. (Often spurred on by Lise who always has a new character in the works!) I’ll decide on a whim whether a character stays or goes, and usually it really comes down to whether I’m bored with the character or not. If I decide to scrap a character, the doll housing it better hope that I make a fitting new character, because if I don’t, I’ll sell the doll. Up for consideration is currently the story of Rain and Kiri (LittleFee Ante elf and LittleFee Leah respectively), but that partly stems from boredom and partly from the fact that I’m considering whether LittleFees are also too big for my taste. I’d still keep Ozzie though, I love her character too much.

When it comes to the actual dolls, I don’t feel that I’m super-impulsive, but it is a little worse than in other aspects of my life. Sometimes a doll just comes up and I have to have it, but I can usually talk myself out of it – Lati Kentauros being an exception that I probably shouldn’t have made. Some people have rules that they can’t buy a doll they don’t have a character for, but seeing as I’m usually being inspired by the sculpt, that wouldn’t really work for me. Other people have rules that they can’t buy another doll until they’ve sold one off, and at some point you just don’t want to sell any of your dolls and the buying stops. Since my collection really isn’t that big, I don’t feel that rule will work for me, although I’m currently trying to practice it with my Momocolor Lucy and Lati Laches (none of which seems to be able to find a new home). I guess my rule mainly is: Sleep on it for as long as possible (at least 2 weeks) and only make a decision when you’re completely certain that you can or can’t live without having this specific doll in your life.

Are you an impulsive person? How does it show? Do you have any doll-buying rules?