Friday, December 11, 2015

About Arkady Magir

Arkady Magir
of Kiria

Company and sculpt: Fairyland MNF Mika/Mir, or Mir/ka, much modded, Tan Skin
Resin color: Fairyland Tan Skin (and paint.)
Modifications: A lot of face mods. His head was in NS but after I modded it, I also painted it to match his Tan body, using Montana Gold spraypaint in "Toffee".
Faceup: by Me
Eyes: Eyeco Chuck Hazel in 14mm
Wig: Handmade, a hardcap wig with Tibetan mohair

Name (and nicknames): Arkady Magir
Age: 32
Birthday: in Spring

Family and/or relationships:
Somewhere in Kiria, his parents and two younger sisters might still be alive. Both his parents were caught up in alcoholism and a life of petty crimes. His father had once served in their ruling Lord's levy army, but drink ruled the poor man's life after that. Arkady doesn't know much of his mother's history, remembering her as a tired, soft spoken woman worn out by a hard life. They were never cruel to him, but neither were they able to pay him much attention. Maybe in an effort to get him out of their world, his parents traded him to an army officer for a short barrel of southern wine when he was six. He was raised among warriors in the local fortress, and occasionally visited by his Uncle, a successful merchant who tried to help his family out from time to time. He's not sure if his family are still living now, but his Uncle travels so there's always a chance they might meet on the road. Arkady isn't sure what his Uncle would think of what his nephew has become.

He's a vagrant worker, moving from town to town looking for basic menial work. Arkady, unusually for a common freeman, has no skill at any trade. He can't ride a horse, he can't farm, he can't fish, he can't cook, he can't work a craft, mines make him claustrophobic, he can't sail a boat, and he's awkward with hand tools. People usually give him a few meals in exchange for roughly chopping wood or mucking out stock stalls.
He has three tattoos high on his left arm, the Cadre Marks of a Kiriani Dog Soldier, the private elite warriors of the ruling Lords of Kiria. Unlike the armies of farmer-soldiers levvied from a Lord's tenant population in times of frequent war, the Dog Soldiers dedicate their lives to the arts of battle. They train daily, live in their own barracks, and spend all their time with their Cadre, a score or so of other young men with whom they form a close bond. Dog Soldiers don't often grow old. These men are known all across the Northern lands for their relentless efficiency in battle. He was one of them once- and he is reluctant to talk about why he isn't one now.

None. He's not very good at riding horses, which belong only to nobles or warleaders in Kiria.

Generally optimistic and cheerful, he likes to think things through before he acts on them. He's an introspective person, but he tries to live in the moment as much as he can. He's very compassionate to people around him, and will go out of his way to avoid conflicts or arguments. 

He hasn't really got any... Does napping count as a hobby? He says it does.

He loves having a warm dry place to sleep, and regular food. Like, meals more than every few days. He's a creature of very simple tastes. He loves having dry feet in comfy shoes. Anything he didn't cook is always welcome. (he can't cook.) He's actually a People Person and likes to meet or talk with people, just to be around people. He mopes if he's by himself too long, and gets restless and edgy. He likes getting a full night's sleep, which is rare for him, therefore he also likes naps. He likes dogs when they aren't chasing him, but he really loves cats. A lapful of purring cat beside the fire is his idea of a lovely time.

Dislikes: Wet feet, bad food or no food, walking in bad weather, being cold, sleeping on cold ground or wet ground, and he really hates mud. And biting flies (mosquitoes). He strongly dislikes bullies. In a feudal society there's plenty of those around. He hates it when people try to pick a fight with him. He flat-out refuses to handle any blade larger than a knife. He won't sleep in a room without two exits (window and a door). He can't sit with his back to a doorway. If someone steps in close to him suddenly he will back up or off to the side.

Other/misc: He has a habit of watching other peoples' hands- like what they're doing with them. He sleeps very, Very lightly.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

So what happened to Rosslyn this Autumn? (medical stuff)

My participation in online stuff was sparse at best,
 because again this year I got very sick.

Yeah yeah, I know. Every year. Allergies -> sinus infection ->bronchitis, -> pneumonia. Every. Year.

Warning, mild Medical talk ahead.

But this year was different because I was in so much sinus pain, and so miserable at the idea of another half-year in bed that I wheedled the doctors into doing a CT scan of my head and sinuses. Good thing too, because I had a condition called Silent Sinus Syndrome, which you can't see unless you do a CT scan.  It was probably why I have been unable to recover normally from sinus infections,  and has been an ongoing condition for years. The cure? A surgery! With multiple parts to solve all the structural problems my sinuses had!

Oh what fun. No, it really wasn't, but modern medicine is wonderful. I'll spare you the details of the surgery and recovery process, but it took a long time to progress through recovery, and I am still on Rx rinses to continue the healing, a month later.

Now what they do not tell you, when they rearrange the inside of your face in 3 different sinus procedures at once, is that bone is exhausting to heal. I'd never broken bone before, so I didn't know this. It really takes it outta you to heal any amount of work done to your bones. Also, I am recovering from over a month spent in bed. So now I am again very gradually increasing the amount of work I am able to do.

All this was very stressful for me on an Executive Functioning level too ( I am autistic, and getting complex tasks of some types done is not my best area) so I had to drop out of school for the semester, and I'll try again next semester. I am now being very, very careful about the levels of stress I subject myself to. I get swamped by stress very easily and I run out of mental energy very easily, (not just "Oooh, I'm all stressed and too tired to concentrate any more", but "ack I can't form sentences anymore or think straight and words are make thingy hand gestures someone drive me home should so home safe think yes please," so I have to take things slowly.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Making Solas- Dragon Age doll.

I am making a doll of a Dragon Age character called Solas, who is a bald elf male.
I am going to make the lovely but happily inexpensive Resinsoul/Bobobie (? could be either honestly I could swear I've seen him on both websites' roster- they are sister companies) Tang into this character.

The Plan:

First, facial mods. I need Tang to resemble Solas more closely. I'll be adding or refining his elf ears, and reshaping parts of his face.

Second, Aesthetics. I want to paint and blush him to look just like the art style of the games.

Third, Outfit. I'm going to make him his basic clothing from the game art, with a few accessories.


I ended up going out of order because I am rather ill and not recovering in anything like decent time. *grump* So lying in bed I've had a lot of time for stitching things.

So first, parts of the Outfit!

I'm gonna make a basic outfit based on images from the Dragon Age games. (I should put a pic here of the outfit. Should. Don't have a decent one that isn't someone's cosplay.)

Solas' uber-nerd turtleneck ensemble has this green dickey-collar underlayer, which no one seems to know the true identity of. I am positing it could easily be some kind of vest thing.

So I made a kind of vest thing, out of greeny brown faux leather stuff I had.

I've left the back open and pretty untailored so that when the doll arrived I could fit it to him better.

Then I worked on the cream sweater thing itself.

Here you see my messy lap-table drawing board, which I use when I craft while sitting in bed. (You'd be amazed how often I have to do that. Er, I can explain! I've been sick a lot the last few years, and have worked out this method as a survival strategy for not going stark raving bored.)

It has this collar edging which is unbelievably finicky to do at this scale.

I made the whole collar part as a separate piece that I then attached.

Again the thing is open up the back so I can adjust it to fit around the body when I have it in hand.


Then guess who decided to turn up today? I had to scramble to get decently dressed enough to get to the door before the mailman could walk away thinking I wasn't home. (Oh, like you sit sick all day in bed wearing a fully presentable outfit. Don't judge me.)

The outfit needs a little work to fit him better, but not bad given that I sewed it without him present. Definitely gonna take up those sleeves for one thing.

Oh that face. Uff. Not a strong resemblance at all. The eyes will need to be smaller, the jaw longer and wider, the ears modded.

I really, really wish RS/BBB would take a hint from other doll companies and show more than one highly-obscured-by-huge-wig shot of the doll's face. I had no idea his nose would be so slim and pointy, and he has an overbite like a looming tax audit.(it hangs overhead?) Welp, that's what the Dremel is for, after all.

The plan at the moment is to modify the heck out of his head, then spray paint it white and blush it back to matching. That took me two or three days last time I did it to a doll, because first the Apoxie modding has to cure before you sand and paint, and then the paint has to cure before you seal and and blush.

 I started on his nose first.

 Then I did some work giving him a jawline and filling up those giant eyes. It always looks awful when it's this rough.

Then I started refining  the work. Filling in the eyes will be tricky. I had to stop working because I am sick and my hands shake. I'm going to try doing a little more smoothing out today.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Standard Sewing Measurements for BJD- a work in progress

 What if I compiled measurements based on all the doll bodies I could get my lil' hands on, in cm, based on this standardizing method for measuring?

Minimum for Male/curveless/bustless dolls
1. Shoulder to shoulder
2. Neck base to shoulder
3. Neck
10. High Bust or underarm
13. Shoulder to waist.
15. Back neck to waist
16.17. Arm measurements
18. Total arm
19. wrist
21. Spread hand, whichever is largest
22. hips at "modern pants" height
23. Hips around butt
25. Waist to hipline
26,27,28. Crotch front, back and total
29. Thigh
31. waist to ankle
33. inseam
and over his foot at the heel at the widest part, since that's what pants have to fit over

And all 30 odd bits of info for female dolls.

I could do it every time I sew for one of them, just take the notes and add it to a small database.  I think I'll just start with a list of my own dolls, maybe in the Pages section...It'd be good for my own reference.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Amadi gets Aesthetics

Remember my Simply Divine Harlequin, cast for me in Cinnamon? I showed you pics when he arrived, and I put him onto a Pale Tan Dollstown 18 male body. The combo is beautiful. Such amazing artistry in both sculpts and the styles complement each other perfectly!

So I finally found some days in late summer that weren't humid...Sort of. The American Rockies are really dry year round, but get thunderstorms out of nowhere in the afternoons of August. Humidity can really ruin your day when you're spraying aerosols, especially any kind of sealant. It can really cause problems working on Tan resin, because if humidity causes the sealant to lighten at all, it shows up amazingly well against the darker color of the resin.

The first time I tried to seal the body for blushing, I was using Citadel Purity Seal, and I did not know that outside my shop, a humid front was moving in ahead of some clouds while I worked. Rocky Mountain storms are notorious for stealing a march on you. They can come out of nowhere in less than a couple of hours. I am a Native Californian, and still not used to this! You'd think living here in the Rockies for four, almost five years now would have taught me to never trust the radically changeable weather. I need to check outside every hour or so when I work with Sealants in the Rockies. I know this now. I learned it the hard way when the Citadel clouded up on me. It looked like powdered sugar sprayed across the resin. I ended up having to scrub it off the resin.

That took me the help of another doll-hobbyist, many ounces of Windsor-Newton Brush Cleaner, and several DAYS of hard, hard scrubbing. Citadel does not let go in a hurry. Be warned. Ugh. It does Not like humidity At All, and will not be removed without a fight.

So when I came back to try sealing this doll again, I brought back my old favorite, Testor's Model Master Flat lacquer. It's comparatively cheap, it comes in adorable little bitty cans, it was the first faceup sealant I ever used, and it hasn't failed me yet! It also seems to tolerate a smidgen of humidity better than Citadel did, 'cuz I used to use this stuff in a coastal California town, and it has to be practically raining outside for humidity to affect it.

After a wall of text like that, you didn't think I'd leave you without pics, did you? Here he is!

Shtuff gets DONE When I Get Bored

Because I have nothing else to doooooooooo!

I am sick in bed. I do not take this well.

Not even after years of experiencing it many times, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. I am not good at being stuck in one spot. I have so much stuff to do, and I can't do any of it because I am too sick and tired and achey to sit up unsupported for very long and certainly should stay wrapped up warm in bed.


I've been staying busy by blogging, reading and handling business email stuff like an adult look at me adulting all over, and then I started doing bits of hand sewing.

I ended up making Chioma's entire outfit except her coat and boots. Her little top needs a touch more work ( I don't have the right colors of thread, of course. See, that's amusing because I have a stash of thread like Knitting People have yarn stashes or Magic Card Game people have Magic Card decks. I have over 40 reels of threads in about 4 or 5 different kinds of thread. Just not the ones I need. Ever.) ...but it's more or less done. I even made a headband for her wig, and a bit of jewelry.

Chioma is a Chibi Unoa B Grade Roron on the Hannari body. She's going to be dyed a dark brown, ignore her ghostliness for now.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aneirin- Saint to Monster, part VI

This is part 6 of a series.  (Other posts may contain Anatomically Correct Doll Nudity.)
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Well, it's been a long haul, and the most intensive modification I've ever done, but he's pretty much finished.

 I went back and did more contouring to his faceup, and an absurd number of coats of Tamiya spray enamel to the lengthening mod I did on his neck. He has two pairs of ears so far, the Shy/Sad/Sleepy ears, shown above, and his regular Upright ears. I mean to make a few more pairs, but those will be further projects. These are his minimum needed ears. (not a phrase I ever anticipated typing...)

 Here is his full body glory! (but this was before I added color to his nipples. Oops.) I may be adding more color to his claws on his feet, since they don't photograph like I blushed them. He does stand on his own pretty well.

Here he is all finished up and wearing his little raggedy kilt wrap. People on Den of Angels commented that he looks confused about being indoors. he does look quite baffled by walls and carpet, when his preferred home is a forest. I can't wait to get him outdoors for some photoshoots.

Thanks for following along! I really appreciate everyone who's been following this whole long escapade! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cerra Canna Ceramic Knives- What and Why?

What is a Cerra Canna ceramic knife, and why would a modder want it? Is it like an Exacto or sharp craft knife?

Cerra Canna ceramic knives are very different from an Exacto, in that besides being made of ceramic, they are incredibly hard to cut yourself with! Don't get me wrong, I love my Exacto knives but they do not harbor similar feelings for me or my thumbs. Owch. I love my ceramic knife set. The "blade" is really about as thick as a coin, and it's the cornery edge of that thick blade that is the actual scraping and carving edge. They come in a few shapes, and I'd recommend getting at least the one straight flat one.

I know it's $31.00 for a simple hand tool, but honestly, I'd hand over my Dremel before I gave up this little thingy right here.

When you carve with a ceramic knife, it's a lot like peeling a vegetable. You kind of scrape with it and smooth the little bevels each stroke causes, and it's a good way to remove mass without making too much flying dusty mess. You still have to wear a HEPA-rated mask and clean up your dust carefully, but it's way easier to clean up when it's not a fine powder all over everything in the room.

You don't have to be a serious drastic Modder to benefit from one of these, either. This scraping method of carving is very good for smoothing seams you intend to sand. (Shown Above) It can help you get the rough part of the seam off before you start smoothing it out and finishing it with high grit sandpaper.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How I Dye Resin: Part 2- Natural Skin Tones

When using Liquid Rit dye to dye resin, getting a natural skin color depends on 3 things-
1. what color is the resin you are trying to dye?
2. What color are you trying to get it to be?
3. How good are you at color theory re: mixing pigments and tints, especially as regards natural skin tones?

Those all affect how well you are able to make a skin tone change color. For example, with one doll I dyed, the starting skin tone was a greenish yellow. Reds cancel out greens, but red is a very strong pigment and a little goes a long way, so I was using a Petal Pink instead of full strength red. A drop or two of an orange also went into this to lift the sickly yellow tones to a more peachy color.
This Den of Angels tutorial is great for de-zombifying or unyellowing yellowed NS dolls.

If, however, your resin starting color is White, any color you mix the dyes to will be what you get. Natural skin tones for humans range from purplish-blue-browny-black, to mahogany, to golden sand, to terra cotta, to reddish peach, to nearly ivory. There's a full rainbow of skin tones possible, and your ability to blend colors to reach a specific tone will be the main factor in obtaining the color you want.

Some knowledge of how transparent pigment dyes behave versus paint is vital. Dye is not paint- it will not blend the same, but it's similar. Reds go a lonnng way, and so do oranges. Tan dyes are usually yellowy and will give you a human tan that is very golden, and require an addition of red or pink to create more warm reddish-tan tones. Browns often have a purpleish tone in them.
Test your color mixes by dipping a white cloth scrap in to see what color you're getting. Document ratios and amounts so you can duplicate particular dye blends.
 Also, here's my method for getting a streak free result when dyeing resin.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Eddion stories- A Single Bed

 An interlude out of Eddion...

 In a cheap roadhouse, somewhere in Rangenland, Arkady was arguing with Moira. She was his new traveling companion, or he was hers. They'd come to sharp words over how he'd only been able to get the Innkeeper to give them a one-bed room, in spite of the two of them most definitely NOT sharing bedspace, when she collapsed...

"Moira-! Are you-? Easy there, let's get you to the floor- You're fainted dead away, aren't you? Of course you are. After I told you not to exhaust yourself in all this heat, you just had to stay on watch all night too... Not even going to stay awake to hear me say I told you so. Tch!" He lowered her carefully down to the rush mats on the stone floor, and she- well, she didn't seem to hear a word, sunk into the sleep she'd been evading for days.

 "Well, you're breathing, so let's get this armor off. Excuse me for this." Arkady had seen what Moira did to people she considered to be taking liberties with her person, but for her own health, he had to get her out of her jack and mail.

Moira made a sound when she was hoisted upright as Arkady picked at the lacing of her armor. "Nngh.. 'kady?"
He sighed in relief at hearing her beginning to come around. "By all my Fathers, Moira, never scare me like that again. You dropped all of a sudden, and I just-"
She was tired but her voice was meek. "You w're worried f'r me?"
"Well... Yes. Now, try and sit up while I get these laces undone. You're overtired and you need to rest."

 "Does your mail shirt lace up the back as well?"
"Mmhm," murmured the warrior, unconcerned in her drowsiness.
"You're just going to let me do all the work, aren't you?" he said, pretending offense.
She merely mumbled something unintelligible as he helped her out of the rest of the armor.

 "What was that you said?" Arkady asked her after setting the heavy gear aside.
"Shirt, too. Hot," she insisted, pawing at the damp linen that stuck to her skin.

 Arkady averted his face when she sat up and dragged her shirt off. "Moira!"
"Whassa matter, you never seen girls before? I'm not exac'ly nude, Arkady."

 "Given how you defend your dignity most of the time- with steel- I think I'll just avoid potential offense and not look."
"Are you saying I shouldn't defend my dignity?" she asked archly.
Arkady considered his reply very carefully before giving it. "I think I do not wish to be the one giving offense. No woman deserves to be stared at unless she wants to be stared at."

 She smiled. "Wise answer." She dragged her boots off one at a time. "Still, you needn't go to such lengths to avoid seeing me at all. This room is probably too small for us to avoid each other. I trust you not to leer."

 Arkady picked up her belt from the rush mats. "I'm honored by your trust," he said more seriously. "I assume, though, that you'll still insist on sleeping with your knife at hand?" He held it out to her.
She accepted the belt and sheathed blade from him with a grave nod. "Always."

 Before Arkady had finished dressing down for rest himself, Moira had fallen back to sleep. She clutched the knife in her hand like a child taking comfort from a favorite toy. He watched her resting for a few moments, then settled down on the mats at the foot of the bed.

"Won't even sleep without a ready defense," he mused. "We're not so different, you and I."

Arkady is a modded Fairyland Minife Mir/ka in Tan Skin.
Moira is a Minifee Mirwen on a modded formerly male A-line body.
Eddion, Rangenland, Moira and Arkady are from an original story idea of mine and these are little bits of their stories.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Amadi Arrives

I'd always adored the head sculpts by Simply Divine but never had a good reason to get one.This last year,  I was able to ask them to cast a Harlequin sculpt in their Cinnamon resin, just for me! And they did it!

I made him a hardcap wig out of tibetan mohair stuff.

The only body these guys look the very best on, to my eye, is the Dollstown 18 Male body, which is huge and expensive, but with some Christmas money, I finally got to order one this year,
And this week, it arrived!!
I put him all together and... WHOA.

His name is Amadi.

And here's a little skirty thing I made him. He is HUGE.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Wilds of Rangenland

Spring will come early this year... The snowmelts are running.

Alone, in the Wilds of Rangenland, on foot... Unwise. Care is needed.

Moira is a Fairyland Minifee Mirwen on a modded formerly Male A-line body,
with aesthetics, costume and armor by me.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Aneirin- Saint to Monster, part V

It's been a long term project, but we're almost there!

 (This post and the links below are likely to contain Anatomically Correct Doll Nudity- NSFW or for especially shy people) 

This is part 5 of an ongoing project.
See Part 4
See Part 3
See Part 2
See Part 1

I've been very busy but I've had snippets of time here and there to work on my dolls as art therapy against depression. It helps. 

Here's what Aneirin's leggies look like now!

They've been  bulked up with Apoxie Sculpt, sealed, and sprayed with Tamiya paints. His hip sockets, which were prone in testing to chipping, have been sueded with actual leather pliver suede. This helps him to stand pretty well by himself.
Next he'll need body blushing. I was gonna do some of that today but the weather turned out too cold.
I also made him a raggedy lil' skirt cloth thing to wear. He's not big into bothering about his clothes.

I remade his wig, because the poofiness was bothering me. This time I made a "hard" style cap and applied the little yarn dredlocks to that.
His new hairstyle is a lot of dreds with the top half of them tied back. I also started his faceup in this shot. Just some basic contouring and color. His ears will get done when I do his body blushing. He looks weird without his eyebrows. So:

All that's left to do is a few more touchups and then to get this boy body-blushed!

Next part!