What I’ve been up to lately

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I firmly believe that it’s a good for me to do things that I’m not very good at. It builds character. Which must be why I’m persevering with the things on my desk right now.

First, I’ve been making wigs. (And, apparently, taking very bad, late-night photos of them.)

The good news: I used pantyhose for the wig caps for the first time, and it worked wonderfully! The caps weigh practically nothing and they fit perfectly. They’re so flexible you can turn them inside out but they pop back into shape afterwards. I’m definitely using pantyhose from now on.

The bad news: neither wig is coming out the way I had hoped.

Trixie’s wig is made from this really cool hand-dyed pink fiber I bought at a knitting show a while back. I’ve always wanted a pink wig for her. Unfortunately, the fiber is nylon and it doesn’t really behave like real hair. You comb it out and it stays where you put it, rather than falling back into locks like natural hair does. Also, it’s a little frizzy but has absolutely no wave to it at all. I think I’m going to style it in braids or something, since then it won’t matter how it moves or falls.

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The other problem I’m having is operator error. I cut the wig open to make a part by gluing hair to the underside of the wig, pulling it through the slit and combing it down on top. The problem is, I kind of liked the wig better before I did that. Also, now it doesn’t fit as well. You can see in the picture how high her bangs are– they were supposed to reach her eyebrows, but the wig slips back now so she looks like she got a bad haircut. Also, I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to close the slit.

The other wig is for Sebastian. His wig cap came out just as well as Trixie’s, but his wig isn’t coming out any better. I was trying to make something short, light, and slightly curly to suit a baby boy like Sebastian, who is supposed to be four years old. But this wig is coming out the same way as the last short wig I made, which is to say bulky and awkward.

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(Trust me, it’s not going to be bald on top when I’m done; but I stopped adding hair when I realized it wasn’t looking the way I wanted it to, in case I had to rip the hair off and try again.)

The hair is suri alpaca, which is fantastic. I wish my own hair was this soft! The bad news is, it’s kind of wavy and the waves are so big compared to Sebastian’s head that it’s working against me. I was trying to select locks with good waves and place them in a way that looks natural, but it’s not working out. I wanted it to be wavy on the top and front and curly in the back, like baby hair, but it’s just wavy all over. I don’t know if I should have straightened/curled the hair before I applied it to the wig or try to do so afterwards. Also, it’s not a short as I wanted it because I can’t imagine trying to place locks that short. I guess there’s a reason it’s so hard to find short wigs. Maybe I need more practice.

I had such grand ideas. Sigh. I’m going to ask around for advice and then finish these up. Maybe I can get them to look nice enough for photos.

While I was thinking about the wigs, I started a dress I’ve been wanting to sew for my SD girl, Leah. It’s also not working out as well as it did in my mind, but then what does? It’s going pretty well, considering this is my first attempt at evening wear. I’ll spare you an ugly in-progress photo, since I can’t do the back seam until the very end and it just looks like strangely sewn drapes until then.

 


Don’t blink

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A few weeks ago I completed a weeping angel costume from the Dr Who TV series. This weekend I finally got some good pictures of it.

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The wings are felt, made the same way as my flower petal wings, and you’d never guess that their original color was oatmeal. I painted the heck out of them, which is hard with felt because it just sucks up paint like it was koolaid. The unexpected benefit is that the feathers are so stiff, you’d think I put fabric stiffener on them.

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The dress is plain muslin (unbleached, which is why I chose oatmeal felt for the wings, so everything would start out the same color), treated with Stiffy fabric stiffener, and then painted. The tricky thing was that the Stiffy goes limp when it gets wet, which makes painting it difficult. But I managed. Now that’s dry, the dress stands up by itself, even without a doll in it, which is kind of hilarious.

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The pedestal is something I had around the house. It was a plaster thing I bought at a craft store a gazillion years ago and painted. It was perfect for this shoot.

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The “wig” is what I’m least happy with. I sculpted it out of Model Magic, and somehow I seriously miscalculated the hairline. I was considering adding yarn hair at an early stage, so maybe I thought I was going to have yarn to cover the extra space. I have no idea. Oh well, it served well enough.

I’d probably sell this if someone made me an offer, but for now it’s going in the stash in case I need a creepy Halloween costume or something.


Wiggin’ out

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Well, I didn’t have much time to work on the doll bed project this week, but I do have something cool to show you. I went to a meetup Saturday, and I scored some cool stuff.

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The shoes are Dollmore and they’re a bit big for Leah, but I’m saving up for a tall girl body for my floating head, so hopefully they’ll fit that body when it arrives. Besides, I like them. :) I picked up the earrings because sometimes I think about piercing Cleo and/or Trixie’s ears. I hope to acquire another MSD who will be better suited to pierced ears though, so for now these will just go into the stash.

The long blond/pink wig is a Leeke color that I’ve always liked, so when I had the chance to get one cheap I jumped for it. It’s an 8, and I was hoping it would fit Cleo, who wears a 7/8, but it clearly does not. It does fit Teddy, my floating head, who is an 8/9, though, so I guess it’ll be hers for special occasions. Super-long wigs like that never seem to be default wigs in my house anyway. I guess I could have tried it on Leah, but I was afraid she’d kill me where I stood if I got near her with anything that adorable.

The other two wigs are very old, matted mohair wigs. After an hour of brushing and a ton of spray-detangler, the gold one is almost serviceable. When I brought it home, I couldn’t even tell that it had a part. Here’s how it looks on Teddy:

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I actually love this wig. Teddy is a Luts Senior Delf Frey, which is a boy sculpt, but is perfect for Teddy’s strong female character. I really want to give her a faceup now! This might become her default wig, but all that brushing to get rid of the matting also got rid of the curls, so I decided to wet it down and see if they came back.

This is what it look like now:

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Much better. I might decide to comb it out again and use some styling product to curl it properly at a later date. I also may add some subtle blond highlights, but for now I love it just the way it is.

The little white wig fits Cleo perfectly. She’s in pieces right now, waiting to be restrung, or I’d show her modeling it. But it was badly matted too, and after combing out the gold wig, I really didn’t want to comb out all those adorable ringlets. So I decided to put curlers in it while I was combing. I sprayed each lock until it was wet with spray-detangler, and then I combed it out and put it in a curler made from a drinking straw and a hairpin. This is how it looked after I finished with it:

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As of this posting, I haven’t taken the curlers out. I don’t think the ringlets will be as tight as they were before, but they’ll probably be more natural looking. Not that natural is what you want for an 18th century wig. I’m going to exhibit at a bjd show next year, and my theme is Venetian Carnevale, so I need 18th-century wigs for all my dolls, and this is one less wig for me to make.

I’ll leave you with a sneak preview. What could this be? I’m not telling.

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