Archive for the ‘photo shoots’ Category

A day at the park

And now back to your regularly scheduled mediocre photography…a bit of a change after those gorgeous shots from Vessellated, but what can you do?

Although it’s still windy and a bit chilly, we’ve had some gorgeous sun this past week, and while I was out for a spring tea party picnic I got the dolly family out for some photos too!


Posy didn’t understand why everybody else just wanted to lounge in the sun when there were awesome things to climb and explore.


Posy has now commandeered this black wig, and Suzuha refuses to wear it.  Those picky BJDs!


I think she was channeling Katniss Everdeen here.  Dangerous and wild!


Rada enjoyed playing on the playground equipment…


and climbing trees to daydream in the spring sun!



Vasilisa was modelling the cropped version of Ur-Bun, feeling very casual chic.



Enjoy the spring sun – we sure have!

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sad dolls in snow

Those darn job things have their uses, but they do keep a person from getting in any daytime photography.  Still, is there any better time to photograph snow than dusk?  (Some might argue “Yes, any time there’s enough light for your camera to work properly.”  To them I say “Nyah!”)  And it is, after all, Victoria…I’m already surprised that the snow has been here on and off for two days, and I have no hope that it will still be around on the weekend.


I flatter myself that in her Pevensie coat, Rada really does look like Lucy Pevensie wandering into Narnia for the first time.  Only the coat fits her too well, heh.


Suzuha’s just a snow fairy plain and simple, perhaps admiring her own handiwork with the withered apples on our little tree.

Happy snow day!

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Monday was the local doll collectors’ group monthly meetup – with a Halloween theme!  We met at a restaurant, so I just brought Rada and didn’t get any good photos in the low light.  Today I got out into the glorious, almost unseasonably warm sun to immortalize this year’s costumes.


Suzuha is a jellyfish!  I riffed off a toy pattern for a Juvenile Sea Nettle to make a fun hat.


Rada is Snow White (you can tell by her needle-felted apple), and Posy is one of her dwarven friends.


Posy’s beard is also gently needle-felted onto her felt mask.  Yes, I like using new skills!



My hard work sewing definitely paid off, although if I were to make the pinafore again (for mini) I would cut the skirt parts a bit narrower so you could see the dress underneath a bit better.  But I think the overall effect is adorable!


Sadly, I didn’t have time to make costumes for anybody else this year.  Sewing those long pleats took a lot of time, and of course I’m working on my own costume as well, and hopefully I’ll have pictures of that by the weekend.  Next year I’m starting my Halloween prep in June…

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A new look for Rada

So, DollsTown Seola was/is pretty much my grail doll.  I was fortunate enough to be able to get her early on, and I adore her (as is evidenced by the fact that my “Rada” set on Flickr is twice the size of most of my other dolls’ sets), but one thing is a constant challenge: her wig.

For starters, the DollsTown minis have unusually large heads (8.25″ to most dolls of that height’s 7.5″ or so).  I find that this means wigs designed for minis in the 7-8″ range are so tight as to slip off her head easily, and often look “gappy” at the temples where there aren’t many wefts of hair once the elastic cap is stretched to the utmost…but on the other hand, wigs for 8-9″ doll heads are a bit loose and often just have way too much hair.  So while most of my dolls have had about 2 wigs, Rada has now owned 6.  The other problem is that she insists on having curly hair, or at least wavy, and curly wigs are a nightmare to keep from getting tangled and fuzzy.  So I exist in this constant state of feeling like her hair really doesn’t meet the standard set by the rest of her!

However, I think this has just changed!  Wigs 5 & 6 arrived recently from a group order from LeekeWorld.  I’d heard about Leeke wigs, that they were great quality, and I could see from the website that they had an excellent range of styles.  Having actually beheld the wigs in person now I will vouch that they are superb.


This is going to be Rada’s everyday wig.  It’s straighter than I would normally go, but I feel like it works.  This is a 7-8 wig, and although it’s a tad tight, it doesn’t suffer from the gappiness at the temples that makes Rada look like she’s balding (at age 7!) when she wears, for example, her Luts Kid Delf wig.  No, Leeke don’t skimp on the hair they attach!


The neon yellow elastics have to go, obviously, but I think the little braids are adorable!


The second wig I haven’t had a chance to photograph yet (and may not for a little while).  It’s a size 8-9 wig, so there is quite a lot of hair for my wee darling, but it’s meant to be a short cut on a 60cm doll, so I feel like it works.  The big problem is that the bangs are WAAAAY too long (which is why you won’t see it until I or my hair-cutting sister have a chance to trim the thing).  It’s curly, a huge spill of ringlets, and it will live safely tucked away in its wig net, individually wrapped in a little plastic bag, hidden in my wig box, in the hopes that when I pull it out for meetups or special photoshoots it will look as good as the day I received it.  If you’re curious, it’s this one on the Leeke website.

Hey, bonus, in this picture you can really see the lovely shawl I whipped up from leftover alpaca (the same local stuff as her winter coat) using the star chart from Laminaria!


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Voting is over, the winners have been announced (no, I was not among them, not even close), and I’m finally at liberty to post what I’ve been crafting this month, that’s been taking all my energy!  I’m really proud of all the things I made, even though they obviously didn’t please the crowd as much as they pleased me (I was tied for about 34th place out of 37 or 38 different scores, with I think 54 entrants who completed all three challenges…yeah…congrats to everyone who made top 25 anyway!).  I foresee them making plenty of further appearances in my doll photography.

The Wicked Sweet Triathlon had three events.  The first, Risqué Business, was to make an outfit for a doll out of nothing but 2 pairs of women’s underwear.  I think this was the challenge in which my (lack of) photography skills hurt me the most – there were some entries where the garments looked less interestingly designed (okay, I’m biased) and less well-executed (and that’s a little more objective position) than mine that still got quite a few more votes, presumably in part because the photos were better.  I have improved a lot, even compared to looking back at my photography from Japan (2008-9), but under pressure I still have trouble.  But then that’s part of why I started this blog, to learn and grow.

My outfit was made from a couple of pairs of drapey hipster undies (hipster cut, not hipster type person) with light, nearly see-through material that I thought would drape really well on Suzuha.  Turns out even very light material gets a bit stiff on 1/6 scale bodies…but I think you can still get the flowy sort of style I was trying for.  The outfit was inspired by Mori Girl fashion, although the colours are very bright for a Mori outfit, which should strictly speaking be made up of neutrals, faded pastels, and low-saturation darker tones.  But I was working with what I had…unfortunately, Mori Girl Panties are not the sort of thing one can pick up on the cheap at Zellers, heh.


Originally, I was going to crochet a sun hat to go with this outfit, but it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working and I was running out of time…but crocheting flowers worked just dandy, hence the sakura-inspired headdress.



Every part of the outfit features some sort of braid.  This was sadly the best picture I had of the trousers…see what I mean by my photography being a major handicap?


The dress is designed to be worn with her wings, although I didn’t end up bringing them out for the photoshoot.  I am very into this kind of “racerback” style of dress right now – I have been wearing the one I own all summer!  Braided fabric is really interesting.  For this outfit I also learned how to do a four-strand braid, which was pretty interesting.


Then came part 2: Shadowcasters!  The challenge was to make a doll-scale light source and photograph it both in action generally and then with your doll casting a shadow using your light source’s light.  I wanted to make one of those shadow lamps that kids have, with aquariums and stuff on them…somehow a carousel seemed like the right thing for Rada.  I basically built a lantern out of vellum paper and cardstock to go around a dollar store emergency puck light, decorated it with some glitter glue, and dropped it on top of a couple of tea tins posing as a bedside table.  On the whole, I think it turned out awesome…but that’s just when I look at the photos, and not when I think about how much time I spent fighting with the damn lid, which is completely unsecured and loved to pop off just as I was about to snap a picture.  ARGH.

I had a tonne of fun setting up this photo shoot!  I got to bring out all of Rada’s toys (and there are getting to be a lot of them…!) and I set up the corner shelf which formerly supported our Christmas tree to look a little like a child’s bedroom.  I imagined that Rada was home sick with the ‘flu, and Vasya had bought Yukata!Bunny to make her feel better.  Rada, feeling a little less tired today, is introducing Yukata!Bunny to her other toys, but she’s still got the chills, which is why she’s wrapped up in a snuggly blanket (knit from SophiaRowan’s handspun that I won back in the days of the ResinCast podcast).


Later (and for the shadowcasting shot), she’s staying up past bedtime drawing by the light of her merry-go-round.



In these photos, you might also notice how upright Rada is able to get and stay…just want to give a shout out to the lovely Linzabeth, who recently sueded and wired my bratty baby (that’s her in the “wiring the legs” photo!  I feel famous!).  Rada now stands like a fucking rock and can hold some awesome poses…the only thing I didn’t anticipate is that since she’s been wired she’s a lot harder to dress, since I can’t bonelessly fold her arms in on themselves as I used to.  Who knew?  So happy with Linzabeth’s services, though, and she’s so sweet that she even fixed the chip in Rada’s eye makeup and fixed/improved my terrible blushing job (not that anyone but me will ever see it, regardless).

The third and final event of the triathlon was my favourite, both in terms of my own entry and in terms of what everyone came up with.  The challenge of The Doppelgänger was to create a “double” of your doll and photograph them together.  Any material.  Any craft.  If you are a member of DoA I highly recommend wandering over to the Anniversary subforum to have a look at the entries; they are amazing.

I actually set out to make an amigurumi doppelganger.  I was going to needle-felt ball joints along the lines of the plushies Tally makes, but I didn’t have time to consult her on how her joints work and as I started stuffing the limbs I realised that I’d been using too big a crochet hook for the yarn meaning that the fabric was gappy and showed the stuffing.  I’m also just not very good at stuffing things evenly, and what with the needle-felted balls and then the unevenly applied stuffing everything looked horribly lumpy and misshapen.  So I said “the heck with this!” tossed it in the bottom of my craft basket, and started on a totally new tack: needle felting the whole thing!  I made the joints with jewelry findings as I was finding that thread was just too flexible and let the limbs fall out of their joints a little.



I need you to know that I broke all two of my felting needles right at the end of the project, at a time when there was absolutely no way I could get to the store and pick up more before the deadline to submit photos.  You can imagine me sitting there with the 1.25cm broken-off point of one needle trying my hardest to get the doppelgänger’s hair attached to his head with pretty mediocre results…in the end, I got out to take photos and his hair started flying away and I had to stick it on with the sticky-tack I’d brought out to help Posy stand up!  But hair notwithstanding, I’m super proud of how he turned out.  My concept was that he’s a skinwalker type creature, hence the red-white outside that’s meant to be reminiscent of raw meat or anatomical drawings of musculature.  Here’s the photo I submitted for the contest, with text.  He actually does stand on his own if you get him balanced just right, but there was a tiny breeze the day I was taking pictures so I had to improvise with the landscape.


And if you want to see a larger version you can click through on the original photo here.

So that’s what I’ve been up to all August.  I had a lot of fun, but it’s been great to get back to my regular knitting projects as well.  My test knit of Ur-Bun is hopping along, and I’m hoping to be able to release the pattern sometime this month or next.  Also, isn’t it time for a Rhodion update?  My water lilies are now 8 repeats long (out of a total of 26 repeats of the main pattern, 13 for each side, and then the border).  Nearly a quarter of the way through!  And I’ve amazingly managed to complete two of those repeats THIS WEEKEND!


Doesn’t look like that much, does it? 8 repeats? This little crumpled thing?

But it’s going to be unbelievable when it’s done!

Phew.  Well that was an update and a half!  No more secret projects for a while; they’re too challenging to catch up on!

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It’s been a productive week!  I released a pattern, made a tutorial, finished Sample No. 2 of the pattern (with variations!), had time to knit up a doll-size version of the ever-so-delightful Woodland Hoodlet from Tiny Owl Knits, and still had time to be going “uhh, what am I going to knit next?” yesterday evening!

I celebrated the summer solstice first by getting up at 3:30 AM, so as to be at a local park by 4, to welcome the sun with song on the longest day of the year.  My family has been doing this for something over 10 years now – we’re not religious, but since we celebrate Christmas in a fairly Christian manner, it seems only right to balance with the celebration of a good old Pagan holiday.  After we sing up the sun, it’s back to my mother’s house for waffles and bacon, yum!  And then, what to do with the rest of the day?  Take advantage of the sunshine for a photoshoot in the garden, of course!


Enjoy the rest under the jump!


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Tumblr is totally inspiring me!  When I saw this dress, I wanted to knit something similar for Suzuha, and today I had a chance to photograph it!  I’ll be releasing the pattern (sized for MiniGem/Barbie, Slim Mini, and Standard Mini) later this week.  Like my Box-Opening-Day Dress, it’s a simple, customisable pattern…with pizazz!

The tee is my own design as well; locally dyed laceweight that I bought for a shawl and have been hanging on to the leftovers ever since.  Didn’t keep very good notes on the top, though it’s a pretty simple top-down raglan.  Next time, maybe.

The bench is a garage sale find that my sister gave me!  It needs a bit of love – I think I will get some clay to build up the legs a little so it fits Suzuha better, and I will probably sew a better cushion for it – but it’s so cute!


More under the cut.


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Spring flowers

Yesterday was a beautiful day for taking pictures.  I’m kind of in love with this one.


That is all.

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Welcome home Suzuha!

Please welcome the newest member of my doll crew, Suzuha!  As far as the resin goes, Suzuha is a Soom Faery Legend Idrial, standing 28cm tall in her human feet and 30cm tall if I can ever get the S-hook into her fairy legs.  Who she is, though, is an autumn fairy come all the way from Japan (her name means “bell-shaped or crumpled leaf”).  She marks several firsts for me: first limited edition doll (Idrial was only sold for a couple of weeks back at the end of October), first in this size range, and first body blushing (I usually don’t care enough to pay for it, but in this case it was the only way to get her wings painted). I still don’t feel like I’ve “caught” her with my camera, but here’s a taste (the hat was not meant to go over a wig, but she wanted to try it on anyway):


I put together a little homecoming photo story after the jump.  It was fun – it’s been a long time since I did any multi-doll “story” type photography, not since before I got both Edik and Posy.

Note that there is some dolly nudity, so the photo shoot’s not suitable for most workplaces.


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Snow Days

It doesn’t snow often here on the wet coast.  Rarer still to get more than a centimetre or so, and for it to stick around more than a day.  Well, it started snowing on Monday and there’s still white stuff out there now, although temperatures are supposed to rise and rain to fall this afternoon.  They say make hay while the sun shines; I say take photos while the snow falls!

Here is Snegurochka, the snow maiden, in her natural habitat.


And look – an elf!  Perhaps he got lost on his way up north!



A little girl took advantage of this rare opportunity to make a snowman.  Something about the white light from the snow makes her rosy cheeks even more adorable!




The coat Rada is wearing is a pretty heavily adapted Swing Thing (Rav link), knit from locally sourced hand spun alpaca that I picked up at the Saanich Fair a couple of years ago.  Adapting the coat was a big pain in the butt because I was absolutely going to use this yarn, come hell or high water, but the smallest gauge I could get was 1/2 the written one, instead of the 1/3 gauge I needed in order to just follow the pattern.  If anyone’s interested in the details, I wrote a bit in my project notes over at Ravelry.  In the end, I think it turned out amazingly well and I’m glad I didn’t give up and switch yarn.  The heavier fabric is just perfect for the look of this coat – it looks perfectly believable as winter outerwear.

I was still working on the coat on Monday when I took the first photos (in fact, I’d put it down in favour of giftmas-related knitting until I saw white stuff drifting down).  I was worried that I’d miss the snow (no such luck!), but in the end the delay was a blessing.  Gareth took a snow day or two this week (-5 and snowy?  Not the best day to start building a fence!) & we spent Tuesday hauling bins out of storage that have been there since the spring when we had to HIDE ALL THE STUFF because the house we rent a suite in was on the market.  We got rid of a tonne of stuff and found a few things we’d been missing – including the doll stands I tried unsuccessfully to hunt down for the first snow day.  I don’t normally bother with stands – the dolls do extremely well on their own 2 feet, especially when stood on a table or shelf – but for outdoor photo shoots, it’s nice not to have to worry about this:


Dignity, Vasilisa’s got it!

Anyway, now that I’ve got a bunch of lovely photos out of it, the snow can just blow back from whence it came for the rest of the winter.  Unless it wants to come and hang out for a day or two at Christmas…

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