Happy (belated) Birthday, Tsuyoshi!

It seems like I only take proper shots (read: non-Instagram shots) of dolls when it’s something important. With Tsuyoshi, he doesn’t even make it into my IG on a semi-regular basis, despite him being my absolute favorite. A few months ago on 29 January, I finally took one of him because it was his birthday, lol.

Happy Birthday, Tsuyoshi!I find that this sculpt is really hard to take photos of… I have no problem ‘bonding’ with him because I love his features very much and I can’t even imagine selling him away, but I just can’t seem to take good pictures of him. It’s always the same old angle and that’s kinda really boring? I also have no idea how I want to style him, even though he’s been with me for a few years… He’s been in this outfit since forever, LOL. *sigh*

I’m also still on the quest for the perfect wig for him. His hair is supposed to look like Maki’s in the following manga cover, in the same color and style:

Himitsu #11

While the color is common, the style isn’t. There are many short wigs with a long tapered tail but it’s that puffy fringe that’s the real problem here. Synthetic fibre just doesn’t sit that way…

Another example of the hairstyle as sported by hyde in Lies & Truth PV:

Hyde: Lies & TruthTsuyoshi’s wearing a DollMart wig in the top photo. The general puffy tapered shape is right but sometimes it sits weirdly on him. I have no idea if it’s because his head is on the smaller end. The color is too different too; the blonde is too light. When I tried a darker shade of the same wig on him, it looked like this:

Happy Birthdaym Tsuyoshi! (2014)I think it looks alright? It’s perhaps the closest to what I’ve been looking for that I’ve found. Recently, I managed to procure a Switch Chocolate Cut for him too:

Tsuyoshi in Chocolate CutHe looks rather different just with a wig change, doesn’t he? XD But this is also very different from the intended style. oTL I have one more wig for him coming in in my next Taobao order. Fingers crossed that it’ll work!

Belle

When I saw the first sneak preview of Volks’ HTDP7 limited SDs, I knew I was doomed. I mean, look at that face!!

Volks HTDP7 SDGr Belle
Volks HTDP7 SDGr Belle

She’s sooooo gorgeous. ;__; Something that sets her apart from the rest of the usual Volks girl sculpts is that her eyes are on the smaller end. It’s a little less anime-ish and in my opinion, lends an air of realism to the sculpt. I’m usually not that fond of teeth on my dolls too but it looks really cute on Belle!

Volks SDGr Belle

I think the part that captured my heart in an instant is how Belle looks like such a gentle lady, all refined and elegant and yet still retains the spirit and liveliness of a young girl. (Okay, I’m waxing lyrical here, I know, lol) As Belle is part of the Dream Nights series, the sculpt design leans more towards the Caucasian look instead of prominent Asian features like the Echoes of a Beautiful Banquet SDs. This is probably part of the reason why I like Belle so much too; she looks like a halfie! I do think that a lot of my dolls look like halfies. XD

As she wasn’t part of my doll plans and my finances were tight due to the fact that I’ve gone back to school and do not have a source of income anymore, I was hesitant about bringing her back home. In the end, I caved and I’m glad I did, because she’s even more stunning in person!

This is her temporary look because I haven’t decided on her personality and style yet. I’m not even sure what her position in the family is, LOL. She may end up being Minato’s girlfriend but it’s all still in the works! I’m glad this wig looks really good on her because it’s too big on Rie. XD; (idk why I bought 9-10″ when I know Rie is really a 8-9″…) I also changed her eyes to 18mm’s because I think it makes her look more doe-like. Normally, I’m not really impressed by Volks default faceups but I think Volks really outdid themselves this time round with Belle. Her faceup is beautiful! I’m happy to keep her faceup as it is for now until I’ve fleshed out her character enough to decide if it still suits her.

Belle is technically my third SD girl since Hermes is my second, but she is indefinitely out of commission because I’m still using her as a faceup experiment, LOL. So you can say that Belle is my only SD girl other than Rie, and compared to Rie, Belle’s head is a lot bigger!

Left: Volks SDGr Belle || Right: Volks SDGr Okita Souji II

I guess this means that they can’t always share wigs (kachink…) T____T But it also means that if one of them can’t wear a certain wig, at least someone else can put it to use, so it’s not a complete waste of money, hurhur.

I haven’t decided on her name yet (though I’m leaning towards Ayame), but for now, please meet my Belle! ♥

My lovely Belle

Rie.

I really thought I posted these already but apparently I didn’t. >__< ;;

These photos were taken back in March, when my Taobao order arrived. They were taken using a 85mm f/1.8 lens that I borrowed from a friend, and I really love the results! It’s so sharp and amazingly clear. I’d love to get one for myself when I have some extra monies to spare. ;_;

I really like this wig on her, out of all the wigs I’ve bought for Rie so far (and I do think I’ve purchased quite a few!), this looks and fits the best on her. It’s just that I think there’s a small manufacturing error so the side locks aren’t very even. Also, the side locks kinda gape a bit from her face so I think it’s meant for a larger head (like most of the female Volks SDs), but the wig cap itself fits just nice on Rie. -_-; Hence my conviction that there must be some manufacturing error here, lol. I wouldn’t mind purchasing another one except I don’t see this style being sold anymore. orz

I also arranged her hair into a cat ears-like style to match her dress! It seems like a pretty popular hairstyle since it has been featured in the Japanese fashion magazines a lot recently. ^^

Renewal of Shigure

Back in 2009 when I first got into the BJD hobby, my very first doll was a Leekeworld-D Bijou whom I had named Shigure. I had a lot of fun posing and taking pictures of her, and I do believe that she helped me improve my photography.

A little after 3 years now, as my doll family expanded exponentially, it became increasingly apparent that I wasn’t playing with her anymore. I still liked the doll character and name Shigure, but it was clear that I preferred playing with Natsumi my other tinies more. I deliberated over it for a while but I finally decided to put my Bijou up for sale on the DoA marketplace. There wasn’t any interest for over 2 months but at last, someone who was willing to adopt her came forward. While I’m sad to see her go, I know I would prefer that she be given more love and attention by someone else.

This remains my favorite picture of her:

Shigure (September 14, 2009)

Byebye, Bijou. >___<

This is not the end of Shigure, however!

Renewed: Shigure // December 7, 2012

Meet the new Shigure, now a Volks YoSD Kanon! ^___^ There’s nothing I can say about her besides SOOOO CUTEEEEEE. I bought her just a while before Volks announced that they would be re-releasing Neon and Kanon. While I think the price I paid was very reasonable during the period when the re-release hadn’t been announced, I’m still a little -___- over it. Never mind, at least I got her cute default ponytail wig too! …which stains, by the way. ^^; This is why I like light-colored wigs more…

I’m still pondering on who to send her to for a faceup, but more importantly, because Kanon looks a lot younger than Bijou, the planned ages among my tinies are now a little messed up, LOL. She actually looks younger than Natsumi and Midori, and that’s strange because Shigure is supposed to be the eldest! ^^;

L-R: Shigure (V Kanon), Midori (V Hinata), Natsumi (V Lin)

First Faceup Attempt(s)

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing BJD face-ups for the longest time ever but due to various reasons like time constraint and lack of proper equipment etc, never got around to it. However, my recent circumstances finally allowed me the time to try doing it.

What I used:

In clockwise direction: MSC, Derwent watercolor pencils, brushes, eraser, Volks Zoukeimura pastels, Tamiya acrylic clear gloss X-22

Before I started, I did the typical homework, like filling up (someone else’s) face-up form just so I have a clearer idea of what I wanted to do. I wanted an ‘ethereal, soft, gentle, lady-like’ air to my girl.

Attempt #1:

Volks SWD School A (NS)

Well, okay, so that isn’t quite what I had in mind. Too many wrong things about this faceup, like how the double eyelid crease got hidden by too-thick liner, her eyelids are too flat, the eyeshadow color is too orange, the eyebrows are hideous… I think I could go on forever. I had a lot of trouble attaching her upper eyelashes too, mostly because the only falsies I had on hand were meant for human wear and the slits for her eyes are too thin for me to be able to attach them properly.

I did, however, like the lips somewhat. Even if they look too pursed for my liking. The blushing also looked pretty natural, if a bit too peachy for an ethereal lady.

I also learned that a single thin coat of gloss isn’t really that glossy.

A few days later, I removed the face-up and went ahead with Attempt #2. I referenced lots of pictures and other artists’ face-ups for eyebrows and lower lashes. I also looked at face-ups of other sleeping dolls to see how the eyeshadow should look like.

Attempt #2:

Volks SWD School A (NS)

Much better, I would say! Her eyeshadow looks less flat, you can see her eyelid crease, the eyebrows and lashes aren’t an ugly yellow-ginger mix, she looks more the mild-mannered lady due to less of a cat-tail for the eyeliner, and she is generally pinker and fairer. Her lips are also more defined and less pursed.

I haven’t attached upper lashes for her as I’m planning to order some doll-sized ones but for now, I’m actually pretty pleased with the result. ^^ One thing, though, is that I’ve realized my set of pastels are pretty limited and the colors are too warm for my liking. I might invest in another set of pastels soon.

For now, please meet Kotoha/琴葉, otherwise known affectionately as Hermes, the newest addition to the (alarmingly) growing resin family at home. (*^^*)v

Hermes.