Saturday, 1 October 2016

An unfortunate abscence

I've been a very quiet blogger recently and unfortunately will remain so for a while. It's not like I have a lack of things to blog about, in fact it's the opposite! I went on a wonderful and extremely photogenic holiday in the Highlands last month, I've done some doll customs, made some new minis and all sorts of other things, all of which I'm super excited to share with you all...but there's a problem.

My computer died last month.

It had been acting up for a while, but finally became impossible to use when the desktop wouldn't load and the system got caught in an endless loop of dialogue boxes opening and closing. We took it to our local computer techs who pronounced it, and said to take it back to John Lewis, where we bought it, for repairs as it was still under warranty. Only problem is, John Lewis wouldn't take it until the drives had been wiped because of security regulations, so it had to go back to the techs to copy the drives and wipe the PC, then back to John Lewis...who then said it was so problematic they were going to have to send it back to the manufacturers!

Arghhhhhh.

I only have a PC, (I don't like laptops) so at the moment my only connection to the Internet is through my iPhone, which is fine for the most part but there are certain sites it doesn't get on with, and Flickr is one of them, so although I can upload my photos to it, I can't copy the img codes for posting on here or on forums!

I'll be away for most of October so even if by some miracle the computer gets fixed in the next week or two, I won't be able to do anything about it so it's super frustrating!

I've become much more active on Instagram as a result, as its one of the few places I can actually do something with my photos, so if you want to see what I've been up to recently, or just ogle some shiny scenery, I can be found here!

https://www.instagram.com/lynkhart/

Hopefully I'll have a functional PC soon - I certainly hope so anyway, I'm getting withdrawals!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Lake District Live newbies!

Yeah, yeah, I know this is ridiculously late! XD

I bought a few new faces for the Julip yard at this show. I went in hoping for a new Welshie as its my favourite pony mould, but the first one I grabbed at with glee was a Pit Pony.

I've since named him Domino (original, I know) and he's seriously cute.

Domino

Domino

I ordered up some fake grass samples the other day to experiment with and while they're only tiny sections and mostly too out of scale for Julips, they do come in handy for ponies!

Domino

Propped up against something they make rather good hedges too!

Domino

As per usual I made him a rug/headcollar set after I got home and he's been spoiled with this very squishy fleece number.
I wasn't sure about the colour choice at first as I usually like piebalds in red or navy blue but I think this dark teal suits him.

Domino

Domino

At the show, Heather had actually grabbed the only welshie on the spares table to pass to me as she got there first, but I thought she had claimed it for herself so I had a moment of angst until I realised she was waving her at me, lol.

This little mare is the reason this post has been delayed for so long! As I was going to pay for her, Laura warned me that as she had literally just been finished the night before, her paintwork was delicate and I should wait at least a week for everything to stabilise before I styled her hair or anything. That suited me fine as I knew I could work on the pit pony in the meantime and all was well. Well, at least it was until I flipped her mane over one day to see how it would look on the other side and realised there was a bit of paint missing on one ear! I must have caught it when I fiddled with her mane and could have kicked myself for not being more patient. Laura was very good about it all and offered to take her back immediately but I held off, as I wanted to see if it would stabilise and as it was only a little bit missing I could touch it up. It took a few weeks of cautious picking with a fingernail every now and again to test but eventually it stopped peeling and I was able to fill in the missing section with acrylic. You wouldn't know it had ever happened to look at her now, but I'll still be extra careful with her just in case!

She was nameless up until a couple of weeks ago when I posted this pic on facebook (yep, the Pokemon Go! bug has bitten me!) and a fellow Julip collector told me that I absolutely had to name a Julip Pidgey now and well, it stuck. XD

Pokemon Go!


Pidgey

Pidgey

She really is the most wonderful shade of chestnut and I adore the colour of her mane and tail. (even if it really doesn't want to lie flat despite the amount of products I've put through it!)

Pidgey

Pidgey

Pidgey and Domino

I now have three chestnut welshies and I'm not quite sure how that happened, lol. I'll need to take a photo of them all together to show just how different they are, despite being similarly coloured and on the same mould.

As well as the ponies I had a bit of a splurge at the animal table too...

I saw Richard putting this one on the stand and I don't think he was there for ten seconds before I'd claimed him! He's easily the nicest Julip dog I've ever seen and almost everyone else at the show agreed! I named him George after the pub we were staying at (The George Washington) and also because I felt he needed that kind of traditional humany name. He got a smart leather collar too as soon as we got home and I think it suits him perfectly.

George

George

Laura said they made him a twin as he turned out so well and I think he's being cast so more can be produced which is really nice as I think it will be a really popular addition to the line! I've always loved Fox Terriers and Airdaley types so I'm super pleased to get one in Julip form!

In truth I'm more of a cat person than a dog person and I really wanted some of the walking cats at the last show but I wasn't quick enough. I more than made up for it this time and ended up with two!

George, Alfie and Edie

Brother and sister pair Alfie and Edie were too cute to separate so I just had to get both. Hey, I don't make the rules!

Alfie's stripes were the first thing that drew me to him - I'm a sucker for a nice ginger mog!

Alfie

He's got such a mischievous expression too, like he's plotting all manner of shenanigans.

Alfie

Edie was slightly less stripy with a shorter tail and more rounded features...

Edie

...but had a really sweet expression. I think she's definitely the lap cat of the pair - more interested in settling down on the sofa for a nap than hunting mice and getting under everyone's feet ala Alfie.

Edie

Both enjoy exploring the long grass in the fields though.

Alfie and Edie

Alfie and Edie


Alfie's probably plotting to catch my other two newbies, yet more bunnies for the collection; Ash and Puddle!

Ash and Puddle

I spotted Puddle first but because Julips get lonely without company (again, I don't make the rules, this is just fact!) I was forced to find him a friend and thought the little grey one was quite unusual.

Puddle and Ash

I need more bunnies like a hole in the head but they're just so addictive I can't help bringing back more at every show! 
I'd quite like to order up some in wild rabbit colouring so I can use them in scenes and things though, so that's something to think about for the future.

Anyway, it won't be long until the official Julip Live in October which I'm *fingers crossed* going to so assuming I can actually save some pennies by then I might have even more to introduce!








Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New clothes and converses!

 As you can see the happy couple have had me make them all manner of things in the last week!

Max demanded a shirt, and while I haven't got any tiny buttons for it yet I'm happy to leave it open like this without them. I don't have a sewing machine so everything here was done entirely by hand.

Max

The fabric was originally bought to make Julip rugs from but it was perfectly scaled for a checked cotton shirt!

Max

Max

Once all fully glued and stitched together I soaked it in hot water with a touch of fabric conditioner then dressed her in it so I could get it to hang more naturally with the sleeves rolled up. It worked really well and feels far less stiff than it did to begin with. It also filled me with confidence in my sewing skills as it didn't immediately disintegrate upon being immersed in liquid!

I definitely didn't make her camera - its a little resin DSLR I got from a friend a few years ago to use with my Julips. It was far too big for 1/12th scale (even though I think that's what its sold as) and probably slightly underscale for 1/6 but it's close enough to pass I think. I glued on a ribbon strap, painted the whole thing with matte varnish and added a little blob of gloss on the lens and the LCD display at the back. In an ideal world I'd love the gear from this set to play with but I couldn't find one at a good price so this will do in the meantime.

Max

 I knew she needed a pair of converses so I ordered up a pair online, but they're coming from the other side of the world and I'm ridiculously impatient so I thought I'd make her a pair in the meantime and the new ones can always go to someone else when they get here.

I used this paper tutorial from Mitchymoo Miniatures with a few minor tweaks as I was working with fabric rather than paper and obviously at a larger scale.

I built up a wooden last on the existing foot rather than epoxy over it as I may want to swap shoes at some point in the future and wanted these to be reasonably easy to take off.

1/6th scale Converses
Styrene base with balsa wood and micropore tape ftw!

The printable canvas I used for miniature paintings the other day was the perfect material for the heel supports once soaked with water to soften it.

1/6th scale Converses

The main part of the shoe was thin denim from an old pair of jeans. I lined it with the canvas material, then punched in some holes for the laces with a thick needle.

1/6th scale Converses

I painted on some metal 'eyelets' with a tiny touch of silver nail varnish applied with a toothpick. This not only did away with me having to track down small enough eyelets, but also stiffened the edges of the fabric so it didn't fray. I know real Converses have another row of stitches on the other side of the eyelets but it was just too close to be able to stitch without risking tearing so I just painted them on later. The rest is all stitched though.

1/6th scale Converses

The tongues were just cut out sections of the same thin denim. The toe cap parts started off well, being glove leather they clung to the shape of the last really well but when I glued it on it turned out far bulkier and angular than I anticipated. I gave each a few coats of superglue to give them a nice shine and to harden them.

1/6th scale Converses

1/6th scale Converses

Because I know from personal experience that Converses aren't exactly known for their waterproof properties I rubbed on a layer of beeswax before assembly so at least my dolls can step in a puddle without ending up with wet feet!

1/6th scale Converses

You can see the blocky toecaps there. :(

 I couldn't find any decent thread to use for laces so to begin with she had to settle for toothfloss! XD

1/6th scale Converses

Some white grosgrain made the perfect edges!

1/6th scale Converses

1/6th scale Converses

The 'socks' are just tiny scraps of white fabric stitched around her ankles.

Here's the final shoes with better laces.

Max

Max

The infinity scarf was some scrap stretchy fabric I had lying around and her bracelets were tiny rubber rings I found in the plumbing department of B&Q! The black and white checkerboard one is simply a thin rectangle of pleather from an old purse stitched together and painted, with a bit of matte varnish on for protection.

As Juno stole her messenger bag I decided to make Max a rucksack instead. I'd saved the detachable hood from an old waterproof jacket of mine ages ago which I thought would be the perfect material, so after having a google for inspiration I got sewing. I liberated the zip from a cheap purse I'd initially bought for its 'chainmail' 

Aeryn WIP

(Oh hey, sneak peek of another fig in the works! :P)

 I'd never sewn anything with a zip before so this was something of an experiment.It's a little stiff to open and I accidentally broke the top of the actual zipper part but it still works, you just have to be careful.

1/6th scale rucksack

It has three front pockets - one big one and two little ones. The smaller ones are actually made from folded over bias binding. XD
I didn't have any wide enough grosgrain for the straps so I improvised with some soft grey ribbon. It really looks the part on one side and is velvety and fuzzy on the other size for 'comfort' 
I didn't realise that my thread was dark blue instead of black until I was nearly finished which is a bit of a pain in the arse but I can always go over the stitches with a touch of black paint.

1/6th scale rucksack

It won't hold a huge deal but it'll be handy for going out and about with. I'd like to customise it with some patches and badges eventually as its a bit boring right now.

1/6th scale rucksack

1/6th scale rucksack

As something of a music aficionado Max really needed a set of headphones...

1/6th scale Headphones

1/6th scale Headphones

1/6th scale Headphones

They turned out a little big but I'm really pleased with them nonetheless, especially considering what they started life as!

You know those plastic ring things round the neck of plastic bottles?

1/6th scale Headphones

Yeah, those.

Trimmed to size and with the protruding plastic cut and sanded down, its perfect for the main structure. I can't take full credit for this observation however, I saw it here first!

As for the speaker parts, I stumbled on these really randomly the other day in Staples. They're little novelty thumb tacks with hooks so you can hang stuff from them. I bought a packet with the intention of doing just that but it wasn't until I decided to make some headphones that I realised just how perfectly shaped they were.

1/6th scale Headphones

A little scalpeling, sanding and superglue/bicarbonate of sodaing later they were done, only requiring a couple of coats of glossy black nail polish and some silver for highlighting the detail. The padding on the earcups and headband is just trimmed down fleece. The cups look really plain from the sides so I may eventually add some kind of brand symbol or logo to jazz them up a bit.

1/6th scale Headphones

1/6th scale Headphones

The 'cord' is just some synthetic thread sandwiched between the earcup and the padding. It doesn't connect to anything but with a little blob of bluetack it can be stuck to a hip under the clothes so it looks like it feeds into a pocket and presumably a phone or MP3 player.

While Max pretty much told me what she wanted to wear straight away, Juno hasn't been quite so easy to dress though, she's fickle.

To begin with she wanted something very summery and hipsterish, so I made her a simple crop top and some knee-length harem pants...

Juno

...but apparently she was cold so demanded a coat, which I slaved away on for hours, but the front didn't turn out as I'd have liked so that too was rejected...

Max and Juno

...in favour of this.

Max and Juno

I'd made her jumper years ago for one of my male figs but it didn't fit him particularly well but with some better stitched edges it makes a good baggy jumper for a Barbie.  The fabric was thicker than the stuff I used in Max's shirt so it doesn't have quite the same number of folds and wrinkles despite the fabric conditioner, but never mind. The shorts were cut down from an old pair of Barbie jeans but I'd like to make some better ones. I handstitched the tights and left too much of a seam allowance so there's quite an obvious inseam now, lol.
The boots ended up waaaay too short and stumpy so she'll probably fall heir to the converses I ordered unless I can get her some alternatives. The infinity scarf is from a pair of £1 shop thermal socks and sheds like nobody's business.

I didn't realise until after I'd dressed her that she's really going for an Amy Pond look which I swear wasn't the intention!

Isn't it funny how sometimes memories are seemingly imbedded into the things you make? I can vividly remember sewing Max's shirt during my binge watch of 'Preacher', and the rucksack was made during a similar binge of 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes'. Netflix's 'Making a Murderer' was my background noise whilst making Juno's coat and I was watching a series about real life crime scene investigating whilst making the headphones too, so it kind of follows quite a dark theme!

Anyway, I bought a rescue Barbie at the car boot sale this weekend so she's getting a bit of TLC at the moment but I'll definitely be doing more with this pair soon as they're just so much fun to play with!