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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Meet me in St. Louis! - a review

Lady Alice (Peak's Woods), holding a miniature copy of my book, Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners
Save the date:

November 15-17, 2013
St. Louis, MO

Make time, book your flight! More information will be coming soon.

I attended this year as a guest--and I had an absolute blast. I am planning to do all I can to get back next year. I have never in my life met a doll group so enthusiastic and welcoming!

Not only did I sell out of my books, I was surprised and delighted to have Tricia, one of the event coordinators, meet me at the airport (at 11 PM at night) to take me to my hotel (even when there was a free shuttle). She also arranged for a ride to the meeting site the next day--which I didn't even need, since I was able to get a lift with other very friendly attendees also staying at the hotel.

The hotel was nice and quiet. The meeting facilities were huge. The food was great. The people--oh my goodness! They were all wonderful. Even the staff whose parents volunteered them for the day were enthusiastic. (I even got a free movie review!)

I felt welcomed and at home, and my classes were well attended, and I hope the attendees felt like they learned something new. I was able to meet lots of people I'd only ever "spoken" to online. It was really fun. There was a great raffle and even better auction, too.

So make time on your schedule--and save your money! There was tons of great goodies in the sales room. You'll want to be there next year! (And if someone from there invites you as a guest--don't hesitate! Say yes!!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Melissa and the house of flying dollies

What I mean by "flying dollies" is that they tend to fly into and subsequently out of my possession. I am putting a couple of girls up for sale, and I wanted to give those who might not necessarily have access to DoA the chance to window shop.

I am going to be parting with two of my Soom girls: Cuprit and Alex. I have not yet listed Alex as I am awaiting a replacement part for her, but I am still putting her out there to see if there might be any interest.

First up is Soom's MD Cuprit, Black Frost.
This is the original version of Cuprit, and she is very nearly a fullset.

At $1400.00, she will include:
-head with default face-up
-human body               -fantasy body
-eyes (Cuprit default)  -wig (Cuprit default)
-horns                          -CoA
-Original Box

I am also parting with my Soom Alex. She is a gorgeous girl, but she is a little too similar to Amber, who I also own. Additionally, I am trying to change my collection around a little bit. Alex was Soom's New York Comic Con exclusive, and is somewhat hard to come by. Please note, this poor girl has a broken finger which is sort of a work in progress. I should be able to get a replacement hand, however!

At $580, she will include
-head with default face-up
-human body

I have discounted her price slightly to reflect the broken finger! Poor girl!

If you have any questions or are interested in either of these ladies, please don't hesitate to email me!

Peak's Woods sneak peek and update

There is a sneak peek of the upcoming winter event on Peak's Woods home page. I spy some Fairy of Fairytales (tiny) tan dolls, including Hucky, Rabbit Goon and Lady Alice up there! They are adorable, and it's been a while since we've seen any tan tinies! (The last one was tan Naomi in July 2010!)

And while I'm adding this post... look what else I found!

Tanned Lady Alice
Tanned Rabbit Goon
Tanned Cheshire Goon
Tanned Hucky
White Skin Rabbit Goon
According to the page, here's what's included:
  • FOF doll with the renewal body (your choice, boy or girl)
  • Limited Face up
  • Hands : 1 pairs of extra hand parts
  • Eyes : 14mm acrylic eyes (random)
  • Monthly fairy
  • Cushions : 1 pair of cotton cushions.
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Box

Ordering period is from November 17 through November 27 only, and lay-away is available, and there is a 10% discount offered.

The white skin doll is $292.80, and the tan dolls are $352.80 each. Oh my--so cute!

Additionally, the Fairy of Fairytales body has been renewed. Now, the elbows are double-jointed, the knee joint has been updated, the torso has been reshaped, and the basic hands have been reshaped slightly. The body part isn't for sale alone, however you can see additional photos here.

All photos are property of Peak's Woods.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wigs that won't hurt the wallet!

Whether you are a BJD n00b or veteran, it is likely that you are a fan of saving money where you can. BJD wigs tend to be a bit pricey, ranging anywhere from $25.00 - $50.00 and sometimes even more!

Well fear not! has just begun stocking doll-sized wigs! There isn't an overwhelming variety at the moment, but I'd venture that might change if the current stock sells well! The wigs come in some cute styles, and there are even a few split-color wigs! The best part? The most expensive style costs $12.95.

MOST expensive and $12.95 does not compute!!!

I just picked up one of these wigs for myself, and I will make a post about the quality and appearance whence it arrives!

You can find the wigs at! Check it out!

One of a kind DollHeart Jollyplus Murray

So I confess I've been watching this doll for over a week, and she's just been relisted--for less.

Aquarius. I have her wig already, but her fashion--it's to die for!

She's a One Off Jollyplus Murray, white skin, with face-up and blue glass eyes. She's dressed in a special white version of the McQueen fashion. And she's got the shoes and Gaga wig included. Gorgeous!

She's like a modern White Queen.

Arrrgh! Getting ready for the St. Louis BJD Convention

I'm a hot mess today. I've had a child home with strep throat all week, and I've been trying to get ready for the St. Louis BJD Convention!

I've got lots of fun stuff, though. I've finished the flyers for my two workshops, and I have another handy handout to bring along with me. I also have a few books to bring, lots of free post cards and brand new business cards.

I will have some exclusive BJD clothing to offer that is handcrafted by Megann Art and also by Jennygrey at my table, and I will be taking orders for Peak's Woods dolls at the event as well. You'll be able to check out a few of their dolls in person, too. I'm nervous about bringing the dolls with me--I want to carry them on the plane with me, rather than checking them, but I don't think I can do that.

I've gotta get back to the laundry!

I can't wait to meet you all. And I've got a little pink going on for the event.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Confession

   That's right, I have a confession to make. After having enjoyed Ball-Jointed Dolls (BJDs) for over three years now, I have no idea what I want.

   Many years ago (three) I was a naive girl trying to learn more about "dollfies." I caught my first glimpse of Ball-Jointed Dolls at a number of anime conventions. At first I thought it was a little bit weird, but then I found people carrying these giant resin boys and girls to be kind of endearing. I decided that I wanted to be part of that odd culture - I needed a Ball-Jointed Doll, and I needed it now.

                 Image copyright of Asleep Eidolon
   I poured MANY hours into my BJD research. I looked at dolls from China, Japan, Korea...everywhere. I was absolutely captivated by Soom's 'The Gem' line, but I knew there was no way I could EVER spend so much on a doll. After looking at basically every BJD website under the sun, I decided that I really liked Asleep Eidolon. Their dolls were among the most beautiful I had seen, the prices were relatively manageable (considering),  and I was just smitten. I had my money saved up, I sent a message to the seller, and they told me the dolls weren't actually in-stock.


   That wouldn't give me the instant gratification that I so craved! What did I do? Well I ordered a totally different doll that I wasn't even sure I liked in hopes of getting her sooner, of course! The irony being that, this doll also had to be made and I would have a similar wait time with her. 

   So after three months of pining and heartache, my Boy & Girl doll Natalia arrived - and as much as I hate to admit it, upon seeing her, I felt disappointment. She didn't seem as pretty to me in real life, and I kept feeling an emotion reminiscent of guilt when I thought of certain aspects of her sculpt I just didn't like. I had just dumped what was to me a bucket of money into something that I felt very 'meh' about. 

Back to the drawing board!

   After several months of posts saying, "welcome to the boards," and "wow, she is so pretty!" on Den of Angels, I was finally granted marketplace access. This was both a blessing and a curse for me. I was still "stuck" with Natalia, but now I had the BJD marketplace at my very fingertips! Very shortly after receiving access, I found a thread for another Boy & Girl doll head. I snatched the head up with very little thought. "It was meant to be!" I told myself. I mean, the same skin tone?! All I have to do is sell Natalia's head and then I will be back on track!

   ...and for a while there, I was "on track" (whatever that means in the BJD world). I had a doll that made my heart melt every time I walked past her. She was my special girl, and I brought her to every doll meet-up. Aurora even won me a DollHeart gift certificate for being so darn pretty! Eventually, an Angel of Dream Qian appeared, and I had my two lovely girls. Qian's features were a bit more "sharp" than I generally prefer, but I still found her lovely. 

   The first BJD meeting I attended was hosted by Ms. Cholong of DollHeart up in Glendale. I had a great time, and when I found out she was hosting an event down in San Diego, I just HAD to go! 

   The meet was at Marie Calendar's up past Poway, and that was the day I met a silly short-haired woman named Alison and her dark-haired Canadian friend (Jen, not some beau on the side). As we were seated for food, I ended up sitting next to her and Jen. The two of them were giggling as Alison clutched a giant teal box to her chest. I hadn't realized, but Ms. Cholong actually had one of the DollHeart models for sale - a beautiful Peak's Woods wake-up Cue in a Rococo gown. I recall looking over to my right and asking, "did you buy that?" I was a bit stunned - the thought of not having to put a doll on layaway was a novel concept indeed. 

   Events transpired quickly, but at some point I recall getting invited to a future meet-up with friends of Alison and Jen. I was happy to tag along - Alison and Jen seemed like fun people, and I was distinctly lacking in female friends. Sure enough, I had a good time...but I felt like my girls just didn't measure up, somehow. I was positively enamored with the beautiful Peak's Woods girls that Alison would bring to meets, but felt they too were out of my price range. 

   I attended meetings for a while, and ended up acquiring two MSD-sized girls - a DollZone Shoyo-2, and an Angell-Studio Mandarava. I really loved this girls, but I also admired the ability to stick with only one company. I started to worry that since my girls were from completely different companies, they didn't really match well. 

   I felt conflicted, and this was the point at which I blew out all of my dolls on DoA and became the revolving door of dollies. For some reason, the hobby was suddenly a status thing for me, and I traded my three or so lesser-known BJDs for such heavy-hitters as an Unoa, an Iplehouse, and several Fairyland girls. None of these girls ended up sticking around, however. I felt like they were lovely, but so was the idea of a pile of money...and with that pile of money, I could get more dolls that were new and exciting to me!

   The pile of money turned into a Dollfie Dream and a second-hand Peak's Woods girl named Yeru. While the two girls didn't match, I loved them both because of how different they were. My custom DD had that sexy-but-sweet anime appeal, and Yeru was just adorable. Not to mention, she was a Peak's Woods - I was part of the club now! 

   I ended up acquiring a few more Peak's Woods girls - a Yami and Goldie. My three big Peak's Woods girls were probably my most beloved dolls, but as they say, stuff happens! 

   From the get-go, I was resolute on someday acquiring a Soom Amber. I knew that she was my grail, and I knew that I needed her (essential to my survival, need). After having hosted their first "special order" event, I knew it was just a matter of time before Soom would re-release their line of Super Gem girls. The unfortunate part was that they announced the special event that I NEEDED to take part in within a day or so of my getting a speeding ticket...YIKES.


   I determined that the only course of action was to sell my beloved Peak's Woods in order to get my grail. Several grails later, here I am wanting Peak's Woods girls back in my life. This leads me to a choice, the choice which prompted me to write this article: to sell, or not to sell, and where the heck am I going with my collection?

   There are things about my big Soom girls that I absolutely love - they are stunning pieces of art that truly capture the imagination. They are just wonderful for fans of both fantasy and the Asian BJD aesthetic. In my opinion, the fantasy aspects tend to also be problematic, however. Sculpts are beautiful, but it seems like the emphasis isn't always on the mechanical aspects of how these parts are going to work on an actual doll. I love Amber, don't get me wrong..but her fantasy body drives me up a freaking wall. 


   I think it is important to consider what you enjoy most about the hobby. What I enjoy most about the hobby is collecting outfits and re-styling dolls. Bulky, awkward fantasy bodies make this...well, awkward. I really enjoyed adorning my girls with precious gothic-lolita inspired pieces by Peak's Woods. Whimsical Amber and stoic Cuprit don't really rock the DollHeart quite as well, I feel. 

   So there is a lot to consider. Am I doing this to have a beautiful piece of artwork that is more akin to a resin statue, or a more kinetic piece that I actually feel like I can play with? After having written this post, I suspect I should cull anyone I feel I don't absolutely need, and try to actually save money toward those dolls I would like to have back in my life...and I think that is maybe the important lesson for me to take away. Being a grown-up sucks, and you sometimes have to make tough financial choices (like, do we need a washing machine, or do I need Peak's Woods dolls). Either that, or I need buy my metal detector and start scanning the beach. Oh, first-world problems. 

"My owner is a freaking ding-dong."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rogita Blossom

Rogita Blossom by alington
Rogita Blossom, a photo by alington on Flickr.

Rogita Blossom, redressed in one of my all-time favorite outfits from DollHeart, Lofty Pink. I adore everything about this girl!

Her wig is by DollHeart and her earrings are from Claire's.

BJD Con in San Diego!

It's tomorrow!

Here is the information for the Wild Wicked West convention, San Diego's 4th Annual BJD Convention.

It's only $10 cash at the door for admittance - November 3, 2012. The vendors:

  • Pixiedust Design: Fashions for Tiny BJDs 
  • PamSD's Miniature Costuming: BJD Clothes for MSD, SD, and larger dolls 
  • Nancy Hay Decorative Arts: Hats 
  • Pinniped Designs: Pinniped Designs 
  • jennygrey: Clothing & Accessories for YoSD, MSD & SD 
  • Bats' Lagoon: Resin doll designed by Bats here in California 
  • Shiny Jumble: Jewelry and accessories for dolls of all sizes 
  • Ms. Cholong: DollHeart, Red Ruby, and JollyPlus 
  • MegannArt: BJD clothes and accessories for a variety of sizes 
  • Susan Lake Designs: Creates handmade, one of a kind and limited edition Headwear for BJD. 
  • Doll Peddlar: Our abundant inventory gives our customers a range of choices from basic play dolls to investment works of art. 
The theme:
This year's theme for the costume contest and display area is the Wild Wicked West!  So bring out your cowboy and cowgirl, your card shark and your saloon madam, your tinker and your blacksmith, your indian and your soldier, as well as all those supernaturals that gold country happened to uncover, dig up, or otherwise disturb!  If it happened in a spaghetti western, a fantasy western, a sci-fi western, or a gawd-awful B-movie western that was showcased on MST3K, then it happened here!
I'll be there--come see me and say hello! I have short blonde hair today, and I'll be bringing some fun Peak's Woods saloon girls.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bloody Alice, Special Red Version, Rogita

Ack! Christmas came early this year--and do you think I could wait? I don't think so.

Introducing Rogita by Peak's Woods (the original version has sleepier eyes, and Rogita Blossom's eyes are fully open). She is a full-set doll, dressed in a special red version of Bloody Alice, offered by DollHeart. She has a limited edition face-up, too.

She includes a wig and shoes, too. I think she is simply amazing. Check out Flickr for additional photos, and here for deboxing photos as well.

Den of Angels is closed this week!

Don't panic! The Den of Angels forum is 99% closed for maintenance and downtime from today, November 1, through November 7, 2012. See this announcement for details.

Please note that according to the announcement, "During this time, you will be able to access your PMs, as well as the Rules and Announcements subforums. Additionally, we will open a temporary 'chat' subforum so that people can continue to talk while we work on the forum."