June 15, 2014

 Hello fellow internet-voyagers,

 bad news from the land of authors: today Eph has hurt her foot badly and will be unavailable for quite some time (at the very least 7 days). I hope you can wait a little longer for news of dolltopia and co.

 Greetings, Dorian (the technology guy)

May 17, 2014

"You can't bbq a unicorn!"
I overheard this phrase some weeks ago on my way to the city when a young couple crossed our way. It led to a lively discussion between my husband and me on the correct method to cook a unicorn. At the same spot I came across another young couple one week later who were both clad from head to toe into bright yellow Pikachu plush costumes, including hood and tail. My only thought was "Oh my, I hope those can stand the rain!"
Sometimes I love living in a big city. :)

After this little episode let's talk about the news!
The Daily Doodles go into retirement for the time being. In over 40 days they triggered not a single reaction and I don't like wasting neither my nor your time. I do like the idea though and when the time comes I'll try another run - when I got the feeling there's actually more than 2 users here.

To make up for that the new Dolltopia will start right this month - Eternia and Sinistra will give their best in the doll photo comics and of course the rest of the cast will too! Sinistra's outfit isn't wholly done yet and I'll need some days to take a bunch of photos in advance then - you never know how the weather will be and there's a small birthday party scheduled here too. So I figure the 26th is a good day to check for the first episodes.

To get in the mood for photo comic mayhem you can visit the new menu point Dolltopia Outtakes to read the first outtake. That page will recieve new small stories from behind the scenes from time to time. Dolltopia itself will be realized with the gallery as before, so one photo + text per page.

Sewing Sinistra's outfit is taking extra long because I take notes of every step and also take photos to share the sewing patterns with you gals afterwards. Other sewing patterns are also in the works.

Although I do my best to also draw and work on Seekers artwork I'm afraid the photo comics will have to be the main bulk of updates here for the next months. The job search of my husband and preparation for a possible move are more important right now. His contract only runs for four more months and there's a lot to do. I don't want to bring a handful of pages online, get the advertizing machinery in gear and then vanish for several months again right away because we have to move to the other side of the nation. So I keep myself busy with colour artwork and a longer Wacky Wingling project to exercise more with my new software.

In other news, by now I recieved Holt Hyde and thus have completed my Monster High collection for the time being. Currently there's only Invisi-Billy left on my wishlist, who was really announced for 2014. I try not to buy any girls for a while. Ever After High is currently pretty much dead for me too since Mattel seems determined to give each doll the same head. That kicked Cedar Wood from my wishlist (I have no use for Pinocchio's daughter when her body looks like wood and her head is "normal") and I get the feeling that Cherise Hood doesn't have her wolf ears either.

I will probably buy Taeyang Black Jack since currently I re-read some Black Jack stories daily. (A masterpiece of Tezuka!) Apart from that I have... *counts*... six blank dolls that want to be painted and clothed. Especially Giselda and Eloya, of course, for which I'll also have to create custom wigs.

There's still a ton of dolls missing in the galleries though so I try to take new photos every few days even though I can only upload them in batches.
Still a lot of old artwork that needs to be overhauled too. Bah, where is all the time gone?

April 26, 2014

This time I'll write about the latest happenings and plans for the next month.

Random quote of the day (overheard on the way to the city): "But you can't bbq a unicorn!"

First of, Real,- Minis! Today was the last day of the promotion (which, according to posters and flyers, should have ended on the 19th already). We spent 77,- Euro and got this:

real minisreal minisMo spent rougly the same amount but at the brandnew Real,- superstore further out. He got this:

That's mean! We got five and he got 29! (Correction: He mailed that one fell out of the bag, he got 30!) The cashier was in a good mood - it was the last day before her holiday. ; )

So that's that. Still, I'm 1000% satisfied. The items were free, after all, and I got a lot of them as gifts from others. I own 39 of the 59 items and have over 100 items total. Together with the "good" things from Re-ment I can fill up two shops. I took a photo already, it will become a Foto Wacky Wingling.

Next topic: dolls. Yeah, yeah, you tough guys can skip this. ;)

My hobby money for May is already spent - and severely overspent! - for  dolls, fabrics and buttons. Today I recieved three blank Pullips/Taeyangs. One of them will become Eloya, a Giselda is being worked on already. Tomorrow I'll rewrite the article about the Pullip Make It Own series since there are two new skintones for the ladies! I can tell you that much already: The "Tanned" doll looks really swell while the "Fair" doll looks just the same as the "Normal" one no matter what kind of light source I use. Now I hope that in June or July there will be new skintones for Taeyang too so I can build the darker Takchi.

Monster High collection

Most of my money was spent on Monster High though since after watching almost all movies and all webisodes I could find I'm totally on a trip. Finally I have a clear picture of the various characters! (And Draculaura is not unlike Giselda, actually.) Very annoying: To get the man Gil I had to buy a set of 5 dolls for 80 Euro although I already own one of the girls and wasn't even interested in the others. Separately he would have cost me 300,- though. I had to pay extra to get the zombie guy Slo Mo too. I would like to have a word with Mattel about this kind of sales practice but afaik enough other fans already voiced their opinion on this.
Of the guys I'm still missing Holt Hide and Invisi-Billy. The latter is - to my knowledge - not been made into a doll yet but it would be swell if one day he was. Holt can be bought from private sellers for 300,-. It was a suuuuper idea by Mattel to publish a second version of him in the US only and only for one specific chain of stores. That one's even easier to get! (/sarcasm) Could you please make a third doll of him and make that less scarce than the others? Thanks!

I made an inventory than and it was terrifying. The picture on the left shows my current collection. You don't have to count - it's 90 dolls. 90! I only own half of the published dolls at best, rather less. As you can see many characters have several versions. (Abbey Bominable takes the cake with a whopping seven versions. (blue skin, white hair, on the top left)) It would be sweet if the pretty outfits would be sold separately, but as that never happened for Barbie it will sure as hell never happen for MH. Usually I try to be selective, only buying new characters and only those that I really like. But then Amazon or Real,- sell something for half price again and/or I can't resist the outfit or new hairdo, or there's another grand new theme or a set where you get additional free outfits with the doll... The playsets often come with an exclusive doll I don't really need too.

Over the next days I will finish the inventory and take photos of all missing characters for the gallery. Afterwards I will have to part with a few of my sweeties with a very heavy heart, since I don't have any space left. :(

For Monster High I own many playsets too, e.g. the school itself, the diner and the street cafe. Now that I know more about the characters I will definitely sit down and think about stories for photo comics again. In the near future there will be polls about the couple of the year and somesuch too - after all I have 8 men by now! Perhaps there still ARE some doll fans here! I also want to remodel some of the dolls that get separated out into fantasy princesses since for a long time I had an idea about a story a la Sailor Moon in the middle ages. With a second cast that doesn't have to switch between modern and classic outfits for comics all the time that should be easier.

For that I have to sew a lot though but I plan anyway to hole up at home in May and do nothing but clear out stuff (in case of a later move), draw and sew resp. take photos or write stuff for the website. Okay, except for the various appointments at doctors.
So I hope to get a lot of sewing patterns done soon too!

So, what else?

The tutorial to sew Owlie is done in theory but then the editor started to act up and shows the article without any free spaces, rendering it next to unreadable. My husband is looking into that. As soon as that is done I'll do the translation. That's keeping up a lot of articles.

Next week I'll get x-rays done to find out what causes the pain in my back and on the 30th I'll get an ECG since my doctor is worried about my heart. Still have to make an appointment for the tinnitus but I'm not very optimistic about that since this ear specialist sint me home years ago when I had my first tinnitus with the words "It's just a little tinnitus, go home and learn to ignore that!". Therefore I bought a ginseng med yesterday at the pharmacy. It's for dementia actually but also used for tinnitus. Let's see if it helps a bit. The lady at the pharmacy was shocked that there was no therapy tried on my. Well, I'm used to that. My eye problem was never solved either, I still go to bed once I start to see double since I never got glasses. And that's one of the more harmless things I was sent home with. It would be nice if this time they'd find something and help me with one of my health problems (no matter which!) but for the time being I'll stay pragmatic and wait. Doh!

April 11, 2014

Real Minis

Today there was a big surprise in stock for me! I recieved a surprise package from forum user mjkj who really went to the (German) Real,- supermarket just for me to score some of the Mini freebies! At the same time our (highly inactive) coder Mo also delivered his booty to me. I was sooooo happy that I had to improvise a small shop and sent Giselda to shop. ^^

Many, many thanks! Yes, there were some new items!
Of course this isn't my true supermarket diorama - Giselda jets around Eternia's fashion store in front of some shelves jacked up with thread spools. It's just great though that she can really go shopping without the need of unpacking all the expensive Re-ments first. Once ALL of that sits together in a properly made store it will look royally great.
Isn't she twee with her shopping cart? Sadly it was a bit too small for Eternia but for her it's just the right size.

As a direct result a new small section with Photo Wacky Winglings will open up on Monday. I don't know if everyone will find them funny but humour is highly personal anyway.

There is also a new article, which is a tutorial for crocheting Monster High woollies. I "featured" it and thus started up the new overview page for articles. Let's see if I'll remember to "unfeature" it one day again and how the page will look once there's several featured articles. Time will tell!

The gallery sketches run for about a week now and you lazy buggers didn't even take a look (except for the nice mjkj *grins*). Let me tell you, with a workingreader morale like that you'll never see even one of the sketches turned into full-fledged art. ^^

There's also a handful of new photos - that's all I can do today but there will be more soon. Yup, I do work on the tutorial for making the sewn owlie, just have to add font to the actual pattern before I can finish it up and translate it.

Apart from that things don't go that well, sadly, since I suffer from quite serious problems with my back and tinnitus and next week is chocked full with visits to doctors and I'm quite a lot in bed. (4 weeks of nonstop screeching in the ears does wear one down.) Still, last week I published the brand new logo for Seekers in the forum and there's sketches floating around everywhere. Why don't you come in, we don't bite. : )

April 02, 2014

So, what's new today?

First of, an apology to those users who have been locked out lately due to their IPs being abused by bad guys for spamming, which put them on the blacklist of the spambot checking service "Sorbs". I removed this service as well as the IP check in general and hope that valid users won't be locked out again. StopForumSpam does a fantastic job blocking spambots by email adresses and everyone can end up with an abused IP one day. Blame my inexperience with Joomla for not noticing this before. Gomen ne!

Giselda und MarmeladeWhat else? Real,- still gives out Minis but lately I only get duplicates and things which are too big. Too bad when there's 59 items to collect. Trading Gilette for pizza package! *gg* (For real, last Saturday was a trading meeting and nobody was there. For once I had things to trade with me and nobody was there. Meh!)

Giselda only commented: "Gigantic megalomanic glass of marmelade? No problem, it will be gone in a minute!" *MUNCH!*

Oh, you wanted to know what's new on the website? Aaaaah, why didn't you say it sooner that you're interested in that. ;)
Starting today there's a new service in the Seekers category - as announced on the forum. The Doodles and Sketches Gallery gets a new entry each day. He he, that sounds weird when the first sketch is several years old, but starting tomorrow there's only brand new sketches lined up for you. I have enough sketches to last all through April and atm I plan to continue this without a time limit. This way I get my training and you get at least a tiny daily goodie until I have waded through the 758 pages of the official Manga Studio software handbook and fully understood how to make my comics now. :)

Actually I had planned to write some texts on various topics today but was lured by my husband to the city to send out Lirael's birthday present and to buy a new doll at Toys'R Us. *cough, coooooouuuuugh*
Count on some more news on this topic within the next days, though.