And Then There Were Two

Aika

I couldn’t resist this cute little face! There’s another Pure Neemo in town!

When I bought my first Pure Neemo, I didn’t think I’d buy any others. There weren’t any past or upcoming releases that caught my attention as much as that particular Chiika. This continued to be true even as Azone released the fantastic “Komorebi Mori no Doubutsu-tachi” dolls. Their mori-girl themed outfits and adorable forest animal ears, tails, and accessories were wonderful. There were quite a few that I wanted for the outfits, but not for the dolls themselves.

In fact, I split one of the releases (Miu) with a friend who was only interested in the doll. Katyusha looked adorable in the navy and green-plaid overdress and dark brown accessories, not to mention the bunny ears and bunny tail adorned bloomers.

I didn’t think I’d be able to find someone willing to split every “forest animals” doll, and it was too expensive to buy them all for the outfits, so I stopped paying much attention.

Then I started seeing pictures on other’s Flickr photostreams showing “neko-san Aika.” Aika’s face hadn’t really appealed to me before, but “neko-san” Aika was not the same as normal Aika. Aika typically has drooping eyes with heavy upper lids and a slightly smile; it gives her a somewhat sneaky expression–albeit a bit sleepy. This Aika did not have the little smile, however–instead, her mouth was a little “o” that seemed somewhat hesitant. Chiika’s mouth is more of a “D” with the flat part at the bottom, and that gives her face a frightened look. By comparison, this Aika’s mouth makes her face seem as though she’s yawning or has just thought of something to say. It’s like a visual pause. Continue reading »

Best Face Forward

Improvised Solution

There’s a headless body about the house!

Basically since the day I purchased her, I wanted to have Mimi’s face repainted. Mimi is a Volks Super Dollfie Nono “2008 Renewal” version. She has Zoukeimura airbrushed makeup in tones of peach and brown. As far as factory face ups go, it’s not all that shabby–but it didn’t really appeal to me in the sort of way that I wanted it to. I wanted to look over at my doll and think, “Wow, she’s perfect!” but instead I’d always look over and think, “:3 Yessss, a Nono of my own.” Not a bad thought, but not exactly what I wanted. The factory faceup is versatile and simple–both things I like–but it was exactly what I would have asked for if I were having her painted on commission.

Finding an artist that seemed right for the task was not easy. In my opinion, Nono can be a difficult sculpt to work with. Her face has very dramatic proportions and features. Her huge eyes are spaced pretty far apart. Her nose is narrow and pointy. Although I looked at the work of many artists, I didn’t see any examples that fit the type of look I’d like or seemed well suited to be painted on Nono’s head. I also kept putting off looking seriously into having Mimi’s face repainted due to the cost. There are face up artists all along the cost spectrum, but when I reflected on the dolls of others that I most admired, it started to seem like I’d be paying for a pricier artist. Pushing the commission of a new faceup to a future month was easy every time I moved it; Mimi already had a decent faceup–I just wanted an upgrade. Upgrades can wait. Continue reading »

A Tale of F-12: The Beginning

Miisha

The placement of those eyes makes them seem to stare right into your trembling soul.

Just like so many other things in life, sometimes you know right away that you adore a doll…but sometimes, a doll grows on you.

When I first saw pictures of Volks Mini Super Dollfie “Shinshiya” and “Miisha,” I thought they were hideous. Their eyes seemed too big. Their facial expressions struck me as creepy and vacant. I didn’t like that they had “weird” ears instead of normal human ears.

Then I saw pictures of Greeniebone’s Patridge. When I saw her in this picture, I thought she was adorable! At first glance I couldn’t figure out what mold she was, and then I read the details and saw that she was a Miisha. My opinion began to change. Suddenly the big eyes didn’t seem so bad. The little smile was endearing, not unsettling.

A little while later I read Machiko’s fantastic blog post detailing the assembly of a Miisha kit.  Not only was it very neat to see the assembly so detailed with step-by-step images and commentary, the faceup that Machiko painted was just so cute! It really brought out the sweetness and innocence of those huge eyes. Continue reading »

2013 Doll Resolutions

I really failed at getting around to making resolutions this year! It’s halfway over already!

I guess that’s okay–because I haven’t made any progress on the things I initially thought I would aim towards, and I’ve changed my mind several times. Whoops. It’s been an interesting doll year so far! I’ve got quite a few things that I need to write about!

In the meantime, here are my current doll resolutions. I’m not going to bother yet with the things I might have considered and abandoned already. XD Continue reading »

2012 Doll Resolutions Follow-Up

It’s that time again for doll-related goals~ I made these earlier in the year, but I hadn’t really thought about them all that much for a little bit. I tried to keep it very simple this year. There was quite a bit from last year that I just didn’t get to. It was an interesting year, though, in terms of doll purchases, arrivals, and departures. I’m looking forward to seeing how things go for 2013! Continue reading »

A Witchy Little Christmas

Are You Sure I'm Not a Present?

There’s someone tiny sneaking in the presents!

One of the things I’m really enjoying about my Pure Neemo is her size~ When I was little most of my favourite toys were fairly tiny–I adored Polly Pocket back when they came in compacts and actually fit in a little girl’s pocket. I loved stories like The Borrowers about teeny-tiny people or creatures using “human-sized” things. The size of the Pure Neemo dolls makes me think back on all of those smaller creatures living in a big world.

I thought back on those memories when I was taking pictures of Katyusha. The background was dark red, and seeing her white outfit against the red immediately made me think of Christmastime–things like candy canes and snowflakes on Santa hats! I started thinking about how cute she would look with other holiday-themed props. I went through my box of decorations and set things up–and it all turned out basically exactly the way I was envisioning it. Now I wish I had decided to send out Christmas cards this year, because I’ve got a few pictures that I would have loved to print on postcards or cards. Oh well! Maybe next year~ Continue reading »

Naming the Little Witch

Oh, What's That?

It’s time to celebrate–both the holiday and finally naming the littlest doll!

It’s been months, but the newest and smallest doll finally has a name. I’ve been trying to think of a name for her since she first arrived in early September. Naming dolls is always something I struggle with. I can think up plenty of potential names, but selecting one and actually sticking with it is hard. I realize that I could experiment and continually rename, but that tends to be too confusing for me to keep up with. If a doll’s name isn’t the “right” name, I simply forget it! Then I’m constantly struggling to remember what it was, if I can remember it at all. It just doesn’t stick.

I went through many options for the Pure Neemo doll–at first I considered lunar or celestial names. Her white hair and outfit reminded me of the moon…but I couldn’t come up with anything that seemed “right.” (I also have really strong associations with Sailor Moon, as that’s my favourite series ever, so anytime I tried to pick a lunar-inspired name that was what came to mind immediately, and the doll doesn’t really remind me of any characters from the series.)

I also considered a number of floral names, as that was a theme I used for quite a while prior to this doll. My Dollfie Dream is named Lily, and my Pullips also had floral names. There were numerous white flowers out there, and the Victorian ideas of “the language of flowers” can be useful when naming. However, none of the flowers or flower-inspired names that I read were what I was looking for. Continue reading »

A Little Witch Arrives

Majokko Chiika v1.1

There’s a new doll in town–a very small new doll clad in white!

For a while it felt like the release date of the Pure Neemo that I preordered would never come! The site listed it as “Late August,” but when the final week of August came and went I started to feel worried. Luckily the invoice arrived on the 1st of September, and she shipped the next day! ♥

When she arrived at my office yesterday, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait until I got home to open her up~ I’ve never purchased a Pure Neemo before, so it was very thrilling to open the parcel! The box is made of a very thick plastic, and entirely clear–all the patterned cardboard is on the inside packaging. This is much different from the toy dolls sold in US stores, which are generally more cardboard on the outer package with a thin plastic window. (This is similar for Pullip boxes.) The Pure Neemo box is pretty sturdy!

The doll was sandwiched between several layers of plastic, so she couldn’t move in the box but wasn’t tied down to anything. After having spent a lot of time cutting dolls out of packaging in the past, trying not to tear or break anything, this was QUITE a relief! I wish it were a more widespread method of packaging for dolls. Her hair wasn’t sewn into anything or wrapped up in anything, although she had a little plastic headband keeping her bangs in place. It gave her some serious “hat hair,” haha!
Continue reading »

Darn You, Majokko Shop!

Pure Neemo Advance D TypeThe original Pure Neemo Advance D Type body, posed for sitting Japanese-style, but with no joints!

Lily has a penpal–Pidge, another Dollfie Dream Ms. Mariko. Pidge’s household originally sent my household some lovely presents for Valentine’s Day when I participated in a gift swap on the Dollfie Dreams forums. (You can view the photo story here!) Pidge didn’t yet live in that household when the Valentine’s Day event happened, but neither did Lily live in mine~ Still, Littlebearries‘ Alna was such a wonderful secret Valentine that I couldn’t help but feel excited to reciprocate for White Day. (You can view her side of the story here!)

From reading Alna’s blog entry about her receipt of the White Day present, I was reminded of the existence of a certain type of 1/6-scale dolls–Pure Neemo! ♥ This wasn’t the first time I knew of or have seen these adorable dolls made by Azone, but I hadn’t thought of them in a little while. At some point during my earlier Pullip-collecting days I was tipped off to Pure Neemo. If I recall correctly, it started off with my looking at Blythes and reading about Blythe restoration, which moved to the types of bodies that Blythe collectors and enthusiasts like to choose–and the Pure Neemo body was one of those options. It’s an interesting little 1/6 body–originally the body (called “Pure Neemo Advance”) was non-jointed, put together with a peg system. The goal was to avoid unsightly joints for display or photography. They released these bodies in all sorts of poses, including a kneeling body for posing dolls sitting properly at Japanese low tables. Continue reading »

Lily and her Friend

On the Dollfie Dreams forum, which I really enjoy being a part of, Chibinezumi started a thread for “candid” pictures of your dolls. I thought this was a really cute idea, so I decided to take a picture of Lily caught unaware.

Lily and Mimi can generally share most wigs, even though Lily’s head is quite a bit smaller than Mimi’s, but I prefer it when Lily wears the black wig that I bought for her. I really like the contrast of the dark hair and her pale white skin. I do worry about staining from her wearing such a dark wig, however, so I don’t keep it on her all the time. For a while I kept her in a blonde wig (Mimi’s Nono default wig), but the bangs really need to be trimmed so it isn’t very flattering. As a result, she’s often wig-less. I think she looks adorable even bald, so it doesn’t bother me–but she doesn’t feel the same way.

Camera: *Click!*

Caught Unaware

Lily: Noooooooooooooooooooooooo! Continue reading »