Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saffron







Meet Saffron :) This will be the obligatory box opening post XD I've actually reserved "saffron-tea.blogspot.com" but unless I give her some really crazy back story (which i do not have the imagination for) I doubt that blog will be updated XD

She is a Unoa Sist, Fresh Skin. Alchemic Labo, the company that produces her, used to only cater to the Japanese market, meaning they were pretty difficult to come by. I was reluctant to purchase a 2nd hand version, and so kept waiting for the chance that pre-orders for International orders would eventually be available.....

I waited for close to 6 years! I first came across photos of Unoa Lusis back in mid 2008 when I was trying to make my own BJD and instantly fell in love with these dolls. My hopes started waning as year after year, no pre-orders were made available, and I missed the lottery in -I think- 2012.....but this year in January, a 2 week window was open for pre-orders!! The fiance (then-bf) had promised me one as soon as it became available, and since I did not ask for a birthday gift last year, it became my belated birthday gift!!! (yeah, I'm fussy when it comes to gifts as I don't have much space and am very particular with what enters my room :X) I quickly placed an order, and added 3 face plates so I could have some practice, as well as versatility :)

And so.....on March 31st, Saffron arrived! This will be a lengthy and picture heavy post, so I'll divide it into 4 parts - Box Opening, Faceup, Sewing her first outfit, and Review.


=============================================
Box Opening
=============================================



Here's Eva welcoming Saffron :P 


TA-DAH!~~~~ That's Ahma's arm, she was even more excited for this box opening as she's now familiar with what I do XD She kept remarking, "This one is much bigger than the other one!" XD XD XD


DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN!!!!!! The biggest surprise was seeing that she came assembled :O


There was an accompanying note explaining why she was strung!

 Another surprise was the paper pattern to use when designing outfits for her O.O LOVE IT. Can't wait to make fitted clothing :D

Although the instructions were in Japanese, there were enough illustrations to help with the re-assembly.  
And best of all, even though it was stated that the eyes would be randomly assigned, I did add a note during checkout that I would prefer Blue/Gray eyes if at all possible....am not sure if it was a coincidence or really wonderful customer service, but I got the eyes I wanted!!! ^_^V

They are acrylic (I think) and have holes drilled for the eye mechanism. Will use them for Lusis!

Ahma kept asking how big she was compared to Clover, and so I quickly threw on a dress I knitted which was too large for Clover to protect Saffron's modesty. Ahma couldn't help but fiddle with her heheheheheh. It was quite sweet watching her marvel at dolls...quite a contrast to when Clover first arrived (she had a hard time understanding why adults would still play with dolls hurhur)

 Sisters! They're both 1:4 scale, or classified under Asian Mini/MSD sized dolls in DoA (I think).

 I coincidentally had 3 spare pairs of 12mm eyes which I had purchased for Clover, which were quickly put to use! The right most one is the Sist Decadent faceplate, I'm wondering if I can mod her into some cyborg type character....*taps chin*. Anyhow the 2 on the left are the Lusis Default and Wink faceplates. TOTES ADORBS. The doll also came with a faux fur (mohair?) white wig, which TBH I'm not too fond of, but maybe after some dyeing I can work it into something more appealing.

Oh and she's in her large bust option (purchased separately) in this photo :) Clover is enough of a tomboy for them both!

=============================================
Faceup
=============================================


As I was going to wash and re-string Saffron, I thought that Clover needed a bath too. I had made the mistake of spraying her body with MSC even though I had little-to-no-intention of body blushing her....so all I did was wet sand the more visible and sharp flash lines.

WIP photo for quality control :P

So.....since I had done Clover's faceup before, I decided to be braver with Saffron's makeup and go with bolder colours. Although I initially had no idea who the Unoa Sist would become, after a lengthy discussion with CH...I thought that Sist would either be Slutty or Demure. And then I viewed a video of a singer dressed like a Pin-up girl and her deep red lipstick captured my attention. Saffron would be a songstress with a happy, almost burlesque style :) But more sweet than slutty *cough* 

I won't go into detail about my process as I've already documented it here, when I did Clover's face up.


This was my 2nd attempt at Saffron's face, the first one was so disastrous I had to clean it off, and re-start the whole process the following day. 4 hours down the drain (stayed up till 3am the first try) T-T But I'm glad I didn't settle for an inferior face-up...because I am totally loving her current look!


Instagram filters make everything look better :E
(I think she looks like Disney's Ariel in this photo!)

She looks so different from different angles!

So where did inspiration for her faceup come from?


Note any similarities?

I had come across this photo in my facebook photostream on a random day...and immediately knew this was how I was going to style her. I opted to go for a friendlier eyebrow shape and keep the red-head tone as she's Clover's sister after all. And at around the same time I had read that blue eyes + red hair is the rarest combination for redheads, so it all worked out great! The wig is an old one I made and as Clover's head is a little larger, I temporarily stuck doublesided tape to hold it down (NOT RECOMMENDED but eh I'm not selling her and I know how to handle tape residue :X) I'll be making a new wig specifically for her but I'm really partial to this combination now. 

Eyes were the default that came with Clover, and I don't feel brave enough to drill holes in it, so they're held in place with blu-tack.


More closeups of her faceup detail. Yeah, it's not perfect, but I'm improving I think. I used heavily-modified eyelashes from Daiso this time since her more dramatic look required more dramatic lashes :P 

I've already had a number of comments about her lips, so I thought to add my process here for those interested:

- base layer of medium pink pastels
- MSC
- Folk art Napthol Crimson, thinned and then drybrushed
- Shiny/glittery eyeshadow dabbed onto previous layer before fully dried. It was from a knockoff MAC eyeshadow palette (not recommended since it's not waterbased, but I figure she's already got MSC coats to protect and it's quite powdery like mica powder so I chanced it) on lower lip, centre area to act like lip-gloss
- Napthol Crimson, used thin liner brush to emphasize outline of lips and increase emphasis of lip-gloss area
- Napthol Crimson + dab of black, highlight mouth slit (?!) with liner brush
- Folkart Gloss Varnish

I want to emphasize that this is not recommended if you're intending to do professional grade face-ups, but since I have no intention of selling my grail doll, I'm quite happy to experiment and in any case, these face plates are far more affordable and replaceable so I'm not too bothered.

I was also careful to keep the line gentle, so that there's more of a subtle transition than a harsh red outline which happened on my first attempt. 

As to the brushes, I used the same ones in the faceup for Clover.

For the eyebrows, they were done differently than Clover's, I painted in the individual hairs...and although it was tempting to sand off the eyebrows in the sculpt, it actually served as a good guide and provides more dimension, so I left it in.

This time round, the only reference I used was the Bec Winnel artwork, so the whole process was much faster, though it did take about 3 hrs the 2nd time round.



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Sewing the Infinity Dress
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I had subscribed to a thread on DoA in which Silver Identity had kindly created a tutorial with measurements catered to a MiniFee. Thank You! (haha I don't think he/she reads my blog but yeah, I appreciate it!) I know that some of you have mentioned that it's difficult to get on DoA, and personally I've been having issues with accessing except on my mobile, so I can't fetch the link either...but there are soooo many infinity dress tutorials out there so just do a quick search on DoA or Google and you should be golden.

http://www.denofangels.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7902149

Just for those who are wondering and might want to use my measurements for your own Unoa, here are the dimensions:

Straps - 5cm (W) x 63cm (L)
Waist - 15cm x 6cm
Skirt Length - 14cm

I won't post the instructions here out of respect for the thread starter's hard work, but you can figure it out pretty easily from the online tutorials and adapt accordingly. I whipped this out in less than 1 hr.

The jersey knit material was a half-yard that I purchased at Chinatown early last year...I loved how thin it was and it draped beautifully, so I knew I could make a beautiful dress out of it....a no-brainer why I used it for this dress! I am quite busy, what with having to think about wedding preparations, flat stuff, commissions and a TOP SEKRET PROJEK (haha I'll reveal that in due time of course!) but I get teased quite a bit by Asuka and the fiance for dressing Clover in "auntie" or "office lady" style clothes so it was IMPERATIVE that Saffron have something more suited to her! 

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Review, and final thoughts
=============================================
Overall, I'm a super-biased reviewer since she's been my grail doll....that and I had many pleasant surprises like the detail in her hands (nails!), and how quickly she arrived after receiving notice of her tracking information.  But there are a few things of note:

Positives
- The fresh skin resin is very heavy and lovely....my doll did not have any apparent cracks, faults nor stains
- eye colour that I wanted
- came assembled
- super easy to pose and stands very well
- SHE'S FINALLY MINE
- ALL MINE
- MUAHAHAHA

Mehs
- The default Sist face plate does not sit well in the head mechanism, and I had to sand down some parts so it would 'catch' properly, and also reduce the risk of cracking the faceplate
- Some of the mould seams/flash lines were pretty sharp, and my guess is they probably gave it a cursory run down the seams with a penknife, but I knew I would wet sand it anyway so didn't bother me too much
- Elastic strings seem a little loose...but I plan to suede the joints so she'll hold poses a little better


Okay! PHEW. I hope you enjoyed this post, please comment to let me know it was worth all my hard work!

(or you know, so I feel less stupid for 'talking' to myself...............)

p.s. I named her after my favourite character in "Absolutely Fabulous". That, and as Asuka pointed out, Clover-tea and Saffron-tea works perfectly together!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

1:3 miniature scale Cakes and Tartlets

Hiya BJD lovers! I've been busy over at http://snowfern-clover.blogspot.com with a personal project, but have opened up commission slots again, here's the first few completed works :)

My sweet and funny customer sent me some photos, and here are the results. She's ordered one of each, so I'll put up the extras in my Etsy store after she gets first pick :) There are a few more items to her order which are drying, and then it'll be back to 1:12 again for a different order :))

Some closeups!




They're mostly made out of air dry clay and other mixed media. The rest of the order isn't as colourful, but I'm excited to work on more savoury food items ^_^

Thanks for looking!



Monday, January 6, 2014

Miniature Godiva Chocolate Heart Box in 1:3 scale




Happy 2014 Everybody! Here's a special commission for a 1:3 satin box of chocolates, more specifically those from Godiva. All made from scratch by me, including the box, paper liners, chocolates (polymer clay) ALL YES ALL.

except the coin. 

:P

This will be the last of commission requests as I move back to 1:12....it certainly has been interesting making this set, and I hope she likes it o.o'""

k. tired le. bye~

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Custom request done! Also, Custom Requests CLOSED :X

Happy Holidays Everyone! It has been an...eventful year, 2013. This will probably be the last post of the year, and although I usually do a 'round up' post, don't feel quite like doing so right now (not a very happy 2013 :( ) and so....

PICS


Miniature Pizza Slices - SD-sized (1:3 scale) Air dry clay

 Hawaiian Paradise and Angus Steak....interesting choices, I might have to try the actual thing some day :P

 and popcorn, 77 pcs and it's only about 2/3 filled? o.O

 various icecream flavours :D
 this yellow drink....aieee *tears hair out* you'll see the earlier versions later....XD









 So I was complaining about the yellow drink earlier? YEP. turns out I might have accidentally tainted the polyester dye with red maybe? Or that the yellow isn't as yellow as they claim T-T in any case, I tried different mediums to colour the epoxy resin and they didn't have the transparency I required for this request. SO. I will list these on my Etsy this week. Along with these pizza slices....

made more mushroom ones cos...well.....YUMMEH! This time I made it more swiss-cheese like :9


Stay tuned, or follow my facebook page for when I list them on Etsy :)


And oh yes, commissions are closed for 2013. I will probably accept commissions again in Feb-Mar 2014. Thank you all SOOOO much for your support so far! *fuzzy wuzzy feels~*


Friday, November 29, 2013

1:3 vs 1:6, new vs old rose cupcakes


A lovely customer contacted me to request some of my rose cupcakes in 1:3 but in 'butter' and not the original 'vanilla' cupcake base. I had previously made some in 1:6 which had sold in 2009. It is interesting to see big-small comparisons, and how much of a difference my work has progressed over the years. The 1:3 ones are also made out of polymer clay :)


Polymer clay 1:3 Scale Miniature Rose Cupcakes

The November commission slots are closed, but there are a couple more available for Dec 2013. If you are interested in some custom made items from me, the information on how to contact me, as well as how to request for a custom item can be found on my "Custom Requests" tab above, or the following link:

http://clover-tea.blogspot.sg/p/custom-requests.html

Please note that I might not be able to take custom requests from January 2014 onwards as I will be preparing for a project  (fingers crossed it works out!), but I will update progress on my 1:12 and smaller blog, http://snowfern-clover.blogspot.com.

Weekend is here. YAY!!!!!!!!!!




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Miniature Swing Set in 1:4 (MSD) scale

As a 'treat' to myself (and Clover) for working hard for SGDC2013, I decided to take some time out for a personal project....a swing set for Clover! Been meaning to make one for like, forever, but given the scarcity and cost of materials here in SG, I've put this project aside. Recently, Daiso has re-stocked quite a lot of different wood materials, and so....a night and a morning later.....Clover has a new toy! XD

/rantmode on

FIRST OFF. NO TUTORIAL. NO PLANS. If ever I do come up with some (if that is at all possible with my attention span), it would be a paid one anyway, cos it is a lot of work. THAT IS ALL.

/rantmode off

I don't have a fixed way of doing stuff, seeing as how plenty of improvisation is necessary (mostly cos I mess up. A. LOT.), it all starts with a vague idea of what has to be done, vague measurements based on my favourite numbers, a cursory glance at google images, and powered by very little patience and a whole lot of tenacity.....it starts off.....



like this. YUH USELESS CRAP. I CANNOT DRAW TO SAVE MY LIFE. laugh at my primary school long division method, but yes, i'm even too pre-occupied to reach for my phone-calculator. :(

so. off to google.....and .....nada. I wanted something foldable thinking I could bring it out.....*manic laughter* SO MUCH FOR THAT. HOWEVER!!! it did throw up something interesting:

https://us.readersdigest.com/images/offer/fh/project_plans/pdf/FH01SEP_PatioChair.pdf

So. Since I have no fancy-shmancy woodworking tools nor a laser cutter *whines* I decided to wing it and modify it as I made it up in my head.....

this is what I had to work with. forgot to include sandpaper. protractor, right-angle L-shaped ruler/square (get 'em from greedbay or hardware stores), pencil, ruler, nippers/pliers (?!), pins, pin vise, small drill bits (DAISO!!!) and saw/mitre (need a new one :(, Art Friend )

mehhehe a vanity shot of how I arrange my bits *snort*. these are straws hot-glued onto the lid of a Daiso box :D

speaking of Daiso.....here're the materials I used. more for personal reference.

and a level (?) which holds my bank dongle-thingummies on my whiteboard for majority of the year :-/ ALSO FROM DAISO ROARRRRRRRRRRRRRR yuh my typing/worktable is not level :(

so I fudged up the chair bit, totally forgot that I had mentally made an earlier modification to it and only a few mins after I glued down the final planks, did I remember. :( By that time, it was near impossible to rip off the support planks without damaging it, and so,

NOTE TO SELF: PLEASE REMEMBER TO REVERSE THE SUPPORT BEAMS KTHXBYE

so it is a fixed-seat rather than a portable one SIGH. ANYWAY. if you don't understand what the above was about, no worries, cos this isn't meant to help anyone but myself HAWHAW *miserable groan*

while searching for those screw type eyepins at a jewellery findings place at Peoples' Park Centre, these handy little clasps seemed like a nice find, for 1 buck, buy 1-get-1-free, WOOOTAGE. WHY THE HELL NOT EH! Chain from my earlier beadworking-jewellery making days. FINALLY they get put to good use.

they're really fidgety and slippery though. takes quite a bit to work with. as for the loop holding up the seat, it's actually a headpin wedged between the two support beams.



if you're wondering what angles I used for the support, the 2 base angles are at 70 deg. eh. my fave number is 7, go figure. the hardest part was getting the damned swing level. ON MY UN-LEVEL TABLE. which I'd forgotten was, unlevel, that is. things went much smoother after I set it on the floor :-/ =_=""""

The whole contraption is about 40cm tall x 10inches x 28cm deep. I told you, I make do and make things up as I go along T-T Enforced every single glued section with pins. There's a technical term for this which evades me.....HALP!

All in all, pretty pleased with it. Waiting for the glue to dry for 24 hrs before I give it a coupla coats of wood varnish :)

YOU LIKE?????????????????????????????

(please excuse the manic tone, back from my weekly swim and the MONSTER MUNCHIES IS DRIVING ME NUTS) HORMONES RAWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

p.s. OH YA only suffered 1 injury, forgot my thumb isn't impervious to pins.....lanced it and stupid thing took ages to stop bleeding, so I spent a number of minutes with my arm above my head this morning GYAAAA.