A Year with Saber Lily

It’s hard to believe that a year ago my first Dollfie Dream arrived at my door! In the 365 days since, my doll family has grown exponentially, and it’s been a wonderful journey. Through this hobby I’ve made some wonderful contacts in the community all over the world, and met some amazing new friends on my own home turf and in the UK.

Saber Lily

Lily’s lovely sculpt, gentle expression and very impressive armor and dress were what initially drew me to her, despite the fact that I thought Kevin was bonkers for wanting to spend so much on a doll. At the time, I really knew nothing about DD’s and had to do my homework before relenting.

Continue reading

Showcased on the VolksUSA Blog!

Last Saturday VolksUSA released some items from the DD October Gathering, and they posted some photos of Gabrielle, her sisters and PlasticFantastic’s Yuki to show off a couple of the outfits.

Check it out on the Sumika Times Blog in these entries!

Customer Gallery ~ DD Fashion Show!
Gabrielle, and PlasticFantastic's Yuki on the VolksUSA Blog

Customer Gallery ~ DD Fashion Show Part 2!
My girls on the Volks USA Blog

Moe models the Rusty Tartan Dress Set

Mélisande has been getting lots of attention since she was the only doll I had with me in Tokyo, but when as soon as I got home my other girls were screaming for some camera time and a chance to try on some of the awesome new outfits I brought home for them!

Here’s Moe wearing the newly released Rusty Tartan Set that was part of the Dollfie Dream Gathering last weekend. This outfit is very well made, with lots of little pieces so you can customize the look of the the outfit  – and the little hat is so cute!


Continue reading

My Newest Dollfie Dream – Yukino v.2

I adopted a Yukino v. 2 doll while I was in Tokyo last weekend at the Dollfie Dream Gathering (which I blogged about here) and she’s settled in at home with her new sisters already, but I wanted to share some photos of her at the Volks Akihabara showroom. I brought some little things like stockings, shoes, a wig and Water Wax with me since I didn’t want her to be in her little white nightie and it was a great opportunity to show off the new Stylish Tartan Set that was released last weekend. I’ve named my new girl Mélisande d’Archangeli, but I’ll probably call her Mel or Melissa for short.


Continue reading

The Dollfie Dream Gathering 2011 at Volks Akihabara Showroom

I just got home from Tokyo a last night and it’s been pretty hectic unpacking and settling back in at home. I was there for 10 days with hubby, my sister and 3 friends and we had an awesome time! While I was there, Volks had the Dollfie Dream Gathering event and released lots of new DD clothing, option parts and also the renewal models of Aoi and Yukino with DDIII bodies. I couldn’t resist and adopted a Yukino doll. When I was shopping earlier in the week (and doing a bit of reconnaissance ^__~”) I saw one of the sales girls putting price tags and security stickers on some of the new outfits. I counted about 15 of each “batch” but there may have been multiple batches of each style that I didn’t see. I decided that my chances would be best at the Akihabara showroom since it’d likely have the most stock. When I passed by on Friday evening all of the new items had already been set up, but hidden behind a black curtain.

Saturday morning it was raining and gross. I had hurt my foot a couple of days before (I dropped a suitcase on my big toe…) so hubby went without me to line up at the Volks Akihabara showroom. Just to give a sense of how intense it was: the lineup began forming outside the “exit” of the shop and by the time hubby got there at 7:00am (3 hrs before the shop opened) there was already a huge line. He was about #40 in line and was lucky to be under the covered awning, but there were lots of people in the rain and by the time the shop opened the lineup went to the end of the block (where the McDonald’s is in the photo at the base of the Softmap building) and wrapped around the block. These are photos I took earlier in the week. The main entrance is on the right side of the shop, and the exit is under the red & white awning (near where the couple are walking by in the photo). People that came afterwards could be seen counting the length of the line and contemplating whether or not to join in the lineup or not.


Continue reading

Moe-chan goes to London!

This weekend Moe came along with me to London, England and we met up with fellow Dollfie Dream owners Dark Dollhouse, GabrielVH, Jezatron and fransgaard for lunch.

I was quite concerned about how to pack her compactly and safely into my carry-on luggage but I shouldn’t have been worried at all. The best way for a Dollfie Dream to travel is in First Class! ^__~”

After getting off the plane and traveling to our hotel in London, Moe was nice and fresh – but that didn’t stop her from claiming the bed all to herself!

Moe got very excited when she spotted a double-decker red bus on the street! It’s one of those sure signs that you really are in London.

Moe got to ride on one of those buses, but she was safely packed away in my bag for transit so no pictures of that journey. However, we did take a short stop at Picadilly Circus to take a photo of the Eros Statue.

Continue reading

Welcome home Dollfie Dream Moe II

Moe was originally released in 2009 at a DD event so for me to get my hands on the first release would be quite difficult. Her head mold is the same as Natsuki’s but they have different face-ups. When Kev and I saw the promo photos and information about the re-release of Moe and the new DD III body with improved flexibility we both decided we wanted her in our family.

We had someone attend the re-opening festival at the new Volks Akihabara showroom at Hobby Tengoku enter the lottery for us – and we won! Moe was shipped on Sunday and she arrived today!

Of course my girls  had to come out to greet their new sister! Here are Saber Lily, Airy, and Alisanne all anxiously anticipating her arrival! (Makoto wanted to be here, but she’s visiting auntie Machiko right now).

Here’s Moe out of the box – she’s so adorable! I love her sweet face-up. I’m not crazy about that S-Bust, but I have some random M and L ones laying around that I can switch onto her. I suppose it’s not a bad thing to have a S-Bust for reference when Machiko wants to make DD clothes ^__^b

I seem to have the worse luck with dolls from Volks… When I ordered my Sd16 Daria from Volks USA she was sent to me with 2 left shoes! This was quickly remedied after I contacted Volks – but check this out: Moe has 2 left FEET! For the rest of these photos I’ve swapped her “right” foot with one from another doll. Good grief…

Here she is out of the box. She’s so cute!

Moe is made of the same softer vinyl that Airy and Neris are, so her head cap is much squishier!

I was a bit apprehensive about her outfit since there is so much dark fabric – and knowing about the horrible incidents that other doll owners have had with outfits like Saber Lily’s maid dress and Beatrice’s school uniform I was wondering how Volks would approach this outfit.

Here are my observations about Moe’s new outfit:

Choker: It’s lined in white pvc and closes with a snap closure. The snap is weakly sewn on, so be careful putting it on and taking it of.
Blouse: It would be hard to put a body suit underneath because of the shoulder straps and where the sleeves sit on her shoulders. It’s partially liined in white inside  (the bodice is lined, the sleeves are not). Closes with 3 snaps at the back.
Skirt: A few black threads here and there along the waist and where the snap closure is, but it has a white lining and after studying the construction I’m quite certain it won’t cause stains. I left the outfit on her for over 12 hours today and when I inspected her this evening there were no stains.
Jacket: Made of white, so no risk of staining.
Pantsu: She comes with them. Enough said. I think Volks is trying to eat up their supply of stretchy cotton fabric.
Stockings: There is a dark grey trim along the top of the white stockings so I wouldn’t suggest wearing these for long periods of time.
Shoes: Cute platform loafer-style shoes. I wore something similar way back in the days when I was a high school girl ^__~” These are lined in white on the inside.
Arm warmer: Not  lined in white. I got confused because there is only one o_0″ but that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Bracelets: There’s only (1) bracelet. It’s one long piece that wraps around twice and snaps on. It’s backed in white PVC to prevent stains.
Handbag: Functioning bag -it opens and closes with velcro.

Here’s something interesting – her hand joints are different. DD III on left, DD II on right.

Here she is all dressed – isn’t she sweet?!

And of course, everyone is super curious about the posing ability of this new body type. I’ve taken several photos of Moe to show the capability of the new DD III body. Sorry about the lighting – I did this in a hurry since I have to leave for work very soon!

The arms are much more flexible with the incorporation of the “secret joint” into the frame, however her arm pops out when you bend her arm this far. It’s no problem because you can just push it back in again – but this is what it looks like distended (left arm), and what it looks like when you push it back to normal (right arm).

This new DDIII body seems to be better designed to bear weight in the arms. I tried having Moe play around with Avalon and doing a 10 second test – if she could hold a pose for 10 seconds then I took a picture. Otherwise I considered it a fail. The results are quite interesting:

As a benchmark, this is all I could get Saber Lily’s DDII body to do without the sword falling:

Moe was able to copy that with no effort required! Here are a front and side view – my cat Bubba doesn’t seem too impressed.

So to progress, let’s try lowering the arm and re-distributing the weight and center of balance. Try as I may I could get Saber to support the sword, so it looks like Moe is on her own from now on. So far, so good.

So let’s try lowering the arm even more – it’s straight now!

Also, Moe’s DDIII body is capable of spreading her legs wider than a DDII. Don’t get any ecchi thoughts! T__T

While experimenting with how her legs can move I discovered she can do the full splits!

And she looks quite natural and relaxed in this pose.

The mechanism and skeleton inside the torso have also been greatly redesigned. This is what Moe looks like when I separate her at her waist:

The flat part in her hip piece prevents her from leaning forward or slouching so Moe sits up very straight! The rounded portion kind of wraps around the skeleton mechanism in the torso and I think it allows the back to bend more, without the risk of snapping the peg. The peg fits into the hole in the bust half (as per DDII). Because of the way that piece is shaped, it’s a bit annoying to fit the hips back into place.

And this is the updated neck-peg. No comments on what it looks like, but it allows the doll’s head to bend backwards a lot more than before without any modifications that were previously necessary with the DDII.

So what do these new changes mean in terms of posability? Well, I’ll let these photos do the talking!

Alrighty, I’ve had a super long day and I need to get some some sleep before going to work tomorrow. I hope these pics were interesting! So far the DDIII body is looking to be some great improvements on the DDII body. I’ll taking Moe with me on a little trip this weekend so look forward to more Moe-goodness soon! ^__^

Saber Lily welcomes home a new, um… pet?

Kev and I have been waiting around today since Canada Post’s website shows that our new DD daughter has gone through customs and is in their hands now – but it’s now past 7pm and she hasn’t shown up so I guess she’ll be arriving tomorrow. Boo.

The mailman did deliver a box today while I was out, but as Saber Lily’s expression shows, it’s certainly not a DD and I didn’t remember what it was that I had ordered.


Saber Lily:  “Maybe it’s clothes?”
Possibly… Let’s look and see.

Upon opening the box, Saber Lily was just as confused since there are some miniature belts, some hairclips and a bunch few packages wrapped in foam. Nothing looks remotely like a doll or new clothes.

After taking everything out and unwrapping things she discovers a vinyl makeup bag with a cushioned pouch inside. And suddenly out pops a little kitty cat!

Saber Lily: “Oooh! Mom, you adopted a pet kitty for us! Can I call him Suki?”
Hmm… Suki sounds too much like “Sookie” from True Blood.
Saber Lily: “That’s true. How about Snuggles then?”
Sure Saber. He looks like a “snuggles” doesn’t he? Hehe.

Snuggles is actually a resin doll from Korean brand Hujoo. He’s fully articulated and strung up inside with elastics like a resin BJD doll. I also ordered a pair of green eyes for him, but I think changing them will be an interesting challenge so these pretty baby blues will be staying for a while! Snuggles is a Hujoo “Dorothy” Siamese cat. I’m actually very impressed with them – I ordered him 15 days ago and was told it’s take 30 days for him to arrive, but he only took half that!

Snuggles and Saber Lily immediately take a liking to one another.

At least waiting around for the mailman today ended up being productive!

—–

And finally, I got a couple of comments on my Flickr yesterday after I posted the photo of the Goody mini spin pins so I made a quick tutorial video showing how I use them. I hope it’s helpful! 😀

Quick eye change for Yukiko

I’ve had to put Yukiko in a special doll case that I brought home from Tokyo because Charlie likes to try and attack the chiffon overlay on her dress. Naughty Charlie!

I took her out earlier today to re-adjust her base and decided it would be a good opportunity to change her eyes as well. Since her MSD-sized head is so small, only half-sphere eyes will fit or else they interfere with the S-hook inside her head. I also go to try out the silicone ear plugs I bought instead of Volks eye putty – it is a really nice improvement. The silicone is more tacky so it immediately “grabs” onto the plastic eyes making positioning easier, and then you press it down into place to give it a firm hold on the eyes. Yukiko is wearing the Volks Animetic eyes in F Type / Bright Green (WAKABA). The Volks website shows these as a dark emerald green, but they are much lighter and less intense. [Update: August 16, 2011: Volks has added a photo showing the eyes under different  light to better show the colour of these eyes]

I think she looks so much nicer with the animetic eyes! Since her head sculpt has such big eye sockets the regular eyes made her look bug-eyed. The new eyes also accentuate the anime-style face-up that Machiko gave her. All in all a great improvement!

My Newest (Yet Oldest) Doll – Welcome Yukiko!

My sister recently completed a Volks old resin kit called Miisha for me. It was first released in 2001 and after a bit of searching I was able to acquire one that had never been opened! It was quite a labour of love to assemble her and was much more work than we originally anticipated! She did an amazing job, and when she brought the doll over today all my girls came out to greet her.

If you’d like to read about how she was put together, check out my sister’s blog about it here. It’s really very interesting to read her observations about old resin vs new resin.

My girls are Saber Lily (Dollfie Dream, Alisanne (Volks SD16 Daria), Airy (Dollfie Dream) and Makoto (custom Dollfie Dream) and the little one is Delilah (my sister’s DollnDoll ♥ Mo).

The box has aged quite a bit over time, but all of her paperwork was still sealed in the plastic when I got her! Machiko had to open it up to read the manual since there were some very strange bits and pieces in this kit that she’d never encountered before with her 2008 and 2010 Volks MSD kits.

Delilah peeks inside: dolly, wig, weird bits? 0__o”

Face-up and face guard! I didn’t really like the default grey eyes that Miisha comes with so I ordered these, but I think they look a bit bug-eyed. We’ll see what I can do about it later. Notice she doesn’t have ears? There’s something special about this head mold ^__~”
She has wing-ears!
Here she is all dressed up out of the box now.
I’ve decided to call her Yukiko (雪子) which means “child of snow” to match her angelic nature.
Here she is with Airy in matching outfits. They look like lovely nymphs or faeries!

Airy’s Afternoon in the Sun

It’s a beautiful sunny summer day today, and Airy wanted to go outside to enjoy the weather, so I was more than happy to oblige.
I didn’t take many photos of her in her default outfit when I welcomed her home last week so this was a chance to take a few photos.

I’m really impressed with how Volks thought out the design for her outfit – for example the entire front edge of her coat has a wire in it so that you can shape it against Airy’s body to get it very form-fitted. Everything is lined in either white (even her boots!) or that pretty mauve colour.

In case anyone was wondering, I took out her default eyes pretty much as soon as I got her because I didn’t like them at all. I think she looks so much softer and prettier with new animetic eyes from Volks.

Sometimes, you have to just stop and smell the flowers.

And if the flowers happen to match your outfit – well then all for the better! ^__~”

The breeze was picking up Airy’s veil a bit, but the fabric has enough weight to it to stay put on her head.

She can stand very easily on her own thanks to her boots.

Since it’s such a nice day, Airy wanted to relax a bit so after a quick wardrobe change she was ready for a little picnic!

Here she is looking very sweet wearing the Volks “Pink Chiffon Dress Set.” It will fit DD’s with M or L bust, but it looks a bit nicer on the L bust don’t you think? ^__~”

Airy looks a bit like Alice lost in Wonderland with all these pretty flowers all around her!

Another wardrobe change – here’s Airy looking very elegant wearing the “Charlotte Ribbon” Dress. It’s meant for SD13 dolls so the fit is a bit strange. It fits the L-sized bust at the top, however there is a lot of room around the waist. But the bustle-style petticoat gives this gown a beautiful silhouette.

Also, she’s not wearing the the lace arm sleeves that are part of this set because they don’t fit at all since SD13 arms are …erm… fatter… than DD arms! LOL This gown is supposed to be off-shoulder but I moved the little sleeves higher to cover the shoulder joint since they were drooping down on her arms (again, DD arms are slimmer!) and it looked a bit odd.

This angle better shows the silhouette of the gown from the side and back and you can see the lovely details on the gown (but I forgot to steam it before putting it on her! >__<“)

Here Airy is like springtime come alive in the gorgeous Volks Fairy Tale: Spring Pink outfit from the La Parsonal Collection that were released at the Home Town Dolpa Kyoto 8.

The gown fits her beautifully, but you have to be a bit careful with the zipper at the back of the bodice where there is more fabric. The interior of the dress is lined in ivory so there’s no risk of staining. The headpiece can be worn as a garland on top of her Airy’s wig, but I think it looks a little prettier when worn as a headband and fastened behind her neck.

I’m loving this new girl – she’s so versatile and lovely!

My newest Dollfie Dream – Airy!

The postman came to the door with a couple of boxes for me today! Since Makoto doesn’t need to sleep, she was awake when my boxes arrived early this morning! She’s very curious as to what I’ve bought.

Ta-da! It’s a new Dollfie Dream Airy figure by Volks.

Makoto quickly rouses Saber and Alisanne to come greet our new family member.

Here’s Airy fresh out of the box. Makoto lends her a Gloomy Bear to cover herself up with.

(Notice Angry Bunny supervising?! He doesn’t like naked pictures of his girlies online!) LOL

Here’s all of Airy’s accessories that came with her:

– top
– skirt
– overcoat
– cravat
– pantsu
– wig
– headdress
– basket
– Bible
– boots

Saber is thinking that she came with infinitely more stuff!

Here’s Airy all dressed up in her outfit. She looks so sweet, but those eyes are super creepy and simply HAVE to go!

After a bit of work I was able to get her eyes out.
The softer vinyl made it much easier to remove her headcap and also to get the glue and eyes out in one piece by carefully squeezing the head and pressure from a metal cuticle pusher.

Here are some pictures of various eyes while I was trying to decide which would suit Airy best.

In the end I chose the Volks Animetic eyes F Type in Bright Blue (RURI)eyes.

I think they really suit her. They still maintain the integrity of her character but don’t have that creepy emtpy look to them!