In the "dolls you didn't know I had" department

. . . this guy has actually been around for quite a while, but I've struggled to get him looking right. Evan is a School A on my fave body, oldskin SD13 boy; his faceup is by Jay Searle (and getting a little worn, but not so much that I can't live with it for awhile longer). Trying these 18/9 Mystic Blue Flag eyes seemed to settle him quite a bit:


Um . . . you guys . . .

. . . I kinda just bought an Avvelenato doll.

It's one of those freaky BJD-serendipity things that, I have to say, have landed on me far more often than I deserve. I just happened to check DoA at exactly the right instant yesterday afternoon--it was like the afternoon when Grail and the_impassive's Bitte popped up on eBay, or the afternoon when Karin Bussman put Flynn up in the Marketplace. (What is it with afternoons and doll luck? I usually think of myself as a morning person.) Chandra--she who sold me Giuliano, the tattooed Heath--had only posted this guy a few minutes earlier, and, well. If you're curious to see what an unbelievable bargain I got (and I did--oh, boy, did I), just check the DoA Graveyard.

Avvelenato. AVVELENATO! I know Robin's Egg may well be more of a grail faceup artist for many people, and I'm sure there are other godlike names that I'm too clueless to be aware of, but for me the gates of Paradise have always, always opened on Avvelenato faceups.

Also, the purchase brought me some welcome closure on the one thing that had bugged me about buying Giuliano. As y'all really don't have any reason to remember, he arrived loose in his box, no bubble-wrap, no face-protector. Turns out that Chandra's mother shipped him for her, and no one had told Mother how to pack a doll properly. I am assured that Avvelenato Boy will arrive with the appropriate protection, so whew. Aaaaaand he's to be heading my way either today or tomorrow, so we will know quite, quite soon!

Sheesh. Gotta come up with a name. I was SO not expecting this--well, I mean, how DOES one expect such a thing?--and the pictures aren't shrieking a name at me, so I will contemplate the question over the weekend.

Right now, I have to get myself in gear for a day of volunteering as supervising judge for advance voting at two of the local retirement homes. There is a 29-page manual of detailed instructions. If I screw something up, the next you hear from me may be a plea for help with bail, because the county voting officials are VERY serious about the integrity of elections (as well they should be). Tomorrow there is a doll-related picnic in Topeka: Denis Bastien (Affordable Designs patterns and the LeeAnn child fashion dolls) will be there, and a friend of mine is organizing the event. I'm going to take a couple of Sashas and maybe the mini BJDs, because the focus is on child dolls. Busybusybusy, this end of summer!

Vintage buttons FTW!

I found two sets of nifty old Czech glass buttons in a shop called kalliedesigns on Etsy--little squares in a creamy pink and intense French blue. Had some fun matching them up with yarn . . . everything's in the shop, http://www.squirrelmoonknits.com

Both of the yarns are Etsy finds, too--the lavender is a handpainted wool blend from Rambling Rose Designs, and the pink is a handpainted bamboo/cotton/elastic blend from Quo Vadis Handspun.

Sometimes the yarn has its own ideas.

I've been dinking with this thing for quite a while--trying to get the self-striping colors to match up on the sleeves and body--and the whole time, I was absolutely sure I was knitting a 60cmish kind of size.

Imagine my surprise when I finished seaming the pieces and, um, not so 60cmish after all.

On the other hand, I think it came out kind of nicely slouchy in a 70cm kind of way, eh? This is one of the rare synthetic yarns that I actually enjoy working with--James Brett "Marble," 100% acrylic. In the shop, uh-huh: http://www.squirrelmoonknits.etsy.com

In which I continue to be a sucker for old Custom House.

Please say hello to Kitten:

Kitten is probably the strayest of all my CH rescue strays . . . thanks to poor lighting conditions, this picture is blurry enough to minimize the truly horrendous awfulness of the previous owner's faceup, but believe me, it is both horrendous and awful. I won't even go into the neon-orange eyeshadow. The good news is that Previous Owner scribbled over the original, distinctive CH eyebrows with pencil, so their shape and placement are still intact--this should give me a leg up when I send him out for refurbishment. He comes by his sulkiness fairly; to add insult to bad-faceup-and-overall-griminess injury, he arrived folded into a Z-shape inside a square box, zipped into an Angell-Studio satin bag. *shudder*

For being the same Gene sculpt as Pen, Kitten certainly doesn't look anything like my sweet, studious Best Boy. How I do love these dolls, you know?

And yes, if anyone's keeping track, I do have a Kit (my Dollstown Mui). Can't help it. Kit is Kit, and Kitten is Kitten, and that's all there is to it.

Summer summer summer summer

. . . love it. Okay, not the heat: that's miserable, even indoors with the AC cranked down. But the freedom? Oh, yeah. Good stuff. It was lovely to have the 12-month administrative contract's salary, but having summers pretty much all to myself honestly is worth the pay cut.

A little resin news--first, a new sweater for the shop (http://www.squirrelmoonknits.etsy.com):

And an arrival, a mad splurgey indulgence on Y!J. This is Norimasa, Nori for short, a one-off Tsukasa with a faceup by the Korean artist Gate 51.

Mmmmmmm. Life's very nice.

Fun with yarn! Also, Toshi bags another rabbit.

One would hardly think that any dog as portly and low to the ground as Our Toshi would be such a successful hunter, but yesterday he got his first prey of the season. Argh. I had really been enjoying watching the young rabbits play around the house, but they've all cleared out since the carnage, and who can blame them? This brings Toshi's lifetime total up to four rabbits and two birds that I know of, and right now he's camped out on the back step, eyeballing a mother robin who's trying to convince one of her chicks to feed itself instead of pestering her. The chick is fully fledged and able to fly well enough to get to the top of the fence, so I don't think the robins are in any real danger, but still. As I said, argh.

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Resin, incoming!

But first, this public announcement . . .


Well, at least until all the late work rolls in from the students who took Incompletes, but there will be time enough to worry about that when it happens. And the really great part is that, while grading the last assignment from my Literary Criticism class, I had the joy of reading the two best papers I have ever received, in twenty-plus years of college teaching. Sometimes I do love my job.

Now, for the arrivals.

Here's Shino, the one-off SD13 Cyndy, in her default getup, wig, and eyes. I do indeed believe that these are Thin Orange eyes, though I'm feeling a little ???? about that, since the Y!J auction said she was a 2010 one-off, but Thin Orange was discontinued in 2009. Not that it's inconceivable for Volks to have had a few left, especially in the lower-demand sizes, but it's still curious. No card in the package, though the unopened rest of the paperwork was there (unhelpful, but there it is). Her headplate says "ONEOFFMODEL," as it should, but I really wanted that card for more details. *sigh*

And a mad impulse seized me last Friday, when I noticed a Minoru Kamimura head AND a Minoru Kamimura SDGr body in the Marketplace at the same time. Both sellers were absolute sweethearts--shipped the same day I paid!--and, well, here is a lousy snapshot of Katsushiro, who's found his sensei at last. (I hated to interrupt their conversation to take the picture, heh.)


So, yes, I REALLY should be grading.

However, the post office just called to say that I have an express package from Japan to pick up (why, no, my post office does not bother to DELIVER express packages except on normal route schedules, but at least they let me know there's something waiting for me). This will be the big box from Celga, so I guess we're about to find out whether those are really Thin Orange eyes in the one-off Cyndy pretty quick-like.

And I took some pictures of new sweaters for the shop (http://www.squirrelmoonknits.etsy.com), one springy and one autumnnal.

Today is the Vacation Mode Protest on Etsy to bring attention to the problem of resellers and factories who pass themselves off as handmakers, but I have to confess that my political will is weak on this particular front. When I see a day opening up some picture and listing-edit time, I seize it, protest or no protest. I have mixed feelings about this protest, anyway. In theory, I agree 100% with the protesters, because I do think Etsy is both misleading in its promotional rhetoric and only too ready to pass off mass-produced goods as handmade when there's profit to be made. But in practice, WTF, handmade-artisan-people? You're protesting because Etsy won't protect your special snowflake microbusiness against Teh Ebil Factories? If you're staking your whole identity and livelihood on a head-to-head competition with mass-production sellers, then any single online venue is kinda unlikely to be your economic be-all and end-all. The Etsy fantasy of "quitting your day job and making your whole living here" has never appealed to me, though, and neither has the Etsy BS about "community" and "relationships," so maybe it's easy for me to shrug it off and roll my eyes. I don't claim to be reasoning through all this clearly, mind you--I just don't see Etsy as having any more of a personal commitment to me than I have to Etsy, and that's . . . pretty much nil.