Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, graphic novel, miniature adventure, miniature photography, toy adventure, toy photography

Underfoot: The Doll Graveyard

Underfoot has gone through some changes since our last adventure. The two characters have new names and a new location. Meet Cosette and Mathilde and their adventures in France.

Also, the new site is up at www.smalllifestories.com. Still in pretty preliminary form, but some pieces are ready.

That said, I’m going to post the new adventures here, as well as on the new site. And so, on to the Underfoot adventure.

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Posted in Fashion dolls

A cornucopia of canines

Dogs! I simply cannot stop buying dogs. Small dogs, thankfully. And inanimate. But, still, dogs.

At first I was solving a problem: How will my dolls ever have enough dogs?!

But now, I have so many dogs that I’m no longer problem-solving with them. I’m just buying . . . dogs.

So, here’s where I am in dog land. First the dogs which I am absolutely positive that I’m going to use. Of those, the very, very best is Jinjur (now Mathilde’s) bulldog, Winston:

OK, fine. But, if Winston is “the one,” then who in the devil are all of these also-ran bulldogs, and whatever am I going to do with them?

Well, no matter. So, anyway, that wraps up the dog cast for Underfoot. One dog: Winston.

Next in line in the “certain to use” category is a new cast member for my 1/4 scale dolls. Here he/she is:

Yes, it is, in fact a BJD dog. And, he/she is utterly fantastic. I’m thinking this dog is going with the In the Picture sisters. In particular, I think Emily is going to bond with him/her. Here they are together:

So, two series down, two to go.

The Overhead (or whatever I call that series) sisters already have a dog. A West Highland White terrier who spent the night with them up in their treehouse. Here he is with Fern.

There’s one more dog that works well in this scale (kind of) who seems to have bonded with Willow, so it’s likely he’ll stay around.

Now, for the hardest one. The Mia Fiorello cast and their dogs.

Lily’s dog is set in stone (even though he’s made of wood, I think)

But there’s a second dog, a kind of border collie, who also works with her.

He doesn’t have the collie’s soulful eyes, though, so it looks like Lily will hold on to her dog.

Rosie has had a whole bunch of dogs – both the big bruiser and then the little felted Fetch.

But, much as I love him, Fetch seems a little cartoon-y. So I’m thinking of replacing him with another dog – this one.

Who has a bit more of a Rosie vibe. The only issue is that I’m not certain he’s bright enough to carry having to put the story together. I’m going to have to think about it a little more. Actually, I wonder if I did the bird adventure first, if I might be able to have the little raven gather the items. Ravens are undoubtedly smart, and I can see it being interested in little objects.

Like Rosie’s pet, I feel like Daisy dog is a little cartoon’y, so I’m thinking of switching for Camellia’s dog. Here they are together:

The problem remains that the dog with the broken ear is, well, breakable, and Daisy is pretty darn active.

I got another dog that I absolutely love, but she is totally breakable and also very precious so I can’t risk breaking her. Here she is with Daisy:

There’s just no way I’m stuffing this handmade clay dog into Rosie’s bag to go for a bike ride. I *could* try to get her out to the island, because she looks utterly fantastic with Camellia.

and even seems to work well with the panther.

So, anyway, that’s where we are. Daisy and Rosie’s dogs are in flux, and I’m not certain that Camellia is going to have a dog at all. But the rest of the dolls are all dogged up.

What about the Betwixt cast, you might ask. It turns out that finding 1/3 scale dogs is just not that easy. Plus, I’m not sure the big guy is really a dog fellow, if you know what I mean. However, as you’ll see when the other 1/3 doll arrives, it turns out they work quite well with flying things.

For my adventures, I’m still hard at work on getting my new site up, and then formatting some of the episodes in comic format and posting them on the site. I should have my Underfoot series (both the new episode and the formatted version of their old episodes) up next week.

Interestingly, my Underfoot episodes are by far the most ready for comics. I cleaned up a few shots, but they’re basically ready to go as is. Other than Camellia’s first episode (on the boat) none of my other series are anywhere ready. I’m sure that’s telling me something – I’m just not certain what it is.

Posted in Fashion dolls

Living and non-living dolls

In my next Underfoot episode, I’m going to be playing around with the distinction between dolls that seem fully alive and dolls that seem less so.

I talked about this a long time ago when I mused on dolls that appeared to have souls. It’s nothing I can really put my finger on, but some dolls just seem more alive than others. All of my Wildflower dolls fall into the fully alive category, as do most (but not all) of my ball joint dolls. I think it has to do with looking at a doll and having a sense of what they must be thinking about.

In any case, in this next episode, my fully alive dolls (Jinjur, Buu, and the bulldog) are going to encounter “dead” dolls. Not undead, just plain old dead.

The episode grew out of something else altogether – my desire to get the girls fully outfitted. They stumbled on a few accessories in their last episode, but it just didn’t make sense for that shop to have every item they needed. So, I thought maybe they just found a box of discarded doll items. And that led to the idea that, among those discarded items, there were probably some discarded dolls. Hence, the living dolls meeting the not living dolls.

I had two possibilities for their initial discover of the dolls. The first was that the dolls were covered up by other items and, in removing those items, they discovered the dolls underneath. Sort of like this:

The other is that the accessories are scattered across a doll graveyard of sorts, like this:

I liked the CSI-vibe of the first one, where the bodies are uncovered, but I just couldn’t figure out a good way to show both the alive and dead dolls in a single shot in that version. In the second version, it’s much easier to do the contrast. I suspect I’ll go with the second version, but we’ll see how it plays out.

Speaking of alive and dead dolls, I decided to cast the Michael Caine action figure as Rosie’s guardian in the next version of the Mia Fiorello story. I’m completely pleased with this doll, who seems so real that I can easily merge him into shots with real people and not have him look out of place. For example, here he is with my husband on the beach at sunset.

Happy labor day to everyone.

Posted in Camellia, Daisy, doll adventure, doll photography, Ester, Fashion dolls, graphic novel, Lily, Maskcat doll, miniature adventure, miniature photography, photo novel, Photography, Rosie, toy adventure, toy photography, Wildflower dolls

Episode 35: The End

Last time we checked in, all of the characters were converging on the airport in an attempt to find Camellia.

Did they make it?

Let’s see.

Well, hmmm, not sure. Let’s see if we can get another angle

Oh, yes, I think I can make it out. Let’s try one last angle

Ah, good, looks like they all made it there. Oh, where are the rest of the dogs?

Ah, there they are. And then, they turn and . . .

. . . it looks like it’s time for us to go.

*****

Thanks to everyone for following along for this last year. August 22 was the official anniversary of *my* adventure, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.

I’m going to make some changes going forward.

First, I’m going to split my behind the scenes mirror sites (mydolladventure.com and mydolladventure.wordpress.com) from the production site (coming soon – to be named Small Life Stories). That gives people the choice to watch what it looks like constructing the adventure, or just to follow along with the adventures themselves, or both.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to play around with constructing more substantial sets, and I’ll probably slip in an Underfoot episode while I’m doing that. Then I’ll cycle between the various adventures.

On the topic of Underfoot and my other adventures, I got one of my 1/3 scale dolls this week, and he’s totally bonded with little Ester (who was supposed to appear in the Underfoot adventures.)

So she’ll be joining the Betwixt adventure as a kind of fairy/sprite, leaving Buu and Jinjur to continue their journey alone. That actually works out a little better, I think, because it leaves a space for Buu to grow into.

Buu is also (I’m almost sure) going to also take a supporting role in the second draft of the Mia Fiorello story as young Daisy. She’s pretty much the right size, she looks a bit like Daisy, and she has all of those great joints that my toddler Disney doll is missing. There are going to be a few more recasts in that story, but the main Wildflower dolls will go on in their current roles.

So, thanks again for joining me on the first phase of my adventures, and happy doll adventures to all of you.

Posted in Amy, BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Strawberry, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Overhead: First night in the treehouse

After building a rough platform in their last episode, Fern and Olive are finishing off the floor of the treehouse.

Well, maybe Fern is doing most of the work.

When it’s all done, they relax and admire their work.

Then Willow puts on a record . . .

. . . and everybody dances.

All three sisters decide to spend the night in the treehouse.

The sisters sit up in the treehouse
The sisters sleep for their first night in the treehouse

******

I loved every part of working on this episode, from the sweet vibe between the siblings, to being able to totally forget about developing a plot and really focus on the moments.

I tried to get real moonlight for the two nighttime shots, but it’s been extra especially hazy up here in Portland and the quality of the light just wasn’t all that great. So I relied on the toy lantern and a long exposure for the first shot (with the sisters awake), and I rigged up a small flashlight on a microphone stand for the second one (with only the dog still awake).

We’ve got one more week in the trees, where I’ll try to complete the treehouse structure. Then I have to catch back up with the Mia Fiorello story. Surely they’ve made it to the island by now . . .

Posted in BJD, doll photography, Dollsbe, Iplehouse, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, Photography, Photoshop, Supia, toy photography

Dancing dolls

I take back everything I said about Olive’s (my Iplehouse Amy doll’s) posing ability in my previous post. Apparently, although she’s not always able to resist the forces of gravity, she can totally dance.

I think her dancing ability comes from the way her chest joint pivots. Unlike most of my ball-joint dolls, she can move on all axes at once in that joint, giving her very lifelike bends.

So, this week, in celebration of finishing the floor of the tree house, the sisters dance in the meadow. I tried to give them dance movements that were respectful of their natures.

The littlest one, Fern, is all straightforward enthusiasm:

while Willow, true to her nature, is graceful and reserved.

But it’s the middle sister, Olive, who really shines and just gets carried away in the movements.

Like all of my exuberant doll movements, I photographed these with the dolls lying flat on a surface, and my camera on a tripod pointing straight down on them, like this:

It lets me pose them without having to worry about which one of their joints is going to crumble first 🙂

That’s the floor of the treehouse below Olive – I think it turned out pretty well, for a first effort. In the future, I need to find a tool that will cut straight through Vinyl, but for now, the slightly jagged edges are fine.

Also, you might have noticed that I’ve re-wigged all of the dolls. The cute short wig that Fern is wearing just came in, so I switched her with Olive, and I stole a wig from another doll for Willow. I think these wigs work better on them. To me, it makes them look more related.

Posted in BJD, doll adventure, doll photography, Dollsbe, graphic novel, Iplehouse, miniature adventure, miniature photography, Olive, overhead, photo novel, Photography, Supia, toy adventure, toy photography

Building the treehouse

Early morning, and Olive and Fern are busily discussing the treehouse.

Olive scouts out a likely tree.

And then the sisters get to work.

Willow arrives with some refreshments

and all three sisters admire their handiwork.

*******

Next week is going to be a little discontinuous. I’d planned a little dance session for the three sisters – I’ve managed to snag both a record player and a radio in 1/4 scale – but after I took the dancing pictures, I ended up re-wigging all three of them. Now I’m not sure how to merge the dancing scene into the next scene where all three will look entire different.

In any case, the floor of the treehouse is all done, now I just have to figure out how I’m going to attach the sides. I *think* I’ve ended up with a good template that I can use for all of my dollhouses, but we’ll find out on Tuesday (I’m at the coast on Monday, so pushing back a day) how that all worked.