Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Cautionary Tale

"Plink, you have to see this. I've found the most amazing thing!" Melchett appeared in the doorway, hopping from foot to foot with excitement.

Plink sighed and folded up her Sunday newspaper. "If it's a new shade of green goo, I'm really not impressed," she said, reluctant to move herself off of the very comfortable beanbag.
"No! No. Well... no, actually..." Melchie paused to ponder. "Okay. Nothing green. Nope. Come on, it's brilliant! You like coffee, don't you? Well, there's coffee!"
Raising her eyebrows skeptically but curious nonetheless, Plink followed Melchett into the lab.

In the middle of the room, an iron-bound chest sat on a podium. Plink eyed it suspiciously.
"Didn't those Playmobil hazmat guys have that in their boat last week? From the chemical spill that the Giant Squid caused in sector 17g?" She backed off a little, you never could be sure what was going on when the Giant Squid was involved..
Melchett tried and failed to look innocent.
Plink folded her arms, giving Melchie her 'this'll end like the time you wanted to keep the swamp monster' look.
"But it does amazing things," Melchett whined. "Caffineated things!"
There was the pursing of the lips and the tapping of the feets in response.
Melchie glared. "Fine. Let me demonstrate! You'll be amazed!"
"I'm sure I will," thought Plink. "But I really don't think I'm going to like it."

With an air of extreme importance, Melchett leant forwards and tapped a complicated tattoo on the closed lid of the chest.
"Are you ready?" she asked, reaching around for the lid. "As if by magic, I have made... COFFEE!" The lid of the chest was flung back dramatically, and there was a... cheeping.

"Hah. Right. Funny sort of coffee."
Plink reached out and gently took one of the chicks, examining it carefully.
Melchie shoo'd out the other chick onto the floor. "I swear it made coffee earlier. Really, really good coffee."

Plink peered into the box, noting the absence of anything except chicken droppings. "Hmm."
"I must have tapped it the wrong way," said Melchett, closing the lid again. Eyes closed in concentration, she carefully knocked another rhythm out on the top of the box.
"BEHOLD! COFFEE!" Melchett cried, wrenching open the lid to reveal...

"Ah, splendid. More chickens." Plink nudged the chick pecking around the ground gently with the side of her foot. "But I note a lack of latte. Melchie, it really would be easier just to put the kettle on."
"Oh... hang on... blast it, must've got stuck on chickens... Plink, take those out and close the lid. You know, it made coffee earlier..." Melchie muttered grumpily to herself before slamming down the lid and rapping randomly on the box.

Half an hour later, Melchett peered at the box's latest creation.


"You know," she said, "I'm starting to think that the knocking isn't the thing that controls the contents. Perhaps it's something like the ambient temperature... or the phase of the moon?"
Plink sighed and rolled her eyes.


"Or maybe," said Plink over the chorus of cheeping, "it's something to do with the time of the year?"
"Er... what?" asked Melchett


"Happy Easter, Melchett," said Plink. "Let's hope this lot lay chocolate eggs."




Saturday, 30 March 2013

Makie Me: A Comfy Kimono


Here at Makie Couture, we're big fans of sleepwear. In fact, we're often to be found securely in our snuggly pyjamas before the clock has struck six pm.

Plink, about to crash out in her PJ's
This tute'll demonstrate how to make a comfy kimono for your Makie (or Blythe) to wear when they're in the mood for some mega lounging around.
Comfy, cosy and fab. 

You will need:

  • A piece of fabric, about 10 inches by 6 inches. 
  • Some ribbon, about 18 inches long. 
  • A piece of A4 paper
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Chalk pencil
  • Needle and thread; you could use a sewing machine. 
  • An iron is handy. 
First of all, make your pattern pieces. This is dead simple, they're both rectangles. 2 x 2" for the sleeves, 3.5 x 5" for the body piece. 

The sleeve piece is the small piece. The body piece is the big piece.
Note that both pieces need to be cut on the fold of the fabric.
Fold your fabric in half, align your body piece against the fold and cut out.
Then cut out two sleeves, again making sure that each is on the fold.

Unfold your pieces and mark the midpoints with your chalk pencil.

Red dots = midpoints of fabric. 

Matching the midpoints and with right sides together, sew the sleeve pieces to the body piece with a scant 1/4 inch seam.
I've already finished the sleeve openings here.
It's easier to do it at this point than when the kimono is assembled!

Flip open the sleeves like the pages of a book and iron flat. You should have a cross shape like below.

Folding the kimono with right sides together to make a 'T' shape, sew along the red lines. This completes the side and underarm seams.
If you're using a sewing machine, pivot at the corners.
For a neat finish, snip at a 45 degree angle into the underarm corners.
Don't do what I did and snip half of the kimono because you are TIRED and ILL. 

On what is to be your front, measure and mark the middle with your chalk pencil. Where the neck opening is to be, mark 3/4 of an inch on either side in a 'T' shape.
Marking the opening is really, really helpful :) 
Cut along the chalk lines and turn your robe the right way out. Fold back the neckline and press with your iron. 

Already looking good! 
Nearly there! All that's left is to apply ribbon to the open edge. It might be neater to do this by hand, but I used a decorative zig-zag stitch and a bit of caution. If you haven't already, neatly hem the bottom and sleeve openings.
Pink makes us HAPPY. 
You should have just enough ribbon left over to make a tie belt. Slip on your lovely new robe and go relax!

It's loafing time!
Just need to nick Melchie's fluffy bunny slippers...



Friday, 29 March 2013

Psssst!

Wanna know how to make one of these?
Kimonos are perfect for Bank Holiday loafing
Come back for a Makie Couture Easter Weekend Tutorial tomorrow!
We're off to enjoy some Hot Cross Buns :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

T-shirt time!

This week, we finally got to play around with some cool transfers that the lovely Jo sent us a whole age ago.

They're pretty easy to use, just switch on a medium iron, press for a minute or so, peel off the backing paper and there you have it. One owlified (or hedgehogginated) t-shirt.
T-shirts
Plain t-shirts via Coolcat; look for them on evilBay
Thanks very much, Jo! x

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A brief update on 5 and 6...

I know. I know. I was going to video doing the carving on 5.

But then I got ill and I put on Fargo and I... well. Accidentally just did all of it. Sorry.

Number 5
Hey hey 5. 
Besides, you should be happy I didn't video it, because then you didn't have to bear witness to me cutting the t-bar far too short and saying lots of naughty words. 

Numbers 5 and 6
5 eyes up 6.
5's hair is currently drying in the bathroom in an attempt to get the kinks out of her fringe. 6 is looking just about where I want her to be now. I'm going to start working on her outfit this week, I hope. Neither of them are planning on staying with me for long; I know where 5 is going already, not so sure about 6. She might just see where the airship takes her...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

We Love Rement

We especially love Rement like this, which we got on evilBay for £notalot, arrived in no time at all and which FREAKING LIGHTS UP.

<3 Rement
Yes, that's an actual battery-powered light.
HOW COOL IS THAT?!
I think I'm going to have a bit of a reshuffle and extend the lab soon... there might be a little more furniture on the way!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Meet Izzy

Remember this?
Quarrantine
O hai!
We let her out of her prison today, given that there was a bit of time available for playing around with. Unfortunately the baking soda didn't prove equal to removing all of the pong (there was barely a discernible difference, if I'm honest) so she joined me in the bath for a good soak and a hairwash.

Then we had a coffee and a bit of  a chill whilst our hair dried. Turns out she's an Isobel, but that's Izzy to you and me.

Number 7
Hulloes Izzy. 
To be honest, she's not in the best condition. Still a bit smelly, even after quarantine and a bath, one ankle is twisted strangely, she's got lots of dinks to her face and make-up and staining to her body and there were a set of blue glittery chips that were stuck in with something that most definitely WAS NOT tacky glue. I got 'em out, but I'm going to have a lot of cleaning up to do before I can put some new chips in that socket.

Still, I think this is no bad thing. It certainly makes me more likely to consider subjecting her to some customisation. A bit of me still thinks taking apart perfectly good dolls to potentially ruin when they cost £bonkers is a bad thing, so a few imperfections gives me the excuse that I'm improving things... or attempting to, in any case.

For the moment though, she'll stay nice and stock. Except for her lashes, which didn't survive the bath and have already been replaced. Yay!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Certified!

Phew! The course has been coursed and it was flipping hard work, but I'm pleased to report that I did really well and have been asked if I'd be interested in taking a training course to be an instructor in the future. I love teaching, so I'll definitely be putting myself forwards.

And now enjoying a glass of wine, but more importantly OFF UNTIL THURSDAY!

Win .

Saturday, 23 March 2013

It's raining me... no. Wait. Rain.

Definitely raining rain here, with a possibility of some of the white stuff overnight and tomorrow.

Happily, we've got an umbrella to take care of the drips, and a pretty new duck egg blue striped dress to hang around looking glam in.

Under my um-ber-ella
No, she's not going outside at this time of night!
Unfortunately, instead of spending my weekend cosily holed up and sewing/carving/glittering things, I'm going to be getting up at sparrow's fart and spending the weekend on a resuscitation course learning once again how to emphatically state that I'm activating this defibrillator now and everyone had better get out of the flipping way. I shall not be taking the Makies. 

Have a good one, everyone. See you next week!


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Quarrantine.

My name is Dr Duckie, and I am a Blythe Addict.

Okay, so maybe not quite to the epic heights other people have it, but I've just taken delivery of Number 7 (who was an absolute BARGAIN, given she's turned out to be the Merry Skier that I thought she was) and 7 is probably too many. 

Unfortunately, 7 has a few personal hygiene issues... nothing major, but she's obviously from a smoking household and I'm not one for stinky girls. So she's having 3 days in solitary with some baking soda. 

Quarrantine
Guys. Staring is RUDE. 
Hopefully this'll de-pong her enough for me to decide what I'm going to do with her...

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Monday, 18 March 2013

Number 6 Update

Okay okay. I know I said she just needed hair.
She also needed her lips entirely re-carving, okay*?
Number 6

Don't judge me.
Number 6

Unless you're going to say nice things :)

 *and actually, I've done even more to her since these pictures were taken. She's very nearly done. We're just waiting on her hairdresser to get back from her honeymoon!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Skirtses

Made from a DollyDolly pattern Fil was kind enough to press on me when I visited.

There's a matching jacket I'm planning on trying, but it's going to take a lot of hand sewing. These skirts, however, can be flung together in 5 minutes each (excluding poppers!)



Sewing Day

Looks like Lex has finally decided to get going on that skirt and jacket set she was talking about.
Sewing Bee
Measure three times, cut... erm... carefully?
Happily Aspen is good with a sewing machine... Plum's talents tend more towards making the tea.
Sewing Bee
Er... Lex? Where's the fabric? 
Plink's trying a bit of cross stitch.
Sewing Bee
Very ladylike there, Plink. 
And Melchie... oh dear.
Sewing Bee
Still, the stitching is neat.
Well. At least it's a finished product.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hoorah!

Congrats to MakieLab for their SXSW win!

And congrats to me for passing my exam!

Plink, the champagne!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Open the door, get on the floor...

...everybody walk the dinosaur!

Prudence the Pink Tyranosaurus, to be exact.

It's like this.
Once, there was a MakieLab Magician called James, who had a pet t-rex named Charles. Charles lived on his desk and helped with designing the funky 3D things that get turned into Makie toys (at least, I like to imagine he does). But that's a lonely life for a t-rex.

Happily, I found a little pink tyrannosaurus roaming around my study one day. I blame Plink and Melchie for this, although I'm not entirely sure why. Anyway. She was captured and sent to London, and I hope the two of them will be very happy together.

Photo stolen from MakieLab
Awww!

Raar!
Pru looking Feisty before being sent to MakieLab
Hooray for happy endings!




Monday, 11 March 2013

Number 6: Baity bait.

In the Blythe world, 'bait' or 'baity' is shorthand for 'someone (quite possibly the seller, although I don't think it was in this case!) screwed up on this one a little/pretty bad/a whole damned lot, pay your money and take your chances'.

Alright, I'm up for a challenge.

This little beauty was a Cinnamon Girl, face mould EBL-7, launched in Feb 2003. She's supposed to have thick light brown hair, a set of blue/orange/green/pink eye chips, brown eyeshadow and light pearly brown lips.
Cinnamon Girl
Hey hey, Number 6! How you doing? 
Unfortunately, it looks like someone's decided that they don't like that, and have scribbled on her face with... um... nail varnish... before using a blunt paperclip to scratch out some lips and a philtrum.
Cinnamon Girl
Er... what's that on your face?
(Insert music from Psycho and do a slowly zooming-in close up here.)

Cinnamon Girl
Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
Okay, okay. Caveat Emptor and all that. She was a complete bargain and I got in there first, so over she came from Spain. We got out the box, posed for two or three photos, then on went Hunger Games on Netflix* and out came the sanding sponges.

Then out came the x-acto knife. Which needed three new blades in the course of doing this doll's makeover.

Ladies and Jellyspoons. If you're looking for a quick way to spruce up your Blythe, can I suggest you use pastels. Volk doll chalks. Make-up. Acrylics. Watercolour pencils... in short, use absolutely anything under the sun with the exception of NAIL VARNISH. It's not that it's hard to get of, it's that it's:

  1. Bloody impossible to sand off because... 
  2. ...it's damaged the plastic underneath so badly that it just crumbles into nothingness...
  3. ...and when you scratch that lot of nasty away, the underneath looks all... melty. 
It took the best part of four hours to strip back the faceplate to something I could even contemplate trying to carve/file/sand properly, and I'm not entirely sure even now that I got all of it. There's a patch on the outside of her left eye that just won't take pastel properly, no matter how many times I sand and re-apply, and the eye sockets ended up a little larger than I intended, because I just had to keep cutting away the bad stuff... 

Cinnamon Girl
Hah. In this shot, you can't see the 'melted' look to the lips and right eye socket. 
That said, she's not looking too shabby now. The perfectionists'll notice the slightly uneven finish around the top of the right eye socket and to the upper lip... sorry Ma'am, nothing more I could do. I tried sanding the hell out of it, and the finish just kept looking worse so I stopped. Her philtrum is a little more prominent than I generally like; again, nothing else I could do once the damage was fully assessed. Yup, those are copper glittery lids. Who likes Steampunk? I love Steampunk, as it happens. 4 new pairs of chips: brown and gold, silvery grey, green and blue.  

Cinnamon Girl
Not perfect... but a hell of a lot better

We're waiting on a chocolatey-brown alpaca side part scalp and some glorious ambery/gold beads for the pullstrings. And then instead of bait, I reckon she's going to be simply stunning. 


*Not a bad adaption of one of my favourite brain off reads. I think they got Katniss really well, Peeta wasn't too bad (and he only really grows properly as a character in the second and third books) Rue was perfect. Looking forwards to the next one. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Science: It's Serious Business

Just a few from the blooper reel from our dyeing adventures...

Scientists, Assemble!

Millie is a Pretty Scientist.

This Heron distracted Fil by catching a frog at a crucial moment.

Ted is a stickler for PPE. 

Apparently, these are traditional scientist fodder.
We thought they tasted a bit like mouthwash.

No, Ted...

Fluffy, Lab Supervisor

Chai Tea Latte; just what Millie ordered!

Fil, hard at work. 

Scrutinising the colour. 

Poser.