It's been six months since my last desk diary. Several things happened since then, mostly in the last couple months.
First, a couple general updates. The webcomic project I've been trying to get started hasn't moved all that much in the last several months. While I had a fairly workable idea a while ago, as things go, I've changed my mind on a few things. I haven't given up, though. I'm currently trying to come up with fresh ideas.
As you may have seen from recent posts, I had a couple anniversaries with my BJD girls. My first girl has been with me for two years now. My two Dollfie Dreams and floating head haven't seen much attention lately, but in the last few weeks I got a couple of new items for them.
I haven't been paying much attention to Volks events since money has been tight. However, there have been a couple recent events held by Volks called Kyoto 9 and Doll Party 27 that had a lot of great items. They both had great Dollfie Dreams up for lottery. I really like "Shining Blade" Sakuya. She's from the same series as my first two. I would have loved to enter for her, but it's beyond my means right now.
However, they had a plethora of great clothes on offer from the Kyoto 9 collection. Unfortunately, these items are very limited, and while I tried to grab some via the lottery with Kerbey Lane, I was only able to get one item through them. This left me with the only option to take part in the "click war" on the Volks site. This is a first come first serve—he who clicks faster wins—setup. I took a little extra time beforehand to plan a process to get me through the clicks and cart as fast as I could. When the day came I managed to get four out of the five items I wanted in the cart and purchased in less than fifteen seconds. I was pretty pleased. Unfortunately, many were not so lucky. Nearly everything was sold out in less than a minute. It's an unfair system when you consider that lag and browser/computer speeds can really affect the outcome.
Here is Yuri in one of the outfits I was able to get.
I also received a couple random goodies over the last couple months.
First up is a Roku XS. I don't really watch much TV, but I do like to watch Netflix and Crunchyroll. While my PS3 sufficed for Netflix for a while, I didn't have access to Crunchyroll except on my computer and iPad. Enter the Roku XS! I love this little thing, and I do mean little. It fits in the palm of my hand. This little wonder has caused my PS3 to collect dust lately. I certainly recommend these little Roku boxes.
About a month ago I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got a smartphone. It's an HTC Vivid running Android 4.0. I mainly picked this one because it was cheap, but I find myself using it more than my iPad. I still love my iPad and it's great for certain things, but this phone has really helped me become more connected to the social networks.
While I generally like Apple products, I must say that Android is nice for its customization. I changed my launcher to something custom that I like, my lock screen has all the latest tweets, facebook and flickr feeds that I follow right there. I can flip through these posts without even going into the phone. It has a nice camera as well and being connected to all these social networks really makes it convenient to post a quick picture.
Next up is a little treat from a childhood favorite of mine. I was a big Transformer fan growing up. Recently I watched the new series, Transformers Prime, and really enjoyed it. When I found out there was a Wheeljack, I just had to get it! He was one of my favorite characters from the original series. I still have his G1 version from way back when.
It took a couple stores to find him, but eventually I saw one hanging on a shelf.
These new Transformers have really cool designs and are a lot more complex than the old toys. Though, they have a lot more plastic. The instructions are pretty crazy too.
The posability is rather impressive. The old toys almost never even had movable legs, let alone elbow joints. These new ones have ball-joints and hinges all over the place. Luckily, or not, we didn't know better with the older toys.
I love seeing all these old cartoon and toys that I grew up with coming out again with updated stories and designs. While some more hardcore fans may scoff at them, if you actually watch the original shows today you may be surprised at how silly and nonsensical they were. These newer "updated" shows and toys have really grown up.
Hopefully it won't be another six months before I post the next desk diary.
by George Panella
Wow does time fly. I received Jaimee, my first BJD (ball-jointed doll), two years ago. I ordered her soon after I started this site. She is a reminder of how I felt when I made that first post. It's hard to believe it's been that long. Here are a couple shots I took of her in a nice outfit with some headphones.
Along with some other things, getting my first BJD led me down many new paths. Hobbies are great, but they can be even better when they inspire you to do more. What started as one BJD turned into another and now Dollfie Dreams, all of which help to inspire me. Now at the two year mark for my first BJD, I realize how little I've actually done. I blame my MMO addiction.
With Jaimee I've taken a couple photos here and there, but she's remained largely ignored. Not for lack of interest, but lack of time. While it's good to be productive, I feel something can be lost if you don't take the time to balance things with a more varied set of activities. But it seems our world more and more demands us to be in one spot as work piles up and money becomes tighter.
So in a sense these BJDs and Dollfie Dreams remind me that I need to take a step back sometimes and get off the computer and, basically, stop ignoring other parts of my life. Just as Jaimee is doing here—relaxing and listening to some music. Hopefully, as things move forward, I'll find more time for photos and such. I'm glad I have her to remind me there's more to do than what's behind a screen.
Do you have an item that inspires you? Do you have something that keeps you aware of how you spend your time? Do you feel you could spend your time better? Hopefully next year I can say that I did more things I wanted to do. How about you.
Alexis, my Dream of Doll Calla, was made a year ago today. I thought I should take some nice photos of her since I haven't done much with her since I got her.
Alexis is my second resin BJD (ball-jointed doll). Soon after I got her, though, I had received my two Dollfie Dreams. So, unfortunately, she didn't receive a lot of attention. She's such a great girl, though. These photos don't really do her justice.
Alexis was a great model. I think they came out pretty good.
One year ago I got my first resin BJD, Jaimee. It's hard to believe it has been a year already. Just last month I got my second resin BJD and I have two Dollfie Dreams on the way, but Jaimee was the first and will always be special to me because of that.
Ordering Jaimee was a big decision. At the time I was certain I was crazy! She was an expensive purchase. She was not sitting on a shelf somewhere, she was made because I ordered her. In essence, she would have not existed if I didn't order her. The same goes for my latest resin BJD, Alexis. It really makes them feel more special that way—more personal.
She's been with me for a year and it's been great having her around! I'm glad that I took the chance and clicked that order button. I thought one would be enough, but it seems I'll need more space soon.
Since the box opening photos for Alexis didn't do her justice, I've been eager to get some better photos of her. This time with better light and less bangs in her face. Yes, that's a big hair-clip.
Mastery over taking good pictures is still a challenge and a constant learning experience. I haven't had time to really play with my camera as much as I'd like. However, with each photo session I pick up a little something different. One problem is good lighting. So this time I set out to take photos with a single light source. In this case, the sun. I setup near a window and didn't have any other light. I also took some with the window open. Her hair took a long while to tame, and even then it was far from perfect. Poor Alexis.
Anyway, it's only a couple of shots, but I think it worked pretty well. I'll have to try it again. I hope you like them.
My second BJD (ball-jointed doll) finally arrived! This is another one from Dream of Doll. I ordered her in March, but it took twelve weeks for her to arrive. Unfortunately, DoD was really swamped with orders due to their special event in January, so my order took an unusually long time.
In any event, she arrived safe and sound today. Before she was even ordered my mind was set to give her lighter hair and a bit of a punk look. She definetly has more "attitude" to her than Jaimee (my other BJD), whom appears more calm and kind.
I decided to name her Alexis. I'm not sure where the name came from, it just seemed to fit. So, as tradition, here are photos of the box opening. A storm rolled in right around the time I started. This, unfortunately, caused the lighting in my shots to change a lot.
Just like with Jaimee, Alexis was wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and pillows.
I already had an outfit, wig and eyes waiting for her by the time she came. When you order one of these dolls you are able to make special requests for their face-up. For Alexis I requested blonde eyebrows since I knew I wanted her to have blonde hair. I think they did an amazing job! I must say, though, the wig I got for her is curled and a nightmare to deal with. The bangs were all over her face. She didn't look too happy about it.
My natural light didn't last long this time, so I didn't get many photos, but I think she's amazing! Exactly how I imagined her. I'll take more photos soon!
I told myself I wouldn't buy another one, and yet, I just ordered my second BJD (ball-jointed doll). She's another Dream of Doll (like my first one), a DoT Calla. She has a bit more serious look about her. She just looks cool and blasé.
When I ordered my first BJD I thought that would be it. Why would I need another one? Better yet, how could I afford another one? However, the fun and yet evil part of the BJD hobby is looking at photos of them. After constantly seeing really nice pictures of other BJDs it wasn't long before I had thoughts of maybe getting another one. Even when looking for my first BJD, I had my eyes on the Dream of Doll - Dream of Teen Calla.
After the new year I decided to start saving for her. It only took a couple months and today I finally ordered her.
Her face gives off a certain attitude and a personality and style has already formed in my mine. I have the perfect outfit that I bought for my first BJD (Jaimee), but never used on her, so it's going to this new one. This one will get a blond wig, which I'll order along with some eyes before she gets here.
I'll be sure to post plenty of photos when she arrives.
In other news, last year turned out to be very much a "goal/soul seeking" year, but it set the stage for things to come. This year I hope put some of those plans into motion. I have another big purchase coming up that will be for the computer. It's another device that's all part of my goal to expand and advance my abilities and options. So stay tuned.
It was a quiet night and I got a couple new outfits for Jaimee, my BJD Dream of Doll E-an, so I thought I'd take some photos of her. This is my second time taking pictures with her. I'm still getting used to using the camera and posing a BJD. I didn't want to do any extreme posing, so I kept it simple. I hope you enjoy them.
Jaimee is relaxing in some nice jeans and a simple shirt.
She's being a little playful.
I like these close shots, it looks like she's day-dreaming about something.
My first resin BJD (ball-jointed doll) came in the mail today! I could hardly sleep, yet the doorbell rang without waking me up. Her box was outside when I eventually did wake up. I couldn't wait to open it and finally see her in person!
It took me weeks to settle on which BJD to get. There are so many, but the Dream of Doll E-an really caught my attention. I didn't really want to spend so much, but it was better to get what I really wanted instead of something else.
It took four weeks for her to be made and shipped to me all the way from Korea. Since this was my first time ordering such an expensive item from a foreign company, I was pretty nervous the whole time. While waiting I bought a wig, eyes, and some clothes. It was kinda surprising to see how big the clothes are! E-an is a 60cm BJD, which makes her about two feet tall. It's hard to realize how big that is until you actually see them in person. It really gives her a presence, making her feel more alive.
As is tradition with most BJD owners, I took pictures during the box opening. She was so well packaged that it took a long while to get her out. She was wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap, pillows, and more bubble wrap! It made the anticipation of seeing her in person even greater.
The box was bigger than I expected.
Finally! There she is!
After the -many- layers of bubble wrap she was free. She is surprisingly heavy. The face-up (the paint on the face) is so detailed and well done. Here are a couple quick shots I took of her all together with the other things I bought while I waited for her to be shipped to me.
She's so amazing! I can't help but smile. I love her futuristic top and her huge boots! I've decided to name her Jaimee!
I just ordered something I never thought I would, a two foot doll. Yup, you read that right, a two foot doll. (Yes, that's Strike Witches on the TV.)
In my last desk diary I wrote about a some of the things that have rekindled my creativity recently. One such thing was BJDs, which stands for ball-jointed dolls. These are a class of doll mostly made in Asia and greatly range in style and size and are typically made to order or sold as limited editions.
Many collect BJDs because they can be completely customized and they like to take and share photos of them. Some BJDs can truly be considered works of art. Some also buy them for companionship or for many other reasons. There is a huge worldwide community built around this hobby.
To me some are amazingly beautiful and I love that they can be customized—from simple things like the hair and eyes, to more complex changes like the painted face. It is like an inspiring canvas for creating your own character or just a way to express yourself with fashion and/or taking photos. I love creating characters all the time on paper or just in my head. The idea of having a beautiful -physical- character that I can customize and that can sit next to me on my desk is rather inspiring.
It was a big decision as they are fairly expensive and there are literally dozens to choose from from many different companies. Besides price and style, the doll size is another thing to consider. There are mainly two "standard" sizes, SD and MSD. They stand for Super Dollfie and Mini Super Dollfie, which are actually two brands of dolls from Volks—the company that pretty much put modern BJDs on the map.
SD is about two feet tall and MSD is maybe a foot and a half, so these are big dolls. BJDs are generally made out of several separate hard resin plastic parts—like the head, torso, etcetera—that are stung together with thick elastic string. The ball-joints between the parts along with the elastic string allow them to move and be posed. Some can even stand on their own.
There are other BJD type dolls made of other materials. Most notable are the Dollfie Dream dolls, which are also produced by Volks. They look like anime/manga characters and come in the two standard sizes as well, but they are made with soft vinyl parts and a plastic poseable skeleton.
As for the one I ordered, it took weeks of searching through BJD sites and photos to decide. I agonized over which one to get. Eventually, the Dream of Doll - Dream of Teen E-an seemed to be exactly what I wanted. She is an SD sized BJD made of resin plastic. She is also one of the more expensive ones. So it took me a little longer to save up. However, I ordered her today and I'm rather excited!
Dream of Doll is a Korean doll company. Their dolls have a great style and design to them. While I'm excited to get her I must say I'm pretty nervous about it as well. It's the first time I've ordered something this big and expensive overseas and when she does get here I don't know exactly what to expect. Also, as I said above, this is a made to order doll, so I have to wait several weeks for her to be shipped. It will be a long wait.
I'll be sure to post photos when she arrives. In the meantime, I need to save up again so I can order some hair, eyes and clothes!