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Topics - Lhianneth

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Customs / Gilda Goldstag Mod -- Kind of got there???
« on: January 22, 2019, 06:40:08 AM »
So I'm finally getting back to customising after two years of not working on a single MH doll, and I decided to get around to tackling my Gilda. I got around her horrible glue head by freezing and then melting the glue inside with hot water (freezing popped the glue off the vinyl inside, heating it up made it easy to remove; bless you, high school chemistry). Unfortunately, that was the easy part.

One of her horns is crooked, and I'm trying to figure out if I can remove and reset it without horribly damaging her head in the process. Failing that, I'll probably cover the gap caused by its crookedness, but I'd like any advice anyone might have for fixing it first. Here's her post de-hairing photo:

It's not super clear because I had poor lighting, but her left (our right) horn is not properly seated in its little notchy groove. There's a pretty big gap in person and it bugs me so much that I've bought two other Gildas over time, seeking that Perfect Pair of horns (I did get there eventually).

Anyone have suggestions?

I'm letting her head soak in soapy water over night in the hopes that it might soften the glue somewhat, then I'm going to try attacking it with more soapy water and acetone.

I kinda got there. Sort of. A bit. I basically sliced her head open, then cut in and back at an angle to cut the horn out. I've shaved it down and tomorrow I'll clean her face-up off the rest of the way tomorrow, patch her with some Liquid Fusion, and try to put the horn back in place once it's dry. After that, REINFORCE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF IT SO IT WILL NOT BUDGE EVER AGAIN.

I do not recommend this method, but it looks like crooked horns can't be fixed any other way. I tried dissolving the glue with acetone, wearing it down with hot water, soap, and a diamond file, and even scraping away at the hard glue with a awl. In the end, the glue underneath is too firmly attached to do anything but cut the horn out as close to the edge of the glue as you can get.

Buy/Sell/Trades / Lhia's Wanted List
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:10:07 PM »
Current Status: Selectively buying -- please see below.

Conditions for purchasing:
☆ I am not a MIB only collector. All of my dolls end up displayed out of their boxes, and dolls that I purchase MIB are only purchased as such to ensure the best condition possible. If a doll can be removed from its box to save on space and postage, please let me know.
☆ I prefer complete sets (doll with all items/clothing/accessories) but also am interested in JUST stock sets (clothes with accessories as applicable).
☆ I am interested in bait dolls, provided that they still have their limbs. Damaged face-ups, eye wonk, glue head, haircuts, etc. are all acceptable for bait-level dolls.
☆ I have feedback on eBay, as well as here on the Arena, and will happily provide proof via PM upon request.
I live in Australia. However, I have friends and family located in the USA, so if you only ship within the USA, I can give you the address of one of my relatives to act as a middleman.
☆ I always am always willing to pay for tracked and insured parcels, particularly when they are coming from overseas. I also prefer to have dolls sent in boxes rather than tough bags, but padded envelopes, or tough bags with bubblewrap inside around the doll are also fine! I know that my location tends to increase shipping costs, but I am happy to pay it, and prefer insured shipping. Please quote shipping costs accordingly (I will send my post code via PM as necessary).
☆ Due to the high cost of shipping, I generally prefer to buy multiple dolls at once.

Wanted List
Wishlist items are divided by the type of item. Stars indicate in which state I prefer to buy them:
For items with a red star, new without box is acceptable; all items should be included from the original.
For items with a blue star, I am open to buying stock only (clothes without the doll).
For items with a green star, I am open to buying the doll(s) only (no clothes, just the nude doll).

Some items may be listed with more than one star colour. For these dolls, I am would be interested in any of these options for that particular release! Dolls and items in bold italics are my highest priorities at the moment. I will buy other dolls or items on my list especially as a part of lots, or with the dolls which are high priority.

MIB / Full Sets
MIB: All items included in box, unopened. Box can be damaged, but prefer for doll to be in pristine condition with minimal wonk-eye. Glue seepage is fine, since that generally canít be determined without opening the box up.

Full Set: Doll includes all stock (stand where possible); brushes and diaries need not be included for these sales, but are appreciated. I prefer dolls with minimal wonk-eye, but am not concerned about glue seepage/box hair.

Boo York, Boo York - Astranova (navy variant; doll only, no playset)
Boo York, Boo York - Cleo de Nile
Dragon Games - Poppy o'Hair
Geek Shriek - Catty Noir
Geek Shriek - Abbey Bominable
Ghoul Fitness - Catrine de Mew
Ghoul Fitness - Venus McFlytrap
I ♥ Shoes - Cleo de Nile
I ♥ Shoes - Draculaura
New Scaremester - Catty Noir
New Scaremester - Gigi Grant
New Scaremester - Twyla
Picture Day - Cleo de Nile
TriCastleOn - Cerise Hood
TriCastleOn - Lizzie Hearts
Spring Unsprung - Cerise Hood
Way Too Wonderland - Raven Queen (doll only, no playset)
Way Too Wonderland - Kitty Cheshire

Play Sets / Display Components
Mostly only want individual pieces from playsets, rather than full sets.

EAH/MH Stands: any colour is fine, clip-style is preferred, but I will also buy saddle-style if youíre selling them as a part of a bulk lot/with other stands. I prefer to buy bulk lots to save on shipping.
EAH/MH Food or Drink Items

Stock Only
Doll need not be included, only the clothing, shoes and accessories from that release. Full sets preferred, but will buy individual items in some cases (this is mostly dependent upon shipping costs, but I am trying to find a few missing odds and ends).

13 Wishes / Signature Gigi Grant's small gold lamp
Coffin Bean Abbey Bominable's Drink
Freak du Chic - Honey Swamp's Poster/Swap Card
Gloom Beach Clawdeen Wolf's Sunglasses and Shoes
Tights, socks or stockings from MH or EAH doll lines (or off-brand pieces/handmade pieces that will fit)

Fashion Packs
Pretty self-explanatory. Includes fashion packs from non-MH doll releases.

None at this time.

Nude dolls are fine. Please ensure that dolls have their limbs still attached. Damages to face-ups are fine, as are various levels of haircut/glue seepage/frizzing.

Kiyomi Haunterly - Head optional
C.A.M. Doll Parts (Currently looking for Harpy and Mummy)
Venus McFlytrap - any release
Rochelle Goyle - any release

Non MH Items:
Dolls and toys that don't belong to MH or EAH lines.

Novi Stars - Novi Vasion Anne Arctic
Novi Stars - Novi Vasion Ina Ferna
Novi Stars - Orbit Beach Ari Roma
Sasha by Groove - Sorc
Sasha by Groove - Wizy
Vintage Littlest Pet Shop

Draculaura's Darkroom / Doll Photography Woes
« on: September 29, 2017, 08:18:35 PM »
I'm sure we all have had things go at least slightly awry while taking photos of our dolls/toys and other hobbies at some point.

What are some funny or frustrating things that have happened to you while trying to get the perfect shots?

This thread was inspired by the fact that I charged my camera battery yesterday in to take photos today, but, somehow, the camera was switched on when I put the battery back into the body without my noticing, and it drained to zero again overnight. So. No photos for me today, as I wait to recharge the battery anew ...

My old haul thread was all about building my collection and tracking its growth. It was locked due to inactivity a few times as I got busy with other hobbies and strayed from MH. My hauls and snaps are still on Flickr and Facebook, though!

Since the nature of my collection is changing, I thought it might be a good idea to make a new brags thread with a new focus: finishing my collection!

With the reboot here to stay, I can finally focus on "finishing" my collection. I'm not a completionist, so this isn't about having every doll ever made on my shelf, but more about finding all the odds and ends of dolls that I'm missing (such as Signature Operetta's ring, or Coffin Bean Abbey's drink, etc.), as well as tracking down the old releases that I missed and still want.

Which brings me to my first brag of the thread!

Signature Release Nefera de Nile from the Campus Stroll line! (Doll, Purse) - 4 Sept 2017
Signature Release Nefera de Nile from the Campus Stroll line! (Stand and various Pets) - 12 Sept 2017
Signature Release C.A. Cupid from Sweet 1600 line! (Purse) - 12 Sept 2017
Signature Release Nefera from the Campus Stroll Line - Azura is Finally Here! - 1 Oct 2017
Skull Shores Draculaura - 1 Oct 2017
Art Class Abbey - 18 Oct 2017
Power Ghouls Toralei - Cat Tastrophe - 18 Oct 2017
Fierce Rockers - Catty, Toralei, Venus, Clawdeen and Jinafire - 25 Oct 2017

Signature Nefera de Nile - Campus Stroll
While hunting down odds and ends on ebay the other night, I found listings for pieces of Nefera's kit that were surprisingly cheap, so on a whim, I checked to see how much she was selling for these days. I found a BIN listing for a really well-maintained doll, which included her ring. The hardest part of her outfit to find! So I snapped her up!

I then went on the hunt to find Azura and her missing handbag. The handbag was easy (though it's damaged and scratched up, so I may try to find another later), but Azura was hard. I could only find her in listings as a part of lots, and I wasn't really keen to spend $90 on random doll bits to get Azura, and maybe a handful of other items I'm missing. If I'd just started collecting, I probably would have jumped on those lots, but I'm a bit more wary now, since I don't have much space left! hahaha

In the end, I did find Azura, along with a handful of other items I'm missing. As soon as they arrive, they'll get a mini-brag all their own!

For now, I'll just revel in Nefera's regal arrival. I don't normally worry about character completionism, since there are so many releases, but with Nefera only having three, I'm happy to say that I have caught them all.

Off Topic / Well ... that *would* explain a lot ...
« on: June 06, 2017, 08:35:18 PM »
I've been having some weird health issues since January. Mostly, nothing to be afraid of, but definitely concerning. One incident sent me to the ER in the middle of the night, and has caused some serious stress with our family. I've been working with a GP and cardiologist to see if we could find a source of the problems, and eventually just came to the conclusion that it's somehow or another psychosomatic. Probably. So I'm on meds to help with the symptoms, and have been referred to another specialist for potential coping techniques ...


... enter my gastroenterologist. I see her a few times a year to keep on track of my Crohn's (which is currently mostly good, which is happy). On Monday, when she saw the list of tests that I'd gone through on my file, she blanked a bit, then asked me if they'd checked thyroid function. When I said no, she just frowned and wrote out a blood test form for the lab. She also gave me a list of symptoms that relate to hypothyroidism.

On the list, I was able to check off roughly 2/3 of the symptoms as being common things I've been experiencing. Low mood, fatigue, inability to maintain body temperature, high blood pressure, etc. etc. etc. I had the bloods drawn yesterday, and ...

Yay? :/

Part of me hopes nothing's wrong and that it is just something related to anxiety or the like, because I can learn to deal with it. If it's a thyroid problem, that could mean new meds, (another) change in diet, or any number of other things. On the other hand, part of me just wants an answer one way or another. "Anxiety" is kind of too big of a catch-all for "we don't know, but it could be..." especially since life has been pretty stable and good the last few months.

I should have the results in a few days, but I'm a little on edge about it now. I'd rather not add more pills to the pile I take each day.

Customs / Mishaps and Miscalculations Mid-project
« on: May 22, 2017, 07:15:19 PM »
So I curled Venus' hair. My initial concerns were that her hair wouldn't take a curl at all, because a) new hair type that I was experimenting with and b) very stiff, very stubborn ends, and couldn't get it to stay on a straw, so resorted to pipe-cleaners.

Venus Curling by Lhia, on Flickr

Turns out, my fears were completely unjustified.

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Her hair curls just fine. Now I just have to figure out how to get it to stop defying gravity.

Have you had any customs or WIP situations go hilariously awry from where you thought they'd be?

Customs / Custom Heads (Just Heads)
« on: May 12, 2017, 06:39:52 PM »
I'm curious, but would you ever consider buying a customised head and just the head?  :wonder:

(either rerooted, repainted, or both)

I ask, because I have a slowly growing pile of heads from having made Novi hybrids (and other hybrids), and I'm not 100% sure what to do with them. Some I've used as practice heads for customs on other dolls of the same type, but they're in good shape, but I'm not sure what to do with them after that. Bodies can be a bit hard to come by, after all (I mean, that's how I got into my present predicament...).

So what do you think? Would you ever want to buy a repainted or rehaired head without its body?

Customs / Advice Needed -- Removing Gilda's Horns
« on: May 04, 2017, 01:18:12 AM »
Hey all! So I have done some searching on the forums and online in general, and this seems to be a common problem with Gilda:

Horn glue.

I have a Gilda that I'm getting ready to re-hair, but her horns and the vinyl around them are covered in glue, and one of them was set crooked, so there's a gap between the vinyl of her head and the bottom ridge of her horn.

Does anyone have suggestions for removing the glue and popping the horns out to reset them that won't damage the actual head itself? I won't mind having to do repairs if need be, but I'd rather avoid having to do major doll surgery on her little head to get those horns out and cleaned off (I also want to repaint them before I re-attach them, but that's a secondary point). I'm also concerned about the type of glue and whether the usual solvents will be able to dissolve it, or if I'll have to find something else (which might damage the vinyl, again).

Cheers for any help!

Off Topic / Where has all my patience gone?
« on: April 21, 2017, 10:01:39 PM »
Without going into swear-y detail, I find myself becoming more and more short-tempered of late. People online incur my irritation more and more often, though I try to keep it polite.

In particular, I've decided to take a break from certain Facebook groups I'm in, because I find myself getting snippy with people more and more often. At first, I thought it was a reaction to their attitudes (most of these people appear to have fairly low opinions of themselves, which results in them being snotty and acting superior at any chance they get to boost themselves up). Examples of the behaviour I mean can be summed up with the following:

"I'm not like other girls. They're soooo boring."
"I only have guy friends, because girls are so catty!"
"I buy [insert budget brand here] because people who buy [more expensive brand] are snobs."
"There's nobody in my area that does [hobby]. I'm all alone and all the normies just don't understand me."

And so on and so forth. Keep in mind: these are adults who are out of college/university, not children. These are people who should have grown out of this unruly, rebellious teenager nonsense and figured themselves out by now, because I'm not sure how they engage in public life (eg: having a job, socialising with family) otherwise.

I used to be able to engage with these people to try and change their minds about certain subjects, or at least gently push them onto a less obnoxiously confrontational path, but lately I find myself writing snarky responses to their jabs ... and then deleting them before I hit enter.

I don't know where my patience has gone of late, but I really wish it would come back, because it's making me feel like a grumpy old witch.

Off Topic / I hate you, body.
« on: February 19, 2017, 01:57:51 AM »
Short rant:

Had a really nice weekend. Played boardgames with friends. Great barbecue. Nice visit with someone who moved away to another state. Two days of friends and fun.

And today, I paid for it. The details are gross, so I won't go into it, but I'm sick as a dog, ache all over, and feel like death warmed over. The kind of feeling you get from over-indulging in booze or partying, but actually the result of eating a couple of chocolate cookies and a slice of cake, without enough fibre to balance it out after.


Off Topic / Omnomnomnooooooo~!
« on: December 19, 2016, 11:16:40 PM »
Our cats picked up fleas at some point in the last couple of months. Probably at the beginning of summer care of the neighbour's cat who likes to come and hiss through the windows at us. We got their summer cuts done and the vet said they found a few "sluggish" and "dying" fleas (our cats get de-wormed once a month, de-flea'd every quarter), and not to worry. They were given fresh flea drops and I did their de-worming a week later and have since found dead tapeworm segments when I scoop, so there clearly had been an issue there ...

... but the fleas aren't gone.  :freak:

There's not an infestation. Our cats aren't scratching or squirming from them or licking their fur off in patches.

But they're still present.

We keep finding one now and again, on the tip of an ear, or trying to escape into their very shortly trimmed coats, and they're always slow, sluggish, and can't even jump, they're so weak and dying.

But they keep.



The cats can't be de-flea'd for another couple of weeks, and I've washed everything in the house that could be washed, and vacuumed everything that couldn't be, repeatedly, and they're still present. I'm losing my mind with paranoia, feeling like they're crawling all over me (when in reality I have a grand total of one bite, and even that isn't a confirmed thing and could have been a mosquito...).

I'm about this close to dowsing our whole house in apple cider vinegar and salt. :pullhair:

Off Topic / Spoooookyyy
« on: March 25, 2016, 05:32:05 PM »
A few years ago, my sister-in-law and her family were living in #6 of a particular street address. The neighbours in #5 were unruly, loud, and destructive. They were also tenants rather than the owners, so there wasn't much that could be done about their treatment of the property.

About two years ago, my partner and I were babysitting his niece and nephew at #6. They were tearing up and down the driveway in the back yard on their bikes, playing "bike tag" and screaming a lot. The driveway has a gate on it, so they could only go as far as the gate, before turning around and racing back to the garage at the other end. My partner and I were sitting on the elevated deck parallel to the driveway and fence, watching them.

All of a sudden, a kid's head popped up over the fence. He said "hi!" and kept climbing until he was sitting on top of the fence. Now, this was an ordinary, Australian kid. He was kind of grubby, but it was summer and kids in summer are all kind of grubby. It's like a rule. If you're not filthy by the end of the day, you didn't do it right.

Our niece and nephew were about 3 and 4 at the time, so they weren't really interested in this older kid, who looked about 7 or so. They kept on screaming up and down on their bikes, and we kept an eye on them while talking to the kid.

"Did you just move in?" he asked, also watching the younger kids go tearing past.

"No, we're just babysitting today. Are you visiting the Delaneys?*" I asked him.

"Kind of, we're travellers," he said, and at that point, I noticed that there was an old-style, two-wheel aluminium caravan parked out past the shed, near the fence between the Delaney's place, and the house they back up to. It was pretty beat up, but properly parked and looked like it had been there a while. No truck attached, just the caravan and a post propping it up. The grass had grown long around the wheels where they couldn't mow it, so I reckon they'd been there a week or so. We kept making small talk, with me asking how long they planned to stay. The kid explained that he didn't know, that his mum liked the area, but his dad wasn't as keen. After a while, someone inside the Delaney house started screaming her head off about something, and he excused himself. Just like that, he popped over the fence and went into the house through the back porch. We didn't think anything of it, and forgot to even mention it to the sister-in-law when she got home. The next time we went to visit, the caravan was gone, so again, I didn't think to mention it.

Now, we have to fast forward about two years.

My sister-in-law and her family have moved out of that house, and bought #5 so that they can combine the two properties for redevelopment. They're going to build town houses and villas on the land, sell one, and rent the rest out. This has been in the works for about a year now, and they're in the process of drawing up papers for the official proposal. In the mean time, they've been renting out #5 to the Delaneys and #6 to a different family.

Yesterday, we met my partner's sister and her family at their mum's place for a Good Friday luncheon. After we ate, and everyone was enjoying their tea, the sister-in-law brought up the development plans. One thing led to another, and soon we were talking the Delaneys in #5, and how they're as much trouble as ever. Her husband joked that he wishes they'd just burn the place down and be done with it, that it would save them trouble with demolition and asbestos removal. We all had a laugh, but my partner took it a bit more seriously: "They've always been like that, though. Right? What can you do?"

"Nah, yeah. I suppose," the sister-in-law said, and just kind of shrugged. "They've just wrecked the place and I never know what's coming next."

At this point, I'm reminded of the kid on the fence, and I perked up a bit to say: "Like that time with the travellers that stayed with them, how'd that go?"

"I've always wondered the same, how long did they stay?" My partner joined in.

His sister and her husband both looked at us like we'd lost it, and at the same time said: "Travellers?"

So I recounted the story of the kid climbing over the fence, and my partner chimed in about the caravan being parked out back. His sister interrupted us all of a sudden.

"That's not possible," she said. "Lhia, there were never any travellers staying with them. They've never had anybody stay with them. And they couldn't have gotten a caravan back there even if they tried."

"Yeah, Lhia," her husband added, a bit more slowly. He was still looking pretty concerned, though. "They had to ask us to help them get that trampoline in, since they couldn't just drive it through."

"Why not?" asked my partner, looking exceedingly confused. "They could just take it up the driveway."

And that's when it dawned on me. The property for #5 is arranged oddly. Their "driveway" is a little loop in front, rather than a long drive that leads into the back like at #6. The house spans the full property on one side, and is fenced off, then grown in with huge palms on the #6 side. There's nowhere for them to bring a caravan through, and there's no alley or secondary access point. In short: the caravan could not physically have been put into that yard, and removed again, short of using a crane.

I explained this to my partner, who was looking more and more green the longer the conversation went on, and his sister just looked at us both and said: "... now I really hope they burn it down."

*name changed, obviously; the rest of this story is being retold with as little embellishment as possible (since I can't recall exact conversations word-for-word, and they'd be pretty boring because we danced around the "that's impossible!" bit for a good five minutes), but it would appear that we encountered a ghost two years back

Trader Support / Missing Stands in Australia [Resolved?]
« on: March 17, 2016, 10:24:02 PM »
I've contacted Mattel to find out what the story is, but it appears that the Dragon Games dolls may not come with stands on this side of the pond? Both the Raven and Holly I purchased came with scored marks where the stands should be, but no stand in the actual packaging.

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There was no sign of tampering with the packaging when I opened it up, so I'm hoping it was a manufacturing error, but we'll see what Mattel has to say! Going to also check out the local shops to see if other dolls have the same issues.

Timeline of Events:
17 Mar 2016: Purchased Holly and Raven at Big W during sale period; did not notice missing stands until opening the dolls later that evening. No signs of tampering evident in the packages.
18 Mar 2016: Started enquiries with Arena members, contacted Mattel Australia with above info and photos, and created this thread to track events/outcome
19 Mar 2016: Photos of boxes with modified "contents" list added by Lhianneth. Photos from Canada of dolls with and without stands from same location added by Ocean.
20 Mar 2016: Checked Big W and TRU again. DG dolls do not come with stands. All have the new label placed over the old packaging contents. Other dolls seem to still have theirs intact (ie: new signatures Mira and Melody; couldn't find the other new dolls).
21 Mar 2016: Response from Mattel: request for product numbers. Replied with PN for Holly and Raven.
12 Apr. 2016: Response from Mattel: "Those should definitely have stands, please check the box." more or less. Emailed them back with the photos again.
13 Apr. 2016: Mattel responded within 30 minutes of my last email, saying they're sending me two stands for Raven and Holly. Still no word about whether this will be permanent or not.
21 Apr. 2016: Stands have arrived.

Edit to add:
If any other Australia-based collectors have picked up DG dolls, please let me know if yours had stands intact? Cheers!

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And here are Mari and Lagoona all finished up! I learned a lot during this process (mostly, do not use painter's tape. Buy more little rubberbands instead) and will apply that to other customs I'm working on!

Custom Sig Marisol and ME Lagoona by Lhia, on Flickr

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19 Jan. 2016:
And here is the completed Toralei! I'm pretty pleased with how she came out, but I need to work on adding more eyelashes to the top lid in a convincing fashion. I was going to add false lashes to her with a bit of glue, but the ones I have are human proportions and don't work well (I thought I had some doll-sized ones, but must be mis-remembering).

At any rate, she's looking pretty good!

Table Snap - Ghou Sports Toralei Custom by Lhia, on Flickr

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3 Feb. 2017:
It's been a while since I updated, but I finally finished that Dance Class Howleen on her adult body! Now she just needs some new clothes. I've also made two wigs for an upcoming custom Honey. I'd planned to re-root her, but thought maybe wigs would be more fun! I'm also considering giving her glass/inset eyes, but have yet to pop her head open to give that a go. ^^;

In-between outfit until I sew something new. by Lhia, on Flickr

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16 May 2017:
Also a slight update on Iris:

Iris WIP by Lhia, on Flickr

I worked a bit more on her rose sleeves while the MSC was in transit, but haven't been able to seal my progress to move forward. Excited to continue work on that now.

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8 Mar. 2017:
Catrine is finished and (temporarily) redressed!

Reroot Catrine Complete by Lhia, on Flickr

She started as a Shriekwrecked Catrine, was rebodied and rerooted, and partially repainted with a pale pink lip with pearl pigment powder and matte varnish sealant. She's currently been redressed in a mix of stock to suit her new hair colour and to show off her new skelekitty bod!

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16 May 2016:
Venus is back on her body and will be getting a touch-up to her flocking and a new face-up, just as soon as the flocking powder arrives. In the mean time, I felt bad leaving her sitting around nekkid.

Sig Venus Custom WIP by Lhia, on Flickr

15 May. 2017:
Finished re-rooting Swim Class Rochelle in black saran and hot pink mystery hair. She turned out quite well, though there were a few complications along the way (her scalp split during the de-hairing process; I patched it with two coats of liquid fusion before rerooting, but the part line split open again while I was working). She'll get an extra coat of glue to the inside of her little noggin, compared to other dolls I've rehaired.

Rochelle Rehair WIP by Lhia, on Flickr

Rochelle Number Two (Dance Class Rochelle) will be on her way next. My friend started her while she was here visiting, but didn't get to complete her because we were so busy, so I'll finish her up and ship her over to the US with a new neon green do and some cute matching lipstick. <3

Draculaura's Darkroom / Show me your favourite glamour shots of Clawdeen?
« on: January 07, 2016, 10:10:27 PM »
I love Clawdeen as a character, but I'm not always keen on her dolls. I've been considering hunting down a few of the ones I like best soon, however, and would love to see which ones the MHArena members like best!

So please, show me your most glamorous photos of that smart-alec werewolf!

(Bonus points for restyled hair, redressed dolls, or customs; I've seen so many gorgeous Clawdeen customs that it tempts me to give it a go myself!)

Customs / Repairing Body Gaps? Need Advice!
« on: December 25, 2015, 04:50:39 PM »
I'm working on sanding down a few bodies to prep them for customs, and started with a leftover Cleo to get a handle on things since this is my first time modding hard plastic bodies. One of her legs appears to have been moulded unevenly in back. Upon shaving down the raised half of the seam a bit, a couple of small gaps have developed on the other side. The seam is still very uneven and lumpy, but I don't want to progress with smoothing it out until I fix these gaps. There is a similar gap on the body seam above her hip, and I haven't shaved that portion yet, for fear of making it worse.

So before I move on to sanding, is there a material I can use to rebuild the lower half of the seam and fill the little holes? They're roughly the side of pin heads, but I worry they'll compromise the doll's structural integrity if I keep working them over in their present state.

I've done a search of a few customising blogs, but didn't find anything about repairing these sorts of gaps, just tears in the vinyl heads. Anyone have suggestions for fixing these up?

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Off Topic / 2015 Can Take a Hike
« on: December 17, 2015, 05:34:46 PM »
I can't wait for this year to be over, and the new one to begin. I can say that this has been, unequivocally, the worst year of my life.

Good things have happened, because good things always happen, but the massive, steaming pile of terrible things has overwhelmed those good things.

My mother passed. My Crohn's has gotten worse. My partner has been diagnosed with Crohn's himself. My nephew was diagnosed with extreme dietary issues, including multiple life-threatening allergies. My other nephew was diagnosed with EDS just like his mother. My little brother has been unwell and is looking at a potential IBD diagnosis, but keeps putting off the necessary tests. And so on and so forth.

Just this Wednesday, my partner started on Humira, and is feeling a few minor side-effects from the drug so far. We're both nervous, because biologics are serious business and have nasty side-effects. One of these side-effects is an increased risk of certain kinds of cancer. The other big side-effect is the increased risk of serious infection, so he had to have a series of booster shots done before he could start treatment, and had to be checked for fungal, viral, and bacterial forms of various diseases.

Overall, I just feel stressed all the time to the point of being frazzled. My heart situation is still not fully settled from earlier this year, I'm due for my own round of tests after the new year, and I'm worried about my dad and how he's handling the loss of his wife, my mother.

I really, really want 2015 to get lost, and for 2016 to be a vast improvement by comparison.

Off Topic / No Energy for a Witty Title
« on: September 26, 2015, 02:47:01 AM »
There's no nice way to talk about this at all.

My mother is dying.

And not soon. Maybe tonight.

She was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of lung cancer in July, and had to undergo surgery to open her airways because it had blocked her trachea. At the time, we didn't know how quickly the cancer would progress. We knew it was terminal, but that was all that we knew. We thought that, in having them perform the (very risky) removal of the tumour in her bronchial, that we'd be buying more time with her. A year, maybe less.

Unfortunately, tonight my dad and I are questioning whether that choice was made in error.

I've been staying with my folks for two months now, helping Mom through radiation and chemo, and now hospice care. Tonight, her pain levels are so bad that even morphine isn't touching it. While I'm sitting here, my dad is on the phone with the hospice care people trying to work out a solution, and I'm hiding in the next room over from where my mom is laying, because she keeps begging us to let her sleep, and let it end. She won't let me hold her hand. She won't let me talk to her. She just keeps asking for it to be over.

And we can't give her that. For obvious reasons.

I wish I could give her that, because she is suffering, and it's crushing me. Almost as much as when she shoved my hand away and told me to just leave her alone.

At this point, she shouldn't be at home, she should be on continuous IV in a care facility, but the hospice people are unreasonable and their standards for the "necessary level of care" are incredibly arbitrary. Her pain medication doesn't put a dent in any of this pain she has. Not even morphine touches it, and that knocked her for a loop only a week ago. She's been unable to get out of bed unassisted for almost a week. She started refusing to leave bed even to use the toilet a few days ago. Today, she was so weak, I had to hand feed her, and she could only sit up long enough to eat two or three bites of food--and that's with the support of a special hospital bed holding her up, rather than a free-standing chair.

I'm completely at my wits' end at this point, and so exhausted and sad that I just feel numb.

On top of all of this, my partner isn't replying to my messages back home (he has an MRI recently and a bunch of tests, because he's been ill on and off for over two years), and I'm on a cocktail of drugs that have my heartrate and blood sugar through the roof, which is all increasing my anxiety about ten fold.

I'm not sure what I hope writing this post will achieve. Maybe some sort of catharsis? For my mother's privacy, I haven't talked to many people about this situation who aren't immediate friends or family. I've had people approaching me on Facebook saying "I didn't know she was sick, how is she?" and have had to just be vague about the reply, because she didn't want people to know for the longest time.

Off Topic / Indefinite Hiatus
« on: July 10, 2015, 03:41:56 AM »
I'm flying back to the US on Sunday for an indefinite period of time. I don't really want to discuss the details beyond "family emergency", however.

The timing is just terrible for this. I'm being torn between my partner and my family.

My partner is in hospital until at least Monday or Tuesday, having just received a colostomy bag. And my family is the reason I'm flying back to Texas on such short notice.

Blessedly, my family here (ie: my partner's father, mother, sister's family, etc.) have been extremely supportive. His dad will actually be flying back with me for moral support. I thought about refusing, but my partner and his sister ambushed me and gave me no choice in the matter.

For now. Doing laundry and packing and getting in cuddle time with the cats. Tomorrow. Doing all the last minute things that must be done before I fly.

Hopefully, I can stop shaking from cold and anxiety before then.

Off Topic / What's in your playlist?
« on: March 25, 2015, 05:22:30 PM »
It occurred to me after a certain post in the selfie thread that I've never seen anyone talk about music on the Arena!

So I was wondering, what are your favourite genres and bands? Or do you prefer a more classic approach, and have a favourite composer?

I'm really intrigued to see what kind of music everyone listens to!

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