Yep. I’m scrambling as I try to get ready for AnimeZAP! while trying to keep the work load going at the same exact time.

However, I gotta stop to say:


When it comes to AnimeZap! stock, I guess I’m… okay. I’m waiting on some items from the printer, but some won’t come in time. The magnet doll I’ve been planning forever and a day has been put on slow speed due to the lack of good working die-cutter. This is the same for the charms. And I wish to fucking hell I could get the message across to prospective new clients that I don’t format anymore. No really, guys. I’m sorry you need me. It isn’t that I hate you. I just don’t have enough hours in the day.

I can’t get stock for the magnet doll, who I have named Bubbles, ready by AnimeZAP! I can however slowly, oh so slowly, get a prototype made to display at the table. That’s what I’ve been doing a little each day. Today was a huge leap because I solved a doll stand problem I’ve been mulling over.

Bubbles (and hopefully in the future her friends) is meant to be a paper doll with moving parts. I tried putting brad paper fasteners at her shoulders so her arms could move but they were too bulky. I’m looking for a better solution; something much flatter. In the meantime I managed to cut a version of her sans moving parts. This isn’t as easy to assemble as you think it is, because I have to cut two separate parts and assemble them. The parts like to stick to themselves and ruin each other in the process.

Her clothing sets are all going to be handmade miniature works of art. Or at least I hope so. The reason for this is because one art form I value is the paperdoll. Way back in the day, paperdolls were very valued members of the play room. They were given special cases or their own houses. Their clothing were elaborate displays of fine materials. There was even a woman who put herself through college by making and selling paperdolls.

I was going to treat Darling’s wardrobe the same way, but she never kicked off. When I sat down to reboot my little project, I realized her look was all wrong. I wanted something a bit cuter because I aim to have some of her outfits to be cosplay costumes.

In case you haven’t guess, Bubbles (and future friends) is not meant to be a mass produced item. I want to keep her at the nearly-hobby level. I’ll make stuff here and there. I’ll make a doll and her own stand. I’ll cart them to a con to sell. What’s left may or may not end up on etsy. And that’s it.

My paperdolls weren’t originally going to be magnet dolls, but doing in that direction freed me up a bit and today the stand found itself getting made. I started with Bubbles (prime), a 5×7 picture frame, printouts, and a 5×7 bit of sheet metal. For the record I seriously hate making backgrounds and don’t have the time to make one right now, so I settled for buying the rights to one.


I don’t really want to go into the actual crafting process, even though it’s kind of obvious if you take a look at the photo above. Once upon a time I had posted a day by day crafting process for turning a Barbie into a mermaid. Within a few months, one of the doll magazines I liked posted the process with even the same words I used in places… but written by someone else. So forgive me for having been burned way too many times. I’m confident though you can figure it out. It’s hardly that original.

When I was done I had the following.


It’s really shaping up!

One thing I want to do with this crafting venture is use as many recycled materials as possible. So rather than buying new frames every time I make a stand, I’ll be on the hunt at garage sales and similar places. I want to keep this project as fun, crafty and… well… free of spirit as possible. Each stand is probably going to be slightly unique as a result, although I probably will re-use backgrounds.

Maybe I’ll use backgrounds I make or have made for the visual novel, The Brat. Oh – you thought I’d forgotten hadn’t you… no. No, didn’t forget. I’ve been writing script. I’m a lot farther along. I should like to hire people to do backgrounds and some other things, but the budget for it right now is something like zilch.

Anyway, that’s the news around these here parts. I hope you’re having a nice “winter”! Don’t get too hot out there.

Windfalls and Money Traps

About a week ago, my husband received a check for a class action suit he had no idea we were taking part in. It wasn’t a small amount, but it wasn’t very big either. Still, that was awesome being as we both knew we’re going to be paying in taxes in a couple of months rather than being the participants of the government check exchange program. And we suspect if we were supposed to get money back, the same thing that happened last year would happen again this year: we’d get a letter stating there was no work record for my husband and so the state/government will graciously just say we owe nothing and leave it at that.

I admit I spent most of it on bills. I’d be stupid not to. I also tucked a small amount of it away into savings because in a week and a half I’ll be at Anime Zap! (to which I hope you also will be there). And then this thing happened. I was introduced to the existence of the autoharp, which brought tears to my eyes and sent me on a hunt to find one I could actually afford. I couldn’t afford most of them, until there on ebay was this lonely listing. Judging by the photos it was in great condition. And I was never going to be able to afford it any other way. This, then, was my Christmas/birthday present and I’m not complaining.

Another expense has added itself to our pile, though. My husband’s knees have worsened, so that he’s using his cane, and I’m just too busy to take up his half of the housework. As far as I’m concerned it’s nasty here, enough that I threatened to move out. So the day has come, yes. That day all children swear will happen when they’re young and don’t want to clean their rooms. We’ve hired a maid.

Well, she’s not technically a maid. She’s the girl who babysits our dogs on occasion, and she needs a little extra cash through this school semester. She’s not charging us much (thank goodness). But in order to afford her we’ve had to rearrange some things, give up some things. She hasn’t started yet, but I hope she can come soon.

Work wise, well. This hopefully will lighten the load for me. For three days running I’ve sat down to draw another page for The Heavenly Bride only to be thwarted. There’s this commission I wanted to finish two months ago. I can’t get it done. I’m grinding my teeth here. I even tried to close a client’s account the other day in yet another desperate attempt to quit my job and go solo. It failed miserably.

The nifty thing I just got for Xmas would never have happened had it not been for the windfall mentioned in my first paragraph. So imagine my irritation when my friend said to me that, since I could afford expensive musical instruments, I could never tell her again that I had no money. How annoying. Of course I’m still struggling! I’m struggling a lot less than I used to, but the husband and I aren’t in the clear just yet. We just get to consider buying more than ramen noodles these days is all, and I’m constantly working so we can also considering buying a ham. We certainly aren’t considering splurging at the movies or anything.

Just because things are tight doesn’t mean that once in a while when you know your bills are paid (as ours are atm) you can’t go to ebay and buy a used autoharp priced at something like 1/20th of what they are normally sold for. Shut your mouth, y’all. I work damn hard and deserve a little music now and again.

I actually had to choose. With my Silhouette Cameo being completely dead, I don’t have a reliable cutter and the charm business has slowed to almost a complete halt. I don’t make a lot of money from the charms, but it would be nice to have a good assortment for Anime Zap!. Now that I bought me an autoharp, I can’t replace the Cameo – not that I was going to rush into that sort of purchase without being careful. I’ve been burned 3 times in a row. I’m treading lightly now.

The Vue is still an utter piece of shit. Because of this I was amused when I found some other reviews on Amazon for the red version of the vue (mine is orange) that listed pretty much the exact same complaints I have. I was also a little annoyed, because THEY got some semblance of customer service where I got pushed off.

I can try to get another used Silverbullet I suppose. In the past couple of days the forum administrator handled my account despite the inconvenience of being hospitalized. This says, “Good customer service” to me despite the tragedy of being scammed out of the money I spent for this broken counterfeit Blackcat. The vue won’t print and cut, but it does regular shapes. It’s also starting to sound ragged even though I haven’t used it half as much as other people do. The blackcat prints and cuts, and it’s fairly accurate. It won’t push the blade, so I have to work it extra hard just to cut thin vinyl stickers – badly.

There’s another machine that has just been released that looks a lot better than the silverbullet. The company that makes it also has a stellar reputation. I’ve never EVER heard anyone complain about them. The machine? $650. Sigh. I want it. Nay, I NEED it. And this machine is so strong it would improve the charm making process and up their quality. I need it.

I used my cutter machine for a lot of business like things, and something new is coming up all of the time. Here’s a brief list:

1. CD labels
2. The magnet paper doll I had hoped to release at Anime Zap, but I guess not this year.
3. business cards
4. bookmarks (which folks LOVE at the cons)
5. stickers
6. charms
7. labels
8. I will find another use eventually. I can’t help it really.
9. No. Seriously. I’m open to ideas.

And now I’ve forgotten the point. so I think I’ll go to bed.