Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 New Year's Resolutions

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a good holiday. I am so far sick again so can't do much.

However, I want to share my 2015 schemes before I forget.

So... here are my plans:

- Sew accessories/clothes for myself from my Lolita Sewing book collection
- Learn how to do nail art with gel (expensive hobby but I wanna start looking good)
- Finish knitting the sweater from 2013 (hopefully before Chinese New Year)
- 1 session of 31 days straight art (in March 2015)
- Move my studio out in the garage and make it usable for clay and sewing (must be done ASAP)
- Do WIP Wednesday pictures on whatever is on my table
- Work on clay once a week. I learned that I like clay still but definitely not something I want to make on a daily basis for practice and for the dolly jewelry.
- Take pictures often
- Take the flat pattern courses

Doll list for next year that I definitely want (in order of want):

- A fairy Unoa Elder Ange
- Unoa Elder boys
- SD13 girl with big bust
- Unoa/Aquarius doll hybrid?

That is it for now. It is ambitious but I hope I can do it!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I will be away!

Hello everyone!

I will be gone for a little bit from 12/8 - 12/11. If you buy anything from that time period from Betty Candy @ etsy I will ship everything on 12/12.

Thank you for your support and kind words everyone! I will keep going on making stuff in the background until then.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIP Wednesday 12/3/14

Hello everyone!

Now that the shop is open I am spending lots of time making stuff and filling it up! For now I am filling it up with these beautiful roses that I handcraft myself. Betty Candy is about clothing too but in the meanwhile I got all these goodies here waiting.

They are all available on Betty Candy @ Etsy. New works will be added every day for the holidays!

I only do custom work for doll jewelry, not clothes. If you would like to see something new and interesting feel free to go ahead and ask!

Meanwhile I am going back to work. See you!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Betty Candy @ etsy is open!

Hello everyone!

The long awaited day for Betty Candy to open is here!

Sometimes the hardest part is to start. At the moment there just happens to have some earrings/accessories available that are sized for SD girls (as well as for us humans, if the dolls let us.) I will be slowly adding all the available items up etsy, eventually on my own website.

Here ya go and enjoy! The Betty Candy @ etsy

Friday, November 28, 2014

Live Mini @ blogspot is no more!

Hello everyone!

If you are a reader of my blogs I am sure you have come across Live Mini more than once.

Live Mini was my miniature musings/blog/shop for a very long time. I had that idea in early January 2005. I got into the miniature world via dolls. Somehow along the way I got into re-ment and then made dollhouse miniatures. I got caught up in making miniatures because it was cool and I got a lot of recognition for it. I even got published for a while! I learned many things on the way. I made and unmade friends, got my work stolen and resold under a different name, and even had a magazine printed an article of mine without asking along the way. Did I mention that Live Mini @ blogspot got stolen too, along with all the contents? What crazy business all over tiny pieces of art!

In the end, I felt like I had burned many bridges and lost too many people while making miniatures. I lost the passion when my father-in-law died, and didn't want to come back since. Now that I had some time to reflect, I really should be making doll clothing and all along because that is where my heart has always been, but too afraid that I am not talented enough.

There are a few things Live Mini had really left me with:

A given: The flow of lemons (literally and figuratively) will not go away just because there is a drought or a flood. You just gotta make the best of what is available.

1) I am an artist. No one can take away my talents and experiences I learned along the years.
2) I can love/enjoy/continue to make miniatures, regardless of what people think.
3) People CAN and often DO have the same ideas, but that doesn't mean they are going to be expressed the same way.
4) It is hard to run your own business but it is a worthwhile endeavor if you can do it.
5) People come and go, but friends will stay forever regardless of your change of hobby/job.

I hope by closing that chapter in my life it would help me be able to move on the hung ups of Live Mini and actually make clay art again. It seems rather drastic does it? Sometimes the only way to cleanse the soul is to delete it.

Betty Candy will continue to run as scheduled. No stoppage there. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New updates & machines

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have not been posting much of anything, either on my facebook page nor on the blog.

First of all: the Leekeworld Ashley has been sold now. Thank you for your interest. :)

Second: I haven't been getting much sewing done because my old sewing machine cannot keep up with my work. There is nothing physically wrong with the machine, but I outgrew it. If anyone in the Bay Area is interested in the machine I will post it on Craigslist.

In the meantime, I am going to learn how to use my new machines. I have a new serger and a sewing machine now to speed up the process. Once that process is up, I think things will be much better streamlined. :D

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tips on sewing with knit fabric

Hello everyone!

I am still slaving away getting ready for Betty Candy's opening, but I still have time to experiment and come up with new ideas to add in the last minute.

But... before then I would like to address a common problem that lots of us sewing folks have: sewing knit fabrics. If you are not careful, the sewing machine would stretch your fabric. Worse is that the machine would just eat your fabric, rending it completely unusable.

To avoid that, here is my trick: tissue paper.

I managed to buy a TON of tissue paper for cheap at Costco around Christmas time. There is no way that I can use it all up, even if my packaging for Betty Candy includes tissue paper! Anyway, so here is what I do: I sandwich the knit fabric with tissue paper and pin it down. Once pinned, I zigzagged the edges so that it looks more professionally finished.

When I am done, I just rip off the tissue paper like so.

See? No warped edges!

You can do this at any time during the sewing phase if you need to stabilize the sewing. There are stabilizers that you can buy at the store, but seriously, tissue paper from Costco is much cheaper.

I hope this tip will help in some way!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BJD Dolly Business

Hello everyone!

If you are on facebook I am getting more active there!

I started a Facebook group to help artisans and small business peeps that are in the dolly business make their dreams come true! If you or anyone you know have a ball joint doll business (be it a clothing, accessories, customizations, drawings, etc...) you are invited to join us here to talk shop, get critiques, advice, questions, comments, complaints, hints, and more!

Hope to see some of you there!

As for the progress of Betty Candy, it is going according to schedule. Let's keep it that way.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIP Wednesdays

Hello everyone!

If you are not a fan of my flickr maybe you should look at it more often. I have been a busy bee! Here are some of my works that I have been working on, all prototypes on muslin of course.

You can see more of it at my flickr account. Every Wednesday there will be new photos of what I have been working on. Ideally there would be more photos, but for now this will do for now.

Thanks for your support!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quick Resin Doll Cleanup Tutorial

Hello everyone!

I am still working on my grand scheme, but first I have some doll care that I have to do.

One of my dream dolls that I can't believe I own is this little fella: Unoa Lite Flourite. She is an adorable little resin girl that is 25cm tall so her body is bigger than a Blythe but smaller than a Momoko. Sekiguchi (the company that released Momoko and Annz) did release an Unoa Lite in vinyl, but that is different (and I have one of those too.) Unfortunately, she came to me with her blush coming off and a bad face up, so... we need to fix that. We don't want the blush to get on the clothes. In our case, we are removing everything on the doll, but you can just use this to remove just the faceup too.

So... here is what I have:

- A bottle of Winsor & Newton brush cleaner
- Paper towels
- Q-tips
- A container full of dish soapy water

So... here we go!

First, we have our dolly.

... and then we have to take it all apart. Make sure you keep all the pieces of the doll together, including the strings, metal pieces, and so forth.

Wetting the paper towel or a Q-tip with the brush cleaner carefully clean the doll pieces. Be careful not to scrub so hard that little pieces come off! Unfortuntely for me, my doll did not seem to have to have Mr. Super Clear sprayed on it while it was being blushed, so removing the blushing is a lot harder than it should be.

Note to any aspiring face up artists: If you are planning to do face ups and/or any body painting/blushing, PLEASE USE something like Mr. Super Clear UV on your resin dolls before you apply the pastels/paint! Not only it will be easier to clean up if you mess up, it will also protect your doll from UV light! All resin dollies will eventually yellow, but with a little help from Mr. Super Clear UV it will at least help a little. You can find it online.

After I cleaned my pieces, I put the cleaned up pieces into the soapy water so that would help remove the brush remover off the surface of the pieces easier.

When you are all done cleaning the surfaces with the brush cleaner, take the doll parts with soapy water and gently scrub/wash all the parts, adding more soap if necessary. Rinse out all the dolly parts with clear water until all the soap is off the parts (when the water runs clear).

After you wash and rinse everything thoroughly, wipe down the resin parts as best as you can dry and lay the pieces out to dry. Wait at least 24 hours before you restring your doll.

Don't have Winsor & Newton brush cleaner? You will read that some people use rubbing alcohol or acetone, which is fine when you clean a doll quickly BUT the most important part of all this is once you are done cleaning, wash the doll parts with soapy water immediately after you use those harsh chemicals, especially acetone! Acetone is known to eat some kinds of resin, and you do not want your precious dolly to be eaten by chemicals now, do you? The same with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is known to make resin weaker over time, so you do not want that to be on your doll for long either.

I hope this little tutorial will help you get over the fears of cleaning up a ball joint doll and just get down to it! :)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dolly Introduction #2: Darline (Unoa Sist)

Hello everyone and Happy New Year of the Horse!

I am surprised I have not posted anything here yet, partly because my computer is on its last legs and it is not really helping me do anything but play music. I am working furiously behind Betty Candy though, so there is that. I am hoping to have a real release soon. I will let you know when that happens.

Without further ado, I wanna introduce you to my sewing buddy Darline!

You might have seen her around, but I never did a real introduction of her until now. I feel bad because she is always there for me. Darline is my sewing companion. Ever since she arrived in 2006 she sat next to me, watching me work. Wherever there is a work setup Darline will be there.

Darline is very expressive. She has all 5 faceplates done by my friend Liz. Here are 3 of them:

Everyone will see lots of Darline soon, as she and my other girls will model the latest clothing that I have made.