Monday, July 5, 2010

The Tortures of Summer

This is How We Roll
Originally uploaded by elfinity
Anyway, because it turned out that my son SUCKS at doing research, and these days kids are supposed to be google-masters and research ninjas, I decided to ruin - RUIN I TELL YOU! - his life for the summer by making him do small research papers. Yeah, I'm bad.
The first research was on a super boring subject of -GASP!- Porsche's first car. Yeah, he loves Porsche and any kind of fast sports car, but researching? You've got to be kidding me! It, like, requires thinking! And actually reading! And some more thinking! Who does this during summer break...

This is us working on finding the right keywords to get the best results, because - who knew - typing "what is porsches first car?" into the search window does not get you much. I tried getting him to figure out that maybe adding "history" to the search keywords might get some good results, but he wasn't having it. For the first 20 minutes.
This is how it went:

This is How We Roll

Me: So, you typed "Porche fist car" and got results mostly on Porsche 2011 new one. What do all these have in common?
D, after staring at the screen: They.. aaare.. alllll... aboutPorsches?
Me: Ha-ha. Now, seriously?
D: They are about the past?
Me: Right, so, what should we add to the search?
much whining and lamentation follows. H comes in to check on us, is furiously waved away.
Me: Soooo, what science studies the past?
D: IDONNOOOOOOOO!!!! Do I have to do this?
Me: Come on... What science?
silence, interrupted by tiny whinages.
Me, losing patience: Come on, biology?
D, brightening up: Biology!
Me: Seriously? What does biology study?
much whining and lamentations follow, during which H comes back and tries really hard not to help. Finally, he says, "D, think about the first syllable!"
D: Bio... bio... bio... bio... OH! Biology studies the world!
Me, sarcastically: Then what does geography study?
D, wilting: Oh. I DONNOOOOOOOOOOOO.... doIhaftadooooiiiiit?
Me: Yes.
much lamentation and whining follows, during which D DOES come up with the word "history".
He types that in, get a lot of good results and starts lamenting about having to read each of the articles.
The evening passes in similarly cheery atmosphere.

This is How We Roll

My pose is actually very strategic - you try yelling while laying down. So my pose just actually promotes my patient demeanor and improves my staying power. Highly recommended. Of course, for this to work, you need to have quite an authority over your kid, because they might have trouble taking you seriously when you are laying down. D knows I mean business, though, and that we will stay up till 2 in the morning, if necessary, but will do what we set out to do.

Like I said, I'm bad ^_^

Friday, June 25, 2010


Whew! All this week, I've been trying to find some time to post the new necklaces on Etsy. FINALLY I've sneaked some time to do it. Now, moving onto more magnets!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Unattainable - on Elfinitales

The new story is up on Elfinitales. If you read it and like it, please feel free to leave me a comment - no need to register for that!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kick-O-Mania Action Figures Review

I've had my eye on these figures for a long while now. They are being sold at incredible price (around $8 per fig) on Home Link Japan ( and the only thing that was stopping me from buying them was shipping. Then, HLJ had a free shipping promotion, so here they are!

I know they are not the most wonderfully gorgeous (or even true to the originals) action figures, but still, they are decently articulated, fairly alright-looking, so I thought I'd post this review for people who might need a couple of fill-in guys for their stories or whatever.

The figs are fairly poseable, though you have to watch out for the wind-up leg - the right leg is rigged to a button on their backs (so I guess no nude shots? ^_^ ) so that it kicks if you press it. Their hands are soft plastic, so it is possible to bend them, though they do not stay in bent position on their own.

Now, the faces - I'm posting the mug shots of the 6 figs that I bought, and you can make your own conclusions. The pictures on are rather small, and you can't always tell what the face really looks like. (I feel compelled to poke fun at some of them, but it's not in any way a comment on the athletes, just on their plastic counterparts)

Roy Makaay

Oliver Kahn

Kevin Kuranyi

Alesandro Del Piero (aka Cousin Vinnie from New Jersey >_> )

Benjamin Lauth

Michael Ballack (maybe the not so bright but enthusiastic somebody's younger brother?)

Finally - clothes. The uniforms are not that well-fitting, but are pretty decently made. They come with shin guards that (OUCH!) fit through their socks into little holes in their shins. The cleats are really well made and now I have an idea where that influx of Adidas 1/6 shoes came from that was on ebay some months ago ^_^
They also come with a soccer ball and a stand.

All in all, they should serve alright for the purpose that I had in mind - patrons of Jack's dive bar, extras on various sets, maybe even I'll do a scene or a story from James and Dasha's college soccer days, before I change the dudes into "civilian" clothes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Useless Shirt

Useless Shirt, originally uploaded by elfinity.

So, instead of going out and buying new (trendier) clothes, I went through my t-shirts and modified the crap out of them over this weekend. Mostly that involved cutting the necklines and sleeves. I've also lacerated one shirt, but haven't worn it yet.
This is my favorite (and now even more favorite!) shirt. It has a story.

Back in my days of working for YellowMan in New York, me and Lejka used to get a lot of back-stabby crap from the Yellow River people, who worked for the same boss. YellowMan was a new thing, and some of the Yellow River people maybe didn't like us? Don't know why. Maybe it's just a fashion thing. I never got that.

AAANYWAY. Me and Lejka worked like the damned, and produced a lot of stuff (out of necessity, I won't get into all the insanity). We were so overworked that we started having nervous giggle fits by Wednesday, and by Tuesday our vocabulary would already be reduced to "We need to send the, uh, the, uh... thing... to that dude... in that... place?" And the other person would actually know what it meant. Which was cool, but I digress.

So, one time, someone from Yellow River told our boss that we were completely useless, and that Yellow River people had to do our jobs for us (one supposes, out of goodness of their Yellow River hearts). It was complete BS and lies, and Lejka happened to overhear. I was too zen by then to react (it was a Thursday, I remember), but she was REALLY pissed off about it.
So, as we sat working on some t-shirt designs, she kept mumbling about us being useless. Then, somehow, she arrived at the idea that we'd make matching t-shirts. Mine would say, "USE" and hers "LESS", and every time that woman would pass our workplace, we'd just jump together to form the full word.

So I went and made us t-shirts that said "USE" on the front and "LESS" on the back. We wore them fairly often, but no one knew what it all meant, so they decided we were being very eco-conscious... You know, "Use Less"? ^_^

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inspiration - Found!

So, I've gotten some much-needed sleep over the weekend, and suddenly I've got all these ideas and energy and I've already crossed off all but one thing on my Must-Do list (You see, I don't have "to-do lists", that's for boring lives. I have to actually separate things I need to do into "Must Do", "Should Do", and "Want To Do" lists. Otherwise I get overwhelmed, things get forgotten, etc.)
Also, some things finally got crossed off my "Want To Do" list, so there should be new photo stories soon! Plus I made some new t-shirts for my boy dolls. Poor boys haven't had as much wardrobe variety as my girls.

So, exciting news all around. All from a little more sleep. Who knew?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Penne wif Veggies

Penne wif Veggies
Originally uploaded by elfinity
My kid is usually pretty good about eating veggies, but a lot of his friends aren't. When they stay over for dinner, I really hate to switch out our typical menus, partially because I don't want to give my son the wrong idea.
I found, though, that this dish works for the most veggie-hatin' kid.

Make pasta the normal way, drain, return to pot. Toss for 5 minutes with broccoli, chopped tomatoes, marinated pepper strips (adds the tanginess) and - this is the kid-winning part - Italian dressing.
You can add other vegetables there, too, of course - I usually just grab whatever I've got on hand.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Drexel Fashion 2010

Drexel Fashion 2010
Originally uploaded by elfinity
On Saturday, I went to my old school's fashion show. Drexel University's Fashion Show has been long acknowledged as most professionally done student show in the area (and we've got several fashion schools). This one pretty much blew me away.

Keep in mind that students have to design, make patterns, sew and fit all garments themselves.

There was a lot of leather, a lot of hand beading, some hand-dyeing, among other things.
I took over 200 photos, not all of them good, obviously. I'll be posting them as I go through and sort them out.

I have to say, I have trouble staying unbiased, so there were some garments that I didn't take a picture of because I hated the model (if ya gonna slouch, learn how to do without making the clothes look poorly fitted!) and there are a bunch of one particular model that I enjoyed watching.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Edumacting The Child

So, the other day I give the kid a big mom-lecture for being a dandelion-brain and being more interested in brainless TV and video games than in at least watching something "interesting" (translated from mom-speak - "educational"). The kid listens to me all forlornly, knowing he's trapped. Oh, he triiies to divert my attention with cunning 12-year-old tricks, such as randomly asking, "sooo, what are we gonna do now?" but it's just not working. I know. I'm like a ninja or something to see past these crafty diversions.

Anyway, eventually, we strike a compromise in which I get to shut up and we get to watch something on Discovery Channel. Discovery does not seem to have anything interesting, but hey, History Channel does! It's a "BC Battles" about Hannibal. And it's even something violent! (another point of contention, but I decide to let that go for now).

The show was actually pretty interesting and informative in a easy-to-swallow way. That is, of course, if you actually pay attention to the, uh, what are they called? Oh, yes, the WORDS! Though my kid's brains apparently have been fried from all the Disney and Nickolodeon, so while I'm being all impressed that Hannibal was but a baby (well, a 25-year-old baby, but still) when he started kicking Roman butts, my kid makes remarks like, "Oooh, look, a smiley face!" That's in response to them showing the formations of the Roman army vs. Hannibal's and yes, if you are REALLY bored, it may potentially look like a smiling robot or a 7-eyed alien, but seriously? I mean, really?

The show is all talking about how Hannibal tried to deal with Gauls and they were all, "Oooh, sure, let us show you the way through these mountain passes," and then turn around and ambush Hannibal (and his army, of course). And then his army would be like, "Oh, WTF, not again?!" and annihilate that particular tribe of Gauls. Eventually, of course, Hannibal got Gauls to be on his side using such incentives as "Yo, I got elephants!" and Gauls were all, "What's elephants, precious?" And Hannibal is all, "See that mountain? See it move? That's elephant." And Gauls were all like, "OMG, wow." So they joined Hannibal in his fight against Rome, especially after some of them got stepped on. By the elephants.

The kid is sitting there going, "Wow, did he just get wounded? I think he just got wounded!" That's because History Channel is trying to be cool and to not just have a bunch of white old men sit and explain about history with ancient ruins in the background. Now that we've got CGG, we can shoot a whole buncha guys in costumes waving swords and spears against a green screen and show THEM with ancient ruins in the background, so it looks like they're there. It does look cool, but apparently, my kid has trouble paying attention to those things, forgot again - oh yes, WORDS, when there are bloody (literally) pictures flashing right in front of him.

I am not sure if it's the end of the school year that's got him fried, or maybe he's starting on the whole teenager testosterone thing, but I'm not digging it. But, I guess, this is in the parental contract. Must be somewhere in the fine print, because nobody ever sees those things coming. And then you sit there and go, "Wow, I never realized I'd be required to remind my child to remember to take his hat off before getting into the shower!" I mean, we all know that at some point, we'll have a child come up to us and say, "Mom? I've got a project due tomorrow (that we had 2 weeks to work on), and I'll need 3 thousand different bits of supplies and also extensive internet research, and do you think we could perhaps start now?" And it's like 10 pm and all office supply stores are closed. We know that will come. But these things? Man, I shoulda read the fine print.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Elfy's Shop of Shineys - Grand Opening

Elfy's Shop of Shineys
Originally uploaded by elfinity
The weekend (May 29 to midnight of May 31) Elfy's Shop of Shineys is having Grand Opening dealios.

There are all kinds of promotions going on this weekend -

If you buy 2 or more art prints, the shipping is free!
If you buy 2 or more magnets - you get a freebie "Elfy Do It" magnet.
If you buy 2 or more doll clothing pieces, you get a free dollie scarf.
If you buy two or more jewelry items, you will get them in special limited edition boxes.

It's all very exciting, so give it a look!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's 2 in the morning and I should be in bed. Had a super productive weekend - got a lot of sewing done, almost finished our tiny gardenette (I'll post photos soon), babysat my almost-nieces for most of Saturday, and am working away on my store progress report (or plan of progress, rather). My kitty is curled up next to me, in a all-too-clear hint that I am not dedicating my attentions to the proper object here. But of course.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tough Pants

Tough Pants
Originally uploaded by elfinity
I got this outfit out, and wondered which doll should wear it. Zhen and Camilla fought for it (of course), but Zhen won by power of seniority.
And then she got to go with me to work and we stopped on the way in the shrinking urban decay area of Navy Ship Yard. They are prettifying the area way too much for my taste.
Zhen wears hat and pants made by me, her own stock shirt and boots, and random chains.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Magnet Ideas - Wishful Thinking

Trying out some ideas for magnets. I've had this little sleepy lion drawing for a while, and I love it to bits. I want it on a onesie or something (except I don't have a baby to wear it! D'oh! ^_^ )
so, for the magnet, I tried to develop the idea - like, what's he dreaming about? And then I saw photos from one of my Flickr contacts - he works for an animal sanctuary and at some point had a lion cub at home (until the cub was big enough to live in the sanctuary) - and YAY! Here's the result.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Joining the Club

Joining the Club
Originally uploaded by elfinity
So, I finally joined the cool people by getting glasses. My vision's been getting a bit blurry (and surprisingly, it's my distance vision, not the close-range), and I got tired of not being able to see clearly. So voila! Glasses! Hans is now the only one in the family without them (not that he needs them).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Feeling Chart Magnet for Girls

I just found the perfect magnet sheets for printing these on - it's thick and strong, so it sticks well.

One of my favorites - remember when these were kind of popular?
So I made a chart for girls, but with, you know, descriptions more suited for people like me. We don't get "happy" - we're either "gleeful" or "blissed out". And we don't get "tired". By the time it registers with me, I feel "dead".
By the way, anyone feels like maybe I should do a variety of hair types (like do one with curly hair, short hair, etc) for more custom feel?
I'm working on one for guys, too, with slightly different feeling list - do you think it's something that guys would go for?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A lot of stuff has been in the works.
I'm doing a lot of R and D for Elfy's Shop of Shineys, designing and testing out various products, like candle holders and magnets.
There should be tons of stuff, including miniatures, doll clothes, jewelry and bags, but maybe not all at the same time.

Hope this got you a little bit excited and maybe curious ^_^

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Opinions Needed!

As I am brain-storming for ideas for my new Etsy store, and trying to figure out what doll clothes to offer, what do you think of this dress:

Would you buy it? If not, why not? I am totally open to suggestions, so now's your chance to let me know what you'd like to see in my store!

And while we're on the subject, what is your opinion on the sock dresses such as these? Obviously, they are made from new and clean ones, and I really love the texture and little details I add, but what about you? Would you buy one? How much would you honestly feel comfortable paying?

I really appreciate any and all comments, suggestions and critiques you can offer! Don't feel bad if the only thing you've got to say is "Cool, I'd buy it" or "Nah, not my taste." Obviously, the more you tell me, the better I can improve, so don't be shy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We now have a proper header. Designed, drawn, and laid out by me! About time, is all I have to say.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sock Hat Tutorial

I make hats like the one in this tutorial for most of my 1/6 dolls, so I thought it may be useful for people. These hats will work for action figures just as well as they do for dolls.
It's pretty easy to make, does not require much of sewing knowledge, and produces quite a funky result.

Tools: scissors, thread and sewing needle.
Materials: Sock.

Step 1
- buy a sock. Possibly, even buy two, because usually they have a "buy 1 sock, get the second one free" dealios at most stores.
Seriously, though, the sock that I'm using came from a dollar store, where they have a 3 pairs of baby socks (or young children socks) for $1. Good deals.
The reason I'm using a bebbeh sock is because they have just the right circumference for an average doll head.

Step 2 - lay your sock flat and cut off the top as shown. The cut off part should be longer on the end that will be the top of hat and shorter in the back of the hat.

Step 3 - Turn your future hat inside out.
[B]All the operations except the last step will be done with the inside facing out.[/B]
With needle, making small stitches, sew around the cut off part, about 1/8 of an inch from the edge. Don't forget to make a knot on the end of the thread so it stays put.

Step 4
- When you sewed all around the top, pull the thread tight (remember, you have a knot on the other end of the thread that will prevent the thread from pulling out.)
Wrap the thread tight several times around the top of the hat, along the stitch line.

Step 5
- [B]While holding the thread tight with your finger[/B] (as shown), push the needle through gathered part and pull tight (letting go of the thread). This is to give your knot more stability and prevent the hat from coming undone. Do it several times, each time shifting the "point of entry", so that the needle goes in from different directions.

Step 6 - After you've satisfied yourself with all the needle sticking business (or when you're almost out of thread), make a small stitch on or right below the stitch/wrap line but don't pull the needle through right away. Wrap the thread around the needle a couple (not more) times around the needle, and then pull the needle all the way through and tighten the stitch.

If you kept the pressure on, your hat will have a nice tight gathered knot at the top.

Step 7 - Almost done now!
Turn your lovely hat the right side out. It should look something like the picture below. If you have a gap at the top, you didn't keep the pressure on the thread like I told you to, so go back and redo it!

However, I think you'll be just fine and so, with the last effort, pick a fold in the top part of your hat that will be at the back of your figure's head when worn. Then pick a spot in the lower part, possibly where elastic is. Now, push the needle from the inside and sew these two spots together (remember the knot on the end of the thread when you start and finish it the way I showed in step 6).
This is done to fake gravity effects, because the real hat would be most likely heavy enough and fold down naturally. Socks (especially those bought at dollar stores) have a tendency to stick proudly up in the air, which would make your doll/figure look very silly.

Step 8 - Put the hat on your doll.


If you have any questions, fire away.

* I think there's a requirement that at the end of each guide one is supposed to say, "Voila!" so there you have it.

Hope this is useful!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Deep Thoughts from an 11-year-old Mind

Yesterday we had breakfast to celebrate a family occasion. It was me, my son, 2 of my friends (L and C), and a boyfriend of one of the friends (BF).

Now, my son is a complete attention junkie (comes from being about the only child in my circle of friends for the longest time, since most of my friends are either younger, childless, or both), so he was on the roll. BF asked if he liked any girls currently. My son squirmed, then admitted, bashfully, that yes, there was a girl named Abby. When probed for details, this is what he had to say:

My son: Weeeell, in second grade we were friends, then, in third grade, we hated each other...
BF, interrupting politely: So, it was a love/hate relationship?
My son, after thinking about it: No, we just hated each other.
BF: Oh, so just a hate/hate relationship. Just making sure...
My son: Right. Um. So, theeen, in fifth grade, I started thinking, why did she change? And then I realized that it wasn't her who changed, it was actually me who changed!

-Stunned silence from the audience. I feel kinda proud of the deep insightful dude who is my son, but am suspicious, 'cause I know him too well. C looks like she's trying REALLY hard not to give BF Tha Look. BF recovers from the speachlessness;

BF: So, what did you think you changed in?
My son: Weeeell, when we were in third grade, we were talking one time, and I - TOTALLY ACCIDENTALLY! - hit her on the head with a stick.

-audience dies-

BF: I understand it's a pretty common affliction among boys of that age. It's a hand twitch or something, but I understand that it happens a lot.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Elfinitales Story Update

Part 2, It Is Posted
Originally uploaded by elfinity

There is an update on It is the second half of the Old Friends story arc.
Hope you enjoy it! Please leave some comments, they are ever so appreciated (no registration required).

For those who missed the beginning, here is the link for the first half.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Stop Kissing Your Toothbrush" or Things Only a Parent Would Say

I've never thought I'd say things like "If you don't stop this attitude right now, we are SO not going to hunt the crocodiles!" or "If you fall off and kill yourself, don't come crying to me," until I became a parent.

But of course.

Actually, I wouldn' t have to say most of the bizarro things I have said if my son did not do most of the bizarre things he's done. That thing about kissing his toothbrush? What else could I have said if he really was kissing it? With a full intent of marrying it afterwards. Why? Who can know...

Today, I realized that only a parent could say "Sweet dreams!" in a threatening tone of voice. Well, maybe a member of the mafia would use the same tone of voice, but probably not while putting a child to sleep.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Long weekend. My son requested help with a project (that unexpectedly was due tomorrow - don't you hate how all these projects have a tendency to be suddenly due tomorrow? ^_^ ) so I spent a lot of time standing over his shoulder giving artistic and editorial advice.
The bad news - I didn't get to work on any of my computer projects (the next installment of the comic story, the photos of really pregnant Ginny that I'm supposed to do post-production on, etc).
The good news - I finished 2 and a half sweaters for male dolls. Hopefully, I'll have the collection done before the winter is actually over! For some reason, clothes for dudes don't create the same amount of enthusiasm as do the girl clothes. What gives?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Maiden

Snow Maiden
Originally uploaded by elfinity
Took Elizabeth out for a snowy photo shoot. She looks so pretty in her furry jacket and my quickie scarf!

Today was another work from home day. The snow stopped and some roads are cleared up, but there seem to be too many accidents for my comfort.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

White Life

White Life
Originally uploaded by elfinity
Apparently, we're in the middle of a blizzard.
The whole world is white. I can't see beyond a couple of yards, everything is just covered by snow curtain.

I've been working from home today. Amazing how much I got done, both work-related and not. My productivity has been insane. Unlimited cookies and tea has magical productivity-boosting powers, maybe?
Well, I am finally starting this blog I've been thinking about for ages.

What to should the first post be about? It's kind of important, I guess.

I'd like this first post to be about my deep appreciation for all the people in my life, and especially all the women. I don't know how I would've gotten through all the tough spots in my life without them. My mom, my grandma, my friends, my awesome co-workers who became my friends... All of them are so wonderful for all the different reasons - sense of humor, support, compassion, encouragement, doll advice, dose of perspective or a random bowl of soup - and every one of them is such a gorgeous person!
I feel like I've been gathering gems in my life travels, where every gem is a person I still treasure knowing. Some turned out to be glass, but I've still managed to gather quite a shiny collection (oooh, SHINEY!)

So, thank you, all you wonderful women that I know!