I had to take a break from the doll hobby for a time while I sorted out my mother's health — she almost died of a ruptured intestine and sepsis almost two years ago — and my own, both physical and mental, as caring for someone's taken a toll on me in both ways. (I wasn't exactly stunningly healthy to begin with myself.)
The thing is, this absence has left me with a whole bunch of dolls I've flat-out neglected all this time. Not just in the 'not playing with' side of things, and we won't talk about the coat of dust over Tay and Scott's legs, but the fact that I've got several dolls who're still lacking faceups over a year after I got them.
On top of that, my mother bought me a Resinsoul An for Christmas last year. He arrived in November-ish and she checked his hands and feet for damage, but didn't remove him from the bag and pillow. ...He's kind of a mess, but not in the way she knows to look out for. He's coffee resin, but his sanding is appalling. I've got a deertaur from them and the sanding is entirely unnoticeable, but the sanding on An is atrocious, and so rough you'd think it was done with the stuff you use for sanding metal. His chest doesn't seem to fit his torso, and his lower legs don't seem to fit his thighs. His eyewells are a mess. Well. One is a mess, one is perfectly fine; it's like something happened in his casting and someone just shoved massive amounts of resin into the gap to cover it up. I had to order a 16mm eye-weller from Dollmore to help fix the issue, and he only takes 14mm eyes.
I saw the issues with his sanding immediately, but I first thought it was marbled resin. But at the same time... what can you say? He's a Christmas present! So you smile and say thank you, but I suspect she noticed I didn't immediately take photos like I did with Kse and Rowan, my other Resinsoul dolls.
Later on I looked at him and realised it wasn't marbled but badly made (not something I expected to say with Resinsoul to be honest) and I had to put him back in his bag again. I was genuinely wondering if I could buy another coffee An from Resinsoul myself and substitute him ... but what would I do with the other one, because who'd want to buy a doll that looked like it'd been mangled by an utter beginner, but was straight from the company? So I put him back in his bag again, and back on the kitchen table, and sort of tried to ignore him again.
And I managed like this for months. Because I've got all the cooking to do (I can't cook, so this is a terrible experience for me), and all the cleaning and gardening, all the bins and recycling, all the pets to look after (cats, dogs, birds), and I have work on top of all that — and just because I work from home, doesn't mean I can get away with not working, it's all logged with targets etc., plus I took on a new work project that's both interesting and stressful, always good — I didn't really think much of dolls at all. Lirio is sat on top of Gabrys's box in my office, Milos is sitting on my desk to my right and Maxim started off on my sewing machine and has now moved to a printer stand to my left, while everyone else is sat behind me, but after a while I didn't see them any more.
Kir still has shoulder-length hair like a minor Cousin It because I haven't found either the time or mental strength to cut it. Kse's been headless for almost a year now.
But after a while, I kept seeing his little bag and pillow on the table. My mother saw it once on one of her infrequent visits to the kitchen and asked when I'd work on him, and I still couldn't say anything. Eventually, after months, I picked him up and looked at him again. And I felt so bad about this little doll that I'd wanted, until he turned up in a mess, and then I couldn't bear to look at him. Saying "it's a metaphor for my life" is both cliche and disgustingly trite, but (creepy alert) I picked up this little doll and hugged him and felt like a real shit for just letting him sit there doing nothing for ages.
LUCKILY! We've had insane amounts of sunlight for the last month or two, so suddenly the vitamin D burst has kicked in and I have a little willpower now. Not much, after everything else, but enough that on one fine day a couple of months ago I went into the garden and sealed a whole bunch of faces: Alex, Lirio, Kse's next layer, Rowan the little deertaur (and his hooves and horns), Ais's head (one day he'll have a body!) and Paradigm (An).
Annnnnd then we got the Summer Of Hell 2018 and it was too hot to spray sealant without it going peculiar. But a few days ago I started working on Paradigm (An) and Alex's heads, and I finished Paradigm's today, I found a bunch of clothing from Alice's Collections that suits him (including some jeans he stole from Maxim that work perfectly) and he's got one 14mm grey eye from acbjd and one purple eye from Safrindoll when she made her own eyes, and suddenly, even with his awful sanding that's visible even under layers of sealant and faceup, I love him. I also picked up a stand from Alice's Collections and it's like having my own Play Arts Kai doll or something. But slightly bigger, more customisable, and more playable with, because I can't imagine posing both my Raiden figures like this.
And again I'm reminded of why I got into BJDs in the first place: to have my own poseable figures of my own characters, that I can customise however I want. I mean, how am I gonna find a figure of a shy asexual shuttle thief if I don't ultimately make it myself?
And not even Resinsoul's poor handling and quality control can take away from me the character I've created from their mess.
A noodler with a doll obsession.