Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Chronological Part 2

 I started this 3 years ago and while I uploaded the photos to my profile page, I never posted them on the blog with their blurbs attached. No promises I'll finish it this time, but I'll at least make an attempted. I haven't been here in so long that my domain was expired for 2 months without me realizing it, and I really want to get back into taking photos again, but we'll see. Photoshop is caput for me once more unfortunately. 

Anyway, I'll do at least one more lol. 

Name: Shael
Arrived: August 2006

Shael arrived on my mother's birthday, so she often likes to think he's hers even though she was on vacation when he arrived. 

Having recently purchased two other dolls that I'd only had for a few months, Shael was not a purchase I had planned to make. I was struggling with my first two dolls and what their characters were (Clay had already changed her name multiple times) and I had virtually no clothing or accessories for any of them. 

I went to a doll meet at Anime North in 2006, and a friend from that time decided she wanted to start regular Toronto doll meets after having fun at Anime North. She created the forum and facilitated meet-ups for anyone in the GTA who wanted to see each other and talk about their dolls, etc.. I met a lot of people during this time, friends who were short-lived and some who were much longer lived, and it started my connection to the local community that eventually evolved into me being a coordinator for Doll North. 

At one of the first meets, when I was still new to most doll things and only really knew about the existence of other companies but only really had experience with Dream of Doll (rip), someone brought up that they were teasing a future release of 2 limited mini sized dolls and one larger sized doll, all of which had pointed ears. Immediately I was intrigued, and I saw photos and decided I needed to have the larger sized doll.

Back in 2006, limited releases weren't like they are more recently. At the time, Dream of Doll teased photos and had the pages available for you to browse, but had no information for when they would release the dolls, whether it was quantity limited or time limited (in those days it was almost always quantity limited). For weeks I stalked the website and spent a lot of time on DoA trying to figure out when these dolls would be released, knowing that as time passed more people would be seeing their release and that there would be more competition when they finally came out. 

I don't remember exactly what information was released. I think there may have been a date, but it was unclear of the time because the company was based in Korea and a lot of the information had been taken from the Korean site and translated prior to any information being released on the English site. I remember sleeping next to my computer, which at that point was an old desktop computer which meant bringing the bed to the computer instead of the other way around. I barely slept, fearing I would miss my chance. 

There must have been at least a date, or a time window that was leaked, because I remember sitting at my computer constantly refreshing the page, barely being able to talk to one of my new BJD community friends for fear I'd forget to check the website. Suddenly, I refreshed the page and he was suddenly available! I quickly added to cart and checked out as fast as I could, hoping Paypal would cooperate with me this time.  Minutes later, he was completely sold out but I had received my payment confirmation and he was mine. 

Unfortunately, his arrival wasn't as thrilling. There were a number of problems with the clothing he arrived with, in particular because his boots from the promos weren't a part of the full set, it was frustrating to find that his pants were also too short and now there was nothing to hide that. There were flaws in both construction and design of his outfit, his wig was too small, his elf hands were a different resin tone from the rest of his body and the nail paint on them had already chipped before I even opened them. 

Thus began my long struggle to decide what to do with a doll I loved dearly but struggled to look at because his outfit wasn't up to expectations and his hair was a complete disaster. Not to mention his face came with white eyebrows, meaning to replace his wig I had to find a suitable white replacement. 

Ultimately, after many many year of flip flopping over the decision, I decided to have him repainted. He's been repainted 3 times now, the first being an attempt to rid him of the most egregious problems with his faceup which were brown lips and horrible lower lashes so I had a friend repaint him with the white eyebrows still but with an overall softer appearance. After that I decided that I hated the white hair because the contrast against another doll I was trying to photograph who had dark hair was too much to fight with and I just didn't like how the white hair turned out in photos at the time. I sent him to another artist, who did a lovely faceup but in the end it just didn't match what I had been hoping for. Finally, a friend of mine allowed me to commission her to repaint him and he finally looks the way he should. I've had him for 18 years now, and he's only been the way I wanted him to look for 4 of them. I almost sold him a few times out of frustration but I am very happy that I didn't.

There is, believe it or not, a lot more I could say about my journey with this doll but I think that's enough. ;)

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