Musume let me know that she is having a clothing a event at her shop, Musume & Okasan. For the event every purchase gets a bunny or cat pin of your choice, and any purchase of two or more items gets one free surprise amigurumi! You can find her shop {HERE}

BJDs give us the ability to craft unique characters and bring our imaginations to life, so it's not surprising that fantasy characters are very popular, and likewise fantasy parts. My favourite crafter for fantasy parts is Shannon, the owner of Sparrow's Shop. Her hand crafted pieces are always so beautifully organic, the colour banding, translucent clay, and attention to detail make them easily some of the best pieces out there. I'm really excited to share our interview you.

You can find Sparrow's Shop creations and information on requestion custom works here: 

Your custom parts are instantly recognizable by their delicate striations of colour, they remind me of tree rings, what lead you, or inspired you towards that design? 
Thanks so much! As you suggested, the banding look I use for many of my pieces was inspired by natural formations such as tree rings, sedimentary layers and conical shells. Many of my doll characters are spirits of animals or places and are hundreds of years old. I like to think that every band represents a unit of time like a ring on a tree.

You've created custom parts in a brilliant array of colours and styles, do you have a favourite style to make, or colour scheme?
Unicorn horns are always my favorite design. Their shape is just gorgeous to me, they're simple and elegant. My favorite color schemes to work with are usually the most unusual. I also love natural colors with a splash of something unexpected. Of course, I think in the right proportions any color scheme can work. If I'm given some colors I'll do my best to figure out a way to make them play nicely together.

You do a lot of antlers and horns, woodland inspired critters are pretty popular in the BJD community, do you have a favourite fairytale character or creature that inspires you?
It's so hard to pick a favorite! I love a wide variety of different characters and stories. Mythological characters and creatures have always been very appealing to me. Therianthropic characters, which basically refers to characters that shape shift from human to animal or part animal, interest me a lot lately.

If I had to pick one character...I would say I draw a lot of inspiration from the character Haku, the Kohaku river spirit, from Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. I see many similarities between that character and that world and my own vision with my dolls. I like to think of my dolls as being the manifestation of shape-shifting spirits formed by the great love, or loss, or collective apparition of places, things, animals, even objects. These spirits are trapped in or take the appearance of resin dolls. I'm not much of a writer but all my dolls have similar concept back stories. I may polish my own characters and jot them down eventually. I have so many ideas fluttering about my empty head. I could go on and on.. ^^

What's the most adventurous project you've done so far? 
If I'm honest, I don't think I've really been challenged enough yet. I love the more adventurous pieces. It's fun for me to figure out how to construct new things or how to fit together many ideas. Because of this I'm always learning, I'm always growing. I may be kicking myself later but I say... Bring. It. On.

What are some of the challenges you've faced as an artist selling hand-crafted works?
There are lots of things about what I do that are tricky but I think the biggest challenge is being original. I work hard to do things others aren't. I try to keep my style my own.

You use your own dolls as models for your work and I often think it must be fun to play around with their characters for those brief moments, have you ever made anything that you wished you could keep for you own dolls?
There are so many sets I wish I could keep! Almost everyday I fall in love with a different look for one of my dolls. I'm always telling myself I need to make time to create my doll's their own parts, but in the end I love to see my dolls change and transform into different creatures. I get the opportunity to create and photograph that creation. It's perfect to me. I may settle down and give some of them their own individual parts but for now I'm excited to see them in each new set. Like I mentioned before, I like to imagine my dolls as spirits. One day that manifests as a arctic fox girl, the next day the spirit of fallow deer. I love that.

What does the future hold for Sparrow's Creations?
I love what I'm doing but I have been thinking a lot about where I'd like to go next. I think 3D printing may be a good step for my shop. Some things, like animal ears and tails, are fairly consecutive and so 3D printing may be able to make those parts more effectively. This would hopefully free up more of my time to make custom parts, maybe I could even have in stock items (oh I can dream!). I would of course do a variety of printed parts as a good alternatives to my custom work, which is slower to create and more expensive to purchase. I'm also thinking someday about applying to do some sculpting work for bjd companies. This would probably be creating fantasy parts for limited releases to be used with their dolls. But sculpting my very own dolls could be in the future as well. I'm always excited to try something new. I just need to make the time to pursue these ideas..

I've been having a lot of fun with all these tiny bottles and have made a cabinet of alchemical delights for the dollies. Over time I'll fill it with a better range of curiosities, skulls, mushrooms, tarot cards and such, but I think I'm in a good starting place for now.

Next big step would be walls (with appropriately odd charts and posters), a floor, and a proper base for the table (which is currently just a small bamboo chopping board on a shipping box).

Here's a really basic step-by-step breakdown of how I paint doll lips, I don't always do it this way of course, but most of the time this is how it goes.

Remember, there's no right or wrong way to paint a face, there's just figuring out what you like and what works for you!

I hope you find this helpful. ♥

1. Start by laying an even pastel base in 
a colour that suits your taste, don’t 
worry about shading yet.

2. Use a flesh colour to darken the corners 
of the mouth then, in a darker colour, 
carefully blush the area between the lips.

3. Gently pull some of the darker colour
down into the centre of the lip.

4. Add some colour to the areas above the
lips natural bend.

5. You can use a watercolour pencil or a 
paintbrush to make thin, vertical lines 
over the lips. 

6. Add a coat of gloss to finish, for an extra
juicy look just add more gloss once your 
top layer has dried

On closer inspection the door proves to be unlocked. Knowing she's breaking the rules but unable to resit the temptation Fig creeps in to discover a galaxy jar sitting on the desk.

It glitters with promise as she reaches out, the glass cooler than expected as her hands splay across its shiny surface. In a instant, thousands of worlds and trillions of lives are cast towards an uncertain future at the mercy of sticky donut fingers.

We got this beautiful dress from my favourite Monster High seamstress, Jonna Jonzon. Of course you can't see the colour of it here but it's a fabulous chartreuse green that compliments the purple in her hair and matches her green eyes. I'll post some colour pics later in the week.

I've talked briefly about what sort of brushes I use for pastel blushing but I've never gone into much detail about what brushes I use for eyeliner and I've had a few people ask lately so here we go.

I think it's important to remember that something so dependant on muscle memory and physical skill is ultimately all about personal preference, painters with similar results may use totally different products and techniques to get those results. There's just no super excellent "best" brush for everyone, because each person's ability is unique, and everyone has different needs.

The truth is that finding the right brush for you might take a lot of trial and error, and you might find your brush choices change as your skill improves which just adds another spanner into the works. So
I'm just going to go over what I use and talk about what I like or don't like in the hopes that it gives you a jumping off point.

Lastly, if you want nitty gritty tech stuff like hair type versus water retention then you need to talk to someone else. I just get what I get, either I like it or I don't. I'm not some sort of expert-tech-savvy-brush-ninja-geek.

These are all my liner brushes, I generally mix n match brushes depending on the size of doll I'm working on, or the type of lines I'm painting (eyelashes/tattoos/dots).

A. This is a stiff brush, and doesn't come to a fine point which makes it basically useless for eyeliner or any fine detail. It is however a great spotter brush.

B. This is a bit stiff, but holds a good amount of paint. I used to use it for all my eyelashes and eyeliner but I've started to prefer a softer brush with more bend.

C. This is what I use for eyelashes now, it holds a good amount of paint, comes to a very fine point, and has a goodly amount of flex and bend.

D. This is basically useless. The problem with smaller brushes is they hold less paint. This is like one stroke and you're out, time to re-dip. Because the brush runs dry really fast it's hard to get a good line. This one is very much geared towards miniature painting where you need a small brush to get into a tight space but will ultimately be filling in a flat area and not painting lines.

E. This one is much better with lines, holds more paint than the previous bush but not a lot but this works as I tend to use this brush on super small dolls.

F. This is my standard eyeliner brush. It soaks up a lot of paint and is very soft and flexible. With eyeliner I like to change the thickness of the line, press harder for fat lines and thinner for thin lines. With eyelashes I want to be able to whip a thin fast line, so I use different brushes for each.

Where to Buy

Felt like breaking out the moss wig. I've still not gotten around to painting the Akubi faceplate that this wig is for but I thought the sist faceplate worked well because it has a lot of green tones in it. Not that it comes across in the photos.

Anyway I think it would be fun to make a mossy-plant-ish outfit for her so I might tinker around with that and see what happens.

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