Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

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Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Sun May 31, 2015 9:12 pm

I just recently discovered Makies from the 'toys like me' campaign, and I think they're awesome! 

I'm an artist and my mum helps me sell some of my designs as prints, mugs, cards etc on Etsy and at craft fairs. Because I'm autistic I don't like all the business stuff (mainly because I struggle with verbal communication and I'm rubbish at paperwork etc!) - I just like the drawing bit! Although I mostly draw cartoon penguins - my website's called 'Penguin Parade', I also draw a little character called Aspen. She's based on me and is also autistic - I've made a couple of little books with her, and she also features on the autism e-learning course I helped develop for my local council. 

I have a lot of difficulty imagining Aspen in different poses/from different angles due to my autism, so I thought it would be a great idea to make a Makie version of Aspen - then I can put her in poses and draw from her! Smile I ordered her on Thursday so I can't wait for her to arrive! 

Here's a picture with my drawn Aspen and my Makie Aspen... it was tricky trying to figure out how she should look since my drawing of her face isn't particularly detailed, lol. I was really happy about the outfits available though - my autistic 'special interests' include penguins and purple, so I love those two designs. Plus the purple/zebra outfit is extra special since I also have a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (which affects my joints/muscles, makes me hypermobile, causes me a lot of pain and means I often need crutches/occasionally a wheelchair) - and people with rare conditions like EDS are called 'medical zebras', so zebra print is used as the awareness ribbon. I'm really excited about Makies working on a wheelchair at the moment and possibly crutches in the future Very Happy 

I'm trying to make Makie Aspen as close as possible to the original, so I've ordered her some jeans and a purple jumper. I've been looking for a purple hoodie, but there don't seem to be any that are Makie-sized. I think I've found some purple converse-like trainers that are the right size, yay! For her glasses I've got some little light filter samples (they're thin coloured transparent plastic) so I'm going to attempt to stick that to the frames of the Makie glasses to give them tinted lenses. Smile 

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by MissRead on Sun May 31, 2015 10:48 pm

Welcome to the group, it is a lovely friendly group and I am sure you will like being here.  Congratulations on your first Makie, you will have such fun with her, and I am sure she will be a great help in drawing different poses with your cartoon.

My son has autism and Ehlers Danlos as well!

Enjoy!  Hopefully your little outfits will arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest ;-)  I have sent you a message on FB about the purple hoodie!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by jupiternames on Sun May 31, 2015 11:11 pm

Yes, welcome! Aspen is a cool name and I really like her expression. Hopefully your wait will go by quickly. Waiting for my first Makie was so hard, just wondering what her face would look like and how she would feel.

I love that you've helped design an autism e-learning course. What a great resource!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Sun May 31, 2015 11:25 pm

Thanks for the welcomes :-) I can't wait for her to arrive!

MissRead that's a coincidence that your son has autism and EDS too! I'm looking forward to seeing the little outfits - plus they'll give me a better idea about what size Aspen is going to be. I know the measurements, but it's still hard imagining the size in real life! 

I tried to make her expression not-quite-smiling, since that's often how I draw Aspen :-) It took me quite a long time to decide on the eyes since I couldn't choose between the smallest and medium sized ones! I'm really interested to see how the tinted glasses work out and how they look on her... thankfully my brother has a 3D printer so he can print off spares in case it goes wrong! Haha. He's already experimenting with shoes...

I love helping to raise awareness of autism - I often help with training... although sometimes I go a bit mute and the training lady (who I know really well and is lovely) has to read out what I want to say instead! Maybe Aspen can come with me next time!
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by jupiternames on Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:54 am

Wow, I wish I knew someone with a 3D printer. I mean, technically my employer (Northwestern University) has one, but I'd have no idea how to use it. So I guess I'm mainly jealous that you've got someone who can help you use one/make you things.

I always have trouble really imagining what a doll will be like before I've held it. The measurements never prepare me for the real thing. I thought it was sort of magical to see my first Makie. I guess it was even pretty special to see my most recent girl, too.

I wonder if the lab could add an iPad to their Toy Like Me campaign offerings. Maybe I should suggest it--I know they've already got a "pattern" for iPads since they had one a while back.

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by MuseStyle on Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:17 pm

Aspen looks terrific as a Makie!   I'm waiting for my Makie to finish as well.  How great to have access to a 3D printer - thingiverse has several Makie shoes and accessories patterns: https://www.thingiverse.com/Makies/designs/page:1   They might come in handy Smile
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:23 am

I sort of vaguely know how the 3D printer works, but it was amazing seeing one working in real life. My dad's company design medical recording equipment (e.g. heart monitors etc) and their 3D printer broke, so he gave it to my brother to fix and his company got a new one. My brother (who is 20) is a bit of a computer genius so he fixed it in no time and was really excited that my dad let him keep it! He's studying a masters in computer science/electrical engineering, so he's been using it to make components and other things I'll pretend to understand, lol. 

At first he was like 'eurgh, dolls?', but he got more interested when I actually showed him the site/explained how they're printed etc. So he's been practicing some of the designs from Thingiverse Smile His first attempt was some trainers. He did them on low quality to see what they'd be like, but they're still pretty cool looking! (They're too messy to actually fit a Makie though). I ordered him some funky purple plastic, so he's going to try some other things, yay! 

Trainers:


Thanks to the wonderful MissRead I have some clothes for Aspen already - jeans, a purpley jumper, dungarees and a purple hoodie! Very Happy I love the hoodie and think it matches my drawing really well. In fact I can already imagine Makie Aspen when I put the hoodie and jeans together! 



It would be really cool if Makies could make an iPad... they seem to have an enormous list of suggestions at the moment! I'm really impressed by their current test designs for a cochlear implant and insulin pump, but it seems that some of the parents commenting on Facebook are being a bit unrealistic. Some are saying they're not the 'right' colour/shape as their child's exact model of pump etc... do they not understand that there are limits to what Makies can do? Plus some people aren't grasping that a Makie is a custom 3D printed doll and can't be sold as cheaply as the mass produced toys in shops! It's amazing that they are trying this hard to cater for so many different disabilities and conditions, we should be encouraging them rather than complaining! Smile
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by jupiternames on Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:02 am

I agree with you 100%. I'm always irrationally upset when people think Makies cost too much. I'm actually happy to pay the $115USD for Makies, since I know I'm supporting a company that supports representation for all kinds of people and pays their employees well. Thank goodness I don't have a Tumblr!

On the other hand, I know that they've done iPads before (I bought one from them), so I feel it would be an easy choice for them. No need to design it. Of course, I wouldn't take it personally if they didn't use my suggestion. I mean, I'm one voice in a million!


Your Makie clothes look great, by the way. MissRead always does such nice work. I can't wait to see some more of your brother's work. I really need to look into that 3D printer at work!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:13 pm

I find myself constantly defending Makies pricing heh. People don't seem to get it at all. Yeah they're expensive, but they're one of a kind!

I'm super keen to see what more the lab comes out with for this whole toy like me thing. The wheelchair sounds exciting.

And ooo i'm keen to see Aspen! she looks like a cutie!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by MissRead on Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:37 pm

I am looking forward to Aspen dressed up in her new clothes!  Glad you liked the hoodie!

Those trainers look promising, how wonderful you will have this resource to hand.

I too am amazed when people say these dolls are expensive...I mean in the last sale, some only cost £34!  That is an incredible price really...and then when you actually design your own they are well worth it.  That little bit of individualisation makes them so much more personal and special.  Just the fact that you rarely see them on the secondary market is evidence of this.

I agree, sometimes people expect just too much, and the company is really doing their best and I for one am glad to support such a 'home grown' company!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by nattherat on Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:44 am

phoebemonkey wrote:I love helping to raise awareness of autism - I often help with training... although sometimes I go a bit mute and the training lady (who I know really well and is lovely) has to read out what I want to say instead! Maybe Aspen can come with me next time!

Aspen might help! I've never found any reliable stimming toys to help with social anxiety/sensory overload (for me personally, I mean), but a friend of mine recently got a plushie/soft toy that's done wonders for him. Just having it nearby/being able to give it a squeeze helps him a lot. He's got a few other things too, but I think the soft toy is his current life-saver. Very Happy

Welcome to the forums by the way! Very Happy I really look forward to seeing your makie made real! I'm super excited about what makie labs are doing with the Toy Like Me campaign too. I've said on other threads that the moment they make the wheelchair, I'll be buying one. I'd actually like a few different mobility devices eventually, if possible, but a chair alone is great. I had a look around, and there seems to only be something like four 1/6th scale wheelchairs made as part of doll lines ever? And three of them are by Mattel (all for Barbie). I'll be very glad when makie labs make one.
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:11 am

My eldest had a toy lizard which was used to calm him at school. Now he tends to use socks or bits of fabric, he likes waving stuff to ease his anxiety. Poor little love.

1:6 scale wheelchairs are rare yeah. We had Mattel's Becky and then I think one of the action figure companies made one but it's super expensive. I've never seen any others. Though Monster High is supposed to get one soon for Rider/Finnegan IF he ever gets a doll.

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:09 am

At the moment I often end up playing with a bit of blu-tack - which works quite well as a fidget/stim object, but sometimes I get a bit carried away with it and distract some of the people at the training! Woops. I've 'acquired' lots of blu-tack while helping with training and it often gets made into little models of penguins or other animals. Maybe having Aspen instead would be less of a distraction to other people - and to me, haha! 

My comfort/calming object is my big stuffed monkey - like the one from the PG Tips adverts. I actually have about 15 of them, but the original one is the only one I sleep with/hug... the others just sit on my bed and take up half of it! (It's a single bed, lol). When I drive through to my parents' house (1 hour away) I sit him in the passenger seat and strap him in. I'm sure I get some odd looks, but I don't care! I would take him everywhere with me, but he takes up my entire backpack, so it's a bit impractical! I tried taking one of my small monkeys with me to help with anxiety, but it doesn't have the same effect and I just get embarrassed about being 27 and holding a toy monkey... 

I'm so excited about seeing Aspen for the first time. Very Happy I keep refreshing the Makies website to see if she's been put together yet... it's been 1 1/2 weeks, so hopefully it won't be much longer!  

Have you seen the current list of suggestions for the Toy Like Me campaign? It's enormous!

My brother had a go printing those trainers at higher quality, and they look much better - I think I still need to trim some of the stringy bits, but hopefully the sockets have printed better and might actually work as connections...



I also got him some funky purple plastic to print with. The normal purple was luminous pink (yuck!) so I got two colour changing ones instead - the first is purple, but turns pink when it's warm (so it was pink while it was printing - and turns pink if you rub it) and the second is actually clear/whitish and turns vibrant purple when exposed to sunlight (UV). I can't wait to see what that one looks like when it's printed. Unfortunately my dad's office can't work/have broken their new printer, so my dad's getting my brother to print stuff for him - so he can't try out much stuff for me yet. He tried doing a crown last night though - it needs quite a bit of trimming/sanding etc, but it still looks pretty cool! Smile 

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:56 am

that Is a big list. Some more practical than others.
I mean, most of the birthmark etc ones are relatively easy to just do yourself, Makies encourage you to do your own faceups so there's no real reason why you couldn't give them birthmarks just like your kid or whatever. But I suppose that's not the point.

Albinism and hetrochromia is really easy to do. You just need pale eyes which you can totally buy elsewhere. And I have a Makie with hetrochromia, that is super simple.

I'm really hoping they'll do artificial limbs though, nghh. I don't wanna have to try to craft a prosthetic myself. Crutches, ear defenders, helmets and medi alert bracelets would be nice. Any foot or hand deformity i'm sure could be done with special clip on hands. I mean, they already do hand and foot packs.
There's some great stuff on the list, but also a lot of stuff that's a wee bit obscure or something that doesn't really NEED to be done at production (eyepatches? come on, they take like 2 minutes to just make!) (they did used to do 3d printed ones though, more piratey though)

yay 3d printed crowns btw! I would love access to a printer so I could print out some of the lab stuff. All the shoes and accessories they no longer sell.

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:32 pm

Some of the things in the list are just really unrealistic... I mean how do they expect them to be able to show invisible conditions like depression/food intolerance/autism/EDS?! The whole point of invisible conditions is obviously that they have no visible signs. The only things I can think of are t-shirts with a black dog (depression)/jigsaw piece (autism)/zebra (EDS), medic alert bracelets (food intolerance/autism/EDS), tinted glasses/ear defenders (autism), braces/splints/crutches/wheelchair (EDS) - most of which are already on their list. I mean it's not like they can make a Makie that (for example) is really hypermobile or something! You wouldn't want to go with stereotypes and make a really sad looking Makie for depression - that wouldn't make the person/child feel any better! 

Even some of the visible disabilities/conditions would be quite challenging - e.g. Downs Syndrome/Treacher Collins Syndrome. It would be difficult to get a Makie who looked enough like the 'average' presentation of the condition, but without looking over exaggerated/stereotyped and offending people. 

I would think that all the skin conditions/scars etc could be done in the same way as the birthmarks - by getting the same artist (and possibly some others) to custom paint the Makie. 

Hopefully they'll do the most common/easiest things first - I'd really like the wheelchair, crutches (I have funky purple ones) and maybe braces/splints etc. 

I just checked the Makies website and Aspen is back from the printers! Yay! Smile I can't wait for her to come!
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by jupiternames on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:53 am

Ooo!! She'll be on her way quick!

Thanks for sharing the list. I wonder too about some of the things on there. I'm pretty confused how they could do depression, but very, very excited at the possibility of a Makie that looks like a true representation of human albinism and of course I'm glad to see that the wheelchair is being actively worked on.

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:28 pm

Aspen's on her way! Smile So excited!! She better not appear while I'm out at physio though... thankfully that's the only thing I have on tomorrow!



Plus her shoes came, so once I've made her glasses she's got everything the same as 2D Aspen Smile 

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by MissRead on Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:58 am

phoebemonkey wrote:Aspen's on her way! Smile So excited!! She better not appear while I'm out at physio though... thankfully that's the only thing I have on tomorrow!



Plus her shoes came, so once I've made her glasses she's got everything the same as 2D Aspen Smile 

Yeah!  So exciting... can't wait to see her and just love her little trainers, they are just perfect!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by phoebemonkey on Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:46 am

She came!! Smile

I drove home from physio and actually caught the DHL guy at the door - phew! I've been dressing her up and posing her around the flat for most of the afternoon, lol. I love her! <3 

I'm planning on trying to make her glasses tomorrow (by putting blue lenses in them) but she looks pretty much like my drawings already. I'm going to take her with me to my art workshop/studio tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what they think! 

Here's a few photos out of the masses I've got already... 

Aspen says hi!


Sitting around


Awesome purple wig/penguin outfit - I think the wig looks great with the purple glasses!


The trainers are a little big, so I wrapped the laces around her foot just to make sure they stay on!
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by jupiternames on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:31 am

She's great! I love her expression. And everything looks great on her, the purple wig, the hoodie, the glasses. Thanks for showing her off!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by MissRead on Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:47 am

She looks wonderful, you will have such fun with her, I can see that already!  What a great girl indeed.  I just adore her footwear!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Tesa on Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:46 pm

Wow, you did a great job with designing and dressing her! I love the outfit cheers
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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:30 pm

She looks awesome! well done!

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by Kitty-kat on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:14 pm

She looks amazing! You did a great job choosing her features  Very Happy

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Re: Excited and waiting for Aspen :)

Post by DollYay on Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:02 pm

She came out wonderful!

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