Rerooting Adventures

For the past couple of week or so, I’ve been working on a saran reroot for Rory. There are quite a few tutorials and resources out there for doll reroots, but I figured one more Blythe-centric reroot post wouldn’t hurt! Also, as a complete noob on rerooting, I thought it might be helpful for me to share my experience, resources I have found helpful, and my own advice.

The Materials I used:

A blank scalp – I purchased mine in a set of 4 from Cool Cat. 4 blank PVC scalps came out to be $36 plus $4 shipping. I’ve read that you can buy scalps with holes prepunched into the scalp on Aliexpress, but also, I’ve read that the holes can be quite unevenly spaced. Cool Cat also sells rubber scalps, which I’ve read are easier to penetrate with a needle. I didn’t struggle too much with prepping my scalp, though I do wonder if a rubber scalp might be easier on the hands.

A carpet needle – I recommend a thick, sharp needle. I started off poking holes with a thinner needle, but I found it super challenging pushing a 0.9 mm crochet hook through the holes. I’ve also been advised that a tapestry needle would be good for punching holes too.

A 0.9mm crochet hook and a 1.0mm crochet hook – I used the smaller crochet hook for the thatch, since the holes are closer together, and the thicker crochet hook for the rest of the scalp. I don’t think you need more than one hook though.

Saran hair – I purchased my hair from Dollyhair.com, but there are several sellers online. I recommend doing research before purchasing. I purchased 5 hanks of 38” saran – 3 in Cupcake Pink, 1 in Lemon Blonde, and 1 in Mint Ice.

Water – This is very important. Working with the hair wet keeps the hair plugs together while you’re handling it, and it makes the whole process less hairy (XD).

Acrylic Paint – This is to paint the scalp the color of the hair you will be rooting, so any sparse areas are less noticeable.

The Method I used: Lock and Loop Method

I won’t be doing a tutorial, but I will link some excellent resources here:

Lovalizious Blythe Reroot Tutorial Part 1 and Part 2 – This is the tutorial I referred to most. The tutorial explains prepping the scalp and rerooting using the lock and loop method with alpaca fiber. There are a lot of pictures and detailed explanations, which I supplemented with youtube videos when necessary.

Shershe’s Saran Reroot Tutorial on Flicker – A lot of great photos and explanations geared toward saran reroots.

No Nap Time Doll Reroot and Resources – I used this blog post to better understand the types of hair material and rerooting methods. It also lists some reroot material sellers and the author’s experience with each of them, as well as other helpful links.

My Little Customs’s ‘How to Thatch a Part line’ youtube video – I got a little confused by how to thatch a 4 line part line 😄 .

Mademoiselle Blythe’s “The Beauty of Saran”– A lot of helpful tips on rerooting using saran.

My progress so far:

Prepping the scalp – It took me 2 days to finish poking all the little holes. I followed the instructions found on Lovalizious in terms of hole spacing and row spacing. If I could do it over again, I would have spaced the rows and the holes at the top of the head tighter together. I also would have extended the thatch line further back than indicated. I’m pretty sure I made a mistake not taking into consideration that saran behaves differently than alpaca fiber, which is what the tutorial uses. Right now, the scalp is looking pretty sparse, which worries me (it’s too late to turn back now).24103027873_15e1bc7292_k

Rooting the thatch line – This also took me two days to complete. Also, I’ve been told that it’s easiest to root the thatch first and then thatch the thatch line, before rooting the rest of the head.

Rooting the rest of the scalp – I am currently working on this, and I think I’m 1/3 the way done rooting the holes I have made so far. Looking at it now, I get the creeping suspicion that I’ll have to go back and create new holes and figure out a way to include some more plugs at the top of the head. I might go in with a smaller crochet hook, and create some new rows between the rows that are already rooted so that the gaps between the plugs are less noticeable. I really hope I won’t have to do this.24362204889_0956774891_z

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It’s so messy!

Some tips

  • Keep in mind the material you are rooting with. Saran isn’t really fluffy, so I probably should have made the holes and rows a bit closer together at the top of the head.
  • Mind the size of your plugs. I found that the rooting is considerably easier if the plugs are the right size for the crochet hook I am using. If the plugs are too thick, some of the hair would fall off of the hook while I pull the hair through the hole. The loop I would pull through would also be kind of messy, and some of the saran even snapped in half because of the force I would exert trying to pull the fat plug through. If you’re struggling to keep the hairs hooked under the crochet hook, then the plug is probably too big.
  • Take breaks. What I’ve been doing is turning on some youtube playlist of doll vlogs, making 10 plugs, rooting them, and so on and so forth. I find that alternating between making plugs and rooting breaks up the monotony.
  • Keep all the hair wet.
  • Comb the saran often! I found that I lost quite a bit of hair (not the best at rerooting 😦 ). Also, combing helps confirm that all the plugs are secure.
  • I used a bobby pin to keep the hairs together on the last loop when I decide to put the rerooting aside.

I’ll report back again once I’ve finished rooting all the holes!

Liebster Award

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Chrissy from Kicky Resin nominated me for the Liebster Award! I’ve seen this type of post on my WordPress reader, and I had been wanting to do it myself, so this is kind of exciting ^^. Thank you Chrissy!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog.
  2. Post the award image on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  5. Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them your post.

How did you get into the hobby?
Almost a year ago, I stumbled onto the Instagram of a friend of a friend. The Instagram featured Ever After High dolls (my gateway doll), beautifully photographed and strategically filtered, both in and out of their stock clothes. I then started to watch the actual show Ever After High, and youtube videos of vloggers who hunt for, debox, restyle, or repaint these dolls. These dolls had so much potential for fun, and they were pretty cheap so I didn’t have to think too hard about buying one. After getting my first doll, which was a C.A. Cupid, I did some more research on higher-end dolls. My search came back with three viable options: Blythe, Pullip, or BJD. At the time, the decision was really between whether I should get a Blythe or a Pullip, because BJDs were way out of my price range (at that point in time). In the end, Blythe dolls won my heart. My decision had to do a lot with the blogs, photos, and Youtube videos I combed through while trying to make up my mind. I noticed that the owners of Blythe dolls often named their girls, customized them, and gave them personalities. I also loved the range of expression on Blythe faces. Plus, that eye changing thing is pretty wild.

How many dolls do you have or plan to have?
I currently have four Blythe dolls. I am expecting my fifth doll in February, and I think I’ll be good for this year. Each of my girls are very special to me, and once my fifth girl comes, I think I can be happy with my family (for the time being).

What is your dream/grail doll?
This is tough because my wishlist is always changing. As of RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, I would really love to add a BL to my collection – my favorite being Mondrian and Parco.

Is there a feature of a doll that will always win you over?
For stock dolls, I would have to say it is the complexion that wins me over. Translucent dolls seem super special to me, and in photos they seem to glow. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a feature of a custom doll that wins me over, because I need to love the whole face, and the combined aura it gives the doll, rather than an isolated feature. Custom dolls are super expensive too, so I have to love the doll absolutely in order to make that big of a purchase.

Do your dolls have their own personalities, stories, or universe?
My girls have personalities! Though sometimes a new trait pops up that I didn’t arbitrarily decide from the get-go. The girl’s personality is also largely dependent on how they look, so I guess they are their personalities personified. I haven’t thought of stories or universes for them. My dolls seem more like little house sprites that have taken residence on my shelf.

Do you prefer to buy things or make things for your dolls?
I prefer to make things, in an effort to be money-conscious (thrifty :-/). I definitely prefer the look of bought things though! I can’t really sew, so I make a ton of things by crocheting… but man, a whole outfit made of crocheted pieces looks so… “Home-sewn” or “Suzy Homemaker”, as Tim Gunn would say. I have definitely spent a lot on clothes in the past year I’ve been in the Blythe hobby, but I’m trying to be better about this.

Do you have a favorite brand or company for dolls, clothes, wigs, shoes, etc?
Blythe is my favorite doll brand. For clothes, I may have too many favorite stores to count, but I’ve made multiple purchases at Plastic Fashion and I intend to own more Button Arcade dresses. For shoes, nothing beats the fit of Takara Blythe stock shoes.

What is your favorite size of doll?
I like 1/6 scale dolls (surprise!). They’re portable, and there’s so much out there in the ways of clothes and shoes in that size.

Do you have a favorite doll in your collection?
This is a tough one… The girls I have are all special to me! I’ve also purged the dolls that I felt that I’ve outgrown or no longer fit in with my collection. To be quite honest, I may have to pick Rory as my favorite, atleast for now. She is a fake base Blythe that I have customized (my second time customizing a doll). I’m quite proud of the job I did on her, and after I completed her, I’ve come to terms with the fact that extensive customizing is not for me. She has had her face carved and repainted,  a set of chips changed, sleep eyes installed, boggled, gaze lifted, and a body transplant. She also received a not so great haircut, and I’m currently rooting a scalp for her. She truly feels like a doll I recreated. Since her hair is the most manageable, Rory is also the one I reach for the most to model my hats

What is more important, aesthetics or pose-ability? Or something else?
Aesthetics – my doll’s look and style has to inspire me, because a lot of how I participate in this hobby depends on my feeling inspired by my dolls. Their cuteness moves me to dress them up and figure out what clothes suit them, crochet accessories for them, photograph them, and blog about them. I don’t mind so much that their Takara bodies limit their pose-ability, but I depend on their little big faces to motivate me.

Where do you keep your dolls?
My dolls live on one of my top shelves that is built into the wall of my room. It’s out of reach of my cat (very important), and since it’s built into the wall and a bit high up, the dolls are away from the sunlight.

My Nominees:

Andddddd my questions!

  1. How did you get into the doll hobby
  2. What is your favorite brand of doll?
  3. Do your dolls share anything in common with one another?
  4. Do you have a Grail doll? If so, which one is it?
  5. Pick your favorite doll line – what attributes do you hope their next release will have?
  6. Have you learned a new craft because of being in the hobby?
  7. Who is your favorite doll in your collection?
  8. Who is your favorite customizer, face-up artist, or do you prefer your dolls completely stock or with the factory face-up?
  9. Who would you like to see your doll brand do a collaboration with?
  10. What doll related project do you hope to do in the future?
  11. How big of a role does blogging have for you in relation to this hobby?

I look forward to reading everyone’s responses, and of course, participating is completely optional!

 

A Doll A Day – Week One

I might have mentioned this before, but I decided to try a doll photo challenge! The one I am attempting is A Doll A Day, which I guess I was technically supposed to start on January 1st (oops). Currently, I am on day 7 out of 366.

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This is my favorite photo from this first week (2/366). I think Finley looks particularly sweet, and it reminds me of the more recent episode of Adventure Time with BMO and Football (BMO’s friend who lives on the other side of the mirror). That cat dress, which I bought for Rory, also looks way better on Finley (sorry, Rory).

I think doing this photo challenge will be good for me. It’ll help me be more active in the blythe hobby, and it doesn’t involve shopping 😄 . It also encourages me to redress my girls often. I’m kind of running out of ideas on how to creatively photograph my dolls though (and only one week in too).

Some things I will be posting about soon:

  • Rerooting! – I’m working on a saran reroot for Rory. It is SLOW GOING. I just want to share my progress here on the blog.
  • A Complete (???) Marshall Lee – Marshall Lee’s wig will be shipping in a few days! The etsy seller knows the character I am basing my doll off of, and said she’d try to style the fur wig accordingly. I am very excited for my azone/obitsu hybrid to be complete.

Woo Wednesday tomorrow. We are halfway to the weekend.

Snowed in 

I used to love snow when I was a kid. The snow seemed special somehow, because it only happened a few times during the winter, and even then, sometimes it didn’t stick or was too powdery for any kid shenanigans. The snow was a promise of snow angels, snow forts, and if there was enough of it, a snow day.

I am now so over the snow :(. I think it has to do with the fact that instead of playing with it, I am now responsible for shoveling it. And all I can think of now is, IF ONLY BLIZZARD JONAS CAME A DAY LATER.

Anyway, I gave Marina a hair spa this weekend, which involved a trim and a wash.  She has an insane amount of hair, and it’s longer than she is tall. I normally have it braided or in a pony tail. Her hair is surprisingly well behaved when wet! I decided to give her curls to see how she would look.IMG_6186.jpgAnd voila. I have no idea what her hair is made of that it holds a curl so well! This new do definitely gives Marina a different vibe. The hair spa definitely made her hair softer. I wish I had a chunky knit sweater to put her in. img_6187I’m also working on a reroot for Rory. I’ve finished prepping the scalp, though I’m not convinced that my crochet hook will be able to pop through the holes I made. The hole punching part took me two days (of sporadic hole poking throughout the day). Now I have to prep the hair and start rooting. I think if I successfully complete the first scalp, I will try rooting with mohair or alpaca on my second scalp.

I hope everyone is staying warm!

Getting to know you~

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Reese is wearing a dress from MINIJIJO and Licca chan shoes. She’s had a hair spa, and I tried to maintain the slight wave in her hair by putting in some curlers while her hair dried. Her and Marina look like very opposite twins! Like, sisters trying really hard not to look like each other at all (a chorus of “we’re our own people okay??!”).

Reese looks a bit like the odd one out on my shelf. She’s the only uncustomized girl I have, but I do feel that she rounds out the group by making the number of TBLS to real releases even. I really love her FBL face!

Mail Roll Call!

  • Faux fur wig from etsy for Marshall Lee (will probably take some weeks to get to me)
  • Washi tape from eBay
  • Cherie Babette (should arrive sometime in February hopefully)
  • Coolcat scalps (I think this is at the post office waiting for me to go pick them up)

That Weekend I spent 3 Days Crocheting

Just a whole ton of crocheting. Cue Crocheting Montage:

I made a cowl for myself, and I decided to stitch up some of the granny squares I made for a small mat my kitty can sit on. I also tried making helmet style hats for my girls! I’m really digging the floppy bunny ear look.IMG_6082 (1).jpgI added the above hats to my etsy store, and I also made an extra white beret to keep (currently being worn by Finley).

I was a very busy bee this weekend, and I kind of feel drained from all that crocheting. For the most part, I do crochet almost every day. But, it usually takes me longer to finish one project on a weekday because of the interruptions and limited amount of free time before I need to go to sleep. I kind of felt like I hit my stride this weekend, and got in this determined, productive mood to crochet.

And now I want to talk about something I’m super excited about – the February Blythe release, Cherie Babette!20160118_cheriebabette_02

She’s going to be released on February 12, which is my birthday month! She’s the first girl I have ever pre-ordered, and I was thrilled to see her photos come out this long weekend. She is an FBL mold, with translucent fair skin. She will be my first translucent girl, and I’m really excited to bring her into the fold. I’m a little bummed that she doesn’t come with shoes or stock that fits minus the bear kigurumi, and I do wish her hair was shorter (a la Bloomy Bloomsbury). Other than that, she is really cute! I’m really loving her coloring – in actual photos of this doll, her cheeks and lips are a vibrant light pink, and I don’t have a brunette in my collection at the moment (I have three fantasy haired girls and one platinum blonde).

Cherie Babette is kind of my birthday gift to myself (or consolation gift for growing yet another year older). Also, since I purchased her last year in December, I don’t count this as a 2016 purchase :D.

Anddd let the dolly no-buy commence.

 

Three day weekend goodness

I have a three day weekend!! I love three day weekends, because during weekdays I never feel like I have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I always feel rushed, and before I know it, it’s time for me to sleep. On weekends, I try to plan out my days to maximize the free time I have, whether it’s finishing projects, running errands, cleaning, or starting something completely new. Speaking of which…24314480602_bed85bb74c_kThe saran hair I ordered came in the mail today! I’m planning on rerooting a scalp I purchased from Cool Cat (still waiting on the scalp). I’ve been wanting a new scalp for Rory, as I wasn’t happy with the way I cut her hair. My IRL Blythe friend mentioned she really wanted to try rerooting with thermal saran, and so I took this as an opportunity to reroot as well! I’m hoping to have like… a reroot party… where we just turn on a movie, and reroot scalps together XD… and complain together maybe? (my idea of fun). I’ve decided to go with a mostly pink scalp with streaks of mint and yellow. I didn’t want to do just a one hair color reroot, because I feel like it would be better to just buy a fake scalp on eBay. I also wanted to keep Rory pink haired, since I’ve re-homed my other pink haired girl. I imagine that rerooting will probably take me some weeks… maybe months. I’ll make progress reports!

I am also planning on giving Reese a hair spa this weekend.23794542834_d90de780f5_z

It’s long overdue >_< . Also, that white sweater she’s wearing is the official spa day apparel in my home. Since it’s white, and made of a pretty sturdy cotton material, I don’t mind if it gets a bit wet while Reese’s hair dries. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep the slight wave in her hair after the spa. I might put her hair in curlers.

Last doll related thing – I redressed my girls! Sometimes, I feel like I have way too many articles of Blythe clothing. Redressing my girls helps me edit their wardrobe, and figure out what I want to sell and what I want to keep. Even though I’ve accumulated quite a bit of clothes, I find I struggle to coordinate the pieces into outfits I’m happy with. More often then not, my girls are dressed in clothes that I don’t think are really their style. Ah well.