I’m in a really weird doll mood.

I’m currently back to being obsessed about the idea of repainting doll heads. I did this for two of my Ever After High girls (that I’ve since sold on evilbay), but I had a really hard time getting what I pictured in my head to translate on the doll’s blank face. Drawing and painting are not my fortes, but I go back and forth between accepting that I’m just not good at art to thinking I might get better if I just practice some more. 😦 When will I learn?

I have major issues with drawing symmetrically and with with achieving depth in color and lines. I might try practicing sketching anime-style eyes before attempting doll repaints. Also, the next time around I will be using eye decals (thank you, Genius who invented the eye decal). I’m definitely going to hold off on buying any blank doll heads until Blythe Con has passed. I’m not sure how much I’ll be spending there, or if I’ll come home with a new doll in two weeks! Also, I’m not sure if I’m just going through a weird phase.

Currently, I’m waiting on a Merry Go Round Licca doll and a Pure Neemo Flexion XS Boy body.

not my photo! courtesy of google images.

I’m not sure if I’ll harvest this girl’s body and give it to one of my blythe girls, or if I’ll keep the Licca as is. If I do rebody her, I’ll probably purchase an Azone Pure Neemo Flexion XS girl body for her. As for the boy body, that one is eventually going to become this guy:

And if I can successfully put together a pure neemo version of him (Marshall Lee-esque – I won’t be spray painting his whole body and face grey, but I am getting the white pure neemo body and I will get the white obitsu head.), I will be making Fionna the Human too ^^.

I got so excited at the idea of putting together a doll that I couldn’t focus on anything else… I guess I should focus on getting one project done at a time! >_< This weekend I will be giving my cat girl face plates some makeup. I also have to finish crocheting that blythe carry bag! And, I have three baby blanket commissions. Behold, my WIP:

IMG_3794

I still have to attach the arms, and sew the face on.

By the way, I’m super excited about this three day weekend. My plan is to get a ton done!

Outfits of the day

The title is technically incorrect because my girls will be wearing their new outfits for atleast a week, if not more. 

   

  Rosaline is wearing a dress by Kuloft and shoes by Qmagicdoll. Finley’s pinafore is from a set I purchased from BlytheBerryGirl and her shoes are from CoolCat. I bought the dress underneath in a lot of blythe clothes from eBay, so I have no clue where it’s from. :3 Finley looks so good in creams and whites! Kind of like a sparrow or dove.    

I also redid Rosaline’s face as soon as my new bottle of MSC (I know the “flat” version was reformulated a few years back and people are having issues with the sealant cracking. I use the UV flat version, which still says flat and not “matte”… Not sure if that makes any difference). I did some more carving on her lips, I added some design on her lids, I redid her blush and lip color, and I trimmed her hair by two inches. 

Things I learned this time around

  • I must be more patient. 😦 I had to use sand paper to buff out some marks I made on her forehead because the sealant wasn’t completely dry. Also, one of her eyelids has a scratch on them for the same reason. Oops 😦 .
  • Draw the eyelid design closer to the lash line. 
  • The tips on Miseducated’s blog was super helpful! I basically followed the blogger’s instructions on how to paint the lips. I’m pretty pleased with the result, as it looks more natural than before.

I can’t wait till my small order from Cool Cat for customizing tools comes in. I have a blank face plate I want to practice on using the new carving tools ^^. If the face plate comes out looking awesome, I might just make a girl from parts.   

I’m actually going to a blythe meet this weekend (very excited ^^), and I plan on taking Rosaline this time. To get her looking presentable, I cut her hair, redid her curls, and am now touching up the curls I wasn’t happy with. I actually use the same type of flat clips on my bangs to get them to swoop to the side. Rosaline is my hair inspiration – one day when I don’t work in a business casual office, I too will have pink and curly hair.

 

Second wind

After a fail day of trying to sew some clothes, I decided I’d take another stab at doing a couple of more customs to my new girl. And I would like to add, my cat was a GIANT pain in my butt the entire time (knocking things off my dresser, actually splaying herself on top of the fabrics I”m about to measure and cut, chewing on things she’s not supposed to. OMG GIRL JUST CHILL.)

I really wanted to boggle Rosaline to give her a childlike, wide-eyed look. I wasn’t able to a couple of days ago because I couldn’t finagle her eye balls out of her eye mech. After a while of wedging and prying, I finally popped them out!

While i was at it, I decided to give her some superficial white freckles using acrylic paints (as suggested by Jann from Project Doll House). I ran out of Mr. Super Clear UV Matt spray after spraying Rosaline’s face a bunch of times a couple of nights ago, so I didn’t fret over decorating her eye lids. It’s also raining something fierce, so I wasn’t too bummed (I didn’t feel like I could have done more, but I didn’t). I don’t think her not having decorated lids takes away from the vibe I was going for.

Boggled!

Boggled!

Ahhh I’m so happy!

So, here’s a checklist of things I’ve done to Rosaline:

  • Gave her sleep eyes – easy peasy
  • Gave her a gaze lift – easy peasy
  • Changed her pull strings to a pink cord – easy peasy
  • Gave her a fringe – not too bad
  • Sand matted her face – easy peasy
  • Blushed her cheeks – 😦 I wasn’t the best at this. I think the difficulty depends on the effect you’re going for.
  • Some lip carving – not terrible, but again I think it depends on what look you want to achieve. In my case, I followed Rosaline’s natural lip line, and defined it some. I carved a little outside of her factory drawn lips, to give her a small smile. I think it’s amazing when some customizers drastically change the shape of the lips, and breathe life into their doll.
  • Some nostril definition (very, very subtle) – because, why not? I just used my carving tool (sintered needle) and made repetitive small circular motions where her nostril is.
  • Boggled her eyes – popping the eyes out of the mech was HARD. cutting the plastic to achieve the boggled look was pretty easy.
  • Gave her faint white freckles – easy peasy

Here’s what’s in store for her:

  • New pull rings and charms! I bought a pendant from eBay that I want to use. I just need to order pull rings (I have my eye on these Glitter Pull rings and these Jelly Pull rings).
  • Maybe one day I will paint her eye lids. It’s kind of a hassle to buy Mr. Super Clear, and I also don’t like using it because I don’t take all the precautions when spraying. I know that a respirator is heavily recommended, but I just put a simple mask on and spray my dolls outside and quickly walk upwind of my doll.
  • Most likely a Licca body.
  • Fin.

Here are a few things I’ve learned, as well as some resources I found extremely helpful.

  • The factory girl’s eye chips are smaller than that of a standard blythe! I tried switching out Rosaline’s green front facing chips with a pair of hand painted ones, but they wouldn’t fit in the slot. I asked a blythe facebook group about it, and apparently some of the fakes have smaller eye chips and that sanding is required if I want to use a different set than the one the doll came with. Oh well.
  • Customizing takes a long time. I would estimate that Rosaline took me 7-8 hours total to customize. I know I spent about an hour on her hair cut and curling. I’m not sure if this time frame is normal, or if I’m just really slow.
  • Unassembling SUCKS. I would say the hardest parts were popping out her eye mech from her head, and then the eye balls from the eye mech.
  • I found these websites very helpful.

List of things I used:
Water color pencils, Soft chalk pastels, a razor blade, Sintered diamond needle file, Very fine grain sand paper, Screw drivers (various sizes), Acrylic paints, Q-Tips, Toothpicks, Mr Super Clear Flat UV cut (I purchased mine off of eBay), paint brushes (I didn’t need these, but I like using them to blend the pastels, and the very fine tipped brush to use the chalk pastel wet to get into the crevice of Rosaline’s lips).

I’m exhausted.

Trauma in the Blythe operating room

So… I didn’t plan to start customizing until maybe a month from now. Last night, I decided to try giving my new girl sleep eyes, pink pull strings, and a gaze correction. First off, the screws in the back of her head were near impossible for me to undo. I sat there, sweating for about 40 minutes before I woke up my dad to do it for me (unfortunately, it was hard for him too because of how I mangled the screw). We got that open, and then came all the prying to get the parts out. Everything seemed really wedged inside her head, and in the end, I was unable to unscrew her scalp from her front face plate, and remove her eyeballs from her eye lids. 

My plans on drawing on her eyelids were a bust. At this point, all I could think of is “Geez and holy freaking moly. I will never open her up again so I better do everything now.” And so that’s how this went down.    

Ok let’s be positive. I really like sleep eyes, and the gaze lift and pull string changing was easy! I’m looking forward to charming up her string, and I will put in an order for some Twiggy Twiggy pull rings in a couple of weeks. 

 Now allow me to be negative. 

Her blush is splotchy :(, and I didn’t blend well on the sides, which makes me sad. I also attempted white freckles, but they hardly show. Her eyes are droopy. And I made her look more adult like than childlike! D: 

Whatever you do… Don’t zoooooom. 

Cadence Majorette has arrived!

Neo Blythe box

UGH. I was so excited when I saw this box! This will be my very first Blythe doll.

Mini review on the website/store that I purchased her from:

I ordered a Cadence Majorette doll from CC Toys a little over 3 weeks ago. They are based in Hong Kong and from researching on the internet, I felt comfortable enough ordering from their website. They accept paypal as a form of payment, and they shipped out my doll 2 days after I ordered it (I even received a tracking number). Cadence did take a bit longer than I thought to get to me, but I do blame the awful weather we’ve been having (snow for days) for the delay. I was actually a little worried that the doll got lost at sea or something, so I sent CC Toy’s an email asking them how long it usually takes for a doll to reach the U.S. The store’s customer service is very good 😀 – I received a response the very next day. The person who wrote me back was very helpful and nice. She (I think the person is a she) explained that they send their dolls via air mail, and that it generally takes 8 – 10 business days to ship from Hong Kong to the U.S. However, due to all the snow we’ve been having, it might take longer. Also, USPS needs to update their tracking info for international packages more often. I must have checked that sucker 5 times a day waiting for an update.

Moving onto the doll:

Cadence Majorette

Cadence Majorette

Cadence Majorette

Her hair needs some serious cleaning/styling. … I don’t know how to do that, so I shall google it tomorrow 😀 (unless someone would share some tips with me ^^).

And here are some of the hats I crocheted for her during the 3 weeks I was waiting for her (they were a long 3 weeks) –

Cadence Majorette Finn

Cadence Majorette Bear

Cadence Majorette Fox

Cadence Majorette

She’s so cute!! I love how super pale her hair is, and how well different colored clothing would look on her. I don’t have much of a wardrobe for her yet, but I’m going to try my hand at sewing soon. I’m a little worried about any fabrics (including her stock clothing, which she is currently wearing because she still has her plastic sleeve on) staining her body, so I will probably have to look into how to set dyes too (maybe I’m worrying too much). I can’t wait to take photos with her outside when it gets warm!

Weeeee. I’m already keeping tabs on new release info for any potential new members of my dolly family! I will most likely pass on Less Jeuenette (I dunno… maybe the actual doll will appeal more to me than the release drawing) and the 14th Anniversary doll (I don’t dig her concept). I am however SUPER keen on the My Melody Blythe that’s supposedly coming out in September of this year. I REALLY want a pink haired blythe, and I already have the most perfect name for one, 😀

And now that’s enough excitement for today.

CA Cupid and Blondie Lockes

Cupid and BlondieCupid's new faceCupid and Blondie

I spent yesterday slaving away over Cupid’s face. This being the 3rd time I’ve repainted her face (because I wasn’t happy that her face wasn’t as good as Blondie’s face), there were some substantial stains on the actual doll. The whole process actually takes up a ton of time – between waiting for coats of paint or sealant to dry, and trying to get every feature as symmetrical as possible, I think it takes about 3 or more hours from start to finish.

I saw the Lizzie Hearts Spring Unsprung play set and Blondie Lockes Just Sweet doll at Target, but I passed on both of them due to the price (:( I refuse to pay retail for these dolls, since they go on sale at one point or another online). I’m not too sure I’ll get Just Sweet Blondie, because from reviews I’ve watched on Youtube, I think that hair piece on top is her hair cut super short and gelled to shape (so she has Alfalfa hair!).

Lizzie Hearts Spring Unsprung IMG_0538

Blondie Lockes Repaint Success

I spent the better part of Sunday repainting this doll’s face. I’m super happy with how she turned out! I planned out her face on a blank face chart and this time I tried to incorporate more acrylic paint. Here’s a few things I learned this time around:

  • Spray the face a couple of times before getting to work. The pencils and paints adhere better this way.
  • To get into the crevice for the lips, I dip a tiny brush into water and then into powder chalk pastel. It’s easier getting the watery pigment in there than pencil.
  • Mix your acrylics with some water. It thins the paint a bit and helps it go on smoother
  • Seal atleast twice when done with the repaint.

The one thing that irks me is that the Saran Wrap I had covering her hair actually covered a little bit of her forehead, so I can tell where the sealant stops. Oh well.

And here are the photos!

Before and after:   Mid repaint: I used acrylic paint predominantly on the white parts of her eyes. The color pencils actually show up better on the white acrylic.

  Pretty much done:

  Boil wash and curl (sheet for modesty):

  Completed Blondie (and a shot of her hair):

     

My second (and final) attempt at repainting

As soon as I got home from work, I took some acetone to my CA Cupid’s face and removed the faceup I gave her the day before. I’m quite happy with the final result.



I did a few things differently this time around that helped me translate my idea into the reality of her wee plastic face.  

  • I found it really helpful to sketch out her face beforehand. It is also probably a mental thing but planning ahead also made me more confident about my ability to repaint. 



In this case I just printed a pseudo face chart for myself and started sketching out what I wanted my doll to look like. Having it all drawn out helped me organize my thoughts and actions actually factored into when I decided to seal Cupid’s face.

  • I used spray sealant liberally this time around. I must have stepped outside to use my Mr. Super Clear about 6 to 7 times. It sort of went like this: Powder on blush > Seal > Color in white of eyes and define eye shape > Seal > Draw and shade pupils and lips, and deepen the color of already sealed portions of face > Seal > Continue to define the face while building up color > Final seal > Add gloss varnish to eyes and lips.
  • The sealing between steps is annoying because you have to put your work down for 15-30 minutes, but it’s crucial for doing a soft save on what you’ve drawn already and it helps with layering colors to get more depth. 
  • Try to keep clean Q tips and super thin brushes handy. I used both dipped in water and shaken off to clean up mistakes. 

Also, I’m not sure if I did something wrong or if I’m supposed to seal the doll more than once when I’m done drawing, but when I boil washed Cupid’s hair at the end I noticed that some of the watercolor pencil from her eyes ran a little when a tiny bit of water splashed onto it. At that point, I didn’t want to wrap her up again to spray the sealant on her and then repaint the gloss varnish… Next time though. 



Evolution of her face. 

My first repaint

I purchased my only doll (Cupid from Ever After High) because I thought she was a cute character, I liked her pink hair, and I really want to try repainting. I found her for $10 on Amazon and then I proceeded to purchase my tools.

  • Mr. Super Clear UV flat sealant – $18 on eBay 
  • Watercolor pencils – $30 from Michaels
  • Chalk pastels -$9 from Michaels
  • Gloss varnish – $10 at Michaels
  • Various paint brushes 
  • White acrylic pint (had at home)
  • Acetone – $2

This is her before:Mid repaint:The finished product:Sailor senshi of love!I’m not all together that happy with how she turned out. I think I did the best I physically could, but I will probably erase her face and start over. I learned a few things about myself in the process though!

  • My hands shake. BAD. I’m not sure if it’s from the pressure or if I’m getting old.
  • I am not an artist.
  • I am overly optimistic about how much better I can do at this.
  • Gloss varnish goes LAST.

I’m a little proud of how symmetrical I was able to draw her face. When I repaint her again, I will blog about it :3.