At the park with the girls

Today was one of those rare occasions where I brought my blythe dolls out with me. I met up with my coworker friend who is also into blythe dolls, and we managed to nab a table at a park in the city… a very crowded park in the city.

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This is my friend’s stock Manuheali’i Paradise Girl ^^. I love the warm color of this girl’s hair, the small gold earrings, and her painted nails! Also, all of her chips are stunning (I think they’re all special colors). My friend is really into lolita fashion, and bought the outfit from Junie Moon.

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Marina is sporting a sweater that I won from a Blythe Life giveaway and a dress I purchased in a lot on eBay. When I was dressing her for her outing, it really hit me that I don’t have anything in my dolly wardrobe that really suits Marina. I must remedy this.

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Rory is wearing a dress I purchased from a youtube sales video/decluttering series by Maidensuit, and the glasses from the Les Jeunette stock I purchased from Jannette of Project Dollhouse.

It’s a little unnerving to have the dolls out in such a public, and crowded area. The park was crawling with people, and I tried not to pay attention to stares as I tried to take some photos of the dollies against the backdrop that is the park.

I had a lot of fun though! One of my favorite parts of blythe meets (I guess since it was just me and my friend that this was more of a blythe hangout?) is that I get to see blythe dolls I wouldn’t normally have a chance to. After seeing a Manuheali’i Paradise Girl, I’m kind of sad that I didn’t try harder to get Cherry Beach Sunset (hopefully next year, I’ll nab a tan summer girl!).

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One last photo of my girls on their first outing :3 .

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Pull strings and other things

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped to be during the long weekend, but I did manage to cross off a few things from my To Do List.i updated Marina’s pull string! I purchased these super cute charms and beads from Michaels about a week ago. Marina is my mermaid girl on land. She’s not necessarily all about ships and boats, but she is all about the sea, and what better way to traverse them than on a ship?I also put Rory in my new Les Jeunette stock. I seriously love those stock glasses. They kind of remind me of my own frames, except mine are a bit more rectangular. I didn’t realize that stock glasses kind of click into place. The glasses actually remind me of her:

 My girls are quickly forming cliques – there are the princess type girls (Finley and Rosaline) and the trendy girls (Rory and Marina). Bryn doesn’t give two shakes about what anyone thinks about what she’s wearing. Case in point – her giant cupcake hat. She kind of floats between the two groups.   
 

Friends ^^

 I think my next girl will either be a stock girl that I’m completely in love with in stock form (Hello Dark Rabbit!), or a cat girl.

The two girls coming with me to Blythe Con will be Marina and Bryn. This will give me a chance to shop around without having to agonize at the convention over who to leave Finley with, even if the customizer did agree to take her as an on the spot commission (plus, I realized that all the vendors probably have a ton to pack and bring home as it is… may be best not to add to their luggage). I have my heart set on a number of items from the vendors’ online stores. My goal is to buy a couple of things for Bryn (staples), and versatile separates for my Neos.
5.5 weeks until Blythe Con!

Weekend Re-Wardrobing

I try to make it a point to redress my dolls on the weekends, for what good is a big wardrobe if it’s not being used! I definitely have favorite pieces within my dolly clothing collection, so try as I might, some dresses get pulled out more often than others.

This week’s best dressed girl:

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I think one of the good things about making and selling these hats is that if they don’t sell, my girls get new hats ^^.

With Finley, lately I’ve been struggling with bonding with her. When she stands next to my customized girls, her face seems to lack personality. However, when she wears outfits like the one in the photo, I’m reminded why I like her so much! Finley’s coloring pretty much goes with anything, and her almost white hair is striking.

Could use some improvement:

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I feel like this might be too much pink on Rosaline. The dress is new to my collection, and I wanted to try it out. I’m not sure if it would look better without the blouse underneath, but in any event, the high collar and the long skirt seem stuffy. I will most likely change her into something else tomorrow.

Honorable mention:

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I originally had Rory in this long sleeved dress, but I decided to redress her. I wasn’t feeling how dark the overall look was, and it didn’t seem summer appropriate.

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This is also not really appropriate for summer, but it’s actually been a smidge cooler where I live (80 degrees instead of 90), so I thought “why not?” I think she looks good in this Stella Savannah stock! I’m kind of in love with the hat I made for her, so I tried coordinating outfits around it.

Redressing my girls and coordinating outfits is one of the things I really enjoy in this hobby. I must have favorited a few hundred listings on etsy for Blythe clothes and accessories. I’m pretty sure my dollies dress better than I do!

The unexpected new girl – My second stab at Blythe customizing

I can’t help but check the Dolly Adoption facebook group at least once a day, on the off chance that I might see a girl from my wishlist at a good price, or (such is the case here) a girl at such a low price as to be too good to pass up. I’ve been wanting to try customizing again, and I currently have a blank face plate in my closet, and a few new carving tools I purchased from Cool Cat. I saw this hot pink haired fake blythe up for adoption at a low, low price, and I jumped at the chance to buy her.

Here is how she started life (lol. Also, this is not my photo, but the photo used in the For Sale thread on FB.)

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She then swiftly became the unfortunate recipient of my hair cutting skills. I really wanted this new girl to have a bob, similar to Bloomy Bloomsbury, but my hands had difficulty recreating the image I had in my head :(.

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These are the tools I used to carve the face plate! I definitely recommend the angled wood carving tool and the needle files.

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I even carved the philtrum this time! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, considering I had no idea what I was doing. I looked at my hand mirror from time to time to figure out what the philtrum should look like. For the philtrum, I used one of the thicker needle files and in small circular motions, i carved the shape i wanted the philtrum to be.

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She has a set of hand painted chips from Musaenfuga, and the brown set are from Dainty Biscuit (purchased from ebay). Her pull strings are decorated with beads from an old bracelet I had back in high school and a locket I purchased years ago. The pull ring is from Twiggy Twiggy.

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Her hair needs some serious help. I actually have thinned it out with some thinning shears (very arbitrarily I might add), and her hair is currently in curlers. If I can’t get it to look better, I might just buy a new scalp (in mint!).

The whole customizing experience I had with this girl was pretty good! I did have some trouble with one of the screws inside her head, and also putting her eye mech together after disassembling it, but other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing! I felt less nervous about opening the doll’s head up, and taking her apart. I found that disassembling this new girl was a LOT easier than both Finley and Rosaline. I think, in part it’s because I knew what to expect, and in some ways, this new girl’s pieces had more give to them (there seemed to be more space between the eye mech and her face plate, and also her eye mech pieces didn’t seem so impossibly wedged together). I want to say that this new girl is the TBL to Rosaline’s TBL+.

I don’t have a name for this girl yet, but she does seem to be developing a personality. Unlike my other girls, who really like froofy stuff, I think her style gears more toward trendy/darker colors. ^^ I think my favorite part about her is that mole I gave her. And to continue the tradition, this girl has a Plastic Fashion dress coming her way in the mail right now. Hopefully by the time it comes, I”ll have a name for her and her hair sorted out.

Laundry list of things I’ve done to her – Sanded face and eye lids, carved mouth, carved nostrils, carved philtrum, lid decoration with chalk pastels and watercolor pencils, winged liner using acrylic paint, new lashes, blush using chalk pastels, mole drawn using watercolor pencils, (AMATEUR) hair cut, sleep eyes, boggled eyes, gaze lift, and decorated pull strings.

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.