Blythe con 2015 – it went by so fast!

I am exhausted. Blythe Con Chicago was my first Blythe convention, and it was all so very exciting and exhausting. I had no idea what to expect, and I also only knew a handful of people going. I’m kind of painfully awkward in large crowds and with strangers, and I’m not so great at self-introductions. I’m actually still a little frazzled from the day – visual overload with well over one hundred dolls and so many colors. To make this easy (for me), I’m going to split the experience in sections.

The Pre-meet: I only stopped by to say hello. There was quite a turn out, and some people vending small items. From photos the pre-meet looked pretty fun (… Next time!).

The Convention: 

  • Getting there – I recommend getting to the convention early. I got to BCC 15 minutes late, and had to queue for a bit to get in. If there’s an item you really want to purchase, and there’s a limited quantity, definitely get there early. I don’t mind so much queuing, especially since I kind of expect it at any convention, but I do feel the sense that I missed out on some good items (really wanted a pair of skinny jeans from a particular table!).
  • The set up – I first checked in at the welcoming desk, and received my goody bag and name tag before going into the main hall. The venue was a huge open space with two rows of vendor tables on one side and tables for the attendees on the other. 
  • Shopping – so much shopping! I did some damage here. I was excited to see quite a number of the sellers as I had a shopping cart on etsy filled with a few of the items they were selling. It was also really nice meeting all of the vendors (super nice, super talented).

Vendor: Our Blythes

  

Vendor: Happibug

Vendor: Forty Winks

Vendor: Chantilly Lace

Vendor: Cmon Dolly

  • Panels – there were a few panels held (Kenner panel, Intro to customizing, and a few others). I didn’t attend these as I lost track of time.

All the kenners!

  • Meeting and greeting and sitting – I met a ton of nice people today. In this kind of setting, it’s definitely easier to make new friends as everyone is there because they love blythes and want to hang out with fellow Blythe lovers (XD I think). I also spent a lot of time sitting at a table… Resting my feet. I’ve been doing so much walking in Chicago and making several rounds to the vendor tables for browsing and shopping that my feet were killing me. 
  • Taking photos – I had a serious case of visual overload. So many colors! So many dolls to look at! There were a couple of sets for photo taking, and also so many beautiful dolls set up on tables. Some con goers also did smaller meet ups to take photos of dolls from the same customizer. 

Dr. Blythenstein Yarn Heads

  

Plushimi customs to the left

  

Adorable Yarnhead

  

Yarnhead gathering

  

Forty Winks custom

   

My girls!

  

Looking sharp.

  

Posing in a set.

 

I had a great experience at my first convention. It amazes me that it was a completely fan-run convention. It was very organized and also everyone went home with a donated door prize (it was anything from a customized doll, a doll customization voucher, doll clothes, or doll accessories). 

Next year Blythe con will be held in San Francisco! I hope to be there too ^^. 

Also – will post photos of my haul when I get back home!

My Protips for Crocheting Blythe Hats

I exaggerate when I say “protips.” I hope I haven’t raised any expectations too high >_<.
I’ve said many times before that I really enjoy crocheting for my dolls, particularly hats! They make for quick projects, and unless I am trying out a new pattern, I can make the doll hat by memory. There are many resources for crochet patterns for dolls, but even so, sometimes it’s hard to find a pattern for exactly what you are looking for in a hat. Although there are tons of hat styles for people (newsboy, baseball cap, bucket hat, beanie, tam, beret, skull cap, etc), not all of these have been translated to pattern or scaled down to fit Blythe dolls. I’m not an expert at crocheting, or pattern adjusting, but I do have a few tips that I think might be helpful for fellow blythe-loving crocheters. Most of my tips will have to do with playing around with gauge.

Technical definition for Gauge as provided by Lion Brand website

Gauge is usually defined in the pattern by a ratio of stitches and rows to a given measurement such as 16 stitches and 14 rows in single crochet = 4″. You should always work a swatch of fabric (approximately 4″ x 4″) in the stitch pattern of the piece you are making.

A pattern will instruct you to use a certain weight of yarn and a specific hook size to achieve a set size for the finished product. Sometimes, the pattern may recommend the user to create a swatch to make sure the correct gauge is achieved, and if not, the user should adjust their hook or yarn until the recommended gauge can be recreated.

Who has time for this???

My approach to achieving the gauge I want is more trial and error and may even cost me more time. Lol. Mostly, if the pattern I am using is for a hat that would be slightly too big for a blythe, I will use a smaller hook, or a smaller hook and slightly thinner yarn, as opposed to adjusting the number of stitches in the pattern. I find this to be more simple than dissecting the pattern and making changes to the stitches and rows. I want to reiterate that this type of adjusting works best on hat patterns that are slightly too big for blythe dolls. I wouldn’t try this on a hat pattern for an adult human, and expect it to fit my blythe doll (at least not without struggling first).

American Girl hat patterns will fit Blythe

I say this with relative certainty, though I believe that the circumference of American Girl doll heads are a bit bigger than Blythe heads. I’ve made several Blythe sized hats for a coworker’s daughter’s American Girl doll, and they fit well. The beauty of crocheted hats is that they have a good deal of stretch to them. When testing an American Girl doll hat pattern to create a Blythe sized hat, I might suggest a slightly smaller hook to achieve a snugger fit.

American Girl dolls are more prolific than Blythe dolls in America, and they have a stronger presence in the media, being very popular with kids and adult collectors. There are many hat patterns out there specifically for AG dolls.

Take advantage of baby hat patterns  
The two hats on the right were both made from baby hat patterns. The number of baby hat patterns dwarfs the number of Blythe hat patterns, no contest. Of course, a baby’s head will most likely be considerably bigger than a Blythe’s head, so this is where I suggest being experimental with gauge. To be quite honest, using smaller hooks or thinner yarn isn’t a guarantee that the baby hat pattern will translate well as a Blythe hat. I’ve run into quite a few problems with proportions, because let’s face it, I can’t think of any baby whose head is shaped remotely like a Blythe’s head (wide face, yet very flat head…). However, when the hat comes out to be a success, you have a pattern you can add to your repertoire! And, you’re able to add variety to your Blythe doll wardrobe.
Note that you may have to do some technical adjusting by shortening the hat (maybe cutting out some repeat rows in the middle of the hat). A Blythe’s head is not as long as a baby’s.


Subtopic protip – Preemie hats! 

Sometimes baby hat patterns will also offer instructions for several sizes. For preemie baby hat patterns, the pattern will often segregate the sizes by baby weight or by head circumference. Blythe dolls would fall into the 3-4lb baby sizing. This takes a lot of the guess work out of making adjustments.

Make sure to have a volunteer(s)

By this I mean, have one of your girls handy for intermittent fittings while crocheting. I usually place the would-be hat on my doll’s head after every row past the 4th or 5th row. I can generally tell if a hat is going to be too big, and sometimes I try salvaging my efforts by strategically placing some decreases. Also, the frequent modeling can help with determining hat length. 

   I hope this helps anyone looking to crochet hats for their Blythes. In my opinion, Blythe dolls’ heads are practically made for hats with how oversized they are compared to their bodies. Crocheting for my dolls is a big part of how I enjoy this hobby, and I know how frustrating it is to have limited pattern resources.
Happy crocheting ^^.

Much needed weekend

I decided to make the most of this weekend, what with my family out and about doing their own thing. Saturday was a day of reading book 4 of the Outlander series (sooo gooOOood), drinking rose wine, crocheting, and cuddles with the cat ^^. I also made it out to Michaels – I went thinking I’d buy a glue gun, but I ended up leaving the store with a giant skein of brown/rust multicolored yarn and yellow felt.

Behold, the fruit of my labor.

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Pokemon Hoppip Amigurumi: This pattern was easy to follow and not too complicated. I think the creator of the pattern also has a video tutorial of how to make this amigurumi. The only problem I have with making amigurumi is that it’s not really the type of project where I can focus on other things while I crochet. I always need to check the pattern and keep track of my rounds.

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Pusheen Amigurumi: This one went relatively fast, but then again, it’s a pretty small plushie. I didn’t have grey yarn on hand, so I made this little guy light blue and white. The amigurumi kind of looks derpy (not sure I captured the essence of Pusheen), but it’s still really cute. This pattern was also easy to follow, and the pieces were not hard to put together.

I’ve finished up two skeins of yarn so far, and I’m close to finishing a third. I’m making granny squares with yarn balls too small to start a new project, but to big to discard. One day, I will have a giant granny square blanket of  clashing colors, just because waste not want not.

I also got some dolly mail in the past couple of days!

Rawr

My BJD’s wig came in! It’s a tad big on her but not terribly so, though I definitely need to use a silicone wig cap. The wig cap prevents the wig from sliding off Potpourri’s head. I commissioned this wig from the Etsy store Belinda’s Lock. It’s a soft pink alpaca wig, and it is so freaking soft I can’t even. Ahhhh I love alpaca! The wig totally completes Potpourri’s look! I need more alpaca in my life.

desserts

I also won a listing on eBay for Alicia Cupcake’s stock outfit. Bryn doesn’t have much clothing (save the crocheted dresses I’ve made for her), so I thought a middie stock outfit would make a good addition to her wardrobe. The shoes and the blouse should prove handy. The dress/jumper is cute in a costume-y way and the headband is ridiculous (it doesn’t stay put very well and the bow doesn’t look all that great). 😀 I crocheted the little cupcake next to her feet recently as well.

I’m on the fence about bringing Bryn to Blythe Con. On one hand, the Middie is the official doll of Blythe Con Chicago. And if I decide to get a custom doll at Blythe Con from one of the vendors, I wouldn’t have to worry about toting two Neo Blythes. On the other hand, I think a Neo Blythe is more fun to carry around!

Now, I’m just waiting on: Kuma Nendoroid (I expect this in about 2.5-3 weeks) and Blythe front and back face plates (This currently reached the ISC sorting center… I have no clue how long it will stay there),

Tomorrow I expect I shall be cleaning, crocheting, and reading some more ^^. How I wish weekends were 3 days long instead of 2.

Summer etsy store sale

I just wanted to let the interwebs know that I activated a promo code for 15% off on my etsy store. The promotional code is: happyblythe2015.   

I only ship within the U.S. at the moment (mostly because I’m daunted by postage price as it is, and when I calculate shipping on the USPS website for international shipping, the site always spits out rates over $30 D: . What am I doing wrong?) 

Doll clothing haul

I received one of my packages today for a purchase I made on Etsy, and I decided to go ahead and share my haul!

Behold, my loot!

My Etsy and Ebay haul!

Going clockwise from the top left corner, we have Simply Guava’s stock (purchased on ebay), 5 pairs of tights (also purchased on ebay), 2 adorably frilly dresses from Kuloft on Etsy, and a beautiful Plastic Fashion dress from Etsy,

I follow the designer, Laura, on instagram, as she usually announces on there when she is listing new dresses (usually it’s a couple minutes notice… and then 5 minutes later all the dresses are GONE). I couldn’t help myself and I purchased the chipmunk dress for Finley.

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I love the shape of the dress with the peter pan collar, and I am a huge fan of the cute prints that the designer uses. I will probably keep stalking the Plastic Fashion etsy store until I find a dress with a cat print that I love.

I purchased the Ever After High Lizzie Hearts sweater from the etsy store Lambellina. This particular design is from a collaboration between Lambellina and Prince Ivy (both of whom I also follow on instagram). One of my favorite characters from EAH is Lizzie Hearts, and her sweaters drape so cutely on the EAH dolls in her photos.

Lambellina x Prince Ivy EAH sweater

Who wore it better?

Who wore it better?

I had kind of hoped that the sweater would look as good on my Middie, Bryn, but alas, the sleeves are comically long. I actually don’t like Blondie in this sweater either. i think her coloring kind of clashes with the tones of the top (it really doesn’t help that her tights and head band are blue). I think I will try the sweater on Cupid and see how it looks. The sweater is made very well (tailored like human clothes :D)… I would totally wear this sweater, and nerd out while I watch the webisodes of EAH on youtube.

I’ve slowed down on buying clothes, and I am currently waiting for a new body for Finley, 2 pairs of shoes from Etsy, a pair of hand painted eye chips for Finley that have been sitting in NY Customs for over a week (COME ON USPS), and a Sugar Mag dress from Ebay. I wish there were more sellers on Etsy and Ebay from the U.S, that way shipping wouldn’t take more than a week. I will post photos of Finley in the other dresses once I get her new shoes in the mail! I kind of don’t want to take photos of her in the dress with shoes that don’t match… I feel like I wouldn’t be doing justice to the dresses (… This is just how I feel… >_<).

I also crocheted this dress for Bryn:

Bryn

I’m happy with how it came out, since I kind of went in without a pattern, but I think the yarn I used was a little too chunky. ^^ I bought a few skeins of yarn at Michaels today (there’s always a sale at Michaels /thumbs up) that I think will work perfectly for this type of dress.

I hope everyone is also happy hauling :3.

The dangers of a collection based hobby

Just this morning, I was browsing eBay and I stumbled upon an Azone doll (NRFB) for a very good deal. I haven’t really considered owning an azone doll for a few reasons, the most important being that I kind of like things being matchy matchy. It would never just stop at ONE Azone doll.

One of my fears is that I’ll get swept up in a self-induced frenzy, with uninhibited purchases of dolls and doll clothing and accessories. Once the storm that is doll mania has passed over my highly impressionable, shopaholic self, I may be left with a tiny village of dolls in my room, all of which aren’t being displayed properly because my living space is small. Another scenario would be that I have to hide all of my dolls in my closet, because my family is judgmental and loud about what they think about my new hobby. Think Helga from Hey Arnold, and her bubblegum shrine in her closet. Except I’m Helga, and the shrine is a bunch of dolls.

My worries aren’t unfounded though. Let me present to you: Exhibit A – my makeup collection.

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I am ready for ALL makeup emergencies.

I was deep into makeup wearing, reviewing, collecting/buying, and swatching. I once tried to calculate exactly how much I spent on my collection, but it just made me feel really, REALLY sad. This trove of upper-mid end makeup kind of just sits on my dresser. I will occasionally wear a full face of makeup, but on a day to day basis I stick with my foundation, eye liner, and maybe lipstick. I think I will do a purge this weekend (:D I will post a post-purge photo of my stash). It’s just SO hard to let go of things that I could potentially use, but have not in the past year.

Right now, I have my neo blythe Finley, my middie Bryn (:D I settled on a name), and five Ever After High dolls (Thronecoming Cupid, basic Cupid, Basic Blondie Lockes, basic Hunter Huntsman and Ashlynn Ella). I gave Bryn a hair spa day and I whipped her up a dress :3.

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The curlers are a bit big for my taste, but they definitely gave her hair some volume. Bryn’s hair is very poofy and cute!

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I’m definitely entering the lottery for Spright Beauty, and I am currently waiting on a Pullip Dal from my friend. I received Finley in March I think, and Bryn in April. Mayyybeee I should slow down some. 😄