Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
I have been having too much fun playing with all the colors lately. I have a box that sits on my work desk (my work desk is 2 very long tables abutted end to end, in which every single square inch is piled high with stuff!) that is full of little dresses I have made for my Blythe girls. When I have a free moment, I see what fabrics I have available, and if I don't see the color I want, I dye some silk (usually velvet), in a color that inspires me for the day, and then I set about making a little dress for one of the girls. In the past I thought I might try selling them, but when it comes down to it, I don't seem to be able to part with them! This past week, I made 2 dresses. One for Little Jeany, which is a lilac velvet, and one for Rootie, which is lavender. I guess I was feeling inspired by shades of pale purple this week.
Both girls are Blythes that I customized recently, and I am really happy with how they came out. They both have their own personality, which is really fun, considering these dolls all start out more or less the same, and then emerge as something unique. Blythes are a blast to photograph and I am having the time of my life.
Besides loving the fun colors, I also love changing them up and washing out all but the most vibrant, to come up with a photograph that is a tiny bit aged, but still of the modern age :)
Today I am working with the color green. I have another OOAK Blythe I am working on with my friend Amy Taylor. I hope to have photographs to show you some time next week. I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of the year and hope you have very color full holidays! - Cindy
Saturday, December 3, 2011
A Passion for Pastry
The Queen of Hearts
Devoted to tarts,
She eats them every day.
She dreams of sweets
And delicate treats
They make her heart sashay.
She spends her days
On her velveteen chaise
Cake after cake she'll devour
A pie to her lips
As her heartbeat skips
When passion overrules willpower.
Introducing Charlotte Russe, the Queen of Hearts. She's a sweet little royal with a rather impressive weakness for sweets and other tasty treats. Puddings, pies, tarts and truffles. She can't get enough. She keeps her servants hopping. Her discerning taste allows only the sweetest, most sublime of morsels to pass her lips. Spending her days lolling about on her heart-shaped pink velvet loveseat, silver tongs in one hand for daintily selecting pastries from her silver tray, she rules over her kingdom with her stunning bejeweled scepter in the other hand.
Besides being royal, beautiful, and possessing impeccable tastebuds, she possesses a genetic flaw passed on from her mother, the former Queen of Hearts, Charlotte Royale. The more sweets she eats, the plumper her lips seem to get. It's true! Her figure is flawless. She won't gain a pound. But her lips, pudding filled and sumptuous as they are, just get plumper and plumper as she snacks. We think it's the dollops of whipped cream she attaches to every bite. Whatever the case, she's a lovely girl; the perfect package really.
Her jewels are divine, her dress simply dazzling. She is a perfect work of art idling her days on her pillow-topped lounger. She's a queen, indeed. We hope you will love her as much as we do.
The Queen of Hearts is the flagship doll for a collaboration project between my good friend and silversmith extraordinaire, Amy Taylor and me. We are calling our project Sweet Temptations. Charlotte is the first doll in our collaboration, with the hope that this is just the beginning. We both love Blythe. We both love fine things. We are so excited to be showing off our first collaborative OOAK piece. She's up on Ebay until December 13, 2011.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Here's a fun hat I made yesterday for a friend and her Blythe dolls. It's a charcoal colored wool felt with a giant black grosgrain ribbon made into an accordian pleat at the front and topped off with a matching charcoal gray leaf and a hand-rolled silk velvet rose. I am quite happy with how it turned out. I was having fun with the pictures and thought I'd share.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I just love the colors pink and red. They remind me of love and hearts and all that good stuff. Sweet things, too. Chocolate covered cherries - love em! Little pink cupcakes - love em!
I just finished these 2 fun little sets for a couple of friends who have joined me in helping with something I had been thinking of. Both outfits are pretty much the same, but one is pink and one is red. They have a hand-dyed crushed velvet bodice, with silk underskirts and a tulle overskirt. Both comes with funny wool felt hats and a pouf. I also made them crushed velvet carpet bags, but forgot to put them in the photos, so they will be a surprise.
My 2 dolls, Little Jeany and Ivy, are having fun wearing the costumes and will be sad to see them go. I think they look really cute in these. I love this funny little doll stuff. Just keeps me so amused. Hope you are having a great day!
Monday, November 14, 2011
My friend Jeany from Canada sent me this great gift a few months back. I've shown her here before, in fact in the last post, but she looked quite a bit different then. She's a Blythe Simply Guava, that I named Little Jeany. I am quite crazy for the fantasy hair colors that some of my Blythes have. I have both a Simply Peppermint, with pale mint colored hair, and a Simply Mango with mango colored hair. Guava has hot pink hair and to me, it is a really fun color to work with. This past weekend, since it was windy outside and I wasn't feeling like going out that much, I spent some time customizing Little Jeany and gave her a whole new look.
I am really having fun with these dolls. When I finish one, I immediately want to customize another. My couple of semi-stock dolls are shivering in their shoes worrying that they will be next to go under the knife. If I had a drawer full of Blythes, I think I could spend every day just carving them up and doing their makeup. It's really quite satisfying.
I decided I didn't want to give her colors for her makeup that would match her hair. Instead I chose brown and rust tones, which is different than maybe most people would choose, but I think it works for her. I carved her lips quite heavily and painted them in a few shades, but didn't gloss them. I gave her 2 sets of Coolcat eye chips for her side-facing sets, one sort of a gold and one a nice light brown. I also put in a set of Ana Karina handpainted chips that are a lovely green, and another set of Zaola handpainted chips, which are a beautiful blue, for her front facing sets. I think she is now quite a unique doll. Or at least she looks different than she did. I haven't seen one exactly like her. Funny how one doll can look so different with just a little bit of change. Fascinates me.
Hope you are well and have adjusted to the time change if you had it. We have been having some days in the 50s, which is unseasonably warm for this time of year here in Vermont. I am counting on an unseasonably warm winter in general, but chances are, I will be disappointed :)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I think I have finally kicked some of my creative slump. Here are some fascinator hats I did up for Blythe. I think she looks fantastic. These hats will fit other dolls, but if you are a Blythe fan, there is no other doll that is quite as fun, funny or fashionable as the big headed, big eyed queen.
I think Blythe is pretty much my doll focus these days. I really can't resist, to be honest. Somehow I have acquired 7 Blythes. All but 1 is customized to some degree by me. My 1 stock doll (though she may not stay that way long) is a Guava given to me by my friend, Jeany, in Canada. What a cool gift! I was so stoked to receive it, I can't tell you. I am just finishing up a mohair root for Jeany this week. I figure it's the least I could do.
I have a couple of Blythe projects on the table that I am thinking about. My good friend, Amy Taylor, jeweler extraordinaire, is collaborating with me on what I hope might be a series of OOAK Blythe customs. I think we'll concentrate on 1 first and see how we do. There is no one who can do jools like Amy, so I think whatever we come up with is bound to be quite smashing. Between the 2 of us, we ought to be able to do everything ourselves outside of manufacturing the actual doll.
I hope you doll people are having a lovely fall. It is bordering on winter here in Vermont, and we have already had one day of snow! I can hardly feel ready for that, but it's the way it is here. Gives me an excuse to stay inside and play with dolls, I suppose. Hope you all are enjoying playing with dolls and finding fun ways to express yourselves. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of creative people out there. I am sure you are one of them. Enjoy!
Monday, October 3, 2011
I'll start this post by saying, I have been so, so lazy! I looked at my last post and it has been literally months and months since I posted last. Thump to me!
Cold weather is creeping back here in Vermont, and that's about the time I start getting creative again. Finally! That's all I can say. The summer this year was quite lovely. Lots of sun. A bit too much water here and there, but all in all, quite right.
I made 4 new hats this weekend. I was thinking, since it looked like I wasn't lifting a finger, that maybe I was just done making hats for dolls. I mean, I haven't actually even looked at my sewing machine for most of the summer. But, the weekend was cold. We barely went out, and I got to thinking, maybe I'll sew something. So I did. 4 new hats. I like them. They are whimsical and romantic, and I am showing them off here. My newest Blythe doll, Jeany, has pink hair. My dear friend, Jeany, for whom she is named, actually gave her to me as a gift! This is her first time in photos. She likes her new hat. Hope you do, too.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I finally finished my second custom black Blythe doll yesterday. I don't know where the time goes! I had intended to finish if awhile ago, but then I got busy, well, doing nothing actually. If you don't count spending probably 3 weeks on my butt playing a video game I am apparently addicted to (Rune Factory 3). Not to worry. I beat all the bosses in that, so life can resume.
The truth is, several times a year I find myself with pretty much zero creative inspiration. What that usually results in is me sitting around flipping channels or playing video games for a couple weeks while waiting for something useful to pop into my head. This time, it's Manga. After playing my Manga video game, well, I have an endless stream of Manga cartoon characters running through my head. Hopefully it will come out in my dolls one way or the other.
But in the meantime, here's Libby. She's a Blythe head I sprayed with vinyl spray paint in a darker shade of brown than last time. I like the color a lot. I put her on a Hujoo body, same as last doll, because, well, I never did get the stickyness out of the Takara body I sprayed. Drove me up a wall for a week and I just said, forget it. Use what you know. So back to the Hujoo body. I think this is going to be my last spray painted Blythe. Too much work with all the pieces, frankly. I really like how she came out, but 2 spray painted dolls is plenty for anyone I imagine. Her hair is mohair I rooted on, again, a Cool Cat scalp. I dyed her hair a bunch of berry shades - sort of raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry. I like how it turned out.
Her eye chips are all handpainted by me. I used a variety of nail polish acrylics because they had cool sparkly things in them, and that's what I wanted. Hope everyone is having a lovely spring and getting some sun (we are eeking by with our once every 7 day dose).
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I have been dinking around with Blythe dolls for over a year now and have become quite addicted as it turns out. They have pretty much taken the place of my cloth art dolls, in that I seem to have lost interest in making those, at least for the time being. Cloth dolls was my thing for 10 years, so honestly, even if I quit today, I certainly feel like I put my time in. There is something so amusing to me about the big-head, big-eyed plastic dolls that I just can't resist keeping them around. Blythe is just, hands down, my all-time favorite doll. Close second is the Korean plastic BJD, Hujoo.
All of my Blythe dolls have had some customization done by me. I happily pop out eyeballs and put in new ones, change the gaze a bit, do the makeup up a little more to my liking and add eyelashes that I like better. But until recently, I hadn't actually done too much in the way of seriously customizing a doll start to finish. I have been admiring those artists who have been brave enough to do dark skinned or black Blythes. I wanted one. They don't seem to be for sale and I probably couldn't afford one anyway, even if they were. So, I decided to do my own.
I searched around the internet and found out that I needed to get SEM vinyl spray, which is a pretty heavy duty auto industry spray paint that is supposed to be for car seats, and so remains flexible while still being sturdy. I picked a color I wanted, which was a kind of cafe latte color. I also decided I wanted an entirely different body. I have always wanted to put a Hujoo body (love that body) on a Blythe, but the color match is horrible. I decided since I was going to be painting the whole thing anyway, now was the perfect time to try that out. I disassembled a Hujoo body I had, strung up all the pieces and sprayed them with the SEM color I had selected. I did probably 4-5 coats on each piece and then restrung the body and got started on the head.
I decided to carve the lips and nose of the Blythe faceplates I had for this project. I did a fairly subtle mouth carving and just deepened the nostrils on the nose. Then I sprayed the faceplates with the SEM paint, again 4-5 coats and waited for that to dry. When all the parts were done, I did the makeup on the face and then waited on my Coolcat scalp to come (I didn't have the heart to tear apart a perfectly good Blythe scalp, so opted for a substitute). While I waited, I took a bunch of mohair I had and dyed that into about 5 or 6 shades of browns, auburns, burgundies and blacks. It turned out really lovely and I was very happy with the results of that. When the scalp arrived, I spent the next 2-3 days rooting that with the mohair I had dyed. It turned out really well, but I couldn't quite get the scalp to stay flush with the faceplates, no matter what I did. So, in the end, I have a tiny bit of overhang on the scalp, but luckily it doesn't show at all with all the hair, even if the hair is worn up. Since I don't plan to sell the doll, I am happy enough. The finished doll is called Anabelle. My son named her. I really like her a lot.
She is lighter skinned than I originally imagined, which is fine, because I have already started on a darker skinned doll, this time with a regular Takara Blythe body. So far, so good, except trying to deal with sticky legs at the moment, a problem not encountered with the Hujoo body. We shall see how that works. I am rooting the hair now, and hopefully the legs will work themselves out. I am usually pretty resourceful, so one way or the other, you should see my second custom here within the next few weeks.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Yesterday was the first day of spring for me here in Vermont. Spring sometimes comes a little late here in these northern parts. But, we had SUN. And I mean real sun that lasted all day! I can't tell you how giddy that makes a northeasterner. I lived in the west most of my life and I really just didn't get that excited when there was sun. There was always sun it seemed to me. But here in the east, after a winter of pummelling snow, the sign that spring may be here is overwhelming. I finished up a couple doll dresses, took these photos of 2 of the girls (Lynette and Cappucine) stomping happy and then sat outside for a lot of the day. There are still 4 feet snow banks in the front, you still can't turn around easily in the driveway, and most of the yard still has a foot of snow on the ground, but ground has poked through, the blueberry bushes at the front of the house are uncovered, and the warming trend has begun. Life is good! I hope it's sunny wherever you are.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
This past weekend I was dinking around at the sewing machine and decided the thing to do was to make matching outfits for my dolls and my friend Amy's dolls. I have dragged my poor friend into this crazy Blythe doll sickness (I am convinced it is in fact a sickness) and I thought it was the least I could do. I have been in a bit of a retro mood lately, and having fun with the steampunk stuff. Sort of in the same vein, I was inspired to make saloon girl costumes for Blythe. I think they came out quite well and so far are keeping us both laughing. These dolls just don't stop being funny to me. I don't think I will ever grow up! Don't Julienne and Ivy look cute as little saloon girls? Not sure they think so, but I am amused :)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
The thing about this hobby of playing with dolls is, you always meet people who are having just as much fun as you are. Playing with dolls when you are all grown up is plenty fun. Since people are aware I make doll hats, sometimes they contact me and ask me to make something specific, something that they would like to see their dolls wearing, but that they either don't know how or don't have the time to make themselves. Usually their ideas are pretty fun and I can come up with something that both they like and I like to make and everyone's happy. Two really fun gals more recently had me making steampunk themed hats for their dolls, which were really fun to make, which led to me also meeting some interesting and fun people who sell steampunk gadgets and whatnot, which are requisite to pull off all things steampunk. The world of handmade seems to be full of fun people doing a lot of fun things. It makes me smile. Pictured are the hats that I made, but, you know, I just couldn't leave things be. I had to have fun playing with the paints and doo-dads in photoshop and that made me smile, too.
Hope you are having a fun day! I think I'm going to spend mine messing with more things steampunk.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My husband makes and sells various musical genius things - hand-wired boutique tube amps, pedals, and things I don't know what are. He was taking some photos last night of a finished piece and asked if he could use a doll in the photos. We decided Capucine was a good model, so I dressed her up and sent him to take his photos. They turned out really cute, so I dressed her up again this morning and let her rock out. She cracks me up. I think I am having way too much fun. Hope you are having a lovely day and rocking out doing rockstar fun things :)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
My friend Amy of HingedJewelry is busy making me some really fun things to go in my store. Think fancy headwear. In the meantime, while I am awaiting the postman, I am getting some dresses ready to go with them, and well, these are pretty much fairy couture.
I am having fun putting together all the silk fabrics, namely washed charmeuse, velvet, chiffon and gauze, and dyeing them into colors I love. Add a little adornment, and voila' you've got a gown perfect for any fairy or wanna be fairy. I've got them very form fitting for Blythe, so they also happily fit Pullip really well, who is a bit on the slimmer side. They also give my new Mango (Capucine is her name) a chance to show off her lovely face and groovy new eyeshadow.
Hope you like them. Hopefully I will have the jools and photos ready to go and in my store mid-week.