Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blythe Couture

I've been busy this past couple of weeks. I've set about to change around my Etsy Shop and add in some of the things I really love to make. I still like making hats, but I have made so many of them, that I am losing steam. It is really important to me to make something different each time I make something.

I don't like to repeat myself, and often I can't, even when I try. I want every single person who buys my wares to have something unique. Something that no one else has. What I love about the Blythe dolls is that they are all the same, but each is so very different. Sometimes that doesn't make sense, but it seems to be true. Especially with the customized dolls, which are my favorites. People taking photographs of their dolls all have their own style. Every picture, every doll, is different somehow. I love that.

I like to make things from scratch and just see what I come up with. I tend to do the same thing with cooking. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. But, for me, it is how my creative impulse works. If I have a clear idea ahead of time of what I want to make, it seems pointless to me to make it. I won't be surprised.

I like the element of surprise, and that's why I make things. To surprise myself. I put sort of random things together and I want to be surprised at how they come out. Some of the surprises I am more happy with than others. That is human nature, I suppose. In the end I am just pleased that anything came out at all.

So, I have been making lots of things. I spent a week making leather masks. I had never done that before. It surprised me. It was fun. I even sold some. This past 2 weeks I have spent making little dresses for Blythe. They are really something. Each one is different. Each one is interesting on its own. Together, they make a collection of so many different dresses it amazes me.

I set a goal to make at least 1 dress a day, and usually 2. I have no idea what I will make when I start out. I have a lot of silk. I love using silk. I dye it up first in shades that also surprise me, and I put it together into tiny dresses that I think Blythe collectors will love to have their dolls wear. People who have my dresses say they love them even more when they have them in their hands. I leave out a lot of the details (I rarely show the back of the dress, for instance) when I photograph them. I want the buyer to be surprised when they open the box. The element of surprise is something that drives me. I love it when people are surprised in a good way.

Stop by my shop periodically and see what I am up to. Hopefully you will see something you like. Maybe you will be inspired to try something new today. I hope so.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Fairies are Coming

Okay, I confess. I am on a tear lately. I have been motivated the past month or so to get dolls done that I had set aside, to get more things in my etsy shop and to be more proactive about promoting and selling what I do have, and to sort of consolidate all my crazy creative wanderings into more of a general focus. I tried my hand at making leather masks, and they actually turned out really nice. Pleased about that.

That got me thinking about forest beings, and what that would be like in Blythe. We have woods galore at my house, and most is very deep woods, with all sorts of rock formations. Vermont is loaded with rocks and often they are very picturesque. So, I took my masks and my Blythes and I ventured out into the woods. There I spent some time taking pictures. Which got me thinking more about fairies.

I decided to start a series of fairy Blythes. They would be woodland dwellers. Sometimes they would don masks and convene. Sometimes they would just be pretty and would be the subject of some nice woodland photos. I finished 2 fairies this past couple weeks. I put them both up in my shop.

I had tried my hand at Ebay, but you know what? To me it seems way too impersonal. People don't use their real name. You don't know who they are. Returns are usually not accepted if you don't like what you buy and so on. In my shop, I can offer layaway and I can make sure people are happy with what they buy. And they can see who I am and what people have to say about what they buy from me.

It feels a lot more intimate to me. I like it a lot better, so there the fairies are. And here they are in photos. The pink girl with the white hair is Shiley. The green girl with the strawberry blonde hair is Briar.

I feel really good about them. All the ateration is done by me. I buy my mohair raw. I wash and dye and card and comb it. I root the scalps myself, in a way that I think makes the hair the prettiest and shows off the mohair to its best potential. I carve and paint the faces. I design and sew the costumes. It's really fun for me to do and it keeps me thinking up new things to make and do. I hope you like them as much as I do! Until next time - hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

She Beasts

I recently got the idea that fairies in the wild would be a fun image for Blythe. I have been doing wild mohair roots for awhile, and my dolls seem to be changing to that hairstyle.

I really love the mohair more than I love the stock hair (that wasn't always the case), and slowly I am making headway and have a few dolls with the wild hair that I love. I especially love the red tones on the dolls. While thinking about fairies, I think the fairy dust got to me and I decided that what a real fairy needs is a woodland convention, and that all fairies should don masks.

So, I set to making some masks for a few photos I wanted to take in the woods. I actually made quite a few, and got some pictures that I think are really fun. The masks are now up for sale on my Etsy, and I am busy making some fairy Blythes for more photos. I am thinking I may even sell some of the OOAK fairy Blythes in the store, because at the moment I have become overrun with dolls.

With my project with my friend Jean (she sends me 2 dolls, I remake them both and send her back 1) I have accumulated quite a few dolls in a really short time. Where to store them all has become an issue. Some days feel like I will never have enough Blythes, and other days I throw my hands up and say, "what will I do with all this stuff that goes with them?"

It has become a bit of an addiction, which is new to me. I have never collected anything in my life.

The doll shown here is Briar. I love her. I sometimes think I cannot part with her. She may wind up in my store, though, as I think she is the style of doll I want to create and I will do more that are similar in style to her. I like the hair, the face, and she really does seem like a tiny woodland being to me. She wears the masks well.

The Blythes have gotten to me, and they are piling up. Look for fairy dolls in the store within a week or so, and in the meantime, enjoy these funny pictures of fairies gone wild.