Sunday, June 17, 2012

Purple Haze

Two dolls in a row using the color violet! Not sure what possessed me, but right after customizing 2 purple dolls I bought a Prima Dolly Violetina. Also a purple doll. I must be in a purple haze! This is Astoria "Storey." She is a Simply Vanilla Blythe (FBL) I customized by overdyeing her hair to silver and adding in color all around.

My friend hal halcut her hair, and in my opinion, she turned out smashing. She is very elegant, very stylish, just an all around glamour girl. Very happy with how she turned out. She has a bit of a tainted history at this point, but nothing that can't be fixed. When I overdyed her hair, I guess I was too impatient or maybe just distracted and didn't get all the dye stabilized. I had her here a week and nothing strange occurred. I wrapped her up really well in tissue and bubble wrap, and I think it was probably the bubble wrap and the heat of this time of year. In any case, by the time she arrived all the way across the country, some of the dye had bled out. Unfortunately up near her hairline, giving her face some unpleasant grayish spots.

Long story short, stabilize your dye before you mail! Eeek. She will be repaired as soon as I receive her back, and she should go on her way as if nothing ever happened, I am pretty certain. The thing I have learned about these very expensive dolls is, all manner of things can happen. And I mean all sorts of things. I bought a Pure Neemo Flection body a few weeks ago and received it this past week. I had played with it for no longer than 20 minutes when I, no kidding, snapped the foot right off. The joints are loose and they come apart fairly easily. But I didn't just pull the joint out. I actually snapped off the peg that serves as a joint. Broke it right in two. That body now has a polymer "cast" on the foot and will only be able to wear boots unless I paint it real well. Those bodies in the US come to a $40 expenditure. Basically $40 out the window in 20 minutes, because it can't be used for any for sale doll obviously. Not a huge market for dolls with casts! :)

What can go wrong with the hair, the face and the bodies of the Blythe dolls while you are customizing them, well the list is long, believe me. It seems easy enough to customize a plastic doll. If you do, expect to ruin some, to have things in the eye mechanisms that drive you to insanity, to have to deal with unruly hair that won't go right no matter what you do, to have strings break, eyelashes fall out or ones that won't go in place properly, eye chips mar or crack, scratches appear where they weren't 2 seconds ago, Pure Neemo bodies fall right out of the doll's head, screws strip and be near to impossible to remove, eye chips that refuse to come out of the sockets when you are trying to change them to something different, finishing spray that pools up in the wrong place, makeup smearing right after you just thought you had brought it to perfection, lip gloss that runs onto the face before it dries, resistant spots in the blush that are lighter than the rest of the cheeks, clothing that shouldn't stain, stain the doll legs so they now look like they are wearing pants permanently, and so on. The list is nearly endless.

It's all a learning process, and so far nothing major that I haven't been able to make better has jumped up and bitten me, but I learn all the time. I guess there I am forgetting the doll whose nose I pierced and basically obliterated one whole half of her nose. Even that can be rebuilt. I haven't yet, but it is within the realm of possibility anyway. No wonder I am in a purple haze! I won't forget Storey. She's a really cool doll. In the end it's really just playing with dolls, and certainly not rocket science! :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Violet for Suki

Meet Suki. She is a custom mohair root Blythe doll I finished last week. She was formerly a Prairie Posie, who looked nothing like this, but that was how she started. The hair took me forever for some reason. I really like how it came out. The color and tonality turned out beautifully. I was planning to use this hair for a doll for myself, but decided I don't really need more dolls. I actually need to sell more dolls :) If you are into dolls, you learn quickly it can be quite a hoarding hobby. There seems to be always just one more doll that you want, and then everything would be lovely. Until you see the next doll you want!

For Suki I used all violet and gold tones. For her eye chips, for her costume. I wanted her to have royal colors, even though I dressed her more simply. She has a cotton patterned skirt suit with a cute little big button jacket. I gave her a violet silk velvet vest and scarf to punch up the color. Orange and purple are complementary colors, so they tend to stand out together. And even though this is not orange, gold is close enough to make the 2 colors pop. I love that.

Hope you are keeping up with your doll collecting :) Hope the weather is favorable. Keep on playing with dolls. It keeps us young!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Tangerine, Tangerine. Living Reflection from a Dream... - Zeppelin

Okay, I've probably said it 10 times here, but that is my favorite Zeppelin song. It deserves a doll. Meet Tangerine. She is a gorgeous little orange and pink tones girl, formerly a Simply Vanilla (FBL mold) with a Mademoiselle Rosebud scalp. She's a sophisticated girl with a sophisticated layered, below the shoulders hair style, professionally halcut by hal. Completely customized by me. She comes in the beautiful tangerine gown shown. Hair is easy style. Just wet and shake, then finger comb.

That's part of what I wrote when I listed her on Etsy. She got picked up by a groovy gal in Seattle.

The cool thing about this doll is, it's the first doll I have had that I sent out for a haircut. A halcut to be exact. My friend hal (lower case per him) is a hair stylist and colorist by trade, and he has been giving his scissors a workout on the plastic lovelies. The scalp I sent him had been doctored already, not by a hair stylist, and well, I just didn't love it. I also wasn't even sure if the color would suit me. So, I sent the head (no neck, no body, no nothing, just the head) to hal. Why not challenge the guy his first time out, right?

What he sent back is really a work of art, and it's nothing I have seen before on Blythe. I am thrilled. I love the styling and now I love the color. It just seems to go together. The groovy gal in Seattle is going to get a wonderful doll. It's the same kind of hair style you would expect to receive yourself from a professional salon. It looks gorgeous on her. Just shake and go. For me, this is giving mohair (my former love) a run for its money. And that's saying a lot.

The rest on this doll by me. The usual: Handpainted eyechips, silk gown, carving here and there, new makeup, new lashes. Especially loving her eyelids. All in all, very happy with this doll. I think she is a looker. You'll have to let me know what you think. More dolls to come. I have been customizing with a vengeance, just not enough time to show them off. Stay tuned. Oh, and thanks, hal! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

More Monster High

Meet Mistress Quickly and William, formerly a Monster High Cleo de Nile and Clawd Wolf. I gave both mohair roots and William got some mohair flocking to spiff up his sideburns and hairline.

I had a blast with both of them. I ended up keeping Mistress Quickly. Had I thought through it longer than I did, I probably would have kept William as well, but he is happy in his new home.

I'll have to do another boy doll and have one to keep. I think William and Quickly actually went well together. Right now she has a Jackson Jekyll, but he is stock and kind of a nerd :)

Right now I am working on 2 Blythes in purple tones. One is mohair. One is a Simply Vanilla stock scalp that I added in a ton of hair in different purples and overdyed some of the white stock hair silver.

I hope to have pictures of those 2 either this coming week or next, so stay tuned. Then I will be doing a blue mohair MH Lagoona.

I have so many stock dolls piled in my office, need to move through them and get them out of there so I have room to walk! It has gotten that crazy.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Fun With Mohair - PINK!

Bride of Frankenstein? No, that's just Pinkk, a mohair custom Blythe I finished a couple weeks ago for my friend, Jean Yates. I took that picture before washing and combing out her hair and it struck my husband that she looked like the Bride of Frankenstein. In the next photos you will see her with her hair coiffed more neatly :)

Awhile back, when I first thought I wanted to do more Blythe customizing, Jean sent me a bunch of dolls that she had around and wanted spiffing up. The agreement we had was that for every 2 dolls she sent, she would keep one and I would keep the other. So far I have done 3 sets of dolls like that, calling them all part of the "Serendipity Clan." Jean has 3, I have the other 3. Jean loves pink, and so out of 2 dolls, 1 pink, 1 purple, it is not surprising she picked the pink haired one. It is also not that surprising that she named her Pinkk :)

I'm really happy with how she came out. The pink dye job I gave her is quite variegated and the tonality is that it is lighter on the top and moves out to more vibrant as you get to the tips. I love that look. She has quite a lot of hair, and so it is wilder than some like it, but I love a lot of hair, and it has become just sort of the way I do things. The mohair is kid mohair, so is soft as a bunny, which makes having a lot of it quite desirable to me.

One feature of Pinkk that I am especially pleased with is her eyelids. I had in mind sort of cherry blossoms dropping off the trees. I am really happy with how they came out. I gave her a natural look in lashes rather than going uber glamorous and some freckles. I think the look suits her.

I am having a ton of fun customizing dolls and making costumes for them. I am way way way behind on my blogging and have a lot more to show you, from Monster High dolls that I have done to clothes that I have got for them as well. I will try to get to that sometime this weekend or next week. The hair is taking so long to do, that I just get more and more behind every doll I pick up! Pleased with the results, but who knew it could take so long?!

In the meantime, I turned 50 (!!) a week or so ago. I almost can't believe that. Where does the time go? A friend years back (who was 60 when I was 20) told me that when you get this age you don't feel any different than you did at 20 (true, for me anyway), but you look in the mirror and say, "who is that and what have they done with my body and face?!" I think that is probably true as well :) But, time marches on, and it's what it is. Don't think I will be the one to find the cure to aging. In the meantime I am happy playing with dolls, and imagine I will still be at 90. Wonder what the dolls will look like then?!

Hope you are having a warm spring wherever you are. We have had some lovely days in Vermont. It is in the 60s this week, and not humid, so can't really complain. Would love the 70s, but then the humidity comes, so this is okay for now. Enjoy!