Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sad Eyed Girl

You know I love technology. I love all the things you can do these days. I was trying to remember when I did not have internet. My husband and I talk about that a lot - like what did we do without the internet?! Oh sure, we were coffeehouse crashers. We spent a lot of time drinking coffee, people-watching and discussing our big ideas. We still do that, but now we bring our smart phones and look up interesting things as we go.

So now it seems we can make our own books, too. How cool is that?! I love it. I have been in the process of a book project with my friends Jean and Fanny, putting together 50 or so artists to customize Blythe dolls in collaborative teams. The making of the dolls portion is coming to a close and we are now at the photography stage. The project has been going on for nearly a year. In the meantime, the 3 of us have been gathering data on how to make a book of the whole affair. After all, we want other people to be able to join in on the fun, at least vicariously.

This weekend I gave a try at bookmaking over at Blurb. I had spent an hour or so taking photos of my Sad Eyes doll collection that I have been working away at this month. I loved how the photos came out, so decided that would be my subject matter for my first go at bookmaking. Sitting at the computer for 3 hours or so editing text and photos late last night led to a 26-page little book, full color, that I can now call my own.

Even you can have a copy if you want, or better yet, go make your own book. It's really fun. You will be a little bleary-eyed afterwards, but think of how proud you will feel, being a published author!

The books are not inexpensive, since they are printed out 1 at a time (unless you are on the volume plan), but you can make a tiny book for $12 or so. My book is bigger, 10 x 8, and full color, so I think in the mid $20-range. You can search google and find promotional codes for blurb, and that will take down the price maybe as much as 25%. That's what I did. I bought a copy. Actually I bought a defective copy, since I had failed to proofread well and had some typos and didn't realize until it was too late. The new "revised" version (already a revised version! :) ) is proofed and edited. I didn't realize that once you upload the book (they give you free software where you work at your on PC) you can't make changes. Or at least I think you can't. I couldn't figure out how in any case.

Word to the wise - make sure your book is perfect before you upload. After that, you have to pay. Other than that, they make it pretty easy, even for those who love technology but aren't that great at commandeering it, like me :)

Go ahead, give it a try! You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sad Little Sisters

My friend Fanny (Mademoiselle Blythe) was here visiting a couple weekends ago. We got to talking all things doll. Who knew there was so much to discuss dollie-wise?! If you had told me I could hold a coherent conversation lasting an entire evening, solely about dolls, 20 years ago, I would have thought you daft. However, these days, I can hold not only an evening's conversation, but an entire weekend's worth of chatter :) If you aren't into dolls, you probably wouldn't be reading my blog anyway. So, I know you get it. You do. Admit it.
Anyway, short story long, she brought me a book all about the "cute culture." Seems that in down economic times, cute is big news. Cute got us talking about Blythe, which got us talking about Susie Sad Eyes. Susie is another vintage doll, circa 1965 or thereabouts. I can imagine that at the time she arrived on the scene, not many would have wanted a thing to do with her. Big, sad, woeful eyes. Fanny wanted a couple of these sad dolls. She aimed to get some. She bid on Ebay while she was here, but someone outbid her. Seems there is a book out by Gina Garan, who was also the photographer who brought Blythe to the forefront in the first place. Fanny and I looked into the Susie thing over the weekend. Seems we both decided having a customized Susie was on the list of things to do.
When Fanny left, I went searching. I got Gina's book, to see what I was up against in terms of customizing. Looks like not that much customizing going on yet. So, that meant no real trends established yet. I am pretty expert these days at doing a re-root on anything that isn't moving. I got a couple Susie look-a-likes, mostly because they were cheaper at that moment, though now I don't see many anywhere. Back in the day, department stores had cheap plastic dolls. Sears had Susie. She was made in HK. Wards had another similar doll called a Dress Me Doll. Same basic expression, with a slightly narrower face and quite a horrible cheap plastic body. Susie's body isn't too much better, to be honest. I found some other vintage dolls I liked the bodies on better. Vinyl. If you can get vinyl clean, it has a nicer feel than cheap hard plastic. I swapped them out for my new sad girls. I gave them new faceups. Nothing drastic really, just a bit of paint here or there. I have 3 finished at the moment. I may have more before the weekend is out. I have to tell you, I am hooked. The sad eyes thing opens a whole new world of creepy dolls for the creepy doll lover like me. Creepy-Sweet is what I would call it. Waif, street urchin, forgotten child. Susie and her counterparts have it in spades.
So, amongst the Blythes here at creepy doll house, now live quite a few Susies. No one has ever accused me of being non-obsessive when I put my mind to it. I can play grabby hands in a frenzy with the best of them.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you have a free day or 2 to play with dolls :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Monster Blues

I still have a box of Monster High girls I want to re-root. I don't do too much with them. Give them away, occasionally sell one. I have a lot of leftover hair from Blythe girls, though, so sometimes when the day is done, I sit in front of the television and root a head of monster hair.

I have a custom Blythe doll I am currently working on, whose hair is blue and pink by request. I haven't finished her yet, but I used the leftovers to put onto a Cleo de Nile Monster High girl. She came out pretty fun. Maybe she will go out as a Christmas gift or something. She is an especially nice sculpt and really doesn't require any monkeying by me. She just wanted some bright hair. The faceup is stock. She normally has black hair with some gold ribbons in it.

I think this bright blue with pink is a whole new look. For the final photo I am taking a bit of creative license, but I do like the washed out look. Hope you are staying warm and the weather isn't giving you the blues. I think high 70s would be nice right about now. Unfortunately, it's been more like 30. Bah!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zombie Giveaway Results

Okay, Halloween is over and done. Only one of my kids wanted to trick or treat this year, so we don't have as much candy as we have had in past years. We still have a zombie ready to travel, however. I did the random generator thing this morning. I had 12 names to choose from, so punched in 1 to 12. I tried to take a screen shot and paste the results here, but for the life of me I couldn't figure how to get it looking right on this blog. Graphic arts was never my thing :)

But, the number generated was #1, so that is Pansy. I will be contacting her to let her know she will be receiving Leona the fire headed zombie girl in the mail. I should be able to get her out today.

Thank you to all who participated. I appreciate your stopping by. Hope you all had a happy halloween!

XOXO - Cindy