Tuesday, May 29, 2012

dolly mail is the best mail...

I came home to a wonderful sight of not one or two packages, but three wonderful treats!  I had to bring Charlotte and Lizzie Jane out to help me carry them in!

It was actually Lizzie's first time outside... and she had a fun time exploring the garden!

Mostly everything in these big boxes was furniture!  Since I had only one chair and a growing family of girls, I turned to the 'bay to make my bookshelves more lounge-worthy for the girls...
We had one burgundy arm chair and the hutch from the top shelf already, but we added another matching arm chair and loveseat, two dining chairs, a coordinating hutch for the downstairs shelf... and a wardrobe that turned out to be a lot more ginormous than we imagined from ebay!  Annie Mesmer claimed it for her own, but she isn't sure yet if she wants to use it as a closet or move in!
Charlotte claimed dibs on the couch because she is the only one with sleep eyes who could really enjoy it!
We're thinking the bed that matches that spacious wardrobe will go to the new girl, James, who is on her way for my birthday present this July!  She has beautiful custom painted sunny yellow lids and will look very sweet tucked in for a good night's rest... now I have to make her a quilt!

The third package is a surprise, for the time being... I hope I can use it for the BK swap.  If there is the slimmest chance that anyone from BK is reading my humble blog... I urge you to vote for "Cool Britainnia" as the theme for the June swap... because I bought three of the coolest print fabrics ever for this theme and would SO love to make someone delightful swap goodies with a British Theme!

(Was that shameless?!  Oh well.  Seriously, the fabrics are to die for.  I promise!)

In other news, I am expecting my sewing machine back from the shop tomorrow or Thursday, all freshly tuned and sewing marvelously. I am so looking forward to its homecoming.

I have cut out 6 dresses and a blouse to sew when it is returned to me.  Also have visions of two more cute dresses to cute soon.

That's about all for now in dolly world.

Meet Lizzie Jane!

My lovely Rachel's Ribbon arrived last Thursday & I've been having too much fun with her this Memorial Day weekend to take the time to blog her arrival.  She is lovely!

She met the girls...

And she tried on lots of clothes!  We played with her hair and she moved into the same shelf as Charlotte.
Yesterday, I got all the girls together for a group shot to make a little signature in Blythe Kingdom Forum. It was color first... but then I switched it to black & white for fun... I like both versions...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cherry Kim: I love my ICY!

 Here she is as she arrived - very serious!  But she wanted to try on some of the clothes that I've made her.
This one is her favorite & inspired her name "Cherry". 
 Also this vintage lace smock looks very cute, layered over her polka-dot pants.
 She's really a cutie-pie!
But she is also no-nonsense.  In the end she settled in with some Pistachio Libby black cigarette pants, her stock and Charlotte gave her a pair of glasses that she doesn't wear much these days.  The gun's in the bag!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A New Neighbor: Icy Liberation arrives!

She's here!  Just lifting her box out of the mailer... you could tell she was very cool!
 Her stock is amazingly detailed and really quirky! I carefully started to unpack all the bits and pieces...
 This was the bit that I was most excited and curious about!  She comes with a gun!  It's in a holster that straps to her belt and you can even cock it! (I think it's an automatic!)
 It was hard work getting out the box!  We take her coat off to unwind her pull string.  Nice to get some fresh air.
 Charlotte and Annie Mesmer say hi & Charlotte brings her old pull ring over because this "Angela" one is just silly for Little Kim. 
 Annie Mesmer really likes Little Kim's hat & hopes she might get a chance to borrow it one of these days!
 Little Kim moves in downstairs from Charlotte and Annie Mesmer, in the American History section to get acclimated with her new country.  She is relieved to find out about "The Communistic Societies of the United States". 
 Little Miss Revlon (from 1958) also moves downstairs.  She had been living in Charlotte and Annie's closet before... but even though it's more spacious downstairs, she isn't too sure about her new neighbor. Little Kim isn't sure about her either.
 But then they get to talking and they both have a lot to teach the other...
 Miss Wonder Mynte is just happy to have some new digs... she & Little Kim get along very well... and they noticed they both have a penchant for stars!
 Here they are, settling in after all the excitement... Little Kim is going to be pretty happy in Eugene.  Even happier once I make her a little red book!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rachel's Ribbon has also arrived Stateside!

Ta da!  She's made it to So Cal to my friend's house and soon she will be on her way to me... I am sewing a big project for a friend (a very big project - quite opposite of the small-scale dolly sewing I have been doing lately!) and in exchange she is trading me a RaRi and and Icy Liberation... I am so excited... my dolly family is totally perfect now... with three girls coming in the next months.  WOW!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Charlotte gets a bob!

I have been thinking of giving Charlotte a bob for a long time, but I didn't have the courage to do it until tonight.  I am in love with her new look!  It's still a bit wet so it is kind of choppy and I didn't want to even it out any more until I could see what it looked like dry... since I know hair with a little curl in it tends to get shorter as it dries... and she does have a touch of curl.

When I did her first coif makeover with the additional rooting to thicken her hair, I washed her original hair in hot water and combed it out, with took most of the curl out - it also revealed how the ends of her hair were really rough and frizzy.  I treated her hair, added the new hair, did the Pucci collective ironing trick... overall it was a vast improvement, but the ends were still rough.  The bob is not only an adorable style that I admire on numerous dollies, it's also a solution to the frizz - now there are no more frizzy end bits... all her hair is sleek and shiny.  She just looks darling and I think the cut really suits her.  I am so happy.

In other news... I bought a custom doll today on layaway at Blythe Kingdom.  It was an impulse buy of sorts. Impulsive in the moment - but something I had been considering for a couple days.

I really don't need any more dollies... but I've often thought that I would like to have a custom someday and I have always adored Simply Mango's coloring. I think her coloring would lend itself really well to a kawaii style wardrobe - super bright colors, fun prints, and extravagant styles.  For my first stock girl, I couldn't stop dreaming of Simply Peppermint and I decided that I would rather spend just a little more than Mango to get her.  I'm quite happy I did - I love her as a stock girl and I realized that I would never be able to customize a girl I bought NRFB.  

I do like the look of many customs, though - so I have daydreamed that one day I might get one on Blythe Kingdom... mostly the ones I like are way out of my price range, but I always love to look at the "Princesses Needing Rescue" just because I love the photographs of all the beautiful girls... 

So I was on BK & I saw this really cool custom factory girl with a Mango scalp a little while ago.  Her customizations really seemed to fit with my idea of a kawaii girl. Her price was really fair, but still too much for me. Then she was reduced & there was a layaway option and I started thinking about her... imagining adopting her.  Still I thought it was maybe not a good idea. Yet, at the same time, I couldn't stop thinking about her & checking on her. The last time I checked her, she was reduced again! It was the kind of deal that I really hadn't seen & I wasn't put off by her little imperfections in the slightest.  I love the color of her eye chips & the beautiful highlights/lowlights in her hair, her faceup is bold and fun - with shiny lemon yellow eyelids and blue eyelashes!  She has fantastic details... I just love her. And she has a fun, spunky name - James.  

Can you tell that I love her already?!  So yes. Her creator agreed to the terms of the adoption & I started the layaway today. She will be ready for my birthday present in July! I am really happy.  I think she will totally complete my collection because she has the Mango scalp I like and she is a more extreme custom.  Unless I found a Goodwill Kenner or a Gentle River for a steal on BK, I pretty much have (or will soon have) all the girls I want... and I know that I want a family that is not too big, so I can really spend time with all my dolls and get to know each one of them. I am very happy about the new additions to my family and the way I'm bonding with Charlotte and Annie Mesmer as they each come into their own personalities!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

vintage lace

Here are my first experiments with the vintage lace trims that I have been collecting.

I hand-stitched these... I have really been enjoying hand sewing lately... it's very meditative and relaxing.  The results are more unique.  Some might say "imperfect" due to the nuances of handwork, but I think they have more character, which particularly suits the vintage lace.

Friday, May 11, 2012

i may have a little BK closet clean-out...

I've been thinking of having a wee closet clean-out on BK.  I have a few sundries that I bought that my girls haven't bonded with, 3 sets of eye chips - including one beautiful handpainted set, some fabric, some hair accessories, some petite-sized furniture, some clothes that I've made, and lastly... some oddly appealing vintage/retro Barbie stuff that fits Blythe. 

The vintage/retro stuff is part of a big jumble of stuff that I bought as a grab-bag at this local vintage store.  Some of the things in the grab-bag are great - especially a pair of vintage squishy white boots that Char-Char wears often. Some of it fits Blythe well & some of it would need some creative styling or alteration.

Annie Mesmer (who the reluctant oracle explained was most definitely NOT named after Annie Bessant, but rather a diminutive form of Anton) was a model for the strange & fun retro stuff.  She's actually a fantastic model... so long as she doesn't actually have to wear any of the clothes after the shoot.  I was wondering if my new girl (who the reluctant oracle has dubbed "Little Kim") might like the track clothes... but I think it would be good to start fresh for her.

Here are some highlights from the impromptu retro shoot.

Annie Mesmer really seemed to enjoy modelling - even in clothes that she would never wear herself... I think that she's quite a shy and introspective girl, but she has a talent for magic in front of a camera!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


She's hit US soil... and she is now making the last leg of her journey from West Hollywood to the hills of Oregon... my new Icy Liberation dolly!

My friend is sending her my way & I should be introducing her to Charlotte and Annie Mesmer quite soon.

She is going to be fun to get to know.  I think she is a tomboy and I have never made dolly-sized pants... so I decided to buy some Moshi Moshi linen shorts in black and grey that were for sale on BK and also some black cigarette pants from PistachioLibby on etsy.  (Aren't those Moshi Moshi tops adorable too - they were sold so I didn't get a chance at them, but I think they would look adorable on a tom boyish dolly!)

I have been scoping out jeans too... but the ones I want are a little pricy, so I am going to wait to get to know her before I buy them.  I think the shorts and black pants would work with Miss Mesmer, if this girl doesn't like them.

I'm so curious about names.  Brainstorming... but I definitely have to consult the reluctant oracle on this one.  He's actually a teensy bit curious about her because she comes with a gun! :D

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Charlotte's Day Out... a hat for spring...

The same weekend that Mesmer got her new look - Charlotte borrowed a dress that I'd originally made for the Simply Peppermint formerly known as Wondie... to take some picks with a new hat that I made for her.

This was my first Blythe-sized hat project & it turned out well.  It's a free beret pattern from Ravelry.

I ordered a jumble of mini-skeins on Etsy and these were three different yarns included.  Turns out that in Blythe world... a hat takes over twice as much yarn as a sweater... something that is logical when you consider the proportions... but not immediately intuitive to my instincts honed by years of human-sized knitting.

Here's a close-up... you can sort of see the way the colors are blended into each other... but there is also a subtle sparkle in the solid colored peach yarn that is lost-in-translation in the photos.
At any rate, Charlotte loves it and it suits her very well.  We've struck on a thread in her personality that she really likes... a very outdoorsy sort of girl.  It's actually also a touch of mori too.. but the more woodland side of it.

I've been on Tokyo Fashion exploring the style trend of mori lately and I really like the different aspects of it, as suited to Blythe style. I ordered some cool trims from BK that I would like to use to make more woodland Eastern-European style dresses for Charlotte. Sort of like this inspiration...

I'm also inspired by the Gentle River and Vinter Arden stock styles... GR for the more woodland style and VA for the more neutral mori girl... I have a bunch of gorgeous vintage lace trims that I want to incorporate into dresses too.

Finally, I am also finding myself really inspired by Satomi Fujii's amazing work that I've been seeing on Google+ and at http://hanonroom.web.fc2.com/

I just finished a huge event last weekend and now I will have time to enjoy making somethings for my girls... as well as doing a project that will result in some new girls joining our family! 

Bye bye, Wonder Mynte... Hello, Annie Mesmer.

So one thing that I didn't really expect or understand about Blythes when I first became interested in them, is how their personalities emerge.

I was first interested in making clothes for them... I imagined they would be able to wear a wide variety of clothes... so long as the outfits matched their coloring and hair... but I didn't take into account quite how their personalities would affect their fashion tastes. I made some perfectly nice dresses before the Charlotte arrived that just didn't suit her.  Once I ordered my minty girl... I day-dreamed about what she would be like & named her before she arrived.  I thought some of the clothes that I made for Charlotte would look better on her because of her pastel coloring... but she seemed ill-at-ease in them and rather aloof.

It was awkward.  I loved her, but didn't "bond". She did seem to like these stompy silver boots and a vintage Penny Brite dress. That was about it.

Then one day I was looking at photos on BK and saw a photo of a smock, I think it was a Melacacia or Melacacia-style. Something clicked.  I have all this beautiful vintage lace trim that I have been wabting to use and also, I was trying to figure out some neurtal color styles to go with knitwear that I had been making for Charlotte. I thought the smock would be a good style to add lace too, so I dug out some charcoal cotton voile that i had used as trim on a dress i sewed for myself years ago & started improvising a pattern.  I didn't feel like dragging my sewing machine out, so i hand-stitched it together and left the edges raw, fraying the voile for an added "distressed" look. This was just supposed to be a pattern... nothing special.  But then I tried in on the my SP and something magical happened.

She came alive as a spooky girl.  Here is the actual smock out-of-doors... though she doesn't really like sun.
It was suddenly clear that my Wonder Mynte wasn't a pastel Lolita or a cutsey Kawaii kind of girl... she felt awkward and ill-at-ease in those clothes and that's why her personality wasn't coming out and we didn't bond.  As soon as she donned this smock... she opened up and I had a sense of her style and personality... then I realized that there is actually a Japanese fashion trend that fits her closely... mori girl!  She is a touch more occult & dark than just mori... but she definitely loves loose fitting natural black, white, grey, cream, etc.  She also has a quirky love of mod fashion and enjoys sporting red vintage clothes on occasion.  She is spooky, whimsical, individualistic and quiet.  She loves solitude & she's quite brave... but she doesn't like the sun and out-of-doors by day.

As we got to know each other a bit more, I got the sense that she didn't have the right name. She wanted to be named "Mesmer". I mentioned this to my reluctant oracular source who had named Charlotte aka Char-Char.  He said - of course:  Her name is "Annie Mesmer".  I didn't know about the Annie part & I don't want her to be associated with the dubious Annie Bessant... but I do trust my source, so Annie Mesmer it is! Welcome mysterious girl!