7.09.2013

Inspiration comes in many forms...

These past few months were the first since I've started collecting where I didn't have a dolly of my own to photograph. And I didn't realize how much I missed it until...


She and I...
Fable - Happibug Custom

She came back to me. This girl originally started out life with Roz as Cilla. She briefly stayed with Brionie and then came to me.


My beautiful model.
Her 2nd form...

Her lovely customizer, Lynne aka "Happibug" updated her look for me. Lynne creates the most beautiful custom Blythe girls. They are all really special and magical. This girl was special to me the moment I laid eyes on her.


We were in the process of moving and once again, she moved on... and once again, she was updated by Lynne into this beautiful, sweet and soft girl she is today. When I had the chance recently to get her back, I didn't hesitate... she may have changed on the outside. But I still know my girl and of course, she is still very special.

Beautiful hair...
Fable - The forest wanderer

Part of what makes Happibugs so special (to me anyway), are the beautiful stories that Lynne gives them. She graciously wrote her a story and named her Fable..

Many, many moons ago in a green and shady place, in an English Forest at the edge of a tiny village, a young girl was born. She grew up in the village, enjoying the sweet, simple pace of life. Her favorite past-time was to go to the edge of the town, where the sunny meadows full of livestock met the dark forest, and there she would stroke the farm animals and chat with them. Slowly at first, but then in growing numbers, the wild animals of the forest became curious about her. They would creep to the edge of the forest and watch. One day, the tiniest baby deer came over to the fence, where this magical young girl was feeding carrots to the baby goats and horses. The deer gently nuzzled at her arm, and before she realized it, he was eating gently from her palm as well.

That was the beginning of an amazing friendship between this young girl and the forest animals. As the days passed, and summer turned to fall, you could find the girl with her gathering family of forest friends, enjoying the sunshine, eating a ripe pear that fell from the full trees, and falling asleep together in the moonlight. The people of the village couldn't believe it, and told stories to each other about this strange child who seemed more at home with the animals and wild creatures than with the other children in the village.

One cold, stormy and frightening winter day, tragedy befell this tiny village. A terrible, terrible winter storm, unlike any that had visited this part of the world before, came and blanketed the entire area with many feet of snow. Many, many of the village people were lost, including this young maiden's loving parents. As the cold gradually ebbed and the snow eventually melted, those who had survived came out into the weak and pale spring sunlight to look for friends and family ... who had made it through this terrible and frightening time?

As they explored the house of the forest girl's parents, they found no trace of the girl. No one had seen her since long before the storm, they realized as they compared stories. What fate had befallen her?

As spring took hold and flowers began to bloom, children walking near the village reported seeing a girl in the woods. They could never fully glimpse her ... just an impression, almost, of long, colorful hair in the distance and the sound of running feet, a silvery laugh as beautiful as the spring brook after the thaw.

Though she was never seen again by the humans in the village, everyone knew in their heart what had happened during that long, cold winter. This young girl, so beloved of the animals in the forest, had been taken at the first sign of the storm danger, deep into the interior of the woods, where the animals had their secret dwellings. The trees were so thick there, the snow could not penetrate, and the animals lived together harmoniously and survived the winter beautifully. Among them, around the soft glowing embers of a small fire in the evening, sat a young girl ... long, colorful hair and tiny freckles, a small half-smile on her lips... sharing stories and dreams with her beloved forest animals.

Fable
Beneath the Forest...


If you go to this forest today, and stand very, very quietly near the edge of the woods (be careful, because it's a very dark, thick wood!) you may hear a silvery giggle. The sound of hooves as the spring group of baby deer chase with her ... the sound of running feet and laughter as she leads them in a game. If you are fortunate enough to hear these magical sounds, you will know that you have heard the girl that the villagers came to call "Fable", as she was the source of the most magical story, the most amazing fable that anyone had ever heard in this mystical, beautiful and secluded part of our world.
"Fable", by Lynne Rutherford - June 29, 2013

5.29.2013

Wendy brought me back !

It's been awhile since I've really felt connected with Blythe. My recent Bubbles girl was intended for myself but after I customized her, I felt like she wasn't for me. It's really hard for me to keep my own work... and I've been really lusting after a Miss Sally Rice (I'm always after her), My Little Candy and Amaryllis for some reason.. Imagine my surprise when I saw Wendy Weekender !

Wendy Weekender
She's totally adorable and a happy mix of My Little Candy and MSR for me all in a cute little FBL package.

Here's her little intro from Takara:
Yay! The weekend finally came!
I'll have fun the whole day!
Dancing, singing. Why don't you everything you wouldn't do usually? ♪
That's what I want to do.★

Semi long hair, mint green.
Front eyechip: special brown color
Eyeshadow: brown
Cheeks and lips: pink
Face color: fair (natural skin)
Face type: Fairest
Stand: fluorescent orange

Release date: June 2013
Price: 14,490 yen

All her goodies

Look at those hair ties and that top ! SO cute !

I'm thinking I will keep her original browns and go with Brainworm Turquoise, Lilac and maybe Lemon or Apple.
Even her box is rad !

Can't wait to meet you Wendy !
I pre-ordered her on a whim when I saw the illustration design and I am SO happy I did. I cannot wait to see her in person.

YAY ! And hey, in case you are wondering where else I've been.. I am starting a family blog. I am torn on if I should keep my doll stuff here or move everything together. Hmmmm :P

5.08.2013

Bubbles !

It's been quite awhile since I've done a custom girl or really been into Blythe. My personal life has shifted focus for awhile.. we are in the process of trying to buy a home and I've also started a more personal-family oriented blog. Still debating if I should move my Blythe stuff there or not....

But anyhow ! I dusted some rust off and created this little sweetie. Please meet Bubbles !

Bubbles - Bubble Boom Sugar Balloon Custom
(say that 5 times really fast!)
She came out so happy and bubbly ! I thought it a little goofy to actually name her Bubbles, but it seems to suit her. She's totally a bubbly girl.

You can see her full set on my Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sugarballoon/sets/72157633432502275/with/8719377195/

My 7 year keeps leaving love notes on her. "Friends forever?" "I love you" and things like that. It's so sweet... I think for her birthday next year I will custom her a dolly all her own. :)

2.22.2013

Simple.

Kind of looks like a Balloon. It's my Sugar Balloon.
That simple pull-ring changed everything for me...

I've been really evaluating myself and this crazy dolly hobby I have. For the past few months, I feel a little off track.

I am not sure what it is. As I discussed in my last post, I get into these strange purge modes where I will just adopt out every doll and most of my doll clothes and just get new stuff. But it's getting different now when I do this.

Not too long ago, I had done this for the first time in almost 5 years of collecting, with the intention of giving it all up. That didn't last long.. I do love Blythe. But why do I love her ?

It's strange to me that this hobby can create drama sometimes. I suppose when you get any community of people together for any reason, people will disagree. And with most things in your life, not everyone handles conflict with grace and compromise. Sometimes it gets ugly.

I really don't want to discuss that aspect. But I kind of wonder if I have gotten caught up in some of the hype myself... I kind of feel like my reason for wanting certain dolls or sundries, is competitive. But not in the nature you think of where you are like "I have this and you don't!" but more of an acceptance feeling. It sounds so strange... and some of you may not understand and some of you are nodding your heads going "Oh my gosh! She's right!".

I've decided to get back to basics. And this simple photo is my poster child for reminding me that there is nothing wrong with that.

I remember when I had first started finding Blythe photos on Flickr. I was so intrigued by the pull-ring. I loved seeing photos where it dangled behind her. And when I opened my first Blythe and pulled that ring and heard the sweet sound of her eyes click, it was love.

How did I stray so far from that simple love ?

I have decided to get back to basics. Get back into the stock love. Get back into the miniatures and dioramas. Perhaps I am just one of those people that loves change. And as some very good friends of mine pointed out to me recently; I shouldn't feel guilty or bad about that. :)



A little disclaimer.
There is nothing wrong with custom dollies or designer sundries ! Oh my goodness, please don't think I am saying that. I'm hoping when I find the balance that I am seeking, I will be able to welcome custom dolls in without feeling the need to re-home them eventually/immediately. And keep some of my precious "designer" items. Custom dolls (and "designer" sundries) are magical and wonderful creations ! Made with love and heart. And even blood and tears sometimes ! <3 I am simply reevaluating my own love of the hobby (my finances included !!) and decided that I just want to enjoy the stock love for awhile and get back to basics. I miss collecting the Takara sets of clothing and furniture and even stock doll outfits. These are also more in my budget.. and probably many others who may feel outcast by not having things out of their budget.

I am not saying any one is better than the other. If I could financially afford these things, I'd have the things I LOVE to collect - some of these would be popular and some not-so-popular. But my point being, find your budget range and don't feel bad about where it is. Instead, embrace where it is and know that there is beauty everywhere to be had in this hobby. Whether it's the designer dolly, Kenner heaven.. or a 2nd hand ADG or nude factory girl.

Love the doll because you love the damn doll.

2.21.2013

Am I crazy or lazy or poor ?

Anyone who has known me long enough, knows that I am someone who doesn't keep dolls for long periods of time...

Recently, I've really tried to evaluate this process about myself because I really want to keep my recent dollies: Mimic, Zephyr and Blossom.

Cloud Friends 2/3

I "adopted" them all with the intention of keeping them forever. I've been pretty good at managing myself.. but here they come again.

First comes the feelings of guilt; Do I really need these extremely expensive dolls ? Shouldn't I put those funds towards debt ?

Then comes all kinds of feelings that range from crazy to lazy. Crazy because I start to think that I'm nuts for even considering letting go of these special dollies and I'm totally entitled to have these things when my kids get expensive DS3s and video games.. that lay around the house and I have something I cherish and photograph almost daily.

And the lazy. Lazy you say ? What does lazy have to do with anything ? Well, it rhymed with crazy and sounded good in my title. But there is a bit of the thought that I might be.. because it's easy to slap a designer hat and dress on a doll and take a headshot of her and feel the love pour in. But it takes effort to set up a scene, pick out the perfect outfit and get the right angle for a good photo.

Oz's Unbirthday Party

I've spent a few days now trying to figure out where my disconnect really is. Sifting through the ADHD of my feelings about all this has been honestly, a little emotionally draining. I even have a small fear that people will dislike me if I don't keep dollies. It's all very strange to me the range of emotion that comes with this thought process.

I don't know if people know much about me. But I am a stay-at-home mom. I don't drive. This really means, I'm a stay-at-home mom. I don't even grocery shop on my own. I'm anxiety ridden. So, even if I had something to do outside the house, my anxiety makes me usually back out of plans with friends. So, I'm home. No complaints. I like being a hermit :) I do get myself out for the benefit of my 7 year old. We exercise, do school work, make things together, walk together. She will even get me to drive sometimes to things near our home to get out.

But my reason for saying that is... Blythe opens a few doors for me. That are either totally enabling my poor emotional state or making it better.

Me & Zephyr

I have friends through Blythe, I get social interaction, chats with friends, creative time, photography that gets me outdoors, there's a few things.. I think they are healthy. :)

Another aspect is.. business. I love ideas. I'm an idea person. I love to try new things, start a business model, see it catch on and if I make a few bucks in the process, I feel some real self accomplishment. Not only that I am making a few bucks, but that I did it with my creativity and through something I love. And I managed to do it while still being at home and not in a stressful environment that isn't my home.

Tying all of this together has led me to figure out the loop I keep creating for myself with the dollies purging and what I need to do....

ZzZZzzz

First thing is.. I need to get out of the designer dolly world. As much as I love their items, I can't afford them. Maybe I can treat myself to special items I save up for from funds I allocate from my headbands and re-roots. But all in all, I really need to get it in my head to stick with items within my budget. This probably meaning to start: 1 stock doll. Maybe 2 so 1 can model the re-roots. I'd also like to eventually get a stock Middie girl and make headbands for them too :) They are probably great for dioramas as well !

Next, and probably most important as this part I never follow through with. I need to measure a spot in my bedroom and have my husband borrow my dads truck and go to Ikea and get a nice, reasonably priced desk and 2 shelves with glass fronts. I hate the feeling that everything is all over the house. The desk will serve as my headband and re-rooting area, as well as my diorama and setup area. 1 shelf/tower will be for dolls, the other for headbands/reroot materials. Feeling that all of my stuff is taken care of will probably enable me to mentally house the idea of bringing more in over time...

It's important that I stay dedicated to the headbands and re-roots to help justify the funds I spend on the hobby. Taking from family money for this just causes me too much guilt. I need to fund my own addiction.

Sugar Balloons ! 

Then, I'd like to get a nice, used but well taken care of, DSLR. Something reasonably priced but takes great photos. I suspect this means I'd need to invest in a lens. This is also great because I need to also start taking more photos of my life and the humans in it. lol !

Then, I'd like to slowly purchase Re-Ment, used Barbie stuff... and other items that are planned purchases, within a reasonable price and fun for me. All purchases should be saved up for beforehand. No more impulse purchases that I'm putting on credit cards or selling other items to get.

The thing that led me to Blythe to begin with was dioramas. Miniatures.. Re-Ment.. I love setting up scenes and having fun actually "playing" and photographing this stuff. I really want this to be the focus of the hobby for me.

Saying all of this out loud was hard for me. But if I didn't do it, I fear I would keep repeating the loop.... and I just don't want to do it any more. The decision to re-home all my girls is still something I am fighting with.. I do believe that I will let go of Zephyr first. She is first because she was an impulse buy that I really couldn't afford and although I adore her sweet face, her pensive and beautiful pout is difficult for me to photograph and capture as I am more of a bubbly, colorful dolly person.
*Mimic and Blossom may stay... I am not sure I can let them go.

I hope I can make the steps I need to and then keep with it to get the outcome I am hoping for.

1.30.2013

New Flickr Group !

29.365: What I Wish I Wore Today: Dolly Edition
Plastic Fashion Bunny Dress, DollyTown Shoes, LalaTroop Sheep Hat were Mimic's picks.

I love seeing when my friends post "What I wish I wore today" collages on their FaceBook and Flickrs... so, I thought how fun it would be to see a dolly edition !

Not only can we piece together fun outfits (I know we all buy stuff in mind to pair it with that other special piece.) but we can help rekindle classic outfits and bring in new artists and ideas !

I made a Flickr group for you to participate in, I hope you'll all join in the fun !

Peppermint Girl

Fun !
I love the minty haired girls !

I was so excited to do this girl for Tiffiny. She's a sister to an original girl I had done awhile back, that now resides with my childhood best friend :)

Eyelids
Scribble heart on other lid from her "sister".

I really enjoyed working on her and with Tiffiny ! <3

I think I'm going to break a bit from customs.. I'm wanting to try just re-rooting scalps for a bit. I'll be back but I like a break :)

Cheers !