Friday, November 25, 2011

The story of Poe

Once upon a time there lived a Disco Boogie Blythe. She was shiny and new and had lovely thick hair with blonde streaks. She thought she looked pretty amazing.

But her owner did not. So out came the scissors, and Disco Boogie had her fringe cut off - right down to the scalp. Then she had the back cut short. It didn't look quite the way that her owner had hoped... Her stock makeup was sanded off, all except for her lipstick. Then she got some new smoky black eye-makeup and lashes.

It didn't go quite as planned.

Her owner didn't know how to fix her, so she sold Disco Boogie to another collector, far across the sea who thought she had promise.

Her new owner called her Poe, because she looked so sad. She tried her best to fix her hair with another haircut. Then she thought perhaps Poe might be a hat-wearin' kind of girl.

She did look quite cute like that, but in the end it was decided that it would be best for Poe live elsewhere. After all, forever is a long time to wear a hat.

Then Poe came to live with me. She looked like this:

And she was very sad indeed. I had never even seen an EBL before, but I thought I could make Poe look a bit better at least. So I took off her hair, sanded her face and gave her a wig.

But a girl can't be bald forever. Poe needed hair. I thought she might look good as a redhead.

But the mohair was too short. So then, I thought perhaps pink mohair might be nice.

But I didn't finish it, and somehow it just didn't suit her at all. Poe still felt sad and looked...ugly. I had done my best but it just wasn't good enough. I thought of selling her, but I liked her too much to let her go. I knew that the next stop for her would probably be as spare parts or as bait for yet another new customiser. So even though I didn't take her out to photograph her, I kept her because one day, I knew that she would be beautiful.

Poe sat in a drawer for a long time, bald and sad. I felt sorry for Poe. She had suffered enough at the hands of amatuers and was really quite cute, under all those poorly executed customising attempts. Clearly expert help was required.

So I sent her to Moofala for a new scalp, faceup, lip carving and handpainted chips and here is how she looks now.

Thank you so much Kate. She is every bit as lovely as I knew she could be.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Little things...

I'm really enjoying working on the shop at the moment. Thank you so much to all of my wonderful customers - every sale feels just as good as the first :)

The problem with being on Etsy so that you discover fabulous things that turn you into a drooling puddle of want.

These are some of the things I'm loving, wanting and erm...buying!

Prints by Hidenseek:

Original watercolour drawings by KarKarStyle

I bought a few of these...they are adorable - and so reasonably priced!

And a Tokissi bunny - I think they are so sweet!

I still haven't opened my Bohemian Peace. What is wrong with me?! I need to set aside some Blythe time really soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't try this at home....

Sewing is not for sissies it would seem. This is an x-ray of my left hand, complete with snapped off sewing machine needle STILL INSIDE. Eeek! Did I mention that I'm left handed?

I was having such a great day too....

It was my own fault, I was of course doing something silly because, you know, I've never had anything go wrong before. As it turns out, attempting to shove a tiny but thick piece of fabric under the presser foot with a bamboo skewer was not the foolproof exercise I thought it was. I would have been traumatised enough if I had just sewn through my finger like a normal person, with a bit of pain and a bit of blood but no harm done otherwise. But no, I like do these things properly. I managed to get the needle perfectly centred right through my fingernail so that it went through the bone (I still can't quite believe it) and snapped off on the other side so that I needed to go to the emergency room to get the pointy bit removed. Nice.

I have a new understanding why they torture people by messing with their fingernails now. I can't believe how painful it was, and all that remains of it now, 5 days later is a teensy hole in my nail and a tiny cut on the back. And a huge huge bill. That delightful xray cost me $700. I think I shall have it framed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I'm still here!!

I have been a very bad blogger indeed! After the wedding madness, I felt that it might be entirely possible that I may never want to sew anything, ever again. Seriously. So I didn't.

Here's how the dress turned out (this isn't at the wedding, obviously!). I made another one for my little niece but I don't feel comfortable putting her pic in the interwebs without talking to my SIL about it. My sister promises me lovely pics from the photographer but they haven't arrived as yet, so in the meantime this will have to do. I got lots of compliments about the dress, but sadly it took a bit of damage at the wedding reception (performing "the worm" on a crowded dance floor will do that!) and one of the tulle panels was torn. Oh well, it's not like she'll have reason to wear it again. Miss B danced so hard that her flimsy flowergirl shoes wore out and then she danced right through the feet of her stockings!!

I also left my Blythes to their own devices for a while (well, languishing in a drawer - they don't do much!). And the Etsy shop stayed empty. Instead I gardened, read and went to the gym. I still kept on admiring other people's lovely Blythe photographs on Flickr and speny some time in the forums though...I didn't go completely cold turkey! But for a little while, I felt as though I could just about put the Blythes away and maybe just keep one. Ha!!

I'm just starting to feel like Blythe-ing again now, and it's quite nice :) I participated in a swap and received this super pretty dress and shoe set which went straight on Roxy and has stayed there. I hadn't given her much attention in a long time what with the new arrivals, and re-dressing her made me realise just how pretty she is. Even if she is a lowly factory Blythe!

She really needs her faceup redone though, as it is very faded. One day I'll get some MSC!

I have done a little bit of sewing (like the cute velvet headband she's wearing - the velvet is a pain to work with, but it's so plush!). I put a few things in the Etsy shop and they all sold really quickly. I'm over the 100 sales mark now and I don't quite know how it happened! It's hard to keep the shop stocked, but I'm not stressing too much about it. I find that I don't enjoy it as much when I have to sew, if you know what I mean. Since I made the 100 milestone, I treated myself to some really cute stickers for my packaging and I can't wait for them to get here so I can start using them. I really love the packing side things, probably too much! It's like wrapping a little present :)

I STILL haven't deboxed my Bo Peace....and feel no urge to. I never thought I would be the type who'd have the restraint to do that. I kind of bought her because of this photo by the very talented Sarah. Isn't she stunning? She has the best hair ever! Maybe I should go and debox my Bo Peach right now!!

No new girls have arrived since my still un-named ObviousZebra custom. I've decided to work on appreciating the ones I have more before I go out acquiring more and even then there are only a few that I want. Poe is about to head off to Moofala for a new faceup and lip carve (and also to have her new bobbed Rouge Noir scalp attached). I can't wait!! Kate does such lovely work and I really look forward to seeing Poe come to life. Especially since she has had such a rough time of things so far! The more I worked on the mohair, the more I realised that pink and fluffy was not going to be a good match for Poe's little personality. She's a sulker and a bit sad and not suited to pastel mohair sweetness at all. I don't really know what to do about her original scalp. I don't feel the slightest bit inclined to finish the reroot!

I have a few little things I need to do with my girls right now. Three of them need opening and eyemechs looked at (sigh), two of them need face-up freshening and I'm also looking at my Simply Vanilla and thinking about doing a bit of work on her.

I'm swapping her back to a Takara body as I really don't like the PN Flection one at all. I feel like she's constantly trying to wriggle out of my hands (perhaps she doesn't like me?). Her scalp was always very poor, so rather than doing a full reroot (which I may never finish if my past efforts are anything to go by!), I am considering filling in some of the gaps with some platinum saran I have and putting some lovely candy pink saran underneath. I may have to send her off to someone for a haircut afterward though. It's just such a shame that her hair is so bad! I love the colour so much but it's just so thin and gappy. Even her fringe is very different to most of the SV's I've seen. They all have quite long fringes but mine has baby bangs! They are the best thing about her hair but it's odd that hers is just so different. I'd love to see what goes on inside that factory - someone must have been deep in conversation when they were doing her scalp!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A new girl from far away...

This beautiful girl arrived a few days ago from the UK. She's an Obvious Zebra custom with a Tarts and Tea scalp and every bit as lovely as I thought she'd be. Zebra called her Sitka, but I don't know that it will be staying. She hasn't told me her new name yet ;p.

This girl is responsible for making me want a T & T as soon as saw her, only problem being I didn't just want a stock T & T, I wanted a custom girl just like her and given that T & T is a limited release she was far too expensive for me to consider trying to customise her myself and sending her away for work would have brought her price up to...too much! So when I saw her come up for sale I knew that I would be kicking myself if I didn't get her (even though I had just vowed that I wouldn't be buying any new Blythes until I got my grail girl, Rosie Red!).

I'm so glad that I bought her even though at the time I was doing my best to resist, her eye makeup is so vibrant and her hair is just so thick and gorgeous. She has some really beautiful eye chips as well including a handpainted brown and gold set and a green Ana Karina set, but unfortunately I think something shifted in her head during transport and her eyes are now stuck on this set. They are pretty and suit her, but aren't nearly as amazing as the handpainted ones. I am not too worried as I'm sure it's probably just something minor, but I am a bit scared of opening her up so for now she will stay like this.

In order to ease the guilt of buying her (especially when I have a Bohemian Peace who is still waiting to be opened!), I bit the bullet and sold my Star Dancer. It was the right thing to do as I just wasn't taking pics of her and even though I could appreciate that she was very beautiful, I just didn't feel all that attached to her. Her new name is Trinity (which I love!) and she now lives with Mandy (Jeds123). She looks very well loved and very fashionable these days so I am glad that I moved her on. As it turns out the process wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be. I may even be able to bring myself to say goodbye to another one or two after I get back from the wedding. I just gotta have that Rosie Red!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The drawing board - yawn!

Still plugging away on the flowergirl dresses. I decided to close the shop for a little while so I could concentrate on getting everything wedding related sorted , and spent most of the week tweaking the design and resizing things, and now I'm finally ready to spend up on delicious silk dupioni and tulle and get sewing the real thing. I even made a muslin of the bodice to make sure that everything will fit Miss B and sacrificed an old bedsheet to mock up the bustle/bow thing on the back. I have to admit...there's a little piece of me that gets super excited when I see all those piles of pretty and impractical fabrics. Tulle is quite possibly the dreamiest, girliest, prettiest fabric in existance and sadly I just don't get enough opportunities to play with it!

To keep things Blythe-y, I got super lucky on a sundries sale and snagged this super cute outfit for Holly. I love it to bits - especially the hat. I so wish I could knit. Then I'd have one of these babies in every colour!

The outfit came with red tights, gorgeous white zip up boots and even a tiny pair of white glasses (that I'm too scared to put on her for fear of scratching her makeup!). I have to say that it was great to buy a complete outfit - tights, shoes and all - and kind of special to get clothes for her that I haven't made myself. I think I may be hitting the Etsy stores in the near future :)

A little while ago, I also got this super cute pair of jeans from Claribari on flickr in a swap. I love them soooo much! The detail on them is amazing - they even have teeny tiny pockets! Check it out :)

I am kind of feeling the urge to give Ash a makeover at the moment. I saw a gorgeous pic of a FrFr with a tiny fringe and I'd love to try it myself. Her makeup is in dire need of a freshen up too. The problem with not using MSC is that the pastels fade over time, so a touch up is definitely in order. And these horrible fish eyes have to come out. They give me nightmares!! I'd like to replace them with some handpainted chips. Brown and gold maybe?

This pic was taken before I redid her lips. Ick!!! She looks wind-burned!

My Bohemian Peace also arrived, and for once I haven't fallen on the box and tore it open like an animal. She is still NRFB - something that NEVER happens around here!! I think I will try to wait until the dresses are done, and she can be a reward :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Time for a BL

I never thought I would say this...but I finally get what all the fuss is about. I want a BL. So. Bad.

When I first got into the hobby I could not fathom what the appeal was. Goldie just looked...weird to me and Rosie's forehead was huge and the others, not that special at all really. The RBL's were just so much prettier and so much more affordable, with cooler hair as well. Why on earth would you spend that much on a doll when you could get 3 pretty RBL's instead?

But now the madness has finally affected me too. I want a BL and I can see there's no hope for me but to start raising funds and searching.

For those who don't know, the BL's were the first Neo Blythes released by Takara, beginning with the very exclusive Parco in June 2001. They are of course quite expensive and hard to find these days. Parco is so rare she almost never even comes up for sale, while the others tend to go for anywhere between $300 to $1000 on Ebay. I guess it's all a matter of what people are willing to pay for them.

Here's a list of all the BL girls in order of their release.

Parco Limited (Parco) - June 2001

Mondrian (YSL) - June 2001

Hollywood (HW) - October 2001

Rosie Red (RR) - October 2001

All Gold In One (Goldie) - January 2002

Kozy Kape Inspired (Kozy) - January 2002

Aztec Arrival Inspired (Aztec) - February 2002

Sunday Best (SB) - April 2002

Dottie Dot (DD) - April 2002

As you have probably guessed from previous posts, I'm currently chasing a Rosie Red. Hopefully at the more reasonable end of the scale. To this end, I am swearing off buying any more dolls until I have the funds to bring a Rosie home. And possibly selling off an RBL or two to make it happen. Maybe ;P

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So much to little time!!

I forsee myself spending a LOT of time in my little sewing room for the next few weeks. My sister has asked me to make the flowergirl dresses for her wedding - something along the lines of this, but in a vintagey blue with a latte sash.

Naturally, the pattern needs to be changed as it doesn't have a tulle skirt or the big bow....and it isn't the right size either. I so hope it all turns out ok. It's one thing to wing it when you are making costumes, but quite a different matter when it's for a wedding!

And I'm also needing to make the wedding present for the happy couple as well. She wants a quilt, aaaaaaand there's no proper pattern for that either - she fell in love with a picture in a magazine. It's in Sandy Klopp's studio, but she doesn't seem to sell the pattern for it. The one she likes is second from the top with the double half-square triangle border. The Ohio Star blocks will be easy enough...but the border looks like some serious mathematics may be required.

And here is my progress so far.

Yep. So far I have done nothing but had a fiddle about drafting it and putting some blue fabrics in a box. We leave for the Wedding at the end of June. Oh dear.....

To keep this post Blythe-y (and to stop me from hyperventilating from anxiety), I bought this lovely girl a week or so ago.

Well not this exact one, but a Bohemian Peace. When she first came out I really wanted her. And then I kind of felt that I didn't need a new doll, and I decided that I didn't like her stock makeup so much so I didn't get her at all. Then the other day I was browsing flickr and came across the most beautiful owner pic here and was smitten all over again. Aaaaaaand I had some dolly funds in Paypal, just sitting there so I bought her. My little plastic family is getting very big these days. I now have:

Punkaholic People - Frankie Darling custom
Veronica Lace Factory Girl - customised by me
Friendly Freckles Factory Girl - customised by me
Scalpless bait Factory Girl - bought for her hair and now in pieces
Simply Vanilla - customised by me
Star Dancer - stock
Nostalgic Pop - stock
Can Can Cat - Morgan Orton custom
Disco Boogie - Bait - customised by several people...halfway through a mohair reroot and needing a new faceup

and now Bohemian Peace on the way

Also in the house - Simply Lilac belonging to my daughter.

On the wishlist - Rosie Red, Simply Peppermint/Enchanted Petal, Ichigo Heaven/Peony/Snowflake Sonata

And to think I thought that I could stop at just one!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The new arrival

I had been having a bit of a downer of a day yesterday, but look who arrived just in time to cheer me up. She is by far the best impulse purchase I have ever surrendered to! I had to take a photo of a commissioned set I made and it seemed like a good excuse for her to have her first photo shoot.

She's the sweetest Blythe I think I own - I can't stop looking at her! Her hair is the nicest that I have seen in person. I don't know if all Can Can Cats have hair like this straight out of the box as obviously I am her second owner, but hers is perfect. Absolutely poker straight, sleek and the fringe is perfectly cut. Now I just need to think up a name for her.

I am finding the difference beteen the older girls and the new ones astonishing in terms of quality and even just general cuteness. The downside of this is of course that I think I may now have a thing for "designer" customs of the older girls. Oh no!!

I think my collection is about to undergo quite an overhaul in the next few months. I have a hankering for a Rosie Red that just won't go away, and poor old Poe will have to get finished or get out. I can't stand having all these unfinished projects and Blythe in pieces in my sewing room anymore, it's driving me crazy! I think I have come to the realisation that I don't like customising quite as much as I thought I did, and besides I think my own customs all tend to look quite similar and I like to see a bit of diversity on the dolly shelf.

The shop is keeping me quite busy of late - I am really enjoying that side of the hobby at the moment, and I have met some really lovely Blythe people through it that I might not have had an excuse to talk to otherwise. I made my 50th sale a little while ago and things seem to have really picked up since then for some reason. I'm loving it!

When I went to write this post today, I realised that I had past the 100 post milestone a while back without realising it. I think a giveaway is in order, perhaps for my 125th post - it will be coming up soon so keep an eye out for it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red Riding Hood Treasury

As part of my Etsy-ing, I have decided that I am going to try to make a bit more on an effort to curate a weekly treasury. They are so much fun to make - all the joy of shopping with none of the spending! Now that I have found this amazing tool, I can also share the eye candy here. I am a bit besotted with the handpainted cameo. Maybe my lovely husband might buy it for me for Mother's Day??

In honour of the soon to be released movie, I decided to make this one Red Riding Hood themed. Hope you like it :) There are some amazingly talented people out there!

'Little Red Riding Hood' by Dollybirdblythe

Lost in the Wildwood print -...

Little White Wolf Porcelain...

girls dress retro red riding...

Little Red Riding Hood and W...

Red Riding Hood Paper Doll -...

Silhouette Axe Brooch

Little Red Riding Hood - fro...

Tiny Wolf

Heart. Vintage Ruby Jewel Ne...

Primitive Storage Basket, Ch...

35% Off Moving Sale Into The...

Little Red Riding Hood - Bub...


Needle Felted Grandma

Little red riding hood - emb...

1960's Wicker woven picn...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Arm candy :)

Spent the day happily sewing little headbands for the shop. They look so cute all together on Miss B's arm don't you think?

I've been getting a few sales of late and I'm really enjoying working on my little shop. Have been quite the productive seamstress these past few days. The Power Puff Girl costume I started on Thursday came out great (and better still, only cost me about $15!). Miss B loved it and had a fantastic time at her "P" themed dance. She was the only Power Puff Girl in a sea of punks, princesses and pirates. She probably should have worn tights instead of knee high socks, but I thought she might get a bit hot at the dance. She loved the dress so much she wore it the following night when we had some people around for dinner. Luckily it was only family, and they already know she has a theatrical side!

I used the same method to draft a pattern as I did on the Cinderella dress - using a T-shirt as a guide. I am so grateful to that person for sharing her method via her blog. It is so wonderful being able to run up a simple costume without needing to buy a pattern. I think I will probaby use it a bit later in the year if Miss B's school needs my services for the musical. I did the facings the same way that I do my doll clothes and put in a zipper at the back to avoid wardrobe malfunctions. It all came together really quickly and without any unpicking or bad words.

I took Miss B to the craft show on Sunday, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed this time around. There was nothing new at all, just the same group of stand holders with much the same stock as always. I bought a few fat quarters and a quilting ruler that claims to make doing triangular piecing super easy. We'll see about that!

We did a jewelry class together (I do this out of motherly love, I am terrible at beading but Miss B loves it!), and it was not very well taught. We both came away not having learned anything much and in addition we didn't get to finish the workshop piece. I have a couple of tools here, but nothing much so I don't know if I will be able to get it completed here at home either.

To keep this post Blythey, I took a few more pics of Vanilla today to model the headbands for the shop and I have to say that while the Flection body's floppy characteristics leave me cold, I am loving the way you can tilt the head. I wonder if the other Neemo bodies have the head tilt as well... Maybe I will replace the Flection with the standing up body instead. Vanilla is proving to be lovely to photograph with her paler than pale hair and her matt face is much easier to work with. I still have a very long way to go with my photos, but that is a post for another day :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What a life :)

My to do list for today:

Act as Roadie for Miss B's violin performance for her class.
Make Power Puff Girl costume.
Buy another chicken.

It's an odd life, but I love it!

Oh, and I should also mention that I made a little spontaneous Blythe purchase which is very unlike me. Usually I um and ahh, research and compare, taking so long to make up my mind that the doll in question gets sold to someone else. Not so with this little lovely. I bought her without hesitation before I could change my mind and I'm so glad I did - I am really excited about this girl.

She's a Can Can Cat, customised by the talented Morgon Orton. CCC was one of the girls I really really wanted when I first discovered Blythe, but I could never find one that was within my price range, and then later when the prices dropped a little I was afraid to buy one stock because I knew I'd want her customised and she's an SBL. I am a big ol' chicken when it comes to sawing dolls heads open. These photos aren't mine obviously, they belong to Mandrake, AKA treaclemineroad on Flickr.

Isn't she lovely? And look at her lids!!

And that luscious luscious blue hair!! She seriously could not be more perfect if I had commissioned the custom myself. Thanks to her owner for allowing me to adopt her - I promise I'll take good care of her!

So now I have EBL, RBL, FBL, SBL - all I need know is a BL (Rosie Red, I'll have you eventually!), an ADG and maybe one day, a Kenner.

For now though, I'm off to make a Power Puff Girl costume!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back together again :)

Vanilla's head that is! I finally plucked up the courage and did the slightest, wimpiest boggle and gaze correct ever. I can see the difference with the boggle, but not so much the gaze correct - I think perhaps I didn't take enough off, but I thought I would err on the side of caution. While I do currently have some spare parts, I would prefer not to have to use them if I don't have to!

I am really very happy with how she came out - I really really did not like her at first and now I am glad that I persevered and gave customising her a shot. She is far far from perfect, but I think she is kind of cute and the FBL face is really growing on me. I have even almost forgiven her for her terribly thin hair. A very sweet BK forum member sent me some saran to patch up the bare spots but I'm not really very keen on separating her scalp and dome if I don't have to. Besides which, I am well aware of Poe and her poor bald self requiring my attention.

My intention was always to have her as my Neemo Flection girl, but after a single photography session I think I'll be switching her back very soon. How do people manage to pose these bodies? The photo session was a little reminiscent of that 80's movie Weekend At Bernie's. As soon as I would get her in a pose I was happy with, her legs would collapse, or her head would flop down. And I can't get her feet into any of the shoes I have either. I'm a bit disappointed as the body is just so damn cute, but the floppy-ness is just too much for me. I'm not patient enough! I think I will offer it for sale on WPWD now that I know that I definitely won't be using it. I've really got to cut down on some of the dolly clutter!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does customising de-value Blythe?

I must be feeling a bit pressured at the moment, because I've found myself sneaking off to do dolly things during the day and really enjoying every moment of it!

I read a really interesting thread on the This Is Blythe forum recently that kinda got me thinking. It was from a new collector who was asking if customising her doll would devalue it. After considering it for a while, I think that if you look at your collection as a long term investment (and with the amount of money sunk into the hobby, you might as well!), and assuming that you have a mint NRFB Blythe then yes, in the long term if you look at it from a strictly financial point of view it probably does.

I guess the thing to bear in mind is that a doll that may be cheap and considered prime customising fodder right now may end up becoming very valuable in years to come. Tastes and fashions change and an older release doll that was previously thought ugly or odd (like the original Kenners as well as Goldie and Kozy) may suddenly become highly sought after. If most of these dolls were customised back when they were easy to come by, suddenly it's really hard to get one in stock condition and the rule of supply and demand comes into play. Who is to say that Mango, one of the most frequently customised Blythes might not be the Goldie of the future. There's no real way of knowing!

Another thing to consider is the quality of the customisation itself. If it's not well done then regardless of the base doll it is going to be worth less than you paid for it. Even if you are willing to pay for a professional to do the work you still may come out behind due to the amount of money it cost you to have the work done. The services of a customiser, materials and postage add up really quickly, so even though you might be able to sell the doll for a lot more than you originally paid for her, you might well still not get back what you have invested in her.

This is the kind of money you can expect to pay all up for a commissioned mohair rerooted Blythe with a new faceup from a customiser with a good reputation. Not the most expensive, but also not the cheapest.

Original cost of doll - lets say it's a new release RBL that you bought nude.

$80 + $25 shipping from somewhere in Asia - $105

Plus the cost to send to the customiser - $20 ($125)
Plus the materials used - reasonable quality mohair - $60 ($185)
Cost of reroot $150 ($335)
Eyechips $10 per set including fitting. Let's say you changed 2 sets. ($355)
Faceup$65 - sometimes more, sometimes less - ($410)
Lashes $10 ($420)
Lip Carving - $15 - again, sometimes more, sometimes less ($435)
Return postage - $20 ($455).

That's a lot of money to have to try and make back, even when you consider that people will pay more for a well known customiser's work!

Even if you did the work yourself and assuming you already had the necessary tools and art supplies, you would still be paying about $185 and spending a lot of time (days and days of rerooting alone!). And a lot of us just don't have the artistic ability that the well known customisers do. Sometimes the doll ends up looking worse than when you started!

So bearing that in mind you would think that I am anti-custom, but nothing could be further than the truth. Most of the stock girls just don't appeal to me at all and I'm not interested in having a shelf full of NRFB dolls that I'm too scared to touch. I love my custom Blythe - even the ones I did myself. Although I am sure they are not to everyone's taste, I enjoy them so much more now that they have a bit more personality.

I think the question you need to ask yourself before you busy with the sandpaper, is how upset you would be if you customised the doll and it looked bad or if you knew that you had just devalued a hard to find and expensive Blythe. If you have any niggling doubts, perhaps you'd be better off either leaving her stock or buying a pre-customised one to begin with.

For me personally, I'm only comfortable working on bait dolls or new releases with a few flaws that I'm just not liking so much, but even then I am aware that the amount of money spent on the customisation might be a lot more than the doll is worth at the end of it - especially since I am no expert! With the exception of the Basaak, I like the way all of my rescue girls have come out, but when I think about how much I spent on them, I know that I will make a loss when I come to sell them.

Roxy started off being a very inexpensive factory girl and she cleaned up quite nicely. I didn't try anything very adventurous with her at all.

Then I bought another doll for her scalp (more $$ invested as she was more expensive than the original Saffy factory girl) and now she looks like this.

I might just be able to break even with her if I was to sell her as her scalp is very nice and I also managed to recoup a little bit of the costs by selling her blonde scalp. I consider her to be a good investment.

On the other end of the spectrum, there's Poe. She came as bait back when EBL's were really quite expensive. At the time that I bought her, she was a bargain with a lot of potential, but still cost quite a bit more than Roxy.

Her hair was beyond redemption, so I decided she should get a reroot. The mohair cost me about $25 and a lot of time to prepare it. She is still in pieces and the reroot feels like it'll never be done!

I think I will send her face plates away to an Aussie customiser, but even with the saving on postage, she'll still end up costing me a LOT more than a stock Disco Boogie would now and if I was to sell her I would probably make a loss. At one point I did consider getting another EBL scalp for her at least, but it still ends up not working in my favour.

So as you can see some things even depend on how the Blythe economy itself is currently working, and there are no guarantees that you will come out on top, even if you buy a bait girl to do up.