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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm still here!

The trouble with work, is that in addition to the time that it gobbles up in it's own right it also seems to render me completely unmotivated to dabble in my hobbies. It's only been a week, and already I feel caught up in a groundhog day like cycle of get up, work, pick up Miss B, clean up carnage, cook, eat, clean, sleep. I am such a wuss!

I've been sewing up a mockup bridesmaid dress in my "spare" time too, which hasn't left me with much time to make any new outfits for my beloved Blythes. Or put poor Vanilla back together again! She is still sitting on the buffet looking at me reproachfully as I eat my brekky. I'm reluctant to tuck her away out of site for fear she may join my group of Blythe in bits! I have 3 right now, all needing a bit of work. I must stop getting TLC girls!

I feel the itch for a new girl again and will probably treat myself to one when the contract is over. Maybe I'll finally get that green-haired girl I've been pining for. Or maybe a new blondie. I love the anticipation just as much as the deboxing!

Speaking of arrivals, I am not very happy with Australia Post at the moment. I hadn't been home 10 minutes this afternoon when I saw them pull up outside the house through the window. I got all excited because it's Holly, back from Frankie Darling and I can't wait to see her, so I walked up to the front door to get my parcel...only to see them drive off! The lazy buggers couldn't be bothered walking up the driveway and up the stairs to even knock on the door!! To add insult to injury, the "you weren't home" card says that I can't pick her up until the 10th! What the??!!

Oooh I was peeved!! What's more, did you know that apparently Australia Post have no way of contacting their contractors until they are back in the distribution centre? How ridiculous!

I do apologise for the lack of pictures in this post. The only thing I have recent photographs of is me wearing a very unflattering dress in a Von Trapp curtainesque print. And there's no way I'm putting that out there!

Let me just say that boat neck 50's style gowns will make your ta-tas look like basketballs if you are anything more than Audrey Hepburn shaped. Which sadly, I am not!