Interview with Lisa from and Parasol Doll Dress Giveaway!

Written on July 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured, Giveaway with tags: , ,

Amazing is one word to describe what Lisa does with art for the Blythe community. Cute and witty, her fabric designs make me smile and I can pretty much guarantee that they’ll make you smile too. If you’re interested in purchasing your own fat quarters of Lisa’s amazing work, please check out her Etsy shop, Milktooth by Milktoof.

You can also find Lisa at her website, and see what wonderful creations people have made with her fabric at her Flickr group, milktooth – tasty textile treats.

Hi Lisa, Why don’t you tell us all a little about yourself and how you go into Blythe?
Hi! My name is Lisa, a.k.a. Rabbitine on the interwebs. I’m really just an art nerd living the “funemployment” dream in Portland, Oregon. I live with my boyfriend and our two dogs, Jack and Leela whom I love to kibbles and bits! When I’m not playing with dolls I can usually be found at the dog park, making feeble attempts to play bass, painting, reading, or hunting down vintage dolls and toys at local antique stores.

As I am a graphic designer and illustrator by trade, I occasionally get commissions for artwork. One gloomy Portland day, I was contacted by the lovely, Megan (Minklet) to do some illustrations for her band, Gingerbread Patriots. Megan and I became friends and she introduced me to the amazing world of Blythe. For a long time, I was too chicken to buy my first girl, but in the fall of 2007, I visited the Junie Moon store in Tokyo and took the plunge! I bought a Rainy Day Parade for around 11,500 yen. I named her, Ren and my life has never been the same since!

You have a great website, – how did you come up with that name?
Thank you so much! This fabric designing stuff is a completely new adventure for me. I wanted a name that would reflect that freshness. I kept telling myself that I was just cutting my baby teeth (milk teeth) like a wee baby and the moniker stuck. I think the name also speaks to the child-like nature of my work. As a bonus, little cartoon teeth are just plain cute and fun to draw!

Mist and Alix model dresses from House of Pinku and Button Arcade. Photo credit: Fashionmimi.

I know you have some involvement with BlytheCon 2011 (which is taking place in Portland, Oregon), what can you tell us about that?
Well, I suppose I could be considered BlytheCon 2011’s official designer but I’m not directly involved with the planning so I’m not sure what juicy tidbits I can leak. However, I CAN tell you that it’s going to be flipping EPIC! It has an awesome nautical theme which I think will lend itself nicely to cute vintage outfits and an amazing location with lots of bright natural light for taking photos. There’s going to be a ton of vendors, some knock-your-socks-off raffle prizes, and lots of fun surprises.

The three BlytheCon inspired fabrics I designed are being printed by Spoonflower as I write this and will be available very soon via the BlytheCon 2011 official ArtFire shop to raise funds for the event.

It’s going to be so fun to meet everyone. I am counting down the days!

Puddles wearing a ButtonArcade dress made with Milktooth fabric. Photo credit: Frankie Darling.

Your fabric designs all have this unspoken whimsical feel to them, what are some of the things that inspire you to draw the designs that you do?
Many of my drawings are inspired by the strange vivid dreams I have which usually contain a talking animal or inanimate object of some sort. For example, last night I had a dream about a brocade pattern made from typography so when I woke up, I sat with my sketch book and drew it out. I am also a total die hard cartoon junkie which is where I think a lot of the goofiness in my work comes from. Most of all, I’m inspired by all of the amazingly talented seamstresses out there making Blythe clothes. Their work is a big part of what motivated me to start designing fabric in the first place!

Donovan wearing a ButtonArcade dress made with Milktooth fabric. Photo credit: ButtonArcade.

What can you tell us about the process that you go through to get from an idea to the physical piece of fabric sitting in front of you?
Usually, I start with a broad theme which is either given to me, like with Spoonflower contests, or that I come up with for myself. Then, I put on some rad music and start to brainstorm all of the visuals and phrases that pertain to that theme. After I brainstorm, I pick my favorite ideas and start to sketch them out on paper or on my Wacom tablet. Next, I draw and color all of the elements of the design in Illustrator and arrange and size them in Photoshop. Finally, I upload to Spoonflower and wait wait wait for my fabric to arrive in the mail!

If you had to describe your designs in 140 characters or less (much like a tweet), how would you describe them?
Milktooth fabrics are created with dolls in mind, hand-woven in a factory by elves, and specially designed to tickle your happy-maker.

Casper in a dress made from Milktooth fabric by blair. Photo credit: blair.

You say that you create your fabrics with dolls in mind, why did you decide to design small-scale prints?
On numerous occasions I had heard my dolly-clothing-designer buddies talk about how there are very few cute micro-prints available. I also noticed that a lot of people in the Blythe community make dresses using the same handful of mass-produced Japanese fabrics. Don’t get me wrong, the kawaii Japanese prints are totally adorable, but I thought the market could use some spicing up. I had no idea that creating my own fabric was even a possibility until my dear friend, Maggie of Parasol Doll told me about Spoonflower and encouraged me to start designing for dollies. I probably never would have attempted it without her!

Post models a Fishknees romper made with Milktooth fabric. Photo credit: Fishknees.

What do you think is the most important thing that you’ve learned, from marketing your own designs and about yourself, since you started fabric design?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to be more confident in myself and my work and to try my hardest even if I think I might fail. Before I started designing fabric I was pretty confident in my graphic design abilities but less so in my illustration skills. In the graphic design practice, you are always trying to marry your style with the clients vision but with Milktooth, it is 100% me. This is a little scary, but also very freeing! With the continued support of my friends and the greater doll and craft communities I have learned to love the weird little flaws and quirks in my work and now I’m not afraid to put myself out there.

You bring an incredibly unique gift to the Blythe community, how does it make you feel when you see that people are using your fabrics for their sewing projects?
Thank you so much! I get really excited when I see people sewing with my fabrics! Usually I make some sort of strange squealing noise! It’s so delightful to see all the creative things that people do with my prints. I love to collaborate with other artists and I feel like every piece that gets made with Milktooth fabric is a mini collaboration of sorts. I’m such a dork about it, I troll Flickr daily to see if anyone has made anything new!

A big ol’ pile of Milktooth! Photo credit: Rabbitine.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Lisa. In closing, what kind of advice would you give to someone who’s just coming into the Blythe hobby?
Thank you for having me! I would tell anyone new to Blythe not to be shy and never hesitate to ask questions. It can be really intimidating to come into a well-established hobby community when you don’t know anyone or much about dolls but just remember that we were all in that position at one point in time so don’t be afraid! I would encourage them to get involved with their local Blythe scene (if there is one.) Blythe is great at bringing people together! I have made some of my very best friends because of dolls! & Parasol Doll Dress Giveaway!

Parasol Doll dress made from fabric. Photo credit: Keyinherpocket.

Maggie of Parasol Doll has created an amazing dress made from Lisa’s fabrics as a giveaway prize to one very lucky person here on!

You can have up to three (3) entries into the giveaway, which will be done by a random draw. You can enter until Friday August 6th, 2010 at 9:00pm PDT. One winner will be randomly selected and it will announced on Saturday August 7th.

Remember to use a valid email address when commenting. If you are chosen as the winner, your email address will be forwarded to Lisa of to arrange for the prize to be sent to you.

Please only use one email address per person, those using multiple email addresses for more entries will be disqualified.

Entry #1: Comment on this interview!

Entry #2: (You must complete Entry #2) Follow Lisa on Twitter at @rabbitine! Please include your Twitter username in your comment if you decided to do Entry #2.

Entry #3: Bonus Entry! (You must complete Entry #1 and #2) Help Lisa and me promote the contest by retweeting the following:

@blythelifecom and @rabbitine are doing a giveaway! Read the interview! You get 3 chances to win!

Your best dolly mail day?

Written on July 28, 2010 at 11:00 am by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

On Monday, I happened to receive two pieces of Blythe-related mail. One was a box that was potentially large enough to fit a Blythe that I was rather concerned that I had maybe bought one and forgot about it (does this happen to anyone? It’s never happened to me before, but there is a first for everything…) and the other was a bright pink envelope (which made me really happy, just because it was pink).

This was the most doll-related mail I’d gotten in one day before, two pieces of mail. Although I do think that my best dolly mail day was the day that Margaret Meets Ladybug (Bennett) arrived. The problem with that mail day is that I wasn’t home and instead there was the card telling me that I could go to the post office the next afternoon to free her pick her up from the post office. But as I’m not one to constantly buy Blythe related items (or participate in multiple, overlapping swaps), I don’t get a lot of mail (usually) beyond bills and other boring ‘To the Occupant’ stuff.

153/365 - Mail day!
The most dolly mail I’ve ever gotten in one day!

So I just have to ask… What’s the most doll mail you’ve ever gotten in one day? What was your best dolly mail day ever? What arrived in the mail?

And if you’re looking for a Flickr group dedicated to just dolly mail, check out Dolly Mail Days.

Blythe On A Budget: Participating in Swaps

Written on July 25, 2010 at 11:00 am by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

Participating in swaps is a great way to get new things for you and your dolls. You can find swap groups on Flickr, and Plastic Paradise (new memberships are currently closed).

I personally like to participate in swaps that are all about crafting items for your swap partner – that way I only need to buy crafting materials and I can try out new fabric combinations, new patterns and I get a great excuse to buy new trims. So far I’ve participated in three swaps, all were revolving around handcrafted items for Blythe, and have had great success in getting to make things for people and that way I also get to see the things I make on other dolls.

You can participate in swaps where you trade things you already have. If you have dresses that you no longer like to see on your dolls, you can send that to someone and someone else will send you things in return. This way, you’re getting something that’s new-to-you and someone else is getting something that is new-to-them! This is definitely a win-win as everyone gets something and all you have to pay is the postage for shipping out your swap package.

There are also swaps where you mostly trade new items, which can get pretty pricey considering the costs of some doll items, but it is totally possible to avoid those swaps altogether and find ones all about swapping gently used doll clothes or things made by you.

If you can’t find a swap group that’s currently organizing a swap that you can sign up for, see if you can organize a personal swap between you and another person! If you have some Blythe friends online (or offline), see if they’d be interested in doing a swap with you.

Some important things to consider about doing swaps are:

  • Do swaps where your address is hidden except for whoever is sending to you. You want to make sure you need your personal information private from other people!
  • The requirements for the swap packages. If they state ‘handcrafted items’ only, be sure to only send handcrafted items for the other person’s doll. If it’s a swap with a theme, be sure to follow it. If there’s a price limit (maximum or minimum) try not to go over or below the limits.
  • The date of the swap send-out deadline. You don’t want to be the one who doesn’t get their swap package out on time. If you are going to send out late, be sure to contact the swap group’s administrator/moderator so they know that you’re going to be sending late.
  • Be sure to use adequate packaging for your swap package. You don’t want your fragile items to be broken in the post!
  • If you’re not sure how many items you should be sending out, ask the administrator/moderator for an idea of how many items for a swap package.
  • Remember to include a note in the package so that the person knows who it’s from and that it’s for the swap.

I think swaps are an excellent and inexpensive way of getting new things and I’ve gotten some really great items from people in the Blythe community. Sometimes the most expensive part of participating in a swap is the cost of sending my package out!

Have fun swapping!

Blythe On A Budget: An Introduction

Written on July 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

Drawing inspiration from a recent thread on Plastic Paradise by the member dawn (thread was titled “Is this hobby still fun if you have no money?”) it really got me thinking about how expensive this hobby really is and what we can do, as the economy is still quite uncertain, to save some money here and there. And that is the inspiration behind this new article series.

Buying Blythe dolls and accessories should never take priority over paying for rent, food, utilities, insurance of all sorts. But what do you do beyond that if you’ve paid for everything and only have a little bit you can put towards your Blythe hobby? That’s what this article series is all about – putting your Blythe hobby on a budget (a tight budget, that is!).

It should get pretty interesting. For me, I put myself on a budget when it comes to Blythe because I work to be able to pay for my education. For others, it’s because they have a lot more financial responsibilities in the form of rent, children, pets, mortgages, utilities, etc. Whatever your reason for putting yourself on a tighter budget when it comes to Blythe, you’re not alone. And there are a lot of ways to have fun with Blythe without spending obscene amounts of money on brand new dolls every month (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if you can afford it).

If you have any suggestions for future installments of Blythe On A Budget, please let me know! New installments will be going up once a week.

Introducing… Blythe Lifecast!

Written on July 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News, Podcast

Blythe Lifecast is a podcast produced by Lauren (Cakewalk_Queen) that will be featured here, on!

Introducing Blythe Lifecast!

In partnership with Michelle at, I’m going to be doing a bi-weekly podcast all about Blythe. Episodes will include news, hot topics, and a question and answer session. For now, it will be half an hour and just me talking. Hopefully in the future, we can add Skype interviews and discussions! I’m so excited about this project and have to give a big thank you to Michelle who was nice enough to let me host it on

If you have a question of any kind regarding Blythe that you would like an answer to, please send me an email at You can also follow me on Twitter @blythelifecast. I’ll be posting updates and news there.

I’m aiming to have the first episode up and ready for download by August 1st so please send in your questions and suggestions!

– Lauren

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