Filed under: Featured, Giveaway with tags: irulethegalaxy, The Helmet Factory
Next in the March Talent Showcase is Meg. I ‘met’ Meg (perhaps more known in Blythe-world as irulethegalaxy) online while she was doing her 365 with the infamous (famous?) TMQ. Since then, she’s started to crochet (and crochet and crochet some more!) until she buried one of her dolls in beaded helmets. Her helmets have gotten very popular due to the stylish colour combinations of beads and the gorgeous yarn colours that she uses in her work. With a little sparkle, and sometimes some glittery beads, your dolls can do wear starry helmets, or rainbow helmets, or any other wonderful combination of colours that you can think of.
Hi Meg! What can you tell us about yourself?
Well HI! Hmm, not really sure what to say here, most of the interesting stuff is really up on my flickr to some degree or another. Standard stuff would be married, no kids, 2 dogs (though we are somewhat convinced that the little one is part termite and weasel as well). My job is boring, so we’ll ignore it. Other hobbies besides Blythe include knitting, spinning, and video games; I am also usually interested in shiny things. I have the attention span of a gnat.
How did you discover Blythe? What drew you to her?
First time I ever saw a Blythe doll was in the online knitting mag, Knitty. I think a lot of people who knit will say the same thing! I had never seen them before, and to be perfectly honest…I thought they were kind of hideous. Then I looked up the price…and well, that was the end of any interest. Also, I couldn’t figure out why some were going for HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS on ebay, and others were going for $20 (petites vs. Kenners)? I was confused, overwhelmed, and to be honest, really not into dolls. I wandered away.
Fast forward a couple of years. I had ordered my first spinning wheel. I became convinced that it was GOING to arrive on my birthday that year. I came to find out that there had been a mistake in the order and only the accessories had been shipped–the wheel itself would not arrive for several more weeks *insert gnashing of teeth and wailing here*. I was super disappointed, and decided to buy myself something expensive and completely frivolous for my birthday. How I ended up deciding it should be a Blythe I don’t remember (except what could be more frivolous than a DOLL?), but I spent a whole week going back and forth over what was in my price range and what kind of doll I wanted. I eventually decided that the one I wanted was Tailor Gibson, with Welcome Winter as the runner up. I bid on an auction, and won a Tailor Gibson…that was Harriet. I remember hoping that she wouldn’t arrive with awful huge red lips like some of the ones in TIB’s Blytheopedia (I didn’t understand the difference between stock dolls and customized ones!) Then I decided she needed a friend and I wanted a fantasy haired girl, and that was Pistachio. For a while that was it…then it sort of snowballed on me LOL.
When did you first learn to crochet?
Yay, an easy one! My mom taught me when I was very young. I imagine I pestered her relentlessly until she did so! I was very bad at it, actually. Y’know those chevron afghans? Mine kept growing at the working end, getting wider and wider…..
Your venture of beaded helmets has been doing very well, what made you decide to crochet beaded helmets?
Y’know, I think it was mostly availability. I had all this yarn, and I had this tiny little box of GID beads I had bought years ago. At some point there came a hmmmmmm…. moment, and I let the idea stew in my brain. I liked the idea of putting beads all over helmets, but I couldn’t quite figure out the how. Luckily for me, I’ve been doing my job for a very long time. My work activities need very little of my few remaining brain cells. So after a few days of mulling it over, I came up with the “how” and the rest all came together.
In retrospect, this is what I refer to as “reinventing the wheel”; ie, I coulda Googled it. Heh.
Since opening The Helmet Factory, what goes through your head whenever you see your work on dolls from around the world?
Mostly, yay! I love seeing them out there on other dolly heads, and I love seeing how people dress their dolls to go with the helmets (or maybe I have that backwards? The helmets are to go with the outfits? Heh, who knows.). Every now and then a bit of OCD kicks in and I wish I could tidy up a flap or had maybe put the beads in a different color order, but luckily, that’s rare!
There are a lot of colour and bead combinations that you could put together – where do you draw your inspiration from for the combinations?
To be honest, things sort of get tossed together as they appeal to me at the moment! I have a lot of strings of beads that I haven’t used yet because they don’t really go with any of the yarns, and vice versa. I do a lot of rainbow colors, as that’s what I like. Sometimes the stuff that is the most fun though comes from what I consider leftovers…they come in handy at the oddest times. I need to be more disciplined when I order my beads though, they’re all just so shiny…..
What do you think is one of the hardest parts of putting your work out there for others?
I am fairly critical of my own work, so I feel that anything that makes it to the shop (and yes, some don’t) at least represents the best of my abilities at that moment. I think the hardest part is seeing a helmet that I ended up feeling was amazing or really neat sit there in the shop unloved. That doesn’t necessarily mean unpurchased! Sometimes I’ll see some poor little helmet sitting there with just a couple views and no hearts…I think that’s the hardest. That idea that the Blythe community at large is just looking at the thumbnail and thinking “Oh gawd Meg, that’s incredibly fugly!” Hah! But I can blame some of this on my questionable photography skills. I tell the helmets it isn’t really their fault :).
You’ve started to branch out into making hats for other dolls, like Middie and Odeco, what kind of learning curve was there with the different sizes?
Hah! My dirty little secret exposed! The Odeco/Middie helmets? It’s the same helmet! Stitch for stitch, bead for bead, the pattern is identical. Other than a slight whoops of trying sock weight yarn for them first (resulting in a Petite-sized helmet), there was no learning curve!
Famous last words, of course. I am thinking of trying out Monster High or Dal sized helmets, so naturally since I said it was “easy”, I’ll probably end up tearing my hair out over those!
With a self-proclaimed attention span of a gnat (and I’m sure that’s not really true) as well as work and pets, how do you find to focus and time to work on the helmets and how do you balance helmet making time with everything else?
Okay, I probably don’t have the attention span of a gnat. After all, that’s pretty insulting to the gnat! but remember the aforementioned boring job? Not only does that let my brain roam freely, but sometimes it lets me do non-work things. I can actually work on things like the Middie helmets there (I tried the Blythe sized helmets, but the heavier beads made the yarn have a passionate love affair with the floor). I do much of my sock knitting for Christmas gifts that way, too. Only when someone asks “What are you making?” the answer “Socks for Christmas gifts!” gets a lot less funny looks than “Doll helmets! With BEADS!” does, hah!
As far as the doggies go, well, my older dog Holly is 17 now, she’s usually pretty content to doze on the couch. Oscar is only about 18 months now, but when Holly was younger she was the most active dog on the entire planet. To be honest, he doesn’t feel like that much work…and after 17 years of Holly, scooping up a tennis ball and tossing it barely interrupts what I am doing LOL. If all else fails, a kong filled with frozen treats will buy me a very quiet hour!
Other than that, I am fidgety. I can’t sit still if I am not doing something. If I am reading, or watching TV or a movie, I am knitting or crocheting. The hubby and I play video games a lot (hey, a lot of the plots are better than the average movie…$20 for 4 hours of entertainment at the movies, vs $50 for 150 hours of entertainment playing video games? Not bad.). We do it together, but since we mostly play RPGs that are one player, my hands are free…to make helmets. A lot.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Meg! What kind of advice would you give to someone who’s new to crafting for Blythe?
Yay! Thank you Michelle! And advice?? Geez, I hoped someone would give ME some! Uh, let’s see…I guess a few things come to mind. First: make sure you love what you’re making…after all, if it’s not fun, you’re probably not going to want to stick with it! Second: keep in mind that after the first few things sell, you might have quite a lull. I know it feels like watching your kid not getting picked for a sports team, but try and hang in there. Third: if you’re really new, consider giving or donating some of your goodies…even if you costs you a bit now, having people see your work is your best advertisement. Plus, it’s fun to surprise people with RAOK! Fourth: Try to make sure your puppy doesn’t eat your beads. >_<
Double Helmet Giveaway!
Meg has generously crocheted two of her beaded helmets to giveaway!
The winner of the pink and green helmet (in BlytheLife.com colours!) will be chosen by a random number generator based on the total number of entries into the giveaway.
The winner of the helmet on the right (with fun beads that are white indoors and turn colourful in the sun!) will be chosen courtesy of Meg’s dog, Oscar, who will choose a name out of a hat (1 entry per person in that drawing).
You can get up to nine (9) entries for this giveaway draw and you can enter until Saturday March 17th 2012 at 11:59pm PDT. The draw will be held on Sunday March 18th 2012 and the winner will be announced on BlytheLife.com (either Sunday or Monday, March 19th). Remember to use a valid email address for all comments. If you win, your email will be forwarded to Meg for arranging shipment of the prize.
Please only use one email address and one IP address per person, those using multiple email addresses for more entries will be disqualified.
Mandatory Entry: Comment below with a suggestion for colour combination(s) of future helmets that you’d like to see. This is worth 1 entry into the giveaway.
Bonus Entry #1: Tweet about the contest! Please retweet the following from your public Twitter account! (If you look below, there is a box for you to include your Twitter username, if you do, I can easily verify your bonus entry!) You can tweet up to 2 times on different days. Each tweet is 1 entry into the giveaway for a maximum of 2 entries into the giveaway. Please comment below to tell me that you’ve been tweeting (1 comment per tweet!)
Check out the @blythelifecom interview with Meg of The Helmet Factory and Giveaway! http://bit.ly/A7tTTQ
Bonus Entry #2: Visit The Helmet Factory and let Meg know which one you liked (either a helmet that is still in stock or previously sold). This is worth 1 entry into the giveaway.
Bonus Entry #3: Blog about the contest! Be sure to include some details about the contest and include links to BlytheLife.com, this interview/giveaway page and to The Helmet Factory. For 1 blog entry, this is worth 5 entries into the giveaway! You must comment below with the URL to your blog post.