Everyday Collector: Ollie

Written on May 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured with tags:

Everyday Collector is a feature I first wrote about in March 2016. It’s a feature to showcase the collectors in the Blythe community. If you are interested in being featured, please click here for more information.


Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Ollie, a Melbourne born and bred teenage photographer, crafter, tea drinker, clothes-wearer and collector of small things. Oh, and an absolute addict to Blythe!

How did you discover Blythe?
In 2009, my cousin came back from Japan with this doll. She had these big, round eyes which magically changed with the pull of a string. I was in love, and I knew I just had to get my hands on one of my own! After discovering that the doll was a Blythe, I scoured the internet for days trying to find the perfect one. Then I saw the price tag. Whoa. Maybe I was just too used to $19 Barbies but $140 just seemed crazy for one doll! So I put my dolly dreams on hold for a while. But there was just something about Blythe that I just *needed* to have. So me and my wallet winced and hit the ‘Submit Order’ button on a Bohemian Peace. Nowadays I laugh at my old non-Blythe-educated self whilst I pay for $350 second-hand custom : )


Tell us about your Blythe family.
My Blythe family is forever changing and swapping. I go through phases of wanting ALL THE NEW RELEASES to eyeing off fancy customs. At the moment I’m pretty happy with my bundle (herd? flock? What’s the proper term?) of dollies. Sitting on the shelf I have Ellie, a Mondie, Chloe, a Yumiko Dolls Custom University of Love, Alex, a Royal Soliloquy, Mable, a Chu Things X MayYeo custom Simply Lilac, Nina, a Nenya Dolls custom FBL, and Audrey, a Strawberryland Dolls custom.


What is your favourite thing about Blythe?
My favourite thing about Blythe would be the creativity surrounding the dolls. There are just so many amazing people creating everything from tiny leather boots to carefully carved mouths. It still astonishes me how tiny stitches can get! Blythe wouldn’t be where she is today without folk like this.

What is your favourite aspect of the Blythe community?
My favourite aspect of the Blythe community is how inviting and lovely everyone is. I went to Blythe Fest last year and there wasn’t a single person in the room that I couldn’t chat to!  I also love how diverse the community is. Blythe seems to share the love with everyone, whether you’re brand new or have been collecting since ’72.

Ollie can be found on Flickr.

Everyday Collector: Rinntara

Written on April 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured with tags:

Everyday Collector is a feature I first wrote about in March 2016. It’s a feature to showcase the collectors in the Blythe community. If you are interested in being featured, please click here for more information.


Tell us about yourself.
I’m Rinntara. I’m 33, female, and live in New Zealand. Blythes are very uncommon here.

How did you discover Blythe?
I’ve been collecting dolls for about 3 years. From almost nothing, I suddenly decided to go in for dolls with enthusiasm. I had an injury and I needed something to focus on. I started with Barbies, and in the course of internet research I saw photos of Blythes and Pullips. I couldn’t tell them apart.

January: I said ‘Ech! They’re ugly!’

June: I decided I liked the Pullip’s articulation and her face grew on me. Then I said ‘I want a Pullip. I still hate Blythes, though!’ In trying to decide which Pullip I saw a LOT of photos of Blythes. I said, ‘I wish people would tag their photos properly so Blythes don’t come up when I search for Pullips. Who likes them anyway? Well, that one’s quite cute.’

September: I bought a Pullip. Expensive, for me! Shipping also expensive to NZ. Sewing for my Pullip: ‘Why are the cutest clothes on Blythes?? I don’t hate them so much now.’

November: ‘No, Blythes are not cuter than Pullips. Well, maybe that one, but that’s a custom so it doesn’t count.’

December: ‘Ok, I like Blythes. But I’m never buying one. They’re too expensive and even if they are cuter than Pullips I’m not buying another expensive doll.’

Later in December: ‘Oh my goodness I have to have a Blythe! Ahhh how do I afford one I need one NOW!’

Tell us about your Blythe family.
I have two, both randomly chosen by the lottery of being second-hand in New Zealand. Seriously, people here fight each other to buy the very few that ever appear on our local auction website Trade Me.

First was Friendly Freckles ( I fell for her hair immediately). She is fully but lightly customised, carving and all. Uh, not her scalp. I like her hair as-is. It was scary but wonderful customising her. Her name is Apricot.


Next was Love Mission. I bought a mixed group of dolls that included 3 Blythes. One I sold on immediately to offset the price of purchase as she was in the best condition (Primadolly Ginger). The other two were in bad condition. One I fully customised and sold as a custom. The other I gave a haircut and fell in love with her, hard. That’s Bee. Apart from the modifications of her previous owner and replacing missing eye chips, and a minor haircut to fix her awful hair, she is as-is and I love her like that! Flaws and all she is my favourite, I’m not ashamed to say it. Her name is Bee and she features heavily on my Instagram because I dote on her.

What is your favourite thing about Blythe?
I love the way Blythe inspires creativity in people, both sewing and photography. It was photography that drew me at first, but my sewing has vastly improved! I love sewing now. When non-Blythe people say she’s ugly or weird, I have a warm feeling saying I love her just how she is. I’ve learned there’s no one path of adorableness.

What is your favourite aspect of the Blythe community?
The willingness to share ideas and creativeness. The shameless devotion to the adorable. I have learned to SQUEE and it’s so much fun. Some people’s ideas are just so CUTE.

Rinntara can be found on Instagram.

Interview with Wabi-Sabi Dolls & Giveaway!

Written on March 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured, Giveaway with tags: ,

Last, but certainly not least, in the 2016 March Talent Showcase is Ellis! Ellis is the creative mastermind behind Wabi-Sabi Dolls. I have the pleasure of knowing her and getting to see her work in person – which is all amazing. She does these beautiful daisies on eyelids, which always makes me happy because they’re my favourite flowers.


Hello Ellis! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Jakarta, Indonesia and became a Canadian on 2008. I have lived in Vancouver for 12 years. I’m a mother of two children, a 7 years old boy and 4 years old girl that always keep me busy. I love playing piano and everyday I tutor my own children. I found my love for photography since my son was born and I love it more when I found the doll world. I am a perfectionist and always need to remind myself that nothing is perfect.


How did you discover Blythe?
It was November 2012 when I was looking for my niece’s gift. I was browsing the web for Barbie and this Blythe pictures showed up in my search. I saw them before but this time I saw Abi’s girl from Florence & Taylor dressed and posed so beautifully. It got my attention to find out what kind of doll she is. That was also my first time to learn about Flickr and saw lots of custom Blythe pictures there. I admired the different expressions and the detail of their outfits, looks more fun than Barbie. I got my first custom girl on January 2013.

Who is in your doll family right now?
I have stock girls of Fancy Pansy, Raspberry Sorbet, Beatrice Vest, Lorshek Molseh, Sunshine Holiday, Meowsy Wowsy, Vinter Arden and Cherie Babette. I don’t have any custom dolls from other customizers. I hope someday I would be able to adopt dolls from my fave customizers. Other than Blythe, I also have two Jerryberry dolls that I often take pictures with.


Where did the name Wabi-Sabi Dolls come from?
It’s taken from a Japanese fine cuisine restaurant that me and my husband went to a while ago. It’s a Japanese phrase meaning beauty in imperfection, a flawed beauty, things that resonate with the spirit of their maker’s hand and heart.

q4Ellis had the “Wabi-Sabi” phase made into 1:6 scale artwork for her room box.

When I wanted a name for my custom dolls, I knew Wabi-Sabi would be just right with the perfect meaning. I always strive for perfection on my custom girls, but it’s the imperfection that makes them unique.

How did you start customizing? Which was the first doll you customized?
I got my first custom Blythe (SBL mold) on January 2013. At that time, I had no knowledge about custom Blythe at all. I noticed she had a uneven eyeball when I received her. Despite of that, my love for Blythe and doll photography started with her. One day, I dropped her face down on a concrete when I took pictures of her on my backyard. It’s a nightmare! Her sealant chipped on some spots. Instead of sending her back to the customizer, I tried to fix her myself. I must’ve been crazy! I bought fine supplies to fix the face after looked some tutorials and asked questions from Blythe friends. And I thought it’s the perfect reason to fix her eyemech too. I did some trial and error Blythenstein stuffs, her eyes finally worked! Next thing I sanded down her face, gave her new faceup, eyechips and new scalp. Ever since then, I am extra careful taking my doll pictures. Now, she lives with my niece.

firstcustomEllis’s first custom SBL that she bought, photo was taken after giving her a face-up and fixing her eye mechanism.

Because I have extra supplies, I bought a fake doll to try creating a different expression for my doll photography. In one year, I had repeated the sanding, carving and coloring on that fake doll many many times. On early 2014, I started adopting out my custom dolls. The first one was SBL V-Smash.

q5Ellis’s first custom doll that she adopted out.

What kind of challenges did you face with your first customization project?
Eyemech problems. After some trial and error, I now learn to overcome these problems.
Applying the pastels. I learned a lot in the process until I get it right.
Finding time. Even until now, finding time is still my challenge. And because of my limited time, I must be selective on which project I take on. BlytheCon San Francisco 2016 had messaged me and I agreed to donate a custom doll.


Who has been your favourite customized doll so far? What made her so special to you?
Chloe, a doll that I customized for my daughter who loves flowers, blue, yellow and pink.
I want to give a very little collection to my children. Just enough for them to appreciate, cherish and remember me by…one of the things that their mom love to do. Chloe is also my fave doll to photograph, I personally love her EBL expression.


Where do you draw your inspiration from for your dolls?
As a child, I love coloring. My children make me see that every color can be beautiful. I got inspired from their drawings, books, stickers, toys…even color on their outfits. The way I styled my recent custom doll (see below) that I photographed was totally inspired by my daughter when she played princess.


The daisies eyelids art in my custom dolls was inspired by my younger sister, Deciana (pronounced day-see-an-na). I was customizing her first doll and and wanted to make something special for her. Her name that sounds like daisy, gave me an idea to draw daisies.


What has been the best moment so far for you since you’ve started customizing?
The best moment is when I put the last pieces of the doll together and finding the perfect outfits for taking pictures, as soon as I know she works fine. I love finding the perfect outfits for taking pictures. There’s also a feeling of accomplishment and joy, knowing that something you made with passion and put your heart into details…made people happy too. I’m also very grateful for the friendship that comes with it.


Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Ellis! What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking of starting to customize Blythe?
I’m still learning too. All I can say is practice and patience goes a long way.

You can learn more about Ellis and her lovely custom work on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and Etsy.

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Interview with Eliana of ClassicBlythe & Giveaway!

Written on March 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured, Giveaway with tags: ,

The third featured talent for the 2016 March Talent Showcase is Eliana of ClassicBlythe! She creates such fun things, I was very excited to get to know her – and now to share what I learned with all of you!


Hello Eliana! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Eliana and I am from Argentina. I’m a photographer and I own a hardware store but I can’t stop doing and looking for creative things to do with my free time. Thanks to Blythe, I learn new things every day and develop new skills. Not to mention the great people you meet from around the globe.

How did you discover Blythe?
I discovered Blythe about four years ago. I’ve always loved dolls and one day just googling I discovered a Blythe by Melacacia. As a doll lover and photographer I couldn’t help falling in love with that picture, so I started searching for “big head doll” and “big eyes doll” I didn’t have to look again, it was late for me so I started looking where to buy, haha.


Who is in you doll family right now?
My doll family has 18 members right now (13 Blythes, two Icys, one Pullip and two Dals), and I think that I’ve reached a point where I start being a lot more conscious about who is going to get in it, because is going a little out of hands.

Calíope was my first Blythe, she is a TBL, Perséfone (TBL), Athenea (Blythe Prairie Posie), Casandra (Blythe Rachel’s Ribbons), Berenice (Dal), Electra (ADG Blythe- Flower Power), Galatea (Dal Another Rabbit), Juno (Icy Kikyou), Emilia (Icy doll), Alice (Custom Alice in Wonderland), Elizabeth (custom by BlytheShed), Niké (Blythe Allie Gabrielle), Nix (custom Blythe by StrawberryLand), Olivia (custom by Melacacia), Rei (Blythe rei Ayanami), Sabbath (custom by S. Cola), Scarlet (custom by Sandra Soulgirl), Sofia (Pullip)


How did you start sewing for Blythe?
My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was fifteen years old with an old pedal sewing machine. Since then I’ve started making all kind of things, after discovering Blythe the step was mandatory, that and the fact that is very difficult to get things from abroad, because we have a not very good exchange rate and because the government has restrictions on how many purchases a person can make a year (two is not a very large number sadly). So I started making clothes for my dolls and I found it very therapeutic, I can spend hours sewing or just looking at the fabrics trying to make color schemes on my head. For me is like a getaway from a very busy world.


What was your first sewing project for Blythe? (Would be a good idea to include a photo of it, if you can)
My first sewing project was a denim skirt, with the T-shirt and socks, it turned out very well, sadly that was also the moment when I discovered, in the worst way possible, that some fabrics stain the body, from that moment on I use that same body to try every little piece of fabric I use.

What made you decide to start selling your clothing on Etsy?
Some friends of mine encouraged me, they bought somethings, some others had their own Etsy shops, and I started thinking that maybe it could be a good thing try earning some “dolly dollars” so I can buy whatever I wanted.

What has been your most favourite piece that you have created so far?
My most favourite piece has to be an English dress set, it has a lot of details and I really like it. Also a custom hand dyed dress is grey with x-long sleeves and some hand-dyed lace, anyway I hope I can make it better with time.


What has been one of your most challenging pieces so far? What made it challenging and how overcome those challenges?
The most challenging piece, has to be the grey dress, it was challenging because it was a custom order and a very specific one, I had to fulfill my client expectations, keep my style and make it affordable. I ended up hand dyeing laces, and fabrics in order to make it the way we both wanted it. Finally that dress became one of my favourites, because it made me see that I could make some better things than just some plain dresses, it was a breaking point, that’s why is one of my favourites.


Tell us about how your day is like when are spending time working on things for ClassicBlythe.
I can’t work on ClassicBlythe everyday because I have to work into adult stuff, the good thing is, that when I can make the time to sew I really enjoy it, it’s the best part of my day. Normally I do it at midday when I have about three hours and I’m alone because my husband is not at home, so I can spread out a lot of fabric on the table to try to make the scheme that I like, small things as hand sewing and embroidery I leave them for the afternoon, because I’m no ta lone anymore and it doesn’t take so much space.

What are some tools that you think you couldn’t live without?
My scissors, my pin cushion and a box full of fabric, it doesn’t matter if I use them all or not, I just like to look at it.


What has been one of the most exciting moments for you since opening ClassicBlythe?
It has to be my first sale, I woke up to find that something has sold on Etsy, strangely it was not a dress but a custom Blythe. Best moment ever.

Thank you for doing this interview with me, Eliana! What advice do you have to share with someone who’s thinking of opening up an Etsy shop for Blythe?
Only one advice, patience is the key, sometimes you spend a lot of time and sell nothing, but is important to be patient and of course sew what you like, something you can be proud of, something your dolls may use, those things that when you finish them you just think: I can’t sell this, I want it for me. Thanks a lot for the interview it was really a big pleasure.

You can learn more about Eliana and ClassicBlythe on Etsy, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

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Interview with Becky of Scrumptious Delight

Written on March 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Featured with tags: ,

The second installment of this year’s March Talent Showcase features Becky of Scrumptious Delight! Already known for making adorable plush toys, she’s branched out into customizing Blythe and sewing for the dolls we all know and love! Read on to learn more about Becky!


Hello Becky! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, i’m a toy and craft loving mother of two human teenagers and multiple fur kids. I am originally from the UK but have moved around a lot and have been happily living in Vancouver BC for the last 8 years. Some may know me for making plush toys and soft sculptures.

How did you discover Blythe?
Back in the good old days of Flickr I first discovered Blythe as some of my plush friends would post photos of their dolls. When I search to find out more I found a wealth of photos and had a case of the need, want, must haves. It took me a while to get my first doll but once you have one it’s hard not to get her a friend or few!


Who is in your doll family right now?
Right now I have Pumpkin (green haired TBL), Candy  (My Little Candy), a Zinochika who is mid customization, and a Simply Mango and Simply Guava who are waiting to be customized. I recently finished customizing a Simply Mango into a Little Red Riding Hood for the show “a date with Blythe” the new Guava and Mango came along to replace her. I have a Pixie Peaceful and Nanas Little Lass middies, I love their size it makes them easy to take along with you. I also have a few petites including Fluff who I customized with cotton candy coloured hair.

How did you start customizing? Which was the first doll you customized?
The fear of customizing is real. It took me a long time to over come it. Way back I bought and customized a couple of Blybes to get some practise in I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, hot screws in eyes to get chips out…nuff said.
I then customized Pumpkin my TBL and Fluff my petite. Last year I was finally brave enough to customize a stock doll she was a Cadance Majorette who became Saphy Rose and went to “a date with Blythe” show.
I hope to build confidence and improve my technique. There are definitely more petite customs in my future too.



You’ve certainly jumped into the world of customizing! What are some of the challenges you overcame with customizing Pumpkin or Fluff?
I guess the main challenge was overcoming the fear of carving. I still have a lot to learn, with each custom I try to carve a little more extensively or differently to get a feel for the plastic and learn where I can carve more deeply and how to create the shape I want.

With Fluff the challenge was really her tiny size, I had to carve slowly and try and keep it all as symmetrical as possible.


I know you also sew for Blythe and other dollies. With so many other Etsy shops and crafters out there, how do you make your work stand out?
I don’t think I do, yet! There is a lot of cross over between plush and dolls and my plush work is fairly well know. I always assume that when people buy doll clothes from me that they found my store by some happy accident or that they were looking for plush. I do take pride in the quality of my work though and I hope that customers will find the clothes as well as my other items well made and will become repeat customers.

My tiny cotton candies are the one doll item that I think people actually come searching for in my shop. People in the Blythe community are wonderful about sharing photos and tagging where various items come from, it’s e-word of mouth.


Your Petite custom, Fluff, sports a pretty amazing cotton candy coloured reroot! Can you tell us about your rerooting experience? Would you do it again?
I would, I have since done an alpaca reroot on Boo the petite. The mohair on Fluff was a bit of a pain to work with, I didn’t enjoy having to wet the plugs to knot them. One mistake I did make was to make my plugs a little large when rerooting. I was very close to running out of space for the knotted ends, the scalp is stuffed full!
The alpaca on Boo was really nice to work with and there was no need to wet the fibre at all.


With your fingers in so many creative pies, how have you managed to incorporate your different skill sets together with your work related to Blythe?
I am obviously pretty comfortable with sewing but I really enjoy switching things up a bit and trying out new techniques and mediums. The thing that draws me to Blythe the most is the possibilities she represents. I really enjoyed making Boo and her little room box and all the different skills I had to employ to tell her story.


You created a Red Riding Hood-inspired custom for a charity auction recently, how did you get involved with that? What can you tell us about that project?
I was contacted by Rhodora Jacob who is the owner of Tiny Dodo Gallery and organizer of the event. Rhodora was already familiar with my plush work and had seen some of my work on dolls on Instagram, I also customized a doll for last year’s event.

20% of funds raised go to the Seattle Children’s Hospital fund for uncompensated children, for this reason the theme and vibe of the dolls needs to be child friendly, nothing too gory or dark. This year’s theme was “Dark Woods” that would tie in perfectly with the work of the featured artist Irene Garcia of Sirenita Dolls. I felt quite inspired between the theme and the cause and chose to base my doll on the Little Red Riding Hood from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. Roald Dahl was in my opinion the best children’s writer ever and being British I grew up on his books so I was in my happy place.

In the revolting rhymes tale Red shoots the wolf and is seen three weeks later in the woods by the narrator wearing a wolf skin coat. I made her a reversible cape, red velvet one side and furry the other with detachable ears, held by magnets. On her eyelids and back plate I drew the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood in the style of Quentin Blake who illustrated Roald Dahl’s books.


What do you enjoy most about creating for Blythe and the Blythe community?
There are so many ways to customize and style a Blythe doll and so many people out there creating so many amazing things, it’s really very inspiring. I work from home and find myself needing new challenges and variety to keep things interesting. There are so many possibilities in creating for Blythe from customizing, making clothes and accessories to carry cases and room boxes, every work day can be different and new and exciting.

The Blythe community is friendly and supportive. The best is meeting in person with others from the community. I love our meetings with the Vancouver Blythe Bunch, my daughter and I have found real friendships there and I can honestly say I haven’t never met a more friendly accepting group of people.

Thanks for doing this interview with me, Becky! What advice do you have for someone who’s new to customizing?
Don’t be too afraid, take your time and try to always work with a plan. Mistakes happen but most mistakes can be fixed or at least turned into something else.

You can learn more about Becky and Scrumptious Delight on Etsy, Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram.

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