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2016 March Talent Showcase: The Recap

Written on April 1, 2016 at 6:30 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News with tags: , , , ,

Traditionally the day for pranks, I felt like April 1st would be better served being a day about recognition! I decided to do a little recap of the individuals I interviewed for the 2016 March Talent Showcase. If you are interested in being interviewed for BlytheLife.com, I interview people throughout the year! Get more information on being featured on BlytheLife.com here. I will be asking for participants in the 2017 March Talent Showcase in early January 2017.

First up was Andreja of Katjuss with those amazing miniatures!

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And then there was Becky of Scrumptious Delight with her lovely custom work, clothes, and adorable plush!

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Followed by Eliana of ClassicBlythe with her lovely crafted outfits:

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Last, but certainly not least, was my interview with Ellis of Wabi-Sabi Dolls with her beautiful custom work!

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I’d like to thank Andreja, Becky, Eliana, and Ellis again for generously sharing themselves to you, the BlytheLife.com reader. And to everyone who commented on any of the interviews, thank you!

ClassicBlythe Giveaway: The Winner!

Written on March 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Giveaway with tags: , ,

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I was so pleased to read such lovely comments on my interview with Eliana of ClassicBlythe! I’m sure she was tickled to read such great comments as well from the Blythe community. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Eliana again for participating in the 2016 March Talent Showcase and for offering a very generous prize of a custom made dress for one very lucky BlytheLife’s reader’s Blythe!

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And congratulations goes to… Click to read more of this entry.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Katjuss Giveaway: The Winner!

Written on March 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Giveaway with tags: , ,

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I had so much fun interviewing Andreja, and she was so generous with donating the sweater with miniature notebooks to one very lucky winner. If you’ve forgotten what it looks like, it looks like this:

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And don’t forget! If you’re not the winner, you can still head on over to Katjuss on Etsy and buy your own goodies!

The winner is…. Click to read more of this entry.

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