smudged

It’s been ages since I photographed Ellis, because she is not looking her best at the moment.

This has been true for some time, but I’m finally making the time to do something about it.

Ellis's chin

It’s quite difficult to photograph, but as you can hopefully see, her chin is smudged – or something has happened to it, at any rate. This happened several years ago, and I think it happened at a meet-up I attended. When I got home from that meet, anyway, her chin was not looking okay anymore. (I feel like maybe someone touched her chin with a wet finger, like in the way a mom would rub a child’s face to remove a bit of schmutz?)

I’ve been in touch with her original customizer, who is not doing customs at this time, and have her blessing to have another customizer fix her up. I could attempt to fix her myself, but I have no experience with face ups and I am just too nervous about messing her up!

I am not displeased with her look at all and would really just like to have her looking uniform again, though of course I understand that many customizers will want to put their own stamp/look on her. I’m not a fan of oversized lips on Blythe, so I wouldn’t want her to be carved much if at all. Really it’s just the surface of her face-up that needs work.

So I’m in the market for customizer recommendations and I’d love to hear any suggestions anyone has!

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pursuing Blythe

My Blythe collection is larger than I ever thought it would be: I have four Neos, one Middie, and one LPS Petite.

When I bought my first Blythe, Willow (a gently pre-owned Prima Dolly Ashlette), I thought for sure I’d stick with just one. Then an online friend was interested in selling her Mademoiselle Rosebud and gave me a more-than-fair friend price, so Dahlia came to my collection. Then I decided that a custom girl was something I wanted, so I acquired a bait girl (Adorable Aubrey), Ash, and bought her a reroot and face-up. Then a friend was selling her slight custom Rainy Day Parade Ellis, and I felt I could give her a good home. Along the way I also picked up Daisy, my LPS Petite, and when Middie Jackie Ramone was released, I pre-ordered Maude right away. Her style is just perfect for me and I couldn’t resist seeing how a Middie is compared to my Neos.

I still think that I have “enough” Blythes, but I do think that I’d like to add another Neo to my collection eventually. Especially if I continue to make a little side money selling Blythe patterns, it seems justifiable to spend some of that money on my collection. I love both Willow’s and Dahlia’s long hair, and Ash’s mohair reroot is still exactly what I had hoped for. And Ellis’s bob with bangs is as classy as ever, but I do think I’d like a Neo with a shorter hairstyle without bangs. I’ve been looking through my Blythe Collection Guide Book and perusing Blythes online to see which models might fit the bill.

So far, I’ve narrowed the list to the following possibilities:
– Cloud 9 Bowl
– Excellent Holly Wood
– French Trench
– Frosty Frock
– Holly Wood
– Nicky Lad
– Prima Dolly Saffy

Blythe folks, you’ll know by looking that these run the gamut from super-rare (and way out of the range of what I’d consider reasonable to pay) to pretty darn affordable and not hard to find.

First off, there’s Cloud 9 Bowl.
Cloud 9 Bowl

I love her brilliant red hair, and her stock is actually super cute. She’s also an SBL, my favorite mold.

Next, let’s look at Holly Wood and Excellent Holly Wood.
Holly Wood

There are several different releases of this doll, first as Holly Wood and then as Excellent Holly Wood. The first one was an early Takara release and was a limited edition, so there is just about zero chance I’d ever be willing to pay enough to get her. The later Excellent Holly Wood might be possible, though she’s also not very commonly found, so I doubt that it would happen. I do love her waves/curls, though!

French Trench is from 2004 and is another beloved SBL.
French Trench

She’s got cute stock as well, and the way her hair curls at the end is lovely! She reminds me a lot of Willow, though (similar hair color, same SBL mold), so she might be too similar to justify getting her.

Next up: Frosty Frock
Frosty Frock

Her curls are so cute! Her stock is just okay. I don’t have any light-haired Blythes, so it might be nice to have one.

Nicky Lad has great stock:
Nicky Lad

I also like that her story is that she marches to the beat of her own drummer. Her front-facing light blue chips are also such a great color!

Prima Dolly Saffy is similar in many ways to Frosty Frock, but her hair is not as platinum blonde.
Prima Dolly Saffy (PD2S)
There is also an Encore release of Saffy, so probably either of them would work for me, as they look very similar from the photos I’ve seen online.

ANYWAY, at this point I’m just trying to narrow it down a little and get a sense of how available these dolls are and how much they’re selling for these days. I’m not anywhere near ready to make a purchase, and it’s fun to have a thing to look at without any real intention of buying right now. Blythe folks: do you have any of these? Any commentary or suggestions will be most welcome!

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my deer girl

The latest Blythe Swap was the Spoil a Girl theme. My partner Rachel did such a nice job!

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

I actually chose Ash, my newest girl, to be spoiled, but she’s been off getting a face-up and I wanted to get some pics taken so Ellis is filling in.

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

Isn’t this outfit awesome? I love that she made it black with white accents – and the antler headband is perfect!

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

I’m just so pleased!

Blythe Swap: Spoil a Girl goodies from Rachel AKA fairyflip

Thank you, Rachel!

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custom case

Susan made me a most awesome birthday present this year: a custom carry case for Ellis!

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

Lovely, isn’t it? She custom embroidered it just for Ellis. I love the earth tones she used!

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

Check out this intricate design!

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

And a key pullchain for the zipper:

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

It’s so perfect! The inside is plain white cloth, which will prevent any chance of staining and also looks really crisp and clean.

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

Isn’t this awesome?

AnneArchy custom Blythe carry case

Thank you, Susan! You rock!

 

 

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Carnival creations

Finally, I’m posting about the goodies I sent out to my swap buddy for the Carnival/Circus swap.

I didn’t take a photo of everything in the package, but luckily Kristal did! I had fun designing the tags for each package – I printed out two pieces for each, the red/white striped background and the blue ticket-shaped piece with a carnival-related phrase. I embellished them with stickers and scrapbooking bits and bobs.

Swap package!

And here’s Kristal’s shot of everything unwrapped. She mentioned that she likes lace, so I included some extra along with the stickers, tickets, and items I made.

Swap lovelies

I wanted to make clothing that evoked the circus or carnival, but wasn’t super literal. For me, circus-y stuff can cross the line to clowny pretty easily and I didn’t really want to go there. I thought that this combination of striped fabric with the large harlequin-type pattern worked well and felt appropriately festive.

items for Carnival/Circus swap

Same goes for this sweater and skirt set. I wanted to have a hint of circus tent stripes in the top, and I think that it worked out pretty well. You can’t tell in the photo, but the black and blue stripes of the sweater have some texture to them – the black stands out a little on the blue. I didn’t want the skirt to be exactly matchy, and I think that it goes well but is still a bit different.

items for Carnival/Circus swap

Finally, I made a custom Blythe tarot deck! I designed the card backs using a photo of Ellis as the centerpiece. I used some new-to-me photoshop skills to cut her out so that just her head would be featured on the cards and I’m happy that I know how to do that now. I used a free printable Ryder-Waite deck for the actual card faces.

items for Carnival/Circus swap

I free-handed a knitted bag for the cards, and it turned out on the first try! I love it when that happens. The bag is gathered at the top, with eyelets knitted in for the purple drawstring.

items for Carnival/Circus swap

I think that this project turned out pretty well!

items for Carnival/Circus swap

Overall, a successful swap! I’m going to have to do better at taking photos of everything before I send it out in future swaps.

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stripeyfest 2011

I got a custom order recently for four Halloween stripey sweaters for Blythe. I love this color combination and I’m already so excited about Halloween that it was easy to whip through them.

custom halloween sweaters for Blythe

I don’t have four Blythes in the house at the moment (the bait girl I’ve had in storage forever is currently off being customized – more on her soon!), so I had to fill in with Turtle the Pullip, but I think the effect is still pretty cool. I might have to make my own set of matching outfits sometime.

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up north

We both took the week off last week and ventured up north for a few days to Traverse City. It was overcast and spitting rain on the first bit of the drive up, but we were listening to good tunes on the iPod with SYNC and it was just so nice to get away that we didn’t care.

Ellis on our road trip to TC

After a bit, the weather totally cleared up and the sun came out and it was beautiful the entire trip. It was sunny and warm but not too hot – just perfect.

We stayed at the Cherry Tree Inn. Our room was nice, and though not exactly as advertised (it was a regular hotel room rather than the condo style room that had been described to me on the phone, and we could hear a guest snoring and baby crying through the door that connected our room to the next one. It didn’t keep us awake, but I’d think twice before staying there again), it was comfortable and had a great view of the bay.

our "studio" at the Cherry Tree Inn

Aww:

Anne and Karl

We enjoyed walking around downtown looking at the shops and people-watching. There was a small garden near the LYS and it had been yarn-bombed! Pretty fun.

yarn bombing in downtown TC

We ate (and drank) plenty of good stuff while we were there. One evening we drove up the peninsula to the Jolly Pumpkin, where we had tasty food and refreshing microbrews. I had a North Peak Archangel which was delicious.

Ellis at the Jolly Pumpkin

The view from our balcony was lovely in the early morning:

more view from our balcony

Of course while we were there we looked up the local comic shop, too, and while the selection was a bit disappointing, it was fun to see the art on the outside of the building. (Ellis was alarmed.)

Ellis at the comic shop in TC

We drove up the peninsula a second time and visited Chateau Chantal for a wine tasting. Well, K did the driving and I did the tasting (he’s not into wine), and we both appreciated the scenery.

we drove up to the Chateau Chantal for a wine tasting

View from the winery:

we drove up to the Chateau Chantal for a wine tasting

While we were up there, we drove around to some places that K lived when he was a kid. He has an incredible memory!

We also walked along the shore and noticed this cool ship out in the water:

cool ship in the distance

We so lucked out on the weather – it could not have been more awesome!

Anne and Karl

This reminded us of @andrea_perez:

teehee

What a beautiful vacation! Thanks go to my folks who inspired us to take this trip.

walking along the shore

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