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!


Christmas Collection

I’ve been inspired to make some Blythe dresses for the holidays.

Christmas Eve Dress

This one is called the Christmas Eve dress, and I thought that it would be the type of dress someone might wear to a party. I especially like how the lace ruffle turned out – it extends back around her neck in a pleasing way (that was difficult for me to photograph).

Holly Dress

Next is the Holly Dress. I got this skirt fabric in a fat quarter package – I probably wouldn’t have picked it out for Blythe dresses because the pattern is so large, but I think it actually works really well. I also love this fuzzy rick rack, which I used on several of these holiday dresses.

It's Snowing Dress

And here’s the It’s Snowing Dress, which could actually be for anytime in winter, not just the holidays. I’ve been practicing sewing straight lines, like along the edges of the metallic silver ribbon on this dress – I think I’m doing pretty well now.

Snowflake Tree Dress

This is the Snowflake Tree Dress, which I’m quite pleased with as well. I didn’t have a green ribbon that matched the trees on the fabric, so I used a lime green that I think works even better than something that would’ve matched exactly. I was also really happy with the way the snowflake button on the hem works with the snowflakes on the bodice ribbon.

Happy Holidays Dress

The skirt fabric for this, the Happy Holidays Dress, was also part of a fat quarter pack. It’s so retro and a little kooky and I just adore it. It’s sparkly, so I thought the metallic star accents I put on the bodice and the hem really worked with the pattern. They also bring it together with the bodice fabric, which features metallic gold xmas trees.

Plaid Star Dress

This is the Plaid Star Dress, which as you may be able to guess, also came in that fat quarter pack that included the two other sparkly fabrics. I am really pleased at the results here – I was careful enough with the plaid that it lines up the way it should and is even all the way around. There’s something about the combination of plaid and rick rack that speaks to my childhood, which is a good feeling.

Happy Santa Dress

Finally, we have what might be my favorite of all of these, the Happy Santa Dress. I just dig this fabric so much! It’s so cute. The santas are sort of gnome-like, and that along with the color scheme really appeals to me. I think that this color of blue works really well in contrast with the usual red and green.

I’ll certainly be making some more holiday and winter dresses in the coming weeks, but I was quite pleased with how this initial batch turned out.


Comic Con!

This weekend we traveled to the outskirts of Chicago for the 2010 Wizard World Comic Con. We took the train, which was nice as we didn’t have to worry about traffic or expensive parking. I also got quite a bit of knitting done en route (more on that soon). While it was a bit of a bummer that the so-called Chicago Con is not actually in Chicago, we knew that we’d be trapped there, so we were resigned to hotel restaurants in advance of the trip. Brent Spiner, who gave one of the best panel speeches, described it as “Off-the-Highwaysville” which was pretty accurate.

view of the Convention Center from our room at the Doubletree

That said, our hotel Koloa Landing Kauai beach resort was pretty nice. It had plenty of space for us to hang out during Con downtime. One night we ordered in some Chicago-style pizza, which was deadly cheesy and delicious. So, chalk one up for the ‘burbs: larger hotel rooms.

our room at the Doubletree O'Hare Rosemont

The Con itself was way fun. I took Willow around with me and photographed her with a variety of folks in costume. Some of my faves:

with Wolverine:

Willow with Wolverine

As it turns out, this guy is a postal worker who wishes he could wear the spandex all the time.

with Hit Girl:

Willow with Hit Girl

This girl was so cool! Her mom actually had a Blythe when she was a kid and was all excited to see Willow. They worked together to make this costume. It so rocks, doesn’t it?

with Tank Girl and Severus Snape:

Willow with Tank Girl and Severus Snape

I love these two as a couple.

with classic Batman and Superman:

Willow with Batman and Superman

These guys were staying in our hotel, along with some friends of theirs who dressed as Harley Quinn and the Joker. I didn’t managed to get their pics (they were in high demand on the show floor). These guys also had multiple versions of their characters’ costumes and dressed differently each day. It was impressive.

with Nick Fury:

Willow with Nick Fury (33/52)

with Venom:

Willow with Venom

We spectated at a costume contest one night. It was fun, but the most poorly planned event at the Con. It took place in a tiny meeting room at one of the hotels, and they vastly underestimated the number of people who would attend, so the room was ridiculously overcrowded. A definite fire code violation! As it was, those with bulky, difficult-to-move costumes had to stand around the outskirts of the room, and those with more maneuverability stood in the hallway until they were called to come up to the so-called stage (more of a platform). There were some awesome costumes, though, a few of which I snapped before my camera battery died (oops).

Eric Draven, who was way too pleased with himself and couldn’t stop grinning (not very Draven-esque):

Eric Draven at the costume contest

A pretty convincing Jack Sparrow:

Jack Sparrow at the costume contest

Rose Tyler from the Doctor Who episode “The Idiot’s Lantern“:

Rose Tyler at the costume contest

I was surprised that we didn’t see any Doctors on the show floor – I expected to see at least one or two.

This Godzilla costume reportedly took a year to create:

Godzilla at the costume contest

And these War Machine and Iron Man costumes must have taken ages as well. They were so accurate and really professional-looking, though they were definitely handmade by these two guys.

War Machine and Iron Man at the costume contest

This guy, though not actually related to anything Comic-y, stole the show by reciting the Old Spice commercial verbatim and jumping up on the judges table at the point where he says, “I’m on a horse.” He received my Zeitgeist Award. (Not an actual thing.)

Old Spice Guy at the costume contest

And then there was this dickhead, who chose to stand in front of a bunch of people the entire time, blocking their view and putting his butt in their faces. Jerk!

HUGE JERK at the costume contest

Among the other speakers we heard, James Marsters was one of the best, along with Brent Spiner. Marsters was interesting and told relevant anecdotes. Spiner was hilarious. I’d heard before that he had a great sense of humor, and it’s true. His presentation was almost like stand-up, though he did take some questions, too. He had a very good rapport with the audience and I could’ve listened to him for much longer than his allotted time. William Shatner was a one-man “Bleep My Dad Says” promotional machine, and went off on a 20-minute tangent about Canada. Or it ended up in Canada. Something about Canada – I drifted off a bit since it was so off-topic and boring. He only got through two questions from audience members! Adam West and Burt Ward also had a pretty good rapport with each other and both seemed to be in full control of their faculties. The award for Making The Audience Feel Uncomfortable goes to: Michael Biehn. He was on a panel with Linda Hamilton, and she tried to keep him on task, but he seemed a bit ‘off’ and kept scratching his head/beard/neck/what-have-you in a haven’t-bathed-in-a-week sort of way. Later in the day, we realized that we were walking behind him on the way back to the hotel, and he was carrying a paper bag with a six-pack of canned beer in it. Maybe a gift from a fan? (I hope?)

So overall it was really fun. We got to spend time with some friends we hardly get to see anymore, and it was great to get away for a few days and just relax. We need to go on vacation more often! Saving the best for last, my very favorite costume was Moss from the IT Crowd:

Willow with Moss

More pics on Flickr.