Blythe #2 – “CORDI”

I went ahead with my plan to Customize my second Blythe this week.  She was an ICY Blythe to begin with- I am not crazy about the eye of shape she came with, mostly because I like making sleep eyes and you can’t do that with the smaller opening.  I was pretty sure she could be helped with a little dolly surgery. And I was Right.

So this is Cordi – short for Cordillia, just as she was when she came to me from China- via Alliexpress. IMG_4914.jpg

Like I said I like a larger rounded eye shape, so the extra eyelid part at the top will be cut out.

But first-  I need to take the three screws out of the back of  her head, using a tiny phillips screwdriver. IMG_4915.jpgI put them in a little plastic dish with a lid along where I will put several other of her parts for safe keeping.

2.  Then I release the little “spring” wire off from around the plastic bar in the center of the square whole at the back of her head.  Here is a picture of the wire just halfway off. I use a small crochet hook to do this.  (Can you Find the square hole in the picture below? That little hooky thing in the middle of the square whole is the tip of the spring.  Once I push it off of that bridge, it releases her eye mechanism, and I can open her head)IMG_4917.jpg

With the screws out and the wire off, I am  ready to pop the head apart.  I Lay the doll on her side and apply pressure to her temple, putting the pressure more on the back side of her head rather than ton the face plate. IMG_4918.jpg*Note – When I  put her back together again- I will do much the same thing to snap the edges in together again. Only,  at that time, I will apply the pressure more to the faceplate, rather than the back side of the head . (OOOOH ! SCARY HAND! – I promise I am NOT THAT OLD!!!)IMG_4919.jpgAnd the head pops open!  At least that’s the way it has happened for me twice now. I have heard/read that it can actually be much more of a challenge than this. I have read other’s accounts saying that sometimes there is glue in the joint, or the head is just being stubborn. Maybe the bottom will pop open a crack and then it will be necessary  to wedge something in the crack and ‘help’ it apart.  However one does it, it is necessary to be careful not to damage the doll.

OOPS!  – I forgot to tell you to take the plastic pull/ ring, off  of the string. But that’s okay, you can do that now and put it in the same dish with the 3 screws.  Then the back of the head will slip off of the string. IMG_4920.jpg

So, now that I have the back of the head off.  I Unscrew the faceplate from the scalp. I just  loosen the screw a bit and the scalp off.   Thats the screw there in the photo above, just beside the spring that was unhooked. (Photo above)

(Photo Below) And this picture shows the scalp slipping off of the place that the screw  was holding it to.  This photo also shows the last screw to be undone.  It is right below the eyes and it is holding a plastic, horshshoe-shaped t-bar in place.IMG_4921.jpg

I Unscrew the screw that you see in the picture above and remove it and I remove the T-bar and put them in the same dish as the other 3 screws from the back of the head. (I only LOOSENED the screw that held the scalp to the faceplate.  It’s in an awkward place to screw back in, so it’s best to leave it there. )   If the plastic t-bar doesn’t come up right away, I use a screwdriver or some other tool to lever it up.  It actually has a groove that fits down onto the plastic part below it, which is why it needs a little encourgement to ‘let go’.  Here is a picture. IMG_4922.jpgON To DISMANTLEING THE EYEBALLS!  I use a blowdryer as suggested in the Blytheverafter tutorial to warm up the plastic a little so it’s easier to bend and put a little pressure on the sides of the head and then pull the eyeball/eyelid unit out of the socket  on one side of the head. (See picture below).IMG_4924.jpgMy finger is pointing to it above. You can see that ‘down’ is the direction that you will need to go.  You can also see that you really don’t need to spread that faceplate very much  in order for it to release from it’s socket. Once one side comes out the other side slips out easily.

Next I need to remove the eyeball rod/ from the eyelids socket.  I do that in much the same way as I did taking the whole unit out of the head only FIRST- I need to remove the square bracket from the clip that you  can see in center of  the picture below. IMG_4928.jpgCan you see the white square wrapped around the flesh-colored clip at the center of the photograph?  The clippy thing would be easy to break(I haven’t yet but it’s only a matter of time. ) The clippy thing needs to be squoze? a little  while the white square is eased up over and and off of  it. – The only  other choice would be to leave this unit all together while I sand the eye-lids, and paint them and spray them with Sealer.  So I take it off.

Once I  have all of that apart- and I’ve pulled the string out and put it with the screws that I saved.  I am ready to begin dolly surgury.  Sanding- carving- painting- sealing.  And eventually putting her back together again. IMG_4929.jpgHere’s what she looked like after the first few minutes of carving and scraping.  I actually used a pencil at the very beginning and drew right on her face, what shape I wanted her mouth to end up looking like.  Using some measuring tools to help me keep her mouth centered and drawing that on her face was very helpful.   Other sites I read, suggested sanding everything first, and then beginning the carving but after doing one doll already, that didn’t make sense to me.  I carve, then I sand.  You can see in the photo above that the first thing I did was to open up her eyes. On the ICY doll I found it necessary to get rid of the entire fake eyelid, AND open up the eye on the INSIDE UPPER corners, and the OUTSIDE LOWER corners.  Again, It was very helpful to draw first and then carve. IMG_4930.jpgSo here she is after a bit of carving and sanding. She’s wet because I carve her wet and I sand her wet.  I’ve read some bad things about the toxic nature of the dust from sanding these plastics, so I wear a mask AND I carve wet/sand wet. IMG_4932.jpgHere she is about halfway through the painting process.  A coat of Mr. Super Clean is sprayed on first (after sanding and before painting) to give the paint something to cling to.  Most people, (including me on the doll above) use pastel chalks, and water color pencils to color the face. It has to be done in layers.  So, add a little dusting of chalk.  Then spray some matte sealer. Then add more chalk. Then more matte sealer. And I repeat this process until I  reach the desired affect.  I use a wet paintbrush and rub it on my watercolor pencils and use that on her lips.  It must be noted that one must let the Matte sealer have proper drying time between spraying and adding more color.

*A NOTE ON MR. SUPER CLEAN or MSC as it is referred to. Every site I read said this is the spray to use, however! THIS IS TOXIC BAD STUFF! One whiff of it will tell you that. I bought some- ($20 on aliexpress) and I’ve used it on 2 dolls but I won’t buy anymore. Not with all the health warnings.  If I had read all the warnings  before I bought it, I would not have gotten it. I will use a different, less toxic, matte sealer made in America on my next doll. MSC should only be used while wearing an enclosed respirator type , well fitting mask, in an open ventillated area. And then get the heck away from it while it dries.

IMG_4936.jpgHere is Cordi, all put back toghether again.  She is still waiting on new eyechips. I spent as much time trying to paint her eyechips, (unsuccessfully, I might add), as I did taking her apart and sanding/painting/putting her back together, combined.  And I did NOT ENJOY IT,  the eye chip painting, that is.  I love carving.   SO, I’ve ordered eye chips.  After her eyechips come,  she will also get eyelashes.

 

The end. – Or rather, just the beginning. ……For Cordi, anyway. As soon as her eyechips come in, she will be up for adoption at DeltaDawnBoutique.

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Blythe Faces

I’ve been looking at a lot of faces. Blythe faces of course. Makeup, eyes, lips, chins, nose. There are so many different expressions I’m finding it very hard to decide what direction I want to do next. That is, what kind of expression or emotion do I want my next doll to portray?  Part of me is going- well, which one will sell the best? And another part is saying, I could never guess what someone else might want, so I should just choose what I really like and hope there is someone out there with the same tastes as me.  And then there’s the part of me that wants to keep every single doll, so I’m hoping no one else but me likes them.

Where do I look for Blythe faces?  Pinterest is a great one. And then Etsy also has many styles to spark the imagination as well.

In the sewing department, I finished two more dresses. Both are gathered ruffly items.

Still need to add some sparkly purlple trim to the lavender dress. The white/pink dress is already in my etsy shop in DeltaDawnBoutique

I’m mystified at the wide range in pricing for Blythe Doll clothes.  I saw many as low as $10 a dress, one even as low as $5 a dress, and then some as high as $175!?  Now I understand that  making a simple shift out of cotton isn’t going to take up  near the time or the expense of say a handmade dress out of silk- but $170 difference?  Then there were alot of dresses in  the $20 range and quite a few more than I expected to find in  the $35- $50 range.  I need to decide what is required to charge (and get) $50 for a dress or an outfit for Blythe. Here’s what I’ve noticed.

1-  I’ve seen “vintage” thrown around alot, as in ‘this dress has vintage lace or vintage silk’ on it.  – okay- shop D.I. for old wedding dresses?

2- Some of the very expensive ones actually do look like they took a lot of time and are almost a work of art because of the way the artist has pulled together, fabric, trims, lace and beads to create something kind to the eyes. – So, think less of making a half dozen of one dress or another, but just make one, one that is over the top special.

3. Part of selling dresses on etsy though  is making a name for oneself. Either by selling and getting good reviews or posting your creations in a public forum. like … Flickr?  Maybe I should check that out.

So, my  plan is to get busy and explore some elaborate designs that I would like to see done , and do them. Then, post them on public forums like flickr, or pinterest or facebook.

 

 

WELCOME SEACILLIA

More SEWING! I really am going to get around to Customizing my little Blythes, but with SeaCillia, (thats pronounced Sea-cillia), just arriving yesterday and in need of a rest after her long ordeal, (40 days from order to delivery!), to say nothing about needing some clothes. We’ve made about 15 dresses so far. Anyway, we sewed AND I also watched tutorial slides from http://www.blytheverafter.com. and downloaded thier instrutions.

****Evidently Blytheverafter.com is the go to site for learning how to customize your first doll. They are meticulous in the directions, which are free at the site. That, along with watching youtube videos is helping to prepare me, hopefully, to make a success of my very first doll.

I have to admit I was feeling a little overwhelmed today after watching the videos. So many ways I could screw up, and so little time. But, after feeling like – What the heck was I thinking!! for a while, I finally calmed down and decided that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So, I’m going to let what I watched sink in a little bit and come Monday, I will approach the project, one baby step at a time.

I WILL
… open up the doll without breaking it,
Take out the eye mechanism, and not lose the screws
Sand her face AND
Carve her face AND
Sand her face AND
Sand her face some more.
I WILL, Apply Mr. Super Clean Matte spray WHEN ( AND ONLY WHEN)
THE SANDING IS PERFECT.
I WILL paint her face, in layers,
with coats of Mr. Super Clean Matte spray in between layers.
all while using caution and a mask and gloves to protect myself from cancer causing fumes and plastic.
and
I WILL accomplish it.
I can do this.

And If you really want to- so can you.

Is That Blythe Girl Here Yet!?!

Oh the wonders of the computer age and tracking packages! The second doll I ordered, by two weeks mind you, may actually arrive before the first doll I ordered.  I check the tracking of my packages every day.  Actually I check the tracking on my packages about 5, 6,  maybe 10 times a day. Pretty sad. You’d think I was 10 and it was December.

Anywhoo- I am very hopeful that at least one of them will arrive tomorrow, because as of last night the pink-haired doll had arrived at the Provo, Utah USPS, just a short three hour drive away.

So today I got on etsy and downloaded a sewing pattern for Skipper(you remember Barbie’s little sister?), and made a dress.  And It was throughoughly enjoyable.  I can’t wait to make more.