Tag Archives: Blythe doll

Just A Little Lovin’

29 Oct

For Y, who opened my world to Blythes and became my best friend,

for J, for being my Blythe buddy and baby sis,

And for A♥, for showering me with more love than I deserve.

I was going to blog about the Sylvanian Families Theme Park in Grinpa next but I ran into some technical problems while uploading some of my videos. That and culling a select few from over two hundred photographs have already taken much of my time, with still a lot more to go.

I decided to jump into another project to ease the ennui while I finish the pictures. I figured I needed the distraction and my blog deserved some updates. What better to write about than my second-favorite thing next to Sylvanians? Aha, Blythes! That I found this “rescue” Blythe at just the right time turned out to be most auspicious for me.

In the months since I started collecting Blythes, I’ve acquired almost all of them in MIB (mint in box) condition. My blond Kenner, adopted from my best friend Y, was the sole exception. As a personal preference, I really do look for complete, boxed dolls more than ones that are nude, loose, or incomplete. Call it an obsessive-compulsive streak, but something about incomplete dolls keeps me awake at night, heehee.

And then came the turnaround.

I ran into this particular doll in Facebook, a Velvet Minuet with dress and nothing else, and it surprised me that I had jumped the gun on everyone else that morning. After a few discreet inquiries with the seller, I sealed the deal and crossed my fingers. Below is her original photo on Facebook:

VM 01

 

I received Velvet wrapped carefully in layers of plastic bubble wrap. True to the seller’s word, her eye mechanism was working. There were no visible scratches on her face (except for one thin sliver of gray near her left eye), no missing hair plugs, and her pull ring was intact. Save for overall grubbiness, perhaps brought about by age and years of neglect (seller was not the owner), Velvet seemed fine on the whole.

VM 02

Of course, her legs came with this moldy stain, and I already knew that jumping in.

VM 03

Her dress was also stained and grubby, poor girl. It was also missing those cute puffy pompoms.

VM 05

Her hair, while thick and complete, was tangled and icky-sticky. I couldn’t run a comb through it, no matter how many hours of Law and Order I watched. (For those of you who do not know me, I do my “hairdressing” while watching reruns of Law and Order, no particular season, country, or franchise. I love them all!)

VM 04After a thorough assessment of her condition, I began my makeover process, starting with a complete body wash. I used a light baby wash and a face towel to rub over the dirt and grime. I also applied a Benzoyl Peroxide mask in parts of her body where the dirt would not wash off.

I gave her a shampoo and hot water spa last, taking care to protect her eyes and the hole at the back of her head. After a couple of days of work, this is what she looks like now:

Presenting… Velvet Minuet (Gee, her hair smells-and looks- terrific!)

VM 06

Hello, everyone! I am a brand-new girl!

VM 11

I am gorgeous!

VM 08

Lucky, my momma has my stock clothes in storage, and she gave me these to wear!

VM 09

I think Velvet is a beautiful girl, proof that there is no such thing as an ugly Blythe, only an unloved one. And when you come into one who needs loving as badly as she did, how can one ever say No?

As much as boxed and MIB Blythes are easy to love because they are perfect, there is satisfaction and pride in making a Blythe beautiful again. I like that I did this with my own two hands. I hope to one day try my hand on customizing, but for now, cleaning them back to their shiny selves is happy work for me. Velvet will surely be one of my favorite girls from now on. All she really needed was just a little loving. 🙂

A Toy-rrific Easter

21 Apr

The boys were all sick during the Holy Week break- can you believe it, down with the flu in the middle of a summer heatwave!- and we were grounded at home as our self-imposed quarantine started on Holy Wednesday. We had planned to bring Alphonse out for the Easter weekend, perhaps Nuvali again, but the boys were in no shape to go anywhere, coughing and hacking as they did. So, what was there for me to do by myself during the long break? Why, play, of course!

Between tending to the sick and watching episodes of Major Crimes and Scandal, I took a bit of time to set up for Easter pictures. While previous years might have had me working on a storyboard, this year, with the heat bearing down on us, I could only set up small productions inside the bedroom (and on top of the bed!). These two pictures turned out the best among this year’s crop and so, without further ado, I proudly share with you my Easter pictures.

Note: If you are my friend on Facebook, you might have seen these ad nauseum on my page and personal account, so apologies. If you are seeing this for the first time, I hope you enjoy these pictures and Happy Easter!

happy easter phsf

Easter with Kittymama and Calico Critters’ Cristy the Bunny (ehrrr) and Simon the Chick (double ehrrr)!

happy easter nimes 03 copy2

A giant Easter Blythe invades the picture, bringing with her two giant, but adorably cute, chicks. Meanwhile, Kittymama runs off with the chocolate eggs. Simon finds a lot in common with the new chick, heehee, while Cristy finds a new BFF (Best Friends Forever) with Easter Bunny Nimes. I hope you all had a toy-rrific Easter! I know I did. 🙂

Happy Easter and God bless you all, friends!

DIY Blythe Face Guard

15 Apr

nimes travel 04I am going on a trip with some friends for a weekend next month. I’ve made a list of things to bring for that weekend, light clothing, comfortable shoes, camera- all of the usual stuff- BUT since this will be a weekend with other doll collectors like me, I figured a doll (or two) was in order.

Since I’ve met Nimes (Blythe Slow Nimes), I’ve never been without her for long. I take her almost everywhere, even to the most unexpected places, because she’s always such a pretty addition to the places I go to. Despite being reminded now and then that I do have other dolls to play with, I’ve decided Nimes will be my companion on my weekend trip next month.

There are, however, certain challenges to bringing a Blythe doll everywhere. When I travel within the city, I carry her in a clear plastic box or a small doll carrier. But this planned weekend is starting out with minimal luggage so that means not only do I have to be spare in my essentials, I will also have to squish my doll in with the rest of my things. This poses some problems with dirt and staining; her hands and feet have gotten dirty at times because of this. It’s a good thing a little washing did the trick but I’ve since learned to always wrap her in a white bird’s eyeweave diaper to prevent direct contact with things that can discolor or stain her.

Beyond this, there is also a problem of accidentally ruining her eyelashes or her face. Sometimes, when she is squeezed tight with other things, her face could get scratched or her eyelashes inadvertently folded. As such, face guards are a necessary addition to a traveler’s doll requirements.

I’ve only seen one type of face guards sold online and that is Cool Cat’s Face Guard for different dolls. They are very affordable (less that USD2 a piece) and well worth the money you will spend on protecting your Blythe’s face.

Cool Cat Face Guard 01

Each face guard is made of molded plastic and comes with an optional foam to put around the face. Rivets hold the elastic band in place. Very nice, right?

Cool Cat Face Guard 02

I’ve made a note to ask A♥ to get me some, but in the meantime, while I wait (and the real gist of this story was that I couldn’t wait, haha!) I was seized with the idea to make one. A DIY Lightbulb moment- ta-dah!

You know those plastic bits that come with your Blythe dolls, the ones designed to cradle the head or hold the feet?

Blythe Face Guard DIY 08

I’ve kept all of those in a separate box when I flattened the original boxes and carrier cardboard. I didn’t think I’d ever find a use for all of them but I was just hesitant to part with them all. But this afternoon, while looking around the house for an item that could serve as a potential faceguard, I suddenly thought of them.

Blythe Face Guard DIY 01

A quick inspection showed that this particular piece of plastic- the head cradle- works well when turned over and placed over the doll’s face. There were no points of direct contact to the cheeks, forehead, or eyelashes, and the smooth plastic was not likely scuff up the doll.

Blythe Face Guard DIY 02

I cut around the edges to reduce volume, making sure to cut in rounded corners to prevent pointy edges that can scratch. And then I manually bore two holes, one on each side, to thread ribbons or elastics to hold the face guard in place. And what do you know- it works perfectly!

Blythe Face Guard DIY 03

I tried using a ribbon first and while it was nice to look at, the ribbon also had more “give” and was looser than a thin elastic band.  Changing it into an elastic, or a garter, as we call it here in the country, made the fit better. Instead of knotting the elastic, I sewed the edges shut to prevent it from slipping through the holes in the side.

Blythe Face Guard DIY 05

See? It fits perfectly!

Blythe Face Guard DIY 06

Now, she is ready to travel!

Blythe Face Guard DIY 07

Try your very own DIY face guard- it’s quick, easy, and I love that we have repurposed and upcycled what was supposed to be thrown away. As Martha Stewart would say, “It’s a good thing.” 🙂

~0~

Happiness is… Repaint Project One 2014 (xx)

14 Mar

I’ve been meaning to ease myself back into repainting some of my old doll houses, but I wasn’t really sure I could commit to such a lengthy process right away. I’ve had the materials on hand for a while now, but I couldn’t get myself to jump in on a project. That is, until a perfect “practice” project came along.

I am talking about a Licca dressing room I got recently through a Facebook contact. I got it at a very reasonable price, albeit it was not complete and was, in fact, missing a very important part- the cover for the main dressing room. It also had minor discolorations and small chipped parts. Still, I was very happy with the purchase because it was small enough to work on and not have the project drag on for days, or weeks even,

Brand new, the Licca dressing room would have looked like this (pictures borrowed from Playmoya Japan:

Licca dressing room

Licca dressing room 02

Licca dressing room 03

Very cute, right? I think it’s a very nice playset, functional too, as the shoe closet also serves as a carry case for a Licca doll when traveling.

Now, this was what I got, and mind you, I still loved it, flaws and all:

Repaint 02

This Licca dressing room was missing the hinged flap that serves as a cover to the room. As you can see, there are two exposed hinges on the side where the plastic hinge of the cover should be.

Repaint 01

The good news was that the door was in great condition, save for some dings on the sides and small scratches on the design in front.

Repaint 03The back and sides also just had minor discoloration strewn here and there in small, irregular patches of yellow.

It took me just ten hours to finish this project, spread over two days and with long drying times in between. I actually spent more time waiting for the paint to dry completely, so I did chores at home or worked with Alphonse while I waited.

The plan was to make it less childish in appearance by changing the color palette to one more suited for an adult doll collector. Choosing white and gray as its base colors and gold as an accent made this project elegant and less plasticky in appearance.

This is the finished project:

Repaint 04

Front

Repaint 05

Front with open shoe closet

Repaint 06

Back

Repaint 12

Details

I used a stone acrylic paint spray for the roof to add texture to the gray primer and base pant. The white I used was a mixture of flat white primer and pearly white acrylic spray. A bright gold was painted on selected parts to serve as accent color.  I also covered the cardboard backing with a printed sticker (printed on matte sticker paper and sealed with a clear sealant to prevent smudging or running) and kept the black and white theme on it to make it less fussy.

I sealed the whole thing with more clear spray and waited overnight for the seal to dry. Just this morning, I tried it on for a few pictures with my dolls, just to see how it would look with them.

Repaint 10

Nimes: “Hmmm… I hate it when I have nothing to wear… Sigh…”

Repaint 11 copy2

Sitti: “Oh, c’mon, Nimes, stop dawdling around! Wear your jacket and let’s go! We’ll be late for school!”

Success! I like that I now have an extra closet for Blythe doll clothes. I will keep looking for that missing hinged part or perhaps replace it in the future with a home made cover. Another option would be to hang sheer white curtains in front (with tiebacks) to keep the clothes covered when not in use. In any event, this modded set will certainly get a lot of use as Nimes, Sitti, and their Blythe sisters play dress-up.

Am I ready to remake a Sylvanian building now? You bet I am ! On to the next project!

Wishing for Ribboneta

3 Mar

Ribboneta is 2009’s Hello Kitty x Blythe collaboration especially created to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 35th year. She is one of my dream dolls, a grail doll, if you will.

Back in 2012, when I first dreamed of getting a Blythe doll for myself, the very first thing I did was to search for her. Alas, even then, her price had soared to a point where you could easily buy two or three new Blythe releases. And because I was unsure then if I really wanted to start another collection, I let that dream go, but not without regrets.

Fast forward to 2013, and the day I received Slow Nimes. Who knew I would love Blythes as much as I do Hello Kitty and Sylvanian Families? These days, they (the Blythe girls) coexist happily with my other collections, forefront among them, my Sylvanian Families. 🙂

Now, back to Ribboneta. As most Hello Kitty collaborations go, she is one special girl indeed.

blythehellokitty

She has reddish brown hair fringed with bangs. Her hair holds a slight curl at the ends.

Blythe ribboneta 02

Her eye chips are special too, as they have been marked with a ribbon in one of the irises of the pink and green forward-facing eyes. Her eyelids are light pink. 🙂 Blythe ribboneta 07

She has one of the prettiest clothes ever, with a pink shantung silk halter dress and a magenta bolero which matches the ribbon in her hair. The dress also has a ribbon behind the neck and more colorful ribbons near the hem. Small faux pink pearls are seeded on top of the ribbons.

Ribboneta has a Hello Kitty bag with handles made of the same faux pink pearls and a Hello Kitty necklace (HK head in a gold chain). Matching pink stockings and shoes complete the outfit and scream “Hello Kitty!” from top to toe.

Blythe ribboneta 01

When RW was released in 2009, she was pegged at JPY21000, or something like USD207 in today’s exchange rate. Today, a quick search of eBay shows the price to have gone remarkably from its original SRP to as much as USD700 for a never opened, MIB (mint-in-box) doll. Oh, my aching heart!

I’ve sort of resigned myself to never ever owning Ribboneta Wish. It’s just too much money for one doll, and unless I win the Lotto soon, I can’t justify spending that much money for her. Still, a part of me longs for that unattainable doll, and will always do.

There is a happy ending to this sad tale, though. Just when I thought I would never even see a glimpse of RW, here comes A♥ to the rescue! No, it is not Ribboneta, but close enough: RW’s stock clothes! *squeals*

And so, despite not having Ribboneta, I am ecstatic that Nimes can wear her clothes and pretend to be her, even for a short while. Moreover, being the recipient of such a thoughtful gift, well, that alone is a remarkable gift in itself, one I will always remember with love and gratitude.

Nimes as RW

Now, can anything be lovelier than that?

Emergency Rescue at Kitty Little Lanes

22 Jan

One of the many little gifts my husband gave me over the holidays were two unboxed Petite Blythes. Petite Blythe Pure Punthic, a 2009 release, was otherwise complete and in perfect condition. Petite Blythe Buttercake Afternoon, released in 2005 and reissued in 2006, came with an extra body as her original body showed wear and tear. Still, these mini-dolls were absolutely delightful. Their eyes, fringed with extra long lashes, could close and open. Their legs were bendable and they could sit and stand (each doll comes with its own mini stand, much like the big Neo Blythes).  I was fascinated by them and immediately thought of giving them real estate space in my miniature village.

Petite Blythe Pure Punthic Miele Dolce 0909  Petite Blythe Buttercake Afternoon 0705

Just this week, I was able to add another Petite Blythe- a Feline Fancy, released in 2003. Feline Fancy, of the three, showed the worst “injuries; ” her shoulders and portions of her bright green hair were stained black from her stock clothes. She had such a pretty face, though, that I couldn’t say “No” to her. I knew also that despite her flaws, she would be welcome in my very inclusive, non-judgmental community of Sylvanians, Kitty Little Lanes.

Petite Blythe Feline Fancy 1203

I had meant to do one picture for Instagram. Inspired by these wonderful dolls and my Sylvanian Families, it evolved into a story. I hope you enjoy it.

~0~

911 at Kitty Little Lanes

It was a slow day at the county switchboard offices until Nurse Emmaline Nightingale received a distress call.

Operator Nightingale: 911 emergency services, hello.

ER 01

Grandma Patricia Chocolate: Hello, I need help. Please send an ambulance!

ER 02

Operator: Yes, ma’am, what’s the nature of the emergency please?

ER 03Grandma: It’s my niece, Fancy. She’s burning up with a fever. Please hurry.

Operator (recognizing Grandma’s voice, well, it’s a small town): I’ll send an ambulance right away, Grandma Patricia. Please stay calm. The paramedics will be there soon.

ER 04

One minute and thirteen seconds later:

Grandma: Thank goodness you’re here, Thomas and Burdock! Nurse Brie, I’m so glad you came too!

Paramedic Thomas Nightingale: Well, ma’am, when we heard my sister-in-law Emmaline call out 123 Plaines Avenue, we rushed as fast as we could. Grandpa Rhys back yet?

Grandma: He’s still at my son’s, helping build the play burrow for our grandkids. He’s not due till this weekend, so I am all alone with the girls. These are my nieces Miele, Buttercake, and Fancy.  

ER 05

Paramedic Thomas gently wheeled Fancy in the stretcher. He hadn’t had an emergency in years (well, Owen Bearbury doesn’t count because everyone knows he is accident-prone, like totally) but he still knew the basics like he was taught in Paramedic College. It’s like learning to ride a bike, really; you never forget.

Paramedic Thomas: (thinking to himself) A- airway, checked. B-breathing- checked. C-circulation- checked.

Paramedic Burdock: We’ll have her at the hospital very soon, Grandma.

Paramedic Thomas: Let’s load her up!

ER 06

Buttercake waved to Fancy and held back her tears. Fancy awakened briefly but seemed oblivious to all the commotion around her. She was very, very sleepy and tired, she thought, as the paramedics gently wheeled the stretcher into the ambulance.

ER 07

Nurse Brie Norwood: Hang in there, Fancy. Just stay calm, my dear. You’ll be alright.

ER 08

Three minutes later, they were met by Drs. Murdoch and Murdoch, the father and son medical team of Kitty Little Lanes. Nurse Emily rushed to follow the doctors. Nurse Emma, one of the Nightingale triplet nurses, had another patient on standby; a strawberry-haired little girl suffering from a stomach ache (must be due to all the shortcake she ate).

ER 09

Nurse Brie: Doctor, her pulse remains fast and thready, respiration is rapid and shallow. Her sisters say she was febrile on the way to their aunt’s house here in Kitty Little Lanes.

Dr. Murdoch, Sr.: Let’s bring her in for an evaluation and some tests. Junior, grab her chart and review the history again. Bring me up to speed while I examine her inside.

ER 10

Dr. Murdoch, Sr.: Mrs. Chocolate, how are you related to the patient?

Grandma: She’s my niece, Dr. Murdoch, on my mother’s side of the family. She came with her sisters for a visit. The trip was overnight by bus and they said Fancy was sick by the time they got here.

Dr. Murdoch, Sr.: Your nieces are very tall, ehrm, ahh… (glances at the three sisters) But where were we? Ah, it looks like her fever is caused by an infection…Hmmm… She is also dehhydrated.

ER 12

Dr. Murdoch, Jr.: Dad, ehrm, Dr. Murdoch, her sisters say she was in an accident last week when her science project, a jet pack, burst to flames while she was wearing it for a demonstration. It looks like the infection is coming from those untreated burns in her shoulders and arms.

Dr. Murdoch, Sr.: We’ll put her on intravenous antibiotics then. Keep her hydrated and monitor her input and output. See to those burns; let’s debride and clean them up. Nurse, get the burn tray ready please!

Nurse Emily: Yes, Doctor! 

ER 13

THREE DAYS LATER

Grandma: How are you feeling, Fancy?

ER 14

Fancy: Much better, Auntie Pat. Thank you for taking care of me. I’m sorry for all the trouble I caused you.

ER 15

Buttercake: We’re so happy you’re feeling much better, Fancy. We should’ve had your burns treated much sooner. Miele and I are also sorry we didn’t take your injuries seriously.

Grandma: It’s alright, my dears. The important thing is that you are all safe and Fancy will be up and about in no time soon!

ER 17

Nurse Emily saw Miele sitting quietly, as if dazed, and headed over to her.

Nurse Emily: Are you okay, Miele?

Miele: I am still a litle shocked, Nurse Emily. Who knew jetpacks could be so deadly?

ER 18

By the end of the week, Fancy was well enough to go home. Her sisters promised to remind her to take her medicines and help with her chores while she was on the mend.

Dr. Murdoch, Sr.: Goodbye, Fancy! Goodbye, girls! Mrs. Chocolate, Dr. Daniels at Blythe City General will see Fancy three days from now for her check-up, okay?

Grandma: Yes, thank you, Doctor. We’ll be driving them home today. I’ll be sure to remind her mom.

Dr. Murdock, Jr.: Don’t forget the prescriptions for your medicines, Fancy. And if you feel poorly, feel free to call us here at the hospital. Nurses Nightingale will connect you to me or to my dad. One of us is always on duty.

Grandma: Well, come along, dears. Grandpa is at the car already. Don’t forget the suitcase, Buttercake!

Buttercake: I won’t, Auntie Pat.  Thank you so much again!

ER 19

Fancy recovered from her jetpack accident, though to date, she is still undergoing cosmetic treatments to lighten the scars of her burns. When Fancy and the girls made their way back home to Blythe City, she had such wonderful stories to tell of the kindness and graciousness of the critters at Kitty Little Lanes. She also sent a postcard to the hospital staff to thank them.

ER 22

Fancy’s stay at Kitty Little Lanes taught her three things:

1. Don’t perform experiments without a safety check and back-up. Jetpacks are cool but flammable.

2. Don’t shrug off a burn. Have serious burns treated by professionals right away. Don’t put butter or oil or toothpaste on burns. Wash them with cool, clean water (no soap), cover with a sterile cloth, and see a doctor right away.

3. Life at Kitty Little Lanes, while far from perfect (think Owen and all his accidents), is a life for her and her sisters. So, Kitty Little Lanes, here come the Petite Blythes!

~0~

This has been an original

Kitty Little Lanes 03 lowrescopy

story.

 

Update: New Blog Header

20 Jan

Do you notice anything new about this blog?

Well, there’s a new addition to the header and she is a pretty, pretty girl. Meet Nimes, my first Blythe baby girl.

cropped-blog-header-2014-copy.jpg

I’ve updated the blog header to include her because among my many collections, I think Hello Kitty, Sylvanian Families, and Blythe dolls will be keepers, no matter how old I get. So, what do you think?