October, 2009

Paishala OOAK Blythe Auction ~ Live

Happy Saturday! and Happy Halloween!

Paishala my ooak Takara (once a Frosty Frock) Blythe doll and her friend Safiy are now live on eBay for a one week run. Click HERE to visit the auction.

awsumgal ooak custom takara blythe Paishala and Safiy

Thanks for visiting and have a delightfully ghoulish day!

~awsumgal

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OOAK Blythe ~ Indian Mystic WIP4 “Paishala”

Hello and welcome to WIP 4! This wee thing is almost finished now and I am very pleased with how she’s turning out. Prepare yourself for a long post :o)

She has told me her name! It’s Paishala :o) I had a dear friend many years ago called Paishala and I’ve always loved her name! She once told me what it meant, but it was a long time ago and I can’t remember. I looked it up, but couldn’t find any references.

I worked on her mouth and nose carving and sanding and carving and sanding and carving and sanding and when I was happy, I gave her some cheek blush and realistic looking lips. Then the whole faceplate got some MSC sealant. Except for lips, which got a high gloss finish.

Her eye chips, which I haven’t really talked about, are special to her. Two sets are purchased chips that I have customised with paint and foils etc. The other two pairs I have made from the ground up, from my own handmade molds.

(This took quite a bit of experimentation behind the scenes to get the width and the size just right. It took a couple of tries, but in the end was worth it. Now I can make my own eye chips for my girls any way I like! ~Things like this make me excited!~ )

But I digress……  Next came the reinsertion of her eye mech. I think I’ve said this before, but this bit strikes the fear of God into my heart. If anything will go horribly awry, this is where it will all go down :o/ There will be no soaking the painted faceplate in warm water or any of that. This is all about patience and perseverance and being very careful and crossing your fingers and your eyes and anything else handy….. Grasp the eye mech firmly, insert one side into the slot and then gently pry the head away to the side as much as possible (carefully!) to pop the other prong in. Sometimes I wrap a flat head screwdriver in a dish towel and use that as a pry to help things along. Do not use an unwrapped screwdriver, or a knife or any other sharp implement. That is dangerous to both you and your doll!

Phew, the eyes are in! Now I can put on her lashes. On my very first Blythe custom, I made the mistake of putting the lashes on before inserting her eye mech back into her head and pretty much squashed them in the process and had to redo them. So, now I put the lashes on after I insert her eyeballs into her head! :o)

Look Ma No Stand!!!    (and, no hair, but we’ll deal with that directly :o)

awsumgal ooak custom Blythe Paishala WIP4 1

Here she is with her lashes, patiently waiting for her costume…….

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Her reroot is a sew in, plug by plug, lock loop variation. It is time consuming and fiddly, but it gives a head of hair that can be brushed and combed (gently!) washed and styled. I always use a top quality Saran dollhair which is soft and silky and lots of fun to play with. Paishala has two colours: a luscious dark brown and a burgundy for highlights and verve!

Ok, so here it is before being reunited with the rest of her head. I don’t paint the scalps of my dolls, even though it would mean that I could probably use less hair, because frankly, with all of that handling, I sure much of the paint would wind up on my hands, and in her hair rather than on her scalp. I was reading somewhere about dying the scalp, rather than painting, but I have yet to experiment with that.

awsumgal ooak custom Blythe Paishala rerootyay1w

This head of hair is on her own original scalp. I had to remove the yellow Frosty Frock paint before I started. I planned this hairstyle to have bangs as you can see. I had also intended to do an elaborate fishtail braid, but liked the play-ability of her unbraided hair so much that I decided to leave it luxuriously loose!

awsumgal ooak custom Blythe Paishala rerootyay2w

Well this needs a bit of a trim lol!

awsumgal ooak custom Blythe Paishala rerootyay3w

Paishalas’ hair and scalp are not yet affixed in the next pic, but she wanted to say ‘hey’ anyway!

This shot was prelash….

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Putting the newly haired scalp back on is not difficult. Sometimes it can be annoying mind you, lol! It is again, as it is so often, important to take your time with this. Even with a hairstyle that hangs down, no one really likes the look of a gap between scalp and face plate. Insert the flanges into their groove a little bit at a time, going around and around and around until everything is in firmly. Some of the flanges, particularly the one in front is wider at the bottom and so is a little tricky to insert. Then you can carefully add a small amount of glue if needed into the minimal gap and then clamp until fully set. Wipe away any excess glue that seeps out, as it is as unsightly as a large gap :o)

Pretty much lastly, I made Paishala a friend :o) I have decided to call him Safiy which means ‘best friend’. When I was in India with my backpack, my best friend and very little else, we found ourselves in Pushkar (after enduring Ajmer, but that is another story!) Pushkar is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. Pushkar Lake is said to said to have been made of the tears of Shiva in mourning for his beloved wife, Sati. Some legends suggest that the lake at Pushkar sprung from a lotus flower that Brahma dropped to earth. Still others hint that it was formed from the tears of Parvati….. What ever the wonderful legend, Pushkar is a magical place.  I bring this up because India and the book ‘Remember Be Here Now’ are the inspirations for this doll and Pushkar in Northern India, was full of monkeys! There was a wonderful restaurant that we used to go to for dinner in Pushkar.  It was on the roof of a residential lowrise whitewashed building. We had to walk right through the middle of a nice familys’ living room, between the couch and the old black and white TV! We would say good evening and try to scoot through as quick as possible so that the kids wouldn’t miss the program! They weren’t phased by this it all :o) We used to eat a concoction that they called Rajasthani Pizza. It bore no resemblance to pizza but it was delicious! While we ate we would watch the monkeys. They would run and play all along the rooftops of the town, jumping here and there. They were everywhere and were just mesmerizing!

That is why Paishalas’ friend and traveling companion is a monkey.  I made Safiy from scratch. He is a wool needle felted fella and he’s very devoted to Paishala. She too indulges him terribly, lol!

From Very humble beginnings……

awsumgal ooak Blythe friend safiy monkey1w

One eyed Jack?

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Nah, it’s Safiy, lol!

awsumgal ooak Blythe friend safiy monkey3w

Safiy really wants me to put him together! Of course I obliged :o) I put him together by sewing, so that his arms and legs move and his head turns!

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Ta da!

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awsumgal ooak Blythe friend safiy monkey6w

This was a very looooong post today. Thanks for hanging in to the end. I will be listing Paishala and Safiy on eBay on Saturday, and will post a link and some pics here too, so check back again!

Thanks for reading, hope you’ve enjoyed playing along at home, lol!

~awsumgal

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OOAK Blythe ~ Indian Mystic WIP3

So when I last wrote, I was off to play with fabric for the skirt for my girl. I wanted volume in the skirt to balance her. I had a colour palette in mind. Lots of hot climate desert hues. Yellows and reds and burgundy …. and the floral.I love the yellows, the deep coral (which is SO soft) and I love the contrasting yellow rolled hem stitching. It ties in with the yellow silk top.

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-1

Here’s the medium red and the burgundy.

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On the advice of my attorney, I have trashed the floral. It’s been binned as it were. I wanted the panels to be equally spaced but not perfectly symmetrical. I want the skirt to tie slightly to the side. It will also be a little gathered to fit on Blythe Neemo hips

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-3

Happily, after hemming three sides of each panel and then sewing them all together and gathering them, I realized happily that the skirt could be worn either way out for a different colour emphasis. The other way out is a darker looking skirt as more burgundy, and less yellow shows…

I chose to bind the edge with yellow silk to tie in with the top. I braided silk fibre and waxed cord as a waist tie and added more Indian silver bells to the end.

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-4

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Of course I picked silk colours that mirror the colours I have already used :o)

I added a gorgeous sparkly red glass bead to the bells on the end.

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-6

With her skirt done, it was on to her feet. This gal is part Indian mystic, part Maharani so  didn’t want to put her in a high fashion city shoe or anything. I knew I wanted a sandal, but wasn’t exactly sure what style I wanted.

Then it came to me, I would open up a space in her feet to allow a prong for her sandal. Like a thong or flip flop type shoe!

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-7

The foot on the left in the above pic has the beginnings of a space, the foot on the right is untouched….

Here are both feet done :o)

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-8

Then I made her shoe bottoms out of more waxed cording that I braided and then wrapped and sewed in place. Then I added the prong.

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-9

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Here’s one of her shoes on her foot!

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I like the subtle look of this sandal :o)

I also played with the airbrush for her paint around her eyes and on her lids. A while back my airbrush compressor lost power and wasn’t blowing. It is a really old compressor and I think its’ air filter was clogged. It doesn’t run without an air filter and I couldn’t find a replacement for one this old. I tried cleaning it but to no avail :o(

So, dang I had to buy a new one, sigh. On the up side, it’s GREAT! It has way more power than my old one and it’s fun to use. Of course I had to go and find an adapter to hook up my old airbrush. Now I’m all set though! Yeehaw!

I have a little paint shelter, so that I can paint without worrying about overspray. I masked all of the parts of the lids that I didn’t want to get paint on. Lots of tape and tiny bits of paper, lol!

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-12

And around the eye sockets of her face plate……

awsumgal OOAK Takara Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 3-13

This is the first pass. There is more to do and more carving too :o)

That’s all for today. This girl is almost finished. I can’t wait to see her all back together and dressed in her silk and chiffon!!

Thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

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Blythe ~ Indian Mystic WIP2

Good morning dolly peeps!

Yesterday was a busy day on this project and I think I made quite a lot of progress toward my goal :o) Some of that progress is deciding exactly what I want to do and how to get there, but anyway…..

After getting all of the stock eye chips out, I started on the pull strings for her eye change and sleep eye mechanisms. (There are fab tutorials on how to do lots of things for Blythe at the Puchi Collective. If you’re interested and you haven’t been there before, I suggest you have a look there!)

I like to do more to the pull strings than just put in a string. I like them to be special little things in their own right. I always have fun with the decoration at the bottoms of them too. These strings need to be strong. They are designed to be pulled after all. The very first time I put a new string in, I used crochet cotton because I thought it looked nice. It didn’t last very long! Now I’ll either use drapery nylon cord, which is really quite strong or something more interesting, like this time……

As an Indian Mystic, I wanted to add something that I think is in keeping with the whole aesthetic. Drapery nylon seemed wrong on many levels, lol! I also wanted to the two pulls to be different but obviously related. I chose two forms of macrame. Flat and spiral. (Very 70’s, lol!) The flat is all the same cord, the spiral incorporates a second colour. Of course, I have added decoration to them. Tiny ball bells made in India, that make a lovely and pleasing sound when used in clusters.

Here begins the knotting…

awsumgal custom ooak takara blythe mystic WIP 2 1

I always have a helluva time getting the ends of whatever decorative pull concoction I’ve dreamed up, to go through that tiny slot in the eye mech. I spent almost half an hour just getting that in securely and neatly. Ai Carumba! Anyway, whatever, it’s in there now and I’m satisfied it will work as it should. I haven’t even got to the fun part yet. This is just the part that will remain inside the head, so no extra pretties on it yet. Of course I had to do the inside portion of the other pull as well….

After knotting them both long enough to reach the slot in the back of the head, it was time to pull them through those slots. The beads and bells have to go on after, obviously, because they can’t fit through the slot. (and I don’t know this ’cause I guessed, lol!) Then more knotting with the help of my board.

awsumgal custom ooak takara blythe mystic WIP 2 2

The board it’s on is something I made to help when I’m braiding, knotting, or linear beading, anything where I need another set of hands really. There are brass screws top and bottom and a couple of screw in eyelets and I’ve plotted out some measurements, so I can see at a glance how long the piece is as I work. Oh, and clothespins, invaluable. I have at least three sizes of clothespins in my studio and I use them for all kinds of things. Like holding my macrame :o)

Here are the pulls pretty much completed. As you can see the all important ‘Be’ and ‘Here’ and ‘Now’ charms are in place. It’s funny what inspires you isn’t it? I must find that book and post a pic. I had loads of fun digging through my extensive stash of bead and findings coming up with items to go into the pulls. Bead stores are just one of the many kinds of shops that I can’t be trusted in… (Fabric stores, art supply stores, thrift stores and hardware stores are some of the others! Basically, I should never leave my home, lol!)

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The ends need to be tied off and secured, but these are pretty much done.

Speaking of inspiration, I spent some time poking around online for what my girl should wear. I had been carrying around an idea in my head for so long, that even when I wasn’t really sure I liked it I couldn’t seem to decide on what to do instead. I knew I wanted her to wear a Choli. This is a short sleeved crop top traditionally worn by Indian women under the sari although mine would be sleeveless. I knew I wanted that because the Neemo body has such a good looking torso. I knew I wanted it to have some beading and be pretty and I had already picked out the fabric. Rich, butter yellow silk. I love this fabric and could eat it right up I swear! The bottom of her outfit was what I was having trouble with.

awsumgal custom ooak takara blythe mystic WIP 2 4

I love the palette of this floral chiffon and have used it before. I was thinking about a long bias cut skirt with lots of extra flowing skirt trailing out behind her. It didn’t work in practice. Looked great in my head though, ha! I loved how the shirt was looking. The Neemo body is quite different from the Takara body. But I love the pose-ability of it. The Takara bodies were always frustrating to photograph for me because I couldn’t pose my girls the way I wanted. So I made a pattern for choli to fit the Neemo body. What good is pose-ability if the doll can’t move in her clothes?  Of course the shirt is unfinished in the above pic. In fact because of the way the Neemo arms move up, I had to make some more pattern adjustments to it and make another with wider armholes. I think the first one will fit nicely on a Takara body though. I will have to try that.

Back to the skirt, I went looking online at Indian fashions. I love Indian fashions. I mean they are so beautiful. How could you not feel fabulous wearing any of that! So romantic, beautifully made, yummy!

Here’s what I mean:

awsumgal custom ooak takara blythe mystic WIP 2 6

Just look at those fabrics!

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The beading, and the hair jewelry! To die for!

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It’s true that much of what I looked at was Bridal wear but isn’t it gorgeous! After enjoying all of the beautiful embroidery and beading of these creations, my Indian Blythe will be part Mystic and part Maharani! I know that I will be revisiting all of this in future projects too as it is all just phenomenal!

I had thought briefly (pardon the pun) of a short wrapped pant like the pic below. Like a Dhoti, but for girls and prettier, but then rejected that idea.

awsumgal custom ooak takara blythe mystic WIP 2 5

Maybe something along these lines….

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Not in this palette, but a wider skirt than what I had before…..

Chiffon, I think, for layering and colour……..hmmmm

I’m off to play with chiffon and silk! In a word, work! Lucky me! :o)

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day!

~awsumgal

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Blythe Indian Mystic WIP 1

Ok, I have a Blythe to customize, and I have my Neemo replacement highly poseable bod so ya know! Wheee, away we go!

When I was a teen, I found a book that spoke to me deeply at the time. I still have it. It’s called “Be Here Now” It’s weird and oversized and purple and sort of mystic and I love it! Anyway, I was in my local big box craft store recently (it’s big because it ate up all the small bead and craft stores, but that’s another rant for another time….) So, I’m in the bead section and I see a pack of beads with rough hewn oval shaped flat silver disk beads that say ‘be’ and ‘here’ and ‘now’. And I was like ‘holy carp!’ someone else read that crazy book! I have to do a doll! (Most things eventually end up with ‘I have to do a doll’ or ‘hey, that would make a great doll hat/chair/outfit/rug etc.’) She’ll be my Indian mystic!! (I spent some months you see backpacking in India, but again, a story for another time…)

So, the Blythe I’m going to customize is a Frosty Frock. I purchased her new with the intent to customize her. Here’s how she looked when I got her home…

awsumgal frosty frock takara blythe for ooak 1

Notice that she is not a BLYBE! Lol!

awsumgal frosty frock takara blythe for ooak 2

She’s kind of a cutie and I almost renegged, but then – boom baby – full steam ahead!

The first thing to do is to open her delightfully proportioned head. The eye chips can be changed without opening her head,  but I have big plans for this gal. She’ll be getting the full customization treatment: new plug by plug reroot, all new chips, carved face, gaze correction, sleep eyes and of course new paint and a new outfit!

But first the head…… gently…..carefully…… watch it ….. eep …..

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It’s coming along……. ease it off of her head ……

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I see quite a bit of sawing of Blythe heads. I don’t know why this would be necessary. I have done a few of these now and I’m not an expert, but I’ve never needed to saw anyones’ scalp! Maybe it’s the other style of Blythe doll? An SBL?

Anyway, on we go and off her hair comes….. poof!

awsumgal frosty frock takara blythe for ooak 4a

When I got her hair off I looked carefully inside her head. I had read recently a chat between Blythe collectors and customizers about factory flaws in the hair of some Blythes. Sadly sure enough there were two weak spots in my girl. I wonder if brushing and combing and general play would have led to the hair coming out.That’s the only downfall that I can see with the locked loop technique. Each plug is dependent upon the next. If one fails or breaks, the chain is broken and you could lose a lot of hair. (I use a variant of the lock loop technique moshed with a sew in technique that works nicely and guards against this chain dependency. After all of the work a plug by plug reroot takes, you sure don’t want the hair falling out on you!)

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I have opened her head here enough to take her body off. She looks a bit skeptical, don’t you think?

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Maybe she knew I was going to pop her face right off, eeep!

First off, gently unhinge the spring from the baack of the head and then undo the two screws. Then it’s just a case of easing the head pieces apart. Resist the urge to jam a screwdriver in there. Madness this way lies, and also damaged plastic!

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There is no need to remove the dome from the back head plate, so I won’t. Best to leave it where it is, I think.

Here’s a close up of the eye mechanism with the all important T bar. You can see where the spring attaches too. I won’t need the spring as I will be attaching a second pull string for sleep eyes.

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This is the hardest part for me. I don’t know if this is a struggle for others as well, but it is the part of the disassembly that strikes fear into my heart…. removing the eyes!

Not the eye chips, the actual eye mechanism. It is a pretty tight fit in there and I’m always afraid I’m going to snap something. First you need to remove the screw and the T bar plastic piece. Put this in a safe place where you’ll be able to find it again, ’cause you’ll need it later! This girl was kind of tough and I had to soak her in warm water for a while to make her a little more flexible. You’ll likely have to replace her eyelashes if you weren’t going to already as the warm water will probably dissolve the glue holding them in. Sometimes to help remove the eyeballs, I will wrap a small screw driver in a cotton dish towel to help me gently pry these out of the head. OK phew, it’s done and no damage occurred :o)

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Removing the eye chips….

The first time I did this, I had a doll with a lot of glue in her eye chips and coupled with the fact that it was the first one I did, I tried prying the chips out with a craft knife. Well needless to say, I damaged the chips. (And drove myself squirrely with frustration, but anyway…) The glue stick method is the easiest and least damaging way to do this. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to do this if you’re interested.

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Lucky for me, they all came out relatively easily. Yay!

That’s enough for today I think. Tomorrow, new pull strings and paint prep!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

~awsumgal

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