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Monday, December 30, 2013

Twenty Neos

Having adding my Christmas doll (Mod Molly, bottom row, fifth from the right) to my Blythe collection, I now have 20 neos! I took this picture of them in their Christmas dresses--well, MOST of them are in their Christmas dresses. Poor Bonnie (Raspberry Sorbet, on the bottom left) is the only one without a Christmas dress; I forgot that she was set up in a winter tableau wearing wintery (but not Christmassy) clothes. Next year she will get her Christmas dress! My other plan for next December is to make some sort of headband or hair bow for each of them.


This was my first full year as a Blythe collector (Bonnie was the first doll I bought, in the summer of 2012). It's been a fun year of learning about the dolls and interacting with other collectors. I've participated in many swaps on Blythe KingdomPlastic Paradise, and Facebook; I went to my first Blythe Con; and I've learned some things about myself as a doll collector:

1. I like Blythe the best. Other dolls just aren't as interesting to me (sorry, Barbie.) Although I do think Lala Loopsy is cute--I love the pretty colors.

2. I love the stock dolls best. For one reason or another, most customized dolls don't appeal to me. I've discovered that something as small as the shape of the lips or nose can spell the difference between a doll I like and one I don't. Some day I hope to be good enough at customizing to make a doll with all the details just the way I like them; until then, I am making only minor changes to my girls (changing eye chips and buffing the shine off their faces.)

3. I love crafting, sewing and knitting for Blythe. My favorite part of owning these dolls is creating things for them. I've always been crafty, and I find that I can use all of my talents on Blythe.

4. I need a better camera. My little Panasonic Lumix is okay, but my photos can't compare to some of the beautiful pictures I've seen on Facebook and Flickr.

My primary goal for 2014 is to keep my Etsy store, Blythe Happy, full, and to start a Facebook page for the store. I also plan to do more swaps because they are a great way to meet new people and to expand my collection of doll sundries. I don't think I will make it to Blythe Con this year though--Seattle is a bit too far for a day trip from Virginia!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey--Who's that New Girl?

After going to a lot of effort to plan and prepare a lovely Thanksgiving dinner for my family, I decided to reward myself with a new doll! Here she is, front and center: introducing Calliope, a Can Can Cat Blythe Neo.


Can Can Cat has been on my short list of dolls that I want for quite a while...I finally found her on ebay, used in perfect condition, at a good price, and already in the U.S., so I grabbed her!

Her hair is lovely--straight and long and "swingy", so I didn't need to wash it; but I did lightly sand-matt her face, and I made her a Christmas dress. Now she doesn't feel like a stranger any more. Welcome dear Calliope! I know we will have lots of fun together.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Preparations

It's a flurry of activity in the Doll House today, as the girls get ready for Christmas!

Upstairs, Penelope and Grace are trimming the tree while Heidi hangs the stockings. Wendy has just announced that the Christmas cookies are ready!



Downstairs, Daphne, Claire and Faith are busy wrapping gifts that they will donate to the children's party at the rec center.



Meanwhile, across town, Bonnie has been tasked with delivering gifts to Patience, a reclusive writer who lives deep in the woods.


Everyone is full of Christmas spirit--it really is the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Special Orders

I'm always happy when I get a special order in my Etsy shop! Read on to see what my customers have requested.

Most recently, a customer ordered this pair of panties for a custom librarian doll. I hope I will get to see her when she is finished, even though the panties will be hidden under her clothes! The embroidery on these was simple, so they came together quickly.



A couple of months ago, I made the panties in the next two pictures for two friends; they all have some special meaning for the dolls they are intended for. I was expecially happy with the way the embroidered numbers turned out.



 Another time, a customer saw these cherry panties and wanted a top to go with them. This is the basic t-shirt I like to make, so I enlarged the cherry pattern slightly and embroidered it on the front. It is more difficult to embroider on the knit fabric, which is the reason I haven't offered the t-shirts in my store--yet--!


Each special order is a challenge that I find both exciting and scary--there is always a little part of me that worries it won't come out just right, and the customer won't like it! So far that hasn't happened, but I think the worry keeps me on my toes, so I continue to welcome and look forward to special orders.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Is it Christmas Yet?

Candy and Penny gaze in wonder at their Christmas tree. I need to get busy and sew them each a Christmas dress!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

I had taken a break from craft swapping for a few months, but when I saw that sign-ups were open for the Christmas swap on the Facebook group called Blythe Swappin', I decided to jump in again! It was my first swap with this group, but I am familiar with many of the members from other Blythe groups on Facebook.

When I found out that my partner, wheatpennyjenny, lives in Hawaii, my first thought of making a holiday hat and sweater set for her Blythe doll didn't seem appropriate. Instead I made the goodies pictured below: two red and green sleeveless dresses, a rainbow Christmas tree (because she loves rainbows), and two pairs of panties--one with a rainbow and one with Christmas candy--which are not pictured because I forgot to include them when I took the picture! I also made the three wrapped gifts as props to go with the tree.


The dress on the left has a print of Christmas lights on the skirt, so I made the matching lightbulb necklace to go with it. I think next time I will actually sew the necklace to the dress, for two reasons: first, it wouldn't get separated from the dress and lost, and second, the fastener would not slide around to the front, which it always does, and it is somewhat maddening to have to constantly re-arrange the necklace.

The dress on the right has a separate underskirt of red tulle. Because I am always worried about staining my dolls, I made it by sewing the tulle to a white band at the top. The band is the only part that would touch the doll, so there is no danger of staining.

I am really in the Christmas spirit now, and I am eagerly awaiting the package from my partner!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Embroidered Flowers

My embroidered Blythe panties have been selling very well on Etsy! I try to come up with new embroidery designs frequently, so my shop will always have something new an interesting in it. The one pattern that I keep repeating, however, is a trio of flowers; I consider it my signature design, because it is the only one that I do free-hand (for all the others, I trace the image onto the fabric and then embroider over the marked lines).

I've been offering the flower trio in blue, purple, and pink and this week I had a special order for yellow and cream (she also ordered a blue). Here's the special order:



...and the pink:


...and the purple:

I love embroidery, so making these tiny panties is really a pleasure!



Monday, November 18, 2013

Cupcake Love Hat

I'm so excited about this "Cupcake Love" hat I just finished today! The hat itself is a simple hand-knit garment, using the Basic Knitted Hat pattern from xoxo Blythe. (I topped it with a little stem instead of the pompom called for in the instructions because I think it is cuter that way!) The thing that makes this, and all my Blythe hats unique, is the one-of-a-kind felt applique I made to embellish it. I started doing these for a swap on Craftster last year--we called them felt badges--and I discovered then how fun it is to create with wool felt. I start by sketching a design on paper, then I cut out the main shapes of the sketch and use those as templates for cutting the felt. I sew the pieces together using regular sewing thread and embroidery floss. The back is completely finished, so the applique could actually be used as a brooch if it was taken off the hat.

This is Grace (wearing Candy's dress for some reason) modeling the new hat. She looks a little cold in that snowy landscape--I think she needs a sweater!




Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pull Rings and Wubba Chikins

For the past couple of months I've been sewing panties for Blythe, and embroidering them with fun/cute/pretty designs. So why did it take me so long to realize that two images that really scream "Blythe!" to collectors are pull rings and wubba chikins?? This week I stitched those designs onto some panties and I'm offering them in my Etsy shop as a "made to order" item, so they will never be out of stock. All the other designs I make will be listed as I make them--that gives me freedom to sew whatever I feel like sewing!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blythecon Goodies

My life is returning to normal after our whirlwind, one-day trip from Virginia to New York for Blythecon. I've gotten caught up on my sleep, so this morning I took pictures of the goodies my dollies got there.

The picture below shows the contents of one goodie bag--but since my husband came too, I got TWO goodie bags! Most of the items were the same in both bags, with the exception of my very favorite thing that I found in one bag...it's the pair of boots in the lower right corner of the picture. The one thing I wanted to buy at Blythecon was shoes for the dolls, so I was super excited to find these boots in my bag. They appear to be actual stock from a Blythe. They are dark pink, and besides the color, they are identical to the boots that came with my Cousin Olivia.


Candy claimed them, since she was my Blythecon girl!!


One of the vendor booths had shoes from Jemgirl Creations, which I eagerly inspected. (I was hoping to find her clear shoes filled with candy sprinkles...maybe someone got them before I did! I'll have to get them from her Etsy store one of these days.) I came away with a new pair of shoes for each of my Middies, plus a sparkly black high-heeled pair for my Neos to fight over. Hope is wearing them at the moment because they are perfect with her scissors dress!


I wish I had a raffle prize to show off here, but alas, we had to leave before all the prizes had been drawn, and my number hadn't been called yet, boo hoo. The custom dolls that were given away were all so wonderful, I know the winners must be floating on air! Nevertheless, I had a great time and I'm so happy I was able to attend Blythcon New York 2013.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

BCNY13


I'm blogging on the go today! At the moment I'm on the train to New York. Next stop, Blythecon! Candy is waiting patiently in my bag.


We've arrived! There are so many people!

Whoa, Mab Graves! (LOVE the pink hair!)

KENNERS!

So many pretty dollies.

????

A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting Ready for BCNY

I'm excited about going to BlytheCon on Sunday! My husband and I will travel there and back (we live in Virginia) all in one day, so it will be a loooong day, but a fun one.

I'm getting ready by making pin-back buttons to give to people I meet there.


I'm going to package these with my business card and a 10% off coupon to my Etsy store.


If you see me, say hello so I can give you a button and a coupon! I will have my doll Candy with me. Here's what we look like:


I hope to see you there!



Monday, October 7, 2013

Mustache!

I don't know why I think these mustache panties are so funny, but I do!!!!  This is a new design that I made for my most recent batch of dolly panties for my etsy store (Blythe Happy).  I'm so happy with how well they are all selling.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A New Doll for a Doll

I was in a Blythe swap a few months ago (we swapped stuff for our dolls, not the dolls themselves!) and for my partner I sewed a dress, then took a picture of one of my dolls in the dress, then turned the picture into a doll. The picture below shows the doll and the dress I sent in the swap:


I kept thinking about that mini-Blythe doll and wishing I had made one for myself...so I looked in my sewing room and discovered that I still had a little bit of the fabric--just enough for one dress--yippee! I also discovered that I still had the original pictures on my computer, so I made another mini-Blythe. The picture below shows my doll Penny with the new dress and the second mini-Blythe. I think the mini doll came out smaller the second time around.  I'm so happy with this set, and Penny is happy with her mini-me!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Old-Fashioned Patience and Non-Posionous Ivy

Yesterday's post worked out just fine, I'm happy to report! Blogging from my iPhone is surprisingly easy. Thank you Jessica for your comment--I will try the trick of doing a slight crop and then saving the pictures to  make sure they are right-side up.

Last week I found two good deals on dolls I had been eyeing for a while.  First came Patience (Veronica Lace):


...and then came--turn around, girl!



Ivy! Ivy is a Prima Dolly Amaryllis.  Their styles couldn't be more different, and I love them both.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Experimental Post from my Phone

 Here's my first attempt at blogging from my phone! My biggest worry is that the picture will be sideways...but I'm willing to take a chance! 

This is my dolly house as it looks today. I've added an attic closet, which the middies seem to think is really a playhouse for them! I don't know how they got that sofa up there.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Moving Right Along...

Thanks to all who have claimed doll clothes and made donations to charity. It truly warms my heart to know that you like the things I make and that the Heritage Humane Society and The Giving Heart have benefited. I realize that not too many people know about this blog, though, so I have moved the items that are available to an etsy store (also called Blythe Happy--click the name to go to the store). You still  the option to claim the items for a charitable donation--just email me (leslieandersen4@gmail.com) and tell me which item you would like, and I will remove it from the etsy store for you.

In order to keep this blog from stagnating, I am going to start trying to post a picture here every day! Taking pictures of my dolls is fun, and posting daily will give me the motivation to do it regularly. Without further ado, here's today picture: Tillie and her Bunnies.


I made the hat, t-shirt and skirt just for her, and I would gladly make any or all of them for you for a charitable donation (skirt or tee, $5 each; hat $10, in colors of your choice).


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Red Flower Dress

This dress has been claimed; thanks, Astral!

Here's another dress that can be yours; a $15 donation to charity is all it takes!


This dress is all cotton, and is fully lined. It closes in the back with velcro. 

The wool felt flower and leaves have been skillfully sewn on by hand. There is a row of silver bugle beads at the neckline.

Doll, shoes, stockings, and ATC card are not included.

Click on the tab at the top of the page labeled "How to Place an Order for Charity" to make your donation and claim this pretty dress--before someone else does!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Watermelon Dress

Up for grabs--this very cute watermelon dress and headband!

This dress can be yours for a $20 donation to charity; click on the tab above marked "How to Place an Order for Charity" for details.



The dress closes in the back with two snaps. The bodice is fully lined.  All seams are finished. 

The headband opens in the back and closes with velcro. This outfit will fit a Neo Blythe doll. 

Doll and shoes not included.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Easy Iron-On Labels

I had a shock one day last week, when I saw some items I had swapped with another Blythe fan included with a doll that was for sale on eBay! Usually, when someone re-sells handmade doll-related items, they give credit to the maker; but the seller wasn't the person I had given the items to, so she wouldn't have known who made them. It got me to thinking, and I decided that I should start putting labels on the things I make.  I looked at Etsy, where there are tons of options for all your labeling needs, but there were so many options that it became confusing, so I decided to just make my own simple labels. Here's how I did it.


Materials:
--Bleached cotton muslin fabric 9 x 11.5"
--NON-sewable Heat n Bond (the picture below shows the sewable kind because I couldn't find the wrapper for my non-sewable roll!) I want to iron these on without sewing, therefore the non-sewable option is the way to go.
--Standard computer paper
--Computer with ink-jet printer

1.  Cut the Heat n Bond to the size of the computer paper (8.5 x 11").  Iron it onto the cotton fabric according to package directions. Trim the bonded fabric to approximately 8.25 x 10.75", then center it and tape it to a sheet of computer paper (it will go through the printer better if the leading edge is paper, not fabric.)

2.  In your word-processing program, write out what you want your labels to say, and fill up one whole page with the words. Print a test sheet on plain paper and make any necessary adjustments.

3.  Put the bonded fabric into the printer and print in the normal way.



To use a label, simply cut it out with scissors, peel off the backing, and iron it inside the garment. The Heat n Bond is basically a strong heat-activated glue, so the label will stay where you put it.


There--that's better! At some point I may sell my Blythe creations on Etsy, using the name of this blog as my store there. With everything labeled like this, everyone will be able to find me. I feel much happier now!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

White Dresses for Charity

Earlier this week I posted pictures of my knit dresses for charity (click on that link, or scroll to the previous post).  Today I have another dress I am also offering for a $15 donation ($18 outside the US) to one of two charities (details below). This is a white-on-white cotton print, with the name of one of your dolls hand-embroidered on the skirt. The skirt is sewn closed in the back, and the top of the dress closes with two snaps.

I started making these for my dolls so they would all have a nice non-staining garment to wear any time they would be going unchanged for a while. I would love to make one (or more) for you! Just send me an e-mail and tell me the name to embroider, and what color thread and ribbon to use. Then make a $15 donation to one of the two charities below, and forward the paypal receipt to me. I will make your dress and send it within a week.


Make your donation to one of these charities:


The Giving Heart --click on the name to go to the website.  This organization helps the poor and homeless in nearby Richmond, Virginia.  At the bottom of their page, click on the "donate" button to go to PayPal.

Heritage Humane Society--click on the name to go to the website. This organization in my town provides shelter to lost or abandoned cats, dogs, and other animals while they await adoption. Their "donate" tab is at the top of their page and will take you to PayPal.

I did a "test" donation to both of these charities, so I know PayPal will immediately send you an e-mail with your donation details (Heritage Humane Society will also send you a thank-you note by snail mail!) Just forward the e-mail to me (leslieandersen4@gmail.com).  You may wish to mention "referred by Leslie Andersen" in the message box when you make your donation.

Thanks for taking the time to read about this project, and I hope you will join me in helping less fortunate people and animals!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Evening in Paris

Walking near the Eiffel Tower one snowy evening, Grace encountered a purple...monster? 


Saturday, March 9, 2013

White




Poppy is modeling a new dress we are sending to our friend Maluhia in Hawaii.  We believe that every Blythe needs a white dress! I will line up all my girls for a white dress photo shoot soon, and I will tell you then how you can get one for your doll(s) too!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Candy's Pets


Candy loves animals and she has a lot of pets!  She kisses each of them every day.

You can find the patterns for her outfit online:
--Boatneck tee at xoxo blythe
--Gathered skirt at Oh Strumpets

I made the outfit for the monthly sew-along on Plastic Paradise.  If you are into Blythe, you need to become a Plastic Paradise member!  


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Eyes

I took the plunge and changed a pair of front-facing eye chips in three of my Blythes yesterday.


I was slightly terrified as I melted a glue stick and jammed it onto the first eye!  And I was terrified again as I gripped Grace's head (the girl on the right) and started pulling--HARD--to get the chip out.  Much to my relief, I didn't break her, and all the eye chips came out...eventually (I had to re-do the glue sticks on some of them.  I don't know if the chips were just glued extra-hard, or if I was too impatient and started pulling before the glue stick had firmed up completely.  Claire (center) was the trickiest of the three, because she her face mold is SBL, so her eye holes are the smallest. The melted glue got in her eyelashes, and I thought she was a goner, but I managed to scraped it out without pulling out any of her lashes!  Whew!

Now that these three are looking so pretty, I need to get more chips for the rest of my dolls!  I just placed an order with Cool Cat on eBay, so I will be working on the rest of them soon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Two Dresses


Alice and Eve are modeling the dresses I sent to Poshdolly in our first Blythe swap on Plastic Paradise.



I knit this dress using a pattern on Ravelry, called Flirty Dress for Blythe by Jane Pierrepont.  The shrug is another free Ravelry pattern, called Shrugs and Kisses by Maggie Baird.



Alice's "housewife" style dress started out as the free Party Dress pattern on Puchi Collective, and I added the collar and apron to make it more "50's" looking to suit my partner. I love this fabric pattern--it's little fish bones!