Sunday, December 8, 2013

Meet My First BJD, A Fairyland Littlefee

Merry Christmas!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!  I'm sorry there haven't been many posts or updates lately, it's been so busy here with the holidays.  Our extended family spent Thanksgiving at our house, and it was so lovely having everyone over and visiting with them.  We spent at least the whole week before cleaning and getting everything ready though, so there wasn't much time for anything else.  After Thanksgiving, I began working on my first ball jointed doll (BJD).

In my last post, I told you about her.  She is a Fairyland Littlefee, which is a YOSD size BJD, so she's around 10" tall.  She is the Juri 2013 sculpt from Fairyland, which is a special edition faceplate from an event.  I ordered the blank Juri faceplate first.  Next, the body I found came with her original box, the Leah faceplate, a wig, and a pair of acrylic eyes.  I sent my Juri faceplate to Delicate Reflections to have her faceup painted.  While she was away getting beautiful, her body arrived and I had fun playing with her (with the Leah faceplate).  I am planning to sell the Leah faceplate, her wig and her eyes to help recoup some of the money that I've  spent.  

These dolls are so customizable that you literally choose everything to make them unique and individual.  There are many different companies that make BJD's, then there are different sizes and lots of different face sculpts to choose from.  Once you choose a company, doll and face sculpt, you can customize their faceup, change their eyes, and you choose their wig, clothes, and their accessories.  With all this customizing, no two dolls will look alike, even if they are from the same company and have the same face sculpt.

Friday was like Christmas, I opened the mailbox to find that my Juri girl had arrived safely back home!  Yay!!!  So, without further ado, here she is.

Introducing Rosalee...

Here'a a closeup of her precious little face.  Trinity did an awesome job on her faceup.  I love her little freckles and her long lashes.  I ordered two sets of glass eyes for her, one purple pair, and a pair that is half blue and half green.  I've never had a doll whose eyes could be changed before.

She's finally all put together.  Even though I didn't paint her face myself, I've had so much fun customizing her.  I made her super soft pink wig from a piece of Tibetan Lamb Mohair.  I knitted her sweater and sewed her leggings.  I even made her hair clips and her strawberry necklace.  I have plans to make so many more things.  Still in the planning stages is her room diorama.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative side of BJD's.  I would recommend to everyone, even if you don't have a BJD, pick your favorite doll, and get creative.  It makes the hobby even more fun and helps you to bond with the doll and make her even more special to you.

Rosalee is fully posable with joints in her neck, shoulders, elbows, wrist, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles.  Her range of poses is incredible.  She can stand alone without a stand.

She can kneel.

She can sit like a little girl playing with her toys.

I find it pretty amazing that she can hold a pose standing on one foot.

My favorite pose is lying on her tummy because it looks so natural.  Because of the joint in her chest, she can slouch forward or arch backward.  This arching backward pose makes it possible for her to lay on her tummy and arch her top half up so she can pose leaning on her arms.  She is laying on her lovely book style box here.  Her box is navy blue linen with iridescent silver foil lettering.  It opens like a book and has a magnetic closure

Rosalee wanted to show you her favorite dollie.

She is very interested in the tiny Crystal Red Shrimp in my shrimp tank.  Can you find the tiny red and white striped shrimp she's looking at?

Until next time...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Update & A Preview of My First BJD

I am sorry for the long hiatus.  I'm sure everyone must have thought I was sick or hibernating or something...  Well, things have been really busy around here, and finally here's an update on what I've been up to.  A while back I saw some pictures online and read about Asian Ball Jointed Dolls, commonly referred to as bjd's.  These dolls are different from anything in my collection, and I guess I was bitten by the bjd bug.   I have been spending some time researching and trying to learn more about them.  I've also been selling some extras from my collection on ebay, so that I could afford one of these beauties.

If you are not familiar with them, bjd's are highly articulated dolls with ball and socket joints.  They are super posable, which is part of what makes them look so very realistic.  Many bjd faces also look so realistic that when photographed, the viewer would do a double take to ask if the subject were real person or a doll.

Bjd's are cast in polyurethane synthetic resin, which is a hard, dense plastic, and their parts are strung together with a thick elastic.  Why does a doll require so much research, you ask?  Well for one thing, you won't find them in retail stores, so they are not simple to obtain in the U.S. They are predominantly produced in Japan, South Korea, and China.  They can be ordered directly from the company that produces them, or you could buy one on the secondary market.  I have only found a couple of retailers in the U.S. that sell them.  The Junky Spot and Denver Doll Emporium both sell a variety of bjd's, with some dolls in stock, but many that have to be ordered, which can take 3-4 months to receive.

Another thing that requires a lot of research is that bjd's come in many different sizes.  These sizes are divided into three basic categories.  Large bjd's are called SD's, and they are usually around 60 cm. or about 24 inches tall.  The middle category of dolls are called MSD's, commonly referred to as mini's and are usually around 40 cm. or 16 inches tall.  The smallest category, known as tinies, are called YoSD's, and they are under 30 cm. or under 12 inches tall, but some dolls in this category are as small as 4" tall.

So a big part of deciding on a doll first involves deciding what size doll you want.  With a size range spanning from 4" to 24", there's a size for everyone.  The larger SD's usually appear to be young adults, while MSD's are teens, and YoSD's are kids.  The bigger YoSD's are kind of like the American Girl age, with the 10" dolls being around 10 years old.  The 6" dolls would probably be around 6 years old, and the tiny 4" dolls are usually elves or fairies.

At first, I really wanted one of the large SD size dolls, because size-wise I didn't have anything like them in my collection.  But size and cost are directly related in the BJD world, the bigger they are, the more they cost.  So I decided that since I love the characteristics of American Girl age dolls, a YoSD size girl would be at the top of my wish list.

More about what makes these dolls so different, is that you will completely customize your own doll.  Because they are completely customized by their owners, no two bjd's look alike.  Bjd's are sold without wigs, clothes, or even painted faces (commonly referred to as the faceup).  They usually come with a random color pair of eyes, but most owners change their dolls eyes to suit their taste or the dolls character.  So once you choose a doll, you will need to decide on a color and style of wig, choose clothes, eyes, and decide if you want to pay extra for a factory faceup, paint the faceup yourself, or send your new doll's face off to a faceup artist.   These dolls are easy to take apart to change the eyes and do the faceup, usually with either a magnetic faceplate or headback.

The YoSD girl that I finally decided on was a Fairyland Littlefee, which is a 10" tall size doll.  Since I was looking for a bargain, I decided to watch for the best deal I could find on the secondary market.  I found a deal on a Littlefee Juri 2013 faceplate on ebay.  This was an exclusive Littlefee faceplate from a Fairyland event.  Since it was easier to afford just the faceplate, I decided to buy her and look for a body for her later.

She was delivered to me, and even without her faceup, eyes, wig, or a body, I thought she was adorable.  Just look at her cute little mouth.

And she has the most adorable little elf ears. ♥♥♥

I have already sent her off to a very sweet face up artist, Trinity at Delicate Reflections.  She is going to transform her with a long list of requests that I have detailing exactly what I want her to look like, including adorable freckles!!!   I took a few pictures in the new room I am working on for her, just before I packed her up safely for her trip to Delicate Reflections.   Now, the waiting begins.  Here is a photo of my Littlefee Juri 2013 girl's faceplate in the beginnings of her room, which still needs to be furnished while she's away getting beautiful.

Don't panic, I have already found her a body which is coming with a pair of eyes to use until I can find the perfect eyes for her.  I decided on a tibetan lamb mohair wig for her.  I found a great price on a piece of mohair in the color I wanted, so I am going to attempt to make her wig myself.  I'm not brave enough to paint her face myself, but I will try making her a wig.  :)

I am so excited and can't wait to show you my completed girl and her furnished room!  I'm still thinking about a name and working on a backstory for her.  I am thinking about Kohana Kawaii for her name.  In Japanese, Kohana means little flower and Kawaii means cute.  I'm not sure if I would call her Kohana or KoKo.  Just some ideas I'm tossing around, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and name suggestions.

More to come soon!  :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Shopping Finds at Our First Doll Show

We went to our first Doll Show last Saturday in New Orleans.  It was so much fun and so exciting to see everything that was there.  We found a lot of really awesome bargains.  My plan was to take lots of pictures at the show so we could share what we saw, but I was so busy trying to see everything I only got a few pictures.  Here is one of the tables where we had an exciting find.

If you look on the left side of the table, you'll see an adorable 18" Gotz doll dressed in a black skirt and suit jacket with a pink vest and necktie.  She is wearing gold glasses and has a calculator in one hand and a briefcase in the other hand.  She was very reasonably priced at $45.  She was adorable, but we decided to spend our money on a different doll that we saw at this same table.  We found a little green eyed American Girl that I had always wanted.  Can you guess who she is?

That's right, the lovely Felicity.  She was priced at $75, which I thought was pretty reasonable since she is a retired American Girl.  It was a bit more than I was able to spend though, so I wasn't going to get her.  I had a really great time talking with the nice lady at the booth about all her dolls that she had brought and the many, many more she had at home.  She was trying to pare down her collection, so she offered to sell Felicity to me for $30.  I was thrilled and happily agreed to give her a good home. More pictures of Felicity later in this post, including some before, during and after spa treatments.

There are a lot more bargains to tell you about, but first I wanted to include this picture of Felicity in the cart with my daughter at Sam's Club, where we went after we left the doll show.

 Back at home, here's a group shot of all our doll show finds.

The curio cabinet in the back was just $8.  It is a cherry wood color with a glass door and mirrored back.

I thought it would be perfect for my mini Blythe dolls.  The entire baker's dozen fits nicely in this little curio cabinet, and I think it looks adorable.  I am thrilled with this awesome little home for my mini Blythe dolls, and I can't believe it was just $8.

 At the same table as the curio cabinet, we found this little wicker suitcase basket for just $3.

The tiny jointed porcelain doll in the blue dress was a freebie with the curio cabinet.  I thought it would be perfect as a doll for Felicity.  The two pillows were freebies with the wicker suitcase.

At another booth, we found this adorable American Girl size wicker chair for $5.  It has a lovely wooden bead detail across the back.  It is very well made, and well, I always get excited about finding doll furniture!  :)  There will be more pictures of the chair with Felicity to show the size later in this post too.

At the same booth as the wicker chair, we found a little wooden wagon, also for $5.  The contents of the wagon were all from other booths at the doll show.

We got 5 little mini Madame Alexander McDonalds dolls for $1 each.  They were all still in their packages.  Rapunzel, Peter Pan, Lady Bug Girl, Bride, and Groom.

At the same booth, we found a doll size china pitcher and bowl set also for $1.

It's a very pretty glass set, perfect for American Girl dolls.

Another booth had Kelly dolls still in their boxes, priced at 3 for $5.   My daughter opened the Lemonade Stand Kelly with dark pigtails in the car on the way home.

I've never had a boy version of the Kelly size doll before.  His name is Tommy, and he is a Target exclusive from Halloween 2000.

Tommy is such a cute little cowboy, with short blond hair, freckles, red gingham shirt, tan pants, denim vest, and a tiny red bandanna actually tied around his neck.  He has the most adorable tiny soft plastic cowboy boots.

The Easter Kelly friend is Miranda, according to the back of the box.  She is wearing a white fuzzy bunny costume that covers her hands and feet and a headband with bunny ears.  Over the bunny costume, she has a aqua ballerina dress.

I love her curly red hair and freckles.  I picked her because her face looked so different from other Kelly dolls that I'd seen in the past.

Here's a group shot of Lemonade Stand Kelly, Cowboy Tommy, and Easter Bunny Ballerina Miranda.

I think that's everything that we found at the doll show.  I wanted to tell you about the TLC that Felicity needed this week before I show you how she looks now.  First, she had marker on the back of her neck.  I have no idea what it was that someone wrote on her neck with a purple marker, but it took several days of treatments to remove it.  I applied Oxy 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment and covered it with saran wrap.

I wrapped a towel around her head to cover her hair, applied the treatment, and covered it with saran wrap. 

I left her under a lamp on my craft table for 12 hours.  Then every 12 hours, I would wipe off the treatment and reapply a fresh treatment.  

Here's what it looked like when we got her.

After a couple treatments, the marker was lightened, but it took several days to remove the rest.  This is what it looked like the second day.

After another day...

And finally...

Now that Felicity's neck was looking better, her hair needed some TLC.  It wasn't tangled when we got her, it was just frizzy.  Here is what it looked like when we got her...

Spraying with braid spray, and brushing through with a wire wig brush helped a lot, but it was still pretty frizzy.

We decided to try a Downy dunk.  We soaked her hair in a bowl of full strength Downy Fabric Softener for a full 24 hours.  It is not silky like new doll hair, but it is a lot softer and a lot less frizzy now.  Here is the final result.

The front...

Felicity is marked Pleasant Company on her neck and the tag on her dress says 1993 Pleasant Company.

Felicity with her own doll from the doll show.

Felicity likes pulling all the tiny dolls from the doll show around in the wagon.

It's like a hayride.

Here she is enjoying her wicker chair from the doll show.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our first doll show!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ever After High 2 Pack Sighting at Target

Guess what was on the shelf  at Target today...

We made a quick stop at Target today, and while we were there, of course, we had to check out what was new on the shelves of the dolly aisles.  We were surprised to find the new Ever After High 2 Pack with Ashlynn Ella and Hunter Huntsman.  Also on the shelves were Briar Beauty and Apple White, but we picked up those girls months ago at Justice.  It was so exciting to see Ashlynn and Hunter in person for the first time.  Target's price was $34.99 for the 2 pack.  Once I was home, I looked them up online and noticed that they are only available for pre-order on both Target and Amazon.  Their actual release date is 10/27/13.  So just a heads up to start looking for these at your local Target now if you haven't already found them.

Here's a closeup of the lovely couple.

They are posed so cute, arm and arm, in their storybook box.  Ashlynn wears a floral print dress with sheer aqua sleeves, matching shoes, and a gold clock face purse.  Hunter is wearing a green top, tan pants, and a brown leather-look hooded vest and a matching messenger bag.

Ashlynn is the daughter of Cinderella and Hunter is the son of the Huntsman.  These two want to live Happily Ever After, but there's just one problem... Ashlynn is expected to marry Prince Charming, not a Huntsman. After all, Ashlynn is a Royal and Hunter is a Rebel.

We also picked up the Ever After High book, The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale at Sam's Club last weekend.  This is a lovely hardcover book with raised embossing.  The list price is $14.99, but Sam's price was only $9.18.

Inside the book, all the pages are trimmed with a pink and purple border with flowers and leaves.  It's a nice size book with over 300 pages and 29 chapters.

So, what do you think of this cute couple and the rest of the Ever After High line?  Will you be adding them to your collection?