dolls

Blythecon New York 2013

Long time no see! Sorry it's been such a long time since my last post - I've been away on a fabulous trip to the USA for my 40th birthday and it's taken me a while to recover and emerge from the washing mountain...not to mention the photo sorting and editing mountain - I managed to take almost 2,000 photos whilst I was away! But fear not, you won't be bombarded all at once - I'll do it in stages :)

Some of my loot from Blythecon NY 2013

So first up is Blythecon New York. Now, I've never been to a Blythecon before, so wasn't really sure what to expect....

It was amazing, over-whelming, frantic (at least the shopping part was!), exciting, inspiring, and super lovely to finally meet so many people that I've chatted to online before. I was lucky enough to go along and share the day with the lovely Candy Pop, so had a seasoned Blythecon goer by my side.

The venue was split into 3 levels: vendors were on the ground floor, then the food and an area to chat was on the second floor, along with an amazing display of Melissa's Blythe collection, and then the third floor had some more chill out and seating space.

Blythecon New York 2013
Blythecon New York 2013

The day began with a shopping frenzy - it was hard to move around the stalls - definitely a day to be decisive and focussed - no time to think about anything or it was gone! I don't know if it helped or hindered being in dollars - it didn't seem like real money...So many things had gone before I got a chance to get out my camera!

Mab Graves at Blythecon New York 2013
Lounging Linda and M for Monkey at Blythecon New York 2013
Angel Yim at Blythecon New York 2013
Trio at Blythecon New York 2013
I Have Wings at Blythecon New York 2013
The most amazing Yatabazah luxury wigs at Blythecon New York 2013
Caramelody at Blythecon New York 2013

Anyway, with the (initial) shopping out the way, there was a chance to sit and take stock and relax and then wander around and meet so many lovely people. There was so much to take in - I have never seen so many amazing customised dolls before. And so many amazing outfits and accessories....Fortunately there was lots of time to chat and wander and take photos - I think I must have completed at least 6 circuits of all the stalls - and I still don't think I saw everything. Probably just as well, as my money ran out pretty quickly. I still wish I'd taken more photos, though, especially of all the lovely people I met - ah well, there's always next time :)

Yarn heads at Blythecon New York 2013
Blythecon New York 2013
Blythecon New York 2013
GBaby's AMAZING Daisy Buchanan custom at Blythecon New York 2013

At the end of the day there were a few group shots of the Kenners, Blythe twins and the mini-me competition entrants. And then, finally, the raffle! There were SO many prizes, including lots of amazing dolls, so everyone stayed on in high spirits and ever hopeful until the end. Sadly, nothing for me this time - but it was so fun so see the winners go up and collect their prizes. I have to say the most enormous and heartfelt THANK YOU to the main organiser Erica Duh who worked tirelessly for so long before the event and during the event to make it such a roaring success. Thank you so much Erica!

A staircase of Kenners at Blythecon New York 2013
Roz & Olga's twins at Blythecon New York 2013
Brittany and her AMAZING mini-me at Blythecon New York 2013
Bottoms-up at Blythecon New York 2013

Candy Pop and I also dropped in to the pre-meet at Central Park the day before and it was so lovely to meet everyone there at a more relaxed pace.

BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park
BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park
BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park
BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park
BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park
Momolita's girl - BCNY Pre-Meet in Central Park

More photos from Blythecon and the pre-meet can be found on Flickr. In my next post, I'll share more of my New York adventures....

Blythe: mattifying magic

Look into my eyes...

I've been collecting and photographing Blythe since 2012 and although I'm pretty smitten, one thing that has really annoyed me is their shiny faces. I've spent far too much time pfaffing in Photoshop with content aware fill and cloning...so I finally plucked up the courage to take a few of the girls apart and matte their faces. I still really like their stock make-up and didn't feel up to attempting any carving at this stage, so I just opted to use Mister Super Clear spray rather than sand them.

The all new Jane
The all new Amy

The hardest part was taking out the eye mechanism - this involved lots of sweat, a fair bit of force and much huffing and puffing. But I really think it was worth it. Whilst they were in pieces, I took the opportunity to replace some of their stock eye chips with some beautiful new ones by Almond Doll, Sharon Avital and Liquiriziadolly. I just love how they catch the light. No photos of this bit - it's definitely not the glamorous part!

I also got some Licca bodies, which I much prefer as they are much more posable - especially the arms.

I have collected together some Blythe customisation tutorials on Pinterest if you are interested - there is lots of good advice out there and many talented people far more experienced than me - I still have so much to learn.

The all new Chloe
The all new Amelia

The one tip I would offer when using MSC is to be patient and not spray too much at once, but rather build it up in layers. On my first attempt I sprayed too much and it started to drip down the sides of the face plate and it also damaged the eye make-up (it bubbled and sort of melted). So I still have one girl in pieces I need to sort out - I'm planning to sand back the eyes and hopefully reapply the make-up and re-seal. Wish me luck!

If you're in the UK and trying to get hold of MSC, I managed to find some on a Model Design Construction site - as it's an aerosol it can't be shipped internationally, so you need to find a national supplier.

MSC: mattifying magic
The matte faced line-up

I'm now looking at the rest of the gang and wishing they had matte faces too - something to keep me busy in the winter months! If you want to see any "before" photos, there are plenty in my Blythe sets on Flickr.

Happy weekend everyone!

Lazy hazy summer days

Flowers from the garden

It's so wonderful to finally be having a summer in the UK! It's been a bit of a non-event the last few years, so it feels extra special to have had a few weeks of non-stop sunshine and blue skies. I hear that some thundery showers lie ahead as I write this - am sure the garden will welcome some rain!

Summer days
Summer reading

So, we've got to enjoy our garden this year. I've dressed the table to make it look pretty and sat out drinking sparkling elderflower in the shade with a stack of fabulous books to feast my eyes upon...And all inspired by the beautiful images in Homespun Style (my favourite interiors book ever I think) I spent the day rushing upstairs and downstairs to bring down vintage pillowcases and Blythe dolls to photograph on the lawn in this gorgeous light...

Pillowcase love
Blythe camouflage
Blythe camouflage
Lazy summer days...
Vintage fabric love
Three shades of green
Lazing in the garden
My iPhone case

We've also been joined most days by our beautiful next door neighbours - here are Mum Poppy and daughter Martha - aren't they beautiful?

Poppy
Martha

And of course summer means flowers in abundance. I couldn't resist bringing these beautiful Hydrangeas indoors to pop in my owl vase - even though I will suffer - unfortunately I am allergic to flowers :( But as long as I get to photograph them first, I don't mind too much!

Owl vase love <3

Blythe mini meet

I had such a lovely time on Saturday. A couple of friends popped over for some Blythe chat and afternoon tea. There were Blythes aplenty! We had a little clothes swap, compared hair colours, shared tips and the lovely Marie showed me how to change eye chips. So I got to see my first Blythe opened up! I'm still rather terrified at the prospect of doing this myself, but seeing the difference some new eye chips makes has given me a huge incentive to give it a go :) I'm feeling all inspired again and have lots of ideas for new things to try. So thank you very much to the lovely Candy Pop and Marie!

Alexis Emerald and her factory nemesis

Here are the "after" photos of Chloe with her fabulous new Almond Doll eye chips. The before and during pics were not very elegant, so I'll spare you those ;)

Chloe gets new eye chips by Almond Doll
Chloe gets new eye chips by Almond Doll

It was so much fun to photograph some other dolls for a change....photography was the reason I stepped into the Blythe world in the first place and I'm so glad I did - it's sparked lots of creativity and I've met so many lovely people.

Psychedelic Goldie
Blythe mini meet at my house

Fine and Dandy: a treasure trove of vintage eye candy

If you are ever down in Cornwall you *must* be sure to visit the amazing Fine and Dandy shop in Marazion. I can safely say it is the most utterly fabulous vintage shop I have ever seen. The displays are just gorgeous. I wanted to buy everything!! It is run by the lovely Shevie, who has such an amazing eye for displaying things - and for hunting out the finest vintage treasures. Toys are her speciality, but there is a fabulous selection of china and other things too. My photos don't do the shop justice, but hopefully they'll give you an idea of some of the treasures that lay within...

If you can't get to Cornwall, Shevie has a selection of items for sale in her Etsy shop. You can also find her on Flickr and Instagram for a regular dose of vintage goodness :) And for more pics of Shevie's lovely shop over the years please see her Fine and Dandy set on Flickr.

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *12*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *1*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *10*

I took a few of my Blythes with me to visit Shevie and they looked right at home :) We spent a lovely few hours having a good natter - Shevie is so friendly and welcoming.

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *18*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *17*

The Easter displays were just gorgeous...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *3*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *19*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *4*

And there are shelves of amazingness on display behind the counter of things that Shevie has found or been given (these ones are not for sale) - I could stare for hours...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *15*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *16*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *11*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *13*

Everything is displayed so beautifully - there are vintage cabinets, a dressing table and a cot with the cutest lamb decal on it...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *2*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *14*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *8*

Eye candy as far as the eye can see...

The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *9*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *7*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *5*
The gorgeous Fine & Dandy shop in Marazion, Cornwall *6*

January Blythe photoshoot and a rainbow

So, January has been a pretty tough, long month - anyone else fed up with weeks of bitter cold, snow and ice? I feel like I've been living underground for weeks...But this weekend it's all change - the sun has come out and the rain has washed away all the dirty leftover snow and we can see the grass again. Today we were even treated to a rainbow!

So, forced to keep my photography inside (roll on spring!) I've enjoyed setting up some shots of my Blythe dolls. They are so much fun to style and are very well behaved and compliant models :)

On the editing front, I'm still rather obsessed with Florabella's Color Matte Actions and Design Kit. It includes actions for Photoshop that allow you to add colour bars to your images and make them square (works especially well with portait images). The colour picker allows you to pick up a colour from within your image so it all looks very complementary; you can also overlay textures and other prints for added interest.

Pink clouds

I've also recently bought some more digital papers and labels from Aesthetic Addiction on Etsy- the coloured doilies you see on the left hand side of these images are some examples. So much fun!

60s plummy glitter

Florabella's other Photoshop Actions are also a staple of mine. I use the Classic Workflow set all the time. My usual recipe is Perfect Color, followed by a touch of Rosy Cream and a dash of 1968. Go check them out - they're rather wonderful!

Alice rocks a 60s vibe
A little dose of sunshine

2012: A Blythe obsession begins

So, 2012 dawns and I go round to the lovely Candy Pop's penthouse for a photo session. I find myself drawn to her amazing collection of Blythe dolls. I am hooked. They are so photogenic and so much fun. It's a whole new world. I go home and place my first order - twins. A couple of weeks later another one is on the way :) I'm told it is a slippery slope.....but so much fun. Apologies in advance to those of you with an aversion to dolls - you might need to avoid my photostream for a while - at least until the spring flowers start poking through :)

Here are my first few photos. More oufits are on the way and I've got lots of ideas for future photos - so watch this space.....

Say hello to Chloë and Tilly
Chloë models her new Megipupu outfit
Tilly
Chloë goes psychedelic
My little pony
Do you like my dress?
Warm and cosy