About two or three months ago, I almost had a heart attack when one of Pinkachu's pull strings snapped off while I was giving her new eyechips. There was no way around taking apart her head to put a new (stronger) string on. With Shawn's help and his natural talent to fix everything, we dove into the repair process. The minor surgery ended up being the beginning of a beautiful new craze for me: Blythe customization.
I had tried my hand at customizing the dolls back when I first started collecting Blythes-- so around late 2004, early 2005-- but I didn't have a passion for it back then. Blythes were still a rarer hobby and there weren't many tutorials around for customization newbies, so a lot of the customizing that happened among collectors was done purely by trial and error. Now that Blythe collecting has picked up quite considerably, it's easy to get tips and tutorials from those who have had a decent amount of experience taking apart Blythes and doing detailed work on them.
When Shawn and I had to take Pinkachu's head apart, I was both scared and excited. (Pinkachu's original customizer did such a fantastic and perfect job with her makeup; I didn't want to mess up anything!) Her stock doll is My Little Candy, which is an Radiance Blythe mold (RBL). The RBL mold was created more for customization use, so lucky for me, my first experience with taking apart a Blythe wasn't too difficult. Fixing her up gave me the drive and a bit of nerve to start thinking about customizing my own Blythes. I loved adding my own custom touches to Pinkachu; creating an entire Blythe with so many ideas pent up inside me made me giddy!
I immediately started looking for a stock doll that I knew would be cheap(er) and easy to come by. I chose to search for a Simply Lilac because I liked the idea of working with a doll with fantasy colored hair. I put the word out within the next few days and a Twitter friend contacted me to let me know she would sell hers to me. The dolly arrived and I dove right in to the customizations.
I completely took apart her head to familiarize myself with all of the different parts inside. I then started to sand matte her face so I could start fresh with makeup. After reaching this point, I had to put aside my new hobby for a few weeks. One of my kitties (Ed) had an infection and the vet bills started to pile up for me. The next stages of the customization process required me to put larger chunks of money towards tools and whatnot, and I decided that Ed was much more of a priority (obviously!).
After about a month of medication, Ed's infection went away and she was back back to being happy and healthy again. With those bills out of the way, I can now continue to work on customizing. I'm currently learning how to carve and paint lips, which is something I've wanted to learn for the longest time. After I master that part of the process, I'm going to start learning how to airbrush makeup.
I'm a huge, huge, HUGE perfectionist so I think all of the steps during the customization process will take me a while to reach my own standards. In the end, I think all the time and money put towards the hobby will really be worth it. I would love to start my own customization dolly business and I think blogging about my progress will be a great help along the way. ^___^