About seven years ago I started to notice all the custom and replacement parts available with which to customise Blythe Dolls, at the time I didn't have a Blythe but desperately wanted one and after losing gawd knows how many auctions for one and so I was trawling the internet regularly trying to find one to call my own.
I started to believe it was a hopeless task and so began looking at alternatives; this new quest lead me to Little Big Eyes, Baasak, Blybe and various other C.C.E Dolls, all of which became great practice dolls to learn techniques such as sanding, matting, carving, eye chip changing, sleep eye function...
But none of these girls were the real thing and although I loved each of them, the real thing still eluded me...
I began to look seriously at the parts available for customs and repairs and wonder how easy it would be and if it was even possible to build my own Blythe Doll from them, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying, after all if I couldn't do it I could always use the parts in other customs..
I purchased an Azone Pure Neemo Flexion Body in natural skin tone as I really loved the sturdiness of it's design and the amount of articulation points which I felt would give a wide range of natural poses and also be strong enough to support a Blythe's large head and the weight of the eye mechanism inside and also the weight of a long wig.
I chose an RBL face, back plates, dome & Scalp for her head as I like the shape and definition of the chin on this mould better than some of the others which were available at the time.
As I'd already bought the Azone Pure Neemo body I decided to buy a pack of hands from the same range as this would add to the realism of poses my doll would have once finished.
For the eye mechanism it made sense to buy the RBL one as this would fit perfectly inside her head once I'd put the face and back plates together to make her head.
I had quite a few fancy and sparkly eye chips in my customs stash pile which I've been amassing for use in my customs over the years so I had plenty to choose from when making this little girl.
As I had all the other parts ready to make my new girl and as I knew she was going to be something special if for no other reason than the fact that I'd made her - I wanted something cute and kind of special to use for her pulleys.
I had already decided that she would have two, the first would be for the standard "Eye Colour Change" and the second one would be to work for "sleep eye" mechanism.
So I kept a lookout for the perfect and cutest little thing I could find for this purpose.
It took quite a while to find what I was looking for, especially as at the time I had no idea what I was looking for!
This part actually took the longest as although I didn't know what I was looking for I knew I'd know it when I found it... And one day I did when I wasn't even looking for them!
And there they were two absolutely perfect "pulley charms" in the form of a standing wide awake mini Kewpie keychain and the other a closed eye, kneeling (in prayer?) mini Kewpie keychain.
The kneeling one reminded me so much of those adorable chubby children kneeling in prayer by their beds that The Victorians loved to use to illustrate their Greetings Cards, that everything about him said to me "Sleep Eye"!
So there they were the perfect charms, now I just had to buy some strong Rainbow coloured cord to make the pulleys and raid my bead stash pots for the perfect combination of matching beads for each pulley cord.
So now she just needed some hair and so the hunt for the perfect wig began... I had decided she was going to be a cute child-like little girl and so she became as I began carving her mouth, so I decided a baby pink wig was what I would look for, I also wanted it to be long and curly.
I found what I thought was the perfect one and waited eagerly for it to arrive from China so I could try it against her as I was customising her face which would then take her face up in the way she wanted it to go...
I have what probably seems a weird belief which is that the hair of a doll contains quite a lot of that doll's personality.
When the pink wig arrived I of course tried it on her and it did suit the personality she was beginning to exhibit but the top of her head which looked like a ruffled cascade of curls just didn't sit right and look the same as it did in the listing photographs when placed upon her head, so I unpicked that part of it and began to sew the wefts back in place.
While this worked out okay, and looked cute on her, I was no longer sure about it. While I was umming and ahhing over it I spotted a purple wig on sale from a U.K Seller the style was a little more mature than I wanted for her but the price was good and it's always good to have a choice of wigs in your "Customs Stash" so if it wasn't quite right for her I could always use it for someone else.
As it turned out she looks adorable in either although I still haven't decided which one suits her best yet so at the moment she alternates between both!
I sanded and matted her face, carved her mouth into a grumpy little pout, gave definition to her nostrils, added long eyelashes four pairs of sparkly and fancy eye chips and gave her a natural looking face up.
I have to admit that lip carving on a Takara face plate is actually one of the fastest and easiest custom carvings that I have ever done.
I was worried at first as this was my first time carving a Blythe face - until I carved this girl I had only ever carved Little Big Eyes, Lovely doll (Pullip Clone), my Real Pullip's mouth, Baasak dolls, my Icy and various other clone types.
The difference between carving them and carving a Radiant Blythe's face plate is that the file slides through the RBL plastic like a warm knife sliding through butter, while the clones take a lot more effect to get the effort you were going for.
I'm going to have to take some more photographs of her soon as none of those that I've upload so far show her watery eye definition very well, I saw "watery" but what I really mean is those big tears she has under her eyes and just beginning to drop towards her cheeks from where she's had yet another of her tantrums.
She looks kind of cute but as you can probably guess she's a bit of a handful - to be honest she's actually a "Right little Madam" which is actually how she got her name - incase you're wondering she's called "Cry-Baby, Grumpy- Guts" and boy does she ever live up to her name!
She somehow looks even naughtier when her sleep is activated - almost like she's blatantly ignoring you and feeling quite smug about it!
As you can see in this photo' the little Kewpie are the perfect size to be either toys or babies for her.
I made sure that I made the pull strings just long enough so that when she is sitting she can cuddle them on her lap, or hold them in her hands while standing.
I really do love this choice of body on her, it feels so robust but at the same time is quite childlike in a way and yet dainty enough that she can wear sweet little outfits like this one from Sugar Mag.
Not only that it is so easy to pose, all the joints bend and move fluidly without any stiffness which is often found in new articulated body.
This is how she looks in the purple wig, I think it makes her look older and I have to admit I like it on her but I dunno there is something that doesn't quite gel about it, it's probably the age thing, hmmm?