Author: Alison Rasmussen

The Impatient Doll Collector

I’m one of those collectors: the impatient kind. If waiting for a doll to arrive is the hardest part of placing an order, this post is for you.   Not my friends: Pre-orders. I hate long lead-times for dolls. Most dolls are manufactured overseas, and it helps dealers to know how many to order. But really–is nine months necessary? Date postponements. You manufacturers know who you are! If you promise a doll (or preview a doll) and either list a date as “to be determined” or just keep postponing it, it’s frustrating! When all my dolls ship the same month. I love getting dolls in the mail. But $1000 worth of dolls in one month might raise a flag in the usually friendly relationship I have with my husband. Couldn’t you manufacturers time your releases with new Apple product releases? My friends: Lay-away. If I’m waiting months for a doll anyway, why not distribute the cost over that time? Thanks to my dealers who offer this option! In-stock dolls. Especially when dealers stock ball-jointed dolls. These are expensive with lots of options, so I understand why they are sold as preorders. But oh, do I adore you when you keep them in stock! Secondary market dolls. DollPage, message board, and eBay sales–it doesn’t matter. If the doll is in half-way decent condition, and can get into my hands in less...

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Sticking to your Budget Among New Releases

It’s that time of year again–newly released dolls at IDEX and Toyfair always tempt me. Consider these tips when growing your collection. While downloading my bank’s activity this morning, a transaction from my regular doll dealer appeared. Quicken helpfully asked, “Would you like me to make this a recurring transaction?” Heck no! And please don’t make this suggestion to my  husband next time he’s reconciling our checking account! It’s that time of year again–newly released dolls at IDEX and Toyfair always tempt me. Consider these dos and don’ts when adding to your collection: Do: Make wish lists and budget accordingly. Planning for anticipated arrivals is an exciting part of collecting! Take advantage of doll dealers’ layaway plans, especially on pre-orders. Shop for previous years’ dolls, also. Consider splits (just the doll or outfit), or new wigs or face-ups for dolls you already have in your collection, if your budget is limited. Enjoy the dolls you have! Rotate the dolls in your collection. If you redress your dolls or restyle hair, now is the perfect time. Take photos and play with your current collection. Don’t: Spend too much time at photo sites like Flickr. These sites are the worst enablers of all! Seeing real-life photos of my dream dolls is the death of my budget. Feel like you have to add an entire line of dolls to your collection all...

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Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners: Body Blushing

Any instructional on “how to make ball-jointed dolls” would include this Body Blushing Instructional from our former blogger. Enjoy! – Ed. I love the realistic look of BJDs. Adding a body blush enhances a doll’s body sculpt and is an easy way to customize your doll and make her your own. The technique is straightforward: add several shades of pastels to the valleys of the body and blend. Supplies: A resin sealer. I prefer Mr. Superclear for larger dolls. You can also use Testor’s DullCote, but this attracts dirt pretty easily, and I prefer this for smaller surfaces (face-ups and smaller dolls). Chalk pastels. Most will work, but I don’t recommend square scrapbooking chalks. These are flaky and don’t blend well. Several brushes. I use a large round brush (size 6) and a small angled brush (size 1/8). Magic Eraser Preparation: Before you begin, remove your doll’s head. Gently clean her body using a Magic Eraser. Make sure she is free from stains. (The model in the photos is Cookie by Island Doll.) Get instruction like this in your mailbox (on real paper!) Subscribe Today. Doll Body Blushing Technique 1. Prime the doll by spraying her with sealer. This will make her a little tacky so the pastels will stick. Let dry, and repeat on the other side. Make sure you have plenty of ventilation, following the directions on...

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Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners – Sueding Your Doll

Does your new ball-jointed beauty kick you or fall over when she should be posing? Sueding might fix your problems! Sueding adds friction between the ball and socket to give your doll a little more stability and control when she stands and poses. Also, if your doll has body blushing, you should consider sueding. Sueding’s extra layer helps protect the color from wear. You should already have the supplies on hand: Sharp scissors Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus (self-adhesive microsuede available at Target) I need to credit where credit is due. I learned this no-burn method from Pam of Dollovely at the San Diego BJD Convention in December last year. I am so thankful for this technique! I suede my doll’s hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and neck. You will need to remove your doll’s head, but should be able to complete the job without restringing. The moleskin adheres to the socket part of your doll’s joint. We’ll suede half of the joint at a time. Sueding a Doll First, cut a half-circle about the size of the joint you want to suede. Then, cut pie slices from the center of the circle nearly to the edge of the circle, but don’t cut all the way to the edge. This way, the moleskin will lie flat in the the socket. Remove the adhesive backing and adhere it inside the socket,...

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Ball-Jointed Dolls for Beginners – Customization

So you’re new to BJDs. Want to know the history behind customization, and what you need to get started? Let me help. So you’re new to BJDs. Want to know the history behind customization, and what you need to get started? Let me help. A brief history In the late 19th century, German and French doll makers used ball joints in bisque dolls. They showed up in Japanese art dolls in 1930. It wasn’t until 1999 that Volks created Dollfie, geared towards female collectors, in a Garage Kit. The doll came unstrung and blank, for the ultimate customizing experience. Super Dollfie followed in 2000. More than basic supplies Assuming you have an assembled doll, and the basic supplies I’ve already recommended: Resin primer and sealer. Think quality. My favorite is Mr. Superclear.  You’ll have to buy this from a dealer, such as the Junky Spot. I’ve tried Testor’s DullCote, and it works well for faces and small areas, and it’s easier to find. But as a less-experienced user, I find it attracts dirt more easily than MSC. Chalk pastels and/or watercolor pencils. These don’t have to be professional, but be sure nothing is oil-based. Square scrapbooking pastels tend to be too flakey. Gloss sealer of your choice. This is necessary for adding a shiny finish to eyes, nails or lips. Liquitex gloss medium is nice, or you can spend...

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Ball-Jointed Dolls – What Supplies Do You Need to Get Started?

So you’re getting ready to order your first BJD. What supplies will you need? Doll accessories: At least one wig. Measure your doll’s head circumference. If it’s 7.5”, your doll wears a size 7/8. At least one pair of eyes. Your doll will probably come with “random” eyes, so it’s not a bad idea to a pair you like. Shoes made for your doll’s feet. Each company is different, so check sizes carefully. An outfit. You can sew it, if you like! Maintenance supplies: Magic Eraser. This is a must-have for cleaning stains off resin dolls. It can also remove your doll’s face-up and shouldn’t be used on dipped dolls, as it may remove color. Strong glue. Just in case you drop the doll and a finger breaks, you’ll need glue for repairs. Mack’s silicone ear plugs. These ear plugs are softer than putty and come out in one piece. They are perfect for holding the doll’s eyes in place. Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus. You’ll need this for making a wig cap. Cut several small strips, remove the adhesive backing, and place them horizontally across your doll’s head cap. This will keep your doll’s wig from slipping, and it won’t tear hair out of your wigs. Use it for sueding your doll, too. (I’ll cover this later.) You can also use a low-temperature hot glue gun. Aileen’s Fast Grab...

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