Saturday, September 24, 2016

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store?

Anna made a trip to a nearby store to purchase what she hoped to be useful doll props.  The name of this establishment, Party City.Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store?

As the name implies, they sell supplies for birthday parties and other celebrations.  The idea of finding suitable doll sized items at such a store seems odd, but Anna says she got the idea from watching a video from My Froggy Stuff.  I will try to be optimistic about the matter.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? What's in the bag?

Anyway, let us see what sort of treasures Anna has found.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Tiny composition notebooks

First we have various small notebooks and notepads.  They would be absolutely perfect for writing down important thoughts and details.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? The notebook would work better for a Barbie Doll

Pity that they are too tiny for my purposes.  Sigh.  I suppose they would be more suitable for a small fashion doll. 

They will make a lovely present for Cerise, the charming little doll belonging to Anna’s niece (see Of Bjd Fashion: Dresses to Sew and a Tutorial).

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Ball jointed doll holding a phone book

As for myself, I may be able to make use of this larger notebook Anna manage to discover.  The scale is perfect, though it does appear to be a phone book.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Cute tiny memo pads

Of course these might be of use to me as well.  They are small memo pads.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Cute tiny memo pads

The size is fitting and the design is delightfully whimsical.

Don’t get any ideas Hikaru, I bought those for myself.  They were just too cute to pass up.

Fine then, the design is too childish for me anyway.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Pretty bouncy balls!

Speaking of children, there is this beautiful toy ball that is probably intended for our dear little Sakura. 

After all, who else but a small child would be interested in such a thing.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? "Can I play with it?"

“Oooh, that is so pretty!  Can I hold it? :)

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Pretty toy ball for a doll

Alright, Usagi is but a child at heart.  But mature individuals such as myself have no need for such toys.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Bouncy ball for a doll

“Are you sure about that, don’t you want to play with it?  It’s really pretty.”

It’s nothing but a ball.  An iridescent simmering ball, full of sparkling stars….twinkling in ever color imaginable…..Ohh.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? "Are you sure you don't want to play with it?"

…Um, no!  Certainly not, I have no interest in playing with such things.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? "Can I play too?"

“Ohh, what a pretty ball.  Can I play with it too Usagi?”

“Sure Sakura.  Hikaru says she doesn’t want to, so we have it all to ourselves.”

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Playing with balls

“What’s wrong Miss Ghost Lady, I thought you liked pretty things?”

Hikaru, is this going to be like the stuff animal thing? (see Ball Jointed Dolls and Plush Toys)

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? What's in the bag?

That’s enough, there must be something else in here of use to me.Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Hello Kitty stickers!

Sigh, more stuff for the “children”.

Actually I bought those for myself too.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Hello Kitty stickers!

A sheet of Hello Kitty stickers (that were on clearance!) and a Hello Kitty pencil sharpener.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Hello Kitty Stickers!

“How cute! I wish I could have some stickers.”

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Hello Kitty Stickers!

If you behave yourself Usagi, I may share some of the smaller ones with you.  They are the perfect size for dolls.

“Yay!”

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Tiny watercolor paint set

Now here is something I can definitely use.  It is a delightful set of water color paints.  Just imagine all the great works of art I can create, that is as soon as I learn how to paint.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Food erasers

And last but not least, there is a lovely assortment of food shaped erasers.  They are the perfect size for us.  Most of them seem to be desserts, but far be it from me to refuse such sweet offerings.Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Food erasers for dolls

Of course there is some sensible options for our dear Sakura as well.  A sandwich and a wholesome apple, a perfect lunch for our growing little girl.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? "Can I have some ice cream?"

“Miss Ghost Lady, can’t I have some ice cream too?”

Sakura dear, it’s not good for you to have too many sweets.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store? Food erasers for dolls

“Usagi…”

“Don’t worry, you get some too.  Hikaru is just hogging the rest because she loves sweets too much and doesn’t want to admit it. :)

That simply is not true Usagi!  Though I do delight in such delicacies I do not hoard them.

Finding Doll Props: At The Party Store?

Anyway, I am very much impressed with the wide selection of useful trinkets found at this “party store”.  I would also very much like to see more of their wares in the future, preferably in person. 

If only Anna would allow me to accompany her on her shopping excursions.  Maybe someday, but for now I am at peace.

Read More »

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Doll Owner’s Corner: Saving for a Doll

This post may contain affiliate links, for more info see our disclosures page.  Thanks!

It’s the first of the month, time for another Doll Owner’s Corner.  When I, the doll owner, can talk about anything without the dolls.

This month’s topic:

Doll Owner's Corner: Saving for a Doll

Saving for A Doll

Or “How do you afford to buy one?!”

Last month I discussed how much ball jointed dolls cost and the reasons for their hefty price tags.  I also mentioned a few ways to bring down their costs, which is all well and good.  But even at a lower cost, you still need a decent wad of cash to purchase your doll.  Where do you get that?

By saving.  When you really want something, you put money away (like in a savings account) until you have enough.  Easier said than done, right?  Not when you know how to manage your money.

I have actually read a fair number of books and articles on personal finance and thrifty living.  So I have learned at least a few tips that help.

First up is setting up a budget.  Oh no! Not that!  Anything but that!  Relax.  Another term for budget is money plan, because that’s what you are doing.  Making a plan of what to do with your money.   You figure out how much money you have coming in, this is your “income”.  And then you figure out where it will go, these are your “expenses”.

Here’s some resources on budgeting:

 

And here’s my take on budgeting.

Your fixed expenses include things like rent and utilities, debts, etc., things you have to pay and have little control over. 

You also have necessary expenses for things like clothing, food, etc.  These are things you need but have choices.  Like you can choose to buy convenience foods and spend more on food, or buy fresh foods on sale and spend less. 

And of course you have other expenses for things like books/magazines, entertainment, etc.  Things you don’t need at all, but want anyway.

Your dolls sadly fall into that last category.  But you have tons of choices there.  Like choosing not to go to a certain concert or movie, and choosing something else instead.  Notice how much I use words like “choice”.

Budgeting is all about choice.

There’s a simple thing I learned reading an article from The Simple Dollar about frugality.  Basically, you choose to cut spending in areas that don’t really matter to you so you have more money for the things that are really important to you.

For me, and maybe for you, what’s important is my dolls and related hobbies (sewing!).   Things that aren’t that important to me?  The list is too long to put here, but one thing that comes to mind is my phone. 

I don’t have a smart phone because I don’t feel the need for one.  I just prefer a computer screen for things like social media and games.  The only things I need from a phone is voice and text.  So instead of paying $70+ a month for phone service, I only pay about $14 a month (and I’m rewarded for referring people, here’s the link).  That’s over $50 a month saved and over $600/year.  More than enough for a new doll.

Another example, I do love my hair, but not enough to pay through the nose for my shampoo and conditioner.  The one I buy is the store brand version of one I really love . They both come in large bottles that last a long time, and the store brand is about $2 less per bottle normally.  When it’s on sale I stock up.  It saves me approximately $10/year, which may not seem like much, but little things like this can add up.

 

Doll Owner's Corner: Saving for a Doll: Or what's really important?

 

And What About the Important Stuff?

There are so many other choices you can make, even on things that do matter. 

Example, I shop at thrift stores.  I can find items really cheap that I can use for the dolls and my other interests, like fabrics and such (Hikaru really pointed this out in this post).  Plus I can find cute clothes and other stuff I “need” for really great prices.

Of course thrift store shopping is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are tons of other ways to save money on pretty much everything.  And every little bit you save means more money in your budget for the finer things in life.

Here are more resources to help you save:

I hope all this will help get you at least a little closer to affording whatever you wish for, a new doll or otherwise.  And if you have ideas of your own, please share them below.

Read More »

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?

Anna has been sewing for herself as of late, but that hasn’t stopped her from making a few pieces for us dolls.

She recently altered a dress to make a skirt.  It was made of a lovely pink eyelet cotton fabric and naturally she had plenty leftover.  Enough to make a few articles of doll clothing for myself and my fellow ball jointed dolls.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short? Cute pink halter dress for yosd sized ball jointed doll

Clothing such as this adorable dress.  As usual, our dear little Sakura looks absolutely precious in it.  The pink color is very becoming on her.  The bodice is a halter style which is ideal for this warm late Summer weather.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?: Cute pink halter top and matching skirt for msd sized ball jointed doll.

Anna also made Usagi this outfit which consists of a halter style top and matching skirt.  I will admit it does look quite fetching on Usagi, if only her skirt wasn’t so terribly short.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short? Cute pink eyelet skirt for msd sized ball jointed doll.

Anna made a skirt for myself as well, and while it isn’t nearly as revealing as Usagi’s it is a little more lacking in length than I would prefer.  I just can’t comprehend why Anna continues to fashion such miniscule skirts.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?

Why, because it’s cute.  Usagi likes shorter skirts because they are so cute and easy to move around in and pose for pictures. 

Plus they look pretty good on Hikaru too.  She has nicely molded legs and it wouldn’t kill her to show them off a little once in a while.

I suppose it isn’t such a terrible thing to wear something this far above the knee, occasionally.  And my legs are something to behold.

Anyway, Sakura and Usagi seem to be enjoying their new outfits.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?: The dolls are enjoying their new outfits

You look so cute!”

“You look so cute!”

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?: "You look pretty."

“You look pretty too Miss Ghost Lady.”

Why thank you Sakura.

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?

“But you’re knees look a little weird.”

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?

“Is that why you always wear really, really long skirts?”

…Weird?…

…My name is Hikaru, not Ghost Lady!

Of Bjd Fashion: Pretty and Pink and Short?

Anyway, our new articles of clothing will serve us well.  And I am curious to see what other pleasant surprises will spring up from Anna’s sewing endeavors in the near future.  For now I am at peace.

Read More »

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue?

Anna’s mother was shopping at a local used bookstore and discovered something glorious for us.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue?

It is a special issue of Haute Doll magazine, entitled the Volks Super Dollfie Issue.  Almost entirely devoted to ball jointed dolls from Volks. 

According to Anna, Volks is the company that first started producing ball jointed dolls such as myself.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? January 2005

Although it is an older edition, from January 2005, I’m sure this publication will be most informative or at the very lease entertaining. 

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? Checking out the clothes.

The featured photos are inspiring.  This dress is quite chic.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? Checking out the clothes.

And this dress would look darling on me.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? The doll wants that dress.

Anna, you simply must make me a dress like this one.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? A really pretty doll dress

Like that?  You are asking a lot of me Hikaru.

Certainly not, you are quite adept at sewing ruffles and other details.  It’s a skill that is underused in much of your recent sewing.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? Looking at an article about doll conventions.

What is going on here?

It’s Dolpa or Doll Party.  It’s a convention hosted by Volks,

So many outfits that would look smashing on me.

You know this is not a catalog. 

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? Looking at the clothes

Are you certain about that Anna?  There is quite a lot of fine merchandise.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? The doll wants the jeans.

“Oh Anna!  What are those?”

Those are jeans, Usagi.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? "Aren't they cute!"

“Can I have a pair, please? :)”

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue? "You can not be serious!"

You can not be serious.  Those tattered things!

Hikaru, if Usagi wants a pair of jeans, she can have them.  It’s not like anyone is making you wear them.

Perish the thought.

Bjd Lifestyle: Haute Doll Magazine, The Bjd Issue?

Overall, I’d say this is a wonderful find.  I am quite curious to see what is offered in the more current issues of this fine publication.  Maybe Anna could purchase a subscription for me.  Or perhaps we can look for other publications.

For now I shall continue to peruse this delightful magazine over some tea.  Be at peace.

Read More »

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Few Treats from The Craft Store

Anna made a small trip to a local craft store recently, you can see more details about it here on her blog.

Naturally she purchased several more items then she intended, and that included items beneficial to me, I mean us dolls.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Felt for doll clothes? Among other supplies.

For instance, Anna purchase a generous amount of felt.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Felt for doll clothes?

So many lovely colors, and they are perfect for warm clothing for the upcoming Fall and Winter seasons.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Gray felt would make great doll coats.

These grays for instance would make charming jackets for me.  Maybe fitted with a rounded collar and...

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Tiny faux pearls for doll jewelry?

Anyway, she also bought an enormous amount of faux pearls.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: 3 mm faux pearls

Specifically 3 millimeter size pearls, perfectly sized for doll jewelry and accessories.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Doll pearl necklace

They aren’t as fine as the lovely pearls in my necklace here (see A Doll's Birthday, or It Was), but they will be quite satisfactory for a number of pieces for myself and my fellow ball jointed dolls.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Musical instrument pendants for doll use?

This piece is a little odd.  It is a jewelry piece shaped like an instrument.  Anna has been trying hard to find suitable doll props, without much luck I’m afraid.

Even if I were interested in playing percussion instruments, I’m afraid this tambourine is a bit too small.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store:  Use jewelry pieces as doll accessories

“What’s that Miss Ghost Lady?”

Ah, there you are Sakura.  This is a small tambourine, and may I remind you that my name is Hikaru.  Not Ghost Lady.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Use jewelry pieces as doll accessories

“Is it a toy?  Can I play with it?”

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Tambourine for dolls?

I suppose at that size, it probably would work as a child’s toy.

A Few Treats from The Craft Store: Tambourine for dolls?

And Sakura seems entranced by it.  Maybe it will be useful after all.

Overall I feel that although Anna did bring home a few useful things, she has once again forgotten a few necessary supplies. 

Autumn is fast approaching, and we have so many more ball jointed dolls to clothe this year.  We need more seasonally appropriate dress fabrics and doll scale ribbon.  I am picturing plaids for this season as well as navy blues and dusty pinks. 

A Few Treats from The Craft Store

Maybe next time Anna should allow me to accompany her.  Then I could prevent her from leaving the store without all that is necessary.

Actually, I think if I took Hikaru with me we would never leave because she would want me to buy the whole store.

But I will take her “fashion predictions” into consideration.  In fact I have a few ideas of my own.  Look forward to them.

Read More »

Monday, August 1, 2016

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll

It’s the first of the month, time for another Doll Owner’s Corner.  When I, the doll owner, get to talk about anything at all without the dolls getting in the way.

This month’s topic:

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Or "Why are these dolls so expensive?!"The Cost

Or “why are these dolls so expensive?!” :(

This is the sad cry of every ball jointed doll owner, as well as collectors of certain other adorable yet expensive dolls (American Girl, I’m looking at you).  But it is especially the case with the bjd. 

This is a genre where dolls that sell new for under $300 (here’s a list of them on Den of Angels) are considered cheap and budget friendly.  And that’s the price without any clothes, hair or face up (see Doll Owner's Corner: The Face Up), which could tack on an extra 80+ dollars.  And we haven’t gotten to shipping yet.

Why so much for a single doll? 

Well first off, there’s materials.  Hikaru mentions endlessly how she is finely molded and cast from resin.  She isn’t just being full of it.  Resin is a very fine and rather expensive type of plastic.  One that is dangerous to work with and takes time to properly and safely cast.

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Who makes them?

Second, there’s the companies themselves.  These are very small companies/studios, not big old factories.  No mass production here.  Most of the time, your doll is made by hand when you order it from the company.  Plus most, but not all of the companies that make these dolls are overseas.  This means a high cost of shipping and possible customs charges depending on where you live.  That definitely adds to the costs.

Third, the extras.  Remember, I said that “cheap” $300 didn’t include hair, clothes or face.  And depending on what kind of character your doll has, they can run quite steep.  That’s because if you can’t find an outfit or wig exactly the way you want it and in a size that fits your doll, then you have to get them custom made.

Now there’s a bright side to all this and it involves that term “custom made”.  The point of ball jointed dolls that gets people so hooked on them is that they can be customized.  The fact that you can do much of the “customizing” yourself can help bring down the costs.

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Making doll clothes helps.

For example, the clothes.  If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that Hikaru and her doll friends don’t own a single piece of clothing that I haven’t made myself.  And as I pointed out in last month’s Doll Owner’s Corner, it doesn’t have to cost very much for materials.  And many patterns are available for free (checkout the Tutorial Directory).

It doesn’t stop at the clothes, you can make tons of stuff for these dolls including wigs, eyes, props, furniture, etc. and even do their face ups yourself (if you have the nerve, unlike me).  Plus these are all items/services you can sell to others to help earn money for other things.  Like more dolls maybe.  :)

Of course even if you make/do everything for them yourself there is still that initial cost of the doll.  There is something you can do about that as well. 

Doll Owner’s Corner: The Cost of a Doll: Waiting for sales helps.

Like most things you buy, these dolls do go on sale at times.  And companies will have special events.  Usually things where if you buy certain items you get a free gift, like parts or sometimes a small sized doll. 

That’s how I got Usagi’s “friend”, the head (see Welcome Home: Doll Family-A Unboxing).  He was a free gift when I bought her, on sale of course.  And if I wait for a sale to buy him a body, I will have a complete doll for considerably less than his retail price.

So overall, ball jointed dolls can break your heart with their high costs.  But if you are careful about what you buy and when, then the costs don’t have to hurt quite as much.

Read More »

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Anna has reached the end of her crafting challenge on her own blog.  However, that doesn’t rid her of her obligation to clothe us dolls.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Anyway, for this final week, Anna chose to craft some doll sized footwear for Usagi.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: Lace Sandals for a msd sized ball jointed doll

Sandals to be exact.  How very appropriate for the current warm weather.  I do remember receiving my first pair of sandals (see Of Bjd Fashion: Lace and Ribbon Sandals).  I am sad to say that mine are not nearly as well designed as this new pair made for Usagi.

The lace used is wonderful, the ribbon edge too, and the soft foam soles are like walking on air.  Plus, the well secured straps prevent any accidental loss of footwear.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: simpler sandals for a msd sized ball jointed doll

Anna also made this pair of sandals for Usagi as well.  They are considerably more on the casual side. 

Though I do love the use of that same wonderful lace, she left out all the details that make the other pair so beautiful and practical.  I suppose there is some benefit in how quick they are to put on.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Still, Usagi loves both pairs of shoes.  She hasn’t stopped staring at them since she received them.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Someone else hasn’t stopped staring at her own tiny toes either.  Anna made a couple pairs of sandals for little Sakura as well.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: Lace sandals for a yosd sized ball jointed doll.

This pair is a slightly more simplified version of the delightful sandals she made for Usagi. 

Anna used elastic instead of ribbon for the ankle strap.  It is a bit more practical for a yosd sized doll, and thankfully doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetic.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: simpler sandals for a yosd sized ball jointed doll.

Sadly, Anna also made another pair of the overly simplified sandals for Sakura.  Mark my words, the child will lose them by the end of the week.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Still, she seems to be enjoying them immensely. 

Anyway, I shall spend the rest of the day watching my fellow dolls fuss over their brand new sandals, while I shall be content with my old, poorly designed pair.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: "There's a pair for you too."

“Anna told me to give these to you Miss Ghost Lady.”

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial: "For me?"

“She made them just for you because she thought you needed a new pair.”

…Thank you…

…..

…And my name isn’t Ghost Lady!

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

They did it to me again.  Anna surprised me with a new pair of sandals made with this gorgeous lace.  They look wonderful on my dainty feet.  I shall get much use out of them.

And as with many other useful doll items, Anna has made another video tutorial to teach others how to make these beautiful sandals.

May the video prove helpful.

Now since we all have proper footwear, it would be a fine time to go outside and find a pleasant place to have some tea.  Right ladies?

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial

Sorry Hikaru, they can’t hear you because they are admiring their new sandals.

Of Bjd Fashion: Improved Lace Sandals with a Tutorial I suppose it’s fine to have our tea at home.  Plus it is much easier to admire my own fine new footwear without fear of getting them dirty.  Be at peace my dear readers.

Read More »