Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Yesterday was my first blogoversary. Yay, I guess? I don't have many accomplishments to be proud of. It's not bad, it's a great improvement over the B.B. (before Blogger) era, but I still have a lot of things to work on. I'm glad I decided to start this blog. It kept my scattered brain somehow under control. I can easily count everything I managed over the past year. This is exactly what I'll do in this post - celebrate my little victories and plan new conquests.

So, exactly one year ago I started out with a shelf of 11 Barbies and a Ken and three Monster High in a corner on the TV table. I was reading less than five (I think?) doll blogs through email updates. Three items of clothing and two pairs of shoes were in the making. During this year, one piece of clothing and one pair of shoes got finished. Then I made another pair of shoes and some stockings. Three Barbies, 13 Monster High and one J-doll arrived in my home (then one MH left to a friend). I started tackling doll hair care and then went up to my elbows in it. Seriously, most of my dolly time was spent fixing hair on all the new dolls, mostly glue leaks. I tried some hair styling - cuts and curls. Prepped a head for reroot, found yarn for it, all that's left is to find time. Rooted a few plugs into Ken's head.

More fixing went into outfits - correcting seams, widening skirts. I don't have a tutorial up for that last one yet. I have a fresh picture of my MH shelf, can you guess the other three modified outfits?

Not all the dolls are here - some are busy.
Oh, and I have a collection of cat decorations.

Just for balance, this is the "Barbie" shelf. It's grown, too, but some dolls are at Mum's.

There's a Pinterest board where I want to keep my WIPs together. The Pinterest account, too, was created last year. I'm not an avid pinner and for me it's a handy tool for organizing my ideas. It's where the doll haircuts are waiting patiently for a post, too.

Layered and braided. Used to be Picture Day Draculaura.

There are 10 tutorials that I did manage to write. I even wrote the first of hopefully many jewellery patterns, although I didn't make a single piece of (human) jewellery this year. I took my seed beads out one time, but it was to make a tree. Another non-doll related creative project was a drawing. I hadn't drawn anything in ages before it.

An important change the blog brought was that I got to know a lot of cool bloggers (see many of them here ---------------->). I'm very grateful to have found likely-minded people with whom I can share this hobby. Here in my city, hubby is pretty much my only active supporter (brings dolls and lets me go nuts with them ^^). I have a hard time finding doll supplies for what I want to do, because OOAK-ing seems to be non-existent here and there isn't sufficient demand for 1/6th crafting. So this online community is my refuge and every little interaction in the form of a greeting, comment or advice goes a long way. I've become more confident and active thanks to the encouragement I felt and I found myself able to scavenge interesting fabrics and broken earrings from complete strangers (more on that another time). I have a nice stash now, waiting to be put to good use :)

A while ago, there was a short discussion about New Year's resolutions on the doll forum. That's what I said there:
"I'm actively looking for a fancier (but not too expensive doll), like a J-doll (or Ellowyne - a girl can dream?). I want to diversify a bit my doll collection, post on the blog more than twice a month, reroot my first Barbie and Ken, repaint at least the 4 faceless dolls I have, make a traditional outfit, a Santa costume, a secret cosplay costume, a secret corset, finish my boots, make shoes for two barefoot dolls... More sewing, jewellery and shoe making would be very welcome. First of all I need to find a desk, a lamp and get rid of a kitten I'm fostering."
So far, it worked out pretty well. I gave away the kitty (to a nice girl! don't worry), miraculously came into the possession of a J-doll, so far posted more than twice a month, put a dozen plugs into Ken, Barbie has all the necessary supplies too, just need some time for it; the materials for the secret cosplay costume are 90% gathered, the second boot is started. I don't have a proper lamp and desk yet but I have to think of something to make repaints possible. Those paints aren't going to keep forever. I want to make the traditional outfit by August, but it's the second year I keep looking for white chemise fabric and I can't find anything remotely close.

To these I will add:
- making a picture header for the blog
- wigging J-doll and the Draculaura she'll be borrowing hair from
- making lots of punk doll jewellery. Hubby wants us to do some spring wardrobe revisions and I made a list of stuff I want. I've been meaning to try nail stamping for a while. I hit the beauty supply store. To make the following perfectly clear, the extent of my nail decorating knowledge is covering polish smudges with floral stickers from a 10-year old sheet. So anyway... I opened the page and gawked at the things people put on, and even in their nails. Guys. This is doll jewellery heaven! I wishlisted all the studs and metal things, and then some tiny framed(!) cameos and rhinestone mixes. The only catch is that they sell these things in huge quantities, so now I'm thinking I'll need to look into opening an Etsy or Ebay store where to dump all the experiments. (All information and advice about that is very welcome!)

There, I got caught in a brainstorm again. I'll say good bye now, but I'll be back soon with an Easter post. I invite all readers who have a blog to write their blog "birthday" in the comments. How did writing a blog benefit the activities you write about? Do you set any goals, and if yes, how often do you do it?
If you don't have a blog, do you consider writing one?

To more fulfilling years
The Black Kitty


  1. "Not all the dolls are here - some are busy." May I inquire what they are busy doing, lol?

    My blog's birthday is 12/2/11. I had only been collecting about 10 months before I started my blog and I was collecting sporadically, maybe having 4 or 5 dolls by the time I started a blog. I kind of blog in spurts and not with any real regularity it seems like. I share when I've done or found something interesting. I've tried to set goals, but often time I find them stifling so I just go with the flow.

    1. Hey, your blog is more than twice older than mine! Congrats! You got really far from 4-5 dolls to all the head shrinking and crazy things you do now :)

      The missing MH are working as mannequins (hands and forearms removed), receiving stain treatment or waiting for a perm. The Barbies and Ken are getting tooth/foot surgery, waiting for hair or sitting naked because they don't have clothes that fit.

  2. Congratulations on your blogoversary, BlackKitty! :) You have a lot to be proud of. I can't wait to see what you accomplish in the coming year. :)

    It's been such a privilege getting to know you through the blogging world. Comments from you always brighten my day. :)

    Keep up the good work!

    1. I'm so glad to know you, too! You are so awesome as a person and a great inspiration. Every time I write about some kind of problem and a curse word comes to the fingertips I always think of you and rephrase because OMG what if Beastsbelle sees it??...
      Since you didn't write your blog b-day, I went and checked - wow - it's turning 4 this July! Now that's an accomplishment!

  3. Wow, I've been doll blogging longer than I thought -- since July 2013. Still not a year yet, though. I've enjoyed it very much, and I've met lots of great people, present company included. I don't do anything with doll hair or faces, but I do want to step it up with sewing for doll clothes.

    I love the black lace-up boot on your Barbie, although I only see one. ??

    1. I know your blog is young, but I have high hopes! I like your sewing projects and the perseverance with which you pursue your hobby. It's ok not to customize dolls; I know plenty of collectors who who don't even change the clothes and they still rock. Keep doing what you like, and I guess we'll be eating cake this July? :)
      About that boot, it's my first serious footwear project which I put together to see how it works and when I started the second one I kept misplacing the tools for hammering eyelets. Now hubby has a new set of tiny screwdrivers (which I used for that purpose) and I can have the old ones whenever I please. There's really no excuse for me to postpone the boot any further.

  4. Happy blogoversary!!! :D I love the retrospective! Just look at all you accomplished! Really, you might think it wasn't that much, but it was a LOT of projects, tuts, hair care (isn't that fun?), sewing, drawing, supplies gathering, etc, not to mention the non doll related activities and so many things. So, big congrats to you for doing all that. ^__^ There are a few posts I missed (the one on correcting seams for example, tomorrow I'll read it with more time), and it's great to have all gathered here so I can go and check them out. I'll be looking forward to your next posts and projects! The doll jewelry ones I'm very curious about (tiny cameos, really? Oh my *___*).
    As for etsy and ebay, I don't know much, I keep hearing ebay has many fees and all, and so far I don't remember hearing anything bad on etsy. I visted some etsy shops a while ago when browsing for kumihimos, and it looked very nice and professional, much better than ebay (at least when it comes to appearance). But I didn't try any of them, so I can't say anything for sure.
    And finally, my blogoversary will be on the 8 of october. I hope to have at least doubled the number of posts till there. XD I'm going sloooow, but soon I'll be back to it. =) (For weeks I rerooted in my spare time and took so many pics to do a reroot post, now I'm nearly done with them, then there will be sorting and writing.) Having the blog (and following yours) helps giving me a push to keep going and not giving up on dollies, which helps a lot, specially when life adversities strike. I set goals (monthly) and keep to-do lists (daily), for many areas (even for house works, sometimes). I do a 5' weekley review with 3 questions on sunday (what went well, what not so well, to focus next week). I don't follow everything I write, but having the intentions written helps a lot in making things go from paper to reality, and also I keep track of all I did, so I don't have excuses to be so hard on myself when I skip one task or another (I'm like, "ok I did not do this, but I did that and that, so it's great for now!").

    Oh, and almost forgot! I love the cat decorations! <3

    (And.. Wow, I think this time I broke my record on the longest comment. XD)

    1. I love long comments! I rarely get more than a couple of sentences out in return, but I enjoy reading big walls of text ;) That's a lot of kind words you're sending my way. It feels very warm and fuzzy. Your encouragement motivates me to go on and I'm glad the feeling is mutual. I'm sure you'll have more posts by your first blogoversary. You already have 4 and the important thing is that you like doing it. I'm excited about the reroots post, it will come in very handy! I did one with thin yarn and Ken is getting real hair from a cheap old doll. The head in Teresa's hands in the picture above is getting thick yarn and I was wondering if I should slice between several holes to connect them or drill new ones altogether. So yeah, definitely very useful. Thanks for all the advice!
      Now I'll let you drool at the cameos (proof that I wasn't kidding!): http://www.aliexpress.com/item/9X11MM-3d-nail-decoration-enamel-girl-nail-jewelry-silver-metal-nail-studs-DIY-accessories-30pcs/1507050168.html

    2. Hahaha! Glad you like them, because huge walls of text is what you'll normally get from me. XD I get carried away and want to comment everything... *___* And I'm happy my comments motivate you! You do have the same effect on me, with your comments and posts! But sending that link... THAT was mean! XD I'm still drooling at those cameos, and can't wait to see what you'll do after you'll get your hands on them. <3
      But as for the reroot, I really do not recommend slicing between holes, this could end up causing the head to split. You can use a thicker needle with a big eye and make new ones, that should do. Here, this reroot was done in plastic thingies and a big needle: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23258422@N03/5517364964/in/set-72157623824701396 (blurry pics, sorry). I'll have the post done soon, I promise! ^^

    3. That's good advice! I was just going to hack away with a knife but I'll try different methods on my test doll first. My yarn looks thicker than your plastic strips (by the way, that was a MEAN assortment of stuff for the challenge!). I obviously can't double it for rooting the usual way, but maybe I can get away with just poking it into the holes. Oh, my poor test doll better hide!
      If it makes you feel better, I decided against the cameos because they are still too big, despite being the smallest I could find, but I'm plotting a better idea. I did get some metal thingies that look like tiny ornate connectors, round and square 2mm studs... and two brand new MH for under 15$ together (I hope it's not a joke). I'll show everything once it arrives. You can buy the same stuff too, there's no need to drool when the goodies are only a few $ away :)

    4. It was mean! XD We all were expecting fabrics and trims, and when we opened the envelope.. surprise! But it was a good exercise to, I have to confess!
      You don't have to double the yarn, you can tie the ends together (sooo sorry I didn't finish the tut yet.. XP Ugh.. I will! This week I finally have a bit of free time), I tied the ends of the plastics, I think each 2 or 3 I tied together. Just be sure to pull till they are VERY firm. They won't untie, the next knots will keep everything together inside the head.
      And sorry to hear you gave up on the cameos, but whatever you pick will look awesome with your creativity and skills! And unfortunatelly I can't buy from aliexpress for now, they don't accept paypal and I don't have a credit card. But ok, eventually I'll fix that. ^^ For now that serves me, it helps resisting the temptations (like those monster high dolls! I saw the Draculaura you got a while ago, the one that looks so classy! *___* I'm curious to see the next ones, btw)!

    5. For the yarn, I meant doubling it for the loop method... two strands in one hole. I'll have to go with the knot method with that yarn. Maybe. I'll test first.
      Don't be sorry about the cameos. I still saved some unframed ones in my wishlists, they are 6x8mm. I saw a girl on etsy has 5x7 and believe me, the difference is noticeable. However... hers are 3$ a piece. My plan is to put together a printable sheet and experiment with glues and polishes to give it volume. We'll see how that works out!
      Now I'm just curious - how do you get paypal to work without a credit card? I think I have one from every bank for all these different purposes. I even made one just for aliexpress, we buy everything except food from them...

    6. Yes, testing is the way to go! I keep a bunch of test dolls for whenever I need to try something I never did. But of course, I started doing that only after ruining some good dolls.. ^^' And wow, 3$ a piece is a bit pricey.. I love your plan of printing and adding volume (resourceful girl you are! :D), I think it has all the potential to work, and will also be great for different styles and colors.
      The paypal trick is to buy credits from someone else. I tried different people until I found the Moneyinworld site (I use them since 2009). I contact them and say how much usd I need (or euros), if they have it available (and they usually do) then I make a deposit in their bank account, and a few days later they send the paypal credits, without any fees discounted. I can use the credits for almost any site that accepts paypal, though some still want a credit card number. I just dropped them a line asking if this system would work in your case. Also, I get paypal credits from survey sites, like philips community, toluna, etc. It's not a lot, but it makes possible to buy one or other thing occasionally. For now I don't have a credit card because of fees, and also because not having one is a good ceiling for me (doesn't matter how tempted I am, I can only buy with the credits I do have). When our finances here improve I will sure get one, specially because of aliexpress, it has great stuff and awesome prices. =)

    7. Talk about ruining expensive dolls! You didn't think the one I'm talking about JUST needed new hair out of the blue, did you?
      That's interesting info about Paypal credits. I'll check if the transfer method works here, because paypal itself is banned in my country (or viceversa?). I prefer being able to pay with credit cards online, which is why aliexpress is a godsend. I keep forgetting that credit cards work differently in other countries. Here, they function like a wallet for all your money and not a "credit" per se. I can't use more than I actually have on the account. Maybe you too can find a bank that doesn't let you spend money you don't have. Good luck!

  5. Argh - still having problems commenting on your posts! Think it might be a Mac compatibility issue? I replied to this several days ago and it disappeared as soon as I clicked "publish", thought I'd leave it to see if it magically appeared again, obviously not! Anyhoo, just wanted to say, congratulations and happy anniversary, your blog goes from strength to strength and your tutorials are always great. And many more!

    1. I'm sorry you're having trouble! Is it with my blog only? It works fine for me even on a Mac. Thank you for this great message! Next time rest assured that even when technology gives up I know you're reading me and it matters a lot :)


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