Liebster Award

I’ve been nominated for this three times now, so I figured it was high time I stopped putting it off and faced the music.  (Makes it sound like I’m being nominated for Boot Hill, doesn’t it?)

liebsteraward-roses-tag

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog.
  2. Post the award image on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  5. Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them your post.

So, to start with, thank you, BlackKitty, Olive and Ms.Bunns!  (And I apologize for taking five months to getting around to this, BlackKitty!)

I’ll do the questions in the order received, so I’ll start with BlackKitty’s questions:

1. Do you collect anything besides dolls?

Yes, lots of things.  I also collect action figures — mostly Figma, Nendoroid and SHFigurarts, but also other types, somewhat randomly — and some statuettes.  And plushies, though I really shouldn’t, since they take up a lot of space, and collect dust like crazy.  (And I’m allergic to dust.)  Probably books, DVDs and CDs don’t count as something I “collect” as such…

2. What is your favourite part about the doll hobby? (finding, redressing, repainting etc)

Ooh, tough question!  Hmm…probably the finding?  But I also really enjoy posing, photographing, redressing, and just plain looking at them.  (Which can probably be summed up in the catch-all “playing with them.”)

3. What was the first doll you added to your collection as an adult?

Yikes!  I’m terrified to admit it, but I really don’t remember.  I got back into toy collecting while I was in college and away from the disapproving eyes of my mother, and I know at first I was collecting the Power of the Force Star Wars figures that were just starting up at that time.  (About 1995, I think it was.)  In the course of that, I started eyeing and then buying Barbies as well.  Probably the first one I got was from the Dolls of the World collection, but I’m not sure anymore.  The first one I have strong recollections of at that time was the Dolls of the World doll for Mexico, because I was unsure if it was a good idea to display her in my room, because one of my roommates was Mexican-American, and I wasn’t sure if she might think it was making light of her heritage.  (She didn’t, btw; she thought it was cool.)

4. How did blogging help you with your hobby?

Blogging has helped me find all sorts of new dolls to get, adding diversity to my collection, and helped me meet (even if only online) new people to share my hobby with.  (Of course, the former point isn’t entirely a good thing, ’cause now I’m really overspending, as I apparently never learned moderation, so now I keep going through the dolly equivalent of binge-and-purge.)  The blogging and the new friends have also given me all sorts of new ideas of ways to get more out of my collection, particularly in the direction of customization and redressing.

5. Name one doll or blog-related accomplishment that you’re very proud of.

Despite that I broke her eye mechanism, and that her eye-liner is uneven, I’m still pretty proud of how Pyrrha’s face-up turned out.

6. What is your favourite doll blog?

I don’t like having to pick favorites, so I’ll pass on this question.

7. When you get stuck on a project, how do you get it going again?

Hmm…I don’t have much answer as far as dolly projects, but this is something I’ve been struggling with in my fiction writing lately.  I wasn’t able to finish my novel in November, and I’ve been stuck in the same spot for at least two or three weeks now.  I tried asking advice on the next big event (in that case, from my brother, the best expert I know on science fiction settings like the one I needed for the book), but that didn’t accomplish much.  I think I need to go back to the beginning and re-read everything I wrote to get back into the characters’ heads a bit.  (That or I need to delete the scenes where the romantic leads got together, so I’ll have to keep pushing ahead to get them to that point.  That was where I suddenly lost all forward impetus, like the story no longer mattered as long as the lovers had gotten together.)

Er, I seem to have gone off topic.

8. What new skill would you like to learn?

It’s not doll-related, but I’d like to learn another language, so in terms of “skills” I guess that would be the skill to master languages quickly.  (I have three of them I feel like I need pronto, and so many more I’d just like to learn on general principles…)

9. What are your 3 favourite books or authors?

Let’s see…The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I guess.  It’s hard to pick just three…

10. Which doll do you want the most at the moment?

Um….the Dollfie Dream Hatsune Miku, with her “Senbonzakura” and “Doremifa Rondo” costumes, I guess.  (Like I can afford a $1000 doll, though!  Even the costumes are expensive; they cost about the same amount as a Pullip!)

11. If you had to evacuate immediately with no possibility of return, which is the one item you’d pack besides the emergency case?

Oh God!  I don’t even wanna think about it!  But if I could have only one thing other than clothing…it’d probably be my laptop, honestly.  I’ve got a lot of years of fiction-writing on there.  But I think I’d probably expire of grief on leaving behind all my girls.  (Yeah, I have no life.)

Okay, now I can move on to Olive’s questions!

1. How did you get into the doll hobby?

Hmm…I’ve been in it so long that it’s hard to remember.  I think it’s partially rebellion against my mother.  She wanted to protect me from all the negative body image issues (not to mention the “pink kitchen” stuff) associated with Barbie, so she tried to keep me from ever getting any Barbies, and I ended up not getting my first one until I was 7 or 8, much older than most girls.  I acknowledge that my mother meant well, but all she accomplished was to give Barbie — and other fashion dolls — the irresistible allure of being forbidden, a gleam that they kept long after the ban ceased.  However, I’ve gone through phases since then.  I was on a huge Barbie kick while I had access to Mattel outlet stores (gee, I wonder why?) but that went away again after I moved here and lost access.  The Barbie urge flared up again briefly for the 50th anniversary, but then sank back into a more low key thing once the anniversary dolls started fading away again.  But then Mattel released Monster High, and inserted a vacuum cleaner into my bank account!  Ever since getting the original Draculaura, I’ve been a pretty heavy-duty collector.  And then I discovered Pullip…and Blythe…and…I need to win the lottery…

2. What is your favorite brand of doll?

If it weren’t for the impending reboot, I’d say Monster High, but instead I think I’ll list a line I feel I’ll still be able to depend on come next year and say Pullip.

3. Do your dolls share anything in common with one another?

Apart from being located in my house?  Not really.  Most of them have the standard numbers of things (one head, two arms, two legs, two eyes, two ears, et cetera), but a number of the Monster High dolls are exceptions to that rule.  (Which is one of the things I really loved about Monster High, that it would do things like six-armed dolls, or two headed dolls, three-eyed or cyclopean dolls.)  I guess the only thing they really have in common is that I liked them enough to buy them. 😛

4. Do you have a Grail doll? If so, which one is it?

Hmm…I had two Grail dolls, Pullip Megurine Luka, and Taeyang Sebastian, Private Tutor version, but I’ve actually managed to get both of them now, so there’s no longer any specific, hard-to-find dolls I’m actively searching for.  But…well, no, actually, there are a few:  Perfuma, Entrapta and Netossa, three dolls from the She-ra line.  Perfuma’s dull, but I had one and lost her in the move here (how embarrassing, to lose a doll in a move as an adult!), and when she was wearing the only Princess of Power outfit pack I had gotten! 😦  I’ve since replaced Bow and Glimmer, the other two I lost in the move, but Perfuma is still missing.  (Naturally, she was the one in pristine condition, ’cause I’d never really played with her much.)  Entrapta and Netossa are dolls from She-ra’s second and final year, and I only got them in the first year.  (Well, the first year I turned 10, and the second year I turned 11.  By the second year, I was too fearful of being discovered with them, I’m sure.  I had enough social problems without people whispering that I still played with dolls.)  Entrapta can be had without too much difficulty — though I’d rather find her in person than online, which is a more challenging issue — but Netossa, as the only ethnic doll in the line, is almost impossible to find, period.  (I can’t call her African-American, since the characters are from some fantasy world where neither Africa nor America exist…)

5. Pick your favorite doll line – what attributes do you hope their next release will have?

Well, if we’re talking Pullip, a number of new dolls have already been announced, which complicates the question.  But if I could pick an un-announced attribute to one of those announced dolls, I want the Taeyang Grell to come with his chainsaw!  And/or his creepy Sebastian doll.  (I know the Pullip version of Grell came with the latter.  Not sure if about the former.)  If we’re talking attributes of dolls not yet announced…I guess fantasy hair colors and glittery eye chips are the things I’d most like to see. 😀

6. Have you learned a new craft because of being in the hobby?

Yes, I’ve learned resin-casting. 😀  I’m still a rank amateur, of course, but it’s fun to play around with.  Making eye chips hasn’t turned out to go too well for me (though there’s another mold on the way that should work much better) but I’m having fun making barrettes and things now, and I just today finished making a mold for a Pullip/Dal-sized headband.  😀  And I’ve been mentally playing around with ideas of what to do with all the rejected eye chips I made for Pyrrha.  I have a pretty good idea of a project for them (admittedly, it’s not doll-related) but it’ll require some ingenuity to get it to work just right.

7. Who is your favorite doll in your collection?

I couldn’t possibly pick a single favorite!  Even a top ten list would be heart-wrenchingly difficult.  (It may be that I have a few too many dolls…)

8. Who is your favorite customizer, face-up artist, or do you prefer your dolls completely stock or with the factory face-up?

I don’t really follow customizers enough to have a favorite.  I do like customized dolls, though in some cases I feel like they’re less needed than in others.  (For example, I feel like Blythes suffer more from remaining stock than Pullips do.)  While I’ve attempted a few customs myself, I’ve never yet paid anyone to customize a doll, or bought a custom doll.  That may change soon(ish), though; there’s a customizer on Etsy who works with Monster High and Ever After High, using acetone to shrink their heads a bit.  I don’t feel like Monster High really need the head shrinking, but the Ever After High heads bother me a bit, and since I recently acquired a Cedar Wood at Tuesday Mornings, I was thinking of seeing if that customizer could both shrink her head down a bit and carve it so that the wood grain effect doesn’t stop at her face.  The whole reason I bought her was because I was charmed by the wood grain on her body, but the way her head is just smooth like that bugs me.  (I was going to wait until my next post to mention all this — as there’s a photo of Cedar Wood in it — but this seems the more natural time to bring it up.  I’ll of course post about it when the time comes — if it comes — to send her off to be customized.)

9. Who would you like to see your doll brand do a collaboration with?

Be-papas!  I need a Pullip of Utena Tenjou!  (The rest of the cast of Revolutionary Girl Utena not so much.  Though an Anthy doll in the Rose Bride dress might be nice, if for no other reason than that they need to do more dark-skinned Pullips.)

10. What doll related project do you hope to do in the future?

Once I get my house cleaned up (surely it’s going to happen someday!) I want to add a new room (or, I suppose, get a new house) with every wall covered in shelves, so my dolls can have proper places to stay, and I can set up nice little rooms of furniture for them.

11. How big of a role does blogging have for you in relation to this hobby?

It’s a huge motivation to photograph my new girls as I get them, and it’s been very helpful in trying to get changes made, not to mention in finding new doll lines, and new places to buy the dolls.  (Though that can be a down side in terms of finances and storage space.)  Also, I feel like it’s a little less of a silly waste for me to be buying all these dolls if I’m at least posting about them and sharing them (even if only in photo form) with others.

Phew, two sets down, one to go!

1. What is the first doll in your collection?

Variations on a theme of previous answers here…but to try and get something new out, I’m going to re-interpret the question to mean “what’s the doll you’ve had the longest?”  In which case it would be Janice, a baby doll I’ve had since I was a little girl.  I’m pretty sure she actually belonged to my mother first, but she swears up and down that she never had a baby doll as a girl.  (Then again, she also insists that her cousin teased her unmercifully about her “fake Barbie” doll…in the mid-1950s.  When I pointed out to her that she couldn’t have had a “fake Barbie” in the mid-50s because Barbie wasn’t released until 1959, she responded with “Oh, of course you know everything!”  Uh, yeah, Mom, sarcasm about my know-it-all nature is really going to change the year Barbie was first released.)

2. Do you have a favorite doll from your collection?

No, I really don’t; I can’t pick favorites between them.  Even narrowing it to something like “favorite Blythe” or “favorite Pullip” or “favorite Monster High” would be tricky/impossible.  I do have a favorite Barbie and a favorite Skipper, though; my favorite Barbie is still the one who was my favorite when I was a girl (Sweet Roses PJ) and my childhood Skipper is my favorite Skipper.

3. How many dolls do you have in your collection?

I shudder at the thought of counting!  I tried counting just the Monster High dolls about six month ago, and I forced myself to forget the number I came up with, so it must have been really high.  Realistically, I don’t think it could have been much under 200.  (Oh God!)  I probably have more than 300 Barbies (not all on display, mind you!) but when you leave those categories, the numbers drop off to more reasonable (less unreasonable?) sizes.  Bratz and Bratzillaz probably cap off around a couple dozen, and Disney dolls are also probably about a couple dozen, counting both Disney store and Mattel dolls.  (I don’t have any of the new Hasbro Disney dolls yet, as something about them is a little off-putting, but the Mulan doll looked better than the rest, to me, so I’ll probably pick her up in the next few months.)  The next highest…oh, actually, if you count the mini LalaLoopsies, then I have many more of those than of Bratz and Bratzillaz, probably forty or fifty.  Then…

….actually….

…this is why I try not to count them.  The realization of just how large the collection is kind of weighs down on me and makes the rational part of my brain start screaming at me for wasting so much money…

4. What is your favourite part of doll collecting?

Mmm, yeah, I still don’t have any answer to this…it’s kind of an all-inclusive love.  Though I do especially love discovering dolls entirely new to me:  when I see a new doll line at the store, I instinctively want to get one and check it out.  (Though there are sometimes exceptions, dolls that I really don’t want at all.)

5. Do you collect anything else?

Yup, see above. 😛

6. Do you have any dolly regrets, a doll or other item you wish you hadn’t gotten?

Interesting question!  I have more regrets regarding dolls I didn’t get than ones that I did.  Still…back in my early Barbie phase, I ended up getting a lot of collector dolls that were super expensive.  We’re talking layway-prices that finished up at being more than I’ve paid for more recent dolls like Pullip and Blythe.  Which is annoying, because Pullip and Blythe hold their prices (or get more expensive) and Barbie really doesn’t, for the most part.  (The used store near me was selling Bob Mackie dolls for $25 at one point.  And — bitterly — only one of the ones they were selling so cheaply was one I didn’t already have.  But I had gotten the others at the outlet stores, so I don’t think I’d paid the original massive asking price.  Still, it had been a lot more than $25!)  If I could have back all the money I over-spent on those Barbies, I could easily get that Dollfie Dream.  *sigh*  20/20 hindsight and all that.  (Though, in defense of my younger self, they are really nice Barbies.  And while their used prices are much lower than I paid for them, actually seeing them on the second hand market has not been a common experience.)

7. Would you have a doll themed as your favorite food?

A pizza-themed doll?  I’m not really seeing that.  I did do an icing-themed Monster High custom once, though. 😛  And I could see an ice cream-themed doll pretty easily…

8. Would you have a doll themed as your favorite animal?

I think it’s safe to say I’ve already got a lot of those:

Hujoo Freya T-n-S 4 "Meow."

(Okay, maybe Selina doesn’t count, since she doesn’t wear her Catwoman suit around the house.)

9. How do you feel about zombie dolls?

Depends on how “zombie” they are.  I mean, I’ve got a whole lot of Ghoulia Yelps dolls, and a Slomo (or whatever he’s called), and I think Neighthon Rot is half-zombie.  And I have three of the “Once Upon a Zombie” princess dolls, or whatever they’re called.  But a more gruesome style of zombie doll — a Living Dead Dolls style zombie, or a Walking Dead-inspired zombie doll — I’d probably pass on, because I don’t like gruesome things.  On a more general “how do I feel about them existing” type issue, I have no problem with them being out there, but if they’re too gross then I don’t even want to see them.

10. Do you prefer stock or customized dolls?

I mostly have stock dolls, or low-level customized dolls, ones where all I’ve changed is their clothing.  I do like the look of some custom face-ups — sometimes I feel like they’ve gone overboard a bit, and other times I feel they didn’t go far enough — but I’m not capable of doing good ones myself, and buying someone else’s custom, or paying them to customize a doll to my specifications, is really expensive, and I’ve yet to take that plunge.  (Though, as mentioned above, I’m thinking about doing it soon!)

11.  Do you have a grail doll?

At the moment, not really.  Though there are a number of vintage doll lines I’d love to get my hands on at least one of, like Little Miss No Name.  But I think the kind I’d most like to get one of is the Liberty of London dolls.  They’re handmade cloth dolls from the 1950s (and possibly the 1960s?) and the museum has a full collection of them.  (And when I say “full,” I really mean it!  It’s the largest collection in the world, with many of the dolls being unique, having been custom ordered by the donor.)  My favorites are the kings and queens of England, but I suspect that if I went looking, the only ones on the market for less than a quajillion dollars would be the dolls of the random onlookers from the Coronation collection.  I think my best bet is to find someone on Etsy who’s really skilled, and commission some Liberty of London-like dolls from them.  (Then I could fill in some distressing gaps in the Liberty of London catalog, like the fact that they did a doll of Percy Shelley, but not of Mary Shelley.  Or like how they did the wrong Matilda from the Stephen and Maud period of English history.  The true queen whose throne was usurped is the one they should have done, not Stephen’s wife!  Sheesh!  (Uh, yeah, I get passionate about certain periods of Medieval English history…))  Having one made would also prevent the heartbreak of getting a vintage doll in ghastly condition…

Whew!  Finally finished the questions!

Now, moving on to the next rule, to nominate 5-11 more blogs….this is where I start breaking rules, ’cause I’m not doing this one.  Most — if not all — the doll blogs I know have already been nominated already, and I’ve now been at this over two hours, so….if you want to answer my questions, consider yourself nominated!  (Send me a link if you do, okay?)

As to my 11 questions…they’re sort of slap-dash, but here they are:

  1. How many things (counting dolls) do you collect?
  2. How long have you collected them?
  3. Which item or collection are you most passionate about?
  4. Do you have any collecting rules?
  5. Do you collect dolls aimed at adults, children or both?
  6. Of all the missed opportunities to add to your collection, what’s the one you regret the most?
  7. What’s your greatest non-collecting hobby or interest?
  8. Do you also create things?  If so, what?
  9. Do your creating/collecting hobbies intersect with your non-collecting hobbies?  (For example, making props to dress your dolls as your favorite character.)
  10. Do you ever encounter any opposition to your hobbies?
  11. If you could visit any time period and place, past or future (but remaining on Earth), when and where would you go and why?

Yeah, that last one was sort of random….

Okay, back to my homework.  (Fortunately, it’s much less dry than last week’s Aristotle.)

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5 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. Olive February 6, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    So many questions and interesting answers! From what I’ve read on other Leibster award responses, we toy collectors have a lot in common with one another ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Olive February 6, 2016 / 8:57 pm

      also, i was wondering if there’s any place I can pm you? etsy maybe?

      Like

      • Iphis of Scyros February 7, 2016 / 1:08 pm

        Yeah, you can pm me on Etsy. My handle’s something like PyrrhaIphis (lol, wonder where I got that from) and I’ve got your shop favorited, so it should be easy to find me. 😀 I’m broke right now, so I haven’t been on Etsy in a while (while torture myself?) but I’ll try to remember to check in and look for messages.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olive February 7, 2016 / 1:08 pm

        Gonna shoot you a quick message

        Like

  2. Blackkitty February 7, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    It was nice to get to know you better 🙂 Have fun with your collection!

    Liked by 1 person

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