Liebster Award

Cups of Resin nominated me for a Liebster Award 🙂 To be honest, I had no idea what it was but I read about it here and it seems to be an award that bloggers pass to other bloggers as a sort of chain mail thing to help promote new blogs and help them gain followers. Like a pay it forward for blogs lol. So thank you very much Cups of Resin for nominating us!

Liebster2

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.

The Questions (given by Cups of Resin):

  1. When and how did you discover the hobby?

I used to design fan websites for celebrities when I was younger and a friend of mine who I knew in the community had these cute little dolls from Korea called Ddung dolls that she posted pictures of on her flickr. I thought they were adorable so I got a couple. Whilst on Flickr, I found pictures of Dal and Pullip dolls and thought they were adorable also and got myself a couple of Dals. Then I came across BJDs in the same way and the same thing happened haha! I got my first BJD secondhand on Flickr from the person who is now one of my closest and best friends 🙂

2. What made you stay?

I just enjoy taking pictures of my dolls and sharing them with people. I love making little things for them and thinking up new ideas for pictures or stories. I also love the friendships I have made through the hobby, and as I say, I met one of my best friends in the world through this hobby so why wouldn’t I stay?

3. How do you feel about the aging of BJDs (yellowing etc.)?

Its not ideal but it happens. I bought my dolls to enjoy them and see them. I don’t keep them in boxes, I take them outside in the sun; and yes, some of them have certainly yellowed but its not horrific and I don’t care. I’m not going to stop enjoying them just because they have yellowed a bit. I did replace one of my dolls who had gotten quite yellow but it wasn’t specifically because he was yellow.

4. Do your dolls have a common “theme” ( a common backstory, certain types of clothes etc.)?

Hmmm. I guess so. At one point I tried really hard to make all my dolls “match” and write stories to link them all together properly but I have given up on that now. They all seem to exist in the same little world but I have given up trying to explain it, they just do 😀 I suppose they all wear similar clothes because my dolls are all kids and I like to dress them in typical kid clothes.

5. Do you prefer fullsets or customizing and why?

I prefer to buy my dolls with their default faceups (not necessarily full sets with outfits etc, but I do prefer them with their original faceups). I have no idea why, but I just don’t seem to massively bond with dolls with custom faceups, even if they are impossibly beautiful! I have tried many times but the connection just never seems to be as strong. It could be partly to do with me wanting to make sure they are ready for photos etc. as soon as they arrive home. I can’t stand the thought of waiting months for a doll only for it to arrive blank and then have to wait weeks more for it to get a faceup done before I can photograph it and develop its character etc. I do have one doll with a custom faceup at the moment (my Haru Casting “Adori”) but there was no option for him to come with a faceup as he was sent to me as a gift from Haru so I did send him away to be painted by Sally Luk and she did an amazing job and I’ve had no problems at all bonding with him but as I say, I suspect it was because I had no choice but to send him away for a custom one. In terms of outfits, wigs and eyes; yes I do customize. I have some of the fullset outfits for my dolls but they don’t wear them all the time. I like to give them their own “looks” which is primarily a regular kid look for my child dolls which fullset outfits don’t often tend to do lol.

6. If you do customize, what is your favorite thing to shop for (i.e. wig, eyes etc.)? If you prefer fullsets, do you shop for props or similar things for you dolls?

I like to shop for everything for my dolls! Wigs, eyes, clothes, props, the lot! However, once I have found the “right” wig and eyes, they don’t generally change from that. I love shopping for clothes a lot and making different outfit combinations. I also love shopping for props like toys, furniture etc. I used to go to a lot of car boot sales and thrift shops before I got unwell and loved finding random items for them. I can’t do it so much these days but its something I love when I can do it. I have found some amazing pieces of furniture for them that way.

7.Do you prefer certain size BJDs (YoSD, MSD, SD etc.) and why?

YOSD is my favourite. I just love the size and feel of them, they are just perfect. They are relatively easy to buy clothes and props for too which is important for me. I did have MSDs for a while and enjoyed them but I sold them last year to buy more smaller dolls haha! But I hope at some point this year to add another MSD to the family. I wouldn’t ever go bigger than that because I just wouldn’t know what to do with an SD. I have seen and held some in real life at doll meets and they are incredible but just too big for me. They wouldn’t fit with my little family. Also, I generally prefer child age dolls and most SDs are very much adults haha! I have had tinier dolls before too and do currently have a Pukipuki who I am enjoying for his easy transportability; but I generally prefer YOSD size. If I had unlimited money I would try a pukifee or lati yellow again but I am on a strict budget these days so I would much rather spend my money on the size I love most than a size I’m not sure I’d get on with once it was here.

8. Where do you find names for your dolls (if you name them at all)?

When I am waiting on a doll, I usually make a list of names I like (often from Baby name websites!) and see which one “fits” when they arrive. Occasionally I have known their name before they arrived and even when I have ordered them; but most of the time I have a list of 4 or 5 that I like and choose when they arrive.

9. Where do you display/store your dolls?

I have a big Welsh dresser in my room that they all live on. The counter top/bottom shelf has got some of their furniture set up on it and one or two dolls might be displayed among it. The rest generally sit on the middle shelf on their sofa and some little chairs; and then on the top shelf I have a few other kinds of dolls displayed (such as my Ddungs and some vintage trolls etc). Then in the drawers and cupboards underneath I store some of their clothes and props but they over spill into several other storage units haha!

10. What would you like to see created/improved on by doll companies/artists?

I would love to see more child like MSD sized dolls with double joints. There are some lovely child MSDs available that I love the look of (e.g. Rosenlied Holiday’s Child, Luts Baby Delf, Dollmore Mokashura etc.) but they are all single jointed and my main MUST for a doll is that it must have be double jointed because good posing abilities are very important to me. I would also like Fairyland to go back to doing “normal” faceups for their dolls, or at least having it as an option. A lot of their recent releases have very strong faceups which I am not keen on so I would like to see them perhaps offer two faceups for a doll which you can then choose from.

11. Do you see the BJD community (online or IRL) as a significant part of your hobbying?

Oh absolutely, however, not as much as it used to be when I first entered the hobby. It has changed a lot lately with a huge shift towards Facebook which I loathe! Its just so messy and unorganized, pictures always look rubbish when they are uploaded on there. I just hate it, but I try to join in because its the only place to keep in touch with some of my friends from the hobby now. It used to be very much Flickr based and I enjoyed that a lot more but thats changed now. People rarely comment on photos these days, they just “like” them; which is nice, but I used to enjoy the conversations that could be started by posting a picture and that just doesn’t seem to happen much anymore on any sharing platform. There also seems to be a lot more “hate” in the community these days and people seem a lot more competitive which is a shame and so that puts me off being as involved as I could be too.

Thank you for the nomination Cups of Resin! I have no idea how you tell how many followers a blog has so I am just going to nominate some of my favourite blogs whom I would be interested to read their answers to my questions 🙂 Also, a lot of the blogs I would choose to nominate have already been nominated so I will try and choose ones that don’t appear to have done so yet. The blogs I nominate are Jay Bird Finnigan, Lily’s Dolls, and Emmr (I know thats only 3 but literally everyone else I was going to nominate had already done it lol).

These are my questions I would like answering:

  1. Do you have a favorite doll company? What is it and why?
  2. Do you have a dream/a goal when it comes to dolls (a grail doll, some prop that’s hard to find, some skill you would like to develop, etc)?
  3. How have your tastes and preferences changed since the beginning of your hobby?
  4. Do your dolls have a common “theme” ( a common backstory, certain types of clothes etc.)?
  5. Do you prefer certain size BJDs (YoSD, MSD, SD etc.) and why?
  6. What would you like to see created/improved on by doll companies/artists?
  7. How do you feel about re-cast dolls?
  8. Do you like making things for your dolls (if so, what)?
  9. Shhhhh. Which of your dolls is your favourite?
  10. Do you feel the BJD community has changed since you first joined?
  11. Are you waiting on any new dolls?

Collector Convo: Emma Bea Jay Dee

Another new feature I will be doing on the blog this year is a series of interviews with people who are in the hobby, either as “collectors” or “makers” (of BJD related items etc.).

Emma & Mina

I’m kicking off with an interview with one of my very best friends, Emma, who many people will know as Emma Bea Jay Dee on Facebook or emmr_{bjd} on Flickr.

Emma, How and when did you first discover Ball Jointed Dolls?
I was in a toy photography group on flickr in 2008 to try and improve my photography, I kept seeing these amazing ‘toys’ owned by other people, through that I fell in love with Blythe, Pullips and eventually BJDs.

Emma's BJD FamilyYour current collection is largely Fairyland based. What is it you like about their dolls so much?
For me the posing of a doll is very important, I like them to be able to look natural and relaxed, and Fairyland make dolls that are wonderful for that. The LittleFee in particular are great to play with and sit down. I also love a lot of the sculpts from FL, and once I started getting dolls it seemed that only the Fairyland dolls had characters to me, I can enjoy other dolls, but they tend not to speak to me and be in the same world – which is important to me.

Fairyland seem to have been changing direction a little lately, with more fantasy based dolls and stronger faceups etc. How do you feel about this change?
It’s good for me, as I’m less keen on the stronger faceups, specially on the tiny dolls. I love seeing what they come out with, and seeing the new dolls in other people’s collections. But on the whole they don’t appeal to me as much as a lighter faceup would.

MinaWhich doll in you current collection (okay, dolls! You can pick 3!) is your favourite?
That’s an almost impossible question… I think Rowan (my LittleFee Ante) would have to be in there as she’s my oldest doll now and very important to me as a character, then Mina (MiniFee Miyu) of course, I can’t imagine having dolls without having her, she’s the heart of my family. The third would vary depending on who I was playing with at the time, it would probably be between Pixie (MiniFee Rena) and one of the tinies, maybe Rose (PukiFee Ante).

Do you have a favourite size of doll?
My favourite for characters is definitely MSD. But for photographs and props possibly YOSD size, I like that I can get them a new toy from a supermarket, and it doesn’t take much effort to put a nice space together to take pictures of them in.

BowieDo you have a grail doll? If so, has it always been the same doll or has it changed over the years?
My grail doll used to be a MiniFee Soony, and I was totally safe as it was a doll they hadn’t made… then they made her and I had to find a way to get her! I’m so glad they did as I love mine a lot. Now I would like a PukiFee Piki (another doll they don’t do!)

If you could start your collection over again, what doll or company do you think you’d gravitate to?
It would probably be Fairyland again, I’ve tried a lot of different companies and I know they’re right for me. If I had to choose something different it would be Luts or Iplehouse.

Are there any dolls you have owned over the years that you really didn’t get on with? Why?
There have been a few that as soon as they’ve arrived I know they won’t stay. A lot of these I have time photographing and doing different things with before they leave, but some have been in and out within a week! Most noticeable have been full set LittleFee, where I’ve fallen in love with the pictures on Fairyland site and once they’ve arrived realised there’s nothing I want to do differently with them, and often that the faceup is too strong for me! Other than that Anthros and really, really small dolls, I never get on with them!

BeaBesides Fairyland, what other companies have you been impressed by?
Lots, I love the Lati dolls, though I don’t like the company and their wait times make them impossible for me to order from. Iplehouse do beautiful dolls but most are too different in size and looks to the rest of my family. Luts dolls are a constant temptation and I need to add a permanent Luts doll at some point. I had an Atelier Momoni girl for a while and she was just gorgeous, I have a Doll Legend body which is just wonderful, I’d love them to do more… hmmm… I’m sure there are others, but those are the ones that stick out that I would definitely have again.

21354257493_f473d78837_oYou are well known for your photo stories. Do all your dolls have their own characters and background stories? If so, do they all reside in the same “universe”?
My MSD characters all fit together in my story world, though they haven’t all been introduced yet! My LittleFee are mostly outside the stories, some have stories on their own and one is just a pretty picture doll. My Tinies vary… they have a place in the stories, but I usually just have them as cute picture and travel dolls.

What do you enjoy most about keeping Ball Jointed Dolls?
I like the creative aspects a lot. I have them mostly to take pictures of, but now the stories and characters are a big part of the hobby to me. I love that I can use other crafts that I enjoy with the dolls, like knitting, sewing, creating things. I also love the friends I’ve made through the hobby, I’ve been very lucky to have a group of wonderful friends nearby and further away that I can see regularly. All these friends are now very much ‘life’ friends as well as dolly friends!

ZephieDo you think the hobby has changed since you joined? Are there any aspects of the hobby that you don’t like?
I think the hobby is a lot larger since I joined, there are a lot more people collecting, which I think has meant more doll companies and more people making for dolls, as well as more people to talk to and more pictures to look at 😀 When I started most things were on either Flickr or forums, now there are so many different places it’s hard to keep up with everyone and everything!

AdaWhat are your plans for 2016 doll wise?
I’ve already made a few changes… I’ve bought a MiniFee Chloe to replace my Liria as my Ada character, she’s much more of a ‘me’ doll, I don’t do well with dolls that are too sad or grumpy generally! With her arriving two MiniFee will be leaving. I’m waiting on a RealFee Pano girl, but I’m not sure she will stay or not, I don’t have a place in mind for her, but we’ll see. I’m trying to seriously limit the number of dolls I buy this year, but I’m thinking when the two MiniFee have gone I might add an Iplehouse JID boy. Other than that I’m doing a doll a week photo challenge, I want to take lots more pictures of all my dolls and I want to make a lot of stories to tie up loose ends on my stories – but not all of them as loose ends can be interesting!

You can find Emma on Flickr, Facebook and Youtube 😉

All images used to illustrate this interview are the property of Emma Bea Jay Dee/emmr_{bjd}. Please do not use without permission.