Ciara, my first and favorite BJD

Origins and Becoming Ciara…

Ciara in the sunCiara (pronounced Keer-ah), was my first ABJD (Asian ball-jointed doll), and, over twenty BJDs later, she’s still my favorite.

She’s a Lati Blue Shaina, a 43cm MSD-sized resin ball-jointed doll, ordered directly from Latidoll in December 2007 as a Christmas gift. At the time, I thought she would be my one and only BJD, because I’d never be able let myself spend that kind of money on a doll again. (Oh, how little I knew.)

Ciara arrived at my house on Valentines Day of 2008. On the right is an image from her box opening. She came to me as a basic doll with no wig, painting, or clothing. All she had were these dark brown eyes. In this picture she’s wearing an Essential Ellowyne wig. It often takes me a long time to get dolls painted, clothed, and named. Ciara still didn’t have a name when she got her first faceup.

It wasn’t until my second try at painting her face that I was comfortable enough with the results to come up with a name for her, and she became Ciara on March 26th.

The face she’s wearing now, seen in the photo at the top of this post, was done a year later.

Ciara wears a modacrylic “Ginger” wig, size 6-7, in color Golden Strawberry/Chestnut Brown, and 14mm blue glass eyes from Latidoll.

The Sullivan Saga begins…

It wasn’t long before I started dreaming of more BJDs, and Latidoll totally had me. As Ciara’s personality started to develop in my head, I realized that she had a whole family of sisters who needed to be adopted!

As it turns out, seventeen-year-old Ciara is the oldest of six orphan girls. She’s shy, quiet, and sensitive. In Jane Austen terms, I supposed I’d call her a Jane Bennet. It’s been up to her to take care of them, along with her ten-year-old sister Dana. Ciara came over to this country alone to find work and hopefully earn enough money to bring all of her sisters over to live with her.

Fortunately, she met a neighbor, Bronte Wells, a brooding writer living on a trust fund,

Ciara with Cadence the model

who discovered her sewing talents and introduced her to local models Cadence and Britain. With Cadence and Britain’s help, Ciara’s smocked dresses took the

Cadence and Britain in their favorite smocked dresses

Blythe world by storm and she was able to make enough money to bring over all her sisters in less time than she ever would have dreamed.

Ciara with sisters Sydney, Brigit, and Erin

Today what seems to interest Ciara most is Dillon Kincaid. Coming from the same, poor country is something they have in common. Dillon was living in the same apartment building as Ciara, but they hadn’t met until he brought her one of her little sisters who went missing on the trip over.

Later, Dillon revealed the secret that he, too, had siblings in the old country–only he didn’t know where they were. Then began the drama of finding the boys and reuniting them with their older brother.

Image from the "Waiting for Latis" video.

Ciara has been very supportive.

Don’t tell the others, but Ciara and Dillon are definitely a couple. However, letting all the other dolls know would put an end to all the fun they have teasing them and scheming to get them together.

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Pattern pages are up

What? The same 4 patterns you’ve had available for the last few years?

Well, yeah. But hey, they’re new to somebody.

Anyway, I feel like I’m in this nesting phase, cleaning up, redecorating, moving furniture around, before I get to NEW THINGS.

Today’s new thing: ADD TO CART buttons. Know what that means? Automated delivery and instant customer gratification. I’ve wanted this for a long time.

As of this writing, I’ve been doing 99% of my dolly business on Etsy. I love Etsy. The site’s been awesome to me. But sales on Etsy require that I manually enter the customer’s email address to my hosting service, who then sends the download link and information. Which isn’t such a big deal. It’s the checking my email part that gets fouled up. It was fine when I was constantly online, but in the past year I’ve taken a few “vacations” where I don’t even look at my email. Since they’re often unplanned, I don’t put the Etsy shop on vacation, and then I feel bad when people have had to wait for me to come back and attend to business. It’s very lucky for me that Etsy customers are sweet and awesome.

The expectation regarding digital goods is for instant delivery, and I’m really excited to be able to provide that.

Additionally, this brings down my costs in fees, and my cost in the time it takes to renew listings and send downloads. So I’ve reflected that in the price of goods sold from this site, discounting them 20% off those in my Etsy shop. I like dropping prices!

Besides the buttons, I’ve also created a few new sections on the site. One is for my doll story videos. The other is to show off my current doll collection. I hope to be adding a lot of detail to those pages in the future.

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Welcome to my new site

It’s been on my mind to move my doll website from where it’s hosted to a WordPress blog which I find so easy to update and maintain. I don’t like the way my current site sits with outdated information as though time stopped at some point in 2009.

In some ways, though, it did. That wasn’t the only thing to suffer from the writing bug taking over my life.

To keep my foot in the door of the doll world, and because I love the company of these women who aren’t afraid to say they still play with dolls, I belong to a UFDC doll club in my area. We’re getting ready to host a function next month, and part of that is a display of dolls representing other countries. A few weeks ago, I had to hand over one of my dolls to the member in charge of the display. I put her on a stand, and as I was fussing with her clothes and smoothing her hair, I realized how dearly I miss playing with my dolls.

Jessica is a Bobobie Espree, 43cm resin BJD. This is probably my favorite faceup that I've done.

What I love about making sewing patterns is not only how much quality time I get to spend fussing over the dolls, but I like knowing that those using the patterns will be fussing over their dolls. It’s something I want to pick up again.

I haven’t been active in the online doll community for some time, but given that there’s still interest in the Blythe patterns I put out a few years ago, I’d guess people still love her. I know I do. I’d love to put out a wider variety of patterns for her.

I have a family of twenty BJDs, most of whom are wearing quite disreputable clothing and need attention.

This year I’ve added some vintage dolls to my collection this year, for the first time. A 20″ Cissy, and a small collection of 10.5″ fashion dolls. I don’t even have pictures of those yet.

And I think I’ve managed to acquire all of the Monster High characters currently available. My daughter loves these dolls especially. If anyone deserves the title of “fashion dolls,” it’s this crew. Their bodies are tiny, with a unique shape. Definitely a challenge to fit, and one I’d like to try.

Anyway, those are some of the things I want to work on, as well as this new site to share them with you. Thanks for listening to me babble.

Susan

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