Newly Listed – Memorial Day 2016 Edition

Recently I expanded my shop to include beaded stretch bracelets. I had recently gone to the department stores to look for some accessories to go along with that whole upping my game at work, and make up and accessories are likely the best way to do that while still being ‘me’. What appalled me is how unbelievably expensive they were. I realized then that I could not only make some, but that I could make styles that I really like.

SOOOO

New stuff posted for sale!

 

Let me know what you think through my various social media outlets and happy shopping!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrysaliscreate
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrysalisCreate
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/chrysaliscreati/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrysaliscreation

 

Adventures in ReRooting, Part Deux

So I had a Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High to whom I had repainted her face…but I wasn’t a huge fan of this series doll’s hair. I had been considering for a long while what to do as reroots are still something I am brand-spanking new at and the idea of what I wanted to turn this doll into hadn’t fully surfaced yet. Then I had the idea to utilize embroidery floss in lieu of the traditional nylon/saran hair or yarn.

 

 

Original doll, after face up, after hair removal.

 

I went out and got myself some colors of floss that I liked and that I thought would work well with not only the dolls coloring, but how I repainted her face. I then proceeded to get through the daunting task of removing the hair from the dolls head. Removal of the head is actually pretty easy if you go slow and use REALLY hot water to loosen the vinyl. Once you do that head quite literally will pop off without too much force. Then I soaked the inside of the head briefly in 100% pure acetone to loosen up the gunk of glue that they utilize to keep the originally rooted hair in place. After a good rinsing, I grabbed my pliers and got to work.

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise – pulling out a dolls originally factory rooted hair is ROUGH. My hand, the day after, is STILL sore from having to grip the pliers and pull. The industrial strength glue that they use is RIDICULOUS! Not to mention, with this doll, they put a TON of hair in the dolls part which makes it even more difficult. As you can see in the second pic on the top row, there are quite a few places where, even trying to pull gently, the force of getting the glue out caused huge holes in the mold that I will now have to try to patch and/or cover. I think I’ll be able to cover them thankfully but was NONE too happy to have that happen. Finally I was working on the hair rooted at the crown and I could swear to the powers that be the dolls head was either trying to give birth, or throw up. I’m still not certain which it was. As you can see, the MASS of hair and glue was quite large and I’m actually amazed more damage wasn’t done to the head sculpt.

I’ve already begun the long and arduous process of rerooting with the floss and so far I’m quite liking the result. I wont always want to use it since I think it will lend itself to a certain signature, but I’m excited to see how she finishes up and of course pics will be posted when she’s ready for sale.

I’d also like to take this moment to point out that I know why most folks wll repaint AFTER a reroot now, since the process causes strain on the sealant and Clawdeen now has a white band across her nose – which oddly has inspired me to do a little more to her when I do to repair the ‘damage’. Make lemonade out of lemons people!

Also, if you ever wondered WHY repainted and rerooted dolls especially are so expensive – yes this process is something that I’m new to. But it took me about an hour and a half to remove the hair from the original doll and it’s going to take me roughly 3 more hours to reroot her. I spent an hour on her last night with the floss and I only had about two rows completed. Repainting can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours currently depending on what exactly I want to do to it. (The norm is about two to three). When you pay for a repainted one-of-a-kind doll your honestly paying for the artists time. Please remember to respect that. It’s one of the things I love about this community, however, is that the time spent really is something that true collectors appreciate. (And dont even get me started on constructing clothing! I’m still working on a dress!)

 

New Listing – 5.20.15

So I know I’ve been a little remiss in posting as of late but that’s due, in part, to having a race to run and getting things up and going shop wise still. I’m always on the look out for new dolls to procure at decent prices (so I can keep the prices for my repaints relatively affordable!) and besides, I started a new position in my job which has me going non-stop almost all of the day so by the time I get home I’m exhausted! I’ve also been in a very introspective place which I think I will write about and share soon.

However, that didnt stop me from getting not one, but TWO new dolls up into my shop this past weekend. I generally try to get the new listings posted the same day that I get them in the shop, but it just hasn’t worked out that way this go around so hopefully it will with the next one. I also have a new WIP that I’m working on and a doll I had previously repainted that I’ve been debating rerooting – but trying to decide on hair! (Thankfully Dollyhair.com has a 10% sale going right now so I might just have to take advantage of that for her once I decide on colors!)

So, up for offer recently are:

 

Operetta Repaint

Now this one, this one I’m REALLY excited for and took great pride working on. Granted, I love all the dolls I work on, but sometimes you do something and you step back when you’re finished and you’re just EXCITED about the work you’ve created. This Skelita, now she I can sit back and say YES! This is why I do this.

   Skelita Calaveras Monster High Repaint        

 

As always, my dolls are repainted using high-quality Faber-Castell and Prismacolor watercolor pencils and soft chalk pastels. They are sealed using Mr. Super Clean UV Matte Sealant and Liquitex Gloss Varnish for their shiny parts. In both instances here, their hair was washed, conditioned and then boil-permed, styled and sprayed into place. All purchase information is located on my etsy shop.

You can also always follow my expoloits with dolls on the following social media platforms where in I offer regular promotional discounts to followers!

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/chrysaliscreati

Twitter: twitter.com/ChrysalisCreate

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrysaliscreate

Instagram: instagram.com/chrysaliscreation/

 

Finding The Time…

When you decide to take a hobby and make it a potential side income, you have to worry about finding the time to focus solely on that undertaking. Its not just the time to make the product(s) in question because in theory you were already doing that – it’s taking the time to set up and launch your shop, market, brand and network so that you’re new shop gains exposure. Without traffic, you are not ever going to get a sale, and you are not going to get traffic unless you either have a highly in demand item that people are already actively looking for regularly OR you get out there and pound the proverbial internet pavement.

When you take this, and couple it with already working a full time position, AND taking care of a family/home, it can seem rather overwhelming and daunting!

This is why I decided that I would try to punch out one doll a weekend. On average it takes me a few hours to do my repaint, then about a half hour to set their hair and then I can let them dry overnight. This has been a workable schedule for me and also conveniently schedules me time to just work my craft and appreciate the time I have for that for myself.

Now that I’m thinking of adding new things (making clothes for the dolls as well as miscellaneous items like cell phone dust pins and other asundrey items!) I have to look at what time I have available and work them in. The clothes alone are going to take a bit while I get accustomed to sewing by hand as my machine is broken.

Thankfully some of the item I’m considering are those that I can work on while I watch my favorite shows at the end of my day. When I can multitask like that I truly feel that I’m making the most of my waking hours.

Also thankfully, social media has made it relatively easy to pound said pavement in the ether-web. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and especially Pinterest have been wonderful avenues for promoting your brand, as well as the items themselves to your targeted audience. Without them, I’m not sure I would have much success at this venture. Networking on them, in and of itself is something that I should forewarn you can and will be a part-time gig!

Mainly though, I think that the point is you should take something you love and share it with the world. If you are able to make money off of it in the process than that is a wonderful idea! Make a little time for yourself and see what it can do for you.

Newly Listed – One New Doll and One New Product!

As I teased last night, I decided to not only list a new doll for sale today on my Etsy shop, but also a brand new product idea that I had been debating tackling and was QUITE happy with the final outcome. I had dabbled around with decoupage in the past, but hadnt really thought about doing it for the purchase of creating something to sell. Then I was out wandering around my local craft store and found some materials that had, indeed, inspired me. So without further ado I present to you, my adoring public, my new doll offering as well as my new product line that I will hopefully be doing more of as well as a means to expand Chrysalis Creation. 🙂 Both are for sale now in my Etsy store and dont forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter!

 

The doll was a Monster High Abbey Bomidable doll that was of course repainted with watercolor pencils and soft chalk pastels, and sealed with Mr. Super Clear UV Matte Sealant (multiple times – from start to finish!) as well as Liquitex Gloss Varnish on her lips and eyes (which was added after photos were taken!) Her hair was washed, conditioned and then restyled in something influenced by the 80s. (I was channeling JEM and the Holograms!) then her nails were pained in “Lacey Lilac” from Sally Hansen and topped with Seche Vite topcoat.

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The Victorian inspired Decoupage Floral Arrangement centerpiece was made by covering an old wine bottle with two different types of textured craft paper in shades of beige, and decorating it with pink printed Washi tape, two different sized pearl cabochons – (which were hand laid individually!), lace appliques and victorian styled die cuts in whimsical sorts of designs with butterlies and three dimensional white roses. The floral arranagement is faux Ranunculus and faux White Amaranth branches.

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This Social Network Thing…

When you start to look up ways in which to promote your shop, you’ll find a TON of advice on linking everything to social media and networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, InstagramTumblr, etc. Pinterest in particular seems to have the foot hold in being the most useful in marketing your little space in the Etsy universe and is indeed a wonderful tool. I am relatively partial to Instagram for what I’m doing – mainly because since it deals primarily with Monster High Doll Repaints, the format for Instagram reaches more of the age level that would be interested.

That being said, you simply can not run any sort of business in this world without having a social media presence AND staying up with it. I have to wager that currently I spend a couple of hours a day going through various Facebook groups, promoting, cross promoting and doing what I can to get my Etsy views and favorites up so that when those collectors DO want to purchase, my listings are closer to the top of the SEO (search engine optimization) food chain for view. Even large corporations have to have some sort of social media outlet at the ready and steadily paid attention to in order to remain relevant and connected to their target audiences.

Now, I know I have a rather niche shop at the moment – repainted dolls are, after all, still a relatively new phenomena. besides that, they are art dolls, which have their own unique audience. Thankfully, the audiences that I would be trying to reach (either art doll collectors, Monster High collectors both adult and non, or those that appreciate custom ball-jointed dolls) generally are very active on all forms of social media. The doll themselves are wonderful, but I also have been considering ways to expand – like making clothes and/or jewelry for them as well. Those would also give me a range of price points and might help to steer traffic towards the dolls. 🙂

I have also been considering offering other arts that I dabble in, like decoupage bottles with and without floral arrangements. (thought that may become it’s own separate store).

Then there is always the battle with whether to build a separate website to help promote OR upgrade this here WordPress blog to premium.

The hard part, however, is increasing interaction once you have someone on your page(s). Pretty much every single page mention gives priority to those pages in which there is solid and regular interaction. You can have the best tags and SEO placement imaginable, but without traffic and continued involvement, the links will grow stale in this ever-evolving and super-lightning-paced marketing world that we live in. As someone growing a business, I have to not only put time and effort into what I create, and REGULARLY update those items by adding inventory and cycling them through my promotions, BUT I also have to be involved with my shop, my pages, and those of other shop owners. I’m a big proponent of cross promotion and have been loving the Etsy treasury feature to be allow me to do just that. Then with others social media pages I make the attempt at leaving comments, likes and keeping dialogue moving when and where I can. People tend to forget that it flows both ways and you get what you give!

Regardless what my final decision ends up being, I first want to thank each and every one of you who not only follow this blog, but have also liked any and all of my pages. My success is not only based on what I put into it, but also the support of those around me and with social media, even though I might be a niche market, I’m able to expand that beyond my wildest dreams!

Vulnerability…

When you craft something – make anything by hand, regardless the medium; prose, painting, sculpture, jewelry, dolls, stuffed animals, wearable art (like crochet or knitting), even nail art – you are putting a piece of yourself into that item. It came from your imagination and was formed using your hands and heart. People joke all the time that their craft is like their children and when you think about it it’s the same similarity in process – an idea is formed, it grows and develops until it’s materialized and ‘living’.

This is a huge amount of vulnerability to then take those items and put them for the world to see – whether it be in a gallery, getting published or even something as simple as promotion on social media, starting an Etsy store or online webpage. You’re then taking a piece of you and exposing it for the world to form an opinion on, even if that you’ve created is something they disagree with or detest. That takes a metric buttload (yes, it’s a measurement!) of courage.

My dolls are an example of this. I’m taking something that was created to be one way, stripping it down, and re-purposing it for a (hopefully) wider audience. The market for them is indeed niche and I knew that going in. I’m not anticipating a TON of sales but I know others enjoy the work and collect those sorts of pieces and I absolutely LOVE working on them. Even when I’m not 100% convinced I did a wonderful job on one, and I see where I can make improvements or adjust my technique – I get enjoyment out of the process and the relaxation that comes with turning this figure into something different and equally as beautiful. When I decoupage (something I’ll be adding to my shop eventually) its the same.

And believe it or not it’s a TON of work to do these dolls. First there is the process of locating dolls to paint. When you figure that the average doll STARTS at $12.99 retail – that’s a pretty hefty investment to make. I try really hard NOT to get mine retail, but second hand. Then I have to try to find ones that are preferably in tact with all their limbs and tails, etc. Clothing is optional – if I find one nude and in good condition great if it has clothes but not required. Then there’s the few hours it takes to repaint them. Then wash and condition their hair and style it. That’s IF I’m not rerooting them – if I’m rerooting you can add about 4 hours to the whole process to rip out their factory hair and reroot new strands. That is all just for one doll.

So when you see the meme’s and they talk about how when you purchase homemade you’re not funding a corporate CEO’s trip but a child’s dance lesson, or helping to buy a family food – you really are. You’re helping that seller to purchase supplies and/or assist them with their lives. BUT you are also supporting their heart. You are purchasing something of their being and telling them that what they are doing MEANS something to someone else as well. You are telling them that their vulnerability and their courage is worth it and that it is, indeed, valued.