Suzy’s designs for Blythe are really unique and so is Suzy’s personality! She is such a lovely person inside and out and as soon as she started to create for Blythe, her hairclips and hats became “must-have”. Suzy definitely has an eye for material and color combinations. She always picks the right charms, feathers and ribbons to make OOAK hair accessories for our girls. She is also lucky to have a little helper at her side. Her daughter, Wren, is sharing Suzy’s passion for Blythe dolls and for fashion style and design! I am so pleased to post Suzy’s interview today. Now, your turn, Suzy!
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Suzy and Pen.
Hi Suzy! Can you introduce yourself?
At the moment I am living in a wee village called Chipping Sodbury, England in a stone cottage. However we like to move and travel so who knows where is next. I work as a writer and illustrator, at the moment a book and illustrations for a fashion company which really I should be working more on!
I am 34 and live with my Man-Toy Kwong Cheung who I’ve been with for 14 years this year and my daughter, whom I’m sure a lot of you know, Wren. Wren is our real life doll, she is as sweet a person as she looks, we are so lucky to have her. She will be 7 this year which I cannot believe! I share my doll hobby with Wren who has 2 Neo Blythes and many Petites who live in her dolly house. I think Cheung tolerates the dolls, I often wonder what he thinks living in a girlie household! Wren loves it when I make Pen stories up for her at bedtime, it usually involves Pen doing something naughty to the other dolls and toys!
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Wren.
How and when did you discover Blythe?
It was actually my friend Dan, at college that showed me Blythe, as Gina’s book came came out her images were over notebooks, purse, bags and t-shirts. I have always been interested in Asian art, Japanese anime and manga and toys, so he thought they married together. Dan told me to get one, how I wish then I had looked for a Kenner! However at that point it wasn’t love and I soon forgot. Four years ago I started looking at BJD’s due to the manga feel and happened across Flickr. It was there I discovered Blythe was back!! It was love so in 2009 I bought my first Blythe, a PD Violet who now Wren has and loves.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Violet, Suzy’s first Blythe.
When and why did you start your collection?
After Violet joined the household, I realised there were so many Takara releases I wanted! Every week I was falling for another girl! I wanted to build a collection and collect the releases I adored. That was until one particular doll arrived, Pen. I wanted a BL and it had to be a Goldie. When I took her out of the box, even though she was never removed and had messy hair I knew there was something special about her.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Pen, the lady who runs the house!
That was when my doll collecting changed. I didn’t want a collection, instead it was about the character of the doll for me. But the family increased to 24 I think at one point but none compared to Pen, not even my other BL’s! And I’ve had a Kozy, Azzie, SB and Mondrian and a second Goldie called Mitzy, yes I had Goldie twins. But Pen was the only one for me! That was when I decided to adopt out the girls and have a small family.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. See, I told you who was the boss!
How many Blythe dolls do you have in your own collection?
I have 4 Blythe dolls, trust me living with Pen it feels like far more. 😉 I have one BL, All Gold In One AKA The Goldie Queen called Miss Penelope Tiberius Penfold and 3 Kenner Blythes. A Raven Wispy Banged girl called Miss Nixie Tree, a Blonde Sidepart called Miss Blondie Candyfloss and Redhead Sidepart called Miss Pop Rabbit.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. The 3 Graces!
What kind do you prefer and why?
I don’t have a preference as I have owned Kenners, BL’s, EBL’s, SBL’s, RBL’s , FBL’s and an amazing Melacacia custom and think each are special. However as I said for me it’s about the character of the doll and I found with the releases and customs I was too precious so I couldn’t enjoy playing with them. Hence with the Kenner’s as they already are imperfect and played with I feel more bonded with them if that makes sense. Pen well she’s just Pen. Pen is my total inspiration in the hobby, I love creating crazy adventures with her!!
Where and how do you store them?
Pen lives on my desk, sometimes laying down on her pink chez lounge, sometimes standing giving me the Golden Death Stare, sometimes I randomly leave her around which makes Wren laugh. The other 3 girls currently are living on my antique dressing table in my bedroom. But to be honest they move around the house, even my BJD boy Amis does!
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Where the dolls live.
As an accessory designer for Blythe dolls, what is your background and expertise, and how did you start?
I have always liked creating so I knew it was only a matter of time before I would make something for Blythe. I’m lucky that when I have an idea my mind can work out the how to do it. Years ago I made hairclips for friends using feathers, which I love. Then I sold some in the wee shop I worked for in Scotland. The owner Marie is a doll herself and I still make small batches for her and the shop.
I then miniaturised the clippies and Pen’s Hairclippies for Blythe was born. On my travels I collect unique charms, ribbons and wee bits to use so each piece is totally unique. The same with my feathers, I like natural feathers so spend ages sourcing them. My favourite type of ribbon is Sari-Silk ribbon which has become my signature now. One of my friends sends me feathers from San Fransisco on her travels.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Suzy’s designs.
From the hairclippies I decided I wanted to make a felt top hat, a hat that is fun to play with and secure for photographs. After trying different techniques and finding the perfect felt I made the first batch, though my favourite collection of Topper’s has to be the Halloween ones, they were so cool to sew! My dresses are slouchy, with various edges, each one is cut differently and I only use stretchy fabrics to create that look. I have just created a dress, topper and sock set with smaller version of the Toppers which are fun. That’s what I wanted to create, pieces that inspire the fun of Blythe.
What is your work rhythm and where do you sell your designs?
Due to work and home life I don’t have as much time as I would like for Blythe creating so I create small batches of 3 in themes. That way each collection is unique and fresh for me and the lovely people that purchase the items. The best part for me is seeing how people use my pieces in creating themselves! It’s so exciting when I see them in photographs. I sell my pieces at Storenvy where I have a really fun shop and on Etsy, I like to alternate the two for people that don’t know where I am.
What do you like the most in collecting Blythe?
I love my 4 girls cheeky expression they give me, the joy of dressing them and photographing them which has really pushed me as a photographer to try different things. The creative side, creating things for my girls and other peoples Blythes. They really do make me smile. I love that my Pen Adventures make people laugh!! But mostly I like the community, I love that I have made really good friends from these crazy little dolls!!
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Pen’s way of dominating the world.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Pen knows how to live her dolly life.
What are you working on these days and what are your next projects with Blythe?
I am thinking about a new full set for Blythe, I’m trying out a boater hat design that will come with a dress and socks. I love sewing socks and love that Wren came up with the idea with the ribbons on the socks! So that is my next project for Blythe which I’m looking forward too.
Pen is still plotting World Domination and disregarding everything that I, the Soft One will say to her plus wreaking havoc and mayhem while being obsessed with Gold and all things Disco.
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Saturday Night “Pen” Fever!
As for Blythe projects or rather Pen projects…………. you’ll have to watch this space. 😉
Photo: ♥Suzy♥. Pen is watching!
Many thanks to you, Suzy, for sharing your love for Blythe with us, and for being an active and passionate team member of the For the Love of Blythe book project. Cindy, Jean and I are so happy you are on board! Please do continue to entertain us with Pen’s adventures too. We just hope that Miss Pen will not be offended that another girl is on the spotlight at some point 😉