["Blu Cantrell - Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" plays in the background]

I've disappeared a bit lately... I've been visiting with friends more than usual, and also helping my mom plan a holiday thingy (more on that later).

In non-Blythe-but-still-doll-news, short story long, I've reconnected somewhat recently with a friend of mine from my preteen/teen years -- it's because of this girl I felt encouraged to pursue writing just for the love of it and enjoy Meat Loaf (the singer) to the extent that I do. Man, the days when we would hang out eating ramen noodles and watching Wayne's World on VHS...

We've had some rough patches in our friendship and drifted in and out of contact over the years. But I do know that several years ago, she was really into collecting original My Little Pony. Fast forward to now, we've been in touch more, and I discover she and her girlfriend (who, by the way, makes amazing custom My Little Ponies) both collect Monster High/Ever After High dolls.

You know I'm reluctantly/gleefully getting in on this Much Much Cheaper Doll action. Not a lot -- but enough! Actually getting to talk to "doll people" in real life is pretty sweet.

I've checked out Monster High dolls in the past, since there's some overlap on Flickr with the Blythe community. Honestly, I find Monster High slightly overwhelming, as there are so many dolls and so many versions or iterations of the dolls. Also, Monster High's aesthetic uses a lot of neons and fluorescents and color combinations that are jarring to my tender mori girl-loving eyeballs.

But... I've actually had a C.A. Cupid and an Apple White from the Ever After High line in boxes in my bookcase for like, several months! I really like this line. It's a little more white bread, but the color schemes are less phantasmagoric.

(I'm legit obsessed with Apple White's round apple basket/bag. I would carry that IRL so fast, even if it was plastic and looked like one of those old McDonald's trick-or-treat buckets.)

I really don't know why I left them in their packaging for months. Well -- I do love the packaging!! It's actually so attractive and cute. But also, I think I felt a little weird about having bought them. Why? I don't really know. It's probable I feel I have too many dolls as it is and my mind was not adjusted to having dolls other than Blythes.

But a couple of weeks ago, my friend and I headed to Target to scope out their Monster High row. Having seen her collection, I was wanting to try and take a closer look at what was currently on the shelves. Although I felt more open to getting another Not Blythe, I experienced some uncertainty in the store, because the selection was so huge, and the colors overly bright against the black packaging.

So, Dracubecca was The One. My friend took her off the shelf for me to consider, and I was like, "...Yes!"

She's from the Freaky Fusion line, which means she's two of their "regular" dolls, Draculaura (a pink-skinned vampire) and Robecca (a steampunk robot with bronze skin and blue hair), made into a hybrid. I'm only just learning about this stuff and don't know all the dolls, like, at all, but Robecca is probably high up on the list in terms of the original dolls that I like. Draculaura is cute, but the black/pink combination gives me these Avril Lavigne vibes...

Dracubecca has some atrocious hot pink in her style that I'm not real into, but her skin is this really lovely, slightly lilac-tinted, muted pink. I even want to say it has a pearlescent quality. She's actually very pretty! She has bronzey wings and some kind of little steampunk bustle-esque thing around her waist, as well as heart-shaped goggles. You can see rivets all over her body, since, I guess, technically, she's a robot? Haha, I don't know.

Anyway, I really don't care for this blue/pink color scheme, so I'm going to find her a different dress than this one, which I think will make me like her even more. And I really did not dig the hot pink on her black boots. So I repainted them!!

This was too much fun. I've never done this kind of customization before, since I don't do more than change eye chips or install sleepy eyes on my Blythes. Beatrix has gotten the brunt of it all.

But my friend and her girlfriend are both so freaking talented. (Did you even look at those My Little Ponies??) They had already both made some changes to some of their dolls, and both knew what they were doing, so it was fun to sit around the table with them, tubes of acrylic paints, and many tiny little paintbrushes, making cosmetic adjustments under their helpful guidance.

I chose to do Dracubecca's boots before anything because they were so terrible already, I didn't think I could really do any harm to them, even if I turned out to be very bad at what we were doing. I went in with copper  paint because it's more steampunk-y and also more neutral. The shade doesn't precisely match her plastic accoutrements, being metallic and shiny, but that's fine with me.

Originally, the soles, heels, and heart-shaped buckle at the ankles were all hot pink, and I don't know what was going on in the factory, or whatever, but it was so sloppily dashed on! There was really no very discernable shape to the sole. The paint on the heart-shaped buckle was wearing off, even. It was not good. I did my best to give the soles clean lines. I also painted the heart buckles. The gears/screw and heart dials on the upper half of the boot weren't painted at all, just like many other little features in the plastic aren't. I decided to paint those too, and am happy I did. My friend also did a little bit of clean-up with black paint for me around the soles.

In my opinion, the boots look sooo much better!

My friend did an epic detail job on a pair of (I think) Lagoona's heels, and her lady also did some crazy detailing on a pair of boots belonging to (I thiiiink?) Elissabat, who I had never seen or heard of before then, but who I thought was so cute. If I had seen her in the box at the store, I don't know if I would have thought twice about her. But I think the majority of the Monster High dolls I've seen look better out of the box. Many are hella cute and creative and super detailed.

Thanks to the expertise and styling tools of my friends, Dracubecca and Cupid got they hair did, too. A hot water rinse and lengthy conditioner soak worked wonders on Dracubecca. Her hair was left in a big twist for several days and now it's got some nice natural-looking wave.

My Cupid and Apple also got a few little embellishments done, which I'll share later. This is already far too long a post.


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