If you are not into the intricacies of customizing fashion dolls, then you are on the wrong page. I am not an expert (yet), so I don’t presume to know everything about customizing. I just know how I do it.

I do not “play” with my dolls. My days of giving them voices and staging scenarios are over. I’m a writer; I have other ways of doing that.

I am also a hair stylist. To me, fashion dolls are 11-1/2 inch mannequins–and saner clients to work with. I create looks, focusing on the hair, which is almost always going to be curly. If I can’t find the right outfit to complement the hair, I’ll design it myself.

Since June of last year, I have picked up several new skills that help me to customize certain dolls that a) didn’t originally belong to me, b) needed a new look, and c) fit better into my Doll World.

I am having a BALL and learning a lot in the process. Let me unpack my glossary.

Redress – This is usually just a wardrobe change, when I love the doll but HATE the outfit that she came in. Sometimes, I wonder what the people at Mattel are thinking or if they have any fashion sense where curvy dolls are concerned.

Restyle – This is what I call the “Doll Salon”, because I only change the doll’s original hairstyle. This only happens if I like the way the hair color is blended.

Changing the hairstyle and outfit is what I call a full “Doll Makeover”. This usually happens when the manufacturers only make one version of a doll. I’m not mad at them; I just strip the original doll and find a worthy replacement to redress and restyle.

Reroot – This is my favorite and most time-consuming project. I yank out the original hair and implant new hair. The wardrobe change is optional. Talk about a transformation!

Repaint – This is the newest thing for me–transforming the original face. Usually, I’d be satisfied with changing the lip color (dark-skinned dolls with bright pink lips read ‘Sambo’ to me.) The one pictured was my first, and it was totally an accident. I was trying to clean a mistake, and I swiped off one of her eyes. Not my best work, but the first one never is.

I post details of my work on my Facebook page and Pinterest board. Your “likes” are appreciated.

Thank you for your time. Blessings and peace.