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To reenter the hobby after years of hiatus, thoughts and the easiest way to get back again?

Jul 23, 2017

    1. So hi everyone. I'm creating this thread to encourage myself to come back to this hobby and because I really need some help. So let me tell you my story. I don't want sympathy, I just want whoever is reading this to understand.
      Started the bjd- hobby back in 2010, with a Bobobie Apollo. From then, up until 2014, I was very active in the hobby with a collection of 10 dolls at one point, and I was sewing clothes and wigs, painting faceups, bodyblush and tattoos, wrote their back stories and took so many photos of them. But in 2014 I had to move out from my ex who broke up with me and leave most of my doll stuff there to pick up later. Which never happened because he said I had to pay him "for living with him" before I could pick my stuff up. Still to this day, my Unoa Lusis, Dollmore Asha and several dollheads, with their collection of eyes, wigs, clothes, hand sewn and bought, shoes and faceup material, is still there in his storage room. I did get five of my dolls with me, four of them are safe and sound in my room at my parents house back in Sweden, one of them is still with me here in England. I have slowly started to accept that I will never see the doll stuff in my exe's storage room again. I did put A LOT of money and effort into those things, but they are all gone now, which have been incredibly discouraging for me to lose. The doll I have now is a Bambicrony Emily who haven't had any TLC for a looong time. But yesterday I took her apart to clean her and I'm going to give her a new faceup soon. I have all of the stuff needed for painting faceups again, I slowly collected everything with time. I have sealant, soft pastels, watercolour pencils, gloss and brushes.
      So my question is, have anyone gone through something similar to this? How did you find your way back? Who or what encouraged you to go back to this hobby? I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
      Thank you for reading :)
      • x 1
    2. Uh - drag him to court and sue him for stealing your property?
      • x 10
    3. I will say that I never had to leave my dolls behind (So sorry to hear that, people suck :( ) but I did think it was better to sell my collection rather than moving across the country every three years with them. At the time I was in the military, and my husband was as well. I ended up getting out but he's still in so every three years we move. It was a little heartbreaking, but at the same time it gave me time to do more 'research' I suppose. I spent from 2010ish to two months ago just sort of...being. I would browse DoA, look at all the photos, stories, modifications etc before taking year long hiatuses from even the site. Then my husband surprised me with a Souldoll Karin for our anniversary. Granted, he's been bit by the doll bug and now has dolls (and a DoA) and its sort of fun for us to be in the hobby together.

      I've just started sort of brainstorming about what I want to collect, what I want to do. I'm one of those people who writes down a plan 80 times before actually committing to it. Granted, the hubby has picked up a few things along the way for me that I've expressed adoration/preference towards.

      In my opinion: Find a friend, even just one online. Its so much easier gushing about something to someone, having someone to bounce ideas off of...or even complaints. I can't count how many times I've seen a doll I -really- want on the market secondhand and just gone on a tangent about how much of a mark up the price is...and how ridiculous people are to think a used doll deserves to go UP in price. Its helped me step back into the hobby to have the hubby there with me, granted my hubby is also my best friend (I know "Awwww") so even if we weren't married I'd probably still feel the same way.
      • x 1
    4. I am sorry about the past for you. It sucks, but glad you want to be in the hobby again.
      I say take your time. Do your searches, and research and get to know about all the new dolls and issues. Like forecasts, only buy from people you trust or directly from companies. Avoid eBay, especially dolls from China.
      Don't be afraid to ask about people's dolls and if you can go to a meet up even if only a couple of people at a coffee shop. Look at stories, photos, and company reviews.

      Welcome back and if you want to join groups in smaller forums or on Facebook, we have you covered.
      • x 1
    5. Right!? I was thinking that too.

      But aside from doing that (which you should, he has no right to keep your property from you), just start slow. I had left the hobby for about 5 years and when I came back last year, it was with a BANG! Which was probably not the best idea. Now I have several dolls that are halfway "done". Some don't have very well thought out stories, others don't have faceups or clothes or anything. I was just so excited by all the new sculpts and doll companies that I just started buying dolls.

      I would say you are off to a good start. Pick one doll to dote on, (clean, restring, new faceup, new clothes, lots of photos, etc.) and then when that one is how you want him/her, move to another.

      And, by the way, welcome back :)
      • x 1
    6. Oh you guys, I'm overall thankful and so happy after I read all of your tips and stories! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this either, but sorry that you had to go through similar situations.
      And it certainly feels like I have to research and re-learn a lot. My hands still remembered how to take my doll apart yesterday to clean her, even if it was years ago since I did it! To put her together again will be a different story... Aaaah, how scary! I did paint a faceup this January on a doll I left in my room in Sweden, my Ninodoll Bada that I miss so much. But I will get him back soon.
      Speaking of reporting the ex to the police, I already tried to drag him to court over it, but he turned it down and told the police that it was personal matter to sort out between us. I call him the a**hole for a reason... I'm trying hard every day to focus on the future instead of mourning my loss, and build up a new doll family with new, better faceups and clothes :) all in good time.
      It would be supercool if my current partner would join the hobby as well, but he have always been creeped out by dolls, poor thing :p he doesn't know what he's missing! But I'm glad that some people can have their soulmates joining them in this creative hobby :D
      I would love to go to a doll meet again. It was ages ago since I've been on one. I will check for them here in my local area, it shouldn't be too hard to find other like minded people again :)
      Also, I wish I had the funds to go crazy about this hobby again but there is so many other things that have to be paired like rent, a washing machine and electricity. It's expensive stuff and often leave the wallet crying... But until then, I can spoil my girl with hand sewn clothes! I would really appreciate if you could send links to different garments that are easy to sew :3
    7. I don't think suing work the same way in Sweden like it does in, say, USA.
      Living in Sweden myself, I can safely say that (if the guy is living in Sweden, too) he got no right to keep your dolls + accessories or any other property of yours unless you two went into a marriage arrangement and didn't make your own contract regarding property rights.
      You have the right to demand your things back, the law is on your side there, and as long as you paid for your share of the rent (if you agreed and upheld your part) you have no obligation to pay him anything.

      If you never paid for living expenses, ever, you also have no obligation to start paying him anything now. Unless you began paying because then you recognized (in the eyes of the law) that you owe him money for whatever he made up in his head.

      Aside from that, I hope you can enjoy this hobby once more and that things will begin to look up. Welcome back :)
    8. Oh do I have a subforum for you, the styling and crafting section and the patterns section are great places to start. My personal favorites are the Anyone Can Sew series, it has easy to follow instructions and it used to have clear pictures. You can find the sewing tutorials for jeans, shirts, and jackets with these links. I should warn you however that many pictures in these threads and tutorials are broken due to Photobucket taking on some weird policies but you may still find something that can help. It sounds like you were in a tough situation, mad props for trying actively to focus on the future. Good luck!
      Quick edit: I forgot to mention that YouTube has a lot of great tutorials, you might want to also try looking there sometime.
      #8 KlanceKlanceRevolutn, Jul 23, 2017
      Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    9. Well, same thing happened to me 10 years ago. At that time I had been in the BJD hobby for 2 years and I had 4 dolls (CP EL, VOLKS Chris, CP Chiwoo & Nino Iz). I moved to England to live with someone I loved very much- but after 7 months together he wanted a break from the relationship, so I went back to Denmark to stay with my grandmother for a while. But while I was away my boyfriend in England decided that he was better off without me and ended our relationship. He promised me he would ship back my belongings incl my BJDs... he never did. So my story is very similar to yours, unfortunately :(

      I never left the hobby tho, but the biggest mistake I made regarding the loss of my first BJDs was to try to 're-create' the dolls I had lost. I specially missed my beloved CP EL- and I actually got a new EL, but that new EL just didn't measure up to that one I had lost. Instead I decided to take my collection in a different direction, I got interested in different sculpts and things just went from there...
      I still miss the dolls I lost those 10 years ago- but I have a wonderful collection today that I love more than anything. So just take it slow and enjoy the doll you have now... and seriously, before you know it, your collection will have grown and you will have gotten your hands on new wigs, clothes etc- all those things you lost! Best of luck to you!!
    10. Guys, Eggplant asked for advice about the hobby, not for unsolicited life advice. As tempting as it may be as outsiders to get Righteously Angry at a jerk ex, it's not our place. Maybe Eggplant already tried all legal avenues and they didn't work out. Maybe they just decided it would be better to cut their losses and move on. Either way, it sounds like they're ready to put that chapter of their life behind them. We don't have all the details of what happened, and as nice as it may feel to decry a stranger who's done wrong, the fact of the matter is it's none of our business. We cannot pass judgement or offer advice without all the details and permission from Eggplant, who has given neither.

      That said, welcome back to the hobby, Eggplant! I'm glad you made your way here again. I can't give much advice on re-entry, since I'm still coming into the Doll Zone myself... But I did agree with what Lotte had to say about not trying to recreate your lost dolls. No two dolls are alike, after all, even if they are the same sculpt... I think focusing on the doll you have now is a good place to start! Maybe as you work with her and explore her character, you'll find she needs a companion?
      • x 2
    11. I drift in and out of this hobby, and one of the best vehicles I've found to get back in is DOA. I'll start looking at the new doll releases, catching up on photostories, looking at gallery and box opening threads. I love seeing people's project journals, too. Seeing the fun and wonderful things other people do gets me wanting to work on my dolls, too.

      It's nice to have people IRL to interact with, but if you don't have a close friend or significant other to share with, DOA can help you connect with people you know shares at least one of your interests.:)

      Welcome back to the hobby, and to DOA!
    12. Welcome back to the hobby! I've found that in some of my worst days, just holding one of my dolls helps so much. <3

      While I haven't left and come back, I think getting familiar again is a good idea. So many new companies have popped up, check them out! Beware of recasts, as they are a bigger problem now than in years past, unfortunately. Think about what doll goals you want o set--any new (or old!) doll you really want? Any particular style you want for a doll? Check out tutorials and patterns out there. Go to a doll meet if you can, it can definitely help with making doll friends closer to you. If you remember any old hobbyists you admired or were friends with, look them up, see if they're still in the hobby and what they're up to. Mostly, I think just ease back in as if you were a newbie. Pick up on what's new, and be reminded of what you already know.
    13. I was out for a bit after I moved because she was still all packed up. For me all I had to do was buy a new wig and a new accessory. Then once you bring everything out and see it all it all comes back!
    14. God that's horrible! Is there any way you could contact your ex and ask for your stuff back? After all, it is YOUR stuff..
      I'm sorry this happened to you! I hope you have an easy transition back into the hobby!
      Personally, I just came back from a hiatus too. My reason for leaving was that my life got too crazy for me to be thinking about dolls I don't even have. But now that things have calmed down a bit I'm starting to get back into it from watching Nicolle's Dreams on youtube and remembering why I fell in love with the hobby in the first place! I'm hoping to get my first doll soon and become a lot more active in the community again!!