Blythe-iversary; how did this happen??

Very Vicky has been named "Petaline"! Poor girl didn't even have a name for many days as I hemmed and hawed and treated her hair. I know I blogged about it being a tangled mess before, but just look at it now!

Soft and sweet and all in order. Very Vicky is the prettiest FBL there is, in my opinion. Her complexion and pretty blue shadow and beauty mark and special pale green chips with that wonderful hair (that I was terribly afraid would be super-similar to Tailor Gibson's, but it's not so dark/green-ish looking) just make me ooh and ahh over her! Right now I'm stalking Etsy to try and find her a special dress all her own. All my girls have an outfit that was picked out just for them (Aury actually has many of these, I'm afraid) but Petaline seems like a very particular and refined girl.

Vinter Arden doesn't have a name yet. She defies description! Can't name her hair color and can't name her wee self. She also came out of the box with immensely tangled hair. (I did a short video about it if you are interested in how bad it actually was.) I did a treatment on her and improved it about 50%, but I still can't get my doll brush through her mane... there are still tangles and frizziness from my detangling efforts. I'm definitely going to need to do another treatment on her.

I love all her eyechips however! It's rare for me to love each set of chips, but they did a really fantastic job on VA's. I'll probably change out Petaline's orange chips, but Vinter Arden looks good with every set.

What a pretty twosome they are. I really love them both!

When Petaline arrived, I changed all my girls back into their stock outfits so VV wouldn't be standing there in her stock by herself. It was then I noticed that most of my girls have blue stock, save SP who has black and white stock. I love looking at my row of girls... I love IR and DLG's stock quite a lot. And I am so tickled to have as many FBLs as I do RBLs. I like both of the molds very much.

It was at this time last year that I ordered myself Aury, my first Blythe. I ordered her late on Christmas Day last year. I had been aware of Blythe for several years due to her presence online, but it was only during autumn last year that I actually got curious enough about the idea of buying one to look around on eBay for them. I had never used eBay before, ever. It really, really intimidated me. I bookmarked several IR auctions throughout December, and my heartrate would shoot up like crazy every day watching the prices on her soar. I found myself looking at Blythe every day on eBay and eventually becoming sad each time, because I felt like I didn't know how to get one, between eBay being mysterious to me and their prices being so high and often varying confusingly. But I remember deciding for sure that I was going to buy myself one. How extravagant!

My friend J helped me order her, and... this sounds cliche (especially because it was actually Christmas), but I was like a kid on Christmas! It had been so, so long since I had felt such a gut-punch of total excitement. I was so thrilled, so over the moon. I literally don't remember the last time I had been so excited about anything, or even if I have ever been so ungodly quivery with pure happiness. I had never even seen a Blythe in person. I didn't know what to expect at all. I was only on the fringes of any kind of social aspect of Blythe fen; I wasn't on any forums, didn't know any sites. I didn't know anything at all about anything. I just thought she was the cutest Blythe, and I still think she is the Blythe of my heart! I was just so overwhelmed.

Anyway, I can't believe it's been a year since then and I can't believe my family has expanded to six; that's crazy. I never would have begun to have thought I'd ever have gotten so many within such a short span of time. 2010 would have been so radically different for me if I had not taken that step to buy Aury!

Nostalgic Christmas: Stand-out Gifts

Me (the long brown hair) and my little sister (blonde hair) watching Frosty the Snowman on TV; the two of us sitting by our tree. Haha, these were the late '80s. How stylin'!!

My sister and I remember a lot of gifts we got when we were little... the pink Fisher Price tea set, the furry pets on remote-control leashes that couldn't walk on carpet, the outfits with stirrup-pant leggings!

I got a baby doll one year that came with a bottle - you could tip the bottle upside down and the liquid in it that looked like milk would tip too. I had a couple of Cabbage Patch Kids during one of their popularity surges (one of them had hair you could crimp). I didn't like the names that came on the adoption certificates that the dolls came with, so I just called one of them Cabby. You know, short for "Cabbage." A classic feminine name for sure...

We got Home Alone on VHS one year from our baby-sitter and to this day, it's a favorite movie for me and my sisters. We have a tradition of watching it every Christmas eve, so that's what I'm doing tomorrow! We got a playhouse tent that same year we got Home Alone, just one with a little flap-door. It was printed to look like a treehouse or clubhouse or something, I think. There was lots of hanging out in that tent with my Cabbage Patch Kids.

One year we got those little fashion plate toys where you could change out one of three or four plates, then press a piece of paper over the whole shebang, rub it with a crayon, and get a print that you could then color in with colored pencils. I know any '80s child remembers those! My sister got the fashion plates and I got a greeting card version.

I remember this VIVIDLY but it was another thing where I couldn't remember the name, just the item itself. Google has told me: Precious Places! I had this exact one, a ballet studio. The key had a magnet on it, so you could move the figurine and make it look like it was dancing by itself over the floor. Also, the light inside really lit up. You could join all the houses with plastic roads so the figurines could go visit each other. My sister had one with a green roof.

Several years apart I got teddy bears from my granddad, which I still have.

Also, when I was about nine, he picked me out this copy of The Secret Garden, which to this day is one of my very favorite books. He wrote a note on the inside cover with the date on it in his incredibly tidy handwriting. Sadly, I once let a friend borrow the book and they never gave it back to me, even though I asked them for it repeatedly. I have a different copy now, but I loved the Tasha Tudor illustrations in this edition, and I'm sad I'll never see that note from my granddad again!

Probably my favorite things that I got for Christmas when I was younger, though, are my American Girl dolls.

When I was in fifth grade, I got Samantha, and my memories of this are my most vivid Christmas memories ever, because I was so frightfully excited and had spent so long poring over the American Girl catalogues that were sent to my house. I basically had the entire catalogue memorized but would re-read and re-read it like a favorite book. Felicity was brand new at that point in time and I think they had just rolled out Addy, or did quite soon after that. The next year, I asked for Kirsten, and I got her, and for a couple of years I collected dresses and accessories for them both.

I was a little bit old (ten) to be playing with dolls, possibly... but I didn't really need to play "pretend" with them. I was most extremely attracted to their clothing and how it pertained to their characters and I already liked historical fiction for children... amongst my favorite books were and still are Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, and Little House on the Prairie. The Pleasant Company really knew what they were doing in giving these girls a specific canon. And American Girls dolls were then well-known for their period clothing and detailed accessories. My main pleasures extended from touching their clothes, undressing them and fussing with their underclothing (Samantha had lots of layers of underwear), washing their clothes in the sink, and learning how to do their hair. I learned how to do french braids on my Samantha doll and after taking Kirsten's hair out of her braids, I learned to re-do that hairstyle for her.

I was not a rowdy kid so my girls are still in very good condition, but obviously loved. My Kirsten doll has a condition known as "silver eye" (which looks as creepy as it sounds; one of her eyes has lost its blue) but my Samantha looks fantastic. I posed for a silly picture with her just the other day:

(I was trying to do the "visible front teeth" smile Samantha has!)

Samantha and Kirsten stand in my bookshelf, not too far away from my row of six -- count 'em, six -- Blythe dolls. I didn't really do Barbies and was never really a "doll person" (my mom said I was more apt to be entertained by books or drawing) and am still not into any and all dolls just because they're dolls, but the American Girls dolls captured my heart for a stint of time from when I was 10-13 or so and their clothes made a real impression on me, and now Blythe has done it again but in a completely different way.

Anyway, before you think all my best-loved gifts are fussy, you can't forget about the year I got SPY TECH!

Nostalgic Christmas: Andy Williams

Even though I didn't grow up watching them, I adore the bits of the Andy Williams Christmas specials that I've seen on DVD. It's so cheesy, but at the same time, so happy, so colorful, so stylized. And come on. It's Andy Williams.

The best bits, though, are when the Osmonds came on the show!!

My mom and I like this crazy number where they're doing intense synchronized skating... I mean, wow! Even if they're lip-syncing to a recording and it's edited together, in my mind it's still quite the feat for people who are not trained skaters to skate so... together. Olympic pair teams have trouble with that.

Absolutely adorable! AND SO KITSCHY!

dreaming of a Blythe Christmas

Oh my gosh! It's a Blythe Christmas, you guys. Yesterday there were two Blythe deboxings going on within six hours of each other.

First, I got to give my RL best friend E a present -- and I chose to get her Simply Chocolate.

Why? Because I could afford to! I was really excited to be able to give another friend a Blythe, and E has been very sweet about my craze this past year. Blythe can be bemusing at best to people outside the hobby. I tend to get a little bit of Blythe separation anxiety so I always want to take one with me everywhere, including over to E's house. She knitted my girls a couple of cute things over the year and we had fun playing with them when I visited Eureka Springs with her and all my girls in tow. When I was looking at buying myself Vinter Arden, I kept coming across Simply Chocolate and thinking of E and how much fun it could be to sit around knitting our girls outfits together, so I just went ahead and snatched her up. E and I have been best friends since kindergarten. We used to play with our American Girls dolls together and now we can enjoy Blythe together too. Forever young!

It was fun to watch E debox her SC. I was maybe more delighted than she was. However, the really important thing is that E knows I am grateful to able to share this section of my life with her. I actually don't tell a lot of people about my Blythe hobby -- hence the real need for a blog as an outlet for my Blythe thoughts.

Anyway, later I had a gift exchange with my friend J (the same who gave me my Dear Lele Girl, Plummery, for my birthday) and he generously got me Very Vicky for Christmas!

She's stunning; her face with those green eyechips, wow. J said that he picked her because she reminded him of Dear Lele Girl, who I think is the prettiest Blythe ever... and I totally see where he's coming from. She's kind of like the FBL DLG with that blue eyeshadow and marvelous complexion! He said she looked the most innocent which I think is a sweet thing for a guy to say.

I deboxed her last night and took video of some of it with my camera...

As you can see in the video (sort of; poor lighting makes my room looks virulently green!) her hair came out of the box really horribly tangled; I was afraid for an hour that it would be so bad I'd have to buy her a new scalp or cut some length off her hair. She's in the process of a hair treatment right now. I even bought some fabric softener, which I haven't used on a girl before.

I'm absolutely bankrupt now (I think I have about ten dollars) but it's very okay with me. Window-shopping for dresses for VV, who has yet to be named, and my future VA is still fun! And I feel truly fortunate to have friends that I can share my Blythely love with.

snowflake cookies

My mom and little sister made the most beautiful sugar cookies for a holiday event last night! They were all snapped up (one lady even casually claimed the leftovers my mom was setting aside -- "I'll just take these...!") but luckily I got the very last one.

free as a weed

I rather thought Gavin would be my last doll till 2011 at least, but I've spent the last four months seriously plied with work and deer hats both, so I had the funds and I decided... why wait?

I ordered her from Junie Moon, which is new for me. I usually buy via eBay. I haven't heard from Junie Moon at all, so I have no idea when she'll actually be shipped and get here.

I've already mentioned I was underwhelmed by her, but she's winning me over in pictures on Flickr and I just love FBLs, I really do! I figure if I get her and don't bond with her (although this is a somewhat sad option for me; I've only ever not really bonded with one girl but it made me feel terribly guilty), she can move on to another home.

I'll wait till she's here in person to worry or try and name her. It worked out very well for Gavin, who was just Gavin instantly.

A Little List:

Music currently on repeat: Caramel Orange - A~ing Heart
Polish currently on nails: alternating silver and gold
Beauty blogger I spent too much time watching today: From Head To Toe
I have the urge to: curl all eighteen feet of my hair for no reason; see Black Swan; re-read The Iceberg Hermit for the first time since I was twelve!

oh my antlers

Check out what I got in the mail today!!

I bought this deer ornament by Gingermelon for myself (YEAH, FOR MYSELF!!) for making 50 sales on Etsy! It'll be a reminder of my Year of Deer... and I think I'll keep it in my room all year 'round because it's all pink and green up in there anyway.

Thanks so much to everyone :)

Christmas colors

I enjoy your classic red and green holly jolly Christmas stuff, but even more than that, I love alternative and pastel color themes for all holidays, including Christmas...

Like the green, gold, and blue on this Stocking Up On Necessities stocking at Modcloth...

And of course, pink anything! This handmade pastel glittered Christmas village is absolutely the kind of stuff my own personal Christmas dreams are made of.

I'd love to do a white tinsel tree with all pink ornaments, or that blue one with all wood and gold. (I actually found this picture on a blog proclaiming these things the world's ugliest trees, which I don't understand... all of these have the potential to be lovely or cute.)

I also love this Oak-y Dokey garland, also at Modcloth. I would hang this in my room year-round, personally, as I do with white fairy lights. I'm going to just covertly Kaboodle these for later...

We have a lot of teas (it's just a silly thing we do, but holiday teas are also a Christmas tradition in my mother's church and she puts a lot of work into her table or sometimes tables, plural) and do a lot of tablescapes in my family. A shared love of table arranging and decor runs down my mom's side of the family. I really want to have a vintage Valentine's tea in gold, pearl, and coral instead of your standard red and pink, and also I have a tea I'm mentally referring to as "Winter In Narnia" that has yet to happen (in white, brown, brass, aqua-green, and mint with a woodland theme) waiting in the wings. I got a hot chocolate set at Anthropologie last year that I really want to use!

Earlier I saw some cream-colored vintage-looking plates on our table and said, "Are those the plates for my tea that has yet to happen?"

"Yes. They are actually your plates," said my mom.

My plates! How cool!! I'm so not a grown-up, so I've never had need or occasion for my very own plates. I'm going to lovingly stack them next to my hot chocolate set and maybe someday they'll actually get used...

mister sparkle

Ah, life: working on deer hats all night then waiting that extra hour and a half of wintry darkness till the sun comes up and I can scoot my butt outside in my jammies, out into the freezing cold with my arms full of my dollies, and take pictures for Etsy listings.

But then Plummery is just so pretty and angelic-looking, I don't even mind the cold!

After I finished up my stitching for the night I gave myself a dedicated manicure with a couple of Orly polishes I have. I used Rage, which is a silvery-metallic bronze that reflects like light pink, and topped it with a double-coat of metallic burgundy-pink sparkles from a mini-bottle (I think it's called "VIP").

Together they create a muted pink sparkle look which is perfect for my mood right now, although I bet you it won't last a day because I've got more stitching to do after I catch some sleep.

do-it-your-own-dang-self ornaments

Today my little sister came over and we spent hours making kitschy, cheesy homemade Christmas ornaments for her tree! Our family's tree has always had an abundance of ornaments that you could consider kitschy or cheesy... stuff my mom bought in the early '80s at TG&Y for almost nothing, stuff we kids made in grade school, happy wooden figurines -- that's kind of what we like! She brought supplies, we went out for supplies (clothespins mainly, for making reindeer), and I have oodles of supplies already too.

I think about fourteen were made in total. My mom joined us, bringing in another three tons of supplies, and said, "What's your theme??"

My sister: "Homemade."

My mom: "I just wondered if you had a theme."

My sister: "...Christmas."

Me: [busts up laughing]

Crocheted a stocking on the fly and added a strip of white felt to the top. That's the fun thing about crocheting; you can just make it up as you go a lot of the time. I don't really know how to do things "right." But the theme was cheesy and homemade, so... it was hard to go wrong!

I did a wreath, too, by just chaining and then doing a single crochet in the same chunky yarn I use to do forest-colored deer hats along a small strip of florist wire, so it could retain a casual circle shape. Then I sewed some beads on for baubles, hot-glued a bow on, and tied even more yarn on for a hanger.

Then I did a beaded snowflake with silver and clear/iridescent beads on pretty blue felt. I think of that as "Monday blue" because that's close to the color I see Mondays as. (I have slight synesthesia with days/months.)  The thing that took the longest because it wanted many coats of paint was this gingerbread boy done in Sculpy. He got little puffball buttons and I painted on the icing with a toothpick instead of a brush.

My mom did these three heart-shaped ornaments:

My little sister did this elf fellow, adding a head and arms to a clothespin with Sculpy. His name is G√ľnther and we created an extensive backstory about his job at the North Pole. His hat is rather jolly.

She also did these three reindeer (Rudolph, Dancer, and Prancer, she said), so I asked her if she would do a pink one for me, and she did! We both thought it was so cute that we did two more, one for her and one more for me...

They have little white puffball tails!! They're so freakin' cute! I think I might keep one and give one away as a present...

in the air there's a feeling

Hehe -- wow! Beatrix has officially done more modeling than some America's Next Top Model alums.

Uh-oh, I'm warming up more to Vinter Arden thanks to pics like this on Flickr... I'm really torn!

Anyway, now that I'm 90% done with my Christmas shopping (I don't know if you know this, but I am actually Santa Claus) it's just-for-funsies WINDOW SHOPPING TIME!

Amazing coat and hat sets from My Fair Dolly -- this one is just my fave!

Super-adorable jumper dress set by Moshi Moshi. Absolutely love this one.

I can't resist all the lacy accents on this dud by blythewithyouandme.

This Decole squirrel tape dispenser is killing me. It's hilariously cute.

This dress on Ruche is pretty! I really love anything with that kind of detailed ruffled/pleated yoke.

This necklace from JewelryDeli is my second-face necklace from them...!

I think I might wrap a few presents now. I'm in the mood, so even though it's still really early in the Christmas season, that's okay, right?? I probably own't be in the mood to wrap later...! I'll be baby-sitting tonight and I'm looking forward to packing my Epic Blythe Carry Bag with a girl and some yarn to crochet with!!


Just some Beatrix love ♥ So glad she's back. I really missed her so much! I saved this new sleepforever dress for her return (little did I know she'd come home in a new dress!) and also these socks from Daffodil Lane arrived today. I really recommend Daffodil Lane's socks... she's really, really sweet and the socks fit amazingly!

Today I went out to buy wrapping paper -- I have got a lot of my Christmas shopping done already! It's one of those things about Christmas that I actually enjoy now that I am not a child, picking out the paper I will wrap with and buying bows and tags. Last year my wrapping paper was "penguins doing people things, winter sports edition" -- they were snow-shoeing, ice-fishing with poles, juggling snowballs, and eating ice cream. I thought it was too hilarious for some reason. This year I'm doing metallics with a dash of red.

While I was at the store I picked up the Simplicity Blythe pattern pack. I don't know why, because I cannot sew! Not for crap!! NOT AT ALL! But maybe in 2011 I will knuckle down and figure it out, who knows? You'd think I could do a skirt, at least!

I intend to post probably fairly frequently about Christmas stuff... my apologies to people who aren't into it or don't celebrate it at all!!


Yesterday was the happiest day! My friend E brought Beatrix back from Eureka Springs, where she was staying with E's mom Margy to work as a model for the Epic Blythe Carry Bag. I first blogged about that here (it's about 80% of the way through the post).

Margy is awesome... I grew up sleeping under quilts she made at sleepovers, and when my youngest sister was born, Margy made her the baby blanket she grew up with! She sells beautiful project bags, knitting needle rolls, and smaller this-and-that bags in her Etsy shop! Artsy Eureka Springs shops also carry things crafted by her -- I saw purses, table runners, and stockings in a shop during my visit there. She loves to work with customers to design things and I saw her crazy brain coming up with idea after idea in person -- but fair warning, the product you get will still BLOW YA MIND.

When I requested a bag to carry my girls around in, I was envisioning a little tote-style bag with a little partition down the middle... "It would be awesome to be able to take TWO girls with me," I said. I'm accustomed to wrapping up a doll in a t-shirt and sticking her in my purse.

What I got was this beautiful, lightweight, sturdy, roomy bag that can fit over my shoulder (which is what I prefer in a bag), quilted to the nines, that I can carry three Blythes in easily with room to spare for A) more Blythes, B) purse stuff -- like tons of it, and/or C) crocheting supplies and yarn, which I also like to take with me places.

I got to paw through Margy's fabric stash myself, and she, E, and I all pulled out what became this bag from the starting place of "I want pink!" We found this awesome paisley/stripes print that has coral-toned pinks, olive green, and deep dark burgundy in it. From there we pulled in a more neutral white and tan stripe and then a burgundy bottom with swirls in the pattern. How it came together was totally organic and fun and unexpected. I watched Margy measure and put together a sketch for the pattern... but the finished product is just wowing the crap out of me. It's much more than I envisioned and could have asked for. The way she emulated the paislies in the quilting...

The beads on its zip-pull, the system she designed inside for carrying three Blythes without the danger of them getting stained, their faces knocking together, or them rolling around inside... all so beautiful and ingenious! When the bag is zipped shut, the girls overlap inside, the one middle Blythe compartment sandwiching between the two others -- all three girls safe and sound!

Besides the little "sleeping bag"-like Blythe compartments, which each have a zip so you can open them up, slide your girl in easily, and then zip them back up again safely, the bag has three extra pockets inside, a large one for -- I'd say a cell phone or mp3 player, but I'm using it for their brush right now -- and two smaller ones that velcro shut for clothes and little things like shoes.

I zipped Aury, Gavin, and Beatrix in the Blythe pockets and had room to spare for Plummery to just hang around in the bottom without any worry, and I would literally have room for at least three more Blythes if I wanted to -- like, I swear this thing could fit six or seven girls in it, between the built-in compartments and room to stack more. Gosh!!! That makes it sound huge, but it's actually just perfectly crafted for its purpose! I don't feel like I am carrying a huge thing, and it's not heavy at all, even with all four of my girls inside it. If I wanted to, I could just go to the movies with a handful of Blythes in this bag tossed over my shoulder, and no one would be the wiser!

One of the reasons I wanted a custom Blythe carry bag was so I wouldn't have to carry around anything shaped like a body bag, and I didn't want a big plastic coffin-shaped carrier, either. For me, it's personally just easier to pull a girl out of her little compartment by grasping her head than it is to unwrap a girl from a roll-style carrier. That's exactly what I wanted to be able to do and Margy worked it out perfectly.

As a super-awesome bonus, Margy also made Beatrix this adorable dress set out of some other fabric that I had pulled out. She had a pair of shorts made out of it when she was younger. It's perfect for Beatrix's coloring and green/yellow eye chips! And what a delight it was to pull my girl out of the bag to see her again after two months of her absence from my dolly family and to see her in a cute new dress. It was so fun!!

I thoroughly recommend checking Margy out and giving her a convo if you're interested in a custom bag (I hear she'll do more Blythe bags -- you can even send her your own fabric if you want). It's more gorgeous than I can capture and it's really me. I am so stoked. Every time I look at it, I just go, "IT'S SO! FREAKIN'! COOL!" I know that I'm going to use it constantly... when I go baby-sitting I'll take a girl (or two) and some yarn and crochet hooks and still have plenty of room for my purse junk and spiral notebooks and my phone and all that stuff I take with me to prevent post-bedtime boredom. I know I'll use it when I travel and I won't worry about whether my girls are getting squooshed or scratched.

Thank you so much, Margy!