My style: cramped.

This past week has been kind of crappy! I started it off by coming down with a bad cold, which is still with me, and halfway through the week, my computer also came down with something. I haven't been in the most present and alert state of mind, so I was sort of more wrapped up in blowing my nose and stuff when I tried to wipe the malware off my hard drive. My repair attempt pretty much destroyed my OS in five seconds! Like, all of a sudden, Windows wouldn't load at all and all my stuff was inaccessible, and when I went to reinstall, of course I had to reformat and so lost everything on my hard drive.

This is, I think, the digital equivalent of having your house burn down.

Luckily, I've got a hoarder mentality and I've backed up my necessities regularly for almost a decade! I've got my FTP program from 1995, writing from when I was in high school, and a copy of Bejeweled I'll never be without! Alas, I hadn't backed up a few random but very important things, namely my work files and some Winamp skins that I've made over the past several years. I've just never thought of saving those just in case, and my work files change constantly, so backups are outdated so easily that I only do them every now and then, like if a major change has been implemented to the site (I do small websites for local organizations for a living). The work I've lost... well, it's traumatic to my sense of stress, but I can knuckle down and redo it without too much pain. But the Winamp skins! I'm very sad about those!

Making Winamp skins has been a hobby of mine for many years. I think it's an outdated hobby by now, and also a hobby that has a lot of strong roots in fandom and other such culty things, the dorky people who love to surround themselves with something of a particular nature. Why would I ever want my Winamp to look fug when it could be PINK AND KAWAII? I would not! I collected skins like a fiend, and it enhanced my music experience much in the way a wallpaper on your phone and your own particular ringtone can make your phone feel like your phone and not Apple's. I really like having the ability to change Winamp to suit my interests or moods and match it with my desktop wallpaper.

Back in the days of dial-up, when I only had MS Paint and gumption born of having hours of time to fill while I waited for a single webpage to load, I used to open up Winamp skin files, investigate all the parts and tweak them, and over time, taught myself how to make them from the ground up. It's not a difficult process once you've got it down... it's just a tedious one with a learning curve, and I was always proud of myself for sticking with it. It can take a very long time to make a single skin, hence the burn of losing them. They take so long to make, require a lot of finnicky tweaking, and are usually labors of love for the person who is sitting there for days staring at a single picture and editing slowly. Many times skins would take me days to fully complete, and I had a lot of skins that were sitting around in a state of half-completion, waiting for me to be in the mood for them. Along with skins that were incomplete, I lost a small handful of finished skins I had never backed up in any way, including the only one I've used on Winamp since I made it two years ago. Gone! All gone!

Goodbye, lost skins! I'll always remember you via screenshot.

While I was mourning my lost skins and my naked Winamp, I decided that I'd like to have a Winamp skin with a Blythe doll on it, so... boom! This took me about twelve hours over two days.

Of course it is Ice Rune :) She will always tug my heart strings in just the right way. And of course it is pink. I am a little in love with pink.

I think a real interest in customization runs through many of my interests. It was the customization aspect that got me into Blythe dolls, kept me playing Sims 2 for years (I just loved to create custom clothing and decorate houses! The creativity/technical prowess of the Sims custom content community online is not to be underestimated), got me Winamp skinning, and got me doing websites.

Well, now that this post is overly-long and I've complained my fill and been boring to those who prefer iTunes, I will end it on a high note with a picture of a beautiful tulip-patterned romper I ordered last week for Aury:

I can't wait till it gets here! I love tulip-print stuff!

"One of my best, don't you think?"

After a while of stalking the sundries on PP, I found a stand for Calico! It's a Cassiopeia Spice stand, but I think Tailor Gibson's stand was also brown, so hopefully it's the same-ish thing. The brown looks really good with her, I must say. Also, the dress with crowns on it was a birthday gift from my friend J, the same who got me Dear LeLe Girl. Crazy kid. Let the record show that he picked it out all on his own.

I've been hooked on embroidery these past several days. I did this one over the weekend:

I'm going to miss new episodes of The Big Bang Theory this summer!

In more recent news, I woke up yesterday morning sick, rather weird and out of nowhere! So I haven't felt up to much. I did, however, watch the entire first season of Community yesterday, along with last night's The Big Bang Theory and the last two episodes of Chuck. (No one can marathon TV quite like me.) Community is great fun. It reminds me of Arrested Development, humor-wise, and Glee, self-parody-wise -- they bash Glee once, which I think is odd because in some ways they've got a really similar feel going on -- with some small smidgen of The Office (US) in there, too, somehow. So I wholeheartedly recommend it if you like any of those three shows!

Glee tonight! :)

ghost birds and the boys

Last night I was terribly cold, so I fixed myself some toast, crawled into bed, and put on Gilmore Girls. Then I picked up some embroidery that I've had partially finished for quite a long time so I could keep shotgunning Gilmore Girls from my bed and get some work done on it at the same time, and I wound up finishing to the lovely lilt of Emily Gilmore's guilt trips and Dean Forester's fall from favor. Poor Dean.

The pattern is Ghost Birds by Aimee Ray (her Doodle Stitching book is the only crafty-type book I've got, and mainly just because it's cute -- I have to learn stitches and such from YouTube videos, I've discovered) and I did it here with a pink and brown theme. Not shocking, I'm sure. They're my favorite colors!

As I took some pictures just now, I had two of my rattie boys on the bed (they like to get under blankets and be nice and warm too) -- my two more recent adoptees, Aldebaran and Pollux, or Al and Paul for short. They crept out to see what was what.

They are pretty nice boys, if a little smelly and sneezy.

I'm surprised they allowed me to snap a few pics. Rats move so fast it's really hard to take pics of them, especially without flash, and Paul and Al are still a little shy about me. Anyway, most pics of rats, you just wind up with their butt or a bit of tail in the picture...


c'est chic

I spent Friday night at my friend E's and took Aury along -- I had Blythe separation anxiety or something! The urge to take them along everywhere is so great. So she came along in my purse. E and I like to marathon TV (we're pros, even) and craft while we watch. She knits, so I asked her if she would make a little knit hat for Aury, and she whipped up this blue beret! TOO CUTE! *_*

While I was taking these pics, I noticed my my rats all napping in their cages, my parents napping in the living room, my cat napping in the sunroom (you can see her in the left of this pic). I wound up unable to fight off the urge to nap after that! Zzz.

Beauty and kindness.

So, although my Blythe family has gotten scandalously large with the addition of Plummery (what! Three Blythes! No one can live at that speed!), I had actually been saving up a little for her, and getting her as a birthday present meant that I had a small amount of money saved up that was suddenly not mentally squared away. Thus when I saw this Tailor Gibson on Plastic Paradise (without stock, but at this point in my Blythe life, I've realized that I hardly ever have the girls in stock clothes, so although I like TG's stock, I wasn't bothered by not having it) I was really tempted by her and decided to mull it over. Then my birthday came and I was given some money by awesome family members, and suddenly she became much more affordable and I decided to just go for it! Tailor Gibson has always been a girl I've liked, but not pined for in the way I pined for Ice Rune and Dear LeLe Girl. However, I literally had dreams about this doll all night long after seeing her. My brain was enamoured, I think :)

The girl I adopted her from is absolutely one of the sweetest people I've met online in a long time! I traded TG's darker blue chips out for a slightly lower price on the doll, and she asked me if I'd like stock green or blue chips in their place. I found this so nice! But as I have a pair of Beatrix's pink stock chips hanging around, I thought I might as well use those, and told her I would. She sent TG along very quickly. She arrived today, and when I unwrapped her I discovered Chrissy had put in pink stock eyechips for me! And I had been expecting her to arrive nude, but Chrissy even put her in a little pink dress, written a little note, and included a necklace from her Etsy shop too!

It's incredibly cute, and the consideration and kindness of her efforts touches me so much. I guess I've become old and jaded on The Internets, especially since I have an extensive fandom history and have experienced a wide range of pettiness and strife. I would sooner expect a Bad Dolly Deal than a good one, as much as it pains me to say that. It's not that I haven't met some of my best friends ever online (most of my friends are online or started out as online friendships) and that I've never been afforded kindness and generosity, because I definitely have been. And in general, the Blythe fandom seems mostly very healthy and supportive in comparison to most other fandoms I've been in. But I was still really touched, and I hope to pay this forward somehow, karmically speaking, and take the experience as inspiration.

Anyway, TG's been in a box for most of her life! So she's got box hair to speak for her experience! Today, one of the first things I did (after waggling her in my mom's face, going, "Look, look! My doll is here! She's got freckles!") was boil some water and give her head a careful dunk. Then I combed her bangs down and put the sad little blindfold on them while they dried.

Then I ironed them, let them sit, checked them out, then ironed them again. (Look at that gaggle of girls on my desk! That's where they hang out.)

Her bangs hang straight now, but they are very uneven. Partially, I like the unstructured-ness of them -- they look cute and less like a thick chunk than some Blythe bangs -- but I think they need just a little trimming. Crap! I'm not good at that!

I settled on a name for her a few hours after she got here: Calico. It seems good for a Tailor! I will have to get her a stand sometime soon. She's borrowing Beatrix's.

all Brontosauruses are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end

The mid-city stable next door to my grandmother's house. I do live in one of the 50 biggest cities in the United States, but you wouldn't think it looking at this picture! What you can't see is the highway and K-Mart visible just to the right of the frame.

I spent an enjoyable few hours yesterday watching episodes of Gilmore Girls and adorning this happy tooth hat. I wanted it to feel like the tooth was surrounded with sparkly bubbly toothpaste. It's on my Etsy, but I might actually duplicate it to have one to keep. I just love little kawaii smiling teeth. I want to do a post all about them sometime soon.

Happy Mother's Day, especially to my mom, who is a fellow Taurus and who doesn't get near enough credit or appreciation for everything she does for everyone she knows.

armed with the faith of a child

Plummery in plum! I got both this top and the overalls from users on Plastic Paradise, which is my favorite place to get things now. I'm actually not sure how I feel about Plummery in pants though! She might be a dress girl only!

My birthday table is pink! I've had a very good birthday so far. I got a lot of my presents early, have gleefully blown birthday money on a Blythe doll (...I know, it's getting ridiculous and I've banned myself from getting dolls for a LONG TIME!) and people have been super-kind to me. My mom and I went out to a favorite Mexican place and then we went to the nearby craft store! Here's my haul...

I love the elephant-shaped buttons! My mom spotted the heart ribbon and said, "I'm getting this for you!" She knows me well! I hope I can put all these to good use. My lack of sewing skills are not to be underestimated. Like, seriously.

Tonight there will be angel food cake with chocolate whipped cream for icing, and I might rewatch yesterday's Supernatural and craft!


I got a lovebox from L! She sent me the most epic box of epicness for Christmas last year -- I called it the Box of Love. This, too, is a box lovingly put together, and I think L has given me more for Christmas/my birthday than most people!

DRESSES!! My girls are in dire need of clothes. I've been collecting determinedly this past month. These frocks are all on my girls right now!

I also got a card from an online friend, C, and it surprised me greatly, and the card is beautiful. I have a color compulsion, so when I saw Plummery in one of the new lovebox dresses, I knew I wanted a picture of her with the card.



Mail! This brown jumper arrived yesterday. It doesn't really fit over a dress, but I'm just in love with pinafores, I can't help it! All three of my girls are riddled with little handmade aprons! Love! Hopefully I will learn to sew a little better so I can make more.

Birthday plans so far include breakfast tomorrow with my grandma, lunch with my mom some day this week (and then to a CRAFT STORE! Heaven!), and my friend J making me dinner sometime this weekend. So much to do... and I am basically nocturnal right now!

accentuate the positive

I feel rather bummed today, so I've decided to post a spare picture of Plummery and Aury to admire and make a list of immaterial happy things:

  • hearing my favorite song in the car and singing along with it
  • pink
  • midnight productivity
  • writing fever
  • the edge of sleep
  • to have come far
  • kindred spirits
  • Mondays (I actually quite like them)

Happy birthday, Sam Winchester, my total fave and fellow May baby. I'm rooting for you.