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!

caught in a landslide

Gosh, so, the Thanksgiving sale I had was a major success. I had no real idea if anything would happen with it, but all of my deer hats sold. In fact, more than I had on hand because frost hats were what people seemed to want, so I made a lot of frost hats on the fly by request.

The woe of it all was that I had trouble finding the colorway of yarn I use for frost hats because it was all sold out at one place and way more expensive at another (and there was only one left there, so I just went ahead and snapped it up). Also, for some reason all the craft stores in my area -- and I did check every one -- are currently not stocking the shade of felt I use to make antlers, which is tagged "ivory." All they have is "champagne," and it's noticably more beige. Particularly against the white frost yarn, champage just looks off to me. I was really lucky to find 40% of a piece of ivory in my felt stash from before I was actively cutting antlers all the time that I was able to cut carefully enough to have antlers for all the frost hats. I didn't want to send a product that looked off or different than what anyone was expecting.

So the hats bought during the Thanksgiving sale are the last with ivory antlers until I find an alternate source for ivory felt that's, you know, reasonable. I've looked around online but I don't want to buy 25 sheets because I will never ever use that much, or pay 10 dollars shipping for one sheet. Seriously!! I'll keep looking locally but I feel like whoever produces the felt made the choice to switch from ivory to champagne. Why else would three different craft stores all suddenly have one color and not the other?

I picked up this yarn colorway while I was at one of the craft stores that I don't go to as often; I'm not drawn to blue but I thought it was so pretty and it wasn't at any of the closer stores. It's blue, brown, and green, all the colors of the world...

It's got champagne antlers though. I don't know! They just look weird to me!

Anyway, this Thanksgiving sale has made it possible for me to get a lot of Christmas shopping done. My humble thanks to anyone who would bother to spend money on anything I made.

Although Thanksgiving is a couple of days past now, a list of things I am thankful for:

  • Blythe/Blythe fans - I really love this community.
  • food! There's been no shortage of it this holiday weekend!
  • my rats, old men that they are
  • my bed, for it is comfortable
  • Dexter... I mean, it's getting real now, dudes!
  • "mania" is the umbrella term

    It has been crazytimes here. I have had so much work to do! For some crazy reason I thought I'd be done with my work by November 14 and I could just spend the week faffing around attaching antlers to everything in the universe and, I don't know, watching Pretty Little Liars. Don't they say, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans"?

    Beatrix is due back from her time away as a Blythe carry bag model after Thanksgiving and I can't wait to see her again. I looked at a bunch of pictures of her the other day and just wanted to kiss her shiny little forehead. I got a sleepforever dress I'm keeping aside for her to wear when she gets back and I'm also looking forward to dressing my girls up in red and green -- I guess I've already gotten started on the red part.

    Man, am I going to goof off BIG-TIME in December. (I hope God does not read my blog.)

    on sale, with thanks!

    A bunch of stuff in my Etsy shop is on sale for the next week, till midnight on Thanksgiving. All deer hats are $3 off the usual price, and yes, if you want, I'll put a strap on it for you instead! Some other little hats are on sale too.

    I have twelve deer hats within my line of sight just sitting here at my desk; it's getting stupid. Take 'em off my hands!

    Vinter VTF

    First thing's first: VINTER VHAT'S-HER-NAME. Some official pics finally came out.

    I'm... underwhelmed, I guess. Sometimes the art and the official pictures are both adorable -- I feel that way about Ice Rune and that's part of what pushed me to finally get a Blythe! Her official pics are some of the cutest ever!

    Sometimes the concept art looks so cute, but the girl doesn't excite me in pictures, and sometimes neither art nor the official pics do anything for me but I fall in love with a girl when I see "real" pictures of her in different clothes, in a home, loved and lit with that love (Paris is a prime example -- I think she's the prettiest FBL to customize, so I was going to give her a bit of a face-up, but I even love her strange purple-tinted lips in person). But usually the studio pictures are really nice either way. Strangely, I think the studio pictures of this girl are terrible-looking. To me her hair looks too shiny, like bad plastic-nylon-not-even-soft-to-the-touch shiny. Or maybe greasy and kind of tangled. Either way it looks bad to me. Her stock is absolutely wonderful; that's not the problem. Those boots, gurl!! But even the background of her studio pictures is weirdly shiny and strange-looking to me, in comparison with the tidy backgrounds I'm accustomed to seeing from Takara.

    But the pictures of her outside are a lot nicer:

    Truthfully I was expecting this girl to be a little more pinky, from the illustration. I'm really curious to see how she'll look in pictures taken by Blythe collectors on flickr. She really might look utterly different.

    Not to be too negative -- I just feel like I can't tell what color her hair actually is, and I'm really curious because I really responded to her concept art and I love her stock. Ice Rune has a definite peach tint in her blond hair and I love it, so I wouldn't mind if this girl has peachy hair too, and I love muted tones. I just think her studio pics aren't doing her any favors for me.

    Here's a deer girl taking a peek:

    I'm think I'm going to have a sale in my Etsy shop this week, starting tomorrow and ending on (American) Thanksgiving -- a little pre-"Black Friday" sale. Stay tuned.


    Got myself a pair of ankle-length boots that are kind of cowgirl-esque. Love ankle boots!! Also got this dress with Little Red Riding Hood on the fabric for my girls via BK. I'm pleased.

    elementary school teacher-approved

    I know, I know, it's not Christmas time yet... so I promise I won't speak about it again till after Thanksgiving! But for now:

    Thanks to a couple of people talking about them on Twitter I was alerted to these cute $2 mini-sweater ornaments from Target that turned out to be pretty perfect for Blythe after a bit of altering! (I snipped where the collar was sewn together to open it up a bit more, whip-stitched each side of the fabric so it wouldn't come apart, and added a snap to close it up again with. I just learned WTF a whip-stitch is earlier) I just got one, but they had at least two styles that I saw. Thanks so much, Twitter friends!

    Its kitschy gloriousness makes me hear Andy Williams in my head! I'm letting Aury wear it today... then it'll go into the wardrobe till December! I can't wait till Beatrix is back with me and I can dress my girls up in all kinds of holiday finery for Christmas. But I'll keep a lid on it till after Turkey Day!

    My mother and I have a possible project in the pipeline... more on that later!

    Blythe mail today, yay!

    My cardigans and mittens from Fliss of Millie Made got here today! They're terribly sweet...

    So neat and well-made -- look at those tiny beads on the tiny flower corsages :) I highly recommend them if your girls are ever in need of lovely, layerable little cardis.


    I have been making a lot of these little bear-eared beanies lately... they come together really quickly, so now I have a pile of them. I don't really love to crochet in the round, but frankly it took me forever to figure out that pattern! I'm so bad at figuring out what patterns are wanting me to do that I attempted this one three different times with three different yet equally poor results. Then suddenly it just worked, so I'm making lots right now and I think I might give away extras as freebies with Etsy packages if I start having trouble opening my door because my room is so full of beanies...

    Recently I did a trade with Fliss of Millie Made - check out her Adorable Audrey be-antlered with a deer hat. So cute! She is making me a couple of cardigans and some mittens! Just in time, too, because I am absolutely freezing lately. Totally in the mood for crochet and knitwear.

    This crochet dress by crispipop is so adorable!!

    Adorable heart-print winter knits by ohchiwawa!

    Geeky bliss from Dollystory! (How do you tell the difference between Pac-man and Ms. Pac-man, really?)

    Legwarmers!! I so want to knit my girls some legwarmers! Especially Plummery, she loves legwarmers and her stock legwarmers are some of my favorite stock items. Unfortunately I have no idea how to and I don't have any tiny needles or tiny yarn.

    November Rain

    Blog makeover... how can I resist that pink-haired Vinter Arden/Garden? I'm seriously thinking she might join my Blythe family.

    With November here, I'm officially in Christmas mode (it happens to me very early in the year, just like it happens to stores everywhere, but especially because Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday so I don't think very much about it). That means I'm a penny-pincher for the next two months.

    But I just finished the second of two journals I bought myself last Christmas - I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did - so I had to pick up a couple of new ones this week. I had trouble finding any I liked at Target, which is where I usually pick up journals on the cheap. Staples had these though:

    I'm using the pink one first. I hope I like it; I'll write with any pen but I'm picky about the quality of the paper I'm writing on. I like the covers, though. Florals!

    Gavin got a new dress this weekend from sleepforever! It's black and gray with some bits of sparkly gold on it. She's starting to have a few wardrobe options. Lord, I need to learn to sew.