December doings

Making a scarf... I haven't made a scarf in years, but I just felt like making one for a friend's mom. I'm going to put tassels on it. I don't remember how to make tassels, because it's been that long! But I'll figure it out again. This colorway is really strange.

Wrapped the first presents of the year today! We don't have any holiday decor out yet.

suspect this may be heaven

Something delightful arrived in the mail today! After many months, it is the cute yellow ukulele I asked for on my last birthday. Back in May, it was back-ordered, so I just got it!

Right now the strings are like rubber bands, so it's not tuned yet, but it did get named: Sunny! It makes a cute little pair with my white guitar, Ghosty Boo. I'm excited because even though it's a cheap ukulele, I've read that you can switch out the strings with better ones and get a really nice sound.

And Mallow happened to be wearing the dress that was on my list in that same birthday post, and which I acquired. I couldn't resist taking a picture of them together! I'm kind of surrounded in yellow right now...

Yesterday I bought some cheapy white and mustard acrylic yarn so I can fixate further on granny squares! Also this cinnamon-scented candle. After several months, I'm still kind of addicted.

not a grown-up Christmas list at all

I find the older I get (and I am plenty old, thanks) the less I can think of to ask for occasions such as Christmas, or my birthday. I can always think of things I need... like underwear, which to me is just about the least fun, fulfilling, or happy-making thing to ask for. I do not like anyone else to buy me clothes or accessories or anything that goes on my body in any way. I usually wind up asking for a lot of TV on DVD because you can never go wrong there.

But while I was seeking out a couple of images for a Christmas list post, I started getting irresponsible and picking out stuff I would never ask anyone for...

Like 2) new glasses... 3) simple acrylic yarn for granny square throw... and 4) a University of Love Blythe!

I have asked for 1) a super-basic and un-fancy sewing machine so I can continue my quest to improve my sewing skills.

Looking at this list, I don't need any of it like I do underwear. Is it about the most frivolous thing ever to spend money on dolls instead of underwear? Probably.

granny practice

Hello, December!

Still recovering from a double-whammy illness acquired sadly near Thanksgiving. But my holiday shopping is on track and I'm really in the mood to crochet...

I've been wanting to make a granny square throw for what feels like years now. I find them really fun to make (even though I have to basically re-learn how to do it every time I make any!) but the least fun to actually attach together. I really want to find a way to do this with minimal pain so next year I can make the cheapy, cheesy, and of course shabby chic-y granny square throw of my dreams! In the meantime, scoping out grannies on Ravelry and doing scrap squares for practice.

PS: Now that it's colder outside, I'm definitely happy I have my ripple -- especially as my everyday blanket is falling apart despite my attempts to mend it!


I am definitely in crafting mode (my abandoned writing looks on in despair). I just want to knit and/or stitch. I'm also in the mood for Christmas. I tend to skip right over Thanksgiving in my brain, as it's just about my least favorite holiday. I might make some Christmas ornaments!

Other things I am in the mood for:

This fox sweater... from Old Navy, of all places! Is that how you know a trend is on its way out? It doesn't matter either way; my love for foxes goes way back! I bought it as a reward for myself for getting through something stressful.

This season of Dexter! It's so much better than last season, I think.

"Red" by Taylor Swift. What an addictive song. I have a love/hate relationship with Swifty, I admit, but she's so stylish and her songs so hooky, it's hard to stay annoyed.

Let's Make Cute Dolls

A few years ago my gal L, knowing my love for kawaii and plush, sent me this adorable book for Christmas. It's adorable and quirky and I love looking at it, but I've never attempted anything from it... until today!

I created this wonky bunny with scrap linen left over from making Freya's embroidery. Because I am terrible, literally terrible, at following patterns and instructions, I essentially did it backwards, so her head is badly sewn. By the time I was at that stage and realized I had done it wrong, I had sewn most of her together, so I decided to just finish her up and try to do one correctly another day. Her face isn't sewn on, just glued, but I was surprised that it didn't take me very long. Guess those Glee plushies really got me going!

I even knitted her a little bow and gave her a little felt cardigan. Miss Bunny Cutedoll, I'm sorry you are so wonky and appear to have been made by someone who has only just graduated to double-digits, age-wise.

plushie party

Never did I dream that I would wind up crafting during my friend K's visit here! But we happened to go to an informal Plushie Workshop with a group of friends, where someone supplied patterns, a ton of felt and fabric, scissors, thread, needles, and pre-made heads featuring an array of different colored button eyes. I saw a Deadpool plushie, an Eleventh Doctor plushie, and many more recognizable characters being created. I've always wanted to make or at least have a plushie.

Unfortunately, the workshop was so popular that materials ran out quickly, so K and I wound up simply taking our heads of choice and an assortment of materials home in ziplock bags. Fortunately, I have a metric ton of felt, floss, needles, and polyfill.  "I've got it covered," I assured K.

When we later broke out my materials, a plushie party materialized in front of us.

We were watching episodes of Glee, so we decided to make our favorite characters, Sam and Kurt. If you've ever seen it, you might recognize them. Or not. But I've included visual aids!

K has never crafted before, and my ability to actually sew is almost nil, so we were extremely proud of ourselves for being able to figure out the patterns and wind up with successfully-fitting clothes -- and then we went bonkers over details. She made Sam (left) and I made Kurt (right). The sneakers K made for Sam have little laces!

Kurt has these adorable fashion fox tails that he clips onto his belt loops. He wears them quite a lot and I always like to spot them. Because they had this green plaid fabric at the workshop, I knew I was going to recreate the shirt, which is studded on the shoulders and cuffs. I used little silver beads and they worked out really well! I also made a little fox tail.

It was really fun to get detail-oriented. It took us a couple of days to get the hang of what we were doing and how the patterns worked, as neither of us are remotely knowledgable, but once we had Sam and Kurt finished we immediately started on two more: Rachel (made by K) and Quinn (made by me).

This time, we pretty much just designed our own little outfits for them based on their typical style, but I did ambitiously recreate actual shoes and a belt to the best of my ability (I also gave Quinn a bit of pink hair, as her character briefly had pink hair). I had the most fun with this belt, figuring out how to miniaturize it! By the time I was down to her boots I felt like I was a cobbler making little sturdy shoes for an elf, like the reverse of The Elves and The Shoemaker. I felt like those babies could be worn by actual babies and hold up. I also made Quinn a pink cardigan, but it turned out big and thick enough to look like a winter coat. Trial and error, I guess!

Anyway, we crafted for quite a few days before K had to leave. I kept Sam and Quinn, the blondes, and she took Kurt and Rachel home with her. I'm glad she picked up some skills, because she's continuing to make plushies now that she's home again. I love seeing pictures of them! Her skills are improving with each doll! But I also am sad that I can't snuggle them in person.

I think the fact that they're a little wonky and crooked makes them have charm!

pumpkin girls

Oh, yes. It is October. The weather here is mild and there is absolutely no color. My mom and I bought pumpkins for a little color and they are the only fall-ish things around other than my felt garland and cinnamon-scented candle habit.

My best friend (since 2003!) K is arriving tonight from the San Francisco area, and she'll be visiting me for two weeks. We met online and have met up in person many times, but I haven't seen her in several years. I adore her, have happy memories of our previous visits, and am excited to see her again, but I'm also a little nervous... If my ex-boyfriend is anything to go by, most people get at least minorly freaked out with a row of Blythe dolls looking at them. I don't think it will be a huge problem, and I've already offered to pack them away if she finds them disturbing, but it seems to be a random anxiety that I have latched onto in place of more esoteric worries.

But who could not love my precious Aury's face?

cold snap

Happy October! October's my favorite month! I have a sneaking suspicion it's most crafty people's favorite. The weather's finally getting cool enough to have a pile of yarn on one's lap, and the season's pretty inspiring, itself. There's my lazy autumnal garland (a la Elsie's) on my desk.

Right now I am trying to save money, so of course I desperately want to buy a lot of yarn. Like, a lot. And ripple once more! This is ridiculous because I already have another ripple to do -- one for my little sister. And I don't need another ripple. Not even vaguely. I just want to have fun pairing up colors!

Stuff I'm loving right now:

  • deep-cleaning!
  • cinnamon-scented candles... still
  • Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm
  • Hoarders is back and more exploitative than ever; hence my deep-cleaning

Can't wait to carve a pumpkin with my best friend K!

like money

Ah, September, where have you gotten off to?? Side note: September is green to me. The number 7 is green, too.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

  • yearning for autumn
  • burning cinnamon-scented votive candles, in my yearning for autumn
  • constructing lots of antlers
  • writing
  • Chore Wars
  • planning a get-together with some long-time online friends in October! I hang out with L (a fellow Blyther!) about once a year, but I haven't met up with K in five years, and I've only met S in passing!
  • listening to way too much Wonder Girls

Speaking, the Wonder Girls have a new song featuring Akon out, but "Be My Baby" is the one that I'm really playing the crap out of! Love it! It's hooky, melodic k-pop meets "Single Ladies." I'm so happy the Wonder Girls are trying to make it in America; I'm following them closely.

One more of my own little wonder girl... love this Reve de Rui dress! She's rocking Very Vicky's stock tights and her own stock boots (plus a bow from Forever 21).

a wee bit terrifying

Mallow's new Brainworm chips arrived yesterday, so I had another go at removing her chips with the gluestick method. It did not work. I've never had this issue before; that method has always worked for me! But after the twentieth time, I just had to accept that those chips weren't coming out. So I opened up her wee fluffy head, pried out her eye mech, and disassembled it so I could soak her individual eyes in hot water.

Um... SCARY!

Luckily this was really effective and when I broke out the gluesticks again, this time they popped right out. But I must admit it was very puzzling to me to try and re-assemble the mech. There's a first time for everything?

Now I'm not too sure what I think about her dark brown chips... they look almost opaque! But at least if I change them out again, they won't be so difficult (I hope)!

Next up will probably be a hair treatment. Mallow is in Hermione Granger territory!

sister stroll

My first girl and my newest on their way somewhere very important, I'm sure! School, perhaps? An "I Can't Wait For Autumn" party? I'd throw that party!

Mallow's head is currently unscrewed, and one set of chips (her green set) is only half present. I've never had so much trouble removing a chip! Usually it takes one tug and they pop right out. I must've tried a dozen times to pop that sucker out. I may have to remove her mech and soak it, but I'd rather get more chips for her before I do that...

I just love brown eyes on a Blythe! Mallow already has a set, but a darker brown would be a lovely addition, I think! I have the yellow set just waiting.

box-fresh Mallow

I always leave a girl in her stock for a few days; sometimes I am nervous to take them out of it. I know this is probably weird -- I don't even like Coco Collette's stock too well, nor did I like Prima Dolly Paris's or Simply Peppermint's -- but I just like to get to know a girl on my own time. I think it's part of my "bonding" process.

But the other day I took a new family portrait (yay!) and of course, because I have weird color organization tendencies, they all needed to be wearing pink in their own special little ways. I had bought this little floral frock on Etsy quite cheaply, but when Mallow arrived I held it up to her and thought, "Oh, this seems too plain for her," and put it to the side to slip onto another girl. Just before I headed out into the unbelievable heat to take a portrait, though, I did give the dress a go... and I think she looks perfectly sweet in it! Meant to be, I think!

How pleasing! I am already really in love Mallow and how she fits into my family.

As I've said, like most CoCos, she has an eye mech issue that I'll eventually attend to, and I do want to switch out some of her chips... and I know she could do with a hair treatment. Her bangs are pretty wonky and uneven on one side. But at the moment I love the floaty quality of her hair, which has a tiny amount of wave and curl in it. Something about Mallow is very delicate and airy, despite her flawed eyes and crooked fringe, and I don't want to lose that airiness somehow.

My last NRFB girls were Very Vicky and Vinter Arden a while back, and both of them came with traumatizing hair issues that required treatment before I had even named either of them, so to be honest, I am just glad Mallow didn't arrive with her hair in literal knots!

Mallow Sweet

My cute pink-haired girl arrived and I am pretty pleased with her! Her hair is a light and cool pink, but still pinkier than it looks in most pictures I've seen of her (including these). It just really reflects light!

Her complexion is very pinky and happy. When she is standing next to my Vinter Arden, Klara, she really makes Klara look super-pale!

I hear many Coco Collettes have come from the factory with some wonk in their eye mechs, and this is true for mine as well. (My friend L also bought Coco and has the exact same quirks mine does.) I've seen at least one Coco with a really crooked mech, but my girl's looks normal until you flip to her pink set, which has a marked downwards gaze. It also becomes harder to pull her string and flip her eyes from the pink set. Weird!! I haven't opened her up to investigate but this seems strange to me!

However, I still really like her! She fits right into my family perfectly. I'll take more pictures of her once her box hair calms and/or I give her a little hair treatment. Her fringe is really staticy right now! My girl has thin, light, and fluffy hair and a very airy feel, so I have named her Mallow. I can't wait to pick out a couple new sets of eye chips for her!

like we did last summer

Right now my hair is really long. It's quite layered, but the longest bits in back reach to the back of my waist. It's too heavy for a ponytail, and too hot to be left down -- it's a nuisance, too. Eventually I'll get a haircut, but until then, I've adopted maiden twists as my hairdo of choice.

I like braids and used to do maiden/Heidi braids a lot last year, but my hair is often so long that even braided, the ropes of them are too long to fit across my crown. They double up awkwardly and are a real horror to pin in place, and little bits of hair fly out of them because of my layers. I didn't even think about trying out twists till I saw Kate Gabrielle's three-minute maiden twists video. My hair is about three times as long as hers, but I gave it a go anyway, and I must say, the twist method works so much better for me than braids! There are no fly-aways and I can twist my hair tight enough to get the perfect length across my crown. I feel like the pins behave better, too, and like I don't have to use as many.

I've been tucking the bear-eared barettes I made back in December onto my head as well. It's certainly a "look."

deer hat giveaway winner!

This is how we do~o it! Without the aplomb and showmanship of some people who do giveaways, I suspect. But I was very excited when I realized it was time to see who I'd be shipping to so I scurried to do it.

The 10th comment on the giveaway post was left by Di2Quilt! Congrats, Diana, and a big thank you to everyone who left a comment! I didn't expect more than a couple of comments, so it was my honor to receive so many! I truly thank you all for your interest!

(P.S.: My Coco Collette got shipped!! Eek!)

just peachy!

I haven't raided the Sundries section on Blythe Kingdom in almost a year, how wack. I snagged all these (and also a set of Prairie Posie stock, sans boots -- yay!) and I think I must be in a peach mood. Petaline and Beatrix are really excited about this stock Phoebe Maybe blouse!

I'm on edge waiting for my Coco Collette to be shipped already!! I'm kind of nervous!

gooses! geeses! giveaways!

I've had a tough and busy couple of weeks, but it's all shaken out okay... and the most delightful, random, and delightfully random thing happened: I won a giveaway on!

I didn't sign up or anything like that. It was totally random! So that was a definite perk to my mood, and when the cardigan Michelle made arrived in my mailbox I was perked up all over again. Plummery has been wearing it since it arrived (she and I are the types that will wear sweaters in hundred-degree heat) and, you guys, it has teeny tiny pockets!! For all of Plummery's secret things, I suspect.

Thanks so much, Michelle. It truly lifted my mood and was a bright spot in the little storm of stress I've been weathering!

I want to pay this kindness forward, so I am going to have a little giveaway of my own!

I'm giving away one frost hat! They're the most popular and time-consuming pixie hat in my shop. If you want a chance for a freebie frostie, leave a comment on this post saying hello with a link to your Flickr or blog (so I can contact you, but also so I can spy on your dollies). I'll use to pick a winner a week from today, on Tuesday, July 24th.

You don't have to follow my blog or my Flickr or my Twitter or anything like that; there are no stipulations other than giving me a way to contact you if you win. It will cost you nothing and I will ship anywhere. I just want to send somebody a hat, randomly, and hopefully brighten their day!

"You go, Glen Coco."

So, Takara's posted pictures of their newest pink-haired girl, Coco Collette! I was really looking forward to seeing what her hair looked like! While I don't know if there's any stock pink-haired girl that's the pink-haired girl of my dreams, I have to say, Coco Collette looks so close and so up my particular alley that I'm pretty sure I'm going to snap her up! I love pink, peach, and brown, so I'm excited that she has brown eyeshadow, a set of brown eyes, and pale pinky-peach hair -- and I'm glad she has bangs, because I think I prefer be-fringed Blythes. Her hair looks pretty pink in these pictures, I must say! I don't expect it's quite definitively pink, but it's a pink I personally like. Sometimes official Takara photos are underwhelming. Vinter Arden's didn't even come close to capturing her magical hair color, which defies naming and can look very, very different depending on what she's wearing and the quality of the light.

I'm indifferent towards Coco's Lolita stock, except her cutie socks and shoes (I always love Mary Janes), but she looks very sweet and it's easy to imagine her fitting right in with my girls!

I haven't bought a Neo Blythe in a year and a half (just my adorable Middie, Bonnet) and I've wanted a pink-haired girl ever since I got into Blythe. I love Rachel's Ribbon, too, but her hair looks so similar to Vinter Arden's that I think Coco Collette is a better choice for me.

Luckily for me, a little webdesign job has fallen into my lap to give me a little bump of cash. As Ace of Base would say, I saw the sign!

lazy hazy crazy days of summer

Miss Petaline spent too much time with her foot bent in her boot, unbeknownst to me, so now my poor Miss has a jaunty-looking bendyfoot condition! I hope it will settle down again, but if not, I may well do a little [stage whisper] PLASTIC SURGERY. Don't worry, Petaline. All the best TV shows do body-swap episodes. You will join a grand tradition. Anyway, here's Miss P in one of my favorite little second-hand dresses, stockings and petticoat and bloomers in place because even in 105-degree weather, Petaline prefers propriety.

I have always wanted to do some green antlers on a deer hat. This is a colorway I've never used before, either. Why not, I say! It's in the shop.

PS: The other day Sandi of The Blythe Ghost, maker of one of Petaline's favorite frocks, kindly lauded me with an award!

I'm going to start saying I'm "versatile" instead of "scatter-brained."

mandatory Glo Worm Gang wear

Hey, I finished a knitting project for the first time ever -- this slouchy hat, pattern from blythetoday!

I finished it with much jubilation and help from a friend, I, who can actually read patterns and deduce their meaning. I cannot, let me tell you. Every time I was like, "What does this mean? I'm lost and confused!" my friend I would make me a video and upload it to YouTube and show me exactly what I needed to do. It was so helpful, and thanks to her, Gavin is rocking this hilarious hat.

When I put it on her head, I started laughing and couldn't stop for about forty-five minutes solid. It's the funniest-looking thing ever, mostly because of the yarn I was using, I think. It reminds me of Glo Worms and it looks like something Dobby from the Harry Potter series might find very fashionable!

I can't believe I knitted something... I just find it so difficult, I'm really surprised I was able to finish this. I definitely couldn't have if it had not been for my kind, patient long-distance video tutor.


Knitting! It's not my forte. But I am trying to make a little Blythe hat and my knitter friend I told me she would help me through the pattern, so I got some janky baby yarn to do a test run with, since the pattern required 3/"light"-weight. So far I've restarted three times, but I seem to be on a roll right now, knock on wood. I need to YouTube how to "undo" a stitch when I do it wrong (Friend I says they call it "tinking" -- how cute). I mess up so frequently and don't know how to fix it that it's easy to become discouraged.

But I treasure the fact that friends across the country have taught me how to do everything yarn-crafty that I do.

My online friend A taught me how to crochet in 2001 when we got together for a visit. It was the week of Christmas. We sat at her family get-togethers crocheting, me on old purple acrylic yarn with a rectangle that kept mysteriously getting thinner, as I was dropping stitches off the ends like crazy. We went to a Meijer (they don't have Meijers in my state!) and got me my own yarn and hook, and she helped me out every time I got stuck. Later she described to me in an email, not by pattern terminology but strictly in her own words (which I could understand), how to crochet in the round for a hat. She has no clue that she gave me a hobby that I have stuck with and done somewhat regularly for ten years! I never did really learn how to read crochet patterns and rely on YouTube a lot, but I'd like to get better at this.

Another online friend, K, taught me to cast on and the knit stitch when I was visiting her in 2006. Later, in 2010, my RL BFF E's mom re-taught me those lost skills and also taught me how to purl. Since, I have been practicing but sort of been unceasingly poor at it, and now here is my friend I, helping me figure out a pattern and new skills long-distance with videos!!

Some people learn from their mothers or grandmothers... some people learn from books or classes... I pretty much learned from people I met on the internet! It's a new generation of handing down skills, don't you think?