In which I'm Wayne Campbell.

I went with my parents to a couple of local pawn shops to look at their instruments. Really, we wanted a tambourine (which we got!!) but I had to scope out all the guitars.

I CAN'T BELIEVE ONE SHOP HAD A "NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" SIGN. It was just cardboard, but the guy behind the counter said it had been there for over 15 years. Wayne's World is my favorite movie, so I can't even begin to explain how excited I was when I saw it.

Some of these were so beautiful. There were mandolins, ukuleles, and banjos, too.

I don't need an electric guitar. I love my white acoustic (which is acoustic-electric -- it is acoustic, but you can plug it into an amp), and also I would never, ever want to disturb anyone in my house or neighborhood by rocking out on an amp -- but holding electric guitars tends to be far easier for me just due to their slim bodies, so that makes it easier for me to strike bar chords on them. I'm not seriously in the market per se, but I have to say, I would still like one.

I saw this beaut for $80 and seriously considered it!

It's a little worn and torn; it had an interesting hole drilled in it which made me wonder if it had been flipped by a lefty; it doesn't have a tremolo arm. Johnson is basically a Fender knock-off.

However, for how cheap they are, they place nicely, from what I understand, and I hardly intend to start a rock band. I played it and a couple of others, but I liked this one best... I'm thinking of it very longingly right now. For $80, I could have afforded it! But my mind's very cluttered right now, and since I know I don't need it, I couldn't think whether I should get it or not. Perhaps someday...

Coral in her greenhouse, colored.

My "downtime project" has been coloring in this beautiful lineart by MLeth the last few months. Particularly if my internet was down or I just needed something totally different to concentrate on, I would get out my Wacom tablet, open up Paint Tool SAI (I love this program!), and begin to fill in color -- the exact same way you would color something in with colored pencils or markers, stroking a pen nib on a surface. This actually was a lot of hand and wrist movement! I had to take care not to strain my wrist, and be willing to leave it as soon as fatigue set in.

Finally, when I had colored all I felt like coloring, I transferred it to Photoshop to add in some lighting adjustments and textures. One sort of reminded me of dust or pollen floating. I also added a floral pattern to her tank top.

I envisioned summer sunshine blaring through into the protective walls of the warm, hazy greenhouse. There are little details that I could probably go on filling in for months, if I wasn't so scatterbrained. I'm ready to find some new lineart to color. This was so much fun!

(And, yes, of course she had to have pink hair! Her name is Coral!)

The cuteness!

Father's Day weekend, I met this little cutie when my RL BFF (since kindergarten!) E came into town for a visit. His name is Lucas and he's a little rescue dog who is about a year old. He's just the cutest thing you ever did see -- very liable to get tangled up in his own harness, leap and prance like the finest of Santa's reindeer, and run in high-speed figure 8s around the house.

He was in near-constant motion, but I was able to get a few snaps of him attentively listening to his human. I can see the love and companionship between them, and also what a big responsibility dog ownership is.

My family has never had a dog (most of them are cat people, and as you know, I'm rat people) and I can be a little scared of them sometimes. It was great for me to get out of my comfort zone and not only interact with a dog, but have one in my house for a few days.

girls in their summer clothes (rêve love, part two)

I always love taking pictures of these two together... I just feel like they are unlikely kindred spirits. And I love Beatrix with a Licca body! I always knew she should have one! But now, standing next to the prim and always elegant Petaline, the differences in their personalities shine even more.

Both of these dreamy duds are from, yes, the wonderful rêve de Rui*. Petaline is showing a lot of leg! And wearing sandals. Truly relaxed!

Bonus Track: Bruce Springsteen - Girls In Their Summer Clothes

rêve love, part one

I heart rêve de Rui* so much, you don't even know! I am a repeat customer. This month, I got some dainty, dreamy summer dresses. Here's Clarke in one of them, showing off her purple chips. (Flower crown by me!)

"It's Raining..."

Phh, I wish it was raining! Sometimes (like, a couple of times a week, at least) I go to so I can be comforted by the sounds of pouring rain. That kind of weather makes me feel grateful to be inside, cozy. I really do feel like it legitimately brings me a sense of calm, like petting cats does for some people.

Life's been a tad overwhelming for me lately. But I only like to spread good vibes on my blog. It's my one real "happy place," if you know what I mean. I don't mean to be frustrating or vague by alluding that things aren't too great but then not saying why. I just know that "this too shall pass" so I don't need to unpack my baggage.

But this just really tickled me recently, so I wanted to post it, even if it's weird or atypical for my blog.

I covered my medicine bottles with washi tape and some Korean stickers that someone sent to me years ago!

It's not that I care about being discreet or that I need to cheer the bottles up, because I'm very appreciative of my meds. They're like my buds! I've been on both for many years, so they're just a normal part of life! But I find that having done this helps my eye more quickly spot which bottle to grab, or find where it might have gotten off to in my bedroom, if I've absent-mindedly set it someplace else, so it's actually been functionally useful.

I used to take a Sharpie and mark big bold letters on the plastic caps so I could tell which was which -- I don't always get the same sized bottles, for some reason, but either way it seemed like I was always grabbing the wrong bottle. This is much better. I think the stickers are also appropriate for the contents (anti-depressants and anti-anxiety... the blue one has a rainbow, and sparkles) and it makes me pleased to look at them.

All about the color palette of "All About That Bass"!

Check out this music video for Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," I beg you, for the delectable color palette alone.

The song itself is catchy and an interesting blend of pop, country, and retro juke box doo-wop, and there's an interesting Justin Timberlake shout-out at one point. But in my opinion, its subject may be a little divisive. On the surface, it's about loving and accepting your body no matter what the size, but I think it's a complex topic that went a little awry here.

Soapbox moment: I am all for body positivity and seeing people of all sizes (and colors and sexualities) in any media... but I feel personally that some of the lyrics walk the line, leaning towards body policing on the other side of the spectrum. Speaking out against Photoshopping and manipulated portrayals of women in magazines? Yes, please! But, although I don't think it was intentional of the artist to sound critical or dismssive of girls who are skinnier, the attitude sometimes does seem to be anti-"stick-figure silicone Barbie dolls." It doesn't quite jive with the "Every inch of you is perfect/From the bottom to the top" tie-up. It sort of wants to be an empowering and relatable song, but I do think it would be wiser to encourage acceptance of all girls, no matter their body type, not just girls who may not be a size two.

However, I do feel the subject is well-intentioned in general, that the song is fun, and I like to support young women making their way in appearance-centric music industry where it's unusual for them to be able to have their own distinct flavor.

But let me just be honest -- I am all about this music video. At first glance I thought it was from the same factory that pumped out Rebecca Black, but no!! This girl is signed to Epic and is a songwriter, and its fashion sense and color palette are blogger-tastic. Slightly retro? Pastels? Floral crowns? Doll houses? Cupcakes? Pink hair??? It is literal eye candy.

My eyes, they like! My ears, they like! (Hush, brain, hush. Let me enjoy it!)

New family portrait!

(click here to embiggen!)

From left to right: Gavin, Lamb, Aury, Klara, Mallow, Bonnet (the Middie), Clarke, Plummery, Petaline, Beatrix, Fey, and Drew!

It was about darn time for new family portrait, seeing as how it's been a little over a year since the last! Oh my gosh. Toting eleven Neos (and a Middie) out into June heat, trying to find shade, is quite an undertaking. And now that I have so many girls, they're kind of hard to fit into a line up-style picture! There I was, taking picture after picture where Aury looked like she was about to fall over, and I didn't even see it in real life.

It is definitely amazing to see how my gaggle of girls has grown over the past four years. They each have special memories attached. Some were gifts (Plummery, Petaline and Lamb were given to me by friends!); some have traveled with me; some have been my muses; some had technical difficulties; some have been deboxed on YouTube; some have been called particularly creepy; almost all have worked as models for Etsy.

And it all started with my Ice Rune, Aury. I love her so much. My favoritism is absolutely blatant. If my house was on fire, she is the one thing I'd grab to rescue.

What's in a (Blythe) name?

Did I ever mention that my pink-haired factory Blythe has been named Clarke?

My Blythe family and organization compulsions are such that I like to have a sense of cohesion; I am aware of it when something doesn't seem to fit, even it may seem 100% random and arbitrary to others. I can take a long time to name girls now. I may like many names, but I feel like they have to suit the girl and suit my family.

I have a couple of girls with more unisex/masculine-leaning names -- Gavin and Drew. For some reason, this girl is just so dang cool. She should be more precious, or something, but maybe it's her dark rosy lips and somewhat dramatic eyelashes/eyeshadow. She's just cool. For compulsive reasons, I knew her name had to start with "C" and "Clark" seemed to come up for her immediately, but I added the "e" to give it that slight feminine edge.

I just so enjoy her pale coloring with her darker makeup and perfect pink hair. (Isn't it so long?) Discovering her style is definitely slow-going. Although I'm window-shopping, I haven't found a dress just for her yet!

By the way, this hat's in my Etsy shop. I just make these by request now that shipping is so expensive, but the buyer had some transaction difficulties in the end, so if anyone wants it, it's available! Not that I mind keeping it...