As you know (I rudely assume), my 2015 ripple is a gift for this cute boy I've been seeing. This beast is unspeakably huge. I couldn't possibly take a proper picture of it. That's how big it is. The biggest thing I've ever made, by a mile. The bundle pictured above is the smallest I could fold it, and it's so heavy that I think I've strained my shoulder with its heft.
I had actually declared this thing done, like, a month ago, before Thanksgiving I think. I took it to Boy's apartment and put it on his bed and was stunned to find that it needed to be, like, a foot longer!! It's incredibly wide, so we turned it to see if it would fit better that way -- with the stripes vertical instead of horizontal -- and it was still just a wee bit short on either side. I'm still amazed.
I took it home again and spending what free time I have this month (which is very little anyway, what with holidays) adding that extra foot. My brain had already filed it under "dunzo!" so it was kind of a slog, even though I flew along at what you might call an alarmingly fast clip for 90% of it.
Still, I'm happy I added to it, and happy I made it! Hope Boy gets some quality Zs under this thing.
I've posted my randoChristmas lists a few times in the past, so here's this year's:
Wow, 2 and 3: books! I don't often ask for those. I've done the KonMari method this year without even reading the book, just having learned about it from videos and blog posts. It's been extremely effective for me even though I've just done my own spin on it, and I'd like to read the actual book. I bet it will be inspiring! I've also been very slowly studying Tarot, and this was a recommended book.
There's always some thing I don't really think I'll get, but you never know. This year it's a geode (5). All I can really find are Smash Your Own Geode kits, or whatever, which makes me nervous because I can't tell what I'm going to get. I'm just a smidge too anxious to want to take a random chance and to have to break it myself. What if I completely ruined it??
So that's my Christmas list! What's on yours? You can tell me. Geodes and books about cleaning = no judgment here!!
Yup, holiday delights and stressors are definitely popping up in equal measure. Music, decor, baking, socializing... shopping, wrapping, shipping, worrying about packages arriving, feeling a lack of control over things and fretting about pleasing people...
I'm really 'bout our mantel this year. I only made those "noel" letters last year and we've never put those little conical angels there either. It looks happy!
Here are some snaps of our tree (plus Smokey underneath it; it's his favorite hideout).
You have no idea how many Santa mugs there are in this house. (I'm talking... 70, at least.)
I feel beyond scatterbrained... so much on my plate, not just for the holidays, but in general! I'm wavering between optimism and anxiety. I for sure need to take a chill pill.
No real reason for this post -- just photos of Wisp looking beeeeautiful! Her hair is so lovely since I treated it, and I'm pleased with this dress on her. I had her in brown outfits prior to branching out to this cream dress with pink flowers and Simply Bubble Boom's pink stock tights. I love her skin tone with her hair.
A cute dress is always wonderful, but it's particularly nice when a dress reflects the beauty of the doll wearing it.
Oh, by the way, my cupcake and cloud ornaments all sold at that holiday market!
I'm working on a dolly dressup video, but finishing my gift ripple is my main priority right now! I had declared it done, but when I took it to Boy's house, it became apparent it needed to be about a foot longer to fall appealingly. What's the point if it looks weird on the bed and I can so easily fix that??
My family takes on a lot during the holidays! As if general prepping for Christmas with shopping and decor isn't enough already, we usually have a pile of projects at this time of year... sewing, baking, parties (I didn't ever blog about the ornament party for church kids we threw that took up a huge amount of time last year!), and almost always ornament-making. What kind of creativity masochism?
Every year my mom's church has a holiday marketplace where people sell things, and boyo, does my mom do a crazy amount of creative stuff. She wrangled my sisters and I on board, so one sister has made a big batch of apple butter and the other has meticulously hand-painted gift tags and distressed and painted leather for ornaments.
I personally donated some felt ornaments. 'Cause nothing says "Christmas!!!" like smiling clouds and pastel cupcakes.
I really can't bake, nor can I sew fabric, but if there's one thing I can do, it's blanket-stitch felt. Boy, after putting together hundreds of antlers for little Blythe hats, can I do that.
These will probably be priced insanely cheaply at the holiday market -- priced to sell, rather than priced by the time it took me to make all of them -- and I don't mind that. I just hope someone out there likes it cutesy. I think it's nice to have alternatives to your more traditional reds and greens.
I've definitely been in the mood to embroider, but now I've got to finish up my 2015 ripple!
Hope any Americans out there had a good Thanksgiving. It's my least favorite holiday (more accurately, I hate it to the point of being intolerable on the day), so my family graciously allows me to do my own thing, understanding that I still love them and am grateful and thankful for them.
This year I spent Turkey Day cooking my own little meal, playing with the kitten, and decorating my little mini-trees!
I'm finding some pleasure in changing it up a little bit every year. Last year, the pink tree had a lot of red, brown, and rust tones to the ornaments, and I also got my little $5 white mini tree to go with it. The first year I had it, I was just tickled to have some pastel going on! I called it "earthy pastel."
This year, a strong return to the "earthy" theme, but entirely in neutrals. I apparently got a package of these little burlap bows last year, but it wasn't opened, since I guess my tree was a little more fiery last year. How delighted I was to add a few this year! I've never had anything for the top of the tree and think a bow looks pretty cute on top.
Every single year, though, without fail: TOADSTOOLS.
At the base, my little silver pumpkin and my Jack Skellington Funko Pop from my bestie, E. You know how much I love "Jack's Lament," right?
Anyway, I'm going to see if Target has anything good in the way of mini-ornaments this year to put on the white tree. It's hard to find ornaments any smaller. If I don't find any, I might tie a couple of burlap bows onto it, but they're pretty huge in comparison to it! I still have plenty of holiday decorating ahead of me in the coming weeks, and I have some ornaments to talk about, too.
In other news, you guys, I'm so close to being done with my 2015 ripple, which as you know, is a gift. It's the hugest blanket I or probably anyone else has ever made, yet it still needs to be a foot longer! I can't go get my final skeins of yarn until I get my paycheck, though, or do any Christmas shopping. I would've been done by now if I wasn't so broke I can't buy yarn, so I'm having to sadly accept the blanket probably won't be delivered to its intended before November's over.
In less exciting news, I've had a sore throat the past couple of days. If I get sick, I'm going to be very upset, because I was just sick in September/October, and karmically speaking, I don't deserve it!!
My house has a new cat! He's just a little kitten. We haven't had a cat since about 2010, but we're cat people (well, I'm a rat person, but I like cats) and have always had a sense of, "Someday we'll have a cat again..."
Smokey came to us from my sister's boyfriend's aunt who rescues strays. Sister and her boyfriend already have a cat named Hamilton that they found in a Taco Bell parking lot, and not long ago, the aunt found three little kittens, so their house is full of animals. They also have dogs! My sister, sweetly devious, conspired to get us to adopt this one. This consisted of just bringing him to our house and watching us all fall in love with him.
We don't know how old Smokey is (a couple or few months?) but he's just basically the best little kitten ever. He has beautiful brown eyes and this ruffly white fur on his chest. As he is so young, he wants to play a lot and is very energetic, so he's infused our whole house with a perky interest and lots of affection. It is very often you'll hear someone chirp, "Smokey!" because he'll come to you when you call and follow you around like a puppy and we all want one-on-one Smokey time. He's really sweet and gives kisses. Like, he'll come up to your face specifically for it.
He's been here a week but it already feels like he's part of the family.
Also, I'm weirdly... this is strange, but I'm weirdly unaffected by animals most of the time. Rats are my weakness, but I'm bizarrely unmoved by cute animal pictures/videos. Even if I might enjoy interacting with other people's pets sometimes. I don't automatically feel affectionate towards animals or particularly moved to think they are cute, so I am usually just nodding and telling people what they want to hear when they show me pictures of their pets or tell me stories about them. When we adopted Smokey I had some weird anxiety about it. I guess I was just afraid that he wouldn't like me or something. But I've been just as obsessed with him as everyone else!
I started this embroidery (based off this fox print by ChipmunkCheeks on Etsy; I just recreated it by drawing free-hand, which I realize is uncool, but I really like the florals) a few years ago, but it's been lingering with its tail unfinished for a really long time! So long that the original tail I'd drawn in blue water soluble ink had disappeared.
The past month and a half has found me working really hard on my 2015 ripple and I'm almost done -- I'm 4/5ths done, easily! -- but I ran out of yarn on Saturday night, so I had to find something else to work on in the meantime. I haven't done any embroidery in a long time!
I also enjoyably redressed many of my Blythes yesterday morning -- Gavin, Mallow, Drew, Fey, Wisp, and Petaline! Here's Miss P.
Today it's rainy and gray and cool and lovely. Such a moody autumnal day.
All right, friends. I finally filmed a video about treating Blythe hair, since it's been my #1 video request since before I even really actively began making videos and posted about Very Vicky and Vinter Arden's unfortunate hair situations.
This was a challenge for me to film, and I always knew it would be, which kept me from making it sooner. I knew I needed help. I knew could not film it all by myself, so my younger sister kindly agreed to help me, and bless her freakin' heart for it!
We filmed it in the kitchen at 2 a.m. so as not to bother anyone else in the house, and setup took a good long time. We had two lights taking up space, and two cameras, one on a tripod and one in her hands raised fairly high, and me trying to direct and warn her in advance about what I was going to do so she could be sure to catch it... what a to-do! We did it one take, too, and she did a fabulous job. We had both been apprehensive about whether or not it would turn out at all.
At one point I looked at her and said, "All this prep and working out where the bowl should be and what's in the shot and where to stand... it's so much work for a freaking YouTube video, isn't it?"
Anyway, I couldn't have filmed it, literally, without my sister's gracious help, not only with holding a camera for me, but discussing with me the setup and what was in her shot, being willing to take direction and having so much patience. She helped with the prep and setup as well as the actual filming, and was just basically an angel.
In the end I can only hope that this video is helpful for someone, because I know I am the type of person who also benefits more from seeing something done in real life more than text instructions or even pictures. I also mostly make videos because people have asked me to, so this effort is for those people.
P.S. Wisp looks great, I don't mind saying!!! I'm going to film a dolly dressup with her ASAP!
I finally brushed out Holland's hair and gave her a treatment.
It had gotten downright wiry-looking, as you can see above in the screen cap from her last dressup video.
It softened it up a bunch after a dip in hot water with some fabric softener. I scrunched it several times in my hand while it was still hot and I was kinda gently squeezing water out, so the curls she's supposed to have appeared out of nowhere.
These were not present before! I didn't take "before" pictures but it was just a gnarly mess. I really did not arrange her hair in any particular way as I left her to dry. I didn't try and form curls or anything. If I had, I might have gotten even cleaner results, but as it is, this girl's hair looks crazy shorter than it did, just because the curls have tightened up! When I put her in her stand, I was like, "She looks so different... her hair is like, an inch shorter...!" So crazy!
I'm inspired to give Lamb (another curly girl!) a refresher dunk, and maybe even Wisp, too! (I know... I have to try and figure out how to film it... I only have so many hands.)
Yesterday was my gentleman friend's birthday. Gent wanted a kettle with which to make tea, so gent got a kettle! I don't drink tea or coffee, so I really don't know anything about kettles, so I was reading reviews for days.
I also found some super cute mugs so I got him those, too. Plaid, yo!
(This post is just because I was pleased with all this. I took pictures for my own happy posterity.)
Remember how I said I wanted to do a little video about the little clothing rack I blogged about?
Boom! I really do love it.
I am currently sitting on a video (you know... I have it done, but I haven't posted it) about my hair, which was a request. I just don't like it for some reason. It's too long. I've got to find a way to condense it and probably re-film it.
Happy October!!! It's the best month. Am I right? OF COURSE I'M RIGHT!
This just arrived today: a standing clothes rack and set of six hangers from Ninabella9 (with, of course, a few articles of clothing... and the purple dress on the right end)! It's tremendously cute. As I slipped each dress onto a hanger, I kept squealing. It's so cute, I want to cry!
I'd like to do a little video on it, I think, with my impressions.
I'm hoping to use this mainly as a feature of my future room box. Some dresses are so lovely they ought to be displayed! Right now I'm getting a major kick out of displaying some dresses in alternative autumnal shades. Of course, brown and red and orange are classic go-to autumnal looks, but I like plum and mustard, and choosing little color palettes is one of the most satisfying things in the world to me. I can tell I'm going to have fun picking out dresses to display.
In other news, today I hit 1000 subscribers on YouTube, and while I know that number is always fluctuating and will likely dip down again, I'm still amazed/taken aback/excited/trepidacious and don't rightly know how it happened. At this time last year, I had about 100 and was very shocked to see that number, too.
It's the (torturously slowly) changing weather, I think, but I've been gagging to crochet. To make my annual ripple, more accurately.
I've been planning the colors for this year's ripple for a while, and they are not the ones I am blogging about in this post! I was talking to the cute boy I am hanging out with these days about my rippling mood and suddenly asked, "Do you need a blanket??"
He replied that, actually, yes, he did, because his comforter had come apart and was losing its batting, and he had borrowed a blanket from his mom. Also, he's just moved and has almost nothing in his new apartment. I joyously informed him I would make him a blanket. After all, I have two ripples in my bedroom right now that I've made for myself, one full-on blanket sized and one throw sized, and I don't exactly need another... I just love to have a project like this that's so easy to pick up and make some progress on at any time. Absolutely perfect TV-watching accompaniment.
I sent him some pictures of ripples from Ravelry just to demonstrate how many really different variations you can get and to see which ones he was the most drawn to. Then I made him go with me to pick out yarn.
It's sort of an overwhelming thing to do when you don't know exactly where to start -- "What colors do you like?" I asked -- but we wound up fairly quickly matching colors to the t-shirt he was wearing. Like, I think it took us less than ten minutes.
He wears this t-shirt a lot (and yes, that is a selfie he took a couple of months ago and posted to Instagram, but I didn't know if he'd want me to show his face on my blog, so I cropped him, and I will absolutely remove this image if he's uncomfortable with being on my blog) and I think it's a character from something, but I'm not sure.
Anyway, I like the colors a lot, actually, and while we didn't find 100% exact matches for the purples and pinks, the icy gray-green-blue shade of the owl's eyes and beak is actually pretty dead-on in person. Uh, I'm only assuming this thing is an owl. I don't actually know...!
The shades we got are all Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! which has a really great shade selection. Clockwise from the left: Dark Raspberry, Aubergine, Mulberry, and Glacier. I found a slightly more saturated purple than Mulberry, but Cutie liked the lighter shade better. In retrospect I think a good middle tone works better.
So good!! This will be such a unique color combination, and not too feminine, although this guy is pretty fly so I don't think he'd care either way.
I'm getting started on this today and am really happy this wound up being my ripple for the year rather than the one I had been imagining.
I've been ill this past week and I absolutely hate touching my dolls when I'm sick or dirty. My hands gotta be CLEAN to grace their plastic. I also had a hard time doing the voice over because my voice would give out mid-sentence, so I just left it a little spare. That's okay.
I actually tried on three different outfits, which I cut from the video; I really wasn't feeling anything. But I dig the outfit she wound up in.
Yay, autumnal vibes!! Yay house-shaped bag!
Bless Holland. Her hair is a real mess. It needs a treatment. But she's precious anyway. Presh to death. I adore FBLs.
Wisp is rocking neutrals right now too, and coincidentally... she also needs a hair treatment. The filename for this pic is "two girls who need hair treatments.jpg." No lie. But I've wanted to take a picture with these two together since I got Wisp. Curly hair?? Lovely brown tones?? Aiee! The sun started to come out as soon as I started taking pictures, so I only got a couple. I then literally stood up and shook my fist at the sun like Grandpa Simpson in the "old man yells at cloud" bit.
Another thing I did this weekend: I finally switched out a pair of Holland's chips for a neutral set (the pink front-facing got booted; the neutral set I put in is pictured above). I have several pairs of wheat/brown/gray chips still waiting to be installed. I just really love them. I'm wondering if I should give Holland a darker brown pair??
In other news, I'm desperate to crochet. I want to be rippling... but I haven't found the right yarn yet. It's wigging me out!
Right now, a bunch of my girls are wearing a particular combination: sweaters + shorts. I'm so ready for fall, but acknowledge that it's still summer out, so I wind up compromising with a little of each.
Beatrix's vintage Ken doll sweater is actually too big... the sleeves come down over her hands, and I have a bobby pin cinching the sweater in back. But it's such a gnarly retro look! I love it! She looks ready to get back to school and nerd out in the library.
Still doting on Wisp. This is only her second outfit change. I'm sure I'll put her in something other than lovely browns, but her hair is swaying me big-time.
Wisp and Aury (I love taking pics of my first girl, Aury, with my latest doll!!) are wearing mimundoblythe sweaters -- I highly recommend them!
I haven't just sat around taking pics of my dolls in what feels like a good while. I enjoyed it so much!
So much on my plate lately. I feel really behind in almost every area of my life. I wish there was a defragging process for my brain.
For the past couple of months, I've had a YouTube channel trailer in the works. I finally finished it up and posted it last week.
For a 30-second affair, this took me an unreasonable amount of time to finish.
I didn't save any of the footage from my videos prior to somewhat recently. It's dozens of gigabytes, and my little old computer just can't handle holding footage for more than one video at a time... maybe two, max, depending. I pretty much had to trash the footage as well as the finished copy of the video every time I made one, so I don't have most of my videos in any format anymore. They only exist on YouTube.
However, when I realized I was going to attempt a channel trailer, I knew I needed to keep my hands on as much footage as I could manage. I kept everything I could manage to on my camera's SD cards. This summer, I invested in a second external hard drive to be able to transfer other files off my computer and clear some room, as well as back up footage shot for videos.
Just to create the trailer, I had a dozen or so huge, huge files of footage from various different videos, plus the transcoded footage also, so it took up far more room than it should've while I slowly picked out three-second bits from ten-minute chunks of footage and wondered what I was even doing.
Even at the best of times, I have very mixed feelings about YouTube, and sometime, I'll talk more about that. Right now, I'm just happy it's done!
Recently, also, Michelle from BlytheLife.com interviewed me! You can read that here if you want! I talk a little about blogging vs. vlogging. Looking through my folders for pictures to include was a real trip down a very happy memory lane. Five years in and I'm still convinced my Aury brightened my life.
Beatrix was next in line to be dressed, but she recently got this really cute vintage Ken doll sweater from eBay and I couldn't wait to put it on her. She looks so cute, I don't want to undress her just yet!
July 4th marked my one-year anniversary as a pinkhead! After a year of tending to my own roots with Manic Panic bleach, I knew I wanted to get back into the salon to have a "refresh," so to speak, of my hair, and get rid of some of the little dark patches I had, especially in the back. Make it a nice clean slate so I can spend another year as a pinkhead!
So last week, I finally got that done. I also got it cut, and it's pretty short! I used to have super short hair (a faux hawk, in fact) so it's nowhere near the shortest hair I've ever had, but it's really refreshing just the same.
The pink I had in my hair didn't want to totally lift, which is fine with me, since I just want to put pink on it again anyway. But I'm enjoying my second short stint as a bottle blonde... with stray pink. Being blonde doesn't suit me at all, in terms of my skin tone (in these pictures I'm wearing makeup, so it's more evened out and less red than it is normally), and even though I'd love to have marshmallow pink pastel hair, I don't think that would suit me, either. My face and hair would be the same color!
I'll be putting pink on again sometime this week, whenever I feel up to that, so I wanted to capture my "pastel iZombie" hair while I still could!
The past few weeks, I've been making miniature books and boxes with paper specifically to fill up these shelves that came in the Ikea Huset... set. (That sounds awkward, but I'm gonna go with it.)
I've been making all this out of scrapbook paper -- or maybe cardstock? It's a heavier paper that I got from a pad that I bought at Michael's for $5. It was a "hot buy" and super worth it! But certainly heavier than regular scrapbook paper. I got this shabby chic-ish one with a lot of florals in it, and I got one that was all gold foil and white, too.
The pink paper encrusted with sparkles was a separate buy. It looked so pretty and multi-faceted, although its opalescent sheen doesn't truly show up in these pictures.
I made the boxes by expanding on this "inchie box" tutorial. I just embiggened the dimensions to fit the shelves more fully and left off the tops, so it would look like storage cubes. (I guess I should see about adding handles or something!) But the inchie box looks pretty cute, too! I did a 4 1/2" square instead of a 3" square, if you have these shelves and want to do something similar!
Because I guess I like to make everything super tedious, the books are filled with actual notebook paper that I cut up into pages with scissors and just stacked and glued together. See a close-up here on my Instagram! One of them has fabric tape on it to emulate binding. It's not tidy, but that's okay!
Other little things I've currently got populating the shelf include a small pink rabbit figurine I've had for a really long time -- it was a gift from a friend! Also, a toadstool I made years ago. Also, the mini-knitting I made at the beginning of this year, and little yarn balls in tiny baskets I acquired off eBay. The little letter is from a package I also got at the craft store and painted gold with gold glitter. I made it for another project, but its miniature size made me reach for it as a possible decoration.
Making the boxes involved scoring, and I did this with a nail art tool and a ruler. The nail art tool is basically exactly the same as the scoring tools I later saw in the craft store, and I already had it. It works really well. I don't want to junk up my desk, which is already pretty worn, even more by scoring a bunch on it, so I looked for a proper scoring board at the craft store.
This one is from the Martha Stewart craft line, and I think it was $11, but I used a 40% off coupon, so I scored it for like $6.50. Heck yeah! I haven't used it yet because I got really used to scoring with my little nail art tool and, well, I fear change. But I'm still all stoked.
I made the books without scoring anything, since I didn't really think of it, but I think I'll make some more and hopefully their spines will be neater with some scoring!
Honestly, I've been hunting on and off for miniatures all year, and even though I've had luck with scoring wicker furniture off Etsy and at antique stores, I haven't had luck finding 1:6 scale stuff I like.