twenty serpentine

Ahh, another challenging year.

I don't even really know what to say about 2017. Mental health/medication/therapy/doctors was so much of my year. And I don't know what I can say about all of that. I also had some phenomenally stupid moments, like putting the iPhone I hadn't had for a year yet through the wash along with my bed sheets. Bye, money!

There were a few bright spots. I saw screenings of two of my favorite movies (Wayne's World and Real Genius) in theaters. There's something cool about that. I hadn't seen either of them like that before. I got very into crafting miniature suitcases (I hope I'll do a blog post about them sometime). Picking up new crafting skills is miraculous. I played a lot of Stardew Valley and started collecting Animal Crossing cards. I got really into reading BL manga.

In the last 4 months of the year, I was able to add another 60k-ish to my novel. This is by far the most meaningful for me. The experience wasn't without its challenges, but I wouldn't trade it.

My hope for 2017 was only that I would be able to create things, and I did.

While I can't say I'm optimistic about 2018, I want to take the lessons of 2017 along with me. Hopefully that means I will make sure not to destroy my phone again in 2018. Fingers crossed.


I often think of Beatrix and Miss Petaline as a pair, so I have several pictures of them together being a bit matchy-matchy that I've taken over the years. I thought I'd post a little collection.

(Licca-bodied Beatrix is always in those green shoes, huh!)

two videos

Don't want April to escape without noting the two Dolly Dressup videos I did this month! The above picture is a screen grab from Wisp's. I had paused on it while editing in Premiere and saved it because I thought it was pretty. Or maybe it's just that I really love Wisp!!

As I noted in the video, Wisp has a downcast gaze on this set of chips, so I'm thinking of giving her a slight lift. I did that for Mallow a while back because she also has the downcast gaze... And while I'm at it, maybe a new set of chips for Wispy! I just leave this set on her all the time.

Finally dressed Gavin! I feel unsatisfied most of the time with how I dress her, but I like this outfit!

For some reason, the volume seems low on this one. Either that or all the other ones are too loud. No clue which.

I think Mallow is the only girl who hasn't been in a dressup vid yet, so I'll do her during May! And also probably a haul... the ol' birthday's coming up.

work in progress: emergency stress kit

Lately, my therapist gave me a homework assignment to make an "emergency stress kit."

Sorry, I will talk a little about anxiety in this post!

As you might imagine, the purpose of this box is to aid in coping with stress. The idea is that if I find myself overwhelmed with stress or anxiety (and I am overwhelmed with both a lot), I can go to this box, and the things inside will help me in some way.

While I was at a loss as to what I could possibly put in such a box, I knew I could at least make the box cute. If I'm gonna do this thing, I'm going to do it up Jane-style, you know?? And indeed, I covered an Amazon box with scrapbook paper and washi tape. I reinforced a lot of places with clear packing tape, too. Now the Amazon box is an anti-stress box.

I've been really into washi tape lately. I mean, I have a lot of it because I've always been into it, but I've been using it for things like this as of late. I did this honeycomb wall decal with washi tape not too long ago!

Ironically, I don't like pineapple. But this box is covered with pineapple scrapbook paper and even pineapple washi tape. Pineapple is so cute and summery, though!

Some of the washi tape I have came in a package of several tapes, and say stuff like "DREAM" or "OH HAPPY DAY" or "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL," and I have found no occasion to use them before making this box. One tape says "I survived today," amongst other things, which I think goes along with the whole idea of the box.

As for the contents... I have precious little to put in this kit.

Because I have been in therapy for a long time now (10+ years, on and off), I have actually come a long way from where I started with my anxiety. I have developed coping mechanisms and self-soothing habits. Also, I know myself incredibly well. I know what works for me and what doesn't.

Much like inspirational washi tape, I know I'm going to get nothing out of loading the box full of "reminders," or things that are meant to represent concepts. I may enjoy playing the guitar, but putting a guitar pick in this box won't help me if I am actually stressed or panicky. Actually, I can see myself getting really angry at a box full of useless junk in that situation. I know I am too practical -- and even too jaded -- to get anything out of inspirational quotes. I know I will want to actually be able to use the items in the box.

So, for me personally, the items in this box so far include:

  • strawberry gum
  • vegan lip balm

I know, right?? Not much! But I do have a couple of ideas for other things.

  • scented candle
  • index cards with breathing exercises on them
  • a list of relaxing Bob Ross quotes (not inspirational~ ones, just soothing ones; watching The Joy of Painting is something I do when anxious)
  • something quietly clicky that I can mess with... not sure what!

Hopefully I'll either update this post or make another post when I have more contents gathered.

winter tea

At the end of January, my mom and I put on a tea.

We used to do this in my family pretty frequently. The ladies -- my mom, grandmother, my two younger sisters, and I -- would all get together at a decorated table with plenty of little goodies and tea. I don't drink tea (or coffee) and have a limited diet, so I've always just kind of in it for the company and the pretty table.

This time we used this hot chocolate set I got at Anthropologie in 2009. I can't believe it took eight years to use it. It's really adorable! It's sort of a mild cream color with minty-blue and brown animals and flowers on it. There's crowns and pennants and arrows, so it makes me think of Narnia, though it has nothing really to do with Narnia.

I wanted the decor and tablescape in general to be on the rustic/natural side, and to evoke winter rather than another season.

The most fun was making these little place tags with paper flowers, which we tied to each person's cup with some jute. I lettered with a white gel pen and drew the little circles along the trim to give them a lacy sort of appearance.

There were lots of treats, mostly not pictured because I'm kinda queasy about food right now.

Considering myself on hiatus from hobby stuff has served me well the past few weeks, and I am going to be scarce through the end of February, at least. But I have been thinking a lot about videos lately. While not Blythe-related, someone asked me if I'd make a video about other things I collect, and I think that would be fun.


I'm still on hobby hiatus -- see below post -- but I wanted to post. (I started a new med last week, and so far I feel like it's going well. If that's what gave me the difficult to come by oomph to take these pictures and post, then... yes!)

Right now I'm all into making dream catchers... one wasn't enough, I guess! Now I have four hanging in my room, including these two white/peach/pink/gold ones I made most recently.

One's on a 5" embroidery hoop and one's on a 4", if I remember correctly. They're meant to be a set, so they use some of the same beads.

Besides these, I've made another white crescent one for a friend, and also sent her a full one on a tiny little 3" hoop... to match! You know! And I've made a black crescent one, for witchy vibes. (I can't believe my witchy feels are still hanging around... but they are, and they're delightful.)

And am I fiending to make more? Yes. But I'm not having great luck finding bamboo cording and beads I like.

I've also been doing some embroidery. All the embroidery I've ever done has been with four or so stitches, so I decided I needed to learn some more. It's just that some stitches are more fun than others, I think!

I learned the fishbone stitch and enjoyed it so dang much that I did the above... and also one just like it, but in greens on white fabric.

Lots of embroidery hoops in my room, for real.