Mad Sewing Skillz

I’m kind of terrible at sewing. I realize that it’s the most cost and time efficient way to clothe my dolls, instead of scouring Etsy and Ebay or commissioning someone to make me a specific outfit, but it’s simply not a life skill that I’m good at. It’s all those tiny stitches, and that stupidly small eye of the needle, and all those pieces of tiny fabric! /sewing rage.

I found this pattern for a felt cape, and I thought it looked simple enough. At least the felt wouldn’t start coming to pieces and fraying from my handling it. Also, I figured since felt is thicker, it would be easier for me to sew too. The cape itself is really cute, and so seasonally appropriate ^^.

So I pulled out my craft felt and then this happened for a few minutes:

IMG_4361

She’s lucky she’s so darn cute. She can do no wrong.

And this is the finished cape:

IMG_4364 IMG_4365IMG_4368

XD It’s like one of those pinterest memes that end in “Nailed it!” The felt looks a little tortured, and my stitches are so uneven and crooked. … I’m not going to lie though, I’m kind of proud of this cape. It’s actually the first thing I’ve successfully sewed for my dolls. I think I’ll practice making it a few more times to see if I can’t get it to look nicer. I definitely don’t have that many coats in my doll wardrobe, and I like the wool coat look of this cape ^^.

Pattern: From Bees Knees Industries blog.

Always excited for the weekend 

Side note before the actual post: I have a promo code up on my etsy for 15% off with code BUNDLEUPBLYTHE.   

It’s Friday! Just 8 hours at work and then I’m happily home free. I actually plan out my weekdays in advance, scheduling each hour in order to remind myself to get things done (both errands and everyday things) and to make the work week go by faster. I guess I’m a creature of habit, or just prone to extreme laziness, so in order to avoid that I like to make these list-like schedules. Also, I find it extremely satisfying to be able to cross lines off. 

… I’m a few days behind in terms of things I wanted to get done before the weekend got here, but the best part of the weekend is that sleep is optional (probably more correct to say that I don’t have a self-imposed bedtime). 

Here are a few things I’m hoping to get done this weekend:

  • Boil perm my Licca chan’s hair, and finally settle on a name. 
  • Crochet myself a cowl hood. Winter is coming. 
  • Make my Junkyspot order of blank heads and what not.
  • Crochet some Blythe hats and scarves.
  • Take some pretty outdoor doll photos before all the pretty leaves become gross (I feel like I might have missed the boat on this one.)

 

I’m going to a park this weekend, and I’ll be taking this girl with me ^^. I’m actually having a really hard time finding clothes that fit the pure neemo XS body well. Most of the dresses look way too baggy, in a “You’ll grow into it in a few years” kind of way. I think I’ll also take Rosaline. 

I hope work flies by today.

On the subject of Anxiety

This topic is only vaguely related to my hobbies. I’ll try to make it come to a full circle in the end, but no promises! I’m in a kind of melancholy mood and I wanted to write about it.

I have anxiety, though I feel like everyone has anxiety to some degree. The level of my anxiety can range from simple everyday worries, to full blown panic, to a constant sense of unease or general wrongness. I have social anxiety as well, where I’ll type something or say something and then endlessly think about what I’ve said or typed when it’s too late to take it back… and then I think “Whhyyyy did I sayyyy that????” /cringe /derp /facepalm /g2gkthxbai4ever. So awkward. … times infinity. This is probably why a lot of my hobbies are solo hobbies (crocheting, reading, blogging, doll collecting and appreciating). When it comes to hobby-related stuff, I start to doubt my enjoyment of the activity and its value to me.

I’ve struggled with anxiety probably my whole life. I say “probably” because it’s really hard for me to say when it all started. Until a few years ago, I always assumed that the way I was feeling was normal, because how would I know otherwise? Since then, I’ve learned a few ways to deal with my thoughts (cognitive therapy really helped), and now that I’m able to recognize the feelings and thoughts for what they are, I also recognize that there are times I need to force myself to move despite my body telling me that it’s a good time to shut down (I have an awful relationship with sleep. When I want to sleep, it eludes me. When I want to stay awake, BOOM. Nap time.).

Understanding that a lot of what I’m anxious about doesn’t often make sense (or at least the degree of my anxiety doesn’t make sense), and willing myself to do anything isn’t always easy. However, for me, the first step towards getting away from my dark place is doing something I generally enjoy, even though at the time it might not seem worth it. Sometimes, a distraction (whether it’s petting my furbaby, or redressing my dolls) is enough to recalibrate the brain and put things into perspective, at least for a little while.

FullSizeRenderI’m still torn on what to name her.

Late night body swappin’

There’s really nothing like a good box opening to get your mind off of other things (I feel like this is a blanket fact… Unless you dislike presents or shopping or you see the box as an obstacle). Here is said box: The Merry Go Round Licca chan finally came in the mail! She’s a bit pricier than the basic dolls I found on eBay, but I had two intentions when I chose her – 1) I wanted to harvest her body, 2) I would feel bad tossing the head in the bin, so I wanted a girl I could be excited to add to my family without feeling like I have just added clutter (I didn’t want to feel “eh” about the licca chan). So of course, she has pink hair.   

 When I’m deboxing a doll, the deboxing might take a few minutes, but it’s the things that follow that will take me an hour or two. After I get a girl out of the box, I do a hair assessment. Her hair is actually very close in shade to Rosaline’s hair. It’s also a bit greasy, so she will be getting a wash and maybe a boil curl. I think I will keep her in her pig tails though ^^. 

Her stock is kind of cute, but it’s flimsy. It kind of reminds me of a kid’s Halloween costume. I like the print!

And then off goes the head and…    I put Licca chan on a Pure Neemo Flection XS girl body in Natural or Flesh-tone. It’s not a perfect match, but that’s ok. Her skin tone is kind of in between White and Natural. Switching her body was actually pretty easy. I just pulled her head right off of her original body and then pushed it onto the new body. 

I really like her on the pure neemo body! I think the proportions are just right, and she looks less like a child’s toy, kind of like a very low-end Ruruko in that they are both on pure neemo bodies and they have painted on faces. Maybe it would be better to call her an upgraded Licca?       
Look at how well she holds poses! I guess the PNXS body would work better with a head that’s actually to scale. I actually don’t have much that wouldn’t look too baggy on a licca or pure neemo XS body, so I put her in the Lambellina top, deep burgundy tights, and coolcat boots (pretty much what I had on Summer the first time I rebodied her). 

Seeing how well the pure neemo body holds poses with a to scale head makes me excited for the Azone character doll I preordered ^^, as well as putting together an Azone/Obitsu hybrid. 

I’m not sure what I’ll call this girl… I’m thinking of Merry, Bubblegum, or Pinky.

Blythe Con Chicago Part 2 – The Haul

This year, how prizes at Blythe Con Chicago worked was that every one who purchased a ticket would receive a goody bag upon arrival. In that goody bag are an assortment of dolly-related goods and a chocolate bar with a golden ticket (because the theme was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory :3 ). The golden ticket tells you what door prize you won, and you redeem the ticket for the prize at one of the tables.

Chicago and Blythe Con

The goodies from the goody bag!

Chicago and Blythe Con

My golden ticket door prize!

Chicago and Blythe ConChicago and Blythe ConChicago and Blythe Con

(Some of) the things I purchased!

The thing not pictured in my haul is the custom face-up commission I purchased with Chantilly Lace. I decided on the spot that I wanted Finley (my stock Cadence Majorette) to have her face redone by a professional customiser. I have mixed feelings about Finley’s stock face. On one hand, I really do like her stock – it’s cute and classic. On the other hand, her face lacks the personality that my other dolls have. I’m excited and anxious as this is my first time getting a doll customized and it was quite a bit of money I wasn’t expecting to spend!

But I’m mostly excited!!

It also feels a little weird being short one doll! But with the clothing I purchased ta the convention, I only really had enough items for three outfits, so I guess there’s that.

Chicago and Blythe Con

Rosaline is wearing polka-dotted pants from Cmon Dolly (LOVE), and a top purchased in a lot on eBay (I think it might be a Barbie top, but I might be wrong). She’s going casual today.

Chicago and Blythe Con

Marina is wearing the complete dress set I won as the door prize. The set is by Miema Dollhouse. I love the daring color combinations, as well as the super cute whale print. The teal color actually matches Marina’s hair perfectly!

Chicago and Blythe Con

Rory is wearing a headband from Kbabydolls, her shirt is from Cmon Dolly, and her pants are from Our Blythes Argentina.

Group shot!

Chicago and Blythe Con

The shelf seems a little lonelier without my blonde girl. She should be back in a month or two though!

Blythe con 2015 – it went by so fast!

I am exhausted. Blythe Con Chicago was my first Blythe convention, and it was all so very exciting and exhausting. I had no idea what to expect, and I also only knew a handful of people going. I’m kind of painfully awkward in large crowds and with strangers, and I’m not so great at self-introductions. I’m actually still a little frazzled from the day – visual overload with well over one hundred dolls and so many colors. To make this easy (for me), I’m going to split the experience in sections.

The Pre-meet: I only stopped by to say hello. There was quite a turn out, and some people vending small items. From photos the pre-meet looked pretty fun (… Next time!).

The Convention: 

  • Getting there – I recommend getting to the convention early. I got to BCC 15 minutes late, and had to queue for a bit to get in. If there’s an item you really want to purchase, and there’s a limited quantity, definitely get there early. I don’t mind so much queuing, especially since I kind of expect it at any convention, but I do feel the sense that I missed out on some good items (really wanted a pair of skinny jeans from a particular table!).
  • The set up – I first checked in at the welcoming desk, and received my goody bag and name tag before going into the main hall. The venue was a huge open space with two rows of vendor tables on one side and tables for the attendees on the other. 
  • Shopping – so much shopping! I did some damage here. I was excited to see quite a number of the sellers as I had a shopping cart on etsy filled with a few of the items they were selling. It was also really nice meeting all of the vendors (super nice, super talented).

Vendor: Our Blythes

  

Vendor: Happibug

Vendor: Forty Winks

Vendor: Chantilly Lace

Vendor: Cmon Dolly

  • Panels – there were a few panels held (Kenner panel, Intro to customizing, and a few others). I didn’t attend these as I lost track of time.

All the kenners!

  • Meeting and greeting and sitting – I met a ton of nice people today. In this kind of setting, it’s definitely easier to make new friends as everyone is there because they love blythes and want to hang out with fellow Blythe lovers (XD I think). I also spent a lot of time sitting at a table… Resting my feet. I’ve been doing so much walking in Chicago and making several rounds to the vendor tables for browsing and shopping that my feet were killing me. 
  • Taking photos – I had a serious case of visual overload. So many colors! So many dolls to look at! There were a couple of sets for photo taking, and also so many beautiful dolls set up on tables. Some con goers also did smaller meet ups to take photos of dolls from the same customizer. 

Dr. Blythenstein Yarn Heads

  

Plushimi customs to the left

  

Adorable Yarnhead

  

Yarnhead gathering

  

Forty Winks custom

   

My girls!

  

Looking sharp.

  

Posing in a set.

 

I had a great experience at my first convention. It amazes me that it was a completely fan-run convention. It was very organized and also everyone went home with a donated door prize (it was anything from a customized doll, a doll customization voucher, doll clothes, or doll accessories). 

Next year Blythe con will be held in San Francisco! I hope to be there too ^^. 

Also – will post photos of my haul when I get back home!

Blythecon Ho!

Yeah that title looks weird. >_< … sorry.

BUT! In a few hours, I will be making my way to Chicago predominantly for Blythe Con USA 2015. This will be my very first Blythe Con, and my first time traversing the streets of Chicago. I’m all packed, with my two girls dressed and ready for our trip. ^^ I’m taking Finley, my mostly stock Cadence Majorette, and Marina, my Project Dollhouse custom. Hopefully, we all make it through the trip with little to no accidents >_<.

I have specific shopping goals for this convention – I’m going to try to limit myself to buying separates, and pieces I could potentially use to dress my future Azone/Obitsu hybrids. I’m also excited to see the tables for quite a number of sellers, as I always prefer buying things in person than over the internet. I’ll most likely upload the Blythe Con photos as soon as I can via the Flickr app, and I’ll also make a post regarding the convention when I get back.

Also before I pop off, my two Azone Pure Neemo Flection XS bodies came in the mail! I ordered a white skin boy body and a natural skin girl body. IMG_3959IMG_3958I posted two photos because I couldn’t quite get the colors to show true (it’s nighttime here :-/ ). XD The white skin boy body is on the left and the natural skin girl body is on the right. Ok, I’ll try my best to describe the colors and other differences I noticed in bullet form (:D just because).

  • The boy body is kind of like NC15 in MAC foundations, and the girl body is kind of a bizarre shade of orange – maybe the lighting is playing tricks on my eyes too… If I had to guess, I’d say maybe the girl body is a very orange NC 30? >_< Best way I can describe it.
  • The boy’s body has a slightly broader torso than the girl body.
  • The girl’s body has a thigh gap.

If the girl’s body isn’t a color match for my Merry Go Round Licca chan’s head, I might just go ahead and make her Fionna Human. Also, I’m starting to think maybe I should try dying the boy body a light grey… but it seems a bit too advanced for me.

😀 Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Finding Inspiration

It’s a three day weekend! Thank you, Christopher Columbus ^^. I’m not sure exactly what I did to pass today, but one of the things I managed to do was very spur-of-the-moment.

IMG_3877IMG_3879

I made a sort of blythe closet! I had a wooden box that I stored some odds and ends in, and it was kind of janky looking. After seeing The below video by Jane (aka Maidensuit) on youtube, I decided to repurpose the box. I painted the outside of the box (did not paint the back… too lazy I guess) white, and lined the inside with scrapbook paper measured and cut to fit. I used mod podge to glue the paper in. The wood is kind of like balsa wood – very thin and easy to puncture or dent, I made a hole on both sides of the box, and superglued screws into the holes (the screws have a ring at the top of the screw). I then tied the ends of a pink nylon cord to each screw, The hangers I purchased from the scrapbooking section in Michaels.

I’m pretty happy with how it came out! It looks pretty cute on my dolly shelf, filled with the pink and yellow Daiso clothes. I’m feeling particularly productive ^^.

Crocheted bag complete

    Finally finished with this project! It feels like it took me a while to complete, but then again I’m used to projects taking me at most a weekend (I mostly undertake small projects).

  • The pattern: Garden Bag
  • Difficulty level: Easy. Done in all single crochet. And each panel of the bag is done as an individual piece, which is later attached.
  • Duration: SO LONG D: . I think this took me two weeks, because I would have to put the project down a lot.
  • My deviations: I used three skeins of Lion Brand Pound of Love (two in baby blue, and one in cream). The bigger panels of the bag measure 60 stitches across, and the thinner panels measure 25 stitches across. I made two pockets instead of three, and I used the griddle stitch instead of single crochet. The pocket also measures 64 stitches across, and when I made the bottom of the pockets, I skipped 3 stitches on the outer side, and two stitches in the middle (for each pocket). The bottom of the pocket is also two rows long of 28 stitches. I also made the straps longer (chained 100 for each strap). 

I made this bag specifically for Blythe con, so I can easily tote my girls around. I’m not sure if I’ll be using the bag for this purpose, because it’s not quite sturdy enough. The pockets lack structure, so when I hold the bag by the straps, my girls are precariously leaning forward and stretching the pockets outward. I think I might have made the pockets too roomy, which is surprising because I intentionally tried to avoid that.

I think if I were ever to make this bag again, I would use the yarn it calls for. I calculated that if I were to buy the yarn at the store in the exact amounts, it would have cost me about $30. The 3 skeins of pound of love set me back $17. Definitely need to wait for a sale for the cotton yarn, since the pattern calls for 17 skeins. Anyway, I found that the acrylic yarn didnt behave the way that a lot of the comments on ravelry described. The tension of using two cotton yarn strands is probably a lot tighter than my two acrylic yarn strands. I also found that I had to alter the pattern a lot to achieve the bag size I wanted and to come close to the size shown in the photo on the pattern. I’m thinking this might have to do with my yarn choice as well. I think that using cotton would have made the bag look cleaner too. 

The bag looks very handmade XD … Because it is… Lol. I think this might become my yarn bag for when I decide to crochet somewhere outside of my room.