Crazy (about) Cat Lady

I’ve finally put all of my dolls on display! I’m not going to share photos until they’re dressed and have shoes on (>_< I know. Shame on me). The cats have been pretty much running my life (moreso than before). 

I know kittens are adorable, but there’s something to be said about how chill older cats are. My older kitty is now the unwilling mom of the kitten, and she has no where she can escape to without the kitten managing to follow her (there is one place, in the cabinet where my kitten hasn’t figured out how to climb, but for some reason the older cat won’t go there.).

I’ve made a couple of things for my cats! First off, I’m growing grass for them ^^. 

This is wheat grass, grown in a ceramic tiny bowl in some wet paper towels (yay DIY! Yay no dirt!). My older cat loves chewing on grass (and then puking it up).

I’ve also crocheted a mouse and a ball for my friend who has a cat.

To be completely honest, having a kitten is nothing like I imagined. I didn’t realize how hyperactive the kitten would be and how annoyingly in the way she would be to both me and my older cat. I’m hoping the kitten will learn to leave my older cat alone soon, because she’s near 8 years old and an unwilling participant in kitten motherhood. I’ve become a huge fan of older cats lol, and an advocate of adopting kittens in pairs. 

For all I complain though, Nimby is so stinking cute. 

Hello, it’s me.

Yes, it’s been a while. I’m in my new apartment (it’s so teeny tiny), and I’m settling in. 

I kind of wish the walls are a different color, but I can’t be bothered to paint them, and then repaint them should I move. I did however go to Lowe’s and pick up some Valstar plastic paint and Plaster of Paris to make some chalk paint! I’m pleased with the results ^^. The small table I bought from Craigslist for $5. 

My small space is feeling more homey. 

Which has led to me being in the mood for redressing Prisma! Her name before was Antoinette, and I think it’s kind of fitting. 

Project bag


Check it! I sewed my first thing in a long time (years even). I got two different types of fabric at Joanns – a fox printed cotton and a bright yellow canvas. I hand-sewed this (/struggle). Lol, it’s not that pretty, but I’m pleased I got it done in two days! 

I’m excited to put my next knitting or crochet project in the bag. I even have some bit of fabric left over that I’m tempted to make into dolly clothing 😮 .

Happy Monday everyone!

Yarn, yarn, and some more yarn

My Knitpicks order came! I ordered quite a bit more than I expected too in order to reach the $50 free shipping. 

By far, way nicer yarn than I have used in a while. Everything in my stash before this haul was purchased from Michaels, and either cotton or acrylic. For my Knitpicks order, I ordered two Bare skeins for dyeing, 6 skeins of sock yarn (stroll I think), 1 skein of lace weight mohair, and 1 skein of alpaca yarn if I remember correctly (I might be wrong XD). I already dyed one of the bare yarns yesterday, along with the other half of the practice yarn I purchased from Michaels. Behold!


By the way, winding the pink/yellow skein was a nightmare. I literally stood over a table for three hours trying to wind the yarn into a ball without ending up with a tangled mess. I’m quite pleased with my results for this round of dyeing! This time I used food coloring and kool aid powder. I found that the kool aid powder is especially good for getting a speckle effect. 

The blue/green practice yarn has become a part of a pair of slippers and a merit badge. ^^ The slippers are kind of ugly but soooo comfortable and easy to make. The merit badge is quite cute! I have it hanging as a charm on one of my purses.

(don’t mind my feet plz D:)

I’m really happy with how the blue/green skein came out! For my other bare yarn skein, I might try to recreate the effect. I was a bit reserved with my pink/yellow skein because I was worried I’d end up with a rainbow tiedye skein again. 

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Feeling that need to make things

I had a particularly hard week last week, made worse by a particularly terrible first session with a new counselor, who instead of helping me with my anxiety increased it by tenfold. I was relieved when the weekend came (but you know, also anxious because of how quickly time is passing by). Instead of falling into a stress-induced rut, I decided to get crafty.

So I made a big KnitPicks order (because that’s what I do when I’m feeling down- I eat and spend money), which includes two skeins of bare yarn for hand-dyeing! I was really inspired to attempt dyeing yarn after watching an episode of the podcast Knitting with Dolls. I did some more research and found these tutorials quite useful (KnitPicks, Chalklegs, Instructables).

Naturally, I decided I couldn’t wait for my order to arrive, so I went to Michaels and bought a skein of Patons worsted wool yarn and 4 bottles of food coloring (blue, pink, yellow, and red). I literally had no plan when I decided to attempt dyeing the yarn. Here is the result:

I was just like, ALRIGHT LET’S DO THIS. (/insert World of Warcraft reference here).

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I dyed a skein that reminds me of when I tie-dyed shirts as a kid. XD This wasn’t quite what I was going for, but I at least divided the skein into two hanks, so I can practice dyeing again before attempting it on the nicer skeins I purchased from KnitPicks. I need to figure out how to mix the four colors I have to make more colors, that are less neon. I’m not sure what to make with this…

I also made some more shrinky dinks (my sister asked for Neko Atsume ones) and some dish clothes (for my mom).

I really enjoyed making the dish cloths, and followed this pattern in order to achieve that waffle look. They’re a bit sloppy, but I made them with scrap yarn, and they’re not meant to last forever.

One more thing I want to mention – :3 I received the swap package I mentioned from my dolly friend. I was anticipating its arrival because I like to stalk my packages on the USPS website. I was ecstatic when I saw the contents of the package.

My friend and I did a swap – crocheted and knitted things for sewn things. I’m blown away by how well-made the shirts and the dress are, with all the tiny details (tinnnyyy buttons), and the adorable fabrics. She also made the kanzashi style hair clip. I don’t have enough shirts in my doll wardrobe, nor long dresses, so these are welcome additions. The package really brightened up my day. ^^ I put the two shirts on my girls, and haven’t decided who to put in the red dress (I’m torn between Finley and Rory).

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Reese is wearing the pink shirt and hairclip from the swap, a tutu from MINIJIJO, white tights, and pink shoes from QMagicDoll.

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Elowyn is wearing a beret I knitted, the green shirt from the swap, jeans, and stock shoes.

I hope everyone has an awesome (rest of) Sunday, and Monday flies by painlessly.

Very Crafty Weekend

I was both productive and unproductive this weekend. I was unproductive in that I cancelled a kind-of important appointment I had, because my work week was really something. I was dealing with a lot of emotions and unexpected events caught me off guard and really, I just wanted a weekend to myself – a weekend where I didn’t have to follow a schedule or plan around anything in particular. I was productive in that I did two major things – I bought some sharpies and a pack of shrinky dink paper and made a ton of stitch markers, and I got around to giving Tsukki, my Hujoo Nano Rabi, a face-up!

A friend and fellow member of the Blythe community in NYC started a podcast about knitting, crafting, and dolls. Julie’s is the first podcast I’ve ever watched/listened to, and I get the feeling I’m missing out on a whole world of listening material. When I knit, crochet, or am doing arts and crafts, I love to play doll videos and vlogs on my computer as a source of inspiration and entertainment. I really enjoy knitting/crocheting while listening to Julie’s podcast. ^^ The latest installment:

It was through this podcast that I had the sudden urge to try making things out of Shrinky Dink and dying my own yarn! I haven’t gotten around to the yarn dying yet, but I’ve been making stitch markers out of shrinky dink paper all weekend long.

These drawings are all traced, as I wanted to make sure that my stitch markers came out cute. I had a ton of fun with this!! Even watching the pieces bake in the oven was entertaining. I think I might make a little pendant as a blythe pull charm to add to one of my girl’s pull rings. Oooh, maybe a little fox or deer for Elowyn. The possibilities are endless.

Now onto the face-up:

It’s been a while since I’ve done a face-up of any kind, but I’m happy with how Tsukki turned out! It’s a bit simple, but I think he came out cute. I wish my lines were cleaner though. I also settled on the pinkish taupe eyes for him, instead of the sparkly dark navy blue.

I thought the color of the dark blue eyes was hard to see, and the eyes looked less striking. I also really like the mesh pattern of the taupe eyes.

And now I’m exhausted, and will be playing the game Stardew Valley or my new 3DS game, Bravely Second, until it’s time to turn in for the day.

Rerooting Misadventures

I finished the reroot, thanks to my impatience and obsessive tendency to want to complete my projects as soon as possible. I ran into a few problems though, and I would consider my first reroot as a failure… I definitely learned a lot from it though, and I’m confident I can do better next time (… If there is a next time D:). Here are some things I learned and noticed:

  • Next time, I will poke the holes and the rows closer together. In the scalp I finished, placing the holes 0.5cm apart, and the rows about 0.75-1cm apart resulted in a very sparse reroot. There’s too much of the scalp showing through the hair. I tried to fix this by creating new rows between the already rooted rows, and then using the knot method to insert more plugs in the noticeably bald areas.
  • I also found out that the holes that make up the thatch line should be placed less than a millimeter apart! 😦 Hence, all the gaps in the thatch line of my “finished” reroot.
  • Next time, I might look into getting a blank scalp with holes pre-punched into it. It would definitely save me some time.
  • Next time, I will extend the thatch line so that it reaches the very top of the scalp. I think the plugs in the part line can hid any sparse areas considerably.
  • I ordered 5 hanks of 38” long saran from Dolly Hair. I probably could have gotten away with 4 hanks, because I cut the 38” hanks in half, and used the lock and loop method. So the scalp’s resulting hair length was about 9.25”.
  • Rerooting one scalp with saran using the lock and loop method took me about 3 weeks to finish, and it was something I worked on a little nearly every day.
  • It cost me about $40 (scalp and saran hair, including shipping) to reroot one scalp.
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So sad D:

My Thoughts on rerooting with Saran

Pros

  • The quality of the hair is closer to real release’s scalp, rather than a fake scalp. The saran has a sturdier feel to it.
  • You can control how thick you want the scalp to be.
  • You can pretty much make a scalp any color you want, including using thermal color-changing saran.
  • It’s about $15 cheaper than buying a fake scalp on eBay, and wayyyy cheaper than buying a saran reroot on etsy (though, considering how labor-intensive rerooting  is, I get why a custom reroot cost as much as it does).
  • It’s something to do while watching a show.

Cons

  • It takes a long time, and a ton of patience. You’re literally poking about 11 – 12 rows of holes in a spiral, spaced less than a centimeter apart every which way, then separating the hanks of hair into plugs, then pushing a crochet hook through a barely there hole in plastic, then pulling these plugs through every hole. I half thought it might have just been better to buy a fake scalp.
  • It’s hard on the hands! (my poor, poor hands)
  • That chance of failure though.

I’m a little ambivalent about rerooting with saran. Granted, the hair on fake scalps can be hit or miss (too thickly rooted, too long, uneven bangs, off in color), but for the most part, I feel like it might have been better to just purchase one and style it. I think I might be feeling this way moreso because my first rerooting experience was less than stellar. The next time I do a reroot, I will most likely use alpaca fiber and the knot method.

>_< Rory will just have to wait for a new scalp!

Snowed in 

I used to love snow when I was a kid. The snow seemed special somehow, because it only happened a few times during the winter, and even then, sometimes it didn’t stick or was too powdery for any kid shenanigans. The snow was a promise of snow angels, snow forts, and if there was enough of it, a snow day.

I am now so over the snow :(. I think it has to do with the fact that instead of playing with it, I am now responsible for shoveling it. And all I can think of now is, IF ONLY BLIZZARD JONAS CAME A DAY LATER.

Anyway, I gave Marina a hair spa this weekend, which involved a trim and a wash.  She has an insane amount of hair, and it’s longer than she is tall. I normally have it braided or in a pony tail. Her hair is surprisingly well behaved when wet! I decided to give her curls to see how she would look.IMG_6186.jpgAnd voila. I have no idea what her hair is made of that it holds a curl so well! This new do definitely gives Marina a different vibe. The hair spa definitely made her hair softer. I wish I had a chunky knit sweater to put her in. img_6187I’m also working on a reroot for Rory. I’ve finished prepping the scalp, though I’m not convinced that my crochet hook will be able to pop through the holes I made. The hole punching part took me two days (of sporadic hole poking throughout the day). Now I have to prep the hair and start rooting. I think if I successfully complete the first scalp, I will try rooting with mohair or alpaca on my second scalp.

I hope everyone is staying warm!

Weighing in on Scale

😀 Word play.
When it comes to the size of my dolls, scale is very important to me – more important than I realized when I first started collecting.

From a budgeting standpoint, the semi-fiscally responsible me would argue that having different scale dolls means also having to purchase different sized wardrobes. The cost of doll clothes and shoes really adds up quickly! Sometimes I’ll think about the amount I’ve spent on clothes, and realize that I could have purchased a whole new doll. Then I quickly poo-poo on that thought, because having a variety of clothes and shoes to choose from helps me to better enjoy the dolls I have. Also, purchasing a wardrobe that’s sort of one size fits all my dolls helps alleviate the buyer’s remorse.

I think my comfort zone is the 1/6 scale size, because my gateway doll, the Ever After High dolls, and the Neo Blythe doll are 1/6 scale. The larger dolls are also a bit foreign to me. The only time I’ve ever seen a bigger doll in person was at the anime convention I went to, where they had Smart Dolls and Dollfie Dreams on display. Those were 1/3 scale, and I remember thinking they were HUGE! I would feel compelled to seat them on their own chair, and also hang up their entire wardrobe in my closet so they don’t get wrinkled… 

Also, I’m not one for heavy lifting, I can’t imagine how one would travel with such a big doll! Maybe I just need one to understand their awesomeness. I do love seeing photos of these big bjds, and all the details that go into them. There’s also something quite magical of having one that looks so lifelike. I think if I was more of a dedicated writer, and my dolls personified a character in my stories, I would be able to better appreciate a doll to that scale as a source of inspiration. Also, if I was better at sewing, I’d probably love having a big doll that can grandly model my creations.

For dolls smaller than 1/6 scale, the only experience I have is with the sole Middie I owned, Bryn. I’ve since sold her and all of the middie scale clothes and shoes I had.

I want to say that Middies are 1/10 scale? She was super easy to tote around, and adorable in her own right. But I think, if you expect all you expect out of neo from a middie, you’ll find the middie to be a bit lacking. The big reason why I decided to sell her was that I would not reach for her as much as my neos. With my limited number of middie outfits, redressing Bryn wasn’t as fun. Also, surprisingly, the smaller the doll, the harder it is to make flattering to-scale dresses!

In the end, it boiled down to me not wanting to accumulate two sets of clothes.

I haven’t owned any other small scale dolls. Though, I am sorely tempted to buy a Hujoo Nano Freya and Rabi! Since they’re affordable, I wouldn’t feel too worried about doing their faceups myself, and since they’re like baby animals, I think I’d be okay with them Donald Ducking it or Mickey Mousing it … or Winnie the Poohing it (apparently, they can only wear a shirt or pants… Not both).

I don’t find my aversion to different scales all that limiting actually. Right now, I’m really loving and wanting ALL the Azones, the Jerry Berrys, the Rurukos, the Licca Chans, and a Red Berry Doll. In my next post, I will hopefully be able to show you progress on my Marshall Lee inspired hybrid.I kind of wish obitsu and azone came out with a grey skin option, as I’m not comfortable spray painting or dying plastic myself. I purchased the Obitsu Petite P Chan head in white skin, the Parabox eye decals, and an Army Painter Psycho paint brush (not featured) from Junkyspot. The body is the Pure Neemo Flection XS boy in white skin. That background is ironically just a random bit of scrapbook paper.

I hope the eye decals look good! 

Also, YAY it’s finally Friday!!

 

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.

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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 ^^.