Sunday, December 31, 2006

New test hat

I've been playing around with strand knitting (aka fairisle) and have completed a test hat for the Blythes. Tiff had some ideas I couldn't resist, so I tried them out on the hat. :-)

New test hat

I like the braids, but think I made them a little too long. The weight of the braids isn't allowing the flaps to curl up, which I find to be one of the cutest details of the hat. I'll either make them shorter or leave them unbraided next time. The fairisle pattern was my own addition and I think needs some tweaking - I was shocked to find that the row after I finished the pattern, I needed to decrease already! So, I've adjusted it, taking two lines out of the pattern, which should work better for placement overall.

Here are some more pictures:

Ear flaps up a` la Sherlock Holmes:
New test hat with ear flaps up

And tied under the chin (definitely needs a pom pom on top!):
New test hat with ear flaps tied under

Oh, and if I don't post again today - hope everyone has a safe and happy new year!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being that it's now Thanksgiving, my mind is already thinking ahead to the holidays and how to avoid as much of the festivities as possible. It seems to come faster and faster each year and the false frivolity irks me. It's not the happiest time of the year, who are we kidding?

I don't know about you, but I certainly have enough *stuff*. Not that I don't have my eye on a few things, but I'm at the point that I can pretty much buy the little things for myself. It's the big things I'm having trouble with - you know, like a house. The prices are ridiculous where I am and I keep waiting for something to happen to change that.

Anyway, enough of my diatribe - no one really wants to listen to a curmudgeon during the holidays - we all get labelled as "scrooge" - when all we really are is realistic.

I've been knitting up a storm in hopes of selling some stuff at squeakymonkey. Tiff and I have made some stuff in exchange, which is really cool - I think her clothes are amazing! I'm for the most part done with what I'm sending her, but am hoping to finish a couple of Jayne Cobb hats to send along.

Blythe-size Jayne Cobb hat

Almost done with my pumpkin pies for the Thanksgiving dinner I'm going to - then I need to go get whipped cream (forgot to pick it up last night). I'm just glad I stopped and picked up fixings last night as I got the very last can of pumpkin pie mix in the store. How lucky is that?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Two Weeks in and...

Nothing. I haven't written a word. I'm lame, I know. I have a great idea for my novel, but the last two weeks have been really hectic at work (more so than usual). I'm so stressed, I really fear I could end up with reflux or even worse, an ulcer.

On the plus side, my knitting has really taken off! I modified a skipper pattern for a knitted hoodie for my Blythes, and it's gotten a really great response. Here's the semi-finished hoodie:

NDG hoodie #2

I need to add the tie chain and beads for closure.

I also tried out Woollyrockers' pattern. It turned out amazing! I highly recommend buying Liz's sweaters - her knitting is impeccable.

Here's my version:

From Woollyrockers' pattern on TIB

And here's the one I bought from her:

Thank you, Woollyrockers!

I've also been commissioned to create a Blythe sweater dress using this as a guide:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So, I'm going to work out a pattern for it - I hope it turns out as cute as I think it will!

Monday, October 30, 2006


I wish it were a long vacation that kept me away from my blog for so long, but really it's just been work, work and more work for the last few months. And just when I thought I had some relief, the person I've been training goes and gets herself on bedrest for the next two months. Ugh. Mmmm - bedrest - gawd that sounds frickin' amazing to me right about now!.

So, anyway, it's almost Halloween, and I'll be doing my usual "turn off the lights hide in the bedroom" routine for it. I just don't want to 1) have to open the door to strangers and 2) have candy around when I'm being good.

Come Wednesday though, my whole world will be turned on its ear for none other than NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month. I think I lasted a week last year, so we'll see if I get farther than that this time! I do have a much better plan this time, and that is to write loads of short stories based around a theme (which I can't tell you as that would spoil the surprise, but I think it's pretty clever and hope you do, too). Anyway, it's a challenge to do it, and you know me, always up for a challenge! Besides, if I don't try, how will I ever know if I can write a novel?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ugly is the new Pretty

Sunday was spent checking out a store in Echo Park that carried Blythe with Snoopygirl and another local girl from the forum. It was cool to see them in a store, but 1) I already had the few they had in stock, and 2) they were vastly over-priced (about double what they cost on ebay).

There were a couple boutiques nearby that had some very expensive, obviously geared to young Hollywood clothing. I'm fine with expensive clothes if they're well-made, but ugh, these took the cake. Edges were all unravelling, and it looked like they were the craft project in a jr high school sewing class. We all joked that all we had to do was come up with the ugliest thing possible and then sell it for loads of money. There was one item in particular, a skirt made from a cheetos t-shirt - it was cute, but for $60? I don't think so... Especially when you consider the t-shirt probably cost them $1 at the local thrift store, + $2 for the elastic waistband. Anyway, it got me thinking: The more expensive something is, regardless of perceived beauty, the more exclusive and valuable it is. Name it - cars, houses, clothing - the more it costs, the more likely there will be some idiot prepared to pay more for the right to say they belong to that rarified club that can afford to buy it (whatever IT is). As for the clothing, the ugly factor just adds to the *hip* factor - "I don't care how I look or how much I pay to look this way - that's how hip I am!" Let's all say it together now: "Dumbasses" or as I like to say it "Dumas" (doo-moss).


Sunday, July 09, 2006


This is what happens when I'm bored.


'What will your obituary say?' at

Sounds about right. The only difference is: Rosebud will not be a sled, it will be a Blythe!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


No, I'm not all mellow - I'm actually miserable 'cos it's so freakin' hot, but to pass the time, I've been knitting in the line of AC. I've finished the hat part of my full-size Jayne Cobb hat (a character from Serenity and Firefly - hence the name of this entry) and finished the entire version for Blythe. I really like the way it's turned out and think I might make some more to sell. We'll see what people think before I get my knitting freak on...

Here's the pic of Leia, my Cherry Berry modelling the hat. I think it's one of the nicest things I've ever designed.

Blythe-size Jayne Cobb hat

In case you're not familiar with the whole Browncoat cult of Firefly fans, it's supposed to look like that (ie - ugly and handmade).

Well, off to finish the full-size version - just have the ear flaps and pom pom to go...

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Last week, I went to my bro's to hang out with him and visit with my nephew (gaaaa - he's so cute!). We were channel surfing, and I see the name of the game show I was on 4 years ago on Game Show Network. I tell A to turn it on because "wouldn't it be funny if it were the one I was on?" Well, he flips to it and and we both screamed - there was my head filling the screen! So random! I've switched on GSN occasionally to see if it was me and for all the times I did that, I never saw me. And then we turned it on and there I was. What are the odds?!?

I'm supposed to be neatening up the apartment, but fcuk it, it's hot and the computer is right in line with the AC, so if I sit here, I feel slightly cooler than elsewhere in here. At least I can post and then I'll feel like I got something done :-P In fact it's so hot, the water coming out of the cool tap is so hot the cats wouldn't even drink from it. I ended up having to put their bowl in the fridge before being able to give it them.

I went knitting with mom and my aunt this morning at our LYS. It was so crowded and loud in there - not really relaxing, but I did finish a knit hat (which I think I'll give to M) and made one for Blythe from the leftover yarn. I should have enough hats to start selling in another week or so. I love doing them because they knit up in half an hour and then I can tell people I got X number of projects done this week (as opposed to my sweaters which are all languishing in various states of *undoneness*, causing me to say I got nothing done this week). I brought my mini ipod and noise cancelling headphones to the LYS, but didn't use them until one of the owner's mothers sat next to me and was talking so loudly it made me tense up. I forgot I had the Katamari Damacy soundtrack on there, so that was a nice surprise and at least had me smiling rather than scowling like I'd been doing.

I think I'll go empty and reload the dishwasher now and then sit on the couch and veg with a couple dvds and my knitting. I may even do a load of laundry. I really am that boring sometimes! But, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, y'know?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I heard this on the morning news...

Sometimes, we need to be a little proactive - so, new rule: when you hand over your car keys to the valet, make sure you take your other keys off the keychain! If you're like most people, your registration's in the glove box, so if you hand over all your keys, you might as well put the welcome mat out at home for them too. Don't make it easy for anyone to make you a victim - if they have to go the extra step, it's not worth it to them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Been...

A Long, Long Time!

Where to start... Well, work's keeping me busy, which is both a blessing and a curse. M's bday was yesterday and I got him this. Of course, he's convinced he's cursed and to further enforce that feeling, the lightsaber I gave him had SFX that were super quiet. We just thought that was the way it was, until Squishy opened hers and it was LOUD! So, now I have to exchange it for him. Does that make me cursed for being with him? ;-) Or is he cursed for being with me?

I dragged M to a dolly meet over the weekend. It was good to have him meet everyone, but I think he was extra sullen just to prove the point that he hates meeting people. Ah, well. We're similar that way - the first two dolly meets, I sat in the corner and barely spoke, and now you can't shut me up. Some people want to castigate me for it, as though it were a character flaw to be shy in group settings. Me, I need time to get to know people - it's part of being a middle-child - I have to weigh all options before I can act.

I've also been knitting loads of things. I've finished doll hats, and that's about it. Those don't take me too long, and the look really changes depending on the yarn I use. I did take a picture of Clancy (V-Smash) and Rowan (LM) at the dolly meet at Chez Snoop in some knitted goods I made recently.

The hat's really cool - made from Noro yarn. Snoopygirl wanted to buy it off Clancy, but I told her I'd pick up some more of the yarn and make her one of her own. And that's just what I did. Here's a pic of the skein that arrived today:

It was supposed to be two skeins, but only one was in the envelope. I emailed the seller and am just waiting to hear back. I really hope it was just an oversight on their part...! If I were M, I'd probably think this was yet another sign of the universe conspiring against me. Hehehehe. When in reality, it's probably just a matter of someone not taking the time to double-check the order before shipping. And if it's not an oversight, I'll be filing a claim with Paypal faster than you can say "fluffer-nutter". Mmmmm, fluffer-nutter....

Monday, June 05, 2006


I scored 2 Dollybird mooks (yes, you read that right - it's a combo magazine/book, hence "mook") off ebay and got them just today. OMG - I wish I'd known previously how absolutely fantastic they are! In the back, there are patterns for the doll clothes you find scattered throughout the pages, and illustrated instructions (a very good thing, since I can't read Japanese - yet!). I have 2 more in the mail to me from, and now that I've seen these two, I am so excited to receive the next two! I think I may even try to get other past issues, just to complete the *collection*. Oh, ebay, why are you so cruel to my wallet?

Here's a picture of the two I received today:

Now, if I could just find the time to do a little sewing.... I'm just grateful that knitting is so portable! I've got loads to photograph and post - I know I keep saying that, but it's true.

On the Blythe doll front, I am currently up to (OK, this is embarassing): 20 dolls. It would have been more, but I gifted one to my mom who fell hard for my first semi-custom, Emma (I wasn't even done, but mom liked her just as she was and I couldn't say no to mom), and sold the other. Of course, now I'm thinking that was stoopid to sell her as she really would have made a great custom, but I don't think I would have had the heart to customize her at the end of the day. And, the girl who bought her seemed to really want her (and then I found out she turned around and sold her within a week of buying her - poor little maligned Georgie!). So, there is a pang of guilt there, but in the end, she needed to be with someone who loved her more than me.

I haven't posted any of my new dolls in awhile, so I'm sure that number must seem shocking. It's shocking to me, too, and I have them! Anyway, here are two of my latest girls (just to slowly get caught up with my posting)...

First, is my second BL girl, an FAO Schwarz Hollywood named Teague. Last Saturday, Teague joined M and I for dinner at Outback and yearned to try a piece of the Chocolate Tower (aka the world's best chocolate cake - which, oddly enough, looks like a bloody steak in this picture. Hmmm...):

FYI - Teague is sporting a Euro Trash Fashion Kitty Helmet (thank you, Ruth!) and a knitted dress by me

Second is my second custom - a Cherry Berry named Meredith (I couldn't help it, I love Grey's Anatomy), who I'm in the process of customizing to look like a Rosey Red. I've already swapped her body for a Licca, sand-matted her, cut her hair and painted red lips (though I'll re-do those shortly - I'm a bit of a perfectionist about these things). I only have to boggle her eyes and twist her scalp a 1/4" and then she'll be done. That probably sounds like gibberish if you don't know Blythe, so just pretend I said something clever, nod and add in an "ah huh" every once in awhile and everything will be fine. Anyway, here's a pic of Meredith supporting the cause for more Farrell's Ice Cream Parlors:

Do you think I possibly have a thing for dolls and sweets? Hmmm... I guess some things never change no matter how old you get ;-)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania

Some things in life are serendipitous, and the story of how The Bituminous Coal Queens went from being a small pageant in southwestern Pennsylvania to a documentary available on DVD this Tuesday from Netflix is one of them. The producers, Patricia Heaton and her husband, David Hunt, were at dinner with actress Sarah Rush a few years back when Sarah mentioned she was going back home for a reunion. "High school?" "No, the 50th anniversary of the Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania." And thus was born the three week prep and ten days of filming that would become the documentary of the same name.

I was lucky enough to be at the Netflix screening at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood today, and recommend everyone put this documentary in their Netflix queue. I promise you won't regret it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Petrified Tomatoes

I finally cleaned out the fridge today, something that I apparently haven't done in quite some time. The best find was the Roma tomatoes at the back of the bottom shelf that had literally petrified. They'd dried out and shrunk down where I left them gawd knows how long ago. I'd photograph them, but I think your stomachs will thank me for leaving it to your imagination. Ewwwwwww.

All I know is that M can no longer make fun of me for the state of my fridge :-D hehehe

But, I can continue to rag on him for his bathroom. The toilet especially. I do believe it rivals the one in Trainspotting. Double Ewwwwwwwwwww.

Overall, I'd say it's been a nice and relaxing weekend. I've found quite a few things I'd lost (this is what happens when you organize), but alas, the cable remote is still MIA. I just know it's going to turn up in the weirdest place when I do find it...

I'm thisclose to finishing tons of knitted goodness... I'll post pics once they're done. ;-)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Why Do We Do This?

Yesterday was such a horrible day (not including the overall horrible week I've been having...). I've been sick since Sunday, but because there are massive important projects due at work, I sacrificed my recovery by trying to be a responsible adult and get these done. Now, I feel worse than ever - partly because work was so bad yesterday that I spent half the day crying - first over one thing, then over another. So, here I am at home, missing E3 because I have an earache that started yesterday from my sinuses getting all swollen because I'd been crying over the state of my projects. The client even asked when we could ship (since we'd missed the first date due to elements needing to be replaced), I told them next Friday, they sent an email saying Tuesday, which just crushed me. I was like: "Is this a real date? Do I need to come in on the weekend again?" Then he was telling me not really, he was just trying to make his boss happy and we could have our date, but it was kinda infuriating as it makes me wonder if I'm supposed to take their dates seriously now. Either way, I'm sure I'll end up paying later for trying to get better today...

The one benefit to being home (and it's not what you'd think!) is that I can now take my car over and see about getting the AC fixed. And just all around get some chores done that are really, really in need of being done.

So, my question, really, is this: Why do we allow someone else's poor planning to become our emergency? This whole week I was supposed to be at E3, but instead I got sick from stress and worked myself up into a tizzy over my client's insistence at moving their deadline up 3 weeks, only to have it move back a week. I'm wondering why I let it get to me. I guess 1) I care about my clients since I've worked with them for almost 4 years now, and 2) Familial issues make it easier to concentrate on work and make that the center of my universe, so that when that gets out of control I feel overwhelmed. Anyway, I've changed cubicles so I'm no longer with my back to the door, and that has helped my concentration enormously, and now I just need to remind myself to breathe and laugh these things off (obviously, refrain from laughing in my client's face, but behind their back, maybe) when they happen. Because as M loves to remind me, the way things are going the nuclear holocaust is going to make this seem like the best time of my life. Lovely.

I'm also guessing that's why I get so involved in my crafting and writing - as these things are *fun* to me, and relatively less stress. I'm sure you've noticed I have a constant string of on-going projects, well, it runs in the family. Both Mom and I do this so that if we get to a place in the project that's boring or too hard or just plain sucks, we can put it down and there's already another project in the works to pick up! It sometimes feels like you get nothing done that way, but then there's that golden moment where you're able to finish 5 projects all at once - and there's no better feeling of accomplishment than that. Trust me.

Don't get me wrong: I sometimes wish I were a super serial crafter - able to finish one project in a single bound, but for whatever reason, I bristle at being tied down to just one thing. Maybe it's just that I see endless possiblities when it comes to crafting and I want to do it all NOW. Or maybe I'm just impatient. But, that's how I am, good or bad. One thing's for sure, I'm hella good at multi-tasking, and that's something you can take to the bank.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Take that, Cholesterol!

Squeal! Got my numbers back today in the great Cholesterol trifecta.... And, it was much work on my part, lots of being aware of what I'm eating, making better choices, etc... But, I have FINALLY triumphed over my numbers! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's the latest:

Total overall: 201 (this is the lowest it's been since I started seeing my current doctor - ie, in 8 years)
HDL: 103 (this is the *good cholesterol*)
LDL: 89 (this is the *bad cholesterol* and has dropped a whopping 40 points in the last two months!!!!!!!!)

My feelings now... If I can add in more exercise AND keep up my *healthier* diet, I could see the otherside of 200 (a feat not accomplished since I was first tested at 20). So, I think that for me, knowing that high cholesterol runs in the family, healthy choices are the best way to go. That doesn't mean becoming so strict that eating is no longer fun - you do have to live a little - but everything within reason, with an emphasis on oatmeal, lower fat, more veggies and lean meats (and the occasional chocky cake for good measure!).

Big hugs and kisses to everyone who cheered me on and gave me advice! I couldn't have done it without you!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Birthday to...


Hope you have an awesome b-day (technically, this post is an hour early, but I want to make sure you see this on your b-day). ;-)

Since it's been a wee bit crazy at work, I have to apologize for not sending off your prezzies on time. In fact, I'm having trouble finding a box big enough for one of them, so until I do, here's a pic of what I got you (sorry to spoil the surprise, but I've been dying to give the big prezzie to you for months!) Hope you like them!

I may just have to make you something for your Blythe to make up for spoiling the surprise. :-D

Knitted Noro Hat

I picked up a skein of Noro Silk Garden on sale, and couldn't wait to make a hat out of it. Rather than look for a hat pattern, I designed my own. It's really simple, but I think shows off the Noro to its best advantage.

Here's the picture of my FO of the week:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And here are the instructions:

You will need - 1 skein of Noro Silk Garden and 1 pair of sz 9 needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Take your head's circumference (mine's 21"), and then subtract 3" (in my case, I get 18"). Do a gauge swatch to figure out how many stitches per inch you're getting. I got 4 stitches to the inch x 18" = 72 stitches to cast on. Do 4 rows of 2x2 rib. First and third rows k2, p2 * repeat to end of row. Second and Fourth rows, knit the knits and purl the purls. Row five, switch to stockinette stitch - knit all odd rows, purl all even rows. When the hat gets to 7" (or desired length), on a knit row, k2tog stitches across the row (so each set of 2 stitches get knit together, thereby halving the number of stitches on your needle - I ended up with 36 stitches when I was done with this row). Next row, purl all stitches. Now, cut a tail at least 10" long - you will weave this back through all the stitches on the needle (do a few at a time, once all stitches have been transferred from needle onto the tail, pull taught, thereby gathering the stitches (and closing the top of the hat). Thread the tail onto a yarn needle, and sew the back seam closed. Weave in all ends and you're done!

Yup, it's that easy! Not only that, but it knits up really fast, and is a good stepping stone for those who have knit one scarf too many. ;-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

No. 9 ... No. 9...

My mom had her ninth back surgery today. Nine! At this point, they should just put a zipper in to get to her spine - spare her some of the agony. :-( She's doing well, blissed out on morphine. I got to spend some time after work with her and she seems to be in good hands at the hospital, which is important. The doctors *think* they solved most of the problems she's been having, which if that's the case, would mean she won't have to use her cane to walk anymore. Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, whatever. For her sake, I really hope things improve to that point. Did I mention it sucks getting old?

My dad barely said two words while I was there. I get the impression he was dying to ask totally inappropriate questions like "do you talk to my sister?", "when are you getting a raise?", and my current fave "do I need to get the kneepads?" - a reference to his wanting to ask M to ask me to marry him. Ah, family... I'm just waiting for him to tell me to call my own sister so I can tell him not only have I called her, but I've emailed, too, and heard nothing back. It's such a weird situation, I really don't even have words for it anymore.

At least mom and I have been working on our relationship, and as she seems to be the most amenable of the holy trinity, I may have a foothold to eventually developing a better relationship with my dad, too.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Little Retail Therapy - Thrift Store Style

Work's been pretty crazy this week, and promises to get even worse (lovely). Basically, I've gone from having almost nothing to do (except surfing the web to look busy) to having more work than I can handle. I've even brought out the headphones to block it all out so I can concentrate better. Thankfully, we're on a network at work, so I'm at no shortage for new music to listen to while I slowly wilt in my cubicle.

To take the edge off, one of my best friends from 5th grade suggested a day of retail therapy - more specifically - thrift store hopping. She printed out a list of shops to go to, and we were off in the Neon. I've lost count of the number we hit, but we did find a treasure trove out in the West Valley that kept us very happy on our journey. Overall, we each spent less than $30 and got loads of goodies! She got the score of the day with a vintage 50s evening jacket that looked like it had never been worn.

In no particular order, I got:

Some gorgeous fabric, that is either silk or a highly polished cotton (I'm leaning towards silk, but will try the burn test later to be sure). It'll be turned into either an a-line skirt or summer dress (using a pattern I picked up at one of the thrift stores we went to):

Some vintage craft/fashion books. The Vogue Sewing book has a case it slides into - I'm in love with it! I had a similar one from the era, which I gave to a friend when she started sewing, and have wanted another ever since. The other book has interviews with a bunch of 70s designers, and is unfortunately water-damaged, but still good for reading/ideas:

Some gorgeous 60s glass bowls - possibly Murano. Very good for entertaining. I have another set in brown, so these will go nicely:

A vintage Pyrex serving bowl - goes very nicely with the table and chairs my bro and sis-in-law got for me. (pardon the coffee grounds on the counter - I guess I didn't wipe the counter down so well)

A vintage Pyrex decanter. It's missing the lid, but I can probably make a functional one out of some quilt fabric and a rubber band (it won't stop spills, but it will keep bugs out if we're outside). I'll probably get another with lid later - you can never have enough decanters for summer beverages!

And finally, a huge batch of patterns (sorry - no photos). I'll be posting some on ebay, and others will be used to make some gorgeous 70s style clothes pour moi.

Once it gets super hot, my insomnia should kick back in and I'll have loads of time to sew! hehehe. Kinda looking forward to it - my sewing machine's been neglected for way too long.

Oh, and one last thing - after a day of thrifting, M and I went to the bookstore after dinner and I got the most fabulous cross stitch book ever! I've gone to this website for years and kept meaning to purchase a kit or two, and now I finally have her book and can't wait to make loads of insane cross stitch.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


We had a Blythe mini-meet at Snoopygirl's place yesterday, and I stupidly forgot my camera. Ah, well, I'm sure the other girls and guys will be posting them on flickr soon enough ;-) There were some truly lovely dolls there, and Snoopygirl's piano was the perfect place to display them all!

I've been cleaning the apartment (boring) and knitting this weekend (fun!), and thought that since I've neglected posting any of my creations that I'd do so today...

We won't get into the ridiculous amount of yarn I'm in possession of, nor my FOs (those will be separate posts later on), or even any of my sewing, which is sadly neglected... Instead, today's post is just going to be about my current WIPs (works-in-progress). There are two more than I'm sharing here, but that's because one doesn't photograph well on needle (my gold Paris Loop looks like a giant glob of yarn at the moment) and the other is a gift and therefore can't be posted without fear of giving up the secret ;-P

So, with that said, here's my current batch of on needle projects:

Cropped Bolero by Veronik Avery:

It's a really gorgeous, thick Lopi type yarn, and should be nice and toasty once sewn up. I've finished the three major pieces, need to sew the shoulders together, then I get to pick up stitches around the neck and sides for ribbing and then I'll finally be done. I learned how to properly M1 while working on this, as well as learned to CHECK MY GAUGE. Only had to knit the back 3 times - 2nd time for gauge problems the third for making proper M1s (I was making eyelets instead - oops!).

Eyelet scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts:

I originally bought this mohair to make the Branching Out scarf from Knitty, and then realized there's a reason why they suggest doing your first lace project in something other than mohair - it's a biyatch to rip out! It's coming along nicely, and I'll probably use the leftovers to make a doll sweater.

Branching Out from

I was supposed to complete this for the Knitting Olympics back in February, but ran into some problems with timing and YOs. It's now about halfway done and aside from the fact that I have to knit it in slience away from others, I'm actually enjoying it.

Brilliant Retro by Teva Durham:

It's knit on tiny needles, and takes seemingly forever, but as long as I work on it, it will eventually get done. I love pretty much anything by Teva as she's really clever in her stitch combinations and this piece is no exception.

Rowan Linen print crewneck:

My first proper summer sweater (an oxymoron, I know...). I didn't think I'd knit anything for the summer, but then saw the linen print yarn on and couldn't resist. I have a gorgeous pair of linen pants I made that this will go very nicely with when done.

As long as I keep working on these, they'll get done. I keep trying to remind myself of that and not get discouraged by the amount of projects I've taken on... What can I say? I love a good challenge!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bald is Beautiful

I adopted another Lounging Lovely Blythe from the TIB forum, as I just couldn't bring myself to customize Lucy. This new one has the most gorgeous hair I've ever seen - absolutely perfect bangs. I really want a Goldie, but they're somewhat rare and expensive, so I've decided to customize my new girl a bit to make her *inspired* by Goldie. Because of this, I've named her Fish. A girl named Fish... I kinda like it. Here's her pic:

I was checking out Puchimadam's site about removing the hair and was fiddling around with Fish's scalp, when it started to pop off and I was left with this:

She's really quite gorgeous bald! Obviously, she won't be staying this way, but I might play with her this way for a few days while I look for the tools I need to finish customizing her. I've already tucked her scalp with preserved flange away in a box, lest Dolce and Gabbana get a hold of it. I have to say, her scalp looks like a dead animal when not on her head. Ewwwww.

Anyway, the things I plan to do include: boggling her eyes, adjusting her gaze, sand matting her, repainting her makeup and swapping out her body for a Licca. Hopefully, she'll turn out well and I won't be embarassed to say "I made this!"

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Design Flaws

It's such a pain to create patterns that I often just modify existing ones - it's comparable to stepping into the middle of a relationship, rather than having to go through the whole dating process over and over until you find the one you like. Anyway, occasionally, I luck out on the first attempt. Like with M, for instance - although, that's technically a special case since we were friends prior to going out, so we both knew what we were in for. ;-) I also really lucked out with a skirt I designed yesterday for Blythe. It's not exactly what you think - one of the girls on the Yahoo LA Blythe group and I swapped Blythe bodies (I had a Takara one she wanted and she had a Licca one I wanted), and she also had some fabric scraps and needed clothes for her Blythe. So, in exchange for the fabric, I promised to make her something out of it. There was just enough to make 2 prairie skirts. It was a long strip she gave me, so I cut it in half length-wise, and then again height-wise, and used those strips to test out my idea. I even had some lace from another girl that I added to the bottom. I really love the way it turned out, and am so glad I have enough to make the second one for me.

Here's the finished product:

Cute, huh? It turned out even better than I'd expected.

It was also really simple to put together. Here's what you'll need:

3 fabric strips (one each of the following lengths - all sizes in inches):
5" x 1.5"
8.5" x 1.5"
13.75" x 1.5"
delicate lace for the bottom of the skirt - 13.75"
bias tape in color to match/complement the skirt fabric - 4 3/4"

All of the above include seam allowances (I'm not that cruel...)

Press under 1/4" to inside on one long side of the 13.75" piece, pin lace on the inside, covering the part you just pressed, allowing the lace to show at the bottom of the skirt - sew from wrong side (when you look at the right side, it should look like the lace is peeking out). You've just done the hem and attached the lace. Gather the top of the long piece and sew to the bottom of the 8.5" piece. Gather the rop of the 8.5" piece and attach to the 5" piece. Now it gets a little tricky. Gather the top of the 5" piece - the easiest way to do this is to pin it to the bias tape (which will eventually cover the top of the gathered skirt, but to start, hold the bias tape open to get the skirt gathered the way you like it). Fold under 1/4" on the right back of the skirt, and pin it 1/4" in from the end of the bias tape. Pin the left side of the skirt to the bias tape, also 1/4" in from the end of the tape (do not fold under the left side of the skirt though). adjust the gathers, then fold the tape over the top of the gathered part, fold in the 1/4" on each end and stitch the waistband (ie - the bias tape) onto the skirt. Now, fold the skirt (vertically - you're going to create the back seam now), and stitch from the bottom, ending where the top tier joins the middle tier (where you sewed the 5" piece to the 8.5" piece). Because you turned under 1/4" at the top of the right side, you'll want to press the back seam in that direction (instead of opening it up). Sew a snap to the waistband where you turned under the 1/4" on bias tape. And you're done!

If you're unsure of any of my instructions above, let me know - I've tried to make the instructions as clear as possible, but I may have taken some stuff for granted since I've been sewing since I was 10.

And now, just because I can...


Gabbana tried to get into the box I brought Maia home in... Shortly after this photo, she knocked the box and its styrofoam popcorn all over the floor and was banned from the living room while I cleaned it up and put the box far away from prying kitties.

Friday, April 07, 2006


I've been thinking about the direction of my blog, and have come to the conclusion that I want to use it to focus on my hobbies - knitting, sewing, collecting and, obviously, writing. I figure we all have enough crap going on in our personal and professional lives, and want this blog to be my little haven away from all of that. Anything crappy goes in my journal, away from *prying* eyes, leaving me to focus on the good stuff here.

So, I expect there to be loads of updates in the next few days as I have been sewing, knitting and, um, collecting like mad. ;-) And, what can I say, I feel the need to share...

M and I have tried out a couple of new games, and we've both gotten hooked on Animal Crossing for the DS. OMG. It starts out rather annoyingly as you have a character who's your boss and never pays you, and you have to do all of these chores and you feel like you'll never get through it. In fact, I'd put it aside for quite awhile until M said it had won some awards for best game of 2005. So I picked it up again last night, and now all I want to do is play it. We played it all through our sushi dinner and I'm sure the sushi waitresses just thought we were the weirdest - but then they've seen me come in with my knitting or Blythes, so they probably thought "oh, there's that crazy couple again - at least they tip well!" hehehe.

On top of Animal Crossing, I also picked up Me and My Katamari for the PSP. I like it - what's not to like about portable Katamari?! But, I find the controls a little wonky. Well, nothing a little practice won't cure. M said it felt totally natural to him, but I'm still having trouble going in one direction...

Oh, and I've gotten M hooked on puzzle video games - he's mad for Luxor! And after he saw me play Jewel Quest, he got into that one too. It's funny how he and I have had a huge impact on each other's interests. I didn't play video games at all before we got together and now I have a huge collection of games to choose from. :-D

I know there are some people who think it's a waste of time, but it's our way to escape the stress of work - some people eat, some people drink, and some people do drugs. We play video games. And that's just the way we like it. ;-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

She's Here!....

It's been quite the week trying to get my little MIA Blythe. I missed the postman by minutes on Saturday, and then tried to pick her up yesterday. It's a long story, but can be summed up in one word: Shirley. If you've ever been to the Valley Village post office, you'll know what I mean.

Finally, after getting the A/C on the Neon fixed (and the mysterious rattle along with it), I stopped by the post office and finally got my girl. This time, it only took 2 stop lights to get the tape off. Once I confirmed it was the right girl, I waited until I got to work to take a good look at her. It's funny, even though I bought her from a woman on ebay, I feel like she really came from the other girl whose doll I received. I send major kudos to catpower on TIB forum for being so awesome and helping get the whole thing straightened out when the seller really couldn't be bothered. Funny thing is - the seller has three more Blythes, only now she kinda knows what they're worth, and has suddenly increased the BIN price six-fold. Yikes. So there goes my hope of getting a Kozy any time soon. I guess she'll have to remain my dream girl for the time being.

In the meantime, I've already posted pics of my new girl on flickr, who has been named Maia due to her MIA status all last week. I think it suits her. She also seems to be quite into video games, as evidenced by the below pic. We even have matching teal Nintendo DS. Yes, I realize this is an illness, so if my brother is reading this, you can stop snickering now. hehehe

Anyway, in terms of Blythe, she's my first BL girl, which basically mean she has Gumby limbs, perfect for things like holding miniature DS consoles and knitting. :-D

This week/weekend, I'll update my knitting progress as I have tons of WIPs and tons of FOs that need to be documented - some really cool stuuf, I think.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I totally scored an Aztec Arrival Blythe Sunday night off ebay - it was such an impulsive buy that I was shaking afterwards as I couldn't believe my luck. The post office attempted delivery yesterday, but I wasn't here to accept her (that was fast!), so I picked her up this morning. It took a good 5 or 6 traffic lights to get the tape off enough for me to open the box.

This is what I should have seen:

This is what I saw instead:

Does that look like the same box to you?

My heart sank so fast. The minute I got to work, I emailed the seller both via email and through ebay's automated system, and over 12 hours later, I still haven't heard anything. I'm tempted to email the girl who bid on the doll I got by mistake (as I presume she got mine) and just see if we can exchange, but it would be nice to hear back from the seller about this. I mean, it is her mistake! I'm hoping this was just an honest mistake and that we can rectify it, but gawd it's unnerving not to hear anything...

It's so funny, I don't think I've ever been so sad to receive a doll, and even though I'm sure she's lovely, I can't tell you how much I dislike her at the moment - just because she's not the girl I paid for. Ugh.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Been a Long Time...

I've been really naughty - since my last post I've brought home a few more girls, with one more on the way... Let's just get this out of the way: "Hi, I'm NxtDrGrrl and I'm a Blythe-a-holic." ;-P They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and oh boy, do I have a problem. At least I've sold some other things on ebay to help pay for my addiction, and I've been really busy with the sewing machine... So, not only will my girls be very well-clothed, but so will all the other Blythe-heads on the TIB forum ;-) You could call it the only positive aspect to being a long term insomniac.

I can't wait to get rid of as much stuff as possible (except Blythes and books) so that I will finally have the room to set a bookcase up with all of their stuff. I'm trying to do it the Flylady way with baby steps (ie - a little at a time so I don't get overwhelmed by the sheer size of the downsizing task!). There are days when it feels like nothing is being accomplished, and other days, I see great strides forward. This weekend, I'm going to take a load of stuff to Goodwill, and the cans and bottles will be recycled (Exciting, huh?). That'll help with the clutter that's building up (seeing as I despise cleaning and only want to play with my sewing machine or knitting needles - is that so wrong?). Speaking of sewing... If you happen to enjoy sewing, I'm planning to list a whole bunch of vintage patterns on ebay - some really cool stuff from the 1930s to present day. It's time to prune the collection.

Aside from sewing, I've also been going crazy with the knitting needles. I've got somewhere around 10 projects on needle at the moment, which is just insane! I usually carry the easy ones with me to work so I can knit during lunch with M. I bring the "brainless" ones - ie - simple stockinette or garter stitch projects. I've gotten to the point that I don't need to really look at the needles unless it's something like rib (or lace - ugh) where I would have to see where I'm placing the yarn. I'll post pictures of those soon - I've just realized I haven't posted any of my knitted objects (except the Branching Out scarf) for quite awhile.

M's mom, S, was out last week - she's a really nice lady. She got me a lovely scarf from Loehmann's, and I got her the Knitting Answer book and helped fix the shrug she's working on. It's too bad my mom cancelled on dinner with us at the last minute... Not cool - even if she wasn't feeling well... S said I should tell my mom that she was going to take it very personally - she was very kind about the cancellation, but I was mortified - especially since my mom also cancelled the day before because she forgot she was seeing my sister's mother-in-law. I haven't felt that embarassed and stoopid in a long time.

One last thing before I get to my new girls: I picked up the latest Katamari Damacy game tonight and I'm so playing it after I finish blogging!!!!!! Gaaaar - I love that game!

So now, my girls can finally make their official debuts!

On the left is my Samedi Marche, Henrietta (Hattie for short), and the lovely Lounging Lovely, Lucretia (Lucy) on the right. I am absolutely in love with these two! Both have had their hair washed, and bangs have been trimmed (what is it with Takara and the uneven bangs?). I would absolutely love to get another LL and custom her to look like a Goldie (especially since Goldie's are fairly rare/expensive). I think it would be a good way to get my feet wet with a custom without doing anything that couldn't be undone later (just in case).

My latest girl is a Pinafore Purple named Penelope or Penny for short. She's so pretty and delicate in person. M totally adores her! This is going to sound really odd, but when I pulled her out of her box and dressed her in her complete outfit (including crochet hat and 70s sunglasses) she reminded me of a young Hillary Clinton. How weird is that?

You may have noticed the Mouseketeer hats in both photos... That was one of the things I made this weekend. I'm really impressed with the pattern, and have to give credit to the fab Oriettacat of TIB forum as it's hers. A huge hug and major kudos for sharing it with the forum. :-D

On top of Lucy and Penny, I have one more girl coming this month - shhhhh - be very, very quiet... She's paid for, but until she arrives, I'm afraid I won't believe it...

If you've read this far, then you deserve to hear the real news of the day: I pitched a story to the local paper and am waiting to hear if they'll buy it from me (there was some initial interest - I'm not brave enough to do this completely blind!). Fingers crossed!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Timing is a funny thing... I've bought a few new Blythes over the last two weeks, and two of them arrived within a day of each other. So, although I ordered my Merry Skier 2 weeks ago, she was shipped late and arrived the same time as the Disco Boogie I bought last week. I picked them up at the Post Office this morning and waited for M to get in before we each grabbed a box and pulled the girls out :-D

So, here's Daphne, my Disco Boogie. I have to say when I took her out, she looked so sad! I let her hang with Georgie for awhile to see if that would help cheer her up. I think that and my brushing her hair a bit helped. Here's the pic I got with Georgie trying to console her:

Once I finished taking photos of Daphne, I pulled out Magda, my Merry Skier. She is so much prettier in person! I had planned to cut bangs, but think I might leave her alone for a little while to really bond with her. Here's her first official photo:

I'm really digging the braids - maybe because it reminded me of this:

I'll leave you to guess who that might be ;-)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Red, White & Blue

I've had a head cold the last few days, so haven't been in the mood to do much of anything (including post). So, I finally got myself together a bit tonight and created an adorable striped tee shirt using's long sleeve tee pattern. I've dressed Deirdre up in the new tee, as well as the SVB dress I picked up and some red boots and glasses to match. Doesn't she look cute? I've discovered the secret to finding stripey fabric for Blythe tees: Thrift store children's shirts. They're so freaking cheap and the patterns are positively adorable. I won't be sharing my particular favorite for fear someone clears out all my lovely selection, but do recommend you try your own local one and let me know how it goes :-D

I'm going to Pixelleposse's place tomorrow for a mini-meet (prior to the big Blythe meet at Meltdown next weekend), and have to figure out which one of the girls is coming with. There have been requests to bring them all, but I don't think I'm ready to take all 6 girls out with me. So, I guess I'll figure it out in the morning...

I'm tired or I'd keep going on the other clothes I've cut out. At the very least, I can now say I finally finished a sewing project this year! I've been sadly neglectful of my machine - to the point I had to put the dust cover on - that's how infrequently it's been used. :-( Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a major creative streak! ;-)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ooooo - Pretty!

As most of you know, I've been struggling with learning how to knit lace. Well, I can now tell you that the struggle is finally paying off! I've finished 8 repeats (19 to go) on my Branching Out scarf from, and I am in love! I don't think I've used this many exclamation points in a long time!!!!!!! Yes, it's that pretty! So, once I'm done, I'll block it a little to really open up the lace, but even in the following picture you can see what an improvement it is over its previous incarnation ;-)

One note: I really should listen to my own advice and NOT knit this around others. I got a little *cocky* and tried it after work and a co-worker came over to talk to M, and he just has one of *those* voices and before I knew it, I'd lost count, a string of "fcuk, fcuk, fcukity fcuk" came out of my mouth and I started to sob. I really thought all was lost, but thankfully, the Noro yarn I'm using is not slippery and holds its loops, so I was able to frog back 2 or 3 rows and start all over again (just in time for co-worker to return for more blah blah blah - thank goodness M distracted him and walked him out into the hall so I could finish the row). Love my M!

Centennial Celebration

Ah, my Neon... Yesterday morning, on the way to work, we passed 100,000 miles together. I think we may have technically passed them earlier, as I vaguely remember a time early on in our relationship (when she was still under warranty) when her circuit breaker went out, and none of the electonics worked for a day or two. But, since I can't prove the earlier, actual 100,000th mile, I have chosen to celebrate the one that showed up on the odometer yesterday.

The moment before:

The moment of:

It's kind of exciting - I've never driven a car this long before. The one I had prior (currently retired and waiting for me to resurrect her), was driven for 8 years, so I'm pretty loyal to my cars - but I never expected to keep the Neon for almost 10 years (next month is her b-day to be precise). I thought 5 years sure, but didn't expect 10 years. I think if it weren't for her color (Magenta), I probably wouldn't have been so attached to her for so long. She's just too pretty to part with (and cheaper than buying and insuring a new car)!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cholesterol Sucks, Part 2

I had my follow up with my doctor regarding my health and overall, I'm doing much better. Lost 3 lbs, blood pressure is back to normal, and even the scary grown-up medical thing I had to go through came back clean. I'm thinking, "Hey, if all that's good, well, then my blood work will be good too!" Kinda, sorta, not really. Overall, my cholesterol did go down - a whopping 18 points! But, the bad stuff aka LDL only dropped 2 points. Fcuk, fcuk, fcukity fcuk. My doctor now wants to put me on crestor, and truth be told, I don't want to be on it. I mean in three weeks of being decent (not great), I got my numbers down. Give it another month (excluding the last three days of ignorant bliss where I ate everything that wasn't nailed down) and my numbers should be in a very good range. I'm going to pick up my prescription tomorrow, but I think I'm going to hold off on taking it until my next meeting with him. Call me stubborn (which I am - thanks, Dad), but there are things to consider: possible liver damage, and I can't get pregnant while on it. Not that I'm actively pursuing having a child this particular moment, but it could happen.

I think I'll call the office on Monday and let them know - just so there isn't a surprise and/or hurt feelings when I come in next time...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Girls Who Wear Glasses

I received the two pairs of glasses from mimiwoo on ebay today, and couldn't wait to share photos of the girls. By now, you must all be bored to tears of seeing my bookcases - I swear I'll get around to making new backdrops, but for now, here's some pics of my girls in their new glasses:

Olivia, the bookworm:

And UltraViolet:

Can't wait to make a gorgeous costume for Violet - was gonna keep all of this underwraps until it was done, but am so excited I just have to share ;-)


I pulled out the Branching Out scarf to work on it again, and one thing's been really bugging me - the fact that the lace holes don't look like those in the photo. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, so started another lace scarf - a mohair one from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Well, it's an all-knit scarf, and my eye-lets are HUGE. Wha?!? Why isn't that happening on Branching Out? So, I thought, "I'll try something new for the next couple rows - I can always un-knit it." I thought I'd been purling my YOs wrong, but what I discovered is that I've been doing my YOs wrong! I'd been wrapping them clockwise instead of counter-clockwise and that's why my lace holes (eyelets) weren't gaping like they should. ARGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! And the worst part of this? I wasn't sure in the beginning if I was doing any of these new stitches right and asked my mom and she assured me it was right. Waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I thought if there was one thing my mom was *perfect* at, it was knitting. I'm so sad.

So, I guess I'll be frogging the scarf and starting over again. All 6 repeats... Including the last 4 rows where I finally got it right (see those gaping holes nearest the needles - beautiful!):

I just keep thinking: "What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." And next time, I'm so checking my Knitting Answer book after asking mom (sorry, mom!) - just in case.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ribbed Hats

So, instead of finishing Branching Out like I was supposed to, I put my hands to work making hats for two one-year olds. I couldn't help it - they're cute, they're family and they're one. I mean, what does a one-year old need? Food and clothes, right? They're easily entertained with car keys and funny faces at this point, so I made them little stripey hats. I used self-striping yarn, which makes the hats look more difficult than they were to make. I took measurements, and checked my yarn gauge, and created the pattern myself. K2, P2 every row, and decreased the second to last row k2tog, p2tog and then k1, p1 last row before drawing the tail through the last row and sewing up the back seam. Anyway, the hats turned out really cute and fit them both - yeah! I did make the girl's 1" smaller than the boy's as she is a petite little lady. They have a nice 70s vibe to them, which is great too. So, once I finished the hats, I had some leftover yarn, which I then used to create hats for Blythe, using the same method as desribed above. Here are the finished projects:

Boy colors on Violet (they match her hair):

Girl colors on Didi (the pink is cute and girly and matches her hair):

I'll probably pick up some fluffy yarn today, as I have yet another little one in the family now - just born yesterday - and can't have anyone feeling left out :-D Whatever's leftover will be used for Blythe - such a great way to use up stash!