Feeling Sick Sucks

Ugh. I've spent the last 6 days laid up on my sofa, in front of the tv watching Battlestar Gallactica. Normally this wouldn't be too bad of a thing, cuz I'd be talking about a couple episodes each evening. But no, I've been literally parked in front of almost 20 hours. At least it's good Sci-Fi! LOL I must have caught the world's worst cold, because I've been incapable of the smallest daily task, including finishing up my Whiplash entry. Even though I only have a small amount of work left on it, I highly doubt that I'll be able to finish it and photograph it before the deadline, end of month (tonight!) Oy.

I'll spill the beans anyway, as I'll still finish it (when I finally start feeling better, that is.) I'm making a Tiffany Box tissue cozy, and it freakin' rocks, or rather, it would have. What would have rocked even more, would have been if I could have finished it before I got sick. Hahahaha, that's Murphy's Law for me, huh?

Even crappier still, I had to cancel dinner plans for my second anniversary, at my very favorite restaurant. Yes folks, I had chicken noodle soup for my special dinner; it wasn't all that special, though as it's one of the only meals I've been able to eat lately. And, on top of it all, I seem to have infected my husband. My husband who I might mention has the immune system of a Terminator (you know, the newer one that can fix itself in like, 3 seconds flat. LOL) I might also mention that his birthday is next week. I really hope he's not sick as long as I've been. And I really hope I can get over this damn thing soon.


Blogger Spotlight - Knit & Tonic

Wendy's blog, Knit & Tonic is one of my most favorite, knitting or otherwise. Her patterns are amazing, I'm currently working on sizing down Le Slouch for my Blythe dolls! LOL I'm terrible at getting gauge though, so we'll see how long it takes me! I'm also pretty frustrated with DPN's... anybody got any tricks for a gal that feels awkward hanging onto all those extra futzy things? LOL

Wendy is an awesomely talented knitter, blogger, mother and wife. I can always count on her blog to make me laugh, and her finished objects are to-DIE-for! Plus, she just knits like the wind! I thought my sister was the fastest knitter I'd ever seen, and then I caught Wendy on tv - amazing! I wish I could knit that fast! I'd conquer the world with all of the FO's I could post about! And isn't she stunningly beautiful?!?!?! (I wish I was brave enough to post pictures of me on my blog, but I always feel like I look like a grump in photos! And it's super hard to photograph yourself... LOL!)

There's something about Wendy's writing that I really admire, and that's how personal she dares to be on her blog. I would love to gain that kind of openness in my writing; I tend to lean towards sarcastically detached. LOL Blogging can be a very fine line, I think. And I really enjoy and admire Wendy's balance. Even if you're not a knitter, you'll still appreciate her humor. She'll even make you sort milk out of your nose if you're not careful! :)

ETA: Thanks Wendy for letting me use your photo!


Etsy Spotlight - Blythe Station

Josephine - Hoodie w/long skirtWell, I actually bought straight from Kiki's website, BlytheStation; but she's selling on Etsy now, so I thought I should include her new store! Her hoodies are freakin' awesome!!! I got 2 for Josie, and they look great on her! Once I get a little pair of jeans for her, she'll look just like me! LOL At first, I was concerned about how they would fit on the doll, the head is so, SO big! I'm not the only one, there were a few questions when I posted pics on TIB. The back has velcro and a hole for hair (thank goodness! Josie has soooo much hair!) But it all looks nice & seamless from the front. Even the raw edges are enclosed on the inside, which is a great touch, cuz who wants their seam allowance unravelling away? LOL

Josie and her new unnamed sister love their hoodies, and I'm still planning on getting them a few more! LOL

I've been having so much fun with Blythe dolls lately, I'm thinking about writing up some tips for finding one inexpensively. They seem to be more popular than ever, but it's still pretty hard to find a good deal on one, especially within the US*. It really just depends if you're looking for an older release or newer one, and if it was limited or not. Prima Dolly Melon is at the top of my Wishlist, but she was limited to 500, so it's doubtful I would ever find a reasonably priced one. If I change my strategy though, and purchase a non-limited Prima Dolly (I did! LOL) and reroot her, I can have my very own, one-of-a-kind aqua haired beauty! LOL It's all in how you work it, baby!

*Blythe dolls are so hard to find here in the US, because CWC/Takara isn't liscensed to sell them here. Hasbro owns the rights here, and they're focused on Ashton Drake Blythes, at least for now. Consequently, unless you can find a seller within the US, you're probably going to pay through the nose for international shipping. I've seen Ebay sellers charge upwards of 38$ to ship a doll that comes in a box the size of women's shoes. Ugh.


Another Blythe Doll?!?!?!?!!!

Unnamed Prima VioletOh man, I told myself I wasn't going to go crazy and buy a second Blythe doll right away… So much for that, because I found great deal! My newest girl is a Prima Violet, from a previous home with a few minor custom changes already. She's been sand and spray matted, new eye chips & lashes (missing one set of eye chips, creepy! LOL) And also a hair cut, which is a bit of a mixed blessing for me. I never thought I'd love her two tone hair as much as I do, however I got her specifically to customize; so I'm planning on ripping it all out and rerooting her (in an as-yet-undecided color!) I didn't realize her scalp would also be violet, so I'm going to need another one.

Sisters - First photoshoot

Now, I just have to give her a name! And since I'm not sure what color I want her hair to be, I really don't know what to do about a name. I'll confess I'm thinking about long straight aqua hair; there's only been one stock Blythe with blue green hair, and Prima Dolly Melon is super hard to find! I also adore the many, many gorgeous mohair reroots, both in solid and ombre dyed. So many choices, I hardly know where to begin! I'm also reading about wefts lately, which is a little different than rerooting, because you sew the weft on top of the scalp, instead of locking or knotting hair plugs underneath it.

Sisters - First photoshoot

Flickr has been a super resource in both deciding which dolls I'm interested in, and thinking about what I want to do with new custom girl! Any suggestions for a name? I like longer names that can be shortened, like Josephine (ie Josie! LOL) and Madeleine, but don't think they all need to be French. Haha!


Blogger Spotlight - Frog Is A Four Letter Word

Laura's blog, Frog Is A Four Letter Word, is so much fun to read! It's quickly becoming one of my favorite knitting blogs, because her writing is so personal! I think there can sometimes be a tendency in the blog-o-sphere to want to polish everything to perfection before publishing. That's not to say I think her blog or writing is unpolished (at all!), but that it's polished just enough and no more. Her writing style is so accessible, I feel like she doesn't try to be anything she isn't, for the sake of blogging; and I really admire that. I really try to portray a certain image of myself on my blog, and that's probably more to do with letting my guard down (and that I don't that much.) I have issues, what can I say? LOL

I also absolutely love her Etsy shop, and am scratching my head as to why I haven't bought these awesome vintage embroidery buttons; aren't they awesome?!?! She tries a lot of different styles with her products, which I think is key to any Etsy store; because the market is so large, and people's personal styles vary so widely. Just because we as the seller might love some product's style or color doesn't mean it appeals to everyone. I also love that she also sells vintage trim (which I also should have bought already, what's friggen wrong with me? LOL) If you haven't checked her out, please do so! She donates a portion of sales to charity, which is another thing I really admire in her.

Plus, I just love her blog title! Frog is a four letter word! LOL She's also a fellow Chicagoan, so I knew I just had to Spotlight her! Laura, you ROCK! :)


Updated Blogroll!

Quickie post here, just wanted to apologize to all those wonderful crafty folk who've linked to me, and I was rude enough not to return the favor! I'm so sorry!!! I'm such a terrible blogger sometimes! If you've linked to me, or posted about my projects or blog anywhere, I'd be more than happy to link back to you! (And, if I've forgotten someone AGAIN.... I'm REALLY sorry! LOL)

I've read so many awesome craft blogs, and before I started using RSS, found it really difficult to keep track of them all. Trying to improve on that, but it can only happen a bit at a time! Thanks for being patient with scatterbrained me lately!!! Go check out all of the new link-ey goodness on my blogroll!!!

Who Can Take A Sunrise...

Kool-Aid Dyed Rainbow!

... and brighten it with dew? The Candyman can!!! Or anybody else with bare yarn and Kool-Aid! LOLI liked Kool-Aid dyeing so much the first time I tried it; I had to go out and buy more wool to play with! This time, I cut 3 balls of Lion Brand wool into 25yd mini-skeins, and ended up with 18 (appx.) half ounce skeins. Yeay! LOL

I love playing around with color, and this is a great way to do it. I still want to try more, like self-striping patterns, and more variegated colorways. But, I wanted to start with a base, and know what each color was going to turn out as, that's why I dyed such small mini-skeins. I know the Knitty article showed a bunch of different samples, but I wanted to see for myself, what shade & tone each different color Kool-Aid would finish like. Single packets of color turned out mostly saturated, and wildly different effects can be achieved by overdyeing. I must mention, Kool-Aid dyeing is SUPER fun! Watch out! It can be addicting! LOL

Kool-Aid Dyed Rainbow!
Upper Left to Right - (Middle left was left undyed,) Grape, Berry Blue, partial packet of Berry Blue, Arctic Green Apple, partial (tiny bit!) packet of Lemon Lime, partial packet of Lemon Lime overdyed with a partial packet of Berry Blue, Lemon Lime, and Lemon lime (2 packets.)

Lower Left to Right - Black Cherry, Strawberry, Watermelon Cherry (2 packets,) Watermelon Cherry, Strawberry Lemonade, Lemonade overdyed with partial packet of Watermelon Cherry, Lemonade overdyed with Strawberry Lemonade, and Orange.


Etsy Spotlight - Dolluxe

Dolluxe Butterfly HairpinWhen I saw on TIB that Rhiannon was going to update her store, Dolluxe last week, I knew I wanted to get in on the fun. She makes the most wonderful Blythe clothes, and I knew they'd sell out fast. Little did I know, just how fast! I couldn't stay up Friday night to be there right when she updated, I was feeling kinda sick that week. So, last Saturday morning I was pleased to find a few items left, and I bought this adorable little butterfly hairpin. It matches Josie's lilac hoodie so well!

Her cashmere sweaters are to die for, and she even made some summer espadrilles, with cork soles! (Those sold out SUPER fast! LOL) I really admire the level of quality in her work, it's outstanding! Every little detail is cared for, and it's the level of quality I aspire to with my products, and store. I can only hope that my store might do as well, someday!

Rapunzel Scarf for Josie!You can really tell how much care she takes in producing her product, and I think that's my favorite part of Etsy, both in buying and selling. We love what we do, and it shows; I love being able to be a part of it. I hope you enjoy the Etsy sellers I've been featuring, please also feel free to suggest your favorites (or yours,) as well!

Josie couldn't help but model her new Rapunzel scarf too! I knew with all of the fun going on over at Craftster, that Josie needed one too! It's just scraps of my most very favorite yarns, Classic Elite Premiere, SWTC Bamboo, Malabrigo and a fun mermaid-esque novelty that I've lost the ball band to. It turned out soooo soft, and soooo quick! Just divide your yarns into 3 groups, braid and knot the ends! Easy peasy!!!


More of My Favorite Things!

My favorite craft is sewing. Yes, I like knitting; but it's so slow compared to a sewn garment. So many thousands of stitches, and usually I'll get a bug up my butt about any/all mistakes I made along the way. I find satisfaction quicker & easier to come by with my sewing projects. It's so much easier to fix a sewn mistake than knit screw-ups. No frogging!

Aqua Beaded MulesI've really enjoyed dyeing recently though, as well. Right now it's yarn, although I hope to get into dyeing fabric as well. I've even dyed shoes with Kool-Aid! Hahahaha!!! Something about adding color, and in any shade or saturation my heart desires, is really satisfying for me. I actually have a background in fine art (in high school & college,) even though I'm self taught with most crafts I do. I love playing with color!

Craft: Skirt w/ Slip

My favorite thing I've ever made is my Craft: skirt, which was a dual entry in both Whiplash, and the Etsy Craft: challenge last fall, and the silk slip I made to go underneath it. I didn't actually make the skirt, it was store bought, from J. Crew Factory for about 30$. What I love about it, was how the design came together. I found crochet lace I actually liked, most are too frilly for me; and a font that was perfect for my concept. The concept* itself was simple, put the definition of craft on the hem of a skirt; but I initially didn't know how I was going to do it. I wanted the letters to be fine (ie. not too big,) but the cotton fabric was too thin for embroidery. Fabric markers turned out great, the fabric was white, and all I did was put the text template underneath the skirt, and trace! It bled a little more than I'd originally hoped for, but in the end, I really like the effect. It goes well with the font, and it's practically unnoticeable from a few feet away. This project was so super easy, I should really make a tutorial for it. The materials (minus the skirt cost,) were less than 10$ and it took me all of 30 minutes to sew the lace onto the bottom hem, and trace the words.

What are your favorite crafts and projects? It was hard for me to narrow down, I like trying new crafts as often as I can.

*My concept was inspired by the fashion designer, Ann Demeulemeester. Several years ago, I saw her doing phrases on the sides/bottom hems of tulle over skirts(both black & white,) and absolutely loved the idea.


April Snow... wait, that's not right!

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post! I didn't really intend to take a blog break, but apparently I must have needed it! I'm finally starting to feel better, and I'm finally up to making new products for my store! (Which is a good thing, because I've got 2 more Showcase spots tomorrow and Sunday, on Etsy.)

I'd like to blame my bummy mood on the crappy Chicago weather, which finally broke today. A little chilly and windy, although that's normal enough, and sunny - a rarity!!! It's actually snowed here the last few days, but I'm happy to report that most of it didn't stick, and what has is gone now. Wooohooo! I almost posted a picture of the nasty weather yesterday, but it was too depressing. (I've been in such a funky mood, I didn't even dig up the pictures from my honeymoon I mentioned Monday. Bad blogger, Kari! Bad! LOL)

I've got Blythe goods in the works for the store, which is so exciting! I still need some more practice sewing tiny clothing, but tiny knits seem to work up super fast, and I get to use up all the one off & oddball yarns I have lying around! Gotta love that! Even chenille, fuzzy, furry, and otherwise hard to work with yarns are turning out great! (I know I'm teasing without pics, but you'll have to wait til next week!) Also watch out for new installments of my Blogger & Etsy Spotlights next week!


Get Real Monday - My Favorite Things

Oh jeez, I could go on for days about my favorite things! LOL I have lots of favorites, so I think I'll break this into a couple posts. Watch next Monday for more favorites! (Wanna play along with Get Real Mondays? Check out Randi's blog, I Have To Say.)

This week, I'll start with places. My most favorite place of all time, is actually the middle of the Atlantic ocean. LOL My husband & I were lucky enough to get an aft(back) balcony for our honeymoon cruise from Miami to Europe. It was like having a private slice of the open ocean, all to ourselves. A close second is Madeira, an island 600 miles off of the coast of Portugal. We went to the botanical garden there, and saw the most beautiful roses I've ever seen, anywhere. Red beauties, bigger than my open palm! They had gorgeous orchids, too; but they were smaller in size. I'll never forget walking from terrace to terrace, all looking down on our huge cruise ship in the bay. Mainland Portugal, France, Spain and Holland were also amazing, each in it's own right, and that cruise was my most favorite trip to date. (We have a Hawaii cruise coming up in the fall though!!!)

My favorite game (for PC) is The Longest Journey. I must also mention that adventure games are my favorite genre, I don't care for shoot 'em ups. TLJ has so many things going for it, it's hard to pick a favorite part. It's so well written, and the voice actors are (mostly!) believable. It made me think, to solve it, and it was solvable; two of my very favorite attributes of a game. I can't tell you how many PC games I cheated on, and used a walk-though, because I found the puzzles so damn hard. (Anyone ever hear of Schizm? LMAO) I started gaming with The Seventh Guest from Sierra, and continued with Myst, and then Majestic later on (an online pc game I beta tested for.) I have the sequel to TLJ, called Dreamfall; and I've heard great things about it. They changed the way movement works though, and I need to buy a joystick for it. I just can't get into playing off my laptop keyboard.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Galaxy Quest. If you're a star trek fan, and you haven't seen it, go and rent it right now! LOL I've seen it a hundred times, and it's still ridiculously funny every time. A rag-tag bunch of washed up sci-fi actors cum starship crew are forced to save the day. Action comedies are my most favorite kind of movie. Something about big explosions goes hand in hand with a great punch line, I think. I just wish they'd make a sequel! LOL

This week is a bit of a hodge podge of favorites, next week I think I'll make it more crafty favorites.


Blogger Spotlight - FutureGirl

Alice's blog, FutureGirl, rocks my socks off! LOL I found her blog through Whiplash, and her Octophrost is probably my favorite, although her felt sewing tutorial is awesome too! LOL She's got an awesome Etsy store, with cute bags & clutches like this little number! (Click on the pic to go there!)

I'm so amazed by how many wonderful crafters share their lives through blogs. It can be very time consuming, and sometimes not as fun as we might've hoped it would always be. When I start feeling down about my work/blog/life, all I have to do is visit one of many new blog friends, and I'm refreshed and inspired, motivated and moved. Alice is such a sweetheart, and her blog is one of those I turn to for those very things, so thank you Alice! She also has a wonderful tutorial section with lots of awesome tips! Gotta love a great tut! Go visit!

I love getting recommendations for new blogs to spotlight here, so please feel free to leave a comment or email me with them!


Sweet Josephine

Josephine, looking thoughtful
Josie looks so thoughtful in this picture, I think.

No new WIP's today, I have a few in progress, but nothing worth showing off quite yet. Oh well, there's always next Wednesday, right? God knows I'll always have works-in-progress, or at least it feels that way sometimes! Lately, I feel like the ideas are flowing freely, which is a very good thing. When I was living in Kansas and not making things, I really went crazy. (It was about 4 years ago now, for a year and a half.)

It's funny though, how fast and hard things can swing in a different direction. I used to feel very blocked, creatively speaking; but now I wish there were more hours in each day, so I could get more done! LOL Anyhoo, Josie also wanted to show off her brand new hoodie! (It's from Blythe Station, I got her a blue one too, cuz I mostly live in my blue hoodie in the winter! And, I'm a dork, and want my little girl to match me!!! :D ) Her tube dress here is my Clapotis swatch pinned at the back, and she wears it as a long skirt over at Flickr. LOL

Josephine - Hoodie w/short skit


FO - Bamboo Clapotis

Finished Clapotis!I'll start by saying that this has got to be my most favorite knitted project ever! I'm totally in love with the finished product, it's super soft and so drapey. Because of the drape, it doesn't have much curl compared to other Claps, which I was a little disappointed with at first. Small issue, as I can always knit another out of a less drapey yarn.

There are a few mistakes, but I'm resolved to not nitpick about 1 puny extra stitch, and a few wraps from not moving the yarn to the back correctly after a purl stitch. I'm curious though, how many stitches go into this finished object… seemed like an awful lot when I was knitting it! LOL It only took me 2 weeks & 2 days to finish though, it just felt like forever through that straight section!

Finished Clapotis!For my Clapotis, I followed the pattern exactly*, with size 6 needles and SWTC Bamboo yarn in Intensity. I finished with a little bit less than 2 balls, which rocks cuz I have 2 left! Finished measurements without blocking are 15" wide by 48" long. I don't think I'll need to block it, it doesn't curl very much, and the dropped stitches are stretching out enough on their own. Plus, I'm lazy, so I figure, why bother!?! LOL

I'd really wanted to knit this one for a while, but the recommended yarn was so expensive - 90$ to 120$ depending on whether I wanted to shell out for a fourth ball to cover my ass (and not run out of yarn mid-project.) I'm really glad I did wait, because this yarn turned out to be really perfect for this project. Two balls cost 26$, and the color and texture are perfect. I couldn't be happier with this one! Woohoo!

*I did make one change, and slipped the knit sts on the increase section purlwise.


Etsy Spotlight - MillyMollyMandy

When I first stumbled onto Mandy's print, Joy Aqua, I knew I had to have it. It only took a few days for it floating around in my head, before I had to buy it. C'mon, if you know me or my blog, you know I'm a sucker for aqua! Total sucker! LOL

In person, the print is just so much more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. The detail is so fine, and the colors so rich; I love it so much! On my screen it was pretty; but in my hands, it's just so much more, and I find it hard to put into words. You'll just have to scoot over to her Etsy store, and buy a copy for yourself! She even sent a handwritten notecard with another of her beautiful illustrations on it, and free stickers which I love!

If you're looking for beautiful art for your wall, with sweet themes and bunnies(!) - you have to visit her store. Her illustrations are simply breathtaking, so sweet and elegant. I can't wait to see what she does next! (I have another order coming this week, but it's almost all gifts, so it'll probably be a little while before I share pics!)

I will be sharing pics of my completed bamboo Clapotis tomorrow, though! Yeay!


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