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Friday, December 31, 2010

resolute

i'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions. i like setting goals here and there, but me + resolutions = not the most successful. this year, though, i'm making one. and it's a fun one, albeit a bit challenging: i'll be joining in to the a doll a day challenge on flickr. i've watched people do 365 projects for years. in my early 20s i tried a self-portrait 365 and made it about 2 months. it wasn't particularly fun. i didn't want to do something that felt like work.

while home for the holidays (i'm now in NYC for a week after a marvelous 2+ weeks in WI) i met up with my friend meg. meg is a queen of clean, linear scrapbooking. she likes simple, but beautiful. she's an egyptologist. she doesn't have gobs of time to craft, but she tends to have lots of photos. this past summer she participated in an archeological dig in egypt and had a ton of photos to deal with. her solution? a 1 1/4 inch square punch and some great calendar paper.


i nicked her idea. she happily let me. she even led me to the
display of ki sew cute calendar papers at our favorite LSS (where, coincidentally, we met while working as students).




my plan for is to use the adorable paper (i'm using the color pictured above, lagoon) and a punch from ek's paper shapers line to showcase my dolly snaps month by month. i think it'll be fun. printing the photos at wallet size (4 up on a 4x6 print) makes for easy use of the punch to grab a little square image. as i get going with this, i hope to share some progress.

there are various options out there for calendar page scrapbook papers, but i'm really digging the ki sew cute line. i chose to go with one color and style for all 12 months, but they have 12 to choose from!


the best thing i like about these is that nearly all of them work with a 1 1/4" punch (the circular styles require just a 1"). i had a few punches, but of course not the size i needed for this project. oh well. my lovely enabling pal pointed out that i'll use it *at least* 365 times, so it will be well worth the investment. here's hoping that a year from now i'll have a great pile of pages full of tiny snaps of the hobby i love. i think it'll be a fun, and likely sometimes challenging, project to take on. but i'm really looking forward to it. (edit: check out my pal jo's awesome flickr mosaic of her dolly 365 here. a calendar page will be a little something like each of those!).

i know that some people who read this blog are dolly folks, some knitters, and some scrapbookers. but i'd love to see people join in with this project in their own ways. maybe a knit pic of the day or joining the flickr dolly group or snagging some cute paper and a punch and doing a photo a day challenge! or any combination thereof. i have some fun ideas for good blogging times in 2011 and i hope this can be a great start!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

merry merry



merry christmas to all! i hope everyone has had a lovely time with whoever you chose to spend your day wherever you chose to spend it! i'm relishing my time here in wisconsin and am now the happy owner of an instax mini 50s (3 cheers to my dad for buying an import! and also to fuji having the guide online in english. my japanese just isn't so good :p). and i'm told there's a red wii waiting for me back in london. i also got a little toy for scrapbooking. so hopefully my day with old scrapbook store friends (we all worked there together) on tuesday will be super fun and productive! beautiful baby alpaca wool brought back from peru by my sister was also a pleasant surprise.

the snow covers the ground here and fell all christmas eve and through the night. as my christmas day is coming to a close, i am feeling so happy to have the wonderful family, friends, and loved ones that i do. and i hope you all have similar fabulousness and love for your holiday season and beyond.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

things and stuff: tasty



today i'm talking about a taste test. but it has nothing to do with food (well, not specifically. it might deal with chocolates or candies or the like). it's all about everyone's favorite handmade mecca: etsy.

they've got a cool new feature called taste test. and it seems to be pretty accurate. "what is it?" you ask? well, it's a little feature on the site that finds things you might like based on other things you like. much like the suggestions on the front page, but not just filled with items from your favorite shops. they show you a bunch of items and you click on the ones you like. or, if you like nothing in that set, you ask for others. after choosing a dozen-ish items you like, etsy uses it's magic to extrapolate what sort of things you're into. and they seem to be doing a pretty darn good job. i tried it out and was presented with a page full of awesome things - most of which i liked, including the following six items:



a fab embroidered fingerprint from samskiart


a silly and fun little card from upup


these *amazing* penmanship pillows from shopdirtsa. these really appeal to me as an elementary teacher


such a supercute baby sloth necklace from marymaryhandmade


perfect for the TAL (or NPR in general) fan in your life. (and, really, who *doesn't* love ira glass?) - from merrybluesart


and, not forgetting the holidays, a little word play from hawkgerber


i was really impressed with how well this feature worked. sure, not 100% of the suggestions were things i liked. but i'd say at least 90% were. go ahead, have a taste. i think you'll like it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

travel travel travel

on saturday the boy and i flew from london to newark (for nyc, of course). in a few hours i continue onward to the homestead. to the snowy wilds of wisconsin. where (hopefully) snow and wood fires and holiday shopping will embrace me with open arms. and, likely, a good few cousins will do as well.

i have lots of knitting photos to share (well, a good handful, at least), but a bunch of them are on the scot's camera. and he's not flying out til the weekend. so they will have to wait. in the meantime, please enjoy some photos of travel: cavey style (including what may be the first photo of the scot to appear on this blog).

caveys on a plane

coming to america

(how he snuck past customs)


i hope you're all enjoying a happy and safe run-up to christmas. i hope to be sharing a lot in the coming weeks. so much to do, so much to see, so much to enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

because it's all about giving

i head to NYC on saturday and onward to wisconsin mid-week following. i will enjoy the midwest and the east coast and not return to london until early january. there will likely be photos. i'm taking 2 dollies with me and i loooove to sew in my mom's sewing room. so magic might just happen (we'll see).

in the meantime, for those who haven't caught it popping its head up on twitter of late, please enjoy this coupon to use in my etsy shop (inspired by the best christmas movie ever, of course).



lots of pretties for holiday treats. do please take a look before the week is up!



i do hope you all are having a splendid holiday season, no matter what holiday(s) you partake in!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

giving thanks

living abroad, holidays are always a bit of a hard time for me. i miss my family and our traditions. the past few years, i haven't had a "proper" thanksgiving. as an american this isn't very fun. thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. in my family it's the big holiday. the one where all the aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins' babies (some not so baby-ish anymore) get together with my grandma at the head of the table and eat, drink, and make quite merry. lots of food, lots of wine, and lots of pie.

although last year i spent the day with the boy and his family in scotland and enjoyed a lovely italian meal, this year i decided to do it right. i took the day off work and i spent a bit over 8 hours cooking and baking and making far too much food for what ended up being a rather small gathering.

it was marvellous.



a lovely turkey and a full assortment of sides. created for myself, 2 scots, and 3 english friends. we ate, we played some games, we drank, we made merry. and i introduced them happily to pumpkin pie. as a whole, the night was delicious.



so long as i'm here in the UK, methinks this will be a new tradition. i am most certainly thankful for friends, for my fabulous boyfriend, for a lovely home to host guests, and for pie. always thankful for pie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

on trying new things

this weekend i picked up a scarf that i started nearly a year ago and finished it. which was a great choice. because today was about a million degrees colder than yesterday. like ice, i say! ice! i need to snap a pic of it, but it's a much-longer-than-originally-written version of this pattern. i think ascots are stupid. so i used 3 balls of kureyon and have a long, fabulous, wool scarf with a cool lacework panel. it's fab.

and, as the holidays are soon upon us, and i am brokedy broke, i decided to keep riding my wave of non-blythe knitting. and try something new. gifts should be lovely, not run of the mill. so i decided to try something pretty and new and interesting with the skeins of slik garden lite that i'd been saving for a special occasion. and what did i decide upon, you ask? entrelac.


yes, entrelac. that woven, back-and-forth beast of design. which i always thought looked very very tricky. but is, in fact, just requiring of patience and a small bit of skill. i could've done this years ago, if i'd had the nerve to just try. it took me years to have a go at lace or a cable. this isn't any harder than either of those. and, really, as with most all knitting, it's just a matter of carefully following directions. in the end, if you have the ability to knit, purl, and to pay attention to a few key techniques, it's all about reading a recipe. and this scarf (currently earmarked for the scot's mum), is one awesome recipe to read. i highly recommend giving it a go.


p.s. eunny jang's tutorial here is very much worth watching. she's fab.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

just a little reminder

11/11

i find that the brits have a lot more poignancy in their remembrance day than in american veteran's day. but then, we have memorial day as well. anyhow. lest we forget.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

i went to ireland

3 days in ireland were lovely. the weather wasn't always great and my health wasn't tops for a trip, but we made the best of it. visited my bestie and her campus at NUI maynooth and all the good stuff in dublin (guinness storehouse, book of kells @ trinity college, walking around the city). a great trip. flora joined us and had a lovely time, too.

pretty pinks
flora in a lovely reflecting garden at the NUI campus


busts in dublin
interesting busts in dublin


woohoo! guinness time!
flora was pretty excited to visit the guinness storehouse and learn the history of the black stuff


resting pints in progress
we learned to pour a perfect pint. ours rested before being topped up.


eeps! beer!
beeeeeeer!!


we'll definitely be going again sometime.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

things and stuff - autumn loves




here are some things that i'm really loving lately. all for fall! (or autumn, if you so insist):


it's nearly halloween. and julie of tickled pink has made this charming witchy blythe dress. very seasonal and super-cute!


i came across this gorgeous oak leaf hairclip by punch drunk princess on etsy. she also has a maple leaf style. i think it's just the perfect accessory to any outfit as the air gets crisp and wind gets brisk. here in london, the leaves don't seem to get those beautiful sunset hues, but nothing is as autumnal as the changing leaves.


for me, fall is about family. something about the colder days and coming inside around the fire and such. i haven't been home to celebrate a thanksgiving in a few years, but i still keep my family close in thoughts and phone calls and emails.

katie daisy's shop the wheatfield has such gorgeous artwork and prints. the scot and i haven't decorated our bedroom since we moved a few months ago and this print is one that i've been thinking of. it has such lovely tones and a little ampersand can convey a much greater meaning. i think it's wonderful.

(more of katie daisy's great work can be seen on her flickr).


family is about togetherness. and, like that sweet ampersand, this one is just a charmer. i saw this shop (whimsylove) on etsy last week (front page maybe???) and fell in love with this little bottlecap pin.


just like carl fredricksen got from his ellie.




the last little bit of my entry is more about family than fall. my sister has pet allergies. so she can't have dogs or cats. years ago, she discovered that african pygmy hedgehogs are great for those with cat/dog allergies. her 2nd hedgie, cochon, died this week. she was at least 4 (not sure how old cochon was when she arrived at my sister's) and went peacefully in her sleep. little hedgies tend to live 3-5 years, so cochon had a great one. this sweet print from trafalgarssquare made me think of her.



i hope everyone is enjoying the ever-changing season. halloween is soon upon us and i hope to share some fun costume creation pics soon. at least for the dollies and most likely for me (we've said we're having a party, but not sure if we'll have guests who can make it!).

happy sunday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tastes like leftovers

A few days a week I enjoy leftovers for dinner. Such as this week when I made a huge vat o' potato soup on Tuesday and enjoyed it again on Thursday and again on Saturday. Tastiness. But today, I've spent the past 5 hours or so taking photos of all the leftover goodies from BCUK. Thankfully I packaged them in such a way that I could do it without too much trouble.

BlytheConUk stock


I don't think I've ever had so much stock in my shop. I hope it's not a waste. The summer was spent making things to take to Oxford and, in the end, the raffle table was far more popular than my little 1/2 a stall spot. A few of the sweaters had been sitting around for ages, but most were made over the last while in preparation. And I'm pretty much in love with my wee skirts.

Maybe you are too?



Maybe if people take to my creations, Christmas will come a little easier. That'd be nice. After BCUK and then booking my upcoming 3 1/2 days in Ireland (to see my bestie!), the slight income of supply/substitute teaching isn't really making life smooth. Less takeout, more leftovers! Yum.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

bouncing back from blythecon

what a weekend. we took the train to oxford on friday night and came back to london late on saturday night. just over 24 hours in oxford. nearly all of them just fabulous.

almost all the girls


blytheconUK was a blast. the day went by so fast and i didn't get to talk to everyone i hoped to talk to, but it was still marvelous. so many beautiful things for sale and lovely dolls to see and fabulous people to meet.
my stall at BCUK!

the selection of wares form the various stalls was really top-rate. the choices ran the gamut and pretty much everyone was friendly and welcoming.


i met a cavey at the raffle table and we hung out a bit during the day. sadly, she didn't come home with me. BUT a pretty pink panda cavey did. i had said i wouldn't start collecting anything else, but then i met a cavey in person. and found out they're not super expensive at all (mine was £12). so i might just need a couple more...
oh, hello.


and then, the raffle! we had about 60 prizes. from small to big and simple to high-ticket items. 2 dolls, some trendy doll fashions, fabrics, jewelry, vouchers, and general awesomeness all-around.

most of the raffle loot!


i got to use my teacher voice to dish all the prizes out at the end of the day. sadly, i didn't win anything myself (well, the boy technically bought/held the tickets). but it was fun nonetheless. and, best of all, we raised over £640 for the little princess trust!
Dishing out Raffle Prizes
(photo from hey cavey)


the scot was a super duper assistant, helping out at my stall (which i shared with peacheysteph) - even though i didn't sell much - and hawking raffle tickets while i wandered around and met people and did various organizational things.

we must do this again next year. i already said i'd be happy to take the lead. i love these sorts of things. good dolls, good fun, good friends. win win win win win. i met some lovely gals i've been talking to for ages (some for 2+ years!) and some who i only recently came to be online friends with, but all were fabulous. and i made some new friends too. blythe is magical.

29 goldies = a lot of trouble


until next year...

Friday, October 1, 2010

BCUK. like FCUK, but cooler.

this evening, the boy and i will board a train to oxford. this is exciting. not only because neither of us have even been there, but even more so because we'll be attending BLYTHECON UK!!!!

i'm not working today. i took the day off to fit in a quick check up at the dr's and then get everything ready. the current task is weaving in the loose ends on about a dozen sweaters and then adding snaps to 20-25. and maybe sewing some more skirts??? i can always sew snaps on the train and at the b&b tonight. but my sewing machine will be unavailable to me after 6pm.

this is incredibly exciting. i'm in charge of the raffle. and the raffle has turned into a crazy beast of awesomeness. prizes ranging from wee dolly accessories to shop vouchers to hats to dresses to outfit sets to an amazing customized dolly and a NRFB nicky lad! the rather extensive (and mostly accurate) list can be found here.

as much as i chat with dolly people on flickr and twitter and such, there are so many online dolly friends that i have yet to meet. i think that's what i'm most looking forward too. oh, and selling hats and sweaters and dresses and skirts, too!

please come say hi! i'll be at my stall (sharing with peachysteph) and the raffle table (which i hope will be next to my stall!). i have 3000 raffle tickets at the ready.

bring it on.

Monday, September 20, 2010

things and stuff (volume one)

here we go. 1st in a (hopefully semi-regular) series about things i like and things i've found and what i'm into right now: things and stuff

i came across janine basil's etsy shop a couple weeks back. i saw one of her items in a treasury. i love her headbands! they're all kinds of sassy and fabulous and i love the variations. her "comic book" styles are my favorites. she makes them in both crystallized and felt versions. halloween anyone?



this button has been on my etsy favorite list for ages. i really need to pony up and buy it. because, well, it's pretty darn true. my nerdy boyfriend is totally smoochable.

lastly, vintage knitting patterns. i love em. found this one the other day. it is full of awesome. check out the seller's accompanying images. nothing says "teenage and fancy free" quite like a nice, shaping girdle.


i also want to give a shout out to blytheconUK. only 2 weeks away!!! hopefully, i'll have an upcoming post about what i've been working on for the event. sequins, sequins, sequins.

so there you have it. the first installment of things and stuff. something fun on a late sunday night/early monday morning. have a good one, kids.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4 simple goals

about a month ago now, ms. elsie flannigan posted a project/challenge: 4 simple goals (before 2011). over the past few years, i've really come to like elsie's stuff. which is so opposite from how i felt when she first came on the scrapbooking scene 5 years ago or so. this project suggestion got me thinking. about life and goals and change.

my life has been nothing but change for the past 3 years. one thing after another. now, however, it seems i'm beginning to settle in a bit. i've got a great new apartment, a wonderful (and crazy supportive) man in my life, and while my career situation is anything-but-stable, i'm more-or-less employed. we have food in our fridge and clothes on our backs. i can't complain much.

so. the challenge. elsie suggested choosing "activity-oriented goals." and coming up with 4 wasn't terribly hard. i want to do these things, i want to share about them on this blog, and i like having a little record of my progress, etc.


1 - blog more regularly
this has been something that's been on my mind for ages. i like this blog. i've kept a personal journal for yeeeeears, but having this craft/doll/adventures-focused blog is great for sharing with the world and connecting to like-minded gals and guys. my goal-within-a-goal is to overhaul the look of my blog. and just make it a generally more all-around fun thing in my life. there are so many lovely blogs out there that i find funny, inspiring, interesting, etc. and i hope i can be a little bit of something for other people out there, too! (original photo credit: sgrace)

2 - get out more
i've lived in london since summer 2009. so here i am, embarking on the autumn 2010 and i really haven't seen much of the UK. while i hope that i'll be spending at least a good chunk of my adult life here, that's not a certainty. so while i'm here, i really have wanted to see all the beauty that i know exists here. thus far, i've enjoyed just a couple day trips in england and have relished my few weeks in scotland. thankfully, it seems i'll have plenty of opportunity to visit scotland more. i love trains. i love trains here. and i want to try to get out for weekends here and there or even just a day trip out of the city.

3 - sew more!
it's so easy to tuck my little dolly knitting projects into my purse when i go someplace. or to whip up a mini sweater or hat while i'm watching tv. getting the sewing machine out, however, requires effort. and more time and planning and coordinating, etc. but i love to sew! and i have a nice little stash of fabrics, patterns, and ideas that i'd like to end up as dresses and pieces in my etsy shop. lumped in with sewing is scrapbooking. but i just find that hard here in england as papercrafting supplies are ludicrously overpriced. craft. craft more. sew sew sew. yes. that.

4 - cook, cook, cook
after college and during grad school i moved back with my parents. i cooked a little, but mostly i baked. my cooking was largely just for me, not often for dinners. then i lived alone/only had to tend for myself. so since the scot and i moved in together, i've been feeling properly adult about cooking. (which, pushing 30, is a damn good thing!). teaching, i tend to be home by 5:30 and during the summer break, i've been home even more. the scot works til 6 or later. so i tend to do most of the cooking. stand-by recipes are nice, but i've been enjoying trying new things and perfecting a few that i've tried in the past. (pictured is last week's roast chicken which i most definitely be making again!).

i'll be keeping tabs on myself throughout the rest of 2010. and sharing little bits of the adventures. anyone else up for the challenge?