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Thursday, October 27, 2011

A New Adventure

I've mentioned a little about this project here and there, so it may not be news to all my readers, but for those who didn't know, I've been working on opening a new Etsy shop. Not one to replace my mostly Blythe shop, but one with a different focus.

When I visited my family this summer, I brought my sister a few pairs of baby booties that I'd knit for her upcoming bambino. She took them to work. Work people loved them. There were requests for other sizes, colors, styles, etc. I didn't have the resources with me or the time during my trip, but in talking to my sister about it we both thought that it would be at least something to try.

And so I have. I opened up my little shop earlier this evening with 8 pairs of rather sweet little booties.
Some are knit in really luxurious merino wool (which I wish I could've purchased a bit more of at the Knitting and Stitching Show, but no such luck), some are made from wool/nylon blends, and I've done one pair from my favorite Noro Silk Garden.

Colors for all! And I didn't even hint at any sort of boy/girl-ness about any of them. Because gender-specific baby thing annoy the living hell out of me. Babies are babies are babies. Just put some clothes on them! Let them be cute.


Anyhow, I've really been enjoying knitting up booties over the past month-and-a-bit here and there. And I hope if you've got a little bunny in your life, you'll stop by BebeBunny on Etsy! I hope it'll be a fun outlet for small (but not dolly tiny) knitting.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Something to Crane About

Yes, I know. It's "crow" not "crane." But lately it's all about the cranes.

You may recall that I wrote about my sister expecting a while ago. And I shared a little about the baby shower I co-hosted while in Wisconsin this summer. Well, here we are at the end of October and that baby will be arriving in just about a month (her due date is on Thanksgiving, but we all know due dates are generally a load of crap). In anticipation of the arrival of the little jelly bean, my sister and her husband have been doing some nesting of the bird nature. Cranes. So many cranes.

The nursery space in their house (which, in fact, is also the dining room), is slowly being decorated with cranes. Mostly paper. Some not.

CIMG0068
photo taken by my sister

They've been collecting cranes from friends and family. A bit after the above photo was taken, they put some of the cranes in small shadowboxes and hung on that wall. They'll be hanging many from the ceiling. I think the whole idea is adorable and quite creative. I especially love how it brings the thoughts and handicraft of so many into the life of the baby before s/he is even here!

Of course, I wanted to contribute. My role as aunt means I should make sure the kid knows I'm the cool one from the start! So, instead of heading out and picking up some proper origami paper, I took a look in my scrapbooking stash, found some fun and quirky papers, and set about making some mammoth cranes.

folding cranes for the baby

Though I did take a course in origami when I was about 10, it had been a while since I'd done much paper folding. God bless the interwebs (although I suppose I could've referred to the baby's wall decals!). It all came back, though. And I think my 3rd crane was the prettiest of the lot.

giant paper cranes

I can't wait to see the room when it's finished. And I relish the opportunity to keep crafting up little projects for the bambino

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stack It Up Again

This weekend we ended up with a houseguest. Again. Same surprise houseguest as last weekend. It was a nice thing, however. I remember when I moved to London and was having a hard time finding a place to live. I didn't know anyone. I didn't have any friends to couch surf with. I had a backpackers' hostel - which was interesting in and of itself. Still, friends are nice. And I'm happy to play hostess (also - it keeps the flat a bit cleaner!).

Anyhow. On Saturday we went out to a nearby cocktail bar. One that The Scot and I had been meaning to try, but just hadn't gotten around to visiting. It was nice. They had Jenga.

tumbling towers


Life lately has been a bit like Jenga. I start feeling like things are going well and the tower tumbles. But life, like Jenga, is made up of so many pieces. And it can be put back together. It never goes back together the same way twice, but that might make the next attempt to win a little easier. Or more interesting.

This week the schools in London are on break. So I'm not working. I have grand plans of catching up on laundry, crafting, and baking. We're going up to Scotland on Friday. I have gushed about my love for Scotland here many times. I hope this trip is as lovely as all the others have been. I do love visiting my Scottish not-quite-family.

I am wishing we had pumpkin patches and corn mazes in these parts of the world. But baking with pumpkin (lovely pureed pumpkin from Libby's - which takes some searching to find and you pay the price) will have to suffice.

Knock it down. Stack it up again. Try something new.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Dastardly Dolly Roundup

Halloween is soon upon us. And any dolly worth her salt knows she has to be dressed to impress. So I've put together a fun little collection of Blythe pretties I've found on Etsy (though I might snatch a few of them up!)

Enjoy!


from littleonebao


from CHatcher3


from woollyrockers


from atomic blythe


from megipupu


from lara's fawn


from ciloon


from fern's closet


from pistachio libby


Will you and/or your Blythes be dressing up for Halloween? It's not as big here in the UK as it is back in the US. I'd love to have a costume party but it's more likely that I'll just enjoy some scary movies and seasonal treats on the night (along with my soon-to-arrive Bat Cavey!).

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BlytheCon UK 2011 wrap up

I can't believe it's been a week since BlytheCon UK. The time leading up to it seemed like ages and then *BAM* it came and went in a blink.

It was a great weekend. And a lot of money was raised (the total is still waiting to be solidified {selling leftover goodie bags on BK} but I think it'll come to about £3,300). I saw far-flung dolly friends, made some new ones, and put faces to names I had not known!

Friday night many people came out to The Builders Arms in Kensington for drinks. Dollies sat on tables, people earned their first badges (featuring pints), new friendships were sparked and old friendships strengthened.

Friday night drinks
credit: Sam

Saturday morning was a bit frantic. A ton of sellers arrived way earlier than planned and so setup ended up being a lot trickier than anticipated. But in the end nearly all regular attendees resisted the urge to sneak in early (save for a few) and it was truly fun to see the doors open at 9:30 and the place start to buzz!

BlytheCon UK


BlytheCon UK 2011 - all abuzz!


stalls, stalls, stalls
Some absolutely awesome raffle prizes were donated:

raffle goodies


Raffle!
credit: Paulinou

Diana helped The Scot man the ticket table and sell lot of tickets to help out The Little Princess Trust (over £1600 was raised from the raffle alone).


credit: ¤morganours¤

pretty pink balloons

In addition to the awesome raffle, there were 2 great contests organized by the lovely, amazing, and fabulous Shelley and Sam. Shelley put together the fashion contest and Sam took charge of the photography contest. Though I did most all the other organizing for the event single-handedly (save for the web stuff, done by the awesome Neil), these 2 were both fabulous contest organizers and also great sounding boards for ideas and generally excellent shoulders to lean on as I sometimes felt a bit overwhelmed by it all.

Shelley, Laura & me - I want to adopt both of them
Shelley, me, & Sam
credit: Sam

photography contest finalists
the photography finalists

Fashion design contest entrants
fashion design entrants

Suzy put together another Goldie raffle and gathering. We were all hoping to top last year's number of Goldies, but in the end we just tied it. Still, it's always fun to see so many Goldies together!

goldies!

There were 3 hour-long demonstrations/workshops throughout the day which were graciously given by 3 experts in the fields of restoration, customization, and sewing.

Kenner restoration workshop with Leo
Kenner restoration workshop with Leo (Poupée Mécanique)

Custom workshop with Olga
Customization workshop with Olga (Vainilladolly)

Sewing workshop with Ruth
Sewing workshop with Ruth (Eurotrash)

The workshops were really well-received and special badges were available to those who attended them.

The event seemed to be enjoyed by all. And there were so.many.dollies!

Dolly group photo! (many, but not all in attendance)

I think my favorite part of the whole weekend was seeing friends who I normally only get to talk to online. Even though I may have only met some of them once before (or some never before), it's great to hang out with people who I feel like I know a bit and also great to get to know them better.

In addition to the marvelous Sam and Shelley, there is the fabulous Lucy - who in addition to being just nifty ran the Stitch 'n' Bitch table with her mum and raised some more funds for our charity!

BlytheCon UK 2011 photobooth

The delightful Alice and her Gavin. I've gotten to get to know Alice through the interwebs quite a bit since last year so it was great to hang out with her (and Gavin, who is obviously cool as well since he both a) hangs out with dolly people and b) is a teacher).

BlytheCon UK 2011 photobooth

Marvelous Christin! I didn't know Christin much except for some talk on twitter and such. She's awesomesauce. And also a teacher. And generally just good fun. (Seen here again with Saxon Alice).

BlytheCon UK 2011 photobooth

I also did a fair bit of hanging out with some others, but don't have any great pictures. Next year! (or sometime soon-ish if I'm not in the country for next year...)

After the event finished, I had a mad scramble home and then immediately back to Chelsea for the afterparty. Though the afterparty was a bit disappointing in that a TON of people had said they would come (hence it being booked in an exclusive venue and not just reserved space in a bar or restaurant) and far less than a ton coming, those of us who came had fun. The Spaniards stuck to one corner, but seemed to enjoy themselves. So I was content! We drank cocktails, took photos, and generally had a lovely time.

BCUK
credit: Haunts Hold

kenner sisters
(same moment, different view)

I slept well on Sunday. And then I took a look at my spoils.

I purchased a few lovely new dresses - all from sellers I hadn't purchased from before. Some new looks for the dolly wardrobe!

spoils!

I also won a few things in the raffle and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed all the items.

prizes!


It was a great day. I'm a bit sad that's it's pretty likely that I'll not be in the UK for the 2012 event (being organized by a number of people including the aforementioned awesome Sam) in Manchester. But I do have a ticket for the US 2012 event in Texas in August. So all is not lost.

2 things as I wrap up this rather long wrap-up!
1 - All the photos with the BCUK logo mark are the "official" photos taken by the talented Stuart.
2 - If you haven't already, check out Alice's awesome short film about the event. It's pretty great.



Until next time!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The real stars of BlytheCon UK

BlytheCon UK was amazing. I didn't do as much as I'd hoped participation-wise since I was running around being the organizer all day, but it was a fun day nonetheless.

Flickr is full of snaps from the day: dolly photos and people photos galore! But I couldn't help but notice the one thing that tons of people took the time to photograph.

"What's that?" you ask? I shall show you:


bcuk07
by dolly mixture

Macaroons!
by pinkyjane

Macarons
by pakitroki

macarons
by ღSamanthaღ (Sam)

Macarons
by sozzielou


by ¤morganours¤

Yummy treats!
by PinkPrettiez aka *Eeffie*

BlytheCon UK 2011
by glitterbat

Macaroons
by miga☺angel

Yep, the hit of the day photography-wise was the refreshment table and the colorful treats it contained. Funky cake stands from Koziol holding delicious and delicate macarons from Paul. Full of prettiness.

I'll be back soon with proper dolly photo goodness. But this little discovery was too fun to not share!