Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm taking a vacation from Blogging.

I know, I just got back from a vacation from Blogging, but that was really not much of a vacation of any sorts. I was actually doing more running around there than I do here. But lately I find myself aimless, without any project to think about. I would spend a lot of time thinking about what to write about here, but not do any of it. So I'm going to take a breather and finally unpack fully, organize the stuff that I brought back, think about what I want to write about, and basically recharge. Hopefully I'll come back raring to go, but we can cross that bridge when I come to it.
See you next Sunday everyone!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mending on a Saturday!

Still plugging along today unpacking/organizing, although I don't think it's ever going to end. I've set up a system where I do 50 things per day. Now, that may sound like a lot, but it's actually not. You see I'm counting each little thing I do as something. Like if I put away a pair of Barbie shoes it counts as one. If I have several to put away I can make a pretty big dent in my amount for the day pretty quick, although I'm beginning to start reaching the end of the easier things to do, so now it's the more tedious tasks that are left. That's typical, I just wish I wasn't coming up to that point, although hopefully soon I'll be finished with putting all this stuff away. But this organizing thing never really ends, the list just changes, right? But at least with this system I can at least pretend that I get something done each day.
But today, I want to tell you proudly, I actually did some sewing today. First time turning on my machine since I've been back. Exciting right? I've missed my Kenmore. Although, It wasn't any sewing for myself or the dolls. All I was doing was fixing the waistband of a skirt for my mother. The thread had begun to give way in several spots so she needed it fixed. She gave it to me a few days ago telling me that it wasn't anything she needed soon, which is good because the odds of me getting it done quickly was really slim. So it's been kicking around here for a few days. But I did get tired of moving it from one place to another, so I sat down today and just did it. Took me maybe about 20 minutes including threading the machine with black thread. Then I was able to just give to her and get it out of the way, and out of my room. Which is really the great thing about it. I have enough of my own projects kicking around here unfinished, there's no need to have another person's adding to the mess. Hopefully this will whet my appetite to do some more sewing again, I still haven't gotten much desire to do anything for Barbie or myself. And I still need to do Charlotte's Christmas dress, I just haven't decided on what I wanted to do yet, but that's for another day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The word of the day is shoes.

Or at least the word of the trip to Connecticut was shoes. While I was up there I went to the storage unit to clear out some of the stuff in it. It's been a while since I was there, and now that I was looking at it more objectively I realized I wasn't sure why I was keeping some of that stuff. At the time I was thinking that eventually I could use it for something, but now it's been over two years and I still haven't used most of it, or even thought about it. What's the point with being saddled with all this junk that you're never going to use? I ended up taking a trash bag with me and clearing out a bunch of stuff that I would never ever use. It was very therapeutic. When I was there I also took some stuff that I wanted. Lots of it were shoes. Earlier I would take shoes, but only ones that I found in pairs. Looking back I realize how counter-productive that was. What I should have been doing was collecting all the solo shoes I found and then sorted them out afterward. I mean how did I know that the shoe I "kept" finding wasn't really a pair that I only managed to find one at a time? So that's what I started to do this time. Every time I found a shoe, no matter the condition, style, or if I "liked it" I would stick it into my backpack. Later I would go though and sort though what I had pulling out the pairs that I had found. Here's the results of that little endeavor; See all those? This little project netted me 104 pairs of shoes. Plus a bag full of mismatches just waiting for their match to show up (most of which I really doubt ever will). Now before you begin to rant and rave about the sheer amount of shoes that I had just lying around I would like to point out that this was over decades of collection, and a lot of them are from dollar store type dolls. Actually a lot of them don't fit Barbie. After taking this picture I started to sort them. I grabbed Charlotte, a vintage doll, a Momoko, a Skipper, and a Ken doll. Then I began trying shoes on to see what I had would fit each dolls. It was here that I was able to take a lot of the shoes out that didn't fit anyone. There's a type of high heel mold that came from a dollar store that I have a variety of colors, the problem is that nobody can wear them. It's a shame because it is a pretty designed shoe and some of the colors are nice, but it just doesn't fit on Barbie's feet. Out of those 104 pairs I eliminated 41 of them. Most of them didn't fit, but some of them are for style reasons. For example the two pairs of sky blue snowboard boots. I have them, but I don't like them, and really can't think of an outfit I'd want to use them for. So that means I'm going to stick them into a bag that lives in the closet where I store all the matched shoes that I can never think I'll find a use for. That way they are handy for whatever reason, but I don't have to sort through them each time I look for shoes that I want. After I figured out which ones were going to go into the collection it was time to clean them. All of them are going to get cleaned, but I did want to start with the ones that I wanted to keep. A lot of the shoes have gotten dirty from the amount of playing I did with them, not to mention the two years of storage not doing them any favors. So I devised a washing machine of sorts, using a container from some Chinese food I added a few pairs at a time until it was full. Then I added some (hand) soap and water, sealing it tightly with the lid. Then I shook them around to my hearts content. I had to change the water a few times. It's my very own washing machine powered by... me. I like how that works, so I might keep that around for some clothes washing. When I was satisfied with how clean they looked I turned them out of the container onto a towel to dry. These are most of the ones that I got cleaned and put away today. In this picture you can see all the Kelly shoes I found (three pairs) and all the Momoko shoes (five pairs), plus all the flat sneakers that fit, Barbie, Momoko, and Skipper. Plus some other Barbie type shoes. This little exercise practically doubled the pairs of shoes that the Momoko's have to pick from. Hopefully this means I'll be able to finally dress Cosette. This also netted me the pair of Pilgrim shoes that came with the Daphne Scooby Doo doll. This is good because they're a nice 70's style, so someday a vintage doll will be rocking them. Some of the highlights from this group.
You know what's weird? I effectively doubled my shoe collection, but I still want more. Does that count as an addiction? Although I don't have this issue with my shoes. My senior year of college I amassed about eight pairs of shoes and thought that was a decadent amount. But we should all know by now that Barbie doesn't play by my rules.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope everyone who's celebrating has a good holiday, and everyone who doesn't has a good day in general. My family and I are doing something low key for today. My sister was unable to get the day off (she does have Christmas off however!) so it's just my brother and parents here for the day. Although up in Connecticut we got to do the whole big family dinner thing. I think there were 21 people there? Maybe 21, could be more, I honestly cannot remember. I just did a recount, there were 21 people there. So that was pretty chaotic, so it's going to be a nice small dinner together, just the four of us.
So in honor of today here's the top things I'm thankful for;
1. My Family (Including extended, some more that others)
2. My Pets (Even when they destroy my blinds)
3. My Health (May it continue)
4. Charlotte (And the rest of my plastic family)
5. My Sewing Machine (May we have many years together)
6. My Blog and my Blog readers (All of you who make me want to keep doing this!)
7. My Friends (You know who you are)
8. My Book; Ballad of Submission (Hopefully I'll get back into working on it)
9. Presents! (Yeah, I'm shallow like that)
10. And whatever else I'll remember after I publish this! (It never fails)

So that's my list, although I'm sure if I think about it longer I'll find a bunch of things I want to change or move around on it. What is everyone else thankful for? I'd love to hear it. I hope everyone's Holiday is safe and happy. And be careful if you go out for Black Friday.
Be safe!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Okay, changing my original plans here. Earlier I wanted to introduce a bunch of stuff each day, but that's far too ambitious for me right now. I wasn't getting anything done with unpacking because I kept having to stop and take pictures. Then I started avoiding unpacking things because I wasn't ready to take pictures, then I was just avoiding unpacking altogether. Really a bad situation overall. So instead each day I'm just going to talk about one thing. This way I can get stuff unpacked, really talk about the more interesting things. And that way I can spread the stuff out over until I'm actually getting back into sewing, since right now there's nothing in the works for that. And this way I can stop before everyone gets bored with my yammering, because at this point I'm bored thinking about some of it.
Now onto today's something. Here's something I got from my Grandparent's house. It's a sewing pattern, and one for men! Now my Grandmother has a box of older patterns (mainly 70's) they've been kicking around for as long as I can remember. A few years ago she brought them down to North Carolina to see if I wanted any. I was hoping for some doll related ones, but I didn't find any. I did however take some young children's ones to see if there was something I could do with them. So far I have not. So the box ended back up in Connecticut, not really sure why she didn't just tell us to throw it out. When I was up there I found a random pattern kicking around in the attic. Since it was just there I thought I should at least put it in the pattern box. So I looked though the box again, just for fun. This time I found something I wanted, although I'm sure I found it last time but back then I wasn't even thinking about sewing something for myself. Now that I am I took it. Someone might as well take it before my grandmother finally gets fed up and pitches the entire box. What I found was a simplicity pattern, number 8209. Which Google tells me is from 1969, also apparently Simplicity has used that number for several other patterns since then. It's a pattern for four shirts, and an ascot! (the ascot looks kind of porn-y) It's a 16" neck and a 42" chest, which I kinda think means that it's a large, but I could be wrong. It looks to be uncut, which wouldn't surprise me since my Grandmother was never the really domestic type. It still has the original price tag of 65 cents. I like some of the shirts, so I might end up making one of them. Do you think I could rock an ascot? Although when I finally do make a shirt for me I wouldn't start with this one, I'm going to try with the pattern I bought a few weeks ago. For some reason I'm really starting to think seriously I'm slowly inching my way over to making myself some clothes. Pretty exciting huh?

Monday, November 22, 2010

And I'm Back!

I finally got back to North Carolina today. My Grandparents and I left Connecticut on Sunday, traveling most of the day, and stopping for the night in Virginia. This morning we got back into the Suburban went the rest of the way, getting back home today at four. And I won't lie there were times that I thought I'd never be back here again. This Connecticut trip was interesting to say the least. It was filled with a variety of experiences, some good... some not so good. It's also been filled with a bunch of people, some good... some not so good, but that's to be expected. Now that I'm back home (with internet!) I'll be able to update my blog and share my experiences with you all. I do have a lot (and I do mean a lot) of stuff to share with you, so bear with me as I sort though all my stuff and tell you about certain things. I'll probably still be talking about this trip for the next couple of weeks with you all. I left here with a tan suitcase, my backpack, and my sewing case. I came back with all that but also with a huge red duffel bag that I dubbed "The Red Behemoth." I picked up some stuff from storage, but I also got stuff from my Grandparents, and stuff from our early Christmas. I've been starting to unpack tonight, but that is a slow process. Right now it looks like my suitcases exploded in my room. Hopefully with some hard work I can get my room back into some sense of order. Until then my room's going to have to wait, and so will my sewing. But fear not, I still have lots to talk about here, so much I'm sure you'll be bored before I shut up.
Also my room is also a little bit worse for wear when I came back. Instead of describing it for you, I'll show you a picture of the damage.See that? That is my window. And no, someone did not try to break in, someone tried to break out. And here's a photo of the culprit.That's Chester on my bed, acting nonchalant, with his back to the camera. I had left my door to the room open kindly/foolishly when we left so that the cats would have a place to rest when we were away. Instead Chester over there decided to get into trouble and try to claw his way out. Luckily the glass held up or else I'm sure he would have clawed his way out. He also damaged another blind, but that one's the one he really destroyed. He also used my laundry bag as a personal toilet, instead of using the litter box, but I'm trying to not take that as a personal insult. And that was only in for few days that my parents and sibling was away, not the whole time like I was gone for. He got into a lot of mischief in four days! But that's enough chatting for tonight. Tomorrow is another day and this mess is going to be here then too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Until we meet again!

No new picture today, no time to take one and even if I could you wouldn't want to see me right now. It's not a pretty picture.
I've got a full agenda to get done before 2:00 PM. So I've been up since six, ugh not fun. Here's a breakdown of what I've got on my plate today;
Going to take the dog to the vets (in Raleigh).
Pick up my Sister's suitcase (Also in Raleigh).
Pick up Alex's Christmas present (Again, in Raleigh)
Go to Target to find that blasted Barbie shoe pack (this will be our third attempt. If they don't have it this time I will literally freak out and have a total toddler melt down in the store. )
Finish my final packing (It's never done)
Make the apple roses for CT (two batches)
Pack the baskets (The bane of my existence)
Pack the car (making sure I haven't missed anything)
Sit in it for 13+ hours (ewww)
And by the time I'm out of the car again I'll be in Connecticut. Where I'll be spending a great deal of time, in fact the date that I'm coming home keeps extending. So you might not hear from me for a while since my internet is pretty non-existent up there. But don't worry about forgetting me, I did add something to remember that I'm still here. Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow for it ;)
Until then, hope everyone has a good early/mid November.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's the first of the month, so it's time for the redress list! Business as usual people, business as usual.
Right now the list stands as:
Teen Skipper,
G.I. Joe,
Princess Lea,
Integrity Toys Doll 2,
Integrity Toys Doll 3,
Marie 1,
Marie 2,
Vintage Skipper,
Fashion Queen
Vintage Midge
Dolls taken off the list; Vanessa, Vintage Skipper, Vintage Midge
Dolls added; Vintage Midge
Finally, we had a month where the add ons are less than the ones taken off. Progress people, progress!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Check out my basket! ;) Day 5

We're reaching the end of our basket making days, I don't know if any of you will miss this, but I sure won't. I'll be glad when they are packed and in the hands of the people who they are intended for. Today's cooking once again involved chocolate, but this was a lot less labor intensive. Peppermint bark! I personally really like peppermint bark, which is odd because I'm not a big mint fan.Let me explain how to make it, it's pretty simple. I started off with crushing the peppermint. This was actually kind of fun because I put it into a bag and hit it with a hammer. It was very soothing and a nice way to get out my frustration. I'm normally not like that, I promise. You want the chunks to be small, but not like ground up completely. You want some variety. Next you melt some chocolate, using the same technique as yesterday. We used white chocolate this time. After it was melted I mixed several spoonfuls of peppermint into it. Then I spread the goop out into some more tinfoil, spreading it out until it was less than 1/4 inch thick. Then I took another spoonful of crushed peppermint and sprinkled it over the top. After that all that's left to do it let it harden!
When that's done you come back and just start breaking up the one big piece into smaller pieces. No rhyme or reason, just start breaking it in your hands. Just a heads up, the peppermint sticks to everything, including hands. And that's really all you do for Peppermint Bark. I also made some more, leaving out the peppermint, so it's just bark. That's for the people who don't like peppermint. It's the exact same process, just leaving out the peppermint. I wrapped both items up in separate packages, and we are good to go.
You've officially seen the five things that are going into the baskets. I might have to make some more stuff, but I won't update you on that. Just as a general heads up the next few days are going to be super busy, just know that it's me not you.