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Sunday, December 30, 2012

We Like Hats

Many years ago, when I was about 10 years old, I learned to knit.  Between then and now, I've only knit a couple of things, but when I got my first Blythe doll, and started seeing all the cute hats other people's dolls were wearing, I had a sudden strong urge to knit again!  Here are all the hats I've made so far (minus one which I sent to my partner in a swap):


Four of these hat are made from the free pattern at xoxo, Blythe (mine are made without the pom pom on top). It is a cute and fairly easy-to-make beanie; the trick is learning to handle five double-pointed knitting needles at once! It was so fun to make I made another, and another, and another!  Then I decided to try a new new pattern, and I settled on a beret (second from the left, above.)  That pattern is called the Ecoliere Beret by Maggie Baird on Ravelry.  This is the first one I've made, and it will NOT be the last; I like the look of this hat on my Blythes even better than the beanie.

Yesterday I thought I should add "something" to my hats, so each one now has a different embellishment.  I will let each girl show off her hat individually:

Claire, below, is wearing the very first hat I made.  The fingering-weight yarn is variegated, so it creates a nice pattern as you knit.  I added this cute little happy cloud patch that I made from wool felt, embroidery thread, and buttons.



Grace looks great in this beret!  This is also variegated fingering-weight yarn.  The decoration on this one is a fabric yo-yo with a button in the center.



This sparkly blue hat I perfect for Alice (a Simply Sparkly Spark Blythe).  I added a scattering of buttons, beads and a heart-shaped charm to make her hat special.



Bonnie's hat is made from the same yarn as Grace's.  I added a bow, made from a piece of sari silk, with a sparkly pink heart-shaped button in the center.



Last but not least, my newest girl, Candy, is wearing a hat very similar to Claire's; the embellishment is a coiled-fabric flower with wool felt leaves, and beads in the center.



Just one last group shot before we go!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Alice

Alice is my new Simply Sparkly Spark Blythe doll.  She came to me from a seller on eBay.  I adore her bright blue hair!  She's still in her stock skating costume, but as soon as I have a little time I will make a new dress for her.

"Alice" is a name I've always liked, and I knew I would use it for one of my dolls. I think it suits her well.

Yesterday was a cloudy, rainy day here.


Today looks much nicer!



The wreath on our front door makes a nice seat for a doll.



Isn't she pretty!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I overheard Claire and Grace talking under the tree on Christmas Eve...



Grace was right--when I unwrapped her, feisty little blue-haired Alice was desperate to get out of her box! Candy, however, is a little bit shy, and isn't ready to meet everyone yet.  I'll give her a day or two.


I got exactly what I wished for on Christmas!  I hope you did too.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Christmas

Christmastime in Williamsburg is lovely!

Recently, Bonnie and I took a stroll through  the restored area known as Colonial Williamsburg. 

Bonnie:  That's a big house!  Who lives there?
Leslie:  No one right now, Bonnie.  That's the Governor's Palace, where the governor used to live.



Bonnie:  Oh--another big house!  Did the governor live there too?
Leslie:  No dear, that's the Capitol Building. Williamsburg was actually the capitol of Virginia from 1705 to 1799.



Bonnie:  What's this, a swing?
Leslie:  No, silly, you've managed to climb onto a Christmas wreath!  Get down now, and let's go shopping!


And so we shopped and walked and had a pleasant afternoon.

Wishing you and your families a happy Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Party Dress


We're ready!  Where's the Christmas party??


Poppy, Grace, Wendy, Bonnie, and Claire are all wearing dresses I made from the "party dress" pattern at Pucci Collective.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blythecon


Way back in the summer, when I first went Blythe crazy, I started hearing about something called "Blythecon".  As I read more, I realized that it was a big meet-up of Blythe lovers--and it was too late for me to attend the 2012 meeting in Texas--boo!



But now I have good news: there's another Blythecon scheduled for 2013, in New York City, and...

 I'VE  GOT  TICKETS!!!

It will be held on October 13th, in a big meeting space at 404 10th Avenue from 10 am to 10 pm. I have two tickets, so I will be accompanied by either my wonderfully indulgent husband, who plans to enjoy the weekend in New York City with me even if it means going to a doll convention; or my cyber-friend Susan, who lives in New Jersey and works in NYC.  I'm as excited about meeting Susan as I am about going to Blythecon--that will be two big events in one weekend!

I'm SO looking forward to this!  There will be vendors, raffles, goodie bags, demonstrations, and probably lots of things I can't even imagine.  Now I need to make a hard decision:  which dollies should I bring?




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Package from my Swap Partner

Craft swaps are SO much fun!  First, you have the excitement of getting a partner and finding out about her, and what kind of things she likes.  Then you get to make something for her, and usually that involves trying something new--a new pattern or technique or crafting supply--so you learn and grow as you craft.  Then you have the fun of hearing her happy response when she receives the goodies you sent.  And on top of all that, you get a package of goodies in return!

I recently showed you the outfits I sent to Crystalviolin in my first Blythe Kingdom swap. Now Bonnie and Grace will show you all the lovely items she sent me in return.

First, the two girls are so warm and comfy, sitting near their new fireplace--yes, they actually got a FIREPLACE in this swap! Their home has been so bare that this is a very welcome addition. They are wearing hats knitted by my partner, and she made them the cutest little dolly snuggies too!


You would think that was enough, but they also each received a hand-knit sweater!  Grace, on the left, is wearing a beautiful hoodie with teeny beads that serve as buttons.  Bonnie, on the right, is wearing a sweet cardigan that closes with snaps. What's that in Bonnie's hand?  A minuscule cup of hot chocolate--it's the cutest thing I ever saw!


If you look closely, you will notice a familiar pair of dolls in the picture frame on the fireplace mantle...amazingly, it's a tiny picture of Grace and Bonnie that my swap partner saw on flickr! I love that!  In fact, I love the whole package!

Crystalviolin did a fantastic job with this "Winter Comfort" swap.  My dollies couldn't be more warm, or happy!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Factory Girl

I've been so curious about the Blythe "factory girls" I've seen on eBay that, when I saw one particularly lovely one at a reasonable price, I watched and waited and finally bid...and won!  She just arrived today, and I can't wait another moment to show her off.  Meet Poppy!


The origins of factory girls are unclear, but it is generally believed that they are made from genuine Blythe parts that did not meet factory standards.  The dolls are not official Takara releases, but they are often made to resemble particular dolls.  Poppy bears a strong resemblance to Gentle River, except Poppy has longer hair.

She arrived from Hong Kong in the box below.  It has the weirdest statement written on both sides.  I can only imagine what the postal workers thought!


Upon opening the carboard box, I was beyond thrilled to see that she was carefully packed in this reusable plastic box.  (It reminded me of Snow White in her glass coffin!)


She was well-packed with bubble wrap.


She is gorgeous and perfect!


There are several differences between her and my official Takara dolls.  First, I noticed how wonderfully soft and clean her hair is (some of my dolls came out of the box with greasy hair that had to be washed), but it seems a bit thinner than my other dolls.  The other thing I noticed when handling her is that she is slightly lighter and less top-heavy than the official girls; I think that's because she has a different eye mechanism.  So far it only seems different in a GOOD way--all four of her eye colors are pretty (no pink or orange eyes, yay!), and her gaze is more upward than the other dolls, so she looks right into the camera.  Oh, and her eyelashes!  They are long and feathered and altogether more beautiful than the stock Blythe lashes.  Time will tell if the eye mechanism is sturdy enough to stand up to regular use.


Grace, Bonnie, Wendy and Claire have told me to HURRY UP and make Christmas dresses for them too, so they can all pose together for a Christmas portrait.  I have to get busy!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

My First Blythe Craft Swap

Very soon after becoming interested in Blythe dolls this summer, I joined an amazing online community called Blythe Kingdom.  I go there every day to see what's new--there are people talking about every aspect of Blythe.  The best thing I discovered is that there is a monthly Blythe-related craft swap (monthly...except this month! December is too busy for most people, so the swap will resume in January.)  I signed up for my first one at the beginning of November, and within a few days I had the name of my partner, crystalviolin.  The theme of the swap was "Winter Comfort", so I started searching online for Blythe-sized clothing patterns.  I sent two outfits to my partner; the first one is being modeled by my new doll, an I Love You Truly I Do named Claire:


I knitted the hat using a simple pattern from xoxo, Blythe.  I've made a couple of these hats for my girls already, so I knew I could make a nice hat for my partner!  The coat pattern is from Oriettacat.  Snowflake buttons that I found at Joann's added a nice wintery touch.

Under the coat, Claire is wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt with a snowflake embroidered on it (I lengthened the sleeves on the t-shirt pattern from Puchi Collective).  The skirt is a simple curve of wool felt on which I embroidered more snowflakes and added some white seed beads; that pattern is from Miseducated.


Next up is Bonnie, a Raspberry Sorbet (and my very first Blythe!)  She is wearing wonderfully cute footed-pajamas; I found the pattern at a Japanese site HERE (click on the word "Blythe" in small print at the top of the page).  There are a lot of patterns there, but they are all in Japanese.  This one had tons of pictures, so it was easy to figure out.  (The Google translation was absolutely hilarious, and almost useless!)  I altered it somewhat; the original pattern has bear-like ears and tail, which I changed to a cat for my partner.  I love this and plan to make some for my girls.


The hood is crazy-big compared to the body of the pajamas, but that's how it is when you're dressing a doll with a huge head!


 I also sent my partner a few things not pictured here:  some tiny hair clips, two pairs of tights, and a Littlest Pet Shop Blythe, decked out in winter clothes (that she came with).  Later this week I will show you the wonderful package I received in return--I love it!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ornaments


Dollies are so helpful!  Grace and Bonnie are helping me sew "Junker Jane"-style ornaments for our Christmas tree.