Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

  Happy New Year 2015 and Best Wishes and Good Health for everyone this coming year.  ^_^

Thank you to everyone who has helped us with orders this past year.  Gratitude is such a difficult thing to express enough of.  May we all be able to say at the end of 2015, this was a good year.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fond Memories

I've been trying to think of a post that would be 'doll related' interesting, what with all the stuff 'not ready for public' yet, and things I want to sort out first if they are going to be tutorials or personal projects, and the hubby had one of his brilliant ideas: "Just post one of the cat being stupid."  *head desk*

Ahem.  Anyway...
In our old flat, Tama had a vibrating bed.
Now for the doll stuff!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Apartment Therapy's January Cure

Okay so we live in this little flat, maybe about 14 ft by 40 ft, sort of a modified shot gun shack rectangle thing.  We have a living room on one end and a bedroom on the other, with the kitchen and bath and ONE closet taking up space between.  We jammed a 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment in to this and it's been slowly de-junki-fying ever since.

I give up!  I'm signing up for the January Cure on Apartment Therapy.  Every day you get a task, small, do-able, and you do it.  I did print out the 30 days to an apartment that 'cleans itself' task list when we moved in, but that didn't last long.  So I'm going to try again this January to turn this place into a HOME, rather than a live in storage space.

I'm seriously hooked on Apartment Therapy.  First of all, it's got a whole section on living in small spaces, some way too small, but inspiring.  Up until now my only assistance in adjusting was a photo book on Tokyo apartments (omg the cramming!)  The tours are great for seeing what can be done with the oddest spaces.  Haven't you always wanted to just nose around in stranger's homes? LOL!  anyway, I've not got so mad yet as to rainbow organize my books, but I am starting to develop a tolerance for Ikea.  I just need to find the perfect way to store and organize my dolls.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another Computer Scam Warning

Last week, along with the new cable being much faster, we started getting pop-ups that sped past AdBlock Plus and all sorts of bogus warnings to call bogus numbers and get ourselves ripped off.  So I checked one that looked very realistic at MicroSoft proper, and it said there that if there really WAS something in your computer using it as a zombie computer to attack other computers, your provider is responsible for contacting you. 

Quote from the web site at MS.
Will Microsoft ever call me?
There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.
End Quote
The implication is that your internet provider would be the one contacting you.  We all know, or should know that along with all the other wonderful things out there, the internet can tell us our IP number, who we are if we are logged in (thanks, Google, you ass!) or all the other little bits of info in the data packets that come and go normally.  So yeah, when I got this, I was like O_o  damn cable....

screen cap of the offensive thing, open in another window to see how 'authentic' this looks.

The thing is yelling at me with a computer voice, despite my volume being down to a tiny 'plink' and it's listing my cable company, my computer system, everything that's at stake, right? wouldn't let me close the window to shut it to hell up.  This is a dead give-away of being crapulous.  Nice things don't lock up your browser and don't pop up more threats when you try to escape them.  They'll probably realize that and start unlocking things immediately, to convince you they are real.  

So I called my cable company, not that number on the screen, but the number in my phone that I know is the cable company, DUH! I have virus programs and this opened in a news link window.  Google News to be exact.  Hmmm.  Anyway, if you see shite like this, don't call THEIR number, Call your ISP company and ask them personally.  The guy I got at T/W was utterly confused, thought it was an email scam, but no, that's not their number, and they have no interest in our computers, nothing getting through their system.  So it's a new one even on them. 

Basically, the hackers took the cue from MS and now are pretending to be your provider contacting you. All this information is right there in your data packets going back and forth on the internet unless you're some super encrypted uber-survivor type.  The T/W tech guy gave me one good piece of advice: Never call a phone number in a popup.  Never!  But this looks very real, restates what MS web site says and all that stuff.  

Another nasty trick they've pulled recently is a new window will suddenly open behind the one you're useing, with a YouTube clone and someone will start lecturing a business group or something, very loudly and obnoxiously, while triggering an .EXE file to download.  If you're watching something the audio will take over.  Probably by the time most people get over being startled and irritated by the noise and force close the lecture screen via control/alternate/delete and their task manager screen, the .EXE file is down, un-noticed.  So watch for that one as well.  It's a simple matter to set your computer to not run anything without your permission.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

BJDs and Patterning

The first part of my tutorial on patterning a basic dress for SD girls is up on BJDCollectasy.  It comes with a very basic dress pattern in PDF form.  Meaning you will have to work to make it fit your doll.  The good part is, I've done my non-teacher trained best to 'splain' how to do so.

In the next tutorial, I'll be showing how to do some more re-sizing and how to make important jumping off point in design changes, but there is a link to a patterning web site for people in there that will give a better idea of how to do things.  

Basically, besides the omg, what is up with the LEGS being out to here and the necks being up to THERE on these dolls, patterning still follows people methods.  And if you know your company, you know where they like to cheat their doll figures.  For instance: Iplehouse bust sizes.  Well, when a person gets bigger in the bust, there is usually an enlargement over a layer in certain areas.  Iplehouse is more like getting a boob job.  Nothing changes but the boobs.  So you would only have to change that part of the pattern.  Some doll companies at the start just stretched the legs, arms and necks to make a taller doll, when we all wanted taller and taller!  LOL!  Now they know they have to watch themselves or go completely into fantasy like Doll Chateau.

So check out the tutorial, and watch for the second part which I will link here. We simply can not have naked dollies!

And yes, I think sock dresses and pullies are the bomb, considering how cute and small the designs on some socks are.  Just do it right, use the sock like 'fabric' so it's not so obvious!  The problem being that cute socks are so expensive.  But yes, it's too late this year, but next year would be great for sock X-mas sweaters.  I keep seeing socks and thinking, omg, doll sweater!  My mind is so warped now. >.<;;  Or maybe it's just because it's finally so blasted cold in California!

In the mean time, I'm trying to wrap up a few orders and finally put a long standing one in the mail after god knows what to my throat put me in slow motion mode for a week and a half.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dior Study Project 01

So, having completely neglected to save the photos I took of the patterning part, nothing much new, just the same old adjusting the basic bodice, etc.  and getting the underslip done and starting to put the bodice lining and front on, I though, oops... .  That's what I get for working on this in the early mornings before I'm seriously awake.

The break down, with swiped images because when backing up my camera, I missed a file.  >.<;;  Gone! Gone forever!  And all because I was trying to back them up and not lose them!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good Lord T-mobile is Scary

After the cable was set up and working like greased lightening, I decided to call T-mobile and just get it over with.  It was like dealing with the FBI or something.  They made me feel like some kind of criminal, THEN offered to convert our account as a pay as you go one.

I literally had to bite my tongue before I tore the guy's ear off and spit it at him through the phone!  You see, last year at this time, a few days after my head stopped trying to explode over my husband's near death, I had called T-mobile and ASKED THEM to convert the account to pay as you go!  I begged them to understand the situation.   They said they couldn't.  Now suddenly they were begging ME to go with a pay as you go account.  I told the man who was browbeating me that and he had nothing more to say.  I had to force him to take the final end cycle payment, and yes, since we have three more days on the cycle, it was over charged.  I doubt I will ever see that money again, little as it is.  He also screwed up and was trying to tell me that the money I had recently paid to pay off the un-usable phone was an over payment.  I sorted him out on that one.

So while I'm greatful it's all over, I feel sort of horrible right now.  How dare they?  Just how dare they?  This is definitely a 'tea' moment.

Oooh, I'm so angry, I need to just calm the hell down. But yes, the Time-Warner cable is up and running, despite the rain, it's very fast compared to what we are used to and oddly, despite it being CABLE, we were given WIFI access.  So I hope that isn't going to be a glitch on the bill later I'm going to regret.  But it does say FREE wifi access in the paperwork.  So for once I'm thankful to Google for being such a threat to everyone with their proposed new service. O_o

I took the SIMs out of our Ex-phones so they can't run up the bill with any more text messages, which we have been getting since I paid off the Samsung what ever.  If the phones are off the network they are off the network, no ifs, ands, or buts. I refuse to have them tell me that the moment I canceled the account starting in three days, I got like $50 worth of text messages or something.

Now to find out where the cat hid when the guy was on the roof, dropping down into the back yard, drilling holes in the wall and going in and out without knocking.  To our cat that's like being stuck in a horror movie, poor thing!  

Le Petit Theatre Dior And Doll Clothing

One of my favorite designers has always been Dior.  Seeing the mockeries some of the modern designers have made of his iconic designs as so called homage only makes me more determined to study more of the original design and construction the Dior Atelier used and continues to.  So I've been stalking the YouTube channel and finally got around to it today.  After everything that's been going on, a year later, I'm gathering up my senses again and putting plans I had for 2014 in place for 2015.  One of them was to do an in depth study of a Dior dress from the 'skin' up for one of my dolls.

 I have what I call my Dior Dress in a box, some assembly required packed away since last October 2013, with the intent of starting Jan 1 of 2014.  But stuff happened.  Fishcake had sent me some fabulous ribbon trimmed fabric that screamed !!!DIOR!!! at me the moment I saw it in the box. Much jumping up and down and scaring of the cat ensued. I have broken it down step by step and plan on doing a little each day, as my treat for 'being good', what ever that means.  In the mean time, go watch the pretties on the Dior channel and if you're like might want to put a napkin on to catch the drool. >.>;;  

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fishcake is Awesome

Or totally insane; but in a good way.  She gifted me a girl who looks so much like the doll I was eventually going to put together, that I can now use the head I had purchased last year for another character entirely.  The new girly, an Iplehouse SID Cherie, is just beautiful.  Fishcake got the head form Nanyalin and the body from Jo1961, and I guess she tipped the scales at Fishcake's, so she passed her to me.  She's a smaller bust than the other SID girl and I kept thinking, something's wrong here...AHA!  she's the only SD size range girl I have who isn't wamdigious in the bust line. O_o  Well, at least not overly so.  I hope Nanyalin doesn't mind my softening up the eye make up a bit, because I love how it's done, but my character just needs a bit more lighter eye shadow, and the corner lines on her mouth redone to make her less frowny. I think the Iple girls are all sort of frowny or at least a bit too smug from the mold out.  I can't get over how lovely she is, the face up is gorgeous and the eyes Fishcake sent her with are marvelous, and she's just perfect for the character of Karin from Tiger&Bunny.  Another wondful thing; the wig I bought for the character when I got the other head last October, is the same exact color as the eyebrows Nanyalin did for her.  I had to just sit down for a while and stare at her in awe.  I think this is the first time I've ever got a pressie that was just so perfect in every possible way.

And of course, I have nothing for her to wear! O_o  So she's not happy. Not happy at all. *snickers* Hubby calls this the "I was a teenaged cave girl" look.


So the Only Doll blank head I have will now go for another character when I ever have time to get it to match the caramel colored SID large bust body that I lowered the neck base on.  I tried test dying the head cap according to tutorials, and yeah, not pretty.  It looks like a hard boiled egg yolk after it's been in the fridge over night.  Thank goodness a wig will always cover the cap. O_o;;

Tama has been helping me a lot lately.  (Too much.)

So, Wednesday we see if the Time-Warner Cable thing works and then it's shutting off T-mobile.  I had to try about 4 times to get online a few minutes ago.  *eyeroll*  I'm not sure how that will work out, but fingers crossed that when the dust settles, I will have internet still, for a hell of a lot less.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Skip Earthlink, O_O Ending up Going Straight to Time Warner.

I spend almost 2 hours total on the phone Friday afternoon trying to get through the red tape at Earthlink, AFTER I had called them 3 times before with questions and had notes and all the money work written down and at the end, they tried to charge me another 100 to set up the cable! O_o  So I broke down a little and said screw this, screw you and I'm outta here.  The thing is, Time Warner and Comcast (to hell with them!) service the Earthlink hook up in our area.  T-W was only supposed to be less than 40 a month, while Comcast charges 50 plus a month for the SAME Earthlink service.  I was losing my mind dealing with those people.  So I thought, Okay, Monday, I'm calling T-W directly.  That morning, I told them what had gone on with Earthlink's people, and they pointed out that basic internet cable from them directly is now 15$ a month and 5$ for the modem rental.  O_O  OKaaaaay, interesting.  I was informed that the Earthlink people have some issues about stretching the truth about pricing.  We had to go on errands, and I said let me call you back later.  Aggressively, they called me back that evening a little after 7 pm.  The lady I spoke to was back tracking on the BS Earthlink had given me verses the person Earthlink had switched me to to set up the  T-W installation.  She was concerned over the attempt to get my social security number and the insistance on paying the cable guy cash.  She said, with the 15$ package we'll wave the install fee, and you only have to pay the deposit, and the first month, and they were sorry for all the 'stuff' Earthlink had given me.  I said, it's late, I'm tired, I'm dealing with five things at once, I'll call back in the morning, but that sounds great.  So, I call back this morning (during business hours, remember those?  9 - 5? Yeah I thought myth, right?)  And I get yet another tacked on charge.  *eye roll*  But I held my ground, and got it un-tacked surprisingly easily by simply being calm, polite, and repeating why I was told otherwise?

I had to put a cut link on this, it's so complicated!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shoe Boxes, Gift Boxes and Bags to Print Out and Make

I've seen these things off and on in the fashion doll side of reality, and decided to look them up for organizing my doll's accessories and stuff in.  You print out a gift or a shoe box (with a separate lid) on card stock and assemble it and there you are.  Suddenly your dolly has stacks of shoe boxes you can label from famous companies. Well, it's that time of year when such things come in extra handy, for small gifts, Christmas tree decorations, etc.  Personally I was always dismayed as a kid when the little gift boxes decorating the tree had nothing in them, so throw in a wrapped candy or something for inquisitive brats like I was.  Label 24 of them with different things in them and make the whole tree an advent calendar.  Don't be a total bore and just put empty pretty boxes up. Rant over, sorry about that, these flashbacks...*shudders*.

I found Crafty Ferret has a nice variety of boxes.  They have free templates that you can over print on patterns already in your computer, or on paper you buy for scrap booking.  Pretty cool, no? Check out the rest of the blog and site for other neat ideas.

Image Property of Crafty Ferret
I'm going to try using this template to organize my dolls' stuff, and my sewing room shelves with a larger version.  My dolls don't have many floating heads; rather, 'floating personalities', depending on who they are for the outfit.  So I'll put the eyes, wig, outfits and accessories for say, Ceil Phantomhive in one box, and  for Nigihayami Kohakunushi  in another.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Trying to Ditch T-Mobile But They Wont Take We're Broke for an Answer.

EDIT!:  Thank you so much, Fishcake and Aernath!  Your orders have cleared our books with T-mobile and allowed us to come up with the extra un-mentioned until last darned minute deposit fee for Earthlink (the rats!)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Commission: Elfdoll Girl Military Uniform for Y.H.Lee

This is an original character design outfit by Y.H.Lee, with the commissioned art created for her by Stephanie Folse on Deviant Art. 
Order is for December 2014, 4 weeks completion, paid in full with shipping.

This is going to be AWESOME!  The only thing I'm going to have any difficulty with is finding the little bar clip things for the jacket closures.  There has got to be something out there I can use.
S. Folse, Artist

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Commission: EID SH Sephiroth Coat for GH. Alterations.

This post is back up for Alterations.  Further info under the cut. ^_^

Final Fantasy major bad guy Sephiroth.  His coat under all that shoulder armor is pretty simple.  The cross straps on his chest are actually his suspenders to his pants, I believe.  Let's face it, with a sword that big, you can dress anyway you want.  GH's EID SH makes a major sweet Sephiroth, too.  I need to look in to that Worbla stuff for making armor.

Deposit paid, final balance when customer is ready.  This will be made up in cotton with a lining and seven little belted buckles.
Swiped from Wikipedia

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flu Shots!

Let me state first of all, that I HATE getting stuck with needles.  It DOES hurt.  I don't care what anyone says.  I breath deep, I relax, it hurts.  When they draw blood for all the tests, it feels like torture.  NO I'm not immune to it because of sewing for a living, I'm over sensitive to it!  YES I am a big baby!

So, today we get flu shots.  I never went for the things before, because I didn't think I needed them.  Now because I can't afford to be ill, not be able to care for hubby and all that, I'm going for it for both of us.  So I asked the guy at the pharmacy, why did everyone I know at the college who got their (obligatory for teachers!) flu shots always get sick anyway?

1. It takes 2 to 3 weeks for the body to use that shot to build a barricade against the infection, depending on your body chemistry.

2. You might have already been exposed.  Hence, if you have a fever, no shot, pointless, your body will just reject it.  So if you have a fever and they 'shoot' you anyway, expect it to be a fail, and don't let anyone give you a shot without testing you for a fever first. 

3.  Some people just get a mild reaction to the shot's germs that is no where near as bad as they would have if they had not had the shot, hence they wouldn't have had a reaction to the shot. O_o  So yeah, if you get the shot...and still get a bit sick for a day or would have freaking turned into a brain sucking zombie otherwise.

4. One shot does not cover ALL the flu variations.  *head desks*

So shots today.  *wince*

I hope I don't get sick anyway.  I'm a whimp.  But if we're going to be going to doctor's offices and PT, we need those shots. *whimper*

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Well, I've Really Done it Now! >.<;;

I just realized at 9 pm that when I addressed GH's Sephiroth coat package, I completely neglected to put the apartment number.  I had photographed the package with my cell phone before taking it to the post office, was checking my Paypal account---and realized something.  Her address had five lines (including United States) and I was like.....erm.....OMG!  No "Apartment xxx" on line three!  Because I'm no longer trusting Paypal's shipping label set up after what happened to me a few weeks ago, I go to the post office and use their machine to print a postage sticker, and was in a hurry and hand wrote the address on the package.  I even took my phone (the paypal email) with me so that the P.O. couldn't give me the old "this address doesn't exist" routine I've gone through far too many times.  *head desk*

If the post person who delivers GH's mail doesn't make a habit of sorting things by name and knows their route, the package should come right back to me as undelivered.  >.<;;  Then I can correct it, buy another postage (sucks boo!) and ship it right back to GH.

I'm just so damned mad at myself right now!  Haste definitely makes waste.  I can only hope that nothing happens to that package!

From now on, I'm having the hubby double check the address, and mailing in the morning of the next day, rather than running out the door at the last possible minute just to catch the last shipment of the day! >.<;; 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pinterest is a Pain but Worth it, And Other Rambling.

I just spent a totally un-necessary half hour fighting with Pinterest (and possibly Google) to get into my account.  Apparently if you don't sign in, the blasted thing puts up a half grey screen telling you to sell your soul get an account or sign in to see more. What ever.  The real reason I wanted so badly to get back in is that Petit Main Sauvage in her recent post has put up photos of her visit to the Geementemuseum for an exhibit of gorgeous period clothing from the 1825 to 1920s period.  Well worth the fight with Pinterest.

Petit Main Sauvage is an excellent (and professional) stitcher and patterner, well worth following if you are looking for tips on construction and patterning.

So we're finally 'settling in' rather than just 'living with it' and in trying for organization like this, which I don't think I'll ever achieve:

I found this on Pinterest after searching 'sewing studio'.
Seems like it's from Apartment Therapy, too. 

I discovered that as an 'interior decorating' tool, PowerPoint is a wonderful thing!  Just toss up some color coded shapes and adjust for the square footage and there you are, a program to rearrange your rooms with out the two frustrated friends, pizza and beer.

I wanted to figure out how to move things around in what little room we have in the living room without the time suck of just stripping the room and putting it all back in.  I wanted to be scientific about it. The round orange thing on the grey rectangle is our remaining table (drop leaf with wheels) and the carpet under it.  Now I have my little home office/studio cockpit with almost everything in reach, and the light from the side window over my shoulder, rather than in my face.  Like any good 'cubicle' it allows me to have a 'separate' space in which to focus on my work, go to work, and still be part of the overall home environment.  It also seems to have created a setting where hubby waits for me to finish what I'm doing, rather than just treating me like a duty nurse (which amuses him, but I'm so not wearing the costume...) Things are still crowded, but the situation is under control and improving.

Even if it never will look at neat as any of the photos on Pinterest.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ZOMG! Shoes!

I've been wobbling about shoe making for ages now.  It's sort of a phobia with me.  Early sometime last year, I finally tried a tutorial as a challenge to myself to just get over it. The felt pair I made for Kiki (MSD Dragon Doll Girl) were good for a start; until after one day on her, the felt relaxed, frayed, picked up lint, and ended up looking like hairy puddings.  Before they went too far, I had to stitch embroidery floss around the top and tie bows to keep them on for her dress photo shoots. Felt: Bad.

Having little cash to spare, I went shoe shopping last month for a pair of flats I could push a wheelchair in, and discovered something.  I hate everything I can 'afford' and love everything I can't.  Plus, what I can afford, I've been fooled by before.  Cute and CHEAP as Payless Shoes are, they aren't meant to last more than 3 months.  Such is the way of the Evil Shoe.  And I have shoe envy from looking at doll shoes.

So I came up with an idea.  I'll make myself some doll shoes.  Using the tutorials, and having a good look at my now sadly worn red plaid cutie pie shoes, (you are spared the horror of a photo) I hacked it.

So the prototype I've been fretting at a bit every morning for two weeks is ready for the first batch of rubber cement work (upper to inner sole stack) tomorrow morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Going Visiting!

Toshiaki (Raurencio Studio's Vincent on a Dragon Doll Uncle body)
 Jiji (Dragon Doll  Xizi ) and Sakuranbo (Doll Love Lina). 
A few of my dolls are going visiting this coming week.  I normally take some hand sewing with me, but little gets done because I'm chief wheel chair pusher for when hubby is getting his walking boot camp. But Dr. Jocelyn has seen a few things in passing and yesterday, she said, "Bring your dolls, I want to see them!" So I'm putting Jiji, Toshi, and Sakuranbo, who's been in Alice mode nearly a year now, along with floating head Anthea in a baggie and bubble wrap, in my rolling back pack and taking them off to PT next Tuesday.  And I made sure that not only is Jiji in jeans for obvious reasons, Sakaranbo, AKA Cherry-boo has little matching shorts on.  We will have no panty checks.  (And Toshi's junk is in a bag in a box somewhere...) (okay I LOST his junk.  Serves them right for making it changeable  >.>;; )

This outing involves at least 3 total non-doll people meeting part of my gang.  I'm nervous.  Plus, I think it would be interesting for someone who has a doctorate in how the human body moves, both muscle and neural, to have a look at ball joint dolls.  Unless she chickens out over 'creepy dolls'! LOL!  I chose this trio for the difference in size, and they all pose very well without arguing with me, unlike some dolls I can mention. (Kyou has the whole self defense thing down quite well.  He will beat the heck out of you for trying to get him to do anything.)

After our photo session, which went quite well with the natural lighting in the bedroom, Tama who had been trying to photo bomb again, got his time on the table.  The moment I took the camera off the tripod and he realized no more photo taking was going to happen, he went right back to his favorite place.

"This table is MINE now."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

18th Century Doll Meets.

Scanned from Historic Communities 18th Century Clothing by Bobbie Kalman
This is a re-enactment of an 18th century fashion doll meet.  Far traveling and local sales ladies, actual 'Ladies' of a certain social level, were hired on the side by the ateliers and tailors of the time, and much like Tupperware in the 1950s, would get commissions from any orders they made for the full size garments.  With much advance planning via snail mail, they would show up in the next town, another country, or across the sea, with a chest full of dolls, sketches, fabric samples and 1/3 to 1/2 versions of the latest fashions. These were the original 'fashion dolls' and not meant for child's play, because they were rather simplistic and fragile.  The figures were (like modern human models) molded to the silhouette of the time, not to the human form.  The dolls themselves are now rare collector's items, but it's a fun example of how doll meets are really nothing new.  We just focus more on the dolls now.

You can find more information about the traveling fashion dolls on the following blogs: 

I found this picture in the book while plotting my next to next tutorial for BJDCollectasy and had to share.  ^_^  


Once again, Blogger is not letting me reply to comments on my own blog. O_o

@ Fishcake: Truely epic would be dressing up your dolls in period costume and having some of those little clothespin head dolls dressed up for a BJD fashion party! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ink! Gotta Love it!

No I don't mean tattoos, though at some point, I need to learn how to do that, because I've seen some gorgeous work done on dolls.  I mean the *insert your favorite cuss word* tendency of printers to tell you "I can't do that, Dave."  SRSLY?   I OWN you, not you, ME!

I ran out of ink.  I'm broke.  I have three perfectly good legit cartridges and a bottle of ink.  Printer is being horrid about it.  Refusing to accept the cartridge and reset ink levels.  My particular cart does not allow for resetting the cart's chip.  Printer makes like it's printing, but out comes a blank page.  For 2 weeks in too tried to sleep time, I searched all over the nets, did the cleaning thing (depleting my color cart!) did the three cartridge thing, the tape over sensor thing, the clean the cartridge thing, the unplug it thing, I've even *GASP* taken my printer apart a few times (Door not Open notice problem solved back in December) trying to find that so called battery to unplug.

On the dry back street of the internet, something like page 98 of the google search, I found the answer!  H*P*and all its variations and possibly a few more printers, etc.  You don't need a patch someone has made up, all you need to do is to tell it to STFU! and stop talking to your computer.

Disable. Bi-directional. Support.

You are now in total control.  This enabled thing is the default setting of printers when you install them.  Just go into the control panel, printer, printer properties (not just 'properties' it's under 'printer properties') scroll down to the bottom of the frame and you will see a check box for bi-directional support.  I'd put the image here, but I don't want a certain company to fry me.  Or for that matter, route around it or something.

Fill up your ink cart, make sure it's not out of date, because that stupid chip has a date line on it; most new carts are good for a few years so don't worry, and plug it back in.  Follow your normal cart cleaning/lining up routine if you need it and just ignore the "OMG fail!" popups you get, and print anyway. Pin-pon! Success! And I found out if you turn it on, let it warm up a bit, you might have a few mis-prints before it starts printing beautifully again.  That's happened to me twice today, but after that it prints like nothing's wrong again.

So happy, because Mr. Ink Jet has 4 ounce bottles and shipping for the price of one cart and I know that last bottle lasted me FOUR years and two printers.

This is awesome because while I wouldn't mind a continuous ink supply set up, (my dorky nerd idea of heaven) they are expensive and probably very messy.  I'd rather just have the 16 bucks worth of ink than the $100 kit, you know?  The only thing left is the problem with the expiration chip in some brands of cart, but if you start with a legit company cartridge, by the time that happens, you'll probably need a new one anyway, because of the wear and tear.

Edit: a friend of mine told me this is the computer equivalent of: "Get in the kitchen and print me a sammich, Peripheral!" Nerds....

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baroque Angel Would Love This Movie

A week ago we were discussing kitties and being a 'crazy cat lady'.  First of all, does having one crazy cat qualify you?  Because technically, Tama is 'mad' as a little hatter sometimes.  He acts a lot like the big cats in this clip sometimes.  Not out to really hurt, just hey, I'm a feline predator and this how I roll.

I found this clip today and thought, wow, I need to see this movie.  Talk about a crazy cat person. o_o

The last bit cracks me up because people are always OMG what happened to you! for little scratches.  

Isn't it ridiculous how you intend to do some research online and end up in a completely different place? O_o  

Friday, October 10, 2014

GRRRR!!!! Doctors!

My thyroid biopsy was today.  They 'allowed me' this 'once' to see the doctor in the local office, but they are tripple booked for the next month and I would have had to make another 50 mile round trip again to be seen next month.
ALL the doctor would spare breath to tell me is that he can almost guarantee it is not cancer, but Hashimoto's.  Buh-by.  Make an appointment for next month in St. Bernardine's.  No explanations  no time to sit and discus what my treatment is going to be, and oddly, despite the swelling and nodes, no talk of surgery.  They were going to "just leave it".  My immune system is trying to kill what's left of my thyroid gland and that's IT?!

Gee.  Thanks.

I went home and called the insurance and started working on getting to an Endocrinologist who accepts IEHP Direct and is definitely LOCAL.  Now to get my passive aggressive G.P. to let me have the expedited referral so I can see the new one next Thursday and see about getting this lumpy swollen thing out all together. My throat feels like someone tried to kill me and the nurse left more bruises than the doctor who did the biopsy did.  I was literally choking while she applied pressure to stop the bleeding after ward.

I supposed if I were a "good patient" I would just accept what ever the doctor told me and be all happy to be getting anything done, but you know what?  Insert foul language here.  It's MY life.  I have to get my life together to take care of my husband.  I can't do anything if I'm dead tired and run down from something that can be EASILY treated with the proper medication just like diabetes or high blood pressure, and a small operation I've already had the half of.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MSD Victorian/Steampunk Etsy Listing

I made this outfit for the series of tutorials on BJDCollectasy and I'm trying to organize piles of stuff in overloaded drawers, and my 1930s flapper girl has this Victorian outfit she'll probably not wear, and the Hubby said, why not just sell it, it's cute as heck.  I might just do a complete closet clean soon.  O_o I can't close the drawers!

So, for 55.00 USD and 5.00 shipping, it's up for sale at an already discounted price.  Normally I would charge at least 100$ USD to make this set.  The corset closes with snaps.  More photos on the listing. ^_^

Monday, October 6, 2014

Commission: Soul Doll Zenith, Kahn wardrobe from Star Trek: Into Darkness

Finished!  Post moved to today's date.

MonkeyGraph's Soul Doll Zenith is getting another set of big billowy coats (I think Mr. Cumberbatch was born to sell long coats!)  I have most of the fabric on hand, but the texture of the black/grey trench the character swipes off the back of a patio chair in the get-away scene is problematic. That's the one I still need to locate.

This project is being slated for late April/May 2014. (EDIT: Yeah that worked. >.>;;)

I also found out that so many companies were doing riffs off the costumes that it was difficult to track down the actual designs worn in the movie.  And with the scenes being mostly close ups, fight scenes and distance shots of running and fighting, that was fun.  But I've nailed down the 'real' designs to the best of my ability.

Swiped from Google Images

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Another Heat Wave

So, today I've turned in all my files for another tutorial on BJD Collectasy.  I'm pretty proud of this little trick of making something, so you have to go see how to do it and try it if you sew for yourself.  No actual brides were harmed in the making of this tutorial.  But when I finally went to my computer to look at the photos I had taken Thursday, I realized the whole series SUCKED.  We just had the solstice change, which means, ta-daa! the sun is now on the other side of the building.  I get super bright light in my living room from cross aligned windows now and was using flash.  >.<;;  Today, I found the perfect time of day for photo taking, and redid the whole project to re-shoot.  The photos look very crisp and I had a lot less work because I didn't need the flash or constant fussing with the lights or the shadows.

It's been nice, but the sample of this thing called 'Fall' that everyone speaks of is over.  Now we're back to 'Summer' with 103 degree heat today, and more of the same projected for Sunday.  I have to get things done in the early morning before the heat drags me down by the thyroid.  The hubby had minor surgery this week for 3 lipomas on his thighs, so I've been thrown a bit off by all the hurry up and get this and do that, and find the files and retake the EKG and so forth, and getting up at 4 am to get to the hospital for the actual surgery, but it's over. One thing I have learned.  Doctor time is not quite Mechanic time, but it's close.  1 hour actually equals 3.  So if they say be there at x time, you get there and then wait 3 hours.  No matter WHAT.  Mechanic time is more like, "it will be done today".  "Today" being their word for a series of days adding up to a fortnight.  Repair men are in there somewhere, with Today being Next Tuesday-ish. The Hubby's "in a minute" is basically Five and his "Now" is 20 minutes later.  

It's probably because of his previous job, but lipomas can form when you get a good deep muscle tissue whack and then later, when you've forgotten all about the ouch and the bruising, the body reacts to the damage by padding it up with fat that turns into a real lump; usually in a sensitive area like an inner thigh or rib, but in researching, I've seen a lot on people's shoulders and backs.  It's just a human weirdness.  Oysters do it much better. We make fat lumps, they make pearls. The problem is, these things were like small, barely noticeable for years before the stroke; negligent, cosmetic type stuff. After the stroke, one grew like crazy, the other one got smaller then started to grow again and another one turned up until everyone was noticing them and asking 'what's this?'.  So yeah, biopsy time.  Lucky for him they were only subcutaneous and not deep in the muscle.  One got about 7 cm by 5 by the time they took it out yesterday.  And staples everywhere.  I guess some people can't sew. (Innocent Look).  I'm still waiting on my thyroid but I hope I can have it done at the same hospital.  They have a super crew at Montclair Hospital.

As it stands, I'm just about to finish up the machine top stitching on the Into Darkness set for Monkey G, and the Hanbok project slipped a little due to being over tired again, but the hand hemming on the purple skirt is finished. Then I have Cadmuss22's order and Aernath's Heian era princess, which is very fun.  But it's getting a bit scary this month.  The car problem taking more than we thought, and my lagging because of everything has meant not knowing what we're going to do for November.  I can only hope for November and December orders.  The hubby is getting more 'independent' around the house, so I can probably leave him alone for a part time job, but we still have so many appointments to work around and I'm not so sure that the recent news of how great the job market is is actually applicable here in Southern California.  It's --- getting scary.  Frankly, I'm not sure I'll be able to pay for my phone/internet bill next month.  But something has always come up before. So we'll see.  I need work.  >.<;;  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Progress, It Does Happen

I know darned well I updated the Into Darkness Khan outfit a few weeks ago with the progress, but it's disappeared!  I think I hit the save button and something didn't go up.  Sometimes I get that 'your post has not been saved' thing across the top of the screen.  So I'm up to that collar.  And then it's to the finish line this coming week. ^_^

I'm very happy with the Hanbok progress.  All of a sudden, it's taking shape, and so CUTE.  Psychology, it's a weird thing, isn't it?  No photos just yet, but there will be soon. I have to do that white strip around the collar and it's a tricky bit of work.

We're getting a small rest from heat wave, but then according to the weather channel, it's going back up to the hundreds again too very soon.  I suppose it's more sensible to just refer to awful heat as the norm now and enjoy the 'cool waves'.  So far, we haven't had water rationing in our area, but they did come around again and check all the flats for leaks and so forth.  And caught me with my hose hooked up to the adapter on the sink tap, watering my potted plants.  I worry for the people with vegetable gardens they actually depend on.  A lot of the local families do have serious gardens, and even chickens as a matter of sensible course, with the living 'local/organic' thing that started ten years ago. The news reported yet again about a homeowner who was double slammed.  Neighborhood Association fining him for letting his lawn die, and the city threatening him over using water.  Around here, people with money just put in rocks and cactus, or pave in pretty patterns and let it go, but we live in an apartment complex and they are kind of constrained by convention to have lawns or look tacky as hell.  I just want to have my back patio/garden done up in time for spring and photos of my dolls.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Commission: Cadmuss22, a sort of Renaissance Jacket

Cadmuss22 had some changes to her project, and we held off for a while so she could settle her thoughts on the order, so this is technically an existing project with design changes and fabric changes.  This order was paid for in full on Etsy in July and is now slated for finish in October.

We're finalized for a Late Medieval/Early Renaissance type jacket, with layers of color changing, and an over all knight's garment effect.  Here is her sketch of the jacket.  I need to assess the amounts of fabric needed and work out the pattern and then it should go right together.  She's a good artist for fashion.  No-talent me is envious, LOL!  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Not that it makes much difference here in California.  But we are having cooler nights, which really helps.

I'm taking orders for November and December, 4 openings each month.  I will take orders based on being able to complete them in a timely manner and by then will be caught up completely with all my orders thrown off course by the Hubby's stroke, and adjusting my sewing times for caring for him as well as dealing with the hypothyroid and pending surgery on that.  Usually thyroid surgery is an overnight thing and people can go right back to work after a few days with a scarf around their neck so yeah, not counting on that being much of a muchness.

So, Happy Fall.  I wish I could go back home to see the colors change along the Mohawk Trail and the Hudson River Valley.  I wish I could just be there and smell the air and feel the chill in the wind, and put my hand in the streams and icy lakes of my childhood, instead of in this crappy arse desert with the news that the rich have to cart in their own water (well pay someone else to cart it for them, that is) and eat off paper plates and send their laundry out because California has cut off their water supply.

But then the first snow fall, I'd be outta there!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just Everything. O_o

Paypal was absolutely kind enough to quickly refund the money lost when purchasing shipping through them didn't work.  I'm amazed.  They not only refunded the money into the paypal account, they put it right back into the bank.  People say a lot of stuff about Paypal, but if you just work with them, they will work with you.

Social Security is now trying to say that we didn't need the money in February and wanting us to pay it back.  That was one of the devastating things that hit last week.  We went down and filled out more paper work asking for a waiver, but when I went home and calmed down, I did some thinking and the money they said we 'claimed' that they used to say we owed was all gone Jan 1 when we paid the rent on our old, and more expensive flat.  So when we applied Jan 13, the first day we could have Hubby go down in person with all his papers, we were facing the street February 1.  So yeah, another battle with the powers that be; but by now, I'm too numb from their bullshit to care.  

Yesterday for the appointment, we drove 25 miles out and back to San Bernardino, proud city of bankruptcy,  in the 100 degree heat and spent 15 minutes with the endocrinologist at the lovely Saint Bernardine's.  The original front is very old fashioned classical colonial/mission splendor (plaster) and then the 'real front' is all wall of glass and omg modern inside.  The main lobby has this huge wall of glass fountain that we didn't see until we were leaving and stopped to use the facilities, and it was so gorgeous, but with a Blackberry phone, so not worth trying to photograph.  Place has an absolutely shitty reputation but it was no where as bad as Pomona Valley which is one of those old fashioned 'you only go there to die' hospitals, because if you're not terminal already you will be when you 'leave'.

So either it's Hashimotos, or Cancer.  O_o I have a biopsy Oct 10th.  No medication at this point again.  They don't want to mess things up, because my last blood work, out of date because of all the cancellations shows me being 'okay', while the previous shows me being 'omg'.  I'm betting it's Hashimotos because every time they do blood work on me when I'm really sick, my white blood cells are out of control, they THINK it's cancer and it turns out never to be, and they always put me on MASSIVE anti-biotics. Plus, I have always gotten sick up and down the inside of my right throat side. Never the left.  Absolutely possibly Hashimotos with the immune system attacking the thyroid. 

The thing is, I absolutely know that I'm going to have to have an operation.  He wouldn't say, but it's a mess, you can see what a mess it is in my last post.  What else can they do?  

So yeah, months more of being over tired, having to learn to live around it and so forth, but a lot of the answers have helped me cope mentally, adjust my thinking about how my physical condition is affecting my decision making, and plan a sort of scheduled to get things done; as well as convinced the hubby that I'm not just pushing myself too hard, reacting badly to his condition (not blaming him and being passive aggressive) and so forth.  We have reached the point where like it or not, life goes on.  He's going to his PT, they've hired an O.T. (occupational for his arm and jaw) and he's doing well, if he can gain any muscle weight. He's down five more pounds.  We need to work on getting his anti-cholesterol med reduced or something.  

Anyway, that's that.  

Back to sewing.  I haven't been able to get more than patterning done this week and we're in for 104 to 106 weather the next five days, with more appointments to go out in.  I've put water in 2 liter jug and put 4 of them into freeze for the refrigerator when the inevitable electricity fail happens.  So I'll do my best, and that's all I can do.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pitney Bowes Shipping Label Printing Issues

Apparently the Pitney-Bowes online label service is screwed up and has been almost all year now. O_o  I spend hours this morning with different browsers and losing what is left of my mind trying to print a shipping label, when I'd have been back from the post office by now.  This is what I get for trying to save money and get things done neatly.

I had to finally call Paypal and spend half an hour on the phone with them before the guy told me they would 'credit' my paypal account with the money, and process the refund for the amount etc blah blah blah. Now I don't know if I should cancel the label or wtf, but I'll know in a day or two if the refund has been processed. As long as I get it in time to pay the phone bill, I'll be sane.

But for anyone buying labels online from USPS, Paypal or Ebay, or any other service that uses Pitney Bowes, ouch.  I updated Java (probably opening my computer to more attacks) and tried Chrome, Firefox, good old out of date Opera and finally eugh, IE.  Nothing worked.  My printer printed from Word, and a coupon from Micheals came out fine, but not the pitney bowes system.  It's not my printer.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

TMI? Maybe.

Okay so yesterday, total mess.  I had to run in four different directions and one of them being my thyroid sonogram appointment I could NOT miss yet again.  Locked the keys in the garage after putting the car back in and snapping on the padlock (thank goodness that WAS where they were, on the seat, or we would have had to pay $150 to replace the mail box key >.<;; ) and had to wait hours to get the padlock ( a very damned good one!) cut off just in time to go to my own appointment for the thyroid.  This was not a happy day all around.  Every time I'm that close to getting back to 'normal' and on track and on schedule  things like this happen.  The hypothyroid makes me feel absolutely stupid and and so embarrassed by all the stupid mistakes I would not have normally made.  I mean, imagine thinking everything is alright and going well, only to find out that you've totally f-d up without realizing it at the time.  Filled up the sugar container with dish soap, put the baby in the washing machine type stuff.  (no babies were harmed in the making of this example).

Anyway, the end is in sight.  But I'm sort of scared crap-less right now.  They say you shouldn't look in the medical stuff online because half the time you'll end up having cancer, pregnant or crazy.  I always get a disk of what ever they do, because if you have all your records, things go smoother with doctor visits, and the disks from things like sonograms have the program to open them in them.  Though they do hide things when they give you one. I waited half an hour for mine while they scrubbed it of incriminating notes.

THIS is sort of what's got me worried.  I've removed my personal info in paint shop, and you can see the full size in another window but otherwise this is one of the scary things on the scan disk.  The tech marked out this, which is mostly the whole of my right side. Not the left side.  So it wasn't just "here the thing is", no this is specifically something.  O_o  In the cross the whole throat photos, my right is like twice the size of my left and while it doesn't show from the outside, it feels like someone is constantly pressing their fingers into my throat, especially when my heart rate is up from stress.  Any doctors out there with an off the cuff thought on this?

 And with all the symptoms going on, I can't help thinking, if they take just part of the thyroid, then it's going to be working with/against any medication they give me.  So many hypothyroid patients have complained about the constant changing levels with a partially functioning/not functioning thyroid.  So maybe they would be doing me a favor if they just removed the whole thing and gave me the standard medication.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life going up and down at the mercy of having to change medication all the time with a half a thyroid messing things up intermittently, because that is exactly where I am right now, a messed up thyroid and NO medication.  And how much of a fight will getting rid of the whole thing be, given the problems I've already had with a GP doctor who thinks this is all 'early onset menopause' and 'depression'.  *eye roll*

Anyway, I have some button holes to fight with on the Norfolk Suit order and I really want to get that photographed and packed up today. I hope the sewing machine behaves.  I need new bobbins again. It takes plastic ones and they do wear out over time on the edges, and that causes a hell of a lot of problems you wouldn't think a little thing like that would.  Mostly thread tension and thread spinning off the bobbin and out of the slot in the case, and then it all goes to hell and causes what one of my floor bosses used to call a 'dead bug' that has to be cut off with an exacto knife.  And I'm sitting there using the exacto and thinking, omg, they'll be using something like this on my THROAT again.  ARGH!  Well, maybe in time for Halloween, I can be a zombie or a Frankenstein or something with all the staples on my throat, but given how long it takes to get a surgery set up, probably not in the next month, that's for certain. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Commission: Volks SD Girl Traditional Basic and Princess Hanbok Part 3

Previous parts here:  One and Two.

There is a not pretty chapter behind the story of this project.  I've been extremely angry with myself over it, and couldn't figure out why I could not work on it.  I finally accepted the doctor's strong suggestion that I seek depression counselling (to shut her nagging up about the anti-depressants, mainly) and focused on what was really bothering me.  The major fails in my business since the stroke destroyed our cozy little life. This one innocent sewing project seemed to have taken on the entire issue of my husband having his stroke at the back of my mind.

I had said "You never know what might happen" at the time the customer and I first started discussing this project.  That was the thorn in my side.  After a long cry (gross and snotty) and still refusing the damned meds I don't need, I came home and pulled out the emails and the fabric and the project notes and just everything that goes with this project and let the bad stuff go.  I've been forcing myself to work on a project.  That is not why I took this project on.  I took it on because it's lovely and I learned a lot about Korean culture, and I wanted to do it!   And I learned how things can become the focus of anger and hurt and frustration when you don't even expect them too.  Like being afraid of something completely unrelated to the trauma that caused the fear.

I made myself let all the 'bad' go and found the good again. It's no use being angry and frustrated with all the things that went wrong when I was trying my best to do this.  It's a gorgeous project and I'm working every day on it again and the 'bad' connection just wasn't there this morning.  I held the skirt up (pins and all) and thought, yeah, this is great!  This is going to be adorable.  There will be photos in a day or two, I still have appointments this Thursday and Friday and then the weekend should be free to deal with things other than just the mechanics.

Edit: This project is now slated for an October completion, due to the headbands.  I'm still trying to figure out how they go, but will be putting up photos of the jackets soon.

Monday, August 25, 2014

------->> NOTICE <<-------!!!

Please don't panic if you don't see updates on your project posts.

Three factors are involved.

1. The heat really affects my hypothyroid and I am still not on medication.  I get very ill for no reason other than that, and it's caused by yet more added stress.  Added stress = hypothyroid symptoms worsening.  I got very ill this weekend and soldiered on with the simplest project rather than messing up the more complicated ones.  It messes with the nerves, which affects thinking, digestion, even my eyes working, and is very, very frustrating.   This only used to happen once in a while and at the time I thought it was the flu or something else; now it's happening a lot.  Apparently my thyroid is 'dying' or dead on one side.  Eugh.  Next month, I have appointments for a 'real' endocrinologist and a sonogram and all that.  Probably yet another thyroid operation. >.<;;  And it's going to take time for them to fine tune the medication I'll be on so it will make me as sick as I was with the first stuff they gave me.  Not something I'm looking forward too.

2. The heat affects our local cell phone power pole.  Heat, and rain, basically any excuse for them to make me take the battery out of my phone and put it back in and "you need to buy a  new phone".  It makes it impossible to get online or update sometimes, and then they cut me off for loading up photos.  Basically I don't know if they are all morons, or it's the NSA being paranoid.  Flip a coin.  But I have noticed that it's better on evenings when it's cool, and after rain, when everything dries up.  *squinty suspicious eyes* You'd think they'd be able to deal with that.

3. Your project may be at a point where a photo will make absolutely no sense.  Piles of pin stuck fabric, frying and threads hanging off.  This does not mean it is not being worked on.  Only that I'm too beat to make pretty and photo.  Things will get better.  See the end of reason 1.  I'm living for that medication.

Knock on wood, this week will be clearing up two projects and moving along on the complicated ones asap.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Car, At Last? Maybe? Today?

I called an hour and 5 minutes ago to find out if I have to cancel a Physical Therapy appointment tomorrow and the garage guy said with in the hour, he's just waiting for the Bureau of Automotive/CAP program to get back to him, and not to cancel the appointment for tomorrow.  So....ARGH I HATE WAITING!  It's passed smog, and all ready to go but he needs to hear back from the 'State'.

Hours of sewing not gotten done because of bicycling, walking uphill, paying too much for having to shop the local 'quicky marts', and being exhausted.  I might be very depressed if I didn't know that it's a natural mental state to be in under the circumstances, and that in about 3 weeks, I'll have that prescription for Hypothyroid medication that will make my life so much better.  And I found out today that the anti-depression medication, lithium, is now suspected to actually damage the thyroid and cause hypothyroid, which of course starts the endless self feeding cycle of destruction.  Wow.

So now I have to randomly wonder if they ever considered testing Robin Williams for thyroid problems, because while women are the main body of sufferers from hypothyroid, men do get it too.  And then conversation went back to the Ernest Hemingway family.  Makes you really think about how things go in the world of medications, doesn't it?

So yeah, get your thyroid checked and annually.  Another thing you have to watch is cholesterol.  I've said it before on my blog, then erased the personal posts, but if you have a family member who is loosing their memory and forgetting things, check and make sure they get some good fresh Omega 3 supplements, especially if they are on cholesterol meds for high bp.  I've seen my hubby act like someone threw the 'old man' switch on bad days and be fine an hour after an emergency whole egg omelette.  And advocadoes, salmon, all that stuff.  If your brain doesn't have enough 'grease' it can't run right.

Whoot!  they just called as I was looking for the post tags.  I'm outta here!

Edit: So very worth the trouble.  Turns out the forward catalytic converter was a heap of rust.  Apparently all the previous times the car had been fixed, they had cheated and only slapped on a new back one. Which explains the constant fumes in the cab that the other shops had always told me were just 'old car smell'.  The repair man said that the CAP program had not even approved the repair yet, explaining the delays, and was telling him yesterday that the paper work was all backlogged and they would pay him 'eventually', so I paid my share and he released the car anyway.  Thank goodness he's a good guy.  We're sticking with that shop from now on.  Yet another good thing from a bad situation.    

Monday, August 18, 2014

Garden Envy Strikes!

Being stuck without the car for much longer than expected has left me dead from the heat, sore from bike riding to get the most important stuff done no matter what in 100 degree heat, and dying for salad greens.  We have a tiny back yard that I have no time for anything more than watering the plants I saved in the move; one straggling white star jasmine and two rose bushes slowly recovering their former glory and desperately in need of re-potting and more soil.

I have attempted to pull weeds while watering. >.>;;  Hence the yellow bucket.  

The dirt back there is useless, a combination of motor oil, clay and sand.  We can thank the last evicted tenant for the motor oil, but the one before them had made a japanese rock garden that I'm attempting to re-sus.  The plan was to go all potted plants, with maybe a few dug in to make a place to photo my dolls outside.

Now it's WAR!  I want to grow veg!  I want fresh salad greens! But I have 4 X 10 feet of useless dirt.  And my trip to find a cat nip plant at the local nursery last week gave me serious garden envy.

Score!  I found a book at the library that has been devoured, ingested, and sunk into the little grey cells.  Indoor Kitchen Gardening.  Now the first step is finding sprouting seeds locally to avoid the amazon drone charges or what ever.  Every "health food store" in our area is nothing more than a pill box.  Vitamins, powdered goop and compressed bars all presented like a high end perfume counter.  Not a natural thing in sight!  I've got one last place to try calling today, IF they are open on Mondays, and then we're stuck with Amazon or nothing.  Supposedly, we can start cheaply with just sprouts and work our way up to micro-greens when we can afford the trays and dirt and so forth.  But the back yard....?

Then hubby found this!  YouTube is a wonderful thing.  So many great vids on container gardening!  But this guy is brilliant!

Not only can this method be inside as well as out, it's less apt to grow weeds, the gophers wouldn't get at them from beneath, and the possums would find it too open to be comfortable nibbling away (I hope...). The only thing that annoys me is that according to the book, Spinach doesn't like it over 85 degrees, and most of the time it's over that inside, so I can't help thinking no baby spinach, boo hoo!  Won't stop me from trying, though.

So, the plan is: get sprouting started, just something to throw on the plate for super fresh greens.  Then graduate to a flat or three of rotating micro-greens from the same seed mix.  Then get the wire shelving from Target, and set up some bottle planters in the living room window area.  Hope by next Spring to see about some larger tubs, or those hanging bag planters I've seen, on the patio for zuccini and tomatoes (the weed vegs you can not kill unless with kindness) along with some rosemary and thyme and things.  Eventually I want to get a dwarf lemon and maybe an orange.  But the idea of just having fresh picked salad from the living room window to the kitchen table is too very tempting!  And just the idea of having that fresh green growing things smell in the apartment is cheering.  Being able to garden even when it's too hot to go outside is a major plus, especially for the hubby.

In the mean time, I may just raid the cat's catnip and barly grass for an omelette. O_o

Do not buy cat nip and wheat/barley at the pet food stores.  It's usually sun starved, over watered and  pretty much a zombie for 7 bucks a plant, and dies in a few days.  The nursery usually has the same plants and seed packets for less than 3 bucks.  If you are stuck with the pet store, buy the seed kits, you'll get a longer lived plant for your money.  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

All Current Projects Have Photo Updates

I'm dead tired, it's not been a fun day, but I got progress photos.  Looks like it's going to be another month until I get my hypothyroid sorted.  We found out today the car repair is going to cost more than the original estimate, over the CAP program allowance, and yeah, it's not pretty being in this mess.  That whole "this too shall pass" thing, nope, just not happening.  I call bullshit.

The hubby is trying to find us some pretty weird movies to watch to try to keep the stress down.  I thought Sharknado was pretty wacky, but add to that Sharktopus and Sharktopus vrs Pterracuda, and you've got total plausibility fail, LOL!   For a real strangely surreal one, try Space Milkshake; about an orbital trash collection station and time warpage, combined with raging egos and relationship issues.  Yeah, you have to just watch it, trust's hysterical, and Amanda Pays is in it so it has Sci-Fi street cred.  Gorgeous set, I wouldn't mind having my walls done up like the station's.  For Godzilla fans, a sort of rip off, but marvelous Jamaican photography, Poseidon Rex. If you think Tom Cruise acts like a tree branch, there's a coast gaurd cop in this movie that acts like he missed his own funeral.  (We borrow from a video library place we had a subscription to before the stroke.)

Here's to a saner tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I'm Getting There! ^_^

Despite the internal mess up this weekend from the thyroid issue, I managed to move forward on a lot of work.  Everything has been cut out and is being worked on.  I have stacks of pinned stuff; pin, sew, press, pin, sew.  I even managed to get my tutorial for BJDCollectasy done and sent in.  It's a double up this month to make up for missing last month.

Surfer Shorts

Next week end's tutorial will be a riff off the Japanese jimbe top, which is a sort of comfy pajama but casual outfit, very comfortable in a hot humid climate.  It normally has a feather stitch open weave type join from sleeve to shoulder but with a doll's fingers, un-unh, so it's more hanten than jimbe, but it's a neat simple top to make for beginners.

We're taking a break from Physical Therapy this week because the doctor is on vacation and our car is in the shop for the repairs.  That means more work time for me!  Thank goodness I called the Consumer bureau and got some help finding an honest shop to go to.  The first one I called after googling a Star shop (licensed for doing the California emissions law work) is not only no longer licensed to do the CAP work, but wanted $180 cash before he'd even look at the car!  I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about how social infrastructural government works.

I finally got the doctor to break down and give me a referral to the endocrinologist, which has been sent for the insurance to approve this week, so I'm really hoping that I'll get some medication to help me cope with the thyroid issues.  The thing is most appointments are a month away, no matter what.  I swear you could be dying and they don't have an opening any sooner than next month.  This makes 5 months since my diagnosis and counting.  O_o  And it's going to be a fight to get a medication that doesn't make me even sicker.

Who knew all this time, almost all my health issues were on the list of things caused by hypothyroid. O_o  I found this site called Stop the Madness.  Yeah, all this time I've been "a hypochondriac,  'it's all in your head', you're crazy, blah blah blah" and it's actually a real health problem.  The chest pains are super scary, but oh yeah, nothing wrong with my heart! And the ticking pain in my head on really hot days, probably the nerve end damage.  And I was scared silly it was take out mexican food and a brain worm, >.>;;  At least the hubby is doing well.  It's good to see him getting around slowly but surely on the quad-walker, but he tires out very fast still.  Having him able to stand up, being able to hug him again with out all the complications of the wheel chair, means so much.

Yeah I know, TMI!

Happy Monday, I'm going back to work playing with dollies. There will be a lot of photo updates this week, I just needed to wait for my minutes to roll over with T-moble again.

P.S.  Festive Attyre has the most gorgeous and brilliant post on painting fabric!  Sometimes things just fall into place when you need them the most.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Tama-chuu!

It's Tama's 'official' birthday.  We figured since the vet said he was just 2 weeks old when we found him, he must have been born on Aug 4, during the Chino Earthquake.  I think his mum must have been transfering kittens to a new nest and lost the little guy in the process.  Anyway, he's 6 now and owns the place.  He's getting a catnip plant from the local gardening center and some roasted (non-salt soaked) chicken minced up for his special dinner.  

cell phone photo of pretty much every morning.  "Oh, are you awake?" 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How it Really Is.

Yes, It's Finally Come to a Loud Scream.  Do not read this unless you can face other people's problems, but this is our reality for the past 7 months. I wanted to delete all the personal posts and not whine, do not mistake this for a whine, these are the Facts.  I've done the smiling and nodding thing and 'we're doing fine' thing for months now and it's not convincing ME any more.  It's getting better, but IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME.  That's WHY I've dedicated this month to catching up with ALL the orders I have on the books, I want this OVER WITH!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Still Catching Up!

I'm trying to not post too many personal posts, but yes, I am working on everything, along with all the medical and PT appointments and having the car fixed and blah blah blah boring repetitious omg stuff that goes on.  Why is So Cal so damned hot in summer?  How can a flat built in the late 40s not have allowed for better air flow?  I just pray we don't have to deal with THE BUS.  That's more than a time suck, it's a death sentence to time and function in So Cal.  It's ONLY a catalytic converter, I will simply refuse to go anywhere until it's replaced once the car is in the shop.

End of random omg wtf-ery, but yeah, I'm determined to catch up with all the orders as soon as possible, and that means more time on the sewing machine, less online.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Yukata Sale Commission: EID Hero Body for G.H.

Paid in full and scheduled to ship by July 21, 2014.

One pure white, cotton yukata and obi for an Iplehouse EID male with super hero torso, using the slightly longer sleeve of the female traditional version.

Image borrowed from (and that fabric! OMG, WANT!)
Link to the how to tie a man's obi is Here. ^_^