Sunday, October 7, 2012

Zinnia's New Lease on Life

So, I warned you fairly that I would be including more Doll-related-posts here right? Yes? Okay good.

This post is about Zinnia, my Pullip Papin. Zinnia came to live with me this past Spring. I remember falling in love with her look. Her stock clothes are so kooky and fun. Her mohair wig is zany but adorable. I placed my bid on the Evil Bay and waited it out. I remember de-boxing her thinking, "Oh my! She comes with so many awesome pieces!" I brought her outside almost instantaneously to photograph her.

I noticed her quirks right away. She is squeaky as all get out, she has a funky wrist, she had pretty bad "box hair", and her collar bone/neck looked very different from my other Pullip who also has a type 3 body. Unfortunately, over the few months that I have owned her I just haven't bonded with her like I had hoped I would, like I did with my other Pullip doll, Charlotte. I didn't really know what to do. Sell her? Change her wig?

Andrew and I are making the "big move" in January to our first apartment! We are beyond excited, but it means I have some scary assessing of my yarn and doll hoards  collections to do. For the last month or two I have been contemplating, leading to the almost-decision to re-home Zinnia. She is in great condition, I have all her stock, her original box. Should be no problem. I began talking about her like she had already moved on. Then, about two nights ago, I spontaneously bought a new doll. I was all giddy and then I looked over at poor Zinnia.

Right then, an idea took hold: what if instead of finding a new home for her I tried to give her another chance here? As soon as the idea hatched I knew I wanted to give it a try. If she is really meant to move, in the end, she will. It is so (too) easy for me to fall in love with a new doll. Sadly, it was too easy for me to fall out of love with this one I already had. So I'm going to give Zinnia another chance. I'm not exactly sure what it will entail. A radical make-over? An obitsu body perhaps? Maybe no cosmetic changes at all, just more attention on my part.

I want to document this journey for other enthusiasts, hobbyists, dolly-lovers, whatever you like. I also want to document it for myself because if I don't learn to fully appreciate that dolls I already have...well...let's just say things could get out of control. So stay tuned!!
...Until Next Time...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In the Meantime

It's been pretty busy over here since I got back from my mini-vacation in Connecticut (for those of you who don't follow me on on Flickr or IG: I went to Connecticut!). Now that I am working full-time most of my free time is being spent relaxing with my Boo or hanging out with my best friend. She goes to school about two hours away from me so we we are squeezing in all the time we can get. As we speak (or, rather, as I type) I am teaching her to cable!!

So with me being rather busy and not knowing when I'll be able to hunker down for the next "real" post I wanted to share some link love, as I sometimes do, with you in the meantime...

Five Four Things I'm Diggin:
The Adventures of Yukikko- This one is for my fellow dolly lover's. Laura's photography is simply amazing and Yukikko is probably one of my favorite dolls right now. I have been loving following her 365 project.
This ridiculously simple doll book-making tutorial- I found this via Yukikko/GreenTea and I am thoroughly obsessed. I haven't had the time to sit down and try this out but when I do you better believe my dolls are getting a little Harry Potter collection :) Also, this is everything a tutorial should be: easy, fairly short, and super approachable.
Sassy Water- First off, I love the name. This is a recipe from the Flat Belly Diet and I must say, it is delicious. Give it a go.
This article has really been tickling my fancy, enough that I picked myself up one of these. I know, I kno- but I had a coupon and a store credit and I just wanted it, darn it!

 Until Next Time!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Toys, Toys, and More Toys

My first Blythe, Cordelia.

 I suppose it's no secret if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter but I have a confession: I love toys. It is indeed a recently new development, relative to the span of my life, though it feels like I have loved toys and been collecting forever. Less like a new part of me and more like an exsisting part of me that only got it's chance to surface. It really started this December, with an unexplainable infatuation with Blythe. (If you don't know Blythe, get to know her. Her story is amazing) I can't even remember how I stumbled on my the first photo of her, but I did and I was captivated. I started knitting sweaters for her before I even considered that I might have one. I could go on and on about growing up to soon and reconnecting with my childhood, and maybe someday I will, but for now I will  just say this: for some reason toys, dolls specifically, make me very happy. Shortly after taking to Blythe (and getting my first one!), I fell hard for Pullip. Then Littlest Pet Shop petite Blythes. Then I fell in love with toy photography. This I can somewhat explain: it is the best, most sensible way for me to share my toy obsession with you.  There is something magical about capturing your toy whether you set out on a shoot with something in mind and you get that perfect expression or whether the expressiveness of your toys totally catches you off guard. Then I was on Blythe Kingdom and falling in love with the community of Blythe collectors. Then I was on Flickr, with ambitions that far surpassed my actual abilities.

Le petit obsession

In the midst of falling down the rabbit hole I found Alice. Alice writes a wonderful blog called My Plastic Fantasy. The first post I read by her was: Getting your doll out in public!. Give it a read, even if you're not a CrazyDollPerson this post is also a lot about being yourself, loud and proud! I didn't realize until I read this post, and I felt something resonate deep inside me, that I wanted desperately to share my doll love with the world. In the months leading up to this cathartic event I was, of course, sharing my new hobby with the Best Boyfriend in the World and the Best Friend in the World and I was tweeting and IG'ing a little but I so longed to be Public with my dolly love. I am so inspired by how unabashedly obsessed Alice is and utterly jealous of her immense creativity. I also love the casual way Alice includes her toys and dolls into her everyday life. When I read "Getting your doll out..." something inside me was unleashed. I showed Andrew the post and conveyed to him my longing and asked for his support. Of course he gave it, willingly. I began to take photos much more enthusiastically, got involved in the online communities more enthusiastically, started living a little more enthusiasticlly.

This is my Takara petite, Miss Sally Rice, with SnugglyKitty (who is the best sport ever!)

At first I thought I was weird for wanting to play with dolls (because, honestly, I never intended to "collect" or "invest" in them, even if that is what I told my self and loved ones to justify it), then I decided it didn't matter if I was weird if it made me happy, and now I have decided that I am not weird. I am obsessive. Overly-enthusiastic. Silly. But I'm not weird. I am a just a girl happily exploring a new hobby that brings her endless joy. I can't fathom why I though I couldn't share this new love with you, my friends. Maybe I was embarrassed. Maybe I was afraid of rejection. But I'm not anymore- I am thrilled to here and be who I am and share it with anyone crazy enough to try to follow along! (Crazy, because I can't even keep track.)

Harris, Hubert, and Hamish the Havoc Wreakers of Brave fame.

As you could have guessed there will be a lot more toy and dolly related posts on here. But do not be disheartened, I am still Live.Love.Yarn. I could never leave the house without yarn, I'll just have to get a bag big enough for my yarn and my dolls now! Thanks for playing along and as always,

Until Next Time

Also, add me on Flickr!! I am LiveLoveYarn over there too, naturally. Some of the photos from this post are photos from my Flickr (to pique your interest with Shameless Self Promotion), but I am newly making a serious effort to post original content (that means minimal re-posting) here, there, and on IG.

My Pullip, Charlotte, looking peaceful and serene

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Heritage Days on the Coastline

Blue skies, fun rides

Today my family and I spent the day in Scituate for Heritage Days. We had such a nice afternoon I couldn't help but sharing :) I'm not really very sure why it's called Heritage Days, there wasn't a whole lot of history or heritage going on that I saw, but that doesn't mean it wasn't awesome. It mostly consisted of awesome vendors, food trucks, rides, and live music. There were some great booths with handmade goods, others just some cool stuff. There was a lot of great jewelry to look at.Though some of the vendors were a little weary of us touching their wares, some were just fine with it and those are the ones we purchased from! It's funny, I always find that the artisans are eager for you to handle their goods while other vendors seem less eager for you to do so.

 My mother got me the amazing bracelet above as a congratulatory pressie cuz, guess what- I GOT THE JOB. I start my new position at the library on Monday, and  I am thrilled. The bracelet is made of cracker jack prizes! This vendor had some beautiful vintage button jewelry but I couldn't pass up this colorful, nostalgic creation. Also, I've really been diggin on toys lately but more on that later. She was so funny, she told us that when she got the brush (when she was little!) she tried to brush her own hair with it, to which my Mom chimed in that she used to brush her dolly's hair with hers!

Of course, their was also amazing food and because my family and I have no shame here are some humbling photos of us enjoying our selective treats. I had an amazing. Phenomenal. Other-worldly pulled pork sandwich. The vendor-lady was literally pullin it off the grill when I stepped up, how was I supposed to say no? It was MONDO. It was smoky, sweet, with just a little kick. So good.

My mom went with a traditional fried dough ;) And then got a little funky to the live music.

She might just kill me if she knew I showed you this, but then again she's a lot like me- in that she doesn't take her self to seriously

We also popped in a little music shop boasting ukuleles galore and they did not disappoint. I started playing last summer, very little. I have a cheap little Mahalo that I strum every now and then (my nails are too long right now and I am rather enjoying having pretty nails for the first time....ever, so I will enjoy them over the uke a little longer). The shop owner was pretty proud of her selection, as she should be, and let me snap a quick pic of all the gorgeous little four stringed loves.

And, oh yeah, did I mention that we were right on the coastline and the weather was gorgeous and although it was hot the salty sea breeze was so heavenly? So Heavenly.

That's my lil bro. I can never get an authentic smile out of him, so this = gold.

Until next time, Friends.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Short, But Sweet, Update

Well as you can see I am still struggling with blogging regularly. I am currently brainstorming ways to remedy this and I thank everyone who cares enough to read me for their continued interest and patience :) I hope it will all pay off, for both of our sakes. Things have been upbeat around here lately. I am taking an online course, Psychology of Learning, that I am really enjoying to me surprise. I tend to lean more toward a humanistic perspective so I didn't expect behavioral and cognitive theories to have any value for me, but I am actually very intrigued. Also, I am applying for a a full time position at the library I work in. I have been too superstitious to say it, but I feel the need to. It is a position that I may not be technically qualified for but I am putting myself out there anyways, I have nothing to loose and I love the library. So my online class is taking up some physical time and the job application is definitely taking up a lot of my mental space. That's really all that's going on here, so until next time (whenever that may be...)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

If You Give a Kid a Crochet Hook....

...He'll Want to Learn to Crochet. Ah, if only it were that easy. I have been training trying to teach my brother to crochet since his hands could hold the hook. He's pin sharp and curious as a cat. He also lives with a diagnosis of ADHD, so his brain sometimes goes a mile a minute. As someone who has anxiety, I know first hand the magical properties of crafting that soothe the mind and calm the soul. That being said, he's had his own bamboo handled "J" hook for a few years now, but it mostly collects dust unless I need one in a pinch. Whenever he sees me making something he either a) wants it for himself or b) has a new request for a handmade item he would like tomorrow please and thank you. But until yesterday, he had no real desire to learn the craft himself.

My Brother with his cool thrifted whip
I'm not really sure how it happened. I think I just caught him at the right moment, or maybe he caught me at the right moment. It happened yesterday, but I can't remember if I suggested it to him or if he suggested it to me. Either way, within a few minutes we were both at the kitchen table with a ball of wool from my stash and his neglected gold "J".

I crocheted the chain and did the first row, which is the most frustrating even for a seasoned crocheter. Then I just stood behind him and helped him here and there. Within the time it took for him to crochet his first few stitches he had already mastered the wrist movements! In my opinion, the wrist movements are the hurdle in teaching crochet. Every new thing we learn has a little hurdle that seems to make the new skill so very hard, yet when we jump that little hurdle the new skill seems all of a sudden so clear! When teaching crochet, I tend to think the first little hurdle is learning to twist your wrist with the hook and yarn. My brother, after watching me for about a second, said, "You do it so fluidly!" and that was it for him. He only had a little difficulty tensioning the yarn, so I helped him with that.

 In thirty short minutes we had a crochet square very indicative of a new crocheter, yet so beautiful all the same. For a moment I hesitated, what would the square be? While a first crocheted anything is very exciting, it is not as exciting as a first crocheted potholder, coaster, patch, or anything thing-with-a-purpose. Would he be disappointed, thinking this little square was obsolete?

First Stitches

Of course not! He's an eleven year old, with an imagination that stuns the adults in his life. Naturally, he knew what it was right away. A whip-grip. Yes, you heard me right. He as a whip we found in a thrift shop (that he is only allowed to use outside) that is "just like Indiana Jones".  I sewed the square onto the whip, it was a perfect two hand grip for him of course. Sometimes I wonder why I worry at all. In the end this colorful piece of wool fabric and it's purpose are so very him. And, a bonus, when we talked about his lesson the next day he told me he actually liked it and understood why I spend so much of my free time doing it!  Be still, my beating heart.


This experience, this quality time, with my little brother was so spontaneous yet so wonderful. I am trying to convince him to join me in a  Summer crochet-along featuring a favorite cat of ours. I'll let you know what he decides :)

Until Next Time

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bringing May Flowers

Well the rain as finally (almost) subsided here, though it was a little drizzly and awfully grey this morning. At the first glimpse of sunshine I grabbed my camera and ran outside for a morning stroll. Like I said, I love rain but I admit I was going a little stir crazy. I love sweats and tea but a girl can only last so long before the vitamin D deficiency starts going to her head. But let me tell you, the moment I walked outside (for the first time in four days) I knew it was all well worth it.

It was almost as if overnight everything had come alive! My little world was all of a sudden so lush! Some of the flower bushes in my neighborhood looked like they were actually exploding with blossoms.

The birds were singing such a beautiful song. The air was brisk from all the rain. It was so delightful. Yards were overtaken by dandelions. Wild patches of grass had sprung up, making our yard look a bit more like a jungle than a yard...

 But either way, I am so very grateful for our wet spell. I got some much needed couch time to decompress from this semester and the result was a wonderful, lush, fresh world all around me!

 Until Next Time

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rainy Days

Raindrops on the Window

It's been raining here for three days now and by the looks of the weather report it won't be clearing up until early next week. I'm not complaining, not really. You see, I actually kind of like this weather. It's perfect for cuddling with your furry friends, reading, drinking lots of tea, knitting or crocheting, and it's a lot easier for me to study for finals when it isn't gorgeous outside.

My SnugglyKitty, Sugar

So that's mostly what I've been doing. A lot of studying, a little bit of yarn-y, and even a little bit of cleaning and destashing. Yes, you read that correctly. I said destashing. Magazines in particular were my focus this go around, but I'll be posting on that futile effort later.

Mom's Sunny Shawl in Shalimar Yarns Breathless

I like rainy days because they give me a reason to be cooped up. I love being outside when it's nice out, but there is something so nice about staying in your sweats and plopping down on the couch during days like these. I've also had the past few days off from work so I have been able to get a lot done and still have time to relax, for which I am very grateful for.

Rainy Day Friends

The semester is coming to a close and I am getting pretty excited with plans for Summer. My best friend will be (relatively) close again, Andrew and I will have some more time to spend together, and naturally I've got all kinds of crafty plans. But for now, I'm cuddled up on the couch appreciating any excuse I have to be as lazy as possible.

I hope you've got some weather you can appreciate, for whatever reasons, where ever you are at right now.

Until Next Time. 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Truth About Blogging

So, you might have noticed that I haven't blogged in almost a year. That being said, this post has been culling in my mind- creating itself, working itself through, and fleshing itself out. Honestly, I had thought I was done. Thrown in the towel, abandoned ship. See the things is, I stopped blogging because I wasn't enjoying it anymore. Writing the posts, photographing projects for it, finding all the links, all the parts had become arduous and I was beginning to resent it. I sat down a few times and tried to squeeze something (anything!) out, but it just wasn't flowing. A week went by, a month went by, six months went by. At first I felt a twinge of guilt. I felt I owed the few readers I might have had a proper explanation or "good-bye", but pretty soon I realized that I felt much better without the pressure of blogging in my life. Now and then I may have had an idea for a post or two, but it wasn't enough to get me back on the blog. Eventually, I accepted it- the blog days are over. Surprisingly,  I was actually quite fine with it.

Here's why: I realized during my months off that I was feeling a pressure when working on my blog. A pressure to perform, if you will. I was also operating, the entire time, under the belief that I had nothing to contribute. I loved reading blogs, but I didn't love writing my own. So, where was the disparity? Well, I thought about it for a little while and I realized something. My favorite blogs really get my gears turning and they each offer something unique. Whether it be writing style, content, photography style, personal flair, or what have you. I realized then that I wasn't enjoying writing my blog because I wasn't offering anything unique. I didn't feel I was putting anything into the blogosphere that didn't already exist in some form. This is odd because, quite frankly, I am rather unique. If you think I'm tooting my own horn, ask someone who knows me about Kiki, or my dolls, or any of my personal philosophies. You'd have to ask someone else, you see, because I never talked about any of these things. What was happening was that I was trying a little too hard to be polished, to be a brand. I was thinking to myself, though maybe not entirely on a conscious level,  "My blog is called Live.Love.Yarn. so I blog about yarn stuff." Knitting- cool. Crochet- cool. But everything else in this complex life? School? Love? Did you know I took a sewing class or that I love to read?  Work? Other hobbies? I prevented myself from blogging about these things because, I thought, "Readers are coming here for yarn".

But I am a lot more than yarn. I do love yarn, I love everything about it. But what about the "Live" and "Love"? By trying to brand myself I severely compromised the image of who I am. I manipulated my blog and image so it was  cut and dry "yarn". By trying to brand myself I revoked my own freedom to be my unique self, and all the passion and excitement I had for sharing my uniqueness. I became jaded by the attempt to be too polished, lost my interest, and kind of gave up.

Now, crafty business owners and business supporters don't get me wrong here. Brands are great. Fun even. But I'm not a crafty business women (yet?) and I, personally, did not go about creating an image in the correct manner with the right the intentions.

But here is the good news: I'm back. Thanks to a series of events that have been taking place over the past few weeks, I am back. I am invigorated and empowered and ready to try again. I have to give a big shout out to Sister Diane, creator of CraftyPod. The pieces of these ideas were all kind of ricocheting around in my mind trying to take hold of each other to form something, but it wasn't happening. When I listened to CraftyPod #123: Being More Authentic Online, with Kirsty Hall it all kind of clicked into place and I realized what had been bothering me. about blogging, all this long while and why. Anything she publishes is great and saturated with inspiration and ideas to really get you thinking, but this particular podcast really resonated with me.

I can promise it isn't going to be perfect, it never has been. If your subscribed to this blog still and you're thinking, "We've heard it all before", I can't blame you. I kind of feel the same. I'm thinking "Maybe it'll stick this time, but maybe it won't". But what is important is this: if I get to write about what I want to and really be myself I'll be much better off than before. I think I really owe it to myself and you to give it another shot.

It's going to be very different this time around, but I am really excited by that prospect. So thanks for tuning in again, if you are. If this is your first time here, welcome. I hope we can all enjoy the ride.

Until Next Time.