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The 2015 Holiday Blythe Swap just took place in November and it was a great one!

I had a ton of fun making and gathering things for this swap.

Blythe Swap holiday 2015 - what I sent

Here you can see what I sent: 5 dresses, 3 skirts, an assortment of holiday pins/badges, ribbon, hair clips, some adorbs mini holiday clothespins, some jingle bells/ornaments, holiday light felt stickers, and a holiday scarf.

My partner Martina did not disappoint, either! (understatement)

Lovely holiday #blytheswap goodies from Martina!

Lovely packages of goodies to unwrap!

Lovely holiday #blytheswap goodies from Martina!

Look at all this good stuff! Two complete outfits, an assortment of craft supplies (LOVE!), a Blythe card, an assortment of mini pendants and beads, and an adorable mini holiday greeting card! (I love stationery, I love mini things – perfect!)

Here are Willow and Dahlia all dressed up in their new duds:

Lovely holiday #blytheswap goodies from Martina!

Check out those skully socks Willow has on! And a pair of lovely pale yellow Chucks! Also, was I not just saying that I need more blouses? This one that Dahlia is wearing is beautifully tailored – it has such fine detail, as do the plaid trousers (punk rock and holiday at the same time – more perfection!). I am so, so pleased with this swap. Blythe Swap keeps getting better and better! If any of you Blythe-ers out there haven’t participated, I super encourage you to do so. It’s so fun and fulfilling.

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getting it together, Blythe clothing edition

I have finally, finally gotten a system of organization going for my Blythe wardrobe.

via GIPHY

I started out with the shoes. Prior to now, I was storing these in a smaller plastic organizer box, but I decided to switch them out to this larger one since it wasn’t full with what it was holding before.

Blythe shoes and socks have been gathered and organized! πŸ‘πŸ‘ŸπŸ˜ƒ #blythe #blythedoll

Isn’t that pleasingly tidy? Of course, practically right after I did that, I got some new socks, so I ended up with far more than would fit in that one section of the shoe box.

Blythe wardrobe reorganization

Luckily, Joann happened to be having a big sale (which they almost always are), so I was able to use a combination of sales and coupons to get another organizer box for 80% off!

Blythe socks reorganized

Ahhh, so soothing, having them all just so. I am also finding it much easier to use them when I can actually find what I’m looking for and see what I have.

On to the clothing! I used some more Joann discounts to get two three-drawer units for Blythe clothing.

More Blythe clothes reorganized

Before this, I was storing all of my Blythe wardrobe in one scrapbook paper box. Each item was in a ziploc bag, which kept them well protected, but made it difficult to see what I have.

Blythe wardrobe reorganization

It was also crowded and I’d always have to empty the whole thing to find any one piece. Frustrating!

I was originally thinking I only needed one three-drawer unit, but after filling those three drawers I quickly decided to get a second one. Stacked, they fit right under my photo table, and this way I have things well organized and I can find what I’m looking for very quickly.

Blythe clothing drawers collage

Going clockwise from the upper left above, we have one drawer each for:

  • Middie clothes (I need many more of these! Must start sewing and designing and knitting) (the few petite clothes I have are also in here)
  • accessories including scarves, bags, and kerchiefs
  • costumes (huzzah for Blythe Swap! I love these costumes that people have made me over the years)
  • hats and sweaters (I have kept surprisingly few sweaters for myself, though I’ve knit over two hundred! must remedy this) (most of the hats I have were made by others for me as well – gotta get knitting)
  • separates, including tops, skirts, and pants
  • dresses

  • I am so excited to have things so organized! Have you noticed the joy that organization brings me? It’s not to be underestimated.

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    FO Friday: Sunshine and Rainbows for Blythe

    Sometimes in the Blythe Swap group I co-admin, someone’s package doesn’t come through for some reason, and we find someone to put together a make-up package. I recently did this for someone and I had a lot of fun putting it together!

    Angel Swap: Sunshine and Rainbows

    The entire time I was working on this swap, I had the song, “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” running through my head. Of course, mostly in the voice of Chief Wiggum, though clearly Lesley Gore is preferable to have on a loop (also, THAT SWEATER).

    The recipient for this swap likes cupcakes and cute things, so it was a natural fit for the swap theme.

    Sunshine and Rainbows angel swap

    She doesn’t care for super short skirts, so I chose to knit a knee-length skirt. I still made two mini-dresses but kept them fairly modest, and then made two longer-skirted fancy dresses as well. I added some rainbow and sunshine-themed accessories and fun goodies to round out the package. I’m quite happy to report that the recipient was as pleased with this package as I was! πŸ™‚

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    FO Friday: Bedding for Blythe

    I participated in the most recent Blythe Swap this month, and my partner let me know that she had a room box with a sixties pop art theme/color scheme. This was really inspiring and I decided to make her a bedding set.

    Blythe Swap: Blythe's Inner Artist -  what I sent

    I made a quilt, two sheets, four regular bed pillows with cases, and two decorative pillows. I free-handed everything, just cutting and sewing what seemed like it was probably the right size (spoiler: it was! *phew*).

    I made the bed pillows out of white muslin:
    Blythe Swap: Blythe's Inner Artist -  what I sent

    And two decorative throw pillows, one with a button accent and the other with piping:
    Blythe Swap: Blythe's Inner Artist -  what I sent

    For the bed pillows, I opted to do two styles of pillow case, so she would have some variety and be able to choose how busy she wanted the look to be.

    Blythe Swap: Blythe's Inner Artist -  what I sent

    For the quilt, I chose to do a fairly uncomplicated pattern that I thought would fit in with the era her room box is decorated in.
    Blythe Swap: Blythe's Inner Artist -  what I sent

    The straight lines of quilting and one stripe of accent fabric really work, I think! I’m really quite pleased with how the whole set turned out.

    Blythe's Inner Artist swap photo Blythe_Kingdom_Blythe_Swaps_-_2015-07-26_15.20.59_zpss2huy4fm.png

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    FO Friday: Big Hearts

    It’s almost Valentine’s Day and I decided to make a Big Heart-y Deal out of it by creating this sweater.

    Big Heart Sweater for Blythe

    I started with my usual oversized reverse-cardi template and then adjusted it to accommodate the heart chart I sketched up. I wanted the heart to be as big as possible and still be completely visible from one angle. At first I wasn’t sure if this blue/pink color combo would be too 80s, but I think it works really well.

    Big Heart Sweater for Blythe

    I’m quite pleased with how it turned out! It can, of course, also be worn the back to front for a cardigan with the heart on the back. This is also one of the sweaters I sent in my Valentine package for the most recent Blythe Swap. I’m pleased to know that the recipient likes it, too!

    Blatant self-promotion: pattern available on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting, and Craftsy.

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    New year newness (and some sameness)

    Happy new year!

    I feel like 2014 was a pretty okay year. We had a lot more stability in our lives, which was a refreshing change from last year. We did move again in the summer, but it was just a couple miles away and we splurged on professional movers who packed everything for us, so it was a lot less stressful and strenuous than our previous couple of moves. We’ve been pleased with our new digs and they’re a lot less expensive, so I feel happy that we’re actually saving a small amount each month now.

    In terms of reading, Goodreads says that I read almost the same number of books I did last year.

    2014 Goodreads stats photo Goodreads_My_Review_Stats_-_2015-01-01_130559_zps9f437f3c.png

    Except that their stats don’t count a lot of books including knitting and sewing books (many of which I admittedly skim or read only parts of) and picture books. If you count all of those, my number would be 397. I made a concerted effort to read more books by women this year, after noticing last year that my reading was ridiculously dominated by male writers. My fave reads from 2014 include: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, What If? by Randall Munroe, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert (this is actually an 8-book series, which I enjoyed more than I can say – it is cozy as cozy gets), Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling), and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

    I also wrote and published 38 knitting patterns!

    Ravelry my shop photo Ravelry_AnneArchy_Anne_Heidemann_s_Ravelry_Store_-_2015-01-01_131432_zps43788c2d.png

    They’ve been selling fairly steadily and people seem pleased with the clarity of my pattern-writing, so that’s pretty awesome. And I knit 96 things in 2014! That is a lot of knitted items. 23 of those were xmas gifts and 6 were craft-it-forward gifts made to help folks remember to be excellent to each other.

    For sewing, I conceived and created my first art quilt, titled Figure and Flock.

    Figure and Flock -  art quilt by Anne Heidemann

    It was featured in the grand opening art show at the local Dreamer coffee shop, which was pretty neat.

    Last year I made some resolutions, which have gone pretty well for the most part.

    • Blog regularly: I did this fairly well – I posted 94 times in 2014
    • Continue to attend yoga class once a week at OmBodies: This one I let go (consciously uncoupled from?) – I decided that having my Sunday mornings to myself at home was more valuable to me, and the cost of weekly classes felt like too big a sacrifice when we’re trying to save for a down payment on our next home
    • Take more photographs, especially of Coraline while she’s awake (this will require some effort): This one was middling – I took a good number of photos, but the ones of Coraline are definitely mostly sleepy-face photos
    • Go for more walks/explore Mount Pleasant (this may not happen robustly until spring): Success! Once the harsh winter abated, we took Coraline for lots of walks, especially once we moved into our current apartment where it’s more neighborhoody.
    • Create a couple of websites for folks who could use them: This one didn’t really happen, but only because the folks ended up not really needing them. However, I did create a site for the Blythe Swap Group, which helped us tremendously because we have avenues of participation on three different social media sites and it was getting really difficult to keep track of everything. I taught myself how to do a few new things with WordPress, which was cool.
    • Participate as a swapper in the Blythe Swap Group at least a few times: Done! I did the Baby Animals and Halloween swaps, both of which were super fun.

    For this coming year, I’m setting some more goals:

    • Blog regularly (keeping this one)
    • Participate as a swapper in the Blythe Swap Group at least a few times (keeping this one again)
    • Find ways to be excellent to others on a regular basis
    • Write up and publish the remainder of the Blythe knitting patterns I have started working on
    • Complete my current art quilt project
    • Spend time with near- and far-flung friends more often

    Feeling pretty good about 2014 in retrospect gives me a pretty optimistic view for 2015 (unsurprising, since I’m generally optimistic anyway). How are you feeling about the last year? And the new?

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    kawaii!

    August’s theme for the Blythe Swap Group was Kawaii, which was a really fun theme to work with. I had a wonderful partner, Susana, whose great taste made it super easy to create a package for her.

    I started out with a dress in one of her favorite colors, purple. I used vintage frilly lace on the bodice, and some kawaii sparkly purple fabric for the skirt. I also made a hat I’m so, so pleased with – introducing the Minimalist Panda Hat!

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    I couldn’t do a kawaii package without something pink. I’m quite a fan of the combination of pink with green, orange, and purple, and I think it worked well in this dress.

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    And my favorite of the three dresses I made for this swap, the cupcake dress. I’ve been hanging on to this cupcake ribbon for awhile and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it. I’m also quite happy with the combination of the cupcake ribbon and the mini-bally-wally trim I used at the hem.

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    I also used that new sweater pattern I made up recently (for FeeBee, remember?) and did one in green and then embellished with a cute pink heart button. I just love that pink/green combo!

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    Here’s everything I sent, which includes some hair clippies, stickers, paper, and erasers in addition to the items I made.

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    And wrapped up:

    Kawaii swap: what I sent

    Of course I was also anxiously awaiting the package that Susana sent to me, and it did not disappoint!

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    Check out these adorable kawaii stamps on the shipping label! That frog with the “hi” flag is just so cute it’s killing me.

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    Lovely wrapping inside:

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    I just adore this mushroom stationery. It’s so, so cute.

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    And inside the package, a TON of great stuff! Two dresses, a bag, a bow, fabric, ribbon, snaps, rick-rack, barrettes, brads, and a Moshi Monster!

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    All three of these fabrics are so cute! I haven’t seen any of them before ever, and I’m so excited to make lovely things with them.

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    Check out these SO NEAT personalized brads that spell my name! I would never have expected them and I love them!

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    Here are Ash and Dahlia modeling. Ash is wearing a dress Susana made from the gnome fabric that I so adore as well as the awesome black and white striped hair bow. Dahlia is sporting a super kawaii dress, the skull bag, and a few of the barrettes as well. So kawaii!

    Kawaii swap goodies from Susana

    Big thanks again to Susana for being such a great swap partner!

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    Cool Britannia

    In the interest of catching up on things I haven’t managed to post about this summer, here is a look back at the Cool Britannia swap I did in June.

    This theme was really easy to work with! London and the UK are iconic and places that many people like to travel, and with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee happening just before this swap, I had a lot of material and inspiration to work with.

    I found this Corgi cross stitch pattern online and decided it would be perfect for this swap. I shrank it quite a bit, using very small cross stitch fabric, and then sewed it into a Blythe-size stuffed animal.

    cross-stitch stuffed Corgi

    I created a Union flag mini-dress, which turned out a little big (the prototype I made turned out a little small – next time I make it, it’ll be just right):

    Union Jack mini dress

    As well as a skirt and sweater set:

    Union Jack sweater set

    Here are all the items I sent. I made a Cool Britannia wallpaper wrapped box, and included a variety of items including stickers, a notebook, Keep Calm ribbon, charms, and a knitted Dalek finger puppet that I made.

    what I sent

    Wrapped and ready to be sent:

    wrapped

    And Liz sent me a great package, too!

    Liz picked a totally appropriate box for this package!

    oh my goodness! so many goodies!

    A totally neat card:

    lovely card

    And a ton of goodies!

    wow! look at all of this!

    Is this not the most adorable tea cup ever? Handmade and so cute! With commemorative Jubilee tea, no less.

    the cutest teacup ever, with some of the Queen's special commemorative Jubilee tea

    And a gown fit for royalty, modeled here by Ash.

    amazing royal ensemble with tiara, modeled by Ash

    As ever, I’m so pleased and feel so lucky to be part of this great Blythe swap community.

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