Thursday, May 22, 2014

Geek Girl Love...

Hellooooooo my lovely friends!  I, as usual, have fallen into the bad blogging (translation, forgetting to blog) habits...  I tried blogging about a show, thinking it would force me to do it every week (show was cancelled, btw ugh)... alas, no luck there.  I need to try to do this, I think it would be good for me, I ENJOY writing... so why do I have such trouble writing posts?  Bah!

Ok, well, today I have come to tell you of something AMAZING that I only just discovered existed!  It's called the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club and it is freaking awesome!  I am a geek, I admit it.  I love Sailor Moon and Doctor Who and 80s movies and cartoons and... so many other geeky things lol.  I also love snail mail and reading books and manga.  Sooooo I just signed up for my first pen pal from the club, sign ups are from the 15th of each month till the end of the month :)  Annnnd I just joined their Goodreads book club!  Do I have time for this?  Weeeeeelll....  I'll make it work lol.  It's so cool to be able to find other people who love all sorts of geeky things too :)

I found this awesome site and all its goodness because they are hosting a giveaway by one of my most favorite people on the planet, the incredible Mab Graves.  Love her.  Love.  Adore.  She's not only an incredible artist, but one of the sweetest people on the planet :)


The Labyrinth - miniature painting by Mab Graves 

She's giving away a Labyrinth cameo... *swoons, falls over, swoons again*  Seriously, if I win this giveaway I might die from joy LOL.  You can check out the giveaway by clicking on this here link:


I think I'm finally going to give in and post just whatever I like on this blog lol.  Heaven help all of you lovely followers, you may all run away!  But if you stay I promise it'll be entertaining!  ;)  But my entire "soul's fire" ideal is... what fires your soul, what feeds it, what its passion is.  Well, perhaps if I stick with my passions I'll be able to write a lot more often, yeah?  

Big hugs, everyone, thanks for hanging out with me :)

~Jenn

P.S.  I'm having 30% off any purchase in my shop over $15 through Friday... maybe even through Memorial Day weekend hehe.  Use the coupon code:  SUNSHINE  in the coupon code box at checkout!  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

And the winner is...

(Not my pic, hopefully they don't mind hehe)


ME!  Happy birthday to me!  Just kidding, not really ;).  According to random.org the winner is...

#1!  Chantel!  I will need your address, lovely lady!  Thank you all of you for participating in my giveaway and for being supporters of my blog and my business <3  Love you all!

And in other news, I'm ancient.  In celebration of this, I am having a 48 hour sale for those of you that didn't win and would still like something beautiful from my shop <3  Use the coupon code:
BDAYLOVE   in the coupon code box at checkout and receive 31% off your order!  Sale ends Friday!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SoulsFireDesigns

<3
Jenn

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wherefore art thou Romeo?

As a woman with a very long neglected English degree, please forgive any randomness and the odd mistake or ten ;).  I am attempting to revive long dormant brain cells by doing this wee Star-Crossed project of mine.  I also think I may have to do some inspired jewelry... hmm.. we'll see.  One step at a time.  So, when I first heard about the CW's new show Star-Crossed, the first thing that floated through my mind was... "Really?  A human/alien Romeo & Juliet?"  The premise made me giggle, I won't lie.  But, I am the ultimate R&J sucker, I love it.  I have loved it since I was too young to understand half of it, but the poetry, the passion... even as a very young girl those appealed.

What are the main themes in R&J really?  Young love, of course, but also hatred.  Friendship. Prejudice.  Violence.  The age old struggle as a young person between following your peer group/family unit/popular viewpoint versus your own beliefs.  (Heck, that one doesn't always go away as you get older really, does it?)  And there is also that looming "Fate" that we are warned of from the very beginning of the play... one of the things that intrigued me most about R&J when I first read it was that.  You know what will happen from the beginning and yet, somehow, that doesn't make it any less painful in the end, does it?  Perhaps it makes it all the more awful?  Every missed opportunity, every moment you say in your head, "if only he/she hadn't... if only they had..."  

Now, for the main themes of Star-Crossed as I see them so far... shockingly?  They are the same!  Mhmm, you read that right... apparently the same themes are thought provoking (and entertaining, of course) today.  That is one of the reasons Shakespeare's work has not only survived, but thrived, his themes are still current.  And will always be current, because humans (and aliens ;) ) still long for love and acceptance.  All of us.  

Ok, since I've already rambled terribly, let's just hit some quick things I caught in the first five episodes of Star-Crossed.  (I'm clearly marking which things are from which episodes so that you can skip over SPOILERS if you want :) )

Pilot:

-- Within the first episode there was violence between the two races (actually within the first moments, quite painful, much larger scale and without the playfulness of the rivalry between the servants in R&J), there was also a big party, a balcony scene, and instant awareness between Roman and Emery.

-- My favorite scene is towards the end where Roman and Emery end up holding their palms together in this sweet moment... "palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss..." (R&J, Act I, Sc. 5).  

Episode 10(2):  These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends

--We get an introduction to Roman's uncle Castor, when Roman finds him with his mom... I am noting this for a couple reasons, most notably since I can't sort out whether Castor is mom's brother or his now deceased father... I have to wonder if mom's support of Castor and Roman's distrust has some Hamlet echoes in it?  Hmm, must keep an eye on this situation.

--  Roman tells Emery they are from "two different worlds"... which brings to mind (for me) Juliet on her balcony asking herself or Fate or the moon... why are you Romeo?  Why must you be a Montague?  
--  Later on we get another lovely moment between Roman and Emery where they go palm to palm and Emery is trying to show Roman how they are not so different.   "Tis but thy name that is my enemy; thou art thyself, though not a Montague." Again I am seeing Juliet's earnestness in Emery... the ability to see Romeo/Roman as what he really is, a young man.  

Episode 10(3):  Our Toil Shall Strive to Mend

--  Most notable in this episode for our purposes are a couple of quotes I managed to scribble down (hopefully relatively accurately).  "Hate doesn't take a weekend," says Grayson.  There's that word, hate, and it along with the prejudice is alive and well in this episode.  

--  Roman says in a speech, "Instead of going to great lengths to learn from each other, we hide the truth."  And I'd say, the truth is, that for all their differences they aren't so different, hm?  

--  "[It's] time I embraced my destiny," says Teri.  Destiny.  Fate.  Dangerous words.

Episode 10(4):  And Left No Friendly Drop

--  The scene that most caught my attention in this episode is when Sophia is "poisoned" by caffeine.  When Emery sticks her with the epi-pen she seems dead for a few heart wrenching moments there, then she wakes.  Bringing to mind the play with poisons and sleeping death in R&J.

Ok, going to leave it at those four episodes, since I've been writing this for two days now LOL.  I had a bunch more I wanted to write, but my little boy is ill :).  So until next time... parting is such sweet sorrow...

~Jenn


Monday, March 17, 2014

Star-Crossed... and other news.

Hello dear friends and happy (very belated) New Year!  I am awful, aren't I?  I haven't been on here in ages, the blog that is.  My life has been so very chaotic the last couple of months, my husband finished up a contract, my old computer died a horrible death, I have been slaving away on commissions for a dear friend lol.  Life has been very up and down, but I am grateful for my family, friends, and my amazing customers and followers.

The good news... I have a new computer (which I'm still paying off, but am so happy to have one!) and I reached a huge milestone in my shop, 300 sales!  I did a giveaway on my page, but I think I'm going to have to do one here on my blog to celebrate that and my birthday which is coming up in nine days, yeesh.  So on my birthday or maybe the day after if I'm feeling lazy ;)  I will be giving away this beautiful necklace featuring a gorgeous Marsha Neal Studio pendant (OR if you are a dolly person, I will make you a celtic elven Blythe circlet if you'd prefer (Neo, Middie, or Petite).  So this necklace or a circlet, winner's choice!


or one of these


Hehe, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment saying what your favorite thing is about March!  For an extra entry you may share this post on FB or your blog (FB post MUST be public) and share the link in a separate comment below.  You have until midnight March 25th to leave a comment, winner will be announced on my birthday (March 26th).  Woohoo!

In other news, I love the new CW show Star-Crossed.  Yes, it is aimed at like teenagers and yes, it may make me a bit of a geek.  However, Romeo & Juliet has been an obsession of mine since I was about seven years old... so...  I'm always intrigued by new interpretations of the story.  I am going to attempt to do a blog post every week talking about some of the things I saw in the show that I feel are R&J tie-ins (or other Shakespeare/literary goodies if I catch them, which having finished the first four episodes a couple days ago, I caught a few and am geeking out majorly lol).  Nope, you are not required to read my oddball posts, but if you do, I'll love you forever ;).  First post will hopefully be later tonight or more likely tomorrow.  Huzzah!  

Hope you had an amazing St. Patrick's Day!
Best Wishes,
Jennifer


Monday, October 7, 2013

Introducing the Incredibly Talented Kaleidoscope Kustoms!

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend :).  Mine was busy with cleaning, blech.  But, my house is somewhat the better for it and that counts for something, right?  ;).  I am excited to introduce you to another of my favorite Blythe people (and another dear friend!) Miss Sarah of Kaleidoscope Kustoms!

Dragon Girls

The set of pics above are from her latest collection of dollies, all dragon themed!  Aren't they amazing?!  Sarah has the most wonderful gift with lid art, I don't know HOW she manages to do such incredible detail on something so small!  She created the perfect art for my beloved Briony, I don't know how she did it, but with my rather um... lacking direction she gave me exactly what I wanted :D.

Message in a Bottle Custom #129 ~ Eyelids & Lashes

Isn't she dreamy?  I can't believe all the exquisite details, the waves, the sun's rays, the faces on the bottle.. the message inside... the expression on my gull!!!  Incredible!

Sarah isn't only talented with carving or painting in miniature, she also has a delightful ability to capture fun or amazing photos.  This is one of her latest ones that is such a perfect little scene (and it includes one of my favorite girls of hers, Carly <3 ).

Calgon Take Me Away Black & White

Isn't it fabulous?  I love how the Blythe world allows such creativity!  Not to mention the wonderful sense of community and I have made the most wonderful friends, including Sarah.  She has such a beautiful gift and uses it to bring dreams to life.

Now, onto the interview!!


Interview Questions

1) Where and when did your obsession with creating things begin? 
My mom is very artistic and crafty so she has always encouraged me to be creative and to continue my artistic growth. My first big accomplishment was having my logo chosen for our school t-shirts when I was in 3rd grade. I went to college for Graphic Design but never really pursued it after school. I have always loved photography and took classes in both high school and college, so when Blythe came along with the combination of art and photography it was true love!

2) Who is the most inspiring person in your life? Why? 
My daughter, Ava. Even though she is only 5 (6 in a few weeks) she is amazingly strong and always pushes herself even when she wants to give up.

3) If you could meet any famous person, living or not , who would you wish to meet? What would you do with them? (Play skeetball, have lunch, tap dance...) 
Dave Matthews. I just think he’s completely amazing! I would go have a coffee with him and then ask him to play his guitar and sing to me until he couldn’t sing anymore. LOL!

4) How did you find Blythe? What drew you to her? 
My mom actually found her on ebay and I was immediately attracted to her quirkiness. It wasn’t until years later after I saw that you could customize them and give them their own personalities that I really got into Blythe.

5) Which of your Blythes is your "mini me"? Which is the one you wish you could be? 
I don’t really have a “mini me” girl. None that look like me at least. I customized about half of the girls that I own so I feel that they have a lot of “me” in them. I sometimes wish that I could be a little punk like my girl Billy.

6) What is the story behind "Kaleidoscope Kustoms"? How did you come up with the name? What is your creative process like? Where do your best ideas come from?
After I got my first few girls customized I decided that I wanted to try it myself. I thought it would be easier for me to portray what was in my head if I did it myself rather than trying to explain it to someone else. I have always been strong in my color choices so I wanted to pick a name that had to do with colors. And I liked how Kaleidoscope Kustoms sounded. I do a lot of brainstorming before I start on a girl. I get inspiration from everything around me that I see and hear…art, music, nature, colors, books. Once I have the idea or theme then I will do a “plan” photo where I can see how everything will look together. I only work on one custom at a time so that I can focus completely on what I am doing with that girl from start to finish. After I have my plan done then I will usually split up the work into two days. One day I do all of the prep work (scalp, eyechips, carving, sanding) and the other day I do the color work, eyelid art, assembly and pullrings. I really love to work on the dolls that I can do all of the little details on (eyechips, pulls, charms) because then I feel that they are complete. Lastly I pick an outfit (usually out of our Rag Bag Designs Etsy shop) and photograph them. 

7) What five things couldn't you live without?
My family (even though they drive me crazy most of the time), internet, my camera, music, and unfortunately coffee.

8) What is the best part about Blythe? About the community? 
There are so many things I love about Blythe. This hobby has given me so much – a place to get away, a creative outlet, a way to help support my family, amazing friends. The best part of the community is the love and support from the friends I would have never found without Blythe. I seriously get teary eyed when I think about how much this community has done for my family.

9) Anything else you'd like to tell us about you? About your work? 
I appreciate each and every one of my customers. Thank you for trusting me to create your girls for you! I hope that they bring you as much joy as they do me when I am working on them.

Sarah's Links:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaleidoscopekustoms/

http://www.kaleidoscopekustoms.blogspot.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlytheRagBagDesigns

Thank you, Sarah, for doing this interview and for being the awesome person you are! <3

ADAD 255/365 Pullrings!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Introducing the Lovely and Talented Kawaii Kandy!

Yum Yum Girls

I am utterly delighted to get to introduce you to another of my dear friends in the amazing Blythe community.  Maggi was my very first "Blythe friend".  She came to me about a year and a half ago asking me to make a very very special necklace for a very special doll.  Here is the doll (Ty) wearing the necklace I made her <3



Redhead

After creating this special necklace Maggi and I developed a friendship :)  I looked forward to seeing her amazingly creative photos and her quirky and fabulous dolls.  (Pixy is my favorite, though Pepper is a close second, and all of the others come in third LOL, I love them all!!)   After a while, Maggi started making these fun and fanciful crochet hats and opened her own shop :)


Happy 1 Year Anniversary to ME!

Maggi is one of the kindest, sweetest, most fun and fascinating people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I would not have survived the last year and a half without her humor, her warmth, and her friendship :)  Introducing... Maggi!


1) Where and when did your obsession with creating things begin?

I've loved creating things as long as I can remember. My mom was always making something or other so I definitely got my creative side from her. :)

2) What is your favorite fairy or folk tale and why?
The Hobbit. I know it's not technically a fairy/folk tale but one of the reasons Tolkien wrote it was to give England its own fairy tale/mythology besides King Arthur and that's always stuck with me. I read the book every year and I still find it thrilling.

3) Who is the most inspiring person in your life? Why?

My kids.  They're full of joy and are so innocent about the way the world works. I'd pay good money for that sort of happy ignorance. :D

4) If you could meet any famous person, living or not ;), who would you wish to meet? What would you do with them? (Play skeetball, have lunch, tap dance...)
Hmmmm...probably Jane Austen. She was so snarky and sarcastic...just like me. :)

5) How did you find Blythe? What drew you to her?

I found Blythe through Pullip dolls back in 2008 I think. I collected Pullips for a while and Blythe wasn't even on my radar until around 2012. I think what ultimately drew me to Blythe was how much personality they can hold, this probably wouldn't make sense to anyone other than Blythe collectors but those plastic faces can show a good range of emotion. lol

6) Which of your Blythes is your "mini me"? Which is the one you wish you could be?
Not sure I have a "mini me" but each of my girls has some facet of my own personality and/or quirks. :D

7) What is the story behind "Kawaii Kandy"? How did you come up with the name? Where did you come up with the brilliant idea for hats?
I came up with name Kawaii Kandy back in my Pullip days. I wanted to start a Flickr account and loved kawaii style so then I just started thinking of things that could go with the word "kawaii". The fact that it's sort of became the style for my Blythe hats is pure coincidence...or kismet. lol
I decided to start making hats because I needed more money to fund the doll hobby. LOL  I felt I could crochet reasonably well so then I just started making a list of possible hat ideas that I could try out. I decided that I needed to think of something to set my hat apart from everyone else's and the rest of history. :D

8) What five things couldn't you live without?
The internet (LOL), kdramas, my family, my friends...and glitter. HA!

9) What is the best part about Blythe? About the community?
Blythe is just fun!  She helps me escape when I'm having a bad day, she inspires me to be creative and she has helped me connect with people I wouldn't have otherwise known. I feel the same way about the community. :)

10) Anything else you'd like to tell us about you? About your work?
I just try to make people happy. I'd like to think that they can see my pictures or my girls or my hats and smile for a moment. Sometimes all people need is a moment to reach the surface again.

 

Thank you, Maggi, for doing this interview and sharing your wonderful self with us :)  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Elephants Can Remember

Elephants Can Remember

My grandmother was a beautiful woman.  She had dark eyes that laughed and dark hair that curled, my father has the same hair... I was always so sad I didn't inherit it when I was a child (ok, ok, still am a bit).  When I was growing up I thought my grandmother one of the most elegant and powerful people in the universe, that view never wavered.  It wasn't power in the sense you are probably thinking, it was this confidence she always had... this grace.  And this knowledge that anything she wanted you to try, you would do it and gladly, because her praise was golden.  She had a beautiful soul.  A soul that shone out from her tiny body, (her height, or lack thereof, is one thing I did inherit from her) and took over a room with its goodness.  She charmed people.  Everyone.  Anyone.  (This is something my father inherited and I like to think they gave to me, but well, let's not delude ourselves too much).  She had a sweet, clear voice that was soft but could be edged with steel when needed... the result of being a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother many times over perhaps... or perhaps that was something that was innately a part of her.  She was one of the strongest women I have ever and will ever know, of that I have no doubt.


Elephants Can Remember

When I was five years old, we moved to Washington from San Diego.  For a while we stayed with my grandmother.  This is a fuzzy time for me as I was so young.  Certain things stand out in my memory though.  Grandma introducing me to tea, neither of my parents like it, I love it.  I have never lived without tea in my house since.  She taught me that part of the beauty tea is the simple ritual of it... boiling the water (preferably in a kettle), steeping the tea bag, inhaling its wonderful fragrance... and then the first sip.  Drinking it slowly is preferable, though not too slow, because it is best before it gets cold.  I also remember playing with my cousin Andrew, we were closest in age, I think Andrew was my first best friend.  I don't know if he even remembers that though lol.  

Grandma loved elephants (actually, my maternal grandmother did as well, but that is a story for another day).  She had them everywhere in her houses.  Silly elephants, elegant elephants... elephants of metal, of plastic, of cloth.  She had a collection of pictures of them even in the bathroom (not to mention various elephant soap dispensers over the years), elephant waste baskets, elephant towels...  I loved them.  One of my favorite parts of visiting her was seeing the elephants.  And I am so grateful that I will never be able to see one without thinking of her, that is a gift. She also loved the color red, splashes of it here, there... and when she moved her entire living room was painted red.  

I have always been a voracious reader, I believe that is something I inherited from her.  My husband pointed it out after we visited her last, that her bookshelves reminded him of my own.  A mishmosh of fantasy, history, science fiction, classics, romance, biographies...  when I was in elementary school she gave me a lovely set of the Chronicles of Narnia.  I still have them.  And they are still some of my favorite books.  My love of reading, of books, of the written word and writing itself, is what led me to get my degree in English.  That love is also one of the things that got me through my somewhat nomadic life growing up.  And I know Grandma was proud that I have also passed that love on to my children, both my kindergartener and my second grader love to read already.  My three year old doesn't read on his own yet, but he does love to be read to.  


Elephants Can Remember

Grandma fought cancer for over twenty years.  She was strong though, a fighter, she wanted to see her grandchildren grow up.  And she did.  Several of us have children of our own now and I am so glad she got to meet my children, to share her love with them.  I refuse to say that she lost the fight to cancer, I won't.  I will say, instead, that she was ready to go home.  She lived a long and very full life, in spite of its difficulties, she never wavered.  She was an incredible mother, grandmother, woman, and friend.  She taught me so many things, so very many, I couldn't possibly list them all here.  The one that hit me most this morning is a great love for family.  I cherish my children and I love my parents, my brother, grandparents, my aunts, my uncles, cousins... all of them.  I may not tell them often, I may not see them often, but I hope they all know that here, in my heart, I am thinking of them and loving them, every single day.  

I will miss you, Grandma Suzy, so very very much.  But I know that you are not truly gone, you live on in your children, your grandchildren... in me.  And in my children.  Julie has your laugh and wrinkles her nose the way you did.  Addy has your gracefulness.  Toby's eyes laugh like yours.  Thank you, for everything.  I love you.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh