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


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