Saturday, December 30, 2017

End of The Year

Over all, we are much better off than we were health wise and sanity wise.  I am still fighting the battle of storage.  Lowes has a storage shelf on sale for around 26$, seven shelves, steel.  Awesome. Trouble is waiting a whole month to get it.  Worth it, though, since it will not only fit in the space I have, but the older one I have will stack on top of it.  That will get a lot of stuff up out of the way.  In the meantime, I have to rethink the pattern for the Volks 1/6 doll project, and try to find some pretty printed super thin cotton.  Polyester chiffon will not do.  Frays like hell.  

One intersting thing I noticed in the news today.  Just clicked on a link for apartments here in Upland out of morbid curiosity.  A lot of them are still at 1400 for 2 bedrooms when for a while there, they were in the 2000s.  But here is the big difference.  Whole apartment buildings are up for sale all across the board.  There are more apartment buildings/complexes for sale then there are apartments for rent!  I heard from a ex-neighbor (who helped us move) that the place we were in has been sold after all those years of being morgaged year after year.  Interesting.  I guess when they couldn't get or keep good tenants, the owners decided to pull the plug on their cash cows.

Tama has finally gotten used to riding in the camper, rather than insisting on being up front when we are driving.  Either that or he is too lazy to get out of bed!  

Here's for a happier New Year for everyone!  

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Decission Time

After months of sawing wood, cutting tile and lugging things up and down stairs, I quit!  I've been over tired, injured numerous times (hammers do not belong on ladders when not in someones hand!) and generally given the run around on jobs, purchased away half my income on take out food and replacement clothing, gas and all that, I put my foot down and quit.  Everything we needed that money for, like the camper shell and new tires and repairs has been taken care of. 

I want to get my sewing business back on track again.  I miss being artistic and creative and yes, just playing with my dollies, damn it.  So yeah, done.  And I think I have been traumatized by houses in general.  Termites, plumbing, omg the horrors!  In January, I will go ask the housing people if we are still on the wait list, just to make sure, or get us on some other lists or something.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Sort of.  If you don't count my third case of raging bronchitus this year.  I have been working cutting tiles, floor boards, support beams, lugging concrete piers, etc.  My boss does not think I can hang a mirror.  I bet I can hang one faster than an hour and a half. >.>

The thing is, I miss my dolls.  I would much rather be working on doll clothing than running up and down stairs hyper extending my miniscus, or however blogger thinks that is miss spelled.  Still, it got us new tires when we needed them and replaced a bunch of clothing that has been beaten to death in public laundrymats.
Tama is still enjoying the camping life.  He loved Doheny beach, except when I took him down to the water and showed him the huge vast expanse of "Bath".  Then he nearly dragged me back through the middle of the campgrounds straight to our spot.
One of my current increasing fears is that by the time I get back to Dolls, they will be out of fashion in more than clothing type.  Everything has become so political now, you can't take a step right or left without someone screaming and melting down.  I was discussing working on a wall for work, and some one behind my boss and I in line decided we were talking about THE WALL.  Big difference between talking about buying sections of fencing for a back yard wall, but yeah, nasty comments were made.  Everyone is minding everyone's business looking for a reason to be racist or hateful in some way.  I even got sneered at for being a 'bag buyer' at the grocery store!  Apparently we were supposed to boycott buying plastic bags until they stopped trying to make us pay for them?  Every damned little thing is offending some over sensitive person.  Honestly, I just want to not drop the damned eggs!

So  now more than ever, I am worried about making culturally inappropriate clothing choices for my dolls and having my sewing business penalized in some god awful manner.  In the mean time, my senses are offended by the constant barrage of sexist, abusive, racist rap music every time I go to the grocery store in the evening.  So yeah, maybe I don't care who I offend by putting a purple fur coat on a vampire guy doll after all.  *sigh*  

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Handsewing Project: Momoko Pattern Altered for Volks 1/6

Okay, so much for the cool weather, it's heating up to hellish 110 degrees this coming weekend.  Fortunately, we are old hands at this now and have shady spots mapped out.

I decided to start with a small easily managed project first.  My Faux Momoko, Hikari, a Volks 1/6 doll, and the First Dolly Coordinate Pattern book which has patterns that fit the general size of the Momoko/Jenny Takara/ Unoa Quluts Light, and various odd ball 1/6 27 cm fashion dolls.  I had to down size the Momoko top pattern for the Volks, so far.  

This is a wonderful book for small doll sewing, lots of visuals so you don't need to know Japanese to get the full benefit of the patterns.  

I am using this jacket set, along with a blouse from another Momoko book and the shorts pattern lengthened for a pair of capris pants (because I only have enough fabric for capris, LOL *head desk*.)   The first top came out a bit awkward, with very large armholes.  My plan is a jacket, summer top, summer dress, and the capris.  And I think I might have to buy a pair of white tights for her.  Not sure if I have some and forgot about them or just did not buy them, or if Volks was out of them (which they usually are).   Worse case, I can buy some sheer stuff and make some.  But yeah, we will see how this goes.  The entire outfit has to be hand sewn, until I get my converter back from the guy who is fixing it after his vacation.  

Sept 09

The hot weather seems to be over.  I just hope we don't get another hellish heat wave in October.  I was not able to get anything done on the project except make some notes on alterations.  The blouse pattern from the Dolly-Dolly Momoko book was a bit too big, but all the other patterns for Momoko do  good, if short job of covering the Volks 1/6 doll. The only issue seems to be length, despite both dolls being 27 cm.  But there you go, dolls mimic humans after all.  I'm considering tall by height, but have to wear store bought petite clothing and alter my patterns for petite.  And a lot of the dolls in the 1/6 line have shall we say, muscular posteriors?  And I find myself making the same alteration for Volks 1/6 as I had to make for Idealean big boys with their thighs bigger around than their hips.  So, no sewing done to show, but quite a lot of minor alterations.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Can See the Top of my Sewing Machine Table!

Mostly.  I have a box of books and a 'zen' fountain still on it that need to be hefted up on top of the refridgerator next time I get in there, and of curse the sewing machine boxed up, but I am almost ready to start trying to sew for my dolls again!  We had a few wierd 'to rain or not to rain' days and I got a lot more stuff sorted.  Now the plan is to go through all the last boxes hastily packed and be merciless about lamps and knic nacks and so forth.  Plus there is a lot of stuff we can just replace later from the kitchen like plastic bowls and so forth.  

I have a project list of Volks 1/6, BJD 1/6 child, and BJD 1/3 girl sort of floating around in my head.  I don't know what one I want to tackle first.  I also have to find the box with the 1/6 anime doll aran sweater yarn and hat pin knitting needles in it, for this coming winter.  I want to redo the one I had made before to see if I can get a better size for the doll range.  With the Japanese smaller doll clothing books, I have all these cool basic patterns I really want to try and the Brother sewing machine can handle them much better than the old Singer did.  Those plans got side swiped with the rent hike and now I am starting to really feel like tackling them again.  As soon as I get my converter box back and can run the machine.

The WIFI at the library is going wonky again, and yesterday we had more tree branches come down.  Branches are falling all over Upland and some of them are taking out people's cars so we ware wary of parking under trees that look healthy but are dried out from nemotodes eating up the small roots and water starving the core of the branches.  We had all that rain but now our trees are drying up!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

More Progress.

I have managed to get the books off the dishes and framed photographs in the storage area.  All the kitchen stuff is now stacked in the back, all the sewing stuff in the front.  My sewing machine desk is getting cleaned off next.  This coming week is supposed to be in the high eighties rather than the high nineties.  I can do this!  Though before I found the extension cord for the fan, I nearly fainted a few times up in the heat at the top of the unit.

On the other hand, my smaller, less car battery demanding converter for the truck plug in has a frayed plug in cord and I turned it over to my boss to have it soldered back in.  This may take a while because he has hared off to the river for some R&R, but by the time he gets back, I should have my sewing area (such as it is) under control.  I may be able to use the machine after all for short bursts.  This makes me happy, because even if I can't put my dollies out on a shelf, I can open a plastic tub and socialize with them for a little while.  (Rather than the crazies in the park.)  

I want to work on a few persnal projects to get the feel of the work flow and then will start up the business again on a slow scale.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Progress, Slow Progress

I have been spending an hour every morning sorting out the storage unit.  I managed to turn a few labeled boxes around so I could see what was in them this morning!  Big help.  Considering that is why I labeled them and mapped out the stuffing of storage in the first place.  I donated a small bag of weird un-dolly stuff i was just keeping to hoard to the library craft project, and cleaned out two letter size boxes (the white ones from office supply stores) and ended up keeping two anyway.  Well, it is progress, damn it!  It was so hard to sort out fabric, just glancing at it and into the box without getting a case of the NOs! I only kept pieces I knew I would absolutely turn into an outfit for each of my dolls.

Now that they have their presents, I will show off the projects that have kept me sane the past year and months.

First, for Fishcake, inspired by the Atlantic Ocean, and my um--attempt to make a sunrise sunset on the ocean, this one.  The center is supposed to be the ocean, then the sides are a loose interpretation of the countries her 18th century sea captain might have written home about.

And because Aernath has a thing for Hawaii (you have to go see her Etsy shop for the hawaiian shirts and shorts she makes for bjd's), this thing which actually only took 6 weeks now that I have my brain sorted better on sewing again.  Shock will knock things out of your head and take some time to get back, you know.  So this is a waterfall into a pool, with a traditional Hawaiian quilt square in the middle.  Making that piece really gave me some serious respect for the people who make the full size versions by cutting out whole big pieces of color cloth and then minutely appliqueing them on a background.

Both doll quilts (72 cm size) were made 90% by hand and the flowers and compasses done by sewing machine, with patterns free from the internet.  My goal was to use fabrics I could not let go of and not buy any more to fill out the design.   I ended up cheating a bit on the Atlantic for water diamonds and the backings are cotton flannel.

So yeah, quite happy with myself and more than happy the ladies liked their surprises. ^_^

Eventually I will have the storage unit under control!  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

You Know You Live in CA, AZ or NV When....

95 degrees Fahr feels cool.

I am working on another project that has been planned for a year and almost done, then I will have to make an effort to get up at like 5 am to get into the storage unit at 7 am when it opens and start throwing things away and sorting like oh, the visigoths sacking rome or something.  It has been an oven in there by 8 am!  Fortunately the weather is 'cooling down' for a few days.  How does  it know to go over 100 only on the weekends when the park is over crowded and shade is at a premium?  I bought a pop up awning on sale for like 1/3 the price last day of spring and will put it to use over the truck if necessary,  but right now, we have a lovely breeze and the cat has his own O2Cool fan on his shelf (spoiled beast) so he is happy most of the time.  He still tries to ride on the dash, though. >_<.

I am planning to get that miserable pile of STUFF organized much better, so that I can actually work on orders again if it takes all summer.   I just wish I would get more construction work, but the work being done now is tile laying and two people is too many on one floor.  We put a stove vent fan in last week that weighed a hundred pounds, I swear, and what a pain in the butt!  Stove vents should be put in BEFORE the chimney or cabinets are in place.  And the electric to plug it into should be in first, too!  Plus, it got damn near dropped a few times when we were shifting the boards supporting it and moving it into place, and I have a huge bruise on my upper arm that everyone keeps exclaiming in shock over (yes, yes my husband beats me) Eye Roll.  Seriously, the boss would have a broken neck if I had not been there to get that bruise.  That thing tried to kill us both.  I hate stove vents now.  Yet another inanimate object you simply can not trust.

The funny thing is this thing was so powerful it reminded me of the Tim Allen Tool Time ep where he souped up the stove vent and when his wife turned it on, it sucked the entire dinner up through it.

So yeah, maybe in a month or two, I will be ready to take orders again, with the stipulation that I take longer to do anything than before.  I can lay out patterning and things in the library, but not use pins there, but I have a folding table in storage, so it will take some figuring out how to work the work room.

I nearly forgot, Tama has moved up from chasing dogs to attempting to chase skateboarders.  Yesterday he was just laying there relaxed as could be on the grass at the park and a skater went by on the side walk.  He sat up, watched the guy skate along and as he went by, Tama rushed at him, Cheetah on springbok style.  Of course he came to the end of his leash, but I thought, what on earth?  Then this morning, he tried to chase a guy on a board in the parking lot at the store!  All this free range lifestyle is turning him into a mountain lion in his own mind?

And yes, dogs fear him for some reason.   

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

After One Year

So, it's been over a year now, and despite everyone telling us oh you can't do that, and you have to do this, here we are.  The storage unit has attacked me about 3 times, avalanching on me, and I have to face the fact that I need to get in there and cut down my fabric and stuff by 1/2.  Because the apartment we are on the wait list for is about half the size of our last little one bedroom flat.  My plan is to eventually get a larger storage unit and reorganize better so that I can start working again taking doll orders.  The sub-contracting thing is so intermitant some times I get a little bummed out about progress, but at least we have a good sum saved up, enough to get us into the apartment if it comes available.  If not, we keep saving up for the new camper shell, and then get a larger storage unit.

I have finally finished a project I started the month we moved out. I would show it off, but it's a secret until further notice.  I am seriously considering taking orders again if I can sew the entire project by hand.  I just need to get that pile of boxes sorted through and donate the fabric to a lady at the library's project box.  Knowing that the fabric will go to a good use will make it much easier to part with.

 Tama is doing fine.  He likes to run in the park, despite his leash, and has lost the tummy fat he was getting.  I need to find the right cord to hook up the phone to the computer and then see if the upgraded computers at the library will let me upload the photos.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wow, Its Been That Long?

Sorry I have been non-communicative lately, but for a while there, we had intermitant library access (upgrades, upgrades to repair the upgrades, city hall deplored the state of the upgrades and hired a new guy, etc. and now we have just had three days of more 'out of service' computers and I kept thinking, when did I last post?

We had more rain, then heat, then rain.  We have been camping up in Azuza Canyon, minding the snake mating season.  It's so quite up there and only a little over an hour drive.  But it gets very cold at night if you don't watch the weather reports and prepare for it.

I have been getting my hand sewing and embroidery skill back in order, just for something to do (and a project that has been off and on since day one of the move out.  But then last week, a friend asked me if I wanted to do something for money, like learn to paint houses (interior so far).  I said hell yeah!  So while the work is intermitant, it got our savings back from the back brake fiasco (it had not been repaired back in 2012 when we thought it was, nothing that rotten could have been anything other than underwater archeaological), and now we have back brakes, new tires we needed, a spare tire, and a new car battery at last.   Yesterday I spend all day replacing the stupid ignition starter relay switch becaus apparently you can get a bad one out of the box, and the truck started trying to start itself, which was admittedly very spooky.  Lots of walking to the Pepboys, ouch.  Tiresome in new shoes I had not broken in yet.

But the handy person business should pick up soon, it goes in spurts and my friend is willing to put up with training me, so quite happy to have the extra to put into saving up for the eventual opening of the apartment wait list option, or the slide in camper option.  Either way, we intend to save up the money now that the truck is in much better shape.

If California does the falling off into the ocean thing one third of the people polled seem to want, (and I wonder what the hell the other 2/3 have to say about anything, since they seem to think 1/3 is enough for seccession) we have determined that Tennesee is as good a place as any to immigrate to.  Lots of people have family there and tell us it is beautiful and low cost compared to California.  It means starting all over again on the wait list, etc, but a friend just moved up to Washington with family to get back into housing and she said it is no worse than in California, just a load of paper work.  Basically, if California secceeds, I want to sue them for the cost of repatritation to my own country, damn it.

We are both in very good health, have a new, saner doctor, and the cat is doing fine.  I just really miss my sewing machine.  *sigh*

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Might Go Missing for a While

Our library is cutting the internet for an "upgrade" for up to three weeks.  That leaves us with the wifi at the laundrymat every 3 days, unless that is overloaded or goes out.  Funny thing is they upgraded last month for 2 weeks.  

Friday, February 24, 2017


With the cool sunny weather in between storms, I have been trying to organize the storage unit.  As I have mentioned before, I had this plan, this super master plan for how things were to be put into the unit first to last, so that my sewing would be last.   My helper at the time (and thank goodness for the help if not the method of help!) decided not to follow that plan.  I have no idea where most of my doll sewing boxes are burried.  Because the unit is 10 ft high, everything was stacked on top of everything.  And he decided to put everything in boxes in every which way.  (FED EX employee, derp).

Plus, heavy boxes were put on not heavy boxes, leading to the crushing of my japanese folding screens, damn it.  AND, the neatly labled boxes are all labeled to the back or side, so Yeah, wall of boxes with no labels.  Behind dressers and bedside tables that are solid walnut.  So I have to pull all that heavy, heavy furniture out, before I can get to the boxes.  I get exhausted just looking at it all.  Our blood pressure moniter is in there somewhere, but I know when it goes up beyond safe just by the way I feel like blacking out when I get upset.  I need to get it down before I can face this mess.  I want to avoid having to rent yet another unit to shove stuff in while I go through the first one.  But after pulling the furniture out, I have to make time before closing to put it all back in, stacked on top of each other.

Plus, I need to get a power cord and see if he did or didn't kill our fridge with that drop.  I am pretty sure a fridge should not make that rattling tinkling noise underneath.

I am really not sure when I can get my stuff orgainised again to be able to pull stuff out and work on doll clothing orders, even though my sewing table and machine are right inside the door where I insisted on putting them, because my patterns and books are burried, and with out all the work that went into my base patterns to base new ones on, Not A Happy.

I keep telling myself one thing at a time, one thing at a time, and that is what I have been doing, but omg, the next time we do something like this, I hope we can hire pros who will LISTEN to my obviously insane demands for how I want our stuff to be handled!

In the mean time, I am finally making time to get back to the doll quilting I had planned on doing to stay sane.  I really have to just tell myself that things look good when I think they don't and everyone else thinks they do.  Perfectionist fail.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More Rain

I know these updates are getting slow as mud, but we are trying to get so much done in the short cool winter days when we are not being dumped on by storms off the Pacific.  The seagulls are getting very rowdy around here. Every time they go home, they get blown back in again.  They make the ravens and crows look like amateurs.

Anyway, Hubby finally gave up his wheel chair!  We donated it and it's gone.  He still has a rolling walker for when he gets over tired, but he is confident enough now to let the wheel chair go.  Thus gaining more space in storage.  I need to get in there now and find my boxes of doll patterns and books, etc.  My helper had the attitude that everything should just be shoved in willy-nilly and I am just beginning to find out how little he paid attention to my master plan.

I checked my dolls and after over half a year in a non climate controlled unit, they have not changed color, nor thank goodness been broken in anyway.  But since we are still right next to the train tracks, some of the boxes that were up near the ceiling have fallen over with some icky results.  Let's just say that I now have the opportunity to replace the paper and stick part of my Japanese folding screens with some really neat applique designs (damn it!)  And we are going to need them, to separate the living room of the flat when we get in eventually.

We talked a friend of ours into signing up for housing as well, and he found out that the ones we looked at are now closed.  Maybe we will get in soon?  I called today to make sure we were still on the list and left a message for the office.  Apparently they are once again dividing the 909 area code and after that, we will have to change our info anyway, so I used that excuse to call.  I will have to call again, obviously.

We threw our idiot doctor under the buss and changed to a new one, hoping this guy will keep better track of things.  I swear that nut job spent 2.4 years trying to get me on anti-depressants.  Ah well, not all doctors graduated with high levels, most just made it clear of the lowest bar.

So yeah, I am hoping that in Spring, when the unit is a little more functionally arranged, I can start sewing again.  I have a few doll quilts cut out, but I hit a creative slump and can't seem to figure out where what goes where.  I have so many other things to remember and calls to make to keep up with things, I get over tired and bang, no creativity again.  Basically, I need to get my table out and lay everything on it and look at it until it fits right.  Doing things one color fabric at a time doesn't work for me.

Spring, that's all I am asking for.  A nice normal Spring.  That and finding the boxes with my sewing books in them!  GRRRR!  I think he killed my fridge, too, he dropped it a good 3 inches off a step and when we moved it, something was rattling pretty badly in there.  Fun thing is now I can put a block of ice in the freezer and keep things a few days that won't keep in the plastic cooler.  The old metal lined Coleman boxes are making a come back, if you are rich.  Weird to walk in there and put stuff in the fridge.

Tama is behaving himself nicely, but I did have to stop him from attacking two of those little battery monster trucks in the park the other day.  Most cats would be afraid, but he was like: KILL!

Time's up, gotta get going.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our First REALLY Scary Incident

It was bound to happen.  We were asleep at 4:45 am this morning, nice and snug, and someone started trying to open the driver side door of the truck, yanking on the handle so hard it was rocking the truck.  We were parked under a street light, too.  Hubby yelled "WTF! Knock it off, we're calling the police" while I found the lamp and the phone.  This guy yelled something about being parked up the street and then something incomprehensible, and contined to pry at the truck door.  I yanked open the curtains and turned the flash light on him and told him to get lost.  He then started trying to pry open the camper shell window and said he just needed 5$ for gas.  But there he was trying to break into the truck!  We kept yelling at him to leave us alone, we didn't have any money and then he put his hands next to his face up against the screened window and said "Can you open up?" And I yelled "Hell no!"  Then he said "Hey my stash is up the street, you want to go get high?"  Hubby told him a few choice things he could do with himself and the police were coming.  Then he finally went away, but our "neighbor" in the van up the street called us later when he saw us getting ready to leave and asked if some guy had tried to break into our truck, too.  So yeah, drug zombie attack.  We don't know how many of the truck campers were hit by this guy but then I realized he looked like the guy the police are after for breaking into the Rad Coffee Place up the street.  This guy had no concept, he was that freaking high or something.  Frankly, a lot of people would have just shot him for trying to break in.  But what sort of nut just tries to get into someone's car or truck and then does not understand why people would say NO!  Drugs.

 We need to get some expanded metal security screens for the back of the truck before summer.  If the window had been open, I think this jerk would have put his hand through.  I forgot to mention that our very not so brave cat decided the best place to be was under the blankets at our feet.  His eyes were like little golf balls with all this going on.

Good news, Hubby finally gave up the wheel chair completely.  Now we have a little more room in the storage unit to actually put a step ladder in there and start re-organizing.  When I get a 4 foot step ladder, that is.  We are trying to borrow one before buying.

Three more horrific rains storms are going to ruin my plans to pull everything out and reorganize for the next 7 days, though.  Ah well.