Monthly Archives: June 2015

With a Heavy Heart….

I am very sorry that I didn’t post last week as expected. My copious amounts of free time that week evaporated because a beloved family member, my lovely Auntie Marie, died suddenly. Although there was no foul play, it is devastating none the less. I have found myself caught up in grief and sadness with her passing, and far away from where I expected to be during the last fortnight.

Marie was a lovely woman. She is the oldest of my mother’s sisters, and she lived near where I grew up. She was one of the aunties I saw quite often, and she was always a happy woman. She loved her family deeply. The biggest tragedy in her life was the death of her husband, David. They had been together since they were both teenagers, and I remember how stunned and lost she looked at his funeral. I don’t think she ever really recovered from losing him. Even though I was young at the time, I knew how much he meant to her. Their love was special, and I can’t imagine the pain of losing your partner so early. My Auntie lived for 14 years without him. During that time, she beat breast cancer and showed me how strong you can be if you set your mind to it. I will remember her most for the moments of strength she had even when she felt broken. The only thought that brings me peace is knowing that she is finally reunited with her love and in that they are both whole again. Auntie Marie, may you be at peace. Always.

I will be the first person to admit that I don’t deal well with death. Although it is intertwined with life, it is one that I struggle to come to terms with. As I continue to wrestle with it now, I do have to say that nothing puts life in perspective quite like death. It has helped me reevaluate the things I’m doing with my life and the choices I’m making for my family, my friends, and myself. As I see my cousins grieve, I can’t imagine myself without my mother. Also, I can’t imagine my daughter’s life without me. I want to give her the best in life, and I know there is more I can be doing for her and for us to make that a reality. I want to be a better person for all of them, for all my family.

I know this post is quite off-topic, and for that I apologize. I felt you deserved some explanation for my disappearance this time around. Some good news is that the box of Barbie Who? dolls is with me and I have had a chance to do work with them. I didn’t bring along my box of crochet thread, but my mom is an avid crocheter and said that I can use anything that I need while we are here. She has an incredible amount of crafting supplies, too. We also plan on digging around in her attic to find the old magazines and patterns she has collected over the years – she assures me that she has quite a few with instructions for making Barbie-sized clothes. The next few posts will include some neat things that she has given me and my daughter, as well as a write-up on the finished Ood pants. I am currently trying to find a good place to take pictures of everything. The lighting in most areas isn’t up to par, especially since we’ve been getting so much rain. Once I get a decent lamp, I will be able to take pictures, write posts, and get them published. This blog is something very dear to me, and I know it has been neglected since the move began. I am going to redouble my efforts to be here and work on this thing that I love so much. I need to make time for this, and I hope that ya’ll haven’t given up on me amongst the chaos that has been happening lately. I thank you all for your patience. I hope you have a fantastic week!

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Lucky Day of Shopping

Moving day is near! Everything is boxed up and ready to go. We leave next weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. The bulk of my workload is over, and now I just need to survive a week in a hotel before we hit the road. Luckily, our toddler loves where we’re staying and there is a pool. Needless to say, it has been a well-earned change of pace from my hectic life as of late. The only thing I want to do right now is work on the blog. I feel like I actually have time for it for the first time i ages!

I think I’ll start with a funny little story. While packing, we purged a fairly large amount of stuff. Some went into the trash, some we recycled, and some we donated to various thrift stores near where we live. Our general rule was to drop stuff off at the nearest store when we ran errands, and doing it in little chunks helped keep us organized and on track. Since moving went into high-gear, I haven’t had time to go shopping at any thrift stores (or regular stores for that matter, save for getting groceries). However, I did have an exception last Monday.

We drove into the city to drop off the recycling and a box of clothes we needed to donate. While my husband and I were putting our recyclables in the proper bins, my daughter unscrewed her travel cup and spilled grape juice all over herself. I wasn’t happy because I was unprepared; for once I didn’t have an extra outfit in my bag to change her. We couldn’t leave her in a wet outfit for the entire ride home, so we decided to spend a few bucks to get her something at the thrift store. It was my first chance to shop in about 2 months. I gleefully went in to find her an outfit while my husband unloaded the donation box. It was nice to have a few moments to myself. I’m sure any mothers of young children can relate.

Now, the casual reader will wonder what in the world any of this has to do with the Barbie Who? blog. Well, your patience with my log-winded story will answer that question shortly, I assure you. While looking at shirts for my toddler, I noticed a pink box on a shelf above the clothing racks. Upon closer inspection, it was a Barbie carrying case. I was immediately intrigued. Thus far, I have had all of my dolls stored in shoe boxes, and this could be a big upgrade.

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It is basically a rolling suitcase designed to hold 8 Barbie dolls and their accessories. I inspected it, and it is a bit rough around the edges. An over-zealous child took a marker to the outside, and the plastic doll holders are slightly bent on the inside. On the other hand, the hinges look great, it closes perfectly, the wheels work, and the lovely sticker on the front is mostly intact (the foot is coming up a bit, but she doesn’t have any marker scribbles on her – I think she is salvageable). Functionally, it can do everything I could ask of it, so I splurged and bought it. It cost a whopping $1.99 plus tax. You read that right, somebody priced this gem at just under $2.00 – for the record I feel obligated to say that the outfit I bought my daughter cost more than the suitcase did. This is why thrift stores can be so much fun.

When we got it home, I bent the doll holders back into place and added the blog dolls. I am so glad that I can keep everything together in one place. Before, I had the dolls in one box and their accessories in a separate tin. Plus, the dolls I’ve been working on have been floating around the house as I try to finish work on them and my toddler tries to play with them. It is exciting for me to have everything together. Plus, now they can all travel in style.

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On the left, I put all the accessories in the handy storage bin. The top latches and keeps everything from falling away. Behind the storage bin, I slid the collapsed plants. There was just enough room for everything. Horray! On the right, I secured the two dolls I’ve finished and the two Ood I am working on. They fit surprisingly well. When I put the first doll in, I thought ‘How can you fit 4 dolls in this?’, but once I started adjusting their arms it became much easier to manage.

This new case has stayed with me since I bought it. It is traveling with me in the car so that I won’t lose everything I’ve made thus far and face a true blog crisis. You really have no idea how terrified I was of losing blog-related items during this move. I really had to pick and choose only a few of the most important items to stay with me – everything else is boxed up and on a truck. I honestly feel very lucky to have found this suitcase at all. I appreciate how everything came together for it to happen.

In other news, I finished the knitting portion of my second take on the Ood pants. I just need to sew it together and see the results! Hopefully it works out well and I can post a pattern along with pictures of the finished product. It looks pretty good so far. The legs are much more even than the last pair of pants I knit. The pant legs are longer, too, so they will better fit the Ood aesthetic I am going for. I plan on getting it finished and pictured before we start traveling, but I’m not sure if I will have enough time to write about it and post something before that time. Just be patient with me! I promise I will have a bit more time this week and a moderate amount of time as we make our way down south. The kiddo and I are going to have an extended stay with my family, and I hope to have enough down-time to knock a few posts out. I am making a real effort to work on this blog. My heart is still very passionate about this project, but other constraints have been working against me lately.

Also…. My mom says she has a surprise for us when we visit. She won’t say exactly what, but I am sure it will be interesting! She has quite an impressive Barbie doll collection. A real collection – literally every doll is still in the box. I think I got my love of dolls from her, but we take two slightly different routes on how to express it. Fingers crossed that it is something fun for me to share with all of you.

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