Saturday, November 30, 2013

In which it's John Ashton's birthday and we have a present for - well, everyone....

A very, very happy birthday to our (well, my) favorite Psychedelic Fur, John Ashton!

Here's to many more!

Okay, so - would this mean that I'd be the lucky girl who gets to spank the birthday boy?

Maddy: CAROLINE!!!!

Oops. I didn't realize she was drinking diet Coke when I said that.

Did that go out your nose? Sorry....


Maddy just finished a new dress and she decided to take pics along the way and make a little how-to for it.

Here's the link: Granny Dress Tutorial

This is the dress. It's a little hard to see, but it has a double ruffle at the bottom. It's all worked in rectangles, so there's no pattern, but all the measurements are included.

And if there's anything we left out, let us know. Neither of us have ever written out sewing directions before....

Have fun with it - and send pics if you decide to make one! We'd love to see them.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In which it's Thanksgiving....

Today is Thanksgiving here in the US. It's a day to celebrate everything we're thankful for, watch people walk through New York City with HUGE balloons, watch football and eat way, way WAY too much, apparently...

So I'll start. I'm thankful for....

 What the heck...?

Uh oh.

We'll resume our Thanksgiving message after this preview of the hot new hit on Animal Planet - "When Yarn Attacks!"


John-John: I'm thankful for Shel and the fact that he isn't the one doing the cooking.

Shel: I'm thankful for my adopted family and for John-John, the love of my life who loves me despite my cooking.

John-John: And by the way, Maddy painted this plaster turkey when she was seven.

Maddy: It's just drybrushed over brown guys. I fail to see why everyone get so excited about it.

Tim Morris: I'm thankful that my brother found me and got me out of  - wherever I was.

Edward: I'm thankful that nobody eats stuffed rabbit for Thanksgiving.
I'm also thankful that I don't have to put up with that annoying Justin Beaver doll anymore. What a conceited little  - well, juicebag....

Tim: It's Beiber. And I probably just destroyed what little street cred I had by admitting that I knew that.

Moriko: I'm thankful to be able to see more of the world and meet other dolls like me. I'm also thankful that the world isn't the same as it was when my ancestor Friendship Dolls came to America. Now our countries really are friends.

Richard Morris: I'm thankful that I was able to find my brother - and that I also found Sohalia when I did.

Sohalia: I'm thankful that they brought me along.

John Ashton Smith: Need a hand, luv?

Me: No, I'm good, I think - ow! Hey, no claws...

JT: I'm thankful that Rich and Maddy are both kind of absent-minded. Thanks to that, I'm not stuck in a bottle anymore. I even have a body.

Val: I'm thankful that he knows what was up with that, because none of us did...

Percy: I'm thankful to have an actual home now. No more spending holidays in an office.

And most of all, we're all thankful to you, all of our readers, for being willing to go along with us no matter how weird things get around here! We'd like to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, or Hanukkah, or Thursday or whatever you celebrate!

Cat: Mew?

No way. We're not having catnip stuffing. You're weird enough as it is without being on drugs....

Friday, November 22, 2013

In which I'm not sure about something....


So, okay. Maddy bought a guinea pig harness. For walkies, I guess....

This is apparently how it's supposed to fit.


This is how it actually fits.

I think we need a DNA test here. I'm starting to think he's a hamster.

Monday, November 18, 2013

In which - just a bunch more random photos....

....because it's been quiet around here. Almost too quiet.

I'm starting to think that I may need to make something happen so I can blog about it.

See. we Hittys don't always wear the old-fashioned type clothes - well, not all of us, anyway. Myself, I like a change every now and then. And sometimes the fancy girly stuff is well - not too practical. Like when you're clobbering some nutjob who's turned himself into and old Ken doll, say....

Although I think most of us dress like that in homage to our ancestor Hitty, I think that if she were carved today, she'd of course wear contemporary outfits. There's also the matter of age. I may be a bit older than the average Hitty - I do remember Ester Robertson gently scolding some of her crew that they weren't old enough to be interested in boys yet. Obviously, that not the case with me. At least Maddy doesn't object to my having a boyfriend, anyway.

All that rambling aside, a few extra layers of pantalettes and petticoats are very nice when the temperature decides to nosedive from say, 65F to 25F like it did last week....

See what I mean? This was the morning of 11/12. It took three days for it to get warm enough to really melt. It wasn't enough to make a mess of the roads or anything, just enough to be really dreary and cold. 

This was the view from the post office. Yes, it was as cold as that looks.

"Engage the silent drive!"

Well, sort of, anyway. How silent the Rogue runs depends on the road conditions. Maddy said it does seem like a lot of road noise comes through even with the windows closed sometimes, especially if the road is wet. Then it sounds like someone left a window open when they shouldn't have. And the transmission is a new type (shades of the original Red October's silent drive!) called a CVT. Maddy said that a lot of the gearhead types she knows hate CVTs because of the noise they make. Instead of gears, the transmission operates on a series of belts and pulleys - which makes it far more fuel efficient and smoother when shifting, but sometimes, when it's shifting from one set of belts to another, it makes a funny rasping noise. It's normal for a CVT but with an older transmission, it would probably mean you'd blown a gear or something. Like Maddy says, you just have to know your vehicle.

Meanwhile, these two troublemakers have been trying to convince Maddy to dig their tree out of the closet so they can put it up and decorate it. Yes, tree as in Christmas tree. Maddy's trying to convince them to at least wait until the day after Thanksgiving. She said that since she isn't going anywhere near a retail establishment on black Friday, we'll have time to start putting up lights and stuff then. This could be cool. You have to remember, my birthday was this February 5th, so I have yet to see what all this holiday fuss is about.

I even had time to make a wreath for the Autumn Wreath challenge on Hittygirls. I decided to keep it simple and raid Maddy's bead stash. We found the wreath form at a craft store for fifty cents.


Well, she did keep her word. It was only for a few minutes. And she does have good taste in literature.

I'm beginning to think we might need a roadtrip soon.....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In which we have a new furball in the family....

Meet Jasper.

He's (obviously) a guinea pig. He's also a baby and very, very, very, very, very shy. He's been spending most of the last couple of days in his little hideaway hut, but we were able to convince him to come out for a photo op. As you can see, he looks like two different guinea pigs depending on which side you're looking at.

"Does it say anything about watercress in there?" Maddy said, coming in from the kitchen with a bag. The dandelion greens we found in the supermarket weren't as big a hit as she thought they'd be. After she cooked some for her own dinner, she realized they were kind of bitter, to say the least.

"No. It says no purslane, though. And easy on broccoli because it causes gas." I'd say that's one problem none of us need.

"Better not." She looked at the bag. "I'll wash the romaine/arugula mix, then."


I don't know if Zaphod has noticed the new furball in town. Maddy thinks he has and is slightly jealous, but if he is, he's showing it by being extra cute and sweet and cuddly. He's been begging (successfully) to come out and play all day.

"Are all degus like that?" I said, watching him get yet another head scratch.

"I don't know. From what I was reading online, I don't think so." Maddy gave him a peanut and shut the cage.

 "Like on a message board?"

She nodded. "I never joined it. They'd have my head in no time. You see, I only have the one."


"So according to them, I'm a horrible evil mean person who's abusing her poor innocent degu because I didn't give him a companion to live with. They say the minimum you should keep is three. Now, never mind that they have post after post after post from people whose degus are pretty much killing each other and have a complicated six to eight month process for even introducing two so that maybe they won't try to kill each other when you put them together and they still insist that they need that precious, precious companion or else they'll go insane and won't even live a year."

And this one is what? Four years old now and - well, I don't think he's insane, although I'm not sure that spending ten minutes running around your house squeaking with a wooden hamburger in your mouth is normal. Even for a degu. Nor is breaking out of a Critter Keeper while your person is cleaning your cage and proceeding to knock over a bottle of Delta Ceramcoat and spill it. All over everything. Never mind that the reason he was in a Critter Keeper was that he'd chewed the bottom out of the holding cage he was supposed to be in.

"He chewed the bottom out of his original cage, too," Maddy said. "It was a good thing I was home when he did it. I was able to nab him and stick him in an old fish tank while I went out and bought one of those wire cage toppers for it. At two PM on the last Saturday afternoon before Christmas. I wasn't pleased. And those wire cage topper thingys basically suck. It was a pain in the butt to take on and off to clean and I couldn't really reach into it to take him out. I finally ended up ordering the cage he's in now from a place in Oregon. I needed one that was all metal. That's another thing with that online group. Apparently you're also a bad person if you don't build your own cage or have one custom built, because of course the evil bad mean pet stores don't sell good cages. Never mind that they also insist on wooden-bottomed cages for degus."

Somehow, I don't think an enclosure should double as a chew toy. But that's just me.

There's another thing about degus. As Maddy discovered after she got Zaphod, you'll be reading the list of ingredients on anything you buy for them very, very carefully. As it turns out, they came into the pet trade via the medical research route - they were first imported from South America for diabetes research. Simply put, they can't have sugar.

"Apparently their bodies can't process it. And wouldn't you know, just about every small animal mix has either sugar beet molasses or cane molasses in it to bind the pellets together. And of course the little furbag won't eat degu pellets." Luckily she found one brand of small animal mix that doesn't have sugar in the pellets that he'll actually eat. And he loves timothy grass hay, although she still has to be careful not to buy the kind with dried fruit added.

So, with all that - would you get another one?

"Of course!"

(Yes, that's Zaphod. Or his nose, anyway. It's hard to photograph someone who wants to see if the camera is edible....)

And PS - Jasper is out sniffing around his cage. Finally....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In which JT tells a little more of his story....

"This is a really nice place you have here," JT was saying.

"Thanks. Maddy and I did a lot of work on it," I said. "My friend Miranda gave me this idea for how to put up the lights."

"The original Hitty had a bookcase apartment once upon a time, so that's why so many modern Hittys live in bookcases," John added. "Plus, they're the perfect size."

 "I'll get you set up in something soon, JT. Don't worry," Maddy said, coming in.

"I'm fine," he said with a smile. He and John have been roommates the past few days. It's a little bit strange, because, unlike us, he wasn't born a doll, so to speak. But he's adjusting very well so far.

"So what's it like being a doll?" Maddy said after a moment.

"Not too different from being human, I guess. Except I haven't been in a body since 1991," he admitted. "So I guess I only partially remember what it was like." He paused a moment, then said. "You see, if I did this, then nobody would be able to trap me in a bottle again like that. Not so long as I freely chose to bind myself to a new form."

"What did you do as a human?" I said. Unlike dolls, I don't think humans can get away with just being awesome for a living. I don't think that pays very well.

"I was a musician. In a band, you know?" He shrugged.

"Someone we'd know?" I said.

"Probably..." He left it at that. Maddy and I kind of looked at each other, but decided not to pry. Maddy's take on these kind of situations is that the person - or doll - in question will tell you when they're ready.

"So what exactly happened?" John said after a moment. He's been trying to figure this whole thing out. "In New Orleans, I mean."

"I got into town the afternoon before the show, so I had a free night. I met up with a couple of old friends and we went out for dinner. No big deal. There were these two other guys who came up to us at one point - they recognized me - and talked for a few minutes. I didn't think anything of it at the time. But they must have thought I had a lot of money or drugs or something on me, which I didn't - all I can think is that they followed me back to the motel. I don't remember anything after they broke in until I woke up and there was this huge commotion with all these people in the room. Except that I was on the bed and my body was under the dresser and I couldn't get anyone's attention to tell them I was there. I had no idea what was going on. It was a couple of days before I really figured out that I was technically dead. Good thing there are a lot of unquiet spirits in New Orleans. If I hadn't met a couple of them I'd probably still be trying to figure it out." He rolled his eyes with a wry laugh. "Honestly, it wasn't too bad until that West guy showed up. I was stuck on this plane, but it was okay. At least it's what I'm used to."

"What was he trying to do?' John said. "I know what he told me, but..."

"Pretty much what you said. His idea for reanimating the dead went nowhere in a hurry, so he was going to try to stick a bunch of us unquiet spirits into those half-finished doll bodies he got from that Bishop chick. You would have thought he'd have learned his lesson the first time."

"The first time?" Maddy said.

JT nodded. "That is you're going to reanimate someone, have the common decency to sew any missing parts back on first."

"Wait. Are you saying....?" John's eyes were wider than usual.

JT nodded again. "Reanimator wasn't fiction. HP Lovecraft was merely recounting the facts of the story as he heard them. However, Dr. West couldn't reanimate himself. So he had to make do with coming back as an old Ken doll."

Barbie's not going to like that, I thought.

"I thought he looked familiar," John said. "So who were the others in the bottles?"

"Anyone he could find. Of course, when you make an open call to the unquiet spirits like he did, you're going to end up with some who are more unquiet than others. I don't think any of them are specifically after me or anyone else - at least, nobody we know. But they're not exactly the kind of people you want to have around."

"I need to update Dr. Armitage on this...." John went to find his laptop.

"That sounds serious," Val said, coming over.

JT smiled at her. "Don't worry. I've dealt with their kind in this world before. And now that they're spirits, they're even more vulnerable."

I hope we're not going to have to find out just how powerful that athame really is....

Friday, November 1, 2013

In which my first Halloween is a very strange one, indeed....

Yesterday was really weird. I'm still trying to figure all of it out...

Remember that little bottle thing that Maddy found out in the yard? The one Rich took up to Dr. Armitage in Arkham? He told us it was a spirit bottle, but he didn't know whose spirit was trapped inside. Not knowing that, he was more than a little nervous about releasing it. He suggested Rich bring it back here for Maddy to bury in the yard or something...

And Rich, of course, totally forgot to tell Maddy that he had the bottle. He left it in his bag on her sewing/dining room table and Maddy being Maddy, she didn't look in the bag or ask him to move it. She just set it in a little plastic storage basket with some of her works in progress, including a doll body.

And last night was Halloween, aka Samhain. Also known as the night when pretty much anything can happen, supernaturally speaking....

So really, I guess what happened next wasn't too surprising at all....


Around midnight, I was getting ready for bed and Maddy was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth, she said, when we heard a big thump in the dining room, followed by all of the birds pretty much freaking out. We all ran in, thinking something was trying to break down the door....

Instead, we found the plastic bin had fallen over, and.....

"Where am I?"

"Did I give you a face?" Maddy was stunned, to say the least.

"I - did you...?" He didn't know what was going on any more than we did. "I don't know. The last thing I knew, I was in New Orleans."

"New Orleans?" Maddy, John and I said more or less together.

He nodded. "I don't remember much. I remember one of them kicking in the motel room door. I knew I was in big trouble. I knew one way or another I was dead."

"Were you in that bottle?" John said, figuring out what was going on before we all did. Everyone needs a paranormalist in the family.

"Bottle? I don't know. I know I was in something and couldn't get out. I kept working at it and I guess I knocked something off..." He looked down at himself. "This could have been much worse. I have a body, at least...."


He told us that once upon a time , he'd been from New York City - not too far away - and to just call him JT. Like he said, he didn't remember very much about what happened. He'd been in New Orleans for a show, he said, and had gone out to get something to eat. He thinks someone he talked to briefly followed him back to the motel, perhaps assuming he had a lot of money or something, which he didn't.

"The police never bothered to look into it. They put down that I died of a drug overdose and never investigated further. Because of that, my killers got away. And because of that, I can never cross over to the other side. I'm stuck here. So I was pretty much helpless when that West guy went looking for spirits to kidnap. He planned to - well, do something like this. Force us into those discarded doll bodies he'd gotten from that Bishop woman."

"Which is kind of what happened anyway..." Maddy said, looking a bit guilty.

"No, this is great, believe me. I picked this one. It has all the limbs and everything, and all of them work." He smiled. "I didn't mean to cause trouble. I just had to get out of that- you said it was a bottle?"

Rich nodded. "I shouldn't have listened to Dr. Armitage. I should have just let you out. I'm sorry."

"Listen, a couple of the other spirits he trapped, you would not have wanted to let out, believe me." JT said with a shudder. "I don't blame you at all."

"I'm sorry..." It was Val, looking kind of shy. "I found some clothes that might fit you."

"If they don't, I'll make something," Maddy said.

They fit, but she probably will anyway.

JT said he doesn't know what happened to the other bottles. Rich said they found four others and JT said there should have been at least five more.

I don't think Dr. Armitage is going to be too reassured by that.....