The ramblings of a working, knitting, writing wife and mother.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who's There? A BJD Photostory

So . . . it’s really hard to take decent pictures in the winter when the sun goes down before I even get home from work. I’m using that as my excuse as to why 1) the pictures look the way they do and 2) why you haven’t heard from me in a while. I have a lot of stories to tell, so it’s been frustrating not to have the time or means to make them. This one should have been done months ago, when I actually received the box in question, but, as always, time just continues to move without me. However, since these stories are works of fiction, we can just pretend, right?
Also, I can’t decide on Kotori’s hair. I really love Gryffin’s old wig on her, but then I made the one she’s wearing in this story and think it makes her look so tomboyish and sweet, yet it’s too slippery to wear every day. I just don’t know. If anybody has a favorite Kotori hairpiece, let me know, eh?
But we’re not actually talking much about Kotori or Gryffin today. Oh no! Today should be a special day because I got a delivery confirmation notice in my email late this afternoon, and I’ve been all excited to get home and finally open a box that I’ve been waiting on for several weeks. It should be in my mailbox outside right now –


Me: “Oh, hi Gryffin. What are you doing?” And what’s with the fierce expression?


Gryffin: “Playing cards, what does it look like?”
Me: “I thought you were helping Kotori with her homework project.”


Gryffin: “Yeah, turns out she didn’t need me after all. One of her friends came, and they went to the library or whatever.”
Me: “You sound a little upset about it.” Which means I will have to put off the mail in the name of being a Good Parent.


Gryffin: “I don’t care! It’s not like she needs my permission. She can do what she wants.” (messing up his card game)
Me: (wondering if I should get involved) “I’m sorry Kotori feels the need to soak up as much American culture as she can every second of every day.”


Gryffin: “Doesn’t she though? I wonder when it’s going to kick in that she’s going to be living here permanently. She can take years for all this stuff; she doesn't have to volunteer for everything that comes along.”
Me: “Maybe you should tell her?”
Gryffin: “Yeah, sure, that’s going to work. Hey, Kotori, could you maybe change your entire personality and Stop Being So Helpful? I’d rather you just stay home every night and be bored and friendless.”
Me: “Or you could do things with her? Maybe volunteer to do the same stuff she’s doing so you wouldn’t feel so left out?”
Gryffin: “What do you think I was trying to do with this stupid homework thing? You think I wanted to devote my evening to filming a scene from MacBeth for her AP English deal?”
Me: “Well, actually, that does sound like fun –“
Gryffin: “Fine! It’s fun! I’m sure she’s having a blast, but she didn’t want me there. When I asked if she wanted my help, she got all red in the face and stammery and said she didn’t think I’d be interested so she’d made a group and they were all set, but thank you anyway.”


Me: “I’m sorry, buddy. Is there anything I can do to help you?”
Gryffin: “No, I’m all ranted out.”
Me: “Ok then, I’m just going to go and pick up the mail, but we can talk more if you want.”
Gryffin: “It’s ok, and I already got it when I walked Kotori out to her friend’s car.”
Me: “Oh, you did? And?”


Gryffin: “And the package you’ve been talking about for days is right there.”
Me: Struggling with conflicting emotions. I don’t want to make Gryffin think I don’t care about his emotional teenage turmoil (caused by his own inability to recognize his feelings), but I’m still excited about my box. . . .
Gryffin: (Bless him!) “What’s in it anyway? Why does it have holes in it and fragile stickers . . oh, and especially the part where it says, Live Animal / Open Immediately? What’s that all about?”


Me: “Isn’t it sweet? I adopted a Fairy. See? Here’s her picture.”
Gryffin: “What does that mean? Adopted?”
Me: “It was the most adorable thing, ever. The website I found sells these Fairies, from Fairyland, and instead of saying that each one is hand-sculpted and unique, they say that they ‘breed’ fairies as good-luck charms for houses and offer them out for adoption. She’s supposed to bring good fortune if she ‘lives’ with us.”
Gryffin: (not impressed) “You’ve been waiting for weeks for a good-luck doll?”
Me: “I think I’m going to open her somewhere else so your bad mood won’t tarnish the experience.”


Gryffin (following me): “Sorry, Mom. I’ll quit raining on your parade. Let me see your fairy.”
Me: “Thanks, honey. Here, I want to get a picture, so why don’t you open the box for me? I can’t wait to finally see her! I think I’ll put her in the family room -”


Gryffin: “Ok, here we go.” Pause.
Me: “Gryffin, I can’t see. Open the box all the way.”
Gryffin: “You’re not going to like it.”
Me: “Of course I will! Just open it.”


Gryffin: “But there’s nothing here.”
Me: “What? No. There’s a note – what’s the note say?”


Gryffin: (reading): “’Caution – contains live animal.’ Oh, please.”
Me: “And?”
Gryffin (sighs): “’Dear New Fairy Owner, if you are right now looking at an empty box, congratulations! If your fairy is missing, it means she already feels quite at ease in her new home and is currently exploring her surroundings.’ Yeah, right.”
Me: “Shh, keep reading.”
Gryffin: “I don’t think so. It’s too stupid.”


Me: “Give it here, then. ‘If you look quick behind your shoulder, you may catch a glimpse of her. But don’t worry, once she’s quite settled, perhaps in your teapot, she will come forward and make herself known to you. This introduction process generally takes six to eight weeks.’ Oh, how cute.”
Gryffin: “Unbelievable!”
Me: “That there’s a fairy somewhere in the house?”
Gryffin: “Nooooo! Mom, you got conned. You paid for an empty box! This is horrible.”


Me: “What are you talking about? This is great! It’s just what their company advertised – a genuine domesticated fairy. Come to think of it, there was nothing on the site that said it was a figurine, I just assumed that. Awww, I wonder where she is.”
Gryffin: “I’m not hearing this.”


Me: “What?”
Gryffin: “Mom, come on. It’s so obvious!”
Kotori: “Hey, everyone, I’m home. What’s going on? What’s with the box?”


Gryffin: “Kotori! Great, you’re home. Now you can help me explain to Mom that she’s just become the victim of a scam.”


Kotori: “What is he talking about, Mrs. Kingsley?”
Me: “Oh, Gryffin is just upset because I bought a domesticated fairy and she’s somewhere exploring the house.”


Kotori: “You mean Gwendolyn?! She finally got here? Awww, I can’t wait to see her!”


Gryffin: “Kotori, seriously, not you too. Look at the box! They sent her an empty box!”


Kotori: “It’s not completely empty. See? Her wardrobe is still here. Oh, look how tiny she is! I never thought they’d send you a real fairy.”


Gryffin: “They didn’t send her anything!”
Kotori: (reading) “’Your fairy is very young and shy, but she’s quite used to humans, dogs, cats, and other pets. Give her some time to warm up to you, and she will be an invaluable addition to your household. Our company has devoted itself to bringing this sweet and helpful species back from near extinction, and we are the only one of our kind in the world. We have nearly three dozen fairy clans, and our adolescent fairies are excited to become a part of other families. Our mission is to close the gap between humans and fae and create new, safer, habitats for these once completely wild creatures in homes around the globe. We know that your home is ideal just because you’ve chosen to open it to Gwendolyn.’ Wow, that’s amazing, it’s personalized and everything.”


Gryffin: “Why am I the only one seeing what’s going on here? Come on, guys, wake up! This kind of stuff happens all the time. These Fairyland people created a site, got a bunch of suckers to send them money, then they sent out empty packages saying that we can wait weeks before we see something that isn’t really there in the first place and by that time, the site will be down, the phone number will be disconnected, and they will be long gone with most of my college tuition savings and no way to get it back. Mom! I can’t believe you got tricked like this!”
Me: “No, it’s all very legitimate. They have owner reviews and testimonials and everything.”


Gryffin: “From who? PETA? I give up. I’m going to go warn the Better Business Bureau about this.”


Kotori: “It’s a really fun idea, Mrs. Kingsley, but I’m wondering if Gryffin might be right? It does seem a little odd for people to be selling real fairies through the mail and expecting people to be content when they open an empty box.”
Me: “I know, but it would be nice if it were true. I guess I’ll give them a call in the morning and see about a refund.”


Kotori: “I’m sorry, Mrs. Kingsley. I know how excited you were about this.”


Kotori: Too bad about all the commotion tonight. So much disappointment in such a small time-frame can’t be good for anyone.


Kotori (throwing Gryffin’s hat on the bed): But it is kind of fun to watch Gryffin get all worked up like that. I bet Mrs. Kingsley was pretending to believe in the fairy just so she could laugh inside about how hysterical he gets.


Kotori: I wish I’d let him come help film our scene, but I’d be too embarrassed to be Lady MacBeth if he were there watching me!


Kotori: pulling back the covers and Noticing Something Not Normal



Kotori: (throwing the covers back on) “EEEP!!!”


Kotori: (running out of the room) “Gryffin!!”


Gryffin: “You say you saw what in your bed, now?”
Kotori: “I don’t know – I just glimpsed it. I was too scared to get a good look. I just threw the covers over it and ran to get you.”


Gryffin: (flopping on the bed) “Mom got you all weirded out by the fairy thing, huh?”


Gryffin: “But if we pull the blanket back, I’m sure that we’ll find that it was all in your imagination.”
Kotori: “Be careful.”


Gryffin: “Uh huh. See? Nothing there.”


Gryffin: “And nothing to be freaked out about.”


Kotori: “Now I'm worried. What if I DID find your mom’s fairy in my bed, but now I’ve scared her off for good? What if she runs out and never comes back. What if she goes outside and something hurts her!”


Gryffin: “Kotori, seriously, don’t worry so much. I’m sure the Fairyland people explained that popping up in people’s beds without warning might cause an unexpected reaction like yours. Or, as is more probable, you were just tired and thought you saw something that wasn’t actually there, which still means that everything is fine and, once again, you don’t have to worry.”


Kotori: “Still, I’d better go tell your mom about it.”


Gryffin: “Thanks for saving me from my overactive imagination, Gryffin. You’re my hero. I’m sure you’re right – it’s just because I’ve been overworking myself lately. No wonder I’m seeing things. Maybe I shouldn’t try to do so much. Oh, you’re welcome, Kotori. Maybe we could do something relaxing together tomorrow so I can keep you safe from imaginary fairies.”


Gryffin: “Man, why can’t I ever say the right thing? I’m so stupid!”

Muffled laughter coming from Somewhere.


Gryffin: “Who’s there?”

Obviously, this is To Be Continued, and I feel bad that I can’t make any promises about when. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Holidays!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Gnomes Go Marching One By One: A BJD Photo Story

Wow, this one took forever to make. . .the things that I do for your entertainment! The last time we saw our resin darlings, Gryffin was thinking of sewing and stuffing all seven of my unfinished Yuletide Gnomes because I carelessly mentioned that I would pay two hundred dollars to anyone who would save me from having to do it. That would be just fine except for one tiny thing.

Gryffin can't sew to save his life.


Gryffin: "Hopeless . . . just hopeless. She'll be home tonight and I haven't even really started. What was I thinking?"


Kotori: "Gryffin? I thought you were still sleeping. What are you doing up here so early?"
Gryffin: "Sewing. . . well . . ."


Kotori: "Really? Sewing? Good for you! Can I look?"
Gryffin: "Um. . . yeah, ok."


Kotori: "Well, your stitches are pretty even, but what you are making exactly?"
Gryffin: "I was going to sew up Mom's gnomes for her before she gets home tonight."


Kotori: "Oh! That's so nice of you! But, if I may, I think you'll want to seam these up with mattress stitch instead of what you've been using. It will make the stitches invisible. I can show you how . . ."


Gryffin: "Forget it. Even if you showed me, there isn't enough time to do all seven."
Kotori: "Maybe not by yourself."


Kotori: "But if we worked as a team, I bet we could do it."
Gryffin: "Really, Kotori? But, aren't you busy today?"


Kotori: "Not so busy I can't help a friend in need. Right? I'll just pull this out for a fresh start."


Kotori: "Then I'll do the stitching, and you can do the stuffing and sorting. Ok? Oh, and would you mind bringing my work chair in here for me?"
Gryffin: "Oh, sure, be right back."


Kotori: "This is such a good idea, Gryffin. Your mom is going to be so surprised! I feel just like that fairy tale about the shoemaker and the elves, don't you?"
Gryffin: "Heh. . . yeah . . . just like that."


Kotori: "There's another arm all seamed up! That must be the last of the green ones."


Kotori: "Put it on the pile . . . wow."


Kotori: "That's quite the pile. Gryffin? How's the stuffing coming along?"


Kotori: "Gryffin?"
Gryffin: "And Kingsley takes his aim, readying his approach."


Gryffin: "There's the release . . . looking good . . . looking really good."


Gryffin: "STRIKE!!"


Gryffin: "High five!"


Kotori: "I thought you wanted to be done before your mom comes home tonight."
Gryffin: "Um, yeah, I do."
Kotori: "Then we're going to have to work together. Here. Start stuffing."


Gryffin: "Sorry, Kotori. I couldn't resist the gnome bowling pins. I'll do better. Now what do you want me to do?"
Kotori: "I need you to stuff these pieces I've already seamed and then sort them out so I know what goes with what gnome. Can you do that?"


Gryffin: "No problem. This hat goes with this one. And this hat goes with this one. And this one over here, that one over there . . ."


Gryffin: "And this one is for you!"


Kotori: "Gryffin, what do I need a hat for?"
Gryffin: "It's magic. Trust me."
Kotori: Sighs. "Whatever you say."


Gryffin: "I pulled a panda out of that hat the day before yesterday. Honest. It's magic."
Kotori: "Are you stuffing limbs yet?"


Gryffin: "Kotori, look! I'm a gnome!"


Kotori: "Gryffin, please . . . please focus. I said I'd help you, but I didn't say I'd do it for you."


Gryffin: "I'm stuffing! I'll be good. Please stay and help me."
Kotori: "That's better."


Gryffin: "By the way, Kotori. Don't get me wrong; I'm super grateful, but why did you drop your plans for the day to work on this with me?"


Kotori: "There are lots of reasons, I guess. I want to do something nice for your mom too and this is a great way to show her how much I appreciate all she does for me. And, no offense, you really needed someone to help you with the sewing. And, honestly, it's been a long time since we. . . well . . . we haven't really spent much . . um . . I mean. . "


Kotori: "Anyway, you'd do the same for me. Can I have that nose back? I need to sew it on."


Gryffin: "You want my nose?"


Gryffin: "I guess that's a small price to pay for your cheerful assistance."
Kotori: "Thanks."

Awkward silence turned into occupied silence turned into unconscious silence as the pair worked and worked throughout the day, turning out gnomes left and right. But luckily for you, through the magic of the blogosphere, we can fast forward to much, much later that evening.


Kotori: "That does it. What does this make? Five or six?"


Gryffin: "One, two, three . . .it makes six. Almost done!"


Kotori: "What a relief. I'm almost gnomed out. How about you?"


Gryffin: "I'm fine, but you definitely have the hard part. Are you holding up ok?"


Kotori: "My hands are getting tired. I've never sewn this much all at once before."
Gryffin: "Do you want to take a break?"


Kotori: "No, this is the last one. Let's get it finished."


Gryffin: "Good thing it's the last one. We really were cutting it close on the stuffing."


Gryffin: "This is it. Just enough to put in the last nose."


Gryffin: "You did a great job, Kotori. All these gnomes look fantastic."
Kotori: "All that's left is to sew on the magic hat."


Kotori: "Voila! They're all done."
Gryffin: "Let's put them back in the basket where Mom kept all the pieces."


Kotori: "They look so cute!"
Gryffin: "Thanks for all your help, Kotori. I never would have made it without you."


Kotori: "It wasn't much. I had a lot of fun today."


Gryffin: "It was kind of fun, wasn't it? But Kotori? You know what that basket is missing?"
Kotori: "What? All seven gnomes are there."
Gryffin: "YOU!" Gently pushes her into the basket.


Kotori: "Oooff! Oh, hey, it's actually pretty comfortable in here."


Kotori turns over and promptly falls asleep while Gryffin watches.


Until the door opens.

Me: Gryffin? What are you doing up so late? You weren't waiting up for me, were you?"


Gryffin: "Shh, kind of. We just finished."
Me: What are you talking about?"


Gryffin: "Kotori and I have been working on a surprise for you. We finished all your gnomes while you were gone."
Me: "You did! Oh, you're kidding! That's amazing, Gryffin. I can't believe you did that!"


Gryffin: "Actually, all the thanks goes to Kotori. She reorganized her whole day so she could help me. I was going to do it on my own after you said that you would pay anyone two hundred dollars for it . . but then I couldn't even sew one seam without her help. She did everything."
Me: "I see. Did you tell Kotori about the two hundred dollars?"
Gryffin: "No. Are you kidding? Kotori doesn't care about stuff like that. She just did it to help you and me. . .that's how she is."
Me: "You're right, but I should give you both something. That was a lot of work you saved me from."

Gryffin: "No, Mom, that's ok. Honestly? I think I'd give you two hundred dollars just to do this day all over again . . "
Me: "Oh? Does that mean you'll sew together my next order? There's only half a dozen this time around."
Gryffin: "Sure, whatever you like."
Me: "Great. But we'll talk about it more in the morning. I'm headed up to bed, how about you?"


Gryffin: "You go ahead. I'll be up in a little while."

The end!