Sunday, March 17, 2019

Ring Around the Dollies (Musings of a Blogger)

For quite some time now, finding rings for the ladies (and men, but they are harder to find them for) has been a challenge.  Isis' ring engagement ring is through her finger and her band is painted on (after reading this post, I fear she will be quite upset with me and ask for a new body so her rings can be replaced), that was the best I could do for her.

Vedette, Egypt and Marianna have no choice, the rings on their right hands are via holes, but still lovely rings.  Most of the married ladies have had no wedding bands (at a minimum), but they'd like to have them.  The single ladies just want to sport rings because they are (let's face it) fashionistas.

I have been on the hunt, tried tutorials and still not able to figure it out.  For Ember's engagement ring, I did tried a piece of wire with the diamond on it.  It lasted long enough to show she was engaged, but then went kaput.  So I had to hide her left hand for the last story (hopefully no one noticed, but I am telling on myself since I fixed the issue).

I was fortunate enough to secure a ring for her from the Dynamite Girls line (Score!).  She's happy with it. But I can't afford to keep spending that money.  And then I found it, the solution no so far from the other items I had tried, jewelry findings.  I finally found the right item (maybe I'll tell you, but for now, you must suffer through the mystery) and now I'm ring making crazy.

I must say that wedding bands are the easiest, but other rings are just fine.  However, I still have not perfected the engagement ring with a diamond.  The diamond is only secured with glue, so it can be easy to knock off if I'm not very careful.  So I need some work there.

Anyway, I'm going to be on ring making frenzy as there are many (yes, many) ladies who'd love rings.  I'm going to show you some of the ladies and their rings so far.

 Marlin's psychiatrist Yulie McNeil (and I.T. lady) can wear the same rings.

 Cyann, Avery and Ember are enjoying their rings.

 Ember's engagement ring (the one I didn't make).

 Avery's ring, it sparkles (but I had better be careful not to knock it off.

Cyann's wedding band is silver in the middle, sandwiched by gold. I got the idea from my own band.

 Somali, Bexly and Remington got in on the deal.

Remington has a simple band on her right middle finger and a pretty big gold ball on her pinky.

Bexly has a natural stone on the right hand.

Somali has on both her engagement ring and band (another diamond I have to watch out for)

I'm loving that I found a way to make rings and have lots of work to do to get rings on fingers.  Oh, and yes, that requires separating their fingers with a very precise pair of scissors made to cut into fine places.  An Instagrammer I follow, Miranda, who also writes the One Sixth Avenue doll blog (you should read it, she's very talented with her dioramas, clothes and other doll things), separated her doll's fingers which gave me the courage to try it.

That's it for now.

Thank you for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Sunday, March 3, 2019

All of Ember's Sisters

Parker and Ember are officially engaged.  They have not yet set the date, but have started discussing their plans.  They are not sure if it should be a Spring, Summer or Fall wedding, but they are certain they will be getting married as soon as they can.  Parker is concerned about having a larger place to live.  He'd rather not crowd into Ember's bedroom and he would still like a space for his own home office.  The kitchen is already a tight squeeze.  Plus Parker feels he would be moving into Ember's home, not THEIR home.  So a lot is hinging on how soon they can find a new place to live.

Ember understands.  In the interim, the news has spread and Cyann, being who she is, just has to organize some things for the imminent wedding.  So today she is having a small soiree and has invited Ember's sisters, Henna and Syren, and Ember's soon to be sister-in-law.  She is trying to be 'the hostess with the mostest' with the food and drink.

Avery:  I just knew you'd be my sister too.  I've already considered you as my sister since you and my brother got together.  I'm soooo excited!  I mean, you kept it from me long enough at first, but I knew this day would come. If I were religious, I would have prayed for it.
Henna:  They tried hiding it for sure.  As long as we're reminiscing, I remember seeing them interact in my office one day.  They tried so hard to play it cool, but Parker almost tripped over himself trying to get the door for her.  Yes, he's a gentleman, but I knew there was more to him running to get that door for her.

(To revisit that story, click here.)

Syren:  Oh, yeah.  When she told us, you certainly did say you already knew .  That's right.  Well, I'm just happy for you, Em. Although, there is something to be said for playing the field.
Henna:  Really, Sy?  We cannot all be wild and running around sowing our wild oats forever. It's good to settle down.
Syren:  I know you are not talking.  If you were so into settling down, you would already be married to Maurice by now.  But nope, you not only turned him down, you lost him...foreva.
Henna (making a face):  I'm just saying...well, whatever.  Well, at least I'm not with a different man every other week.

Syren (smirking):  Maybe you'd be a happier more relaxed person if you let someone, anyone, hit that more often.
Ember:  Alright.  Don't make me pull you two apart and place you in separate corners.  You can enjoy the lives you want.  No judgement.
Henna (rolling her eyes):  Sy, just because you are Jezebel incarnate, doesn't mean...
Ember:  I said cut it out.  This is about my engagement, not your big sister, little sister dysfunction.
Syren (looking down):  I'm sorry, you're right.
Henna:  Yeah.  Me too.  So, let's change the subject to something more exciting.  Avery, how's life with two now?

Avery:  Wonderful!  I've decided not to return to work for a while.  I just want to be home with my cherubs. I just enjoy every moment.
Cyann:  Hmm...It looks like you're enjoying those drinks too.
Avery:  I haven't been able to let loose in quite some time.  I don't have to drive, so I'm going to imbibe as much as I want.
Cyann:  Good for you.  I'm letting loose too.  Well, mostly because Gray is here.  He's on Daddy Duty for the rest of the evening and I'm going to take full advantage of it.  

Syren:  Speaking of dads, I get that Parker is going to be Erwyn's dad now, but will there be more nieces or even a nephew in my future?
Ember (grinning):  Well, he does want children and I would love to have more.  We are getting a house, so we'll have room to grow.  Although it will probably mean we will have to search for a full-time nanny will be necessary with our schedules and trying to run two businesses.
Cyann:  Elaina won't want the job?
Ember:  She likes all the hours she gets now, but I know she's been talking about when her husband is home permanently.  She plans to start her own family soon.  He was just here for Valentine's Day.
Cyann:  She has mentioned wanting children.  That means I'll need a new sitter too soon.

Cyann:  So can we talk about the wedding?  Colors, food, etc.
Ember: I'm still giving it thought.  I don't know if I want a big wedding. I was thinking something really small.
Henna:  How small?  You know this is Parker's first time.  I'm sure he wants his family there.  Probably friends.  By small you mean less than 200?
Ember:  That's a lot.  I'm thinking just family and some friends.
Syren:  As long as I'm there, I don't have any concerns.  Hey, are you wearing white?
Ember:  Maybe.  

Syren:  I want to wear white when I get married.
Henna:  Well, that's surprising.
Syren: Don't be surprised.  I do want to get married one day.
Henna:  I'm more surprised about your wearing white.
Ember:  If you two don't cut it out.
Cyann:  Right!  For heaven's sake, sooner or later you need to outgrow this need to bicker and judge.  You've been like this since we were kids.  Grow up.
Henna:  Okay.  I'm sorry.  I promise, no more smart remarks.  I'll be good.

Avery (laughing): And to think I wanted sisters growing up.  Now I appreciate being the only girl and my brother even more.  
Ember (laughing):  They are not always like this.  They do get along. It's just that Henna treats Sy like a baby all the time.  She wants her to still be a moldable child and she isn't any longer.  
Henna:  It's my job to help her be a responsible person.

Avery:  But you don't say things like that to Ember.
Henna:  That's because Ember is usually more responsible than even I am.  What can I tell her?
Cyann:  Nothing.  Never have been able to. She's always the peacemaker and the one with the sound mind.

Cyann:  So, I'm thinking we need some hot strippers for the bachelorette party.
Avery:  I'm thinking I need another drink to make this even more fun.
Cyann:  I'm getting the laptop.  We need some visual ideas.

Apparently, Ember's sisters, all of them, are going to do everything they can to make this wedding successful.  This will be interesting.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Long Toast


It's Valentine's Day evening.  Ember is home after having been out with Parker.  She's in the bathroom soaking in the tub, which she felt like she needed when she got home.  She thought it would relax her.  She's trying to pull herself together and be as quiet as possible.  She doesn't want Erwyn to hear her crying.

Ember is still trying gather her thoughts considering her dinner with Parker this evening and how it went.  She finds it interesting that it was Valentine's Day when her sister, Henna, found herself in a similar situation (you can read the story here).  Ember has so many emotions going through her right now.

As Ember sits, letting the heat from the water warm and soothe her   The evening turned out so different than she thought it would.

Ember places the wash cloth over her face and puts her head back to relax and reflect on the evening...

Let's join her in her reflection...

Ember and Parker are enjoying the dinner he planned for them.  It's Valentine's Day, almost like a the Valentine's Day when they left and became intimate for the first time (you can read that story here).

The mood and the ambiance are lovely.  As always, Parker is a gentleman, but Ember has noticed he's a little strange.  There's something about him that's a little unsure, almost nervous.  Ember isn't sure if she's correct or just misreading him.  She doesn't believe so, but she's still not sure.

Ember:  Dinner is delicious.  I'm glad you were able to get us seating Select Spaces. I would have thought for sure they would be terribly booked tonight.  They really out did themselves on the menu and the décor.  It's so perfect.
Parker: I'm glad to hear you think so.  I wanted everything to be perfect.  It's a special night.
Ember: Yes, Valentine's Day is certainly that.  It's interesting how much is poured into this day for so many people.  It's like they need it to show how much they love someone.  
Parker: Some do and some like it for a reason to make things even more special.
Ember:  True.

Parker:  Do you remember our special Valentine's Day?  Our first time?
Ember:  I sure do.  I think about it sometimes and I treasure it.  But I'm pretty sure we've topped it since then.  
Parker:  We'll keep topping it.  So, do you want some dessert tonight?  I'm pretty sure it comes with the package.  
Ember:  Maybe some here and the rest may have to go.  We've had so much, I think I will burst I'm so full.  I felt like licking the plate with everything we had. So satisfying.
Parker:  Mmm.  Save that thought about licking.  I have some ideas which will be satisfying, but not fill you up.

Ember:  Oh, really? Well, I was thinking I have some ideas which may make you want you to take dessert home instead of having it here.  
Parker:  Are you sure Elaina can't stay with Erwyn for the rest of the evening?  We could see if our room is available.
Ember (laughing):  No, she cannot stay.  I was lucky she could even come this evening.  Her man will be home early tomorrow morning and she hasn't seen him in a long time.  Besides, I need to get Erwyn off to school in the morning. 
Parker:  Okay.  But if you change your mind, the offer still stands.

Ember and Parker enjoy chatting and then the server comes to clear off the table and take their dessert order.  They decide to enjoy some champagne.

Parker:  I'd like to propose a toast, if you don't mind.
Ember:  Of course I don't mind, Sweetheart.  What would you like to toast to?
Parker (taking her glass):  This toast may take a minute, so I don't want you to drink before I'm done, please.
Ember (curious):  Okay...

Parker (looking deeply into Ember's eyes):  I want to toast to being more happy than I ever thought I could be with a woman I truly love with all my heart.  I want to toast to us spending a long life together with you as my wife.  I want to toast to your giving me a child now, my daughter, Erwyn, and to our future children.  I want us to toast to your doing me the honor of becoming my wife.
Ember:  Your wife?
Parker:  Yes, will you marry me?

Ember looks at Parker intensely for a moment.  She wasn't expecting this at all.  It was truly a surprise.  After losing Evan, Ember promised herself she would never get married again. And now this man whom she would never want to hurt.  This man with whom she has spent so much time, who has invested himself in her and her child was asking her to spend her life with him.  He deserved an answer and she needed be able to bring sound to her throat and respond.    It took her a minute to muster it with tears welling up in her eyes, but she finally did.

Now, Ember is in her bathroom done reflecting and out of the tub and drying off.  She has controlled her tears and pulled herself together.

There's a knock at the door and Ember is concerned that she has awakened her daughter.  She softly responds.
Ember:  Come in.

Parker:  Babe, you're keeping me waiting.  And you smell so good.
Ember:  I'm sorry.  I was just thinking.
Parker:  Thinking about what?  Penny for your thoughts.

Parker has Ember turn around so he can look at her and notices her eyes are slightly red.

Parker (concerned):  Are you okay?
Ember:  Yes, I was just crying, but I'm fine.
Parker:  You're still crying.?I hope they are still the same tears of joy.
Ember (laughs):  Yes, they are.  I have it together now.  I know I've been a little emotional, but I'm just so happy.  I never thought I'd be so happy again. I never thought I would get married again. There are just a lot of emotions flowing through me right now.  All good emotions, but a bit overwhelming.  I can't wait to walk down the aisle and be your wife.  I love you so much.
Parker:  I love you too.  Thank you for making ME so happy. Now I think I can be helpful with applying that lotion you're always putting on. Come to the room so we can continue celebrating. Then we can tell Erwyn the good news in the morning.
Ember:  Yes, Sweetheart.  I think she'll be very happy too.

Woo hoo!!!  So there will be a wedding after all.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A New Acquaintance

Today, Ember is waiting to have lunch with a new acquaintance for business, Somali Stewart.  Somali and her husband, Crain, moved to the area a few months ago and are living in temporary housing until they decide where to move for a longer term.

Somali is an operations consultant who specializes in the fashion industry.  She is brought in when companies need help with setting up design spaces, putting together fashion shoots, fashion styling, coordinating the accessories and organizing the team.  She creates and brings things together.  Being new to the area, she is still learning it and still trying to settle down.

Her husband, Crain, is a property developer.  His company relocated them to the area so he could work on a rather large multi-building campus for them.  He earns well into the six figures, so Somali doesn't have to work, but she enjoys it.  She is good at what she does and was very popular where she used to live.  She is building up contacts in the area and Ember was fortunate to have been provided with her information via Leera Medina, another business partner and owner of LeeMa Designs.

Somali also happens to be the cousin of the supermodel, Zain Bello.

Zain and Somali

Somali has not yet found a sitter, so she has to work with Crain's schedule when she would prefer not to take their daughter, Azure, with her somewhere.  She explained the situation to Ember when Ember asked to meet with her as soon as possible.  Ember, being a single mother herself, understood and invited her to bring Azure to their lunch meeting.

Since Ember arrived first, she had the hostess switch out a chair for a high chair for the baby.  She's checking on business items while she waits.

Ember:  It's okay, Zenia.  Just be sure you make it to the shoot on time.  We'll handle the contract for the Burn shoot later.  We still have time.  Just read it over thoroughly.
Zenia (on the phone):  I'm excited.  This is going to be a real boost for me.  Jye said she was asked to do the same shoot, but had to turn it down for something else.
Ember:  Yes, unfortunately, but that's okay.  Sani is available and still building up her reputation, so she's going to be there with you. 

Ember looks up and sees Somali approaching with Azure in her arms.  She tells Zenia she needs to get off the phone.

Ember:  I'm sorry.  I'll have to call you back a little later, Zenia.  My appointment has arrived.  Get some rest and don't forget to double check your bag for tomorrow's walk.  Okay?
Zenia:  Okay.  Thanks, Ember.  Bye.
Ember:  Bye.

Somali:  Hello, Ember.
Ember:  Hi, Somali.  How are you?
Somali:  I'm good.  I'm glad you were able to make it today.  I'm looking forward to working with you on some projects.
Ember:  And this is Azure?
Somali:  Yes.  Say 'Hi', Azure.
Ember:  She's so pretty.

Azure just smiles and giggles.

Ember:  Do you need any help?
Somali:  Thank you, but I have it under control.  I am, however, very hungry.  I hope the server comes soon.  It's been a busy morning.  I had some marketing items to get out.  A prior client tried to talking me into flying to Seattle to work for an entire week, which I can't do right now.
Ember:  That says something about your skill.
Somali:  Possibly, but I can't go for a week.  It's okay, there will be other opportunities.

They chat for a while and the server comes and takes their order.  They start talking business.

Somali:  I can create story boards, provide photos and sketches of the scenes or displays I recommend.  It helps my clients to have a better visual of what things will look like. I can also provide the model placement and pose suggestions.  I worked with several photographers where I used to do business, but here, I have only worked with one so far, Teagan.  But she's good.
Ember:  I have a photographer I like as well, Dallas.  He's good and the ladies like him.  Unfortunately, he can be hard to book, but he's my first choice.
Somali:  Well, maybe we can invite them both to do a shoot and then we'll have to first choice photographers available.
Ember:  That sounds good.

Ember and Somali talk about upcoming plans.  After a while the server returns with drinks and the food they ordered.  Somali feeds herself and Azure (with baby foo she brought with her) while they talk.

Ember:  There are some really key shoots for the summer.  I do think outdoor spaces will be part of the theme at least one of my clients is looking for.  One of my business partners, Chambray, will be launching her line this year.  Which is so exciting.  It has taken her a while, mostly because she's been busy with modeling contracts, but she's ready to get her own line out there.
Somali:  Good for her.  I love that entrepreneur spirit. I have it myself, you have it.  It's great to be surrounded by women who have that same drive.
Ember:  I agree.  My sister, Henna, also owns her own business.  We learn from each other.  Seeing her success was big part of why I realized I could start my own business and pursue my dream.  I'm so glad I did it.  Just a lot of hard work, but it does pay off.
Somali:  It sure does.

Somali and Ember continue to chat about business, until dessert.  They both couldn't resist the options available.  Azure has been pretty good until now, but she's fidgety so Somali has to take her out of the chair to keep her calm.

Somali:  So, on a more personal note, I could use some insight into some good places to shop here.  I'm also looking for things to do.  We do have family pretty close, well about an hour's ride away.  But not right here.  So they don't really know this area enough to guide us. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
Ember:  I think I can help you with that. It depends on what you're looking for, but here are my suggestions.  If you want a casual dinner with good food, try Color Burst.  For a nice secluded experience, whether romantic or just a few friends, there's Select Spaces.  Oh, and for some food you just want to grab during the day or bring home for dinner, there's the Flavor Café.  I love that place.  It's only open Monday through Friday until 5 or 6.  They also cater.  
Somali: I'll have to try those out.

Ember:  I haven't been there, but I hear Lila's is good. It's also a nice place for a quiet intimate evening. Oh, and how could I forget.  Artaste is a very good restaurant.  Parker and I had our first date there. They make this absolutely delicious gelatin dessert.  
Somali:  Is Parker your husband?
Ember:  No.  We are dating and in a committed relationship.
Somali:  Okay.  Well, maybe if you and he have time, we can go to dinner together.  My husband doesn't know very many people in this area either, other than those with whom he works.
Ember:  I like that.  We can definitely do that.

(If you want to relive Parker's and Ember's first date you can find it here:  link)

The ladies chat a little longer and, after finishing their dessert, decide it's time to leave.  Somali dresses Azure in her snowsuit to get ready to go back out in the cold.

Ember:  That is such a cute snowsuit.
Somali:  Thank you.  I had to order it online and get it shipped here fast.  We are not used to this cold weather and I haven't had time to find a baby clothing store yet.  I like for her to look pretty.  
Ember:  I just so happen to know of a boutique baby store called, In Style Baby.  They do specialize in more neutral baby items, but for clothing, they do have more gender specific items. Very cute baby clothes.  My friend, Avery, who also happens to be Parker's sister, recently had a baby and she shops there.  They do have a website as well.
Somali:  I'll have to check it out. Thank you.

Ember:  Thank you so much for meeting with me.  I think we'll be able to do some great things together.  And, it will be nice to go out and get to know you better.  So I'll definitely call you to set something up.
Somali:  I'm looking forward to it.  
Ember:  Bye, Azure.  

The ladies leave the restaurant to go about the rest of their day.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Sunday, January 27, 2019

A Man Cave?

Today Henna's in her office reviewing some design contracts and design ideas for clients.  She's been getting lots more requests for her services since the new year rolled in.  That means her profits, business and income will grow exponentially this year.  She's happy about that.  It also means she can continue to use Carly's talent more.

With so much work coming in, she will need more assistance.  So she is actively looking for a new administrative assistant so Carly can officially be promoted to a Junior Designer position.  She may even need to move to a bigger office space later in the year.  But, of course, she will wait until she is sure about the contracts and has the money to get another office.

Carly is at her desk working hard and Parker has just arrived.  As Henna's business grows, so does his, which means he is feeling more confident about some big plans for this year.

Carly has let Henna know Parker has arrived and she has told her to let him come in.

Parker:  Hi, Henna.  
Henna:  Hi, Parker.  I'm glad you're here.  I need to set up some time to review some of these quotes with you.
Parker:  Okay.  Good.  You're really getting lots of business, huh?
Henna:  WE are getting lots of business.  I need to know if you're going to be able to handle most or I need to give more to one of the other contractors.  You're still my main and most reliable, so I'm giving you first choice.

Parker:  Whatever it is, I'll take it.  I'm working on hiring more guys, so I can take on whatever you need.  Plus, I still have the smaller contracts I handle through my own business and they are really multiplying.
Henna:  Great!  Well, let's set up a formal meeting to review everything we have so far and look at our schedule for the first half of the year.  I want to be sure planning is on-point.  I'll have Carly arrange for all of us to meet until we get someone else to do it.
Parker:  Yes, I have heard you are searching for a new assistant.  Carly seems happy about that.

Henna:  I'm glad.  Until now, I've been giving her a small percentage of the work she helps design, plus her regular salary.  But now I'm going to need to work out new compensation.  I'm thinking a base with a bonus for sales over a certain amount.  She'll be getting a significant increase in pay with the changes.  
Parker: That sounds good.
Henna:  Yes, and I think she's planning on moving to a bigger and better location.  So it's huge for her.
Parker:  Speaking of changes, I have some things in the works this year.  I was hoping to talk to you about some help.
Henna:  Okay.  What do you need?  References?  
Parker:  No. I need help on a personal basis.
Henna:  Really?  Design help?
Parker:  Maybe.  I'm looking for a house.  Well, maybe more of a fixer upper.  I need a realtor if you know one.  
Henna:  Okay.  Well, I do know a really good realtor.  Let me look up her number and I'll text it to you.
Parker:  Thank you.  I appreciate it.

Henna (now curious):  So, are things still working out with Jun?
Parker:  Yes.  He's a good guy.  We'll keep in touch after I move out.  Especially to watch the games.  I think Grayson, Craig and Chase wouldn't mind hanging out with him in the man cave every so often.
Henna:  Man cave? In your own place?  The only time a man needs a man cave...

Henna realizes what Parker mistakenly just told her, without telling her.

Henna:  O.M.G!  You can tell me! I promise I won't tell!  Are you going to propose to Em?

Parker (feeling his cheeks get instantly hot because he hadn't realized what he was letting slip):  I can't see myself without her...and I feel like Erwyn is my daughter now too.  So...
Henna (letting out a huge squeal):  Yes! Yes! Yes!

Henna is happy Ember has found a man who loves her and her daughter, Erwyn.

Henna:  Now the ring has to be perfect.  Do you need help ring shopping?
Parker:  I don't know.  I thought about taking my sister, but I don't know if she will be able to contain herself.  
Henna:  I don't know if I can contain myself either, but I will figure it out.  I'm so excited and happy right now.  When?  When are you proposing?
Parker:  I still need to work it out.  

Henna:  Wait, are you going to buy the house without her?  I don't think that's a great move if you have the chance to have her input.
Parker:  I thought she'd like a surprise.
Henna:  Mmm...I think you propose first, house shop after.  It's for the best.  I'm a woman who knows lots of women.  You need her to love it too.
Parker:  Okay.  I'll wait, but I still want to keep an eye open for opportunities.
Henna:  That works.  So, let me know if you want me to ring shop with you.  I'm in.  I hope you both choose wedding colors I'll look wonderful in.  

Parker (laughing):  I appreciate all of your help.
Henna:  Sure, BIL.
Parker: Bill?
Henna:  Brother-in-Law.  Do you know how you'll propose?
Parker:  I guess in the traditional way.  Dinner and a proposal.  I'm still working things out in my head.  I just know I'm going to need a ring first.  The rest will come.
Henna:  Um.  Hmmm...We can work on that.  
Parker:  Thank you.  Well, I do need to get to the next job site, so can we set up the meeting and talk about the Franklin job before I head out?
Henna:  Sure.  Let me grab the file and get Carly.

I would say it looks like there will be a wedding, but I don't want to jump the gun.  Parker didn't even get a ring yet and Ember hasn't accepted.  We'll see.

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye