Sunday, July 21, 2019

The BBQ

Despite the heat, Cyann convinced Grayson that they had to have at least one barbecue in their back yard and invite people over.  Grayson agreed to make her happy.  So today is the barbecue and guests are enjoying items Cyann and Grayson are serving.  Of course they invited close friends, some of whom we allowed to extend invitations as well.  Everyone is having a good time.

Ember:  Is he asleep?  You know I need my baby fix.
Avery:  No, but he's been fussy, so I want to leave him in there a little longer.  He's just a little cranky, probably the heat, so I'll either see if he's okay with a dip in the kiddie pool or have to take him inside for a little while.  I'm hoping keeping him under a little shade will keep him calm.
Ember:  I understand.  Well, if you get to the point you want him inside or just want a break, Auntie is here.
Avery:  Thanks, Ember.

Syren invited Marlin and Brett who brought Marlin's mother, Bonnie.

Syren:  So when are you going to put on a ring it, Brett?
Brett (blushing):  Oh, don't worry, I think Marlin's definitely the one.  It's just that sometimes I don't think she believes she is.
Syren:  What do you mean?
Brett:  Sometimes she doesn't think she's worthy of being treated well, but at the same time I know she wants to get married.  I think she holds herself back.
Syren:  Well, I know she loves you and wants to marry you.  I think she's just afraid to get her hopes up and then be crushed.  That's all.  But I'm sure she'll be all in if you ask her.  And, I can make myself available for ring shopping.
Brett (laughing):  I appreciate the offer.  Thank you.

Craig:  Would you like me to get you another beer, Grill Master?
Grayson:  Thanks, Craig.  Can you also bring water.  I don't want to pass out.  You know the beer to water ratio is important.  Tomorrow's hydration starts today.
Chase:  I like that.  It's true.  
Grayson:  Chase, I thought we were going to be seeing you and Chambray jumping that broom soon, Man.  What's your hold up?
Craig:  Do not encourage this man to put that ball and chain on too quickly.

Chase (laughing):  Chambray can be complicated.  She's an independent woman, but still likes being dependent that I'm here.  Besides, my mother once mentioned us getting married and Chambray lost it.
Craig:  Why would she do that?
Chase:  I think it was about my mother mentioning the prenuptial agreement.  
Craig:  Do you agree with your mother about having one?
Chase:  I think so.  Don't you have one?
Grayson (chuckling):  Us regular, stainless steel spoon people don't even think about things like that.  Craig:  Nope.  We know it's just the deal and if we get left, well, we suck it up. 
Chase:  Oh!  

Chambray is out of town for a photo shoot, so Chase had to come alone.

Erwyn:  Are you getting in the kiddie pool?
Brenna:  Sure.  Well, my feet at least.  I have to be sure Brookie doesn't drown.  Are you getting in?
Erwyn:  It's a baby pool, it's too small.
Brenna:  It's not that bad, besides, it's really hot out here.
Erwyn:  I know, right?  

Ember (seeing new guests arrive):  Uh oh!
Parker:  What's wrong, Babe.
Ember:  It's Maurice and Chi.  She's the yoga instructor for the class Cyann and I take. I'm assuming since they walked in together, she's his new lady.  Did you know he was coming?
Parker:  Yes, Grayson told me he was inviting him.  We like Maurice and you know I see him at his gym.  So they know each other, huh?  Small world.
Ember:  She's a great yoga instructor.  I like her.  It is a small world.  I had no idea she and Maurice were dating.

Henna:  What the hell?!  What is he doing here and with her?
Cyann:  Grayson invited him, Henna.  They hang out sometimes and while we know you broke up, he's welcome here.  Keep your cool.
Henna:  I am cool, Cy.  I just didn't expect to see him, let alone with his new girlfriend.
Cyann:  Girl, you're tripping.  Let it go. You haven't been with that man for a long time now.  But maybe if you throw him some for old time's sake and give him what he wants, marriage, you can have him back.  Until then, he's somebody else's guy.  Get a new man.  
Henna:  Yeah, yeah.
Cyann:  Chi is pretty cool.  You'll like her.
Henna:  Whatever.

Cyann goes over to greet her guests.

Grayson:  Hey, Maurice.  Thanks for coming.
Maurice:  Hey, Guys.  I'd like you to meet my lady, Chi.
Grayson:  Hello.  Welcome.  
Cyann:  Hi, I know her.  This is Chi, my yoga instructor.
Maurice:  You know each other?
Cyann:  I sure do know her.
Chi: Yes, she's a great participant.  Good to see you, Cyann.

Look who else is in town.

Fatima: So, Bonnie, do you and your husband ever go to Florida for vacation?  If you ever want to know about some nice places to visit or hot spots, let me know.
Bonnie:  No, my husband is not that kind of traveler.  I mean, he goes out with his friends on road trips, but not the two of us.  I mean, he's a guy who likes hanging out with his buddies, I guess.
Fatima:  So while he's on his road trips, do you take road trips with your friends?
Bonnie:  Uh...no, I don't. I stay home to make sure the house is clean.  Plus, I don't work, so I don't try to make him budget for me to take vacations.  I mean, he works hard and I take care of our small home.  It works, you know?
Fatima (raising an eyebrow):  Well, if it works for you.  If you'd ever like to come visit me in Florida, you're welcome.  It won't cost much so it shouldn't break your budget.
Bonnie (sheepishly):  Thank you. That would be nice.

While Maurice doesn't want to cause any drama, he would feels it would be even more awkward acting like he doesn't know Henna.  At the same time, he is concerned about what Henna may say which will make things worse.  The last time he saw her, he took her home from Reds' (recap here) he made a mistake and kissed Henna when he dropped her off at home.  When he volunteered to take her home, he honestly didn't think it would be a problem and would stay completely platonic.  But there she was, the woman he wanted to marry and have children with. There she was, the woman he once enjoyed spending time with and being intimate with for months.

Henna was wearing a familiar fragrance, looking just as beautiful and sexy as ever, so he did not resist when she leaned into him and kissed him.  He had forgotten himself and his resolve for just a few seconds, but it was enough for him to both enjoy and feel guilty about.  When Henna asked him to come in, he almost gave in and went.  But he realized what should have stopped him from kissing her at all - as much as he had loved her, she didn't want to commit to being with him.  Maurice was with a woman who knew she wanted to get married at some point and have children, just as he did.  Even though she may not become his wife, the possibility was there and he owed her better than a cheating on her.  How far he had gone with the kiss was bad enough, but now he would go too far if he allowed himself to give in to his attraction to Henna.  He thanked her, but declined.  Worse yet, Henna told him that if he ever changed his mind, the door was still open.  A temptation he wrestled with from time to time, but continued to fight as he reminded himself of how lovely, engaging and motivated Chi is.  He just hoped Henna would let it go and not bring up the kiss.

Maurice:  Hi, Henna.  How are you?
Henna:  Hi, Maurice, I'm good.  How are you?
Maurice:  Good.  Good.  It's nice to see you.
Henna:  You too.

Chi walks over.

Chi:  Honey, would you like a plate?  I can fix you one, if you'd like.
Maurice:  Aww.  Thank you, but I'll get my own plate.  You should enjoy yourself, don't worry about me.  Do you remember Henna?
Chi:  Yes, we met at the restaurant, right?  How are you?
Henna:  I'm good.  You look very nice.
Chi:  Thank you.  I love to stay in shape.  Healthy body, healthy mind. You should stop by my yoga class and give it a try.

Ember invited her new business contact, Somali, and her family to join the barbecue.  They have just arrived and Ember, seeing them, goes to greet them, pulling Parker with her.

Ember:  Hi, I'm so glad you could make it.  This is my fiancĂ©, Parker.  Parker this is Somali and her husband.
Crain:  I'm Crain.  Pleased to meet you.  Thank you for inviting us.
Somali:  Hi, I'm pleased to meet you, Parker.  Ember, this is a lovely neighborhood.
Ember:  Yes, Cyann and Grayson have a nice home.  Hi, Azure.  Isn't she pretty, Parker?
Parker:  She certainly is.  (he waves at the baby) Hello.  Crain, after you get introduced, you can come hang out with us guys for a few and we'll tell you everything we know about living here.
Crain:  Sounds good.

Ember introduces Crain, Somali and Azure to everyone before Crain wonders over to where they guys are gravitating.  Brett is asking questions about marriage.

Brett: And how do you get out of the doghouse?
Craig:  Man, if there were an easy way, we'd bottle and sell it to be millionaires.  You just have to wing it and do your best at groveling.  As a matter of fact, master groveling.
Grayson:  But do yourself the favor.  The few times she admits that she is in the doghouse, milk it.  Milk it because it won't happen often.  You may even want to document it to have proof it happened.
Crain:  I don't know you guys, but I can agree with that one.  Milk the crap out of it because it is a rare thing.

This looks like a good barbecue.  Caught a few candid shots of the fun and fellowship.



Aviana pushing Brooklyn. 


Ember got her baby fix.

By the way, just disregard all of the background stuff that seems out of scale.  

Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Zu Zu's New Ride

A few weeks ago, Somali was at In Style Baby buying new clothes for Azure.  That's also the day she met Catori, with whom she has been communicating since.  Catori has valued having someone to talk to who understands and encourages her.  Her husband Dakota is very supportive, but Catori finds comfort in another woman who once blamed her own body for being unable to conceive.

But today isn't about Catori and Somali. It's about the stroller Somali ordered (since Azure is getting to being for her current one), to replace this one:
 

Today, Crain and Somali are at In Style Baby to pick up the special order stroller.  As you may remember, In Style Baby maintains a large stock of gender neutral items, but also sells special order items and some gender specific items.

Since their currently rented apartment is only a few miles from the store, they decided to walk over and walk Azure back home in her new stroller.  It's good exercise and Azure gets to enjoy the warm weather.  It's a slow day at the store, so only Mercedes and Logan are working.  Logan is in the back working on inventory, so Mercedes is assisting Somali and Crain.

Mercedes:  The stroller is in and I have it in the back.  I'll just need a minute to unwrap it and bring it out.  Feel free to look around while you wait.
Somali:  It looks a little empty in here today.  There used to be merchandise in the middle of the store.
Mercedes:  Yes, there was, but we are going through inventory and getting ready to move in some new stock we ordered.  We have some new strollers, walkers, and cradles arriving over the next few weeks.  We keep evolving the store to keep it as fresh as possible.  
Somali:  Yes, that makes sense.  

Crain:  Weren't you just talking about a walker the other day, Mali?  We should come back and see what they have.
Somali:  Exactly what I was thinking.  
Mercedes:  I actually may have the perfect one coming in soon.  We have several options coming and new swings, but mostly those are special order.
Somali:  We a have swing.  That thing is a life saver, but definitely need a walker, but not today.  We didn't drive.
Mercedes:  I understand.  Well, let me go get the stroller.  I'll be right back.

Somali:  So are we good to go with going to the cookout we were invited too?
Crain:  Remind me, who invited us?
Somali:  Ember, the owner of the talent agency I'm doing some work for.  Since we are pretty new to the area, she thought she'd invite us to a cookout at her friend's home.  Sy something or Ann or I'm mixing up the name I'm sure.  I remember the husband's name is Carson, I think.  Something with a 'son' in it or a color, I can't remember exactly.  But it would be nice to be around some adults for something other than business, don't you think?
Crain:  Do you want to go?
Somali:  Yes, Babe, I do.  It would be good for us to meet some people who have lived here for a while.  
Crain:  Okay, if you want to go, I'll go.  

Mercedes:  Here is it!  Please check it over and be sure everything is okay with it.
Somali:  I love it!  It's even better in person.  It's so cute.  Girly without being pink.  Yes!
Crain:  It is pretty cute.  My baby girl will look so pretty in her stroller.  Want to try it out, Zu Zu?

Crain places Azure in the stroller.  At first she starts to whimper because she held the entire walk to the store and she doesn't want to be put down.  But she decides it's not so bad and settles down.

Crain:  Yes, that's more comfortable than that carrier, isn't it?
Somali:  Definitely more size appropriate.  She'll like being able to stretch out more and see where she's going now, instead of just looking up at us.
Crain:  A view to a whole new world awaits, Sweetheart.  (talking in a baby catering voice) Yes, it does Zu.  Yes, it does.

Somali:  Thank you.  This is a nice stroller and we will be back to look at walkers.  Well maybe be sooner than waiting, but we'll see.  
Mercedes:  Thank you for shopping with us and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Crain and Somali walk Azure home, but they make a few stops on the way home as they pass stores.  They are very happy with their purchase and Zu Zu seems to be okay with it too.


Also, thought I'd introduce a couple of new residents, Sterling and Preston Banks.  Sterling was a very fortunate purchase which I had been considering for a long time, but just wouldn't pay the price for him.  Someone I follow in Instagram sold him at a great price and I happened to snatch him up.  Of course, I had to change him because his hair and beard weren't to my liking.

Sterling Banks - He's single, sexy and available for dates.  We'll see who he's lucky enough to meet.

Here's Preston with Sterling - You may recognize the last name Banks.  They are the elder brothers of Bailey Banks who works with Dani at the bridal salon.  You'll learn more about the family later.  Preston is the eldest, Sterling the middle and Bailey the youngest.  

Well, that's all for now.  In Style Baby is waiting on new stock so I need to get it finished.

Thank you for stopping by and we hope you are enjoying your summer. ~ Jaye and The Residents

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Mali and Catori

Azure is getting big, too big for her current stroller with the carrier/car seat attached, so Somali is at In Style Baby shopping for a new one.  Of course, since she's in the store anyway, she's looking at the other items they have.  She is perusing for summer clothes for Azure and checking out what's available. 

Waverly has been checking on her and trying to provide assistance.  

Waverly:  We are moving out some items from Spring and still getting in new stock.  I know we just got in some new four piece outfits for summer.  She'd be so cute in them.  Let me go see what we have so far.
Somali:  That would be wonderful.  I'll be here looking.  I'm going to need a stroller too, but I don't see anything I like on the floor.
Waverly:  No problem.  I think we can find what you'll want in our catalog.  If we don't have something in stock, we can order and it will arrive quickly. 
Somali:  Great.  Thank you so much.

Somali:  So what do you think, Zu?  Should we get a small pool and get wet this summer?  I'll see if we can put one outside in the small yard at the townhouse.  Maybe they have swimsuits for you here.

Somali and Crain are still renting, but moved out of the very short-term rental they had into a small townhouse.  They are planning to stay there until they can find a place t buy.  They really want something they can make their own.  Maybe 2 or three bedrooms.  After all, Zu Zu may need a brother or sister one day and a house should be an investment.

Catori (seeing Azure):  She's so adorable!  So pretty!  Hi, Little One.
Somali (smiling at Azure):  Thank you.  Say, "Thank you, ZuZu.  Can you say, "Thank you?"  
ZuZu (spitting out her pacifier and responding because her mother is talking to her): Ahh Taa Taa Ahh. 

I would translate what Azure said, but darned if I know either.

Catori:  Her name is Zu Zu?
Somali:  That's what we call her, but her name is Azure.
Catori:  That's so pretty.

Waverly returns with the items she mentioned to Somali

Waverly:  We have these in four colors.  We are lucky as we have a connection to the designer, so we are one of few stores which carries these fabulous items. They are a great deal.  You get the whole set to dress her from head to toe.  There's a headband, shirt, shorts and these too cute shoes.
Somali:  I love them!  These look like 6-9 months, is that right?
Waverly:  They sure are.  Would you like me to hold them at the counter for you?
Somali:  Yes, please.  Thank you for your help.

Catori:  Those were so cute.  I can't wait until I can buy something like that for my own child.
Somali:  Are you expecting?

Catori, who can't help herself but visit the baby stores to dream about her 'one day child' was hit hard by the question.  No, she wasn't but she and Dakota were trying all they could.  Tests, trying, checking dates, taking vitamins, if it seemed like it could help, they would do it.  But now she'd have to muster up the courage to respond to a question she should have known was coming the moment she made that statement.

Catori (sadly):  No...not yet.
Somali (seeing the look on Catori's face):  I recognize that response and that look.  I know it very well.
Catori (surprised):  You do?  
Somali:  Yes.  That's the look of fading hope for a child you keep working hard for.  A child you swear will never come even though you just keep trying.  It may even include at least the one time you saw two lines on that stick and yet you couldn't get the baby past 8 weeks.  I know that look and that feeling.

Catori was now intrigued.  This woman, with the beautiful child in the stroller seemed to understand what she wasn't trying to say.

Somali:  We all need a little hope in our lives and in this case, big hope.  Well, Little Miss Azure here is the one who made it past 8 weeks when it took just over two years of trying.  During those two years, we had one spark of hope, but that spark flitted out fast.  I do understand what it seems like you are going through, if I'm correct.
Catori:  It seems like you do know.  We do keep trying.  I just...I don't even know why I keep coming to these stores.  I guess I hope if I will it, it will be.  I just drive myself crazy, but I have to see the baby items.  It soothes me for just a little while, until I have to go home and admit I can't even buy anything in the store.
Somali:  Well, I used cry just seeing baby items, so you're doing well just being in this store.

Waverly returns again.

Waverly:  Would you like to see any of the strollers we have in the catalog?
Somali:  Yes.
Waverly (to Catori):  I have the items up on the iPad and I can help you view.  Miss, is there anything I can help you find or do you have any questions, I can answer?
Catori:  No, thank you.  I just want to look around.  Thank you.
Waverly:  Please do let me know if you change your mind.
Somali (to Waverly):  I'll be there in just a minute to look at the options.  Thank you.

Somali:  I don't know if you are able to talk to anyone who has had a similar experience.  It can be helpful.  Would you like to exchange numbers and we can talk if you'd like?  I think I've been through just about every test ever invented for fertility and I'm pretty sure every emotion. If nothing else, I can listen and you'll know I understand.
Catori (feeling tears welling up in her eyes):  You are so kind.  Thank you, I'd love to be able to talk to you again.   I could really use the encouragement.  Let me get my phone out so I can put your number right into it.

Catori and Somali exchange numbers and head their separate ways.  Somali selects a special order stroller and buys four of the lovely items sourced from the talented Fancy Doll Design.  She's happy with her purchase, but she's most happy that she may have provided some light at the end of a dark tunnel for someone today.

FANCY DOLL DESIGN

Fancy Doll Design is one of the best doll clothing designers for baby clothes I've seen yet.  Just look at these...


She is so talented.  I have a few items I didn't get to showcase yet, so they will wait for the Fall to be seen.  But she is constantly coming up with new patterns and can do special orders from a photo.  A photo, now that is some talent. I want to set aside a budget to keep ordering baby clothes from her during the year.  I know I make my own, but I make them in cloth (sewing).  I can't knit or crochet to save my life.  She is awesome and she crochets for the ladies and the men too, but we all know I have a baby addiction.  But I think I may be able to talk her into some toddler items too.  Hmmm....  The link to her Etsy hop is above and you can also follow her in Instagram.

Oh, and I know I've been a little less consistent with posting lately, but I still do things for the dolls. I have about 4 (at the least) places to build this year, so I've been working on how to create them, plus, I needed some painting weather (although I painted earlier today, it's raining again as I type.  Thunder, lighting and all that jazz).  

As always, thanks for stopping by and stay tuned.  I hope to get more stories up this summer.  ~ Jaye

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