A Shared Journal

Planting seeds

I feel like this Spring is the most highly anticipated I’ve ever experienced! I’ve had time to get myself organized with my Publicist duties and now planning a huge international convention. I have met so many amazing people over the last few months and they have been so supportive and excited for the upcoming show. Putting a team together was a huge fear I was having because I didn’t know how to articulate my vision. Fate stepped in and I met an amazing woman who partnered up with me because she saw and believed in my vision. With her vast experience and huge roster of contacts we’ve become quite the team! I’ve forgotten how wonderful people can be. The response to our event has blown me away! The excitement for our special events and awards dinner has been astoundingly positive. There is still so much to do but I’ve been having the time of my life bringing people together. I’ve booked some instructors for classes, Special Guests and I still have a lot more to contact.

On the home front, the boys have also shown me such love and support. I am planning a special resort vacation for them this summer with our family friends. Yes I’m an admitted workaholic so planning an escape was difficult but now with the beauty of the internet there’s no stopping us. I was also thinking of making an herb garden that my little 5 year old can take part in. I used to have a herb garden with chives and basil in my old house. I miss the taste of fresh herbs in my food, plus with barbecue season coming up I’ve got some great salads and side dishes I’m going to make.

All in all, there has been a lot of “seed” planting and things are transforming faster than I had ever imagined!

I hope you are all having a great day and cheers to Spring!!

SS

A Shared Journal

Bullet journals & Heffalumps

2017 ended with a lot of promise and a lot of planning and like every year previously, I have to start with a new planner.  Now I have always had a journal where I would write out random thoughts, short stories, poems, ideas, etc. but I noticed that over time and as I found myself disciplining my thoughts more to tailor towards my goals, I found that my journals were feeling more like a “security blanket”.  I was reading back through my writing and it was becoming more random and sadly I was even writing less frequently.  I can freely admit this was most likely due to depression from fighting SJS, but I also feel that my writing instruments were getting a little outdated and boring.  I came across the one bullet journal video and then before you know it I ended up watching a string of youtube videos for the entire day.  I did some research on some different dot paper notebooks, art pens, art markers.. I placed my Amazon order, stalked it and waited impatiently for my new bullet journal adventure to begin.

Yes, I am a gadget girl and I do use my iPhone calendar for appointments, alarms etc. but guys, there just isn’t anything in this world that can ever compare to the power and magic of the pen to paper.  I am and always will be a writer they are my favourite tools in the world.  Since I’ve been using the bullet journal system, while adding some creative touches of my own, I’ve managed to be a lot more productive and inspired in my artwork as well.  I kept my creative energy flowing and decided to move into a new studio with bigger space and amazing lighting.

Since I’ve been doing some much needed redecorating, I decided to include some of my art dolls into my room decor.  Now, reborn doll collecting is a fairly new so displaying them is left in actual baby furniture, etc there are no stands for them.  So I found a pillow in the shape of an elephant. I was so excited to find it because who doesn’t want a heffalump pillow?!

It’s definitely the right time for big moves!

SS

 

A Shared Journal

Whoa! That was close!

A follow up to my las Vlog about my skin reaction to my new drugs.

I called my doctor on Friday and explained all the problems with my skin, night sweats, etc. As part of the neurological team of specialists working with me, I have never experienced a doctor, let alone a specialist, drop everything to get on a 3-way call with his nurse and me to instruct me to reduce my meds immediately. It’s pretty scary since I’ve been on these meds for a year!

I was in the early stages of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and basically was chemically burning from the inside out and my organs were starting to shut down.. in a nutshell I was dying and days away from being hospitalized. The syndrome would’ve meant I would’ve been treated in the intensive care burn unit and would take months to recover! I describe the rash pain like when you scrape your knee, for example, it starts to heal but is tender to touch during the process. It’s the same feeling only the pain is from under the skin. It’s the weirdest thing. The human body is amazingly resilient and efficient. It was trying to get rid of all this chemical crap that was in my system.

The trick to this whole MS disease is the delicate balance of medication which changes and can easily be thrown out of whack. The hard part is that as soon as I feel good I don’t want that feeling to go away despite the side effects. I guess my balance has to be found in not enduring through the side effects. I’m not much of a complainer, but I’m gonna have to start writing some issues down.

Travel and events in the next year are already in full swing, contracts signed, staff to hire, etc. I need to be in medical healthy balance now more than ever! I hope this is the last hurdle I have to jump through.

I would say that’d be my Christmas miracle this year. Being with my whole family for the holidays has been awesome despite my medical scare. My family has completely fallen into abundance. Being around friends who share the same core values, interests and enjoy a good game of cards or pool 🎱 has been so fun. I’ve seen a whole different side of Canada and I’m going to see even more in the new year. I will definitely share that here.

Hope everyone is having a great week! Stay healthy, listen to your gut feelings and always love yourself and your life! Take care my friends ❤️

SS

A Shared Journal

Getting more creative

I’ve been sick lately which has forced me to slow down on a few time sensitive things such as poster and media, designs, target dates.. it was getting to be a bit much. I guess this cold is somewhat of a double edged sword.

I get a lot of questions about my dolls. I used to be really stand-off-ish with everyone because I really wasn’t confident in my work. Like most artists I know we are our own worst critic but it wasn’t until the last 3 years that I finally let go and embraced what I’ve learned and continue to learn about my craft.

For the next part of my journey I’ve decided to get a little more artsy fartsy. Now this won’t be just a road of making and selling dolls, I’ll be documenting more if my personal journey as an artist. So let’s begin tonight.

It’s 1:43am and I’m waiting for the paint to dry while watching Netflix on my iPad. The house is nice and quiet and there’s only one light coming from my desk lamp. It actually reminds me of my childhood. When I was in either grade 1 or 2, I loved the Disney version of Pinocchio. There was a picture of Geppetto working in his workshop at night looking up at the sky wishing for Pinocchio. Haha I guess it’s eerily very similar. This took s very strange turn. Maybe it’s the paint fumes 🤷🏻‍♀️

More soon!SS

A Shared Journal

Feeling comfortable

I can’t say how happy I am to finally be able to enjoy my artwork. I love what I do! I’ve been slowly building my doll collection, yes I’m probably going to be one of those women with a bunch of dolls. I did promise myself to not get crazy and go over 10 dolls in the entire house… ok well, I promised my boys.

It’s the beginning of the Christmas season and I can already hear the sound of crunch time. I have a few dolls to make before Christmas and few of my own I want to complete.

A couple of events happened over the last couple months that would’ve left me jaded about 5 years ago, but today is a very different day. I felt validated and self assured that I am on the right path. It’s funny what they say. When you feel adversity or opposition from others, it says a lot more about them than it does about you. I’ve learned that you do choose your future and things may look bleak but it must look that way temporarily in order to achieve what you deserve. 2018 is coming up fast and I am extremely excited! There will be lots of meetings, planning, coordinating, but my goal is worth it!

Let the Christmas songs, sweaters and Santa pictures begin! 🎄

A Shared Journal

Full Circle up North

I traveled up Northern Ontario for a life celebration. I love the idea of celebrating life versus funerals. I lost my beautiful mother-in-law and it’s been such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It’s never easy to lose someone and as the years go on I know I will lose more.

It’s been years since I’ve been in Kingston and traveling down memory lane was a trip! Everything looks smaller than I remember but the malls get bigger and bigger. Not much changed over the last 10 years but it still holds a piece of my heart. Traveling through Westport and seeing the beautiful landscapes, mini lakes it’s heaven. Being somewhat cut off from the world and off the grid is so refreshing. I love being online and meeting new people but I also love being in the wilderness surrounded by nature. I feel like Canada is that happy medium.

I’m currently in a beautiful logwood home laughing and bonding with family. I guess you could call this my full circle moment.

Much love my friends!

A Shared Journal

Therapy for healing

The first time I saw a reborn doll I instantly fell in love. As a doll lover I was so intrigued at how artists could express their own vision for each doll kit. Here’s my story:

In 2010, my whole world crashed, I went into the hospital expecting a quick fix instead, I was admitted immediately and fought for my life for 5 weeks away from all my family and friends. After those long weeks of not knowing, I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That wasn’t the worst part, my neurologists, specialists and physicians informed me that I was no longer able to return to work, I had physical limitations, mental limitations and I would only get worse… oh, and that there’s no cure.

As a mother of 6 children, a wife, a sister and a daughter; giving up was not even a thought in my mind. However, I also knew I was going to go bananas if I didn’t have anything to do during the times when I would be bedridden. That’s when I thought about the reborn doll that my mother in law showed me. I, admittedly, became obsessive over every bit of the reborn doll process. I watched documentaries, read articles and spent hours self teaching, practicing painting and hair rooting. Working on reborn dolls became, and still is, my therapy.

I introduced the world of reborning dolls to my friend in New York. She loved my dolls so much and was so intrigued by them I decided to send her 2 of my reborn dolls, 1 for her and 1 for her mother who suffers from dementia. I knew about the therapy values of these dolls but nothing prepared me for the video chat from my friend showing me her mother’s reactions. Her eyes lit up and to this day, she holds and changes her babydoll every day. It was transforming for me.

A few months later, I was contacted by many who were curious about the dolls. One woman in particular reached out to me about her story and how she suffers from PTSD. We developed a bond and I put all me heart into a doll for her. Once her babydoll arrived, she sent me pictures of her family holding the doll and they were all crying with happiness, yes that included her husband. My husband and I were moved to tears. In that moment I knew the power of healing that these dolls have. My therapy can now help others and that is my goal for as long as I can create these works of art.

The first time I stepped into MacPherson’s I was speechless. It is an artist’s and doll collector’s dream! On my first visit I was lucky enough to have met Brenda. She is one of the most positive people I have ever met and her staff is equally friendly and sweet. As an artist, being able to physically look at and touch the different kits is invaluable to my reborning process.

I look forward to any chance I get to visit the store in St Marys which is only a 45 minutes away from my city.

Dear artists, this is a remarkable community and with the help and encouragement from the MacPherson’s staff, you can go through your own processes with ease. You will always be welcomed with open arms.

MacPherson’s always signs off with a “Have a beautiful day” and every time I visit, I do indeed have a beautiful day.

Thank you, Brenda and your wonderful staff for all your support for me and many other reborn artists, you are all beautiful inside and out.