Movie Review: Searching

Searching

I’ve been picking out some pretty great movies lately and I had to tell you about the movie Searching, on Netflix. The way it was filmed and written was really done well. If you like investigative online sleuthing you will LOVE this movie.

The movie had an in-the-moment feel and brought some serious security issues we need to be aware of while being online. Our children may live in our homes but we may not know everything we should. This movie also impressed me by the way it showed different ways you may be able to use in order to also help find missing people. We can take it for what it is. I felt strongly vindicated as a parent with trusting your gut. As parents we need to be disruptive and nosey about their lives. When you’re a parent it’s your only job.

Spoiler alert! It ends with a twist. I hope you enjoy the movie and the way the director and editor created it. Take care!

Stiletto

Another Weekend but I just wanna Chill

I just wanna chill kind of weekend. With my recent dog napping event… Oh wait, I haven’t explain that one..

Yes.. This happened a few days ago. A very bold person tried to take my dog out of my yard. It’s incredible how the lockdown hasn’t deterred people to do horrible things. Instead of boxing myself in I decided to own my space. I have to admit to being more complacent lately.

My best friend posted this picture on Facebook to help find her

A new year means I am doing meaningful work. My energy has been improving more and more each day. Preserving my energy and using it in small doses of energy doesn’t really sit well with me and I’ve been learning how to cope. The anxiety that my home was violated makes me feel angry. Like who does this in one of the scariest time of our lives?

I guess this is my wakeup call and also a reason that I’m up late, shopping on Amazon. My hope is that I get a glimpse of this person. I want to catch them. That should be a really fun time!

Stay safe!

Stilletto

An Afternoon

It feels like it’s been a million days into quarantine and keeping the kids’ spirits up is a job in itself. So.. I’ve been baking and self teaching how to make dishes from scratch. If you check out my Pinterest I’ve created a Recipe board of dishes I’ve tried and going to try.

An afternoon snack, good ol’ cookies and milk

The above is a recipe I’ve sworn by because it quickly puts smiles on the faces of my family. I’ve also made variations of these recipes which I will share over the next couple of weeks. I’m adjusting ingredients and adding fresh ingredients.

I think it’s important to get back to our roots and learn and teach the basics of cooking and baking in such a questionable time. Our kids may not have a traditional school but I opted to keep teaching them what I feel they need to know to live freely.

Batches of baked treats!

Stay safe and practice social distancing. People can be selfish, which is in itself a dangerous mindset to practice. Regardless of facts, or just plain ignorance you cannot change them. Misery loves company so steer clear. This “It’s not real, it’s a conspiracy..” is irresponsible and misleading. Educate yourself, is it better to be overly safe or close to death.

Choose happiness my friends, it’s just a belief away.

Dry Paint is a no-no for doll making!

I’ve been a reborn Doll Artist for 10 years and I want to share my experience for new artists who have asked me where the best quality of supplies are. I will demonstrate through videos and pictures below about what to look for and what is poor quality supplies.

When I started painting my first art dolls they were made of polymer clay and I purchased Genesis Heat Set Paint off of eBay. For making reborn dolls, I purchased my first set of GHSP from Bountiful Baby and I never had a problem and the paints and they baked beautifully. I actually still have them and they STILL work perfectly on my clay dolls.

Fast forward to 2-3 years ago and I started buying paints from MacPherson Arts and Crafts to paint my reborn dolls because I wanted to support a Canadian store. Little did I know that buying off brand paints through them would almost completely ruin my dolls. I purchased GHSP from MacPherson Arts & Crafts as they claimed the paint colours and mediums were mixed onsite and put into smaller jars. I never thought twice about buying from them because the staff was knowledgeable. The below video was filmed back in Feb-March 2019 showing how the paint was cracking and not sticking to the vinyl. I sent this to my best friend and fellow artist asking what I should do as I was creating dolls for the doll show. I didn’t understand why my doll was cracking and the paint wasn’t sticking to the vinyl. I’ve made MANY dolls over the years with a base paint of Flesh 08 and I never had this weird anomaly happen. After going through my painting steps backwards with my friend, like a couple of sleuths on FaceTime lol, she also had the same issue with one of her dolls. We both compared our dolls and couldn’t figure out what was going on. We deduced it down to our base colour of Flesh 08 off brand from MacPherson’s. See below:

I demonstrate here (with a much needed manicure so don’t come for me ✋🏼 lol ) that the paint is chunky and no matter how much I tried to mix it, it would not get to the consistency that I’m used to working with. FYI I used up all my on brand Genesis Heat Set Paint in Flesh 08 so I figured they would be the same ☹️ sadly not!

Here are some pictures of the beautiful Tobiah by Laura Lee Eagles that I couldn’t save for the show.

Since there is a warning that heating the vinyl is not recommended I figured I was simply out about $200CDN for my kit. I posted a picture on my personal Facebook page of the old paint and tagged my friend thanking her for spending hours with me trying different mediums and mixes to save it. I spent more time fixing the dolls that were fixable. I will make a video and post on how to save your reborn doll and do a comparison on what the consistency of Genesis Heat Set Paint should be.

To keep it real, I was offered a new Tobiah kit however I was to return the ruined kit first. I also received a private message saying it looked bad for the “MacP” store. I wasn’t sure if anyone else experienced a problem and had to return their ruined kits first before they got a replacement. I bit the bullet and chose to keep my kit and try to save it or use it as a booboo kit to try some techniques.

To explain, every artist has their own style of painting but the first base coat is the most important. It’s the “glue” that keeps all your details and layers in tact. GHSP is an oil paint so they should not dry out or be chunky at all. I have left my on brand GHSP paints out and with a quick stir with a brush they are the perfect consistency and I have never had a problem.

People can be nasty when they are faced with the truth about their products but as an artist of over 10 years it’s important that I give a factual no nonsense truth to new artists that I have introduced to reborn doll making to. Your tools and supplies should always be top quality because these dolls take many hours and days to make. When you are halfway through your painting and then notice paint cracking away from the vinyl, it is such a devastating and defeating moment because no matter how many layers you try to use it may not ever stick. I would never want any artist to go through this. It is also such a victorious feeling when your experience and techniques are applied and you can save your doll’s paint.

I also talked with a couple of very professional and seasoned artists and they suggested how I should store my kits. I now store them in air tight plastic bins to keep the oils in the vinyl. It makes sense that vinyl could change its composition over time in an overly dry place like a former morgue, yikes! 😳 I will do more research on this and see if this could’ve been a factor in my Tobiah kit.

To my new artist friends, that asked for tips. I recommend that you only use on brand Genesis Heat Set Paint to prevent this from happening. I also recommend that you support your favourite sculptors and purchase kits directly from them. They do such an amazing job and you will be put on newsletters and such letting you know when their next new kits will be coming out. I have started doing this and it is so great because you get to deal with the sculptor on a more direct level.

I will be tossing these out 😩 and be replacing them all with on brand GHSP paints ONLY possibly from the great Bountiful Baby as they haven’t let me down. I’ve come full circle with my supplies too! Lol it’s always great to start fresh armed with knowledge and experience and I will NEVER go off the path for cheaper low quality supplies ever again!

As requested, I will do some demos and supply comparisons. Keep creating, stay strong and put that passion into those beautiful baby dolls!

Much love ❤️

SS

What’s below?

I wonder..

I watched the movie Us and I’m totally going to spoil it so if you haven’t seen it, my apologies and I’ll omit many of the details. It made me think about what really goes on underground. As genius human beings we’ve developed massive sewer systems, subways, trains, etc in more recent years we’ve witnessed sinkholes in the middle of our cities.. but I digress. My thoughts are what if we were forced to live underground and what if it want that bad?

I’d like to think as common sense beings we are actually closer to utopia as we are giving ourselves credit for. I’ve had some time away from the noise of television, radio and forms of social media and there’s so much more out there. I’m going to be a bit “zen” right now and tell you to choose your happiness. With all the mental noise and calamity available to us and that we carry around, what if one day it all stopped. The internet, radio, television all stopped and we were forced to live below?

We’ve been growing some herbs and vegetables with my sons and they’ve been loving it. I asked my nephews and sons of they could picture their lives without the internet and their PS4. I swear their faces looked as if they needed a few days to process it. I’ve accepted and welcome the amazing developments of technology and medicine. I disagree with our education system’s lack of focus on our children’s ability to read and write in cursive and sign names on forms and documents. Overall it’s not such a bad place to live in our most current timeline. What if we had to reset all our lives but could only live underground? No internet, no cars, no money?

SS

Enjoy my latest Stiletto Moments podcast:

Diving deep underneath me

Let’s rewind…

We’re going to take this to about 6 months before the show. Deposits were made, supplies, decorations and final floor plan layout were being finalized. We were getting messages of excitement and figuring out details of the events. As far as I knew, the investor and my team were all on the same page. I was on the phone day and night trying to coordinate schedules and supplies. As I mentioned in previous blog entries, my plan was to pay for all the teachers’ travel and hotel expenses. I thought it would be nice for teachers to not have to worry about those types of details and just come and teach. The first teacher I admired and kept me smiling through my recovery was Bean from the Twisted Beanstalk. She was the first one to sign on and liked what we were doing. That was the absolute worst joke of an investment of the whole show. We spent thousands for her and a guest to join. After her class, she had the worst booth. No effort and she was absent for most of the show. Fans drove for hours to see her, but I guess that was superseded by her own agenda.

Shortly after she spoke with “B” she became different and turned out to be a horrible person. Basically, she took advantage of honest people, got a free ride and then decided to bash people who worked and saved to have her represent a Canadian born artist. Didn’t see that coming, I guess money talks and shiny rainbow plastic walks.

Not to worry, the gals and I kept going. “B” started sabotaging us by telling people we were just a local show, we gave her over 100 flyers that she said she would distribute well she failed at that too. People were waiting for those but nope! I started noticing that people started distancing from my show. You know when you get that feeling that someone is talking some shit? Yeah it was feeling that.

“B” and I were friends but my friendship had waned since we first met when she starting to talk about the drama from someone who stole from artists about 10 years ago, every artists’ love life, their home life.. like man, I just wanted to meet new people in the doll world! I didn’t need to know all those details! It was gross because she considered these artists her friends and such. I know that when someone talks about others so openly, they’re bound to talk about me so I quietly started distancing myself. Too late her mouth was already opened and flapping.

Last December 2018, after reflecting on some racist things she had said to me, some condescending words about the show and how she’d be “screwed” if I died, she said that right before a very scary infusion treatment, it was so mean. I knew the bond of friendship was severed. The trust and respect was gone. She called and messaged but I had to focus on my family and my recovery plus there really wasn’t much more to discuss. If you see in many of my videos, I supported and loved “B”, I loved her store, her family etc but when someone makes it their mission to destroy your name because they severed ties, that shows them in a whole new light with the lack of maturity that I require in all my adult relationships. It showed me someone who is desperately backtracking out of their own guilt. There was no need to try to destroy Canada’s first doll show/convention and disappoint fellow vendors, I simply didn’t want the focus on her booth alone. She didn’t like that and bailed on the whole show it was a huge disappointment to people at the show but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. As predictable as she is, she was hell bent on ruining my show and me as an artist she wanted to befriend artists and collectors to gang up on me. She failed at that too! To this day, 14 days after the show I’m sure videos will be made and people will still be upset.

My vision will remain unchanged I wanted to see Canada’s artists in the spotlight. I want to see everyone that won the contests succeed and go on to create more. I will do this to the best of my ability even if it means I stand alone. The last two years have been difficult and there’s no way I could’ve made it through without my small group of support who hide in the shadows. I know you’re there and I love you oh so much for having my back.

I can honestly report that 98% of the people who attended were happy. Many were waiting for a Canadian show, many thanked me for putting one together. It was our very first Canadian show and it was janky af! 🤣 It was also so freaking fun putting it together, standing on the stage and looking at all the smiling faces was the cherry on top of my flattened and undercooked cake.

I may be confusing, very misunderstood and full of crassness on one hand but on the other I’m just a regular Canadian gal who’s trying to do good things with her artwork.

Real Talk..

Ok rather than answer separate messages and email I will open it up on here.

As an online personality, radio host and mother I want to make this shit clear. I have a sassmouth, I express myself online and on the airwaves with other co-hosts I will not edit myself and we all like me that way.

Just by watching you all over the past 6 months, I can see how suspicious and scared you are about new people and things out of the norm. I get it. What you see is what you get when it comes to me. I’ve been bullied all my life and I’m not about to feel that way ever again especially when none of you know me. I have great ideas, they don’t all work out, obviously, but the intentions are always good. I wanted to present our own Canadian show because we deserve one. I don’t know and don’t care about the drama or history in your community that is for you to hash out. It’s not my focus. My focus is to provide a space where new artists and vendors can sell their dolls and accessories to serious doll collectors. I took a leap wth investors, friends and most of you who supported it. Overall, it happened and I learned a lot.

For example, y’all cycles synched up so 4 days is too many days. Meals are too expensive so that won’t happen again. I welcome proper feedback here. Smart ass comments will be deleted and you will be banned from my site.

From the feedback I’ve received via email and private messaging in the last 24 hours most of you actually want to help make it better for next year.

This is the only reason I will even consider another show.

Instead of bashing something we cannot change I welcome feedback here and here only. If you want to show everyone how good the community is then prove it. I introduced people, who have been following me for years, to my doll making passion and they are all very intrigued.

I want a new community with more support than hate.

Your choice.

Dolls have no feelings

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010 with all the therapy I went through I was at the lowest of my life. Like most of us during that time, I loved watching YouTube videos of crafts and craft ideas. I made stuffed animals, blankets and costumes for my children but I mostly loved making dolls for my daughter. Then, I found reborn baby dolls. I bought all my supplies and doll kits and away I went. I couldn’t afford those fancy ovens so I used a toaster oven and had to somehow Tetris the doll limbs to fit. In short, making these dolls were not only my therapy but they brought out a confidence in me that I could do something on my own since my diagnosis.

Fast forward to 2019.

I spent 2 years planning an international doll event, the first one in Canada. My intentions were to have a show space for new artists and Canadians who couldn’t get to the larger shows.

My family and investors contributed thousands of dollars, man hours because we believed this would be a good start to Canada. That’s what we thought.

I didn’t know anyone in the doll world. I was warned how nasty the community could be but I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe in a world full of therapy and happiness they would have the teeth as sharp and evil as the Devil.

The show had good and bad. Vendors who flaked and those who stayed until the end. I’ve heard praise during and at the end from people who appreciated our efforts with encouragement that no matter what happens, to hold another show. I was horribly surprised that mothers and fellow artists could be so cruel. The authorities are involved now because a choice few have taken it to a whole new and dangerous level. I can’t understand how women could preach anti bullying with their children yet perpetuate it online towards other people. Targeted harassment, slander and defamation is the name of the game and it’s a sad day that I am witnessing it all in 2019.

The witch-hunt for proof of “scamming” and fraud has not and will not result in any wrong doing. Perhaps people don’t believe that something and some people are simply just good with good intentions.

I can preach through as many blogs, vlogs, podcasts as I can but the damage that has been done to innocent people is unforgivable and illegal. With their pitchforks and gnashing teeth ready to pounce on the kind and innocence of good people has left me disgusted and my eyes are now wide opened to reasons why social media has policies in place and why I’ve been warned so many times. This is no different from any other proverbial witch-hunt the only difference is the year. I never expected to be accepted in the doll world because I don’t follow their rules. I don’t blindly follow the crowd..

My family and friends have been hurt from all of this. The only thing they wanted was for me to see my dream come true before I had to take a life threatening treatment for my MS. If it was the last thing I’d see, they wanted it to succeed and they did everything to make it happen. I am so happy I got to share my dream with these beautiful people in my life, they sacrificed time, effort, money they all laughed with me, cried with me they refused to let me quit… because of their love for me, they didn’t want to tell me about how horribly they were being treated. They wanted me to heal and for 2 weeks they shouldered all the negativity, lies and bullying for me. Those are the people who matter to me right now.

Dolls have no feelings, people do.

A word of warning..

This post is about a hard lesson I had to learn. Friendship and business will not work if one of the parties has suspect motives.

I started an event with someone I thought I could trust.

In November 2017, we discussed our plans and I signed a contract for the show venue with a deposit. We both paid the deposit. She then suggested that I change my website to American money and she would have her IT person to run it. It was HORRIBLE and the IT didn’t return my calls nor give a simple email. And so… the sabotage began…

The whole point of starting a Doll show in Canada is because my fellow Canadian artists were struggling to attend American shows with our Canadian dollar so weak. Because she is a stubborn ass, she didn’t like the way my show was planned, she wanted all the attention on her booth space and that was not fair to my other vendors. I also didn’t agree with the website being priced in US dollars for a Canadian show! So I took my website back. She was not happy. She then asked me to use this joke of a planner who wanted to stick signs in the ground for a college that was in the worst part of my city. I should’ve known when she left a family emergency to have a meeting with me and this other planner! Who would choose a meeting over family?! Also not my style.

I should’ve known that when someone talks about every single artist’s love life and personal struggle they probably don’t have much of a life and they are not a trustworthy person. She would tell me all kinds of space cadet things about how wonderful her life was and how “nice” she was however her own family member warned me about her. In reality, she is a struggling business woman with very shady business practices.

I allowed my dolls to be in her store to show my work. She did not purchase them. I never accepted a discount for any supplies that I purchased that is not my style to do, I’m an artist investing in myself. Her paint was dry and it ruined some of my dolls I was preparing for the show. I was devastated and didn’t think I could fix them in time, but I didn’t give up and fixed them!

4 months before the show, I was to have my first medical infusion instead of showing support she told me she was backing out because she didn’t understand why I was compensating the teachers with a booth, travel and hotel accommodations. It seemed pretty straightforward but I guess in all her years she lost her common sense.

After over a year of planning and 4 months before the show and medical recovery, my husband would not let me cancel the show. With the risk of death looming and I was losing my vision, I asked him to make sure my children understood that I wanted to do something good for the artwork that saved my mental and physical state over 10 years ago. Our backer was now sabotaging me and our plans. It was sad and pathetic.

My family begged me not to cancel the show, my son was preparing speeches, my family was preparing to travel from all over the world.. vendors were preparing, participants were emailing me how excited they were.. I had to either cancel or keep going.

Out from nowhere, another friend came to the rescue. She would not let me quit and did everything she could to make sure I was recovering and as stress free as possible. We whipped up whatever we could and continued on with plans. Of course there were hiccups and confusion, overall I’m extremely proud of what my team of family and friends accomplished.

In order to have peace of mind and to close this chapter I decided to write the following personal letter and I would love your opinions:

Over much deliberation I’ve decided to continually support all my Canadian entrepreneurs with those who have proper business practices. I will not deal with thieves and those that extort money from artists.

I still haven’t received my money for my Liam doll that was sold for $750 October 2018 and while I was recovering from a serious infusion my husband and my friend had to pay $900 to get my dolls back. Luckily, my artwork was brought back to me and I was able to put them in my booth!

Lol when I received a pile of unorganized hand written invoices with no back up documentation and what I allegedly “owed” I was told that the amount was in American but purchased from a Canadian store that is so weird! So I converted it and uh.. it turned out I would’ve owed only $300 but wait I also sold a doll for $450 and still nothing in my hand. I’ve been in business for many years and this kind of practice is just so strange. I may not be a famous artist but I do know that someone that preys on an artist’s hard work through “friendship” is really someone I will never want to deal with in any fashion. All is not lost I will buy my kits directly from the sculptors I love because I want every penny to go to them, I know what the actual definition of integrity is. Do you know?

Leave a comment and let me know if I should send it.

My 5 Favourite Things About Winter

It’s officially the end of the first month of 2019 and a cold snap (a fast drop in temperature) which has effected most of part of Canada and many parts of the world. This drastic drop to minus freezing levels may be alarming to many but it’s a normal winter to me.

Most of us Canadians have our main staples to get us through the harsh Northern winds. From boots to coats to gloves, etc everyone has their faves. Here are 5 of my favourite things about winter that help me get through the brisk cold which I truly love.

#1 A Warm Cozy Blanket

A warm, preferably fuzzy, cozy blanket is a MUST! I have always had a throw or blanket on hand and ready for those days when I want to snuggle while watching TV. When the house is quiet my dog Vinny cuddles up right on my lap. I look forward to the quiet days that I can have a nice winter afternoon nap.I have definitely passed the blanket readiness down to my children. I often see them carry their blankets draped around their shoulders while making their way out their rooms in the morning. I have also caught my dog, Judge, steal a fuzzy blanket or two to lay on.

#2 Colourful Socks and Leg warmers

If you’ve followed me on my social media you will know that I have a huge admiration for socks. I gravitate towards knee high socks in particular, if I see a pair of socks that catch my eye while I’m out shopping I buy them. I don’t have snow pants which would be ideal during this -38 degrees Celsius weather. The next best things for Canadian women is a good pair of leg warmers.

Growing up in the ’80s, leg warmers were known as fashion statements of jazz dancers and ballerinas. Who doesn’t remember “Flashdance”? Although it has been a fashion craze both in and out of eras the use has always been practical and simple. Who would have thought cutting off some tight pants from the knee down to layer them on top of another pair of pants would actually keep someone warm? Whether you pick socks or leg warmers make sure you add some fun colours and bedazzle them up!

#3 A Touque

I have a growing collection of hats and touques to wear for any season. My favourite hats to wear are hands down the classic touque. My all time favourite style are the chunky knitted hats. I have knitted and crocheted so many stiles but the most basic designs are the best!

I especially love the smaller beanies so I can put it in my purse without it taking up too much room.

#4 Hot chocolate beverage

This is a huge fave in my family. There’s something about a warm steamy hot chocolate drink that warms up everything from the inside out. I remember when I was a kid we were taken out on winter field trips for cross country skiing, etc. We were given scalding hot chocolate. It was so hot we all burned out tongues. I doubt they offer that in schools today. Despite the risk of a burned mouth I still order cafe mochas and hot chocolates every winter.

#5 A Fireplace

I’ve been blessed to have grown up with a fireplace. I think they should be mandatory in Canadian households. With the recent 2019 cold snap which dropped temperatures below -20 degrees, having a fireplace was a perfect way to keep the house at a warm cozy temperature.

These are the top 5 things about winter that I actually look forward to. There aren’t very many days left of winter in my part of Canada. I will have to pack up my touques, soon and trade my socks in for a pair of spring shoes and pedicures.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Stay warm!

SS