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.

Life in Quarantine 2020: Staying Inspired

Spring Classics Collection

I’m sure that we are all getting anxious wanting to go outside at the first sign of spring.  In my place in the world, I’m still skeptical.  That being said, I’ve been finding creative ways to keep my children and myself busy indoors.  I received my birthday/Mother’s Day presents early ( a pasta maker and juicer kitchennaid attachments and a Nespresso machine ) so I’ve been enjoying them tremendously.  So far I have made linguini, spaghetti on the first round and homemade ramen noodles.  I must say that homemade ramen is WAY better than the prepackaged dehydrated kind.

On my other hobbies and pursuits, I’ve been learning lots about ball jointed doll making. I have yet to design and create my own so that is next on the list of things to self teach.

rabbit amigurumi doll

Doll making still has my heart and I have furthered even better ways to get my dolls out to so many more people that use them for therapy and to simply make them smile.  My son found all the family photo albums including some scrapbook ideas I had in storage.  We had fun looking through them so we decided to work on that project this week.  As much as this lockdown has disrupted our lives it has also allowed me to stay in the present.  I now know exactly where my scrapbook items are and there is no excuse for me not to complete them.  I think it will be fun for my youngest to actually get familiar of what a physical photograph is.

scrapbook on white textile

The most challenging thing for me to do lately is to remain inspired. To shake things up I found a couple iBooks to read.  It’s nice to read on the socials, texting, messaging.. but it is nice to take a break from the pace of the social media world and read a book that has more focus and direction.  lol as much as I love chatting with my online world, having a direction feels a lot more calming on my brain lately.  People are getting emotional so I’m trying to remain as positive as I can.

It’s easy to get sucked into the fears and panic of those that surround you but the most important thing is to be there for them.  Transition is hard for all of us.

I hope you are all having a peaceful week.

More to come be happy and be grateful always…

Much love,

SS

P.S.  Checkout my Pinterest  recipe boards, I’ve tried and will be trying some recipes and activities from some pretty amazingly creative people on there.  Also checkout my YouTube Channel where I’ll take you on my adventures too!

 

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.

Productively Positive

I must say I’m uber proud of myself! Not only have I had so much success with my event planning, but I have been sticking to my schedule by uploading and posting on time with my doll channel. I have an amazingly strong team behind me full of energy and positivity!

My Creative Director has left me gobsmacked with her ideas and proactivity, I feel truly blessed. We had some early bumps in the road with some hits and misses with my team, but we finally have our footing and the right people who are ready for 2019!

It’s an amazing feeling to see my ideas and goals come to fruition. As an entrepreneur I admit I was afraid that my vision was misunderstood. My advice to those preparing to run a business is to hold on to that vision until the right people come into your life. I held on for the right time and boom I’ve had nothing but positive results and I’m now surrounded with strong professionals that are self motivated and love what we do.

In this sea of competition, I believe that many people lose sight of what really matters. When dollars and cents are involved it can clash with the pure love of the art. I’ve seen many people blur the two things and end up in competition with each other. Well, my fellow indie artists, the only challenge you should ever accept is the one with yourself. Art is interpretive some will love your work some will like others’ work don’t let that discourage you! There are billions of people on this earth you will find your “people” you will find your niche.

I find it very sad when I see people envious or jealous. Those are 2 horrible traits to have, let those things go! They serve no purpose but destruction of relationships and contribute to the destruction of your soul. Steer clear of poisonous people and their venom and never second guess yourself. Sometimes the most venom comes in the form of a friend, a coworker and even a family member, you will rise above and you will recover. Trust your instincts, you know, that voice in your head or that knot in your stomach even the warnings of others. I love the saying “listen to what people tell you about themselves because they’re right” not sure if that was Dr. Phil, lol, be aware that you do have a choice to ignore, deny or accept those warnings to be true. I admit to ignoring those warnings in my past and sure enough the outcome was not a good one.

Going into 2019 with a heart full of happiness and a plan is the only way I choose to start this year off right. I hope you all find your footing and wish you a positive and productive new year!

SS

IAC Doll Show

Hoping for Answers

*CLICK FOR VIDEO* Hoping for Answers

It seems like everything is coming full circle with both bitter and sweet results. Yes, cannabis is now legal in Canada which means many who use it as a treatment are able to use it in public areas when they require it. Much like Tylenol or an inhaler or an epipen… it’s a relief to know that citizens can access their medication without a fear of being fined or criminalized for it.

On the other side, the bitter side, I lost a very important specialist/researcher in my fight for life with MS. He passed tragically too soon from lung cancer. May he rest in peace.

It leaves me with many questions as to what happens to me now? I’m curious to know if there is still hope for a cure. I know I will never have an absolute answer, but I can dream of it and maybe one day the cure will come into fruition.

Since there has been so many changes to me physically I decided that I need to document my daily life, not only for me but for my children, family and friends. Maybe one day we will be able to look at what I used to do, my accomplishments, struggles and adventures. I have a renewed inspiration to create and I can’t wait to share more of my life with you.

Have a fantastic weekend!

SS

Hoping for Answers video

The End of Probibition – Canada 10/17/2018

*CLICK FOR PODCAST* The End of Prohibition

Today was an interesting one it is now officially legal to consume cannabis and it marks the beginning of so many more opportunities. I discuss them in my latest podcast episode below. Enjoy and share your thoughts!

Much love

SS ❤️

Check out my episode “Episode 8 The End of Prohibition – Canada 10/17/18” from Stiletto Moments on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/stilettosupermom/episodes/Episode-8-The-End-of-Prohibition—Canada-101718-e2ava0

My Nest Won’t Empty

A subject that has come up quite a lot but I really feel strongly about. Strangely a topic that seems to peak the curiosity of many and that is… “Don’t you think you’ll miss them terribly when they move out?”

The answer in every fibre of my being is N-O! Some msy say I’m “cold” but I honestly feel that is my job as a mother. To raise and release our children into the abyss of adulthood. I’m ancient enough to know that if we have any expectations of our children we will feel that low blow of disappointment, so I choose to stick with hope and a prayer.

I believe that is truth in all our relationships. Life has an interesting way of keeping us grounded and my children ground me and keep me going ensuring that I’m guiding and leading and on top of my parenting game at all times. Once they’re ready they will let you know.

I touched on the subject a bit on my last livestream. Now that things are more steady in my life I will be able to share more and it’s going to be so fun!

For now here’s my last livestream I will have videos uploaded very soon too so hold tight!

Thanks guys and cheers to a new and fabulous week!

My Nest Won’t Empty

SS

10 Things I love about Summer

10 Things I love about Summer

For many of us Canadians, the winter of 2017-2018 has been a long and bitter journey so when the Weather Channel reported high double digit temperatures, I immediately began packing up the winter gear.  I feel like this summer is so long awaited that I have spent a few sleepless night planning all the things I want to do with the boys once school is done.  In the meantime, here are the 10 Things I love about Summer.

IMG_4083

  1. Pedicures. The cold winter days had us covering up with socks and leg warmers so every year, I look forward to my first summer pedicure.  I always purchase the package that includes all the extras like leg and feet massages.  I’m booking an appointment as soon as I’m done writing!IMG_4082
  2. Sandals.  Goodbye to clunky heavy winter boots and HELLO to sandals and flip flops.  As much as I love the fashion of layering clothing, nothing beats being able to slip on some fancy slides.  That flip flop sound is like music to my ears.IMG_4081
  3. Summer Clothing.  I tend to be in denial throughout the winter months and I wear my summer dresses under layers of sweaters and hoodies.  Now that summer is bringing on some humid high temps I am all about wearing next to nothing flowing breezy clothing.  I can’t wait to be lounging around in my dresses outside instead of a pyjama option.IMG_4080
  4. Napping Outside.  Ahhh that fresh summer air and the sounds of birds chirping and leaves dancing in the breeze.. Yup, one of my absolute favourite things to do is NAP!  BUT the option of being able to sleep outside in the shade is no doable!  I just purchased a new patio umbrella and am waiting on some new furniture.  No, there will be no dining furniture, just straight up lounge chairs and sofas this year.IMG_4079
  5. Picnics.  With a crazy busy schedule over the last few years, I really haven’t had a picnic with just my family in a long time.  We used to go to the city park, buy a bucket of KFC and play football and frisbee.  I think I’m going to implement that in my summer routine.IMG_4078
  6. Beaches.  Canadian beaches have been hiding under blankets of ice and snow so once all of that melts away I can’t express how beautiful the beaches around the Great Lakes are in my country, yes, some have white sands.  I hope to get on a boat this year, I haven’t been sailing in years!IMG_4077
  7. Campfires.  After a full day of sun, it’s almost a given that there will be campfires in my summer future.  The smell of burning wood and the sound of the crackling fire are so relaxing.  It’s guaranteed that my hair would catch all the wood burning scents, but it’s worth it.IMG_4076
  8. BBQ. It isn’t a summer without a good cookout.  I make requests for feasts of charcoal BBQ treats every year from my family and they never disappoint me.  Not only do the children love fresh noms off the grill, but I love that there are no pots and pans to scrub after a BBQ dinner at my house.IMG_4074
  9. Quiet Days.  I am very blessed that I live in a quiet neighbourhood and since I’m early retired, the mornings get so quiet with everyone at work.  I have a new cardinal bird that has been showing off his vocal skills lately and it is the most beautiful sound to hear.  I named him Mr. Wallace (*Pulp Fiction reference) and I look forward to hearing the breezes from right outside my bedroom window.  I know my quiet days are numbered, the kids will be on summer holidays so I’m going to soak up every bit of silence I can get!IMG_4075
  10. Windows Open.  I know it may not seem like a big deal, but being able to leave the windows open at night and in the early morning is a dream to me.  I don’t hear traffic or people.  Just the sounds of wind through the leaves of the trees, birds and crickets chirping.  Oh Summer, thank you for waking up!

Think about all the things you love about Summer.  If you, like me, realize that you haven’t done some of your favourite things in awhile, I hope you put it as a priority on your Summer To-Do List!

Cheers!

SS

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

 

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.

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