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!

 

Reflection

Another year is getting ready to wrap things up and it has been a very interesting and turbulent time, however I’m pleased with my accomplishments and I’m looking forward to a fresh new start.  Although it’s been an annual cliche I really do feel like I’m ready to take on more new adventures with some wonderful new people who have entered my life.

Out with the old is an understatement especially when I unknowingly walked into a situation with the wrong toxic people.  It’s safe to say that they not only took themselves out of my life but things have been so much better like a breath of fresh air.  I did come out better and ready for many more adventures without anyone holding me back.  A stagnant life is not living it is a fast way on the road to death and I am simply not ready to leave yet.

I have met some wonderful people who are more my speed and less emotionally chaotic.  The new year also brings more preparations for huge projects with my new partners via getting the word about Multiple Sclerosis.  I feel that new medications and newly diagnosed patients do need a voice while the world is getting more aware of what the disease is, what it does and how big the spectrum is.

I will also have open discussions with other patients from every spectrum of the disease and how it not only effects us individually but our family and friends as well.  I have met many people from all over the world and I believe it’s time to share the things that I’ve learned that can help others.

If you’d like to join in on our discussions please email me at stilettosupermom@gmail.com or hashtag me with #stilettosupermomlive

Follow all my social media outlets for more details, join me on Twitter @StilettoSuprmom for my daily shenanigans.

Talk to you all soon!

SS

P.S. check out my latest Podcast Straight to the Points episode:  Swallow my content

Getting back into a groove

September 2019 is here the kids are in school in full swing and I’m getting myself ready for my much anticipated radio adventure.  I’ve finally completed all the work in the background which is imperative so I can make active and progressive moves.  I’ve had many radio shows either sole hosting or co-hosting and it has been so much fun.  Not only have I had fun but I’ve learned from so much from my technology-loving partners and friends.

For this round and with full support, partnerships and sponsors I’m confident there is still so much more fun to be had.  We are putting some interviews together with upcoming artists and their latest tracks.  Schedules are being finalized for live stream shows both video and radio collabs and omg I can’t wait!

The show will be available soon on other platforms like iHeart radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Deezer and many more.  The below links are available now and are also available with the Spreaker and Spotify apps.

Follow my social medias and if you want to be a part of the show, make sure you download Skype!

Chat with y’all soon

SS

Spreaker: Straight to the Points: Stabbing Fish

Spotify: Straight to the Points: Stabbing Fish

Cakes & Pies

Summer is in full force and things are looking pretty amazing.  I am finally able to move things around and get organized before the Back to School storm.  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been focusing on my baking skills and some snacks for the boys after they have their many sessions of basketball, football and playing catch.

Many years ago, when I had 4 kids all under the age of 10 and living in Alberta, Canada, my children’s favourite snack were chocolate chip cookies.  They were very particular about the kind of cookie the requested, though, they had to be “Hockey Cookies”.  My neighbour introduced the recipe to me and told me they were the perfect recipe for those cold after school days and we found very soon after that they were good for every day for my kids. My neighbour explained that she would make these cookies for her sons after hockey games and practice.

Now that I have some extra time on my hands, I’ve decided to resurrect my joy of cooking and what better way than cookies?  Naturally, I turned to Pinterest to see if I could find the recipe and I also wondered if it was the same?  The name is now “Hockey Puck” chocolate chip cookies and using a muffin tin is a fabulous “Eureka” moment!  I used the good old baking sheet method with this recipe and it didn’t hold at all which had NOTHING to do with the recipe!  I had to finagle the recipe, for example, I didn’t have Vanilla Extract, walnuts nor corn syrup.  I also forgot that 2 sticks of butter does not mean a full bar.  At my grocery store, I usually get a bar of butter that is equivalent to 2 cups of butter instead of 1 cup of butter. So yup, you guessed it I totally over buttered the whole recipe.  I problem solved my way into finding a deep dish casserole baking pan and scooped the rest of the batter into it.  I set the oven for the same baking temperature and time.

IMG_5537.jpg

After cooling the Hockey Puck cookies turned into a dense Hockey Rink Cookie Cake!  In less than 12 hours the rink was devoured.  With more requests from my pterodactyls, I corrected the recipe with using the proper amount of cookies, I still didn’t add the walnuts, corn syrup nor the vanilla extract however it still tasted delicious!  The third try remained fluffy with the denseness of a brownie or a Hello Dolly dessert. I was thinking of doing a spin on this Hockey Rink Cookie Cake with Hello Dollies hmmm… a Hockey Hello Dolly, a Rinkside Hello Dolly Cookie Cake?  I’ll work on the dessert and I’d love for you to give me ideas on a name!

If you try the original and my spin on the recipe let me know!

Thank you to Great Grub, Delicious Treats for your inspiration and your fantastic recipe!

Much Love,

SS

#chocolatechipcookies #baking #stilettosupermom #noms

Instagram photo

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.

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.

Here we go!

It’s the early morning before the Grand Opening of the first IAC Doll Show in Canada!

After 2 years of planning and preparing with my whole team we have finally arrived at our much anticipated Day 1 of 3 in the world of dolls! So far, we’ve received positive and exciting feedback with the classes and I hope we will be able to add more classes next year!

It’s 4:57pm and I’ll have to be awake and ready to go by 6am to start with vendor setup. I’m pretty much running on fumes.. but it’s oh so much fun!!

More soon…

SS