Creating and Smiling

I’ve been inspired to paint some beautiful sculpts I’ve kept stored for awhile.

Enjoy the video I had a relaxing time making it.

I’ll share more soon, I’ve been in a zone to create these baby dolls 🥰

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

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

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.

5 Day Countdown…

It has been a very full year already! It has been an incredible rollercoaster ride but I figured I should take you with me.

I have been working on an international doll show for that over 2 years. I’ve had my share of challenges through this journey but I didn’t give up and I am now 5 days away from a new piece of Canadian history! As a Doll Maker and craft doer I’ve been self taught in everything I have done in my million years of life. I’ve made quilts, stuffed animals, costumes for my kids… I have always been interested in how things are made and adding my flare when I give it a try. After my bout of health recovery and a note from my doctor stating I could never return to work, I felt like I needed some kind of purpose in life. My family was my motivation for my career but those few words and a disease telling me I could no longer have the lifestyle I lived was utterly devastating. My family members, as supportive as they are, were also going through their own kind of mourning and loss of who I used to be. It was a reality that was so hurtful and they struggle with it daily. Basically, I was given a lemon farm and I had to figure out what to do with myself.

After getting through my loss of normalcy as I had known it, I found myself alone in a quiet house and I had nothing to do. Aside from dishes, laundry and mopping I spent most of my time in bed with my laptop. It was 2010 and adjusting to my new world was going to take some time to get used to. Of course my depression was in full effect but YouTube opened my world of isolation. I didn’t have a lot of friends, by choice, I didn’t want anyone in my home and I just couldn’t cope. After watching videos of quilt making and clothes making I stumbled upon a video made by the Secrist company where they were demonstrating how to sculpt a baby head, lips and eyes. I continued on and binged watched everything from painting to rooting hair and I was absolutely hooked. I accepted that my days of having an actual baby were dwindling so I devoted all my time to creating these lifelike looking dolls.

I’ve been doing custom order work and practicing my craft paying attention to fine details for over 10 years and I finally found my “voice” through my artwork. I met the most amazingly talented fellow artists and have many customers/friends who appreciate what I do. After many years of creating, I want to give back to this loving industry and community.

After 2 years of planning my partners and I created the IAC Doll Show. The first one in Canada and the most anticipated in the reborn doll community. Many world renowned artists not only live in Canada but have supported my vision for the entire venture. I will give back to this community and the people who have supported me.

As my favourite Disney princess sings:

“…no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true”

I hope you all have a fabulous week and I will update you as the countdown continues 🥰

SS

5 Day Countdown… so I bought stuff

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

So many things

*CLICK FOR VIDEO* So many things

I had such a fun weekend and I’m so happy that the stresses of the world melted away. I ordered more supplies, worked on some fine details and now I feel more prepared for all my future projects. As a bonus, I got to meet up with some great friends and we ended the weekend with sharing some great laughs and stories.

All in all life is awesome!

Bring on the new week!

Life with Stiletto: So many things

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