It’s finally happening

After 6 months of waiting and 2 years of maturity Babbette has officially come into season, or “heat”.  We are ready for our first pregnancy and prepping for puppies.

“Babbette” CKC registered Mazinblue Dreams of Wild Orchid

Since the pandemic has brought an influx of puppy buyers and sellers, it wasn’t something any of us could have predicted.  We had veterinarians in check but over the last year their hearts have changed.  After contacting a few veterinarians they have all said they will no longer be helping with breeders.  This is not unwarranted and I can accept their opinions.  Some are wondering why I choose to breed standard poodles especially at this time.  My short answer is because people need help.  As a person with disabilities of now 2 incurable diseases which are highly debilitating, dogs have always been my therapy as well as my assistants.  Babbette assists me with standing, sitting and even helps me off the floor should I fall or seize.  Tootsie would stay by my side and lay on the floor when I have seizures.  These are small duties I feel that humans don’t have patience for.

Since I was very young I have always observed the relationship between dogs and their humans.  Service and therapy dogs usually cause scrutiny not only from the non disabled but also from the disabled.  I never understood why we as a society make it so difficult for us to be more accepting regardless of our opinions.   I shake my head at tons of stories about dog discrimination knowing that only a couple hundred years ago we were all going into shops and markets with our canine companions pulling carts full our groceries home with us.  I see paintings of dogs and cats laying by the family fireplace.  I see dogs leading the blind and helping with opening doors and drawers.  Those scenarios are why I breed my dogs.

I’ve done my share of rescuing dogs from shelters and from other owners and one thing ran true through each rescue story I have heard. They had behavioural problems, separation anxiety, among more. I will take examples of my own personal experiences. I rescued. a stunningly beautiful large Doberman Pinscher named Judge. The Doberman, to me, is the Cadillac of all dogs, my dream dog.. I called the owner and made a trip an hour and a half away to get him. They were a young family with 1 preschool son and another baby on the way. Before anything I wanted to take him for a walk. Now picture this, I am 5’2″ so this dog was basically like a miniature horse to me. He ran right up to me and his owner said “Wow he really likes you”. I walked him up the street and he looked at me with the softest sweetest eyes and we fell in love so to speak. The owner had his mother and he said Judge’s mother wasn’t getting along with him in her old age. For $500, I got this magnificent animal, his crate and bowls. One may read this and think what a beautiful story, but there are kinks to this story. We opened his cage up because in my experience dogs enjoy having a “den”. My heart sank when I saw parts of his cage had bent bars about the size of his muzzle. He had pressure points on his elbows and one on his rib. This is usually from laying on a hard surface for a long time and him trying to get out probably due to seperation anxiety. He was slightly underweight, I figured more because of crappy dog food.

Naps are the best!

I changed his diet and closed the cage and he would never be inside that thing again. He had bad habits like counter surfing and any plate unattended would be fair game to him. BUT he helped me balance myself, we would go for walks and I can’t express it in words, he just knew what to do without me asking nor extra training. As soon as I put his service vest on he was WORKING. He was focused and proud. He sat by me after seizures and he helped me to stand. He was 11 years old when he left us for Rainbow Bridge. He spent half his life in a cage and the other half with my family who loved, cherished and still miss him to this day.

You will hear conversations about ethical and unethical dog breeding and the pet population problem and so on, but my thought is that if temperament was focused on rather than the breed’s cosmetic value there wouldn’t be AS MANY surrendered dogs. Now, there are some not so good purebred dog breeders and I again have experience with them too. I was starting my own training with protection dogs and I decided on a Boxer. Not great for bite work but I wanted a dog who could protect as well as get along easier with children. I named her Jasmine and she was, as some say, full of piss and vinegar. At her first show, she lost her first place ribbon because she decided randomly to sit in front of me to get a reaction. The judge loved her but sitting is not part of the show game. If you have ever known a Boxer puppy you know they act like they have springs in their feet. At 6 months I had to get this lil girl in shape. I trained her basic manners like not door crashing and basically not being annoying getting up in people’s faces. I taught her to only accept treats from me and she knew commands to watch people and keep them at a distance. Everything was going well until she had a seizure. My poor dog was diagnosed with epilepsy and was prescribed phenol barbitol taking a pill twice a day. She was only 3 years old when she died. This prompted me to do a full out investigation on the breed and breeder. A friend of mine bought her sister and she died of cancer at the age of 4. These are extraordinarily young dogs with such disheartening health issues. My friend did her research and told me that their breeder would drown any white puppies that were born. Like whoa! We were both shocked and pretty disgusted. What I learned through that whole experience is priceless. I learned to not be so naive.

First snowfall 2021

When anyone asks me if they should adopt or buy a purebred I ask them if they want a surprise or a predictable temperament. Research research research go to shelters, talk to breeders, go through kennel club standards. I was even pleasantly surprised that my dog breeder partner and friend gave me a temperament guarantee. She even accepted a 10 year old service dog back as the owner needed a younger dog for her needs. All pluses to me!

It all starts with day one of my dog’s cycle. I have high hopes that my puppies will bring joy, service and companionship to people who need them. Quality over quantity! My poodle gals are so smart my children say they are like humans in a dog suit…

…and they’re super cute too.

Stiletto

How to Make a Baby

I’ve had some questions about making reborn dolls by many who would like to start to learn a new art form. I’ve been making dolls for many years and I love sharing some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

I have a few dolls I’m working on so I will try to share as many basic tips as I can. I hope you do start a new art form or hobby. It’s nice to let it some creative steam.

You’ll find my finished dolls on my Instagram page under @punkiepiebabies

Creases & Wrinkles
Neutralize

I will be hand making dresses and will be adding some details for some special babies. I’m pouring all my creative skills into the next few dolls. I’ll record as much as I can to share with you.

My site has always been a mixed bag of my interests from trying new recipes, gardening, painting, sculpting, sewing.. I felt it is time to just show everything I can do and share when creating my special dolls of 2020. If you’re new to this, I create realistic looking baby dolls for medical, mental therapy and collecting purposes. All my dolls take weeks to months to complete and I only use top quality products and supplies. All hair is rooted into the dolls head and lashes one hair at a time. I also do something called micro directional hair rooting. This means I root the hair in a pattern of a swirl into the crown of the doll head one hair at a time. I practice and try different techniques all the time. I think that’s why I enjoy making these dolls so much. There is no one way to make these dolls. I urge anyone who is interested to try it. I’ll share more soon

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

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

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

Fried Frog

Vlog #30: Fried Frog

The heat is on and it has been scorching hot outside over the past few days. With weather history in the making we have the lava flowing in Hawaii and poor air quality readings which seem to be triggering a lot of allergy suffers. I don’t have allergies, but even I notice how hard it is to breathe outside. I’m praying for safety and good health for our dear friends in Hawaii.

Summer Umbrella is up!

So much is happening that I was starting to feel like I was even giving myself enough time to rest. I evaluated my current status and I was slowly starting to slip back into my workaholic tendencies. My worst “crash due to exhaustion” left me so mentally drained I couldn’t even remember how to write my name! I had orders booked and was working at a great pace, I was trying new techniques and really having fun, BUT I was working around the clock. I was designing as I was doing detailed work then taking pictures and shopping for supplies.. I was all over the place. The thing that was the most exciting was how productive I was and how ahead of schedule I was in all that I did. I was down to my last two orders and I remember working all day and I stayed up until 4am. The birds were chirping and I got up from my desk and stood out on my patio deck staring at the rising orange sun. I stood out there for, what felt like hours, 20 minutes and felt all my lack of sleep hit me so hard my knees buckled a little. I had to struggle to keep myself balanced. I went right into the house and straight up to bed. I was completely exhausted and in bed for 4 days. My deadlines were getting closer but I was done. I could hardly stay awake. I do not need a repeat of that!

Dog Days of Summer

I decided to keep the weekends as my designated “No Work” days, so far so good. 👍🏼

SS

Video: Fried Frog

Feeling comfortable

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

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

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

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

Is this Fall?

This year’s Fall has been really strange. It is starting to get cooler but it hasn’t been at the regular temperatures for this time of year. The leaves on most of the trees are still green with only sporadic changing leaves on the trees outside the city and into the beautiful farm lands.

I’ve been having lots of action with regard to my more frequent travels to my favourite craft store. Not only is my destination to MacPerson Arts & Crafts equivalent to my “Disneyland” but the drive to St. Mary’s is absolutely beautiful! The quiet countryside is so filled with nature. With Turkey vultures circling over crops and wooded areas it’s so nice to watch them glide overhead, even though I know they are searching for their next meal.

I’m so in love with my travels on the back roads and the hidden dirt roads. Just the sound of the tires crunching over gravel is somehow satisfying to hear.

I’m in the middle of projects, custom orders and events. I can feel that I’m just about to get crazy busy with Christmas holidays approaching. I’m ready to get working.

Great adventures are continuing to get some momentum. This is where I do the best work, on crunch time with a pile of work to do.

Is it weird that I actually like to be swamped with work? 🤔

More soon!

SS

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