Solidarity with Friends and Artists

During the last few months I’ve done a lot of reflection and like others, I was feeling a little displaced. I’ve had the blessing of being surrounded by the most amazing women I could ever have in my life. We’ve been able to lean on each other through all this 2020 chaos. My friendship with them has changed tremendously. Instead of leaning we are all standing. Out of the woodwork came women who helped me see what I couldn’t.

Through the majority of my time online I have dedicated myself to supporting artists in all capacities. Artistic forms of expressions and hard work belongs to them and I still stand firm in this. As a reborn doll artist it hurts to see my favourite sculptors’ art taken. I’ve opted to order kits directly from the artists and it’s been a dream.

During my sourcing I decided to try and order a kit from a company I really knew little about. This is my 2020 gem! TruBorn is seriously a great site to see. They support artists and I’ve found some kits that I don’t see offered on other sites. I received my first kit from them right in the middle of lockdown. I didn’t expect it to be on time but sure enough it was perfectly delivered to my door. Here’s my coupon code to give them a try.

I can’t wait to get to work!

Cheers my Friends!

Solidarity with Friends and Artists

During the last few months I’ve done a lot of reflection and like others, I was feeling a little displaced. I’ve had the blessing of being surrounded by the most amazing women I could ever have in my life. We’ve been able to lean on each other through all this 2020 chaos. My friendship with them has changed tremendously. Instead of leaning we are all standing. Out of the woodwork came women who helped me see what I couldn’t.

Through the majority of my time online I have dedicated myself to supporting artists in all capacities. Artistic forms of expressions and hard work belongs to them and I still stand firm in this. As a reborn doll artist it hurts to see my favourite sculptors’ art taken. I’ve opted to order kits directly from the artists and it’s been a dream.

During my sourcing I decided to try and order a kit from a company I really knew little about. This is my 2020 gem! TruBorn is seriously a great site to see. They support artists and I’ve found some kits that I don’t see offered on other sites. I received my first kit from them right in the middle of lockdown. I didn’t expect it to be on time but sure enough it was perfectly delivered to my door. Here’s my coupon code to give them a try.

I can’t wait to get to work!

Cheers my Friends!

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.

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.

Dolls have no feelings

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

Fast forward to 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dolls have no feelings, people do.

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

My 5 Favourite Things About Winter

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

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

#1 A Warm Cozy Blanket

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

#2 Colourful Socks and Leg warmers

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

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

#3 A Touque

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

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

#4 Hot chocolate beverage

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

#5 A Fireplace

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

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

I. Can’t. Wait.

Stay warm!

SS

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