It’s Time

You have to go forward and claim your space

Yes you are worthy, so go take your place.

Keep your eyes forward and rebuild your heart

You need to grow, it’s time to restart

You are important to those that you know

You own your space so go, my friend, go.

The Battle of the Platforms Part 1

I’m sure we have all been swirled in the mixing pot of updates and platforms it can be frustrating and confusing. I created my website around 10 years ago with my goal of doing reviews and self expression. I have always highly encouraged people to own their own websites then push it out to as many social media platforms as possible. Unfortunately, over time we got it backwards. I see more and more social media platforms take precedents over our voices. I see more and more users silenced and encouraged to become puppets and the social media platforms hold the strings. Giving up your data to apps is kind of like paying the piper with no real return. Through the years of observation I would guess that 90% of people don’t actually read the Terms and Conditions of their soon to be downloaded apps because most users are so excited to get the latest and greatest apps. I’ve watched people of all ages make themselves physically sick with worry about what they wrote, what others wrote and more and more I see good people crumble within themselves.

I’ve watched the steady decline of every “big” app and I experienced the rise and fall of the latest and greatest. I’ve produced and promoted my own shows and content which is, in itself, tough work. The best part is that I have the freedom to push my content to specific platforms. These platforms are designed to make money. They make money from paid promotions, audience size and use your data to justify their rankings in the stock market. Too much truth right? Let’s continue…

Let’s start with Facebook…

Ah yes the all powerful Facebook was designed with specific AI (Arificial Intelligence) from the time it was launched. I come from the background before internet, there were bulky monitors, green texts and symbols. We used our computers to look up products and place orders. I worked in an IT firm where we sold Microsoft licenses, hardware, software, dongles, Nikon cameras and more. We sourced for huge companies and I made really incredible contacts. Dial up Internet was the rage and Nokia cellphones were the main phone you could drop it you could easily replace its broken casing. Y2K was the biggest fear to companies but as IT specialists, we knew way in advance and it was a simple code to move our systems from 1999 to 2000. Crazy right? This was also a moment in time where Apple was not even a key player in business, we referred to Apple products as toys for kids, like a cute video game. Apple products didn’t fit in a Microsoft world of business. Moving forward, with our plastic Nokias and the business version, that you could only buy for business, was the Blackberry. I’ll get into phones in another post.

Back then, technology was getting faster and more advanced. The dial up was now in almost every household. We were getting more tech-savvy and we wanted a way to stay in touch because texting was still pricey per text. Gone were the days of ICQ and other online chats where we met people and yes people would troll each other in those rooms too. Think of these chat rooms like a bunch of mini apps where the administrators create the room and monitor them online dial up. Facebook was born and offered a way to keep in touch and share photos and such. It was an exciting way to catch up and communicate. It was especially important to families who were spread out around the world. We wrote posts updating our lives and main life events. Eventually, businesses were added and the rest is what you see today. Facebook became an obsession and a platform for adult and children bullying. Chain letter forwarding through private messages breeds more stealing of identity, unsatisfied customers making horrid reviews destroying businesses. What I see on Facebook now is so far from what it was meant to do it is sad. When Mark Zuckerburg got himself into some hot water over the AI and gathering of information he unknowingly unleashed a “beast” that is now impossible to undo. Facebook itself has a questionable future despite these so called ratings that favour Facebook by users alone. I’m watching Facebook crumble and despite these Facebook loyalists, I’ve been in the tech biz long enough to see the signs. My personal opinion is not in favour of the Facebook platform for my mentioned reasons and so much more. The AI and information gathering has transformed itself into an intrusive way for others to know about intimate details of your lives. This “safe space” has developed TV shows like Catfish and movies like Unfriended. It saddens me that a seemingly innocent app started off with such promise has now turned into a mixed bag of good and crazy.

Let’s move on to Twitter…

Twitter has been my go-to social media spot but I have observed their huge decline over the years as well. Twitter is like a huge chat room. Nothing like Facebook. I found Twitter to be filled with amazing writers, poets, comedians, business partners everything I love. There really isn’t anything to “get” about this platform. You basically write words, let off some steam, make people laugh and even make business connections which are an excellent way to network. It was freeing to be able to express myself and not be judged. You receive real time news and information which is excellent. Over the last few years I see where Twitter has been failing. It’s turning into a bad generic form of itself. Censorship is starting to run rampant as more and more people leave the platform. What was once a playground of expression is now turning into a long list of rules that don’t apply to anyone. For business and promotion it’s been growing it’s commerce flooding timelines with ads which is great but if Twitter keeps banning tweets reprimanding paying business accounts, they won’t have any users and business partners left to send these ads to.

In short, my stance is still “Find your voice and own your space online”. Getting wrapped up with follower numbers and complaining to tech support is not going to get you far in your online adventure. Social media is an extension to bring people to your content. I often ask people who talk about their follower count, where are you taking your followers to? 98% of people cannot answer this simple question. I’m a strong believer in self empowerment and I believe that users need to understand that no app is forever. All content you upload belongs to that platform. Let me repeat every picture, every word, every account belongs to your favourite app. You’re a number and if you bring more people to their app you can fill their pockets and potentially lose your “followers” should they choose.

The Battle of the Platforms will be an ongoing battle as apps come and go, users come and go.

My questions to you is..

Who are you? What do you do? Where can people meet you? Why do you want to be online? How will your voice be heard?

Battle of the Platforms continue to Part 2..

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.

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.

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

My Doll Artist World

It’s that time of the year where I slowly slip away into winter hibernation. Although I’m on a type of “retreat” I keep myself busy with sewing and craft projects to preserve my sanity.

I’ve always loved dolls, yes some have creeped me out, but dolls of all kinds have continued to intrigue me for many years. I would find fabric from my mother’s sewing scraps and create clothing for my Barbies and baby dolls. My dolls were my life then and was a small interlude to what I create today.

It wasn’t until many years, kids’ costumes and stuffed animals later that I discovered a different world of dolls. I found ball-jointed dolls… I followed artists on YouTube one of my favourites was Forgotten Hearts. This artist moved from intricate fairy sculptures to ball jointed dolls. I admired her transition to ball jointed porcelain dolls. Absolutely stunning work!

I did manage to sculpt some pieces and still enjoy sculpting to this day.

It wasn’t until out of necessity for my sanity did I found solace in the world of reborn dolls.

A reborn doll can come in many forms, from taking a premade doll and transforming into a new version to creating dolls from factory produced vinyl dolls. What amazes me about this 3D artwork is the realism many artists have created with paint. These dolls are hand sculpted by artists and turned into a replicated baby ( I purchase all my supplies from MacPherson Arts & Crafts ) Over the years there have been dolls created as dragons, elves, fairies, werewolves and monster dolls to be painted and reborn to the artists’ imagination.

Some dolls have been made to look so real they have been mistaken for real babies resulting in car windows being smashed in an effort to rescue an actual child! People suffering from Dementia, PTSD, emotional and mental suffering have all praised these dolls for helping them get through some very difficult times.

Forming strong bonds with my customers and knowing that I’ve helped them with my artwork in some way reinforces my passion to create the most realistic looking baby dolls I can create. I’ve met many friends during my journey and they have also joined in on the Doll Artist train! Learning to work with my hands has brought a primal yet much needed therapeutic value to my life and I can wait to share how I transform a piece of vinyl into a lifelike baby doll!

More soon!

SS

P.S. Below are some dolls I have created. Enjoy! ☺️

Punkie Pie Babies

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