Saturday, February 24, 2018

updates and NaMoPaiMo 2018

    Anyone who follows my blog knows that for me to not post for months at a time is not an uncommon occurrence. I am, in fact, really bad at keeping up with my blog. I don't always have anything I feel is interesting to talk about or I don't have photos (and the blog posts NEED photos!) or I just forget. So I guess it's time for some updating.
    A little over a year ago I went from being a full-time doll maker to a full-time paraprofessional and a part-time doll maker. For anyone who doesn't know what a para is/does, I am student support and help kids with special needs. Sometimes all I need to do is go around the room and make sure everyone is actually working. Sometimes I have to sit and help one particular kid with every step of the work. Sometimes I have to break things down so the work is easier to accomplish. Most days I love my job. The beginning of this school year was interesting as my co-teacher was on maternity leave and through a series of unfortunate events I ended up being the substitute until she came back. It was odd but interesting. And some important things I learned while teaching. 1. Teachers really don't get paid enough for what is asked of them. 2. Planning periods are not even close to being long enough. There were other things too but these were some really important points. 
Selfie during Spirit Week. I'm a scientist, since I teach science.
I have been taking doll making much slower these days but it has been wonderful. I don't end up working all day and into the late evening. I have been spending more time with my family, which is always a good thing, and I am less stressed about dolls which means enjoy making them more. But really, who wouldn't want to hang out with these kids?
Travis making tacos
Me and Elecktra

So life in the past year has been very different for me. But in a really excellent way. Still making dolls, just at a slower pace. So if you are looking for dolls from me, make sure not to order last minute. It's a lot less likely they will get done on time.
      So now on to NaMoPaiMo! Jennifer Buxton started the National Model Painting Month last year. It was modeled after the National Writing Month and was meant as a way for people to "get together" and paint a model horse. Sharing tips and encouragement was the point. People started sending prizes, though the prizes were sort of an afterthought and an added bonus. Not everyone who finishes their model will get a prize, there are not enough for that. But finishing can put you in the running for a prize. 
     I personally think the best prize is the positivity of the group, the tips, the tutorials, the encouragement. And it's a great way to break up a long winter. Winter is my least favorite season. I live in New England so it's awful. We get cold, ice, snow, weather mood-swings.  Ethan and I are planning on moving down south as soon as we can. I look forward to being warm. Anyway, as I was saying, NaMoPaiMo has been a great experience. Last year I didn't even finish prepping my model. Life happened and I slacked off and it just didn't happen. This year not only did I finish the prepping but I also finished my official entry AND a bonus horse! I was really proud of myself and glad to be of help with prepping questions. I am not a good painter, but I can prep in my sleep!
    So here are some photos of my NaMoPaiMo journey. Enjoy! 
Me and my nude mule, ready for February 1st!
The face looked the hardest, so that is where I started.
Some spots on the neck and should of one side.
getting closer...
closer still...
I did it! This is Monet. She is the 4th or 5th horse I have ever painted to completion.
Since that was way too much fun I decided to paint this guy too.
Honestly, he's so tiny he only took about an hour.

He has no name and he is not going to be a show horse (mule) but I think he's cute!
NaMoPaiMo has been so much fun I decided to "paint" my hair again too! Paint all the things!

NaMoPaiMo 2018 has been an amazing experience. Jennifer has put together one of the best hobby experiences for so many people. She's worked tirelessly to bring the hobby community together in a fun and educational way. Even people that are not participating in the painting are having fun watching the progress of others.
    I learned a lot and I really enjoyed having the feedback from so many people that helped me to keep pushing myself to take out the paints and do something. I love doll making and I love teaching and being a Mom but it's been really great to work on something that is still fairly new to me. Hopefully I can find some interesting horses to start prepping so I can be ready for NaMoPaiMo 2019! It's an incredibly experience painting with 600+ friends! I wonder how many entrants we will get next year.