Friday, January 31, 2020

NaMoPaiMo starts tomorrow!

     NaMoPaiMo 2020 starts tomorrow! If you have not registered yet, you still have time! Go register right now! Stop reading and go! Here is an easy to follow link . Once you have done that, take a selfie with your nudie (your unpainted model) and post it in the seflies with nudies file on the NaMoPaiMo Facebook group. Then get ready to paint!
     Hopefully you have your materials all gathered I am doing a traditional scale model this year, I hate doing basecoats, so I got my basecoat color in a spray. 
      I have a sampling of new detail brushes that I got for Christmas from my Secret Santa. 
     Plus I have a box full of paint and even more brushes. I may not have enough of the correct size brushes though! I usually only paint minis, or really, micros. I may need some larger brushes... poop. 
     As I was typing this up and thinking of all the fun #teams people have been coming up with and how many fun doll entries people have, I was thinking about pulling out a doll and a micro and registering one of my dolls (none of them have names by the way) to participate in #teammicrospaintingmicros and I had an even better idea. Travis might want to paint with me. I'll ask him...

Thursday, January 30, 2020


     Yesterday was a super struggle for me. I had one of those slight headaches, all day, that is not bad enough to take anything for it, but it's just noticeable enough to be really distracting. And it made me cranky. Well, it may have been the headache, it may have been generic frustration. I think I mentioned that I am actively trying to lose weight again. This is officially the second week, which traditionally, I lose more weight every other week, so this is the super low weight loss week (if that made sense). This is entirely normal. I am trying not to be frustrated by it. I am not stuck in a plateau, it's just not a major loss week. It happens. So that is one frustration. I also am sort of frustrated with my job. Actually, I am bored. And I hate being bored. One of the teachers I work with is just not a very good teacher and I spend a lot of time trying to explain to the kids what they need to do, as does the other adult in the room. Another doesn't like to really say what the plan is for class so the other adults in the room can't really tell the kids what is going on, when things are due and so on. Some of the classes I am in I am just really not needed. I am there as a backup and just in case, but in general I am not needed. And I am bored. What I always loved about being a para was being able to work with kids, being able to help them learn a skill. Sitting around all day counting the minutes until I can go to the next class and sit and do nothing is not fun. And I can't even read because I have to attempt to pay attention to what is going on in case I am actually needed. So yeah, mild headache, mild frustration with slow weight loss and irritating boredom from my job. Every bit of it might have been because of my headache. Other than the boredom. That is real. 
     Near the end of the last period I was so tired and so... cranky, that I didn't think I was going to be able to enact my afternoon doll plans. All I wanted to do was sew the 2 outfits I had prepped and maybe start to work on dressing the dolls. Maybe. The way I was feeling I didn't think I was going to be able to talk myself into it. I was tired and cranky and unmotivated.
     When I got home I decided I would have a small (timed) nap, then a snack and then see if I could talk myself into getting out the sewing machine. Maybe I could at least sew the two simple outfits. Though I was having doubts still. I had about a 25 minute nap and then probably took about 5 minutes to talk myself into getting up. I had my snack, chatted with Ethan a bit and got out the sewing machine. I did it. I managed to sew. 
      I watched some different makeup artists on Youtube while I worked. I really like watching product reviews especially. It's nice to have an opinion from different people on different products. Though I have now seen the same foundation reviewed by 3 different people and one person absolutely hates it and 2 really like it a lot. So it still comes down to trying things out and seeing what things work for you. But I will keep playing and practicing. Currently I am on a (self imposed) buying freeze, but I can gather opinions and see if there is something new (to me) that I should try out at some point. I'm happy to say that one of my foundations is on several people's top 5 list. And I chose that one by the label, not on a recommendation.
      Anyway, I got the doll clothes sewn and then thought about moving to my room to watch some shows and work on dressing the dolls a bit. But I was starting to feel a lot better. Ethan had put some Salonpas patches on my shoulders for me and that loosened up the tight muscles enough that my headache went away. I was still sore but my head didn't hurt. Progress. 
     I considered working on just one doll and seeing how far I could get, but then decided I would work on both at the same time. Why not? I got the shirts on both of them. Cuffs and collars are done but the western pleasure doll still needs some trim and/or bling and the casual western doll needs buttons on her shirt. But they have (mostly) finished shirts on!
      By the end of my work day I had gone from not being sure if I could even talk myself into taking out the sewing machine to having two mostly dressed dolls. They both still need boots and belts, heads and hats and a few other details. But I managed to make a ton of progress, more than I thought I would or planned on. I love surprising myself like that! With as far as I got yesterday I might be able to finish them both up today. We'll see how that goes.
    Once these two are finished I will have 2 dolls ready for my live sale in March. After these two I will work on finishing the saddlebags I have in the works, and a bunch more as well. I need more colors! At some point I should probably make horse boots too. But my stock is slowly growing. Currently I have saddle pads, judge's kits, cross country kits, a few pairs of cutting chaps, paper plates and soon some saddle bags. I am hoping for a good variety by March 28th. Just keep dolling, just keep dolling, just keep dolling...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Tuesday Report

     I had sort of an odd day yesterday. I have been posting makeup looks on Instagram. It amuses me and this week I started a new challenge to use one eyeshadow palette a week and see how many different looks I can make. It's fun to me and I share the pictures because I have people who also like to look at different makeup looks. Today I got one of the random comments about a company wanting to do a "collab" with me. Most of them are scams but I sent them a message anyway. Yup, scam. They sent back a very upbeat message about how they would send me a code for 20% off and I would post a picture of me wearing their lashes and if I got enough likes I could earn free products. And they want to help me get more likes and followers because I deserve it! Lol, sending me free lashes would be OK, but me buying your products and giving them free advertising is just silly. Plus, I don't actually use false lashes. If they were free I might. Also I am not motivated by likes and followers. 
     Tuesday is always laundry day, and I managed to get done what I meant to get done. I wanted to work on gluing some of the pieces of the saddlebags I started the other day. I managed it! I didn't do tons and tons of work, but I did some and that was my goal. 


I got to listen to the latest episode of Mares in Black and I learned that Bethany Shaw wrote a really excellent blog post about inclusivity at model horse shows. I really enjoyed it! I sent Bethany a message to tell her how much I loved it. We had a really great conversation and it got me thinking about inclusivity at horse shows. In general, both my kids were always very welcome at horse shows. I have often gotten my seat of choice. Many of the hostesses over the years have let Travis sit with them at the host table, where he usually had a bit more room, some have put in an extra table just for the kids. Most hosts have been amazingly accommodating. Usually things are great. That is not always the case, and it's not necessarily common universally. Bethany's post got me to thinking about accommodations in general. I work in special education so I think about accommodations all the time. Some of the kids I work with are ashamed of needing accommodations and I say that there is nothing to be ashamed of in needing something to help you learn. I need contacts so I can see far away more clearly. At horse shows, if Travis comes with me, it's helpful to be close to an outlet. He has a mini DVD player that he only gets to use at shows. So it's always new and fun. It does not hold a charge well so being near an outlet is sort of essential. Other than being near an outlet not being in the middle of the hall is good. I like corners. Sometimes Travis needs to get up and sort of dance around a bit. Sitting still all day is hard on everyone! But a lot of people need different things to make them comfortable. Some people may be a bit hard of hearing, so they might need to sit closer to whoever is doing the announcements, or near the speakers. Some people like to be close to a door or the bathroom, or far from the bathroom. Here are some of the accommodations Bethany listed:
A roomier seating choice
A darker seating choice
A quieter seating choice
A ‘groom’ to help move horses
Extra space for a dependent child or spouse
Letting an entrant know it’s okay to bring a tool that helps them; ie noise cancelling head-phones, a phone, fidget toy, food (hall permitting), dark glasses, a blanket, etc.
     Those are some excellent things! One of the things she mentioned was that a show host could invite the showers to share what accommodations might be useful to them. If there was a space on the entry form to put anything that might make it easier for a shower, that would be great. And that's true. Sometimes just asking people what they need is enough to get them to speak up. Depending on what people need, the accommodation may or may not be possible, but you never know if you don't ask. 
     Another really important thing Bethany pointed out was that some people have food allergies. I work with a lot of people that have really severe food allergies. If showers were invited to share any concerns they have they could let the hostess know and a sign could be posted, or a notice put on the website. So many things I just never thought of.
     What sort of things can you guys think of that might be an accommodation that people might need? Having an extensive list is not possible, especially on an entry form, but sometimes people don't know what they need until they see it. Does that make sense? For example, you are at a horse show and vaguely uncomfortable but you don't really know why. Then you see on a list that you can request a quieter part of the hall, the hostess seats you further from the speakers and all of a sudden your whole show day is better. I really like the idea of asking show entrants what they need to have a more comfortable day. Thank you Bethany for getting me thinking on accommodations and what I might need for Travis, or even for myself (I don't like the inside seat at a shared table). Now I kind of want to make a list, I need help with this!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Mission accomplished

       For the past several years Kyle Parks has sculpted a medallion specifically to benefit NaMoPaiMo. Some are awarded as prizes and some are sent to artists to paint and then sold to support NaMoPaiMo. The first Michelangelo medallion finished this year was done by Amanda Brock and is currently up for offers on MH$P. His ad is here. This medallion is gorgeous even unpainted, but the finish work on this one is absolutely stunning!
       I put my hair up yesterday, which I don't do often unless it's hot and humid out. But yesterday was a hair up kind of day and I put it up in a messy bun. A messy bun that happened to look like a bow, had the blues and the purples separated onto each side and looked like I actually spent time doing this on purpose. Nope. Brushed it into a highish ponytail and wrapped a hair tie around it a few times, and added some hair spray. And this is what I ended up with. And it amused me.   
     Other things that amused me were my friend Jenn's collection of science plushies. She had this super cute double helix on her front counter. She also owns a heart, a paramecium and I think a synapse. She has to explain to the kids all the time that these things don't actually have eyes in real life. Anyway, they are incredibly cute and I had to share!
      Sue has commented a couple of times that I must spend a significant amount of time writing every day to be able to keep up the blog. The reality is, I do not. If I have to do research for a post they will definitely take longer. But for the most part I try to get fun photos throughout the day and I think about what I can talk about that is not mind numbingly boring. Some posts get thought out around photos I have taken, or around a basic idea. A lot of posts get written ahead of time. I have, a few times, had posts scheduled 3 days in advance. I write them as if it was written the day I post them. For example, the post I put up on the 20th, which was my Mom's birthday, said "today is my Mom's birthday" and so on. I actually wrote that on the 17th or 18th though. So I write in the future. Or from the past, either way you want to look at it. 
     I do talk a lot about a lot of different parts of my life. You hear about doll work and horse shows, plans for my live sales, stuff about Travis and sometimes Elecktra, visits with Crystal and other friends. You know that I am a para and I work with a variety of kids with special needs. What you don't really hear are the stories that are specific to school. I can't share a lot of what happens throughout the day. Some things I can, in a sort of abstract way, but some things I can't. Some of the kids tell me stories that are horrifying at times and I wonder how they keep going. Today I spent about 20 minutes walking around with a student that was too upset by thoughts of past events to stay in class. Things like that are sometimes very hard to deal with. So are thoughts of what will happen to some of these kids out in the real world. And I can't talk about those things. There is actually a lot of stuff I don't talk about about my life in general. The blow-by-blow of my day would be pretty tedious to hear on most days!
      Anyway, rambling and rambling, let me get to the point. Yesterday I meant to cut out two doll outfits. And guess what? I actually did it! I had a chunk of time left before supper and I thought about starting to put saddle bags together but that didn't happen. But I meant to cut out some doll clothes and I did. That makes me pretty happy. I have a casual western and western pleasure doll in the works. I think I even have a head already haired for at least one of them. Bodies are prepped and waiting... so progress is being made on DOLLS! Not just accessories but actual dolls. 
      I did not do a whole lot of work, but I did set out to cut out some doll clothes yesterday and I did. Mission accomplished. Today in the laundromat I can listen to Mares in Black and work on saddle bags. Maybe I can sew and start dressing dolls tomorrow. 

For reference, this post took me about 25 minutes to write. I had the photos already in the post, it took only seconds to put them in the correct order and I had a few vague ideas of what I wanted to say. And then I just started babbling, lol. :) 

Monday, January 27, 2020


      Sometimes switching up the way I do things, or even the order, makes it more interesting. I have been making dolls for 14 years and have made over 1300 dolls plus I have no idea how many doll and horse accessories. Sometimes things get boring. This past weekend I was working on saddlebags and I thought it would be fun to switch it up and work on several at a time. Saturday I worked on teal and royal blue marbled bags. Yesterday I worked on brown, red and pink marbled bags. 
     I only got as far as cutting out the pieces and ironing everything into shape, but it's a start. For anyone interested, I also did not finish the blue and teal bags yet, lol. I just keep starting more! So when these are done I will have 5 sets of bags ready to go. I picked up some awesome lime green fabric today, which will definitely be next on deck! I am not sure what other color I want to grab next, maybe a marbled black.I do want to have a good amount of finished saddlebags when I get through them all. I am aiming for a nice variety in the color wheel of saddlebags!
     Travis lost his dog tags several days ago. I have no idea if they are in his room somewhere very safe (we all know when you put stuff in a safe place it may be gone forever) or if they got left at school. I don't even know why he took them off, but they are nowhere to be found. So we went to Walmart to make some new ones. Travis was watching the machine carve the tags by peeking over my shoulder. Which was funny because he had to leave down kind of a lot to even do this. So I grabbed this funny picture, Travis got new dog tags and all is well. And now that I bought the new tags we are almost certain to find the old ones sooner or later. That was what happened when I replaced the lost mailbox key!
I ended up working all weekend, which I don't like to do. It happened though. It will make it easier to slack off during the week if I end up with days where I don't get any doll work done. Again. I am hoping later today I can at least talk myself into cutting out some doll clothes. Which I have been meaning to do for days. If I can get that done and maybe some work on saddlebags, that would be fantastic!

Sunday, January 26, 2020


     Friday I meant to cut out doll clothes after school. That did not happen. A nap happened. Watching Youtube videos happened. But no doll work happened. And that happens. We are nearly at the end of January though, which means I only have a couple of months until my next live sale. And I have no dolls ready for it at all.
     What I do have is a start on some saddle bags. Yesterday morning I decided that while I was watching more Youtube videos I might as well do some work. And the perfect table work is making saddle bags. Usually when I made saddle bags I will do one set from start to finish. This time I decided to work on two at the same time. Just to switch things up a bit. I really love the sort of marbled fabric! I have more colors of that as well. I think it will make excellent saddle bags. 
     I also spent some time fixing mistakes. Recently I finished up a saddle seat doll and an Arabian rider, but they arrived to their new home with some flaws. So they came back for me to fix. This lady had a couple of glue spots showing on/through her veil. Glue can be a finicky thing. Sometimes when you put glue on a thing it dries properly clear and you would not even see it. And sometimes, for whatever reason, it gets cloudy and looks awful. This was not a complex thing to fix. Some acetone took off the excess glue and then I very carefully reglued the sides of the veil with my scissors in between the layers. This helped hold the inner piece down until the glue set and kept the upper piece clean. One of her pant legs had also flipped up in a way that made it look like her pant legs were different lengths. Dolls can be frustrating. I think the gather on one side was too tight and was not allowing the cuff to lie inside like it should. So I took out the too-tight gather, redid it, flipped everything back and actually glued down (on the inside, hard to explain) the cuffs so the pant legs now lie properly and look the same length. Which they were the whole time, they were just pretending to be different. 
      I also had to fix up the saddle seat doll. She had a couple of weird spots in the paint on her hat and her bun was a little loose and had a small piece hanging out. I took the hat off and rehaired any parts of the head where the hair had ripped out (which always happens when you take the hats off) and I wound the hair into a super tight bun. There was not any way to repair the hat so I started over with a new hat. I took all of the flocking off and then painted the inside and outside of the hat. Many, many layers later and the hat was a solid color. It then got many layers of matte finish. 
      I usually check over the dolls after they are finished, usually after a bit of time has passed. Fresh eyes are always good to check and make sure everything is as it should be. I guess I didn't do that this time. Having to fix mistakes will likely be a good reminder to always check over my work and make sure all is well. 
        I didn't manage to finish the saddle bags yesterday, I got tired of working on them. But I made a lot of progress on them. I have a handful more steps on each set and then I will have two sets complete and ready for my live sale. I am hoping to have a good variety of these. I posted on Instagram that I started a color wheel of saddlebags. And that really is basically my plan. I am sure I will have pink ones, purple ones, red probably, and I'm not sure what else. Maybe some cool lime green ones! I need to see what I have for fabric and what I feel like doing. And I need to get some dolls made!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pig and Wheel

      I love well done miniatures. Anything that is tiny and looks just like the life-sized version makes me really happy. When I saw the chair that Terri Wright donated to Mares In Black as a giveaway piece, I wanted it. 
      I didn't win it. 
      But last week I was working on a separate transaction with Terri and she mentioned she could make me a chair. I was really excited by the idea of a PINK chair! Even better (to me) than the one I didn't win. I chose this super cute pink plaid fabric. Terri made my chair and when it arrived I needed to take a picture. With no (dressed) dolls handy I grabbed my miniature pig. Originally I tried to get a photo with both of my miniature pigs but the black pig did not want to photograph well. But this one was adorable! I sent it to Terri to let her know my package had arrived. For anyone that is interested in Terri's work you can check out her facebook page, Priam Costumes, or she is on Instagram @priamcostumes. Trust me, you want to go check out her work!
    Speaking of work, I did some too! I finally finished my color wheel of cross country vests. And not just the vests, but also the watches and medbands. I really enjoyed taking this photo. After I got this done, I packaged them all up and added them to my live sale stock. Next I think I will try to make a doll or two and then I am thinking I might work on some saddle bags. I haven't quite decided yet what I want to do. 
     This past week at school was not overly taxing. We had midterms so, other than Tuesday, the kids were only there for half days. Since I am a para, I didn't have to correct any exams so I spent the second half of the days seeing if anyone needed help, but mostly visiting people. Next week will start 3rd term so I am sure I will have more to do then. But we are barreling towards the end of the year, especially for the seniors. They only have a little more than 3 months left. That's just crazy! After the seniors leave I don't know what I will do. Most of my kids are seniors. One class has 3 juniors in it. That's it. So I will see what they have me do. Maybe they will let me go to Life Skills. That would be awesome!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Spanish Side Saddle Revisted

     The other day I got this really cool photo from Fabian of his Spanish side saddle doll. I really like this. Once he has his proper Spanish side saddle in hand I am sure we will get some new photos. For now, this is a lot better than what I could do with a western saddle. I love it so much!
     I also made some more progress on the cross country kits! I decided this time around to do the numbers with iron on material. So I printed a bunch of them, though as usual it took me forever to remember how to flip the imagine, since you have to print them backwards so when you iron them on they come out correctly. But I got all of the numbers on all of the pinnies and all I have left of that step is to finish a few more straps and get the last few pinnies on the vests. This BIG step is so close to being done! I was also working on the stopwatches. After I cut out the watch faces I glue them onto black cardstock and then I cut those out and glue them onto a strip of ribbon. So far I only have the watch faces glued on the cardstock, but it's a step! I need to finish those and do the medbands and then package all the kits up and everything will be done. And I am really looking forward to that. 
      I had planned on finishing up the vests, but then I ended up doing a lot less work than I probably could have. So they are not done. Soon I will finish them up and cut out some doll clothes. I do need to start working on some dolls soon. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Cross Country Kit Progress

      Tuesday I managed to talk myself into getting some work done on the cross country kits while I was at the laundromat. Before I left the house I made a template out of corrugated cardboard. I have used thick cardstock for most templates and they tend to lose their shape somewhat easily. I am hoping this one will last a lot longer. 
    I decided I would bring my clipboard for working, even though they have convenient coffee tables. It is COLD in the laundromat in the winter and I wanted to snuggle into my coat, used as a cape of course, and working on my lap was a bit warmer. And nicer for my back. 
     I got most of the pinnies made, and on the vests, but I ran out of the white ribbon I use for straps so couldn't finish up that step. But progress has been made!
      I also had to share this really cute little makeup sample, because most of us really like miniatures, lol. The brand, Beauty Bakerie, has baking themed packaging for all of their products. It's really cute. This is a sample of "flour" with is a translucent loose powder. The packing of the shipping package was wonderful and the packaging for the items was really cute. I am not the type of person who saves packaging (I want less useless stuff hanging around, not more) so I don't keep the cute stuff. Though I can appreciate cute packaging. 
     I am hoping to finish up the cross country vests soon, but I seem to not be getting as much done as I would like when I do work on them. Maybe I am still in hibernation mode. But I AM making progress, which is what I need to keep on reminding myself. And once all the cross country kits are done I will actually have a fairly large stock of small items ready for my live sale. Which is good, because currently I have no dolls ready for it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Formal Saddle Seat

     The other day I got a significant amount of work done on the formal saddle seat doll. Then I sort of stalled out. I hate when that happens. When you can see the end in sight and just can't seem to talk yourself into getting there. Monday I had plans to go over and visit my mom for her birthday. I decided I had more than enough time to finish up the last few details on the doll so I got out my materials and got to work. I painted the doll's face (she looks funny with only one eyebrow on!)
And I painted the white gloves. 
    Then I made her boots and got into making her top hat. Hats are not super hard or super easy to make. It is very easy to make the hat and have it just a bit too big, which on a doll is way too big. So a bit of fiddling with it, trimming a bit here and there as needed, and I have a top hat. 
    Another doll officially done! I don't know what number this is but I really like the way she came out. I love the clean look of a black and white outfit. 
     The next thing I want to do is try to finish up the color wheel of cross country vests. That project has been going on for awhile and it might be about time for me to work on finishing it up. Who knows what I will work on after that. Maybe some more chaps, or some horse boots, or saddle bags. I guess I'll see what I feel like doing when I get to that point. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

It’s All in the Details

      The other day I realized that I am in an odd place with my doll work. I am not in a slump where I don't want to do anything, but I don't seem to be in a place where I am really into working on dolls. But I will work on accessories. Maybe it was because it was the weekend, or maybe I am feeling a bit meh about things still, on Sunday I got some details worked on, but nothing else really. 
      The first thing I did was to start packaging chaps, since I finally remembered to buy the correct sized baggie for them. After that I got into packaging up my current stock of saddle pads, though I quickly discovered I was low, and now out of, the size baggie I need for them. I also packaged up some things I didn't make, that will still be in my sale (water bottles and tiny handcuffs). My nonexistent stock of sales items is growing into something a little more respectable. I currently have a bunch of saddle pads, a few pairs of cutting chaps, some water bottles and handcuffs and soon (hopefully) the cross country kits. I am making progress on details. 
       While I was looking for the small package tags I use I found a double stack of materials for judge's kits. I already had the "clipboards" cut out and the judge's sheets. It made sense to start putting some judge's kits together. After my black Friday weekend sale, I was completely sold out of judge's kits. 
       With some effort I finished a good amount of them and I now have a respectable amount of judge's kits all ready for the sale. I still have 10 weeks to get things done and while I still have no dolls ready for my sale, I do at least have a small variety of accessories. I am a bit less nervous now. 
      I need to finish up the last few details on the formal saddle seat doll and then I can get started on some dolls for my live sale. I still have a few bodies prepped and ready to be dressed. Now I just need to get into the rest of the details on them. At this point I am at least a bit less concerned about my lack of progress. I am making slow, and mostly steady, progress on all the details. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Mood Swings

       The weather has been having some really wild mood swings lately. Last weekend it was super warm, about 70 degrees. It was warm and comfortable and Travis and I went out to do errands without coats. 
      This weekend it was around 20 degrees. It was super, nasty cold and heavy winter coats were not really enough when you were outside since the wind was very bitey. All of this in just a week. Our weather really does get crazy around here! I am ready for Spring. 
     The 10 day forecast is a strange mix of temperatures. I think near next weekend we will have temps in the 40s. Well, at least I have my NaMoPaiMo horse prepped. Do you?
      Today is my Mom's birthday. I have the day off from school. Maybe we will stop by and see her for a bit. Oh as a super random though, Sunday when Travis and I were out doing errands, 3 different people told me they love my hair. Last Thursday I was walking into Target and a woman yelled across the parking lot that she loved my hair. I am glad my hair is still bringing joy to others. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sometimes I’m Really Productive

     You all know by now that there are days that I get almost nothing done. Sometimes it's through lack of motivation, sometimes it's through lack of effort, and sometimes it just seems there are not enough hours in the day. But there are some days where I am really productive. I love days like that! Friday started out looking like a day where I would not get much done. It was early release (we have those once a month on professional development days) and the morning was spent running from one short class to another. I spent a bunch of time modifying a test and making a study guide for one of my kids for the midterm. That is not actually my job, but I want him to do well. His mom will help him study if she knows what he needs to work on. And no matter how low, I don't write anyone off. He is totally teachable. It just takes more work. I think making the study guide was well worth the time. Plus the "study guide" is also consolidating the notes he will need to bring for his exam. Which will make helping him through the test much easier for me. Win-win.
      I had grand plans of doll work when I got home but I was attacked by a nap! And it was one of those sneaky naps that wants to be more than twice as long as you were willing for it to be. So I did waste close to an hour napping and trying to stop napping. But I did take a half day (Travis had midterms so he had a half day) and I had extra time. After my nap I cleaned my makeup brushes. Again. I have discovered that the issue with using really good pigments is the need to clean the brushes daily. No more wiping them off and just doing the cleaning once a week. For anyone that is curious I use the Ulta Beauty brush cleaning solid soap. Which is very easy to use, is incredibly effective and doesn't stink! So many brush cleaners smell horrible or super perfumy. This has no smell. Fabian was wondering if it would be good for pastel brushes. I have not tried it, but it works really well on makeup so I think it would be great for pastel brushes. 
     Anyway, as you mighty have guessed by looking at the photos, I did manage to get into some doll work. I had a few struggly moments but I managed to finish up the Arabian rider I started dressing. I really like how she came out. The black and gold is just so elegant! Her veil can also be styled in a couple of ways, as the photos show. 
      I still had a decent chunk of time before supper when I finished the Arabian rider, so I decided to get into dressing the formal saddle seat doll. I am so glad that I have a bunch of bodies prepped and heads haired! It's also convenient that I had the clothes for the saddle seat doll sewn. The sewing of a saddle seat or hunt seat coat take a lot longer than sewing almost any other piece of doll clothing. I took extra time on this one to make sure I didn't have to fiddle around with fit when I got to dressing the doll. 
      It doesn't show much in the photo, but her coat is a really excellent fit. I got a good amount of work done on her and am down to boots, gloves, face and hat. So she won't take too much more time to finish. That should be an easy win when I get back into working on her. 
     For anyone curious about my nails, these are the Color Street nail strips. These are the ones I ordered from Elecktra's aunt's online party way back in December that USPS lost somewhere. I contacted the consultant and asked if the company ever replaces lost product (I think I mentioned this before) and she went and found out and they sent me out my nail strips! I was afraid that the fabritac, which has acetone in it, would ruin the nails, which it has done to other nail strips in the past as well as regular nail polish. As a precaution I put on a UV gel topcoat and got glue all over my nails (of course) and they are fine! So I am super excited because not only are the Color Street strips super easy to use, they also come in really cute designs. Things that are fun, and also easy to use, make me happy. 
     I am not sure what I have after the saddle seat doll. Maybe a western pleasure doll, I haven't decided yet. I do also still need to finish up the color wheel of cross country vests. Only 10 weeks until my live sale! I need to get moving!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sometimes I Actually Do Some Work

      Today's post contains some really crappy photos. But I can't have a post without photos. That is just weird. 
      The other day we got ALL the weather. Seriously. Thursday morning it was raining, then in the late morning it stopped and the sun came out and pretty much all the clouds went away. It got insanely windy after that. Then in the afternoon it started hailing. That switched over to snow, then stopped and the sun came out again. Then it started snowing again, but it was also still sunny. I ran outside to try to get a picture of the sun-flurry but it didn't come out well. The clouds were starting to roll in, my finger was apparently in the way, and it's hard to tell that it is snowing. But it is. Like I said, we had ALL the weather the other day. 
     I didn't slack overly much and I managed to get some sewing done. I had to put together another saddle seat outfit and clothes for an Arabian rider. I swear I didn't slack, but for some reason it took forever to get those two outfits done. I have no idea why. But eventually I managed it and I decided I really needed to get at least a little bit more done. 
    So I started dressing the Arabian rider. She still needs a whole lot of work but she has her pants and her coat on. At least partially. She still need the cuffs done on her pants (and she is missing a foot currently. I need to go search the doll drawer for that) and she needs her collar. Her coat needs more decoration. She obviously needs hands, a head and her headpiece. But at least I got her started That is something. I am hoping one more day will be enough for her. I guess it depends on how much I slack. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Sometimes I Wish I Was A Painter

     I would love to be a painter. I can actually paint, though not as well as I would like in any of the mediums I like to paint in. I have done flat work, and I am decent, though not awesome. I have painted model horses, and they are OK, the more recent minis are actually not horrible at all. I definitely like painting with makeup. That is the medium I have gotten the most practice with recently. And I promise, this post is not just about makeup. 
     On Wednesday I needed to get some doll clothes cut out and get some outfits sewn. But I got several new palettes in and I really wanted to play with them. I didn't have time to do proper makeup looks so I did some swatches on my hand. These really are some amazing pigments! I am very pleased with them and I am sure I can come up with a variety of cool looks with them. But I did need to actually get some work done...
     So I gathered the fabric I needed and got a couple of doll outfits cut out. I did not feel like dragging out the sewing machine so I decided the sewing could wait and I moved on to the never ending color wheel of cross country vests. 
     I have 14 vests in the works and I actually managed to get the velcro in all of them. It is a bit scary (or foolish?) to be using super glue while working on my bed. But I did it anyway. It all turned out just fine. 
    I am not a painter, but I do get to play with color. As often as I want and in many different ways. And when I am making a big batch of cross country vests I can do cool things like this color wheel. And it makes me happy. 

     Doll work has been a little bit slow lately, but it's still happening. I recently decided to try out noom for further weight loss. I have seen ads for it a whole bunch of times but I didn't really know what it was. Well, for the curious, it is a different approach to weight loss. It gets into your "why". What is your biggest weight loss hurdle. Why do you do the things you do that keeps the weight on or causes yo-yo dieting. There is a lot more to it than that, but it seems to be a very different approach. And at this point, I really just need a bit of something. Even if it's just the motivation of having some random stranger that sends me text messages (in the app) notes that say I can do this! And I get little bits of information to think about every day and a short to-do list. It's really easy to follow. So far, so good. I may or may not continue on after my trial period. I have 2 weeks to try it out for super super cheap and I can decide if I want to keep on with it, which of course costs money, but I have definitely spent way more money on way less important things than being healthy. So we'll see how it goes. So far I like it.