Friday, December 23, 2022

This is for Sue

      When someone tells you they love reading your blog, it is sort of inspiring. I know I have been kind of a blog slacker lately, but I am trying for balance in all things. And a lot of things have shifted. I am working on dolls a lot less than I was a couple of years ago. Though I am still making dolls. I likely am not making any more sets of miniatures, they just take too much time, and to keep them reasonably priced I am making little to nothing on them. But I am thinking I MIGHT make some pet beds without sets. Which I know at least one person has been asking me to do for years now. So we'll see. I am still planning on/thinking about doing a live sale at the end of March with stuff from my collection and whatever doll/miniature things I happen to have on hand at the time. 
    So I have been SUPER slow with doll making, but like I said, I am still making dolls. I have actually been making jewelry quite a lot more than dolls, but dolls still happen. I am currently working on a western youth doll that I really should have finished this week, because I said I probably would, but that didn't happen. Ethan and I spent the solstice in the yard with all the fires going. We had above freezing temps, the smoker was going, the grill was going, and the firepit was going. And there was pretty much no wind. It was a pretty excellent day. Now it has been raining all day, super windy, and this weekend will only have a daytime high in the 20's. We definitely lucked out on Wednesday. 
     Anyway, I did actually get a start on this doll, even though it was only a small start. I got the body dremeled and the outfit cut out and sewn. I meant to keep going, but then I just didn't want to. That definitely has been happening a lot with doll work. I am tired. I have been making dolls for 16+ years and sometimes I think I don't really want to do it anymore. Or that I want a really long break. And then I make a doll, lol. That's just kind of how I do things. So dolls are still happening, just super part time. I do still take custom orders but also am not phased at all if I have no orders. That is a pretty nice balance. 
       I have been on another clothes buying kicks lately. Some of it is that I stopped pretending that I want to wear colors and am back to buying just black. It is a very easy way to shop and then my hair gets to be the colorful part of me. Anyway, I bought a couple of funny T-shirts, because I refuse to listen to the lists that say women over 40 should not wear graphic T's, and one of them arrived like this. 
      That was a really terrible experience to have the first time ordering from a company, which is exactly what I told customer service when I emailed them. I didn't ask for anything, I just said that while I can fix this, I shouldn't have to, and it is a really off putting thing for a first order and I likely wouldn't be ordering again in the future. Well, I got a somewhat horrified response back, fairly quickly, saying that never should have been allowed to leave the warehouse in that condition and did I want a refund or a replacement. I was not expecting anything, since I really can easily fix this, but since it was offered I said a replacement would be good because I really did like the shirt. And it arrived THE NEXT DAY! Holy cow! Way to turn around a bad experience! So now I have two of this shirt, but it's funny and I imagine Elecktra will like it once I fix it. I should get after that. 
     We are quickly reaching the end of 2022, a year when so many people hoped that things would be back to normal. lol, things are still weird. But they are a bit more like they used to be. Anyway, a lot of people make new years resolutions, and I have not ever really been one of those people. If I want to change something, I work on changing it. Like running... I'll get to that. But this idea that I saw on Instagram sounds pretty awesome. 
     So after a year, on January 1st you'll have 52 notes about good things that happened during the year. That sounds like a lot of fun! And it may very well be that not every note is super fantastic, some of them might be a reach, but rereading so many good times from the year sounds like a really great way to start out a new year. I am definitely going to be doing this this coming year. Now to remember to do it. 
     I don't talk about work a whole lot because I work with a very small group of kids, there are privacy laws, and you never know who is reading things. BUT, I can say that, for the most part, this year is still far superior to last year. It's not always easy, by a long shot, but it is not usually boring. This week I got pulled from my group to work with another student, in a different class. I don't like being pulled from my kids because, whether or not it is intended that way, I always feel that it says that my kids are less important. And that very well may not be what is ever meant. But I watched Travis fall through the cracks for most of his school career, and I don't want that to happen to the kids that I have chosen to work with. I just want to be allowed to do what I have been begging to do, which is work with high needs kids in a field that I have a ridiculous amount of experience (and education) in. Though I do understand that sometimes there are emergency circumstances. So this week I was knitting a lot. I won't elaborate on it. I did get to end the week with my team, and my kids (one was absent sadly) and it was definitely a great way to start the winter break. 

    OK, running. I really want to get back into running. Properly back into running. And I really have been trying. I bought fancy running shoes, and so far have been able to use them once. I went to check out the track last week (I think last week?) and there was a lot of snow on the road out to it. So I didn't even see if the track was clear or not because I didn't want to go through a lot of snow to get to it. This week I was doing other things and now this weekend is going to be in the 20s. I guess I will see what this coming week looks like. I do want to start running again. Even if it's once a week until things get a bit nicer. 
    So now I am off until January 2nd and I have grand plans of getting a bunch of stuff done. A big thing I want to do is read. I borrowed the All Souls trilogy from a friend and I am almost 200 pages into A Discovery of Witches, but there is a lot of book left. I just never seem to have time to read. So I may not make it through the series this week, but I am hoping to at least make it through one book. I also have a road trip planned, some larger sorting and cleaning projects, and the full realization that I might do none of it. Likely I will at least finish the doll I am working on and I may even work on some others. Only time will tell. 

Sunday, December 18, 2022

So many Breyers

   Last year I was all in with Breyer. Well, not all-all in, but a lot more in than I have ever been. I joined the premier club, and the stablemate club. I also was in both the clubs last year. Last year I actually really liked several of the offerings. This year I ended up disappointed with all the offerings. Does that mean that I don't think the models are nice? Not at all, I think they are lovely, and if I was actually an OF collector, or a halter shower, I might want to keep many of the lovely horses that I was offered. But, as everyone should know, my tastes run to performance showing, with a side of enjoying a handful of mini models just for their looks. None of the premiere club models this year fit into any of the types of performance showing that I do, and I guess once I knew what the second and third models were I should have just not purchased them. I still have Constantia (the standardbred) available, at cost, if anyone is interested.
     The final offering in the club was Anamar. He is quite pretty, but not a horse I need for my very small collection. 
     When he arrived I unpacked him to make sure he didn't have any insane flaws and to pull out the club stablemate that was included with him. I took these two quick photos and wrapped him back up. I wasn't going to push a sale at this time of year, but when I got a message asking if I was selling one, I worked out a sale. So one of the extra horses will be heading to a new home soon.
    I don't know if the premier club bonus model has a name, or if he's just Georg with a new paintjob. But I have one. He is a very nice model, and I like him and like looking at him. But I don't need to keep him. 
     This is the same color as my gamblers choice Atli. Atli was the only one of the stablemate club offerings that I really wanted to keep this year. I loved the color I got... and then he sat in the box on the table for weeks. So when someone asked me if I was selling mine, I decided to let him go. Georg (or whatever name he is going by) is also for sale. He really is quite a lovely model. 
   The last offering for the 2022 stablemate club models is Kit. Kit is cute, but also not one I need, and I haven't even opened the box yet. I probably should. But Kit is also available for sale. 
    The last model we'll talk about today is Helios. He is the 2022 stablemate club optional bonus model. And for some reason, I decided to purchase this optional model. I am not entirely sure what possessed me to do that, since I don't need him at all, but he is here too, hanging out in his unopened box next to Kit. He's also for sale. 

     I am still planning on holding a live sale somewhere around my birthday (end of March) with a variety of things from my personal collection. Horses, tack, maybe dolls (from my personal collection and new ones if I have them ready). There could be some props and things as well. I am not leaving the hobby. I have just decided again that since I am not participating in things much I can have a lot less stuff. I have a lot of stuff. If there are any horses you are looking for from the stablemate club this year, or Constantia, let me know, I likely still have them. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Hoodie Dolls

     Not sure if anyone notices or not, but I go through phases with doll making. There are times when I sort of (super) struggle to get any dolls done at all. Or even get started on them. Then there are other times when I get a ridiculous amount of dolls done in a short amount of time. We are not in either of those times. We are in a moderately productive time. A just fine amount of doll work time. As in, I did some doll work this week. AND I finished a couple of dolls! They are not overly complex dolls, but they are fun. 
    The first one is a hoodie doll with a new face! I have no idea what her name is because KC's Galloping Gals who has new, unpainted, unhaired heads, names every doll a different name and I can't keep up. I got some and they are not super angry looking. I like them. So the first doll I finished was this not angry doll in fun black and white breeches and a hoodie. Basic, but fun. 
     She has a fully haired head, so she can go hat/helmetless. I don't need any more dolls for myself at the moment, but I really like how this lady came out. 
    Next up I finished... a hoodie doll! This doll was done on the Lena body. Her green hoodie is super soft and I want one in my size (in black) because it just looks super cozy. There are spots in her breeches that match the sweatshirt, so she is very coordinated. Not that it necessarily matters if your clothes are coordinated if you are going to the barn. 
    She also has a fully haired head so she can go hat/helmetless. This is another doll I really love and might actually keep if I had a use for another casual doll. I think I have at least 2 casual dolls, maybe even more. I likely don't need more dolls. 
   So I got some dolls done this week and I am happy about it. Both these ladies are available for sale, $210 each plus shipping, and if they don't sell they will get put away for my live sale, which I am planning on holding at the end of March. That is the one that is mostly me selling stuff from my personal collection. And I will repeat myself, I am not leaving the hobby. But I am going to seriously downsize because I actually am not an OF collector, and I have a bunch at this point that need new homes. When the gamblers choice stablemates came out they ruined my Django conga, since I don't want to play the game of trying to get the one I need. So most of my Djangos will be for sale. I already sold two, but if you have a need for someone in particular, ask, I may have him and may sell him. 
     Anyhoo, my doll prices will be going up slightly in January, including these dolls if they don't sell before then. The cost of absolutely everything has gone up astronomically, and while I am not going to get crazy jacking up prices, I do need to try not to waste my time making things for not enough money. I wish that wasn't the way of the world, but it is. It's almost the solstice, I'm excited, and I am ready for 2022 to be over. It went by incredibly quickly and was a super bizarre year. I am hoping for smooth and maybe a little boring next year. 


Monday, December 12, 2022


      Recently I have been thinking about running again. For anyone that doesn't know, I actually love running. I used to be really fast, and I ran all the time. When I was a teenager I spent a lot of time racing kids on bikes (while I was on foot, if that was not clear). Age, weight, and bad joints has caused me to not run like I once did. Yet. I have decided that I will embrace the power of yet. 
     Years ago I worked with the unified track team at Ludlow High School. Which meant for a few months out of the year I got to run 3 days a week. One of my proudest moments, for myself, was managing to do a 400m without stopping to walk. It didn't matter that it was incredibly slow, I did it. I had 3 years with unified track, then they dropped the program for lack of numbers. I was fighting to get it back, and was making progress, and then the pandemic hit. Then we didn't even have school, let alone track. 
     This past June Travis aged out of school, and while I still see a real need for unified track, I can't be the one fighting for it. I can't fight for something I can't personally go and support, and I don't have the time in my day to be there personally. Which sucks. but recently I have been surrounded by running. I discovered a friend of mine runs marathons. A vlogger I watch sometimes decided to try taking up running. She hates it, but I was reminded how much I love it. And I was inspired. So last Tuesday, I went to the track and ran. 

     I am a realistic person and I realized that jumping in to anything too hard and too fast would just cause injury, which would actually delay any progress. So I decided to try a mile, with the idea that I could walk it as much as I needed to. I made it 3/4 of a mile and the track team showed up. I guarantee I could have done the last lap, but I decided not to push it. For the curious, I walked on the curves and I ran (slowly) on the straight sides of the track. My lap times were not great. Yet. I have a lot of time to work on this. The Desforges challenge is at the end of April. See? Lot's of time. 
     I realized right away, after that first run, that I needed better shoes. Sure, mine were sort of technically running shoes, but no, they are not great. I could feel every step of the running parts of the run, and not in any sort of good way. Since I had already decided to get pretty serious about this running business, I decided to get serious about my shoes. So I researched and I found that the Brooks Ghost 14 (I learned that good running shoes have series numbers) had really excellent reviews on several different lists. So I took the plunge and ordered them. Not being able to try them on in person is a bit scary, but it worked out. My shoes arrived, really quickly, fit perfectly, in all the ways a running shoe is supposed to, were cushiony without being squishy, and I was excited to try them out. 
     Saturday afternoon, my running buddy (Travis) and I headed to the track. It was 35 degrees and I quickly decided I needed better winter running pants. Stupid Massachusetts is going to just keep on getting colder. My base layer top is good, but I think I need a warmer second upper layer. Though after I got going I was warm enough. The pants need an upgrade (I have some coming). Anyway, the walk out to the track was very cold, and even Travis admitted it was cold and had chattering teeth. We stretched and got into our run. I was still doing intervals (walk the curves, run the long sides) and Travis ran whenever the mood struck him and then would walk. 
     This time around I did the full mile. At one point a couple of guys showed up and one of them was doing laps. Fast ones. And I noticed but didn't compare myself to him. Dude was likely half my age and clearly had been training. My total time is longer, but I did an extra 1/4 mile. The shoes are fantastic and I had zero recovery time after the second run. I woke up Sunday feeling just fine. Definitely investing in good shoes was a great idea. 
     Something I noticed when I was putting this post together was that my lap times are actually slightly better than the Tuesday run. And I didn't push myself or anything. Well, I didn't push myself much. I am thinking if I can keep doing a mile, at least a couple of times a week, it should just keep on getting better and better. At this point I am tweaking what I wear. Winter running (and it's not even winter yet!) is a lot different than Spring and Summer running. I am not a fan of the cold, and muscles don't necessarily like the cold either. So I am being careful. I have some proper winter running leggings coming soon, I have a headband to cover my ears (the cold really bothered them, though not until after the run) and I will figure out either an extra top layer, or a different one. Gloves might have to happen eventually too. 
     So far I am really enjoying this challenge. I also want to stop anyone who is thinking of commenting on just how bad running is for my bad joints. I already know. Yes, running is a very popular thing for a lot of people, but the percussive force of running is pretty hard on a joints. And yes, I have some pretty crappy joints (mostly in my knees and one ankle). But I also am working on building the muscles around the crappy joints, which is in fact really good for them. And I love running. Some of it is getting in a nice workout really fast. Or moderately fast at the moment. I just know that my fairly physical job is great, but more exercise is better. So why not do something I love? And those lap times will just keep getting shorter and shorter. Those fancy shoes I bought are going to be worth every penny. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Worth the Wait

    At some point I worked out a trade with Kimberly Bleecker for the paintwork for my Little Leggs resin. I have not been super into collecting lately, as has been obvious by all the posts that say I have not been super into collecting lately, but when I got these photos from Kim (photos used with permission) I was thrilled! I hadn't been in any kind of hurry for the horse since I don't show halter and currently am not even showing at all. Once I saw the photos I was definitely more in a hurry to see him in person.
Photo by Kimberly Bleecker

     Keep in mind that this is a stablemate scale model. I am amazed at the detail packed into this little guy! I don't have anything in my (small) collection, and never have, that comes close to this color. He's absolutely gorgeous! When I saw these photos I was very excited and could not wait for him to arrive. 
Photo by Kimberly Bleecker

    Well, poor Little Leggs was damaged in shipping and suffered 2 broken ears. I was super sad and was going to put the ears back on... and then one disappeared into the abyss as I was trying to pick it up with the tweezers to make sure I had the correct angle to get the ear on. It just flew away. I have no idea if it ended up mixing with some different floor debris that needed to be swept, if it made it's way down into the heat vent. But no matter where it ended up, it was gone. I don't have the skills to remake an ear, or even do an ear transplant from a donor model. So I contacted Kim with the bad news and she said she would fix him.  
     It took a while for Kim to get to him, she was busy, the time of year is busy, and things just happen. But yesterday Little Leggs showed up again. And he is all fixed and still totally amazing! But now he has whole ears!
     I don't know actually know how long I waited from the start of the deal until now. But I do know that this little horse is totally worth the wait. I don't currently have a name for him, but I am sort of feeling something along the lines of ___________ Worth the Wait. We'll see. I am open to suggestions.