Tuesday, December 26, 2023

A Christmas Mystery and Other Stories

     On Saturday my parents came over for dinner. We did some gift exchanging and I figured it was also the perfect time to solve the first mystery; what this mystery book is! I am very pleased to say I have not read this book, or even heard of it. I am also almost finished with a book I am reading and may get into this one next. I have lots of options of what book to read next. I also have one more mystery book that I haven't opened yet. I am going to see how long I can wait before I solve that particular mystery. 
     Speaking of mysteries, on Sunday night I decided it was a good time to play this escape room game. I love escape rooms, whether an actual room or a game, and I saw these at Barnes and Noble and wanted to try them out. The fact that you don't have to have more than one player is a bonus, since I don't often have people to play games with. So I grabbed my game, a glass of mead, and paper and pencil. I got into the game. 
     By the end I was mad at myself and a little bit mad at the game creators. There were clues I solved, that were not technically solved, because I didn't know which piece of furniture had that particular shaped lock on it. There was a clue I solved that said I needed to find an example of the item in one of the pictures... but there was not an example of the item in ANY of the pictures (even after I finished the game and dug out anything I had missed). I ended up having to use way too many clue cards, and more time than expected, to finish. So by the end I was frustrated with how much help I needed, how stupid I felt, and how there didn't actually seem to be a flow to the game that made any sense. You are supposed to solve a clue, open a box/cabinet/etc, and get stuff for the next clue. It didn't actually seem to work that way. So maybe I missed things in the instructions. Maybe I had an off night (I was actually kind of sick that night). Or maybe I am smart but not logical. I have no idea. Not that it's a deterrent, I want to get another of these and try again. I do like puzzles. 
     This is Pink Frathading. Travis named her. When I asked him what I should name my dog he said pink and I said that was a little obvious, how about another name. And he said frathading, which is Travis's word for anything he doesn't know or remember the name of, or anything he wants to know the name of. Pink was a gift from my friend Jaime. She said it was inspired by a conversation we had that I might not even remember. I remember. I said I wanted a dog but I can't afford to get a dog right now and it would not be fair to a dog to leave it alone all day long while I am at work. But Pink Frathading doesn't mind being alone. And it was a really sweet gift. 

     I have not been super prolific with doll making these days but I have finished a couple of dolls. I made this western pleasure doll a couple of weeks ago. I love making dolls in basic black. That's what I wear after all. This lady is sold. 
     I wanted to stick with western pleasure dolls so I got into this one as well. Basic black and white seemed like a fun idea. The black fabric has sparkly silver dots on it. The base fabric in white is also a silver glitter fabric. This is a really basic but also fairly blingy doll. She is currently available. 
     Since I was making dolls with black chaps (which is mostly what I end up making these days anyway) I was running low and needed to reorder. And I made a terrifying discovery! They have discontinued the black Ultrasuede that I use! I have not been able to find it anywhere. I ordered the next thickness that is close, but I definitely do not like it as much. And now I am frustrated about that. This has happened before where I have had some doll making material that I absolutely love, and have used for years, that was easy to get. And then it gets discontinued and I have to try to find a replacement. This is usually when I end up having to waste a bunch of money getting things to try them out, just to find that most of them are not quite right in some way. Honestly, it seems nothing is ever easy. 
     So those are my updates for now. A couple of mysteries solved, a pink dog, and some dolls and doll issues. I do still have other dolls available from my live sale and some of the miniature items as well. Is anyone else wondering how we are pretty much at the end of 2023? I feel like this year went pretty quickly for the most part. 

Friday, December 8, 2023

A Calculated Risk and the Wisdom of Tea

     Travis and I have a coffee date at Starbucks in Barnes and Noble every week. It is kind of an expensive habit, but he is totally worth it. After we have our coffee he goes and picks out a new Little Golden Book. I have no idea why he has decided those in particular are the ones he is going to get, but he does, and that's just how it is. Travis looks through the rack until he finds the book he has pre-chosen. While he is looking he chooses his book for next week. This week, he could not find his book. 
    I happened to be on the group text my work family from last year still chatters in, and I said that it was looking like Travis couldn't find his book. Everyone was concerned and one of my friends actually started searching nearby Barnes and Noble stores to try to find it. Those women are amazing. I said I was just going to ask for help first, and see if that did it. And yes, we found The Little Engine That Could, and the woman was very sweet and acted like it is a completely normal thing for a grown man to be choosing a Little Golden Book. But really, for Travis, it is. He even let me read it to him when we got home, which is not something that always happens. Travis is also 100% capable of reading the book himself. I saw him reading an Anne Rice novel (out loud, so he really was reading it) when he was 7.
     I try not to buy a book every week because I just don't have enough time to read so the book collection can very easily grow very quickly. Which is both a good and a bad thing. I love books. For a lot of years I would reread the same books over and over. I had a variety, but it was comfortable to read a book that I was familiar with. I still have some I would totally reread. Recently though I got back into reading paper books (I was doing solely Nook reading for years because of storage issues). And my other thing is to find a book that calls out to me. If I like the synopsis, I may very well get it. The last two weeks I was lured in my the buy one get one 50% off deal. Because half off books... yes please! I should probably just buy used books, but we are already at Barnes and Noble...
     Anyway, since I got 4 books in the last two weeks I was not going to buy one for myself this week. Self control is a thing I sometimes have. But a book that is basically a blind bag, that also gives me a synopsis of sorts... oh so intriguing! And the sign on the rack said it was a blind date with a book. And I was on a date with Travis. So it seemed like the right thing to do. I have not opened this up, so I still have no idea what it is. The guy at the register said it would be on my receipt so try not to look at that if I wanted to be surprised. Done. I put this under my Yule tree. Maybe it will be a gift for me. Maybe I will open it up and see what it is in a bit. Maybe I will finish the book I am in, which is so good and has quick short chapters, and then read the next book that I decided I MUST read, and THEN maybe the mystery book. We'll see. But I am currently very intrigued by this mystery book. I don't think I have read it. One of the mystery books I am just about positive I have read, even from the very brief description. Anyway, I do not regret buying this book, whatever it is. Now to exercise some self control...

     I have been getting a lot of wisdom from my tea. The brand Yogi has these little messages on the back of the tags on the tea bags. I don't love all of them, but some of them are just what I need to hear. Really, "the only thing that can limit you is believing you are limited. Become Limitless" that is really good advice. I'm working on it. "The worst enemy we have is our own fear" don't I know it. I have not done a whole lot of things because I was afraid. And not that good fear that keeps you from dying, just that fear of the what-ifs and the unknows. If you don't try things in a different way, or sometimes upend everything from the way you have always done it, you may just get stuck in a cycle. Honestly, bravery is not the lack of fear, but doing things even when you are afraid. "life is best lived by focusing on your goals and dancing through all your distractions" I love that one so much. I do actually dance all day long. Anyway, sometimes you get a little pep talk in the oddest of places. You always have to be prepared for something amazing to happen. Even if it's inspiration from tea. 

      Last week I did the packing and shipping from my live sale, I made a couple of dolls, and this week I totally meant to start back to work on dolls yesterday, but I did not. So next week I will start back on making dolls. I do still have a variety of things, including dolls and mystery boxes (and more) that are listed in this post.  I likely would even be willing to accept reasonable offers on things. Especially for multiple item purchases. 

      I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and finds inspiration in random places. I am hoping to extend my running tomorrow. The last run I did was 3.25 miles, with 1/4 mile intervals of walking and running. Tomorrow I am hoping for a longer time, which will be more actual running as well. And I am hoping to find random inspiration in unexpected places. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Small Business Saturday

     Yesterday, I held another semi-live sale for Field of Dolls Studio. Then, Travis and I went out for coffee and hung out at Barnes and Noble for a bit. The manager of Starbucks is a friend of ours and she was very into my makeup. Since I never wear full makeup these days, she has never seen me with more than eyeliner and mascara. But I told her, I have to put on makeup to do a live sale, or I look kind of sick on camera. And if I am going to do makeup I am going to do ALL the makeup. Because it's fun and I enjoy it. It's also good to know I can still do a good job even though I almost never do it these days. 
     Anyway, we got our books and came home and we ate some Thanksgiving leftovers. Then I got to work again. Because I can't help myself. Anyone who sent me their email address and the country they live in, as requested, has already received their invoice. I have a handful that haven't sent the info yet, but hopefully sometime today. I would like to get all the invoicing wrapped up and work on packing stuff. It would be excellent if I could be finished with everything (mostly) by Monday!
     OK, so it's small business Saturday and seeing as Field of Dolls Studio is just me, I qualify as a small business. Not everything sold during the semi-live yesterday so I put together this post with what I still have. Including the micros, minis, and premier horse that I am selling from my own collection. Same as the Black Friday sale shipping is flat rate. US shipping is $10, Canada is $15, and everywhere else is $20. That will ship absolutely everything you claim. 
     If you are interested in any of the items in this post please send me an email to fieldofdolls@gmail.com. And tell me if you want your invoice to a different email address than the one you sent me the email from, AND I need to know the country you live in. Even if you are 1000% sure I already know it. It's so much faster for me to have the information in front of me. I will try to keep this post updated as things are claimed. Thanks for looking and thanks for supporting my small business!
Alpheratz and Matar- 80
Castenea (no card)- 20
All other unpainted micros- 25 each
Jewel- 40

Gold Filigree- 40
SM Club Tobias- 20
G2 Appy SM- 7
SM Club Shelburne- 20
SM club Phineas- 20

Premier Club Constantia- 150

Mini Ranch Mare- 375
Mini Barnaby-325
Mini Mira-275
Mini Brio-250

Apples or Carrots, 5 each, I have a bunch of each. 

Casual English doll in pink breeches-220

Removable helmet with harness-15

Red, purple, and green girths are sold- Bareback pads- 40 each

6" western youth doll-230. I can be talked into making her removable chaps (SOLD)

Cat beds-12 each (SOLD)

Blue stripes (SOLD) Dog beds- 12 each

Cowboys- 220 each

brown chaps are sold

Black with horses (SOLD) Backpacks- 25 each

3E available

12, 13, 14 and 16 are sold

All are SOLD

MC2 and LC3 are sold

Mystery boxes (I have a bunch left)- 25 each

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Semi-live sale catalog 2023

     As promised, here is the catalog, with the sales schedule, for the 2023 Black Friday Live sale. I may very well have things posted from my personal collection, but as of right this second (I wrote this on Monday) I haven't gotten any of that together. The photos will post, on my studio page on Facebook, at the times I have listed in this post. I will "love" your comment if you are the first to comment your claim. For an exhausting amount of detail on how a semi-live sale works, please see this post 

apples or carrots. Set of 4, $5 each (I have several of each)

Casual English dolls $230 each

Removable helmets with harness $15 each

Bareback pads $40 each

Western Pleasure dolls $240 each

Youth dolls $230 each

Cat bed and toy $12 each

Dog bed and two toys, $12 each set

casual cowboy dolls $220 each

Men’s cutting chaps $40 each

Backpacks $25 each

English dolls, $230 each

Messenger bags $25 each

Casual western ladies $220 each

Ladies cutting chaps $40 each

Saddlebag sets $75 each

Mystery boxes $25 each

The schedule:
3:00- I go live
3:05- apples and carrots
3:10- English casual dolls
3:15- removable helmets
3:20- bareback pads
3:25- western pleasure dolls
3:35- youth dolls
3:40- cat beds
3:45- dog beds
3:50- cowboys
3:55- men's chaps
4:05- backpacks
4:10- English dolls
4:15- messenger bags
4:20- casual western dolls
4:25- ladies chaps
4:40- mystery boxes


Monday, November 20, 2023

Semi-Live sale rundown 2023

  I have done this post before, three at least, since this is not my first semi-live sale. Here is the link to the original post. I thought it might be slightly confusing since it was specific to the last sale. So I copied and pasted it into a new post and will edit it to make it relevant to the upcoming sale. If something doesn't make sense please let me know. Hopefully I will have time to answer. 

     My plan is to have a sales catalog published, here in the blog, this Wednesday. Maybe Thursday if time gets away from me. The blog catalog and other advertising photos (if I get around to those) will be posted in groups, like the photo below. They will not have group letters on them, I am not doing that this time, you can tell that bareback pads are a group, backpacks another, and so on. Though they will also have prices on them since that was a request. When I publish the schedule there will also be prices, in case anyone wants to plan out their budget. 

     The order I have them posted in the catalog will be the order the photos will go up on my studio page on sale day. I will have claim codes on the photos so when the photo pops up all you have to do is comment UNDER THE PHOTO the claim code. If you are the first to claim that particular item it goes to you. No matter what your internet speed, 3:00 (or the comparable time in your time zone) is 3:00 for everyone. The photos show up at the same time for everyone. Since you will have already seen the groups and how they are laid out you will know exactly where to look in each photo so you can see the claim code (which is not easily guessable, for fairness) and then just type that into the comments.

     At 3:00 next Friday, November 24th, I am going to go live on my studio page on Facebook. I will not be showing you any of the items I have for sale. At 3:05(probably) the photo of the first group of items will be posted on my studio page. You are more than welcome to watch me dance around in my room and pack bags. I am sorry to say I am much more chill during a semi-live sale. I still try to keep it fun. I still sing the alphabet and I will drink seltzer. You cannot claim items by commenting on my live video. No claims count if you say them to me. Literally the only reason to watch me do the live is to have some interaction. As of this moment (this was written on Sunday) I am not doing trivia. But I want to, so if I can come up with questions I will have trivia. Or maybe I will just randomly find reasons to give out some prizes. But to be clear, you do not actually have to WATCH me at the semi- live sale to claim things. 

      So let me now explain in greater detail how you claim an item. Let's say you are looking at the micro pouches in group B and you absolutely LOVE the pouch with the pink unicorns. You know that is one you want to try for and the schedule tells you group B will be posted at 3:10. So at 3:10 you are refreshing your device like a crazy person and I am hanging out in my room talking to myself and calmly drinking my seltzer. You hit refresh over and over and then the group B photo is up! You see that the pouch you want is 55 so under the photo of group B (the photo with the claim codes) you comment 55. Really, it is that easy. And if you were the first person to comment 55, you will be the one that gets the pouch. Which I will say out loud on the live portion of the sale where I am chilling and casually packing bags and not running around like a crazy person. I will also "love" your comment so you know you are in fact the first person and the winner of the item. Easy, right?

      My plan is to probably have groups post about every 3-5 minutes.  All the groups are somewhat small so I have enough time to write on bags and sort items before the next batch comes up. I will also schedule in 5 minute breaks where no photos are going up, which will give me some time to catch up if I have gotten behind. The basic rule is the first person to claim (It may or may not be the same order on everyone's device so I am still going by what shows first on my screen) will get the item. In the first 5 minutes the group is listed you may only claim one item from the group. So let's say group A goes live at 3:05. You can only claim one of the bareback pads. When group B goes live at 3:10 (so, 5 minutes later) if there is anything unclaimed from group A you can make a second claim from that group. Doing it this way makes it more fair for everyone. 

     So that is the basic idea. Claims only count if they are comments on the photo, the one with the claim codes, on my Facebook studio page, and if they are the first one. You may only claim one item per group for the first 5 minutes the group is listed. After the first 5 minutes anything unclaimed is fair game, even if you already claimed an item from that group. There are times during the semi-live sale where I get a little backed up (usually because I am talking...) and I may not get to a claim photo to "love" comments for several minutes. I will get to it, and announcing, as quickly as I can. 
     It really is pretty simple. All of the available items will be posted, with prices, on the blog, prior to the day of the sale. I will get a schedule out too so you know exactly when you need to check my studio page for what you want. You are more than welcome to watch the live portion, which is me hanging out in my room, singing the alphabet, and drinking seltzer. You don't actually have to watch, though I likely will have great makeup. All the claiming will be done on my studio page. If you only want to watch me dance around, you can. 
     So another burning question might be, how can we be in two places at once? How can we watch the studio page for the photos and also watch the live stuff? HOW??? Well, the easiest way is to have 2 devices, which is what I will have. I do the filming with my phone on a tripod and I put my laptop on a box and watch the page that way. Two devices is super easy. OR you can split your screen. I don't think you can do that on a phone or a tablet. But I know for a fact you can do it on a computer. And I am not going to teach you that. I taught enough people how to split their screen. You are on your own to Google that one. 
     Please let me know if you have any questions on how the semi-live sale works. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Miniatures, Updates, and Goal

    Apparently I have been busy. I set up this post on November 1st and then... life happened. Life happened without giving anyone the updates I meant to. So here we go, updates time. 
     I started running again October 15th, after my friend super politely called me out on my bullshit. I had not been running, I had been making lots of excuses not to. And yes, I absolutely would feel better if I ran again. All of that stuff was true. So I started running again. It sucked but I didn't die. So I did it again, and again. Sometimes on the track, sometimes in my road (that sucks a lot!) and sometimes in the woods. It was still kind of hard but it was getting easier. I got myself an accountability buddy. And then I held myself accountable. But I could feel the excuses getting ready to come back in. Trying to leave the house for a run is not as easy as just going outside. I have to make sure that either I am back before Travis will be getting home, in the few minutes a day when I am here before he gets home. Or I have to make sure he has shoes on, which he takes off the second he walks in the door. I have to get him to get in the car, which is not as easy as it sounds because that is almost always the time he decides he needs the bathroom and then he has to find whatever giant action figure he is bringing with him in the car. And yeah, a half hour run really quickly turns into an hour and a half of my day. And I really do not have that kind of time to spend on... anything. Unless it is work of some kind. 
    So the excuses started creeping in and I kept running because I have an accountability buddy. But I could see this not being sustainable. So I bought a treadmill. It folds up and I can put it in my closet when I am not using it. And it's pink, which helps. It takes maybe 2 minutes to take it out, pop up the handle, and put in the two side screws. It takes me maybe 2 minutes to change into running clothes and put on sneakers. And then I can run. And it might take me the length of an episode of Doctor Who. Usually less. And now I want to run. The first run was iffy. I still struggled to keep a pace that was more than walking for very long. Then I had a decent run, followed by a really bad one. And then something happened. I have no idea what. But all of a sudden I ran a full mile without slowing to a walk. It was not a fast mile, but it was a mile of actual running. I think the difference was music. Travis was watching TV so I couldn't watch Doctor Who, so I put in my earbuds. And I started finding a play list, in my running playlist, that helped me keep pace with the running. It was fantastic! The next run I fiddled a bit more with the playlist and I ran 1.1 miles without slowing to a walk. My last run I tweaked my playlist a bit more and ran a mile and a half without slowing to a walk! So I am definitely making progress. I am also mad and motivated. I had to buy larger pants because of the weight I gained. I am mad about that and mad about how I feel (I hurt all the time). So I am going to fix it. And I am not going to make any more excuses. Soon I will hit two miles of actual running and I will be really excited about that. Then maybe I can work on a slightly faster pace. But one step at a time (lol, one step...)
     I have no idea really what I was going to talk about in this post when I set it up. I made bareback pads, I think I have 6 of them. They will be available at my Black Friday Live sale. Which is this coming Friday, November 24, 2023 at 3:00 pm EST on my studio page on Facebook. I am going to be posting photos of the items I have available, on Facebook, between now (either in a little while or tomorrow) and probably Tuesday... maybe into Wednesday. I have no idea just yet. I also have been posting to Instagram which cross posts to Facebook. So you will see things. Maybe people will get sick of seeing my posts. Feast or famine, that is how I do my posting it seems. Anyway, tomorrow (likely) I will post the 2023 version of the how a semi-live sale runs blog post. I may also cross post that to my studio page on Instagram and Facebook. Just so people see it and know that there is a place where I explain how everything works. 
     I like to have one new miniature item every time I do a live sale. I don't know if I came up with new things the last time, I barely remember my last live sale. I think it was probably last year on Black Friday. It's amazing how much happened this year and how little time I had for... everything. But I did come up with these little messenger bags. I love them so much!
     There will be some hunt seat dolls, though not this hunt seat doll. She sold before I even posted her anywhere. Someone asked if I had any. I did. It sold. That's how things go a lot of the times these days. I actually usually have some dolls in stock. And if I run out of a certain type of very common doll, like hunt seat dolls, I make more. I will have 3 at the live sale this year. 
     Ethan and Travis carved this very cool Jack O' Lantern (and Travis said his name is Jack O' Lantern) for Halloween and Ethan got this very cool photo. I was very upset to see that Halloween was immediately erased from all the stores the day after, or even before. And then everything was Christmas. The stores have been playing Christmas music since November 1st. I can barely stand to stay in Barnes and Noble for my Friday coffee dates with Travis. But I will put up with a lot of things for that guy. Including way too early Christmas music. 
    Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Christmas. I don't hate Christmas music. I don't celebrate Christmas (for anyone that is curious I celebrate Yule or the winter solstice). I do celebrate get together with my family, because they all celebrate Christmas and it's a good excuse, but that is all about the get-together for me. I do gifts for New Year's Day. Anyway, I do actually enjoy Christmas music, for maybe a week. In December. Not starting the day after Halloween.
     I will be publishing a detailed catalog of my Black Friday sales items on Wednesday (probably Wednesday) or Thursday if Wednesday gets away from me. I have the photos in the post, but we now know that sometimes I do that and then forget to write the post. So my plan is to put up a post tomorrow or Tuesday with the details of how a semi-live sale runs. And then Wednesday or Thursday morning I will publish the actual schedule (exact times and everything) of when each photo will go live on Friday. And any other details that I feel are pertinent to the sale. 
     So those are my current updates. I have been working like crazy because after this week I am going to take it easy. Maybe. I always say that and then it doesn't necessarily happen. But I am going to try. Not for a super long time, I will need to keep creating things. At some point soon I need to get photos of finished jewelry that hasn't made it up on my website yet. I am thinking I might have a Black Friday sale over there as well. But I need to put stuff up. So much to do! More posts coming soon.