Sunday, July 30, 2023

Catching Up

      Today was packing and shipping day. Well, buying shipping labels, the post office isn't open on Sunday. I had 3 dolls to pack and I also had to get the packages ready to go out for the miniatures club. That takes a lot of work. But everything is ready to go out tomorrow. Which, technically means I will have shipped the club offerings on time, since it is still July tomorrow. 

      This weekend I didn't do a whole lot of things to do with dolls, but I did do the shipping and I bought some supplies. I also picked up a loveseat from Crystal, hung out at a fire with Ethan and Travis, hung out with my friend Brandi, and did a bunch of cleaning stuff and read a bunch. It's been a pretty good weekend. I have one more week of summer school and then I am off completely for 3 weeks before school starts again. I am hoping to do a lot of cool things. Or be super productive. Maybe both. 
     While I was packing dolls I decided to pull out all of the dolls that are currently hanging out here and get a group photo. All of these dolls are for sale and ready to head out. I have:

casual western doll in blue (removable hat)- 220
casual western doll in purple (removable hat)- 220
non-blingy western pleasure doll- 230
western pleasure (with bling)- 240
tattooed casual English doll (removable helmet)-220
casual English in gray (removable helmet)- 220
hunt seat doll in navy (bendy neck)- SOLD
hunt seat doll in black (bendy neck)- 230

Shipping is extra. Please send inquiries to 

Friday, July 28, 2023

Western Week

     I meant to make 4 dolls this week, but that didn't happen. For one thing, I ran out of the material I use to make the boots. For another thing, I did not have enough doll bodies prepped and my porch where I Dremel has been very hot during the day. For another, I was incredibly tired several times and I just didn't have the energy or motivation to get the other doll finished. But I did manage these ladies. And I really like them. 
      Now I know that I already did basically this same design on the turquoise doll from last week (who is still available), but when I was thinking what to do for a western pleasure doll this week, I was thinking about pink... then cherry blossoms came into my head... and this sort of just happened. And I am glad that it happened. 
      I think she is nice, has just enough pink to say she has some pink on her, but not enough that it is overwhelming. Some horses don't look good with pink dolls. But this lady is basically a classy black and white doll with a touch of pink. I like her quite a bit. 
      I am so excited to have found some cowboy hats that fit like they used to that I had to make some more western dolls. This lady's shirt has a very subtle pattern to it, not quite marbling, but almost. Royal blue is a color that looks good with pretty much any color horse, so she is the perfect doll for anything western or casual. 
     You can see the subtle pattern on her shirt a bit better in this photo. As you can also see, her hat is removable, which makes her even more versatile.
    You can't go wrong with basic black. Which is partially why I pretty much always wear black. I also happen to really like it. This casual western lady is ready to work! Whether it is taking care of the horses, riding in a show (western games, working classes... I can maybe be talked into cutting chaps or chinks...), or just hanging out filling in wherever an extra doll is needed, this lady is ready to work. 
    Her hair is a very cool reddish brown color that I don't remember where I got it, so I don't think I can ever get it again. She has a nice slim braid and her hat is also removable which, again, makes her more versatile. 
    So these dolls are all available to purchase, if you are interested please send me an email to Shipping is extra ($10 in the US and more to everywhere else) The western pleasure doll is $240 and the casual western dolls are $220 each. Western pleasure and the casual doll in the black shirt are sold. Blue shirt is still available.
    In other news, there is one more week of summer school, and we will only have 2 of the kids left. It should be fun. Then at some point, hopefully soon, my work family can get together for a party. It sounds like some changes are coming for next year and we are likely going to get split up. But however it ends up I think the kids we work with will benefit. This really is one of the hardest parts of education. Your students and classes change every year, and if you are support staff, you never know who you will be working with. At this point I am still not even sure what building I will be working in! I should find out in a few weeks. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023


      I did not buy much of anything during Breyerfest. So other than a volunteer model that will arrive at some point, this is all I got from Breyerfest. Often I will get things and then decide to sell them. This time around I thought a lot about what I wanted to get and settled on my one special run that I was offered. Mostly because I love a blind bag model! Usually, I just want to know what they are, then I am happy for them to go away. But this guy... maybe I will keep him. But not THIS one, I don't actually like this color. So I am looking to trade. I would love to have either the chestnut or the buckskin tobiano. And funny enough, this one is rarer than either of those, just not the most rare. I just want a different color is all. So I think I will try trading. For now I'll just post this here but eventually, if I don't get any trade offers, I will go wider than this blog post. If you have one of the horses I am looking for, and are interested in trading, please email me at

     Yesterday I ended up super tired and not very motivated. It was one of those days where all I wanted to do was nap, I did take 3 mini naps (like, super mini, 7-10 minutes each) and I struggled to get anything at all done. I am not a fan of days like that. But I did get at least some work done. Today I am also tired, but not quite like I was yesterday. I am going to avoid the napping all together if I can manage it and see how much I can get done on the dolls. But it is very hot in the studio, and super humid today. I think I will inefficiently drag out a bunch of supplies and work on the couch in the AC. Not that I made my house cold, just about 80, but so much less humid! And I will try not to succumb to any naps.

Monday, July 24, 2023

You Can Only Do What You Can Do

        It is really easy to get mentally bogged down with the amount of things you can do or get done. Some people are really great at doing very little and it doesn't bother them. I am not one of those people. I need to be doing things. Not constantly, I do waste my fair share of time, but going to work and then going home and doing whatever I want has really never been part of my life. I am used to being busy most of the time, and when I am unproductive it gets to me. For the last couple of weeks I have been dealing with insurance stuff for Travis. And it has taken a ridiculous amount of time. I felt I was very unproductive, because I was very unproductive. I wasn't able to do recreational things, because I was on the phone (often on hold) or filling out paperwork, or driving to drop off paperwork. So it wasn't even like I was being unproductive for fun reasons. It was rough. But I have done all that I can do at this point and it is out of my hands. I can only do what I can do. And it should turn out just fine for him, there is no reason Travis should not qualify for the type of insurance he needs to attend his day program, but I can only do what I can do. And I have done all that is in my power. And now I need to just wait. 
      So I went from being super unproductive to really wanting to try to get some stuff done. I think it was Thursday afternoon or evening I finally got started on some dolls. That is very late in the week, for me, to be starting on things. But there is no reason I can't start at any time at all, so I did. I got out the new Dremel and went on the porch and prepped some dolls. And I took note that the enclosed porch is going to be amazing in bad weather, which we already have plenty of rain, so I can prep dolls, or horses if I choose, in any season. I like that. I think after I prepped the dolls I watched a movie, cut out some doll clothes and haired some heads. It was not a lot, but it was better than nothing. And I think the Dremeling actually happened on Friday morning. 
    Yes, that sounds right. I cut out doll clothes and started hairing heads on Thursday night and decided that Friday was going to be a big workday. Right up until Travis got home, of course, because Friday afternoon he and I have a coffee date. You don't mess with the coffee date unless you have an extremely good reason. So Friday morning I Dremeled a bunch of dolls, before the porch got too hot, and then I went into the studio and got the clothes sewn. I was going to do more... but then decided to go and see my friend in Connecticut. That sounded like a way better idea than working on dolls. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy when it comes to productivity. 
     So I went to Connecticut and came home in another crazy rainstorm that was so intense that we had to slow way down on the highway because no one could see. We have had A LOT of rain lately. And a lot of the storms have been just wild. I made it home safely and waited for Travis to get home. Then he and I went and had our coffee date, he chose his book for the week, and we went and did some errands after that. It was nice. 
     After supper on Friday I decided I felt like doing some doll work. And, since I had the extension cord and power strip I needed to turn the TV on in the studio, I did that. I moved the TV from my bedroom into my studio, because I realized I really don't watch TV in my bedroom. And I miss watching/listening to shows while I work. So I did that, and the TV is kind of big for how close I am to it (why do they make most of the TVs so ginormous these days? Even the "small" ones are not really small!) I had a good time watching Supernatural and starting to dress the dolls. And I got another chunk of things done. 
     Saturday at some point I decided to get back into the studio. I think I only managed to get most of the boots (no bottoms) on two dolls, and maybe work on hairing a bit, but I don't remember. That was all I managed that day. But a little bit of something is better than nothing. I was very tired and kind of unmotivated on Saturday. And really, there are days when you can't do all that much. It happens. To me. 
    Sunday morning... I don't remember what I did on Sunday morning. I may have gotten a late start to the day, I don't remember. But Sunday afternoon (maybe just before noon...) I decided to get some more work done in the studio. It was of moderate temperature outside so I figured with the fans on the studio wouldn't be too bad. And I was right. I put on Supernatural again and I got to work. I started by putting the boots (no bottoms) on the other 2 dolls I had in the works. It was a good start to the workday. Then I got to bottoms on the two pairs of English boots and then the western boots. I don't have to color the boot bottoms for the western boots, so they are marginally easier to do. 
      Once the boots were on all the dolls it was time to move on to belts. I had 3 of those to get done, so it seemed like a good thing to do next. I don't always put belts on casual English dolls, but it seemed like a nice idea, so I did it this time. And I am glad that I did. 
         I believe painting faces followed the belt making, and I kind of didn't want to do it, but I was getting really close to done with the dolls at this point. Close to done is relative, lol, they all still needed a bunch of stuff, but I kept on going. Every doll gets to a point where I can usually just talk myself into continuing because they are close to done. 
     Once I had all the faces painted I decided that I wanted to paint on the western pleasure top. I had actually had no idea what I wanted to do for that doll. I chose the colors and that was as far as I had gotten. But I decided to paint some swirly stuff. Which actually turned into more like a branch pattern. And I really like how it came out!
    Once I was done with paint it was time for studs and crystals, which didn't take a super long time. I found some hats, altered one to fit a bit better, got some helmets for the English girls, and then they were done. And I immediately left the studio. I didn't take a single photo then. I had spent enough time with the dolls at that point and I needed a break. 
     Sometime in the early evening I reminded myself that no one can buy a doll if they don't know they exist. So I got some photos, and since I purchased a horse recently (two actually... I got this guy for an amazing price from a guy on MH$P but I was also bidding on one on ebay, which I won. If anyone needs this particular horse, I have one who can be for sale) I got photos of the dolls actually sitting on a horse. No tack or anything wild like that, but maybe next time. Anyway, the dolls went up on Instagram and were cross posted to my studio page on Facebook. But I will offer them here as well. If you want to purchase any of these dolls please send me an email to

Western pleasure doll- 240
casual western doll- 220 SOLD
casual English doll (black shirt)- 220 SOLD
casual English doll (gray shirt)- 220

Shipping is $10 to US addresses and everywhere else will be more. If anyone has suggestions of what they might want to see me make please let me know. Though I think there might be more western dolls coming up. I got some hats in today which are basically perfect! Just like the hats I used to be able to buy. I kind of want to buy a bunch more while I can. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Everything in the Way

     I'm really struggling this week. All I want to do is get some work done. And I can't. I am still trying to fix whatever is going on with Travis's health insurance, and that has basically become another job. And it's a crappy job that doesn't pay at all. What it does do is frustrate me and takes up all of the time I could be using to make dolls. So then I get more frustrated. I am really trying to be productive. And I hope I can be soon. But I still have the issue that the studio is insanely hot if the temperature outside is anything but moderate. And it has not been moderate. I also sort of miss watching shows while I work. I might need to move my small TV into the studio. I need to reconfigure some things on the desk to make that work. But I think I can do it. Sometimes listening to music, or podcasts, is great. And sometimes I just want to watch a show. Maybe that will help my productivity. Though I really doubt it. Less time spent on health insurance stuff and maybe some insulation in the ceiling will probably help my studio productivity. 
    Another issue I am having is finding cowboy hats. The small ones that I have bought for years have all of a sudden (OK, it was not all of a sudden, it's been a bit) changed. They are now larger, not by a lot, but enough that they look horribly out of scale on the Yvonne-sized heads. So I keep trying new places to see if maybe they will have hats of the correct size. I ordered from a couple of different places again today. I just need hats. Proper hats of the proper size. I contacted someone I know who does 3D printing but have not heard back. So I will put this out there, I am super in need of cowboy hats to fit Yvonne sized heads. If you 3D print, and have that size (or can make that size) please let me know. 
     I also realized last night that I have not updated my doll book all year. Literally all year. So I spent some time doing that. And I now know that I have, to date, made 1675 dolls. Even though I am slower than molasses on a cold day these days, I am pretty sure I can make another 25 dolls this year. There are 23 and a half weeks left in the year. I can make a doll a week and a couple of weeks with 2 dolls. I can do AT LEAST that... can't I? Well, we shouldn't hold our breath on that because maybe I can't. But I can try. Maybe I can get at least one doll done this week. Or maybe a bunch of pieces of several dolls, who knows. I got an Amazon package today, which I have not opened yet, which I am pretty sure is my proper Dremel, which was the only thing I bought on Prime Day (at 11:30 at night when I was almost asleep and I remembered I needed a proper Dremel, not the little one I was using, and I remembered that I had not looked to see if there was a Prime Day deal on Dremels. There was. So let's find out together if that really is what I think it is...

     OK, it is! Maybe, at the very least, I can handle getting out to the porch to Dremel a bunch of dolls tomorrow so they are ready to be used. That would be useful. But we will see how tomorrow goes. There always seems to be something in the way. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

It’s Hard to Work Like This

    From the post title you might think that I mean it is hard to work because of this bandaid on my thumb. Well, that is partially true, but mostly I mean the ongoing debacle of health insurance. I spent several more hours today on the phone, often with very rude people, I filled out a 40 page form (I wish I was kidding) that it's totally possible that I will not need now. I won't know for a bit. I am exhausted and frustrated, a bit concerned that Travis won't have his insurance, and I am exhausted. I was exhausted all weekend so of course that meant I couldn't sleep last night. I did also slice my thumb really badly making supper last night. It is still quite sore today. And it's amazing how many things you need to use a thumb for when doing basically anything. Everything on the doll, when I finally got around to working on her at 7:00, was so much harder. But I managed. 
     And she's finished. A nice casual English rider doll. Her breeches are mostly navy, but the knee patches are black because I liked how that looked and I could find my black ultra suede easily. Sometimes I need things to be easy. 
    As promised, this lady is also tattooed. She has a lot of them. Including this half sleeve of flowers and hummingbirds...
    another flower and some butterflies (and some swirls peaking out from her sleeve)...
    The horse tattooed on her neck that I shared before...
    She also has really long blond hair in a braid. I love when I can get the hair really long. Not every color of viscose behaves as well as this pale blond does. 
     She also will come with a removable helmet. This is one of the ones from KC's Galloping Gals. While the strap is molded right onto the helmet, I promise, it is removable. You just have to be a bit careful and slide it gently. 
     Here's another view of one of the butterfly tattoos and another little horse. 
    And the back of her arm. I tried to get as many tattoos on this doll as I could, without putting any on her hands or having them mostly covered. Or fully covered because that is a waste of my tattoos. I think she is fun and turned out pretty well. 
    If you are interested this lady is $225 plus shipping. You can email me at (best way to contact) with inquiries. I am hoping I can get this health insurance stuff taken care of tomorrow. This is week two of this. I just need one person that knows how to do their job...

Sunday, July 16, 2023

FOMO Follow Up

    You know what is an excellent remedy for FOMO? Being really busy and feeling like crap. I did both those things this weekend. Friday felt like about 3 days. So much so that when I woke up Saturday morning I had to think really hard, for longer than I care to admit, about what day it was. I think Friday was a good day. I know I did a lot of things, there was an(other) epic storm... yeah, I can't think what I did for a lot of Friday. I know I had a coffee date with Travis. Likely I did other things as well. 
    Saturday I decided I was most definitely going to the Brimfield Flea Market. If you don't know what that is, look it up. It's ginormous. Ethan and I were going to go on Friday, but it immediately started downpouring instead. So we just hung out until the rain (and the road flooding) eased a bit. Then we went out to lunch and to a music shop that was basically right next to the restaurant. Silly not to stop when it's right there, lol. I watched Ethan play several guitars. It was nice. So that was something else that happened on Friday. Anyway, Saturday morning I did a load of laundry and then Travis and I dropped a package at the post office and then went to the flea market. It was HOT. Now, I am not the type of person that thinks 81 degrees is hot. But it was 81 and it was hot. It was also 70% humidity and the air felt incredibly close even though we were outside. And the sun was out. We haven't seen the sun much lately, I am not used to it. I tried, so many times, to get Travis to walk slower. I just wanted to stroll through the flea market. Why wasn't there water anywhere? Why was it so HOT? I guess I was sympathetically in Kentucky with everyone at Breyerfest. Though our storms were Friday and Sunday. Saturday I think I just spent too much time out in the sun (though it was only a couple of hours) and didn't hydrate enough. Because I couldn't find anyone selling water. There are ALWAYS people selling water! So yeah, maybe the sun or the heat and humidity got to me. When we got home I put in more laundry and took a nap. And then I struggled against the nap all afternoon, feeling sort of crappy. Maybe from too much sun or maybe from too much nap. 
    Sunday morning I woke up to rain. Actually, it was another pretty awesome thunderstorm. And the realization that it was in fact Sunday. And the realization that there was no way I was going out to run my virtual 5K in the rain. I am not that dedicated. And I still kind of felt a bit crappy. This nice picture of me in the woods was from the end of June. Oh, I just remembered, I also went and got my hair done on Friday. And have yet to get a photo. It's NOT pink... but that is all you get for now!
    I did log in to the Breyer website a couple of times. I went and looked in the store on Friday afternoon or evening, but a ton of stuff was sold out. I looked again Saturday morning and the stuff was still sold out. I saw on FB that Breyer wasn't restocking the online store, and I realized I didn't care because there was nothing I actually wanted that much. I checked to see which special run I was drawn for (on Friday) saw it was the Stagecoach surprise, went to Facebook to find out what the surprise model was before I committed, saw it was Hamilton and still waited until Saturday to buy it. I do actually like some of the colors. I don't actually own a Hamilton. I might think about keeping him, depending on color. But we'll see. I do love surprise models. Even when I know the model (which I always know before my models arrive since I am not there) but I don't ever know what color I will get. Kind of like my volunteer model. I don't know what color I will get. I actually like the bay. I have my doubts on keeping him though. I am not an OF collector. This Breyerfest I acted like someone who is not an OF collector. My wallet was proud of me. Then I went out and bought several more tarot decks. Did you know I collect tarot cards? Yeah, I have 30ish tarot and oracle decks. The art is amazing! Which is usually what draws me to buy a deck. 
     So how did I actually beat the FOMO? I didn't, it just sort of happened on it's own. I watched maybe 2 minutes of the live broadcast, but didn't have time or interest to really sit and pay attention. I watched most of Lynn Isenbarger's workshop on making a live show apron. The audio seemed super quiet so I put on a minute of my workshop. Nope, also quiet, it's my computer. So I need to get some speakers if I want to properly hear anything from this thing. Anyway, I didn't really find time to sit and watch any of the workshops, I didn't watch any of the demos, I did watch part of the live auction. The Pegasus was incredibly anticlimactic. I think the auctioneer thought so too. Not that $23,000 is anything to sneeze at, but that was how it started. Some of those models were really nice. I really liked the Strapless. Not that I had $10,000 (or was it $12,000? I forget) to spend on an OF model. I am trying to figure out if I want to spend $55 on the midyear release Strapless. I like the color. But I already have a Strapless. And I am not really into congas so much these days. 
     Anyway, I realized, again, that what I am missing from Breyerfest is not Breyerfest itself. I love horses, but I can watch horse movies, or a whole ton of episodes of Dr. Quinn if I want to see horses. I am not overly into OF models and to find custom pieces you mostly have to be there. Anyway, I figured out that what I am actually missing about Breyerfest is the chance to meet people. That's really all I want out of it. I don't really want to go and hang out in hot and humid weather, not that we don't get that here, but it's not enjoyable, I hate sunblock... likely I will just buy an awesome parasol. That sounds like a better idea. And then I will mostly plan on doing no activities so I can meet people at Breyerfest. Though maybe it would be best to make plans to try to meet people. Or I could end up wandering Breyerfest alone (with Travis). 
     So I am tentatively, and somewhat more than tentatively, planning on going to Breyerfest next year. I have already started some of the research for the how to get there. I have talked to friends who have gone and tried to figure out where to stay since it is unlikely I can get a room at the CHIN. I did also call the CHIN today, as soon as I had the dates for Breyerfest, and was told when to call back to get on the wait list. I may or may not have set a calendar reminder in my phone. (I did). I may have already talked to someone about selling out of their room if I can't get my own room at the CHIN. These are things I potentially did this weekend instead of participating much in virtual Breyerfest. I need to have things as figured out as I can otherwise the idea of doing something so new will cripple me into doing nothing. Though there are a number of people who know that when I really and truly decide to do something I make it happen. Even if it's scary.
      I meant to share this photo before and forgot I had it. This is just simply my really cool marble tissue paper that I use to wrap dolls for shipping, with a cute horse sticker. I can't find my pink thank you stickers. I have no idea where I put them and I sort of gave up looking for them when I came up with this new idea. I have a ton of sticker sheets left over from the Field of Dolls Online show. And I can't think of a better way to use up a whole ton of horse stickers!

      I am feel a little bit bad that I didn't do any work on dolls this weekend. But I did kind of feel like crap for a lot of it. Maybe tomorrow I can get the casual doll finished that I am working on. She's another tattoo doll, since someone threw that out as an idea of what I should do. So I will hopefully get her finished up tomorrow and can get her listed. And then I need to figure out what other dolls to make this week. I kind of want to do western dolls, but I seem to not be able to find hats of the proper size! It's scary! Anyone who does 3D printing, please let me know if you print Yvonne sized western hats.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

The FOMO is Real

      Earlier today I happened to be wasting some time on Facebook and I saw this Facebook memory from 6 years ago. And I reposted it. It is still true, one of these years I will be in Kentucky in July. This is not that year. And this year, the FOMO is real. 
    FOMO (fear of missing out) is an odd thing. I often don't really think too much about what I might be missing out on. Sure, there are things that I would like to do, but most of the time if I can't do them I am just sort of OK about it. But Breyerfest is one of those things that I really want to do. And not so much for Breyerfest. I feel like I am missing out on all those hobby people. And I am, for sure. Yes, there are real horses and there are model horses, and tack and props, and so much cool stuff! But there are those hobby people. Those weirdos that are my tribe. Even though I am not as into model horse things as I was, the love is not gone, and model horse people love a lot of the things I love. Like, horses, tiny things, horses, being weird. To be fair, I don't know if model horse people like being weird or just are weird. And not all are, but most are. And I do love weird people!
    I know there is virtual Breyerfest, and I do have a ticket, but I don't know how much I will participate. I have had a virtual ticket every year since 2020 and I have not fully participated. Some of it is not wanting to sit at the computer all day for several days. Some of it is that I am not super into OF models so even if I think they are gorgeous I am somewhat less likely to purchase them. A couple of years ago I was ALL IN with Breyer. Now I remember that I am not an OF collector and I have downsized every part of my collection. Again. I have been thinking about live showing again. Maybe I will do that sometime soon. Soon is relative. 
    So last night I was thinking about Breyerfest, thinking of all those hobby friends I have never met in real life, and all the ones I have that I have not seen in a long time. And I was thinking about July in Kentucky. I was thinking about travel, the cost of it, staying in hotels, how to get to places with a car or without since there is often a parking issue. I need to figure out the logistics of going to Breyerfest. That will ease my brain a little bit I think. I will admit, I am a little bit afraid to do new things when I don't know what to expect or what to do. I don't need to know all the things, but I do need to know some of the things. Like, I know I will not get a room in the CHIN, that is just not a thing that is going to happen since those rooms are always booked a year in advance. Or really, until someone gives up their room. I do know there are other hotels nearby, and I have heard there is a shuttle... but does it go between the hotels? So could we get to the CHIN for room sales? Or should I rent a car and pray to the parking gods? I also have not actually flown since before 9/11 and all I did was get on the plane. I didn't do any of the planning, my sister did. So there is a lot I need to learn. And a lot of saving that I need to do. But I am an excellent researcher and really good at saving money. 
     So I will not be at Breyerfest this weekend, which is nothing new since I have never been to Breyerfest. But I am tentatively planning to be there next year. Hopefully I can have a whole lot of dolls to bring, and hopefully I can find a friend or friends to let me sell out of their room. I want to see people, that is what I mostly want out of Breyerfest. It will be nice to be there, in person, I am sure, but it is not the horses, live or model, that I am looking forward to. It is meeting and spending time with hobby friends. That is my ultimate goal. For now I guess I will manage my FOMO by looking at posts and putting tattoos on dolls. 

Monday, July 10, 2023

Sometimes You Need to Ask

      The first thing that is going to happen today is I am going to tell you how hard my job is. Not my doll job, I have a lot of practice and even the hard parts don't phase me really. Not the school job, I have a lot of practice with that stuff too and, again, even the hard parts don't really phase me. The job I am talking about is being a guardian. I was appointed Travis's permanent guardian back in 2018. You'd think that it would be an obvious choice, but it is not easy to become an adult's guardian. There is a ton of paperwork, the deepest of background checks, more paperwork, waiting, a court appearance... and even when that is done with, you have more work. Forever. Every year I have to file a report saying how I am taking care of Travis. Yes, I have to tell the state how I am taking care of my son. What he does during the day, about his finances, work, what sort of help I get him or give him, and so on. It's once a year, but still, it's weird and it takes work. 

     I have been told by multiple people since Travis turned 18 that I need to get him on social security. He should have his own income, just in case. I get that, but that is a huge pain, and might potentially mess up my taxes. But I finally started working on that. Guess what? More work. Today I had a really awful mail day. I got two letters/packets from social security for Travis and another letter/packet from Masshealth (state insurance) for Travis. One of the packets from social security said Travis didn't qualify, the other said here is a summary of your application, we're processing it, wait. OK... so that was confusing and I called and talked to a human who said the one he was denied for (which we did not apply for) was automatic because he was over 18 and don't even worry about it. OK, fine, done, not worrying about it. So the letter from Masshealth said he doesn't qualify for Masshealth. Um... how does a person who is disabled, found disabled by the state, all of a sudden not qualify and actually not show up in the system as disabled??? It's because... more paperwork! Stuff I needed to do after four or five years, that no one told me about. So they sort of dropped the disability portion of things for him. Not cool. Anyway, 4 hours on the phone, dropped calls and lots of transfers, and I still don't have answers. I have waiting and then checking back. So yeah, my job is hard. Travis is worth it. Making sure he has what he needs is worth it, but being a guardian is hard. Especially when the rules keep changing on what you have to do and what paperwork needs to be filed. 

      Anyway, after the first couple of hours on the phone, holding the phone against my ear with my shoulder (they both now hurt) and sort of working on an email while I was on hold, I decided it was time to put the terrible hold music on speaker phone and go into the studio. The first thing I did was get some photos of this purple doll (not the same one I listed the other day) and get her posted on Instagram and the studio page. She is for sale, $235 plus shipping, she has brown hair and a removable helmet. Currently she is chilling the studio. I wish I had time to chill, but I spent 4 hours on the phone with Masshealth today...

     So while I was in the studio, even though it was fairly moderate temperature outside, it was kind of hot in the studio. So I started thinking about insulation. Because what else do you do when you are a bit too warm, you are on hold (again/still) and trying to focus on anything? I was looking at the ceiling and thinking about insulation. Thinking about joists. Thinking about insulation hangers. These are things I know about and was thinking about. And then I was thinking about insulation board. Like, the foam insulation boards. And I was wondering if that might be enough. I imagine hanging foam boards on the ceiling, under the plastic, would be a lot easier than adding joists and traditional insulation. And any sort of insulation should help regulate the temperature in there. Because what you see under that plastic is the underside of the metal roof. Did I mention my studio gets HOT if it is anything but moderate temperature outside? True story. So yeah, I was contemplating insulation. Especially after I measured and found out there is no way to get traditional 16 on center joists up there. There would be like, 2 that were great and a weird half one. Awesome. So yeah, doing some thinking about insulation. 
    So the title of this post is "sometimes you need to ask". Want to know what that is about? I am not currently taking custom orders, I have said this multiple times. But there is no harm in asking if I have, or am willing to make, a particular kind of doll. Like this morning, I had a message asking if I have any dressage dolls. I do not. But I was thinking about what to make this week, and there isn't any reason I can't make a dressage doll. So that is happening. So part of what I did while I was endlessly on hold with Masshealth was to cut out and sew clothes to make a dressage rider. And I started dressing her. She is actually even further along than this because I felt I wasted so much time on the phone today that I worked a bit longer on her. I may be able to get her done tomorrow. Only tomorrow will know for sure. 
      Today was the start of the second week of the extended year/summer program at school. And the first full week, though full weeks are only 4 days and only 3 hours a day. There was a lot of stuff that ended up messy with the day, but we made it through, and it actually went pretty fast. Then I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few things we needed, came home and got the mail, and the really trying part of the day commenced. But today is almost done. And I got a lot of work done, even though so much got in the way of my productivity. I am hoping tomorrow will go more smoothly. 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

A Variety of Things

     I wonder how many people won't read this post because it looks like it is about running. Which it is, but only a little bit. The other day, Friday actually, I went to LHS to run. Partially because I reminded myself that I needed to at least sort of train for the Breyerfest 5K and partially because I needed to think, and running sure does help me think. So I went to the track, with the plan of just running a mile. But I actually remembered to put Strava on, and the mile wasn't bad at all, so I just kept going. And then a bit more. So two miles, and it didn't take overly long to do it. As you can see, I averaged about a 15  minute mile, which is actually pretty sad because I can WALK a 15 minute mile. But I don't really much care. I did my thinking, I got myself a bit tired, I got in one really excellent sprint (I am so not a distance runner!) and I only had mild shin-splints at the end of it. Good times. 
      Friday was also the day I remembered that I meant to put flowers on my grandparents graves... which was something I decided in the Fall and meant to do in the Spring. So I went and got some red petunias, and I got some for the front of my house as well. I have these iron plant holder things, there should be flowers in them. And my house is black and white so it is begging for red flowers. I have no clue if I used the coconut fiber stuff correctly, but the flowers look good. I am attempting to keep plants alive that are not succulents. I am doing fairly well, I think, so far. But time will tell. 
    My studio gets ridiculously hot if the temperature outside is anything other than just moderate, so I did not go into the studio during the day on Friday. It was about 92 outside, which meant that no amount of fan was going to help make that room comfortable. In the evening, I did pull out a bunch of doll stuff to work on it in the living room. I know, I got myself a studio and then worked in another room anyway, lol. But I watched a movie (Venom) and I had a good time. But I have to say, once you actually have a studio set up, working outside of the studio is a lot more challenging! I had to keep going to get a tool or a thing I had forgotten. 
     Saturday I also did a bunch of work on dolls sitting on my couch (I was watching Vikings this time) and then went into the studio to get the painting done on the dolls. My Prismacolor marker still had not arrived so I needed to paint boot bottoms. And faces. I got those things taken care of, finished making a removable helmet, and had a couple more casual English dolls finished. And they are also already sold. I have one more in the works, I think she is going to be a tattooed doll, and then I need to decide what I want to make after that. I am enjoying making the casual English dolls though. And they keep selling, so maybe I will make more. We'll see. 
     I had a fairly productive week, I think with the 2 dolls I finished yesterday that makes 4 finished this week. I did not push myself super hard to get them done, so that was nice too. Summer is going well, and I am keeping up with things fairly effortlessly. I have no idea if that will be the same when school starts for real in the Fall. But for now, I have a few hours a day of school, then the afternoon to do whatever I want, and Fridays off. And I seem to be getting a lot done! Which is exciting because I usually get very unmotivated when the seasons change. This time, I seem to be doing just fine. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Casual English Dolls

     There are some things I know and some things I don't know, all in relation to productivity. Before I had my studio space I thought that I was likely going to be able to be more productive if/when I had a dedicated space. At the time, I had nothing to back that up, but it was what I thought. Now that I actually have the dedicated space it has proven to be true. Last night, around 8:00, I decided I wanted to cut out some doll clothes. So I did. Then I felt like sewing them. So I did. The sewing machine was already out and plugged in. I had moved it onto the floor to put my laptop on the desk for the live studio session, but it was not hard to put it back up. So I worked for a bit, later in the evening, because I felt like it. I also had had a horrendously bad day where so many issues cropped up with non-doll things that I was frustrated with how much time I felt like I had wasted. 
     After a couple of hours I had not only cut out and sewn a couple of outfits but also started dressing the dolls. I got pretty far and my mood was very much improved. It also kept me in a good mood knowing I didn't have to clean anything up. I just left everything where it was on the desk, turned the light off, and left the room. It felt good. 
    So then today, I was feeling lazy and tired and actually ended up taking a nap mid-morning. Eventually though I got the urge to go and do a bit more work on the dolls. I started on the boots for both of the ladies, and then took this funny photo that went on Instagram. Sometimes you just need to be silly. And I need to remind myself to send this cowboy off to the Mares in Black for the Resin Renaissance show. But it's July 4th and the post office is not open today. I can wait until tomorrow. 
    I decided to watch a couple of episodes of Outlander and hair heads, but then it was back to the studio to paint faces. And to paint the boot bottoms. I usually use a black Prismacolor marker (I mentioned this during the live studio time) but mine is running out and doesn't make things very black anymore. Paint seemed like a better option. And, since everything is so easy to get to, it was not a big deal to take out the paint and get all of this done. 
    After that I put together a couple of removable helmets to match the dolls and got some more photos. 
     And just like that, I finished a couple of dolls. I started them last night and completed them today. Nothing was stressful, I feel like I was super productive, and I am really pleased about it. 
     So now I know for sure, having the studio is making me more productive. What I don't know is if it will last. I imagine it will go in waves. Sometimes I am very motivated to work. Sometimes I am not. I am really glad that I am currently as motivated as I am. I go back to work tomorrow and I won't have quite as much free time in the day. But the summer program is only a few hours a day, only 4 days a week, and only for 5 weeks. It will still give me all afternoon to work on dolls. Or all afternoon to go out and play and all evening to work on dolls. Whatever I feel like doing. 
     Both dolls are now sold.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Trying New Things

       I love trying new things. Sometimes they turn out really great and sometimes they don't. And while I can, and do, very easily fall into routines (that some might call ruts) I do enjoy new things and new experiences. Yesterday, I had a spontaneous live studio day. This (bad) photo was taken in my studio, after the live portion of things, when it had started to get sort of hot. I need to adjust some things in the construction of the room to make it more comfortable when it is not of a moderate temperature outside. Anyway, I grabbed my laptop and went live. Then I worked on a couple of dolls and chatted with people. I worked sort of slowly, because I was watching the chat for messages, and I basically talked and told stories, prompted by what people were saying in the chat, or questions people asked. It was a fun, different way to work. I will likely be doing more live studio days at some point. Though I have promised to give some forewarning so people can know to join in. I need some feedback though. Are evenings best during the week? Weekends? What days and times work for people? I will basically also do whatever works for me, but I would love to know how I can do this so people who want to join in have the opportunity. 
     Another new, fun thing I have been trying, is different "Viking" hairstyles. They look the most interesting when my hair is multicolored and bright, which currently it is quite faded, but they are fun. They are also usually "up" without actually being up. Which is something else I enjoy. Most of the tutorials I have found are fairly simple, but still a bit challenging to do on myself. But it used to take me 45 minutes to put in my contacts and I don't need that much time anymore. I am sure these fun styles will get a lot easier with practice. 
          I have some dolls available for sale. A couple of them were finished before and the hunt seat dolls were finished yesterday, mostly during the live studio time. Prices do not include shipping, which is $10 to US addresses for up to 3 dolls. Overseas is more and please contact me for a quote. If you are interested in a doll please email me at 
non-blingy Western pleasure doll. Price reduced $220
Casual western doll in purple. Has a removable hat. $220
Bendy neck hunt seat doll with black coat $240
Bendy neck hunt seat doll with navy coat. $240