Tuesday, August 29, 2023

First There Was One…

     Tomorrow is the first day of school. I am a little bit nervous because we will have 4 new kids in our class. Meeting new kids always makes me a bit nervous because there is no relationship with them and you have to build one. Until then you have kids that may or may not trust you and may or may not want to work with you. It's a tricky time. But I am sure this will be a great year. And crowded! There are a more kids and more adults in our room this year. We will probably spend more time than ever being in each others way. 
     Yesterday, I was not sure what to do after I got home from doing a bunch of errands. I have a lot of finished dolls at the moment. I am not sure what to make next. I have western pleasure dolls, casual western dolls, hunt seat dolls, upper level dressage dolls, casual English dolls, even a casual English doll with tattoos. So yeah, I am not sure what to make next. So I decided to give myself a brain-break... and make something I hate making. 
     I don't know what possessed me to do it, but I made this set of black saddlebags. So far there is nothing in them, other than the water bottles, because I don't currently have the things to put in them. That will have to be a project for another day. And it will also have to be some things ordered because I am not going to make all the things. But probably a lot of things. 
    This week, or more correctly, the end of last week and this weekend, I got back into some jewelry making and stone wrapping. It has been a long time since I have done any of that. I also discovered some fun settings on my iphone camera so I could take this really cool picture. This necklace is celestine and quartz beads. The stones are a bit bluer than this photo shows, but I really like this photo!
      So you know how I said "first there was one"? Well, I figured I already had all the stuff out to do a project that I really do kind of hate, so why not work on some more saddlebags? The convenience of having a dedicated studio space is being able to leave my crap out. The doll iron is on the desk, the ziplocks of random pieces that I use for the bags are out. It's really convenient. I won't say it makes this hated task better, but it makes it more efficient. 
     Once I got started on wrapping stones and making jewelry again, I decided to keep on going. So this weekend I made a bunch of things. This obsidian and tourmaline necklace, which is insanely hard to photograph, was another piece. This one hasn't made it to my website yet but hopefully soon. 
     Several stones got wrapped in this style over the weekend. Including this blue aventurine. It's fun, different than what I usually do, and works really well on flat stones. I did also try it on a rough stone that was not flat, and it worked, but I want to redo that one before I share it. Sometimes I just don't like the way a wrap turns out. But anyway, after not making any jewelry, or doing any wrapping, for months, I got 7 pieces done this past week/end.
     And we can't forget the saddlebags. I did finish the lime green set and the pink set. So now there are 3. Which is pretty good. I am trying to see if I can talk myself into making a couple more this week. School starts tomorrow, but I do have time after school to make one set of bags, if I get started sort of right when I get home. If I do that, if I can stay awake to do that, I can have two more sets done this week. Because no doll work happens on Friday after school. Travis and I have our coffee date then. Wow, when I think of the week in terms of after school work and coffee dates... it's already almost the weekend. Which is weird, seeing as it's only Tuesday. 
     I do still need to get and make the stuff to go inside the saddlebags, since people do seem to prefer the bags that have stuff in them to empty ones. That will take some time. I also am thinking to make at least some other miniature items, though I am not sure exactly what or when. And I am sure someone has to be wondering when these items could possibly be available. Well, miniature items are only ever available at my live sales. The next one will be my Black Friday sale. And I promise, this one is actually going to happen. I know I have said a couple of times this past year that I was going to have one, but I just didn't have the time to pull together enough stuff to make it worth it to do one. But I will definitely do a sale for Black Friday. So far I am planning on dolls, at least a few sets of saddlebags, mystery boxes... and I have no idea what else. But it should be fun!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Food and New Faces

      When school was ending my work-family and I said that we definitely needed to get together over the summer. That didn't happen until last week. There have been some pretty cool trips that people were taking that made the delay necessary, plus several of us were working the summer program, but we did finally manage to get together. I made a variety of things for our get together, but I am pretty proud of my little charcuterie spread. Making art with food amuses me. And getting to see my friends was great. We had plenty of laughter during the school year, but without kids to worry about it was even better!

      I have been continuing to be productive with my doll making. At the end of last week I started painting some new faces. I have been pretty much exclusively making pale white dolls lately, because I have a very large amount of doll bodies in that shade. This week I wanted to change up my faces. I have a variety of different dolls planned for this week, who are not pale white ladies. So far I have a casual English doll finished and a casual western doll finished. 
     The casual western lady even has a lovely French braid! I didn't think that was something I could do in 1:9 scale, and I know it likely wouldn't work all the time, but it worked out this time. 
     The western lady comes with a removable hat and the English rider comes with a removable helmet (yes, they do come off, you just have to be careful.) They are both currently available, $220 each plus shipping. If you are interested please email me at fieldofdolls@gmail.com
     Sunday I decided I wanted to make an effort with my cooking. I don't actually like cooking so I often make a lot of the same things and they usually require very little work to put together. I had a pork tenderloin and I wanted to do something a bit different. I don't cook pork tenderloin all the time, so that in itself was a bit different, but I looked up different recipes and found one with a really nice mushroom gravy. And then I forgot to buy chicken broth so I altered the gravy/sauce anyway. It came out really well! The mashed "potatoes" are of course not potatoes. I discovered that Palmini makes this stuff. Palmini is "pasta", and apparently "potatoes", made from palm root. So it is keto. This doesn't taste like potatoes, you are not fooling anyone with this, but it does make a nice side dish. I don't usually take pictures of my food but the amount of effort I put into this new meal was worth getting a photo of it. 
     Last week I finally got out to do some hiking again. It was not super buggy in the woods, which was amazing. Maybe I can get back into some more regular hiking again. The woods really are my happy place. School starts next week so I will have to figure out when I can fit a bunch of hiking into my weeks. I need to keep on making the dolls and taking care of all the other usual things, but I also really need to get outside more. I am going to miss the amount of "extra" time that comes with summer vacation!

Thursday, August 10, 2023


     Last week, I struggled to do anything at all. This week, I am reminding myself I don't need to do everything all at once. And I'm not doing everything. I still have some really tall, almost tree-sized weeds I need to get out from the back of my house. I almost did it this morning, but then I was a bit tired after Travis left for Sunshine Village. Some of my neighbors decided to have a really loud, long conversation at 5:30 this morning. That was not conducive to restful sleep so I got up and did things. But then, when Travis left I was kind of out of steam. I did a small workout and then I took a small nap. A few other small naps happened today as well. But we have gone back to just gloomy weather. Not even rain, just cloudy and gloomy. And I am tired. 
     I have managed to get some things done this week though. Quite a few actually. I finished these casual English rider dolls. The one in gray is spoken for, but the lady in black and white is available for $220. 
     I was out of hunt seat dolls so I made these two new ones. Both of these are available, 230 each. 
     Yesterday, I spent a few hours in the morning working on these western pleasure dolls. Then Crystal came over and I spent most of the day with her. Which was awesome! I don't get to see Crystal nearly enough and we had a really good visit. Today I got back to working on the western pleasure dolls and finished these up. They are both available, 240 each. I also still have some dolls available from before. The western dolls and the tattoo doll from this post are still available. 
     I have been very productive this week, at least when it comes to doll making, but that leads me to another dilemma. Am I working too much? I did have a couple of long days, but I am not working all day, every day. But soon (too soon) I will go back to work and I will be working full time at the school and then coming home and trying to do at least some doll work several afternoons a week. I feel like I should be out doing fun things. But I can't figure out what I want to do. I like going places, and apparently spending money. I need to think of some fun things to do that don't cost money. Or are fairly cheap. I don't want to hike at the moment, the mosquitos are insane and I hate bug spray, so I am not entirely sure what to do. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting my summer. I need some ideas. 

Friday, August 4, 2023


     I tried really hard to get a lot done this week. That didn't work out. I was tired. Super tired. I had to take a whole lot of naps, and there were entire afternoons where I felt like all I could handle was taking a nap. Or just sitting still and reading. I did at least get a lot of reading done. But it's very hard for me to be unproductive. If I had spent all that time cleaning I wouldn't have felt all I did was waste time. But I did only a bit of cleaning, and a lot of napping. I think the problem is the weather is so drastically different than it was a week ago. Which is making me tired and unmotivated. Knowing what the problem is doesn't much help me though. 
     Anyway, I did, finally, manage to finish this lady in purple. I also Dremeled a whole bunch of dolls, I think that was this week, so I have done a few things. And I haired 4 heads in preparation for more dolls. I have done a few things, but not many. But this purple lady is all finished and for sale. $240 plus shipping. If you're interested please email me at fieldofdolls@gmail.com
    I mentioned the weather is a lot different than last week. This week has been absolutely gorgeous. Very comfortable temperatures without too much humidity. I have had my windows open all week, and I love it. But at the same time that is something that bothers me too. It's amazingly gorgeous weather and I am too tired to go and do anything. A lot of people just get seasonal issues in the winter, which is mostly caused by the lesser amounts of sunlight. I have issues when every season changes. Maybe it's the big changes in the weather, I have no idea. But I do know I get tired and unmotivated when the seasons change. Sometimes for weeks. And this week has felt a lot like Fall, not August weather at all. I love this weather, but it is currently messing with me. 
    In some ways I did get a lot done this week. I fixed Travis's insurance, which was a very big deal. It is not overly dramatic to say that our lives could have fallen apart if I hadn't managed that. Because they really could have. But now I can breathe a sign of relief. But that doesn't mean I can stop working on the dolls. So I am glad I managed to finish this one. 
    I have 3 weeks off before I have to go back to work and I should know what my work assignment is in about another week. It's a weird thing being a para; you sort of don't really know what you will be doing year to year. Which is partially true for teachers too, though they at least usually get the same subjects to teach. Last year was amazing. It was the first year that I didn't have my schedule changed after a couple of weeks, then months, and so on. But up until I got my letter I didn't know for sure what I would be doing. Or what school I would be in. And currently I don't know what I will be doing. Hopefully, it will still be working with high needs kids. Though whether or not in the middle school or high school is the part I am most unsure of. I told my supervisor that I want to stay with my team, but I also understand that there aren't currently paras in the high school that can do what we do. And now one of my team members is going to be the teacher at the high school! I am very excited for her. At this point I would be happy to work in either of the programs. I just don't know where I will be. I am sure no matter what it will be great. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Things I Didn’t Know

     I was previously unaware that yard work is an excellent way to battle frustration. And the use of "power tools" definitely helps with frustration! As you know, if you have read many of the last handful of blog posts I have put up, I have been fighting with the insurance company on Travis's behalf. He needed a particular type to attend his program, they were not letting me fix it, for whatever reason, and yesterday I got a phone call saying that Travis might not be able to attend his program if I could not get the insurance fixed. This has been about a 6 week battle including a pile of paperwork, hours and hours on the phone trying to sort this out, a lot of lost sleep, a lot of lost work time, and a ridiculous amount of frustration. 
     And I did not know that mowing the lawn and weed whacking were a great way to vent frustration. Live and learn I guess. I also didn't know if you manage to luck out and get not one, not two, but three pleasant agents on the phone, and are also persistent, you can fix the insurance in a little over an hour. I am not sure why I had to fill out hundreds of pages (collectively) of paperwork and spend so many hours on the phone when today everything went well. But now I know, do the application over the phone, with a human being. And mow the lawn when you're frustrated. 
    Between extreme exhaustion, frustration, paperwork, phone calls, and I am sure something else, I have gotten almost no doll work done this week. Which is a little bit scary because I need to keep functioning. I have only one more day of summer school to go, and it is only a few hours, but then I just have 3 weeks until school starts up again. So I have only a few more weeks of maximum time to get as much done as I can before it is back to work full time. I definitely need to start getting more done. But at least I have done a bit of doll work. And it is only Wednesday. I do still have some days left in the week to try to get more done. I have a purple western pleasure doll in the works, who I can probably get finished in a pretty short amount of time. Just as soon as I actually settle down to get some work done. 
     My Breyerfest volunteer model also arrived today. It is quite a pretty model (and I do have lots more photos) but I am not an OF collector and I don't need to keep this horse. I have him currently listed for sale on the Rare Model Horses page on Facebook, but will sell him here as well. I have him listed at $1000 ppd in the US, but will also consider reasonable PIF offers on him. Email me at fieldofdolls@gmail.com if you are interested, or if you want to see a whole bunch more photos. 
     I am sure I need a little bit more time for the idea that I am done with the long insurance battle to sink in. Travis gets to stay at Sunshine Village, I get to keep my job at the school, Travis is not stuck home with me all day, I am not stuck home with me all day. It's a good day. I also got the ball rolling on a couple of the other things I needed to get done for Travis that were being held up by the lack of the correct insurance. It's a good day.