Monday, January 1, 2018

Super excited for you, 2018!!! Welcome!!!

OMGEEE!!! It's a brand new year and isn't it exciting, my loves?

First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you who stayed with me, through the good times and the bad. I know I hadn't been communicating enough over here last 2017 and I also know that you understand my situation. That's something I am forever grateful about. A community that accepts and loves you and what you do is basically family - that is what you are to me, guys. Daghang Salamat sa tanan.

Exciting - that's how I am feeling for 2018. I know this is not much of a new feeling to me, as the first time I felt this was new year 2015, when I quit my job and I was so ready to focus on my dolls, fabrics and designs for the first year. This time, it's a different level of excitement. I had some questions answered last year that things have become clearer today.

One of the questions I tried to answer was, do I really want to make how-to videos. The idea started when I felt the need to share my diorama ventures. I felt that my brick wall design was something to share so I made some videos to document my process as I continue to finish the dio project. When I was preparing my videos, came up the question. Do I really want to make how-to videos? The only way to answer this was to continue making them, I thought, and find out if I am having fun or not. I shared my pattern making process, which is something I preach about because making my own pattern gave me the freedom and the capability I want in my craft. Then I realized I enjoy sharing these parts of me, and decided to document my actual processes and share them online. Question answered - I do wanted to share my way, hoping to inspire others in the process.

Another question I asked myself last year was, how much do I love collecting and what are my limitations? I went through a massive self questioning about this because I started my craft and this blog for the love of dolls, and it seems like for years of adding more dolls and fabrics and miniatures into my room, I felt empty. I have too much around but I didn't have the time to enjoy them. I didn't have enough time to look at each of them and appreciate. I then asked myself, am I collecting for the right reasons? My financial health is dwindling, because I probably have been buying too much, and forgetting about the profound reasons. So I took one hard look at my collections - dolls, fabrics, art materials, miniatures. They are such wonderful reminders of the good things in my life, past and present. The people who were kind to me, my old self, my fearless self, the parts of me that I should never forget, and even try to nurture more in my life because somehow they matter more. So my answer to that question was to pause collecting and try to enjoy what I have. Just focus on what I have, not having to buy new things, and just appreciate their existence with me. My pocket is super happy; a wonderful manifestation of this answer.

Lastly, I answered so many questions about myself. My old, suffering version of me had a long list and I had to help out. You probably can tell my MIA days; that was when I curled in a corner but faced my fears. Fortunately, I have a loving husband to cuddle me in times of self-destruction of sorts. I realized so many things that I finally stopped blaming everyone. I accepted my fate and my past, and I felt so much lighter.

Thus, this kind of excitement - the highest level so far! And I am very happy to be prancing my way to this new year. I won't promise to blog often because most of the time, a current question plaguing me will be easily answered as me and hubby have our daily morning coffee together by the garage our house. But I promise to be as open and authentic and brave as this as I am with my craft. I know you will be here with me, and as I am will be, with you. I realized that life is just a series of questions to be answered. The way I used to see was that it was a chain of skills to master, titles to achieve, bank accounts to fatten. Nope. And I'm so much more excited to know this own truth. Who knows what 2018 will bring - but I am so excited to embrace everything. Everything has a reason and with love and acceptance, life is going to be well.

I made a little YouTube video as a tribute to the awesome year that was 2017. Me and the girls are super grateful!


A million hugs to you, my dear and I would like to wholeheartedly extend to you this childish excitement of mine. It's so sweet and true, it's worth sharing with you. Have an even more awesome 2018, dollies!

love lots,
shasha

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Yay - featured again!

Hey dolly gang!

I just wanna share with you another happy moment in this little crafter's life: my little story as an entrepreneur is featured in one of Asia's best source of up-to-date parenting and child education know-how - Parents' Guide Asia

It was an honor for me to be invited to share my thoughts 
on entrepreneurship as an alternative to the typical 9-5 job.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Stephen!

Surprisingly, it feels wonderful to write about my own experience as the person
behind the little dresses and tiny doll faces.
That was a great warm-up to finally write that About Me page
there after being blank for years, right?
About time, right? 
Tee hee...

Below is the photo I submitted for the article, which you can find here.

Aki and I in Kyoto, Japan last October 2017

I hope you enjoy that little something about the thought behind the process.

Oh, and I realize this might be the first time I shared my most recent photo here on the blog?
Wow, so so sorry for that, darlings!

I did plan on sharing some photos of our Japan trip, with me and my family in them,
but since it feels like the delay had been too much,
I thought I'd just skip.

Oh, I did share some photos in flickr.
You might like to check some of Aki's photos there, too ;)

So, see you soon, my loves, and again,
thank you so much for all the support and love!

xoxo,
shasha

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Creative Doll Collector of the Month: Betty of @allthelittledolls

Happy new weekend there, doll-lings! 
What are you up to for this week's mini-vacay? 
I hope you aren't one of those running around for Christmas presents, trying to complete the list during the remaining weekends before Christmas. 
I have been there and it was always a mess. 
The only solution was to do shopping months ahead!

But before I completely digress,
let's get back to the very reason of this post.

Today, I am so happy that this series is revived!
Thanks to this gal that I was so ecstatic when she said yes for our little interview.
I have been a fan of her work since I discovered her Instagram account, @allthelittledolls!
I love her Barbie doll repaints because they look like real people,
and her diorama sets are super cozy and fun!

A post shared by Betty S (@allthelittledolls) on


I don't want to spoil your excitement so without further ado,
here's our interview with Australia-based custom doll artist and Etsy seller 
Betty S from @allthelittledolls!

Please tell us something about yourself that we don’t get to find out in your social media channels.

Betty S: 
I have a mild addiction to playing The Sims. 
My current computer doesn’t like the game though so I make do by creating the doll dioramas 
and different characters and families in doll form. 

When did you start collecting dolls as an adult? As a child?

Betty S: 
I’ve always had some sort of doll collection. 
I’ve got about 15 Cabbage Patch Kids stored at my mum’s house 
and also many barbies. 

What type/s of dolls first interested you?

Betty S: 
Definitely Barbies.

A post shared by Betty S (@allthelittledolls) on

What is your current collection composed of?
Betty S: 
My current collection is composed of a few “forever Barbies 
and Barbie related dolls” 
and 8 reborns/Ashton Drake Dolls.

A post shared by Betty S (@allthelittledolls) on


What draws you to these dolls?

Betty S: 
I enjoy the work that goes into creating them. 
I also love to imagine who they would be if they were actual people 
and style them accordingly.

What creative pursuits do you currently have that are related to dolls or miniatures?

Betty S: 
I’m always wrestling with the sewing machine to attempt to make clothing.
People do ask if I will sell the clothes I make but I’m no sewing mastermind
so only time will tell. 

I also enjoy making small props to go with dolls 
and would like to be able to create them as accessories to go with my regular sales.


What makes these doll-related activities very interesting for you?

Betty S: 
It’s something to do to relax and exercise my mind unless it’s sewing. 
Sewing is evil. 

Aside from doll collecting and crafting, what are your other interests?

Betty S: 
When I’m not doing doll related things, 
I enjoy reading, drawing and watching movies or tv series.


It has been a while since I starting becoming a fan of your work
and I notice that you are very vocal about a few social advocacy 
like breastfeeding, and the LGBT community. 

Can you tell us about why these have a special place in your heart?

Betty S: 
I have many family and friends who are members of the LGBTQ community
and feel that their rights are just as important as my own so it’s important that I, 
and others, stand with them.


As for breast feeding, I believe that it is a mother’s right to feed her child 
when they are hungry and that no person should stand in the way of them doing so. 
It is a natural and beautiful thing.



Please tell us more about your girl Delilah and how she came to be as cool as she is!

Betty S: 
Delilah has always been a favourite. 
She was a happy sort of accident, if you can believe it. 
The original doll was just a pink top MTM, and my first one, 
so I wanted to see how far away from the typical barbie image I could push her look.

A post shared by Betty S (@allthelittledolls) on

She was originally designed to be a bit of a tomboy but she evolved and became far more.

How do you think your art/creative pursuits contribute to your life, as a whole?

Betty S:
It has helped to give me a greater purpose. 
Before, I was more focused on being a mother 
but as my children have grown and started school, 
I’ve needed a creative outlet.


What is your most favorite art/craft material? 
Okay, you can give three. I know how we love them that much ;D

Betty S: 
Watercolour pencils, scrapbook paper, tacky glue

A post shared by Betty S (@allthelittledolls) on


How are you able to manage time between your family/work life and the miniature world? 

Betty S: 
My oldest started attending school 5 days a week this year 
and my youngest goes to childcare 3 days a week 
so it allows me to allocate 3 days of the week to errands, repaints and self care. 

The school holidays start at the end of this week so I’ll need to reallocate my time ahhh ๐Ÿ˜‚

Can you share some tips to those who are interested to learn repainting dolls 
and the other cool things that you do?

Betty S: 
Research is key. 
When I first discovered the doll repainting phenomenon, 
I was seeking a cheaper alternative to ball jointed dolls 
and found people repainting store bought dolls on YouTube. 
Through their tutorials, I learned the key techniques I use 
and which materials to buy to make them most effective. 

Also, investing in good quality materials and finding the correct ones for you is very helpful. 
I tried using acrylics but have never had the knack with those. 
I much prefer pencil work.

Other than repaints, diorama making as well as this latest one – miniature cat making, what are the projects you have in mind that we can expect from you and your Etsy shop?


Betty S: 
One of the things I should have mentioned earlier about myself, I am a terrible planner! 
I usually just take the ideas as they come and roll with them so I won’t make promises 
but I would love to expand my store to include things for dolls someday if I can.

** end of interview**

And that's it, guys!
I hope Betty's story and tips inspired you to even be more creative with your doll collection.

If you are interested in owning one of Betty's artworks,
she runs a shop over at Etsy, too!

You can also check out her Facebook page,
if you happen to be there more often.

Thanks so much again to Betty for allowing us to share her art and story
to our doll community here.

And thanks to you for dropping by!

Chat with you again soon!

xoxo,
shasha