Saturday, August 25, 2018

Upcoming 7th Anniversary Giveaways!

Hey dollings!

Yes, we are on to our 7th year together!

As I write this, I can't believe that I have already been living the dream life I so longed for since I was a kid.

When I was a child, I would always have a corner in our house, where I am comfortably creating. I made doll clothes, wrote short stories, published (to friends) my own version of fairytales and fables, created posters, sewn hair pony ties, crafted tiny books and later in high school - comic books, and many other things that kept me curious and happy at the same time.

Then I started college and up until I worked 9-5, I felt not me. I felt like living someone else's life. It's because I wasn't creating things that fascinated me anymore.
But in 2011, at 31, I decided I go back to my old, happier self.

Almost 7 years ago, I opened a doll clothes shop in Etsy. I wasn't that skilled but a few trusted in me. I had 3 sales in my first 3 months and that left me feeling disappointed. But this made me even more curious, and thus, I persisted, and the cycle of happiness started again.

Fast forward to today, through all the good and bad times, I felt that I am beginning to understand the balance I need to be able to sustain this craft business - to continue with genuine love, and thus less stress.

As I celebrate our 7th year together of sharing doll memories, miniature ventures, dioramas, doll repaints, doll photography and even selling away old dolls, I'd like to bounce back to you the love I have felt through the years in this craft, which you guys helped me build and flourish. I hope that with these little presents, I, from this little corner of my house, could extend my deepest gratitude through all these years.

First, I'd like to give all of you who have given my tiny creations a space in your hearts and in your collection, the chance to win my 7th anniversary doll, Blaise. She was initially intended to be sold as an OOAK doll in Etsy but I was too scared to sell her.

She once had a very light stain on her face, but I was able to remove that a few days ago and that made me so happy. So happy that instead of selling her, I will be giving her to someone who has never tired of supporting me, and who will treasure her forever. The way to enter this one (of three) giveaways, is just to email me (at ateliernishashaatgmaildotcom) why you want her in your collection. For more of Blaise, I will post additional photos of her in Flickr for your reference. I will raffle the candidates in a live video in Instagram, probably by the 30th of September, to cap off the whole month celebration. She will come in her original Made to Move Barbie body, and in a very-atelierniSHASHA outfit which I will make soon.

The second giveaway would be the sewing pattern giveaway, wherein for the month of September, 10 lucky winners will receive a sewing pattern of their doll's favorite go-to closet item. This will be open to everyone who follows my social media, and all one has to do is comment the said closet item in the giveaway post (you can also comment here if you don't follow me on Instagram, Flickr, Youtube or Facebook). I will be  more than happy to make you a sewing pattern that you will want to create more versions of. This giveaway will consist of 5 (five) draws, each with 2 (two) winners. I am going to draw winners  in all 5 weekends of September. The schedule will look something like this:

                                Accepting of Entries        Drawing of 2 winners per weekend
Aug 25 - Sept 1, 2018                         Sept 2
Sept 2 - Sept 8, 2018                           Sept 9
Sept 9 - Sept 15, 2018                         Sept 16
Sept 16 - Sept 22, 2018                       Sept 23
Sept 23 - Sept 29, 2018                       Sept 30

Schedule based on Manila time

Each lucky winner in this giveaway will need to communicate with me and provide email address where I will send their sewing pattern prize in downloadable pdf format. The winners will receive their patterns the week after the names are drawn. I would like to note though that my dolls are limited to mostly just sixth scale so I cannot make patterns other than those. I'll probably create a separate page for this giveaway for more details. (Edit: linked the page now...)

Last but not the least, I will have all items in my Etsy shop, discounted at 10 percent off in all 5 weekends of the month of September. On September 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 and 29-30, all items will be at 10% off. You will find the discount code in my shop front.

You can enter in all giveaways with one entry in each post ;)
As for the coupon codes, so you can use it for all September long ;)

That is just a few of the things I have prepared so I hope with that, you can feel my love and passion and all things wonderful, coming from this tiny corner of my house called atelierniSHASHA.

Thank you so much for your time and I wish you a great weekend, dollings.

love lots,

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Designer vs Artist

Hey dollings!

I finally had the courage to (re)visit my box of WIPs.
And indeed, they are as messy as I expect them to be.
Before you get carried away by my random burst of emotions,
let me share with you a story about Ms. Designer and Ms. Artist.

There are two energies roaming around the atelier every single day - Ms. Designer and Ms. Artist.
Ms. Designer wants to lead, and Ms. Artist is too busy pursuing to understand what's in front of her that she'd rather be left in a corner, alone. The designer wants to create a project worthy of her time. She always creates a system that enables her to gain from that project so that she will not only survive in the modern world, but also thrive.

Ms. Designer always thinks of the end product. She always almost sees the final result through her sketches and prototypes. She also already has set an idea on what she's getting from the project.
She also finds time to inject in the minor components of the project, and tries hard to focus on each aspect, major or minor, so that the project  finishes smoothly. 
She always has her mind set for the goal.

Now, Ms. Artist on the other hand, as she tries to answer her many, many, many questions, will probably just chuck her "answers" to Ms. Designer and then go back to her nook quickly.
Ms. Artist never thinks whether what she's doing is going to produce something valuable or not.
She just wanted to understand what is in front of her, right now.
She never ever cares about gaining anything else from it except that one answer for each question. She just wanted to go on working just because that's what she feels needs to be done. Ms. Artist just wanted to answer the question now, and move on to the next after.

Often times, Ms. Artist gets so excited with an idea she'd buy so many materials that somehow enchanted her. These materials probably showered her with so many questions that she was more than thrilled to answer. She doesn't care if the materials were expensive, or if they were even usable.
All she knew is that she wanted to experience the material. She wanted to know how she can work with the material. She just wanted that peaceful feeling with her encounter.
She isn't thinking at all.

Ms. Designer then takes all the materials that excited Ms. Artist shared with her. Since she trusts her partner, Ms. Designer then gets thrilled of the idea of making something out of those materials. She then dreams of products to create, and then sets up a system to make the project profitable. She's got it all figured out.

And so they start working together, like that, as they always do.

But there's always something amiss.

And when things get awry, the atelier becomes this literal mess.


Nothing dramatic, really, guys.

I'm just trying to understand why I always end up not finishing some projects.

To be fair, these are old projects. 
More recently, I had been really good at balancing the two energies.
I allow each other to communicate, really deeply, before taking on something.
I had been able to finish most of my projects lately.

My question today really is should I hold on to this chunk of past,
reminding me to own up to what I have started,
but also be playing deaf with what I am in love with as of the moment?

Ms. Designer estimates this could take me 6 months to finish.
And Ms. Artist just presented me with fun new project ideas worth 6 months of work.

What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Travel gal Blaise (my supposed first OOAK doll at the shop)

Some of you might have already seen this gal in my previous post.
Yes, she is supposed to be an OOAK doll with outfits listed with her, 
to be listed in my shop weeks ago, as but several things were and are still bugging me.

First, since I work in a dark room, I failed to notice some very light stains on her right cheek
 until I took her out for this photo shoot. They're too light to be noticed but my OC tendencies
can't lie.

Lesson learned? Work in a place with great lighting.
And when I say great, I'm talking about outdoor lighting.
Recently, I moved my working table next to the window
to be able to get good natural light during the day.
I however still don't get much as we have window screens installed
to protect us from mosquitoes.

I tried repainting in our garage one time but I got dehydrated
because of the heat.
So I am assigning that small nook at the back corner of the house
as my painting area, where there's enough daylight, and not too much dry, hot air.
But I need to do a renovation of sorts with it.
I need to put it in my to-do list soonest.

Now back to this doll I'm calling Blaise.

While I was photographing her,
since I was outside of the house, literally,
I was a bit uncomfortable.
For some reason, I broke one of her shoes.
Meaning, I had to make her new shoes again.

Lesson learned? Make really, really good shoes.
I have never made enough shoes for my girls as I focus on clothing.
But this time, if I do want to sell OOAK dolls and outfits,
I need to up my game in this department.

If not for those two reasons,
she's probably already in a doll collector's shopping cart now.

The stains on her cheek is the trickiest though since 
they can't be removed by water.
If I used acetone, it would leave patches or "shallow holes"
on her cheek. This was what happened to my other gal.
Can't afford to commit the same mistake again.

Now, I'm not sure if I'm going to repaint her.
I probably would, which is painful because
I liked this look of her. And repainting is relatively a new skill for me,
so it will take a day at least.

There were also other reasons why it took me a while to take a photo of her.
That top part of her outfit was the third I made because of course, I wanted it to fit perfectly.
It takes a longer time to make as it is fully lined.

I also initially made a Bali-inspired "rattan"/wicker
round shoulder bag for her but I feel that my bag-making skill
is worse than shoe making. Took me a while to give her the Siargao tote.

Oh, the hat. That hat she's wearing is the sixth I made.
I was so happy to finally arrive at this version.
I'm planning to make a few more.
I'll also document the process so I can share with you guys some time.

The accessories! Oh, geez.
I realized I haven't been accessorizing my girls enough lately
that I forgot how to even do it.
I'm glad that I have those tiny beads fit for her "traveller look".

Up to this point, I'm still clueless as to how I would proceed with Blaise.
She was supposed to be my first OOAK doll to be listed in my shop,
but I'm frozen with so many thoughts, fear.

What do you guys think of her?
I'd love to hear your honest opinion on this venture.
 Thank you so much in advance.

much love,
s h a s h a

Thursday, August 2, 2018