Thursday, October 4, 2012

if not for frustration...

When I look at my Etsy shop, my foldable atelier, my dolls, I always think of the many people and things I want to thank every day.
Cece wearing a chiffon top that challenged me a lot...

I want to thank my family, who didn’t mind the endless roaring of my sewing machine and the mess that I obliviously inject in our living room every time. I get chills when I think of my parents, who are responsible for my talents and attitude toward life. I get elated when I think of my dolly friends, who continuously believe in me and in what I can do, eager to send me inspirational messages and photos. To nature, for being such a wonderful world to live in. For the internet (and the people behind it), for allowing everyone to reach out to the rest of the world. My sewing machine, my fave fabric shop and the nice sales ladies there, the postal office staff, and the list goes on…

But I’d like to stress out one thing. One thing that also keeps me going. That one thing that stays with me even in the wee hours of the night. Pushing me to work harder, fight my temptation to give up, and to remind myself to see my end goal with a clearer view. I’m not talking about CNN that reminds me to work ‘green’, or Facebook when I need to look away from my table for a minute or two. It’s not even my cup of tea. I’m talking about frustration. If not for it, I could’ve just easily put off my sewing projects forever. Sounds illogical, no? Well, this is how I see it.

When I used to work on something, worked hard from design to construction then came up with something undesirable, I get seriously frustrated. Years back, when things don’t go according to plan, or design, in my case, I would stop sewing and do something else, like watch tv or rummage the fridge. With frustration, I did stop sewing and tried doing other things for a long time. And after pursuing those other things for a few years, I realized that it’s not really what I wanted to do. I had to get back to sewing.

Subsequently, I started picking materials, which is one of my most favorite parts of this job. I started committing to my rediscovered love. I even signed up for an online shop to really, finally get to it and get back to making tiny things again. So do you see now how frustration got me this far?
Recently, even with my relatively improved sewing skills and better cleaning/maintenance routine for my sewing machine, I still get my occasional mishaps. During those ‘bad’ times, I still feel frustrated. But I see frustration now as a tool, a positive one – to do things better. When I feel frustrated, I look at my work, take a deep breath, and try to remind myself what I want to see. So what if this prototype looked awful? I look at it now as part of my process, to learn from it, and make it a reason for me to work harder the next time. It’s so much easier to deal with frustration when you see it in a positive way :)

I’m sure you guys have been frustrated at least once in your doll collecting lives. Broke a doll’s hand, lost an ebay bid to another collector, or tore a doll top after ecstatically getting it off the packaging? What are your experiences? Do you think I’m just imagining? Or sometimes, seeing frustration in the a positive light helps, too? :)


  1. You are not imagining it! I am actually fueled by my frustrations. It keeps me on my toes and forces me to rethink and retry until I get whatever I'm working on just right. Sometimes it's not even a finished project, I just have to get over the hurdle which is sometimes half the battle.

  2. Oh, thank you for reassuring me I'm not alone, Muff dear :) I agree - the idea that you tried and you found the solution to the problem already is an accomplishment per se! :)

  3. Hello from Spain: I understand you very well. At some point in my life I felt frustrated but I I never get tired. I always try again. I always in positive ..... Cheer up because your creations are always gorgeus. We keep in touch.

    1. Awww, Marta. Thanks so much. I guess, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, eh? Have a great weekend to you all :)


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