Friday, June 9, 2017

Minimalism and creativity...

Hi guys... Wow, it's been a month since I haven't shared my thoughts here. Maybe because I have been thinking a whole lot about my life, my craft, my future...

And to be honest, I have been a little weary to talk about this topic here because I'm afraid I might offend someone even if I didn't mean to, or maybe the idea of possibly losing people in this little community was scary. But I just have to be brave enough for my resolutions. This I think is crucial for my future, and my life in general.

2010, I guess?

See, I have started my adult doll collecting in 2010 with my first two Momokos. Well, the first Barbie in my adult life was bought in 2009, so maybe that was technically the start of it all. From then, I have amassed quite a number, a good mix of brand new/dressed, nude and second-hand girls. I had been really happy, don't get me wrong. But this took a toll on my bills. For the past several years, I have to admit that I am not buying anymore for the right reasons.

Initially, I wanted to buy dolls because they make me happy. But as I go about adding and adding to my pile, I told myself I had to do something to sustain the activity (financially). So I tapped my other passions, doll clothes making. This is also great because I bought a lot of nude dolls and they better get dressed soon! So I made them a wardrobe to share, and eventually decided to open a shop.

Fast forward to seven years, however, the fun had been trailing along with some kinda burden. I felt the need to buy more fabrics because I had to dress up the ever increasing number of different characters (and varied "fashion styles"). I felt the need to also give them (all) a safe haven. I felt the need to get more and more materials to make them accessories. I felt the need to come up with back stories for each one of them. I felt the need to add more dolls because they had to have friends, too! I felt the need to add more so I keep on dipping and dipping into my disposable income then eventually my credit cards. Simply put, I lost control of my finances. 

The past 2.5 years had been I must say the most awesome part of my life. I learned so much, not only the skills in making doll clothes and diorama, but also the necessary business acumen to run my Etsy shop - alone. Those were crucial for the financial part of my life, partially, it took me a long while to learn about the other part - how to be wise with spending what you earn. 

Most importantly, I have been learning about perseverance. I had been neglecting this aspect of my craft despite having it side by side with me from day one. I have only started recognizing its presence in the past few months. And I'm learning so much from recognizing it. In life, happiness isn't the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is the tiny bits in our daily lives, on top of perseverance, patience, hard work, among other rock-solid foundation to truly call it a meaningful day.

So from there I realized that I don't need much, to appreciate the tiny bits everyday. Some of you may have read about my Utilitarian post recently. I can now connect why I had those thoughts. I wanted a simpler life. Less stuff to stress about. More on the more important things that bring in tiny joys everyday.

I am not selling all my dolls, or closing my shop, my dearies. But I will slowly be downsizing everything, including the dolls that have given me joy in the past, but I don't get to see anymore. Some were in my drawers, nude, for at least 6 months. And that bugs me, because I think I got lost in the forest. I forgot about the purpose. I started collecting for the joy, and now, the joy is buried from under the many responsibilities brought about by having too many sources of joy. I only need those tiny bits, I realized. Those are enough.

This is what's been on my mind, recently, and I will continue to come up with creative ways to downsize. I have already started one resolution and that is to not buy another fabric unless I use up five different kinds from my stash. I have not bought a new fabric for a month or two now. That was a big accomplishment for me because in the past, I used to get so weak and immediately buy what I find that tickles my creativity over at the fabric store. Bad idea for my finances. I don't even have the time to make all my designs!

I also will slowly convert some of my dolls into OOAK ones, that I plan to sell on Etsy in the future. I don't want to just sell them away nude or something. They gave me so much joy, so when they move out, I would want them to be as adorable as they have been to me in their new homes. 

I am planning to keep a maximum of 10 dolls hopefully. A number that I can get to play with, with equal amounts of love. There's no reason for a beautiful doll to be in the box for six months. 

I may come up with new ideas in the future but that's all I have for now. This isn't just about my taking care of my finances. It's about having less stress, more meaningful time for life. It indeed is short. I'm 36 now and I have yet to learn so much about life. I am excited to create, so I need more space for clarity. I hope I'm on the right track, but of course there's always a place to detour and rethink.

Hugs and kisses to you, my dear dolly friends. I'll still be here to document this new journey and I hope you will stick with me on this.

xoxo,
shasha

16 comments:

  1. Shasha this is a great plan. We will still get to see your creativity. I was anxiously hoping that you were not writing to say that you were going to leave us. I am thankful for that. Keep on being the creative person that you are. Many blessings to you on your new journey!! I will be here following you along the way. I bid you many blessings and prosperity my friend!!

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    1. Hi Vickey, thank you so much for the support, dear, through these years. Nope, I'm not going away, I just need to downsize so I can focus on creating. And having you with me in this little doll community of ours will surely make this change easier for me ;) Thank you so so much!

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  2. Wow, it's great to know I'm not the only going through something like this. Over the last 2 years I had been growing my collection, but all that spending has taken it's toll on my finances as well. I was buying dolls for the same reason as you: so my other dolls can have friends and I can do large group scenes/scenarios, etc. It was fun at first, but I ended up having over 120 dolls, and then it became overwhelming and stressful. Last year, I decided to sell all of my dolls except for my favorites, so now I have 8 dolls that I actually play with, and a few of my original Stacie, Kelly, and Skipper dolls that I keep for sentimental reasons. I've decided not to buy anymore dolls as of May 2017, but we'll see how that goes. For now, I'm focusing on only buying doll clothes and diorama items.

    I think as collectors, we sometimes get so caught up in "collecting", that we forget why we are collecting. We want as many dolls as we can get so we can create our own miniature world, that we forget how fun and rewarding it is to be able to spend quality time with your favorite dolls and not have to consider all the "extras". Large collection work for some people, but it didn't for me and I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who are also overwhelmed but feel pressure to continue buying and collecting. But as you mentioned, it is a learning experience and once you get to the point when doll collecting becomes a burden and isn't fun, you really have to evaluate your collection and where you want it to go and what you want it to represent.

    This is a touchy subject in the doll collecting community, so I'm very proud of you for having the courage to share your thoughts and experiences!

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    1. You have mentioned in our previous conversation about your downsizing, and felt supported by it, but still not as ready to come out as now. Thank you for that, dear. While you focus on buying clothing and diorama items, I focus on making them tee hee...

      Yes, indeed it is a touchy subject and I am not saying there is a right or wrong way to collect. I just happened to realize that if I continue my way, it's not gonna do me good. SO I gotta take action, and this is my plan.

      Thanks so much for the support, dear. I am even more confident to express my thoughts now, thanks to you all. xoxo...

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  3. Wow, I really admire you for coming to this realization. I probably should downsize my doll collection, and at some point I will. But, I still get so much enjoyment out of them. I really don't need anymore, but there is something about getting a new doll that just still brings me so much joy. But then, that is what it is all about, isn't it? It should bring you joy and should not be a burden to you. If that means have a large community of dolls for some, then that is OK. If it means paring down your collection to a treasured few, then that is also OK. I hope you still continue to create and sell clothing as I love the items I have purchased from you and I would miss you if I didn't see your beautiful creations!

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    1. Hi Phyllis, don't worry, my dear... I will stay, because I love making things for my dolls. It's just that I can't make enough for all the dolls I own and it's kind of unfair for the rest of my collection just sleeping there, for months. So I'm just keeping those that seem to give me more joy and burden. Yes, as long as we are not burdened by our collection, no matter how large it is, nothing wrong with it. In my case, I had to trim down else I am going to have bigger burdens in the future... I will continue to dress up our girls, dear and I am so happy to know you are there to support my creations! Hugs!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and plans with us. I feel I can relate to many points in your post. I hope the downsizing goes well and I look forward to having you stick around and find the joy in creating and collecting again.

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    1. Thank you so much for the well wishes, Jewell... I have been going through a lot of thinking the past months and one of the things I need to do is to downsize. I will always love my dolls, and I won't stop creating for them. I will just be here sharing what I do and love with you, and it would be the sweetest to have you stick with me, too. Thanks so so much ... xoxo...

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  5. Hi Sasha! Great post! I understand how you feel about having too many dolls and not being able to play with all of them, but sometimes I can't help but wanting all the dolls I see. I'm glad you're not closing your store and I hope to see more of your designs.
    Cheers!

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    1. Hi darling... I am not closing my shop because it is one of the things I love the most. If I would also purge on my personal pursuits (have way too many as well), I would choose to keep two - my visual arts and miniature making. They let me be the truest me. THey're part of my survival arsenal ;) Wanting dolls will always be there, but I should also always check how adding and adding will affect my life as a whole... xoxo...

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  6. Hi Sasha! I think we are birth-separated sisters LOL For we face quite the same life dilemmas. I too am downsizing my collection, mainly for the same reasons as you, but also because I need to feel "lighter" in my everyday day. I'm not brave enough to keep only 10 dolls, but I'm not buying for a several time now. On the other hand, my Etsy shop is simultaneously a source for my favorite hobby (doll clothing making and vintage doll stuff) and a way to finance my dolly world (and sometimes the everyday world XD). But, with a 3-year old running around, my shop is highly neglected and I'm struggling to work on that! We two should meet each other! :)

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    1. Hey V... Awww, yes, yes! Let's meet sometime! Haha - I would love to visit Portugal some time! I'll let you know when I can, okies?

      As for our downsizing ventures, yes it helps to not add one more doll for now. I just feel so sorry to not be able to accommodate all the dolls I have. I always feel like I need to give time to each of them. I feel like I have so many containers to fill. Sigh... I am doing this actually to other aspects of my life. I even deactivated my facebook account LOL. It felt lighter immediately!

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  7. Wow! You're brave LOL For me the Facebook account is also a way of communication for my friends, so I don't think it's a good idea to deactivate it. I was even wondering if you had one so we could talk lol
    As for downsizing the collection, it's not only because of having few time for each doll per se, it's also a way of being spiritually "lighter". A means of "traveling through life with fewer luggage", if you know what I mean XD

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    1. Hi V... As with Facebook, I still kept my messenger app as they are separate, so I can still be reached by my friends. This allows me to filter only those who really matter. If I wanted to know what's happening with their personal lives, I can just send a message and request for photos. I don't need to go through a flood of feed. Also, I wanted to meet people personally if I wanted to catch up. It makes me happier. For those who are out of the country or far from me even inside the country, I can always chat them. There's more to one on one chatting, than chatting on a post while the world watches. I wanted us to be more of ourselves more when we talk... You know what I mean...

      I have been going through the quest for minimalism since years ago but a lot of things in my life seem to challenge it, one of them, doll collecting. I tried being a vegan (a month) 3 years ago but when you live in a house who can't live without meat, it can really be challenging to sustain. BUt I am slowly going back to eating more plants. I am also purging all the things I have, giving away the things I just keep in the closet, waiting for a time that might never come. Ive been going through all this for long but it's just recently that I realized how this hyper-consumerism thing in my life is affecting so much how I live. Thanks so much for the support. I applaud you just the same for your quest to travel lighter. Having less, but experiencing more I think is the best way to live.

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