Feb 20, 2017

Hard Lessons Learned...

Last October I met a woman at my doll show booth who asked me to consider selling my dolls at her antique booth on consignment.  She seemed so thrilled with my work, and invited me to come down (the shop is two hours away from me) to see the shop--really a series of five booths in an antique mall, and so I did.  The shop was fascinating and apparently very popular.  So we talked, and though I was a little nervous about her scattered, unfocused ways, her enthusiasm about how well my dolls would sell there convinced me to give it a try.

Here are the lessons I learned:
1. Just because she and I are doll lovers, doesn't mean her customers would be.  They shop there for the antiques, and her mass-produced, made-in-china doll reproductions (big names like Nicole Sayers and Bethany Lowe) sell well.  My dolls, hand made and one of a kind, did not.  I sold one, plus the candlestick doll she herself bought.

2.  Get it alllll in writing.  People lie.

3. Do NOT let someone "gift" you anything, blithely tossing things at you as if they are the soul of generosity.  It's a trap.  You'll get charged for them later, when she gets mad.

4. Follow your instincts: if the little hairs on the back of your neck say this is too good to be true, it is.

So all in all, I am getting a third of the amount for the doll I sold, rather than the 90% I would at a doll show after expenses, and none at all for the doll she bought, because I just didn't get anything in writing.  Dumb, and I would beat myself up for it, but I'm just too sad and disgusted by the whole thing.  Lessons learned are not always painful, but you sure remember the ones that are!

Today is a holiday--at least the hubs isn't working--and wet from a couple day's rain, so I can't go out and dig in the slow spring that is warming our high desert.  But I do have some iris catalogues to peruse!  I also have a bunch of seeds to start in little window-sill pots--cosmos and milkweed and Mexican sunflower, and several more.  Good medicine, playing in the soil, even if it's on the kitchen counter.  Also--an Izzy to dress and send to her new momma.


Feb 14, 2017

Warning: shameless product promotion!

No, I am in NO way affiliated or being paid for this promotion.  I just wanted to tell y'all about a cooking method I discovered.

Phil joined me in the Meat Only eating over a year ago, so I was cooking him a ginormous hamburger patty (just shy of a lb) every day at lunch.  He likes his almost burnt to a cinder, and cooking this in a pan--even with a splatter screen AND papertowelage--made a mess of the kitchen.  Every day.  It got to where I had to clean the vent-hood every couple of days, wipe the upper cabinet doors down weekly, etc.  Not fun!

I'm not a clean freak--one look at my house and you would be assured.  But I do have to have a grease free kitchen.  Some friends on a facebook forum (called Zero Carb Health, if you're curious) have for a couple years now been talking about the Nu Wave cooker they use and how they love it.  Well I am almost anti-gadget when it comes to the kitchen.  Manual can opener, a whisk instead of a mixer--you get the idea.  So I resisted.

But after a year of daily hamburger mess, I decided to try it.  So glad I did!  Not only because it keeps the kitchen clean, but the food!  Oh my goodness!

I haven't cooked anything in it but meat...'cause, well, that's all we eat.  But the meat!  Crispy outside, moist and juicy inside, and fast.  Super fast.  I eat a lot--over two lbs a day, and he eats almost that much (needs to eat more, but you just can't hurry these things.  He'll learn.)  and sometimes the little rack to cook on is just not big enough for both our steaks, but for folks who eat "normal" amounts of meat, you can cook the whole meal right there in the bowl--meat on top, veggies on bottom.

The thing Phil likes best about it is that once I figured the time for his burger, it comes out just exactly the way he likes it, every. single. time.  No guessing, no having to "finish" his burger in the microwave because I under-cooked it.  (I like mine rare, so...)  

The cooker I bought was not a Nu-Wave.  I wanted a glass bowl instead of the plastic one, and Nu-Wave doesn't sell one with a glass bowl.  I got the "Big Boss" on Amazon.  There are different kinds, and some work with dials, some with digital pre-sets.  I like the digital as it's more accurate.  Also, a word to the wise: the glass bowl is a heavy sumbitch, and I do clean it every day.

Still worth it!  At any rate, I wanted to tell y'all about it, and if you've heard of this "counter top oven", but wondered if it's Just Another Gadget, it's not!

I promise I will go back to my normal posts after this, but if we were sitting around having a cup of coffee together, I'd want to share the info with you as a friend.  So there.  Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

(P.S. Just in case you're curious, I'll have been strictly carnivore for two years in March...no supplements, not so much as a lettuce leaf of plant food at all in two years.  And I'm thriving!  It's a mystery, isn't it?)

Feb 7, 2017

Red is Ready

Last October, I got to meet Connie Tognoli at our area doll show--and see her incredible work in person.  I bought a tiny rabbit, and then fell in love with her Pinocchio doll.  She in turn asked for a small Izannah, but wanted her to be dressed as Red Riding Hood.  Having always wanted to make one--and never stopping long enough to do so--this suited me right down to the ground!  So Red is ready to go to her new home.

If you sculpt, you know that each work is different, and once in a while a face "appears" that you know you'll never be able to reproduce.  That's how this doll is for me--she has a face that really pleases me.  But as Connie wasn't home to get her for a while, I got to keep Red with me a little while, and I liked having her around.

Pinocchio is jointed with amazing flap & button (not sure the right name) joints, and his detail is amazing--and Jiminy Cricket?  He's a character.  I have to keep them up high because my cat loves them.  So they have their own shelf above some of my other dolls. 

And this little rabbit!  She's only three inches tall--maybe not quite that tall.  I don't know what it is, but that teeny little dress and her teeny jointed limbs decided me.  

Red's cloak has deep olive green threads running through it--the fabric is some kind of flannel homespun, or maybe brushed cotton.  She's a small one--only 15" tall.  But I find that's a good size for collectors--as we all seem to crowd our shelves!  Her basket has a bunch of sculpted food for Grandma--cabbages, turnips, pears & apples, and several loaves of bread.  It all brought to mind my miniature-making Momma when I made those--I thought of her constantly while I made them, knowing how much fun she would have had with such an "assignment".  

I'm working on the next commission--an 18/19 inch brown-eyed Izzy who wants a blue dress.  Can I just say I love my job?  :~)  Given my new-found fascination with wool applique and such, I am fulfilling a New Year's Resolution to work on my own projects at night during TV time, and on dolls during the day.  It just doesn't get any better!