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Pumpkin Head Dolls!

New In Shop!

I have two new dolls available in the shop today! Nutmeg and Ginger are little pumpkin leshys. I’ve based them on the gourd leshys that my tabletop roll-playing game (Pathfinder/Dungeons and Dragons) character Karkarelia (druid) created. Leshys from Russian folklore seem a whole lot scarier than my cute little pumpkin heads!

Ginger (in the beige boots) and Nutmeg (in the tan boots) are both available for purchase in my shop! And don’t forget about Saffron and Russell! Ginger and Nutmegs much older, and much better behaved cousins!

Go Marielle!

And don’t forget to read about Marielle’s latest adventures! Two new stores are posted each week on Wednesdays and Saturdays on her Instagram account, go_marielle_go! There are additional shorter posts made every other day of the week!

Thank you for reading! And I’ll see you again next Friday!

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Shop Update!

There are three new dolls available in my shop today! I’ve had a lot of fun creating these three dolls and I hope that they find new homes soon! As always, my dolls are one-of-a-kind creations. The patterns used have been created by me. Each doll has a unique name that will never be used again in my future doll making. When you purchase one of my handmade dolls, know that you are getting a piece of unique artwork!

Zoë and her little kitty Renata are full of all kinds of mischief! Read more about them in their bio in my shop!

 

Russell is made for the season! He’d be a great addition to anyone’s Halloween! Read more about him in his bio in the shop!

 

Saffron is such a sweetheart! She’d be a great addition to anyone’s Halloween! Read more about her in the bio in the shop!

 

Limited Time Offer!

I’m offering free shipping on these three dolls for the first four days that they are listed in the shop! If you purchase any of these four dolls (or all four dolls) before 9:00 am September 29, 2020, Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) you will get free standard shipping (estimated 7-14 days delivery from Finland)!

Go Marielle!

Don’t miss any of Marielle’s adventures! Daily posts are made one her Instagram at go_marielle_go. Twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a full length story is posted to the same Instagram account!

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me! You can find the ‘Contact’ button in my black menu bar at the top of my Welcome page!

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Gang of 4 (New Dolls)

Today I’m adding a little gang of four dolls to my online shop! These dolls are fall under the Little Ladies style of dolls. But they’re the largest size I make in this series. These Little Ladies all wear boots, so I’m calling them Little Lady Boots! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, Facebook, or Ko-fi, then you have seen some of creative progress of these new dolls.

Doll Details:

Each doll is 12 cm tall (4.75 in.) and can stand on their own while they are wearing their boots. All of the dolls are jointed and can be gently posed. This makes them perfect with 1:12 scale miniature furniture and doll houses. As always, each and every doll I make is a one-of-a-kind original doll made completely from my own patterns and designs. I use names once and once only, so there will never be another Donna, April, Malvi or Tähti made by me!

Donna the doll in brown boots, and Tähti is the doll in yellow boots.

 

April is the doll in yellow boots, and Malvi is the doll in brown boots.

 

For a Limited Time Only!

I’m offering free shipping on these four dolls for the first four days that they are listed in the shop! If you purchase any of these four dolls (or all four dolls) before 9:00 am September 15, 2020, Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) you will get free standard shipping (estimated 7-14 days delivery from Finland).

Go Marielle!

I also wanted to announce that I have set up a separate Instagram account for little Marielle! You can find her at Go_Marielle_Go on Instagram. Posts with the continuing adventures of Marielle will be made on this account twice a week for the next month. I will also add a Go Marielle! page to my website, with a bio, links and additional pictures. Don’t miss out on what Marielle is getting up to! Click that ‘follow’ button!

As always, if you have any questions or comments contact me or leave a comment below!

Thank you for reading, and I will see you again next Friday!

Links:

Gang of Four is awesome! Entertainment! blew my doors in when I first gave it a listen so many years ago.

Damaged Goods

Natural’s Not In It

 

 

 

 

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New Little Ladies Added to the Shop!

New Little Ladies have been added to the shop!

Hello and happy Friday to everyone! I hope that everyone is having a terrific day! Three Little Ladies have been added to the shop this morning and are now available for adoption. All three of them are very excited at the prospect of traveling to a new place and making new friends! Each of these Little Ladies is a uniquely self-possessed. Fearless young ladies who just happen to come in a miniature package!

Inéz:

Inéz is extremely proud of her Portuguese heritage, as well she should be! Film making and baking are her two great passions in life, along with learning to speak Portuguese more fluently. In a perfect world, she wants to conjure some way in which to link all of her passions together. A film (written and directed by Inéz) about a Portuguese bakery? Maybe a documentary about pastries? A family genealogy, made as a film? She has options!  Inéz would be the perfect companion for anyone wishing to explore their own many creative passions!

Gwenda:

Gwenda is one of the friendliest and most helpful people you will ever hope to meet! But make no mistake, she can spot a fake or a con from a mile off. This Little Lady is no push-over or easy mark. Don’t get on her the wrong side of her either. Once her mind has been made up about a person, based on their actions and words, she is implacable. IMPLACABLE. Gwenda would be a great companion for someone who perhaps seems quiet and unassuming on the outside, but who is off the charts as regards all manner of personal, inter and intra-personal intellect and empathy!

Hilaria:

Whomever adopts Hilaria, it should be known that she will sing as sweetly as a tiny songbird all day long! There is a reason why her friends and family have nicknamed her ‘Shiny’. She just beams happiness from her entirety of her tiny body! Hilaria has let me know that she would prefer to be the companion of someone who loves music. Maybe someone who writes their own music? A singer? A musician? OH! She would be in heaven!

These three Little Ladies, and many others are waiting to be adopted in my shop! Each and every one of them with their own unique stories, some of them even involve each other!

Thanks for reading, and as always, if you have any questions about a specific Little Lady, or any other doll that is in she shop, contact me directly!

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New Dolls in the Shop!

I hope everyone is having a good end of the week! I have added three new dolls to the shop! Two of these Niittykeijuja Dolls somehow flew under my radar and I forgot that I had made them! They hadn’t even been named! Poor darlings! They are two of the sweetest dolls I’ve ever made, even though I do say so myself.

Varpunen looks like she’s ready for an adventure! She’s just ready to get going to…somewhere! You can find out more information about Varpunen here!

Kiuru looks like more of a home-body to me. I think she would rather have a nice chat over a pot of tea and some cakes, don’t you think? You can find out more information about Kiuru here!

Winnie is one half of a set of dolls. Her boots can be taken off! She has a little up-cycled milk-spout with a cap in her tummy!

Shelley has an up-cycled milk-spout too, but not in her tummy. Her little green boots also can be removed, but she looks more comfortable with them on if you ask me. You can find out more information on Winnie and Shelley here!

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Little Lady Dolls Added to the Shop!

Little Lady Dolls are being added to the shop today! These three, spiffy, Little Ladies are from Series 3. They’re all in the same class in school. Each are having very, very, very different starts to the day though! Read all about Charlie, Myrtle and Pippa in the shop!

Myrtle looks as though she is ready to head off to school and have a great day! How could she not? Seriously!?

Pippa is not having the best start to her day. Everything seems to be going either sideways or just plain wrong. (Groan.)

Charlie is up and ready to have a tremendously stupendous day at school! She just exudes happiness and self-confidence, doesn’t she?

Remember! These Little Lady Dolls are one-of-a-kind! Once they have been adopted and leave the shop, no other doll with the same name, look and story will replace them! I will be adding Little Lady Dolls to my shop every week, so make sure to subscribe to get updates about new dolls in my shop!

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Strange Indeed

My website is still very much a work-in-progress, but I now have a real online store that is up and has my artwork in it for sale! Having an online store is one of those things that I have been thinking about for a very long time. I intimidated myself into the belief that I wasn’t important enough, or good enough to have my own store, I think. I’m sure that it’s linked to my deeply ingrained imposter syndrome.

I’m not doing a lot of fanfare around the opening of my store. I needed to do this the way in which I was the most comfortable. As of today, I’ve posted twenty-three items in my store. I have more items that I will be posting over the next few weeks. And I will be posting to my Instagram account regarding when new items are available in my store.

There’s so much that I feel is a work-in-progress right now. I will be continuing my regular Monday blog posts, and adding a Friday blog post as well. I still have to figure out a way to balance the work I will be doing for my website, with the actual creation of artwork. I know that once I’ve gotten my website and store to a certain point, the maintenance of it will require much less of my time.

To be honest, my brain is a little frizzled right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve done so much technical work on a computer. It just turns my brain to mush after a certain point! I’m hard-pressed to utter a coherent sentence after more than eight hours staring at my laptop screen.

I can assure you that my next Friday post will not be so…(gestures at the above four paragraphs of text widely)…like this one.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you again next Friday,

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Turn and Face the Strange…*

My time away from social media is quickly coming to an end. The break has been of great benefit to me in a variety of ways. I feel as though I have a better idea of how I want to use social media in the future so that I don’t find myself painted into yet another painful mental or emotional corner. It’s also allowed me to create art without feeling as though I have to publish every single part of my personal artistic processes.

While I’ve been taking a break, I’ve also been working on where I want to take my website in the future. I’m adding a storefront (via WooCommerce) to my site, that I hope will make it easier for customers to locate and purchase my artwork. The storefront will allow customers to simply point and click to purchase artwork, instead of contacting me personally to discuss the availability, cost and shipping of specific pieces of artwork.

I have to admit, website construction is not something that I find myself enjoying a lot. I’ve spent the greater part of the past three days crawling around in the bowels of my site, archiving blog posts and images, rearranging a lot of information, working with backups, and double-checking everything…really, quadruple-checking everything to make sure that I’ve not lost information. Images in particular are things that I don’t want to lose. I suppose that’s part and parcel of being a visual artist.

To mitigate all of the computer time, I’ve also done a thorough cleaning of ‘The Midden’. Over the past two months, the Midden had turned a corner and become ‘The Crap-Slide’. I can deal with working in a midden, but a crap-slide is a completely different animal. In a midden, I know where things are. In a crap-slide there is no organization. Piles slide into piles and get all mixed up and I can’t find anything, which results in a great deal of cursing, usually beginning with “Son-ova-a” accompanied with varying levels of crashing or banging.

I’ve organized and photographed the artwork that I will offer for sale in the new storefront. It’s all sitting patiently in boxes in the living room, because there’s not other place for it to go in the apartment. I still need to go through a great deal of the artwork I will not be offering for sale, box it up, and put it into our storage unit in the basement. I also need to make sure that all the boxes are marked correctly so I know what work is in what box in the storage unit. Hopefully this won’t take too long. Fingers crossed.

Part of me doesn’t like putting my artwork into storage. It’s not that the storage unit is damp or gross or anything like that. It’s quite dry and safe. I don’t fear anyone attempting to break into the storage unit, to either destroy or steal anything. I guess I just don’t like the idea of my work being all alone so far away from me. I don’t feel this way when my artwork sells, because I know it’s going to a place where it will be taken care of. Packed in boxes and put into storage…that just seems lonely. Yeah. I know this is weird, but it’s how I feel.

BUT….before I can do any of that, I need to go through alllllll of the work that I do wish to offer for sale and organize it into a database for “businessing the business”. This task will be slightly less boring, as I will get to interact with my artwork a little bit. AND, I get to make spread sheets. I do enjoy making a spread sheet. Really. It’s weird. I find the same kind of satisfaction in filing too. There. Now you’ve learned something new and totally useless about me.

Okay, off to categorize, organize and database.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Monday.

Links:

*Bowie, David. (1971). Changes. Hunky Dory. City. State. RCA Records.

I have to say, Hunky Dory is without a doubt, one of the most perfect albums ever recorded. There’s not a skip-able song on the entire album. It’s sheer, unadulterated, total and complete perfection in audio form.

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Additions + Adjustments

It’s been a strange week. Everything seems a little…off somehow. Even the weather here has just been odd. Bright and sunny one minute, cloudy and raining the next. I’m working hard at keeping myself from dwelling too much on the negative things I cannot control regarding my business. As always, this is an on-going process, and almost as fickle as the weather!

I’ve started an experiment regarding my artwork that’s gathering some interesting data. I’d been thinking about it for a while and decided to set it in motion about two days ago. The experiment has made me realize that I need to take some better pictures of some of my larger, papier maché dolls. So I’m trying to figure out how to do that. They’re fairly large and will not fit into the little photo box that I have been using for my much smaller doll photos.

I finished the four dolls that I have been working on over the past week or so. I finished the two little elephant dolls as well. They have all been named and are listed on my Artwork for Sale page.

Kielo (blue) and Unikko (Green). They are each 9 cm without their stands. They can be removed from the stands and have moveable arms and legs.
Syreeni (teal wings, yellow petals on dress) and Ohdake (purple wings, white petals on dress). They are each around 9 cm tall, with moveable arms and legs. I have made them each hover a but above their stand, so they look as though they are flying.

I’ve continued the theme with the names of these tiny dolls with wings, and have named them the Finnish names for four flowers. Ohdake (Thistle), Syreeni (Lilac), Unikko (Poppy) and Kielo (Lily-of-the-Valley). I have also made a slight change to the name of this series of Little Lady dolls. They are now called Meadow Fairies, or Niittykeijuja. I’ve had a lot of fun and learned more Finnish to add to my language knowledge!

Sela (dark grey) and Sabine (light grey) are each around 7 cm tall. They can be removed from their stands and have moveable arms, legs and trunks.

I chose the names Sela and Sabine simply because I like them and the names seemed to suit these two little pachyderms! I’ve given each of them a little necklace of tiny beads and a little flower to wear on their ear. Thy can be removed from their stands and posed in a different manner if so desired. I added some wire to their trunks so that they can be posed as well.

I’ve come closer to making some other decisions regarding my business and the selling of my work. Basically it just involves inventorying (really critiquing) the things that are working and the things that aren’t, as well as figuring out what I can adjust to make it work better. I have no delusions. I know that the changes that I make will not suddenly result in some kind of big cash flow for me. At this point, selling three pieces a month (not including patterns) will be quite sufficient for me to feel successful with the changes I have planned.

I’m not exactly the most exciting art blogger, am I?! I suppose my posts would be more interesting if I were more dramatic, but frankly, I just don’t have that in me right now!

Thanks for reading!

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What Box?

Shameless Sales Plug First:

I finished three small fairy-like dolls yesterday and am offering them for sale here on my website. They will be in added to the the Artwork for Sale page in the Fairy-Like Little Ladies category. I’m almost sure that I will be calling them Niittykeijuja (Meadow Fairies) going forward. The idea of a sunny, flower-filled meadow inspired the names that I gave to each of the newly finished dolls.

From Left to Right: Orvokki, Lumme and Apila. All of the names are Finnish. Orvokki is the Finnish word for pansy. Lumme is the Finnish word for waterlily and Apila is the Finnish word for clover. I had a lot of fun researching the names on Finnish websites devoted to flora and fauna. I liked adding to my vocabulary too!

I’m working on some ideas for growing my business, but with the current much-needed requirements regarding social distancing and self-isolation, many of the ideas boil down to “Oh! I could make that and sell it!“, which does not seem to be working for me right now. I feel as though just making another thing for purchase is my addition to the ocean of things for sale by millions of other sellers, creators and artists online at present. Then I start getting a little depressed.

I am so new to being an entrepreneur. I didn’t realize how much I depended upon meeting people in person, or being referred by a person I met to someone else who I could meet with to discuss teaching art workshops, selling artwork, etc. I feel as though I’m trying to make my business work with one arm tied behind my back. I suppose that I didn’t think that taking away my ability to meet with people would be this much of an obstacle to me. I feel as though I’m so awkward and weird in person that perhaps the people who might be interested in my artwork would rather just bi-pass actually having to talk to me to purchase my work! I have to laugh at that now!

My husband has floated the idea of designing and offering some online workshops, which I don’t think is a horrible idea at all. I know that the art and music teachers in the school district that I was last employed in the US has been making some amazing distance learning lessons for their students. I’m so used to teaching art in an up-close kind of way that my brain can’t quite figure out how I would even do that. There are so many variables that would have to be accounted for, including tools, materials and supplies just to name a few. This is just one set of questions. There are a lot more.

1. Would it need to be taught on Skype or Zoom or something else? Is there anything else I could use?

2. How much does a person charge for an online workshop?

3. What kind of workshop would I teach online?

4. Should I aim workshops only at adults, or should I also think about children?

5. A doll lesson? That kind of seems to be where I am a lot of the time.

6. Would I get all kinds of negative comments from selling a workshop instead of just putting it on YouTube for free?

7. How and where would I advertise for students to take the online workshop?

8. If it’s dolls, then should I create new patterns for an online workshop?

9. I think that I need to think about the logistics and do some research to see what I would be able to do in the way of teaching an online workshop before I make any decisions.

10. Would I need to have some additional sound and audio equipment do create online workshops that people would enjoy and pay for?

11. Should I think about teaching workshops, or individual people who want to learn how to make a doll using one of my patterns?

There’s a lot I have to think about, that’s for sure. Even if I answer all of these questions, then there’s my whole personal problem with not liking to be on camera. Teaching a class is different somehow. Being on camera…or having photos taken…YIKES. Those things freak me out. I’m not photogenic at all. Strange. I never have the same feelings about getting in front of a class of students and teaching them. I wonder what that’s all about?

ANYWAY…

I’m just going to need to figure it out what I think is best for me personally. It seems like a strange to be more or less physically restricted to my ‘box’ all the while knowing that as it relates to my entrepreneurial endeavors, I need to be thinking way, way, way outside my box.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you again next Wednesday.