Adventure!

Whoo-hoo, Internet-Land! My daughters & I are off for a fun day at Enchanted Forest!

http://www.enchantedforest.com/

To add to the fun, here is a new outfit for Maggie. I am also posting a new outfit on my facebook page:   www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

Hope your weekend is awesome!

Maggie 19

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A Shell of Strength

Good afternoon, Internet-Land!

I’ve been mulling something over in my head, and today I’m going to put it out here in hopes that it may be helpful to someone. A lot of times, you will hear people say, “Go for it!”; “Just do it!”; “Make it happen!” But they never tell you “how” or what that might “look like” in reality. I want to give you an explanation of my process for “making it happen.” Having been a teacher for over twenty years, I’m really big on “visual aids,” so I have some corny little diagrams to help me out. Here we go!

It all starts will thoughts. Things and ideas that jumble around in your head. Sometimes it’s all your own ideas, and sometimes you are inspired by others or the world around you. You sift through these thoughts and form an idea. Sometimes it’s big and sometimes it’s small. But an idea is the seed that can then grow. My idea was to make a few bucks by doing something from home with my dolly creations. The first step in my process was to assess my skills. I wanted to highlight the skills that specifically dealt with this idea. For example ~ I love to creatively bake, but those skills aren’t needed for this concept.

Now that I had an idea of what I could do that would  apply to my idea, I thought of projects that I could complete. This included not just my skill set, but time and materials as well. Then I had to find places where I could show my projects. The first two venues were selling on eBay and showing at local craft fairs. This also included learning some new skills. I had to set up my eBay/PayPal accounts and obtain the dates, locations, & contracts for local sale venues. I needed to learn the costs for shipping. I needed to find table skirtings and lifts for table displays. I readied my venues first, so I wouldn’t have all this “stuff” and nothing  to do with it.

Once I had my venue opportunities established, I needed to go to work making my actual “stock.” I had to get busy sewing doll clothing, making several of my doll cases, and getting my paper doll collections ready for market (putting on CDs & getting print work done). With all that in place, I listed my first set of items on eBay. It was fun to see my first items get “views” and even more exciting to get “watches!” I was so excited to sell my first item. I also went to my first craft fair and sold a couple of my doll cases!

Through eBay and the craft sales, I was able to connect with people. From these new friends, I learned new things and gained new ideas. One of my eBay collectors introduced me to the world of Doll Shows. I hadn’t realized there was such a thing, apart from the highly expensive Doll Conventions. That prompted me to take a trip up to Portland, Oregon to visit one of these shows. There, I gained a contract for a type of show/sale that was specific to my own venue. From that show, I learned of other doll shows around the state. I now host tables at four different shows that operate six times a year, with a new one in the works. My new vendor and collector friends have given me lots of new ideas for products as well as opportunities at new shows.

Through all of this, I continually stay anchored to my original idea. Each new venture builds upon the last. I meet new people at each show and with each eBay sale. It’s then fun to have friends return to my table/site. I love visiting with you, and I try to have a couple new things at each show to keep it fresh! As I move forward, I try to incorporate new avenues of productivity. Last year I was excited to start my own website/blog and facebook page. Here I can connect with yet more people, finding new friends and ideas. I love having free stuff on my sites to inspire fun and creativity. Little by little, layer by layer, my experiences ~ always linking back to my core idea ~ build an ever growing shell of strength. I learn from successes as well as failures, and still reinforce my process!

So, there you have it. This is my “how to;” it’s my “what does that mean?” Every person will have a different idea, a different set of skills, a different set of experiences ~ but this idea of building and linking back to that first concept is something that will hopefully be helpful to anyone’s journey. Wishing you joy and wonder on your adventure! ~ missy

Go for It!

Good morning, Internet-Land! I hope you are well this morning. I really do. I hope today, as you go about your life working, paying bills, doing chores, completing assignments, and scrolling through websites, that you find a jewel of goodness to brighten your day. I know that we all have different faiths and belief systems. That is especially true in this venue of the “world wide web!” My personal belief is in a loving Creator who provides salvation through the gift of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. Though I can not expect all to agree with my faith, I can wish for all a joyful and positive experience when you visit my site. I would wish for you to have a better day and a reason to smile having spent some time here.

I hope you have a dream you are chasing. I hope you are willing to learn and grow in order to make your dream a reality. Sometimes that means we must objectively assess our situation and be willing to make some changes. Don’t let the fear of the unknown prevent you from moving forward. I’ve often heard our pastor say, “God doesn’t bless inactivity ~ He blesses the PROCESS.” That idea got me MOVING. Sometimes I make great strides, and sometimes I only move a little ~ but I keep going. Sometimes, if my “engine” seems to stall, I keep tinkering on the parts! I hope if you’re having a hard day, this will give you encouragement to make it a better day. I hope if you’re having a good day, that you will find a way to make it great. You have abilities; you have worth; you can find a dream; you can do it!

To help brighten your day, I have some new fun for Maggie! You can click on the “Free Stuff” tab in my HOME menu to find the Maggie Doll (as well as other fun free items). Just select photo of choice, then “save as” or “copy & paste” into your favorite folder or application to print. Maggie is formatted for 8.5×11 paper, and the Forest Walk Fairy Doll Collection pages are formatted for 8.5×14 paper. You will also find two more new outfits on my facebook page!

http://www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

I wish for you a fantastic week,  where YOU begin to make your dreams come true!

Making Progress!

Howdy, Howdy, Internet-Land! It’s been a good couple weeks as my hands have continued to get better. The left one has taken longer to close, and both get sore pretty fast, but all is well. It’s amazing how the body can mend itself! What a great God we have to design such a marvelous system! I see improvement every day. I’ve been working on a new project to try to get my hands back into shape and ready to sew upholstery again.

I was able to get my fella’s face painted. I’m not sure if I’m totally satisfied, but for now I’m happy with the results. He may get a couple new faces before I’m done. It’s taken quite a while, but I now have his complete outfit finished! He is 65cm (26 inches) tall, and I made all you see ~ the shirt, tie, vest, pants, jacket, shoes, socks, & wig (which is strongly anime style). I want to make some tweaks to my patterns, but overall am happy with the first attempt. Some of the patterns were made with just measurements before the fella actually arrived, so I was pleased that they fit as well as they did. The main changes will be to lower the waist on the pants, lengthen the jacket, and close up the collar on the shirt. The shoes will also have a few adjustments, but it was fun to make them.

Tomorrow is the Wagon Wheel Dollers’ Doll Show at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Rickreall, Oregon (USA). For those of you who are local ~ it would be great to see you there! I will add the link below as well as some updated pics of my hands. Enjoy & have a wonderful weekend!

http://www.co.polk.or.us/fair/doll-show-sale-5

Looking good!

Keep Going Forward

Howdy, Howdy, Internet~Land! Here it is, another weekend! At the end of the last post, I attached a picture of my stitches. Hope I didn’t gross anyone out too badly. My hands continue to heal, but the left one has had a little glitch. The cut split open a bit. The doctor said that was normal when one has had both hands operated on at the same time. I don’t have a “good” hand available to use while the other one heals, so both get a little over-used. It’s common for the healing to take longer. But the process continues. I’ll post a photo without the stitches after Maggie’s dress, so if you don’t want to look, stop there!

I have been able to start a few easy projects, but no sewing yet. I wanted you, my internet friends, to know I was thinking of you, so I tried my hand at another Maggie gown. It is an evening compliment to the last outfit. I got it done, but was surprised at how tired my hands were when finished! I say “hands,” because while one draws, the other is holding the paper still or adjusting its angle. I will gladly continue to go slow & steady! I am also going to see how plausible it might be to paint a resin doll head this weekend. It’s just a “practice head,” so if I really mess it up, it’s not a catastrophe. We’ll see how it goes. I may throw in a couple pics next time, if it’s not a disaster. In the meantime, here’s a new dress for Maggie’s night out. Remember to “copy & paste” or “save as” into your favorite application for printing. More outfits can be found in my “Free Stuff” tab and at my facebook page. Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/missysimaginings

Maggie 13

OK ~ now for the pic of my hands. Ewwwwe!!! Gross!!! heeheehee!

my hands 4 2017

Make a Little Go a Long Way

Good morning, Internet-Land. Here I am ~ connecting to say, “Hello!” First ~ an update on my hands. They are continuing to mend. I still have stitches, so am keeping the surgery sites clean & covered. I also still use the wraps for a little support. The pain medication makes my hands feel better, so with that I tend to “over do.” If I slack off on the meds, I hurt more, but am more careful. I’m trying to find a middle ground. Given that, I haven’t been sewing, and have only finished the one Maggie outfit that I posted last time. I also take breaks during typing, as I rest my hands and also correct the unusual amount of typos! I will post a picture of my stitches at the end of the blog today. If you don’t want to see, click away from the site at the end! I wanted to warn you first, if you don’t like that kinda thing.

Today, since I don’t have any new creations ready, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things. I will readily admit that the world of dolly hobbies can very quickly become very expensive! When a friend first asked me to sew some custom orders for the Wilde Imagination Evangeline line, I needed a doll for fitting. I purchased my first doll of that body type, a Tonner Wicked Witch with lovely green skin and beautiful painted features, for $54.00. For me, that was the most economical way to go. My friend then contacted me with a proposal ~ she had won a “Black as Night Evangeline,” and was willing to send her directly to me in trade for some of my sewing. When she arrived, I was completely taken in by her inset glass eyes. I had fallen into the abyss. One at a time, I saved up to purchase all nine of my favorites! But now I was hooked. By selling at the doll shows, I was continually asked about clothing for all kinds of fashion dolls. I now have two 1/4 scale bjds, three 1/3 scale bjds, and a new 1/3 fella bjd on the way! All this to say that I do know how expensive things can get very, very quickly.

 

This brings me to the subject of today’s post. Since the dolls themselves can be so costly, I like to find bargains. I shop around. I buy some second hand. I look for good buys at the doll shows. I also like to find cool items I can use at unexpected places. That leaves more funds for the items I can’t make myself and want to be more fancy ~ like SHOES! I have, however, even found great buys for shoes, too. I watch a lot of eBay auctions. You will find lots of “buy it now” options, but by going through the auction process, you can often get better deals. You just might lose a few if you predetermine and stick by your highest bid amount. Most of my best deals have come by bidding on auctions that end in the middle of the night or very early morning hours. I’ve won some of my wonderful boots for around $7.00 by using this strategy. The “buy it now” price for the same item was about $19.00. Some shoes, however were not bargains, but “must haves,” so they were, of course, more. The great pair of tall, lace-up Ellowyne tennies were found at a show for $5.00!

Now, to share some of my super savings that you can find, too. I love to peruse the Dollar Tree store for items that can be used in my dolly ventures. Above are some of these items.  Check out the hair accessory aisle. I found these clear, tiny rubber bands that are perfect for styling dolly hair and wigs. I was also able to find the tiny clips. One package was a variety of colors, and the other was a combo of clear, black,and brown. These are really good for styling hair when you don’t want to use rubber bands on an expensive wig. Angelique is wearing a Monique Gold wig that is super nice and soft. I wanted an up-do, but didn’t want to have the hair bound up in any way. The clips were a great choice! These stores don’t always carry the same items, so take the time to check often for new inventory. It’s fun to find sweet tiny, decorative items that are geared for baby hair. These daisies have Velcro closures, but I closed them onto small Bobby-pins for easy insertion.

You can also find fun diorama items at good prices. I have noticed the last couple years that Wal-Mart has really fun items in the Christmas ornament aisle. I got this beaded lamp ornament for $1.94. My daughters chose the chandelier and top hat. The choices always change, so I look each year for new discoveries. I bought two of these jewelry dressers for $3.95 each. I also like to take my time looking through thrift stores. We found the cute little golf set for $2.00. It’s actually a set of ink pens. I purchased the wicker chair for $3.00 at St. Vincent de Paul. I’m still deciding whether or not to paint it. I was thinking of white or black, and then I would make red cushions. Hmmm ~ decisions, decisions…

So, that’s my fun for today. I suppose that would be my point ~ have fun! Yes, some specialty items are just that ~ and they will naturally carry the accompanying price tag. But you can also have a great time treasure hunting! Every experience will be unique and will bring its own particular rewards. (and as promised, I am posting a picture of my stitches, so if you have a queasy stomach, look no further) Wishing you a wonderful adventure!

my hands 2017