Monday, December 1, 2014

Is it Advent already?

Whether we are ready or not. Advent always arrives. I am so not ready this year. I can't believe I forgot to dig out my Wreath this weekend. I sure hope I find it today. Wish me luck!

Did you all participate in the Black Friday craziness? I only went to one store with my daughter because there was this pair of boots she really wanted. Strangely enough the store was very empty. I guess we came between rushes. 9 o'clock was a good time.

I skipped JoAnn's completely this year. What a good girl I have been. No more hoarding of fabric over here.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Just 3 days of messing around in the kitchen. Cook, clean, and serve. Then clean again. Time to start thinking of Christmas cooking.

When I saw those videos of crazed people trampling each other at malls I was so glad to be at home. All the shopping I did was from my computer screen, right here.

Now it's Cyber Monday. If you still need a sweet little treat for under your tree you can visit my etsyshop. I promise it is definitely safe and the most relaxed place to shop. =)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

If you are reading this I want to thank you for being here and not giving up on my blog.
I have had a bit of a rough year with my little business. My sales have dropped a lot on Etsy. I don't know why, and I may never figure it out.

Never mind that. On this Thanksgiving Day I have so many things to be grateful for I don't even know where to start.



1. I am thankful for my family, my husband, and kids who support and encourage me every day. They are the main source of joy and inspiration in my life.

2. I am thankful for my new job. It does not pay a whole lot of money, but it gets me out of the house and makes me realize how lucky I am. Lucky that I do have a roof over my head, food, and a husband with a real job. When I am in the classroom I know that there are quite a few kids who are struggling at home. Duh, I knew this before I became a substitute teacher. But being in the world outside my studio has been a real eye-opener...

3. I am so thankful for the loyal customers who have stuck with me and bought my dolls over the years. It really warms my heart when I think of the people who come back year after year for gifts. Every order and word of encouragement means the world to me. Especially since Etsy has been so funky this year. Every little order has been a beam of light. You know, wrapping up an order is my favorite thing to do. Christmas or not. Year around, when I wrap up a doll or doll dress, I picture the person opening it. I hope they find as much joy in it as I had when I created that item. Each package carries a little piece of my heart and my hope that people feel the love I put into it. Like those toys you still remember from when you were little because they were so special, I want my toys to be that kind of toy....

4. This may sound silly to you. But recently I bought myself two pairs of expensive jeans. I have not indulged myself like this and bought clothes in quite a while. It appears that once we have children we turn into birds. Like the mama and papa bird, after the baby has hatched, we flit about and spend everything we got (money, resources, energy) on the babes. We get exhausted and look like crap after a while. Our feathers begin to look rather ruffled. We find our happiness lies in watching our hatchlings grow and thrive. Well, since I have to go out the house more often, I realized it was time for some new clothes. And, oh wow, I love these jeans so much. Now I understand why people are willing to spend $60+ on them. This mama bird is very grateful for that.

5. I am grateful every day that I can sew and make art. Each piece of fabric and scrap of wool I turn into art makes me happy. This can be a problem though because one gets in the habit of having too many little pieces of fabric around... This year I am thankful that I have been able to cut down on supplies and learned to be more reasonable. Instead of buying more I have worked patiently through my stash of beautiful supplies. I think it is part of the human condition that we have so much and always want more. It is good to appreciate the things we have and count your blessings. We should do it more than once a year!



I could go on with this list for a while but I will leave it at that.

I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. I thank you for taking the time to read my post!



Friday, November 14, 2014

Cool Kid Doll Clothes

Wow, I can't believe November is already half-way gone. Sorry for not checking in sooner!

Between teaching and dealing with the increased amount of orders coming in for my dollshop I have been staying pretty busy. Looks like folks are finally getting their Christmas shopping done.


Since I needed some new blue jeans, my little mini-me Ulladoll, asked for a new pair for herself. She said my regular model was boring and needed some pockets, at a minimum. I can totally understand. I really don't like carrying purses at all. Sometimes I wonder if I was meant to be boy? I am not a fan of make-up. I have never owned a pair of high-heeled shoes. And if I ever do carry a purse around, I promptly leave it behind...Pants need pockets!

Does it matter to you what brand of jeans you wear? Do your kids insist on certain products?
American brand blue jeans have been the bane of my childhood. I guess it really doesn't matter what country you live in and what time. If you didn't have those brand products when you were not a cool kid. My folks never had the money. So if I wanted any kind of brand item I had to work hard to buy it with my own money. What do the cool kids wear now - I wonder?



So here is the new blue jean design I came up with. It has two cute little pockets. Of course, where there is a pocket there must be germandolls miniature pocket doll. This is the tiniest sweetest little one I ever made. Nearly broke my fingers when sewing that little head on.



Not sure I can sell that design in my Etsyshop. Maybe minus the little red label? No, it does not say Levi's on that label. It is just a plain piece of ribbon. It was a real pain in the neck to put on, but little Ulla being a brand-hog insisted. LOL.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

$1 Doll Giveaway

I forgot to mention yesterday that I am having a drawing for a $1 pocket baby. If you would like to participate please visit my Facebook Page. You have time until tonight 9 pm to enter.

My pocket babies are perfect for any occasion. Maybe you need one to put in a Christmas stocking. Or you have a friend who needs cheering up?

                                   
                      Wonder how I took this photo when this little doll is only 3 inches tall?
                                                                    Take a guess!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy!

It's time for a new report. Maybe some of you have wondered how I have fared in my new job? Have you missed my musings at all?

Well, if you want to know: I LOVE MY NEW JOB! It has been a great challenge but for the first time, in a long while, I am really happy.

I love working with kids. What kind of came as a surprise to me, is the fact that I actually enjoy teaching High School and Middle School students a lot.

Of course, it could not be helped that the matter of my accent came up. The question seems never far behind once I open my mouth and start talking to a stranger. Are you Irish? (never thought I sounded Irish). What country are you from? Germany! Wow, that is so cool! Can you teach us some words.



Well, that part did not go over too badly... They actually liked my accent. Smiles.

But there were some very hard moments. Like that moment when I had to teach an English class about  Art Spiegleman's Maus novel. When you are German, it appears, you can never get away from your horrible history. You have to live with that fear. Maybe it's just in your imagination. But you are always afraid that people stare at you and think: Her people did that. Or even worse, if folks cannot do the math: She did that... I actually came across a youngster last year who asked me what I did during WWII? Ahem, do I look that old? What are they teaching you in history class?

Anyways. I had never read that graphic novel about the holocaust. Then I had to read passages of it out loud to the kids. I kind of choked on the words. You know there is that part in the story where the Nazis bash little kids' heads into walls since they would not stop screaming as they were taken away to the camps... Tough day at work. I am not sure the kids noticed it. I almost cried...

But it is all good. We must never forget! We must constantly remind ourselves and teach others what can happen if humans don't study and remember their history. We must study it and reflect upon all of it: the Good, the Bad, and especially the really Ugly parts. For if we don't we may repeat the mistakes of the past.

On the days I go in to teach I get pretty tired. I find myself coming home and in need of a nap. Since I am only a substitute teacher I get called whenever there is a teacher missing. Kind of keeps the job very interesting. You never know what can happen. =)

On the days I stay home I  get to make dolls and reflect on the human condition. It's the perfect combination for  my soul. Like I said, for the first time in a long while I am truly happy.

I filled my doll shop with goodies for Christmas. I made tons of little boots because I have this huge stash of felt that needs moving. So if you need some doll shoes I'd appreciate it if you bought a pair. Let me know if there is a color you would like to see that I forgot to make...




Monday, October 6, 2014

ch ch changes....

Don't get me wrong. I love being a doll maker. And I have enjoyed every minute, or at least most of the minutes, I have been creating dolls over the last 15 years. Gosh! Has it really been that long since I made my first doll?

But this January I decided it was time to embark on a new journey. After all, one can't spend one's life, cooped up, talking to oneself and dolls. It is even harder when you have a good head on your shoulders and that head demands to be used.

picture by Jes Anthonis 

It took me many months to get my school records from Germany. Yes, I do have a Master's degree (see sidebar). But who would have thunk it could be so hard to get proof of it. That the mills of German bureaucracy are of such very low quality and extremely slow. That it would take seven months to find a person who could help me fill out some paperwork and attest to my education in American Studies, Economics, and Psychology.

Ah, the battles the lowly immigrant has to fight every day. They never cease to amaze me.
If only one had listened to one's parents' advice "Bleib mit dem Arsch zu hause!" is still ringing in my ears...

Alas, I made it! Success! My records have been received, translated, and accepted by the Colorado Department of Education. I have been fingerprinted and background checked a sufficient number of times. Now I am the proud holder of Colorado Substitute Teacher's License.

I love it. I get to work with children and use my brain! Change is scary but good.

A doll I am working on...

Now you may be wondering if this new job will impact my doll making? I am wondering that myself. But no worries: I am not giving up doll making, my friends!

I will probably make fewer dolls, depending on my schedule. Down the road I am planning to give up making doll clothes for sale. I will offer the clothes through the end of the 2014 Christmas season. After that I will only sell my dolls.

Wish me luck for my new career as a teacher!




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Germandolls' Fall Coupon Savings...

Happy Fall to all of you! I know it's been quiet over here. I got a new job. But I will talk about that later this weekend or maybe next week, if the spirit moves me so...

For now I just want you to enjoy a coupon I made for my etsyshop. If you use the code Fall14 you will get 10% off your purchase this weekend. Hope you stop by and feel inspired to start your Christmas shopping.

My little store is nicely stocked now with doll clothes for your Waldorf lovelies.

                                                              Happy Fall!