I’ve Been Nominated for a Liebster Award

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I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award by Chrissy, of the blog Kicky Resin.  This is officially the first blog award I’ve been given, so, Thanks!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog.
  2. Post the award image on your blog.
  3. Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  5. Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them your post.

Chrissy’s Questions

Chrissy divided her questions for me up into two segments – general questions and doll specific questions. I’ll answer the general questions first:

1)What drives you to write/create?

I think part of it has been the influence of my parents. My mother had always wanted to be an author and she used to write this really wonderful poetry. I started writing stories when I was a small child and would always have her read them. My father was the artist. I remember, when I was very young, he would sit at the table almost every evening working on this elaborate pencil drawing of a semi-naked butterfly woman sitting atop a chunk of space rock. I came by my creativity and over-active imagination naturally. If I’m not creating something (art, craft, writing, etc) I get very bored.

2)How do you “prepare” for a writing session? (Do you have snacks, a favorite drink, certain time, place, etc?)

I need to be alone to write most of the time. I like for it to be quiet so I can focus. I also need to sit upright and be comfortable.

3)If you could time travel, would you travel to the past or the future?

That depends. Is it a one-way trip? How am I traveling – can I go by way of Tardis? If I go back in time, am I allowed to interact with people without fear of disrupting a timeline? I’d like to either go back and interact with my late grandfather or go forward to learn what my personal future looks like on my current trajectory so I can make decisions accordingly.

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The ONLY way to travel through time

4)What is your spirit animal and why do you identify with that animal? ~Or~ What is your favorite animal and why?

I’ve always been very fond of foxes. Red foxes in particular. I’ve always been drawn to their wit and cunning.

5)Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I honestly have no idea. It depends on what direction my life takes. In one vision I have for myself, I’d like to be married with a house and have adopted a kid. In another I have no tethers and am living as an ex-patriot somewhere in Turkey or India. Right now I’m waiting to see whether I get accepted into grad school. If I do, I’m much more likely to follow the first path. If I don’t, then I have higher odds of following the second. Both scenarios are pretty equally appealing to me.

6)Would you rather go to Hogwarts or go on an adventure with Gandalf?

Neither? I don’t really follow either fandom. I’d much rather join Starfleet.

7)Do you prefer to own books or go to the library?

Both, haha. There is no way I could own all the books that I want. Though, I do like having an impressive book collection. Libraries are nice, though, because I don’t have to spend any money.

8)Would you like to be famous?  If so, what for?  If not, why not?

I think I would. That was always a goal when I was a kid – to be a star. I’d just rather be famous for something positive.

9)Have you ever made a dream of yours come true?

Kind of. When I was 5 I wanted to be an archaeologist. When I was in college I majored in anthropology and did get the chance to spend time on a dig in Belize. Also, I’d always had a thing for teachers when I was in school – almost always had a crush on at least one teacher from the time I was 12. I’ve been dating a teacher for almost 5 years now – he teaches 7th grade history.

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10)What are three things that you can’t live without?

Air, Water, Food

11)What message do you want to impart to your readers?

I’m not sure what my message is, but please note that the message will self-destruct.

Now the doll questions:

1)How did you get into the hobby?

Lammily. As I have stated in this blog multiple times before, Lammily is my gateway drug. I am partial to her and will continue to champion her.

2)How many dolls do you have or plan to have?

I currently have 30 dolls that are in-tact. I have a couple at various stages of being re-worked and a box of heads and bodies that I keep meaning to re-sell on eBay for OOAK projects.

3)What is your dream/grail doll?

A doll that has the realistic proportions the way Lammily does but has the range of motion these new Made-to-Move Barbies have.

4)Is there a feature of a doll that will always win you over?

Something different. I like diversity and progressiveness in my dolls. Lammily and Mixis are my favorite companies. I’d also like to have the whole collection of Hearts for Hearts dolls and the Angelica doll.

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These girls are just too friggin’ adorable!

5)Do your dolls have their own personalities, stories, or universe?

Of Course! This is one of my favorite things about the dolls! I enjoy creating personalities and back stories for them. I’m actually in the process of working out the particulars of the Doll-verse and the relationship between the Doll-verse (where dolls of all types reside, everything is in various doll scales, and there are no humans) and our own universe (where dolls are toys and are much smaller compared to humans).

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6)Do you prefer to buy things or make things for your dolls?

Both. I’d rather make things myself, but I don’t always have the time. And sometimes I’m lazy. Or I see some really fantastic handmade work by others on Etsy.

7)Do you have a favorite brand or company for dolls, clothes, wigs, shoes, etc?

I think I already mentioned Lammily and Mixis. After that, I prefer handmade goods for my dolls when I can get them from Etsy. Although, there are some Hot Toys clothes and dolls I covet but can’t justify paying for.

8)What is your favorite size of doll?

1/6 scale. I also prefer the dolls with average proportioned heads as opposed to the giant cartoonish doll heads. I like my dolls to be like miniature people :)

9)Do you have a favorite doll in your collection?

I have two that are really tied for favorite – my Lammily doll, Morrigan, and my Mixis doll, Mitsuko (named Emerald by the company).

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The beginning of what has become an amazing friendship…

10)What is more important, aesthetics or pose-ability? Or something else?

If the dolly can’t move around, I have almost no use for the dolly. The better the articulation and range of motion, the happier I am.

11)Where do you keep your dolls?

Currently, the boyfriend and I have a second bedroom that is being used as a craft room/ comic book storage room. Most of my dolls stay in there. But, there are always a few scattered about the apartment and usually one or two in my backpack that I carry with me in case of photo opportunities or to show to people.

My Nominees

Please note that you do not have to do this if you don’t want to!

Be sure to let me know that you answered my questions by leaving a comment and a link!

My Questions

I think Chrissy’s round of questions were pretty good. So, I think I’m going to keep most of those and change just a few of them.

  1. What drives you to write/create?
  2. Describe your writing process.
  3. What got you into your hobby (art, dolls, writing, etc)?
  4. If you could time travel, would you travel to the past or the future?
  5. Who inspires you and why?
  6. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
  7. Have you formally studied writing in any capacity – journalism, creative writing, etc?
  8. Do you prefer to own books or go to the library?
  9. Would you like to be famous?  If so, what for?  If not, why not?
  10. Have you ever made a dream of yours come true?
  11. Do you feel it is important to read works from people with different perspectives from your own? Why or Why Not?
  12. What message do you want to impart to your readers?

 

I Made It!

Day 30! w00000t!
Excuse me while I happy dance…

I have no plans to blog tomorrow. Or the day after. BUT, moving forward my goal is to have something for you at least once a week. And my first focus is going to be getting you all Part 3 of my recent dolly story because I know that’s what you want – and it’s what I want to give you.

Making a Bağlama for Morrígan

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Perhaps not surprisingly, yesterday’s Google Hangout experiment resulted in my sitting in front of a camera for an hour by myself. Not a single person logged in. And that’s ok. I don’t currently have an extremely large readership, not everyone has access to a camera for such hangouts, and I’m sure everyone had other things they wanted to do with their Saturday afternoon.  But that’s ok. Rather than just blankly stare into a screen for an hour, I used the time to work on half completed projects.

Some months ago, after determining the general background that I wanted to give Morrígan, my Lammily doll, I decided to make her a miniature bağlama that she could play. I actually came across an excellent tutorial by Özden Ceyhan over on Blogspot. Since this is a traditional Turkish instrument, it is not surprising that the language of the article is in Turkish. However, between auto-translate and Mr. Ceyhan’s wonderful step by step photos, knowledge of the language isn’t required (although I personally find Turkish to be an attractive language). Because I know that my links aren’t as easily seen (I don’t know how to change the color for them), I want to make sure to give Mr. Ceyhan’s tutorial special attention:

 http://ozdenceyhan.blogspot.com/2014/02/minyatur-saz-imalat.html

     I didn’t follow Mr. Ceyhan’s process exactly, but I did use it as a guide. I glued 3 layers of balsa wood together and whittled and sanded the shape down from there. For the tuners, I cut down toothpicks into 7 small sections of equal length and bore them into the head. I used a Rust-Oleum stain marker to give the instrument color – although, probably because I used a marker instead of painted on stain, the finish looks blotchy to me. But, I suppose it will work.

Because I am sure that most of my readers have never heard this beautiful instrument before, let me share a clip so that you can appreciate the wonderful sound it creates.

When I imagine Morrígan playing, I imagine her sitting against her window, looking out to the world, and letting her heart pour out. I imagine that she sings songs her father taught her as she thinks of him hundreds of miles away back in Turkey.

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If I ever had the time, I would love to learn how to play one of these myself – and I found a rather decent beginner’s information page I felt was worth sharing: here. As it is, I’d really love to learn Turkish (along with Hindi and to become more proficient at Spanish and Japanese – both of which I studied in college but am not very good at). Maybe Morrígan can teach me? ;)

GE

 

Today is the Day/ The People Want Dolls

I have noticed, Dear Readers, that despite managing to post something every single day for nearly a month now, that it is primarily my doll-oriented posts that really pull you in. Indeed, I am anxious to get some more work done with my dolls and publish the next segment of my latest doll story.

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The tallest of spikes was from The Mission: Part 2. The next spike was from The People’s Dolly. In the past, these popular posts would ride out their readership for at least a few days to a week. I wonder if having a new post every single day takes away from that/ buries those popular posts?

After these 30 days are up (very soon, this is post 28), I fully intend to focus my efforts on crafting, creative writing, and some more dollicious posts. If I don’t manage to do so before. This isn’t just the graph talking, this is actually what I’d rather be doing if I didn’t feel the pressure to just have *something* up to meet the terms of this challenge to myself.

All of this said, I want to remind everyone that TODAY IS THE DAY OF MY LIVE CHAT! — At 3:00 PM today, Central Standard Time (that link here), my webcam and I will be live in a Google Hangout to chat with anyone that wishes to. Not knowing how many people will show up, I promise to hangout for at least an hour and am willing to go beyond that if this experiment does manage to garner interest.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the hangout!

Goodbye, GIV Mobile

In May of 2015 I made the switch to a little known cell phone carrier called GIV Mobile. It was kind of a pain to switch over from ATT, but I was happy once I was able to get it done.

Now, less than a year later, I am receiving notification that they are being discontinued. At the end of the month. As in, I have 1 business week to shop around and find a new service provider and figure out how they’re going to handle the funds I had already pre-paid for the next couple of months of service.

Thanks for the heads up and giving me plenty of time to get things figured out :(

Read More about the shutdown Here

Sorry, Not Sorry

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Welcome to day 26 of my 30 day challenge! The current time as I sit down to write this is 8:34pm CST. I realize I should have blogged earlier. WordPress analysis says my best readership time is 3pm. But, I was asleep at 3pm. Sorry, not sorry.

-I got off work this morning, tended to my final morning of cat-sitting duties, came home, showered, and blissfully fell asleep around 8:30am. I didn’t bother to set an alarm, I simply allowed myself to sleep as long as my body needed it. I didn’t wake up until nearly 5:00pm. I actually got a full day of continuous sleep and it was glorious.
-I got to take some time to be with my boyfriend (who I’ve barely seen awake the past couple of weeks) before driving out for my final round of cat detail.
– I went grocery shopping and spent time prepping meals for the next week. I have bagged smoothies and sandwiches in the freezer and got to incorporate some bananas that would have otherwise gone bad. This is something I had been meaning to do for some days now and happy I’ve managed to get it done.

So, my readers, I do not feel bad that I’m only just now getting around to writing. I am proud of myself that I have thus far managed to post something for you every day for almost a month. I’ve probably published more posts in the last month than I had in the last 2 years. I’m also down to 139 lbs and have been doing (I feel) an amazing job sticking with this diet thing. I think I’m actually at the point now where I’m not even craving Pizza Hut anymore.

Many times I feel the need to apologize for not posting after so many days or weeks or months. The friend I’ve been cat-sitting for even made the comment that this habit is so pervasive among bloggers. I have to remind myself that this isn’t a job. I’m not, at least for now, generating any income from these posts. I simply write what is on my mind or share my thoughts or creativity with you all. There is no reason I should allow myself to feel crappy if life steals my attentions away for longer than I’d prefer. It is not easy for me, but I’m going to try not to let it bother me so much.

And as a reminder, I am hosting a live chat in Google Hangouts this coming Saturday (in 2 days!) at 3:00pm CST. More details Here

 

 

Frustration

This post marks day 25 of my 30 day challenge. Admittedly, I will be happy when it is over. It is sometimes difficult to make the time to write and I often feel bad when I don’t have the time to write about something in depth. I’m committed to press forward, though, and I’m certainly taking something away from this endeavor.

The time as I write this is 6:24pm. I’m beginning to get sleepy and desperately want to nap before I go into work tonight. But I know I need to post something before I allow myself to drift into blissful slumber. I meant to write something earlier. I also meant to go to the gym today.

I got off work this morning, made my way out to tend to my cat-sitting duties in the snow, and then carefully drove home on streets that had barely been plowed. I intended to get my gym clothes and go in during the morning, but fell asleep. Because I would prefer to sleep days so as to be awake when my boyfriend is home, I went with it. But I only slept for 3 hours (which is why I am tired again).  I checked my email, gathered my belongings, and set out to get things accomplished that needed accomplishing…

My first stop already laid out the tone for the day. I needed to reimburse someone and went to their bank to deposit cash into their account. I had tried this yesterday, pulling $33 out of my own bank to deposit into theirs, but was denied because I did not have this person’s account number. So, I put the cash in my coat pocket. When I went to the bank today (with the account number this time), I reached into my pocket to discover the cash was no longer there. I needed to go back to my own bank to pull out yet another 33 dollars. I still have not found the lost cash. :(

I’m also anxious and nervous because, despite having all of my other items for grad school turned in by this past Friday’s deadline, I still have one of my required recommendation letters that has not been sent in. I am worried that I will be denied again for not having this 3rd letter. I feel anxiety over whether or not to try contacting this person again – what is the proper number of emails I can send with no response before I am seen as a bother? Should I ask others to write a letter for me on this short notice? If I do, I worry that not having been asked initially will be perceived as an insult and that I would be imposing undue work on them. What do I do? :(

Right now, I’m going to go to sleep.