Making Nightshift Survival Guide

I had this idea a couple of weeks ago to make a video on the topic of working graveyard shifts. As you may or may not be aware, I switched over to regular overnight shifts at my full-time job a few months ago. There are certain benefits and certain challenges that come with existing on a schedule out of sync with the majority of the population – Your body has to get adjusted to it, you spend significant chunks of time alone, and even when co-habitating you may only see your significant other awake for a few hours during the week.  (I’m not complaining, though. I chose this shift in order to better accommodate the demands of grad school, which starts in just over a month.)

I didn’t know what direction I wanted to take this project at first. I just wanted to tap into some of these experiences. The items of the basic survival kit are what I frequently make use of myself to get through the work week – and even with melatonin and caffeine, my body will still want to fall back into the natural circadian rhythm. Sometimes on my nights off, I get really sleepy around 3 or 4 AM and it is hard not to just allow myself to sleep. But, I know if I do, I will wake too early and throw myself off track.

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Falling asleep at work can be hazardous to your health!

Everything in the video is done by me. I don’t have anyone else willing to hold a camera, or act, or help to edit. I’d actually had a few ideas that would have been nice to try if I’d had some other actors, but I have to work with what I’ve got.
Also, I had no idea how time-consuming this project would be.I had originally intended the video to be up either yesterday or the day before, but I actually spent the majority of the day/night editing. Then filming more footage to tie pieces together. Then more editing. Then making a run to the store and spending nearly $8 on supplies to make fake blood – and having to make way more than I needed in order to get a decent color and consistency (I’d found a recipe online, but straying from that in an attempt to make a smaller batch failed miserably so I just made the whole thing). I wonder how long fake blood will keep in the freezer? I’d hate to waste the better part of $8.
As it is, I still need to finish editing the final pieces – and debating whether I do that this morning or after I get some sleep, as I would like to get it posted today but also would like to spend some time with my boyfriend while he is awake. Choices will have to be made and something will need to be sacrificed.

One of the nice things about this project, is that it has allowed me to play around with and learn more aspects of this editing software. I can clone now!!  I’d like to learn how to clean up the audio – delete background static and have an even volume from one clip to the next. Maybe for the next video. Right now, I’m trying to avoid getting so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect that I spend hours learning how to do things while never actually getting around to making anything. So, I hope you can forgive my less than perfect videography – I’m teaching myself and learning as I go.

If you’ve enjoyed this video or this blog, please like it, comment, and share it.

No More Excuses/ Garden of Doll Heads

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I am not above using scare tactics to keep my dolls in line. “This is what happens when you use my fabric scissors to cut paper”

I feel like I should be writing something. I also feel like I should be getting around to actually making some videos. I’ve been saying for awhile (over a year, while not necessarily always in this blog) that I want to start making Youtube videos.
-I invested the time and the money into decorating the walls in my craft room because I felt like I couldn’t start doing it unless I had a good background.

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$75+ and over a week invested in decorating these walls.

-Then I needed a camera, because I felt my point and shoot wasn’t good enough.
-Then I needed a tripod.
Then I needed quality editing software.
-Then I needed a computer.

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The new computer. I have yet to justify buying it.

-Lately I’ve been concerned because of an acne flare up and not wanting to be ugly on camera. (Seriously, how am I still getting acne in my 30s? This is not fair)

Enough excuses. I will be making a Youtube debut before the end of the day on Friday of next week (4/15/2016). Maybe it will be crappy. But I need to stop talking about it and just *do it already*.

I’m also fully aware that I really need to finish the next segment of The Mission as well. I’m going to make sure I get that done before April is over. No more excuses. The start of grad school is only 2 months away. I need to utilize this time while I still have it.

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Earlier this weekend, I went out to ACME Elfworks – my friend Melissa Mitchell’s studio -for the Annual Boneyard Arts festival. She’s a super cool re-use artist that uses a lot of found objects in her artwork. Many of her pieces incorporate dolls or various doll body parts. Her artwork is often whimsical, but can also be kind of creepy – and I love that. I first met her whilst I was involved with the HATCH art show about 3 years ago. I just happened to have my camera with me and have decided to share some of these photos with you all.

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❤ the cart full of rats

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Reminds me of Sid’s creation from the original Toy Story movie.

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In case you were curious what became of Charlie Horse. He couldn’t cope after Lamb Chop’s Play Along ended – his heart was broken after he caught Lamb in bed with Hush Puppy and turned to drugs and gambling. Sherry Lewis attempted an intervention once before her death, but Charlie refused rehab. Unable to pay his debts one night, he was taken into a back alley where he was beaten to death. His lifeless body was thrown into a dumpster. I believe this is where Melissa found his little pony corpse. Not entirely sure what she did with the rest of the body. It’s possible her cats ate it.

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A lush garden of doll heads. Melissa hacks off their scalps and uses them as macabre planters. This is a thing I shall someday do when I have a garden of my own.

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I love the way her lifeless eyes are glazed over. Even in death, Barbie continues to smile.

Of Life and Dollies: Updates, News, and Spoilers!

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My last post that showcased the new Barbies has gotten more views than any other post and in an incredibly short amount of time.

It’s been about a month now since my last posting. I’d actually written a rather long piece a few days back, but given its overly personal nature, I decided not to publish it. I don’t view it as a wasted effort, as the entire process was more therapeutic than anything. It needed to be written, it felt good to write it, but it just ultimately wasn’t destined to be shared. I know you understand.

I do have some updates to share with you all before I move on to new projects. Perhaps the biggest piece of news is that I have officially been accepted into grad school. It’s been a couple of weeks now, there was a big post about it on my personal Facebook, and a lot of the buzz from it has worn off since then. But it’s still pretty great news. I don’t know yet how that will affect this blog or any of my (still unfinished) projects as full-time school + a full-time job + a part-time job is already going to deplete a lot of my time. We’ll see how it goes. Classes won’t start for another three months yet, so don’t abandon me yet!

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My new desktop set-up, nicely integrated into my craft room.

My next update is that I have finally managed to get myself a new computer. After discovering there is simply no way I can utilize Pinnacle on my laptop, I pooled the collective knowledge of all my techie friends together and got myself a new desktop that I’ll be using primarily for video and photo editing. I haven’t done a whole lot with it yet beyond just playing around with the new programs and learning how they work. It is a goal to launch Youtube content this year, but I don’t yet have a predicted timeline for it. I’m hoping to have a better understanding of what I’m doing before school starts.

In project news, I’ve decided to try out another re-root. After watching one of MyFroggyStuff’s recent videos I was inspired to try this out myself.

I’d already had a few doll heads that had been removed of hair that had been sitting in a box this past year, so I opted to use of of those. I decided to test out two different yarns – a soft, worsted weight, wool-like acrylic and a cotton crochet thread. I did a sample row with four sections to try out each of these yarns in both their intact and unraveled states. 

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YarnHair (6)  YarnHair (5)

My original plans for this particular doll when I first got her from a thrift store over a year ago, was for her to be a family member for my Lammily doll, Morrigan. If you’ll recall, when I envisioned a backstory for Morrigan, I determined that she has an Irish mother and a Turkish father. My first re-root doll was originally intended to be a maternal cousin, but fate had another purpose in store for her and I have since found a different doll to fill that role (more about her in a later post). As it turns out, I’ve decided to alter the identity and 12bf7c16039941cb8f55269b03308be8relationship of this particular doll as well. (Spoilers!!!  Since the Lammily company has announced their plans for a new male doll (currently being crowdfunded and due to begin shipping out in November), and because this new male doll looks similar to his female
counterpart in the face, it makes more sense to me to have him be a brother for Morrigan. And while Morrigan does not have any romantic inclinations at the moment, that doesn’t mean her brother doesn’t!)

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!

The Mission: Part 2

 The Mission: Part 1

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   Flashes of fabric. Scraps. Lots of them. Daniela hid behind a heap of discarded fabric as the rhythmic pounding of a needle sounded in the distance. Her heart beat heavily in her chest as she gazed around the mound, searching. The box. The cardboard box across the room. Just like the old crone saDossierid there would be… Daniela shot out of bed and took a fighting stance as her eyes darted around the room. She sat down on the bed and calmed her breathing. She took the file out and read it over again. Vargas, she thought to herself, I will find you. I will find you and I will bring you back to Lalkana to pay for your crimes against the empire.

She needed to get to know this area and she needed to leech the locals for information if she had any chance of finding Vargas.

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And that, Daniela, is the apartment,” chimed Zahara. “I moved in over the summer to be with my cousin, Mitsuko.”
Daniela smiled at her new acquaintances.
You poor things. You don’t even realize you’re prisoners, do you?, she thought.

You really must come have lunch with us,” said Mitsuko. “We’re supposed to meet DSC00165Morrigan and Sakura for pizza. Morrigan wants to play us a new song.”
As the girls got into Mitsuko’s car, Daniela thought she could hear a needle pounding in the background and she shuddered. Zahara’s laughter brought her back and she shook off the memory. They were off to meet with the others.

To Be Continued…

Look for Part 3 sometime next week. While I have the story written, I need time to create the outfits, props, and scenes for photo shoots 🙂 I’m still doing my 30-day Blog-a-Day challenge, so there will certainly be *something* tomorrow for you.

 

The Mission

DSC00143     A creak of the door and the sudden brightness of lights in the room woke Daniela from her slumber. This is it, she thought to herself as she looked her buyer up and down, I’m finally going to be free.
     Daniela had spent the past month in a state of suspended animation, trapped inside a vault of cardboard and plastic. She’d been jostled and transported, delivered to a woman known only as “Lisa”. Despite having been unconscious for most of her journey, Daniela could still feel the stiffness of her body from the time spent cramped up in the delivery vault and she yearned to feel the open air and stretch her limbs.
“Welcome to your new home,” greeted the Lisa woman as she liberated Daniela from the vault, “I hope you like it here.”

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     For the next hour or so, Daniela was introduced to a number of other dolls that were being held prisoner. They seemed nice and welcoming to her, but she was not here for them. No, she told herself, you cannot compromise the mission for these dolls. You are a Muñeca, damnit, do not forget that.
     The Lisa woman eventually set her down with the other dolls and exited the room, mumbling something about “work”. Once she was confident the coast was clear and the other dolls were asleep, Daniela set to reviewing her plans…

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To Be Continued…