Cross-Posting from Professional Goth – New Vlog! Larger Gauge Jewelry

So over the weekend I had what could have been a potential set back with my helix piercing – it wasn’t responding well to the 20 gauge jewelry we used at all and was trying to heal by swelling around and over it. This is something that does occur regularly in some individuals, and given my metal sensitivities and the sheer fact that my physiology should probably be studied by science its not necessarily unexpected.

I went into my lovely and beautiful piercer, April, to have her assess and provide a plan of action. We decided to install a larger gauge labret bar with a flat back to allow room for swelling and assist my cartilage with draining properly. There was almost instantaneous relief and results and two days later I’m already seeing a significant decrease in swelling, redness, and an increase in drainage and a return to what my natural ear looks like.

Wanted to get some immediate thoughts about the process of putting in a larger gauge bar out there for others in case you’re in a similar situation!

New Vlog Up! #2 – Criticism and Anxiety

I had an interesting experience yesterday at work, and I blogged about it on my sister site that I started this weekend (total coincedence!) but going to cross-post it here as well for anyone interested. Please make sure to subscribe and feel free to leave comments if the desire strikes.

To Vlog, Or Not To Vlog, That Is The Question…..

I have been watching a TON of makeup tutorials lately and it got me thinking – I have a lot to say. Usually thoughts will creep into my head and I’ll think to myself that it would be wonderful to put that into the world and share it, but I don’t always have the time, as I’d like, to sit down and write out a post about it . Worse, I’ll get the thought, and not be in a place where I can take advantage of stopping to write it down and post it. Enter the idea to start vlogging – or video logging – even here on my WordPress Blog. Would be easy enough to upload a vlog, and then come back here at the end of the day to share it as a post.

I’v considered SnapChat – and I do have a SnapChat account because though I’ve posted nothing, there are people I enjoy following for purely entertainment reasons and I’ve found some fun contests to be a part of. (I’m still waiting to win on said contests, but you get nothing if you don’t try!) The issue with SnapChat is you only get a few seconds, and there are topics that I certainly need more than a few minutes to converse about!

I would kinda like to try, as an ‘older’ woman, to recreate some of the make up tutorials I loved to watch. I’d also like to do some first impression vlogs about any number of products, and some social observation as well.

So I start to research, as I’m want to do, what I would need to use equipment wise for a good looking, solid blog. Holy OMG…$700 for a camera? Maybe eventually, but for now I think I’m going to see what I can finagle with my cell phone, a tripod, and some decent lighting. Maybe that can be part of the vlog too – how to build one.

If your interested, and would be curious what a 39 year old mother, full time office worker, recovering goth, nail obsessed, newly reinvigorated make up maven and general all around outspoken crafty sort of woman has to say, then let me know!

July Was A Whirlwind…

I realized this morning that I hadn’t blogged in a while and when I logged in to see where my last blog left me, I saw that it was 6/30/16! Bad blogger for not being more consistent. I really do need to work on that. Perhaps that’s a post in and of itself.

July was filled with quite a bit of insight, upheaval and dealing with travel (for my other half – not for me unfortunately) and in dealing with all of it life just sort of caught up to me. That being said, with kindergarten fast approaching for my littlest one, I suspect that August will be just as busy, albeit with more opportunity to take a few moments of my days and post something that will hopefully be worth while to read. I’m still figuring out this whole ‘blogging’ thing after all.

I need to get back to making my dolls and refreshing the stock in my etsy shop. I love to work on them, but they do consume quite a bit of time – particularly if I’ve opted to reroot their hair and I have a tendency to just sit down and work, work, work once an idea hits me. I’ve been seeing a LOT of Suicide Squad Harley Quinn’s of late and that makes me happy. Some great ones have been created and I have to say the attention to detail amazes me.

 

Then there is the bracelets, which I also have been loving to make because they are quick, easy and something I can work on while watching TV at night. Been bouncing around the idea of trying to create some matching earrings for them to – but need to source some solid and affordable posts as I am HORRIBLY sensitive to anything plated and wish not to sell something I can’t also wear. I find it important that even if no one inquires, I wear my own creations daily. If you won’t wear your own stuff, then why would you think someone else would want to as well?!

 

 

I’ve also been batting the idea around to add some vlogs to my posts. I’ve been hell bent on relearning how best to apply make up and I’ve yet to see one from someone my age – which though I don’t look nearly close to what people would think 39 looks like, there are some base differences to how I can apply make up to say a twenty-something with fresh skin. I’ve also been wanting to post opinions of products and what I find works for me – in an effort to help out those in the ‘older’ set. If there is an interest in that, please let me know in the comments!

Racing is something I need to get back into as well once the weather is more conducive to running outside. I find running on the treadmill to be difficult at best since I can’t train in intervals nearly as easily (why for has the health and fitness industry not created a treadmill in which you can program timed intervals?! Get on that engineering/programming types!) I’ve been doing well on Weight Watchers and have managed through their program and walking 10000 steps a day approximately to loose a total of 12 lbs in about as many weeks so it’s a good, solid and manageable progression. Only 27 more to go!

There really has been a lot going on, and a ton that I want to start discussing more openly regarding my point of view on things. I just need to organize and start working on them. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

Weight Watchers

I’ve bitten the bullet and enrolled in Weight Watchers. Yes, I’m on a ‘diet’ as it were. Now, mind you, I don’t generally like to pay for such things. I totally understand the mentality that if you pay for something, you’re more apt with follow through because otherwise you’re wasting money. I felt the same way about gym memberships, yet here I am with one to the local Y and I’m finding that having an alternative on those muggy, disgusting and oppressively hot Florida days is a blessing.

But a diet plan? Eh. I have acquaintances that are selling Plexus now, or Shakeology and I get those too. I’m sure that they work for people and am glad that they have found success. But I also know what my weakness is, and that’s sugar. I love cake, cupcakes, candies and chocolates FAR too much to give them up and I have to learn how to control my cravings for them.

My mouth waters just looking at this….

Which is one of the things I LIKE about Weight Watchers. Yes, you can eat everything I just mentioned, but you also eat it KNOWING that you are using more of the points from your daily allowance and it truly does make me think twice, even just within a few days, of whether or not I want that package of Twinkies. (Today, I said yes and I’m NOT going to beat myself up over it!)

Not to mention, through a benefit with my insurance provider, I qualified for 6 months free with no obligation AND a reduced rate afterwards. I’ll take that. What I like as well is that I can eat as much fruit as I want and THAT will certainly help with the sweet cravings heading into summer here. There are advantages to living in Florida – lots of readily available fresh fruit.

This also goes back to the rambling post I made last night about my Reboot. I have to do something. Running is still causing me issues, though I am rediscovering my love of P90X and weight training while I work on cross-training which is also essential towards great running results.

Today happens to be a ‘cheat’ day as I’m am FAR too stressed out and starving. I’m still tracking what I eat as it will be a good benchmark and I’m just in my first week of using this program. What I am finding is that it’s MUCH harder to avoid snacking at work than it is at home so it’s the mid-day work lull I have to watch out for. I’m about a week in, technically I started last Friday. but we’ll see if there are any immediate results.

I may go over what the program entails and how I’m doing on it moving forward, but those are posts for a different time.

Between this, being a LOT more active and my new-found desire to play with make-up, I can only imagine what I will look like in a months time. Certainly something to look forward to!

I Did It! First 10k In The Books….

1:34:36

That was my time for the Inaugural Star Wars – Dark Side 10k at Walt Disney World. This was also my personal first 10k and one that I had been feeling completely unprepared for. It wasn’t necessarily pretty and it was HOT and muggy as is the current climate of Florida. But I started, I finished, and I earned that Tie Fighter medal. I was 745 in my division, 3969 in my gender with 6921 women running and 12172 runners completing the race.

I’ll take it.

Not only will I take it, I have another 5k coming up in June to keep me motivated and not sitting on my butt in the hot and humid summer sun.

I have also started taking full advantage of my YMCA membership and getting into the gym three times a week during lunch breaks to cross-train. Generally legs and lower back one day, light cardio the next and arms and upper body/abs the third. All with a 10 minute attack on the elliptical to get heart rate up.

I’ve seen a lot of offers lately on my Facebook feed for friends that are peddling Plexus and Shakeology. Now, don’t get me wrong – I have P90X and T25 in my arsenal at home for the days where I might want to get something a little extra in (which hasn’t happened in quite come time because, well, LIFE and there are so many things I want to do with my time at home like my dolls and new capital ventures in the works) I’ve even been seeing OrangeTheory quite a bit lately as well and know that will be close to my office soon. But thinking that this way works for my schedule, budget and everything in between.

Now to see what progress I can make in the next year.

Adventures in ReRooting, Part Deux

So I had a Dawn of the Dance Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High to whom I had repainted her face…but I wasn’t a huge fan of this series doll’s hair. I had been considering for a long while what to do as reroots are still something I am brand-spanking new at and the idea of what I wanted to turn this doll into hadn’t fully surfaced yet. Then I had the idea to utilize embroidery floss in lieu of the traditional nylon/saran hair or yarn.

 

 

Original doll, after face up, after hair removal.

 

I went out and got myself some colors of floss that I liked and that I thought would work well with not only the dolls coloring, but how I repainted her face. I then proceeded to get through the daunting task of removing the hair from the dolls head. Removal of the head is actually pretty easy if you go slow and use REALLY hot water to loosen the vinyl. Once you do that head quite literally will pop off without too much force. Then I soaked the inside of the head briefly in 100% pure acetone to loosen up the gunk of glue that they utilize to keep the originally rooted hair in place. After a good rinsing, I grabbed my pliers and got to work.

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise – pulling out a dolls originally factory rooted hair is ROUGH. My hand, the day after, is STILL sore from having to grip the pliers and pull. The industrial strength glue that they use is RIDICULOUS! Not to mention, with this doll, they put a TON of hair in the dolls part which makes it even more difficult. As you can see in the second pic on the top row, there are quite a few places where, even trying to pull gently, the force of getting the glue out caused huge holes in the mold that I will now have to try to patch and/or cover. I think I’ll be able to cover them thankfully but was NONE too happy to have that happen. Finally I was working on the hair rooted at the crown and I could swear to the powers that be the dolls head was either trying to give birth, or throw up. I’m still not certain which it was. As you can see, the MASS of hair and glue was quite large and I’m actually amazed more damage wasn’t done to the head sculpt.

I’ve already begun the long and arduous process of rerooting with the floss and so far I’m quite liking the result. I wont always want to use it since I think it will lend itself to a certain signature, but I’m excited to see how she finishes up and of course pics will be posted when she’s ready for sale.

I’d also like to take this moment to point out that I know why most folks wll repaint AFTER a reroot now, since the process causes strain on the sealant and Clawdeen now has a white band across her nose – which oddly has inspired me to do a little more to her when I do to repair the ‘damage’. Make lemonade out of lemons people!

Also, if you ever wondered WHY repainted and rerooted dolls especially are so expensive – yes this process is something that I’m new to. But it took me about an hour and a half to remove the hair from the original doll and it’s going to take me roughly 3 more hours to reroot her. I spent an hour on her last night with the floss and I only had about two rows completed. Repainting can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours currently depending on what exactly I want to do to it. (The norm is about two to three). When you pay for a repainted one-of-a-kind doll your honestly paying for the artists time. Please remember to respect that. It’s one of the things I love about this community, however, is that the time spent really is something that true collectors appreciate. (And dont even get me started on constructing clothing! I’m still working on a dress!)

 

The Struggle Is Real….

Work. Kids. Family. Finances. FINANCES. Time. Priorities. Love. Partners. Work. School. Exercise. Running. Social Activities. Play dates. Birthday parties. Finances. Personal Time. Hobbies. Yes, the struggle is real. I’ve mentioned it before that time can be tight when you’re a mom, a partner to someone who works night shift, work full time and basically am single mother most of the time. I wonder how I do it all and then realize there are plenty of things I’m unable to get to and have to decide if I can live with that or not. Sometimes that struggle is the worst as I can feel, quite simply, like I’m letting SOMEONE down; be it my children, my partner, my family, my coworkers or worse…myself. Its no wonder that since having my littlest one I’ve not lost the weight that I put on in pregnancy. I saw a post today about Loey Lane, a beauty blogger, plus-sized advocate and general all around bad-ass who talks openly about confidence, acceptance and just being comfortable with yourself. This is something that I realized I’d lost. I push myself so hard to get back to my pre-baby body and loose the gut I’ve gained without realizing or accepting my age, how exactly my body has changed, and where I am NOW.

 

I started running in 2013 as a response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with the intent to eventually run that race. I had always had the adage that unless my life was in danger, I wasn’t running, and yet here I was signing up for 5k’s and taking great pride and pleasure in improving my per mile minute. I just turned 38. Yes, I’m overweight and weigh the most I have ever in my life. I also have two beautiful children to show for my efforts and the wear and tear my body has experienced. I have horrible eating habits that I have to work to improve. I run, when I can, and push myself to do so when the weather permits (when it’s 90-something in Florida and the feels like due to humidity is upwards of 110, you don’t WANT to go out in that!) Do I wish I wasn’t in this body? Yes…because I feel like I’m letting my partner down. I feel like I’m not attractive anymore and why should they have any interest in this mass of flesh and pudge? But then I remember that love transcends appearance (thankfully) and that when you have it pure it can overcome anything. But there in lies the crux…I can’t accept myself so how can I expect someone else to? In order to be where I want to be, I have to accept me as-is with the idea that I will take steps each day to make improvements for MYSELF.

And this is where the struggle comes in. Mostly this blog is about my Etsy shop, my creations and promotion. But I do want to share that we all have similar struggles in life – money, weight, confidence, acceptance. It was recently pointed out to me that I still seem to have some issue with wrapping my head around two things – 1.) my age and 2.) that I am now, officially, ¬†a professional. Yes, I do have issues with this, particularly #1. I just turned 38 but you’d never know it. I dont look it. I don’t “act” it (and how in the world is one supposed to act any particular age, anyhow?) and I don’t generally -dress- like it because I didn’t have a household growing up that was anything other than blue collar. Now, I don’t dress like I used to – being semi professional and a recovering goth make that pretty easy – though I still tend to gravitate towards all black. But gone are the days of fishnet shirts under tank tops with chunky knee high boots and a cute skirt over more fishnets; replaced with jeans, a tee shirt and flats or sneakers most days.

The struggle comes in accepting who I am NOW instead of who I was or even who I want to be. The irony is I can’t get to be where I want to be until I accept where I am now and embrace it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy painting my dollies so much as well – I have an outlet for that recovering goth that’s not only beautiful, but the whole universe of Monster High in particular is about embracing your “freaky flaws” and being who you are – not what other expect you to be. This while holding on, somewhat, to the innocence and frivolity that is youth. Even funnier still is I’m generally the one to state that age is just a number and that when I get to be the big 4-0 it will be like any other age. I still believe that, but it’s easy to accept this train of thought when you don’t really accept your age to begin with. It’s certainly not a death sentence as many feel it is, but a new chapter – a new decade to explore and grow and adapt to.

I could continue on and on and I may in future posts…but for now I want others to know, even other thirty-something moms trying to hold down the fort without loosing their proverbial minds, that they aren’t alone, there are those of us out there that understand, and the struggle is real—-so don’t fight it. Embrace it.

How a Hobbyist Becomes a Collector…

So I started out repainting Monster High dolls primarily as a source of not only a creative outlet, but also a potential side income. I fully admit it. I’d seen the dolls in the stores, certainly and rather thought that they were an awesome alternative to Barbies and your standard Bratz dolls. Yes, there has always been conflict with the images that ‘fashion dolls’, including their matriach Barbie and all others have when it comes to what are they teaching our daughters? Unless a doll is an American Girl doll, it seems, you just cant win and better yet, you’ll likely have a drastically smaller bank account!

That being said, Monster High dolls are also extremely popular among those that enjoy the Japanese-inspired Ball Jointed Dolls, that are, quite frankly GORGEOUS but highly expensive. A Typical body for a BJD doll can run you more than $100, not counting accessories and clothing (much like the American Girl dolls), and that’s WITHOUT anything face wise – just the base doll to build off of. At least with American Girl dolls, you’re given a starter set of clothes the the doll is face-uped!

With all that to consider, MH is a wonderful, and cost-effective, alternative to the two, even with their ‘basic’ dolls starting at around $12.99 retail. Sets can get up to $24.99 – $54.99 – but you’re generally getting multiple dolls then.

Plus, with their unusual skin tones, wild hair and various accessories, you can easily customize a MH doll into pretty much anything you’d like with a little practice and creativity. That is, if you are creatively inclined. I’ve seen some HORRENDOUS repaints! But, as is true with the creed of MH – freaky flaws should be accepted and everyone should be appreciated for just how they are. (A creed that honestly stood out to me, as I would have LOVED an alternative doll like Draculaura or Frankie Stein when I was a young’in!)

So, here I sit – an almost forty something mom of two boys, and I repaint my MH dolls lovingly in the hopes that others will appreciate the work I’ve put into them and provide them a home – be it a collector or someone wanting to get a doll that’s a little different for their child to display. (*Due to various regulations, my dolls are NOT recommended for play but for collection and display only – much like you would a bisque or porcelain doll)! What has become quite humorous to me, however, is the fact that I have found dolls that I absolutely love just for the dolls themselves, and desire to have for my own personal collection. (In my home, if you have more than two of something, it’s a collection!)

I currently have two C.A. Cupid dolls (both release versions I do believe due to their facial mold differences), a Black and White Skull Shores Frankie Stein, a Gilda Goldstag and a Lorna McNessie doll all to myself. I’m still searching for an original Cupid (not the Ever After High version) to modify and after looking at the newly released Boo York, Boo York and the Freak du Chic lines – I would love to have a Freak du Chic Frankie Stein, Gooliope Jellington and a Boo York Mouscedes King and Elle Eedee for my own. (Freak du Chic Frankie is GORE-GEOUS!)

I have even found myself, when it’s just me at night and the rest of the house is sleeping or working, watching the cartoons and appreciating the world that Mattel has created. I’ve always been ecstatic that I didn’t have girls – I always wanted sons oddly because I always enjoyed traditional ‘boys’ toys when I was a kid myself and was a bit of a tomboy – and I’m oddly even more appreciative of the fact that I don’t have to ‘share’ my love for the line with anyone. Selfish, I know, but it’s the little things in life when you’re the only estrogen in a house full of testosterone! But for what MH is, and what it stands, for, I can’t argue. Its a playful line of toys that attempts to show that beauty isn’t ALWAYS something traditional, and that differences, even outrageous ones, are what make us unique and special. For that, I’m a die-hard collector – even if I do enjoy changing them up a bit. ūüėČ

 

 

 

 

 

New Listing – 5.20.15

So I know I’ve been a little remiss in posting as of late but that’s due, in part, to having a race to run and getting things up and going shop wise still. I’m always on the look out for new dolls to procure at decent prices (so I can keep the prices for my repaints relatively affordable!) and besides, I started a new position in my job which has me going non-stop almost all of the day so by the time I get home I’m exhausted! I’ve also been in a very introspective place which I think I will write about and share soon.

However, that didnt stop me from getting not one, but TWO new dolls up into my shop this past weekend. I generally try to get the new listings posted the same day that I get them in the shop, but it just hasn’t worked out that way this go around so hopefully it will with the next one. I also have a new WIP that I’m working on and a doll I had previously repainted that I’ve been debating rerooting – but trying to decide on hair! (Thankfully Dollyhair.com has a 10% sale going right now so I might just have to take advantage of that for her once I decide on colors!)

So, up for offer recently are:

 

Operetta Repaint

Now this one, this one I’m REALLY excited for and took great pride working on. Granted, I love all the dolls I work on, but sometimes you do something and you step back when you’re finished and you’re just EXCITED about the work you’ve created. This Skelita, now she I can sit back and say YES! This is why I do this.

   Skelita Calaveras Monster High Repaint        

 

As always, my dolls are repainted using high-quality Faber-Castell and Prismacolor watercolor pencils and soft chalk pastels. They are sealed using Mr. Super Clean UV Matte Sealant and Liquitex Gloss Varnish for their shiny parts. In both instances here, their hair was washed, conditioned and then boil-permed, styled and sprayed into place. All purchase information is located on my etsy shop.

You can also always follow my expoloits with dolls on the following social media platforms where in I offer regular promotional discounts to followers!

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/chrysaliscreati

Twitter: twitter.com/ChrysalisCreate

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chrysaliscreate

Instagram: instagram.com/chrysaliscreation/