Friday, December 7, 2018

Tutorial: How to Swap Blythe Eye Chips

The original eye chips

Tonight on my website I show how to swap out your Blythe doll's original eye chips and change the direction of her gaze. I hope you'll check it out! This post teaches removal of the eye mechanism and eye chips, insertion of new eye chips, and modification of the gaze. You will also find links to purchase Blythe dolls and supplies, including new eye chips! Stay tuned for more Blythe customization tutorials, coming soon.

The new custom eye chips and modified gaze

Saturday, December 1, 2018

4th Quarter Blues

This Betsy McCall trunk set is now available in my shops

As many of you know, I am self-employed largely as a result of our adoption of two children with special needs. I feel incredibly blessed to live in an age when I can work from home, create my own career, and communicate with people all over the world. The Internet changed my life and has given me more opportunity than I ever imagined it could. That does not, however, mean it's made this life terribly easy. The fourth quarter of the year is a notoriously busy time for anyone in retail, and for a solo momtrepreneur like myself it's just insanity.

​This year, more than ever, I'm feeling the pressure of trying to be a mother as well as run a successful business. Our youngest son has a major surgery scheduled this Monday. He will be getting a bone graft and some facial revision to help correct his cleft lip and palate. We've always known he would need this surgery and his team of specialists have been working together for years to get him ready. This particular surgery is time-sensitive and must absolutely be performed during the optimal window of his dental development. We hoped to have it done during one of the school breaks but it just didn't work out that way. So now, right at the height of the sales season and my busiest professional time of the year, we have the surgery, and last month we learned our cleft team had gone out of network with our insurance company. Facing a $10,000 bill, we applied for Gap Coverage so we could pay in network, and thankfully it was granted. That process, however, required extensive phone calling and paperwork-filling for myself and my husband, and my son has visited almost his entire network of doctors in the past month to get all his pre-surgery check-ups and procedures finished. 

If you watch my social media on Instagram and Facebook you also know we discovered a rotten support post on our house that spread mold and decay into the interior walls and floor and then we had yet another water heater leak, so besides all the doctor visits we've had to work around contractor and plumber schedules. We performed much of the interior renovation ourselves. My husband has become a champ at installing drywall and I helped out with the painting.

Add to that all the cooking and cleaning and entertaining of the holiday season, and you'll understand why I haven't written a blog post or newsletter for ages. I sincerely apologize. I have been working hard to get new things made and posted for sale and the slideshow on my website shows a few of these. I know how much people love trunk sets during the holidays so I managed to finish a few like the Betsy set in the photo, as well as one doll and book set, and some single dolls. I was honored to create an adorable matryoshka birth announcement set, and my daughter and I collaborated to design some cozy winter poncho wraps. 

We are trying to fit an early birthday celebration into the weekend since it will be so long until our son can eat solid food and run around again, so I have my stores either on vacation or set for really long handling times. You can still place orders but I am not guaranteeing new custom order deliveries for Christmas and anything paid after 9PM on Sunday will likely not ship until Friday at the earliest. I truly hope you will still place orders because to be honest I need the money! As soon as I know how long we will be in the hospital and how well my son recovers I will update my handling time and get everything out as soon as I possibly can.

Please keep us in your thoughts and please know as soon as I am able I will get back to writing tutorials and posting new projects. This is my "why". I am so grateful to all of you for supporting me, reading my blog, shopping with me, emailing me , over all these years. You made my little family possible. You gave me the ability to drop everything and step away from my career when it's necessary for me to be just Mom. I'll be spending the day and night in the hospital on Monday, at the very least, and possibly longer. There may be a delay in my response to messages and questions during that time.
​Many blessings on you fall, until I can write again, Amanda

Sunday, November 4, 2018

For the Love of Blythe

Vadoma, a custom Blythe doll

I'm finally learning to make custom Blythe dolls! Visit my website to view videos and slideshows of my newest creations, as well as purchase your own ready-made or custom-order Blythe dolls and supplies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Another Keto-Ade

Today I posted my recipe for a vinegar tonic that helps me get through long fasts and remedy small amounts of "cheating" or higher-carb days on my diet. Unlike most vinegar tonics, this one has no gritty spices or added juices or sweeteners, so it's perfect for those following a ketogenic or carnivore lifestyle. The recipe, along with a link to purchase the ingredients, is posted on my website, so I hope you'll check it out!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Doughnut, Darling

After a delay due to illness, I finally got my Keto Doughnut recipe online. Visit my website to learn how to make my Keto Chocolate Frosted and Keto Apple Dumpling Doughnuts. These are so good we had them for supper one night! I sincerely hop you enjoy them. I'm at my lowest weight in two years, and if I can lose weight eating doughnuts for dinner I'll call this diet a winner!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Eye Swapping 101, A Tutorial

I'm so happy to announce my new line of custom designed doll eyes for American Girl and similar dolls! I worked for months to manufacture these with my customers' needs in mind. The result is a perfectly-fitting moving sleep eye which makes it easier to repair or customize your doll. Learn how to swap out your doll's eyes step by step with my tutorial:

I believe these eyes are even better than the originals, as they should be, since I spent nearly a year working with the manufacturer to perfect them. So far, Atelier Mandaline eyes are available in my four most popular colors: purple, green, blue, and brown. You can order custom-painted eyes from my Etsy shop as well. My goal is to expand my selection of colors and sizes eventually. Purchase Atelier Mandaline eyes from my eBay and Etsy shops. You can link to all my shops from my website.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Back To Business!

I'm happy to announce all Atelier Mandaline shops are open! Hurricane Florence finally arrived and has been steadily soaking us for two days, but we are doing fine. We will have a lot of leaves and sticks to clean up and the kids and dogs are stir-crazy, but we have been extremely fortunate, for which we are grateful. I also want to thank all those who called and sent texts and reached out here on the blog and Facebook page to make sure I'm okay. You are truly a treasure and I'm so happy to have you in my life!

Please consider helping those in the Eastern part of our state in any way you can; many have been devastated and it will only get worse when all this rain falling up here in the foothills flows back down to the coast. I will most likely be doing a fundraiser in the near future; please stay tuned for that. In the meantime, to make up for the inconvenience and loss of income from nearly a week's closure, I am running a sale on eBay and Etsy. You can link to all my shops from the Home page of my website