Friday, March 31, 2023

New Heartbeats


New 16 second heartbeat boxes for dolls & plushies from! #ateliermandaline #dollsupplies #dollheartbeat

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday DIY


When we bought our house more than a DECADE ago we agreed it needed a kitchen renovation. It’s finally happening! We’re doing everything except the counter installation ourselves so it’s going to be a lengthy process but we’re excited!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mandaline Metaverse

 It's hard to believe, but my brand is almost 13 years old already! Although I started selling online in 1998 I didn't have a branded store until 2012, when I opened Atelier Mandaline on eBay and Etsy. The name came from my Mandaline Artful Living blog, which I started in 2011. At the time every variation of my name, Amanda, and nickname, Mandy, was taken. There was even an artist named Amanda Baer (my maiden name) who already had a website! I thought and thought and decided to use my grandfather's nickname for me, Mandaline, but even that was taken as a domain name! So when I bought my own domain I had to use Atelier Mandaline. 

"Atelier" means "studio" in French, and specifically the teaching studio of an artist. Doll companies have been called ateliers for hundreds of years, so it made sense to use that name. Unfortunately, "Atelier Mandaline" is really difficult for people to spell, so it's hard to tell someone my website and expect them to find it and it's too long for a lot of sites where I sell. My Poshmark boutique is called "Studio Mandaline" for that reason. Now, however, I was finally able to get the domain! So all my various sites will be united under the Mandaline brand ~ or Mandaline Metaverse, if you will! There are still some hiccups; every search and editing site constantly changes it to "Mandolin"!

In all the years I've had a brand I've only rebranded twice, and the second time was over two years ago, I still haven't moved the new logo to all my shops. Everything is just too scattered. It will be really nice to have one brand for good. I spent all day building the website. My brain is fried, so please, give me some advice! What do you think? It's far from finished. The very first photo of the lady with the laptop is only on there because I can't figure out how to remove it from the mobile version! It's terrible how technologically inept I am! I have learned a lot recently though. 

As you know I've been super busy taking classes for the last few months. One that I'm still knee-deep in is the Click Funnels software. Click Funnels just unveiled a one-stop branding site. That means eventually all my products, website, blog, membership site, courses, webinars, and email list will all run from one place on Click Funnels. Right now I have a confusing, clunky, and very expensive network of websites scattered all over the Internet. You only have to look at the homepage to see what I'm talking about; what a mess of confusing links! To build and connect it to Click Funnels I had to learn how to create a subdomain and code DNS tables. It took about a month longer than it should have but I finally did it!

So tell me, what does the overall design so far say to you?  I started as a reseller online, just buying goods on sale and selling them. Then I added custom dolls and doll supplies. But now I have my own branded dolls, doll supplies, home goods, fashion, and art. I am an author now too, teaching doll repair as a career, and I have more books on the way. I am branching out from dolls to teach people to start their own business in any field. So really Mandaline has become a lifestyle brand. I want to convey Mandaline as your destination for unique and custom-made goods as well as a place to learn to start your own journey to creativity or self-employment. Mandaline is about sustainability, exclusivity, and freedom. Does the website design convey that? Please let me know. And please let me know any topics you want me to cover in my upcoming courses and webinars as well. I love to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

New YouTube Channel


Subscribe to my new YouTube channel! I’m 
As you know, I’ve been making all kinds of videos because instagram hired me to be a content creator, so I figured I might as well have a YouTube channel too. So far my channel is just “shorts”; more short form videos of 15 seconds or less (a recent report says Americans’ attention spans are now only 7 seconds on average). I have ideas for longer videos on the way however! My husband got me a ring light tripod with remote for making videos and I’m excited to try it. Look for longer tutorials & recipes on my YouTube channel. Instagram doesn’t allow long videos & this blog only has the capability for smaller files so I can’t post long videos elsewhere. For all of you who’ve asked for video tutorials over the years, it’s your moment! I used to be wary of YouTube because of all the haters but now there’s a content moderation setting that restricts hateful comments so I’m hopeful it will become a more positive forum. I hope you’ll check it out and subscribe!
#ateliermandaline #youtuber

Monday, March 20, 2023

Revlon Doll Stringing

 Right now I’m restoring a vintage VT-18 Revlon doll. These dolls have a metal rod that extends from the head to the groin. The head is attached to the rod with a screw. Below that a large spring reaches the waist. The rod runs through a bell-shaped metal washer in the groin and is held on with another screw. Because of this sturdy construction you rarely find these in need of restringing. However, somehow the little mommy who owned my Revlon managed to rip her apart. It appears all her pieces are included but there’s no way to get them out of her body to re-assemble them.

I talk all the time about how doll repair involves a great deal of improvisation. Many vintage dolls have parts that are no longer available. This was a case in which I had to make up a repair. I attached a stringing hook to the top of the spring, as close to the neck as possible. Then I drew elastic cord through that down to the pelvis. I made a stringing bar from wire I inserted in the pelvis opening and strung the cord to that. Then I pulled as tight as possible and knotted it. The repair worked and Revlon has a twist and turn waist again! It is looser and actually more poseable than the original. This doll will be available from my shops soon, so keep watching!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Heartbeat Boxes


New Product Alert! Heartbeat boxes with sound AND vibration for dolls. This one (my sample) is spoken for but please comment or message me if you want to join the waiting list & I’ll let you know when they’re in stock. #ateliermandaline #dolldoctor #dollsupplies

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Mom Fails

 Here's a little departure from my normal fare. I had a really bad morning as a mom the other day and wanted to let you know how I dealt with it. My son, through poor planning, waited until it was time to leave for school to look for a folder and some other stuff he needed and as he was rushing around searching he knocked the pepper shaker from my vintage Spode set off the table and broke it. This set was my first Mother's Day gift 24 years ago so it was precious to me. I got very upset and fussed a lot at my son and made him cry. Then later I felt bad and like I over-reacted. 

The reason I felt so bad about it is I had a similar experience as a child when I wore. my mother's silver charm bracelet to 50s Day at school. I took off my costume and put it in a grocery bag after the  contest specifically because I wanted to keep her bracelet safe. Unfortunately it fell out of the bag and my school bus ran over it. And she yelled at me a lot and I felt terrible. The worst part was there was no solution. To this day I still have that smashed charm bracelet but there's no way to fix it.

So, my solution was to give my son a solution. I feel like if a child hurts you there really needs to be a way for them to make it up to you because you can be sure they do feel bad about it and want to make it up but as children they are basically powerless. I got on eBay and found a new set. I ordered it and told my son he can do chores to pay me back.  That's my advice as a mom for a pretty long time now: give your children some power to right their wrongs and try to give them grace. We all make mistakes. Give yourself some grace as well, because none of us are perfect.

Some other lessons: if you're missing something, no matter how old it is, look on eBay. Someone is probably selling it! As always I am an eBay affiliate so I may make a small commission when you click on one of my eBay links. Also, check out my friend Amy's Instagram page. She specializes in ceramic repair and does an incredible job. I've seen her repair other materials too. If I had not been able to find a new pepper shaker I would have sent mine to her.