It's been too long since I posted! Believe me, I KNOW! The past few weeks have just been ridiculous. My youngest got sick with a painful, swollen face. We had X-Rays and a dental exam, visited the pediatrician three times, did a round of antibiotics, tried home remedies like tea bags placed inside his mouth, visited the orthodontist and had panoramic images taken, then went back to the dentist and had another set of X-Rays and finally, an abscessed tooth was discovered. My son had that tooth pulled yesterday morning and is now on another round of antibiotics. Next week he has to go back in for a follow-up. Naturally we have a high-deductible insurance plan and we are now pushing $500 for this issue, NOT what I need this time of year when we are awash with birthdays and Christmas spending. Luckily, about a week ago I set up discount offers for October and November. I hope you will take advantage of them!
In my eBay store I have vintage dolls 20% off. Then I'm offering several multi-buy discounts, which allow you to save more as you spend more. Kids' and babies' clothing and gear is Save $5 for every $50 you spend. Doll making and repair supplies are Buy 1, Get 1 20% off. That sale is mix and match, so you can buy supplies for different types of repairs and still get the deal. To see all my multi-buy discounts at any time you can visit http://www.ebay.com/sme/ab_art/offers.html. I still haven't figured out how to get regular sales to show up there, however, despite watching two webinars and emailing with customer service reps all week, so it's safest to visit my Atelier Mandaline store to see all my sales! Maybe someday I'll figure it out!
|Etsy coupon code|
You can take 15% off any order from my Etsy shop through 10/31 when you use the coupon code: SPOOKTACULAR at checkout. My newest listings in that shop have been primarily doll clothing and shoes for Ginny, Alexander-Kins, and Betsy McCall and Penny Brite dolls. I have tons and tons of dolls and trunk sets and gift sets and doll and book gift sets partly finished and flung here and there throughout the house. The barrage of doctor visits, band events, and school projects, along with preparations for visitors tomorrow and a birthday party on Saturday, has put me way behind. I really hope after all our guests leave I can get back to work.
I have had trouble working this week partly because I am literally exhausted. We have a situation in our extended family which started two years ago and has just been getting worse and worse. No one else is very worried about this, and the people around me are sick of hearing about it, so I just feel friendless and alone and so upset I haven't been able to sleep. I've slept fewer than 7 hours over the past two nights. In some part my sleeplessness is due to the fact that Friday is Senior Night, so I have to walk out on the football field in front of the entire town with my son, and I've been trying to lose weight on this protein shake diet for three weeks and have been waking up about 3:30 AM starving and too hungry to go back to sleep.
Mostly, however, I am upset because of a situation which has placed children, babies, actually, in a wildly inappropriate environment (which, as a biological and adoptive mother with many years of experience dealing with child development, is almost unbearable to me) and I am not being allowed to do anything about it. Most of the adults involved are acting extremely selfishly instead of putting the best interest of the children first, and a couple actually tricked me into vouching for them in a letter to a court of law by flat-out lying to me repeatedly. My husband has been entirely unsympathetic and unsupportive as well so the whole thing has really done a number on our marriage. It has me so incensed and anxious I just lie awake all night grinding my teeth and stewing about it and when I do fall asleep I have nightmares. So, my little PSA for today is, if you really care about the direction in which our country and society is heading please worry less when you're voting about ideological issues and more about the wreck that is our foster care system. Tiny children are on the front lines and their parents, no matter how drugged out, how many years incarcerated, how often they abandon their children, hold all the rights. The children have none, and they are the future of our country. Oh, and our tax dollars are paying to support all this!
|My biggest wholesale order|
Another worrying thing that creeps into my mind in the night is the amount of money I have been spending on inventory and supplies for my shops. I've been fielding requests for various items for months and my BOGO 20% off sale on doll supplies has worked so well I was almost cleaned out of eyes and crier boxes the very first day! So I held my breath and placed the largest wholesale supply order in my history. That's the printout above: two whole pages! The photo was taken in the wee hours when I decided to go ahead and get my shipping done instead of lying awake biting my nails. I was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise!
|A vintage doll school textbook|
Fortunately I'm not really friendless. Through my shops and blog I've "met" so many wonderful people and I've had the really good fortune recently to strike up a fast friendship with Lyn, a woman I've never met in person, but who is always willing to listen to me vent and to give me great advice. Last night she told me to just focus on the things I can control. This morning as I reflected on that I realized how achy my shoulders have been. It's like I have a heavy load on my back. And I have had; I've been carrying a burden that isn't even mine and the fact that it's psychological doesn't make it any lighter. I hope my little venting post helps me release it. I have to just come to terms with the fact that I can't save every child. I can't control other people's actions. I can only make sure I'm doing my best and what I know is right.
Anyway, Lyn sent me a wonderful ticket to a more graceful age in the form of a vintage correspondence course textbook called Dolls. It appears in 1961 one could graduate with a doll making and repair degree from the Lifetime Career Schools and go one to run a successful shop. I sure wish this course had been around these past 15 years while I've been teaching myself through trial and error! Be on the lookout for many more doll-specific repair kits as I teach myself using this course. Some things are a little obsolete, obviously. Have a moldy Tiny Tears? I do, upstairs, so I looked up the fix. Why, you just order a new head from a "doll supply shop" and you can pop it on in seconds while your client waits! I wish! And broken walker doll legs aren't really fixable, so just order a new body from the same doll supply shop! I could certainly use that for a Muffie I have in my studio right now! I love the little dolly doctor shown in the book!