May You Live In Interesting Times

Ever heard that?  It's supposed to be a Chinese curse.  Cracks me up whenever I hear it, because I know exactly what it means.  Although, I'd have to say it's more of a mixed blessing when I experience it.  Who wants a boring life, right?  Be careful what you wish for, chere.

The UFDC Convention was exciting, exhausting, exhilarating, and sometimes exasperating.  The facility--a resort hotel that looks like a castle when you drive up--is a monster of epic proportions, with the convention center part sprawling up the hill in three levels.  Fascinating to see, and of course I goggled like a country cousin upon first seeing the inside.  BUT that arrangement leaves attendees with no choice but to walk literally hundreds of feet from one level to another, and even the elevators don't help.  There were some elderly attendees who genuinely suffered from the quarter mile between elevators.

Oh well.  I got off track.

So...the event itself: lots of programs, seminars, and workshops to take.  My cloth and clay doll seminar was a blast--despite leaving my outline at home!  The sales room was a miracle of doll antiquity.  It was like visiting a museum, one where you can get up really close to the exhibits.  

Included in this miracle of antiquity was my fourth Close Encounter with Izzy Kind. She broke my heart.  She really did.  I didn't take my camera--I stink at remembering to take pictures!  But I did use my phone to take this one of "Agatha".  (That's my name for her, ugly as it is...for some reason I can't unthink it.  It's a mystery.)

By Saturday morning I was convinced I should have her, despite the $8500 price.  I mean, we bought Phil a Harley for more than that, right?  Well, when I talked myself down from the tree I'd climbed up in (the tale of which follows below), I was glad I resisted, though a kernel of regret will always remain.  She isn't the most beautiful of these dolls, condition-wise, but she has my favorite Izzy face. And those little hands...oh my.  I hope Edyth is right that "my" Izzy will come along when it works out best for me.

In an environment of emotional turmoil, Phil and I talked about JDConwell Art Dolls as a business.  His rationale about that much in doll money was this: he'd rather see me attend several expensive conferences, take classes and get known.  He asked me to think about it, but said if I really had to have the doll, then go for it.  Pretty brave, if you'd have seen me blubbering like I was!  But he was right.  Up til now, I'd never considered that kind of travel and exposure.  I'm pretty sure he'd never thought of it either, but by the time the Artist Showcase was over, we were both evaluating things in a new light.  So, thank you Agatha!  I hope your new home is wonderful.

I am convinced that faith is a key that opens doors.  The hard part is that the door doesn't open until you have the key...and generally there's no evidence it exists until you just close your eyes and believe it's there.  This kind of convention costs several thousand--who am I with my little dolly hobby to spend that kind of money on plane fare and hotels?

I'm a doll artist.  That's who. The response to my dolls at the Artists Showcase surpassed my wildest expectations.  I won't bore you with details, but I now have orders stretching into January of next year. And more than a few students for my upcoming online classes.

To further this business of art dolls, I will begin the stringently juried process of joining NIADA (National Institute of American Doll Artists).  This can take several years.  Those years will pass anyway, right?  I will attend two conventions in 2015: the Susan Quinlan Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention in May, and the NIADA conference in August--(the first round of judging for membership application).  One of these is paid for, thanks to last week.  Now to earn the other. 

Interesting times, indeed. 

Dear Diary

I registered for convention yesterday, and spent a while getting the lay of the land.  And goggling like a country cousin at that monster resort.  I mean, La Quinta is more our style, given the pets and the degree of income we're willing to allocate to a roof and clean sheets.

Still, there I was, huffing from my smart choice of taking the stairs.  The wisdom of this choice is debatable, but maybe by the end of convention, I won't huff so much.  Today will be moving in the Helper Doll, whose name is Ivy Jane Adams.  She's around 15" tall or so, her gown is old cotton and her cap is antique linen.  Old crochet lace on both.

I posted photos on FB of these last two...from now on, my online time might be less regular.

These are Pierrot and Billy the Kid. 

I am going to have so much fun this week...learning, teaching, and goggling at dolls.  Thank you, hubby, for talking me into the full monty on this deal.  Love you.

More finished dolls...

I've just about finished all the things I "had" to do regarding UFDC.  Of course, I'd love to have finished the OTHER half of the dolls, but as they work very well in their "in process" stages for the seminar, they're coming along anyway.

But here are two more.  I posted Tuxedo Kitty yesterday on FB, and Hugo today. 

Somebody once told me that I seldom make a doll with a smile.  I realized she was right.  I've always been a little leery of smiling dolls (call it the Chucky Factor?), so I set out to challenge myself.  These guys are okay...