Friday, February 27, 2015

A Color By Any Other Name................

As mentioned, I shop for my craft supplies on the internet.  A couple weeks ago I found a really pretty piece of fabric, so I bought it.  The auction said it was "grape purple".  I LOVE purple.  SO--it came.  And it is NOT "grape purple", plain purple, almost purple, or ANY purple.  It is BLUE.  Here is the auction pic;
 HERE is the fabric I got;

 I took pics in natural light, with and without flash, and in a room with overhead lighting.  Every pic turned out like the one above.   SO--I did not leave negative feedback, I left neutral feedback, mentioning the color difference.  The seller got snotty and said "It's grape purple with blue flowers."

OK folks--I am an artist.  My LIFE is colors. I hope this lady gets her eyes checked, because there is something wrong with them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What the HELL is going on in Texas???!

I do most of my hobby shopping on Ebay and Etsy.  Sometimes I buy from places overseas--not often, but once in a while.

Last week, I got a package from Sweden.  It came 6 days after my purchase.  The fabric I bought from Texas?

THAT took ten days to get here, first class mail.

I get packages from all over the country--the East coast has been a bit slow, but given all the storms they have had, it's a wonder they are functioning at all.   But TEXAS???  What the HELL is going on down there?

Now it has happened again--I bought three fabrics, one from Michigan, two from Texas.  The Michigan one is moving right along.  The two in Texas?  They have been sitting at the same facility for FOUR DAYS.  I can only conclude that the postal workers in Texas are either lazy, stupid, or simply can't do their jobs.  I don't believe for one minute their volume of mail is so high there that they just can't take care of it in a timely fashion.

So how about PRIORITY mail from Texas?  You know, the kind you pay extra for, and is SUPPOSED to be delivered in TWO DAYS?

Yeah--forget that.  It STILL takes 7-10 days to get to it's destination.

I am done "shopping" in Texas--sorry, sellers.  You better take this up with the Texas postmaster, because there is a BIG problem somewhere.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter--PLEASE go away!

As I sit here writing, our windchill is minus 25 degrees, and dropping.  In one part of Minnesota, the TEMPERATURE (not the windchill) was minus 41 degrees.  This is the weather that you cannot go out in--your eyeballs literally freeze.  

I know the whole country is cold.  I find it strange that the powers that be say this has been the "warmest winter on record".  Where the hell are THEY living??  Seriously??

"So what?" People say.  "It's winter.  No big deal."  But to those of us with chronic pain diseases, this is a very big deal, indeed. 

You see, when you have Fibromyalgia--as my daughter and I do--and also Lupus--as I do--winter is not just a pain in the butt.  It is a pain EVERYWHERE.   The cold weather makes our pain worse.  Incoming weather fronts make our pain worse.  Just breathing hurts.  Our legs are in such pain we have trouble walking.  Our hips ache so badly we have trouble walking.  I have had to use my cane more days than "normal" this winter, and I am mighty sick of it.  So please, winter--get the heck out of here, already!!  Some warmth and sun would be SO very welcome!  Yes, of course we will still have pain--that's what a "chronic pain disease" is--but it won't be as bad.  


Sunday, February 15, 2015

My thoughts on Wood--and why wooden dolls are so special

I have very definite opinions about wood, and why wooden dolls are so special.
Wood is a living thing.  Because of this, I believe it has the ability to store and project feelings, memories, and emotions.

Your home, no matter where you live, is primarily composed of wood.  Have you ever walked into a house, and immediately felt something was not right?  The wood has absorbed the negative things that have happened there.  Likewise, you have probably walked into a home that made you feel good--same thing, the wood has absorbed the good energy and emotions it has been subjected to.

A doll made from wood is the same.  The wood holds the energy and emotions it was subjected to.  Wooden dolls truly do have a soul, because they were once part of a living being. 

Wood is warm.  Again, because it is from a living thing.  A wooden doll, while she may SEEM "new", is in truth many, many years old. By the time the tree was cut or fell down, it could be 20 to 100 years old or more.

When I carve a doll, I like to think about what events in history her tree might have stood witness to. Can you imagine holding a doll that was made from, say, a tree that stood by the side of a road, and saw countless soldiers heading off to war--or even better, heading HOME?  How many thousands of human lives came in contact with that tree? 

So even though a wooden doll cannot speak with words, and tell you what she has seen, she REMEMBERS.  She is part of our history in a very special way. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Contentment--at what cost? Part 4

So this final chapter brings me to a year and a half ago, when I picked up my carving knives after a five year absence, and the first doll to emerge was Evie.

If you read this blog, you know who Evie is.  Evie came into my life through the work of my hands and my heart, and taught me about my strengths, weaknesses, and so much more.  But the greatest gift Evie gave me was the knowledge that I didn't HAVE to have a "Hitty doll", but I could still have a small wooden doll who had all of the good characteristics of Hitty, with none of the negative aspects that had been foisted on her by the online commmunity.   Suddenly I had a doll that meant the world to me--and she didn't cost thousands of dollars.  She was not made to compete with anyone or anything else in this world.  She was not tainted by jealousy, anger, or obsessive desire.  There was NOTHING about her that had been touched by the angry and cruel online Hitty world.  She was, and is, simply Evie.  She changed my life in so many ways.

I believed I would never carve another doll to equal Evie, but that was okay.  For the first time in all the years of doll collecting, I was perfectly contented.  I had no desire to own other dolls.  It took me a while to realize that, as old habits die hard--I still bought a doll now and then.  But they were just dolls.

Did I still think of Hitty?  Sometimes.  But it no longer made me sad, it was just someone I knew in the past.

Then, in January of this year, Hitty roared back into my life in a way I could not have foreseen.

While emptying out an old cabinet, I found a partially carved doll who had somehow ended up way in the back, and was forgotten for 12 or more years.  Now, I KNEW this was Hitty, because I knew she was cherry wood, and I had purchased the blank from Judy Brown well over a dozen years ago.  I started to carve her, and stopped--and she lay there, forgotten and unfinished, all these years.  When I found her, I was startled--first because I had forgotten all about her, and second because she was in a cabinet where I NEVER put my carving.  I still do not know how she ended up there. But there she was, and as I held her in my hand I thought, "I see someone there"...........

Well it wasn't too many more days before I dropped everything else I was doing and finished this doll.  To my great surprise, I knew when she was in progress that she was the best I had made since Evie, and that is saying a lot--because I had carved 25 or more dolls since Evie, and none of them seemed special to me.  Then came the dilemma--yes, she was Hitty.  No, she COULDN'T be Hitty.  Well, she LOOKED like Hitty--sort of.  But my mind wouldn't go past that.

So Winter Treasure was born.  She is not what most people would call pretty, but she has a huge presence. She radiates serenity. Although she was intended to be a Hitty doll long before she came to me, she was also wise enough to hide from me all those years that I couldn't even stand the name.  Had I found her sooner, I know without a doubt I would not have finished her--she would have gone in the box with all my discards, never to be seen again.  

Some may look at her, and call her Hitty--to me, that is just a name, and certainly not who she is.  Like Evie, she has taught me about life and about this soft bag of skin I call "me", and all without speaking a word.  Her serenity has seeped into my life and affected it deeply, and I am truly contented--with two simple, little wooden dolls that didn't cost more than a few dollars and lots of love.  THAT is the cost of contentment in my world.  The secret to having it all is believing you already do. 
I hope everyone who reads this finds that balance in their own life. You don't have to look for it--it's there, and will find you when the time is right.  Just believe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Contentment-at what cost? Part 3

I have mentioned that many people got the heck OUT of Hitty world after the crow flew in.  One of them is a really good friend of mine--here is her story.
She hung on as a member of the Hitty chat board long after the rest of us left.  She was still excited with Hitty and wanted to learn more, and to share.  With great excitement, she planned for an upcoming Hitty lunch at one of the big doll events.  The day came, she went to the room where the lunch was to be held, and when she went to sit down at a table with some other ladies, the crow flew over and told her--none too politely--that THIS particular table was "reserved" for members of HER group!  The thing is, my friend WAS a member of her group!  She can only guess because she wasn't one of the proverbial "butt-smoochers", she didn't count.

Thus ended my friends involvement in the group.

So now we are up to the point where many of us who left are beyond disgusted with the whole online mentality, or lack thereof, concerning Hitty. Make no mistake, there are MANY mean, nasty women involved in this group.  They will not hesitate to cut your throat if you let them get near--oh, all in the name of Hitty, of course.  That dear, simple little wooden doll who was made with love and loved everyone.  They are ruthless when it comes to getting the dolls they want, and whatever it takes to get them, and whoever falls by the wayside, too damned bad.  How do I know this?

Because some of them came after me, and it was NOT pretty.

It was shortly after these incidents that I packed it in.  I sold everything I had that was Hitty related, I could no longer bear to look at any of it.  Even the mention of her name was an irritation.  I went quietly back to my own little world, where my friends understood what had happened.  

Years went by.  I carved LOTS of dolls--but not Hitty.  More years went by.  I finally carved some Hittys--I thought maybe I was ready to go back to that whole concept.  But I wasn't.

********To be continued**********

Monday, February 9, 2015

Contentment--at what cost? Part 2

Suddenly,  "Hitty" as we know her, no longer exists.  Hitty goes to CAMP!  YES!  At only about $130.00, YOUR Hitty can travel to camp! (I don't remember the exact price, but I think that's close.)  So you pay your dolls "travel fare" both ways--PLUS $130.00.  For this, you get some cheap souvenirs, and some photos (that cost nothing.)  I am sure the Old Crow laughed all the way to the bank! (Just think, for every ten dolls that went to "camp", she pockets a cool $1, 300.00.)   You send her your doll, she dresses it and takes a few photos for that price---  Such a bargain!  (What a racket!  The Mafia would LOVE this!)   Except.................

Hitty never went to camp.  I am sure Rachel Fields would turn over in her grave if she saw what was happening.  

"Hitty" has become a cash cow.

Suddenly, the name "Hitty" is tagged onto any and every thing.  If you can slap Hittys name on it, you can make a buck!  Yay!  (Do you still wonder why I call these people "Hidiots?")

This attitude literally drove hundreds of REAL Hitty fans into hiding.  Now mind you, I am not saying it is WRONG to profit from Hitty--I myself carve a Hitty doll now and then and sell her on Ebay.  But the original "spirit" of Hitty--her honesty and values--has gotten lost in all the craziness.  And this never would have happened had "The Empire" not taken over. 

So because of all this, suddenly--prices for the decreed "desirable dolls" skyrockets.  A Lotz Hitty, that cost 400 dollars originally, is suddenly selling for two to three THOUSAND and more.  WHY??   And why don't people see what is happening here??

To be continued!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Contentment--at what cost?

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but for many years I was into the "Hitty mentality" that exists onlineThe "goal" of the online Hitty community seems to be to have the most desirable Hitty dolls, and to thereby feel like you are somehow better than anyone else.

Let's go back maybe 16 years ago--Hitty chat boards were fun, and full of genuinely nice people.  Then into this pretty world stormed a woman most people know as the "Old Crow"--and all of a sudden you would think she had single handedly discovered Hitty!  She quite literally took over as judge, jury and executioner in the online world of Hitty.  Boards were made, rules were made, and if you didn't play according to her rules, you were ostracized.  She acted like this doll and anything pertaining to it were her sole property, and God help you if you didn't agree.

I was one of the ones who didn't agree.  You cannot create a personal online "Empire" over a doll that you have no legal RIGHTS to!  Yet people followed blindly, and allowed this self declared prophet to continue, which only fueled her overblown attitude towards herself.  To this day, the insanity she has created continues, and brings in more followers.  Like some sort of sick cult, it continues. 

 I myself am no longer a part of it.  Many others have also dropped out, sickened by the self righteous attitude of not only this woman, but her daughter.  For many of us, it has ruined the whole concept of Hitty.

Back then, when I was one of the blind sheep who bought into this insanity, the single most important thing was to have the most "desirable" dolls.  At one time I had three Hittys by DeAnn Cote, and two by Jean Lotz.  Were they all that great?  No, but online mentality convinced me that they were.  Then one day I woke up.  I took a hard look at the dolls I supposedly loved, and guess what?

THEY MEANT NOTHING TO ME.  They were just carved wooden dolls, and I felt no "connection" to them.  I was sick of the whole game, sick of the competition, sick of the prevailing attitudes.  So I sold my dolls and got the hell OUT of "Hitty World"--and away from the women who, to this day, I call "Hidiots".

  ******************To Be Continued!!***********