Friday, February 2, 2018

To be more experiential in 2018...

Wow, January has already left! Yep, just like that.

A couple of days ago, I was weary that this means I have already spent some 31 days at my work area. And me focusing on that aspect of my craft (the time spent) felt wrong. So I asked, really, should I continue operating in that perspective? I have started asking this question because of something I encountered months ago. While leisurely browsing through my Instagram feed, I came across a post from one of my favorite miniature artists. She talked about her love for the craft, and how it gave her joy through the years. In that same post though, she was also saying that she may not anymore be producing as much items for her shop as her time is now consumed mainly by her other more commercially successful endeavors.

I totally get her. Self-employed crafters are often the most hardworking people in the world, but necessarily not the better compensated section of the workforce. We love our craft too much that sometimes at the end of the day, we only cared about the process, the questions being answered by the process, or that we don't have cares at all. We forget to allot the essential time of studying pricing, marketing, and all that uneventful admin lot. We get sucked into the craft that we lose sight of the trading part of the whole business. We then realize that all the work did not produce the sales needed to sustain the craft.

This falling in love with our craft, isn't necessarily bad at all, as I pondered lately, in the grand scheme of things. It's even ideal - in a crafter's dream world, that is.

But like I said, I understand her deeply. Being a part of this society, I always worry about the numbers. And to make sure I have enough funds in the bank, I plan my year, months, weeks and days, even my hours out such that no time is wasted. It will then be a relief if I ticked all the boxes for the day. But on days when I would miss some to-do's, I automatically wallow in this self-destructive feeling of worthlessness. Then I'd feel my entire body holding tightly. I breathe less as I try to think through my mess because this means I had to steal some time off the succeeding day, and if I'm not lucky/industrious enough (wow - industrious! Never used that word since grade school!), I might also eat into the next few days and eventually ruin my week's schedule. If this not-so desirable situation becomes more frequent, it gets even more chaotic.

For a couple of days now, I tried to process this worry thing and it came to me that the root cause of all this madness is one of the biggest fears I have had since childhood. I feared it so much that I'd rather stress unto things, than actually live that fearful moment. I was raised in a household where not earning enough was a total no-no. I fear so much the possibility of becoming the person that never earned enough. That person was given the bad rep despite being awesome in other life aspects. That person is no good, nobody should want to be like him, that was the message. In the eyes of a child, everything around her is magnified, that there's only two options in life - to be or not to be. I guess that became my own demon that I carried through adulthood.

But, wait, don't think of this post as another one of my sad observations in life. It's quite the opposite. In fact, I am so lighthearted right now as I type this post. Thank goodness I gave two days to just really dig into this hole.

I then decided to make it different this year. No more worrying too much. I probably just need a bit of it as a reminder. I will have to accept that there will be days of unsuccessful prototyping. There will be days when I'd be sick and can't work. There will be days when I just want to lazy around and do other things that I love, and some days being away from my table to attend to family matters. I will take these frozen days in a more experiential manner. The operative word there is experiential.

Remember when we were children and everything we do is plainly experiential? We jump and run around, we eat, drink; we do things for the sake of doing them. We act because acting itself is what matters most - it answers our silly little questions! There's no meaning or purpose that we expect from the act. Life was awesome.

Before I start talking about the time when we started ruining that kind of life, which I can talk about for hours, too, let's hold on to that lighthearted feeling I mentioned earlier, shall we?

This year, I want to see through the lens of the experiential. I'll let go of preconceived notions, meanings, purposes, plans. Sure, there will be a list, but I will avoid going into the details of it. I'll probably ditch the details of my 2018 plan. Maybe a monthly goal will suffice. And a monthly goal is something that comprises two things - one that is egotistic and the other, the non-negotiable egoistic. The egotistic part will serve the capitalistic world that I am a part of, and then the egoistic is that super essential thing that should mostly take my time. But there's a catch. I'll make sure that the egotistical part is easy to tackle, because really, why fuss about it? When challenge is low, it becomes experiential. And since the egoistic part is a free-style zone, it will always be experiential. I'll be more experiential in this setup. Maybe so, maybe not - I'll just have to take in what the moment offers.

'Til next time, friends!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Super excited for you, 2018!!! Welcome!!!

OMGEEE!!! It's a brand new year and isn't it exciting, my loves?

First of all, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you who stayed with me, through the good times and the bad. I know I hadn't been communicating enough over here last 2017 and I also know that you understand my situation. That's something I am forever grateful about. A community that accepts and loves you and what you do is basically family - that is what you are to me, guys. Daghang Salamat sa tanan.

Exciting - that's how I am feeling for 2018. I know this is not much of a new feeling to me, as the first time I felt this was new year 2015, when I quit my job and I was so ready to focus on my dolls, fabrics and designs for the first year. This time, it's a different level of excitement. I had some questions answered last year that things have become clearer today.

One of the questions I tried to answer was, do I really want to make how-to videos. The idea started when I felt the need to share my diorama ventures. I felt that my brick wall design was something to share so I made some videos to document my process as I continue to finish the dio project. When I was preparing my videos, came up the question. Do I really want to make how-to videos? The only way to answer this was to continue making them, I thought, and find out if I am having fun or not. I shared my pattern making process, which is something I preach about because making my own pattern gave me the freedom and the capability I want in my craft. Then I realized I enjoy sharing these parts of me, and decided to document my actual processes and share them online. Question answered - I do wanted to share my way, hoping to inspire others in the process.

Another question I asked myself last year was, how much do I love collecting and what are my limitations? I went through a massive self questioning about this because I started my craft and this blog for the love of dolls, and it seems like for years of adding more dolls and fabrics and miniatures into my room, I felt empty. I have too much around but I didn't have the time to enjoy them. I didn't have enough time to look at each of them and appreciate. I then asked myself, am I collecting for the right reasons? My financial health is dwindling, because I probably have been buying too much, and forgetting about the profound reasons. So I took one hard look at my collections - dolls, fabrics, art materials, miniatures. They are such wonderful reminders of the good things in my life, past and present. The people who were kind to me, my old self, my fearless self, the parts of me that I should never forget, and even try to nurture more in my life because somehow they matter more. So my answer to that question was to pause collecting and try to enjoy what I have. Just focus on what I have, not having to buy new things, and just appreciate their existence with me. My pocket is super happy; a wonderful manifestation of this answer.

Lastly, I answered so many questions about myself. My old, suffering version of me had a long list and I had to help out. You probably can tell my MIA days; that was when I curled in a corner but faced my fears. Fortunately, I have a loving husband to cuddle me in times of self-destruction of sorts. I realized so many things that I finally stopped blaming everyone. I accepted my fate and my past, and I felt so much lighter.

Thus, this kind of excitement - the highest level so far! And I am very happy to be prancing my way to this new year. I won't promise to blog often because most of the time, a current question plaguing me will be easily answered as me and hubby have our daily morning coffee together by the garage our house. But I promise to be as open and authentic and brave as this as I am with my craft. I know you will be here with me, and as I am will be, with you. I realized that life is just a series of questions to be answered. The way I used to see was that it was a chain of skills to master, titles to achieve, bank accounts to fatten. Nope. And I'm so much more excited to know this own truth. Who knows what 2018 will bring - but I am so excited to embrace everything. Everything has a reason and with love and acceptance, life is going to be well.

I made a little YouTube video as a tribute to the awesome year that was 2017. Me and the girls are super grateful!


A million hugs to you, my dear and I would like to wholeheartedly extend to you this childish excitement of mine. It's so sweet and true, it's worth sharing with you. Have an even more awesome 2018, dollies!

love lots,
shasha

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Yay - featured again!

Hey dolly gang!

I just wanna share with you another happy moment in this little crafter's life: my little story as an entrepreneur is featured in one of Asia's best source of up-to-date parenting and child education know-how - Parents' Guide Asia

It was an honor for me to be invited to share my thoughts 
on entrepreneurship as an alternative to the typical 9-5 job.
Thank you so much for this opportunity, Stephen!

Surprisingly, it feels wonderful to write about my own experience as the person
behind the little dresses and tiny doll faces.
That was a great warm-up to finally write that About Me page
there after being blank for years, right?
About time, right? 
Tee hee...

Below is the photo I submitted for the article, which you can find here.

Aki and I in Kyoto, Japan last October 2017

I hope you enjoy that little something about the thought behind the process.

Oh, and I realize this might be the first time I shared my most recent photo here on the blog?
Wow, so so sorry for that, darlings!

I did plan on sharing some photos of our Japan trip, with me and my family in them,
but since it feels like the delay had been too much,
I thought I'd just skip.

Oh, I did share some photos in flickr.
You might like to check some of Aki's photos there, too ;)

So, see you soon, my loves, and again,
thank you so much for all the support and love!

xoxo,
shasha