Happy New Year! I’ve been absent for the past couple of months for a variety of reasons, I can’t exactly put my finger on one thing, but I have been thinking a lot about what my doll collection means to me and why I have it. The answer(s) are fairly easy: dolls have become sort of my “art”; they give me a creative outlet to sew, photograph, and tell stories. They also give me a connection with history that I love, even as an adult. That being said, lately I’ve decided that my doll hobby needs to focused around these reasons. I’ve come up with a few philosophical changes I’m going to be making:
- I decided to close my Etsy shop. I realized I don’t enjoy it at all. I’m not a good enough seamstress to really feel super confident about my products, so a part of me always feels stressed when I sell something because I worry about whether or not it will be good enough. I think I’m going to be selfish and spend what little time I do have to sew on making things just for me, though maybe I will consider doing a project for a doll buddy or a blog reader once in a while, we’ll see. Recently, though, someone asked me to do a custom outfit for me and I agreed, but then regretted it because I just could not get myself motivated to work on it, even though it was a really simple project. The end product was substandard quality in my mind and I felt terribly guilty selling it. I just want to be done with that stress. I think gave it a fair chance and I’m glad I tried, but it’s time to move on.
- Lately I’ve been helping my grandparents move out of their house as they transition to smaller, more manageable living arrangements. They lived in their house for over 50 years and it was just full of stuff. Full. Stuff. Everywhere. To the ceiling. I’m not exaggerating. They are definitely hoarders and it really just opened my eyes to what that lifestyle looks like and how unappealing I find it. I don’t want to be like that ever, and I don’t want my happiness to depend on stuff. Dolls certainly do make me happy, but so do a lot of other things that are a lot more valuable to me, namely the people in my life and the experiences I enjoy. I love to travel, spend time outdoors, read, and spend time with my family–all things that really involve minimal amounts of “stuff”. I want to make sure the things I really value in life are not material. I think what I’m saying is that I don’t constantly need more more more, but sometimes I feel like I’ve fallen into that trap over the past few years with my doll collection. I don’t need to own every single outfit that was ever made for each doll I have. It’s hard to have a collection without having “stuff”, I mean, that’s what a collection is, but I just want to make my collection less about the stuff and more about just enjoying what I have without stacking boxes of stuff to the ceiling and spending way too much money. I hope that makes sense. I don’t need to buy something every time AG has a sale. I don’t need to buy every little thing that I see that is “doll sized”. I want to enjoy the experience of my collection, not the piles of stuff. I think my doll hobby can be more about the experience–the creative and imaginative aspect–and less about the stuff, if that’s what I choose to make it. I’m not saying I will never purchase more dolls or doll items…I know that I will, I just want to be more thoughtful in my purchases: will this item enhance my experience with my collection, or is it just an item to have so I can say I have it?
- I want to keep doing what I’ve been doing with my blog: sharing my doll experiences, which usually means either sharing the outfits I’ve made or the scenes or photostories I’ve created. I would like to get back to my American Girls Club series, but truthfully that started to feel a little bit like an obligation, even though I never got that far into it. Every time I got together with my mom and sister I felt like I had to do a photoshoot for it so that I could utilize their dolls that are part of the “club”. My plan is just to continue doing it when I feel like it, but not sweat it when I don’t. 🙂
So, I ask you, readers, what would you like to see from She’ll Go Down in Herstory in 2018? I am very open to ideas and suggestions! I love my dolls dearly and am looking forward to another great year with them. I don’t know if I will get any new dolls this year or not…I do have one in mind that I will probably get if I go to the Benefit Sale again this year, but I’m not completely sure what my plans are for that. My husband and I are planning a thru-hike of the Superior Hiking Trail, so that will mean a two week backpacking trip in July (so excited!)…not sure if I will make it to the Benefit Sale or not.
I hope you all have a very happy New Year!