10.28.2010

The Economics of Collecting Pt. 5: Finished But Not Done

My final lesson is something most people don't want to think about but is important. Once you have sold off what you don't want anymore it's a really good idea to keep an inventory. This can be done with a computer program or in a notebook, whatever is best for you. If you don't buy very often then it will be easy to maintain. If you do buy often then maybe you update it every few weeks before you forget what you have. Information included should be the doll name, the year made, the manufacturer and how much you paid. If you have significant others and aren't ready to share then store it somewhere safe. Obviously this is good for insurance purposes. No one ever thinks a disaster will happen to them until it does and the last thing you want to be dealing with is, "What did I have again?" on top of everything else.

The other purpose of the inventory is to help out loved ones in case something happens to you. Dealing with their own grief can be hard enough without having to deal with your collection as well, especially if it's extensive. For someone completely outside the doll world they might as well be looking at boxes of cutlery. They won't know what you've got in terms of quality or what to do with it so that prized Enchanted Doll might well end up on the garage sale table.

I was contacted this year by someone who's friend had passed and left her a collection that she didn't have the first idea about. She was overwhelmed and confused and I felt so bad for her. If it's possible it's a good idea to have a Godmother to your collection. My friends and I have made the commitment to be there and help with the collection in the case of passing. Picking a "second" is a big decision: it needs to be someone you trust, who has the strength to handle mourning AND the details of your collection and has the time to help your loved ones sell or actually sell off the collection for them. If you don't want to ask a friend to be your "second" then I suggest looking into doll brokerage firms that you can refer your family to. There are many companies that will handle listing on eBay for a fee they can look to as well. In any case the goal is to ease the pain of your family.

There you have it! We've come to the end of this series but have learned many valuable lessons: How to make a budget, prioritize our goals, trim out the fat, how to sell and what to buy. Just because the series is over doesn't mean that you can relax though. Collecting is like a child; you don't want to turn your back on it! Be aware of what you've got coming in and going out and you should be fine. I'm going to print off this series and aim to have a better handle on everything by Spring. With all the writing and working, I have yet to follow any of the steps to completion. Sure I've trimmed way back and have an abstract idea of budget, goals and what to sell but I'm looking forward to actually going through each step one by one and feeling good about my collection again.

When I started these features I was hoping to get some clarity myself while hopefully helping a couple of people out but the response has been amazing! I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one struggling with this so thank you all for taking the time to email me your stories. It bears restating that I'm not judging you on whether or not you implement the steps. These were merely guidelines to help take down the clutter in your house and head but if you are perfectly happy with where your collection is then great! It must have been strange hearing how to say "no" to buying from someone who sells for a living LOL but I have always professed to being a collector first so I get it. Good luck to us all and feel free to continue sharing in the comments section.  

10.27.2010

The Creative Process

I love that quiet you get when you're working on a doll and tunnel vision sets in. You don't turn on the TV, emails go unanswered, blog articles are late (lol), all because you have an idea that won't take "no" for an answer. Such was the case this week. Haloween has always been my most creative time so to have painter's block in October was a major bummer. Now that the dam is open, it's been most interesting.


I set out to do a Nymph in the vein of my last, Undine only to realize I was out of mohair and went to the store to pick some up only to find they don't carry it anymore (thanks, Universe, grumble grumble). So I hit the internet looking for mohair and there were so many different kinds and colors I never knew about! I ordered a small buffet that I wouldn't have normally and was eager to get on with the nymph but had to wait on the mohair to be delivered (thanks, Universe :( ) so I begrudgingly started on Ouija. 


Undine


I had intended for Ouija to be Skrybe, a different Wytch altogether. I bought the doll with Skrybe in mind, picturing how to do her hair and what to add to her to make her who she was. As I was working through my block and deciding to change up the colors and tone her expression compared to Wytches past, she slowly morphed into someone else (thanks, Universe :P). Now I could have forced her to be what I wanted and worked against what was emerging, I could have wiped her clean and started fresh and maybe when I was younger I would have. But I've learned that this is all part of the creative process. Sometimes you'll have a clear cut idea from start to execution and it stays that way or sometimes the universe knows better. You have to be open to receiving the ideas though and welcome the discovery instead of fight against it. With her eyes complete and her long quiet hair it hit me who she was and that excitement took her the rest of the way. 


Ouija


With Ouija finished and the mohair arrival, I went to work scalping my wicked witch. I dyed the mohair the color I wanted, trolled her and expected to have her done quickly. Enter the Universe again. The same week I also received a gift from a friend, a scalped nude Glamorous Red. I wasn't expecting her until next month and I really didn't know what I was going to do with her but I figured she was already bald so she might as well get mohair too. As I held the different colors up to her head, suddenly it clicked as to who she was and I was obsessed with getting her done! I have had this doll kicking around in my head for years now but nothing was quite right. I couldn't settle on a sculpt or hair color so she was shelved but here she was: My first Fury. She needed the mohair to work and only then would she be worthy of using these horns I'd held onto for 12 years, waiting of the perfect doll. With her pale skin, strong face and hint of Kabuki make-up, she was everything I ever wanted. Thanks, Universe :)


Tisiphone


So now my attention is back on the water nymph. Who knows if I'll be able to finish her this week or if there is some greater plan but I'm open to it and so thankful to the Universe for carrying me through my block.