Madame Alexander Anniversary
2023 is the 100th anniversary of Madame Alexander dolls. Beatrice Alexander is my ultimate role model ~ she started making cloth dolls for her father to sell when his doll hospital & shop was hit with a shortage of porcelain dolls & parts due to World War I. The European doll manufacturers were destroyed in the war. Beatrice wanted an unbreakable but sanitary material for doll making & approached her friend, an engineer at Dow Chemical… & he made hard plastic for her! Beatrice Alexander is one of the most influential American entrepreneurs & most people never heard of her. #madamealexander #ateliermandaline
The 5th day of the Unbreakable Challenge starts in a little while. I am so impressed and inspired! Thanks so much to everyone involved in producing it! #ateliermandaline #unbreakablechallenge #grantcardone #10x
Back to School
I've been taking business classes recently and I wanted to share one of my recommended teachers. I took Kreithchele Barnard's epic ThredUP class from Kreithchele's Academy a few years ago. I paid around $40 for the class and ended up making thousands of dollars in just the first couple months using Kreithchele's methods. Now I'm taking her course creation class so I can learn to make my own online courses. Kreithchele has a class on The Real Real coming in a few months and I am excited about that. I am already enrolled. Kreithchele also teaches accounting and book-keeping for resellers online. Kreithchele is a former Santa Ana college adjunct teacher and she speaks very clearly and concisely so her classes are easy to follow. I never have to stop the recording and rewind because I couldn't understand what she said, which happens often with other classes I've taken. In fact, I believe in Kreithchele's classes so much I became an affiliate for her. If you use my links in this post to sign up for any of her courses I will get a commission. So, if you've ever thought of becoming a reseller or online teacher I really recommend her school. As always, I really appreciate you using my affiliate links to help me keep my tutorials free!
Another site I really like is Mindvalley.com. Different experts teach classes on subjects from meditation to weight loss to business. I have a yearly subscription and am partway through my third course with them. I am not an affiliate for Mindvalley so this is not a paid post but just a recommendation of great site to help you expand your knowledge on many different subjects. I think it is extremely important to become a lifelong learner, not only to preserve your intellect as you age but to improve your quality of life.
Please let me know what kinds of courses you would like to take. If I am knowledgable about the subject I will be happy to create a course of my own.
Flash Sale! Happening now on eBay & Etsy ~ the flash sale! Save up to 50% off. Link to my both shops from the Home page. Sale ends Tuesday.
Winter Wonderland Live Sale
Winter Wonderland Live Sale! Join me one week from today, Thursday 1/19 at 7:30 PM for Jamble’s Winter Wonderland event. I have 30+ winter coats, sweaters, & more for men & women. Prices start at $2 per item! Prize giveaways! Use the Jamble link in my bio to join the show. Use code ATELI10 at signup for a $10 credit! #ateliermandaline #jamble https://jamblelink.com/show?show=l8923AqFDwMhuWZQhVuX&profile=s2ZUazMWIjgT8saZMbEunMjvUQp1
The Fountain of Youth
So, here's something you NEVER see: me without a stitch of makeup or a filter! I'll be 49 in a couple months, so showing my naked face isn't something I'm usually into. Plus, if you remember my post last month about Instagram (please watch and comment on my reels so I get paid!) hiring me as a content creator, I am now competing for views with influencers young enough to be my children, which is not exactly confidence-boosting! However, I wanted to share a product with you that's just amazing. It's called Plexaderm Rapid Reduction serum. You've probably seen the infomercials on television. I am not getting any payment from Plexaderm for this post; I just wanted to share a product that's made an incredible difference for me (although as always when you click on an eBay link in my social media I may get a small payout since I am an eBay affiliate).
This serum is for under eye bags and crow's feet but I have been applying it to my eyelids, forehead, and lines around my mouth. You put it on and wait 10 minutes without moving your face and you can actually see it pulling your skin taut so the wrinkles just disappear! The only issue with my "off-label" use is it makes my forehead feel dry. You can't apply makeup or moisturizer over the serum because moisture de-activates it and your face will either sag back to normal or your makeup will clump all up so you look like a leper or both. You might be able to carefully dab some powder over the serum if you want to use it, or maybe some powder eyeshadow but I haven't tried that yet. Yesterday I used a little concealer on some uneven spots and acne scars in areas where I did not apply the Plexaderm but today I didn't use anything. I think I look pretty good for someone who's pushing 50, especially since I haven't slept well the past few nights! Seriously, I need Plexaderm to make this stuff in vats so I can use it all over my body!
My grandmother taught me a DIY version of this tightening serum. It doesn't last as long but if you're on a budget it will do. In her recipe you separate some eggs. Then you whip the whites and yolks separately and apply the whites in a thin layer to areas where you have wrinkles. Apply the yolks to blemishes and acne. Let the eggs dry and leave on for 30 minutes. Try to move your face as little as possible. Then dab the egg off very gently with a wet washcloth (no soap). Your face will be tight and you can apply makeup over it. However, as I mentioned the effect only lasts for a couple hours. The Plexaderm lasts for up to 10 hours.
Grandma had a freezer version where you took a cardboard tube from a toilet paper or paper towel roll and filled it with the egg mixture. To fill it you stood it on end on a plate lined with tinfoil and poured the egg into the top of the roll. Cut down the roll first if it's a paper towel tube. Then place it in the freezer. Once it's frozen make a little foil cap for it and keep it in the freezer. Then you can tear away the top of the tube as needed to expose the egg and rub it on your face like a lipstick. It melts on contact with your skin and then re-hardens. In the summer that feels really good.
I adapted the recipe to just use the entire egg. It seems just as effective and it's less work. Plus I still occasionally struggle with acne as well as wrinkles so I thought why not use the whole egg? I just beat a whole egg and apply it to my face. I know eggs have become very scarce and expensive lately. I stocked up on powdered eggs during the last egg shortage (plus we always have powdered eggs, cheese, butter, and milk in our "hurricane kit") so I may experiment to see if I can make a powdered egg facial. I'll let you know if that's successful.
The fountain of youth is an appropriate subject for my first new year's post, I think! I am sorry I have been absent. Between the holiday preparations and my reel-making and Jamble live selling and then travel for Christmas I was swamped. We also fit a surgery into the break; our daughter had her wisdom teeth removed a couple days after Christmas. Then we spent a weekend in our tiny cabin. I had not been up there for three months; in fact, we never even decorated with our miniature Christmas tree! It was really wonderful to get away and relax. I also got to try out my new chest waders, my big Christmas present. We spent a few hours fishing in the river. We didn't get any fish but it was still a pleasant, peaceful day.
As you know, I've been taking multiple business classes. I have a goal to automate as much of my business as possible so we can get away more often and so I can get back to making things, which is really my favorite activity. I have tubs and tubs full of dolls waiting to be restored and customized, and more tubs of fabric waiting to be sewn, and boxes of rocks I've gotten into polishing and making into jewelry, and stacks of canvases waiting to be painted. However at the end of the day I've spent most of my time on administrative tasks, answering messages, fixing other people's dolls, and shipping orders and almost none on the things I want to do!
Therefore, my prices are increasing this year. I will release a doll hospital price list soon. My main supplier has raised prices, in some cases doubled them, so I am having to follow suit. Doll eyes, shoes, and other doll making supplies will be going up in my shops. I'm having a lot of trouble with that supplier because they have stopped ordering a lot of the things they normally sell. They're the only source for many supplies. I may have to design and import more private label supplies. If you remember, the last time I did that it took almost a year to get them in, so I am using price increases as a way to slow down orders and keep more in stock until I can find or make a solution.
As always, my Doll University book can teach you everything you need to repair your own dolls. I even tell you how to import your own private label supplies! And my Mandaline Artful Living blog has been teaching new doll makers all over the world for free since 2011. Please consider buying my book or reading my blog before you email me with questions. The other night I literally spent hours answering people who wanted to know how to make repairs or wanted me to identify their dolls or give them a price estimate.
Listen, I love to help people and talk dolls but one of my resolutions this year is to stop being the free 24 hour doll advice hotline for the Internet. I just can't do it, especially since I already did it by spending more than a decade posting free tutorials on my blog. The number of requests is such that responding is impeding my ability to finish my paid work. Many of these aren't requests, either; they're demands and a lot of people never even bother to say thank you. It's really, really hard for me but I am no longer responding to requests to identify or value dolls (or doll clothes) for people. A few years ago I did a whole series of posts called "Doll Detective" posts where I identified rare dolls and wrote about how I go about the identification process (which is basically that I search the eBay, Etsy, Pinterest, and the Internet for the doll by age, markings, appearance, etc. I have also built up a collection of vintage doll books and catalogues I can look through). Those posts are all still up on the blog so anyone can learn how to to it. As far as estimating value, that changes constantly. I estimate value by searching for a doll on eBay and filtering the search results by "completed" and "sold". That will show you what dolls sold for over the past month or so. I am setting up a Patreon group for doll lovers where I will answer questions once a week. I'll send a link to that when I have it online. I will only be responding to information or advice requests from my Patreon members. One of the classes I'm taking is teaching me to create a course online and I will probably also make a doll course focused on identifying and selling dolls rather than repairing them. I may write a book about that as well. If you have any requests for books or course on other topics please let me know. I want to provide the content you need!
In other news, I recently found out Hazel Twigg is opening a shop! I know a lot of you are Hazel Twigg fans. When her store opens the seller name will be hazeltwigg on eBay. She’ll post a link in her blog.
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.