Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tagged: The Liebster Awards!

I have been tagged by Smaller Places and Jaye's Doll Space for the Liebster Award, so I felt it was high time I posted a response! Thanks to both of these lovely ladies for nominating  me.

Here is what you are supposed to do (or, your mission, if you should decide to accept it!)

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. (CHECK)
  2. Give your readers eleven random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers to receive the award.
  5. Invent eleven questions for your nominees.
(This message has been brought to you by the number "11".)

Eleven Random Facts about myself:

  1. I am older than I look. Most people guess me to be 10 to 15 years younger than I am. I never stop appreciating that fact!
  2. I grew up on a big farm. We primarily raised turkeys, but we also had dairy cattle, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep and crops!
  3. I am a single mom by choice.
  4. I adopted both of my daughters from China when I was in my 40's. I guess that is why I look so young!
  5. I am a good cook. I like to invent my own recipes (like white lasagna). I call it that because is is made from left over turkey or chicken, the sauce is made from cream of chicken soup you know, white ingredients as opposed to the traditional red! 
  6. I make fancy birthday cakes, many of my own design! 
  7. I am very handy. This has been a necessity in my book because I don't have a man around and I like the feeling of being self-sufficient.
  8. I was married for about a minute (well, 3 years actually) and it was a long, long time ago.
  9. I love to craft and sew.
  10. I am well traveled. I have been all over the US, to Europe (Germany, England, Scotland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland) and to China.
  11. I went to college totally on my own. I paid every red cent of my college tuition, got grants and scholarships and worked my butt off!

Respond to eleven questions from your nominator(s). 

Here are the questions posed by Smaller Places:

  1. What's the oldest item in your immediate environment (room, house, office, up to you)?  Well besides myself, I would say it is my mother's China. I remember us using this China for every holiday and special occasion in our family. While it is worn and has some chips and cracked items, it is still beautiful!
  2. When has a project exceeded your wildest expectations? How?  In my previous house, the builder put a very crude set of long shelves beside the shower in the master bath. The were only about 12 inches wide and about 50 inches deep. They were open and unsightly and the shelves were raw, unfinished plywood. Since my cabinets were oak, I purchased a nice oak bookcase, put casters on the bottom and a pull handle on the end and, wala, I had a nice pull out shelving system for my towels and other bathroom products hidden away when not in use! The current owner thought my concept was genius!
  3. Chocolate: white, dark, milk or none at all?  Milk Chocolate!
  4. If you could have dinner with three fictional characters, who would they be? Hmm, that is a tough one to answer, but here goes! Anne of Green Gables - I loved her sense of spirit and her soul. I admired how she was able to turn Miranda's heart into mush!  Captain America -- just because he is so damn wonderful and the sweetest superhero! Rhett Butler - because, "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" is one of my favorite movie lines of all time!
  5. What is your all-time favorite movie? This may come as a surprise, but "Gone with the Wind!"
  6. If you could choose a career other than your actual one(s), what would it be?  While I had a good career and it gave my many opportunities, the industry I was in was not very glamorous and I had to basically give up much of my personal life to be successful in it. If I could choose now, I think I would work for Mattel as a marketing consultant. If I had that job, I would make sure more dolls were articulated and there was no glue in the heads!
  7. How many cats is the optimum number?  Since I grew up on a farm, we had many, many cats and they were mostly barn cats. They were great fun and so appropriate for a farm! We didn't have them in the house. With my current living standards, I think 2 cats is perfect!
  8. What is the most versatile tool in your arsenal?  Oh wow, that is a tough one to answer. I love tools! I would have to say it is my electric knife. Great for cutting foam, styrafoam, wooden dowels. I don't use it to cut meat!  A close second is my got glue gun!
  9. Winter person or summer person?  If I have to choose between those 2 seasons, I guess I would say winter person because I like to be covered up. However, my actual favorite season is Fall!
  10. What do you most wish you could organize properly?  My doll room! I have so many dolls and so many doll clothes, plus body parts and other things, it gets hard to find the stuff I want. I have seen some amazing photos of organized doll rooms and I am so jealous!
  11. What do you do to find inspiration?  When it comes to getting inspired about my dolls, reading other people's blogs is very inspiring. I am inspired by the wonderful dioramas of people like Miranda Z and Vanessa Morrison. The doll town that Connie of Land of Dolls on Flickr has made is awesome and I wish I could have a town like hers. I am also inspired by stories of people I know and by life experiences. 

I am also going to answer the questions posed by Jaye's Dolls.

  1. What is the last doll project you worked on?  Since I tend to have more than one going on at a time, it is hard to pick just one. I am currently working on a classroom and a ballet room for my Tutu Ruruko. 
  2. Of all the things you do dolly related, name your favorite thing to do (i.e.. making clothes, making furniture, etc.)  I would have to say making furniture.
  3. Do you get dolly items gifted to you from family members or friends?  While it doesn't happen often, my sister sometimes gets me a dolly related item and my daughters have also gotten me dolly things. I have also gotten a dolly gift from a fellow doll blogger.  
  4. Which do you prefer when it comes to doll items - making them yourself, buying to customize or buying to use as is?  I seldom buy items and use as is, so I would have to say that I prefer both the other 2.  I really like to create items on my own, but I also like to take an item and customize it to make it my own.  Here are a couple of examples: 
  5. The bed was 100% made by me,
    The kitchen was customized from a bought
     Are any of your characters based on someone you know? Yes, most definitely!
  6. If you could attend one doll conference, all expenses paid, which one would it be and why?  Since I dearly want to attend both a Barbie convention and the Fashion Royalty Convention, I had to think about this for a minute, but I am pretty sure I would choose the FR Convention. Why? Because FR offers such a variety of dolls, both male and female and what I have seen people come away with, well with all expense paid, that would be a no brainer!
  7. What one doll item do you wish you could find that you have never seen made for purchase? With all of the amazing crafters of doll items for purchase, I don't think there are many things that I could imagine that hasn't been made by either a manufacturer or a customizer, so at this time, I haven't been able to think of anything for this question!
  8. Do your take your dolls out in public to take photos?  I have not yet worked up the courage to do this, but when I see some of the amazing photos taken by others who do take their dolls out in public, it makes me really want to! Since I am at an age where I don't often care what others think, I will hopefully do this sometime and you guys will be the first to know!
  9. Where was your all time favorite vacation? Without question, it was China. Why? Because my 2 vacation trips to China is what made me a mom and gave me my family! I don't think I could ever top that feeling! Also China is an amazing place to shop! 
  10. Do you see movies in the theater or wait for the video? Actually, I do both. It depends on the movie. Movies that both me and my daughters want to see, we go to the theater. Movies that I just want to see, I wait for the video.
  11. Have you ever been to Vegas?  Yes I have! Shortly after I got my divorce (which was many years ago), my girlfriends took me to a Divorce celebration in Vegas. Lets just say we didn't sleep much and we had a lot of fun!
All Done!

Nominate 11 Bloggers

I am going to skip this as the people I would nominate have already been nominated! What i will say is that if you are reading this and have not yet been nominated, please jump in an participate.

Invent 11 Questions for Your Nominees

  1. What is your favorite line of dolls?
  2. Do you collect more that one scale of doll? What scales to you collect?
  3. What one doll did you decide not to purchase that you wish you had purchased?
  4. Do you speak more that one language?
  5. If you could attend a doll conference or convention (all expenses paid of course!), which would it be?
  6. Do you take your dolls out in public to photograph?
  7. If you could choose one doll to bring to life in 1:1 scale, which doll would that be?
  8. Do you write stories using your dolls as characters or do you just photograph your dolls simply for the pleasure of sharing them with fellow doll collectors? Or do you do both?
  9. Dogs or cats?
  10. What is your favorite dish to prepare?
  11. What gives you your greatest inspiration?

Okay! That is all folks! Looking forward to seeing who decides to participate and what your answers may be!


  1. The conversation between Anne Shirley and Rhett Butler would be quite something!

    Now I shall be contemplating white lasagna, as I also just kind of cook without worrying unduly about recipes.

    1. Oh yes, that conversation would be quite something, hahaha! Glad you are intrigued by the white lasagna! It is a family favorite now. Even my extended family makes it now! It is pretty easy to make too. It is layered as follows: Lasagna noodles, ricota cheese filling (mine is 8 oz low fat ricota, 1 egg, and parmesean cheese), 1/2 can of cream of chicken soup -- I add a little bit of water to make in spread easier. Then about 3/4 cups of chopped chicken or turkey breast and then your choice of cheese (I use mozarella and cheddar). Repeat layers and end with a layer of lasagna noodles covered with cheese. Cook covered in oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove cover and cook for 15 move minutes. Let me know if you like it!

  2. Great answers :-). It's nice to get to know you better! White lasagna sounds delicious! Being a Mattel consultant would be awesome, you could give good advice! I can relate to the doll room organizing, I'm so jealous of those super-organized people who have a perfect doll room. I've given up myself, mine always will be messy LOL!

    1. LOL, we are on the same page with our doll rooms. I added the steps and ingredients to make my White Lasagna in the reply above if you decide to try it! We usually make a couple of them after Thanksgiving with leftover turkey. We then freeze the leftovers into serving size containers. It is an awesome leftover! I think any of us could give good marketing advice to Mattel -- if only they would listen!

  3. I agree with SM, I too would like to witness the conversation between Anne and Rhett Butler! LOL
    Your answers are really interesting, it is great to know each other better!

    1. Thanks, Billa! As I have said before, it is fun getting to know each other! I enjoyed your answers as well!

  4. I don't even know where to start. I love that you have traveled so many places. I wish I could be that well traveled. Yes, you should contact Mattel and tell them they need you, so we can all benefit. I went to check out Land of Dolls, thanks for another item I can look at in the world of dolls.

    Can you show us some cakes when you make them, please? I love to see talent in any form. There is something cool about customizing furniture and other items for the dolls. I really like that bed.

    Thank you for sharing. Good stuff.

    1. That was the one good thing about my job. I got to travel to some really great places. I almost forget, I went to Brazil too! I think if Mattel listened to any of us collectors who play and photograph our dolls, they would be a lot better off as we all would be happier! About my cakes, I have some pictures of some that I am really proud of and I will share them in a future post! I think the most artistic one I did was a Harley Davidson motorcycle!

  5. Hi Phylls,
    This was a great read! I really enjoyed reading more about you through your wonderful answers. Farm girls, unite! I didn't know you were such an avid traveler...that's great! Hopefully you and the girls can take a trip together to China one of these days. :)

    1. Yes, we farm girls need to stick together! I am so hoping we can all go to China together. Their is a Heritage Tour package available from the agency who made my travel arrangements when I adopted and that way we could visit both of their provinces. Just need to get healthy enough to travel and then save lots of money!

  6. Hi Phylls
    so nice to read more from you,i would love to traveled to many places as you.
    I guess all ladies must be self-sufficient ;-)
    I made some picts of my dollies in vacation in Portugal,soon i will share on my blog,was funny people looking to all surprised lols.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I am glad you enjoy reading my blog. You are so brave to take your dolls on vacation to take photos! But, who knows, you could meet some very interesting people that way!

  7. Hello from Spain: Congratulations on the award. I enjoyed reading your answers. I agree with you the pleasure of traveling. Keep in touch.

  8. I always love reading people's answers to these, but you had some especially interesting things to say! :)

    1. Aww, thanks so much! I am glad you enjoyed reading my answers! Always nice to get to know someone better -- so have you done this yet? If not, I nominate you!

  9. Hi Phyllis! Neat that you answered both questions. Thanks for sharing Connie of Land of Dolls's link - that is a new site for me.

    I wish that you could work at Mattel to help defeat glue-heads.

    I'm an Anne of Green Gables fan, too! Did you read L.M. Montgomery's Emily books as well?

    1. I just removed the hair from a couple of dolls with cases of extreme glue head! I was thinking I would mail Mattel what I pulled out from the inside of the head. Do you think that would get their attention?

      I did not read the Emily series, but now I might have to look for it! Anne Shirley was a favorite of mine growing up -- I used to imagine I was her!

  10. I enjoyed your responses to the questions...some of these things I knew about you and some I didn't. Have you shown that bed before? I don't remember seeing it, but I love it. Your furniture always inspires me. The sofa you made for the Gordons inspired me to make one for Matt and Amber. Now you've got me contemplating a bed.

    1. Hi Jewell! The first time I showed the bed was in this post and then again in the moving in post for the Gordons:

  11. Hi Phyllis,
    It's a pleasure to read all yours answers. Me either, If I could change my job, I would like to work for a big company like Mattel or Integrity toys. and you are right, I will highly recommend to Mattel to make more dolls articulated. See you soon !