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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Better late than never

I sincerely apologize. With all that's been going on I completely forgot to wish everyone Happy Holidays, maybe because, in all honesty, it does not feel very festive around here! We just slap on a smile for the boys, then bawl our eyes out when they are in bed, asleep :(


So, let me make it up to you!

 May your 2013 be better than 2012 but worse than 2014. May you enjoy amazing health, good fortune and love from everyone around you. May 2013 be *creative* and *fun* and filled with small everyday surprises...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

He is gone...

My father in law just passed not two hours ago. I have sent the boys to a neighbor awaiting George's return. My husband is hard to read even in "easy" times so I am not sure what to expect, plus he is sleepless, so I thought it best if the boys gave him some space.
Cody took it like I thought he would; he cried and expressed him emotions. He is moody and irritable. John showed no emotion. The news passed over him like rain over glass.
He asked some questions, then went on talking about his videogames. It was as if I had just told him "it's going to rain tomorrow".

I have always thought death to be hard only on the living, those left behind and it is no secret I firmly believe that some fates are worse than death.
It took my father in law being tormented like he was for several months to make me realize that my own father, got a "sweet" deal after all.

Long before he knew he was going to die, one sunny afternoon, we were sitting in his veranta and he said to me "There is only one thing I fear; to be in constant pain for a long time before I die. I don't wanna live like that."
God showed mercy, because my dad only suffered 11 days, and those in the hospital under heavy duty pain killers. At the time I didn't believe it, but now that it happened to someone else close to me, I thank God for the mercy he showed my father.

My father in law, John, was in the hospital for almost 3 months. He endured at least 6, hours upon hours long procedures, immense pain and torment before he died. I will always view death in the face of such torment, as a mercy, as a release.
The task of putting the pieces back together now falls unto us, the living.
I must support my husband and my kids who grieve for their grandfather. I will need to be a single parent for a while, while my husband finds his footing again.

The next few days will be busy but less difficult than the months to follow. You keep busy with funeral arrangements and you have friends and family near by to comfort you and even take your mind off your own grief for a while. Plus it hasn't really been a long time since the event, not enough to really drive home the nagging feeling that you will see your person again soon.

As time goes on, friends and family return to their own lives, as they should. It is not their grief after all... and then you are left alone with nothing to do, trying to figure out where to go from here.
I felt unhinged when my father died because he was, for all intends and purposes, my only real family, in the sense he was always there for me and acted fatherly.

I don't know what to do for George as my husband keeps to himself even on a day to day basis.
I feel a little lost...

Please say a prayer for all of us left behind. Pray that George will find his own peace; pray for peace for my boys also and lastly, even if it sounds a little selfish, pray that I too, stay strong for all of them.

T.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lil'Gus OOAK for sale

This is a once in a life opportunity :)
After many months, the OOAK from which Gus was produced is ready for adoption.
He had some damage from the molding process but I worked hard and about 50% of him is brand new.
I did some changes (as you will see in the pics) and he does have some minor flaws but not more or less than any other hand made OOAK :)
This is your once in a life time chance to own a very famous, sought after and adorably cute Kewy OOAK in a low price.
Because of his small flaws he is sold as is for only $1200 ($1250 for Australia or if you want Express Shipping).

He will come with a full layette of brand name clothing...because he is a Prince and we need to spoil him :)
I am also giving the new mommy the option of painted or glued on hair!!

Here is a list of what I did to him:
Gave him a proper neck.
Left hand was perfect coming off the molding, so didn't do anything to it.
Right arm couldn't be salvaged so I made him a brand new arm.
I kept the feet but gave him brand new legs from mid-calf up.
He did came home with a crack on the bridge of his nose, which I cut and repaired thoroughly. However you can see a super thin whitish line from up close :( It is not a crack and it won't get worse over time but of course I have to mention it.
He now has a brand new cloth body, he is nicely weighted and heavy and of course all new paint :)

Here is the little prince:





He is a big newborn baby at about 21-22"
Drop me an e-mail to tina (at) tinakewy dot com if you are interested.
I accept PayPal :)
Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The joint connudrum...

You know I love sculpting babies and newborns... but my *most* favorite thing is creating tiny dolls, the kind you can play with, and have a ton of accessories for and create little rooms for etc.
All my life, since I was teeny, I was drawn to miniature... not doll house scale; 1/6th works great for me.
My Barbie dolls were not the best dressed, but golly, they had wonderful rooms, created on the shelves of my bookcase and of course they had babies and children. My grandma taught me to sew when I was 4 or 5, and my babies had amazing clothes. I remember taking my brothers' old shirts, cutting off the sleeves with which I created pants... and tucking in the bodice of the shirt to make it a small(er) t-shirt, thus creating a matching set!! Same with the teenies :) Only, more fun!!

The desire to make the teenies comes and goes, mostly because the market for them is limited. It doesn't matter that mine have the same amount of amazing detail and coloring as my bigger ones. They usually do not sell well, so because I have bills to pay, I limit the amount of teenies I make and only do them for *my* entertainment (which is why I have a studio full of them, hahaha).

My great love of course is dolls you can play with; Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs).
I differ from the classic, traditional look of big heads, huge eyes, a speck of a nose and a tiny mouth, no detail on the limbs or hands. My BJDs are a little more stylized than my normal dolls, but still realistic. I have been asked many times, how do you make a BJD, please teach us... and frankly I would rather teach 20 people how to make a normal newborn baby, than teach one person how to make one BJD. In other words, they are HUGE pain in the bum ;)

Firstly, my approach is totally different as mine are made from the very temperamental material of polymer clay. There are a couple of books out there discussing BJDs (adults) in the traditional Asian style, but they were no help to me at all, since they use paper clay and a foam core.
My first BJDs, were actually puppets, the kind with the strings, when I was about 12. I made fairies, princesses, you name it. They were in fact made from paper clay and at the time I thought they were amazing (they were not!!)... ok so *maybe* for the art of a 12 year old they were pretty ok, considering I had no training and I came up with the jointing system all by myself :)
However, the polymer clay ones are so.much.work!!! More work to make a 6" BJD than to sculpt a full size newborn!!

The greatest book I ever read was Martha Armstrong Hand's "Learning to be a Doll Artist". It had some awesome designs on joints and even though she works in a totally different medium and in a totally different technique, I have read the book cover to back over a dozen times and I still come up with ideas. I adore Martha, I would give my right leg to be able to really be her apprentice, she is everything I would love to be... except of course, she is no longer with us :(

There is one point though I realized, Martha and I differ greatly. Like me, she too wanted to play with her dolls (hence the joints), but her joints are not pretty :(
Let me explain that; her dolls look amazing dressed and they pose well. But when naked, the joints are big and the forms on which they are based are slightly distorted (in order for the joint to work).
Mind you, not that my amateur joints are better ;) but I do try to make "invisible" joints.
For every BJD of mine I made and sold, and I do mean this, the joints were made at least twice and discarded.
It's messy, it's long and in the end it might not work ;)
Still I LOVE making them. I have one in the works for 3 years old and I STILL go back and re-do parts. Martha writes in her book, that it's ok for projects to take months or years to come together. I got the feeling that maybe she didn't have an immediate need to live doll by doll, because all of you artists out there know, that when you live doll by doll, you don't have the luxury of a perfected project that took you years ;)

So my BJD toddler, Penny, is taking years. I thought I had her down pat... then just as I was getting ready to ship her to the producer... I decided to re-do her arms and legs!!! Ugh.

And because I wrote a book, here are some cute pics of past BJDs for you :)




 
And here is my problem, my fellow artists and collectors. The joints!!! I KNOW I can make cute faces!! I mean look at them, they are all cute!! But the joints... oh my, the joints. Ok so because at the time there were no books, I had to "think" them up. Then I got my hands on a real BJD and saw the joints. But how do THEY make them work, and I can't? :(
I AM improving. I have no incorporated a totally new way of doing the joints which includes power tools!! Precision power tools ;) and this works good. It's a LOT of work because it means several re-firings of each piece, sanding, smoothing and making both limbs equal. Most companies that produce BJDs do the limbs in such a way that each leg and each arm can either be a left or a right one. But I like bowed baby legs which means I need to sculpt two, identical and symmetrical legs and two identical and symmetrical arms... which is very very hard.
Penny (the girl in the pigtails and the blue gingham dress above) is the first BJD that uses wooden balls as joints which give me the symmetrical joint I was looking for, and it won't matter in the long run as she will get poured into resin. She poses really well and holds the pose...yet still I am redoing her limbs ;) because I made these 2 years ago and I feel I can do better now!! And also I am a perfectionist ;) and a little crazy.
 
So before I go crazy over BJDs, here is a video of a sleeping baby I did two or three years ago.

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No more death...

My sister in law just called... my father in law has suffered something life threatening (I couldn't make out what it was as my mother in law was crying, I think she said thrombosis).
They are bringing him to the hospital from the mountains and time is running out.
Will you please pray for him?? His name is John.

As for me, I called our babysitter, I want the kids out of the house and we might also need to go to the hospital anyway so it seemed prudent to have someone on standby.
I wholeheartedly pray that he gets 100% better..because frankly, I can't stand any more death...tomorrow marks 13 months since my father died... I've had enough grief, my family has had enough grief, my kids have had enough grief losing a grandfather, to lose another one... so please God... don't. Just don't :(
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The one in which I didn't want to sculpt...

It's been a while since I posted so let me catch you up :)
We had a nice, quiet summer. I felt I had earned it because of what happened last summer. Dad up there really made it up to me :) Thanks Dad!!

There was one teensy bitsy problem though.. all through the summer I felt totally uninspired!!
I just couldn't sculpt... or rather, I would start something but didn't finish it. You will be amazed at the amount of OOAK heads I have in my studio at the moment!!
I didn't realize why until the boys started school last week... I was exhausted!! With no help, 3 full months of just me and the boys, without even an HOUR for some me time, I was reaching my limit.
Not only that but we are the stage where they bicker constantly... and talk back! OMGosh the talking back!!! I have often exclaimed (only half joking!), "I will strangle them!" lol. Which of  course I would never do ;) just saying...

So they have been in full days at school for a week now..and guess what?
I have already finished two OOAKs (one of them being the OOAK Gus who I restored, and Ellis is next). I got my mojo back!! Some sleeping in (yes I do admit, I sent them off to school and then catch an extra hour of sleep in the morning since I usually sculpt until 2-3am each night), some peace and QUIET around the apartment... voila! Instant transformation!! I am sculpting again!
Not only that, I am ready to tackle a couple of big projects that have been on my mind for a while now :)

I have many surprises for you, my dear collectors and reborners saved up for this winter :)
Can wait to show my OOAK of Gus, fully restored. I added a neck and made him new limbs, since they took quite a beating beyond saving during molding for the vinyl. Originally I thought I would save them and worked really hard on them for more than a month... should have just gone with new ones, would have taken me less time, ha!! Eventually I gave up on them and just made new!
The head (his and Ellis') is in pristine condition so he only took some repainting :)
I also did 3 new mini babies... and something I can't talk about yet as it's a surprise :)
I am looking forward to a very creative winter, during which I get my sculpting mojo back, clear out my studio and get ready for new, exciting and big projects!!!

Stay tuned!!! Happy Winter everyone!!
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A year ago today...



Today is the 15th August. I have talked about it many times here on my blog, but it is the biggest Christian Orthodox holiday (other than Easter) here in Greece. It is the day that Mary, the Mother of Christ, dies... it is also my nameday since I am named after her (Despina) and she is also my patron saint, the one I feel guides and helps me... she is also the one I prayed to (went to the appropriate church built in her name and made a pledge) when I couldn't get pregnant and she gave me my boys...

It is of course a bank holiday here in Greece... a year ago today I had no idea my dad was dying... I can describe to you in every detail the ride in the ambulance as I took my dad to the hospital, where he would spend the last 11 days of his life... It was past 10 as we rode the empty streets of Athens, the inhabitants on holiday or enjoying the day at some beach bar or with someone who was celebrating their nameday...
I can recall the faces of the paramedics, I can recall what my dad wore, I can even recall the number on the ambulance... and I can recall that I had no idea this would be my dad's last ride... I really thought he had a mysterious infection and that he would pull through.

It was a lousy day today... for the rest of the world, it is not a holiday, so I replied to e-mails to keep my mind off things. I worked a little... I am alone, just me and Cody today. John has gone to his grandma's for a few days, George is on duty.
I let Cody do whatever he wanted today... I was not in the mood for mothering :( but it is also Cody's nameday because when I made my pledge to Mary I told her that if she would give me a baby, I would baptize him/her to her name... so Cody is also named Panagiotis (a name we gave given Mary, Panagia - which means All Saint) and John is also named Mario (from Maria - Mary).

I made us oven baked pasta and let him play his Nintendo for hours... Then asked him where he wanted to go. We ended up eating waffles with ice cream.. then he wanted to go bowling.. I was not in the mood... however somewhere in the middle of the game I felt happier and found myself smiling.

Now as he tries to sleep (it is hard without his brother!), I write this, I realize how a year ago today I had no idea my life was going to change so much. I have long stopped walking to my door, lunch or dinner on hand to bring to my dad before remembering he is gone... I have now stopped weaping at the sight of his car parked outside the apartment building (but have yet to muster the courage to unlock it and sit in it in fear it will smell like him still).
But I have never stopped missing him... I can go about my days not thinking about him for the most part, then BANG! I will realize in a start he is gone!! And it feels like an ice cold hand clutching my heart...

I still think he should have told me... I still have regrets... I could have done more, spent more time with him... if I knew these were his last days, I wouldn't have left his side... but there was a house to run, a husband to feed, two kids to take care of and of course work...
I wish I could turn back time... but I can't.

I don't go to the grave much. Graves never meant much to me... I don't think a person's essense is in the ground. I feel my dad around me and I see him in the stars so to speak much more than in a grave. In fact it saddens me to think that under the concrete I lay my flowers on, his body is rotted to nothing... my dad isn't there. My dad is here with me, with the boys and in Heaven watching me... not under 10 feet of soil.
Is it weird? Maybe... I know people worship grave sites but I am not one of them. I do not believe we are corporeal anyway... the soul is freed and roams around in my mind. I can feel his hand in things sometimes and I can hear his voice when I need to and it comforts me.
I know my dad would linger, he wouldn't leave me alone... so I feel him all around me all the time.

The day is winding down now, it is past 11 here... I remember exactly where we were a year ago. I used to anticipate my nameday as a day of celebration but now I dread it.
On the 26th, it will be a year since I last saw him... we will have a grave side blessing as per Greek Orthodox tradition and I will hand out the special things we give out... I will bake the little cakes, and make the Kollyva (wheat with sugar and nuts representing the Resurrection)... I will light candles in his name...and I guess I will cry a lot that day.

So weird... the good and the bad together mixing... I was never a "gray" kind of girl. Always black or white. I don't think I can process the good and the bad all in one go. I prefer more clean cut lines... you are either sad or happy.. .you can't be both. How can you be happy in the face of such tragedy? My dad is gone... why am I smiling? :(

I miss you Daddy... I always will...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

On lice and men...

Ever since we got back from our summer vacation, both me and John have had a terrible itchy head...
I had checked the poor kid like twenty times and there was nothing... I had also checked myself twenty times and saw nothing... so I thought it was a) either nerves or b) all that chlorine from the pool water that made my hair hard like wires, dried out my scalp...

Fast forward to today when I decided to check John again... and OMGosh, there was LICE!!! Live, wringling, moving lice!!! Not many, like 5 or 6 of them and not too big but they were there!!!
Then I checked Cody (who was not itchy)... and out came 2-3 more!!!
(I had none but I assume it is because I dye my hair - too many gray hairs not to - and apparently they either die because of it of my hair smells of chemicals lol).

So the boys got a treatment and enjoyed playing in the tub for 15 minutes while it worked it's magic... rinse and repeat next week...

The problem is, I was raised to believe that head lice means you are not a good enough mom. If you child gets head lice it means you are not paying attention or something. I don't know why I had this notion but let's say and agree, my mom is a very weird person and she passed it down to me. She also warned me when I came out of private school to complete High School (public High School - my mom freaking out!) that I shouldn't play with kids of a lower social status than me. (told ya my mom was weird - my best friend in High School was a former preemie with CP!!)

So anyway back to head lice... I got a panic attack! My KIDS HAVE LICE!!! I am a terrible mom!!!
My hairdresser who knows me all my life shrugged and said "ah, so what? Head lice is nothing... everybody gets it!!" she was so... so CASUAL about it!! And here I am freaking out, ready to burns the sheets and their clothes... I am ready to disinfect the dog too!! Do dogs get lice? Because John's dog sleeps with him and they rub hair and fur all the time!! OMGosh!! Does my dog have LICE too??
Here comes my panic attack... I am off to burn the sheets... hopefully I can spare the dog!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Baby A...


If you are on Facebook, and are my friend, make sure you stop by my group "Creating Baby A" (or drop me a line to add you). In this group I am sharing with all of you the process of sculpting a very unique baby (and pretty if I might say so myself!)
In fact this is her foot I just finished above :) Cool huh?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Early Bird in resin

It's been a while since I've shown you any new work, with the kits coming in, the other kits in production, the silicones, the book, the kids, summer.... ugh. Overwhelmed doesn't begin to cover it... oh! Did I mention the impromptu apartment rennovation we are having?
The one where I leave on vacation for a week and I come and my cleaning lady decided she wanted to re-do my entire apartment... and I walk in and there are boxes everywhere, and my tools are gone (still missing!!) and it took me 3 hrs (!!) to locate my box of certificates and you still walk in and think we are moving out... ugh!!!!
I could just strangle her... but she's been with us for years and years and I know she meant well... except I am PISSED OFF!!!

Ok...calming breaths, calming breaths... where was I?
Oh yes!! Early Bird.
At least this little guy puts a smile on my face. I am SOOOOO in love with him...and he is a tiny edition of 15 plus 3 APs...and I've already sold 3... and I have one right here I mean to paint these days.

Here is my little realistic preemie cutie.





This little guy would be a fantastic model for a NICU as he is to a "T" a preemie of 31 weeks. I had originally planned to make him a full body plate, but eventually decided against it to keep his price lower. But if you would like one for NICU display, I can match the resin to my clay and make you a clay body plate for him.

Contact me if you might be interested in one. There is no waiting, I have one right here and 4 in the mail to me :)
Until next time
Tina

Friday, July 06, 2012

Kidney woes

I am now convinced there is NO worse pain in the entire world but kidney pain. OH.MY.LORD... giving birth has nothing on this kind of pain.

It seems both G and I caught someting while in the Netherlands...and because I do have kidney problems since birth, it hit straight there :(
And the darn antibiotics sensitivity panel TAKES FOREVER!!!! I have been home since Tuesday morning and I will get the results TODAY :(
Thankfully the rest of the tests were ok so even though IT HURTS LIKE... well you know like what, my kidneys are not affected yet ...

BRING ON THE ANTIBIOTICS!!!!
I apologize if I seem a little MIA but I spent the last 3 days trying to get comfortable anywhere...with no luck :( it hurts, plain and simple... yuck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vinyls facts :)

Hello everyone!
My Gus and Ellis kits have been delivered...well, HALF of  them but it's ok because by the time I have shipped these, the other half will have arrived lol :)
I can't open the door to my apartment... will be VERY happy to see the boxes empty and the kits shipped off to their mommies :)

I just wanted to take a minute and talk vinyl with you... Someone told me that someone has been going around saying the vinyl for Gus and Ellis is rock hard...
This is NOT true... Please check my Facebook page where I have uploaded videos of me "squeeshing" the parts. The vinyl is no different than my other kits!!

I also wanted to take a moment and say that I know you girls like the "soft" vinyl... like, SUPER soft... but let me explain why I will never go for the super soft kind... Vinyl softeness depends on how much vinyl you use, how thick it is... A softer vinyl will be lighter, so probably, also cheaper as it goes by weight.
Also it will be more transparent (please trust me on this, my first sample for Jack was very soft, couldn't keep it's shape and when I stuffed it, I could see the white stuffing inside!!!). And it will get too soft in the oven... touch it the wrong way and you've messed up the shape. I know, I've left a nice dent into it!!! With my finger!! Couldn't get it off...
And... there is a greater chance it will melt in the oven too...

I have tried very hard to come to a balance between the vinyl thickness being a quality thing and it still be soft. It costs me WAY more, yes...but all I want to do is give you a good quality product.
The vinyl I use is NOT rock hard... it is not sponge soft either. It is a nice soft vinyl, that will keep it's shape, take the paint well, is non toxic and phalate free...and made in Germany :) in the best factory!!

Please if you have any questions, don't hesitate to mail me. I will be happy to help!!
Also don't forget to show me pics of your reborn Gus and Ellis!!
hugs
Tina

Friday, June 01, 2012

What is it that you REALLY want?

Is there a material thing that is missing from your life? That, because you do not have it, your life is harder/more complicated? Is there something that if you had it, you would be so much happier (because your life would be easier/less complicated)?

For me this "material thing" is a house... a proper one.. I would settle for a bigger apartment even.
We live in a tiny two bedroom one. I guess when we bought it ten years ago, it seemed huge...and it DOES fit a childless couple REALLY well... but with two kids... NO WAY.

We are crammed to the bursting point. The apartment has no storage area... it only has two small (and I do mean SMALL) closets. My boys have been in a bunk since they were 3 because we couldn't fit two beds in their room. This year when we bought them two tiny IKEA plastic tables to use as desks, they were left with a tiny square of space in the middle of the room to play with. Not really enough room to even lay out their toys :(

My bathroom barely fits one person standing in it. When I sit on the...emh... toilet, my thigh touches the washing machine (in Greece each house has one, there are no laundry mats and shared washers in buildings).

Often hubby will say "put that away" and I will answer "WHERE?" there is no SPACE... and I de-clutter regularly..at least x4 a year.
We have no place to store a christmas tree. I haven't saved ANY of the boys' old toys or clothes or baby items save for a handful because I have nowhere to put them.

And in case one wants to be alone? Ha! We have two couches worth of space in our living room to sit in. That's it.
I would love to say my tiny apartment is filled with love... well it IS.. but it is also NOT suited for us. It makes me miserable. :( We can't breathe in here :( and I don't know what we will do if we ever have a 3rd child or when the boys get bigger! (yikes!!!).

The problem is hubby is super resistant to change. Pick up and go is not an option for him. He does NOT WANT TO MOVE... but then again he spends VERY little time in the apartment as he works two jobs and is gone most of the day.

I see all those beautiful houses in the US and UK and Australia via my friends' blogs and my heart sings for a bigger place... a small backyard... I wish.. I wish...

So what is the one material thing that would make your life better/easier/happier???

Discover Dolls International Doll Show

Here is my list of babies for sale at the Discover Dolls International Doll Show next week, June 9th and 10th @ Peterborough, UK

2 Resin Early Birds (new sculpt, amazing preemie) @ 550 GBP each (regular price 750 GBP)
6 Resin Natalies (5" baby) special edition @ 90 GBP each (regular price 280 GBP)
1 Life size newborn OOAK boy @ 900 GBP (regular price 1170 GBP)
My prototype of JACK (sold out edition) @ 450 GBP
My prototype of ELLIS (sold out edition) @ 550 GBP

I will be able to take CREDIT CARDS via PayPal as I will have my netbook with me and an internet connection. Just log in to your PayPal to pay on the spot :)
All babies will come with loads of goodies, COAs and in a beautiful presentation box.
I apologize but I can't do layaway at this time as I have nowhere to leave the babies and can't carry them back with me on the plane (I shipped them there directly!).

See you there!!! :)

Hugs
Tina

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Going insane

I don't know what is wrong with me today... I think I am going insane!
I feel like a turtle turned on it's back... I woke up this morning, exhausted... I got the boys out the door like 5 minutes late... I had an appointment to get my hair cut because I can't see, they are in my eyes... I forgot what time was the apointment... then I tried to call the salon only to discover I had lost their phone number!!

I *thought* my appt was for 10 o'clock. I showed up at 9.55 only to find out I was 25 mins late!!!! My apointment was for 9.30!!! I got my hair cut anyway, then came home to make Kollyva (it's a traditional mixture of wheat, nuts, raisins, sugar and spices made whenever you want to "remember" your dead. And since I didn't make it on Saturday for dad, I wanted to make it today - it sounds odd but it is VERY tasty and full of nutrients).

Anyway, I burned the wheat!!! At the same time I had put Ellis' limbs in the oven to set the paint and I forgot to set the timer. Thankfully they didn't melt but I have no idea how long I baked them for (they are ok!)

Then I tried to work out John's dental appointment (under general anesthesia) only to be told that it will be next week or... whenever!! yikes! I will be gone next week!! But it's kind urgent now so George will have to fill in...
Then I was asked if I had all his tests done...and realized I had misplaced the paper detailing the blood tests I need to have them run (privately of course because our health system sucks). I turned the apartment upside down and created a huge mess for an hour until I found them...

Then I tried to work on Ellis a little more to decide I hate the way the foot looks...so I took all the color off..and now I've ruined it!!!! :(
I need to start over...
I couldn't conentrate on work, so I thought I would cook... yeah you guessed it... a big mess (but I didn't burn it at least).

I HAVE NO BRAIN TODAY!!! What is WRONG with me???
I have so much to do, so little time to do it in, I think this is one of those days that I need to drop everything, take the boys to the park and come back to it later tonight. I destroy everything I touch. I have been writing this post for 2 hours now... I started writing it, then got up, then forgot about it and here I am two hours finishing it!

I think I will go to bed... before the next thing I touch blows up!! Then try again in an hour, after I've had a nap!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The question of time....

Ok so you know how we always say "Time flies"?? and how we never seem to have enough hours in a day to get things done?
Recently I discovered that I am plagued by this which I knew... however I was mortified to discover I am also plagued by this other thing... energy or rather, the lack of it. It's no big secret that after the Pneumonia (it deserves a capital P, trust me), it took me almost two whole months to feel like myself. Long after the coughing and the shortness of breath and the fever had subsided, I was still getting dizzy walking 10 feet and I was in bed by 9, shortly after the boys... people, we are talking I am a night owl... I don't feel sleepy until after the clock has turned into an am digit...
Slooooooowly and I do mean sloooooowly I regained my stamina (although I still get dizzy walking from time to time especially if I've had no breakfast lol)

Which brings us to yesterday... crazy day... but then lately all days have been crazy. It's getting close to the show and the delivery of my Gus and Ellis kits so naturally I have a lot on my plate and on my mind. The more involved I am with work, the naughtier the boys are... close the door to the room so I can do my auction in peace, and it's an invitation for them to try and break it down..

I had been planning to put up Gus for auction for DAYS now... did you see the auction go live DAYS ago? Nope... because I only managed to get it up YESTERDAY!!!
Hubby was told to help... he said ok... except his idea of helping and my idea of helping are totally different things:

My idea: Get the kids off my back, keep them fed, happy, take them to the park for crying out loud. Sit down and play with them, watch a movie with them...etc

His idea: Yell at them to leave mom alone (while sitting on his PC playing Farmville) and send them to their room. :(

This weekend has been teeth grinding... firstly, it was my dad's 9 month anniversary on Saturday. We were supposed to go to the cemetery and leave flowers, have a priest say a blessing... Hubby decided he would be doing private lessons to some guy... right in the middle of last few days before the show of course because his timing has always been fantastic <--insert sarcasm here.
Of course he did not come to the cemetery to honor my dad (priorities all screwed up much???)

My mom demanded I go pick them up. I explained that we cannot fit in my car... she said "take the car seats out, we will hold the boys in our laps" ... <-- insert Tina's horror face here.
But mom is like that... instead of thinking how she can help someone, she always thinks how people can serve her. Not only that but the cemetery is a 5 minute bus ride from their place or a 5 minute cab ride. But of course busses and taxis are not for them, right? Whereas me, who lives on the other side of town, have the time/obligation to swing by and pick them up (they are not on the way to the cemetery from where I live).
Needless to say, they did not show up at the cemetery either but I did get an earful because I didn't play chauffer...

I was feeling all crappy as we walked back to the car in the heat... the boys were moody, Cody kept saying he is missing his grandpa and "if he could only hear his voice one more time he would be happy"... I was grinding my teeth SO hard trying not cry in front of them... then as we nearing the car, John found a sticker on the pavement... it is one of those Euroleague trading card/stickers Cody collects!!
Then just a few steps from the car, on the lawn, sat a Beyblade thingie looking brand new. It wasn't there before...
It was Cody's nameday last Monday.. now you try and tell me this wasn't my dad's hand giving Cody two of his favorite things for his nameday!!!

After that I took the boys out for ice cream... we got home at 3pm at which time I still hadn't cooked. So I did that, had a few words with George because I was steaming mad at him (do you blame me?)
I wanted to get some work done but by the time I had cooked and eaten and cleaned, I was exhausted... <-- insert the energy issue thingie here
Of course I still had to do the shopping so I "popped" to ther super market at 7pm. There goes my day. I did maybe a few photos for Gus' auction and a little bit of work otherwise. During all this time George played on his PC and then took a nap!!!

Then on Sunday I wanted to get the auction up. Finished doing the photos and did the template. The kids would not leave me alone. They were in the room every 6 minutes wanting something or other, usually begging to get my cell phone so they could play games... George was supposed to watch them so I could work... yeah... allowing them to interrupt someone every 5 minutes is not watching them, George.

I finally managed to get the auction up and running and by the time I had cooked, walked the dog (x3), tidied up and did a tiny bit of work, I was exhausted again. I was in bed my 10pm last night. I just could.not.keep.my.eyes.open!!!

So I have shockingly discovered that it is not only an issue of "time flies".. but of energy as well. I could have worked a good 2-3 hours after 10pm last night, except I was literally falling asleep (I fell asleep on the couch while holding my coffee which was supposed to wake me up!)

Now the boys are at school and I can FINALLY get some work done. Ugh... except I am still tired!!!! grrrrrrrr


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Welcome to the world...



Welcome to the world Baby Gus... we've waited so long for you, but you were SO worth it!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

On being a mom...

If you've been reading for my blog for a while you surely know by now that being a mom was all I ever wanted to be... sure I wanted to go to College and get a job but what I have always wanted to do was be a mom...

Being a mom is not an easy job. You have your days when the stars align and your kids are amazingly behaved and cute and funny and all you can think of is "I want to eat you up!!". At least I do :)
And there are days that your kids seem to flip a switch and suddenly they are slowly and methodically grinding your patience down to non-existent ... I yell at them then. I admit, I am a yeller!! And a "you are on time-out buddy" ... and I take away priviledges :)

For the past few days, it's been like this I'm afraid... tantrum after tantrum, a huuuuge struggle to just get them into clothes and get them out the door... everything is a struggle and not because you want them to do something they hate doing ... for instace I wanted to take the kids out for a fun day shopping, eating out and playing in a cool playground they love... By the time we got there, I wanted to strangle them for all their whining... lol :)

Yesterday for the first year ever, hubby FINALLY got it and made the boys write me sweet messages and let me sleep in until 9am (!!!) :)
Then I drove them 50 minutes so they could ride horses (John decided against it) and play with friends :)
We had a blast and I was in bed by 11... I am so tired I fell asleep on the couch (NEVER happens) :)

I love my boys...I love being a mom... even on the hard days ;)

Monday, May 07, 2012

For dad...

This one's for you dad...





"Gus" production sample in vinyl, reborn by Tina Kewy.
In memory of my daddy, C. "Gus" Koutsouropoulos 5th March 1950 - 26th August 2011

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Surprise!!!


Ellis' head got a bit squished in that box :) So pics of her tomorrow, after she is.... ehm... reformed :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Great Thursday

Well at least that is the translation in English... I guess you can call it Good Thursday too... in Greek Orthodox tradition, we have a "Grand/Great/Good" day all week leading up to Easter Sunday.

Today, we went to the farmers market and got white eggs... Which I am hard boiling right now, while I write this short post.I successfully resisted the urge to buy a duckling at the market... I am sure Beau would make him breakfast!

After the eggs are boiled, the boys and I will color them...
Then this afternoon we will attend church and pay our respects to Jesus on the cross, with a flowery wreath.
The bells will sound sad as they remove (the wooden) Jesus from the cross and tomorrow they will decorate his final resting place with the flowers from the wreaths... and we will pay our respects tomorrow. Then in the evening, we will walk around burning yellow candles (mourning candles) after what I guess I can only describe as Jesus' coffin... This year I will take Cody with me. I don't think that a) I can trust John with a burning candle and b) it will be past his bedtime and c) the sensory overload will drive him bananas.

What are you doing today?
Hugs
Tina

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Week

Well, it's Easter Week here in Greece... a week after half the world's lol :)

The boys are on their two week break from school and already in two days, I am pulling my hair out. It's one mischief after another... I can't even count anymore the number of times I grounded them, took a priviledge away or put them in time out! And it's only been 48 hrs!!!
How will I survive the next twelve days!?!?!?
On Sunday for instance, I put John on time out in his room for ruining the living room... and he climbed on top of my ironing board which I keep behind their door and broke it...
Then yesterday I put him in his room again for hitting Cody, lying to me and being sassy and he emptied his entire closet of freshly ironed clothes (each one by hand!) on the floor...

But don't think John is the only one misbehaving! Cody was on time out or had his Xbox priviledges taken away just as much as John... plus they have been waking up at the crack of dawn...and I've got tonsilitis (John gave it to me.. oh Joy!). But I am better now except the horrible runny nose, the antibiotics kicked in and today I am fairly ok.. except I need to sleep for about 2 months to feel rested ;)

I apologize in advance if I am slow replying to e-mails this week. I will do my best stealing moments on the PC but between me wanting to follow the Greek Orthodox traditions on each day of this week and the boys out of school, honestly I might not get a lot done. So please do not worry if you don't hear from me :)

A little birdie tells me though, I might have something special to show you next week... ;) and I am very excited and can't wait!!!

Happy Easter to all of you who haven't celebrated it yet... and Happy Easter belatedly to those who have!!!

Sad news

I have always been kind of a loner in life... I was too different as a child to really fit in at school. I was a quiet child but... different somehow... like John so I didn't have many friends. I was called names, a freak and other things. I was always excluded at parties... I was never in with the "cool" crowd. I always hung out with the nerds or those who others thought of as outsiders.
Of course when I was 12 my mom kicked my dad out so I was "that" kid as well...

Eventually I learned to hide who I really was and put a mask society would approve... so I would appear "normal" and things became a little easier for me. I picked up the social queues by copying others, mostly though without really understanding them but it worked.

I've always few people in my life. Plus the fact that the most important social years of my life I spent abroad, I only stayed in Greece because I wanted George.
One of the few people in my life who really knew me, was dad and he is gone.
Then I only have one close friend who is on the same page as me. In fact she is a sister in everything but blood. And today I learned she is leaving... permanently :( to the other side of the country.
We did everything together. Our kids did everything together.I tried so hard to appear happy for her. I didn't want to be selfish.. but then she started to cry and I started to cry... and it was all a big mess.

I have one other amazing friend and we talk every day and I love her but her child is older and though we do have a ton in common, she is just a little further ahead of me in the game.
I feel miserable. I live in a tiny apartment I hate, in a part of town I did not chose, away from any other family or friends... I've been here 10 years and I don't know anybody. Everybody is seems is busy with their own life.. I tried to make friends but I can't. I feel I am the one who always calls and makes invitations but if I drop it, they won't even miss me :(
I am not good at this social stuff... but I try.

I want to be happy for my friend.. I AM happy for her.. but I am also sad... and I can't stop crying. We will still talk every day but I will one see her a few times a year if that. I will no longer be able to pick up the phone and tell her "meet me there" and do fun stuff with our kids any more. It seems everyone in my life is moving on and I am stuck here... like wearing shoes that are too tight but I can't get rid of them... I am stuck here in Athens, in this tiny apartment, in this crummy life, doing things I don't want to do and not doing the things I want to do... I feel like I can't breathe...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

About Gus and Ellis

My dear collectors,
I know a lot of speculation has been going on for a while now about the delay in releasing Gus and Ellis. I even know a few think I am the only reason of the delay so I wanted to make a post to clarify.

First of all, I do not control production. I do not make them myself and they are not ready to ship from the factory and are not getting shipped because I have no money. This is a lie! Money is not an issue for the delay in production.
I also feel hurt when I hear "this is the first time a kit has been delayed so much" when I can name at least two more that were just as or more delayed but I won't because I know the artists and I know they faced similar problems as me.

I started out making the kits the way I felt they should be made because I wanted to please *you*, the collector and reborner. I chose a good, German factory, with good quality vinyl even thouh it costs an arm and a leg to have them produced there instead of China... and I hold the factory in very, very high respect. But I am green at doing this. I had no idea delays like these happen and as I have been told, they are actually common!! The factories get busy too...

I am very disappointed it is taking so long, very, very stressed out (my boys told me the other day I don't smile anymore)... and I am pushing as hard as I can believe me.
Please understand that I want NOTHING more than to get them out to the dealers and you and that I have everything to gain by doing so! For example I thought that after they had been shipped off, I would have enough earnings to pay off the dark cloud of therapy debt that insurance won't cover for my sons and have a little extra to take a few days vacation locally and just breathe a sigh of deep relief and enjoy my boys to whom I snap at more often that should be allowed these days :(... I haven't had a vacation in almost a year... not a single day off.

Yet Easter is around the corner and not only have not gotten a vacation, or paid any debt, I spend my days in a dark gloom, stressed out beyond belief...for something that was supposed to be SO happy. I haven't paid my electricity bill because on top of the delay, I also got pneumonia that had me out of commission a good two months so I couldn't make any OOAKs to sell... and I do support my family and put bread on the table off the dolls as many of you know.

I DO understand you, the collector yearn to have them, I do too... but you must accept that for me the ramifications of the delays are SO huge in all levels... All I am asking if for a little more time. They WILL COME, and soon, the molds are made but I did ask for one correction to be made to a joint... Time, that is all I am asking. A little bit (more) of your kind patience.
Thank you so much for your time!!
Yours truly,
Tina

Thursday, March 29, 2012

There is nothing cuter...

... than a chubby, newborn baby!!
Don't you think??

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A visti by dad

Today is a special day. It's Greece's National Day, there are parades and special meals cooked... it is also my mother's Name day... yesterday was her birthday. She was named after the patron Saint of today's day (The day Mary, mother of Jesus, received the Angel with the news that she would bear a special child)... in Greek it is called Evangelismos... it means "Happy News". The name that derives is Evangelia... Eva in short. My mom was born blue and almost dead... she survive by the grace of God and thus my grandparent called Evangelia (Evangeline in English) because of today's National and Spiritual holiday.

My dad visited last night. And not only dad. He brought his sister, my favorite aunt, also lost to cancer and his favorite dog... I felt at peace he had found them on the Other Side/Heaven.
He was keeping busy in my dream as usual, tinkering with something. He seemed happy and... normal.
I know he visited because it is mom's birthday. The boys and I will be heading there today to watch the parade and spend some time with her.

My boys are excited to see their uncles :) and wave their flags at the parade.
I found the perfect outfit yesterday at Prenatal for my little boy...
I dreamed I had boy/girl twins and that the boy had Down Syndrome and I was doing exercises with him to strengthen his muscle tone. I think I need to sculpt a baby boy like that. I so love DS kids :) like preemies they have a special place in my heart.

I gotta go. I have a busy day ahead. It's a sunny day :) Tomorrow I have ever MORE work to do, I've got babes to get out the door lol :) and prepare the studio for the arrival of Gus and Ellis.. yikes!! I need to go buy postage boxes...

And it's Easter soon... Wish I can take those two weeks off or at least the Holy Week (we call it the Great Week in Greece) :)
CU later girls :) Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Long overdue

Oh my! It's been so long since I've offered a new OOAK, it's crazy. That darn pneumonia really threw me weeks and weeks behind... poor little guy had been patiently waiting for months on end for me to do a little here, a little there... he is still not finished but I am getting close!

I will give you a sneak peek later this week, I have already finished the head and I can promise you, this will be an exciting baby packed full of things I've tried for the first time (and they worked! yay!).
He will also be my first silent auction, it will be fun don't you think? Just in time for Easter...
Right now I feel like I can go out and buy him something Spring-y to wear. I usually wait to buy clothes for them until after they are done because I end up buying clothes and not using them... but he is halfway there so it won't hurt, right?

I am also desperate for a name... He looks like an Andrew but I don't like it all that much... Reese? Jonathan? Alex? Eric? I also like Lyland... because you know... I am old ;)
No really, I really DO like the name Lyland... and Mainnard... and A.J.... Hmmm.... A.J....

Friday, February 24, 2012

The diet question...

It's no secret that I am fat... There, I said it. I am fat.
I am well educated. I have a University degree.. in fact I have more than one of those in different fields.
I am an accomplished cook. I can cook from scratch, food from any cuisine around the world. I make killer desserts! From scratch... I speak 3 languages, two of them extremelly fluently in case you haven't noticed ;) I am (mostly) good looking. I am a good photographer. I am creative. I have a really good singing voice. I can play the guitar and the piano. I have a degree in computers and graphic design.
I am compasionate, I am not self-centered... some people might even call me a doormat... I am friendly, I am helpful and I am fun to be around. I will pick you up if you are feeling down, I am a loyal friend... in other words I am accomplished I think... and very blessed and I am dully grateful to the Maker for all my gifts..In fact without meaning to toot my own horn, I am, I think a little above average.

But for some people, none of these matter.One look at me and ALL they see is a fat woman.
I was IGNORED even though it was my turn at Starbucks the other day because the girl behind me was blonde, 20 and beautiful. I kid you not... the male barrista totally ignored me and asked her BEHIND me what she would like... THEN me.
When I go to a doctor they take one look at me and suddenly the remedy for ANY medical issue I might have (even if it is a tooth ache), is lose some weight.
Yet my cholesterol is perfect, so is my heart and my blood sugar and my BP.
All they see is a piece of fat.

I was thin once, not so long ago. I was thin all my life... I never had a weight issue EVER. Then I wanted kids and went the fertility drugs route... in between I lost my job and I was stuck at home all day... and things started to get crammed, pushy, difficult. I was only a few years in Greece, having left my friends abroad, married to man who preferred me at home, in a (then) empty apartment building...alone. Food became my solace. My husband LOVES food. I can get away with murder, literally, as long as I make him his favorites and don't skimp on the quantity. ;)
So I ate... and one day, 8 years later, I am fat. Gone are the days I could walk in ANY store and find something my size. I used to fit into Zara's teen collection just 8 years ago.
And now... I look at the windows longingly (even though I was never a fashion addict) and say "They make don't this for elephants".

Still, food is still my only freedom. My time is not mine. There is a "must" in every moment of my day. George thinks because I have no boss, I am free but it is not true. I have multiple "bosses". People I answer to because that is the nature of this business and I am OK with that. But the stress is huge... and stress and sculpting do not mix as you very well know.
My every waking moment is ruled by what I must be doing right now... For instance I am writing a post to unload but I should be unloading and re-loading the dish washer and starting lunch.
So I turned to food. I was never a quantity girl and I have a very limited palate. Like my son I can eat two bites of something and be ok with it. But all my favorites are the fattening things...

Being fat sucks especially in this country of model-thin people. I am such a minority that there are only TWO stores in the entire city I can shop from (I buy most of my stuff on eBay for this reason). It's sad because I avoid pics like the Devil.. I have no pics of me and my boys together :(
Yet, with food being my only "free" choice and outlet, I can't give it up. I can't tolerate the thought of another "must" or "mustn't" in my life.

Family (who by a twist of fate are all model thin and FASHION DESIGNERS!!!) will often come to me and say "I know of this GREAT dietician"... or this GREAT diet... and my mom wants me to get a gastric bypass.
None understand that I too know (and can succesfully follow as it turned out) a GREAT diet... and I know of a GREAT dietician (and I can't afford neither do I qualify for a bypass!). I am not missing those things... it's the will that I I am missing. I can't go on a diet not because I don't know how.. but because I am not mentally there.

Before dad died, in June, I started on the South Beach diet and stuck to it religiously for almost 3 months (until he died). Man I did GREAT. I lost a ton of weight... then he died and I didn't care anymore. We are coming up to his 6 month anniversary and his birthday in a few days and I think I am starting to come out of the fog that is grief. Don't get me wrong I still and will always cry for him. I will always miss him and this hole in my heart will never fill up. Whenever I call my brother I will keep him talking nonsense just to hear his voice that sounds so much like dad's.
Am I coming up to the place, mentally, that I can go back on my diet?
It's GREAT to be thinner. I know I will never get my figure back. Twin pregnancy  and enough steroids to be detected in my blood years later, made sure of that. Nothing sort of a tummy tuck will get rid of the tummy. And my zebra stripes will always be there too... but I am not aftera biking figure at all... I would love to be downgraded from "fat" to "chubby" though. I so wish my personality would outshine my lard body... but it doesn't. Apparently there is enough padding around my midsection to drown out anything else ;)

I am not fat because I am uneducated or stupid... and I don't regret it either. If someone came to me 8 years ago, as I was sitting all pretty in my size 12 outfit and said to me, you will be a mom but you will be a size 20 and look like a beached whale... I would STILL pick my boys over my figure.

Too bad my family can't see that and instead of me being worth my weight in gold for the person I am and what I offer my family... I am only worth my weight in lard... and inspite the triple digit number on the scale... apparenlty it is not worth much... not much at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I've never thought not to love you...

(a day late but I was in too much pain to blog yesterday)

My dearest, sweetest little boys...

Happy Valentine's day!! I never liked Valentine's day, at least not after I turned about 15 or so lol, but when I had you, I realized I was so in love with you, that I did celebrate Valenntine's after all... but with you two.

I hope you read this one day and understand...
When I first got pregnant with you, I tried really hard not to love you. This was after years of infertility and my innocence and belief in the "you get a positive pregnancy test and nine blessed months later you are holding a healthy, pink, chubby baby" story was long gone.
So I tried not to love you at first. I didn't want to get hurt again in case I lost you.

But it was impossible... I loved you more than life itself after that first sonogram when you were just the size of a bean. My beans!
And six years later, I love you more each day. You are my entire world. Everything I do, I do it for you. nothing else has meaning... I might scold or yell at you at times but I know you will never look into my eyes and wonder if you are wanted and loved.

Happy Valentine's day my sweets. I can't imagine my life without you :)
Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

And we all fall down..

Apparently though it is becoming a trend only with me...
I fell down.. AGAIN. And I hurt my knees. AGAIN... and I've a nasty sprain in my ankle...AGAIN.

As I was taking the boys home from school yesterday, I tripped over a gap in the pavement. I ducked forward to keep from falling but I had both packs on my back, mine and John's and for some bizarre reason, I started running, hunched over. I just.couldn't.straighten.my.back... the ONLY thing I could do was run forward, hunched over, to avoid losing my balance.

It was several seconds long because I remember thinking "what do I do now? I can't stop and I can't stand up... the only way to stop me is to ... fall down"... and down I went.
I got my left knee in a bloody mess, and sprained my ankle and busted my right knee pretty well. Because grace was never my strong suit... when I say fall down, I mean do it like a 10 ton mammoth does... just crumble into a pile!

I lay there for a good 10 minutes, people passing me by asking if I needed help... me fighting a wave of nausea (you know, the kind you get when you hurt a bone!). Thankfully the boys behaved and stayed next to me, not moving.

After 10 minutes of lying in the filthy pavement, I felt like I could stand up.. and I limped miserably to the car, drove in agony and then took an anti-inflamatory pill and iced my knee.
Man, it HURTS today!! My right knee and ankle have been hurt bad before so I am in agony on that side of my body plus apparently I pulled some muscles too because today they hurt.

When I fell my first thought was "seriously?". I couldn't believe I fell!! I mean, I am 34... you don't.fall.down when you are that old, right? This is my 3rd fall (one from the stairs!) in a month.
I have a sneaking suscpicion there is something wrong with my ears. I've been sick for a month so maybe I have fluid in there... or it's just that I am still not 100% (although I am much better) and I get light headed and dizzy a lot which I do and then I trip...

In any case, I am covered in blood and bruises and man, it HURTS. I am off to put my feet up and take some pain killers. I STILL can't believe I tripped over my feet and fell though... I mean, SERIOUSLY???

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Done?

Yesterday I was browsing through photos of the boys as babies (up to 1 year old) looking for their first Halloween pics to send off to a morning show competition. I had them dressed in Tom Arma suits. John as a Skunk and Cody as a Beaver (because that's what I called them ;)).

As I was looking through the photos of their very first hours, progressing up to their one year birthday, I realized for the first time, I did NOT feel broody. I did NOT think "aw, I want to live THIS again"...
And it was...weird. I feel settled for the first time in a long time... complete even.
I am not sure it is because the financial situation in Greece is so bad right now. I am not sure if I will change my mind as soon as my sister (by choice not by blood ;)) gets pregnant herself... but for now the feeling is gone... and it's driving me crazy.

I just wish I could decide, and never look back one way or another. George really wants another child. Those who know of our ongoing marital issues (we have our good weeks and our bad weeks, I guess like all marriages and we are working on them), think that he only wants a child because he feels he will force me to stay ... those who know that we working on our marriage thinks it's ok... Hmmmm... I know for me George doesn't factor in. I don't actually depend on him for anything and I want a child, I would still go for it, with or without George. He is just not a factor. I know it sounds weird but he is rarely a factor these days.

Still yesterday looking at the early days of my babies did not make me cry, wanting that just one more time. And it was startling and weird. I guess if I did get pregnant tomorrow I would be happy about it and would never look bad... but if I didn't..? Just as well.
Is it because the boys have reached a stage at almost 6 1/2, that I am free with them? Because I am FINALLY sleeping through most nights? That on a Saturday morning, they are perfectly safe to get out of bed, go to the TV and watch cartoons quietly, snuggled on the couch for a good 1-2 hours without me having to wake up at 7am?
Yesterday I did not miss a single thing of what I saw in the pics... I did not miss diapers (although John is still incontinent and has to wear a night diaper - he does ok during day time with minimal accidents pet month). I did not miss breastfeeding, bottles, strollers or even sweet baby smells. I get more excited when I see pics of them running at sea or the playground or the zoo... and to try and decide what I really want, I play this game: we are i.e. at the Mall and I think "imagine if now you had a 6 month old in a stroller with you"... and the picture is off.
The babies I'd lost, the feeling of being pregnant... I don't miss any of that any more. I used to think that God (or Fate) "owed" me that baby I'd lost back... not anymore.

When I couldn't get pregnant I would beg God to just rip the desire out of me. I would live childless as He wanted, if only the desire was gone. I couldn't take the pain... Is this God answering my prayers for another baby? Is He saying to me "I see where your life is going even if you can't and because I love you, and I know how difficult another baby would be for you with what I see in your future, I am being kind and merciful and I rid you of the desire for another... live out in peace..."
Maybe ... or maybe I am preoccupied with all else in my life (and in the news about Greece) and a baby just isn't high in my list anymore because I have more pressing matters to attend to at the moment...
Who knows? But right now it feels as I would be just as happy with a puppy... hmmmmm
Wonder if I will be writing another post in a few months saying how I do want another baby... we shall see.

Edited to add: Another thought just occured to me.. Is it because I have two special needs little ones who totally, and in every sense, drained me so much that I simply have zero reserves for another child? I ADORE my boys, I wouldn't change a thing but it wasn't easy, I must acknowledge this. John is still hovering around 4 years old in inner maturity, he is still very much a baby who can't be trusted so maybe this is why I do not feel like wanting another?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Lets talk about dad...

I know you all come here to see cute dolls but I love sharing my life/thoughts with you... how I feel, direcdtly affects how I sculpt too, and let's face it, I love it when you mail me or comment with encouraging words.

On the 26th, it will be 6 months since my dad passed. I think about him everyday but not as frequently maybe. When I do think of him, the pang of gried is instant and hits me like a blast of blazing, impossible to breathe air right in the face. He is gone... and I will never see him again. It seems so surreal at this time. I have stopped taking plates of food to the door only to snap out of it and realize there is no one to take them to at this point.
Yet it only seems like ysterday, literally, I saw him last. Wasn't it yesterday he was driving my boys home from pre-school (for the short time they went to the private school he worked at).
Today I stopped by his car, still parked outside my building and took a look at all his things still inside. Two half-full bottles of water, his latest results of medical tests thrown in the back seat.... I have not had the guts to open the car and sit in it but I have been tempted to... it will still smell like him, right?

I think the fact he lived in the same building, makes it VERY hard for me, harder even because there isn't a single place in the building or around the neighborhood that is void of his memories. Everywhere I look, I see dad... driving down the road, the boys in the back seat, coming inside the building with super market bags...
And I can't go in his apartment, now rented by my brother in law and his girlfriend.

I so desperately want to go... for a few days but alas I have not the capability... I haven't gone away since he died... I don't about him anymore. People don't understand. I think in part because for most people, it's their mother their are close to, it's their mother that is their safe harbor, their helper... but for me, it was my dad and my dad only.

In a few weeks, Gus, his portrait doll is coming out and I can't wait. He was a little delayed but we are so close now to me holding him... I am excited :) Too bad the picture I have of him is black and white. I think his hair in the picture is brown or light brown... my dad has gray eyes and light colors..his hair was blonde in his older years but light brown when he was younger.
He honesly looked like John Stamos in his youth... he was a very handsome man.

As for me, I am counting week four of feeling ill. The "cold" I had turned into asymptomatic pneumonia and is kicking my butt. I have my good days (when I don't go out of the house) and my bad days. I woke up Saturday morning feeling ok and I drove to the super market only to spike a 104 fever that same night...actually half-way into shopping I started feeling woozy but thought nothing of it ... until we got home.
I stayed home Sunday and yesterday but had to go out to take the boys to school this morning so I pray I do not get another fever.

Hope you are all staying well and I promise next post will have cute dolls in it :)
Hugs
Tina

Friday, February 03, 2012

So ready not to be sick ;)

Hi all,
It's been a while huh? Well for the past 2 1/1 weeks, maybe a little more, I can't tell anymore, I've been sick. Correction... my entire family except George has been ill. Including that lady that I hire to help me out once a week with the house. So I've been sick, the boys have been sick and I didn't even have hired help, let alone, normal help ;)

It started with a runny nose for me, then two days later John started running a low grade fever... then Cody... then it turned into a high fever... then I woke up sometime in the a.m. feeling like I was freezing and you guessed it... *I* was running a high fever... for 4 days!! 104's and such.
Then the boys were a little better for a couple of days end of last week but I thought I would keep them home just in case... then John started spiking low grade fevers again and I took him to the ER... then I kept them home until today.

I was feeling *slightly* better each day but nothing major happened to say "OH I am finally 100%"... then my nose started running again and I got a sore throat. You guessed it. I caught something else. Ugh!!! I told George yesterday I feel sick... generally. You know... that feeling you have, heavy head, generally feeling run down? I am extremelly dizzy too.
So I am now on a different kind of antibiotics because this throat/tonsilitis thing seems to be viral. I think I caught it while in the ER with John (but I was SOOOO careful, I don't know how I did that).

So the boys are in school today and I am here trying to catch up on work while being dizzy ;)
I have worked on a new OOAK and some Natalies... Here is a (bad) picture of a redhead one with peaches and cream complexion. I am so happy with how she turned out!!!

Love this new pourer. The resin is so ... flawless :) It feels so much like clay, it's silly :)
I have finished 4 more Natalies, I will post pics when I dress them :) and I've shown their mommies first :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

They are here, they are here!!!

There is no greater joy for an artist than to receive a much expected package filled with her reproduced work. It doesn't matter if it is resin or vinyl, the excitement is the same, peppered with just a little trepidation because you know... you need to make sure it is exactly like you want it to be ;)

Today I got my Natalies! I was SO excited to get them that I didn't even wait for the postman to bring the notice... I just called, made sure the package was in the post office, loaded the kids in the car and off we went (I kept them home from school as apparently John has caught my flu-bug-thingie and was a little sick). Yes, not even a sick kid could stop me from going ;) Yes, I'd given him some Paracetamol and he felt good otherwise lol :)
Tomorrow I will go pick up the boxes and ribbons. Can't wait to show you!!

Ok off I go, I have so many things to do until tonight when I can sit down and paint some Natalies :)

Hugs
Tina

Spankings?

Today I got a feed in my e-mail from a blog I have been following a while. It's the story of a preemie boy who is now 2 1/2 (almost 3 actually). They hadn't posted since July so this was a long awaited post.
She writes that she sent her little boy to bible camp for a few days (!! at not even 3??) and that he only got "a few spankings" (!!!).

Huh?? I was so tempted to leave a comment but I restrained myself. Who am I to judge? He is a loved boy and this is a pained family as they lost their first baby and nearly lost the second (him). So I know the mom has gone through Hell complete with a lot of personal sacrifice for her son.
Still, it rubbed me wrong... very wrong.

I don't spank. Sure I had given the occassional swat on the butt, who hasn't? But I don't hit. I was hit mercilesly as a child by my mom (never my dad). I was beaten black and blue, I was terrorized (still wonder why I never mention my mom or why I have no relationship with her?), I lay awake at night in terror and worry often.
I don't hit. I don't take my nerves out on the kids. I wanted my kids. I worked really hard to get them here, to make them whole and functioning children. I don't hit.
But if I saw anyone lay a hand on them, child or adult, I would grind them to the ground. I am a very soft spoken person, practically a push-over. but when it comes to my kids, I am a dragon... not a lioness... a dragon, huge, fire breathing and with talons the size of an SUV. And I will unleash on you if you so much as touch my kids the wrong way...

"A few spankings"... on a former not even 3 preemie... In a BIBLE CHRISTIAN camp. Is my definition of Christian so much different then? Greeks are very firm Christians (Greek Orthodox, ever heard of that?)... I was never hit in Bibble Camp. I was never hit in Church Sunday School... my kids aren't either... am I the only one who finds this... wrong?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Exciting Week

This will be an exciting week!! My resin Natalies will (or should, please post office!!) be delivered, I have also ordered new certificates for my babies (always exciting for me!), my new business cards have already arrived, my Early Bird is off to production, I have also ordered these adorable boxes for the Natalies, they are sooooo cute and I can't wait to see them all wrapped up with their ribbons and little certificates in there etc.
Have I mentioned I love ribbons??

Friday, January 20, 2012

January

Well, January seems to be the month when we (as a family) get the sickest... I don't know if it is because the weather in Greece doesn't really get winter-y until December or so or because we are cooped up in the apartment because the boys are out of school or something but for the last few years it has held true.

This year it was better for some (George) and worse for some (ME!!). In December, the day after Christmas, I got this head cold. It started with a runny nose... within a week it had "traveled" to my chest and I developed bronchitis... It hasn't even been two weeks since I could say I am 100% and last night... runny nose, sore throat... again.
Then it hit me... it totally coincides with my ehm... womanly thing. Every time Aunt Flo visit, in the winter, I get sick! I really must dope me up with vitamins!!! Especially that time of the month.

It's freezing in Greece right now. I mean actual ice on the cars in the morning. This is very unusual for us. We were used to mild winters and blazing summers. It has been really dreadful here... and trust me, I know cold. I have lived in the UK (Scotland) for years. Scotland has nothing on Greece when it comes to freezing. It's a different kind of cold, the kind that pierces through all your layers, whereas in Scotland, it was cold but you could comfortably walk around in your jacket and mittens... here? Even mittens won't been the freezing part out. Ugh!
I hate winter... I hate summer.. I LOVE Spring and Fall.. what can I say? I am a mild weather girl hahaha :)

Hugs
Tina

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Early Bird (new preemie resin)

Have you wondered what resin babies will be available this year?
You know by now I release between one and three resins each year, except this year I have been...tardy. Last year I only released on (Sweet as Sugar)... This year I started off with Natalie, my very first tiny resin baby girl (I still have 2 if anyone is interested)... I hadn't really planned on doing another one... then I sculpted this little fella for my sculpting book on preemies (coming in February, finally!!)...

He kinda grew on me ;) However the limbs he appears with in the book are not suitable for reproduction (too bent) so I gave him a new set...

This will be a tiny limited edition. Only 12 and 3 artist proofs. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail. I expect to have your baby done by the end of March (I will work with first come first served).

Details at a glance:
Name: Ealy Bird
Length: 15-16"
Limbs: Full arms and legs
Cloth body
Limited Edition in Resin
Hospital grade preemie replica model of baby born at 30 weeks gestation.
This is an accurate and realistic reproduction.
Body plate (** possibly ** I broke my first one, I need to make another one!)

Your customization options: Hair color, skin color, gender, name (note: if you want actual mohair, it must be glued. My glue is fairly non-shiny but there is a slight shine. You other option is painted hair, I am pretty good at that ;))

Delivery date: End of March
Price: $1200 plus shipping (about $30 - $40 maybe less)
Deposit: $300 (non-refundable) the balance is due when you approve of pics

(please note there has been a teensy change in his right hand, the fingers were originally more spread out, but they accidentally ended up touching during baking. I have now corrected this. Both hands are open. The limbs are full to the shoulder and hip. He wears preemie sized clothing. The body will be under-stuffed with pellets only for that super cuddly feeling.)

Here are pics of my little angel :)






Sunday, January 15, 2012

Little Amelia

Little Amelia is a gorgeous little girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. She needs a kidney transplant in order to survive. Even though a family member will donate theirs, the doctors say no to the transplant because Amelia also suffered brain damage and is deemed "Mentally Retarded". In their eyes, Amelia should be left to die :(

My jaw literally dropped. SERIOUSLY?? What happened to "first and foremst do no harm"??
Why are they playing GOD???
It kind of brought me back to when I was pregnant and my doctor said to me "we should do this test, we don't want any mongoloids now, do we?"
(he meant a baby with DS). REALLY?? Because I would NOT terminate if my baby had Down Syndrome. I would only terminate if it was something really serious, fatal that would cause the baby great agony in his short life and only if it was caught super early. That's just me I guess... life, any life is valuable ... It's a CHILD for Christ's sake, a living, breathing child... a child who loves, feels, cries, laughs, understands... ok she might not ever be a rocket scientist... SO WHAT??
Who are you to decide her life is not worth living???

Please sign the petition for little Amelia:
http://www.change.org/petitions/executive-vice-president-and-chief-development-officer-allow-the-kidney-transplant-amelia-rivera-needs-to-survive#

And please post on CHOP's Facebook page to let them know how you feel:
https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensHospitalofPhiladelphia

And you can read her mother's account of the events here:
http://www.wolfhirschhorn.org/2012/01/amelia/brick-walls/

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Taken by surprise...

I was (am) that weird kid that loved nothing more than to snuggle up with a good book and a packet of heliotrope seeds for hours at a time.
I LOVE books, love them more than anything else. I love to read, read, read... There is always a book in my backpack and in my tablet. When I eat, I usually read (when not with the kids of course).
It is not often that I am surprised by books... but I did fall victim to a cheesy movie that did ruin a good book... Twilight...

When the movie came out, I had no idea what it was about. I had not even heard of the books (no surprise there as I am in Greece) and I was really over the whole vampire thing by more than a decade. I did like "Interview with a  Vampire" back in the day but the books by Anne Rice? Total disappointment. I did read all of them though.

So, since I was no longer 17, I was dragged by my friend who is internally 17 and still stuck in the '80's (and I LOVE her for it :)) to go see Twilight.
I left the cinema with a "meh... I am not 17...I didn't get it" where all around me those who were 17 and had no kids (and no boyfriends or husbands) melted in a pool of butter over Pattinson... (NOT my type, I am more of a Gerard Buttler and Ewan McGregor kind of gal... ok fine... Chris Pine too... sheesh!)

However... at some point the movie was on TV and I watched it again and it kind of grew on me... I yawned through the next two but kinda liked the 3rd one and was disappointed I had to wait a whole year for the conclusion.
I then decided to get the books full intenting to just read the last one first so I would know how this all ends...

I do read slower than I used to (I read Rama by A.C. Clarke in one afternoon!!) mainly because of lack of time. I squeeze reading to a half hour before I go to bed (sometimes it is only 15 minutes since I can't keep my eyes open long enough or past 11pm at best) so here I am a month later and I am reading the first book.

What a huge disservice the movie did to Stephenie's writing!! I LOVE how she writes. It's not "for 17 year olds" at all!!! She uses BIG WORDS for adult people!! She uses all 5 senses to write (like a good writer should). You can actually tell she's been to school!!! ;)
I am mesmerized by her writing!! I love it!! No way I am skipping to the last book already!! I have.got.to.read.all.of.them!!!! And you know what?

I met my husband when I was 15... I fell in love with within 2 minutes of meeting him and I knew he was the man of my life. Yes, he has many flaws (so do I!) but I've been around the block a couple of times and here I am, 10 years married to him, mother to his children, went through super rough marital problems that we worked through and though of course I will always nag and he will still hurt me, or yell at me or mistreat me (and I know I might too)... I still get a hearthrob every time I see him.
When the world melts away, when work is being kind to him, when there are no triggers (he can't manage his stress and this is the problem), he IS the sweetest man on earth.
So by reading the book, I could totally get back to the time I was 17 and in love (mainly because I still am in love - is that weird? Being in love with a man for 19 years?)..

Stephenie Meyer... as an artist who trusted others to reproduce her work I feel ya. I know how when other people take over, some times (not all of the times!!), your work does not come out as you'd like or as it should, so I now know the movie(s) was the result not of bad, cheesy writing but of bad, cheesy directing and producing.

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