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Topics - HauntFun

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Off Topic / Etsy Shop opening delay, grieving.
« on: September 15, 2015, 09:01:14 PM »
I've been reading a book—The Grief Recovery Handbook—and it's giving me a useful handhold on the different aspects of grief.

What am I grieving? Well. If you've read the NYT article, "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace," you will have some context.

I worked at Amazon for nearly 11 years (shy 1 month and 20-some days) as a software developer in some of the most difficult of the trenches (Ordering, and then AWS). During that time I experienced many of the incidents mentioned in the article, vicariously and personally. I eventually left because I was told by my manager, when I said I was going to collapse the next day if I didn't get a day off, that I should wait until Friday (due to huge amounts of pressure from the director). I ended up in the emergency room, and started composing my very first two-week notice the day after.

It took me months to recover somewhat physically, and when the NYT article came out, the grief hit me. Suddenly I was no longer in denial about my feelings, could not be in denial anymore. I still can't even say what the grief is—the loss of trust, the financial situation I've found myself in given that my health is so poor still that companies won't take a chance on me, the anger directed inwards that I let myself be duped into sacrificing my health on the altar of a company whose mission I believed in, the lack of support by the company despite my belief in doing right by the customer. There are a lot of reasons for me to grieve, and that grief goes way, way beyond any way I can intellectualize this thing (and believe me, I am not an idiot).

Everyone experiences Amazon on the inside differently. I'm not here to tell people to boycott Amazon, or that my experiences should merit people changing their minds, or even as a cautionary tale. I have zero agenda, because I have no authority to tell people how they should think. And in many ways, what happened to me at Amazon doesn't matter to other people.

I grieve every single day for... what? Lost trust? Lost health? Loss of financial security? So many losses, for so many years? So much unhappiness? All of the above?

Whatever it is, the grief hits me like a steam train every morning. I cry a lot sometimes, and the pain of it all is occasionally almost too much to bear. I engage in a lot of Short-Term Emotional Relief Behaviors (as the Grief Recovery Handbook terms it), though none of them (as yet) involve alcohol or drugs. I admit to having played a little too much Elder Scrolls Online (if you ever see a Khajit named Bahdzura, or a Redguard named Ydris Elba, or an Argonian named Cheers-For-All, you will have found me) because it worked so well as a numbing STERB.

I have not been able to concentrate on coding, so money hasn't been coming in. I have not been able to concentrate on sewing, so money hasn't been coming in. I have so many health needs (in particular, I need FMLA intermittent leave because of the PTSD from childhood abuse and now what appears to be something similar to PTSD from what I went through at Amazon) that companies reject me before the first interview.

Basically life is bad and I don't know when it's going to get better, if ever. Don't tell me that time heals all wounds, because there's a whole hell of a lot of wounds that childhood dealt me that have never healed.

I'm seeing a grief counselor in two weeks. I'm trying to hang on that long. I mean, I will. I just want the pain to stop.

Off Topic / Racist Anonymous Tumblr PM
« on: May 12, 2015, 10:04:49 AM »
So last year when I got Robecca Steam, I commented on Tumblr that she looked Desi South Indian to me. Beautiful skin, wonderful eyes, and great hair all contributed to this. I also posted that I wanted to figure out how to make her a sari (the biggest problem being pleating!) or other Indian dress.

I got a Tumblr PM almost immediately telling me that I better include a backpack with a bomb in it for her.

So basically: racist tumblr Monster High fans exist. Not surprising but still horribly hurtful.

I folded, and was disturbed for a very long time, and never did make a sari. I eventually left Tumblr for other reasons, but I am so grateful I am at MH Arena, because I know such behavior would not be tolerated, public or private.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edit: Do not use "Desi" as I'm Vietnamese.

Off Topic / Equestria Girls Clothing
« on: May 04, 2015, 11:10:26 PM »
So I've started doing pattern drafting for Equestria Girls and it's been fun (and sometimes challenging, but I kind of like that).

Currently I have a working simple blouse and mini skirt pattern, the result of which you can see here:

When I have time I'll go hunting for solid colors to help make clothes with her signature look. And experiment with embroidering her cutie mark.

A preview of one of the patterns, which I'll be releasing for free when I've finished writing step-by-step instructions for it (with illustrations, I think, or at least pictures):

Yeah, those are relatively big darts on a rather tiny bodice. Equestria Girls are... a bit busty for such small dolls, lol.

I feel fortunate (I guess) I ran across this thread before opening my store:,5498.0.html

Is it still in effect? I wondered why a lot of my favorite sellers disappeared late last year, and I guess this is why. I'm seeing some people using Monster High in their descriptions on Etsy, and a lot of people who don't.

Off Topic / Homework Never Ends
« on: April 28, 2015, 08:23:45 AM »
Oh dear, what did I get myself into when I decided to start a business. >_<

(Actually two businesses, for twice the fun. It's very hard to reconcile "Custom Computer Programming Services" with "Selling Doll Clothes" no matter which way you cut it.)

So I'm taking business classes, and the homework is incredible. I haven't had homework for over ten years. Ten years! Now I have it again. For some reason I don't count programming hobby projects nor crafts as homework, even though they certainly have aspects of it....

This week is particularly bad with homework, since I have something like 60 hours of it to do in four days. No sewing, no coding, just market research.

And, like, the market research is fun, don't get me wrong. Especially market research for doll clothing, because this means I'm browsing Etsy for purely business reasons. Yes. Purely. Um, ahem. So, it's fun, but now I have to basically analyze that across multiple spectrums. It's a lot of data gathering, and then a lot of essay writing, essentially.

Not to mention I have to do my homework twice,  once for my programming business, and once for my doll clothing business.

And then business classes will end some time in May, but the homework will continue. Just not as badly. I swear sometimes that I get loaded with lots of homework so that running a business will seem quaint by comparison.

So yeah. Homework. Sigh.

Next week: book-keeping! I'm already keeping spreadsheets and calculating like six different levels of taxes for sales and service offerings as practice. Oh, and we're supposed to get our initial pricing homework done this week, too.


Monster Discussion / To have but not to hold?
« on: April 26, 2015, 08:05:27 AM »
So I have this policy in place that I keep dolls I feel comfortable playing with. Brushing doll hair clams me greatly, and sewing clothes for them makes me happy. I'm starting to think that making them shoes and furniture will make me happy too.

But. I have two dolls that I don't play with. Well, it used to be six, but I sold off three, and the other is still in her box.

One of them is the SDCC Wydowna, who I spent way too much money to get. But I don't play with her because of that. The other is signature Robecca, who I did play with, but found little joy because combing her hair was not the greatest experience, to put it mildly, so I stopped and put her on her stand. Dead Tired Robecca has taken her place in my play routine. And ILF Wydowna too.

I look at these two dolls and feel rather guilty. Why did I buy them? Especially Weberella. I guess I'm not much of a collector.

I just feel kind of confused when I think about them. Also if I sold Weberella that would get me to the level to buy a sewing machine like that.

I know a lot of people do collect and have dolls just to have, and I think that's fine and wonderful. I'm just wondering if it will ever be for me. If I should just go ahead and sell the dolls I don't play with.

(do people even want a Weberealla anymore anyways?)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Clawdeen's Closet / Fabric Brags (Image Heavy most likely)
« on: April 23, 2015, 07:43:10 AM »
So I know there's a brag forum for dolls, so this might go under that, but it's more to do with sewing because it's fabric for doll clothes so, um, please move this thread if it should be moved.

Now! I found some neat fabric last year that I just feel awesome about. They'll go into great things.

First is this star trek style material I found. The insignia shapes in the background are perfect to show off the large yellow insignia, which unfortunately make this material only suitable for special items, like kimonos/yukatas. I can't see this being used anywhere else with a good look.

Next is this awesome red web-like patterned fabric. It's going to contribute to the Not-That-Secret Wydowna Project (a Victorian dress for her). Yes, staining could be an issue, but I've tested for staining using the wet unbleached cloth and iron test, and it looks color-fast.

This fine spider pattern features orange and green flowers that won't work with Operetta, might work with Marisol, I think it'll work for Jinafire. This is kimono or long dress work, I think.

I found this wonderful water-color pattern. Works well for River Styx. Not sure what kind of dress I'll use it for yet. I have the princess mega-packs from DGRequiem but, hm, still not sure.

This is definitely for Jinafire. At least, as far as my collection goes. I want to make cheongsam (Chinese-style dress) or maybe even ao dai (Vietnamese-style dress) for her.

This is a light blue steampunk gears fabric. I've been snatching up more of it, because kimonos and yukatas eat fabric like there's no tomorrow (I've also been snatching up that owl fabric; no other owl fabric works as well, I think).

And yes, everything I make has at least one duplicate that will go into my Etsy shop in July. ^_^

What awesome fabrics have you found?

Shipping to the United States only. I accept Paypal only.

In this post:
- Scaritage Operetta (mint in box)
- All my Operetta official clothing (which I bought on eBay)

Scaritage Operetta details:

Still mint in the box.

Price: $7 + shipping

Another picture available:

Operetta Clothing:

Shipping can be combined on orders.

Operetta Fashion Pack (first one, appears discontinued): Price: $10 + shipping

Off Topic / Breathing shouldn't be hard but it is
« on: April 20, 2015, 02:07:30 PM »
So I'm in urgent care because brushing the hair on my dolls has been more effective these past 2 weeks than my inhaler. The nebulizer with albeuterol hasn't worked either and I'm getting a chest x-Ray in a little bit or somewhen at least.

It's not fun. I'm 36 years old and I brought River Styx with me because I need an emergency dolly and comfort. I think that's okay.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Clawdeen's Closet / HauntFun's Sewing Thread
« on: April 19, 2015, 01:48:43 PM »
So I have been sewing using DGRequiem's kimono/yukata pattern (highly recommend!).

The last few days I've been working, on and off (I have a flu right now) a little summer dress (also from DGRequiem's pattern line). As it is with pink and yellow the dress is really meant for Draculaura, but it seems to work on Robecca as well for some reason. Or maybe that is my feverish mind at work.

The summer dress is ok—by which I mean, the pattern is great, but I feel my execution is lacking. I needed to add some lace trim to the bottom at least, maybe add little buttons down the front bodice. The fabric choice is pretty good color-wise and pattern-wise. I just need to make another with trim and details for contrast.

And I can also make the little jacket for it, too. ^_^

Oh, and I use clover clips when sewing instead of pins. Less sticking myself! And freezer sheets for patterns, where you print or trace the pattern onto them, cut them out, and temporarily iron them to the fabric and cut the pieces out. Peel, leaves no residue, can use multiple times, and easier than pinning. And those are my meager tips. Heh.

Introductions! / Hello there!
« on: April 19, 2015, 09:09:17 AM »
I am 36 years old. I live on an island (Bainbridge Island, in particular, out in the Pacific Northwest in the lovely state of Washington. It's not desert-like, but it is quaint).

I work as a software developer. I used to work for (for over 10 years! which is a long time in the software industry), and currently I am now nominally self-employed.

Important people in my life: currently one online friend, whom I'm going to visit soon. I tend not to make many good friends; I am a pushover, and people detect that and take advantage of me, and I am so desperate for friendship that I let them do that for a while. This is not going to be happening again after my last recent experience.

I've been collecting since last year, around summer 2014. I was lonely, unhappy, and stressed out. Seanan McGuire, one of my favorite authors and all-around lovely person, mentioned on her blog somewhere that dolls were calming to her (brushing their hair is a repetitive action and, as I discovered, a sort of substitute for meditation for those of us who can't meditate), and she mentioned the Monster High dolls in particular.

I fell in love with the line when I saw how interesting they were. Nobody was perfect and normal; they were all weird and strange and wonderful and unique, and I don't know—I guess this sort of thing speaks to me.

The island is very restrictive in terms of what you can get on it, and you usually have to order many things online except groceries (and sometimes you gotta do that for groceries too). I visited the local Rite-Aid and discovered their only MH doll in stock, a Dead-Tired Draculaura, not the one with the pony tails. She was cheap, and her dress was almost nothing, but she fascinated me and so I bought her.

That summer she became a sort of friend :) and brushing her hair really did calm me down. I ordered some other dolls to be her friends, of course, and because every doll is unique, they all pull to me... heh, it's a bit of a problem, but my collection has stayed relatively small.

I have:

- Dead Tired Draculaura
- A re-issue of the original Draculaura (whom I'm thinking of trading/selling. I was thinking of doing that with Dead Tired Draculaura, but I have grown attached to her, and not to the too-perfect other Draculaura, heh)
- A re-issue of the original Operetta, with her rockabilly jeans and guitar and hair rolls, whom I'm also thinking of trading/selling, because of
- Dance Class Operetta, who has better hair for brushing and I like her earring mask better.
- Original Robecca, whom I'm thinking of trading/selling because of
- Dead Tired Robecca, who has better hair for brushing.
- New Scaremester Jinafire Long, who troubles me a bit because of her tail but otherwise I like her scales and reptilian look
- Honey Swamp is sweet and has wonderful hair (which I'm never going to brush) and reminds me of a good friend from long ago. Her vines are splendid.
- Weberella version of Wydowna Spider, who has the most awesome boots of the entire collection
- I Love Fashion Wydowna Spider, who will not displace Weberella
- Frights, Action, Camera! Operetta, who is also on the trading/selling consideration table
- the currently newest Operetta, also on the trading/selling table, and still boxed
- Avea Trotter, whom I love dearly and need to figure out things like what kind of dresses work on her at all...
- Styx, my first "little sister" MH doll

I started sewing for my dolls last year, though I stopped during the holidays. Just DGRequiem's Kimono/Yukata pattern:

I've started sewing again, and I've started posting pattern reviews (never negative! If you've got nothing good to say don't say it, sort of thing) to and hope to get enough sewing skills to start selling in an Etsy shop properly. Contemplating my first sewing machine at this point too. The local fabric shop does sewing machine lessons, which is awesome.

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