Sweet and Sassy's 1st anniversary

About a year ago we opened our doll site, Sweet ’n’ Sassy. Over a month before that, Heidi had stumbled into a dolling site, Pixel Punks, through a link in The Sims related site. Heli found out about dolling from Heidi and we decided to make our own site. Heli came up with few names for our new dolling site, like Diamond dolls Sweet Garden. Sweet ‘n’ Sassy was one of the names she suggested, it sounded the best out of all the choices we had. 

Here are our first dolls (Heidi's first doll doesn't exist, but this is the second)

Heli's first doll (base site closed)

Heidi's first doll (base site closed)


First layout – Blue stars
In the beginning, we were enthusiastic about dolling, although we didn’t have too many visitors at our site. Heli has never looked up to a certain doller, she’s always visited many sites. Heidi looked up to pixel artists of sites like AvSquad, Flipped Creations and Mufflonen. First doll forum we went to was Pixel Art Forum, where we met two of our precious sisters, Joanna and Jopet. Also we hanged out in The Doll House forum. 

Heli also started a project called Standard doll site terms. The idea was to have a set of rules that all (or at least many) doll sites would use. People wouldn’t have to read the rules in each site over and over again as they would visit new sites. 

Heli: “From the beginning, I was more interested in making bases. I wanted to make bases, because I wanted to see people using them. We used CoolPage program in creating layouts. We were familiar with the program, but I hated it. I found it so limiting; the free version didn’t support frames.” 
Heidi: “I remembered how hard it was to make dolls with Paint, which I did at the beginning. As I got Paint Shop Pro, it kind of started a new better era in my dolling. I have to admit, I wasn’t too happy to use it in the beginning. A new program meant learning to use it, which wasn’t too easy.”




Second layout – Starry night
Last summer we got a new program to make layouts, Frontpage. We didn’t like the old layout any more and we were in a rush to make a new layout. Soon after we got the new layout done, we had our first hiatus (for a month). 

About that same time we started also a new site, DollGlamour. It was a dolling related magazine. We had visited other doll magazines, DollExpress and Pixel Madness, but we had our own ideas for doll magazines. Now DollGlamour project has been put to ice, but we managed to make 5 issues of DollGlamour before that. 

Heli: “As we got Frontpage, I came more interested in HTML language. It gave me the freedom to do what I really wanted for the layouts, but it also meant a lot of hard work studying HTML language. I didn’t do a lot of dolls that fall, because school was consuming a lot of my time. Most of my free time went to running DollGlamour.” 
Heidi: “First visit to Realm kind of opened up a new world. Pixel Art Forum was really small and The Doll House didn’t feel too big either. As Heli found about the Realm and Underground and told me about those forums, I became a member of both of them immediately.”


Our best work last year

Heli's own choice. Base Heidi's own choice. (base site closed)

Heidi's choice from Heli's work.   Base Heli's choice from Heidi's work. Base


Looking to the future
From time to time, we’ve been thinking of whether we’ll keep on having this site together or whether it is time to split. In the beginning we chose to have a site together, because we didn’t have a lot of stuff for the site ready, but now both of us have lots of dolls and bases. 

Why we still stick together? 
Heidi: “We have a win-win relationship with these dolling stuff. I don’t know anything about HTML language and, to tell you the truth, I’m not even that interested.” 
Heli: “Heidi updates a lot more often than I do, so I don’t have to worry about it, if I don’t update as often. She also takes care of the PR stuff. We can both now do what we want and what we are interested in.” 


Will we ever split up? 
Heidi: “Tough question. I find it hard to even think about that.” 
Heli: “There are a lot of problems and open questions related to splitting. Who gets the name of the site?“ 
Heidi: “I think both of us is worried about how our visitors would react if we would have our own sites. Will they follow us to our new sites?” 
Heli: “It’s harder to even consider splitting as the time goes by.” 

As we have just made a new layout, we won't probably make a new layout for awhile. We wanted to make a new layout, since we were getting a bit bored with the old layout and we had lots of new ideas for the new layout, also we wanted to celebrate our site birthday in some special way. Now it's time to focus on dolls and bases again.

What will happen in Sweet ‘n’ Sassy in the future? 
Heli: “I think we’ll keep on dolling and making bases like usually, probably at least until fall. Of course I hope that, we’ll both keep on getting better at dolling.” 
Heidi: “And getting more visitors at our site. I wish I’d learn to make more like creative fantasy dolls, not only the fashion dolls I do now.”