I’ve recently had a bout of unpleasantness and stress thrown my way that I’ve allowed to interfere with my work. For the first time since I started this Babushka business, I had to terminate a project. It was truly upsetting because I’d painted over 800 sets of dolls to date and you’d think I’d get better at my craft, not worse.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive about starting a new project after that failure. There are, of course, ways to get over it, and with the kind of schedule I was facing, I had no choice but to “stay calm and carry on.” I popped on the audio book version of “The Art of War,” shut out the world, and forced myself back into the groove again as I listened to the ancient words of wisdom uttered by my ancestors.

Fortunately, this one was a set of four depicting Keanu Reeves in several of his films. Say what you will about Mr. Reeves, but I think he is a fine actor. Understated, underrated, and cool as a cucumber in real life. Like cooking, you get what you put in and I stayed calm and happy while painting this set.


Here we have Bill of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” Johnny Utah from “Point Break,” Jack from “Speed,” and of course, Neo from “The Matrix.”