Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Introducing: DumbleDean

My husband and I have constantly said, "that should be on a shirt!" and we've talked about screen printing our own shirts, but after years of saying we will and contemplating the space in our home, I've come to terms this will never happen.

Until I realized, why keep this dream on hold when we can go through a company like Zazzle?

So here it is! DumbleDean!

The name of the shop was inspired by our son. He loves the color green and will often shout, "Green for Dumbledean! upon selecting something green, such a a crayon, candy, shirt, etc.

He also inspired our first line, Super Sonic Wolf Pack. I'm not sure what got him into pretending to be a Super Sonic Wolf or exactly what a Super Sonic Wolf is, but we love the idea of wolves in space. haha!

I hope to add more designs in the next few weeks when I have a bit of spare time. 

We hope to add more products as our inspiration hits us. In the mean time, please take a look around and let me know what you think. Extra eyes are always appreciated.

See other gifts available on Zazzle.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Radishes and Turnips on my mind!

It all started with our garden, excitedly watching those radish seeds sprout and grow. It started something silly in my mind, which I couldn't shake and so, I present you with the Radish Queen and her childhood friend, the Turnip King, surrounded by their adoring subjects. These dolls have arrived at my shop.

It's good to have a bit of silliness, especially with current situations in our household.

We're looking at the day The Dude will be laid off and it's only a few weeks away, with no job prospects in sight. Ugh! I'm trying hard not to let it get me down, especially because the children pick up on the negative emotions so quickly, but I'm a little terrified.

We have a homeschool convention to attend next week and I'm rubbing my pennies together trying to decide if I can afford to buy curriculum materials or hold off, in case we have a few months of complete unemployment. Sorry for dumping a bit of stress, but it's hard to stay positive every day. Don't worry, I won't give up. I'm just having a bit of a bobble while trying to keep our heads above the surface.

Monday, May 29, 2017


I've mentioned it in passing before, but I have a Patreon page. It's a little bit of support to help me pay bills, especially when I'm making dolls I can't sell, such as when I'm preparing stock for a show. During those lean times, it's really a great help and also a big moral booster for someone who has been suffering from inspiration-crushing depression. It's a big hug from friends, fans, and family saying "I believe in you."

Well as a thank you to my Patreon patron-saints, I hold a monthly giveaway for a random doll. Everyone who is a patron is automatically entered. The month of June sees a sparkly, Star Shark with a glow-in-the-dark tummy!

If you'd be interested in supporting me through Patreon, please visit me! As little as $1 a month goes a long way.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Loot Crate: What's in the box?

I've always been intrigued by a subscription box service and last month, I got my chance! I received a discount through a podcast I religiously listen to (Lore) and I thought, "heck, why not? I'll try out Loot Crate."

So the box finally arrived! Oooh! Ominous isn't it? But what's inside?

Ta da! So here it is, my first unboxing and I'm a little unsure. I liked 3 out of the 5 items, but I think I was mostly confused by the theme of the box. It kinda seems all over to me, especially for a mystery box. Ok, maybe just me. But let's take a closer look.

There's a little Rocket and Groot. Aw! The theme was Guardians and, I'll be honest, I was hoping for more Guardians of the Galaxy items, but I can be happy with this little figure. I mean, look at that happy Groot face.

Next up, Adult Coloring Book! Yay! I've been wanting to buy one of these for a while, and here is one with a Star Wars theme. They also included some colored pencils and a sharpener! Such a cute idea!

And then, a Goonies shirt! My husband is jealous, he absolutely loves Goonies, but sadly he looks terrible in red, so it's mine. haha! The shirt is very thick and cozy soft.

Finally, we get to the meh, at least for me.

First up is this glow-in-the dark Avatar pin. It's cool, but it's not me. I enjoyed Avatar, but I still haven't seen the Legend of Korra series and I know I'd never wear this pin, even though it glows in the dark. So, I'm holding a raffle. The winner gets this pin. Go for it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, this set of Destiny patches. This would be so cool! Except I have never played Destiny.  A serious Destiny fan would have loved this box, because the box can be cut up and turned into a Peter Dinklage Cube (sorry, I don't know what they're really called.) I'd show mine, except papercraft is not my jam and my Peter Dinklage Cube is a nightmare.

Anyway! You want these patches? Enter this raffle! I want these to go to someone who will love them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck to everyone who enters!

Now, we get to the main question, will I continue this subscription?
Yes, I think I will give it at least one more month. I love surprises and June's theme is Alter-Ego.

Here's a snippet from the site:
"There’s two sides to everyone—the side we see and the ALTER-EGO that remains hidden. Explore the secret nature of some of pop culture’s favorite heroes with June’s theme! "

Sponsers this month include: Marvel's Spider-man, Marvel, Transformers, and DC Comics. So maybe a box more suited to me? We will see!

If you'd like to try out Loot Crate, here's the link. Let me know what you think!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: Alphonse, That is Not Ok to Do!

(Links in this post are affiliate link, which means I may make a tiny amount of money if you make a purchase by clicking through. I am not being compensated for a favorable review, I just really like talking about books.) 

Ah, sorry for the lapse in posts, My allergies are going crazy since the rain stopped. When I suffer from allergies, my body goes straight to tired. I think it's my body trying to protect itself. haha!

Me: I can't breathe! 
Body: Shh, just sleep.

Anyway, yay! a new book to review! Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do! is by Daisy Hirst and it is adorable. I am so in love with this book, it's definitely on my wishlist.

This charmingly illustrated story is about a little girl monster named Natalie and her younger brother, Alphonse. Natalie mostly doesn't mind Alphonse, except when he ruins her things.Yet even then, she deals with things well, until she has a bad day and Alphonse chews on her favorite book. (By the way, her favorite book is Bread and Jam for Frances (I Can Read Level 2)!) She gets angry and draws a not so nice photo of Alphonse. During her bath she thinks all the terrible things she drew are coming true!

Luckily, Alphonse is not hurt, only trying to fix her book and he found Natalie's not so nice picture and "fixed" it too. He charmingly drew Natalie saving him and playing with him, which Natalie declares is "absolutely fantastic! So they'd better make a lot more." It ends with the two siblings happily drawing together. Aww!

This book is sweetness on an adult level (Oh! I feel for poor Natalie's mother when she accidentally mistakes a horse drawing for a dog.), but also relate-able for children. Bonus, if you can make good vacuum cleaner, cat yowling, and marbles falling sounds, your child will be delighted. The simplistic illustrations are perfect for this story. I highly recommend adding this (and Bread and Jam for Frances (I Can Read Level 2)) to your book shelf!

Books featured:


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The day the Big Idaho Potato came for a visit

Have you ever heard of The Big Idaho Potato before?
Neither have I, until earlier this week when I saw a small blurb on our local paper's Twitter feed. The Big Idaho Potato is a giant (fake) potato that tours the US and helps small charities in towns and cities with its A Big Helping program.

The truck was scheduled to visit at a local burger joint, DAP's, so I took the two-some out for a lunch and a scoop of ice cream. The children were delighted and I was delighted to find a really nice ice cream shop within an easy driving distance. One of my favorite memories from childhood was going to a real ice cream shop with all those ice cream flavors.

The restaurant was decorated with balloons held down with gigantic potatoes!

The children were so taken by this giant potato. In person, the potato is enormous and it's fun to get a photo with it. I wasn't able to get far enough away to get a full shot of the truck and potato. haha!

The Big Potato team had boxes of potatoes for children to decorate. Bear decorated his all on his own, while a nice lady helped Bun decorate hers. Bun somehow found the tiniest potato she could out of a huge box of enormous potatoes. She was so happy! Seriously, look at these happy children!

My children, they love their potato friends. I had to ask them to put them on our dining room table and stop fiddling with them before they loved their potatoes to death. They've explicitly told me I can't cook their potato babies and I'm not allowed to plant them either. *sigh* My children...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Featured Artisan: Cute 'n Kitschy

It's been a dream of mine to feature artists on my blog, so we're starting with one of my all time favorite ladies and the hurricane force strength behind Cute 'n Kitschy.

I've known Kelly for many years and she has always been a great inspiration to me. Her work ethic and selflessness are astounding. Her heart is so big for others, I often wonder if she leaves enough for herself, but that's the kind of person Kelly is. She's the truest kind of friend.

Kelly's medium of choice is polymer clay and she is an absolute wizard, especially with her miniature bottle art (check out that tiny monarch above!). I have several of her pieces in my own collection and I'm always blown away with her attention to each itty bitty detail.

When her hands are too tired to create, she branches out into other mediums, using her art to decorate pouches, acrylic charms, and even this cute umbrella featuring her dapper octopus character. She used to offer a plush version and, fingers crossed, she will have those available again.

Kelly specializes in geek and gamer culture items and is an absolute doll to work with. If you're looking for something special like this amazing Cat Bus business card holder, contact her at

She's currently running a special on commission with bottle art necklaces costing $20, bottle art $22, small statues $22, and little charms $15.

Check out her shop, Cute 'n Kitschy, and take 20% off your order (no minimum purchase) with coupon code LUGGAGE20. Coupon expires 6/10/17.

Cute 'n Kitschy is also on facebook!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Today's Post is brought to you by Laundry!

Do you ever have one of those days where you have a to-do list a mile long and on that list are those things you really want to do. Those ones you hold precious, because they are a pleasure? That's at least how I split up my daily chores.
  • Things I must do.
  • Things I should do.
  • Things I want to do.
Usually the things in the third section never get completed, because I've got too many "must do's" on my list. One is in the photo above. This is our usual household laundry loads, three baskets worth, which include children's clothing, towels, and bed linens (and a smattering of dinosaurs for authenticity).

I'll freely admit my house is not in the best order lately. I re-injured my back in April and haven't felt up to the bending, pushing, pulling, and crawling of housekeeping, but I'm determined to have a tidy house. I'm not talking spotless, but at least most things in their place with less than an inch of dust.

I know I can do this, because I've done it before and that's with children. Wanna see my plan?

Ok, first a disclaimer. My home is small. 1100 square feet small, so cleaning is not often a big ordeal, but if messes are tidied daily, the house quickly succumbs to nightmare territory.

Right, back to the plan.

I've broken my house up into zones and  then I work daily zones and weekly zones.
  • Monday is Bathrooms
  • Tuesday is Kitchen
  • Wednesday is Declutter (With a 4 & 2 year old, we're always acquiring clutter.)
  • Thursday is Bedrooms
  • Friday is Living/Dining/Hallway
Each week is dedicated to a single zone, so for example the week I concentrate on the Bathrooms, I will spend an extra 15 minutes or so deep cleaning something I don't do every week. This can be things like refilling soap dispensers, cleaning out the cabinets, or washing the shower curtains.

I found I had to do two zones a weeks because my house was getting tidy, but it needed some deep cleaning. If I stick with my schedule, I'm golden. My house is good. But the moment I go lax on my duties, it all comes tumbling down.

So tell me, what do you do to keep a tidy home?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Crochet Tips: When you don't have a stitch marker

I'm making this post today because I've seen so many of my amigurumi friends suffering the same thing...

Missing Stitch Markers

The most often culprit for me was leaving my markers inside my dolls! haha!

In a fit of frustration, I discovered a way to mark my stitches by using yarn!
Sound like a good idea? Follow me!

Above, you can see I've made a few increases and found it's time to mark my rounds. See that long bit of yarn from the magic loop? There's our answer! Put your hook through the stitch you want marked and pull the first loop of a single crochet through.

Wrap the loose end of yarn from your magic loop around your active yarn.

Finish your single crochet. Now you have one stitch with a bit of yarn wrapped around. This is your stitch marker!

Here is a picture of the stitch marker after I've worked 3 rounds. I know right where I am! No extra tools needed.

Bonus! If you need to mark again in the same doll, simply repeat the method again with the same piece of yarn or a small scrap of yarn. (below)

I do this all the time and it saves me so much frustration from losing my little stitch markers. I hope this will help you too!

If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to help!


I've started a Patreon account!

If you're not familiar, Patreon is an innovative way to support artists and pay them for their art. Patrons pay as little as one dollar per month and the artist is able to work on their art with a little less fear of paying the bills or buying the supplies they need to try out new things.

You can also get some cool bonus features, such as entry into a monthly raffle, discounts, early access to dolls, and tutorials, similar to this one by becoming a patron. 

Please won't you take a look and maybe consider become a patron?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's Strawberry Pickin' Time!

Time to make you feel jealous you don't live in the country with one word, Strawberries!

Last year, my friend, Andrea, invited us to go strawberry picking at a local farm and oh my gosh! I'd never been a big fan of strawberries until then, having only eating the ones from the grocery. Store bought strawberries are ok. They don't have much flavor, but a fresh picked strawberry? Oh man, so good.

Last year we made strawberry jam with some of our harvest. This year, The Dude is going to try making strawberry wine with some.

I intended to only harvest a pound or so, but it's so hard not to pick as many as you see. It's like a treasure hunt!

I may end up making some more jam after all, because that stuff is good. Do any of you can?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

To the Dentist

(It cracks me up how our dentist puts sunglasses on patients. Bear looks so silly.)

 Dentist and Doctor appointments for the children are always a gamble. I make an appointment 6 months in advance and hope it works with my children's schedule. It's insane how often I've made an appointment based on my children's sleeping habits to find they've completely switched it by the time the appointment comes up.

Well, needless to say, we were a little late to Bear's dental appointment this morning, because for the first time in weeks both children woke up after 8 am. Ahhh! I was kinda proud of myself for keeping my cool. Usually I lose all patience when we're rushing, but I maintained my cool. (Gold star for you, mama!) Although, I was mortified when my husband called us up as I was unbuckling the children from their car seats to make sure we were alright, since the dentist's office called him.

Personally, I love going to the dentist. Give me a dental appointment over a spa appointment any day. At least with a dental appointment, I don't feel guilty for laying around. haha!

Luckily, I think this has passed on to my son. He's so good about the hygienist poking around in his mouth. And Yay! No cavities! Hopefully we can keep this up.

Bun gets her first dental appointment in August. Pray for me.


I'm going to try not to blog too much about my business, but it's a part of my life and this blog is all about my life. Anyway, I have two dolls in my shop today. Yay!

Monday, May 15, 2017

My First Ever Enamel Pins!

My friend, Katie, encouraged me to design my own enamel pin a few months ago. Now, I'm not really a pen and paper kinda artist. Ask me to make something out of yarn, and I can do it! But draw a picture and it's so hard. So hard!

Anyway, after so many redraws I finally was happy with my picture. And even then, Katie graciously offered to fixed a few wobbly lines and slightly off kilter eyes for me so I wouldn't have to redraw everything from scratch. (Thank you, Katie!)

And here it is!

It's the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This design is based off of one of my sketches for my Moon Buns. I even made the actual doll the pin is based on available for those who may want both!

These are now available at my shop!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Michael's Deal Today Only

Need anything from Michael's today? Get 60% off one regular price item today only!

Click this link to print your coupon!

(again, I get nothing from this promotion, I want to share my good savings with you!)

Colonial Williamsburg Deal for Virginia Residents

Hey! I just got word about this awesome deal for Virginia residents!

For the price of a single-day ticket, you can get unlimited access to Colonial Williamsburg through the end of the year!

You will get:
  • Unlimited access to more than 40 historic trades and sites
  • Meet Nation Builders, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington
  • Complimentary shuttle service
  • Interpreter-led tours of the Governor's Palace, the Capitol Building, and all Government buldings
  • Access the two art museums
  • 10% discount on most tours and evening programs
Click here for more details! 

Hurry, this deal ends May 31st, 2017!

(I don't get anything for this promotion, but I couldn't keep it to myself.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sprouts in the Garden

Yesterday, while checking on the garden, I couldn't help but take a photo of our little radish plants poking their heads out!

Sweet precious babies, I'M GONNA EAT CHU! Mwahahaha!
I've never grown radishes before, but the children seemed to think these were something we absolutely needed to plan in our garden this year. They also chose turnip seeds. I'm pretty sure they are going to be sad when it comes to tasting time, but for now, they're enjoying the growing. (Mostly they enjoy running under the water from the hose as I spray it. haha!

(Some cute radish dolls I made, which will be heading to the shop soon, because radish babies!!)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sock Day!

I love fun coincidences and yesterday ended up being a sock day! Two separate packages full of cute socks!

(cutie gift socks!)

Last time I saw my friend Kelly, I admired her socks and recommended I check out Amazon and guys! Amazon is the center of adorable socks! So I purchased a pack and they arrived yesterday, along with a care package from Kelly with more socks! Who's going to have cozy toesies? Oh yeah!

I have to show off these little cat socks I bought! Earlier this year, I finally replaced my 10 year old Chuck Taylor's for a pair of low-top PF Flyers and while miles more comfortable than a pair of Chucks, the PF Flyers dip very low in the heel, so these chubby cats are going to be peeking out from my shoes all day.

And they also have cutie cats on the toes!

Meow! Meow!

Now indulge me while we look at more socks, because I love the idea of cutie socks!