Monday, May 21, 2018

John Just Made Me Cry With A Poem About A Spider

 I mean, maybe it's the wonky hormones, but is it dusty in here?


Maybe I've just been watching too much Lucas the Spider.

Did you see there's a new this week?

When he cuddles the little black cat cut-out.  


Friday, May 18, 2018

Queen Of The Night, (Not) So Still, So Bright

It's a lot of pressure finding the perfect name for a cat, you guys. And while I'm not saying it's perfect, John and I do finally have a name for Kitten.

But first, look at this cuteness:

She's almost comically hard to photograph, between blending in with our dark floors and always being in motion.

Not to mention she thinks my phone is perfect for pouncing.

Here she is enjoying my birthday red panda from readers Pinkie & Anni:

That pretty kitten collar is *still* too big, so after a few pictures I had to take it off again. Maybe once she hits 3 pounds? (She's about 2.4 right now.)

And in case you missed her featurette on Instagram:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How To Resize Thrift Store Frames And Save SO MUCH MONEY

If you collect art like me, then you know custom framing is on par with unicorn blood for pricing. But what else can you do when the thing you want to frame is a funky size? Mats can only get you so far, since it looks weird if the mat is really wide on one side and skinny on the other.

Enter... JOHN.

With a solution.

He even forgoes power tools this time, just to show you this can be done with minimal tools & cheap supplies.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy one of my favorite activities in the whole wide world:  
watching John build stuff.

We've done this for a lot of the frames in our house, which John will show you in the video. Even if your art is a standard size, this way is usually cheaper - especially for big pieces! Keep in mind we often repaint our frames, though, so when you're shopping keep an eye out for ones with good design/structure regardless of the finish. You'll be amazed what a coat of gold or silver paint followed by some quick aging can do.

I hope you guys find this useful! This video was actually a request from one of you readers, so please, keep those suggestions coming. What do you want to see us build, fix, or modify next?

And as always, if you have any questions, hit us up in the comments!

UPDATE: Since it's a FAQ, John's shirt is from Woot. ;)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Jewelry Roundup! Bugs & Books & Beautiful Dinos, OH MY

I haven't gone jewelry shopping in ages, so let's hurt our bank accounts together, shall we?

(Nothing here is sponsored; these are all Etsy finds I dug up on my own, uhthankyouverramuch.)

First, get ready to say "BIRCH, PLEASE," because that's the name of Fran's incredible Etsy shop. Fran uses her original illustrations on laser-cut wood to make statement necklaces like this:

Look how beautiful.

What's really blowing my mind, though, is her layered scarab beetle with iridescent acrylic wings:

 Hang on, you need to see the side-angle close up:


Even the wood has iridescent paint on it! I'm not generally a bug jewelry kind of girl, but this is stunning.

Oh! Then Fran has a Koi fish using gold layered acrylic, which you could swear was real metal:

These are BIG, btw; about 4.5 inches across for the Koi. True statement necklaces!

Promise me you'll go see the rest, because I could put half of Birch, Please in here as my favorites. Prices range between $30 and $50


Next up, Dori of Rainbow Overflow makes the most adorable polymer clay charms, and most only cost between $5 and $7!

Friday, May 11, 2018

WDW's Spring Dapper Day 2018: Sunday at Epcot

Ahhh, you thought I was done with Dapper Day photos, didn't you?


Well, sorry and/or SURPRISE!, 'cuz I still have all of my Epcot photos from Sunday to show you! Although John tells me enough is enough already, so I have to cram everything into this one last post. 

Right. Deep breaths, gang. HERE WE GO.
Lets. Get. DAPPER.

...with the Three Cabelleros!

I love "Donald's" little sombrero. So cute!

That reminds me: I've had several people mention they have a hard time figuring out Disneybounds. Just so you know: it's not just you. Using fashion to represent a character can be super subtle, and I frequently have no idea when I ask for a photo. That's what makes it fun, though: watching for those little hints, then seeing if you've guessed right. (It's perfectly fine to ask; I do it all the time!)

Here come two Disneybounding couples - let's see if you can ID them:

Did you guess?

That's Belle and Beast on the left, and then - a little trickier - Jasmine and Aladdin in their wedding finery on the right.

Of course not all Dappers are Disneybounding. Check out these lovelies in their vintage pastels:

And this gorgeous group:

... and this one!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

DIY Rose Box For Mother's Day, Flower Lovers, And/Or People Named Rose

 Here's a fun little craft I made up the other night:



Are you impressed? :D

Ok, not really.

There's a little more to it.


Inside I have my rose petal ring (remember that?) displayed on a rolled up paper scroll - cute, right?

I like the idea of putting rose petal jewelry inside a rose gift box, plus you could write a little note on the scroll.

This was surprisingly fun to make and kind of hard to mess up, which is my favorite sort of craft. Plus it's a perfect box for a Mother's day gift, right? (Sadly last year's Wonder Womb plush will NOT fit... unless you make a mini version, which I would very much like to see. Hint hint.)

SO, who wants to make one?

The box, I mean, not a mini superhero uterus. (Although...)


- This cupcake-shaped paper box from JoAnn's:

Friday, May 4, 2018

WDW's Spring Dapper Day 2018: Saturday Part 2!

Right, Jen, it's crunch time and you still have a loooot of Dapper Day photos to share. So stop talking so much. (Like that's going to happen. :D)

Mouseketeers! Pineapple suit! (And a pineapple purse!)

The first thing I noticed on this next group was her blue Gonzo fascinator - I wish my photo showed it better, because I'm still Kermit-flailing over it:

Yesssss. We need more Muppet 'bounds, you guys. Kermit's rainbow shoes! And Fozzy's polka-dotted neck scarf! Love love love.

I'm a huge fan of all the color-blocking on Dapper Day. So many cheery color combos and dreamy pastels... it's just the most beautiful the parks look all year, gang.

More matching pineapples and a twirling Tinkerbell:

Ooh, you know what else needs to be an everyday thing? Flowers in hair. Like this:

Oh hey, and another pineapple purse! Spring Dapper Day is very fruity. :D

Another genius 'bounding group coming up in 3...2...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

WDW's Spring Dapper Day 2018: Saturday at the Magic Kingdom

It's that time again, Dizgeeks! Last weekend was Orlando's own Dapper Day, the fan-run Disney event that invites everyone to dress their best and hit the parks. Vintage fashions and Disneybounding are huge, and every year more and more people join in the fun. In fact, the event has gotten so big that Dapper Day is actually two days, so all weekend the parks are flooded with the most gorgeous dresses, suits, parasols, and hats. (Oooh, the hats, you guys. THE HATS.)

Saturday was Magic Kingdom day, so I spent the afternoon camped out in the main hub area chasing down some of my favorite fashions. It was blazing hot and made me long for air-conditioned convention halls, but I think you're about to agree: WORTH IT.

C'mon, where else can you get a backdrop like that?

Parasols are almost a necessity in the Florida sun - plus they're so stinkin' cute. Can we bring these back for everyday use?

I caught the most fantastic Robin Hood group just as John and I were coming in:

From the left that's Sir Hiss, Prince John, Robin Hood & Little John, and Maid Marion. SO GOOD.

They even had little bags of chocolate gold coins they were handing out, score!

But wait, there's more. I found the group again later, and they'd added this gorgeous Lady Cluck:

See her chicken pin? Also I am completely smitten with her hair. (She did everyone's hair for the group, too! And I think I'm allowed to tell you this: they're all wigs. Shhhh.) 

Check the group's hashtag #GollyWhatADapperDay on IG for more.

An adorable Jessie:

And some stunning Scarlett O'Hara vibes here:

Oof. So pretty it hurts.

I love taking Dapper pics on Main Street; the setting is perfect for all these vintage lovelies:

Monday, April 30, 2018

DIY Sherlock Wall Stencil: WE ACTUALLY DID IT!

I'm pretty pumped about this one, you guys.

Not only am I about to show you how to make large-scale wall stencils on the cheap, I'm *also* going to show you the completed Sherlock accent wall we just finished for our friends Chris & Christie. And you guys, it looks goooooooood - if I do say so myself.

First, to remind you what it looks like, here's a photo of the Sherlock set via Sherlockology:

That iconic black-and-white wallpaper is flocked, which is why the interior of the damask pattern looks almost solid black from most angles. It's also not technically black-and-white: the background is actually a metallic cream-and-pale-blue stripe, while the pattern itself is a deep chocolate brown.

Now here's a look at our almost-finished wall:
 We used a cream base coat and deep chocolate brown paint - but you can see the effect still looks very black-and-white.

 If you look closely you can see the top and bottom two rows haven't been touched-up yet, so those rows have thinner interior lines. I'll explain that in a minute. Keep reading.

When we were faux finishers John and I made our own stencils all the time, but this is easily the most difficult pattern we've ever attempted. However, IT CAN BE DONE, if you have the patience for it. (And if your walls are textured, then if you're willing to do a lot of touch ups afterward.) 

If your stencil pattern is small you can cut it out of a clear report cover or overhead transparency; those work great for stencils. If your pattern is larger than 8X10, though, here's a cheap way to do it:


- A printed pattern
- clear spray lacquer, any sheen
- a roll of clear packing tape
(Not sponsored, that's just the best of 3 different brands we tried)
- small foam roller
- latex paint

First you need a pattern. Luckily the Sherlock wallpaper is all over the internet, so it's easy to find. Even better, John's already done the work for you. We made ours the right size (we think), so grab this graphic below, go to Kinko's, and have them print it full-size. It should cost about $3.

 Here's our print-out from Kinko's:

Tape your print-out down to a work surface outside, and spray it with clear spray lacquer. Spray it until the lacquer completely saturates the paper, front and back:

We used Minwax, but any clear lacquer should work.

You should also saturate the entire paper, not just around the design like we did here. (We learned this the hard way.) You can trim the paper closer than this, though; all that excess edging will only get in the way later.

The reason we're lacquering the paper - and the reason you should NOT skip this step - is because water and paint will seep into your paper after you cut out the stencil. If your paper isn't sealed, it will swell up and start to fall apart. Not good.

When your paper is fully dry again, bring it inside and tack it down to a table:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our Black Ray Of Sunshine

This past week John and I've had a little miracle dropped in our laps. Or rather, in my rack:

A post shared by Jen Yates (@epbot) on


This little ball of teeth and claws is a 5 week-old-kitten, and her story is pretty incredible.

It started about 10 days ago, after we lost Tonks, but a few days before we lost Lily. I was up to my eyeballs in scheduled feedings and stress and grief, at the end of my emotional strength. John had already been gingerly suggesting we try adopting a new kitten for Lily, in the hopes of rousing her spirits.

I was against this plan.

It was Saturday afternoon, I think, when John again suggested a kitten. I explained - again - why that was a terrible idea, and not 10 minutes later, John's phone blooped with a new text. It was our neighbor, Rebecca:

"Hey, I just found a kitten on the highway. Do you want a new cat?"

Rebecca had no idea of our circumstances, no idea we'd just lost Tonks. John also claims this was NOT some nefarious plan the two of them concocted behind my back, though I still have my suspicions. And to be fair, Rebecca is the sort of sweet soul who's always bringing in lost dogs and hunting down their owners.

Rebecca told us she first thought the kitten was a black hair scrunchie there in the middle of the road. The asphalt was bleached gray so everyone could see the black lump, and cars were swerving to avoid it. When Rebecca realized the lump was alive, she immediately pulled over to rescue the tiny thing. She tells us the kitten was splayed spread-eagle, all her claws out, hanging on for dear life. Other than being completely terrified, though, the kitten seemed perfectly healthy. So Rebecca scooped her into the car and headed home.

Once home their adventure continued, because Rebecca couldn't find the kitten anywhere in the car. It was just gone. Fast forward an hour and a disassembled dash board, and she found the kitten nestled deep inside the car's guts, completely silent, only her open eyes visible.

Rebecca has dogs at home, so her house wasn't the best environment for a tiny terrified kitten. That's when she texted John.

How do you say no to a story like that, you guys?

You don't, that's how.

So we agreed to foster her, and set the kitten up in our guest bath. We gave her towels and hidey holes and food and water, and then mostly turned our attention back to Lily.

Then Monday happened.

I won't talk about that.

Late Monday John had to get us home again from the vet, and we were both so wrecked I knew it was dangerous to drive. Desperately I started talking about the kitten to get our minds off it, about how we had to feed her and bathe her and set up this-and-that for her. So we got home safely, and that's what we did: we immediately set to work preparing her food, scooping her litter, and giving her first bath. Kitten was loud and demanding and DEEPLY offended by said bath, so between combing out her fleas and disinfecting the bleeding scratches all over my arms and then holding her in a warm towel for hours until she fell asleep, it was impossible to focus on anything else.

Her eyes are almost a completely true gray - it took me about three days to realize they're actually a little green.

That night I couldn't sleep. I lay there exhausted and wrung out, but my mind's "off" switch ran away cackling, forever just out of reach.

After several hours I got up and left the room, quietly shutting the door so I wouldn't wake John.

Then I just stood there outside the bedroom door, frozen. Most nights when my insomnia is that bad I pace the house, and the sound of my movement rouses the girls. They'd come over with yawns and meows, and then I'd pick up Lily, and we'd walk together. Round and round the house. She loved being held on my left shoulder, and I'd bury my face in her side as we'd make long loops through the main rooms of the house. Somehow Lily's fur always smelled faintly of graham crackers, and that sweetness never failed to calm me.

So I stood there in the quiet and the dark that night, unconsciously waiting for soft steps I knew weren't coming, and felt... lost. I didn't know where to go or what to do. "What now?" I thought. "What do I do now?"

Then through the quiet and empty stillness, there came a tiny meow from the guest bath. Then another, louder and more insistent.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Our Dreamfinder Funko Pop!

John and I've been fiddling around with the final touches on this for far too long, so my apologies to those of you I've been cruelly teasing with sneak peeks over on Instagram. ;)

At long last, though, here's our latest custom Funko Pop:


Here he is side-by-side with the official Figment:

And a look at just the figure: