Friday, April 30, 2021

Floaty Ghost Girls, Rainbow Bumblebees, & Clay Sunsets I Want To Smash My Face In

Watch me slide in to the last day of the month with my April Art Finds.


Oh yeah. Smooth.

 First up, the dreamy, ghostly, floaty art of Moonbound Studio:

How are these spirits so CUTE? I love the lil peeking ones in back. It's like the Knights Who Say Ni came back to haunt the forest and ask wandering magical girls for shrubberies.

The artist, Sierra, loves mythology, nature, and magic, which pretty well sums up her style:

I can't get enough of her floating ghost ladies, they're my favorite:

Sierra even has a few fandom pieces from Avatar and Disney, though it may take you a second to recognize some of them.

This Painted Lady from Avatar is pretty easy to spot, but I stared at her Elsa for a few seconds before realizing who it was. I love it when an artist puts her own spin on a character like that!

You can buy prints of Sierra's work at the Moonbound Studio online shop, and be sure to follow her on Instagram to see more.


Next, an artist right here in Florida just finished painting the MOST incredible rainbow room for her kid, and I am in awe. IN AWE I SAY:


Apparently the bed is going in the closet where the hearts are! Can't wait to see it furnished.

Jessica Dunbar is the artist behind this Room of Happy, and her canvas work is just as jaw-dropping:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

I'm About To... ::Removes Sunglasses:: ... BOW YOU OVER

You know, I'm not sure that title works. ::squints:: I can't tell if you're going to read "bow" like "OW" or "bow" like, y'know.  
And even if you DO read it as bow-like-y'know, there's no guarantee you'll think that rhymes with bowl, OR that you're even familiar with the phrase "bowl you over."


Nope, definitely doesn't work.

Still leaving it.

So this weekend had A LOT going on. I loved every second of it, love being busy helping other people, but I'm also a little...

Mostly when I look at the to-do list I've been putting off, ha.

First, since so many of you offered such great advice, here's how the party went down:

I complained in my Story that it took forever to tie 3 balloons together, and someone told me Command makes a doo-hickey for that?? Next time.

In fact the balloons in general betrayed me: everything looked so good, but then...

I'm always amazed just how weak ceiling paint it, ug. Next time I'll try painter's tape. After we repaint the ceiling.

The pretties:

Friday, April 23, 2021

We Put The Cats On A Diet, A Tragedy In 3 Parts

John and I adopted our cats Suki and Eva when they were both small enough to fit in our palms, so in our minds they'll always be our little bitty squishsnoozles.

You pet parents know what I'm saying.

 In fact I still call Suki "Little One," at least when I'm not calling her Suki-Doos, Suke R Dupe, Suker-Poops, or DON'T EAT THAT YOU FLUFFY NINCOMPOOP. 

Now that both girls are about to turn 3, though, we've had a realization. Maybe it was when John grunted as he went to lift Suki for her twice-weekly tooth brushing. Maybe it was as we watched Eva's pot belly swing wildly side to side as she came running for treats. Maybe it was when I said, "Well hello, Little One," to Suki, and a friend who was visiting at the time looked alarmed and asked who I was talking to, as if there might be another, smaller cat underneath all this:

So yeah, at some point we realized our teeny lil' floofs have upgraded from itty-bitty...

... to Chonk.

"Are you taking a picture? You are, aren't you? DANG IT, MOM"

I will forever look for an excuse to repost this. :D

Hang on, I'm told Suki would like to interject something.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Some Silliness For Mum's Bon Voyage

 John's mom (aka Mum) is moving back to Maine this weekend. After over two decades of Florida living - during which she never once turned on the air conditioning in her tiny studio apartment - she's decided to swing to the other extreme and never feel warm again.

::finger guns wink wink HEYOOO Mainers, just kidding::

The rest of John's family still lives up there, including Mum's grandkids and now great grandkids, so she has lots to go home to. Plus all the local pizza joints up there sell whoopie pies, so I can see the appeal. (Whoopie pies are a heavenly northern creation that's basically a cake hamburger, except instead of a meat patty you get icing, and instead of a bun you get cake, and instead of lettuce and tomato you get a brief nirvanic experience that assures you all is right with the world.) (I'm a fan.)

We want to send Mum off with a proper to-do, so I've been planning a party for the night before her flight. Well, "party" is a bit generous. It'll just be us, Mum, and John's sister who's flying down to help with the last minute details. We'll all be in masks and distancing, so I guess it's less like a "party" and more like a wait at the DMV, only with a "Bon Voyage" banner and balloons.

Hmm. Yeah, I definitely need to up my game here.

I am proud of what I brainstormed for Mum's going-away gifts, though. (Don't worry, she's not online and won't see this.) Mum LOVES a big to-do, loves surprises and celebrations and making the mundane into an occasion. This is a woman who once gift-wrapped a single-serve bottle of ketchup and made a dramatic presentation with it. She won't have much room in her suitcase, though, so I needed little things, with an emphasis on quantity over quality to make it fun. 

Here's what I've got so far:

First we'll have a card saying we got her a few Florida mementos, then the first gift will read,  

"When you miss the Florida sunshine, wear these."

Sun Hoop Earrings

(I'll add links since everything's from Amazon, but this is more about the ideas behind the gifts than the actual stuff.)

These are super cute in person, and came with 4 different styles of earring backs, so you can choose your favorite. Not bad for $10 earrings.

Next a silly one:

"When you miss the power outages during hurricane season, turn out the lights and use this to find the bathroom."

I like that this one's still practical: I have a push light in my purse and it is a lifesaver when you're looking for lip balm or dropped M&Ms. This comes in a teeny gift box with extra batteries, plus a cute little Stormtrooper charm that John is totally keeping. 

 Mum once asked for a plastic flamingo for her birthday, saying she wanted to lean in to the classic Florida retiree look, and has proudly displayed it on her porch ever since. SO...

"When you miss all the glorious tackiness that is quintessential FLORIDA, look at these beauties and remember 'tacky' is only a state of mind."

Saturday, April 17, 2021

FINAL REVEAL: Overhauling A Professional Puppeteers' Room, Part 3

John and I are officially done with the big Puppet Room Makeover! Wahoo!
To celebrate we made a quick video tour for you, look how fancy:

OooooOOooh. This makes me so happy. Just look at all that room for activities!

If you missed my earlier posts be sure to check out Part 1 to see how we built the puppet wall rack:

...and part 2 for our build of the double-sided work desk:

Our final phase was installing a ceiling fan with a better light kit (found on Marketplace for $20, SCORE), re-arranging the bookcases on the right hand wall to hide another window, and finishing off the closet to make it a bit more tidy.

As you can see we have FULLY MAXIMIZED the closet space.

Can't forget the hanging organizers on either side:

To hide the clutter we hung this pretty curtain from Amazon on a tension-mount shower curtain rod.

Ahhh. Much better. (And renter friendly!)

If you're wondering why we removed the closet doors only to replace them with a curtain, it's because this takes up less space, and can be pushed completely out of the way to access either side.

Remember before, when there were three inconveniently placed windows?

Because one of the goals was to block natural light (to prevent sun damage to the puppets) we hid the center window behind the puppet rack itself, then switched the bookcases around to also cover the window on the right.

From this angle you can just see where that second window is hiding:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

DIY: "Beauty & The Beast" Stained Glass Rose

'Sup, fam?

I napped most of my weekend, which was aces, but I also had what we're gonna call an "ouchie" (technical term) in a sensitive spot. One might even say the MOST sensitive spot. So when I wasn't napping I was hobbling around the house clutching a heating pad to my nethers or lowering myself verrrrrry slowly into a recliner while glaring at John so he wouldn't laugh.

I bet you're thinking John was too sweet to laugh, aren't you?


Saturday night he found me spread eagle on the couch wearing a hot pack like a diaper and there were straight-up GUFFAWS.

And now I will think for a moment on how to transition this intro into a craft tutorial for faux stained glass.


::thinks harder::


 I've got it.

Ahem hem hem.

Hey, kids, you know what ELSE is a pain?




So today we're going to turn a dollar store frame and some nail polish into this beauty:

::hums "Tale As Old As Time"::

Check out the sparkle:


I bet you've forgotten all about that mental image of me in a hot pack diaper now, haven't you?


SO... this is a perfect Craft Night project for small groups, though it will take you 2 nights, so you can let things dry.

First find a stained glass pattern you like, and print it to fit your fame. I'm using a 5X7 frame here:

Friday, April 9, 2021

I Swear This Is The Behavior Of A Rational Adult

My panic monster woke up from a long nap this week and decided to make up for lost time, so I've been doing a lot of pacing, breathing exercises, wiping my sweaty palms, and juggling. Like, actual juggling. With balls and everything. Although I drop them so much it'd be more accurate to call what I do "throwing balls at myself and missing." 

 Still, it helps.

You know what also helps?



Being short can be annoying sometimes, but having the small feet that go with it ROCKS.

Then I made them better with pink rainbow laces:

The tale would have ended there, except 10 days later the lights on one of my shoes went out. UNACCEPTABLE. I can't be flashy on only one side, it'll throw off my groove. So John exchanged the shoes. Except the new pair he brought home had dark mystery stains on them. I stared at them like this:

... and John sighed and went back to exchange the exchange.

At this point things get a little ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Grown-Up Jewelry That Will Thrill Your Inner 4-Year-Old

Remember Toddler Grandma Style?

I don't hear it called that much anymore, but it's still an accurate descriptor of my fashion sense: basically a mashup of a rainbow-loving 4-year-old and a vintage-loving grandma. (Though lately I've skewed more towards the 4-year-old, ha.)

Lucky for us, Lenora Dame Studios lets us live our best Toddler Grandma life with her jewelry designs:


Obviously I'm all about the oranges, but that lower right is calling to me, too. Vintage beads & sparkly costume jewelry are my jam.

More dinos, because I love the fun color combos.

There is so much more where those came from, go browse her Etsy shop here.


Lately I've been super smitten with acrylic jewelry - the brighter and bolder the better - and Rock The Panda Jewellery makes some of the best designs I've seen:


Isn't this incredible? I love how parts of the acrylic have a pearly finish.

Rock the Panda does limited releases, and their latest collection is all big cats:

Friday, April 2, 2021

"More Than A Body": The Book I'd Like Every Body To Read

Back in 2019 I published "No Pictures, Please: The Thing About My Face," and started a long overdue conversation here about self-hate. It was... eye-opening. No, it was more than that. It was a revelation. It turns out I wasn't alone, or even in the minority; it turns out most of us don't like the way we look, and our struggles range from nagging to life-destroying.

Since then I've been plugging away at my "Self-Hate Battle Plan", a 7-pronged approach I came up with to combat self-hate. My progress has ebbed and flowed, but slowly and surely, I'm both recognizing and knocking the teeth out of the lies I used to live by.

One of the best parts of my plan was following Beauty Redefined on Instagram, a non-profit run by two PhD-holders advocating "body image resilience." Unlike Body Positivity, which wants everyone to know their bodies are beautiful, Body Image Resilience wants everyone to know they are more than their bodies. It's a seemingly subtle shift that makes an enormous difference, and I've found this approach so much more meaningful than #BoPo alone.

Beauty Redefined is run by twin sisters Lindsay & Lexie Kite, and they recently published a book. This book:

More Than A Body: Your Body Is An Instrument, Not An Ornament

I've just finished reading it, and I have 5 pages of notes and THINGS TO SAY. :D

First, this book is not a page-turner. It won't make you laugh. It's not even very comforting at first. In fact if this is your first introduction to a Body Image Resilience approach then I'm willing to bet this book will make you mad, or at least want to argue. I know I did, back when I first started following Lindsay & Lexie on IG. They have controversial stances on everything from the "wellness" industry to dress codes to sharing before-and-after weight loss pics.

So why should you read a book that's probably going to tick you off?

Because this book offers hope. Not the short-term, quick-fix kind of hope promised by the latest miracle fad, but a lasting hope that shows us how to get off the merry-go-round of shame and self-hate.

Body Image Resilience breaks with just about everything we've ever learned about beauty and self-image, so I'm not about to cram it all into one blog post. That would be too much too fast. I've had two years to sit with my discomfort, to research, to wrestle and ruminate over what I believe and what I want to believe - and I'd like you to have the same option of a slower pace. So instead of cramming everything in, let me just share 2 of my favorite snippets: