I’m Just Going To Veto The Last Two Weeks. Oh, and Zines.

Seriously, I’m pretending the new year just started this past weekend. Why? I’ve been sick nearly straight through since the weekend after Christmas. In all honesty, I was due – I very rarely get sick, I’ve been under a lot of mental stress, and once the holidays ended my body just went, “THAT’S IT. WE’RE SHUTTING DOWN.”, and BAM! Bring on the plague.

However, I am finally feeling pretty much 100% again and can’t wait to dive into my goals for January (which I am epically behind on)! Despite being sick, it was actually really nice to spend nights just vegging out with Netflix on the couch, and forcing myself to just RELAX. Yeah, the sickness part sucked, but I am so happy with myself for using all my free time to chill and recover, and not try and be working on projects and goals through the whole thing. It was a much needed break.

Today I want to talk about zines! As I mentioned in my yearly goals post, I really want to start reading zines. Why? Simply put, I feel they are right up my alley. I love memoirs, and personal blogs, and zines just seems like a fabulous mini-version of that. Plus, with every purchase I am supporting an indie business/artist/writer, which is yet another thing I love to do. So all around, it just seems like something I’m going to love.

I have to thank the wonderful Sonya Cheney for introducing me to the term ‘zine’ last year. As a zine writer herself, she had a few posts about them when I first started following her and I was instantly intrigued. Recently, she put together this post highlighting her favorite zine distributors. It’s an amazing jumping off point. There are pages and pages of zines to browse through! Here are my top picks for my first order:

Via Pioneers Press:

Anything by Julia Eff. I was drawn in by the titles, and after reading the descriptions, they sound amazing.

Better Days: Stuff That Helps With All This Anxiety by Sarah Rose. Given my anxiety struggles as of late, this sounds perfect.

Via Stranger Danger:

Always and Forever: A Zine About Friendship

Dig Deep, any of them.


I still need to decide what to order, but you can be sure they’ll be a post on my January picks! Do you read zines? What are some of your faves that I should check out?

I Can Make That

This is a topic that may ruffle some feathers, so I just wanted to say upfront this post is not meant to bash anyone. I’m simply curious on what other peoples thoughts are on the subject and I wanted to share my own!

I am a big lover of handmade goods. Whether it’s knitted items, jewelry, bath products – supporting indie shops and small businesses is something I find really important. That being said, I am also a gal on a budget. We are a one income household, and we have bills. Therefore, often in my browsing on Etsy and Storenvy I will come across an item and think, Hey, I can make that!. Which apparently to some crafters is the worst possible thing that can be said about their creation.

I don’t understand this line of thinking. Why is it so bad if someone wants to embrace some creativity and attempt something they’ve seen for themselves? Personally, I’d be thrilled if something I made inspired someone to make one like it! Yes, you didn’t get a sale. But, I feel if you are only creating things for the sole purpose of making money than you may want to rethink why you create in the first place. I have also heard a lot of negativity about peoples items being pinned to Pinterest, and how people shouldn’t do that. Another thing I don’t understand. Isn’t more exposure a good thing?! Yes, it may inspire others to attempt to make it on their own, but again, why is that a bad thing?

Keep in mind, I am talking about this strictly for personal use. There is a world of difference between seeing something you like and making it for yourself or a gift, or seeing something you like, making it and then attempting to SELL it. That is wrong, especially if you’ve completely copied another persons design. And, when using an item as inspiration for something you make, if you post about it I definitely think it’s courteous to provide a link to the original you used as a source of inspiration.

Here’s a personal example: Before I started making the woodland felt plushies, I scoured Etsy and Storenvy looking at different plush designs to give myself a jumping off point as I have very little sewing experience. I finally found a fox plush which I used as a basis for making my own pattern. The final plush did look quite similar to the one I’d used for inspiration. But it was intended as a gift, not as something I was making to sell. Even though I made my own pattern and mine was made of felt while the original was made of fleece, I’d still feel it’s quite wrong if I had tried to sell it since I used another plush as the basis for my own.

I guess my point with all this is what do you think? I’ve been very lucky to be a part of some great art/craft/handmade communities online, and I’ve seen mixed feelings about this subject. Some people embrace it and are all for people trying it on their own, and some people seem to think it’s the world’s biggest insult to hear that someone is attempting to make a product that they offer. I think it’s perfectly okay to try and make things for yourself or for a gift using something you saw online as inspiration (isn’t that basically the entire point of Pinterest?). I think it’s great to encourage the creativity and also to challenge yourself in making something that you think might be tough!

As this is a subject that has a lot of grey area, I’d love to hear your thoughts! But please keep in mind I am not looking for a fight. I have no problem with a differing opinion (in fact, I’d love to hear all sides!) but please don’t be a jerk about it! Disagreeing is completely okay, as long as it is done civilly. 😉

Links to the Past

I have been doing a lot of window shopping online for stuff this week, and the links reflect that. Ever since our budget crackdown after buying my new car we definitely don’t have fun money to throw around anymore, so my indie purchases have taken a nosedive. But I’ve been having fun browsing for things I’d love to have instead!

Hyrule crest

  • Pentatonix released a new video this week, and as usual it’s amazing. (If you’re not up on Pentatonix, check out this post). I’m not a huge fan of the rap break down in the middle, simply because I’m not a huge rap fan, period. But I do love the build it has, into the beautiful harmony of the next chorus. Also, you can pre-order their new EP on iTunes! It comes out September 23rd, and I’m squeeing about it already.
  • This video game armor logic image cracked me up. Luckily, this seems to be less of problem in games like Skyrim, but I feel like in fighting games, women still wear the most ridiculous ‘battle outfits’ ever created.
  • My little might start preschool this year, and I want to get her every single one of these backpacks. Having a different backpack for every day of the month is totally normal, right? Right.

Here’s your weekly does of Zelda!

Love this Zelda baseball tee from Koala Art & Design!

Can’t Get Enough. . .

of Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps.

*Photo from Grace and Miss Mouse website*

I discovered these handcrafted, made in Vermont soaps earlier this year at a sheep and wool festival, and they are amazing! I have never been able to use a bar soap before. They’ve always left me with a dry, scaly, itchy feeling on my legs and body. So I’d pretty much given up the handmade, artisan soap route. I assumed my skin just wasn’t meant for them. But while shopping around with a friend at the festival, we stumbled upon the booth for Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps. And I picked up a bar to smell (because who doesn’t love that?) and was immediately intrigued. It felt like I was holding a bar of lotion. My hands felt more moisturized when I set it down. So I threw the dice, and bought two bars assuming if they didn’t work out, at least I supported an indie biz.

But they did work out. And they smell amazing. The first bar I used was the Rosemary Mint, and it was so fantastic. I was excited to shower just to use the soap. The scent was so incredibly refreshing. The second bar was an unscented Castile soap, which is a much gentler soap and I figured might be better on my skin. In retrospect, I should have used the Castile bar first, but the Rosemary Mint smelled so damn good I couldn’t wait. Luckily, it works lovely on my skin!

*Photo from Grace and Miss Mouse website*

Also, these soaps last. I bought my bars in May, and only now am at the point of needing to order more as the second bar is almost gone. And no, I’m not a shower-once-a-week person – I shower just about every other day, so it gets used regularly. I do keep the bar out of the shower, which definitely helps preserve it’s life.

So if you’re looking for amazing soap, and the added bonus of supporting and indie/handmade biz, check out Grace and Miss Mouse Soaps! Other flavors I’d recommend just by their scent: Zen, Black Raspberry Vanilla, and Lavender Oatmeal. They also offer Sheep’s Milk Soap!

I was not compensated for this post – I just love their soaps and spreading support for indie businesses!

Indie Wishlist #1: Wall Art

It’s no secret that I have a love for handmade things and indie shopping. My wishlists on Storenvy and Etsy are getting pretty darn big and I also have faves outside of those sites, like prints from artists. So I figured I’d start sharing some of what I love here! Maybe you’ll discover something amazing too!

For this first post, I’ll be focusing on wall art – any variation of stuff I want for my walls! It’s a big goal of mine this year to buy more artwork. I’m hoping to be able to save up and afford some original commissions, but prints are much more in my price range at the moment.

I so love this print by Alex Clark, of Owl Thousand. I couldn’t agree more! As a homebody, I definitely need this hanging above my art desk, for all those Friday nights where I’m home making art. 🙂

This is so perfect for my kitchen! I’m an avid baker, and this is not only cute, but actually functional with the information it provides. Love!

I have been eyeing this print from Lily Cole for my daughter’s room for awhile now. Such great colors, and what little one doesn’t love balloons?

I am pretty much in love with all of Karen Hallion‘s work. I first saw her stuff through TeeFury, and was hooked. I especially love her Disney/Doctor Who mashups. And this one in particular, since Tangled is my favorite Disney movie (well, tied with Aladdin. . .).

Eeeee! I just love kawaii art and these stickers from LoveTeacupKisses are just so darn cute!! And perfectly sum up my feelings about ice cream.

I actually discovered Peter Simeti on Twitter and adore his comic illustrations. This one of Jubilee in particular. Be sure to check his shop – he has so much awesome work!

Where to even begin with digital artist Alice X. Zhang‘s work? I truly want almost every piece she’s ever done. She has amazing fanart (as in awesome enough that the BBC licensed her Doctor Who stuff to sell) and she has great original work too. Picking a piece of her’s was so hard! But, this Last of Us piece is so great, and I fell so in love with the game that I just had to go with it.

Amazing stuff, no? Hmmmm, now to think of a theme for my next wishlist post!


April 1AM Promise + Good Luck!

Well, I planned on posting this yesterday, but ended up spending a lovely day celebrating my birthday and totally forgot! So today it is – this months indie buys! Originally, I was planning on only doing one purchase for April instead of my trend of two this year, as I splurged massively and bought myself Adobe Lightroom 5 at the beginning of April as an early birthday present. It is glorious; I do so love to edit photos! In the end, I made two indie purchases this month anyway – so worth it!

My first April purchase was actually bought at the very end of March! But, I bought it early on purpose as it was an Easter basket gift for my little, and wanted to make sure it had plenty of time to arrive.

I ordered this adorable little amigurumi lamb from Crafteroni and Cheese! I just love him. So stinking cute!



Isn’t he just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen! I couldn’t wait to give him to my little miss.

DSC_0004 (4)

So excited to find him in her basket!

DSC_0011-2 (2)

Had to take it with her everywhere.

DSC_0018 (4)

Even had to buckle him so “he would stay safe!”.

Needless to say, my daughter adores her new little lamb. Go check out Crafteroni and Cheese‘s other amazing handmade things!

As you know, I just can’t resist stuff from Scrawny Girl. She had a completely ridiculous sale in her shop on Record Store Day (this past Saturday), and I had to snag some awesome swag! Three new prints, and a new sticker pack. I am a happy camper – can’t wait til they arrive in the mail!

Along with my purchases, I also had some amazing luck in a few handmade giveaways. Two shops I follow (Violet’s Buds and Lu and Ed) were having shop anniversaries, and a giveway to celebrate. I managed to score things in BOTH of them!

I won this absolutely fantastic Divergent ring from Mystigail Adornments.




I mean seriously, how fab is that?! A handmade, handstamped ring dedicated to one of my favorite books? YES! It’s one of my new daily wears. Mystigail Adornments offers beautiful handstamped jewelry. I will certainly be ordering from them in the future!

And next, I won a prize from Crafteroni and Cheese in Lu and Ed’s giveaway! I was lucky enough to snag these two little mini amigurumi monsters!


They are SO CUTE! Not gonna lie, I totally kept these for myself. I have a love for amigurumis, in fact I’ve decided to start collecting them, and these are just so flipping adorable. They have their own special spot on the nerd shelves: on top of the MTG box tucked in front of my Doctor Who print. Perfect.

I haven’t even started thinking of May’s 1AM Promise – good thing I still have plenty of time to figure it out!

– Kayly

Blogger Portrait #7: Meet Shawna of Scrawny Girl

Back on with Monday Blogger Portraits!

Today I’d like you to meet Shawna of Scrawny Girl!


This is another double whammy of blogger/indie biz owner. I had lots of fun doing her portrait. I left her sweater and hat unblended to add in some texture, and I like the results. As usual, a ref that was filled with personality. Plus, purple hair. Love it!

As you may have seen from my previous indie shopping posts, I’m totally in love with Shawna’s business Scrawny Girl Shop. Her shop is full of stickers, cards, and prints of her hand drawn illustrations, all of which have such a blast of personality to them.

How cute would this print be in an Easter basket??

I own this card, and still love it. Fits me to a tea! (See what I did there?? Yes? . . . .Yay bad puns!!)

I’m running out of spots to put her stickers, but I still want more. She has such a great style of quirky kawaii characters, and I think her art is just fabulous!

Both of these packs are on my wishlist.

I found her shop before her blog, but her blog is equally great! Shawna posts about shop updates, and life with her adorable little one. She has a Tarot Tuesday series which I always enjoy reading. I myself haven’t done Tarot in many years, but you can always get a little insight about life from reading her Tarot posts.

Another post I really liked was her Bright Hair Don’t Care post all about the products/upkeep of her fabulously bright haircolors! As a hair/makeup/girly dunce, I always appreciate tips and tricks on things of that nature, especially since I love bright hair colors myself – even more so now that summer is right around the corner!

Make sure you stop by Scrawny Girl shop and blog, leave some love, and maybe even do some Easter shopping! Another portrait next Monday!


Blogger Portrait #6: Meet Cody of Daft Crafts

I am so excited for this week’s portrait! So without further ado. . .

Meet Cody of Daft Crafts!

DSC_0002 (2)

My excitement stems from a few things. First, I really love this portrait. I had a blast doing it, and the hair color is so fabulous. Love that color blue. Plus, it’s just a piece I’m proud of! It was a first in that the facial shading is minimal, and I really like the result.

Also, I love this blog. Daft Crafts focuses on indie shopping, promoting handmade, and helping out other makers, which I think is just fantastic! There are many shops and products I’ve found via their features, and maker guest posts/interviews. There are also tutorials for so many things, from crafts to website help! It’s just an all around great blog.

Daft Crafts has an amazing weekly series called #happyhandmade, where she showcases handmade items from many different indie shops. The series is in it’s fifty-seventh week! I find so many items to add on my Storenvy and Etsy wishlists from this series.

The other thing I love about this blog is the blogger behind it! I’ve never met Cody in real life, but she seems pretty amazing. We’ve corresponded before, and trust me, she’s an all around fabulous person. Always willing to help, and give advice when asked. She is always encouraging other makers, and being a cheerleader for handmade. How can you go wrong? She also just happens to own an indie business herself – an awesome company called Lu & Ed. She makes Mon-stors, a totally unique, one of a kind storage system for books, toys, anything your kid can fit! How cool is that? Plus they are all made from upcycled fabrics so they are super eco friendly. Besides the main Mon-stors, Lu & Ed offers different varieties from Tooth Pillow Mon-stors, to Gadget Mon-stors for all your electronic needs. I personally own a Gadget Mon-stor for my iPod and love it. Durable, high quality, and totally adorable! She even makes mini Monster stuffies!

DSC_0016 (4)
My Gadget Mon-stor – I just love him!

So make sure you stop by Daft Crafts, and check out all the handmade goodness, and give Lu & Ed a look-see too!

And lastly, the other reason I’m excited about this post is that it’s a great segway for announcing my expansion of the blogger portrait series! Since indie/handmade shopping is something I find very important, I’m going to expand this series to include indie shop owners to feature as well. Part of what I love about indie shopping is the feeling of getting something so personal, that someone created with their own hands, and getting a little look at the maker behind it adds an even more personal touch. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear any feedback!


1AM Promise: March’s Indie Buys!

So far this year, 1AM has turned into 2AM. I’ve made at least two indie purchases a month – YAY!

I am SO excited about this month’s first purchase. One of my goals this year was to own original artwork, when I can afford it. It just so happens that one of my favorite artists I’ve found on DeviantArt, Sylwia Telari, had commission slots available for March, and the price was absolutely right. I snatched up a slot right away!

First, I’ll give you a taste of her artwork. I am so in love with her use of color (often muted, but still so full of life), and most especially how she renders lighting. It is so beautiful. Her use of watercolor as a medium is beautiful. I always love seeing her new work!

When I first contacted her about a commission, I realized I had absolutely no idea what I wanted for a piece. I had no composition, character, or even a specific subject in mind. I decided I wanted a mother/daughter piece, and asked her if it was okay if I left the details up to her? I included that we like walks in the woods, books, and kitties. She said that was great, and she’d run with it. Here’s what she made for me:

It is so perfect! I love the clothing design, the fantasy element to it, it’s whimsical nature. I haven’t yet decided where to hang it, since I want it to be in a place that everyone can admire it!

Obviously, I was thrilled with my piece, and I’m excited for it to be my first purchased piece of original art!

My second indie purchase this month is going to be for my daughter. It comes from the amazing shop Sugar Crumbs. She makes the cutest little amigurumis, and when she posted this little guy, I knew I had to have him for my daughter’s Easter basket!

*Image via Sugar Crumbs*

I was ready and waiting when he went on sale in the shop, and snagged him right away!

At his new home, ready for my daughter’s Easter basket!

My little miss has a love for animals, and tiny stuffies, so she is going to be so happy with it. I can just picture her delicately cuddling him!

Yup, adoring this months indie buys! I’ve actually already started shopping for April’s indie purchases since they include more things for my daughter’s Easter basket, and I want to make sure they get here in time. But I will save the reveal for next month!

Do you Shop Indie yet? 🙂