I have to admit that I’m still trying to move beyond the hell that my now ex-husband had put me through ever since he ran away from home just three days after we celebrated a lovely Christmas together in 2011. But there are times when news stories just triggers those bad memories. That’s because my husband never indicated that he was unhappy until the night he came home from work, announced that he was moving out, then ran out the door before I had the chance to say anything. I later found out that he left me for a friend of ours who had just gotten on Social Security disability for mental health issues and he married her just two months after our divorce was final.

Earlier this year I was triggered by the renewed controversy over Woody Allen. I think it’s because of the nature of his personal life (he left his longtime girlfriend for her adopted daughter whom he later married) was just as bizarre as the sudden collapse of my own marriage.

More recently I’ve been getting more reminders of how unpredictable people can be from the numerous rape accusations against Bill Cosby. I really didn’t feel like bloviating my own opinions about this case like so many others have on blogs and social media. When I found out about the Smithsonian exhibiting items from the personal art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby in its National Museum of African Art, I found a different perspective to weigh in on this controversy so I went to the museum to check out the exhibit then wrote a post about it (which also turns out to be one of my more popular posts that I have written in the past few weeks).

I thought I could leave the Bill Cosby controversy alone after that post. But then Bill’s wife, Camille, began to publicly speak out and I really feel the need to comment on this based on my own recent experience.

In her statement she says that “A different man has been portrayed in the media over the last two months. It is the portrait of a man I do not know…None of us will ever want to be in the position of attacking a victim. But the question should be asked—who is the victim?”

I have been in the same position as Camille. When my friends first broke the news to me a month after my husband ran away from home that he had been seeing that mentally ill friend, I didn’t want to believe it. It was only after I started seeing the two of them in public coupled together with his frequent e-mails and texts demanding that I adhere to a separation schedule that existed only in his head or else he would sue me that I began to encounter a very ugly side of him that he had never displayed to me before. Like Camille I still had earlier memories of the positive aspects of my husband as a very active volunteer at our church (including such responsible positions as Youth Group Advisor, Board of Trustees Member, and Treasurer) who had a respectable career (he has programmed several satellites for NASA) and he seemed to have ethics and integrity. If someone had told me prior to 2011 that he seems to have a taste for mentally ill women, I would’ve gone totally ballistic on that person because I originally thought that my husband would never do such a sleazy thing in a million years. I thought he had too much integrity to ever do something like that.

Unlike Camille I had to start seeing my husband for the person he really is and it’s not very pretty. Just the idea of him hooking up with a woman with serious mental health issues was enough for me to let him have the divorce that he really wanted. As this Wikipedia page on sexual ethics states:

In western countries, the legal concept of “informed consent” often sets the public standards on this issue. Children, the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill, animals, and people under the influence of drugs like alcohol might be considered in certain situations as lacking an ability to give an informed consent.

Unfortunately there aren’t too many laws regarding sex with mentally ill people and the few that does exist varies from state to state. I’ve been frustrated by the fact that had my husband hooked up with a 13-year-old girl I could’ve reported him to the authorities but I could do nothing about a grown woman with serious mental health issues. I was heartened to learn that last month, the mother of a seriously mentally ill woman who had entered into a sadomasochistic relationship with a married man but later died of undisclosed causes, had won a civil suit against the man by saying that he manipulated her daughter when she couldn’t consent. Sadly he couldn’t be criminally charged because of the laws but at least the mother got some form of justice. It would be nice if there were some kind of a national dialogue over mental illness and sexual consent along with legal reforms but I don’t see anything like that happening anytime soon.

Getting back to Camille Cosby, I really don’t know why she had to make any public statements about what he’s going through. (Of course I’m assuming that she’s doing it of her own volition with no coercion from Bill whatsoever.) I really don’t know why she had to drag the unrelated Rolling Stone magazine controversy over its recent article about rape on the University of Virginia campus into this other than to promote the idea to never believe anyone claiming to be a rape victim. This is a throwback to the days when rape victims literally had a hard time getting any kind of conviction against their rapists because of the popular assumption that she probably “asked for it” in some way.

What’s more, at least one incident involving Carla Ferrigno happened in the Cosby home after Camille decided to retire to the bedroom for the evening. I don’t know how large the home in question was but if my husband had tried something like that with another woman in the downstairs living room while I had retired for the evening upstairs, I probably would’ve woken up from the noise downstairs (regardless of whether the sex had been consensual or not) and gone down the steps to investigate.

I know that for a long time women married to rich and powerful men tended to look the other way whenever their husbands had affairs because they had grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle and they didn’t want to lose it by leaving the man. The fact that Camille didn’t leave Bill after the whole Autumn Jackson paternity scandal came to light years earlier pretty much confirmed that she was one of those wives who just didn’t want to face the fact that her husband was a womanizer.

But there’s a huge difference between having an affair between two consenting adults and what numerous women have accused Bill Cosby of doing to them: either spiking their drinks with drugs or taking him up on his offer of taking a pill that he said was a simple over-the-counter medicine only to find out that it was something way stronger than ibuprofen.

I began to lose my desire for a reconciliation with my husband the more I heard about his relationship with a seriously mentally ill woman because I felt that what he was doing was unethical at best and it forever tainted my previous love and fondness for him. I can’t imagine still wanting to be with a man who have been accused of so many rapes. If I were in Camille’s shoes, I’d be paranoid that my husband would try something like that with me.

Even if he is innocent of all the charges, the fact remains that he’s a womanizer who may have been the father of Autumn Jackson as a result of an affair with another woman. Worse, there is the allegation that he leaked the story about his daughter Erinn’s problems with drugs and alcohol to The National Enquirer in exchange for that tabloid killing the story of his swinging with Sammy Davis, Jr. and a bunch of Las Vegas showgirls. Why on earth would Camille continue to stand by the husband who threw their own daughter under the bus by exposing her publicly as an addict for his own selfish reasons is beyond me. If my husband had done something sleazy like that with my own relatives, I would’ve given him total hell before kicking his ass to the curb.

I know that having a less-than-rosy picture of your own spouse is hard and it can be traumatizing. I was forced to face the reality of my situation directly and I’ve had to learn to live with the fact that the man I married wasn’t really what he seemed to be on the surface. Instead of making public statements denouncing the rape accusers while implying that her husband is a victim, Camille needs to take a hard look at her husband and start facing the reality of who her husband really is. For inspiration on what to do about a husband locked in a public scandal, she should take a look at Jenny Sanford and see how she decided against publicly supporting her husband, then-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, when he was caught seeing a mistress in Argentina and basically decided that her husband was on his own for facing the scandal in public. (Jenny Sanford would later divorce her husband.)

In other words, stop trying to defend the indefensible on behalf of a less-than-trustworthy person.


As the Sagittarius Dolly blog inches closer to its fifth anniversary on January 6, 2015, I thought I’d provide a look back at some of my creations that I’ve previously featured in this blog.
Pink Fairy's Face
Pink Fairy-Front
Pink Fairy-Back
Pink Fairy-Outside

 

Originally profiled on January 21, 2010.

On December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, I finally got around to going to some place that I’ve always wanted to visit but I never got around to do it. I finally decided to check out the former home of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore.

I’ve seen Poe’s grave a few times but I never went to his house. That’s because I usually took the light rail to get to the grave and, despite the fact that his home is located close by, most travel reviews tend to advise against walking or taking public transportation to the Poe house. So I decided to drive my car into the city. I found that it wasn’t too bad and there were plenty of parking spots. As these next photos show, I can understand why most people advise getting there by car because Edgar Allan Poe’s home is literally located in the projects.

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The next few shots are of the outside of the house itself. The house was originally part of a duplex. The half where Poe’s family never lived was later torn down in order to make way for the construction of the housing projects that now surrounds Poe’s house.

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Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston. His father abandoned the family while he was still a toddler and his mother died soon afterwards. For whatever reason none of his relatives were able to take the boy in so the young orphan was sent to Richmond to live with a couple named John and Frances Allan. While they never legally adopted the boy, they raised him as if he were their own son. As Edgar grew older, he began to clash with his foster father over his gambling debts and the costs of his secondary education. After the death of his foster mother, Edgar and his foster father decided to part ways. Edgar subsequently moved in with his biological relatives in Baltimore.

Edgar was 23 at the time and he lived there with his widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, his grandmother and Maria’s mother, Elizabeth Cairns Poe, and Maria’s two children (Edgar’s cousins)—10-year-old Virginia and 14-year-old Henry. The family mainly survived on Elizabeth’s government pension, which she received for her late husband’s service in the American Revolutionary War.

When I entered the home, I found frequent reminders of its famous former occupant.

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The next two photos show a list of stories and poems that Edgar Allan Poe wrote while he lived in that home.

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I’ve visited the homes of other famous people before. Most of the homes tend to be large and roomy, especially the ones that were occupied by the rich, famous, and powerful. Not this one. This home has got to be the smallest, most narrow historical home that I have ever visited. At times I had to remind myself that five people once lived together in that house. That family must have been very tolerant and cooperative of each other because I could only imagine the stress of being crammed together with very little or no privacy. Even the staircase was incredibly narrow, as you can see in the next photo.

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All I can say about those steps is that they are definitely not meant for anyone who is obese because it would be so easy for someone of a certain width to get stuck trying to go up and down.

The second floor only had one small room and it had a few artifacts, such as this telescope that once belonged to Poe.

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Getting up to the third floor leading to the attic room where Edgar Allan Poe worked and slept was the biggest challenge. These steps were even more narrow than the ones leading from the first to the second floors. In fact they were so narrow that there was a sign saying that only one person can use them at a time. In addition, you can’t go all the way into the bedroom due to this barrier that was placed at the top of the steps.

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At least I could reach the camera over the barrier and take the photos of the room where Edgar Allan Poe started his professional writing career.

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Edgar Allan Poe only lived in that home for a few years until his grandmother died. Unfortunately for the family, the government payments stopped with Elizabeth Cairns Poe’s death. Maria Clemm was unable to cover the rent so the family had to move. Soon afterwards Edgar married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia, (which made Maria Clemm both his aunt and his mother-in-law) and the couple stayed married until Virginia’s early death from tuberculosis just 11 years later. Edgar Allan Poe himself died an early death at age 40 under circumstances that remain mysterious to this day.

The house itself is a pretty short tour due mainly to the fact that it is so small and narrow. (I was there for about an hour.) There is a very small gift shop located near the entrance, which consists mainly of books and a few small Poe-themed mugs, buttons, and other knick knacks. The admission was $5, which is the right price for a house this small. I’ve heard that this house gets plenty of visitors, especially around Halloween. When I went it wasn’t very crowded but, then again, I went in early December.

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Since the house was such a short trip, I decided to visit another place in Baltimore since I was in that city anyway. I headed over to the Inner Harbor where I saw something at McKeldin Square. I can remember three years ago when McKeldin Square was the site of Occupy Baltimore. The protesters have long been since evicted and now there is a temporary ice skating rink that people can use as a way of getting into the holiday spirit.

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I decided to check out the Christmas Village in Baltimore, which has recently returned. (I was there a couple of times last year before Christmas and on Christmas Eve.) I knew I was getting close to the place when I saw these charming looking signs.

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Christmas Village in Baltimore was set up the same as last year. There were outdoor wooden kiosks that sold all kinds of goodies—both edible and non-edible.

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There were holiday lights and, of course, there was a giant Christmas tree.

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There were also a giant Advent wreath and a large Advent calendar as well. (It was the second week of Advent when I was there so only two of the electric candles on the wreath were lit.)

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Then there was the main building, which had more stalls featuring all kinds of food, drinks, and crafts. It was such a visual feast for the eyes.

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Like last year, one end of this temporary structure was dominated by Käthe Wohlfahrt, which specializes in Christmas decorations imported from Germany. Photography was forbidden inside the store itself so I had to make do with just photographing the outside entrance. The official U.S. website has a lot of photos of their merchandise so it should give you an idea of what visiting that store was like.

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On my way back to the parking garage where I left my car I saw this person making various items out of balloons.

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I also ran into a guy dressed as the Grinch outside the entrance to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium at Harborplace.

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Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends everywhere! As the Sagittarius Dolly blog inches closer to its fifth anniversary on January 6, 2015, I thought I’d provide a look back at some of my creations that I’ve previously featured in this blog.
Matthew 19:24

 

Originally profiled on January 28, 2010.

Birthday Cake

For the last 31 days I’ve been highlighting an item that I’m currently selling as potential holiday gift ideas on a daily basis. I finished posting the last of these daily holiday sale items yesterday. I just want to say that today is not only my birthday but it’s also the last day I’m going to hype what I’m currently selling because it’s getting closer to Christmas. If you want to guarantee that whatever you order from me will arrive by Christmas or Kwanzaa, YOU MUST GET YOUR ORDERS IN AND PAID IN FULL BY TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT EASTERN STANDARD TIME. Any orders made after the deadline increases the risk that your item won’t arrive in time.

In case you’ve missed it, here are the links to all of my Holiday Sales blog posts. Feel free to peruse them but make sure that you decide to buy something from me soon.

Day 1: Robot Diavolino

Day 2: Revenge Against Kendall Jones

Day 3: Stop and Smell the Roses

Day 4: The Scream of Nadya “Octomom” Suleman 

Day 5: Desire

Day 6: Burlesque Hedgehog

Day 7: Skull Art 8 (Skull Against Dark Green Background)

Day 8: Skull Art 2 (Skull Against Red Background) 

Day 9: Skull Art 16 (Skull Against Brown Background)

Day 10: Skull Art 11 (Skull Against Blue Background)

Day 11: Musical Bear 

Day 12: Blue Frog

Day 13: The Owl and the Pussycat 

Day 14: Rozen Maiden Tote Bag

Day 15: Alligator jigsaw puzzle

Day 16: Skull Art 3 (Skull Against Orange Background)

Day 17: Little Red Riding Hood jigsaw puzzle

Day 18: Honda Asimo Robot jigsaw puzzle 

Day 19: RoboHedgy

Day 20: American Girl Dolls jigsaw puzzle 

Day 21: Doll-Sized Couch for American Girl Dolls and other 18-inch dolls made from broken Dance Dance Revolution control pad

Day 22: A set of four small Customized Toy Cars 

Day 23: A set of four more small Customized Toy Cars 

Day 24: A set of four additional small Customized Toy Cars 

Day 25: A Blue and A Blue anPink Fairy Doll made from a recycled thrift shop Barbie doll.

Day 26: A Pink Fairy Doll made from a recycled thrift shop Barbie doll.

Day 27: A Green Fairy Doll made from a recycled thrift shop Barbie doll.

Day 28: A 1/6 scale Volks Dollfie Plus doll customized as a Pink Fairy Doll.

Day 29: Does This Hoodie Make Me Look Like a Criminal?

Day 30: Sew It Yourself Doll Clothes Fat Quarter for American Girl dolls.

Day 31: Mermaid Barbie mixed-media tiny art piece.

Birthday Cake
Yes, today is my birthday. It’s my third birthday since my husband abruptly ran away from home just three days after we celebrated a lovely Christmas together in 2011. There was a time when my birthday was a big deal with me. But once I hit my thirties it seemed like my birthday became less and less of a big deal with me. I haven’t really gone through any major milestones since my 21st birthday, when I could legally drink hard liquor. (At that time the laws in the state of Maryland had 18 as the legal age to drink only beer and wine and 21 for everything else. Since then the state laws all across the nation pretty much bans any alcoholic beverage until 21.) These days each additional birthday only symbolizes the fact that I’m just a year older.

Since it’s my birthday today, I’m going to highlight something that I previously posted in this blog. It’s an art project I did in my elementary school art class. This one was very important to me because my art teacher was so impressed by my work that she submitted it to the Anne Arundel County Art Show and it was on display at the old Harundale Mall (which has since been torn down and replaced with a shopping center called Harundale Plaza). This was significant because it was the first time I have ever had anything I did go on display in an art show. But it was the spark of something because, since that time, I have had art on display in various art shows, which you can read about right here.

Indian Chief
For more information about this piece, which I titled Indian Chief, see my original entry that I wrote on July 20, 2010.

In a few weeks a very important anniversary is coming up. January 6, 2015 will be the five-year anniversary of the day I wrote my first post for this blog. In honor of that occasion, I’m going to repost some of my arts and crafts that I previously highlighted in this blog between now and January 6. Newer subscribers to this blog will have a chance to see my earlier work and I hope that they will like it.

As for my first art show exhibition piece, I still have it in my home. I don’t take it out to view it very often because this piece was made mostly with felt, glue, and construction paper and those are materials that tend to become more fragile with age.

As for myself, I’ll probably go out to dinner somewhere tonight. I haven’t decided which place I’ll go to so what I’m going to do is just drive around until I come to a place that I’m suddenly interested in and eat there.

This morning I’m scheduled to take part in the annual Holiday Craft sale at Paint Branch Unitarian Universalist Church in Adelphi, Maryland starting at 11:30 a.m. and will last until sometime between 12:30-1 p.m. depending on how many people are still browsing the vendor tables.

For those of you who can’t make it, I’m selling some of my work online. Today is the 31st and final day of my special Holiday Sales hype in this blog. And I’m determined to have this series of posts end with a big splash (so to speak).

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This is a Mermaid Barbie and she’s a mixed-media piece. I originally found this doll in a thrift shop. At 5 inches (13 cm) tall she is smaller than the usual Barbie doll but she still has that unmistakable face. It’s possible that she may have been a Happy Meal toy or something similar.

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I took a canvas that measured 7 inches x 5 inches (18 cm x 13 cm) and covered it with a layer of scrapbooking paper that had a watery scene. Then I covered that with a layer of acrylic gel and I attempted to texture it in order to simulate waves. Once that layer dried, I took some more acrylic gel and glued the mermaid’s tail to the canvas.

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I only glued her by the tail so the owner can have the choice of posing her any way that he or she wants (as I attempted to show in these photos). You can now purchase this unique one-of-a-kind art right here.

I recently came up with an idea for a series of designs based on famous women in history. I initially had an inkling of an idea last summer when I was perusing some of the American Girl doll blogs and there was this whole controversy surrounding the re-launch of its historical doll line under a new umbrella with an incredibly awkward title known as “BeForever”. There were people outraged over the fact that the historical dolls’ original default outfits (known as the “Meet” outfit) were going to be redesigned and they were adamant that they would be less historically accurate than the originals. (You can read more about that outcry right here.) As part of the re-launch, four historical dolls were being retired—including the line’s one of two African American dolls and the only Asian-American doll—which led to further outrage over non-white dolls being retired and the controversy still continues months later.

More recently I came across this link on my Facebook news feed to an article titled 10 intriguing female revolutionaries that you didn’t learn about in history class. I thought it would be a cool idea to come up with a line of women’s history themed items that would feature women who should be remembered more than they are today.

At the same time I’ve been wanting to sell doll clothes again. I’ve tried doing that in the past but I either had no sales or, in the case of eBay, I would get one bid for the minimum price and, since I didn’t set a reserve price, I had to honor that bid even though this resulted in me making less than the minimum wage for my hard work. I had an idea of selling pre-printed doll clothes fat quarters on Spoonflower where the buyer could purchase it for a low price. Once it arrives, the buyer could either sew it him/herself. If the young doll owner is naturally crafty and/or shows signs of being a budding fashion designer, the parent could give the fat quarter directly to that child for her to sew it herself.

I thought the American Girl doll line would be perfect since the company originally got its start selling historical dolls with the corresponding books that profiled the girl in her particular historical time period.

What I was trying to do is a variant on those fabrics that are printed with sewable rag dolls, stuffed animals, and even cloth picture books for children that people can purchase and then sew for their children—such as this one. (I vaguely remember my mother making a couple of cloth stuffed animals for me using such fabrics when I was growing up.)

But I wasn’t going to stop with just women’s history doll clothes for 18-inch dolls. I intended to have a line for adults that included t-shirts, bags, and keychains that would be sold through my Zazzle.com shop.

But then something happened. While I was able to upload the design to Spoonflower.com for the doll clothes with no problems, Zazzle.com was another matter entirely. I haven’t done much with the store in two years but I recall that when you uploaded it, it would go live immediately. Zazzle.com would remove the item only if someone complained about copyright infringement or if the powers-that-be there would get paranoid over being sued and remove it before anyone complained.

For this latest project, I uploaded my design and indicated the products I wanted to sell using that design and I got a message saying that my design wouldn’t go live immediately. Instead it would be placed in a queue where someone at Zazzle.com would pre-screen it and if it was approved, it would then go live within 24 hours. I spent one morning selecting which items I would sell with my design. I wasn’t too worried about that pre-screening queue because I had designed it myself and it involved a person who has been dead for 71 years. Yes, I used a photo as a reference but, since I was basing my art on a real-life person, it was more important for me to be as accurate as possible than I would’ve been had I been drawing a something fictional like a mermaid.

Well, after a morning of hard work, I got a series of e-mails from Zazzle.com informing me that they had denied my design and nothing with that design would be on sale.

So now I only have the doll clothes. I’m currently looking at alternatives for adults but I probably won’t get around to starting a new store on a different site until after the New Year. I will try to have something when Women’s History Month begins on March 1.

To say that I’m annoyed at Zazzle.com would be an understatement. Apparently Zazzle.com has been getting more into censorship lately and I’m not the only one who’ve been entangled in it. There is a guy who wanted to use a public domain image to print a fleece blanket only for himself and Zazzle.com not only denied it but has been very slow in refunding the money. There was another guy who wanted to print a calendar for himself was also denied and he ended up turning to a different print on demand place who had no problem with his request. Zazzle.com has censored a political parody design despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that parodies in general are exempt from copyright laws because they fall under fair use guidelines not once but twice.

So for this holiday season, I’m just going to focus on doll clothes only. The first outfit is devoted to Sophie Scholl, who was executed by guillotine for her resistance of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. Here’s the fat quarter.

SophieSchollFatQuarter

I ordered the fat quarter myself by selecting the one of cheapest fabrics available (which was made out of cotton) because I wanted to see how it would look. I have to say that I was impressed with the result. I sewed it and I took a few photos with my dolls modeling the outfit. Here’s Julie Albright posing topless because I wanted to show what the skirt looked like by itself.

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Here’s Julie modeling both the skirt and the shirt.

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I also had Ivy Ling model it as well just so people can get an impression of what it would look like on a dark-haired doll.

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I found that buying then making the fat quarter is way cheaper than buying an American Girl outfit (which starts at $30). This outfit is designed to fit 18-inch dolls so if you own Our Generation or Springfield or some other off-brand, it should fit okay on your doll. You can now order the doll clothes fat quarter right here.

I originally created this hoodie during the controversy surrounding the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Sadly, in the wake of recent police killings of unarmed African American men like Mike Brown and Eric Garner, this hoodie remains as relevant today as it did when I originally created it two years ago. This hoodie is now on sale in my Zazzle shop.

Does This Hoodie Make Me Look Like a Criminal? zazzle_shirt
Does This Hoodie Make Me Look Like a Criminal? by kimsworldofart
See other Racism T-Shirts

Benjamin Franklin

Epitaph on a Scolding Wife by her Husband : Here my poor Bridget’s Corps doth lie, she is at rest, — and so am I.

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