American Flag

I’ve just came home from eating a very hearty and filling Thanksgiving dinner with my relatives. I’m just taking it easy at home now while waiting for all that food to slowly digest.

This year I even brought my American Girl doll, Julie Albright, with me because I wanted to tell my relatives how that doll was the reason my husband cited for why he had to leave me and why we had to get divorced. (No, he didn’t mention that he was leaving me for someone else. He once even blamed me for the fact that he was dating the other woman. He married her last year just two months after our divorce was final. Given the way he is, I could ask him for the real reason why he did this and he would probably still blame the doll for all this.) My relatives all agreed that blaming a doll for a marital breakup is totally crazy.

But it was all good today. I ate a lot of good food with some great relatives. I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my family, all of whom have been supportive towards me during the entire divorce drama of the last few years. I’m thankful that I got the home in the divorce settlement to I won’t have to move for now. I’m thankful for the friends—both old and new—who have been helpful to me in ways that are too numerous to mention here. Yes, my life isn’t perfect and there are some areas that I wish would improve for me but I’m thankful for the life that I currently have. Believe me, things could be way worse than my current situation.

That’s it for now. I’m going to quit writing this entry and put Frozen on the DVD player because I’m in the mood for some frivolous Disney animated princess action.

American Flag
Even though today is Thanksgiving Day, there has been a trend among the big box retailers to open their doors on the actual holiday itself. This is definitely a change from the old days when most businesses were closed and even the few that were opened on the holiday (such as supermarkets) would close their doors by 4 p.m. so their employees can spend the holiday with their families.

Now the big box retailers are not only forcing their employees to either spend less time at home or skip Thanksgiving entirely but they are also trying to entice their customers to give up more and more of their holiday time by having hot doorbuster deals on certain consumer items.

You can spend less time with your loved ones or eat Thanksgiving dinner unusually early so you can put on your coats and step out in the usual cold November weather while fighting other like-minded shoppers to grab some consumer items.

Or you can do the alternative. You can stay in your warm home surfing the Internet and go holiday shopping in my online Etsy shop. You don’t have to worry getting into the car and the online shopping experience is so quick and convenient that you can just order something quickly then go back to preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s a sample item that I’m currently selling online now that you can buy while you’re wearing your pajamas or casual clothes.

Souseiseki/Suiseiseki Tote Bag
Souseiseki/Suiseiseki Tote BagThis is a customized one-of-a-kind tote bag that I painted by hand. To learn more about how I created this bag, you can read the post I originally wrote on February 14, 2013. If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts, you can order right here.

 

Last Friday I decided to attend this auction gala that benefitted the organization responsible for my weekly support group for separated or divorced people, Changing Focus. It included a dinner with a silent auction followed by a live auction followed by dancing. I only went for the dinner because money is too tight for me to do much auction bidding (and I had already spent some money at a previous auction held at my church just a few weeks earlier). We were told at the meeting before the auction to get there early since traffic throughout the Baltimore-Washington, DC area gets really bad on Fridays.

I arrived a bit early so I decided to go to The Mall in Columbia to kill some time. I got a reminder that Christmas was going to arrive next month when I saw this fancy reindeer.

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There was this neat red Christmas tree with white ornaments that was made up entirely of poinsettias.
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I browsed in a few stores such as Build-A-Bear Workshop, which had an interesting array of stuffed animals to choose from including characters from My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

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A few days ago I mention how Frozen continues to be popular even though the movie was released last year and it has long since been released on DVD. Build-A-Bear had Olaf the Snowman available. It took me a while to figure out that the two bears underneath Olaf are actually Anna and Elsa rendered as teddy bears.

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The next photo shows a whole bin of stuffed animals waiting to be purchased. It also shows that, despite its name, Build-A-Bear Workshop is not just for teddy bears anymore.

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Build -A-Bear also had Santa’s reindeer available for $25 each. Every single reindeer had a name tag with the name of a particular reindeer that was mentioned in Clement Clarke Moore’s original “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem. In order to get all of Santa’s eight reindeer, one would have to spend $200 plus spend a little extra if one wanted to add Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as well.

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I took one last picture that evening and it was at Hot Topic. I came across these Funko Pop! vinyl toys that were based on Hatsune Miku. I couldn’t resist using the Mikuture smartphone app to take this photo of the virtual pop star among her lookalikes.

Hatsune Miku Goes to Hot Topic

After that visit to Hot Topic it was getting closer for the event to begin to I went over to the other place where I managed to have a great time despite lack of money. I especially loved the food that was served.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
The Owl and the Pussycat
It’s based on the famous poem The Owl and the Pussycat. This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal decoration for children’s rooms or poetry buffs in general. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on March 11, 2013. You can order this tiny art right here.

As some longtime followers of this blog may know, a few years ago I took part in the month-long Artomatic 2012 exhibit in Arlington, Virginia. I devoted my exhibition space to Occupy the Dollhouse, a parody of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had encampments in cities all over the country. I not only had an exhibition in real life but I also showed my exhibition in various places around the web for those who couldn’t travel to Northern Virginia during Artomatic’s run. My exhibit was well-received and I tried to keep Occupy the Dollhouse going after the show ended but I eventually allowed it to become moribund. That was due mainly to the fact that, with various Occupy camps being cracked down on and dismantled by authorities all over the nation, most of the Occupy groups had either disbanded or were folded into other local community groups and movements and I ran out of new material.

But now, thanks to yesterday’s verdict in Ferguson, I have new inspiration. This inspiration was the culmination of this disturbing new trend that’s sweeping the United States: White police officers or vigilantes killing unarmed African American men. Even a day before the Grand Jury declined to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Mike Brown to death there was another murder in Cleveland where a white police officer shot to death a 12-year-old African American boy named Tamir Rice, who was armed with only a toy gun. That’s right, a toy gun! Add that kid’s name to the sad list of young black men being murdered by armed white cops/vigilantes alongside Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

So, for the first time in two years, here is a brand new Occupy the Dollhouse photo. Enjoy!

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Occupy the Dollhouse supports the 99% of all races in their fight for justice and equality.

Last week I decided to attend the weekly support group meeting for people who are separated or divorced. On my way there I did some shopping for groceries and a few other items I needed to buy.

First I stopped at the Safeway in Bowie, where I saw this giant Coca-Cola polar bear.

Coca-Cola Polar Bear

Coca-Cola Polar Bear

Then I headed to the Target in Crofton that’s located in the shopping center just a mile or so away from the meeting place. Earlier this month I found this funky mashup of a piggy bank and Twilight Sparkle the alicorn princess pony from My Little Pony. On this latest trip I found another piggy bank/My Little Pony hybrid, this one is based on Rainbow Dash the pegasus pony.

My Little Pony Piggy Banks

My Little Pony Piggy Bank

My Little Pony Piggy Bank

My Little Pony Piggy Bank

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Blue Frog in Water
Blue Frog in Water
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into teddy bears, music, or both. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on June 5, 2013. You can order this tiny art right here.

Even though the Disney movie Frozen has been out for over a year and it’s still available on DVD, the movie is still a big deal in popular culture. I found this latest example during a recent excursion to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts. I found patterns that one can make for 18-inch dolls (such as American Girl, Our Generation, and Springfield) from not one but two different manufacturers.

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Interestingly the Simplicity pattern (on the left in the above photo) has the official Disney Frozen logo on the front while the McCall’s one doesn’t explicitly mention the Frozen name but the clothes that the dolls model look nearly identical to what Anna and Elsa wore in that film.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Musical Bear
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into teddy bears, music, or both. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on June 6, 2013. You can order this tiny art right here.

If you’re looking for unique reasonably-priced one-of-a-kind art that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home, I have this piece currently on sale in my Etsy shop.
Skull Art 11
This art is very small so it’s perfect for people with limited display space. It’s also the ideal gift for people who are into skulls. For more information about this piece, read the post I originally wrote on October 24, 2010. You can order this skull art right here.

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