Don’t Bee A Grumble Bumble

pillowandnoteAbout four years ago, David and I were studying in a coffee shop up in Bellingham. Well, he was studying. I think I was just reading, but I remember I wasn’t actually doing any schoolwork. Maybe I had graduated? Whatever. Point is, David was studying and just in the grumpiest of moods. If you know the guy IRL, you know that he’s a ridiculously mellow person and very good natured, so the fact that he was snappy and short tempered was very out of the norm. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it so I stepped out for some air and I called my mom. We chatted for a bit, I whined about David’s grumpy mood, and then we hung up and I returned to the table. When I slid into my seat I saw that on top of my book was a note. He apologized for being such a “grumble bumble” and the phrase stuck. We still use it whenever one of us is having a rough time, and it’s our easy way of apologizing when we can’t quite rise above our mood to actually apologize.

David’s mom brought back some beautiful fabrics from France and I’ve been (metaphorically) sitting on them, trying to decide what the perfect project would be. It’s a little daunting, isn’t it, to find the perfect project for sentimental materials? Anyway turning it into a grumble bumble pillow felt like a perfect fit, and I love how it turned out. It makes me smile to think about hvaing this pillow down the line, and using it the way Megan Nielsen uses her grumpy cloud pillow*


sideshotbackofpillownote*So I forgot? Didn’t realize? Didn’t know? How similar our pillows are and while I think I came up with my idea independently, I’m not sure so by all means–she definitely should get the credit for the idea of a grumpy pillow. Also, though, everyone in the world needs a grumpy pillow.



Where it all started

xPiggy couple Last week I showed you the makeover I gave to my Moose, but he’s not the only thing getting a makeover round these here parts. I’ve been having a ton of fun giving updated looks to a my thrift store finds collection and it’s basically the best hobby in the world. Especially since it involves lots of coats of paint, so whenever I’m not sure what project I want to work on I can slap a fresh coat of paint onto whatever little trinket is lined up. These guys are the ones who started it, though. They’re basically the cutest, sweetest little couple in the world and they wanted to update their look a little bit. They were so polite and reserved and very very very cheap that I figured what the hell. I’d see what I could do. Eventually I’ll start remembering to take before photos, but just take my word that their looks need a little updating. And I think the glitter tie is my favorite part.

xPiggy maam xPiggy sir

Bringing back The Moose

Moose close up

Which isn’t to say I’m bringing back the joint fashion blog I made with my bestie Kels, so let’s just nip that little implied meaning in the bud, shall we? No, a while back Kim gave me an adorable moose that she found. It was a moose in desparate need of a makeover–not that he was ugly or anything, but he was just a standard moose, painted brown with lighter shades of brown and motley white antlers. He was holding a little cage that contained one of those battery-operated lights. He was super cute, but I mentioned casually what a paint of coat might do to update him a bit and Kim was immediately on board. “That’s why I got him for you–I knew you’d give him an awesome makeover.”

Moose fullMoose birdfriend

It took a while, but I did my best and I fucking love him to bits. I swapped out his light in order to give him a little bird friend, which was an ornament gifted to David. I also threw on a patterned keffiyeh because he’s definitely inspired by the Moose blog and needed to be a little fashionista. My favorite part is definitely his glasses–I twisted them myself with some wire I had laying around and felt like Martha Stewart, basically. All he needs now is a name, so if you have a suggestion, by all means. It’s welcome. I’m thinking something starting with an H, like Henry or Harold.

I pull most of my inspiration from books

1 inspiringbookshelf

So it’s super weird to think about, but I can’t remember the last book I finished. It’s pretty disgusting. But that’s not what this post is about–it’s about my craft book collection. It’s no secret to anyone who’s visited me in real life that I surround myself with books, and that includes books that are specifically there to inspire me. These are the books I could spend hours flipping through and where I get a lot of ideas for art projects. A couple of the books have actual crafts and tutorials in them, which is just an added bonus.

Find & Keep

find & keep 1 find & keep 3

I won’t lie–I found this book and immediately found my spirit animal in the form of the author. She’s basically everything I aspire to be, and reading about how she just dabbles in a little bit of everything to produce her art made me feel so inspired. Oh and she doesn’t have a driver’s license! It’s not just me! Anyway it’s taken me a long time to call myself an artist (I still stutter, hemming and hawing, feeling like I haven’t earned the title just yet) because a lot of what I love to do is learn new techniques and try out new mediums. Not all of it sticks, but when it does, it gets absorbed into the messy, nebulous field that is my art. It makes me feel really unfinished, though, and unpolished, and this book reminded me that that’s entirely okay. While I’m still trying to shift my focus onto making solid, stand alone finished pieces, it’s a good reminder that I can still play and get my hands dirty, and to surround myself by art that makes my space feel inspiring. Also this is another book I read cover to cover, tutorials and all. Also, bonus? It has some mother-fucking stickers based on her art in the back!


hoopla 1 hoopla 2My newest hobby has been embroidery and when I got this book I literally read it cover to cover, going through all the artists’ different stories and crafts. The projects and art in this book are just amazing and I’m already about a quarter of the way through the conjoined twins embroidery (I think it’ll look fantastic on my wall, don’t you? I’m thinking somewhere by the entrance way).


unfashion 1 unfashion 2 unfashion 3I’ve had this book for years, and I won’t lie, sometimes I completely forget about it. Yet whenever I stumble across it, I find myself flipping through it for hours. Everytime I see something new. A lot of it shows fashion in developing countries, often made out of the modern world’s litter and scraps, contrasted with high-end photo shoots in the fashion world & advertising. It has its own beauty and is a great way to stay in touch with the world outside of my own. It’s really just pictures but I always walk away from it with new ideas.

Imagining Ourselves
imagining ourselves 1imagining ourselves 2Okay so this isn’t even close to a craft book, but it’s still super inspiring and makes me feel like an emboldened, empowered woman ready to conquer my life. The layouts also remind me of all the parts I loved about being a features editor for a school paper.The design manages to be full and interesting without being cluttered.

Sticker Doodle Doo
sticker doodle doo 1 sticker doodle doo 2
I found this in the books section of a grocery store. More specifically, in the kids section of the book aisle, but that’s neither here nor there. This book is awesome. The pages are of the decorate-this-project-with-stickers variety, but the prompts are pretty good and can appeal to a larger audience than just kids. Like, it also appeals to adults who like kid-styled art projects. It’s also full of stickers and I don’t know if you’ve picked this up by now, but I just fucking love stickers. They’re the bomb.

Fashion Flip Book

flip fashion 1 flip fashion 2This book is so goofy and fun I just love it to bits. Basically anytime you need to invent someone, or indulge in ridiculous fashion, this book is perfect. I don’t know quite what to say about it, since the concept is pretty basic. Remember this style of books from elementary school? The art is amazing quality and it’s always pretty impressive how seamless the different pieces work together. Oh and the genres vary–21 outfits that you can remix together and they range from cyborg to film star to space cadet. It doesn’t take itself seriously and is a great way to just invent a new character.

Balloons, ice cream, and of course Bob Ross

bobross mejanae2Those are the three things I requested from David. He woke me up this morning with balloons floating above the bed which was super sweet and also it made me fear for my life for a couple seconds right after waking because my sleep brain thought I was being attacked by a jellyfish from space. The ice cream we bought on Sunday, when we were fetching some fun snacks for our Bob Ross night. It was funny, after telling David I wanted to have a Bob Ross night, but I had two separate friends reach out to me to set up a night for it. The first one was Sunday, with my mirror and it was a ton of fun. I’m exciting to have another one set up, too, next Saturday with my original Bob Ross cohort! Sunday was a happy day sandwiched between a bunch of other happy days, which is pretty amazing. I tend not to write blog posts when things get tumultuous in my head, which is why my posts have always been a bit… sporadic. I’m on a pretty stable upswing, though, AND I get to spend the whole day to myself and painting. So happy birthday to me! ❤ Seriously, though, it’s not even 9:00 and this already feels like one of the best birthdays I’ve had. I feel like I’m at the point in my life I was always looking forward to, even though I spent a lot of time thinking I’d never get here. I love my partner, I love our life together, I love our friends and I’m so excited for all the cool things that are going to happen this year, and in the years to come!

bobross david1bobross janae1bobross david2bobross janae2bobross me1bobross david3bobross janae3bobross me2bobross mejanae1


Kelsey don’t read this post until your check your mailbox, okay?

snail mail 1 first

So I had a ton of fun participating in Lisa’s ProjectLife swap*, and it has me just itching to really sink my teeth into the scrapbooking project world. I’m all sorts of inspired and getting into my sparkly glittery things, but I’m still not quite at a point where I can devote enough time into jump starting this new hobby. I still wanted to make some stuff, though, so I started making cards. And I’m sending them to basically everyone I have an address for. So, if you know I already have an address for you and I’ve send you something in 2014, then you have something coming your way within the week. If you want one, though, email me your address marci.likeasmallfire at gmail dot com. It’ll be great. Well, it’ll be great it you’re into sequins and magazine cut outs. If you hate that stuff, though, you probably don’t want a card. From me, at least. Or tell me and I’ll make a different one 😉

*Honestly, it’s embarrassing to admit but I feel like I dropped the ball, mostly because I was mid-move when I mailed my package out and I couldn’t find the majority of what I wanted to send. I did, though, eventually find it so Nicole expect another package soon!snail mail 2 snail mail 3 snail mail 4 snail mail 5 snail mail 6 final

I just got rewarded for ignoring my Stranger Danger instincts, yay!

I remember being in middle school (like ages 12 – 14 ish) and my mom telling me that basically everyone on the internet is a psychopath stalker killer and that I should trust no one. Which is a really good thing to tell a middle schooler like me, except it stuck. The internet has been changed, mostly through Facebook and blogging, building pockets of space where people weren’t anonymous. They had names and faces and friends in real life, which is cool. But the problem was mostly that I didn’t let myself update with it. I read all these cool bloggers but I’m absolutely atrocious at reaching out and building friendships. Soooooo when the lovely Lisa talked about doing a Project Life swap, I was all in. All of you marvelous awesome dolls are so cool and it’s my goal for this year to work on being more involved, and more than half of you guys have gotten me itching to get into Project Life so this seemed just perfect. And I was rewarded for my efforts with all of these awesome goodies! The rest of this post is basically one big brag about all the things Lisa sent me–I definitely got pretty spoiled. And I don’t think I’m alone in nudge nudging and wink-winking to Lisa that she might want to consider doing it again…

open letter 2princess kate stamppostcard hearts closeuppostcard heartsboomephemera all star wing ephemera with yellowephemera flourish rose ephemera high voltagewashi tapeheart like close up 2

Random Phone Photo #003


Keeping an eye out for quirky little details in my new neighbourhood is my new favourite thing. The awesome thing about walking everywhere and having a nice camera phone is getting the chance to see all sorts of street art and being able to keep a record as well. I’ve been getting really into drawing geometric black and white drawings in making labels and using them as stickers, although I’ve never stuck them on anything other than my phone case…

This guy makes me laugh every time I see him. My first instinct every time is to call him creepy, but he’s really not, not if you look carefully. Imagine him interrupting himself all the time trying to say something, or even if all his mouths synchronized to say the same thing. Or maybe he is his own barbershop quartet quintet.

street art 2street art 1 street art 3

Random Phone Photo #002


art table black and silver triangles glowinthedark hi triforce onsie triforceLike I mentioned yesterday, one of my best friends is pregnant and I had a ton of fun figuring out what I wanted to make for her tiny little soon-to-be-arriving offspring. I know next to nothing about babies, but I am definitely a big fan of them and think they rock. I also have lots of opinions on babies (because really, who doesn’t?) one of which is that 85% of what you need is onsies. Onsies, burp cloths, and diapers, and that’s basically it. Well, you know, warm place to sleep, loving caretakers and basic nourishment too but details, people, details. So I got a pack of onsies and had a ton of fun coming up with some designs. The dad-to-be is a huge Zelda fan so a triforce was a given, right, and then the word “hi” in glow in the dark letters, for the midnight parties and then a cute pattern of triangles. It makes me excited to be a mom, because I want to spend the whole nine months painting and embroidering onsies and blankets, gearing up to be the most hipster of moms ever. For now, though, I’ll be content making them for the newest cutest little arrival in our friends’ group.

Random Phone Photo #001

hama flowerhama beads

I want to call them hama beads because of a couple captions on Pinterest but I keep worrying that I misread it or misremembered it, because the name on the box said perler beads and I’m not sure which one is a brand name and which is the original name. But hama beads is the name that stuck. So anyway.

I saw a few really good hama bead designs and they inspired me to want to go out and puck up some of my own to play with. My friend’s recent baby shower seemed like the perfect change to test out the medium with a fun craft. I wanted to make coasters with the color scheme so I went through and pinned a bunch more pins looking for flowers or something cute. I didn’t find quite what I wanted to look for, but I found tons and tons of other cool things. Which was exciting and inspiring, but I ended up just google image searching for the patterns I wanted to use on the baby shower coasters. Because really, it’s almost embarrassing to admit how often google image searches trump Pinterest in actual assistance. Whatevs.

The flower is actually my own design, just eyeballing it color by color. After I sorted color by color, which I shared a little bit of on instagram. Holy crap that was hell, guys, it’s like my eyes couldn’t stop sorting even if I wanted to! After two days though the bucket is entirely sorted and contained in little plastic baggies, so hurray.

I know this can be fixed with a wikipedia article or google search, but after this whole think what I really can’t figure out is how you’re supposed to iron them. I mean, if you see my above one, that’s how melted it go to stay together. It looks kind of neat, but is it supposed to look that way? The Pinterest photos all show  separate circles of independent beads–do you just iron on one side? I almost prefer it all melted together, but it’s really hard to do it evenly without the colors starting to melt together. Maybe if I iron it on a cooler setting? I tried that but it didn’t seem to work.

It kind of took me by surprise how hard this is for me. I think it’s funny that I can’t figure out hama beads on my own, but it’s definitely a ton of fun trying. There are all sorts of things that I’m excited to try and I usually postpone it with a “I can’t wait to have a kid to do this with!” like shrinky dinks and hama beads, but whenever I say it out loud whoever hears usually responds with a solid “Um why are you waiting to have a kid to do this?”

Point taken. Now I’m playing with Hama beads. Maybe for my birthday I’ll ask for shrinky dinks 😉