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Maker Monday Goes Medieval

Maker Monday Goes Medieval

Happy Monday! Today, I’m excited to share with you this AMAZING store I found on Etsy. It’s called Armstreet, and if you have a medieval obsession like I do, you’re going to love this store.


Love it already, don’t you? I know. It’s completely fantastic. Click on the pictures for the Etsy listings! This seven person team from the Ukraine does an incredible job of designing, sewing, and photographing their work.


I am blown away by their attention to detail. I’ve zoomed in on their pictures, and may I say that their seams are dreamy. Perfect. As someone who went to school for costume design, I drool over their work.


Just browsing their store is a joy. They take so much time and effort for their photo shoots, and the finished product is breathtaking. I would buy prints of these for my walls.


Armstreet: it’s not just ladies’ garb! Their selection of men’s wear is incredible as well. Look at the brocade! Look at the metal work on the belt!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Maker Monday feature! Please check out their Etsy shop here, and enjoy the other 300+ items they have to offer!

Maker Monday is all about Enchanted Doll!

Maker Monday is all about Enchanted Doll!

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the genius behind Enchanted Doll, Marina Bychkova! Please click on any of the photos to read about them in her blog.


One look at her site, and I’m drowning in the beauty of it. Each doll has her own story, personality, and incredible wardrobe (or tattoos!) and it just pulls me in.


I’ve loved dolls ever since I was a kid, and have dreamed of owning a ball-jointed one. I used to make so many things for my dolls: clothes, furniture, food. I even put carpeting and roof tiles on my dollhouse. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine anything like Marina’s dolls.


Every face and tattoo is hand painted. Every dress is hand sewn. Every shoe and accessory is tailored. The detail and passion that goes into her work is truly astounding.


My friend Kiersten inadvertently introduced me to Marina’s work when she entered and won the annual Enchanted Doll birthday contest. (Read about her tattoo design on Marina’s blog! It brings attention a women’s rights issue that many here in the US aren’t aware of.)


Kiersten’s winning design!

Below is the gorgeous doll she won!


I’ve been hooked on the dolls ever since. I’m so glad that Marina is back after her hiatus this summer, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year!

(Also, all images belong to Marina Bychkova! None are mine, I’m just a huge fan.)

Maker Monday! Donna Kato

Maker Monday! Donna Kato

It’s Maker Monday again! Yes, I know Monday is usually reserved for our man crushes, but I couldn’t find another alliterative day of the week. (Tinker Tuesday? Not so much.)


Really, how fantastic is she?


This week’s wonderful maker is Donna Kato. As some of you might know, I didn’t start out working in metals. I started a shop on Etsy called Lyssa’s Stuff in college to help with tuition, and it was all polymer clay. I love polymer clay to this day, and Donna Kato was a huge part of that. Not that she knows this.


Look at these colors!

Her work is colorful and creative, and I’ve loved learning from her books, and from just seeing her work online and being inspired by it. When I was first starting out, I just looked up tutorials online, but when I became serious about expanding my techniques, I immediately went out and bought her book “The Art of Polymer Clay: Millefiori Techniques.” If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at polymer clay, I highly recommend it!


Donna Kato also created her own brand of clay, which is probably the best one out there. Just my humble opinion. When you bake Sculpy, sometimes the colors shift. Reds, blues and purples tend to get really dark, and if you were counting on the color that’s in the pack, you’re out of luck. Kato Polyclay doesn’t do that. What you see is what you get.  Another great thing about the colors is that they’re based on the color wheel, unlike Sculpy. When you’re mixing new colors with Polyclay, it’s like mixing paints. It’s also amazingly sturdy! The strongest pieces I’ve ever made are Polyclay.

You can pick up Kato Polyclay online here, or at Hobby Lobby. (Not that I shop there very often; I’ve read of some rather questionable business practices of theirs. )

If you’re ever in need of a visual pick-me-up, just look up Donna Kato’s work, and the colors alone are guaranteed to make you happy.

That’s it for this Maker Monday! I wish you much creativity, and if you do try polymer clay, look for Donna Kato!




Maker Crush Monday! I Like to Make Stuff

Maker Crush Monday! I Like to Make Stuff

Time for the second Maker Crush Monday of 2016, and today is all about Bob Clagett, the brains behind “I Like to Make Stuff.”

Bob is awesome. That’s pretty much all there is to it. He makes everything. In 2015, he made the the jump to doing “I Like To Make Stuff” full time, in addition to fathering 4 kids. Whew. Congratulations, Bob!


Want to make a bedside table with a built in night light? Bob can show you how.


Want to learn Arduino Coding? Bob does that too. In 3 parts.

And of course, my personal favorite, how to build a secret door/bookcase. I need this in my life. And my house.

Check out his website for more absolutely incredible projects!

Maker Crush Monday!

Maker Crush Monday!

I’ve decided to do something a little different for 2016. I’m trying to be a bit more consistent about posting, and I thought, “What if I write about some of my favorite makers?”

There are so many incredible makers out there, in so many different mediums, and I would love to share some of them with you!

My first Maker Crush was easy for me to pick. Wanaree Tanner is one of the most accomplished metal clay artists in the world, having won the 2013 Saul Bell Award in the metal clay category for this piece.


She’s done a few tutorials for Metal Clay Magazine, and I watch them incessantly. I also love to watch her videos behind the scenes creating her gorgeous pieces. Click here to watch her creating “The Gate” based on a gate she saw at the Garden of the Gods in Thailand.


Everything she creates has such incredible levels of detail. Every piece seems to have a secret. Or two. I just love it! She is such an inspiration to me.


Check out her blog for many more beautiful works of art!

Flourish and Thrive’s 20 Sales in 20 Days Challenge

I don’t usually do challenges, but I figured it was about time I push myself out of my comfort zone a bit. I also figured I’d have time! HA!
Things have gotten insanely busy! I really couldn’t be happier though; more hours at my part time job means more funds towards getting a new and better torch, and the other busy part is custom work. I absolutely love throwing my heart and soul into a custom piece for someone. Getting to know them and connect with them on that level is amazing.

Just got the prototype for a custom ring in from Shapeways! She lost an earring, so we're turning the remaining one into a new, beautiful ring!

Just got the prototype for a custom ring in from Shapeways! She lost an earring, so we’re turning the remaining one into a new, beautiful ring!

Anyway, back to the challenge. Day 1 is about making a “special of the day.” I decided to do a flash sale, since I’ve never really done one before. I always allow about a week for my coupon codes, but this one is a one day only! Using the coupon code NIGHTOWL at, you can get $15 off your purchase of $100 or more, so today is the day to grab something for you, your friends, and your mom, all at the same time!

Go to MelissaDawnDesigns and use coupon code NIGHTOWL for $15 off a $100 purchase! Oct 12-Oct 13 only!

Go to MelissaDawnDesigns and use coupon code NIGHTOWL for $15 off a $100 purchase! Oct 12-Oct 13 only!

I shop for other people all the time, but rarely for myself, so this offer was my little way of trying to get you to treat yourself, while still mostly shopping for gifts. The gift you give, you give yourself!

Happy Anniversary!


Tomorrow marks one year of marriage for my husband and me. One year of being a wife. Honestly, I can say that things haven’t really changed at all, and I love it! We are still best friends, still madly in love, still on the same page. Sure, jobs changed and we redecorated a bit. But as far as our love goes, it’s strong and only growing stronger. We have so much respect for each other, and that allows to understand the other’s quirks. I’m really fortunate to have found someone who loves and accepts me for who l am and doesn’t judge me when I’m socially anxious or a complete workaholic.


Every challenge we’ve faced so far, we’ve handled like Amy and Rory I “Together, or not at all.” He and I are constantly changing, but we always grow together. Happy Anniversary, and may we always love who the other becomes!0293_www.BlueBoxWeddings.com_IMG_5389


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