Monday, September 10, 2012


For the love of all things Disney, people, PLEASE STOP ASKING ME TO MAKE YOU A DAISY DUCK COSTUME through etsy conversations. Because it clearly states on my homepage: "I will not be making any duck costumes (Daisy or Donald) this Halloween season. I appreciate your enthusiastic requests, but my schedule is packed. Thank you for your interest and continued support." What is so hard to understand? Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who am I?

Clearly, I am not a blogger. I've tried, and it's just not my thing. I make no apologies.

I am a social media junkie, and you can find me on Twitter and Facebook. If you clicked on my Facebook link, you'll notice that I linked you to my personal page, not my business page.

Because I'm not there much. Yes, I still love sewing and creating, but I'm not doing a good job right now of marketing/selling my items. I have an etsy shop, but I'm horrible about adding things to it, and then no one buys anything because I'm not listing anything, and... it's a vicious cycle over there. I wish I had someone to photograph and list my items, because there sure are a ton of them piled up here, not making me any money!

So far, we have determined that I am not a blogger or a marketer, but I am a social media junkie and a crafter.

Last year I made a list of the things/jobs I do in my real life, and it was a diverse compilation.

I am a wife and mother
I am a homeschool teacher
I teach a homeschool class 1x/week for elementary school students at a co-op
I also do the accounting/treasury for that co-op
I work at a local University in the summertime, coordinating their challenge course program
I create items to sell online
I occasionally help draft/write up eBook patterns for the Tie Dye Diva
I help with costuming for local theater productions
I am a Cub Scout leader
I maintain a flock of chickens and (try to) help my husband with his garden in a desire to be more healthy and sustainable

And that's not even including the things that I want to do, like remodeling & decorating my house, traveling, reading, camping, building a self-sufficient homestead...

So this is who I am. I am Carol. And I do a lot of stuff. I do the things I enjoy, and when I no longer enjoy them, I try to eliminate them from my life.

I've been toying with the idea of closing down Monkey Doodle Designs for some time now, but I can't bring myself to do it. Somehow in my mind, if I don't have an official business, I can't justify my love of creating (and, let's face it, I need the tax break for the thousands of dollars I spend on supplies each year). I don't have a "niche" market because I love trying new patterns and designs. What I really need is a market where someone (preferably a lot of someones, and preferably someones with a lot of money) to come to me and say, "I want a [insert name of created item here]- will you make one for me?" That's the kind of work I thrive on.

(and for all of you Les Miserables fans out there, I am not Jean Valjean)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No ducks!

Well, at least not the costume kind. I have removed all custom-order costumes from my etsy shop while I work on costumes for the upcoming Arts Alive student production of Les Miserables. So far, I have counted 133 different characters and some of them will require costume changes. Yikes!

Thanks for understanding. I plan to have several costume options available again at the end of the summer for Halloween 2011 orders

Disney x 3 and a prom dress

Yes, it's me, the busy one! In addition to all of this sewing, I have also started a part-time job at Elon University, and subsequently enrolled my kids in public school for the first time ever (we have homeschooled their entire lives). My job is only through the end of the semester and I've always been curious about how they'd do in school (wonderful, so far!) Still, I do miss all the time I had at home to sew before I started working.

Okay time for the project wrap-up:
* the last-minute Sleeping Beauty dress (it wasn't supposed to look exactly like the Disney version)

* Donald & Daisy Duck costumes

* and a prom dress for a sweet girl, based on a paper doll dress she found online that was based on a vintage 1940's gown. Here are the originals:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pretty dresses for pretty girls!

No, I did not leave the planet, country, or state. It feels like I haven't even left my sewing room! I had noble intentions of writing up a fun tutorial for my 100th blog post, but then I got slammed with orders in addition to keeping up with life in general.

In addition to the 2 colonial girl dresses from my last post, I also made 3 boys shirt/breeches sets and one additional dress for the same family, one full boy's costume with the vest, AND then I costumed my friend's 4 kiddos with only a week's notice before their trip to Williamsburg!

Moving forward in history (only about 15 years), I made dresses for three beautiful young ladies who attended a Regency-style English Country dance. It was like I stepped into a Jane Austen novel!

After I caught up with those orders, I moved on to costumes for Sleeping Beauty Kids, starting with eight gorgeous, fluffy, pastel-colored tutus for the fairies. I was in cotton candy heaven! After a few other minor projects for the play, I was also drafted to make an 11th hour dress for Sleeping Beauty herself when the one they had fell through (still working on that one- pictures to come!)

Whew! Are you exhausted yet? I've got to get another Donald and Daisy in the mail before next week, then I'll be moving on to my next costuming project: Les Miserables Student Edition!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's my 100th post!

And I'm just going to be boring and give you 2 weeks worth of updates because last Tuesday (which it the day I told myself I was going to blog each week) the internet was out at my house. I nearly went insane. And I did, in fact, go to the McDonald's parking lot and sit in my car with my laptop and use their free wifi for about an hour. Thankfully, internet service was restored the following day, but my desire to blog was not.

So, in the past 2 weeks, I have:

* finished & shipped a Donald Duck costume to its new home in Utah where it will be a part of a school's 3rd grade play for many years to come.

* made 2 colonial girl's dresses for a family who will be visiting Colonial Williamsburg next month. I also made 2 pairs of breeches (knee-length knicker-ish pants) for the boys in the family, but I still need to get to their shirts.

* sewed 3 iPod touch covers for a friend in need

* made a really quick belt for myself yesterday when I realized I didn't own any belts (how does that happen, anyway?) but the outfit I was wearing needed one.

So now I have a few more colonial costume pieces to finish, and then I can move on to fairy tutus for Sleeping Beauty Kids! It is the first of 3 plays that I am costuming through June.

While my 100th post wasn't monumental, my 101st is going to be a great sew-along tutorial to make a little girl's skirt and matching dolly skirt in about an hour. I had lots of fun this afternoon working on it with my friend's daughter, Ashley, and her doll Isabella. Let's see if I can have it done by next Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clean up- everybody, everywhere

Yesterday, I embarked on a (seemingly) simple project: I was going to put labels on the cloth bins that hold each family member's hat, gloves, etc. And I wanted to use some cute little scrapbooking stickers that I am no longer using for scrapbooking. Except I couldn't find those stickers. That led to an all day purge/reorganization/clean-up of my sewing room. I eventually found the stickers. I got rid of a bunch of stuff that didn't belong in there. I found a lot of random, long-lost personal items (pocketknife, anyone?) And the room is still in a state of upheaval. Not quite as bad as this. And it doesn't look like this, yet. But I'm getting there.

Knit hat- done

Lion costume- done!

Ducks- uh. yeah, about those Ducks... I bought some fabric for them. That counts for something, right?