Is it a brooch or is it a pin?

So this whole time I’ve been calling my brooches pins. A brooch is a pin but a pin may not be a brooch – and depending on how you are wearing it, your brooch may just be a pin. Now that I have cleared that up….I am going to re-name my latest creations as brooches – they are arty and can be worn as brooches – in fact they are weighty and interesting enough to be used as focal points on a hat or scarf/shawl closure

Here’s an interesting post to help you decide which is a brooch and which is a pin: Brooch vs. Pin

I think the larger ones I have made I will rename brooches and the smaller ones I am currently sewing will remain pins, since they are button sized.


Last of the large glass pins are finished!

These are the last three large glass pins I have made recently. I love how these Cheshire Cats turned out! Onto the next!…

Cheshire Cat pins

Cheshire Cat glass pins

Later this week I’ll be posting these and the other four bee pins for sale in my Etsy store. If you live in Anchorage and would like to purchase these directly, contact me and I will make arrangements to drop them off to you!

People Die at the Fair

My latest t-shirt design. Inspired by the comedy movie A Million Ways to Die in the West – hilarious movie!


They come in all sorts of styles, sizes, and colors!

Latest glass baubles

Yes, I’m STILL using glass pebbles as baubles for various projects. Here are the latest 2 projects I’ve been dinking around with in between larger projects.

yellow vintage image of a bee - glass pin - beaded bezel

yellow vintage image of a bee – glass pin – beaded bezel

and this below is one of nine in a set of glass pins I made from an old image from a book printed back in 1666. It inspired the movie The Ninth Gate – the actual image is different from the movie versions. All 9 pins are from the final ninth image. These are for sale in my Etsy shop.


(Now I know that darkness comes from light)

A beaded glass pin with an image made popular by the movie The Ninth Gate. This is the ninth panel from the original book De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis (The Nine Doors to the Kingdom of Shadows) by Aristide Torchia in 1666. Source for quotes:

Pin made with glass size 11 seed beads and glass cabochon with vinyl backing. It measures approximately 2.5″ in diameter.

Go Daddy Websites and the new Duda Mobile versions

To remove Duda’s Mobile pages from your Go Daddy website:

  1. Use the easy “turn off mobile” button on your web hosting control panel
  2. Open up your DNS Manager.
  3. In the CNAME alias entries, change the mobile entry to an @ symbol. (You will notice the existing entry contains the word Dudas in it. Erase all of it and replace it with just an @ symbol. This is the function that re-directs your mobile visitors to a Dudas version of your site. The @ symbol tells the device to load your regular homepage as-is without re-directing elsewhere)


So there’s the solution I found before I explain how and why I had to do what I did!

I got the notices from Go Daddy and thought they were just new upselling features and promptly ignored the obvious notices. DOH! Well come to find out they changed how they handle mobile device web hosting – a BIG change I should have been paying attention to. I love Go Daddy and have been a happy customer for a while now. I wouldn’t switch to another web host – been there don’t want to go back!

So I buy some ads on Facebook bragging about a great webpage my viewers should go see and lo and behold, Duda Mobile doesn’t support or translate that page through their services.
So I go in through Go Daddy’s Duda mobile design tool and set up my site so it works. It looks like it works, and it does work……but if you click a link that goes directly to a sub-page on the website you end up with a 404 page not found error. If you go to that page from the main website homepage it does work….just not directly. So, all the web traffic I got through my Facebook ad was a waste – they all got 404 errors!
I rewrote my Facebook ad to re-route visitors to the main page and from there they can follow the link to the specific page I wanted them to see. This doesn’t work for me when I’m trying to market a specific page, and what about the organic search people who find a sub-page of my website on Google? Apparently, they are all ending up on 404 pages!
So I go back to the Duda toolbar to see if I can get all my sub pages added so that I won’t end up with 404 errors. They allow you to add your main page navigation menu pages but that’s it. There’s a feature to add more pages, but it won’t scan your whole website and add all the existing pages from your existing website, just the main navigation menu items. This doesn’t work for my site because I have over 300 webpages total – no way am I going to manually add all these pages and basically re-write the WHOLE website.
So I Google around and find out that Google suggests writing ONE html webpage and adding separate CSS instructions for mobile. This is their suggested number one option for handling mobile web design. As an SEO conscious designer, I want to, of course, use Google’s suggested method. So I gave my website a drastic “haircut” and moved a lot of materials to my blog and simplified the options and features of my website to become more mobile friendly. I then created some extra smaller scale images and used CSS instructions so mobile users wouldn’t have to wait ten years for my webpage to fully load. My mobile friendly re-design isn’t complete and I know I have a lot tweaking to do with photo sides shows and larger images, but the basic functions should all work now.
This new way of coding my website and using a clean single html with multiple CSS instructions makes it so I know everyone is getting the same webpage with the same updates. Sounds great in theory, but Duda was still re-directing my site to ther own mobile version.
If you are having the same issue and want to un-install Duda’s mobile pages – click the uninstall and choose whatever reason you feel you want to remove Duda. I choose poor performance due to the problem with people trying to go directly to subpages and getting 404 errors. I can’t be losing all of my mobile organic search traffic due to their inability to correctly route them!
After you perform the easy one click “turn off mobile” button you have to go into your DNS manager from your Go Daddy control panel. Open your DNS Manager and go down the list until you gt to the CNAME alias section. Change the mobile entry from Duda’s information to an “@” symbol instead. Using the “@” symbol tells the device to load the regular homepage address without re-directing it elsewhere. Before you do this, make sure your regular home page has mobile friendly coding!
If they ever figure out a solution to this re-direct error I might be interested in using their mobile design tools. They are easy to use and actually fun to design mobile pages. Having a separate mobile pages may not be a bad thing, but I can’t use this service if it drops everyone not going through the homepage to access the sub-pages.
I’m not a coding or software/server expert, just a simple do-it-yourself-er that wants to control my own web presence. If you find simple easy solutions to complex coding and internet problems, feel free to share them here on my blog comments!

Chubby Cheek Tees Cute Baby Animal Art Update

So I was looking at my cute baby animal art and noticed that I was varying the way the eyes were and some of them had background coloring, while most did not. I unified all the animals to not have a background color and made the eyes more bold and cute. Why on Earth was I drawing them with beady eyes? lol

Here they are all cutesied up – I think they ARE 10 times cuter!

Things You May Not Have Known About Worms

Things You May Not Have Known About Worms

After a spell of rainy weather, I came across several worms laying abut on the sidewalk. I was curious to find out how and why they end up on sidewalks after rains. As it turns out, they aren’t trying to prevent themselves from drowning, as they can survive underwater. Worms need to keep themselves damp or wet to prevent dehydration, which can result in them not being able to absorb oxygen through their skin. In fact, they are moving to the surface during rain spells to avoid suffocation! They move to the surface to travel to a new burrowing area. I think they become trapped on concrete by accident in a planned relocation move gone wrong. Light apparently paralyzes them if they are caught in it too long. Knowing the benefits worms give to gardeners and plants, I frequently plop them back onto soil. Yes, I am a worm rescuer!

On the quest to answer my question about why worms surface during rains, I found these other random worm facts:

  • Earthworms can eat a third of their body weight every day
  • Worms ca crawl both backward and forward, but you can tell which is their head by watching which direction they crawl. They tend to crawl head first/forward.
  • The collar or wide band seen on some worms is called the clitellum. It produces the mucus for the cocoons that hold the new embryos. Mature adult worms have clitellums.
  • The largest worms in North America are the lumbricus terrestris, or nightcrawlers that can be as big as 12 inches.
  • The largest worm found was from South Africa and measured over 7 yards!
  • There are over 2,700 different species of worms and one acre of land can contain over a million worms!
  • Worms are hermaphrodites, meaning they are both male and female.
  • Worms mix the subsoil up into the surface soil and their slime contains nitrogen, an important plant nutrient. For these reasons, having a healthy worm population in gardens is essential to good soil composition.
  • ‘The early bird catches the worm’ phrase was first written in John Ray’s A Collection of English Proverbs 1670.
  • The origin of the phrase ‘opening a can of worms’ is believed to be the United States of the 1950′s.
  • The 1975 science fiction novel Shockwave Rider was the first written use of the word worm to describe a malicious computer software program.

Need Worms? 10 Places to Buy Worms for Your Garden

  1. Worms and Stuff
  2. Alaska Mill and Feed
  3. Alaska Cricket Ranch
  4. Best Buy Worms
  5. Funky Fresh Foods
  6. The Worm Dude
  7. Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm
  8. Worms 4 Earth
  9. Worms, Etc.
  10. Earth Worms 4 Sale

Caring for Your Worms: 5 Worm Farming Websites to Peruse

  1. Worms and Stuff
  2. Worms and Stuff Facebook Page
  4. The Worm Guy
  5. The Worm Dude Forums

And Now a Few Words From Poe About the Worm

The Conqueror Worm – Written by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! ’t is a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly—
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Wo!

That motley drama—oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout,
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!

It writhes!—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out—out are the lights—out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,

While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,”
And its hero, the Conqueror Worm.

Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (1946)

Sources: - , Urban Programs Resource Network – , – , Mental Floss – , Wikipedia –, and The Poetry Foundation –

Photos: earthworms – Flickr CC License: Sustainable sanitation, worm on sidewalk – Flickr CC License: Rob Swystun, worm t-shirt – Chubby Cheek Tees


Latest Progress on UFOs

Haven’t done much beadvvork as of lately but I am picking up on some UFO pieces – Hello Juggalette Kitty is ready for backing and a fevv potlatch giveavvay items are ready for finishing too – next up I think I’ll do Hello KISS Kitty – If these don’t sell online I’ll sell them at next year’s Girdwood Forest Fair – I really need more seed bead colors for more character pins – I really vvant to do a Plankton pin (Plankton is that cute little green guy on Spongebob Squarepants cartoon) and a Ren and Stimpy set too! These pins are fun to make since they don’t take 10 years to finish… the beaded octopus I started and that gathers dust at this moment lol

Join Emma on Google+

Porcupine – I’ve Been Everywhere Man!

I’ve always liked porcupines and their cute way they waddle through the forest. They seem to be always on their way to someplace. I decided they really are my favorite Alaskan animal after reading about them in Richard Nelson’s Make Prayers to the Raven, a book about Koyukon Athabascans and their views of the land and its inhabitants. Here’s an excerpts from Nelson’s entry on porcupines.
North American Porcupine up in a tree.
‘ The porcupine is called dikahona, “stick eater,” or ligidza, “that which is crooked,” referring to its humped back…. Porcupines are great wanderers despite their labored gait, as anyone knows who has followed their tracks winding almost endlessly through the forest. They are given a special power to know the landscape….For the Koyukon, no animal is just that and nothing more. Even the least imposing of creatures, those that seem insignificant from the lofty perspective of humanity, have dimensions of being that extend far beyond the realm and power of the senses. It is not a world where humans may become too proud, for nothing that lives is truly humble, regardless of how it may appear.’
Porcupine coverage from National Geograhic

True to their nature – they are everywhere. Nowadays when I see one I think of Johnny Cash’s song, I’ve Been Everywhere!

Being an Athabascan I grew up being curious about animals and stories of their antics, characters, and how they interact with each other. In this book, Nelson also mentions that locals have a long belief that porcupines and bears are cousins of some sort since porcupines will take up residence in a bears den. 
Porcupine was one of the first animals I chose to draw for my childrens’ animal t-shirt line, Chubby Cheek Tees.
African Porcupine

I just love the giant quills on these guys! One of these days, I want to buy some of these quills to make some awesome beaded quill pieces. They’re just beautiful!

Here are a few other random facts about porcupines I gathered across the internet:
·         They are the third largest rodent behind the cute capybara and busy beaver.
·         They are actually unrelated to hedgehogs and echidnas, which have similar appearances.
·         The word porcupine comes from old French porc espin (‘spined pig’).
·         The German word for porcupine is stachelschwein which translates to barbed or prickly pig.
·         The Old Italian word for porcupine is porcospino which translates to spined pig.
·         American Indians use the guard hairs to make roaches, traditional quillwork and modern beadwork.
·         Porcupines in North America are good climbers, while the African ones don’t climb.
·         African porcupines have jumbo quills compared to North American porcupines.
·         A single North American porcupine can have as many as 30,000 quills.
·         Porcupines are herbivores and frequently dine on tree bark while they sit in trees.
·         Porcupine babies, often called porcupettes, are born with soft quills that harden after birth.
·         Porcupettes grow up and move out on their own in as little as 2 months!
·         The average  lifespan of a porcupine is 5-7 years.
Quillwork box

Porcupine hair roach

Some interesting porcupine crafting links to explore
The Crazy Crow’s Porcupine Roach Craft Focus Page
Enchanted Learning Porcupine Printout for Kids
Porcupine Roach Facebook Page
How to Make a Porcupine Roach
Native Tech’s Porcupine Quill and Hair Guide
Porcupine Quillwork Video
Flickr – ‘Quillwork’ Photos
Flickr – ‘African Quills’ Photos
Some entertaining porcupine videos
Porcupine vs Leopard
…..and the vvinner is porcupine of course! The look on the leopard’s face after he first tries batting at porcupine is hilarious (“stuff  just got real!”)
Porcupine who thinks he’s a puppy
Aww, a cute video of local Alaskan animal celebrity Snickers.
Porcupine vs. Lion
Who’s really the king?
Porcupine vs. Honey Badger
Sorry porcupine, honey badger doesn’t care!
Another celebrity porcupine
Meet Teddy Bear the Talking Porcupine
A baby porcupine eating a banana with the hiccups
Grumpy Porcupine
He hisses, chatters and waddles away.
Wikipedia porcupine article
Native Tech’s Porcupine page
Porcupine Online Dictionary Entry
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Porcupine page
Alaska Dept.of Fish & Game’s Porcupine page
Photo Credits:
Porcupine map: National Geographic
Quill box
Flickr Creative Commons License: Quinn.anya
African Porcupine
Flickr Creative Commons License: Eric Kilby
Porcupine in Tree
Flickr Creative Commons License: lesliepear
Porcupine Roach
Flickr Creative Commons License: Chrys Omori
Porcupine T-shirt
Emma Forsberg

Join Emma on Google+

The Differences Between Alligators and Crocodiles

I recently added an Alligator/Crocodile t-shirt to my t-shirt shop, Chubby Cheek Tees. I was wondering which one I drew a cartoon of. It has always been an interest of mine to learn the difference between the two, so, in honor of my new cute Gator/Croc t-shirt, I took the time to make this discovery!

Judging from the things I learned, my t-shirt design is a little of both croc and gator. t has a rounded U shaped snout like a gator, but with lighter coloring like a croc. I’m glad I ended up with traits from both!

There are some main difference between these two amazing creatures. Although there are specific species that may defy these qualities, MOST species can be described by these traits:


  • have thinner V shaped snouts
  • have lighter eye and skin color than the gators
  • have 20 less teeth than the gators
  • can grow to be about 19 ft
  • have jaws that are aligned, so all teeth, upper and lower, show when their mouths are closed
  • can adjust to saltwater, so they can live in either fresh or salt water environments


  • have broader U shaped snouts which also makes for stronger bite pressure
  • have darker eye and skin color than the crocs
  • have 20 more teeth than the crocs
  • can grow to be about 14 ft
  • live in freshwater because they aren’t able to process salt as well as the crocs can
  • have lower jaws that fit under the upper jaws, so only upper teeth show when their mouths are closed

Both :

  • are species in the reptilian Crocodylia Order
  • can be found in Florida along with Caimans, another similar reptile species from South America
  • are good eating! Here are some recipe ideas for both reptiles:

Australian Crocodile Recipes
Florida Alligator Recipes

Animal Planet Article
Draw a Crocodile with Shoo Rayner

Join Emma on Google+

© 2014 Dotson

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑