Doodles Dots N Dimples...Oh My!
June 29, 2013

Sometimes you meet some of your best friends at work.

Dawn was the "new girl" in the office, hired originally as our receptionist. We were instructed by the President of our organizations assistant to announce our name each time we entered the building so Dawn could learn our names. 

Of course, anyone that knew me, knew that I was not going to make it that easy. 

So each time I entered the building I would say "Hey Dawn, I'm Tracie" or "Good morning I'm Gina" or "What's up Dawn, I'm Sally." You know, trying to help her out.  It wasn't too long before she was clued into what I was doing and she was on to my little game. 

We became instant friends. 

Not too long after that Dawn was promoted and came upstairs, she would walk by my desk each day and call me a different name. We started talking more and more and getting to know each other as we laughed at all the "drama" in our office. When Dawn was having "One of those" days as we like to call it, she would walk by my desk and grab the glass shoe note dispenser, silently pointing it at her eye over and over and over again with such a memorable look on her face. She always made my day better. 

Dawn McLaughlin's funny side

Fast forward to me leaving where we worked. The last thing she said to me was take me with you. And while I couldn't at that time, when a position opened up at my new organization she was the first one I called. I missed my partner in crime. She is one of those friends that you have to stay friends with your whole life...because they know too much about you! And really, I wouldn't have it any other way! We are soul sisters.

Me and Dawn

Dawn is an amazingly caring, do anything in the world for you kind of person. She is beautiful, giving, smart, a wonderful mother and has such a heart for others. She does tend to cry a lot, but we both blame that on our menopause! We always seem to be in-sync, heck, even with our hot flashes! We are planning on going to see Menopause the Musical when it comes back in town!

We laugh with each other, cry with each other and encourage each other. She is just one of those people that you meet in your life and you know with every inch of your being that you will be friends forever and are thankful and blessed to have them in your life. We try to have fun and if you ever see us out in public you would probably think we were a bit crazy...and we probably are.

Terri and Dawn

Recently my family and I went to her oldest daughter Courtney's graduation party and she had these adorable centerpieces on her tables. When I asked her about them she said "They were so easy. I got all of my supplies from Michaels. I took two different ideas that I saw on Pinterest and incorporated them to fit my theme. The theme was "Then and Now". It took me hours to find all of the perfect pictures that went together. Each mason jar is filled with colored water in the perfect shade of blue that I might add my husband said looked like Windex!" (laughing I said, yeah he told us, actually I think he told everyone) "Oh that's great." (laughing) OK go on..."Well I added fresh sprigs of baby's breath and attached a then and now picture of my daughter Courtney to small dowel rods. I finished the centerpieces off with a ribbon of tulle." They were gorgeous.

Courtney and Dawn
Table Centerpieces
I think the best part of the day though, was the bounce house she rented. Although, Dawn might disagree. She had been talked into getting into the bounce house and once she got in she was having a hard time getting her balance so she held onto the side. Someone, (who she claims was me, but it really wasn't) jumped right in to help. Well, she lost her balance and and went right off the side of the bounce house. Once I can convince her to share the video you'll see the humor in it all. It really is America's Funnies Home Videos worthy!
Dawn, Courtney and Ally in the bounce house

While Dawn obviously gets her creativity from her Mom, Jo Pearson, Creative Director for Michaels, her recipe favorites differ just a bit. Jo might like to make cabbage rolls but Dawn loves to bake with her girls. She actually did the cupcakes for my daughter Tessa's 7th birthday, again getting all of her decorating supplies from Michaels. It was a rock star birthday party! Not to mention she came to help and rocked out herself! And I will not include that picture, she would kill me!

Tessa as a Rock Star (Had to put this in)
Rock Star Cupcakes
Dawn is very modest to, never wants to admit this however her wonderful online Etsy business called Doodles Dots N Dimples gives her talent away, so she really can no longer deny it. 

She makes handmade boutique birthday party hats that can be customized to match any party theme. And recently she added bloomers and matching leg warmers as well as digital invitations. Be sure to click the above link and visit her store. It's adorable! And almost all of her supplies come from Michaels!

Digital Invitations
Party hat and matching bloomers
Her top three sellers are her rainbow chevron hat, all of her pink lemonade themed hats and her boys mustache hats. 
 I mustache you a question...
Chevron is hot!

The inspiration behind her store’s name...her beautiful kids. She created the name when she had her embroidery business (yes yet another thing she is talented in). The name Doodles for her youngest daughter Ally, they called her doodle bug when she was little, Dots is for her daughter Courtney because she has freckles that they always told her were angle kisses and Dimples is for her son Taylor because he has dimples that melt her heart every time he smiles. Can we all say awwwww! 

Be sure to check out her store! Doodles, Dots n Dimples

Dawn's kids: Courtney (Dots), Taylor (Dimples) and Ally (Doodles)
I asked Dawn once what she would tell someone that was wanting to start their own business, her response "Make sure it is something that you love and like to do, and that you are not going to get burnt out. Do your research, just because you think something is cute doesn't necessarily mean it is sell-able  Stay current, always be on top of what is trending and I love Pinterest!"

Dawn is also my inspiration, my cheerleader, my motivator and my best friend. And...she doesn't forget anything! I once told her a story about a time when I was at a work conference. The woman running the conference asked us all to stand up, say our names, our position with the company, how long we had been there and if we were not doing this job what would we be doing. I immediately I thought...writing! I love to write! If I could find a way to help others and just be myself and write, take a few pictures, ohhh that would be great. As we went around the room, not one person said, "I would be doing what I am doing, I love it!" and I thought how sad that none of us were doing what we dream about. 

It was because of Dawn that I finally started my website and of course my blog. She really gave me no choice. We came up with the name together one day and the rest just clicked into place. I help her with what I can and she does the same. Really I think she got the short end of the stick, because she has been such an inspiration for me and a huge help in getting everything going. I don't think I tell her thank you enough. 

Once I had what I wanted to do in my head and was able to start seeing it come together...of  course I asked Dawn the same question...

If you had one wish…what would it be? She responded, and this is one of the reasons I love her so dearly, "You know what honestly my one wish would be…I would love to win the lottery and bless people. I would like to go out and do random acts of kindness and watch people’s reaction." When she wins, we are planning on doing that together! 
Dawn and Terri...Doing life together...
and laughing all the way!

A Candid Conversation with Jo Pearson
July 22, 2013

Joann (Jo) Pearson
Today I had a great conversation with Joann (Jo) Pearson, former judge of TLC's Craft Wars, the face of Michaels and my dear friend Dawn McLaughlin's Mom.

Dawn and I became friends when we met at work several years ago. It was an instant friendship and we felt as if we had known each other our whole lives. We both love to make each other laugh and if you saw us interact in public you would probably think we were a bit crazy, but that's what makes our friendship so much fun.

And then...I met her Mom and got to know her, it was simply the cherry on top of our friendship.

I have only seen pictures of Jo's house, her pink zebra striped PT Cruiser and of course heard the countless stories Dawn would tell me about her, including the tree she has out in front of her house with red plastic chairs hanging from it...wait for's her chair ee tree! Before I even met Jo, I knew that I liked her! Jo is full of life, quirky, she tells it how it is and she is talented beyond belief!

Dawn has asked me on several occasions to go to Texas with her to visit her mom, and now that I have my personal invitation from Jo...I am looking into airfare! Can't wait to see her unique home in person and maybe even get in on a craft tip secret or two!

Jo in her pink zebra striped PT Cruiser
Jo's Chair ee tree in her yard

Today she gave me an inside look into her world...

Jo if you could describe herself in one word what would it be? "Glitterific!" What would your friends and family say? "Crazy!" Dawn laughed and said "That's what I was going to say!" Oh I can see how this conversation is going to go. (all laughing)

Amanda, Jo and Stephen on TLC's Craft Wars
Amanda, Jo, Stephen and Tori on TLC's Craft Wars
Jo what would you say is your most significant accomplishment? "When I was on Craft Wars. I really enjoyed doing that show." You were a fantastic judge on that show! You told it how it was and had a great sense of humor about things. 

If you could do one thing over in your life what would it be? "Oh my gosh, Oh Man! I don’t think I have a good answer for that. I can’t say that there is any one thing except maybe a project from hell. But if I have to say something, I think it would be having my Gastric Bypass surgery sooner than I did." How much have you lost so far? "50 lbs" That’s great!

Jo do you have a favorite saying or a motto you like to live by? "Yes! If you can’t glue it…don’t do it!" Seriously I am going to start using that! I love it!

So your daughter talks about how good of a cook you are, do you have a favorite recipe? "That's easy, cabbage rolls." Jo I just made those yesterday for my dad! "Not like mine you didn’t honey!" (laughing) OK Jo, it's on, we are having a cabbage roll cook off when you come to town! "Done!"

Jo you are so extremely gifted when it comes to crafting. What got you into the crafting world? "Well I was 8 years old and I started making pot holders. Then I got into Huck Weaving." Jo, I don't think I have ever heard of that, what is it? "You have to purchase a special kind of fabric and pearl cotton. You use the pearl cotton to embroider designs onto the dish cloth. I’m not sure they even do it anymore. I would sell them in a neighborhood hair salon." You were quite the entrepreneur at a very early age, I guess you could say you were destined for the crafting world.

Jo at a craft event for Michaels

I am sure that you have come across some great crafting tips along the way, would you care to share a few? "Sure! Use a hairdryer to remove glue goobers or strings from you crafts. I hate those. Put candles in the refrigerator, they burn longer. Put glue sticks in the freezer to help them last longer in your glue gun. And…use Red Devil double stick tape for everything! It even works with glitter." Those are all great tips. Thank you. 

1.      OK, this is kind of off the crafting subject, but do you have a favorite tradition? "Hmmm I'm not sure." Dawn chimed in here and said "Your Christmas trees!" Jo "Oh that's right, themed Christmas trees! I have an upside tree with snowmen on it, a red tinsel Hollywood tree with Hollywood ornaments, a pink tree with candy and gingerbread, a tree with birds all over it in my bedroom. And you couldn't think of any traditions "Dawn had to remind me. Oh I also have a Zebra tree with feather boas and zebra ornaments, a tree in my kitchen with kitchen utensils, French poodle tree in the bathroom and of course a tree with crowns in my bedroom." Those sound amazing! Can't wait to visit with you and see your home. It sounds like an adventure!

Snap shot of some unique items in Jo's house

Jo's Movie Room

I think this might be obvious, but what is your favorite color?  "Glitter!" Of course!

Can you tell us about anything you have in the works? "I actually do have a few things in the works but I can't share a lot about those yet. You can check on Michaels website for information as we release it. Lot's of fun stuff coming up!" We will certainly do that! And I will be sure to do a follow up with you once that information is released. (I did check it out and found this awesome video at click this link to see an episode of Junkin with Jo 
Jo at work for Michaels
Anything you would like to leave us with? Words of wisdom? "Yes, if you believe in something, go with it! Follow your dreams. If you believe you can do it, you can do it. And don’t be mean and nasty to people along the way, they are the very same people who will make you who you are."
Jo with her daughter Dawn and Dawn's family,
 her husband Jim, Son Taylor, and daughters Courtney and Ally
If you had one wish…what would it be? "To have my own TV show." I would tune in every night!

Jo, it has been a pleasure as always. I can see now where Dawn gets all of her crafting skills from for her Doodles Dots N Dimples store. It runs in the family! I look forward to when you come in town and to our cabbage roll cook off! Bring it on! (laughing)