Author: Melyssa Williams (page 1 of 11)

How to Make a Steampunk Dollhouse

Today I’m going to show you how to make a steampunk dollhouse!

After making both suitcase dollhouses and a haunted dollhouse, I was inspired to try a steampunk version. It’s easy enough to transform a thrift shop dollhouse or one that you already own into something Victorian sci-fi.

Here’s how!

Lately Goodwill’s prices have sky-rocketed (just like everyone else’s – can I get an amen?).

But I thought under $13 was perfectly acceptable for this very large and sturdy home.

It was in great shape, other than the bottom left corner which snagged on my car door as I tried to wrangle the whole thing in my backseat.


And there are some missing roof shingles. I thought about replacing them with popsicle sticks… but hey, a lot of people need their roof replaced. It gives it a sense of homey-ness, right?

The second set of stairs had come loose but that wasn’t a biggy.

A few trips to the following places: Hobby Lobby, the Dollar Tree, and Walmart gave me some great pieces to get started with. The blue paint was in perfectly fine condition but I felt like this house needed a yellow upgrade.

Hobby Lobby’s jewelry department had some killer markdowns in a real steampunk vibe, including some metal octopuses, owls, and a great little hot air balloon.

The paper for the walls was also from Hobby Lobby.

The acrylic paint I got from Walmart (they’re only .54 each! The metallic ones clocked in at .97. I know, big spender here!)

These cute little owl decals came from the Dollar Tree and the metallic paint went on easy and dried super fast.

The furniture also came from the Dollar Tree and I used the same metallic paint. The apothecary jars were from there as well!

These little clock discs came from Joanne Fabric where I stopped when I ran out of yellow paint and didn’t want to go all the way to Walmart.

They didn’t have the paint, but they had these, as well as the cute metal gears for the outside of the dollhouse. They were both marked down to a couple of dollars each.

The Dollar Tree had fairy lights and batteries so for $2 I lit up the attic floor. I Gorilla glued the box in an unobtrusive spot where you can still reach the on/off switch and can replace batteries.

This little room turned out cute! The stripey “wallpaper” was a great accent to the steampunk cat that I simply printed out from the internet and framed in a Dollar Tree frame. The rug was a sticker decal from there as well.

There is another steampunk image framed here but it’s hard to see it from here. I figured a little human being playing with it would be able to see it though!

Hobby Lobby had this cute Victorian sewing machine that fit in well.
A little tea set gives our adventurers a chance for a cuppa in the afternoons.

What do you think? Was I right about the yellow? I think it turned out super cute.

I could have kept going with the décor, etc, but I didn’t want to spend too much and I felt like the new owner could have fun putting their own spin on it.

Now it just needs a little Victorian family to move in!

kindness: A Story About Modesty, Ross Dress for Less, & Butt Cheeks

In Ross Dress for Less, where it’s blessedly cool in this lovely heatwave, there were a lot of teen girls shopping with their mamas.

Ross is the best for clothes, right after Goodwill, and I will fight you if you say otherwise.

So one girl was wearing cutoffs cut off to THERE, you know where, like yes, you could actually see the area where her legs became cheeks.

Ok, it’s noticeable, not gonna lie. I certainly noticed. As did likely everyone in line behind her. She’s with her mama.

But then, directly in front of me, there are two preteen girls in oversized shirts and jeans with THEIR mom, and this mom is hissing at them,

“Look at that girl, she should be ashamed. All the men are looking at her SEXUALLY. Her mother should cry herself to sleep at night. Don’t even look at her. Just look away. Don’t EVER be that girl. I am so embarrassed for her.”

Look, look, LOOK, mama bears of teen girls. I get that we want them to be okay with who they are and that they should never feel the need to flaunt body parts around.

I get it, I really do.

But all of us who grew up in the modesty and purity culture knows it did a helleva lot of harm.

I regret dying on the Mountain of Two Piece Bathing Suits when my girls were teens.

I wish I hadn’t made a deal out of spaghetti strap tanks when it didn’t need to a be a deal at all.

I’m relieved I was old enough when the ol’ leggings/yoga pants versus “real” pants debacle came around, and simply rolled my eyes (and put my leggings back on).

We shouldn’t teach girls that their bodies are seductive weapons, capable only of ruining boy’s innocent hearts with a wayward bra strap, or gawd forbid, the occasional belly button.

But teaching them to despise their fellow sisters, by shaming them, and modeling hate, might just be worse.

Modest is NOT hottest. Kindess is.

Next: Dear Suddenly Homeschooling Mama (An Open Letter)

Talks with God, Part 2: Sassy

One of my favorite characters and stories from the Bible is Elijah.

He’s a sassy boy, who takes naps and needs constant reminders from God to just eat something already and knock it off with the theatricals.

He also likes to hide from God, like a toddler playing hide and go seek by closing their eyes while being in plain sight, and God calmly goes to find him (and brings snacks for low blood sugar because He’s a good dad).

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind.

After the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. and after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here?”

1 Kings 19:11-13

… Which, when you think about it, is a funny question because God is a sassy boy too.

It’s very hard to hear the whisper in the busy day to day life; sometimes the traffic is too loud or the music is playing or my own grumbles get in the way. Sometimes I don’t like the question the whisper asks.

Like, “What are you even doing here, kid?” I get disgruntled and defensive. Ummm, hiding, what do you think? Go away.

My conversations with God tend to be real and raw; either that or sleepy and wandering-off-like-a-sheep.

I don’t pray in front of people anymore. I used to, but it was always a performance thing, trying to say eloquent phrases that would bring tears of joy to any listeners, when if fact I mostly want to say things like,

“Hey, thanks for the groceries today. I hope you’re having a nice day up there,”


“I really appreciate the fact you made me chubby AND frizzy-haired. That was super cool of You.”

*pauses for my sting to sink in*

“That was sarcasm, God.”



Sometimes my prayers run to the effect of “Would a leeetle smiting kill you?” when someone I intensely dislike seems to be having a real good life.

I wonder if God sees me dialing up the old rotary and sighs and turns to an angel and says, “Could you take this one? I can’t EVEN with her today.”

Luckily though, He doesn’t.

Kid For Sale: Free to Good Home (OBO)

Once upon a time this mother was riding with her daughter, and the daughter – who shall remain nameless but rhymes with Banana – is in charge of the musical playlist, which is quite diverse and hasn’t changed much since she was three years old:

  • Broadway mixed with 80s
  • Off-Broadway mixed with oldies
  • … and the good stuff: 90s country

When she was but a wee one she would act out Phantom of the Opera with her Barbie and Ken dolls.

She’s good stuff, is what I’m trying to relate to you. Fruit of my looms.

But then a song comes on and daughter excitedly says this:

“Oh, Mom, these guys are really good! You’d like them! They’re called You Too, but it’s spelled like this,” proceeds to write in the air with her finger (which should be at ten and two since she’s driving) the letter U followed by the number 2.

A shocked and appalled century goes by as I sit in silence and contemplate:

A. throwing myself out of the car into the nearest ditch and dying there quietly as I deserve, or

B. taking the next left and not stopping until I reach Mexico, where I can take up a new life and identity.

Friends and family, I have tried, but I have failed.

I wore out U2 CDs her entire childhood. Her childhood’s theme music would indeed be U2, peppered with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, and Veggie Tales. But so much U2.

The B Sides? Started skipping with overuse back in 2015.

The Joshua Tree? Literally disintegrated.

Rattle and Hum? Not sure I played anything else throughout the 2000s.

This is the end of me. I have failed at this thing called parenting.

(No, really: Read it here.)

Once I regained my strength enough to write my will, leaving my music collection to ANOTHER OFFSPRING, ANY OFFSPRING, she asked,

“So this ISN’T a little known Indie band I just discovered that no one else knows about?”

Goodbye, world.

Perhaps if I am reincarnated and can become a mother again, I will do better.

Until then, I have a 19 year old for sale. Free to good home.

Talks with God, Part 1: Naps

A talk with God.

A. Me

God: I want you to take a nap today.

Me: I don’t nap.

God: Remember where it says I MAKE you lie down in green pastures? Yeah. You need some time out.

Me: Really, I’m good. Also, I’m not tired! *stamps foot for emphasis*


Me: BUT I’M NOT TIRED! *yawns but covers it with a cough*

God, muttering: Well, you’re making ME tired.

Me, crossing my arms: Hey! I have things to do! Like, important stuff, You wouldn’t understand. I don’t have time to lie down in stupid pastures!


Me (stomps off to green pastures and slams invisible door): You’re mean!

God: Relax, woman. Things will look better later, I promise. *Turns to angel: They’re a lot of work, but they’re so cute when they’re sleeping.*

B. God

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

~ Psalm 23

I Hate Laundry. Should I Join a Nudist Colony?

So, I hate laundry. I don’t wanna do it anymore.

It never ends, and that’s depressing. I mean, I like the dumping in the washer part just fine, and the soap part, but then I’m way over it and I just want to sit around and bemoan Lady Mary and Matthew for a while.

Maybe Pinterest something.

But not the folding. Not the putting away. Ugh.

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Revenge of the Mamas

I’ve been thinking.

When my kids are grown and move out (I’m down to only one ankle-biter at the moment and since he’s much taller than I am, he’s more of a forehead biter) I’m going to visit them.

A lot.

Probably for 2-3 weeks at a time.

The hubs and I already decided we are all about RV living, and we are totally here for some eccentric senior citizen behavior.

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