Introducing Magnolia: An Adoption Story

Two weeks ago, the girls and I drove to Beverly Hills to pick up "Betty," a two-year old rescue from her foster family. Betty had been rescued earlier this year from a high-kill shelter in Downey by local rescue organization, Ace of Hearts.

I had sent an inquiry about another dog Fable and I had seen on their website (via petfinder) and received a response immediately. After filling out the necessary paperwork, I chatted with one of the incredible Ace of Hearts volunteers and she told me that, while she didn't think the dog I inquired about was a fit for us, (I explained we were looking for a dog that was AMAZING with kids -- didn't growl or nip or destroy, ahem, my house is destroyed as it is...) she had several dogs in mind she thought would be. One of the dogs on that list was a black boxer mix with golden eyes.

"She's the sweetest dog -- great with kids, extremely gentle, very affectionate..."
A week later, I took the kids to meet her at a local park and she immediately felt like home. After an interview, some paperwork and a home check, we started our "trial" the following Wednesday.

(ED: Before you can adopt an animal through a rescue organization, they need to check out your house to make sure it's dog safe, and allow a trial-period to make sure your dog/cat is the right fit with your family.)

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The kids wanted to rename her, so we sat down as a family and came up with dozens of names. The name "Magnolia" won unanimously (Fable's original idea) but we decided to include everyone's ideas in her FULL name which is Princess Magnolia Sequin Dance Party Hillary Clinton Girl Power Woolf. Although she still goes by "Betty" as well. "Come, Betty slash Magnolia!" has become our current go-to. 
I hadn't anticipated this to have gone as smoothly as it did. When I got Cooper and Zadie (in 2001 and 2002) I was 20 years-old and clearly in a very different place in my life. I purchased both dogs through ads in the newspaper. (Cooper was from Kansas and Zadie was from Georgia.) I raised them both as puppies and while my kids always had close relationships with my dogs, they were always MY DOGS and therefore, although affectionate with the kids, far more loyal to me.
Magnolia -- although clearly my baby (She has her chin on my knee as I type this post from my living room couch) wants to be next to my kids at all times, too. For the last two weeks she has cuddled with both Bo and Revi before bedtime and at the end of the night, when Hal and I turn in to go to bed, Mags settles in on Revi's bed and sleeps with her all night. (Magnolia and Revi have bonded in a unique way -- perhaps because they are kindred spirits of gentleness.)
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I always knew I wanted to rescue an animal once Cooper and Zadie passed but I didn't realize how seamless the transition would be. I always thought that adopting an older dog would be a challenge because, as they say, "you don't really know what you're getting." And the truth is, I was a little bit apprehensive at first bringing a two-year old dog who had spent a lot of time in a shelter, into our house... because who knows, you know? We had a rescue growing up and he hated pretty much everyone. We loved him, obviously, but he was wounded from years of abuse and never quite let any of us in, which was hard for a kid who REALLY WANTED her dog to like her.

Magnolia is THE OPPOSITE. She wants to be next to everyone. She hugs with her paws. She cuddles under the covers with the kids. She licks everyone's faces until they can't take it anymore. She follows us around and curls up at our feet. She climbs into my lap, even though she's... huge, and rests her chin on my chest and looks at me, like, "Hi. I love you. Let's be together always, want to?"
And to that I say YES.

Which is why, this week on I wrote a post about things to consider when looking into adopting a family pet. Because now that I'm a mama of a rescue, I want to sing DOG RESCUE AS A SALVE FOR THE SOUL from the rooftops. Because, oh man, this dog, you guys. SHE TRULY IS REMARKABLE MAGIC AMAZINGNESS. She has made all of us profoundly happy and although she has only been with us for two weeks, I cannot imagine life without her.
(None of us can.)
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My whole post is here.  

Fable and the Homemade Technicolor Dream Dress

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, Mom!
A few months ago, Rebecca texted me a photo of a design Fable made by coloring with felt pens on a paper towel. 

“Wow!” I texted back.  “That’s amazing!  It would make awesome fabric!”

The next time I was visiting, I saw it in person and was even more blown away by the colors and design.   I sneaked it in my bag, bound and determined to figure out a way to transform it into fabric.  You see, as long as I remember, Fable has been talking about being a clothing designer.  She draws outfits, loves Project Runway, and has designed simple wearables. (Remember her Power Pockets?) Wouldn’t it be awesome, I thought, to transform one of her designs into fabric—her very first Fable Fabric!  I had plenty of time to figure this out—to have fabric made and sew it into a dress for her birthday.
IMG_8359 the paper-towel, now framed in Fable's room

The Internet can be amazing—and after Googling “how to print your own fabric,” several companies appeared. I chose the first one that popped up——but there are others, such as,,…the list goes on. I didn’t do any comparing so I have no idea which company is best. 

I have to admit, I’m not very techy, and figuring out file size, pixels, and DPI kind of overwhelms me, so it’s kind of a miracle the fabric turned out.  I didn’t really look at any tutorials or read up on the best way to make fabric—I just took a photo on my iPhone and uploaded it.  

I first had a swatch made, but when it arrived, the colors were too saturated and the fabric quality wasn’t good enough, so I adjusted the saturation and ordered the higher quality fabric.  When the fabric came, the design was bigger than the original design, so I must have pressed something different when I was ordering.  (As I said, I am not very techy!) But this turned out to be a blessing, because the fabric looked AWESOME with the bigger design and there are fewer repeats because of it. 
IMG_9547 swatch made from original size next to final fabric made from  enlarged design

The cost was $17/yard, which seemed pretty reasonable considering it is custom fabric.
Once I had the fabric, I decided to make a shirred top attached to a tiered skirt, since I wanted it to last for years.  (It can become a skirt when she outgrows the dress.) I was thrilled how it came out, and I must say, I don’t think I have ever been more excited to give a present to anyone! 

(ED: I used this pattern for the top of the dress but wanted a fuller, twirlier dress, so I made 3 tiers using a Portabello Pixie pattern that I had and is no longer available.)

When Rebecca told me that Fable was going to dye her hair rainbow, I was even more over the moon, knowing I had made her a dress out of her own rainbow colors. 
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Here's a summary of tips from my experience of making fabric:

1.     Research which company works best for what you want to do.  (I used Spoonflower, but I think other companies might have more fabric options.)
2.     Chose a design that will repeat well. (Fable’s original design was perfect to transform into fabric because it was a square and reached all the way to the edges.  Since the design must repeat over and over, it needs to match up well with itself, and the fact that she colored the embossed circles of the paper towel, made this work.) The Spoonflower help center can help you figure out how to repeat your pattern.
3.     Read all of the tips on the website and watch any tutorials if they are available. I didn’t do any of this and am LUCKY.  Spoonflower even has a book to help you get started, which next time I think I would read.
4.     Take a good photo, making sure everything is lined up. Or scan the image. (This is probably preferable.)
5.     Make sure the colors aren’t too saturated.
6.     Follow the step-by-step instructions on the website to create your repeat pattern.
7.     Send for a swatch of fabric to make sure the fabric turns out the way you want.
8.     When you get your swatch, adjust anything that you didn’t like.
9.     Order your fabric and HAVE FUN sewing it into your creation!
We are lucky to live at a time when anyone who has a computer and a creative idea can design their own fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper.  What a dream it was for me to sew a dress using Fable’s own artwork!
Let me know if you have any questions and please share any fabrics you make!

Happy Creating!



1. Here's to being "rad," in all our which ways...  

2. Several people have asked about the song Bo was dancing to in the video I posted earlier this week... I actually didn't KNOW who it was until I did a little research... The song was on a Bona Drag Boutique mix tape (the best) from a few years back and I must have lost the track listing...

A video posted by Rebecca Woolf (@girlsgonechild) on

... The artist's name is Hayley Coupon and the song is called Let me Be and here's a video of Hayley performing (most of) the song a few years ago.

You can listen to the entire song on soundcloud, here. (It's perfect.) 


this is no longer yours to see
maybe it was never mine


279. Let me Be by: Hayley Coupon 


Oh and P.S. Here's Hayley covering Tame Impala's  Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and it's beautiful and radical just like you.

Happy Friday, everyone. All the love...