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...

Why yes, actually. I am voting with my vagina.


Yes, that's right. I am voting with my vagina. AND IT FEELS GLORIOUS. It feels EXCEPTIONAL. IT FEELS LIKE I MUST DANCE AND SING RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS. Because, here's the thing. It has become increasingly clear that this election has EVERYTHING to do with gender and what it means to be a woman today, yesterday and most importantly, tomorrow

1. I am voting with my vagina because I CANNOT VOTE without one. I am a woman and a mother and I will ALWAYS vote as a woman and a mother first. And the issues that are most important to me as a HUMAN are also the issues that are most important to me as a woman and mother. Issues like, K-12 Education and LGBT rightsgun violence protection and racial justiceuniversal health care that includes mental health services, prison and criminal-justice reform, campus sexual assaultwomen's reproductive rights, and of course, the environment. 

2. I am voting with my vagina because I am appalled and disgusted by men like Trump. And Pence. And Paul Ryan who are anti-womananti-equality and anti-choice to the point of criminalizationBecause MY BODY is not up for debate. Nor are my sisters' bodies. My daughters' bodies. ANY. WOMAN'S. BODY. 

4. I am voting with my vagina because Hillary's opponent thinks vaginas are his to grab, that bragging about sexual assault is "locker room banter," and that as a man in a position of power, he has the right to undermine, harass, insult and humiliate women PUBLICLY. AND THAT IS NOT OKAY. EVER.  

5. I am voting with my vagina because have friends who have had to go back to work before they have even healed from their C-sections. Because 12 weeks of paid-leave SHOULD BE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. 

6. I am voting with my vagina because while "gender shouldn't play a role in politics," it does. It plays a role in every aspect of every woman and girl's life and this election is PROOF. OF THAT. AT. EVERY. TURN.

7. I am voting with my vagina because I have been raped. I have been assaulted. Because I AM RAISING THREE DAUGHTERS knowing that I cannot protect them from either. Meanwhile, Hillary has plans in place to INCREASE PREVENTION WITH CONSENT EDUCATION and that, in my opinion, is LONG LONGLONGLONG overdue. 

8. I am voting with my vagina because as a society we have have empowered assholes like Trump with our enabling. And now we must work together to dismantle the culture that created him. And that starts with flexing our V power at the polls...

My entire post is up on and you can read it, here. 

Fable, Under the Rainbow

I remember what it smelled like in the piercing parlor -- I'm sure it was a Claire's. I chose "diamond" studs with 14k gold backs. I was wearing black shorts that day, the blonde hairs on my legs catching the light... dust motes in the various streams of light I squinted against as the girl counted to three and then... POP.  I was a little older than Fable at the time and while rainbow hair was never something I would have fathomed at that age, piercing my ears felt like a rite of passage -- like here was this thing I was doing that I REALLY wanted to do...  for me. 

There is great power in that, in feeling autonomous. As a society we tend to treat our children as dependents, stifling their needs to be independent with rules that govern how they should dress, talk, be...  

I don't know that there's an exact science for where we draw the ridges in our timelines, but sitting with Fable on a Saturday afternoon, holding the foils in her hair as she nodded proudly, I couldn't help thinking SHE WILL REMEMBER THIS DAY. She will remember the smell of the dye, the frappuccino I didn't say no to, our dancing in our chairs as we waited for the rainbow to appear...

She will remember that she got to do something she REALLY wanted to do... for herself. 

...But waitwaitwait, first let me back up...

Weeks before her birthday, someone (several someones actually) sent me a link to an article about "the hidden rainbow hair craze."

Over the years, we've been sent many a rainbow link. Fable's love of rainbows has been an integral part of her being for as long as I can remember... Her teachers called her "rainbow girl." She named her fish AND her hermit crab, "rainbow," as well as her American Girl doll... Her bedroom was decorated with "rainbow power" AND MORE RAINBOW POWER and her rainbow hair clips (as well as her rainbow be-your-own-bff necklaces) became her personal style staple for two radical years...

... So, when  I showed Fable the "hidden rainbow hair" link after school one day last month, she got REALLY excited and then realllly serious/slightly pissed. 

"But why would anyone do this to hair and then HIDE IT!?" she asked. "WHY WOULD YOU HIDE YOUR RAINBOW?!"

She was right. Why hide a rainbow when you can put it out there to enjoy? When you can see it with your own eyes every. single. day?
Next thing we knew, we were searching #rainbowhair on Instagram and collecting photos to send to Skylana, my friend/hairdresser, who after receiving our 7878237 photos was like, "Yup! I can do that on Fable's head... I've never done it before but I certainly can make this happen."

Fable was elated. My inner-eight-year old was doing cartwheels.

We high-fived each other 78 times and then went back to screengrabbing every rainbow-hair image we could find.
IMG_8533 rainbow hair mood board from top left:

1. "Fable" by Fable (Fable made this the night before she got her hair done.)
2. Rainbow Bangs via fashiontrendseeker
3. Rainbow hair via @lisafarrall on Instagram
4. "Hidden rainbow hair" via BoredPanda

Fast forward to two weekends ago when Fable, on her last day as a 7-year-old, took her seat in my friend, Skylana's salon and... well... magic:
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IMG_8481 One hour of waiting for the color to set... IMG_8480 IMG_8479 IMG_8478 ahajkhfjkahsdkjahdkahkdsj!!! IMG_8496 And finally...
I lost it, at this point. I was laughing and crying and laugh-crying. Fable, my rainbow girl, who had wrapped herself in rainbows since her earliest days, now had one of her own living permanently (however permanently "permanently" can be) atop her head and it felt so... just... MAGICAL. 
When we came back to the house, my parents were waiting... My mom had made Fable a dress for her birthday made out of her own original design (post on that forthcoming) and everything she opened that day was rainbow-ed out...
...The next morning, on her 8th birthday, Fable woke up to a new year with rainbow hair, and amidst the birthday celebrating, she drew this self portrait:
FullSizeRender "Fable Luella, age 8"

I put it in a safe place immediately, as not to lose it like so many other treasures... I imagined her stumbling upon it later in life, maybe at my age and thinking, "I remember that day. I remember the way the salon smelled...  I remember that I was wearing red shorts... I'll never forget..."

And stumbling upon these pictures, when I'm 60 or 80 or 102, I'll feel the exact same way.