Steelers Vans

I was so excited when my teammate asked me to paint a pair of Vans for her, but this time I had a new challenge…instead of UNC-themed, they’re Steelers themed!

Before all you Philly and/or Baltimore fans roll your eyes, I grew up loving the Steelers because my mom is from Pittsburgh… so yeah my sports loyalties are torn right down the middle between Philly and Pittsburgh teams.

I loved that I had a new palette of colors and logos to choose from, considering all of my other shoes were only UNC-themed. (You can see some of those designs here.)

So without further ado, here are the new additions to the ddot designs fam!

IMG_6264Steelers Vans OutsideSteelers Vans InsideThanks to my teammate for the new project, and so happy to hear that her friend loved them! Loved creating a little extra Steeler pride ๐Ÿ˜‰

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P.S. here is another UNC pair that I made in the meanwhile!
Jessica UNC Vans

stripe scrapbook

Personalized Scrapbook

My teammate wanted to make a scrapbook for her parents, and enlisted my help for the exterior. As any crafters would, off to Michael’s we went!

She picked up a Carolina blue scrapbook binder first, but after touring the store, she found a better blank canvas — a brown-paper-bag-esque scrapbook binder that she wanted to personalize. We decided we wanted to use burlap down the spine, but we wanted pops of color elsewhere. She also wanted a big bow down the spine, so we hit the ribbon isle in search of inspiration. She settled on ribbon with different variations of blue that fit her mom’s taste, and would pop against the neutral colors of her living room.

I then suggested we paint fat stripes to play off of the skinny ribbon stripes. Here is a work in progress picture with the “brown-paper bag” binder showing:
scrapbook work in progress

One coat of acrylic paint wasn’t quite enough to cover the brown, so I added another coat as well as lettering to finish the look. We then cut & frayed the burlap to fit the desired area, and hot-glued it on. Finally, we fed the ribbon through the inside spine and tied a big bow to the outside spine, securing the tails with hot glue. Here’s the final product!
stripe scrapbook stripe scrapbook







I loved helping my teammate with this project, and hopefully I’ll be using some similar ideas for family members down the road ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy scrapbooking!

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Marsh Creek Lake

One Month to Live

Two weeks ago during class, my teacher gave us an impromptu assignment โ€“ find a comfortable place that youโ€™d like to write, and answer this prompt:

If you had one month to live, what would you do?

Iโ€™ve always thought about how crazy and deep this question is, but Iโ€™ve never truly tried to tackle it. Knowing that you only have one month to live is such a bleak concept, but the prompt is also ironic because it challenges you squeeze your favorite aspects of life into that measly month in order to optimize your happiness.

We were also challenged to execute this assignment using stream of consciousness writing. This ultimately means just letting your thoughts flow. No punctuation. No pre-planning. Just write whatever comes to mind, no matter what it is.

Thatโ€™s what was my favorite part about the assignment. One aspiration led to a favorite memory, which led to another favorite memory. I probably wonโ€™t be able to squeeze all of my favorite ideas into a month, but it was certainly very cool to see how my mind traveled as I wrote. Without further ado, here is what came out (with some spelling and punctuation editing for the readerโ€™s sake). Disclaimer, it is a little all over the place ๐Ÿ˜€

“If I had one month to live, I would travel with my family for one to two weeks, then spend the rest of my time at home. Even though Iโ€™ve never left the country, there are still so many places that Iโ€™d like to see in the U.S. Iโ€™ve always wanted to see a band like John Butler Trio or Dispatch play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. Iโ€™d also like to visit other places with great soul music, like the Country in Nashville and the Jazz in New Orleans. All along enjoying these places, I would always want my family by my side. I hate being so far away from them in NC, but Iโ€™m blessed enough to have them come visit whenever I have lacrosse games in the fall and spring. If time allows, Iโ€™d love to visit Italy with my family as well. My sister has been before, and raved about it. I also took Italian as my language requirement at Carolina, and immediately LOVED it way more than when I took Spanish in high school. Italy is such a bold culture mixed in with rich history, I love it.

Through all of this travel, Iโ€™d also like to simply spend time at home. My family and I are always on the move, and I wouldnโ€™t say that I underappreciate my house, because I definitely enjoy its beauty; I just wish that I had more time to enjoy it. My parents take such amazing care of the landscaping around my house, and the lake backdrop is enough beauty in itself. My mom makes fun of my dad and I for always standing at the kitchen sink, looking at all of the nature outside. Thereโ€™s just so much to see! Even when weโ€™ve seen it before, the beauty always takes my breath away. No two sunsets are ever the same, the lightning storms always choose a new path as they roll over the lake and light up the sky, big mama turtles make the trek to our yard and a few weeks later, their little hatchlings find their ways back to the lake. Nature truly amazes me, and although I spend most of my time outside, Iโ€™d like to spend even more of it exploring… I did it when I was younger all of the time!

We have a cabin in northern central PA that is literally in the middle of nowhere, but I wouldnโ€™t have it any other way. You just make a trip up there with however many of your closest friends and thatโ€™s it. Just you guys, some great food, tunes, alcohol and NATURE. Itโ€™s some of the best bonding Iโ€™ve ever done without knowing that weโ€™re bonding. It was never purposeful bonding; itโ€™s just a fun trip. Take all the technology and hustle and bustle out of the equation, and you go back to the good life โ€“ enjoying each otherโ€™s company amongst the beauty of nature.

Back to exploring, I was the youngest by a long-shot, so I always went of exploring by myself (of course my parents gave me a pre-specified area to not leave, but to me it was exploring) and I just entertained myself allllllll day. Made up fake friends, played in the creek with the crawfish and salamanders, befriended all of the dogs and took them exploring with me. There was always so much fun to be made up when it was just you and nature. I havenโ€™t looked back and evaluated that in a really long time. My family always jokes about how many salamanders Iโ€™ve caught in a lifetime, but like why did I do it? Boredom, the thrill of catching the quick buggers, the new friend Iโ€™d make for an hour as I showed it to all of the older kids. Who knows. I just loved being alive, and didnโ€™t care where I was going, or what I was doing; I just enjoyed being in the moment.

I think thatโ€™s what Iโ€™d like to go back to. Traveling, enjoying what you see and who youโ€™re with right then and there. Not caring what the future brings (inevitably death) and when that grim reaper is coming. The only fact is that he will come. So Iโ€™d forget him, and remember instead, how much my family means to me, how much I appreciate where I came from and how cool it is to experience everything I have so far in my lifetime. I have been blessed, and although Iโ€™ve had my fair share of hardships, I wouldnโ€™t change a thing.”

Live it up, Friends.

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embroidery floss

Friendship Bracelets

This may just be me, but remember back in the day when you’d get bored in the summer and you’d just break out the colored floss and get to work making bracelets with your friends? They’d bring over their latest book with a cool new pattern, and we’d kill a few hours oogling over each other’s colors and flaunting ten anklets on each foot.

ahhh those were the days…hahaha *craft nerd moment*

Welp, it’s been a couple of years, but last week my team mate Caylee was talking about how she wears anklets and I got nostalgic. When I told her that I’d make her one, she was sooo happy! Naturally, she wanted a Carolina themed bracelet ๐Ÿ˜€

I was worried that I wouldn’t remember how to do it, but it came back right away! I was happy with how it turned out too. I’m not sure what the pattern is called, but it was just the originial line look.
Friendship Bracelet
Some people don’t like the time it takes to make all of those knots, but I love the mindless work. I just put on some music and once you get into a groove, it’s quick! My other team mate wanted two more for herself so I broke out another chevron pattern:
Friendship BraceletsShe wanted one to be just like Caylee’s and the other to be red, white and navy. Definitely pumped that I’m getting back into bracelet making as school starts to wrap up, and our lives as “professional lacrosse players” begins again. The crafting ramps up as soon as the school work ends and all we have is lacrosse on a daily basis ๐Ÿ™‚ wahoo!

I’ll have to get back into writing names in the knots and learning new patterns hehe.

happy crafting!

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Roomie Birthday Crafting

Both of my roommate’s birthdays were within a week of each other, so I threw a combined party for them so we could do double the celebration!

I had a few crafts in mind for presents/house surprises that were inspired by Pinterest, but I tried to put my own twist on them (some that were successful, and some that backfired).

First up was Maia. She is such an underrated tank when it comes to drinking, so Eileen and I decided to get her a fun bottle of alcohol. A colorful bottle caught our eye, but after we bought it, we decided to jazz it up further with glitter! (Well-knowing that it would be all over the house by the time we’re done with the project.)

Glitter Liquor BottleIt’s a little tough to read, but I wrote “Maia Juice” using Elmer’s Glue, but left the rest of the clear part blank so that the loops could show through on the back panel. I also used a foam brush to ‘paint’ the rest of the bottle with glue, before dribbling glitter all over the bottle. The inspiration I found on Pinterest used much larger glitter, but I still like how Maia’s bottle came out here. There was plenty of glitter in the kitchen and on the porch to last through our next glitter project too ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha jk

Next up was the celebration! We have a love for pictures in this house, so what better way to celebrate, than to showcase all of the fun we’ve had this year?! I found inspiration on Pinterest, where a user hung photos from balloons. It was so cute! So I spent time picking photos for both Maia and Eileen, then one they were printed, I started mounting them on colorful construction paper with the intent of mounting another photo on the backside. However, I overlooked one thing… two photos and a square of construction paper are a litttttle too heavy for a measly helium balloon. Alright, plan B.

I ended up having to rip the photos off of the construction paper mount because the balloons could only handle one picture before the weight would drag them down. But what to do with all of the extra photos? I kept some of them mounted, some of them not, and simply taped them to the molding around our house! They’re still up over a month later, because hey, why not? Although I’m mad that my original plan didn’t work, my room mates still loved how cute the house looked and the work that I put into making our quaint house festive.

Birthday DecorationsThis was an early picture, so it’s void of many more balloons, but it looked really cute when it was finished! Everyone who came over loved all of the pictures and decorations, so I was happy that the party was a success.

I hope my room mates loved the homemade gifts and festivities as much as I loved making them! Happy crafting, friends!

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Maggie Auslander

Maggie Aus the Boss

So I have this awesome team mate… As an outsider you might be a little intimidated by her…

Fire in your eyes

Hehehe, she loves to pump up our team by screaming, “FIRE IN YOUR EYES!!”

She has an energy that is truly contagious when we need it most. You can always count on her to be the loudest at practice or during our games, no matter what the situation. Whether we’re killing it, or we’re in a slump, Maggie is always the first one celebrating or rallying our team. She’s even carried the entire team’s energy at times, which is a huge burden. Although she’s played a different role this year than last year, she’s embraced it, and we really appreciate everything that she’s given thus far.

To add to her yelling, she also bought some crazy red contacts to further intimidate the competition:
Maggie Auslander

It’s hilarious how many times we’ve been on away trips when she’s startled the random people at other team’s hotels and facilities. Hahaha the number of double takes is hilarious, especially when you know the funny, caring girl that’s behind the crazy exterior.

One team that hasn’t seen the red contacts yet is DOOK. We play them Friday, April 16th at 7 pm in Koskinen Stadium on Duke’s campus. It’s the final game to wrap up our 2015 regular season, and it’s also the game that will decide who ends first in the ACC before we enter the ACC Tournament next week.

So shout out to Maggie for being a boss this season, and HERE WE GO HEELS! Time for a heck of a lot of fire in our eyes…

maggie ausxo
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German Shepherd & Frenchie

Everyone Meet Tucker

For all you strangers out there, my roommate Eileen and I are huge dog lovers. She has a French Bulldog named Burgle here at school, and her family has three more dogs at home in Massachusetts. And of course you know about my obsession with our dog Gunner.

Well, last week my roommates and I were all just hanging out in the living room, talking about whatever popped into our heads. Eventually we got to talking about how great it would be to have another dog around (a common conversation in our house). Eileen specifically mentioned how she wanted to adopt a German Shepherd in the near future. That seems like a big jump from a tiny frenchie, but she grew up having Shepherds, she already has her future job in line, and was hoping to get a larger dog as both a running partner for her, as well as a companion for Burgle.

Be careful what you wish for!

Not even two days later, she was at her boyfriend’s apartment in Winston-Salem for the weekend, when his roommate came back with a crazy story. He had been out for a run, when he saw these two stray dogs roaming around near a busy highway. It was crazy dangerous, so he decided to chase them toward a nearby field/run-down train tracks. He told Eileen that one dog looked like a German Shepherd and the other was smaller, but he couldn’t tell what type of dog it was. All Eileen needed to hear was German Shepherd, and immediately her, her boyfriend and his roommate were all on a mission to help out those dogs.

They ventured back to the train tracks, where it took them about half an hour to get the larger dog within reach to get a collar on him. He responded well to humans, loved the treats, and wasn’t too weary of the leash. They couldn’t say the same for the second pup. She was very skittish, and in worse shape than the Shepherd. Her fur was extremely matted, and she was limping on a bad leg. She came close to the treats a couple of times, but never the ones that were closest to the humans. After over three hours of trying to catch her, the crew had to call it a night and just help the Shepherd instead.

They took him to the emergency vet right away to see if he had a micro-chip or if anyone had put out word of a missing dog with his description, but neither helped them find his owner. Next, he got the luxury treatment. He was very scrawny and filthy from being outside for so long, so they went to the pet store to get him appropriate food as well as flea and tick shampoo. Boy was the bathroom dirty after that bath!

I got to meet him the next day, when they brought him back to Chapel Hill. He is quite the stud, and I was so surprised at how friendly he was! I’m used to my Aunt taking in dogs who are so timid and scared at first. It was really neat to see the Shepherd curious about his surroundings and eager to meet new people. It did take him a while to settle down, but he did eventually find a spot of his own by the window ๐Ÿ™‚

The vet was closed on Easter, so she ended up taking him to get checked out on Monday, when we got some bad news. He had all types of parasites and worms, meaning his previous owner (if there was one) failed to give him proper medications and vaccinations as a puppy. Some of the worms can be taken care of pretty quickly, but cases like heartworm are much more difficult to take care of. Since the worms live in his heart, there is a chance that they can clog his veins if they’re killed too quickly. Instead, the condition must be treated in a much longer, slower process to be safe. Such a bummer. The good news is that his illnesses are treatable, so he’ll be great in time!

The Shepherd headed back to Winston-Salem in case word came back about his owners, and to keep space from Burgle until his medications kicked in to kill the worms. In the meanwhile we’ve been brainstorming names to call him! He hasn’t responded to pretty much anything we’ve called to him, so that left the door wide open. We thought of: Jack, Achilles, Marshall, Red, Sarge, Scooby and Tucker.

Welp, everyone meet Tucker! (And that’s Burgle on the left)
German Shepherd & Frenchie

He’s coming back this weekend, and I’m so excited to have a new housemate! Hope he likes his new home ๐Ÿ™‚ Shout out to Eileen for being a great puppy guardian angel.

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zombie feet

Gnarly Toes Season

*disclaimer, this post is gonna be gross! You’ve been warned…

Well folks, it’s about that time of year…oh let’s be serious, it’s all year round for me…but my teammates are finally experiencing a case of the gnarly toes that I have all year ’round.

I’m not using the term gnarly lightly either! Devlin toes are something else (thanks Dad). My mom has cute and pretty toes 24/7, but there must be something about the way all of us kids kill our feet in combination with those Devlin genes that produce some uggggggly feet. I’ll spare you from a picture, but in my post about painted rainbows you got an unwarranted sneak peek of those puppies. But hey, at least my nails are painted!

After years of being an athlete, my feet have laid down many miles. Jamming them with each step has produced about four broken toe knuckles (that are still crooked! Especially those two extra long sprinting toes — they’ve taken a beating), five toenails that are no longer true nails (no really, I have no clue what exactly grows there, but it’s not nail), really thick and rough callouses (that no Ped Egg can even touch), and right about this time of year I get huge blisters underneath of the callouses (which makes for some raw skin). I rarely get pedicures because I’m so embarrassed of my feet, but when I do, I apologize profusely to the manicurist. Poor soul. They may be ugly, but hey, as long as they help me run fast, they can look however they please!

Trust me — I do my best to shape them up, but even after the callouses get shaved down and my nails have a fresh coat of polish they still look pretty gnarly. Complete with a sock tan, my spring look is always on point ๐Ÿ˜‰

Devlin joints also pop and crack more than your average bird. I seriously can’t sneak up on anyone anymore, because my ankles and toes give me away no matter how hard I try! My room mates are obviously used to it, but the best was when my trainer Emily noticed in the middle of training room one day. It wasn’t super quiet either, she just heard me walking around and was like, “Is that cracking you?!” She had never heard anyone crack that loud and often simply by walking around before. My Dad is just as bad, if not worse, when it comes to the cracking, so I’ve heard it all my life. Some people love to pop their knuckles or crack their neck, but all I have to do is flex my toes to get that awesome pop-release.

My classmates make fun of me for how gnarly my feet are, but like I said before, as long as they get the job done on the field, I don’t care how they look!

But anyway…happy sandal season! You’ve been warned not to look at my feet haha

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I am a Tar Heel

I am a Tar Heel

If you’ve ever attended a Carolina Basketball game, you’ve felt the goosebumps that arise when the theme song for “I am a Tar Heel” begins to play. If you’ve never had the chance to see one, watch a little taste here. (Although, you don’t get the full effect if you’re not in the Dean Dome…)

As student-athletes, my teammates and I always talk about how cool it would be to participate in such a short video that leaves such a big legacy. Last week I got the opportunity to pseudo-fulfill this dream by writing a letter version of “I am a Tar Heel,” for a news post on the GoHeels site :

I am a Tar Heel

Dear Tar Heel Family,

I’d like to thank you for your incredible support you have given the women’s lacrosse team and all other athletic programs over my last four years here. You’ve welcomed me with open arms since I first stepped foot on campus, when all it took was one visit to one school to know in my gut that Carolina was the place for me.

It’s an indescribable feeling to represent the beautiful Carolina Blue. There is such a strong sense of community walking around Chapel Hill, but you also feel a connection with anyone wearing gear across the nation. Whether these people are UNC grads or not, everyone knows that Chapel Hill is a special place. UNC has challenged me both academically and athletically, but no matter what hardships I came by, I always had the support of the Tar Heel community.

Academically, I have enjoyed every class I’ve taken within the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The “J-School” has challenged me every day to be a better writer, to be more creative, to stand out among my peers, and to become a well-rounded citizen. The world of journalism and media is constantly evolving, and it’s very exciting to be part of a school that is excited about its research, and is up to date with the latest trends and technologies. A huge thank you to my professors who have all cared passionately about their students’ success.

Athletically, I have been lucky enough to experience what most teams can only dream about: winning a Division I national championship. ย The 2013 season had its highs and lows for me personally; the high was of course playing in arguably the greatest women’s lacrosse game ever playedโ€”a Cinderella story where the underdog team beat undefeated Maryland in triple overtime to win the national title in my hometown. The low was tearing my ACL, which put me out for the 2014 season. However, this experience taught me new lessons about patience, perseverance and appreciation. Our athletic training staff was incredible in trying to help me heal as properly, but quickly as possible, and my teammates, family, friends, and staff were behind me the entire way.

I am incredibly grateful for everything I’ve experienced as a student-athlete over these past four years. Thank you to my parents, my sister, by brother, my teammates, coaches, staff and donors for making these experiences so great.

I am forever blessed to say, I am a Tar Heel.

Kelly Devlin

Senior Midfielder

Women’s Lacrosse

It was a huge honor to write on behalf of my class, and I truly mean it when I say that I am forever blessed to be a Tar Heel.


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Painted Rainbows

Rejuvenated Rainbows

The best thing about Rainbow Sandals, is that the more you wear them, the comfier they get. However, the problem is that when you have them forever, they start to get a little dingy.

A couple of years ago, I noticed that the first pair I ever got was looking particularly raggedy. They had a couple of stains on the bands, and hey, that’s the only part that shows when you wear them, so why not pretty the straps up a bit?!

I had no clue what kind of medium would work best in terms of longevity. I knew acrylic would probably chip over time, but it’s what I had at hand, so I went for it!

I started out by priming the bands with white paint, then I free-handed some turquoise swirls, and filled in the gaps with lime green. (Please excuse my ugly toes eeee)

Painted RainbowsThe acrylic has started to chip since I first painted these four years ago, but they’re still in decent shape! I’d suggest trying some outdoor acrylic paint, that may hold up a little better.

Either way, throwing a little paint on the straps are a great way to jazz up a well-loved pair of leather flops… Try it out!


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P.S. Happy flop weather!! ๐Ÿ˜€