Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Almost a Trick

I tried out a new location for photos today.  I'm in the forest looking for Sasquatches.  Wait... look no further!  Sasquatches unite!
I'm queen of the mountain rock!
I like the way the collar of the jacket works
with the collar of the dress.


I considered tricking you with today's outfit, but then decided that I would know the truth.  I did not wear this lovely suede jacket for more than a few minutes today.  Instead I wore this sweater.  The cooler weather has caused me to crave coziness even more than usual.  The jacket is warm, but the sweater is cozy.

Dress, Target; jacket, thrifted/ sweater, Walmart; tights, Target; boots, Rack Room Shoes; earrings, gifted? (Kate, did you give me these earrings?).

I have it on good authority (Chenille) that my hair looked a lot better after I used the Not Your Mother's Smooth Moves Frizz Control Hair Cream, so I tried it again today.  Unfortunately you almost certainly can't tell.  It was quite windy today.

*This post contains an affiliate link.

There's Still Time to Make a Halloween Costume!

Around 1:00 this afternoon I decided I wanted to dress up for the trick or treaters who will be hitting the streets in a few hours.  The caveats?  I didn't want to have to buy anything.  I wanted to be comfortable sitting outside even though it is going to be very chilly.  I wanted to craft something.

Little did I know that a mere two hours later I would have crafted four Halloween outfits, almost entirely with things I had around the house.  I did end up making a lightning trip to Walmart for some baby t-shirts because, like babies, dogs have large heads and fat bodies so baby shirts are an inexpensive alternative to dog shirts.  (Yes, the dogs get outfits too!)

No Bones About It Shirt

  • plain t-shirt
  • bleach pen
  • something to keep the bleach from bleeding through- I used the lid of a plastic box
I started by sketching what I wanted to draw, though if you're a better artist than I am you might be able to skip that step.  Then I carefully recreated my sketch on the shirt.  I ran out of bleach when I was almost done, so I had to redistribute some with a spoon.  I left the bleach to soak in while I worked on the other projects (45 minutes, maybe?) and then rinsed and dried it thoroughly.

There are things I like and things I don't like about how this shirt turned out.  I like the way the variations in color make me think of an x-ray.  I don't like how much the bleach bled and distorted the design.  If I were to do it again I would start with finer lines so the bleeding would leave me with the result I wanted.  Check back later for a photo of the final result.  It's still in the wash.

Doggy No Bones About It Shirt
  • baby t-shirt
  • glow-in-the-dark paint
  • something to hold the t-shirt flat and rigid while you work

I was planning on making skeleton t-shirts for the dogs using the same process, but I had to improvise when I ran out of bleach pen.  Instead of bleach I used glow in the dark paint for the dogs' skeleton shirts.  Once again, I sketched what I wanted the design to look like before I started.  I felt the dogs' backs to see about what bones would show on the shirts.  I was concerned that the paint might not dry in time, so I placed the finished shirts in front of a space heater.
Bonus tip: For people who have children instead of/in addition to dogs, you could use these same ideas to make costumes for your offspring!

Wo-Man-O-Lantern Shirt:
  • dark-colored plain t-shirt
  • contrasting t-shirt
  • scissors

My third and final project was the least successful.  I got the idea from a Halloween-themed episode of My Name is Earl, but the character who wore the shirt in the show was a man and the execution was different on a woman.  
The idea of this shirt is that it would look like a jack-o-lantern on your torso.  I started by cutting out paper shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth and sticking them to the shirt using double-sided tape.  I then used small, sharp scissors to cut out the shapes.  Unfortunately, even though I thought I positioned the eyes such that they would not create a peep show, I failed.  I had to arrange the shirt very precisely in order to not have a slutty pumpkin look.  Of course the reason I was willing to sacrifice this shirt is that is was in my Goodwill donation pile because it is too small.  It might look less scandalous on someone with less to make the pumpkin's eyes pop out.
For more ideas for costumes, check out the video below, which was sent to me by the fabulous Chenille.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chilly Reunion

It truly feels like autumn today in Georgia.  It is cold and windy.  I take back everything I said about being excited to make use of my cold weather clothing and get in on some winter trends.  I'm ready to go somewhere tropical again.

Faux-wrap dress, Merona, thrifted; sweater, Rue 21; tights, Target; boots, Rack Room Shoes; pendant and earrings, purchased in Dominican Republic.

I'll try to make lemonade with these chilly lemons.  Today was a great day to work a very autumnal  color palette.  This is my second time owning this dress.  I had it in middle school/ high school and eventually wore it out.  I recently spotted its twin at Goodwill, and I'm happy we're reunited.  Goodwill for the win yet again.  The dress is silk, so it feels lovely but needed some layers to up the warmth factor.

This is the same jewelry I wore for this post, but I have the amber side showing instead of the larimar side.  I love clothes/jewelry that can multitask.

Best wishes to my friends and family members in the Northeast today.  I know my chilly discomfort pales in comparison to the ordeal millions of people are going through today in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Shell Game

Our trip to the Dominican Republic was great because of the people who accompanied us.  The group ended up having four men and four women.  The men were fun.  The women were amazing.  There was so much sisterhood going on we should have been issued traveling pants.

In addition to Angie (whom I've mentioned here before),  we were joined by Katie and Tamara.  I had met Katie when I lived in Iowa but didn't know her well, and Tamara was new to me.  By day two it was as if we had been besties for years.  It would have been weird except it was so damn cool.  When I got home I was filled to bursting with warm fuzzies, and I wanted to make something for these extraordinary women.

I decided on crocheted necklaces because I could use some of the pretty sea shells I picked up on the trip and because these necklaces are sturdy and wearable enough for SCUBA girls.

Shell Game Crocheted Necklaces
Better than selling sea shells by the sea shore, these were free.

  • crochet thread
  • sea shells
  • glass seed beads


  • Drill with 1/16" bit
  • flexible beading needle
  • 1.4 mm crochet hook

I carefully drilled a hole in each of the four shells I chose for the necklaces using the 1/16 inch bit.   I drilled into a piece of scrap wood so I didn't damage the table.
After drilling the holes I added a small stainless steel split ring to make it hang nicely on the string.

Assembling the necklace couldn't be easier because the only crochet stitch you need to know is the chain stitch.  The most labor-intensive part of the process is stringing the beads.  Strining the beads is much easier using a flexible beading needle.  I used approximately 130 seed beads on each of the four necklaces.  I placed the shell midway through the beads

I simply joined the ends and tied them off when the necklaces were the length I wanted.  These  necklaces are very long, so they can be worn at a number of lengths depending on how many times you loop them.  I wear my crocheted necklaces on their own or layered with silver and gold necklaces for a different look.

Breaking the Rules

Today I broke one of my few rules, but I have a thought-out defense of my actions.  I am almost wearing leggings as pants.  I know.  Shame on me.  Let me explain.  They're not really leggings.  They are athletic pants.  Usually I wear them for jogging, but today I wanted something fitted that I could wear with boots.

Sweater, Charlotte Russe, thrifted; pants, Danskin, Walmart; boots, Presario, Rack Room Shoes; pendant, ebay.

Other than the questionable choice in pants, I had the Song of Ice and Fire on my mind when I got dressed this morning.  This sweater reminds me of chainmail.  (I purchased it at Goodwill with Chenille on the same trip as my cowboy jacket.)  I added a wolf  pendant for some Stark realness.

Do you forgive me for breaking the rules?  How do you style calf-high boots?  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fashion Worth Falling For (Part II)

My last post about Fall Fashion focused on the unused items in my closet.  Today I'm looking at the trends and elements I'd like to try this autumn and winter.  As usual, I am not constrained by the limits of good taste.

Some trends I'd like to try this fall are:
Chenille rocking a fierce
equestrian look.
  • Menswear: I'm a sturdy woman, and I feel like I need to walk a fine line with clothes that are overly masculine or overly feminine.  I'm lusting over a few of the menswear pieces from eShakti because they balance menswear elements with feminine cuts.  I refuse to wear any but the most abstractly masculine shoes.  If I put men's-style shoes on my size 11 feet I just feel like a cross dresser.
  • Baroque: I love the ornate, over-the-top look of Baroque styles in magazines this fall.  I'll be experimenting with ways to make the style fit my day-to-day style while still staying ornate and over the top.
  • Equestrian: I've always loved the equestrian aesthetic, in part because of how I loved horses as a child, and in part because it's a look my mom has always favored.  I want to explore how this classic style can be incorporated into my wardrobe... at the right price, of course.
Image Credit: eShakti
Menswear done right for ladies.

    Image Credit: Target
    Baroque without breaking the bank.

    Other elements I'd like to incorporate:
    • A Peter Pan Collar: I think Peter Pan collars are adorable, but I haven't found just the right one for me yet.  I haven't even decided whether I want a piece of clothing with this style of collar or whether I want to try it as a collar-style necklace.

    Image Credit: Dorothy Perkins
    This Peter Pan Collar dress is lovely, and
    it's on sale for only $17.
    Image Credit: Ava Adorn
    This Peter Pan Collar necklace would add interest
    to any sweater.

    • Sequins: I'm planning on going to Las Vegas in a couple months, and I think that will be a perfect opportunity to wear something sequined.  I'll be hitting the racks at Goodwill to see if I can find the perfect glittery piece.

    • Image Credit: Exquisite Finds, Ebay
      A red, sequined, leopard dress would be
      perfect, but it's Dolce & Gabbana and
      $3,995 on ebay.  
    Image Credit: Target
    At $16.99 this skirt is more in my price range.

    • A Jumpsuit: Am I the only one who likes these?  I've mentioned to a few friends that I'm looking for a jumpsuit and they've all given me some side-eye for it.  When I told my mom that I wanted to try a jumpsuit I discovered that she loved them in the 80s.  That explains it.  It must be genetic.  I found a likely candidate at Target last week, now I'm trying to decide if I have the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to wear it.
    Image Credit: Target
    To keep or not to keep?
    •  Chevrons: Chevrons are probably out of style by now, but I'm still looking for something wonderful with a chevron print.
    • A Red Dress: I've never had the confidence to really rock a red dress, but I feel like I'm finally at a place that I could do it.  Now I just need to find the right dress.  Maybe a red sequined dress...
    (Sorry to anyone who gets my blog in Google reader and saw the unfinished version of this post last week.  My overly-clicky mouse finger hit publish well before I was done.)

    Target Style

    Image Credit: Target Style
    I'm sure you've noticed I've been loving Target lately, and today I have yet another reason to keep on loving them: Target Style on Facebook.  The page has fun style tips, quotations, and news, and, best of all, they periodically offer free beauty samples.

    I have received the last two packages of samples, and both have been chock full of great products.  The most recent one has a variety of shampoos.  It is perfect timing because I left my shampoo and conditioner in the Domincan Republic, and I hadn't decided which brand to buy next.

    The adorable leopard print mini-bag contained:
    • Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo
    • Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo 
    • L'Oreal Evercreme Nourishing Shampoo
    • Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer 
    • Jergens Daily Moisture Dry Skin Moisturizer
    • A book of coupons for beauty products at Target
    You can access those coupons on the Target website here.

    Contrary to their probable intentions, the Target Style page doesn't often make me lust after their particular products. (I have to go into the store for that.)  Instead, like the image at right, it is another resource to help me re-imagine items that are already in my closet.  I have leopard and jade pieces, but I don't think I've experimented with pairing them together.

    I highly recommend Target Style on Facebook.

    * This is not a sponsored post.  I just wanted to share another resource for getting fun beauty product samples and style ideas.

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Fashion Worth Falling For (Part I)

    Georgia is a strange place.  Before I moved to Georgia I never looked forward to autumn and winter.  I dread the cold, and it gets cold in Iowa- sixty-plus degrees below zero with the wind chill cold.    Now that I don't have below-zero weather to fear, I can finally look forward to the nicer aspects of the cooler months.  When I went through my closet recently I found some of my cool-weather clothes, and I am yearning to wear them.  Not to get all Stark on you, but Winter is Coming.  (Laughing uproariously at my own joke.)
    • Leather and Pleather:  I have a leather skirt, a pleather skirt, a microsuede dress, and a variety of leather, pleather, and suede jackets.  None of them are appropriate for summer in Georgia.  Some would argue that you can style leather for summer, but I want to be comfortable ,and I don't want to be confined to air conditioning.  I want to be able to luxuriate in the heat without getting squeaking in my clothes.  
    With boots, tights, a jacket, and
    dark colors I would feel awkward
    and overheated wearing this in July.
    • Boots:  Between jogging regularly and losing a few pounds, my calves are a little slimmer than they were last winter.  This means I have effectively increased my boot wardrobe for free because my legs fit in more of what I own.  The pair I wore yesterday didn't fit in the spring.  Yippee!  
    • Sweater Dresses:  Sweater dresses are basically giant sweaters, and nothing is cozier when the weather is cold.  Add boots and tights and I'm in heaven.
    • Tights:  I have colored tights, patterned tights, and lace tights burning a hole in my drawer waiting to be worn.  As you can tell from my Waterfalls post, it is finally that time again.
    • Layers:  I've been wearing some layers all summer, but it really is too warm to wear many layers during the warmest months here.  I'm excited to go back to wearing multiple dresses, dresses with skirts, and jackets with anything I want.
    • Jackets:  Isn't it a waste that I couldn't wear my tacky wool cowboy jacket until now?  I certainly think so.  It's not the only jacket that was consigned to the back of the closet for the summer.  I have a fleet of them just waiting to be worn.
    • Dark Colors:  I wear some dark colors all year long, but some looks, especially ones with large amounts of black, have been missing from my summer wardrobe.
    Now that the weather has taken a turn for the cooler, it is probably time to switch out half my wardrobe into winter clothes.  It is still Georgia, after all, and it will undoubtedly be 90 degrees again before winter really comes.  It's a curse and a blessing.