Friday, April 30, 2010


White jackets. Always looking. Own four but always looking.

Image: Ann Taylor Bubble Cotton Jacket

Thursday, April 29, 2010

DIY Wednesday on Thursday: Marlaina Stone inspired necklace from your own stuff

Guess who forgot yesterday was Wednesday?

Here's our DIY Wednesday project, posted a day late. This is the second in our continuing series on restyling your own jewelry rather than buying new or spending money on jewelry-making supplies. Last week's project was making a Talbot's inspired necklace from a plain strand of beads.

This week's project ups the bling factor a bit under the influence of designer Marlaina Stone. I will now make you look at a whole bunch of Marlaina Stone necklaces because I think they are so pretty.

Isn't it amazing she can put all that stuff together and make it look good? And for only $500 to $1,000 per necklace.

I like her mix of hard and soft, bold and delicate, and fabric and stone. At first I thought my necklace was too over the top until I looked back at hers again. Now I feel like adding more to it.

Below is my jewelry drawer. It's a not-so-hot mess right now. But it is a tremendous source of raw material.

Out of all that, I fished out the following, along with a scrap of silver-grey fabric.

My secret craft supplies are twist ties and ribbon from The Dollar Tree. You may note that the twist ties are bright green. I colored my pieces in with a black marker to tone them down.

I had one short necklace, one long one doubled up and tied with a ribbon at each end (about nine inches per side. See last week's post for details.), a pin, a pendant and a fabric flower. I put on the short necklace first and then tied the long necklace just under it. I attached the pin, pendant and fabric flower with twist ties. (In a future post, I'll show you how to make the fabric flower.)

I wouldn't necessarily wear it to, say, a rave or a pogo race, but overall it is pretty sturdy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poor girl botox and big nerd glasses

Bangs and nerd glasses look good on her.

After four years of thinking about it, I finally got bangs.

My forehead is huge. I could slap a solar panel up there and power my whole building. And then there are the furrows that arrived all at once in the mid aughts and have been displayed front and center, like dents in the hood. Lots of reasons to get some bangs.

But, of course, I was scarred by the '80s. Back then, if you touched one hair of your bang, your whole hairdo moved because it was decoupaged with hairspray. For me, a naked forehead has been a symbol of naturalness, adulthood and sophistication.

Then I got a little older and the tag of 'adulthood' wasn't so special anymore. Last week, on the spur of the moment, I got the bangs. Saturday, with a group made up of a 14-year-old and a 21-year-old, I was mistaken for a college student.

In other news, big nerd glasses are back.

My mom sent me these bifocal glasses in a bag with a bunch of other stuff. I thought they were an old pair of hers. Or belonged to someone's grandmother. Then I remembered they were mine. I wore these when I was 13 years old with a Dorothy Hamill haircut and a mouth full of braces. I looked 90 when I was 13 and 21 when I'm 42. Maybe I'll look 13 when I'm 90.

Anyone old enough to have lived through big glasses once is wise enough not to do it again. Right?

Mr. Bromeliad, of course, always rocks the look.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Giveaway - Ruffled rose pillow

Welcome to my second giveaway. In honor of Earth Day, we'll be giving way the ruffled rose pillow I made from a bridesmaid dress.

As my regular readers know, every day is pretty much Earth Day at this blog. I'm all about reusing what I've got rather than buying new. This is somewhat to save the planet but more so to save a buck. And I just dislike waste in general.

Anyway, first a disclaimer. This an upcycled product from a hack seamstress. The center of the pillow turned out weird, and the seams were done with black thread since I had no hot pink. And the pillow is a bit lumpy. So if you win, don't be critical.

To enter, leave a comment here. For an extra chance, leave a comment at my how-to tutorial over at Feel free to tweet your heart out. (Although, statistically, it will dimish your chances of winning.)

In other news, Chadwicks is having a 41% off sale for Earth Day. With promo code CH41, you get 41% off one item until midnight tonight. I have dibs on the white slingbacks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Easy Talbot's inspired necklace from your own stuff

This is about the easiest DIY fashion project ever. It requires only ribbon and opposable thumbs. And a drawer full of jewelry. But I'm sure you've got that.

This is the first in a series of easy projects that were inspired by my jewelry drawer cleanup. If you want to make some DIY jewelry, do not be going to the craft store and buying beads and whatnot. You have beads. Look in that drawer. You know you do.

Below are some necklaces we are going to be knocking off. They are everywhere. You've seen them - multi-strand necklaces with lucite or clear glass beads and a ribbon. Below we have examples from Talbots, Ann Taylor and Stella & Dot. They cost between $34 and $150.

Some currently available necklaces that are similar are Anthropologie's Mystic Tieback Bib Necklace and the Lily Mineral Necklace and Ann Taylor's Faceted Teardrop Statement Necklace.

To accomplish this, take a boring beaded necklace (I got mine at Annie Sez last year for $3) and fold it in half. Tie two pieces of ribbon at either end. The ribbon should be about nine inches long. Make one of your tie points where the clasp is, if you necklace has one.

Use two clip earrigs to hide the knots. You can stop here if you like.

Or you can attach a fabric flower pin. Don't have one? No worries. This post shows you how.

And here are some more DIY jewelry projects:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vintage frog giveaway winner

Our winner is Mary E., who won with her second comment posted over at

Mary, send me your snail mail info at and we will ship these off to you before your flowers wilt.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Despair not. We will have another giveaway later this week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A room like one's own

Usually designer homes exist off in some other world from mine. But the latest issue of Lonny has not one but two places that remind me of . . . well . . . me.

I want to hug this lady. Editor and fashion designer Laurann Claridge has a squishy white sofa. So do I!

She has as see-through coffee table. Me, too! She has an antique zebra skin rug. I have . . . I have a vinyl DIY zebra rug that's gotten patchy, too!

Then there's Ashley Wick's apartment. See-through table and squishy sofa again. I also have coral and baskets. And I have that exact tripod lamp. (Mine was $50 at Wal-Mart.) And I have books.

If Lonny ever features a place with a lava lamp, two dining chairs but no table, and a collection of dead tree limbs, then I will know I am a true style leader.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make a ruffled rose pillow

As promised, here is my second attempt at making an A Detacher style rose pillow from repurposed clothing. My previous ruffled pillow used the zipper of a skirt in order to make a removable cover. Also, the ruffles on the previous pillow rolled back. For this pillow, I made an envelope pillow cover and I attempted a flat ruffle. After two tries, my pillow still doesn't completely mimic the one by A Detacher, which could explain why Mona Kowalska is a successful designer of pillows and clothes while I blog in obscurity.

My materials are this sad bottom half of a bridesmaid style dress. As you can see, I will not be wearing it again. Also, that blogging causes weight gain. I used a second-hand pillow as a form.

Here is how I cut up the back of the dress. I used the strips to make the ruffle.

The strips should be cut to the same width and, if needed, hemmed along one edge. Then sew them together into one long strip. Hem the two ends.

Cut a rectangle from the front of the dress or skirt to make a pillow cover. The width should be the width of your pillow form plus 2 inches for a seam allowance. The length should be double the length of your form plus about 6 inches for an overlapping opening in the back.

Try out the fabric, centering the overlap on the back. Mark the fold lines with pins or tailor's chalk.

Mark the center of the front of the cover with a pin or chalk.

Your marks will give you an outline of the front of the pillow cover.

Hem the two short ends of your rectangle.

Starting at your center point, begin pinning the ruffle to the front of the cover, starting with a tight circle then spiraling out. The right side of the pillow cover should be up, and the right side of the ruffle fabric should also be up.

Bunch the ruffle fabric together into small pleats every few inches.

Starting from the outside of your pinwheel, sew the ruffle, removing pins as you come to them. If the spiral becomes too tight in the center for your sewing machine, handsew the remaining spirals.

Overlap your flaps.

With the wrong side of your fabric facing out, sew up the two side seams using a one-inch seam allowance.

Turn the pillow right side out and insert the pillow form through the back flap. And you're done.

Don't forget to enter the vintage floral frog giveaway. Statistically, you have great chances of winning this one.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dining on the down low

How to do dinner when you don't have a dining room table.

Don't the Arrowstone dishes look nice?

What do you eat on?