Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Zealand international style

I just returned from my one-month trip to New Zealand, Thailand and Myanmar.

While in NZ, I attended an international convention where many delegates wore traditional clothes representing their culture. Not your typical street fashion, but inspiring none the less.

Above, the Maori rocked black lips long before the Goths did.

Korean-style color.

Hindi bling.
Maori poi balls used in dancing and later tied at the waist.

Real people can wear chiffon.

I call this the paradise dress. I saw two or three people wearing it. The print looks like a tropical garden.

Spikes and arm parties are universally popular.

In Tonga, men get to wear skirts.

And in Scotland, men get to carry bags (otherwise known as sporran).

Traditional woven belt from Tonga called a keikei

Another keikei detail.

Purse made from what I believe is lacquered tapa cloth, which comes from bark.

Color blocking Korean style.

Bracelet made from coconut shell.

Maori feather earring.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY jewelry inspiration

I've got three DIY jewelry projects to share over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here are some pretty things from real designers.

Above are "simple" chunks of gold on gold chains by Eina Ahluwalia.

Caged necklace by Fort Standard.

This is a 1938 necklace from Schiaparelli. Isn't it amazingly modern?


Brassy tassels from Isabel Marant. I see hex nuts.

Macrame from 2 Bandits.

Crazy tribal. Source unknown.

Are you feeling the creative urge this winter?

Monday, January 21, 2013

10 geometric DIYs

Winter's austerity tends to lend toward geometric designs. Here are 10 geometric DIYS to keep you on the straight edge.
Above, a geometric wire lamp from Weekday Carnival.
Geometric paperweights from Dot Coms for Moms.

Folded geometric favor boxes or place card holders.

Geometric lampshade made from foam core board.

Geometric leather cutouts inspired by Prada 2012 shoes.

Simple cube necklaces.

Taped geometric wall designs from Make My Lemonade Here.

Geometric tissue paper lanterns.

Geometric painted wood bangles.
Geometric paper vase. (Slide it over a glass vase.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pinned It/Wore It - Work appropriate lace top

Lace tops. So pretty, but I've had a hard time figuring them out. You don't want to look too girlish and definitely don't want to look like you're trotting around in lingerie.

So welcome to my second Pinterest pass/fail for outfits.

Kate Middleton handles the see-through aspect with a white tank top. But still a little fancy for every day. (Unless you're royalty.)

Others let the underthings shine right through.

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

But Valentino in Harper's Bazaar gave me an idea. White lace (girly) with some button-down white cuffs and collar (starchy).

Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

This was super easy to pull off and surprisingly warm. (Another drawback of lacy fashion - the chill factor.)  I wore a plain old white button down shirt under the lace. In retrospect, I could have tucked the top in.
I actually wore the lace top backwards, which got mixed reviews. So I hand-stitched the seam shut. It was too confusing. People kept trying to fix it for me.

The Valentino contrast collar lace top is $1,890.

My outfit was 100% thrifted and totaled less than $5.

You can get a lace top for $10. There's no reason to spend much more. Victoria's Secret (surprise surprise) is a good resource as are teenybopper stores.
  • The most affordable and closest to the original is at Kohl's and currently on sale for $9.99 and available in a bunch of colors.
  • Forever 21 has a similar one for $11.50.
  • Charlotte Russe has a peplum version in white for $14.99.
For me, this is a Pinterest pass with two thumbs up.

Have you attempted a lace top?

Monday, January 14, 2013

My DIY rustic leather journal

Here's a great little project to start the new year - a DIY leather journal.

This one is made from an old leather coat and cost me less than  a dollar to make. You can make it any size you want or add more pages. You do need some specialized equipment though - access to a paper cutter and a rotary cutter.

This tutorial is modified from one by Kersey at Ardor. (She has lots of neat leather DIYs.)

To make a 40-page journal that is about 7 inches by 5 1/2 inches, you'll need the following:
  • piece of leather at least 7.5 by 15 inches
  • 20 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 inch office paper
  • embroidery thread (yard or dental floss can also work)
  • two embroidery needles
  • blue tape or masking tape
  • rotary cutter
  • paper cutter
  • ruler
  • pencil or pen
  • tailor's chalk
First trim down your office paper so that it is 7 by 11 inches. Cut off an inch and a half from the long edge with a paper cutter.

Fold the paper in half. Take one piece and make a dot at the 2-inch mark and at the 5-inch mark.

Using an awl, small nail or embroidery needle, poke a hole at your dots.

Stack a folded sheet behind your template and use the first set of holes to make a duplicate set of holes on the new sheet.

Do this for all your sheets of paper.

Flatten one sheet out (or do this before you fold it) on top of your leather piece. Trace around the paper with tailor's chalk.

Cut the three sides out with a rotary cutter, allowing about a quarter of an inch margin.

Leave one edge raw as seen in the photo below.

Use masking tape or blue tape to line up your paper holes with where the holes will need to be on the cover.

Poke through the leather at your mark using an awl, small nail or embroidery needle.

Stack your papers together, alining the edges.

Thread two needles with a bundle of embroidery thread. (Don't separate the individual threads.)
Push both needles through the holes as shown.  

Crisscross and go back through the opposite hole.

Tie off with a knot and clip the excess thread.

To make a wraparound tie closure, measure to find the center of your raw flap.

Mark two small cuts with tape and pen.

Cut. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut a long thin strip of leather. You may have to tie a few pieces together to make your tie long enough.

Wrap it around the journal as a closure.

These are so cheap and easy you can make several.