Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From My Own Closet: East Meets West

Top and Tights: LOFT Outlet
Skirt: Target
Scarf: Gift from sister "K"
Boots: DSW
Necklace worn as a bracelet: from India

I think this outfit has a slight oriental feel: the spicy colors, the jacquard weave in the scarf, and the wooden bracelet. The denim skirt and the cowgirl boots? I'm not only a Texan at heart!

For the longest time I didn't know how to tie a scarf, other than wrap it once around my neck. Then I found this YouTube video called 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!

If was in the habit of swearing I could swear she does the same one twice (Infinity and DIY Infinity?) but I picked up a few new styles that I love. Never knew tying a scarf was so easy!

Linking up to What I Wore Wednesday for the first time!

pleated poppy

Guest Posting Today!

If you'd like to know what I'm up to today, I'm actually hanging out with Iris at her blog The Blue Birdhouse. I have a couple new outfits to show you. I did a post on this multi-color polka-dot skirt a few months ago, but since then I've found more ways to wear it, even in cooler weather. Go see! I'm also going to share a little bit about the name of my blog. Since I realized I never wrote about that, the in-depth version will be appearing here soon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Re-fashioning Jewelry- Toothpaste and Superglue Edition

Fair warning: this is what I did; you won't be able to replicate it and you probably won't want to! =) I did have fun, and I did convert a couple of screw-on earrings (that once belonged to my great-grandmother) and a butterfly pin (that belonged to my mother when she was a girl) into pieces of jewelry that I want to wear. Both were given to me as gifts; I don't endorse stealing jewelry from relatives for your own projects!

This is the earring I started with (larger than life). It's partner was missing too many rhinestones and got tossed.

I snapped the back off the earring by hand, although hindsight reveals that maybe my jeweler's saw would have been a better idea. The largest rhinestone popped out in the process. Enter the superglue! Easily fixed. =) (If this whole thing seems like a very irreverent way to treat your great-grandmother's jewelry, I kind of agree. It seems that it should bother me, but it doesn't. If I had any precious heirlooms of course I would preserve them as they are!)

I sanded the broken area smooth. Then with more superglue, I attached a closed jump ring to the back of the jewel. The rest was really simple. I attached a second jump ring and strung a chain through it.

All done!

As for the butterfly, it got wet (that's an understatement) in a house flood many years ago. It had never had any discoloration before that, but when I got it back after that event, it looked like this, and hasn't changed since. 

Well, until I started messing with it this week, that is. I went online (red flags should start waving right here) hoping someone would say that there was some way to magically clean costume jewelry. I got a few ideas, but neither I nor my mom were sure what kind of metal it was or what the, uh, black stuff was- tarnishing, corrosion? (I actually took a metalworking class in college last year; my professor would be so disappointed in me right now). Some people said toothpaste, some people said baking soda mixed in water, some said vinegar (which I do know gets rid of tarnishing- metal arts student trying to redeem herself here!). Some said to use one of the above and scrub the jewelry with a baby soft toothbrush to get dirt out of the little crevices.

So what did I do? Well, all of the above. Let's sum it up by saying, for my particular case, the toothbrush was not a good idea, and the others were ineffective. A lot of the black stuff did come off, thanks to the toothbrush- along with most of the golden finish (plated, painted, I'm still not sure). I still like it, though, and here's what I made of it:

I bought a gold chain at the craft store and cut it to add the larger, oval-shaped jump rings.

From the back. I didn't want to break the pin for my mom's sake (plus I might want to convert it to something else someday- an ornament on a cuff bracelet maybe?), so I used the pin to hold it to the chain. The beads are just spacers to keep the butterfly from sliding around.

And a bonus: This is another of my great-grandmother's earrings, which I also broke off and superglued to a ring base from the craft store. Would fit right in at Forever 21 in the year 2013, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dropping in to the Party (Gray Days to Glimmering Blog Party)!

Gray Days to Glimmering Blog Party

Most of you who are going to see this blog probably also know Kellie from But if you don't you might want to know that she invited whoever wanted to beat the January blahs to join her blog party. Even though it's not exactly cold and dreary around here, I know I for one have been having a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of a week. (My clothes are a pretty accurate description of how I feel). So Kellie asked everyone:

1) What's your favorite thing to do when you've been feeling uninspired? Leave it and do something that doesn't require inspiration, like exercise or wash dishes or vacuum my room. And I usually peruse the internet for ideas.
2) Tell us about a really great movie/show that you've just discovered. Well, I don't watch too many movies or shows. During Christmas/New Year's week my family got the BBC version of The Chronicles of Narnia from the library, which, even though it's old, we'd never seen before. The series actually gets better as it goes along; I especially enjoyed The Silver Chair.
3) What do you like to do to change your mood? Sing and sing and sing. Changing my clothes usually works too.
4) Your favorite drink is currently... Two-thirds chai tea, one-third milk, with a little honey stirred in.
5) When you hear the word exuberant, what's the first word that comes to mind? My sister "H" when she's talking about her plans for the inner-city therapeutic horse ranch she wants to operate one day.
6) What made you smile last? I smile a lot, but I think it was my blog comments when I logged in a few minutes ago.

7) What five songs would make a playlist to describe your week? "This Is the Stuff"- Francesca Battestelli, "Human"- Manafest, "Need You Now"- Plumb, "What Do I Know of Holy?"- Addison Road, "Your Love Is Better Than Life"- Newsboys. Only those of you who listen to CCM are going to know those, but most of the titles are pretty straight-forward.
8) What's at the top of your creative 'To-Do' list? A denim skirt I promised my sister months ago.
9) The last thing you crossed off the above list was... A ring and a pendant I made out of my great-grandmother's old earrings! If you follow my blog, you will see them soon!
10)  Quickly - the first movie quote from the top of your head, please! Umm, I don't have movie quotes just floating around in there.
11)  The best thing about January is... starting classes again!
12) The worst thing about January is... getting my dates mixed up and missing my first day of class!
13) What's your #1 resolution for 2013? I don't think I've really made it a resolution, but I'm trying to preach the gospel to myself every morning. Of all the things I want to do this year, keeping Christ as front and center is most important.
14)  And lastly, share a quote or verse that you've found especially inspiring lately. "(An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)" Exodus 16:36 If that makes no sense this short devotional can explain what I mean.

Shirt: LOFT Outlet
Vest: Topshop via Plato's Closet
Jeans: DKNY via consignment shop
Shoes: Payless
Necklaces: Gifts

Saturday, January 19, 2013

From My Own Closet: Boho

 Vest: Topshop via Plato's Closet
Tunic: Made by me
Jeans: Loft Outlet
Boots: Don't even remember, DSW maybe

I adore this faux fur vest. I've been wearing it almost every day this week since winters are so short here and I want to get as much use out of it as I can! Probably how people in northern climates feel about their summer clothes? You will most likely be seeing more of it soon in any case.

Note to self: Get some close-ups next time and not just full-outfit ones. My gracious photographer (my little sis "K") is really quite talented, but it was a rather spontaneous and hurried photo shoot and she was getting cold. :) If she doesn't start a blog herself, I should post some of her adorable squirrel photos sometime.

Had a good weekend so far? I've mostly been cleaning the house. And along the way I learned way more about the inner workings of our vacuum cleaner than you all would care to hear right now. Fixing broken appliances, yard work, etc. has always been my dad's job at our house, but lately I've been purposely learning how to do different things in case I'm out on my own at some point or if I marry someone who expects me to do some of these things! (For some reason I get excited about this sort of thing. I've actually got a list. =) What are some of the things you all think every woman should know how to do herself?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

From My Own Closet : (And My Childhood Dress Up Jewelry Box)

It's good to be back.This blog is my baby, and I think about it far more than it appears! I had a hectic end to the fall semester (So far, I have known no other type of end to a semester. You know how it is, when, two weeks before finals, you still have practically an entire semester's work ahead of you, as well as the last thirteen weeks to review in your mind as you try to figure out what exactly you were doing that kept you so busy, because it's obvious what you weren't doing? I sure do.)

After finals, I still had all my Christmas shopping and wrapping and cooking and cleaning (well, if I have to be honest, the last two were accomplished 99% by my sisters and mom), followed by a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Here's a little proof of the fun we had... well as our creativity...

...and all-around cuteness...

 I'm a shameless braggart. And then Christmas morning...

... I sneaked around with some of these shady characters, leaving behind no trace but these candy canes on our neighbors' doors.

Now that life is more or less routine again, I think it's time to start a new habit, aka blog. This has nothing to do with the fact that it's January. Blogging is not a procrastinated, two-weeks-late New Year's Resolution for me. OK, OK, you all can see right through me, so ... I have never kept a New Year's Resolution in my life, even though I have put together a comprehensive list of resolutions every year from the time I was 11 years old. I didn't (and it's painfully clear, still don't) have time or self-discipline to tackle all of it at once, miss one day of doing this or that, and then never pick it up after that day. Nevertheless in 2012 I somehow managed to start doing two things regularly: studying the Bible and exercising.  The Bible study was started probably around April or May, and the exercising sometime in the summer. I've missed quite a few days here and there- especially with exercising since there are more days that I don't do it than do- but they're still something I can say I do. I do it, maybe not consistently, but persistently; I haven't stopped studying the Bible or exercising since. So I've decided to approach my blog the same way. I can't say I'll post three times a week or on Wednesdays or anything like that. But I will post persistently.

Did you know...

  • White button-up shirts are hard to wear without looking too professional for a low-wage retail job? I can't wear jeans to work, but that would look cute with this outfit. I should do that for one of my days off.
  • The lacy cardi only has three-quarter length sleeves, so I had to roll up my shirt cuffs to make it work? (And you never would've known if I hadn't told you =)
  • I have worn these shoes (scroll all the way to the top to see them) in every outfit I have posted so far?! No, they're not my only pair. Yes, they are my favorite pair. No, I don't have nearly as many shoes as a lot of girls I know. And yes, if a girl is only allowed one pair of shoes in her life, I firmly believe they ought to be a pair of black pointed-toe 2-inch heels with designer detail (2-inch only because she's gonna have to walk at some point)!
  • My necklace came from a box of jewelry my sisters and I used to play dress up with? We didn't have a whole lot of money when I was growing up, so my parents were sometimes creative with the gifts they gave us. When I was about 6, for Christmas my parents gave me and my sisters a box of scarves and hats and jewelry they got from the thrift store. We loved it! It was probably cheaper than buying dress-up clothes from the toy store, and we got to fashion the scarves and shawls into skirts or dresses or whatever we wanted them to be. (It might have been the same Christmas or another, my parents also gave us a huge box of toy food- only it was carefully salvaged food packaging that my mother had collected over the last year. We had the best food set ever!) Anyway, my sisters were cleaning out the hall closet and came across the box of thrift store dress up jewelry and asked if I wanted to use any of it as supplies. I saw the necklace and thought, I can wear that! Bonus: the purple-ish beads in the necklace match the color of my sweater! It was meant to be!
So tell me, where is the strangest place you have gotten a fashion accessory or garment? I'm sure someone reading this blog has a much better story =).